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Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173398] Mon, 28 January 2008 17:50 Go to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
After having looked at a lot of the 3D based FPS games over the last 6-7 years I have thought many a time that a lot of them would be suitable for a JA2 based mod/total conversion.

I know that its possible with the UT/UT2k4 engine as there was the Total Annihilation total conversion that got to about 30-40% then ditched. It had a full working interface, maps and units. The coding was a little rough and it needed a bit of polish but it was about ready for beta testing.

From what I have seen the engine best suited to this purpose would be the CryEngine. Either 1 or 2. Preferably 1 because we want it to be playable on low end and high end machines whereas CE2 is only for the best of the best currently.

Features that support this are:
1) Large mod base with lots of tutorials. The coding is C++ and Lua based scripting.
2) The AI that comes with the game is fairly advanced and was the first to incorporate squad tactics.
3) Huge maps. You can easily make a sector take an hour to cross real time. That means you can make a full map out of the multitude of smaller ones.
4) Ballistics engine. This was very sophisticated for an FPS at the time. Only things that would need to be added for realism would be projectile arcing.
5) 3D engine. This allows for a very detailed world. It may not be up to the par of current games (CE2, UE3, Far Cry 2 engines) but it is certainly better than Silent Storm and any of its contemporaries.
6) Being a popular engine to mod there are many freeware products like Blender that are supported for development purposes.

Cons:
1) Getting the engine to work turn based.
2) Getting the coding right for the Strategic section. This would be relatively simple in comparison to the first problem.

I feel we could use HTML for the ingame websites. This would allow for a lot of flexibility, but I have no idea how to integrate it into a full strategic frontend. I can help with the design of that frontend though Wink Just not the coding.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173433] Mon, 28 January 2008 21:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
hi,
i did a little comparison between crytek 1.xxx OGRE and Irrlicht based on what crytek has to offer.
i deliberetly didn't add more engines since this ones are the most common (that i know of)
there are other engines such the one of the open source UFO game , fdd engine and more but these are not 3D and don't necesserly fits our needs.
you can see that the big difference is that all the features are under the same framwork in the case of Crytek. i think that if we will aim to a strong game editor we could make it work (even though this is a very challenging task to accomplish)
so here is the comparison:

1.CRYTEK - real-time game editor
OGRE - No
Irrlicht - irrEdit, 3D World editor

2. CRYTEK - Renderer:
integrates indoor and outdoor technology seamlessly.
Offers rendering support for OpenGL & DirectX 8/9.
OGRE - Yes
Irrlicht - Yes

3. CRYTEK Physics System: supports character inverse kinematics. vehicles, rigid bodies, liquid, rag doll, cloth and soft body effects.The system is integrated with the game and tools.
OGRE - has integration with several engines
Irrlich - has integration with ODE

3. CRYTEK Character Inverse Kinematics & Animation Blending: Allows a character model to have multiple animations while looking believable.
OGRE - skeletal morph and pos animation
Irrlich - skeletal and morph animation

4. AI System:
Enables team based AI and AI behaviors defined by scripts. Ability to create custom enemies and behaviors without touching the C++ code.
OGRE - No
Irrlich - No

5. Interactive Dynamic Music System: Tracks and responds to the player's actions and situations and offers CD Quality playback
in full 5.1 surround sound.
OGRE - has integration with other tools
Irrlich - irrKlang

6. Environmental Audio & SFS Engine: Ability to accurately reproduce sounds from nature with seamless blending between environments and interior/exterior locations in 5.1 audio. Includes EAX 2.0 audio support.
OGRE - didn't find matching tool
Irrlich - didn't find matching tool

7. Network Client and Server System: Manages all network connections for the multiplayer mode. It is a low-latency network system based on client/server architecture.
OGRE - has integration with several frameworks
Irrlich - has interation demonstation with RakNet

8. Shaders: A script system used to combine textures in different ways to produce visual effects.
Supports real time per-pixel lighting, bumpy reflections, refractions, volumetric glow effects, animated textures, transparent computer displays, windows, bullet holes, and shinny surfaces.
OGRE - has built in support
Irrlich - has built in support

