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Gian-Reto

Member Since 21 Mar 2011
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 07:12 AM

#5301480 Is It Really That Nonsensically Impossible To Have A Successful First Game Pr...

Posted by Gian-Reto on 20 July 2016 - 02:20 AM

Well, lets rephrase "your first game will fail!" to "your first project will fail!"...

 

Maybe the first game you finish is highly successfull... but to get there, you most probably killed project after project early after finding out that you were biting off more than you can chew. Happens to all of us, believe me. Some have the insight to kill such projects early. Some finish the project, and move on knowing what they built has only value as a learning expierience. Some will try to release their early projects, and will fail with them most probably in the market.

 

Which brings us to the next point: how do you define failure?

Financial failure? Unless you are a born businessman, have a lot of expierience in the games industry already, or just tons of luck, being successfull from your first try is most probably a pipe dream. You could call that a failure... or not.

Finishing a project? That is easier to achieve, still most people overscope at the beginning... some have the endurance to see through an overscoped project, spending 11 years developing them part time. Most will shelf the project at some point and move on. Again, up to definition if that counts as a failure.

 

I would advise you to look into "The Lean Startup" and their definition of success. In the lean methodology, everything is a success as long as you learn something from it, and apply what you learned to your next project. This of course means not investing much into your projects at first, constantly monitoring them, and killing them early when they fail to meet the milestones. Learn from it, pivot and try again. Your next project will be off to a better start for sure thanks to your new knowledge. Thus you were successfull in the sense of your failed project having increased the chances for future projects to become successfull.




#5301319 Copying An Existing Idea

Posted by Gian-Reto on 19 July 2016 - 02:32 AM

copying an idea - usually not a problem. There might still be patents, even on hilariously stupid stuff (like Wizard of the coasts patents on some of the magic mechanics). In general though, you can create another threes game, or a jump and run mechanic just as used in Super Mario Bros.

 

copying a games art assets, code or story - Bad idea. That is protected by copyright. You might get away with it, its still against the law, and if the original IP holder finds out he has to go against you (else he will at some point risk to lose his copyright). Best case they send you a cease and desist letter... worst case you get sued.

So just don't do it, and come up with original ideas for story, art and write your own code.... OR aquire all those things legally from a third party, which means either buying it or getting open sourced stuff.




#5300367 Copyright

Posted by Gian-Reto on 12 July 2016 - 06:21 AM

Either make sure your own creation differs enough from your "inspiration" so that there is no IP Infringement, or come up with your own ideas in the first place.

 

Example:

 

Having Aliens with weird stuff in their faces, colored in a brownish skintone.....  no problem.

Calling them Klingons... not cool.

 

Using general design characteristics from Star Trek ships when coming up with your design... sure, star trek "stole" plenty ideas themselves from other fiction that came before.

Using the exact same design as the Enterprise and even be as bold as call it the "enterprise"... not cool.

 

Calling your super-lightspeed "Warp speed", or your weapons Phasers most probably is not so much of a problem. Though don't take my word for it, and if you want to be sure, come up with your own names.

 

 

Just to make it clear: when I say "not cool" I mean "Sure, you can do this. But you are potentially infringing on someone elses IP and if that someone is finding out about it and sueing you, he has a case. And it can cost you a lot!"...

Best case you can hope for if somebody is finding out about you infringing and goes after you (and they will, if they can afford it (defending an IP costs money in all cases)... an undefended IP soon becomes void) is that you get a "cease and desist" letter telling you to take down all links to your movie and take it offline.

 

Worst case is this goes before court. Given this is the US we are talking about, you have already lost in this case... as you most probably cannot defend yourself (you DID break the law), and this case might get extremly expensive even if you had a slim chance of winning. If you loose, charges can be quite high.

 

 

What movie are we talking about? I guess there is a Publisher for the Game (Ubisoft, EA, Epic or so)... best would be to talk to them, as these are usually the guys that own the IP, not the producer, designer or any other guy otherwise involved.

Your chances to get a license for using the IP depends both on your name (you still will need to pitch your idea), and the amount of money you can pay for the license.

 

 

 

TL;DR: If you want to save a lot of time and money, with a high chance of getting nothing out of it: don't bother. Come up with your own ideas, and make an awesome movie with that.




#5300340 Division of labor: managing an artist as a buisness partner?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 12 July 2016 - 02:59 AM

 

@ Gian,

 

I guess your right, good break down of he issue.

