Sunday, 1 December 2013

INFR 3110U: Framework vs Crammed Game Engine

What would you like to have as your game engine?

Through the years, I've seen many different types of game engines made. Whether it be wrapping the different graphics and physics libraries and more into your engine, or just cramming everything into your game.

However, the most efficient method I've found, is making a framework.

For example, in my artificial intelligence class, we had to make a game with intricate A.I . Whilst programming, we realized that as we made more functionality within more classes, we were making many clean and efficient tools that could easily be ported to other engines for other functions.

Before long, we realized we were making a framework.

Different mentalities bring different expectations and wants for a game engine. But why isn't your first idea to make a game engine?

If you could make a tool, or other structures that enabled many features in an engine...why wouldn't you?

For instance, if you made a manipulate-able camera path controller that could create cinematics just like in God of War...wouldn't you want that thing anywhere? You could create different options within it, and use it for other purposes.

Yes having a working engine is ideal, but why have it working, when it'll take you just as much time to remake it?

Think. If you made a text-based framework, then randomly get an adventure game to work on , but you need text interaction..
Boom. Time to integrate things from the text-based framework that you made.

What if you created a model viewer framework?
Again, if you get sent to create an adventure game and have no character view/item view screen?

Frameworks help with supplying solutions to your engine/game development and design needs.

I don't know about you, but since I've seen many close friends of mine make frameworks for engines, I start realizing how much I rather would use a framework than a random working game engine.

We make tools so we can be lazy..
Why have things integrated into your game if you can't take it back out and use it?

Some food for thought.
Just a rant about something that hit my mind.
Thanks guys! Nice chatting. Leave comments about what you do or think below!

Kazekumaru -- Peacing Out !!

Sunday, 24 November 2013

INFR 3110U: Engine Tools

What are tools for a game?
They are what you hear they are.

Tools in games aid the pipeline by making production easier.
They can go from visual tools, to inserting text, or even debugging tools.
In the game engines class, a honework question was given to make camera paths, morph cobtrollers and ogre log parsing tools..
Little did I know each of them were tools for a game..I don't know about you...but I must have been tired...
I had programmedthe ogre log tool, but recently just found out I could use it as a tool..but for what you say? Debugging.

As we program our game, ogre may give us some issues however, if while we program, if we were to have a log parser open in a side console, showing only errors or warnings, we would be able to see what we need to fix easier, than if we were to look through multiple lines of code. (M.LOC...haha)

Camera path controllers aid the pipeline by being able to place them, load them in by fbx with locators, and lerp between their points, seeing how the world looks. Through this, a designer could easily edit the camera paths to be taken in game to show the fullness of the game and how to capture the players attention.

These are just some tools that I've seen and thought a little about in our class!

What's your favourite tool?

Kazekumaru -- Peacing Out!!

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

INFR 3110U: Post MIGS

When at MIGS, many different things were talked about, from programming and implementing artificial intelligences, to animation.

For the panels where A.I. was talked about, they showed how A.I. reacts differently in first person shooters.
Where when behind a box, the A.I. would show reaction as when to shoot, if the player was to come in sight, or go back to hiding. This creates a more realistic effect which would then make the player believe that the A.I. is interacting with them. The more precise the movement, the more realistic the feel of interaction. With this, they also talked about the different states that the A.I. goes through during this process. (reminded me of FSM's and etc. ahaha)

With animation talks, I had an interaction with Richard Aroyo, who works along with David Lam (also one of whom I had spoken to) in iAnimate. These men are brilliant with the way that they carry out their work. Colin Graham, with his animation skills, and Samanatha Youssef with her understanding of human body mechanics are also brilliant minds.

The things learned this year are priceless, and for everyone who didn't attend MIGS 2013, should definitely go to 2014.

Monday, 28 October 2013

INFR 3110U: Camera Angles

One may think...

Yea camera angles are cool...but what do they do completely to a game?

Cameras make or break a game.

 If a game is very physical and have no dynamic cameras for certain hits...kinda boring right?

Even in the new pokemon, when a pokemon does a move, the camera is moved to either show what os happening, or the dynamics of the scene.

In this infamous 2 clip, look how the camera acts or behaves.

Its like every time a hit is made, the camera moves forward toward the player. The initial camera is attached to the player, but during whichever action, the camera angle and distance is affected.
When the player is travelling,  the distance is far, but when in a fight,  its close. When enemies come into the screen,  the camera slightly gives them a view, but it is still mainly centered behind the main player.

What's your favourite camera view? Post a video in the comment section,  and give a description of what the camera does! Love to see animations of characters and camera actions.

