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The Western: FPS? RPG? RTS?


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#41 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 02:47 AM

As for the horse modeling, it will be easier than you think. I''ll take a free existing Poser model from www.3Dcafe.com and modify it until it looks like something we could use. As for what most game designers do to cut down data, I could make it generic enough so that the only difference between horses of their class would be the textures I apply to them.

As for the horse system, to simplify it until we are sure of the data we WILL have, I think that there should be a three part system according to height: small, medium, and tall wich is also broken down into colors of black, brown, or white. Because lets face it, who really cares what kind of horse it is unless they are horse enthusists? They only want to know if you can ride it or not. (And do the little extras we were talking about.)
As for the spook, yes, I think it would be cool, but the longer you own the horse and gain it''s trust, the less of that spooking should occur (unless it''s only a form of enemy-warning-system). (I mean lets face it, the horse getting spooked in the middle of a gunfight is no way to go.)

The landscape can also be simplified using Bryce 4 or 5. Since it''s a more intuitive program than 3DS max, I can create certian styles of map that can be reused by the computer in the square pattern of map building and then I can create textures that can be applied to any one of those squares. In short, the simple stuff can be made with simple programs, but as for significant buildings and characters, I will have to create those with 3DS max because it will be more data if I don''t.

But most importantly, I beleive a game should be fun as well as emersive. So I thought of the MOORPG-like RPG/FPS with 3PS option that can be played on or off line. (If we have to charge a fee to play online, just so we can get back all the money we spent putting into the game and earn a slightly steady income while doing it so we can afford to make an upgrade, let it be cheaper than the compitition, but I''m getting ahead of myself when it''s not needed.)

I didn''t tell you before why I think that it should have the FPV with a 3PV option, but here goes. The downside of FP is that you can''t see your character and if you are hit from behind you can''t turn around quick enough, but you can aim better and some are more accustomed to that format because you don''t get some of the fu#@ed up views you get in 3PV. In a 3PV, you can move quickly in the direction you want, you can see your character, but your aim isn''t as controled -- even when you use auto-lock and sometimes you get fu#@ed up camera angles as it follows your character even when there is a collision detection system applied to it. So for aim and view, each perspective has its advantages and disadvantages. I think that a game should be emersive, fast-paced when need be, reasonably challenging, and fun.

Sponsor:

#42 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 02:58 AM

As for getting a privite forum, I don't know. However, once I get my cable pipline service at home hooked up and my Yahoo messenger up and running we could try communicating through that.

I know that it's a cheesy way to do it, but the information can be faster since it has a voice option.

Also, I'd like to thank bishop_pass, Polish, and Iron Chef Carnage for you guys support and input. We really are expressing a wide range of ideas here.

However, I'll have to disagree with the don't go making model just yet thing. I say let your creativity go for right now until we are done brainstorming. We are still in the idea toying and developmet stage. As for what we need to add and what we need to take away from, that's for when we go into phase 2. I understand the don't-go-try-to-make-the-game-yourself thing. I'm just saying that we should go with what we know, present it as a group and decide from there, based on each others experice fields and what is feasible, what CAN still stay and what can be added.

I used to be with another group in college -- a film club -- that was all about power struggles. We were trying to put out several films for a film festival within 1 year with only half the people needed just to create one film while we tried to recruit more people in, but we didn't reach that goal to it's fullest because the leader was thinking unrealisticly about what he was trying to do and was excluding those people who wanted to help.

So that we remember it when we need it the most, I'm just trying to reiterate the importance that we work as a team, teach each other some things we don't know, learn from the ones who do know, and don't exclude those with a genuine interest, but include them in what they can do while they learn what the others know. It seems like our goal is to create a game that is fun, emersive, and exciting based on a theme that's not very much exploited. The good thing is that we aren't putting any time-limit on the work just yet until we have a thoughly thought-out plan.

Let's continue this path of rational respectfulness because the more fun we have with this project, with the freinds we make while taking on this project, the more successful and rewarding this project will be.


[edited by - smiley4 on December 13, 2002 10:42:31 AM]

#43 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 05:49 AM

Having that said, I''m going to do some research on the historical layout of Tombstone city structure from the period of 1880-1890. I believe that if we can get an accurate measure of how it really looked, then we could also have something educational that people could learn from just by playing the game. I''ll be looking for microfich copies of the town that have been posted on the web (if there are any) and I''ll also look at the old photos from that time as well as the new photos of the restored buildings. This will take a lot of reasearch to get it somewhat accurate but I beleive it will be very rewarding.

