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Old 04-17-2013, 04:21 AM   #16
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The cat is the eye-candy indeed, and comical, as well as professor. The girl is... well, in any movie you get this love story line. Definitely this movie isn't to win any awards, and I understood in your short you were going through the same concerns, where the story isn't the main thing, as it's a lot to think about yet to make it working.
About words, you're right it should be tested. I think I need to make an animated storyboard, and show it to the viewers to see the reaction. It was made, but I guess it could be reworked a bit so it's clearer to the viewer, as it wasn't intended to be shown so a bit too sketchy. Definitely makes sense before any animation.
Thank you fo your input. It's amazing hearing it from someone who accomplished it.

Last edited by mister3d : 04-17-2013 at 10:04 PM.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 05:15 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister3d
The cat is the eye-candy indeed, and comical, as well as professor. The girl is... well, in any movie you get this love story line. Definitely this movie isn't to win any awards, and I understood in your short you were going through the same concerns, where the story isn't the main thing, as it's a lot to think about yet to make it working.
About words, you're right it should be tested. I think I need to make an animated storyboard, and show it to the viewers to see the reaction. It was made, but I guess it could be reworked a bit so it's clearer to the viewer, as it wasn't intended to be shown so a bit too sketchy. Definitely makes sense before any animation.
Thank you fo your input. It's amazing hearing it from someone who accomplished it.


In my opinion the "eye candy" will be when the evil henchmen go underwater in their specialized underwater swimming things (like in the COD MW3: Navy Seals Demo ) and there is this big underwater battle to decide things (see: Thunderball).

I know for a fact the Cat will be special, but I think the audience will remember more the big action finale (I'm assuming the end will be underwater because you mentioned something about submerging and oxygen under doors).

That will be trouble enough. I know how hard it can be to take advice like this: "Lose the cat".

Is the girl important though? I take it that the main plot twist is that his bosses sent him to essentially do janitor work for weapons they bought (That the boss stole them would probably be more direct and better for the short format). Either way, not sure why the girl is important.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:06 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redCigarette
Pyke,

That fan art is Exceptional !!


Thanks man! It was fun to do, and I limited myself to only a few hours. I think that placing limitations on personal work is very important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ragdoll
also, STASIS looks awesome Chris!


Thanks man!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
OK what I want to suggest here is a GAMEPLAY note I heard from a discussion behind the success of Telltale's "WALKING DEAD" games in spite of the dated graphics and lack of association with the TV show or why it's a hit even with people who don't know Walking Dead.

One player noted that Telltale's "puzzle solving" system is seamless in that it does away with backtracking too far and assembling MacGyver solutions to problems. Instead, you click on an object it goes into your inventory, and then if a situation calls for that object and you already have the object, you click your mouse over the situation and if you already have the item needed for it, you use it automatically.

That's not to say you cannot use some old fashioned "go into Inventory and pull it out" stuff, but having some of the streamlined/action bits with "Automatic Context" may help bridge the classical appeal and the modern quicker pace that people appreciated with Telltale's work on Walking Dead.


To be honest, I think that that takes The Walking Dead away from being an Adventure Game, and moves it to become an interactive movie. Its akin to having rechargeable shields, auto aim, and 1 hit kills in a FPS-it takes away what MAKES it a game.

STASIS is being modeled on a classic adventure game model, but with the 'modern edge' of the graphics.

That said, the interface is context sensitive, in terms of the cursor changing depending on what TYPE of interaction is needed. So if you can look at something, it will become SCAN, if you can use something the cursor will become INTERACT.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 07:49 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyke
To be honest, I think that that takes The Walking Dead away from being an Adventure Game, and moves it to become an interactive movie. Its akin to having rechargeable shields, auto aim, and 1 hit kills in a FPS-it takes away what MAKES it a game.

STASIS is being modeled on a classic adventure game model, but with the 'modern edge' of the graphics.

