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Member Since 21 Mar 2011
Offline Last Active Oct 14 2016 02:20 AM

#5314984 Couple of questions for game art designers/animators

Posted by on 13 October 2016 - 08:50 AM

I think that this sort of deal would be very enticing, wouldn't it?


Generally, no.


If you ask anyone with expierience they will most probably refuse to work under such a revenue sharing scheme. MAYBE you get students to agree to it, because they don't know better yet, or because they don't care and just want to build expierience and a portfolio.



As to WHY its generally seen as a bad deal, well.... the chance on ANY game making serious money in the market is slim (unless coming from wellknown dev/publisher, using a wellknown license, or sequel to a wellknown and proven series). Working on a game where you are promised part of the revenue while not getting a regular hourly wage is thus basically doing free work in most of the cases. Even new artists most probably know they can get a better deal than that when doing freelancing gigs for cheap.

Even if the game ends making its money back, that is deferred payment, and chances are still high that even after years the total compensation is way lower than what the artist would have gotten through hourly rates.


Also, you are asking the artist to take on the same risk as you as entrepreneur do, but do they also get the same leverage over the project? Are they partners, so to speak, able to influence what project you are working on, what platforms you release on, and so on?



If you really want to have people work for free, don't rule out the hobbyists. Your search will be hard enough including them I would guess. And you will be asking for trouble anyway, given that there is little motivation for the guys you do find to stick with the project, or sign over their copyrights to you.


Else, if you DO have the money, I would rather be prepared to pay more upfront and pay hourly wages, while dropping or minimizing their revenue share. Revenue shares usually only fool the unaware, or work in a tightly knit team of people that started a project together.

Instead, offer a good, competitive hourly wage, appropriate for the skill level of the artists you are targetting, and keep in mind the lower you aim on the skill level, the longer the guys have to complete the same task, so you will not save much money in the end (if the artist starts to get more skilled, he will likely start to ask for more money, as he might as well look for a higher paying gig elsewhere).



My 2 cents.

#5314954 Couple of questions for game art designers/animators

Posted by on 13 October 2016 - 03:18 AM

Okay guys, thanks for all this information, I really appreciate it. So if I'm targeting beginner artists, should I look for an animator and 3D modeler separately? Or, if I have some patience (I'm in no rush), can I get one person who'll build up their experience in both. Would that be realistic?


Maybe you should start with the most important part:


How much can you spend on your artists?

Are we talking about a serious budget, so can you pay one or even two guys fully for months (or however long it takes to finish the art for your game), with some reserve money left for uncertainities?

Are we talking about enough money to have a single freelancer work on your game some hours on a hourly basis?

Are we talking about no money involved, rather looking for people ready to work for free?


Depending on how much you can spend, the answer will be radically different.

If you look for people ready to work for free, good look finding even a single artist that is ready to work on your project. Forget looking for a separate animator. And be prepared to cut your expectations down to the very minimum. You most probably will have to deal with inexpierienced, and not very highly motivated artists.

If your money is just enough to buy some hours from a freelancer, I would think long and hard if you want to stretch that money to cover two guys. It MIGHT not be a bad idea in the end, as a dedicated animator might work faster on the animation and rigging side, thus getting you more for your money when the animator and the modeler can concentrate on what they do best. BUT: there is always "friction losses" when dealing with multiple people... like the modeler delivering models to you the animator has trouble working with, and stuff like that. I guess you first need to find freelancers ready to work with you, see what their rates and skillsets are before you can make an educated decision.

If you have the money to pay multiple artists fully for months, then yeah, go with specialists. I guess those "friction losses" will be overcome quickly when those guys really have the time to work with each other, and you will get more for your money.



That is my opinion of course. The important point is: before asking your question, you need to tell us what you are ready to pay.

#5314841 Couple of questions for game art designers/animators

Posted by on 12 October 2016 - 07:39 AM



Yeah, you're right. I wasn't thinking of isometric art like that because it seems like a completely different art style, rather then just a change of POV.



I want to go 3D for my isometric game, just because it's easier from a programming aspect as well (at least from what I've read). I guess my best bet is to take on board an artist who can do a specific range of things, and then outsource any other artist work I need.


