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Questions before even starting

Questions before even starting

Postby PaRaDoXoS » 04 Apr 2016, 11:36

Hey,
I'm new to game development (but not new to coding) and I already have a few ideas what I want to try. But while brainstorming some questions came up which I'd like to ask, even not knowing if they will be important. So the questions are more about possibilities than about step-by-step tutorials.

1) (nearly) all rpg games (from Pokemon over Final Fantasy to WOW) have different Maps where you move from one to another. In some of them the transition ist without a loading screen. Is it possible in Skyline to create two scenes (mainly terrain, triggers, ...) and then align them to walk from one to another?

2) Is it possible to create the transition from a map to a yet uncreated map (maybe with a closed door), and then open it when the next map is created? Maybe add a flag (outside the map) to say unavailable/downloadable/open/closed(for whatever reason, eg. event, recalled because of bugs, servercrash for that zone, ...)

3) Is Skyline (easily) capable of 2D Scenes for minigames. Or 2.5D for a digital replication of a Board-Game or a Card-Game. Brainstorming: 3D Lobby where you go to a table and play the game.

4) How about adding content by adding a new .pak or .ark or whatever without the need to apply a patch? Maybe just update an index file that this content can now be downloaded (even as a background task). With a dependency list? Seperate models from the rest to deploy low-res for old systems, low- and high-res for modern systems and LoD? Reuse a model-pack along different maps?

5) Is there any assistance/"framwork" to skill-tree and character leveling? Is it advisable to create these before creating levels? How can I build a combat system?

6) When a map shall be a complete cave, will I build the ground as Terrain, the sides and ceiling with rocks/... or can I build the whole as a terrain?

7) How do I represent this structure with multiple maps and multiple resource files in Skyline? One project with many scenes? Are there customisable build-scripts for the resource files?

8) If I create maps where you can enter houses (and for that model the interior), will that have a large impact on performance? If I remember correctly this is called OcclusionCulling and not yet implemented in Skyline?

I hope these questions are worth being asked at this "not-even-a-project-yet"-Stage.

Best Regards,
PaRaDoXoS
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Re: Questions before even starting

Postby TattieBoJangle » 04 Apr 2016, 14:02

Hey,

1) (nearly) all rpg games (from Pokemon over Final Fantasy to WOW) have different Maps where you move from one to another. In some of them the transition ist without a loading screen. Is it possible in Skyline to create two scenes (mainly terrain, triggers, ...) and then align them to walk from one to another?


Not sure if it could load on the fly but my plan was to have the terrain large enough to have teleport points that act as levels plus if its far enough away it wont cost on performance due to lod ;)

2) Is it possible to create the transition from a map to a yet uncreated map (maybe with a closed door), and then open it when the next map is created? Maybe add a flag (outside the map) to say unavailable/downloadable/open/closed(for whatever reason, eg. event, recalled because of bugs, servercrash for that zone, ...)


Not sure if this is what you are looking for but if you mean for example you have bad guys on one level and you kill they bad guys go to a another level and when you return to the first level they are still dead? if it is then you would need some sort of table to save the changes ect but if you do it like I said above where it is one massive map with teleports then it would rule out the need for a table

3) Is Skyline (easily) capable of 2D Scenes for minigames. Or 2.5D for a digital replication of a Board-Game or a Card-Game. Brainstorming: 3D Lobby where you go to a table and play the game.


Yea skyline could do this no problem top down camera 3d game board ect ect 2d would be the same

4) How about adding content by adding a new .pak or .ark or whatever without the need to apply a patch? Maybe just update an index file that this content can now be downloaded (even as a background task). With a dependency list? Seperate models from the rest to deploy low-res for old systems, low- and high-res for modern systems and LoD? Reuse a model-pack along different maps?


I believe this is how skyline already works so if you use the same model xxx times on the same map or different maps it will not cost that much if anything and will only use memory of that first model.

6) When a map shall be a complete cave, will I build the ground as Terrain, the sides and ceiling with rocks/... or can I build the whole as a terrain?


Yea skyline doesn't use voxel terrain yet so you would need to build up the terrain and place rocks ect.

7) How do I represent this structure with multiple maps and multiple resource files in Skyline? One project with many scenes? Are there customisable build-scripts for the resource files?


The way to think about this is the resource system in Skyline is just your library so it makes it super easy going from one project to another and the great thing is skyline will only output/use what you place in the scene/put in the level.

8) If I create maps where you can enter houses (and for that model the interior), will that have a large impact on performance? If I remember correctly this is called OcclusionCulling and not yet implemented in Skyline?


Skyline does already have a built in system where if you are not looking at something it wont load it also has LoD and distance LoD the way I would do the above is again use teleport for example you have a city you want to enter a house have a script on the door where it would teleport you to the interior model away from the city this would unload the city giving you great performance inside ;)

Hope some of this will help ;)
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Re: Questions before even starting

Postby PaRaDoXoS » 04 Apr 2016, 15:05

Thanks for your response!
To clarify some of those things: the idea would be to have a map with some content and some (yet closed) exits. The game could then be played and given to friends (or published...). When I create the next map I could then ship it to all players and (without applying a big patch) open the way to the new map where one can simply go back an forth as long as he wants.

