Thursday, October 31, 2013


Quite early concept function for the game. We're effectively passed this now, but those photos aren't for these days!

The colors, Duke, the colors!

Tech feature: Sunlight with Shadows

Now I am quite significantly done with the 1st major function for HPl3, the engine that will energy our upcoming (and so far super secret) game. This feature is international sunlight along with shadows, a function not implemented previously. And given that it is now implemented you can bet it will an crucial function for the secret game )

Very first up was making the Ambient light nicer. Below is screenshot of how it appears in HPL2:

This is just a uniform color blend that has been added and does not appear very. It is really tough to see any information when there is a uniform texture such as in the screenshot above. To get nice ambient lighting what you need to have to do is to somehow simulate worldwide illumination. Light does not just hit an object and then stop, but bounces about and scatters color from nearby on each and every other. There is a lot of analysis into this and most of it call for a single to pre-calculate the result in one particular way or an additional.

I settled with anything actually straightforward named hemispherical lighting, which fundamentally imply to have separate up and down (sky and ground) colors and then blend them depending on the typical of the surface. My 1st thought was to use cubemaps to do something comparable, but considering that the cubemap requirements to be really blurred, making use of hemispherical lighting gave fairly a lot the same result and is a lot quicker. Right here is the result:
Now it is a lot less difficult to see information and appears a lot greater.

Next up was the direct lighting from the sun and this was fairly easy. I could just add some tweak to the current shaders and make it operate. Essentially sunlight is just like normal light but without any position or attenuation. This means every single pixel is lit from the identical path and strength is independent of distance to the source (as it does not have a position).

Here is how the scene looks when we add that as well:

Considerably nicer, even though the texture is a bit boring. Note that there now is specular since of the direct light from the sun.

Finally, lets move on to the shadows! The engine currently feature the standard shadow rendering although a approach named shadow maps. What is the big issue now is to make it appear excellent over lengthy distances. Because shadow mapping operates by rendering from the light's point of view, performing shadows from an omnipresent light supply gets a bit difficult. The basic remedy is to use a really huge shadow map, but then you would get very undesirable resolution close to the camera.

What you do instead is to use the reality that objects take up smaller space of the screen the farther away they are. So the idea is to use the shadow map in such a way that you give far more space for pixel nearby and much less to those far away. This is one thing that has been researched quite a bit and there are various strategies to achieve this. A single answer is to warp the projection when rendering to the shadow map. This comes with a lot of concerns although and is extremely hardly ever utilized in games.

Rather most games use a technique named Cascaded Shadow Maps or Parallel Split Shadow Maps. The way this works is that the view frustum (a geometrical shape encompassing all the camera sees) is split into many components and a shadow map is provided to each split. This indicates that the 1st split, which is appropriate in front of the camera, gets a much bigger shadow-per-pixel ratio than the last split, which is much larger, but further away (and therefore has small on-screen pixels).

The algorithm itself is quite simple, specifically because there is very a few papers on it. The huge problem is that you can get some flickering outcomes due to the fact the shadow map can adjust a lot. There are published strategies that resolve this pretty effortless although. Most of my time was as an alternative spent on generating it perform with the rest of the engine. This is one thing that might not be that identified to non-programmers, but most of the function is usually not in the algorithm itself but fitting it into the engine design and style. I consider I commit a 3-4 days on acquiring it inside the engine, before I had every thing set up as it should. The in fact algorithm took two days or so.

Here is how it looks:
Note how shadows are detailed up front, however they are cast all the way into the distance.

Right here is how the shadow maps look (I combine all into a single a single):
Probably want to enlarge this by clicking!

These are the 4 shadow maps that all render shadows for diverse slices of the frustum. The white stuff is the objects, the red lines outlines the frustum slice and the sphere is portion of an anti-flicker algorithm (that determines size of shadow maps).

Now lets add this to the image I began with:
And lets add some nicer texture even though at it:
There! Sunlight with shadows is in!

My next job will be to update the really core of the renderer with one thing known as a Light Pre-Pass Renderer. Far more on that in a later post!

The Haunter Of The IGF

Right after lots of operate and little sleep Frictional Games have entered into the IGF, an international competitors for indie games, with our upcoming horror! The game is nonetheless a although from being completed, but the construct we sent in to the competitors is a quite crucial milestone and the 1st version that offers of a taste of what the full game will be like. When making a horror game gameplay needs to be tested over longer periods of time (because atomsphere, etc needs long construct up) and testing the IGF version of the game tells us that we are on the proper track!

At the begin of the subsequent year we will see if we managed to get nominated! In case you are wondering, Penumbra Overture entered the 2008 competetion (no nomination) and Black Plague did not enter in 2009 simply because we had monetary backup from a publisher (i.e. not indie). Now that we are back as complete indie we can enter once again!

Now its back to work again!
Brain slugs confident are wonderful motivators!
*Should... serve... hive*

Some Industry Reflections

One particular point I have been pondering about recently, is the path in which the indie game scene appears to be heading. This is something that can be noticed in upcoming of games, a variety of talks, articles and what is deemed the largest recent successes. It is a path that may possibly have huge consequences for the future of the medium.

