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  1. So I finished adding the new dynamic lightsources, took a little longer than planned largely due to the fact that I decided to go with 30 frame animations instead of 8. At least i drew up 19 new lightsources which mostly turned out very good I would say. I linked those to the dynamic lightning and it all turned out quite well I post a screenshot as well as video below for the results. I apologize for the somewhat bad quality of the video,I managed to export it a bit shoddy and I am now to tired to fix it right now But I think the quality is good enough to show the dynamic behavior of the new lightsources. With those parts done I think I am finished for now with the dungeon improvements as I have to focus on some other parts of the game but I really appreciate your feedback guys, it was very valuable and made a lot of difference! Big Thanks! Please note that I do not actually enable the lightning effects in the map-maker until about 40 seconds into the video [media] [/media]
  2. Thanks! I agree with the coloring not being fully cohesive, right now it's sort of a two fold problem: 1) When I started I unfortunately did not really know about the concept of/value of having a properly segmented color palette for different gameplay elements which I am paying for now, and 2) I'm simply not quite accustomed to my own map maker to make the most out of the level design yet I'm working on adding more colored lightsources right now since I think #a_insomniac was right to point out the importance of this. Like mentioned earlier the functionality is there I just have to make the pixelart for a bunch of sources now to make use of it. My plan is to make a special block which has subtype "lightsource" and will be a animated blocks with something like 8 frames. The different sub-types will then be linked to some base light-effects sort of like "glowing-pulsing", "flickering" etc. Since the lightning supports animated/dynamic lightsources I have to try to make the blocks also a bit animated I think. I estimate it might take me a few days to get all the graphics drawn up. I am very interested to see myself how it will affect the overall feel of the areas
  3. Ok so I spent the weekend trying to implement the points listed before. In the end I have made two changes: 1) Added fixed shadowing in dungeons to get some depth. This was relatively easy since all I had to do was to set a fix "sun" position and then use the same rendering as for the normal outdoor areas 2) Adding specular light on blocks. I spent a fair amount of time trying to add this. In the end what I have right now is better although not quite as good as I would like it. Doing the specular maps was straightforward although some specular maps could be improved, since I draw all the block graphics myself I have right now about 1600 different blocks for different floor elements, ceilings, playerheight etc (most belong to a decorative class which only differ by graphics not by block functionality) which means having to prepare 1600 matching specular sprites.. uhmpf... But I did some layer "magic" on entire sprite-sets to get it roughly there and some after touches. This at least got me to something usable. The engine is based on OpenGL and it took me some time to find a suitable blending combination to add on the specular. I found one blending combo that worked well for player height but then the floors got a bit to dark (#1 below), the next combo (#2 below) was fine for the floor but did not "pop" as much on other blocks so in the end I use two different blendings for floor and player+ceiling (named #3 below) As for the doodads I planned on adding there was unfortunately no time for this. I think its definitely better but: I would really like to have the specular reflections to actually reflect as a function of angle. As can be seen in the pictures below right now they are only a function of distance to light-sources and the light intensity. Things is I have no idea how to get a directional fading/gradient on the speculars without it looking strange. If I try to just draw the specular overlay as a alpha gradient it works fine for single blocks but for tiles blocks or for items consisting of several blocks (such as floors, beds etc.) I would get a ugly edge in the drawing between the two blocks. So I might leave it as it is for now unless you guys maybe have some idea on another way or drawing the specular overlay? (using OpenGL functions) I draw a few different floors and items in the map editor just to be able to compare the impact on different environments in the picture below. The lighting in the editor is not exactly the same as in the normal game but close enough. I hope the picture is not too big Also two pictures at the end on how the changes affected the intro dungeon. Reply to #kburkhart84: Yes I agree. I actually just recently added support for colored/flickering/animated lightning, however right now I only have a few light-sources which does not have much of this functionality added. I intend to expand upon this as soon as I have the time and it should hopefully further improve the atmosphere Ideas suggestions? (I really appreciate the advice so far )
