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Gian-Reto

Member Since 21 Mar 2011
Offline Last Active Today, 10:41 AM

Topics I've Started

Quicktime Events - why are they so widespread still? A question and a rant.

28 November 2014 - 04:50 PM

Well, this thread is a mixture of venting some anger and really looking for opinions as I am quite confused at the moment...

 

Quick backstory, I try to make it short:

 

After having rediscovered my love for Castlevania thanks to the PS1 emulation console version of Symphony of the night on my PS3 (I finally gave in, as I could only play the japanese version in '97), and having aquired the classical Super Castlevania for my SNES, I figured I would give newer Castlevanias a chance again (Lament of sorrow on the PS2 made me stop playing Castlevania for almost 10 years... it was just so boring and crap IMO)...

 

Having read lots of good reviews of Lords of Shadows, I choose to use this years Steam Sale to get the PC Version cheap.

 

Now when I fired the game up, I was at first really hyped... this game looked good! And the story sounded dark and brooding, as in the good old days.

 

First downer was the really linear level design, but well... that is kinda classical. SotN is rather exceptional here for a Castlevania...

 

 

What I was NOT prepared for was the extremly annoying amount of quicktime events! Granted, I usually avoid brawlers like god of war (and I am a little bit pissed Castlevania has evolved into another such brawler), but as if Quicktime events in 2010 wouldn't be bad enough, the developers filled the game to the brim with it! No boss battle without annoying Quicktime Fiesta... often you don't even use your whip anymore besides swinging up a ledge, instead you watch the Boss battle as a movie waiting for that random button press to flash up.

 

 

Now, I know tastes differ, but seeing how gamers usually despise quicktime events, what could make a developer force players through lengthy quicktime events when the whole history of games show that QT Events are NOT needed at all for a good game.

 

I totally understand that the devs where not happy anymore to have players whip holes in walls and uproot trees with throwing knives... it looked okay in pixely 2D, but would look just funny in HD 3D (Still, even then I am not 100% I need more than a short hint what I need to do, instead of the constant "Press X Now!").

 

But Boss battles? Common! I don't care how spectacularly big and cool your boss is, if it looks off whipping the beast to death, how about giving players the chance to just jump up to the beasty and whip his weakspot, instead of forcing him to climb and jump with random QT button mashing galore?

 

Puzzles me really. Cut the cutscenes to the minimum (a good story does not need cutscenes), leave out the QT crap, and concentrate on interesting, non-linear levels. Without invisible walls and stuff. And just let the player decide how he tackles the boss, as long as he is able to hit the weakspots. This could have been a good game, but I don't think I will finish this QT helll.

 

 

TL; DR (yes, I failed with the short part):

Why do devs still choose QT Events over better forms of game design? Do they think players expect a (not so) interactive movie? Do they think its the only way to make things look good when the best free running system fails because the climbing target is moving?

Or does it just relieve them from proper game and level design, because they can skip a complex free running system, and make an extremly simple collision handling, and just force the player into a narrow corridor and binary (hit the button or die) choices?

 

Is there a different reason I am ignorant to?


Marvelous Designer: Opinions? Workflow Advices?

23 September 2014 - 10:10 AM

I recently started playing around with the tool Marvelous Designer...  for anyone that does not know the tool (and is to lazy to follow the link... no, I am not paid by anyone to make shameless ads, the link is just there as explanation for the uninitiated smile.png )

 

I have to say I am highly impressed and skeptical at the same time. The cloth physics engine is impressive, and for simple clothing you get good results quickly.

I am a little dissappointed about the performance of the tool though, first I thought that it was strange that all the vids I have seen of somebody presenting their virtual clothing with an animation from MD had hacky animations with low FPS... surely not all of these people could be using a toaster for a PC?

Then I tried it on my own Workstation, which might have Gamer Hardware that is now ageing being 3 years old, but was top of the crop 3 years back and is still very strong today: a 6 core i7 with hyperthreading, a GTX 580 and 24G of RAM should give MD enough power for all its cloth physics black magic.

