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Thread: Progress of TopDown3D

  1. #1

    Progress of TopDown3D

    Hi Kent, Hi Petr.

    I have some questions for you.

    Are you happy with the progress of the TD code so far?
    How much time do you wanna spend working on it (let's say weekly)?
    Do you guys really wanna finish it or is it something that might get finished but if not, it is ok too?
    And if you wanna finish it, when do you envision this?

    Michael

  2. #2
    thinBasic author ErosOlmi's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Good questions Mike.
    TopDown3D (original project) was really at good point but than something happen.

    I suppose that if the intent to recover the project is still alive, the only way to finish is to define the project targets and define a credible plan.
    By credible I mean a list of tasks/options/features doable now, with current thinBasic features and not something we would like to have but to have them new development is needed in thinBasic or other modules.
    After that, priority number one is: stay with the plan till finish and do not add new requests only because new ideas are nice or fun or whatever (unless very important and shared by the full team).

    I will be out for a week but since now I can give my support (read time) on the original TopDown3D project for what I can do for it.

    To go on with it, my ideas of the possible tasks in the plan can be:

    • keep the project little in terms of size but be open for new image additions.
      I mean, the final .ZIP do not must be more than 1 or 1.5 MBites otherwise it will be too big to get interest. But at the same time develop the code in such a way that it understand if new background images will be there and if yes, use them. This will allow development of 3rd party backgrounds and it will be easy to distribute and install: just drop into a specific directory
    • work on ships AI. I mean, associate a specific movement to every ship maybe using specific functions or use EVAL module to write math forulas inside ship file info allowing personalizations
    • game stages with final monster at every stage.
      It is a classic but this create a lot of interest for the player to go on. There will be the interest to see what's next.
      Stages features should be defines in external files.

    As you can see, for me the list is quite short but even if short it is not easy to achieve. At the same time I think those options are very important for game like that.

    So far TopDown3D was a great experience. It has been a great pleasure just looking at all the hard works Ken, Mike and Petr have done. If I can do something to revamp the project, let me know but only if the idea is to continue to a very plan-committed way and have a REAL GAME instead of a very nice thinBasic script.
    Sorry since now to be so brute in my post but usually I prefer to express my ideas in open and honest way.

    Ciao
    Eros
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    thinBasic MVPs kryton9's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Well this is all topdown, it is 2 types of games in one. Instant Action and mission based. We could make them 2 separate projects and finish off the instant action relatively quickly if we go this route. It is up to Petr. I am fine with doing that. The mission based game needs lots of tools yet we need to develop and right now we are just testing out ideas.

    But instant action once we specify the final plan we could wrap up pretty quickly I do agree. It would be nice to have png or jpg file support to keep the file size down for this project however. That would be the only hold up I would think.

    We can see what Petr says when he gets back from his trip.
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    Super Moderator Petr Schreiber's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Hi guys,

    thanks for interesting posts!

    I think topDown "Instant" could be finished quite fast.
    Just in following 2 weeks I can't guarantee to be working 100% on it as I plan some more holiday activities :-[

    I can see lot of "preproduction" work was done on the story version ( characters, new ships ) ... but I think it will take some time to finish it. The TopDown "Story" edition could be really nice game!

    The instant version is way to go, but it will probably has nothing to do with its bigger brother, I think maybe story would be not present at all, just changing environments, enemies and AI. This way we can use most of stuff already done - models.
    Goal of the game then would be just to SALAP ( survive as long as possible ) and achieve highest score.

    So its up to you, maybe finishing instant version could be better, as I am sure you guys want to enjoy summer on other places than with eyes burned to dust from LCD

    Kent sent me some really nice resources on texture loading, sadly they are quite binded to Delphi ( uses JPEG module for example ). Adding some nicer formats is still high priority to me, but please note that perfectly compressed image formats (JPG) won't make the ZIP with application much smaller than now, as they can be hardly compressed further.

    So to answer original Mikes question, yes I want to finish it, especially as long as you guys want too .

    In fact topDown "instant" could be with current time/coding possiblities more fun, as we could play more with gameplay features ( 2D of original topDown is nothing complicated ) than spending days on writing tools.
    I know how slow I am progressing with coding part of TopDown 3D, but free 3D movement and such a stuff is still quite new thing for me. So lets go old 2D/pseudo 3D way of instant action game ?


