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July 17th, 2011, 00:27
Having had more success at being creative recently, I've managed to make animated doors and I'm now working on adding interactive objects to the individual dungeon tiles. But my first "tile set" was too sterile, and I just couldn't stand working with it.

So, I've managed to add a bit of detail to my walls, and I've tried to focus on learning more about Blender. I've tried my hand at combining meshes and so forth, and I've made a shield mock-up - just to have something to hang on the wall.

It's still not near what I want to have as a minimum - but I think it's starting to look like something. Obviously, it's a bit sparse - since there are no objects for detail or anything.

However, I'd like to know if it's crappy to your eyes? Because then I'll have to work more on Blender - and postpone going back to the coding bit. I look forward to the day when I can finally work on something I REALLY enjoy - like the actual design

Last edited by DArtagnan; July 18th, 2011 at 23:32.
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July 17th, 2011, 01:08
Looks nice

Is this a game you're working on ?
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July 17th, 2011, 02:51
It looks good to me. Pretty much like any stand dungeon crawler circa 90s.

Meshing takes time to learn. It can be frustrating but the more you just plug away at it and learn what to do and what not to do the better you get. There are also many free to use pre-created meshes out there if you look around. Just check their EULA and see what the creators stipulations are. It also varies if you are using it for a free vs paid product.

Anyway, I would say you are off to a good start. Don't be so hard on yourself. We're always our own worst critics. Graphics aren't the absolute top thing I look for in an RPG anyway and I suspect that is the case for most RPG players or at least those of us who have been with the genre for some time now. I'd imagine newer players might have quite a different idea of what an RPG is.
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July 17th, 2011, 03:03
I'd enjoy playing it - it looks good to me.

I like the moss on the walls, it adds character. If possible, try putting some cob webs up in the corners. (Due to text limitations I feel the need to point out that is meant to be a positive suggestion, not a criticism.)
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July 17th, 2011, 08:25
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Looks nice

Is this a game you're working on ?
Thanks.

Just the initial stages of the engine, yeah
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July 17th, 2011, 08:41
Originally Posted by Motoki View Post
It looks good to me. Pretty much like any stand dungeon crawler circa 90s.

Meshing takes time to learn. It can be frustrating but the more you just plug away at it and learn what to do and what not to do the better you get. There are also many free to use pre-created meshes out there if you look around. Just check their EULA and see what the creators stipulations are. It also varies if you are using it for a free vs paid product.

Anyway, I would say you are off to a good start. Don't be so hard on yourself. We're always our own worst critics. Graphics aren't the absolute top thing I look for in an RPG anyway and I suspect that is the case for most RPG players or at least those of us who have been with the genre for some time now. I'd imagine newer players might have quite a different idea of what an RPG is.
Thanks for the response.

I know there are many free fantastic things out there, and I make good use of the tutorials when I'm stuck. I tend to prefer doing my own assets, though I do use some free modified textures. Once I get around to making monsters/NPCs - I'm pretty sure I'll need a lot of free assets, at least as a starting point.

Yeah, I'm constantly juggling between code and graphics for the moment. It's really hard to focus on one thing over the other, because I'm very impatient and I get so easily distracted. I know I can make the game look better and perhaps even "ok-ish" for a game of this scope, but I don't really have the luxury of focusing on that part - as I'd never get anywhere. The original plan was to have my brother doing the code, but that didn't work out. I'm neither a coder nor an artist - so it's been a struggle to get even this far, but I'm improving

I tend to go for the hardest bits first - and I consider that to be the actual code. Hopefully, once all the basic functionality is in place - I'll have the reserves to go back and polish everything up. The only trouble is I have to "design" the art to work with the code - and I can't make major changes later on, because it'd mean redoing the engine.
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July 17th, 2011, 08:43
Originally Posted by Korplem View Post
I'd enjoy playing it - it looks good to me.

