Blood Omnicide blog
Big news pack come in the form of diary. Project will use 2d sprites for charactes. Usage of sprites is a temporary solution, 3d models will replace them once they will be done.
December 2009, the beginning
Most of team members are busy passing exams at the university or solving RL problems. Progress is sluggish, we're slowly making models of surrounding, art and other small things, but that's clearly not enough to make a breakthrough: to start working at a new location or gameplay element. To fill a gap in schedule with a usefull work, we're re-arranging goals and tasks. There was: models of enemies and Kain, planned innovations (shield, gameplay alterations etc.), optimal way of landscape creation. The project faces a lack of personnel in models and texures creation.
December 2009, the end
Someone said: "Everything great is simple". In our case the solution is obvious: in order to decrease modellers workload and bring demo version's release closer, we need to use original game's models of Kain and enemies. Those 2D models called sprites. Its a quite difficult thing to do, since sprites format in the original game is not known yet, also combining 2D characters and 3D levels gives a bunch of hard work too, but such approaches is not new - they are worked good in such games as Mageslayer or Take No Prisoners. Usage of sprites will free us from creating models of enemies, and modellers could concentrate on creating levels and models of surrounding. Armed with tis idea, the Blood Omnicide team has entered the year of 2010.
January 2010, the beginning
Most of the sprites idea realisation was a lead programmer's goal. First task is to dig out sprite's format in Blood Omen and find a way to bring them to SPR32, a format that Darkplaces engine can load. Here we strike some luck: using HEX we have mostly investigated the format inners and maked Blood Pill to read and reconvert them on the fly. Second task was to provide technology to render those sprites, it was pretty similar to one used in old sprite games, such like Doom and wasn't hard. To the end of holidays, we have a techdemo of 2D Kain in 3D level. The WiP shot below shows it, additionally it shows a funny 'fake perspective' effect that was added for sprite rendering to give a bit better look for them:
With the appearance of a tech demo, the idea of using games original sprites became solid. We started to fully incorporate monsters and player stuff into the projects code. At the same time, artists and modelers switched to work on location and props. Another good side of using sprites is simplification of 3D models creation: having ready sprite characters inside the game, 3D modelers can easily determine animation sequences. At this moment we are mastering main elements of gaming process: blood feeding, fighting, artifact and spell usage, inventory etc. Usage of sprites is a temporary solution, 3D models will replace them once they will be done.