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July 18, 2019, 06:01:42 AM

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DrDerekDoctors
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« Reply #40 on: July 28, 2009, 01:43:20 AM »

Looking at that video it looks almost like a collage, partly because the polys are fogged as whole units, but also some weird fuzzy pixelly effect. Might be partly video compression artifacts...

I think youtube can take a lot of the credit, or whatever shonky capture rig the author was using. Wink

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Arx Fatalis [...] pastry
Yeah, this will probably be the maximum. I'd quite like to put some cookery in there, although I would say it might be slight feature creep for the first version. We'll see what happens once the inventory UI is in. That kind of cooking by dropping something by/in a fire sounds really neat.

Yeah, the fire thing is nice as it's a really unexpected interaction because you aren't using it on the fire, you're just dropping it near it so it's a bit magical and almost simulation-led. I love things like that, like the way fire spreads through the trees in Syndicate Wars, it's just a bit magic.

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the haunting final scene from

(30 seconds in) as I had an obsession with clouds.
Maaan.... that's one of those films I saw late at night on Channel 4/BBC2 as a child and was totally captivated/mystified by. Another one being The Andromeda Strain. I'll have to find and watch that one (TQE) again, looks pretty relevant to this game.

If you could get the pillars of cloud touching the ground, I'd marry you. Wink

Actually, it's not often you get scenes of beauty in a game and you've a good chance to do stuff like that in your one with the emphasis on atmosphere and exploration. Will you have interior areas like caves, btw? (i.e. a pair of heightmaps sandwiched together?)

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Be nice to use buzzards to maybe show where dead bodies are as a clue as well. Smiley
Yeah, that's a great idea! Whether we have dead bodies is another issue, but they could also mark something less explicit, like a wrecked aircraft.

Yuss. Although bones are cool. Wink

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Well, you can use pretty simple physics to provide platforming and other stuff. I mean look at the side-on flying in Super Mario World when you have a cape - simple dynamic but really nice feeling. If you give more depth (literally height) to the world then I can see hang-gliding being really nice, especially as it's third person.
I need to do some investigation into what's easier to do, simple but solid platforming/flying physics or integrate a physics engine. I'm a bit worried about the possible complexities of the tops of ruined buildings, but maybe that can be worked-around.

Well, I'd just make it so that tops of buildings were flat or maybe, if your polygonal height-mesh is dense enough, just use that for buildings and make them look pretty using textures? That's what Magic Carpet did and that's honkingly old. That way all your collision guff is done really simply in a nice unified system. Although I can see if you want Tors and that you'd probably want more complex polygonal structures.

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Will the game have combat at all?
Probably not, at least not in this version/edition/chapter. We're pretty keen to make a non-violent game, and focus on exploration and adventure. (I might post something about "Chapters" later, that's a very long range plan)

Righty, that's cool. Maybe if you can't actually attack in it then you could add something nasty into the world as then it'll make it all the scarier - like in Robinson's Requiem there's a T-Rex in a cave you haven't a chance of beating, making it all the scarier to be in there? Just throwing out ideas, here. Smiley

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Yeah, it doesn't have to be awfully complex, as long as it acts as a visual beacon of "ooh, what's that over there?" and quite often delivers by giving the player something interesting they'll have done their job. That's half the reason Fallout 3 was so compelling, just the constant sense of "hello! woss that?".
Yes, that's exactly what we're aiming for.   SmileyHand Thumbs Up Right

Cool. Smiley

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I'll see if I can knock together a newer build - i.e. roughly corresponding to the most recent screenshots

Lovely. Smiley
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« Reply #41 on: September 20, 2009, 01:22:09 PM »

Ok... so... 3 months huh. I have lots of great excuses, honest.*

Anyway, been doing a ton of work on this over the last few days.

  • Simplification to scope of gameplay: Now it's 1st person (for the foreseeable future), and there's no jumping and no plans for anything "physicsy" beyond simple collision with objects.
  • New graphical direction: Trying to make it look like an illustration. Might try and do some subtle full-screen buffer effect to bring this out a bit more. The main motivation behind this is to steer far far away from the slippery slope of realism
  • Started moving all the data and world init stuff over to Lua, using LuaBind and LuaNet
  • Made some new trees and huts
  • Improved the terrain so there's a nice mix of cliffs and beachs around the coast
  • Planned stuff: Collision, weather, day/night cycle, better village generation, clearings in forests and other landmarks, more logical consistency to the regions, inventory, survival stuff...
  • Other stuff that didn't work out: Thought about switching to Ogre3D and C++ but changing my mind. Tried to get VBOs to work but failed. Might have another go at that one in future, if it's necessary.

