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  1. #1
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    How to use more cores / memory IF there is spare to use:

    Some random little ideas / thoughts

    - "AI" in more sense then what it generally mean:
    1) General area sounds + check if there is a battle or not + all hidden rolls and checks + random companion talk and when there is a good place to talk in first place (like in tavern or area where you CAN talk, not in deep forest or enemy territory)
    2) Time of year, month, day, hour: in Witcher 3 you were able to even see Gerald beard grow when time pass. I do not expect things like that in this game, but IF party decide to just sit / stand in a multiple hours or even day in one place they should be able to see many things like:
    - Random animals (who miss they spot check for NPC + PC) doing random things
    - Rain, fog, stars, sun moving, clouds moving, wind making trees move, snow, blizzard, thunderstorm and so on.
    - If indoors / populated area (tavern / market or so) multiple different people coming and going, buying, selling, playing, theft, vomit, spit, laugh, curse, fall, cats, dogs, pigs and what not, tumble, fight, get drunk, sing and so on. (Just go for market area and spend few hours there you see MANY people doing many things)
    3) "AI" in general sense + couple more ideas:
    - NPC AI in "normal" life, if you just sit in corner and watch. How big is city/village? How many people you can see come and go in ONE tavern if you go there? Or corner of the market.
    - Little things like "all what you are wearing is showing" is great start. Now it would be even greater if there would be little animation when you either drop your weapon or put it in scabbard, pick an arrow one at a time and so on. I believe this is more used (watched) not in battle but other times.
    - NPC AI in fight situation: make it smart like: if you come closer make them drop long range weapons (it is faster) and take they short swords or so BUT ALLSO if danger go away (for one reason or another) make them pick up they long range weapon and start using it again if battle is going on. They are not (well, not all of them) stupid. That I miss most of the games!
    - Pathfinding and making decicions:
    Why it is so hard to make companions, PC and NPC's to either take cover, use ranged attack or even flee somewhere better place if they are under attack and can not reach attacker? So often we see even mighty dragons or so standing like idiot when enemy is at higher ground or 2 enemies use long range attack and they are in the middle. If they are guarding something and there is a doorway they can not fit.. ..if enemy stay at doorway why they do not just wait in longer distance untill players come close and THEN attack instead of picking they nose at doorway while everyone shoot at them? (Not to mention that they CAN try to close the door or so...)
    - Your "own" music. If you so choose, not every place (maybe in tavern / your own room or so?) but why not allow one extra core and ability to play your own MP3/Flac from your HD?


    Memory part:
    What if you had option to choose how much "extra" memory game would use, not just during the game session but load "memory dump" from start of the game based on your actions during the game? Sure if you have only like 4Gb RAM things are different, but what if you have 32, 64 or 128+Gb? If you are 100% sure that "rest" of your gear need only let's say 4Gb (that is generous) and have 64Gb RAM? So why not choose to give game rest of 60 or so? After all we do live 64bit systems now... (Yes, I know these do not take 60Gb but just an example)

    For little things like:
    - NPC's remember what you have done before in certain area and they call you based on these actions. Not just "your higness" or "baron". But little decicions like in Tyranny where you get nice highlight top of the text and you can see why that random enemy call you "Buthcher", why that village people call you mother or father or saviour or savage?
    - Your own personal diary, just like you had in NWN (with every PC you created you were able to write quite a long story during multiple years for every single DM quest and what ever you wanted to)
    - With extra RAM why not with map with pins? You might be able to add some pins for larger map and get more detailed maps for clicking these pins. (Meaning things you have allready explored and done)
    - Things you remember/know from enemies/ plants/ areas based on your former experience, not just lore or so. So if you pause game you can then instantly get info from enemy/plant/area or so you are currently? For start you get pretty much blank page, nothing, not even a name. Later you get more and more information, even things like "goblin, killed 148 this far, from 3 to 8 HP, from 5 to 9 AC" and so on.
    - NPC's remember what they have told you before and what not allso they change bit in appearance. I mean IF you personally go for store across a street next 5 year I bet that person do not wear every day same clothes, have same haircut, have dirt in same spot, say you 100% same things. Heck, that person most likely would NOT be there 24/7 and during that 5 year period there might be some other customers (who might or might not talk to you) and even some things inside that shop might change. Naturally that change is NOT needed if you happen to go there only once in your "lifetime". But what are changes that somethings have changed if you choose to go there once in every year during 5 year time? Pretty high I bet. That person do not even answer same (I hope) if you ask from him/her how are things around? Now what if you happen to notise his arm is missing or son is not selling what he was before? Maybe new quest but atleast something is changed...
    Last edited by Pathfinder; 08-21-2017 at 11:02 AM.
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  2. #2
    Senior Member HenriHakl's Avatar
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    This felt a bit out of context. But I guess that is what "some random ideas" should convey.

