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Messages - Orion Pax

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Off-Topic / Re: OBLIVION GOLD!!!!11
« on: 2006-03-19, 04:45:28 AM »
so is this an rpg? I only let the first sceenshot load (dailup) but just saw a forest. Never have liked rpg's...the closest I have liked are old adventue games be them text or graphical. More of an arcade & platform gamer myself.

News and Announcements / Re: Project Listing User Ratings
« on: 2006-02-14, 01:37:39 AM »
Yea, I think its been abused for a long time (on some projects away) but its definatly gotten out of hands lately.  400 votes yet only 15 downloads? With some of the Guildhall games I thought they may get from another source but that doesnt account for everything... people are clearly stat padding their own work. It's been getting worse and I'm glad the votes were reset. Some of the older games had inflated scores, voted on in a time when there wasn't much comparison and not voted on much since.

What are your thoughts on fixing it, IP based, cookie based, account based, or some combination? Account based would mean less votes. IP and Cookie can be used together as the next best thing though no method is fool proof, it's a matter of making it more trouble than its worth but keeping it accessable to real voters. I don't know how much control you have on sourceforge with the listings. You could always move it if need be though. I happen to own a little monkey with extensive databases coding skills as well as web hosting capabilities  ;)

I'm rather interested in user opinions/popularity if they are in fact legitiment statistics. If the system could be overhauled then the addition of catigories... sound/gfx/etc are nice as well as a weighted system based on date/ score in the past __ months as well as overal. Too bad more don't fill out the comment field.


little database coding monkey and regaurdless of what he may say I volonteer his services. The more feedback to game authors the better. Too bad more don't fill out the comment field.

Naturally you have to weigh the validity of incoming ideas & suggestions... considering the pros, cons, impact, feasibility and how they incorporate. Whether or not you choose to use or dismiss an idea/suggestion in the end is up to you. It also remains my right to bitch about it   :P

Just as there are dangers of incorporating foreign concepts and ideas there are dangers in limiting yourself only to what you know and/or your own thought process. On a project of this size and scope there are undoubtedly things that haven't been considered. Many of these are easy additions. Some require a minor rethinking or retooling in 1 particular aspect. Others may require extensive rethinking or in fact challenge the overall nature of the beast. That doesn't have to be a bad thing though I can understand reluctance and risks it poses. It certainly doesn't make sense to recklessly make major changes without a full understanding the process, consider the implications and testing it (thats what demos are for). As the project is still in its infancy (yes?) now is the time for such ideas to come forth. Again, whether they are included in the final product or not is up to you. In the end you have your own goals and ideas to give form. So... What are your goals with SGDK 2?

I only skimmed your post before I wrote the above. After re-reading I realized I  restated a few things in my own words. You are concerned about the game behavior being consistent across all systems and rightfully so. With that in mind surely you also see how the speed of the game effects the experience. I consider it an extension of the first. Whatever your reasons you can't avoid acknowledging the above statement and my previous post/response to your brother on the matter  ;D

Perhaps time based does present too many problems, but I still think looking into and maybe some demos are worth a try. Anyway... I image there are alternatives to get at least some of the benefit. For instance, a speed slider that reinterpreted the values in the project so everything is still frame based but the game uses more or less frames to get the job done. If everything is adjusted together it shouldn't effect game mechanics eh? I imagine that could cause some problems with scripts an such but if its built in then it would be taken into account when scripting. Would that be a frame skipping algorithm? It could be done manual (control is nice) and/or automatic which may represent problems. This would also help someone who is designing on an under spec system.

Collision detection came up  but this may be yet another deviation from topic. Pixel collision is nice but what do you plan to do with alpha channel values? Also I may not want pixel collision to match the sprite's visible form. So that means utilizing a pixel collision masks (separate image) or vector based collision. If vector based an algorithm to match/trace the pixel outline could be used in less redefined making it transparent to the novice while giving more control to the experienced user...

