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Topics - Orange Brat

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Technical forum / Zooming and other more realtimeish camera stuff
« on: July 17, 2007, 02:31:53 AM »
Is it possible to make the camera zoom into or out of a scene in a 2.5D game? Say the player walks close to a certain point of interest, can I script the FOV of the camera to zoom in/out a bit on a predefined section of the scene? Will doing this force the collision hull and the background to be mismatched? Is there a way to do this without causing a mismatch?

Also, will it ever be possible to move the 2.5D camera from it's original point of origin in the 3DS file? I'm not asking for a fulltime realtime camera, but it would be nice to be able to shift the camera into or out of a scene or to dolly it around within a level. It would be a pseudo-3D. See the animated short for some examples of this:

You'll need a player like the one below to play it:

Software and games / 3D Gamestudio goes Wintermute on us...
« on: June 14, 2007, 03:58:50 PM »
I've been prodding jcl for more 2.5D-friendly features for a while now (I'm still prodding for stencil shadow rendering on non-visible surfaces and Speex format support...see two links at bottom of post...I carry a large supply of torches and pitchforks and use them to scare jcl into implementing these features from time to time ;) ). I finally got him to bite. Before this so-called biting, elements like 2D panels, text, and view entities (entities that always rendered in front of the view and not in the actual 3D level) were always rendered in front of the view.

Anyway, I'll let the beta page do the talking. It's in the newest WIP private beta and hasn't been released to testers, yet (and I am one), so it will be a while:

Panels, texts and view entities with a negative layer value are now drawn beneath view objects, and can be used to draw into the background of a view when the sky is switched off.

This will only be available in the still unreleased A7, so 2D background plates can be placed behind hidden scene geometry, now and developers will be able to better handle areas that the player can both walk behind and walk in front of. It was a royal pain beforehand.  Here's the A7 feature chart followed by the forecast page. Some of these features on both the beta and forecast page will make it into the current A6. A7 only features are marked with the A7 icon (well, duh, OB):

That feature chart is just a "big picture" view...there are of course hundreds of little features that are in the manual. The biggest revelations are render-to-texture and unlimited physics objects trickling down to the commercial version. The trade-off is BSP scene management goes Pro only. However, it will be a new BSP that will allow concave geometry to be rendered (eventually). BSP only allows convex shapes under normal circumstances, but is a faster technology compared with the new standard ABT scene management. It's best suited for exteriors, and BSP has always been best suited for closed interiors; however there was always that convex restriction. No more, though. The other big new feature is FBX model import. It will allow up to 4 bones per vertex; however that will be a Pro only feature, as well. All other editions will have to stick with one per vertex, but you can use vertex animation as always if you want. There's also a new, faster renderer and a new ANSI-C like scripting language called Lite-C. The old C-script will be kept in for a time for backwards compatibility and us old fogies who don't like change.

Anyway, just another potential avenue for the 2.5D developer. Of course, it's always been useful for full 3D and 2D games.

Won't implement / Wii and/or DS port
« on: March 19, 2007, 01:57:45 PM »
This is a fairly obligatory thread on engine forums, so I thought I'd port it.

Point and click adventure games are popping up on the Nintendo DS, and because of that touch sensitive screen, it's just made for the genre. Likewise, the Wii and its WiiMote are prime, as well.

It's no small feat and probably a pipe dream, but perhaps a WME port of one of these would be something to tackle one of these days. - Nintendo developer's site


This is provided by "ventilator" from the 3D Gamestudio forums. It's still incomplete and WIP.

Ol' Vent is the 3DGS resident Blender guru. He wrote and is improving(he finally figured out how bones are handled) a model export script for 3DGS's boned, MDL7 model format(it'll probably be distributed with Blender at some future point). He's also going to update Newton Game Dynamics once a certain version number is released. He's talented. :D

Software and games / MakeHuman
« on: November 23, 2005, 11:03:44 PM »

I'll eventually add this to the Starving Developer's Guide, but I figures I'd post about it, too. A new working beta has been allows you to finally export to OBJ. Anyway, the polycount is high, but that shouldn't be a problem if you're using prerendered 2D character sprites.

Software and games / Divx Create Bundle for Windows is free
« on: September 29, 2005, 01:47:00 PM »

It's non-trial and will never expire. A $20 piece of and legal.

Feature requests, suggestions / Even higher resolutions
« on: June 28, 2005, 09:52:51 AM »
Specifically 1280x1024 and 1600x1200. Those aren't very common, but I can think of one commercial title that went all the way up. Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Silver Earring.

This is a compilation list featuring useful reference sites, quality programs and tools, and services that are ideal for the indie developer on a tight budget.

Bolded items are programs worth checking out first. This is based on my opinion, as well as others but they are very nice and do what they do very well.

If someone finds any dead links, errors, unforgivable omissions ( :D ), or something else, please post away.

