Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

Progress?

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Naked_Lunch, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Naked_Lunch Erudite

    Naked_Lunch
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Parrots:
    5,360
    Location:
    Norway, 1967
    Click here and disable ads!
    So I've been AWOL for a while and I see that not much has been happening. Is the project on hiatus or what? How have things been going?
     
    ^ Top  
  2. TalesfromtheCrypt Arcane

    TalesfromtheCrypt
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    Parrots:
    3,842
    NL is back :D
     
    ^ Top  
  3. Fez Erudite

    Fez
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Parrots:
    7,954
    Naked_Lunch never leaves us. His stink remains with us always.
     
    ^ Top  
  4. resle Novice

    resle
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Parrots:
    45
    Location:
    Roma, Italy
    Ashes lives on :)

    What's happening? Well yes, hiatus is a good word to describe what's going on - but the developement heartbeats are just very slow - not absent. Ashes is in a controlled coma, so to say. There's a long moment of unbalance between the time at MY disposal and Olly's disposal. He's quite free while my personal life/job is a bit of a mess now as I am in the process of moving back to my home city (long story).

    So I find the time to make a snippet of code now and then, which is a problem because when you're dealing with such a complex piece of software, 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 doesn't sum up to 5 .. it barely sums up to 2. What I mean is that there are things that I need to fix/make without interruptions, and I can't still find the time to work on those.

    The next build is going to feature:
    - Finished, polished combat
    - Finished, polished dialogues
    - Reworked GUI (more pratical, but arguably less nice to see - I.E.: no "live" paperdoll npc)
    - Particle system
    - beta magic
    - beta fully scheduled NPCs
    - beta menu

    And thanks to Olly, lots of new graphics.

    My greatest concern right now is how to exactly make the modular portrait system, which I have temporarily stripped out of the engine. Not because I don't know how to do that... but because there are various different solutions and I can't decide which one to implement (and all of those are things that will take a good amount of time to be worked out)

    In the end, soon you're going to get some new movies. Not a playable demo yet, I think it's still a bit early for that.. but it's already a step ahead of the screenshots :) How soon? I hope for the end of this month.
     
    ^ Top  
  5. Jora Arcane

    Jora
    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2003
    Parrots:
    1,115
    Location:
    Finland
  6. Roqua Arcane In My Safe Space

    Roqua
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Parrots:
    2,726
    Location:
    YES!
    Looking great. Can't wait for the demo (or the release).
     
    ^ Top  
  7. denizsi Arcane

    denizsi
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Parrots:
    9,996
    Location:
    bosphorus
    You can discuss the details if it may help with the decisions, there are people around here who are up for the tech talk and giving sound pieces of advice. Even if not, you will have our opinions for what it's worth.
     
    ^ Top  
  8. resle Novice

    resle
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Parrots:
    45
    Location:
    Roma, Italy
    Right! That's what a forum should be used for :) So, there are three paths:

    - "Classic" - You know, just like the many avatar creators around the net. Like this: http://www.nbos.com/products/sketcher/r ... mFaces.htm
    Someone (I had a contact but I lost it because the portrait thing didn't progress much on my side) should design the single face elements.
    Pro: it's easy!
    Con: tons of artwork to do.

    - "Fake 3d" - Like the above, but the artist shouldn't draw 100 different eyes. He only draws 1 eye texture which is then applied to a flat eye model. That model can then be distorted/scaled/twisted in virtually infinite ways to produce thousands different eyes [maybe even facial expressions]
    Pro: Very little artwork to do.
    Con: Requires specific tools to be coded.

    - "Full 3d" - You've seen it and hated/loved it. Oblivion anyone?
    Pro: Vastly customizable portraits.
    Con: 3d hair sucks, a fuckload of code and 3d artwork to do just for that.
     
    ^ Top  
  9. Section8 Erudite

    Section8
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2002
    Parrots:
    4,321
    Location:
    Wardenclyffe
    I'd be inclined to opt for option one. The second one isn't really saving you a lot in terms of art work. Sure you can get thousands of variations of eyes without a lot of work, but you still need unique artwork for more defining features - Moustaches, beards, hairstyles, skin tones, wrinkles, etc.

    Comparing the work load, I think you'd probably save a lot of effort by letting your artist create hundreds of simple variations by using the distorting/scaling/twisting functions of any graphic suite, as opposed to implementing that functionality yourself, creating a suitable interface and (presumably) providing reasonable presets for those who are intimidated by anything more complex than a couple of sliders.
     
    ^ Top  
  10. denizsi Arcane

    denizsi
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Parrots:
    9,996
    Location:
    bosphorus
    Hmm, have you by any chance played Battlespire? There, the character doll is all 2D, but there are multiple art assets for facial features, ie. blank face types, noses, eyes, eyebrows, mouths, hair, facial hair and it works pretty good. It's kind of like the old suspect portrait creation software used by police. If you are interested for the visual look, I can take a video of doll face creation and post at youtube. You can have lots of unique faces with less amount of artwork per facial features (the aforementioned eyes, nose, mouth, even glasses, scars etc.). You can even find one of those police softwares for an idea.

    That said, I'm against option 2 and 3. If what I described above would be beyond your scope, then just stick to option 1.
     
    ^ Top  
  11. denizsi Arcane

    denizsi
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Parrots:
    9,996
    Location:
    bosphorus
    Here is one such software (~145 kb) I found in my HDD. It works in XP. Mirror.

    When you first run it, the language will be Turkish, but you can change it to German or English by choosing Dosya (File) > "Dil degistirme" (change language). Selecting that option will change the language to German and selecting it again will change it to English.

