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Azaral

Member Since 09 Apr 2013
Offline Last Active Jul 21 2014 07:13 AM
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#5131887 Why C++?

Posted by Azaral on 16 February 2014 - 08:13 PM




#5129475 how to prevent save cheating? (for games where saving is NOT allowed)

Posted by Azaral on 06 February 2014 - 09:06 PM

 

 

Let them cheat their way through and then they don't feel like playing it again after the first roundORprevent them from cheating their way through and making them have hard fun while playing it and maybe thereby giving it good replay value (if the game was designed well) . . .. . . i choose the latter.@suliman: aren't the hackers the people that crack your game and give the cheats to the lazy, 'cheat-through' players?

OR they fail and fail and fail and since they can't do anything but start over or give up, they give up and call your game crap out of frustration.
Actually, 'fail and fail and fail' won't really be possible in my games, neither will checkpoints nor cancelling autosave be possible. You fail, you face the consequence, move on and . . . There'll be different things in my games and if isn't implemented before i start making my games, it'll be new things.
One more thing, shouldn't the player play within the developers programming? If not, i would have loved to keep going straight in the gtavc but unfortunately, you get magically turned around in the water.
Should you let them implement what you didn't program into a game? What if what they implement your idea for a sequel?
I'm just asking.

 

 

If they want to change the game that they bought from the original, I don't care (speaking of strictly single player games). They are increasing their fun. Sure, I put out a game and I intended it to be played a certain way, but if they change it to make it more enjoyable for themselves then who am I to deny them that?  That would be like deriding anyone who ever writes any fan fiction. They are taking something you made and making it more enjoyable for themselves.


You are treating the player as an adversary instead of a partner.

As far as implementing my idea for a sequel, they are more than welcome to do that. However, their version of a sequel could be vastly different than my idea of a sequel, and if I the, the original creator of said universe, denounced it, then I doubt anyone would put any credence to it. It could even be spun off as a sort of split in the timeline. It would force me to do a better job. It would be like if someone made a Mass Effect 3 that doesn't have a balls ending that turns the entire series to poo soup. Also, see fan fiction example above.




#5129395 how to prevent save cheating? (for games where saving is NOT allowed)

Posted by Azaral on 06 February 2014 - 02:33 PM

Let them cheat their way through and then they don't feel like playing it again after the first round
OR
prevent them from cheating their way through and making them have hard fun while playing it and maybe thereby giving it good replay value (if the game was designed well) . . .
. . . i choose the latter.

@suliman: aren't the hackers the people that crack your game and give the cheats to the lazy, 'cheat-through' players?

 

OR they fail and fail and fail and since they can't do anything but start over or give up, they give up and call your game crap out of frustration.




#5129283 caveman rpg - should snow put out your fire?

Posted by Azaral on 06 February 2014 - 06:04 AM

10 inch of snow = 1 inches of rain. There is far less water in snow than there is in rain. Unless you have a ridiculous amount of snow happening, no. You have to figure that the rate of snow would have to be greater than the rate at which the fire can melt and then boil the snow, and given the small amount of water in each snow flake that rate is pretty fast.

 

edited for snow to rain correction




#5127073 Stellar RTS planets

Posted by Azaral on 28 January 2014 - 05:03 PM

Well see the thing is I just am assuming a relative straight line rather than orbital transfer. 

I was also thinking in terms of everything moving all the time rather than calculating one section at a time to predict out... in which case the ship would just correct itself as it got closer if i set the planet as the target,

 

These ships would be fast enough to at least do that but not fast enough to make it so the planet moving would make no difference.

 

There's no place that really covers what I need. It tells you how NASA does it with our current technology but that's fairly useless if you aren't traveling in a circle or the orbit shape is almost a straight line.

 

Well, if you want to brute force it this should get you pretty darn close. Figure out how long it will take to get to the destination planet, based on the current desitination and origin. Then figure out how long it would take, and then calculate where the destination will be. Make this your course. Then, after some time, could be a percentage of course traveled, a tick, a certain amount of time, recalculate it. Figure out how long it will take to get to the planet from the current location of ship and planet and figure out where the planet will be at that time and make that the course. It won't be a straight line but it will get to you to your destination.




