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MatthewMorigeau

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  1. I'd buffer by default and use a visual cue animation (or at least pose) to indicate when the player has a jump buffered. Perhaps by timing the button press closer to landing the second jump could be slightly bigger. Making the visual cue tell the player what the game is doing and introduce a neat skill into the gameplay.     I'd also add a press and hold timed second jump if the player presses the key before landing and holds the key until touch down then releases at the right time you could create a nice parcours jump that lands the character facing the other direction. So few games use the old 180 turn anymore and SO should. 
  2. I voted yes and no. I don't think zombies are any less relevant a game genre, it's the experiences had with them that are getting old and the characters that are surviving that mean less and less to the audiences. Don't explore zombie stories unless you've got a great monster story that is worth telling. The common thread for every monster story is the relevance to current events the common views of the audience and of course fears of the masses. It's been polled that the greatest fear most north Americans have is the corruption of authoritarian organizations like governments. Zombies are the most meaningful monster in this day in age because they represents our lack of trust in the communities that surround us. They are the mindless masses that devour free will and steal the soul from an individual and turn them into, just another zombie. We're afraid of that because life often feels that way.    As for the gameplay you mentioned, it all came off a bit general. Nothing really caught my eye. You mentioned it's 3rd person. How come? Is the control setup unique in some way or are you planning on bringing something new to the character design that makes the 3rd person view meaningful. When resident evil did it they used complex controls and slower character animation to build suspense. You could use this and explore a character evolving from bumbling, terrified zombie chow into a militia Zed-killing expert with a scaling skill system in the background. Many characters are quite flat in most zombie games, where the writing changes (maybe) but the player's skill defines the character's skill making replay lack suspense. If the character's animation actually helped describe the character and evolved as the player survived encounters and the characters actually bore the experience of surviving this horror it could be refreshing. To make this less linear you could have encounters that you fail but don't die, where another character saves you and you don't earn any experience from the encounter but grow a connection with the character that saved you, etc.   As for story bits, something you could try is moments where the player is about to die, you could flash back to moments that show the character learning skills from a mentor like martial arts as a kid or firing a handgun with an uncle, etc. These playable moments would test the players skills in the moment and if they succeed they're returned to the main timeline with all the zombies in that area cleared. (hope that made sense) Failure is obviously up to you how you handle it.   My last suggestion, don't focus so heavily on the weaponry. There is a lot of this out there and it takes players out of the "monster moment" that I feel you be focused on trying to create. I would have a "go to" weapon your character prefers, a few throw away alternatives and some fun mods the character can get creative with in the mid and late game but I wouldn't over do it.    Remember to prototype it to undeath
  3. This takes you away from a dialogue system per say but I've been playing with the idea of an icon based language. Many RTS use icons for most everything anyways so much of the character interaction with NPCs could use emotes to express feelings and icons to indicate things, actions, places, people, etc.   I thought a basic short term, long term (based on repetition of short term) and recall memory (recalled by other characters) could allow AI to apply emotes to events and actions of other characters or the player character. The way to weed out minor events is influence. A character's influence is based on their connection to other characters earned through socialization (with individuals), success in combat and interaction with scripted events. Connecting to characters with higher influence works like a shortcut to earn fast influence with those already connected to the higher influence character. Scripted events can help connect the player character to many NPCs all at once as they watch or hear about the event. The key to make this viable is creating a system for characters to forget. The recall memory would allow a character to be reminded of some events returning it to short term but with all the old data of the amount of times it was communicated about. Keeping short term memory reduced to a certain size with influence of events and long term is a limited collection of repeated short term events could keep every character's memory to a manageable size. Hope this makes sense. 
  4. Some good suggestions, a couple others   - alignment with nature and finding a balance in its habitat as either a predator or prey finding the dynamic equilibrium with the surrounding renewable resources - unification, with a classic strategy structure, using economy, diplomacy and might to bring all species together  - historical realization of common ancestry, with a focus on exploration, puzzles, clues and resourceful combat - proving the existence of a higher power that names their species worthy to the other species - uncovering a common enemy
  5. I attach the fidelity of graphics directly to gameplay pacing, if your prototype is fast paced more focused on pixel perfect twitch timing gameplay, you can get away with less fidelity from your graphics however if you've got a slower paced experience, you're relying more on emotional immersion, more ambiance from you sounds and music you will need to use higher fidelity graphics to create clearer visual cues. The more time your player has to think about the game the more strategic their mind becomes seeking for clues in everything they see to better succeed. The more clues you give them to find in your game art, the more interesting the game. Never add art to a game that isn't attached to gameplay even in an ambient manor. It removes immersion as the players brain works to attach the art to the experience. 