That still leaves me with the question of: how much realistically can a single artist do at once? I'm looking for the artist to learn along with me, so it's not the skills I need - but the knowledge of how many skills they can realistically learn.


I don't know if I'm explaining this very well.


A LOT depends on your art style.


Go with a simple art style, like the stylized low poly style that became trendy among some Indie hipster games, and your artist, if he is a good artist, will churn out assets like ther is no tomorrow (though, to be realistic, stuff still takes time to create in a reasonable quality. There is a certain amount of overhead because of all the needed steps to create even a textureless, animated 3D character).


Ask your artist to create a fully rigged, highly detailed high poly character in AAA quality and he will spend months on a single character.


So really make sure you tell the artist EXACTLY what you need, and you make sure that you cut corners whereever possible.


- Don't want the cam to be able to zoom in? Make sure the texture detail is not excessive for your PoV. Your artist can omit a ton of details on the normal characters, and just spend a little bit more time on the assets that are bigger in your scene.

- Working with textboxes anyway? Drop facial animations, your player will hardly see the facial animations anyway in a isometric PoV, and creating proper facial animations can take a ton of time.

- Do you REALLY need organic creatures in your game? With mechanical units you save a ton of time and headaches on rigging and animation.


- Make sure you approach your artist with a clear brief of what you need. Like a clear brief, maybe with simple sketches, for every asset you need. Failing that, make sure you give him additional time to come up with a concept for you to approve (and of course, you will need to pay for that too)

- Make sure you have everything tested before telling your artist to start churning out those assets. There are a ton of possible mistakes or things that just don't work with your choice of engine, render, game concept or whatever else is involved on the non-artsy side. Make sure you have a testmodel, run through the whole pipeline once before the artist starts churning out assets like mad.

Having to redo a testpiece is not so bad. Having to redo 50+ assets will become expensive fast.



In general, things take way longer than you think to produce in 3D. The fastest thing is to buy stock assets, if they fit your needs (if you need to re-adjust them, they might again take a ton of time). The second fastest thing is kitbashing what you need from pre-existing models (which is what most pro 3D artists do most of the time anyway, they will have a HUGE library of stock and their own prior art they can work with).

The slowest is creating stuff from scratch.


So if you think about teaming up with an inexpierienced 3D artist, keep that in mind. Many newbies like working from scratch, it lets them learn more... they also lack the library of models to work with and kitbash. And of course, stock art can range from cheap to very expensive.

Still, set aside a budget for getting ahold of stock art and kitbash piece libraries. It can save your artist a ton of time!

#5314813 Couple of questions for game art designers/animators

Posted by on 12 October 2016 - 04:05 AM

About your "isometric art"... you are mixing up the 2D/3D art distinction and a point of view chosen for games.


2D Art is basically sprite based / bitmap / vector graphics art. Technically are drawing 2D sprites over 2D Backgrounds. These can be bitmaps, thus Pixel based images that get pixalated when zoomed up, or vector graphics, which lend itself better to zooming in as they are not pixelbased.


3D Art is Polygon / Vertex based. Its mainly referencing using 3D Models made of polygons that have textures mapped to them, but also includes stuff like particle effects, which sometimes are not much more than animated sprites placed at some point in the 3D world, or skyboxes, which are basically just inverted boxes with 6 images of the sky mapped to its faces.


There are mixed forms where 3D models are placed before 2D Backgrounds, or 3D models are used to prerender the animation phases of 2D Sprites that will be used in a 2D game.

There was a time when some games used 2D Sprites placed in 3D Worlds (the good old PS1 era Breath of Fire games did that).



But the point is: this has nothing to do with the point of view for your game. There were quite some first person 2D games WAY back. The dungeon crawlers and RPGs of olde for example. There are just as much 3D sidescrollers today, as at some point 3D graphics tend to be cheaper to produce than 2D graphics.

So you WILL need to decide wheter to go with 2D art for your isometric game (which can become quite expensive fast, as every character needs 4-8 directions for each animation frame drawn), or 3D art (which has a higher overhead with sculpting/modelling, texturing and animating your characters for example being quite distinctive skills, but tends to be cheaper the "bigger" the game gets, as you can run the same animation for all angles your isometric character is seen in just as an example again).