Swiftly summed up, there is a strong style trend of producing games by iterating and extending a fun core gameplay mechanic. This is then incorporated to a game with heavy emphasis on re-playability and/or ease to make levels. The major perks of this strategy being that the game becomes far more entertaining to develop (as you can have fun at a very early stage), it makes it easier to home in on a "enjoyable" core and allows for an early beta to be released (thus enabling feedback and earnings to trickle in before completion). This is of course a rough outline of the trend, but I nonetheless consider it represent the main gist of exactly where the sector of indie game improvement is heading.

Designing a game like this is of course perfectly fine. It tends to make sense financially and personally. By obtaining a game where the entertaining comes in at a very early stage, it is a lot less complicated to discard undesirable ideas and figure out the very best way to do items. Obtaining some kind of earnings ahead of completion can be vital for a start off-up firm, which is a lot simpler when possessing an early playable version. Betas/alphas also assist developing a neighborhood and spreading the word. On the individual side, motivation comes a lot easier when almost every single added function add some thing to the gameplay and change is simply tracked. This can make up for other not so motivational elements of becoming an indie (low earnings, non-existing safety, undesirable functioning conditions, and so on and so forth). Summed up, making games like this make a lot of sense and it is not strange that it is a wide-spread trend.

Nevertheless, what troubles me is that this kind of improvement is noticed by most as THE way to style a game. Even though of course a lot of fantastic videos games can (and have!) come out of this manner of creation, it is not the only way to go about. I think that performing games this way makes it not possible to do particular variety of video games and to expand the medium in a way that I personally think is the most thrilling. Because of the concentrate on instant gratification, gameplay will pull towards a local maximum and only take brief term worth into account. This disqualifies videogames that focus on far more holistic experiences or has a non-trivial pay off (for instance, lowlevel gameplay that only becomes engaging in a specific higher-level context).

As an example of this, following finalizing the fundamental mechanics, it took six months prior to Amnesia: The Dark Descent became a somewhat engaging encounter. Note that this time was not spend on perfecting the mechanics but on building the globe in which they existed. Without having the proper context, Amnesia's core mechanics are quite boring and it took additional layers, such as the sound-scape, higher fidelity graphics, and so forth, to bring it home. With this I am not saying that Amnesia is the way forward for the medium. I am just saying that a videogame like Amnesia could not have been made using the type of development that a large chunk of the indie scene (and mainstream for that matter as well) is at the moment advocating!

One more factor that has also struck me is how many men and women that are interested in videogames with experiences not solely focused on a enjoyable core. For instance at GDC, we met a lot of people, from several diverse locations in the sector, saying how a lot they liked the game due to the fact of its non-gamey elements. Also, most of the random men and women that we "dragged" in to the booth were very interested in this sort of knowledge and frequently surprised that videogames like Amnesia even existed. We have also observed this sort of response across the Web, with a lot of folks wishing there have been much more games focusing on these aspects. Once more, I am not saying that this signifies Amnesia is some candle bearer into the future. What I am saying is that there was an overwhelmingly constructive attitude towards the sort of games where a entertaining core mechanic was not the focus.

Even so, simply because the present trend of developing games, this possible market will most likely go without many games.

A good consequence of this is that it creates a potentially quite lucrative niche with almost no competitors. So even though the preferred way of creating games might be more safe, these projects will be launched in an incredibly competitive atmosphere. I consider this evens out some (all?) of the risks involved in a development not focused on rapidly iterating fun mechanics.

A damaging, feasible devastating, consequence is that the lack of these sorts of video games may take away the market place altogether (or at least limit it to a quite niche one particular). What I imply here is that if the basic population's view on view games is that they are just about "cheap thrills", individuals will never bother hunting for anything else. As a result most men and women who would have been interested in much more holistic video games, will never be exposed to them. In a worst case scenario, this would imply that these kind of game will pretty considerably be stopped being created.

I contemplate this is something worth thinking about and believe the vital cross road will come extremely soon. The video games we make a decision to make these days, will shape the future for really some time.

Finish note: For these wonder what other ways of designing games there may exist, verify this post as a starter.

Who Are We? The Programmer

I can not say how fortunate we are to have gotten Matt to function on this project with us. The guy is almost certainly about as talented and hard-operating as you are every going to locate on the net. So far, he's offered us the ideal tool I could have hoped for to develop the game and he's continuously operating on improvements and updates.

Meet Matt Jolly!

Name: Matthew Jolly
Place: Virginia, United States
Age: 23

Very first game: Earliest game I can don't forget playing is possibly Super Mario Bros., but the 1 that stands out most to me is Road Rash for the SEGA Genesis. I played that game for hours with my dad.

Also, I learned not to ever search for "Road Rash"
Preferred game: Savage: The Battle for Newerth. Even though I had currently been programming for a couple of years prior, modding Savage's source code is what caused me to really look at programming as a profession, and kindled my passion for creating games. It was also the most enjoyable I consider I've ever had playing a game, as effectively as my first genuine foray into online gaming in general.

Thoughts on Sprout: I enjoy the idea behind Sprout, particularly the direction we've taken with it. The blend of Murilo's art and John's music creates a wonderful atmosphere, and the style Tom has for the levels and puzzles will certainly make for an engaging and fun game. I'm excited to operate on this project and can't wait to see how it has evolved upon completion.

