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Clothing / Armor Sizes

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I love games with a one-size-fits-all armor setup. It's simple and the player is always allowed to do what they want, and what they expect always works. But I have a few problems with it. I'll have to model every type of clothing or armor for every shape of humanoid character (about 5-10) in the game. That isn't a big deal, but I don't want to model sexy petite dresses to fit huge monstrous guys when it's so clear that no one would want such a thing to work anyway. It's not final, but here is an estimate for the shape types. These all use the same humanoid skeleton, but have (mostly vastly) different bodies. The player will only be capable of selecting between the first two as the player character, but he will be capable of hiring grunts, and he will have nearly the same amount of control over the grunts as his own character. - Medium male - Medium female - Muscular male - Mutant female (skinny) - Mutant male (skinny) - Very obese male - Very obese female One possible solution I was thinking of doing is assigning these character shapes sizes. For example.. Size 1: Mutant female (skinny) Size 2: Mutant male (skinny) Size 3: Medium female Size 4: Medium male Size 5: Muscular male Size 6: Very obese female Size 7: Very obese male Then allowing clothing and armor to associate sizes with meshes.. Define( 1, "TSHIRT_MUT_FEMALE.mesh" ) Define( 2, "TSHIRT_MUT_MALE.mesh" ) Define( 3, "TSHIRT_MED_FEMALE.mesh" ) So this T-shirt would fit only these three sizes (bad example, since I would probably make a T-shirt fit everyone). The game could display this as a range for simplicity (fits sizes 1 - 3), and make it clear which characters are which sizes. I believe that after a bit of time, the sizes could become memorized and be mostly second nature. But the numbers would always be there on the equipment screens. Any thoughts? Any ideas for improving this are appreciated.

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I want to add one little change. I've thought about the size situation, and considered that it might be easier to roll with if I halve them by gender. So instead of 7 sizes, I could have 4..

Size 1: Skinny
Size 2: Medium
Size 3: Muscular
Size 4: Very obese

The primary reason for this is that the game could easily display whether the clothing fits males or females or both with an M/F/MF icon. That and the reason for a suit not working for a gender will likely always be obvious.

So now the game can still display ranges, but the ranges would be a smaller 1 to 4, and could be gender specific. I could take it farther and not use numbers at all..

1. "Fits: small, medium, large, and extra large"
2. "Fits: S/M/L/XL" (symbols/icons)
3. "Fits: Small to large"
4. "Fits: S to L" (symbols/icons)

..along with a gender specification.

What do you think?

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Quote:
Original post by Saruman
I am not sure how your system is set up so I have to ask... is there a reason you don't just want to scale the armor/clothing?

I'm not sure I know what you mean. What type of scaling?

The shapes are too complex for a simple scale to work. Small characters are bony. They have no muscle definition. Muscle freaks are exploding with balls of muscle all over. They won't have very many straight lined features. And obese characters will severely bulge in the hips, thighs, and belly. All sizes of females will have larger and curvier hips than males, more stream-lined features, and breasts.

Some clothing could possibly be transformed from one model to fit another and still look decent, but the complex relationships between limbs would be pretty rough. Each suit would likely need it's own scale values. And some suits would not be capable of simple scaling without becoming severely distorted.

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I'm not sure what your in for. But if you look at Wow they have no Chest armor / shirt models their all simply texture. If you wanted to modify the model you could use a vertex shader to simply *puff* out the chest of your character. If all your characters are humaniod you can model a basic human, texture map him, copy him and then warp him to be fat. Doing this will keep the texture map automatically scaling down you textured clothing / Vertex Shaders to fit your fat guy as well as your fit guy. Not to be bragin on WoW.. But they picked the simple way to do things.

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If you'd like details you might send me a female, and a clothes, and ask me to play with her about dress me up game. Thought I never has a problem with clothes even if I have height to weight ratio quite different than ordinary person. So your skinny mutant males will not have problem with wearing ordinary clothes. It might be also cute to see short enough to show the belly ordinary clothes on a skinny female. Quite interesting contrast.

The armor is however completely different issue. It must be created to fit perfectly.

You might show a small label. Slim, fat, normal.

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I think the intention of the OP was to make looting corpses a little less meaningless. You are still allowed to grab everything you see, but you won't be able to use it all times. It may not be a simple problem of showing things. it might be made to have a meaning. This way, a gnome nd a troll won't trade their armors for a raid, say...

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My concern is more towards the player interaction and interface side of things. I want to be able to control which types of suits fit which types of shapes. The compatibility choices I make should (hopefully) be mostly intuitive. If an armor looks like it should fit everyone, then I'll most likely make that happen. In some cases I may make it happen anyway. But there will be situations where a suit will not fit a certain shape, or is specific to a single shape and/or gender.

That's my reason for posting. I want to make it as painless as possible for the player to ascertain which shapes a suit will work with. I want it to be obvious that he's size 2, or medium, or normal, that his lady friend is also size 2, and that his big freak of a buddy is size 3 (muscular / large). I want to build my item interfaces in such a way that figuring out which suits fit who is as quick and effortless as possible. Any suggestions in that area will be appreciated.

My inventory setup is very simple:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Unequipped items are on the right. Equipped weapons are displayed in the top-left box, equipped suits are displayed in the bottom left box. When items are selected in the right box, items which conflict with them are lit up red on the left. So it's easy to see what will be removed when they are equipped. When an item cannot be equipped at all, it will be lit up red when it's selected. There are small icons which are mapped to individual classes of items. In the image, you can see the SMG-like gun has W/R/2H/GM, which classifies it as Weapon/Ranged/2-handed/Gun-medium (hovering the icons will display these details). The suit items currently only have a single icon (C), so there's plenty of room there.

If you would prefer a certain setup regarding suit sizes and compatibility issues, that's what I would like to hear.

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I think that apart from single sex clothes (dresses, etc) one size should fit all.

The main reason that I think this is because it gives the player more options and more freedom to do what they want. I can't think of a single time when I've been playing a game and thought "boy, I sure wish that I couldn't equip this armour to this character because he's too fat." The player will like being able to equip characters the way they like. I don't think there will be anything fun about checking body types before equiping clothes.

There are a couple of arguments against one size fits all. One seems to be the amount of effort it would take you to model the armour for all the different character builds. Fair enough.
The other is one of realism. It doesn't make sense that one size should fit a skinny character and a fat character. I think it would be fairly easy to write/design around this problem though. Armour could taken to shops to be modified to fit a different size. There could be straps to resize armour. It's the future, people are walking around in Ionic Ribbon Jackets. Does Ionic Ribbon stretch and contract depending on the users body shape? It can if you, the writer, want it too.

Basically I see good gameplay reasons to make it one size fits all, a good time and effort reason to make it so that one size doesn't fit all, and a bad realism/story reason to make it one size doesn't fit all.

I've never dealt with 3D modeling before (to any serious degree), so I don't actually know what I'm talking about from a modelling perspective. But here is one way I could see to pare down the workload:
Use skins to differentiate items, instead of models. That way you only have to model one set of pants for each body type. Afterwards, you only have to model one new skin for the pants for each new "pants" item. Apply the same skin to each pants model for each body type.

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Quote:
Original post by CIJolly
I can't think of a single time when I've been playing a game and thought "boy, I sure wish that I couldn't equip this armour to this character because he's too fat."

I don't think this is a safe perspective to take for design issues. I can also say there's never been a time when I thought "man, I wish I had to reload my gun". But reloading can be an important gameplay element.

I've ended up removing the last shape to simplify the engine. There's now only three sizes.

Quote:
I don't think there will be anything fun about checking body types before equiping clothes.

Neither do I. That's why I'm trying to design it in a way that they don't have to. I've played a lot of RPGs where certain characters could not use certain weapons, or were only able to use certain types of weapons. Actually, in some Final Fantasy's, each character is restricted to just one type of weapon. Restricting armor as I will won't have the same effect on gameplay (dumbing it down), but the effect on the interface for players will be nearly the same. It should in fact be more simple than that. Three global sizes and two genders should be very easy to get associated with compared to remembering that Tifa uses numchucks.

Large muscle characters will have huge advantages and disadvantages compared to normal characters. The plan is to work armor into that balance. They will be capable of wearing massive armor. Armor that will look strange on normal people, and ridiculous on small people.

Quote:
There are a couple of arguments against one size fits all. One seems to be the amount of effort it would take you to model the armour for all the different character builds. Fair enough.

I wasn't complaining about the time spent modeling. I'm saying I don't like puting that time into something that no one would want to use in the first place. That was only in regard to cross-dressing situations.

Quote:
The other is one of realism. It doesn't make sense that one size should fit a skinny character and a fat character.

Not realism. Believability. I don't care how close my game world is to the real world. But I need to sell the believability of the game world on it's own.

It's still not just a matter of how acceptable the one-size-fits-all setup is. I actually want to restrict armor to different shapes of characters. I want to use it to further seperate the types of characters in the game.

It should be easy to observe situations where clothing is made specifically for a certain type of character. Big-guy armor will be heavily exaggerated in size, and be very effective. Small guy (actually mutants, not normal humans) armor will be limited. Physically, these guys will be very, very weak. They won't be capable of holding that bulky stuff up. They'll be restricted to mostly toughened-clothing style armors.

Quote:
Basically I see good gameplay reasons to make it one size fits all, a good time and effort reason to make it so that one size doesn't fit all, and a bad realism/story reason to make it one size doesn't fit all.

I'm having a hard time seeing good gameplay reasons to avoid restricting some armor to certain types of characters, other than simplicity. And I don't think three sizes will complicate that simplicity much.

Quote:
I've never dealt with 3D modeling before (to any serious degree), so I don't actually know what I'm talking about from a modelling perspective. But here is one way I could see to pare down the workload:
Use skins to differentiate items, instead of models. That way you only have to model one set of pants for each body type.

In the picture, those slave pants and ionic ribbon pants (partially covered up in the image) are the same model. Just to clear things up, I'm not concerned about modeling workload. I don't need hundreds of clothing and armor types, and I love the work envolved anyway.

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Right, I see where you're coming from now.

I was under the impression that modeling the armour for different builds would have been time consuming, and that you were designing around that.

I also didn't realise that build is essentialy synonymous with class in your game, and serves a purpose. I assumed that build would be the equivlent of race, and that they would then go on to further differentiate themselves through classes. If there is never going to be unusual combinations like a (to use D&D stereotypes) "gnome barbarian", or a "halforc wizard", then there isn't any point in modeling plate armour for the gnome.
You can see why having a gameplay element held hostage by a minor aspect of aesthetics seemed like a bad idea to me.

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Quote:
Original post by CIJolly
I was under the impression that modeling the armour for different builds would have been time consuming, and that you were designing around that.

It will be time consuming. In cases where I need a special model made, I have to model six new models, which takes quite a lot of time. But as you mention, it's easy to recycle models. In some cases, having universal suits that fit everyone will be more bang for less work. Such as in a case where I already have general models made for everyone, and I make a new texture to turn those into leather. Instead of giving one type of character leather pants, I'm giving six types of characters leather pants.

As always, I really appreciate your input, CIJolly.

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Try it from a different perspective. Model as many different combinations as you could think of, which make sense for each type, and then put together the wardrobes afterwards which best represent these models. To put it another way, since the Male Warrior doesn't have a model where he's wearing a dress, it isn't part of his possible wardrobe.

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An alternative is to deform the clothing procedurally, using something similar to cloth simulation. You only need to do this as a pre-process, and generate the fitted sizes as export.

One way it could work would be to model the meshes for the "medium" case, and then measure how far out from the medium model the clothing goes, and re-generate that geometry for the other models based on that data. The parameterization (which body part to measure to) is the main challenge of this approach.

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Quote:
Original post by hplus0603
An alternative is to deform the clothing procedurally, using something similar to cloth simulation. You only need to do this as a pre-process, and generate the fitted sizes as export.

One way it could work would be to model the meshes for the "medium" case, and then measure how far out from the medium model the clothing goes, and re-generate that geometry for the other models based on that data. The parameterization (which body part to measure to) is the main challenge of this approach.

This would be the most efficient design to use. But I don't think I would be capable of writing an algorithm that I myself would be satisfied with. Some armor will have a lot of grooves and hardened plates, along with non-skinned props attached to certain locations. I doubt I could write it in a way that all of these things scale and proportionalize (made that up) while maintaining their original design.

I want to be able to have some hardned shoulder pads grow slightly for the big guys or shrink for the small guys, but have some others stay the same size, depending on the type of look I'm going for. I guess I might just be a control freak.

Sizes other than medium will be rare for the player to gain control of in the game, so I personally don't think some seperation of compatable outfits will be much of an annoying thing. More of a special consideration thing.

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