Medieval chinese RTS development blog

Discussion in 'Works In Progress' started by janpec, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. janpec

    janpec

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    This development blog is meant for fresh RTS project based on medieval China. Most of the progress will be posted regulary, either art or prototype gameplay, which will be avalible to all users of forum.
    Game will follow certain gameplay aspects of Caesar 4 and series the Settlers, combining the best of both and including many new gameplay aspects.

    First goal:
    -Create basic prototype of strategy game and release it under this topic.
    -Produce first chunk of art and create some example scenes (in-game).

    We are looking for additional programmer and animator. Please PM me if you are interested with some work examples. Only serious / dedicated candidates please.

    There is some work from first week. Great news from Larsbertram for releasing custom plant shader, which allows hand modeled vegetation.
    [​IMG]


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    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012
  2. vivalarosa

    vivalarosa

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    Hey Janpec, the assets look amazing. I'd love to know more about the strategy elements you will employ in the game. Are you focusing on any particular strategy element, i.e Resource gathering/managment, unit diversity/placement, etc?

    Keep up the great work!
     
  3. Wolfos

    Wolfos

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    Oh wow, that looks neat. If it's a base building game, you've got a sale right here.
     
  4. dterbeest

    dterbeest

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    That looks awesome! Great artwork! I would be very interested in an RTS game with this style.
     
  5. dr.steam

    dr.steam

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    Strategy game of this scope in social networking would be awesome. Total War - but on a smaller scale obviously graphics-wise + Evony = success. Whoever makes a game like this wins. Dawn of Fantasy is an attempt at this I believe - a persistent, multiplayer RTS with mmo aspects but high system requirements make it hard to play on anything below quad core...little customers, little fun, little money.

    Now making a game like that but under Unity / Unity Webplayer - you'd be looking at immense playerbase and lots of monies and prestige.

    If I may suggest make Genghis Khan era one of main motifs.
     
  6. Zerano

    Zerano

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    Nice Art!
     
  7. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Awesome!!
     
  8. janpec

    janpec

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    Thanks. Game will have diverse economy system, which is also present in Caesar or older Settlers series, but besides that both of those series are seriously lacking good diplomacy and especially warfare aspect of gameplay, that is why they never got huge player base. I am aiming to bring dynamic combat system, which is realisticly dependent on resources (army needs food, weapons, etc) and combining with diverse combat system which is dependent on formations, unit experiance, generals basically aspects from Total war and modern RTS games. However army sizes wont be anywhere close to those in Total war series, becouse most battles will take place near or in the city, which limits allowed polygon numbers on screen, it will be very important to use at least two or three LOD version of soldiers to allow players with lower computer enjoy city building on higher settings and warfare maybe on little lower.

    Hey Steam thanks for suggestion, that is certainly good idea to spread game on webplayer and facebook, however MMO is not in option. I have no intendt to go anywhere near those three letters, becouse this is good start for a nice fail, however multiplayer is certainly on table, but i dont know how far would it be possible to go, it actually very much depends on programmer.

    Genghis Khan era, is actually the exact era where game will take place. Genghis Khan will be main oponent (and Song kingdom) in campaign, i am still brainstorming a lot if it would be possible to add Mongols as playable faction but i just cant see it. If you have any suggestions you are wellcome:D The main problem is that as playable factions Mongols have very poor architecture, low resource diversity and basically too less things to do for strategy game, but hey they are perfect for enemy:p

    In singleplayer campaign player will have to start his career as governor and work his career towards emperor (it might not be historically accurate, but it would certainly be more fun).
     
  9. dr.steam

    dr.steam

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    As long as it's persistent. I didn't say MMO but with MMO aspects to it (quests, auction hall and such but nevermind) - perhaps heros etc. I had Genghis Khan (the PC strategy game) in mind when I mentioned Mongols. The game had depth and breadth especially after it came out and it had a decent level of diplomacy economy but most importantly balanced combat though turn-based. I understand that from the perspective of CG it's difficult to implement but I'd aim to make assets simple but cute (almost like the ones in Pocket RPG (around 300 polys / character). There's plenty of examples around with the most recent cartoonish gladiator at the forefront I saw somewhere around.
     
  10. brilliantgames

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    This looks amazing. Great work.
     
