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Work in Progress / Exodos

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Dimis
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Posted: 13th Mar 2015 17:52
Thanks Stab. I hope that i can sell it on steam, although next year's upcoming next-gen fighting games like Mortal Kombat X will get most of the attraction compared to smaller games like mine, i suppose it will depend if people will like my game and will not compare it with next-gen games.

How is the progress of the fracture plugin? I wonder if i can install it in my game, to somehow make breakable walls and other objects.

wattywatts
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Posted: 13th Mar 2015 20:58
I'd personally also consider selling on gog.com. It is looking really nice.
Ortu
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Posted: 13th Mar 2015 23:16
humble bundle is another option, getting included in an indie pack, you get the added weight and attraction of the other games to help support the exposure of yours. kinds of a shame the are not enough quality completed projects to support a humble dark basic bundle

Chris Tate
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Posted: 14th Mar 2015 15:30
It does not hurt to test Unity to see if it fits your future needs; you will be your best judge of the best tool for the job. Personally, I am gearing away from using any middleman API or toolset; but having left DBPRO in the past, I found out that it is easy to neglect the benefits of being to do something as simple as loading an object with one command.

wattywatts
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Posted: 15th Mar 2015 04:33
Quote: "having left DBPRO in the past"

Really? Is everybody jumping ship lately?
Dimis
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Posted: 15th Mar 2015 11:49
Quote: "Really? Is everybody jumping ship lately?"

But he came back!

Quote: "It does not hurt to test Unity to see if it fits your future needs; you will be your best judge of the best tool for the job. Personally, I am gearing away from using any middleman API or toolset;"


Unity will probably be my next tool. But i doubt that i will have the time to start all over again from the beginning alone. If i start working a sequel in Unity i will need to have more people to work with me this time. If this game succeeds something, i might be able to have some more people to work with me. I will look into the sites you suggested guys.

wattywatts
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Posted: 15th Mar 2015 18:12 Edited at: 15th Mar 2015 18:18
Ah I totally read that wrong

Gog is mostly for old school games, but it's run by CD Projekt Red, developers of the witcher series so there are some newer games there as well. If they're interested in publishing your game apparently they help fund development costs, which could be a pretty nice incentive. I'm assuming they would also help test your game on various hardware configurations before release.

<EDIT>
Just throwing this out there, if you don't have any music picked out yet I'd be happy to record a couple of tracks for you; I could also level and master anything else you wanted. I'm working on the voice over tracks for my game and I'm more or less in the zone at the moment.
Dimis
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Posted: 16th Mar 2015 14:04
You could do that? That would be great. Now i have 2 very generic tracks made for the game, not really fit the game's theme, but i can't make my own music. We can talk through email about it.
Actually next weekend i have planned to record some sounds in a studio with a friend, mostly vocals, screams, whatever i would need concerning characters voices, maybe add some dialogues in the ancient language, i am curious to see how that will work when i add them in the game.

Stab in the Dark software
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Posted: 17th Mar 2015 01:42
Quote: "How is the progress of the fracture plugin? I wonder if i can install it in my game, to somehow make breakable walls and other objects."


I am getting closer to a final release of my "Bullet Physics Wrapper". Somehow I never have enough time to spend on it.
I need to finalize a good way to save out the fractured object so it can be loaded back in.
I think I will try saving it as one DBO object with all the fractured pieces as limbs. I will let you know as soon as I am finished.
You may also want to use the ragdoll. You can create a ragdoll at any frame of animation. It is currently being used in GAME GURU.

WindowsXP SP3,Vista,Windows 7 SP1, DBpro v7.7RC7
Stab In The Dark Editor
The coffee is lovely dark and deep,and I have code to write before I sleep.
Dimis
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Posted: 17th Mar 2015 11:43
Ragdolls will make the gameplay unstable, precision in responses to attacks is needed in that type of game. But the fracture part of the plugin interests me, as long as it doesn't kill more fps.
Now about the graphics, anisotropy plugin is in the game. I still can't decide if i will use Advanced Lighting, now that i installed it, the game becomes unplayable in laptops or older computers. I can't have very high minimum requirements for my game, so i am thinking of not using it. I think that performance is more important.
Next fighter that i am working on, is Boreas, god of the North wind. Among his aerial powers i am thinking of giving him a cold breeze or cold breath attack that will immobilize or slow down the opponent, by adding him a load of iced crystals.

When i started working on this game i decided to use a more sci-fi approach on the characters, the story and the backgrounds, although most of the characters i use are ancient deities, i don't want to use the old ancient look, having characters wearing drapes and ancient clothing or whatever.



Dimis
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Posted: 22nd Mar 2015 22:23
Here's an update on Nebula's petrifying ability and Boreas cold wind attacks. Both fighters have the ability to immobilize the opponent. Blend mapping makes an decent effect in both cases.