    Note that pressing Alt + anything functions as pressing Alt+F in a traditional English interface with a "File" menu. Also note that the third option in facial features, which appears as "----" is for sideburns and you can use arrow keys instead of F7/F8 to switch between variations. Finally, you can save faces but it doesn't seem to be able to load saved faces.
     
    ^ Top  
  12. Fez Erudite

    Fez
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Parrots:
    7,954
    As long as they are implemented well and don't look ridiculous I would be happy with any of them.
     
    ^ Top  
  13. resle Novice

    resle
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Parrots:
    45
    Location:
    Roma, Italy
    Section8: Yes, in the end comparing the workloads of point 1 and 2 you're right, it's more or less the same because what's gained in not having to draw all those face elements, is lost in coding the fake-3d deformation algorithms and tools. BUT, the second option would allow for better customization. Oh, anyway!

    Denizsi: Yes please! Take a little video, let me see that creation system. About the software you linked: it was really worth a look: it's exactly my idea of point #1, and it makes really clear what helps assembling a random face with no bizarre overlappings.. very interesting

    Fez: Eh, you know, I fear it's going to look a *little* ridiculous in any case. Random faces always are a little grotesque... or at least they show some sort of subtle similarities... like if all the people in the world is prone to incest :D


    Now... I am sure I did show this before, somewhere else one the codex forums, anyway... this was a prototype of my first attempt at random portraits. Something I wrote a couple years ago in the very beginning of Ashes. I think the resulting faces are a little disturbing, but .. you get the idea :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    ^ Top  
  14. denizsi Arcane

    denizsi
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Parrots:
    9,996
    Location:
    bosphorus
    Ok, I'll record a video and upload it somewhere today.

    The only real problem I see in the picture above is the unmatching shades of colours between facial features. Otherwise, it looks to be quite a good start in my opinion. The art style of the pictures may not be that appealing and that's about it.
     
    ^ Top  
  15. Fez Erudite

    Fez
    Joined:
    May 18, 2004
    Parrots:
    7,954
    One thing that is important is that if the faces are there then they should provide a use, such as easy recognition, giving some of the personality of the NPC, showing emotional state, etc. If the faces are all totally random and all look vaguely similar then they won't add anything. If they look bad or don't help me remember or identify people, then it is better off without them.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. denizsi Arcane

    denizsi
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Parrots:
    9,996
    Location:
    bosphorus
    Now thinking about it, it really isn't necessary to do this but here are still screens from portrait screen from Battlespire as promised ( I decided that a video wouldn't do much for the cause as the images would be blurred and still shots would serve the same purpose anyway, and with better visibility):

    [​IMG]
    (Is this NSFW?)

    [​IMG]

    As it appears, my memory has filled in some blanks as seeing and paying attention to face screen contrasts with what I remembered.

    If this type of thing ends up being what you'll do, don't hesitate to discuss it further in detail. There is always room for improvement.
     
    ^ Top  
  17. resle Novice

    resle
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Parrots:
    45
    Location:
    Roma, Italy
    Fez: Don't worry! Random faces are for randomly generated NPCs only. And the handmade NPCs will have portraits that will be in the same stile of the random ones.

    Denizsi: We got convinced by your examples and we're moving on that direction. Found a good way to make the portraits and soo we should get something done. Now, if only we could find a good stock of *HAIR* graphics or someone to make some realistic hair with Poser 7.0 for us..
     
    ^ Top  
  18. denizsi Arcane

    denizsi
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Parrots:
    9,996
    Location:
    bosphorus
    Have you decided what facial features you will include for face generation, other than the basics (eye, hair, mouth)?

    You can have additional options for features to lower the odds of seeing two similar faces (such as an option for size, eg. each pair of eyes have 3 or 5 sizes, so 10 pairs of eyes could easily mount to 30 or 50 variations).

    You can also attribute keywords to these options for better or more precise generation. For instance, you can allocate certain keywords to specific areas, or specific social classes or age, (eg. a cold region might have a higher percentage of NPCs with beards and, thick and long hair, white hair or bald head for supposedly aged NPCs etc.), so the game will generate the faces according to these parameters.
     
    ^ Top  
  19. Vandal delle 3V Novice

    Vandal delle 3V
    Joined:
    May 9, 2007
    Parrots:
    1
    Location:
    Turin, Italy
    i just say... DAMN GREAT!
    keep up with the good job guys!!
    really looking forward to see this project running :D
     
    ^ Top  
  20. denizsi Arcane

    denizsi
    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2005
    Parrots:
    9,996
    Location:
    bosphorus
    Hey, keep us posted.
     
    ^ Top  
  21. Naked_Lunch Erudite

    Naked_Lunch
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    Parrots:
    5,360
    Location:
    Norway, 1967
    Looking good, guys. Glad to see it isn't dead. I've been waiting a long time for this game :)
     
    ^ Top  
  22. OccupatedVoid Arbiter

    OccupatedVoid
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Parrots:
    1,846
    Location:
    East Texas
    Moar updates please.
     
    ^ Top  
  23. Screaming_life Liturgist

    Screaming_life
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Parrots:
    353
    Location:
    On Maggie's Farm... No More
    Progress is happening at an alarming rate, so fast in fact that it's almost undetectable.

    Yes, unfortunately we've been very crap recently. A combination of real life and apathy has slowed things down considerably. We're still going though and in fact there has been quite a bit of progress, it's just not alot compared to the amount of time it's taken.

    Anyway, fear not, vapourware is very distant from our minds and progress just around the corner.
     
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)