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Member Since 10 Nov 2006
Offline Last Active Today, 04:27 AM

#5238603 Light Shader Management

Posted by Ashaman73 on 06 July 2015 - 06:38 AM

I don't know if you can call this forward shading but this only takes single draw call? Plus, number of lights are limited by this way. Is there any better way I can have flexibility with light shader? Like a light shader which does not have a limit of maximum number of lights? I know I can use deferred shading but I don't want to use that at the moment. I am looking for a better design of writing shaders.

One way would be to upload all light data to videomemory (think buffers) and look up the lights dynamically per pixel. You could subdivide the screen into tiles and save the lights which influence a tile in videomemory to increase the performance of looking for the right lights too.

#5238547 What kind of games can I create with my 3 member team that someone may actual...

Posted by Ashaman73 on 06 July 2015 - 12:42 AM

I'm just a bit scared of devoting hundreds of hours to a game that no one will play.

Stop here, because this will most likely happens.


Also, if I currently have no "graphics guy" what are my options to make the game look good enough that sb plays it?

Looking good enough that somebody will play it is seldomly the issue. Look at games like Minecraft or dwarffortress etc. The issue is, that the devs themselves have often unrealistic and very high expectations. Yep, all this fantastic 3d rendering technique, so easy to turn some simple sphere into a wonderful PBR rendered piece of art, yet it is just technique and you need an army of artists to create according art. A monster of a graphics engine needs a lot of food ;-)


I wanna ask you guys, if it is by any means possible to create a game competitive to some market that is 3D and involves even a bit of a story, items, and just classic game design job like level design and not only spending days in code to create some fancy new puzzle that doesn't exist yet.

It depends. A lot of successful indie games were created by 2-4 people. I think that it is more important to utilize the skills the team have, instead of frenetically trying to compensate what skills are lacking. A team of artists could benefit from making an artful game with simple game mechanism, a team of story writer could deliver a fantastic story telling game and a group of coders could create some demanding and challenging game mechanism/effects.

#5238122 What would you be willing to trade to get your ideal job in the gaming industry?

Posted by Ashaman73 on 02 July 2015 - 10:43 PM

What would you be willing to trade in order to get your ideal job in whatever field you wanted in the gaming industry? Would you pay? If so, how much? Work for free? Move across the world? Leave your friends behind? Quit gaming so much?

None of these. Really, I'm not a big fan of game industry romance. This was the first illusion which has been taken while working in game industry. You don't have a lot of creative freedom, you have lot of pressure, you need to do lot of things which you would do personally in an other way, publisher tell you what you need to add and what you need to remove, in short, it is just a job.

#5237954 Ways to release an indie game in chunks?

Posted by Ashaman73 on 01 July 2015 - 10:53 PM

But would 25% of the game be enough for Early Access? Because crowdfunding projects usually have 60%+ already done, and with my budget, I can only make 25% max.

Nobody can tell you. Regardless of using Early Access or crowdfunding or chapter releases, there are other issues which will be a lot harder to overcome. The most prominent issue is, that people will need to notice your game in the first place. There's a reason that markting budget of AAA title are so extremly high, sometimes (or always?) even higher than the development budget.

That is, a good game which will be noticed (either marketing or luck), will perform good regardless of how you release it.


There are some market rules when releasing a game. The following rules are my personal perception by reading post mortems, articles etc., so just my two cents again:

- The first one, especially for AAA title is, that the majority of profit with the game is made in the first week (similar to movies), thought this might not be true for indie games.

- The second rule for indie games is, if you don't sell a PC game on steam, you will most likely not make any profit at all (break even).

- The third rule is, as indie game, you will sell most games during special events (summer sale etc.).

- The forth rule, kickstarter for a indie game is a double edged sword. The real money from a campaign is quite small (provision, gifts, taxes etc.) which is traded for a lot of promises and dependencies.


Personally a game clearly marketed as early access is my favorit, with a price tag which represents the current state. People know what they get, people know, that the game will improve over time and is not finish yet, and you don't dive into some hard dependencies. But I fear that this isn't the best way to get rich wink.png

#5237853 Ways to release an indie game in chunks?

