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Reply to topic GDR Forum Index -> Game Developer's Refuge -> Development Log - Space Game Page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4, 5
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xearthianx
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dennis wrote:
I can see how some people really would not want to spend any time preparing for a longer expedition and would much rather jump right into exploring/shooting and killing. For them, there could be different starting conditions where they already have certain equipment/upgrades...

You'd have to be careful here to balance it right. You want the player to be upgraded enough so they don't feel totally nerfed right out of the gate, but keep them mediocre enough that it's actually worth while to go through and set up/earn your buffs by hand.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I think the eat/drink part could make for some very interesting survival gameplay when you start out on some remote planet in the middle of nowhere and all you have is a knife and two or three rations salvaged from your crashed landed vehicle (which would already be crashed as a part of the starting conditions).


For me personally, having to eat/drink in games is always a major pain in the ass. This is usually exponentially compounded by a design decision where consumable foods are difficult to find (sometimes their existence is random-based!) and dying due to starvation happens easily. What are you plans for that?

On a different point unrelated to the eating/drinking/bladder/simulation/etc: as the ideas have progressed on this project I'm starting to lose sight of what it's actually going to be at the end of the day. Are all of these ideas likely going to make it into the end game, or are certain parts superseding others? I'm becoming increasingly unsure of just exactly what I'll be doing and where I would be spending most of my time. The exploration aspect of the game is what intrigued me the most.

I love exploration games. I don't, however, enjoy having to micromanage a million things just in order to explore.
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xearthianx wrote:
You want the player to be upgraded enough so they don't feel totally nerfed right out of the gate, but keep them mediocre enough that it's actually worth while to go through and set up/earn your buffs by hand.
I think a customizable simulation level of detail (by switching entire subsystems on/off (e.g. if you don't like RPG, you might want to switch off character stats completely and as a consequence, none of your actions would be influenced by any stats and every crewmember would be a jack of all trades (could just interact with everything, where otherwise the character would need a certain skill to, for example, access a computer or fly a landing vehicle or to get certain dialog options))) or difficulty level would be sufficient to provide a challenge based on the players preferences.

From a very abstract point of view, that flexible "simulation level of detail" could allow making the game as Arcadian or Simulation as one likes where in the extremes of both ends it becomes a shooter on the one end and a highly complex genre mix on the other.

This could be presented in the settings as a slider like this:
Arcadian <------x------------------------------------> Simulation
The further the handle would be moved to the right, the more subsystems (the eat/drink/etc stuff would be quite far to the right) of the game become active.

It could be further customizable in table form (the slider would just activate/deactivate things in the table based on some default settings):
weapons need ammo - on/off
customizable ships - on/off (if off, ship modules (shields/scanners/weapons/etc.) would be fixed for predefined ship hulls, otherwise almost freely exchangable/upgradable)
allow fleet - on/off
ore mining - on/off
character stats - on/off
...
(these would need to be organized in some sort of category system to make it managable and not just a list of seemingly random items)

sonrisu wrote:
and dying due to starvation happens easily. What are you plans for that?
If a crewmember dies from starvation, he/she will be dead and you'd have to find a replacement somewhere (but the morale of the surviving crewmembers will be negatively affected).

It would need to be hard to die from starvation though, the situation should have to be really desperate and be a consequence of stupid actions on the players side (like forgetting to pack food and drinks) and yes, if consumable locations (plants/wildlife) are random generated, the generator for the "survival starting scenario" would need to be taylored in a way which gives the player a realistic chance for successfully getting out of it.

Every character which is not currently directly controlled by the player will need to be in some mode of self preservation where they take care of eating/drinking themselves (given of course they have access to a food/drink source). While on your ship, they could walk to the food storage themselves and grab a ration or go take a load off without the player having to tell each one of them. Bathrooms need to be required standard modules on every ship type (except maybe on small fighter crafts which are not meant for long distance travel and which are dispatched from bigger carrier ships).

sonrisu wrote:
as the ideas have progressed on this project I'm starting to lose sight of what it's actually going to be at the end of the day. Are all of these ideas likely going to make it into the end game, or are certain parts superseding others? I'm becoming increasingly unsure of just exactly what I'll be doing and where I would be spending most of my time.
So am I. I can't say whether I'll manage to get EVERYTHING into the game but in all of my daydreaming, I can imagine that I would truly enjoy playing a game as complex as this. Who knows though, the game might never even get out of the daydreaming phase.
For me, the actual process of making the game has already become the real game in this project. I think I might even end up enjoying the daydreaming/design part more than the end result.

sonrisu wrote:
I love exploration games. I don't, however, enjoy having to micromanage a million things just in order to explore.
"simulation level of detail" customization should allow for letting you enjoy the exploration part without a need to pay attention to other things.
It would be a bit like in life: there's a lot to see and do but for many things you can safely choose to completely ignore them and only follow carefully selected interests and passions.

Even on a high level of detail, there should not be a need to take care of everything all the time though, many things would just run on AI mode (for example the crewmembers as described above) and you won't even notice them until you take direct control of someone or something. It would be necessary to configure certain behavioural patterns (e.g. aggressive/defensive/protective attitude in fights) so you'd still have control over things by giving guidelines but everyone would basically manage themselves (according to the guidelines you gave) and if something goes wrong you can check it and take necessary actions (like throwing the erratic crewman into the brig).

This too, would be a bit like in life, you certainly don't micro-manage everything in life (and if you do, your assistants/subordinates are highly likely to end up feeling a dark and burning hate towards you) and for the most part just let everyone do their jobs and trust them to be capable of handling their tasks and you have faith that the world will keep spinning even if you don't keep checking every nut and bolt all the time.


