#pentagram@irc.freenode.net logs for 29 Mar 2009 (GMT)

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[13:19:04] <raptorjesus> yo
[13:30:47] <wjp> hi
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[13:45:41] <raptorjesus> so how's the project going?
[13:47:10] <wjp> not much movement recently
[13:53:42] <raptorjesus> i havent read any recent changelogs
[13:54:07] <raptorjesus> what is the latest binary?
[13:54:49] <wjp> should be end of january
[13:55:51] <raptorjesus> still fixing common bugs i suppose?
[13:57:06] <wjp> yes
[13:58:24] <raptorjesus> any elaborate plans for the future?
[13:59:21] <wjp> not really. There are some rendering fixes in the pipeline for the short term
[14:01:11] <raptorjesus> no control improvement plans?
[14:01:36] <wjp> do you have anything specific in mind?
[14:01:52] <raptorjesus> well... monster targeting
[14:01:58] <raptorjesus> and general navigation itself
[14:02:12] <raptorjesus> though the official patch fixed a lot of it, its still a pain sometimes
[14:02:54] <wjp> hm, nothing concrete
[14:04:39] <raptorjesus> i kinda forgot now, but how many moving directions does the game originally features? 4 or 8?
[14:05:04] <wjp> 8
[14:06:10] <raptorjesus> still felt a bit clunky
[14:06:25] <raptorjesus> i mean diablo featured the same number number of directions right?
[14:07:47] <wjp> characters move only in full steps in U8, and those are quite big
[14:08:15] <wjp> and for example when you stop running, you slow down gradually
[14:08:29] <raptorjesus> true true, but i think it also has to do with the screen size and scrolling speed
[14:08:36] <raptorjesus> which leads us back to engine limitations
[14:08:40] <wjp> oh?
[14:09:29] <raptorjesus> well try to compare the diablo's screen size to u8's screen size
[14:09:38] <raptorjesus> the area covered is relatively bigger
[14:10:24] <wjp> hm, I don't see how that is relevant
[14:10:43] <raptorjesus> and diablo's engine itself processes tiles at a much bigger speed. that's the world scrolled so smoothly even when you were running
[14:10:56] <raptorjesus> *that's why
[14:11:31] <wjp> still not seeing how that's relevant
[14:11:59] <wjp> scrolling in pentagram should be fairly smooth and not a bottleneck for control
[14:12:43] <wjp> and I'm not sure what you mean by processing tiles at a much bigger speed
[14:12:54] <raptorjesus> tiles as in floor tiles
[14:13:06] <raptorjesus> its a bit hard to explain
[14:13:08] <wjp> what does it mean to process a tile? I don't understand your reasoning
[14:15:27] <raptorjesus> well on u8 i always got the feeling the world "popped" in front of your eyes. tiles dont scroll smoothly. they "appear"
[14:15:58] <raptorjesus> in diablo character movement and map scrolling are coordinated in a very gentle way
[14:16:30] <wjp> I have no idea what you mean by that
[14:16:56] <raptorjesus> movement feels smooth. like if the camera follows every of the character's movement
[14:17:32] <raptorjesus> on u8 it feels like the camera moves only after avatar finishes a step
[14:17:42] <wjp> eh?
[14:17:48] <raptorjesus> lol
[14:17:56] <wjp> are we talking about the same game?
[14:18:02] <raptorjesus> yes we are
[14:18:44] <wjp> the camera in u8 is fixed on the avatar
[14:18:54] <wjp> (except in cutscenes)
[14:19:06] <raptorjesus> yes but that's not what i'm talking about
[14:19:28] <wjp> you'll really have to be more precise if you want to get your point across :-)
[14:20:00] <raptorjesus> well, just like you said the camera is centered on the avatar right?
[14:20:09] <raptorjesus> therefore when the avatar moves the camera moves
[14:20:21] <raptorjesus> and the map scrolls
[14:20:23] <raptorjesus> right?
[14:20:49] <wjp> yes
[14:21:12] <wjp> at a speed determined by the animation and set for each frame independently
[14:21:28] <raptorjesus> precisely
[14:22:01] <raptorjesus> what i'm trying to point here is how clunky this scrolling feels according to avatar's movement
[14:23:11] <wjp> do you mean the effect you get because the speed varies from frame to frame?
[14:23:51] <raptorjesus> the scrolling speed?
[14:24:05] <raptorjesus> if so yes
[14:24:15] <wjp> well, scrolling speed and movement speed are equal
[14:24:33] <wjp> so how would you propose to smoothen this?
[14:24:55] <raptorjesus> well that depends how the movement system works right now
[14:25:36] <wjp> it works by playing fixed animations. Each frame of that animation determines how far the character should move in that frame and which image to use
[14:25:53] <raptorjesus> ah
[14:26:03] <raptorjesus> so the animation frames are the root
[14:27:30] <raptorjesus> well a possible improvement would be to separate movement from animations themselves. as in making movement more slidish and simply playing the animations during movement
[14:28:05] <raptorjesus> this is how diablo works i think. movement is not based on animations. animations are made to fit movement instead.