That said, the interface is context sensitive, in terms of the cursor changing depending on what TYPE of interaction is needed. So if you can look at something, it will become SCAN, if you can use something the cursor will become INTERACT.


I can understand how you feel, and I definitely had no problem playing "Broken Sword" and "Runaway: A Road Adventure" - but I must say in particular that IF (and that's the word: IF) you go too old-fashioned where you really force people to combine things even in absurd ways for the sake of puzzle gameplay and making people run end-to-end whilst engaging in the kleptomania and pixel combing required to solve things... That might limit your audience.

Unless that is the objective... to do something for the "hardcore".

The only point in the Walking Dead example was streamlining... and it's true.. Walking Dead is more interactive movie than a "pondering adventure" like Broken sword where there is a lot of discovery and you work it at your pace.

It can definitely still work... but not in the age-old way it did before. To "communicate" with players today you have to do it in a way where they feel the adventure has a momentum and a flow to move forward. The stumbling block I find to games like "Still-Life" and "Syberia 2" is that they basically fall into illogical situations to really just try and stump you as if that was the goal of Adventure Games. Maybe that was the scenario that sometimes occurs, but what most people are thinking of these days is that "Things should make sense and not in too distant terms".

You don't want to "pick up the needle at the 10th minute of the game so that it is useful at the 10th hour of the same game because you need it to pick a lock that is held in place by a magnet you picked up at the 30 minute mark..."

I assume when you "modernize" the genre.. you are doing away with that kind of gameplay.

P.S.: One thought I did have was... if the game was such that your inventory is almost always "cleaned out" at certain points (like maybe after every 3 or 4 "challenges") and you basically do not make people back track too far... even if the gameplay is "classical" it may be good enough for the modern and more "here and now" audience types.

There is a joy to seeing something and then thinking: "Right! If I pick-up the shovel outside that should be good for this challenge!"... That's a nice part about adventures... but I also think that there should be "hard discards".. kinda like the Game letting you know "we're done with that item.. move on."

Also: Multiple Solutions... I've lost count of the number of times I wished games like Broken Sword allowed for more than one way out of sticky situations (but not the main plot puzzles of course!)
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Last edited by CGIPadawan : 04-17-2013 at 08:05 AM.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #20
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I don't think that the adventure game genre needs to be modernized in terms of gameplay. Just like RPG's became more and more diluted over the years, in an attempt to 'modernize' them, and FPS as well, I think it takes more and more away from what makes the genres unique.

If you look at the FPS nowadays compared to a few years ago-we have limited weapons, rechargeable shields, extremely linear paths through levels-I don't think that any of those things have made the genre any better-I think they were added to make games easier, and give them more appeal to a wider audience. But they are diluted.

RPG's started to head for a decline when recorded voice overs were added. Suddenly you had to get your story stuck in place very early in production, couldn't evolve the story with the game, and quests had limited outcomes because of the massive expense of recording 100's of alternate voice overs. They went real time, and took out a large part of the stats balancing that was a core feature of RPG's. Again, this was to 'modernize' the genre-but it just diluted it.

If we look at the success of Broken Age, Torment, or Project Eternity, there is clearly a want and a need for games that go back to what made those genres awesome in the first place.
I really don't want STASIS to appeal to the casual gamer, 'hidden object' gamer, or PopCaps 'Soccer Mom' demographic, because Im making STASIS for myself-its the kind of game I wish other developers would make, so I could play it.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 08:17 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyke
If we look at the success of Broken Age, Torment, or Project Eternity, there is clearly a want and a need for games that go back to what made those genres awesome in the first place.
I really don't want STASIS to appeal to the casual gamer, 'hidden object' gamer, or PopCaps 'Soccer Mom' demographic, because Im making STASIS for myself-its the kind of game I wish other developers would make, so I could play it.


OK. You are correct also in saying that.

