Starting Indie

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Blue Falkon, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. Blue Falkon

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Quick question since I'm in class right now:

    I mentioned Ragnarok Online graphics rendering, it's a 3D background with 2D sprites that generate based on camera angle, right? (If I'm not, correct me)

    How would I go about doing something like this? I might not even do something the same, but I want to know what type of programs are involved. And, would Blender work at all?
     
  2. spellcaster

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2006
    Messages:
    259
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, you'll need an engine that also supports sprites - which should basically be every 3d engine there is ;)

    You can use blender to create the 3d world, if you want to. You could also use blender to prerender the sprites.
     
  3. Blue Falkon

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'd like to learn more about graphics rendering, but I don't want to bug all of you for steps in this. If I could get any help, I'd be thankful, as I'm pretty new. I could try making 3D worlds but currently I know like 3% of what there is to know for 3D rendering.
     
  4. RoadMaster

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2006
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well, this depends if you are taking things from a programmer or artist's standpoint... I'll focus more on the programming side since that's what I know more of.

    Ragnarok, if you noticed, works on a tile-based system for movement. A level is broken into unit-square areas where a player can or cannot move to (There is a bunch of stuff about pathfinding in this type of a game, but that's unimportant right now). From an artist's standpoint, that means that they must make their levels (which will be in some sort of level or 3d model format which should be handled by your game engine) in the same "grid" layout. You'd probably use a simple level file to determine the locations a player can walk, and make the level so that it looks natural for a player to walk there. The programmer must of course use or create some engine for your game, which will be able to display these levels. In Ragnarok if I'm not mistaken, you can have free-rotation of the camera, and be able to click where you want to move. This will require your programmer to be able to project a cursor onto the surface of the world (converting from screen coordinates to world coordinates). Again, fairly simplistic considering the world is a simple grid, this is just projecting onto a plane.

    Now that we've gotten our world and movement down, let's have a bit of a crash course in how to impliment Ragnarok's sprite-in-3d implimentation. First of all, you should probably do your measurements in where to draw the sprite based on the location of the character's feet. This is just to make sure your character is standing on the right "grid" no matter the rotation, it's just easier to deal with the closest point to the floor in this situation. Now think of your character as a 3d model instead of a sprite, or even, think of the character as an arrow. It's pointing in some direction, in relation to where the camera is. Now, for our sprite, we would simply need to determine the "closest" 45 degree angle. This will likely involve some simple vector math, comparing the camera's direction vector (we don't "really" need the camera's location I think) with your character's direction vector. Once we find which orientation to use, we simply plaster on the appropriate directional sprite. One thing to be careful of would probably be large characters. Remember that as the height of your camera changes, from an artistic standpoint, you get a changing view of the bottom-to-top of the character. Ragnarok does a fairly decent job at keeping sprites looking good at different heights, but I'm sure their artists went through a lot of trial and error before they got a style and angle setup which worked well. And there you have it, a simplistic ragnarok sprite-in-3d-world style engine.

    Quick edit: It should be noted also, that characters in Ragnarok only move at 45 degree angles, which may make things a bit simpler, although it should be easily doable in a free-movement environment also... it just may not look as natural in the end result.
     
  5. Blue Falkon

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks a lot for that information, you REALLY helped me ahahaha. I'll have to write that down.

    Do you have any idea how many people worked for programming/graphics on the Gravity team for Ragnarok Online?
     
  6. dmikesell

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    0
    Taxpayer "generosity" is more like it. Money doesn't grow on trees - it comes from someone.
     
  7. Blue Falkon

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2006
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    0
    Please don't give me that, I get enough of that crap from people who don't even know what a loan is. Of course I know it comes from citizens but it's not like the money is not being put to good use. At least we're not like some countries that waste the money to go to war. The government gives out this money because they know it'll boost the economy, which is practically multiplying the taxes. They just don't go "look, a person with motivation, we'll give them some money!" If you have a good business plan and you have enough dedication and you seem to know your business stuff they will give you the money. Most of the time you have to apply but I was just bringing up what happened to HB Studios. The CEO of it is magnificent and the students and teachers at my school who know him can back up that statement.

