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dgreen02

I need some opinions

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Hey guys, I posted my project "Gang War" on the GameDev forums a little more than a year ago and got some good feedback. I was hoping to see what you guys think of the game now? I've programmed Gang War from scratch, over the last 1.5 years. I'm hoping to have it in the 2006 Independent Games Festival. I've also got a publisher for the game at this time. The whole point of the game is to take over a city using a gang. The game is a real time strategy game merged with a action game. It's a lot like the game "Gangsters", except my game is a real-time strategy game (instead of being turn-based like Gangsters was). At any given time you can double click one of your gang members and complete orders yourself, GTA style. Also the player can choose a Gang type to control...Blacks, Italians, or Latinos...each gang has it's strengths and weaknesses. The game uses Tokamak for the physics, and every object from fences, to barrels, vehicles, guns, phone booths...has a physics representation, and can be interacted with. The player expands their territory by extorting, purchasing, intimidating local businneses. The game has a few simulated market places where you can buy/sell everything from drugs, to guns, weapons, and objects like cell phones, or bullet proof vests to equip your gangsters with that will increase their abilities. Not only can the player purchase and run illegal businesses, they can also designate buildings as safehouses, or storage areas for gang members who are wanted, or for illegal goods. There are 100s of types of legal/illegal businesess the player can setup in every building around the city. There's all kinds of other stuff in the game but I'll stop there, I hope this gives a general idea of where I'm going with the game though. Here are some images of the current build of the game...let me know what you think of the game so far :-) http://www.radioactive-software.com/gangwar/GW_50.jpg http://www.radioactive-software.com/gangwar/GW_54.jpg http://www.radioactive-software.com/gangwar/GW_55.jpg http://www.radioactive-software.com/gangwar/GW_53.jpg There's more information/images on my website at www.radioactive-software.com Thanks, - Dan

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How am I supposed to tell you about a game I cant play? just go off screenshots and your description? Graphics dont make the game in my opinion, though I'd love to try and play when its done, are you planning a freeware or commercial release?

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Yea you're right, last time I had a demo. Since I've got a publisher and we're going for a commercial release I don't think I can post public demos of the game anymore, which sucks :(

Well I suppose I just wanted to see what you thought about the graphics engine, and the concept of the game. I think it's a great idea to have a RTS game where you can control any unit at any time. The game is a real time strategy game so it has a lot of depth, in terms of micromangment.

Also I wanted to see if anyone rememberd me posting the game here a while ago, so they could see how far it's progressed.


Some game developers might find these screenshots of the game interesting...it's from a test map I created to test the physics engine...it was a huge field of 18000+ objects you could run the car through them, over ramps, into piles of boxes...it was great fun :-)

http://www.radioactive-software.com/gangwar/physics1.jpg
http://www.radioactive-software.com/gangwar/physics2.jpg
http://www.radioactive-software.com/gangwar/physics3.jpg

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I believe that, from a graphic POV, it is worth publishing. I hope I'll be able to play it when it will be released... Anyway, good job: it looks very interesting (I bookmarked the game page - where you mispelled "information", BTW).

Regards,

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The graphics seem pretty good, but needs a bit more polish. I stared at the screenshots for a while and something didn't look quite right. Then I realized what was missing. Shadows. The characters and cars have them, but the rest of the objects and buildings don't, and its really noticable.

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I agree, shadowing is a huge deal. In original builds (like the one I posted here a while ago) I had stencil shadows on every object, it looked pretty cool.

Because the game world conditions are completly dynamic, I can't use lightmaps, or I could come up with some fancy way of blending them together for different lighting conditions, but I'm having enough trouble keeping the FPS at a decent level on the minimum 1.6 ghz, 32 mb video, 256 RAM machine.

A while ago I switched the game from a 3D isometric/RTS hybrid to a full 3d action game merged with a RTS...when I did that, I took the stencil shadows out because of the vastly increased view distances...I'm open to suggestions if anyone has ideas.

My friend who made my website for me 4 years ago spelled "information" wrong, and I've never changed it since lol. I should get on that ;-)

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I think it's a great idea. I totally dig 3d games with cities you can walk/drive around in. Yours seems to be one with nice graphics too! I hope the gameplay will be as fun as it sounds like.

Your texture artists might want to brush some of the textures though, the last picture you've posted shows that some textures are quite blurry (e.g. pants, sidewalk) and are lacking detail or are too monotonous (some buildings). You might want to make the sky more interesting in the 3rd person action view, I think it's too single-colored most of the time. It, of course, doesn't have to be S.T.A.L.K.E.R. quality but as long as it doesn't stay that plain. You could let some low poly birds fly around, small things like that tend to make the world feel alive!

I don't know how the player will switch between RTS and 3rd person view so maybe it doesn't make sense (or maybe you're already doing so) but you could use lower quality/size textures for the RTS view, some kind of LOD.

I don't like the font used in the GUI elements like the map, it's hard to read and dark grey on a light grey background won't win you an award either. ;) The colors of the status text on the bottom of the screen are hopefully not final, I can hardly read the messages. Large parts of the GUI should be polished, but that's something you'll probably address later on. However I did want to mention that the bottom bar (where the status information is) shouldn't just a clean grey bar but rather some textured piece of something. Maybe something you'd associate with gangs, a metal baseball bat for example?
I like the transparent, yellow box thing around the building you selected. As far as I can see it integrates well and it looks cool too.

As njpaul mentioned you're missing shadows. Hopefully you'll manage to get implement some. And you definitely need lights (where are the street lamps by the way?) if you can play while it's dark (which is a huge MUST BE INCLUDED).

Oh yeah, and tell your artists to dirty up their textures, your game isn't called Gang War for no reason! ;)

Okay, I'll shut up for now. Good luck with your project and hopefully I could help you a bit.

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