Pics (lots of rough edges still):







(* Mainly just that I had knackered my wrist ages ago and couldn't spend too long coding. It's getting better now, so time to bust it up again working on this!)

That build... I think I'll make one once the clearings and some other stuff is done. Sorry, "just one more feature"
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« Reply #42 on: September 20, 2009, 02:36:00 PM »

Keeping my eye on this now. My wilderness survival competition.  Grin

Seriously, good luck with this though. I'm loving the 3d. (I had considered doing Heat Line in 3d, but figured I would get more features into the actual game by sticking with 2d...) But still, it just feels so "explorery" in your screens, and atmospheric in a way that top down graphics can't really capture as well.
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« Reply #43 on: September 20, 2009, 03:08:23 PM »

Wow this evolved so much ! I really like the latest renders : ) I will be looking forward to more updates !

I really dig the concept arts :D
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« Reply #44 on: September 20, 2009, 03:20:16 PM »

Wow such a great improvement, awesome.
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« Reply #45 on: September 20, 2009, 07:18:21 PM »

this is looking fantastic, I love what your doing with this.
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« Reply #46 on: September 20, 2009, 08:59:19 PM »

Sorry, I don't even know why I said that,  Facepalm
I feel really stupid right now  Tongue

I really love the atmosphere of the screen shots, very lonely looking... by the way, will there be any other character?

Keep up the great work, maybe some game play footage in the near future?
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« Reply #47 on: September 21, 2009, 12:25:59 AM »

Thanks guys!

@astrospoon - I think there's enough room in the wilderness for both projects Wink
The 2D/3D thing was indeed a tough choice, for exactly the reason you describe. Hopefully keeping everything simple and non-realistic will make progress smooth enough.

@aliceffekt - since the plot and scope is being simplified (but is still very vague) I'm not sure if those concepts will be exactly reflected in the game. We'll see Smiley Watch this space!

@Shizin - what? I missed whatever you said :D  Anyway, I'm glad it looks lonely. Other characters... yes, there will probably be a few. Maybe a few villagers/hermits... maybe some ghostly figures that you glimpse running through the trees... maybe some other strange wanderers.  WTF
I'll have a look at capturing some footage....

I'm currently reading a book called The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane. There are some paragraphs that are so inspiring and relevant to this project that I might retype them and post them here later.
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« Reply #48 on: September 21, 2009, 02:11:54 PM »

So, I tried to capture/edit some footage but got annoyed and depressed :D
Maybe I'll have another go tomorrow. My in-game camerawork is horrible...

Meanwhiles, here are those bits of book:

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The Koyukon people of north-west interior Alaska use intricate stories to map their landscape: narration as navigation. According to the anthropologist Richard Nelson, who lived closely with the Koyukon, the landscape is to them:

"filled with networks of paths, names, and associations. People know every feature of the landscape in minute detail. The lakes, river bends, hills and creeks are named and imbued with personal and cultural meaning. People move in a world that constantly watches - a forest of eyes. A person moving through nature, however wild, remote ... is never truly alone. The surroundings are aware, sensate, personified. They feel."

Walking in the dark to an irish ring fort:
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Eventually I reached the fort, navigating by a mixture of map, memory and luck. Three rings of pale stone, partly grown over by grass, and the central enclosed circle a jungle of thorn and briar. I sat between the first and second walls, under the guardian arm of an old elder, which had curled round and down upon itself to form a nearly closed hoop.
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« Reply #49 on: September 21, 2009, 11:46:34 PM »

I managed to make a video:


(made with camstudio and windows movie maker)

The camerawork is pretty jerky at times, and I found that making a video really highlights all the graphical glitches and rough edges, but it was quite a useful excercise.

Known ugly bits:
- tree trunks sometime not meeting the foliage properly
- flowers are placeholders
- terrain texture is still grid-based
- the huts are (badly) randomly placed and don't sit on the terrain properly
- the cloud layer is moderately broken at the moment
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« Reply #50 on: September 22, 2009, 12:01:57 AM »

 Crazy

This looks awesome as nuts, man. I love the trees.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 02:16:20 PM by Xion » Logged

alspal
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« Reply #51 on: September 22, 2009, 03:58:40 AM »

whoa, looking fantastic amazing!
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« Reply #52 on: September 22, 2009, 09:03:44 AM »

I think it looks wonderful too, especially the music.
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« Reply #53 on: September 22, 2009, 09:25:00 AM »

This is really really great. I love the minimal style. Inspiring stuff!

