Monday, January 28, 2013

MFZ in 3D!

Whilst I'm not working on the Unity LDraw renderer:

So, one of my passions is 3D. I love watching movies in 3D. I mean, I really, really like 3D movies. A lot. Did I mention I like 3D?

Now, I'm not a fan of gimmicky 3d. The occasional arrow, rocket, what-have-you, that I can deal long as it makes sense. No, what I really love about 3D is the sense of depth. And one thing that I'd really like to do, eventually, is take things like family portraits in 3D and make lenticular prints of them. You know how you read in sci-fi about so-and-so having a hologram of their family or whatnot? That's what I'm shooting for :)

Anywho, that all being said, I think it'd be freaking awesome to take 3D pictures of frames for Mobile Frame Zero. And with that in mind, I present you with this. And the results of my simple test with my wife's hand mirror: (for cross-eyed viewing)

Friday, January 25, 2013

And so it begins

Heads up: As I have an extended weekend, I plan to start work on the LDR parser/importer for Unity. If I get it working, I'll upload a web demo. It'll just be showing off a pre-loaded LDR file, but an LDR file nonetheless.

EDIT: Okay, looking into the file format some more...this could turn out to be a massive pain the arse -.- Turns out, at least as I read it, that there are not actual models, per se, of the parts that are then referenced...nope, it's a pure CAD file format. Which on the one hand is great...but on the other hand means I get to deal with procedural geometry.

No biggie though. I've got some snippets somewhere that create procedural geometry in Unity. Probably won't get finished this weekend (I have a date with Red vs Blue Season 9 and Borderlands 2 while my wife is out of town), but work will progress.

The other method, referenced model files, would have made life oh-so-simple. "Place such-and-such a model at point XYZ with rotation/scale matrix A." But this will let me, IFF needed, to optimize mesh creation and keep vertices at a minimum. (Note the IFF. Seriously, take note of it, this will only happen if things slow way the kark down in-game)

Friday, January 18, 2013

MFZ, a better way to play?

So, I've been involved in the Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack community for quite a while under the nick XGundam05. And It. Is. Awesome.

I've seen some folks talking about using Maptool to play games over the internet, and I thought to myself "that's neat, but there's got to be a better way." Well, there isn't. At least...not yet.

I'm going to try to work on something. Something wonderful. Something that will quite possibly melt my brain. I'm going to try to create a multi-player client for playing MFZ over the internet...with actual custom models, in 3D.

How you ask? The core of this is going to be creating a loader for LDraw files within Unity3d. This *should* be somewhat straight-forward-ish, as it will mostly be a parser and component creator. The parts library will either be included, or a required download. Probably part of it.

The other core bit of it will be a company management system...but I already have the DB schema for that setup. It'll just require a few changes.

I'm not going to promise anything, but I will try to post regular updates* on my progress.

Wish me luck as I try to bring "I DO TO YOU KNOW ENORMOUS HURT!" into beautiful, network-enabled 3D.

* I'm still (sadly at the age of 24) finishing out my degree and working full time as a software developer, so free time is a prime commodity.