3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 28 Oct 2013, 16:18

As for the general playable demo, I was aiming to have at least one working character in it first, and I haven't got around implementing Buch's GUI further yet.
IMHO due to time-contraints I was actually not planning to release one before Robert finishes the Linux/SDL2 port and also probably not much before Christmas this year.
But ya3dag is playable/downloadable now, the core gameplay will probably not change for a while compared to it.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 28 Oct 2013, 21:35

How about something like this:
style2.jpg
random internet pic.


Color code: red- 3D exchangeable per item; blue- 3D fixed upper and lower body per character (change of texture possible); green- animated and directional 2.5D sprites.

All with a pretty low resolution texture to fit into pixel style.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby charlie » 28 Oct 2013, 22:30

I'm not totally sold on this ultra-low resolution texture ideal. It may just look crude in a 3D environment with fine angles and sharp shapes.

Perhaps the way forward would be to draft a 3D scene with the already-done items and concept a few characters for it - you don't have to animate them or do different angles or even put them "in-game", but can composite a concept screenshot and it will show how things are intended to come together.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 28 Oct 2013, 22:42

Yes that would be a good idea I guess. If I can get the props done so far as .obj I can probably add them easily. However the prototype would be partially incomplete as the normal-maps are not yet supported on sprites (it's on Roberts todo list).

Concerning the ultra-low textures... well I did some tests, and to me anything slightly more high-resolution falls into the "uncanny valley" of totally outdated and blurry looking PS2 type games. So it is either really high resolution textures (which is a lot of work, brings in a lot so subsequent issues and a never ending story of adding more and more detail) or really low resolution ones. The only alternative I can think of is going for vertex colors only, which can also look nice, but requires a lot of careful "poly-welding" to look good and it is also not giving a RPG vibe for me.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby amuzen » 28 Oct 2013, 23:53

If your intention with sprites is to be retro, you could perhaps get inspired by the generic fantasy style that some old 3D games (Daggerfall, Hexen, etc.) had. That style should match the item and prop screenshots posted in this thread pretty well, and you might even get a few nostalgic fellows slightly excited. You could also use the retro style as a convenient excuse for being lazy and using plain, directionless, unanimated billboards for a lot of things.

If retro isn't your goal, I'm not quite sure what you're up to actually. Regardless, I think that you should think carefully about mixing too many rendering techniques from different eras since it sounds like a pain content creation and consistence wise. Even though it's possible that it'll work in the end, just picking a single existing style and faithfully sticking to it until the bitter end sounds like a safer and easier choice to me. For example, if you pick the cartoonish style, just give up with all the (semi-)photorealistic texturing nonsense and go directly for line art and solid colors. In the end, it looks better that way and is much easier to do (because it makes texturing ridiculously easy, for example).
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Danimal » 29 Oct 2013, 00:50

Im with Amuzen, i still cant picture what you intend to do, but either elder scrolls Daggerfall billboard style:
Image
or pixel texturing in 3d:
Image
(http://opengameart.org/content/low-spec-reticulans)
could work out pretty well.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 29 Oct 2013, 15:09

The idea is to use a "modernized retro style" to keep art requirements low, while still having a cool looking game. Kind of like Legend of Dungeons did it (http://www.robotloveskitty.com/LoD/ ). Something that makes the retro crowd think "hey that's neat" while still not totally alienating people looking for more modern graphics; and as a side effect those graphics should still look nice 5 years down the road.

I am aware that mixing 3D part and 2D billbords is somewhat tricky, but I *think* it could be done to a nice effect if all the "organic" parts are done with animated sprites, while the "hard parts" (armor, helmet etc.) are done with (mostly unanimated) 3D meshes. This makes it quite easy and quick to create additional characters, while also offering an convenient way of customizing the look of characters as it is vital for RPGs (e.g. just exchange the 3D parts).

So it will be a sort of mix between those two example posted by Daminal above (but I don't like the "pre-rendered" look of Daggerfall, so I am rather looking for more hand-painted pixel billboards).

Is it more clear now? Comments, and ideas welcome ;)
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby andrewj » 05 Nov 2013, 14:20

I think that mixing 2D and 3D parts for characters is not really going to work, the difference will be too noticable and be somewhat jarring.

