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Kyrieru

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  1. I want to do a little experiment. Hopefully it will be insightful for myself, as well as others.   For those of you who don't know, there was an Aladdin game on both the Snes, and the Genisis. These games were created by different developers, and aside from the subject matter they are quite different in nearly every regard. Which of these two games is better is something that's been talked about before, however there are a few factors that I feel make the discussions somewhat interesting (or baffling, depending on which game you like).   I've gotten into heated debates about the games before, but I want to do something in a more controlled environment. Make sure you don't read anybody else's posts, because I want people to go into this blind, and without bias.   The Test   Okay, here's what I want you to do.   To start with, give yourself some background. Are you an artist? A programmer? Do you have any experience in game design? Do you just play games? Etc. Basically just something to give some context. The opinion of a player will be just as revealing as the opinion of a dev, in this test.    Next, if you've played the games as a kid then describe your experience. How old were you? What about each game did you like or dislike, and which would you say is the better game? Even if your memory is fuzzy, it's still worth mentioning.   Now, the important part. For those of you who have the time, and want to settle the score once and for all; Play each game, and examine every aspect of it that you can. The controls, the moves, the level design, the art, the music, anything you can think of. If you'd like, you can focus on a particular aspect if you think it's the most important, or you can just cover everything that stands out. Try to discern what's objectively wrong with the games, and what may be subjective on your part. To put it simply, analyze them.   Then, make your case. You can clarify how long you played the games, and if you think that makes a difference.    After you've come to your conclusions, you can go a step further. Read the analysis of some of the other members, and describe what surprised you about your own conclusions, or theirs. Are there any factors that you think effected their opinions, without them knowing about it? (don't have to name names if you want.)   That's about it. Hopefully some of you have the time to give it a shot. I think you'll be surprised at how the average person feels about these games, and you may be surprised to see the differences between what you though as a kid, and what you think now. Or, maybe you won't be surprised at all.
  2.   Nah, like I said, I don't think what I'm going for specifically is that important. I'm more interested in what can be simplified about any sort of game. Both because it would help me decide what I want to do, and because it would help anyone.   For example, some stuff that I can think of to simplify development;   - Make Low-poly models. (less time modeling, easier to modify, easier to UV map and texture) - Make facial features and expressions textures rather than geometry. - Make Models that don't require weighting when rigging (make limbs separate parts. Only works with some styles or characters)  - Re-use common animations between different models where it isn't noticeable. (two enemies could have the same run cycle, or have the same hit animation, etc) - Avoid shaders or effects that require work on all assets to function properly. - Use minimal lighting. (less work lighting areas) - Use pixel art for textures. (low texture sizes, easy to work with)   So what I'd like to know is other stuff like that. Of course, what will be simple also depends on the person. Not everyone knows how to create pixel art, and so it wouldn't be easier to work with for everyone. But I'd still like to know what other people would do to simplify development in general anyway, since I think it's still important to know about different kinds of development, or styles. For example, someone may have good advice on hit-sparks/effects, or reasons why one type of environment is easier to create than another.   Granted, I suppose such topics are the type of thing someone would look for individually, so maybe a thread like this is pointless -__-
  3. @Gian: Again, I never said anything against using an engine, you even quoted the part where I said so -___- However it's worth mentioning as a general tip.   As for the rest of what you were saying, I pretty much agree.   Low poly and high poly aren't always that different, but it depends on the method. Personally, it's not so much that I prefer one over the other aesthetically, but more that I prefer the method of being deliberate with every vertices, and I find simple styles somehow appealing. That's just personal preference though.   In terms of what I want to achieve, I don't think it's too important. While I have an idea of what I'd do, my thoughts on making it practical only go as far as visuals, and in terms of making development in general practical I only have the 2d games I've released to go by. While I want to figure out what I should eventually work towards, I'm just as interested in what people think to do themselves, and how it might change what I plan on doing.   However, to at least give a visual example of the tests I did when I was think about styles. https://i.gyazo.com/48f851cacec6c80a50c5f40dd4990036.mp4 https://i.gyazo.com/c2ced30e025bac9bcc69d4311e6623bb.png https://i.gyazo.com/c71822c54a9feb3f2328acd162a3dca9.png https://i.gyazo.com/c1071b458bf8f4a08929a914301de8b0.png   I wouldn't really say that those tests represent what I want to achieve, though. I'm still not 100% sure what kind of style I'd want to go for, other than the fact that I'd go low-poly. I'd also take the time to learn more about modeling than I know now before actually attempting anything.
  4.   While that makes sense for modern poly-counts, I'm not so sure that it would be faster when you're creating models with extremely low poly-counts that rely more on textures. (Like these, for example) http://i.imgur.com/noNscbp.png https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/99/31/78/993178756108b65fc4d69e1dbdd0a04e.jpg   At least for me, it's much easier to build out a model from scratch, or from a model sheet, rather than with sculpting. But that's only because I focus on extremely low res characters.     I didn't say they made things smooth, I said that shadows can appear jaggy with low res models. However that probably isn't the right word for it either. What I meant was that there aren't enough edges/normals to get lighting to behave the way you like on say, a face. For example, you may get the silhouette you want, but you would have to add a bunch of edges just to get shadows to "frame" certain features properly. I was under the impression that this is where normal maps would come in (By smoothing the model, and using it as a normal map, or by starting with a high res model as you mentioned.)   What? Why do people keep thinking that I was saying not to use Unity or an engine?   Like I said in the response above. I was simply saying that even if you have something like lighting being calculated automatically by an engine, it doesn't mean that you don't have to set up lighting in your scenes/areas, which is still an extra step over relying more on textures. (Unless you focus very little on textures at all, at which point it might be the same amount of work to have good lighting.)
