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Messages - serializer

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1
Ah, since I'm usually working with managed code, I'm not used to thinking about garbage collection :)  Good that I'm aware of it now, otherwise I'd have started making a right mess of things!

2
I've got a small optimisation query regarding the current effects system;

AdActor3DX.cpp line 2491:

Code: [Select]

if (EffectFile && Material)
{
C3DEffect* effect = new C3DEffect(Game);
if (FAILED(effect->CreateFromFile(EffectFile)))           // ** 1st call of C3DEffect::CreateFromFile
{
Game->LOG(0, "Error creating effect from file '%s'", EffectFile);
SAFE_DELETE(effect);
}
else
{
if (FAILED(m_ModelX->SetMaterialEffect(Material, EffectFile)))
{
Game->LOG(0, "Error assigning effect to material '%s'", Material);
SAFE_DELETE(effect);
}
}
}


The above calls m_ModelX->SetMaterialEffect(...). In this we see a repeat of effect->CreateFromFile(EffectFile) :

Code: [Select]

HRESULT CXModel::SetMaterialEffect(char* MaterialName, char* EffectFilename)
{
if(!MaterialName || !EffectFilename) return E_FAIL;
if(!m_RootFrame) return E_FAIL;


C3DEffect* effect = new C3DEffect(Game);
if(FAILED(effect->CreateFromFile(EffectFilename)))             // ** 2nd call of C3DEffect::CreateFromFile
{
SAFE_DELETE(effect);
return E_FAIL;
}

// ...


The CreateFromFile function would appear to be reloading the effect each time it's called, I'm wondering is there a reason for this or could the first load attempt be eliminated to improve load times of actors with many effects? ...Or would this be of negligible improvement?

3
Thanks, that makes things a ton clearer... Although I can see quite quickly that it'll be extremely complicated to do what I want!

I'm thinking that I could perhaps play around with the vertex shader to perform resolution scaling, so long as I ensure mouse coordinates are still handled correctly of course. This would mean that on graphics cards with less memory I didn't create a problem by having a huge 1080p render target.

It's definitely going to be tricky, but it's a good opportunity for me to learn a bit more about DirectX :)

Thanks again,
Pete

4
Help wanted and offered / Re: Garden of Doom - help wanted
« on: June 29, 2010, 04:29:14 PM »

I love the "bones" of this game, looks a lot of fun.  But if *I would take part, what guarantee would I have that my hard work wouldn't go to waste? - and, what guarantee to receive some of the profits (if any)?  Kindest regards  O0
* that's if you liked what *I* had to offer towards your project!  ::)


Sommnia,

Thanks for the feedback!

I've sent you a PM with a detailed reply to these questions - if anyone else wonders the same, just ask :)

5
Hello all,

I've started taking a look at the WME sources with a view to trying to implement some features that I feel could make a huge difference to the visual appeal of the game.

But, I'm having a bit of trouble finding my way around the source code so I was wondering if anyone could help point me in the right direction :)

Let me just outline my thinking about these features;

- Post-processing shaders would allow a huge variety of visual effects to be easily plugged into WME games, and make a huge difference to the look and feel of 2D and 2.5D productions alike.

- Resolution independence could actually be achieved through the same system. I am thinking that the engine would need to render everything to a render target the same size as the default resolution of the game, instead of direct to the viewport (unless I am mistaken and this is already happening or at least easily possible). Then, this render target can be drawn to the screen with a shader that will scale and crop it to the actual screen resolution. This means I could develop my game for 1080p resolution but scale it down for lower-res displays. It's a shame to be confined to lower resolutions in this HD age, just so my game can be widely compatible!

- This would make it fairly easy to add fine control of effects like zoom & pan. I would also prefer to implement widescreen by designing for widescreen res, then have the game crop the left and right extremeties and pan the scene, rather than introducing black bars, so it will always occupy the entire viewport

- The render target could be redrawn with a chain of post-process shaders to allow any combination of effects

- It would be amazing to be able to render individual 2D sprites with shaders. This is effectively the same operation as drawing the rendertarget to the screen with a post-process filter. The rendertarget in that case would just be a full-screen sprite. I am just thinking here about code reuse and the fact that this could all be done in a (relatively) straightforward way once the basics are in place.

- I've already written a variety of 2D sprite and post-process shaders from a side project I started in XNA. These include: motion blur, glow and outline, colour cycling, distortion mapping, plasma beams, and a couple others. So this would be a nice library of effects I could instantly make available to other Wintermute users along with the modified source of course! Colorisation, brightness/contrast, and simple blur effects would also be pretty straightforward. There really are no limits to what you can achieve once you start playing around with HLSL :)

So; firstly, I do a lot of work in C#, and although many years ago I dabbled in C++, I'm a bit rusty which is where I'm struggling here.

My questions are:

1. Through the C# wrapper API are there any ways it's possible to manipulate the rendering system? (I'm assuming not)

2. Where exactly in the code are shaders being applied to 3D models?

3. Where exactly in the code are 2D sprites getting rendered?

4. Is everything being rendered direct to the display, or is it going to a rendertarget first anyway? If so, where does this get finally rendered to the display?

