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By admin on Thursday, December 12, 2013

November in Review

November was another big month for Blockade Runner! Along with development timeline infographics to help put the development in perspective, November put a big re-scheduled focus into a new-and-improved system for managing voxel meshes and texture atlases (which had their roots in everything entity/ship-related).

Read all about it below!


Tidbits from November Week 1

Blockade Runner News


In Brief: Nathan begins on the new texture atlas system, Gabe works on an improved way of handling combo boxes, Nathan also starts his new dynamic shader pipeline, Gabe learns a bag of new tricks from Zack, and while Nathan gets the new texture atlas system to work, Zack takes the new voxelmesh system from 1500 errors down to 33 in the same day.


Tidbits from November Week 2

Blockade Runner News


In Brief: Zack brings the voxelmesh errors down to 22 really tough ones, Zack then gets the voxelmesh system to compile by the next day while Gabe furthers his upgrades to the way UI respond to the event manager.  Nathan's dynamic shader gets close to integration, Zack refactors a bunch of bulk (things like thruster code and center of mass), and we release a development timeline infographic!


Tidbits from November Week 3

Blockade Runner News


In Brief: Nathan is pleased with the new shader pipeline tests and resumes finishing the texture atlas, Zack refactors block data code to better work with the new voxelmesh system, Zack transitions us from SVN to GIT and SourceTree, allowing us to make game-breaking changes without hurting the stable branch of the game.  Gabe plays catchup fixing errors with UI as Nathan and Zack continue to refactor code, and the voxelmesh and textureatlas begin to be merged.


Tidbits from November Week 4

Blockade Runner News


In Brief: Gabe starts on the options menu screen while Nathan fixes clamping/wrapping issues with some textures, Zack cleans up netcode with the new voxelmesh system and we release a visual representation of the past 2 1/2 years of work (including two code-rewrites) via the Gource repository visualization tool.  Zack's almost able to render the new voxelmeshes, and Thanksgiving with the family, Nathan and Gabe go straight back to work on shaders / UI!


Bullet Points for November

+ New voxel mesh / texture atlas system almost completed
+ 2D Menus being restored and steadily debugged
+ New dynamic shader system to enable external & improved shader control
+ Development Timeline infographic released, Development Timeline video released
+ GIT and Source Tree transition providing more reliable & regular builds in the future


- The voxel mesh / texture atlas upgrade pushes release window into Q1 2014.
- 2D pipeline still needing some debug work (much less by December)


Development Overview

This November we've presented two separate development timeline visualizations to help give a birds-eye perspective on Blockade Runner's development. We might do some more of these as we progress through the year with added detail.


Blockade Runner Development Timeline


Live Gameplay Videos / GIFS

For the longest time it has been impossible to take direct footage of Blockade Runner simply because there was nothing to see while the engine was being overhauled. Every once in a while there'd be glimmers of light as Nathan and Zack would draw something for testing purposes, but it'd be surrounded by debug messages and be disabled just as quickly.

Well after a long (long, long) wait we're at the point where live gameplay can be taken once again! No foolin'! Y'all just have to bare with us as we take the new pipelines through their growing pains!

Expect to see steady progress as we take it from the utter blackness of bugginess, to a release worthy of 5,000 update-starved debuggers supporters!


November Upgrade / Release Window

As we'd stated back in October, all of this November had been re-scheduled from cleaning up for release to implementing the new voxel mesh / texture atlas upgrade.  The decision was not made lightly, as it was an opportunity to implement powerful capabilities that may have taken upwards to three months to accomplish if we held it off, whereas if we did it now while the necessary components were exposed we could get it done in less than half the time.  It's painful, but with an indie situation like ours we'll take a 3:1 turnaround wherever possible.

A month or so later, and the new system for voxels is integrated, but at the unfortunate cost of almost any chance at a December release.  We're still working hard to try and get BR into the supporter's hands as soon as possible, but we want to make sure everyone's not holding out for that Q4 2013 release, and have adjusted the release window to reflect the current scheduling:



What does this upgrade do?  Well as we described it in October, this upgrade is to... "improve the way textures are handled by entities, and wraps voxel rendering up a big dynamic ball of gooey awesome!".

