Feedback to Project

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nicknameminivan
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Feedback to Project

Postby nicknameminivan » Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:13 pm

Ok guys,

I read a review of the game/engine and was like :bow:

I downloaded it and i must say: WHY? :mad:

First:

I can play the game in a high resolution, but WHY :twitch: are the sprites so small?
It is absurd to have a 10x10px sprites on a 1028x768px screenresolution. It looks bad. The sprite have to be at least 50x50px.....
The bosses looks good.
On these old screenshot you can see a much bigger sprite and i looks so much better
http://www.allacrost.org/media/screensh ... en_03d.jpg

Second:
I heared about your restricted development-style: WHY? :angry:
But later I readed a statement on freegamer.....

Third:
I wanted to register to the forums and use these emails:

abc.abc@gmx.de
abc-abc@gmx.net

And he didnt accepted it. WHY? :bang:
So i had to create a new one on googlemail....


These sounds now maybe arrogant but
I want hear answers!

best regards
sry for bad english
rujasu
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby rujasu » Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:00 am

Hey, thanks for trying out the game. First off, sorry about the e-mail problems. A while back, we put in filters to block a lot of spam accounts -- mostly obvious spam domains were blocked but it appears we put a filter on gmx that was causing problems. I've removed that filter as spammers aren't as serious of an issue right now. For a while, we were getting 15-20 spam registrations per day.

Now, as for the game. I don't really understand the anger here, we're just making a game here. However, I appreciate any criticisms or feedback and I will try to address your concerns.

nicknameminivan wrote:I can play the game in a high resolution, but WHY :twitch: are the sprites so small?
It is absurd to have a 10x10px sprites on a 1028x768px screenresolution. It looks bad. The sprite have to be at least 50x50px.....


The sprites aren't 10x10. They're 32x64. I can tell you right now, no one will make enough sprites for this game at a higher resolution than that for free -- in fact they won't even make sprites at 32x64. The guy who did the sprites and the guy who did the bosses are both gone, and we've found no one willing or able to step in and replace them. The larger sprites seen in the old battle scenes weren't animated, and there was no chance we'd be able to make any more of them without the original artist.

Second:
I heared about your restricted development-style: WHY? :angry:
But later I readed a statement on freegamer.....


Everything in Allacrost is GPL. 90% of our development discussions are visible on this forum to anyone who takes a look -- some of the music files are still in the restricted forums, and some very old topics, but almost zero discussion has taken place in the non-public forums over the past year. We accept patches from the community, as long as they're good enough to be in our main SVN trunk, and anyone who contributes to the game is welcome to become a member of the team (in other words, get SVN access).

I have no idea what you read on freegamer, could you be more specific?
nicknameminivan
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby nicknameminivan » Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:39 am

I don't really understand the anger here, we're just making a game here.


Im artist.
I have been searching for a long time for a good turn based rpg game engine,
to create a sci-fi rpg(something that looks like warhammer 40k) because there are to much FinalFantasy/Medieval-looking games in the world...
and this game/engine had the potential I searched....
but now i recognize that i have to change sooo much, to create a good looking game....

problem:
the png-size of the sprites are 32x64, this means that a single sprite is 10x10, this is too small.
This looks bad.

I have no idea what you read on freegamer, could you be more specific?

I cant find the link....
There was a guy, Tom Tyler or so, he said the same thing like you said in the last few sentences

sincelery
sry for bad english
rujasu
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby rujasu » Thu Oct 21, 2010 5:09 am

nicknameminivan wrote:but now i recognize that i have to change sooo much, to create a good looking game....


You're always going to have to change things to get them the way you want them. I think the Allacrost engine is a good one to use for any 2D RPG, but it's not built as a general-purpose engine. It's built to serve as the engine to a specific game, so if you want to use it for another game you'll most likely need to modify it at the C++ level in order to get things exactly the way you like. Ideally, you should only have to change a few variables in the code to use larger sprites, but I don't know that part of the code well enough off the top of my head to say how easy it would be.

the png-size of the sprites are 32x64, this means that a single sprite is 10x10, this is too small.
This looks bad.


Still not sure where you're getting 10x10, but again, we've never had artists who can work with larger images. Also, this isn't something we've had many complaints about up until now. Resolution isn't everything, and there are other art concerns for us to worry about without talking about increasing the pixel count on our sprites.

I have no idea what you read on freegamer, could you be more specific?

I cant find the link....
There was a guy, Tom Tyler or so, he said the same thing like you said in the last few sentences[/quote]

Ah, that may have been our founder, Tyler Olsen aka Roots.
nicknameminivan
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby nicknameminivan » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:45 am

:bang: :bang: :bang: :bang: :bang:

:think:

ok guys,

i searched the whole internet for nice open source projects......
they are all baaaad or already near complete, booooring, or the developers are laaaaaaaaamers.

