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Archimage

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About Archimage

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  1. Up to a point, I understand you wanting to extend the options as far as you can - given you seem to be setting these as definitions for characters in the world. However, why are you determined to fill ever single bit just for the sake of it? Filling them just for the sake of it, its over-kill and can actually hinder/harm more than help. Personally, I suggest you get the best match of guild/classes, the ones that fit best for your plan, even if it isn't 32. You can keep the others as spares for expansions, use the other bits for something else, or something else entirely.
  2. Archimage

    RPG immersion

    The discussions of time-flow in games caused me to recollect an idea o mine from several years ago. I've posted the basics in this forum, though its very rough compared with all my thoughts on it a while back. Fluid Time in RPGs
  3. Archimage

    Fluid Time in RPGs

    Following on from discussions in the ‘RPG Immersion’ thread, I’ve resurrected an idea I was tossing around in my thoughts a few years ago. At the time, I never took it further, but I’d be interested in whether people think it could work. Background In most RPGs, the passing of time is accelerated. A game-day is of a developer-chosen RL duration, usually around an hour (though I’ve seen longer and shorter). Amidst this accelerated time though, NPCs walk around at normal speed, fights play out at ‘normal speed’, and as one person pointed out, a sword-slash would apparently be taking 5 minutes to complete, you’d spend 20 minutes crossing the road and so on. This apparently breaks immersion for some players. On the opposite side of the coin, if the game-world played out in real-time, you’d be waiting hours for an NPC shop to open, have to get up at 3am because that’s when the assassin you’ve been told to kill will be on the rooftop, etc. There are ways round this of course, for example using a Wait/Sleep function to cause game-time to quickly pass, however even this could be considered ‘immersion-breaking’ in its own way (since the player is artificially manipulating the game-time). The New Idea A few years ago, I came up with another option. As far as I know it hasn’t been done in any other game, though I’d happily be proved wrong. Of course, there might be good reasons or it not to have been done. The option is ‘fluid time’. When the player isn’t in an ‘influence zone’ of an NPC or game-world area, the game-time flows at its highest rate (e.g. Game-day = RL hour). However, once the player gets close enough to a location/NPC they start to be influenced by that proximity. The game-time slows down fluidly the closer they get, so by the time they are interacting with the NPC, we are back to equivalence (game-hour = RL hour). Now every second counts normally – your 10 minute real-time exploration of a house, sneaking because the owner is asleep in the bedroom with the door open, really takes 10 minutes in game-time, rather than suddenly having the NPC coming downstairs because according to the game several hours have passed, it’s morning and the NPC is going to work. Of course, if it’s an abandoned house you don’t get quite such a slow-down – but there again, you didn’t need to sneak around either. Because it’s linked to both locations and NPCs/Mobs, you can adjust it so time is closer to real-time in a city, but still accelerated until you start getting into situation where you are interacting/influencing the surroundings. When you sneak down into the catacombs as night is falling, and stumble across a vampire-lord, you can’t just flee for your life knowing that since you’ve been down there 20 minutes, dawn is breaking outside and all you have to do is open the door/curtains to be safe. On the other hand, while out on the open road, running or riding between towns, it really will take you a game-day to travel between them. I should point out that I don’t expect the NPCs/animations to change speed as this all occurs. I don’t expect to see the NPC that’s walking away from me gradually accelerate as she increases the distance between us. Also, there would probably need to be some way to tell the player roughly what the ‘fluid-time’ is running at – so they don’t wait around for half an hour real-time expecting it to get dark, when actually there’s an NPC round the corner quaffing ale who has slowed the flow of game-time. Also, there'd probably need to be some variation of the 'Wait' command, if only to shift things along at times when actually in a city, waiting outside a shop for it to open etc. Anyway, this is just a rough idea initially. I’d appreciate your feedback. Yours, Ann-Marie PS. I know I haven’t expressed it very well in my post, but I’m still feeling the loss of the hour this morning (shifting to British Summer Time). I’ll try to revise and tidy it up a bit later. [Edited by - Archimage on March 30, 2008 9:36:24 AM]
  4. Archimage

