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Zombie Invasion update (Real Studio games Mailinglist archive)

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[ANN] Preview of RBD 2.4   -   Marc Zeedar
  Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Frank Condello
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
    Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
      Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
       Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
        Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Jeff Quan
         Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
          Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Jeff Quan
           Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
            sound design (was: Zombie Invasion update)   -   Jeff Quan
      Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Jeff Quan
       Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Tim Lisauskas
    Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Rasmus Lindén <
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   RivaBoy
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
    Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Nils Raschke
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
    Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Nils Raschke
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Stephen Dodd
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Jeff Quan
    Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   RivaBoy
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   RivaBoy
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Asher Dunn
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   RivaBoy
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Tim Lisauskas
    Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
      Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
     Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Jeff Quan
      Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
       Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Ben Lilburne
        Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
       Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Jeff Quan
        Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
         Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Jeff Quan
          Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
           Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
           Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
            Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
             Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
       Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
        Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Joseph J. Strout
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Tim Lisauskas
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Tim Lisauskas
    Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   HNSJB
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   RivaBoy
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Martin Dillon
    Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Lars Jensen
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   Tim Lisauskas
   Re: Zombie Invasion update   -   RivaBoy

Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 02:27 (Mon, 2 May 2005 20:27:13 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
Well, there's a new build at:

<http://www.strout.net/temp/Zombie.zip>

This version adds helpful little icons which you can get to float
over all the units by holding the ? key. I find that by pressing
this and pitching the camera down, and maybe rotating a bit, I can
pretty quickly find all my active guys despite the lack of a minimap.

There's also an indicator of the currently selected unit -- it's a
red arrow that appears under his feet and animates in the direction
he's facing.

It also has all the models now, including holy water. These aren't
the final versions but they're good enough to play with.

These changes make it actually playable in the 3D view, though if you
want, you can still toggle back to the old 2D view by pressing the `
key.

We're still working on ideas for giving you a better overview of the
state of the game, without losing the creepy atmosphere created by
the 3D graphics. If you have any ideas on this, feel free to pipe up!

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 06:38 (Tue, 3 May 2005 01:38:40 -0400)
From: Frank Condello
On 2-May-05, at 9:27 PM, Joseph J. Strout wrote:

> Well, there's a new build ...

Coming along nicely boys! Add me to the list of folks who think the Q
and E keys should orbit the view. For some reason I always expect the
orbit direction to be the reverse of what it is - I think that's how it
worked in Myth, the only RTS game I've ever played for more than 10
minutes ;) An option to reverse the default orbit direction (and maybe
even the pitch direction) might make sense...

Now, I noticed you're not using live-resize on that 3D window -
probably cause it takes for ever to resize! This problem has been
bugging me for a while, and I actually reported a Quesa bug on it last
year:
<http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?
funcÞtail&aid05268&group_idE158&atidD2052>. James was quick to
fix it, but Rb3D is still forcing a context rebuild with every resize
even though it really doesn't have to, so I've RB-bugged it as well:
<http://realsoftware.com/feedback/viewreport.php?reportidàvawzpr>

The fix should be pretty simple - when you get a resize event, don't
call Q3View_SetDrawContext. Just resize the pane and let Quesa handle
the rest. I'm not sure of the implications of doing this with QD3D, but
it should at least be backwards compatible with any version of Quesa
(though older versions will still rebuild the context internally -
prior to the fix in Quesa, resizing an Rb3DSpace caused the context to
be rebuilt twice in succession, which was rather nasty).

Frank.
------------------------------------
Open Source RB Goodies and Shareware
<http://developer.chaoticbox.com/>
<http://www.chaoticbox.com/>
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 17:01 (Tue, 03 May 2005 12:01:18 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> <http://www.strout.net/temp/Zombie.zip>

Nice...I suggest these key mods:

- '0' to reveal icons (instead of select-next)
- '+' to select-next
- 'x' to move camera back (same as 's', just like the '5'/'2' duality)
- 'f'/'r' to zoom
- 'q'/'e' to rotate
- 'z'/'c' to pan up/down (I think these will be the least frequently used)

That way the view is fully controllable with no modifier keys (I think this
will make it all easier to internalize), and the right hand never needs to
leave the keypad.

(If you don't like that setup, I will be happy to contribute a preferences
module and key assignment UI...)

The "momentary" key to reveal stats is interesting. I kind of like it.
Perhaps it could be converted via preferences to a toggle -- that way people
who don't care about the "realistic" view could just have the icons there
always.

You could show hit/move points by drawing two rows of 1-3 dots each, instead
of the current icons:

* * *
*

indicates a zombie with 3 move points and 1 hit point. Similarly for "?",
"!", etc. I would just use bullets for aware humans' hit/move points. That
way you would still have both color and shape to discriminate unit type as
well as point values.

After playing it a bit, and with the new views, I have to ask again: are you
_sure_ this doesn't want to be a hex game?

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 17:32 (Tue, 3 May 2005 11:32:42 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 12:01 PM -0400 5/3/05, Lars Jensen wrote:

>Nice...I suggest these key mods:
>
>- '0' to reveal icons (instead of select-next)
>- '+' to select-next
>- 'x' to move camera back (same as 's', just like the '5'/'2' duality)

I'll buy that.

>- 'f'/'r' to zoom
>- 'q'/'e' to rotate
>- 'z'/'c' to [pitch] up/down (I think these will be the least frequently used)
>
>That way the view is fully controllable with no modifier keys (I think this
>will make it all easier to internalize), and the right hand never needs to
>leave the keypad.

True, but I feel like with all these controls, you're going to spend
more time flying the camera around than playing the game -- and
worse, more time *learning* how to fly the camera than learning how
to play the game. I know you find this freedom liberating, but I
think it actually makes it harder for new players. You're talking
about 10 keys just to control the camera!

Warcraft III's camera controls are interesting: it's pretty much just
panning (scrolling) with the arrow keys or mouse, plus two keys that
temporarily rotate up to 90 degrees left or right around the point of
interest (as long as you hold the key down), and two more that change
the camera's latitude (i.e., changes both altitude and pitch, just
like my current W/S pair).

Now yes, that's limiting, but it's also very simple. The designers
of Warcraft have a lot of experience under their belt and must have
had some reason for choosing those controls. Yes, some of it might
be performance considerations, but I suspect they found in testing
that these controls work best at letting players see what they need
to see without presenting a controls diagram that looks like a flight
simulator.

So let's go back to basics. The camera points at a certain POI. We
need to be able to move that, assuming that you can't see the whole
board at once -- and we prefer to be closer to the action than that
allows, so panning (scrolling) is necessary. That's four keys.

Do we need to be able to rotate? Sometimes, because another unit (or
tree or whatnot) is blocking something you need to see. Warcraft's
temporary rotation is interesting for this. It allows you to see,
but as soon as you let go, it swings back to the standard
orientation. This keeps you from getting mentally turned around --
you can know that something is at the "bottom" of the map and if you
scroll down, it'll be there. That's not true if you allow arbitrary
rotation that sticks. So, after thinking about it more, I'm inclined
to think they're on to something good there. (Two more keys.)