#5126991 Stellar RTS planets

Posted by Azaral on 28 January 2014 - 11:22 AM

Instead of updating position each tick and storing it you can do something else.

You can create a function that would take the planet and a time variable that is the time passed in the universe since the beginning. It could be of any unit you want, your function would just have to take it into account. Then, whenever you need to deal with the planet's position, you simply calculate it based on the time passed and the properties of the planet (orbit speed, starting location, etc). This way, you avoid having to update any planet's positions and instead just calculate it on the fly when needed. You turn 20,000 updates a tick into one calculation whenever you need it. This would work for any property, orbit position, planet rotation, pretty much anything that is constant with the flow of time, which luckily with space, almost everything is until it get's acted on by something else.

You could use this for any object moving at a constant rate, or for any object you have a constant force on.

As I think, you just need a position function, which is derived from a velocity function, which is derived from an acceleration function, which is derived from a force function.

 

Acceleration = mass / force

 

Position = ( ( acceleration + initial acceleration ) * time ^ 2 ) / 2 + ( velocity + initial velocity ) * time + starting position

 

There are similar functions for a lot of different things, like orbits and what not.

 

You could also have forces chance, but you would have to update your initial acceleration, velocity, and position values.

 

You could also update the variables each time the object's position is calculated to keep it 'current'.
 




#5123481 Turn based, Grid based movement - score cost in, or out of cells?

Posted by Azaral on 13 January 2014 - 10:33 PM

You could do both. Double the amount of movement points each unit gets and subtract the points for moving into and moving out of a block. Example: If you have a piece of rough terrain that costs 3 movement, then the unit will lose 3 moving into and 3 moving out of. This would only be useful if movement points can be used for something else. I think doing it this way would more closely represent movement since you aren't traversing the entire terrain unless you move into and then move out of. If you only one or the other then you haven't actually traversed the whole terrain segment, only part of it.




#5059451 'Communication' in a 4X game

Posted by Azaral on 05 May 2013 - 06:58 AM

I have this exact idea for my 4x game I have been working on the game design for. In my game, the communications signal actually has to travel to wherever it is going to. The command units (fleets and people on planets) would be responsible for carrying out the details through their own AI. The player could tell them to do things by setting a goal. For example, a fleet could be told to patrol a given area. They would patrol that given area until they either A, were running low on supplies and were at the point of no return and decided to go resupply (this could be overridden by telling them that they would be resupplied in space, or by telling them they had no choice in which case the loyalty and obedience of your men would be tested to see if they would follow your orders).

 

In my game, each turn was a week of in game time. My plan was to calculate the distance from the signal origin, IE where the player is currently located in the world (the player has an actual avatar in the world and can move around from place to place if that place is 'right'). If a fleet were 3 days away for a communication signal, the fleet would take 3/7's of a turn to receive the order, and would spend the other 4/7's of the turn working to carry it out. They would send back a weekly update where they would say "this is where we are and this is our status". The player would get two sets of location info for the fleet; last reported location and projected location based on calculating how fast they were going in their last update and which direction they were heading.

 

Now, I also have it planned for communications to be able to be intercepted, in which case they could be decoded and someone else could learn valuable information (information gathering is also a key focus in my 4x game, the players access to intel on things is extremely limited and the player has to work to learn things, but that's another topic entirely). The communications can also deteriorate over distance since over a distance, the signal focus will dissipate. They would also suffer from interference by natural phenomena, such as a regular radio signal getting too close to a blackhole for example that is casting out it's own radio waves. The radio waves from the blackhole could distort the signal. It would then be up to the receiving unit to properly understand the order. The player would also have to build communication relays which would be able to receive and resend the signal to maintain signal integrity over distance and could go around known sources of interference.

 

It would also be possible to jam communications. An enemy fleet could jam the communications of one of the players fleets, take it out, and the player would not know about the fleet's predicament until they did not receive the fleet's status report. In which case, the player would need to investigate and figure out what happened to their fleet. They would have the last known location and the last projected location and path.

