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LEGO RTS Game, Anybody Interested?


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#21
McJobless

If I wanted RTS I'd buy a board game. No thanks.

#22
jamesster


Oh yeah, I remember this. Eh... It's got a ton of places where the polygon count could be lowered (most notably the hinges like you see on the arms), there's vertex fans everywhere, and the tris are set up in weird ways on curved surfaces that make stripping impossible (the wheels are examples of the latter two). Since Spring uses textures for everything, might as well use that for finer details like studs and grill tiles, too. The Recon Robot is a set I'd like to include, though, it's got obvious team color highlights, and a great reto sci-fi robot feel to it.

I'll certainly fix and map it. I was hesitant to do so, not knowing what sort of maps we would use; if we would have maps for studded and tube sides. Two questions:
 
1. Fans... you mean the pattern on the studs? I thought that that was only a noticeable problem as the poly-count of the fan got really high.
2. What is stripping?


I'll see if I can form some guidelines for the models eventually. I'd explain triangle stripping myself, but I'm rather low on time this morning so I'll just provide some general links:
http://wiki.polycoun...timization Tips
http://www.ericchadw...ovost/byf1.html
http://www.ericchadw...ovost/byf2.html
 

If I wanted RTS I'd buy a board game. No thanks.

I've never thought of board games as real-time strategy (don't things like that typically use turn based or similar systems?), but Brikwars is pretty fun.

#23
jamesster

I got a test unit in the game and it didn't explode in my face! :D

pewpew_test_brick.png

Now to actually make something that isn't useless. Also, you can't really tell in the screenshot, but it's quite a bit larger than it should be.
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#24
MisterGryphon

I got a test unit in the game and it didn't explode in my face! :D

pewpew_test_brick.png

Now to actually make something that isn't useless. Also, you can't really tell in the screenshot, but it's quite a bit larger than it should be.

 

What's going on in the HUD there?



#25
jamesster

What's going on in the HUD there?

Resources at the top, minimap in the top left corner, unit controls center left, unit stats lower left corner, and player info on the lower right corner. Oh, and a timer showing how long the game has been going in the upper right corner under the resource meters.
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#26
ProfessorBrickkeeper

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Hmmm... I could certainly help with things like textures (I certainly have the experience and expertice required) if there's room for anybody else on the team. I guess I also ought to download and start getting familiar and training myself with Spring so I can possibly help on that front as well.

#27
MisterGryphon

I'm interested in textures as well if at all possible.



#28
jamesster

A couple quick updates. First, the idea of a single global faction has been dropped - instead, I'm planning on three factions. But before I explain just how that will work, here's how I've concluded that having only one set of units to choose from is a bad idea:
  • While researching the issue, I found this review of a game called APOX, which only has one faction. As the reviewer put it:

    You simply can’t make a RTS with just one army. Half the strategy is in understanding the different tactics that must be used versus different factions. “Know thy enemy” becomes a moot point when they use the exact same troop types and tactics as you. It becomes tedious very quickly too. Someone needs to be good and someone needs to be bad. People like to take sides, whether single or multi player.

    APOX is a post-apocalyptic setting where apparently all philosophies have been set aside and everyone conforms to the same methods of combat. In any other RTS I’ve played, while the theme may remain the same, each session felt unique, in APOX it just seems like the same thing over and over again.

  • This article.
  • This poll, which seems to confirm that the previous article's talk about 3 or 4 factions being the "sweet spot" is pretty accurate.
  • From 1987 to 1999, nearly all major LEGO themes followed a three-faction system, with heroes, villains, and civilians/natives/some other sort of special faction. Ignoring this in a game based on sets from that time period just seems awkward, like a missed opportunity. Also, as almost every theme followed this system, it's still possible to divide things up this way and still give each faction a wide range of units from multiple themes - namely, Castle, Pirates, Ninja, Western, Aquazone, and Space.
I know Addictgamer liked the idea of a global faction, but I'm not so sure it's a good idea for the reasons listed above. However, Addictgamer did bring up an idea I do like, where the theme progression of units the player can build runs along with how advanced they are in technology. So, players would start with basic Castle themed units and such, and work their way up through Pirates and Western and whatnot, with the final and most advanced tier of units being Space themed.

#29
BobaFett2

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Would it be helpful to create models in LDD to export to LeoCAD?


You're using sets from old themes, right? Do you want them to be updated or modified or in their original form?



