September 5, 2011 by

Perusing the sleep deprived utterances that have been transcribed on this blog I realised it was missing the video we put together on the morning of our final presentation; so for the sake of completeness here it is.

I would definitely like to come back to this project at some point, I think the two years of separation has done wonders for us both. It will have to wait a while longer though, this new company/project isn’t going to run itself into the ground.


Our bounds are too good.

October 11, 2009 by

Early on in prototyping we discovered an issue where our bounding boxes were too accurate. The shanty houses had a small overhang in their ceiling, and when this was bounded, even though it was quite small, it became a problem for the player. Jumping right up against one of the shanty buildings would have the player smash their head on the lip, and not clear the building.


You can see the small overhang on this shanty. This was stopping players from jumping over the building

During testing we became aware of the issue and as such avoided it as development continued. However, when testing the game with new players, it was very obvious this issue was causing major headaches for newbies. So i had to go into the source file and re bound each shanty building. This was time consuming but the result was a much smoother experience for players.


October 11, 2009 by

I wanted to make the icons look like the light trail in the game.
We went for simple.



Final icons and menu:



October 11, 2009 by


We’ve had a bit of trouble with the trees… we only have a few- the palms are easier to make because they have bigger leaves. To make parts of the leaves transparent we had to create an alpha channel, and delete parts of the texture that weren’t transparent from this channel (the white areas are the areas that have texture). We then had to save the files as targas (originally we were saving them as .png files with a transparent background- this didn’t work). For a cleaner selection Shazy found that (apple) + (click on picture of what you want selected in layer panel) works well.

When we tried to make trees that weren’t palms (above), it didn’t look convincing at all. I tried seperate pieces and then tried overlapping the peices… we gave up in the end, and stuck to palms.


Normal Texture Fun

October 9, 2009 by


After a lot of digging to find the source of our ‘dirty’ normals problem that was causing very strange speculars highlights on many of our game objects I finally tracked it down to the DXT compression that is being applied to the normal maps at compile time. Initially I wrote a new texture processor to leave them pretty much uncompressed but this led to huge amounts of memory being used in the game (1.2 gb :S) so an alternative had to be found.

This rearranging of the textures is the current solution and while it doesn’t give perfect results they are quite good and let us get away with using nice compressed textures :).


October 9, 2009 by

We needed another landmark, and decided a market around the slum area could be interesting.
I did eight stalls, that can go in any order next to eachother and be repeated fairly easily. We think the normals will make a big difference to the textures.

Picture 1 Picture 2Picture 3Picture 4

Picture 5Picture 6

Picture 7

Picture 1

Pick Ups

October 6, 2009 by

Shazy and I worked on pick ups tonight.
The team decided on four;
Speed (increases speed)
Magnet (draws you to inactive nodes)
Chain Break (breaks other people’s chains)
Spring (increases jump height)
We tried to make the symbols bright and easy to recognise, and we’re hoping to have them rotate on the spot.

chainbreak magnet

What do we do when we need a break?

October 6, 2009 by

We play our game. Here are some screen shots of us playing the game :


James trying to spell his name. Fail.


Light trail crazy!


The super jump Nigel (Pink trail) made.

Building buildings!

October 6, 2009 by

Making buildings and the textures for them isn’t the easiest thing in the world. When making our first prototype, we went through the steps stated my previous post. This time it’s no different. I had to make the textures look better since we wanted the look and feel to be appropriate. Most of the buildings we used in the first prototype are not in the final version of the game since the textures seemed too fake. Firstly i modeled the buildings. Since our game consist of jumping on top of buildings, i had to ensure that players wouldn’t have trouble landing and jumping from building to building. The next step i took was to bound all the buildings. This was for collision detection. The next step is probably the hardest one; making textures. In order to make the buildings fit in, i had import the shanty nigel built into each building’s maya file. This is only as a reference for the texture (correct proportions). Since my buildings were built independently not based on the texture, making the textures required alot of editing. Most used tool : Clone stamp! In total since we started the project, i’ve built more than 100 buildings. Some of the buildings however were scrapped as they were in appropriate and didn’t fit in. Here are some examples of the buildings i have made.



October 6, 2009 by

Modeled, textured, spec mapped another car and a ticket booth for our car yard and our bus depot. No major problems.