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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsProject Rain World
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mokesmoe
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« Reply #120 on: June 04, 2012, 12:47:26 AM »

I noticed you have a lot of posts is a row so I thought I'd throw in a generic "looks cool".


Also I forgot to save my questionnaire at some point and lost a few things. I rewrote some of it when I sent it to you but not in as much detail as it was before. There was a section about how I don't like crawling in tunnels because you can't get away from crocs very easy in them that I'm pretty sure got lost.
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JLJac
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« Reply #121 on: June 07, 2012, 09:42:12 PM »

Hehe thanks for making me look like less of a *forever alone*  Grin
You didn't like the corridors? Seems everyone liked different aspects... it'll be hard to find common points in this feedback. I'll get to it, though! If you feel your feedback has not been considered, don't worry, it'll kick in for real once I get to designing the levels. Hopefully I'll be able to do a post where I summarize the feedback and describe what it made me change, so you really feel that your input made a difference.

Update 52
Do you remember the light raytracing? I came up with a new way to do it, and it baffles me that I didn't think of this before. To put it simply; imagine that instead of going through every single pixel and trace a ray from that pixel through every single layer to see where it hits, you use a bitmap. The bitmap is white in the places where there is light and black where there's shadow. It repeats through all the layers once. When arriving to a new layer it applies the "shadow image" to that layer, and then adds that layer's contour to the shadow image. This means that when the next layer is supposed to get its share of light, the pixels that were blocked by the previous layer are blacked out, creating a shadow. As it proceeds through the 20 layers the shadow image gets more shadow and less light, as the different surfaces absorb the light.

The effect of this is, sadly, almost exactly the same as the previous system. The difference is that it takes like 15 seconds to render instead of 7 minutes. You don't really care about this progess I guess, but it has implications. Being able to more swiftly regenerate or make changes to a level will make the levels better, because it'll feel worth it to regenerate a level even because of smaller flaws.
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mokesmoe
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« Reply #122 on: June 07, 2012, 10:26:41 PM »

In the new portal map editor it takes about a minute to regenerate a level, and I find that annoying when trying to make small changes. Moving from 7 minutes to 15 seconds is pretty sweet.

I don't really dislike the corridors, I don't like using them while crocs are chasing me. They are slower than running/jumping and can be awkward to get into sometimes. (Raised horizontal ones in a flat wall in particular are a pain. I don't know if climbing up ledges got included in my message)

Also I think grabbing onto beams mid-air should be a bit more lenient.
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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #123 on: June 07, 2012, 11:15:04 PM »

The effect of this is, sadly, almost exactly the same as the previous system. The difference is that it takes like 15 seconds to render instead of 7 minutes.

Sounds like a pretty awesome improvement to me Smiley
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JLJac
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« Reply #124 on: June 09, 2012, 10:30:57 PM »

Yeah, the corridors are a bit different. Essentially there are two games, one that's a maze game like pac-man, when in the corridors, and one that's a platformer, when out in open areas. When out in the open the game is more about jumping and doing cool moves to avoid crocs that have inevitably seen you, while in the corridors the game is about making them never spot you in the first place. Try to play slower, and make sure they don't see you.

I'll look at the ledge stuff!

Update 53
As you who played the alpha are aware of, the flies are able to dive back in their hives when chased. I did some tweaking of this today, and made it so that burrowing takes a little bit of time for them, instead of them dissapearing on contact with the floor. This means that if you're right behind them you can still catch them while they're burrowing, making it a little bit easier and less unfair. To compensate for this I also implemented that flies won't appear out of a hive that a player is close to, so that you can't just wait on a hive for them to pop up and then exploit that they can't dissapear as quickly.

Furthermore, the croc AI had an error going on in its simulation of the movement of unseen players. It would assume that a player would fall through the passable floors, making it behave weird in a situation where the croc is below a floor with a player up above. As soon as the croc left the site to get to the player it would imagine that the player had fallen down to the lower level, and turn around. Once there, it would see that the player was actually still up there, and turn around again. This behvaiour would then repeat. It was easily fixed by making the "ghost player" in the croc's head interact with platforms in another way, which has probably created a whole batch of new, exciting errors for me to discover tomorrow!
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JLJac
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« Reply #125 on: June 10, 2012, 01:44:48 AM »

A little weak on the art side lately, so here are some sketches:

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JLJac
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« Reply #126 on: June 10, 2012, 11:14:28 PM »

Update 54
Started implementing graphics for the fly. Also fixed that AI problem I described earlier, for real this time.
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JLJac
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« Reply #127 on: June 11, 2012, 11:23:08 PM »

Update 55
Further animation work on the croc. I made its head change color, a weird art direction choice that has actually been around forever, but which I don't think I've told you about. Will try it out some more to see if it works, if so it'll stick. The color changes are between black and a color, not all around the palette, and they help communicate whether or not the croc has spotted you. It looks cool but needs a lot of polish. Other than that the croc's jaw has gotten some more animation, now it opens it up when approaching a player and snaps it shut when attacking.