Favorite Indie Game: Arguably this would also be Savage, as they had been regarded as Indie at the time--but they had a decent quantity of monetary backing. To choose a a lot more "indie" indie game, I'd most likely have to decide on Mount & Blade. That is a very fun game, and the initial improvement group consisted of one man and his wife!


Sprout’s Tale is a 2.five D game set in a dying world. As the protagonist, you are tasked with battling back the finish of occasions with a pouch of seeds and a mysterious pal. Grow trees, vines, grass, and flowers to resolve puzzles, kill enemies, and restore the planet.

Sprout, the central character of the story, is awoken from non-existence when the world is on the brink of collapse. Darkness has breached virtually every corner of the land and water, and it seems that only he and a winged companion have the power to quit it.

Find and plant seeds to develop bridges, stairs, ladders, and traps. Utilizing the right seed at the right time and location will be completely up to the player, and saving seeds to utilize other tools in the atmosphere will also be entirely inside your energy. While not strong alone, Sprout can use the fairy to aid him carry and push heavy objects. The fairy itself will be totally in the manage of the player.

You can see our most current video right here:

Site below development

To be created for Pc, Linux, Xbox, PS, Android, and every thing else we can afford.

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is Released!

Not too extended ago, I actually wondered if there ever would be a release. Nevertheless, nowadays I am proud to say that Amnesia: The Dark Descent is ultimately released!

If that is all you want to know, go and get the game at a single of the following areas:
Our own store (windows, linux & mac)
Steam (windows & mac)
GamersGate (windows & mac)
Direct2Drive (windows)
ImpulseDriven (windows)

The game has been in the producing for exactly three years now (very first document is dated 8th sept 07) and it has been fairly the journey. The design and style has been changed countless times and we have been really close running out of cash a handful of times. Somehow, due to successful sales and salary reduce we have managed to get via it though. This tends to make it added rewarding to have the game ultimately out.

Even a lot more rewarding is the very nice press response! Some instance:
“Few games are able to conjure up an atmosphere this genuinely frightening.”

“Despite its title, Amnesia remembers what the blockbusters of survival horror appear to have forgotten: how to horrify.”
- Computer Gamer UK

“I feel it is secure to say that Amnesia is the most successfully frightening game to have been created.”
- Rock Paper Shotgun

“I must say Amnesia is a masterpiece of horror, anything certainly all other horror games could take from and in some senses, strive to be.”
- NeoSeeker

Player reactions have also seemed fairly good and we now eagerly await your thoughts on the full game!

Massive thanks to everyone have supported us over the years. We hope you all will get pleasure from Amnesia and have a actually dark descent!

And as constantly, please assist spread the word! Reddit, Digg, Facebook and whatnot!

What Progress Looks Like

This week a lot of you got a glimpse of just what kind of problems are continuously coming up as we operate to create Sprout the Game. I consider the two videos, which I, in retrospect, possibly released as well close together, did a very good job of explaining the problems. Not to mention giving you a excellent glimpse of the new music.

The very first video  was beneficial in showing you 1 of the troubles we have been having with our new tree feature. It grew as well rapidly and it didn't sit correctly in front of other assets. You can especially see the way the roots appear to float above the tower door, despite becoming on the same plain.

The second video shows what we did to attempt and fix this. Initial, we reduce down on the quantity of further dirt we have around the roots. This did two good things, the seed planted no longer weirdly requires up a huge quantity of room, and, as the tree grows, dirt appears to slide around beneath the tree like sand. An accidental advantage. However, the tree roots nonetheless stick out more than the cliff and the seed itself now seems to sit atop a weird glitch pyramid of dirt.

We have a handful of options in mind for these troubles, but the fixes are tedious and not one thing we need to be focusing on now. With any luck, we'll be displaying you vine growth and climbing (not animated however) by Monday.

Keep tuned. Share. Comment. Tweet. Email. Snail Mail. I never care. I want to hear from you as significantly as achievable.

 You are all so amazing.

Maps with s-tile

The tool guy is back with some a lot more dirty inside secrets on the improvement. This post was meant to speak a bit about the Level Editor, but 1st I want to tell you about one thing you may not know... and it is known as tilemapping.

The term tilemapping refers to a method born in the mid 80's or so, back when videogames had been fairly much down to 2D. These games utilized 2D images to represent the game world and entities in it. A 2D image is, in a nutshell, a grid of colour values or pixels, with the following parameters:
  • Size in pixels (width x height): these values inform how massive our image is - 64x64, 320x200, 1280x800...
  • Color depth/bits per pixel(bpp): precision employed to retailer an individual pixel in the image - eight bpp, 16 bpp, 24 bpp, 32 bpp. This parameter fairly a lot depends on the format we are using to show our image.

