jundows, solar systems, and a short story by jim parx

06/04/2017 -

Mayobread (hey guys), here’s an update on the game.

This is going to be a weird post. I’ve created a loading screen for a spaceship operating system called Jundows. This is really vain, but this has been one of my favorite things to code. Jundows is one of two rival spaceship operating systems that exist in the game. The other is Pateintosh. I think it goes without saying that Pateintosh is stupid, and Jundows sounds like more fun to spend time with. I’m not sure when I’ll create Pateintosh. Like — it’s probably a waste of time. I mean, I’d like to create multiple versions of each — because depth is exciting — but I think Jundows is less petty and not worried about what Pateintosh is doing.

We’ve also been building solar systems for a while. We are now able to fly from galactic space to solar system space. This was a good achievement, these two spaces occupy wildly different scales, so making the transition relatively seamless was a nice win. There are some pretty cool screenshots of that stuff below. Also two videos. And there is, of course, much more to see on our IndieDB webpage.

Okay, this is the part that makes this post weird. This is a tiny flash fiction world-building tale.  It explores the world of Lilith:

Field Report
Mukme II

Two suns were singing in unison. These nuclear balls were emanating a high pitched glaze of sound and heat upon a stricken terrain devoid of life — crushed rubble — all the signs of collapse — failed civilization — deep with loss. I stepped out into this devastated terrain — having seen a hundred worlds like this before. I expected very little — to scan a world of ruin — and find the same clues — the same hints — suggesting death — demise — and most notably — that it was all their fault.

That’s not what happened. I found a smiling little one of them — still alive. I would find many more. Like most sentient aliens, these ones had races and genders — evolutionarily generated variation — a gift when compared to the clone beings — discovered by some of my colleagues — in the cold places — the galaxy’s thermal dead-zones. Regardless — I’m not sure what kind this one was. I assume it was young because it was small — a generalization. I read it the normal canned nonsense.

“I hereby — blah — declare the federation’s presence — we therefore open the arms of peace – together our people…. blah blah…”

My issued voice translator device had already scanned the organism in front of me, and so it converted my dumb speech into their language, and blathered out some kind of synthy audio mess. It understood. With a certain gentle light in its eyes, it said something back.

“Holy hell” I thought, “Here we go. Now it’s going to tell me some kind of freaky shit about how it survives off of old scraps, and maybe to beware of the irradiated wolf boys.”

“[Warmth] Welcome to our home. You are welcome here. We are the [Pronoun] Ones that Remain. We love and share.”

I wanted to trade speeches with it. That simple jam of sentences found my heart in some kind of nostalgic soft-and-close way. I was intrigued.

“What happened here?” I asked.

“They got into a fight and then they left.” It said.

“Who?” I said.

I then learned that these beings had survived wars, famine, disease, extreme weather, and a full spectrum silly apocalyptic horrors. But they were here — in front of me — smiling, full of love, looking like a group of ground animals with more grace than the galactic council elite. Grace was relative — of course — I had to put noise cancelling headphones on – remotely connected to the voice translator. The young one was more or less shouting at me with its synthy noises.

Apparently, they were the good ones. The bad ones had gotten into a fight with each other. They were highly xenophobic, got into a nuclear war, managed to destroy the planet, built spaceships, went into space, colonized a nearby world, destroyed that planet too, and then died there. I sent this nutwing info to NSTAT for confirmation. Verified. I asked another question:

“What is your purpose?

“[Laughter] There is no purpose or logic. Nothing makes sense. The irrational ones have left. But they are proof that nothing makes sense. It is said that even we are irrational. One day, we too will go crazy. Get into a fight. Build rocket boats. Leave planet. You see nothing can be explained. The great tree of space metal tells us this.”

Then it pointed to a mountain of metallic rubble.

The whole response made me stop lifelessly. I had no idea what the fuck this mountain was. But that wasn’t the point. It just looked like a mountain of metal. I saw the real destruction. They were alive — yes — they were fine — they would live in harmony — probably — for many millennia — but they would never — ever — grow. Their sense of logic, adventure, exploration — it had snapped like a spaghettified nanoparticle on its way into a black hole. They smiled and let their stringy hair blow in the wind, but progress left them long ago. They didn’t cope with reality anymore — they couldn’t. The real destruction? To them — nothing was real. They were dadaists — without a reality to fall back into — hopeless.

I had to do it now. The hard question. The one that rationalized my purpose here — an embassador of the galactic council — the question I hated asking — the one that drained my soul — time and time again. It was a question that cut through everything. Nothing else mattered. If you understood, you were crushed. Even them. The ones who were happy with their stagnate disconnection from reality. Even them. Yea. They were crushed. My job isn’t fair.

“Do you know that you are simulated?”

It paused. For a long time. It seemed like a long time to me.

“Your fancy idea is known already.”

Then it got on some kind of a bicycle.

“That’s interesting though. You phrased that in an interesting way,” it said.

It rode off into the two suns. Disappeared with the horizon.

Jim Parx
NSTAT
First Contact Agent
<D50C375E1A980>


Flight into the Muk Qui System – Indie DB


Jundows Loading Screen – Indie DB

arrival at pate

complex_system

flightintopate

jundows

jundowsclean

pateANDboyona

Untitled

we

movement, mining, chopping, *finally*

05/08/2017 -

Lemoosum (hello partner, the world is our possum). About 4 weeks ago, I set a minor goal to “just chop one tree down and get a freaking log”. I thought I’d accomplish this in one weekend, but I encountered heavy resistance in the mouse clicking code, and was totally wrong. But look — you can do that now — you can even mine rocks, and move multiple units around on the map. The world is truly our possum now. Okay, so, I think possums are fun — I think possums are supposed to be fun.