  4. First of all a big thank you for providing feedback! #JTippetts: Yes I totally agree. The issue was with the shadow rendering I wrote it allowed blocks to only cast shadows on the map grounds. The world is built up from four layers more or less, ground, floor level blocks, player level blocks and "ceiling" level blocks. The blocks do have different heights but are still sort of locked in this layered structure. Since the current setup only allows block to cast shadows on ground and not other blocks means that the walls (which are player level) dont cast shadows on the floor blocks thus the wall shadows and perspective disappears. Huh.. I hope that explanation was not to confusing But what I will try to do now then is to rearrange it so that I sort the blocks according to height before drawing blocks and their shadows. By doing this I think I could get the blocks to shadow each other. That way I should be able to have dungeon walls to get a little bit perspective when drawn. So a good observation which I will try to fix now! #kseh A fair question The dungeon in the picture is from an optional introduction dungeon which is supposed to be a lab/training ground environment designed to provide some of the initial backstory as well as going through the basic gameplay elements one at a time. Its a bunch of different rooms connected by corridors. All the custom (i.e non procedural) areas in the game is designed with the built-in mapeditor so I have different styles of blocks depending on the style of the dungeon but this one is "supposed" to be a lab/complex type area I guess it looks a little bit vacant, I have tried placing a bit more "stuff" in the rooms of the dungeon but I think you're right in the sense that I should try to add a bit more small details somehow. I will try to think of some way of doing this. On the map groundlayer I use some doodad palettes as well as a transparent "dirt" layer to get a bit more non-uniform structure. Maybe I could use some similar way of adding a very weak overlay to break the uniformity of the floor patches somehow and anew doodad palette for floors... Hmmm I will have to think a little bit about that one but it could work well #a_insomniac Thanks for the appreciation, being a solo hobby-developer it's always nice to hear from time to time that things might be going in the right direction You might be spot on when it comes to the lighting. I thought about it and I will try to add a a specular layer to the blocks. If I could manage this I hope I could use it to provide some light reflection imitation on blocks which could be a very nice touch! I will try this! So, again thanks for the advice guys! During the weekend I will try to implement the three following parts and provide an update back here and the end of the weekend so you could get a chance to see how it panned out So I will add: 1) Updated shadow-rendering 2) Specular maps for blocks 3) Trying to add some doodad for floor tiles. I can't promise that I will pull that of this weekend though since it also includes drawing all the doodad graphics for different style of floor blocks, but I will try! Thanks guys!
  5. Hi guys! I would really appreciate some feedback and advice from you guys on the game I'm developing The game I'm working on is a 2D ARPG single/multiplayer using my own custom engine which is a 2D OpenGL engine inC++. The game have two distinct areas: outdoor world environments and dungeons. Right now I have reached a point where I'm starting to feel quite satisfied with the outdoor environments but the dungeons feel very lacking right now. Whereas the outdoor environments have at-least somewhat of a depth feeling to them the dungeons just feel... flat... I am not sure how to improve the graphics in the dungeon areas to get a bit more depth and/or vivid feeling. Outdoor was easier as I could play a bit with sun-shadows and parallaxing but I cant quite use that in the dungeons which is causing problems. I have posted a few images below on both the outdoor world and the dungeons for comparison as well as a small update trailer if you want to just get a feeling for the current dynamics of the game. Any feedback or ideas on how to improve upon the dungeons would be greatly appreciated. This is the first real game I have developed so I'm sure you guys have a lot of ideas I haven't really though about yet Best Regards BG109 Trailer/Update Video:
  6. First off I apologize for the late reply to this thread, I was caught up with No Man Sky's to get some inspiration on procedual generation :rolleyes:   I still felt that I should update on how it sort of turned out in the end though. I added two main effects which in my opinion turned out quite well and I would like to share some comments regarding     1) Shadowmaps for Trees & Bushes Geez that made a difference! I suspected it would add quite some feel to it but it wasn't until I actually implemented it I realized how much information the shadows of certain objects affects our perceptance of the actual object. As soon as I added shadow maps for the trees & bushes the general feel for the objects skyrocketed (Well at least IMHO  -_-  ) Coupled with tree motion (ambient wind etc) and scaling/direction following the day/night cycle it was a major improvement!     2) Ground Bump/Noise Overlay Map Another detail added which is not as eyestriking as the shadowmaps but rather a bit sunconcious effect is the addition of a faint bump/noise map overlay on the ground. I had some hesitations regarding this as the only way I could think of on how to add it would be to have a very large bump/noise texture and simply let it wrap itself around over the enitre gameworld. I was worried that the players would recogonise the patterns but it seems that if the overlay is faint enough and large enough the repetition is very hard to notice and it really helped to break up the ground textures a bit!   3) #Re Ravyne I see your point and I do agree, this is certainly something I will try to get around to change, however for the time being I will have to place it on the back burner though but I fully agree with you point!   Here's a few screenshot on the updated work:      
  7. Ok I'm sorry it took a few days but I've been trying to add some modifications and I would love some feedback on what you think and If it's a step in the right direction?  -_-     Things added/modified:     Ground Tile Variation & Cleanup I've added some more variation of basic ground tiles (this took quite some time.. 45 different ground texture and 6 new basic tiles for each... :wacko:  ) Also cleaned up the tiles a bit as well as removed some artifact issues. They added a quite a bit of variation, but I'm not sure if it is enough? It's definitely better though.   Foilage Lightning & Gradients I've also made the foliage (trees and bushes) have colored gradients as a function of time of day. My idea was to give them a bit more depth, I think it panned out quite nicely, but was a hell to try to find a balanced shading to add but I got it worked out, somewhat, at least..   Zoom Level I changed the zoom level a bit, not sure if it's better but I think a bit closer gives better immersion   Cloud Shadows The last thing, which is not quite finished yet but almost, is that I added some parallaxing shadows on the ground from the clouds to break up the ground textures a bit as well, I have to balance shadow strength vs how strong the clouds are still a bit       Here's a screenshot of the current state         Questions:   What are your general impression of the changes?     What would you have done differently?     Some other ideas?     Should I try to make edge transitions less square as well? The game is quite blocky in general so I'm not sure wether or not to keep the ground texture edges that way :wacko:
  8. #Ravyne It's not intentional, although its something I've been struggling with a bit the last few days when I added support for variable resolution, in short when I deviated from my standard resolution I started to have gridding which I'm working on, the grid-line should not be visible normally  :wacko:  Variations would be a good thing, I will try to add some variations to tiles of same type and mix it up a bit between variation and direction, I will post a screenshot here once I've added a rough version, thanks! For blending between tiles, yeah, maybe it should be improved as well, I currently have a map with different tile edges for doing transitions but maybe I should rework them a bit to get them less "square", although I've been trying to keep a bit of the square look intentional but maybe I should just try to get rid off it. I agree that the transitions is to harsh right now, have to figure out some way to improve this ^_^     #Prototype I do have some sound added, although it surely could be improved a bit. Currently I have (as far as ambience is concerned) footstep sound depending on ground type, some ambient sound (forrest sound with some birds, jungle sound for jungle biomes etc) but I could probably add some more as well, I totally agree with the fact that's more than the static view itself making it feel "alive", I just have a feeling right now that even when I add those things on top, something is still askew with the basic rendering of the terrain :unsure: Very good suggestions though!      #JTippetts As for dynamic effects there are actually a few, I do have fireflies, bird flocks flying by or being spawned from trees when impacted (when impacted they also sway a bit as well as having some particle effects). They can still be improved for sure, windblown dustclouds and leaves blowing by in the wind would be nice additions though, I will try to improve on that a bit, thx!         I will focus on some of the suggestions and repost a screenshot shortly!
