Like Prinz said, you really need to learn lighting. Take a look at this markup I did in about 2 min
This is just basic lighting with a front face source ( like you had originally )
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Posted by riuthamus on 06 February 2013 - 12:03 PM
Like Prinz said, you really need to learn lighting. Take a look at this markup I did in about 2 min
This is just basic lighting with a front face source ( like you had originally )
Posted by riuthamus on 06 February 2013 - 10:57 AM
so first off what vector graphics program would you recommend? Is there any standard software that is used for vector game art(flash maybe?) or does anyone want to recommend one that is good for making 2d graphics/animations? Right now I'm planning on using flash because I want learn actionscript and whatnot eventually anyway so I might as well get familiar with the software, unless anyone thinks flash isn't suitable for my needs for some reason.
Illustrator is the industry standard and it has some very powerful options for you. If you are just picking up vector based art you will find it has some really nice tools that can aid in the process from rasterized art to vector based concepts.
Like I said I also want to get some peoples input on using vector graphics instead of raster for my android games. I'm not actually planning on rendering vectors in my game but just creating the graphics and animations with a vector program and saving them as .png. The reasons I'm considering vectors are because it looks somewhat easier for a non-artist like myself and because it would make animations much easier and less time consuming. I want to have half decent graphics in my game and I plan on investing a lot of time into improving my 2d art skills but I don't want to be spending weeks/months creating graphics for each game I make. I may be wrong but from the few tutorials I skimmed over on vector graphics it looked like it was pretty quick/easy.
Vector art is a style just like raster is a style. They both come with negatives and posatives. The big thing about vector art is that it is all based off of mathematics so that you can easily resize and reshape with minimal issues. To make your art effective you need to understand the difference between highlighted areas and shadowed ones as normally you will see 3 - 8 tones in a vector based drawing. Most vector based art has a very cartoon style of look and in some cases ( with enough skill ) you can really make it look good. This does not mean that all art with vectors is cartoon based as I have seen some people take it to the extreme and do some rather sexy paintings with it. The limitation is really in what your understanding level of art is and how you can use these different looks/feelings to convey the picture/art you want.
I would argue vector based art is harder but that is because it takes an advanced understanding of where shadows and highlights should be placed. ( unless you are just good at that naturally ) I will say that you can do vector art pretty fast if you only want a basic shape, but to really make it shine you will need to take some time to get the details right. A good artist can make anything look simple be it with vectors or be it with raster layers. Anyway, good luck.
Posted by riuthamus on 31 January 2013 - 05:16 AM
Agreed, once you get more in depth you realize the complexity of it all. Did you know that photoshop doesnt process alphas on PNG files correctly? When you export them for use with SRGB values you get some funk ass effects. you have to obtain a plugin that will allow you to export proper PNG files such as "SuperPNG". This is something I would have never known until I started to make art for games.
On another note some programs such as 3dcoat and 3dmax do not play well with third party programs that are free. I can directly export a texturemap to photoshop and back via 3dcoats press and play process. This method could be pivitol when dealing with the art assets used in a art pipeline. Freelance work wont be effected by this but when you get into the big business practice it very much will. I could name off thousands of other processes or events where knowing the tool you are using and what it can and can not do is crucial. The point is that using industry standard tools is very much suggested... if you cant because you can not afford them than that is great but do not pretend like your free tools can do all of the same things that photoshop or any other industry tool can. In most cases they cant.
Posted by riuthamus on 30 January 2013 - 04:48 PM
I think what servant is saying is, if your going to go through this process of Kickstarter go through it with the mindset of making something that will be released. To approach kickstater with the idea of doing a hobby that might turn into something big would be inappropriate and unfair to the consumer. Least that is how I am reading it.
Posted by riuthamus on 30 January 2013 - 04:17 PM
1) I stumbled upon this blog on being a games artist and in the "What software I should learn" section, it says " For starters, you should learn Photoshop. It's pretty much the industry standard for 2D artwork. " Why is it this case? I thought Adobe Illustrator and similar vector based drawing programs like Inkscape is standard for 2d artwork. Where does photoshop come in?
Photoshop has been in since forever. I remember using Paint Shop Pro because it was easy to crack and simple to use.... I remember when I first started saying "layers are stupid, who would ever use them" LMAO Silly things we say when we are young and ignorant. Photoshop is seriously the most powerful tool. Gimp and other tools can be used but you are really lacking in a lot of tools. Ill give you an example of what i mean. I do concept art right now with a mouse and keyboard. I can do some good work with this but it takes me longer than people who have a $4,000 draw pad. In the industry time = money so anything that can speed up the process and create good quality of work over and over becomes industry standard.
2) Do employers mind if I use freeware programs? I learned how to use photoshop in high school for image manipulation and moved on to a freeware program called GIMP and still has it to this day. Right now, I am practicing vector drawing on Inkscape (Freeware program compared to Illustrator). I have experience in photoshop and illustrator but I am using freeware counterparts because Photoshop and Illustrator combined are expensive, especially since I have loans to pay for college.
