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 What does Maezynge look like?

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PostSubject: What does Maezynge look like?   Wed May 07, 2008 4:07 pm

I had some picture of a white translucent substance. It would be crumbly in solid form (before being melted down and processed) and very heavy before being processed (much like iron ore or some radioactive minerals). After being processed (melted down, separated from other base elements, then cooled) it would take on a silvery sheen, much like a multi-specular surface. It has a very high melting point, and is highly conductive.

Thats my take on what Maezygne may look like. How about you? Wink

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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Thu May 08, 2008 12:00 am

I actually kind of pictured it as a somewhat translucent orange jelly that gave off a faint glow. At least, that is, when it's actually pure enough to use. But it only really means anything in cutscenes or perhaps in some special models (a maezynge factory, perhaps?) otherwise, the player won't really see it or hear anything about it. I was thinking most of the Cruisers would be newer designs, and any Frigate not requiring fuel would be as well. As such, they'd all use Maezynge. Although, a few older model Cruisers would still use nuclear reactors, and when destroyed the reactor would meltdown.. Naturally resulting in a spectacular boom. Of course, in flight, with all the advanced systems, frigates and whatnot would mostly be ok (unless right near the explosion). Without the mach stem effect, the shockwave wouldn't do all that much in the air. So it's the EMP that would make things interesting. It would temporarily disable Frigate's and Cruiser's systems nearby, but any Fighter close enough to be caught in the EMP (not being valuable enough to equip with gyroscopic systems designed to keep it in the air while systems are restored) would crash immediately. Except in space. Where I'm still decided whether they would just drift for a few moments, or whether they would crash into orbit. Guess it depends on how far it is from the planet.. Anyhow. The only Fighters immune to this would be Fighters who've earned a Hero rank. Under the assumption that a Hero would have customised their craft a bit to make sure they wouldn't die in such a silly manner. (Plus it would be horrendously frustrating losing a Hero like that. :X)

But. I've totally gotten ahead of myself :X

I'm really thinking that as for the appearance of Maezynge, since it's not really integral to any gameplay or anything, it should just make for an interesting sight when it IS seen. Other than that, I haven't much of an opinion on it :X


Last edited by Mataro on Thu May 08, 2008 10:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Thu May 08, 2008 1:12 am

The glow does fit in well with the "high energy"/"radioactive" fuel aspect of Maezynge. That aside, you mentioned at one point there would be resource gathering. If thats the case, an appropriate icon may be in order that goes along with the amount of that particular resource you own. (Icon-->># of Resource)
Getting the graphics style down pat, early in on the process is going to be vital in the development of the graphics engine (I'm going to do a basic graphics-pipeline with the OpenGL library).

Anyway, it will help me alot to know what kind of graphical effects are going to occur, including lighting, materials, etc.

Granted the orange does add to the effect, and grabs the attention. Neutral

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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Thu May 08, 2008 10:22 pm

I was just throwing out some ideas for the Maezynge, like I said, it was just my initial thought xD

As for effects, and lighting and whatnot, I'll try and name a few.. Of course, the engine will have to support culling, and it seems dymanic meshes as well. That aside, I can think of FSAA, plenty of sprites on screen at a time, volumetric clouds and whatnot as we discussed earlier, pixel shaders for water and various other effects (heat vents and so on), and bloom would be nice, to name a few. As for poly estimates, we'll have to get a couple of models done before we can start making guess. I'm working on a concept fighter model for the Human Army A, and I currently have 62 vertices and 64 faces. So it's incredibly low poly, right now. But I've only finished the fuselage and air vents. I still have to do wings, weaponry, and the cockpit. That being said it still won't be incredibly high poly, but as an end result it should still look pretty good. More or less, I'm thinking of an updated WoW tactic, so to speak. Enough polys to accurately display what the objects are and what their dimensions are and look nice doing it, without being overkill at all, and making everything come together nicely with good use of particle effects and such. The final product should look smooth and on the highest settings, it should look pretty damned nice. But I'm not talking about high res HD Command and Conquer 3 graphics.

Yes, I know, that's pretty vague overall. But like I said, we need to get some models done to make some estimates first. Of course, you don't know quite the style yet, and I'm working as hard as I can to remedy that. I just have a boatload of work lately, my apologies xD

Oh, and as a final note, do you know of any proper artists? I mean, I can fudge a lot of things, but in the end I'm not a model artist. And having a good one that can work efficiently would probably be a huge benefit. I'll keep my eyes peeled for one anyway :X
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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Fri May 09, 2008 12:08 am

If your running AGP (not PCI like me :\) then we can just compensate for low-poly models, by having high-resolution textures. If we bump-map the textures then we can provide the illusion of high-poly models, without sacrificing performance. If we were starting from a performance stand-point, then the necessary minimum ram is only going to increase from 256, to 512 (which is the average for most computer users today anyway...except for me ^^)

Anyway, at our current concept of the game, the rendering engine must include...