Just avoid the traps that made games like "Still-Life 2" utterly horrible and STASIS will be great in a classical way.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:20 AM   #22
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I think most of your concerns are down to clever puzzle design. The Adventure Game genre actually has a lot of design rules in place to stop things like you've mentioned from happening. There is one called Walking Dead, where you can't complete the game if you dont do something earlier on. There is another called 3 Rooms, where you shouldnt have to backtrack more than 3 rooms to complete an objective. Granted, these are guidelines that can be broken, bent, and ignored-but they are there.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 08:26 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyke
I think most of your concerns are down to clever puzzle design. The Adventure Game genre actually has a lot of design rules in place to stop things like you've mentioned from happening. There is one called Walking Dead, where you can't complete the game if you dont do something earlier on. There is another called 3 Rooms, where you shouldnt have to backtrack more than 3 rooms to complete an objective. Granted, these are guidelines that can be broken, bent, and ignored-but they are there.


It is clear your interest in this particular design of game exceeds mine. In a way, I'm kind of the prodigal son. I used to play ONLY these Adventure games.. and then the 3rd person shooters came... the fighting games came...

The genre lost critical mass due to players like me discovering the "other ways games told their stories".

A few really struck me hard enough to go back to them... like Broken Sword. And Syberia made me think a revival was happening. But Syberia actually starts to come apart at the end.. and Syberia 2 was no longer fun to play.

Still-Life was even worse.

I will wait for more progress on STASIS.. As I think someone who can "kick it old school PROPERLY" will still have the edge. Mistakes like the ones Still-Life 2 did are not down to using outdated design (the game would have failed to entertain even if the year was 1981).
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Old 04-17-2013, 01:12 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
Usually, the fastest way to improve performance here is to remove some Render Settings, Separate Passes (which I assume you already do), and find some quirks of your chosen rendering engine (Ex: Blender Internal bogs down on Texture Channels, so baking textures together and reducing channels gains time).

Also if this is about Smoke or Explosions, remember that there are OTHER ways to do the same thing if you look at how Video Game engines and early CG VFX used Billboards or Cards to do them. This also saves time if you are waiting for a complex sim.

I sort of remember how a recent VFX film with a Flaming Tornado ("Harry Potter 5, 6, 7?") used cards and a smaller scale fire sim to get the effect going. So basically if you do it properly... taking shortcuts like that help.

There is also a practical reason for shortening your render time. There is a logic that if you have capacity to re-render, you can improve a shot, whereas if you're already "battered" from just waiting for the first go... you have no capacity left to fix it.

You may have more options available to you because the look you are going for is Hand Painted.


We pretty much render everything in separate passes and do the entire look in comp, so technically, every one of our pass isn't very complicated and shouldn't take long to render. We don't use any complicated shaders, our textures are relatively small, and we always make sure to delete every piece of set we don't see in the camera. Also, our FX are actually some of the fastest passes to render.

The slow renders in our case usually come from simply having the bridge in our scene. It's made of hundreds, if not thousands of different pieces, and although every one of them is really simple and usually left unsmoothed, Mental Ray still has a hard time. We experience some kind of very long lag between rendering each frame where, from what I could understand, the engine has to transfer every single piece of geometry into something it can compute. We tried all kinds of solutions but haven't found any so far...

I should also note that the current scene has thirteen characters and necessitate to have very diffuse shadows from multiple lights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
OK what I want to suggest here is a GAMEPLAY note I heard from a discussion behind the success of Telltale's "WALKING DEAD" games in spite of the dated graphics and lack of association with the TV show or why it's a hit even with people who don't know Walking Dead.

One player noted that Telltale's "puzzle solving" system is seamless in that it does away with backtracking too far and assembling MacGyver solutions to problems. Instead, you click on an object it goes into your inventory, and then if a situation calls for that object and you already have the object, you click your mouse over the situation and if you already have the item needed for it, you use it automatically.


