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Could I make a living being an Indie Game Dev?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by MrSanfrinsisco, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    Really depend on where on earth you live on, we barely register on a map and have 40% of unemployment despite the highest rate of education of the country, in fact the rate is so high there was a scandal because we found out the professor where rating student harsher than the national standard, which mean the rate of education is based on skew average. And that's discounting the glass ceiling we all met once we go abroad. This has devastating effect on the culture here.

    But more importantly, the sure way to anticipate social revolution is huge modification of the mean of production, feudal society were well established for millennia, they didn't foresee their downfall with the advent of the factory, which move the primary mean of producing from the land ownership to the factory, and therefore shift the power, similarly we had seen the advent of the middle class with the creation of consumerist society and the home appliance, which shift societies from factory to services and allow people to move up the social ladder up until recently.

    Okay let's back in nerdy futurism.
    Owning the mean of production mean you own your own survival, it's not about the market, it's about making as obsolete as possible, and micro economy can still happen as some people will specialize their personal farm toward certain set up, it's less efficient (in the absolute grand scale) than a dedicated big factory, but also you have less dependency on infrastructure. In some way it's already practice here, when people have some garden, there is a kind of peer to peer solidarity based market (not monetary but basically a gift society based on reciprocity) parallel to the monetary/industrial market, and it helped a lot when there is financial huge crisis sweeping through (as it happen often here since we are considered so insignificant, though it is endangered because for the same reason wealthy have polluted the land with kepone).

    So where I am what I see is just corporation short circuit low class people to sells to each other and to the wealthy, in a robot/3d printer economy, the main resources shift back to main raw resources and high tech high finition that are not possible in joe shmoe backyard. Owning the mean of production isn't about going full communism, before communism is was call "craftmanship".

    The expression was popularize in the obsolete context of Marx's idea but it was a time where the main mean of production shaping society was the huge factory, which made craftmen obsolete and slow way of producing. Today that factory is either limited to dangerous or high tech stuff and most people can access secondary mean of production or even recreate them from scratch due to the diffusion of knowledge and perfection of techniques. Most modern recent big company were from a guy in his home with a computer. The other factor is simply infrastructure, which is not in the realm of a single person, though it depend on how much this can be abstracted, no need for energy distribution if local solar generator are enough for example, or if we can print a flying car (unlikely) or drones, road become less of a burden.

    When I saying owning the mean of production and personal factory, I'm really inscribing it in the trajectory of home applience, dishwasher, aspirator, personal computer, whatever I don't all the name in english lol ... Basically they were tools that augmented people domestic efficiency to spend more time in leisure and self improvement, they also moved a lot of services in the realm of personal responsibility due to automation and made obsolete some class of low level work. I'm prolonging this to its ultimate conclusion.

    If we reach the point where a 3d printer can print garden and another 3d printer, most thing necessary to just sustain a basic live (feeding will be almost a given, object building), only remaining will be luxuries variants, raw material and rent. Of course it's an idealized vision based on maturity of tech (AI, 3d printer and vertical farming), with the main weakness being I don't foresee 3d printer generating computer chips (and similarly high tech part, like camera) from raw material anytime soon. Hence why it's still futurism.

    I would say every prediction will happen at the same time not in the same proportion, because teh world will never be uniform, we still have tribal pocket, we still have agricultural societies etc ...

    /nerding out
     
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  2. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Lol. Yep the most popular 4k block of RAM. Quite likely at least a thousand people typed that in today.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  3. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    Well, for me, it is.
    But I know there is a moderate sized C64 community. Also I had visited Scene events regularly when I was living in Europe.
    Unfortunately I had to let it go. I have not enough time to do everything. You know I'm 42 years old, it's time to be responsible parent. Or something.

    BTW, I know about the internet stuff, in the early 2000s I had an RS232 network cartridge (home built one based on someone else's design), I have built a (very simple) webserver on C64. It was fun.
     
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  4. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Yeah you had much more of the experience than I did. Those machines always had a much stronger presence in Europe and a lot of the people in online retro communities even now seem to be in Europe. Well actually C64 sold very well here and I think Amiga and Amstrad were far stronger over there. Yet it seems like more people have got in C64 in Europe in recent years maybe. Sadly many of my countrymen & women are always blinded by "bigger", "faster", "shinier". That;s not an insult that is just basically the culture. It's that way here for cars, houses, even food "our burger is BIGGER!!" I really should have been born over in England or Ireland. LOL! Ah well at least the movement is growing stronger. Actually started seeing some bigger retro gaming events advertised here in the states in the past years. Haven't went to one yet but I think I will in the next year or so.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  5. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    I get what you are saying. Its possible that society moves to a more distributed model, where everyone produces the stuff they need as they need it. Its the model predicted by the star trek replicator technology. Technologies like 3D printing and solar panels are moving in that direction.

