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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsOKHLOS A very disgruntled group of people [Dev Blog]
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Author Topic: OKHLOS A very disgruntled group of people [Dev Blog]  (Read 75485 times)
roketronz
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« Reply #40 on: October 03, 2013, 01:31:18 PM »

One of the things that give life to the environments is the greenery. Making good greenery its hard for two reasons. First, you have to place them scattered enough and try to not make any recognizable patterns. The second main issue is how you deal with the terrain integration.

As we said before, we are working with 2dToolkit, which gives us a lot of versality. Also, we try not to use billboards (except for the characters) to help the performance, because the implementation was done very quickly and right now there are more pressing issues.

So, I started placing some sprites by hand.


I followed some basic rules, like next to roads, next to walls, etc.


(Click in the picture to enlarge it!)

Also next to the mountains.


There were some areas where there was simply too much to do it by hand. I thought that there would be some kind of tool ready to use with Unity and I was right, but the tools I tried were all very clumsy and imprecise. Finally, Sebastian developed a custom tool to stamp some greenery. All I have to do is to set the population density of the objects that it will print, and use box with colliders to determine the areas which will be stamped.


(Click in the picture to enlarge it!)
These are the areas. The white boxes are like stamps.


(Click in the picture to enlarge it!)
Applied the stamp,  you get some grass!

With this, we could make a more unique landscape. It still needs some work, but we are about to finish the first level, which took a lot of work and time. We think that all the things we learned for this level will make the next eleven levels much easier to develop.
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roketronz
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« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2013, 11:35:45 AM »

Like we have for the past weeks, we are crunching time a lo loco to be able to have a prototype for the IGF. This translates into long hours and no weekends until the 19th of october. We have eleven days left, and one of the last things I did was to animate the bad guys in Delphi.
In Delphi, we have four main enemies (the two oracular guards, the griffons and the giants) and a boss (Apollo).

 


The oracular guards
They are divided into two kind of enemies. The Prophetai, and the Hosioi.

The historical Prophetai were usually the ones who interpreted the oracle, according to most records at least. In the game, not only are they part of the baddies, but they summon other baddies as well. And they do a subpar job interpreting prophecies.



The Hosioi were more guardians/warriors kind of monks, the protectors of the sacred sactuary and the oracle. So it's only logical that they throw fireballs at will.



(The  .gif above is interactive. You can imagine how the fireball will be)

These animations were not much of a challenge. When we had the green bad guy animated, we took it to grayscale, and then repainting it red. With a few tweaks, we had the majority of the animations of the red one, and then I focused on the attack animation, that was the only animation that had different with the green Prophetai.



Here, you can see the grayscale process to repaint the tunic. It's not being lazy, it's being "productive".

 


The Griffon
The griffon was complicated, because it flies. Anything that has wings is difficult to animate. To that, add the fact that the griffons could be anywhere  in the level, so it had to have a front and back sprite for every stance.

Another problem with the griffon, was that originally  it was going to be an ordinary griffon (with claws, talons, feathers and everything), but in the middle of the process we came to think that they seemed to have little to no relation with the rest of the level. So we turned them into mechanical griffons, made of gears and clay like the giants who watch the city, and in this way it made more sense to include them.



This is a comparison between the old griffon and the new mechanical one.

This gives to the city, a more controlled dystopia look. And makes the griffons look like they were put there intentionally.

And remember, never animate anything with wings. It's horrible.

 


The Giant
The giants in Delphi are the ones who keep everything in order, and they don't allow groups of three or more people in the streets. So they will attack you if you cross their paths. But they will not chase you. Came to think, they are more of a hazard than an enemy. But you can kill them, though.

Animating them was a bit of a pain, because I had to draw some poses entirely, and in my mind I hoped that I could animate everything moving the already made parts.



Making this animation was the ideal, just moving parts. Unfortunately, animations for like the attack one, I  had to draw a lots of new parts.



Finally, the most demanding enemy, Apollo.

 


Apollo
Apollo took a lot of work and planning.  We had to figure how the animation was going to suggest  the user to do some things or to anticipate an attack. Also, we made animations that were easy to loop or delay to respond to certain situations.

I wanted to do the majority of the animations using moving parts, like I did with the giant. Unfortunately, all the animations were so different that I had to establish some pipeline to draw keyframes and turn them into pixel art.

First, I drew the key frames, the more important poses. They were not intended to be perfect, they only needed to be a guideline to make the pixel art part.



(Click in the picture to enlarge it)

These are quick sketches. When I have the main pose, I scale it down to fit the pixel counterpart.

I learned that if I scaled down the sketch with nearest neightbor, I could use it at base and pixel on top of it. Billinear was, obviously of not help at all.



