Xiotex - On portals and Plane Space

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Xiotex - On portals and Plane Space

Postby Byron » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:31 pm

Last Thursday James managed to find a horrible bug in Darwinia+ so it was a stressful Friday trying to get that bug fixed in time for a very important build to Microsoft that night. Well, the team managed it so I declared that we should all rest and not work on Darwinia+ over the weekend. For myself that meant spending time on Xiotex. There's always a problem with side projects and that is finding the time to do them, I mean I need a life as much as the rest of you but if I spend my time working on Darwinia+ during the day and Xiotex during the night then I am not going to get out much and see the world. Well, fate stepped in and decided that it was going to make me sick as a dog this weekend so I had little choice but to work on Xiotex - going out wasn't an option now.

[CHEESE]
Xiotex is set in 'Plane Space'. Scientists discovered Plane Space thousands of years ago and devised a way for humans to navigate them. Since we can only see in the three dimensions of space special visualization tools were needed in order to be able to see anything inside Plane Space and so the Xiotex Corportation created the Pods which were able to navigate through the Planes and give a humanized version of what it would look like. After a few decades of running around in the Plane one unlucky Podder flew through a portal. This portal took him into another plane. Lucky for him there was another portal there to take him back to where he came from but he got enough readings to be able to re-create the portals and so the portals were born. No one has successfully explored all the planes but one scientist calculated that there were 4,294,967,296 of them.
[/CHEESE]


Again, if you fancy having a go at the latest version you can find it here:

http://www.xiotexstudios.com/builds/XiotexBuild2.dmg for the OSX version

and

http://www.xiotexstudios.com/builds/XiotexBuild2.rar for the PC version

I always wanted the player to be able to explore if they wanted and I wanted there to be two aspects to that exploration. The first is exploring around the plane you are currently on and the second is to be able to go to another plane and explore that one. So I needed a way to get from one plane to another and the answer was portals. I created two types of portal. A red one and a blue one. Red portals take you to the previous plane and blue ones take you to the next plane. At the moment there are 4,294,967,296 planes (points awarded if you can figure out why). Currently the collision detection is quite tight you so you have to be pretty close to the centre of the portal when you fly through it. Once you had moved from one plane to another it didn't really look as if anything had changed so I needed a way for each plane to look different. This is where procedural generation comes into play.

Each plane has a basic plane 'type' which is chosen when the plane is created. These types range from a simple grid to a 'spiky' landscape at the moment but as the game progresses more types will be added. Each type of plane also has a set of parameters to allow variation in that type. At the moment these are colour, height and coarseness of the spikes, as with the types these parameters will be expanded upon to allow for even more variation (textures etc...). The important thing about procedural generation is determinism. If you fly back and forth between the planes you will notice that plane 56 will always look the same and this goes for each of the planes. The reasons for this is that the generation is deterministic in that when I pump one number in I will always get the same number back. This determinism also applies when it comes to generate the actual landscape, so if you fly around it isn't completely random.
Last edited by Byron on Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Xiotex - On portals and Plane Space

Postby jelco » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:40 pm

Byron wrote:At the moment there are 4,294,967,296 planes (points awarded if you can figure out why).

2^32 ;)

Taking a look at the build in a moment, when my internet connection decides to pick up speed for a change.

Jelco

PS: I've got to show this post to my friends who told me yesterday that they didn't find me that much of a nerd. :P
"The ships hung in the sky much the same way that bricks don't."
- Douglas Adams
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Postby NeatNit » Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:42 pm

Currently downloading with an astounding 750 kb/s






Sorry, I mean b/s. Jelco I don't think it's you.


Anyway I'll go take a shower while this downloads.


And the answer is 42. You gotta change the question though, as "why are there 4,294,967,296 planes?" doesn't fit.

Edit: Actually downloads with FF.

Edit 2: Did you refresh the server or something? The first download failed and when I restarted it downloaded in seconds!
Last edited by NeatNit on Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby cheesemoo0 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:03 pm

Haha, nice. I will have to look at this when I get home. :D
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Postby ynbniar » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:50 pm

Yay it works for me now...though I'm not sure if it's because of the new build or me switching from 7800GTX to 7900GTX :?:
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Postby NeatNit » Mon Jan 26, 2009 8:52 pm

Do you have to use the :?: thing? And do you have to put a space before it? What's wrong with a simple ??
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Postby RabidZombie » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:11 pm

A problem with that many planes is that the number doesn't quite fit in the space you allocated it on the HUD. ;)

Also, portals SO need to be like the portals in Portal (see through), so they're portals rather than teleporters, which I think is very important. :D

Also, later on in the game, you so should have vertical planes, black holes (that suck), anomalies the pods don't know how to handle, AND OTHER AWESOME STUFF.

