Archive for December 13, 2010

Tools we use

In the coming months we’ll try to give you a small look into the kitchen of Catnip Games. There’s a lot happening behind the scenes:

We’re working on a  Zombie Survival game together with Projectorgames. Martijn is coding the game engine, squishing bugs and fixing Govert’s pipeline when needed. And Govert is modelling, animating and rendering away, occasionally reworking his art pipeline to have all those sprites rendered in one go.

Then there’s our “pet summer project” RPGM which from a simmer went to taking a day (up to two) a week, with the volunteers still pitching in regularly, but as it’s mostly code for the world generator there’s not much to see, and thus not much to show either. Move along…

Bullet Crave is frozen until further notice, but it is far from being off our minds, we’ll be probably reworking it with the new game engine around second quarter 2011. I was about to say “February”, but I’m learning to keep the deadline vague enough or else they make that well known “whooshing” sound as they go by.

Lets see what could we use for show and tell right now? a screen shot of our node setup in Blender will do:

Node Setup in Blender

Node Setup in Blender

This is just a small example of a pipeline here’s what it does:

From one render layer it almost directly gets the shadeless diffuse (colour) of the model and makes the diffuse.png.

From the other render layer, in which a special height color material is used it jumbles the orientations so the normals fit our game engine, add the alpha and makes the normal.png.

Then from the same layer it takes the height colour (black=floor to white=ceiling)  rips it out and puts it back in so we can code height into the RGB channels of the height.png, because we need that much precision.

Of course this all would be easy peasy if one sprite was enough, it turns out for the levels we need 4 angles (3×4 sprites), then for the animated stuff we use 8 frames for each sprite under 16 angles (3x8x16 sprites=384), and then all those sprites have to be put into a sprite sheet, then the height has to be set and some magic fairy powder added (that’s Martijn’s job) and you have a game…pfew.

Soo, have a nice week,

Govert. /aka Hoxolotl.