Ortu
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Posted: 23rd Mar 2015 00:27
excellent effects man, nice! has a good feeling of force and power

wattywatts
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Posted: 1st Apr 2015 01:01
@Dimis sent you a pm
Dimis
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Posted: 6th Apr 2015 00:50
Here's a first full ai fight video.

Wattywatts composed a new soudtrack for the game!

Now i added some new sounds effects, some of them are placeholders. This week i will do some voices, with the help of a friend who is a singer, in a studio. Generally a variety of effects is needed, each character needs to have his/her own effects, or the sound part of a game like this becomes very monotone.



I have been trying to make an effect for Arhon's Dark powers, i managed to do this.


Chris Tate
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Posted: 11th Apr 2015 20:38
I think I like Voreas the best so far.

Have you tried this particle effect creator called Particle Illusion? Quite handy for this type of work.

Dimis
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Posted: 12th Apr 2015 21:43
It looks interesting, worth trying it for sure.

Now i am doing some work on my Toshiba laptop, trying to see how i can handle occasional low performance problems. It seems that my laptop can run the game in 60 fps well. There are some fps drops when many particles appear at the same time, but that is to be expected. But generally running the game in a medium resolution works well except this strange issue...
There are some random fps drops, without any specific reason. The game randomly chooses to run in lower performance (can reach 25 fps) and after a while it goes back to 60 fps. That problem magically goes away when i have any other dbpro program running in the background!!! Just like that. Does that make any sense? Maybe i should make a thread about it.
specs:
Toshiba - windows 8.1 64bit - 8gb ram
intel i7-4700MQ 2.40 GHZ
graphics: NVIDIA Gforce GT 745M
but works better with the second card, an intel hd 4600, another interesting thing.

Cescano
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Posted: 12th Apr 2015 22:45
I have similar "problems" about the cards, games made in dbpro performs better with a intel hd4000 than a nvidia gt635m, which "should" be faster (in fact, in games like battlefield 4 is faster).

That happens also in a game I play called football superstars, for some reasons the intel hd4000 performs better, I ve opened a thread about this times ago but I still can't figure out why the dedicated card nvidia in some games performs worse than a integrated intel card which should be used just for "power saving"
Dimis
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Posted: 12th Apr 2015 23:31
I just checked, many people report the same thing in the internet about the integrated cards working better in the gforce cards, but there is no specific answer about why that happens.

Ok i can confirm after several attempts, that this does happen. Having a second dbpro program running at the same time with my game, my game's fps is stable, no fps drops. Closing the second program makes that problem happen again, random fps drops. Running again a second program stabilizes the fps again. This is silly. I would expect the opposite thing happening.

Ortu
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Posted: 17th Apr 2015 07:16
very odd. do you use nice sleep too give processor time back to CPU? other processes can delay the focus returning to your program and drop fps. those can account for random drops but not sure with a second dbpro app fixes it. maybe the processor relates them and so keeps them at a higher priority?

Dimis
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Posted: 17th Apr 2015 16:53
No, i don't use any sleep commands. And that problem happens only when playing on my laptop. Could it be a windows 8.1 issue? I guess it could be many things. I have dbpro installed there too, could that have something to do with it? (i was compiling and running the game, now that i think about it).

So, being on short holidays with my laptop was a good opportunity to do some performance checks. Generally my game doesn't perform well on laptops, even modern laptops. The bloom shader, anisotropic pluggin, Advanced Lighting, generally slow the game down. Vsync also affects performance but i haven't really looked into that. Removing bloom, anisotropy, using only normal mapping on the fighters, and playing in a low resolution performs well in 60fps. Reducing texture sizes doesn't really change anything. In any case the 30fps mode works well, with all the effects and in high res. (All that while having another dbpro app running...)

So time for some decisions.

I have been able to install Adv. Lighting and properly use shaders on the fighters without altering the models. It works well on my desktop (57-60fps) but it doesn't work well on laptops, older desktops, it runs with 10-15 fps! I will try to keep AL in the game and add an option to disable it, if it is possible. But i will focus more on performance, i don't want to make a game that will have very high requirements, more people should be able to play the game without problems, limiting my audience is not a very good idea, right?

2.5d camera VS 3d camera

Now about that. Some people prefer a retro look, with the 2.5d camera, making the game look more like 2D, other people prefer a fully 3D camera and arenas. What should i choose?

Advantages of 2.5d viewport:
Less background objects, only a portion of a background arena world is needed, background objects don't really need to be "complete" from every side. Nothing gets in front of the camera. Less geometry, which is a very good thing. Fighters are able to grab and throw objects, without having to walk all the way to reach them, they can also do easily some acrobatic moves like wall jumps/kicks.
Generally the gameplay is more direct.
Disadvantages:
Fighters can't move freely everywhere.

3d viewport, advantages:
Fighters can walk with more freedom everywhere, also they can use more space to avoid attacks, and they can attack from sideways.
Disadvantages:
More objects, more geometry on the scene, bad for performance. Background objects need more details, and more media are required. Also the backgrounds look more empty because all objects are in a further distance from the arena so that they don't block camera's view, a problem that games like Tekken have to deal with, all the time (usually they have the background objects disappear when they block the view).
The fighters need to actually walk towards an object or wall to use it, or to try an acrobatic maneuver, making those gameplay abilities useless.