I know that it's partially because it's a WIP, but I really like the bareness of it all. It made seeing those little huts an exciting event, as I'm sure it probably would be if I was wandering around there.

Looks absolutely amazing, keep doing what you're doing!
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« Reply #54 on: September 22, 2009, 02:02:50 PM »

nyah thanks for the nice words!

I just wasted an evening playing Blood Bowl   Yawn
... not quite the whole evening though, as I had a suggestion for an effect to enhance the collage-y look. See this paper. Figure 4(d) is the tl;dr bit.

Ivan - depending on performance issues etc, it will probably look slightly more populated (with plants, other landscape stuff and wildlife) but hopefully it will still be special to discover a village or other interesting location.

Here's another nice quote from The Wild Places, quoted in turn from one Stephen Graham:

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'As you sit on the hillside, or lie prone under the trees of the forest, or sprawl wet-legged by a mountain stream, the great door, that does not look like a door, opens.'
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« Reply #55 on: September 22, 2009, 02:33:42 PM »

This reminds me of the best part of Noctis IV: Exploring the unknown, finding things that (literally) nobody but you had ever seen.  Except this has plants and stuff.  Love it to death, just from the screenshots. 

Soo...good luck and all that! 
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« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2009, 01:04:03 PM »

Small update: Currently working on making the different regions totally data-driven, so you can have "dense pine forest" or "medium mixed forest". This will also pave the way to the terrain texturing being much improved (more like procedural painting than tile-based) although this is probably a little way off. This is also getting ready for graphically improved roads and special features like woodland clearings.

Also, I'm trying to think of a new semi-permanent name that reflects the "maybe-sentient wilderness" theme. Current candidates are
  • Widdershins - pagan-ish thing about going anti-clockwise around stuff... fun-sounding word and will probably connect with some interactive discoverable stuff in future
  • Wildward(s) - "towards the wilderness" and maybe also the meaning of "ward" as "to guard" or "region"

@TheCube - Thanks!  Noctis is probably a good comparison, from what i've read, but sadly I never managed to work out how to play it. I used to play Frontier (Elite 2) in a very exploration-focused way, trying to find weird star systems and land on interesting moons.

PS: Has anyone read The Willows by Algernon Blackwood (Gentleman)? I discovered it fairly recently and it's in tune with some aspects of this, although a bit more malevolent. Wikipedia blurb, Project Gutenberg full text. It was a favorite of HP Lovecrafts, which might give you some big clues.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2009, 01:38:12 PM by Ed » Logged

DrDerekDoctors
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« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2009, 11:35:25 PM »

I like Widdershins, although it might give people Pratchetty preconceptions. Smiley
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« Reply #58 on: October 02, 2009, 06:16:25 PM »

ddude, I'm incredibley interested in this project Addicted. if you need some music, holla at me.
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« Reply #59 on: October 04, 2009, 01:13:35 PM »

if you need some music, holla at me.
Thanks! There are some long-distance plans for music, but I'll PM you...  Hand Thumbs Up Right

---

Update time!

Stuff that I've been doing today:
  • "Biomes" (I nicked the term from Dwarf Fortress and am misusing even more here) are now data-driven and there are a few different types of forest.
  • Rework of the terrain texturing to make it more "painted" rather than strictly tilebased. Still pretty rough but has potential I think. Also improved the beaches a bit, and made the texture painting ini-file-driven.
  • Roads now use an improved "painted" texturing system and also divert around trees at the texel level.
  • Last-minute bonus item: Raindrops that can be sheltered from under trees. This is fairly horribly hacked in, but it's been one of my key (but strangely trivial) desired bits of gameplay for about 2 years. There is currently no effect, except the word "WET!!" appearing on screen, but the gameplay is pretty close, right?!

Pics:






(the lame placeholder flowers are still there)

Names.... I think I'm going to leave it for a while. DrDD, you're right about the Prachettiness, hadn't thought of it like that but it's obvious now. Probably my favourite (relevent) name ever is "Where The Wild Things Are".
« Last Edit: October 04, 2009, 01:48:18 PM by Ed » Logged

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