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Alpha 20 Dev Diary


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2 hours ago, madmole said:

How does crappy sliders that don't really change much compete with a decent amount of properly modeled/textured heads to choose from? We might let you change hair/eye/skin color none of that is even started on yet, but the main thing is proper pbr faces that are professional looking and performant. Uma is ugly and slow, and wastes a giant texture on each player in the game, his armor etc is all baked to a single unique sheet. The new system can share textures and stream them.

The system that you are describing alone is not good enough because it needs a bit too many faces to not be repetitive. You see, it's really just faces that need to be absolutely "slidable" within a mild margin (not TES Oblivion's scary faces lol) because humans are by design extremely good on faces (except ones with Brad Pitt's condition, which are rare).

 

 

So the best character creation system is like Bethesda does: A good bunch of predefined faces that are extremely modifiable with a good swappable model from the neck up, but allowing the player to slide groups of vertexes/polygons**  WITHIN REASON which they call "nose", or "cheeks" or "chin" ...etc  and from there they just add a bunch of bodies that are very similar and with far less sliders if any. 

 

**(I believe Maya/3dMax and their 2.5 D cousin Zbrush have a way to colour/tag local parts to make them easier to call from code)

 

A character creation system with predefined faces just has to have over 100 heads to be interesting, so by trying to make it easier you are making the game worse and repetitive on the random npc/player side . In the end, a slider head model with local features (cheeks, nose, mouth and eyebrows/forehead being a normal approach)  with all the difficult code involved is the best way to go long term and will save hundreds of hours of modeling time once hooked up.

 

And repetition. It's really all about avoiding it.

 

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5 hours ago, madmole said:

How does crappy sliders that don't really change much compete with a decent amount of properly modeled/textured heads to choose from? We might let you change hair/eye/skin color none of that is even started on yet, but the main thing is proper pbr faces that are professional looking and performant. Uma is ugly and slow, and wastes a giant texture on each player in the game, his armor etc is all baked to a single unique sheet. The new system can share textures and stream them.

Whoa there big guy, it was a joke. Didn't intend to ruffle any feathers.

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On 12/15/2020 at 7:59 PM, faatal said:

Wandering hordes randomly skim along the edge of where a player is, so maybe you just got (un)lucky and they have not been noticing you?

 

That would be an interesting thing to bring in closer as their target's GS increases.

now thats what im talking about!
 

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7 hours ago, madmole said:

How does crappy sliders that don't really change much compete with a decent amount of properly modeled/textured heads to choose from? We might let you change hair/eye/skin color none of that is even started on yet, but the main thing is proper pbr faces that are professional looking and performant. Uma is ugly and slow, and wastes a giant texture on each player in the game, his armor etc is all baked to a single unique sheet. The new system can share textures and stream them.

 

Variety is fun.  For some of us, playing around with sliders isn't just something to get out of the way before you get to the game.  It is itself fun, intrinsically: a place to experiment, be artistic and creative, role play, and take satisfaction in the fact that no one has ever played the game with this particular character before, in the same way we find it satisfying to play on a random world no one else has seen before.  My first hour (literally, I clocked it) of playing Fallout 4 was spent in the character creator, despite the rest of the game not holding my interest for long.

 

Swapping between heads that have gotten an artist's stamp of approval guts most of that fun.  Don't forget, people make bases that aren't professional looking or performant, and share images and videos of them, all the time.  And you let players do this, because it's fun and this is a sandbox.  You do your best to make the pieces look good and perform well, but with few exceptions (like a minimum distance between trees) you don't limit what players can make.

 

 

...With that said, the greatest need for variety is not with the player characters, but with the zombies, and eventually bandits.  If a new player starts a game and plays just through the first Blood Moon, they'll still typically see hundreds, possibly thousands of zombies.  And they're only getting a subset of the zombie types at any given gamestage.  So if you do any further work on character variation, I hope you do it on zombies.  Tinted clothing and skin, subtle scaling, body part swaps... I get that UMA didn't pan out, but anything would be better than clones - even new, high quality HD clones.

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17 hours ago, madmole said:

Nope, but legendary armors might pave the way for legendary guns, how I designed that could work, meaning the legendary bonus is double of what the blue bonus is, or could be a random range from 11-20%. I have a more advanced design I did a while back but it's so good/big I think it should just be saved for 7 Days 2.

Once there are enough mods though you might want to save that mod slot for something better than carry capacity, making the perk still viable.

 

Personally, I think you could even go some further with the bonus, but make it extremely rare ... like, it's not for granted to find a legendary even in 100 in game hours, but if you find it, it has a bonus of maybe 50% oder 75% over a regular weapon. 

 

I don't see it as overpowered, after all the legendary weapon alone doesn't give you a legendary armor, so you are still easily vulnerable. 

 

That said, you've gone to some extreme with the demolisher (a bit too far in my opinion, if having no base and fight on the street is much more resource efficient than having a base) - with a legendary, 11-20% seems too cautious in my eyes. It would probably just feel like a tear 7 weapon instead of something really special. In addition to the stats, a specific paint or minor design modification might make it stand out from an optical POV as well.

 

Just my two cents. 

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could we see, See through scopes for A20, meaning no more black screen with crosshairs, also those crosshairs could use some 2k textures IMO

 

Also do you plane on making the new Holo sight, and Desert vulture red dot its own mod, so people can use a holo sight or that low profile red dot on other guns

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19 hours ago, MechanicalLens said:

Could the scrap timers for brass items (minus radiators, of course) be reduced in A20? It would be such a wonderful quality of life change. I never scrap brass unless I absolutely have to, but it's a bit excessive in my eyes that it takes nearly 2 minutes for a single candlestick to be broken down when lead items only take a few seconds per.

I looked into that a while back and there isn't an easy way to speed it up, other than to change the weights and rebalance everything.

 

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2 minutes ago, madmole said:

I looked into that a while back and there isn't an easy way to speed it up, other than to change the weights and rebalance everything.

 

 

I would have thought it would have been a much simpler process, but I don't claim to be a techie. No worries, as long as you keep the ability in the game to scrap items at workbenches. ;)

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18 hours ago, Blake_ said:

The system that you are describing alone is not good enough because it needs a bit too many faces to not be repetitive. You see, it's really just faces that need to be absolutely "slidable" within a mild margin (not TES Oblivion's scary faces lol) because humans are by design extremely good on faces (except ones with Brad Pitt's condition, which are rare).

 

 

So the best character creation system is like Bethesda does: A good bunch of predefined faces that are extremely modifiable with a good swappable model from the neck up, but allowing the player to slide groups of vertexes/polygons**  WITHIN REASON which they call "nose", or "cheeks" or "chin" ...etc  and from there they just add a bunch of bodies that are very similar and with far less sliders if any. 

 

**(I believe Maya/3dMax and their 2.5 D cousin Zbrush have a way to colour/tag local parts to make them easier to call from code)

 

A character creation system with predefined faces just has to have over 100 heads to be interesting, so by trying to make it easier you are making the game worse and repetitive on the random npc/player side . In the end, a slider head model with local features (cheeks, nose, mouth and eyebrows/forehead being a normal approach)  with all the difficult code involved is the best way to go long term and will save hundreds of hours of modeling time once hooked up.

 

And repetition. It's really all about avoiding it.

 

I'd love a full character customization setup like Bethesda has but we're a small team and have to pick our battles or never ship. The head system is expandable and we might get a little face customization in, we'll see yet. After a few hours though everyone has a full helmet on and you never see your face anyway so I don't see the argument.

15 hours ago, TSBX said:

Whoa there big guy, it was a joke. Didn't intend to ruffle any feathers.

Cool, maybe I missed it, but a smiley face to indicate humor with text is a must have usually :)

4 hours ago, Crater Creator said:

 

Variety is fun.  For some of us, playing around with sliders isn't just something to get out of the way before you get to the game.  It is itself fun, intrinsically: a place to experiment, be artistic and creative, role play, and take satisfaction in the fact that no one has ever played the game with this particular character before, in the same way we find it satisfying to play on a random world no one else has seen before.  My first hour (literally, I clocked it) of playing Fallout 4 was spent in the character creator, despite the rest of the game not holding my interest for long.

 

Swapping between heads that have gotten an artist's stamp of approval guts most of that fun.  Don't forget, people make bases that aren't professional looking or performant, and share images and videos of them, all the time.  And you let players do this, because it's fun and this is a sandbox.  You do your best to make the pieces look good and perform well, but with few exceptions (like a minimum distance between trees) you don't limit what players can make.

 

 

...With that said, the greatest need for variety is not with the player characters, but with the zombies, and eventually bandits.  If a new player starts a game and plays just through the first Blood Moon, they'll still typically see hundreds, possibly thousands of zombies.  And they're only getting a subset of the zombie types at any given gamestage.  So if you do any further work on character variation, I hope you do it on zombies.  Tinted clothing and skin, subtle scaling, body part swaps... I get that UMA didn't pan out, but anything would be better than clones - even new, high quality HD clones.

I agree, and I myself have spent hours making new characters for certain role plays in other games, but 7 Days was never that game for me. The customization wasn't good enough and the game is too light on the RPG side for it to matter. Console outsold PC with zero customization, all it had was presets you could pick from, I just don't think our audience cares that much about it. I'd LOVE it, but we need to get bandit AI in and get something that looks decent for player characters, and not spend 2 years R&D making a Bethesda like character system. I heard they had at least 2 years in Fallout 4's setup with several programmers and a dozen artists just on that one feature.

 

9 minutes ago, MechanicalLens said:

 

I would have thought it would have been a much simpler process, but I don't claim to be a techie. No worries, as long as you keep the ability in the game to scrap items at workbenches. ;)

It's a fixed time to scrap an ounce I believe, so we'd need to reduce the time, or make everything insta scrap, which probably would make for a better game honestly. Waiting for a timer isn't that great of game play.

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11 minutes ago, madmole said:

It's a fixed time to scrap an ounce I believe, so we'd need to reduce the time, or make everything insta scrap, which probably would make for a better game honestly. Waiting for a timer isn't that great of game play.

 

I'm sorry, but I could never support insta scrap. It hasn't happened to me in a while, but instantly scrapping a precious item like a gun, a stack of old cash, a stack of bottled water, etc. sucks, and having those few seconds to react can save them from being turned into a less than preferred form. Just my take though. :)

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2 minutes ago, MechanicalLens said:

 

I'm sorry, but I could never support insta scrap. It hasn't happened to me in a while, but instantly scrapping a precious item like a gun, a stack of old cash, a stack of bottled water, etc. sucks, and having those few seconds to react can save them from being turned into a less than preferred form. Just my take though. :)

Could just find/harvest scrap brass and ditch the trophies, knobs, etc.

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1 minute ago, madmole said:

Could just find/harvest scrap brass and ditch the trophies, knobs, etc.

 

If you're talking about removing them from the game period, I wouldn't be opposed to this. Now that they are less common than they used to be and scrap brass can be found in loot in reasonable quantities (*cough* unlike lead *cough*), the trophies, candlesticks, and knobs could almost be described like sharp sticks. Whatever you decide, In Pimps We Trust. :)

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21 hours ago, madmole said:

How does crappy sliders that don't really change much compete with a decent amount of properly modeled/textured heads to choose from? We might let you change hair/eye/skin color none of that is even started on yet, but the main thing is proper pbr faces that are professional looking and performant. Uma is ugly and slow, and wastes a giant texture on each player in the game, his armor etc is all baked to a single unique sheet. The new system can share textures and stream them.

I've got to agree with Captain Obvious on this one.  You're going to be making a buttload of heads to get any sense of variation. 

 

You could add the code for simple bone/vertex manipulation but then aren't you reinventing the wheel?  Would it not be better to modify UMA to your own needs instead of trying replicate large parts of the functionality from scratch?

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1 hour ago, madmole said:

I'd love a full character customization setup like Bethesda has but we're a small team and have to pick our battles or never ship. The head system is expandable and we might get a little face customization in, we'll see yet. After a few hours though everyone has a full helmet on and you never see your face anyway so I don't see the argument.

No worries! Although I do enjoy my lobster red white mustached partially balding avatar, I understand that you guys are a small team and that you are pushing for gold. If it isn't feasible, then its ok! Good work as always

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2 hours ago, madmole said:

I'd love a full character customization setup like Bethesda has but we're a small team and have to pick our battles or never ship. The head system is expandable and we might get a little face customization in, we'll see yet. After a few hours though everyone has a full helmet on and you never see your face anyway so I don't see the argument.

Alright I'm good with the promise of a few jiggling face features. My point is that the player will encounter 50 npc guys/girls a day with Jarl Balgruuf's face when fighting and doing quests.

 

Players are just 8, maybe 16 with options and will be eventually "helmeted" . Yet npcs will be plenty , and I would prefer them not to be as photocopied as Zds are, specifically for random quests (main campaign is obvious you guys will model each important npc separately ; a little too much work if you ask me, as opposed to making the lips swell and the cheeks bloat an call it Bob's daddy). 

 

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5 hours ago, madmole said:

 

It's a fixed time to scrap an ounce I believe, so we'd need to reduce the time, or make everything insta scrap, which probably would make for a better game honestly. Waiting for a timer isn't that great of game play.

Honestly I cant think of any balance issues in removing the scrap timer. I'm pretty sure the only reason  some people would miss it is the whole gain extra inventory slots by queuing up something that takes 9 weeks to scrap followed by things to keep.

 

Gotta wait for it to smelt in the forge either way.

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4 hours ago, madmole said:

I'd love a full character customization setup like Bethesda has but we're a small team and have to pick our battles or never ship. The head system is expandable and we might get a little face customization in, we'll see yet. After a few hours though everyone has a full helmet on and you never see your face anyway so I don't see the argument.

...

I agree, and I myself have spent hours making new characters for certain role plays in other games, but 7 Days was never that game for me. The customization wasn't good enough and the game is too light on the RPG side for it to matter. Console outsold PC with zero customization, all it had was presets you could pick from, I just don't think our audience cares that much about it. I'd LOVE it, but we need to get bandit AI in and get something that looks decent for player characters, and not spend 2 years R&D making a Bethesda like character system. I heard they had at least 2 years in Fallout 4's setup with several programmers and a dozen artists just on that one feature.

 

Huh.  I am genuinely surprised that console outsold PC.  That changes my perspective - thanks for sharing that.

 

If you take away just one thing from my post though, it's that zombies are the best things you could customize.  You're right that we don't see player character faces much, for various reasons.  I for one would give up face customization if it freed up the time to make this happen:

 

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I do absolutely agree with that. Zeds are what you'll see the most. They should have more variations than anything else. Bandits would be next, but unless they are going to be anywhere near as common as zeds, it's not as big of a deal.

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32 minutes ago, GoldsharkROU said:

I hope you don't hate me, but the amount of what you carry could be solved with larger manufacturable or affordable backpacks, I would like the weight to be influential, having work tables, cars, motorcycles, and 10k of mineral in my backpack is not immersive. .

All you have to do is change the stack sizes of the things you want to carry less of.

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