Brugselia - 3D Exploration / Adventure

Bart

WiseBart
Brugselia


Brugselia - a fictional name for a fictional historical city, may or may not refer to Bruocsella
Hi everyone.
Here's the first post on a game that I've been working on on and off for a few years now.
Both code and models have now gotten to a point where I think enough work has been done to show it here on the forums.

The game is being developed in GameMaker Studio 2 and modeling is done in Blender.

Plot
The game takes place at the start of the 17th century in the city of Brugselia.
You play as Charles, a young child who ends up in this city after having been found lost in the fields around Brugselia, exhausted and heavily injured.
He is found by two so-called 'beguines', who take care of him and raise him.
Ten years later, he still lives in Brugselia but strange things start to happen. And it seems like those are only the beginning...

The game world


The Land of Brugselia

The city of Brugselia

The game world is inspired by the historical Duchy of Brabant, or Braecbant in older times.
The duchy's importance is largely due to the success of its two largest cities, Machlines and Brugselia.

The city of Brugselia is inspired by the several historical cities in nowadays' Belgium. Most buildings have been - to an extent - inspired by an actual building. The city itself, however, is an entirely fictional creation.

The prosperous city of Brugselia is the capital of the Land of Brugselia and the second largest city in the Duchy of Braecbant, after the capital Machlines.
Originally, its prosperity was largely due to its port, which is still the largest in the duchy. In more recent times, the Brugselia Exchange and University have become two important places.

Lore
Information on buildings and locations will be provided through lore. Part of the world's lore corresponds to actual history of the real world, part of it doesn't.

Memoires
Most of the background of the city will be told through memoires, which are little pieces of text written down by inhabitants or by travelers passing through. You'll find these everywhere throughout the city.

Mechanics / Features
First of all, this game will be about exploring the city of Brugselia, finding stuff here and there.
Part of the reward should be in discovering new areas and in finding new passages between areas.
The main mechanics are far from final yet, but I do have a couple of basic ideas:
  • Increase the city's value using an idlecraft-like mechanic, start by moving goods to warehouses, later on influence the exchange
  • Lure nearby crowd using the church bells
  • Door and key mechanics, also look through keyholes to look for clues
  • Bar doors and roads to prevent people from passing
  • The 'companion': helps you out later in the game with one of the above mechanics
  • Box2D based physics world
Screenshots
The following screenshots show a few locations that will be in the game.
All screenshots were made in-game.
The Old Market Square

Northern Fields / Outskirts

The Port of Brugselia

The Fish Market

The Beguinage


Back in 2014:

Videos
Below are a couple of videos that show areas of the game world and the attempts to create a suiting atmosphere.
 
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Bart

WiseBart
Here's a first video showing a short walk through a small area of the game world:


The environment will get a few more things in it later on to make it look a bit livelier.
 
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Bart

WiseBart
A few new screenshots taken this week:
Another view on the Northern Fields


The Grand Market Square



The Brugselia Exchange
 
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lolslayer

Member
A shame that nobody responded to you yet, the building models are really nice!

But you really need some shaders there, do you already have a few planned? If not, and you do like to have them, I would love to give a helping hand with them :)
 

Bart

WiseBart
Thanks! Greatly appreciate it :)

I don't have specific shaders for graphical effects yet, but the game is actually already running a few shaders in the background for optimization and for the basic ambient and diffuse lighting that you see. Colors aren't used in any of the vertex formats, only texcoords. Also, the crowd is drawn using a shader so it only takes a single draw call per batch of 16, yet it's not doing skeletal animation, so it's fairly efficient on both the cpu and gpu side. I'm also finalizing the shader for all scenery so it takes a uniform array for all transforms. That will be used for various simple effects, such as moving pulleys up and down, rotating the windmill wicks, ringing church bells and some other stuff that I have in mind.

I fully agree that it could use some shaders.
I'm not that great at effects shaders (lighting in particular) so it'd be great to get help on those, but first I am going to find out how much processing power is left for that kind of thing.
 
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lolslayer

Member
I fully agree that it could use some shaders.
I'm not that great at effects shaders (lighting in particular) so it'd be great to get help on those, but first I am going to find out how much processing power is left for that kind of thing.
Sounds good, if you ever want me to give it a look PM me :)
 

Bart

WiseBart
Thanks again! I'll let you know when I reach that point.
First I'm going to continue the modelling work on the city and getting the basic code stable enough. Also going to try to get each area drawn using a single batch and texture page and add the first basic effects (pulleys, bells, transparent textures).

