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Topics - vbGamer

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1
Spore: General / SPORE as a platform
« on: September 06, 2008, 06:14:14 pm »
About 3 1/2 years ago, I wrote an article (in fact, I thought about it a few months before hand) about what the future of gaming (yes, that's my nick on that forum -- please don't reply to that thread in that forum, it's already eons old.) might be like. I was starting to draw this up just before Wil Wright announced SPORE to the world. I was in the process of finishing it when I found SPORE (thus the references to SPORE in the 2nd part).

To sum it up, if this is an entirely new genre, then SPORE is a newborn - only seconds old. I saw a thread somewhere here about Blizzard or another company and SPORE as a development platform. Essentially, it would be a freeform MMO type game. Multiple play-styles would be handled by having multiple universes, galaxies, solar systems, planets, continents, etc. that may or may not allow a player to interact with it. (i.e., a planet that's a RPG can't be killed off by someone playing a galatic trade wars game).


2
Spore: General / The Sporepedia (website mainly) should be categorized...
« on: September 05, 2008, 08:14:34 pm »
(although the game sporepedia wouldn't hurt, too)

Right now, there's vehicles, buildings, etc. being included in the creature count. That makes it kind of hard to search for creatures when half of the things aren't even creatures at all. It should go something like this -

Creatures (maybe even break this into subgroups of carnivore, omnivore, herbavore)
--Cell Stage
--Ocean Stage (after an expansion pack, obviously)
--Creature Stage
--Tribal Stage (clothing)

Vehicles
--Land Based
--Sea Based
--Air Based
--UFOs

Buildings
Flora
Planets & Stars (how many kinds of stars can there be, anyway?)

3
I just noticed that the CC icon has an orange lizard looking over it. I was also looking at the Firefox logo. Both are blue and orange, and, despite one being a fox and the other a lizard, it looks like one is a flipped image of the other. That is, if you rotated the FF icon (creature is facing away, and has its' right arm on the globe), you'd get something like the CC icon (creature facing you, left arm showing). The funny thing is, the web Sporepedia works with Firefox, and not IE.

4
Spore: General / How excited are you about getting SPORE?
« on: June 25, 2008, 08:38:54 pm »
Now that we've had a chance to play with the editor, and see some of the things behind the game, how excited or not excited is everyone?

Personally, I'm a bit unsure how things are going to work seeing how they took out some things like physics. Will planets and asteroids still work in the same way? (i.e., if I smash 10 asteroids together, will they just form a larger and larger ball, or could I actually create an oblong world with a wobbly rotation? If I drag a planet closer to the sun, or vice versa, will the changes still take effect?) I already miss the water stage, too... When creating a creature with a very complex limb structure (i.e., 20 joints), the limbs stay very rigid, and aren't very flexible.

Secondly - maybe it's just the fact that I have the trial editor - the procedural sounds seem too generic. While the octave goes up/down depending on the size, the mouths on each row all sound alike (save for slight variations in pitch). I'm already tired of the dances - all limbs do the same thing. (i.e., on "Point").

Third, it seems like all creatures, no matter out unorthodox they look, could be successfull. For example, they all run at the same speed.

Other than that, I'm looking forward to the game. I really want to try out the space stage and create my own planets and biomes.

5
I was thinking back to GDC 2005 how different creatures (dalama, tweetybird) all moved at different rates. The "tweetybird" creature had a slow wobble to it, and the dalama was very fast. I tried creating creatures like that in the editor (I have the demo), but they seem to move at the same speed. It seems making a creature really large (and top-heavy), or skinny makes no difference at all.

6
Spore: Sporepedia Exchange / vbGamer's creatures
« on: June 17, 2008, 05:40:06 pm »
Sporepedia Page

Here's some creatures I've been experimenting with -

My first creature - Gry Isn't he cute?  :D (I had made it before registering, so I had to re-save it to upload it) It's kind of buggy when it moves, though.



My 2nd creature - Tree Dancer


And my 3rd creature - Logamarch



7


This one is of the Naucean chasing a primitive form of my Petosparian (which has a spiky grasper on its' tail for defense). Other creatures are:

Aquatic Willosaur (top-right corner - it's supposed to be in the distance)
7-armed webbed starfish
Primative Insnarl
A school of fish
And a few plants (kelp, water cactus)

8
Spore: Creation Corner / New-ish creature (no name)
« on: March 20, 2007, 04:59:07 pm »
This is a remake of a test creature I drew a year ago. I was attempting to use an airbrush, and a marker as an outline, as well as gradients. I'm using Paint Shop Pro, so I don't think it has a very good airbrush...


9
Spore: Creation Corner / Drawing and Coloring Tips
« on: May 22, 2006, 05:24:05 pm »
I think there should be a thread on how to make really great looking artwork of creatures (like the Naucean), and other accessories that they may have (clothing, weapons, foods, ships, planets, etc.). I'll probably edit this thread to make it more index-like if there's lots of good stuff in here. (Maybe it could be stickied?) Feel free to add any tips, and what paint programs you use.

