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Jan 20, 2005, 03:57 PM
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An entry into a new forum, a new user's debut

Hi, there
Firstly i have browsed this site before for research of a project i am working on, and im not sure how often you hear it but yes it is a 3D jazz jackrabbit game, inspired by game 2.

Ok so now originaly i wasnt planning on joining this forum however a member of this forum (spoke to me as 'Violet CLM') notice my project on a programmers forum (Dark Basic Pro Forums) and suggest i come over here as you lot would want to put in your input, and on that basis here i am.

My Goal
======
Simple, to recreate the style of jazz jackrabbit2, something I consider ignored nowerdays by most game developers. Jazz worked brilliantly and i thought "is it possible this could work in 3D, so i started work. I have been programming on and off for 4 years and so i knocked up a start very quickly. They thing I suck at is modeling.
So to atract help i posted for help in my forums, and thats where Violet CLM found my work on a google search !

Right this is not a money making project, this is a attempt to make a stylistic and fun game that does some justice to the orignal. I have started and i have a couple of screenshots though they are not impressive as my skill is in coding not graphics ( On that note if there is anyone who would like to contribute their skill in modeling to this game and do not require any reward other than being in the credits please email me at Chris. Bagley@gmail.com)

http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...TheProblem.jpg
http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...t/Concept2.jpg
http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...bbit3DPic1.jpg
http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...bbit3DPic2.jpg

ok folks, so my main request is your knowledge on how to port this game to 3D without losing the style or gameplay, all comments wellcome I can take constructive criticism.

as a final note once completed this game will be released totaly free source on the dark basic pro forums, for others to learn how to make these games. also a level editor is in progress so your own levels can be imported.

Thanks in advance for any help you can bring
Chris

Last edited by Baggers; Jan 22, 2005 at 05:57 AM.
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Hello, and welcome to the forums.

As for recreating the style, I think you should pay a lot of attention to how the camera angle works. In 2D games the "camera angle" is fairly simple; it's a cross section view of the world. The camera angles in 3D games tend to be a bit more annoying - they either always stick right behind the character or swivel around chaotically. My suggestion (not that I'm all that good at ideas such as this) is to try to create something that keeps viewing the player from one angle (platformer-ish) but can turn if the player changes direction. Also, make sure the camera is far away enough to show what is going on around the player, but close enough that you can tell what the character is doing.

I've done a bit of modelling, but I'm no good at 3D Max. There are some others here who are, though. They will no doubt respond bragging about their superiority.
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Jan 20, 2005, 04:45 PM
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Thanks for the input, The modeling doesnt have to be 3DSmax , I use milkshape.
The files i use in game are normaly '.X' files but aslong as i can import them into milkshape ill take anything !
Yeah i know what you mean about the camera, as i havnt got into heavily coding it yet I have just got it following the character but yes I will have a go with your ideas or any other that come up. Are there any 3D games you can think of that did this style of camera well? If there are i will have a look at them and see how i could reproduce it.
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I can only think of a few games with a fixed camera in 3d, and those are along the lines of Vietiful Joe or Yoshi's Story. But Im probally thinking too in the box.
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Solving the problem in pic 1:

The turtle currently just moves around aimlessy. If you would make him charge, or even chase the character, if it comes near, it will probably be harder to avoid.
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Yeah, but the standard turtles/lizards are supposed to be really dumb, right? It makes more sense for enemies like Doggy Doggs, who charge at you, or Fat Chicks, who turn towards you if you come close.
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Jan 21, 2005, 04:23 AM
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Hey, this looks quite promising.

As for the problem... I agree with Unknown. For dumb enemies like the turtles, they could just walk around, more or less randomly changing the direction. Of course,the directions to turn to should be restricted to those lying diagonally in front of the turtle ( them suddenly turning around would be weird ).
A smarter enemy could walk around in the same way, but approach you when he gets close and then charge at you when he's even closer.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fawriel
I agree with Unknown. For dumb enemies like the turtles, they could just walk around, more or less randomly changing the direction.
To move randomly in three dimentions is suicide. The probability of reaching the player is too low for it to be considered an "enemy".
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Jan 21, 2005, 12:04 PM
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That depends on the size and speed of the enemy...
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Jan 21, 2005, 03:53 PM
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In essence Radium is correct, totaly random movement does not work for enemies, however Fawriel seemed to suggest almost random destinations which is plausable. Just as a side note i have previously written pathfinding code so this can easily be implemented.
The turtles due to their stupid nature are a little bit of a challege, things like the flying goons are so much easier as their movement was quite dynamic. I could just set up a number of waypoints for turtles to patrol, thus they have their predictable movement, but if you get withing a certain distance they move to attack, I do feel their standard movement should be composed of straight lines rather than moving more freely. Any thoughts

