Your writing is clear and easy to follow, and your intelligence definitely shines through.
I never thought I'd say this, but you may actually have a shot at pulling this off. I mean the next Minecraft, Angry Birds, etc is going to come from somewhere/someone, why not you?
Keep it up! And looking forward to the next update.
If you're interested I'll send you links to the components on Ikea
In case you missed it, a link to be notified for the Kickstarter:
People just need be clear on what Kickstarter is: a way of raising enough money to achieve a startup target goal by selling trinkets/products/services/recognition/facetime. Reaching that goal isn't necessarily the totality of fundraising, and sure doesn't mean the company/product won't be way more valuable at that point. If your Kickstarter campaign nets you enough money to complete development, nobody should feel betrayed if someone else decides your product is very valuable and gives you a giant pile of cash for it.
I do question if I would take $2 billion, because I'm not really in this for the money, so long as I have enough to survive. I actually passed up an opportunity for acquisition not that long ago (with another company) because I did not want the golden handcuffs, which would have been 3-5 more years of work I hate. Basically, I see this as almost my last chance to do something interesting with my life (its very tiring and I am getting "older"), I don't know if I could put a price on that. That said I'm not trying to act like I'm above money or something, I'd enjoy a billion dollars just as much as the next guy. :)
Oculus had the dev community rallied around them. They just had to create a platform and standards, sponsor the open metaverse and they'd be in a great position to make billions from portions of transactions / marketplaces / convenient ad services / etc, just like Google does with Android. Instead they sold to FB, who will no doubt pull an Apple. In an instant they destroyed the vision, and now we have to wait for the next Google to come along and prevent any one company from gaining too large a stranglehold in the mean time.
I was a big fan of him as a kid when he created a huge following around his game project genesis. It was an open-world, sandbox voxel rpg.
As far as I remember he received thousands for development of the game (admittedly much of it was from close friends and relatives, but I donated money as well).
At the nearest opportunity Gaven abandoned the project, using it to get a job at a game company and not even bothering to develop the project in his spare time.
His brother tried his best to keep the project alive, and many lurked around the forums generating hype and designing the game.
The updates from Gavan became less and less as if his heart was not in it any more and years later people began giving up hope-- little by little people left.
Eventually Gavan shuttered the site.
I understand that the project was overly ambitious, but looking through your life I believe you have a tenancy for creating vaporware and not finishing any you start.
I really believed in you Gavan and you were an inspiration for me to become a programmer and to start projects of my own, but I will never forgive you for abandoning the project the way you did.
Screenshots of game:
Archive of website:
I received about $700 total, and I was living with my parents (most of that $700 was from my family, but there were several other people who donated). I actually still have a list of the donations, and I covered this topic in my Kickstarter page (which is not yet public). I probably should have returned the original donations as it was not a huge amount of money, but I was planning to surprise my original backers with something -- cat is out of the bag now I guess. I still remain friends with many of the original Genesis fans like David Sahlin, Collin Popel, and Seiji Tanaka.
My parents were very supportive, but at the same time I had been living with them 8 months post college, and it came to the point where they were hinting more and more that I get a job and move out. After I launched, it became pretty clear that I was not going to support myself off of Genesis even though the reception was very positive (there was no equivalent of Kickstarter at that point in 2006, unfortunately). Not more than 2-3 months after launching I got an offer at my the startup my brother worked for (which was not lucrative, just $35k year to work 80 hour weeks). I put in 10,000+ hours of work into Genesis, no one was more disappointed than me to shut it down. I did what I could and released the source code, hoping that I could return to it later. I made several attempts over the next couple years to make Genesis-related projects (most of my failed game engines) or make something that could support me to do so. For the most part, I've been working 80 hours or more trying to make up for it for the past decade.
The only situation in which my current project will become vaporware is if I run out of money and have to get another job, and I am really hoping this does not happen because I have put so much work into it again. Thank you for bringing this up, if I can do anything else to make up for Genesis please let me know.
All of that said, I myself am going to warn people against giving me money. This is obviously a very ambitious, very risky project and I want everyone to have a very realistic idea of what I am up against. Some people are willing to take that risk for the chance of producing something new and interesting, but not everybody.
If Oculus had stated that they secured certain protections for their users as terms of the acquisition, such as:
(1) No requirement to use the Facebook login system, not no or ever.
(2) No sharing of private information of oculus users and developers with facebook.
... I don't think many of us would have been nearly as disappointed.
(I've sent him a few Ð myself)
I understand mining fees might not be negligible.
Of course Kickstarter is much better! but bloggers without deliverables deserve credit, too.
I wonder if you could use this to import and export meshes from a physics sim?
If you could turn the brick wall, for instance, into a Havok mesh, simulate knocking it down, and then convert the results back into voxel land you could do some really neat turn-based persistent-world destruction stuff.
