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Messages - Nikita_Sadkov

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Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: February 20, 2020, 09:22:17 am »
The less randomness and the more deterministic a game is, the more it resembles a puzzle instead of a strategy/tactics game.
Not exactly. There are puzzle games with random factor, like Tetris and Match 3. Randomness is orthogonal to the genre.

Also, one may ask why not use drichlet tesselation or BSP for map generation. BSPs and tesselation algorithms are not really good for heightmap generation, compared to fractals. Although there was a BSP planet generator ( ), but it isn't really easy to adapt. Secondly, tesselators have large cell size and usually non-uniform shape, which isn't always suitable for most purposes, and once you cell size approaches pixel size, you are much better with fractals. But cell generation is indeed far easier to control than perlin noise or WFC. As I understand most people use drichlet tesselation as an resolution independent input for the fractal generator, which can be running on the GPU. But since I'm not making 3d AAA game, I don't really need that.

Here is for example a river (in black color) made out of drichlet cells. It is easy to create, but really rough, so a non-trivial modification to the composing cells is required. Of course one could use hexagonal lattice for tesselation, and rivers will be looking a bit smoother, but then everything else will be smooth too. So the proper solution is to draw rivers using a brush you like.

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: February 19, 2020, 07:53:57 am »
Further work on map generator. Now it creates cliffs and waterfalls. A lot more work is required to make it more general. I also need to implement proper city generation.

I've considered using something like wavefunction collapse map generator, but it is really slow, hard to control, and does basically the same I already do, albeit within a nice framework. Map generation is basically a pathfinding process inside some really complex space, but its goal is not getting to some precise point, but getting to a good enough point. Give that, you can apply all the genetic algorithms, from markov chains and neural nets to simulated annealing. Then again, when you generate your map from some predefined parts which have restriction on how they connect, you have a markov chain. The problem is that no generic algorithm would create a fun and non totally broken map, so a lot of manual workaround will be required in any case.

For example, I need a way to describe a branching river or a an island inside a river, or a river with a pond. Then there are roads and bridges interacting with them. All that stuff should be placed properly - no circular rivers or crazy roads: if the there is a cliff on the way, road should go around it. No idea how to easily describe that with say markov chains or WFC. ANNs are nice for classifiers and simple filtering, but not for complex structures, which should interact with game mechanics nicely.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 17, 2020, 09:34:44 pm »
While searching for what games recently got remasters, stumbled upon the near perfect Quake 2 remaster. The level geometry is intact, but they added modern light system and material info for textures. They actually put a lot of effort into these textures, compared to the blurry mess of WC3 remaster, which turned out looking worse than the original low res textures. Apparently Blizzard is the only one company having management and art troubles.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 17, 2020, 07:23:02 pm »
They don't really respect their shareholders either
That is the main problem: lack of work ethics.

Offtopic / Re: Another XCOM Project V.2
« on: February 17, 2020, 07:06:18 pm »
>7 years ago
>Created for the course Comp 360 at McGill University.

Looks like some dead student project. There is also no license, so I doubt anyone would be reviving it.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 15, 2020, 04:17:29 pm »
The rich and powerful make the laws.  If those that make the laws aren't rich and powerful, they soon will be.  In some countries, they hold political office directly such as emperors, kings, lords, dukes, and whatnot.  In other countries, they have their servants (read politicians) hold the office for them.  All political systems in reality boil down to this, despite what you may have learned in school.   :o
When governments set up taxes too high, like taking everything people make and turning population into slaves, such governments historically always failed and ceased to exist. The most recent example is USSR. People were stripped of rights and taken everything they made, therefore they had no incentive to make anything, yet sabotaged heavily any government effort. Same is happening with corporations, which don't respect their customers and employees. That is like a law of physics, which they should teach in management classes.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 14, 2020, 10:34:50 pm »
I wouldn't worry to much about ownership, Blizzard is just one company.  There are whole countries with the mindset:  "All your (creative works) are belong to us."   :P
When a huge multibillion company steals ideas and user maps made by kids something is really wrong  :o

Offtopic / Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« on: February 14, 2020, 03:47:34 pm »
I think the game needs a better water shader. The current static blue water is really ugly. Something like the following would look orders of magnitude better.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 13, 2020, 07:49:51 pm »
That's assuming OpenXcom is a "good software"...
I doubt original DOS XCOM code would have won any software design prizes.

