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 Post Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 11:48 am 
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moose o death wrote:
so essentially you guys are removing everything that is erfworld and just making a hexagonal chessboard? that's fine if your into that kind of thing...but why call it erfworld under the circumstances. you capitalise on the naming of units and shoot yourself in the foot for potential earnings if you do a good job.

erfworld focus's on the story behind the game, if you want to build an erfworld game you should too. otherwise all you have is a tbs that looks like saturday morning cartoons are engaged in war.


Beneath the grumpiness ;) , I sense an opportunity here.

You see, we can think, and we should think, about the world of Erfworld. Make a reasonably comprehensive set of laws (that are also amenable to being creatively broken, no less!) and construct around them what looks like a big place where stuff can happen.

That's because many of us talking here are coders (maybe among other things).

Now however, about that stuff. That can happen.

It won't be the stuff that happened in the comic obviously. We would need at least one person to write storylines, or story guidelines. Populate the world with peoples with colourful histories, weird habits and skeletons in the closet.

Interested?

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     Post Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 3:39 pm 
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    The thing you might not understand about coding moose of death is that it isn't easy. First we have to start with the basic mechanics, how to lay the hexes out, how to store data, the basic functions that the game has. Then we can populate the finer details like unit info, stats, story, etc. And if you do want to work on a story that would be considered fanon, then I'm sure we'd be glad to have you work with us. Just realize that implementing that story into the code may take a long while.

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     Post Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 4:37 pm 
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    I love to do story and speculation! There is nothing better I can think of than coming up with engaging stories for the Erfians to take part of!I love Erfworld! But what we are doing is needed.

    I know now it may sound like all we are doing is hashing together a hex-game with Erfworld slapped onto it (LEGO Erfworld!) but it is a necessary step. Sure we do need some good fanon and storylines etc. but if we only did story than it would be like those old fashion "Choose-your-own-story" books. To have a good game we need to have mechanics that work with Erfworld.I will now go into an Analogy I made somewhere else that I can't remember that involves magic and Arkentools.

    There has been debate that Arkentools are aligned to only one axis. The Axis of fate. However, the TITANS OF ARK used the Arkentools to create Erfworld, which is essentially a large game. And like any good game they needed 3 things. Erf (the world, geography, hexes etc.), Fate (Story, factions etc.) and Numbers (Game Mechanics). So more likely than not the Titans had to sit down at their Pantheon of Awesome to decide "How will Erfworld work? What do we need to do to make everything run smoothly?".

    This is the stage we are in. We first need to sit down and think, "How are we gonna do this?". Once we have that done we go into, "Ok, now what will the world (graphics) look like?". And Finally we ask "Now how can we make this world engaging? How can we make the Player really be interested in the problems and history of this world?" Once all those have been answered we have a good game. So what we are doing now is what comes naturally for any game.

    Just hoped that cleared things up moose o death. Also, if you other guys want some Fanon I can work on that too.

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     Post Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 5:39 pm 
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    i am aware of that stuff, if you think coding is hard try modelling to nex gen standards.

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    i'm already busy on another game project as you can see, i just don't want you guys wasting an oppurtunity to produce an entertaining counterpart to the comic. i'll keep playing devils advocate making sure it's not just everyone patting themselves on the back. if no-one says no the game will never be finished.

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     Post Posted: Wed May 20, 2009 6:01 pm 
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    moose o death wrote:
    i am aware of that stuff, if you think coding is hard try modelling to nex gen standards.


    Don't tempt me :D

    What is the name of the software you are using?

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     Post Posted: Thu May 21, 2009 12:14 am 
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    He's totally using QBasic :D.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 21, 2009 4:39 am 
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    BLANDCorporatio wrote:
    moose o death wrote:
    i am aware of that stuff, if you think coding is hard try modelling to nex gen standards.


    Don't tempt me :D

    What is the name of the software you are using?


    softimage to rough the shape
    z brush to sculpt the details and texture

    later back to softimage for normal mapping, animation and export to fbx
    then convert to a game ready format so we can finally test our stuff out properly.

    as for game design our current goals are getting game mechanics working, no unique features, no storyline, not even a loose plot, just "is shooting stuff fun" and ai's running about teaching us what level design issues need to be mandated and what ones need to be avoided at all costs.

    my suggestion is you guys concentrate on this too...apart from the shooting at stuff bit. no good having dozens of great idea's if the player is giving up five minutes in.

    you need to get ai trying to achieve goals...any goals, as long as they are achieving them
    you need to get your rough gamepolay mechanic sorted and start testing how much "fun" it is. get other people to try it too as they will most likely be far less impressed than you are.

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     Post Posted: Thu May 21, 2009 11:11 pm 
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    Have you guys ever played Ogre Battle? Originally on the SNES, but they had one on 64. I envision battle like it happens in these games.

    When units meet on the map, you go to a battle screen that is semi-automated, but you arrange your units in a 3x3 grid. Depending on where your units are, they have different attacks and a different number of attacks ex. A spellcaster in the front row will swing with his staff once, but in the back row he'll cast a fireball twice; or a unit may have 3 good melee hits in the front row, but in the back row casts a spell that damages all enemies.)

    When there is a leader in the unit, you get more strategy options that you can change during the battle, like telling the units to try and attack the weakest unit or try to attack the leader, or the option to retreat. A unit without a leader simply doesn't have these options and attacks with a default strategy. We wouldn't use a 3x3 grid, but we could use the idea.

    They also had it so "heavy" units took up more squares, limiting the way you could place them, we could use this for our heavies and seige units AND it would allow melee units to screen for ranged and the like.