To recognize the want for such a method, we have to consider in terms of the hardware accessible back in the day. We are talking about machines with veeery limited resources, i.e. actual slow CPU's and really low on memory (far from a single megabyte), so 1 had to be actually cautious and always hold an eye on these limits when establishing... and even a lot more if establishing a game.
Numerous older 2D games out there show a very large and detailed globe where the game action requires location, and with big right here I mean several occasions the screen (Turrican's huge maps getting a genuine excellent example of this). So, let's do a easy example:
  1. Figure our system has a graphic mode with a screen size of 320x200 pixels and 8 bpp for color depth (and we are talking high tech here).
  2. Now, we want our game to have maps with a moderate size of 960x200 (that's only 3 times the screen width). The very first answer that comes to thoughts is generating a 960x200 drawing that represents the map. Undertaking the math, that is 960*200*8 bits = 960x200 bytes = 187.5 KB in memory at runtime. Not that a lot, I agree, but back in the day we could have limits like 256 KB in our primary memory, so in this case we would have small room left for the rest of the game information (not to mention the worst and most common case would actually be possessing even reduced limits and a lot higher requirements)
So here's where the tilemapping method comes in. The strategy itself is rather basic: we have an array of small (e.g. 16x16, 24x24,...) pictures named tiles, containing all the graphic specifics we need in our level, plus a 2D collection of integer values (almost like an image), which would act as the actual map, indicating which tile goes where. In our instance, making use of a moderate set of 20 diverse 24x24 tiles and a 20x9 sized int array, we manage to develop a large sufficient map to fit our needs, with a cost of 20*24*24 + 20*9*two = 11880 bytes = 11.6 KB. Now that's saving memory, do not you feel? ).

Even though nowadays we have tech advanced adequate to kiss tilemapping goodbye, it's nonetheless utilised, specially in games for tiny and restricted devices such as cellphones and hand-held consoles. Actually,Fiend and Energetic use tilemapping for levels :)

Tiny 2D horror gem

The Energetic map editor, in all its glory

Following having bored you all with all this seemingly pointless babble, I will inform you how most 3D games do for levels. There are numerous ways of obtaining a 3D world. Most common is producing a huge 3D model in the modeling plan of option, that is all the geometry and texture mapping accomplished there. Even though this is cool, any 3D artist out there would say it is a fairly time-consuming task, and does not enable a lot reuse of stuff.

I know it looks untextured and that... but does this ring a bell?

What we are undertaking in Unknown is to generate a number of sets of 3D pieces and make maps making use of them as creating blocks. 1 can have a production-quality map in less than 4 days with this approach, and thanks to the outstanding job from our artists, the results are truly nice to the eye as effectively.

Quite impressive what you can do with such easy pieces I must say... kudos to Jens

As you may possibly have noticed, there is very a similarity in each instances. We can make a close analogy among the large 2D drawing and the huge 3D model map, and our current mapping method to the ancient tilemapping technique, even though our point is not associated to saving memory truly, but to save time and sanity. Nonetheless, our method makes it possible for for much more flexibility, such as going back to the "huge 3D model" entirely (by producing a piece containing the entire map geometry), or partially (just a space). Also, we have a grid, but only to ease the process of aligning pieces, so we are not constrained by it.

There is little left to add really. I hope this served at the extremely least to give you guys a little overview on a single of the most popular game improvement tactics that has been around for very a lot of time, and how its standard principle can nevertheless apply to today's methods.

Just couldn't aid myself

Tech Feature: Pre-pass lighting

Progress on the new engine, HPL3, is coming along nicely and not too long ago I changed the core rendering system into something named Pre-pass lighting. This switch has been produced for a number of reasons, but just before I got into that and what pre-pass lighting specifically is, I need to have to clarify how we did it back in the "old days".

Forward Rendering
The engine powering Penumbra (HPL1) makes use of something referred to as forward rendering. This variety of rendering functions by rendering the entire scene on an object basis. So when rendering a chair, wall, or any geometry in the globe, this was accomplished by drawing it 1 time for every light that touches it. So an object that is lit by three lights has to be drawn 3 instances, and so on. This strategy can be fairly limiting when setting up scenes as you require to be very careful when adding lights. It might not truly be clear precisely how a lot influence on performance a single light will have and levels normally require very some tweaking to get appropriate. The complexity of a scene can be expressed as:

Draw calls = Objects * Lights

This means that the number of draw calls can simply get extremely huge and only adding a single light, even if it has tiny impact on the scene visually, can have very adverse effects on efficiency.

Deferred Shading
When starting work on HPL2 (which was utilized for Amnesia) I wanted to get away from this annoying light limitations. Since HPL1 had been produced a new method called "Deferred shading" had emerged and when function on HPl2 was started, the average Computer program was up for the the job.

What makes deferred shading special is that it separates rendering objects and rendering the lighting. This operates by initial rendering to a unique G-buffer that contains details such as normals, depth and color of all on screen objects. The final output appears like this:

From left to appropriate: Color, normals and depth. Note that these texture have four channels each and not visible are also saved specular intensity and energy. These three texture then represent the properties of all visible data. It is then employed by the lights to render the final image. This tends to make the complexity of the rendering:

Draw calls = Objects + Lights

This is a lot nicer and as lights and objects are separated, it is a lot simpler to add lights to a scene with no worrying about overall performance hits. It is also considerably simpler to intuitively understand how performance will be affected. By utilizing this technique we exactly where able to use a lot far more light sources in Amnesia and contemplating all of the dynamic lights necessary for the mechanics, the game would have been a lot harder to make employing forward rendering.