-Loading/Unloading Models (obviously)
-Loading/Unloading Textures (goes right along with the first)
-Shader support (which I'm unable to handle until I upgrade)
-Specular, Diffuse lighting, and Ambient lighting
-Bump Mapping?
-Mesh deformation
-Skybox support

Now here's the question? Considering your planning on using shaders, do you want to implement Phong Shader techniques as well? We also have the option of incorporating parallex mapping, but that's up to you. I'm also open to suggestions as far as displacement mapping goes, but I'm pretty sure that requires shader-support (which I don't have--[i]yet[i]Smile Wink

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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Fri May 09, 2008 12:14 pm

I think this laptop is running PCI-E, actually. But I don't know for sure. For performance estimate purposes, I play COD4 on medium-high graphics with this. (And I bought it for $700. How awesome is that? Very Happy)

Bump Mapping is a must, I think. Especially fo Cruisers and such, otherwise we'd be expending a ton of polys on them to make up for their size and all the concievable dings in their armor and such. I'm running 2 gigs DDR2, so I'm not too worried about the RAM, personally and I'd be happy to test every build of the engine myself.

Phong Shading looks interesting.. I actually had to look it up. Which led me to come across Blinn-Phong shading. Which is effectively a higher efficiency version, meant for OpenGL. I'm not sure about Parallax because I just don't know how much a difference it would make, visually. It might be an unnecessary waste of resources, but it really beats me. You'd know more about it than I would. As for Displacement Mapping, it may prove useful. But again, you'd know more about it's workings than I would.

All in all, shaders are pretty much a must have. Not only because the game would look incredibly outdated without them, but because they'd certainly make our job easier and let us compensate for low polys better, like you said. Initially, I had only thought about them for water, but I was tired. xD

All and all, I know some stuff about rendering techniques and such, but I'm no coder. As long as it looks good, and runs well, I'm happy as far as the rendering engine goes. The gameplay itself is going to prove a little more work-intensive. But on the upside, at least pathfinding should be relatively easy, right? Razz
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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Fri May 09, 2008 4:20 pm

Pathfinding = Especially easy considering most of the units will be suspended in the air, instead of on the ground with lots of objects in their path.

As far as Shaders go for water, unless your planning on flying individual ships REALLY close to the water, it may be better just to combine multiple types of reflection maps combined with...parellex (to provide depth)

Either way though, ya, we'll defiantly have to implement Shaders. Which means I'm probably going to being coding blind (developing the features, but unable to test them myself. You'll have to test :\)

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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Fri May 09, 2008 11:16 pm

'Aye. Hm. I've never seen you on Msn, but when you start coding, it may be beneficial if we passed the file over that. (I'll be able to provide immediate feedback, for one.)

On the lowest altitude setting, the match will actually take place extremely close to the ground. So some simple shaders would make it look pretty nice. But another setting higher up could benefit a great deal from using a simpler method. And even higher could very well just use a prerendered video loop.

First of all the settings that we focus on should definitely be the second highest setting. High altitude, among and just above the clouds with only the occasional mountain cresting the clouds and coming into view. (Mostly used for hiding units from radar, of course.)

I imagine that would be the simplest to work out, and then worry about the other ones later. Makes sense to you too, or is there an easier way to go about it that I'm missing? xD
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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Sat May 10, 2008 12:16 am

Depends on the heights your talking about. If fighters try to leave the atmosphere, then I can either load an alternative environment t (modelled after empty space) or we could play a pre-rendered loop of them stalling out from the height.

Point is, I'm going to have trouble with the "event horizon" of the landscape
even IF we provide a skybox as background. Essentially if a fighter travels to high, the wrap around for the model becomes increasingly visible, to the point where the model wraps around it's self and vanishes (including the terrain.

I COULD just have the skybox vanish gradually as height increases (while dynammically loading a "space" type environment).

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PostSubject: Re: What does Maezynge look like?   Sat May 10, 2008 12:53 pm

No no. All gameplay for a match will take place on one plane. The players can select the altitude the battle takes place at at the beginning, and then it's your average top down RTS from there (of course, the player could play around with the camera for fun if they wanted), but the battle won't change heights midgame. The only changing in altitude will be when one ship comes too close to another (in which case it will just treat the bounding box of the other model as terrain and move up or down to avoid collision), and even that can be scrapped if need be. But you won't have to worry about ships leaving atmosphere and battles being waged in 3D. Maybe in a future game, but I think that's pushing the envelope a little too far for two indie game developers xD

Instead, treat the "altitudes" as a maptype of sorts. Like playing on a desert or jungle map in Starcraft. Mostly for aesthetics, but they different altitudes will affect gameplay in various ways. Hope that makes more sense :X
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