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3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

Postby djm » October 15th, 2014, 8:15 pm

Good evening (or morning I should say) everyone!

I got this idea of how to make a cursor-based game in Blender, but I didn't really know what to do with it since I have yet to fully figure out my RTS idea (oops.. spoilers). However, I thought about a nice little challenge for myself to scratch that programming itch AND yet stay creative - in a way. So, I made a game where you control a cone (for now) which spawns cubes of different sizes and materials. Every cube reacts to physics and with these cubes you can either just spam them all around the place, or preferably build something with them.

[Side-Note: My brother came up with a name for it: Build N'Lag]


I will post the updates to the Main Menu within this spoiler:
SHOW SPOILER
Main Menu V. 0.05
Image

Main Menu V. 0.1
Image

Main Menu V. 0.15
Changes to the Main Menu; New Textures, New Title-texture
Image

Main Menu V. 0.21a
Changes to the Main Menu; New selections - Sandbox Mode/Challenge Mode
Image



I also made it possible to change between these blocks (UI added in V. 0.15). And every block-type has different mass and reacts slightly different to the other types around it. However, since I wanted to be able to actually build something without too much of a challenge, I made every block-type Dynamic for now. Some will be Rigid Bodies and some will be Dynamic later on (Challenge Mode will ONLY have rigid bodies).

Some example pictures of the very early development: Pre V. 0.1

This right here is me making a stick-figure thing.
SHOW SPOILER
Image


Not very impressive, I know.
However, this next image is me just messing around with the different block-types.
SHOW SPOILER
Image


What else can you do in this thing? - Move the camera. Yes, you can spin the camera around. I also added a way for people to tweak their designs by removing placed blocks they didn't like. So, by simply Right-Clicking you delete a placed block of any type - and add new blocks by left-clicking wherever you want.

And for being in very early stages, with temporary textures, basic lighting, no mapping at all and nothing fancy what so ever - it is still looking kinda neat. And I find it very amusing to play too, to be honest. I will be working on this whenever I get some free time on my hands!

I have plans for this, and some are new game modes:
[color=#BF4040Challenge Mode[/color] - More challenging environments/canvases.. [ONLY rigid bodies].
Sandbox - Do whatever you want, build, relax, spin the camera.. [EVERYTHING: Static Objects, Rigid Bodies, Dynamic]
Puzzler - Solve different puzzles by using different blocks and features.. [MIXED: Rigid Bodies & Dynamic]

Another thing I want to add is different maps. So far (as of V. 0.21a) you can only play on two different maps; Sandbox (flat canvas) and Challenge (island).

---------------------[Actual Updates Section]-----------------------

Plans/Things to Add/Fix:
[X - V0.1] Visuals - I want to be able to see which Block I have selected, maybe even change tools (?)
[X - V0.1] Rotation Controls - Rotating the entities without having to rotate the camera
[X - V0.1] Preview of Block & Rotation - Above the cone there will be a preview of the current block & it's rotation.
[X - V0.15] GUI - User Interface, In-game block-type selection
[X - V0.2] Entity Counter - A counter which will count the amount of entities on the map (Calculating both added and removed entities)
[ ] Sound - Sound will be added eventually..
[ ] Game Modes - Challenge, Free Build, Puzzler etc.
[ ] Maps - Different Levels/Bigger canvas
[ ] Blocks - More Materials, Different Types of Materials
[ ] Cmera Features - Zoom-in / Zoom out feature
[ ] Controls - Drag & Drop already placed Materials


UPDATE #1 - Roof:
SHOW SPOILER
Image

In Action:
Image



UPDATE #2 - Sand, Fountain (trying out some new features, object adding and such), Proof of Concept Image (Complete Scene)
SHOW SPOILER
-Proof of Concept Image #1--An actual scene
Image



UPDATE #3 - UI, UI and more UI.
SHOW SPOILER
I tweaked the preview above the cursor slightly, added new blocks and types (not yet implemented) and also a fully functional menu which indicates what kind of building material type you are currently using: Blocks, Architectural and Other. I also made it so that you can change between these types on the fly by hitting 'TAB' to call for the material-type menu, but since I haven't yet implemented my new models into the game you can only use Blocks right now (including the roof and the fountain - but these will move fairly soon anyway). Then I also changed the whole texture-library of my User Interface. It's not based on mesh-text any more. Instead I changed it to textures with text, but they operate the same way nonetheless. You will see pictures of all these changes down below (the main menu update is under the main menu update spoilers)

This is the in-game menu when you change between material-types.
Image

Look at the cursor on this image. Since I selected something other than "Block types" the game can't add anything, hence the question-mark. :)
Image

Requested by Brektzar: Entity Counter (Basically, what it does is - it calculates the number of models on the canvas. It also subtracts when you remove models. This little feature kinda surprised me a lot actually.. Why? - Well, I didn't think I reached 200 - 300 models on my canvas, but turns out that the sand/dirt adds a lot.. like A LOT! You can see that in the image below. It doesn't look like much but there are a lot of entities in this scene.
Image



UPDATE #4 - Tweaks, changes, code-cleaning, features & bug fixes [wall of text]
SHOW SPOILER
Update number 4, also known as V. 0.19. (I change this number with 0.01 every time I make a significant change to the game in one sitting, so even if I change 100 stuff in one sitting, it will still only add by 0.01).