On another note, it may not be needed, but a cinematic trailer could be made for our game. (GDW)  where the camera first starts behind the character, but when the character goes into a building, it could become first person to show the detail of the innards of the building. Just some food for thought..imagine that for a game. Its been done before but its really cool.


Kazekumaru -- Peacing Out!!

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

INFR 3110U: Freemium Games

Whenever I talk to certain people about games,  they don't know how to market what they make. Whether it be they put it on the steam store, apply for a company,  or try to go freemium.

But when I hear freemium, I then they know what they're talking about? Many games go for the freemium approach but never really know how to approach it.

Games like candy crush saga use many strategies to keep their users playing and paying. For instance, a popular method they use for the game is a near-win strategy. What it implies is that when the player is about win, they tend to lose, but because they were so close to winning,  they play again. With this, they then also place items at low market prices that would help you past that section of the game.

Games like Clash of Clans give the player a certain amount of currency and make them spend it so they can see how it benefits them in the long run. For instance, in Clash of Clans, they show the player that the special currency could enable them more builders to increase their building options,  but then also show them that it can decrease the amount of time it takes for them to build or produce units and resources. (Its an interesting game. If you haven't tried it, you should)

During the summer I had to research freemium games during my internship as to how freemium games take off, or prosper. Its known that game developers research into the human psyche and figure out what content to put in their games, that woulf entice people to play them more. A common resource used for this is Maslows hierarchy of needs.

On the Apple AppStore, candy crush, and clash of clans are top games.

But what makes them so different?

Why do people pay for the content?

Yea they looked into the hierarchy of needs, and yea they have low priced items that aid the player...but what...?

The answer is  what type of needs they are using, and their portrayal of it.

In both Candy Crush and Clash of Clans, they target not only your psychological needs represented in Maslows hierarchy, but they also go after your animalistic instincts. Like a lion to their pray, and a jungle cat to their domain, Clash of Clans uses their gameplay to use your instincts.

An example is how in each game,  they allow the player to dominate another persons property for gain. In Clash of Clans, you dominate enemy orc territory, and in Candy Crush, you're travelling, helping NPCs which then enable you to conquer a certain portion of the game every few levels.
 When a lions territory is threatened, they attack. Just like in Clash of Clans, if the players territory is attacked, they are likely to either get a shield to protect themselves, or enhance their troops and attack their attacker.

Another aid for their success is the social capabilities. In both games,  their system allows people to beat you or your score, or for you to dominate. In both games,  they have a ranking system, that shows who's better in all, or a certain level.

Clash of Clans has a clan system which then adds you to a part of a "family" and Candy Crush gives the player the ability to help their friends who are in a pinch by giving them powerups. Both then play on many other characteristics of Maslows hierarchy of needs..

Going back and forth, the freemium model is a deep model which some enter and make it, or enter and fail...
My personal opinion, is that if you want to go freemium, you must do your research. Any lack may end up hurting you in the long run..

This may have just been a taste of what is capable of the freemium model...if you want more, just leave a comment asking for either more details or an extension! :)

Kazekumaru -- Peacing Out!!

Thursday, 17 October 2013


For our GDW first gate, groups had to prove a tool chain, mainly loading in models and have textures. However, sadly, although my group had the requirements(shown and proven to me before), they couldn't get I t running for the check, but then they quickly had it adjusted, and showed it so they had the requirements fulfilled. However, in terms of programming, we are to be farther ahead.
My issue in the next while is how to create the tool intended for the game,  and how it should be presented...what I figure I could do, is create a window that dispays the character and the stats for them..possibly going to be a bit of work, but should be able to do it..


MIGS is coming up!
MIGS stands for the Montreal International Game Summit. I plan to have a portfolio with a couple items ready to display to professionals..starting with a portfolio of all the games I've worked on and pictures, then leading to artwork I've done, in terms of just art, then models.
What I might also do is create a cutscene that would show my hard work and dedication, but with my GDW and capstone,  as well as game engine homework questions in the way, I may or may not have to stay up a couple of nights to finish it..we'll see...

Anyways..just finishing this off..

IS EVERYONE PLAYING POKEMON X or Y yet?! ...the game is so good..from the content between gyms, to how many pokemon there are. I already put in 36 hours by the 3rd day after it was released...LOL...mainly cuz all my time is needed for work, so if I beat it early, I could get back to work. ANYWAYS, yea. When I'm done making the character for my cutscene, I feel like making a model that I saw in the pokemon game! Possibly, my favourite team, or favourite few pokemon. We'll see how it goes!

Anyway everyone,

Kazekumaru -- Peacing Out!!

