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Topics - ai_enabled

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Hi guys,

A few players asked me why we decided to use 2D character art with only 2 views (front and back + mirroring).

Before answering that question I'd like to share our requirements for the character system:
  • All player characters should have distinct appearance, so players can easily distinguish between them in the game.
  • The characters should have configurable faces constructed from multiple parts (face "shape", upper and lower face parts, hair, skin, color, etc.).
  • The character faces should always be as visible as possible. For example, if the game was top-down we would never be able to see the characters faces, and in isometric view, players would only see really small faces without much details and without much customization).
  • All the clothing and equipment should be visible on the character (and it shouldn't be simple recoloring or texture swaps).
  • It should be relatively easy to add new content into the game - including faces, clothing, equipment, etc. Let me reiterate - it must be so easy that even modders who are not artists should be able to throw something together in Paint.
  • It should be relatively easy to animate characters.
  • The resulting assets file sizes should be reasonably compact.

We've considered three approaches to characters art during the pre-production:

1. All characters made completely in 3D:
This will require modeling of the characters, clothing, equipment and even hair. In some cases, it will be possible to reuse the models and just redraw textures, however drawing textures in unwrapped view is hard.
The projection will be 3D isometric or similar and players will not see much of the details in face styles and equipment.
Animating 3D models is also really hard and requires special (quite complex for novice modders) applications.
It's hard to match the style of other (2D) art in the game - buildings, terrain, etc.
And it's plainly difficult to integrate 3D rendering with 2D rendering from the programming point of view.
Good thing - it allows more views/directions and smoother transitions between them.
Conclusion: doesn't satisfy several important requirements

2. Prerendered 3D characters exported as 2D spritesheets (like old-school RPGs and some newer indie games)
Obviously, it has all the drawbacks of the previous solution PLUS it doesn't satisfy size requirements as it will require hell lot of images (many frames multiplied on many views multiplied on many different clothes and equipment).

3. Use 2D character art with front and back views only (+ mirroring)
This is the chosen solution, completely satisfying all our requirements!
The only drawback is that the amount of views/directions is very limited, but it's an acceptable compromise - we've tried hard to keep it looking stylized and fun.
With this solution, it's very easy to add new content into the game. You just need to draw a bunch of sprites to add a completely unique face style, clothing or equipment item into the game. You can even use Paint, but we recommend using Photoshop and our special Photoshop template and export scripts (which we will make available later). The game itself is able to automatically reload ANY changed image file and so you can draw-save-try-redraw-save as long as you want and check how it looks in the game.

So, is that it?
No! Our animation engine actually allows for much smoother animations and sprite mesh deformations, so you can expect much better animations in the future when we can set aside couple of months specifically for this task. We will come back to that in a year or so and hopefully make our character system even better.


The game server is ready.
The game client is available via the GameLauncher application.

Please read CryoFall - Guide for Closed Alpha Test.

Help section / Linux troubleshooting thread
« on: June 03, 2016, 01:27:02 am »

Currently VoidExpanse should work fine on Ubuntu, Fedora and SteamOS.

However there are some known issues:
1. visual glitches and artifacts (especially on AMD and Intel GPUs);
2. random crashes;
3. cannot launch the game (especially on quiGPUs).

If you have any of these issues, please add this launch option to the game:
Code: [Select]
-force-gfx-direct(right click on the game in Steam Client, select Properties, click on button "Set launch options" and paste it there)

If this not helps, please try adding this option as well:
Code: [Select]
-force-opengl It will force the Unity engine to use old OpenGL2 renderer (which is in some cases more reliable).

If you still have the issues, please upload your Player.log file from the folder "~/.config/unity3d/AtomicTorchStudio/VoidExpanse/" at and share the link.


Ideas and suggestions / Color blind mode feedback
« on: April 02, 2015, 04:18:53 am »
VoidExpanse v1.1.8 introduced the color blind modes. The options is described in our blog.
Please feel free to post your feedback here.

General Discussions / Forums now works uber fast :-)
« on: March 20, 2015, 01:40:24 am »
Hello everybody!
I'm glad we have finally fixed the performance issue with the Forums. Hope it will increase the users feedback rate. ;D

EDIT. Just to be clear - it's 100 times faster now! :o

Mods / Steam Mod Uploading tool
« on: February 13, 2015, 10:56:56 pm »

As you know, we're going for vacation before Steam release.
But work didn't stop and we will do some other tasks, for which we usually don't have time.
Now we want you to have a look on the shiny new Steam Mod Uploading tool and tell us what do you think about it.

Screen #1 - Mod selection (you can drop a file or whole mod folder and Tool will create a header for it and pack it into the .MPK-file)

Screen #2 - Mod metadata editing (the tool displaying mods uploaded by you, so you can update already uploaded mod, we also added automatic mod detection)

Screen #3 - Uploading dialog on Steam (and then uploading progress displayed)

Currently it's Windows-only (XP/7/8/10), but of course we will port it on Linux and Mac if we get big community using these platforms. It's not too hard, as the tool is developed taking into account Linux & Mac systems.

Looking for your feedback!

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