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'Pompolic: Call for Heroes' Developer Diary #1

by Rainier on Aug. 11, 2006 @ 2:36 a.m. PDT

Pompolic: Call for Heroes is a third-person action game with RPG elements placed in a fantasy world. Quotix Software programmer Attila Siladji tells us more about their upcoming action/rpg.

It was quite long ago when I wrote anything in the development diary. But here it goes. As we move to the end of the development, things that needs to be done are shrinking, except bugs that are popping from nowhere :-) One of the things that was on the “to do” list was reflections. We already had reflections on water surfaces, but it's definitely cool to have them on arbitrary surfaces like floors etc. As usually nothing can go smoothly, but why should it, if it can go on the harder way. I remember the problems I had with the water rendering. It took me a few days to figure out what was wrong. After I created the render textures and rendered the scene, some textures were messed up. This happened only on Radeons, but on GeForces worked fine! The problem occurred only when I've used vertex shaders without fragment shaders! Since then I'm always use both of them together to render objects. This time all meshes were rendered correctly, the reflection render texture was correct, but when I projected it to the surface, the top part was clipped away! I've checked the clipping planes, projection matrices... it was all correct. I thought that I again forgot something similar to “insert one line of code to fix the bug”, but this time the problem was the framebuffer object I'm using as render target. After I changed back to good old pixel buffers everything was fine.

Correctly rendered Reflection texture's top part is clipped

Also we have added a new item to the game, the “Ring of Freezing”. When used, monsters around the player will freeze for a short period of time. It will be useful when you are surrounded with monsters. I have added a rendering effect on top of the default model rendering to achieve the “frozen” effect. This was an easy task, because new rendering techniques can be easily added to the shader. Coding the AI for this was not difficult too. This is a good example that adding new stuff to the game isn't hard. The good news is that the full source code for the AI and game logic will ship with the game, so people who want to add new items, monsters etc. or to modify existing code will be able to do it. I will encourage everyone who have ideas for add-ons to freely do it. Of course about 100.000 lines of AI code will wait for the mod makers.

Here's the freeze effect in action. We will add a particle system to it to make it more eye-candy. On the screen shot isn't visible, but the “frozen” texture layers are animated.

While I'm fixing bugs, adding effects and items, the other half of the team is working on the demo. It is in the modeling & texturing phase. The basic design is done and now some decorations needs to be added. Of course when the map is finished in the modeling package, then it goes right into the map editor, where lights, particle systems, materials and monsters are added.

These are a sample screen shots from the modeling software.

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