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Exit: Sword of Moonlight Archive

25th Anniversary Project

Monday, November 2nd, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: KING'S FIELD II

At https://swordofmoonlight.itch.io/k I’ve published an early demo of my King’s Field II project that’s haunted me for the past half year. At the speed I was able to work I’ve only produced a beginning that comprises my goals for the second demo I promised almost two years ago, to the day. Most the lost time was bound up in developing tools for working with the 3D models and ensuring compatibility with the existing models. This included developing a cross-platform UI system and 3D art package and utilities.

The demo is using a new update to Sword of Moonlight that’s also the subject of this announcement. It includes a number of features that aren’t yet readily accessible to projects, since they’re not fully developed and integrated into the basic tools. In the final month before publishing I found myself working furiously on the control system since it made some interesting leaps at the last moment and I wanted to take it as a sign I should ride that wave in order to use its public visibility to showcase the control system.

Also included is a significant graphical enhancement that grew out of needing to reproduce the PlayStation’s unfiltered colors, that has the effect of reducing ghosting and moire like artifacts. It works by converting the pixel values into physical units and blending before converting back. Most games do this for lighting calculations today but it doesn’t work very well for low-poly models so I’m limiting its use to color blending.

Forum Discussion

Speed of life

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: Frames per second

Today I published a body of work that’s been underway for some weeks. I’m doing a write up since things have been quiet around here in the meantime. I’ve been doing three projects with some overlap, 1 has been my ongoing work on the Sword of Moonlight animation file format, and 2 at some point I realized a simple way to have the animations playback at full speed at 60 frames per second, as opposed to playing out at 30 frames per second, and 3 because of this change numerous other parts of the player software had to be upgraded to double speed at the same time. At the same time I’ve been looking at the model of a human arm that appears when you use your weapon in the games, and how it is positioned on screen, since Sword of Moonlight does it differently from King’s Field. I don’t know if it’s based on Shadow Tower of if it just does it its own way.

All of these things have come to a head keeping me from publishing anything until now. By working on the animation front I’ve been able to refurbish the arm model in order to support changes to how it’s displayed. It’s long been at odds with some extensions. It’s been possible to make an all new arm model, but in this case I’ve been able to take the original and work on it further without disturbing its information content. That’s a milestone in its own right, since it shows it’s now possible to improve on the original animations that are included with Sword of Moonlight’s sample art work and retelling of King’s Field. I wanted to bring the arm up higher and make it larger on screen. I couldn’t do that without editing it to look nice up close.

The arm effect is also upgraded to look nice at 60 frames per second in what was one of the greater challenges I faced. It now has four times as many animation frames. It turns out showing something commonplace moving fast in your face in first-person is hard to do with great efficiency. I’m releasing this work as a patch to the current release this time around. It coincides with a crash fix and I’ve just been dumping patches into this release right now while I work on King’s Field II. I worry about getting swept up in a side project as its deadline draws near.

Forum Discussion

Unleashing monsters

Saturday, May 16th, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: Love thy enemy

It turns out King’s Field II monsters exceed the limit Sword of Moonlight imposes. I feel like the limit doesn’t make much sense, but From Software saw fit to limit it to 128 so-called enemies for a given level in your project’s video game. KFII treats its characters and monsters identically, and caps them at 200 on each of its two-story zones. SOM had a layer system that was disabled before it was published. I’ve since restored it, some time last year I think. It would have allowed each layer to have 128 more monsters, in which case its limit may have been 256 for a two-story level, which would have exceeded KFII’s limit.

When I restored the new layer system I decided to limit it to level geometry, so that layers don’t bring in new elements like monsters. That’s a better system because I imagined layers can be used to tackle the artistic limits of SOM’s grid based level design. I suspect not many game systems use grids any longer, but it’s something I feel is a great strength for SOM. I think there is lost wisdom in many of its anachronisms. By putting monsters on layers it isn’t clear what happens when they cross between layers or if that would even have been possible in the original system that got disabled. By artistic limits, I mean things like, you might want a layer to just be a ceiling for example, so you can have a lower ceiling on some section, or just have the elevation of the ceiling be independent of the floor. If you can’t do that you have great limits in design possibilities since the only other way to do this is to make new tile models for every combination of floor and ceiling. The new layer system can represent many things like a plane of water or mist or fog or just plug holes in the existing tile configuration. Anybody who’s ever worked with SOM runs into these limits.

Continued: Unleashing monsters

Forum Discussion

Making "modeling" software

Sunday, March 29th, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: My Model 3D

For a very long time I’ve pursued a side project of developing art productivity software to support Sword of Moonlight. For many years I’ve worked on developing COLLADA as a format for storing “3D” art for use by game projects.

Since mid-to-early last year I’ve been busy developing an actual application for artists to use in place of popular 3D modeling packages like Blender. That’s taken up most of my time, and I was doing it in preparation to work on my personal game project to port King’s Field II to Sword of Moonlight.

Continued: Making "modeling" software

Forum Discussion

Every part of the controller

Saturday, February 22nd, 2020 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: Ring in the new year!

I’ve been itching to write a post for this blog ever since my last, if not for a subject. If I had staid course I think by now I’d have a release of the 3D modeling software I’ve been developing ever since earlier last year. But I have something better since not long ago I heard from the Moratheia project it’s back on (this was posted sometime earlier, complete with a new image) which shortly put me to work on Sword of Moonlight!

I’ve not put out a new release since mid last year, and hadn’t intended to release this one now after just 2 or 3 weeks except I want to write a blog and publish an unplanned fix for the PlayStation and Xbox trigger buttons I’d rather not sit on.

Continued: Every part of the controller

Forum Discussion

Not dead! King's Field II

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019 by Holy at www.swordofmoonlight.net

Exit: 2019

Damn! it’s been 3 months without an update. I guess I should put something… here.

Continued: Not dead! King's Field II

Forum Discussion


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