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About TerraSkilll

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  1. A Battle GUI? (Input)

    Now I understand. I knew these by other names (something like "turn based strategy games", but not exactly the same). And that changes a lot the possibilities of the UI. My previous answer was based on a more classic JRPG, like older Final Fantasies or Golden Sun above. Good. Those numbers will help your players also, especially in the case of a tactical RPG. For this types of games, numbers are generally very useful. Don't hide them from the player unless they're completely useless (like having a "one-hit-kills-instantly" mechanic for all battles). For all the games of this genre I played, numbers were way more useful, and bars something like "quick reference". What other tactical games did you looked at? There's plenty to use as a reference. Or you're looking for something totally different from them? In your game, the "bar" format can be whatever you want. If it's not deeply tied to your code, you should be able to change it easily. Could be bars, circles, arcs (kind of like Grandia above), etc. It's better to come up with some rough ideas and show them to others (to your team, here in gamedev.net or even to friends). Do you have a full battle screen (even if the game doesn't work)? If yes, paste your bar over it and tweak some variations. If not, create a mock battle screen and test it. Consider also other aspects of the gameplay, and how much info the player needs at a given time. For example, does the bars need to be shown all the time or it is enough to show only when a character is selected (and the player can see the stats for any character at theyr turn, as there is no time pressure) ? . Are the battle parties big (+20 characters in a single battle), which makes the screen crowded? For not selected characters, is showing the health bar of enough or the player also needs to see the character mana/MP? My comment wasn't that your art is bad. Far from that, it looks good for me. It's just that I've seen it so many times (not only in games) that I'm kind of tired from it, and it doesn't stand out alone. But maybe your characters in the battle field (not in the avatars) look better, so they may compensate this. But, looking only to this image, I can't know that. But for the art part (colors, shading, etc), I suggest you create another topic. Focus this one on UI.
  2. A Battle GUI? (Input)

    What's the difference from a tactical RPG from a non-tactical one? For me, any RPG has some kind of tactical component, just some have more than others. It's a little hard to understand what your problem is based on that image. It looks like you just opened the character avatar image and put two bars over it. But how the rest of the battle screen fits over it? How are the enemiws and characters positioned? Are they side by side (think Final Fantasy 6) or the enemies are in front of you (like EarthBound)? Will you show enemy heealth? Will show numbers or just the bars? Can you create a mock up of the whole battle screen (with backgrounds, player characters and enemies)? Doesn't need to be detailed, just so we can see what you're trying to achieve. Don't just test the bars and avatars, test also menu positions and messages. Did you took a look at other RPGs, to get some inspiration? Check for example Grandia: The numbers are big probably for readability, you could try something smaller. Or Golden Sun: If you want to show avatars next to the bars, you could cut the lower part, showing it like a bust statue. Something like this (mocked quickly): Also, keep the numbers. Bars are ok, but numbers are better to parse. In a bar (especially in a small one), its hard to tell the difference between 300 and 500 when your max hp is 10000. Also, I would recommend you to create another topic to ask about the art style, so you keep the subjects separated. And show more of the art, because we have a small sample to critique (only one image). Based on this single sample, I say it's ok, though a bit much "generic anime character" for my taste. If thats what you want, go for it.
  3. Game Funding Conversion

    Which results would be enough for you? 1%? 10% No company can guarantee 100% conversion rate, even if the product is the "Most Awesome Game Ever With The Most Incredible Campaign Ever" ™. If they offer that to you, or something among those lines, get away. How much is expensive for you? Generally, it's nor cheap, but they can work with budget tiers (for budget X, they offer Y, for X3, Y3, etc).
  4. Why Is Animation so Under-utliized as a Medium?

    Are you talking about animated movies (Ice Age, Toy Story, Despicable Me) or CGI/special effects usage? Because your post doesn't seem clear about that, at least to me. When you talk about diversity, which animations are you talking about? Can you cite some? Are they focused on really big markets or are they simple or niche works? Also, why do you think it is under-utilized? What do you mean by "something more"? Are you talking about plots/themes or animation styles? To me, animation usage is increasing really quickly, but high quality CGI animation is still very expensive. That's why you see a lot of short stories in animation (check CGBros on Youtube, for example) with many different themes (some more serious, some not), but almost never a full length movie with those themes. Big budget movies need to sell and making a movie like Arrival or 12 Years a Slave in CGI would probably not be worth the cost.
  5. Old guy seeks help!

