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EricChadwick
02-24-2004, 02:31 PM
We're looking to get feedback from game developers and artists.

We have a few videos we put together to show a few of the effects you can do with our system. The videos only show a small subset of the technology at this point, but you may find them interesting, and there's much more to come. We're just at the point where we can show this to a wider audience; maybe generate some more interest among the developers.

Whatif Productions has developed a complete solution for developing 3D real-time (PC and console) games and we are now looking for creative teams to partner with. We are trying to find the ideal partner and game design to best showcase our system’s capabilities. We would be the tech group working directly with an outside group’s creative to ensure the success of the game and full support during production.

You can download the videos here...
http://www.whatif-productions.com/video.htm

GameProcessor Sampler
Shows some of the effects you can do.

Intro to GameProcessor Content Development
Step by step how to create and export a simple interactive setup using 3ds max, to blend materials and shape.

Pre Alpha Art Tools Overview
Step by step how bones and meshes are blended, also an overview of a few of our art tools.

http://www.whatif-productions.com/Images/spec_posm_men_status.jpg (http://www.whatif-productions.com/gallery.htm)

People have asked about the technology behind our blending system... GameProcessor uses a unique system we call possibility mapping.
A possibility map is a multi-dimensional space filled with the poses the artist chooses. Each pose contains a distinct set of characteristics or appearances for the entity. In the case of data from 3ds max, these characteristics may include geometry, materials, UVs, bones, position/rotation/scale, environment maps, special effects, light settings, etc. Other data from outside sources can also be added to the possibility map, including behaviors, sounds, etc.

The space between the poses is where the blending occurs. GameProcessor uses possibility maps to provide a wide range of interaction with the entity, through user input, artificial intelligence, behavioral explanations, etc.

As the entity travels through the possibility map, the pose percentages dynamically adjust, transforming the entity. The poses in the space can be thought of as a point cloud of data, with the possibility map linking these poses together. The shape of the cloud can be tuned by the artist from within 3ds max to create different types of interactivity. One of the strengths of possibility maps is that an artist can express his/her vision without requiring programmer involvement.

The n-dimensional nature of the possibility map allows the artist to arrange how the different attributes are added into the final solution. Unlike the three dimensions of traditional Cartesian space, possibility maps can contain up to 256,000 dimensions. Poses can be placed into separate axes of this space. This allows the user/ai/etc. to choose which axes to move through to create the current state of the entity. Movement through the dimensions of the possibility map and movement through the dimensions of the rendered scene are completely separate, although they can be linked if needed.

Rather than linear interpolation, GameProcessor automatically generates an easecurve between each pose in the possibility space, generating smooth transitions between all poses. Since the ease curve softens the transitions between poses, artists don't need to hack the speed of their animations to cover up jerky motions caused by traditional animation blending in games. Blending in GameProcessor is not limited to triangle borders, it can be masked at the pixel level.

http://www.whatif-productions.com/Images/thumb_2004.02.06_protean_0008.jpg (http://www.whatif-productions.com/Images/2004.02.06_protean_0008.jpg) http://www.whatif-productions.com/Images/thumb_2004.02.06_protean_0010.jpg (http://www.whatif-productions.com/Images/2004.02.06_protean_0010.jpg) http://www.whatif-productions.com/Images/thumb_2004.02.06_protean_0014.jpg (http://www.whatif-productions.com/Images/2004.02.06_protean_0014.jpg)

In the videos you can see a character example with a demon, minotaur, alien, and robot. The possibility map has been created using three axes of poses. Two axes are used for blending vertex shape, materials, UVs, bone weights, etc. The third axis is used to blend bone position/rotation/scale. So in GameToolkit the character can blend between the four characters, and between the four bone animations at the same time.

Additionally, we’re working on an IK-like system for adjusting bones based on collisions, so that for example feet won’t slide when they connect with the floor or when they are climbing an incline or stairs.

I can tell you, as an artist, that it's a lot of fun to play with our system. I can do so much with it, without waiting for others to integrate my work into the interactivity pipeline. I can play with things right away. Very exciting. I can't wait until we have others developing a game with us.

We're pretty excited about what's possible, and we think real-time 3D artists and coders will be interested in the system. We're curious to hear what you think, or if you have any questions.

[edit... same product, new name]

rob-beddall
02-24-2004, 02:42 PM
hey!!

when i click on the link nothing happens.
i can't copy paste it either ??

cheers!!

my comp is acting strange, so i guess your link is probably fine.

EricChadwick
02-24-2004, 03:00 PM
Hmmm. It works here. Anyone else having trouble? Maybe if you open a new browser window first, then cut/paste the link? Or maybe it's a good time for a reboot...

rob-beddall
02-24-2004, 03:05 PM
hey!!

someone had disabled java script on the comp.
dunno if that was it but i enabled and rebooted. works fine now.

some of those things look very cool.
but i'm afraid i'm not an exec of a games company.
just a student doing games design. :)

looks fab to me tho. if that means anything to you. :)

cheers!!

mmhnemo
02-25-2004, 01:21 PM
This looks very promising Posm - great work!
I am not affiliated with a group of developers but if i was i'd certainly like to testdrive this.
Well - if you need a helping hand creating content just drop me a PM.

Gibbz
02-25-2004, 02:10 PM
so your lookign for retail projects not free projects for this?

is that a skybox creation tool btw?

EricChadwick
02-25-2004, 02:22 PM
Thanks for the interest.

GameProcessor isn't a skybox generator per se, although you can use it to setup a pretty advanced skybox with interactivity and behavior. I generally create skybox bitmaps with 3rd-party software like 3ds max, then bring them into GameProcessor to add movement and dynamics.

GameProcessor is a professional system for the development and playback of games. It will initially be introduced as part of the development of a complete game with Whatif providing the tech resources and a partner supplying the creative and design expertise. The system will be licensed to professional game developers at a later date TBD / pricing is TBD. The eventual goal is to streamline the system to make it possible for the “general public” to develop content too.

An artist will eventually be able to make a full game from scratch. Whatif will be involved in the first few productions to ensure the tools and “engines” provide the developer’s “wish list” of features. We do think that programmers will have a role in the professional production process but we are refining the system to allow technically experienced artists to develop games without the requirement of programmers.

Does that help?

[edit... same product, new name]

Gibbz
02-25-2004, 02:23 PM
okay so your trying to put coders out of a job... May the rule of the artist begin!!!!

heh only joking

EricChadwick
02-25-2004, 02:39 PM
Haha, to the contrary. Programmers will definitely have their part.

It seems too often in the current game development workflow that artists and game designers can be hampered by the need for programmers to implement many of their ideas. The programmers have many other interesting tasks on their plates, and usually would prefer to work on game features rather than iteratively implementing art or gameplay assets.