Do we need to be able to zoom? This is a harder one. Sometimes you
want an overview of the board. Yes, the minimap provides that too,
but maybe it's not enough. But we don't want to stay zoomed out all
the time, since being closer to the action is fun. So *some* form of
zooming is probably a good idea, though conceivably it could be
temporary too, just like rotation. When playing with the mouse, it
might be handy to zoom way out, then change the POI by clicking on
something, and when you let go of the zoom key, you drop back down
centered on that. So, this would be one more key.

OTOH, Warcraft's combined pitch/altitude control is really nifty --
it doesn't greatly change how much you can see, but it does change
how much perspective there is and how close you feel to the
characters of the game. You can't quite get a first-person
perspective (and if you could, then I think we'd have to enable
arbitrary rotation). But you can get pretty close. This doesn't
need to be a temporary while-you-hold-it-down thing, since it doesn't
significantly change the way your onscreen view relates to your
mental map of the world. Two more keys.

So, if my analysis here is reasonable, we're looking at the four
scrolling keys, plus four more Warcraft keys, plus a temporary
birds-eye-view key for Lars. OK, so it's still nine keys, but I
think they do a better job of not causing confusion. What do y'all
think?

>(If you don't like that setup, I will be happy to contribute a preferences
>module and key assignment UI...)

It's not about which keys we choose; it's about which functions the
keys can do.

>The "momentary" key to reveal stats is interesting. I kind of like it.
>Perhaps it could be converted via preferences to a toggle -- that way people
>who don't care about the "realistic" view could just have the icons there
>always.

Perhaps. I'm still on the fence on that one.

>You could show hit/move points by drawing two rows of 1-3 dots each, instead
>of the current icons:

You mean, 1-3 symbols, where the symbol changes depending on the unit type?

>After playing it a bit, and with the new views, I have to ask again: are you
>_sure_ this doesn't want to be a hex game?

Yep, I love hex boards but it really feels like it should be a square
game to me.

Thanks for all the great feedback -- keep it coming!

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 18:24 (Tue, 03 May 2005 13:24:29 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
>> You could show hit/move points by drawing two rows of 1-3 dots each, instead
>> of the current icons:
>
> You mean, 1-3 symbols, where the symbol changes depending on the unit type?

Yup. I would probably modify this idea to say, have the movement points be a
type-specific symbol and have the hit points be a generic symbol.

I'm not actually in love with this idea yet, it could be real confusing at
first. But it has information density going for it. Perhaps it will spark a
better idea.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 22:18 (Tue, 03 May 2005 17:18:30 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> True, but I feel like with all these controls, you're going to spend more
> time flying the camera around than playing the game and worse, more time
> *learning* how to fly the camera than learning how to play the game...

I don't think I would -- but if I find it helpful or fun, do you care?

> I think it actually makes it harder for new players.

Just unmap the more esoteric functions (e.g. pitch and zoom) by default, and
perhaps put them behind a "show advanced" button in the preferences dialog.

Note that my proposal was meant as a "for now" kind of thing. Closer to
release, I think it's important to carefully consider which functions to put
behind an "advanced" shield -- and which to leave out altogether. But at
this stage of the game (ha ha), it's good to err towards more
experimentation.

> It's not about which keys we choose; it's about which functions the keys can
> do.

OK, then how about a config file system instead of a preferences UI? That
makes it easy to add functions for experimentation, without the distraction
of UI concerns or unpopular default settings.

> The designers of Warcraft have a lot of experience under their belt and must
> have had some reason for choosing those controls.

I have two words for you: round mouse. (But I agree that preserving the
board's orientation has a lot going for it.)

> ...*some* form of zooming is probably a good idea, though conceivably it could
> be temporary too, just like rotation.

I don't think I would like having to hold down a key as I perused the board.
How about it just zooms shows me the board top-down, and stays there until I
"do something" (exact definition TBD, but basically it's when I start
entering orders, or click on a unit, or...?).

Or, invert it: the "normal" view is top-down, but you can zoom in to enter
orders and see a group of units close-up. You get the convenience of mapping
out strategy in the bird's eye view, (which can accommodate more information
per tile without ruining the look), plus fun close-ups of the action, with
dramatic camera swoops for the transitions. There's no need for a mini-map.
And it avoids another currently awkward thing, which is that you spend a lot
of time looking at figures that are all nice and 3D, but they just stand
there, at right angles to one another.

(In fact, I've just realized that I have described the way The Iron Guest
works -- but don't go download a copy, because the one up there has some
serious problems. Maybe I should stop harping on Zombies for a while and fix
that...)

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 22:40 (Tue, 3 May 2005 16:40:50 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 5:18 PM -0400 5/3/05, Lars Jensen wrote:

> > True, but I feel like with all these controls, you're going to spend more
>> time flying the camera around than playing the game and worse, more time
>> *learning* how to fly the camera than learning how to play the game...
>
>I don't think I would -- but if I find it helpful or fun, do you care?

I do if you're the exception, and most other players find it
unhelpful and frustrating.

> > I think it actually makes it harder for new players.
>
>Just unmap the more esoteric functions (e.g. pitch and zoom) by default, and
>perhaps put them behind a "show advanced" button in the preferences dialog.

Yes, I'll buy that. We could even make it an easter egg sort of
thing (though I guess the young'uns call them "cheats" these days).

>Note that my proposal was meant as a "for now" kind of thing. Closer to
>release, I think it's important to carefully consider which functions to put
>behind an "advanced" shield -- and which to leave out altogether. But at
>this stage of the game (ha ha), it's good to err towards more
>experimentation.

Ha, true.

> > ...*some* form of zooming is probably a good idea, though
>conceivably it could
>> be temporary too, just like rotation.
>
>I don't think I would like having to hold down a key as I perused the board.
>How about it just zooms shows me the board top-down, and stays there until I
>"do something" (exact definition TBD, but basically it's when I start
>entering orders, or click on a unit, or...?).

Not a bad idea.

>Or, invert it: the "normal" view is top-down, but you can zoom in to enter
>orders and see a group of units close-up. You get the convenience of mapping
>out strategy in the bird's eye view, (which can accommodate more information
>per tile without ruining the look), plus fun close-ups of the action, with
>dramatic camera swoops for the transitions. There's no need for a mini-map.
>And it avoids another currently awkward thing, which is that you spend a lot
>of time looking at figures that are all nice and 3D, but they just stand
>there, at right angles to one another.

Well, the feeling that we're trying to achieve here is one of a board
game -- they're just standing there at right angles to each other
because they're game pieces. But at the same time, it's a *creepy*
board game, what with the wolves howling and wind moaning and so on.
It's a board game you get out at Halloween or whenever you need a
zombie fix.

