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Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes Developer Interview
Follow on for our second entry in the on-going review of World of Warcraft's fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor
World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor: Day 8 - Garrisons
We chat with Blizzard's Hearthstone team on all the juicy info about the first expansion to highly-successful card game Hearthstone
Hearthstone: Goblins vs Gnomes Developer Interview
We take a nostalgic look back at one of the best N64 games to ever be made, The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
Throwback Thursday - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask
UK Indie Dev shows off his very impressive ISO RPG engine
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6768 posts
Stumbled across this earlier http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1473965863/sui-generis

It looks like a riskier backing than a lot of products, but as a pretty enthusiastic programmer myself I think that what this guy has accomplished is phenomenal. When the video goes 'outside' it shows some pretty impressive modifiable terrain, which manages to look very much like the oldschool rendered-background rpgs.
07:24pm 08/11/12 Permalink
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07:24pm 08/11/12 Permalink
TufNuT
I like eel pie
Brisbane, Queensland
4001 posts
wow looks awesome.
07:44pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Sc00bs
Brisbane, Queensland
9065 posts
looks cool how you can duck and dodge around that guy with the big swinging mace.
07:45pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Ha
4 posts
i would like to see this game made and as such donated nothing.
07:49pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20872 posts
i would like to see this game made and as such donated nothing.

I'd be more interested if it was an FPS.
07:56pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
13112 posts
It is certainly interesting.

The combat looks gumby, like the characters are drunk. It has potential though. Looks fun.
08:09pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6769 posts
Yeah I don't really want skill based combat in my ISO rpg, would prefer managing abilities and parties, but the entirely self-made engine is just so sweet that I want to see it go places.
08:54pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Eorl
Brisbane, Queensland
7963 posts
Jeez that looks pretty awesome. The animation do look sketchy but I presume due to it being pre-alpha they are still working on things. Could also be partly due to the physics mechanics and that they are based off muscle movements. I think I'll back this one, looks like it has a lot of potential, though it'll be my first Kickstarter project.
09:52pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Whoop
Brisbane, Queensland
20873 posts
It is certainly interesting.

The combat looks gumby, like the characters are drunk. It has potential though. Looks fun.

I imagine it looks like a normal bloke trying to swing a big sword. You'd think though, if you were going to carry a huge ass sword, you'd make sure you're strong enough to swing it without knocking yourself off balance. I figure it was more a demonstration of how things interact with each other, rather than "this is what combat will look like"
10:08pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Protius
Brisbane, Queensland
4462 posts
His hand gestures remind me of Talledega Nights LOLOL 'I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with my hands'
10:30pm 08/11/12 Permalink
Infidel
Netherlands
3987 posts
How can it be a UK indie when they are based in Italy?
03:24am 09/11/12 Permalink
kos
Germany
2324 posts
The combat system does look a little awkward (but is obviously due to the realistic mapping of muscle actions and so on) and seems like it really lends itself to the isometric view, however an engine as gorgeous as that one seems kind of wasted on a game locked to isometric.

I couldn't help but notice the lack of any demonstration of object destruction, they went to great pains to demonstrate how collision physics was mapped directly to visible polygons, which is awesome, but it makes me wonder whether that was made a lot easier by them eliminating the ability to break objects apart.
03:42am 09/11/12 Permalink
Eorl
Brisbane, Queensland
7965 posts
The combat system does look a little awkward (but is obviously due to the realistic mapping of muscle actions and so on) and seems like it really lends itself to the isometric view, however an engine as gorgeous as that one seems kind of wasted on a game locked to isometric.I couldn't help but notice the lack of any demonstration of object destruction, they went to great pains to demonstrate how collision physics was mapped directly to visible polygons, which is awesome, but it makes me wonder whether that was made a lot easier by them eliminating the ability to break objects apart.

I would presume things could break on collision, considering the physics are already there. If their current mechanic works by mapping to polygons, could they not simply map broken object polygons and then be able to move them?
09:02am 09/11/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6775 posts
How can it be a UK indie when they are based in Italy?