 

One hand, I don't want to show favoritism, on the other hand, I know and understand the development of the art is one of the most important aspects of the project.

 

My job is to make his job as seamless as possible,  yet I don't see as clear a management mindset as he should have.

For example, there were a few times he told me he was so worn out in  making sure others in the dpt. were on track with their tasks, that he didn't have time to do his own work. I told him "welcome to management", and he said he didn't like how people would always message him for questions on how to do it, and he would ask why can't tehy figur it out (sometimes).

 

Furthermore, I've always been hesitant as to simplifying my 3 titles and 4 roles to just project lead, not just due to my personality, and service style of leadership, but because I know he would be up in arms about it.  (even though I'm  administrating the tram)

 

I think he may actually consider himself lead, tho we never discussed it formally, guess it's about time,specially going into LLC, but I'm certain it will rock the boat,and I'm not sure who would be hurt more by the convo. Needs to be done tho.

 

I bumped his title from lead artist & co lead to creative director to displayhis 5 years of work. fancier title, o pay raise, (no pay at all XD)

 

He woldn't take it well if I said he''s "just and artist" IDK if I even fully believe that.

 

 

Well, lets start with an anectodal fact:

 

I have seen multiple people that, after having had to face being manager of a team, found out that they didn't like managing people at all... ESPECIALLY as this was taking away time from what they REALLY enjoyed doing (in my case, working in IT, mostly programming or some other IT related task).

Some suffered through and complained and complained. Some started doing a bad job and kept blaming others (like your artist is basically doing, to some extent)... sadly they are few, but some did the only sane thing: they told their boss that they were no longer happy in their new role, would step down the ladder again to be a programmer/whatever, maybe in a more senior capacity than before, and that they would gladly accept a new lead being placed above them.

 

I even have seen cases were it worked quite well. The new boss was a guy that was clearly not as competent in programming as the rest of the team, but he knew that and filled his role, managing the team, perfectly. The guy who stepped down as team lead went on to work in a quite important topic on the team as senior programmer, and because the new boss basically shielded him from the day-to-day management tasks, he stayed on the team for quite some team. Seemed to be pretty happy with his new role.

 

 

With that said, I don't think this is an easy step. Our society teaches people that going up the ladder is always good, no matter how happy you are with your current role, tasks or wage, or how unhappy the new role will make you. Additionally, your artist seem to show the usual behaviour of creative folks: they want to have creative freedom, and they want to be the lead in shaping the creative vision.

 

Now, IDK really how you could come to an agreement that leaves most of the creative decisions with him while freeing him completly from the management aspect of being a lead. Don't know if this is also done in more creative industries, but there are teams and companys were sometimes the "lead" is split into two parts. Someone who leads people, and someone who makes the creative/technical decisions.

You could work in this direction. Free him from all people tasks. Make sure someone else (you?) starts managing the people even in the creative space so he does not have to. On the other hand I would teall him that even if he is only left with the art direction part, he should take this role serious. Being Art Director means keeping track of a greater vision, integrating other peoples work into it and making decisions. Not just work on your own little part of the greater whole at full speed.

 

If he cannot do that, or does not want to do that, he is basically blocking your project from working at full efficiency given there are multiple artists involved. He is taking up a role and preventing you from filling it with someone more capable or willing to take on the tasks that come with it.

No matter how good his art or dedication is, when he is just one of many artists, the damage he does to the project this way might outweight the work he does for it.

 

 

Of course, I still don't know the full picture, so I will no judge anyone... All I would like to say is you better discuss this indepth and make sure you both are coming to an agreement you can live with and ensures no-ones deficiencies is endangering the fledgling company, BEFORE starting your LLC and setting things into stone that could later blow up.

If you don't, things WILL blow up at some point, and the damage could be irreparable.

 

Hoping he will change on his own is futile. People hardly ever do that. You also shoudln't do anything on your own without having a good talk first. I know these things are easier said than done, we all like to avoid such talks. But in this case, I'd rather have things get ugly and blow up sooner than later. The sooner you both come to either an agreement, or part ways if it comes to the worst, the sooner you can again concentrate on your project.

 

 

EDIT:

 

On last thing I forgot to add.

When leading people, never forget to cater to what THEY want out of a job, not what you think or what society teaches us is what we should want.