So, in a few days I almost had all of Apollo's animations, like this one (I love the idle animations, there is something about the balance between being subtle and making it move).

.

 

 
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eobet
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« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2013, 02:06:08 PM »

Everything looks lovely, but I hope you'd consider taking a second stab at the giant. Right now, all I can see when I look at him is unfortunately Robocop (with very skinny legs). Smiley

Also, did they have giants in their mythologies back then? Weren't they either titans or colossi?
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roketronz
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« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2013, 02:29:12 PM »

Everything looks lovely, but I hope you'd consider taking a second stab at the giant. Right now, all I can see when I look at him is unfortunately Robocop (with very skinny legs). Smiley

Also, did they have giants in their mythologies back then? Weren't they either titans or colossi?

Yes, I agree, the giant didn't went so good. I think I will revisit him the next week.

The giant it's not based in any mythos, it's made up for the game. We took a little bit of Talos and introduced the concept of the automaton in this level.

Also, there was a plethora of giant dudes back then. You had giants (like Prometheus, Orion), the colossi, as you pointed out, the gods also usually were depicted as giants, some demi gods, the ciclops, and other things.

In Okhlos we will use a lot of big mythological creatures. (and I promise, we will try to use existing characters Tongue )

Thanks for the feedback! It's really useful for us.
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« Reply #44 on: October 09, 2013, 03:47:25 PM »

This project is really great and very inspiring - I especially enjoyed reading all your older posts about developing the god characters. I love that you are describing your design process so thoroughly and openly. And you are obviously being so thoughtful and creative with your work, and really paying attention to the details - it's awesome!!

I'm also loving the animation work going on now. However one little critique I have is that in the first scene you posted Oct 3rd, the tree animation looks a little mechanical/unnatural. It might be simply because all the trees are animating at exactly the same time..perhaps if there were a slight randomness to when each tree animation cycle started, it would look more natural? Just my immediate reaction there...

Keep up the great work, I'll be looking forward to more from you guys!
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SebastianGioseffi
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« Reply #45 on: October 10, 2013, 11:20:08 AM »

This project is really great and very inspiring - I especially enjoyed reading all your older posts about developing the god characters. I love that you are describing your design process so thoroughly and openly. And you are obviously being so thoughtful and creative with your work, and really paying attention to the details - it's awesome!!

I'm also loving the animation work going on now. However one little critique I have is that in the first scene you posted Oct 3rd, the tree animation looks a little mechanical/unnatural. It might be simply because all the trees are animating at exactly the same time..perhaps if there were a slight randomness to when each tree animation cycle started, it would look more natural? Just my immediate reaction there...

Keep up the great work, I'll be looking forward to more from you guys!

Thanks a lot for the comments. We love doing this and it is really great to find to people that share some of the enthusiasm!

As for the tree animations, I think Roque agrees with you. I, on the other hand, disagree a little bit (and it is one one the things we have discussed with Roque several times). It is true that it looks unnatural but I like that feeling for this particular level. I imagine Apollo's city as very eerie place, almost artificial, and things like this enforce that idea. It also fits very well with the pseudo mechanical giants and griffons. To go further than this road I even thought of syncing the tree animations with the music (in a kind of Mario way) but it is something we will review when we have the chance (hopefully before the IGF deadline).
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jamesprimate
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« Reply #46 on: October 10, 2013, 10:55:02 PM »

how did i just find this now?? this is totally gorgeous work. very intriguing concept and i absolutely LOVE reading about the thought and research being put into everything. this is like the ideal devblog. i wish you guys the best at IGF, and if you are there i definitely want to say hi  Beer!

as a composer, obviously the first thought in my mind is what direction you'll be going in for the music (which i couldnt find info on the blog). in something as visually and conceptually well-researched as this, i hope the audio will be equally so! the possibility of something aesthetically as awesome as well executed groovy Grecian lyre chiptune boggles my mind.
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« Reply #47 on: October 11, 2013, 07:35:11 AM »

I really like the art and core idea of this. /following
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« Reply #48 on: October 11, 2013, 10:06:01 AM »

Art and tech are fantastic. The game seems super polished so far judging from the vids. The concept's great - you can do achieve a lot of different ends by means of gathering an angry mob - you've got relatively simple mechanics that can lead to a lot of depth that way.
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« Reply #49 on: October 11, 2013, 04:24:07 PM »

As for the tree animations, I think Roque agrees with you. I, on the other hand, disagree a little bit (and it is one one the things we have discussed with Roque several times). It is true that it looks unnatural but I like that feeling for this particular level. I imagine Apollo's city as very eerie place, almost artificial, and things like this enforce that idea. It also fits very well with the pseudo mechanical giants and griffons. To go further than this road I even thought of syncing the tree animations with the music (in a kind of Mario way) but it is something we will review when we have the chance (hopefully before the IGF deadline).