I like having the ability to walk everywhere in the background, but i start to think that i will choose to go back to the 2.5d. That type of gameplay looks more fit for a fighting game, it is not like i am making an open world game.

Cescano
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Posted: 17th Apr 2015 18:50
With the few objects you have on the game, having the performance issue you are talking about is unacceptable, understand better what is causing it is impossible without looking at the code, anyway, the Avanced Lighting from Evolved is surely slowing down a lot the game, and that is why I am not using it, but I use only single shaders (for example on my game I use a water shader, normal and relief maps shaders, tree and Leaves shaders, cubemap shader).

Just a couple of questions:

- How many tris polygons are the characters? And how many polygons are usually on screen to render?
- Which anisotropic filtering are you using?
Chris Tate
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Posted: 17th Apr 2015 19:29 Edited at: 17th Apr 2015 19:30
I prefer the 2.5d fighting games.

Nice Sleep was mentioned by Ortu. This is a matrix1 command; very friendly with your operating system; so it could help the performance on some machines given the CPU and software running in the background.

I could not make any performance decisions myself unless I time each process and prove what it is that is slowing things down. Might be worth finding out what part of AL is slowing things down for you; it might be something unrequired, like depth of field.

Dimis
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Posted: 29th Apr 2015 14:16
Sorry i took 10 days to reply, been busy with other things.

Quote: "- How many tris polygons are the characters? And how many polygons are usually on screen to render?
- Which anisotropic filtering are you using?"


The characters, the body mesh with the extra gear is aprox. 13000 - 15000 tris. More than let's say an FPSC model, but it doesn't exceed any shader limitations or anything like that, and there are only 2 characters on screen. I will do a check to see how many polygons are on screen in maximum case scenario.

I use kaedroho's anisotropy plugin but i will remove it, setting the object's filter to 2 is almost the same thing.


Quote: "Nice Sleep was mentioned by Ortu. This is a matrix1 command; very friendly with your operating system; so it could help the performance on some machines given the CPU and software running in the background."

I don't know about how nice sleep works. How can i use it, is it something to add in the main loop?

About the Advanced Lighting, i optimized a few things, reduced the camera range to the minimum range needed in the game, and replaced the point lights with spot light, but still i need one big point light to light up the scene, there was some performance boost, minimum on my desktop because i don't have real problems there, more obvious on a laptop, but still not enough. I don't really need the entire AL system, i mostly want to use the normal map and diffuse shaders.

Looking for alternatives, i tested the multipass normal map shader from evolved's website. Here's a screenshot with this shader in a new background. Everything uses the multipass normal map shader here. Still looks outdated. I can make better things with the AL normal map shader.



Chris Tate
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Posted: 29th Apr 2015 23:25
The shader looks OK, and will only look better the more you time you spend playing around with it.

The characters look fantastic; their colours really pop out.

Ortu
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Posted: 30th Apr 2015 00:54
The benefit to ease of production for 2.5d seems to easily out weigh the benefit of freedom of movement for this type of game. I would probably focus on 2.5 if it were me.

The character tri counts should be fine for modern hardware, my character is 11 - 12k, even with 4 or 5 of them plus an open world environment i get > 100fps on a lower end of average desktop.

Performance issues are always tricky, as Chris mentioned, it would help to add performance and timing monitoring to determine exactly where your performance cost is going.

When looking at the performance cost of AL or equivalent shaders, I like to use HL2 as a bench mark. It was amazing and AAA when it came out, but that was more than 10 years ago now and it is actually quite dated and it's shaders are roughly comparable to the types AL uses now. On any machine that you get 10-15 fps with AL, would you expect HL2 to perform any better? If so, you can probably optimize and improve your frame rates, if not, that's just the cost of these kinds of shaders.

Sulium gets the same 10-15fps on a business laptop, but i don't expect any game using real-time lighting shaders to get more than that on it to begin with.

Chris Tate
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Posted: 1st May 2015 16:40
Dimis, as a long time Mortal Kombat fan; what do you think of the new one; MK X?

Some people think it is the best in the series.

Dimis
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Posted: 2nd May 2015 16:54
My favorite will always be MK2.
I purchased MK X, i haven't played extensively, so i don't have a complete opinion yet. I am so-so. Impressive graphics, that mostly rely on extreme texture resolutions, something you can only notice during a close up, all that detail is lost during gameplay, but still all characters look more cartoonish than real people. But generally the game feels like it was made in a haste. Some character anatomies are off, there is a small number of backgrounds available, and other details that i notice make me think that they just added a lot of things in minimum time (day 1 patch was 2,5GB).
The gameplay is fun. But i have to admit that i am disappointed because the original game's atmosphere is gone. All that mystery, magical, martial arts feel, that most people loved during the 90s, is replaced with a hard focus on extreme gore and splatter. I suppose that the target audience has changed since then, (Jason Voorhees, the Predator and Freddy Krueger are downloadable fighters for example, but i am not really interested in them.).
One last thing that disappointed me are the in-game purchases. There are probably more fighters available in the disk (during the story mode i fought against cpu controlled MK characters, that supposedly are not available in the select character screen) but someone will have to purchase them to be playable? Disappointing... I don't know, it's not that i don't like the game, quite the opposite, maybe i am just too picky, as a a long time Mortal Kombat fan too.

