.:Welcome to Below and Beneath Blog page:.

0020. Vespec

Well - that's it. Finally we found some first-semester students to draw us some concept arts of Vespec, our soon-to-be main character. Vespecs vertices are in the making, and Felteds fate ist sealed. Here is an early picture for you!
As you see, even some minor details like clothing-rims are modeled. That's because I really don't expect the normalmaps anymore. A shame. On the other hand, I got permission to use more bones and way more polygons than I used for Felted. Yay.

Jochen - Friday, 11 May 2007 @ 17:00:42
0019. Story time
Story time

Well, it’s story time again…
Today I’m gonna tell you a story about a truck driver!
No, I changed my mind. I’m gonna talk about GEZ!
Well, this morning I was watching the news and then suddenly I was smashed with this:
They want to raise the television charge – Are they kidding me?!
Well I think I have to explain that to non-German people:
We have some TV channels here that do not have commercials, that means, we have to pay a kind of a TV tax, more or less € 34,00 – the Radio tax is also included in this money.
Well, I would not have anything against that if we had a chance to choose to or not to pay – I mean, if I want to watch these channels I pay them, if I don’t, I don’t.
But no friends, it is not like that – we have to pay it either we watch them or not – I think I once heard something about a thing called democracy...
Let me put a example here to make my point clearer:
Lets suppose you go to the backer shop at the corner and you want to buy a piece of strawberry pie that costs € 1.20.
You ask the blond haired girl that works behind the counter to give the pie and you handle her €1.20. She looks at you and says:
-“Oh, I’m sorry but you own me €3.20, you have to pay the cornbread too!”.
Then you go:
-“HUHNNN! Cornbread, I don’t want that, just gimme the pie!”
She answers:
-“That doesn’t matter, I don’t even care if you take the cornbread with you or not, but you have to pay for it anyway!!”

Got it?
Why should I pay for something I do not want to have!?!?

Paulo - Wednesday, 02 May 2007 @ 16:18:52
0018. My Very First Post

Hello Everybody!
It’s Timon and this is my very first post here. I’ve joined the team as the game designer about three weeks ago and all I can say about this project so far is just: “Wow! There’s still so much to do and we’ve only three months left…“
I’m also responsible for all sound and music stuff and this game doens’t make any ’beep’ yet. Fortunatelly I’m brimming with energy and eager to do everything that needs to be done to get this game some serious gameplay and an immersive soundtrack. Look forward to my work, folks!
So – what did I actually do the last couple of days? I put my hands and my sharp nails on the holy game design document – the source of evil - and got a better picture of what this game once was meant to be. I also asked my team what they think the game should be. I gathered first ideas of gameplay-elements that – regarding our time frame - still could make it into the final game and composed the bare, unaccompanied main-theme of the game (which is still a secret for other members of my team). So – things are starting to get rolling. But the road ahead of us is a rough one. Good luck, Dripstone!

Timon - Thursday, 26 April 2007 @ 14:06:53
0017. Nothing ... aaaaaand ... nothing ^_^

So after the last hard criticism we changed a few things. Because of that I will have a lot of work in this semester: ...
A completely new maincharacter and some of the old animations have to be animated again.

But at the moment I'm waiting for the new models and playing WoW.

Matthaeus - Wednesday, 18 April 2007 @ 12:01:35
0016. New Guy in Town
New Guy in Town

Hello everybody and welcome to an all new issue of the Below & Beneath blog.

Our fourth and last semester started last week and we gradually gain momentum in working for "Below & Beneath" again. I didn't ask my fellow team members how they feel about it - but privately: for me the first days after the holidays were unproductive. Plain and simple: unproductive. And - man - I hate that. When I tell you that we "gradually gain momentum" I mean that I came back to school last week and was still stuck in a holiday pace. You know... when you feel like relaxing, doing this and that. Doing everything but working hard.

I recovered from that. I feel better now. /me is productive.

Maybe you've noticed this blog post's headline telling you something about a new guy in town. Well, telling you at least that there is a new guy. Timon Felix Glatt joined our team and took responsibility for sound and game design. Timon will - I'm quite sure of that - introduce himself in one of the upcoming blog posts. I'll leave it at that and won't spoil the details of what he's doing for the project. Stay tuned for sound and game design news!

Besides Timon there's another new guy in town. Figuratively. During the past weeks and months you've read about our main character Felted, some of his enemies, his adventures and whatnot. So let me use this issue of our blog to remind you people of another character. We've kept you waiting for news about him for ages.

Right out of production I'm able to present you a screenshot of him. Some time ago I've posted the concept sketch that this so-called four-legged Nyctalus is based upon. But first things first! If you didn't have a look at the image to the right yet do so now. Have a look. I'll wait here. ... Alright, now that you have an idea of how the real 3d model looks let's get you up-to-date.

He is ready to be stuck into our game engine and ready to start running around among the two-legged Nyctalus and our main character Felted. Quality-wise we raised the bar of what makes it into the engine and what doesn't. We tweak the four-legged Nyctalus' model and then hand him over directly to the animation department (= Matthaeus). Especially during the next issues of the Below & Beneath blog you can expect updates on how this beast is doing.

From me that's it for today.

Bye for now,


Sven - Thursday, 12 April 2007 @ 23:42:12
0015. A new demo...

A little bit late but finally I got it. In the next few days you will get an overview about what we have done this semester. Yes, we recognized that the old demo on our web site doesn't work. The Vision Engine key file became outdated. (If you want to see the old demo as well, you can change your system clock to 2006.) That's why we will place a new demo on our web server. You should have a graphic card with at least shader 2.0 support to play it. We also have a problem with the frame rate, but I think we will cope with it during the next semester.