Wow, that is very interesting! In that case I think you should definitely go for that odd mechanical feel. That's very thoughtful of you to extend the theme of a level even as far as a simple animation of trees blowing in the wind.

And good luck with the IGF, by the way! We'll be submitting this year as well (Deity Quest). ^_^
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roketronz
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« Reply #50 on: October 16, 2013, 11:40:26 AM »

This our last update before the IGF's submission deadline. We are focussing all of our efforts on being able to reach Saturday with a working version of Okhlos. This is practically our wallpaper: http://t.co/hZUONGu0ri

 

We still don't know if we'll be able to submit a version of Okhlos, because we think that it's better not to send anything at all than sending a poor version of the game. We'll always have next year (and Paris).

 

To illustrate this short update, here is a graphic representation of the feeling around here.


That's one of Apollo's arrows, reaching a poor philosopher. We would be the philosopher, and the IGF would be the arrow. I have the pathological need to explain the obvious.

 

Next week we will return to our usual updates! Full of joy and uninteresting facts.
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« Reply #51 on: October 16, 2013, 11:47:52 AM »

Ahoy , rad pirate ship of philosophic goodness , you can call me Captain I-EFFIN-LOVE-YOUR-WORK
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roketronz
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« Reply #52 on: October 23, 2013, 07:28:40 AM »

We were working hard to get to the IGF, unfortunately we couldn't get a stable version on time, also there were a lot of visual things to change, so we decided to give it a try the next year.

One of the things that pushed us back, was a shader problem. We were using transparent sprites, so as to have fade out effects and the like, and that turned out to be a bit of problem when we tried to make the sprites emit and receive shadows. It is not trivial to calculate how a transparent object deals with shadows so that took a while to deal with. Finally, yesterday we did find a work around for this (which ended up being quite simple, our solution was having double sided planes on the sprites and switching shaders). Anyway, this is how the sprites look with the shadows on:

(Click to enlarge the picture)

In the screen, you can see two light emitters: the torch and the ambient light. You can see how the first philosopher receives the light from the torch, how the three characters emit shadows and how the background sprites receive shadow. All the complications we had, fixed in a marvelous picture.

This is a vine version, (I've just downloaded the app Tongue)
Here!

And finally, the incredible youtube version, of a classic day in Delphi:
here
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jamesprimate
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« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2013, 08:48:57 AM »

the night time lighting looks fantastic!
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eobet
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« Reply #54 on: November 01, 2013, 02:43:00 AM »

If you want to see some inspiration on lighting pixel art, there's a really technologically impressive trailer if you click on this link, but be warned that it's a Kickstarter thing...

Also, on this very forum, another game just added sort of similar shadows as well...
« Last Edit: November 01, 2013, 02:50:25 AM by eobet » Logged

SebastianGioseffi
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« Reply #55 on: November 05, 2013, 12:35:02 PM »

For the last three weeks we have been "on the road" with Okhlos, doing a little show and tell / playstesting session at a local nerd fest known as Toronjapalooza, giving a talk about the history of CoffeePoweredMachine and independent game development at Buenos Aires' largest tech exposition, Tecnópolis, and finally some more playtesting at the EVA 2013 (Argentina's Videogames Expo). They have been extremely busy and tiresome days but also very fun and exciting. And they were also the first time we showed Okhlos outside our offices. And we learned a lot.


ToronjaPalooza

The first day at Toronjapalooza not many people played the game but most of the ones who did were kids. The youngest one was a four-year-old and the oldest ones were around twelve. We have designed Okhlos as a game that we (basically hardcore gamers with two or three decades of gaming on our backs) would like to play, and we never thought about how someone so young would approach the game, so those were uncharted territories. In addition to this the test level we had put together was ludicrously difficult to beat (mostly my fault, I tend to do that, sorry) so I was fearing an epic disaster. It wasn't. Instead what happened was that the kids started playing the game in a different way that we had anticipated. The youngest one took to exploring, ignoring all the enemies, the hazards, just walking through the map, focusing on going through obstacles and asking the names of the trees (we had a larch). Others started a small competition to see who could get the largest mob. And one of them not only managed to complete the whole level, but when he found out that that was the only level we had made so far, he went on and finished the level again, beating Apollo's godly ass a second time.


(Click to enlarge the picture. We put this sentence in every picture you can enlarge and still you dont get it? If it has a little hand, it's clickeable!)