Cescano
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Posted: 4th May 2015 22:09
Hey Dimis what are you using for the text? I am struggling to find a decent text plugin and for the moment I am using the built in commands, which don't look nice enough, I have tried to look in the forum but the ones I found seems that they don't have a way to resize the text
Dimis
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Posted: 4th May 2015 23:57
Well, i don't use anything 2D anymore, because the fullscreen bloom shader i use, doesn't play well with text and sprites. I use simple plain objects to display text or sprites. The caption with the character's name for example is native text, converted to image and used as texture. But it looks very smooth, doesn't it? Sprites look better that way too.

Cescano
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Posted: 5th May 2015 00:16
Yes it looks smooth but, do you prepare these textures or let the exe build them everytime you launch the game?
With your purpose could be ok but in my game I have a lot of dialogs so preparing all these textures could be a nightmare, if I need to correct or change something I'll have to redo the texture again, and if I will add different languages I will waste months just for the text part
Chris Tate
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Posted: 5th May 2015 19:50 Edited at: 5th May 2015 19:55
Quote: "My favorite will always be MK2. "


Lol I was thinking the same damn thing, but I did not say it because I did not want to offend.

Wow, the memories...

Quote: "characters look more cartoonish than real people."


Same same; my opinion may differ but I think what makes them look cheesy is that they are deviating too far from the 'kombat' (spelt with a K), and too close to immortal; or was it supposed to be MORTAL KOMBAT for goodness sake. The things the characters are doing just look too stupid for me to take seriously.

I think it is the Call of Duty for the FPS, trying to be competitive and 'skill' based like Counter Strike, but just ending up with the emphasis on the gimmicks and graphics; an environment where any player can kill any player.

I think the graphics look cool, a bit too gory for me though; makes for a good horror show but not of a martial arts game as you say. It draws attention away from gameplay because if they are putting so much time into exploding organs and bones, then how much time are they putting into gameplay?

I think there will be a Mortal Kombat XI soon lol; or perhaps Mortal Kombat 2016: Advanced Warfare.

I will be making a sort of martial arts game after SF, but a bit more like a beat-em-up than a fighting game. I was working on the fighting engine the other day, but my focus at this moment is on Golf for SF.



Quote: "I use simple plain objects to display text or sprites."


Did you use pick screen to get the plains to stay in place relative to the view no matter where the camera is? I am using that method at the moment on a vertex by vertex level so that 3D planes can be put in pixel coordinates much like calls to BOX x1,y1,x2,y2.

Then again that may not matter if it is 2.5D

Dimis
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Posted: 6th May 2015 17:07
Quote: "Yes it looks smooth but, do you prepare these textures or let the exe build them everytime you launch the game?"

The captions (character names and other info) are prepared at the beginning of every fight. A new image is created for every caption based on the width and height of the text to be displayed. The plain object is also stretched appropriately, so that the text is displayed with correct proportions. I don't know how practical this would be for larger text.

Quote: "Did you use pick screen to get the plains to stay in place relative to the view no matter where the camera is? I am using that method at the moment on a vertex by vertex level so that 3D planes can be put in pixel coordinates much like calls to BOX x1,y1,x2,y2."

Why not just use the "lock object on" command? Works just fine for me. You can position the object relatively to the screen instead of 3D space.

So lately development was stopped due to other responsibilities, but i started working on the game again. I will have to decide between the Adv. Lighting system or the multipass normal / relief map shader. Generally i can do more things with the AL system but i also like the mutlipass shader. The only thing that troubles me right now is that after several minutes of running the game with the multipass shader i can hear my cpu fans working double times. Is it because it uses entirely the cpu? I think that the AL shaders uses both the cpu and gpu. Something to take under consideration.

Now another thing that i need to decide is the gameplay. I was thinking of making the gameplay weapon based. Having the characters selecting from a variety of weapons with different powers perhaps. It might be more interesting. There are not many fighting games where fighters use mostly weapons. It will fit better the whole deity fighting theme.

Quote: "I will be making a sort of martial arts game after SF, but a bit more like a beat-em-up than a fighting game. I was working on the fighting engine the other day, but my focus at this moment is on Golf for SF.
"

Final fight, Double Dragon style?

MK2 was insanely successful for it's time. The atmosphere was unique, an ideal quantity of martial arts and fantasy. That is on the past now. The game has indeed become a horror show. Since yesterday Jason Vorhees is a DLC character and as i can see in many forums he is accepted gladly by most players. The game's target audience has changed permanently. I suppose that there is no more inspiration in making new successful characters so the development team is looking into making money from fighters like Jason. Now i also agree that Mortal Kombat (world's most successful typo?) is far from a "Mortal" combat. I mean since MK1 there have been many things that were not making sense, Scorpion's spear impaling the opponent during the fight , Baraka's blades and Kitana's fans and other stuff, but now it has become ridiculous. Apparently you can impale an opponent with huge blades, rip out his guts, poke his eyeballs with huge needles, or even shoot someone with a gun or bazooka, but he just won't die unless the announcer tells you to "Finish him/her". Nope, your opponent ill continue to fight like nothing has happened, unlike of what you would expect from a mortal. At least in my game, my fighters are gods, or at least not mortals with instant healing powers, lol. Since MK9 the game doesn't make sense anymore.

Chris Tate
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Posted: 7th May 2015 15:14 Edited at: 7th May 2015 15:24
Quote:
Quote: " "Did you use pick screen to get the plains to stay in place relative to the view no matter where the camera is? I am using that method at the moment on a vertex by vertex level so that 3D planes can be put in pixel coordinates much like calls to BOX x1,y1,x2,y2."
Why not just use the "lock object on" command? Works just fine for me. You can position the object relatively to the screen instead of 3D space."


Because I want to use planes to exist in world space as character labels, but still be able to set their positions in 2D as if using pixel perfect sprites with 2D screen coordinates instead of 3D coordinates; always facing the camera no matter what angle, and to be hidden by walls when characters walk behind walls. So I simply fixed the four corners of each plane to pixel coordinates.

This is more of a third person / top view concern; lock object is perfect if you do not need objects interacting with the world and to be set with pixel coordinates. I have in place a screen coordinate UI system. (Or UV coordinate in the case of 3D UI)


Quote: "Quote: "I will be making a sort of martial arts game after SF,
[quote]Final fight, Double Dragon style?"
[/quote]

There might be a fencing sport in SF; which I want to expand into the next game as a sword fighting engine. It was going to be a 'lord of the rings' style beat em up like Golden Axe; with a bit of Bushido Blade, Final Fight/ Double Dragon / TMNT Turtles 1 and 2 (the ones on the sega genesis) / Streets of Rage, you know. But now looking at the design it seams it will be more realistic than the likes of Golden Axe with a measure of historical credibility with a mixture of beatem up and hack-n-slash gameplay with something I am prototyping which incorperates micromanagement and strategy; it will be a game you can play using an XBox controller or mouse and keyboard, and it will have traditional sword fights (no magic). It is going to be under my 'fiction' brand and will thus make us of the technology I am working on for SF, it will make perfect sense when revealled next year if not at the end of the this year. I think you might like it when it takes shape.

I am a firm believer in putting ideas into action as soon as they cross your mind; this has helped me to increase and widen out my options.


Quote: "MK2 was insanely successful for it's time. The atmosphere was unique, an ideal quantity of martial arts and fantasy. That is on the past now. The game has indeed become a horror show."


True, its identity has changed. Because of my latest design work I have been studying the theories surrounding ancient combat, middle age sword fighting and martial arts for use in my gameplay. The more and more I learn about the longswordsmen, samurai and aztec warriors; the more cheesy these fighting games look. I think that is why it is difficulty for me to respect them; even the latest Street Fighter which I love very much for its art style and gameplay; it is getting more difficult to respect it the more I study martial arts the more unrealistic the moves look to me.

I am not saying that realism and good gameplay are the same thing; since I admire Street Fighter 4, GTA5 and Diablo 3 as impressive works, yet their gameplay is not realistic, and it need not be; however things get really pointless when their is neither realism nor good gameplay.

I think Gran Tourismo is the perfect example of the marriage of realism to good gameplay.


Quote: "Now another thing that i need to decide is the gameplay. I was thinking of making the gameplay weapon based."


There are not many fighters out their based on weapon's combat; besides a few of the characters yielding weapons. I think you should go with your main vision and stick with it, once you deviate from your main vision, you'll just end up scrapping alternative ideas to come back to the main vision. That vision should be your favourite subject; the more favourable the more you will accomplish. At the end of the day you are the one who has to do all the work, so it may as well be something you enjoy. I'm not sure gods would need much weapons anyway; perhaps they could just use the earth; cause an earth quake or a spawn a wall of fire since their are powerful.


It might be interesting for you to one day make a 'lord of the rings' style fighter; sorry for the cheesy adjective. Everything has been done, but I do not know of any fantasy middle earth based street fighter or mortal kombat based fighting game with dragons, minotaurs and wizards. You already have the gods in place.

But as I said, go with what you believe; something you see your self sticking to in a few years time.

Quote: "
I will have to decide between the Adv. Lighting system or the multipass normal / relief map shader. Generally i can do more things with the AL system but i also like the mutlipass shader."


