Modules, Magic: The Gathering, and the Next Steps for co.llide

co.llide-0.4.0-modules-black

One of our goals for ver­sion 0.4.0 of co.llide was to pro­vide a small but fairly bal­anced set of build­ing blocks, called mod­ules, for all play­ers to use in con­struct­ing ships. How­ever, vari­ety is the spice of life, and we plan to even­tu­ally release a large num­ber of unlock­able mod­ules for play­ers to add to their per­sonal col­lec­tions. In this post, I’ll be dis­cussing some ideas for these future mod­ules. I’ll also be talk­ing about a poten­tial prob­lem that we face as design­ers, and one par­tic­u­lar source of inspi­ra­tion that we believe offers the solution.

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Andrew Dolce

Andrew has a back­ground in com­puter graph­ics and aug­mented real­ity, and is excited about mak­ing games that look and feel awe­some. He also owns too many board games for his own good.

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Showing co.llide at BostonFIG

This past Sat­ur­day, we were given the incred­i­ble oppor­tu­nity to show­case co.llide at the Boston Fes­ti­val of Indie Games. The turn out was great, and we had a remark­able time!

First and fore­most, we would like to thank the entirety of the Boston­FIG team for putting together such a fan­tas­tic event! It’s thanks to their efforts, and those of the hosts, MIT, that we, and our fel­low indie devel­op­ers, could put on such an excel­lent show. But the biggest thanks of all, goes to the atten­dees. Thank you so much for stop­ping by our booth, giv­ing us feed­back, and telling your friends about us! It’s your inter­est and enthu­si­asm that dri­ves us to cre­ate the best games we can for you to enjoy.

From all of us at Gra­di­ent Studios:

Thank you!

Mak Mendel­son

Mak is an artist at Gra­di­ent Stu­dios. He stud­ied fine arts and then elec­tronic arts, focus­ing in char­ac­ter design. He really enjoys think­ing about var­i­ous game mechan­ics and how they work together, mix­ing and match­ing to cre­ate new ones that might one day end up in an actual game.

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Goodbye Eric Li

Today we say good­bye to Eric Li, who has been with Gra­di­ent for the past three years.

Eric’s abil­i­ties as a soft­ware engi­neer have made him a key mem­ber of the Gra­di­ent team. Using his exper­tise in graph­ics pro­gram­ming, Eric single-handedly built (and rebuilt) our graph­ics pipeline to meet the ever-changing needs of our projects. In exper­i­ment­ing with the look and feel of co.llide, we wanted to incor­po­rate dynamic light­ing effects. Eric took on the chal­lenge of imple­ment­ing these effects in Canvas2D, and found a way to make them work with­out sac­ri­fic­ing per­for­mance. He has also been involved in many other aspects of devel­op­ment, includ­ing net­work­ing, physics, and gameplay.

The team is grate­ful for Eric’s hard work and con­tri­bu­tions. Though he will be sorely missed, we wish him luck, and share in the excite­ment at his future endeavors.

Andrew Dolce

Andrew has a back­ground in com­puter graph­ics and aug­mented real­ity, and is excited about mak­ing games that look and feel awe­some. He also owns too many board games for his own good.

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co.llide v0.3.0 with vehicle editor!

Last week, we released ver­sion 0.3.0 of co.llide, unveil­ing the ship edi­tor! Whereas in pre­vi­ous ver­sions you could only play with a set of default designs, now you can build your own ships from an array of mod­ules. Shar­ing your designs works exactly like shar­ing an arena. Copy the URL of your design and share it with your friends, who can then test, mod­ify, save, and even use it in battle.

Give it a try here: http://co.llide.com/editor

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Z God­dard

Z, a fan of hats and danc­ing to bad music, devel­ops games and code in Unity3D and WebGL. Always look­ing at new tech­nolo­gies for games, he has big dreams for Go.

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Moving a User-Generated Spaceship with Physics: Part I

The core con­cept behind co.llide is for play­ers to be able to build and then pilot their own cus­tomized, phys­i­cally sim­u­lated space­ships. This means that when a player stitches together a bunch of pieces into a ship, the game needs to fig­ure out how that ship should move depend­ing on player input. Ours is cer­tainly not the first game to ever address this prob­lem, but we thought an expla­na­tion of our spe­cific solu­tion would make an inter­est­ing post. But why just tell when I can show?