    I'm not sure how it fits to the game though - has there been mention of memory or processing limitations that make this relevant?

  3. #3
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenriHakl View Post
    This felt a bit out of context. But I guess that is what "some random ideas" should convey.

    I'm not sure how it fits to the game though - has there been mention of memory or processing limitations that make this relevant?
    If we look for these stats:
    "
    Minimal system requirements
    Video: Intel HD Graphics 3000
    CPU: Intel Celeron 1037U @ 1.80GHz
    RAM: 4 Gb
    OS: Win 7
    Resolution: 1366 x 768

    Recommended system requirements
    Video: ATI Radeon HD 5770/GeForce GTX 960M
    CPU: Intel Core i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz
    RAM: 8 Gb
    OS: Win 7
    Resolution: 1920 x 1080
    "

    I assume atleast some of us might have bigger resolution in use, more RAM, better faster GPU, same for CPU.

    So it would be really great to have more options not just "you get your best possible glory from this game by buying : ATI Radeon HD 5770/GeForce GTX 960M and Intel Core i7 CPU 920 @ 2.67GHz + 8Gb of RAM if you have anything better / faster / more it is just waste of resources" :)

    Sure, they should be optional but I just hope that even after 15 or so year from release date this game can still be played and it work / look well enough. Even if you would not have anymore CD-drive for your orginal disk (or even DVD-drive) :)
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    If we look for stats from HD Graphics 3000 (I had one integrated in SandyBridge 2600K) we can see:

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us...000007136.html

    "
    Compatible with DirectX* 9.0, 8.x, and 7.x

    Specific features of DirectX 9.0 are supported
    "
    So it have some support of Direct X 9 (not full). We can not use DX10, 11 or 12 here. Not so good. And rest is quite sad to read allso.

    When we look for processor it is mean for laptop use and have 2 core, 1.8GHz TDP 17 W.
    https://ark.intel.com/products/71995...Cache-1_80-GHz

    Now imagine what kind of game you can run using 2-core max 17W using processor with "full" DirextX 8 and 7 support with 4Gb of RAM in use while using windows 7. I kind of think that is memory or processor limiting thing?
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  5. #5
    Member Nortar's Avatar
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    Ok, dude, tell me straight, do you smoke something before posting? %)

  6. #6
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nortar View Post
    Ok, dude, tell me straight, do you smoke something before posting? %)
    First of all: I did try to translate your message and did not find any other meaning for it.. If I am mistaken I apologize:

    I think it have been nearly 30 years since I have been smoking tobacco sir. So no, I do not smoke anything at current time. BTW it is agains law here to buy tobacco for person who do not have enough age here so if you were fishing around for person to go and buy something for you (or even get some alcohol) answer is no.
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  7. #7
    Member Nortar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pathfinder View Post
    if you were fishing around for person to go and buy something for you (or even get some alcohol) answer is no.
    Oh, crap. Am I so easy to see through?

    Seriously though, don't take my question as offense. I put a smiley face there on purpose.
    You, obviously, put a lot of thought into your post.
    But it is longwinded and could use some introduction, the lack of which makes it look incoherent.
    Although it could be just my poor English, as it's not my native language.

  8. #8
    Senior Member praguepride's Avatar
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    Don't take this the wrong way but that first post was very much gibberish from a game development standpoint. I understand you put a lot of thought and effort into it though so consider the following as a brief intro into IT development. NOTE: My background is in professional software, not video games and although I've done some minor modding work and follow the industry I haven't worked extensively with Unity and some of these might be partially incorrect.

    To boil a game down you have 4 main components:
    Art - The biggest part of an installation. Every single thing that you see has to have an image file behind it. Every. Single. Thing. When you see Witcher grow a beard, some artist had to sit down and draw out each component of it (or create an procedural engine to do it for him but most just use art assets). This is the BIGGEST difference between an indie game and a AAA game and why many indie games are "pixel" or "old school" because artwork is time intensive and EXPENSIVE. Runaway art departments are the #1 reason why AAA games have millions of dollars of development costs because some artist and programmer had to spend 1-2 weeks figuring out the art and system for gerard growing a beard real time :P. Art is the characters, the enemies, the backgrounds, the environments, the menus, the cutscenes...everything.

    Objects - Every single thing that you can interact with or that can interact with you needs to be called out. Think of a game like a table with a nifty tablecloth (the background or like your desktop wallpaper) and anything that you can interact with is set on top of it. The barrel you open up for loot, the monster you fight, the characters fighting the monsters, the doors that open and close. Those are objects that contain (in the background) parameters. These parameters determine what doors are openable or not, which are locked or not, which are trapped or not etc.

