3rd Person

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Z-Blaster
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3rd Person

Postby Z-Blaster » Sun May 19, 2013 7:11 am

I thought that a 3rd person feature would be cool in XL Engine, (because I've always liked playing TES games in 3rd person) but I don't think that Daggerfall, Dark Forces or Outlaws has 3rd person sprites. Blood has 3rd person sprites and a 3rd person feature in the original game (which was made on the Build engine) and the 3rd person is very similar to Duke Nukem 3D's.


This is the Blood 3rd person view (I could only find the alpha version), but I couldn't find a video with the original Blood

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BzC3trGve2A

This is a sort of way the I thought 3rd person view could look

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcwNa4aDoWs
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby greenlight » Sun May 19, 2013 10:49 am

I thought about this aswell, but to be honest, I don't think this will look any good. Especially with Daggerfall's narrow dungeon corridors the 3rd person view would look even weirder.
But if anyone makes good sprites for the player (especially when on the horse) it could look good. Since it probably won't mean much work for Lucius, why not have it for tests/screenshots?
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Phobos Anomaly
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby Phobos Anomaly » Sun May 19, 2013 1:08 pm

Change to 3rd person view (at last in tes III and IV) automatically turns the game into a bad game, obiously I'm talking subjectively.


Daggerfalls has a gameplay mechanism that needs of the first person view. To any who play the game, try imagine do all the same things but in third person, the cursor, the buttons, the weapon and armor equiped.

Maybe in a fully 3D game, in wich you can see your character's armor and weapons as you play, but with sprites...
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby Z-Blaster » Sun May 19, 2013 2:41 pm

I think 3rd person might work with some of the other FPS (based off personal preferences), but after I posted, I realized that 3rd person for Daggerfall wouldn't work and it would probably be annoying to use. But I would still consider using it Dark Forces and Blood (and possibly Outlaws).
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby jet800 » Sun May 19, 2013 11:26 pm

While I totally agree with 3d mode being useless for DF, it still could be an option for those ones who think different.
So if it's possible for lucius to do this - it would be nice addition. It just shouldn't be high priority target :)
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby HoonDing » Mon May 20, 2013 1:00 am

The problem with 3rd person and Elder Scrolls is that the camera controls and animations usually aren't good enough to justify going into 3rd person; Skyrim does it best, but it's still underdeveloped compared to other 3rd person games.

Plus, it's really hard to interact with objects in fine detail in 3rd person. Try navigating a shelf full of tiny little items, or pushing a little button on the wall.
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby Brendan_ » Mon May 20, 2013 9:09 am

Daggerfall has third-person sprites. Just use the ones for the human enemies. There are ones for male and female of a wide variety of classes, and even several on horseback.
Of course, it's entirely racist: no Argonians and no Blacks, or Dunmer.
And it doesn't reflect what you're wearing or wielding.


Again, I hate sprites. Any savings in system resources are, as of 10 years ago, insignificant compared to the labor resources needed to even approach the flexibility of 3D assets.
If you're seriously thinking of adding all new features, it should be part of a holistic effort to upgrade the game.
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby HoonDing » Tue May 21, 2013 1:55 pm

Brendan_ wrote:Again, I hate sprites. Any savings in system resources are, as of 10 years ago, insignificant compared to the labor resources needed to even approach the flexibility of 3D assets.
If you're seriously thinking of adding all new features, it should be part of a holistic effort to upgrade the game.


This is exactly right. A huge effort to "modernize" the game's graphics and gameplay would be a welcome addition indeed. Something akin to the overhaul out there for Morrowind, mayhaps?

Of course, when we start talking about that, there's a whole slew of issues to be dealt with. How compatible will a graphics overhaul be with unrelated mods that add new content? Imagine if we got all the vanilla assets to a beautifully modern standard; bump-mapping, specularity, tons of fancy shaders, (I imagine it would look similar to Legend of Grimrock)... and then someone makes an awesome custom mod that uses it's own brand new resources... that are radically different in quality/aesthetic from what the vanilla assets have been upgraded to, even if they're still better than vanilla. That's worse than everything being equally ugly.

That said, a community effort to create 3D models for NPCs doesn't sound too far-fetch'd, or prone to disaster. It would have to be the standard other mods are built upon, I imagine. That's an entirely new discussion, though.
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby greenlight » Tue May 21, 2013 2:48 pm

I know it's going a little off-topic, but...
I like sprites. They can't be used for everything, that's for sure, but in some places they save a lot of work and still work fine. For example having 3d-character models would be nice, but... we'd need animations. Walk/run animations, idle animations and many more. In addition to that not all NPCs have the same animations, such as children, adults and seniors. Then we need textures. Each single NPC needs textures that match the original clothing. And of course we need the mesh itself that probably shouldn't look too ugly.
Sprites on the other hand make things a lot easier. If anyone want'ts to redo the merchants for example, he/she only has to redraw a single picture (or a few variations of it to create an animation). And if the sprite is kept rather low-res, it blends well into the atmosphere and graphical style of the game, something that 3d-NPCs can only achieve by overhauling the entire game.

