Hello again everyone. This blog should be short, but we have a lot of progress this week. My buddy Chris and I have been working on our separate parts of the character movement. Iíve taken on some of the character stuff, while he has taken on some of the movement. What that means specifically is: I am working on the way the player faces and reacts to moving and stopping. Iím making the idle and walking/running animation work. And Iím trying to make the rest of the animations synchronize with how fast the character is moving as well as smooth out how the thing looks. My part of this will take a while if I try and get things perfect Ė but one can start to spend too much time on animation at a certain point, especially as a programmer.
Chris, specifically, is working on the point and click aspect. He has to add some sort of pathfinding system for the main character, because the character has to somehow be able to find his way out of tough spots and around obstacles. Iíve been thinking more about this though. Iíve been playing a lot of Diablo 3 this week and have found that the main character rarely if ever tries to make his way around obstacles unless the path is very obvious. We may not need to add pathfinding for the main character after all! But it is clear that we will need to use some sort of pathfinding system for the monsters.
In other news, Chris has done some work to find some extra assets for us to use to let us know what the game will potentially look like. I hope we can eventually get some of our own art. But since this project is free, it makes sense that we would try and find some free 3d models online. We have two different levels going right now, but this week I wanted you guys to be able to see his changes. To see a little critter moving around the level is exciting to see so early on.
Also, Chris has shown that heís excited about focusing on a few of the features in this game. We talked to each other at a get together the other day for his sonís birthday. I think we have his interest! That makes me really happy. Itís always good when someone can be excited enough about your project to add their own work to it. I really respect Chris and his ideas. Weíve been talking about video games and potential projects since high school Ė and this is the first one that looks like it might go somewhere. You guys have no idea how happy I am about that. Perhaps we will have some other people signed on in the future?
Well, that explains mostly what has gone on this week. Unfortunately Diablo 3 has taken up most of it, so Iíll have to see if I can get that out of my system this weekend. Iím on act 4, so I think Iím nearly done with it. Iím sure I will want to go into Nightmare difficulty as well, but once Iím done with act 4 I can curb my enthusiasm a bit. Diablo 3, though, is something I wanted to talk about a little this week.
Iíve been playing Diablo 3 since it came out on the 15th. You could even say that all the hours I spent playing the game was research. But either way, I think the game doesnít change what I think about the RPG genre. I do think, however, that I like that the game is always online. Of course I donít like the way that it lags or times out, but such things are expected in the life of an online only game. I never complained about this though, because Iíve seen and played many other games that were online only and tried to keep their own Ďin-gameí items away from hackers and the like. Blizzard is trying as best they can to keep with this model and create a true economy for their players with the auction house. And, not to put too fine a point on it, I love the auction house. I believe the game will be infinitely better because of it.
Does the auction house affect ideas in our RPG? No, the auction house is something quite a bit out of reach for this project. But there are plenty of things Diablo 3 has in it that reinforce my ideas.
First of all, Iíve already mentioned one thing. Diablo 3 appears to have no pathfinding as far as the main character is concerned. If it is good enough for Diablo 3 itís good enough for me. (I would probably say that about quite a few things on this project.) Of course not all of the features in Diablo 3 are going in our game, but there are more examples. Another one is: Diablo 3 was modeled after a rogue-like game, but has real time movement and actions. I really like that. I love seeing everything playing out in real time. There is something about it that strikes me as being more authentic. Itís not that I donít like turn based systems Ė I do. In fact, thatís why Iím trying to implement the ďalways pauseĒ mechanic. So in this example, I would love to have the combat play out a lot like Diablo 3 does, but with the added aspect of pausing the action to think about your next move. I would love to play Diablo 3 with that feature, I have a feeling I would die much less.
I have a feeling that this means that we could have both a real-time mode and a pause-action mode. Both would have the same flow of combat, one would just give way for players to have more thoughtful attacks. And I want that.
Fortunately I can avoid the complaints of Diablo 3ís always online system. We wonít have any cooperative modes or anything multiplayer. Letís face it; Diablo 3 is a multiplayer game. I can see that the auction house is much better for buying my items. The game is made for cooperative play. I just like to play solo is all. So, again - in the end you donít necessarily have to be online to play our game. I know our game is browser based right now, but thatís just for convenience. There is no reason we canít have downloadable copies to install in the future.
Anyway, I think thatís about enough out of me today. Remember the link to the game.
Looks like the changes went through okay. Enjoy!