Increase theEnd by a lot. The fog is applied in different amounts to whatever is between the start and end distances, so whatever is closer to the camera than .5 distance has no fog, halfway (.75 away) would have half fog, and whatever is farther than 1 unit of distance from the camera is completely in covered in fog.
GaldorPunkMember Since 04 Dec 2011
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Posted by GaldorPunk on 17 November 2013 - 07:09 PM
Microsoft does also grant some free images of the controller and the buttons that you can use for games.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 22 June 2013 - 10:16 PM
Most MMORPGs use the WASD movement system with the number keys being the main action hotkeys (usually nearby keys like Q,E,R,T,F,G will be used for actions as well) and the mouse being used for aiming and targeting (and as an alternate steering method if you're holding down the right button.) It works well for those games, and there a lot of MMOs that have enough action in their combat systems that I would consider them to be "action" RPGs, for example: Guild Wars 2, Tera, Age of Conan, and DC Universe Online to name a few.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 31 May 2013 - 08:08 PM
I have to wonder though, if the randomness is used such that you wouldn't notice it, is it really adding anything? Is doing a range of 20-26 damage much different from doing a flat 23 damage?
I think what I mean to say is that randomness can be something you notice on the short term, but over the full course of the game, it definitely shouldn’t be something that you can point to and say “I only lost because of bad luck.” Civilization for example is a game where randomness can play a big part in small battles, but since the games can last for many hours and include thousands of individual battles, the result should ultimately feel fair to the player.
I also think there’s ways that randomness itself can add to the experience, even without causing a noticeable amount of uncertainty. For example, in the game I’m making, all projectile weapons have a random targeting vector within a base accuracy range, which makes them less likely to hit units at max range or physically smaller units. (the counter system is largely based on accuracy, rate of fire, and unit size) The same effect could have been accomplished by simply decreasing a flat damage depending on the size or distance to the target, but with the random vectors you also get the emergent effect of discouraging clumped up units, since clumping tends to negate the penalty for low accuracy; even if it misses the intended target, a projectile will probably hit one of the units next to it.
The function of random damage itself, I think is mainly in either adding some uncertainty to the result of battles where none would otherwise exist (especially in a turn based game) or to get the player to pay closer attention to individual units in a slow paced tactical game. (e.g. the way you have to react to critical hits in an RPG with extra healing rather than simply saying something like “the boss does 50 dps and my potions heal 500 hp, so I’ll just click a healing pot once every 10 seconds.”)
Posted by GaldorPunk on 29 May 2013 - 03:34 PM
I think it’s fine to have some amount of randomness as long as the player won’t feel like the random values are actually changing the outcome of the game. Ideally, your random calculations should have a low variance and a large sample size over the course of any battle, so they will average out to relatively constant values and the player won’t be able to blame a win/loss on high variation in the random damage. Generally, you don’t want the outcome of the game to come down to a small number of battles that are decided with a few rolls of unweighted dice where the result of the battle can very possibly be drastically different from the expected result.
There is also in my opinion a very different mindset in playing turn based games vs. playing real time games in that turn based games (Civilization, Risk, etc.) can get away with being a lot more reliant on random outcomes than real time strategy. In an RTS, the outcome of an evenly matched battle is primarily determined by who has the better micro, while in a turn based game, the concept of micro might not exist at the level of individual battles, so random damage can make the battle a little more interesting. The way most of these games are designed, they would be a lot less fun if the outcome of a battle was set in stone before it even began, so the random outcomes are essentially simulating the effect of micro between the two players. From a strategic perspective, this also essentially forces each player to overcommit to each engagement just as you would want to in a real time battle where the outcome is uncertain. You don’t want to go into a battle with a slightly larger army where you only have a 51% chance of victory, instead you would rather wait until you have a much larger army or better positioning, maybe with a 70% chance of winning.