    The perfect mmorpg

    Quote:Original post by firemonk3y excuse me for asking, but where did you find your $50 million? because if you want to have any chance in hell of making "the next big MMORPG" that's what you'll essentially need...minimum. No offence, but please don't grab figures out of thin air to downgrade someone's idea. I agree, it will cost a lot - more than most individuals could hope to risk on such an endeavour - but it doesn't cost $50M to get such an MMORPG initially up and running. I agree, the money involved would be significant, and out ofrange of most small budgets, but getting one up and running - if good - is possible, and if a really good one, might then be picked up by a current publisher. Note, I'm not complaining about your stating its going to take a lot of money, more concerned that negative attitudes and rediculous initial suggestions of cost don't help anyone. Yours, Ann-Marie
  5. I know there are two methods of generating a spherical mesh - the standard one with rings of polygons and a tight knot of triangles meeting at the polar vertices, and the tesselation method where you start with an octahedron or such and sub-divide each triangle repeatedly. My maths may be a little rusty, but I can mentally visualise both methods well enough to be fairly cetain I could model them. What concerns me though, is the benefits and pitfalls of the two types as far as texturing and usage go. The 'standard' one has the benefit of easily rendered triangle-strips, but has the texturing mess of those 'knots' at either pole. Logically, it also seems the easiest one to work with if i wanted to oblate the sphere (these will be for planets). The second type escapes those vertex-pileup 'knots', but I've no idea if its possible to make good triangle-strips on the surface, or will I be forced to just send a triangle-list? On the other hand, it would seem ideally suited to LOD, just tesselating the triangles further as needed as the viewer gets closer. So, the floor is open I guess. I can't see any problems either way with programming one or the other. Texturing them, and knowing their quirks comes from experience, so I figured I ought to ask here :) Yours, Ann-Marie
  6. Archimage

    Weather effects

    Thanks for the pointer (I assume though it's ATi, its a general methodology). However, could you point me in the right direction to find this demo and associated articles? All I've found so far on ATi are drivers and hardware announcements. Yours, Ann-Marie
  7. Archimage

    Weather effects

    Hi all, Not sure if this is the right forum, but it seemed a logical choice. My 3D engine is coming along quite well, and I've got a few test scenes in that I can wander around.... but amongst other things, I want weather effects, rain, sleet,etc (snow I would love eventually, but start with the basics). To take an example, Everquest 2's rain. Standing in the Oakmyst Forest, you get light showers and heavy thunderstorms (ok, so the maths behind making weather come in over time isn't such a problem). When the storm hits.. the rain comes down. Now I know the ancient technique was just to put a transparent layer in front of the viewer, and fake the depth of rain with how you drew the slashes of rain on the plane - but it never looked very good. This rain seems to come at a slight angle, if you look upwards, you'll see the 'streaks' of rain coming down at you, you can see it hitting the ground, and splashing (ok, so i'm not over-enthused with their attempt to make things look wet.. sometimes it works, other times it looks like the rock is made of plastic). Anyway, what I'm interested in, is how to do 'convincing' rain like this... I'm also particularly interested in dealing with splashes on the landscape etc (not for the splash itself, but because I want people to be able to duck under a rocky overhang, under a floating platform(moveable), or wherever to take shelter etc). Obviously, the audio plays a heavy part in this as well, but its the graphical effect I'm intrested in for now. Does anyone know what the technique is for this? (Obviously, I'm looking for a balanced way of doing it, so even people with not-so-great computers can get to see the basics of it, and so people don't end up turning off the weather effects just to be able to get decent frames per second) Yours, Ann-Marie [Edited by - Archimage on September 2, 2006 12:34:45 PM]
  8. Archimage

    [.net] Event-raising terminology

    Thank you both for your quick and concise explanations. Although my vision of how it worked would be feasible, I can see that it would add additional handler-registration, and duplicated code (as well as possibly limiting some of the convenience). Now the documentation won't scream at me as looking wrong every time I see it (and I can write my own documentation without a wrong assumption). Thank you again, Yours, Ann-Marie
  9. Maybe this is just sophistry, but it's been getting on my nerves in the MSDN documentation, because to me it doesn't make sense. Usually I just ignore it, but since I am documenting all the controls in the control library I'm writing, I want to make sure my documentation makes sense. Taking as an example Control's Size/SizeChanged/OnSizeChanged, MSDN states: Size (Public Property) - Gets or sets the height and width of the control. SizeChanged (Public Event) - Occurs when the Size property value changes. OnSizeChanged (protected Method) - Raises the SizeChanged event. To me, this seems backwards. They are stating that the OnSizeChanged actually raises the event. Surely, changing the Size property raises the SizeChanged event, which calls the OnSizeChanged event handler (i.e. the method that reacts to/handles the event that has been raised). Semantically, I guess you could say that the handler 'razes' the event (as in consumes it) but thats a stretch at best. So anyway, could anyone explain to me why MSDN documentation writes in this seemingly illogical manner, and put my mind at rest. As it is, it's bad enough reading it in the MSDN docs, let alone possibly having to document my controls that way - especially when it's screaming out to me that it's the wrong way round. Yours, Ann-Marie
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