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About dwmitch

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  1. I don't know if this would be a writing issue or a design issue, but whenever you have something that's part of the story (even if it's just a brief story about a unit's weapon in an RTS), make the design follow the story. As an example I'll use Red Alert 2's chrono leggionaire. His weapon supposedly erases units and structures from time, as if it never existed. Doing such should have had other consequences, other than destroying a structure/unit. For example, if it never existed money wouldn't have been spent on it, so it should be a full refund for the player attacked with the weapon. Also, units couldn't be built/trained at a building that never existed, so those units should be erased and the training cost refunded. Now I know they had logical reasons for doing this the way they did, but it just didn't match up to the story behind the chrono technology.
  2. If your target demographic for a project is casual gamers and you're going the shareware route then will DirectX 8 graphics suffice? For example, the video card I develop with won't even support something as basic as cubic environment mapping, and as far as I can tell the only shader it supports is the first incarnation of the vertex shader. DirectX 9 is not supported, and DirectX 8 is only marginally supported. That being said, should I even bother with the shareware route or go freeware? When I first started about seven years ago (yes, I know it's a long time without having anything to show for it, but those seven years were for learning) indie games weren't expected to be on par with the commercial games. Most indie games were still Super Nintendo quality in the days of Playstation and Nintendo 64. Now indie games, from what I can tell of the screenshots, are about on par with XBox, PS2, etc. So in the days of Playstation 3, XBox 360, and Nintendo Wii is there any room in the indie market for PSX and N64 style graphics, even if the actual gameplay and story are decent?
  3. Quote:Original post by frob But you MUST provide the source code at no cost upon request. Does that mean if I use the Irrlicht engine (open source), put my project on the internet as shareware, and someone wants the source code I have to just give it to them?
  4. Forget a company at this point. I'll share some of my exploits with you. When I was playing Final Fantasy 8 I was impressed that they had an actual song (lyrics and everything) in one of their scenes, which was a novelty to me at the time. I decided to do something similar, and a few years later I started talking to a girl that was willing to do some vocal work for royalties (10¢ on every dollar earned), but since she was a minor she'd have to talk to her parents about it. The parents said they won't let her do it until they see a playable demo because they thought it was some kind of scam. I turned to one of my old high school classmates for some bass tracks, same deal as the singer. He'd have to see a playable demo first. Basically unless you've already been working for Midway or EA games or any of the big companies you'll be hard pressed to find people who will work for you until you have something to show, unless you're blessed with a talented girlfriend/fiancé/wife. My advice to you, get an IDE (if you can't afford Microsoft's I hear DevC++ is a good one), find a good open source (or at least freeware) engine (I recommend Irrlicht (irrlicht.sourceforge.net) since it simplifies collision detection), and start studying/experimenting/developing. Keep it simple, such as a basic FPS or a short adventure game, then release it as freeware. If you get a fair amount of downloads/positive feedback on the first one, get to work on the second one, which you may be able to release as shareware. If you get few downloads work on attracting people to your site. If you get negative feedback, focus on the specific ones (ignoring the ones that just say "this game is ####" and things along those lines), fix the problems pointed out, and see if you get more positive results from it. And most importantly, if you have a job outside of the industry, keep it. If you're unemployed, get a job. I don't care if it's flipping burgers, you'll need a job to get up and running. You won't be able to get venture capital without having produced at least two games, one of them being profitable (even if it's a very small profit). No one will want to invest in an untested man with just an idea. I'm saying this from experience, not just being one of those people who hear an idea and by default say "it will never happen." Of course, this is if you want to bypass everything and start your own company right out of the gate. As others have said, you'll have a much easier time if you spend a few years working for the big boys.
  5. Quote:Original post by Captain P z-buffer. :) Basically, when a pixel gets drawn, it also gets a z value, or distance value. Whenever a polygon gets translated to a bunch of pixels and gets drawn on the screen, the z value of each pixel is checked against the z value of the pixel already there - if there is any. If the new pixel is closer, it overwrites the old pixel. Otherwise, nothing changes. This z-buffer is then reset before the next frame is drawn. I assume these games stored a z map for each background, or they simply cut the background up into multiple parts and rendered them closer or further away - which would essentially give different z values anyway. If there's no z-buffer, then the drawing order determines what is shown on top, obviously. :) Thanks for your reply, but the thing that's confusing me is how you implement a z map. I have Beginning Direct3D Programming and it doesn't say anything about the z buffer except for its function. Where would I go to learn how to load an image into the Z buffer, or how to get a grayscale image to determine which polygons are drawn or not?