To conclude for today, here's a last screenshot as viewed from the river:
 
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FROGANUS

Member
cool architecture. reminds me of bruges (having seen 'in bruges' recently) like an overly-nice, but cloudy ominous feeling to it. perhaps its own blend of mysterious atmosphere a-la myst.
 

Bart

WiseBart
cool architecture. reminds me of bruges (having seen 'in bruges' recently) like an overly-nice, but cloudy ominous feeling to it. perhaps its own blend of mysterious atmosphere a-la myst.
Thanks! :)

It is inspired by cities like Bruges, but not really Bruges itself. The name is, though!

I currently can't show new in-game screenshots, since the Blender exporter is being reworked and all models have to be exported again (been making substantial changes to the underlying format).
Instead here's a Blender render of what I've recently been working on (in a spoiler because of the image size):
Southeast Beguinage Entrance with the Palace and the Exchange in the back
 
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Bart

WiseBart
So it's been quite a while since the last update.
Currently I'm reworking all the area models in Blender so that they're properly aligned with the x and y axes and with the surrounding areas.
That's a bit of work, but it will allow the use of very basic shapes, such as boxes, circles and convex polygons for collisions with the environment using the Box2D physics engine (and export those exact shapes directly from Blender).

As a small update, below is a screenshot of an area still in progress: the City Hall Courtyard.
To the right of it is the Brugselia Canal, a side arm of the main river, because of course back in the day, each self-respecting city had a couple of waterways running through it.

The Brugselia Canal next to the City Hall Courtyard and the Prison (the building with the pinnacles)
 
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Bart

WiseBart
Hi all. Another small update on Brugselia.

The first models are working again in GameMaker and now support translucent textures.
Also I added a shader-based skydome that turned out quite well:



Next up will be to animate the things.
 

Bart

WiseBart
The first effects to make the world feel a bit livelier are now working:


I've also been working on the prologue area, which is part of the area outside the city walls, that will be referred to as the 'Brugselian Fields':
 
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Bart

WiseBart
Thanks a lot!

It's been a while since the last post. In the meantime, I've been working on ideas for the story and quests and those are starting to form a somewhat coherent whole.
So not that much to show now, although this week I made quite a bit of progress on the beguinage. It still needs a lot of detail work, though.
The beguinage is quite a large area inside Brugselia where the main character, Charles, spends his first years:



I also made a basic wave shader for the water in the canals. Although it'll need a bit of further tweaking to get the effect right:

 

Bart

WiseBart
Another update on the world's progress.
This time a short video showing the Artist's Garden, located in the southeast part of the city:


The video also includes a first attempt at a background music for the world, although this is still an early work in progress :)
 
I just want to tell you that this is very impressive. I played around with 3D fairly extensively for awhile and it was an interesting journey. I have since decided I want to stay away from it for now, but I entirely appreciate the work you are doing here (especially in GMS).
 

Bart

WiseBart
I just want to tell you that this is very impressive. I played around with 3D fairly extensively for awhile and it was an interesting journey. I have since decided I want to stay away from it for now, but I entirely appreciate the work you are doing here (especially in GMS).
Thanks! I appreciate it!

From a technical standpoint, I think nowadays there are certainly more impressive 3d games/engines being made in GMS.
The game world is quite big in scope, though, however it's getting more manageable by the day :)
 

Bart

WiseBart
So I finally found a bit of time again to continue work on this and added a few more skydome effects:


The area in the video is an early work in progress and is situated in the 'vast Brugselian Fields' which, together with the city itself, make up the entire game world.
 

Bart

WiseBart
Hi all. Another small update on Brugselia again.

I did some programming in GameMaker this time, instead of all the modelling.
A lot of cleaning up in the background. The most important change, however, is a proper separation of GUI and 3D layers in the Room Editor:

Becomes:

This will be used to overlay all the in-game menus, which were in separate rooms up till now:
 

Bart

WiseBart
Its nice and the model its good what you use for the collision and your game for windows only or other platform also
Thank you. I appreciate it!

