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Toasty's adventure world, RIP mechs [GIF heavy!]

13

Posts

  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    #1 Consider what sort of text you would put on a ship that close to the engines

    #2 Why are the mech's shadows so detailed and the tree's are blurry?

    #3 Where's my Gorram Mechcommander 2 CD? The freeware version lacks cutscenes.

  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Iruka wrote: »
    Looks real good dude.
    Thank you!

    #1 Consider what sort of text you would put on a ship that close to the engines

    #2 Why are the mech's shadows so detailed and the tree's are blurry?

    #3 Where's my Gorram Mechcommander 2 CD? The freeware version lacks cutscenes.
    I'm thinking it'd be more like the ship name broadly along the side, so you'd only see the last few letters of it as the rest are underground.

    The trees could use more definition, yeah... I'm not very good at painting trees yet and I didn't want to spend a ton of time working on them, but they do look a bit out of place. The shadows for them are very rushed.

    Hah! Well, the game's coming along. I got semi-guided missiles working last week. :)

    ProspicienceRoyceSraphim
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    Toasticus wrote: »
    Iruka wrote: »
    Looks real good dude.
    Thank you!

    #1 Consider what sort of text you would put on a ship that close to the engines

    #2 Why are the mech's shadows so detailed and the tree's are blurry?

    #3 Where's my Gorram Mechcommander 2 CD? The freeware version lacks cutscenes.
    I'm thinking it'd be more like the ship name broadly along the side, so you'd only see the last few letters of it as the rest are underground.

    The trees could use more definition, yeah... I'm not very good at painting trees yet and I didn't want to spend a ton of time working on them, but they do look a bit out of place. The shadows for them are very rushed.

    Hah! Well, the game's coming along. I got semi-guided missiles working last week. :)

    Its not that they look rushed, its that the shadows for the trees and mechs, that look like items of similar scale, should have shadows of similar quality. Blur both tree shadows and mech shadows if that's what you want. Make them both precise if that's what you want, its just that it seems inconsistent for both 20' tall items to have two different qualities of shadow.

  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    edited January 2014
    I was agreeing with you! :P

    To be clear, I was pointing out that the difference in sharpness was due to a lack of effort or attention, rather than intention.

    Toasticus on
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Still cranking away, here are some new assets I just wrapped up for now after spending a while on updating the game code:

    new_assets_01.jpg

    Toasticus on
    m3naceShifty24mageormikeNSDFRandChicoBlueIrukaRoyceSraphimIoloProspicienceNightDragonKallistiEncMayday
  • NSDFRandNSDFRand FloridaRegistered User regular
    This is looking great! I'm a huge fan of both isometric RTS/TBS games and robots and this looks like something I'd love to play.

    Toasticus
  • IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    Toasticus wrote: »
    Still plugging away at the high poly for that mech, but in the meantime here is a mockup of what the game UI could look like:

    UI_prototyping_02.jpg

    @Toasticus, holy cow that looks good. Count on me for a Day 1 preorder. :)

    Any chance we could have this glorious scene in wallpaper size? :) (With or without UI, dealer's choice.)

    Toasticus
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    NSDFRand wrote: »
    This is looking great! I'm a huge fan of both isometric RTS/TBS games and robots and this looks like something I'd love to play.
    Hey thanks, glad you dig it! :)
    Iolo wrote: »
    Toasticus wrote: »
    Still plugging away at the high poly for that mech, but in the meantime here is a mockup of what the game UI could look like:

    UI_prototyping_02.jpg

    @Toasticus, holy cow that looks good. Count on me for a Day 1 preorder. :)

    Any chance we could have this glorious scene in wallpaper size? :) (With or without UI, dealer's choice.)
    Sure thing! Here's a link to 2560x1440 w/o UI:
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1340077/zf_visual_target_2560px.jpg

    Iolotapeslinger
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Whoops, forgot to @ ya, @Iolo