(Or any modelers !)
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Jan 22, 2005, 02:34 AM
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By the way, the screenshots vaguely remind me of Rayman 2
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As for a 3D game, the AI should be improved for all enemies. Let's face it, enemies in JJ2 are all quite dumb (only Devan can duck and he still does that badly, Sparks' tactic is way predictable), but that's mainly because that isn't all so important in a 2D sidescroller. In 3D, the aiming is more accurate and we approach the enemies by more complicated means. So, if the turtles currently just wander around and bite when we're close, in 3D they should approach the player and then try to bite him. Doggy doggs should be even more intelligent, retreating when shot and then coming again, attacking from behind by making circles around the player, maybe even jump over the lower shot bullets.

About your need for modellers - I barely can model too, but if you need a bg music, that's something I could help with. A bit.
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Thanks For all your input, I've just put a little video up so thought you guys might like to see it, Im just about to try a little texture work (will be a new world for me!), im afraid the video aint much, ive just put in collecting of ammo, in the video you see the bouncy ammo (cant remeber the name of it) which spins and bobs like the actualy game.
Here it is then folks, and a new screenshot.
http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...z3D-Video1.avi
http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...bbit3DPic3.jpg
Thats all folks !
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I really like the speed of movement in the video. From the mid-air jumping, I assume the placeholder-golfball is Spaz, right?
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The video was awesome, however I suggest making what I'm guessing are springs (the red pads in the ground) Look a bit more like springs and not pads.
Yep.
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@Radium - Ah yes golf ball Spaz...hehe i think i might play on the fact it looks so weird by giving it a golfball texture for now... ill post a pic of that soon ! The game does play at a nice speed when you get used to the other dimentions, i need to build another level to test in though because you get used to bits and i can do them backwards now! Yeah i can see the really good players getting some cool stuff done on this.

@Noob - Thanks for the compliments, yeah as i said the models arnt good !...i will have a go though, i'll see what I can do until I cant get a modeler !

Thanks again people
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Heh, I've just thought of this crazy idea... Have the Golfball Spaz be a secret character. One of those "Highlight Jazz and press up 15 times and then the G key 7, then select Spaz and press down 8 times and the S key 3 then choose Spaz and go into the second episode. You'll hear some crazy guy yell out "FORE!" if you did it right. Now go back to the character select screen. Golfball Jazz should now be playable" kind of secrets. If I ever fully figure out Milkshape if that trial still works I might be able to help out, but not for long.
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Interesting work.

In that first image you posted that contained "TheProblem", I wouldn't call that a problem. That challange of getting past the enemy turtle is part of the gameplay. Simply by expanding to a 3D world, you're reducing the challange and so already effecting the gameplay. But since you're already focused on doing this in a 3D world, lets try to see how much you can carry over, and what needs to be modified.

For the environment in relation to gameplay, there are enclosed/indoor areas, open/hilly areas, and some actual platforms. In your working area right now, it appears you only have platforms. You should probably try getting in the other two types of environments because working in each of them might bring up extra problems and challanges. Figuring out what to do with the camera so that it'll work for each of those different types of gameplay environments would be one such challange.

I'm not really sure what best to do with the camera in any case really right now though.

For enemies, you probably should have to fight your way around them, so that would be done through their placement and modified movement. Otherwise all their stats could probably be the same (not that they really have much stats).

And umm.. I have nothing else in mind right now.


What are you using to make this?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monolith
What are you using to make this?
Dark Basic Pro, I assume from his first post. I've done a bit of work with DBPro, but not enough to make anything... relevant.
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Monolityh, what you describe at the start of your post IS the problem, the fact that the challenge is reduced, and so as you say some of the style is altered.
As Radium said, yep i am using Dark Basic Pro.
And thanks for your camera advice I have just made another little level to play in, and obviously i will be testing in all the environments, that first "level" if it can be called that, wasjust enough to make sure than my collision routines and such were working, now its time for a little more.

@Noob: Hehe why not, ill put that in for you, will be a really anticlimax for him just to be a golfball but, itll be funny!

Thanks for the interest !