  11. dr.steam

    dr.steam

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  12. janpec

    janpec

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    Yep i saw this character already, it is really great, our soldiers should be in similar color and texture appeal, but in little higher poly count.
     
  13. dr.steam

    dr.steam

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    Why make something higher poly than it needs to be (the gladiator model is perfect, lightweight, funny with lots of character)? If it's RTS then you're looking at having tens, perhaps even hundreds of these simultaneously on the map (100 x 300 = 30 000; 30 000 is a lot for webplayer and over the top for android) - and as you know it'll be hard for an average PC to stomach (even if one gladiator is representative of a regiment or a banner). Don't fence out casual PC users like Dawn of Fantasy team...(put playerbase as your number one objective...) - only a suggestion. Good luck either way I'm sure it'll be a success.
     
  14. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    I think that you shouldnt go above 1500polys per character for an RTS game and 512 diffuse map.
     
  15. janpec

    janpec

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    Hm yeh you are defenetly right, however there will be few LOD versions as i mentioned, and highest LOD will be used only in height "30 meters" or less from ground, which does not allow too much objects to be drawn at once.
    Ivanzu yeh i know, 1500 polys is maximum for RTS character, and considering avarage triangle count of most RTS games after 2010, it is still quite high. I am leaning a lot on polygon reduction tool, which means that i shouldnt worry too much for few hundred triangles too much, since those tools pretty much do the magic needed.
     
  16. janpec

    janpec

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    Swan goose, will be breed on animal farm for meat.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. dr.steam

    dr.steam

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    Quack - very nice duck.

    30k that's the worst case scenario including environments and area.

    Android version would obviously need to have billboards. I just think that watching little soldiers / footmen fight for life is more entertaining - because I haven't seen a serious RTS styled this way (settlers - like you said but combat was rather poorly implemented there). If you mix Settlers with Centurion and Evony you'd be looking at something new.
     
  18. janpec

    janpec

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    After long hours of work, here it is water buffalo. It will be used for farming and transporting goods. Farm will have two or three upgrades, each upgrade would add 1 buffalo, and speed up production a bit.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  19. nipoco

    nipoco

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    That looks really nice. I would get rid of those tris around the eyes though. Those ones can be easily avoided if you fake such details with a normal map. And even that may be too much.
    I mean that is an RTS model and a really small one too. Nobody would notice such detail, unless you plan some cutscenes with a facial close up of this goose ;)
     
  20. virror

    virror

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    Those models looks very good!
    Well, some RTS games allow you to zoom in very close or even zoom in to a first person view.
     
  21. janpec

    janpec

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    Yep you are right, but game will allow quite a closeup that is why it doesnt hurt to have little higher poly models. But i will do as you said for far rendered version.
     
  22. janpec

    janpec

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    Giant panda. 600 polygons, I have been experimenting with Zbrush fiber features, but sadly fibers are useless on models that use texture maps bellow 2048 pixels becouse there is too many jagged edges produces on lower texture files.
    I have went with custom fur brush instead, which has been done from fur picture, desaturated and brightened-darkened with brush. Brush was used inside Zbrush for sculpting.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  23. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Looks good,are you sculpting the fur or painting it into normal map inside zbrush/mudbox?About water buffalo I think that you should make his skin a bit more random so its not black as I think that inside game engine it would look a bit boring maybe add some dark brown colors on top using "dotted" brush.
     
  24. janpec

    janpec

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    Oh hey havent thought it that way. You could also paint it on normal map in Mudbox, but then there would be no AO baking. I have just used it inside Zbrush for sculpting. Its really too bad about fibers that it didnt worked out. If there is anyone succesfully implementing fibers in pipeline please let me know how do you do it.

    Hm thanks for critique, i will defenetly try it ingame first, if needed i had plan to make one brown coloration of it too. I just went with little darker version becouse it looks more strongly noticable from distance in contrast to sorrounding area.
     
  25. janpec

    janpec

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    Just a quick mockup of "world" map. Should be good enough for prototype.

    [​IMG]
     
  26. janpec

    janpec

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    Wolf, several variation. I am quite happy with final result, mesh is bellow 600 polys, texture will be little corrected on final versions.
    [​IMG]
     
  27. StormGamer

    StormGamer

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    wolf is kick ass dude!

    looks damn realistic
     
  28. JamesArndt

    JamesArndt

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    Top notch art! Will be keeping an eye on this one.
     
