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StarShipPyro

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About StarShipPyro

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    |artist|designer|programmer|

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  1. Thank you again, dmatter. That video was very helpful. I think I've found the terminology I was looking for. Morph targets (blend shapes) as you described and deformation Maps (which I think I'm most interested in) that was used in sims 4.
  2. Thanks for the response, dmatter. But I realize now that I made my topic too broad. So let me narrow it down to what I'm really wanting to know. I've used bones in the past to reshape things but I've found it can get messy on more complex models like a character. Lets just ignore all the sliders except for the fat and muscle slider and say I want a tall "beanpole" to be scaled to the opposite end of the spectrum to look like "The Mountain" with these two sliders. This will be very difficult using bones and materials alone. I'm working with low poly models but I still feel there has to be a better way. I mentioned daz3d and there are others like Morph3d and Reallusion as well as games like Sims3. I would like to know what techniques are used in these examples that seems so sophisticated.  I sort of have ulterior motives for getting the best practical technique I can down now since I plan to do a lot more of this in the future.
  3. Hi all! I'm wanting to create a simple low poly character editor for a game. Ideally, it's just complicated enough so that the player can create a variety of unique characters with unique roles without spending too much time in this editor. It's important that these characters, while simple, are able to change and age over time so it's a necessity that I implement a mechanism that allows them to easily be reshaped(from young to old, weak to strong, etc). The gameplay will be sort of a top-down 3d village/survival/god sim where the player will have more personal interactions/connections with individual characters(the focus of the game is AI). So changing eyebrows/lip sizes isn't necessary. Just the overall body shape is important for reshaping since the characters will appear small in game.   The problem I'm having is the lack of documentation or even information in general about character morphing in games. I've tried a dozen different searches and all I've come up with was already made software like daz3d or gamer forums for how to make the best looking character in a particular game. I haven't been able to come up with any resources on how to do this in my own game which is strange considering this should be something commonly done in games.   This is a quickly made Unfinished concept of what I'm wanting to do. Disclaimer, I'm no artist but even I could and will do better on designing the actual system. This is just to quickly give an idea of my goal. [attachment=36327:CharacterCreationConcept_01.jpg] So, with all that said, I'm hoping someone here can provide or direct me to some information and algorithms that can get me started doing this myself. I really need all the help I can get. Thanks in advance!
  4. StarShipPyro

    Microscopic Evolution Game

    Thanks Kseh. That's another game I haven't heard of that I think I can take notes from.
  5. StarShipPyro

    Microscopic Evolution Game

    Hey Valrus!   You brought up a lot of good points that almost seem to debunk my game idea. But do you think it's viable that I could have "free swimmers" and "non free swimmers" in the same compact game world? I was already looking into amoebas and thinking they looked really cool(like the blob).   And these biofilm producing microbes(which sound very interesting by the way); could they perhaps be controlled as a colony by the player unlike the other independent free swimmers? I was also already thinking about adding colony like mechanics to the realm of possibilities for the game.   I would also like to see frequent death in my game and maybe frequent minor mutations that could either help or hurt the species and may or may not be permanent. But of course, since this is sort of a god game the player could kill those uncontrolled mutations for a price. I was also, for example, wanting to let the player have his species on the bottom of the food chain but making up for that by rapidly reproducing so failure could not be measured in death in every case.   I really want to dive into this project and am exited about doing so. But I also want to keep it real enough that it hopefully would not be looked down upon by real experts in the field for complete lack of realism if that's possible.
  6. StarShipPyro

    Microscopic Evolution Game

    I asked that question while unsure what I wanted the scope of the game to be: global migration, population growth, big changes in size, "winning," etc. But now I'm leaping backwards and staying inside a drop of water.   My original idea with time was to think of it as a kind of currency for evolving. For example, growing these little swimmer tentacles into big grabber tentacles would cost a million years and a million years in game would be like and hour in real time. But this rapid time passing wouldn't be simulated in the game world. During this time the player could swim around as one of his creations and eat and reproduce as if time was passing normal while watching these tentacles slowly grow and other creatures around him slowly change as well. And maybe he could do certain task during this time to make the evolution finish sooner and he could choose to have multiple evolutions at once but that would cost more time. I was also thinking about some evolutions being random or at least not directly controlled by the player just to throw a bit of spice into the game.   And by the way, you can believe me when I tell you I am researching microbes. In fact, I'm more focused on that then the game design right now.
  7. StarShipPyro

    Microscopic Evolution Game

    Stormynature, that's exactly what I'm going to have to do. Originally, I was being way too ambitious and just silly with how much I was wanting to do.   I'll start with one very basic organism, give it a few traits the player can choose to evolve, and then add on more complicated features from there.    I hadn't heard of that game before, by the way. It's was a bit before my time, I guess. Well, I was a toddler at least. lol But I have a bit more of a modern vision for the game in mind where the players can really interact with and evolve their own creatures on a very detailed level. And obviously intelligence wont be a goal or measure of success in my game but merely a factor that may help a creature survive if the player chooses to pursue it.
  8. StarShipPyro

