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MarkMoe

Visual Part of MMORPG Games

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Hello guys, I will have several months of free time in the near future which I'll spend making free RPG/MMORPG art assets licensed as Creative Commons BY, so you can modify it as you want and use it both for non-commercial and commercial projects without any limitations. While I know how MMORPGs typically looks like, I would like to hear opinions of the actual MMORPG developing enthusiasts teams, because my graphics pack targeted mostly for them. 1. How do you want your game to look like? List any existing games that pretty close to that you think of or post screenshot links. 2. If you're targeting for a special technical limits, provide typical polygon count, texture sizes etc. for your environments and characters. 3. Note if you're planning for the facial expressions(which is actually more RPG than MMORPG feature). 4. What is more important for you: character or environment assets? Do you preffer balanced graphics pack? Personally I recommend you to think of WoW or Lineage 2 graphics level, because it's relatively simple for me to make, but also it's really easy for you to build terrains like those used there in editors like Unity or Unreal Engine. Thank you a lot! Hope to hear your replies soon. Update: pack is planned as a medieval age assets with swords and magic, not Sci-Fi or anything else. Why? Because it's a default for MMORPG genre. [Edited by - MarkMoe on May 2, 2010 2:10:31 AM]

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1. Not cartoony like WoW, more realistic textures at least, low polygon count (400-800) Similar to games like drakan.

2. Low polycount, game is intended to have extremely far range of vision, as well as being capable to show hundreds of players on screen at one time.

3. Not really..

4. Character, as the game's technical expectations could be hard to accomplish, we'd prefer better character graphics than environment. Plus it's a sandbox style game, and environment plays a huge role (terrirory control, resource locations, etc.) so gameplay>graphics anyway..

And thanks for doing this for mmo makers :) Hope it works out well, good luck.

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Quote:
Original post by 1337 Box
And thanks for doing this for mmo makers :) Hope it works out well, good luck.


Thank you a lot for your reply. I am pretty sure everything will be fine, as long as I am not a beginner, but a 3 years modeling guy with a huge passion to make game art my profession now. Even more, I am a drawing person, so textures is my first area of interest.

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hmm...

Creatures & monsters are nice but complex assets.
(skinning tech?, unique styles?, etc...)
So, there is little point in creating
hi-quality creatures, whitch nobody can use.

Assets in packs of common themes.
weapons, shilds & armor, furnitures, etc..

Hand made LOD meshes for all models.
(some low level mesh can work as collision mesh & shadow casters)

And if bossible, files for sub parts of models. (easy to make lots of variants)
example: sword has following sub parts:
handle + arm guard + blade + (some jevelry slots)

(10 handle meshs) * (10 arm guard meshs) * (10 blade meshs) * (10 jevelry meshs) = 10000 variants !

Publish paggages in multi-format (fbx, collada, maya.ma, etc...)

/Tyrian

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Thanks a lot for great ideas, TyrianFin!

I thought of references for characters, like possibility to choose different faces, haircuts etc. But your idea with weapons doesn't look bad either. I'll take a time to think of this.

Pretty interesting, but, guys, do you want to have file sources? I mean PSDs for graphics and more?

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1. Heroes of Might and Magic V, but not cartoony (Cell-shaded). It should have more sharp and realistic textures and more smooth models, not so... what's it called.... square-ish? Anyway, I hope you understand what I mean :).

2. Just so it looks sharp and clear. High quality textures.

3. It would be quite unnessecary because there won't be any voices in my game, (Rise of Heroes MMO), only dialog/text. However, there will be an Avatar for the NPC's wich is 2D, and it is a sharp texture.