Hrm, well on the right hand side of the kickstarter page it says "London, United Kingdom"
10:15am 09/11/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20150 posts
Looks cool, but they seem to be talking up some stuff that isn't really all that impressive. Like the collision stuff, any physics engine can use the actual mesh of the model as the collision mesh, the reason it isn't done is because it makes collision calculations extremely expensive to do for very little gain. You could probably approximate the object close enough with a much lower quality mesh (or even using primitives like spheres, boxes, tetrahedrons or capsules, which are extremely cheap). I mean, you could very, very easily approximate those tables using like 4 boxes and still have the collision act the same way he was demonstrating.

Not an issue when 2 or 3 things are colliding, starts to become quite an issue when a few hundred things are colliding.
11:14am 09/11/12 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
13113 posts
Khel, whilst that is the case Most games only punch up 40-60% of CPU it seems. Leaving plenty left over for mesh collisions. Also add Physx to it and it really should be a common feature for todays games. The fact it isn't is disapointing.

This engine seems to be about bringing all those 'it should have been done by now' technologies to the engine.


His hand gestures remind me of Talledega Nights LOLOL 'I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do with my hands'


I thought the exact same thing, 'he doesn't know what to do with his hands'
At least he was aware he was meant to be doing something with his hands.
11:24am 09/11/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20153 posts
Also add Physx to it and it really should be a common feature for todays games


Why? It adds nothing (using the mesh as the collision mesh I mean, not PhysX). I'd rather they use those extra CPU cycles by coming up with better AI or something that will actually have a noticeable impact on the game. You can make any collision shape you want out of a compound of primitives really. If you absolutely, positively must get more accurate than that, at least use a low detail version of the mesh, I'm sure there would even be algorithms already out there you could use to automatically generate a lower detail collision mesh from a high detail model mesh. Its really only something you'd need to do if you were adding collision to something truly weird and bizarrely shaped though. Certainly not tables and chairs or apples.

I dunno, its probably not an issue most people would even give a s*** about and isn't going to affect the success of their project one way or the other, it just annoys me on principle!
11:32am 09/11/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6777 posts
I think that the main goal with that was to allow rapid development, without building collision boxes etc. I admit that I'm not super optimistic for the game, but funded it just for the effort put into the engine.
11:35am 09/11/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20154 posts
Yeah, I got that impression too, was so they could just drop a model in and it'd have collision already, but that doesn't excuse it :P
11:37am 09/11/12 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
13114 posts
Well it does excuse it, since their goal is for rapid development. It doesn't get much quicker then putting a mesh into a game and be done with it.
Although they say they have real world modelling. So I'm guessing each object can be given a density. You have to admit, because of the way they do it, the combat has pretty sweet potential.

Watching that Ogre fight with the big ball and chain just smashing the human around is interesting. The question is, was that because the ball'n'chain was an object with a weight being controlled by muscle contractions? In which case would it be fairly simple for ANY object in the game to be picked up (providing the hand can grip it and strong enough to lift it) and used as a weapon with exact hit detection that mesh fighting allows?

Khel, don't be a hater, embrace it. If they can get it to work and have the engine run at 60FPS whilst having the in depth AI you and they want why the hell not?
12:30pm 09/11/12 Permalink
SquashedDuck
Brisbane, Queensland
19 posts
The characters fighting did look a little drunken, but I believe the story is along the lines of "villager takes up arms".

Would be cool if we were seeing low level skills in fighting (much what we would look like picking up two heavy swords) and maybe the animations are different for higher skills. I'd like that.
12:36pm 09/11/12 Permalink
Khel
Brisbane, Queensland
20155 posts
Yeah, I'm not really hating on it, it just bugs me they're selling it as an innovative new feature that we haven't seen before, when the reason it hasn't been seen before is cos its a bad idea. Its also just a topic I enjoy discussing/talking about, so I'll take the opportunity to have a rant while its available :P

Not a big fan of the physics driven gameplay either while we're on the topic, but thats possibly more just to do with the sort of games I like to play. Stuff like that sounds good on paper, having everything move like it does in the real world and have real weights and stuff, it rarely ever actually makes for good gameplay though in my experience.