Any intentions of mutliplayer code first or 3rd party? A pixel collision mask is problematic for mutliplayer (cheating, but sumcheck could help). Again game speed would come into play as they have it have to be synchronized across multiple machines, in less its turn based only. I had a demo for some mutliplayer function in 1.4 yea? So obviously it's something you have considered to some extent.

Just as you have thought about SGDK 2 for years so have I. Sure I'm no programmer and my Ideas aren't necessarily polished.... many are more

Losing track of sprites & falling off a ledge... this is at what, 5 fps? At 5 fps its gonna suck either way. At 15-20 fps time based would be somewhat jerky but playble vs less then one 3rd the speed the intended speed. Its an easy choice for which I'd rather play.

In a fast paced arcade style game, timing is everything. Someone with a slow machine has a huge unfair advantage. That is if they are even willin to sit through the slow experience. Many people wouldn't notice that a game is running half framerate in time based but no one could miss the fact with all frames rendered it running half the intended speed. Technical issues aside time based makes the most sense for peserving playabilty (as well as the game designer intentions) on low end systems.

Game Development Artistry / Re: About this forum
« on: 2006-02-06, 06:57:12 PM »
Yea, I've love to have a Cintiq but they are just a bit expensive =]

There are at least two issues to get beyond when drawing with a tablet
1. The awkwardness of drawing to the tablet surface while looking at the screen. Here all I can suggest is practice and line control exorcises. This is the learning curve. Practice inking comics - a skill where line control is essential.
2. The frictionless plastic on plastic feel. This can really screw up your line control. See below for a work around.

With the combination of those 2 factors I can understand why it feels awkward or just plain wrong. One trick I and many before me have found is to attach a peice of drawing paper to the tablet. The added friction/grip may be enough to give you the tactile experience you are looking for. Note however, the paper will begin to stretch/warp/degrade so you'll have to replace it every so often. You will also wear out your plastic nibs (pen points) much quicker but they are pretty cheap.

Certainly you loose something when switching to a tablet/digital solution but there are also benefits when compared to the traditional mediums. How digital tools find their place in your work flow is up to the individual., one is not necessarily a replacement for the other. I mentioned tablets because they are a viable alternative, at the very least an additional tool in your arsenal. As for animation... If you aren't comfortable with a tablet for sketching or precision work then obviously it will present problems.

Im curious how you might handle this in sgdk2. I consider the fact that game time is directly connected to FPS to be a disadvantage in 1.4.x. There is a frame limiter but it conflicts with vsync which will cause a nasty jitter if they don't match or if the frame limit isnt diviable, ex: 30 fps 60hz vsync. If a project ran slow frame skipping could be imployed to keep game time consistant as well as making sure the gaming experiene was roughly the same for all users. I don't know what frame skipping effects would be on collsion detection and the like though. If there will be any syncing with music it would be a futher concern. I also hope that you add vsync controls for running projects. It is true video drivers can force vsync on or off but the default is 'application specific' leaving the control to the application. 

As this ties a bit into rendering and the fact you are using dx9/d3d I'd like to know if control of the render/blitting will be made avaible as far as linear (blur) or nearest ( blocky) and if the games intended resolution can be overidden by such. It is of particular importance for LCD's but in general as well. Game system emulators have to deal with some of this so perhaps lookinto into something like VBA would be useful. Something that would be neat is the inclusion of visual filters that run independantly of the game/project in question. A resolution doubler, fake scan lines, fake lcd, motion blurr, etc. If you could invoke different filters per project that would be a plus too but I dont know how feasbile this would be. Motion bluring would rock though =]

I suppose this is pretty much engine related which I know hasnt started yet but just throwing some ideas and thoughts out there. I really do want to see some measures taken to insure the game i run locally runs the same speed for someone else. The frame limiter in 1.4 feels like something incomplete and hacked in.