 

The player would also be able to upgrade their communications to faster methods of communication, such as using tachyons to transmit the signal, or subspace signals, hyperspace signals (many different ways to do the same thing each with their own properties and requirements) quantum entanglement communications, etc. They would also be able to upgrade their enrcyption algorithms to make their signals more secure against being read by unwanted parties.

 

There is no 'communications range' that is a hard set number. There is just the time it takes for a communication to reach your command unit and there is also dissipation from travel distance (which has ways of being mitigated through research and development). That's how it works in real life for the most part. You send a signal out and it goes until it stops. It will lose focus over time as the wave loses coherency and it will get mixed up with other waves along the way (which is what causes white noise, multiple radio waves getting jumbled together and creating just noise on the receiver).

 

- In tv series such as, say, Star Trek, when a ship is beyond the range of their central command, they have sufficient leadership aboard to make clever decisions. The issue here is that, its very hard to grasp that from the standpoint of the player if he is playing the collective counsciousness of high management. On the one hand, I don't want the player to lose control of his ships just because they are out of range, but then, if I don't do something drastic, communication ranges won't mean anything.

 

I had planned for the player to set mission goals for their fleets. They can set any number of goals and reactions and give them priority ranking. For example, if a ship is sent to patrol an area, they could tell the fleet to either just report on movement in that area, engage to drive off unwanted visitors, destroy unwatned visitors, destroy unwanted visitors at any and all costs and pursue them if necessary. They can also set the thresh hold for returning for repair and/or resupply. The fleet admiral AI would take that into account and the AI system would also take into account the psychology and a lot of other factors to make the decisions. If a ship were out of 'communication range' the ship AI would have the ability to return to nearest port if they needed to. I don't think it is really hard to grasp for a player playing the high management. It's just delegating tasks for your subordinates to fulfill, just like any other real management job.

 

- Similarly, I don't want to limit the range. I think its important for the player to be able to send a ship very far in exploration, and a communication range would just prevent this. Likewise, it would suck to be unable to retaliate on an enemy just because he's destroyed one of your bases and has come out of your range.

 

You can have a ship/fleet act as a communication relay. You can have your ships deploy communication relays, You could build a permanent communication relay station.




#5059275 Understanding 2D Walking/Run Animation in Games

Posted by Azaral on 04 May 2013 - 03:07 PM

The proper speed would be that the characters feet don't change their position relative to the piece of ground they are touching when running or walking. If the animation is running too fast, it will appear as though your character is sliding on the ground like running on ice. If the animation is running too slow, it will appear as though the character is also sliding on the ground, but being pushed by something from behind. That would be a technical way to look at it.




#5055493 Good Example of using Lua and C++ practically in a game

Posted by Azaral on 21 April 2013 - 07:33 AM

Look at the game Natural Selection 2. The core of the engine is written in C++, but all the game 'content' stuff is written in Lua. All the code for the marines and the aliens and weapons and structures is Lua files.

 

It also has 100% dynamic lighting, which is cool.




#5055221 Game that tackles suspension of disbelief vs challenge.

Posted by Azaral on 20 April 2013 - 08:45 AM

One thing you would need to be careful of is making sure the player isn't made to face an obstacle he can't pass because the character he needed to do it is dead or too badly injured.

You gave the example of an obstacle only one person can jump over. Well, what if that one person died in the first level of the game or he has a broken leg and can't jump as high anymore? The player would be stuck and they might not even realize it. They will get frustrated as they search for an alternative. They will then curse and become angry at the fact that they have to start over, and they probably won't do it because they will probably never play your game again or they will after a long time.

 

If something happens to a character that will prevent them from doing a required essential task in the future, the game needs to tell the player this so that they don't get to that point. Or, every obstacle needs alternatives. You could have the 'best' way past something which would be the easiest and quickest way, and alternatives that would be obvious, but also longer or more challenging. Then you could have other alternatives that are hard to discover or realize, but are even better than the 'best' way.

If you are going to have an obstacle that requires x in the future, then when the player loses x, they need to lose right then and there.