9. Terrain:
Uses an advanced heightmap system and polygon reduction to create massive, realistic environments.
The view distance can be up to 2km when converted from game units.
OGRE - has built in support
Irrlich - has built in support

10. Lighting and Shadows: A combination of precalculated, real time shadows, stencil shadows and
lightmaps to produce a dynamic environment. Includes high-resolution, correct perspective,and volumetric smooth-shadow implementations for dramatic and realistic indoor shadowing. Supports advanced particles technology and any kind of volumetric lighting effects on particles.
OGRE - has build in support
irrlich - has built in support

11. Fog: Includes volumetric, layer and view distance fogging to enhance atmosphere and tension.
OGRE - didn't found specific support
irrlich - has support for FOG

12. Tools Integration: Objects and buildings created using 3ds max

[Updated on: Mon, 28 January 2008 21:52] by Moderator

Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173441] Mon, 28 January 2008 22:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ar1z

 
Messages:33
Registered:January 2008
Location: Greece

Maybe we should focus on externalizing all data from 2D JA2 engine first and then focus on the engine Wink

If you really need to mod an engine... try ufo:ai engine it's based on quake2 but they have added a lot of extras... Plus it's already a TB squad strategy engine Wink
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173444] Mon, 28 January 2008 22:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
do you think the turn base is the issue? i think (i don't experince in game programing but i'm a real time embedded programmer) in terms of coding it is not the most difficult part to implement. tile engine and mixing animations with the game logic is the more challenging thing to do.
besides, externalizing data is a task allready running and has its limit - no matter how much you will externalize data to XML you won't get support in new format such as .png.
the graphic system in JA2 was written directly over the DirectShow function with everything made up from scrach so every new feature you want to add in the graphic level is very hard to do.
it will take months to define and design the system we want to implement so i'm not worried about more urgent tasks.
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173451] Mon, 28 January 2008 22:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ar1z

 
Messages:33
Registered:January 2008
Location: Greece

I suggested ufo:ai because of the similarity with JA2. Most of the work is already done. The engine is open source so everyone can add more features.
Anyway that's just my preference... Everyone is free to mod whatever a person wants! Wink
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173454] Mon, 28 January 2008 22:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
we should consider it as well - 3D does not garantee good game... Smile
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173470] Tue, 29 January 2008 00:33 Go to previous messageGo to next message
afp

 
Messages:77
Registered:November 2007
Can anyone bring here some titles of the games made by fans? One of them would be the UFO variant brought here last week. Are there others too?
There is a big difference between a total conversion mod and a full game made from scratch, even if some mods took years of development. Maybe it worth analysing the faith and the success of that UFO game.
JA3, Hired Guns, 7.62 are more or less based on the guidelines proposed. Each one of these took 2-3 years of development or even more and they were made by professional hired teams. It may be hard to keep a freelancer team for so long.
So I guess it's not about details, but about long term scheduling.
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173493] Tue, 29 January 2008 03:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Yes that is true it would be a 2-3 year long project. Its not going to happen overnight. But the reason I liked the Cryengine1 was because it is more flexible than OGRE. The level of detail is higher too (comparison from last time I looked at OGRE vs Crytek).

Going 3D is not to create a 3D version of JA2 per se. It is to make the modding side of it much easier. Mapping and adding sprites to JA2 is a very long and hard process (the mapping not so much but still). Compare that to making a 3D model and animating it. It is a a lot faster than the old 2D sprite system. All the 3D engines have this ability though.

We should probably have a look at the UFO:AI system too. It sounds like a good upgrade but I don't know how it compares to CE1 which is my base comparison.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173505] Tue, 29 January 2008 07:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
afp

 
Messages:77
Registered:November 2007
I think it's gonna take much longer than 2-3 years, those team are working at least 8 hours / day which don't ussually happen if you work extra time.
Silent Storm engine also may be available out there, the destructive environment was great, plus it fits a turn based game.
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173509] Tue, 29 January 2008 07:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Yes the trouble with SS though is its a PITA to work with. I think its a good engine but its already being used for JA3 anyway. Let the pro's use that with their semi-beta toolsets and we'll use the easier tools that are available for CE1.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173523] Tue, 29 January 2008 10:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ar1z

 
Messages:33
Registered:January 2008
Location: Greece

I've tried to mod ufo:ai in the past, to be more like ja2... I didn't modify any c++ code though. It was previous version (2.1). Although things changed since that version I have the following observations to make...

