Fate of Io
Current mechanics
2002/11/02 09:17:15 PST by Davy boy2000b [0/13]
[Davy boy2000b's avatar]

Will these need revising to suit up to date developments? (and even realisations! [:P])

2002/11/02 11:05:24 PST by Dev [manager]
[Dev's avatar]

I think we need some "up-to-date developments" before I can answer that question.

The biggest issue before the project is how we want to make this game (3D, pseudo-3D, etc.). Contrary to popular belief, the game format is technically up in the air, and that means pretty much nothing can go forward in the gameplay section until we get this one nailed down.

2002/11/02 11:29:22 PST by Alex [0/0]

Basic Gameplay Mechanics - Proposal
Created June 27, 2001 by Temporal.

This game is 3D. Unlike some games we know and love, the gameplay in Fate of Io will take advantage of it's 3D-ness. That is to say, the gameplay will be 3D in addition to the graphics.

The player controls a group of characters. There may be up to four characters in this group at any one time.

The characters are controlled by giving them commands. To give a command, the player must first select one or more characters by clicking on them or dragging a box around them. This selects which characters are to carry out the command. Alternatively, the number keys 1-4 can be used to select characters, and shift can be held to select multiple characters at once.

There are two ways to actually give the command:

(1) Right-click on the target of the command. A menu will appear listing what the character(s) can do to that object. For example, you might be able to pick up a tool, or attack an enemy, or push a rock. If two characters are selected, they may be able to team up to do something that neither one could do individually. Also, each individual character may be able to do certain things with certain objects that the other character's can't do.

(2) Left-click on the target. In this case, the character(s) will do the default command, which depends on the target. For example, the default thing to do to a monster is attack it. The default thing to do to an NPC would probably be to talk to them. The default thing to do to a treasure chest would be to open it. If the player clicks on a random point on the ground, the characters will move to that location.

If the player hovers the mouse over the target before clicking it, the mouse cursor will change to an icon which indicates what will happen if they click the object.

The camera view normally focuses on the currently selected character. It can be rotated by holding the right mouse button and moving the mouse. The camera can be zoomed in or out by using the scroll wheel. If the player does not have a mouse with a scroll wheel, they can zoom by holding both the right and left mouse buttons and moving the mouse up or down.

There is nothing preventing the characters from splitting up during gameplay. In fact, they may have to split up to get through some areas. The characters don't automatically follow any one lead character. Instead, if the player wants to move all of the characters at once, they must select all of them and tell them all to move.

If any one of the characters comes into view of an enemy, an alert flag will pop up warning the party of possible battle. There is no shift to "battle mode," however, and not all of the characters need be involved in the battle. For instance, one character could be battling while at the same time another character is solving a puzzle.

At any time, the player may pause the game by pressing the space bar. While the game is paused, the player may move the camera and issue commands. This allows the player to use complex strategies and tactics without having to have incredibly fast reactions.

2002/11/02 17:37:41 PST by Bahamut ONE [0/4]
Edited at 2002/11/03 14:54:47 PST

That's kinda outdated a lot.

Like Dev said we should first know if it should be 2 or 3D.

EDIT: BTW, I think we should go for 2D. Like it was mentioned in the other forums (I'll try to find the thread: here), 3D requires WAY too much work. And 2D doesn't mean we can't have good graphics. And about "cinematics"... I don't know how we could do those. Maybe in flash using a cartoony style? Or is that hard to implement in a C++ game?

2002/11/03 15:13:47 PST by Alex [0/0]

Damn this pisses me off. I spent more time this year campaigning for implementing FoI in 2D than I spent in total on being happy, and this is the best thread you can find?

All the things I propose are painfully rejected, but as soon as people are done stoning me for ever proposing them, they come up with identical ideas and call them their own.

My mind goes in pursuit of many things, but the only thing I ever find is pain. I know not what I live for. But every time I try to end it all, I fail, and end up back where I started.

2002/11/03 15:19:52 PST by Bahamut ONE [0/4]

I never said making the game 2D was my idea. I just said it was a good idea.

And I just took the first thread I found about 3D vs 2D. And the link tag is weird.

2002/11/03 16:45:28 PST by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

Problem is, Alex, you manage to make so many people hate you that when you suggest something which is a good idea, no one wants to admit it because they don't want to give you that satisfaction... Well, I know the 2D thing is mostly your idea and I still think it is a good one... or, at the very least, it should be carefully considered. (I myself am abstaining from that decision.)