#5054969 Graphic design for dynamic weapon/armor on sprite

Posted by Azaral on 19 April 2013 - 11:57 AM

http://esotericsoftware.com/

This is an animation program specifically made for 2D sprite animation. It is very reasonably priced at $60. The easiest solution to your problem, and probably very close to what Maple Story does from the sound of ti.




#5054569 Ideas needed for Blacksmith mini game.

Posted by Azaral on 18 April 2013 - 08:30 AM

Azaral gave the best description of a forging process that i've ever heard (or read).

 

I've technical level on Mechanics (not sure what's the name of the degree in english), and I can confirm everything he says about alloys and thermal treatments.

 

Thanks, writing that post actually inspired me to write an article on the matter, which I am doing now.




#5054548 Ideas needed for Blacksmith mini game.

Posted by Azaral on 18 April 2013 - 07:14 AM

I do blacksmithing as a hobby so I think I will chime in.

A real sword has 4 parts. The first and obviously most important part is the blade. The blade runs then entire length of the sword from the blade down to where it turns into the tang and a little bit further.

The material it is made of determines a lot about the blade. Steel comes in many varying alloys (there are literally hundreds, if not thousands). The most basic steel alloy is a mixture of iron and carbon, which is steel. The carbon and iron form a crystalline matrix which is what gives steel it's strength. Your basic steel you buy from like Lowe's or Home Depot is usually something low carbon like 1018, which is .18% carbon and 99.82% iron (by mass). A file for instance, which is used to shape metal, can be upwards of .9% to 1.2% depending on the alloy.

The more carbon, the harder the steel is. This is measured on the Rockwell C scale (typically, there are multiple scaling conventions). A typical file could be upwards to RC 65 depending on the alloy. A tungsten carbide alloy is upwards of RC 85 (this is what is used to machine hard metals typically).

The hardness is a result of carbon content and the heat treating process, which is probably the MOST crucial process  of making a blade. It, along with alloy, determines EVERYTHING about the blade and it is all about trade offs. The harder your make the metal, the better it will hold its edge but the more brittle it will be. The tougher (less brittle) you make it, the worse it will hold its' edge. I've shown many people that i can break a piece of steel with my bare hands happy.png

There are 4 heat treatment processes: annealing, normalizing, quenching, tempering. The first 3 involve heating the metal to the 'critical point' and cooling it at some rate. Tempering in involves heating the metal to low (relatively) temperature and holding it there. They all change the metal in different ways by manipulating the matrix of the iron and the alloyed elements included in it. The critical point is the point at which the alloyed elements move freely about the sea of iron. It is different depending on the alloys involved. For plain carbon steels it is ~1500 degrees F

There are several states for the crystaline structure and you can have several throughout a single piece. Martensite is the hardest. It is also the most brittle. Perlite is the softest but toughest. Austenite is the state where the alloyed elements can move freely about the iron.

Annealing is heating the metal past critical and then cooling it very slowly. Most blacksmiths will bury the heated metal in vermiculite and let it sit for a day. It will often come out still very hot. Annealing in a controlled professional environment will cool it in the furnace at Xdegress per time. The purpose of annealing is to take the metal to it's maximum softness and to remove built up stresses in the metal. Stresses come from working the metal, such as forging and machining. The metal grain has a kind flow about it and annealing allows the metal to reform this flow and make the material as a whole much stronger.

Normalizing is the same as annealing, but it is cooled faster. Instead of cooling it inside of an insulation, you just allow it to cool in the air. This makes the metal softer and removes stresses, but to a lesser degree than normalizing. It is done when the stresses built up are not severe and maximum softness is not necessary. It is much faster than annealing.

Quenching is heating the metal past critical, and then rapidly cooling the metal. This is probably the most difficult heat treating process because it creates TREMENDOUS stress in the metal because of the thermal shock. The more alloyed elements, specifically carbon, the slower it must be cooled. There are three quenching mediums: water, oil, and air (yeah air), in order of speed. Quenching something too fast will cause it to break from the thermal shock. Quenching forms martensite, which is the crystaline structure that makes steel hard. However, right after quenching, the blade is INCREDIBLE brittle. You could take a sword freshly quench and break it very easily by trying to bend it.

