I’ve been working on several features of Arcana Manor which are starting to add to the magic system. The first is that I re-sized all of my tarot objects (the suits like cups and swords) and placed mount nodes on them so that they can be equipped as weapons in first-person view. I worked […]
To do: put a mount node on each of the four tarot objects so that they can be wielded as weapons Set up a different projectile effect for each object when it is swung/fired as a magical melee weapon Perhaps also a different particle effect that is activated for each item A room with four […]
Well, I finished the polygon modeling portions of the ogre model and embarked on the uv mapping portions. Unfortunately, I’ve discovered that Softimage Mod Tool 7.5 has some quirks that make this process a little more difficult. First, the export as .obj file option has been removed from Mod Tool 7.5, which means that I […]
Here is the complete ogre model, which I finished last night, with all of the polygon modeling steps done. Next comes UV mapping, followed by sculpting, normal map generation, and texturing.
For the last two days, I’ve been working on the ogre tutorial from Antony Ward’s Game Character Development. I went through two iterations of the main modeling portions of the tutorial, which entail building a torso, arms, legs, feet, and a head. The second iteration looks better than the first.
Here is today’s update on Arcana Manor, in the form of a post I made to the ArcaneFX section of the Garagegames forum. The only addendum I have is that after this post I managed to fix most of the object selection problems, thanks to the help of the user named Gibby. They were in […]
It’s been a few days since I’ve updated progress on Arcana Manor because I’ve been intently involved in implementing an important feature: moving platforms. These are moving planes or scaled cubes that players can stand on top of, moving along with the platforms as on an elevator. These moving platforms are important, by definition, to […]
I was happy to discover that WorldCat, a database of online library card catalogs, lists 64 libraries that currently list Quests as part of their collections. The list primarily includes university libraries, with a few community and public libraries for good measure. I’m excited to see that the book is available to an audience of […]
Over the last few days, I’ve been implementing some first-person spells in Arcana Manor, i.e. spells that look good from a first-person perspective, which is not really the format for which ArcaneFX is designed. Gareth Fouche (a Garagegames community member and Torque designer) made a good spell-casting resource that uses projectiles to cast spells–an approach […]
Today, I implemented two new Arcana Manor features that I’ve been wanting and working toward for a while. I now have a rudimentary soundtrack in the form of a looping 30-second clip from Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens. I also managed to fix a melee system that has been broken for a while because of […]
Next Arcana Manor goals for features: Set up a control scheme using the 360 controller This will keep the magic system from becoming too unruly (a collection of chaotic key-presses) and more focused around a set of core mechanics Fix melee system so that the sword can swing more than one time Implement “platforms that […]
Finally, after six months, succeeded in attaching a particle emitter to the cursor. This is the beginning of a gestural magic system, since the player can now trace sigils in the air because the cursor leaves behind a trail of glowing particles (in this case, fire) which look like a will o’ the wisp. Here’s […]
I don’t think about theory much these days, focusing more on creative projects. For the last couple of days I’ve been doing some preparation for my classical myth and media class, which sparked a few theoretical thoughts. Also, I’m continuing to think about magic systems, inspired in part by a podcast ( on which Roger […]
Castlevania: Lords of Shadows (Xbox 360) The Lost Guardian (PS3) Assassin’s Creed 2 (Xbox 360) Dragon Age: Origins (Xbox 360)
As promised, here is a short video of the newest build of Arcana Manor. This build features some experiments with a new spell interface, including a rotating 3d tarot deck and a hexagram gui with jewel buttons that summon magical sigils with spellcasting powers. The player can also shift between first person shooter mode for […]
Finally got the beginnings of an original magic system working. Customized two afx spells to become Call of Cthulhu and Eye of Ra, then linked them to the 3d tarot gui. Figured out how to add an alpha channel to a png so as to make the background transparent. By placing a sigil on a […]
The demon model is progressing. Here are its horns.