And so it does!  It allows us to use voxels whenever and wherever we need to in a seamless fashion. Big improvements to texture handling, and a lot of potential uses for modders in the future.  We've been waiting to do this one for a long time and are glad to finally have it in the rear-view mirror!

It also wraps up a bunch of mod-friendly work we really expected we'd be doing this Spring, so we're feeling like we have some extra room now for 'other' fun things in the months ahead.

What's Next?

The voxel upgrade in November was a doozy for the schedule, and as depicted pushes the safe ETA for a release into January.  If we're really really lucky we can possibly get a severely buggy version available to the diehard supporters by the end of December.

The next phase for this Spring will be to maintain the bi-weekly releases as we're stabilizing BR's shiney new engine and working with the community on extending certain modding capabilities (it must be done early or not at all!).  We're taking this one step at a time, and so it's best to only expect a multiplayer W71 "editor-like" experience (no pew pews or powerlines) throughout Q1 of 2014.  And, with that, I've now tried my hand at some expectations management. =P

Closing Comments

We set out initially to make a simpler XNA "Infiniminer in Space", and by building a custom game engine to realize the game's full potential we've taken quite the unexpected journey.  Had we really known that it does indeed take several years to build an engine from scratch, we might have made some "other" choices (hint: sequels).

In the end though, we're quite happy with where this hand-crafted beast can take Blockade Runner, and how it allows us to pursue the game we've envisioned from the get-go.  Once again we have your early support and patience to thank for this opportunity, and extend a deeply appreciative thank you!

With the brunt of the uglier low-level development done, we look forward to getting this wagon trail a'movin all through 2014!

To follow the daily development resource postings, head to the forum, sign up for the newsletter, follow the Twitter, or check out the Facebook page!  We're also on the Dev Chat from 9:00am-5:00pm (EST) almost every day, so if you've got a question or comment fire away!

- Aaron

By admin on Monday, November 04, 2013

October in Review (Part 2)

Besides the major announcement of our transition to SharpDX, the second half of October was a really busy month on the refactoring end of things!  The refactoring have led to (what we believe to be) the last pipeline upgrade before we're ready for supporter builds again, but the benefits should be well worth it!

Just in-case you missed October in Review Part 1, check it out here!

To get more detailed information on each day's events be sure to click on the links below!


Tidbits from October Week 3

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Nathan over the weekend sets up the new external loading of angles system (so we/you can make up new angle blocks with ease), Micah experiments with the chromatic-style hulls for ships, Nathan provides Gabe with a "rapid access" spritesheet designed for temporary UI elements, Zack further refactors the lighting code to correct the specular issue, and by the end of the week we look at how the texture DXT loaders will need to be replaced.


Tidbits from October Week 4

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Zack starts the week off by cutting the code clutter in render.cs in half (cleaner, meaner), Gabe Nathan and Zack work on a deeper renovation to block mod-ability, Nathan begins working in his new mesh assembler that improves and replaces the old process for loading .obj mesh data, Micah experiments with a system for handling 30m+ engines, the first new block using the new data format is put into the game by Friday evening!


Tidbits from October Week 5

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Zack swiftly replaces the old physics system with the new BEPU Physics, Nathan and Zack discover and fix a the bizarre green flickering glitch with the 2D pipeline, Gabe returns a scissor rectangle clipping functionality to fonts, with the 2D end of things stable Nathan and Zack turn their attention towards 3D polygons, and a major upgrade for the way we tell entities to draw their voxel meshes and textures has begun.


Bullet Points for 2nd Half of October

+ SharpDX Transition Announced!
+ Render code clutter cut in half (and then some)
+ Piece (block) re-code completed (improved mod-ability)
+ New physics system integrated for entities
+ 3D mesh loader replaced for .OBJ's
+ 99% certain specular issue has been solved entirely

- 3D voxel mesh and texture system for entities require renovation (scheduled for all of November), shouldn't hurt live gameplay videos or dry-run tests but push back a 'polished' release a tad


SharpDX Announcement

Earlier this month we announced secret developments the transition from XNA to SharpDX that took place over the summer.  The actual conversion only took about a month (from May to June), but the deeper access to DirectX provided opened up a lot of long-sought areas for refactoring, which we're obviously still going through on into November.