  6. I was reading in some other threads about how depth mapping was used in the FFVII-FFIX games to render the player "behind" certain elements in the pre-rendered background. I've searched both this site and Google using the terms depth map, occlusion culling, and distance based selection (each search would lead me to a possible alternate term), but I haven't been able to find any information. Where would I go to learn about it, preferrably without having to buy any books or go to the commercial tutorial sites (i.e. pay $20 per to download a tutorial)?
  7. Quote:Original post by Captain P I've played Lost Vikings a lot some time ago, and I agree that some basic AI wouldn't be a bad idea. It will certainly make level-design more free with less demand for such safe zones. The cons can both be avoided, the first by a control system as said above, the second by letting their AI check for each of the characters stats, and make the character that needs the item the most pick it up - if that's you, the others will not get the item unless you command them to do so. Using a control system for the other, not directly controlled characters could add some strategic aspects as well: a character who can't hear you, can't be commanded, or in other situations you wouldn't want to wake up an evil creature with your shouting commands. A radio would be a nice puzzle item here, for example. Interesting points. I think I've figured out the control system I want. It will be loosely based on the Bard's Tale (which I forgot until I read someboddy's post, which is odd because I've been playing it a bit lately). In addition to the "follow me," "attack," "stay where you are" commands there will be environment specific commands, such as ordering one character to stop at a garden hose and another stopping by the tree. The character you can control could issue a command to the one by the tree to climb it, get a group of hippies1 chasing him, then issue a command when the hippies are in range to the one in the tree to spray liquid soap on them (if he has any in stock), the player controlled character can lead the hippies to the hose, then when in range command the other character to spray them down. For this I would probably have to implement a Mech Warrior type menu system where you can bring up an HUD without interrupting movement to facilitate individual commands, and add some AI to allow stationary characters to defend themselves. I also like the idea of being able to win radios in a bonus level or by completing tasks in specific levels. Maybe even a shop system where you can buy them. That way if they didn't have them then issuing a command to attack a sleeping hippie would wake him up, but if you issue it via radio they can take him out before he can even open his eyes. I'll get a rough sketch started and fine tune as I go along. Thank you for your input, everybody. 1 Brief synopsis: Four kids exploring the cellar of and abandoned house discover a portal. Out of the portal come entities that convert anyone they come in contact to into hippies. One of the kids is the first victim, which explains why there are only three useable characters. The mission is to go around the country restoring everyone to their pre-hippie state using weapons such as scissors (haircuts), soap and water, suits, etc. Lacking the appropriate equipment the characters can use a variety of wrestling moves to beat some sense into them, though it takes longer than using weapons.
  8. I currently have an action game (along the lines of Mario 64, etc.) in the works, and there will be three player controled characters. The problem is, how to control them. I have three styles in mind, which for simplicity I will refer to as the Lost Vikings style, Dark Cloud style, and Secret of Mana style. For those not familiar with the games I shall elaborate. In the Lost Vikings games you have three characters that are constantly "in play." When you switch to another the one you were using remains in the same spot and can still be injured. In Dark Cloud you can choose from up to six characters, but they swap out. If you're using the main and switch to the genie the main will disappear and the genie will appear in his place. In Secret of Mana you have one player controlled character and the other two are computer controlled. I think you can switch the active character, but it's been a while since I've played the game so I don't remember exactly. I'll go over the pros and cons of each system: Lost Vikings Pros: Can introduce a strategic element to the game. Allows the use of double/triple team moves if all characters are in the region. If a system is implemented to que commands players can set traps for tougher enemies. Cons: Area must be clear of enemies before switching. Enemies must be confined to a limited region to provide safe zones. Failing the use of safe zones, player must micro-manage the characters, which isn't viable for an action game. Dark Cloud Pros: Player only needs to keep track of one character. Player can swap out heavily damaged characters for healthy characters Cons: Eliminates the possibility of double/triple team moves. Reduces the challenge by essentially allowing players to heal without collecting the appropriate items. Secret of Mana Pros: Allows double/triple team moves. The attack powers of all three characters can be combined. Cons: Possibility that computer controlled characters could break off to attack a minor enemy while player is fighting a tougher enemy. If no inventory system is implemented (hoping to avoid to preserve simplicity) computer controlled characters may not grab recovery items or may grab a recovery item the player controlled character needs more.