GameProcessor is designed to allow a game designer or artist to quickly create and playtest their own designs. There's a lot of room here for people to create deep interactivity, without having to resort to writing code.

Code has its place though, coders can easily extend the capabilities of the system by designing Enhancers, extensions to the system.

[edit... same product, new name]

bentllama
02-25-2004, 04:31 PM
Looks interesting. I would like to give it a run through at some point.

Please keep posting updates here.

Thanks for sharing...

EricChadwick
02-27-2004, 04:44 PM
You're welcome. We like the feedback and questions. Keep them coming!

We uploaded some recent screenshots in our gallery (http://www.whatif-productions.com/gallery.htm) today. Here is one showing some of the volumetric lighting.

http://www.whatif-productions.com/Images/2004.02.25_sengokuprotean_36.jpg

The spotlight effect is really cool. Fun to play with, a nice volumetric lighting effect. I remember how cool it was in the intro for Half-Life when we got to see some beams of light coming through gaps in a tunnel… but those were hard-edged semi-transparent boxes, amazing at the time but understandably not very realistic. In GameProcessor the effect has soft edges and true volume… it has density as you move through the light beam. You can project any kind of 2D or 3D texture through a light, and it runs very quickly, virtually no impact on performance. A “god rays” kind of effect can easily be done. A caustics effect can also be done very simply, by projecting a looping sequence of images through the light, to get caustic beams that travel through the water onto sea creatures and the sea floor, creating volumetric beams and also casting shadows. Wispy 3D fog can be done, clouds, steam, fire, etc. etc. I was just playing with this on Wednesday, very fun. It's very fast too, using optimized graphics processing for the volume.

[edit... same product, new name]

Ebola0001
02-27-2004, 07:28 PM
hey I have a question as to part of the technology in blending.


can you specify an axis of the possibility map to ONLY affect certain verts... or does it take the whole model and blend it between the points?...


aka one axis could be jaw movement without affecting other parts of the body, or hand/finger movement


or something like that I don't know if I am describing it correctly.


oh other question will there be a demo of this for non developers to play with or will it be only full price development software?

EricChadwick
02-27-2004, 08:55 PM
can you specify an axis of the possibility map to ONLY affect certain verts... or does it take the whole model and blend it between the points?...aka one axis could be jaw movement without affecting other parts of the body, or hand/finger movementYes, through a feature we call Veils. We use veils to combine two or more attributes of a model at the pixel level. Veils work something like the way bitmap masks can be used in image-editing software. The lighter portion of the image controls one attribute, while the darker pixels let another show through, and the intermediate values mix the attributes. Except in our case, the veil controls more than just images… you can mix vertex data (position, normals, bone weights, etc.), materials, UVs, etc. Veils can be pre-created bitmaps, or they can be created dynamically via collisions, lighting, etc.

So, with veils you can mask a particular blendable attribute at the pixel level, and you can place that into any axis or axes you choose (up to 256,000 axes), using any number of attributes you need (up to around 4 billion).

For the demon/minotaur character you see in the videos, we used veils to combine different sets of normal maps… each character has a static normal map for the main body features (musculature, etc.), and a sequence of tiled/looped normal maps for animated bump effects (worms, sweat, pulsing veins, etc.). I must say from an artist’s perspective this is very cool.

The veils can also be slid across the model via UVs, so for example you can “grow” into another character by starting the veil at the character’s fingertips, and sliding the veil UVs up its arm, blending more and more of the other character into the current model. Or you could just keep the veil UVs static, to control just fingers or jaw, as in your example. Multiple veils can be used at once, so you could have multiple independent controls at the same time if you need.

will there be a demo of this for non developers to play with or will it be only full price development software?The current plan is to release GameProcessor as a professional system at full cost. Having said that, there are very good reasons for us to allow non-developers to work with the tools, but as of today the release of the tools for that purpose is TBD.

Thanks for the good questions. If I didn’t answer them well enough, let me know… some of this can be difficult to describe.

[edit... same product, new name]

nuke
02-27-2004, 09:28 PM
Looks interesting! Any support for Maya?

EricChadwick
02-27-2004, 09:56 PM
Glad you like it.

For now we have a 3ds max exporter, but it can be converted to work with other 3d packages. In the short-term it depends on the developer we will be working with. If they use a particular 3d software, we will work with them to support it. For the long term, other software support is TBD.

Steyn
02-28-2004, 08:12 AM
wow, can't wait to see a game from that.

EvoG
02-28-2004, 08:47 AM
Hmmm, I read through and watched all I could stand to in one sitting, but I didn't really see or read about the 'gameplay' implementation, other than the ultra-vague 'Explanations' explanation. Lots of graphics stuff, but nothing descibing any ease of designing interaction.

Are you aiming for Quest3D or Virtools Dev in concept?

Cheers

PetterSundnes
02-28-2004, 12:07 PM
Looks interesting, but I also wonder if it will be something in the direction of Virtools or 3D Game Studio? If so, I am very interested if the pricing is right :)

atenyotkin
02-29-2004, 09:33 AM
The Toolkit looks very powerful. Obviously with game-engines like Unreal, Lithtech, or Q3A even experienced programmers have to take a few months just to figure out what's what. It looks like Game Toolkit eliminates having to go through that process. From what I understand, once this SDK is complete and you're ready to make a game, you don't release the source code, is this right? It's just a set of tools, but only your developers update source code as necessary, correct? I don't think this will be a problem, because I think this software would be most perfect for beginner developers (first few titles.) It's understandable that most first time game developers would rather spend the time focusing on the actual content of the game, rather than constantly imrpoving the engine. It's difficult to find experienced graphics, AI, Physics, networking programmers when you're making that first or second game anyway, so I guess you guys help to eliminate that by providing a powerful tool all ready.

Now, my main question is how far along is your company with the development of the Game Toolkit? Also, what will be the licensing options if that's available at this point? Is it possible to license parts of the SDK that best suits a certain project? Additionally, so far I've only seen geometry morphing (which is awesome,) but are there any additional tools to help and create the levels, or some kind of an entity/AI editor? Or is all of that done in Max, and then exported into Game Toolkit format via Max Scripts? I'd like to know once this software is complete, what can a company expect when they purchase a license? Exactly what would come with it?

Now, I think that's enough questions for now :-) I understand that you may not have answers for all, and may not be allowed to answer some of the questions at this point in time too... so that's why I asked a bunch. I do like this idea very much. So far it sounds like a great substitude for the 3D Game Studio... which works for some, but IMHO is not very powerful or intuitive (user friendly.) I think the most important factor for this product will be the cost. Lithtech Jupiter, for example, is around 10K per person, so it makes it very flexible and affordable to smaller companies, but at the same time offers great graphics, physics, etc. just like Unreal or Q3A (we don't need to mention how much those cost.)