Some might and some may not. It really depends on the employer and what they are asking of you. If they expect the core files there might be issues if the file format you are exporting is not accepted by the industry grade programs. ( most of the times that is not the case ) If you are ever hired to work on a team most often they pay for your software since you will be using one of their seat liscn. Furthermore, Adobe finally got smart and realized that there are millions of artists who can not afford 4000 every year for the new version of the software. So what did they do, they added a subscription based setup that allows you to pay for ALL of their software for a very low rate. $79 gets you access to every product they make and you can use them for release purposes. This means if you do one freelance product at a very LOW rate you can pay for access to all the big industry software no problem. Smartest move for any wouldbe artist.
3) Ok so this may not have to do with the topic but since I am here: Do game artists stay at one company for long or are they like freelancers? I checked out some game art portfolios and the resumes attached. To my surprise, they have worked at multiple game companies as if they were job hopping. I was hoping to stay at one company for a while...
Much like most markets of today, the game industry is very volatile for artists. Unless you are top notch and deliver a very specific style you could and will be replaced for a lower priced artist. If you earn a name for yourself and you gain a very specific art style you can gain some form of job security but that is really dependent upon what you bring to the table. The worst and best part of art is that today you could be shit and tomorrow you could be a legend. Such is the life of somebody who creates works of art for the appreciation of those around them.
Posted by riuthamus on 30 January 2013 - 01:37 PM
I have been doing some extensive research on this, you can read further on my blog post if you like but I will sum up some information for you here.
Financials and planning:
Theory of Kickstarter:
Long story short, right now even quality projects are finding a hard time getting funded. The only projects that are a real "success" are one that accurately ask for an amount that is equal to the value of the project. I say this because some games with real potential are putting their "required funds" a bit too high and because of this are finding themselves close to funding but maybe not making it. A key example of this is Akaneiro, which started out strong but is very near not making their goal within the 3 days left. If they would have lowered their value just 25k than they wouldnt lose out on all that funding. So the key is to really plan out what you "REALLY NEED" to make it happen and put that down as your goal. If you need $500,000 to make your first game ever than perhaps you should really rethink the game you are attempting to make as it is most likely above your ability to make ( maybe your that one rare case but most likely you are not ).
Secondly, the most important thing I have noticed is having some form of a gimick. Project that is properly priced and has a great hook is Cryamore. In the first few days of its release the project had made its already "needed funds" and will most likely surpass them to a very high % rate. Why, because they provided the viewers with all the information they would need to say "hey i want to put some money into this" and they did it with a great hook. I hate anime but despite that I really fell in love with their video and how they presented the information. When you can make a person who doesnt like the genre respect what you are doing and possibly donate you know you are doing something right. So, find what makes your game unique and fun and highlight that in a very fun way. To often you will find people who take videos on their couch and just talk about what their idea of the game is, this only works if you have made games before that sold on the real market via AAA titles or another very popular indie game.
Lastly, Having 5000 options for perks is not equal to a win. Kickstarter is very much a visual process. If you sell the game properly you could have little to NOTHING done and people will invest. Some points are made here that "smart investors" will not put the money down but if you make a game that they are interested in and you present the idea properly you will find that most people will wave their more rational thoughts for the ideal of playing something that they are passionate about. What does this mean? Presentation is KEY! Do not show off low quality pictures or low quality production type work. If you have some cash spend some on getting concept art done for the game... you would be amazed at how far you can go with a little bit of concept art. Most people will draw up some quality crap for $150 and that money can easily net you the difference between $5000 and $50,000 on Kickstarter.
Thing to note: People claim that advertisement is key... and while I agree it will not hurt your project I certainly do not feel it is the single most important factor. I have seen plenty of projects that were not advertised that gained massive support from word of mouth AFTER the kickstarter was out. So, once you do get the kickstarter ready you should look at spending some time promoting the project. Get your stuff on other game sites like IndieDB and maybe get a big online news site to say some things about it. If you get one post on Kotaku you can very easily gain a small revenue based off of advertisement alone.
I say all of this because I am looking at doing a kickstarter soon myself. There are thousands of things to be done and I am most likely over thinking most of them... but these are just some of the observations I have made. Use them or ignore them at your own risk. Good luck!
Posted by riuthamus on 18 January 2013 - 04:37 PM
Indeed, good to have it working. Now to get it to work and make it all sexy like!
Posted by riuthamus on 04 January 2013 - 07:32 PM
So we are running into a bit of an issue. Our point lights are still not working. Here is a skinny on what we have:
1) we have deffered rendering.
3) we are using sharpDx and C#
4) dx10 and 11 are the only things we are attempting to use. We are not using any dx9 methods
So, the issue:
We are getting some odd errors and none of the tools we are using are showing a reason as to why. We can not find out if the issue is the code or the methods we are using or the math. We lack the understanding of the things in place to really grasp what is going on. Perhaps one of you more skilled people here can assist?