Also, I need to stop overusing "also".
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Postby ynbniar » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:14 pm

NeatNit wrote:Do you have to use the :?: thing? And do you have to put a space before it? What's wrong with a simple ??


No, yes, nothing.
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Re: Xiotex - On portals and Plane Space

Postby NeatNit » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:18 pm

Byron wrote:...
Scientists discovered Plane Space thousands of years ago and devised a way for humans to navigate them. Since we can only see in the three dimensions of space special visualization tools were needed in order to be able to see anything inside Plane Space and so the Xiotex Corportation created the Pods which were able to navigate through the Planes and give a humanized version of what it would look like.
...
Actually, we see in 2 dimensions. It's just out awesometastic brain that can take 2 2D pics and make em 3D.


Also, if there is/ever was/will ever be a 2D world, it's creatures would see in 1D. That's right, just a line of senseless colors. Also, it would be troublesome to go around each other... Hard world it would be, hard world.......




ynbniar wrote:
NeatNit wrote:Do you have to use the :?: thing? And do you have to put a space before it? What's wrong with a simple ??


No, yes, nothing.
I lol'd.
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Postby Taedal » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:26 pm

Cool. I like how the planes vary so much, I sat and went through loads just to see how they would look. Still it tilts a little too much too soon when you turn for my liking. Some acecleration physics would be cool too to give more of a sense of place...
Coming along nicely.

edit. at the risk of getting too detailed - I know you are far far from completion - some more thoughts on having another play are (*well you said you wanted feedback!):
would be nice to have a much higher top speed and turn speed so you can really rip around and get a sense of speed and inertia and twitch style gameplay, max draw distance could maybe do with being a bit higher, and maybe mouse control? Alsoi any thoughts on making it a MMO ? :p

(also this game needs some pumping electronic beats, or some atmospheric sweeping synths - or both - are you looking for some music contributions? I could also knock up some of the more atmospheric spacey stuff pretty easily, some glitchy beats or even just sounds effects - actually I have just remembered from your blog you use logic so I imagine you will want to do your own! Never mind :p )
Last edited by Taedal on Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby shinygerbil » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:32 pm

ynbniar wrote:Yay it works for me now...though I'm not sure if it's because of the new build or me switching from 7800GTX to 7900GTX :?:
Why such a small upgrade :?: ;)
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Postby ynbniar » Mon Jan 26, 2009 9:56 pm

shinygerbil wrote:
ynbniar wrote:Yay it works for me now...though I'm not sure if it's because of the new build or me switching from 7800GTX to 7900GTX :?:
Why such a small upgrade :?: ;)


7900 is about as much as my PSU can cope with, 7800GTX getting on a bit, wanted a backup just in case, got the 7900 for a fair price £50 on Ebay...
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Postby Byron » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:01 pm

Taedal wrote:(also this game needs some pumping electronic beats, or some atmospheric sweeping synths - or both - are you looking for some music contributions? I could also knock up some of the more atmospheric spacey stuff pretty easily, some glitchy beats or even just sounds effects - actually I have just remembered from your blog you use logic so I imagine you will want to do your own! Never mind :p )


I would love to hear your music and effects. I have lots of kit but I am some way away from being competent with it.
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Re: Xiotex - On portals and Plane Space

Postby Maelstrom93 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:09 pm

Byron wrote:At the moment there are 4,294,967,296 planes (points awarded if you can figure out why).

That would be an unsigned long int in C++ :D
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Postby Taedal » Mon Jan 26, 2009 10:49 pm

I would love to hear your music and effects. I have lots of kit but I am some way away from being competent with it.


Cool well as you asked :p

www.myspace.com/alastairmcqueen

I put this together with ableton live on the PC with a bunch of softsynths... "spacey blip" on there is perhaps closest to the kind of synthey stuff that might work - maybe with less drums .. - certainly would be pretty fun to put some atmospheric stuff together for a game - if you are interested or want to hear more you can let me know what sort of feel or effects you are going for. [/quote]

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