If you haven't read through the announcement yet, you might want to check out the Summer & Autumn Upgrade article for some insight into Blockade Runner's development from spring onwards.

October Synopsis (Part 2)

The first half of October focused on cleaning up the 2D renovations from September as well as restructuring the way meshes loaded their normals and tangents to fix the lighting issues.

There was a lot done in the second half of October, but Zack's correcting all of BR's lighting issues stood out as a big personal victory on our end.  We'd also done what is now a third rebuild of the data for blocks, with the last re-build having been done back in April.  Six months since then and we've already tweaked and adjusted the game's design here and there and were able to look at the concept of modding the blocks from a fresh perspective.

More or less called for easier portability, which was touched on a bit in this thread.

What's Next?

We've re-scheduled November to focus on building a voxel pipeline that makes working with the voxels a much easier process.  Similar to the 2D Pipeline and 3D Pipeline upgrades, the 'Voxel' Pipeline upgrade will greatly improves developer (and eventually modder) accessibility to the voxel meshes and textures and overall voxel structure.

In particular, its going to improve the way textures are handled by entities, and wraps voxel rendering up a big dynamic ball of gooey awesome! ^^

Closing Comments

October overall was a really busy month, with a lot of incredible refactor work done by Zack Nathan and Gabe.  Everything's basically getting cleared out of the way for a new year of development, and hopefully our hard work to make Blockade Runner's engine a dynamic beast in 2013 will prove useful for the modding community to help bolster new content in 2014!

To follow the daily development resource postings, head to the forum, sign up for the newsletter, follow the Twitter, or check out the Facebook page!  We're also on the Dev Chat from 9:00am-5:00pm (EST) almost every day, so if you've got a question or comment fire away!

- Aaron

By admin on Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Summer & Autumn Upgrade

In yesterday's Bi-Week in Review we'd mentioned we a bit of an information drop that was too long for a single post.  Perhaps you may recall earlier this spring how there were some noises of a public release in sight, only to be followed by months and months of vague progress? Well, a major and substantial change was taking place during that time!

SharpDX Fully Integrated

Back in February, Microsoft announced they were discontinuing XNA, forcing us to re-consider the rendering API for Blockade Runner. We concluded SharpDX was our best fit for a replacement, and so Zack immediately began tests to see how much trouble it'd be to make the move. The XNA builds of the game progressed in the meantime to the point where after some LAN tests in April we were pegging May-June for the next release of the game.

After a slew of tests under Zack's belt, we had to put thoughts of a release on hold as we determined that transitioning out of XNA was imperative, and the longer it was delayed the harder SharpDX would be to implement. We'd considered taking the time to polish up an XNA version to maintain both versions, but quickly ruled it out since it'd only take attention away from the bigger problem and split our limited resources.

Resolved in what needed to be done, we took the plunge in May and started the conversion of Blockade Runner's core rendering code from XNA to SharpDX, with the game fully running off of SharpDX a month later in June.

Video of a multiplayer group construction test back in April

Renovations

The SharpDX conversion in June gave Zack and Nathan time to review the old render code from 2011, helping them to spot some considerable room for improvement.  The decision to renovate the renderer code was made, fueled partly from Zack's added experience (he'd begun full-time development on BR this spring), and partly from the two years of working within the limitations of XNA.

From stem to stern, every part of the game's engine has been refactored.  On the rendering side in particular, this meant Direct Input, 2D pipelines, 3D pipelines, textures, surfaces -- everything's received a thorough scrubbing for modern industry standards.  It was a lot of unexpected work (you don't say :L) that puts BR's engine in a much better position then its W71 era counterpart.

There's still a ways to go with the refactoring, and the results are an engine that's smarter, leaner, cleaner, and meaner, and built to last thanks to SharpDX.  A lot of attention is also going towards modding accessibility, with the goal of making our hard work not only stable and easy for us to work with, but for others too to help provide for years of new development.

As we've said since the beginning, we're in this one for the long haul and firmly believe in the value of "short term loss, long term gain"! ^^

How does SharpDX benefit BR?

