Few ideas for the engine

Content and general development discussion, including maps, quests, and server code from the development team.
Post Reply
Reaktor
Peon
Peon
Posts: 12
Joined: 09 Oct 2005, 08:05

Few ideas for the engine

Post by Reaktor » 09 Oct 2005, 08:29

Hi,

I'm just willing to throw my few sents regarding the developement. I'v been currently playing around with my own engine, and I'd like to see few ideas thrown to mana world.

First, take a look at some concept-pictures:

http://www.tamk.fi/~c4jlepol/concept-shot1.gif
http://www.tamk.fi/~c4jlepol/concept-shot2.gif
http://www.tamk.fi/~c4jlepol/concept-shot3.gif
http://www.tamk.fi/~c4jlepol/concept-shot4.gif

Currently the engine is only capable of rendering moving ball's (actors & objects) and I'm slowly getting to work with polygon-based landscaping...

So, one recommendation I'd like to see would be adding facial pictures of npc's and pc's. Basically game would include face-gallery, and by clicking other pc or npc it would open 'target window', which would show some basic impressions about the character (as seen on concept-shot1). This would occur in situations such as when having conversation with other character... somehow it add's more depth to the game.

Well. Being able to hide toolbards and open 'em quickly would be nice. Someone already suggested this in another post. Also being able to chat simply by starting to type in keyboard would be great. I prefer not to predefine action-keys, and some games leave keyboard alone just for chatting.

Something to concider: I have made a documentation of new MMORPG theme based on ownership. This system basically works so that every object / tile / scenery has relationship with certain owner (such as group or individual). This would mean that anyone can own anything, and this add's possibility to further impliment new features, such as adding bonus feats when accessing certain tiles. Ownership is something which all MMORPGS are still missing, yet it is one of the easiest implementations to make and would give endless possibilities to make deep infastructure for the game... I'm not going to further details here, but If you are interested, I have lecturing documentation ready. It's something I researched for my schoolstudy and which I'm going to implement on my own engine.

If there is anything you need help with, I could lend a hand.

[edit] Oh, and fix the targeting of npc's. It's annoying when character just moves behind npc when you'r trying to have a conversation with it ;)

[edit2] btw, how big tiles can the engine & mapeditor handle? I was just wondering if sizes such as 512x512 are supported, or are tiles using some fixed-size (64x64)?
User avatar
Bjørn
TMW Adviser
TMW Adviser
Posts: 1430
Joined: 09 Dec 2004, 19:50
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Contact:

Post by Bjørn » 09 Oct 2005, 15:31

Nice concept shots.

Facial pictures: I'd be fine with adding that, but of course it'll mean extra work by the artists. I think we'll be doing this later on.

Chat by beginning to type: Is planned. There is a page on the wiki about a keyboard input redesign, but unfortunately the wiki is down at the moment.

Hide/open toolbars quickly: What toolbars do you mean? If you mean the windows, there are shortcuts to show/hide most of them.

Ownership: This could indeed by a convenient generic base for a lot of features. Things for which we were already planning an ownership relation would be items (like in inventory/equipped), shops (merchants would be able to own a shop) and real estate (your own house). Are these the kind of things you meant?

Targetting of NPCs has been fixed in CVS so you'll see that when we release 0.0.17 (should be soon).

Tile size of TMW is fixed on 32x32, though I do mean to make the tile engine more flexible in this regard. The map editor doesn't impose any size limits, though some sizes would just not be very convenient.
xand
Peon
Peon
Posts: 95
Joined: 19 Jul 2005, 19:08

Post by xand » 09 Oct 2005, 22:46

Bjørn wrote:Chat by beginning to type: Is planned.
Please don't do that :P
Why is pressing ENTER, then starting to type so inconvenient?
Get used to it, really.
Thinking that you can't use a single key for a shortcut sounds horrible
for me. Even if you can still use Modifiers + Key.
User avatar
Bjørn
TMW Adviser
TMW Adviser
Posts: 1430
Joined: 09 Dec 2004, 19:50
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Contact:

