Improvements


Well its been a long time since we’ve posted anything worth while on City17, so prepare for maybe the longest post we’ve ever written. For a blog…

Well, to start off, we’ve been working with alot of new Graphical features in Source, and quite alot of it is complex. The rest of this update contains  a lot of Technical Jargon. So read on at your own pace.

Euphoria

In case you’ve never heard of this, then go play GTA4, and awe at the awesome collision animations for just about all the actual characters in the game. One of the greatest things about Euphoria is that it all does animations real time, and on the fly. Therefore it provides a body, bone, and simulation system for NPC’s, allowing them to have each section of their body be movable in a more realistic, non Ragdoll way.

It’s complicated to explain how it works, so Instead here’s a Video!

So what exactly does this mean? Well we hope to use this in Source, or implement it into our mod, and provide the code to anyone who’d like to use it. Heck even Valve could do this, (which amazes us why they havn’t). The problem though is this, alot of code is needed to have Havok, and this engine communicate to each other. Currently Source has a AI response rule system for its NPC’s, which when attacked, it allows the ai to choose which animation to play. However there really isn’t alot of animations for enemies, and therefore it’s the same over, and over again.

The Idea is to rip this sytem apart, and implement a more realistic animation system, so that way combine can trip over objects, or zombies can even roll down flights of Stairs. With this, any npc can react towards the environment at a much more realistic pace. SO most of the scripted animation sequences won’t be needed anymore. Like for instance having a Rebel jump, and hang on to ledge, then pull himself up, or fall to his death.

The code is complex, but it’s doable. So far, only time will tell if we can get this thing working right.

Also if you’d like to ,play around with the engine, you can grab a trial edition Here.

This is something we’ve made by using the engine for just about 30 minutes.

Cinematic Physics

Another thing we’ve been working on, is Cinematic Physics, much like all the OrangeBox games have featured. We’re not going to go into detail to the exact program to make this stuff, (we’ll get shot if we do) but we’ve been able to play around with animations for models to more or less simulate large scale effects.

The above video was made by another person, but exemplifies that it’s possible to incorporate the idea into mods. We’ve also too made animations, but where not going to show them just yet!

Lighting Systems

Also something we showed previously, is all new lighting systems, which is more or less the Tyndall effect.

This allows us to implement things like Volumetric Lighting which create:

  • Light Shafts
  • Beam cuts
  • And Dynamic calculating

All at real time, so it’s more or less a Crysis like effect, without the need of DX10. And also crappy ass Windows Vista. So with that, we’ve finally made a video of it!

Sadly the quality sucks, sorry guys. 😦

In the Video above, we’ve designed the effect that way it’s only visible from the front, or in a darker area, instead of a brighter one. This is how the effect acts in the world anyways. Aside that, right now, it’s only the color of the sun, where waiting on valve to release the Shader code, and everyone knows how that turned out last time we waited for valve.

Other Things

Last, is what the Source Engine can already do, but for some reason isn’t! With that, we’ve been working on a couple of things that allow the mod to run alot more efficiently on most machines. Also thanks to Quarter-Life, we’ve been able to increase the Texture resolution to God Like. Which is beyond Ultra!

With that, we’ve also added in some normal Cvar commands that allow the mod to take advantage of more Motion blurring effects, and handling more dynamic shadows, much like in Garry’s mod.

I guess you can say we’ve just about done everything but total converted’ the mod. There’s of course alot more we’ve been working on, but we’ve hit the “were not allowed to talk about anymore” mark. So with that, hope you guys like what we’ve been doing with the mod!

Also as a note to any developers who have been working with Source and would like to put their mod on an X360, were going to release a tutorial on that, in the wiki.

The idea of it is to detail how to get your mod into XNA studios, and then onto the Xbox 360, which alot of people have been asking us of late. Also as a last note to anyone who is in the same boat of implementing Graphical enhancements like us:

“Everyone loves Fantastic Graphics, but Gameplay is the most important thing about the game! Don’t let adding new features into a mod get in the way of the mod itself. Or else you’ll find yourself working on Effects, instead of the actual game itself.”

Also we were featured in Japanese! Creepy! Even Spanish! We’re now Internationally Know!

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