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[java] Graphics Question

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I am looking at designing a game similar to Diablo2 in Java that will be multiplayer on a network. We were kicking around ideas for the graphics and we''re wondering how other people have done it. One idea we cam up with was, make the terrain in Bryce3d and the characters in Poser, but is there an engine out there that will process those types of files? Are there better more efficient solutions for graphics in this style game? "I''''m not even supposed to be here today!"

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It sounds to me like what you''re attempting to do here is 3d. Diablo2 is in no way 3d so what you could do is create the terrain in bryce3d, then I think what they did for D2 was take pictures from the top-down then you''re game engine would give it an isometric view so you''d be using pics instead of 3d.

The same would go for your characters, create them in poser then create each sequence from a different angle, save the pic (with an odd background) and you could open them in psp or something, convert them to a transparent gif (the disadvantage would be 256 colors) or keep them jpg and in the game you could use the background color as a transparency.

Just a couple of ideas tossed around.
Smoo

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If I do that (take stills from 3d objects, save as gif or jpg, and then use them, along with animation) is there an isometric engine out there i could use?

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I''m afraid that you have to build up your own engine. Most of the engines are very limited and usually awfully slow, because they are made for creators needs. So best thing would be to create own ISO engine. At Java Game dev center www.JGDC.com (???) there''ll be link at downloads to pretty good iso engine, but I doubt that it''ll work with RPG because it''s for strategy game.

Cheers

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You sound as if you have the graphics side down but might be a little new to engine development.

I have three options for you to consider:

1. Making a MOD for an existing game engine
2. Using an existing game engine and/or graphics engine
3. Building your own engine using a lower level graphics API like Java 3D or OpenGL

Option One: is to develop your game as a MOD for an existing game engine. If you are commited to using Java might want to try out the NOD engine. The engine scripting is done in Java and it already supports multiplayer.

There are down sides to the NOD engine. You would have to convert the Poser and Bryce assets into the format used by the engine, but there are a lot programs available that can do this. The customization for the NOD engine was more aimed at developed user levels for the game Vampire, so The engine already has a rule set that you would have tweak to get to work to what you had in mind. There are some limitations to how much you can tweak the interface and rule set, so this might not be an option.

There are a number of other games that offer SDK''s to work with their engines, but none of them use Java as the scripting language (that I am aware of anyway).

Note that all MOD approaches will require you and any one who wants to play your game to own the original game.

Option Two: If the MOD approach won''t work for you there are a few game engines that can be used from Java. I have a list of a few on the FAQ. The list includes both game engines and graphics engines (I probably need to split those up when I get more entries...). I don''t know if any of them support the file formats you have mentioned (I am pretty sure none of them will support Poser directly, but may support one of the export formats from Poser).

Engine List
http://games.cpbinc.com/faq/tools.asp#t2

Option Three: If you re looking for lower levels graphics control you might want to check out the OpenGL and Java3D sections of the FAQ. If you take this route you would be developing the graphics engine, but would have complete control of the types of files you can use for your game. The negative aspect is that this would require a great deal of work. In the case of OpenGL you would even have to develop your own collision detection mechanism.

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You sound as if you have the graphics side down but might be a little new to engine development.

I have three options for you to consider:

1. Making a MOD for an existing game engine
2. Using an existing game engine and/or graphics engine
3. Building your own engine using a lower level graphics API like Java 3D or OpenGL

Option One: is to develop your game as a MOD for an existing game engine. If you are commited to using Java might want to try out the NOD engine. The engine scripting is done in Java and it already supports multiplayer.

There are down sides to the NOD engine. You would have to convert the Poser and Bryce assets into the format used by the engine, but there are a lot programs available that can do this. The customization for the NOD engine was more aimed at developed user levels for the game Vampire, so The engine already has a rule set that you would have tweak to get to work to what you had in mind. There are some limitations to how much you can tweak the interface and rule set, so this might not be an option.

There are a number of other games that offer SDK''s to work with their engines, but none of them use Java as the scripting language (that I am aware of anyway).

Note that all MOD approaches will require you and any one who wants to play your game to own the original game.

Option Two: If the MOD approach won''t work for you there are a few game engines that can be used from Java. I have a list of a few on the FAQ. The list includes both game engines and graphics engines (I probably need to split those up when I get more entries...). I don''t know if any of them support the file formats you have mentioned (I am pretty sure none of them will support Poser directly, but may support one of the export formats from Poser).

Engine List
http://games.cpbinc.com/faq/tools.asp#t2

Option Three: If you re looking for lower levels graphics control you might want to check out the OpenGL and Java3D sections of the FAQ. If you take this route you would be developing the graphics engine, but would have complete control of the types of files you can use for your game. The negative aspect is that this would require a great deal of work. In the case of OpenGL you would even have to develop your own collision detection mechanism.

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