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Messages - Akusa

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Wow, just.... wow!
I watched some of your Reviews and im amazed how deep you walk into game design of these reviews. This is not just some "i loved this game, now go play it" but you point out why and how the game is so sensational. Exspecially you review of "The Colonel's Bequest" let me realize how narrow today adventure games treat this genre and how Sierra created in only some years such a great creative output. Now i feel ashamed to have said "Sierra Games were infinior to Lucas Arts Games".

I really have to thank you so much for broadening my adventure game horizont.

Sorry for "pushing" the article again but i got the script running again with new Blender versions. The error is in the comments, it looks like blender does not like umlauts anymore and the letter ä causes trouble. After deleting it, it worked again with blender 2.49b.

OK, maybe this is a country barrier but at least i would have used footnotes instead of braces.
It would have increased the readability of your text. But big thumbs up, its a good text :)

@Mnemonic: I think he did not targeted Jane Jensen but all of the development team while i also have to disagree there (its more or less a problem of technology switching with a team that has no experience in 3d and game engine programming).


Co-Production of an original RPG between Level 5 and Ghibli

And yes, Ponyo is for most of it 2d art but they do use 3D today for complex camera perspectives. For example, the castle in Howls Moving Castle was 3d and the complex chasing scene during the first part through the city where fully 3d backgrounds (the textures of course where hand painted so it still looks like 2D but would be impossible to do without 3d)

Game design / Re: Good 2D art tutorials?
« on: August 09, 2009, 03:37:48 PM »
Here something i found really helpful:

dont think to much, just do it! For myself i find 3/4 perspective much easier then front or side because the figure does not look flat. But just thinking "i cant do this" wont get you better. No one expects you to have Monkey Island 3 quality, if you can do it, everyone will praise you but if you dont get this level, its okay too.

Then ofcourse there is the good old rotoscoping trick. Grab your webcam and film yourself from all directions with basic movements then trace it with the shapes of your character.

Here some films nearly completly done in rotoscoping:


Lord of the Rings:

On the LotR version you can see how good they modified for example the hobbits, played by real people and then rotoscoped as something other.

Ofcourse you could also use 3d models today for rotoscoping but then you need at least some knowledge of the 3d suite you use.

Game design / Re: Gameplay Evolution
« on: July 18, 2009, 12:31:15 AM »
yeah, you are right, it was Full Throttle. But never really liked Full Throttle so i most likley forgot it because of this. (lame excuse)

I think unpopularity is a little bit harsh, they are not anymore the focus point in the industry but Adventure Games still sell good at germany (not every one, even good ones get slapped and its a hard world but still, you can develop games and make profit). You will most likley know but Adventure Games where pioneers for graphic technology in their golden age.
For today, other genres took over, in the 90', the FPS began to take this task and other genres began to develop very nicely while adventures stopped more or less in their development. You could argue adventures reached their design zenith but it would miss the point and i will tell you why i think so.

So the biggest problem i see for today adventures is, they simply stopped to develop at some time and the fundamental gameplay did not change very much or new gameplay developed during the golden era where simply overlooked AND the huge amount of bad games flooded the market (exspecially the live action video era with 16 CD-ROMs) and killed adventures as a dominant genre more or less. While adventures lost slowly their momentum, at some point the RPG genre began to addopt gameplay parts from adventures. Dialog trees, simple item puzzles, etc. Modern Bioware games are more or less the modern reincarnation of adventure game in my eyes. Take down all the battle aspects of Biowares games since KotOR (while Planescape Torment started this development) and you get an very rich modern adventure. Bioware even said the time for action slowly fades away, so i think maybe Bioware could give the adventure genre new impulses. Instead of one predetermined path, you get several possible ways of solving puzzles or quests, while your action will change the outcome of the story and behaviour of NPCs.

Personally, i see the future of adventures not in Telltale games, Still Life or Secret Files, and while they are fun, i see the real future in games like Knights of the old Republic, Mass Effect and The Witcher. Sleeping, developing, waiting for someone to free them and rebirth in a new way.