    It seems like it would be MUCH easier to code for completely automated combat, and just allow the player to change the computer's goals on the fly if the unit is led, or just run the same model, behind the scenes if not. Casters leading units would have their spells in the same 'strategy menu', like Sizemore healing his golems. It would be so... not complicated.

    P.S. for graphics, I would much prefer a smooth, 2d cell-shaded look.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 22, 2009 12:31 am 
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    Mmm, okay. My vote's on the cell-shading. Looks right for Erfworld.

    Doesn't require complicated models, either.

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     Post Posted: Fri May 22, 2009 7:17 am 
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    I'm throwin my vote for Johnny's new ideas on both battle mechanics and graphics
    but still need a decision on general mechanics....
    also I'd be happy to help out with storylines and fanon as well :D

    M

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     Post Posted: Fri May 22, 2009 9:05 pm 
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    Alcazabedabra wrote:
    Mmm, okay. My vote's on the cell-shading. Looks right for Erfworld.

    Doesn't require complicated models, either.

    that's not true
    cell shading is both MORE expensive to render, as well as requiring more detailled models as lower detailled models are made more obvious but having their silhouettes outlined with hard black lines.

    if this game is to be 3d i agree cell shading would be ideal, but it's one more aspect to keep in mind. if you do intend to use a 3d engine i would recommmend finding one that can use vretex colours as the diffuse as it's not a common thing in erfworld to see textured objects anyway, likewise normalmaps may be over the top as well.

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     Post Posted: Sat May 23, 2009 12:06 am 
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    currently the conversation has skyrocketed out of my element, so i'll check back in when I understand things, but other than that...

    I'm still supporting High-quality 2d rendering for everything but the Arkentools. I always view high quality sprites as the best choice when dealing with something of this scale (IE Wars with hundreds of units.) and allows it to run much smoother. Depending of course.

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     Post Posted: Sat May 23, 2009 12:48 am 
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    I'm still of the mind of a 2D system. Cell shading is nice and all, and well out of my element.

    I think it needs to be simple for simplicity sake. Remember the rule, Keep It Simple Stupid. EVEN STANLEY KNOWS!

    I'm working on something right now that hopefully I'll be able to pop up onto the wiki at some point this weekend.

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     Post Posted: Sat May 23, 2009 4:16 am 
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    Hey guys, don't be scared off by the idea of using 3D models, it's by no means as difficult as it looks. That said, it is more work and this is a fan project so unless the game absolutely requires full 3D, I'd probably investigate other options first.

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     Post Posted: Sat May 23, 2009 9:58 am 
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    Could someone with the know-how explain the nitty-gritty behind cell-shading? I just thought it meant cartoony-looking 2D. It is still made of pixels, right?

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     Post Posted: Sat May 23, 2009 2:40 pm 
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    I view cell-shading as 3d, but it has kinda cartoony lighting, colors, and textures. For an example, this and this

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     Post Posted: Sun May 24, 2009 12:02 am 
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    it's regular 3d with a special kind of lighting and shadow that imitates cartoon cells

    it also involves outlining things in black, which i'm an artist so i'm probably not fully correct but, i think it uses the depth buffer to establish if something is in front of something else. it then applies minor lines to a model that occludes itself and major lines to models occluding other models.

    the line thing is probably on par with ssao effects (screen space ambient occlusion) which in leadwerks using 3 samples can cut a scenes framerate from 150-30 frames per second. but i wouldn't recommend using leadwerks for a project like this. my project we are using leadwerks, but we're making an fps.

    if you guys were doing 3d i'd be recommending the quake 3 engine, but i'm not sure how well it handles large numbers of objects. i don't recommend writing your own 2d engines, as i'm fairly sure you'll make it too cpu heavy and performance will vary wildly dependant on what's happening. let gpu's pick up the slack in handling hundreds of anythings. they are far better at it.

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     Post Posted: Sun May 24, 2009 1:14 am 
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    Hey
    Just telling you guys, I have no idea how a game is made, and cant use any of the software that has been mentioned in here.
    Yet I shall keep lurking here, if I can do anything to make this game a reality.
    For now I shall remain quiet and patient :D

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     Post Posted: Sun May 24, 2009 3:14 am 
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    Ah, well then I meant 2d cell-shading. Especially if the map is pseudo-3d, I imagine the units and characters looking completely flat and cartoony. Is this a thing for vector graphics? My understanding of those is that they are stored as the different shapes, mathematical curves and such that make up a picture? Which would work for the cartoon style and be easy to resize for unit detail screen and the little cutscenes and such.

    P.S. I'd be willing to learn and do whatever graphics nonsense, be it pixel art or otherwise. At first I'll be like :? , but then I'll be all :ugeek: . On the other hand, a quick search for complicated vector graphics in games only reveals tentative projects in OpenGL. I don't think that's in our toolbox, or needs to be. Are vector graphics only a viable option for Flash animations?

    P.P.S. I don't want to sound like a real ignoramus, but when we pick a language for the game I'd be happy to try and pick that up too. The only thing I've actually done, programming-wise, is mess with settings in Linux and spend 20 mins in QBasic years ago. I made this game where this red pixel chases your white pixel around, and then when he catches ya it tells you how long you lasted. I called it "Pixelsaurus".

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     Post Posted: Sun May 24, 2009 4:01 am 
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    JohnnyEgregious wrote:
    Ah, well then I meant 2d cell-shading.


    err 2d doesn't HAVE shading. apart from simple colour effects.

    it's just two triangles with an alpha image drawn on it. you'd either use a sprite sheet, or you'd shift and rotate things like a paper doll.

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