So, this update is rather small and mostly about what's going on on the back end of things. But it's nice and I am happy with it.
What did I do? - I changed my overall design of the sandbox mode AKA the only playable mode as of yet, I changed the "sand" to a mini-roof thing which only adds one entity per click. The spam-function kinda ruined the game in my opinion. I also tweaked my textures further, made them sliiiiightly crispier and I also added a new functionality to the in-game menu: Press Z or X to change the floor-tile. Right now you can only toggle between grass and that floor thingy seen in the picture below. This made the game, or canvas I should say, seem more open and much more fun to use.
What else did I do? - I added a model to the architecture tree, finally: a wooden plank. The regular big roof will move to the architecture tree soon enough, and the fountain will either be removed or moved to other. As of right now though it's only implemented as a test.

The game is overall much smoother now, loads faster and look somewhat more pleasing to look at. With the tweaked physics (mass and gravity on some objects) as well as some code-cleanup the game engine doesn't have to work as hard anymore. So with that said I will explain the latest feature added: max number of entities on the canvas. I made it so that the counter will reach a maximum of 2500 entities in the scene (which is a lot!) and when that happens - a message will pop up telling you that you have exceeded the maximum number of entities, and that you should remove one or more in order to continue building. This gave the game some challenge, even for sandbox mode (I don't want people to crash the engine the first thing they do - because that's what I did and it sucked..). So yeah, having a maximum number of entities made it slightly more fun and challenging in a way to make a building you are really happy with.

Another thing I might add that I was looking in to was grabbing and moving objects. It worked very nicely, and exactly like I wanted it to - but there was an issue. The game didn't recognize the fact that I only wanted it to grab ONE object - and not everything I came in touch with. So my cursor turned into a collision vacuum and when I released the entities they were all clogged up and flung away in different directions. Very fun, the first 5 times, but then it got kinda lame and annoying. I will give it some more thought later on..

Next step right now is to finish the challenge mode, make it work 100% without any major issues and make sure the physics aren't too bad - since I removed the walls from the canvas. However, this will most likely take some time as I always add small features and mechanics on the way. I can tell you this though - Challenge mode will NOT be added and playable until I have at least 7 different models in both the blocks and architecture trees. Why? - Because it's not really super-fun using the same 8 models over and over again. Besides.. try building a nice bridge for example with the current models available to play with. Not really THAT much of a possibility (even though the wooden plank added a whole new level of depth to the game).

Speaking of the plank.. It is a rigid body so it is affected by physics in a very much realistic way than the dynamic objects. It can twist, turn, fall-over, move etc. And you can use it to make some funny toys.. I made a catapult! :D

But anyway, enjoy the image below which shows all of the new (and old) visual features.
Image



UPDATE #5 - Challenge Mode [Alpha/Test], New Download, V. 0.21a and onward
SHOW SPOILER
In this update I tweaked the textures again, fixed the main menu as seen below and above in the main-menu section, updated the sandbox slightly (will be more clear in the next update) and I also implemented challenge mode [alpha - because I have yet to add more models. I kinda just wanted to make it work first].

The Challenge Mode map is temporary, but it will still be in the game when it hits 1.0. The reason for it being temporary is because it doesn't really offer THAT much of a challenge, even though it is quite small and all the models are rigid bodies (they react to physics). They also have proper mass and such as well. So it will be a challenge in it-self to build something in it even though it's not challenging enough yet.

Another thing I did is I tweaked the object-counter to react in a different way, again. Now it's more fluid and possibly completely free from bugs. It was a very easy and quick fix. I just added a plain a couple of blender units below the floor-plane (and water plane on the challenge-map) which will kill the objects when they hit it. So, if you for some reason manage to glitch a plank through the ground (it happens..) then it will die almost instantly and the counter will remove it from the totals. Same goes for the challenge map: When an object falls into the ocean, it will die. Very quick and easy, and best of all; reliable and stable.

In the picture below you have the Challenge Mode in it's current state. Far from finished though.. There will also be a download in the downloads section for this particular update. Enjoy!

