|Posted by ZX on April 12, 2009 at 11:06 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by ZX on March 24, 2009 at 4:33 PM||comments (0)|
I am not planning for this introduction to be so long, but bear with me... If you have been following me on YoYo Games (which I really need to link to in my sidebar!), you have probably read that the entire concept of Mercury came to me in a dream (two to be exact). And that I plan to make it somewhat a mix of System Shock, Dead Space, and even DOOMclone. What you don't know, is that I have been thinking about this game for a very very long time. No, I wasn't thinking about Mercury the way I am now, rather, I was merly envisioning a game that I would put all my effort into, that would combine all my skills into one epic masterpiece, and would finally raise some eyebrows among the snobby experts of GM and show them that it is not immense GML knowledge and smart scripting that saves a worthless one kilobyte of memory that makes a great game, but rather it is the experience of having made many games and subsequent sequels that perfect on said games along with an immense amount of work and fine tuning that together make a great game. It's not about how pretty your graphics are, or about how nice of a title screen you have, or wether you game is original or not; what matters, what really, truly, matters, is and always will be... the gameplay. -ZX
What is it?
This is somewhat a hard question to answer! I haven't even started main work on the game and yet here I am, telling you what the game is. So please, take this with a grain of salt - the game, once actual development begins, will not be exactly what I am telling you here. Because of this, I really can only tell you what I plan for the game to be.
Not another DOOMclone!
Trust me, although Mercury will be based on DOOMclone technology, the main DOOMclone series is done. But I said that Mercury would be a mix of DOOMclone and two other games, right? Well, yes... but still, not exactly. If you really want to, view Mercury as a spiritual sequel to DOOMclone - much of the fast paced fps action sequences will be there, but much that you know and love from the DOOMclone series will be changed. We need to identify some of the aspect of the other two games in order to get an idea of what Mercury really is.
Aspects from Dead Space
Dead Space is one of my favorite games. It perfectly blends a dark horror atmosphere (not unlike DOOM 3) with the perfect control scheme of Resident Evil 4. But what am I getting from it? The answer: the dark atmosphere. Yes, yes, I have already attempted a dark atmosphere with both DOOMclone Zero (which, btw, I now consider an expansion to DOOMclone II rather than a main game in the series) and DOOMclone III. I honestly feal that I can finally get it right, so cross your fingers for the next four months!
Aspects from System Shock
The funny thing is, I have never played System Shock! But what it did is what I also want to do with Mercury. System Shock perfectly blends the rpg genre with the fps genre. I want to add a leveling sytem to Mercury and possibly even an inventory system.
I really hope that you will continue to tune in for blog postings! This one is dated three weeks after the first and I think that might be a good timeframe for blogposts until I am closer to releasing the game. If you haven't done so, please bookmark the site and leave a comment not only in the guestbook but also in the comments section of this post. Thanks!
|Posted by ZX on March 3, 2009 at 6:47 PM||comments (0)|
As I have realized and have often been reminded of, I do not update this website enough. Last year, while deep within development of DOOMclone III, I made great headway in attempting to bring this site up to a level that would encourage people to both visit and return to the site. I created this blog for the specific purpose of updating all of my friends, fans, and followers on the progress that was being made on the development of my games. DOOMclone III was the bread and butter of the blog, I would post a new entry almost every week informing all those who cared to read on what new things I had in store for what I then called "The Final Game" for the DOOMclone series.
Since the release of DOOMclone III however, I have severely neglected both the blog and website. DOOMclone III was riddled with a few nasty bugs that I needed to fix, DC Tech Two had to be completed, and I mistakenly promised a stand-alone expansion to DOOMclone III (which was then further complicated with the promise of "Level Packs" in a version 1.1 update that took nearly three months to be released). The summer quickly passed, and school started again. What I call "The Dark Months" (the first six months of school) is torture, and development slows to a near halt. But, these dark months are nearly past; I have only two days left of Trimester Two, at which point development will be kick started.
