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Member Since 10 Nov 2006
Offline Last Active Today, 03:47 AM

#5280638 Cheating with graphics

Posted by on 10 March 2016 - 11:53 PM

Abstraction !

That is the best cheat. When you add more layers of abstractions, your art will automatically look more coherent. There are several games demonstrating that a high-level of abstraction looks pretty impressive and good.

So, here are the typically section where you can play around with different layers of abstraction:
1.color choice:
realistic->single color palette->single color palette->monochrome
2. shape:
realistic->simplified->blocky->geometric forms only
3. textures:
realistic->reduced detail(cartoon/TF2)->face colors only/flat shaded->non

#5280309 What AI Problems do YOU want discussed at the AI Summit?

Posted by on 09 March 2016 - 01:30 AM

What about AI directors, how would you approach them ?

You have a bunch of individual agents, everyone with his own set of abilities, subdivided into two groups. These groups encounter each other dynamically and a combat situation emerge.

I would like to see a AI director detecting such a scene and starting to direct the combat situation to make it more visual appealing. So, instead of each agent just following its own concerns (attack highest danger first, hide from counter etc.), a director would overwrite the behavior to generate a more interesting situation,e.g. a policeman using his radio to call support, two thugs in the backline dashing forward to interrupt him, while a police commander calls orders to someone else to protect the one with the radio....

#5280148 Selling a game on Steam- Steam and VAT cuts...?

Posted by on 08 March 2016 - 06:26 AM

It gets even more complicated, because you often need to pay VAT in the country where the person lives who bought your product (EU at least). So, when you are a french developer, selling your game over steam to a person living in germany, you need to pay the german VAT in germany. But I would be surprised if Steam would not do this for you. Eventuelly this would leave you with 50% of money... and then you need to pay taxes ...

#5278798 Dunbars number for game characters

Posted by on 01 March 2016 - 12:46 AM

> How many characters do you think most players will "care" about? Where "caring" means not just being disappointed by the failure and mechanical consequences, but actually feel sad about losing the character?

In games I think, that it is less a question of numbers, but a question of uniqueness. Games, like XCom (I only play the first part), have often very generic characters.

If you consider Game of Thrones, many important characters are easily tagged by some unique features or names, even if you don't remember their name. Most people knowing the series will immediatly know of whom I speak:
- the bastard lord
- the winterfell princess
- the sadistic bastard
- the queen
- the female knight
- the dragon queen
- the spider
- little finger
- the sadistic king
- the fire priestess
- the mountain
- the assassine girl

So I would suggeust to ignore more the numbers and to concentrate on unqiue features instead.

#5278650 Async Upload of Meshes

Posted by on 29 February 2016 - 01:49 AM

Yes, look into un-/map VBOs: https://www.opengl.org/sdk/docs/man/html/glUnmapBuffer.xhtml

You would approach this like this:
1. map VBO: this will give you a pointer to memory, which you can access from your CPU regardless of thread (just standard sync considerations, but independent of OGL context).
2. update the memory block
3. unmap VBO: this will result in an asynchronously upload if the memory is located in videomemory (DMA)
4. wait until VBO has been uploaded, then render it (else you will stall again).

The latter is important, don't try to use the VBO until the upload has been finished to avoid sync trouble. If you need to render something, either render a dummy or start uploading your mesh earlier and not just at the time of entering your vision.

Here are more readups:

#5277431 How do I integrate server reconciliation in such a platformer game?

Posted by on 22 February 2016 - 06:13 AM

One thought. Instead of sending direction commands, send absolute positions (client is now at postion P there with velocity V). The server accepts this movement as long as it doesn't violate some rules/thresholds (moving too fast, ignoring barriers etc.). The same for the client, if the server sends his view, the client can ignore it as long as it is inside a valid range.

This way the client is the leading entity and the server trust in the client most of the time. The advantage is, that the client control is really fluently, the disadvantage is, that it is not 100% secure versus cheating (speed hack = move entity as far as possible, but still in threshold of server check).

#5277423 What AI Problems do YOU want discussed at the AI Summit?

Posted by on 22 February 2016 - 04:28 AM

One thought:

How do two(multiple) individual entities, following their own tasks (no squad), cooporate to solve a (unforeseen) new task ?