Besides that Ufo:ai is the same type of game like JA2 (in a different setting though - future), It has the following limitations:
No doors
No NPC interaction
No RPCs
NO IMP
NO websites
Different GUI
Cumbersome weapons system (at version 2.1 it was difficult to add weapons)
No vehicles (well it has airplanes)
No Arulco map (it has earth map though)
and the following advantages
3D engine
3D models (most human models are already done, no real weapons though)
support for wearing armour
Multilevel buildings!
It's OPEN SOURCE!

[Updated on: Tue, 29 January 2008 10:19] by Moderator

Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173525] Tue, 29 January 2008 10:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
i have looked for SS engine in the web - never found it - i don't think it is for public use..
for now we need to start defining two things:
1. what features from desing point of view we would like to have in our engine (custom animation without need to code, multilevel buildings with ..., etc)
2. what things we would like to preserve from today system - personally i think the new code should support all today formats or at least give a convertor scripts because if anything that will not use many of today's feature simply won't catch. no one wants to start everything! all over again.
we need more participants in this thread to get more ideas.
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173545] Tue, 29 January 2008 13:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
BTW, please view the screeshots in the link.
it was made with OGRE and additional tile engine built upon OGRE - see if it look promissing
screenshots of tile engine implemented in OGRE

[Updated on: Tue, 29 January 2008 13:25] by Moderator

Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173559] Tue, 29 January 2008 14:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rasz

 
Messages:21
Registered:August 2006
>you won't get support in new format such as .png.
>the graphic system in JA2 was written directly over the DirectShow function with everything made
>up from scrach so every new feature you want to add in the graphic level is very hard to do.

thats not true, just look at linux port or straciatella, running under SDL and supporting ton of new file formats (thru libSDL)

there is also a http://cubeengine.com/ with real time map editor and good documentation

[Updated on: Tue, 29 January 2008 14:34] by Moderator

Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173560] Tue, 29 January 2008 14:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Yeah someone mentioned Q3 engine. That is open source and very flexible, I just hope more realistic shooting can be added.

Also isn't UT2k4 engine open source now?


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173561] Tue, 29 January 2008 14:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
rasz

 
Messages:21
Registered:August 2006
>Also isn't UT2k4 engine open source now?

no, epic never released any code and propably never will, you can only write mods
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173606] Tue, 29 January 2008 19:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Well ain't that a bugger, seeing as the UT engines are far superior to the Quake engines. Ah well that limits it to Q3, UFO:AI and OGRE for Open Source, and Far Cry for mod. I still say Far Cry because its modular nature you can add modules via dll's to it and do pretty much what you want Smile

Also with the UT engine it would also be possible to mod, just don't know how easy or successfully it could be done with JA IP in mind.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173882] Thu, 31 January 2008 02:44 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Madd_Mugsy

 
Messages:638
Registered:July 2005
Location: Canada
UFO:AI would be ideal since we'd have the full source and it's already turned based, with an additional strategic element, but looking at the code I can see there will be problems... It's just as messy as the JA2 code Sad


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173896] Thu, 31 January 2008 09:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Thats what I mean. The open source engines do seem to be rough around the edges (like JA2 when it came out Wink ). Silent Storm would be a good engine but it has limitations too. Thats why I am considering other FPS based engines to begin with rather than the open source ones.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173911] Thu, 31 January 2008 11:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
i will try to read more on the far cry engine but in the mean while we need to define several question that should be the base for the comparison:
1. does it have third person view with free camera (i.e. no centerin on the active character)?
2. does it has support for more then one playable character?
3. can it be configured to turn base game?
4. does it has tile support?
5. how much it will cost (in money) for single player?
6. can be adapted to some of today's code?
7. does it have good community support?
8. what benefits we can get by implementing it?
9. will we loose some of today funcionality (manipulating doors for example)?

this is a partly made list - feel free to add.
after we will have sufficient amount of quetions i'll do the comparison and send you my impression so you could add/change/reject but eventually will define parts of what we want to see in the future implementation

Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173958] Thu, 31 January 2008 15:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Answers I have on hand for Far Cry.

zed
1. does it have third person view with free camera (i.e. no centerin on the active character)?