Posted by Ashaman73 on 01 July 2015 - 07:02 AM

I plan to release the 1st hub world as a taster and to get cash flows and traction. Then, its updates would be funded by its revenue (including marketing) for more people to buy the game/episode/chapter. Overall, the game has 4 hub worlds and is relatively short but every level has unique assets and a unique score.



As already mentioned multiple times above, I would disadvise to release your game in this mode too.


If you want to make money, you need to think like a business man and many gamers who will buy your game will either not like it, will not have the time to play it or will not like it enough. This means, that  a large number of people buying your game will not be interested in buying the next installment of your game, but they have already paied for the first one and are too lazy to get their money back.


An other problem is, that the game will be rated as full-featured game. That is, all game-mechanism, art etc. must be in  finished and polished state, there will be no

'yes, it lackes this and that, but it is still in early access, so they might fix it later'.

Don't underestimate the different attitude of reviews to 'finished and polished games' vs 'early access/beta games'.


Thought there are many theoretically advantages in releasing a game in multiple parts, you still need to think about the motivation to buy the next part of your game. Story driven games for example deliver a story, the people want to know how the story continues, how the character develops. People buying a story driven game want to get the whole story, so buying the next part is not an option, but already the aim when buying the first part. DLC for example is often only bought by fans of the original game, for people who truly love the game and even real fans often forgo DLC. This is one of the reason F2P games need to aim a really large target audience, because they are only really interested in the true fans, the fans who are willing to invest in the game.


So, making a larger, more expensive game an early access game instead of multiple, less expensive but finished and polished parts will have a higher chance to generate money in my opinion.

#5237825 Ground combat (strategy, SF)

Posted by Ashaman73 on 01 July 2015 - 01:54 AM

I was thinking along the lines of: you have 10 battalions of storm troopers, when you won a space combat you have an option to send to the ground "X battalions", then these battalions are fighting on the ground and are unavailable. After the combat the battalion is recalled to the base and need some time to be able to be deployed again. Just a quick idea to help it started smile.png

I think too that you have already presented a solid solution. I could imagine some kind of mission. You start a new mission (conquer planet X) and put Y battalions into it. Then you can check the mission state (transportation->attack (loose some battalions)->regroup->attack->regroup->(manual abort or replenishment)..

sounds ok without lot of micro management involved.

#5237800 Specular lightmaps to define material's shininess

Posted by Ashaman73 on 30 June 2015 - 10:50 PM

I think the color here indicates the specular color of the material, but in that case the wood would have a blue reflection against the light which is definitely not realistic.

This is one of the reasons we have a new hype, called PBR = physical based rendering. In previous rendering ages artists tried to fake realistic materials by tweaking things like colored reflection on wood etc. The rendering techniques used were not really realistic and with some fake the artists could create the illusion of a more realistic materials.


"New" is, that the rendering engines try to use a rendering technique based on physical properties, so that realistic materials can be created with more realistic parameters. Instead of using a colored (fake) specular map, you would use an albedo (for color information only) and a monochrome specular channel and hope that the rendering engine will handle it in a (more) realistic way.


I think, that most modern engines like the newest version of unreal, crytek and unity, will use PBR now.

#5237625 Noob wants to sell a game.

Posted by Ashaman73 on 29 June 2015 - 11:20 PM

Did anyone here do something like this?

I try something similiar. My goal is steam (it is already greenlit). There are some pitfalls in your calculation. First off, i you sell it for 3€, you will have eventually less than 1 € for your own pocket (ranging from publisher provision over VAT to personal and business taxes). Then the target publishing platform is the foundation for your number of sold copies. Steam, over everything else in digital publishing, dwarfs the rest. And even on steam, without some marketing (ie getting covered by some online portals), you will have a hard time to sell your game. To get covered you need some really cool idea or excellent execution, or both.


My rule of thumb:

If you want to make a game as hobby, then it will work as hobby, that is, you put a lot of money and work into it, you gain lot of fun, but you will not really generate money with it.

If you want to make money with a game, you need to handle it as business.

#5236501 Good Entry level drawing pad - recommendation requeted

Posted by Ashaman73 on 23 June 2015 - 11:21 PM

(I'm admittedly much more of a programmer than artist)

A tool limits the skill of an artist, but it never improves his skill (many people think, that they will get real masters with just a golden tool).