IMHO you would be best sticking to the original concept of using some combination of 2D sprites -- the ability to mix and match different kinds of armor, clothing, etc (like what is possible with wulax's great LPC spritesheets) would be a real advantage, and keeping the original goal of being able to re-use lots of existing 2D assets.

If you use low-poly models with small skin files, but with somewhat realistic environments, then the game may end up looking like the original Quake, and I don't think that's the look you are aiming at.

BTW there is a game called SoulFu which uses sprites in a 3D environment, with a cartoony style. Worth checking out to compare and constrast with your current ideas.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 06 Nov 2013, 14:49

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I am currently traveling a lot for my job to remote places where there is no internet.
I hope to be back home the middle of next week.
About mixing 2d and 3d... well it is worth the try I think, as it might result in a pretty cool & unique look. But if that doesn't work out, I would also rather go for fully sprite characters than trying to make them low-poly 2D (as it doesn't make sense to make a quake look-alike ;) ).
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 17 Nov 2013, 14:21

Surt posted some interesting tests in his CC0 scraps post:
9worlds4.blend.jpg
CC0 by surt


Download blend here.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Danimal » 20 Nov 2013, 00:29

Im sorry, but lately i havent been able to do much, RL kicking my ass... I still texture a few models when i can, but its gonna take its time
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 20 Nov 2013, 12:55

Sure that's fine, for me it is similar.
But I think the above stuff from Surt deserves another look and maybe I can come up with a sort of hybrid of that style and my proposal above (I don't like the boxy heads that much... too minecraft like).
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Danimal » 20 Nov 2013, 15:36

Maybe you should consider to take a more "zelda like" approach to the whole thing?
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 20 Nov 2013, 22:16

hmm, which of the many zelda art-styles do you mean?
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 29 Nov 2013, 21:09

Still alive... but busy with other stuff.

Anyways, I rethought the entire character thing, and while I still want to somehow include the animated sprites (after all Robert did all the hard work to implement them) I am starting to doubt that we will ever get anywhere with them (I am too critical of my work and scrap everything that doesn't look 100% like I imagine :-/ ).

So plan-B would be the pixelated but full 3D characters. There is actually a pretty nice mesh that is fully rigged and UVmapped that looks quite close to what I imagine as a basemesh on Blenderswap: http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/13277 (it doesn't include the animations though; but they are not that great anyways according to the video).

So we could adapt those pixel textures surt did to fit this base-character, but I dread all the animation work that is necessary to get it working. And there isn't skeletal animation in ya3dag yet, which would be nice to have with this mesh so that we don't have to cut it in half for the .md3 etc. I guess I will have to talk to Robert about it... he mentioned plans for that previously.

Speaking of ya3dag: The SDL2 port is finished and the working Linux version isn't far off any more according to Robert... maybe another 2 weeks or so :)
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Danimal » 30 Nov 2013, 21:44

Sounds good to me, Surt also posted a template for it a few pages back. Also, when i told you about zelda earlier i meant its jugability, somehow i think the controls could be just like in the older zelda games. Simple but fun, maybe adding skills, but not overcomplicating the basic combat aspect (move around, hit something and run before being countered, this get funnier with many enemies around, including ranged ones). Add random dungeon generation to make it more rogue/gaunlet-like; but for this an overhead view is better than a shoulder one.
Have you thougth about the characters? we could have a basic one for which you buy or find armour pieces (and give the class/aspect, good for a single player game), or a few classes with upgradable (or found/buyed?) equipment (Ex. bandit unequip "helmet" (+1 def) to put on "horned helmet" (+2 Def +5 ATT) or "Knight helm" (+ 8 Def)) which sounds better for multiplayer since you know what skills you get and can have 2 differently customized bandits on the same group (one damage oriented and another defense oriented).

I would like you have a look to a game before you continue (watching a few videos is fine) "Dungeonland", which have similar mechanics to what i exposed. I know this migth broke what you intend to do but in my opinion it should give a better playing experience (although sacrifying complexity and dephtness)

Such a rant... just so you know, texturing is still going on (slowly) so the number of ready models is increasing even if i dont post them here.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 30 Nov 2013, 22:32

Made a super quick test:
quick_test.png
super quick test (all CC0)
quick_test.png (7.68 KiB) Viewed 15045 times


Obviously the skeleton doesn't fit well to the belly, but that one had the most body texture ;)
I like the shape of this model, and the rig is good too, but the UVs have to be probably rearranged to allow for easier "pixel" texturing.