[14:28:32] <wjp> that won't work well with things like jumping and climbing, I think
[14:29:08] <raptorjesus> that depends on how they work
[14:29:19] <wjp> exactly the same way
[14:29:53] <wjp> (with one hack for targetted jumping bolted on)
[14:31:22] <raptorjesus> well jumping wouldnt be much of a problem i guess since it implies a simple principle of moving at a higher speed while avoiding obstacles
[14:31:40] <raptorjesus> diablo did something a lot more complicated with the barbarian's leap skill
[14:31:54] <raptorjesus> since it can recognize different levels of height
[14:32:17] <wjp> u8's world is fully 3d, by the way
[14:32:30] <raptorjesus> climbing and jump grabbing would be a lot more complicated though
[14:33:13] <raptorjesus> well that's good. at least it means its not exclusively dependant on animated frames
[14:34:40] <raptorjesus> cause you see, i always found it a bit frustrating. diablo feats exactly the same number of possible movement directions (8) and exactly the same isometric perspective. yet navigating on diablo is so much easier
[14:35:23] <raptorjesus> not to mention diablo has lamer animations
[14:35:42] <wjp> I think you're confusing two issues now
[14:35:55] <wjp> related, though
[14:36:06] <raptorjesus> actually i'm discussing both at the same time
[14:36:13] <raptorjesus> sry if its a bit confusing
[14:36:59] <raptorjesus> i guess discussing half-technical half-aesthetical features brings up the technical complications of one and the hard-to-express subjective feelings of another
[14:37:54] <wjp> the reason navigating is easier in diablo is mainly because the discrete actions you can take are much bigger in U8
[14:38:04] <wjp> (I think)
[14:38:13] <raptorjesus> what do you mean by discrete actions?
[14:38:44] <wjp> the actions which the game performs as a result of your input
[14:39:09] <wjp> the smallest unit in u8 is 'take a step'
[14:39:49] <wjp> so when you change the direction or speed in which you want to move, that will only actually happen after the current step has finished
[14:39:56] <raptorjesus> precisely. diablo's moving system works on a more quantitative manners
[14:40:20] <wjp> no, more like at a higher temporal resolution
[14:40:49] <raptorjesus> while the smallest performable action is "take a step" aswell, taking a step on diablo involves sliding the world on the designated direction
[14:41:04] <raptorjesus> as in move camera X centimeters in X axis
[14:42:03] <raptorjesus> thus the camera follows every part of the movement
[14:42:08] <raptorjesus> it "slides"
[14:42:28] <wjp> that's not different
[14:42:49] <wjp> the camera in u8 follows every part of the movement as well
[14:43:04] <raptorjesus> not as smoothly though
[14:43:41] <raptorjesus> alright now you forced me start U8 lol
[14:44:02] <raptorjesus> better be safe than sure i guess
[14:45:48] <raptorjesus> aww fuck, i forgot my graphics card is broken
[14:45:56] <raptorjesus> cant start dosbox
[14:47:35] <raptorjesus> anyway, from what i remember, u8 only followed char movement acording to the frames
[14:47:57] <wjp> yes, but it runs at 30 frames per second
[14:48:16] <raptorjesus> nevertheless it still feels clunky compared to diablo
[14:48:53] <raptorjesus> *when compared
[14:51:09] <raptorjesus> well skipping this dicussion ahead
[14:51:22] <raptorjesus> are you guys planning any slight map alterations?
[14:51:37] <wjp> we're already doing a few to fix holes in the floor
[14:53:27] <raptorjesus> i got a suggestion then. please introduce something to make doors visible on the Z axis
[14:53:52] <wjp> what do you mean?
[14:54:07] <wjp> (maybe use a screenshot to illustrate?)
[14:54:09] <raptorjesus> http://chumbalum.swissquake.ch/ms3d/help/htmlfiles/Images/3DTheoryPractice/axis.gif
[14:54:41] <raptorjesus> doors are often invisble on the Z axis unless you're close to a wall
[14:55:10] <raptorjesus> i remember it once took me ages to find a bloody exit on the zealan temple
[14:55:29] <raptorjesus> just to find out there was a door on the Z axis wall
[14:55:49] <raptorjesus> have you ever heard of a game named cadaver?
[14:56:02] <wjp> some kind of tile based puzzle game IIRC?
[14:56:06] <raptorjesus> yes
[14:56:09] <raptorjesus> for amiga 500
[14:56:37] <raptorjesus> http://www.lemonamiga.com/games/screenshots/full/cadaver_04.png
[14:56:54] <raptorjesus> see the extra tiles on the edge of the axis?
[14:57:06] <raptorjesus> this is how a door or a pathway is signaled
[14:57:30] <wjp> ah, you mean transitions to other maps, not doors
[14:57:33] <raptorjesus> it means there's a crossable doorway/path on that direction
[14:58:19] <raptorjesus> not just transitions. some doors to are bloody invisible because of the isometric perspective
[15:05:48] <wjp> hm, not sure how that could be improved without really invasive map redesign
[15:06:20] <raptorjesus> honestly i always hated u8's world map
[15:07:09] <raptorjesus> it doesnt make any sense. why on earth's name every single place is only acessible trough the catacombs?
[15:07:55] <wjp> yeah, that's rather bizarre
[15:07:58] <raptorjesus> i mean wouldnt you have to be a necromancer then if, for example you wanted to go to argentrock and be a priest?
[15:08:25] <raptorjesus> doesnt make any sense i tell you
[15:09:11] <raptorjesus> add that to the lack of clues and map system, and you can have serious troubles when it comes to what to do next
[15:09:52] <raptorjesus> i mean how ta heck was i supposed to know the skull of quakes fitted on a small glowing niche on the wall that's barely visible to begin with?
[15:10:20] <raptorjesus> sry if i'm getting into rant country
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