Yet even with my PC, things get really slow as soon as I start to reduce the Particle Distance, which seems to be MD language for Mesh Resolution.

Then there is the whole thing with the cloth pattern creation. To say the whole thing is giving me headaches is an understatement. I have no idea about cloth sewing in RL, so while creating a basic skirt or shirt might be easy in MD, as soon as it gets more complicated, I start to struggle.

 

while I really like the idea of not having to sculpt all the folds in my clothing items by hand, getting down the basic shape of the clothing and then adding the details seems to be really painful with the limited toolset MD currently is equipped with.

 

 

So my question to anyone that has already tried the tool, or might even be a pro user: What is your opinion on it? Is it worth its asking price, does it REALLY help with efficiently sculpting clothing items for game characters, or is it in the end just saving time on one end while adding headaches at another?

 

Also, as a total newbie, I am struggling with some things:

 

1) the only symmetry I found was "copy as symmetrical", which means you will have a seam in the middle. Woot? It just can't be that there is no symmetry tool available for creating clothing pattern patches in a symmetrical fashion without a seam in the middle. Did I miss something?

 

2) Is there a function to import a Pattern, or at least a image file as a rough pattern guide to draw over? I am thinking about creating the basic shapes in 3D Coat, unwrapping them and then using the UV set as cloth pattern in MD. I am much more proficient with Voxmodelling than with creating clothing patterns.

 

3) Did anyone found the reason for the bad performance of MD? Is it just missing any kind of Multithreading or GPGPU Acceleration (which I suspect it is)... is there an option I missed that leads to the bad performance on my machine?

 

 

I am aware that I might need to take my questions to the MD Forum for a better response, I just wanted to see if there some users here have made any expierience with the tool... usually you will not find the highly critical users on the message board of the company creating a software itself. And there seems to be a big hype around MD which I struggle to fully understand, so to speak.


publishing a game to desura and steam - possible?

03 June 2013 - 04:01 AM

Hi  

 

I'm a total newbie when it comes to self publishing games to digital platforms like desura and steam (being nothing than a wanna-be-Indie hobby dev at the moment) ...

 

Having heard not much good things about an Indies chances to get through the steam green light process without help I wonder, is there anything stopping you from publishing your game to other services like desura (no idea if this would be easier to get on), and only start the green light process when you found a healthy bunch of customers and fans there?

I would imagine getting greenlighted can only get easier the more well known your game is to the public, so releasing it somewhere else before steam sounds like a good idea to me.

 

Thanks in advance for any information

 

Gian-Reto


best game engine for large scale RTS?

21 March 2011 - 05:16 AM

Hi all

since some months I'm developing a prototype for a "large scale" RTS-Type Game I want to develop during the next few years with a small to medium sized team of volunteers (the team is already there, don't worry, I'm not looking for volunteers ;) )

I'm now in the middle of having to choose what route to take concerning the Game Engine / Technology to build the game on... I've tried Unity3D, but found out that this engine might be not powerful enough (more on that later), and I am in the process of testing the Esenthel Engine, which looks not to shabby until now. Yet I would like to get some more opinions on these Engines and maybe other I didn't look into until now.

The needed features for the engine:
- Being able to handle huge maps (8x8 KM and more)
- Being able to handle a huge amount of animated / skinned models on screen (as with all RTS Style games)
- Being able to handle nice Foliage and Trees without too much slow down (Altough this might be doable by middleware or my own extension to the engine)
- Being able to customize the Editor so I can write custom tools (I don't want to create the levels manually, at least not 100%)

The Tested Engines:

Unity 3.0 Pro:
Pros:
- Easy Editor (fast to learn, almost everything can be done in there, compile and start game with one click)
- Huge community -> really nice community extensions, some for free
- Editor is easy to customise