Exaggeration is often where the fun comes from in games and is what creates those "holy s***!" moments. Realistically modelled physics in a game often end up feeling slow and clunky and ironically, doesn't feel very physical at all because (like in real life) you have a limited effect on stuff around you. I mean, if you kick a chair in real life, unless you're the Hulk or something, its probably not going to get flung accross the room and explode into wooden shards when it hits the wall, it would probably just move a foot or two and fall over on its side, which is a pretty disappointing reaction in a game. But its a more subjective thing I guess, if sim-like reality is what you enjoy, then you might enjoy that sort of reaction.
12:53pm 09/11/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6779 posts
I agree that complex physics (rather just dropping with a thud) is rarely a good thing for games (I still shudder at the memories of bouncy bread in Thief 3).

While their tools do look pretty cool, for me it was the terrain engine (built without any libraries) which was the really impressive piece.
12:59pm 09/11/12 Permalink
Tollaz0r!
Brisbane, Queensland
13115 posts
Ahh Khel, realistic physics isn't the problem it is having good gameplay mixed with it.

Kicking the chair and having it slide on it side is kind of dull, unless of cause you build the game up from there. As your Hero gets supernatural demon strength his kicks start pushing that chair all of the place.

As it is, the engine shows potential. If all it was as it is now, that would be pretty meh. However the design philosophy they have it could be built much further. Unfortunately great programmers building solid engines tend not to build great gameplay. They need a strong game designer who can take the world they have built and bring fun gameplay into it.


As for the hitbox argument, there has been many, many times and even very recently where the hitbox and the mesh don't line up correctly causing you(me) to lose a bit of the suspension of disbelief of whatever it is called. For a long time I've wanted games to use the actual mesh as the collision thing.

Anyway, hopefully this engine will get some $'s thrown at it and we can see where it goes.
01:49pm 09/11/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6898 posts
Just thought to check back and found out that it's on its last 24 hours, looking to be a pretty close call.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1473965863/sui-generis

They set the minimum funding pretty high though, quarter of a mil more needed when so much is already done.
12:59pm 29/11/12 Permalink
arkter
Gold Coast, Queensland
1065 posts
Just thought to check back and found out that it's on its last 24 hours, looking to be a pretty close call.http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1473965863/sui-generis/posts/358348?ref=activityThey set the minimum funding pretty high though, quarter of a mil more needed when so much is already done.



Why does every single crowd funding project come with some terribly designed t-shirt?

Seriously... just about every single one.
02:29pm 29/11/12 Permalink
konstie
Melbourne, Victoria
2030 posts
seems pretty cool to me
12:03am 30/11/12 Permalink
Nerf Lord
Brisbane, Queensland
6909 posts
They made it with a few hours left. Woo.
08:26am 30/11/12 Permalink
skythra
Brisbane, Queensland
6238 posts
Are we debating how inefficient some code is? Because why are we holding developers to some crazy candle when lets look at life. I watched my neighbor take his f250 to grab milk a 15 minute (one way) walk down the road. I leave my PC on for hours when i'm not at home sometimes. I spend 2000 on building a giant pc which most games never touch and the games which would use it i never buy.

Lets start with horribly inefficient and see drivers revisions and hardware start to make it more efficient as it gains traction and consoles want it nextgen.

Besides, i think my 4.5ghz quad basically caps out at less than 30% usage most times? Most games are lucky to use 2 of 8 threads?

We haven't even seen PC CPU's moving forward recently, hell intel are so scared of not making any new money that they're taking the pie away from mobo makers by developing their next chip onboard a motherboard. literally soldered on. No more gigabyte vs asus, you chose a cpu and the board comes with it.

Lets be a little wasteful, because revisions and competition will naturally choose which is the better approach. Either the games are so much easier to develop that they spend the money on employing focused development on gameplay, or else it's more efficient to build that side up from scratch.

Besides, as far as crowdfunding goes, it doesn't matter about practicality. What's actually helpful to a developer isn't going to be rewarded, only perceived value by gamers will be funded. Also isn't 150 000 a bit poor for developing an engine? that what employs two good people for a half year? :S
09:07am 30/11/12 Permalink
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