It's a delicate balance, and I don't think my words are really
describing it, but if we're successful I think you'll feel it.

We'll experiment with the zooming and swooping a bit.

>(In fact, I've just realized that I have described the way The Iron Guest
>works -- but don't go download a copy, because the one up there has some
>serious problems. Maybe I should stop harping on Zombies for a while and fix
>that...)

Heh, I recall it from earlier downloads though. Go fix that, and
while you're at it, how about adding some simple shadows to Whiplash?
:)

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 23:38 (Tue, 03 May 2005 18:38:44 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> ...they're just standing there at right angles to each other because they're
> game pieces. But at the same time, it's a *creepy* board game...

Right. In Iron Guest, it's not soooo bad to have the ships just standing
there because real ships are fairly slow-moving -- it doesn't feel odd.
(Especially in my unreleased version, where they bob in the water a little.)

But in Zombies, you've got this supposedly "panicked" person, completely
frozen, along with a zombie, who by all rights should be rentlessly
shambling toward him. How to preserve the creepiness when everybody's just
standing around? I almost expect to hear a director yell "cut" and everybody
relaxes, kicks the ground, has a cigarette, whatever...then he yells
"action" again and they go into creepy mode for the fights. The swooping
basically substitutes an abstract, information-rich view for the more
physical, visceral one, until you can do justice to the latter.

(In fact, the original idea with Iron Guest was to make the top-down view
literally look like a wooden play set in an old sea captain's library, and
it would somehow morph into a realistic scene during the swoop.
Unfortunately I failed to morph into a 3D effects company at the same
time...)

The sounds help a lot. I would add a crow.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 23:51 (Tue, 3 May 2005 15:51:46 -0700)
From: Jeff Quan

On May 3, 2005, at 3:38 PM, Lars Jensen wrote:

>> ...they're just standing there at right angles to each other because
>> they're
>> game pieces. But at the same time, it's a *creepy* board game...
>
> But in Zombies, you've got this supposedly "panicked" person,
> completely
> frozen, along with a zombie, who by all rights should be rentlessly
> shambling toward him. How to preserve the creepiness when everybody's
> just
> standing around? I almost expect to hear a director yell "cut" and
> everybody
> relaxes, kicks the ground, has a cigarette, whatever...then he yells
> "action" again and they go into creepy mode for the fights. The
> swooping
> basically substitutes an abstract, information-rich view for the more
> physical, visceral one, until you can do justice to the latter.

Well, this is a turn-based board game after all.

> The sounds help a lot. I would add a crow.

Crow sounds are in there.

=Jeff Quan
<email address removed>

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 04.05.05 17:06 (Wed, 04 May 2005 12:06:12 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
>> The sounds help a lot. I would add a crow.
>
> Crow sounds are in there.

Well what do you know...I'm not sure why I didn't check the sounds folder
before saying that...

Out of curiosity, where did these sounds come from? They're pretty nice.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 04.05.05 17:48 (Wed, 4 May 2005 09:48:49 -0700)
From: Jeff Quan

On May 4, 2005, at 9:06 AM, Lars Jensen wrote:
> Well what do you know...I'm not sure why I didn't check the sounds
> folder
> before saying that...
>
> Out of curiosity, where did these sounds come from? They're pretty
> nice.

They come from a set of sound effects CDs from The Hollywood Edge
<http://www.hollywoodedge.com/>. The specific product I'm using is
called the Edge Edition
<http://www.hollywoodedge.com/product1.aspx?
SIDpProduct_ID•102&Category_ID039>.

=Jeff Quan
<email address removed>

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 04.05.05 20:19 (Wed, 04 May 2005 15:19:53 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> They come from a set of sound effects CDs from The Hollywood Edge
> <http://www.hollywoodedge.com/>. The specific product I'm using is
> called the Edge Edition
> <http://www.hollywoodedge.com/product1.aspx?
> SIDpProduct_ID•102&Category_ID039>.

Intriguing...but I downloaded their track list database app and couldn't
make heads or tails of it. :/

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 23:31 (Tue, 3 May 2005 15:31:03 -0700)
From: Jeff Quan

On May 3, 2005, at 2:18 PM, Lars Jensen wrote:
> I don't think I would like having to hold down a key as I perused the
> board.
> How about it just zooms shows me the board top-down, and stays there
> until I
> "do something" (exact definition TBD, but basically it's when I start
> entering orders, or click on a unit, or...?).

I had a discussion with Joe about something similar in order to reduce
the GUI clutter. The original idea I had proposed would be a
press-and-hold-key sort of deal but I think the idea of waiting until
the player does something has merit.

> Just unmap the more esoteric functions (e.g. pitch and zoom) by
> default, and
> perhaps put them behind a "show advanced" button in the preferences
> dialog.

This also has merit for those who want that much control. As with most
games, one tries to cast as broad a net as possible in order to catch
casual gamers as well as more serious ones.
=Jeff Quan
<email address removed>

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 23:44 (Tue, 03 May 2005 18:44:29 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> As with most games, one tries to cast as broad a net as possible in order to
> catch casual gamers as well as more serious ones.

I'm a casual gamer but a serious explorer...I spend a lot of time in my
driving and flying sims just tooling around, sightseeing. Folks work hard
creating these worlds, I want to see what they've come up with!

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 19:26 (Wed, 4 May 2005 03:26:49 +0900)
From: Tim Lisauskas
>>>You could show hit/move points by drawing two rows of 1-3 dots each,
>>>instead of the current icons:
>>
>> You mean, 1-3 symbols, where the symbol changes depending on the unit type?
>
>Yup. I would probably modify this idea to say, have the movement points be a
>type-specific symbol and have the hit points be a generic symbol.
>
>I'm not actually in love with this idea yet, it could be real confusing at
>first. But it has information density going for it. Perhaps it will spark a
>better idea.
>
>lj

I haven't had a chance to look at Joe's latest version, but here's an
idea I just had. To conserve space, what if you used colors and shapes?

For movement, say we use a square. Green squares would indicate the unit
has full movement (3 points), yellow would be 2 points, and red would be
1 point remaining. When all movement is used we could either hollow out
the square (leaving no color, just a border) or remove it all together
(as was done with the previous version).

For hit points, we could use circles. Again, Green would be full health
(3 HPs), yellow would be 2, and red would be 1. For rare units with more
than 3 health, I don't think it's that important to visually distinguish them.

This system has the benefit of being compact -- only two symbols are
used. It is intuitive -- it's based off of traffic signals. There might
be more benefits, but I'm off to bed, so there we go...

Tim



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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 22:05 (Tue, 03 May 2005 17:05:09 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> For rare units with more
> than 3 health, I don't think it's that important to visually distinguish them.