    I don't think you can get much simpler than Game Maker if you want visual scripting. But you can take a look at Godot, which also has visual scripting, and see if you like it more. Or even GameSalad. Unreal also has a visual scripting tool, but it's overkill for almost any beginner. If you go for a traditional programming approach, you can try Love2D, a simple 2D framework. It uses Lua, which is a simple language. And take some time to learn maths. For simple 2D games, vectors would be a good start, as they allow you to make fluid movement for your games (characters, enemies and so on) and helps when programming simple steering behaviors (like follow or pursuit). It's something you can learn the basics in a day, and you will get better as you use it.
  6. Maybe overthinking a bit, yes. But what you can try is do the scaling using the smaller ratio, not just height (which is normally the smaller one, but it's no always the case, as you point). That way, if the screen is vertically bigger than horizontally, your UI will adjust by width, not height. Well, you have good references. Look what these games offer, check other games like Mario Maker, or even simulators like SimCity and Cities: Skilines, which rely heavily on editors. In general, I think you're in a good direction. Better feedback would require a some screenshots or a working prototype, but try some things before it. Make the tool good enough for you, and then show other people and see have they like and what they struggle with. Get theyr feedback directly, as it can be faster.
  7. Dealing with Discontent

    I'm not sure what you want. No critiques? Overwhelming praise? How did you decided that their claims are only based on jealousy? Who are these players that are so nitpicky? Are they reviewers online, or close people (friends, family)? Which kind of feedback do you seek when you talk to other people? Technical, artistic, gameplay? I read the comments you linked, and they seemed ok for me. Sure, it's frustrating when you see people critisizing your hard work, especially for things that you disagree or problems you can't reproduce, but that's part of the process. If no one gave you feedback (good or not), how would you improve? Also, developing a "thick skin" is needed when you talk to the general public. They don't owe you nothing. If they think something is wrong or bad, they will say. Some of them will be trolls, but is up to you to ignore the obvious ones. One example that comes to my mind is Scott Cawthon, developer of Five Nights at Freddy's. His previous works before FNaF were highly critisised, constant bashed for it's quality. Probably he had hard times dealing with these critiques, but it allowed him to re-focus his work and create (now) high praised series (regardless if you like it or not, I personally don't). If you fear online reactions, try a smaller scope. Ask for feedback from friends. Make a reunion with them, buy some pizza. Show your work and listen. Explain what you tried to achieve, but don't defend your work. Let them be honest. Ask them what they think that work, and what they didn't like, and what they would change, even if it's not an easy change or they can't explain clearly. You talk about tribes. Is there someone in your region that is also a game dev? A small group of people you can interact often, maybe 2 times a week. Look for local online groups (in Facebook, for example), or even start one. Invite people. Let everyone interested in, regardless of their experience or opinions.
  8. I think you covered well what you want to offer. Let me talk about how you could offer it. For a game, I would start by limiting and defining clearly which components can be added and what they do, or else you would end with a generic UI/HUD editor. List what components you want the player to be able to add and what they do, and program accordingly. As I understood, each one will only act in only aspect, so it doesn't seem too hard to list that Right now, on a project, I'm trying something similar, but for a development tool only. It's a small 2D engine. This article helped me to understand some things about UI design. Some things that helped me: make UI scaling relative, but independent of resolution. Define a "base unit size", (which changes with the resolution), and a "base resolution" (which does not change with the resolution), and have the components be sized based on this base unit. This unit need to be based on a certain base resolution, and you need it to scale only with width or height of the screen resolution (height is better, as it is generally smaller). So, if a component is 10pt tall and 100pt wide , and your base unit is 1px for 1280x720 base resolution, when scaled to 1920x1080 the base unit will be 1.77pt, and the component will now be 17x170px (I generally round it down to integers). The underlying system will need a callback for the change on the screen resolution, so you can change the base unit when the resolution changes; have a layout management option, and allow components to be placed relative to the screen and other components (I call this "anchoring" in my project). For example, if a component is aligned "left", and its X position is 10pt, that means it is 10px far from the left side of the screen (using the base resolution above). If the resolution changes, the X changes also (to 17px, in this example), so the position keeps relatively constant to the screen. It's way better than fixed/absolute positioning. In my case, this is intended to keep the UI controls inside of the screen. So, if I use "right" alignment, and a component has a width of 50 and a X position of 20, his final position is the screen width minus 70. The X position is the offset from the screen; check other tools and engines and see what they're doing. That helped me to decide to use a parenting approach to certains components, and relative positioning. So, for example, if you have a TextComponent (with only display texts, nothing else) and you need a ButtonComponent (which can have a text or image inside), the button does not have a "internal text" property. Instead, it has a TextComponent as a child component, and the TextComponent position is relative (a simple offset of X and Y, based on the anchoring method I described above). For simplistic reasons, I use a parent for each component, so they can get its parent position directly. Right now, my UI tool is not WYSIWYG, so no things like selection and moving components. I don't know it these techniques have names, bu they probably do, and should be easy to search for them.
  9. Writing great villains