So here we go, in this digital moving picture, you’ll see me command my test units around, collect some resources, and then end the video. Yeah, we still have much to do. But hopefully, the nature of the game is becoming more clear — when on a planet, you’ll be collecting resources in a tactical-rts style, eventually processing them, dodging\fighting alien creatures, and crafting some items \ buildings — all with the goal of continuing the journey to Lilith. We are shooting for about a 50-50 spread when it comes to how much time the average player will spend on-planets vs. in-space. Planet hopping will be somewhat mandatory. Ignoring potential quest requirements, you’ll need to stop at these places for fuel & rations.

Food is important, everyone needs good food. We eat it!!

We will be entering the content integration of phase, known more formally as: content integration phase 1.0. Please don’t be intimidated by our highly technical language and professional approach to game development. But basically, with planet-level gameplay coming together, we’re now gonna try to add sound, in-game radio, and a communications UI where news feeds and announcements appear. This’ll give us a good idea about how immersion would feel.

Ok. Thanks for reading. Mugalo. If this interests you, please follow the game on IndieDB.com for in-depth coverage and up-to-the-secondno-latency, direct updates — 24/7365. Wow. Those are quick updates — seems impossible — but it’s so real. Here’s that video:


Mining, Chopping, Moving (Planet Mode) – Indie DB

And ofc, here are some other pictures from the week:

actionmenu1

actionmenu2

cleanedupshading

mining

inventory, robocop, inventory

05/01/2017 -

Gopezum (I have something to say).  It’s been a while… I’m actively trying to figure out how many “moons” it has been (via stack overflow). See here. I will let you know the results of this public inquiry. 

Yea, so we got the inventory working, created a bunch of items, developed some character math systems, and built a front end for the character status panel. Now please follow me towards these png-formatted images:

The chugboy. The multitool. These are two of the main physical tools in the game. They are used to harvest air, water, xenon, trees, rocks, and other natural resources. Pate came up with the idea of the chug boy, and it came out really well. The “multitool” was less inspired, is kinda lame, and will probably get redone before we let anyone play this game.

sdfdsf  chugboy1

Ok, here’s the final (semi-final) look & feel of our inventory. Basically, each character (you might have as many as 6 under you control) has a backpack with 12 slots. You can have up to 99 same-type items in each slot, but only 12 different kinds of items in the backpack. Additionally, and perhaps more constricting, is the weight (mass) limit. The weight limit is based on the current location of you character, whether it be a planet, moon, or spaceship. In real-science-world (life), heavy gravity makes it hard to carry things.

invies

In order to have a 3D inventory, you need items. Here are some ore pellets, logs, sap, chug-boy canisters, and rocks. These things are a small subset of the things you will eventually be able to gather using the multitool and the chugboy.

orerocks

So, this here is a png-format image. The character status windows. As characters come under your control, you’ll get access to a window similar to the ones below. In our game, there is no “HP”. Death occurs when any of body, mind, or soul reaches zero. Therefore, these high level windows give you a quick look at your character’s status. You can see them slowly aging, a live feed of them (showing you where they are in the simulation), their species, sex, and a historical graph of their Body, Mind, and Soul metrics.

magic

Here’s a nice video showing these panels & the inventories associated with those characters:

Last – here’s a set of three png-formatted images.

prettyitems socool! tribesel1

philadelphia (hello), chuck mangione, trees, rocks, lighting, weather, day-night cycles, chuck mangione, feels so good

04/09/2017 -

Cardami pluge (my apologies).

It took a long time to put this post out. I was working on many sub elements (trees, rocks, lighting) required for this post  — and I simultaneously moved to the great city of Philadelphia. I also had to swing around and do some errands. More on that later.

I wanted to make a jungle planet. I figured that if we had a jungle planet, we would have a lush natural world to begin realizing some of our gameplay ideas on. In order to build up the “nature” that exists on a jungle planet, we had to mingle into many separate areas: Weather, Fog of War, Day-Night Cycles, Trees, Rocks, Vegetation, and Lighting. Ultimately much of this time was spent within the microcosm of HLSL (High-Level Shader Language). Our new planet shader now draws the planet’s surface, fog of war, and some day-night shadow effects. This little pocket of code has become pretty complex as it must react to many different lighting & FX scenarios. But as I said, I had to swing by the record shop, and pick up a few classics, and so I was tight on time.

These trees are mostly created using unity’s built in tree library, with a couple of custom scripts for generating fruits and some other special effects. Notice the final tree, it kind of looks like a mangrove tree. And mangrove sounds like Mangione, as in Chuck Mangione — the phenomenal Jazz artist — I was able to pick up the record containing his hit single, “Feels So Good”.

greatbloodtree junglekelp trees mugalo maxresdefault

I also created a “rock-randomizer” that can create millions (if not a larger number) of unique rocks. It’s possible that every rock in the game will be slightly unique. I don’t know why this matters, but it is kind of neat to imagine that MANY unique models. I wrote a script that modifies a whole bunch of their properties and gives them unique surface geometry:

jungle rocks textured_rocks

These storms were a nice touch. As they rove across the planet’s surface, they almost remind you of the gentle disco-kick buried within Chuck Mangione’s hit single, “Feels So Good”. I may work on this more, to make the weather game-mechanics interesting, but here’s what we have for now:

storms

Finally, I assembled everything into a single scene,  animated some things, and loaded the new shaders & lighting effects. If you watch closely, you can see the planet slowly rotating, day turning to night, and little shadows slowly creeping past the plants as the sun sets:

Ok, this might seem kind of random to just throw at the end of a post, but, if you get a chance, try to listen to Chuck Mangione’s hit single, “Feels So Good”. It really is pretty good.