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Author Topic: Rendering setup  (Read 20939 times)
Lamoot
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« on: March 13, 2009, 02:40:23 PM »

I'm testing the rendering setup. The assumption is that it should look good enough at 1024x768 which should in my opinion be our main target resolution.

Basic person with a basic tile. The tile size is 2m x 2m in PARPG world (the diagonal is 154 pixels). The person stands at around 1,8 m tall, or 85 pixels. (1m in PARPG = 1 Blender unit)



For comparison, In Fallout tactics, the average person was around 73 pixels tall. Here's a 1024x768 screenshot

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/ea/Fallout_Tactics_Combat.jpg

In Baldur's gate 2, the average person was around 62 pixels tall. Here's a 800x600 screenshot.

http://mygamesfile.com/baldursgate2game/img/4l.jpg

In Fawlout, the average person was around 65 pixels tall, the big guy on the screen shot is 68 pixels tall. The screen resolution was 640×480, meaning rather large characters compared to the screen size.

http://www.lauppert.ws/screen1/fallout.png

Right now my focus is on the size. The lights will receive a bit more attention later.

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mvBarracuda
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 03:32:38 PM »

Looks good Lamoot.

The rendersetup can be found in SVN now as well:
http://parpg-svn.cvsdude.com/parpg/trunk/source/blender/
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Gaspard
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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 03:47:02 PM »

Hmm. Wouldn't 85 pixels be a bit large/tall ?
When I look at the other screens and compare the resolutions then I'd think 75-80 pxls would be optimal, no ?
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 04:01:07 PM »

Hmm. Wouldn't 85 pixels be a bit large/tall ?
When I look at the other screens and compare the resolutions then I'd think 75-80 pxls would be optimal, no ?

Optimal for what?

It seems to me the main difference is that at ~70 pixels there's really no room for a recognizable face.  As we move closer to ~100 distinguishable faces start to be possible.  Which is better is a judgement call, do you want to hide the fact that everyone is the same model, or give room for eventually someone to model a variety of distinguishable people?


At smaller scales you can cheat in little ways and get away with it easier.
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Gaspard
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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 04:25:25 PM »

Hmm. Wouldn't 85 pixels be a bit large/tall ?
When I look at the other screens and compare the resolutions then I'd think 75-80 pxls would be optimal, no ?

Optimal for what?

It seems to me the main difference is that at ~70 pixels there's really no room for a recognizable face.  As we move closer to ~100 distinguishable faces start to be possible.  Which is better is a judgement call, do you want to hide the fact that everyone is the same model, or give room for eventually someone to model a variety of distinguishable people?


At smaller scales you can cheat in little ways and get away with it easier.

/edit/ optimal as in looking nice, looking the best

As you brought it up I guess I'll elaborate why I think this way. I really-really like the 'faceless' characters.
Why ? In that case there's a concrete distinction between story-related NPCs and filler NPCs.
In my years of computer gaming I have spent many-many boring ours in total running around and trying to talk with all the different faces. Some of them might actually have a (maybe, probably not) interesting subquest for you.

If the game features a feedback-screen like it was used in fallout (I'm not sure, but I for some reason have understood that this is exactly the case) then those characters will become interesting through the descriptions. More important NPCs should feature not so standard apparel/clothing and when you talk to them they can have portraits.

In addition or actually possibly even the main reason I sort of like that blurry face more than a detailed but not detailed ENOUGH kind of face which therefore looks everything but lifelike. Hints at facial hair like goatees/handlebars and different haircuts and skin colour give me more room to use my imagination in a cRPG when it comes to what the NPCs look like.
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Lamoot
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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 08:14:31 PM »

I'm with Gaspard on this one, smaller sprites tend to have this certain attractiveness that larger sprites loose, 80px seems to be a better choice. The sprites will still look cool.

Modeling the faces can be too time consuming, an additional parameter to tweak and fine-tune. To an extent other means can be used to portrait a certain character, like hair shape and colour as well as skin colour. In addition, we can use portraits for added visual information about a certain character. Unlike sprites these are optional and are not critical for the game so they don't create any additional pressure on the art team. And I've heard Gaspard has some portraying skills Wink

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At smaller scales you can cheat in little ways and get away with it easier.

This has been planned from the very beginning, to be constructively lazy Wink smaller sprites allow us to be more sloppy with our models and textures. 100px are already too much. If anyone isn't happy with my decision do this: look at the fallout tactics screenshot and ask yourself whether you'd be happy with PARPG having that kind of graphics style and agent size? (I know my answer)

Things are like this now:

* An average person has around 80px now

* The diagonal of the basic 2m x 2m tile is now 140px

Comparisson - the smaller dude is the smaller, and the bigger dude is the bigger dude Wink
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 08:20:16 PM by Lamoot » Logged
eleazzaar
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« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2009, 08:49:13 PM »

If these are exactly the same model, i guess i agree, the smaller one works better for a semi-anonymous character.

It shouldn't be too hard to find artist who will do character portraits.
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zenbitz
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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2009, 04:00:15 AM »

Why 2m x 2m?  This is kinda silly for melee combat.   Unless you always use spears.
Or maybe allow up to 4 models/per tile?  Graphical tile composed of 4 "mechanics" tiles? 