Anyway, before I start telling you how to do your job, I'd just like to tell you that I'm really looking forward to the first game developed with your SDK!

Awesome job!




Aleksandr Tenyotkin
Lead Artist, Riga Studios

EricChadwick
03-01-2004, 10:39 PM
Thanks for the questions!

(paraphrased…) How does GameToolkit compare to Quest3D, Virtools Dev, 3D Game Studio? This one is a little difficult to answer. GameProcessor is really a new paradigm for the creation of interactive content, it can’t accurately be compared to existing systems. There's some more information on our website that might help illuminate this... start with the links on this page:
http://www.whatif-productions.com/game_toolkit.htm

(paraphrased…) How is interaction designed? What are Explanations?Explanations are Whatif's approach to 'simulating' events in a game-world as time passes. They encompass character behaviors, game logic, user interface rules, A.I. decision making, collision-events, mathematical equation solving, sensory formulas (what-to-draw/hear/smell/etc.), and anything else that is simulated.
You can find a lot more about Explanations here...
http://www.whatif-productions.com/explanations.htm

How far along is your company with the development of the Game Toolkit?We've been working on the system for eight years and we're ready right now to partner with a creative team to work on our first production.

Are there any additional tools to help and create the levels, or some kind of an entity/AI editor? Or is all of that done in Max, and then exported into Game Toolkit format via Max Scripts?The tools in 3ds max are preliminary at this point, enough to get started. It is our intention to work with the creative group we partner with to develop a full set of game creation tools that fit our common production goals. We aim to only integrate tools into third-party art-content software (like max) where it makes sense to do so. Standalone tools are also being developed as part of the GameProcessor system. We've integrated a few tools inside 3ds max because they naturally make the artists’ jobs easier... and these tools have been designed from the start to be converted to work with other 3d packages, as needed.

source code? possible to license parts of the SDK? What can a company expect when they purchase a license?A licensing opportunity won't be available until our first game is released, but you can expect GameProcessor to contain tools consistent with a AAA game development product. GameProcessor will be released as a full game development system.

I hope this helps answer your questions. It's a pretty exciting time for us, being able to share some of the information about the interesting things we've been working on.

atenyotkin
03-01-2004, 11:45 PM
Posm, thanks for taking the time to reply to some of our questions--it helped to get a better understanding of the software, and also the scope of this project.

I have a few more questions, but this time they have nothing to do with your product, but instead the game you want to develop...

Do you all ready have a developer that you're going to be working with on the first game? From what I understood that's a "no," but just want to make sure.

If no, then what kind of a game developer are you looking for? What is the general criteria?

If someone would like to work with you to produce the first game using this SDK, who's story will it be? Will you want to go ahead and develop a certain type of game, or will the developer have total freedom over the project?

When does the production start?

I have a large team of experienced developers that would love to join Whatif to create a truly AAA Title using Game Toolkit. If you are interested in our services, what is the best way to contact you?

Thank you.



Aleksandr Tenyotkin
Lead Artist, Riga Studios

spineless
03-01-2004, 11:56 PM
Sounds like a really interesting product. Do you have any idea on how much a licence fee will be?

EvoG
03-02-2004, 12:09 AM
No offense Posm, but you didn't really say anything new, just links to the same stuff we(at least I) had questions about...mainly...HOW do you author with your system? Virtools uses linked behaviours, Quest3D uses linked channels, and Director3D uses lingo(scripting). So far everything on the site has been vague and conceptual. You demonstrate well enough some of art implementation, but nothing no how to make stuff interactive. Looks cool, but at least I would love some 'meat'.

Here's something specific : Explain in some reasonable detail how you would load a character (with animations) and make him walk with the keyboard and look around with the mouse(typical 3rd person control). Am I coding with some higher level scripting language like Java, or am I linking channel nodes together? Be as technical as you like, but relate it to something game related and useful.

Cheers

EricChadwick
03-03-2004, 11:00 PM
Sorry I've been leaving you in the dark for a couple days here. I'm not avoiding you... we're in crunch mode right now for a deadline, and I wanted to make sure I gave you decent answers, instead of just firing off something short. Hopefully tomorrow I can post good answers for you.

Migs
03-04-2004, 07:42 PM
I think this is a pretty cool looking game toolkit, and I wish you the best of success with it.

EricChadwick
03-06-2004, 08:57 PM
what is the best way to contact you?Thanks for the offer Aleksandr! Here's our contact page...
http://www.whatif-productions.com/contact.htm

Do you have any idea on how much a licence fee will be?You probably missed it but here's what I posted earlier... "The system will
be licensed to professional game developers at a later date TBD /
pricing is TBD. The eventual goal is to streamline the system to make it
possible for the “general public” to develop content too."

No offense Posm, but ... You demonstrate well enough some of art implementation, but nothing no how to make stuff interactive.Heheh, no problem, no offense taken. Sorry it has taken so long to get back to you, but we've been real busy, and I wanted to get the chief architect of the system to explain it properly. Here's what he has to say... I hope this helps.

"EXPlanations" are Whatif's underlying model for simulating an experience inside of a computer, such as a concrete historical recreation, a gritty fictional adventure or an abstract artistic expression. Whatever the setting, EXPlanations allow you to do what today's video games, scientific software, and military training simulators do using the traditional software techniques of programming code to work with data, as done in C++, Java, or Python.

Architecturally, EXPlanations were designed to avoid some of the frustrating limits of the traditional software approach, such as:
1) the cost in time and engineering skills to implement ideas that can be readily described in words or pictures,
2) the inability to easily assimilate distinct proprietary code/data_models into a pre-existing system,
3) the inflexible relationships between the fixed data models and fixed programming code of most of today's languages.

Our goal was to encourage experimentation and make it easy to use content (things, behaviors, concepts) from other sources that might be applicable to your current project. This means that content from very different worlds, very different perspectives can be shared, tweaked or even used as a starting point for further development. Whether its a realistic, highly physically accurate science exploration of Dinosaurs with darwinian survival instincts, metabolisms and temperatures or the campy yet heroic action of 1950s B-movie Dinosaurs with blood&guts, evil rampages, and sinister yet consitently dramatic timing, or a child's fun & cartoony journey with Dinosaurs with talking, singing, and playful rolling of googily eyes, each simulation's Dinosaur can co-exist in the same place at the same time.