We are basing this game on the past, right? So we better get it very close to how it was. Perhaps, we can also put in timed events for famous people like Doc Holliday, Billy the Kid, and Wild E. Burk. If it becomes emersive enough it will be like the gamer was transported back to that time to change it how it could have been.

#44 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 08:25 AM

Ok, after doing a little google research, I''ve found that this will be a harder undertaking than we first expected. Not all these events happened that you see in the movies, and a lot of the stuff that DID happen you wouldn''t want to see anyway. I''ve been reading up on Tombstone, Billy the Kid, and various indian tribes of the day and have found that some of the architecture only lasted about 2 years at most. So, what do you want, a game that is based on the realistic aspects of what life back then would be like, or would you like to add a little of the Hollywood legend to the mix to make it conform to a game? That means no timed events like I suggested unless the accuracy of the time''s events is thrown out the window. To make it a game, it would be cool if it looked like the Old West setting without all the accuracy of the Old West events.

#45 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 09:20 AM

quote:
Original post by smiley4
Because lets face it, who really cares what kind of horse it is unless they are horse enthusists? They only want to know if you can ride it or not. (And do the little extras we were talking about.)

This is where I fully disagree with you. Granted, I'm a horse enthusiast, but let me put this in perspective for you. I'm not a gun enthusiast, but I want guns that are specific, because that's the way it is/was. I don't want guns referred to as big, medium and small. I don't want every store in town to be called "General Store". Some might have advertised "Dry Goods". With regard to horses, they were the backbone of Western culture, and their influence was significant. Horses weren't just "brown", "white" and "black". Horses were what they were, and how the culture perceived them, which is, at its simplest, represented by a number of terms, such as: filly, colt, mare, stallion, gelding, bay, grey, palamino, buckskin, appaloosa, chestnut, paint, and so on. You see, anyone using horses knows horses, and everyone back then in that area used horses. And the same went for guns.

To simplify something which had fine nuances to the point that it matches the perspective of a person of another era whom has little interest in a subject is to remove the richness, the culture, the grittiness, the immersiveness, and the communicative ability of the story from the stage, and render it into an amateur production chock full of mistakes, a production which lacks depth, scope or breadth.

[edited by - bishop_pass on December 13, 2002 4:22:52 PM]

#46 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 09:27 AM

quote:
Original post by smiley4
However, I''ll have to disagree with the don''t go making model just yet thing. I say let your creativity go for right now until we are done brainstorming. We are still in the idea toying and developmet stage. As for what we need to add and what we need to take away from, that''s for when we go into phase 2. I understand the don''t-go-try-to-make-the-game-yourself thing. I''m just saying that we should go with what we know, present it as a group and decide from there, based on each others experice fields and what is feasible, what CAN still stay and what can be added.

I agree with this philosophy, but understand that most work at this point is concept work, serving to inspire.

#47 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 09:50 AM

quote:
Original post by smiley4
Ok, after doing a little google research, I''ve found that this will be a harder undertaking than we first expected. Not all these events happened that you see in the movies, and a lot of the stuff that DID happen you wouldn''t want to see anyway. I''ve been reading up on Tombstone, Billy the Kid, and various indian tribes of the day and have found that some of the architecture only lasted about 2 years at most. So, what do you want, a game that is based on the realistic aspects of what life back then would be like, or would you like to add a little of the Hollywood legend to the mix to make it conform to a game? That means no timed events like I suggested unless the accuracy of the time''s events is thrown out the window. To make it a game, it would be cool if it looked like the Old West setting without all the accuracy of the Old West events.

I wouldn''t have a problem with creating fictional towns. Just make them appropriate for their purpose, era, and so on. And certainly give them good names.

If you want to learn about some real towns, try these:
*Rhyolite, Nevada
*Bodie, California
*Cerro Gordo, California
*Keeler, California
*Darwin, California
Skidoo, California
*Vulture City, Arizona
Jerome, Arizona
Mogollon, New Mexico

If it''s got a star (*) beside it, I''ve personally been to it and possibly I''ve done photography onsite.

