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Messages - SPayne

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Game Dev and Gaming / Re: Writers do more than quest-writing.
« on: Feb 12, 12, 11:20:48 PM »
Writers should be doing more than just quest writing.  There are always smaller parts of the larger back story that need to be filled in, especially when expansions come along.

Even so, when I think of "writing" quests/missions the first thing I think of is a basic plot and not a bunch of word dialogue.  Sure, with your typical RPG quest there should at least be a small bit of dialogue from the quest giver so things don't seem weird, confusing or even campy but truly there doesn't really need to be any dialogue for a legitimate quest.  I guess what I'm getting at is that I would rather see "writers" use all their potential imagination as writers and design out the whole quest and not just write out a story or a bunch of lengthy dialogue.

Seriously, quest writers should be using story maps and story boards for scripted sequences, missions/quests and basic game plots.

A good thing about writing for games is that since it will ultimately be put into a different and interactive form for the player, game writers don't need to push out APA/ASA/MLA quality production.

I posted about this in the sticky but the deal DID turn out to be the vertex paint color.  Although I NEVER, EVER messed with vertex paint at all, in ANY of my modeling programs, I found out that every single one of my models that I imported from another modeler ended up having a lot of their "controlling numbers" reset to zero.  In 3D World Studio, FILE COMPATIBILITY was causing all my saved .3DW files to be COMPLETELY EMPTY! In Max, this included ALL the colors for the vertex painting and the color you get when everything is set to zero is....(drum roll please)... BLACK.

I have not yet determined why File Compatibility does this but for now my workaround is to simply save files on a different drive or at least NOT in either of the "program files" directories.

This is my last barrier as I've figured out everything else.

The last problem is this...

The models show up in HE, their accompanying physics boxes are not rotated wrong and they are textured BUT....they still show up black because they are so dark.  Its like they were imported with no light map of any kind but I can still tell the textures are there because when I get close to it and click on it, it highlights just enough for a split second that I can see them.  This is a multi-material/Hero material object FYI.

If I create a fresh new box in Max that is just one Hero material and export that then it works just fine, textures and all.  Is there something that I'm forgetting here?  Because at this point it seems like something obvious and I've just beaten my head against the wall so much I'm blind to it.

The multi material model is imported from other sources and not created new so I'm wondering is there something with those models that needs to be reset so the textures are not dark? Or is there another setting I'm missing?  (If any HE-people want to take a look please feel free.)

Im guessing this is your first nitty gritty use of Max. I'm not sure I would recommend trying to learn a new engine, game development, and max at the same time. Have you thought about starting with Maya instead? maya has less unintuitive aspects (for many users at least).

Your rotation problem is most likely because Max uses different coordinate space than the rest of mankind. Ie, y and z are swapped.

Yes on Max although I did use 2007 for a couple things, just not nitty gritty stuff. I've got 2 years towards a a BS in Game Art and Design at Westwood so I'm not shy on the development part, the design is already there.

LOL, and no I would not recommend trying to learn Max, a new engine and game development at the same time  :o .  Even though I didn't get Max until recently, I've been going over the Blade tutorials, especially in scripting, and trying to get my models ready.  Most of my issues are with Max though but I seem to be pushing through what I need to know for the time being.  New things to deal with but I've done it before with other engines.  I can get my models in, with textures but I just need to jump through these last couple hoops then I will be speeding toward making videos.

Yes, I was aware of Max switching axes but I didn't know it was just rotating the mesh and not the collision box.

Here is the problem I have and every export setting I've tried does NOTHING.

This is what I get in Max...

This is what happens no matter what setting I try when exporting...notice how the "Y" collision box is rotated.  I had to scale up this model in HeroBlade as not even the export option to rescale the model would work.  I can find no options in HB to rotate physics(collision) boxes.

I looked for it but could not find any tutorials that dealt specifically with the export options and their functions...any help, like listing the settings you use or a tutorial that I missed, would be greatly appreciated and I could try those out in the event that I missed something.

I did however figure out the issue with the snap settings.

I have all the Collision Boxes for my models/meshes rotated 90 degrees up.  Ironically, I didn't notice it at first because my first test object was a cube (lol).  Another problem I'm having is that even though my models are textured correctly, they have lost their scale, having had absolute measurements in units before importing to 3DS Max.

