February 27, 2004

Fore!

Duffers is really starting to coalesce. Our target was to get a playable version going by the end of February, and I think we'll have it. I played a complete 9 holes for the first time the other day, and it felt great. We have a lot of things to button up before the world gets to play our little game, but having never been this far into such a big game project, I can't help but be a bit jazzed. I just hope everyone out there likes it.

I'm wondering what the reaction will be. I'm hoping that people don't just pass it off as "just another golf game" or "it looks like [insert golf game]". I don't know of any other golf game that allows 32 simultaneous players on one course.

Of course our real audience is Epic and the rest of the judges for the contest. They are looking for a mod (and team) that has commercial potential. I think Duffers (in it's ultimate form) is that mod.

Posted by mix at 10:23 AM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2004

What's in a name?

Word to the wise: never let a domain name expire. We realized that coil-inc.com was expired, but instead of forking over the $35 bucks to Network Solutions to renew it, I figured I'd save a buck and transfer it to a cheaper registrar. Little did I know that you can't do that. This is after I had paid for the transfer.

So, I waited for the domain to be released from NetSol. And waited. And waited. Months later it finally was released, but before my new registrar could get it (they are based in Asia, you get what you pay for!) another registrar snapped it up. Not wanting to pay whatever they want to get the domain back, we've registered coilgames.com instead.

Some people were confused by the old domain, thinking that because we had "-inc" attached that we were in fact incorporated. That's in the plans, but we aren't yet. Coilgames.com is decent enough. The ironic thing is that the person who owns coil.com lives right here in central Ohio, but refuses to give us the domain, even though it's not actively used.

We've received quite a few favorable comments on the screenshots I put out last week, which is encouraging. I just hope they react as favorably to the actual game.

Posted by mix at 08:01 PM | Comments (0)

February 13, 2004

45 Percent

I had to try this and see what percentage of the U.S. I've visited. Turns out it's 45%. You can easily see my trek to and from California in that map. (I lived there for a while when I worked for GameSpy.)


You may continue your lives.

Posted by mix at 10:06 AM | Comments (0)

February 12, 2004

Hot Duffers Action

I got over my perfectionism (although I'm still cringing a little inside) and posted new screenshots to the Duffers Golf site. A while back, shortly after playing Tiger Woods 2003, I realized that the terrain-based holes we were using at the time were not going to cut it. After much deliberation, I decided to give Static Meshes a try. In the Unreal engine, a static mesh is a simple mesh that resides once in memory, but can be instanced multiple times. It's the fastest way to draw anything in Unreal. Using some fancy UV mapping, I was able to bring nice borders to the fairway, bunkers, and greens. The result is much better, and at times rivals the big boys (in my opinion).

Speaking of Unreal, I downloaded and checked out the new UT2004 demo. In a word: cool. I don't have the greatest system (almost 3 years old) but it ran well, and once I found a decent server, I had a great time playing it. Epic continues to impress. The Onslaught game-mode is a riot. As it's been mentioned elsewhere, Onslaught is essentially Battlefield 1942's Conquest with UT's charm and carnage. The tank is especially fun.

Posted by mix at 04:20 PM | Comments (1)

February 06, 2004

Two to the K to the Four

So these UT2004 videos have me pretty jazzed about the new version. I've played my share of UT, as well as UT2003, but 2k4 looks like a whole new party. Epic (and I'm not trying to kiss up, honest) is one of those rare companies who can create great technology as well as use it to make a fun game. I don't know about the technology part, but I want coil to be known for the FUN™ in its games. I guess we'll just have to wait and see what the public thinks of Duffers.

Speaking of the game, I am still holding out on releasing screenshots until I get the assets to a place I'm confortable with. I made screenshots for the website when we launched, and I cringe at them now, because I don't feel they properly portray the game. They are like Duffers "Lite". The game is coming together, and you can play a hole of golf now (only after over a year of development ;), so the team is gaining momentum. There's still a lot of work to be done, but now that we're all fairly experienced with the Unreal Engine, the hurdles are getting smaller. I can't wait to show people a golf game using an engine primarily designed for first-person shooters. It handles it quite well.

Posted by mix at 10:04 AM | Comments (2)

February 03, 2004

I hate winter

We had a working weekend on Friday-Saturday, and things went fairly well. Working with the Unreal Engine is a dream compared to other engines I've worked with. The more we work with it, the more comfortable we are, and the more we can coax out of it. We were able to figure out how putting in the game is going to work physics-wise, and we're pretty pleased with the results. Our current goal is to have an internal alpha (read: you can actually play golf) by the end of the month. We really need to meet this goal, because if we don't, it basically throws off our whole schedule and we won't hit any of our goals, and seriously jeopardize our chances in the contest. I'd also like to get something playable out to the public so we can be considered for exposition at E3. Epic has announced that they'd like to display top mods at the Nvidia booth, and it would quite possibly be the only way I'd get to go this year. If I don't go, it will be the 3rd year in a row I've missed, and I'm jonesing for my E3 fix.

I promised on the Duffers website that I'd have new screenshots of the course soon. Due to technical difficulties, that's going to have to wait. However, I'm really pleased with how it's coming along, and I think people will be somewhat impressed with how different it looks from any other UT2003 mod.

Posted by mix at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)