As many of you might know, I have been thinking about making a game called Mercury that would merge the elements of System Shock, Dead Space, and DOOMclone. Though I had originally planned for a six-month development cycle, I have since decided that I WILL get the game out by the end of summer 2009. Though main development hasn't yet started, I view this as the perfect time to revitalize this blog. I plan to frequently post detailed information about what is going on with the development of the game; from pre-planning to finishing touches, you will be given insight into everything the game has to offer. In this first posting, I will be detailing the DOOMclone Engine 3.5 milestone that will be the basis of Mercury. –ZX
What is DCEngine 3.5?
With every main release of the DOOMclone series (DC, DCII, DCIII), I attempt to improve the engine in a way that it is clearly recognizable from the previous version of the engine. This was even more so with DOOMclone III, the amount of changes that were made to the engine resulted in a significant departure in the gameplay from the previous DOOMclone releases. I was certainly thrilled that the game turned out better than previous games of mine, but the engine had grown so complex that it was more difficult to work with. The nearly three years of monolithically improving the same engine did not work out for the better; nearly everything was unintuitively named (or not named at all!), and placed in odd groupings created while developing DOOMclone Platinum Edition that just didn't fit anymore.
Do to this I came up with three main goals for this internal milestone in preparation of both DC Tech Three and Mercury: simplification and organization, removal of unneeded objects and resources, and added improvement of the new lighting system introduced in DOOMclone III.
Goal #1 – Simplification and Organization
At the beginning of the project, the engine was a complete mess. Most of the sprites, sounds, backgrounds and about twenty-five percent of the objects had not been given proper names. Almost all of the objects were improperly grouped (I literally had floors grouped as a controller object!). And, I actually couldn’t remember what some objects even did! It was clear that something needed to be done before I could even think about working on Mercury.
The first thing I did was to remove all objects from any groupings they had been in. I then proceeded in re-grouping them in a more intuitive way as well as placing them within subgroups to keep everything uncluttered. Many of the objects were either renamed or, for the first time, given a name. I then had to repeat this process with backgrounds, sounds, and sprites.
I have only made my first pass for simplification and organization and it will require more time for me to complete this goal.
Goal #2 – Removal of Unneeded Objects and Resources
This goal essentially explains itself. Over the years, resources and objects, as well as stray variables and actions, have built up within the engine and can be removed without harm. This goal is not of the highest priority, but in doing so, I can make sure that Mercury will have a better point to start from.
Goal #3 – Improvement to New Lighting System Introduced in DOOMclone III
DOOMclone III significantly improved the lighting system by replacing a single 1000x1000 floor and ceiling object with multiple 32x32 floor objects that had to each be placed individually in the proper locations. This did have its drawbacks, as the multiple floor objects negatively affected performance on older systems with less than adequate graphics processors. (Note: I am not planning to optimize this any further than I already have.)
One gripe that I have had since adding lighting back in DOOMclone Platinum Edition v2.0 was how the lighting worked on the walls. For some odd reason, a wall would only be lit up if the light was placed either up or to the left of it. I have now decided that in order to remedy this, I will be changing the walls from the d3d_draw_wall command to the d3d_draw_block command.
This may have a negative impact on performance, but it shouldn’t be significant (especially with culling) on more modern systems. Essentially, if you can run DOOMclone III at the full forty frames a second that it is programmed for, you should be able to run Mercury. (Note: If needed, I may implement frame skip in Mercury.)
The DCEngine 3.5 is an important milestone in the development of Mercury. Of course, the actual Mercury Engine (DCEngine 4.0) will be a much more significant upgrade, but I believe that the DCEngine 3.5 milestone is a necessary one for the most ambitious game I have dared to undertake.
I hope you have enjoyed this first insight into the development of Mercury. Let me know what you thought of this posting, either here in the comments, or at YoYoGames. Stay tuned: I will continue to post information about Mercury until it is released!
|Posted by ZX on January 15, 2009 at 4:43 PM||comments (3)|
Ok, so I haven't updated my site in FOREVER! Keep up with me at www.yoyogames.com/members/zx
But don't wory, I am not abandoning this site. More will be done with it latter.
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