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eleazzaar
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2009, 05:04:43 AM »

Good point. I agree that movement and combat should not be constrained to 2 meter tiles.

But it's not absolutely necessary that a "tile" for graphics creation and a "tile" for combat or movement be the same thing-- or even that we base movement on tiles.

Though it would be simpler and more straightforward if we could use the same size of tile throughout.


Personally 1 Meter tiles seem a bit small.  Spears, bows and rifles would tend to extend almost to or maybe even through a person directly in front.  Wouldn't be the most horrible glitch in game history, but something to avoid if we can.

1.5 meters even seems oversized to me, but hacked up graphics can only tell so much.  It would be good to see how some characters with protruding weapons look.


* tilesize.jpg (48.1 KB, 423x216 - viewed 399 times.)
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Gaspard
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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2009, 09:59:21 AM »

so movement is restricted to tiles (as in one 'step'/movement action shifts the character from one tile to an adjacent one) ?
usually a grown human male's step is around one metre.
+ when jogging/running
- when creeping etc
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Lamoot
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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 10:19:48 AM »

Ah, this has been in my head for so long I took it for granted and forgot to tell you: basic ground sprite tile is 2m x 2m. For movement, a separate, smaller grid can be used and should be used. For example, Fallout used a square grid for tiles and a hex grid for movement.

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Graphical tile composed of 4 "mechanics" tiles? 

Yp, exactly like this. In addition, the "mechanics" tiles can include map objects, like barrels, crates, walls and such that prohibit movement. Makes sense to have them on the same grid layer, no?

I really prefer to use a clean conversion rate, so 1 tile = 4 mechanics tiles. Easier on the mind. So we end up with 1m x 1m mechanics tiles.

The example is nice, but might give a false perception, since the character has fully spread arms. For close combat, the mechanics people are already considering to not allow effective rifle combat at point blank, so guns sticking all over the neighbouring tiles are not a major concern.

Since combat will be turn based, we can say crouched walk takes more "movement points" to move per tile than a regular walk, or some other method to compensate.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 10:22:19 AM by Lamoot » Logged
Lamoot
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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2009, 01:50:07 PM »



A test of an improved rendering setup. The models all have a 50% grey material, no special effects whatsoever.
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Gaspard
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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2009, 02:37:20 PM »

strap a GUI on that, write the dialogue for the two characters - done  Grin
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Lamoot
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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2009, 04:43:49 PM »

This looks like a perfect scene for an epic Dali-like RPG. You have a tree in the middle, some random geometric objects to the right and 2 people on the left (forming a holy trinity). Both persons are forced keep their arms spread out, but one can stand while the other is fused with ground and they talk...
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eleazzaar
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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2009, 04:47:45 PM »

so movement is restricted to tiles (as in one 'step'/movement action shifts the character from one tile to an adjacent one) ?
usually a grown human male's step is around one metre.
I don't think the length of a step is very important in this case.  If we need tiles to be of a certain size we can adjust the size of the stride or use partial steps.


Ah, this has been in my head for so long I took it for granted and forgot to tell you: basic ground sprite tile is 2m x 2m. For movement, a separate, smaller grid can be used and should be used.

Quote
Graphical tile composed of 4 "mechanics" tiles? 

Yp, exactly like this.

Why?

Especially in an issue that effects multiple aspects of the game, it's not very helpful to declare: "it must be like this" without any supporting explanation.


In addition, the "mechanics" tiles can include map objects, like barrels, crates, walls and such that prohibit movement. Makes sense to have them on the same grid layer, no?

Sure, what doensn't make sense to me is why the graphics don't work on the same grid everything else is.  It seems to me that you would want to build things using that scale.  For if you can use "mechanics tiles" to make a hallway 3 meters wide, why would you limit the designer to carpet i with tiles 2 meters wide?  What's the point in making the art 2x bigger?


I really prefer to use a clean conversion rate, so 1 tile = 4 mechanics tiles. Easier on the mind. So we end up with 1m x 1m mechanics tiles.

Sure that would be preferable.  But i don't see how that is the paramount concern.  Working on a "1.5 m" or "1.25m" square doesn't add that much hardship does it?


The example is nice, but might give a false perception, since the character has fully spread arms. For close combat, the mechanics people are already considering to not allow effective rifle combat at point blank, so guns sticking all over the neighbouring tiles are not a major concern.

Yeah, i realize that that little example isn't perfect.  That's why i suggested we should see some examples with the people i other positions esp. holding weapons.

In the 1 meter example it looks like people in adjacent tiles can stand in the middle of their space and reach out and touch the torso of the person in the adjacent space.  This is IMHO also too close for melee combat.  There's hardly room for a normal sword/shield between them without that equipment touching in an "at rest" position.  It may look odd if a character can move a sword enough to run in up to the hilt while only slightly extending his arm.

Sure we're not going to animate weapons actually puncturing people, and with small sprites we can still cheat on a lot of little things, but these concerns IMHO deserve investigating
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