I'm a coder , who do art too. A mouse would limit my really decent art skills, but a very expensive tablet or even a tablet monitor wouldn't improve it . So, for me a entry-level wacom works perfectly.


Why wacom ? Because I wanted to avoid time consuming driver/software issues and I wanted a decent tablet. Choosing a Huion tablet montior over a Cintiq is an other issue, because here we are talking about several hundred dollars price difference, were I would be willing to risk some driver issues wink.png 

#5236300 Internship in final year of undergrad: Autodesk vs Ubisoft?

Posted by Ashaman73 on 23 June 2015 - 03:53 AM

Hmm.. well, the rendering technique in a modelling tool differs from what is used in game engines. Althought how high are the chances, that you really get close to the actually rendering coding in both companies (maybe it will be developed in an other studio in an other city/country).


Therefor, if you like to code games, would like to work in a game company, then doing your intership in a game studio looks more promising, even if you are not getting your hand on computer graphics.

#5236272 Landmarks

Posted by Ashaman73 on 23 June 2015 - 12:45 AM

I'm looking for some ideas for landmarks or point of interest in a dungeon game and hope for some input.


Sofar I have three settings, a castle setting, natural cavern, and sewers. As landmark I understand an unique visual object, easily recognized by the player, without any game relevant impact. Just as something to remember a location or to refer to it. Here's what I've come up sofar

Castle Setting
- throne
- tomb
- well

- statue

Cavern Setting
- archeological excavation
- skeleton (giant, dragon)

Sewer Setting
- ???


The game is like a roguelike (very structured setup),viewed from the top , here is a screenshot:


#5236271 How to get people to test your game engine?

Posted by Ashaman73 on 22 June 2015 - 11:57 PM

I guess my question is where would you guys suggest to find people interested in trying out the engine for feedback and etc. Do I pay people?

Create a reference game.


This will reveal lot of issues and it willl be a foundation for others to use your engine.

#5236269 I want to learn how to make better 3D models

Posted by Ashaman73 on 22 June 2015 - 11:53 PM

In short: practise practise practise and afterwards practise wink.png




Blender for [extremely] basic rigging, modeling, and animation...so I came up with the bright idea of making short films (5-10 minute movies) for practice.

To be honest, I wouldn't try to make a short film. It would involve so many stuff you need to learn to do it, but which are not really necessary in game development or differs a lot (scene setup, lighting setup, animation differs, render setup etc.).


Which worked best for me was to learn a feature (e.g. model a creature) and then to re-do this for 30 other models, then rig it and re-do it 30 times, afterwards texture it and re-do it for all the 30 models. I seldomly used tutorials, often only for a quick start or to solve certain issues.


Nevertheless, here is a really good tutorial series of the creation of a game character and the complety workflow involved, thought not meant for blender, the concepts are the same.

#5236260 Research mechanics in 4X games

Posted by Ashaman73 on 22 June 2015 - 11:01 PM

So at this point research needs to be fun, and it becomes your core mechanic.

..or at this point most players will drop out because of not being able to enjoy the previous core game mechanism any longer wink.png .


I think, that your end-game seems to lake the support for the real/previous core game mechanism and that you should try to fix that first instead of shifting the focus on an other core game mechanism. It is problematic to have more than one "core" game mechanism, for one they will fight for the awareness of the player and they will compete during game development. But I think that your real problem is , that you are still stuck at 3


1. define your core game mechnism

2. implement and refine your core game mechanism

3. if your core game mechanism is not working or not fun, go back to 2

and that your game mechanism is not working right yet.


From my own experience, it is very alluring to add new feature when the games does not seem to be good yet, but eventually it doesn't help other than making your game more complexe than necessary. Take your time to refine your game mechanism and balance.smile.png

#5236128 Read a text file from a .zip container

Posted by Ashaman73 on 22 June 2015 - 03:25 AM

but a text file can contain some garbage characters it seems like.

Check your text file encoding:

1. Encoding of text file on source platform.

2. Encoding handling when transfering the file to the zip container.

3. Encoding of text files on the target platform.


Many text editors will handle different encodings without trouble, but your application could require fix encoding (like utf-8), so check your source encoding first.