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Update to Reference Photos

I've moved the reference photos to a faster server and once you login, you can now upload your own images as well as create albums, etc.

Reference Photos

Playas Discussion Forum

Okay, I created a discussion forum to use in whatever way you see fit. Use it to ask questions of each other, myself and Yauger included. In addition to the forum, those of you who are RSS literate, can/should subscribe to this feed so you can be notified when things are added.

Discussion Forum

Like any forum, you'll need to create an account for yourself. I promise you won't get any spam :-)


Video tutorials

If you need a quick Max refresher, or run into problems, I highly recommend THESE free video tutorials. You'll have to register with the site (free), but it's worth it.

Max Character Reference Files

You can download the Max character reference files we talked about yesterday in class HERE. Use these as templates for the character you will create. You can use the existing geometry and push/pull vertices and/or add polys to create your own character. Also, for those of you whose focus is on texturing, the included Photoshop files can be used as a starting point. You will see a .jpg in the directory that locates the UVs used to map the texture image to the model. As the modelers proceed, they will give you a UV texture image, specific to their character, that you can use to locate your work.

Those who are modeling domestic items will also want to download these files. You can use the character as a reference to scale your objects.

Don't forget that you'll need to eventually install the DTS export plugin for Max in order to view the model in-game. Here's an explanation of the Max/DTS modeling, animation and export process: Exporting Shapes From 3D Studio Max: Max2DTS

Mesquite Street Scenarios

Here is an outline that describes a set of scenarios that can be applied to each of the houses. This info will be of use to those who are designing the informational interface, modeling and texturing domestic objects, as well as the video vignetters.

Mesquite Street Scenarios

Playas Reference Photos

Here are some reference photos of Playas and vicinity. These are all 800w, but higher res versions are available if needed:

Playas Reference Photos

(you'll need the login to see them)

Info system

Design and develop an informational system associated with each home. This will entail creating a Flash movie that will pop up during the game when one approaches a house. (TBD what the trigger is) The interface will display an actual photograph of the house and will include meta-info about the past as well as it's future. This info will be fictional, but might relate to the triggers contained within the house. There could be 3 tabs that each show info when selected. One tab might be the photo, the other might be info about the previous occupants, the other might be info about how the house will be used for anti-terrorism training.

9 homes = 9 sets of info.

Priority high.

Video Vignettes

Assuming 9 homes with 1-2 trigger objects in each, we will need from 10-20 video vignettes. These will be embedded in flash movies and loaded into an interface that pops up when triggered in-game. The interface that holds the movie should be tied conceptually to the game environment. For example, say the trigger object is a dilapidated sofa. When the trigger action occurs, an old gold-leaf picture frame pops up and where a painting would be expected, the vignette begins to play.

The vignette should be a 15 to 30 second (max) artistic rendition of a simple concept. The idea is to imagine what life might have been like in this desert suburban environment and communicate that artistically. For example, associated with a television, the vignette might be scenes from around the dinner table intercut with scenes from Mary Tyler Moore (sitcom) and children swinging. Remember that Playas was abandoned in the mid to late 90s, so contemporary material, unless it's unrecognizable as such, won't work.

Some vignettes might be associated with the future use of Playas, instead of everyday scenes from it's past. Images of anti-terrorist training exercises (we have footage of this), politicians, world trade center collapsing and expanding (ie manipulated), etc.

A third strategy is to mix past and future together, but this has to be done carefully to be done well.

Be creative!

Priority high.

Develop Artifical Intelligence

Need to develop the AI of the three primary character types (DHI, Terrorist, Innocent). There are resources at the garagegames .com website. All three characters should flock towards the explorer, though we want to have some control over how aggressively this happens. The DHI should flock most aggressively towards the Terrorist, but occasionally follow and shoot Innocents and The Explorer, as well. The Terrorist can flock towards any character and self detonate (removing other characters from the game). Similar characters can "group." The Innocent should possibly attempt to hide or avoid contact, but might occasionally flock towards the Explorer.

Need to develop self-detonation and bombing behavior as well as shooting.

Priority highest.

Teams Implementation
Understanding AIManager and AIPlayer
Bots and AI

Spawn characters

Develop the spawning of new characters based on the people count sent to Torque by Max/MSP. A "Console function" needs to be written in Torque that will spawn a new character (pseudo-randomly) when called by Max/MSP (via TCP/IP). Included with this might be some logic to control deaths so we don't get overloaded with characters too quickly (before the Explorer is killed).

Some links below. Don't know if they're too old or not, but might get things going in the right direction. Search the garagegames site for others. Be careful how old they are, though. Lots of outdated info there!

Priority high.

Adding your own console methods and functions
Bots and AI