 

With artists (as with most tech people I have met), money or status is hardly ever the motivator number one. Being able to work on cool projects is often #1. Being able to bring in ones own ideas, and concentrate on the craft that you enjoy is.

 

Make sure whatever the agreement is, or the new role you would like to move this guy into, is catering to what was making him join the project in the first place. If its creative freedom, or being an art director, well, I talked about this before.

Maybe he just wants to work in his own unique style and this project gave him the opportunity to do so. Maybe he likes to work at insane hours (some people rather work at night than during office hours). Maybe he need his chinese Junk foods, or whatever.

 

Give him the work environment he enjoys, and tasks that excite him. Make sure he can work with the bare minimum of stress, or as much as he wants to. I am certain that will keep him on the job way more than money, or the rank you appoint him to.

 

 

Oh, and you can always point out that nothing is set in stone for the next 50 years. He can always move the ladder up again, given there is an empty position (don't ever create positions just for people.... that is extremly bad practice IMO), he is more ready to fill the role, and wants to move up himself. Just to make sure he understands its not like "either you cling to your position now, or you will be barred from ever taking it on again!"...

I have seen people clinging to positions because they got into them "by mistake" (clearly not able to do the job)... its quite ugly. Huge stress and angst for them, huge annoyance for everyone having to work with them, and a real waste for the company.

 

 

Just my 2c.




#5299951 Is it ok for a component to expect a gameobject to have certain properties?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 10 July 2016 - 02:44 AM

Well, this is a very subjective question.

 

IMO:

1) if it only makes sense for player and enemy objects to have a shooter component, why should tightly linking be such a bad thing? If there is a gameobject that should be able to shoot, it is certainly either friendly or foe, thus either a player character or an enemy. Even if you want to introduce neutral armed objects, you might reuse the enemy gameobject anyway and just tweak the AI so it can be/is non-aggressive.

 

2) You could also make sure only these two gameobjects can ever use it, or test if the gameobjects getting assigned this component has inventory and items. With asserts or any other kind of tests. How you handle the case where someone wrongly assigns the component to the wrong gameobject is for you to decide, if you want to gracefully deactivate the component to prevent errors, or throw a descriptive error.

 

3) I think you are overthinking things. Its good to reusable write code that works in as many use cases as possible... there are tradeoffs to that though, this type of code is generally taking longer to write and test (or being more prone to errors), is harder to read (not always), all the while you most probably will not re-use it just as much as you would think.

 

 

Generally, write code for your specific use-case, if you don't see an obvious reason why you would want to reuse it in the future. Make sure the code is as fast, stable and easy to read for that one usecase as possible.

If you later on find the need to adapt this code for another use case, either do exactly that, or make it work in a way that could scale to even more re-use in the future. It is going to be additional work doing that later, yes. Its still less work than trying to overengineer every damn object and component you ever write so you can re-use everything.

 

Overengineering is the root of all evil... that or premature optimization. Most probably both.




#5299483 Are there too many Unity Developers?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 07 July 2016 - 02:57 AM

Yes, there are many Unity developers, especially in the Indie scene... lots of smaller studios also start using Unity, and even some big ones started using it for some of their smaller projects.

 

CryEngine also is surprisingly popular... at least with gamers. The highend games that were in CryEngine by CryTek seem to have formed the opinion that is is a somewhat prodigious engine. Especially by people that never played the games (or had an extremly beefy rig to play them on). Still seems to be going strong with some big AAA Studios... not sure if it is because of the quality of the runtime engine (all things considered, it is quite a miracle that some games built in CryEngine was running at an acceptable framerate on highend rigs given the highpoly, or even badly optimized assets thrown at it)... or if it is just the marketable name CryEngine has with PC Gamers.

 

 

Anyway, first things first:

 

Game Engines are just tools. And its not like a screwdriver and a hammer. More like different kinds of screwdrivers. If you know how to use one of them, you will quickly get up to speed with another one.

 

IF you are really looking for a job in the game Industry, is a pretty bad idea a) to overspecialize on a single engine (flexibility trumps specialization any day of the week), and b) learn a game engine over another one just because you THINK that CURRENTLY, job opportunities are better.

 

1) Game Studios will be looking for FLEXIBLE workforce.

- If they hire a programmer that has worked in multiple game engines and can show it (portfolio), is ready to learn anything needed for his job, and happy to relearn something new once the studio pivots an different direction, that programmer will be WAY more valuable longterm than the C++ AI specialist that only wants to work in Unreal Engine.