I think random events can work as well, especially if there’s a chance for the player to respond to them. For example, if a unit trips and simply takes 2 points of damage that’s not too interesting, whereas if a unit trips and takes 2 extra turns to get up, that’s an opportunity for the player to make a new decision in how to mitigate or take advantage of the situation.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 27 May 2013 - 09:21 PM
I’ve been on a number of similarly sized amateur teams and the way I’ve usually done it is that the lead artist or programmer is primarily the one who sets the artistic or mechanical direction of the game and delegates specific tasks to other members of the team. Usually the most experienced and most skilled person is the lead, but this isn’t always the case. (That being said, unless someone clearly has much better leadership and management skills, it’s probably best to start out with the most skilled/experienced programmer or artist as the leader of their respective group.)
Even in a highly collaborative team, everyone is going to have a slightly different idea of how to do things, so the main responsibility of a leader is to decide on a single course and keep everyone else on track. The lead artist should have the greatest understanding of the overall art style of the game so he can make sure the other artists’ work fits together in the game, and the lead programmer should have the greatest understanding of the program’s architecture so he can coordinate other programmers working on smaller parts. This is also why it’s probably not a good idea to switch leaders in the middle of a project, except for extreme cases. If the new leader has a different idea for the art style or how the program should be structured, it can cause conflicts with all your previous work and really mess things up.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 19 May 2013 - 08:39 PM
I’ve always liked the idea of using gravity to slingshot your ship and drift around planets without getting sucked in when it comes to space piloting games. Something like the Kessel Run from the Star Wars universe would be a really interesting course. (The idea is that the Kessel Run is a trade route that goes through a black hole cluster. The more cautious pilots go a long distance around to avoid getting sucked in, but if you’ve got a powerful ship and stick to the relatively safe paths, you can snake your way through the center, presumably shaving a lot of parsecs off the course length. The same could be done with any kind of course featuring planets, moons, or large asteroids.)
I also think that generally speaking, extremely realistic physics in terms of how the ship handles in outer space are often more frustrating than fun. It might be just me, but I like having some amount of "friction" to decelerate the ship when you're not running the engines and a steering system that isn't entirely based on side thrusters, just to make the handling easier and more like terrestrial racing games.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 11 May 2013 - 06:44 AM
Pretty much agree with a bunch of other replies, it isn't the initial big picture idea that's valuable, it's the thousands of small decisions that the designer makes during the course of development that determine how good the game is. The disdain for 'idea guys' in the indie community partially comes from the fact that with small teams you just can't afford to have one guy who only does design and can't program or make art. (Although I think the main reason is that most of the people who just say they want to design games don't really know what it takes to be a game designer and as a result aren't actually any good at it.)
Still, there's definitely a lot of value to having one or more person doing the work of a lead designer or art director. Sure, the initial concept isn't nearly as important or difficult to get right as the full implementation, but the overall direction and artistic vision of the game is important throughout the development process. It's a big advantage to have an interesting concept and a coherent vision of what the game is going to be, otherwise you run the risk of making a mismatch of conflicting ideas or churning out a technically proficient but generic and uninspired game.
Good idea + good implementation = good game
Bad idea + good implementation = playable but generic game
Good idea + bad implementation = wasted potential, "could have been good, but isn't"
Bad idea + bad implementation = worthless
Posted by GaldorPunk on 29 March 2013 - 10:06 AM
It seems there’s usually two different levels of detail in minimaps for games with really big worlds.
1) you can have a size limited minimap that’s in the corner of the screen or brought up as a semi-transparent overlay, which shows a relatively small area around the player’s current position. These could be created on the fly and should show dynamic data like other NPCs by just taking the chunks around the player, since the nearby terrain would presumably be loaded already. You’d probably want at least some amount of saved minimap data with the terrain data, either saving a minimap image that you can piece together for each chunk of terrain or at least saving the average color of each tile so you don’t have to recalculate it for every tile.
