Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy holidays and prosperous new year!

Wish you happy holidays and Prosperous new year, it has been a very busy year with lots of new ideas to test and a lot more work than I was expecting, but finally it is given good results.

I just uploaded a simple video showing up spring vertex functionality and how secondary motion can be achieved easily and it also interacts with cloth fabric vertices at the same time. Most probably the framwork will be ready for prime time by the end of January, and expecting to develop all the juicy stuff for the game after, it was very tedious to animate and adjust parameters while programming but the new framework will make that a thing of the past.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Time to get warmer this winter...isn't it?

It was a very busy week, with many small ideas that finally paid off,  it was a long journey since I started working on the fabric simulator but finally I was able to make it work perfectly, next is  wind and gravity modifiers but hope this will take very little time to implement. Check the latest video showing the fabric simulator in real time at my channel. Don't forget to like it! if you want to get more updates on the next things I have in mind. Almost one video a week this December, a lot of things are getting done every week.

So few lines of code were needed this week to solve the worse physics issues I couldn't fix until something come up to my mind while traveling in the train. The only sad thing is that I won't be able to release Elem3ntz! game before year-end as I was hoping for, but instead I added so many new things into the animation framework but I think it will pay offs in the long term.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Finally enabled texture atlas animation

After so many months, finally I made time to add texture atlas animation clips in the framework, took a few days to complete the user interface and cloning options but now I can easily add texture atlas sprite animation. Check the latest update in my channel

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Animation clips references

I am quite happy today, and very busy, the last few days I've been trying to figure out how to include clips from other animations that I have made to re-use them as building blocks with minor overhead. Finally I can show some of the latest changes in the framework. This weekend I was able to solve this problem, I couldn't figure out an easy way for many months until this weekend and finally an Eureka! moment came, and found a way to run multiple animation clips inside other clips as references, making a lot easier to animate, each included clip can run in infinite loops at different rates or triggered by in-game events. This seems to be a trivial issue if you program the solution for each specific animation but when running multiple ones and trying to batch everything in one mesh it becomes quite complicated to build.

Check the video in my channel

There is still one issue related to cloths and springs, whenever the frameworks runs slowly or is delayed the vertex location can go nuts and jump all the way around, it doesn't happens as long as the game runs smoothly, so I need to implement some special logic to avoid over moving those vertices, not an easy task, but have many more things that I want to finish implementing before releasing the Elem3ntz! game.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What a month for an indie developer...

Had to send my monitor for repair and will take 2 to 3 weeks to get it back, so using a backup monitor for now but it is so small that all my tools do not fit into this screen, anyway not much to complain, but have to be away from the development cycle for a week due to some personal issues so I will have the time to upload the preview movie of the framework after I come back. Crossing fingers to be fine in the next couple of weeks and get back to release the game I've been working on for the past year

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Time goes so fast since my last update!

Wow, I just noticed that it was almost a month since my last update, and a lot progress has been made. Inverse Kinematic is a lot harder to implement in a systematic way, testing and hardcoding bone indexes was quite easy to do and worked fine, but this same method didn't work if I wanted to expand it to the full skeleton, and worse, I had to rewrite the code quite many times to make it usable, just today rewrote the patch rendering logic due to a wrong assumption on how IK will modify the rotation angles, anyway I am quite happy with the results I am having now.

Now most of the basic animation tools are almost ready, and thinking how to implement an easier way to manage so many parameters and made the less number of mistakes, I have been searching for many ways to organize data and how it will be linked but so far I haven't found yet a convincing way to do it. I have many new ideas for my next game, and all the work I've been doing for this game will serve well for the next, even if the next one will be very different than Elem3ntz!. , I promise that I will publish a quick video of the editor by next week.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Mystic Framework

It has been a very busy week but things are getting better with the Mystic Framwork animation system that will power my games. This is the logo for the framework for the XBOX360 and Windows.

the test play will start soon to verify that all modules are working correctly so I can focus later on puzzles and animations for Elem3ntz! game.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Inverse Kinematics...

It has been a very exciting month, decided to take a little break and see what the world has to offer, and end up playing a few games in rush mode so I can continue development quicker, I got attached to FTL (Faster Than Light) and think it is a nice game beat it with most ships but got tired after 6 days of playing it, then moved to TorchLight2 and I wanted to see what's the difference between Diablo3 and Torchlight2, I just rushed through it, and finishing it during the weekend, and it is worth every penny, but I feel I lost a lot of its content by just playing alone and just rushing to the next dungeon or area without reading much, just kill and go to the next star, didn't spent a lot of time trying to find what skill to use or what gear to use , I just kept upgrading as long as the stats were higher. I only played Diablo3 during the Beta and I didn't feel things were right, compare to Torchlight I think things are a little bit better but I do not recall much of it, not many memorable battles, maybe I should have played slowly trying to digest the content... maybe I spent too much time with Diablo2 in the past and T2 just went through a flashback, anyway, finally spent a few days doing XBLIG playtesting of many great Indie games, looking at other's master pieces inspire me to do better.