Challenge Mode:
Image

New Main Menu V. 0.21a
Image



DOWNLOADS:


Version 0.1- Proof of Concept build
SHOW SPOILER
Version 0.1 Proof of Concept Build 1

**Controls**
Camera: A & D
Move the Cursor: Mouse
Add Objects: Left Mouse Click
Remove Objects: Right Mouse Click

**Object Hotkeys**
1 -- Wood Block
2 -- Wood Log
3 -- Sandstone
4 -- Foundation/Bricks
5 -- Sand/Dirt (Physics Enabled)
6 -- Roof
7 -- Fountain


Version 0.21a- Challenge Mode
SHOW SPOILER
Version 0.21a - Challenger

In this version you have two game-modes: Sandbox (free build basically) and Challenge (also free build for now, but with a slight challenge.. Only rigid bodies and on an island canvas). There is also a counter in-game which will count the amount of objects on your canvas in real-time. Current maximum is 2500 objects.

**Controls**
Camera: A & D
Move the Cursor: Mouse
Add Objects: Left Mouse Click
Remove Objects: Right Mouse Click
Rotate Objects: Left/Right Arrow Keys
In-Game Object Selection Menu: TAB (Tab again to move it out of view)

**Object Hotkeys**
*Blocks*
1 -- Wood Block
2 -- Wood Log
3 -- Sandstone
4 -- Foundation/Bricks
5 -- Sand/Dirt (Physics Enabled)
6 -- Roof
7 -- Fountain

*Architecture*
1 -- Wooden Plank
Last edited by djm on October 19th, 2014, 7:25 am, edited 20 times in total.
Regards, DJM aka Sheldin!

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Re: 3D-Building / Creative game

Postby brektzar » October 16th, 2014, 1:03 am

Really cool stuff bro! :D
//Jimmy
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Re: 3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

Postby IrascibleOne » October 16th, 2014, 10:27 am

I have to say, it's a little addicting. :D I've always loved freebuild types of games. Great stuff so far!
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Re: 3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

Postby tobimai » October 17th, 2014, 6:00 am

Looks cool :clap:
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Re: 3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

Postby djm » October 17th, 2014, 8:47 am

Update #3 has been posted. Check it out! :D

Also take a look at the new main menu (in the main menu section of the post).
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Re: 3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

Postby brektzar » October 17th, 2014, 1:52 pm

Nice update! :D
I thought of something else you should do :P
The counter made me think of how much you actually put in there, so a roof should be set. No more than 5000 entities(example) on the canvas at any given time, a noise coupled with a text would tell you that you've exceeded your amount and should remove some before continuing(instead of just automatically remove older blocks)...........
That's what i got from seeing the counter :)
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Re: 3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

Postby djm » October 19th, 2014, 7:28 am

brektzar wrote:I thought of something else you should do :P
The counter made me think of how much you actually put in there, so a roof should be set. No more than 5000 entities(example) on the canvas at any given time, a noise coupled with a text would tell you that you've exceeded your amount and should remove some before continuing(instead of just automatically remove older blocks)...........
That's what i got from seeing the counter :)


That is very doable. I will definitely look into it. This does make me think of some additions for it actually. I might remove the "sand" replace it with a block of dirt. Also, i was thinking of removing the canvas walls an d create a setting option. Like, maybe turn the floor into grass with the ui menu perhaps?

Hmm.. I'll think about it.

***EDIT***
I made another update to the post in the "updates" section: Update #4. It is a wall of text so yeah, have fun reading that (it's good if you want to know what's REALLY going on).

I posted about some tweaks I did, changes to the game in general, graphical differences from previous version(s), additional features, bug fixes and plans. I hope you'll enjoy this update and I'll hand out a new downloadable .Blend of it when it reaches V. 0.2 (which should be fairly soon).
Btw, the reason I hand out the .Blend is because I'm on my mac and I can only export to .dmg which is specifically for Macintosh OS. Sorry about that. When I get to my desktop I'll export both .exe and .dmg and share that instead.


***EDIT #2***
A second edit to this post..
I added a new update: Update #5 - which contains all the info about the current challenge mode and also other minor tweaks and changes I have done to the game. The game just hit version 0.21a which means another download. The download has been added with all the controls and additional info you need in the Downloads section. Enjoy the game and thanks for trying it out!

Keep telling me what you think about the updates and each stage in the progress of making this, so I know what you guys (and girls) think! :)
thank you!
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Re: 3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

Postby IrascibleOne » October 19th, 2014, 7:36 pm

I guess it only works with numpad numbers? I only have my laptop this week and it doesn't have a numpad setting so I can't seem to change blocks. Looks like you are making a lot of great progress through!
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Re: 3D-Building / Creative game (Build N'Lag)

Postby djm » October 20th, 2014, 12:06 am

It is the number keys above the letters, not the numpad. I have no numpad on my laptop so.

But i can make an alternate version which is not depending on numbers later on.
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