Time for an update!

May 25, 2009

Well, it’s been a while and I didn’t realise I had a few comments waiting to be approved too! Sorry Kev!

So since I last posted a few changes have occured and lots of background work has taken place.

Firstly, there has been a move towards the (relatively) open source PS3 – there is open access to the Cell SDK meaning full access to the PPU and 6 SPUs, the languages are also open source, being Cg and PSGL (a varient of OpenGL ES 1.0).

There is one huge flaw in this… there is no access to the PS3 Dev kit, but we will deal with that when the time comes.

I also wasn’t particularly happy with the title, so the new working title is “Salience” which I felt fitted a lot better with the game.

Please take the time to answer the poll about SixAxis controls: Being a horror-survival game, it is designed to give you frights! So why not take the movement you make and translate your fear into our protagonist’s fear? She may jump, she may accidentally fire her gun, or she may make unwanted noise while sneaking past some para-humans! Annoying or a nice addition, let me know!

If you head over to the Official Playstation EU forums you can check out the thread for community involvement in the game, let me know your ideas for rooms or puzzles and you can also check out a quick hash of some boxart (yes I know it should be at the bottom of the priorities but I was bored!).

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Why 2.5D?

April 15, 2009

Games that were originally designed in 2.5D (for the most part) were done so due to constraints on hardware limiting them to pseudo 3D or latterly the 3D environments just weren’t real enough. Games in the survival horror genre thrived on this – think Alone in the Dark, Resident Evil.

So some of you may be thinking why would we develop a game in 2.5D using pre-rendered backgrounds when we could easily do everything in a full 3D environment?

Well, there are several reasons.

Suspense – a fixed camera means that an enemy may be lurking in just around the corner, but you can’t manipulate the camera to see them. It also allows the camera to remain focused on a particular area of the screen in build up to a particular event (anyone remember the first meeting of the zombie dogs in Resident Evil when they came crashing through the windows?).

Scene from Resident Evil (Playstation)

Since the camera is fixed, there is no need to waste computational power on rendering a fully 3D environment, so all the backgrounds can be prerendered allowing a higher quality (they are all ray-traced). This does mean that things like shadows and reflections are a bit more of a hassle, although most things are possible with workarounds.

As a result of not rendering the full 3D environment, more time can be spent rendering the 3D characters, allowing for higher polycounts and framerates.

So basically The Twelve Titans is an attempt to bring back some of the things that made the Surival Horror’s of the early 1990’s through to the early 2000’s so special.

Metis

April 14, 2009

Well it seems that I am not alone in thinking that Metis is a good name for a biotech company!

We already have MeTiS Biotechnologies in France, and metis Biotechnology in Turkey.

Its different enough not to cause a problem though, just a minor upset when I found this out!

For those who don’t know who/what is Metis, have a look here.

Welcome to the Blog!

April 11, 2009

This blog will track the progress of development of a 2.5D horror survival game.
The working title is “The Twelve Titans”.

The game will be very similar in nature to the early Resident Evil games, complete with pre-rendered backgrounds, static cameras and lots of puzzles.
We will be taken through the various developments, all the trials and tribulations and hopefully end up with something that isn’t completely rubbish!

It will be developed in C# using Microsoft’s XNA Game Studio and will encorporate a number of other programs to facilitate development:

Maya: All 3D models for characters and environments including the rendering of the backgrounds.
MotionBuilder: Animation of characters and gun models.
Mudbox: Fine detailing of characters built using Maya.

Houdini: Particle effects (more on this later).
Photoshop: Texturing

To start us off, below is a rough version of our main protagonist Caitlin.

Caitlin