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Andrew Dolce

Andrew has a back­ground in com­puter graph­ics and aug­mented real­ity, and is excited about mak­ing games that look and feel awe­some. He also owns too many board games for his own good.

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Transition to 2D Vehicles — Why and How

Tin­kerTech Derby is a pretty fan­tas­tic con­cept, but we ran into a snag. We encoun­tered severe per­for­mance issues because we were try­ing to use 3D physics engines writ­ten in Javascript for a real-time online mul­ti­player game. Not nearly enough com­put­ers are capa­ble of run­ning that game as it was with any latency present. We decided that, if we were to con­tinue with the orig­i­nal premise of the game—and we really want to, because it’s really cool!—we would have to drop the third dimen­sion to our physics sim­u­la­tion. For­tu­nately, the 2D game­play is still very fun, and the core idea remains strong.

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Mak Mendel­son

Mak is an artist at Gra­di­ent Stu­dios. He stud­ied fine arts and then elec­tronic arts, focus­ing in char­ac­ter design. He really enjoys think­ing about var­i­ous game mechan­ics and how they work together, mix­ing and match­ing to cre­ate new ones that might one day end up in an actual game.

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Git Roundup #1

There appears to be a lot of peo­ple that have trou­ble with Git, even going so far as to say that Git sucks. It may well be that only Linus is smart enough to use Git. Though I will not say that Git’s inter­face is by any means invit­ing for a new user, I fear that it suf­fers from the Para­dox of the Active User (Car­roll and Rossen, 1987).

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Eric Li

Eric Li is a devel­oper at Gra­di­ent Stu­dios. He stud­ied com­puter graph­ics in school and spe­cial­izes in real­is­tic ren­der­ing tech­niques, but also has his hands in every­thing from net­work­ing to physics. When not wield­ing the pix­els, he is a foodie who enjoys trance and throw­ing Frisbees.

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A Small Shadow Map Improvement

Shad­ows are a great way to relay infor­ma­tion in a 3D ren­der­ing. They can help demon­strate dis­tances between two objects such as a bounc­ing ball and the ground. They also relay fur­ther infor­ma­tion to the struc­ture of an object as they give a sec­ond sil­hou­ette from the per­spec­tive of the light cast­ing the shadow. In this arti­cle, I will demon­strate a very small but impor­tant improve­ment for THREEjs’s shadow ren­der­ing, a one line change to the shader code.

Con­tinue read­ing

Z God­dard

Z, a fan of hats and danc­ing to bad music, devel­ops games and code in Unity3D and WebGL. Always look­ing at new tech­nolo­gies for games, he has big dreams for Go.

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Dealing with Modular Design

Our Demo­li­tion Derby game is mod­u­lar. Each mod­ule is a low poly­gon mesh, and a player assem­bles these mod­ules to cre­ate a wheel-based vehi­cle. These vehi­cles are then used to com­bat other play­ers’ vehi­cles in a sim­u­lated physics envi­ron­ment. Vic­tory is deter­mined by break­ing apart the mod­ules of the opponent’s vehi­cle before they yours.

Con­tinue read­ing

Mak Mendel­son

Mak is an artist at Gra­di­ent Stu­dios. He stud­ied fine arts and then elec­tronic arts, focus­ing in char­ac­ter design. He really enjoys think­ing about var­i­ous game mechan­ics and how they work together, mix­ing and match­ing to cre­ate new ones that might one day end up in an actual game.

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Cutting Down Bandwidth with JSON Alternatives

Dou­glas Crock­ford wrote RFC 4627, describ­ing the spec­i­fi­ca­tions for JSON, a “text for­mat for seri­al­iza­tion of struc­tured data.” As a language-agnostic, human-readable open for­mat that has native sup­port for encoding/decoding in browsers, JSON has become the de facto stan­dard for data seri­al­iza­tion on the web. There are draw­backs to using JSON, which became evi­dent when we started to write a net­worked game using Web­Sock­ets. (Check out our pre-alpha teaser if you didn’t get a chance to see us at PAX!)

Con­tinue read­ing

Eric Li

Eric Li is a devel­oper at Gra­di­ent Stu­dios. He stud­ied com­puter graph­ics in school and spe­cial­izes in real­is­tic ren­der­ing tech­niques, but also has his hands in every­thing from net­work­ing to physics. When not wield­ing the pix­els, he is a foodie who enjoys trance and throw­ing Frisbees.

More PostsTwit­ter