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1404748 Posts in 68420 Topics- by 62078 Members - Latest Member: Megafon

February 06, 2023, 02:55:36 PM

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Prinsessa
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« Reply #780 on: January 05, 2023, 02:46:42 PM »

Happy new year to you as well! It's cool you took the time to make the painting, it sets a beautiful atmosphere.

Thanks! Yeah, I'm happy with what it conveys at least Smiley

I'm wondering how you made it, to me it feels like it is analog & scanned.

So I did paint it (digitally) on top of a photo of a pencil sketch like the other one but this time I literally just outlined the 3D model by pressing the paper against the computer monitor to use as a stencil.



This is also what I did for the real watercolour painting of the gate ages ago:



I also pasted in some sketches I'd done separately of the boat and of the gazebo.



I made it look like watercolour by duplicating the entire image two more times, putting an "oil painting" filter on one copy and just a blur on another, then gave both low opacity and different blend modes, which simulated the colour bleeding. Then I overlaid watercolour textures (also from photos I took) and added the fuzzy border Tongue
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #781 on: January 06, 2023, 12:46:42 AM »

I love your low-tech solutions!  Grin
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Alain
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« Reply #782 on: January 06, 2023, 12:53:01 PM »

Nice, I also really like what you did there. It is cool that you came up with a quick solution that still has a lot of character and uniqueness. Thanks for sharing these images!
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #783 on: January 15, 2023, 07:27:41 AM »

Tongue thank you two
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #784 on: January 15, 2023, 08:10:20 AM »

60

Hacking (and planning)

Thought I'd try and actually make a task board. Lost a lot of january to a game jam, so this one is for about a month and a half. Just starting.



I made one years ago and it grew out of hand into a bug tracker instead. Someone once suggested just wiping the slate and making a new board every so often instead to keep it manageable, so let's try that!

I've also spent too much time treading water on this game now so let's finish it!! I'm in full slop mode after said game jam and a big reason this game has been taking so long to get anywhere is just that I started the thread from almost day one of preproduction and took a good while to figure out what I actually wanted the game to be. And this past year just hasn't been very nice so I needed the break. Now I feel past the brainstorming phase and ready to hack away Gomez

The plan

Between having a go at rewriting some of the low level code and learning another engine (Godot) like I mentioned recently, it's tempting to just start over on a fresh engine… Blink

… and I probably will for the next game, but first I have to get there, and I'll do that by just finishing this game. So I've decided to just embrace the jank and work around the issues I'd like to fix, in a fashion only slightly less sloppy and more scalable than the jam and prototype code I've written over the years. Again, systems-wise the game is fairly simple, and what I really need is to get all the content in.

The hacks

So basically I'm going to try and just go ahead now, get that content made. A few "proper" things will have to get done eventually (like localisation code) but let's save that for way later Giggle

I'll leverage other, better, applications as much as I can (e.g. doing level design in Blender instead of my editor and copying/exporting positions over), hand-editing resource files if I have to, only adding to my own editor if it's very quick or absolutely necessary.

For example, being able to play animations in the editor to make sure they work in-engine was a quick fix under the current codebase, so I just did that:



The jank

Above is also a quick walk cycle I did just now to get going, make sure everything works with the new base model. Check! Hand Thumbs Up Right Don't care about clipping or polish right now. I'm also going to leave the shaders off for a while so I don't get distracted. Blocking stuff out feels less weird when there isn't such a stark difference in quality between aspects of the game Cheesy

Phase one

So this first task board is all about the café. Since a lot happens there my goal is to block out as much NPC scheduling as possible taking place in there to begin with.

Will add more animations as needed, and will block out important parts of the café (the counter, some tables and chairs, and a pose for the NPC models to sit down).



Fingers crossed!

« Last Edit: January 15, 2023, 08:19:30 AM by Prinsessa » Logged

Alain
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« Reply #785 on: January 15, 2023, 10:15:28 PM »

Great update as always!

Thought I'd try and actually make a task board. Lost a lot of january to a game jam, so this one is for about a month and a half. Just starting.
I made one years ago and it grew out of hand into a bug tracker instead. Someone once suggested just wiping the slate and making a new board every so often instead to keep it manageable, so let's try that!

I really like HnP's boards. I usually have mine named like "Summer 2022", "Fall 2022", "Winter 2022/23" and so on. I might need to make them more granular in the future but this works fine for me at the moment.
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oldblood
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« Reply #786 on: January 16, 2023, 06:40:17 AM »

Thought I'd try and actually make a task board. Lost a lot of january to a game jam, so this one is for about a month and a half. Just starting.
I made one years ago and it grew out of hand into a bug tracker instead. Someone once suggested just wiping the slate and making a new board every so often instead to keep it manageable, so let's try that!

I really like HnP's boards. I usually have mine named like "Summer 2022", "Fall 2022", "Winter 2022/23" and so on. I might need to make them more granular in the future but this works fine for me at the moment.

