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Tutorial Doctor

Old Tricks of the Trade?

3 posts in this topic

Anyone know any old school tricks of the trade when it comes to making a 3d video game (particularly a 3rd person game)? I only know a few, but I am looking for more tricks on lighting, level design, animation etc. 
 
Foliage
For instance, instead of modeling trees, they use flat planes that are rotated around to create the illusion of depth to save on processing time. 
 

Character Shadows
Another trick of the trade I remember is that shadows underneath a game character was just an ellipse shape with a gradient alpha channel (no real dynamic shadows, but it worked.

 

Modular Design

Modular design makes level assembly much more straightforward and fast. Use pre-built pieces to assembly variations of a level or game. 

 

Fade to Black

No need for fancy video transitions. At a live stage play, lights off means the scene is finished. Lights on mean a new scene has started. If you don't can't integrate video into your game, just turn the lights off, re-position the camera, and then turn the lights back on. 

 

Zipper Pickup

You don't have to animate a character bending down to pick up an item. You walk over an item, it disappears, you hear the "zipper sound" the health bar animation advances to the next frame. 

 

These are all I can think of so far, because I am new to making games and I can't recall some of the things form old games. Perhaps I should play an old game too. Anyone have any to contribute? 

Edited by Tutorial Doctor
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Nice post ActiveUnique. I'm going to look into those things, and also post some tricks I come up with. I need to cut corners with this little small level/game idea I have because I know it can get complicated really quickly. I want it to feel like a AAA game, but require 10% of the work (doing it by myself) so Im going to get creative like 1920s television.
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floating text bubbles tell the story when audio is too expensive to store in memory

I would let the player pick music from what they have on their computer, especially if you can't afford good music.

 


Modular Design
Modular design makes level assembly much more straightforward and fast. Use pre-built pieces to assembly variations of a level or game.

I would 've expected this to have become somewhat standard for most games.

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