Yes
zed
2. does it has support for more then one playable character?

Yes
zed
3. can it be configured to turn base game?

Possibly with additional coding.
zed
4. does it has tile support?

Is it necessary when the distance is calculated accurately?
For mapping terms you don't need tiles. The maps are freeform and the editor is similar to Maya.
zed
5. how much it will cost (in money) for single player?

The editor is free to use as is the SDK that was released. To lease the engine for a full game, no idea.
zed
6. can be adapted to some of today's code?

It is the precursor to Crysis. It is still pretty advanced (uses C++ code and Lua for Scripting)
zed
7. does it have good community support?

Full modding support from the dev's and community at http://www.crymod.com
zed
8. what benefits we can get by implementing it?

The list is long...
zed
9. will we loose some of today funcionality (manipulating doors for example)?

Doors are already in the game. AI can use them already. The only functionality it doesn't have is relationships. They would need to be coded in. Other than that the engine is pretty sweet.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #173987] Thu, 31 January 2008 21:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Madd_Mugsy

 
Messages:638
Registered:July 2005
Location: Canada
Quote:
6. can be adapted to some of today's code?


I don't think this is a reasonable goal, since the existing JA2 code is mostly crap. While it may worthwhile to keep some of the calculations intact, many of the algorithms and most of the code's structure should be jettisoned.

The biggest problems with the current code are that it's not extensible, scalable or moddable.

There are hard coded limits on everything. Our current solution is to try to externalize a lot of the values in the code. Prior to 1.13 there was a hard limit of 350 items and weapons only worked in the first 69 slots. I changed the limit to 5000 and externalized most of the item properties, but there are still many other limitations to overcome. Adding Mercs is still a dream, and creating larger maps (both tactical and strategic) is probably still just as a far away.

This is part of the reason why the code is so ugly. We're hacking at the existing system trying to make it do stuff it was never intended to do. Of course, it doesn't help that it was all written in C (not C++) and it was butt ugly to start Wink

We need to make sure we don't impose these kinds of limitations on the new system, and the first step towards that goal is to severely limit reuse of the JA2 code. I'd also argue that the xml file structure will have to change to accommodate the new system, so a lot of that work will need to be redone. Hopefully we can just run them through an XSLT, but at this stage it's all conjecture.

Anyway, I think that regardless of the base engine chosen, there's going to be a ton of work to make it into anything even resembling Jagged Alliance. Perhaps our best bet is to wait for JA3 and see what kind of mess they make of it before starting a new project?


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174021] Thu, 31 January 2008 23:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
If it has the silent storm engine as a base its gonna be just as much of a bitch when we can get our grubby mitts on it. Mainly because the SC won't be released for a long time Sad

I still think the CE1 has the best chance of doing what we want, plus its adaptable to the Crysis engine at a later date (when comps have caught up in performance level!).

@Madd Mugsy - I take it that it would be a huge task to convert the C code to C++. Cos that would go a long way to simplifying things.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174066] Fri, 01 February 2008 10:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
i agree that the code is messy + very hard to extend.
i think most of the problems are because the whole animation, texture mapping, gui and so on are propritery code made by Sirtech.
i can't see how we can create a good engine that doesn't support back or convertion script of some of the animation, maps created for JA2. i think such code will never be adopted by the community - to mcuh code has been written allready.
i'm not saying that JA2 should be better in technology & graphic then JA3 and sinc the SS engine is a license fee engine we will never have source code to manipulate as we would like to. even a mod kit will be issued a sagnificant time after the game itself is released (i think it is even written in one the interviews that was made)
i think that the best way is as first phase to create an editor for tactical maps only - to give modder ability to add their created animation, building, terrain , enemy whithout the need to code it for each new version
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174073] Fri, 01 February 2008 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
ok downloaded the CE1 SDK (1.4) and started to read the EULA. please see section i'm pasting:

a) use the CryENGINE MOD SDK for FAR CRY for the creation of your own modifications which shall operate only with the full version of FAR CRY (the "Software Game"), but not any demo, test or other version of the Software Game, such modifications referred to as "New Creations";