  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    edited July 2015
    Finally working on the Mechs themselves again! This is a concept paintover of the game's first light mech, the "Lancer":

    lancer_02.jpg

    Toasticus on
    IoloShifty24RoyceSraphimtapeslingerProspicienceNightDragonKallistiBrocksMullet
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Finally got to a good spot to do some decent renders:

    render_A.jpg

    render_B.jpg

    Still a lot to do, particularly on the weapons and shield thing, but right now I am going to eat a chicken sandwich and watch SCR 2014. :P

    m3naceIolomageormikeProspiciencetapeslingerKallistiAiserouRoyceSraphimBrocksMullet
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Great googily-moogily, have I really not updated this thread in over a year? YEESH

    BEHOLD, SOME ART THINGS:

    lancer_fancyhighpoly.jpg

    mech_doodle1024.jpg

    robo_helper.jpg

    lander_bot_640.jpg

    gronklemech_720.jpg

    fourmechs_parttwo.jpg

    funkycastle.jpg

    wip01_composite_800px.jpg

    urban_wip_01_comp800.jpg

    IololyriumNightDragonProspicience
  • IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    I love these so, so much. <3

    ToasticuslyriumRoyceSraphimProspicience
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    Daddy like, that's why he bookmarked this thread.

    Toasticus
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Toast man, Wheres the game at now? Is it still coming along?

    Robots are looking sweet as hell.

    Toasticus
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Thanks Iruka! Well, I got to a point where I realized I needed to clean up my code, but instead of doing the smart thing and just reorganizing what I had, I thought, "I've learned so much, it'll be so much better if I re-code from the ground up!" And of course that was a huge mistake. I just got bogged down with it and really halted progress for a while.

    For the past couple months though I've been focusing on non-code parts of the project, mostly visual art and writing. Been trying to gear back up to making forward progress again, and hopefully soon I'll be ready to dive back into getting the technical side of things cleaned up.

    Meanwhile... I just realized I haven't been posting the video updates here! So, here's the most recent build I had going:

    ProspicienceIoloRoyceSraphimbombardierNipsProjeckBrainleech
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Coooool!

    Sorry to hear about the code, but that's all still super impressive to me! Every time I open unity and think about trying to get into the technical side of things, my brain just shuts down on me.

    I hope you get back on the horse with this, I would love to see it finished.

    ToasticusProspicienceIoloF87
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    Solidworks, 2001

    Oh, my folder with 3 hours of work has the name "new folder," lets change that in 2001 windows XP and....I've just deleted my final project. Cue much screaming and lamination.

    I feel ya, toasty. I feel ya.

  • KoregKoreg Registered User regular
    That looks pretty solid so far. Are the bigger buildings destructible also?

    Could I go all Sherman on the map to root out non-believers?

  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    I'd be very happy with that build even if all the sound effects were just you saying, "boom," "fwoosh," "clank, clank, clank," "ZAP P P P P."

    ProspicienceIolo
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    @Iruka Hey thanks! Haha, oh I'll definitely finish it one way or another. It'll be a long road though, maybe about three years?

    @RoyceSraphim Oh man, that sounds awful. Thankfully I haven't deleted any of my old code, just started off a new project-within-the-project sort of thing. Copying and pasting over stuff as I go, but all the old stuff still works fine. And thanks! Sound effects are something I should actually be able to take a preliminary pass on soon, I found a like 10GB set of raw sounds released to the public that I can mess with.

    @Koreg Yep, pretty much all of the man-made stuff in a map should be destructible! Eventually it'll have better VFX too; there probably shouldn't be a fiery explosion when you destroy a section of wall.

    I made some solid progress on getting my new codebase to where the old one was, which is nice because the new one will support some new things right off the bat (like units that are a different size than 2x2 tiles). Getting there.

    Iolo
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    *cough* well ah hello there!

    I sketched some things!

    mech_sketches_B_sm.jpg mech_sketches_C_sm.jpg

    IoloRoyceSraphimIrukaacadiaChicoBlue
  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    Toooooasticus! How have you been?