Last edited by Baggers; Jan 23, 2005 at 04:38 PM.
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This sure is really cool!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baggers
@Noob: Hehe why not, ill put that in for you, will be a really anticlimax for him just to be a golfball but, itll be funny!
Thanks! WHOOO! Now I've got something odd to look forward too
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UPDATE AND NEW VIDEO

Hey people, just a wee update to tell you what ive been upto what ive been up to (This is pretty much copied from the Programming forums so if i do get a bit techy i appolagise !):

* Firstly ive been experimenting with the camera, and for now im only smooting the y-rotation as having the camera follow the y movement smoothly can result in the character going off the screen or it just being plain hard to judge jumps.

* Ive been working on an 'Animated Scenery' routine, which now works perfectly, this means i can easily set up animation for objects that are part of the level, such as moving platforms and such. In the Video both the rotating plant/lift thing and the moving platform are running on this routine, the later using the waypoint function.

* The last big change isnt shown in the video but is a 'Trail System', this records where an object has been and its rotation for the last x-period of time, the values are automatically updated and easily retrived and i will be using it for effects such as the one shown bellow.


And now the Video !
http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...3d-Video02.avi

Ok people, please continue the comments they do really help, and anyone wishing to help in the form of models or textures please post here or mail me.

Any ideas on what i should concentrat on next? what would you like to see in this game? do you have any opinions on how 3D platformers of any kind should behave?....Post your views here !

Thanks again people
Chris

p.s. The video is a little slower than the actual game due to the slow down due to fraps.

Last edited by Baggers; Jan 30, 2005 at 09:29 AM.
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I would like to see some of the levels/enemies/bosses(Deckstar,the demons in Deserto,Zoonik) from JJ1 return in this game.
You should concentrate on making some hills next.
And using the ammo system from JJ3 might be a cool idea as well.
What sucks is that I figure out Milkshape when I have 4 days left, and that was 2 days ago, otherwise I'd help modeling.
Edit-I can't believe I forgot this, Nice video.
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Thanks noob ! hills are no problem ill stick in one soon, the code already works for this. In regards to the JJ3 ammo style, if thats the one where the weapon charges up, then id really rather not. I probably will be shunned for this but i didnt really like the look of JJ3, first it was more of a RPG than fast packed shooter, Other than the jazz model alot of that obscure, pointlessly jazzy look to it had been toned down and it was looking more like alot of other games.
Maybe i would have been completly wrong but I really want to feel of the second game.

Right now i have alienated myself from the forum community i will stop talking other than to say thanks for the comments, they really keep me going !
Chris
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True, thats why I said 'might', because either way I wouldn't care.
Now, the weapon charge can be put to good use if you're in an area with tons of enemies and running out of ammo is ineviteble(sp?), so I guess what I'm suggesting is have as an option to use the charger in levels made with the level editor if it's not going to take forever to put in or screw up the whole game.
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My opinion... Is like this. Tho' you might not like it.

There's ammo scattered, you can take it and use it in your Blaster. However, there are also some weapons in the game. If you pick up a Bouncer weapon, you can only use Bouncer ammo in it, but it either becomes more powerful (PU), shoots faster (Fast Fire effect) or shoots in a pack of 3, 5 bullets (that would be fun for Bouncer). There is a lot that might come to mind here. Of course, let's not forget bonuses from JJ2. They are the perfect place to buy ultra1337 ammo and guns.

As for the infinite Blaster ammo... Let's make it closer to Dispersion Pistol from Unreal. The gun drains energy from environment to shoot, but if you shoot fast enough, you might run out of batteries. Then you have to wait a few seconds until it reloads. But find an upgrade, and you might have more powerful shots, longer living battery, stuff like that.

Overall, the guns are the JJ basis, so they should be more, harder and deadlier!
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Hm. The video looked nice overall, but there were some graphical problems. It seemed to be hard to aim for any moving platforms, and in the beginning, it was even hard to tell where the ground level changes because it was all just, well, green...
I'm not sure how to change that. Maybe make things further away from the character blur or something...
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Heya people, thanks for the comments, ill try and answer the suggestions!
@Fawriel: Hehe yeah sorry about the tonne of similar colour, im not a modeler, but ill go and change it just so its a little more visable, ill probably be investing in a light mapper soon so shadows and such will be incorperated. Also im going to make the platforms slightly easier to land on, they are actualy easier than they look like most of the time, you dont slide off the pumpkin easily if you were wondering that.

@?JSZż JaZz!: I love the cluster shot idea, i really am going to have to incorperate that in some way ! I see what you mean about the infinite blaster idea, i will install unreal and have a play ... seems perfectly feasable though

@Noob: Im interested in he charger idea, I will be bearing that in mind later, nice one...might be for some kind of temporary sheild, like the bonuses from JJ2 but with re-charging...or something, will be fun finding out though !