Render effects
I'm hoping that there will be some tools for lighting and other effects. SGDK2 will be dx9 and its pretty much the norm for modern 2d games. example: If I'm iin the dark but have a glow around the player to see what is immediatly infront of me or there is an explosion/ etc producting light. The level editor could drop various styles of lights like droping a path on a map, be it fixed, moving or in relation to a sprite/object. Particle effects for exploisions, weapons, etc could be scriptable.

With translucany I can do a lot of things like shadow maps via tiles but dynamic lighting will be more tricky depending. Basiclly I'm lookin for coded effects where producing them from a png/file is not the best option. This could be considerd for transition effects, fading or flashing a screen to a color etc as well. I suppose I am invisioning a gfx scripting engine for effects plus light droppin on map. Feel free to tell me I'm out of my gord for the request =P

Game Development Artistry / Re: About this forum
« on: 2006-02-05, 07:22:09 AM »
SDGK2's gfx editor, while offering many tools is not all in compassing art utility, nor does it try to be. For an included resource it quite amazing and what you need is at your finger tips, not buried away in countless menus. However there is still plenty of room for improvement, as cbass mentioned graphics gale is worth taking a look at.

Anyway scanning images for game art is fine but you wouldn't want to use the scan directly. The problem is that you need to clean the scans. In photoshop you might scan in the image, clean it, set that layer to multiply and then paint on a layer below (for a general art piece). The sgdk2 editor does not currently support layers. This means you would have to do a LOT of clean up, erasing, and tweaking to use the scan layer directly.

Hand drawn/on paper art is a great way to begin the process if that works best for you but SGDK2's editor at current is not the most well suited, though you *could* do it. For game art/sprites what you would typically do is trace the image on a layer above with the pencil tool to get clean line art from which to progress.

My feeling on the guildhall projects is that many of them have traditional art knowledge but a limited experience with digital art tools (isn't photoshop provided in one of the courses?). They are also either in teams or share resources (can't remember which) so there are a number of inconsistencies on the graphics front. I assume that are teaching game design more than game art design at the point the students use SGDK. It's interesting that this came up as I touch on the subject briefly in a piece I'm writing for this section.

You know drawing tablets aren't much more expensive than scanners these days. You can get a nice wacom graphire tablet for 70-80 bucks. I personally have an intous2 tablet but there is no real advantage for sketching purposes aside from available size (my mine is 12x12). Most of the differences between the graphire and intous tablets are realized when digitally painting. More pen sensitivity levels and pen tilt (brush angle) controls. The smaller tablets are more convenient and easily do the job so in less you have the need or money to burn I recommend the graphire. There is a learning curve so it may feel awkward at first but it doesn't take that long get use to it. Once you get past it you'll have many of the benefits of traditional art as well as digital tools in one. At the price point its something to consider even if it's for moderate use (quick concepts,etc). I have used mine for online pictionary =P

General Discussion / Re: New Board
« on: 2006-01-22, 09:43:55 AM »
just noticed, just noticed...pishposh. Was all me baby!
long live opx! - yes I am ever so slightly buzzed at the moment, I'll probably regret posting this when I wake up =P

Off-Topic / Re: BLUEMONKMN!!!
« on: 2006-01-22, 09:30:23 AM »
I'll just have to live without signatures since I turned them off for one reason or another  ::)

Help/FAQ / Re: good map editor required
« on: 2006-01-22, 09:15:51 AM »
Personally I can't think of that many map editors I like better. There is a script that adds controls which i personallly find quite benfitial (switching layers on the fly & show only they layer you ar working on). The only level editor I would even compaire to sgdk's is jazz jackrabbit 2 and thats game specific. What is it you find frustrating about sgdk's level editor?

It's been ages since I looked at tilestudio - around the time I got into sgdk... from what I remember whatever you were developing in would have to support tilestudio for the editor to be of any use but its still a decent gfx editor.

