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February 06, 2023, 02:03:00 PM

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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsXanadu Live - Formerly "Game about towers."
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Author Topic: Xanadu Live - Formerly "Game about towers."  (Read 3244 times)
Alain
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« Reply #40 on: January 20, 2023, 11:19:55 AM »





Trippy as always, I like it :D
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Ramos
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« Reply #41 on: January 20, 2023, 11:34:23 AM »

Its very difficult to work and get such a cold reception, thank you for your kind words.



I understand what you mean but know this, here most of the community are other developers and a few hidden low-level/mid-level publishers that scout for games.

Most of the developers are here to talk about their own games and care very little about engaging with other dev blogs.

But many don't understand that this is a community of developers, not an actual target audience, the whole point of this community is to do some networking and to get/give a nice "pat on the back" motivation and maybe even to learn something along the way.


what I am trying to say is : don't get discouraged, they are not your target audience

 Gentleman
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #42 on: January 20, 2023, 03:51:36 PM »





Thanks for the support Alain and Ramos!
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2023, 08:00:10 AM »

I want to do more with the grid, like there is some kind of chipping away at the dirt that happens aligned with the grid points?
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #44 on: January 31, 2023, 03:19:36 PM »



Working on infinite terrain, moving some of the chunk work to other threads, sadly the RNG doesn't work as well when you seed it with a pattern. Still working!
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #45 on: February 03, 2023, 10:11:55 AM »





So my therapist asked the question: why is more terrain good? I told her that its obviously related to my size issues and making a bigger game will compensate for my other deficiencies. She nodded. However, I've been playing LoZ Oracle of Ages again on my new handheld retro emulator and I do like the hand holding of a pre-set narrative where for every key there is a lock and every domino you knock down leads to the next one in the line. So I'm thinking about more of a gated kind of structure for Xanadu where you unlock various items that help you with some overarching goal of some kind, maybe to build a tall tower, maybe to explore enough terrain, or convert enough Matchyverse invaders to be citizens, but I think people like the more structured games, even I do. I'm a bit mixed on the hand holding stuff because willing to take my blocks out and "just build" but I also enjoy goal oriented work.
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Alain
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« Reply #46 on: February 03, 2023, 01:08:24 PM »

So my therapist asked the question: why is more terrain good?

I don't believe you that she asked that. This devlog is a scam!
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #47 on: February 03, 2023, 01:39:03 PM »

Cross my heart and hope to die she surely did. I'm now leaving one of the Boston Gamedev Communities because this detail about my size issues and therapy was too personal for their group.

Ain't I a stinker.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #48 on: February 04, 2023, 10:35:44 AM »

A suggestion from @BallDudity Purple

Quote
It might be an interesting approach to "hide" a goal somewhere within the scope of your terrain - archaic as it often is, I know that was an aspect people liked in the old CRPG Xanadu for PC-88/MSX/etc., where there was a rough critical path forward and a set of specified quests and locations, but those locations would loop infinitely on a horizontal axis, making exploration a bit more cryptic and treacherous without having to add that much to the game itself.

I think the appeal of your game as you've built it right now is the infinite and varied terrain - how can you make portions of that terrain, or goals within them, meaningful? How can you make the expanse of the terrain meaningful? I think it's possible to take the best of both worlds and have one inform the other. But if I can weigh in, it might be a priority to try to keep the player invested in the world itself and create discoveries or narrative within that to supplement the engagement they get from their agency on the world. (edited)

@michaelplzno
Thanks for replying, yeah, I'll have to think about maybe adding a "beacon" system where pre set terrain chunks generate at meaningful locations, it does feel like a terrain is more meaningful if you had to do something to get it, so maybe some kind of barriers that you can knock down would help people feel more attached to the terrain they unlock, I'll have to mull it over, I'm going to spend today getting my multithreading a bit cleaner

I remember in OoT it wasn't too big a terrain, Hyrule field, but when you unlocked it it felt a lot more rewarding because you had knocked down a bunch of dominoes to get there

@BallDudity Purple
They also did a similar trick to what the original Final Fantasy and later BotW did, where you start in a very railroaded, controlled sequence to both introduce the player to the world intuitively and emphasize the contrast once you finally get free rein

The beginning of BotW is so zoomed-in it's close to impossible to be stuck on the plateau for long, but once you gain access to the rest of Hyrule all at once, the scope of the game and what you know exists in it seems to instantly scale to an absurd degree

Kokiri Forest isn't just linear, it's small on purpose

@michaelplzno
interesting, yeah
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #49 on: February 04, 2023, 10:39:55 AM »

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@Dan Williams
what about building tracks for AI cars to navigate?

