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Another 3:00AM entry

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dgreen02

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I've been putting in 15-20 hours a day *gasp* on this game...it's really my only purpose for existance in the next few months...so I don't have any problems spending that much time working on it. It is tough though.

I'm currently working on a lot of the gameplay features as opposed to the graphics...which I prefer working on. I've designed the diplomacy window recently which allows the player to propose alliances, declare war, send/demand tributes, get basic info on other gangs, also set the default reaction upon sight of 'gang X' in 'territory y'. So you can say you only want to attack a gang within your territory (defensive stance), or only to attack them in their territory (offensve stance)...and you can set the reaction state for all other territory.

Right now the player can give orders to his gangsters...then take control of any one of them...once they take control they're presented with a standard "shooting game" GUI that shows health, inventory, etc. In the bottom of the screen it shows their current order ie: "The boss wants you to move to this location"...I then display the point on the GUI with a label, and the distance in meters. So it would display "Move here (35m)" over the point, so the player can navigate there and complete his own orders from the perspective of the henchman. It seems to work well.

I tried to make some good videos of the game...with not much success....I need a faster computer to capture at a decent framerate :-( Or maybe I'm not using the right software...I really need to try the full spectrum.

I've also been working a lot on creating a speech/conversation system...this is a picture of how the speech bubbles are looking...



I got an idea of how to do the voices after seeing a cartoon on tv earlier, there was a robot character that spoke with a "sped up human voice", almost like the effect of fast forwarding somebody talking on a tape recorder, so I'm going to try that tommorow (actually this is the tecnique used in the first GTA game :-0). I just need something that resembles human speech to match up with the text, when characters are talking via speech bubbles in the game.

I'm, also working on adding curved roads ;-) and overpasses into the game.

Here's some pictures of how it's looking...

Ugh...so much work still left to do, I hope I don't go crazy before this thing's done...heh...eh...uh...*nervous laugh*....*slowly backs out of the room*...*runs*



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Speech bubble looks great. If the text gets longer than that, you'll probably need to go with rounded rectangles rather than ovals, as it'll have too much whitespace.

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The IBM one isn't that bad actually. This is an interesting option, have any games ever used text to speech like that?

Some games have done it on a word level, playing prerecorded .wavs of each word, but that's rather time consuming and restrictive, not a possibility for my project.

I think I'm gonna go the "chipmunk sped up random text" route rather than the "Mr. Roboto text to speech" path, I'll try to have some videos of my tests later on so you guys can help me decide :-)

Good point about the size of the speech bubble too...I should probably make them variable sized ovals...For some reason I was thinking I could just get the extents of the text and center it in the bubble...I've written an algorithm to put '\n's into strings over the place of spaces so that the text could fit into a specified width/height. Seems to work well enough atm.

Thanks for your input guys.

- Dan

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Flight Sim 2004 used a combination for the air traffic control. They had standard phrases that were used over and over again as pre-recorded samples, along with numbers and some airport names that MS considered it was important to include, but for all the other airport and ATC they used text-to-speech.

Led to some really funny pronunciations of NZ place names, like Kawerau... :)

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Interesting, I own a copy of FlightSim 2004, I should start it up and give it a look...does it use the standard MS text to speech library mentioned above?

I remember in high school we had to do some bullshit visual basic stuff using the microsoft text to speech library...actually our final project was to make a "game show" game using it (in visual basic of course)....I finished the whole year long project in a single night...I created a clone of "Who wants to be a Millionare" using databases for the questions, text to speech reading of the question, a sweeet graphical UI, and all kinds of other stuff, it looked just like the tv show...When I brought it into class the next day...the teacher told me I didn't make that game...that I was a liar...and laughed. (She had no idea that I had been programming in C for years at that point, and was making DirectX games for fun in my spare time).

I guess because I used some images from their website (like their logo) to give it a professional feel, she thought I copied the whole thing. She really didn't understand that the .bmps associated with the game were completely unrelated to the code *shudders* After trying to explain it to her several times, I gave up. (I had to bite my tounge so many times in that class)...So I redid the project again over the next 2 nights with custom art...and I got to slack off the rest of the semester :-)

Moral of the story...errr....Text to speech "SI teh l33t!!11"

...And the public education system is crap that stifles creativity in favor of "falling in line" and conforming to a much lower standard of quality than you could produce if you were genuinely intersted in something.

If I had been one of the other kids in the class learning the stuff we were...with no previous knowledge (or enough previous knowledge to know what what we were learning was complete bullshit)...I would hate computers/programming/games.

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Not sure, to be honest, but the article I read is here.

BTW, did I mention that your game looks terrific and I can't wait to play it?

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