  5. I'm not being dismissive of Unity. I would be using Unity. What I was saying is that Unity isn't going to create normal maps for you, or do any of other leg-work needed for lighting and shaders to actually look passable on your models. Not to mention, even if you had the best dynamic lighting and normal maps handed to you, it still means setting up lights in your scenes.   @Tom and Gian: Stop putting words in my mouth -__-   I didn't bash outsourcing assets in principle. I merely said that avoiding a process isn't the same as simplifying it, which is what the discussion is about. Sure, not everyone can make graphics, but that goes without saying, and so it's much more productive to talk about simplifying that process for those who will be involved in it. I was just trying to steer discussion away from outsourcing, not decry it.   That said, I understand that I didn't make it clear in the OP that I wanted to focus on individual processes, as opposed to simply "game development" as the act of releasing a game at all. I'll edit it to make it more clear.   Thanks for the responses so far.
  6.   I mean, buying assets sort of goes beyond the boundary of working on a game alone. It goes without saying that working in a team or outsourcing stuff will be easier, however this is more about ways to simplify development as opposed to..avoiding it lol.
  7.   Hmm..I'll have to look into normals more, and the ways in which people make them look good with low-poly models. The main problem I had the last time I messed around with it was jaggy shadows, and I thought normal maps were the only solution, but if there's a way to get around that without too much extra work then I'd have no problem with flat drawn textures + cell shaded characters. I liked the kinds of things that could be done with ramps, when I was trying stuff. I feel like cell shading gets a bad wrap because so many people do it poorly without knowing anything about color theory.   Other than lighting/shadows on characters, I don't think I would make a shader heavy game, though. Part of the reason why I mentioned MML is because I like how clean it looks, and the pixel art/tileset style environments would make the shift from 2d to 3d much easier, since it would be utilizing the same skills. That said, texturing characters with drawn shading is probably more time consuming than a cell-shading shader, so long as the method of getting normal to work is simple.
  8.   I don't think you could normal map a face automatically with low res models in a way that looks good. But then again, I know jack all about it.   In Megaman Legends the textures/shadows on characters are pixel art, and drawn, which is what I'm referring to. I meant cell shaded as in the aesthetic style of 2-3 tone flat colors using pixel art or otherwise, as opposed to a shader that effects lighting. The environments are lit, but it's pretty basic, and just to show depth. MML2 appears do some lighting with the characters as some of the screenshots have colors with a slight gradient, but I can't say what it is specifically. I'd be aiming for flat colors anyway.   Unity certainly isn't going to do graphical work automatically in any way that's graphically acceptable, everything takes some degree of tweaking and work. And no, I'm not overlooking any of the other stuff you mentioned. That's just stuff that's necessary to development, and I'd be more interested in how to simplify those processes the same way I aim to simplify visuals.
  9.   Once I got into shaders only about a year ago, I've found them surprisingly less scary than I imagined them to be (just focus on fragment and vertex shaders at first, and ignore the other types of shaders until you get a grasp on those primary two). Shaders are just small chunks of scripting/code that run on the videocard (like callback functions) at certain stages when the videocard is doing its regular magic. You already know how to program - shaders are just a small function or two write in a different (but very similar) language, like a scripting language.   Now, that doesn't mean "AAA style" is in reach, because one of the big issues there is the vast quantity and high quality of the art assets. But I think you'll find that if you explore shaders a little, you'll be able to improve the visual quality of your game in dramatic ways with little effort. That is to say, whatever level of quality your art assets are, basic shaders can improve it. If you have basic art, basic shaders are better than no shaders. If you have good art, basic shaders can still improve things. If you have great shaders, they improve it alot more.   You may even find that it's easier for you to write great shaders than it is for you to make great art, so [poor art + good shader = nice result] may be more viable for you than [good art + poor shader = nice result]. Of course [good art + good shaders = better result] is closer to ideal, even if you can't reach [great art + great shaders = excellent result] that the AAA studios do.     Well, my intention by avoiding shaders and bump/normal-mapping is simply to take as many steps out of the process as possible. I know that I could make one model with plenty of fluff, but it increases the development time by a lot to do the same thing for every enemy and object, and make a world that matches. With shaders, you need to make maps for each model so that they work correctly, or at least in a way that works well. If you just stick a cell shading shader on a character, it doesn't really look too good. (I could just be wrong about how long normal maps take though). Even that one extra step could mean a lot if it's x30 times.   At least, that's the way I see it. If you've ever played Megaman Legends, that's essentially the kind of style I'd be shooting for, abeit higher poly. Simple drawn cell-shaded textures, and pixel art textures for the environment. There would probably be simple lighting in the environment simply to make depth more obvious, but character's wouldn't be effected by normal lighting.
  10. Everybody knows that it's perfectly realistic to work on a 2d game by yourself. As long as you have the right set of skills you can do quite a lot.   However, what about 3d games? What can you simplify about certain areas of development that would make working solo or with a team of two or three more practical?   For example, on might create a visual-style that forgo's lighting and normal maps, mitigating the the time of dealing with those steps. Or, you might use blocky shapes, and instead focus on shaders to look good. That is to say, what are choices the developer can make about graphics, sound, programming, game design, etc, that make them more practical while still resulting in a good outcome? What are things that devs should avoid, or mistakes that beginners often make during their first project?   Also to be clear, I'd like to focus specifically on how to simplify processes. While outsourcing assets simplifies the process of "game development" as a process, I'm more interested in focusing on individual areas of development.
  11. Kyrieru

