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Re: Atmosphere

#46
Victor Tombs wrote:
Hyperion wrote:Well I somehow doubt that either side will feel left out and abandoned regardless of how josh proceeds; those economic charts look a bit more complex than a sudoku puzzle :lol: and the ability to tell your own story with such absolute...that isn't just some blank canvas will certainly appeal to the best storytellers.
What is unique about this game is the blend of the developer. The romantic mathematician, a rare beast indeed. :D
Aye, no doubt about it. :D Romance, though? Perhaps there's a side of Mr. Parnell I've not yet seen...

I'm with you on the thinker/feeler thing. I'm both a thinker and feeler by nature, but the games that really impact me are the ones that appeal to my emotional side, and those tend to be few and far between. Granted, I haven't played the best selection of games, but still.
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Re: Atmosphere

#48
Victor Tombs wrote:
Talvieno wrote:Aye, no doubt about it. :D Romance, though? Perhaps there's a side of Mr. Parnell I've not yet seen...
He doesn't make a secret of it, Talvieno. ;)
I've somehow missed it, then. :P My own fault, I'm sure. Not entirely sure how I missed it.
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Re: Atmosphere

#49
Talvieno wrote:
Victor Tombs wrote:
Talvieno wrote:Aye, no doubt about it. :D Romance, though? Perhaps there's a side of Mr. Parnell I've not yet seen...
He doesn't make a secret of it, Talvieno. ;)
I've somehow missed it, then. :P My own fault, I'm sure. Not entirely sure how I missed it.
I 'm not saying he wears his heart on his sleeve but there are a few clues for you, here and there, in his dev log entries for certain. :angel:

And now I must retire to my bed so I am refreshed for the coming update. :thumbup: :wave:
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Re: Atmosphere

#50
Bit of a thread necro, but I was reviewing the Sol Trader kickstarter and one of the things that I noticed was the fact that the dev has gone for what I presume are procedurally generated faces.

Much in this thread was about the uncanny valley, but the Sol Trader faces are what I imagined in an earlier post: no attempt at photo realism at all. I am still of the opinion that this approach is likely to be the one that allows players to most easily form bonds with AI entities - more so than icons (of course, icons for factions are still essential).

I wonder how difficult this is to code?
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Re: Atmosphere

#51
mcsven wrote:Bit of a thread necro, but I was reviewing the Sol Trader kickstarter and one of the things that I noticed was the fact that the dev has gone for what I presume are procedurally generated faces.

Much in this thread was about the uncanny valley, but the Sol Trader faces are what I imagined in an earlier post: no attempt at photo realism at all. I am still of the opinion that this approach is likely to be the one that allows players to most easily form bonds with AI entities - more so than icons (of course, icons for factions are still essential).

I wonder how difficult this is to code?
Hmm...I have mixed feelings about it. For me I feel like it wouldn't fit the style of LT, while it absolutely makes sense for Sol Trader. Plus it's another rabbithole that I'd have to spend (presumably) a good chunk of time on. But I'll still keep it in the back of my mind with all those other crazy-but-maybe-possible ideas :)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Atmosphere

#52
If there's anything games have taught us (and especially the Elder Scrolls games), it's that if you release a moddable game, someone, somewhere, will make it prettier. And most likely more than just one someone. :)

LT is already gorgeous, so I think most of what you have to worry about at this point is gameplay.

...that and asteroid popping. :D
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Re: Atmosphere

#53
The faces took ages to implement, and they're still not particularly efficiently coded. Aamar and I went for a non-photorealistic look because it was easier to mesh together. It's still a big time-sink though: once you start down that route you have to handle age, race etc.

It's worth it for Sol Trader precisely because that game is all about the people, but I can understand Josh thinking twice! :)

Chris
Maker of Sol Trader and Ealdorlight
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Re: Atmosphere

#55
Just to start by saying just how awesome it is to have Josh back and these kind of great threads :D

Now i'm completely down with the uncanny valley thing, i've been talking about that in many dev type threads down the years and it is one of the many reasons i'm not a AAA gamer these days, too much effort on making humans that don't look quite right, and actually pull you out of the immersion you are hoping to get from a game.