    Bye,
    Petr
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  5. #5
    thinBasic MVPs kryton9's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    I am for finishing the instant action version and the idea of dropping any story is a good one for it and make it as Petr mentioned.

    With the new commands for 2D and making a GUI, we can make it looks really cool.

    I don't like any of the current player ships other than the very first one that was a conversion of the 2D Sprite.

    Here is my idea on work for this, does this sound good?
    Kent:
    I concentrate on new models for the player.
    Write a png or jpg command in delphi to use temporarily for textures
    Make better backgrounds and some nice background models.
    Help with anything else that might be needed.

    Mike:
    Music
    Enemy Ships and other models he would like to make, for example backgrounds.
    Input code
    Splash Screens

    Petr:
    Game Code
    New AI for ships
    Effects for new stuff
    GUI


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  6. #6

    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Mike:
    Music
    Enemy Ships and other models he would like to make, for example backgrounds.
    Input code
    Splash Screens
    Kent: what do you mean with input code? What do you mean with models->backgrounds? Can you also please specify Splash screens? Just the intro screen or what was your idea?

    Petr and Kent: How many different enemy ships will be needed? Also will you need different races or just the one we have now?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator Petr Schreiber's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Hi guys,

    Mike, do as many different ships as you want as long as you feel not bothered with that.
    My idea is to not show all enemies in one level, but to reveal them like reward for the player.

    Regarding backgrounds I have one idea which is maybe wrong, please stop me in such a case: Drawing any bitmaps results in blury look in fullscreen, what about "random" space composed from primitives like stars, nebulas ... on the fly like it is done in 3D topdown ? This way we can blend multiple layers, while rendering them at resolution which will not look blurry.

    It occured to me one thing for top down gameplay ( TopDown 2D ? Top Down Instant ? How we will call that ? ):
    - Money system : Shoot enemies to gain money for buying new ship for next level.

    My idea for player ships - 4 classes ( light, medium, strong, beast), in each 3 ships ( I know this is horrible amount of work :-[).

    Player could choose if to stay with ship as long as he wants, when in mood he can upgrade. Choice of 3 ships in each class makes it more entertaining and probably better for replayablity - the ships would differ slightly in each class with positions of cannons and their powers + speed and agility.


    Bye,
    Petr

    P.S. Mike - would it be possible to not make splash screens like fullscreen bitmaps but just smart "logo like" pictures to be placed on black background ?
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  8. #8

    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Quote Originally Posted by Psch
    Mike - would it be possible to not make splash screens like fullscreen bitmaps but just smart "logo like" pictures to be placed on black background ?
    Isn't it the same like hanlding particles. A quad with a texture? Or did you ment small 3D meshes for stars/and nebulars.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Petr Schreiber's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Hi Mike,

    logos - square bitmap, just not mega one
    space - like particles, probably quads or pseudo volumetric like explosions in other demo. It would be generated on the fly, according to some "recommendation" parameters.


    Bye,
    Petr
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    thinBasic MVPs kryton9's Avatar
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    Re: Progress of TopDown3D

    Wow lots of new info. I will throw my opinions in from all the new posts:

    Mike:
    backgrounds, was if you wanted to model something for the backgrounds, like a space station, pickups. Just if you feel creative and wanted to, I wanted to let you know I wouldn't mind. As Petr says having more items makes it more interesting as one progresses in the game. Petr, replied about splashscreens. You already made nice small banner type ones, so maybe those would be good but geared towards the instant action game.

    Petr:
    I am all for going away from the bitmaps as they eat up too much space. I like the idea you have to make it nice and sharp looking and small game file size.

    About having 12 ships, the only problem is making them look different enough at that small scale. To have 24 very differnt looking ships is going to be tough at that scale.
    Maybe having something like 6 ships, but the power of their shots could be the 4 levels. These could be upgrades they purchase, so the ship would look the same, but its fire output strength and color might change. What do you think?

    Also what sort of powerups if any are you thinking about?

    I think this is already a fun game and it will just get better now that we are focusing on it!
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