    Nice robuts

    ToasticusIolo
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    I was just thinking about Exo Squad and Toasty updates. :D

    Toasticus
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Been good! Juggling a few things, but right now wrapping up on the project I've been doing contract work for, Offworld Trading Company. We'll be shipping the 1.0 release in a bit over a month now. :biggrin:

    Still plugging away at my own game project in various ways, most recently via lots of story work. Got a little bound journal over the holidays from my older brother that I ended up using to jot down and work through story ideas and I've made more progress with that little journal in the past month than I have by durdling around in a set of Google Drive docs for years now. Got a story outline, main cast, and world timeline with all the big-picture stuff pretty solidly in place, which is a big milestone for me.

    After a good amount of thinking, I've resolved to change the style of the character art to something more toony, so I'll be working on exploring that soonish. Should be really interesting!

    Looks like you joined up on a comics kickstarter while I've been away Iruka, that's awesome! And the digital version is coming up next month eh? Gonna check that out for sure :0

    Prospiciencetapeslinger
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Aw, bummer. My old option for image hosting via Dropbox is kaput. Shoot.

    Anyhow, I'm back, and I'm on a mission... to design the main character for a smaller project! See, the mech game is going to take more than a couple more years, so I thought it would be wise to make a smaller project to start with. It'll still be six months plus, but even so that's a way better turnaround. Then I can take what I learn from finishing that project and use it in the development of the larger-scale mech game.

    So! In this small game, you will be doing some survival stuff like chopping trees, making a house, fighting off some critters, that kind of thing. It's going to be set in a very forested area. Here's my first shot at designing the player character:

    5ldwedrij6vp.jpg

    I am extremely unpracticed in character art and design, and I could really use some input on this!

    Not only in terms of which designs you think are working the best, but general flaws like proportions and so forth. The final game character won't be flat-shaded like this, that's just so I can work through this process more quickly. As well, the game will feature a 3/4ths view top-down camera angle, similar to what you'd see in a game like Diablo or Super Mario RPG. The character will be modeled and animated in 3D so I tried to keep that in mind for the clothing design.

    I could also use advice on how to move forward -- should I do thumbnails, silhouettes, different hairstyles? What do you folks think?

    IoloNightDragonRoyceSraphim
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited July 2
    Link to a recent post I wrote about character design and my personal approach to it that you might find useful:
    https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/comment/37769826/#Comment_37769826

    It looks to me that (unless you've done previous exploration work on this character that you're not showing here), you're just showing different clothes on the same character, rather than trying to figure out how to get across the well, character of the character- who she is, what she's about personality-wise.

    I've been on projects that have gone around and around in circles for months on a character design where all the team had to go on was a general description and time period, ("maybe this hairstyle, or maybe this one, should the skirt go up this much or that much, what props should she have", etc. etc. etc. on all the little bits of 'stuff') until I finally pinned a writer down and forced them to give me a concrete personality of the character I can work with- I actually insisted that they produce a short script, acted it out- having that, I was able to come up with a rough design very quickly that all of a sudden everyone could agree on as, 'yes, that is that character.' It wasn't about finding the coolest accouterments to throw on them, it was about finding a throughline that I could hinge my decisions around.

    To give an example: Say you're making a game about a guy fighting zombies. If you're a guy who's going to go around fighting zombies, what would this guy want to have on him? Armor, so he doesn't get bitten? A dozen guns strapped to his back? A Mad Max costume so he fits in with the post-apocalypse? These are all valid, they might be the right choice for this game- or maybe not at all.

    Now look at Joel, from The Last of Us. His throughline and personality is not 'zombie fightin' dude'- even though he is a dude that fights zombies. His throughline is, "dad'. His character design, how he moves, is all designed to say, "dad" to the audience. Throwing him in power armor might be a better way for him to survive a zombie apocalypse, realistically, but it would work against the game and story and character Naughty Dog set out to depict. They knew the design problem to solve ("How to we get the audience to buy into the surrogate father/daughter relationship in this game?"), and came up with a design to accomplish that goal.