I was thinking that there was a way to reset this and correct the rotation problem at the same time as I had come across this before when going through the tutorials.
At the top it says that "transform and scale should be reset" but is this done through commands (buttons) in 3DS Max or is it in the export settings?  Is this the same thing as the Transform and Scale Type-in for setting absolute measurements like if I wanted 500x500x250 units wide I just type it in?

A little ways down it also says this...  "Snap setting should be placed on User defined properties of the object/group if it is intended to have snap properties in game."  Does this mean we can set up whether or not our models snaps to grid in-game? I seem to have issues with snapping to grid as well but that is not anything critical even though I will need to line up certain things eventually.  I've searched for this but it is still unclear to me where this is at in Max.

I went through what I thought was all of the necessary tutorials but I may have missed something.  I managed to get everything I want to use updated and by working with it/playing around with it.  I can now take a textured piece of a building (which is my first simple cubic trial object) from 3D World Studio and get it into UU3D, still textured.  I can save that as an *.FBX and import that into Max and it is still textured even though it looks washed out and the model appears nearly white.

Oh yeah, the actual question here is how do I include the textures that are already on my models when exporting to HeroEngine?

In all the transfers I included the texture but according to the tutorials the preferred method is to texture it with a *.DDS (I think) in Max/Maya and THEN do the Hero Export.  The Hero export does NOT include the texture but rather provideds a link in the object to the texture in a certain directory which I gather should be the art repository.  Then the Hero Engine pulls from that directory and applies the texture.

However, when I apply the mandatory HeroMaterial all the textures just seem to go *POOF* and bye-bye texture.  Is there a workaround for this so that I do not have to keep retexturing?

BTW, I didn't notice if there was a way to convert the standard texture files that I use into (*.JPG, *.BMP, etc. etc.) into a *.DDS.

I know that including textures is less efficient than having multiple objects pull from the same texture file but I may do it if I can for a short while since we should all be making videos for HE for GDC coming up soon.  I have SO MUCH architecture for my game it just isn't funny and I really want to get as much as I can into a demo video (without retexturing ALL of it) so if anyone has a way of doing this I'd appreciate the helpful comments.

I finally got Max, L3DT, 3D World Studio, The Hammer, Photoshop, Wilbur and a few others installed and set up. (PHEW!) Now I'm ready to attempt importing some of the models I already have but I may need to scale them so I'm wondering what are the recommended dimensions of a typical doorway for a default character in the game world (among other things)? What are the dimensions of a default character anyway? Is there a list in the Wiki that I missed? I know that when you set up Max the units = .o1 meters but that is all I can find.

So basically...

World Machine ---> import individual tiles ---> Link tiles ---> Finished HE World map ?

It almost seems like this feature should be built right into Blade.

Will WM work or do I need to get WM2.2 ? Pro version?

Thanks for the reply though, any other suggestions to go along with this?


Wow, I just checked out WM and the version I need is $189!  I just tapped my bank something fierce for Max 2011.  Sorry to say there is not much money in the pizza delivery business in my area so is there anything out there that will do the same thing for less and with a huge height map? Anything <$100 ?

I just started diving into this and from what I understand, HeroEngine likes to have 500x500 "areas" which one by itself doesn't really serve as a world sized map.  I already have an existing grayscale (*.jpg) world map that I custom made (was going to use in another game engine) which is 2048x2048.

I have gone through the tutorials and such but I'm holding off on trying to import the height map since Cooper said not to go wild with importing huge terrains right away.  I did want to ask the question ahead of time since I will be working on my project nearly every day and pushing my project forward.

So my question, directed mostly at the HE people, is this: What is the prefered (hopefully easiest) method of importing a larger world map all at once? Please be specific.  Do I need to get L3DT or Terragen or the like to break it up first? If I need to do that is their a way to import all those areas at once? Is it possible to import the whole thing and then break it down into 500x500's? Is there a certain tool (or even panel) to use for this?

I've got ICQ too, I'll add you in and message you.    :)

I would like to put out a call for help while at the same time going a little deeper into what the development history has been like for The 5th Realm.

I have been working on a GDD (over 400 pages and counting) for around 7 years now and have been doing what I can with mock-ups, back stories and information that can be plugged into a game engine, like races, professions and abilities.  One reason that I included a bunch of architectural mock-ups in my youtube video was because I have designs for houses, buildings and even whole cities ready to go, literally hundreds of them just waiting on paper.  The height map for the overworld is done and just needs plugged in.  There are a few things to finish yet but in the whole design, it is ready to be implemented.  There is more than enough for a nice demo.