Deferred rendering is not without issues although. Initial of all, rendering the G-buffer means rendering to three textures at 1 time which is very overall performance heavy, meaning a scene with handful of lights runs more rapidly on a forward renderer. Secondly, there is no help for fullscreen anti-aliasing either, and one has to do some hackish tricks to eliminate jagged edges (the "edge smooth" function in Amnesia). Lastly, there is a lot much less material variety achievable as every home needed to generate the final image wants to be in the G-buffer. Because we could mange without fancy skin shaders in Amnesia, it was turned out to not be also considerably of a issue though.

Scenes like the test of Agrippa above would not be attainable in our old Renderer. In this test shot around 30 lights support light Agrippa in a good style, and because the geometry and lighting is decoupled it is achievable to run this with a high framerate.

Pre-pass lighting
I heard about this strategy (first saw it here) for the duration of the development of Amnesia and was a bit interested in trying it out. I was interested in the tech back then because it created light rendering go more rapidly, something that had proved a bit of a bottle neck in Amnesia. Nevertheless, I did not have time back then and decided against it.

As I started to update the engine to HPL3 I once again looked at this technologies. This time a lot more had been written on the subject and it had really been tested. For instance a equivalent algorithm was used in Insomniac's Reistance 2 and Crytech goes more than it in a paper about CryEngine two. This also meant that the approach was practical, and was nicely worth attempting (I normally attempt and use tech I have been in a position to attempt in other games, as tech dead-ends can prove fairly costly).

Pre-pass lighting (or deferred lighting as it is called sometimes) is very comparable to deferred shading and I could use significantly of the code from HPl2 when implementing it. Only a few modifications in supplies and light rendering was genuinely necessary. The rendering functions by also initial rendering to a G-buffer, but one particular only containing normal, depth and specular power. Following that lights are rendered, but they render only part of the light equation essentially colour and specular intensity. Then in a final pass all objects are rendered once more and the light information from the preceding pass is utilized to render the final image. The sequence is like this:

Render Normals+Depth -> Render Lights -> Render final image

The 1st good point is that this strategy is able to render lights quicker, considering that each lights has to do much less equations and access less textures. The algorithm also contains an extra step at the finish, but this does not matter that much, as the added the final render requires is regained by the 1 significantly less buffer required to be rendered to in the initial g-buffer pass (only two textures necessary alternatively of the three deferred shading makes use of).

This speed up was not the main purpose why I utilised it even though. Because every single object rendered once more during the final pass, it is feasible to have a considerably bigger range of material types. Alternatively of getting confined to making use of what can be fitted into a g-buffer, a material can do distinct calculations the final image pass. This allows for specialized skin shaders and other tricks. For instance, it is now attainable to have a lot more functions packed into the decal supplies:

Above is a decal with both colour, normalmap and height map, something not achievable in the earlier engine. (Note that colour and standard have separate alpha and that the height map make the tiles appear carved out of the ground).

Finish notes
Now I have provided a tiny rundown of how the new renderer performs and how it differs from the old one particular. I have skipped a lot of the particulars and a lot more technical stuff, to make the post a bit shorter. So if you have any queries, comment and I may well have some type of answer!

Also, sorry for the lack of new and thrilling photos in this post. Subsequent tech function need to be a lot more fun on that element, as I am now moving on to Terrain...

I eventually did some tests on the algorithm and compared it to the old renderer. Final results are:

Level Editor Video - The Inside Scoop

Continuing the subject of my final post, right here comes a post about the creation of our most current video...

What we wanted to do in this video was to show how swiftly you can create something playable using our Level Editor. So we decided to take 30 minutes to build one thing, use yet another ten minutes at most to do some gameplay scripting and then finally show it all in game.

To make it all viewable with out spending far more than 40 minutes watching a video we time lapsed it all down to about eight minutes. Although working on the video we also wanted to add a voice, describing what was going on, but it did not perform extremely properly. To make this appropriately, you need to create down what you want to say very first, then record and edit the material after the spoken text. So it got challenging to make a voice that would have sufficient time to properly say what was going on during the quite quickly level editing (due to the time lapse). As I was battling with this problem I had a chat with Thomas, who joked that I could "write it all in verse", which I thought was truly a pretty very good notion. Then I could have some voice speaking, producing the video much more intriguing but not require to be overly distinct in what is stated, so it could be a lot more freely added to the visual editing going on in the video.

It took me about 4-six hours to write the entire point for the full video and then one more two hours to record and edit the voice. Then I showed Thomas the video...

He got a bit worried, with great cause, that the video could give the wrong impression about the game. Is the game a parody on the horror genre? Or what is genuinely going on? So after some discussion we decided that we need to possibly skip the voice altogether and only add some nice music or else the video would go on consuming time we need to have to invest on the game!

To cut items short, here you have the final demonstration of our Level Editor! We have shortened it a bit, then removed the actual scripting component as we felt it looked more challenging than it actually is. But to give you all the goodies, at the bottom of the post you can discover the script with comments, to give you a view of the quantity of script necessary (and to show that a lot of gameplay is accomplished automatically by the objects in the game). I have also, for everybody's pleasures, added the original verse. It really is not structured correctly but hey let us call it free-type verse.