Thanks people, ive got some more people interested in modeling though so hopefulyl should have some more models soon !
Keep the ideas flowing !
I might start the shooting very soon. Keep your eyes peeled for an update within a few days.
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Im interested in he charger idea, I will be bearing that in mind later, nice one...might be for some kind of temporary sheild, like the bonuses from JJ2 but with re-charging...or something, will be fun finding out though !
Maybe something like one of power-ups in Sonic Robo Blast 2, which gave you unlimited ammo (rings actually) for a short period of time.
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Hey again people, just got back from camping and am continuing work on the shooting. Got the first gun working (except the explosion when the bullet hits something, that will come later)
I am now working on the second gun however I am pndering on how to get that same crazy bouncy action, as it doesnt just bounce, it lists almost eratically and i was wondering if anyone could poder up either the maths or just the logic behind the pellet's motion. I have a feeling that it is changing the gravity direction for the pellet, but im not totally sure. Ill keep experimenting though! Seeyou around!

p.s. '?JSZż JaZz!' I am going to impliment your cluster shot idea and possibly the chargeup of weapons aswell, the thing then is the interface, I loved the minimilistic approcah in the first game, how you you think it should be veiwed in this game, would just a little icon next to the gun surfice ? the icon could show what style of shot ie: Normal, Cluster, Power shot...etc. Any ideas?
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The video doesn't work.

and ++jazz3 >8(
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Quote:
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I am now working on the second gun however I am pndering on how to get that same crazy bouncy action, as it doesnt just bounce, it lists almost eratically and i was wondering if anyone could poder up either the maths or just the logic behind the pellet's motion. I have a feeling that it is changing the gravity direction for the pellet, but im not totally sure. Ill keep experimenting though! Seeyou around!
Well, I played around with the powered bouncer for a while (in no ways an organized experiment), and this is what I think:
-it usually bounces like a regular ball would, but occasionally (usually on its later bounces) just simply reverses direction (bounces backwards)
-sometimes, when it hits another surface, its gravity direction seems to change towards that surface. This causes it to bounce up walls sometimes and off walls others.
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Jan 30, 2005, 09:28 AM
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@sers^^: Oh sorry forgot to change the link. Here it is...http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...3d-Video02.avi (i have edited the link at the top aswell)

@Radium: Cool thanks yeah I was hoping for something like that, ok ive got an idea how to do that, should look great in 3D !

@all: The particle routine is currently being worked on and is going to look good, that is the bit that will handle smoke, sparks, twinkles,etc ...!


More news !
Just finished the particle system for the game, works beautifuly, you cans et points for the particles to be emmited, these are particle sources: A particle source can be static (PIC1) or it can be locked onto an object (PIC2)


Also I have just tested the system for other effects such as the little explosion when bullets hit walls so here is a little video (536k) to show that working.
http://www.unseenconcept.net/JazzJac...3d-Video03.avi

Hope you think its going well, ill keep you posted.

Last edited by Baggers; Jan 30, 2005 at 01:06 PM.
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Jan 30, 2005, 02:41 PM
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Looks pretty solid. What are you using?
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Jan 30, 2005, 05:00 PM
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DarkBasicPro for the programming, Milkshape for models (though not very well !) and FRAPS to take the movies and screenshots and for sprite ripping.
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Jan 30, 2005, 10:36 PM
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Did you play Razz Arena, Baggers?
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Jan 30, 2005, 10:47 PM
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No, i tried to look at the site not long back but it wasnt working.
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Jan 30, 2005, 11:53 PM
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Is that going to be the actual resolution? If so, the hearts and lives icons are going to be pretty tiny. I suggest getting bigger versions.
I'll look at the videos when I can figure out how to play .avi's.
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Jan 31, 2005, 01:25 AM
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Nope the pics are just shrunk for the sake of bandwidth, and people not killing me on forums!
The resolution in that it very high, the HUD resizes itself depending on the resolution so it looks correct whether its running in 640x480 or 1280x960 (which is what I normaly run it in)

I watched the videos in winamp, but they work fine inmedia player too, you just need the DivX codec, which i gave a link for a few posts up. Hope it works.

Thanks for continued interest, Oh a final question, based on the idea of having different fire modes as suggested earlier in this thread, what kinds of fire modes would you want, and on what guns ? Also does anyone have any concept ideas for new weapons, styles, enemies or powerups ?

Last edited by Baggers; Nov 28, 2005 at 06:58 AM.
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