The project the programmer was hired for might fail and get canceled after 6 months... the studio might switch the engine and thus the language for a new project for a multitude of reasons. They might need to do paid smaller gigs, and might switch to a more suited engine (like Unity) for that.

Even if the project is a success after 2 years, chances are the specialist is no longer needed for the next project, whereas the more flexible programmer might have proven quite valuable in a myriad of ways in the last project, and the suits see that he will be valuable on any new project, not matter in which direction they may go.

- There is also a quite big chance you will work in an engine in a big studio that is proprietary. You will have to relearn many things anyway. If Unity or CryEngine knowledge is more applicable is anyones guess.

 

2) The game industry changes, rapidely.

- CryEngine might be out of business by the time you are ready to apply for jobs (5 years?)... Unity might be. Who knows. You can bet the new engines that take their place, IF they go out of business, are different... yet most of the knowledge will transfer anyway.

Its completly pointless to specialize in a fast changing industry, ESPECIALLY if you are not already working in it and thus have some years of education or self tution ahead.

 

 

To reiterate what others have said, go with the engine that gives you faster results for now. You need results, both for your learning, but also to build up a portfolio. In the end, all the engines are quite similar, once you mastered one, you will be able to quickly transfer to another one. Yes, it can still be a steep learning curve given not all engines are quite as accessible.

But you can bet the game studios you apply for already know that. They most probably are not looking for the specialist in the engine they are using. They are looking for the applicant that shows the most talent and flexibility. NOBODY is productive from day one. If the new guy has to be taught a new engine besides getting to know the new working environment and project doesn't really matter that much all things considered. Might add another month of not being 100% productive.... given that it usually takes about 6 months at least until a new hire really start working at 100% capacity, that is not too bad.

Of course, a guy that can show he is knowledgeable in the exact specialization the studio is looking for, AND the engine they are using has an edge over other candidates. If that is ALL this guy can bring to the table, while the other has an awesome portfolio, is knowledgeable in multiple engines, just not the ones the studio is using, and can show he worked on many things SUCCESSFULLY, the specialist will still have a hard time. Unless the studio hires and fires for a single project.

 

 

Oh, and take into account that the ecosystem might be quite different depending on the size and type of dev you apply to. If you are looking for jobs with big mobile studios, Unity knowledge will be way more useful than CryEngine knowledge (taking in consideration that it doesn't matter all that much IF you have a good portfolio and the needed skills). Nobody is using CryEngine for mobile dev.

For big studios, CryEngine might look good, but then many use Frostbite, or other proprietary engines. They will look more into how you applied your skills in the engines you were using in the past (portfolio is more important).

 

If you happen to not land one of the few jobs in big and AAA studios, you will find that Unity knowledge will serve you better. Not that many small devs that burden themselves with trying to be productive in CryEngine. Unreal Engine, yes.... Unity, yes... CryEngine? You will have a hard time finding any Indie using that. The amount of work needed to make usable tools for CryEngine given the sorry state the out-of-the-box tools are in (or were, my knowledge of that is about 2 years old now) pretty much stop any smaller studio from trying to use CryEngine given the alternatives with GOOD tools.




#5298344 Questions about complicated rig in Blender

Posted by Gian-Reto on 28 June 2016 - 01:36 AM

Yeah, I can relate to removing everything before export after having seen how much problems all these constrainst and IK Setups already cause inside of Blender.

I am currently fighting with getting procedural aniamtions running on top of my exported ones from blender, maybe these constraints are blocking all my attempts?

 

But most probably I just need to spend more time with Unitys animation classes and learn a little bit more how to juggle all the different ways to blend animations together. After reading different topics on the net it seems the possibilities are staggering (and so is the confusion amongst newbie users)...

 

Anyway, I'll take a break from animations for now. Will return to some other tasks, trying to setup my speedtrees and working on some environmental stuff. I still need to do a ton of other animations (currently the character is just running and idling), as well as find out why my character doesn't respond to procedural attempts from my scripts. But for now I am happy to have come this far.

 

As promised, here what I have achieved so far, textured and setup with a basic character controller in Unity:

 

run_animation.gif

 

Not perfect, but good enough for the moment.