    But from where I'm sitting, I'm seeing the opposite trends. Transport costs are dropping, and as they do, factories are becoming larger and more centralized. Currently the efficiency gains from centralized mass production are ridiculously high. Probably in the millions of percent. Remember, every technology that is available to personal home manufacturers is also available to us in the big factories. And we can leverage massive scale benefits.
     
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  6. zenGarden

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    Is Amstrad computer more easy to program ?

    It had some great games considering it's the Commodore 64 equivalent.
     
  7. Murgilod

    Murgilod

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    My experience is limited entirely to homebrew so take this with a grain of salt but:

    The Amiga (thanks largely to the programming secrets book there) was always a joy to develop for compared to honestly any other platform I've poked at for homebrew purposes. Like, I honestly believe that if it wasn't for the power difference, history could have very easily tilted in the Amiga's favour.
     
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  8. GarBenjamin

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    Never had one of these but I check out videos and read about it a lot. I think this was Europe's equivalent to our C64 here in the states basically. I am not familiar with the hardware so would be more of a learning curve but this kind of stuff is basically all the same. I tend to develop games the same no matter what I am using from Unity to AGK, C# & XNA, C & Allegro, C & Gamesmith, Blitz, AMOS all the way back to Assembly. The same basic structure only the exact code syntax changes and of course the lower level either the more typing is done again and again or you write more functions or at the least macros. But it's basically all the same to me except each of those machines will have hardware features to take advantage of that set them apart, palettes will be different, memory mapping will be different, etc. I mean obviously its a world of difference from the way people generally develop in things like Unity, GMS, Construct, etc of course.

    I find the PICO-8 virtual game console quite interesting too. Like to make something for that sometime. Have you checked that out? There seems to be quite an active community.

    There's so many things I'd like to experiment with but at the moment I'm having fun creating retro style games for modern hardware. I've seen some cool modern retro style stuff done in Unity. I am pretty sure someone here actually made a 3D NES emulator that would play NES game roms transformed into a sort of 3D version of the 2D games.

    Do you have an interest in the classic computers and retro games?
     
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  9. GarBenjamin

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    Oh... the new Kartridge launched today. This is the new Steam-like website from the makers of Kongregate.

    Glad to see it because I've been increasingly thinking of moving away from Steam and this might be another good option. For some reason the past serveral months the Steam website and app have been so painfully slow most of the time I just close them out.

    I was going to buy an Indie game last night that was released last week or so (the one I posted earlier in this thread) and the site was so incredibly slow loading I managed to add it to my wishlist and just closed the browser. It was getting too close to time for Trick-or-Treaters to mess around wasting time trying again and again to buy it.

    In contrast GameJolt and itch.io load like lightning. I don't get it. The new Kartridge site is super fast as well. I think I am more or less done with Steam and will buy Indie games only at GameJolt, itch and possibly Kartridge from now on. GJ and itch have mostly the kind of games I am interested in anyway and aren't filled with all this AAA nonsense. LOL! I think it's cool they are both much more for Indies. So if you are more into Indie games only and haven't spent much time at GJ and itch you might want to check them that.

    Alright I am off to download the Kartridge app and check it out.
     
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  10. Murgilod

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    Be wary. Kartridge has some monetization and games distribution schemes in place that may not pan out very well. The level up system in particular seems like it might cause some issues.

    I'd wait... at least six months before getting in on the platform, just to see how everything shakes out first.
     
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  11. Antypodish

    Antypodish

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    I like ides of steam alternatives. But I do to be honest wonder, how long will take, before capitalism take up on new platform and implement something equivalent, like steam green light / early access and other cheap luring tricks, from which point, high volume of game garbage will be taken in on board.
    I hope I am wrong here.
     