Of course, I could get you bigger lists. For example, here''s some old and possibly now defunct towns of Wyoming, listed by county: (I''m not necessarily familiar with them)
ATLANTIC CITY-fremont
BALD MOUNTAIN CITY-big horn
BEAR RIVER-uinta
BOSLER-albany
BRYAN-sweetwater
CAMBRIA-weston
CARBON-carbon
CODY-park
CUMBERLAND-lincoln
DUNN-sweetwater
EADSVILLE-natrona
ENCAMPMENT-carbon
FORT BRIDGER-uinta
GEBO-hotsprings
GLENCOE-lincoln
HAMILTON-freemont
HEART MOUNTAIN-park
HECLA-laramie
JIREH-niobrara
KIRWIN-park
LEE CITY-park
LEWISTON-freemont
LAMONT-carbon
MEDICINE BOW-carbon
MILFORD-fremont
MINERAL HILLcrook
MINER''S DELIGHT-freemont
MOSKEE-crook
NORTH FORK-fremont
OPAL-lincoln
PIEDMONT-uinta
RAMBLER-carbon
RIVERSIDE-carbon
ROCK CREEK-albany
RUDEFEHA-carbon
SHERMAN-albany
SOUTH PASS CITY-fremont
SUBLETTE-lincoln
SUPERIOR-sweetwater
TINTON-crook
WINTON-sweetwater

That Wyoming list was lifted from www.ghosttowns.com.

#48 smiley4   Members   -  Reputation: 193

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 10:05 AM

I'm sorry if you misunderstood what I was saying. I'm saying that the graphics should be in the simplistic format -- not the names. The names will be applied to certain combinations of the graphics features. Like Big, Black, and tempermental could equal Arabian Stalion (not that there were many of that breed in the old west).

As for all the rest of the graphics, I'm not saying that we should slack off a bit. I'm just saying that for a prototype, we should make it generalized to get the game's ideas down, and work from there.

Also, I'm not opposed to using famous towns, I'm just sayin that we may have to stick to a town structure as it was at a specific time and keep that layout as is, execpt if they play the online version. When playing the online version, the structure of the town may change according to major historical events or the legends of those historical events. (Thus a better reason to pay per month because they'd just be buying a continueous upgrade. Wouldn't it be more conveinent if the upgrade could be bought and downloaded without having to worry about where the key is? The only requirement is that you have the original disk for instalation.)

As for the one-player mode, you can still have all the explosions of gunpowder barrels, fast-action pistolering, and realistic environmental social-structure that made up the old west. In short, you could re-write history in an idealized simulation by being just as honourable or noutorius as you want.

[edited by - smiley4 on December 13, 2002 5:30:44 PM]

#49 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 10:51 AM

quote:
Original post by smiley4
I''m sorry if you misunderstood what I was saying. I''m saying that the graphics should be in the simplistic format -- not the names. The names will be applied to certain combinations of the graphics features. Like Big, Black, and tempermental could equal Arabian Stalion (not that there were many of that breed in the old west).

Ok, but this is one area where I excel.

quote:
Original post by smiley4
The landscape can also be simplified using Bryce 4 or 5. Since it''s a more intuitive program than 3DS max, I can create certian styles of map that can be reused by the computer in the square pattern of map building and then I can create textures that can be applied to any one of those squares. In short, the simple stuff can be made with simple programs, but as for significant buildings and characters, I will have to create those with 3DS max because it will be more data if I don''t.

Can you make models and export them to a simple text format with an identifying name, texture, or color for each surface? Procedural textures are the way to go for many if not most surfaces. By ''procedural'' I might, for one object, mean a runtime shader, and for another, I might mean a texture which is procedurally generated at game development time.

Take, for example, a 4x4 post of a fence. If you modeled a fence, composed of slats and posts, you could attach a texture name or color to the posts. A program could then read the data file, determine which geometry is describing the posts by the color or texture applied to the posts, and then invoke a procedural texture generator to generate textures for those items.

Let me show you how this can be very powerful. Let''s say you create a horse model, but you are not inclined to create complex horse colorings, as you have apparently indicated. We wouldn''t want this anyway, because, unless you want to create 20 different appaloosa textures, we''d all have appaloosas running around that look the same. And furthermore, a player should be able to identify the unique markings of his horse.

Here''s how it works. A single texture is created for all horses. This texture has a green face on the front which blends to blue on the sides. The whole horse head blends to red on the neck, and then yellow across the body, and blending to grey on the rump. The lower parts of the legs blend to black, and the hooves are yet a different color.

