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FPSC Classic Product Chat / The basics for FPSC

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Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 5th Jan 2005 23:47
I'm getting the sinking feeling that FPSC is missing out on some core FPS concepts. If I'm wrong please accept my humble apology.

Here are what I think most people would agree are "staple" (basic) concepts applicable to all current and future first person shooters. If FPSC doesn't have these elements then Rich, Lee and the rest of the crew should give serious consideration to them for after the EA release:

Jumping - a core element. Players should be able to hop or jump and as such be able to traverse obstacles - boxes, crates, low walls. They should also be able to jump across small gaps which provide obstacles as well.

Melee weapons - I believe this is the single most asked about feature since I have been here. Melee combat is a basic element from even the very first FPS - wolfenstein 3D (it contained a knife the player wielded and dog enemies with bite attacks. I can't think of a single FPS that doesn't contain at least one melee weapon for the player and multiple enemies with hand-to-hand attacks from dogs to zombies, ninjas, and clawed monsters. I realize time and time again TGC has stated that there will NOT be any melee combat in the early adopter release, but if this concept is never implemented in the game it will be the single most hated aspect of FPSC and it will show up in every review ever done of the software. Guaranteed.

Movable objects - second to switches, objects which can be moved (typically crates) are the most common puzzle elements used in FPS games. Movable objects are used in jumping puzzles, pressure plate triggers, or even just as ambience (anyone remember the pool tables in Duke Nukem 3D or even cooler was the basketball in System Shock 2). Obviously this may be better suited for the physics add on when objects can properly respond to the player and environment.

Cut Scenes / Cinematics - the second most asked about feature. I still hold that this is a powerful and necessary component if FPSC is ever going to be anything other than a click and play toy. Cutscenes are an integral part of current first person shooters as storytelling becomes a more important and expected aspect of games.
At a minimum the software should support some kind of mechanism for displaying media files (mpeg, avi), but it would be much more elegant to incorporate camera or player control into the scripting system - rotating, zooming, panning, hiding the HUD and so forth.

I really hope that TGC will consider these features careful and decide that they are important enough to implement if they haven't already.

Thanks very much for your time.
Richard Davey
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Posted: 6th Jan 2005 00:19
You can jump. You've always been able to jump.

There will be no melee weapons in the EA release. That doesn't rule them out from V1.

Some objects move, just not many. This will come.

Cut Scenes - not yet. It's significantly harder than you assume to create a cut-scene editor. We will tackle this eventually, but not yet, there are more important things.

Super Joe crack combat soldier fights a long battle against overwhelming odds.
SkyCubes
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Posted: 6th Jan 2005 00:23
An excellent post, pogo. In fact, one of the best, most meaningful posts I've seen here in months. I agree whole-heartedly with your assessment.

The only thing I would change is moving the cinematics/cut-scenes issue to the #1 priority spot. If game design doesn't have at it's core the storytelling feature, then it becomes nothing more than a pathetic, useless waste of time and energy.

I'm confident the developers of FPSC understand these issues and will hopefully offer their comments as to how they plan to integrate these and other features into the final boxed release.
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 6th Jan 2005 00:41
Quote: "You can jump. You've always been able to jump.

There will be no melee weapons in the EA release. That doesn't rule them out from V1.

Some objects move, just not many. This will come.

Cut Scenes - not yet. It's significantly harder than you assume to create a cut-scene editor. We will tackle this eventually, but not yet, there are more important things."


Thanks Richard for your reply. This makes me feel a lot more comfortable with the future of FPSC and it's application outside of just "playing around for fun".

Quote: "An excellent post, pogo. In fact, one of the best, most meaningful posts I've seen here in months. I agree whole-heartedly with your assessment."


Thanks. I am *trying*. It can get a little frustrating around here at times, but it's a great place for the aspiring designer to find tools and help
uman
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Posted: 6th Jan 2005 01:15
PogoPogo

I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments and who wouldn't. Though I would also agree with fdecker that cut scenes are the most important feature of your list and should be the top priority of those listed.

In fact personally I would like to see FPSC developed to become a full featured engine which would combine ease of use including advanced scripting functions with higher engine capabilities. Just because it is meant to be easy to use should not preclude these things.