I like the moss on the walls, it adds character. If possible, try putting some cob webs up in the corners. (Due to text limitations I feel the need to point out that is meant to be a positive suggestion, not a criticism.)
Glad to hear it

Oh, I don't take it as anything but positive criticism - as I need that kind of thing. I have considered adding cobwebs - but I really don't know if I can make it look good enough. The current plan is to add several "detail" oriented objects like paintings, torch sconces, chains, and that sort of thing. Those I can probably do - and I'm hoping it will end up looking ok overall.

I'm planning on doing 4 "tilesets", and probably doing some variations on them to get 8-12 total. Nothing is more boring than walking through the same environment all the time.
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July 17th, 2011, 08:54
Looks very good. Here and now the screenshot reminds me of Ravenloft Stone Prophet, a game I enjoyed tremendously,.

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July 17th, 2011, 09:03
Originally Posted by pibbur View Post
Looks very good. Here and now the screenshot reminds me of Ravenloft Stone Prophet, a game I enjoyed tremendously,.
Really? Thanks

I'm kinda going for a slightly-Aztec vibe in terms of the palette. But I'm really not much of an artist, so it's more the vibe getting there by itself - than anything I've planned.

The original concept was just a "high-res" version of Lands of Lore or something like that. Technically speaking.

The actual game won't be that much like those games, as it should be a lot more "cerebral" with lower emphasis on killing and higher emphasis on exploring and solving problems.

As for Stone Prophet - I always wanted to play the couple of games done in that engine, but something never felt quite right. IIRC it was "medium resolution" graphics that looked, to me, quite awkward. But I have to pull myself together some day, as they look pretty good in terms of gameplay.
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July 17th, 2011, 11:10
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
… IIRC it was "medium resolution" graphics that looked, to me, quite awkward. But I have to pull myself together some day, as they look pretty good in terms of gameplay.
I may very well "remember" the graphics as better than they really were. I remember them - the dungeons, that is - as quite good. And your game compares to that impression.

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July 17th, 2011, 12:31
Not bad at all. I would try playing with a bit more color saturation, e.g you might try a less "cold" grey, or maybe a few more colorful spots like you have in the ground textures (a spot in the green thats more bright on the moss, some reddish moss in addition to the (nice) green moss, some reddisch minerals in the wall stone). Maybe a bit more color in the wooden beams. I like the floor texture you chose.
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July 17th, 2011, 12:58
Now, that GBG mentions it, he's right… The floor does look a bit bare. It might look nicer with some stuff on it, some tree roots or moss.

Is this supposed to be a dungeon or outside world building ?

And also the ceilings might need some stuff on it too.
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July 17th, 2011, 15:42
Originally Posted by pibbur View Post
I may very well "remember" the graphics as better than they really were. I remember them - the dungeons, that is - as quite good. And your game compares to that impression.
Flattering, thanks

I seem to recall the actual dungeons being rather pixellated and messy - but the atmosphere being quite strong. I also remember liking the character art a lot.
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July 17th, 2011, 15:44
Originally Posted by GhanBuriGhan View Post
Not bad at all. I would try playing with a bit more color saturation, e.g you might try a less "cold" grey, or maybe a few more colorful spots like you have in the ground textures (a spot in the green thats more bright on the moss, some reddish moss in addition to the (nice) green moss, some reddisch minerals in the wall stone). Maybe a bit more color in the wooden beams. I like the floor texture you chose.
Thanks for the input.

Yeah, it is a bit grey - and probably too much so. I've already made a moss-covered version of the floor texture that I think looks ok - but I've yet to add it to be rendered. I need to redo some stuff before I can get it into the engine, as I switch between 3 floor textures for the illusion of movement.

I'm also considering adding "broken down" detail to the wooden beams - but I'm not quite sure how to do it. Maybe just some discoloring of the grey texture.

In any case, thanks
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July 17th, 2011, 16:46
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
Now, that GBG mentions it, he's right… The floor does look a bit bare. It might look nicer with some stuff on it, some tree roots or moss.

