User Tools

Site Tools

1. Graphics
1.1 Motivation

Produce good looking graphics, target being SM2-hardware with 128MB of video memory. If possible implement a fallback without usage of shaders (just loading different materials should do it), so the game can run on notebooks with very low end graphic cards. The amount of content we need is still relativly limited, so the task seems realistic.

As far as learning goes the effect should be a basic understanding of how shader programming and lighting techniques work. Way more important: it forces me to do a lot of concept drawing because it is an absolute must for car and track design. Further some techniques will be applyable in future projects (lighting and shading e.g. for a “Z-like” game should work very similar).

1.2 Technical aspects
1.2.1 GFX elements Tracks

Made up of one big mesh (25000-40000 polys), represents the actual race track and all surrounding terrain that can be visible. Uses basically two materials; one for terrain and one for the race track (diffuse map + gi-lightmap + bump map + specular map). Static objects

Techniques used should be the same as for the track. I'd calculate a total of 10000-20000 polys per level for these. Cars

The approach is one mesh for the car plus each tire as a seperate mesh (2000-2500 polys total). In contrast to all static geometry dynamic lighting is used here. Getting this right will cost some effort though. We'll be facing the problems described in this thread: Other gameplay relevant objects

Items, maybe objects for physical interaction or whatever. Techniques same as for cars here. What falls into this category depends heavily on what gameplay decisions we come up with. Particle effects

Smoke, explosions, pick-up effects e.g. might be necessary. Also depends mainly on our plan for gameplay. A combination of using Ogre particle systems and Blender might do the trick. GUI elements

Self explanatory :) However, I'd like to display the drivers somewhere in the menu. Decent art for those is a must. Marker objects

Depends on gameplay and technical needs that come up. E.g. markers for placing cars at the start of a race, indicating the track to the ai and which direction to drive.

1.2.2 Shader programming

Using CG with the NVidia FX Composer looks best. It is the only solution capable of producing shaders for DirectX and OpenGL at the same time. I've even found some resources for shaders that could (hopefully) be simply used via cope&paste.

1.2.3 GI-Lightmapping

At this time I see 3 possible solutions:

  • Use Blender. Blender can calculate maps for static gi lighting. Requires some setup and experimentation but looks quite efficient because I build the levels in Blender as well. My preference so far.
  • A lightmapping tool for Ogre is being developed at the moment. Maybe easier to use than Blender but it is unknown when the thing will be released.
  • Use gile[s]. This is a cheap (40$) commercial solution that does produce good results out of the box and functions as a level editor as well. However, the level editor capabilities are probably insufficient for most future projects. It would not be of much use beyond “Racer”.
1.3.1 (non-linear) Implementation road map
  • Work out the most important parts of gameplay and background (needed for consistent car and track design)
  • Get together a “production pipeline” for tracks and cars (material conventions, which marker objects to place, naming conventions…)
  • Build rapid prototypes for all tracks and gameplay-relevant stuff
  • Do sufficient planning and concept art for tracks and cars (probably the most work of all)
  • Implement tracks, cars and all the other stuff :)
1.3.2 Background in regards to media
  • Knowing context and setting for races helps a lot for consistent and meaningful graphic design
  • Activly using background in art makes sense (e.g. convey information about the world through advertisements placed beside the track)
1.3.3 Prototyping

Building prototypes that are functional and without a lot eye candy works really fast. Making a track that is functional from the perspective of gameplay is a question of few hours. Same goes for cars and everything else. We should make use of this as much as possible I think :)

1.3.4 Concept art

By far the most complicated task from my point of view. However, this should be worth every effort as it greatly improves models, textures and everything else related to the graphics.

1.3.5 Implementation

No organic modelling and IK-animation! Therefore in itself a task that takes some time but is not very difficult. With sufficient concept art very doable.

2. Sound
2.1 Sound effects
  • Using free stuff for most things should work
  • Producing additional effects is not that hard to do, as long as the number is not too big
  • Nice-sounding engine noise is non-trivial as far as I know(?)
2.2 Music
  • Having about 15-25 minutes of music would be very nice
  • Would like to try recording own music but that is speculative and will need experimentation to see if it is an option, otherwise search for free music
racer_media.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/23 13:59 (external edit)