 

 

One interesting question came up yesterday when I talked to a friend about my first steps about animating something in Blender. He asked why I didn't let the Blender physics animate the pouches and grenades hanging from the characters belt (did it by hand with bones).

Well, duh, I didn't even think about the Blender physics (engine?).... is it possible to let Blender calculate the position/rotation of a bone with its physic engine, and capture that position/rotation with "visual locRot" as a keyframe?

 

Setting up the joints and all might take some time, compare to animating everything by hand it might be worth it though




#5298206 Need help on what to do with my idea

Posted by Gian-Reto on 27 June 2016 - 03:34 AM

IMO: You are putting the cart before the horse.

 

Yes, you usually write a game design and backstory before starting to implement them (altough the backstory often is written while the game is developed, or sometimes even is retconned into it after the game is already on its way to being finished. With mixed results).

 

But: you should learn to create games before you invest a lot of time into your ideas. No point in coming up with "that awesome idea that needs to be implemented as an open world MMORPG", when you will have zero chance of ever creating an MMO, or a very big openworld, and don't even have the slightest idea about how to implement an RPG.

 

Learn to create games. Don't waste too much time on "your ideas" for now, unless you just write them down for fun (and are not interested in spending your time into something more productive). Create small games, clones of pacman or whatever. See what is needed to create everything in the pipeline. See for yourself how much work everything is.

Then when you have the skills to do things yourself, a plan how you could outsource or aquire what you cannot do yourself, and above all some expierience with what is realistic and what is not, come back to your ideas, and see how you could transform you current idea (that is most probably way out of your league) into something you could realistically do yourself given some months or years of work spent on it.

 

 

Now, back to your current question: what exactly do you want to do? You just listed some open questions... I cannot tell you to go 2D or 3D without more information. Nor could I decide if an RPG is a good idea with zero information about what you want to achieve.

 

All I could tell is that if your interest is mainly in story and lore, and less in actual gameplay, you could go the route of an interactive novel or visual novel:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interactive_novel

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visual_novel

 

Both will allow you to tell your stories, with graphics and all, without getting bogged down into a lot of programming, developing gameplay systems and all. Given that the visual novels have quite a fanbase in Japan, and also in the west, it might be a good idea to look into that.

 

There are specialized engines for visual novels, that will allow you to create your "game" with little programming. All you need to do is create some art, develop all the dialog options and hook it all up in the engine. Even if there is still some scripting needed, it will be rather lightweight given there is not that much gameplay going on besides choosing dialog options. Example:

 

https://www.renpy.org/




#5296596 Need some advice.

Posted by Gian-Reto on 15 June 2016 - 03:37 AM

Maybe you would be a good candidate to work in a Team?

 

Given you seem to have a lot of dedication working on games, but seem lack the focus to stick to a longer project, and you seem to be mostly good at programming, why not look for others that share your passion?

 

Now, let me warn you, this is quite hard to pull off. Finding others to work with you FOR FREE is almost impossible outside of opensource projects or the modding scene....

But why not try to get into modding? I know there are some larger scale mods where people have cooperated on completing it. That might be a good fit for you? You have an achievable goal (as you just modify an existing game), you are able to work in a team and you might find contacts that could be potentially useful should you once again move into creating original games, be it as teammembers or as publishers (some Indie games started out as successfull mods).

 

 

Other than that, just stick to a project longer, and try to sort out problems if you run into them instead of dropping the project altogether. Sometimes dropping aproject makes sense, sometimes you should try a little longer.




#5296451 What's the difference between studying computer science and studying game...

Posted by Gian-Reto on 14 June 2016 - 03:34 AM

two things to keep in mind:

 

1) with a CS degree, you will be able to find a job as a programmer in ANY industry. Given how scarce jobs in the games industry are and how many are trying to get into that industry, that is a big boon should you either not be able to find a job as a game programmer, or grow tired of the industry (the rate of people switching to other industries seems to be rather high too).

Granted, the longer you work, the less worth your degree is compared to your work expierience. Given you work in the games industry for a long time, your choice of degree will no longer matter if you try to switch industries. That choice between CS or Game Programming as a degree pales compared to 10+ years of expierience as a game programmer. You will most probably not be as highly rated as a specialist in the industry you switch to, but given demand for programmers is high enough in that industry, you will land a job (given you don't suck at interviews and the whiteboard tests). You are a senior programmer, and while most probably not specialized in the skills the employer is looking for, should be able to quickly adapt to the new role.