This is my analysis why they lost popularity, i could be totally wrong but at least im very sure we stand at a turning point for adventures:

great! thanks :D
nice to see how you enhance the final image in photoshop to get it more interesting. maybe i should try out this too

Technical forum / Re: Exporting Toon/Black Outline on 3D character
« on: May 14, 2009, 04:56:03 PM »
Wow the illuminated outlines look wonderful! Not only are the "artifacts" much smaller, also the overall mood is much nicer :D

Btw. can i ask a question? Your backgrounds look wonderful comic like while i see you also using photo textures.... could you post a tutorial how to archive this kind of style? I aimed for a simmilar art style but only archived a very realisticly looking art effect with photo textures.

Game design / Re: How many rooms?
« on: May 12, 2009, 05:19:52 PM »
well then you can still use placeholders.

Valve for example uses 3 stages with multiple iterations:
  • gameplay stage - Here they just use simple shades and the now famous "orange"-textures for only the most basic gameplay. No special props, background houses are simple blocks etc.
  • basic art stage - now they start to include textures and start to work out the overall art. Houses start to get textures, roofs become more then triangles etc.
  • final stage - now all the small details start to come in, barrels, destroyed bricks etc. Also now the lighting and mood is defined and finished

Game design / Re: How many rooms?
« on: May 11, 2009, 06:30:40 PM »
How long does it take for you to do one screen DaFool?
I have a simillar RPG hobbyist background so i tend to do many screens with less or no interaction just for the mood with the side effect that i lose time.
If you do not plan a special release date, i would say plan how many rooms you need and then look how long it takes to do one screen. My aim is to create at least 1 room per week. My main problem is just that NPCs take 2 weeks to complete and in my RPG experience, i want many NPCs so i try to figure out how to reduce the time i need without reducing the NPC ammount.

Also a little advice: use placeholders for your game. Just sketch out the sceens in your 3d modeller of your choice (or draw some outlines if you use hand drawn backgrounds) and look how much rooms you really need. This way you dont loose 10 hours of work just because you decided not to include this one room.

Game design / Re: Design a game
« on: May 09, 2009, 11:43:56 PM »
Hi there!

There are tons of ideas and documents out there how to design a game. Personally, im a "learning by doing" person.
The best tutors are most likley the games you like to play. Maybe its a idea, a game aspect you are interested but other games did not touch this part etc.
Because you say you are a programmer i think you already know how to design code etc. so you are more interested in the creativity aspect.
So first, you need an idea. Maybe its the idea "i want to make a cyber punk adventure" or "i want to combine adventure with RPG elements", the your first idea is what you need.

A great source from a more theoretical point of view (please note, he talks about commercial game design, not the hobby aspect of indie game design so dont be misscouraged if he said you have to be in the bizz to get your game done):

An other great source is Brass Latern. Its focus is on text adventures like ZORK but the documents also work for graphic adventures:

Then i would say you should take a look at gamasutra. Its the main news place for international game development. While its focus now is more on industry news, its bigges plus are their featured articles. Interviews with designers, background technology articles etc. For example the last feature i read was Peter Molyneux article about user interaction. Simply a great source for ideas and optimizing game development.

for graphics, the best solution would be to find ressources or your own graphic artist. Also, dont set your exspections to high. If you do this in your free time, you will most likely not challange game graphic like Still Life without drasticly reducing your content.

Technical forum / Re: Need help understanding Game.PlaySoundEvent()
« on: May 09, 2009, 07:55:45 PM »
just a question: is the node called Julia?
Because i think maybe WME takes the node, deactivates it, still play the sound but because the node is deactivated, he does not trigger the Event "Julia"
But i never touched this part of WME so im not sure.

Okay you have a point, the development of displays is really more toward 16:9 then 4:3 and the resolution for a new game can have this resolution.
But games with such black borders most time still use them for their menu or subtitles.

Its just a simple design choice.
Do you want to have 90% of your users have black bars and 10% no black bars or do you want to have 10% of your users have black bars and 90% no black bars?
My design philosophy is: you should never offer the best experience to only your minority.

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