2002/11/04 13:39:21 PST by nataku [0/19]

But wat is easier to do? 2 or 3-d?

2002/11/04 14:29:19 PST by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

Well, 2D is obviously easier...

2002/11/05 00:53:42 PST by 3Der [0/7]

I see no reason why this game can't be in 3D, its not like its impossible. I think 2D isn't challenging enough, its too easy. There are plenty of free and shareware 2D rpg games on the web already.
We are not the first to try and create a free 3D game, there is "Planeshift" its an online free 3D game. You can already download a test version of the game and walk around in the world. If you haven't checked it out already i suggest you do, maybe it will open your eyes a little.
A 3d game with crappy graphics is better then a 2D game with nice graphics. it adds so much more realism, and people can interact with the world more then in 2D.
Since our game is not online our polyogon count can be more then planeshift. = better looking game.
What we need is a little more of an optimistc view of things.

2002/11/05 01:14:53 PST by Dev [manager]
[Dev's avatar]

::deems this the official "what do we do with this game?" topic::

The trouble with making a 3D game, as far as I understand it, is that the amount of work you need to do increases exponentially with each element you add to the game. You first need to model it, and then colors and textures, and then animation. You also need an engine to make it all work.

I'd like us to weigh the pros and cons of each possible course of action, not excluding coming up with new alternatives along the way.

Pros for a 3D game would be, first, that it is the more generally accepted format for a modern video game, in terms of complexity and visual impressiveness in general (though I am apt to dismiss this because it is so outcome-based, which--as you all know because you've read the charter ::cough::--that's not as important to me). Another pro is that because it creates a lot of work, so supposedly contributors won't ever have a lack of work.

That last could also become a con for 3D: it is a more advanced medium to work in, so fewer contributors may be able to actually contribute to such an endeavor. A 2D game has a more accessable requirement for the skills we'd need, and because more contributors would be able to exercise their abilities, it might be more conducive to the primary goal of the project. Of course, the cons of 2D would be a less sophisticated-looking game.

I wonder what sort of middle ground there is between the two options. Is it possible to have a partially 2D, partially 3D game format? (And let's not constrain our thinking to the PS1 Final Fantasy games, but I suppose they'd be an example.) In particular, I'm interested in options that would use hand-drawn art by our artists as at least some of the gaming environment.

If I sound like I'm being partial, don't worry; I'm far from convinced either way, and we won't arrive at this decision quickly.

More ideas? Comments?

2002/11/05 02:23:28 PST by 3Der [0/7]
Edited at 2002/11/05 02:26:08 PST
Awards: 1 from Dev

"That last could also become a con for 3D: it is a more advanced medium to work in, so fewer contributors may be able to actually contribute to such an endeavor. "

I don't think anything will change for the contributers weather this game is 3D or not. They will still be ablt to express their opinions,discuss gameplay,and submit concept pictures.
More then half of the contributers will not be able to participate in actually creating the game either way, due to lack of skills.
I am not saying that they are useless,they are the backbone of this game after all.

This half 3D, half 2D proposal is good idea. I'm sure everyone will be happy. I would of course rather see this game in full 3D, but if this is not accepted then I am willing to accept this idea.
The battles,and towns, and certain places can be in 3D. and the world can be in 2D. like when traveling from one town to another it wll be in 2D(think of nes and snes). and when you reach the town you enter a 3D enviorment. We can even add a few fmv's. :)

I would just HATE to see this game come out full 2D. it would be such a waste....>_<

EDIT:<http://www.planeshift.it/> <<<<<<<link to planeshift..forgot to add it in my last post.

2002/11/05 06:53:59 PST by Temporal [manager]
[Temporal's avatar]

Well, as someone who knows enough about 3D to write a fully-featured 3D game engine, here's what I think:

First of all, 3D is not necessarily "better" than 2D. Especially in the realm of RPG's, the mere fact that a game is 3D doesn't, in my mind, mean anything as far as the game's quality. It all depends on how it uses that 3D. In the case of the Final Fantasy series, for instance, they did not do anything special at all with their 3D-ness. Final Fantasy 7-10 could all have been 2D and have been just as good! While I do believe that these were some of the best games ever made, their 3D-ness had nothing to do with that. (Hence my opinion that FF6 was just as good as any of the rest.)