 

2) You will most probably have just as much of a chance finding a job as a programmer in the games industry given you can show related personal projects. Which you should do anyway, as no school in the world a) trains you nearly enough to be a competent programmer, it will just teach you the basics, b) will give enough "realworld projects" to really build a portfolio of work you can show (and given how competitive the games industry seems to be, you really should have a portfolio ready if you look for a job).

If you do a CS study, you will need to learn the games specific parts in your freetime and try to build some games and showcases, both to deepend your knowledge and have something to show.

If you do a Game Programming study, you will need to deepen the games specific parts in your freetime and try to build some games and showcases.

 

In the end, both studies will give you almost the same: just the basics. A game programming course might give you a little bit more basics specific to game programming, but you shouldn't expect college/university to train you indepth in game programming. To really become competent, you have to sink a considerable time into working indepth in a certain field. Colleges/universities always try to cover a broad range of basics, with never enough time to really get indepth.

If you really want to become attractive for future employers, you will need way more than just that basics and the degree.

 

 

Thus the choice of your degree shouldn't matter too much for what you have learned in practical skills at the time you finish your studies. Most of the skills you learned will not be learned during school hours.

The question is if you want the added job security of a CS degree or if you are ready to put everything on one card, and as Sean said above, if you are interested in CS enough to study it without a strong game related focus.




#5296335 When you were starting out...

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 June 2016 - 08:38 AM

What helps ME most is not just reading stuff... but working on an actual project and having to use/implement that stuff in it. Then, and only then, it will stick for certain... given we are talking about the solution to a problem I was fighting with for hours, the solution, once found, will be superglued into my memory :)

 

Just reading books is a very bad idea, at least for me. I usually read something (or parts of it), or watch a tutorial (or parts of it) when I need it, and try to implement what I learned next to it. If I just read it somewhere, and then a week later need it in a project, I am dead certain I will have to go back and re-read it, because in the meantime I only remember I read SOMETHING about it a week ago.

If I did something practical with it just next of reading it, it will still be present a week later.

 

 

That is what works for me, YMMV.




#5296318 Positives and negatives of publishing a game on Xbox One as opposed to a PS4?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 June 2016 - 06:22 AM

 

Why the XBox is able to pack 50% more graphics power is anyones guess.

The original PS4 has 50% more graphics power than the original XBone, by simply putting 18 CU's on the die rather than 12 CU's (1152 vs 768 "shader cores").
The PS4 die is only slightly larger and they're both made with a 28nm process, so that was more of Xbox's blunder than PS's secret sauce -- they chose to sacrifice 1/3rd of their CU's in order to fit their ESRAM in there...
This time around, if your rumors are right, maybe PS has chosen to put something extra in there, like the xbone's ESRAM, or MS will go to 20nm while PS stays on 24nm -- which would nearly double their density.
I wouldn't put too much faith in hardware rumors at this point though.

 

Well, given the rumours for the PS4 Neo turned to be spot on, I give the XBox ones a little bit more credit (at least all the newer PS4 rumours were, but then the early rumours where just that "a more powerful PS4 will be coming", with all the specifics then being a whishlist (Funny enough nobody saw a 2.2 times perfomance improvement coming :)))... The rumours from about 3-4 months ago already had the specifics down to the core count, and the architecture correct.

 

While the new XBox, if we believe the rumours, is farther out still (specifics might not leak out until next year, they might not even be certain to MS yet), I tend to believe the rumours THAT a new XBox is coming. Given we know that Sony IS upgrading their console, it would make the XBox One's life even harder if they wouldn't even try to compete.

 

Also, someone on Gamasutra made a good point as to why MS might actually kill off the XBox One and bring a completly new console. Given the XBox ones dissapointing sales, that would make sense. At this point in time, MS might really want to get it over with the current console generation and start fresh with a new one.

Given the shuttering of Lionhead some time ago and the story behind it, it seems MS is really restructuring their XBox division and do not seem stop making bold moves (like shutting down a 20 years old studio with a big fanbase just because their newest fable got overscaled because of MS Execs).

 

As to the rumoured power of the XBox, given the release a year later the console SHOULD be able to pack in more power. You could be right that this time MS tries to one up Sony by going with a bigger die. I also guess this time we will see no bundled Kinect, no always online shenigans or the "Xbox Two" being promoted as a Media Center first, Game Console second... but that is just my very personal opinion.