How well-supported are dynamic features like animated characters or destruction? (Voxatron-style)
I'd hold off on your claims on AWESOME EMERGENT AI before you actually have it up and running. The capabilities are simple to describe, but actually implementing them in a way that's performant and not horribly buggy has stumped well-funded teams of experienced developers.
Dynamic stuff is not up to the level of Voxatron, partly because it is just a lot more data to deal with, but you can have objects that move dynamically (as seen with windows and doors). That said, I may use old fashioned polygons for somethings like character animation, TBD.
I agree on the AI, I only want to discuss that I have plans to do some stuff with AI, and like I say on the site please be skeptical until you see anything. :)
Might want to look into a sparse system since storing 100% of the detail is great for demos like this but will result in huge amounts of wasted performance in most real applications, especially when working with mostly filled objects.
Overall a very impressive demo though.
The most iconic example I can think of is .kkrieger, the 96kb first person shooter that has (relatively) amazing graphics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.kkrieger
Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NBG-sKFaB0
There might be valuable lessons to be had in that domain that might save you some time.
My point is, talk about what you've done more than what you intend to do. Everybody can talk about what they intend to do, almost nobody does it. What you've done so far is interesting enough, talk about that for now.
No, usually talk is not worth much, but seeing what you have achieved so far without help increase the value of your talk, even if awesome talent for coding gfx not automagically = awesome talent for coding AI.
Really great stuff!
Rendering does not have to be fixed point, I've thought up ways to do first person view, but it would require projecting each chunk onto a sphere and wouldnt work well for non convex chunks. Anyhow for now I have to pick my battles so only isometric at the moment :)
Come to think of it, a simcity + simtower combo game would be great. Zone out an area, then choose what goes in each building and slice away sections of buildings to watch the ants go about their business.
Something simple to say like emergent AI can be ridiculously complex in practice. I bet you really have all the experience you claim to have, but I still don't expect you to get very far.
You have quite a few descriptions of how the game will end up, but saying things like "it will be fun and all these other things" dismisses how you're going to make it that way.
I think the coolest promise was that the game would be deterministic.
I'm not sure if you have lots of experience making games, but in my experience games written from the ground up never really become complete games.
If you're not already, you may want to consider hiring a team or getting help developing this so that you can focus on the things you think you can do most effectively or that are most crucial to the final gameplay.
Anyway, I really hope this is going to be all you say it will be.
Good luck. :)
Trust me, I doubt myself more than anyone else, every day, but at the same time I really just want to try, even if it means failing. :)
This has lots of useful applications. E.g Do you know those graphics about a submarine of the WW2, or a Spanish galleon in which you could see what is inside, like in the book "incredible cross sections"?
With your tech you could make this but dynamic and alive!! peering what you are interested in. While most of the scene is static, you could move some things a little and make it alive.
You should contact one of those amazing artist and show them what you have. There is no way they would resist an offer of working on something like this.
It enables you to make the players feel like "back in the days", but also to surprise them with state of the art concepts.
Games that are made like this create the feeling most people hope they get, when they play old games. They think about the times they had, play it again but often isn't as good as in the past, because over time they got used to much more stuff, which is missing in the old games.
Also - I remember that Nova Logic game (Commanche?).
I'd love to see more detail on it. If you stuck a light source in your glass house, would you see convincing shadows?
If so, I think trying to call it, "open source," puts you in the position where you might be perceived as being disingenuous. I also think it's less clear that way.
You also mention dice roles in the third bullet of the "The Game" section.
Great project, I wish you the best of luck.
I do think the grass looks like those old cartoons where the character is wearing a plaid outfit, and as they move, the plaid pattern stays still...
It was: any plans to give an opening for player written AI to function in game - writing your own group companions sounds fun too, could even use a similar codepath as multiplayer
The irony is that back then we thought if we could just get more than 50 polygons per second we'd be in with a chance of making something good and now flappy bird with 80's style sprites captures the whole world's attention. I got out of that world when MSFT was ruining sw dev by turning the nice simple apis into COM.
Have you set fire to any of the materials in your generated world yet? It would be interesting to see a fire spread through one of your houses ... fire is usually one of the things either done well or done horribly in a game (in my opinion, anyways) ...
joy = timeSpent * positiveReaction * (1.0-selfConfidence) :)
I am mostly self taught, which is good and bad. Bad, because it takes way longer, good because you learn how to derive solutions yourself and learn why things work the way they do. My recommendation is to either start with a set of OpenGL/DirectX tutorials or just get some pixels on the screen any way possible, and build a software renderer from there -- that is if you want to learn. If you want to make a game, your best bet is to use an existing engine, although I'm hardly a shining example of that.
https://youtu.be/gNZtx3ijjpo (three parts).
How low level is the rendering/generation, is there potential for 5x optimization if you get closer to hardware?
The map generation looks particularly great.