Collisions aren't working properly at the moment but I decided on using the built-in physics. It makes it easy to handle curved shapes using chain shaped fixtures and different "levels" (streets, water, first floors) can be achieved using collision groups.
It's Windows only right now although I try to optimize where possible to leave other options open.
 

Bart

WiseBart
Hi all. Progress on Brugselia has been slow the last couple of weeks.

In the background I'm reworking many of the building models so that they make use of the underlying mesh library.
This takes a lot of time, but it also gets the look in the entire game world consistent.
For those interested here's how that looks for the ramparts:

As a little update on the GameMaker side, here's what I'm currently working on:
 

Bart

WiseBart
Hi all. A short update on Brugselia again.
Progress is slow but steady.

A huge cleanup of the models is going on behind the scenes. But it is becoming more and more manageable, one area at a time.

The port area is one of those models I cleaned up in the last couple of days.
Here's how that looks now:

 

Bart

WiseBart
Hi all. Here's another quick update on Brugselia.

A lot is going on in the background. Many changes in the project in GMS this week.
I've been adding collision meshes to a couple of area models, did a further cleanup of the models and also cleaned up the code quite a bit.

I also recorded an atmospheric background loop that I may use in the beguinage area:

 
I really like the look so far... it reminds me of Daggerfall (although your game is much better looking)

Hope to play the demo soon!
 

Bart

WiseBart
I really like the look so far... it reminds me of Daggerfall (although your game is much better looking)

Hope to play the demo soon!
Thanks for your interest!

Ah yes, a demo. I've been working a lot behind the scenes to clean up everything.
So some kind of early/'tech' demo may be coming. Once I'm happy with the result.

As a small extra, for those who are curious, I added the world map to the original post :)
 

Bart

WiseBart
Hi all.

Another short update on Brugselia.

I haven't constantly been working on this because of other stuff, but a lot is working again.
Collision masks are working, I started adding door holes that you can look through to find clues

It's not ready yet for a playable demo, but I'd like to show the changes in this recent, longer video:

 

Bart

WiseBart
Please tell me that you have an option to disable the head bobbing
Yeah, I must say that I'm not too sure about that effect yet.
I'll either leave it out or make it a lot more subtle.

It's something I'll consider together with the graphical update in the future.
 
Yeah, I must say that I'm not too sure about that effect yet.
I'll either leave it out or make it a lot more subtle.

It's something I'll consider together with the graphical update in the future.
Daggerfall, which your game has a similar style to, let you toggle the head-bobbing.

That game's head-bobbing is also straight up-down with no tilt like yours has, so just something to consider.
 

Bart

WiseBart
Thanks for the idea! I'll probably do that.
I must say I never played Daggerfall although I downloaded the free version a couple of days ago. It may prove to be a good inspiration for certain things :)

Meanwhile, another short update.
I finally got the diffuse lighting in:


(This area is called the Breezy Outskirts, hence the windmill)

It is one of the many things that I'm currently working on, together with a complete rewrite of the graphics system. Less vertex batches, use of a texture atlas (the built-in texture groups) and proper culling of invisible areas.
And, behind the scenes, an improved workflow.
 

Bart

WiseBart
Hi all.

It's been a while since the last post.

The game has been progressing slowly mainly because of personal life, which hasn't contributed to getting the focus right. Still, quite a bit of work has been done in the meantime.

At the moment I'm not happy enough yet with the result to release something playable.
But I'd like to keep you posted with a couple of new screenshots :)

In the latest version diffuse lighting has been added and the sky gradients have been adjusted to account for that. Overall, the game world now looks a lot brighter, especially during daytime:

Overview of the beguinage


The Northern Fields at dawn
 
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woodsmoke

Member
I like the simple low-poly art style, as long as it is consistent everywhere like this.
Sky box is what I disliked the most GFX-wise. Minecraft-ish clouds would fit so much better imho.
 

Bart

WiseBart
Thanks for your advice.

I must say that the "low-poly art style" is mainly because of my own limitations when it comes to creating the graphics. Consistency is indeed the thing I'm aiming for, to compensate for that.
Almost every model in the game world is made up of the same basic shapes so that should guarantee that.

That's an interesting suggestion about the sky box. I think I understand what you mean: the texture is less grainy than everything else.
I'll see what to do to fix that.
 
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