So, now back to Elem3ntz! and the animation editor, about a month I got stuck trying to find a nice way to implement Inverse Kinematics since I got a lot of trouble trying to animate characters while standing in one place, it is easier if everything is in motion but not so much when you want to pin both legs and balance the body while juggling with hands, finally I figure out how to integrate the IK system developed before the gaming sessions into the animation framework, a video will be uploaded for you to see once I finish updating the UI to enable interactive IK on screen.  I am still wondering what should be the best approach for games under XBOX, I haven't tested yet if the IK solution will run on XBOX360 without using lots of resource, probably I will find out that soon, but at least there is a backup plan for that, the IK solution can be baked easily into keyframes so in both cases the IK solution will still work with good performance.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sometimes I think I should read more but there is no time...isn't it?

I spent many days this week trying to get the XML load/save functionality of scenes and got that working in a very complex way, took me 24 hours this week to make the code to work and still it lacks some functionality around the animation settings and physics, suddenly, something came to my mind and it ticked in my mind thinking why there isn't any solution already build in the XNA framework to handle all this for me instead of me writting thousands of lines of code to format and properly create THE XML file I am looking for.... and in a matter of 2 minutes after thinking I found this:

XmlWriterSettings xmlSettings = new XmlWriterSettings();
xmlSettings.Indent = true;

using (XmlWriter xmlWriter = XmlWriter.Create("testAniPack.xml", xmlSettings))
                IntermediateSerializer.Serialize(xmlWriter , animationPack , null);

may not seem very big, but this replaces the thousands of lines I wrote this week with just 4 lines. Wasted too much time to replicate something that already exists, at least I am glad I found this because the missing part is too complicated to do it manually and the animations are already running very smoothly, hope to be able to show up something very soon once I finish removing all this week's work and replace it by a few more lines of code. At least this made me very happy this weekend so I can work more on the physics portion.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Summer is blazing hot this year and to make the heat even higher some updated pics

Just a few snaps of the editor, the Mystic Framework will power Elem3ntz! game animations, and so far it is working extremelly well, with bones, vertex animation, cloth simulator and other small tricks under the hood.
Mystic Editor

A snap of the work in progress 2D editor, not just simple bones can be added but way more things that I will show up later in a video once I finish the saving/loading code, which will take a few more days to finish. And after that, add the fluid livelike 2d animations into Elem3ntz! game.

This is the wireframe view, basically it works like a 3D tool but designed with specific tools for 2D and each parameter can be independently animated, something I couldn't find in any free solution which is a must for very complex animations. Also includes a 2d scene animator editor for very much complex animation clips.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Animation Composer development

I am quite exited now, made a lot of progress in the past few weeks and seems that the skeleton of the framework is somehow working now, still many things to add but I can show small peek.

Somehow it is becoming easier and easier now to understand where is it going, at least I can do some minor facial animation now with complete control of the textures and deformations, still working in a better time line display since I couldn't find anything that could fit the editor. Will post a video later when I have a complete animation rigged and animated, still is quite difficult at this moment since the preview is not running in real time due to the WPF udates that makes it run slower than 60 FPS, but without it it runs smoothly.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Animation editor

I've been busy trying to improve the character's animations in Elem3ntz! game and became a not so easy task, maybe many of you have seen the UBI Art Framework in action with Rayman's Origins and UBI mentioned that will be open source, so far I waited around 2 years and still no news and no updates from their side, so I gave up waiting for them and I don't have the luxury of time to keep waiting forever, so I decided to make one myself.

So where am I am now? check this picture below

Still far from being a complete solution, and I couldn't see much in UBI framework video, so I make some assumptions and try to find the best way to do animations for games. So basically it will manage patches with UV texturing, probably same as UBI's, and bones. Something I haven't seen before is vertex animation so this framwork supports that, multiple textures per patch, and thinking to add soft body dynamic per vertex, this sounds strange since most of the softbody dynamic solutions do work on the whole solid, but again, this is mainly used to animate 2d patches to add small details, this is not a physics engine , but this can help animate deformations withouth actually having to move tons of bones or vertices to get the desired result, don't look yet at the section in soft body dynamics since is a WIP still.