Post by Bjørn » 09 Oct 2005, 23:16

xand wrote:
Bjørn wrote:Chat by beginning to type: Is planned.
Please don't do that :P
Why is pressing ENTER, then starting to type so inconvenient?
Get used to it, really.
Thinking that you can't use a single key for a shortcut sounds horrible
for me. Even if you can still use Modifiers + Key.
I guess we'll have to make it an option then...
User avatar
ktm
Novice
Novice
Posts: 201
Joined: 14 Jul 2005, 10:24
Location: Vokietija

Post by ktm » 09 Oct 2005, 23:26

Bjørn wrote:we'll have to make it an option then...
definitely. instant-chat is doubleminusgood; use irc for that.

about the character pics: they could be user-supplied images that get shown when viewing another player's profile - an option we're lacking unfortunately, but maybe it'll be implemented somewhere along the way. would be useful for guilds/partys etc i think.
could be funny to be able to see the actual person behind the player sprite, maybe even screaming when hit etc. Bjørn could reuse his current avatar in the tavern ^_^ but not everyone has a digi-/web-cam...
User avatar
Crush
TMW Adviser
TMW Adviser
Posts: 8046
Joined: 25 Aug 2005, 17:08
Location: Germany

Post by Crush » 10 Oct 2005, 00:01

ktm wrote:
Bjørn wrote:we'll have to make it an option then...
definitely. instant-chat is doubleminusgood; use irc for that.

about the character pics: they could be user-supplied images that get shown when viewing another player's profile - an option we're lacking unfortunately, but maybe it'll be implemented somewhere along the way. would be useful for guilds/partys etc i think.
could be funny to be able to see the actual person behind the player sprite, maybe even screaming when hit etc. Bjørn could reuse his current avatar in the tavern ^_^ but not everyone has a digi-/web-cam...
i don't think that this is a good idea.

what do you think how many people will really upload their real picture or at least a character artwork useable for role playing? most people will just put in the most stupid picture they can find trying to be funny. so they will ruin the game atmosphere.

but when you like to play in a party with a yellow rubber duck, a grafiti tag reading "t3h b4sh0r!!", a toaster and the goatse man we can sure implement user provided pictures.
User avatar
Rotonen
TMW Adviser
TMW Adviser
Posts: 3154
Joined: 08 Sep 2004, 20:48
Location: Espoo, Finland

Post by Rotonen » 10 Oct 2005, 02:49

I think well established guilds would be allowed custom logos in the future, although they'd have to apply for it and it would be regulated.

Just an idea (partially ripped off RO).
This message used to be meaningful.
Reaktor
Peon
Peon
Posts: 12
Joined: 09 Oct 2005, 08:05

Post by Reaktor » 10 Oct 2005, 09:19

Faces (and maybe certain descriptive-windows?): Well I'd rather rely on excisting artwork. You should think about 'lisencing' artwork from anime artists. I'm not talking about buying an artwork, but you could ask for artwork donation. Basically you ask for permission to use some artwork from other artist, and add small info-icon (similar to which I have in concept-shots) to corner of artwork in game. By pressing this it would show information about artist and/or weblink to his website. I would think that artists would see this a great way to promote their artwork, and you would get to simply choose suitable work from excisting galleries (such as Elfwood). This kind of donationwork would also encourage players to create their own art and supply 'em for your game. You simply have to choose which ones to include for the game and which ones to drop.

About ownership: I have created documentation of how ownership would actually create dynamic world which we haven't seen in games just yet. Basically ownership means that anything can be owned by certain owner, even players (players are owned by their race and/or landlord). IF players are then divided to three or more factions, it's easy to implement new battlesystem which encourages players to fight against each other, not just against NPC's. This WOULD encourage PVP-battles, but large enough world would make this balanced (since taking war-travels would take some time and probably most of the players wouldn't be killing newbies all the time).

Let's state it this way: Think about this as there would be factions such as "Canada", "USA" and "Cuba". Players get to fight against each other and they can also conquer land from other faction (by capturing certain strongpoint, probably a cityhall or such). When Canadian player enters land which is owned by US-citizen, he loses certain bonuses (which is has when he is walking on his own land). This is known as territorial-bonus. Territorial bonus could be anything from better game (hunting) to defense bonus (when on certain strongpoint area, which is owned by own race/landlord).