    So to be useful to you, I'd need you to pitch me on what this character is all about, beyond "this is the main character of a game." Were they raised by wolves from a young age, were they a royal that got Prince and Paupered and left out in the forest, are they very shy and skittish or very loud and outgoing, do they want to travel a thousand miles on an adventure, or stay put and build an impregnable fortress? Knowing these things, then I can say something useful about the character design. If you've seen that Red Letter Media review of Episode 1, where people are challenged to describe various Star Wars characters without mentioning their profession, name or how they look- that's kinda thing you have to be able to provide a good answer for for your own characters.

    Now, maybe you don't have all this sorted out in your head-at some point in every project there's just nothing concrete to go on- and so a way to start might be by exploring some gestures of how this character would do things in the game. If they have to push a boulder around, does it feel right to have them really struggle to push it, putting their whole weight into it- or does it feel more in keeping with the intended tone to have them roll it around easily, skipping as they do so? If the former feels more right, then it might lead you down a design path based around this character really having to struggle and strive to survive- worn, hand-stitched clothing, short, practical hair, etc., whereas the former might lead down a more cartoonish, light hearted path- put 'em in shorts and a t-shirt, this isn't the kind of game where someone would get poison ivy for doing so.

    The more you can define the problem you need to solve, the easier and easier it becomes to solve it.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
    Heffling
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Thanks Bacon! That's a lot of useful stuff to think about. I just spotted and read through your post in the chat thread before seeing your post here, definitely a lot of things for me to consider from the both of them.

    In terms of defining the character, what I'm aiming for is sort of a partially-carved slate. Not a blank slate, but just a light framework of "who is this," in a similar sense to Gordon Freeman, Link from Zelda, and so on. A character who is easy to project onto.

    Given that, it seems like a good avenue for me to pursue would be where she comes from, what it's like there, and her general motivations for wanting to accomplish what you do in the game. Those are all pretty nebulous right now and will definitely warrant a good amount of development on my end, but I didn't want to get to the "I have three binders of lore" kind of state before doing some early prototyping. Ideas coming out of the working process itself and all that jazz. I do want her to have a bit of personality of her own, but basically not anything that would get in the way of someone playing as her in the game.

    Speaking of prototyping, I should have mentioned I'm expecting to do an additional in-depth character revision pass later on, once I've gotten a decent starting point that I can model out and use for prototyping work. I'll have a clearer idea of all the verbs that she'll be associating with at that point and hopefully can do more with individualizing her.

    I think my next steps will involve collecting a lot more reference material and getting a stronger working idea of her background, goals, and general personality.

    In the meantime, here's some more info on what I'm planning. I'm a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki and his manner of aspirational, imaginative and generally very un-grim characters and worlds, so everything should be considered in that kind of light. All names are SUPER temp, but I'll write them normally here for convenience. Your character here is an Augur, which is an order of sorcerers who can harness the energy of the Great Forest to establish links between it and the world outside it. The Great Forest is a mysterious place that doesn't handle things like time and space quite normally. Wandering the forest, you may happen upon ruins from the past or the future, from near or far away. As an Augur your goal in entering the forest is to establish a shelter and food supply for yourself, because it will take you a good amount of time to assemble what you need to create a link back to the outside world. The forest is inhabited by some unusual creatures, some of which are very hostile, so you'll also need to defend yourself. But as you entered the swirling mists of the forest alone, you'll have a fairly solitary experience, and will not be encountering other humans.

    The forest will be a fairly warm climate (probably rainforest inspired) so I've been leaning the clothing toward that. As well, she'll be doing a LOT of jumping and climbing around, so I wanted her clothes to allow for a good amount of agility. That's why the tunic bit has a slice cut from the bottom of the sides, to make athletic activity easier. You'll have an inventory in the game as you harvest and collect things, so I included some pouches on the outfit. You'll be doing some archery and swordfighting as well, but not a ton, so I tried out including some very minor leather armor pieces.

