It’s been quite a few months since my last blog regarding Z-Day and us starting to delve into developing a Pathfinding solution for Torque using a NavMesh rather than the more traditional waypoint grids used in the resource posted on the site.
Unfortunately work has been really busy so I’ve not had anywhere near as much time to work on it as I’d hoped for, I know I know the injustice of it all, just because they pay my wages they expect me to work on their projects rather than my own!!!! I tell ya it could go to the Supreme Court this one.
Anyhow, so what have we been doing over the last few months?? Well there’s a few things that have changed with the game and that the rest of the team have been working on.
NavMesh and Path Finding
There has still been quite a lot of progress on the NavMesh side of things, the editor now has many more features like merging points, splitting edges and nodes plus the big news is that we’ve integrated the Recast NavMesh Builder from Mikko Mononen into Torque, Mikko was Lead AI Programmer for Crysis so he knows a thing or two about AI and the results we’ve been getting from his Recast Library have been a huge bonus to editor we’ve been working on.
As you can see we also have Pathfinding working now and you can begin to see the huge benefit of a NavMesh over a traditional waypoint grid, we need a tiny fraction of the points/nodes to cover huge areas of a map that you would with a waypoint grid and the paths come out much smoother as we can take straight line paths across convex polygons rather than having to zig-zag along strict lines.
Dan Delp has not only been working on the A.I. side of things with Chris and myself but also been delving into getting torchlight working in the game so that we can go really dark and spooky in areas of the map and have the players relying on their torches as the only means of vision and the uncertainty that a Zombie could leap out of any shadow. It’s highly experimental at the moment but as you can see in the screenshot below it’s looking quite nice as an effect.
Music & Sound
Since my last blog we now have a Sound Designer, Derrick Bozkurt, working some magic on the audio for the game – it makes a huge difference to the gameplay and feel once you start getting in some music and sounds to enhance the feel and drama of the situation, especially for a game like Z-Day where we’re aiming for a tense, dark and eerie feel to the game.
You can have a listen to the Main Theme music for Z-Day and read more about the process and effort Derrick has been putting into designing and pulling together the composition over on the Z-Day website where he’s posted a Blog all about it.
We’re lucky to have him on board and if you have a listen to the music I’m sure you’ll agree that that he’s destined for some great things.
We’ve had a few issues with the website and the forums being hacked or eaten by a zombie virus, unfortuante but true… it has given us a chance to look at what we want from the site which until now had really just been an entrance to the forums.
The whole site has had a revamp and redesign thanks to Chris, our very own web developer, artist, coder, all round guru and master of time.
Of course no blog about the game would be complete without a couple of images of the actual game itself so I’ll leave it here with a couple of shots of the game and some new buildings from our artists Jacob, Anton and Chris.
We are always on the look out for anyone interested in helping out, especially coders and artists – so much to do and any help is welcome so if you’re interested then please get in touch.
Thanks for reading and we’ll have more to share soon hopefully.
- Andy Rollins