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TerraSkilll

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  1. TerraSkilll

    What "THS" mean?

    "Tactical Homeostatic System", which is a system developed for the Conan boardgame. They are using it as a base for the Batman game.
  2. TerraSkilll

    theory of making a weapon from step 1

    It's not a complete answer, but you might want to take a look at World of Guns: Gun Disassembly, which is a free game that shows all the parts of many guns, allowing you to see them in 3D, assemble and dissassemble them, see in "x ray mode" and explains how the gun works. Will give you a general idea of how to do that. That said, I'm curious as to how this mechanic will work on your FPS. Or are you looking on how to make your own guns for the game, like those in Call of Duty or BattleField? If so, most of these FPS's don't go too deep on the details on how a gun works. Theyr models are very detailed externally, but internally they're mostly empty. Only the visible parts require much detail. Sound can be tricky. As far as I know, big companies record those with the help of gun experts, in controlled environments. For your questions: 1 - you would model all the parts of the gun in a 3D software (Maya, 3D Studio Max, Blender), using photos and blueprints as reference, then export them to an engine, where you can program interaction with the model (rotation and location mostly); 2 - obj is a 3D model format supported by many modern engines and 3D modeling software, so it's a common choice as an interchangeable format. tga is image file commonly used as texture, which gives color (among others things) to a model. You can use other formats (such as png and jpeg); 3 - it depends. You can try to do that by yourself, but if you don't know modeling or game development in an engine, you would need at least a 3D modeller and an engine programmer (some people can do both, of course); 4 - there are many others. Almost all popular image formats (png, jpg, bmp, tiff) can be used instead of tga. Obviously each one can suit better certains needs than others, and require engine support. There's a less options for 3D model formats, but you have options like fbx and collada; 5 - don't know your goal or experience, so my advice would be starting to do simple games, trying to build your own models. Note that these are simplified answers. There are a lot to talk about 3D modeling alone.
  3. TerraSkilll

    Need help and advice

    3. 😃 It's hard to suggest something without knowing how the game works, what constraints does the player have, etc. For example: can characters die and the game carries on? Or any death result in game over? is there an ending or it's more like The Sims, almost infinite? what is the main goal? Survive X days? Recruit/save 100 people? Build a spaceship? Develop a cure? the plot requires certain characters to survive till the end? are all playable characters equally skilled? Or each one has different stats (stronger, faster, better at building) or classes (medic, soldier, farmer)? I recomend you build the core aspects of gameplay before deciding this. Then you can playtest with different configurations and see what works best. One game you might take a look is This War of Mine. It's kind of hardcore survival, and looks similar to what you described. You start with 2 characters, and anyone can die at almost anytime. Each one has small differences from the others, so you can better use their strengths. I don't know much about the games you cited, so forgive me if theyr mechanics already cover something I said above.
  4. TerraSkilll

    Increasing difficulty algorithm

    Yes, game balancing involves that. But you're not completely in the dark. Based on my idea of ideal play session (after X minutes or Y waves), first you can try to define what would be the scenario when reaching these milestones (X and Y) when playing. How hard will the game be when the player gets there? Say you start with scenario Z: 10 enemies with toughness of 1 (1 hit kills); enemy speed of 1.0; powerup spawning of 1 in 10; And your target (when in X or Y) is scenario W: 30 enemies with toughness of 3 and 10 with toughness of 4; enemy speed of 5.0; powerup spawning of 1 in 30; So you would try to create a function that, given X or Y, outputs W for a start point Z, with more or less 10% variation. But the in-between results probably will not be linear, and some waves will be a little more hard than others. For example, you can "toughen up" 10% of the current enemies after 5 waves. The function output the parameters for any wave, but its optimal scenario is between Z and W. Waves bellow Z of after W may not be scaled well, but that's not a big problem, because you have reached your ideal play session. Those are general ideas. You may want to take a look at https://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/KristerKarlsson/20161108/285010/Balancing_the_sh_out_of_our_shmup.php , for more ideas.
  5. TerraSkilll

    Increasing difficulty algorithm

    I think it's not bad to ramp up the parameters you have set, but you should do it more slowly, and try to match a ideal play session for your game. For example, if you want the average play session to be 10 minutes, or 25 enemy waves, you adjust the progression so when the playtime reaches 10 minutes, the game is hard: enemies are really fast and tough, and powerups are scarce. Sure, some gamers will find the game difficult before this point, and some will reach easily 20 minutes or 100 wave (insanelly difficult, in theory). But you should aim for the average players, the ones in the mark 8~12 minutes or 50 waves, depending of your play session criteria. Then don't do that. Change parameters at different paces. Your parameters are dependent of each other, so you can't have a single function for all of them. For some, like number of enemies, you probably can increase 5% or less at each wave. Others, like powerup scarcity, would be almost the same in each wave: the increase in enemy numbers automatically makes then scarcer, because each wave takes more time. An increase in powerup total by 2% at each wave can be enough. Enemy toughness and speed also depend of the number of enemies: in some waves, instead of adding many more enemies, you recreate a previous wave and make some enemies tougher or faster. So, instead of adding 5 enemies, you add 2 tougher ones. This also let the player know the differences between them. So, instead of a function that changes all the parameters at each wave, you can have one that, based on the previous change, calculates the next one. If the previous wave added 5 enemies (from 15 to 20), the next one can also have 20, but 3 of them are stronger than before, or all of them are 5% faster. It may seem like a small increase, but remember to aim for the average play session you want the players to have, not to the current one only. Also, add some randomness to the function, so each play session is not the same, which can make the game boring. You can run the math in Excel, and create a graph of the progression, to have an idea of how it would work, before implementing on the game.
  6. TerraSkilll

