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Thaumaturge

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  1. Thaumaturge

    On Politics Threads and the GameDev.net Community

    I know that this has been settled, but, in case it's helpful, if I may make a suggestion regarding the front page: Instead of either showing posts from the Lounge, which may lead to the problem of certain threads flooding the page, or hiding posts from the Lounge, which may hide interesting content, perhaps change the front page to show threads, rather than posts. It might still show recent activity by indicating the content of the most recent post in that thread, perhaps along with the time of the most recent activity, and an indicator of whether there is content (or the number of posts) not yet read by the visitor, if feasible. This way no one thread can dominate the activity list, because each thread has only one entry in it. Even aside from the question of potentially off-putting threads, this might allow for a greater number (and perhaps as a result a greater variety) of threads to be easily visible. All of that said, I'll confess that I don't generally use the front page myself, and so may be ignorant of an element of its usage!
  2. That's true, I do think. It's not helpful, I do fear. Still, I think that a significant reason that indies might struggle to replicate the realism of AAA games comes down to the sheer amount of work involved in making realistic assets. I do think that improvements in tools can help with this, indeed. Asset stores can be helpful, too--but that narrows the field of aesthetic choices to what's available in the store, further constrained by finding assets that both depict whatever is being sought and that together form a cohesive art-style instead of clashing. Finally, the use of assets in multiple projects can result in their becoming familiar, which may hurt immersion. (And that's presuming that the indie in question is in a position to pay for all of their assets, of course.)
  3. Thaumaturge

    Week of Awesome VI - 2018?

    Ah, I'd wondered about this myself. So no Week of Awesome this year--that's disappointing, but not entirely unexpected, and quite understandable. Fair enough! (And thank you, Eck, for asking after it, and thus getting an answer. ^_^) One idea might be a four-week, Saturdays-only jam: entrants would be allowed to think about their project at other times, but only develop it (including asset-hunting) on Saturday.
  4. But how often is this because of the cost of producing assets for a realistic art-style? A sprite needn't call for several textures per model, after all. For example, I recall that I decided to aim for a stylised aesthetic in my current game in part because I concluded that competing with the realism of AAA games was likely infeasible. I do think that the increased graphical power of widely-available engines likely has helped, indeed, but I'm not fully in agreement with you on its effects. I think that there are some interesting things being done here, both narratively and mechanically--perhaps especially coming from indies. (Although that last perception might be due to bias on my part.) I do think that there's progress to be made, and I imagine that it will come as the medium grows and evolves.
  5. This is a bit of a tangent on my part, but I'd like to respond to this earlier discussion: This is true: the more options are available, the more numerous and varied the potential art-styles that can be made using it. However, conversely, constraints can drive creativity and thus also produce a more varied range of art-styles. For one thing, the easy availability of realistic graphics produces a trap (or a local minimum): since realistic art is already appealing, it may be that fewer artists will feel inclined to seek out a more distinct style. That's not to say that making realistic graphics more widely available is a bad thing, however! I'm just responding to the discussion of how limitations on graphical fidelity might affect the variety of art-styles appearing.
  6. Based on your comments, it seems that you're aiming to create a vocational high school: a high school that directs its students to some particular career. However, the following snippet suggests another possible direction: What this puts me in mind of is the idea of having a generalist school, but one that replaces traditional techniques and media with digital media. For example, it might have a maths class in which trigonometry is taught--but instead of having the students sit and work arbitrary examples from an exercise book over and over again, it gives them a project or set of projects that employs trigonometry. The thought is that this might provide a more engaging, and thus more effective, method of teaching. Your "video game high school" would thus be less "a school that trains video game developers/producers/whatevers", and more "a school that uses video game development to teach generalist subjects". This may not be your intent, of course (I'm not sure of my reading of your posts)--but if not, it perhaps offers an alternative suggestion. Note, however, that I am not an expert in teaching, so take my thoughts with a measure of salt.
  7. Thaumaturge

    Merry Christmas GD Lounge!