Somebody told me:
"Dont fork, and dont create new FOSS games, help them who are dieing"

Hmmm
and i think this must be done.

After my "bad" start i really think i can/must help this turn-based rpg.

But one question:
I look at the post date, everything looks dead.

So:
Is this project dead?
I want see some post here from the guys who can code and the founder!

I you want "ressurect" this game, i can help you with the artwork.
I work with 3D studio max. Can provide for every monster, npc, hero a 1000 frame xD animation in each direction. no problem. (have now much time in "life")
interested? so show it!

About me:
Im a design student from germany.
here some portfolio
http://opengameart.org/content/golemmarine

a adobe after effects trailer for some friends
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCiB2UDm7Ss

cheers
sry for bad english
nicknameminivan
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby nicknameminivan » Fri Oct 22, 2010 1:51 am

and i need some "show-off":

show me how you image HoA!
with links, screenshot etc

because i cant see a artwork-concept in this game.......

i see the founder is gone...
and the last sourceforge entery was 21 days ago...
nicknameminivan
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby nicknameminivan » Sat Oct 23, 2010 7:24 am

?
rujasu
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby rujasu » Tue Oct 26, 2010 7:40 pm

Hey man, sorry for the delayed response. Tyler hasn't been around much lately, he's been busy with work. Probably isn't going to be much progress until he gets back, since he's our lead story writer and we'll need to consult with him before we do any work on the main plotline.
nicknameminivan
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby nicknameminivan » Tue Oct 26, 2010 9:54 pm

:D :D :D

i already started to use this beatifull engine :angel: (really like it now)
for a sci fi rpg, because the world needs at least one turn based sci fi rpg :D

It is more like a mod, not really a fork. I hope you will continue to develope this engine!
And you wikisite is suuuper! :heh:
rujasu
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby rujasu » Wed Oct 27, 2010 1:04 am

Cool, glad to hear you're getting some use out of the engine, that's what open source is for. Good luck with your project.
nicknameminivan
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby nicknameminivan » Sun Oct 31, 2010 9:09 pm

Thank for you luck, the project doing fine now! Thanks the HoA engine.

www.eightk.org
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Jetryl
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby Jetryl » Fri Apr 01, 2011 9:18 am

nicknameminivan wrote:I can play the game in a high resolution, but WHY :twitch: are the sprites so small?
It is absurd to have a 10x10px sprites on a 1028x768px screenresolution. It looks bad. The sprite have to be at least 50x50px.....
The bosses looks good.
On these old screenshot you can see a much bigger sprite and i looks so much better
http://www.allacrost.org/media/screensh ... en_03d.jpg


I'm hopefully doing an educational "Public Service" by responding to this. This is sort of an entry for my burgeoning pixel-art tutorial I haven't finished yet.

Increased resolution in a game is in itself, neither beneficial nor harmful. It's simply a technical bullet point - increased resolution only benefits you if you're able to fill all of that additional resolution with additional details. And I specifically mean new details; not just higher-res, sharper textures, but higher res textures that actually show new stuff. For a simple example of improving a low-rez tree, this would mean going from an amorphous green blob, to actually showing individual leaves. A high-rez "amorphous green blob" isn't an improvement.

The benefits of additional detail are;
1] better clarity makes in-game status/cues more comprehensible. For example, if you have a 3d wargame with enough art+scripting muscle that you're able to switch wounded soldiers to a clearly "wounded" graphical state, you can convey useful information without cluttering the screen with hp bars. (Age of Empires 3 does this with building damage). It can spare you from having to clumsily convey things like emotions through separate portraits - these convey much better if you can just look at someone's face, and see their emotion just like a real person would display it.
2] piggybacking on the former, high-level cinematic "emotional involvement" doesn't work unless you can really do human interaction at the same level of involvement as a movie; unless you can look closely and read every little facial tick of a persons face and see into the "inner world" of the character. They say "the eyes are the mirror of the soul", and if you can't look a character in the eyes and have them look convincingly "true" (whether as a cartoon, or a realistic render), the emotions just don't travel in the same way.
3] It looks cool.


These are all nice benefits, but at the same time, it must be remembered that all of this comes at a steep cost; even if it doesn't (as it often will) incur a performance loss, it costs an enormous amount of work on the part of modellers, texturers, level decorators, and just artists in general to fill in all the details with unique, valuable detail. Even on a project like this, with no monetary budget, you are working within a time-effort budget: how much are you, and the people on the internet at large willing to work on this? The key thing to take to heart is that wiki-magic/deus-ex-internet isn't going to save you - contrary to popular belief, the internet isn't going to show up and do an unlimited amount of work for you. This resource is limited!