No such engine currently exists and its whats missing from the indie scene. A combination of ease of use and advanced features and functions.
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 6th Jan 2005 02:36
Quote: "No such engine currently exists and its whats missing from the indie scene. A combination of ease of use and advanced features and functions. "


Exactly! Well put uman. This is precisely what I would like to see for FPSC also. I can only hope that Rich, Lee & the others are dedicated to supporting FPSC to the point of making it the incredible piece of software that it deserves to be.
Coldnews
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Posted: 6th Jan 2005 07:55 Edited at: 6th Jan 2005 07:56
yes! this is what we need. I agree cut-scenes being number 1 priority as well. And Rich saying that they will tackle it is a great sign. Should be number 1 priority and I don't think that it should really be an add-on pack either. Maybe an advanced cut scene editor as an add on pack. But a basic one included in Version 1 for sure...
theres a little more discussion on this here:
http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=44060&b=21
edit: yes, I also agree that this is a very good post.

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Noldor
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Posted: 6th Jan 2005 09:48
i dont agree that cut-scenes are that important. I will be happy if i youst get to put one screen of text between maps to tie the story together. I think melee attacks are much more important..
Sry i dont mean to start flaming..
I hope they will tackle both these things in time..
But i dont agree that cut-scenes should be Nr1 on the list
i think melee should be Nr1.
Noah
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Posted: 7th Jan 2005 06:38


Cutscenes are definitely more important than melee weapons. If you make a good game without melee weapons, so what? Without cutscenes, you can't really make a good game. And text screens don't work either ! Melee weapons are very important though. If you make this great game without them, and then FPSC introduces the ability to have them, you could easily just edit the game and put them in. But you can't do that with cutscenes.

That makes cutscenes better, and they are. In at least almost everyone on this forum's opinions.
David T
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Posted: 7th Jan 2005 07:15
Remember - FPSC isn't designed to make the be all and end all of FPSes. Omissions of things such as cut scenes won't be disastrous. I have a feeling cutscenes will be lower down in priority, due to the logistics of a cutscene editor

If you all need these hundreds of extra features such as fading out green trailed bullets, go code it in something like dbpro - It's harder than you think

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MaddA ChieF
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Posted: 7th Jan 2005 08:25
I agree with David T. Codeing is harder than you think.(sry if i didnt spell codeing right!)
Noah
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Posted: 7th Jan 2005 08:44
I agree too, but isn't the least TGC can do for cutscenes is make a video importer?
David T
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Posted: 7th Jan 2005 15:49
That may be possible.

Get 15 new commands, all the date / time commands left out of DBPro for free!
DOWNLOAD PLUGINS HERE: http://www.davidtattersall.me.uk/ and select "DarkBasic"
uman
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Posted: 7th Jan 2005 18:25
Many valid points here of course. Priorities for different features in individuals will differ somewhat depending on what kind of game they are into developing. Users will want features - the more the better - and quite rightly so - thats human nature and no matter what engine one is using one will always want to make better games which may ideally require a range off features and functions found in modern titles.

It would be nice to see any game engine developer give indie users the functions and features they seek so that they can indeed make those games which in turn would provide power to the engine and its developers.

Yes we all or at least many will know that its not easy to make quality engine which can provide a full compliment of features. Personally I have been developing and still develop now with a number of engines and know of the some of the difficulties involved in providing advanced features, particularly at the reasonable and low price TGC are looking to sell FPSC for - though that is a decision not of our choice.

If people interested in FPSC wanted to use other engines or thought that any other engine would suit the needs of small developers then they would not be giving any of their time to this forum, they would be long gone. Other engines including anything made by TGC cant do what they want. If they did there would be a lot more finished games around.

People here if they have been around game engines for any length of time will be looking for an engine that will help them be productive more than anything else by providing certain features which are built in and WORK properly and are customisable. e.g. pathfinding and AI. Provided features such as these release us small developers from vast amounts of wasted time fighting with notoriously difficult coding aspects of game making and allow us to work in other areas and concentrate on those aspects of game making.

I am sure we will make games with FPSC and many users will complete games that otherwise would never have been made.

What potential users are asking for is to give us the tools so that we can make better games than would otherwise be the case. That seems to be a reasonable request.

It is obvious to anyone for instance that a game with a decent storyline requires features like cut scenes and that a sci-fi game needs some sci-fi weapons. I dont think that needs to be pointed out to TGC as I am sure they are aware of that - they may just not want to the capability to you - which is a shame.

We will all have to wait and see. Until FPSC is released you wont know whether it is likely to be potentially suitable to make your game with.

Its the end of the first week of January and no EA release version date announcement as promised yet, so I guess you will have to keep requesting features while you wait..........