3. Intellectual Property Rights

The CryENGINE MOD SDK for FAR CRY and all copyrights, trademarks, and all other conceivable intellectual property rights related thereto are owned by CRYTEK and are protected by German copyright law and other applicable law. Licensee shall have no ownership or intellectual property rights in or to the Software Game or the CryENGINE MOD SDK for FAR CRY, including, without limitation, all copyrights related thereto.


from what is is written - we can't use it to run without the game itself + all modification are cosidered our modification and there for not removing the intellectual rights on the source code and data.

on the other had it is the source code of the engine and it is very impressing to see how to design a leading C++ game engine is made + full doc.
this may help up to better desing our platform - i doudt if we could use it directly
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174074] Fri, 01 February 2008 11:22 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
t'm posting the link for the SDK for anyone:
http://www.fileshack.com/file.x/5205/Far+Cry+Mod+SDK+1.4
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174075] Fri, 01 February 2008 11:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Yes but it is possible to base ours off their system. The other good thing is they don't claim rights to the IP of the creators of the mod as do a lot of companies.

They say it has to be used with the full game of Far Cry. So what? If its modded properly you can mod the interface and add strategic layers etc...

Its not a limitation as such more of an arse covering exercise.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174077] Fri, 01 February 2008 11:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
i can't give legal advise since i'm not a loyer nor understanding this cr***p.
i'm saying that it can be really sad if we invest hugh amount of effort to be later abandon due to license issue.
we can allways take their docs as a starting point for our desing - it can give us more the an example how to design good game platform in C++.
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174084] Fri, 01 February 2008 12:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Yes I understand what you are saying zed. However if we developed the game using a Lua scripting system, and C++ codebase, then modelling it on Far Cry without copying it would probably be not a bad start.

Seeing as you can see and edit the code even if it isn't open source it allows us to have a working testbed (Far Cry) and allows for quicker development Smile

Just look at UFO:AI for the Turn based sections and no problems.

I think for the TB side of things it shouldn't be based on action points but what a given merc can complete per turn (turn being 5s real time subject to change). Therefore all the characters RPG stats are critical in the abilities of the merc.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174094] Fri, 01 February 2008 13:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
i have read some more in the engine overview code and since it producing only DLL we need to FarCry.exe to exectue it (i don'y know how it is competiable with Linux though... from what i'm reading linux is for the dedicate server)
in addition this SDK is like a game frame work - you need all the game other DLL's to run it.
other DLL and FarCry Exec that should initaialize them means you can't work without FarCry distribution = every player needs to buy 1 copy.

but i like their idea - they are basically wrapping everything with lua scripts. most of their function has lua and when you apply new route, add weapon or anything else you are actually putting another line (or lines) in the script. after the script is ready it is being compiled to the binary format add added as part of the loadable file to the game.
BTW, when the code is devided into classes it is easier to add script support

regarding the TB mode - lets postpone this abit - we need still to define what we want to implement.
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174098] Fri, 01 February 2008 13:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
Even if you do need the original Far Cry files (it sells for bargain basement $5 now) it would still be easy to change the wrapper to a JA2 themed mod. Plus if done right you could make some seriously interesting maps/storylines and having it as a memorable world (ie if you blow a building up it doesn't automatically reappear, but can be rebuilt). There are many options that need to be discussed Smile


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #174805] Tue, 05 February 2008 21:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
zed