I would guess a good 3D artist could model and texturize your characters, and most probably also rig and animate them. You might get way better results by going with multiple "experts" in their area, but that is only going to matter when your game gets really big and your budget is matching the larger scope (meaning you can pay 3 artists instead of just 1).

2D animations are simpler if you are using frame by frame animation, which you probably will have to for an isometric title. Its all just animation frames drawn for you by the 2D artist. Of course, combinatorial explosion and all, you either have very few and/or simple animations, or your 2D artist will have a ton of work to do.

Going with a simpler art style, e.g. 8-bit pixel graphics can make 2D graphics cheaper...

#5314635 Where do I start as a 2D artist?

Posted by on 11 October 2016 - 03:09 AM


Software for making 2D art:

Photoshop or Gimp or both if you want, for your pixel needs.(Gimp is the free one)

Krita, for digital painting, the brushes are amazing.

Inkscape for vector art. Gimp, Krita and Phothoshop can do vector, however they aren't vector focused.

Any 2D animation software(Spine 2d) or Any 3D animation software (Blender); It's easy to make 2D assets with 3D software.



Good List. Just wanting to add one of my favorite drawing tools:


Manga Studio 5 / Clip Studio Paint: its a tool meant for Manga/Comic artists, but it packs some tools that make it interesting for other 2D works. Its brush stabilization makes it great when working with crappy digitizers (like the old wacom digitizers employed by some windows tablets, or the MS Surface N-Trig solutions)... smooths out all the wonkyness and imperfections at the cost of a little bit more lag (which depending on how fast your strokes are, you will not even notice).

Also quite nice for coloring, even though many things of PS are missing (most notably working in more than 8bit color depth).


Then there are a ton of nice speedup tools for comic artists which might not interest you much.


Other aspects of the tool are less stellar, the algorithm for scaling is quite crappy, resulting in blurry lines once scaled (compared to the still perfectly crisp lines you get in PS after scaling), the layer options are limited (cannot transform layers as a group for example), and so on.


Given we are talking about a tool that costs 30-70$ (depending on sales and stuff) vs. the still quite expensive PS (even with the sub), not bad at all though as far as value goes.

#5313966 How much money should I ask for a game development from a publisher?

Posted by on 05 October 2016 - 01:30 AM

Thanks for the feedback, it's really helpful!


I might add that I have a playable demo, so I think that some of my tasks are partly solved, like 2D renderer, script parsing, etc (but I may be certainly wrong about that, software development is surely full of surprises :) ).


If I don't put any salary for me in the budget (so I stay on my current day job and will be developing the game in my free time), reduce the amount of content and stick to the most necessary expenses only, then I can make it with $2000, I guess. But maybe all that sacrifices are needless and maybe I can be so bold to ask for a bigger sum not fearing to scare off the publishers. I understand that I should go into the details with my budget and so on, but now I'm just trying to know some kind of funding levels to get a picture of publishing budgets.


If you have a day job, and that pays more than the bare minimum to pay your bills (don't know what the wages are in russia in software development, especially now), why even go looking for a publisher at all?


2k$ is a tiny sum. Not saying its nothing, certainly chucking 2k$ out of the window is a bad idea, but: you will need to put in quite some of your own time to find, approach, and eventually win over a publisher. You know, actually finding one that DOES listen to small Indies is hard work already. Might take you days of searching, unless somebody can recommend one. Then you will need to prepare a pitch. You got a Demo, great. You still will need to put in many hours to make your pitch sound professional, else the publisher will most probably not trust you with even 2000$.

And then, as other have said, you will have to accept a deal that favours the publisher, not you. Maybe put in extra work because the publisher want alterations to your concept, maybe present at Milestones (if that even makes sense for such a small project).

That extra work put in by you could easely cost MORE than 2k$ in your own time.

(Again, don't know what your hourly rate is, but even if its only 5$ per hour, that is 400 hours, which translates to 10 work weeks around here. How many days will you spend looking for publishers, preparing and improving your pitch, negotiating a contract and discussing the specifics, communicating back and forth with the publisher? That could translate to many work weeks quickly)



Why not see if you can pay the 2000$ out of your own pocket? With savings or Stuff like that? Its a risk, and you have to burden the full risk. But at least you will profit IF you are successfull.

