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Topics - Enoch

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Resolved Questions / Lighting effects, hidden objects. (solved)
« on: May 27, 2014, 02:38:33 pm »
I did look up some other threads but I didn't find an answer that directly addressed my concerns.

Background information that may or may not help question. Can be skipped:
So here is the thing, I am starting a pretty massive project I have been bouncing around for about two years. I have done quite a bit to refine the story and added some unique concepts that I think will make the game stand out. I still have a long way to go from the conceptual phase to actual prototyping, but for the first time I can say progress is being made. However, I like both the experience, credibility, and expertise to work on this project alone or request help (creating a team). In order to resolve all of these issues, I have begun working on 4 smaller projects that will all contribute to the final game concept.

Each of the smaller games contributes to the back story of important characters in the main game, so that players will be familiar with them, without the need of a long drawn introduction. Not to mention, the animations, objects, and tile sets made for each game could be reused for the main project. 

The idea is to release 4 smaller games, each made of a number of episodes that will be released in sequence of the story, kind of similarly to an online comic. Ex: first game would be composed of 4 episodes that are approximately an hour in length. Each episode would be released the following week. The best example I could think of would be The Walking Dead game done by telltale. The difference being it would be free online in a format similar to a webcomic.

I am currently focusing on the first episode which takes place in the confines of a laboratory. This first game explores  issues relating to the scientific method, philosophy of science, ethics with regards to scientific testing, mind/body problem, and the death penalty. With these subjects in mind, it seems quite appropriate to make this first episode a psychological horror game. This is also because the game play mechanics seem much simpler. I can focus more on walking, running, and sprinting mechanics as well as environmental effects/atmosphere  and then in later episodes add on gunplay mechanics, vaulting, jumping, wall running, and sliding (other features that make combat more exciting and fast paced).

So now as I learn how to create the game play mechanics, I have started to work on what I can; the environment and atmosphere. The problem I have currently run into is how to approach the lighting effects. I am still learning how to use stencyl. (I have done numerous tutorials and I am about 60% done with the intro course on udemy). But I have not found/thought up a good approach to “dynamic” lighting effects. I put the word dynamic in quotations because I am not expecting stencyl to be able to portray 2d moving shadows like this example:

But I am wanting to show objects in the background being darker, flickering light effects, glowing lights on objects, and even basic lense flare effects.
This is the basic look of the tiles. I haven't bothered to work on the wall decorations (like labels, warning signs, fire extinguishers) or the blood and gore can be added after I finish making all the different objects you would "expect" to find in a scientific lab researching genetic modification.

Here is what it looks like with some basic lighting effects done with Gimp:
And then here is another effect I thought was neat that makes it look like your viewing the game from a security camera. I was inspired by the game lone survivor. I may attempt to make it grainier. I was going to make an a transparent, still foreground.
Now all of this looks rather rough and unpolished, but I am just trying to iron down the technique and process so I can work a bit more efficiently. I'm guessing the glowing objects (with the poorly done glowing pixels) would have to be actors placed into the scene. But how do I make them look darker as though they are in the background. I sure you can see that the first picture lacks depth, and the objects all look like the player can interact with them.

In the edited photos, I tried to make it obvious that the player can interact with only the computer that's illuminated and in front of all of the effects. In this case the computer terminal. This should rather obvious, especially if the player is in front of all of the effects as well and the illuminated objects are the only ones that are solid. But sometimes I have to have the player darken with the rest of the environment. Like if I wanted to have a flickering light turn on and off. Or have the "light" effect the player sprite.

So to put things plainly:

For objects in the background, am I going to have to color them myself to be darker like that? I was hoping there was some kind of visual effect I could use, but it seems like I will have to hand craft each scene and add actors to act as dynamic lights by adjusting the transparency. (possibly flickering effects could be done with an animated actor...) If that is the case, how could I have flickering lights hide other actors from the players view and appear make them reappear when the light comes on?