Hopefully the next video I upload will be a graphically exciting one.
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JLJac
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« Reply #128 on: June 12, 2012, 09:47:20 AM »

It turns out the crocs are eating as much framerate as they are players. A single croc takes 8-9 milliseconds to draw on the screen, and then the math is simple, with a framrate where one frame can take no more than 25 milliseconds there can be no more than two crocs on the screen at the same time. I did some investigation, and it turns out that the problem is the legs I worked so much on. They're drawn as vector lines, and obviously take quite some time to draw. I'll look into one other solution before I discard them, but it seems there might be no avoiding going into time consuming pixel animations here.
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JLJac
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« Reply #129 on: June 12, 2012, 11:30:02 PM »

Update 56
Made the croc's legs work the same way as the player's arms, they're a pixel animation that changes picture depending on distance while the software does the rotation. It looks ok, though not as good as the previous vector solution. But, it released a lot of milliseconds per frame, which can be used for other cool stuff.

As you who have played the alpha know the croc used to just pop out of existance when entering a shortcut. I made a ten frame phase where the body is sucked into the opening before it's taken out of play, hopefully creating a smoother look (and also giving you a slight advantage, since a croc will now be delayed ten frames when pursuing you through a shortcut). The player already had an animation like this, and the fly don't need one as it is already entirely covered by the shortcut graphic once the popping out of the level occurs.
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JLJac
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« Reply #130 on: June 13, 2012, 10:10:41 PM »

Update 57
Made a pixel animation for the rotation of the croc's head. It looks nice, I think! It seems that only the head will in the end consist of four sprites, the head, the lower jaw, the teeth of the lower jaw and also one sprite with the teeth of the upper head and the eyes. Phew.

Preferably the lower jaw sprite will be below the player, so that when the croc carries you it'll look like you're really pinched in between the jaws. Because of the separate teeth sprites these can too be placed below the player, hopefully making it look like they're inside the players body (to those who play the game through a magnifier glass).

I'm sorry about those boring graphical updates, but remember that they lead to something everybody loves, exciting graphics!
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JLJac
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« Reply #131 on: June 14, 2012, 10:38:14 PM »

Update 58
Gave the croc teeth and eyes. Also started to do the pixel animation for its arms, but there was a bit of lag in photoshop causing me to rage quit before I was done. Once I've restarted the computer it'll go away and I can finish it, but there's an "important update" looming, making me unwilling to go through that process.

Those updates are never important, are they? The fact that you can't postpone it indefinitely is extemely irritating, and that once you've postponed it an unknown number of times it just suddenly shuts down you computer makes me commit horrible acts of violence towards everyday objects in my surroundings. Now that I've already derailed I want to say that I think the main problem with Microsoft products aren't that they're bad, it's that they're irritating. Msn messenger popping up from minimized mode every time you put the computer to sleep, the "important updates", IE moving the cursor from the adress field to the page halfway through a word, "checking for solutions" even though obviously nothing at all is happening, and so on and so on... The stuff works, but by little means it's making you slowly drift towards insanity.
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oyog
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« Reply #132 on: June 17, 2012, 08:51:23 AM »

...the main problem with Microsoft products aren't that they're bad, it's that they're irritating.

Stop using Microsoft products (said a guy running Windows).

For reals, though, I'm looking forward to seeing the finished croc.
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JLJac
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« Reply #133 on: June 17, 2012, 09:45:47 PM »

Here you can see a little bit of it!
Update 59
Worked some on the animation, and made the arm for the pink croc:



The way this works is that the sprite changes animation state depending on the distance between the hand and its socket in the croc's body, and the software rotates the sprite. The location of the sprite is determined by the hand position, not the socket position, making even one pixel movements visible despite the animation having a resolution of five pixels per frame.

