October 21, 2020, 02:24:23 AM

Author Topic: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'  (Read 6635 times)

Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #75 on: April 07, 2020, 09:11:59 PM »
@ candy crush
You do not need to "like" it ... but it shows what one can do to "please" people visually, auditive and also "introduction to the gameplay/mechanics" wise.

This is what IWasAdam wrote too - you do not have to like these games but try to recognize what they do, how they achieve certain "effects" (not just visual!).


@ fake shadows
For units you could just use the "blob" approach but depending on the feet/grounding you need to scale, rotate/ellipsify... so just create a fake shadow for each unit individually.

For the walls: you need to check the "corners", "crosses" etc and then draw the wall shadows in a single step (like the "ground tiles" before all the "walls/units/...". Also draw the shadows of the decoration, units, ... there (so the shadow of the unit is not drawn on a barrel or so).
As you want to avoid shadows "normally" affecting other items in the game you do these "fake blob shadows" - they stay near the element (unit, item ...) and are not becoming long objects like real character shadows of a low standing sun/lamp.


@ walls
Yes they look better already. Yet I see the walls being "bigger"(wider?) than the ground tiles (front left and front right). Which brought up another little idea: give the ground tiles a bit more "ground" by making them "higher" (eg expose some "earth/rocks" below it)


source: https://gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/32364/isometric-2d-game-without-tiles-is-there-a-solution


Source: unity asset store

This approach keeps the "clearness" of what adam suggested - but avoids this "floating in nowhere" effect. it "grounds" it


Another thing: the top of the wall is "unsteady" - what is the reason for it? It looks as if some chips broke away or so. Next to resizing you might also make them "thicker" ... you want to emphasize they are "not passable", "standing there forever" ... m-a-s-s-i-v-e.

bye
Ron

Offline Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #76 on: April 07, 2020, 11:13:08 PM »
Ahh thanks.

Offline Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #77 on: April 08, 2020, 12:22:31 AM »
Interestingly with adding these features due to overdraw the performance slows on smaller devices.

I will have to crop the various mostly transparent pngs closer to reduce the overdraw a bit more.


Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #78 on: April 08, 2020, 06:31:17 AM »
you're starting to get the feel  ;D

things to look out for is the chest - it needs to be isometric.

Next up is the UI - it needs to go. At the moment you have a screen with 3 different UI's:
the left one with the icons - get rid
the bottom one with the stats, etc - get rid

That should leave you with just the main screen with the hearts and coins.

But what about the stuff with the icons and the stats? It's been dumped, it's not needed, you've simplified so it and all the code should be dumped - save it for another project. find out why there is a graphics slowdown and focus on that.

Once that is done you can look at the thickening the walls and REMOVE THE CURSOR  :o

Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #79 on: April 08, 2020, 07:00:58 AM »
@ IWasAdam
instead of removing the GUI elements "blindly" you should also mention what happens to the "interactions" behind them. How to inform about potions then, about shortcuts spells or whatever the left elements are.

The combat log - I would somewhere "keep" it. Maybe have it like this

Combat Log entry #30  (opacity 20%)
Combat Log entry #31  (opacity 40%)
Combat Log entry #32  (opacity 60%)
Combat Log entry #33  (opacity 80%)
Combat Log entry #34  (opacity 100%)

#34 is current, going over the log allows to scroll up with the mouse or an then visible scrollbar.

Will remove potential cludge.



@ overdraw
Truncating the PNGs is surely not what helps so much. Reduce the amount of draw calls - eg you could precalculate static shadow elements so you do not render all the walls shadows separately each time.
Nonetheless: optimization can come _afterwards_. Maybe it is just a matter of optimizing your render organization at all.


@ walls and newer look
It starts to become better looking.
Why are there "big" and "finer detailed" ground tiles?
Why are some tiles having bright borders? Ensure all the tile graphics occupy the required minimum of the grid size so the "previous" tiles do not look through (except desired).

I would suggest to tone down the left front side of the ground tiles - they are  distractingly bright. Maybe even remove a bit of the vibrance in the colors there (less saturated then).


Next to the chest's perspective you need to ensure not to make them popping out "too much" else it looks like in the older cartoons where you clearly see in the first glance which objects are interactive/overlayed/animated...
.


Light cone of the torches: make them more subtle - these are no 200W LED bulbs. Also they seem to have two "light circles". Once you toned the light effect down it might be possible to only use one "circle" - if you want to make it look "non static" then animate the circle - means have an slightly changed shape of the light.
- either simply scale the image dimensions: width = original_width * sin(time * timeScale) * 0.1  ---- same for height
- or have it animated in a frame animation: draw 3-4 light cones which create a loopable animation. Manipulate the animation to have slightly "random" frame times (so it does not look too "precalculated")

This way you keep them animated but with less draw calls.


Are you already using spritesheets to save on texture switches?


Stuff like "icon + number badge" could be rendered in one one call (you can prepare this image) to save another draw call. Yet I do not think that this is improving much then.
 


I did mention it already - but I repeat myself: it improves (visually is what we can judge here now).


PS: the pinky glove is still there. I assume people do not connect "pink" with "brave heroes" (at least not in current times - purple was a "expensive" colour in the medieval times and earlier ...).