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  12. GarBenjamin

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    Thanks. I didn't pay any attention to anything except the games. I did see the xp bar but nothing seemed to be in my face about the platform at all. I browsed through all of their games and added a few to my wishlist.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  13. GarBenjamin

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    I checked out every game they have. They have a curated section and Staff Picks which I thought were helpful and the great thing is they don't seem to be bringing any elitist view to their selections. Very happy to see that. I kind of expected Curated would only be best in presentation / production quality games which is how it seemed to me that Steam decided to feature a game (considering I have never bought a AAA game or a high production quality Indie game there yet that is all I recall ever seeing on their Featured list when I am on the site) but from what I can see at this very early point they seem to be judging the games based on what a game should be judged on... is it fun / is it an interesting experience. Now I am mainly interested in seeing how quickly their games inventory increases and how much user activity they get in customer ratings / reviews of the games. Overall I thought it had a different feel to Steam based on the comments I read on some of the games. Doesn't seem nearly as toxic as Steam can be. Hopefully it will continue to attract this kind of crowd.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  14. Antypodish

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    Well, smaller new communities are always less toxic.
    Once platform becomes popular, it brings whole variety of people. Not only "dedicated" ones. Increasing potential toxicity

    I don't check normally steam curators suggestions. I did once, or twice out of curiosity, but found it completely useless and irrelevant. Didn't bother to filter through curators, to try find any "good", as I presume, that is not the point of them in the first place.

    Keep us posted from time to time, how Kartridge does.
     
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  15. zenGarden

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    I checked it, i find it a bit too low rez lol
    While i would prefer at minimum Nes resolution, but it's a cool all in one pixel development kit.

    Yeah, i plan something for desktop instead of mobile, some Nes 2D game for PC using modern editor.
    Something like Gauntlet re imagined, more classes with very specific gameplay for movement , combat.
    A bit higher rez compared to Nes rez, level events, many mid bosses; and perhaps gameplay variety with some sort of simple puzzles, perhaps unlockable colors or new companions, perhaps skill tree.

    This is 2D rez i plan or a bit higher, it's low rez, but don't be fooled, it's lot of work to make it look good and well animated lol


    I prefer the faster way, from rough not detailed 3D model baked to 2D.
    It's lot more faster, you make animation in 3D and bake frames, you can paint over sprite sheet if needed to make unique animations or colors.




    I prefer modern editor, they speed up a lot the game creation, i stay focused on the game content and levels creation instead. For example Unity 2D Tools , Pico all in one, Game maker 2 all in one tools.
    While Assembly can be cool with low rez pixel games to optimize and make unique effects, or have fun with assembly :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  16. GarBenjamin

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    Definitely agree on the toxic community thing. I hope as their community grows it won't attract so many of that type of person and they just stay on Steam.

    Re Steam Curators actually that is the point of them. The idea being gamers can find one or more curators to follow and that becomes their guide / filter to games on Steam. It is a very big part of their design to using Steam. At least that is the intention whether gamers are actually making use of that is another thing entirely.
     
  17. GarBenjamin

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    That all sounds interesting and a good workflow. I completely get that lowrez/ultra lowrez is still a lot of work. Anything is a good amount of effort if a person is actually doing something actually creating something with any care at all put into it

    My earlier post was just noting how much the work of pixel art increases as the resolution increases. It is the reason most any pixel artist with flat fees charges by sprite size. Obviously it will take them longer to create a larger sprite than a smaller sprite if they are spending the same care on the larger as they spend on the smaller.

    In this way I think many of the low rez/ultra low rez games actually have more care and effort put into them in a certain way than the higher ones do. I mean when you consider someone making a detailed animated thing in 16x16 canvas... a full character enemy or whatever... that is a huge amount of detail for such a tiny canvas. From what I have seen most don't spend that same level of attention to detail as the resolution increases meaning they generally don't seem to spend quite as much time on a 16x16 piece of a 64x64 sprite as many people making ultra low resolution games do on a 16x16 sprite. Just seems like that from my view anyway. Now some games do and those are the ones that have highly detailed pixel art at higher resolutions.

    Absolutely agree on the dev approach as well. That is a completely personal thing and whatever works best for a given person is the best way. I played around with Construct 2 and 3 a month ago and was shocked that for first time I found a GUI-based dev environment that seemed highly logical. I mean in just a bit of time with no prior exp in it I had a little scrolling platform mini level built with a player character, an enemy and platform to jump around on. So I am very interested in exploring that in the near future. Anything that makes it so I can get more done in less time is a fantastic thing imo.

    Be interested in seeing how your project progresses. Gauntlet was fun but I agree I always thought it was like a very solid foundation for what could be much more interesting. A lot of classic games I view that way. They have a solid recipe for a simple fun core gameplay loop already done. Just need to build it out more which is a good amount of work of course but at least we know the core is proven.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
  18. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    Because you must reproduce all details in each frame, it's really lot of work.
    I would go for 64*64 or 128*128 minimum to bring some details into the sprite.
    This is why 3D to 2D is what i will use.
    Perhaps for some 2D items or tiles also, you don't have polygon constraints or UVmapping, you can paint in 3D mode without UVs in Zbrush , and bake directly the model to 2D.

