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Member Since 10 Nov 2006
Online Last Active Today, 02:35 AM

#5007320 opencl and sobel

Posted by Ashaman73 on 05 December 2012 - 12:49 AM

for understand better the sobel filter:

The double line is an effct of the sobel filter. The filter works on a pixel, therefor when sobel detects an edge at a pixel, it will detect it too on the other side too:


apply sobel on all x


apply soble on all o


There are several solutions:
1. Use the stencil buffer to detect the edge only on parts of the screen, e.g. the x surface only.
2. Use double resolution and scale it down afterwards (or use multisampling).
3. Use an other AA technique to make it less obviously.

#5006985 How much will creating cutscene videos cost, and other stuff (details inside)

Posted by Ashaman73 on 04 December 2012 - 01:02 AM

It is really hard to say, but here are some math. A professional artist earns around ~75k per year. Considering that a freelancer will demand more, on the other hand a rookie could demand less, I would say, that you need to spend ~6k per month or 1.5k per week of work.

Now you need to consider the amount of work for your cutscenes. How many models, are there already existing models ? Animations ? Background ? Storyboard ? Music etc. ?
Take a timeboxing approach, one week per model, per scene, per music track, per storyboard. For small scenes these would be 6k-12k at leasts, but it depends a lot on the quality.

In short: it would be expensive

#5006574 How to "Streamline" a game

Posted by Ashaman73 on 03 December 2012 - 06:19 AM

What exactly do you mean by "streamlined for more sales" and "streamline for a wider audience"?

I've the same understanding of streamlining like SherrelE. I think that steamlining a game has two meanings in the context of games.

The first one, often the developer view, is to make the game more accessible. The other view, often the core gamer view, is to make the game easier.

The goal is to make it more attractive to a wider audience, whereas the developer wants to polish the game and UI to attract people who have been frightened by the handling of the game, and core gamers often see it as making the game easier to sell as much units as possible.

I think, that making it more accessible is the right term, but I have to admit, that developers remove core features during a streamlining session which makes the game appear more casual.

#5006531 Stylistic Graphics Approach?

Posted by Ashaman73 on 03 December 2012 - 02:16 AM

How would you feel about a stylistic grpahics approach to this genre? Ex: Borderlands.

Yes, every genre will work with stylized art. 99% of all the art in games are stylized to some degree, photorealism is more or less just a direction.

But be really careful about stylized art. A common missconception is, that stylized art is simpler or easier to make, which could be a real burden.

Yes, stylized art involved sometimes less work, once you have a working style.

No, creating a stylized art direction is by far not easier than using a realistic style.

The problem is, that coming up with a proper art style is really hard and needs often professional artists. Using reality as base is simpler, because you have lot of references, though using all the details of modern AAA games often have the disadvantage to involve lot of work.

Even games like borderlands don't reinvented the wheel and have for sure some inspiration from art like this (compare the intro for this short to the intro of borderlands I):

Edit: added answer to question first, removed embedded video and inserted it as link. Posted Image

#5004965 Is a new age of bad design coming? (MMOs)

Posted by Ashaman73 on 28 November 2012 - 08:15 AM

All in all, my impression is that the vast majority of people doesn't really have too much interest in rich RPG and in fact enjoys a theme-park style of game, and even "grinding" (even while complaining, they enjoy it). I couldn't explain otherwise why such games are so massively successful.

I don't think that the success will hold on. WoW is loosing subscriptions for years now, lotro was forced into F2P and StarWars, well, it is more or less a flop and this with such a setting from bioware ! What about all the other games, DnDO, Rift, Aoen, Secret World, AoC, all have been beaten by WoW a 7 year old game. I think that WoW is still attracting new, more casual gamers, whereas core gamers keep away from new MMORPGs.

Skyrim (for all it's faults) could teach these MMOs a thing or two. Open the whole world up and let players have missions that span the world. Make them take time to do.

With elder scroll online we will see if an other top single player developer is able to pull it off.

The risk of developing a MMORPG is very high and many developers have tried to get their own MMORPG on its way, but many failed the desired goals. So, why do all try to make their own MMORPG ? Well, it is like always cash, which is greed, which is a bad base for good game design. The latter is reaching its climax in F2P MMORPGs:
grind as long as you want, but you need to pay to have fun Posted Image

#5004912 Is a new age of bad design coming? (MMOs)

Posted by Ashaman73 on 28 November 2012 - 04:13 AM

An MMO is just a graphical MUD with a bigger playerbase.

Most early MMOs has their roots in MUDs (Meridian59, Camlelot, EQ ?), what is quite interesting is, that MUDs had often world builders (limited to certain players/admins), a way to alter the world dynamically. This was almost completely lost from the transition from MUD to MMORPG.

#5004872 Is a new age of bad design coming? (MMOs)

Posted by Ashaman73 on 28 November 2012 - 01:14 AM

I've played MMORPGs since Everquest I and I must say that I had lot of fun. But I think, that a MMORPG is already bad design by definition. The problem is quite simple:

When playing a RPG, the player want to be the hero, saving the world of commons while experiencing unique adventures.

The barrier are
1. The player want to be THE unique hero,
2. The player want to live through adventures experiencing unique stories,

Storytelling and being the unique hero is possible to some degree in a single player or small multiplayer game, but a massive multiplayer game is the anti-pattern to this design.

After more than a decade of MMORPGs available you can see different approaches.
1. WoW:
They stay true to the RPG thought, trying to deliver lot of customization features (being unique) and story (in form of content).
=> This lead to the content-racing, even blizzard will fail to deliver more interesting content at some point here.