:eyebrow: I'm not some armchair philosophizer, here - I'm saying this as the art director for Battle for Wesnoth, a contender for the most successful open-source community-driven game ever made. I have some experience in these matters. There are a lot of factors in how much contribution you can get from the internet, but in my experience, it's quite limited, and the key limitation is that you've got to finish a more-limited-in-design game before others come in and start building on your core. You can't have the start of a really impressive game, you need to have the entirety of a modest-looking, but totally complete and very enjoyable game for people to help out, or even give a shit at all. Thus the thesis statement is: Do not count on internet contributions at all, budget your design based only on what your current team can do.

Budget based on time; you're not going to be able to work on this more than a few years; likely 5-10 at the top. Life happens. Team members get things they care about more (wife, kids, dream job). Sometimes they die. Far more than any cocky wannabe game dev will ever admit, most people realize after a few years that game development actually sucks - it's a hobby that basically requires you to spend the time equivalent of a second, full-time job to get anything done in years, rather than decades (at least, if you're doing anything more complicated than a cheap little puzzle game). So the team and momentum WILL break up, and you've got to plan small enough to have it done before then.



So, the postmortem regarding allacrost in particular:
Roots chose to make the screen 1024x768, and stood steadfastly by that decision. I don't know why, I guess he just couldn't bear the thought of being anything less than (what was at the time) native res for many screens.

This isn't inherently a bad decision, except that he also chose to be a pixel-art game, because that's what he was copying (FF5), and that's the combination that proved toxic. Pixel art games can't just be made bigger, because for pixel-art, you have to manually place every pixel; an increase in scale is a proportional increase in work. It also defeats the purpose of pixel-art, which is making cool exploitation of individual arrangements of pixels - pixel art allows you to essentially "hack" the medium to show more detail at a tiny size than other forms of art (vector, cg, 3d) are able to. By individually controlling the placement of pixels, you can make visible eyes and faces on characters which you couldn't in 3d, because you don't have that control (the rendered humans for example, in AoE3 are mildly bigger than chrono trigger's, with surprisingly similar proportions for heads and such, but only chrono trigger has visible facial expressions. But once you're over a certain size, this advantage disappears, and the costs for still being pixel-art skyrocket. I would say this advantage really hits the foul side of cost/benefits when your character is over 100x100 pixels, or when your environment is bigger than 300x300 pixels.

Allacrost's sprites are tiny because that's all the art team could do - in fact, they couldn't even do "a whole game's worth of" that. I was one of them, it was too much work, and we all gave up. One of the reasons for this mistake was that we as artists were simply dumb in being too cocky; but the other reason is we were trying to fill a canvas leagues bigger than our abilities. We would be lucky to fill a the canvas of a SNES game - 256x224px, which pushed the teams of geniuses at squaresoft et al to their limits. We didn't know if we could do that, alone; match up with the pros - that would have been an enormous accomplishment in its own right. To then go further and choose to fill a canvas roughly 14 times the size, was far past "daring and foolhardy", and was just plain stupid.



Yeah, but with 3d...
Can this be avoided by just doing (prerendered or realtime) 3d (or vector art for side-on stuff) instead of pixel art? Sort of. Yes, you of course can trivially render your assets at any size. But you still have the same trap of "wanting more meaningful detail", and that's the real killer.

Pixel-art simply exacerbates this issue because it forces you to put meaningful detail into every pixel. But 3d art has the same trap - you still have to make tons of meaningful decisions about details in your models and their animations. You still have to make lots of meaningful decisions as you draw the textures for these models, and decorate an environment with them. You still run the core risk of wanting a game environment more detailed than your art team can provide. I've watched thousands of 3d projects destroyed by this, and it's a damn shame. They've got like .. 2 modellers, but they're shooting for the same quality as AAA teams that sometimes have over a hundred, these days. Many of these projects would have succeeded with a cool, simple, low-poly look like an N64 game. Minecraft did that, and it worked; Fez is doing that too.

Don't overbudget the time it will take to finish your project, or you will fail miserably. I guarantee it.
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nicknameminivan
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby nicknameminivan » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:43 am

1.

Still not sure where you're getting 10x10, but again, we've never had artists who can work with larger images.


this was already the real answer.

2.

3d-game-art die because it ha not enough details.

pixel-game-art die because its is a pain in the *** to animate every singel frame per hand.
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Roots
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Re: Feedback to Project

Postby Roots » Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:46 pm

nicknameminivan wrote:So:
Is this project dead?
I want see some post here from the guys who can code and the founder!

I you want "ressurect" this game, i can help you with the artwork.
I work with 3D studio max. Can provide for every monster, npc, hero a 1000 frame xD animation in each direction. no problem. (have now much time in "life")
interested? so show it!


I'd label the project as being in a "hibernation" state, not a dead one.


I am the legendary founder, back from my long journey into the unknown. I'm getting back into this project as of this week so hopefully things will start to pick up. I/we would love to have your help as an artist here.
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