I still think you should find out what is slowing things down before making the decision. One of the first functions I put in my 4th engine (lol, 3 got abandoned) is its benchmarking system.

I will share it with you, but it requires too much of my engine to work without using up 1000s of lines of code. But still read it in your spare time and it will reveal what I am talking about: In a nutshell; each part of the engine is provided with a clock, and a clock group. The system provides me with the average time it takes for each part of my engine to process.

So, if something slows down I know what it is; and I never have to assume that something will slow down the engine just because it seems like it. No, I have to proove it because in the age of multiprocessors and GPUs most of the things I expected to be slow, did not even take half of a millisecond.


You cannot compile this, but you can extract some functionality from it. The tabs might look odd because of the browsers tab spacing. You will see alot of wierd function names prefixed with LG. Thats just short for logging. All of the functions I have to write 10 times per minute must be short... unless I am using Visual Studio or X-Prod when it is finished....:



If you use Indigo, consider adding my test snippet, you just call what ever you think is taking long, a nd it quickly shows how long it took. If it takes a 50 ticks - (that's microseconds thus 1,000,000th of a second * 50) , you are good to go; if it takes more than 5 milliseconds (1,000th of a second * 5), then something may not be right because your whole game should only take 15-20 milliseconds to process each loop.


Use it to test each part of your engine.

Sorry for this long post, it is because I want to help make this game happen.

Dimis
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Posted: 7th May 2015 17:06
It is not easy to make a realistic fighting game, and to be honest i don't know how fun it would be. But it would be something new for a change. Before starting this project i was between 2 ideas, making this game, or try to make something with a more realistic choreography inspired from movies like the Matrix. But i decided to leave the second idea for later, i don't think that i have enough experience to do something realistic, at least as i would like it to be, also realism in animation means using motion capture and real actors, in the end i will need a small (or large) team to make the game i have in mind.
So i decided to continue with a gameplay like most fighting games use, which is easier to make actually. Most fighting games use the same "weightless" type of gameplay, pretty much relying on lifting the opponent in the air and continue to hit until he falls to the ground. And it is generally called "weightless" because even the slightest jab punch can lift the opponent in the air again, for more hits, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, Soul Calibur, use that gameplay extensively and Street Fighter 4 also, but it doesn't focus so much on it. One of the reason i decided to use fighters with divine, non human origin was to attempt to justify the exaggerations of the gameplay. Sure if you have deities fighting, you expect a lot of things happening that defy explanation. Still my approach on the divine origins of the fighters has a more with a sci-fi approach, the gods are superhuman beings, possessing extreme high tech technology, no matter that they are bounded inside a place that used to be the world of the dead. Someday i should write down the entire scenario that i have, so that i can explain many things.

My original idea was involving weapons. Still every fighters can draw and use a weapon, but it is just a left over from my original idea. The more i work on the fighters i begin to think that using weapons (each fighter should have his own weapon type) will distinguish them more. It is truth that gods with superhuman powers don't really need weapons, but still many gods are always portrayed with a unique weapon. Hades had a Bident, Poseidon a Trident, Athena had an entire suit of armor equipped with a spear and shield, Charon used to fight using his paddle, even Thor had his hammer.

Really thank you for sharing all that code, i have never before worked with something like timing each procedure, but i will have to. It will take a lot of studying still Actually i am very impressed with how organized you are generally.
I should not be taking many guesses and i should find what is slowing things down, but something i have forgot is that i had a big frame loss when i started using enhanced animations. I would be able to make this game without it though.

A short video with a first test of breakable objects. Not quite close as i want it yet.


Ortu
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Posted: 8th May 2015 07:13 Edited at: 8th May 2015 07:42
@Dimis - nice work on the breakables, are you animating them or using physics? Can't remember if you have said. Looks good either way.

@Chris - phew! that's a lot of clocks. I thought I did a lot of benchmarking / logging...

I actually completed an overhaul of my timing/logging system last month adding more detailed info and making the output easier to work with.

@Dimis -

For timing, I mostly just check each update process as a whole, though there are a few processes where I break it down into more detailed subsections with their own timing, mostly in the UI stuff. If something is taking a long time, I'll break it down further as needed.

I get a log.csv file that looks something like this:

Timing is in milliseconds



the cool thing about csv is that excel, openoffice or whathave you can open them natively and then you can manage the data with all the spreadsheet tools they provide.

The current code for my system.dba file is here:

It isn't directly usable without the rest of the framework, but may give you some additional ideas.



Dimis
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Posted: 8th May 2015 16:00
Again thanks for the help guys, really appreciate it, i never thought of timing everything to see what slows down the game. This will help better, instead of taking guesses, so i will have to do it. Still i will have to test on other machines too, because so far the game works without problems on my desktop pc.
Again i am fed up with problems, so i want to proceed with 1-2 more fighters, to get the game moving forward.

