Thinking of starting a project...

Discussion in 'General Gaming and Hardware Forum' started by Guest, May 25, 2000.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm thinking of creating an RPG programming engine to make good RPGs with.

    It will use the hexagonal grid system like Fallout but instead of using tiles to make the scene it will use graphic patterns (of any size) and send them to the screen as polygons. This should serve to be faster and support more intricate maps.

    The data part of the map (for terrain, blocking movement, etc.) will still conform to the grid as will objects and scenic overlay graphics.

    Also, if I can get it to work (I have code, but understanding it is another thing), I'll try to implement line of sight vision only the parts of the map directly visible to the character are visible.

    Ideas for gameplay:

    1) Emphasis on semi-realtime combat: No, it doesn't mean that you'll be running around murdering people with your Uzi, but rather a push towards greater realism.

    How it works:

    Combat is never actually initialized as a series of turns. Rather when the character feels threatened enough to need quick thinking the game pauses, the player chooses the course of action like where to move to, ducking at a certain location, hiding, etc. While this is being played out the action may be stopped at any moment to replan the course of action, after all situations change and new courses of action must be brought out.

    What this does is really put the player into the mind of the character and truly make decisions for him.

    Oh, and get this: Unlike Fallout, and more like Rogue Spear, a single bullet can kill you. The emphasis is against combat, in fact the only time there should be combat is when there is truly a dangerous situation or if someone is breaking a law, etc.

    2) Life-algorithms for NPC developement:

    This is only an idea and how it will really work into the game will probably be hard. The program will use algorithms to change NPCs during their "lives." It is called a Life-algorithm because these character try to adapt to situations and learn from their mistakes.

    The problem is that it can take up a LOT of memory and CPU time as the program computes the thoughts and actions of NPCs in real time.

    3) Unity of place and time.

    Like the Greek tragedies, the game should be concieved in a single location and a single time.

    Yes, Fallout was pretty neat because you could go all over the desert and visit different towns but how about concentrating on a single location and all the people in it?

    Take for example San Francisco. Fallout 2 only portrayed it as a tiny little town about the size of the entire oil tanker.

    The first RPG to be made with this engine if completed will be an RPG in a single city with lots of areas described and unique. A lot can happen in one city. Quality over quantity.

    Any input?

    The program will be made in C/C++ using the Allegro graphics library (http://www.talula.demon.co.uk/allegro/) the compiler will be DJGPP (Free 32-bit C/C++ DOS compiler) found at www.delorie.com/djgpp/.

    No help requested as it is still in very early stages.

    -Xotor-

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  2. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Neat idea.
    But how should I see this ? As something like Smackrazor does, like making mods and stuff (in your case a completely new program) and having more things to do (like a job, school, whatever) ?
    Or more like you invest all of your time in this until the project is completed ?
     
  3. Smackrazor

    Smackrazor Guest

    Um, and how long will you take making this?

    The whole summer, or 5 years in you free time?

    Anyway, if you do actually get it done, I'm sure you could sell it to a company and get big bucks.

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  4. MatuX

    MatuX Guest

    Introducing a whole complex city in memory could take too much system resources (plus the Life-algorithm for NPCs), how do you plan to handle this?
    Or everyone has to have 128mb of RAM to play it in order to not hear the HD working and working and working and....

    Also, the DJGPP compiler is enough powerfull? I don't really know too much about C/C , as I'm starting to handle it and I'm using the VC 6 compiler.

    About graphics, using patterns instead of tiles would not degrade the graphics quality?

    The overall idea is good (as not revolutionary ;-)), I hope you can fulfill your goal :-).
     
  5. Guest

    Guest Guest

    >Introducing a whole complex city in
    >memory could take too much
    >system resources (plus the Life-algorithm
    >for NPCs), how do you
    >plan to handle this?
    >Or everyone has to have 128mb
    >of RAM to play it
    >in order to not hear
    >the HD working and working
    >and working and....

    Well the entire world would not be loaded into memory at one time. Perhaps the "life" algorithm is too ambitious for a real-time setting, perhaps just for the people within the zone and when you encounter them again.

    >Also, the DJGPP compiler is enough
    >powerfull? I don't really know
    >too much about C/C
    >, as I'm starting to
    >handle it and I'm using
    >the VC 6 compiler.

    DJGPP is quite powerful. Unlike old dos compilers this one is 32-bit and has no crappy 64kb limit. Memory is virtualized and I believe it can address 128 megs of RAM and 128 megs of swap memory.

    I consider it better than VC 6.0 mostly because it is portable (using standard ANSI C++ standards) and not using the crappy Win32 API. Allegro works with many different platforms such as DOS, Linux, XWindows, and MSVC so it is quite portable. DirectX can kiss my ass. Allegro supports DirectX but wraps it in its own functions providing a much easier interface to deal with.

    >About graphics, using patterns instead of
    >tiles would not degrade the
    >graphics quality?

    With patterns and polygons, the graphics aren't limited by the size of the tiles. Thus higher detail. Tiles are only used so the game can use the same graphics over and over for the game rather than one big file. This saves space and memory. Thus the detail can suffer.

    BIS did a good job of making the maps in Fallout appear smooth and non-tile-like. If you look at the tiles in games like FFVI you'll see how repetitious the surroundings are at least in graphics. They did a good job but it still reuses graphics a lot.

    -Xotor-

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  6. Guest

    Guest Guest

    RE: Um, and how long will you take making this?

    >The whole summer, or 5 years
    >in you free time?

    No idea how long. I'm writing the engine, not the game to be used with the engine so I only need to use test graphics, etc. I'll be using free time on this, if I actually get it off the ground.

    >Anyway, if you do actually get
    >it done, I'm sure you
    >could sell it to a
    >company and get big bucks.

    I'll probably release the program under a GNU license so people can meddle with it and improve it. Why hold a program when it can be improved especially by those who appreciate the program enough to want to change it?

    Also by that time the program will be old technology and only appreciated by old-school players and coders. If anything people will just hire me for the skills, using that program as an example.

    -Xotor-

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  7. Guest

    Guest Guest

    thats what tweaking is for, if he actually gets the project going, and is actually set on comepleting it, and possibly marketing it, then most likely, he'll make it on a faster compilers, etc.