Why not run a Kickstarter (or IndieGogo or whatever is the equivalent available to users from russia) if you cannot pay the money out of your pocket? Again, there is some work involved to run a successfull Kickstarter campaign (usually people say 3+ months of preparation would be good)... but you get something in addition to the money if you succeed, a community already invested in your game, and a first successfull test if there is enough interest in your game concept to justify the work you still have to put in.

#5313712 Critique of my Art

Posted by on 03 October 2016 - 07:43 AM

I have to say, the machine looks oddly shaped to me.


1) The legs: way to straight. This makes the whole machine look undyanmic IMO. Legs can be bend backwards or forwards, depending on what types of animal / human legs they are based on. Human legs tend to straighten a lot when standing upright in a rest position, but should never be 100% straight. There is a natural flow, a natural S curve to human legs when straightened.

I think the artist call it gesture. When you plan your mecha, you should do a gesture doodle first to see if the lines follow an appealing flow, and the resulting thing look balanced.


2) The body: The short and stocky body looks like it would work well combined with a walker with birds legs bending backward. On a walker/mecha with human legs, IDK. Especially looked at from the front it looks like a head with arms and legs, but no body. Looks weird to me. Of course, problem is that arms and gun just hide the body. But I would make the body longer and more resembling humanoid shape if you go for humanoid legs.


3) Head: The fact that the head is so extremly out of the balance point of the body looks weird to me, because there seems to be no coutnerbalance to head and arms on the back. Might work better with bent bird legs, which could be placed more forward so that the whole thing looks better balanced.

Personally, I would either place the head in the center, humanoid style, ideally combined with a body of more humanoid proportions... or go with a fixed "cockpit" if you go for a walker with such an elongated body.


3) Arms: If the mecha is more the bird legged walker style with the elongated body, I think humanoid like arms with hands look a little bit off. I would rather go with gun turrets instead of arms, or arms ending in weapons instead of hands.

Now, because you have this weird elongated body on your else humanoid-ish mecha, to me the arms carrying a weapon like that looks odd.




I think the concept could work, for me, with a complete remodelling of the body (making it taller and less deep, more humanoid), moving the head back into balance, adding enough counterweight to the back to balance the arm and weapon, and making small alterations to the legs so they look more dynamic.

I wouldn't just bend the knee on a humanoid mecha, unless you want it to look somewhat stiff and awkward. I would keep the legs quite straight, but either add something that would somehow emulate the natural gesture of a human leg. Something that might give the leg a look that resembles the muscles on a human leg. Maybe move the lower leg back a little bit, to give the legs more of a dynamic impression, as it might emulate the S curve a straight human leg forms naturally (have a look at a straight human leg, especially when drawn comicstyle, to see what I mean).


The tail just doesn't work for me. Now, maybe you are not finished here, because it looks way to thin for such a massive machine.

But I would also question what the function of a tail is on such a mecha, given it was mostly used as counterweight on real animals of such gigantic proportions. I would guess there is more than enough "counterweight" packed into the rear part of the body anyway in such a machine? Maybe you could instead just make sure the back is a litle bit fatter, instead of adding a tail (unless its also used as a weapon or something).



Way too much negative sounding critique, I know :) ... but hey, just wanted to point out what stood out for me. Else it looks good to me (apart of the many, many ploygons which probably should be baked into a normal map), so keep up the good work!

#5312999 I am alone

Posted by on 28 September 2016 - 04:26 AM

You say playing games is irrelevant? To be a professional football player, do you practice? To be a doctor, do you practice by going to school? I liked what you said. But I believe playing games helps in making games and isn't irrelevant. I bet many good games get their ideas from the players. That's why it's important to share ideas with people you trust. The idea is the key to success. Hard work makes the idea reality. But the idea is the very important.

Anyways. It comes down to a few things, idea, hard work and money. I'm going to continue my research on successful games. make sure my ideas are good and have the proper steps.

I still want to hook up with people that know what they are doing. I don't want them to work on any projects I have. I just want to get affiliated with them. I'm tired of being alone. I hoped this site can provide this but so far no success. I need money to get interested people. It's really just money.


PLAYING games and CREATING games are two fundamentally different things.


