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Bring battles to life

 
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Cooker



Joined: 20 Mar 2000
Posts: 1710

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:15 am    Post subject: Bring battles to life Reply with quote Back to top

In the first majesty, once a hero enters combat he goes into the attack animation loop. She or he blindly swings away at a predetermined direction. And judging from their animation they might as will be processing lumber.

I hope to see more dynamic combat animation in majesty II. For example, a defender would visibly parry attack, dodge out of the way or block a blow with the shield. An attacker would conduct different attack moves such as high or low thrusts or cuts. If a creature gets hit, it visibly staggers.

This is most easily achieved by synchronizing defenderís animation with the attacker. For example, a warrior attacks, a random attack animation is picked, in this example, he picked high horizontal cut. His target is a rogue. The attack missed, so the code checks the animation for missing a high horizontal cut, which is a duck. So the end result is a warrior swinging wildly over the head of a ducking rogue.

The combat in majesty tends to be quite long and diverse animation help making them interesting. I would expect a lot of people to be watching the battles so animations that really brings battle to life is a very nice touch to have.
Combat animations:

In the first majesty, once a hero enters combat he goes into the attack animation loop. She or he blindly swings away at a predetermined direction. And judging from their animation they might as will be processing lumber.

I hope to see more dynamic combat animation in majesty II. For example, a defender would visibly parry attack, dodge out of the way or block a blow with the shield. An attacker would conduct different attack moves such as high or low thrusts or cuts. If a creature gets hit, it visibly staggers.

This is most easily achieved by synchronizing defenderís animation with the attacker. For example, a warrior attacks, a random attack animation is picked, in this example, he picked high horizontal cut. His target is a rogue. The attack missed, so the code checks the animation for missing a high horizontal cut, which is a duck. So the end result is a warrior swinging wildly over the head of a ducking rogue.

The combat in majesty tends to be quite long and diverse animation help making them interesting. I would expect a lot of people to be watching the battles so animations that really brings battle to life is a very nice touch to have.
 
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Cooker



Joined: 20 Mar 2000
Posts: 1710

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:23 am    Post subject: Technical note: Reply with quote Back to top

This is most easily achieved by storing reference or pointer of combat animation in vectors, for example ANI_ATTK, ANI_HIT and ANI_MISS.

The hit and miss animation of a given attack is saved under the same index. For example, the hit animation for ANI_ATTK [12] is ANI_MISS [12]. When an attack is conducted, the style of attack (e.g. 12) is passed to defender, so itís a simple matter of invoking the defense animation on the defender.

Skeletal animation is probably needed. Otherwise one has to pre-script a lot of animations by applying the same skeleton to a large number of models. Either way it seemed very doable. But an animation expert might have a word or two on this topic.
 
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Alfryd



Joined: 03 Dec 2002
Posts: 914

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Cooker, cooker, cooker, display some ambition, please. I want the hero AI to have such an exquisite knowledge of newtonian physics that they will calculate the exact surface angle on their swords neccesary to parry an opponent's blow at it's apparent incoming velocity, while compensating for wind shear, sun glare, and phase of the moon, and display this result correctly on the 3d model while maintaining balance, poise, and a certain air of reserved dignity WHILE DANCING A POLKA.

Apologies. It's just that this seems like using physics engine to ensure that no two buildings will collapse into heaps of charred rubble the same way. There is no gameplay value.

Quote:
Skeletal animation is probably needed. Otherwise one has to pre-script a lot of animations by applying the same skeleton to a large number of models.

Even applying the same animation to different models, bone by bone, won't always work if the characters in question are supposed to have notably different posture and proportions. And different classes- possibly even different characters within a class (though that would probably require custom animations too)- would use different weapons. So Cyberlore would probably end up needing to do a variety of custom animations for every class of character (though some would be fairly minor tweaks of others.)

And even if you manage this, which Cyberlore could, but I think other items should have higher priority, close inspection will reveal that large characters who duck are still physically stabbed by short characters, also known as 'limbo dancer syndrome'. That parrying weapons slide through an opponent's blade. Not many people will notice this, but not many people are going to zoom in on individual characters. If they've any sense, they've better things to do, like applying sovereign buffs and checking HP.

In addition, this is not just a cosmetic change. A creature who staggers when hit should, logically, take longer to swing their blade and connect. Parrying a blow means you're not striking one. Dodging requires you move around the place. This all applied to simpler animations, of course, but it is extra hassle.

In spite of all this, I reluctantly concede I would like to see this feature too. But it wouldn't be at the top of my list of priorities.
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Cooker



Joined: 20 Mar 2000
Posts: 1710

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Glad you have taste for good graphics. A text game with ASCII interface is probably not going to cut it :P

cout >> "hire hero?" >> endl;
cin << hire_yes_no;
... Very Happy
 
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Alberinian Wildmaster



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 298
Location: Travelling to Distant Lands

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Yes, this would be very nice to have. But for the people with small computers, I'd like to ask a question. HOW MUCH SPACE IS THIS GOING TO TAKE!!?.
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Cooker



Joined: 20 Mar 2000
Posts: 1710

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Alberinian Wildmaster wrote:
Yes, this would be very nice to have. But for the people with small computers, I'd like to ask a question. HOW MUCH SPACE IS THIS GOING TO TAKE!!?.


about a square foot for laptops ...
 
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Alberinian Wildmaster



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
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Location: Travelling to Distant Lands

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I mean, how much disk space?
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Cooker



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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

depends on algorithm
no more then 50 MB is needed in the worst case. (textures aren't animated)
 
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Alberinian Wildmaster



Joined: 26 Mar 2005
Posts: 298
Location: Travelling to Distant Lands

 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

What algorithm?
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Cooker



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 PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2005 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

depends on if you implement stuff like modular animation (NWN) or process driven animation. i don't expect you to be familar with any.
 
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