Your idea of one big map would be a solution to most I asked, but would not allow what I just wrote. It also sounds quite weird, don't really like the idea of teleporting for that. But I agree, it would be a solution. Have to let it into my brain and align it with my brainstorming.
Maybe someone knows of a way to do what I want without this teleporting.

Thanks again for your answer, it means most things running through my head are somehow doable.

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Re: Questions before even starting

Postby TattieBoJangle » 04 Apr 2016, 15:13

To clarify some of those things: the idea would be to have a map with some content and some (yet closed) exits. The game could then be played and given to friends (or published...). When I create the next map I could then ship it to all players and (without applying a big patch) open the way to the new map where one can simply go back an forth as long as he wants.


Ahh yea you could do that no problem :D the closed sections would just not have the trigger to go into that level/map and your new build down the line would be the same but with triggers that open up the new areas.
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Re: Questions before even starting

Postby SolarPortal » 04 Apr 2016, 16:30

wow, so many questions lol :P
Tattie has done a great job explaining what you can do on skyline. If i can, i will add a few extra points :)

1) Skyline does have the ability to load one scene from inside another. As Tattie mentioned this cannot be done on the fly without resource loading at the moment. But if we added the ability to preload another scene in the background, then it would be sort of doable. This is quite a bit of work though.

2) Is it possible to create the transition from a map to a yet uncreated map (maybe with a closed door), and then open it when the next map is created? Maybe add a flag (outside the map) to say unavailable/downloadable/open/closed(for whatever reason, eg. event, recalled because of bugs, servercrash for that zone, ...)

I suppose if you know all the locations and environments you could write a json file to disk that specifies what Levels exist.
Based on read values, you could determine whether to open or close the door until the map is created. i believe Q4 is a second part to this answer.

4) How about adding content by adding a new .pak or .ark or whatever without the need to apply a patch? Maybe just update an index file that this content can now be downloaded (even as a background task). With a dependency list? Seperate models from the rest to deploy low-res for old systems, low- and high-res for modern systems and LoD? Reuse a model-pack along different maps?

If the levels are not made, but the game is released, then theoretically you could add them as a .pak to your end game that would be loaded into resources. If the game levels have the triggers or code to move to the new levels found based on that read file from before, then you could add dlc parts.
If the main level loading this new area does not have the code for loading, then you will need to update the levels files in order to move into the new area.

3) Is Skyline (easily) capable of 2D Scenes for minigames. Or 2.5D for a digital replication of a Board-Game or a Card-Game. Brainstorming: 3D Lobby where you go to a table and play the game.

Skyline is capable of making both 3D and 2.5D games at the moment. We do have planned support for 2D though.

5) Is there any assistance/"framwork" to skill-tree and character leveling? Is it advisable to create these before creating levels? How can I build a combat system?

There is no framework per say, but we do have templates which are meant to be good starting points to different genre styles although some are out of date and can be buggy. Still a WIP lol :P.
Combat systems can be created using actions, scripts and visual modules. Skyline is a game engine and certain features or systems will need to be programmed or plugged together.
For instance, the current fps system is created using actions and scripts which communicate together to pass information that changes stats and causes damage. Skyline is created to have easy components that do what you want them to do without doing more work or reinventing the wheel.
On the FPS, the new version which will be released soon, has been rewritten completely in modules.

Skill trees and Character leveling - These would need to be made by the techniques mentioned before :) The plan at the moment is to create many game mechanics so skyline has all these bits built in.

If you wanted to create a visual representation of skill trees and character leveling, then you can use the Custom Editor Plugins which our forum user Shando has become experienced with. Make any form of graph editing system you want using Qt and lua inside skyline :) Heres a starter link but there is more on the forum: http://www.forum.aurasoft-skyline.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=56&t=1461&p=7624#p7624

6) When a map shall be a complete cave, will I build the ground as Terrain, the sides and ceiling with rocks/... or can I build the whole as a terrain?

If you built the cave out of models and didn't use terrain, it would be even faster. But you could use the terrain for this sort of thing. Cannot currently cut holes in the terrain either.

7) How do I represent this structure with multiple maps and multiple resource files in Skyline? One project with many scenes? Are there customisable build-scripts for the resource files?

Tatties response was spot on here so not much to say except skyline can also be run in a project specific mode where you copy all the files you wish to use into 1 folder. We find it much easier to use one large library across many scenes.

8) If I create maps where you can enter houses (and for that model the interior), will that have a large impact on performance? If I remember correctly this is called OcclusionCulling and not yet implemented in Skyline?

This will all be possible with occlusionculling and no it isn't in the engine yet. This is a feature we are planning for the new renderer though to maximise performance with large open worlds.
A simple zone could be created from a trigger that turns everthing on / off, or do like old school games. As you open the door, fade to black, unload outside or put simple outside for windows and turn all interior on. If load is too much, then use a loading screen.

Many things mentioned here may need to be upgraded or added into skyline, but i believe most of this is possible with exceptions of course with the engine being in Beta lol :P

Hope this helps :D
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