    Whatever you observe, celebrate, or attend at around this time, I hope that it is (or was) a happy one for you, to all here!
  8. When you refer to "run-time procedural generation", what, precisely, do you mean? Procedural generation of certain elements at run-time isn't at all uncommon at the moment, I think. To the best of my knowledge, there are a number of upcoming games that feature procedural dungeons/environments, in particular. Look for example at Wizard of Legend, or Astroneer. If you mean the large-scale generation of No Man's Sky, in which multiple planets are generated, along with procedural ecologies, then I suspect that it's rare not because of fear of failure, but because it's very hard to actually do.
  9. Thaumaturge

    WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    Ah, I'm sorry to read it! Still, fair enough, and thank you for all of your work during the Weeks of Awesome thus far! I do hope that it is taken up by someone next year--perhaps it will be integrated as an official GameDev.net competition?
  10. Thaumaturge

    WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    Wow, I see that my post-mortem was featured! Thank you to whoever arranged that!
  11. Thaumaturge

    Week of Awesome V: Post-Mortem

    Greetings and salutations! The competition is over, and the results are in. I came in thirteenth out of twenty--not a result that I'm happy with. So, what went right, and what went wrong? What went right: - Panda3D Once again, I'm overall rather happy with my engine of choice. There were a few difficulties to deal with, but I think that it served me well in this. - Vertex colours: By simply painting the vertices of my enemies, I was able to roughly colourise them without creating individualised texture-maps. The resulting appearance is a little basic, perhaps, but I feel that it was appropriately expedient! However, see below under "what went wrong"... - Music: This is a field in which I've previously had pretty poor scores, as I recall. For this year's Week of Awesome, I set aside my old source for royalty-free music, instead turning to Kevin MacLeod's Incompetech. It's a well-used source, but I found music there that I feel fit my game rather well, and the scores given (sevens and eights out of ten) seem to support this. What went wrong: - Scope: Simply put, the game is perhaps just a little too big for the time allotted. Had I had another two days to work on it, I suspect that my entry would have been much better. Aside from various bugs, the level was rushed--I think that I only spent somewhere around five or six hours on it in total. Indeed, I recall that right at the start I had reservations about the scope of this project--but at the time I had no other concepts that I was sufficiently happy with and that fitted the themes well. My thinking at the moment is that, for future jams, I should perhaps look for a concept that I feel that I can complete in five days; if I find myself with only a concept that seems too big (as was the case this year), I should perhaps nevertheless set it aside and keep looking. - Vertex colours: Unfortunately, I managed to miss a caveat in the version of Panda3D that I was using: Simply put, when a shader that uses vertex colours is applied to a model that lacks them, the result is undefined. On some machines--including the two on which I tested--the result is white; as I was using the colours, this more or less amounted to "no change", and thus looked fine, I believe. On other machines, as it turns out, the result is black. Since the majority of the level has no vertex colours, this meant that all looked well on my end, but for some of the judges the environment (and the player's on-screen hand) turned pitch-black, rendering navigation somewhat problematic. - Projectile appearance: I fear that I spent a little too much time attempting to get my projectiles to fit the look that I had in mind for them. It might be wiser in general for me to think of the game as a prototype, and not spend quite so much time on such elements of polish unless there's time to spare at the end. (Although I do feel that the scoring category for graphics provides incentive in the other direction...) That's all for now, I think--stay well, and thank you for reading!
  12. Thaumaturge

    WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    Oof, I'm really sorry to read of it! I hope that the emergency has been resolved, for the better, and with no lingering ills! Thank you very much for nevertheless providing scoring and notes! It's appreciated. (The controls in my entry perhaps are a little sluggish--at least one other judge recommended increasing the movement speed, if I recall correctly.) [edit] I've written up a quick post-mortem for my entry:
  13. Thaumaturge

    WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    Gah, I am not happy with how I did this year. Ah well. Nevertheless, thank you to all of the judges for their time, effort, and reviews, and to the sponsors for providing a prize pool! To the winners, congratulations and very well done!
  14. Thaumaturge

    Creepy terrain

    That's quite a neat effect.
  15. Thaumaturge

    WoA V - Afterparty/Judging thread

    Not a problem! Funnily enough, as Slicer pointed out, it is, I believe, possible to get stuck--but this calls for staying on a platform that doesn't have a chain, rather than one that does. The chained platforms should always reconnect and draw back together. (Which may leave you stranded if you're on one of the distant platforms with which they align.) And thank you for playing it again, by the way!
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