Free of XNA's limitations, the SharpDX API represents a major upgrade to Blockade Runner's engine, granting us full control over all of DirectX's deeper capabilities as well as DirectX 10/11 support, Dot NET 4.5 functionality (amazingly simple multithread support!), and some awesomely time-saving rendering debuggers from Visual Studio 2012.

To put it simply, it makes development easier, fixes a lot of W71 era graphical defects, provides better graphics, and will make for powerful performance optimizations in the future.

What does this mean for a release window?

As stated in the daily progress reports, we're still amidst the refactoring stages.  Although we are getting closer to a playable state again (3D drawing and the newly renovated block data), the in-game portion is still too rough around the edges to be useful for any kind of supporter playtesting.

Therefor we're still holding to a tentative "Q4 2013", and may begin raw 'development snapshots' (rough releases) for supporters as soon as it's viable to test rather than wait for any 'grand opening' like we had planned this spring.

We're feeling that the sooner the supporters are involved again, the better.

Closing Comments

It's taking a little longer than we expected to reach a public release, but we're loving how BR's foundation is growing and evolving in an iterative fashion, free from the push of a publisher breathing down our necks to rush something out for a quick buck.

To follow the daily development resource postings, head to the forum, sign up for the newsletter, follow the Twitter, or check out the Facebook page!  We're also on the Dev Chat from 9:00am-5:00pm (EST) almost every day, so if you've got a question or comment fire away!

- Aaron

By admin on Thursday, October 10, 2013

October in Review (Part 1)

To promote better awareness of Blockade Runner's progressing overhauls, we'd decided a few weeks ago to try and go for bi-weekly reviews instead of monthly summaries alone.  October's bi-weekly ended up a tad delayed due to code renovations needing 'all hands on deck', but we'll be trying to keep up with the practice going forward just to get on that bi-weekly habit.

We've also had planned for some special bits of information to be posted today, but it ended being too much of an information dump for a single post so we decided we'll do the bi-weekly update today and roll the new info tomorrow.  And no, it's not the update, and no it's not a solid release date. =P

Be sure to check back tomorrow evening! ^^



Tidbits from October Week 1

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: The unified 2D shader gets put through some real world tests, Zack Nathan and Gabe try to debug why some 2D surfaces seem to flicker, Nathan puts the final touches into the fonts running through spritesheets, Nathan and Zack cut the loading times for BR in half, Gabe simulates 200-300 server listings to debug the server browser, and by Friday Zack resolves the 2D surface problem, but we also determine the new UI systems mean replacing all of the in-game UI done back in May.


Tidbits from October Week 2

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Nathan looks into correcting invalid normal and tangent data, while Gabe crunches 1,000's of polygons of text into a single quad using the 2D Surface generator, Gabe restores login screen functionality, the normals and tangents for lighting prove irritating to fix, Gabe and I go over how game pieces will be loaded recursively with manufacturers, and by the end of the week we have normals and tangents working for normal maps, but specular is still off.


Bullet Points for 1st Half of October

+ New 2D Surfaces system to bunch text into single quad
+ Loading times for BR cut in half
+ UI restored enough to be able to join a game again
+ Normals and tangents for proper lighting fixed
+ Pieces (blocks) being refactored for improved mod-ability

- All in-game UI from last May will need to be replaced (we might launch mid-replacement for supporters regardless)
- Specular (glossy shines) still being diagnosed for issues
- 3D Mesh (entity/prefabs) structure being renovated


October Synopsis (Part 1)

Almost all of September was concentrating on overhauling the 2D ends of the game, including a complete revamp of the state manager for handling in-game windows, buttons, textfields, etc.  With the state manager brought to standards, it makes making menus and pop-up windows much easier, and much cleaner.

The first week of October was mostly about field testing the state manager and 2D renovations and correcting any bugs that cropped up (like that pesky 2D Surface generator that was resolved in the first week!).  There was some great progress made in terms of restoring the 2D interface, although unfortunately we've concluded all of the UI we'd built back around April-May will have to be scrapped under the new system.