    Yep, most games share many gameplay concepts, taking inspiration to make something new.

    I'll post some sprites ;)
     
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  19. neoshaman

    neoshaman

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    I definitely alluded to efficiency, but efficiency isn't the only thing that matter, see it like public transport (even though it's not a perfect analogy) in the grand scale it's more efficient, but it doesn't go everywhere you want and can be locked due to a single event (we have a lot of those here) so centralization is both a convenience but a structural flaws. Also in my specific case we are peripheral, centralisation hurts us because we tend to be far from it. Centralisation mean, more concentrated power and gatekeeping, and that mean decision that make sense in the grand scale, made on a whim, will hurt small pocket like us, just our basic survival is already constantly jeopardized by centralized decision because we are just a rounding up error for such a system. I don't expect a centralized system to be suddenly benevolent and not impose some form of shiboleth, the only hope you have is to expect to be part of the "chosen one" that mapped to value of the centralized system, which it can change on a whim. SO the alternative is basically a need for autonomy and basic survival, just like the "local garden economy" had protect us from devasting global trend, and allowed us to have basic survival (although now it's poisoned due to efficient industrial process, "rounding error" and all).
     
  20. GarBenjamin

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    Sounds good... animated gifs or videos be better. :)

    I think my next game is going to start with me going to each room in my house and each room will be the base for an area / level. The major items I see will be created as props to style things give a "feel" to the area & the other objects will be created as enemies and collectibles.

    I have wanted to create a "crazy" game for a long time. One of the things I appreciate about the early computer games especially European games is the variety of interesting & just plain weird stuff in them such as giant shoes and all sorts of "crazy" stuff.

    Such games are rare and seem to have a lot of creativity in them. They also show we don't need to take this stuff so seriouly just have fun and go a little crazy with it (within reason of course). Basically a game that seems to be taking things seriously in one way yet the things just don't make logical sense by themselves.

    Maybe you can obtain the Legendary Lint Ball for example. Laptops & books can flap to fly of course. But adding thrusters to the laptop would be fine too. Chairs may stand & walk. Ceiling lights would be great for shooting out lasers. Smoke alarms can go off on proximity to alert all nearby enemies. It doesn't need to be dark. Could be various food items, pieces of candy, etc.

    It becomes an interesting exercise how to take this common household object and turn it into an enemy or collectible.

    Maybe you can add a bit of crazy to your game as well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2018
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  21. zenGarden

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    This is a sprite rez test to establish the graphics.
    The image size is not the sprite size, there is lot of black areas around the sprite character, 300 pixel wide image means the character is only half or less pixel size.


    Download the image and zoom to get a good view of sprites details.
    -300 pixel wide rez looks perhaps too detailed for retro
    -64 pixel wide rez is too low rez without good contour or it must be painted over.
    -100 starts to look like a sprite, still very retro and low
    -156 and 200 look like a good balance between details and retro look.


    Using Make Human it takes some minutes to have a rigged character.
    The other tasks will be to make new clothes and accessories, add effects to sprites.
    To make animations there is free motion capture animations you can use and modify.
     
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  22. GarBenjamin

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    That's not too bad. It's great to get a quick base but I found you always need to do a lot of clean-up. Unless you are specifically going or this "3D modeled to 2D" look. Believe it or not at one time for a long time I was also a graphics nut. Used to get a friend and take photos of each other in various action poses for characters and then scanned them in back in the Amiga days. Then later digital cameras made it a smoother process. Did the same thing with Poser.

    It really does work well for like Mortal Kombat style. But then getting all of the other content in with the same lighting and so forth is near impossible. So I started just recoloring them. And then as time passed I found myself liking simpler graphics much more. They have a certain charm to them I guess.

    Anyway, if you took your renders and just just colored over them they would look pretty awesome I think. When animated will make a huge difference compared to a screenshot. Should look very nice.

    This is taking the character and drawing over it with 10 colors.



    The one on the left is the normal 1x1 from your 300 render which actually fits inside a 64x64 sprite.
    The one on the right is scaling that up to 2x2. Granted you'd probably want to work in some details for the face on the larger one. I just did a very quick draw over of it.

    That's a 1280x720 image which would be a good resolution. And the smaller one would probably be the biggest you'd want to use for a Gauntlet style game. Actually might be better to use a 1600x900 screen for it even. Unless you are changing up the play style a lot more. I was just thinking of the size of the characters in the playfield in Gauntlet.