    Edit: Sorry if I sounded a bit too aggressive there. I didn't intend to.
     
    #47 Blue Falkon, Apr 22, 2006
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  8. negativegeforce

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0
    The best thing for you to do is make a few simple games and sell one or two. These days are far different then 10-15 years ago where games were simple enough to be produced by a few people and still make profit.

    The best chance you have is learn the skills and make simple games, even if its with the Torque engine or any other abstracted tool. That way you have a medium to represent your design in.

    I dont care what anyone says about game designers, most are fairly technically skilled in many areas. How the F*** can a designer make a well thought out game plan if he/she doesnt know the limitations of the technology base the company is working with. An example would be a car designer, you would think he knows the engineering of the car in and out to make a design that looks astheticly pleasing, performs well and knowing its a safe design.

    I myself want to make an indie company, but Im not waving around trying to get attention because I know no one gives a shit about some kid that thinks he has an idea, and has no working model of it. I know I gotta start small as EVERYONE has pointed out.

    The point is, game designers are usually experienced game developers. They know the in/outs of games and they can make something that is tangeble and profitable. So starting small is the way to go.

    Making a few small casual/indie games yourself will do alot for yourself.

    #1 You will understand the game development cycle
    #2 Understand how hard this shit is
    #3 Self confidence from completing projects
    #4 Credentials

    As everyone pointed out, gotta stop wasting time on blabering about ideas and what your going to do, and start doing something instead...dont fucking expect others to hold your hand and make the game for you.

    Speaking of doing things...i shouldnt even be talking, i gotta get back to work myself. :D
     
  9. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Now why is this? Considering that 15 years ago we did not have the internet as we know it today. 10-15 years ago, a shareware author had to rely on BBS's and compilation CDs.

    I would think that the distribution methods of today present a MUCH larger audience than back then.

    Can you explain your opinion on this?
     
  10. BarrySlisk

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    0
    Off topic alert!!!

    The word "generous" should not be used when you are giving away other people's money. It destroys the feeling of self-sacrifice which is attached to the meaning of the word.
     
  11. KNau

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    1,165
    Likes Received:
    2
    Big (but truth-filled) post alert

    Yes, it's time to drop to your knees and thank God that you were born in Canada where our entire entertainment industry is grant funded because no one can compete on the open market.

    Before I continue I want to point out to you and other upstarts the red flags to beware of that can help you avoid hostility:

    1) Avoid the gamedev.net pedigree where inexperienced neverweres give advice to inexperienced wannabes.

    2) No experience in itself isn't a crime but wanting a make a big game when you have no experience is.

    3) Being a non-artist, non-programmer, "work with" guy who needs a team. This is the red flag everyone looks for. Posts like that show up all the time and then they get defensive when people tell them "you're going to need to learn a skill". In the grand scheme of things design isn't much of a skill without something else to back it up.

    4) My mom thinks I'm cool. Rebutting the claims that you should learn a skill by relaying something you heard in school, or from some desk jockey at a studio, or from some curling champ just raises more flags.

    For whatever reason people seem to be humouring you more than they should. Here's the real dirt, although I know you won't listen...

    Pick up something cheap and easy to use
    Go with something less programmery like Multimedia Fusion, Game Maker, RPG Maker or hell even the free demo of Flash. If you put your brain to it you can learn the skills over the course of a week, tops.

    Put the magic design skills to work
    On something small! Make a small, original, kick ass arcade game.

    Screw Art!
    Make something out of plasticine (sorry Flack), scan in photos and trace over them in a paint program, draw by hand and scan - whatever. Game art doesn't have to mean expert pixel-pushing. You can get away with a lot in the name of "style". Look at any number of those free Japanese shooters that use basic geometric shapes. It's shameful art - but in context it looks cool.

    Register a domain and sell your game
    If you did a good enough job with design people won't care so much about the graphics. You may even get on portals. At the very least it would be hard for you to make less than $100 bucks a month (US dollars!) in extra income if you did the job right.