Yay, wall of text! Anyway, I really appreciate all the feedback I'm getting, as this gives me a chance to refine the design and it spawns thoughts and ideas I'd otherwise not come to think about.
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll see your charcoal scheme and raise you the treehugger. (old code from physically less painful times carefully manufactured into screenshot as an offer of peace to the underscorian_empire)

Been meaning to drop the boring default colors for a long time and also wanted something different so I would not be staring at the same Devil.Env. at both the job and at home.
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a very green scheme you have there ;)

It doesn't look like it should work, but there's enough contrast to make things stand out clearly. Kinda reminds me of my old ProComm themes. I'd alternate between green and purple themes. That's also the same font I was using up to a few years ago, when I switched over to Dina.

I tried to set my scheme's color saturation levels based on how much I wanted them to stand out. Comments mostly fade into the background, while strings and preprocessor stuff jumps out at you. Numbers and operators are in-between. It seems to be working out well enough for my tired eyes.


Quote:

an offer of peace to the underscorian_empire


Verily I say unto thee, the underscore connects all things in life. Life is the underscore; the underscore is life :)
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

:) :)

I need to try that Dina font sometime and there are some other nice looking ones on that page as well.

Today was the first productive (productive, despite having to painfully replicate it from the color hex codes picked from the screenshot because somehow exporting and then importing to this machine did not work) day I could actually test that new color scheme over a couple of hours and I'm very pleased as it works very well and my eyes seem to enjoy all the green which brightens my mood (and that was the plan!(to have colors which remind me of the magical forest and the beach (or rather how all of that might look on an extended C64 palette)).

checked off some very boring stuff of my todo-list today:
(v) add utf8 routines to allow writing/reading utf8 strings into a memory buffer instead of a FILE (<encodedUTF8string><0>)
(v) extend (v)BinaryFile and (v)BinaryData classes with methods for packing/unpacking utf8 strings
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Gil
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You were working on pixel perfect sprites in OpenGL too, right?

I've been doing a lot reading and I'm trying to come up with a concise way to handle it with OpenGL.

I'll probably try out a little tech demo next week to try and get a universal method. Here's a big dump of forum topics describing the problem.

http://anteru.net/2009/06/01/489/
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/396461-solved-pixel-perfect-textures-opengl/
http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=138278&page=2
(press feeling luck and scroll down, experts exchange trick to see answer for free)
http://www.google.com/webhp?q=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.experts-exchange.com%2FProgramming%2FGame%2F3D_Prog.%2FQ_25766567.html
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've so far only been reading and theorizing about it and I'm also reading the OpenGL SuperBible 4th Ed.

All the naked theory (haven't written any code yet) so far seems to suggest that it is actually quite simple and straightforward to get pixel perfect texture mapping going... so in my naive, theory-seeping arrogance I am assuming that everyone else is just doing it wrong. ;D

Well, we'll see when I get around to implementing it but right now, I'm still writing framework code and then after that I wanted to start with the planet/geometry editor/generator first, so texture-mapping is still far away.
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Gil
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I can tell, GL_LINEAR and GL_NEAREST are the key.

Quote:
I am assuming that everyone else is just doing it wrong.
I feel the same
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Sirocco
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 4:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The way I remember doing it was starting with a pBuffer or FBO at 320x240. I'd render to it using GL_NEAREST (IIRC!) for my sprites, then let it stretch the FBO to the full resolution of the window.
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sonrisu
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 10, 2011 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do GL_NEAREST at 320x240 and then when I'm in a larger mode I glScalef to the appropriate size before telling everything to draw. Works just fine. :]

This is basically what Sirocco said, but I'm just chiming in to say that this is what I'm doing and it looks nice. :]
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much work done this last weekend (busy doing my tax report) but I've updated and recompiled my project against the real A5 now (previously was using 4.9.<something>).

Everything worked perfectly after the update, just had to adjust my font creation routine, because they changed the default alpha-compositing mode from using alpha to using pre-multiplied alpha, which made it render my font with a visible background color (which I had chosen to use for nostalgic "magic pink" reasons).

Detailed explaination:
In A4.9.<something>, by default, on blending of an image over another image, the pixel data in the source pixel to combine with the pixel data in the target pixel was determined by multiplying the alpha channel of the source pixel with each of it's components(r,g,b). So for my "magic pink" (1.0, 0.0, 1.0) with an alpha of 0.0, this always meant the pink would never be combined into the pixel result on blending, thus was fully transparent.

In A5.0 now, by default, on blending of an image over another image, the pixel data in the source pixels individual components is interpreted as having already been multiplied by some alpha value and the alpha channel of the actual source pixel is ignored on computing the source pixel component which will be combined with the target pixel component(the pixel data in the target pixel to combine to the end resulting blended pixel is still determined with that alpha value), so the pink was interpreted as visible pink, always. Solution: Changed the background color in my font to (0.0, 0.0, 0.0) alpha still being 0.0.

Reading up on alpha-composition, I see how this new default mode has advantages over the previous way (it was just a bit confusing at first also because the change came somewhat without any warning and it took me some time to find out what was going on (at first I even thought it was a driver/gfx card problem since I was on another machine at the time and hadn't made any changes to my code which would have explained that different behavior)).
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Gil
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always use libraries with multiple blend modes.

Alpha should always be interpreted as a multiplier and it should support at least stuff like additive blending, so my particles look sexy.
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0xDB
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can of course still set and use plenty of other blend modes in A5 (al_set_blender). It's just using a different default mode now (and it makes perfect sense to use that new default mode). It's also possible to just directly use the appropriate OpenGL calls to change the blending behaviour or do any rendering, intermixed with the rendering methods provided by Allegro (which in turn utilize OpenGL, unless you created a non-OpenGL display of course).
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Gil
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good. I really should check out Allegro some day. Maybe now is the time with the A5 release.
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