    PCs and NPCS have stats hanging off of them, light sources have parameters determining how they flicker and how much light they provide. Those are all objects, at least in this very broad definition.

    Scripting - Scripting is what determines how things interact. When you touch a trap and something triggers, there is a script in the background that determines what happens. Spells are all just scripts that trigger a visual effect, a sound effect, and then impact the stats of the objects they're targeting. If a monster is just a collection of weapons, armor, and hitpoints then the scripting is what determines how it moves and attacks. This also does things like in-game cutscenes where people move from A to B and say line C. Scripting is one of the most time intensive parts of a game like this because EVERYTHING needs code behind it to work. Almost all of your suggestions that you mentioned deal with scripting. You want NPCs to have a daily life? That requires someone scripting out an actual daily path for each NPC or creating a giant engine to dynamically do that (which is definitely out of scope). This is why most NPCs just stand in one spot or just wander in a set parameter because it takes a lot of time to script an NPC to wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, work, go to the bar, drink, go home, go to bed. And once you do it to one you kinda have to do it to many of them to keep it going. I wouldn't be surprised if Bethesda has spent hundreds of thousands of man hours just scripting out these "daily routines" for their games and while it is cool, what does that really get you? Baldur's gate 2 is my all-time favorite RPG and it didn't have "daily routines" for NPCs. It's something that could take 80% of your development time and doesn't really make the game any better. Oblivion was perfectly mediocre even though it had an amazing daily routine engine for its NPCs.

    Anyway, if Art takes up half the total budget, scripting takes up at least half the total development time. Just remember that when you see a flag blowing in the wind or a random rabbit run across your path someone scripted that.

    Engine - The engine is all the hard technology gritty code that makes the game run. How the mouse moves, how the game interacts with your hardware and the internet, that's all engine. This is also where physics engines come into play which is really the only reason you need a multi-core game these days. Physics engines are a nifty gimmick but are INCREDIBLY processor intensive. When you blow something up and it tries to track every single particle exploding, factoring in wind resistance and ricochets, that is where your game slows down. It's either because of a huge physics engine task OR because of the input/output needed to map out the game. Most games without loading screens build the game on the fly (this is why you have a visual range). Older games would just have stuff pop up in front of you while newer games cycle through lower-resolution images to higher-resolution images as you get closer. These kind of open world games with gigs worth of high-resolution images constantly being loaded and dropped is the other reason for multi-core. The final one for actual processing like pathfinding isn't really a thing unless you're having hundreds to thousands of agents pathing to different things. Dwarf Fortress is a notoriously processor intensive game not because of amazing graphics or physics but because of the sheer number of agents that the game has to process at any given point in time. It is not uncommon for later games to have thousands of dwarves on screen at the same time each with their own agenda.


    Anyway that being said, the engine component is already mostly in place because of the Unity engine. Unless they are doing heavy modifications to it (doesn't sound like they really are) then all that "minimum specs" and "multi-threading" stuff is taken care of by Unity. Unity is amazingly robust and yet easy to use which is why you see so many indie and non-indie games alike being made with it. Unless you need a AAA engine like CryEngine or RED or Unreal there isn't a reason NOT to use Unity (other then price or skillset).

    tl;dr: Most of what you described is art and scripting which isn't really impacted by hardware requirements and is almost entirely driven by the studio size. As Owlcats is fairly small they can't dedicate 1-2 people for weeks just to make people's beards grow. Specs are driven by the engine primarily and the art secondarily and in this case the Unity is the driving force.
    I know! Start swinging! Eventually you'll lop off the head of someone important and then the good fights will REALLY start!
    -- Lilarcor

  9. #9
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    It is 100% true that I do not know much from game programming now days. I did use some at my time (using basic program language in Basic 2000 witch was ZX81 clone and if you wanted it to do anything at all you had to program it)

    So let's try to think how to make atleast some of these what I wrote before to work in "easy" programming way:
    (Yes I know it is bit harder, you have to make it clear how big area will be, how long dinstance sounds can be heard, if NPC's are fighting where to trigger it = how close PC have to be and so on but in simple way:)

    My idea 1:

    This is single player game so:
    10: IF player is in area THEN
    20: USE area music IF there is no battle ELSE
    30: Reduse background music and USE fight music
    40: GOTO 10

    My idea 2:
    In Pathfinder you have quite good ways to measure time. We do know that game time will be 5 year so it would not be too hard to check from rulebook how many hours per day, days per week, weeks(and days) per month, days, weeks and months per year Golarion have:

    This is single player game so:
    10: IF player is in area THEN
    20: USE local area table using ingame clock time AND
    30: ROLL random weather / happening table WHEN
    40: time pass on for certain amount OR players choose to camp GOTO: 10

    Naturally if you are indoors there are different things to show and happen then outdoors. Stars, sky, snow, rain, squirrel, drunk, sunlight, closed doors and so on only based for place and time and little table. Sure if you go out in one field for 100 time you most likely see same thing happen multiple times (like sun, clouds, rain, stars, full moon and so on)

    My idea 3:

    This is single player game so:
    10: IF player is in area THEN
    20: USE local area table using ingame clock time AND
    30: based on time choose if NPC's are around THEN let them talk to each other / do other scripts but when time come they just walk toward nearest door and "disappear". Allso lights go out, player (+ companions) are teleported out and place is closed for "night time".
    Kind of rude concept but you get idea.
    So if you go for let's say village during night time few places are open but you can try to pick locks and maybe see NPC's sleeping or so. IF you so choose you can bang doors and get angry shouts asking people to stop making noices.

    In fight situation:
    10: IF under attack take cover OR if in close combat fight back UNLESS morale check fail => try to run
    20: IF enemy is in range THEN shoot ELSE move closer
    30: IF using long range and shooting try to keep distance WHEN enemy come close drop long range weapon draw melee weapon
    40: IF no melee range try to pick up long distance weapon and shoot untill out of ammo

    That kind of thing.

    Then: - Pathfinding and making decicions:
    You have to script it and ask for playtest where people try all of they might not play fair but "abuse" things. Like what happen if you first summon skeletors around NPC THEN turn into enemy and keep summoning them and shooting him using bow (yes, Baldur's Gate how to defeat Drizz)

    Your own music part:

    This is single player game so:
    10: IF player is in area THEN
    20: USE local area music untill player interact with bard (or who is ready to play music) THEN open pop up with question if player want to play "insert list of ready songs" or use music of his own (make him put path where his MP3/flac files are)

    Memory part:

    First suggestion:
    It must be coded yes. When player do something big, major or just some decicion what effect NPC's life in some way there might be effect and later NPC's in same faction (like all bandits who used to be in are or were under Stag Lords influence call PC one name)

    Second suggestion:
    In Neverwinter Nights is was just one text file. Not too hard to put in the game, right? I mean it literally was just one YOUR_PC_NAME.txt you were able to open it using DOS "edit" or windows notepad or in the game going for your personal notes. I honestly believe that is NOT too hard to code in the game. Just empty PC_NAME.txt file where you can write what ever you want to and read it later if so choose. In many RPG game (Pen and Paper) people have they own notebooks with them, idea is same. You do not HAVE TO use it but I personally find it usefull, you can write what ever you want to there, like quests, ideas, your background story, things what you find interesting in the game or what ever.

    3:rd suggestion:
    There will be map, alteast somekind of map. I am quite sure from it. So if you can add some "pin" there with text. Game most likely do it for you. But if you want to take a snap shot from "epic" thing what you just did and pin it for map to look for later. How to do that in game:

    This is single player game so:
    10: IF player press print screen take screenshot THEN
    20: WHEN player open campaign map AND choose / create pin in certain area have option to insert one of the screenshots taken from game

    (yeah bad coding, you were not able to do that in basic code not then not now, but you get idea)

    4:th suggestion: ( Things you remember/know from enemies/ plants/ areas based on your former experience)
    Game most likely keep books from what you do anyway so based on that you just get more info from enemy you are facing based on rolls before and so on. After all if you have kill 100 rat you most likely have even SOME idea how easy or hard it is to hit, how much damage to deal and so on.

    5:th suggestion: (NPC's remember what they have told you before and what not allso they change bit in appearance.)
    That is (I strongly believe) quite easy to program. IF you have not been area never before no check is needed but every time you enter area there will be added one to counter (allso you can add this one to the day/night/week/moth/year counter). We know that players will have multiple choices of clothes and so on. So it will not be THAT hard to change little bit for something for NPC.s allso. Same go for what NPC's have told before. It can be even taken from bigger pool of "rumours in area". If you have played / read orginal story you know there are quite many of them.

    It would just be odd to hear every single time story for Stag and scary bandits.. ..even after 4 year since player get rid of them....
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

  10. #10
    Senior Member Pathfinder's Avatar
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    Now you most likely ask what this would give more for the game and tell that these kind of things just complicate things and need huge amount of people to work for.

    Well, let's see this video, this game was made in 2001 and it have kind of large open area to search with great and logical ways to do things. If you take time you were able to understand monsters and people, when they sleep, how they react and so on. If I remember right there was 22 people making this game!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSc-WRl-0pM
    "Road to the man's heart go through the chest"

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