However, each Dinosaur is simulated according to its own subjective reality with all of the concepts that EXPlain what happens as time passes. More significantly, it is possible for each Dinosaur to share, translate, analyze and learn from each other's concepts and EXPlanations. Perhaps that seems like a ridiculous example, but the goal is to encourage experimentation and to shorten the timespan to get complex simulations implemented and modified/tuned to the desired result. By being able to trade, filter and assimilate these EXPlanation 'granules' of simulation, we have a set of building blocks that doesn't need to be thrown out, created from scratch, or significantly altered for every shifted project need, computing platform, or new project. This approach permits organic, living software that can grow and shrink over time according to its goals.

So how are they created?

Well EXPlanations can be created in many different ways, depending on your needs and what tool is used. This approach is similar to Microsoft's goals with .NET and the theoretical potential of the Java JVM. EXPlanations can be created in the same way that many of today's programming languages allow you to write in plain text, drag'n'drop icons into a graph, plug values into a GUI, or select radio buttons from 'Wizard' applications that walk you through choices. EXPlanations are created using tools written in other EXPlanations. Thus you can type or use Speech-Recognition to write plain text inside of an EXPlanation tool that parses this text from simplified English commands, Perl, C++, Flash, or BASIC into valid EXPlanations. You could use a different tool that works with simple drop-down menus, complex 2d icon graphs, or rich 3d word stacks with containers & bridges. You can mix, match, and grow the tools in the same way as any other creature being simulated. However, as of today, our implementation of tools is rather minimal and exists as a specialized LISP-like language built for internal development. We will get to the aforementioned tools as soon as we are able. Right now, we are creating tools that are specific to creating EXPlanations for a particular genre of video game.

Currently our demo-EXPlanations can be read in a simplified-English Command format. Some examples would be:

1) Calculate_My_Total_Strength
*Consider my_weight in kg's.
*Considermy_muscle_density in percentage.
*My_Total_Strength in strength_power_units = my_weight * my_muscle_density

2) Stalk_My_Target

*Consider this_target's distance to me.
*Consider my_threshold for near_and_far distances of a_target.
*If this_target's distance is less_than my_threshold's near_distance,
then consider my_current_plan and change_it_to Avoid_My_Target
*If this_target's distance is greater_than my_threshold's far_distance,
then consider my_current_plan and change_it_to Chase_My_Target
*Consider this_target's Interesting_Factor in percentage
*If Interesting_Factor is less_than 40%
then consider my_current_plan and change_it_to
Wander_And_Find_New_Target

3) Basketball_Visual_Sensations
*Consider Sphere_Shape in Geometry
*Consider Basketball_Diffuse_Colors in Color
*Consider Basketball_Layout in Map_Wrapping
*Consider Basketball_Bumps in Elevations
*Consider Basketball_Diffuse_Colors in Color
*Consider Ball_Age in Intensity
*Consider My_Tint in Color
*Consider Rubber_Shine
*Consider Corporate_Logo
*Consider Ball_Age
*Consider Print_Smearing
*Consider Logo_Wrapping_1972

Visual_Sensations =
Sphere_Shape
coated with
( (Basketball_Diffuse_Colors* My_Tint + Rubber_Shine decayed_by Ball_Age ) scaled by Basketball_Bumps ) using Basketball_Layout
and
coated with
( Corporate_Logo filtered by Print_Smearing decayed_by Ball_Age) using Logo_Wrapping_1972

Hopefully the three examples above give you a sense of the minimal level of simplified English that we accomodate. As programmers, we use abbreviations for everything that shrinks this to a more reader-friendly style. The above translations are working with 'Concepts' such as Weight, Kg, Ball_Age, Intensity, and Chase_My_Target that are all previously defined before this EXPlanation was written. Each of those concepts may have individually-specific answers for the particular entity (object) that is 'EXPlained' with this EXPlanation or it may rely on generic default answers or group-specific answers.

This means that unlike traditional C++ or Java code, the actual 'EXPlanation code' can change itself overtime in response to feedback/learning, or the introduction of new data structures such as a different model for a Character's strength vs. muscle vs. toughness, analytical vs. memory vs. observation pathfinding techniques, means to represent an emotion (happy as a percentage vs. joyful as a set of tokens vs. delight as a location in a 4d emotional spatial-map).

Despite the tools used to create an EXPlanation, it is always stored in the same format. Thus, the same EXPlanation can always be viewed in any of the tools that read them so that programmers, artists, designers, fanatics, and casual folks can all examine the same piece of content with tools that they are comfortable with and into a level of detail that they understand. It should be noted however, that an EXPlanation created in a drag'n'drop graph tool might not appear as clear or accessible when viewed in a simplified English command tool.

The EXPlanation formula is a 'tokenized, compressed, and encrypted' stream of symbols. It actually executes and modifies itself always in a compressed and encrypted state as well. This 'stream of symbols' is best thought of as tiny programs and data that are used to create 'service requests' to Whatif's service-provider 'Dors' program on any applicable computer-platforms (WinXP, PS2, Palm OS). Each EXPlanation request is parsed, compiled into 'processor&data-friendly' assembly code for optimal speed/size, and cached for future reuse. This allows us to operate independently across many computers today and into the future. It was particularly architected for massively parallel machines and the ability to use the cycles of other machines on nearby or distant networks.

EXPlanations of symbol streams contain formulas that 'explain' what to do to simulate something, such as adding two concepts together to get a third one. If those two concepts are a number, the result will be another number. If those two concepts are images, the result will be a composite of both. The results of any formula depends on the concepts used and is always well defined by the definitions and of the actual concepts. If those two concepts each include a number and an image, the composited resulting image will be scaled by the numbers.

If the two concepts are other EXPlanations that describe how to evaluate another creature's appeal, they will be mixed together.

For example, we may 'add' the Stalk_My_Target EXPlanation from above with the below...

Evaluate_Creature's_Appeal (abbreviated version)
"Consider the creature's size compared to mine as a ratio number and consider the speed at which it is approaching me in 6 levels from 'very slow' to 'very fast', then consider if the ratio number or the speed token are 'greater-than' my fear-threshold of a 2:1 ratio or a 'fast' level then decrease the creature's Appeal by 200 units and check again in 1 second"

When they are mixed the concept of Appeal may interpret and resolve itself as an Interesting_Factor in percentages, which was considered at the end of Stalk_My_Target. Thus the Appeal value will now be influencing how long a target_creature is stalked and change the behavior of whomever is EXPlained with this mix.

The formulas that are used can contain other formulas and are able to easily accomodate deep complexity while still being navigatable and comprehensible by its author. In all cases, we've made certain we can represent any expression of today's functional, procedural and mathematical programming languages so that simulations can be as robust or as artistically abstract as the author's goal.