 

 

 

 

will hopefully make them as powerful as they would have needed to be 3 years ago for 1080p/60Hz gaming, and might make them VR Ready, if only for low end VR expieriences (the 5 TFlops projected by AMD seems pretty low even for the current low resolution 1st Gen VR goggles, thanks to two screens and 90+ Hz refresh needed).

PSVR is 120Hz, but most games will probably interpolate from 60Hz rendering (Vive/Oculus support interpolating from 45Hz rendering too, but it isn't great...). A bunch of PSVR prototype games that I've played have also just done single-eye rendering and post-processed it into stereo, which honestly works almost as well except when objects are almost touching your face  :lol:
It will be interesting to see if PSVR ends up locked to Neo or or not. If they do lock it to Neo, it will certainly make the life of VR devs a lot easier :D

 

 

120 Hz... ouch. Cool indeed, but not with this hardware. At least not for anything more taxing.

Yeah, I remember that was why some people claiming PSVR to be superior the the Rift and Vive.

 

Well, given that I predict MANY VR Games and "expieriences" to be not pushing high-end graphics at first (because most probably AAA studios will stay the hell away from it until more people have bought the goggles (and people not buying the goggles wanting AAA content first.... catch 22)), I don't think locking the old PS4 from PSVR completly makes sense.

Maybe they will bring two tiers of PSVR compatibility, with the basic one being available on both versions of the console, and the higher one only on the Neo? Games could then choose to only implement basic support (so the expierience runs the same on all consoles, for very simple games that can be played at 120 Hz even on the old PS4), to implement basic support and a Neo mode (so the game would run at reduced rates on the PS4, and at full 120Hz / better resolution on the Neo), or be locked to the Neo as the game is only running at 60 Hz even on the Neo.




#5296304 Positives and negatives of publishing a game on Xbox One as opposed to a PS4?

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 June 2016 - 04:46 AM

Audience: bigger on PS4. http://www.hngn.com/articles/175002/20160201/ps4-outsells-xbox-one-89-ea-executive-reveals-sales-figures.htm

 

Emerging Tech:

Yeah well, hard to speak about that without resorting to rumours.

 

 

Be aware there are hardware refreshes incoming for both consoles. There will be a new "PS 4 Neo" this year (confirmed, name also), and there might be a newer XBOX One version next year (not confirmed yet but highly likely).

 

Both new version make the (currently quite underpowered) "next-gen" consoles considerably faster (bringing them inline again with midrange gaming PCs in 2016 (PS4) and 2017 (XBox One) again). This will hopefully make them as powerful as they would have needed to be 3 years ago for 1080p/60Hz gaming, and might make them VR Ready, if only for low end VR expieriences (the 5 TFlops projected by AMD seems pretty low even for the current low resolution 1st Gen VR goggles, thanks to two screens and 90+ Hz refresh needed).

 

PS4 Neo is projected to bring 4 TFlops of Graphics power. That is roughly 2.2 times as much as it has now. It is confirmed to use the newest 14nm AMD tech...

 

The weedy 8 core Jaguar CPU gets upgraded to Zen, hopefully bringing way better IPC, MAYBE SMT (the general name for Intels hyperthreading, which would give an 8 core Zen CPU 16 logical threads it could work on in parallel). Additionally to a better architecture, the Clocks get bumped to 2.1 GHz from 1.6 GHz.

 

The amount of Shader cores gets doubled to 2304 cores, and the architecture gets updated to polaris. That is exactly what the rumoured RX 480 graphics card will bring to PC starting at 200$, which is AMDs non-maxed midrange card for 2016 (maxed should bring 2560 shader cores, might not come out soon as Apple is rumoured to buy up all the fully enabled Polaris chips)... so the new PS4 would bring midrange gaming PC performance, if not for the hit the clocks took because the GPU is now part of a SoC instead of being on its own die. The rumoured 1266 MHz clocks of the RX 480 have been cut considerably (to the 900-1000 MHz range), which is why the new PS4 only brings 4 TFlops of graphics power while the RX 480 is rumoured to pack 5,5 TFlops.

 

And before anyone burns me at the stakes for my comment up there: Midrange PC GPU performance for 2016! Which seems to pan out to be between 5-7 Tflops, if we judge that looking at the AMD offering RUMOURS (Nvidias GTX 1070 might have a hard time this year seeing how it only packs 6.5 TFlops for a Performance Card price).