The hind legs will have a separate animation, but now I have a template to work from and that should be quickly dealt with.
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JLJac
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« Reply #134 on: June 18, 2012, 06:21:15 AM »

Update 60
For some reason I decided to re-open the huge can of worms that is the croc AI. As those of you who have played the alpha might know, there's a weird quirk where if a croc spots you, it doesn't turn towards you but instead hurries off in another direction, making a huge detour before finally arrive to the place you were once at.

This is because I had the following system set up: The paths are calculated from the goal position towards the croc. When the path reaches the croc, a new path is started up, with whatever new place is the croc's target as a source.

This meant that when a croc saw you, it would first of all continue calculating how to get to some random place on the map it was headed for, start off in that direction, then start to calculating how to get to you (quite often while literally outrunning it's own thought process by moving in the opposite direction faster than the pathing could catch up with it), then turn around and try getting to you.

An easy solution for this, which is now implemented, is that upon spotting a player the target position is reset. With this new behaviour a croc that was previously idle or searching, which now spots a player, will stop in its tracks for a second to calculate how to get to you, and then set off.

The problem with this however, was that during a hunt the player will appear and dissapear repetedly from the croc's view, and when the croc resetted its pathing process every time it spotted a player it didn't get very far at all. Finally this was solved, by making it so that this stuff only applies to a croc that is actually changing from idle behaviour to hunting behaviour.

As a part of looking at the AI again I noticed that a croc that has lost track of a player will investigate the area two times instead of one, which isn't very good as a search like that might take upwards 30 seconds, and two of them might mean that a croc is confined to a small area more or less for the rest of the game.

I have an idea of what's causing this, and will look into it tomorrow.

Furthermore, the arms are coming together. I had to make three animations like the one above, because the arm needs to be able to rotate... inwards so to speak, but I think that it right now looks OK, or at least has the potential to look OK.
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JLJac
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« Reply #135 on: June 18, 2012, 11:19:23 PM »

Update 61
Hopefully managed to solve the searching twice problem.
The arms and legs ended up needing quite a lot of sprites.



What you see here is the arm, in 0-8 extension modes and three different degrees of rotation towards the viewer, where the topmost is a profile where you see the bend of the elbow, while the third row is the same arm viewed from "above". Rows 4-6 are the same thing, but for the leg.

I have also worked a little bit on the stats for the crocs, starting to differentiate them from each other. The fifth and final(?) species is in now, which is the white croc. This makes them five:

Green - Big, strong, dumb, easy. Lazy, is mostly staying still unless it sees a player.
Pink - Standard. Can climb poles, decently smart, OK hearing.
Blue - Wall climber. Prefers to hang around walls or ceilings rather than floors and passages.
White - Stealthy. Can climb walls but not ceilings. Sits still and changes color to blend into its environment.
Red - Hard. Fast, smart, superb hearing. Never stops, but is constantly moving around the map.

The white lizard will behave a little differently, because its tactic is not pursuing, but ambushing. It sits completely still on a wall, and blends into the background so that it's barely visible. When a player comes by it makes a rush. When moving it's white.

While the other lizards benefit from searching an area where they've lost a player, the white lizard is better of staying still and waiting, because the longer it stays blended the easier you forget where it is. This means that the white lizard will be considerably less persistent in pursuing you, it will instead give up pretty quickly when it loses visual contact and instead go back to stealth mode.

Hopefully this will bring some fun variety to the game, if not it might be thrown out or changed.
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JLJac
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« Reply #136 on: June 20, 2012, 10:43:09 PM »

Update 62
Today I finally started to make changes to the different lizards' bodies. It's fun to see how much difference it makes to just make small adjustments such as making them fat/skinny, short tail/long tail and things like that. I also started on making different heads for them. I think the graphics will help giving them fun different personalities. Pics soon.
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Jay Tholen
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« Reply #137 on: June 21, 2012, 06:43:37 AM »

Hey, sorry I didn't get back to you, I'm swamped with work. Still following this though. It's looking incredible.
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JLJac
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« Reply #138 on: June 21, 2012, 10:09:45 PM »

Here is a video of what the crocs looks like now, just to give you and idea what I've been working on lately.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QnWjkKgwdw&feature=youtu.be
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Franklin's Ghost
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« Reply #139 on: June 21, 2012, 10:15:51 PM »

WOW Shocked I love the new version. The new visuals really add alot to the game. The legs look and work great and really like the colour change in/out. The way the lizards attack is brutal (love it) and the way he stood above you with his mouth open was a great little characteristic. Amazing job.

Also really good to see someone really good at the game play it and see the way you move the character.
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