Rob K
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Posted: 7th Jan 2005 23:58
Quote: "It is obvious to anyone for instance that a game with a decent storyline requires features like cut scenes and that a sci-fi game needs some sci-fi weapons. I dont think that needs to be pointed out to TGC as I am sure they are aware of that - they may just not want to the capability to you - which is a shame."


I agree - seeing as DBPro already has commands to play animations in AVI or WMA format, it should be a doddle to at least add a command to the FPI scripting library to allow cutscene videos to be played.


BlueGUI:Windows UI Plugin - All the power of the windows interface in your DBPro games.
Noah
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 05:59
A "doddle" is a quick and easy thing, correct? Cause if there's no cutscenes. . .
David T
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 06:47
Yes

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Noah
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 08:29
Good. etc.
Noldor
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 10:36
i hope you do understand that no melee means
no melee for players but also no melee for
monsters.
You can then only make games with soldiers and
enemys with guns.. (bullets/rockets/grenades)
That leaves out so much.
like
zombies, aliens, orcs, animals and so much more.
Think about that before you dismiss melee from
being important.
i will buy the program what ever. youst wanted you to realise
how important melee is.
Richard Davey
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 10:51
I hope you do understand what "There will be no melee weapons in the EA release. That doesn't rule them out from V1." means too.

As for cut-scenes, they are not the be-all and end-all of an FPS game. I could quite happily have played Painkiller without any of the stupid videos inbetween, the game was still awesome. It is however on the to-do list, but so are lots of other things. This product, like all others we create, will evolve over time - but you have to actually start somewhere.

Cheers,

Rich

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SoulMan
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 13:08
Rich is very much correct. People here are too worried about what we may or may not get. Do you really need cutscenes to do a game? HalfLife 2 had no video and all the cut scenes took place while in 1st person mode. Did this work? Of course it did. In fact, Doom1 and Doom2 and Quake really didn't have cut scenes (doom2 just had a message pop up once in a blue moon and quake only popped up a message at the end of each realm)
I think we need to focus on what we know will be in there and work from there. Plus remember this is EA, feedback is really going to help TGC put together an awsome product so they can continue bringing us these programs. So don't forget to report stuff or send in suggestions when we get our copies of EA.
SoulMan

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Anime civil
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 13:16
Well, if everyone is THAT much concernet baout making their game "superior", you could decompile your finished product and edit it in I think the Dark Basic Language, since FPSC was made in db. You edit it to whatever you want, compile it, save it, and Hoola!

It's done

Of course, now you need to find a decompiler, and I don't think it's even legal

Animecivil
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 13:22
Quote: "People here are too worried about what we may or may not get."


I want a pony. Blue or pink, I don't care.
If I don't get a pony with EA, I damn well better get one with v1 or at the very least with the physics pack upgrade. If I don't get it then I refuse to but more than 3 or 4 more products from TGC (5 tops). And I mean it. I really do.

Quote: "HalfLife 2 had no video and all the cut scenes took place while in 1st person mode."

So did Half-Life 1 and about EVERY other FPS game in last 4 years. Sadly though FPSC will not initially contain this capability. However it hasn't been ruled out for later so I will hold out and hope for the best.

Quote: "In fact, Doom1 and Doom2 and Quake really didn't have cut scenes"

No one is going to buy Doom 1,2 or Quake. BUT They might buy Half-Life or Unreal with a really solid storyline and great textures / skinning. I'm glad the casual hobbyist will enjoy playing with FPSC, but I'm looking for more commercial applications.

Quote: "So don't forget to report stuff or send in suggestions when we get our copies of EA."
I'm sending my suggestions now.

PS - I do agreee that all of the sudden there have been some pretty silly and rather *ahem* "specific" requests... that are a bit unrealistic.
Noldor
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 21:47
Quote: "I'm glad the casual hobbyist will enjoy playing with FPSC, but I'm looking for more commercial applications."

If you are looking for a program to make the GREAT next game to
sell and get rich do you realy think FPSC is the way..
I have not used it yet so i cant say that its the
wrong way to go i youst think it sounds a litle out there.
nemo85
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Posted: 8th Jan 2005 22:27
Ok so I'm much more in favour of mele weapons being top of the list for ver.1. This is because it affects the imediate gameplay.

At the mo i'm not to worried about cut scenes, this is because i'm sure eventually you'll be able to add video files. Plus surely if you can alter the hud then at the start of a level you could have a picture of the protagonists commander for example pop up with some text and play a sound file outlineing your objective.