Paint.NET - free paint program that should get you by for most things...NET 2.0 and soon NET 3.0 required
The Gimp - Photoshop & very powerful but has a quirky UI
Project Dogwaffle - "natural" paint & animation version but commercial versions are stellar
ArtRage 2 - very inexpensive “natural” paint program...poor man's Dogwaffle
Paintshop Pro - paint program...commercial product
Pixel - Photoshop knockoff
Deep Paint 2 - free & powerful paint program
openCanvas - paint program...commercial product
Flash Maker - cheap Flash-like editor
Inkscape - Illustrator/Freehand knockoff with PDF and it gets the job done
Anime Studio - 2D bones based animation...has some 3D import capabilities...formerly known as Moho
Texture Maker - general purpose seamless texture generator
Wood Workshop - procedural seamless wood texture
Genetica 2 - procedural seamless texture generator...Wood Workshop is based on it
Caustics Generator - water texture
Graffiti Creator - online graffiti and new commercial version
PNG Gauntlet - fantastic PNG converter & optimizer
GUIGenie - GUI

Blender - jack of all and powerful
Wings 3D - modeling/rendering with FBX import/export but no animation or bones
Silo - modeling/ Wings only better and commercial
CB Model Pro - intuitive, Zbrush-like program for organic modeling and painting. OBJ export and free after email registration. Ideal for high poly models for normalmaps
Milkshape - modeling/animation...essential for model format conversion purposes
Gamespace - modeling/animation/rendering...commercial
MarbleCLAY - lots of features and free...must register to unlock some English for English page
AC3D - easy on the eyes UI...your standard modeling app
Misfit Model 3D - open source modeling program
SharpConstruct - mold organic models from clay-like materials
Daz Studio - Poser-like figure creation and similar license restrictions apply. Nice for 2D renders or 2D
MakeHuman - figure
3D World Studio - level editor...commercial - inexpensive motion capture...if you can get it to work (try fragMotion), this is both a steal and an animation paradise
DeleD - level and model editor version
TreeMagik - low poly tree creator
Ultimate Unwrap - model unwrapping and UVs
UVMapper Classic - OBJ model unwrapping and version
fragMotion - character animation program...fantastic and powerful....low cost
CharacterFX - old animation program
LifeForms Gamepak 1 - premade game animations
Character Shop - premade game animations
Nem's Terrain Generator
Terragen - photorealistic scenery rendering
FreeWorld3D - terrain editor targeted for game development...commercial and superb
World Machine - procedural terrain generator w/ version
gile(s) - global illumination editor(texture baking/lightmaps)
Newton Dynamics - free physics engine

Inno Setup -
CreateInstall - version
Molebox - non extracting file packer
TalkToMe - lipsyncing SDK for 2D or 3D
Audacity - audio
Kristal Audio Engine - Cubase and open source
Divx - video codec...high compression & for noncommercial use
XVid - superior open source video codec....will open Divx to use
TMPGEnc - video convertor
Fraps - video version
Taksi - FRAPS source video
Virtualdub - powerful video compression
VLC Media Player - open source video/audio
dBPowerAMP - audio convertor with nice UI...lots of
Exact Audio Copy - free audio ripper..the best in the world
BurnAtOnce - feature rich CD/DVD burning
LAME MP3 Encoder - the best MP3 encoder...use with Exact Audio Copy
Font Creator - a nice TTF creator, editor, and viewer
SubtitlesK5ky - add subtitles to
RAD Video Tools - video/image/sound convertor &
Open Office - MS Office, spreadsheets, powerpoint, word processing and
7-Zip - file archiver/
Motek Entertainment - huge BVH repository
TikiWiki - free
osCommerce - open source online shop e-commerce
SmartFTP - free FTP client
Core FTP LE - free FTP client
Website Baker - open source PHP website
WordPress - free blog software, "5-minute installation"
Photobucket - online image hosting
Putfile - online image hosting
Large file upload services - useful for large resource and demo dispersement
Bittorrent - useful for large resource and demo dispersement..eliminates webhosting and bandwidth
Pidgin - multi-platform, multi-protocol, instant messaging client; formerly known as
Trillian - multi-protocol, instant messaging
Open Clip Art Library - vector
1001 Free Fonts - free fonts