This will undoubtedly not be the whole story, but these pointers would really help me understand how the code fits together. I think this additional flexibility in the engine would truly mean that "anything is possible" in Wintermute and I've certainly seen other requests in the forums for these kind of features. It would for me remove all important limitations of the engine whilst we wait for the WME 2 release :)

Any help much appreciated,
Pete

6
General Discussion / Re: Most ridiculous inventory puzzles EVER!!!!
« on: June 28, 2010, 01:06:43 PM »
Interesting discussion. Telltale have been strongly moving away from inventory puzzles in the Sam & Max Season 3. Instead we have Max's psychic powers to use in different situations, and a number of dialog and environment puzzles.

In the latest episode (They Stole Max's Brain) there was pretty much NO inventory. From playing this episode, and from reading a lot of reviews and forum comments, it has made the game WAY too easy. It's now basically just like watching a cartoon, and occasionally getting a set of choices that you click through until you find the right one to move on. Max's powers are basically like a very small inventory that you have to use over and over again, and it quickly gets obvious as to where you need to use each power.

Telltale have been so good at making inventory puzzles that are very logical, so I really hope they will start to bring them back! They are a cornerstone of adventure games, and Telltale's have proven this in my opinion.

Also I think that while "maze" puzzles are a very easy way to extend a particular sequence of a game, they shouldn't always be seen as "unneccesary fillers". They are a classic part of the first two Monkey Island game, and are a fun way to delay the player from reaching certain parts of the map until some puzzle has been solved. Of course, I could just be saying that because I have a maze segment in Garden of Doom :)

7
Help wanted and offered / Re: Garden of Doom - help wanted
« on: June 25, 2010, 02:52:59 PM »
Sorry - forgot you had to register for that.

I should just point out that the graphical style looks really messy, most of them are basically placeholder graphics that need a good revamp. But you can get an idea of the overall feel and UI.

Here they are:





8
Help wanted and offered / Garden of Doom - help wanted
« on: June 25, 2010, 12:28:34 PM »
Hi folks,

Two or three years ago I started putting a little adventure game together using Wintermute, called "Ginger Sam in the Garden of Doom". I did quite a bit of work on it, there are a half dozen or so locations with working puzzles, and a number of characters you can talk to with decent-sized dialog trees.

For various reasons I didn't ever finish it, and the code and graphics have been sat doing nothing on my hard drive ever since.

So, I thought I'd finally try to resurrect it and get the thing finished with perhaps a little help from the fine creative minds floating around on these forums!

I'm hoping I can find a few people interested in helping out in the following areas:

- Graphics / animation. It's all in 2D, although some 3D entities would probably fit in fine with the graphical style.

- Coding. I've got a half-decent interface set up, but there's still plenty of scripting to be done!

- Sound / music. We need background music to create atmosphere, and sound effects. Eventually it'd be nice to get voices recorded, but that'll be further down the line.

- Writing. If someone has a particular flair for writing but isn't comfortable with coding, maybe you can still help with dialog, descriptions, story ideas, etc.

Game information:

The main character is a ginger biscuit called Ginger Sam. (Although I'm considering changing his name, there's another fairly well-known Sam in adventure games, and since I've also trying to involve people on the Telltale forums it might avoid confusion!) He has a simple goal: not getting eaten. This mission eventually opens up a much wider world of intrigue and puzzles!

I had a fairly good idea of where the story was going for about 2/3rds of the game, but the ending is a bit sketchy.

I'd estimate that in its current state the game is between 1/5th and 1/3rd finished, depending on how many more locations and characters we want to introduce.

Edit: screenshots are attached further down the thread, my original link required registraton to view them.

I can't pay people unfortunately, and I'm not really sure whether it'll be possible to make any money from it in the end! But if we can make it really good and find a way to distribute it, then all profits will be split fairly amongst anyone who's helped. Really it's just a hobby project I started that I think it'd be fun to see finished, so I'm not too worried about making money.

If you're interested in helping out, make a short application here or by PM, telling me who you are, what you'd like to help with, why you want to help, and any examples of your work you can show.

Thanks for taking the time to read!

Pete

9
Technical forum / Re: I need brave testers with wide screens
« on: July 26, 2008, 09:55:50 PM »
I'm encountering a real issue when I try to alt-tab out of a running game.

Normally I've been able to do this fine.

What basically happens, is the game screen stays visible, but mouse control returns to windows - I ctrl-alt-del but can't see the task manager because the game still has control of the display. In the end my only options was to hard reset.

This is reproducible every time on my Toshiba laptop.

Please let me know if I can give you any more info.

10
Technical forum / Re: I need brave testers with wide screens
« on: July 19, 2008, 02:17:25 AM »
This worked great on my widescreen laptop (1280x800) with my own project - haven't tested anything else.

The stretching was bugging me quite a bit, so well done for fixing this!  ;D

Out of curiosity, is there any reason for even giving the option NOT to maintain aspect ratio? I can't imagine any situation where I wouldn't want to.

11
Feature requests, suggestions / Simple feature in debugging console
« on: March 26, 2008, 05:13:32 AM »
Hi,

Sorry if this has been mentioned anywhere.

I'd like to be able to double-click a filename in the debugging console, which would load the file for editing in the appropriate editor.

Also, double-clicking a line in the error console should open the file referenced there, at the specified line number.

This would save a whole load of time when debugging a decent-sized game!

Thanks for a fantastic product.

Serializer

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