  6. If you want to bring a fun spin to the resource collection, try bringing environmental destabilization to the table in an epic way. Its a full planet, so the looming threat of over extraction of resources makes (for an end game and makes) the end game more dangerous. First you could add predators that emerge from sectors of extracted resources puting your operation at risk. Then as more and more resources are removed a world could become unstable and a player's (possibly?) persistent "score" of resources could be at risk if they don't leave the sector in time at which point the world could end. To increase the risk reward you could make it easier to extract more resources near the end of a world. An end game can also allow you to better cap the number of players in a server since a worlds resources could act as a indicator for a cut off on letting new players join. This enables a bit of progression as well since new players could start with small worlds (shorter matches) and higher level players could choose to enjoy bigger worlds (longer matches, more players) with more resource extraction potential.    I've been pondering a casual world based MMORTS as well. Spherical maps are a great way to explore strategy on a wider scale with no edge of the map strategies.    Want to get rid of players dropping from matches because they're getting "owned"? Give players the option of surrendering to another player, a surrendering player becomes a military subordinate to the player that they surrender to, allowing them to continue with less losses but sharing a % of any resources they gather with the player that they surrendered to. This could allow a commanding player to issue objectives to other players that have surrendered to them and offer units, research, resource bonuses, etc as incentive for carrying out their commands. That way a newb doesn't need to always be matched with other newbs and can learn higher strategy from better players instead of just leaving a match because they keep losing.
  7. The baked lighting is the only thing that catches my eye as maybe lacking in visual appeal. Dynamic lighting and shadows could give the project the extra edge and mood. Something like Sprite Lamp might be worth exploring. Otherwise this game looks great!
  8. Gray goo but with an inverted perspective where the player is the goo. Very trendy.
  9. Depending on the rest of the game's design philosophy and what you're attempting to bring to players. One perspective you could explore is interdependence. You could explore use based skills easy to track these with multi-point scale graphing (could be in game or for dev use) player will focus on areas of expertise allowing them to accomplish certain tasks with great ease, while other tasks or objectives with multiple tasks will require a team or shift in game play focus to complete. This still uses a level system but since its 'use based' the impermanence of unused skills scales them back creating a dependence on other players who've focused in that area. Using in fiction visual feedback to express not only skill focus but skill level could do away with the usual number based depiction of excellence. I was mostly referring to a role playing or action game but this can also carry over to RTS or more tactical games. Making certain types of strategic combat (guerrilla, spam, tech up, etc) a skill focus and making a focus on one type of strategy open up abilities that apply to that style of strategy. Like a use based tech tree.   I think some amount of lvl progression has to exist as I see this as a part of every game's exploration. Even if it's just unlocking different combinations of controls. 
  10. Maybe try a different look at strategy, maybe high level strategy. As you said, offline time is key. I'd use this to field the best army you can, not just resources but refining (upgrading resources), unit construction, unit refining (upgrading with items and training), use of veteran units (to train new units or upgrade into command units as a teamed combat unit) and researching new tech. Like most touch screen games these choices are made during play then a time tells the player how long until these choices are available.   Online gameplay, intelligence (after fielding spies and recon units) the player uses these units to identify threats at the location their sovereign (commander, government, corporate head, etc) is requesting them to ascertain. A rough estimate (based on quality of recon units) of enemy activity indicates the position's level of risk. Battle. Split into offensive and defensive. Defensive starts with dropping start positions for combat units choosing targets to defend and patrol paths. This is passive gameplay for other players to challenge. Offensive combat has the player dropping units start positions creating a primary and secondary objectives as well as a drawn path of attack. Units automaticly follow paths to achieve objectives. During combat play the player can choose their units and activate skills (special abilities). Obviously the aim is to win combat. My addition (units that aren't killed are captured and can be converted over time) making stealth and speed the key. After combat the player fields their next army.   Combat locations are based on match making and resource requirements.
  11. This might help.   I would focus on looped lighting, use water depth to alter the player's mood. Use underwater objects (ruins, rock formations, underwater vegetation) to creating a sense of pacing and speed (based on how close the items are to the player). I would use a semi dynamic populating of fish and other swimming things to make the levels feel less repetitive. 
  12. Haha you're right, I am confused. You argued me blue in the face when I made the suggestion to hire a concept artist, I then pointed out that his animation should be compelling and agreed with you to use 2D animation. I didn't disagree with your recommendation, you're the one that argued my post, line for line remember? Whether it was relevant to the topic or not. Since this thread is dead (other then us bickering) I'm not going to respond to it anymore. StarMire if you still have beef with my position, PM me.    My claim was that given the circumstances Manderson99 described 2D would be cheaper. Hope that doesn't confuse anyone. This discussion isn't going to get more meaningful or productive. Good luck on the project Manderson99.