Hmm, I disagree...it can be very important tactically to know how many units
you need to attack a zombie with in order to have a chance to kill it.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 22:12 (Tue, 3 May 2005 23:12:10 +0200)
From: Rasmus Lindén <
> Hmm, I disagree...it can be very important tactically to know how
> many units
> you need to attack a zombie with in order to have a chance to kill it.

Yeah, enemies with extra health should be easier to notify then
others, or something like that since they would be the ones to be
hardest to kill and thus rather often being the largest threat.

I haven't posted in anything that has had to do with the Zombie
Invasion game project, but I have followed it closely and I like what
I see :)

/Rasmus Lindén

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 14.05.05 07:04 (Sat, 14 May 2005 16:04:16 +1000)
From: RivaBoy
On 4 May 2005, at 7:12 AM, Rasmus Lindén wrote:
> I haven't posted in anything that has had to do with the Zombie
> Invasion game project, but I have
> followed it closely and I like what I see :)

Me too! It's great! You've got me hooked on 3D it looks so cool.
/me hurrys off to find a FPS tutorial.

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 14.05.05 16:17 (Sat, 14 May 2005 10:17:16 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 4:04 PM +1000 5/14/05, RivaBoy wrote:

>>I haven't posted in anything that has had to do with the Zombie
>>Invasion game project, but I have
>>followed it closely and I like what I see :)
>
>Me too! It's great! You've got me hooked on 3D it looks so cool.

Thanks. Last week was pretty crazy (and Jeff and I are still
doggedly pursuing a "timely" release of Renegades), but I did get a
little more work on Zombie Invasion done on the plane -- the camera
now moves to the selected unit, which helps with playability quite a
bit. I'll see about getting an update posted sometime this weekend.

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 19:40 (Tue, 3 May 2005 13:40:13 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 3:26 AM +0900 5/4/05, Tim Lisauskas wrote:

>I haven't had a chance to look at Joe's latest version, but here's an
>idea I just had. To conserve space, what if you used colors and shapes?

The main problem with this is that I would get angry emails from
color-blind players, who can't tell how many HP and MP the units
have. (Traffic lights have a standard position in addition to the
color; they would never work as a single light that just changed
color.)

It's an interesting idea, though... Perhaps we can apply it in some
different way.

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 20:55 (Tue, 03 May 2005 15:55:11 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> For movement, say we use a square.
> For hit points, we could use circles.

I like squares for movement points, since squares are what you move on. The
squares could be relatively small; all you need to do is count them.

How about little starbursts for hit points -- like the backgrounds for
"BIFF!" and "THUD!" graphics from the old Batman TV show. They are barbed
and exciting, so someone with a lot of them floating over his head would be
appropriately intimidating. (Or perhaps he would just look like he had been
conked that many times.)

> ...angry emails from color-blind players...

Yeah. The problem is that it's not easy enough to tell at a glance what unit
type a 3D guy is.

Idea: the "reveal" key could mean "put on your zombie glasses", and instead
of floating icons, you see more of an aura around each unit, analogous to an
IR filter. Zombies have green smoke coming off them, clueless looks pretty
normal, aware is blue, panicked humans have red heads and hands, etc. There
could be differences in both color and form per unit type.

What I like about this is that when you're fighting zombies in real life,
you often have more low-tech equipment like this, instead of a fully
electronic HUD (unless you're cleaning up after the military of course).

But this doesn't help much with unit and hit points. Just an idea for the
idea bag.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 20:59 (Tue, 3 May 2005 21:59:14 +0200)
From: Nils Raschke

Am 03.05.2005 um 21:55 schrieb Lars Jensen:

>> For movement, say we use a square.
>> For hit points, we could use circles.
>
> I like squares for movement points, since squares are what you move
> on. The
> squares could be relatively small; all you need to do is count them.

Why not light the squares on the playground that the unit can walk to?

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 21:22 (Tue, 3 May 2005 15:22:16 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 9:59 PM +0200 5/3/05, Nils Raschke wrote:

>>I like squares for movement points, since squares are what you move on. The
>>squares could be relatively small; all you need to do is count them.
>
>Why not light the squares on the playground that the unit can walk to?

Well, sure, that works for the currently selected unit -- but it's
handy to be able to tell at a glance what the movement points are for
all units (including zombies).

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 21:22 (Tue, 3 May 2005 15:22:46 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 3:55 PM -0400 5/3/05, Lars Jensen wrote:

>Idea: the "reveal" key could mean "put on your zombie glasses", and instead
>of floating icons, you see more of an aura around each unit, analogous to an
>IR filter. Zombies have green smoke coming off them, clueless looks pretty
>normal, aware is blue, panicked humans have red heads and hands, etc. There
>could be differences in both color and form per unit type.

Heh, I like the concept. I'll have to think about the mechanics, but
it's certainly a neat idea.

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 21:59 (Tue, 3 May 2005 22:59:08 +0200)
From: Nils Raschke

>> Why not light the squares on the playground that the unit can walk to?
>
> Well, sure, that works for the currently selected unit -- but it's
> handy to be able to tell at a glance what the movement points are for
> all units (including zombies).

I think you will just use 3-4 units that act together. When I was
playing Allied General I was selecting one unit a time to see how they
could move, this worked very well. If the game would include selecting
units by mouse it would be a very fast way...

I have some difficulties to see which square I can reach even if I know
the moves left... That makes effective planing for me impossible. What
is it good for to know of every unit how many squares it can move when
you can't see on the playground if it has enough movement-points to get
the axe...


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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 22:04 (Tue, 03 May 2005 17:04:51 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> I have some difficulties to see which square I can reach even if I know
> the moves left...

Yes, I assume there is some kind of grid representation in mind...

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 03.05.05 22:13 (Tue, 3 May 2005 16:13:08 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 10:59 PM +0200 5/3/05, Nils Raschke wrote:

>I think you will just use 3-4 units that act together. When I was
>playing Allied General I was selecting one unit a time to see how
>they could move, this worked very well. If the game would include
>selecting units by mouse it would be a very fast way...

This might work, provided you had some other way to determine which
units could still move (perhaps a separate list of units with their
movement points there).

>I have some difficulties to see which square I can reach even if I
>know the moves left... That makes effective planing for me
>impossible. What is it good for to know of every unit how many
>squares it can move when you can't see on the playground if it has
>enough movement-points to get the axe...

Well, that's just the lack of a visible grid, which is already on our
to-do list to fix.

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 05.05.05 12:59 (Thu, 5 May 2005 12:59:47 +0100)
From: Stephen Dodd
I think the next most important GUI enhancement is simply the moving
of the camera to center on the current unit. And this presents an
opportunity for additional atmosphere. When you move the camera, pan
it out a little and then in again as you reach your target.