The second week Nathan started to look into getting the lighting angles to show up properly (a problem we've held held off since the overhaul this spring), which in re-building properly has brought some issues to our attention.  Re-structuring the 3D mesh building is now scheduled for all of October to make sure its done correctly, and takes overall priority. (Zack has it nearly completed in Week 3)

Closing Comments

Just another reminder, we've got some fairly significant information dropping tomorrow, so don't forget to check out the site again over the weekend (or subscribe to the newsletter)!

To follow the daily development resource postings, head to the forum, sign up for the newsletter, follow the Twitter, or check out the Facebook page!  We're also on the Dev Chat from 9:00am-5:00pm (EST) almost every day, so if you've got a question or comment fire away!

- Aaron

By admin on Friday, October 04, 2013

September in Review

The front page of the site and the Twitter feed are the go-to sources for daily progress reports on BR's development, but for those of you still relying on the RSS for your development tidbits, here's the scoop on the last month's development!

Be sure to check the links to see each day's daily progress report!

Tidbits from September Week 1

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: We determine it's time to switch out of our custom font builder and utilize the awesome BMFont font generator by AngelCode, as well as completely rebuild the state manager to support better menu and window behavior.  Old text arrays are replaced, Micah finishes a second character model face (a female this time), and Nathan gets most of BMFont integrated by the end of the week.


Tidbits from September Week 2

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Zack streamlines the clunky old entity hierarchy, Micah makes some menu 'woop' noises while Nathan completes the integration of BMFont.  Gabe runs the new state manager through its paces, and while waiting for Gabe, Nathan starts work on a simplified 2D surface system to combine UI elements to reduce overhead.  Micah rounds out the week by experimenting with block placement animations in 3dsmax!


Tidbits from September Week 3

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Gabe restores dialog window functionality using the newly built state manager, Nathan and Zack begin a new sprite batcher to vastly improve 2D performance, Zack finally creates a proper splash loading window, and a coder merger between all three coders is commenced inflicting over 500 errors.  By Friday, all 500 errors are eliminated and Gabe sweeps away 2/3rds of the unnecessarily UI files.


Tidbits from September Week 4

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Micah experiments with a constructor bot, Nathan builds a unified 2D shader to maximize rendering efficiency, Gabe gets to work on restoring server listing capability, while Zack experiments with a physics upgrade for the engine.

Gabe's held back a bit mid-week and works on the FMOD sound system in the interim, and finally Zack and Nathan get the unified 2D shader working, bringing the wasted 2D render calls down to some ~2-3% of what they were.  By Friday Gabe's back on track for restoring the game interface!


Bullet Points for September

+ New robust State Manager to handle UI menus/windows.
+ Dramatically improved 2D performance and accessibility.
+ Font appearance and functionality greatly enhanced.
+ Miscellaneous polish works, splash loading screen, physics adjustments

- 2D improvements push launch window back to "Q4 2013" for time to restore interface.
- Physics engine may need to be replaced before release, possible 1-2 week bump.



September Synopsis

August saw massive refactors to the chunks handlers for entities, improvements to thruster net-code, cleanups on rendering (including finishing the long-worked on 3D Pipeline project) -- overall things were starting to come together to where we could play the game again. There was a heavy concentration to clear out the 'black screens of death' to get the game in a playable state by the end of September.

Unfortunately, once we got to work with the old state manager we realized it would have to be brought to 'standards'. Without a proper state manager things like menus and pop-ups become a cluttered mess in-game, and wasting hours every day with the state manager is the last thing we need to be doing when we're pushing the bi-weekly releases.

We knew replacing the state manager would make the game unplayable again for a few weeks, so we split Zack Nathan and Gabe onto each of the longstanding 2D overhauls to get it all done now.  Gabe rebuilt the state manager, Zack and Nathan revised things like support for a proper font generator to draw paragraphs of text properly, sprite batching to bring the 2D render calls down, and overall completed the code friendliness for the 2D portions of the engine.

By the end of September the work was a stellar success with most everything 2D-related performing incredibly well, and hand-crafted for Blockade Runner purposes! In plain English, Gabe and I won't break a sweat handling 2D UI elements, and neither will the game. ^^

What's Next?

We cannot foresee at this time anything as dramatic as September's 2D overhaul for October, yet we'll be painting a broad "Q4 2013" target window so there's time to field test the new 2D systems and restore the interface.