6r1m r34p0r
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Posted: 9th Jan 2005 03:05 Edited at: 9th Jan 2005 03:06
this is off topic,but can you play music? itd be sweet to have techno Darude or heavy metal rock like Breaking Benjamin blasting in my ears while blasting other things.
Noah
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Posted: 9th Jan 2005 03:16
There's another post about music. They talked more about what types you could have, not if you could. But I'm sure you can.
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 9th Jan 2005 04:06
Quote: "If you are looking for a program to make the GREAT next game to
sell and get rich do you realy think FPSC is the way.."


1) I'm not a programmer (well not a good one anyways)
2) I don't have $10,000 to invest in Unreal or the patience to program for Torque, etc. all
3) I'm not looking to make the next GREAT game nor get rich...

So the answer to your question is yes.
Noldor
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Posted: 9th Jan 2005 08:33
Ok Pogo good thing we got that out of the world.
And thanks nvc450 for supporting my opinion.
(or youst having the same one )
MaddA ChieF
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Posted: 9th Jan 2005 12:08 Edited at: 9th Jan 2005 12:09
Yes. I changed my mind and melee is way more important than cutscenes. I just plan on making trigger zones and have kinda fake a cutscene. Like... have a guy come up to you and say,"Oh no!, we're all gonna die... get out of here quick!" Something will explode and then text will come up and say your objective. Plus, it is a bit more realistic seeing it fist person rather than a third person-ish cutscene.

But back to the melee
Quote: "i hope you do understand that no melee means
no melee for players but also no melee for
monsters.
You can then only make games with soldiers and
enemys with guns.. (bullets/rockets/grenades)
That leaves out so much.
like
zombies, aliens, orcs, animals and so much more.
Think about that before you dismiss melee from
being important.
"

Didn't realize melee was so important to a game these days util u said what u said above. No melee isn't good . Make me extremely happy if you guys of TGC get melee in V1. I hope some one agrees melee is important. Thanks guys
Noldor
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Posted: 9th Jan 2005 22:13
Yes make "Madda ChieF" extremely happy.
Noah
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Posted: 9th Jan 2005 22:42
Think of what david said in another post--
you MIGHT be able to make bullets with a real short range.

And you could have monsters--you'd just have to make them pick up guns or have them as part of their arm--though this wouldn't work too well.
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 10th Jan 2005 03:37
Theoretically with enough tinkering an AI script could be developed for melee. Give the enemy an attack that has no bullet animation, appropriate sound effect (claw swish, biting crunch, etc.) and tune the AI to only attack when it is extremly close and facing the player.

Of course I have no idea what options we'll have with AI scripting so this may not work either.
Noldor
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Posted: 10th Jan 2005 04:26
That seems like a probable sollution until they
implement it in later versions.
Noah
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Posted: 10th Jan 2005 04:53
I believe that the scripting system will allow you to do this.
Anime civil
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Quote: "Quote: "If you are looking for a program to make the GREAT next game to
sell and get rich do you realy think FPSC is the way.."

1) I'm not a programmer (well not a good one anyways)
2) I don't have $10,000 to invest in Unreal or the patience to program for Torque, etc. all
3) I'm not looking to make the next GREAT game nor get rich...
"


I'm a programmer
I have patience to program in anything
I want to be rich - like all people

Animecivil
Noldor
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Posted: 12th Jan 2005 07:58
So what is your point??
Do you mean you dont need FPSC
then what are you doing here.
(no offence)
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 12th Jan 2005 08:22
Glad somebody else said it because I just can't come up with a tactful way.

Animecivil I appreciate that you want to join in on discussions and you have as much right to post as anyone, but man use *some* form of etiquette - post something meaningful... don't just jump in on every thread. And seriously EVERY time you post you have to try and talk about programming and how everything can be solved by just programming it in. This software is NOT aimed primarily at programmers.

Wouldn't you feel more at home with DBPro... or in the 3D forums? or playing in traffic?

Seriously dude put those l33t skillz to use making your bling bling elsewhere... cause U R da bomb and shizzy wack yo

*sigh*
Coldnews
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Posted: 12th Jan 2005 11:37
lol! people are going stir crazy.

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Anime civil
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Posted: 12th Jan 2005 11:45 Edited at: 12th Jan 2005 11:47
Well, sorry for the offence, but the above wasn't mentioned for *programming*. Lol, I just wanted to point out I wanted to be rich , but then I decided I would have to answer all the questions, so I said everything else, not aimed at fpsc , but yes, I DO WANT TO BE RICH . And, I'm a problem solver, so I talk and make myself look stupid and say everything can be solved, lol


EDIT:
Quote: "or playing in traffic?"