During the last weeks we saw our projekt become much more complex. Because of time issues we couldn't rewrite parts of the old program. But we implemented it in our new code. That's why we can use our inventory system as it was before. Paulo has worked on the path finding, which is not 100% ready, but sufficient to show the game.

My intention was to insert a small part of the combat system. I worked on physics to detect collisions between enemy and Felted's weapons. We also put one of our new monsters to the cave. It won't attack you, but you can defeat it. ;)

Oh, I forgot to mention that we are now on holiday. So happy holidays to everyone out there!

Matthias - Saturday, 03 March 2007 @ 11:16:29
0014. Update, finally

Shame on me, no updates in such a long time! But anyways, at least I have been busy creating eyecandy :D
So, now what the hell did I do all that time? Simple: make a new level!
During this semester, the job of making a new map was assigned to me, with enough time allocated for it to make it pretty. This time we took an entirely different approach than with the 3-day rush job I did for the games-convention. Started out with a concept layout of the entire map, each area designed to serve a specific function (for example, a zoned-off combat area on the far side of the map). Afterwards, I setup the model and made a bunch of new textures, which turned out so well, that they eventually replaced the old ones we had on our caves, making them look much better, even.
Finally, it was all about scattering tons of hand-placed prop items in world and setting up a light-configuration, and of course, refining aforementioned in the process.
So now, at the semester end, the map can almost be called complete, save for a few minor tweaks which still have to be done, but they are a job for the next semester.
Also, we will work on shaders in our 4th semester, making our props look more interesting, rather than the plain normal-map-and-color setup we use now (props to Trinigy for not including a specular-map shader btw).

So.. what else? oh! holidays! :D
You heard correctly, the semester holidays are incoming, and Ill be sure to enjoy them. So, this is my last blog entry for about a month and a half, I shall see you again in april :)

Stefan Biermann - Wednesday, 21 February 2007 @ 10:47:09
0013. color-texture, attendence and my holidays.
color-texture, attendence and my holidays.

Matthaeus continued animating, Stefan modeled a great Level. Sven did the four-legged monster. I did some texturing for the bipedal monster. I really wanted to try this in ZBrush. But I didn't manage to start until the end of the winter holidays. So there was no time to get into this whole "colorpainting-with-zbrush"-thing. Ended up using Photoshop again. Damn.
You know one of the good things about our team? Our team is here. While only one or two of the other artists usualy are present, all "dripstone"-artists use to turn up every day. See the foto, 'cause there we are: Matthaeus, Sven, Stefan in the first row, me standing, and in the second row just one lonly cowbo.. eh, member of "Red Horizon".
Anything else to tell? Well, I didn't do any ice-skating in the holidays like Paulo did. Instead I spend houres tramping from Berlin to Kulmbach, Kulmbach to Berlin, Berlin to Munich and Munich to Berlin. Created and animated an avatar for a friend of mine (he wanted a Linux Pinguin meddling with a computer), and tried myself on a 3d-model of "zebragirl", a web-comic-character by Joe England. She's got a tail and sometimes she's got wings, so she would be a nice rig to show in a portfolio. But well. As school started again, "Below and Beneath" comes first.
See ya!

Jochen Winkler - Thursday, 11 January 2007 @ 12:14:05
0012. Ice ice baby
Ice ice baby

Hi, it’s me again with a new chapter of whatever...
We were in holydays, winter holydays, and I went ice skating with my friends Peter and Tina ( Kristina ).
It was so really cool!
It was not the first time I was on ice skates, but the second one.
The first time was in Rio de Janeiro, for a couple of years ago. They built an ice skate ring thing in a shopping mal and well, I spend some of my time, making acquaintance with the ice there :(
This time was not so terrible – I just felt 1 1/2 times.
You would ask: How come you’d fall 1 1/2 times? That’s simple, the first time, I would say, it was in the first 15 minutes I was skating, I realized I was to fast for a guy with my skating abilities, so I decided to make a turn to slow down a little bit – you know what I mean – put your feet apart pointing away from you, so you make a turn around your Z axe – well anyway. From nowhere came this girl, I just could see her jacket, it was white with some kind of fake fur on the collar, CRASH BOOM CATAPLAMM – I was still on my feet but my hands were on the ice, she was swimming 3 or 4 meters away from me – Ooops! That was the 1/2 fall.
After that, we spent some time skating and drinking and talking – well more drinking and talking, like old friends do and then we decided to go again on the ice for some more turnings... I shouldn’t do that...
Enter the 1 full fall: I was there, standing around talking to Tina and suddenly, just like that I lost my balance and ZAP I was laying on the ice for no reason!
After that, I decided to go home, very understandable, isn't it?
That’s a pic Peter took – the guy pointed it’s me. As you can see, I am trying my best to stay, somehow, on my feet...

Paulo - Wednesday, 03 January 2007 @ 02:40:58
0011. World Domination!!!111oneoneeleven

So it's my time for a blog post again.
In the last milestone I finished the combat anis for Felted with the two-handed weapons. Now I´m starting with the two-legged Nyctalus.
And that´s where the fun starts :D
Our Designer's instructions end here, so it´s all up to me to decide how they move, fight and scratch their asses .... hmmm, the proggers will cry like little babys when they see what they have to implement. First the Nyctalus and then the world *MUHAHAA*
But until then I´m looking forward to Christmas and some free time to become "High Warlord" in the World of Warcraft :>

This is the last blog post for this year. Have a nice Christmas time an a happy new year.
Cya next year!!!

Matt - Wednesday, 20 December 2006 @ 10:17:38