Ask a Question / Zoomings effects on resolution?
« on: March 05, 2013, 08:46:46 am »
So I've been working on a little project for a while and I had a few questions on how to go about a potential issue I am trying to avoid. So essentially, I'm trying to sprite a retro game and afterwords add some neat "modern" visuals ("glowing" bullets [done with transparent png images], fancy parallax backgrounds, basic physics, ect) to enhance the atmosphere. Here is a screenshot of some of what I've gotten done just as a reference:

The thing is, as you can see, the sprites and tile sheets I have made are very small (to fit that retro image). The game itself is suppose to be zoomed in of course. The protagonist would be around this size or maybe larger:

a lot of frames for a small sprite but they will be large on the screen and I'm trying to make the animations smooth

of course to do zoom in like that I had to do it on a paint program and take a screen shot to avoid distortion. If I was to import my small tile sheets to stencyl would I be able to zoom in in-game and avoid any kind of blurry effect?

And even if I could, I've noticed working will reresizeally small tiles and actors it rather... Challenging. Is there some way I could make them bigger without distorting them (I could use paint but I'm hoping there is a more efficient way) or just make big sprites initially and not have to re-size them later on?

Would it be better to keep small sprites or re-size them?

Game Ideas / Meta-Games
« on: August 01, 2012, 05:35:29 pm »

I have been bouncing this idea in my head for a while now and I need a second opinion. My concept isn't limited to RPG's but arguable that may be the best genre for it. Although this is a terribly long post everyone who I've talked to about this has thought it was interesting so please bare with me :D

 The idea is using games in a revolutionary way that make the player a better individual after playing it. This is done by immersing the player in the complexity of a situation. The game itself provides difficult and thought provoking scenarios that make the player make ethical choices (essentially simulating experiences) and the player learns after seeing the outcomes of their choices.

(If I haven't interested you yet than you may want to turn away. The rest is just me elaborating my idea further and a link to a section of my games actual story)

This is just an example so please take no offense if anything I mention or say disturbs you
I can recall, when I was younger, having my parents buy me Christian Video games. What I remember most though (although the game designers put in an applaudable amount of effort given their resources) was how bad they were.

For example, the story was always the same. "God has called upon you to stop the evil forces of Satan." The next thing that was always done was the weapons they gave you were always bible themed (the sword of the Spirit, the Shield of faith, ect). Also health and power ups would always be bible verses that would take up the screen to force you to read them.

The problem with many of those games includes (but is not limited to) the following:
  • No character Development/ unable to relate to character
  • An unmotivated story
  • So much obvious symbolism the world was basically a giant extended metaphor
  • The lessons we not hidden or shown, they were right out told to you and made you read it without it really having any kind of connection to the game situation

Now what I am proposing is a game that's sol purpose is immerse the player in the complexity of issues in order to educate the player further, not just on the issue but the player as a whole. It goes without saying that when you experience something for yourself your views will often change, so the game will essentially simulate life experiences. Of course the problems you address must be dramatized and made exciting and interesting.

Here is a section of my current projects story  so you can get an idea of how I was considering going about this:

Sorry again it is a bit long but I have heard its decent enough for a skim through.

But anyways, when the player makes a choice  (for example: to kill your fellow crew members in order to escape exucution) the story changes dramatic. How other NPC's see you and interact with you, the way your character see's himself, and some aspects of game mechanics. For that specific example, every time a player kills a crew member during their escape a message spesific to the NPC that was killed would pop up at the top of the screen. Something like “I remember having a beer with (NPC's name) after (his/her) father died...” or “I think (NPC's name)'s daughter turned eight a few weeks ago...” By adding a bit of character and humanity to the NPC the player feels like their choice was actually meaningful and what they are doing effects other people. Although this example was a bit disturbing, it is necessary to hit the point home. If the choices and outcomes are not dramatized, they lose impact.

What are your thoughts on this idea?