Just as VISITING A DOCTOR as a patient and WORKING AS A DOCTOR are two fundamentally different things. You don't need many years of schooling to visit a doctor. You don't need to know the exact specifics of your diagnosis, the doctor is there to explain to you in laymans terms what you need to do to get better, or at least to ease the pain.

The doctor on the other hand does not have to share your pain, or loss in case of mortal illnesses... it is in fact necessary for him to distance himself from it enough so he can keep working in his job without going insane.



Same with players and game devs.

A player doesn't need to be able to create 3D models, be able to draw, to program, or to design games in order to enjoy playing a game. A whole team (or maybe a single Indie) did all that work for them to be able to enjoy some hours of excitement.

The Dev on the other hand SHOULD have some expierience with games, but is NOT required to have mastered all of them as some players commonly think. Just because you are good a game doesn't mean you could reproduce the design of the game, or design a better one.


While it is true that being knowledgeable about games helps with designing a new one, and that playing and ANALYSING games is a common hint to wannabe game designers when they ask about the first step on the road to becoming a game designer... but then, the emphasis is on the ANALYSING part, not the PLAYING part. You need to play to be able to analyze. Getting better at playing a game helps you with your analysis.


Many seem to misunderstand that... Lets just forget the boring stuff and have some fun playing. No. That is not it. If you skip the boring part, you are not doing any work, and you will learn little in regards to designing games. Knowledge comes from a deep understanding of a topic. That deep understanding will involve boring analysis of something beyond just reaching a new high score.



As to your assesment that you need money to get access to good people. Yes, that is true in any industry. You want quality? You are better prepared to pay for it.

My question would be: Do your REALLY need that quality? Was the fact the inexpierienced programmers didn't work out down to their inexpierience, or yours? Did you ask too much of them, when you knew from the start they would struggle even completing simple programs? Did you treat them as valuable team members and tried to build a longterm relationship that would still be there by the time they become good programmers? Or did you try to squeeze some work out of them and treated them as a replacable resource?

Not saying you did any of that, just giving you some things to think about. Blaming others for project failures alone will not get you far. You cannot make others not make mistakes (other than with the leverage money gives you), but you can do a ton to prevent yourself from doing the same mistakes again.



I will not reiterate the whole "The idea is everything vs. the idea is a dime in a dozen" discussion again. There has been enough discussion about this on this forum.

Just note that this clinging to ideas as the most valuable thing in the world will ultimately hold you back...

"Never be afraid to change anything" is a common wisdom you hear from artists all over the world... and true enough, as soon as I started to erase and redo what didn't met my expectations even though "It looked good somehow and I don't know if my next try looks just as good", my final art started to look way better thanks to the additional iteration I did over problematic areas.

Just as many others have found over the years, I also had the expierience that all of my ideas where not working at all once I implemented the first prototype. There is only so much "testing" of an idea you can do in your head or on paper. At some point you need to stop thinking, designing, and worrying over the details, and just start implementing. Chances are good your ideas bomb during the prototyping phase. Then you should chuck out what makes no sense, and only keep what works. Which most probably means the final iteration of your prototype will look nothing like your idea.


So, is saying "ideas are a dime in a dozen and not worth a penny" an overstatement? Yes, of course. A good idea CAN be a good starting point for a good implementation, and shorten iteration time of your project a lot.

But on the other hand, its a good way to prevent yourself from getting to attached to your ideas. Never get too attached to them... its good wanting to produce that dream game of yours, and use that enthusiasm for putting in the hard work learning game dev and working on your game.


But some ideas just don't work. You need to be able to realize that and pivot in a different direction before you spend too much time on it. Putting your ideas on a golden pedestal will not help you with that.

#5309635 How long would it take to get good at game art?

Posted by on 06 September 2016 - 04:01 AM

What was it - 10'000 hours of practice to get good at something? Or was it just 1'000 hours?


Anyway, practice, practice, and then practice some more. If you practice your drawing 1 hour every day for example, and keep that routine up for some years, you will certainly see a massive improvement year to year.


If you cannot put up with such a rigid regime, you might go to some hour per week, but you will of course slow down your progress.



I would put it like this: the fact you are not already good at art just means you do not have enough of an urge to draw to really get good at it. Which is not such a problem, maybe you only discovered recently how fun drawing is.

But that is front and center to getting good at anything: if you love doing it, you will do it more often. Thus you will gain more expierience, which in turn will make you better at it, which in turn will make you enjoy it even more.