10
I was just thinking of this while watching the videos of the camera moving through the grass, and the heard of quadrapud creatures interacting, and one of them looking at another species, then backing away. It would be nice to make little videos, add comments, etc. as if it were a Wildlife Kingdom show - especially to show off our worlds on the web.

11
Spore: General / Orbit/Collision simulator
« on: March 25, 2006, 07:35:56 pm »
Here's an interesting little program to help tide us over until atleast E3. It's an orbit/planet simulator. You can even see the planetoids collide, break up, and possibly reform. It isn't 100% userfriendly (you'll have to guess at the coordinates), but it's quite fun. You can start off with a 'scenario', and place a sun in the middle to see how it affects things. The further out you go, the dimmer the light from the sun gets, too. The keypad moves the screen, too.

12
Spore: Creation Corner / CREATURE: Sentient Petopsarian
« on: March 18, 2006, 05:43:01 pm »
(for the lack of a better name)

Note: I did add "Age to Maturity" in my Creature Properties list.

Name: Petopsarian
Type: Sentient Flying Fish.
Lifestyle: Carnivorous Swarm.
Habitat: Coastal, marshlands, forest, rivers.
Size: Approx. 3 feet.
Weight: 5-7 pounds.
Diet: Small mammals/reptiles (35%), Fish (15%), fruits (30%), nuts (10%), Grains (Crops) (10%).
Hunt/Forage Success Rate: 75%
Armor: None.
Defenses: A long, snake-like tail used grasp objects. They also have the ability to breathe underwater again, as well as above water.
Weapons: A double-beak.
Tools: This creature is in the Stone Age, but still uses its tail to fashion tools. The creature’s wings are strong enough that it can hover while working.
Method of Eating: Hunting, some agrarian farming.
Lifespan: 35 years.
Reproductive Rate: 1-3 offspring per year.
Age of Maturity (adulthood): 8 years.
Gestation: 5 months.
Offspring Survival Rate (before age of maturity): 33%
Offspring incubation: 2-5 eggs are laid between tree branches in underwater nursery huts. 1/2 of the eggs are always "dummy eggs" to appear more appetizing to predators.
Appearance: The sentient Petopsarian is bluish-green in texture, and has four wings. Newborns are born without wings; however, they shed their skin only once when they reach maturity. Only then, do their wings show.
Description: This Petopsarian is in the tribal stage and has its habitat below and above water. During the first 5 years, they live underwater. They sometimes do come up above water during tribal feasts. Between the ages of 5 and 8, their bodies start to develop a second skin, which will be shed as they develop wings during this time. “First Flight”, an annual Rite of Passage, takes place at age 8. These creatures are very intellectual and learn quickly. The inner beak also acts as sort of a grasper. It is flexible, and can chew food while the outer beak holds it. When the creature wants to sleep, it will alternate beating its upper and lower wings (upper wings for an hour, then lower wings). This way, it can hover over the ground without fear of predators.

Culture:

The Underwater Nursery & Education - This is where the baby Petopsarian grows up, and plays. They will swim to the top from time to time, but mostly stay in their nursery. The nursery is connected to the Petopsarian’s huts, and the above ground section contains bars, which the young use to strengthen their graspers and tails. This is actually an educational tool for them, as they will need to rely on their ultra-flexible tail later in life.

Age 0 - Newly hatched, the beaks have not yet fully formed. They look more like normal pieces of skin, but harden after the first 4-6 months. At 10 months, the newborn will crawl into the above-ground section of the nursery - typically coaxed by the parents. Despite their age, these young instinctively know how to hunt for small prey using their double-beaks.

Age 1 - Newborns this age are able to thrash their tails around, usually hitting their siblings in the process. Fortunately, their grasper won’t harden for another 3 years. It is strong enough to hold things, though. It is also at this age that the Petopsarians learn to use their flexible tail to move around. They make some squawking noises while learning to form sounds through their modified gills. Their first words and sentences are formed at this stage, too.

Age 2 - Petopsarians at this stage can now slither, as well as hold their body upright (not much unlike a snake about to strike). They are very active, and are actually ready for schooling at this age, thanks to their increased maturity. (Future generations will slow this down, as the age to maturity increases to 22. These guys still have a few dozen millennia or so to develop) “Schooling” at this age involves learning to hold an object with their tail while slithering, and not using their grasper. This further develops tail strength.

Age 3-5 - Their “schooling” continues as they become more proficient using their tail. They are finally allowed to use their graspers by age 5 to wield things like spears. Also by age 5, “schooling” involves staying by the shore while watching their parents go out and hunt. The parents bring the kill to the kids, and they respond by tossing the spear from over their heads to the kill. This develops their accuracy. They are on the shore for 10-15% of the time. The rest of the time, they spend underwater. Part of their education here is swimming in swarms while using their graspers to pluck out prey from the water.

