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Character Redesigns–The Captain

7:15 am Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

Captain

The captain took a bit of work, I found I kept gravitating toward a Popeye styled skinny sailor, in the end I went to the complete opposite.

Character Redesigns – Joe

7:13 am Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

Punk

I still need to come up with a better name than Joe, he’s gone punk in defiance of his robotic precision.

Character Redesigns–BrownBot

9:00 pm Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

BrownBot-60s

BrownBot gave me the opportunity to take the new style to the nth degree, stripping back all detail to just a silhouette. I’ve also fitted all the character redesigns with this textured poster frame, they’re starting to come together.

Character Redesigns–Peaches

12:22 pm Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

Peaches

Peaches still needs some simplifying but she’s off to a good start.

Dirchie Kart Now Hosted On IndieDB.com

8:49 pm Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

DirchieKartonIndieDB

I’ve finally managed to get find the Dirchie Kart binaries a new home. My old file host suspended me for too many downloads after I got some exposure on indiegames.com, apparently 20gig in a week is too much!

Anyhow now the binaries and some additional information will be posted over at http://www.indiedb.com/games/dirchie-kart-2.

I’m just ramping back up the development after moving back to Australia, so send in all the feedback you can?

Dirchie Kart 2 Official Beta Testing Begins

1:36 am Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

DKart2Beta

Tonight I’m going to give a quick presentation of Dirchie Kart and invite the local community guys to join in a more official beta test.

Anyone is welcome to join, just go check out the PC version page on this site for the download details.

All you need to do is play the game and if you have a comment or suggestion on something simply click the speech bubble icon in the top right have corner to bring up the feedback submission interface, simply fill in the details and click send.

All submissions are collated at BrownBot.com (hidden from general view), if you include your email address and have a direct comment I’ll do my best to answer you directly.

Thanks for taking the time,I hope you have fun!

New Dirchie Kart Heads Up Display

3:22 am Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

Here’s a sample screen-shot of this weekends work. I’ve been putting the extra performance I gained at the start of the week into moving most of the HUD sprites into 3D objects surrounding the player’s kart.

DirchieKartStreamlinesUI

After the last round of demoing I did at the local game dev community session I realised my game is so intense that most people didn’t see any of the old HUD or on screen hint messages.

My solution is to move all those elements down around your kart so you don’t have to move your eyes away to see the HUD information, in the screen shot you should see:

  • trail of coins you’ve collected (if you’re playing it with the shop enabled).
  • You currently armed weapons floating just behind the kart, the circle reticule indicates the item that will be fired (you still cycle and shoot them with the right stick).
  • Position indicators above the heads of all the players.
  • The speech bubble for control hints and messages (“Yikes, pigs!!!” is telling you the pigs are after you because you’ve just picked up the truffle, that’s the weird blob floating above the players head).

I’ve still got to decide what to do with the heart health indicators, I think I’m almost at the limit of cluttering the screen. Also need to fix up the font on the lap time in the bottom right corner, but that won’t be too hard.

The shop is now completely broken, so that’s the next thing I’ve got to work on, otherwise I’m pretty chuffed with where all this is going!

60 FPS Nirvana…. finally

5:16 am Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

Finally overcame my performance bottle necks this afternoon, I always suspected I wasn’t pushing the Xbox’s GPU that hard with my poly count or texture usage, today I got 4 player split screen running at a solid 60 frames per second. I even did some stress testing an added 10 times the polys (32,000 faces) to the level decoration on the Egypt map and it still ran a 60 FPS.

I adding 3 avatar players dropped 5 FPS, so I think that must be about the limit, still even half that amount is more extra polys than I’ll ever have time to model up in the foreseeable future.

Poos-4

The solution proved to be a combination of GPU batch count and CPU load, which as I found out is directly related. Using the Slimtune profiler I identified a few interesting high frequency calls that quickly yielded considerable decreases in CPU load.

Interestingly setting the pitch variable in an XACT cue was quite an expensive operation every frame so I cut them back to every 10 frames for the engine sounds on the karts.

Another expensive call turned out to be nulling values in the large collision detection arrays, which I didn’t think would cost anything, maybe it was the loops themselves but leaving the references alone (and potentially some garbage in memory) and just resetting the counter was a lot faster.

Cutting down the batch count was mostly done by implementing mesh instancing, which worked really well in my game seeing there’s a reasonably high count the same objects.

A fair bit of work in the end but this extra performance will definitely give me plenty of breathing room to finish it off properly.

New Dirchie Kart Menu System

10:16 pm Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

This week I knocked up some new menu graphics for Dirchie Kart – World Tour, I’ve been focusing on creating a consistent visual style from start the finish and the old menu was obviously not doing it.

NewDirchieKartMenu

Since early this morning I’ve been hammering out the code to get it all working in game, above is a show of the new multiplayer options screen, heaps better than the old one I’m sure you’ll agree.

I still need to come up with a good concept for displaying you general progress through the game modes on the main screen but I’m stoked with how this is looking so far.

The Mad Frenchman

8:48 pm Filed under: Dirchie Kart, XBLIG, XNA

I introduce to you the Mad Frenchman, the observant ones amongst you may notice a striking similarity to the Mad Moorys from the first Dirchie Kart game!

Mad Frenchman

You’ll find these stripy shirted freaks lurking around the base of the Eifel tower.

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