EDIT: Of course, studying the right techniques and tricks is also important. But ONLY if you are constantly trying to use what you learned in practice. Many try to get better by reading books and theorycrafting. Without the massive amount of practical expierience by just doing things, AND trying out new tricks, this will all be for nought.



There is no real talent involved with great artists. Some might start at a different level because they have a firmer grasp on some things (maybe because of thing they learned as small kids, IDK)... most of them just started drawing at a young age and never stopped drawing while other kids where busy doing other things. Thus they reach adulthood with some "magical talent" that came from constant practice.


My personal regime is: If you suck at something, and want to get better at it, just force yourself to create a quick doodle every day. I suck at drawing faces while I am pretty decent at drawing characters otherwise. So I set myself a goal to paint/draw a face every day for a year, and see if I can get a firmer grasp on how to draw faces in that time.

I'd like to be able to paint a fully shaded, good looking face in about an hour. Lets see if a year of practice is enough to get to that level of skill.

#5307800 3D software for mobile games

Posted by on 25 August 2016 - 02:19 AM


As for a game engine I will recommend trying Unreal 4 it's a better engine for artist, however Unity is just as good a option although with less control over things than Unreal.



Well, Unreal 4 has Blueprint, if you have no intention of learning a real programming language like C++/C#, and actually can get on with the Blueprint system (I found it not really useful, many did find it good), it is a more artist friendly engine in that sense.


BUT: Unreal will quickly drown in MANY more options than Unity does. While that sounds like a pro (and it is, Unreal is always slightly ahead on features compared to Unity, as long as the features fit "the Unreal way of doing things" (see forward renderer still missing in Unreal last time I checked)), it is also a con at the same time, especially for new users.

The UI of the Editor is quite cluttered compared to Unity, and many of the additional options make no sense until you really dig into the documentation and look up what they do (well, that is also true for Unity to some extent).


Then there is the documentation. As long as you are going with Blueprint, its all good. I still would rate Unitys documentation higher, their online API docs are really brilliant. But Unreal documentation for Blueprint is quite close, once you get your head wrapped around the indexing.

But the documentation for the C++ part is just lackluster in comparison. Granted, that might not matter to the TO, but it needs to be said: Unity has the better API documentation for what that is worth.


Lastly, AFAIK the TO is talking about mobile 3D games. Here, the positions are actually reversed, with Unreal doing the catch up. I really am not comparing features or performance here, just the plain fact that Unity nowadays is the default mobile 3D engine for many, while Unreal 4 is certainly also used a lot. Its just not as widely used in the mobile space.

Might have to do with the pricing options, Unity being in the mobile game for longer, inertia of mobile devs or whatever.

Still, when it comes to developing mobile games, Unity would be the default option, with Unreal 4 being a close runner up for more ambitious devs.



And yeah, I am a programmer, so I do not rate the presence of a visual scripting system just as high as others (don't get me started on how they made C++ into the unwanted stepchild for Blueprint). Even if I would, I'd say you can get multiple different visual scripting systems for Unity starting at about 25-50$ from the Unity asset store, and some of these are actually quite good. As tightly integrated into the engine as Blueprint? No. But still, its an option.

#5307337 Mmorpg Idea.

Posted by on 23 August 2016 - 02:47 AM

What is the point of this post? To discuss theory, theorycrafting the perfect MMORPG, and indulge in the game design challenges of designing a game that will never exist? If yes, then go on... that certainly is a fun thing to do, and I guess fits this forum just as well as discussing more practical challenges.

To discuss if the idea is feasible? If YOU could pull it off? Sorry to say, but then there is little to discuss. No and no. Guess others before me put it better than I could here. I will still try to give some reasons below:


1) Scope: MMOs cost 100's of millions of $ to produce.

You CAN save some money on a simpler presentation (meaning simple 2D graphics for example, no voice acting, simple sound design), you can cut features (no need for housing, crafting, or many other "side activities" if you want to concentrate on RPG Combat). Even after that, you have to face the reality that building a networking that CAN handle the massive amount of online players needed to put the second M into Multiplayer online game, AND the cost of maintaining the server farms needed for that is a lot of time an money to put into a game which has become pretty bare bones by now.