Projects / Re: Screen Shot Topic...
« on: 2006-01-22, 08:34:46 AM »
Billybob I'm truly glad you like my work but don't sell yourself short! looking at you screenshots it wouldnt take much to bump your work up to the next level.

For the record I use to draw nintendo sprites onto graph paper so I have a long history with pixel art and I'm still learning new things all the time. Much of that was self taught + studying existing examples. There are easier ways.. their are now tons of tutorials and pixel art communities if you want to better your work... honestly if you learn a few key things your work will improve dramatically. Pixel art is something anyone can get into and its easier now then ever... If anyone here wants I can assemble a thread based on the key things I have learned over the past few years as well as a number of tutorial links & communities I think are beneficial. Nothing comes over night but its not as difficult as it looks. I am willing to help out anyone here if needed/desired, as my time contraints allow.

Eastfist... I know you didn't ask for crits when you posted your screen shots but I need to say something sooner or later. I have been watching your progess for years now (you inspiried me on pushing SGDK without scripting) on the gfx front your progress has been a bit static. Your work reminds me of older apogee games - commander keen, duke nukem, etc. Thats not a bad thing but if you want to grow as a pixel artist I think you need to start visiting the pixel communities.. To be blunt - their are people there that kick both our asses at this (and they are helpful). I am not good with that s***, I'm kind of a loner but I also know how it effects my art. I think you could pick it up pretty fast, as you have a strong foundation already.

News and Announcements / Re: SGDK 2.0 Status
« on: 2006-01-22, 07:38:16 AM »
Maybe this is a bit off topic but will their be a sprite priority system (sprites on the same layer)? such as: Sprite A is always infront of sprite B and always behind sprite C / inless ( add contitions for changing priority). In 1.4 if this is a concern you end up having to reinitate a lot of sprites in the prefered order if you have done something that alters the order (delete/create new sprite, etc) which can come up quite frequently.

There was mention of ui organization/sortment of sprites and such... even if there are less entries to worry about with global sprites it could still get to be a long list and being able to sort and organize that data is important. Most things in 1.4 are on a first come first serve basis so you have to export to xml to reorganize. The gui itself is limited by frames/boxes not being resizable - names getting clipped off... This can be a huge hassle though I doubt it will be an issue in 2.0

Anyway I think I got most of whats been said here but I'll have to see it in action. I certianlly have my own ideas on how to do things but I'm no programmer so I'll take a wait an see approach for now =]

btw: is there a thread for thoughts/questions on sgdk 2.0? I'd say alot more but its really not in sync with the on going status portion at this time.  I'm adamant about some features and I'll haunt you to the grave if they aren't included =P

Tiny minor note to cbass: are you forgetting EOP (end of path) in 1.4? you menionend only on collisions to trigger functions for nonplayer sprites. With eop_ you can do alot of things... I wouldn't call it a 'smart' sprite but you can still get some complex behavior if desired.

News and Announcements / Re: SGDK 2.0 Pre-Alpha Demo Available
« on: 2006-01-19, 07:07:40 AM »
Tried the sample project and creating my own with the same results. When my newegg order gets here I'll be reformating and getting windows up to date. Hopefully the problem will go away =]

News and Announcements / Re: SGDK 2.0 Pre-Alpha Demo Available
« on: 2006-01-19, 06:30:53 AM »
Yes, I tried the installer
I have dx 9c installed including the mdxredist.msi portion (if i try to reinstall it again it asks if I want to remove it)

Projects / Re: Screen Shot Topic...
« on: 2006-01-19, 06:12:53 AM »
This is from a few months ago, october I think. I believe the number of colors are in the 20's - 30's for this gfx set. Been kinda burned out on game gfx lately so I haven't finished the set.  Still working on SHFL gfx too heh. Below the mayan set is a shot of Super Happy Funland I don't think I released... Under that an older shot of shfl that I have shown before, on the old forums so it might be new to some.

I need to finish something!! =]

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