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April 16, 2021, 06:51:08 AM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsRTG - The Ray-Traced Game (Puzzle / Platformer)
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Author Topic: RTG - The Ray-Traced Game (Puzzle / Platformer)  (Read 6637 times)
marcgfx
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« Reply #80 on: December 16, 2020, 05:35:06 PM »

hm, probably not... I think it's a fine title screen though.

it should be easy to model a simple scene in blender and then render that with some cool effects and maybe a bit more perspective. maybe just get someone to do it for you, I think the cover art is pretty important.
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Alain
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« Reply #81 on: December 16, 2020, 10:43:54 PM »

Since you asked us to be really honest: I think most players might pass on if this was the logo/thumbnail (not the title sceen). For a logo I am sure you can come up with something more snappy. Maybe you can play around with the font and/or perspective of the text? Maybe upper case only?
RTG is an abbreviation. Maybe you can play around with that a bit? Maybe something clean and still unique like this:

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #82 on: December 16, 2020, 11:49:29 PM »

Yeah, spend some time browsing fonts on-line. This blog also has some nice articles on what makes a font work (maybe skip the deep dives into individual letters though, not really useful)

https://ohnotype.co/blog

Seriously, good typography makes a huge difference to the mood of a game - I mean Vulfpeck has to thank its success to releasing a commercial font (ok, the fact that their music is really good also helps)



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Prinsessa
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« Reply #83 on: December 17, 2020, 02:38:06 AM »

Just an idea, but I think it would be cool to incorporate some actual rays into the logo, like a prism or something. Grin
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #84 on: December 17, 2020, 03:47:07 AM »

Oooh, yes! That sounds like it could be amazing!
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Rogod
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« Reply #85 on: December 17, 2020, 04:54:40 AM »

Just to add my 10ยข:
I feel like some kind of geometric backdrop would help the aesthetic of your title screen (and perhaps levels too) - it just looks quite incomplete as 2 walls and a floor with a void behind them (reminds me of how 3D games would often start out in my youth: not much there, but lots of representative cuboids Sad )

The kind of thing I was making back in 2006 (I probably thought it was the coolest thing ever):

If I saw something resembling this on the Steam store, I would run a mile Wink

(Also maybe some kind of lamp model instead of the 2 point lights at the sides would help to add some world building flavour too.)
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #86 on: December 17, 2020, 09:37:58 AM »

Forgive me if I'm imposing by doing this, but I just couldn't stop thinking about that prism all day at work and when I got home I really wanted to get that concept on the screen! Waaagh!



Maybe it looks too much like a hard rock radio station logo too, but if you and the people in this thread like it you can have it to play around with! Cheesy
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Rogod
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« Reply #87 on: December 17, 2020, 09:40:36 AM »

What would look really slick is to have that logo as a cutout shadow on the back wall (to emphasize ray tracing) Wink
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vdapps
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« Reply #88 on: December 17, 2020, 09:51:23 AM »

@marcgfx, @Alain, @JobLeonard, @Prinsessa, @Rogod, thank you all for your very valuable suggestions!

So definitely, current screen I'm keeping just like temporary placeholder (for itch/GameJolt), but I will not dare to use it for Steam or when game will be reaching its final stages. Yeah, how @marcgfx stated, cover art is important.

I think, I have to do better, so I'll reserve more time for it. Maybe I'll invest to learn Blender, or play with fonts as @Alain suggested (this FTL2 logo is great example what I'm aiming for). Also incorporating prism (@Prinsessa) is not bad idea. Thanks for the concept, I'll try to put it to scene and pass rays through it as @Rogod suggested. I'll elaborate on that.

If I will not be able to reach some good level of quality I'll try to contact my ex-colleagues from Cauldron, if they're able to do it for some money. I really don't want to underestimate that.

@Rogod, I know this depth problem, which is general in my game. Problem is with performance, I can put something in front and behind, giving scene more depth, there's no limit in algorithm, only thing limiting me is performance. I have no rasterization/ray-trace combination, so even background will be pure ray-trace, slowing things down. I think, I'm going to count with later optimizations (multi-thread plus I have some more ideas), and place some simple (but still in context) geometries to background later. Just to give levels more parallax.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #89 on: December 18, 2020, 03:03:58 AM »

Would it be hard to extrude a 2D vector path into a 3D prism with code? Could save you some hassle artistically maybe

Also, I was just iterating on Prinsessa's prism idea: remember how logos in the 1980s used to have a lot of "glass letters flying by the camera from behind before moving into place"-animations? Could that be a cool thing to do with the eventual RTG logo?





(is the geometry in your game static for perf optimization reasons, or can it move and deform?)
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vdapps
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« Reply #90 on: December 18, 2020, 09:11:00 AM »

Thanks @JobLeonard for suggestion. Logo should be cover art, so it must be static and catchy (steam capsules, hero image, etc..). Also would be nice if it's scalable (can be easily adapted to various aspect ratios). Glass / prism / and un-typical fonts suggestions are very nice directions for something I need.

My biggest problem was that I thought I can do it in afternoon and then mark checked. Ehm, no. With my artist experience? Double no. Smiley I have cca 2 weeks iterations (2 weeks Universe Quest, 2 weeks RTG), so probably I'll dedicate full iteration only for that logo.