I use "Now", "Next", and "Later" buckets in my board, as trying to get work done with dates like "January", "February" etc. adds to the stress. So I find simplifying it into these groups lets me generally know what I need to focus on near term, what comes after, and everything else. Then I just shuffle things in and out of there as needed. Not uncommon to move something form "Next" to "Now" and then realize I'm not ready for that and off it goes back to "Next". I'd say whatever works for each developer but generally I find boards very helpful to stay organized but you have to be careful to not overwhelm or stress yourself with them.

Glad you're planning to 'embrace the jank', Prinsessa! I hit similar walls in Masochisia where I found better tools and applications mid-way through development but decided to power through the jank then refactoring huge chunks of the game and it generally worked out. Its all stuff I now use in the new projects but would have probably doubled Masochisia's development if I'd tried to go back. Have got to choose your battles sometimes.
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« Reply #787 on: January 16, 2023, 08:50:55 AM »

Hi Prinsessa! Nice update as always! Kiss

Heh, my planning with RTG is piece of paper, write-down check-list, check-check-check, then throwing paper into bin. Grin

And Happy New Year 2023!
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #788 on: January 17, 2023, 06:03:29 PM »

Great update as always!
Hi Prinsessa! Nice update as always! Kiss
And Happy New Year 2023!

Thanks! Coffee

I really like HnP's boards. I usually have mine named like "Summer 2022", "Fall 2022", "Winter 2022/23" and so on. I might need to make them more granular in the future but this works fine for me at the moment.

I use "Now", "Next", and "Later" buckets in my board, as trying to get work done with dates like "January", "February" etc. adds to the stress. So I find simplifying it into these groups lets me generally know what I need to focus on near term, what comes after, and everything else. Then I just shuffle things in and out of there as needed. Not uncommon to move something form "Next" to "Now" and then realize I'm not ready for that and off it goes back to "Next". I'd say whatever works for each developer but generally I find boards very helpful to stay organized but you have to be careful to not overwhelm or stress yourself with them.

I guess my attempt is going to be somewhere in between these two. I do want to try and impose at least some deadlines just to see if it can help me get stuff done but if it's too much I'll adjust it. I think I've chosen a manageable amount for a month and a half at least. Some tasks are for concrete things I just need to get done, but the big "add NPC schedules for the café" is just an open-ended "as much as there is time for".

Biggest problem right now is that my hands and wrists are hurting from too much computer/games. Struggling to play and rate games for the jam too, so I'm trying to give them a rest, thus also avoiding working too much on Ao too. Did nothing for a few days, so I'm easing back into it now.

For a quick and easy start I got separate objects following rig bones (here eyes + brows following head) working so that we have this:



And not this Cheesy



That's one task moved from "planned" to "testing" on the board (pretty sure it's "completed" too but I'll verify)!



Glad you're planning to 'embrace the jank', Prinsessa! I hit similar walls in Masochisia where I found better tools and applications mid-way through development but decided to power through the jank then refactoring huge chunks of the game and it generally worked out. Its all stuff I now use in the new projects but would have probably doubled Masochisia's development if I'd tried to go back. Have got to choose your battles sometimes.

Yep. Hopefully I can make sure Ao will also work with any new stuff later anyway Shrug

Heh, my planning with RTG is piece of paper, write-down check-list, check-check-check, then throwing paper into bin. Grin

Yeah, it's been basically this but digital (lists in note app) Tongue
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Alain
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« Reply #789 on: January 18, 2023, 01:18:24 AM »

Biggest problem right now is that my hands and wrists are hurting from too much computer/games. Struggling to play and rate games for the jam too, so I'm trying to give them a rest, thus also avoiding working too much on Ao too. Did nothing for a few days, so I'm easing back into it now.

That sucks, I hope this is nothing permanent and your wrists will recover soon.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #790 on: January 20, 2023, 12:10:50 PM »

Thank you, I hope so too. I think it's just temporary. Been careful over the last few days and it's getting better.
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Mark Mayers
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« Reply #791 on: January 21, 2023, 02:34:01 AM »

Happy to see there's still a lot of creativity here on TIG, and looking forward to reading your future devlogs Gomez Cave Story
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #792 on: January 21, 2023, 07:51:39 AM »

Thank you! Hopefully this is a good time to have arrived to the thread Smiley

Thought I'd try something different until the end of the task board's allotted time (end of February) by just posting small unnumbered updates here as I get the tasks done, to get a good overview step by step, and then try and write a numbered evaluation post of some kind at the end of it. Would be fun if it could coincide with the devlog anniversary on the tenth, but I think I'll be needing those extra 2.5 weeks Giggle

I've seemingly finished another task and moved it to "testing" so here's today's wee writeup~



Also realised another task was technically "in progress" since I added that animation playback button to the editor but there's more to it for later.