 
Messages:43
Registered:November 2006
ok,
i have looked (only viewed the code not even played the game) the render of the ufo:ai.
they are using a propritery engine based on quake II engine they have created over SDL.
it is supporiting sprites (don't now to what level), basic animation (didn't figure what type of animations), the are working with md2 md3 models (2d model and 3d model maybe?), lights, shadows, practicals.
very little documentation (doxy gen is not realy documentation...) , very little comments inside the code. using their own scripting format. active forum.
don't know how is the game experience itself. the code is all in C code.
i think for future engine it has to support as much common tools and formats as possible to maximize the amount of contributers.
BTW,
searched allot for free game editors (to has the same game design experience as the FarCry editor) and beside Irrlicht editor
http://www.ambiera.com/irredit/
i didn't found any more - this editor is not open source but is can be used freely and can be extendent using API so we can add to it additional content (AI for example)

[Updated on: Tue, 05 February 2008 21:43] by Moderator

Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #175448] Tue, 12 February 2008 14:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
The other option is to use a Tactical based engine like Supreme Commander (for the ballistics) or TA for that matter, and that sort of thing. I haven't looked into those very much but they are a possibility.


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #175472] Tue, 12 February 2008 18:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
cooldeadjim

 
Messages:33
Registered:February 2008
Location: N.Y., USA
Kaerar

Just look at UFO:AI for the Turn based sections and no problems.

I think for the TB side of things it shouldn't be based on action points but what a given merc can complete per turn (turn being 5s real time subject to change). Therefore all the characters RPG stats are critical in the abilities of the merc.


Turn Based games without using Action points, Neverwinter nights 2 has a pretty good engine. too bad there's wasn't a way to MOD NW2 to be like JA.. or is there?
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #175494] Tue, 12 February 2008 23:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
The biggest issue with NWN is that the game is so limited in its scope. Once you have been through an area it doesn't repopulate with enemies or anything. Basically its just not as versatile as the FPS/Tactical engines available. The RPG side is all good, but the tactical side is like watching something happen with no real participation except the odd spell here or there. Also there is ZERO ballistics in the game. Its all dice rolls. So to convert it to our needs would be extremely hard on the coders.

Oh and I forgot that the maps are tiny!


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #179514] Sun, 30 March 2008 06:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kaerar

 
Messages:2090
Registered:January 2003
Location: Australia :D
BirdFlu
some thoughts and questions about the 3D engine

1. considering graphics ONLY, what would or should be the difference to, let's say, Brigade E5?

2. what should be the minimum requirements for a possible 3D engine?

3. should the actual game (mapwise) be in 3D or just a subset of it or should it be a whole new mapset?
-> if it is the whole game, then it can't be fully released until ALL maps are converted

4. if there is a 3D engine, then fixing the camera for isometric view is quite simple. It is actually
much simpler than creating an interface for arbitrary viewing directions.

5. don't underestimate the memory requirements for large 3D environments, especially as memory on
graphics board is quite limited (alse see point 2). In 2D you just have a bunch of textures, but
in 3D you have at least the same amount of textures and you also have a lot of geometry data.

6. If you go the 3D way, then you have to convert almost every graphical element (maps, weapons, animations)
to its 3D counterparts. If you stay in 2D you could reuse old stuff and upgrade or replace it gradually.
I would say, that the gradual approach is more motivating for the creators (i.e. US) as you see
that development is moving forward (slowly, but usable all the time) in contrast to the "leap"-approach,
where you have only 20% of the work done and still have to do 80% until you can call it remotely usable.

7. A 3D engine will probaly require a modified or even a new physics engine. Don't know how much work
this would require.

8. I would say a combination of "2D-Background" with 3D foreground elements (weapons, mercs, etc.) is an idea worth
thinking about. I mean we have limited resources and using a simpler approach would probably be more fruitful.

---------------------------
Quote:

Quote:
Have you read what Birdflu said earlier about his engine? He is thinking of implementing a Supreme Commander style of zoom interface. That
I believe would solve all the range issues.

That is impossible with 2D. I imagine he was talking about something else.
Why would that be impossible? You have a bunch of texture that you render on a bunch of quads. Zooming in and out
would require some scaling of the quads and use of a mipmapping-mechanism for the textures (so it doesn't look like shit).
Are we talking about the same thing?