Is this supposed to be a dungeon or outside world building ?

And also the ceilings might need some stuff on it too.
It's supposed to be a dungeon under a town ala Eye of the Beholder 1

But I'm not all too concerned with realistic conditions - just something that looks ok. I'll be adding moss soonish.

Thanks for input.
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July 17th, 2011, 17:20
No problem…
Did you basically build an engine from scratch ? (Sounds very complicated o.O)
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July 17th, 2011, 17:45
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
No problem…
Did you basically build an engine from scratch ? (Sounds very complicated o.O)
Yeah, but it's not that complicated. For the moment, it just renders walls correctly as you move through the dungeon - and I have a partially functional editor for the layout and to place decorations on the walls, etc., and I've recently made an animated door function (yay!). Next comes the handling of interactive objects

So, it's more of a "rendering engine and editor" at this stage.

When you have free tools like Visual Studio and XNA - it makes everything a lot easier. You still need to actually code your engine, but the structure is much easier to create with modern tools - as the framework is already in place.

It's only complicated because I have limited formal education in the field, and the last time I coded something significant, it was done with a procedural mindset

I've had to adjust myself to the object-oriented paradigm - and I'm still struggling with some of the concepts. However, I'm at a stage now where most of what I was originally doubting I'd be able to accomplish seems very possible.

The hard part is just coordinating and getting through it all in terms of content and the legwork - because working as a single person on a project of this scope is somewhat daunting. I basically have to do code, art, sound, dialogue, lore, level design, balance, and the actual game design. It's only the design part I'm really "good" at. Well, it's what I like to believe I'm good at

Everything else is just… work.

If only I had the luxury of focusing on a single aspect until it was done… But I take great pleasure for each step along the way - so I'm very happy with how it's going.

Even if I never finish it - I'm at least doing SOMETHING, rather than just consuming these games.
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July 17th, 2011, 18:40
I don't know how you did it… I wouldn't even know where to start. I was taught C and C++ in uni and still I do not know how to program anything resembling an engine.

How did you start this out ?
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July 17th, 2011, 21:10
Originally Posted by Pladio View Post
I don't know how you did it… I wouldn't even know where to start. I was taught C and C++ in uni and still I do not know how to program anything resembling an engine.

How did you start this out ?
Well, I have a number of games that I want to make and that I consider feasible for me to accomplish. This is just one thing I felt I could probably do, given enough time and effort.

I started thinking about how a step-by-step engine would work

How would the walls be drawn - and how would the engine react to the player changing position. It took me a while to figure out a good and efficient way to do it, but it's such a simple task to render these potential ~20 wall textures in the right order - that I doubt it'd tax modern system no matter how I did it. The order is key, and you start by rendering the ceiling and floor - and then I use wall "blocks" that I draw in the correct sequence. I use Objects (using C Sharp) for most things. Each tile of the dungeon is an object, for instance.

Then I found XNA a number of years ago - and it just "clicked" for me somehow. The order in which it handles code in terms of loading content, updating states, and drawing textures just seemed so logical to me. I went from there.

Most of my time is spent thinking rather than working. I think the actual work represents maybe 2-3 weeks of intense coding/art - and the rest is about figuring things out.

I've spent years trying to come up with the kind of RPG system I'd love to play myself - and I'm still changing fundamental things. I'm not good enough at writing things down - and I don't think I have more than 20 pages worth of design document for this game. Then I have about 10-15 pages of background story. That's about it.

The rest is in my head - and I keep forgetting all these great ideas

But it doesn't really matter - because I need to have the engine finished before I can consider how much of my design is going to be implemented. Worst case scenario would be something close to Eye of the Beholder - but I fully intend to at least implement my character system, and hopefully something like the combat system I have in mind.

It remains to be seen….
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July 18th, 2011, 08:52
From a graphical perspective, it looks like a game I would play. I've been gaming since the 80's, but these days I am quite a bit more picky about the graphical requirements of indie games. I think you are doing a good job so far.
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