Matt's Podcast 7: SITREP

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Matt Barton's picture

Hi, folks! Probably not the best time given the recent public flogging I've been getting over my Gothic retrospective, but what the heck. Here's my seventh podcast. This one is admittedly a ramble, but generally focused on making games with Gamemaker and the trials and tribulations of becoming an indie game developer. Is making a "serious" indie game worth the effort if you know your work will make little to no money--and, worse--may only be seen by a dozen or so people, tops? Is the love of making games enough in and of itself to keep you motivated all the way through a year or more of development? In my case, the answer is no.

Download the podcast here.

Comments

Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
I don't know why it is a must

I don't know why it is a must in video games considering there wasn't any real animation in Pools of Radiance either. This did not detract from the fact that the game was incredibly good, and could suck up hours upon hours of your time. I think with a good story (no problem there) and a fun back system, and graph paper dungeons would be a fantastic game. In the event that animations are wanted, what would be needed to capture the motions? I'm only curious because I read the prince of persia diary by Jordan Mechner and he did all the animatics in that game with very low budget tools. (low budget now, that is) I know this isn't much, but I am always willing to help out where I can. If you need someone who has trained extensively with martial weapon fighting, I know many around here who have and I think I could get them to agree to be motion captured if I know what is needed.

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Rob Daviau
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Thanks!

Always fun listening to your podcasts Matt! Downloading now.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
I've only dabbled in

I've only dabbled in animation with Blender, but it does get very difficult to successfully rig people. There are tools out there to simplify the process, which I have installed, but it's still a huge challenge for a noobie to get right. Imagine all the intricate animation required just for a character to pick up and grip an object.

POR's animation is probably a good bar to set for myself, though. IIRC, the only difference between the models was hair/beard color and a few other simple customizations. The weapons in their hands was selected at startup (I think you might have been able to change these manually later). It would kinda bug me if your character was shown with a sword if he were in fact wielding an axe. In any case, I wouldn't imagine that just a simple chopping/swinging type motion would be extremely difficult to pull off, though I'm not going to underestimate the challenge, and I'm assuming that I wouldn't bother trying to show the weapon actually connecting. I'm wondering if it would be feasible to show bows and arrows; it'd be neat if I could make the arrows stick in the enemies or shields, but that might be too ambitious at this point.

Battle Chess level animations, where the models are actually grappling and such, is just beyond my resources at this point. I don't even know where I'd start with something like that.

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Nathaniel Tolbert
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Joined: 11/06/2010
But would motion capture help

But would motion capture help with the animation process? One of my friend's brother worked at Bethesda (Helped make Morrowind) as well as high voltage games as a programmer. He might be able to give some insight on motion capture and other quirks. If motion capture converted into wire frames that could be applied to your models would help with animation that would want, I am more than willing to do so. I don't know much, but in what ever areas I can assist, I would be more than willing to do so. Since I'm dealing with Kidney stuff, with possible dialysis in the future, and the prospect that no one wants to hire a sick IT worker, I have nothing but free time on my hands.

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MazokuRanma
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Joined: 01/01/2011
Animations

I wasn't trying to say it was a make or break feature, just that it would add an extra layer of appeal, especially if you went for humorous instead of serious animations. Honestly, if you were going for serious, I'd say skip it anyway. Either way I intend to check it out, just thought that animations would add an entertaining element. I really don't know anything about creating them though so it could easily be far too difficult, especially for a one man project and considering programming is outside your normal area of expertise.

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Hah, well ALL of this is

Hah, well ALL of this is outside my area of expertise, which is rhetoric and composition. That's hard to describe, but it's basically teaching college students how to write academically. My specialty is of course digital media. That may sound like it has nothing to do with writing, but there's lots of stuff like wikis (composition) and rhetorical situations in games to talk about for eternity. :)

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clok1966
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Joined: 01/21/2009
Matt as a writer ... have you

Matt as a writer ... have you ever thought really old school.. Text adventure? Now that path would quite likley even put you into a deeper hole for getting recognized but it would play to your strengths. I had at one time figured on taking a bunch of pictures of real locations and "hotspoting" them with a basic adventure game.. so think kings quest.. but no moveing on screen except the mouse and some kind of Notice you found something when you moved over it.. and to keep the "move mouse over ever square inch to find anything" people at bay.. tie the text parser into the on screen.. so say if you wanted to know if something was in a trash can, it wouldnt "light" up unless your text said something like "search trash" then you could move your mosue over it and it would "light up"...

ok dang it.. other peoples ideas are not waht creative people need :) sorry.. but I still think some creative writing might be a good spot to focus in some way for you.. how that ties into games.. well.. thats the hard part.

Caio Martins (not verified)
I liked your review of

I liked your review of gothic. I also loved and played every gothic game except the abomination called ArcaniA, Having a sense of humour helps. And worst of all, thinking about it, it is true what you said about the starting game. It is slow. I guess I didn't realized it until you said it because the rest of the game is soooo GOOD it just makes up for it. Matt, don't ever stop you reviews because of the backlash. I love them, and I wait for your videos every week.
A request, or sugestion, if you may. Review Arcanum. I THINK I've seen the game in your collection. Pretty sure of that.
Anyways, love the channel, love the podcasts.
Best of luck

slenkar (not verified)
Ignore those miserable

Ignore those miserable bastards at the rpgcodex they criticise everything,

I'm a member and a regular poster there and I thought the review was good, it made the game look kinda boring but Ill still try it out sometime.

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