  9. Hi Guys! :)   I am struggling a bit on the "feeling"/design of the ground of my game world and I would love to hear If any of you might have some ideas for how to improve it?     The Issue: In the top-down 2D game I'm working on I so far have added quite a bit of stuff to make the game more dynamic, foilage motion due to wind, dynamic camera, camera shake, procedual generation of lakes, areas, particle effects, dynamic weather, day/night cycle etc. However, my game world still feels "flat" when there is no fighting going on :(   I really want it to be a rewarding feeling to explore the world (fighting feeling is going the right way at least...) However, although I can add more content to discover in the game world It still feels flat. I have added a few screenshots below for you to comment on, some sprites are very preliminary but regardless if I would improve foilage sprites, ground tiles etc I don't think it would make much difference :unsure:     The Question: What else could I populate the ground area with to make it feel more dynamic? Or is it some lightning/shading etc. which is missing? How would you go about to get a more dynamic feel to the world?     Possible Solutions: I've considered to add a large overlay map on the ground tiles to get a more textured feel but I am not sure if that to would get repetetive? Also, I might need some grass or somethink (preferable dynamic motion I guess) but I'm not sure how to add it so it looks ok in this perspective?   Any feedback is appriciated!     Screenshots:          
  10. Where to learn 2D Math for game dev

    I think the guys above already listed most of what you want, so I could just add that you can also find a lot of good material at stackoverflow just by googling for specific topics (example: c++ angle between two vectors, etc...)   I would like to make a comment on the games you listed though, as I think you should rearrenge them a bit with concern to the math required. I assume you didn't really set any specific order to them when you wrote it down but I would consider something like this   - Mario (simple physics, not to much shannanigans, mostly algebra and some trig) - Zelda 2D RPG (a bit more physics involved which means you need dive a bit deeper into that field) - Terraria (Here you also start going into the procedual generation which is really a area of its own, more statistics than algebra/physics) - Diablo 1 and 2 Isometric (Procedual generation as well as more advanced physics to have all interaction with skills/effects creatures etc as well as more math to generate the visual effects) - Plant vs Zombie Well, I haven't played it, dont know how to rank it ^_^     So, for the games listed In my mind there are actually three (or four) seperate fields linear algebra/trig., statistics for procedual generation as well as physics (mainly mechanical, forces, impluses etc). So I would highly reccomend you start with the case with the simplest physics etc to just get used to the math tools you require, as soon as you start feeling a bit more confident try adding a bit more physics effects etc and start moving on from there     Ah, and don't be discuraged if a simple thing such as getting two blocks to collide, bounce or even rotate after the collision gives you a really hard time, some seemingly simple things can have some tricky physics (for a beginner) but it's all part of learning ^_^    
  11. Ok this is the last update for this post unless any of you guys want to give feedback to the post below if there are some things in particular you would recommend changing   I have now finalized the update to the ambience for now, I am not sure I am fully satisfied yet but at least it is a LOT better than before i started this post, thank you guys for your ideas, I've really tried to implement most of them! ^_^   I post a example video of a full (although shortened in time) day/night cycle to show how it panned out, the main things added since the last post would be the following:   5) Dynamic bird flocks with 20+ species of birds which depends on the current biome 6) Butterflies and Buzzer 7) Lightningbugs 8) Dynamic sunrays 9) Some general tweaking of the prior settings with a bit more gradient of light/shadow during dawn/dusk   Here's some of the suggestions from you guys I tried to implement   kseh/Servent) Alpha gradient to light color as well as different coloration to moonlight, also added the fireflies you suggested! You can see them in the video at 3:30 and 4:00 ^_^  Unfortunately i had to hold off on the specular light maps for now, since I need to work on other gameplay elements so reflections have to wait, I would really like it though and I think I know how to add it unfortunately I don't have enough time right now  :unsure:    So lastly, yes I had to cut short on reflections for now, due to time constraints but If i revisit this part of the game it should definately be at the top of the list   Again, thanks for helping out guys! ^_^     The Video: [media][/media]
  12. Ok here's a small clip on the current state, it's getting better but I'm not fully pleased yet as there are some things I want to add further   The points mentioned in the previous post are still to be included :wink:   [media][/media]     The current light/shadow/clouds are weather dependant so unfortunately I did not catch all forms of weather permutations in the clip but hopefully it shows somewhat the current state at least     Please feel free to criticize! I would have got so far yet without your suggestions so  ^_^     What I've done so far to create a more dynamic feel is the following (in broad strokes)   1) Shadow coloration, shadows have color depending on time of day, cloud coverage as well as sun & moon position. Might tweak the color palettes a bit though 2) Sky coloration, sky is colored, especially during sunrise/sunset as a function of the current cloud coverage, to small extent the temperature as well as the suns height in the sky. I've also included a "haze" curve to have slightly denser light during the sunset. During night there is a blueish coloration which is affected by the moon-cycle, moon height and cloud coverage 3) Stars, stars come out at night depending on the cloud coverage 4) Cloud Linings, tried to include some cloud highlining when relative weak cloud coverage and strong sun/moon   I'll keep you update with further progress!