We are attempting to avoid a complete breakdown of ever system... as that seems to be the last result.
What our goal is:
We are attempting to keep the deffered rendering while using the point lights ( we would like to have many of them in a single location ). We are under the impression that to do this we must use dx11 methods. If we are unable to use these methods it could hamper some of our other systems since we are sending some of our ui elements through dx11.1 stuff.
PIX has been abandoned by MS ( apparently ) and dx11.1 support from nvidia will not exist for until nsight 3.0 ( which could take some serious time to get ) This means we would need to revert back to dx11 and if we do that we lose the methods for controlling our UI that let us have special effects as well as we take a big FPS hit when ui elements are open ( probably another issue with how we are doing it )
So all in all, we have some compounded issues that need to be resolved. Right now the thing seems to be a mess. If we can get the point lights to work with the current setup we will be good.... Any and all help would be very appreciated.
Posted by riuthamus on 03 December 2012 - 08:48 AM
Lord DarkShayde, MMO is a buzzword. MMO doesn't make a difference when you only ever meet a few players at a time in any given session, and it's all instanced anyways. If your party enters a dungeon and gets it's own private instance, what difference does the MMO part make? You might as well be playing a something like Icewind Dale at a Lan Party.
What difference does it make if there are 64 or 6400 if I never see these guys? They are in other zones, doing other quests, and when I come across them, they are just passing by on the road on their to or from town. They extra players really don't add anything to the experience.
It's like an amusement part. They are just other people waiting in line to ride the repeating quests. The level reqs are just a replacement for the 'you must be THIS tall' signs. ;)
Posted by riuthamus on 29 November 2012 - 10:43 AM
Posted by riuthamus on 27 November 2012 - 11:30 AM
Posted by riuthamus on 29 October 2012 - 04:14 PM
Posted by riuthamus on 15 October 2012 - 08:56 AM
You could use a separate seed for placing resources, so you send the normal terrain seed, and then send the visible resources individually (not by sending the seed)
Posted by riuthamus on 14 October 2012 - 07:11 PM
Posted by riuthamus on 10 October 2012 - 12:27 AM
Or you could look at a whole different approach - use steam (even though they will take a cut), you can develop your dedicated servers that the public will be able to host to verify each player is a valid steam client with a copy of the game (You should be able to do this, if not my bad. I havn't played around with the steamworks API main due to the problem being I havnt released a game on steam yet).
I would agree with hplus. Just make the game first. You can develop the game with efficiency and reliability in mind but, once you release the game you can then expand (improve hardware) as the game grows. 10,000 connections per second wont happen overnight.
Wouldn't it be an even huger waste of time to spend time writing support for a game that nobody wants to play? Or spending time optimizing something which won't actually turn out to be a bottleneck in the end?
But that doesn't mean that login servers are a bottleneck at all. A login server needs to verify user name/password, generate a signed ticket with some lifetime, and write an entry into a log file. You can do thousands of that per second on a single virtual instance, and if you have a thousand users per second logging in, you're bigger than any indie game company I know of (except possibly for Steam.)
I think Minecraft is a phenomenal success and I would have been very proud have I created it. Sure it can be better, but 99.9% of all projects are actually failures. Usually, the problem is that developers spend way too much time building things that don't matter *yet* instead of making sure they figure out what the successful game will look like. Building robust infrastructure as you need it is much easier than building a compelling experience that users want to pay for.
That being said: If you can spend six hours instead of two hours on some task, and the difference is that with the six hours, you solve a problem right, and with two hours, it will fail when you have a hundred users, then spend the six hours. Just don't spend six days if you can unblock the "fun finding" with two hours of work.
0) decode the user name (email?) and password from the request
1) look up the user record based on the user name / email in Redis
2) hash the provided password with a salt
3) compare the password hash with the hash in the user record
4) if mismatch, return error
5) if match, create a ticket consisting of (username:expirytime:hash(username:expirytime:serversecret)) and return success
Now, your client can present the ticket to any server, and it can verify that the user is who he/she says he/she is by simply verifying the hash (all servers should be configured with the same server secret.)
Now, use "ab" or a similar load testing program, running on another machine or two, to generate load for this service, and see how far it goes.
Note that, if average session time is 1 hour, and average login request service time is 10 ms, then you can serve 360,000 simultaneous online users from a single login server, and I'd be quite surprised if the login mechanism described above couldn't be made to run much faster than that.
And, if you're using a simple key/value store for user records, and a simple signed-ticket service for login/authentication, then you can scale horizontally with very little effort -- use consistent hashing for the storage instances, and any HTTP load balancer for the front end. This is a solved problem, and as long as you have a reasonable path towards the scalability you need, you don't actually need to develop and test it until you actually need it. Time is the most precious resource we have, and using it to address the biggest risk first is, IMO, the best use of it.
You are wasting your time, first write a game that demands 10,000 requests per second, and then you will be able to hire a whole team of hplus types to solve all your problems
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