@michaelplzno
That's a different game of mine: Speedway heroes
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #50 on: February 04, 2023, 10:43:20 AM »

Quote
[Sammy]
that sounds really fun
maybe like a city planner?
add tiny people or monsters
let us run them over or throw them around
my favorite part of minecraft is fidning structures, but they're far and few between'

michaelplzno
I am 100% going to add little star characters in 2d jumping around the environment
and when you run them down they spray rainbow blood
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #51 on: February 04, 2023, 10:46:15 AM »

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Mesosoi
My viewpoint:

Xanadu should not be the same or a worse variant of other sandbox simulators like GMod and Minecraft. It should be different by giving features which are not present in other games. Combine the current idea of "build your world" game with open world, the charming generation of scenery on the fly and chill-out beats playing in the background and you'll get a unique product which will caught player's attention for a long time. The game should be an endless adventure people won't easily forget... Children, when they grow up, will have great memories of this game and will be reopening it with feelings and tears of addictive nostalgia, the game will be a way to travel into to the past for them.

Just imagine what I wrote above with something like this playing on the background... https://open.spotify.com/track/071zAF8tYhiLp30eDhAwuO

We @Matchy Scientists and other old guys who worked on MatchyGotchy & MatchyGotchy Z, etc., are still alive and ready to work on great stuff like Xanadu...

If any of you lot think I just smoke a joint, that's not true, I'm just sharing my ideas like I was doing 5 years ago...

@michaelplzno
I agree @Mesosoi "Just Build" is something we shouldn't lose
I'm going to add the matchyverse characters next and we'll see where it goes from there
I'm glad you are helping, let me know if you want to be more involved in any way
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #52 on: February 04, 2023, 10:47:58 AM »

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@Popa Cristian
Make a GDD or you will change concept so many times that you will not manage to finish the game within next 100 years

@michaelplzno
Xanadu is never finished!
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #53 on: February 04, 2023, 10:51:58 AM »

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@Patek2
I would love to see some points of interests placed randomly from time to time when we drive endlessly. There is no point in exploring when we know that there is nothing there (for me at least).
btw. what engine did you use for you game?

michaelplzno
thanks! I agree. Unity :D
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #54 on: February 04, 2023, 10:59:14 AM »

Now that I think about it I have some low poly world monuments that I could scatter around the universe of Xanadu.





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michaelplzno
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« Reply #55 on: February 04, 2023, 11:14:40 AM »

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@creath
Are you making the grass out of the terrain itself?  Or is it a separate section of geometry?

@michaelplzno
The grass is generated when the chunks are modified: they are geometry run through a vertex shader that bends and waves the grass to save cpu

Here's a tut that was helpful:

« Last Edit: February 04, 2023, 11:26:21 AM by michaelplzno » Logged

michaelplzno
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« Reply #56 on: February 04, 2023, 11:22:28 AM »

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@creath
This seems like a fun playground-project.  Are you going to implement any specific mechanics?  Or are you just exploring for fun?

michaelplzno
I think there are gonna be mobs of invaders you have to subdue in various ways
I was thinking of just taking these sprites and use them as billboards traveling around in the terrain



angle them at the camera, should be enough to fake it for now
some day I might get 3d meshes for them

@creath
I could see driving over fields of these little guys with that vehicle system you showed in the past

michaelplzno
you have to either tame them or run them over
yeah, exactly, they will hatch out of eggs and attack in some very very cute way

Kiril Pashev
Running over sounds fun, like candy zombie hoard you have to drive through

michaelplzno
and you have to sort of "herd" them

creath
oh boy
you could make a Disney-Lemmings-sim, where you have to get the right shots for their fake nature documentaries, and use the vehicle to herd them off a cliff

michaelplzno
lol, I'm still playing around with the ethics of it all, In my other game you hit them with a little fly swatter, so maybe something like there is a random throw to see if after you smack them a few times they either turn into star dust or join you?





here's a little video of some stuff with the billboards
it looks good enough for now imo, though I would love to get a 3d modeler if anyone wants to join up on a project that they will neither get paid for or get exposure for
tempting I know

Judd
I still think about Creath characterizing some of the attacks in Vampire Survivors as "lawnmowing" and wonder how I could capture that feeling in my game. Swathes of gore filled doom!

michaelplzno
right, maybe if you smack the characters they join you, but if you run them down with your car they turn into goo: its pretty easy to change the terrain color, so I could have a splotch of color saturate the ground where they die and maybe dissolve the terrain?
like rainbow blood lmao
for the children, they turn into candy

creath
blood candy

Kiril Pashev
yeah explosions of sugar, and maybie they might come back after a while
Unless you drive over them real good
Invincible sugar cant die (edited)

creath
The Serious Sam games have an option to make all blood and gore a flower-pattern instead.  Always thought that was fun.