What do you think about this general style?

----
Concerning your idea for zelda like game-play: For now that is way out of the scope of this project (e.g. lack of a dedicated programmer ;) )... lets stay close to what Ya3dag provides, e.g. a 3rd person action RPG. Same for random dungeons, but as level creation is rather simple, so user created levels should give you a similar large variety.

In general my idea is to aim for a simple game that merges ideas from coop multiplayer FPS (Killing floor/Left4Dead etc.) with a simple fast progressing action RPG.

This has obvious ramifications on how to design the character system, e.g. there could be something like 4 different characters, but each is unique, e.g. you can only have one of each in a coop match. Character progression has to be obviously very quick in a multiplayer game, e.g. you can go through a full cycle within a campaign that takes maybe 3 hours at most (although that could be longer if a solid multiplayer save mechanism was implemented, which I imagine isn't trivial).

Dungeonland seems like a fun game, but it is really a completely different kind of game to what can be easily build with the engine we have. Something like that could be probably nicely build on top of an RTS engine (similar to the origins of DOTA).

Nice to hear that you are still working on this despite my clear lack of real progress regarding this...
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Danimal » 01 Dec 2013, 00:21

i think skeleton deserves his own modified mesh to have less "flesh"
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby surt » 01 Dec 2013, 01:16

That's pretty much what I had in mind, just more angular/fewer polys.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 01 Dec 2013, 11:40

surt {l Wrote}:That's pretty much what I had in mind, just more angular/fewer polys.


Yes I thought about that too, and the meshes you did look good in general, but unless one separates the limbs (which would give it the in my view the bad PS1 look) those low poly meshes will not animate very well, e.g. deformation is a big problem. Therefore I think a higher poly mesh (the above one is at about 1400 tris) will work better.

@Danimal: yes, but we should try to have them at least all compatible to the same rig to avoid having to do even more animations.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 02 Dec 2013, 21:12

Hmmm... seems like someone finally managed to get all those Ryzom assets into a usable format... can't get it to import yet, but just thinking out loud this could be pretty huge and worth thinking about using in this "project":
https://bitbucket.org/ccxvii/ryzom-assets/overview
(An importer set by the same guy: https://github.com/ccxvii/asstools but I can't get it to work... maybe someone else has more luck?).

Edit: wohoo works! This is definitly a great change of situation as Ryzom have everything one needs in regards to animations and also nice base meshes!
Robert also said that implementing .iqm is on the todo and not a big deal as the code can be based on other idtech2 implementation examples.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 03 Dec 2013, 17:27

Ok change in plan: Lets see what we can do with the Ryzom assets.

My current idea would be to use the animations (which have really a great variety and are perfect for a 3D action RPG) and look into using the base meshes for the characters also. Obviously that would mean we will have to go for more standard character proportions unless someone comes up with a clever and good looking way to deform the rigs and animations.

To avoid having a game that looks just like Ryzom, I would suggest we come up with our own clothing and other attachments and definitely with a totally different texturing style. I will look how and if a super low res pixel look as discussed before can be suitable with those models, but lets see.
But this pile of high quality assets is too good to pass on, so I am willing to compromise to get them in.

I hope we are in agreement on that.

P.S.: See also this topic: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5138
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 03 Dec 2013, 18:09

heh, toying around with the pixel scaler GIMP plugin, surts pixel faces and a Ryzom mesh:
test1.png
cc-by-sa
test1.png (15.15 KiB) Viewed 14895 times


could be a nice, not sure :cool:
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Julius » 05 Dec 2013, 21:23

No answers always means: "too polite to tell your idea is sh*t" :cry:

So here is a middle way idea:

This mesh http://www.blendswap.com/blends/view/69438 can be made to work with the Ryzom animations it seems and the UV layout is already quite nice for pixel texturing.
I will see if I can come up with a more generic version of it which could be the base for a pixelish character.
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Re: 3D pixel style coop action RPG (IRON FIST?)

Postby Danimal » 06 Dec 2013, 22:50

Sorry, i didnt read this post before, the mesh is fine but the tuxture is way too low pixel and looks bad, even my barrel looks better than it, sticking with the ones proposed by surt is a better idea
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