Have you got any inquiries about the editing or scripting of levels for Amnesia? Shout them out in the comments!

The Video (our first HD release!):

Gameplay Script:
As you can see, if we take away the comments (in green) it is a total of 19 lines of script code!

// This is the initial setup that is carried out when starting the level
void OnStart()

// Verify if Player enters the location called AreaExit, if so then do the CollideExit function
AddEntityCollideCallback("Player", "AreaExit", "CollideExit", true, 1)

// Check if Player makes use of any of the two keys on the desk or door if so do the UseKey function
AddUseItemCallback("usedesk", "key_desk", "desk", "UseKey", correct)
AddUseItemCallback("useexit", "key_exit", "mansion_1", "UseKey",accurate)

// A timer that will activate a function right after 120 seconds
AddTimer("enemy", 120, "TimerActivateEnemy")

// This says to play the music file 04_amb.ogg, that it ought to loop, play at volume 1, start with a 3 second fade, have a priority of and that it will resume where it ended if the music is stopped and played once again.
PlayMusic("04_amb.ogg", correct, 1, 3, , correct)

// Adds a quest for the player, escape is the name to use in scripts and XXVideo is an entry in the file that consists of all the text for Amnesia.
AddQuest("escape", "XXVideo")

// As this level is for testing, we give the player a lantern at the begin of the level
GiveItemFromFile("lantern", "lantern.ent")

// The timer function that is referred to as right after 120 seconds from start off of level
void TimerActivateEnemy(string &in asTimer)

// Slide the door open leading to the space with the enemy
SetMoveObjectState("door_1", 1)

// Activate the enemy
SetEntityActive("grunt_standard_1", true)

// Play an further sound to warn the player
PlaySoundAtEntity("enemyBoo", "notice", "door_1", )

// Give the enemy a patrol node so that he will commence to move into the huge room
AddEnemyPatrolNode("grunt_normal_1", "PathNodeArea_five", , "")

// Function for when using keys on the desk and door
void UseKey(string &in asItem, string &in asEntity)

// Set the entity(desk or door) to unlocked
SetSwingDoorLocked(asEntity, false, correct)

// Get rid of the item employed from the inventory

// Function triggered as player enters the exit location
void CollideExit(string &in asParent, string &in asChild, int alState)

// Show quest complete message, making use of XXVideo entry in the text file.
CompleteQuest("escape", "XXVideo")

// Change the map to 02_entrance_hall, player start off in location PlayerStartArea_1
ChangeMap("02_entrance_hall", "PlayerStartArea_1", "", "")

Without having additional ado, a Christmas carol just for you:

Jens I am, Frictional Games I curse you damn -
"Bastard from hell, don't force me to tell!"

"You greater sing it like a snake or else you won't get that cake!"

"OK, OK I will spill it all!"

You see, I got a call for the duration of the fall... a dude handed it to me "Man, what can you do in 30 minutes brief, using that editor of yours, I've heard its like snort?"

Lo and behold, I told. See you do it like this. Half an hour building the base, 666 seconds to script, not even taking a piss. To not bore you stiff, verify my time-lapse I am fast as a mastiff, spend consideration or get lost in yet another HPL dimension.

With sets of 3D tiles, even youngsters will get smiles. Effortless as copy that floppy a room is crafted, damn it may well even get you drafted. Walls, windows, ceiling and floor comes in distinct flavours we all can adore, combine as it unfold, see how I create a prime so gold. Press B to compound create, it will save you from getting late.

Feisty as they are, Entities of numerous sort makes the planet go round, what ever you can uncover, make positive to use them sound. At instances like these, a light or two will certainly brighten the mood, exactly where art thou tease of a candle? Shine upon my wood so I can tweak it additional, it can not look as if created by a vandal.

A bed or cradle to take a nap, drawers and a table, you know, we even have a horse steady. Crap! Thomas - damn you and your ideas, "create it in verse" your words gave me this curse! I hope the christmas sock has practically nothing but peas (this must rime with concepts).

It is all pre-configured, place it and you won't have to go figure. What the player can do, we have currently turned to our consideration, it works as I mention: Doors swing, drawers pull, boxes carry, if a berry discovered it can be eaten, it will even crunch as you munch.

Entities of light is ideal placed in the dark, it will show their suitable mark. Some gameplay they have, with the player about it can astound - as the Tinderbox comes to use, sort of like a fuse. Paintings, paper and books you could have them all on hooks, but let's place them all at their correct places: Walls so fine with a painting of mine, a desk is very best if placed beneath papers and pen, the book from the den fits perfect by the pillow, perhaps some thing about Willow? Exactly where did I place my glasses? Argh, it did not rhyme with places, it need to be time for tea, why these long faces?

Adding a chest for treasures to preserve, it is as safe as it is accurate that a mouse says "meep". A important for a puzzle and tinderboxes, just for the dazzle, place them all in. Remember though, it will cost you a dime if you want to get them back, not gooey in slime.

In a closet so modest, Santa will fall. We poked him with a stick, to truly make him tick. Locked behind a door he can't get out, but as I will later shout - we can script some unsafe code, letting him get out locating a node. Like bread crumbs Santa can comply with, the player far better hide in hollow or far better yet! Escape the area avoiding Santa's evil bloom.

