Long Time No News

May 18, 2008

Well, really haven’t written in a while. This is mainly because I’m finally getting a bit serious with the project, instead of the usual tech box it was until now. I’ve joined forces with with Svenstaro – he’s the web manager (we set up a gigantic wiki and forums on practically the first day or two), modeler, texture artist, designer, beta tester, and anything else he feels like doing. I’m the programmer, script writer (for the in-game based events, it’s all Lua), other designer, and anything else I feel like doing.

So, yeah, that “0.5 Public Beta” is never going to happen. We’ve set up a road map on the wiki, starting at 0.1.0.0 (code named “Fry”) going all the way to first complete release 1.0.0.0. Lots of stuff is planned on the final release – full gameplay and everything.

And… that’s pretty much it. Sorry if this disappointed you. At least, now you know the final product won’t just be another broken “dev. build” like on Facepunch, but an actual game. Just so you know, I won’t be releasing day-by-day info on the game. That’s like if Portal released news on it’s puzzles or technology every day (or even once a week or month) – it would’ve not been so extremely awesome if we knew what’s coming πŸ˜‰

Anyways, if you guys want some technical news, I released Portalized’s SSAO shader over at Ogre3D’s forums, check it out. The final game will have multiple detail levels, don’t worry – in -rendermode=minimum, it’ll be able to run in complete fixed function calls, meaning practically a GF4, or even less (vertex transformation will be the bottleneck here). In -rendermode=medium, you get full per pixel lighting and other fancyness, but no extreme awesomeness – making it a perfect candidate for those PS2.0 cards, like the Radeon 9800 or X800. However, there is also and ultra-1337 render mode, called … you’ve guessed it, -rendermode=high. This uses extreme bandwidth on the graphics card, so be prepared to run it on a GF8800+, preferably the GTX or above (my own GTS has some slowdowns). The high render mode renders in two pipelines, one 256-bit pipeline, one 128-bit. This is what gives Portalized the power to render infinite (speed-limited) masked (if desired), soft self shadowed, shadowing lights that recurse through portals (and even what comes out of a portal soft self shadows and shadows)… and all of the post processing effects, such as glow and SSAO.

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4 Responses to “Long Time No News”

  1. arc_ said

    I recently found out about Portalized, and I must say that it looks very promising. If it becomes a full game it will definitely be far more interesting (or at least have the potential to) than Valve’s Portal. I’m looking forward to it πŸ™‚

    That said, I’m not too sure about your development plan. It appears you are hoping to get to a fun and complete release in one go, in a closed process shielded off from the people who will play your game, without any form of external feedback.
    This rarely, if ever works out in practice. An iterative approach generally gives better results: do several releases before the final one, and have external people try out and comment on each one. There will always be flaws pointed out and suggestions given that developers don’t think of themselves.

    It doesn’t have to be public tests – in fact these will often generate a lot of noise where it’s difficult to pick out the actual problems. But you should at least consider having a number of private beta testers to distribute builds to from time to time. It will definitely help to improve the quality of the final product.

    That aside, you were talking about a wiki. Is this a publicly accessible page, and if so, where is it? πŸ™‚

  2. nullsquared said

    Who said we didn’t think about beta testing? πŸ˜‰ Like you mentioned, publicity does generate lots of noise and little constructiveness – that’s where private beta testing comes into play.

    And, no, the wiki is not public :). It contains pretty much the whole story line and road map and everything, and we’re pretty much keeping that private until we’ve really worked upon our goals – instead of being one of those projects that have the design and everything, and everyone goes “wow!”, and nothing ever ends up getting done. We also have a forum (which has a separate developer sub forum in addition to the usual “general users” sub forum), which itself is not public yet, either. Once we get to a good stage for publicity, we’ll probably have a whole site set up with the forums public and all.

  3. bbarrett said

    Progress. Good to hear you have teamed up with someone who you think will help you realise your dream.

  4. Olav said

    Lots of potential! Smart to keep the project closed!

    Looking forward to it!

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