Gauging interest in a remaster

Discussion in 'Fan Projects & Editing' started by Pedro, Jun 23, 2017.

  1. Iceblade

    Iceblade Admiral

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    Actually, once you are through, your dissertation will not look as frustrating or unappealing. You will remember the hardship but will also be able to take the good from it including lessons learned. You may even want to go back and expand upon your research direction.

    What area/field is your research in if you don't mind me asking?
     
  2. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    Skyrim :p.

    Ok, but seriously. Skyrim is indeed the main topic of my thesis, although not for its own sake. I'm analysing world-building in Skyrim and examining all the zany modding and Wikipedia-editing and stuff that its community does, with an eye towards cultural heritage. So, basically: there are cultures out there that need a lot of assistance in terms of preservation and transmitting to the next generation - particularly various indigenous peoples, like the Aboriginal Australians. The hands-down absolute best way to show a culture in as complete a form as possible and within its environmental context, is absolutely and undeniably an open-world RPG. But how does Skyrim actually work in terms of world-building - which methods that it uses can be replicated, and which ones cannot, given that the game was developed with an $80 million budget that no "serious game" project will ever get even remotely close to? That's one part of what I'm trying to describe in detail. Another part is figuring out how active audiences can be a part of the mix - how you might be able to achieve more by reaching out to modders and the like. So, apart from spending a lot of time analysing Skyrim, I've also done a survey with Skyrim fans, and a bunch of in-depth interviews with cultural heritage experts.

    And you know what? I really want my Skyrim back. And Morrowind. I really miss being able to play my favourite games without having to analyse anything.

    But yes, of course, in the long term, the very point of doing this is so that I can then go ahead and work on a culture-based RPG, building on what I've learned. That would be different, though, because I wouldn't be working in such blasted isolation.
     
  3. Iceblade

    Iceblade Admiral

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    Wait, Is this an anthropological PhD or a PhD in Game Design?
     
  4. Quarto

    Quarto Unknown Enemy

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    It's definitely not anthropological, but I wouldn't say it's game design, either. It's kind of a convergence of heritage studies and game studies.
     
  5. FekLeyrTarg

    FekLeyrTarg Commodore

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    I've just remembered that I built a mesh of the Masa Science Station (or Beaufort Station) many years ago. If you'd like, you may use it.
    https://p3d.in/0Nm9M
     
  6. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    This is going to mean less to everyone else than any of the previous updates - but the FBX importer is complete, including skeletal animations.
    What this means is the last of the code that was dependent on proprietary tools is gone (and since support for the 3DS is no longer necessary there is now support for a silly number of bones). From now on it's code cleanup, after which I can start preparing to upload to a public repository where anyone can view/ contribute to the code.

    If anyone has the expertise and time what I could really use is someone on tools. It's not necessary, but if I can't find someone I'll be resurrecting the old IMGUI particle editor instead of the more swanky replacement that was in progress.
     

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  7. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    There are a lot of teething issues, but for the collision (which is largely working, just a weird bug) I've been testing DefinaceIndustries awesome interpid model. You can see the lighting isn't consistent between the two models but it's only test data, the normal maps on the durango needs changing.

    EDIT: You'll see no benefit on the screenshots but I also resurrected deferred shading which beyond the obvious of lots of lights should let me experiment with things such as point light shadows which are a pain in standard forward shading. Shadows are ready to go in but disabled as I refactor them to allow more of them (it wasn't likely that we'd want more than one on the previous target hardware), and since they require tweaking for the given environment.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 26, 2017
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  8. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    So I resurrected shadows - they weren't quite as ready to go as I'd hoped as deferred shading hadn't been used in 3 years and the shadows no longer worked with it. I also massively rewrote the design to be more user friendly, previously it required a lot of special case code to have a shadowed light - now it's just a bool on the lighting component.
    Self shadowing is the real test, even small fighters now cast shadows onto themselves. I found a few bugs with model exporter -including the normals which the shadow tests highlighted. I've also been pointed in the direction of a nice model sdk which has wider support (currently only fbx is supported).

    Everything needs a bit of tweaking, shadow biases, the material data supported by the deferred shading (this shot is forward shading as it currently has better specular). I also need to support more than one directional shadow and test out the shadows for pointlights and spotlights.
    The Intrepid model is causing me some headaches, the winding impacts rendering, shadows and collisions so FekLeyrTarg I'd hapilly recieve your model for testing. DefinanceIndustries seems pretty busy, probably with all the other mods he's working on - I've been teaching myself blender but I'm no artist.
     

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    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
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  9. FekLeyrTarg

    FekLeyrTarg Commodore

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    Certainly. :)
    As you're using Blender anyways: Would it be ok if I sent it in Blender's own format instead of exporting it?
    (Also, it was built in Blender 2.49, so I recommend ticking off "import UI" when opening the model so modern Blender's UI doesn revert back to 2.49's)
     
  10. DefianceIndustries

    DefianceIndustries Commodore

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    yeah sorry. A bit snowed under at the moment. I did start bluepoint, but it'll be a bit. I'll fix the normal map on the Durango for you this weekend.
     
  11. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    Sure thing, that way I can play about with the scale and what not

    No problem, keep working on the mods which are actually in full development! This is all preprod. It's unlikely I'll need anything more than what you've sent me this year, although it might be cool to get a low poly collision mesh for the intrepid and fix up the back face issues. After I've polished up a few graphics bits and pieces I'll move on to the collision, and it probably makes more sense for me to start off testing with simple geometric shapes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  12. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    So Defiance sent over an updated Durango without missing faces and the normals in the correct space for the Usagi engine (not Unreal, there's been some confusion there, it's all custom). Not much in the way of progress, I just thought it was pretty enough to share.

    The only technical change you can see is shadows are in place, the Intrepid is shadowing its self (I spent the past couple of weeks adding point, spot, projection shadows and improving the filtering on the directional shadow cascades).
    I might use the spot light shadows in the hangar but it'll definitely be nice to have laser bolts with shadow casting point lights attached.
     

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  13. Whistler

    Whistler Commodore

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    The "Rabbit" engine eh? Can't wait to see how it hops to it. ;)
     
  14. Pedro

    Pedro Vice Admiral

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    I'd originally just called it Clarity 2 (Clarity 1 being my personal project, I'd planned to do wing commander stuff with it and clarity sounded like a good extension of vision) as a placeholder. Then riding the subway returning from the Tokyo Gameshow there were a bunch of people from Konami with Fox Team T-shirts (fox engine is the tech behind metal gear solid 5). The conversation turned into lamenting about how we could never do anything as impressive as that with our small team whilst having to support 3ds and the best tech we could hope to work with was the WiiU.

    Anyway my colleague at the end of this suggested we should call it the Usagi engine as its light and quick, trying to outrun its larger predator the fox.

    I liked it as I'd always had a rabbit as a kid.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
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