Now thinking what is best to resolve a trival question, do a patch have bones or do the bones should have patches?,  this is a very hard question to answer by myself yet, 3d packages define meshes and you attach bones to those meshes, in 2d animation it makes sense to have those meshes defined as patches and attach bones to deform the patch, on the other side, you can also have a bone that can deform multiple patches since in 2d as you can imagine it is very likely to have multiple patches not just a single mesh, and get all of them deformed by just a single bone. So probably I will enable a bi-directional relationship between bones and patch's vertices so it can work both ways. Still need to test this solution, wondering how UBI solved this, or maybe I am over-complicating things :) , any way, things are moving slowly lately but making great progress. Elemen3ntz! game is almost completed but I want to deliver better animations for the final product, I don't want it to look like cheap flash animations.

I will post a video of the editor once I complete the bones part, which will take around 2 weeks.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

DBP2012 entry

Just a quick update, this is the link to the DPB2012 game entry of Elemn3ntz!

Monday, June 11, 2012

DBP2012 Elem3ntz! game submitted to the contest

After so many months, finally Elem3ntz! was completed for the Dream Build Play2012 competition, here are some pictures

A link to the teaser trailer of Elem3ntz! game. ( )

and a brief note about the game:

Elem3ntz! is a puzzle game where you combine elements like fire, water, air and earth to make new ones or use them to attack your opponent or defend yourself, combining the elements will give you other abilities like freezing the opponent gameboard, or create lava attacks by using fire and earth for example, you have a wide variety of combinations and each element have 4 levels. Also you can play with your friends in local multiplayer game mode and a puzzle mode with challenges with 100 puzzles to solve.

8 characters to play with, 7 to unlock by finishing each story, 11 elemental affinities to unlock that boost your magic but also make you weaker to some other elements, and 3 extra clothing colors to unlock through puzzle mode. Can you unlock all its secrets?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Just a few more days till DBP2012 deadline

Progress has been steady for the last few months, with almost all the basic levels and characters finished, just adjusting gameplay and finishing the puzzle challenges, will post a video of the game by next week so stay tunned.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Just 77 days left to submit the DBP2012 game entry, but getting closer and closer with each day to a functional beta version.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy April 1st!

Well this is the new character in the game! hope you like it.

Monday, March 19, 2012

not many "graphical" updates yet...

Doing a lot of fixing and debugging a lot of the slowdowns and framerates in the game, but pretty confident most of the most obvious issues have been fixed in the last few weeks and is getting close to a pretty stable build now.

Will post some new pictures and more information of the game in the next few weeks. There are only around 90 days left for the DBP2012 so hoping to have a very stable build by then.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Another year, another competition and the inscription is open now, check Dream Build Play 2012 at

Hope to make it better this year.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Finally weekend!
I can share a picture of the gameboard now. Still element icons are work in progress.


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Another week gone and something more to share
This is another of the in game playable characters, the witch, still work in progress

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Productive week and unknown solutions...

It has been a very productive week so far, struggled trying to make a XNA window fit a windows form, so far I have been unsuccessfull to accomplish that task so I had to load demo window and base on it remove all the unnecessary code and work on the cut scene/background editor, spent 3 days trying to fit the XNA window but after that took me like 3 more days to finish the skeleton and player of my animations, for just a week of work I think the output is pretty decent. Stll no timeline editor like any video editor since I couldn't find any free control for that yet, don't want to waste too much time developing it now. Here is an screenshot of the WIP editor.

Hope this will accelerate the animation process of the cut scenes and sprites in the game. Maybe will post a video of it running XNA animations in realtime while editing, it imports different spritesheets, same as the ones used for the game so I don't have a double work to do, just use the in game player of the editor saving a lot of space and time. Still need to add the audio track so the editor can be used for any other project in the future as well include effects like bloom, motion blur , etc... but that is planned for another game.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Progress and small teaser

Great progress has been made in the last couple of weeks, 40% of the AI has been completed and some progress on the effects and game mechanic. Just a teaser picture of the upcoming game Elem3ntz! below...

Elem3ntz! is a puzzle game where you combine different elements to attack the other player, more details soon.

And of course! this is an Indie game and I hope people to enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New game in progress update

Just a quick update...
The new game is moving slow but smooth, as an update starting 2012 I have something to share, more to come as soon as the UI is polished and gameplay refined, still in very alpha state but just a quick screenshot of the game title...

Hope everyone enjoyed the new year holidays!