    Microscopic Evolution Game

    I have decided to roll with this project, although, I'm not sure what it is anymore. I haven't taken any microbiology classes and probably never will so I'm pretty ignorant on the subject. Despite that, I wanted to make a game that was creative and fun yet realistic and educational on the subject.  :huh:   Here is a quick doodle of what I originally imagined the game to look like: [attachment=33147:Microorganism_01.jpg] Looks pretty simple, right? But life under a microscope doesn't look that simple at all.   I started doing research over the past few days and found myself both fascinated and grossly overwhelmed with the complexity of it all. I ended up ordering a 900pg college textbook on microbiology today and am going to borrow someones microscope. Meanwhile I'm doing as much research as I can online.   Here is a video that gives a basic Idea of the diversity of just one single genre of microorganisms if you're interested:    I still very much plan to start this project and am more interested than ever but plan to do a lot of self educating before I know exactly where I should go with it. This is why I'm always weary of trying new things, I always dive off into the deep end.
  9. StarShipPyro

    Microscopic Evolution Game

    I've played both of those games a lot and have felt "inspired" by them but other then being microorganism games they're really quite different than what I'm going for. Although, multiplayer is really something I could think about later on. As for travel this game is set before large life evolved and is fixed on a microscopic perspective likely in the ocean. So I think travel will be manual and large distances will be unnecessary to worry about. I was thinking a 3d non persistent randomly generated world. That would be pretty easy in this case I think since you would expect to see similar things over and over again on this level.   The problem with trees is just that they set you on a path. I don't really want the player to be too pressured to follow a certain path. However, I also want changes made to be difficult to undo. For example, if it is worm-like I want it to be more difficult to become plankton-like. Or basically polar opposites are difficult to achieve but are not impossible. So I was thinking about a web instead of a tree with some lines between links longer than others so it makes them harder to link but I don't know what that would look like or how much of a mess it would be. Similar to how it is in Plague Inc but you could evolve from one link to another distant link but it would take a long time and possibly slowly degrade the original trait if they were incompatible but possibly also leave some of that original trait behind and not fully evolve the new trait right away as a side effect(as you can see I like to over complicate things).   I know about Spore but it is nothing like the game I described. The beginning of spore is about growing up to be a land lizard that is either a carnivore, herbivore, or omnivore and the shape of your creature is purely cosmetic. It makes no attempt at a realistic approach toward evolution or microscopic life and gives the player very little freedom as to what they can be. In my game I want to try showing what life is really like from a microscopic perspective and how diverse and scary it can be.   Your answer for C is great for a local scale but I had a global scale in mind. How well is my species doing across the entire planet? Or what portion of the planet is my species capable of inhabiting in the first place? But perhaps I will have to monitor this locally and apply that globally. I don't really want to rely on fixed stats, though.
  10. StarShipPyro

    Microscopic Evolution Game

    Hi, I'm new around here and am really not sure if this is the place to get this kind of help but I'm doing it anyway.   I have wanted to see a realistic approach of a micro ecosystem in a video game for a very long time and I know there are a few titles out there that try this but not even close to the scope I want. I also understand this is a very challenging concept and that is why it has never been done before. But for someone who has lots of free time on their hands can it be done? I have years of experience in both art and programming but have never taken on a big project. Lately I've been wanting to get into such a big project but obviously I don't want to get in over my head either.   What I want the game to be:   The focus of the game will stay under a microscope for now but I really want to emphasize the vast scale of things. The player will start as a simple unicellular organism in the early stages of microscopic life. Meaning that no other organisms will be too complicated at this point. The goal of the game is to steadily evolve into more complicated or effective organisms to compete with other evolving life as the millennia pass and ultimately just to survive. This does not mean that growing larger is a necessary tactic in this game.    I want the player to have complete control on what his species becomes and let no trait be purely cosmetic. For example, increasing the size of the mouth will affect how much the creature can bite, increasing the sucking power of its mouth will increase the size of that sucking organ, increasing the tentacle length will affect how fast it can move or from how far it can grab things, increasing the size of the optic system will affect how well the creature can detect others, or making the body longer could help strike prey or coral around it. However these are not changes that can be made instantly. Evolving new traits or developing existing traits will take time which is important to keep in mind while competing with the other species(it may also require an appropriate task to be complete).   Once again I want the player to have the freedom to be whatever he wants to be. The player may evolve his organism to attach itself to a surface and grab passing critters or debris with its tentacles and spit eggs as a means for the species to travel. It could become a parasite that attaches or burrows inside a larger organism to lay eggs. It may crawl around on some larger organism to participate in some mutual bond or be that larger organism. They may travel around on their own or be apart of some kind of hive that works together. I want the player to be overwhelmed with possibilities but also make each individual possibility a challenge to work towards and develop over time while still staying relevant in the ecosystem.   An example of a mutualish relationship:   Real Microscopic Worm:   Obviously I'm not aiming for this level of detail but as close as I can within reason:   A video example of something similar to how I think I want the game to look: https://vimeo.com/39784233   I really have no clue how far I as an individual can take a project like this but I certainly want to try.   So now for the questions.   A.) This is probably the most important question. As a single amateur game developer am I in way in over my head?   B.) What are some restrictions I can set for myself to keep this game simple enough for an indie developer such as myself?   C.) There will need to be some kind of mechanic to monitor how successful the players species is or weather it's going extinct which I'm not sure about yet. Any suggestions?   D.) Are people even interested in this kind of game or am I a serious minority?   E.) What are some examples or suggestions for how progress could work in this kind of game? I'm really still experimenting with the concept.   F.) Any tips or suggestions would be nice.
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