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Member Since 20 Apr 2011
Offline Last Active Dec 16 2014 06:37 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Game Design Theory: Smartphone MMO Strategy Game

29 November 2014 - 12:28 PM

Maybe try a different look at strategy, maybe high level strategy. As you said, offline time is key. I'd use this to field the best army you can, not just resources but refining (upgrading resources), unit construction, unit refining (upgrading with items and training), use of veteran units (to train new units or upgrade into command units as a teamed combat unit) and researching new tech. Like most touch screen games these choices are made during play then a time tells the player how long until these choices are available.


Online gameplay, intelligence (after fielding spies and recon units) the player uses these units to identify threats at the location their sovereign (commander, government, corporate head, etc) is requesting them to ascertain. A rough estimate (based on quality of recon units) of enemy activity indicates the position's level of risk. Battle. Split into offensive and defensive. Defensive starts with dropping start positions for combat units choosing targets to defend and patrol paths. This is passive gameplay for other players to challenge. Offensive combat has the player dropping units start positions creating a primary and secondary objectives as well as a drawn path of attack. Units automaticly follow paths to achieve objectives. During combat play the player can choose their units and activate skills (special abilities). Obviously the aim is to win combat. My addition (units that aren't killed are captured and can be converted over time) making stealth and speed the key. After combat the player fields their next army.


Combat locations are based on match making and resource requirements.

In Topic: Vertically scrolling underwater game, what to use as background?

15 November 2014 - 07:15 PM

This might help.


I would focus on looped lighting, use water depth to alter the player's mood. Use underwater objects (ruins, rock formations, underwater vegetation) to creating a sense of pacing and speed (based on how close the items are to the player). I would use a semi dynamic populating of fish and other swimming things to make the levels feel less repetitive. 

In Topic: 2d vs. 3d: cost analysis

24 October 2014 - 11:41 PM

Haha you're right, I am confused. You argued me blue in the face when I made the suggestion to hire a concept artist, I then pointed out that his animation should be compelling and agreed with you to use 2D animation. I didn't disagree with your recommendation, you're the one that argued my post, line for line remember? Whether it was relevant to the topic or not. Since this thread is dead (other then us bickering) I'm not going to respond to it anymore. StarMire if you still have beef with my position, PM me. 


My claim was that given the circumstances Manderson99 described 2D would be cheaper. Hope that doesn't confuse anyone. This discussion isn't going to get more meaningful or productive. Good luck on the project Manderson99.

In Topic: 2d vs. 3d: cost analysis

23 October 2014 - 10:52 PM

StarMire, Of course I'm comparing apples to oranges, it's 2 different types of art. As for Devientart, I'm pretty sure contracting any novice artist for free from anywhere will be a rocky ride, Devientart has a huge variety of artists from industry professionals and veterans to hobbyists. The key is style, not many sites have such a wide variety of art styles to choose from. Any and every AAA quality 2D asset is easier and cheaper to change then 3D, if you've created 2D or 3D art you know this. 2D skeletons are just a scripted version of any slice and dice animation technique with the added perk of tweening. Even AAA quality animation uses slice and dice occasionally to save time. If you want to insist on 3D as the cheaper choice then you can but prove it to Manderson99, not me. The points your making seem moot however given the game(and situation) that Manderson99 has described.


A 2D RPG generally has small group of protagonists all with limited animation(often covered up with excessive particle animation, blur or flourishes), 40+ enemies of varying shapes and sizes (rarely all humanoid) all with very limited animation, plus boss encounters who usually have a little less animation work then the protagonists and enough static assets and backgrounds to achieve the story's "world". A studio could hire a team of 2D artists and a team of 3D artists to shape this world and it's populace or hire the same number of just 2D artists and lets see which team finishes that game first with what you call "high quality art". 