    This isn't really pixel art but it is cool and if you can get all of your poses it would definitely be a way to knock them out faster than trying to draw from reference images or just "pulling from your head". That's the key to getting stuff done! So much content needed for most games beyond super simple mobile stuff have to find a way to knock this stuff out fast in a way that still looks decent.

    Anyway just throwing that out there. I have no idea the exact "look" or mood you are going for. You may want the look "as is" and I will give it a play either way.

    Well good luck with it. I think I am going to take a break from here again but am definitely interested in seeing your progress and will look here or elsewhere for a new thread.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  23. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    It's better.
    I think you can get the same result following a toon render tutorial, render at higher res and scaling the image down in pixel size.
    The example i made was very quick using Blender default "toon" material that is just not good lol


    I need the image to stay at constant size to make a constant size sprite sheet to keep the sprite always centered.
    When character make large movements or moves the 64*64 pixels would not cover all the character.

    Yep, in 3D you give only few key frames to make a move.
    The 3D animation does not need to look great when you bake only few frames to 2D sprite.
    For mobile games it's really ideal workflow to create 2D animation content very fast , you can make it more toon adding a black contour.

    Or do paint over to make it sprite, it worked like a charm for Valdys game.
    (With a good toon shader he could get the same result i think without having to do the paint over)


    My goal is not to make the perfect pixel art, but get something looking like a 2D game instead of 3D baked sprites.
    So using better toon materials should work.

    While baked 3D does not look so bad


    I think about something more 2D sprite , more cartoony characters less realistic :



    Anyway , i found this game, i think it's the style you like :)

    https://twitter.com/hashtag/LunarkTheGame?src=hash
     
  24. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    After tweaking the rendering i got good results.
    Both low rez, and detailed med rez look good.


    Render at 2600 and scale down to 64 , right sprite gets better black outline


    And this is a 10 minutes sprite
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  25. GarBenjamin

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    Both versions look fine. Bringing them to life through animation will make a huge difference. I know you know that just commenting. Lol You can create an awesome game experience with either.

    Yes I know I just said I think I will take a break from here. I found a good compromise. Came to the truck stop to eat. Alright back to talking to the truckers. They have interesting experiences. My software engineering job is very lame in comparison. Being able to drive around the country continually seeing so many different places and being paid to do so. Hard life of adventure.
     
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  26. zenGarden

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    You only need a truck license :D
     
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  27. GarBenjamin

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    Yeah. Several weeks of training to get the CDL I think. I need to figure out something like that for when I decide to go into semi-retirement. Maybe just drive around buying & selling or something. As much as I enjoy being outside working and exploring it is odd I ended up in this profession. But I also like development a lot, am good at it & it pays well so seemed reasonable.

    Searched around for that Luzark game. Yes I think those are superb graphics and the animation is absolutely phenomenal. I found some videos on his Tumbler. Extremely well animated. Definitely has strong Flashback vibes. Hopefully it controls better than Flashback did.

    I did another round of polish on my defense game today. I've been thinking I might have this as the default color palette and add an options menu allowing the player to select from several other palettes. Just very simple stuff like a grayscale and then several monochrome options such as red, yellow, magenta, green, cyan and blue.
    [the black border is just to combat the white page]

    March of the Enemies just showing the 5 different enemy types.


    They are actually highly detailed considering the largest one (the last one) fits in a 16x14 pixel rectangle.
    I scaled the gif up a good amount to be easier to see. In reality the game screen is this size.. 128x90 resolution.
     
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  28. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    It looks good, the animations are well done , the animated pointer is a nice touch, and there is variety in shapes and color.

    I started Gauntlet 2D, it's more work than 3D because you have to fake all 8 directions and register those 8 directions for each animation (idle, walk, run ,attack, dash, jump, use) . While 3D is only one animation of each.
    3D is faster and more simple to manage for top down and it has 360° directions , it's not limited to 8.
    Animations are smoother than 2D.

    The physics in 2D or 3D are not so different, a 3D game could keep it's gameplay in X,Z as one floor, many things like detection or math for collision used in 2D would work in the 3D version.
    There is also tiles in 3D, to make level creation as fast as 2D tiles.

    3D does not mean you can't go very minimalist like 2D (Minecraft, Voxel models)
    Simplified textures and models
    https://twitter.com/KrankenheitGame
    https://twitter.com/Bcubed_Labs
    https://twitter.com/Doodstormer
    PSX look
    https://twitter.com/tetrayoubetra
    https://twitter.com/sean_HTCH
     
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  29. GarBenjamin

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    That doesn't surprise me at all about it being more work. I know a lot of people talk about it being more work in 3D but I think it really depends on the exact game & requirements more than anything. I found the same thing you are describing where many times it is far more work in 2D to make a game simply because of what you mentioned needing to treat almost every thing as another manual work process. In HD it is not a big deal.