  13. RE# Kesh I must say I really like the idea with fireflies+similar, this is definitely something I'm going to try!   I have now implemented made colored shadows+sunlight overlay which vary during the day, with darkblue shadows and yellow glow during the sunrise and a more reddish hue during the sunset as well a a bit more blue hue during the night. It actually turned out quite well in the end after a lot of tuning of the color parameters, I will post a short clip of the current state here shortly, didn't have time to make one today unfortunately -_-     RE# hydropulse17 Yeah, reflections would be really good as kesh pointed out previously, I have some ideas for implementing specular maps, at least for basic map blocks to try to be able to add this as it, as you say, could add a good bit as well, I'm not quite done with ironing out the details for how I will implement it in a cost efficient way quite yet but that could definitely work. Cloud hues are another good idea, currently my clouds are only scaled in greyscale (white going to black) but I think you're right, with some addition of cloud density that could help deciding when sun/moon rays should peek through, I'll add that to the list as well (yikes, I have some points to work on now.. ^_^ )       Thanks for more tips, please keep them coming and I'll try to get it all in place, will post a update vid clip shortly!
  14. Servant, thanks for the links, definitely in the direction i would like to go for Kseh, yes reflections would add some nice touch and could help a lot, I would have to think if it would be doable in my game though (with reasonable effort) since im writing game eng myself and sofar unfortunately have no support for reflections. But it might be a way to go! The borealis advice is definitely something to go for which would be really cool Kryzon, yes a bit but it might not completely hit the mark as its a bit more focused on the lightning rather than the skybox itself and being side style it has the advantage of at least being able to show the sky. Thanks for the link though! I really want to try to get this right, as I think (in my own opinion) that one of the biggest drawbacks of pure top-down is the restrictive feel created by having no visible horizon, so any way to emulate this could potentially increase help a lot!
  15. Player Generated Weapon Designs

      Why? That just seems like it'd lead to a escalating war of one-upmanship of making weapons look more and more "impressive", which can rapidly become a downward spiral of tackiness.   I got a sword! Now I have a sword +1 with spikes on it! Now I have a sword +11 with blue energy or fire coming out of the spikes! Now I have a sword +27 that has other swords sticking out of it!!!!!!!!!   And let's not even get started on the bows...   Why are weapons just +1 increments of each other that rapidly get obsolete? Why not make weapons be more unique gameplay tools with balanced tradeoffs, that have different usages in different circumstances or enable different styles of gameplay?   It seems the war of tackiness is an attempt to try to make players be impressed by the visuals to distract them from realizing the weapons themselves aren't any more impressive. We try to hide the '+1 extra damage' behind fancy glowy effects and intricate designs, so the player doesn't realize that the actual item is gameplay-shallow.   So instead, why not invest the effort into making the weapons gameplay-diverse and gameplay-enabling instead?   If you have 271 different swords, but the player doesn't have to do anything different regardless of which one he has equipped, is it really adding to the gameplay, or is it merely a content grind? And if it's merely a content grind, what do you do when the players run out of that content? Race them to try to create more, despite them always consuming faster than you are creating?   The same can be applied to your dungeons, spells, and many other things. Do players get it, get use it, and discard it? Why? Maybe it's because the 'content' isn't actually adding to the gameplay?   Look at World of Warcraft's dungeons. People play them, beat them, and forever leave them (until they create a new character). Compare to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's multiplayer arenas. Players play the same level, over and over, and over and over, for a thousand matches or more.   Look at the wildly popular League of Legends.... they have (basically) one level. One level. That 25 million people have played for more than 100 times each.   It's not the content that's the problem, it's the fundamental design of the game that the content is in. I would have to disagree there, while i completely agree that for games like LoL and CoD it matters less there is still a lot of games that thrives on the apperence of items rather than functionality, and even in LoL they can make a lot of mobey from character skins Some examples would be The Sims, Counter Strike (1000$ knifeskin, geez.. ) Diablo 3 etc. All these have major success with form rather than functionality only So, yes it is perfectly viable to have AAA games even without any real variation but to say that focus should be on gameplay only is pushing your on preferences a bit rather what will engage a lot of players with different taste in gameplay No offense meant, just of a different opinion