Speaking of which, let's brighten it all up in a hitch. Spotlights in windows, shadows will cast, a gobo can be added just as quick. Size and colour adjusted with ease, we guarantee you do not need to lease a skilled. This has all been really visional, just one far more thing. We require glory fitting for a king, rays from the windows to shine upon the gory inner element of our very technical art. Tweak it back and forth, you can truly make it worth by adding particles as pretty in the light as pickles are delight.

Let's continue on and write that script or else Frictional will throw me down the crypt!

Music, oh music, my kingdom for some music. With 1 line of code, some music will load.

Add a timer that when 60 seconds pass, a Santa will get on your ass. Add a noise, to make positive the player has a option. I forgot it at this point, but later I will make the door open as although pushed by a spring joint.

With a handful of lines of code two keys of use will be. On a desk and a door each will see, that there is no stopping me. Writing code must be made with care, not like here - I wrote a lot but "SetSwingDoorLocked" would have created a excellent knot. Erase it all and do it suitable although standing tall.

An location we placed, to verify if the player is appropriately paced. If they collide, we must take it with pride, load a new level and finish the player's ride. Took it for a test. But swiftly noticed what a mess! Some final minute fixes, must make it all perform with no any trixes. A patrol route right here, a eliminate item there, it starts to feel polished, if only the player knows it all clear. As a cooking show on Tv, I prepared some text in a file that will make it all worthwhile, with a huge bong a quest is heard producing the player adhere to the herd. One minute the timer was short, Santa came out furious and picky, I had to boost the timer in a quickie.

And so the carol reaches the final location, the player's faith I won't even mention. Take a look, hope we got you on the hook!

Gone Home - The Amnesia Edition

From time to time we get requests from people who want to license our HPL2 engine in order to make a commercial game. This is quite flattering, but the answer is always "no". Our reply is to simply state that there is no documentation, we do not have time for assistance and they are far better off employing Unity or UDK anyway. In all honesty, we also do not have any high hopes of these projects finishing at all. Deciding on an engine is a single of the very 1st decisions made when beginning the development of a game, and really handful of games, specially indie ones, go beyond a pre-production phase.

So it came as quite a surprise for me when I learned that Steve Gaynor, 1 of the people behind the phenomenal Gone Home, had sent this sort of mail to us! I met him briefly at GDC this spring, and was really amazed to hear that the extremely 1st prototype of the game was created in HPL2. He had mailed and asked if the engine would be feasible to use for a industrial game, and got the usual response. Fortunately this did not discourage the group from continuing. It also seems like they took our advice considering that the final version of Gone Property is produced in Unity. I genuinely wanted to see the level, and told Steve that I would mail him when I got back from GDC. But as often other stuff occurred and I just pushed the thing forward. I swear that I had "Mail Steve about Amnesia: Gone Residence" written on my todo list for six months!

Then Steve mailed me for totally diverse causes, and I decided I genuinely had to get this Gone Property prototype over with. He scavenged his files and managed to dig out the map. This was throughout the complete SOMA teaser campaign and I did not have time to look correct away. A handful of days ago things lastly settled down a bit and it was time to take a look.

The prototype is quite brief and extremely standard it is really a lot more of a proof of idea. But it nevertheless gives a really very good sense of the game, and possessing played the complete version, I could recognize really a bit. It does feel a bit awkward to play an early test like this though. Gone Property is a quite individual game, and playing this prototype felt like a meta version of the game's voyeuristic thematics.

We got Steve's mail concerning HPL2 engine on the 14th of January 2012 so this prototype must have been created before that. This means the prototype is over a year and half older than the final game and produced almost five months prior to the game was announced. My guess it is the 1st time that the suggestions for the game got some sort of substance.

Right here is a few comparisons amongst the prototype and the final game. Prototype is on the proper (as if you couldn't tell...):

The game opening is in the exact same location, on the porch of the property. There is even nevertheless a chair and small table with a pot next to the front door!

The first key is nonetheless found hidden under an ornament! I believe this is a very neat puzzle as it explains to the player that it is worthwhile to do some added scavenging and acts as a sort of unobtrusive tutorial. So it is not that extraordinary that it stuck so extended. But still, very enjoyable to see this intact.

And right here is the 1st view when getting into the house. It is not visible from the screen, but each versions have paths top both to the left and to the  right, giving the player three various techniques to commence their exploration. Like the important puzzle, there are great causes this stuck, but it is still amazing to see it this comparable.

Taken with each other, the prototype is truly extremely close to the final game.

In case you are not amazed by the similarities in such an old prototype, check how Amnesia looked at the finish of 2008 (a couple of months significantly less than two years just before release):

I also have to note the amazing handy function on this toilet:

If you want to attempt the level out yourself, you can download it from here:
Just extract the file in the "custom_stories" directory in Amnesia: The Dark Descent, start the game, press "Custom Story" and pick and start off "Test Game".

Lastly, if you have not played Gone Residence, do so now! It is a really exclusive and emotional knowledge that is a must for anybody interesting in videogame storytelling. You can get it right here:

Lots of thanks for Steve Gaynor for saving this beautiful slice of history and letting me (and all of you now) attempt it out!