Closing Comments

Once more we have to thank you all for your patience!  It may seem like there's a never-ending supply of 'overhauls' to be done, but keep in mind Blockade Runner is a game we are supporting and developing for years.  This kind of low-level work cannot be done later and so must be done now, and does not need to be done again for years afterward. Our skills have grown tremendously since last year with W71, and thanks to the past year's work the game's foundation is reflecting this.

As always, we'll be Tweeting the daily development progress so you can follow along as things come together. The key indication that we're 'rounding the corner' are Tweets on six-player ZanMgt LAN tests, as it'll mean the game engine is in a state sufficient enough to be playable.  At that point there's no real loss on our part to get the supporters back in on the action.

To follow the daily development resource postings, head to the forum, follow the Twitter, or check out the Facebook page!  We're also on the Dev Chat from 9:00am-5:00pm (EST) almost every day, so if you've got a question or comment fire away!


- Aaron

By admin on Tuesday, September 03, 2013

August in Review

The front page of the site and the Twitter feed are the go-to sources for daily progress reports on BR's development, but for those of you still relying on the RSS for your development tidbits, here's the scoop on the last month's development!

Be sure to check the links to see each day's daily progress report!

Tidbits from August Week 1 (End of July)

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Gabe researches into splines and catmull-rom, Nathan hunts an issue with entity expansion that has plagued Blockade Runner since W2, Micah experiments with different styles for the character models, Zack modernizes our 7 month out-of-date multiplayer logging methods, and Nathan corners and eliminates some very important old chunk collapsing bug.


Tidbits from August Week 2

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: A poorly placed Clear() method gives us a scare and leads to some code refactorin'! Micah experiments with making heads from scratch and Z & N clobber rendering issues, Nathan discovers a single line of code that's caused chunk expansions issues since the beginning of BR, Gabe finishes integration of the new scroll bar, and Gabe condenses and simplifies bunches of redundant code.


Tidbits from August Week 3

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Nathan solves a major issue with prefabs and blocks, Zack resolves issues that were cropping up with Normals, Gabe and Aaron reap the benefits of months of hard work on refactoring the UI engine, the new 3D pipeline is just about wrapped up, and Micah continues his experiments on character models (from serious, to too cartoony).


Tidbits from August Week 4

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Zack and Nathan condense and cleanse bad lighting code, Gabe and Aaron finish up the new revamped main menu, Nathan's able to eliminate old rendering issues that were long held off, Gabe and Aaron finish off the new code for dialog windows, and Zack begins restoring thruster input in MP using Gabe's awesome new Input system.


Tidbits from August Week 5

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Gabe and I start to run into problems with the current state manager for UI menus, Nathan and Zack consolidate 2-year-old code logic for thrusters and reduce the clutter by hundreds of lines of code, Zack makes some really useful 3D diagnostic tools to help us diagnose issues in 3D space, and thruster glitches are hunted down.


Closing Comments

In July we'd built a vastly superior input system, as well as a much needed re-construction of the 2D/3D Pipeline that makes drawing elements a breeze.  August has seen further progress on the revamping and refactoring of old code, from the elimination of entity expansion issues to cleaning up the old deferred lighting code.  All of this work is making the game engine easier to develop content for (UI work that used to take days takes only hours now!), and allows us to make the game we set out to make without restrictions.

The month of August also represents a whole year of development since W71, a long road that has seen us (for various reasons) essentially rebuild the entire game engine from scratch (there's not much code from pre-W71 remaining).  We have to thank you all for your continued patience and understanding during these hard months (and months) of waiting, and ask your patience for a just little longer (should be no later than the end of 2013).

Work on thrusters and menu revamps is a positive sign that we're out of the days of "black screens of death", and are getting back to a playable state of game again (a requirement for supporter involvement).  The frequent mentioning of multiplayer LAN tests will be your best indicator that the return of supporter access is imminent.

To follow the daily development resource postings, head to the forum, follow the Twitter, or check out the Facebook page!  We're also on the Dev Chat from 9:00am-5:00pm (EST) almost every day, so if you've got a question or comment fire away!

- Aaron

By admin on Thursday, August 01, 2013

July in Review

The front page of the site and the Twitter feed are the go-to sources for daily progress reports on BR's development, but for those of you still relying on the RSS for your development tidbits, here's the scoop on the last month's development!