Chit-Chat / Advantages of Vector-based images vs Spriting
« on: August 01, 2012, 04:13:00 pm »

I have been curious about vector images and their use in Stencyl. I have been working on a sprite sheet, attempting to make the perfect running/sprinting/walking animation for a platform game for (embarrassingly enough) a few weeks now. Its been taking while for me because each frame is about 120X170 in size and after finding out that 8 animation frames would not be enough for a smooth animation I now have to increase it to 16 frames for each walking,running, and sprinting animation.

The hope is of course that you only have to do this once and after you perfect the sprite sheet, it will be easy to create players and NPCs using this template. However, given the fact that soon, we will be able to publish games to multiple platforms (Android, iOS, desktop, Chrome, HTML5) it seems that it would be rather challenging making it so the games look their best because each platform has different screen sizes and that will definitely change the way your game is viewed. Needless to say, smaller screens would make it look better (on a phone vs on tablet).

Many players prefer HD games (otherwise why pay top dollar for your tablets, TV screens, and Computer monitors) and so they may be less inclined to by a pixilated game for a tablet or desktop.

Does this mean the vector images should be the way to go? I mean it seems easy enough converting sprites to vector images and the ability to zoom in indefinitely will mean HD on any resolution setting and it generally makes it easier to edit (I would think).

I have never used vector images or worked with them but it seems like it would make things easier. How true is this assumption? Is spriting much easier? What is the difference when using sprites with Stencyl in comparison to vector images?

(my name)

Ask a Question / interactive water possible?
« on: June 30, 2011, 11:58:16 pm »
Hello again! Although I am still rather new, I feel a little more confident in my (very basic) understanding of stencyl. However I had some questions about making water. I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to programing (well, I really don't know much of anything) but I am very interested in creating an innovative and engaging environment inside my game. So what I am trying to find out is what is the best way to make interactive moving water inside Stencyl.

I found two videos I thought where intreasting and may be possible, however I would like to know what the best one is (for stencyl) and how to go about making them a reality within the game.

Here are the links:

"Test simulation of a two dimensional cross section of a fluid surface."

Not sure what this is... SPH?

I believe I could replicate the second video by using actors made of large circle with small collision box. Here is a diagram of what a mean.

Of course the "water molecules" would have to repel each other so they done get to close while still maintaining a bouncy surface. Well that's the idea anyways.

The first one is much more realistic however I have no idea how to go about doing that. Well I don't know how to do either really. Does one have any ideas how to go about this? As I said before I have no programming skills and am trying to learn how to use the design mode. Is this concept even possible?

Resolved Questions / How powerful is Stencyl visually? [Solved]
« on: June 27, 2011, 11:27:04 am »
Hello! I'm new to the forums and just started using Stencyl (as you can see this is my first post), I'm trying to get some information on the capabilities of Stencyl and see if I can use it to make a visually amazing game. Just need to know what I can and cannot for before I get to involved in my project.

Currently I'm attempting to make a  (mostly) platform RPG with visuals similar to the game "Outland" I'm sure some of you have heard of the game "Outland" for the ps3. If not heres a picture of some of the gameplay:

So far my artwork (if that's what you call this type of thing) is coming out pretty well. However,I haven't even started on working on the platforms, hills, or backgrounds yet so it's not much to look at right now but here is a small picture of the environment I've been able to make so far:

So far I've noticed stencyl works very well with transparent images and I am able to make them into tile sheets (with great difficulty) however I have a few questions of what else I can do.

Can I make Multilayered backgrounds? Maple story uses this very often to give almost a 3d effect to the background by changing the speed of background images while the character is moving (furthest moves slowly, while images "closer" to you move quickly as you move left to right on the screen)

Can I make neat lighting/ particle effects? One thing I've noticed that can make very simple games look extraordinary are good lighting effects. Can I imitate lighting effects similar to "Outland"?

I have been looking at a lot of the games uploaded so far and while the game-play for most of them is excellent, the sprites and tile sets are...pixlely? (assuming that's a word.. hehe) and it leaves me to wonder if that's all I can do with Stencyl... Or is that just the preferred style?

Oh and are tiles the most effective way to make the environmentt? could I draw out a huge room and make it in object with a weird polygon collision box

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