This writing probably raises more questions than answers but it was meant to give a generic sense of what EXPlanations were designed to do, including the power to self-modify its rules and information dynamically. There is much to clarify that is better demonstrated than it is written, but the Whatif team is focused on building those tools and demonstrations as quickly and efficiently as we can. We thank you for your interest in the visual aspects that we have shared so far and look forward to revealing more in the future.

amola2k
03-20-2004, 09:02 PM
ooo
looks very interesting
thanks for posting this !
cheers

DonMeck
03-30-2004, 09:38 AM
posm/eric, EvoG,

I am slowly understanding the whole concept and it's really interesting. I can see that some stuff is existing things described with other words, but because its looking from a different view-angle - a differen metaphor.

Beside your graphics/game engine, you introduce a new fusion of ai and behaviour : ai driven behaviour - using weightmaps.

(Behaviour is programmcode that acts on the data given - like a state-machine. In OO design these behaviours are bound to objects, thus allow reuseing, aggregation etc.)

I can really see that this is a next level/step of realizing the behviour of objects/characters. Nothing that cannot be done with existing techonolgies, but you give right from the beginning the architecture, framework and tools to do so. Nice!

I've now been working with the Virtools-Technology for some years now - EvoG, you know me in it's forum under the nickname 'dom'. It's first aim was to give tools for non-programmers to create interactive content, but using the oo approach of behaviours, proposing a bigger range of ready-to-use components. But it's clear, thats the full power of the technology could not be used without SDK programming. It has hacnged since they introduced a script-language with borader access to the core technology.

But - it's very important to understand - although all the programms EvoG mentioned director, Virtools, Quest3D (where Virtools is really a different league) - there's significant differentce about implementing behviours. And thats the concept behind the architecture AND the tools delivered with. Well beside the core technology, of course.

Well lets trash director, because it's really low-quality. Lets compare Quest3D and Virtools: there's a big difference in concept which leads to a big difference for time-to-market. Virtools has a much higher data- abstraction, and offeres difference in represaentation. This leads to eaiser reading of 'behaviour-graphs' and quicker implementation. In Quest3D everything is a channel - no difference between data-types, and data-types and behaviour. It's a big difference, and thats why i don't switched to Quest3D - same for many other Virtools users.

Although Virtools is quite unique with its technology and it says to be a rapid-development tool - its not always true ... or to be more exact, you certainly will be faster thant starting without any framework etc. but in certain cases you need to code/modify a lot of components using the SDK/the scripting language. Additionally the workflow for integrating characters and character animation is not very flexible and it lacks tools for troubbleshooting.


Posm, explained that they are now looking for professionals wich will help them to develop a good, streamlined workslow/production-pipeline. And thats a very important aspect - some developers nowadays tend to say thats even getting the most important aspect. GameDev is iterative - a good streamlined dev-cycle (modelling/animation package <-> real-time framework <-> other tools) is important, because it's getting more and more the bottleneck.


So to resume, whatif show an impressing technolgy and a new concept of creating interaction. They are now focussing on they production-pipeline ... I guess we need to wait until they finished that, in order to see how flexible and fast (which is really the key) one can be using their tool.

I whish you the best. Too said that i am not in a prof. gameDev company. I'd love to test and critzise it ;P :D


So, changing topic a bit:
I am impressed by the mesh/material morphing. I've an idea how this can be done using modern tech - but its certainly with a big overhead - thus not the way you are doing it: rendering both states in different renderTargets and then blending it using a 2d mask into the frame-buffer.

Looks like the animation morphing is like vertex-morph8ing but on a per-object/bone basis instead per-vertex. I guess you need to define quite a lot of states to have a walkcycle? Or did get something wrong?

Btw. you still need mirroring in Verty? I've no time ... but maybe i can take some ;)

cya, till next time (I am not watching forums that often anymore :| )
Dom

EvoG
03-30-2004, 10:45 AM
HEY DOM! :)

Well see, my problem was about the vague specifics. I don't want to read about theory and concept, I want to see execution of something applicable, as I mentioned in my previous post, before I can appreciate how it works or what it is. So far, I see a modeling/shader type dealie with a scripting language but nothing related to visual interactivity creation. This another SDK more or less? I'm interested in authoring(being an artist).

Hell I'm always open to something new, but show me something tangible.

Cheers

PetterSundnes
03-30-2004, 10:48 AM
DonMeck: You are right about Director being totally inferior to Virtools, but then again Director costs 1200 US$ and not 5000 US$ pr module as Virtools does. I look at Director as a good all-round application for interactive media, and prototyping, with simple 3D capabilities. It's definately not a good game engine, but very good to learn how to do interactive 3D in general. Good realtime graphics is also more down to texturing than anything else (like radiosity based shadowmaps++). Check out this demo me and a friend has made with 3DS and Director:
http://illustrata.no/

The new pixel shaders in Virtools looks really impressive. Wish I had that kind of control in Director... :)

I look forward to see what GameToolKit will end up like.

DonMeck
03-30-2004, 11:49 AM
Hey all,

I just watch the pre-alpha tools video, and clarifies some things up for me. (I hate to be forced to install the media player :| ;) )

But first to the other posts:

@EvoG,
yes I understand your aspect, but its not soo theorectical. It missing some info about the content creation. But we have the max tools in the above mentioned video, with an introduction about the possi-maps and a vague idea of how behaviours are scripted (with speech-to-text wow! :) ). Maybe it's explained in the other videos - but i cant remember their content. Don't forget that they are still working on it - alpha state i guess - or pre-alpha?

And i think there might be a misunderstanding - i don't think that whatif is aming for the same market like Virtools, although Virtools is more and more aiming in direction of the high-segement of the market.
Maybe one can compare it more with Tools like coppermine, which looks like really having a great production pipeline. Btw. it's the same price tag like jupiter (i think). Compared with the features and the cost of needed Virtools add-ons - it's the same price-range like Virtools. Something one can think about ;)

@petterms,
don't worry I can see that director has its own markt segement and royality free distribution makes it interesting for agenties etc. But you cannot produce high-quality in a short time with i it, i believe. API is very limited and Lingo really sucks! Dunno if its easier to work with the new JavaScript integration.
Yes you demo looks nice - baked light solutions. With that I can even make VRML stuff looking great :)
The floor reflection, is it an engine feature or mirror geometry?

@posm,
you know that i once wrote a complete export suite with tools etc. Some things you have are similar to stuff i did. Like the quick export function. Actually i did it a bit different. Every export setting is stored within the 3ds max scene (using persitent vars). A dialog allows modifications. So calling quick export does not rely on hard-wired/coded params within the macro scripts. Additionally your batch export could rely on that. You should consider that change in your scripts. Another option would be to think in temrs of 'projects' and to have config-files per project, so several scenes share same settings. Same for your executable choice option. I also did quick launch or combined execeution shortcuts/buttons - like 'export und open in 3dengine' or 'execute and open in editor'. These settings can also be stored in a scene or gloabally in config files, easily.

It's good (especially for debugging) to have all these log-outputs. But from experience thats not enough. It may take a lot of time to go trough of them and find errors. Based on you know-how what can go wrong, you should add 'inspector'-like applications/tools that parse and analyse the log. Thats faster and easier for developers. Moreover I would create scripts, that verify integrity of the scene and advise the artist/content creator what should be corrected.
With Virtools I had a lot of troubble exporting my character an my animations, as i went a different way than the usal way. It also creates warning etc, but they did not warn me about many issues = time costly debugging.
Especially all the info you know about mirrored bones, mirrored geometrey etc. Thats something that can be checked and should be included as inspector-script or so. You know how long this takes to figure out etc. :)

I know see that the morphing of poses (la bit like the ani-pose script i used - is it from Grant? ), need of course something you 'called' parallelism - which means the same structure but different attributes. So forget my comment about render-targets ;)

EricChadwick
03-30-2004, 04:26 PM
Looks like the animation morphing is like vertex-morph8ing but on a per-object/bone basis instead per-vertex. I guess you need to define quite a lot of states to have a walkcycle? If you're using bones, then you just lay out note keys to "capture" as many poses as you wish. If you're using morph targets, then you'd need a great deal of poses for a walk cycle... not recommended, since it's a terrible waste of GPU/CPU cycles. But hey, if your hardware can take it, by all means feel free to do so.

Blending between poses can be per-bone, per-mesh, per-material-ingredient, per-behavior, etc., even per-vertex. You can use pixels to control blending, so blending can be on a per-pixel basis. Well, depending on if the hardware supports it, otherwise it may be per-vertex. This content-adjusting-to-hardware is automatically managed by the system, since it is hardware-agnostic, and at the same time hardware-aware.

You can have contact-based pixel generation, to control blending. So for example you could slice into a character's arm and see the muscle tissue and eventually bone, and even slice all the way through. Where the sword contacts skin, "mask" pixels would start to be generated, which would blend in the "gore" model. You can use as many "levels" as you like, and as brighter mask pixels are generated by the contact, more levels would be blended into that spot. Does that make sense? Think of Resident Evil, with contact-specific damage. Or slicing bread. Or cutting an apple. We're working on samples to show this off...

Btw. you still need mirroring in Verty? I've no time ... but maybe i can take some ;) Mirroring isn't all that necessary, there are ways around it. What I would love to see is some refinements for the Insert New Verts function. It gets the vertex order perfect, but I wish it would give a better position for the new vert, perhaps an average of its neighbors, or even better... an approximation of the Source vert's position, relative to its neighbors. While I'm making requests... :) I would love to see UV and material ID and smoothing group info created for the new vert as well. Perhaps just copy this info from the source vert? Or maybe average from surrounding verts in the target mesh? Verty is great, thanks for sharing it.

I want to see execution of something applicable, as I mentioned in my previous post, before I can appreciate how it works or what it is. So far, I see a modeling/shader type dealie with a scripting language but nothing related to visual interactivity creation. This another SDK more or less? I'm interested in authoring(being an artist).We're working on it! It's not just an SDK, it's a whole system. Some of the tools are primitive right now, enough to demonstrate with, but we have a lot more ideas and tools in development. We're keenly interested in creating tools for the creation of interactivity, since we feel this is one of the real strengths of GameProcessor. As soon as we have something to share, believe me we will share it.

Check out this demo me and a friend has made with 3DS and Director: Hey petterms, that's cool. It's amazing what good lightmaps can do. I like the reflection in the hardwood floor too. I wish there was something more up those stairs...

calling quick export does not rely on hard-wired/coded params within the macro scripts. Well, like the video says, the tools are pre-alpha. So these are preliminary tools at best, the quickest route for us to get functionality until we can start full tools production... soon! I like the persistent vars idea. Right now we save an ini file using the same dir and filename as the max file. Then anytime the exporter sees the two files together, it can use the settings stored in the ini (or you can override). But the ini files will probably be replaced too, we'll see.

The quick export tools I don't use anymore, they're just quickie one-offs, will certainly be replaced by better tools. The one we do continue to use is the Mass Exporter, for auto-exporting reams of test content, which we do anytime the exporter code is updated, to easily check for any possible errors.

you should add 'inspector'-like applications/tools Yes, that's the idea once we get to full tools production. Additionally, we're continually updating the Opoc specification document, currently about 120 pages or so, as we develop the format and the tools. This contains a large amount of information about each feature you can export from max (and other tools not yet created)... what is supported, what isn't, pitfalls to avoid, etc. I haven't seen this kind of document for very many other tools, especially not for interactive apps. It takes a lot of work to develop and maintain... but ultimately it is worth every minute.

I know see that the morphing of poses (la bit like the ani-pose script i used - is it from Grant? ), need of course something you 'called' parallelism In GameProcessor (new name, same product), "parallelism" is only needed when blending between two or more separate skeletons. It isn't needed if you are blending poses for a single character... if so then you just animate as you normally would, then "capture" however many keyframes/poses you want to use (by laying down note keys), and GameProcessor will blend between them to create animation or interaction. Really pretty simple.

But if you have two separate character models, each with their own bones, and you want them to blend, then parallelism is needed... the same bones need to be assigned per vert. Also actually pretty simple, the tool does a good job of preserving vert weights.

Morphing is really not an apt term for what we're doing, since the blending is a bit more complex. We use Akima splines to connect all the poses, so the space between them can be as curved or as linear as you wish. Curvature can distort both time and space between the poses, adjusting the way that the posm network is traversed. Very cool stuff.

Well, I could go on and on. But please do ask more questions if you have them, and I'll do my best to answer them.

BTW, I haven't tried Ani Pose, but here's the page...
http://www.chuggnut.com/scripts/anipose/anipose.htm

SIGIL
03-30-2004, 05:32 PM
Pardon my ignorance, this post may or may not be response worthy...

From what I have read I think I most understand EVoG's perspective, but this could easily be attributed to my utter lack of programming knowledge. To me this is all greek, but I get the feeling that is not the intent of the project. I kind of get the idea that what Whatif is trying to do is to offer something that would allow someone like me ( NO programming skill or knowledge ) to produce a game from the toolset built-ins and an Art generation package like 3Dsmax, Maya, and so on..... However due to my lack of comprehension of, or the omission / complication of details in the explanation, I do not see how this product offers me the ability to do so.... Am I correct in the assumption that the intent of this is to offer a kind of Game world Sandbox where in the artist focuses totally on creativity within the confines of the Sandbox itself rather than having to go out and get the sand to fill the box with?




Anyway. I am wondering; What exactly is Whatif looking for in a " creative team to partner with " in the creation of a game project?

Are you looking for a team of artists, a team of designers? Would Whatif be interested in a Designer/ 3D Artist / Writer individual with an original well developed IP and preliminary game design document?

If so what materials do you require for review and consideration?


Thank you for your time and good luck with the venture I am very intrigued by this and will be looking forward to further development.

EricChadwick
03-30-2004, 05:54 PM
All posts are response-worthy! ;) I think a dialogue is always good.

...intent of this is to offer a kind of Game world Sandbox... That's the eventual goal, except not confined to only game-type content. At present, we're working to develop tools for a particular genre of game (RPG), to ultimately fit the needs of an experienced team of game development creatives. This development period will allow us to expand the toolset and features in order to eventually make the system easily-accessible to non-developers. We'd like to see the day when people can create interactive content without heaps of technical knowledge... although of course with any tool, be it a wood chisel or a software package, what you bring to it determines the quality of the output. We can create a very ergonomic handle, give it a laser-guided cutting system, etc., but it is up to the user to make something beautiful with it.

However for now the focus is on a particular niche (game development), which ultimately makes the most sense, from a tools perspective. Thus, some "Greek" is needed right now, to communicate with our intended audience. ;)

What exactly is Whatif looking for in a " creative team to partner with " in the creation of a game project? We're looking for a full game development creative team with experience on AAA titles. Unfortunately, a team of one wouldn't be able to complete all the assets for a high-end game title in a reasonable amount of time. But if you have a team and are interested, please don't hesitate to contact us...
http://www.whatif-productions.com/contact.htm

Having said that, we would definitely consider a well-developed IP on its own, and work to find a creative team to develop it. Please contact us.

Thanks for the post.

SIGIL
03-30-2004, 09:24 PM
We're looking for a full game development creative team with experience on AAA titles. Unfortunately, a team of one wouldn't be able to complete all the assets for a high-end game title in a reasonable amount of time. But if you have a team and are interested, please don't hesitate to contact us...


I had assumed that you guys ARE looking for a full fledged team of artists, but I just wanted to clarify....

Having said that, we would definitely consider a well-developed IP on its own, and work to find a creative team to develop it. Please contact us.

Will do. I have an IP that I have been working on in some form or another for about 10 years....

DonMeck
03-31-2004, 12:08 AM
If you're using bones, then you just lay out note keys to "capture" as many poses as you wish. If you're using morph targets, then you'd need a great deal of poses for a walk cycle... not recommended, since it's a terrible waste of GPU/CPU cycles. But hey, if your hardware can take it, by all means feel free to do so.


sorry, misunderstood of expression. When i was speaking of morphing, I did not speak ofr per-vertex morphing, but more of th concept of the transition from a source value/param to a target value/param. So like key-to-key interpolation. Naturally with the possibility of using interpoaltion functions for non-linear transitions.


his content-adjusting-to-hardware is automatically managed by the system


That's great.


You can have contact-based pixel generation, to control blending. So for example you could slice into a character's arm and see the muscle tissue and eventually bone, and even slice all the way through. Where the sword contacts skin, "mask" pixels would start to be generated, which would blend in the "gore" model. You can use as many "levels" as you like, and as brighter mask pixels are generated by the contact, more levels would be blended into that spot. Does that make sense? Think of Resident Evil, with contact-specific damage. Or slicing bread. Or cutting an apple. We're working on samples to show this off...


Sounds great. Unfortunally i've never played that game. Does it exist for PC also? I hate console-pads! *Grr*
Sounds also like the technique I made up earlier in the thread - didn't know that this already exits. Great!


but I wish it would give a better position for the new vert, perhaps an average of its neighbors, or even better... an approximation of the Source vert's position, relative to its neighbors.


Actually that was already implemented, as you might have seen with 'inerpolate pos'. It does take the pos of the neighboors and uses the middle. But it doesn't work.
Maybe with max6 there now new maxscript tools for inserting things on the surface - which would be a better concept. So perfect invisible alignment could be the result. Dunno, any ideas?


I would love to see UV and material ID and smoothing group info created for the new vert as well. Perhaps just copy this info from the source vert?


Yeah - these maxscripts functions were broken in max4. Time for an update ;)


but ultimately it is worth every minute.


And a lot of fun i guess. :-)


I haven't tried Ani Pose,


It's slow, but a very util tool! Some of the stuff where one wonder why discreet doesn't offer it within the core.

It's very handy for skin-weighting! You can changes poses without leaving the sub-mode of the skin-modifier ... it really speed up the procedure! No leaving the skin-modifer, choosing a handle (or how i did it before, with a swap object script), change pose, back into skin, adjust, back to handles, adjust pose, back to skin and so forth. Or no need of working with the timeline.


I kind of get the idea that what Whatif is trying to do is to offer something that would allow someone like me ( NO programming skill or knowledge ) to produce a game from the toolset built-ins


Well, they never claimed that. Only said, that the artist of a gameDev team can do more without the help of the programmers.


eric,
what about UI interface creation (widgets). I can see you got some stuff there. Reuseable?

EricChadwick
03-31-2004, 02:26 PM
Think of Resident Evil, with contact-specific damage. The technique I'm describing doesn't exist in that game, I was just citing it as an example of how the genre could be taken further with GameProcessor. We can give location-specific damage, with wholly-artist-controlled damage states/transitions. Think of a future hack-and-slash game where you can really do visible --and unique-- damage to the zombies, based on where your weapon hits them, and how hard it hits. Even which side if the weapon... the flat of a blade vs. the sharp edge vs. the point.

Violent gaming is really just an easy example though, it could be used for more interesting things, perhaps carving ice sculptures, or using a chainsaw to carve a totem pole. Just thinking here...

It does take the pos of the neighboors and uses the middle. But it doesn't work. Sorry, not sure where to go with Verty from here. I don't have max6, still in 5.1. I would think the average would work, but that's probably a lot more math than I can handle!

It's very handy for skin-weighting! You should check out Skin Or Die (http://mitglied.lycos.de/bogi1976/)... it has posable functions too, plus some other great skin tools.


would allow someone like me ( NO programming skill or knowledge ) to produce a game from the toolset built-ins Actually that is not far off from the eventual goal, it just isn't the immediate one. We do want to make content-creation more universally accessible... we just need to focus on a particular market at present, to help flesh out the tools, and show what the system is capable of.

what about UI interface creation (widgets). I can see you got some stuff there. Reuseable? I'm not sure what you're referring to here. We have some icons we made for the maxscripts, and we have a preliminary UI in the runtime... but the UI is still very early in its development.

