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Ketchaval

Organic Quality.

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AS This is now in the Game Art forum, hopefully we can have some debate / input on how to make graphics more organic.. and anything else you wish to contribute . ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- There are many different ways in which games could be made more "Organic". Whether this is in terms of graphics, sound, music, artificial Intelligence. IMO a degree of Organicness in a game makes it better, because the Pre-rendered graphics no-longer look like they have been made by an amateur, the sound is more realistic, the monsters are more convincing etc. What techniques do we have to do this: ? I don't know all of them, but it would be good if we had Artists, Soundmen etc also contributing to this thread. 1. Stopping graphics being shiny and uniform in appearance, this is one of the problems of CG / polygons, this has been well dealt with in Final Fantasy 7 where most of the game (even in high-tech labs) has "dirty" textures... 2. Animation: Dave Perry suggests ( www.dperry.com ) that Animation should use a system where you don't have continually repeating cycles of the same number of anim. frames, but instead the no. of frames in varied each time a cycle / animation starts.. ie. like their breathing etc. 3. Systems Music: based on Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians, in this the musicians play around a basic pattern, but each time the musician playing runs out of breath, the pattern starts again at the beginning (so this is based on the "organic" breathing cycles). This can be done with semi-random numbers ? 4. You tell me ? ----------------------------------------------------------------- "At the end of the day, it is all about love." Matt Black (Ninja Tune Records). Edited by - Ketchaval on 10/16/00 12:24:21 PM

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Level Irregularity: As Ernest Adams has asked, why are all dungeon floors smooth and uniform?

More curves, less straight lines: Unless it''s the right look for your setting, objects shouldn''t be boxy and angular. I don''t think that 90 degree angles show up that much in nature.

Setting: Include more trees! Or other organic material, like grass or potted plants or whatever.

Walk Paths: I started replaying Half-Life the other night, and noticed that Barney (the security guard) walked in straight lines and made sharp turns. People normally don''t do this (unless their high?)

Delays: The sign of a computer system is immediate decision making and response (unless we''re talking Windows ) AI decisions and movements seem like they could often benefit from built in delays.

Precision: Starcraft AI always knows how to drop tanks on a narrow plataeau. They never suffer from imperfect interface clicks. This reminds you that you''re playing a computer.

--------------------
Just waiting for the mothership...

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Conversations ! In real life people don''t select a sentence to say, then say it and wait for the other person to finish theirs. (This is a linguistic fact). There are lots of butting in,short bits of speech etc.

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I think that some of those things could be done, but they would be difficult. It is hard to program a computer to adapt. It requires good AI. It is much harder for a computer to deal with curves than with straight lines. I was thinking though, that it would not be too hard for a computer to work wiht ellipses instead of triangles. Does anyone think it would be possible to construct a 3D engine using ellipsoids/spheres instead of polygons? I don''t know, probably just replacing one misrepresentation with another. It would beinteresting though.

By the way Ketchaval, are you suggesting full-blown language parsers in FPS''s. I don''t think we have the technology for that yet. But if you only mean that pre-programmed conversations should have people interrupt eachother then you''re right.

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Ellipsoids would not work for a 3d engine. NURBS, yes, but ellipsoids, no. The reason we use triangles is because you can construct everything out of them. This includes curves, because there''s a certain level of detail in a curve where it becomes indistinguishable to whether it was made of triangles or not.

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I didn''t really think that ellipses would work, but I don''t know, I''m not much of a 3D programmer. Just putting stuff out there. You know, many fractal-type algorithms can produce organic-looking shapes. Perhaps recursively generated triangles that smooth out more as you get closer. Some people are doing that. Of course it shouldn''t be that hard to play down the reflectivity of polygons which are supposed to represent, say, cloth or human skin. The problem with AI is it is very easy for computers to do precise calculations, but very hard for them to make general decisions. On the other hand, we humans are generally lousy at precise calculation and expert(?) decision makers. So we need to make computers smarter in one regard and dumber in another. Usually in games, the designer just assumes they will balance out. (Computer gets things perfect but cannot make good plans. Human makes mistakes but can strategize. So it is even match.) Still, it doesn''t feel like you are playing against a human opponent. And sometimes that''s what we want to feel.

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A free conversation system could work I recon. Most conversations in a game will be related to the mission/story or whatever, so you can probably narrow down the areas of speciality the AI has in its conversation. eg. you probably won''t have someone saying "do you like marmite?" to an AI character, but if they do, it doesn''t matter if the AI says "I don''t understand", the atmosphere''s already been ruined by the idiot asking the stupid question!
But then there''s the voice recognition and speech synthesis. Surely text conversation hasn''t died in games?

Frank

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I prefer text conversation, but if speech synthesis was required... I think they have made some advances there. It would probably slow down your game to 3 frames a second on a 1GHz but there you go . Anyway, I think it is a possibility for the future

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You can help the graphics by creating and apply a noise algorithm after the fact.

Here isa good link for info about Perlin noise functions:
http://freespace.virgin.net/hugo.elias/models/m_perlin.htm

and here are some examples of where the author was headed:
http://mrl.nyu.edu/meyer/projects/etchapad/

check out the gallery.

I intend to use someting similar to create automaps that look hand-drawn and to dirty up the floor tiles in my vaporware project.

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