  9. Quote:Original post by BioMors Woah, tree = cow pie? I think that should be a "SMASH!" obstical... much like a cow would be as a moving obstical. The way I have it planned out it's basically the same. The runner/fielder slips and falls, is delayed for a few moments while he gets up, then he can go again. If they run into a tree, they fall back, they're delayed for a moment while they recover, then they can go back on their way. Of course, the animations and sound effects would be different for both. Although I am thinking about retooling the system. Some of the suggestions would make for good sight gags, which is important to the game. And I never thought of having obstacles that completely took the runner/player off the path. Thanks for the idea. Quote:Original post by coderx75 Slipping in cow pies? rating++[/quote] I've seen a cartoon where characters threw cow pies at each other while maintaining a TV7 rating, but I don't remember what it is. I don't think it would really have an effect. Besides, I don't think indie shareware is governed by the rating system.
  10. Instead of the standard baseball diamond, Possumball takes place in various rural locations, each with its own hazards and obstacles. So far I have: [*]Cow pasture - Slip if a fielder or runner steps in a cow pie, thus slowing them down. Toying around with the notion of having cows as moving obstacles. [*]Forest - Running into trees will have the same effect as a cow pie, with different animation. I can't seem to come up with ideas for the other fields. The most development on the site should be farmlands, as it's basically hillbilly amateur baseball.
  11. Second question first. Is there any chance that a business that devotes itself strictly to comedy games could have any amount of success? I'm not talking about having one of my games on the Wal-Mart/Target/Staples shelves next to Command and Conquer, GTA, and the like. I mean shareware and locally (possibly regional) distribution in small computer/software stores (privately owned, not franchise), where success is when the business supplements income from a "day job" instead of detracting from it. Also, if the business has a cornball name like "Possum Holler Games" (assuming Possum Holler isn't already a registered business name) does that limit the type of games I'd be able to produce? Admittedly, the three I have in the works now are comical, but with a name like that would it be possible to branch out and do sci-fi games or fantasy RPGs and be taken seriously?
  12. Quote:Original post by Sledge Hammer Productions You should maybe put the model concept up in the forum and ask for bids to craft it. Don't have much to add to this, but if you take bids be sure to stipulate in the post that bids must be submitted via PM. I'm currently in a labor job where I have to put bids in, and I can tell you from experience that if your competitors find out your bid they can easily under-bid you and screw you out of a job. There are many people who don't know that, and since this community is about helping each other, it would be good for you to come out and say PMs only for the benefit of those who don't know. Granted, this scenario may work to your advantage, especially if some of the more desperate newcomers to the field of commercial modelling get into a bidding war that drives the final cost to an absurdly low price, but it deprives all interested parties of a fair shot and is generally very poor business ethic on your part if you take advantage of such a situation.
  13. Quote:Original post by Iron Chef Carnage You'd have to decide whether to risk flying through wyvern-infested skies or creeping through werewolf-infested swamps to get where you're going. What exactly is a wyvern? According to the Dragon Warrior manual it's a stage of development between drakee (hatchling) and adult, but I've heard it used as if it were a completely different creature.