    With 2D you basically need to animate stuff by hand in every non-90 degree direction it is going at the best case and depending on perspective may need to redraw and animate for every single direction. It's very time consuming and challenging to keep the forms from "warping" etc when doing so. In HD the workload of that stuff is less than pixel art at least for some things because I noticed you can just rotate in code and everything still looks fine. Again for some viewpoints. If the viewpoint truly changes what can be seen as an object rotates then you need to create that object for every single direction. Like you said for 3D, you want the character to be face multiple directions you don't need to model, render, animate those you just rotate to that direction and done no matter what the viewing angle is. BUT then you do have the rigging step in 3D. BUT BUT then you have basically a similar thing in HD 2D if you are using something like Spriter for example.

    I've tested so many ways of creating art and with many different tools (I mean I don't remember how many I have tried whether free or paid from Poser to Anime Studio, etc). Nothing really works for pixel art but they are good for HD. For pixel art the best way for me is onion skinning whether that is a dedicated sprite editor or (most common for me) using layers in Paint Shop Pro to create each frame of animation. Inkscape is very good for making animated HD art quickly.

    Definitely agree on your view of 3D and minimalism as well. All of those examples look great. Some interesting styles and color choices. Colors I think are so important. That Krankenheit game looks fantastic as it is. They said already looks kinda cool even without textures and I think looks cool to a large degree because it doesn't have any textures. I'd just keep it the way they have it right now.

    I might use 3D for my next game. It would definitely be ultra low poly. Almost certainly flat shaded with no textures at all. Quite possibly even voxels. Ultimate Unwrap 3D Pro is very handy for 3D. At least I've always found it to be very fast for doing vertex painting (and uv unwrapping).

    Maybe you can just block out the game to get it going. Like use very quick cube models or use something like MagicaVoxel (fantastic piece of software imo) or VoxelShop (another awesome software) to quickly create & animate the voxel models. Even if you prefer building in MagicaVoxel I'd recommend getting VoxelShop because these voxel models will be much heavier than they need to be and VoxelShop can export them optimized.

    Also you can try VoxEdit this thing allows you to build your 3D models designed specifically to be rendered out to 2D sprites. Which might be much closer to what you are wanting. Again you could do this to quickly knock out some placeholder graphics so you can start trying out your ideas in game OR even see if these would work for the kind of graphics you want to end up with. BTW, you might want to check out the tools section at itch.io. I have bought many there over the years that I never really heard of anywhere either such as the awesome Pixel FX Designer most recently and Asset Forge Deluxe a year or so ago.

    There are so many tools out there. There are far more than these. And I am certain there are tools that a lot of people use that solve a lot of the problems most just accept you have to deal with. I look for these tools every so often.

    It's crazy I can search & search and not find them and then occasionally I will stumble upon a game or a dev community I never heard of before and the developer of the game or the community will be talking about tools they have been using for years that I never came across on here, on YT vids, in my own searches, etc. Often it is a case of checking out a tiny basically unheard of game. That leading me to a Twitter or a blog and from there to another site and from there maybe to a small dev community forum, etc. Lol

    Of course Internet search engines are almost worthless for anything beyond what is already widely known. They suffer from the same problem as games... so much content and there can only ever be x spots on the first pages regardless how good something is. And often no matter which phrases you use you get the same basic set of results in the first few hundred hits and sometimes only get a hundred or less results back period. And that is completely insane & obviously something very weird is going on there because we all know there are millions of relevant pieces of content out there for everything we search for.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  30. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    Yep, Voxel is another take on minimalist 3D to get fast results.
    It's up to you to choose the style of your 3D game when you start, that will allow you to make 3D content less or more faster. What matters is you feel at ease with your graphic style and workflow and have fun.

    Another way is to buy cheap models and environment packs and repaint texture, you focus on level design, special effects and gameplay.
    You can change a texture character into low rez texture and paint different details giving the character a new look.


    In Blender most of the time, i parent object and import and existing armature and choose Auto Weights, the rigging is done lol

    In Blender after marking the seems, you press Unwrap.
    For people not at ease , there is Auto Unwrap, it create seams for you based on angle input and unwraps automatically.
    Blender 2.8 should be as friendly as UU3D.