The breakable object is just 1 object with 2 limbs, 1 limb is the object intact, the second is what remains after the object breaks. The fragments use simple physics, they need more work to make them bounce a bit before they stop moving. The maximum number of fragments is 500. Another interesting thing is that even if there are all of them on screen at the same time, they don't slow down the game. It would be fun if i can make them stay in place instead of disappearing and add interaction with the fighters, so they can get kicked away when the fighters walk over them.

Now another thing that bothers me, is what happens when both fighters try to lift the same object, or if a fighter that holds an object, gets hit from the opponent. Sometimes an error occurs and the game stops. I can't find exactly where the bug is, it would be easier if i just made the fighter invincible (not invisible, lol) , during the lift and strike animation, so that the animation cannot be interrupted. But i hate that thing every time i see it in a game.

Chris Tate
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Posted: 9th May 2015 14:57 Edited at: 9th May 2015 15:01
I like the breakable demo; is maybe it will be find to keep the rocks visible for longer.

I have alot of clocks indeed, but not as many as I will have soon lol.



It only needs to be switched on every once and a while, and each clock is part of a group, so the report pretty much spans a mere ten lines showing what groups are top priority for optimization. I do not do any optimization until this reports says I need it; then I go deeper into the report to see what function is taking long.



If it saves me spending a week trying to find out where a slow down is occuring in a 60,000 line project; then the more the better. It shows how much I dislike opening the IDE to guess what is going wrong and sitting their waiting for it to compile after putting in a test; I just have no time for that kind of thing anymore. I just want it all to be their for when that problem arises, no recompile, just tell me what is wrong.

Another thing is picturing your game running on 1,000s of PC's accross the globe, as fragile as DBP is and varing operating systems and hardware and a 100 emails containing one sentence: 'It's lagging, please help'

Some of the laggy issues so far are object counts, bone count and some particle effects. Everything else is pretty good so far.

PIXIMID
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Posted: 9th Jun 2015 20:43
@Dimis It's been a while since I've checked the DbPro forum and I was happy to see that you have started over on your fighting game. I remember downloading your first fighting game project and playing the mess out of it.

Im pretty sure though that this project is 100x better than that so Im excited to see what you have next for this project.

Keep up the hard but amazing work bro.

I got the power...
Dimis
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Posted: 16th Jun 2015 23:41 Edited at: 16th Jun 2015 23:47
Thank you for the good words PIXIMID!

It's been more than a month since the last update, because i had a very busy month, not enough time to work on the game. Now where have i left it? Trying to use Evolved's shaders to improve the visuals.
I tested using his multi pass normal map shader. I like the result a lot, especially using it on the backgrounds. The problems with that shader is that when i use it both on the fighters and the backgrounds, after playing for a while i get a display driver crash, the screen goes black and the game ends. Also I don't have a program to test my computer's and gpu temperatures but i can hear the fans working extensively.
Now using the Advanced Lighting i have better results, without the computer crashing, with an occasional fps drop.


advanced lighting:




multi pass with 6 lights on the scene


In both cases after playing several fights the game starts to have fps problems... again. I thought that it could be something in my code, but i am not sure, because the fps problems start after several fights. If it was a function that slows down the game i could easily trace it, by adding several clocks as i was advised, or by trying to locate during which events the slowdown happens. But it seems to happen almost randomly. I am doing the best media management that i can, deleting and reloading objects, as suggested in many threads, to avoid memory leaks and other problems. Also i never had such problems when i was using the first shader (the old ninja matt's normal map shader combined with a full screen bloom shader). Those problems started after i stated to use evolved's shaders. Also the problems happens when i set the vsync to 1, setting to 0 reduces problems, but the frame rate isn't very smooth as expected. Another interesting thing, is that disabling the sound from the beginning of the game (not during the game) almost makes those problems disappear. So, could it be something with my system? My drivers are up to date.

Chris Tate
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Posted: 17th Jun 2015 00:03
The graphics really pop out now. I think the next step is reflections on reflective surfaces; but that will come when you get free time. I think reflections, shadows and colour management are what make or break any 3D CG.

Free time is pretty much the main problem at the end of the day; but at least our kind of business need not put you in deep dept to get off the ground like is the case with film.

Hopefully as you continue to play the game over a long period of time the strange bottlenecks will become more easier to diagnose and route causes more obvious as you become familiar with the runtime on various test machines. It might be a good idea to start releasing an alpha version so that people can start uploading some benchmark data to give you a better guess; but that's my opinion. Maybe Evolve or someone experienced may have some advice.

Ortu
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Posted: 17th Jun 2015 03:46
when you start a new round are you deleting and loading media? do you get the same slow downs if you just reset health and timers to start a new round?

wattywatts
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Posted: 17th Jun 2015 07:44
@Ortu now I'm curious, if that was the problem how could he fix it? Exclude instead of delete?
Dimis
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Posted: 17th Jun 2015 10:54
Quote: " I think reflections, shadows and colour management are what make or break any 3D CG"

I agree. But more effects will be an overkill. I will need better hardware to make this game. At least it should run normally with full visuals on my pc. I think that maybe i should get a new graphics card, my nvidia GTX260 is a bit old.

