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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 9:27 pm 
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Hi,

I found the new live version of URU after some of Cyan's back catalogue appeared on Steam.I bought and played the single player version just after the on-line one was pulled the 1st time so it's nice to see what I missed then.

Anyway some of you may have seen me running around apparently aimlessly in the cavern, of course I am not completely aimless I am looking for Great Zero markers, books and sparkling glowing marble things. Once I have these then I'll run around aimlessly...

So to those of you who have waved, blown kisses etc, thank you and hello. Sorry I am still figuring how to control my avatar so please don't think me rude for not responding in kind.

Which sort brings me on to a few suggestions - sorry if these have been mentioned elsewhere before.

It would be nice if the avatar could be given an update - blowing a kiss doesn't actually do so for instance - and be made easier to control, you don't appear to be able to use a game pad, as well as be given a bit of a personality. After all we are all different, some people don't like heights, spiders etc. In many games you have to improve your character in order to progress (some people don't like this). In URU you can run - but only at one speed, jump - but only so far, swim - but only so fast, etc. And never any quicker, higher etc. It may be an idea to have your Avatar get better at things as you progress. So you run, you get tired and so can't - but if you keep running you get fitter so can do so more, and quicker. You jump and get more agile (and better at this) and so on. Also to start with perhaps your avatar would not be good at some things (you wobble if walking on a narrow ledge and if not agile enough fall off for example.)

So how do you stop the annoying need to run everywhere, jump everywhere just so that you can get to 'that ledge' to progress? Easy! Puzzles can be solved in more than one way- and this brings in the second suggestion.

At present you cannot carry anything - there is no inventory - and while this means that people are not hunting for something that someone else has moved, it does limit the puzzles somewhat. So how about a new book. This creates pages when you click on certain objects. To use that object you click on the page and the place or thing you want to use the object with. The page is simply a duplicate of the object (the original stays put) so that you don't pinch the beach ball to go for a kick around in Minkata. There are a few other restrictions. any object you make in an age leaves when you do (So that there aren't thousands of beach balls in Minkata.) and you cannot create more than one page in you inventory for a single type of object (so that there aren't thousands of beach balls ....)

Here's an example problem.

You come to a wall, it's shear and you cannot climb up it. At the top of the wall is a doorway. There appear to be a set of diagonal hand holds running up the side, but your avatar is not agile or strong enough to use them. In another age you came across and made an inventory page for a bar (as in a large pole not as in a large drink). Clicking on the page and on one of the holes places the bar into the wall. OK but there are 5 holes and you have one bar. If you leave the age the bar comes with you. How do you solve the problem?

You could make your avatar better (stronger more agile) to use the hand holds
You could get 4 other people to bring bars for the other holes
You could ask someone with a better avatar for help.

3 ways to solve a problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:23 pm 
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I think being able to pick objects up and use them with physics would be better to an Inventory system. There should be no need to collect items from different ages, so there is no real need to be able to carry objects from one instance to the other in an inventory.

IMO Each Puzzle should have all the "Parts" that are needed in that particular world, you shouldn't have to go all the way back to the first world you started in, just to pick up some item you forgot to pick up at the start of your journey.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:15 pm 
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@cogvos, Hi, glad you found the online version.
Several the ideas you have are popular in games that have leveling and ‘combat’ or other competitive aspects. Uru has never had ‘leveling’ or competitive aspects. The reason games tend to have those aspects is to control player engagement time in various activities and to balance competition. It improves play in those games. Uru comes from a single player background and does not attempt to control play time with avatar limits. So, it would take some effort to add such things.

Several of things you mention could probably add to the immersive nature, i.e. running/tired. But, considering how often we run to get to places it would probably degrade play more than enhance it.

Changing the puzzles is no small task. Unless you can program the changes and are willing to do so, you will need to convince the fan programmers the change is worthwhile and is of a higher priority than some of the changes they already have in mind. We are discussing some of that thinking in; Why did THERE.com fail? Lessons? Harvey Interview

@Stucuk, Uru only has inventory in the closet, Relto book, and bookshelves. I’m not sure what other items people think we need to carry or why.

