Last week I was sure that asking developers to use their favourite modeller or specifically designed tool for creating their scenes, and providing a small converter to the engine’s scene file format would be the best solution to all problems. But then I realised that most of these sorts of editors fall short when it comes to more modern problems like how to test opacity maps (for cut-out type materials) and many other things mostly relating to other funky materials.
What’s worse is even if you set everything up how you want in the 3rd party editor, there is no guarantee that the scene will look as you expect when loaded in Phobius. So to tackle this problem, I decided to resurrect the Pyro project from last year.
Those of you who do not remember, Pyro is scene editor for Phobius I started building last year which got abandoned when Rob and I began work on Genix.
Above is a screenshot of the new version of Pyro, It has taken roughly 6 days so far to build, and is coming together quite nicely. Unlike the previous version of the application, this runs Phobius just like UDK and Unity within a view-port.
The idea is Pyro will act as a test workbench for finalizing scenes. You can import many common types of scene files such as DXS, GLX, OBJ and DAE. Pyro knows how to deal with static light maps as well. Once the scene is loaded, you then have the ability to modify materials, set shaders, tweak lights, and of course explore the scene through the eyes of the engine!
As with anything this complex the job has it’s cost in time, however after only a week (ish) Pyro is starting to feel like the real last jigsaw piece needed to make the dream of finishing Phobius a reality. The application each day is getting more and more stable, and to be honest I really just can’t wait to show you what the end product will look like :)
More updates soon!
Working on a scene with DeleD for the Phobius demo video. Things to notice in this screenshot; DeleD doe not handle opacity so the one window is bright white, water can only be shown as a texture, and the whole scene looks a bit 90s because of a lack of DeleD’s ability to render normal/bump maps and the lighting Phobius provides, in other words this will look a lot better when finished :)
A screenshot of Radius in fabuloso purple theme, phoaaa!
About 10 weeks ago Rob (part founder) unfortunately decided that he wanted to leave the company and follow a different direction in life. I tried as hard as I could to convince him otherwise, but he was firm with his decision.
Anyway although this was a massive blow, I’d like to thank him now for the hard work and support he provided. There have been moments over the last year when we were working as an awesome team, and those memories pose part of the strength I have now to continue without his stead.
So thanks Rob, going to miss you buddy, good luck, and I hope you succeed in finding success for yourself :)
Though this leaves the question of what I have been up to for 10 weeks! well the horrible secret is without Rob, I have had to think fast and switch to ambitions that best fit my own abilities. This means I have moved back to developing 3D games.
If you have been following us on Facebook recently, you would have seen that I have posted footage of a free game we will be releasing at the end of August for the PC called Radius. If you like casual puzzle games, this will definitely be up your street!
Also some exciting news, our in house 3D engine “Phobius” is nearing release candidate, which means we are now edging ever closer to starting development our first ever first person perspective game (which we aim to have ready for the Christmas holidays). I am currently building a test scene to demonstrate the power of the engine, so for photos and videos of my progress, make sure to follow us either via facebook , twitter or this page.
Finally yes we have changed the website again, even with decent security add-ons WordPress was having major problems with spam bots. So to cheer our domain provider up, to make sure the site is down less often, and to give us more incentive to keep the site updated, we’ve moved over to tumblr hooray!
So that’s it! thanks to all of you for having patience with us. We hope you like the new site, and I look forward to showing you more about Phobius.
As WordPress turned out to be an absolute pain in the security hole (the spam attacks we have been getting are crazy), we decided to move over to tumblr to provide status updates instead. Hope you dig it!