Music research

Hi all,

Here we will see some reasearch i made for the musical identity of “Excellence”,

and the different ways i tryed to open.

Just some musical ideas…

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Moving in and moving on your mobiles.

Hey folks,

While Niiico and Alex kept adding contents to the game, I was pretty busy. A month ago, I moved to Montreal – Canada for work, and now, I’m a proud Game Programmer at Gameloft. Needless to say I’m happy of my new job. :]

But what Gameloft have to do with Excellence? Well, not many things, except I won’t be able to release the game while I’m working there. Yeah, it’s some bad news, I must admit.

BUT, It give me more time to think about Excellence, and the last ideas are not to displease yourself. Laurent Gomilla, the author of SFML, is finalizing the last release of its 2D graphic API, making it more flexible, and he implied that OpenGL ES would be the next addition to SFML, extending the compatible device to all OpenGL ES compatible smartphone, meaning Apple’s Iphone and Google’s Android!

So yeah, in addition of the PC release, a port to Iphone and Android mobiles are now in the process queue.

I’ll have plenty of gameplay and ergonomic ideas for theses. :)

Well, I first have to finish the game engine when Laurent will release the new SFML 2.0 revision. during that time, I’ll finish to install myself in this gorgeous city that is Montréal. :D

To the next news!

(I change the comments settings to make them easier to post. Feel free to write a little word!)

Render Test

First render test for Excellence. We want it shiny, colorful, fast, clear and texturless to speed up the process.

For this test I used the 3dsMax plug-in “greeble”, great tool if you want lot of détails without spend hours and hours. Of course this is for render test only, the final modeling will not used it that much.

With some mental ray shaders I can render diferents layer that I compose in photoshop or give to Spidyy who used it to made some nice in-game shader like water, glow or shadows (and maye be a lot more very soon : ) ? ) which add a lot “life” and details.

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Stage 01 music

Hi people,

Here we will see the 2nd track i made for Excellence.

Art direction was the same, but i wanted to make something more dynamic and modern, so i leave the Epic side.

More Guitar, more bass, more drum … lets rock…

I let you hear it and tell me your opinion.

Software architecture

Hi folks.

I found some time to write a post, so here it is!

There is no better way to begin than start by the beginning : how did I organize the project and what library did I used?

SFML

Well, It isn’t a surprise if I tell you I’m using SFML as the base for the software. What is SFML and why did I used it?

I partially answered in the Project Page. SFML is a multimedia library that allow a fine and easy use of 2D features and primitives through OpenGL. It allow to draw 2D stuff with the benefice of hardware acceleration. But it is not all it can do. SFML give also access to nice shaders effect, True Type Fonts, windowing, input management, sound and network features.
The main point of SFML is that it is Simple (first ‘S’ for SFML). It is designed to be used by beginners as by more advanced programmers, and it really suits me.

Excellence Engine

SFML is the base. It allow to have access to low-level features. But I need something more efficient and complicated to create a good quality game. No existing engine proposed enough 2D features for my needs, so I need to create my own engine. I started Excellence Engine (or ExEngine) as a supplemental layer, a level above SFML. I gave it many useful things, as features to manage my game screens, game resources (images, sounds, …), my graphical assets (animations, shaders, rendering), display operation (resolution, aspect ratio) efficiently, in addition with math and physics functions, GUI support and debug tools. Well, the engine is still in “Work in progress” state, as I continue to add stuff I’ll need later in the game development. I’ll write some specific posts about ExEngine later.

Excellence Editor

The benefits of writing ExEngine is to prepare the future of the game following Excellence, having smaller compilation time and smaller bug fixes to download, but also to easily do a kind of bridge between the game and its editor; because it is nearly impossible to create a good game without a proper level editor.

Excellence Editor (or ExEd) will allow me to manage my resources, my objects and my level with some standardized stuff thanks to the ExEngine. I mean, nearly all classes of ExEngine will have their proper editor in ExEd. I use Qt 4.7 for the editor GUI. I could have used another GUI library as wxWidget, but I’m particularly interested by the Graphics View module de Qt to create good-looking editors, and most of all, a fast and intuitive level editor.

At last, here is a little drawing of the global architecture of the Excellence project :

Excellence software architecture

Excellence software architecture

1st track main menu music

Hello people,

Time’s come to listen the 1st track I made for the game.

What was the “Art Direction” ?

Compose a music that is both futurist, new technologic, Epic, with some electro and electric guitar.

The real 1st track I made for the game was the one I have made to be hired. It was a remix of the music Spidyy made. You can listen it on the following link.

But the 1st track I really made on my own was the one for the main menu of the game. I tried to compose something Epic and futurist. I used some classic instruments like violins, brass etc, with classical construction, and an additional electric guitar. That was the 1st steps.

After, Spidyy wanted something longer, and changing, with more dynamic and futurist style. So I made a break, more Rock/Metal with some drums, PAD, electric guitar, synth and some sound design in “top gun” ‘s style. Here is the final track.

Where is Unity? Where is the 3D?

Hi folks!

Some of you maybe noticed the description of the last footage video on our YouTube channel or the post of the SFML forums :

The footage provide you some example of what the project is on SFML, before I take a great turn and went on Unity3D, for the pleasure of your eyes and fingers.

So, you will ask me : where is the 3D? How far did you go on Unity?

Well, the answer is simple : I didn’t go far enough to have some playable demo. :)

Here is the feedback.

Unity is a great software. Its GUI is really well done, intuitive and all. The project structure, resource management, scene setup are really well done and I would recommend it as a great video game making software for intermediate game makers.

Why didn’t I continued on it if it is so well easy to handle?

First, because I’ve been thinking for more than a year about how a game should work, how to organize my project, how my classes should be, and despite the easiness of a full-fledged game making software, I wanted to go with what I did. I wanted to proceed further in my game engine, make it more optimized, better thought, more well done and of course, I wanted to go through the entire course to do a video game.

Second, Unity have its own way to think and I have my own way to think. All in unity is about GameObject. If I want some manager, supervisor or other invisible object, it has to be a GameObject. Unity use C# or javascript as script language, and I don’t really want to begin learning theses languages as I want to specialize myself in C++. It mean a lot of time used to change my way of thinking and to learn new languages.

Third, despite the ships and background are rendered from a 3D software, I love the 2D! Having the game in 2D give it a particular feel that can’t be found in 3D games, plus the facility to work in 2D space instead of 3D space. Having a full 3D background and a layered 2D background is really different after all.

Well, I hope you understand what I mean, if you don’t, I’ll make sure you will. ;)

As a result, I returned to my old game engine, reworking it and proudly naming it “Excellence Engine”, or also “ExEngine” or “ExE”. In some way, you can tell I’m programming a 2D shooting game engine. I surely will speak about it in further articles, including the game/stage editor.