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1  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Re: Drawing Order for correct Transparency - Alternatives? (and related stuff) on: 2012-10-04 08:11:42
Awesome, thanks for your answer.
Then i think i'll go for seperate shadows with the option to expand it later into a 3D Texture and simulating the day cycle. The other option would have been to put the shadow and the image into one texture, not being able to simulate lighting and needing to draw in the correct order.

The ray casting won't wirk this way because i'm not really 2D. At the moment i don't have sprites for all 4 directions if you can rotate with 90° (which i can't right now) and i'm not sure if i'll even implement this. Otherwise i maybe could use the different rotated sprites to cast shadows.

I post some screenshots to make it more clear:
Normal look:

If i fly around in 3D, it's visible that the objects are only 2D:

And there can be heights:
The heights further complicate the problem, if i'd want to make really good shadows. I guess i couldn't avoid shadow volumes or shadow mapping then.
2  Java Game APIs & Engines / OpenGL Development / Drawing Order for correct Transparency - Alternatives? (and related stuff) on: 2012-10-03 10:16:31
i am programming an isometric game with a 3D map and objects on it that are 2D Sprites. These sprites also contain the shadow of the object, als partly transparent black area. I finally stumbled upon the problem of transparent regions blocking the view to objects behind them. I guess you are familiar with the problem, but i can give some screenshots if needed.
As i read one can solve this problem by drawing the objects in the right order. I don't really like this idea because avoiding this was half the reason to use 3D maps instead of pure 2D. So i wonder if there are alternatives to this. I enumerate some things i thought about and would really appreciate some feedback on this.

1. One thing i thought about was drawing the objects without any shadowing and after that draw all the shadows. For this i'd need seperate Shadow Textures and would basically need to draw twice as many sprites. Is this in general a bad idea?

2. One issue that comes with the 2D sprites is that i can't really create shadows and correct lighting on the object, for example in a days cycle. If i'd seperate the shadows, i could for example create 24 different shadowmaps for each hour, for each object, what sounds like a lot of effort. Does anyone have expereince with this, or knows any other methods to cast (good) shadows from 2D objects?

3. The lighting on the sprite itself should also change - a wall could be directly hit by light in the morning and be bright, and could be hidden from the sun in the noon and be dark. I thought about using another texture that basically encodes the normals of the surface of the object in color. With this i could directly calculate the brightness of the different parts of the object with a shader and render it correctly. Did anyone try this? Would this even work? Cheesy

These questions aim at unanimated objects, like buildings. I also have animated objects, but i think i could live with worse lighting there, also because it sounds like a ton of work to create all shadows for all hours for all animations (or "normalmaps").

It would be awesome to get some feedback and opinions, hints or links.


3  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Entities - Class Design on: 2012-03-25 11:00:19
Thank you for the hint.
They have different behaviours and different abilities. For example a rabbit can stand up and look around, a bird can't (atm). They have a "currentAction" what can be walk around, eat, look around and so on, and different probabilities for transitions from one state into another. It's really a good idea to generalize this for all animals, it didn't feel to good working with it already because i couldn't really seperate what belongs to all animals and what is special. Thank you Smiley
4  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: Entities - Class Design on: 2012-03-25 09:06:16
Thanks for the input Smiley

I've teared down and built up the whole thing. Now i just have a class Entity which will be used for (usable) trees and stones and so on. Then i have an abstract class Animal that inherits from Entity and finally things like Bird, Rabbit or Player that inherit from Animal.
I thought that it doesn't hurt too much to make every entity animatable and pickable.
For the rest, there ist still Decoentity which covers everything with no function or use. I'll implement it just like sproingie suggested, no reason to keep little grassbushes permanent.
5  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Re: What makes a Good RPG? Your thoughts/opinion. on: 2012-03-24 13:57:41
I got one addition what is one of the best features for me in games. I don't really know how to call it, it can be for example a house or a castle. A base that is yours, where you can go to after and between your adventures. I just love it to expand this base, or even build it from scratch. I got a few examples where you could do this in games and where i really loved it:
Morrowind: You could build and expand a manor, depending on your clan.
Bloodmoon Expansion: Even better, you were commanded to build a whole new city, with some freedom how it should look like.
Overlord: Your evil tower/castle was being rebuilt during your adventures and you could choose interiors.

Besides that, i love when a game is consequent. With that i mean, your decisions should have impact. I really know not a single game, where i feel like this is the case (for very little parts in the witcher). Take skyrim for example: Whether you help the rebels or the imperials, it doesn't change the world, you see no consequences. Important characters can't die, if something doesn't work out perfectly you can just load a savegame 2 minutes ago. Thats just too soft for me.
I think the best decisions are those, where you see the consequences very late (like 10 hours later) and you won't just go back and load everything. There are some games that do this nicely, as i said the witcher at one point, or the old fallout games, where had multiple outcomes for every town depending on what you did there.

Also, no grind pls Wink
6  Game Development / Game Play & Game Design / Entities - Class Design on: 2012-03-24 09:50:37
i'm currently working on an isometric, tilebased survival game. The landscape is 3D, the objects are pixelart 2D. I can post Screenshots later in this thread, if anyone is curious Wink
My problem atm is, that i'm unhappy of how i implemented entities. My world consists of chunks, 64x64 tiles. Each chunk handles everything on it, for example drawing and updating animals. There are some different kind of entities: some are purely decorative (grass), some are static (a tree) and some are dynamic (an animal). On top of that, some may be animated and most of them have to be pickable (which i use colorpicking for). This classification into 3 parts made the most sense for me: Decoentities won't be permanent or usable in any way, static entities are usable and stay where they are (like a tree) and dynamic entities will move around by themselves, so they have to check if they left their original chunk.
Currently i use inheritance. Here is a generated classdiagram:

I didn't catch the animation aspect with that because there would be too many constellations, it just feels wrong and too complicated. Does anyone know a solution to code this nicely? Is there a nice way to implement such "features" like pickable or animatable?
Should i simplify some aspects, for example just make everything in principle animatable and dynamic (the player will be able to move small static entities around, so they have to answer "did i leave my chunk" too).
I would be very thankful for some advice Smiley
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