Reference and organizations:
Anatomy Atlases - large selection of anatomy atlases
3D Science - medical models and images...prices vary...some freebies
Human Photo References for 3D Artists and Game Makers - this site contains've been warned
More human photo references and environmental textures - this site contains've been warned
Morgue File - royalty free photo reference site...commercial usage permitted
Buildings & Structural reference sites - just what it says
Public domain art links - just what it says
Google Earth - satellite photos of just about everywhere...broadband
LipSync - tutorial
Low poly modeling and texturing tutorials
Onnovanbraam blueprints - vehicles & people
Vehicle blueprints
ANIMAX - free textures
Turbo Squid - 2D/3D resource buy/sell site
CafePress - service that allows you to sell merchandise based on your company/
IGDA - International Game Developer's Association
DevMaster - game developer siste
Gamasutra - free registration is mandatory to read articles on this game developer/news site
Gamedev - popular game developer information site
GameTab - game reviews and news compilation site
GameProducer.Net - insider info and tips blog from a real game producer
Indiegamer Forums - discuss everything related to indie life and more with real indies
Publishers - just what it says…a list of publishers
Shareware Directories - listing of most of the major shareware distributors
PAD file information - PAD files are used to expediate online, automated information gathering
3D Engines Database - huge list of 3D engines
2D Adventure Engines - list of 2D engines..most are specifically made for point & click adventure games

Here's another list on the Gamedev forum. There's a bit of overlap, but it's biased more towards programmers:

Here's yet another list containing hundreds of freeware/shareware programs:

And another:

***UPDATED: June 9th 2007***

Software and games / MS Expression/Acrylic
« on: June 14, 2005, 10:46:49 AM » - direct link to file

Expression is like Adobe Illustrator only it can also handle bitmaps. Acrylic(a codename) is the next version of Expression, and will become a commercial product one day, but it's free, for now. Windows XP SP2 required.

Software and games / Deep Paint 2.0 is freeware
« on: June 01, 2005, 02:07:39 AM »

Deep Paint offers a realistic painting experience for digital artists and graphics professionals. Deep Paint intergrates stroke-by-stroke artistic photo-cloning, fully editable brush and canvas settings, and paint functionality for realistic and stunning paint effects. Experience thickly textured oils, bold acrylics, and dramatic watercolors. Deep paint simplifies your artistic workflow as a Photoshop plug-in or standalone application, with special support for the Wacom Intuos or compatible pressure sensitive pad.

Software and games / SVG editor
« on: January 09, 2005, 10:00:04 AM »

Inkscape is an open source SVG editor with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, Visio, etc. Supported SVG features include basic shapes, paths, text, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, node editing, svg-to-png export, grouping, and more.

Inkscape's main motivation is to provide the Open Source community with a fully XML, SVG, and CSS2 compliant SVG drawing tool. Additional planned work includes conversion of the codebase from C/Gtk to C++/Gtkmm, emphasizing a lightweight core with powerful features added through an extension mechanism, and establishment of a friendly, open, community-oriented development processes.

Game design / Dolby Digitial Plus..13.1 channels & 10X the bandwidth
« on: January 08, 2005, 06:53:45 AM »
Sounds expensive and like a potential future upgrade for WME  >:D

Software and games / AC3D modeler
« on: January 07, 2005, 03:31:54 AM »
Modeling, lights, lots of export/import options(including to 3rd party rendering apps and Milkshape). Popular in hobbyist 3D circles because of easy on the eyes UI and for level creation. Costs $50.

Supports many output/input formats including
3D-studio 3DS
Alias triangle
VRML1 and 2 and Inventor
Renderman RIB
Direct X
Quake 3 bsp
Wavefront OBJ

Software and games / MarbleCLAY modeler
« on: January 04, 2005, 11:19:14 PM »

It defaults to Japanese page, but there is a clearly labeled English link at the top. You have to email him to get the free registration code which will unlock the Export option. A brief questionairre is required and see link for the questions.

Seems nice and imports a wide variety of formats: OBJ, DXF, 3DS, CAR(Carrera), RDS(RayDreamStudio), LWO, ROK(Hexa-Great 3D), MQO(Metasequoia), MCL(MarbleCLAY). Looks like it has bones, splines, rendering(using something called RedQueen...not freely available) and painting capabilities. Not sure if there are multiple cameras available, though.  There's an SDK, too.

I'm waiting for my passcode and will play with it some more after that arrives.

Feature requests, suggestions / SceneEdit 3D additions
« on: December 29, 2004, 07:10:26 PM »
1. Lights and cameras support. We should be able to see any lights and cameras visible from the active camera

2. It would be nice to be able to edit the range and color of lights. This would save having to go back into our modelling app to tweak and re-export. I can think of some situations where tweaking the range/intensity of a light would come in handy.

3. This could also extend to blocks. Useful for tweaking waypoints or nudging collision areas.

4. Labels should display above geometry, lights, and cameras if the mouse cursor hovers over them. For example, "blk_door" would display above the block with that name or "light01" or "camera01" above the camera or light with that name(this would require #1 to be implemented).

Also, if you create a "free" camera in MAX, SceneEdit will not recognize it. It seems to have no problems with "target" cameras, though.

The 3D section of the manual doesn't reflect the recent change the 3D tab. The picture is from before the override FOV feature was added.

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