  29. ivanzu

    ivanzu

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    Awesome,first one is my favorite.
     
  30. janpec

    janpec

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    Thanks guys:D
    I have been doing tests with rock modeling this day, still havent decided what solution should be used for rocks. Main options considered are
    1. Detail bump diffuse shader, which would allow to make sculpted rocks, store normal surface under first main normal map, and also store additional tiling texture under second normal / diffuse map.
    2.Only standart bump_spec shader with tiled texture, and using vertex color painted to paint additional material on rock, and using vertex color shader, which would allow to paint shadowed areas on rock, since it is impossible to use AO on tiled texture, if UVs are out of space. One solution here might help- which is using shader with multiple UVs, but i havent found any on forum. If there is anyone who has solution for double UVs please let me know.
    3.Third solution using default bump_spec shader without tiling textures, but rather painting and sculpting each rock by its own. This is very time consuming and hard to produce same texture results on all meshes, that is for now third priority.
     
  31. janpec

    janpec

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    Bamboo plant progress. Will be posting screens of main stages for those interested in pipeline:D
    1.Highpoly leaves modeled in 3ds max, with FDD modifier and bent, then with Object paint, painted on branch. After that branches are arranged on 512x512 plane.
    [​IMG]

    After importing whole mesh (separated into three different sub-meshes) in Mudbox, clicking on top viewport this is the result.
    Color map.(not finished yet)
    [​IMG]

    Normal map, rendered simply with normal map posteffect.
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    Alpha map, rendered by changing material transulency to 1.
    [​IMG]

    Mesh result.
    [​IMG]

    Ok sleep time:D
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  32. janpec

    janpec

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    High poly version of mongolian horse.
    [​IMG]
     
  33. Lars Steenhoff

    Lars Steenhoff

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    Great looking assets, I hope you will get support from a good programmer!
     
  34. janpec

    janpec

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    Oh cant believe i forgot to mention...great programmer Dennis has joined project recently and we are already producing quite fast on both ends. First functional prototype will be made quite fast with progress like this so far. We have already building placement, terrain flatting, basic waypoint movement trough roads, and worker movement which is still in work.
     
  35. Not_Sure

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    Pretty. Very nice models.

    Of course that's all just par for you, Janpec.

    But whatever happened to your medieval rpg?
     
  36. janpec

    janpec

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    It never went further than from modeling phase:p Not being able to find programmer was anchor that sunked project, now with Dennis i really hope that we will be able to work this project out.
     
  37. nipoco

    nipoco

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    The Bamboo's green seems a bit too saturated for my taste. Otherwise it's great :)
     
  38. janpec

    janpec

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    NiPoCo i will make one brighter version too. I had the same feeling that i went too dark with it.
     
  39. janpec

    janpec

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    Mongolian horse first version -light cavalry.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    *Oh and hey, we are looking for music composer to create some fantastic oriental music. It is required that composer is well familiar with traditional / medieval chinese music or even better is Chinese.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  40. dterbeest

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    That looks good as allways janpec :)

    A small update from the development side! I have been working hard this last week and have got the outlines of the buildingplacement system, road placement system and resource system in place.

    Right now i am working on resource distribution, which is a bit more challenging.
     
  41. janpec

    janpec

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    Oh just a side note: dterbeest is programmer working on our project:D Just wanted to let all know D
     
  42. janpec

    janpec

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    High poly mesh of golden eagle.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  43. janpec

    janpec

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    Textured version, not finished yet. Needs corrections on alpha texture and main diffuse.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  44. Not_Sure

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  45. janpec

    janpec

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    Why does he vomit rainbow:D?
     
  46. Not_Sure

    Not_Sure

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    It means I really like your work.
     
  47. I am da bawss

    I am da bawss

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    Holy cow. Amazing! Bookmarked!
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  48. janpec

    janpec

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    Little update, sculpted rock builders.
    [​IMG]
     
  49. janpec

    janpec

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    I need to redo grass, but builders are pretty much done. I will use two different shaders to see which one brings better results (detail shader, one tiled, one non-tiled tex and default bump_spec with tiled texture).
    [​IMG]
     
  50. janpec

    janpec

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    Rice, 512x512 texture, 4 plane meshes.
    [​IMG]