After completing the modeling of the Joan of Arc tutorial, I’m now working on a model of an original character in Autodesk Softimage (formerly Softimage XSI). Ron Smith drew some excellent orthogonals (concept sketches that are exactly proportional to each other and can be placed at 90 degree angles to be used as guides for […]
Model the demon using Ron’s orthogonals Write and/or implement new AI scripts to spawn more monsters Download and apply new textures from cg textures (wood especially) Script a telekinesis spell (raise one platform using a transform and/or apply impulse function) Make the hexagram gui connect its points through pressing buttons that switch out bitmaps, preferably […]
Have been working on customizing spells in ArcaneFX, a special effects program for Torque. The process of making spells is essentially advanced scripting, and I’ve managed to modify one existing spell (Light My Fire) to produce a larger and differently colored fire on the ground and the caster’s hands. I’ve also been working on modifying […]
I’ve added these new Features to the most recent build of Arcana Manor: Modified the mission selection gui to go directly to the Arcana Manor mission, along with an appropriate introduction in the loading screen new gui: a hexagram with a colored gem at each point which lights up and makes a sound when the […]
Here are some more intermediate steps in the process of finishing the modeling of Joan of Arc.
I also recently returned to the Joan of Arc tutorial in Softimage, where I finished the modeling portions of the tutorial. Among other features, I added hair, finished the chest armor, added a skirt, a leather corset, and upper arm armor. Here is a screenshot. More will follow displaying the various components of the model.
I’ve been learning to model items, unwrap the uv’s of these 3d objects, then texture these uvs and re-apply them to the mesh. Here is the textured uv mesh of a sword, which readers of Michael Moorcock’s Elric saga as illustrated by Robert Gould will recognize as Stormbringer, the black sword. Here is the uv […]
a GUI (maybe main menu, maybe spell-related) composed of jewels/gems of different shapes and sizes, which light up when selected. I found a set of jewel brushes for GIMP that would make this very feasible to implement.
This is a video of the newest build of Arcana Manor, a 3d action-adventure game about running and jumping through a surreal occult mansion while casting spells based on the tarot and ceremonial magic. This build showcases several new features, including two tarot-based interfaces for spell-casting, spells powered by ArcaneFX, new environments such as a […]
Here are two new 3d models that I made in XSI: one a grimoire, probably the architect’s notebook. The second is a wheel based on the Wheel of Fortune card from the Marseilles deck. I would like to produce one object for each of the major arcana cards.
Overview Each tarot card is a spell. The minor arcana (the suit cards with varying numbers of wands, cups, pentacles, and swords) are low-level alterative, restorative, protective/illusionary, and aggressive spells. Players cast these spells very frequently, and the process of casting them should be quick and addictive. The major arcana (the 22 pictorial cards with […]
The problem: Too many MMO and single-player RPG’s have a repetitive and simplistic magic system in which players press buttons on a tray of icons, watch a series of animations to play throughout casting time, and then wait through the cool-down period before they press the mouse button again. Systems like this are repetitive and […]
Shaun Walsh, an experienced programmer in the process of learning Torque, has graciously agreed to be on the Arcana Manor. Shaun is interested in conceptual code design, i.e. planning out how to implement various features, such how to program a magic system in which the player will trace runes and sigils on the screen to […]
Over the last several weeks, I have implemented several features in TGEA, but many of them are in separate project files, builds, and/or software versions. For this reason, I need to keep a list of these so that they can eventually be combined into one file. 1) Implemented a functional inventory system with associated GUI […]
As promised, here is a new video of a small portion of a level in my game-in-progress, Arcana Manor. I built this level in the Torque Game Engine Advanced, and I made the 3d models of the tarot suits in XSI. I also made many of my own textures in GIMP. I scripted the inventory […]
Arcana Manor also now has a wiki here (http://arcanamanor.wikispaces.com/). The idea of a wiki was suggested to me by my collaborator Ron Smith, as a place for a “centralized control document” so that everybody on the team (and new team members) have access to all design documents, sketches, and inspiring links.
Here are the beginnings of a level in Arcana Manor that I’ve been building in Torque Constructor. This level contains, at the center, a medieval cathedral that I built in Constructor several weeks ago following a tutorial on garagegames. 2) I’ve also made 22 cubes with textures from the major arcana of the Marseilles tarot […]
I’ve heard that describing five minutes of gameplay can often help to crystallize the tone and core mechanic of the game. 5 minutes of gameplay: The player character, Eliza, runs along a crenellated castle battlement and executes a succession of graceful jumps and flips across a massive chasm in the stone, where a glowing red […]