Thursday, January 17, 2013

Progress Update

Here's a list of all the cool things I've been working on since my last blog post:

  • Realtime Clouds and Atmosphere - I've been working on this project for some time, it's a flexible algorithm that accurately renders and simulates dynamic & volumetric clouds and atmosphere. It's not a hack or approximation, it computes real single-scattered lighting through the clouds from a directional light source (the sun, or moon at night) and the atmosphere. It doesn't use particle effects either, it renders directly from a 3D texture, removing popping artifacts when flying through particles and making it very easy to modify and simulate. This is pretty computationally expensive, it wouldn't be possible without the power of new graphics cards - however, a few years from now, it'll probably run realtime on commodity graphics cards as well. The sunsets are especially awesome, when the sun lights high clouds from below with a reddish light, and I didn't plan or explicitly code that, it just did it since it was accurately modeling how the clouds would be lit from the sun and atmosphere!

    Right now, I've been thinking about where I want to use it, but my dream is to one day make Aero Empire with this technique. Don't get your hopes up too much if you're an AE fan, as I haven't started work on the revised AE yet and don't plan to any time soon, but I do have plans (and by the time I finish AE, the clouds might run realtime on most computers haha!).

    Of course, you have to see the clouds in motion to see the power of this technique, so here's a video:
  • I Can't Escape - As stated in my last blog post, I joined One Game A Month, and this is my January Game. I Can't Escape is a 3D, first person horror game being written in Flash's Stage3D. I have never made a horror game before, which was part of the reason I wanted to try it as my January project. The game focuses mainly on exploring a creepy dungeon with retro graphics (think old raycasting games), and the "horror" element derives from the atmosphere and a sense of being lost in an incredibly large dungeon. Most of the code for the game is done, I still need to do a few minor things, but I'm mainly waiting on art at this point as the artist I'm working with is somewhat behind. The game still needs a few more sound effects too, but the game's pretty close and there's still two weeks left, so I'm confident we'll get it done in time. You can check out the current version of the game (will continue to be updated) here: , and the game's also open source, you can view the source code here:
  • Obey - Since signing up for One Game A Month, game ideas have been flooding my mind. Obey is a choose your own adventure / visual novel (with some RPG elements) that focuses mainly on the story, and the many choices you are presented with during the game. It takes place in a future dystopia, where an AI tyrant rules the world. It has multiple endings, and I've already drafted an outline for the entire game, as well as the introduction. I do want there to be some nice still art to go along with the story (and I think I know an artist who'd be good at this), but for now the main task on this game is to finish the story. Once I finish the story, I'll easily be able to make this game in a month, and so I'll schedule this game for a month after I've finished writing.
  • The Final Battle - Another One Game A Month idea, this one was spawned when reading the epic Last Battle in A Memory of Light (the last book of the Wheel of Time series, great series btw). The Final Battle will be an RTS of epic proportions, where you command armies of 10,000+ units in an all out "final battle." Every unit will have it's own little AI script, and the AI scripts will all run in parallel on the graphics card using OpenCL (I like utilizing the graphics card to do computation that would be impossible on the CPU). Each unit will also be displayed as a small, maybe 6x6 pixel sprite, which I will draw myself (it doesn't need animations or detail, so I can handle that haha).
  • Havencall - So, what about Havencall? Well, there hasn't been a lot for me to do code-wise lately on Havencall. Right now, the scenes and art take priority, which Natalie has been working on (she's been making some awesome scenes, you can see some of it here: There's still over a month of coding left for me to do in Havencall, but I plan to spread that out over the next few months, and hopefully release Havencall by September as planned. I certainly haven't forgotten about Havencall, and I'll still be able to release it on time even with One Game A Month.
That's all of the updates that I can talk about, and I have a feeling that this will be a great year for me with all my plans for One Game A Month. You can see a list of my One Game A Month plans here: , which I update from time to time. Soon, the world will be flooded with awesome games made by me haha!


  1. sounds like it will take decades before AE will be revived, well more time to improve my skills then =D

    1. Decades? No. In fact, we're thinking about reviving it next year, and have already redesigned it and begun working on concepts.