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Member Since 11 Nov 2006
Offline Last Active Today, 10:55 AM

Topics I've Started

Anybody use RGB565, RGB555, or RGBA4444?

21 March 2016 - 10:39 PM

I'm a programmer with barely any art skills. I've been playing around with software rendering for a couple years, and realized that using a lower bbp provides performance enhancement opportunities in some of the slowest parts of the pipeline.
But just dropping bits off RGB(A)888(8) would obviously cause some deterioration in quality. Art would need to be created in these formats. From Google, I see RGB565 is used sometimes in mobile development, but I can't really find much on the other formats. So I need to ask game artists. Are people ever using them? Is it practical to produce relatively modern quality textures and pixel art with these pixel formats?

A moddable MMOG

15 March 2016 - 12:03 AM

My longest-running game idea is to create a moddable MMOG - one which encourages private servers, creation and sharing of custom graphics, and adding unique features to private servers; while still maintaining a central "default implementation" server.

I've been working on MMOG servers on and off, by myself and collaboratively, for over a decade. I know how to make them and I've run into and found fixes for all sorts of common pitfalls. I'm not worried about implementation details on either the client or server end.

I think I'm ready, as a programmer, to start this game and make a high-quality product, even if I'm the only one who ever works on it and it takes me another decade (...at least I'll only be almost 40?).

I already have an idea how the primary implementation of the game will play overall, and I could use some help with that aspect, as I'm not the greatest game designer. For the rest of this post, when I say "game", "map", etc.; I'm referring to the default implementation.

The game will be an action RPG, and will rely heavily on typical hack-and-slash mechanics. The map will have plenty of traps for the player to avoid and utilize to defeat monsters, and certain monsters will be designed to try to get the player to fall into these traps. It will also feature puzzles that the player must solve - and a good many of them will require multiple players, just to push players into collaborating. When players die, I want to set them back a ways, to make death a genuinely bad thing.

What I'm most torn on is how to give the players a sense of advancement. The typical way is to make their character better. I'll discuss problems I have with how RPGs typically handle this:
1) EXP and levels / trainable skills - this leads to grinding behavior to catch up in capability to other players. Death commonly leads to a loss of EXP and possibly even "leveling down", which if not scaled by level can cause "rage-quitting", but is scaling by level fair to newer players?
2) Skill/attribute rewards for completing quests - this is either automatic, reducing the ability of players to direct their own advancement; or leads to players spending a lot of time carefully figuring out which of the many skills or attributes to improve.
3) Better items becoming available - in MMOGs, these items are later given or sold to lower level players to make the game immediately easier to them, reducing their own feeling of advancement early on. MMOGs add level or attribute requirements to stop this, but I already covered issues with these systems.
4) (Zelda-esque) items as quest rewards make it easier or quicker to traverse the game world and dungeons, solve puzzles, and/or get past obstacles designed to require such item to progress - I love these games. But this leads to a feeling of linearity which I wouldn't like in an MMOG, there's only so many of these which can be practically implemented (the idea doesn't scale massively), and these items need to have restrictions placed on them to prevent the same issues as better items becoming available.
5) New classes in a class hierarchy become available - I've never been a fan of class systems in ARPGs.
6) Rewarded items that improve health slightly - great for games of a fixed duration. For a game that hopefully spans forever, this can lead to practically immortal characters. It also reduces general skill requirement as the game advances - it becomes easier, instead of more challenging.

Ideas from other games I don't see any real problem with, but are a little too subtle:
1) Fame system - New and more challenging quests become available as you grow in fame (or infamy).
2) Increase difficulty of monsters and puzzles for later quests
3) Keeping global rankings - let the player see as they rise towards the top.
4) Make NPCs aware of player's accomplishments.

I'm really stumped here.

I'd also be open to ideas about how to monetize such a game, at least enough to probably cover operating expenses.

Probably a stupid question

22 August 2012 - 09:04 PM

I'm currently trying to write a library in C, but I've found myself in a situation where using something like polymorphism would save me from a ton of code duplication.

However, I'd also like the library to function perfectly in C++ without requiring the library user to do a ton of casting.

This brings me to one of two solutions:
1) Overload every function that expects the base struct if using a C++ compiler.
2) use inheritance in C++, just make the base struct the first data member in C

#2 seems like the most attractive choice, just due to the number of functions involved. But it also seems as though it could break if the library was initially built in C (or if used in C, would break if the library was initially built in C++), I honestly have no clue.

Any advice?

[edit]Answered the question for myself. Sorry, mods can delete or whatever.

[mod edit]We generally don't delete threads, but prefer to leave them around for others to also learn from. If someone answers their own question, it's appreciated when they share their thoughts for the above reason.

Questions on volume rendering

22 August 2012 - 01:13 PM

I've become extremely interested in the notion of volume rendering, using each voxel as if it were a pixel (IE, creating and rendering 3D pixel art) to create an isometric game.

However, it seems that nearly everything I can find online in regards to volume rendering are focused on creating 3-dimensional games (and most of them, minecraft clones) or working with medical technology, and very rarely do these articles provide much information in simple terms. Though, admittedly, I will probably find the articles on volumetric terrains quite useful.

Does anyone have any pointers on rastering larger volumes directly to a pixmap, in real-time, without converting to a mesh? It seems as though the simplest method would be similar to rotating a 2D image in software, but does anyone know a better way?

[C++ - Win32 API] PeekMessage never returning false?

03 December 2011 - 11:48 PM

I have a curious bug where your typical PeekMessage call (PeekMessage(&msg, mywindow, 0, 0, PM_REMOVE)) never returns false.

Compiler is MinGW 3.4.5, Windows 7, it's a WOW64 process. Anyone know anything about any such bug

EDIT: Solved. Apparently ValidateRect(hwnd, NULL) is not an appropriate response to a WM_PAINT message. DefWindowProc fixed it.