    I tell you, like I heard many times before, to just do the game you want to do. Or, in this case, do the villain you want to do. If you want complex villains, go for it. Keep in mind that not everybody will like them (the same way you don't seem to like shallow villains very much). It's inherent to this decision. jbadams above makes a good point. A villain with deeper and more complex motivations can be good, but will require more effort from your part to be convincing. It's obvious, of course, but the more you look for complexity, a lot more work is needed. One way you can look at it is: what you villain achieves in terms of gameplay (not only plot)? For example, in (all?) Mario games, Bowser just wants to rule the mushroom kingdom (and marry Peach). A pretty shallow reason overall. But that works because the plot is a small part of the game, the gameplay mechanics are way more important than the villains motivations. Mario games don't need complex villains because that's not the focus of the game.
  10. 2D Terrain Tool please?cartoon style

    What do you mean by "tool"? It can be done in almost any image editor, like Photoshop, Gimp or Krita. It's an art style, you need to understand it and try to replicate. Generally, tilesets are used, containing all objects individually, such as rocks, boxes, trees, sand floor and so on. They are combined in the engine, not outside of it. See this video for an example in Photoshop: Or this, for Krita:
  11. Do you show damage blocked and "zero" damage?

    Yeah, that changes a few things Jon Bon gave a good summary of what I would recommend in this case. What I would change in his suggested approach is using icons to show whats happening, such as swords for attack, down arrows for damage, shields for block, and up arrows or crosses for healing. You can combine it with colors, but this approach eliminates the need for parenthesis (the icons works as dividers) and don't rely entirely on colors, which is good for accessibility, as it helps colorblind people to make sense of your game. So, for a 3 damage attack, where 1 is blocked and 2 damage is taken, you can have something like this: It's a simple example, tweak for your needs. I think this works well with card games and other turn based games, as it reads well in non action packed scenarios.
  12. Do you show damage blocked and "zero" damage?

    What kind of game is that? In a MOBA, a more complete approach could be better (tough I don't play MOBAs, so I don't know), whereas in a hack and slash only the damage dealt (0 for no damage) can be enough, or even not showing the damage at all. So it depends which information you want to give to the player, and if it is relevant for him. Generally, I would avoid negative numbers, as they can be hard to the player to understand quickly (does "-1" means no damage, or does it mean I healed the enemy?). If showing numbers is required, one approach I would try is similar to old turn based RPGs: non signed numbers for damage (maybe in red, for emphasis) and plus-signed numbers for healing (and maybe in green or blue). Showing 0 for no damage or no healing (anything bellow zero is turned into zero). So: 1 or above means damage 0 means no damage (no negative numbers shown) +1 or above means healing +0 means no healing If a healing action causes damage (in a vampires, for example), it should be shown as damage, not healing, so it wouldn't use the plus sign.
  13. Interest in IDE Drag-and-Drop

    They're good tools and save a lot of time in game development, so it's a good shortcut to create games. You don't need to use these if you don't want, but they are excelent tools in general, and if you're looking for a job in the industry, knowing what the industry uses surely helps. Creating an engine is a lot of work, and many times, not worth the effort, as you just want to do a game, not an entire engine. And, of course, there are many other options, like Godot, CryEngine, HaxeFlixel, libGDX, Cocos2D, GameMaker, etc. Each with its strengths and weaknesses. Try some and see which ones you like.
  14. Interest in IDE Drag-and-Drop

    What you're talking about can be called a visual form designer, a form builder, a window builder or even WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editor, generally integrated to an IDE. Another tool known for this is Delphi. It's a tool for creating user interfaces quickly, and adding behavior (events) to controls (buttons, text boxes, checkboxes, grids and so on). It's not visual programming, which is more akin to the Scratch programming language. If you're looking for tools for systems and general programming, you can use Visual Studio, for example. Other languages also have tools for that, such as the Eclipse WindowBuilder and Netbeans for Java, and Qt Creator for C++ . For games, big engines like Unreal and Unity kind of work like that. You add elements to a scene, combine and change its properties and adds functionality by code. Unreal offers the Blueprints system, which is a kind of visual programming, but you can also use C++ directly.
  15. Yes, they can. Why would they not? Bendy and the Ink Machine comes to my mind. Hello Neighbor too. Of course, horror can be a broad term, so it depends which kind of horror you want. Many horror games these days are just jumpscare sequences. Good psychological horror (think "The Shining" movie, or even "It") seems hard to achieve, so many devs go to the easy route of jumpscares. It's not a bad thing per se, just overused and shallow. A "cute" non realistic art style can also be used as a tool in a horror game, because you don't really expect such cute characters and sceneries to be so dark. It can be use to creat a great contrast to the theme of the game.
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