But of course, there are situations in which sprites aren't exactly useful, such as the 3rd person player-model. But it would be silly to do all the work and create a player model an only use it for the player (not to mention this would look awkward). So unless we have some seriously talented modders who can do meshes, animations, textures and meshes for the player and all armors, weapons and cloths, a practically usable 3rd person mode with a 3d-player model seems very unrealistic (still, 3rd person depicting the player as the standard human warrior/mage can be useful for sceenshots).

I think that sometimes sprites can actually look good (not realistic), because why would the player need a 3d-NPC when he can just click onto a sprite and enter the dialogue/merchant menu. All the sprite has to do is to tell the player: "This is a merchant. Talk to him." or "This is a city guard. He's probably angry at you." The rest is up to the players imagination.
This would be a reduced version of rougelike ascii-rpgs. In these everything was represented by ascii-characters and it was up to the player to use the imagination and give these characters... well, a character. And because the fans of Daggerfall and the XL-Engine are mostly old-school rpg fans, I don't think most of them would have a problem to see sprites in the game instead of 3d-models.

As far as I'm concerned it's not the aim of the project to make Daggerfall acessible to the average casual player, but to overcome the technical problems of emulation, to extend the possibilities of the game and to make it a better game overall. So we don't need to make the game look nice for the sake of looking nice, but to increase the detail and atmosphere leading to a richer playing experience.
If you look at games like Dwarf Fortress (which seems to be the most "extreme" representative of the previously mentioned issue) and the huge player community, it becomes clear that the human brain doesn't need as much visual and acoustic stimuli to enjoy something as many people believe it needs. Sure, a first person dungeon crawler need certain sounds to be moody and scary at times, and a good landscape generation to daunt the player, but I am rather confident that the project is already going this way.

Sorry for this long-ass rant about something I'm not really mad at... I'm drunk :lol:
Cheers, Greenlight
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Re: 3rd Person

Postby Brendan_ » Tue May 28, 2013 8:41 am

Stylistic inconsistency between "base / vanilla" and any mod is just a fact of modding. It happens.
Game developers and makers of large-scale mods pursue consistency within the content they create. They can't prevent everyone who wants to put Samus Aran armor in Morrowind from making a mod, no more than that Metroid fan can force me to install their mod. Everyone has choice in how they play the game.


No doubt DF fans can imagine and imply detail from simple, vague representations. Mystery is part of Daggerfall's enduring allure.
However, "Sprites VS. Oblivion or Skyrim-esque Models" is a false dichotomy-- no one is arguing in favor of bleeding edge AAA graphics whatsoever. I'm not annoyed with anyone for implying it, just that this comparison keeps coming up in otherwise productive discussions.

The comparison is between upgraded sprites/flats or replacing DF's 2D world objects (people, trees, etc.) with some kind of simple 3D assets. Previous discussions about Models vs. Voxels have explored 3D options. But the discussion has always been of fairly low-detail models, perhaps on par with MW.


Computer system resources limits aren't much of a factor (given low-res 3D, as stated), so labor resources are the crucial factor.

Sprites are faster and easier to make if the world object represented will only ever be in one state.
Taking your merchant example, having a guy with a few frames of animation who constantly watches you is okay if he can never leave his "standing around staring at customers" state. He can't be of any race or age besides those depicted in the drawn sprites. He cannot ever fight, so at most he can only be killed but probably is immune. He cannot walk around the shop presenting opportunities to steal while he's distracted. He cannot attack you for stealing. He cannot sit or go to bed. He can't leave his shop, be found around town, or do much of anything.
In short, the gameplay we can offer with sprite characters is inflexible.



By contrast, animations made for 3D models can be used by any character of the appropriate physique, and viewed from any angle. Yes, making walking animations for children, men and women, the elderly, etc. is a lot of work, but comparing this to the ease of animating one sprite is a false dichotomy because you would have to animate each and every single child sprite, man and woman sprite, and elder sprite.

With 3D animations, you animate once and can apply to an unlimited number of individual models. That making a 3D animation or a 3D model is more labor intensive than drawing a 2D sprite and animating it entirely misses the point-- the objective is producing a world of content, not just individual pieces. Furthermore, this ability to reuse animations and 3D model parts (clothing, armor, equippables, etc.) extends to any mods, whereas a sprite-based set of assets offers nothing to reuse-- just things to tweak.

The same is obviously true of 3D parts. Going back to the merchant example, if a dedicated "merchant sprite-set" is used, he can't be of any race or age besides those depicted in the drawn sprites. If merchants are represented using a "people of the world sprite-set", then any particular costuming or gestural cues suggesting "I'm a merchant" are very difficult to represent without overlays; you can only infer from location or by checking their dialog options.
Making a 3D model of a shirt and animating it is, of course, more work than drawing a shirt through a few frames of animation. But once made, it can be worn by an unlimited number of characters of the same physique. Or, using some techniques, the engine can handle morphing it to a range of physiques (sharing a similar skeleton). Morphing sprites is possible, but only if the sprite characters share the same pose, like the Player Portrait images do.



For a game about letting you do whatever you want, and for the practical realities of making content for a huge world crying out for variety, the ease of making any single sprite pales in comparison to the flexibility and modularity possible with 3D assets, something which doing with sprites would require many times over more work than 3D assets.

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