Tidbits from July Week 1

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: We discover a single line of code that solves a bunch of issues with resolution changes, Nathan makes accelerating progress, we find something in the 2D elements system that's causing a sever performance drain. Then near the end of the week the fourth of July is celebrated at the Traverse City Cherry Festival, Gabe finishes the second level of the input screen, and Zack and Nathan double the framerate on Nathan's PC!


Tidbits from July Week 2

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Terah gets some learnin's on 3DMax and UVW unwrapping, Gabe discovers, an issue with hooks, and does his homework to devise a major upgrade to the Input system. Meanwhile Nathan wraps up the majority of the 3D Surface end of the 3D pipeline.


Tidbits from July Week 3

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Nathan figures out why transparent models are showing up as opaque, Micah experiments with some armor textures, Gabe knocks out a 3-day project in one afternoon, Nathan and Zack hunt down bugs in the 2D / 3D Pipeline.


Tidbits from July Week 4

Blockade Runner News

In Brief: Nathan and Zack wipe out a bunch of bugs in a hurry (causing a major schedule change), I show a creepy doodle of a Goblin and re-work the scroll-bar code (It's super effective!). Blippiness becomes an issue and is cornered by the end of the week thanks to Nvidia's Insight!


More Info

I can put together some brief tidbits, but to really get a broader sense on our daily progress, please do check out the News Board on the forums where I post the Tweets of the day. If it were easier to integrate the Simple Machine Forums into our site (which doesn't use PHP >.>), I'd just do that. But it isn't so easy. So be sure to visit the News Board! =P

Closing Comments

The agile development style makes boiling down a month's worth of work a real challenge. One day Gabe can be working on Input and the next work with some 2D interface. It's part scheduling, part waiting on other components to be done (sometimes the game would only be a black screen), and part individual interest. Hope y'all are entertained by it all. ;D

- Aaron

By admin on Monday, July 01, 2013

Week in Review

Since Feedburner will not provide a "one a week" option for the RSS feed, I'll be grabbing the week's collection of images and just post it here once a week. Just so y'all who only use the RSS feed aren't left out of the loop!

Remember for daily updates on Blockade Runner's progress to check the Twitter feed, either at Twitter or on the front page of the website!

June 24th

June 25th

June 26th

June 27th

June 28th

Disclaimer:

These daily development screenshots are just for fun during the engine overhauling doldrums; they do not represent anything that's in-game (we want surprises!) and come without explanation (guess away for fun!). Regardless of what you see or think you see, just remember that our focus for the upcoming W1xx release is solely a stable, reliable multiplayer engine that will be ready when "Build, Fly, Shoot" is working appropriately.

So keep your expectations in check and have fun! ::)


- Aaron

By admin on Sunday, June 23, 2013

Week in Review

Since Feedburner will not provide a "one a week" option for the RSS feed, I'll be grabbing the week's collection of images and just post it here once a week. Just so y'all who only use the RSS feed aren't left out of the loop!

Remember for daily updates on Blockade Runner's progress to check the Twitter feed, either at Twitter or on the front page of the website!

June 17th

June 18th

June 19th

June 20th

June 21st

June 22nd

Disclaimer:

These daily development screenshots are just for fun during the engine overhauling doldrums; they do not represent anything that's in-game (we want surprises!) and come without explanation (guess away for fun!). Regardless of what you see or think you see, just remember that our focus for the upcoming W1xx release is solely a stable, reliable multiplayer engine that will be ready when "Build, Fly, Shoot" is working appropriately.

So keep your expectations in check and have fun! ::)


- Aaron

By admin on Saturday, June 15, 2013
I'll be holding off on posting the daily "(Randomish) Development Resource" image onto the News section of the site soas not to clutter everyone's e-mail.  I attempted to change the newsletter updates to weekly instead of daily but no dice.  There are some alternatives to Google's Feedburner I'll be looking over, at which point we might resume the 'development resource' e-mails but instead as a summary during the weekends.

If you'd still like to follow the daily development resource postings, head to the forum, follow the Twitter, or check out the Facebook page!

- Aaron

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