(BTW, if, when you think of 2D, you are thinking of the sort of graphics seen in FF6 or any SNES game, don't. 2D graphics can look much, much better than that. The SNES had limits which we obviously wouldn't have.)

So, the question is, will Fate of Io take advatage of 3D? Will it do things with it's 3D-ness that could not be done in 2D? Well, my (rather old) gameplay proposal (seen above) is pretty 3D-dependent. I don't think it would work very well in a 2D game, so that's one thing.

Now, while I believe 3D allows us to do more interesting things with our gameplay mechanics, there is a price for that. 3D is much, much, much harder to develop. Most professional studios these days have hoards of modellers, and they do things like motion capture, which we have no ability to do whatsoever. We could fall back to manual animation, sure, but still... The simple fact is, it will increase the workload of creating this game 10 times over or more.

IMO, we have a reasonable chance of actually completing this game as a 2D game, but not as a 3D game. But, then again, this project is not goal-oriented, so perhaps that doesn't really matter anyway. The real question we need to be asking is, what will be more fun for us? Of course 3D sounds fun at first, but there will be much more grunt work and frustration involved, so I wouldn't be so sure.

One last note: A "half-3D" game would be, IMO, a Bad Idea. If we're going to have to model anything, we might as well do everything, since most of the work will have to be done anyway. Doing what they did in FF7-9 would actually be harder than just going full 3D. The only reason they did those games that way was because the playstation was so limited in its 3D rendering capability.

2002/11/05 20:32:10 PST by zorbathut [0/4]
Awards: 1 from Dev

In some ways, 3d is actually *easier* than 2d. Lighting and such can be programatically generated, rather than done by hand by artist. Plus, if you have some good utilities, you can eliminate a ton of the artist restrictions - at my work we're playing around with some utilities that would allow artists to make multi-million-polygon models with completely wonky texture coordinates (or even a gigapixel 3d texture if they really wanted) and it would reduce everything down to usable levels. Another advantage is this gives you trivial LOD and trivial hardware compensation - just save out the model and texture at various stages of polyreduction, and hey, problem solved.

On the other hand, 2d looks good also. Personally, when I think of modern 2d games, I think of Abe's Oddysee, which looked great, and I'm sure even better-looking would be possible. It's basically a matter of "can the player rotate the camera or is it computer-controlled", and if it's computer-controlled, often you can prerender scenes or hand-draw them.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that uber-high-poly models that look good are much easier to make than sprites, and, as previously mentioned, a computer can do the job of turning it into something usable.

'course, this means you'd need a good tools programmer. :)

2002/11/05 22:48:27 PST by 3Der [0/7]
Edited at 2002/11/05 22:57:06 PST
Awards: 1 from Dev

muliti-million polyogon models?? o_0 eeek...they would freeze my computer. First of all polyreduction can be done in most 3D programs(at least max), I don't know what program you were using but polyreduction also deteriorates the shape of the models giving you an undesired shape, and it can give you a worse looking model then maunally built low polyogon model.
So It would be better to build a 2000 polyogon model manually then taking a 50,000 polyogons hi-resolution mesh and reducing it to a 2,000 low-poly-model. Unless you are going for the ff7 low poly look.

Anyway, I realise that it will take 100's of hours to model,texture, and animate if we were making it in 3D. That is why i expect more modelers to join when they come and visit this site. the more we advertize the more will join.
There are lots of modelers out there who want to enhance their skills or build a portfolio, why not help create the game, enhance your skills, and build your portfolio all at the same time?
This is one of the reasons I want this game to be in 3D so i can experience what it is like working on a big game. Temp, wouldnt you like to experience create a 3D game? You may have the skills required for it, but i am guessing you have never created one, or one as big as this. I'm not sure what kind of programmer you are hoping to be, but if you ever needed to create a game in the future you would have less trouble if you have gone through it before.
I'm sure there are other programmers who want to learn how to create a 3D game and are just looking for something to create.
maybe this game will never be completed but I'm sure we will all gain experience to use in our future careers. Fate of Io can be used as a tool for the next generation of programmers and 3d artists. And if we are lucky we will have a game too.
The reason why a suggested that we make certain parts of the game in 3d is because it will cut the modeling etc..by half.

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