2) MMOs are extremly risky, pretty much suicide for most studios nowadays:

Developing an MMO costs a ton of time and money. Yet the market of MMORPGs is EXTREMLY oversaturated, to the point where a ton of actually quite good MMORPGs failed in the market, went free to play or were canceled, sometimes quite late, during development, in the last few years.

Unless you are not doing something VERY different, don't bother with the additional cost and overhead of making your game a MMO. If you have a high chance of failure, might just as well cut the cost in half by dropping the Massively from online multiplayer, while enabling your game design and story to go in a different, more interesting direction because you are no longer bound to the severe gameplay and story limitations of an MMO, or even Multiplayer game.


Most things that get the MMO sticker nowadays are actually more Online Multiplayer games with a quite elaborate online lobby. Games like World of tanks, Overwatch, or similar are clearly far from the MMO ideal of yesteryear ("1000's of player simultanously in one big combat fighting each other")... yet they are often labeled as MMOs.

Those are the lower cost, lower risk "MMOs" of today. If the big studios are no longer really wanting to touch a big monolithic MMORPG in the veins of a WoW, you can tell that maybe its a bad idea to do so (at least until WoW one day will die a natural death).

#5306146 Wild West MMO/RPG

Posted by on 16 August 2016 - 07:17 AM

Start small, slowly increase the scale and see how far you get.


And hone your skills while doing that... probably at SOME point in some years, you might be in a BETTER position to work on SOMETHING that gets NEARER to what you described above, than if you keep dreaming about that.



There are some fundamental flaws in your OP that shows you lack a ton of expierience essential for game development:


1) Most important: MMOs usually are big projects for 100+ man sized teams. They need huge expensive server farms to run. And the amount of sales / subscribers needed to pay off that huge investment is huge.

So neither is it something suited as entry level project, nor do you have a big chance ever working on ANY MMO project unless you start building your portfolio, get a relevant degree, work your ass off to get one of the few open positions in a big studio, work your ass off to climb the ladder there somewhat and then be at the right place at the right time when a studio somewhere is foolish enough / hits the right timing to be working on a big AAA MMO again.


2) The engine you mentioned are inhouse engines. Chances that you could get access to those is slim.

And really, there is no point in even trying to do so. There are more than enough really good 3D engines available for free you can build your game in, without making much compromise on visual quality or performance.

Unity 3D is a powerhouse for beginners, if you are more dedicated or more expierienced Unreal Engine is just as good if not better in some aspects, and if you really want to be challenged, you could give CryEngine a spin, though my personal opinion is that this engine is an overhyped engine not nearly as comfortable to develop for as players give it credit for the awesome visuals it produces (which is mostly down to good art assets).


3) Forget AAA. Really. Scratch everything the big names in the industry did off your radar. You will never achieve that, not on your own, especially not with your current amount of expierience.

IF you have some more years of expierience AND can either assemble a small team, OR can dedicate 5+ years of your life working on your game, you could pick ONE thing AAA games do, make it the centerpoint of your game design, and cut the rest.


You think shooting in RDR is great? Make a western shooter! Polish it so the shooting is fun like hell. Now cut exploration, cut Saloon shenigans, cut most of the story and other stuff that would use up valuable dev time and concentrate on doing one thing right.


Everything but the kitchen sink designs are great when you have 100m $ to waste. Even then, they are quite risky. More focused expieriences cost less, and while not having the potential to reach such a wide audience, usually do better with the niche player it does reach.


4) Never, ever make a "Game X, but with Y from game Z" design. Comparing to other games MIGHT be good for an elevator pitch to gamers. But you also risk now directly pointing the crowd at what games your game should compare to... and people finding out it compares not very favourably.

Then you fall into the trap many such non-designs fall into. Instead of describing how the game should work, you point me to look up how RDR and GTA work. That is inexact, and does not tell me much about how YOUR game should work.

I get the gut feeling the reason is because you only have a vague idea yourself.


How about starting documenting your design, and really noting down how everything should work instead of referencing other games? That might also give you the "mental breathing space" to put this design aside for now and concentrate on more productive things. Like learning the basics. Or working on smaller games for now.

Or looking up on the development scale of the games you were talking about up there just to get a feeling on how grossly you are overscoping things.