In addition to simulate the speed of this Hollywood zoom and move
effect, allow the camera to overshoot the target ever so slightly and
then return to the normal angle smoothly. You want to achieve the
subtle wobble of a fast moving and stopping UFO. This may also be
enhanced by a slight horizon wobble and return as if the camera were
listing a little from the sudden stop. The trick of course is do to
the transition fast enough that the user doesn't spend time admiring
your camera handiwork and subtle enough that they don't get seasick.

I think Railroad Tycoon III achieved this well if memory serves.

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 05.05.05 16:08 (Thu, 5 May 2005 08:08:39 -0700)
From: Jeff Quan
On May 5, 2005, at 4:59 AM, Stephen Dodd wrote:

> I think the next most important GUI enhancement is simply the moving
> of the camera to center on the current unit. And this presents an
> opportunity for additional atmosphere. When you move the camera, pan
> it out a little and then in again as you reach your target.
>
> In addition to simulate the speed of this Hollywood zoom and move
> effect, allow the camera to overshoot the target ever so slightly and
> then return to the normal angle smoothly. You want to achieve the
> subtle wobble of a fast moving and stopping UFO. This may also be
> enhanced by a slight horizon wobble and return as if the camera were
> listing a little from the sudden stop. The trick of course is do to
> the transition fast enough that the user doesn't spend time admiring
> your camera handiwork and subtle enough that they don't get seasick.

While a neat idea, I wonder if such a camera move will become rather
old hat after awhile? The reason is that the player spends a great
amount of time jumping from unit to unit, thus overexposing such camera
moves. In addition, players may expect pinpoint camera moves in order
to keep a peripheral eye on other units nearby as the camera stops.

I believe such camera work would be better suited for an an effect
which isn't used often, perhaps such as zooming back to see the entire
board or something. Using things sparingly can keep the effect looking
cool.

=Jeff Quan
<email address removed>

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Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 03:25 (Sat, 14 May 2005 21:25:39 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
From the usual place:

<http://www.strout.net/temp/Zombie.zip>

This version has auto-centering of the selected unit, plus mouse-over
info for, er, and unit you mouse over. This appears up at the top,
replacing the info on the selected unit (though you get that back as
soon as you move the mouse somewhere else or do something with the
selected unit). I realize this isn't idea, but it's just a
place-holder until we get in-display indicators of the same
information.

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 11:34 (Sun, 15 May 2005 20:34:10 +1000)
From: RivaBoy
Hi, got a bug for ya.

> This version has auto-centering of the selected unit

The guy that is selected was at the top-left corner of the screen. I
pressed return to do the turn,
and it centred. BUT it kept moving, and it kinda created a loop. The
screen moved around in a circular motion
with the centre point being halfway between where the camera was, and
the selected person. It did about 5 circles
and then positioned the camera so the selected guy was in the bottom
right corner.

Dunno if that makes any sense, but i tried.
Rivaboy

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 11:37 (Sun, 15 May 2005 20:37:04 +1000)
From: RivaBoy
Another thing, can you write a strategy guide?
Im really crap.

Thanks.
Rivaboy

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 16:59 (Sun, 15 May 2005 11:59:21 -0400)
From: Asher Dunn

On May 15, 2005, at 6:37 AM, RivaBoy wrote:

> Another thing, can you write a strategy guide?
> Im really crap.

lol me too :-P

Asher Dunn
--------------------------------------------------------
President and Head Developer of Fireye Software
<http://www.fireyesoftware.com/>
AIM and Yahoo: fireye7517

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 20:38 (Sun, 15 May 2005 14:38:18 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 8:34 PM +1000 5/15/05, RivaBoy wrote:

>The guy that is selected was at the top-left corner of the screen. I
>pressed return to do the turn, and it centred. BUT it kept moving,
>and it kinda created a loop.

Hmm, that's not supposed to happen! I did just change the
camera-movement algorithm late last night, so I'm sure that caused
it. It might also have something to do with your hardware specs --
on a slow machine, it has to take bigger steps per frame, so maybe
that is exposing some instability in the equations.

How fast is your machine?

Thanks,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 17.05.05 07:54 (Tue, 17 May 2005 16:54:34 +1000)
From: RivaBoy
On 16 May 2005, at 5:38 AM, Joseph J. Strout wrote:
> How fast is your machine?

350MHz G3 running 10.3.9 (out-of-date *cough cough*)
320MB SDRAM

RivaBoy

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 16:03 (Mon, 16 May 2005 00:03:25 +0900)
From: Tim Lisauskas
>Another thing, can you write a strategy guide?
>Im really crap.
>
>Thanks.
>Rivaboy

I'm not Joe, but I've (re-) slain my fair share of the Restless Dead.
Here's how I handle my own little Zombie infestations.

First things first, you need more Aware humans. Your first priority
should be to survey the board and figure out how you can increase your
numbers the fastest. I look for clumps of Unaware that I can convert
quickly. I wake one fellow up; I go towards another and the new fellow
goes for someone else; I go for another, and my two new guys go for more
recruits; and so on.

A clump of people is more valuable than the scattered singles you'll see
on the board. It's important to build up your forces quickly, so if
there's a single on your way to a greater group, fine -- don't let it
distract you for too long, though.

An unarmed human is good for only two things: awakening other humans, and
running away from Zombies. Sending a human into a fist fight with a
Zombie is a good way to lose your new best buddy to the ranks of the
undead. You need to arm every human you intend to send into combat.

Which brings us to the meat of the strategy: how to put the whammy on the
bad guys. Your average human is weaker than your average Zombie, and
fighting one on one, while honorable, is a recipe for brain souffle.
Remember, there is no honor among corpses.

Whenever possible I put together "fire teams" to handle Zombies. I have
three armed humans face one Zombie down, and I usually have one or two
unarmed humans waiting behind them to pick up their dropped weapons in
the event they meet their maker.

I find the best formation is a "V" pattern. Something like this:

h
hZ ->
h

Attacking a Zombie from behind is best, since he can't see you coming.
However, if there's no other way than to face one head- on, try to
maneuver things so that the Zombie uses its full movement points to end
its turn next to you. That will leave you with a full three chances to
smite it on your turn.

Use whatever guns you find; they're the best weapons. You can take out
quite a few Zombies with a pistol and shotgun, and not have to put your
forces in harm's way. Holy water will devastate a Zombie, if it hits,
but you only get one shot. Which means, if you miss you better have a
few movement points left over -- the Zombie will be upset at your attempt
at liquifying him...

Sometimes there's nothing for it but to go in there the old fashioned way
-- with axes and pitchforks. Keep an eye on your hit points and movement
points, and don't be afraid to pull someone out when they're severely
wounded. He who fights and runs away, lives to kill Zombies another day.

There are subtleties and strategies within these concepts, but I leave
them for you to discover. Well, I'll give you one for the long, dark,
spooky road. Arm your forces appropriately when possible. The guy with
the axe should have at least two hit points and preferably three -- the
guy with a gun needs no more than one.