StarMire if you read the post, Manderson99 is talking about bringing in 1 artist. Are you really suggesting it's cheaper to bring in a "master of none" 3D artist to try and champion all the 3D assets for an entire RPG? This is a start-up company with a limited art budget. 3D complicates what could be a very straightforward art pipeline. 


Manderson99 if you have plans to hire an artist, start with a talented concept artist, you'll need 2D art in any game either way. If you're concept artist can animate its a great bonus to your project since they can not only concept assets but your artist can conceptualize how the game will feel (move), by creating test animations (and chance are they can build most of the priority assets as well). 2D or 3D will depend on scale, style and the game mechanics. From the game you've described, I stand by my suggestion to stick with 2D to keep costs down. The bonus of going this route is that if you find you need 3D, you can just add it later with either pre-rendered or take your library of 2D work into any engine. I would hire one in house artist and contract other artists or even a studio if you're timetable is short. A technical director is useful for any team as well since often artists and programmers speak different languages and a technical director can help make sense of everyone's crazy lingo and jargon. But see how things go with your artists first.


If you don't have one already, make a list of all of your art assets. Static, animated and all the animations as well. Give this list to your in house artist and they can help decide on style and best direction to go given the projects budget. 

In Topic: 2d vs. 3d: cost analysis

22 October 2014 - 09:30 PM

If an indie dev is working with a limited budget a master of none (a talented 2D artist that can handle some animation) is a much appreciated cost over trying to cover the costs of a dedicated, concept artist,  3D modeler, a technical director for rigging and shadders, particle effects not to mention getting them all familiar with the requirements of an ever changing 3D engine and the hours building reasonable pipeline for assets. So yeah I'd say the costs are lower to cover the man power hours of bashing out a few thousand frames, HUD and background art and splash screen then the 3D alternative. 




No you don't.  3d assets are much easier to change. Rigs can be copied straight over from model to another model of similar size and shape.


If you decide to make changes to a character (proportions, clothes, drapery, facial changes, etc.) Its much easier to draw a new concept and redraw a handful of frames using paintovers, alter the 2D rig or swap out a head, then it is to make sweeping changes to models, UV, rig proportions, facial deformation, etc. Specially if you have a dedicated members for each of these tasks. You don't need to re-draw every frame. Unless you're a glutten for pain. 



That doesn't make any sense.  Because you'll have some 2d art in your game, you might as well make it all 2d?

Almost all 3d games on the market have a substantial amount of 2d art invested in HUD and icons.  Should they all have just been 2d?


For a tiny startup it does make sense because if the game design doesn't necessitate 3D perspective (all mechanics are just as fun from a fixed perspective) then why bother? Of course 3D games use 2D art, but they also have design mechanics that call for 3D. If a startup can make a fun game with the ideas they have using 2D sprites and painted backgrounds, its far more viable to pay one artist then many.




Animation is cheaper in 3d...


As you pointed out, this is debatable. This debate will obviously unravel into a "it'll depend on the game" scenario. But for a startup with limited budget. I would spend the money on a concept artist that happens to have some animation skills because they'll be needed for future games and would be useful all through any game's development. A 2D game asset will always be cheaper to make and implement then a 3D asset, whether in hours or money spent. The only area this isn't true is in the attempt to create 3D animations. In which case 2D art takes longer and is more expensive to try and recreate.


As I said my focus is in animation (3D animation actually), but in my opinion video game's gained their reputation because the art of the game changed from static art to actions that meant more then just solving the game's rules. It was when we started bringing characters to life, running, jumping, squashing, reacting to an environment. After video games started using animation was when it was recognized as a form of art and not just something neat you could do with a computer. Without the few frames drawn to depict the actions of the character's of yesteryear's games they wouldn't be video games.


3D is easier today then ever before, but even today, not all games need 3D art to be fun and because their are decades worth of 2D asset pipelines which any developer can easily learn and follow. A game that doesn't need 3D, is cheaper to make in 2D.


But ultimately Starmire we do agree that the decision isn't in the money. The art decision is in the design.