Anyway, returning to the topic. I though about making a custom WC3 map, inspired by this whole virus hype, where one teams plays survivors and another - virus carriers, who escaped containment. That subject offers a lot of game design possibilities. Unfortunately due to Blizzard's new license I cant do that.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 13, 2020, 12:24:44 am »
What is point adding 3D engine to it? This would need doping half of source code to make it work, especially everything that touch `Suface` or `SDL_Surface` classes. Probably easier would be write it from scratch.
In good software graphics subsystem is decoupled from the rest of the code. So you can change graphics engine without much effort, or run a batch test suite. OXC has years of effort put into developing and debugging it. It is impossible to rewrite complex from scratch in short time with any amount of budget, since programming cannot be easily split between many developers, like you can split say graphic asset creation.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 12, 2020, 06:00:01 pm »
Dosbox is GPL
And its sell by Steam or GoG, this mean they could use OpenXcom in same way.
This could be similar to Id did and releasing source code of Q1 or Doom as GPL.

(And I would be honored if my code was in official release. Publishers! please choose OXCE :D )
They will be forced to publish back all the changes, and they can't easily link GPL code with proprietary code. For example, EA has their proprietary Frostbite engine, and they can't really integrate any GPL code with it. Same with Unreal and Unity. That leaves only open source 3d engines, which are just a mess and fall behind from commercial engines. Ideally you want some team to secure funding and license, then integrate OpenXCOM with Unreal or Cryengine, with modern graphics pack and improved UI to play on smartphones/tablets, but without touching any game logic.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 11, 2020, 05:34:28 pm »
I think there's a 'third episode curse' on most games, not just Blizzard games.  Master of Orion 1&2 - great, MOO3 - sucked big time.  Panzer General 1&2 - ok. Number three bombed.  UFO: Aftermath & Aftershock - good, Afterlight was shit.  Need I go on?
I think it would be cool if they update the graphics for the original XCOM, but without changing the rules too much. Unfortunately they wont be able to use OpenXCOM engine, since it is GPL. Same way EA was unable to use OpenRA engine. That is why I believe BSD license is a much better alternative for game engine reverse engineering works, since BSD code can be used by everyone without much restrictions, beside the need to credit developers. And BSD also gives chances the company hires developers accustomed with the code, or developers themselves could approach the company with proposition. So GPL is really self defeating here.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 10, 2020, 07:06:10 am »
Step 2:  Put good manager in project lead position because only management matters everything else is a commodity.
Step 3:  Shift low cost entry level employees to the number 1 project to keep costs down and thus boost ROI.
It is surprising how Microsoft and Sony (not video games companies) manage to run several successful AAA projects at the same time, while game companies, like EA, Ubisoft and Activision-Blizzard fail.

I.e. Microsoft produced a lot of really good games, as well as remasters for Fable and the Age of Empires. And most Sony's games are really well polished. They are released when they are ready. For example, both Ico and Last Guardian were delayed for years, when it was found that current hardware was not powerful enough to run them smoothly. Ico was originally developed for PS1, while Last Guardian was PS3 project. Then Sony made perfect remastering of Shadow of Colossus. Recently Larian made a nice Baldur's Gate remaster, which required them to reverse engineer the executable, because source code was lost. Resident Evil remasters are great. Square-Enix over the years made numerous remasters, mostly fine, with the exception of Final Fantasy VI, which was totally botched, but the remaster of the flagship FF VII appears to be the best example of how AAA games remasters should be done.

BTW, EA decided to remaster the original Command & Conquer. It is still 2d, but the upscaled graphics looks fine and the developers are actually the original Westwood people.

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 09, 2020, 08:12:26 pm »
Blizz will have couple of NEW mobile games...
Here is an idea for Blizzard's CEO autobiography's title "How to go from AAA to shovelware in a single year"

Offtopic / Re: What happened to Blizzard?
« on: February 08, 2020, 08:14:39 pm »
Ok. Blizzard has patched some of the issues and enabled refunds. Unfortunately the reboot of the franchise has fallen short, and could follow Command & Conquer's fate. And that is not because of outsourcing, but because their core team didn't care. As I understand the only thing that was outsourced were these nice detailed character models, which ended up being unused, due to the lack of the promised ingame cinematics, while remastered unit portraits got botched angles, so all portraits are looking improperly. For some stupid reason they re-recorded voices, and these came out of much worse than in the original. And original Blizzard voices talents were just common company employees. It is like everything was done by people without any enthusiasm or love for the game, and the new team included no people from the original team, who could have pointed out the mistakes.

Even fans made better "remastered" cutscenes:

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