Some history, this is quite recent, probably only the last 5-6 years or so in games. Before that characters looked abstract enough (due to graphical technology limitations) to never look human enough to cause the uncanny valley problems. And i think this is where to aim for if you want to make 'human' like faces in your games to avoid that issue. And yes that does sound counter intuitive (why make non life-like looking humans when the tech can support that).

I'll talk about Elite: Dangerous for a second. One of that games huge problems currently (and it has many) is the lack of 'personality' it exudes, which in turn leads to a rather flat and sterile/lonely feeling when playing. Neither Frontier (elite II) or FFE (elite III) suffered from that to the same extent because they both simulated human faces in the game which added that important psychological connection to the game world in the players mind.

Now it can be argued that Frontier achieved it better than FFE because FFE used FMV and fairly poorly acted real humans! Frontier used a semi-procedural method that drew faces in typical pixel art from that era (so not that realistic!). And it worked perfectly in giving enough of a human face to space to make it feel 'alive' and not sterile/lonely.

As human beings we are keyed from birth to read a human face and that is a strong part of our dna, which effects many other things in life. So i would suggest, looking at the above examples (of Frontier, FFE and Elite: Dangerous) for guides on how to apporach this if you wanted to?

I would also add that even a 'simple' silhouette can work quite effectively here, in adding that human feel to a game.
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Re: Atmosphere

#56
I enjoyed reading your contribution, Zak. :thumbup:

I too would prefer to see representations of characters in visuals I can relate to, but you already know that, Josh. :)

It's worked in every space game I've enjoyed. Faces have always been indispensable to my enjoyment of games of the LT type. If you can, by some sort of magic, create that immersion I experienced in Freelancer with a system of icons then fair enough, but I can't imagine the likes of Edison Trent or Jun'ko Zane being represented by such a soulless device. :angel:
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Re: Atmosphere

#59
Victor Tombs wrote:I enjoyed reading your contribution, Zak. :thumbup:

I too would prefer to see representations of characters in visuals I can relate to, but you already know that, Josh. :)

It's worked in every space game I've enjoyed. Faces have always been indispensable to my enjoyment of games of the LT type. If you can, by some sort of magic, create that immersion I experienced in Freelancer with a system of icons then fair enough, but I can't imagine the likes of Edison Trent or Jun'ko Zane being represented by such a soulless device. :angel:
Yeah well my 'concern' is that too abstract a dipiction might be as 'bad' as too realisitc, and i would cite the wonderful Chris Crawford as an example of that maybe (from Trust & Betrayal: The Legacy of Sibbot to his current on-going push with what was (is?) Storytron):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Cra ... esigner%29

http://www.erasmatazz.com/library/desig ... sions.html

Until fairly recently the facial depictions were going to be fully abstract, but they are currently as seen in that last link and i think Chris himself realized the importance of the shift from abstract to more human like (and that is quite a shift for a guy that has been into the absract/mathmatical ideal for about the last 20 years!) when trying to create that link with the player.

So i just wanted to through that into this mix. Again even a range of (procedural?) silhouette in near human recognizable form can be very effective to key in our face-prioritized human minds, if saving resources is the aim. And who knows maybe in the future that is Limit Theory people will have become very aware of privacy issues (let's just imagine where Windows 10 will be in that kind of future!?) and by default only darkend silhouettes are legally allowed to be displayed over transmissions etc ;)
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Re: Atmosphere

#60
Maybe it's a misunderstanding on my part but I can't help feeling that Josh has an irrational dislike for faces. :mrgreen: I don't understand this:
JoshParnell wrote:Hmm...I have mixed feelings about it. For me I feel like it wouldn't fit the style of LT, while it absolutely makes sense for Sol Trader.
Why wouldn't it fit the style of LT, Josh? I'd be the first to admit that the portraits in Sol Trader aren't exactly oil paintings (sorry Chris) but I'm sure I will be able to relate to them. :angel:

Just give us an idea of what you intend doing for LT. I promise I won't get all hissy if I hate it. :P

PS If you are as artistically challenged as Watson seems to think you are maybe you know someone who could give you a hand. ;)

:shifty: It's noses for me, I never can get the noses looking right. Ears can be a problem as well..
Last edited by Victor Tombs on Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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