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Bastiaen

Member Since 02 Aug 2007
Offline Last Active Mar 02 2012 05:21 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Behold, the quintessential noob

28 June 2011 - 02:07 AM

bummer.. there were 3 options and i chose Photon after noticing the 50 free ccu version since its definately all i'll need to play with implementation right now... Why is it hard? It's recommended on the Unity website.

For now the game i have in mind is pretty simple, start with a space station, a location in the universe and a ship. For now I just want to create something functional where I can fly my spaceship around and blow up other brainless spaceships with a simple AI that attacks you if you're in range (or whomever is doing the most damage and in range). The enemies give XP, drop loot/salvage and you use that buy junk for your ship, ie new weapons and shields from your space station.

Eventually I want a view where you can enter the station in an RTS setting and build or upgrade buildings and purchase buff items but thats on the backburner since i want a working foundation first of course.

I want it to be a locked 3d isometric view with a radar minimap locating enemies, allies and other space stations as simple ping dots from your current position. In the future I'd like to get creative with level up perks, different commanders for your spaceship, guild/team/alliance setups for players and all that jazz but.... my main target is getting the ship gameplay working and connecting players and giving them relogging abilities with retained data on the server.

in a nutshell
(1) 3D isometric view
(2) Super simplistic AI script for npc's
(3) Minimap / Radar
(4) Interchangeable item system that affect your damage, health, and other defined attributes unique to each player
(5) Small galaxy area to begin blasting away, all space views, starry background.

I'm not too concerned with proportions and stuff, for instance when you fly up to a planet its really only 4x the size of your graphical ship... i'm going for ideas and principles right now.

Any help is really just super appreciated, I'm running through the Unity tutorials right now and it seems perfect if i can make it do what i want. I know what my scripting and programming feats are but im not sure how to approach and tackle them yet and that is whats consuming most of my time at this point.


Ok, well, you are starting with unity right. Let's say for now that you view the spaceship from behind, outside. Here is a list that you should try to tackle in-order:

1) Build a spaceship/placeholder
2) Create a script that moves the spaceship with the mouse/keyboard
3) Create a script that lets the camera follow the spaceship.
4) Create a projectile, like a missile
5) Create a script that fires the projectile from the ship in the direction the ship is facing
6) Create a target, for example space debris, make sure it has a collision component around it
7) Make sure your projectile has a collision component
8) Add a script to the missile that it detects collision with the object, just detection at this point
9) Adjust this script so that the missile blows up.
10) Write a script that add properties to the space debris, so the space debris needs to get a variable for life, a method to reduce this life when it is hit, and a method to die when life is 0 or less.
11) Adjust the projectile script that it detects what it is hitting, and triggers the Hit() function on the space debris when it is hitting the space debris. Various ways to do this, one easy way is to call the component script on the space debris Hittable. Then check from the projectile script if the Debris has a hittable component, if it does, you can get that component and call the Hit method on it.

Ok, so at this point you should have a spaceship that you can move around, you can shoot and blow up space debris. As for the loot. I usually write a lootable component, the enemy has some basic properties like enemy type and level that function as a lookup in a loot table. I can explain it in more detail when you get to this point. The same idea for XP. When an enemy dies, look up the XP in a XP table for the XP/Enemy type and add it to a character class. It is really easy to code.

When you can drop some loot it is time to write a basic inventory system to store loot, this is really just a matter of managing and viewing some lists of data. Don't do anything fancy at this point, just have some item icons, reserve the fancy stuff for later.

So at this point, you just have a space debris, you can shoot it, destroy it, add loot and xp, and you have a basic inventory. Then after that is done, then I would start worrying about the enemy AI. I have pushed this to the back, because it ican be the toughest part to program depending on your needs. You will need to find a way for the AI to navigate the world first, so maybe they fly between waypoints or something first. Then they need to be able engage you without bumping into everything. Last they need to fire at you and prioritize between their weaponry, fleeing, etc. This could be one of the reasons to start out in a 2D space, instead of 3D space, it makes the spaceship navigation much easier, although a lot less cool.
AI is basically divided in a couple of parts.

You need sensors, for example checking if something is in a spherical range
you need actuators (as in, the ai can move the ship),
You need AI memory, so some place to store what the current state is of the AI(idle, attacking, etc), what the current AI goal is, etc.
You need a brain that looks at the sensors, ai memory, and the actuators, and determines the best course of action.