    Yep. It's animation and effects are cool as the level design.
    B cube Labs is also looking good, most of the time textures are two colors only and very low rez.
    He has done lot of experiments , we don't know if this will turn into a game or it is only another try lol

    You should like this one , it looks like Pico for retro pixel fps games :)
     
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  31. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    FPS Maker looks interesting I notice there are many game creation kits on mobile. I do my development in AppGameKit and there is a mobile version of that as well so could develop on cell or table. But that seems crazy to me. I created a tiny specialized app with it on my cell and works fine but I just can't see developing on my cell phone. Lol

    There is actually a 3D voxel equivalent of PICO-8 created by the same person. It is called Voxatron. I might check that out some time.


    All I know is things are getting interesting. I always figured it was only a matter of time and people would be creating games on PICO-8 and selling them. And this year I saw it happen. It may have before just saying this year I know it has. And I expect before too long to see one of the next big Indie hits will be something made in PICO-8. It being so lean & mean forcing people to simplify graphics to focus on gameplay combined with now being able to create builds for web and desktop I think it may become a great choice for solo devs interested in 2D lowrez (128x128 resolution with fixed 16-color palette) games. The original Celeste was created with PICO-8 and I have seen many people say they prefer that version over the overhauled fancied up version that is being sold.
     
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  32. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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  33. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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  34. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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  35. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    I watched the video am not sure what I was seeing exactly. My impression is it's a kid's game (?) but that may be completely wrong. It definitely seems to have a cartoony playful feel to the whole thing. Not my kind of game but you are right there may very well be a large audience out there who will think it is an awesome game. It definitely seems well made and is a great example of another style for graphics.

    I played this many years back on my PS3 and it was a very good game. I can't see a part-time solo dev making something of this scope with graphics like this but maybe a small team could. The game played very well.


    This is a game I enjoyed a lot on the PS2 and again I am not sure if a part-time solo dev could do a full game like this either. It seems like it would be possible with today's tools but I haven't seen anyone complete a full game along these lines yet. Maybe someone has. Just saying I haven't seen it if they did. Again the key here is this game controlled very well played very well.


    I think once we move back to the N64 things start to become more realistic. Still a lot work but with modern tools it should be possible if a person can spend the time and doesn't burn out first.



    On the other hand going all the way back to SNES... something like this seems very reasonable for a part-time solo developer (and using Unity would work quite well I would think). In fact, I think the gameplay could be improved upon over the original adding some more variety and a little more depth.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  36. neoshaman

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    Wouldn't lost souls abide qualify for the most high end game you presented? It's made by a single person ...

     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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  37. GarBenjamin

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    Graphically I think it certainly does. I don't know about the actual game though. I'll have to do some digging and see how it plays what it has to it. The thing is I have seen a lot of great looking demos like part of a stage, maybe even 1 playable level or tech demos and so forth but you know there is a huge difference between those and actually making any of the full games I listed videos for. Completing that entire scope of work. But maybe this one does it. I will dig into it and see what I can find.
     
  38. neoshaman

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    also bright memory
     
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  39. GarBenjamin

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    My search already came to an end because on the main guy's Twitter account (the one who started the game) he has this... We are happy to announce Lost Soul Aside will be joining 3 other China Hero Project titles at PlayStation Experience 2017. ... https://twitter.com/lost_soul_aside/status/931450651367825408

    And also found this on his Twitter: #LostSoulAside is now developed by Ultizero Games studio, which was created by Yang Bing himself. Please support us in the future! .... https://twitter.com/Lost_Soul_Aside/status/844481148130476032

    So it sounds like since last year there is a team working on the game.
     
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  40. neoshaman

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    I guess the only reason one person can't make such a game is that she will get notice and have defacto a team :p
     
  41. GarBenjamin

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    Ha ha. More likely there is a ton of other work left to be done still outside of the clips. Like I don't doubt the one person did the core gameplay, combat, etc. But that still leaves everything else whatever that would be. Also I don't know if he was doing it part-time either.

    Bright Memory looks much promising because I found this....
    It runs on Unreal Engine 4 and it was built using Blueprints only, in a mere year of development during his spare time (the developer also has another job) ... https://wccftech.com/bright-memory-fantastic-example-indie/
    So that is what I am looking at... a part-time developer. Can't find much other than a video of combat so far though.

    I think the odds are good this person will also pick up a team to actually turn it into a completed game experience but maybe not. Basically because it seems nothing is known of it outside of the very core combat gameplay. I will dig some more when I have time.