Like I said, proper localisation lies in the future, but I did want to update the game to get its strings from a dedicated file (rather than raw strings serialised straight into the NPC schedules) before I start inputting some real dialogue which I'm about to do now.

So I wrote basically the skeleton of a localisation system based on one I wrote in the past, where a spreadsheet has one column for the identifiers of each line, and one column for each locale.



This is stored in a CSV ("comma-separated values") file which can be exported from spreadsheet software but is also easy to edit by hand, at least when you only have one column like I'll be sticking to for now (English; the other one here was just to test).

I've all sorts of ideas for inserting tokens and formatting (some of it already implemented in that old project) but I don't need any of that for the static speech lines in the past timeline, so I'm able to save that for later like I said.

I've updated the schedules to store the identifier/key of the line in the file instead of raw text, and added a button to swap locale or reload the file so that I can add lines as I go while working on a schedule:

« Last Edit: January 21, 2023, 08:11:45 AM by Prinsessa » Logged

Alain
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« Reply #793 on: January 22, 2023, 02:09:01 PM »

It is great you built the foundation for your localisation system already! It looks easy to use and effective.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #794 on: January 25, 2023, 05:59:31 PM »

It is great you built the foundation for your localisation system already! It looks easy to use and effective.

Thanks! Yeah, I like spreadsheets for this since you can compare translations side by side and you can have extra special columns for things like notes about the context too.



Three more tasks down for the price of one. One at "completed". Two at "testing"; these I also added subtasks to, and checked them off one by one.



Also been trying this thing where on every finished task I write a comment that explains what solution(s) I went with since I'm going for the "good enough for now" approach.



This time it was all about animations Gomez

Creating placeholder animations

First task was to add temporary animations for a few basic states and to connect them up into a new animation controller (state machine with blending) in place of the old one since this is a new model with a new rig which will be set up somewhat differently.

As you can see below they are really rough and even buggy (weight painting needs some work) but I just need the states for now Cheesy



Working with the animation controller

The UI stuff comes from the second task. Just some quick and dirty editor things so that I can test and visualise the animation states. I'm not going to have a lot of animation controllers I think but the character one is going to be quite involved so this will hopefully save me some time.

To hammer home just how basic it is, the boxes collectively represent what looks like this in Godot and similarly in Unity:



Besides being able to set the variables driving the state in the editor, I'm skipping any sort of interface for creating these controllers in the editor altogether. The JSON files are easy enough to edit by hand and hotload does seem to be working fine so I don't have to restart the editor to see the changes Hand Thumbs Up Right

Figuring out the workflow

The third task is just that while making the animations I found and fixed a bug with hotloading those, so things should be smooth going forward I hope (the plan is to add new animations as needed on the fly when working on NPC schedules).

Throughout all of this of course I've also gained some more insight into the Blender side of things. For my old character model (made ages ago now) I believe there was some weirdness with the glTF exporter at the time that forced me to do all sorts to make animations work. I had to reset the rig's pose before exporting, and I had to line all the different animations up on an "NLA strip" like this:



Don't have to do any of that anymore it seems, so that also speeds things up. Just add an animation action, animate, leave the character in whatever pose, export, and hotload the new clip into the editor and keep going Kiss

Planning ahead

I've also decided to try and have some fun with the blending and separate things like the motion of the arms when walking so that I can easily and procedurally play with the variables for each character to give them a distinct gait but saving that for a later stage Smiley

But I'll also use this to make animations modular so that I can really tailor things to the schedules (e.g. turning the head while running or reaching with an arm while sitting, by blending separate states for head, legs/body, individual arms, etc.). So hopefully setting all that up should be easy enough with the visualisations I added to the editor.

I think I've also said before that I eventually want to play the animations at a low framerate for that hand-drawn look.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #795 on: January 26, 2023, 03:38:04 AM »

> I think I've also said before that I eventually want to play the animations at a low framerate for that hand-drawn look.

So like animating "on twos"?
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« Reply #796 on: January 26, 2023, 05:43:50 AM »

I would add just as idea: low-frame rate animation with some blur or post-process can make interesting visual style (given that it fits overal style you intend for the game). It can amplify this hand-drawn look and it can stress that low-frame is intentional.
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #797 on: January 26, 2023, 10:20:43 AM »

So like animating "on twos"?

Yeah! 12 FPS is precisely the idea too. Seen it in some games and I think it looks nice. Seems to feel good as long as camera movement and inputs are still snappy.

I would add just as idea: low-frame rate animation with some blur or post-process can make interesting visual style (given that it fits overal style you intend for the game). It can amplify this hand-drawn look and it can stress that low-frame is intentional.

Yeah, that's definitely something to play with when I get back to graphics Grin
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« Reply #798 on: January 27, 2023, 02:22:57 AM »

Oooh, on-two stretch-and-squash (so basically smeared cellshading?) would be a look I haven't seen before in games, that's for sure!
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