SIGIL
03-31-2004, 10:27 PM
The technique I'm describing doesn't exist in that game, I was just citing it as an example of how the genre could be taken further with GameProcessor. We can give location-specific damage, with wholly-artist-controlled damage states/transitions. Think of a future hack-and-slash game where you can really do visible --and unique-- damage to the zombies, based on where your weapon hits them, and how hard it hits. Even which side if the weapon... the flat of a blade vs. the sharp edge vs. the point.

Okay I do not know how I missed that earlier but that is exactly the kind of thing I have been looking for in an engine.... THAT is probably the most intriguing thing I have read about this engine so far. I would think that something like that should be demonstrated as a key feature..... It relates directly to gameplay possibilities and at the same time evokes a lot of imagination... Not to mention I cannot think of any other tech demo that shows anything like that.

EricChadwick
04-07-2004, 02:32 PM
I would think that something like that should be demonstrated as a key feature We're working on it! We haven't developed art tools yet to exploit this feature, although I've seen it work with "programmer art."

Btw, we are presenting a live public demonstration of our software in the Boston area next Tuesday evening, April 13. If you're in the area, it would be a great opportunity to see our technology in person.
http://www.bostonpostmortem.org/

bupaje
04-23-2004, 06:01 AM
This is really impressive stuff. I'm looking forward to seeing more -won't bug you about pricing.... only hope I can at least test drive it as a demo or maybe something like ZBrush does with a functional and useful but feature limited product. In fact this is one of those products -like ZBrush- that I like because it doesn't try to duplicate functionality but really sets a trend -and the fact that it is 'artist friendly' is great as while not an idiot I find myself just using the level design and graphic related portions of game development products as that where my inetrests and major ability lay.

Keep updating this thread, cats out of the bag anyway and I already posted a few links to your preview page on forums I frequent. Very cool..

bupaje
04-28-2004, 09:12 PM
@Eric - I was reading your description on this future feature "We can give location-specific damage, with wholly-artist-controlled damage states/transitions. Think of a future hack-and-slash game where you can really do visible --and unique-- damage to the zombies, based on where your weapon hits them, and how hard it hits. Even which side if the weapon... the flat of a blade vs. the sharp edge vs. the point."

It reminded me of a suggestion I had made for a texture design tool some time back. I had been tossing ideas with someone who makes 3ds max plugins and thought it would be good to be able to create a model of a medieval castle door for example and be able to select axes, swords, fire, bullets etc and scar the door and be able to export the texture with any maps. If people could define tools like hammers, chisel etc and how the material reacts as far as hardness etc it could be a good way to make some interactive texture design -for example create a plaster wall, add several layers -burned, rotted, wires and pipes etc and then use your tools/weapons to 'sculpt' it realistically and export your texture. Figure it would be easier to create more 3D looking 2D textures than by standard 2D drawing programs or even easier than trying to model all those layers by pushing verts etc

EricChadwick
04-28-2004, 10:28 PM
define tools like hammers, chisel etc and how the material reacts as far as hardness etc This is intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

One of the difficulties with this approach would be defining all the material properties for your various surfaces. For accurate breakage you'd want to define the physical attributes for your surfaces... mass, fragility, elasticity, roughness, susceptibility to fire, etc. Also the physical properties for each of your weapons/tools. Then you'd need a system that took all those into account and produced accurate physics, break patterns, particulation, wear, burn effects, etc. As of yet, this is not a trivial task.

Interestingly enough, the idea you've presented is very much in line with the original inspiration for the GameProcessor system architecture. It has always been our goal to provide the type of interactive creation you're describing. We don't have the tools for all this, as of today, in our system. But this "accurate surface material" technology is one of the features we're working on. It is a more distant goal of ours, but like the slicing technology I mentioned it is working in our system already. We just need to develop the tools to make it accessible.

One of the goals will be to simplify the material-assignment process, to allow quick attribute-creation, probably through a system of presets that can be tweaked as needed. There's a lot more about this technology I can't share just yet, but it allows precisely the kind of interactivity you're describing. I've seen a preliminary version of this in action already, very intriguing.

At present GameProcessor already lets the artist combine textures in materials to create complex surfaces, which can then be combined with variations to create some very interesting interactive surfaces. More info to come soon…

Thanks for sharing the ideas. I feel that we're at an exciting crossroads in interactive graphics, things are just starting to heat up.

Let me know if you have any other thoughts.

EricChadwick
11-19-2004, 04:18 PM
Just an update to let you know we have more video content (http://www.whatif-productions.com/video.htm) available on our website.

There are more blending examples, some sample gameplay from recent small game demos, many short videos showcasing different applications, plus some new tutorial movies showing our content-creation methods. More of the latter are on the way, that will cover how we setup bones, use materials, blend UVs, create artist-controlled interactivity, etc.

There are also recent screenshots in the gallery (http://www.whatif-productions.com/gallery.htm).

More documentation (http://www.whatif-productions.com/gameprocessor.htm) is available as well. In particular it should give you some idea of the depth of what's already incorporated into the system. For example, tons of Concepts that have been designed so far.

There's so many exciting things we're working on that I wish I could share right now. Well, when it's ready... when it's ready...

blankslatejoe
11-20-2004, 05:19 AM
holy cow guys... those videos have some awesome stuff going on. Impressive!

EricChadwick
09-14-2005, 10:17 PM
A new video has been added to our website, showing our most recent project:
http://www.whatif-productions.com/video.htm

You can download the actual game here:
http://nte.navy.com

You can see some of the assets from it in this recent CGTalk thread...
Game Art from NTE: Strike and Retrieve *warning big images
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=274096&page=1

blankslatejoe
09-14-2005, 10:43 PM
welllll heyyy! what a coincidence.. look who last posted a year ago here...

heh. small world, eric.

EricChadwick
09-14-2005, 10:47 PM
Tell me about it! Big grin on my old face.

DonMeck
09-14-2005, 11:24 PM
Looks great, Eric! How many people worked on that for how much time? I like the models and textures that has been made for this. Does the POSM concept play a significant role in that production? [ Watched the video, but i am too lazy to sign up a navy account so they can track my stats ;) .... ]

EricChadwick
09-15-2005, 06:26 PM
Thanks Don!

The production lasted six months. Whatif contributed a team of nine developers, plus there were a number of advertising and Navy people as well.

Posms were used for variation in the terrain shapes, dynamic-opening of the lava vents, transformation of the monster-fish from rocky camoflage into bright-colored attack, and to create all the other animations in the game. Plus they were used for other behavior-driven effects, like changing the lighting color for damage and powerups, blending different AI behaviors, etc.

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