Start Screen + Controls

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Start Screen + Controls

Post by Slaihne on Sun Jun 12, 2011 12:51 pm

My next plan is to get some sort of start screen knocked up to allow the setting of options. I currently have the older block engine downloadable and the new 'HD' version. I want to bring everything on board the HD version and allow the user to set some options to reduce visual quality and increase performance.

This would also be a good time to get some control customisation in which i know some folks have asked for.
Once this is up and running i will be nailing down the player collision logic and adding a few more things to building and digging (slope control for one).

And there's the ever present need for block textures which i'm shuffling through every so often. My brother is knocking up a player model. It is robotic in nature for those who are interested in that sort of thing.
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Re: Start Screen + Controls

Post by Tamloo on Sun Jun 12, 2011 1:17 pm

Excellent! Sounds good! Can't wait!
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Re: Start Screen + Controls

Post by Slaihne on Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:19 am

I've currently gotten a menu system running. I can use the Visual Studio forms designer to design most of the menus so it's pretty quick to set up / alter menus.

I've also implemented custom controls as well as some settings. I've started using the Irrklang sound engine which i intend to get a licence for (it's cheap Smile ). So far it seems easy to use and hasn't caused me any problems.

I've also worked on optimising the number of DX calls used each frame and managed to reduce them massively. This latter part had me swearing quite a lot since there seems to be precious little documentation on it and SlimDX does things slightly differently than usig DX natively so what DX docs there were didn't quite work with SlimDX.

If anyones interested, i had loads of DX calls each frame because i was using the DirectX Effects Framework. This meant i was using EffectPass.Apply to transfer 'variables' to the video card. This was being called before each draw call. I needed to do this because i need one single vector4 (what i call the camchunkoffset) passed before i draw each chunk. Now, EffectPass.Apply sets up the pixel shader, vertex shader, texture resources, constant buffers and blendstate.

I had moved the single Vector4 i needed into it's own constant buffer thinking that DX would be 'smart' enough to say to itself, "hey, the pixel shader, vertex shader, textures, blend state, and first constant buffer are all the same, so i only need to transfer the second constant buffer, that one with the single vector4 in it. Let's do that nice and quick"

But no, each and every EffectPass.Apply call sets everything regardless. This was the source of my gazillion setrenderstates calls etc every frame. So now, i've managed to get a draw call down to an UpdateSubResource, a SetConstantBuffer, a SetVertices, SetIndices and finally the draw itself. I think that's probably the bare minimum i can get it to. Oh, and thanks Microsoft Wink

Now that i've gotten that sorted i've been working on a few other things. A new way of handling part of the liquid drawing and a 256 block tall world instead of 128 atm.

I've also decided against the whole Minecraft way of starting the game with a random seed type thing. Instead i am having one single world, but the start menu allows you to select the point where you start (picked from a map). The Map will be several thousand KM on each side so the possible starting points will be huge. This map will only be a subset of the world, so you will be able to pick a starting point at the edge of the map and move beyond it's boundaries.

I think this single world for everyone gives me some multi player options later on should i choose to go down that route.

I have a few days of work coming up so i should be able to get a good bit more done then.
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Re: Start Screen + Controls

Post by Tamloo on Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:49 am

Everything is starting to look good. I think it will actually be interesting to have everyone have the same world since it would be cool to see what everyone did with the same seed. The only thing that I am worried about is when we get to the later stages (tower-defense) I think we should probably have more maps so we don't get board of the same one (I.E. Knowing all the possible strategies).

I can't wait for the menu and customizable control features! And hey, how are the collisions going with the slopes?
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Re: Start Screen + Controls

Post by S33m3 on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:48 pm

Hello Slaihne, so you are not using anymore the Effect framework ? Smile

Effect framework is nice to have thing quicly up and running, but is really not efficient sometime Smile

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Re: Start Screen + Controls

Post by Slaihne on Mon Jul 11, 2011 12:36 pm

Tamloo:

Still working on the the collisions.

S33m3:

I'm still using the effect framework but only to load / compile the effect. I'm bypassing it now at the drawing stage.
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Re: Start Screen + Controls

Post by S33m3 on Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:09 pm

So you need to create your own CBuffer structure yourself (Properly aligned with the HLSL CBuffer structure) ?

That's this point that is really nice with Effect framework. You don't have to worry to create a CBuffer structure that you match the one defined in the shader.

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Re: Start Screen + Controls

Post by S33m3 on Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:01 am

Just for info concerning the Effect framework : I'm not using it anymore (Have created my own "effect" framework).

Result :

For the same displayed scene, with effect framework I had 8456 DirectX fonctions Call. With my shaders framework : 5664 instructions ! 33% less DX call for the same result ! My fps did a big "jump" Smile

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