However, I have now good and valuable suggestions, so I'm no more clueless as I was before. Thank you to all for that. Smiley

Just side note, I'm currently posting to TIGSource, itch.io, GameJolt and some Facebook Indie Game Dev pages. I must say, TIGSource is best, community building here is smooth and natural, really helping developer to move forward with his/her project. GameJolt is second (there is Communities section which is nice), Facebook depends on page and itch.io is in my case worst in that regard (almost no interactions, easy to get lost in flood of the projects). I'm not sure if there are other platforms to promote/discuss your game in development stage. I'm thinking about Discord?
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #91 on: December 18, 2020, 12:16:28 PM »

Yeah, can take some time but I think it's worth it since it's so representative of the game. C:
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vdapps
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« Reply #92 on: January 15, 2021, 09:42:04 AM »

-= Devlog #12 =-

Game consistency and moving platforms

Hi All!

First of all, I wish you all the best to new year 2021. I took a break recent weeks, not visiting TIG much (same for itch and GameJolt). I felt that I need a break, as I started to be almost compulsive about "indie social networks" presence. Meanwhile, I moved forward a bit with RTG.

1. I made RTG more consistent, in a way, that it's playable as regular game. It's for case, I'll want to prepare some demo build, plus I want to start looking at game as consistent package, not as bunch of prototype levels. That said:

- running the game for the first time, first level is automatically loaded. Clicking 'Play' will just move you directly into action.

- when you reach next levels, progress is automatically saved

- running the game another time will directly throw you to your saved progress level (no need to load game). Clicking 'Play' will just hide menu and you are in action. You can 'Reset progress' anytime to start anew.

- you can access 'Benchmark scene' from 'Main menu' anytime, where you can tune your performance. Tuning resolution in a way, that in benchmark you have 60fps will secure 60fps in whole game (as benchmark is computationally heaviest scene).

- returning from benchmark will switch you back to your current progress level

- added 'Language' switching, plus 'Music' and 'Sound' volume to 'Main menu'. Even if game still doesn't contain any sound or music, I already placed placeholders there. Your preference is automatically saved to profile as well.

2. From gaming elements, implemented 'Moving platforms'. The game has to be 'puzzle/arcade', so obviously moving platforms will contribute to 'arcade' part of the game.

And as always, short webp animation.

See ya! Smiley

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JobLeonard
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« Reply #93 on: January 15, 2021, 02:49:52 PM »

Oh man, these "almost in sync" platforms are always disastrous for my patience  Tongue
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Alain
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« Reply #94 on: January 16, 2021, 04:40:13 AM »

First of all, I wish you all the best to new year 2021. I took a break recent weeks, not visiting TIG much (same for itch and GameJolt). I felt that I need a break, as I started to be almost compulsive about "indie social networks" presence. Meanwhile, I moved forward a bit with RTG.

Taking a break from social media is always a good idea. Don't worry, we are not going anywhere ;)

Nice progress on RTG and if I have not said it before, I really like your UI already!
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Prinsessa
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« Reply #95 on: January 16, 2021, 02:01:00 PM »

Welcome back, and happy new year! It's easy to get lost in the tech when you're building something like this and forget about the actual game. Cheesy Looks good! Nice to see so many settings as well.
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vdapps
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« Reply #96 on: January 16, 2021, 02:51:16 PM »

Thank you all three! Kiss

This UI is my another "non-artist" approach. With "art part" of myself being sub-par, I always try to invent myself with technical / nerdy looks to workaround it. Seems that with UI I hit the nail. Smiley

@JobLeonard: I'll keep an eye on those platforms. Not very nice to let player wait 10 loops for jump opportunity. Smiley
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assemblerbot
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« Reply #97 on: February 10, 2021, 12:02:22 AM »

Hi,
 I have to say that the UI is really fitting the game. Wink

Btw, I've read the discussion about spheres/aligned boxes few pages back. I've already done few raytracing experimental programs myself in C/asm and tracing the spheres is even cheaper than tracing axis aligned boxes (that's why you can see it in most of demos and slow javascript implementations). While calculating the hit position is a bit more expensive (not sure - more calculations but less conditions) with that hit position you get also the normal vector (n = hit - center), so no need to determine which side you hit. And when you have these two the rest should be the same as for boxes.
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vdapps
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« Reply #98 on: February 10, 2021, 09:15:16 AM »

Thx, as non-artist I'm happy that I have UI question resolved. :D

Regarding spheres, yes, I can imagine math behind. Game is built on my old demo, which I used when I was aspiring to be hired in Cauldron Wink , I have no spheres there. (Of course, this old demo is totally rewritten and enhanced now).

In fact, I have quads there for geometries, not triangles. Algorithm can process any arbitrary geometry, not just axis-aligned BB-s, however I use BB-s mostly as I have very optimized code paths for them.

If I will implement spheres, I can imagine to use them only for some game mechanics elements (come to my mind some floating robots visually similar to Wheatly from Portal 2), as it's harder to build static level geometry from spheres.

Anyway, optimization numero 1 will be multi-threaded rendering. Algorithm is still single threaded, it's suffering lot from it. MT is easy with ray-tracing. If I count that even most potato computers today are 2C/4T, even if scaling is not linear, I can count with 2.5-3.0x speed-up on slowest computers, not mentioning 8-cores or more gaming and workstation powerhouses.

My dream is to see someday running RTG on 64C/128T Threadripper and see if it will be able to do 1080p with 60fps. Cheesy
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assemblerbot
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« Reply #99 on: February 10, 2021, 10:37:35 PM »

Very nice! Looking forward to try it on my machine Wink
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