PPS: The barrel seems to have "contact shadows" (to the wall) - while it looks great it requires multiple stuff:
- you need to prepare these shadows for all wall-setups you encounter potentially (half walls, orientation, ...)
- might make "other items" miss this shadow as they only have the "ground shadow"

PPPS: What are these lower spec devices which have issues now?

bye
Ron

Offline Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #80 on: April 08, 2020, 07:21:31 AM »
I have implemented some of the changes just mentioned....Derron just read your post then...

Okay...

Gui -elements have been moved and reduced in quantity....it looks better:

I do need to keep some of the gui elements (console log, and spell icons and healing potion etc).

Re light circles - they are animated...etc....

All your comments are helpful indeed - they've improved it immensely.

If you want to see it in motion....simply go to : http://www.mattiesgames.com/warlock  and choose the 'Arcade' option - I'm sure there will be different criticisms once you see it in motion. (some of your comments may be less valid, other new ones may arise).




Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #81 on: April 08, 2020, 07:37:12 AM »
@ try out


There it stops (after animating the "logo" - which is cut off on the left).


@ light cones
If the light cones are "one image" then the falloff between the two visible "circles" is missing - it looks like two different cones/circles.


@ GUI


There is "unused space" in the interface. An indicator of that you could separate elements (combat log, "spell bar", "action menu"). So bottom left combat log, centered the spell bar and on the right the icons. This would make it a good counterpart to the top HUD.

Next you could indicate the limit in the spell bar by having some kind of "place holders" to indicate the slots. Only required if you intend to draw "empty" slots. If they are always occupied this is not needed.

Offline Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #82 on: April 08, 2020, 08:00:43 AM »
Most likely the 'stop' is because of the cache.....a CTRL-F5 should fix that...I'll get to the other points though...time for dinner.

Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #83 on: April 08, 2020, 08:04:02 AM »


I Ctrl+F5'd before already.


Edit: just prepared German Yeast Dumplings for the kids (dough is growing ...). So lunch time in ~2 hours :)

bye
Ron

Offline Matty

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #84 on: April 08, 2020, 08:11:26 AM »
Ahh your browser blocks my script file I use when running on portals with advertising.  It includes a global variable...and doesn't like it when you can't load the script file.

Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #85 on: April 08, 2020, 08:25:04 AM »
Catch it and mention a "disable your adblocker please if you want to play" - or so.
... or make it work with adblockers too if you want to have these "leechers" playing your game too :)

bye
Ron

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #86 on: April 08, 2020, 08:56:50 AM »
begins to load - loading, etc
fades, then locks the browser window (crashed?)

I know you 'love it, but DUMP THE CURSOR - in a web browser the user already had their preferred cursor
In a fullscreen APP, you can replace the cursor - but my advice would be to leave it alone. and NEVER have 2 cursors (your one and the system one) It makes the user think you cant program it correctly!

dump the sword and green stuff on the edges of the box - it will look better being cleaner :)

Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #87 on: April 08, 2020, 09:06:56 AM »
dump the sword and green stuff on the edges of the box - it will look better being cleaner :)

He added it when I suggested such stuff for the quest boxes or char panel. So I would tend to keep them there (albeit I would prefer other "ornamentals").
I also wrote that it would not be the wisest solution to have them everywhere (especially "scaled" differently etc).

Maybe they do not suit anymore at the end (after the "cleanup") but I wanted to avoid all boxes look like cheap "panel rectangles".


The bottom HUD elements should use only the space they "need" ... so there is enough space on the left for a proper combat/event log.

spellbar:


combat/event log on the left:

sources: google image search for diablo 3 hud

BTW the panels in these games show how to "break up" boring looking panel borders - cracks etc.  So it does not necessarily require a sword and some green florals. So some lighting (to make it look "metal"), dents ...

bye
Ron

Offline Derron

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #88 on: April 08, 2020, 09:15:31 AM »
Disabled my AdBlocker so I could give it a try (worked then - of course).

Torch:
- decrease flametorch light movement (subtle is enough ... so people do not pay too much attention to it)
- randomize animation steps between the torches (they for now move all the same per frame)

When moving the new tiles "pop in"
- maybe there is a way to slightly fade out the corners so that the next tiles are visible already (but only partly)
- or make the tiles animate "in" (like in these "construction videos" in which the parts fly into the scene) ... so from "left up" to "down center" it would alpha-in and move up 10 pixels like in a "stair" - so bottom center finishes animation the last) - maybe it is "too much" already but might as well look interesting (must be a short animation of course!)
- maybe IWasAdam has a more smart solution to the problem of the "pop-in tiles"

When moving the characters:
- only their feet are animated, this looks ... "hilarious" which is maybe not wanted
- maybe best is to make the figures look like "pawns" and give them some basement they are fixed to (might be different according to the "hostility" - player different basement than friendly NPCs or enemy creatures) - would also get rid of the animation need then
- with these basements collectibles might look "different", dunno
- alternatively: proper animate your chars :D

bye
Ron

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Warlock - an update on my competition entry 'The Young Prince'
« Reply #89 on: April 08, 2020, 10:49:49 AM »
Same crash on iPad. Sound works, but nothing else

 

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