On carrying things in one’s hands… I tend to forget parts of the game, but other than some bugs I don’t recall anything that has to be carried from age to age to solve puzzles. Well… I’m not counting the KI. But, that is handled. I can’t recall anything one has to have and carry from a previous age to solve another age. I think the closet we come is the pellets. So, what is it you would want to carry and why?

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 2:32 am 
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I change my controls so that i can move around with asdw keys. it makes things much easier. the only problem is that it does cause some trouble with chatting, so i need to hit a different key that w, a, s, or d to bring up chat the backspace. it is only a minor disability, and since it is not an fps, i don't care about being slowed down with chat.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:10 am 
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We had a discussion about the question of avatars being able to pick things up. What it came down to is because of the nature of the game - we'd want to see the avatar picking up said object. Whether off of a table or off the ground, or off a shelf, etc.

And that comes back to the mechanics of animating such a thing. Completely disregarding the technical side of how avatar animations currently work...assuming there is a mechanism for doing such a movement - it instantly becomes a question of mathematics.

I am standing here. The object is D feet ahead of me and A feet off the ground. The object's weight is W and it's basic dimensions are X by Y by Z. It can be gripped at point IxJxK by the right hand.

Coming up with an algorithm to take that data and dynamically animate an avatar is rather complex. That's why Spore is so expensive and innovative. Everything there is procedural.

So...you can see the problem. :) But, it is one of those things on the "Would be nice to have" list.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 3:16 pm 
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I agree we need to be able to carry stuff. I think it needs to be done right away without regard for whether the avvie picks it up physically or not :P

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:07 pm 
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I think one way objects could be carried is the same way they are carried in games like Portal, Half Life 2 and L4D. You simply select them with your keyboard while in first person and they hover in front of you. It saves time not having to do the avatar animations which have to be customised to handle any object.


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 Post subject: Inventory Add-ons?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:11 pm 
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Yes, an inventory would help, Including Maps, a Compass and a flashlight.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:54 pm 
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OHB wrote:
We had a discussion about the question of avatars being able to pick things up. What it came down to is because of the nature of the game - we'd want to see the avatar picking up said object. Whether off of a table or off the ground, or off a shelf, etc.

And that comes back to the mechanics of animating such a thing. Completely disregarding the technical side of how avatar animations currently work...assuming there is a mechanism for doing such a movement - it instantly becomes a question of mathematics.

I am standing here. The object is D feet ahead of me and A feet off the ground. The object's weight is W and it's basic dimensions are X by Y by Z. It can be gripped at point IxJxK by the right hand.

Coming up with an algorithm to take that data and dynamically animate an avatar is rather complex. That's why Spore is so expensive and innovative. Everything there is procedural.

So...you can see the problem. :) But, it is one of those things on the "Would be nice to have" list.


This I'm curious about. I don't understand the goings on about the work required to do this (though I understand it is a behemoth to code and create), but I'm curious about whether or not a system could be implemented slowly?

For example, the current system for levers and such have it so that when you click on them, you walk into a certain spot before the animation begins. I don't see why such an action couldn't exist for picking up objects.

Furthermore, couldn't these items be classified by relative size, weight and type? For example, have all cups and glassware exist within similar parameters, so that each of potentially a dozen or so objects could utilize the same "hold_glass" animation without requiring too much excessive coding? This could be built upon to hold small rocks, two-hand-hold larger rocks, pick up tools, lift cones, et cetera.

Or am I living in a fool's dream where this is much more complicated than I make it sound? :D

EDIT: On the subject of tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers and the sort, couldn't they be "held" on our belts (up to a total of 3 objects on each side perhaps) and be more cosmetic than actual "inventory?" (Similar to how the Relto book acts?)


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:08 pm 
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Marcus Wheeler wrote:
OHB wrote:
We had a discussion about the question of avatars being able to pick things up. What it came down to is because of the nature of the game - we'd want to see the avatar picking up said object. Whether off of a table or off the ground, or off a shelf, etc.

And that comes back to the mechanics of animating such a thing. Completely disregarding the technical side of how avatar animations currently work...assuming there is a mechanism for doing such a movement - it instantly becomes a question of mathematics.

I am standing here. The object is D feet ahead of me and A feet off the ground. The object's weight is W and it's basic dimensions are X by Y by Z. It can be gripped at point IxJxK by the right hand.

Coming up with an algorithm to take that data and dynamically animate an avatar is rather complex. That's why Spore is so expensive and innovative. Everything there is procedural.

So...you can see the problem. :) But, it is one of those things on the "Would be nice to have" list.


This I'm curious about. I don't understand the goings on about the work required to do this (though I understand it is a behemoth to code and create), but I'm curious about whether or not a system could be implemented slowly?

For example, the current system for levers and such have it so that when you click on them, you walk into a certain spot before the animation begins. I don't see why such an action couldn't exist for picking up objects.

Furthermore, couldn't these items be classified by relative size, weight and type? For example, have all cups and glassware exist within similar parameters, so that each of potentially a dozen or so objects could utilize the same "hold_glass" animation without requiring too much excessive coding? This could be built upon to hold small rocks, two-hand-hold larger rocks, pick up tools, lift cones, et cetera.

Or am I living in a fool's dream where this is much more complicated than I make it sound? :D

EDIT: On the subject of tools such as wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers and the sort, couldn't they be "held" on our belts (up to a total of 3 objects on each side perhaps) and be more cosmetic than actual "inventory?" (Similar to how the Relto book acts?)


So...right now, animations are kinda hard-coded. There is a wave animation. There is a push button on door animation. Adding new animations is easy if you can make the file - you just drop in the file and hey presto. That's how things like the push-button for power in Teledahn works - that animation isn't used anywhere. It's a custom thing.

I think the point I was trying to make is that animations in-general need to have an upgrade. And dynamic animations are the way to go. That's the ability for the game itself to control your avatar's movements...instead of the game telling an animation file to control your movements. (yeah, I know that's not accurate but that's the easy explanation).

Right now - what happens when you walk on a sloped surface? Your feet stay stay horizontal. What if the ground could tell your avatar "angle your left food down 10 degrees" and in response your avatar also bent it's knees? That's a dynamic animation. You tell it what you want it to do - not precisely /how/ to do it.

If we had a system like that - we could do all sorts of fun things :)

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 9:57 pm 
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OHB wrote:
So...right now, animations are kinda hard-coded. There is a wave animation. There is a push button on door animation. Adding new animations is easy if you can make the file - you just drop in the file and hey presto. That's how things like the push-button for power in Teledahn works - that animation isn't used anywhere. It's a custom thing.

I think the point I was trying to make is that animations in-general need to have an upgrade. And dynamic animations are the way to go. That's the ability for the game itself to control your avatar's movements...instead of the game telling an animation file to control your movements. (yeah, I know that's not accurate but that's the easy explanation).

Right now - what happens when you walk on a sloped surface? Your feet stay stay horizontal. What if the ground could tell your avatar "angle your left food down 10 degrees" and in response your avatar also bent it's knees? That's a dynamic animation. You tell it what you want it to do - not precisely /how/ to do it.

If we had a system like that - we could do all sorts of fun things :)


Sorry, had to kill that wall of text.

Wouldn't some sort of system like that require a massive engine overhaul though? And even if it didn't, wouldn't both processes increase system requirements substantially?

If this is something a team of 10-20 volunteers could do in a few years, I'd say go for it, since by the time the "entire" thing is released, system requirements wouldn't be a problem for most people (as they would've upgraded since then).

I'm just curious, wouldn't placing these "animation prompts" in-game allow for some, if not most, of the animations you want to include, and would best-case be a "temporary" way to add content to the game without such a massive overhaul?


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