1st example(RTS/Tactical): A group of soldier, one soldier get wonded and is immobile and you need two soldiers to carry him away (not unforeseen).

2nd example(RPG/Sim): Town folk doing their daily chores. A fallen tree, defect cart etc. is blocking an important route. You need at least two entities to get rid of the barrier (unforeseen, but not undefined).

3nd example(Sim): Worker entities, who can use a machine to increase their working efficiency. Problem: they can do their work either solo or use together a machine. Waiting for an other worker to help would reduce the efficiency.

#5277234 Interstellar trade at a relativistic timescale?

Posted by on 20 February 2016 - 11:57 PM

- What does trade look like when a round trip takes 24 years? While the timescale is extreme, the situation is not unprecedented: early colonies in the Americas often waited a year between ships bearing needed supplies. How does supply and demand work, when demands are 12 years out of date, and supplies won't arrive for another 12 years?

Maybe it would look like oil trading. The oil is being shipped to a habour which will arrive in weeks/month but the oil is already traded as "futures".




What are the cultural and political effects on a colony of being isolated in time as well as space? News, fashion, scientific advancements... all arriving 12 years after they were new, with no ability for the colony to influence the culture or politics of the solar system inside of another 12 year span.

There will be most likely their own culture, based on raw resources which will not change (a stream of raw resources will be delivered by a stream of trading ships). Like gold. Some very unique items will be traded as valuable antique, but only for the rich.




What effect does time dilation have on the spaceship crews? Their families would grow old and die within a couple of voyages, while they themselves remain young. Fashions change, languages evolve, nations rise and fall within the span of a single voyage. Do crewmembers make one voyage and then reintegrate back into society, or do the crews become a separate culture, permanently travelling among the stars?

Maybe the crew will only consists of young or independent people hunting for quick money and adventures. An other model would be, like the small container ships on the Rhine (Germany).A river where small container ships transports goods, most often a whole familly own the ship and dwells on it. This could be similar, whole families living on interstellar ships, depending on the size of it.

#5275887 instancing with multiple meshes

Posted by on 16 February 2016 - 04:22 AM

Although look into http://www.opengl.org/sdk/docs/man/html/glMultiDrawArraysIndirect.xhtml if you use OpenGL. DirectX will for sure provide something similar.

#5275864 arbitrary texture coordinates

Posted by on 16 February 2016 - 12:47 AM

What exactly are you trying to do ?

There are several pitfalls in your shader code.
1. float3 = col.Sample(texturesampler, uv).rgb;
This will not compile, will it (ok, I'm not familiar with hlsl) ? Do you want to sum it up, average it or get the last color ?

2. float2 uv = float2(x, y);
This will always contains integers, that is 0,1,2,3...
So, using clamp this will always sample the border of the texture ! You should apply an offset/scale accordingly, depending on what your goal is.

#5275856 Is it worth it to learn LUA scripting for the AAA game industry?

Posted by on 15 February 2016 - 11:15 PM

Even smaller games like WoW use LUA (->UI) ;-). Considering, that LUA is a very simple(!), robust, fast, powerful scripting language, I would even encourage to learn it without some big AAA title backing it up.

#5275260 Blur

Posted by on 11 February 2016 - 05:58 AM

You seem to sample the light depth map with the same texture coords with which you sample the screen depth map. You need to transform these coords into light space first, much like sampling the depth map for the shadows.

#5275251 Blur

Posted by on 11 February 2016 - 04:30 AM

In general you should check out gaussian-bilateral filters: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilateral_filter ... but in your case it seems, that you have bound the shadowmap (=depth map of light source) instead of the depthmap of your camera to the sampler.

#5275092 Visual scripting vs Coding?

Posted by on 10 February 2016 - 01:14 AM

Visual scripting is more for people uncomfortable with coding. Coding is more flexible in the long run and a good coder will produce better results in less time.

But many people interested in doing game design are not good enough with coding or aren't able to code at all. These people will love VS, because it will open up new opportunities. Think of the artists who wants to design a game or a game designer who wants to prototype a new game mechnism (thought a game designer should be able to code to some degree :P )

#5274956 Advice on troublesome partner in profit share setup

Posted by on 09 February 2016 - 04:08 AM

Best to take your contract and consult a laywer. If you dont have a contract, then consult a laywer too.