Been there, done that

Animecivil
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Posted: 14th Jan 2005 12:46 Edited at: 19th Jan 2005 07:00
Melee could be implemented in a different way, think of it this way, if you create a monster which flails its arms around, or bites constantly at the air, you could give it a very tiny or transparent gun, with a script which only allows that gun to "shoot" a very short distance, just make the monsters A.I so that they run to their oppenents. wouldnt that work out? im proud that i came up with this idea...lol hopefully it would work

edited for minor spelling and grammer

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MaddA ChieF
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Posted: 14th Jan 2005 12:50
I think that would work. great idea.

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Chimera
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Posted: 14th Jan 2005 14:43
Indeed, probably should work

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Dave J
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Posted: 15th Jan 2005 09:44
Quote: "Movable objects - second to switches, objects which can be moved (typically crates) are the most common puzzle elements used in FPS games. Movable objects are used in jumping puzzles, pressure plate triggers, or even just as ambience (anyone remember the pool tables in Duke Nukem 3D or even cooler was the basketball in System Shock 2). Obviously this may be better suited for the physics add on when objects can properly respond to the player and environment."


It's very easy to script movable objects, earlier today I just created a level with a bunch of barrels that would move backwards when I shot them, unfortunately there's a few issues with dynamic to dynamic collision that must be sorted first. Movable crates that you can push around to create puzzles are also very easy to implement as well.


Quote: "Cut Scenes / Cinematics - the second most asked about feature. I still hold that this is a powerful and necessary component if FPSC is ever going to be anything other than a click and play toy. Cutscenes are an integral part of current first person shooters as storytelling becomes a more important and expected aspect of games."


I've almost succeeded in scripting cutscenes, although 2 essential commands are missing from the FPI scripting language that's preventing me from getting a full cutscene working completely. I've requested that Lee add the commands but there's no promises yet.


"Computers are useless, they can only give you answers."
Coldnews
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Posted: 15th Jan 2005 09:53 Edited at: 15th Jan 2005 10:02
What type of commands do you have and which are missing, stopping you from scripting cutscenes?
edit: just changed my phrasing of that sentence because I sounded like I was questioning your ability! lol

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Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 15th Jan 2005 12:24
Exeat - thank you very much for the updates. It is most appreciated.

I second Coldnews question to you and was also wondering if your name or avatar have any special significance (I don't recognize them... not that mine does, but hey )
Dave J
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Posted: 15th Jan 2005 13:24
Quote: "What type of commands do you have and which are missing, stopping you from scripting cutscenes?"


To keep things simple, FPI scripting is very basic, essentially you just check a number of conditions and perform actions, the following actions go someway into giving users the ability to implement cutscenes:

PlrMove - Allows you to move the player (essentially the camera) in different directions to portray your scene
Move - Allows you to move entities, which could be setup as enemies, or you could even create an entity to act as the player
Rotate - Rotate the entities/characters
Animate - Run the entities/characters through different animations
LookAtTarget - This even allows you to rotate the head of an entity to look at a specific target

Those would be the main ones used in cutscenes, but there are actually heaps that can be used with the FPI scripting language. The two actions that I felt were missing and really prevented from creating a true cutscene is firstly an action to freeze all user input, so although we can control the camera and entities with FPI, we can't actually stop the user from moving around themself which would ruin the cutscene completely. Secondly, although there is a PlrMove action, there's none for rotating the player and making it face in a different direction, which also completely hinders the cutscene making process.


Quote: "was also wondering if your name or avatar have any special significance"


I have no idea what you mean by 'significance', what is this relating to?


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Coldnews
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Joined: 16th Nov 2004
Location: Liverpool
Posted: 15th Jan 2005 20:47
Ooh! So Close! God, I hope Lee integrates those commands. The lookattarget thingy looks great. Cant wait to mess around with this!
much appreciated. Keep pestering Lee to sort these out!

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Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 15th Jan 2005 21:24
Quote: "I have no idea what you mean by 'significance', what is this relating to? "

Oh I meant was your name / avatar from some certain anime or game or did you just make it up?
Dave J
Retired Moderator
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Location: Secret Military Pub, Down Under
Posted: 16th Jan 2005 09:31
Oh, no, the image is some Japanese fanart of Leon from Resident Evil 2. The name is completely original, however.


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