I hope this helps you out. Squishing Zombies is gruesome, grisly work,
but someone's got to do it!

Tim



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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 19:42 (Sun, 15 May 2005 14:42:18 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> This version has auto-centering of the selected unit...

Yippee, it's playable again!

Occasionally the camera overshoots, and at one point it went into
infinite-overshoot mode -- it just circled around endlessly. This persisted
for several turns in a row, then stopped for a turn, then came back...it
happened near a tree. (Are you trying to do smart camera moves around
trees?)

Nice job on the trees, BTW. Suggestion: have several models with fewer
branches and varying levels of foliage and superimpose them in quasi-random
ways to create the actual rendered "tree". I've done this to create
irregular boulders and icebergs, gives good visual bang for the model buck.

I thought I would see my keyboard wish list in this version... :(

>> - '0' to reveal icons (instead of select-next)
>> - '+' to select-next
>> - 'x' to move camera back (same as 's', just like the '5'/'2' duality)

Also, the Shift and Control shortcuts should be listed in the help window.

> Here's how I handle my own little Zombie infestations.

Excellent write-up, Tim! Here's another tip: If you make someone aware, you
can move him on that same turn. So if an aware guy comes upon a zombie
attacking a clueless or panicked guy, it's usually better to use your
movement points to make the attacked guy aware, so he can then run away,
rather than to attack the zombie, whom you might not kill in that turn.

> Your first priority should be to survey the board and figure out how you can
> increase your numbers the fastest.

Yeah, and the shift-move shortcuts really help speed up that phase of the
game. I frequently wish for a way to issue certain other high-level
commands, like:

- move toward a particular human, and make him aware
- move toward a particular weapon
- follow a particular zombie

These would be most beneficial if they could be sticky across turns.
Dragging a unit to another unit or a weapon could put the dragged unit into
"sticky" mode regarding the target unit. So could option-clicking the target
unit. Movement wouldn't need to be intelligent; this is only for spending
less time on uninteresting parts of the board. Hitting ESC could cancel
sticky mode for a unit; Shift-ESC could cancel them all.

How to display sticky mode? I don't know. This whole idea could be more
complicated than it's worth, but I do find that the opening game can get a
little tedious; there should be a way to get the machine to do the grunt
work for me.

---

It's fun when you have a gun and you make a guy panicked -- it looks like
you're sticking him up! I wonder if your chances of not panicking someone
should be relatively better if you don't have a weapon and come from in
front of him.

---

Keyboarding shouldn't have an effect when the app is in the background, so
that I can write up these notes without making unintended moves!

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 20:51 (Sun, 15 May 2005 14:51:57 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 2:42 PM -0400 5/15/05, Lars Jensen wrote:

>Occasionally the camera overshoots, and at one point it went into
>infinite-overshoot mode -- it just circled around endlessly. This persisted
>for several turns in a row, then stopped for a turn, then came back...it
>happened near a tree. (Are you trying to do smart camera moves around
>trees?)

Nope, nothing so smart. Can I get your machine specs too, Lars? I
still suspect this has something to do with that. I obviously need
to think of a better way to prevent overshoots in any case.

>Nice job on the trees, BTW. Suggestion: have several models with fewer
>branches and varying levels of foliage and superimpose them in quasi-random
>ways to create the actual rendered "tree". I've done this to create
>irregular boulders and icebergs, gives good visual bang for the model buck.

Not a bad idea. BTW, you can add your own obstacles (trees,
tombstones, whatever) just by dropping them into the appropriate
Models subfolder. They're just selected at random.

>I thought I would see my keyboard wish list in this version... :(

No good reason why you didn't -- I just got busy and it slipped my
mind. Thanks for the reminder.

>Excellent write-up, Tim! Here's another tip: If you make someone aware, you
>can move him on that same turn. So if an aware guy comes upon a zombie
>attacking a clueless or panicked guy, it's usually better to use your
>movement points to make the attacked guy aware, so he can then run away,
>rather than to attack the zombie, whom you might not kill in that turn.

Good tip.

>Yeah, and the shift-move shortcuts really help speed up that phase of the
>game. I frequently wish for a way to issue certain other high-level
>commands, like:
>
>- move toward a particular human, and make him aware
>- move toward a particular weapon
>- follow a particular zombie

Yes, perhaps with the mouse these wouldn't be too hard; just
command-click on another human, weapon, or zombie, a la Warcraft.
Such units would then get some sort of indicator that they've already
got orders, and maybe would be skipped by the automatic cycling
through of units-needing-orders. But you could explicitly click on
one and make them do something else (which would cancel their
standing orders).

This would be really handy (along with being able to click a unit to
select it at all). I think I'll do this next. (But not tonight --
got a better offer this evening.)

>It's fun when you have a gun and you make a guy panicked -- it looks like
>you're sticking him up! I wonder if your chances of not panicking someone
>should be relatively better if you don't have a weapon and come from in
>front of him.

Heh, good observation. But I don't think it's the weapon that's
panicking him (despite appearances); it's the very notion of the town
being overrun by hordes of oozing, tireless, brain-sucking undead.

>Keyboarding shouldn't have an effect when the app is in the background, so
>that I can write up these notes without making unintended moves!

Good call! I always skimp on that little detail at first. I'll add
it in if I ever get serious about this game. That will be a good way
to know that I'm finally taking it seriously. :)

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 22:31 (Sun, 15 May 2005 17:31:16 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> Can I get your machine specs too, Lars?

1.8MHz G5, 10.3.9, Quesa 1.7

> But I don't think it's the weapon that's panicking him (despite appearances);
> it's the very notion of the town being overrun by hordes of oozing, tireless,
> brain-sucking undead.

Understood. I just like things that let the gameplay be a little more
tactical without complicating the controls. And I think it fits right into
the ambience -- if someone comes running up to you in a graveyard with an
axe and a wild look in his eye, you're going to get rattled!

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 01:43 (Sun, 15 May 2005 17:43:21 -0700)
From: Jeff Quan
On May 15, 2005, at 11:42 AM, Lars Jensen wrote:
> Nice job on the trees, BTW. Suggestion: have several models with fewer
> branches and varying levels of foliage and superimpose them in
> quasi-random
> ways to create the actual rendered "tree". I've done this to create
> irregular boulders and icebergs, gives good visual bang for the model
> buck.

That's a really good idea. It will take some doing to make sure that
the models all play well together, but I think this can be made to
work.
=Jeff Quan
<email address removed>

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 04:22 (Sun, 15 May 2005 23:22:49 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
>> have several models with fewer branches and varying levels of foliage and
>> superimpose them...
>
> ...I think this can be made to work.

Cool. Since posting that, my only other thought was that the branches might
end up intersecting one another unrealistically. But people probably won't
look too closely, and even if they do, this is clearly an abnormal locale,
so anything goes, right?