    Anyhow, that's the general framework for now. Thanks again for all the thoughts and suggestions!

  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    Reading over the setting prompt, I might suggest trying to establish a visual language for the Augurs- maybe that's a color palette, a unique cut of clothing, some motif or physical doodad. You know the kind- in LOTR if a guy's got a flowing robe and beard, probably a wizard. In Star Wars, got a lightsaber, probably a Jedi. In Naruto, got a headband, probably a ninja. Could be anything from a tiny tattoo to a full uniform, depending on what makes the most sense gameplay-wise (ie: if you're too zoomed out, you'll never see that tattoo, so maybe something bigger. If you're dealing with a lot of other Augurs, a full uniform might be monotonous and confusing).

    Even if you never end up seeing any other Augurs in the game, it'll help establish a sense of history to your worldbuilding, as well as adding some uniqueness to your visual design.

    On the subject of prototyping, I generally advocate for not doing 'temp finished' work- so if that's the case I'd actually just slap something in so you can focus on making the design and engineering fun/functional, and return to concepting when you've got enough established to do it for real. Grab a rig from the Unity store with a big pink texture that says "TEMP" on it, call it a day for the time being. As you said, you don't need the 3 binders of lore right now- you need to figure out what will actually work right now, and a lot of the information that will inform your visual design decisions will shake out from that.


    RANT BORN FROM IRRITATING INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE FOLLOWS (by which I mean it's probably more about me venting than anything you've said thus far):
    I always think back to something I heard in the first PC Gamer preview of Starcraft, where the interviewee said something like, "We make all our games with just boxes and circles and triangles first- because we know if it's not fun with boxes and circles and triangles, it's not going to be fun after spending $100000 on art for it."

    'Temp finished' work made under the premise, "make something temp, but make sure it doesn't look too temp so we don't look incompetent" tends to:

    -Make people lose faith in the game, because no matter how much you tell them it's temp, it still reads as 'real art' to the average viewer, and it's real art that doesn't look good and you know it and so does everyone else.
    -Stay in much longer than it ever should, and leads to fights about replacing it, because it looks, 'almost finished'. ("Can't you just clean it up a bit?" is a phrase that makes me scream inside.)
    -Stops proper concepting from taking place- you end up just polishing the bad idea that someone came up with in the first 15 seconds they thought about it, rather than putting the thought into figuring out the good idea it should have been.
    -Slows design production, because designers and engineers are always waiting around for assets to get made for an idea that may or may not work- rather than slapping some boxes in and finding out if it works or not in a quick and dirty fashion. The more 'produced' the assets are, the less malleable the game design is, which makes for a worse game in the end.
    -Frustrates artists because they'll spend a lot of time making junk, that everyone will come up to them and be like, "hey why's this look like shit", and then when it comes time to make the real thing they'll have less time to spend on thinking out and producing it than they wanted, because all their time was wasted on making junk. They could have been spending that time figuring out how to make this game a breathtaking wonderland, if you hadn't forced them to spend all their time make 50 different, shitty-looking variants of collectible rubies or whatever.
    -Either blow out the scheduling and budget targets by having to spend a lot of time redoing stuff in the end to make it look acceptable, or ship with a bunch of half-finished work that makes it look like you're a fly-by-night shovelware company.

    So if you're making this game by yourself and have total control over how it's produced, please I beg of you don't waste your time with 'temp finished'. Make a fun box game first.

  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    edited July 2
    I'm actually thinking the Augurs are pretty ragtag, to the point where the idea of a uniform would make a group of them burst out laughing. But they're probably proud of what they do, so there might be something to their look that would have a layperson say "yeah that guy looks like an Augur." So that's a pretty useful thought.

