Photographing birds is now possible

Posted by
August 25th, 2012 1:48 pm

Day 1 is almost over for me. In an hour or maybe two I’m gonna get some sleep. Today’s progress has been great!

I’ve started with the basic rendering things. I made an island using World Machine, got it to render, added water, and then added a freeform camera. Then I worked on the trees. These trees are limited to a certain height on the island, so they don’t pollute beaches or the mountain tops. After that, I added the player character, and worked on the camera. The camera can take pictures, which are added to an in-game photo album. You can scroll through these pictures, and click on them for a bigger view.

After that, I started working on the birds. For my entry I want unique birds, and it will be your goal to photograph every kind of them. So I had to make them modular. By separating each part of a bird, I can now animate and color them independently. Which I did. The most generic birds are white, but it’s possible to find more exotic ones. Animating them was pretty easy as well, and they can now walk, fly, pick their feathers, and glide to the ground. AI was next, and now the birds will do stuff on their own. They’ll stand still, then start walking or flying somewhere, etc. And if you get too close, they’ll move away often.

So it’s been a very productive day today. The birds are only drawn from the side, and tomorrow I’m going to add 4 view directions for them. Right now they can moonwalk 😀 . I’m also going to have to figure out what to do to make it more of a game. If I get rid of the “explore islands for new species” part, then it won’t fit the theme. So a generic “photograph different birds doing different things for points!” game won’t really cut it. Ah well. We’ll see what happens. I’m also going to add an option to save any photographs to disk. Or maybe even let the game do that automatically, as an option. And maybe a few more animal types and plants, or procedurally generated islands. Bonus points for photographing a kitten.

Lots of different ways to continue, but I’ll leave that for tomorrow. If you want to try the current state of the game, you can grab the source from here It needs .NET 4 and XNA. Move with WASD, right click to equip your camera, left click to take a picture. Use scrollwheel or Q/E to zoom in/out when holding the camera. Press esc for your album, click on photos to view them, or press A/D to move between them. If you’re not a QWERTY user, a config file will be generated when you start it. Just edit that as it’s not possible to do that in-game yet.

3 Responses to “Photographing birds is now possible”

  1. iandioch says:

    First, you have to photograph the birds. Then, you have to try and catch them 😀

    • Frib says:

      haha good idea, and very doable actually. I might just add that 😀
      Then I should add persistent save games, and some sort of gallery filled with every different kind of bird you have caught. First player to catch them all wins a cookie 😀

  2. kirill says:

    Mine will have a bird too! 😉

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