2) there is also often a “world map” which can be brought up fullscreen and pretty much prevents the player from moving or fighting while he’s looking at the map. (which wouldn't work if the terrain is procedural) The world maps pretty much have to be one or more pre-rendered images since they show data from the whole world – probably more data than you can pre-load in RAM. A lot of the time these are more stylized, as a 3D model like in Skyrim, or to look like worn parchment, e.g. http://www.the3rdage.net/item-111.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 20 March 2013 - 06:15 PM
The full 2012 edition of Visual Studio is fine, it's just that the Express editions of whatever version are the free ones, the professional versions are just a limited trial unless you can pay for it or you're a student (see https://www.dreamspark.com/Product/Product.aspx?productid=44 but note that it won't come with a commercial license.)
For the different versions of directx, when Vista and directx 10 came out, the new versions were no longer compatible with Windows XP. So directx 10 or 11 will run on Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8, but directx 9 will run on all these plus Windows XP. It's really pretty safe at this point to only do directx 11, unless you're really trying to support older hardware, (I'm pretty sure I don't know anyone who plays games and still has only XP) I'll probably be using dx11 for my next game for what it's worth, but maybe it's worth it to include a dx9 version.
It looks like the Windows 8 SDK at that link also includes the directx SDK, so either one should be fine, I guess that one includes a lot of other features. I'm currently using all XNA and I haven't worked in directx since before Windows 8 came out, so I'm not really up to date, especially on the 11.1 features.
I actually thought the directx tutorial website was ok, but if there's one best source I'd still say it's the DirectX Sample Browser that's installed with the SDK. It has a lot of tutorials and samples, plus gives you working demos that you can run and edit for each of the samples.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 20 March 2013 - 03:54 PM
-Visual Studio (Visual C++ Express Edition) is pretty much the best choice
-It depends what you want the game to run on, if you want it to be compatible with Windows XP you have to use directx 9, but if you're fine with it only running on Vista and later, then you can go with 11 (most people by now have vista or beyond, but if it's not a very graphically demanding game I'd still recommend using dx9 just for the added compatibility, you could also write two different versions, but that's a bit of extra work)
Download link for directx sdk: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=6812
Integrating with visual studio: http://takinginitiative.net/2010/07/02/setting-up-the-directx-sdk-with-visual-studio-2010/
-it is absolutely free, for non-profit or commercial games
-as for learning, the sdk itself comes with a bunch of samples and tutorials when you download it, and you can find some more samples most of the information you need on MSDN, this is also a pretty good site that I used in the past (I only used the free parts of it) http://www.directxtutorial.com/
Posted by GaldorPunk on 14 March 2013 - 08:10 AM
It'll sure make tabletop wargaming a lot cheaper. I could also see video games coming with printer designs for models from the game, the way collector's editions sometimes come with collectible models, but with no extra production and shipping cost.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 09 March 2013 - 09:29 PM
I think this is similar to what you’re saying in the original post. One of the techniques I’ve found to be useful in a lot of cases is to stagger non-essential update methods when they don’t have to run every update loop and you don’t want them to all run at the same time. I’m making an RTS right now, and I’ve got some methods that have to run every frame for every unit (movement, collision detection, etc.) but there’s also for example a “scan for nearby enemies” method that is quite time consuming, but there’s no reason to call it every update. Instead of finding nearby units in each main update loop, each unit keeps a list of nearby units that is updated every 30-40 frames, or often enough that the unit will always have an accurate list of units within firing or collision range.
Part of the solution is making sure that you aren’t unnecessarily repeating tasks, for example collision and weapon firing both need a list of nearby units, so instead of finding a new list of units within each method, you can do a single search and then share the data between both methods. (There’s a good chance this can be an issue with modular components developed by different teams, which is why you should always make sure your different components aren’t repeating the same sub-task when they don’t have to.) It’s also helpful to determine which tasks are absolutely necessary (movement collision detection, etc.) while taking the more advanced tasks like pathfinding or strategic AI and realizing when you can get away with doing them once and then only checking periodically that the initial result is still valid.
Posted by GaldorPunk on 07 March 2013 - 03:59 PM
From what I understand, in the US you'll have to file a Doing Business As form if you plan on selling under a company name or alias rather than your actual name, as well as state and county/city fees depending on where you live.