Judd
Smacking people has always got them on my side as well.
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #57 on: February 04, 2023, 11:24:26 AM »

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Kiril Pashev
Samurai Jack Proved quite well that all you need to do is make blood black and its all good

michaelplzno
yeah, something like that: there is a path to converting an invader by cajoling them somehow, maybe you feed them, or something, and if you run them over they get angry and attack, so its sort of a choice for the player, do you want to get rid of them or recruit them

Judd
Butterfly net?
Capture them?
Pikachu, I choose YOU!!!

michaelplzno
oh I like that, I can invent some kind of trap thing that is TOTALLY DIFFERENT from pokemon
as you can see we have a hammer instead of a pickaxe so its different from minecraft

so yeah
Maybe there is a mode where your car draws a fence and if you can fence them in by driving around them they stop going crazy?
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #58 on: February 04, 2023, 11:37:17 AM »

A bit about "Marching Cubes"

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creath
is your terrain voxel based?

michaelplzno
no, its a new technology, Marching Cubes, as a result you can create smooth surfaces rather than blocky chunks

John Tuttle
new to you perhaps, Marching Cubes is from 1987 :D
back when it was barely possible to render a 3D surface! (edited)

michaelplzno
Lol new to sandbox games rendered in realtime

Quote
Richard Cheek
That's looking really nice. Is it based on height or more like voxels so you could make a vertical loop for the car?

michaelplzno
The terrain generates based on height, just to fill it in, but its a next gen kind of voxel that allows for smooth surfaces, so there can be loops, yes!

michaelplzno


(This may still be processing)

michaelplzno
@creath here's why I think its TOTALLY DIFFERENT than voxels lmao

creath
Well, voxels are a volume-based method of filling space.  The name voxel technically means "volumetric pixel".  Minecraft popularized that "look" of voxel-generation/visualization, but there're many ways to generate voxel content.  Many of the minecraft-looking systems use marching cubes.  Marching cubes are just a more elegant way of stitching together a mesh of geometry over the top, but it is still voxel generation.
Technically "true" voxels haven't been seen since the 90's!

 
michaelplzno
I concede, I think for the purposes of marketing I'm going to call this Marching Cubes, even though yes, even Minecraft isn't technically voxels, and also MC are not in any way new, but I'm not so sure that realtime modification of MC as modifiable terrain has been done yet? If you have an example let me know. My whole reason of saying Marching Cubes is to make it seem NEW AND COOL (TM)

creath
No, Minecraft is also voxels, and Marching Cubes is very old tech!  It's cool!  But it's not new!
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32149611/
The Marching Cubes paper by Bill Lorensen and Harvey Cline, "Marching Cubes: A High Resolution 3D Surface Construction Algorithm," was published at SIGGRAPH 1987.1 According to Google Scholar, their paper has 15,667 citations (as of January 17, 2020), the most highly cited paper in computer graphics

creath
I think I'm just making a mess of the terminology for generation and what things look like

michaelplzno
I did borrow some code from old papers
I'd like to get the geometry to generate on the GPU at some point, I think I'd need a "geometry shader" for that
anyway, I'm looking for something that makes it seem like next gen voxels even though that is as I concede bullshit, I do think it is a new thing, just a bunch of old stuff that is being used in a new way
If you have an idea of how to describe the game that makes it seem HIP SEXY FRESH COOL NEW INNOVATIVE and FUN lay it on me brotha
I can say it uses "Smoothies"
lmao
I just want a way to drive into players that its not the same old game you've already seen that isn't too bullshity
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michaelplzno
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« Reply #59 on: Today at 09:15:56 AM »

So I just gave up on Oracle of Ages, it was too linear and gated for me to keep playing. I'm not sure if that has to do with stuff going on in my life: not being a Boston Indie anymore. Or just because OoA did a quest that involves repeating a segment you did earlier to unlock your animal friend in the game. Not only do they gate you, but also the animal friend you get is decided by a hidden choice you make without realizing you made it. That's also an unpleasant design choice. I'm a big fan of knowing what I'm choosing and even being able to change my mind if I realize that I don't like something. There's a reason most stores offer 90 day refund policies, it would be really unpleasant if you are stuck with a product you don't like just because it seemed like what you want but after a bit you realize it isn't. 

I can jump through hoops one and knock over dominoes in order for only so long, it seems.





There is a complacency that comes with everything being in a pre-set and in order. "Spick and Span" as they say in Germany. So I don't want to gate everyone for too long or it just gets to a bad place. Someone could do a thought piece where your character gets more and more evil to achieve their goals and see how players react, but idk if that would be any fun. Just seems kind of bad faith and nasty.

Working on some of my threading stuff today, I want the worker threads to be a bit more sophisticated to avoid some race conditions that create glitchy terrain.
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