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 04:36 (Mon, 16 May 2005 13:36:09 +1000)
From: Ben Lilburne
>>> have several models with fewer branches and varying levels of
>>> foliage and
>>> superimpose them...
>> ...I think this can be made to work.
> Cool. Since posting that, my only other thought was that the
> branches might
> end up intersecting one another unrealistically.

You could weight the "randomness" such that a funny looking branch
layout becomes very unlikely.

i.e, if you have a branch on this side, the next branch is more
likely to appear on the other side. If you have three on this side,
then the next is pretty much sure to appear on the other side. You
weight the function to favour the most empty spaces on the tree.
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 04:52 (Sun, 15 May 2005 23:52:50 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> You weight the function to favour the most empty spaces on the tree.

Yeah, except I sorta like the prospect of gnarly, asymmetrical trees in this
creepy landscape -- that's what gave me the idea in the first place.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 05:53 (Sun, 15 May 2005 21:53:10 -0700)
From: Jeff Quan
On May 15, 2005, at 8:22 PM, Lars Jensen wrote:

>>> have several models with fewer branches and varying levels of
>>> foliage and
>>> superimpose them...
>>
>> ...I think this can be made to work.
>
> Cool. Since posting that, my only other thought was that the branches
> might
> end up intersecting one another unrealistically. But people probably
> won't
> look too closely, and even if they do, this is clearly an abnormal
> locale,
> so anything goes, right?

If a tree has too many branches which intersect improperly, then they
could be a distraction unto themselves. My preferences tend to bend
towards more realistic than fantastic, but as you mentioned this is an
abnormal locale.

I'd prefer to design the branches so that it doesn't require much
programming to build a tree -- just pick a few shapes, given them a
random yaw, and group them together. Ben's thoughts on weighting the
yaw might be a start in making sure things look good, but it may be
easier having a base "trunk" and one of several branch "crown" models
-- so trunk + crown with random yaw = a good-looking tree.

=Jeff Quan
<email address removed>

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 07:04 (Mon, 16 May 2005 02:04:53 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> If a tree has too many branches which intersect improperly, then they
> could be a distraction unto themselves.

This seems like an issue only for the leafless areas -- otherwise you have
to look pretty hard. And looking at the leafless tree in the current game, I
have to say it doesn't seem that obvious whether things are intersecting or
not. I bet you could do the "dumb" crown yawing and it wouldn't look bad at
all

Also, I might consider superimposing trunks -- odd lumps and bulges could be
quite natural for a trunk, and ground level is where you're mostly looking
anyway.

---

More scenery ideas: I made a new "tombstone" -- a rusty iron gate, leaning
haphazardly. Just some uprights and a couple crossbars, about 2 minutes
worth of work in Meshwork, but it looked OK (although at a distance there
was some Moire).

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 15:44 (Mon, 16 May 2005 07:44:46 -0700)
From: Jeff Quan
On May 15, 2005, at 11:04 PM, Lars Jensen wrote:
> More scenery ideas: I made a new "tombstone" -- a rusty iron gate,
> leaning
> haphazardly. Just some uprights and a couple crossbars, about 2 minutes
> worth of work in Meshwork, but it looked OK (although at a distance
> there
> was some Moire).

Got a link to a screenshot? Let's see it!

=Jeff Quan
<email address removed>

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 16:42 (Mon, 16 May 2005 11:42:29 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
>> More scenery ideas: I made a new "tombstone" -- a rusty iron gate...
>
> Got a link to a screenshot? Let's see it!

Here you go:

http://ljensen.com/zombies/zombie_shot.jpg

You might also notice the background...to implement this, put this code at
the bottom of MapView.CreateGround:

Background = LoadModel("BgMoon.3DMF")
if Background <> nil then
Background.Scale = 100 // bg model file is 1/100 scale
Yon = Background.ComputeBounds(1).Radius // spherical bounds
end if

Then drop BgMoon.3DMF into your Models folder. Where do you get BgMoon.3DMF,
you ask? It's here, along with the gate model (Tombstone14.3DMF):

http://ljensen.com/zombies/zombie_stuff.zip

The background model isn't particularly efficient. It duplicates the
background texture for one thing, and it's cylindrical instead of cubic.
It's a quick and dirty adaptation from another game; feel free to use it or
not.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 18:18 (Mon, 16 May 2005 13:18:02 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> http://ljensen.com/zombies/zombie_stuff.zip

I should mention that the Meshwork originals for the gate and background are
in here too.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 20:43 (Mon, 16 May 2005 15:43:12 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> The background model isn't particularly efficient. It duplicates the
> background texture...

Oops -- I meant it duplicates the _board_ texture; i.e. the grass, but
without the grid.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 20:55 (Mon, 16 May 2005 14:55:31 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 3:43 PM -0400 5/16/05, Lars Jensen wrote:

> > The background model isn't particularly efficient. It duplicates the
>> background texture...
>
>Oops -- I meant it duplicates the _board_ texture; i.e. the grass, but
>without the grid.

It also scales it up about a zillion times. That's not really
necessary; instead, set the U and V coordinates of the four corners
of your ground square to very large numbers, and the texture will
repeat that many times.

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 21:24 (Mon, 16 May 2005 16:24:26 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> It also scales it up about a zillion times. That's not really
> necessary; instead, set the U and V coordinates of the four corners
> of your ground square to very large numbers, and the texture will
> repeat that many times.

Actually the scaling is on purpose. I wanted to see a large ground area with
varying colors that were harmonious with those of the playfield, but whose
texture was visibly different, so it didn't become a hassle to perceive the
extent of the board. Mapping one board tile to the big ground area is an
easy way to achieve that.

A poor-man's LOD you might say... :)

A scale under 1:1 might look good too, but like I say this was quick and
dirty.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 14:49 (Mon, 16 May 2005 08:49:47 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
At 9:53 PM -0700 5/15/05, Jeff Quan wrote:

>I'd prefer to design the branches so that it doesn't require much
>programming to build a tree -- just pick a few shapes, given them a
>random yaw, and group them together. Ben's thoughts on weighting the
>yaw might be a start in making sure things look good, but it may be
>easier having a base "trunk" and one of several branch "crown"
>models -- so trunk + crown with random yaw = a good-looking tree.

We're already randomly yawing the tree models, so I'm not sure this
would generate a noticeable difference -- it might be like the cities
in Armageddon, where we put a fair amount of effort into randomly
generating them, and nobody noticed. :)

Given that we already have more obstacle models than you typically
see in a board, I think you might be better off just adding 4 or 5
additional tree models (and maybe some other obstacles too, e.g. pile
of straw, a tomb or crypt, etc.). By that point, there will be
enough models not chosen on each game, that you could go quite a
while without seeing one -- enough to make the ones you do see seem
fresh, I bet.

