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Zygote Dev Journal (or how I spent my winter vacation)

Filed under: General, zygote — 19day @ 06:54:38

I took a week off from work, not really for any reason, just to relax.

And relax I have, to the point where I’ve got nocturnal again. Oh, it wasn’t a-purpose, my sleeping had been very chaotic since day 1, going to bed at 6pm, waking at 3 in the morning, and then lounging about. But still my body is quite aware that it’s not sleeping at the right times, since the glare of the midday sun is painful and I feel in a zombie state, despite not actually needing to sleep at that time.

And having the week off, you’d think I’d have lots of time to work on Zygote, but alas, I haven’t… working on it that is, I’ve slept a lot, but not so much work.

Collision detection hasn’t been touched, though I bought a new big book on 3d game math topics, which has all sorts of lamdas and a-knots and matricies and stuff, so I’m sure it will help.

To distract myself from the real work that is tricky, I’ve been playing with eye candy instead. I’ve been working on… ah… hmm.. a debris field. Well, my imagination had it as being like the flecks of debris you see with underwater cameras. It’s a useful thing since it shows that you are moving. Unfortunately, at the moment, they kind of look like stars. Also, at sufficient ranges, they wink on and off as they alias. The trouble I’m having is that I’ve implemented the system as a particle cloud, in an axis-aligned box. The particles have a slow downward drift, and if they exit the box, they die and respawn at the top. But at a sufficiently high particle count, the game bogs down (on eye candy, that’s bad). The particle count has to be high when the size of the box is enlarged to contain a game level.

The reason something that simple would bog down the engine has partly to do with my simulated dynamics. Oh, it’s quite crappy, but the idea is that as you pass by the particles, or shoot through them, or what not, they spread apart, not in any mathematically correct way, but I’ve just been trying to get that working at all. And that requires all sorts of collision detection (simple detection, but still, more computation).

I’m currently experimenting with having the particle cloud bounds follow the player, and perhaps not having them descend. This will allow a larger concentration appear in your field of view, with a fewer particle count. The trick is that they would continually die and respawn (this time they would need to appear randomly in the plane of direction so as you move it doesn’t look like they’ve all suddenly started to snow from the top). I’m not entirely sure how to make that work. I might just give the whole thing up as needlessly complicated, and icky.

I’ve also implemented a basic targeting reticle to go along with my change to allow auto-targeting an enemy. It’s a little graphic that, within the threshold, as you point more directly at the enemy, the reticle gets smaller and tighter and brighter. It’s hard to describe, and I may not keep it that way, since I liked the idea of it rotating. I might use the rotation as an indication of lock-on, so you can move away and still fire directly at the enemy.

What else is going on… well, I got my watch strap adjusted. It’s a metal one so I had to take it in to have it done. It was a christmas gift from Alicia, a nice silver clockwork watch with 3 sub-dials, one for 24 hour time, day of month and day of week. It took a while to figure out how to set it, I guess my timex digital watches have spoiled me. Anyway, it’s very classy.

Also, my brother, for some reason asked me to render a truck tire and rim. I dunno, I followed a tutorial (badly) for the tire, and winged it for the rim, Here it is for those who like links in blogs.

Vacation is nearly over, I guess I’ll just cry for the next 3 days.


Zygote Dev Journal Update

Filed under: zygote — 19day @ 13:25:18

Yes, I’ve started working on this thing again, despite the awfulness of the game in terms of both quality and subject matter. Asylum has completely stalled, no idea when I’ll feel like working on it again. But Zygote is sort of amusing in it’s own hideous mathematical kind of way.

A couple of things I’ve been trying to work on:

Frustum culling, nearly have this working, only a slight change in the order of matrix multiplication was needed, sad really, I might have gotten the full mark for it if I had been clear-headed. There is still an issue with it with the near and far planes, it doesn’t respect them, and the culling doesn’t cut the stuff behind you. Still it’s an improvement.

I’ve added the beginnings of a targetting system for the player. I have another key bound to the feature right now, so that when you’re within a certain angle of an enemy, the shot you fire goes right at it. This helps with accuracy problems (both for the game and the player). I’ll have to have it pick the closer of available targets. I was also thinking of having a targetting reticle that appears when you are in the angle threshold, and maybe a lockon system, so if you maintain an enemy in that zone long enough the reticle is solid (unless you turn too far away) and your next shot will go right at it. Right now the shots merely go straight from the player to the enemy, I haven’t decided if shots should be able to track. Probably not given how that would detract yet further from the reality of the environment, heh.

The thing I’ve mostly recently been working on is a method of fixing enemy rotation. In the version I submitted for my graphics project, I was only barely in time able to find a method to make the enemy point at the player, via a simply-calculated lookat matrix. However, it didn’t allow a gradual tracking with the player, it just, frame by frame, pointed right at the player. I finally was able to get something working late last night that appears to work properly, but I only managed to get it working while in the middle of writing an email to my former graphic professor. I decided to send the email anyway since I could still be totally messing this up.

And I might as well close with what is the effective Zygote programmers slogan, “’straight to hell”.


New Menu Item

Filed under: zygote — 19day @ 23:48:38

I added a new menu item to the left (the menu for the entire site that is). Zygote now has it’s own section, a pretty poor, pathetically coded section, but I just don’t care enough to make a nice page for it. It just has the description, instructions on how to compile the game, the docs, and screenshots.

I doubt this will be of interest to anyone.


A5 defeated… me

Filed under: Graphics, zygote — 19day @ 20:44:43


Some of you (the ones who read this page.. which I guess is…. me) may have been wondering where I’ve been. Well, been working non stop on my graphics final project, and it’s amazing how a blog can become not so much a blog, but a progress report on the graphics course, when people take graphics. Alas, I didn’t post blow-by-blow info on the project, pity, might have been good to break up to monotony. Anyway, it’s done, got the demo tomorrow. It’s quite bad actually, the game.. well, compared to what I had in my head.

You know your game is in trouble when the collision detection routine you had working ‘perfectly’ only the day before, suddenly lets enemy components travel outside the game universe.

Only wish I could detect that, then I’d have a woman’s voice say “this is an illegal exit, you must return to the game grid”, alas.

In that same theme, here is an amusing website, a list of things that might happen When you know your game is in trouble

I’ll post shots of my game later I guess.

Edit: Here is a thumbnail page of shots

Edit2: Here is the manual


Graphics coming along

Filed under: Graphics, zygote — 19day @ 03:20:14

With less than a week, things are getting quite frantic with the project, ugh.

Managed to get keyframe animation in, and some particle system stuff. Still frustum culling and collision detection to do, icky.

Here is a new shot


A5: texturing and displacement

Filed under: Graphics, zygote — 19day @ 23:57:20

Got a little ways in the graphics project today, displacement mapping and texturing seems to work.

here is a screenshot showing a plane with displacement, textured with a really bad temporary wood texture (that tiles).. the bluey sphere in the middle is the position the sperm will take (camera fixed).

A5 (Project) underway

Filed under: Graphics, zygote — 19day @ 01:35:51

Since there’s nothing else going on in my life, might as well post about graphics project.

Started it in earnest now, with actually very little time left… looks like I’ve screwed myself, heh. anyway, here is the final proposal, hopefully it isn’t as terrible as all that. I’ll probably post with progress over the next couple weeks.




Filed under: Graphics, zygote — 19day @ 18:53:34

Started working on my graphics project (instead of… say… working on the last assignment which is due first, or studying for the midterm which is tomorrow)

Anyway, got a slight animation sample here, think it looks good enough.


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