Once you quench something, you must temper it. Tempering reduces the hardness in exchange for toughness, the ability to resist breaking. Tempering is heating the metal to a specific temperature and holding it there allowing the metal to soak. Typically the time is for an hour, and typically at least 2 soaks are done. The higher the temperature, the tougher and softer it will make the metal. Typically, before modern metalurgical science, blacksmiths would heat the metal until it turned blue and then they would heat it no further. The temperature you temper at depends on what you want the final products properties to be. A sword would typically be tempered at a higher temperature because it needs to be able to deal with being bent versus a knife which would be tempered at a lower temperature because the change of it being bent is much lower.

There is also a technique of differential hardening. This is where you leave the edge exposed or lightly covered in clay, but cover the spine completely with a clay substance. The blade is heated and quenched. The clay on the spine prevents it from being fully hardened, thus making it very tough while the exposed edge is made hard. The idea is to get the part that needs to be hard, the cutting edges, hard and the rest to be tough. The Japanese are probably the most famous for this, but everybody did it at some point. It produces what is called a hamon and they are really quit beautiful.
The hamon is the border between the hardened part and the unhardened part.

orig.jpg

There are also three basic material construction methods. Monosteel, san mai, and damascus. Monosteel is the most basic, where the entire blade is comprised of one alloy. The other two involve a process called forge welding. San mai is a steel sandwhich. You have a piece of hard alloy sandwhich between two pieces of tough steel. You forge weld the pieces together and make the blade. When the blade is beveled and sharpened, you expose the hard steel meat layer, which is supported by the tough steel bread layers.

Damascus steel is alternating layers of different steel alloys. They are then forge welded together, drawn out, folder over and forge welded together. This is repeated several times. This creates a very interesting pattern which can be manipulated to make new patterns. Whether or not it benefits the integrity of the blade is a matter of debate and I haven't read of any scientific studies done to make any real conclusions, that isn't to say they don't exist. However, it is NOT the stuff of legend that can cut through solid steel bars. That is Hollywood hype bullshit.

The other three parts are the hilt, the handle and the pommel. They forms a sandwich. The hilt and the pommel are what keep the handle on. The hilt is the 'hand guard' piece. It has a hole that is shaped so as to fit to the wider part of the blade. The tang goes through it. The handle, often made of wood, has a hole formed to fit VERY tightly onto the tang. This is often achieved by a process called 'burning in' in which the tang is heated and the handle, having been pre-drilled as closely as possible, is forced onto the heated metal. This will actually vaporize the wood in a manner of speaking and cause the wood to be compressed and what not against the tang. It is repeated several times until the handle fits as it should (or its ruined heh). The pommel is then put on after the handle. The blade will then have some material sticking out of the pommel which is cut to the desired length and peened down to rivet the pommel in place.

 

This video shows the process of making a damascus sword.



Once the parts are all put together, the final sharpening and polishing (if desired) are done.




#5054438 Quick Question... equipment slots in an RPG

Posted by Azaral on 17 April 2013 - 11:20 PM

It could be interesting. Take it even a step further and have all slots be unlocked. The player would basically build the character's abilities by purchasing them.

You could unlock armor slots individually and upgrade them to bigger and better things. For example, you could unlock the hand slot, but they could only wear light armor on their hands which would be something like leather gloves. Then you could upgrade it to a medium type, which could be something like chain gloves. Then upgrade it to heavy so they could wear full plated gauntlets.

You could also do about the same thing with character skills like magic and what not.

A strong magic user would be good at magic not because 'the developer says so' but because they spent their valuable xp on increasing their magic abilities at the cost of not increasing their weapon usage abilities or armor wearing abilities. The strengths and weaknesses that are normally built in would come naturally from how the player has decided to evolve their character over the course of the game.

Alternatively, if you go the route of armor and weapons infer attribute bonuses and what not like in WoW for example, you could have all slots open, but they are for only clothing and very basic weapon types, like a staff/walking stick.






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