I haven't played WALKING DEAD, but I know something I wouldn't like is feeling that the game is figuring out the puzzles for me, especially for the kind of old-school adventure game I feel Chris is going for. I'd rather have, let's say, the main character say outloud that the keyhole on the door I clicked seems to be the same kind as the key I got in my pocket, and then use it myself, than automatically have the key in my hand when hovering over the door.
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:14 PM   #25
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Oh man... this thread is going to grow very large very quickly I think. That will make it harder to both contribute, review and discuss the weekly updates from the IP producers. Could we not have a group on Facebook for this?
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shrunkendesigner
Oh man... this thread is going to grow very large very quickly I think. That will make it harder to both contribute, review and discuss the weekly updates from the IP producers. Could we not have a group on Facebook for this?

I want to keep it within the family.
And I have more control of the weekly threads here.

But you can link to your facebook page onthe WIP
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:27 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz
I want to keep it within the family.
And I have more control of the weekly threads here.


Fair enough.
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Old 04-17-2013, 08:29 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
In my opinion the "eye candy" will be when the evil henchmen go underwater in their specialized underwater swimming things (like in the COD MW3: Navy Seals Demo ) and there is this big underwater battle to decide things (see: Thunderball).

It really needs to be more explained, and perhaps shown. I wanted to keep it simple, so there will be as little fighting scenes as possible. I think I need to work on the animated storyboard and show it here, so it makes more sense.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
I know for a fact the Cat will be special, but I think the audience will remember more the big action finale (I'm assuming the end will be underwater because you mentioned something about submerging and oxygen under doors).

That will be trouble enough. I know how hard it can be to take advice like this: "Lose the cat".

The cat idea was how we could make the main hero making anything? Then we must substitute it with something else, but I wanted to make it a bit humorous. But I have to think if it can be changed, I will discuss it with the script writer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGIPadawan
Is the girl important though? I take it that the main plot twist is that his bosses sent him to essentially do janitor work for weapons they bought (That the boss stole them would probably be more direct and better for the short format). Either way, not sure why the girl is important.

Definitely she could be omitted, but why she was included? Because in every movie you see that always-present love story. There's always a love story. It's so evident when you pay attention to this it's laughable.
Not in any way trying to defend those choices, but rather explain why it was chosen. I will try to present the storyboard if i have time, and then see what you think. Thank you for help!
 
Old 04-17-2013, 08:52 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pyke
CONCEPT NAME: STASIS

WEBSITE: www.stasisgame.com


Good game! I will comment for now only on those things which seem to me could be adjusted (from the gameplay video).
-the sound of picking seems too "depressive", it could be somehow different
-the pool when the game starts on the floor is too crisply defined, looks a bit unnatural
-eyes get adaptive to the monochrome green colors, and don't perceive it after some short time. You could add small accents of another colors, like warm ones maybe
-the game pace seems a little slower than it could be. I understand the hero was at sleep, but I'd make everything a bit faster, like 30%, also those scanning processes etc. Those add too little being slower. It's really important not to turn away players and get bored, especially at the beginning.
 
Old 04-17-2013, 09:39 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mister3d
Definitely she could be omitted, but why she was included? Because in every movie you see that always-present love story. There's always a love story. It's so evident when you pay attention to this it's laughable.
Not in any way trying to defend those choices, but rather explain why it was chosen. I will try to present the storyboard if i have time, and then see what you think. Thank you for help!


I have to agree with CGIPadawan about losing the girl or the cat. Or at least, if you really want to have a love story in your short, replace the cat by the girl. It's true that there's often a love story in movies, but it's rare you'll find a good one in shorts, especially if it's not the main focus point. Honestly, 6 minutes really isn't that long. We originally wanted our short to be 6 min, and it ended up 8 minute long with more than half of the original stuff cut.

If I could give you one advice, work out a good animatic. It will save you tons of work down the road and you'll see right away if you have time for this or that.
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