4. I preffer mostly Character detail, but I also preffer pretty good environment too. But mostly I preffer Character detail, Weapon detail and the armor, helmet, amulet etc., detail. :)

//Gamica

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Yes, put both styles of textures inside of file.
(.psd containing all layers of texture (work file),
and published .png or .dds for each separate layer)

MedivalWeaponsMegaPack.zip
textures/
|-- swordBlade_col.png
|-- swordBlade_norm.png
|-- swordBlade_spec.png
`-- swordBlade_work.psd
models_fbx/
|-- variants_fbx/
| |-- sword_001.fbx
| |-- sword_002.fbx
| |-- sword_003.fbx
| `-- sword_004.fbx
`-- subParts_fbx/
` |-- swordHandleA.fbx
` |-- swordHandleB.fbx
` |-- swordBladeA.fbx
` `-- swordBladeB.fbx
models_obj/
|-- variants_obj/
| |-- sword_001.obj
| |-- sword_002.obj
| |-- sword_003.obj
| `-- sword_004.obj
`-- subParts_obj/
` |-- swordHandleA.obj
` |-- swordHandleB.obj
` |-- swordBladeA.obj
` `-- swordBladeB.obj
text/
|-- contributors.txt
|-- notes.txt (contains change history & ToDo list)
`-- creativeCommonsLicense.txt

/tyrian

Ps: let`s see how meny edits this neads (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11):D
Pss: html neads ASCII art macros (old BBS systems had better graphics than www pages)

[Edited by - TyrianFin on May 3, 2010 11:36:50 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by TyrianFin
Ps: let`s see how meny edits this neads (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11):D


The more edits the more valuable this post is. Not kidding :)
Thanks a lot, great ideas so far is coming from you.

Funny thing, but I see normal maps for models in this list. It's a very important topic to think of: is this asset should be like an oldschool games (just diffuse textures like WoW for example) or the newest ones with normal mapping like Final Fantasy XIV?

Of course everyone will want the most beautiful graphics, and I am able of generating it, but this will require more effort, therefore in this pack will be less characters and overal artwork in that case.

I don't think that amount of graphics is crucial here, because a lot of developers could use this assets as a placeholders to replace them with their own in the future. But this is still very interesting question for me.

So, quantity or quality?

Sorry if it's annoying, but I really want to collect as much information as possible before starting. Hope you'll understand me.

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I bet a lot of people could use a horse that actually moves in a natural way - I can't count the number of even professional games I've seen that had horribly wrong horse anatomy and movement. Another great thing would be an animated pair of realistic wings that could be stuck onto animal or human models.

As far as humans go, I prefer an anime style - a more adult look though, not those big-eyed round-cheeked characters that look like they're 12. Something like the AMVs in Final Fantasy 8 maybe. I do like some of WoW's models like the blood elves, drenai, and harpies. But they have some really awful ones too, like the worgen and centaurs.

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Normal maps are old tech.
Parallax offset / true displacement are current/modern/future tech.

If game maker wish to drop normalmaps out,
he can bake bumps to diffuse textures.
(it`s much harder to remove lighting of bumps from diffuse textures afterward.)

It´s littlebit more work to make normalmaps,
but normalmaps are not neaded in all objects.

In this case quantity is more important.
Creative Commons license creates positive feedback loop where
quality of existing art can be upgraded by anybody.
(it`s easier to make little modifications to existing,
than to create something from zero).

And make models render wise as heavy as real thing.
It`s horible to notice that engine can`t handle final assets,
after using placeholders.

/Tyrian

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Quote:
Original post by TyrianFin
Normal maps are old tech.
Parallax offset / true displacement are current/modern/future tech.


Well, it's true for technology, but not for usage in such genre like MMORPG.
Baking process could be pretty hard for a beginner developers, but, to be honest, if they can't bake, I barely see them developing RPG or MMORPG either. So, you're right here as always.

sunandshadow, thank you for your point. Asian style characters looks good, I think pretty the same.

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For Rise of Heroes we are aiming for graphics about in the middle between WoW and Guild Wars.

Here is a Image we gave our Concept Artists when telling them the style we were aiming for.



At this point we are still in need of pretty much everything so whatever is included in the pack we will gratefully use!

Mark if your interested in some of our concepts PM me. I can't post them publicly yet because they haven't been released to the public yet.

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1) I've had a lot of visions for how I'd like this to look; I've considered a lot of possibilities. Over-all, I'm hoping for something along these lines:


However, a style similar to this is very appealing, too:



If the second option were easier, more feasible, or more practical, I would have no hesitations or grudges in that art style; at a later, more acceptable time though, I'd still want to switch to the top style, as I think it'd fit the over-all atmosphere of the game I'm envisioning.

2)I am *far* from experienced enough to give any advice on something like polygon counts, but a quick search says... Polygon counts on the top style (which is Final Fantasy XI, by the way) isn't far off from the polygon count of WoW or Runes of Magic (the second image). If that's the case, and the difference is *solely* in textures, then I'm hugely leaning toward the first style. Wow-equivalent polygon counts, textures sizes, I'm still unsure of.

3) Not really facial expressions, but i do want various faces, that are noticeably different (at least eventually).

4) I would prefer it more balanced. However, given that my game is based on elemental kingdoms and warfare, there will be vast environmental differences in various areas. Desert-like Earth element terrain, islands and ice-masses for water. Mountainous and volcanic fire terrain. Forests and floating islands for Wind, and.... "ethereal" environments for spirit. Basically, it would be a total display of graphical ability--not in the intricate detail and 500k polygon count models, but the variety alone would make the artist a portfolio to be proud of.

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I'm answering this "form" on the behalf of the SoI team, http://www.moddb.com/games/shores-of-iron

1. How do you want your game to look like? Not cartoony but more realistic and darker than most mmo's but still colorfull.

2. If you're targeting for a special technical limits, provide typical polygon count, texture sizes etc. for your environments and characters. Low to mid poly count 400-2200 depending on the object, realistic textures and normal maps.

3. Note if you're planning for the facial expressions(which is actually more RPG than MMORPG feature). No facial expressions planned, but maybe later on.

4. What is more important for you: character or environment assets? Balanced, we want the characters to look great but with good looking characters and crappy surroundings you wont make a good game.

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I love you.

My team is here, so I guess we're an enthusiast group that could use your assets.

1. I think that a stylized look is very popular these days, especially among indie teams. If I were you, I'd take a read over of this paper. If you don't feel like it, the idea is to use textures that don't look repetitive, with low visual noise and low contrast and saturation for world textures.

I agree that asian style character models work great. I didn't like WoW models that much, since players didn't have much control and were forced to all look the same per race. In a game of all humans, this isn't really acceptable. Guild Wars had excellent looking characters, even though they too lacked control. I think it'd be great to build 2 (one male one female) base model, have a selection of head meshes (morph targets?), and maybe have a morph target support for fat to skinny.

Guild Wars Wiki has some great pictures for character modeling.

I'd find the most use out of modern or future assets, rather than fantasy assets. Also, maybe rather than making entire buildings, make walls and parts so devs can piece them together and have it be more unique. But honestly, character assets are really much more important to me and much more difficult to create.

It's all giving the character the impression of a scene, it doesn't need to be photorealistic!

2. For most assets (a crate, perhaps?), I give them up to 200 polys (okay, obviously that was a bad example, but you get the idea), and 256x256 textures. For characters, I have about 3000 polys and 256x256 to 1024x1024 textures. I don't use normal mapping for most objects (even characters), but if you are making characters, definitely use normal mapping and lower poly count. Normal mapping on crates is pushing it and pretty unnecessary, but if you did decide to do it, try using 64x64 or other very small textures.

Stick to alpha testing. Soft edges can be a pain to deal with, but any good graphics programmer can work around these problems.

I use .x format personally, but maybe providing people with .max or .mb would be a good idea. .dds is great too, .psd would probably be a pain for you.

