The last 6 months have been devoted to the coopordie2 prototype. The news for this
period is directly available on the
2009 prototype sub-site.
The development was sliced into "sprints" inspired by the
methodology. Each sprint is a session of 2 or 3 weeks focused on a sub set of
2009-11-24 - (Sprint #6) - Re-organization + main character enhancement
2010-01-13 - (Sprint #7 updated) - Main character animation + camera management
Some videos were recorded during the development.
They show the progression from a walk around a mine shaft to a fight against
the mutants. The last touch was related to the character animation and the
After the end of this first prototype, the development will be suspended. I will
take a break and come back to COOP or DIE for Quake2. The development of a
second prototype will start in a few months. The main feature will be related
to multi-player aspects.
I've just created the
for discussions related to coopordie2. I have started to fill it with the
current "Sprint" information related to the mine shaft.
Some videos about the mutants AI will come later.
The 3rd sprint of the development of coopordie2 has been completed. The acid sea
tide has been basically implemented. The player is hurt by the acid, but if he
can get some rest, his health points are progressively restored. If the health
goes to zero, the player is forced to crouch, can't attack and can only
move slowly to a healing station. The healing station can treat the player
completely in a dozen seconds. During this last sprint I started to use the
from Frogames. I have used it for the healing station model and particles
effect. Previously, using complex models for the player and monster was
interesting for my knowledge of the Unity engine asset integration.
But for rapid prototyping and testing the game play, I will probably not
pay too much attention to the models for the next sprints. I plan to use the proto Pack
again for a quick implementation of the mine shaft.
On the Solo Scrum
aspect of the development, I think I have definitively adopted the
I will probably rework the
and produce a release backlog for the coming 4 months.
There is also an aspect of the Scrum method that I would try for my development; it
is a sprint review meeting.
I think I could provide a demo
at the end of the next sprint. It could be a game play video, or directly a
release of the game in its current state. I could put it online for a short
time and organize a sort of development chat with some friends and coopordie
visitors. Creating an event, showing the product and chatting with other people
will probably help with maintaining the pressure on me. The synthesis of the
discussion may help me to do a sprint retrospective. All in all, the
experience will probably be interesting. For preparing this demo event I will
share more information about the next sprint and I will soon open a new forum
dedicated to coopordie2.
Here it is, I have been working seriously on a COOP or DIE 2
prototype for the last two months. For this new project I would like to experiment an agile approach
like the one described by Peter Bell in his
Solo Scrum article.
I'm completely new to
but I could probably become familiar with some of its concepts by using it
for this spare time activity.
So, it is a game prototype planned to be developed from July to December 2009 at an
average of 10 hours per week. I think I have defined the prototype as something basic
The tools are chosen and most of the art content has already been acquired.
I have firstly written a user manual
which explains most of the elements. I have
also written a first draft of product backlog and sketched the first 3 sprints of 2
weeks each. I'm currently running the third sprint.
I have started a sub-site dedicated to this project:
I have now used Unity3D for the last 4 months and I really enjoy it. From what I've
currently experienced, the engine is powerful enough for my needs and the
development tool is fun to use. I've found the scripting part relatively
simple and coherent for implementing what I've needed so far. The fact that
multiple scripting languages are allowed is a little disturbing at first. For
of the C#. As I use and modify a lot of existing resources, I take them as
So the result is a mix of the 2 languages, a situation that will
probably need to be settled in the future. The integration of art assets is
clearly the place where Unity3D shines the most. After years of Quake2, Quake3,
Doom3 and Torque engine, it is as if I have entered a new world. As far as I
can remember, it was never so easy to take a 3D model character and integrate
it in a game prototype. In addition, the way the Unity3D editor works suits
an incremental approach perfectly. I can add feature after feature, and test
the game continually.
Since last week-end I have started to fill the
The repository was initialized with the id Software Quake 2 GPL source code
I have committed the code and data for the coopordie
version from February 13, 2008. I have also added few small changes I'd already
made and that will be released on the next version.
The source code includes a project file for
Visual C++ 2008 Express Edition
which can be downloaded for free.
There is currently no version for Linux, so please be patient
Unofficial dll are prohibited on coopordie.com except for my
account. If you are a programmer interested in dll modifications, please
contact me, and I will try to create a sort of testing group.
It's funny, but while searching information about the Torque3D web capabilities, I've
discovered one of its competitors. Unity3D
has a very different approach, targeted more at content creators and web
developers than traditional coders. It seems to fill the gap between Adobe Shockwave
3D and the Torque Game Engine. I hadn't noticed Unity3D before. It was mainly
because even though it can produce games for Mac and MS-Windows, the developers' tools
were only available for Mac. Since the recent
this bug has been corrected
The development tools are really professional and fine-tuned. It is probably less
polyvalent than Torque, but for simple games, it seems easier to handle. Unity3D
is natively targeted at web integration. It works on all major web browsers and
its plug-in is lightweight. The available works directly playable from the web
can speak better, here are a few:
The Tropical Paradise demo,
a car racing game
and the cartoon MMO FusionFall.
Since the start of 2006 I have stopped using the Torque Game engine.
But I've always kept an eye on GarageGames.
The interaction between a game and a website has always interested me, so I've
watched their web portal InstantAction
since the closed beta version. It seems that web integration for games is very popular
these days, and not only for traditional casual games. I'm impatient to see what
the next QuakeLive will be.
Currently the web part of these projects is mainly related to game account,
player profile, chat and game lobby. But I'm sure some new features will start to
appear with this different way of playing games.
After asking the GarageGames team about InstantAction technology licensing I
learned that their new Game Engine Torque3D will support basic
web publishing options.
Playing a Torque-based game inside a web browser with easy web interaction is
plenty enough to convince me. But there are lots of other interesting features. The
from the last Game Developers Conference have finally convinced me. So I've
decided to take a more dept look and I've pre-ordered Torque3D.
One of the things that has really pleased me while coming back to the Torque
community is the presence of 3DRT.com.
I've always been a fan of Max Shelekhov 3D modeling, and I've purchased several
models from him in the past. Seeing his interest towards Torque game developers was
very cool. All his recent productions are available on DTS format. Having high
quality models directly on the native animated models format of Torque Game Engine is a
nice additional advantage. That probably predicts a future interest on my part.
The Doom 3 Boss contest
is over. My contribution is modest, but I've reached one
of my goals: I've learned a lot!
My Imp Boss
is a sort of super Archvile with multiple waves of minions.
I have used the open source
utility created by z1corvette to generate a model twice the size of the classic Imp.
Due to the use of a bugged md5scale version, I've lost many hours. I have
corrected the tool and learned a lot about manipulating the MD5 model format.
At the end, I discovered an updated
bug free version,
with nearly the same corrections as mine
After this setback, my main task was about scripting.
I have designed the waves of minions to be very configurable from
the map editor. I have also created a specific minion, a crawling Imp with
only a melee attack. It has a higher movement speed and it jumps to the player more aggressively.
I haven't got the time to add a specific attack to the boss, so it only tries to scratch
the player when it is close enough to him.
The final result is far from what I wanted, but dealing with deadlines is also part
of this type of contest. All this work is available in the
file (1.9 Mo). It includes a test map with the boss, the md5scale source code,
the script files and all necessary assets.