Cons:
- no Multithreading in Editor (which translates into slow performance, once you start to stress it)
- no Multithreading in built game (which really is a let down if you develop something serious for PC or Mac)
- no Bump Mapped or Parallax Terrain out-of-the-box, there is a community fix, but sadly the FPS drop is significant
- Strange bugs in Editor (I don't know if its a bug, but happened to me 2 times now.... basicly once the directional shadows were broken, once the gras wasn't showing anymore in built game. Nothing helped until I recreated the project from scratch)
- large scale terrain support is limited (large scale terrain can be done over multiple terrains, but somewhere updwards from 5x5 1024x1024 Terrain tiles the Memory requirement hits the upper boundary of a 32bit programm)
-> 64bit not supported (its only a problem because of the former con)

EDIT: You might be able to get around the memory limitation by keeping the terrain tiles in different scenes and loading the scenes afterward in the built game... makes building up the world harder though than being able to see the whole world in one chunk in the Editor.


Esenthel Engine:
Pros:
- Parallax and Relief Mapped Terrain out of the Box
- Large Terrains supported (The whole way how the terrain engine seems to be built is for making the management of large terrains easy)
- Multithreading in editor (which will help making the whole process of building a world with scripts faster)
- Multithreading in built game (from what I can see, it really helps to stabilize the Framerate.... could be somthing else, but the FPS drop less frequent than in Unity)
- Community is small, but very helpful
- Improvements seem to be churned out at a steady rate
- Price for "Pro" license i need (the "Company" license) is half that of a unity Pro license (not a problem for me as I have already bought the Unity 3.0 license)

Cons:
- Editor seems a little hard to understand (I spent 2 weeks trying to import my heightmap, and I still don't understand why I need to change this setting or tweak that to make it work.... now I might just not get the whole workflow, or something might be wrong with my installation, still, the editor looks like it could use some work.... not that much of a problem, I hope that when I implemented my own custom editor tools, the whole thing will be easier to use for my team)
- No tree generator / engine built in, foliage management seems less refined as in Unity (well, not that this helped me much when the whole foliage system in Unity still brought the FPS down under heavy load (lots of gras und tress in scene)... maybe I'm expecting too much, but still, seems to be more geared towards First person shooter gameplay)


At the moment, I plan to get into the whole Esenthel Engine Mindset (which is quite different from Unity), buy the company license, a third party tree generator, build my own tools in the Esenthel Editor and just "work around" the corners that pose a problem in the Esenthel Engine....
But before I do that, I'd like to be sure that Esenthel can handle what I plan to build (of course, with a lot of optimisations... I'm not expecting any engine to do the really hard work for me, I just want it to not hinder the game from using all the resources it can (like the Unity Engine does with its singlethreadedness))

So is there anyone with expierience in Unity and/or Esenthel that could tell me that for my requirements, Esenthel > Unity is correct? Will Esenthel Perform better (of course I need to test that myself, but still, did someone do test this Engine with a high number of animated models)?
Also, are there other choices that might be even Better?
- UDK is not on the List, as I really dislike their business model (And I'm not sure that 25% royalities would leave a lot left for our team after all the other expenses).
- Unigine is very tempting, I would buy the license in an instant if I had 10'000 bucks to spare.... but, safe we still find the funds somewhere, we need to find another solution.
- C4 got a lot of praise, but also some negative comments concerning it being very nvidia biased
- I had a quick look at Shiva3D and Leadwerks, look good from the Editor view, but somehow they look like they took the Unity approach (make building a game easy, don't care too much about PC Performance but tune for mobile phone / tablet use case (which should still include Multithreading as dual- and quadcore phones are arriving at stores now)), but I could be wrong, as I haven't played around with them for long.
- I'm hearing a lot of good things about the Ogre3D Rendering Engine. Are there any good "world management Framewroks" available for it that would make managing and developing the terrain easier? How hard is it to integrate Physx or Bullet into it?


Thanks for any suggestions


Gian-Reto

EDIT: After having read some more about Leadwerks, it seems its Terrain-system and its limitations (only 4096x4096 Heightmaps are supported, no support for multiple terrain tiles) makes this Engine a no go for someone with my requirements.

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