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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Making it draw LOTS of different kinds of people

Other images in Caveman

Making it draw LOTS of different kinds of people

Norman Barrows
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Making draw LOTS of different kinds of people

 

Obviously no two people look exactly alike - except identical twins. Turns out that a lot of our general appearance as far as skin tone and such (genetically speaking) has to do with our area of origin, or more specifically, the amount of UV radiation and the temperatures at that latitude.

 

The original version of the game only had 4 skin tones to choose from, and only had 8 models per sex to choose from.

 

The new version lets you select one of 7 areas of origin, which determines the skin, eye, and hair colors (textures) available to choose from, as well as defining the general facial features (head mesh), and the hair styles available to choose from (hair meshes).

 

As a result, the game has over 200 types of female models, and over 300 types of male models to choose from. Right now, guys have dreads and bald hairstyles, and girls don't, so there are more guy models to choose from. Dreads for girls will be added, as it was probably the predominant hairstyle of that era. That will kick up the number of available female models to choose from to over 300.

 

All these different models are possible due to reuse of content. models are made from individual limb meshes. there's juts one set of male and one set of female body limbs for all models. there are 5 head meshes for each sex. there are ~5 hair meshes for each sex. one model is required for each head and hair combo. so there's only about two dozen models per sex. each skin tone requires one skin texture, one male head texture, and one female head texture. there are currently 20-30 skin tones in the game. there are 4 eye color textures, and perhaps 6-8 hair textures. all these numbers are off the top of my head and may be a bit low. combining all these possibilities yields many hundreds off different models, if not over 1000. obviously not all combos are correct for the game - they couldn't change hair or eye color the way we can these days with contacts and hair coloring - and no tanning salons either. Selecting appropriate combos of head mesh, hair mesh, skin tone textures, hair texture, and eye texture yields about 300-400 possible models for each sex.

 

This screenshot shows a test of drawing lots of NPCs whose appearance is randomly generated from the possible combos that make sense for the game.

 

its also a stress test for the animation system. as i recall, there were ~115 active NPCs in this test, and i believe over 100 of them are visible in this shot (i keep losing count when i try counting them all ! <g>). The game currently performs quite well under these conditions. not until the number of npc's onscreen goes over 125 or so do you begin to see any change in frame rate. During actual game play, perhaps at most half as many NPCs as seen here would ever be on-screen at one time.

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© Caveman (C) 2000-2013 Rockland Software Productions

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