Age 6-8 - Juveniles this age start to develop a “second skin”, while their “inner skin” develops the wings they need to fully hunt. Juveniles this age will venture out onto the shore (about 30% of the time), and slither around while trying to catch small prey with their beaks, or graspers.

Age 8 - So begins their Rite of Passage. They will spend a week inside the nursery shedding their second skin. The skin starts to form scale-like sections and fall off when they are dry. While the juvenile’s have an adult body, they will still spend the next 6 years growing.

Games - (pictures to come later)

Ages 0-3:

At this age, newborns and ‘toddlers’ have simple toys made out of clay, grass and mud from the marsh. These are usually round mud-balls with a bamboo-leaf shell around it. Parents will often place food inside of it for the kids to enjoy.


Ages 4-8:

- Lake Toss
This game involves having a bar (usually a spear placed lengthwise across two branches) in the middle of the swamp. The organizers of the game (school teachers) will have the kids use their tail to grab onto the bar. The kids are then instructed to curl their tail, and start swinging towards the water. The kids must spin around the bar three times before letting go. The fish who lands the furthest away, wins.

- Spear Jousting
While actual spears aren’t used, weak bamboo plants are. The teachers have the kids swim through the lake with their tails above the water, and over their heads. The object is to knock the other player’s stick into the water.

- Catch
This is the simple game of catch with a ball made out of bamboo, clay and mud.


Ages 9-14:

- Swamp Racing
This is a flying competition for young Petopsarians to test out their wings. It’s a simple racing game, and whoever circles the lake first, wins.

- Spear Fly & Toss
Petopsarians will hold the spear, and fly a certain distance, and then release it to a target. The goal is to get it as close to the target as possible, and to penetrate as deep as possible. This is also a training exercise for new recruits to whatever army the community has.

Ages 14+

- Wrestling
Petopsarians will wrap their tails and graspers around each other and try to wrestle the other from the sky. Pulling off of wings (they do regenerate) is an automatic disqualification.

Military
Military training for Petopsarians begins when they are 6, just as they are developing their second skin. These cadets will spend 40% of their time above water to further strengthen their tails and grasper. The time spent underwater is used to practice swarm formations. Once they sprout wings, they graduate to regular training, which involves many “Spear Fly & Toss” sessions, as well as jousting. By age 12, they are taken on raids with older Petopsarians to learn tactics and skills. They don’t participate in the fighting, but are used as scouts until age 14. At 14, they begin to participate in actual raiding.

Domestic
On the home front, time is spent working around the colony. Several Petopsarians will work together as part of a small swarm to accomplish a certain task, mostly weaving and pottery making.



Religion
Religion is simplistic in Petopsarian culture during the Stone Age. There is a sect which will pluck their wings out every 2 weeks (the amount of time it takes for their wings to fully grow back). These wings are used to build an opaque hut in which the shaman will live in. Petopsarian wings will secrete a milky substance when plucked, which make the wings more opaque, and thus lose their transparency.




This is its' extendable beak. (catching a worm)


13
Spore: Creation Corner / Creature Artwork Drawing Techniques...?
« on: March 11, 2006, 10:28:42 am »
I've been looking at the stunning Naucean pictures (I can never get enough of them), and I'm wondering, what drawing techniques are used to draw creatures?

I've tried drawing a few times, but it never turns out that good. I can do things in general detail, but if it comes down to the limbs, hands, head, etc., it doesn't come out right.

14
Spore: General / Keeping track of ones' planets...
« on: January 31, 2006, 04:33:28 pm »
I know in the video last year, it showed a marker for the player's home city, and where other sentient-inhabited planets were. But, since a galaxy has 100,000+ places to explore (and the light effects might make it hard to pick out areas from far away), I think there should be some feature to highlight (in a simplified 3D view), which planets are yours, which planets are inhabited by another lifeform, which planets have athmospheres, but no life, and which ones are "dead" (no athmosphere) - like moons and such.

Imagine viewing a 3D model of "pixels" (or spherical polygons rather). The dimmed down view would show:

White - Young stars.
Yellow - Medium Aged stars.
Red - Dying stars.
Green - Planets with an athmosphere.
Blue - Planets that are inhabited by your creature.
Purple - Planets that are inhabited by other creatures (not sentient)
Orange - Planets that are inhabited by other creatures that are sentient.
Gray - Planets and moons that are "dead" (lifeless)
Dark Green - User specific planets (ones being terraformed, ones that the user sets as a zoo-ology planet).

The polygonic spheres would vary in size depending on the size of the planet/moon/sun.

I think that would help to easily pick out where things are in the universe, rather than trying to look for your planets on the wrong side of the galaxy.

15
PC Games / SimCity4 question - How do you make regions?
« on: November 16, 2005, 08:34:38 pm »
I've got the Rush Hour expansion pack along with SC4, and I've created a new region (blank -- made a directory). I called it "test". Now, I've edited a config.bmp file (I've looked at several tutorial sites), and made it all blue (blue value = 255). But... the region is still showing up with random tiny/small/large sections. I'm not sure how everyone gets custom regions...

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