    Problems of designing a story driven game

    Why do you think it creates a strong disconnect? If Garrus dies, the options are (if supported by the game, of course): 1 - continue the story without him (yes, dialog and other events will change to reflect this); 2 - trigger a failure condition/game over (allowing him to die is not optional in this mission, so the player must save him); For the first one, if the player wants and the game don't autosave right after the mission, he can reload the game and try to save Garrus. This is also player choice: he chooses to spend time trying again. Yes, it removes the part of challenge (the player can try again forever). For the second one, it's not uncommon even for story-driven games (after all, you can't plan for every scenario). Some missions might require the player to suceed to continue the story. If there's no game over scenario, then there's no challenge also. So its a matter of you (as a designer) choose one approach. Some players will like one, some will like the other. It might break the story you were planning to tell, but if you want your story to have only one path, don't give choices. Don't branch it. Each one has pros and cons, I don't see a perfect answer for this. So you seem to be more inclined to the option 1 I mentioned above (continue the history without a character, which is a stake at that mission). It's fine, as long as the player know that. Kind of like Fire Emblem or The Witcher series (see below). It's not unfair if the player knows and accepts that as a part of the game. He may be frustrated for a moment, but if he knew that some missions can have unfavourable or undesired outcomes, its not unfair. This is the part I think you're trying to protect the player too much. Of course, you can design the campaign in a way that teaches the player what he is getting into: that some choices will be definitive, and the player should be ready for them. In initial missions, give the player choices that change future events, but not in harsh ways. Get progressively harsher. These first missions should tell him "ok, you choosed X, so you won't be able to get Y anymore", but X and Y should not have be much different. The Witcher series does something like this. Many quests and dialog choices affect future events, dialogs and NPC interactions, to the point of friendships becoming hostilities. There's is an "optimal story path", but you're not forced to follow it. (Note: in Witcher games, at least the first one, you can save at almost anytime and try again as much as you want after any choice). And allowing the player to practice a mission before going "for real" is, in my opinion, worse than allowing him to retry after a failed mission. The outcome is the same, but now the player must go through a repetition loop (practice until perfection) that doesn't have benefits (the player character doesn't get better/stronger) and does not garantee success in the real mission. It's a waste of playtime. The player might be good enough to beat the mission in the first try, but if he wins in the practice mode ten times and fail in the "for real" scenario, loosing the stakes, wouldn't been better if the practice scenarios were for real? That's the same thing of letting the player retry the mission. Playing for real, failing and retrying is the same thing as practice.
  7. TerraSkilll

    Problems of designing a story driven game

    I think these are interesting problems, but you are overthinking them a bit. Looks like you want to do a game with really deep and meaningful choices, which is something the industry is struggling for a while now (for an example, just check some recent reviews of Telltale games). My first point is: why do you want to protect the players from frustration so much? Frustration is part of a gameplay experience, as any challenge in a game can be a point of frustration (and relief, when they're overcome). For example, in Dark Souls games, the frustration of loosing is almost a core mechanic (and you do feel awesome when you suceed). It makes you learn to fight more tactically and be more patient. It teaches the player that it is not a simple hack and slash. Note that I'm not talking about deliberately making the game frustrating (though it can work in certain contexts, think Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy). But don't take away all the frustration of a game, or you end with something less than a walking simulator. From the narrative aspect, any game with multiple relevant choices is hard to design properly. The branching could be overwhelming. Even more if you want to plan to every scenario, even the ones that are total disaster ("Normandy crashed onto a star, all of your crew died, and now you're alone in a unhospitable planet: how do you proceed, Shepard?"). It comes to a point where you try to every possible scenario, which is an almost impossible task. There's a point where you need to say: that's enough. Also, how many really different choices you want to give the player? Do most of your players will care? Sure, there will be ones that say "thats' cool", but how many of them? Are they your target group, or you would like to have more players who enjoy your game, even if it has less choices? Maybe focusing on the really good ones is better. Example: it's a strategy game, after 10 hours of play, do I make alliances with Germany or with England? Each ones open new storylines (almost linear from that point, but different nonetheless) and missions. There's GDC talks about Mass Effect. You could look at them and see how they approached this. And for reloading the savegame when failed (or when made a bad choice), that's something I wouldn't take away from players, unless you're ready to defend this feature and it adds something to the experience (it's not just an artificial difficult feature). It's a tough design choice, and it will probably divide your players. Some will like, some will dislike.
  8. TerraSkilll

    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.
  9. TerraSkilll

    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.
  10. TerraSkilll

    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).
  11. TerraSkilll

    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.
  12. TerraSkilll

    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.
  13. 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.
  14. TerraSkilll

    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.
  15. 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.
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