4 TFlops was only found in Performance card territory in 2014, for example the GTX 970... its nowhere near "bad" given the GTX 970 will most probably run most games on high settings for some years (just not in 4k or VR), and how the current version of the PS 4 soldiered on with considerably less since it came out.

 

You can expect the console to bring 4k image outputs (AFAIK the old PS4 didn't have the capability but I could be wrong), and HDR capabilities thanks to the new GPU architecture.

Of course, it still has nowhere near enough power to run a modern 3D title at 4k, even 30Hz would be a stretch. But for less taxing titles, 4K rendering might be possible now.

 

 

The new XBox one is projected to be 50% faster than the PS4 Neo at least on the graphics side, with 6 TFlops of graphics power. That, and the rumoured release date in 2017 is all that is rumoured by now. You can expect it to also pack a faster CPU, most probably upgraded to Zen cores.

 

Why the XBox is able to pack 50% more graphics power is anyones guess. Given the new 14nm architecture might clock quite well, with an improved SoC design and better power delivery (speak, higher TDP), the same GPU as used in the PS4 Neo might actually be tuned to output 50% more power just by clocking it higher. It could also use the fully activated Polaris 10 chip, AND faster clocks.

Or it might be using a more expensive Vega chip as its base, which should be coming out in fall, and add AMD PC GPUs for the performance and high-end sector for 2016. Given the console comes out in 2017, maybe it already uses a next-gen architecture that increases the power available for the same tier card (given the XBox One.5 cannot cost more than the PS4 Neo to produce, it is not very likely they will buy vega chips from AMD... even in a SoC, AMD would charge more AFAIK).

 

 

As for the model Sony and MS might choose for supporting two console "half-generations" at the same time, Sony will force all game devs to also support the older console version, and only enabled graphical tweaks if the game is played on a PS4 Neo (you know, actual 1080p/60Hz instead of 1080p/30Hz, AA, additional effects).

Nothing is certain about how MS will go about, but some people speculate they might actually ditch the current XBox One and come out with a "XBox Two" in 2017. Backwards compatibility (its a x86 PC with a modded Windows on it, after all), but not forward (so SoL for current XBox One owners).

 

 

Moving on to VR, be aware that MS is rumoured to bring the Occulus Rift to XBox One. If that will also be possible with the current XBox Ones, or only for the faster model available in 2017 is anyones guess. Given the non-impressive stats of the current console, I guess it will not be supported.

 

Of course, the projected price of the PS VR Goggles is about half what an Occulus currently costs for PC, so unless MS lowers the price for the XBox version somehow, that will not go down well with the console audience.




#5296299 Simple RTS

Posted by Gian-Reto on 13 June 2016 - 03:48 AM

When I hear "I want to create an RTS" and "I cannot program" in the same sentence, I think of this: https://springrts.com/

 

This is a free engine specifically designed to support RTS games. IDK how much it will let you do "hand-off" when it comes to programming, but most game engines tailored for a specific use case are lighter programming wise when you use it for their targeted game type.

 

For example there might be pre written code for certain game entities (like units, or weapon effects), and you can just drag and drop them into your scene and configure them. Don't know really, never used spring. Still, check it out, see what it can do... maybe its the solution for you?

 

 

Failing that, yes, you need to learn programming. Don't worry though, while it might take you some time to learn, its nowhere as impossible to learn as some people think.




#5295797 Mock ups and copyright

Posted by Gian-Reto on 09 June 2016 - 09:08 AM

Well, it is still illegal. Not matter what you use it for.

 

As long as you only use it internally I see no way you could get into trouble for it. As soon as you make it public SOMEWHERE (yes, also here on gamedev.net), there is a chance someone owning the copyright sees it and makes a move against you.

 

If you are only doing layout work, why can you not either mockup the images yourself (work with boxes and other proxies instead of the real thing), or use free images you can find aplenty on the net (takes more time to read the license agreement, sure...)? I think it would make a better impression used in a professional environment (like here on gamedev), and given you most probably want more finished art first before trying to generate interest (you only get to make one first impression after all), you will not want to use your mockup art for that anyway.

 

I would advise you to only use your current mockups which are infringing upon copyrights internally, and translate that into a new mockup made with non infringing art for showing to outside people.






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