    See I found this comment on a YT video but should be taken with a grain of salt probably because whenever I see these kind of toxic comments complaining about this kind of stuff I am about 99.99% sure it is by some (probably jealous) game dev... well in this case 99.999% sure because he seems to be implying he uses UE4... Damn, so many people who never used UE4... 95% of this game is free assets and kits. You can do something like that in under an hour! ...

    But who knows... maybe it is all based on a kit and the assets were stuff he got from that Epic asset giveaway a while back or free assets from their store. If that is the case that is also not what I am talking about. I was referring to a solo part-time developer actually creating an entire game of that scope. Doing it all themselves.

    Not that I think it is bad to use canned assets.... not at all! If you can use them surely do so. It saves TIME! The most valuable thing any of us have. But whenever you do that scope is completely unmeasurable. I mean it is not a clear view... not a true picture at all. Like say you wanted to create a different game for which there is no kit or enough assets available to make? Completely different situation. So I am looking at the possibilities of what one solo part-time dev can produce entirely themselves.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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  42. neoshaman

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    I still want to uphold the challenge I picked once in the AAA thread but then I had irl complication (death among them) and also I decided to finish some key R&D (like hair rendering (basically ray-helicoid intersection), planet rendering (terrain subdivision and pcg circulation) and "armature" modeling (think akin to spore creature)) I had started prior and are very important for what I want to achieve in the future, which basically kept bothering me and distracting me. Problem with R&D is the inability to plan to much ahead, but I hope to finish them this year. But opportunity keep getting better and make the challenge easier overtime. I'll make a thread so everyone can see me fail? :p
     
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  43. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

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    No, everyone can learn about what the results will be and what you have done to achieve them. ;) (whether or not you end up with anything useful)
     
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  44. neoshaman

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    Yeah that's what failure is supposed to be ;) hence why I even considering the challenge to begin with :p
     
  45. Lurking-Ninja

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    If I can learn something out of my actions and even I can teach someone else to something in the process, I don't consider it as a failure. But of course, I'm too optimistic most of the time (sometimes they even call me naive). :D
     
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  46. angrypenguin

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    Or "we" includes Sony/Playstation, who would also be a part of the announcement. ;)
     
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  47. neoshaman

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    Well that's not possible, not even AAA can do it, everyone use some amount of ready made asset, be it old asset from old games they made or bought asset, eventually customized. And a large amount of bought tools too. Of course that doesn't not specific and hero asset, but anything too generic and too background is not useful to redo, and there is a lot of backdround/generic object.
     
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  48. JohnnyA

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  49. GarBenjamin

    GarBenjamin

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    Right I agree but what is possible? I posted that stuff basically following up on what @zenGarden and I were discussing as well as thinking about why I limit scope so much in my own games including going ultra low rez. Because actually completing an entire game is a lot of work. I am still not done with my defense game. It is close but I'll need to compose some music or at least ambience soonish. Still need to add all of the story snippets after each day. So far I have done everything from design, programming to graphics and sound fx. So I'd like to knock out the music / ambience too.

    But anyway there is a scope that is realistic for a 3D game by a solo part-time developer and I was just thinking what would that be. For me... it would be something along the lines of SNES Star Fox. I could even see adding more to the gameplay but it would need to take into account any additional asset requirements. But I am thinking that some part-time solo devs actually could do something like the scope of N64 Star Fox or Turok 2. I don't know if anyone could do something like that early PS3 game Viking.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
  50. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    Lot of things was made from scratch, all level design and polish took many years.
    He didn't had any constraint about a release, it's different from devs who need to release
    one game per year.

    The environment is only few re usable rocks, trees, and some models, but good quality.
    Mots impressive are gameplay and characters.

    Level is low rez mesh and textures.
    Perhaps one hour(s) per model and some weeks making the level and placing objects.
    The gameplay is very basics, anyone with basic gameplay coding experience or using some Unity 3D template would make it.

    Same, with quick hand drawn textures, the most consuming would be all the level design and create good level design and tile able textures, create puzzles and UV texturing the level.

    Yes.



    another

    https://twitter.com/bat_galactic


    The game first demo was one guy working one year not full time.
    Then he got funded and got a team.

    All other environement stuff is no level design lol
    It's looks like some simple Epic 3D models put together to make a graphics demo showcase.

    When assets are great quality, why not use them ?
    Many studios use existing models, modify and re texture, the first Tomb Raider reboot had lot of textures coming from cg textures.com.

    What matters is the end result, good level composition, models that work well together about colors and style.

    Anyway, i think you should stay on Pico :D
    Going 3D, more scope grows, lot more slowly you will get things done.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2018
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