I'm pretty sure that I mentioned this before in a previous post but I'll reiterate for the sake of being fair and open.  To be honest, I DO NOT make much money at all, even to support myself and my family and I'm lucky to have the job I do, just a sign of the times I guess, so all positions will be unpaid to start with.  If the game makes money then you will get paid and you will be paid before and probably more than I will.  I'll admit that it would be nice to make enough to be able to hammer on the development full time but my heart is in this much more than my wallet is (just don't tell my wife that).

I've had small demos done by my friend Jeffrey (dark basic was one I think) and have used Multiverse for a while and Kaneva for a short while but nothing really panned out.  It seemed as though there was a flaw, bug or other limitation with the majority of the game engines I could even think about paying money for.  I was about to settle on one that would handle a small MMORPG demo for around a hundred people before getting flaky and then a fantastic present from Hero Heaven fell in my lap.  This was a very welcome but unexpected gift so I'm still scrambling to get things together.

Between a couple of my friends and myself, we've got the bases covered but we don't want the development cycle to be longer than it has to be so specifically we are looking for:

Texture Artist(s):
You must be able to produce tiled/untiled seemless textures that are at least decent looking and be able to skin characters and character clothing appropriately.  One texture artist doing 2D and one doing meshes/skins would also work.  You will be working closely with character modelers/animators unless they are able to produce their own skins and working with myself on props and backgrounds.  You will need to have the appropriate software to work with the Hero Engine.

Character Modelers/Animators:
You will need to be able to produce characters and animations for them including NPCs.  You will have a lot of freedom but I do have some martial arts scales made by friends of mine that I would like to see implemented.  You will also be working with programmers to produce a new player character design screen in which a range of physical characteristics can be chosen for new characters in a specific race.  You will need to have the appropriate software to work with HE.

My friend Jeff is back in school right now so I don't want to burden him too much with my questions or spread myself too thin so I'm looking for another coder/scripter to help carry the load.  Obviously, you need to be familiar with object oriented programming/structures and familiarity with HE would only be a plus.  Sorry, some previous experience is required for this, you can't have just studied it in school.  If you are some kind of genious and never went to school and program video games in your basement and you are good at it then that's fine too, you just gotta know your stuff so we can keep rolling.  You will at least be touching base, if not working directly with artists to collaborate on some aspects of implementation.  You will also be setting up an easy way to implement missions/quests for PCs.

Sound/Music Artists:
We need at least one person who operates at least on a semi-professional level of expertise.  Typically, you will be working with animators to produce sounds and working on your own to produce music, incidental sounds and sound environments.  If your talent lies only in one of these areas we can split it up some.  The more help the better.

Writers, Story Line and Technical:
So far, it has just been me writing but it is always good to have someone to write stories, bounce ideas off of, provide an alternate viewpoint or just point out things that are wrong.  You will be working on PC missions/quests.  Bad grammar and spelling is not an option.

Concept Artists:
Any artist that can portray concepts of the game in a reasonably good work, whether it be a 3D rendering, 2D sketch, or 2D painting, is welcome.  There is plenty of work to be done here as evidenced by my rendering below. Given more time, I would press myself to do better but anything this quality or better would be acceptable.

This is an image of Pangol the Dragon, a character from the 2nd realm featured in my first short story book called "Stories from the Realms Volume 1".  Pangol is an adolescent that belongs to that same near-humanoid race that we call "Dragons".  The last Dragons living on Earth (the 1st realm) died thousands of years ago but they continue to populate the 2nd realm and the 5th realms along with humans.

Developer Introductions / Re: Mythic Xen Studios
« on: Sep 07, 11, 10:39:45 PM »
Sounds like you've got the ball rolling on this, congrats!

Is there a link where I can see what the game is about?

Developer Hero Projects / The 5th Realm
« on: Sep 07, 11, 10:26:02 PM »
The 5th Realm is not an alternate time line genre but rather an alternate developement genre that is in our own time line.

The back story starts around 50,000 years ago when some of our ancestors chose to leave Earth because of a series of natural disasters.  They were the Atlanteans and used some of their crystalline based technologies to jump to other planets.  The fifth one they jumped to was where they ultimately decided to settle down.  If you haven't already, you can see a few more pics/mock-ups here and read a little more of the back story  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMV4y52CzfQ).   ;)And I'll pitch my short story book again while I'm at it (http://www.amazon.com/Stories-from-the-Realms-ebook/dp/B005HE7RJQ).  By the way, Stories from the Realms series also includes stories about people and events that are on Earth (the first realm) and in the other 3 realms as well during this time in the back story.

The description for the video only covers a small part of the back story as it is quite extensive on its own but to keep the length of this post down I'll just say that these people have been on this planet in the 5th realm nearly this whole time, independantly developing their own cultures and technologies.  Some of them have even regressed while other groups have jumped way ahead, not unlike Earth in that respect.  This paves the way for The 5th Realm as a true sandbox MMORPG.  Some of the main aspects of the game (and a few of which will not be implemented right away) that I will name off the top of my head are:
-inventory based character storage and trading (as with most MMORPGs)
-a unique, collection-based, incremental armament system
-regular armor and clothing that most MMORPGs have
-ground, air and sea ships and mounts that are pilotable by players (maybe even an orbital ship or 2 as well)
-skill trees and boxes that a player can specialize in rather than being stuck with
-a unique "physical" crafting procedure that allows players to harvest resources in real-time (meaning that if you need a 100 trees to build a guild hall then you or someone who can help you must go and actually cut down the trees), craft the pieces and put together a final object
-a player can be a master in The 5th Realm but they can also use more skill points and go even higher to a supreme master crafter, healer or fighter
-player maintained housing - even though this is a major undertaking, players will have control over their own houses, what goes into them and can buy their own land (all player housing has already been designed and some of it can be seen in the video)
-master level fighters will be able to make their own quests using existing game assets
-all supreme master level players will be able to submit a design of theirs to dev artists for permanant placement in the game
-multiple races and player professions to provide variation to players
-guilds and social interaction
-PvP, PvE group and solo
-First Person Shooter style PvP arenas
-so far, over 100 different themed missions in addition to standard hunting, delivery and retrieval/rescue missions

This is a fairly good take on a very simplified form of what I have in my Game Design Document.  As you can see, I have a fair amount of content and I'm ready to start on this.  I just need Max or Maya and it would be nice to have another artist help with the content.

Although I'm sure it goes without saying for nearly everyone in these forums it would also be nice to find a way to get paid for this so I can do it full time, hence my plea for angel investors in my video.  Even so, now that some personal life events are out of the way, I can now devote more time to this.

Developer Hero Projects / Re: Star Wars: The Old Republic
« on: Sep 07, 11, 08:57:25 PM »
This game does look like it is going to be a blast, But i have way to much to work on with my own game to have time to play it :)

Amen to that, I'm going to be busy when I get what I need to start.  But I'm sure I'll take time at some point to play TOR.  I'm too much of a fan of the genre and I'll have to see what they have done with the design architecture.

Developer Introductions / Ed War from IONG
« on: Sep 07, 11, 02:36:42 PM »
Hello all, I'll try to make this short.  I go by Ed War online and sometimes in real life, I got it from my middle name "Edward", I just thought it sounded cool.

"IONG" is the acronym for Interactive Online Network Gaming but I may change it.

I had made plenty of DN3D maps back in the day that were published in add-on packs and also mapped out a few nice Counter Strike levels.  I was and am now really into level design and architecture as well as whole game design.  I also created some mock-ups at one point to at least have something to show and ask for help (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMV4y52CzfQ).  Since I work in a pizza shop and make very little I decided to try taking some initiative and turned 3 of my future mission stories into a book of short stories to try to help fund my efforts (http://www.amazon.com/Stories-from-the-Realms-ebook/dp/B005HE7RJQ).  Please buy it and "like" it on Amazon and tell your friends and family too so I can eventually have enough to get Max and/or Maya.

Anyway, about 7 years ago, I got a little ticked off at some drama going down in the very first MMORPG that I was truly into.  I thought I could do better so I started designing an MMORPG.  Later on I enrolled in Westwood to go get a BS in Game Art and Design.  During that time I came up with a Game Design Document, that was about 188 pages and is now roughly 430 pages, to describe my game The 5th Realm.

While I was at Westwood, one of my classes had an optional meeting in Second Life to chat about gaming and it was there that I met my good coder friend Jeffrey.  Jeff is a professional programmer and has helped me out with things more than once.

For the past couple of years we have been going back and forth on which game engine to make a demo with but nothing that truly panned out for what I was trying to accomplish in the long run.  I ran into HE in one of my many searches one day and the rest is history.

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