#5306128 There's Too Much Space In Space (Cover/strategic Depth In Turn-Based 4X S...

Posted by on 16 August 2016 - 04:42 AM

Well, some of the best "space combat games" I have seen basically took the naval technology and strategies and applied them to spaceships. Not realistic, but quite entertaining.


Going broadside to maximize your firepower but at same time at the cost of greater vulnerability to incoming fire, turrets with limited fields of fire due to superstructure, "space torpedo" like unguided or semi-guided rockets, floating minefields and all this can make for interesting tactics that gives you a ton of possibilities that might sound quite intuitive for many players.



But really, its a sci-fi theme, it can be anything you like. How about using asteroids from an asteroids belt as weapons of mass destructions, having to aim with incredible precision so the asteroid is not just exiting the solar system at the other end without hitting anything, and the defenders having to stop the approaching asteroids before its to late?

How about space battles going in the same direction naval battles did at the beginning of the 20th century, where fighting distances moved from 8 km point blank battles fought on sight to 20 km+ artillery duels were the better gun control systems were more important than the better guns?


How about space ships engaging in 100's of kms distance, way before they can see each other, using some future technology to predict the position of the enemy ship, and the vast computing power of future super computers to compute the correct targetting points for lasers, beam weapons or missiles?

How about exotic super weapons that travel faster than light, and thus can be used to accurately attack enemy formation over even longer distances? The wormhole cannon, so to speak.


Or even cooler, how about low-tech space battles were commercial unarmed space ships and mining / scientifical equipment is used to force a competing spaceship out of its orbit / away from an asteroid to mine?

Using grappling arms to sling asteroids at each other, ramming, EMP like effects, hacking, and whatnot.


That kind of "space combat" could explain shorter ranges, and might make for some interesting tactics.

#5305314 Confused about 3D game dev

Posted by on 11 August 2016 - 08:25 AM

Physics Engines do just that: calculate physics. You can use them in your own DIY made games, or use them in Engines/Frameworks coming without integrated physics engine to calculate your physics and collision.


Game Engines often include Physics Engines. Actually the term "game engine" is used for a framework that gives you pretty much everything you need to start, in one neat package.


What you call "Rendering Engines" there I would still call game engine. Some of them just leave out important things the more complete game engines come with, and mainly are just a renderer, that is maybe why someone would call them rendering engines.

Ogre3D for example AFAIK does not come with tools out of the box (tools => level editor, model importer, ...), though a quick google search shows there are tools available for this engine. Likewise, it will most probably not come with a physics engine integrated out of the box, though again I guess there are existing solutions you can just plug in.



Really, easiest 3D engine to pick up for a total beginner, IF you don't want to faff around yourself with assembling stuff and searching the internet for tutorials is Unity3D. Big community, lots of tutorials, good documentation, and everything you need in one big neat package.

#5305298 Chosing An Engine For A Heavy Physics-Based Game

Posted by on 11 August 2016 - 07:40 AM

As Promit said, don't be fooled by the marketing. No physics engine will give you usable high level behaviour out of the box, you will have to cobble that together yourself by taking the low level forces and constraints a physics engine gives you, and creating a ton of custom code that massages the physics engines output into something faintly realistic looking.


As long as you want to chuck a ball into the air, and have it fall down to earth driven by gravity, pretty much any physics engine has you covered. But even the bouncing of the ball off the ground and different objects might already be looking not 100% realistic.



Tried to create a realistic looking offroad racing game with a few arcade tweaks to make it more comfortable in Unity/Physx two years back. Spent most of my time using PhysX forces to correct the completly unrealistic behaviours of many physics components with code.

And no, going with Unreal Engine 4 will not help you. They also use this Trainwreck PhysX as their stock physics engine. Physics interface is different, but at least I wouldn't call it better. In the end, its the same components running under the hood, so don't expect to much.



Someone ported Bullet to Unity, that might be something to look into (didn't had the time yet), and there is havoc, but don't think you get that for free somewhere.

But the important takeaway is that the game engine you are using might not be tightly linked to the physics engine, so you can exchange that for a better alternative... while on the other hand, many game engines today just integrate PhysX and call it a day, leaving it to users of that engine to integrate Bullet or Havok if they need a different Physics engine.