As a general rule, the closer to the camera the object is, the larger the texture resolution. Character textures are extremely important. I'm sure you already know this, though.

3. No. This would be nice, but is really difficult. It would be cool to have one extra face bone to simulate speech, though. People can use angry eyebrows textures or pouty lip textures for moods.

4. I think that character assets (with animations, etc) would be, without a doubt, the most useful. I've blown hundreds of dollars on just basic character work and I'm still not satisfied!

If you were clever about it, you could (after gaining popularity and having the basics for free) get some decent cash off it - charge cash for extra MMORPG character model item packs that work perfectly for your character sets, etc. Of course, Creative Commons is always better :)

For character assets, go for quality! Well, for the characters themselves, that is. Remember - people are going to be staring at their characters all day.

For environment assets, go for quantity. Players don't pay much attention to props.

I wouldn't fuss with making terrain textures, if you were planning on it. There's CGTextures for that, as well as a million other tools and websites.

[Edited by - Akitsune on May 4, 2010 9:38:06 PM]

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Thank you a lot guys for your replies.

sunandshadow
You have a big passion for in-game horses. Really unique :)

Akitsune
Thank you very much for the Guide Wars wiki link. Didn't know it is presented. Very educational.
Yet my style differs a lot and closer to japanese RPG games. Though Korean artists are making an amazing art as well, maybe that's why Guild Wars was mentioned in this thread several times.

So characters in this pack could look Final Fantasy like, but without too wild haircuts. To be honest, this style is much easier than truly realistic ones.

Animations... animation is my weak point. Not because I am doing it bad or unrealistic, but I lack of practicing animations, so my speed is much-much slower than anything else. That's why my first priority will be character models with textures, and only after animations.

I hope that won't make anyone mad. Or maybe most of the teams have their animators?

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
I bet a lot of people could use a horse that actually moves in a natural way - I can't count the number of even professional games I've seen that had horribly wrong horse anatomy and movement. Another great thing would be an animated pair of realistic wings that could be stuck onto animal or human models.


http://www.kinetic-impulse.com/horse_motion_capture_data/index.html

They sell horse data, it looks fairly decent, not sure how much they'd want for a complete data set though.

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Quote:
Original post by MarkMoe
Thank you a lot guys for your replies.

sunandshadow
You have a big passion for in-game horses. Really unique :)


Lol. I like all sorts of pretty monsters really - gryphons, panthers, wolves, the talbuks in WoW and the chocobos in Final Fantasy. Jade dynasty has a goldfish mount called kingyo. Perfect World has some awesome crazy mounts like nien beast, kirin, beetle, and of all things a lobster o.O and particularly gorgeous sets of player wings like "Iridescence", "Sparklebright", and "Solemn Feathers".

I've also been known to rhapsodize over pieces of clothing, plants, buildings, and bishounen. I'm a woman and an artist, an enthusiasm for pretty things just goes with the territory I guess. [smile]

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Quote:
Original post by MarkMoe
Akitsune
Thank you very much for the Guide Wars wiki link. Didn't know it is presented. Very educational.
Yet my style differs a lot and closer to japanese RPG games. Though Korean artists are making an amazing art as well, maybe that's why Guild Wars was mentioned in this thread several times.

So characters in this pack could look Final Fantasy like, but without too wild haircuts. To be honest, this style is much easier than truly realistic ones.

Animations... animation is my weak point. Not because I am doing it bad or unrealistic, but I lack of practicing animations, so my speed is much-much slower than anything else. That's why my first priority will be character models with textures, and only after animations.

I hope that won't make anyone mad. Or maybe most of the teams have their animators?


FF style would still be great for most games, I'm sure. As long as it isn't obnoxiously anime style, I think it'd be great.

Well, there are a couple tools out for unrigged human models (first one that comes to mind is MakeHuman), and an animator would be awesome (I've been searching for a long time - and I haven't been able to find anyone out there for free). Of course, it would still would be great to see this pack!

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