Quote:

but then, there would still be the issue with the very limited and outdated JA2 2D engine and especially the very limited color palettes.
it


Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #179653] Mon, 31 March 2008 21:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Stromb

 
Messages:44
Registered:March 2007
Location: France
For a short term project (a few months), using Combat Mission Shock Force to build a small campaign based on JA Universe should work. Of course, you'll hardly have individual characters for instance, as the game is squad based.
But as far as i've seen, there's some trick you could use to simulate one or several mercenaries fighting alongside militia against various type of adversaries.

As for gfx, there's already a few skins available (SWAT, Specnacz, ...) to change from the modern US troopers look. Also, as you play more often with a global aerial view, the lack of details is not that much a problem.
For environment, it's ok to simulate more or less some Arulco areas (like Tixa prison or small villages and their surroundings).
For weapons, you'll just have to use basic one (assault rifle, rocket launchers, grenades, mortars, etc...), but in this case, the goal would be to take advantage of the tactical battlefield simulation (spotting, ambushing, hunting, assaulting, sniping, ...) , not of the weaponry simulation.
For vehicles (jeep, truck, tanks), well, you just have to prevent them from moving, or not putting them in a mission. A lone tank against a group of AT soldiers is in great danger if not covered by infantry (i tried, cf. Africa mini mod).
For infantry, there's several combinations possible between basic soldier (militia) and elite unit (mercs) for instance.

Of course the engine is not completely open, but still, the Battlefront team has provided basic tools to change what's necessary (though they don't seem to favor modding currently, probably because the CMSF engine is not finished ; the next add-on will certainly had a lot of veriety and possibilities). After that, you can also easily change music, probably some basic sounds (so using some dialogs lines of some JA characters does not seem impossible), some part of the interface (splash screen) it seems, and the description / name of units.

To have an idea of what missions could be done in the JA spirit, look at this AAR => http://www.battlefront.com/cgi-bin/bbs/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=71&t=000190#000000

I played it, it's great. Just imagine that instead of Taliban you raid a Deidranna outpost or whatever Smile

To have an idea of what can be done in other area of the game, look at this mini african mod =>
http://www.battlefront.com/discuss/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=52;t=003892#000000

I tried it, it's interesting. In a way it may simulates for instance a Deidranna attack on a mine, or again, whatever we can imagine.

Finally, it seems that the map editor is rather easy to use, and the IA scripting ask for a bit of practice, but it does not seem too complicated (and part of it is Wysiwyg if i'm not wrong)

I don't have the necessary time to work on this idea currently, but i'll try to adapt a CMSF mission to a JA one later. If anyone is interested, or has tried CMSF, i'd appreciate any comments / idea.

Here's an online version of the scenario design manual for those curious : http://homepage.mac.com/gibsonm1/CMSF/FileSharing24.html

[Updated on: Mon, 31 March 2008 22:15] by Moderator

Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #183207] Tue, 29 April 2008 05:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
chairman_meow
Messages:3
Registered:December 2007
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Could a Jagged Alliance type game be done in Java?
Re: Engine discussion for next gen JA based mod/community game[message #185498] Sat, 17 May 2008 14:05 Go to previous message
Privni
Messages:4
Registered:May 2007
I would be quite glad if the game logic wasn't coded in c++ but I have 0 experience in game development.

-graphics, physics: c++
(torque engine? quite cheap for an engine, but i'm not sure it's easy to use)

then a webdev oriented architecture could be:
-having a network/http layer between c++ and the game logic engine.
I suppose it could make easier to do a multiplayer game.
-an embedded database accessible from both renderer and logic engine. I think it's easier for configuration.
-a logic engine interfaced with the renderer engine via a strong api. It will be very modular as its only need to answer to http requests. A good choice of language here. Difference with web is that's bi directionnal communication.

or interfacing with high levels languages like OCaml, Haskell, Erlang or such...

It could be easier to have a web development architecture as I suppose it's easier to find web developers familiar with an architecture with this kind of separation of concerns.
The problems is for the real-time part of the game. Will it be too slow?

The first idea of having real web pages to hire mercenaries, or managing the ja laptop is quite good because it's very easy to write webapps nowadays.

[Updated on: Sat, 17 May 2008 16:09] by Moderator

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