@Ortu, wattywatts
I have my objects deleted, not when starting a new round, only when starting a new fight with new fighters. But i can't have all the media files loaded at all time, there is no other way besides loading/deleting media. Every media file is optimized as much as it can, but still there are too many files now, and when i will add more fighters and backgrounds, i will exceed the 2GB memory limit.




Anyway some good news. Source of the slowdown now is my particle system. Disabling it fixed the frame rate from 58-60. Well not very good news actually, my game needs a particle system for the character's powers. I don't know how to handle it now.

Something to take under consideration regarding the Adv Lighting system. It takes very careful media management. The best way to handle it, is to have the objects loaded without textures, load and apply the textures carefully in the correct stages in the game. I have been using pretextured objects, i have an editor that loads then background objects, textures them with the normal, diffuse maps in the appropriate stages and saves the objects in dbo. When loading those objects, (only when using Advl), i could see some weird texture mixing, character skins mixed with background diffuse textures for example, and again that somehow produced slow downs! I had my characters sitting in the idle position, without any action happening, and still the frame rate was occasionally dropping to 45. All that stuff disappeared when i started applying the textures in the game.

Ortu
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Posted: 17th Jun 2015 18:29 Edited at: 17th Jun 2015 18:39
hmm yeah I guess my thought is are the showdowns being caused by level/character changes or will they just show up over a length of time even if no major changes are made during gameplay. I think we need to narrow down and identify the cause in order to work on a solution.

using models with no textures predefined is definitely the way to go when you'll still need to load the images and apply them to stages for the shaders, otherwise you are loading the images multiple times unnecessarily if nothing else.

Quote: "i could see some weird texture mixing, character skins mixed with background diffuse textures for example, and again that somehow produced slow downs! I had my characters sitting in the idle position, without any action happening, and still the frame rate was occasionally dropping to 45. All that stuff disappeared when i started applying the textures in the game."


It almost sounds like maybe something was getting mapped to a reflection map channel and causing it to process reflections

Dimis
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Posted: 18th Jun 2015 11:16 Edited at: 18th Jun 2015 11:17
Ok i think that the last thing that causes slowdowns is the presence of my custom particles on screen. Disabling them seems to work. I need to playtest further, but i don't have any more problems since yesterday. I think that many things were causing slowdowns, but i am on a good track now. I played many fights, i used 2 more characters from my earlier game just to increase the number of models, but no serious problems until now. I hope that the AL particle system works faster.

Quote: "otherwise you are loading the images multiple times unnecessarily if nothing else"

I am concerned about something. Dbpro stores internally every image loaded, and keeps them in memory, even if the original images are deleted, or am i wrong? Doesn't that increase the memory usage? And is there any way to avoid that?

Something else Ortu, have you activated the AL bloom? At the same time having ghosted objects on screen? This is the result when i activate it. The distant light disappears and the ghosted objects look solid.
Am i doing something wrong?



Ortu
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Posted: 18th Jun 2015 23:45
I have not tried bloom + ghost, but there are a set of alpha shaders in AL that should be able to work with it for transparency on non bone animated objects

Chris Tate
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Posted: 19th Jun 2015 18:18
Quote: "i should get a new graphics card, my nvidia GTX260 is a bit old"


I like building on budget PCs; A because they are good for testing on older hardware; B, because they're cheap!

But I must say that having a decent graphics card with lots of VRAM and support for modern shaders is really nice for rendering, playing games and testing your own game on its maximum settings.

Good to see you found some bottlenecks; that should make the fighting really smooth. There are many particle effect solutions for DBP, but I find them all to be laggy in some way. I am currently trying out Spark; but will create my own particle system if it lags too much.

Dimis
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Posted: 24th Jun 2015 11:24
Well i am building on the same PC for the last 6 years or so. But having a powerful workstation PC to work with, would be great, when we are talking about the development of the game, in terms of production speed and having the option to see your game running with full graphics and smooth gameplay without slowdowns or whatever. Of course you still need a lower tech pc to test how it runs. Can't set the minimum requirements too high, for a DBpro game.
Following the progress of Mortal Kombat X for example, i still see that the worst version of this game is the PC port. It has very high requirements and it is unplayable on older PCs. Even playing on a modern PC, most user complain about the game being sometimes buggy and in some arenas it lags a lot. PCs have never been the ideal platform to play a fighting game, gaming consoles were always better.

Chris Tate
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Posted: 24th Jun 2015 16:47
Definately

Dimis
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Posted: 24th Jun 2015 17:31
So i started working on the next character, the demigod Fovos (meaning Fear or Respect) brother of Deimos, another ancient deity related to war, worshiped greatly by the ancient Spartans. Having a slow day at work, i made a first draft concept sketch of the character.


About the gameplay i think that i will give the characters the option to draw and use their weapons during the fight, something that will change their basic set of attacks.

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