    How do you feel about buffered jumps?

      The buffer period is generally subtle enough that the average player won't realize that it exists. To them, it just looks as though they pressed the button when they were "on the ground", even if they were a few frames too early. While there may be cases where they avoided damage because they pressed the button too late, they were still trying to jump if they pressed the button to begin with.   Edit: I've edited the first post to clarify that I'm talking about a short period before you land, and not holding down the button to jump constantly. I may not have made that clear initially.
  12. Kyrieru

    How do you feel about buffered jumps?

        Well, if there's a projectile or enemy moving along the ground and the player attempts to jump as they land, pressing the button too early would result in not jumping and getting hit. With the player probably thinking "I pressed jump, I swear!".   Also in your example; while the player can control their velocity in MMX, the player could still be holding forward because they're expecting the jump to come out. Even if there isn't danger, a perceived lack of feedback doesn't feel very good, and most players would probably blame the game. 
  13. Kyrieru

    How do you feel about buffered jumps?

      I already do it, myself, and I see no reason not to do it. However, there are some classic platformers that don't do it, such as Megaman X and other Capcom games, so I'm just more curious as to why some platformers don't do it. Since I can't exactly ask Snes game developers why they didn't include it, I figured there might be some indie devs who might have reasons for not including it in their own games.   Also for reference, Mario World does it.
  14. Kyrieru

    How do you feel about buffered jumps?

    I mean, I already use it myself (and what you described is basically how it works). I just want to know what other devs think of it, since it's not something every platformer does, and I wonder if it's because some people have reasons not to (other than say, double jumps).
  15. To explain what I mean first (since I don't know if there's a common term for it). The following example assumes the player is mid jump, and presses the jump button before hitting the ground;     Basically it's so that if the player presses the jump button a few frames before they touch the ground, they will still jump. It's just something that makes things a little easier.   How do you feel about buffering the player's input when it comes to jumps? Do you do it yourself? Do you like it, dislike it? Do you think it has certain unforeseen disadvantages?, etc.
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