    Repeat - and grow incrementally with each new design

    You can either waste the next X years of your life jumping for a brass ring that's miles above your or you can start building a ladder. The fact is that as long as you are walking around you school trumpeting your "big project" you're still nothing more than a sad gamedev.net wannabe. The second you finish a game, post it on a site and sell one copy - you are a pro. You have nerd street cred.

    If you follow my advice you could be a professional game developer before the end of this month! But be careful, if another kid from your school ever reads this post and follows my advice he would be able to lord it over you:

    You: "I'm designing a big next gen project"

    Them: "Really? I already have my own company and I'm taking my friends out to party with my big fat $1000 US dollar royalty cheque. But, hey, your stuff sounds great too."

    I've seen it happen because I've done it.
     
  12. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    I know you posted this long ago, and I don't mean to side-track the thread, but you're wrong here. A good talker, a good "salesman" with a good story can get lots of people to follow his lead. The problem will come later down the line when the less naive (and usually more experienced) on the team realize their emporer has no clothes, and will bail for other opportunities.

    I've seen unqualified guys weasel their way into CEO positions. It's sickening. (Blue Falkon doesn't come off that way here though)
     
  13. vjvj

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I was still working for <large game company who shall remain nameless>, we used to call this "The David Perry Effect".

    "Dammit, I got David Perry'd!!!" :D
     
  14. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Aw VJ, that's not fair. David's an excellent coder. Or was. It's not like he had ZERO skills when he founded Shiny. (I worked with him before he ever founded Shiny).
     
  15. vjvj

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    I didn't mean to imply he had no engineering skills (when did we start talking about programming skills? Maybe I'm just confused...). I was a big fan of some of his earlier games (Spot, EWJ). Nor would I say he doesn't know how to run a business.

    But he's a GREAT, GREAT talker ;)
     
  16. LilGames

    LilGames New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    0
    Earlier, the talk was about people wanting to set up their own game company without experience in any of the skills required to make games. You made it sound like you thought DP was in that category.
     
  17. Sysiphus

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    433
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think at the point you both maybe would agree is that there hapens often that by influences, money, etc, a person without enough (or any at all...I have suffered certain incredible cases) knowledge of games, or the minimal needed to drive the thing, reaches a CEO position...I'd agree it can sink a company more than any other thing. I have seen too many small/middle companies sinking for that specific reason(and surprisingly, bosses wrecking it all for the boss-ego rather than the money!). I the other hand, if the CEO is good at what he does, and almost more important, is some one whose #1 priority is not to feel the "he at last became a boss!" thing, but instead is a humble person,(if it is so, even the knowledge problem can be saved, I had one good one which asked me stuff, and then he took the decissions.Wasn't about games but design company) and with feet solid in the floor...Then even an small company can reach very far. Having a bad CEO is many times worse than having none.
     
  18. carl

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm working with a great designer right now who isn't :)

    All depends on who you know.
     
  19. vjvj

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,732
    Likes Received:
    0
    He said "most", not "all". And I agree with him. MOST of the effective designers I've worked with have had minimal programming experience (e.g. scripting). Non-programming designers have strong a tendency to just be idea men, requiring hand holding when implementation time comes. That sucks.

    The only exception I can think of was the designer I worked with on Meridian, Rob Ellis II. He hated programming but for some reason had a knack for thinking things through very well.

    Agreed! Although for me the central problem has always been when management/executive staff tries to exert influence outside of their domain. Managing schedules and making sure all the marketing stuff lines up is great and I really value that type of expertise. The problem I have is when such people start enforcing their authority over design/engineering. That's when the games start getting shitty.

    I had assumed that quoting you would have made the context clear. Oh well, not worth arguing over :)
     
  20. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    It might be too late in the thread, but I'll post this for posterity.

    Best advice I can give you:

    Go to Jeff Tunnell's blog http://makeitbigingames.com and listen to it.

    If you dont believe any of US, at least believe Jeff. He's a guy thats been around the block and has been CEO of a big company too.

    What does he say?

    Most of what everyone else here says.

    Nuff said I think.
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer