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Kicking around Mod Ideas
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Sir Shockwave
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 06 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 7:43 pm    Post subject:  Kicking around Mod Ideas Reply with quote

I think by now it's become something of an un-secret that I have (when I can spare time) been working on something. The main reason nothing went public though is I never got anything I thought was worthy of going public with.

That and a lot of it felt like I was rehashing RO. Which I didn't want to do exactly. I still have a list of goals that I want to do though that line up with that old thing - namely getting three factions that play differently from each other in certain ways, but are all balanced against each other. Or as OmegaBolt put it after giving me some free advice -

Quote:
What I would love to see is a mod that doesn't remedy single tank spam by requiring a variety of units spammed instead. Mods mods still only end up being about amassing the most units, albeit a varied selection, and storming over the opponent. A more truly skilful game would be great to see.


If you're reading Mr Bolt, I keep that PM in the savebox for when I feel like I need reminding of important details, goals and general advice on what and what not to do. Which hopefully I'm interpreting correctly.

Which I know brings me onto another part of that same mail.

Quote:
Just putting up plans won't interest anyone.


However, all I got right now is plans and thoughts and I'll be first to admit for all the dissection and examination of other mods (for the purposes of education and learning people, I do have standards), playing other mods and reading some of the topics here when I get a chance, I'm not getting anywhere it seems.

We should start with Story I guess. Maybe. I'm not sure where we should start, but it seemed a good place to start as any. There's at least two ideas I got kicking around.

"The Stalemate"
This is the one most people tend to pick - the Allies and Soviets grind each other to a halt, there's no clear winner (except Yuri always loses). Except I'm not sure if I should go with this one - if only because as I said, it's the one most people tend to pick.

"What If X Won?"
Canonically, the Winners more often than not are the Allies. But what if someone else won? Well, the answer is slightly more clear cut in the case of Yuri - everyone would be brainwashed puppets with no resistance, and he would have total world conquest.

Which makes for a boring mod.

With the Soviets presents more options, but then as I was having my wash in the evening, I had a thought.

"Wait a minute...isn't this Twisted Insurrection's thing?"

Transition of universes asides, the similarity is there, to the point where plagiarism happens. I could always mail Aro or someone, but I'm not sure how well he'd take what is essentially the core concept of TI and essentially given a ARES-esque makeover.

I just...don't know at this point. Should I give it more thought? Am I overthinking it already? How many people are going to accuse me of ripping mods when I mention that I dissect & examine to learn how things work?

PS - I apologise in advance if I put this in the wrong forum. Truth was, I wasn't 100% sure where it went. Also also, if I'm a bit late getting back to people, I've been having a lot of 404 and 503 errors here, so apologies for that in advance as well.

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Dutchygamer
President


Joined: 18 Jun 2005
Location: Dordrecht, the Netherlands

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read it 3 times and I still don't know what you're aiming at Confused But that may be just me.
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Sir Shockwave
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 06 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dutchygamer wrote:
I've read it 3 times and I still don't know what you're aiming at Confused But that may be just me.


I apologise if I was unclear at all. The thing I'm after really is story suggestions. Once I have a backstory out the way and done, I can work on the other, more important details.

The problem I'm running into mainly is I keep going back to the exact same drawing board, or I subconsciously end up copying someone else's idea - which I have the same opinion on as you guys do about using assets from other mods without permission.

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PillBox20
Commander


Joined: 28 Sep 2013
Location: Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Everybody can be inspired by someone else's work and ideas. Just color them as you see it fits you. In the process something new may come out.
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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Gensokyo

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
"Wait a minute...isn't this Twisted Insurrection's thing?"

Transition of universes asides, the similarity is there, to the point where plagiarism happens. I could always mail Aro or someone, but I'm not sure how well he'd take what is essentially the core concept of TI and essentially given a ARES-esque makeover.

The "bad guys winning" idea isn't nearly unique enough for TI to have some sort of a general copyright on it. Now, if you started another TS mod with Nod winning in TD, then I'd view it as plagiarizing, but since the universe is different (and Soviet and Nod are very different), I don't see anything wrong with it. I also doubt Aro would see anything wrong with it, although I of course can't directly read his mind.

Quote:
What I would love to see is a mod that doesn't remedy single tank spam by requiring a variety of units spammed instead. Mods mods still only end up being about amassing the most units, albeit a varied selection, and storming over the opponent. A more truly skilful game would be great to see.

This case isn't that simple. If a mod is well done, being able to spam more units than your opponent requires that you have better economy than your opponent. And in a well-done mod having better economy than your opponent requires skill. Sure, when properly executed, special build-limited units and rush counters do increase the amount of skill a player needs to play well, but still; don't forget that you can also make gathering resources need skill, in which case spamming units effectively also requires skill.
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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I honestly wouldn't see a mere badguyswinTD TS mod a TI ripoff. Just because TI made one.

Because I can imagine that Nod completely seized GDI and it completely fall apart and insertrandomregionalsuperpowercountry alone stood up vs Nod - or Mutants with a completely GLAesque approach, or dunno - if there's no GDI, the whole style can't even remiscent of TI.

By such logic, DTA is Return of the Dawn ripped each other already - which is certainly not the case.

What I think is that it won't be the story which will define your mods - besides, no matter how you try, you won't come up with 100% new stuff.

See http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/JustForFun/TheTropelessTale why I think struggling over this is pointless.
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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Gensokyo

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graion Dilach wrote:
I honestly wouldn't see a mere badguyswinTD TS mod a TI ripoff. Just because TI made one.

Because I can imagine that Nod completely seized GDI and it completely fall apart and insertrandomregionalsuperpowercountry alone stood up vs Nod - or Mutants with a completely GLAesque approach, or dunno - if there's no GDI, the whole style can't even remiscent of TI.

By such logic, DTA is Return of the Dawn ripped each other already - which is certainly not the case.

True, it depends on how different the mods are otherwise. If it follows TI's style of GDI lingering around with a powerful supporter, then I'd think it's too close - but there indeed are plenty of ways to make the story different enough.
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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2014 6:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it would be better to aim for a certain design and create a mod with that design in mind. Right now there are already many mods released or in the work, so by using only a story as the base would surely end up in a mod that looks familiar with something that exists already.
Be it object design, gameplay, unit logics/behaviour etc.

I think a new mod should aim for something completely different to stand out of the known C&C principles that most mods follow.

A different universe for example would be a good start imo.
e.g.
-a Tron mod (this could result in some very nice eye candy when using glowing activeanims on terrain as well as buildings and the glowing palette colors on units)
-or continuing work on the Mechwarrior mod (but then ported from TS to YR)
-a space themed mod with spaceships, planets, moons, asteroids etc would be surely interesting too
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Sir Shockwave
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 06 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
I think it would be better to aim for a certain design and create a mod with that design in mind. Right now there are already many mods released or in the work, so by using only a story as the base would surely end up in a mod that looks familiar with something that exists already.
Be it object design, gameplay, unit logics/behaviour etc.

I think a new mod should aim for something completely different to stand out of the known C&C principles that most mods follow.

A different universe for example would be a good start imo.


Y'know, if I actually had any time/paitence/skill to learn to make new Assets and VXLE didn't bork up every 3D Model I tried importing, this would be a lot easier to do.

Making new gameplay mechanics is simple enough - with enough study and dissection, new gameplay can be made. Doing three entirely new factions and going for an entirely new setting has been thought about, but it's way beyond my capacity.

And don't get me started about asking others for favours.

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Sir Shockwave
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 06 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a Double Post, mostly because I don't think making a new topic for this made much sense. But look! Pictures!



Credits: Quiet's Robot Infantry, Mig Eater's MBT-70 and partyzanPaulZy's Modern GI.



Credits: Mig Eater's Mammoth Tank and Arg's Militia.

Here I'm experimenting with some Palette Swapping, and wanted to know what people thought. Don't worry about the Buildings in this one - I'm going to either replace those, or swap colors later.

I'm also aware of the coloring error on the Mammoth Tank. I'm not 100% sure how it happened, but Voxel Viewer shows that it was coloured correctly.

Also, if I've miscredited or forgotten to credit someone or something, drop a line and I'll get it fixed.

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Lin Kuei Ominae
Seth


Joined: 16 Aug 2006
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir Shockwave wrote:
Y'know, if I actually had any time/paitence/skill to learn to make new Assets and VXLE didn't bork up every 3D Model I tried importing, this would be a lot easier to do.

You could try creating assets with the skills you have.
e.g. you could think about a 2D old school themed mod with only hand drawn graphics. If they all match, it would be surely a fun mod to play.

a Tron themed mod (based on the old classic Tron movie) shouldn't be that hard too, since most things are single shaded with just a few glowing lines. Even buildings should be quite easy to paint, as long as you follow a few rules to match the isometric view (see Mig Eater who drew entire high res historical buildings without 3ds max).
Due to the simplicity of the designs, it shouldn't be that hard to create new assets.

But if you don't have the time and patience for a bigger mod project, then it's pointless to start such a big project.
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Sir Shockwave
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 06 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lin Kuei Ominae wrote:
You could try creating assets with the skills you have.
e.g. you could think about a 2D old school themed mod with only hand drawn graphics. If they all match, it would be surely a fun mod to play.


You of course speak as if I haven't tried. Several times. SHP's as I know take hundreads of frames for everything to standing still/running/shooting etc, etc. I know from experience and attempts that this takes a man of sane nerves and saintly paitence to even attempt SHP Creation.

And Voxels? I think there's actually a thread kicking around on here where I did give it a go. The result is best described as a Lovecraftian Fetus Abortion. And that was only one result of dozens of equally shitty attempts.

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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One does not simply recolor unittem.pal. The miscolorations are caused by the VPL's color bleeding, since the VPL refers colors by their palete slot - and it was generated so it does not use the gradients as one would expect. You can fix that by using a VPL editor - Starkku's preferred.

But keep in mind, it's more harder than it sounds to achieve good-looking results - I call mine good, but I've put half a year into the PAL-VPL tweak alone to achieve such a result which I have currently.

(If one looks at RedRes and says it's voxels look odd, well, that's because it uses my VPL but not my unittem along with it - that's probably the best showcase to show how tedious that is).
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Sir Shockwave
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 06 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Graion Dilach wrote:
One does not simply recolor unittem.pal. The miscolorations are caused by the VPL's color bleeding, since the VPL refers colors by their palete slot - and it was generated so it does not use the gradients as one would expect. You can fix that by using a VPL editor - Starkku's preferred.

But keep in mind, it's more harder than it sounds to achieve good-looking results - I call mine good, but I've put half a year into the PAL-VPL tweak alone to achieve such a result which I have currently.

(If one looks at RedRes and says it's voxels look odd, well, that's because it uses my VPL but not my unittem along with it - that's probably the best showcase to show how tedious that is).


Do you have a link? Because there doesn't seem to be a VPL Editor on the main page of PPM, and the Forum Search doesn't seem to come up with anything relevant...

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Bittah Commander
Defense Minister


Joined: 21 May 2003
Location: The Netherlands

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.ppmsite.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30681
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Sir Shockwave
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 06 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bittah Commander wrote:
http://www.ppmsite.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=30681


Cheers! I'll look into that when I get a few moments.

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DaRTzO
Laser Commando


Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Location: Country Swing

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not come up with something new? What's with the constant rehashing of Red Alert story lines with some pre-made public assets and worse gameplay than the original games.

TI does it well, but sometimes the gameplay is lacking in the single player, plus the story is dull as balls.

MO has very good gameplay, but the missions always feel very dull and have been done a million times before in other RTS including YR/RA2 itself.

Both of the above seem to have very good multiplayer gameplay, but very dull single player gameplay, you could say it's just a personal opinion, but those games never got me sucked in to play more than 2-3 missions at random. The way they are made just has that "just another scenario/challenge." feel to them.


So far your mod looks to be just another personal flavour mod, instead of jumping in so fast try to spend more time on planning, that's where your true design decisions will be made. Which will make the road for developing the actual mod much much easier.

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Sir Shockwave
Cyborg Firebomber


Joined: 06 Sep 2011

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaRTzO wrote:
Why not come up with something new? What's with the constant rehashing of Red Alert story lines with some pre-made public assets and worse gameplay than the original games.


...We've not even really talked anything about Gameplay or truly begun working yet, so how do you even come to this assessment? I think Graion's post also covers a lot of why this is a "rehash".

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Atomic_Noodles
Defense Minister


Joined: 05 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well if your going total conversion making new sets of sprites for the SHP units wouldn't be a problem. Look at those indie games ... heck if your really that impatient you could just mirror the last 3 facings as well.
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DaRTzO
Laser Commando


Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Location: Country Swing

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sir Shockwave wrote:

...We've not even really talked anything about Gameplay or truly begun working yet, so how do you even come to this assessment?


Yet you're posting unit designs and graphics already?

So the Soviets will have a armour unit that can shoot air and land while looking mean. While allied will have the average medium battle tank like in the original game.

It's a clear sign that you're already going too far ahead.
I'd give you my story ideas I had when I was thinking about making a MO esq mod for RA2.

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OmegaBolt
President


Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Location: York, England

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Might as well start with faction design first, a story is mostly useless in a mod anyway that is likely going to multiplayer only. You can always work on a story later but gameplay is important.
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DaRTzO
Laser Commando


Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Location: Country Swing

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A story is not useless, a story or even some background story is vital to good faction design. Sure you might not use it in game, but you can post it on the mod site or heck in a little intro pdf with the mod file.

Having a story made out can make it easier to decide on the faction graphical style, gameplay direction, the feel that the faction will have, such as a heavy power slow moving faction with an industrial look like the soviets, or a sleek light fast moving faction which would result in a micro intensive gameplay like the ra2 allied.

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Orac
President


Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DaRTzO wrote:
A story is not useless,

But it can be irrelevant to the process of developing gameplay and visual design.

DaRTzO wrote:
a story or even some background story is vital to good faction design.

It's not. For instance, the heavy defensive faction (GDI) is the good guys while the heavy, defensive faction is the bad guys (Soviets).

DaRTzO wrote:
Sure you might not use it in game, but you can post it on the mod site or heck in a little intro pdf with the mod file.

Where it will be mostly ignored, because people like pictures and playing the game more than they like reading about why the pictures and the game are the way they are.

DaRTzO wrote:
Having a story made out can make it easier to decide on the faction graphical style, gameplay direction, the feel that the faction will have, such as a heavy power slow moving faction with an industrial look like the soviets, or a sleek light fast moving faction which would result in a micro intensive gameplay like the ra2 allied.

See above.  Those faction descriptions could be applied to GDI and Nod respectively while utterly changing their background fiction.

The truth is, you can start where ever you like when it comes to ideation.  And yes, the story and the gameplay and the visuals should all end up tied irrevocably together.  But you can start with any of the three and work towards the others later.

If DaRTzO wants to start with the story that's fine.  I would personally start with something visual because it's a lot easier to convince people of what you're doing and where you want to go with it - in my experience mods which start with a wall of text don't get very far.

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DaRTzO
Laser Commando


Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Location: Country Swing

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orac wrote:

It's not. For instance, the heavy defensive faction (GDI) is the good guys while the heavy, defensive faction is the bad guys (Soviets).


Ohh, so the heavy defensive GDI faction does not look as the good guys, while the soviets don't look more ominous?

What I'm getting at is your lack of a functional cerebrum.



Orac wrote:

See above.  Those faction descriptions could be applied to GDI and Nod respectively while utterly changing their background fiction.

The truth is, you can start where ever you like when it comes to ideation.  And yes, the story and the gameplay and the visuals should all end up tied irrevocably together.  But you can start with any of the three and work towards the others later.


Yet the end result would look more 'appropriate' and realistic, if the back story was at least theorized first.
It leads to a proper design path which results in good game mods, that are actually fun to play.

If you start with some random crap first like "ohhh damn I should make a cool GI, yeah that would be awesome" will that GI play fun? Will it be useful in the game in the finished product? Does it explode in a funny way that spreads guts in all directions? In most likelihood it doesn't and won't in the long run.

That's just an example how all these very similar crap mods have warped into existence, the gameplay usually feels the same, you see 1 or two new units that have been done before in other mods or a bunch that all function very similarly and heavily lack play testing.


At some point it brings  to wonder weather any of these mod makers have any pride at least to keep those mods private just for the sake of some sanity. (I'm not going to name the mods that are #JustAnotherCrapModThatIdidntBotherDesigning. ) Sure people have the right to release what ever they want, but it doesn't matter it has to suck.

If they want to make graphics then make public or private resources, because that's what this thread seems to be about. Speculating about another rehash story line leads to the impression of #JustAnotherCrapModThatIdidntBotherDesigning.

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Orac
President


Joined: 11 Jul 2008
Location: New Zealand

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am super lost.  I'm having trouble deciphering that last post.

DaRTzO wrote:
Orac wrote:

It's not. For instance, the heavy defensive faction (GDI) is the good guys while the heavy, defensive faction is the bad guys (Soviets).


Ohh, so the heavy defensive GDI faction does not look as the good guys, while the soviets don't look more ominous?

I'm not sure what you're meaning?  My point is that from a gameplay perspective the Soviets and GDI are pretty similar, with a focus on heavier, slower weapons than their opponents.  In both cases they're the heavy, defensive faction.  Both are pretty much functionally identical if we set story and visuals aside and just assess them from a purely technical standpoint.

That's the gameplay part, and since players are going to be playing within this framework it's a lot more important to get the gameplay right.  It's the part which generates the fun.

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Graion Dilach
Defense Minister


Joined: 22 Nov 2010
Location: Iszkaszentgyörgy, Hungary

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lemme try sum up the opinions here.

DaRTzO:
Story/lore ==> faction design ==> consistent faction arsenal ==> balance playtesting ==> good mod.

Others
faction sketch around a gameplay niche ==> normalize ==> normalize interfaction elements ==> balance playtesting ==> good mod.

I vote for the latter as well tbh.
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DaRTzO
Laser Commando


Joined: 18 Jan 2006
Location: Country Swing

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orac wrote:

That's the gameplay part, and since players are going to be playing within this framework it's a lot more important to get the gameplay right.  It's the part which generates the fun.


Correct, so why do people start designing graphics first?

I was implying that to produce a consistent graphical design for a faction that applies to the feel of the gameplay for that same faction some sort of a story would have to be developed for that faction.
It also helps prevent consistency mistakes later on.

It would be sensible to decide on the story first, then faction gameplay and graphical design OR to decide and test around with gameplay using dummy units (graphics wise) then revolve the story around that and finally to work on the graphics.

It improves the workflow of the mod and makes all things simpler in the end while reducing inconsistencies, that's the whole point I'm trying to get at.  All in all I believe that the game designers or modders that follow the above mentioned path end up with a more immersive world/gameplay in the end.

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ApolloTD
Commander


Joined: 19 Nov 2003

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, its pretty evident that this has no clear direction or theme to it and given OP's lack of artistical skill it may be best you start with training your skill set mod than anything serious at this stage.

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Zero18
Commander


Joined: 10 Dec 2012
Location: I'm too busy conquering the world!

PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Give it some time #Tongue

I had to reset my mod three times before I found that future semi-realism fits my mod and I enjoy making it.

Shockwave,  I suggest that you rethink what you want to do. Set up story how it will roll out. What is the main purpose of your mod and what is it about?
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