  13. StarMire, Of course I'm comparing apples to oranges, it's 2 different types of art. As for Devientart, I'm pretty sure contracting any novice artist for free from anywhere will be a rocky ride, Devientart has a huge variety of artists from industry professionals and veterans to hobbyists. The key is style, not many sites have such a wide variety of art styles to choose from. Any and every AAA quality 2D asset is easier and cheaper to change then 3D, if you've created 2D or 3D art you know this. 2D skeletons are just a scripted version of any slice and dice animation technique with the added perk of tweening. Even AAA quality animation uses slice and dice occasionally to save time. If you want to insist on 3D as the cheaper choice then you can but prove it to Manderson99, not me. The points your making seem moot however given the game(and situation) that Manderson99 has described.   A 2D RPG generally has small group of protagonists all with limited animation(often covered up with excessive particle animation, blur or flourishes), 40+ enemies of varying shapes and sizes (rarely all humanoid) all with very limited animation, plus boss encounters who usually have a little less animation work then the protagonists and enough static assets and backgrounds to achieve the story's "world". A studio could hire a team of 2D artists and a team of 3D artists to shape this world and it's populace or hire the same number of just 2D artists and lets see which team finishes that game first with what you call "high quality art".    StarMire if you read the post, Manderson99 is talking about bringing in 1 artist. Are you really suggesting it's cheaper to bring in a "master of none" 3D artist to try and champion all the 3D assets for an entire RPG? This is a start-up company with a limited art budget. 3D complicates what could be a very straightforward art pipeline.    Manderson99 if you have plans to hire an artist, start with a talented concept artist, you'll need 2D art in any game either way. If you're concept artist can animate its a great bonus to your project since they can not only concept assets but your artist can conceptualize how the game will feel (move), by creating test animations (and chance are they can build most of the priority assets as well). 2D or 3D will depend on scale, style and the game mechanics. From the game you've described, I stand by my suggestion to stick with 2D to keep costs down. The bonus of going this route is that if you find you need 3D, you can just add it later with either pre-rendered or take your library of 2D work into any engine. I would hire one in house artist and contract other artists or even a studio if you're timetable is short. A technical director is useful for any team as well since often artists and programmers speak different languages and a technical director can help make sense of everyone's crazy lingo and jargon. But see how things go with your artists first.   If you don't have one already, make a list of all of your art assets. Static, animated and all the animations as well. Give this list to your in house artist and they can help decide on style and best direction to go given the projects budget. 
  14. If an indie dev is working with a limited budget a master of none (a talented 2D artist that can handle some animation) is a much appreciated cost over trying to cover the costs of a dedicated, concept artist,  3D modeler, a technical director for rigging and shadders, particle effects not to mention getting them all familiar with the requirements of an ever changing 3D engine and the hours building reasonable pipeline for assets. So yeah I'd say the costs are lower to cover the man power hours of bashing out a few thousand frames, HUD and background art and splash screen then the 3D alternative.      If you decide to make changes to a character (proportions, clothes, drapery, facial changes, etc.) Its much easier to draw a new concept and redraw a handful of frames using paintovers, alter the 2D rig or swap out a head, then it is to make sweeping changes to models, UV, rig proportions, facial deformation, etc. Specially if you have a dedicated members for each of these tasks. You don't need to re-draw every frame. Unless you're a glutten for pain.      For a tiny startup it does make sense because if the game design doesn't necessitate 3D perspective (all mechanics are just as fun from a fixed perspective) then why bother? Of course 3D games use 2D art, but they also have design mechanics that call for 3D. If a startup can make a fun game with the ideas they have using 2D sprites and painted backgrounds, its far more viable to pay one artist then many.     As you pointed out, this is debatable. This debate will obviously unravel into a "it'll depend on the game" scenario. But for a startup with limited budget. I would spend the money on a concept artist that happens to have some animation skills because they'll be needed for future games and would be useful all through any game's development. A 2D game asset will always be cheaper to make and implement then a 3D asset, whether in hours or money spent. The only area this isn't true is in the attempt to create 3D animations. In which case 2D art takes longer and is more expensive to try and recreate.   As I said my focus is in animation (3D animation actually), but in my opinion video game's gained their reputation because the art of the game changed from static art to actions that meant more then just solving the game's rules. It was when we started bringing characters to life, running, jumping, squashing, reacting to an environment. After video games started using animation was when it was recognized as a form of art and not just something neat you could do with a computer. Without the few frames drawn to depict the actions of the character's of yesteryear's games they wouldn't be video games.   3D is easier today then ever before, but even today, not all games need 3D art to be fun and because their are decades worth of 2D asset pipelines which any developer can easily learn and follow. A game that doesn't need 3D, is cheaper to make in 2D.   But ultimately Starmire we do agree that the decision isn't in the money. The art decision is in the design.
  15. Can't wait to see it in action!