Tecnopolis

The second stop in our tour was Tecnópolis, where we presented a talk entitled something like Making Games for your Boss, for the Audience or for Yourself: the History of CoffeePoweredMachine. I say we, but It was actually Roque who gave the talk (I just sat the there with José Luis while Roque spoke and cheered him on). But we did spent quite some time working on the content of the talk, trying to put down into words (and slides) what we have learned the past few years working on our jobs in the industry, on our previous game Gravity Fleet and now on our beloved Okhlos. The talk may not have the greatest talk ever but it was a first experience and good one at that. It was also a chance to show a little of the game to more people and we even got actual people asking actual questions after the talk! In case you really want to know how the talk went out, it's up on YouTube. And it has ENGLISH SUBTITLES! Spanish subtitles also, but I think you don't care about that: http://www.youtube.com/v/KI_EGw6QUa0

Another great thing about that week was the conference that took place during that time. On the main stage there were speakers like Zach Gage, Nathan Vella, Ron Carmel and Tim Schaffer and we had a chance to chat with them, to tell them what we were doing, asking their advice and simply hanging around these cool people. It was amazing.This photo is from the party that took place the friday after the talks: https://twitter.com/TimOfLegend/status/393936206896963584


EVA


(Photo by Flauros Geek Photo)

And after that came the EVA, were we sat down with a notebook and a controller and showed the game to the people around, which was mostly fellow game developers and hardcore gamers. Everyone we met was very enthusiastic and we got quite a lot feedback from just a couple of hours of playtesting. The feedback was very useful, especially since it came mostly from people with game development experience and knew how to pinpoint specific issues, but at the same time we approached the playtesting with something that Ron Carmel had remarked in the talk he had given last week. We focused on how people played the game, on why did they do some things differently from what we would do. Why they would see things about the game in a different way than us. Sometimes the feedback they gave us shed some light on this, sometimes it was about completely different things, but we tried to keep our focus on that.


(Yet another awesome photo by Flauros Geek Photo)

One thing I discovered that was pretty interesting in this regard was seeing how a person who has just played the explains the game to another. Let's say Joe sits down a plays for a while until Lady Marie Von Teslette comes around, then Joe tries to tell her what the game is about and how you play it. I realized that paying attention to what Joe says is a good way to see which things made the most impact on him, which things seemed more important to him. In addition to that Lady Marie Von Teslette gets to approach the game in yet a different way, that is not either Roque or me trying almost desperately (and almost futilely) to tell her how awesome, interesting and special the game is, nor is it just the game on in itself. It is a bit closer to having a friend tell you about a game or reading something in a blog, which how most people end up coming into contact with a game.

And lastly, another thing I realized these last weeks, perhaps the most important thing, is that it's great to watch people play your game, have fun, get excited about it. It makes it all worthwhile.
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SebastianGioseffi
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« Reply #56 on: November 05, 2013, 12:38:25 PM »

If you want to see some inspiration on lighting pixel art, there's a really technologically impressive trailer if you click on this link, but be warned that it's a Kickstarter thing...

Also, on this very forum, another game just added sort of similar shadows as well...
I knew about Confederate Express and it does look great. I didn't know about Halfway, though, so thanks for the tip!
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« Reply #57 on: November 05, 2013, 01:24:22 PM »

Interesting idea and story, and some serious work put in, this game deserves to get popular.
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eobet
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« Reply #58 on: November 05, 2013, 03:23:29 PM »

If you want to see some inspiration on lighting pixel art, there's a really technologically impressive trailer if you click on this link, but be warned that it's a Kickstarter thing...

Also, on this very forum, another game just added sort of similar shadows as well...
I knew about Confederate Express and it does look great. I didn't know about Halfway, though, so thanks for the tip!

I belive this is the secret sauce to the sprite lighting technique...
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SebastianGioseffi
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« Reply #59 on: November 11, 2013, 01:33:38 PM »

If you want to see some inspiration on lighting pixel art, there's a really technologically impressive trailer if you click on this link, but be warned that it's a Kickstarter thing...

Also, on this very forum, another game just added sort of similar shadows as well...
I knew about Confederate Express and it does look great. I didn't know about Halfway, though, so thanks for the tip!

I belive this is the secret sauce to the sprite lighting technique...
That secret is amazing. Unfortunately, I bit too spicy for us. We have a gazillion characters, with a fair number of animations each, so creating a normal map like that would be a ridiculous amount of work. I think we will have to stick regular sprite lighting ... or find someone willing to spend five or six months of his/her life creating normal maps of little Greeks, mythological creatures and random Greek stuff ...
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