  14. Quote:Original post by Drew_Benton I think that would be a great idea. First of all the whole concept of FF using the Chocobo's was an inventive and 'new' idea. It really paid off I think because of how they added in the mini-games with them. Not only that, the no battles things was awesome, not to mention the fun music that played while trying to catch one of them. Raising it for racing was another neat idea that added to the FF game. I would agree. If you have a big bad magical dragon, why not use it [smile]. It should have its own attacks as you have said as well. That way it is like another character in your group. Myabe you could have it so as the monster gets larger and gorws, it can actually carry more items or group members to battle! That would be a cool feature. Well it all depends on what type of monstersr you have and how you went about setting that up. I would say remove the possibility to 'exploit' that feature and your problems will go away. You can make it so when you are using a dragon, you receive less exp than if you were not, as one variances. Another could be that you and the dragon split the experience, which would not be much to being with. Alos, when you use dragons, less item drops will happen. The main goal would be to balance the use of dragons. It should be a strategic decision on whether or not you want to use a dragon. Well I see that you have a flaw in your logic design then. There should be some way in which the player has some sort of mana to limit what they can cast and how much theycan cast it. Take a look at diablo 2. A sourceress can cast a lot more than a Barbian can. That of course is a character feature as well and depends on how the character is going to be handled. If the character is a powerful magician, they should be able to cast the most powerful spells as much as they want, you know? But then that stems into the design of the spells - why is there a 'most powerful' spell that they would use? In diable 2, this is fixed by using monster immunities, so even if you had a level 99 sourcress that was cold, she could not do much against monsters that were immune to cold - thus making players not dedicate to one branch of magic. Which again all relates to the theme of balance. Think about this. Instead of riding on the dragon, it becaomes another character when you enter battle. So you are fighting side by sdie with it. Otherwise, if you were on it, how would you be attacked? If you take that design appraoch, I think it will be much easier to handle the attacks and defneses, since the dragon is now just another group member. I'd love to see that. Nothign better than to have a group of 3 ferious warrios each with their own dragon to back them up. But, that shoudl only be possible in the late stages of the game when the mosnters are so tought that they *have* to have dragons to have a chance to succede. Once again, balance is the key. If you let them all just have dragons right away, it is going to be overkill of power and not a challenge. Based on the owner. It would only be independent if you could take the dragon into battle itself and use that w/o your main character. Well it all depends on your game design, which, sorry to keep on repeating, is balance! I'd say they should not be avaliable right away, maybe 1/3 - 1/2 way into the game, the character can get a weak dragon - no matter how much $$ they have. Then they will have to build it up along the way. They should only be able to have just one dragon at a timr. This is to make sure they have to strategise how they play. Later in the game, they can add more possibly, or you acn have it so after they beat the game, they can have more on a different mode. Those are just a few ideas. Let me know what you think about them. Hope this helps some in your planning. I think you need to focus on balance, It sounds like you have a pretty compelx plan, so balance is what is going to make you or break you. - Drew I like most of your ideas, but I think I saw a later reply that could explain how a dragon could be attacked that I'd like to go with. If I had the dragon(s) as seperate group members that would be up to eight PCs attacking, which would severely alter the balance. Not to mention that I'd have to worry about placing up to four 128 x 128 sprites, four 96 x 96 sprites (actual characters in the 32x64 range (I just got the sprites from Reiner's Tilesets, so if that's poor design he's the one to talk to)), and enemy sprites in a 640 x 480 battlefield. I'd like to allow each party member to have their own dragon or the option to share dragons so you could have up to four elements in a battle, allowing the player to do elemental damage if they decide not to have any magic users. I think the route I'll go is basically having mounted players encountering enemies that could kill a level 99 knight in one attack, but if they're on a dragon it would be about like a level 15 taking on a level 13 - 15, assuming they're in the right area, plus flying creatures that they otherwise wouldn't encounter. That still leaves the problem of combined attack or dragon only. I'm leaning towards an idea posted about having a ride skill determine whether the rider can attack during a charge, and how effective the attack will be. Of course, I also like the idea of raising a dragon from drakee (or wyvern, at least)*, so I may go with that idea. Thanks for the input, guys. I'm far from getting the dragon features completely worked out, so feel free to keep adding suggestions. *Using the Dragon Warrior definitions of drakee and wyvern, a drakee being an infant dragon and a wyvern being an adolescent. Can't seem to find definitions on non Dragon Warrior sites.
  15. Quote:Original post by Acapulco Your thread title gave me a couple of thoughts. If you consider the dragon as something analogous to a car, maybe you can't buya dragon until you're licensed to fly one. This could give you a chance to do a dragon-riding tutorial. Or, possibly, dragons could be prohibitively expensive, but you get your first one from somewhere (your father or uncle perhaps, when you come of age) and you can only part-exchange it. Your first one's a bad-tempered whelp, but you can upgrade to bigger and stronger dragons as you go. Interesting idea, but I'd kind of like to keep it so that it's a well hidden secret instead of a government regulated thing. In fact, recently I've been toying around with the notion of having the dragon(s) come under attack by guards if you don't leave them in the forests or mountains when you go into a town, and possibly getting arrows shot at them if you fly over a town.