You can read up on the subject on AIGameDev.

As for the MMO part, that is something you would start adding at this point. Don't wait any longer than this, or it might become too hard to do a good integration. I can't help you with this part because I have never coded anything bigger than a simple multiplayer game. Basically you will want your object states and actions to be efficiently serializable and then find a way to transfer these serialized object and action between clients and server. It gets more complex when you need to cull and optimize this data, but the possibilities depend on your middleware.

As for minimaps. There are probably some tutorials. But it is quite easy if you have some central list with enemies, objects, and friendlies in a sector. You just pick positions from these lists and draw the location in a reserved part of your screen, or you could create some fancy 3D minimap, but personally I hate those.

So yeah, that is how I would do it. But I really advice you to find a coder on the unity forums to help you out along the way. Mabye someone who is available a couple of hours a week for questions, help with some basic code, etc.

In Topic: A Newbie, A Vision, No budget.

25 June 2011 - 03:14 AM

ima go on a random rant. lol.

For me, game play is always important to hold in a standard, keep it comfortable. And what i really mean is to be sure it adds to the flow of the game rather than makes it convoluted or boring.

But truely in the end, the story is the most important part. if you have some crappy anime story, with no real conceivable plot then its going to fail miserably, Take a really bad anime for instance. no story, just lost of action does not intrigue anyone but little slimy troglodytes who cant conceive emotion or plot points, because its to complicated for them. Those same people probably crowd around terrible carbon copy FPS shooters.

...

"Mankind predictably wipes itself off planet earth, only to find home just around the globe out of the reach of the planets gravitational pull. Before the pollution could overtake the planet in a hideous smog, mankind used all its greatest minds and most admirable tactics to gather what was needed to survive decades in space around Earth. At this time space vessels and space stations were a normal thing, but there is no way that man would leave his home. So they terraformed the planet after vaporizing the atmosphere, and letting machines smooth the planet over. All the work of all the past, documented in files, samples, historical containment facilities. Earth would be beautiful again. But because of our habits, we must start again, and lose everything we had known. our children will know only the metal corridors of a sterile space station, and now moments away after years and years. The Planet is ready sustain life once again. Earth is habitable, and the cloning of it's children will repopulate it. Were making history."

Maybe if its about rebuilding the new earth? interesting concept for a RTS. But im much more of a hands on kind of action adventure person. so we move into something totally crazy, which it takes place thousands of years in the future. Where maybe history begins to repeat itself again with pollution, due to new fuel forms, i guess every so often we need a restart, yeah?

...

SO there, my rant. Game writes suck really bad very often. Am i the guy to help? maybe not, but i like to dream about stories and adventures, and of a world different than this, imagine imagine imagine.

To me, you have to be a dreamer to write, or at least give a picture of something beautiful and adventurous, which is needed in an rpg.

(P.s. not stealing my story example. i think its neat and it mine, lol. If you want it, get me to write for you.)


I think almost any beginner starts out like this. Some story and vision that sounds awesome in your head, and this is what gets them started in game development. Your imagination is a good place to get your motivation, but to create a game you will need to add a lot of discipline, and you will need to compromise. An epic storyline like this one is of the scale of mass effect, and that needed quite a lot of people to complete. It might be doable in 2D, but it will take a lot of time with people working on it fulltime.

You say yourself that it is not entirely original. One of the ways I like to work is by putting constraints on myself to work with. So let me try and put some constraints on you :P. Try to figure out a story and gameplay that takes place in one location, for example a small mansion or maybe even in an interrogation room, or a hangar. Then try to work with only 5 characters in your entire story, and make it a story that can be completed within two hours.

Now, let me explain the constraints. It is the equivalent of a short film created by movie students. A 3D or 2D house can be created in a matter of days, maybe weeks. Creating 5 characters is also a matter of days to weeks. So what you have is a small playground to test your ideas in. You can also do tons of cool things in a small area with a limited number of actions. Let me give you some quick example of small storylines:

- A story in an asylum where it is unclear to the player if what is happening is really happening, truth and lie interconnect a lot.
- A story in a hounted mansion, where in the end you turn out to be the ghost instead of the things you think are ghosts.
- A story where burglars invade your house, and you need to try and save your family and escape the house.