10 Biggest Cruise Ship In The World

Entertainment voyages in passenger ships are now becoming a fast moving trend especially in Caribbean, Europe and Mediterranean side. This trend is now a days catching towards southern America and it is predicted that in couple of years northern America will also start considering cruise travel.The world’s top ten cruises ships with relevant facts and figures are mentioned in this article and get in order with gross tonnage. Gross tonnage is actually calculated by measuring a ships volume.

10: Royal Princess
Royal Princess

This eye catching cruise at the port of Hamilton, Bermuda is owned by ‘Carnival plc’. It was built by ‘Fincantieri’ and was launched on 16th august 2012. It is a royal class cruise with the capacity of 3600 passengers and the weight age of 142,714 GT. With the length of 330 meters and beam of 38 meters this cruise is ranked as the 10th largest cruise in the world.

Gross Tonnage: 141000 GT

9: Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Breakaway
On 30th of April this year, Norwegian Cruise Line launched the 9th biggest cruise on earth. With the weight of 146,600, depth of 8.30 meters, length of 324 meters and beam of 39.7 meters this cruise can carry up to 4500 passengers and 1600 crew. Norwegian Breakaway was built by ‘Meyer Werft’ and it took its first voyage on 30th April 2013. Its speed is 24.7 miles per hour and it contains 1024 staterooms and 238 suits which doubles the comfort level of the passengers.

Gross Tonnage: 146600 GT

8: RMS Queen Mary 2

RMS Queen Mary 2
This beauty was built by ‘STX Europe Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Saint-Nazaire, France’ and its cost was $ 900 million. It is owned by ‘carnival plc’ and was launched on 21st march 2003. It is registered for the port of Hamilton, Bermuda with the capacity of 2620 passengers and 1253 officers and crew. With the length of 345 meters, beam of 41 meters and height of 72 meters this is the 8th largest passenger ship in the world. It is the first passenger ocean liner in the world that is specially designed to run through the oceans.

Gross Tonnage: 148528 GT

7: MS Independence of the Seas

MS Independence of the Seas

Registered of the port of Bahamas, Nassau, Bahamas and is built by Aker Finnyards, Turku, Finland. This $ 828 million cruise is operated by Royal Caribbean International. It is in service since 2008 with the capacity of 4370 passengers and 1360 crew members. Length of 338.95 meters, beam of 56 meters and weight of 154407 are some of its specs. It runs at a speed of 24.9 miles per hour.

Gross Tonnage: 154407 GT

6: MS Liberty of the Seas

MS Liberty of the Seas

Another cruise built by ‘Aker Yards’ and owned by Royal Caribbean International. It costs $ 800 million and is in service since 18th of May 2007. Its speed is 24.9 miles per hour and has the capacity of 3634 passengers and 1300 crew members. It is registered for the port of Nassau, Bahamas. Weight of 154407, Length of 338.91, beam of 56.08 meters and draught of 8.53 meters are some of its important specs.

Gross Tonnage: 154407 GT

5: MS Freedom of the Seas

MS Freedom of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International owns another cruise with same builder and specs. It was laid down In November 2006 with the cost of $ 800 million. It is registered for the port of Nassau, Bahamas. This one also has the capacity of 3634 passengers and 1300 crew members.

Gross Tonnage: 154407 GT

4: Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Epic

Norwegian Cruise Line launched world’s 4th largest cruise in 10th July 2009.STX France Cruise SA, Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard, Saint-Nazaire from France is the builder of this cruise. Its length is 329.45 meters, beam is 40.64 meters, depth is 21.6 meters and weight is 155873 GT. It has the capacity of 4100 passengers and 1708 crew members. Its speed is 25 miles per hour.

Gross Tonnage: 155873 GT

3: Quantum-class cruise ship

Quantum-class cruise ship

Meyer Werft has built an oasis class cruise ship for Royal Caribbean International this time. It is bigger than its past cruise with maximum capacity for passengers of 4905. It will be in service in fall 2014. Some of its important specs are, weight is 167800 GT, and length is 348 meters, beam 41 meters. This will be the third largest cruise in the world just when it will be launched.

Gross Tonnage: 167800 GT

2: MS Oasis of the Seas

MS Oasis of the Seas
Completed in October 2009, this is the oasis class cruise with the capacity of 6296 maximum passengers with 2165 crew members. This is also owned by the Royal Caribbean International and is made of $ 1.4 billion. 361.6 meters of length, 60.5 meters of beam and weight of 225282 GT, all bigger than previous models this stands at number2 in the world’s largest cruise.

Gross Tonnage: 225282 GT

1: MS Allure of the Seas

MS Allure of the Seas

Here we are, with the world’s biggest cruise ship. This is made of 1.2 billion US dollars in 2006 and the owner is again Royal Caribbean International. 6296 passengers and 2384 crew members are the total capacity. Its speed is 26 miles per hour and its tonnage is 225,282 GT. Length of 362 meters, beam of 47 meters height of 72 meters, depth of 22.5 meters and draught of 9.3 meters makes the biggest and the best oasis class cruise in the world. It includes two deck dance hall, theatre with more than thousand seats and an ice skating ring.

Gross Tonnage: 225282 GT