    The list of very real drawbacks for well-defined prototypes you put together primarily affects team dynamics, but this project is just me going completely solo. Pipeline, interpersonal, and forgotten asset issues (for the main character) won't present in my case. For my part I know I'll have a lot more fun doing prototyping work if I have an at least somewhat developed character model to have jumping around etc rather than a box. Having more fun working on the project means I'll work on the project more, and more enthusiastically, and I consider that a high priority. Staying away from something that at the very least I myself might be tempted to call "final" does seem wise though, so maybe I'll stop short of doing textures.

    Regarding Blizzard, I'd say developers should be very thoughtful about trying to adopt their development practices. They are in a fairly unique position to make use of tons of resources and company support for lengthy development cycles.

    Toasticus on
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    Toasticus wrote: »
    Regarding Blizzard, I'd say developers should be very thoughtful about trying to adopt their development practices. They are in a fairly unique position to make use of tons of resources and company support for lengthy development cycles.

    Well, I can't stop you or anything, but : (spoilered because I don't want to be too much of a distraction)
    I'd argue the contrary- the quote comes from when Blizzard was hardly the world-beating juggernaut of a company it is today: Warcraft 2 had just come out, Diablo 1 wasn't out yet, World of Warcraft wasn't even a dream at that point. They didn't get the luxury of long dev cycles just by having a ton of money- they wound up making a ton of money, because they made a point to spend their time wisely.

    And as for other developers adopting their practices, the fact is that not many do, or only adopt small portions (certainly grayboxing levels and features has become standard practice nowadays).

    They think they're going to be so much more financially responsible, and more efficient, and get things done better and quicker. But they don't, in the end.

    Blizzard might lock 3 dudes in a room for 2 years to find out how to make the tiny core of a game fun, then hire up a bunch of people to flesh it out later- dev cycle, "4 years".
    Another developer might hire 300 people immediately, and have everyone tripping over each other the whole time to get it out the door rather than spending the time to really crack the nut of how to engage the player on a design level- dev cycle "2 years", but in the end it makes for a much more expensive game that was less fun and performed worse.
    Is taking the time and dime to keep a handful of guys on the payroll playing around with squares and circles really so much more irresponsible, when it makes for a track record of putting out nothing but hugely successful hits? What's really more efficient in the end?
    (Yes I know this is a generalization and Blizzard has put a lot of time and money into games they wind up cancelling; but the problem with those seems to be they got too big too fast without finding the fun core, rather than they demonstrated excessive patience in prototyping.)

    How this applies to a solo project should be pretty obvious: If you're doing one thing, another thing just doesn't get done. So 'temp finished' work winds up being a huge burden.

    So you make this temp finished character the first time, that's great. It looks alright, you're happy for a day or two.
    Until you decide they need to climb walls, and the whoops that first design has chibi arms that make it impossible to do that.
    Redesign, remodel, rerig, reanimate.
    Now you decide you need to be able to put custom clothes on your character. Didn't think of that.
    Redesign, remodel, rerig.
    Now you've zoomed the camera back. Hard to see your character now, gotta make 'em chunkier so they show up.
    Redesign, remodel, rerig, reanimate.
    Etc. Etc., always trying to hit this moving target as the design develops.

    Now the design work that might have taken you 3 weeks to prototype in with slammed together parts, has taken you 6 months. Meanwhile the levels you thought you were going to be building in that time haven't been started. What was very exciting the first time around, becomes a boat anchor around your neck as you have to redo the same things over and over. I've been there many times and boy howdy is it ever not fun, and winds up sapping all that initial enthusiasm away.

    It may not be glamorous to spend a lot of time looking a green blob wandering around a world of gray cubes, trying to figure out how fast or slow that blob has to move to be fun- but that unglamorous work it how you find all the 'knowns' of your design. If you know how fast, you know what the stride of the run animation has to be like. Animate it first, and you'll either have your audience not having fun running around in the final game, or you'll have to animate it all over again.