You see, all these stories are small, but it allows for interesting gameplay to emerge and it can be very fun for players to play such stories. This might be an easier road to take, but I think many gamedevelopers (me included) have the tendency to try and create something epic and big.

In Topic: A Newbie, A Vision, No budget.

24 June 2011 - 03:26 PM

I see what youre saying, but whether he "Considers" 3d games or not, that should not be what he attempts as his first efforts. Im sure you would agree that a new game programmer should not attempt a 3d rpg in UDK as their first project! All I said was to learn a simple 2d framework/engine as opposed to using UDK, which to me makes absolutely no sense at all.


Then we agree :)

In Topic: A Newbie, A Vision, No budget.

24 June 2011 - 01:06 PM

He wants to use udk for an old ff style rpg. There is nothing about udk that lends itself to that application. Its the wrong tool... period. That game you posted is not at all an old ff type game, so it really doesn't show how udk is a good idea for him. Also I don't think it has anything to do with being a beginner... udk would be the wrong tool for anyone to use for this type of game. There are 2d game engines... for this exact purpose .. why would you use a 3d fps engine?

I know what you're saying.. and yes I can see how having the 3d capabilities could help in 2d development. But in this case... it just doesn't make a drop of sense.


I am not saying that he should create a purely 2D-retro RPG in UDK, but I am mainly saying that because he is a complete beginner..I think it is actually an interesting idea to do so, but of course not just by putting 2D flat images in 3D space.

If you read all his posts it shows that he has a general interest in old-school RPGs, but he also considers 3D rpgs like FF7. So yes, old-school, but he isn't purely limiting himself to 2D. The game I posted can be compared to something old school like super metroid. I just added it to show that you can have 2Dish graphics, but can use the 3D lighting and normal mapping to create interesting effects.

And UDK really isn't just a 3D fps engine, it is just easily used as such out of the box. But personally I can imagine a very cool looking 2D/3D ish retro RPG game created in UDK, something that will look much better than anything created in gamemaker. It is like Diablo 3 or Starcraft 2, they still have this old school 2D look to them, but are using some fancy 3D stuff to add to the looks. I can see the same working for retro RPGs, but maybe that is just me :). One game that crossed my mind was syndicate wars, how cool would it be to create a new syndicate wars in UDK! Would be so awesome!

In Topic: A Newbie, A Vision, No budget.

24 June 2011 - 02:13 AM


Either way, im The writer and Artist for the production of course, And i only used the listed games as an example to demonstrate the kind of of style of play i was looking for. I have alot of ideas for innovative gameplay, but that is way way to complex and into the thick of the whole thing to think about just yet.


Innovations within a given style of play are rare. It is not likely your project will succeed as an indie title because it contains a few innovative elements. Look at the recent indie successes, research what has worked. In general, the entire concept of a successful low-budget title is original, not just elements within a previously conquered genre.


I just want to respond quickly to two things. First, no, innovation is not required to have success on the indie market. There are enough examples out there of companies that don't need any "gimmick" for lack of a better word to be successful. The innovative, or art-like indie games simply draw a lot more attention from us game programmers, but there really is a big market out there for non-innovative games. There are many indies who make games that are not driven by innovative gameplay, but by strong storytelling or by targetting a specific niche market. These indies have been around for years. They might not be millionairs, but they are making a living. And yes, you can even make a living making 2D RPG games in RPG maker as long as you can reach the right group of people.



but imagine pushing UDK to do something like that. interesting.


"Crippling" would be a better term than "pushing" in this context.

I apologise if any of the above seems harsh. But if you choose the recruiting others route, have a flick through the Help Wanted section of this site to see how hard it is to engage other people with just ideas, concepts and stories.

If you decide to go down the route of programming yourself, you either need to accept the limitations of the available GameMaker-style applications or learn to program in a less restrictive language. If the latter, most of us need to start with something like Pong, work up through Tetris and Asteroids and go from there.


Although I completely agree that for him to use UDK is a bad, bad idea, I don't think that using UDK for such a game is a bad idea. Mainly because you get access to a very strong visual pipeline that could create a very fancy looking 2D/3D game, and that could draw some unique attention. But yeah, UDK is not a place for a beginner unless it is basically a simple FPS mod. Ok, now I need to give an example because more people are saying it is a bad idea:

http://mildlydisconcerting.com/drillboid/

Here, this game is created with unity, but the same principles.

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