Of course the next thing we need, obstacle-wise, are obstacles that
take up more than one square of the grid. A crypt might take up 2x2
squares, for example. Jeff, if you make a model that you think
should take up more than one square, just let me know and I'll make
the code handle it.

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 16:06 (Mon, 16 May 2005 11:06:47 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> Armageddon, where we put a fair amount of effort into randomly
> generating them, and nobody noticed. :)

Well if you had put more variation into the skylines like I asked... ;)

And don't think I don't notice that when I pick up certain weapons I change
my shirt, grow a beard, go bald, put on sunglasses...

---

Dead zombies...did you consider these in the gameplay? It's kind of
disconcerting that they just vanish. Perhaps they should become obstacles
(or maybe non-obstacle scenery, of which other examples could include weed
patches and fresh grave dirt).

> Of course the next thing we need, obstacle-wise, are obstacles that
> take up more than one square of the grid.

Iron fences (to go along with the iron gate idea) might look good too,
though I'm not sure I'd want to have to navigate around a long fence during
gameplay. There could be long-ish runs around the perimeter though.

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 15.05.05 20:43 (Sun, 15 May 2005 14:43:48 -0500)
From: Joseph J. Strout
Thanks Tim, that was a fanstastic strategy guide. If I ever get
serious about this game I'll ask you whether I can drop it into the
docs pretty much verbatim!

One subtlety I thought worth pointing out. You wrote:

>Attacking a Zombie from behind is best, since he can't see you coming.

This is true, but there's another reason why it's best: zombies are
easier to hit from behind. (They're also slightly easier to hit from
the side than from the front, but behind is better still.)

Since zombies aren't particularly good at dodging, I leave it to you
to figure out why this is. I just know that it's so!

Best,
- Joe

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 16:22 (Tue, 17 May 2005 00:22:44 +0900)
From: Tim Lisauskas
>> Here's how I handle my own little Zombie infestations.
>
>Excellent write-up, Tim! Here's another tip: If you make someone aware, you
>can move him on that same turn. So if an aware guy comes upon a zombie
>attacking a clueless or panicked guy, it's usually better to use your
>movement points to make the attacked guy aware, so he can then run away,
>rather than to attack the zombie, whom you might not kill in that turn.

That's a good one -- I forgot all about that. There's another trick I
use along these lines, though it takes a stout heart to pull it off.

If a human is being attacked by a Zombie, you can try and pull off an
"intervention." Run up to the victim and make him Aware. If you're
lucky you'll still have a movement point left over. Use that movement
point to transfer the first human's weapon to the newly awakened human
(just move into the newly Awakened human again and you'll hand your
weapon over).

Your newly Awakened human will have three full chances to take down the
Zombie. Use these chances wisely.

If the first human uses all his movement to Awaken the second human, you
can still pull this off. Move the newly Awakened human into the first
human and he will take the weapon the first holds. The newly armed human
now has two chances to put the big hurt on the corpse, before he gets
mauled by an irate Zombie.

I've used this technique to save a handful of humans from becoming Zombie
chow, but I've also lost a few in the attempt. It takes nerves of steel
to face down a Zombie in this way, but the graveyard we wander about in
is really a crucible that tests the mettle of men! Have at them!

Tim



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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 16.05.05 16:27 (Tue, 17 May 2005 00:27:19 +0900)
From: Tim Lisauskas
>Thanks Tim, that was a fanstastic strategy guide. If I ever get
>serious about this game I'll ask you whether I can drop it into the
>docs pretty much verbatim!

It would be an honor. Ever since I lost my beloved dog, Fido, to the
Zombie Infestation of '05, I've been itching to pay those shamblers back.

>One subtlety I thought worth pointing out. You wrote:
>
>>Attacking a Zombie from behind is best, since he can't see you coming.
>
>This is true, but there's another reason why it's best: zombies are
>easier to hit from behind. (They're also slightly easier to hit from
>the side than from the front, but behind is better still.)
>
>Since zombies aren't particularly good at dodging, I leave it to you
>to figure out why this is. I just know that it's so!

Hmm... This will take further research and DZT (Destructive Zombie
Testing). I'll let you know my results. If I make it back, that is...

Tim




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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 21.05.05 06:15 (Fri, 20 May 2005 23:15:32 -0600)
From: HNSJB
Hola.

I want a new AUTO-Weapon, a little dog. Move to a Zombie and beat them.
The Zombie follow and eat the Dog.

el 16/05/2005 09:27, Tim Lisauskas en <email address removed> escribió:

> It would be an honor. Ever since I lost my beloved dog, Fido, to the
> Zombie Infestation of '05, I've been itching to pay those shamblers back.

-

Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 17.05.05 07:46 (Tue, 17 May 2005 16:46:06 +1000)
From: RivaBoy
lol, i meant a brief guide not an essay!!!
Wow, you musta been bored to write that much, but thanks anyway. ;)
That should help me a little!

> I hope this helps you out. Squishing Zombies is gruesome, grisly work,
> but someone's got to do it!

^^ Love it.

Rivaboy

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 17.05.05 12:47 (Tue, 17 May 2005 21:47:49 +1000)
From: Martin Dillon
> On Mon, 16 May 2005 08:49:47 -0500, Joseph J. Strout wrote:

> Of course the next thing we need, obstacle-wise, are obstacles that
> take up more than one square of the grid. A crypt might take up 2x2
> squares, for example. Jeff, if you make a model that you think
> should take up more than one square, just let me know and I'll make
> the code handle it.

I reckon an open grave would make a nice 2x1 square obstacle - with clever
manouvering, it could serve to trap and slow down pursuing zombies. Of
course careless manouvering may put your human in grave danger.

Martin

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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 17.05.05 16:36 (Tue, 17 May 2005 11:36:44 -0400)
From: Lars Jensen
> I reckon an open grave would make a nice 2x1 square obstacle - with clever
> manouvering, it could serve to trap and slow down pursuing zombies.

Maybe you could lure a zombie into it, then push a headstone onto him.
>splat!<

lj
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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 17.05.05 16:53 (Wed, 18 May 2005 00:53:14 +0900)
From: Tim Lisauskas
>lol, i meant a brief guide not an essay!!!
>Wow, you musta been bored to write that much, but thanks anyway. ;)
>That should help me a little!

How much do I have to write to help you a lot? ;-)

Tim



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Re: Zombie Invasion update
Date: 18.05.05 07:17 (Wed, 18 May 2005 16:17:38 +1000)
From: RivaBoy
> How much do I have to write to help you a lot? ;-)

No, you're right, the essay was a perfect size!
Helped me a lot, it did.

–¯–_–¯–{* ..::RiVaBoY::.. *}–¯–_–¯–
WEB: http://www.rivaboy.makes.it/
MSN: <email address removed>
AIM: aim://rivaboysd
Skype: callto://Rivaboy
–¯–_–¯–{* ..::RiVaBoY::.. *}–¯–_–¯–

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