Well, this isn't probably the best example for this kind of MMORPG, but it's just an example how complicated and DYNAMIC systems can be created by simply adding "ownership" -flag. You can add relations between actions and coactions afterwards... For better documentation, I can supply presentation sheets later on if needed. Of course it's clear that this kind of feature ain't the first one needed for TMW, but it could provide deep depth later on for the game, such a depth which we haven't seen on MMORPGs just yet... well, something similar to "Wolf: ET meet's MMORPG" :)

Toolbars: It would be nice to hide toolbars by simply clicking 'em open or hided. I think that WOW has this kind of feature. Basically, the window (well, that's what I meant by toolbar) is hidden by default to the edge of screen, and it shows just by few pixels wide line. When this line is clicked, the window pop's open (it flows/appears from left or right or top or bottom, where-ever it's hidden). It's not just about moving or resizing windows, but actually hiding and making 'em visible just by a press of a mouse button.

I was asking about tiles just because the wasteland seems a bit repetative, even though few tile-brushes have been used. By using three different 512x512 brushes it would look way more detailed. Larger brushes are easier to work with anyways, when it comes to creating large areas.

Well... the chat-thingie is really just an opinion. It works well with enter, but why bother pressing enter when you could simply start writing? :)

[Edit]

I have a few months old documentation of YAR (the sandbox-engine which concept-shots are taken from), and it explains some new aspects of roleplaying on it's feature-list, even though this documentation is seriously outdated. New version is on my server/developement station, which is currently broken and waiting for a new harddrive :P

Yet, I uploaded old baseline documentation to http://www.tamk.fi/~c4jlepol/YAR.rtf . Featurelist has the most important features pointed out, so take a sneak peak and feel free to borrow any idea if you are interested.
Reaktor
Peon
Peon
Posts: 12
Joined: 09 Oct 2005, 08:05

Post by Reaktor » 17 Oct 2005, 08:07

Bjorn,

I'm really looking forward for the support for 512/512 tiles or such, since it would give great boost for mapping and loop-problems. I was also wondering if it's possible to make use for the frames which .png files seem to support? This way it would be possible to create one frame, which is how the tile is viewed from the top, second frame could be "insideview" (which is shown when the player is inside this tile, such as large corridor) and the last frame could be used for pathmapping (by color, maybe purple)?
If frame aren't supported, couldn't this be archieved by creating some standard for tileset's? Maybe these frames could be presented by having three frames of one tiles next to each other?
User avatar
Bjørn
TMW Adviser
TMW Adviser
Posts: 1430
Joined: 09 Dec 2004, 19:50
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Contact:

Post by Bjørn » 17 Oct 2005, 08:53

I'm really not sure why you like 512x512 so much. Currently 512x512 is a whole tileset, with which you can map a complete map. The idea about tiles is that you can reuse them. I think 512x512 tiles would be hardly reusable, you need many more to create a map, and it'd consume lots of texture memory.

I don't see how we could support multiple images inside one PNG, and I wouldn't know how to create such a PNG either, heh. Of course it is possible to define some standard but at the moment I don't see why. We're using tile based collision (not pixel based), which seems fine by me. Also if we'd introduce a corridor that would change to inside view when walking within it, it'd probably be better to use some other technique like an additional layer on top that is turned off, or simply warp to another map as we're doing now.
Reaktor
Peon
Peon
Posts: 12
Joined: 09 Oct 2005, 08:05

Post by Reaktor » 17 Oct 2005, 12:29

well, I just used 512x512 as an example... actually there really is no point using THAT LARGE area, but something such as 128x128 would be usable. Even 64x64 would ease mapping process quite a lot.

I'm not actually 100% sure how png's contain different frames. It's still possible to save layerdata in editors such as PSP, Gimp & Photoshop, so I just though if it would be ok way to handle both, moving area and insideview. Anyway, having additional layer would work as well.
User avatar
Bjørn
TMW Adviser
TMW Adviser
Posts: 1430
Joined: 09 Dec 2004, 19:50
Location: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
Contact:

Post by Bjørn » 18 Oct 2005, 22:45

Actually GIMP wants you to flatten the image when saving a PNG. Maybe you're referring to MNG? That's the format used by Animation Shop Pro for example and is meant for animation. However, I still don't think we should use it.

While the tilesize will probably remain 32x32, the editor will in the future be able to draw blocks of tiles in one operation. This should make drawing connecting 64x64 or 128x128 areas much easier.
Post Reply