#30
le717

Would it be helpful to create models in LDD to export to LeoCAD?


I haven't had a chance to look through Spring, but would it be possible to create the sets in LDD and import them as object files? Of course the limbs would be separated for movement.
If so I'd certainly like to recreate sets/modify them slightly and help with the team colours.

Sorry, LDD is of no use here.




#31
jamesster

Would it be helpful to create models in LDD to export to LeoCAD?

While it may be technically possible to port LDD and LDraw-based models to Spring, in practice it's not a good idea - you'd spend so much time optimizing the geometry and re-doing things to lower the polygon count that in the end it's far easier just making the models from scratch. They can be useful for referencing basic dimensions of pieces you don't own in real life, but even then, it can be a hassle, as I've found LDraw bricks to be quite hit-or-miss in the accuracy department.

You're using sets from old themes, right? Do you want them to be updated or modified or in their original form?

To an extent. It varies on a set-by-set basis, and I'm still working out the details.

#32
BobaFett2

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I had a thought...

Why not try to make a Rock-Raiders type game (albeit expanded, with better quality models and better vehicles/buildings?



#33
le717

I had a thought...

Why not try to make a Rock-Raiders type game (albeit expanded, with better quality models and better vehicles/buildings?

 

Ahem... Open Rock Raiders



#34
Addictgamer

I had a thought...
Why not try to make a Rock-Raiders type game (albeit expanded, with better quality models and better vehicles/buildings?

Because RR is not in the style of TA, C&C, etc?
Personally, I sometimes want to play a different take on the game.

#35
jamesster

Meh, I was gonna wait on posting anything until I had something prettier to look at, but the last few weeks have been pretty hectic. So I'm just gonna plop this here and get back to you when I've got the final details worked out. A basic minifigure model to base other units on - 546 tris, with 560 verts counting UV and edge splits and the like. This is just the model in UpSpring, in-game everything has nice reflective shading and such.

spring_minifigure.png
 
To-do:
  • Right now, the team color bleeds over to the top of the head very slightly at low mipmap levels, I'll be tweaking the UV map a bit so that doesn't happen.
  • Make a proper texture that has leg holes, as a template for future textures for actual units.
  • Change the back part of the arms slightly, minifigure arms do actually have that shape to them but not as severe as the model shows.
  • Re-do the hands?
  • Get the animation working.
I might add that while it is somewhat noticeably low-poly when viewed up close like this, when viewed from the perspective of a typical RTS camera it looks great. I also had a Skype chat with a guy from the Spring forums, he gave lots of really helpful info and examples to learn from.

Oh, this is actually my second shot at the basic minifigure model. I finished the first one, but wasn't happy with the results, so I just trashed it and started over with some different ideas. Came out a lot better this time.

#36
Ben24x7

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Soo... We are playing with a 2x2 brick, 1x1 round plate (otherwise known as a stud) and a 1x3 plate? I don't know...



#37
BobaFett2

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The stud on the head appears to be inaccurate, at least from the front picture. If you don't have time for animations, I could make a few in Blender.



#38
jamesster

Soo... We are playing with a 2x2 brick, 1x1 round plate (otherwise known as a stud) and a 1x3 plate? I don't know...

Oh, yes, most certainly! The entire game will feature many varieties of 2x2 bricks, 1x1 round plates, and 1x3 plates, in all colors and configurations! In fact, I've been considering naming this game "2x2 Bricks and 1x1 Round Plates and 1x3 Plates: The Video Game"! Forget the theme mish-mashing and minifigures and mechs and mounted warriors, prototype test units is where it's at, people! :D

... ahahahano.

The stud on the head appears to be inaccurate, at least from the front picture. If you don't have time for animations, I could make a few in Blender.

Nope, it's spot-on. Normal LEGO studs are 1.8 mm high, but oddly, the studs on top of minifigure heads are 2 mm high - also the height of the bottom tube on a 1x1 round brick/plate/cone, if you want to test it for yourself in real life. But it gets stranger - the minifigure head stud in LEGO Digital Designer is about 1.6 mm high, 0.2 mm shorter than real studs, when it should be 0.2 mm higher.

And... that's not how animation in Spring works. Read through the links I posted.

#39
jamesster

Just to let you guys know, I'm focusing on my LEGO RPG project entirely from now to Brick Fiesta (in early July), so don't expect any updates in regards to this project until sometime after then.