2. GW I (never played two):
They deliver a small coop-mutliplayer RPG experience, added PvP and a feeling of RTS (you feel like a soldier executing unique missions to fight your war in a greater war scenario).
=> This is not only one of the most cleverly business models, but although delivers a good single player experience and a RTS feeling.

3. Ultima Online (though never played it):
Unique in the sense of having a very high degree of building and crafting.
=> Player want to be creative and giving the players the ability to create something world changing is a great idea (->minecraft), though UO have some really hard issues with it.

To be honest, WoW is leading the MMORPG into the wrong direction and most other MMORPGs (take an existing brand like StarWars, Lord of Rings and put WoW on top of it) try to herd after them, eventuallly leading down the cliff. The design is a content pyramid scheme and will eventually collaps with a lot of people being frustrated and never touching a MMORPG again.

I personally like the single player aspect of GW and I think that more MMORPGs should go MMORTS. There's nothing wrong about being a single soldier in an massive conflict (all the CoD like games proof this) , being the hero for only a single session. RTS approach is screaming for MMO, but the industry is cautious about MMO+RTS, most likely seeing only a literal implementation of the RTS genre instead of integrating RPG parts into a weakened RTS implementation.

And finally the creative aspect of content creation is a very important factor, though it is in conflict with modern AAA design and art.

#5004497 Starting OpenGL

Posted by Ashaman73 on 27 November 2012 - 07:04 AM

Visual Studio

Yes, open gl provides a C API therefor you won't have any trouble using Visual Studio (C++) with OpenGL.

#5004160 Beginner engines

Posted by Ashaman73 on 26 November 2012 - 03:19 AM

It is hard to say what engine would be really useful for you. UDK is an engine often used by artists to present and render their game art. Therefore I would sugguest UDK and I would give it an other try. UDK is very matured, powerful and have many good support tools and a very large online community.

Yes, all the tools and options are frightening at first, but when picking out simple things first (level editor), you can get in contact with the engine step by step. Eventually you need to learn some coding, otherwise you will have a hard time to write a 3d iso hack'n'slash game just by using some diagram Posted Image. Compare it to drawing a human without knowledge of anatomy.

At least you could use your UDK engine experiences in your artist caree.

#5003454 Loading and caching resources

Posted by Ashaman73 on 23 November 2012 - 06:07 AM

To distinguish between different objects, you need different ids. Taking the name is often sufficient, but if you want to incooperate more data, you need to expand your identifier. In your case I would just expand it to eg. "filename_widht_height" ( Grass.png_500_200), done automatically in the loadTexture method.

#5003451 Rendering highlights on 2d map based on grayscale texture

Posted by Ashaman73 on 23 November 2012 - 06:01 AM

Either use a 1d texture or a binary-float array, but don't use it as list of indicies (list = 1,3,5...) instead use it as binary array (value = 1, if area of index is highlighted, else 0):
float area_highlighted[MAX_AREAS] = {1,0,0,1,0,0...} ;

uniform sampler2d texture;
uniform int size;
uniform float area_highlighted[100];

void main()
    vec4 pixel = texture2d(texture,vec2(pos));
    // scale to index
    float index = floor(pixel.r*128.0);
    float highlighted =  area_highlighted[index];

#5003409 Draw Order Question (Z-Test, Depth-Stencil)

Posted by Ashaman73 on 23 November 2012 - 01:56 AM

The right way is to utilze the z-test hardware as much as possible, because videochips are highly optimized in this field. Therefore rendering from front to back have the advantage, that front objects will block back objects quite early (early z-rejection) and this can have a significant performance impact.

Though, as always, there are some exceptions. E.g. alpha blending can't utilize the z-test , therefore alpha blended geometry should be rendered from back to front to avoid visual artifacts.

#5003192 Displaying Character Names

Posted by Ashaman73 on 22 November 2012 - 04:28 AM

First you should think about the goal, then the representation. It is a UI, therefore useablitly >> prettiness

So, break down the elements you want to communicate:
1. name
2. alley/neutral/opponent
3. title
4. in combat
5. health

Then think about what is really important for the game, which should be hidden, what should be optinonal. Then try to use secondary tools to distinguish between elements
color encoding (alley/neutral/opponen), icons (master=*, overlord=** , in combat=crossed swords).

And finally think about what impact your game have on the kind of communicating, e.g.
1. lot of people crowded in a fast paced game => you need to quickly assign and read informations about an entity => overhead, iconized
2. you select an object to interact with it, slower paced game => select it and display all necessary information in the hud

#5003177 Blender export problem

Posted by Ashaman73 on 22 November 2012 - 03:14 AM

Why cant blender just implement a way to change coordsystem to right-handed... =(

Because it is not the task of the modelling tool but the exporter.

model_vertices[i].Normal.x = Level1Vertices[i].Normal.x;
model_vertices[i].Normal.y = Level1Vertices[i].Normal.y;
model_vertices[i].Normal.z = Level1Vertices[i].Normal.z;

You need to flip the normals too, much like the position, experiment with this:

model_vertices[i].Normal.x = Level1Vertices[i].Normal.x;
model_vertices[i].Normal.y = Level1Vertices[i].Normal.z;
model_vertices[i].Normal.z = -Level1Vertices[i].Normal.y;

#5003149 What would you want from a zombie apocalypse simulator.

Posted by Ashaman73 on 22 November 2012 - 01:15 AM

In our MMO

First off, get rid of the first M. The zombie setting lives from the doomed, forlorn setting where only a handful of people survived, there's no place for massive.

zombie simulator

What is a simulator for an unknown fictional scenario ? Simulators are not really funny at first and for sure are not really games. The reason people play simulators are, that they try to overcome a certain challenge or to provoke certain emerging situations. So, I would like to see some interesting challenges and a pretty high degree of interaction with the environment.