Saturday, February 14, 2009

Just a Bit of Blood and Gore

I have been working on one of my interior areas and have started creating a makeshift infirmary for a handful of refugees. They are severely to mortally injured and are being cared for in their last few hours of life. Thanks to Camb's Placed FX Factory the floor is covered in the blood of the injured and dead. When I went to place the NPC I was very disappointed. They looked healthy, happy and no where near dying. So. . .

My initial attempt was to create some type of visual effect to make the NPC bloddy. After spending way too much time I have discovered while I can change or combined effects, creating them is something entirely different. So cutting my loses and ditching what I had been working on I took another approach. The next thing to try would be making MDB. I would have less options then with the visual effect but I felt confident that I could pull this one off. I took the player heads #1 for the male and female model and the cloth armor #2 for both sexes. I made copies of the MDBs and their associated diffuse textures to modify. Using MoTB blood placeable DDS I was able to create a horrific set of blood splattered MDBs. Placing the blood took several attempts, the biggest issue, especially with the faces, was to avoid too much blood near or along the center line because it created a perfectly symmetrical blood splatter that just looked wrong.

During play testing I was happy with the look. By using the player heads I was able to give each NPC a different hair so I didn't have a massacred group of twins and triplets. For the hair I used a base of dark red to create the look that it was matted down with blood. I am very happy with the proneb animation. The breathing while I assume was done for a sleeping looks to be agonal breathing as the NPC lays there covered in blood. For sound sets I could not use the usual choices so I created a male and female set. Clicking on one and their greeting is "Don't have much time left. . ." and the other is "I've life in me yet. . .I think." The rest of the sounds are all pain grunts and groans.

Here are several of the screen shots.

Another thing that I did unintentionally was that since I copied a player MDB the bloodied heads are available at character creation. Initially I was going to look into changing them but who am I to say you can't play with a beat up and bloodied hero if you want to.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The making of a sword

I am working on one of the three final areas that I need to complete. Below I have a blacksmith who will be an important NPC to the story. What started out as a simple walkpath turned into a something a bit more. I wanted to show the smith creating a weapon and have him actually moving the weapon through the process where the player could see the NPC moving from step to step with the appropriate animation with sounds happened at each step. The final part of the process was adding the sword. I had three placeable swords, one for the fire being heated, one for the anvil and the final being cooled in water. I also had two swords in the blacksmiths inventory, one with a heated blade and the other cooled. The blacksmith equips the appropriate blade as he walks between the waypoints then a the sword placeable appears and disappears at each waypoint. So between the five swords only one is visible at a time.

For the placeable swords I was hoping for a function similar SetScriptHidden() for placeables but that doesn't exist. So after several different tries I set local locations on the area and used those to create the swords on and then would destroy them. First I was using an on client enter to set the local location but then I was concerned that walk paths may run even when the area was not loaded like heartbeats so at the start of the walkpoint script I identified the three swords objects, if the object was valid I had the script assign the location to the area as alocal location.

Here is the start with the blade heating in the fire
While the blade is heating the smith shovels more coal to feed the fire

The heated blade is removed from the heat and carried to the anvil

Time for some hammering. The smith equips a light hammer for this.

The sword is removed from the anvil and the still hot blade is move to the water basin

The sword appears in the water basin in the upper corner with some nice hissing sounds

The cooled blade is carried back to start over again.