A procedural texture generator is then able to read the color on the horse''s body and determine what area of the horse''s body the procedure is generating color for. Since the rump is grey, the procedure can create spots if the horse is an appaloosa. Since the face is green, the procedure knows how and where to place blaze, stripe, star and snip markings. Since the lower legs are colored black, the procedure knows how and where to generate white stocking and sock markings.

If you were to texture a horse according to the parameters I outlined above, I could demonstrate for you a program that could generate an infinite number of horse colorings that are true to real life, and would likely change your mind with regard to the potentials of how diverse and realistic the graphcis can be.

In reality, there are some specifics that I would need to go over with you on how to generate that base texture.



#50 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 11:00 AM

More specifically, the procedure generator would need a base texture which is not blended in red and green, but blue only.

For example, let's say the horse's body is colored with the RGB triple (10, 10, 45) and the horse's rump is colored with the RGB triple (67, 92, 200).

At this point, no blending is done. There is a discrete difference between the border of the two areas. Then bring the texture file into Photoshop and turn on blur for the blue channel only to invoke blending.

What this achieves: the red and green channels remain unblended. This way, the procedure generator program can determine absolutely which area of the texture it is in by the identifying red and green primaries. And then, by comparing the blend factor of the green primary, the program can determine the transition from one area to another. Given this information, the program knows which area it is in, but also how close it is to another area.

[edited by - bishop_pass on December 13, 2002 6:01:57 PM]

#51 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 11:05 AM

If you fear such textures would eat up computing time, remember that such textures can be generated offline and saved, just as an artist would, the difference being the sheer quantity of different textures that could be generated.

But with the advent of realtime pixel shaders, the potential exists for dynamic runtime generation, thus allowing texures with no resolution limit and an infinite number available during gameplay.

Either way is a win situation.

#52 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 03:06 PM


Colt single action army revolver "starting gun".

http://www.nfsrsoftware.lchost.com/west/colt1.jpg>


#53 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 03:08 PM


Pocket Roulette.

http://www.nfsrsoftware.lchost.com/west/roulette1.jpg>


#54 Elijah Meeks   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 03:10 PM

I think the character should be painfully mortal, otherwise the game loses the western feel. You should give him one-three ''lives'' (Random for each character), so that the first time he''s shot in a manner that would kill him, instead he''s just disfigured, so that the head shot leaves him dead, but it turns out he''s just got a long, nasty scar.

This means the main character will die a lot, but it''s unavoidable, and makes it more interesting when he survives. One of the mitigating factors is that firearms of the time were for the most part terribly inaccurate and that the hero will be a significantly better shot than your average bandito or posse member.

To make up for the mortality issue, have the player create a whole gang of characters, and at certain points in the game switch characters. This way, when one dies it isn''t quite so traumatic. By the same vein, if one gets throne in a Mexican prison, you can bust him out.

By the way, it''s the Sioux up north, what''s left of the Cherokee are in Oklahoma, ok. (l-a-h-o-m-a, OKLAHOMA, OK!)




#55 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 03:14 PM


The Protector palm gun for gamblers.

http://www.nfsrsoftware.lchost.com/west/protect.jpg>


#56 ktuluorion   Members   -  Reputation: 392

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 03:22 PM

I personally think this is a great idea If you guys are really serious about working on this, I would be glad to help. I do programming (c++/directX), and i''m a halfway decent 3d modeler (Truespace 4). And yes, I actually own my software.

Let me know, or email me at ktulu81@optonline.net.


I would be really interested in seeing some type of project along these lines. Kudos on the idea Bishop_Pass!

#57 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 03:31 PM


Rubber band powered "sleeve holdout" for gambling.

http://www.nfsrsoftware.lchost.com/west/card1.jpg>




#58 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 03:47 PM


Leg markings: ermine, sock, and stocking.

http://www.nfsrsoftware.lchost.com/west/sock.jpg>


#59 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 03:58 PM


Timbuctoo, 1857.

http://www.nfsrsoftware.lchost.com/west/town1.jpg>



#60 bishop_pass   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 13 December 2002 - 04:15 PM


Cattle rustlers in New Mexico stop for a friendly portrait.

http://www.nfsrsoftware.lchost.com/west/gang1.jpg>





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