  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    edited July 3
    Well, I've actually worked at Blizzard as an artist. They don't do things in quite so agile a way as you think. Absolutely a great company to work for and they're aligned in a smart way for the resources they have available as a company, but efficient and agile design iteration really isn't their forte. That's fine because they focus on making super-polished entries in established genres, and everyone working there is super skilled and motivated (which doesn't track with them hiring ME but let's not hold that against them!).

    I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all approach to prototyping, and that's a big part of why many projects get tripped up on it. You need to prototype in a way that makes sense for the project you're trying to make. Using boxes for entire characters made sense for Starcraft, for example, because the game units don't have complex interactions with the environment or each other. The game would still be fun when you were controlling boxes because it's about creating and directing swarms of units. But a prototype of Uncharted that used boxes for characters wouldn't be very helpful. They had a detailed model for Drake very early on because they knew his interactions with the game world would be complex and their prototype needed to be very similar to the final product in order to design those interactions in a meaningful way.

    For my case, if I make a character model that has a cape and hair and so forth then I'll be able to learn from the issues I encounter with the prototype before I take on the task of making the proper final model. Will I be able to get away with physics sim for the cape and hair? Is the hair going to have alpha sorting or lighting issues? Will something get in the way of an animation of hanging from a ledge or climbing over a ledge, or kneeling down and hammering at something? Without a rough version of the outfit I want, I will just run into these issues later rather than sooner. And when it comes to issues with animation, rigging, and design, you definitely want to run into them sooner.

    edit: Was browsing through some stuff and I don't think I've posted this mech model here that I made late last year. I will return to you someday, my dear mechs!

    tumblr_ol2m7vI36G1se2q65o1_1280.jpg

    Toasticus on
    IoloLegacyGame
  • Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    Fair enough- I can only speak to Blizz the ideal as represented by 20 year old press quotes not Blizz the reality, and my experience with smaller games that have struggled to find their feet and could have benefited from being a little more lightweight from the start.

    So if you've got a lot of experience in setting out efficient processes and getting things to the finishline, awesome- I'm just used to dealing with situations where there's a lot of ambition and not a lot of experience, so that's where I'm coming from. I apologize if I came across as too strongly dictatorial (one of these convos I wish I could have face to face so my tone came across better.)

  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Hey no worries Bacon! I know I'm putting out a total "in over his head" kind of vibe, between switching off of my mech game project and posting about how I don't know anything about character art. So advising in the direction of taking very small steps totally makes sense. I really do appreciate you taking the time to offer your insights for that kind of thing, and I know for sure your warnings about that kind of stuff come from very real personal experience. Hopefully I haven't sounded dismissive of the points you were making.

    I've got a good chunk of the tech-art area of gamedev experience, so what I'm most interested in feedback for here is in the "fantasy character visual design" sense rather than "video game character design" sense. If that makes any sense! Anyhow, I should shut my yapper and get back to working on this for a while.

  • LegacyGameLegacyGame Registered User regular
    thats a nice mech!

    Iolo
  • ToasticusToasticus yeah YEAHRegistered User regular
    Thanks Legacy!

    Alrighty, so gathering a board of character art in the styles I like really helped. Big fat "duh" on that one, I know. At least I've managed to ditch the whole "THIS IS MY SONIC O.C. PLS DO NOT STEAL" kind of vibe I had going on with that first attempt.

    Doing a pass on some hairstyle possibilities here. What you folks think?

    ypjucdh2ng8a.jpg

  • IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    Based on no objective criteria whatsoever, I like the one in the six images above the best, then tied between C and D. :)

  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    I once asked my cousin, if she was on a alien world, leading soldiers and traipsing though jungle, how she would wear her hair.

    She said a bun.

    I pick C because it looks the most practical and stylish.

    A if I wanted pure practical.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    C also gives you some more interesting shapes to work with in back, which I imagine would be helpful if you plan to work in this isometric perspective in general.

    Yoshisummons
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