Sunday, 13 October 2013

INFR 3110U: Homework Questions

Hello! Welcome back to my blog.

Recently, the class I am attending was finally updated with what we needed to complete the homework questions...or at least start them. Quickly,  I had realized there were a few maya related questions, however, in terms of programming,  I'd have to choose carefully, amd be sure to select the ones I know I will be able to upgrade properly.

Aside from that, in terms of programming questions, I had recently started the ogre log parsing question.
From the start, I know I need file I/O (obviously) but I'd need to store the information into different headings,  normal,  warning, and error.  (Its weird though since warnings are rare...)
I'll need to make it so I can call up the times, have the message stored, and then call them.
( I'll need to make a way to prove that the information was stored..and What type it is..)

This will take time, but it can be completed...but for the upgrade, we need to have a box we can drag and drop the file into...HOW?!...( that's my main issue haha)

We'll see how this goes I guess..

Apparently a couple of questions are extremely difficult ( as told by my year 4 classmates) so depending on what I decide to complete, there may be quite a bit of work..

Anyways,  thats it for my blog!

Kazekumaru -- Peacing Out!!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

INFR 3110U: GDW Final Decisions

Hello, and welcome back to Kazekumaru's Lair.
Just today, my group and I had our weekly meeting  to determine what we need, and what needs to be done in order to reach our goals for the first few milestones.

Last week, our modelling professor Derek came to ask about the look and other things for our game (also assets). What was said, is that we have everything, but need more specifications on everything for our game, be it crates, or, swords, or other props. Everything for this was then documented. During this meeting, we saw more finalized sketches, and animations for characters, to how the arena is supposed to look, and what the view will officially be.

The arena is like a dome-ish look, but without a ceiling, so more like stands of a baseball stadium, but shorter. The floor looks tiled, but it isn't.

The characters are finally decided with their team, and we then figured out which way to best represent and show their teams and their power hierarchy in terms of weapons (i think..). 

Our final issue of assets, we also now have fully shown with animations and more! :D

Speaking about games...and animations....
Did you see the latest pokemon X and Y update/release *-*? Mega Charizard X....

I certainly want to see which ways they improve the game in terms of programming,and what new additions they have put in.

Anyways, next blog about my GDW will have updates with pictures of what we're doing! 

Thanks for reading!

Kazekumaru -- Peacing Out!!

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

INFR 3110U: Game Engines - GDW

Welcome back to Kazekumaru's Lair.

Recently, we were finally put back into our groups for GDW, of course I got paired with my good friend Ahmed :D! We worked all summer together at a gaming company in Toronto called Little Guy Games. It was a quiet environment, but a very good experience for game developers such as ourselves to immerse us in the industry, to really feel the pressure, what its like, and to coordinate our work ethic, as well as help us grow.

Last Wednesday our group was formed FINALLY (it was done the Wednesday before, but there was a difficulty with one class), and we had a more solidified decision where we figured out what we wanted to do.

This year, our game's art is going to be based on the popular game Animal Crossing. With the popular cute characters, people would generally like it, even for just the art. However, we plan to integrate a nice playing/fighting style, such as the hammer bros style of super mario play.

Remember the games in mario party? The ones where you'd backstab your friends when trying to jump to a platform and you hit them with a hammer or jump on their head to squash them, so you could win? haha, yea, stuff like that is SLIGHTLY in our game! (or will be implemented into it)

Our concept is like "protect the king" where the other team doesn't know who the king is, but you have to somehow stay untouched and prevent the king on your team from being hit. Instead of jumping on their heads, you simply smack them with whatever weapon you are carrying at the time. There'll be a better mock-up of what the game is in later posts, but this is just a brief/tiny taste and example of what will be seen :)
Here are examples of what the characters and weapons MAY look like!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

INFR 3110U: Game Engines Post 1 - My Return and New Objectives!

Hey all! Welcome back to my blog...after such a long time..

First day back into programming, and I found out that everyone had to make an individual tool for their game…
So what I had thought to make, would be a model viewer that the handler would be able to input the location of a texture map or normal map, and would be able to apply it to the model/mesh.
A cool feature that I thought would be a nice addition, would be, that once the character is loaded, it could be like a character screen from a game when making a new lets you interact with the creation. However, this might be out of scope for this a simple model viewer, with the ability to apply a texture would be enough. For what I want to be done after this semester or at least by the end of the second semester is have Figure 1, or at least have a spin-off of it!

Figure 1

I had already looked into the homework questions, and started listing off the things I would need to learn in order to fully complete what was given, along with the seems like it will be a lot of work, but in all honesty...when the going gets tough…you just need to work harder and persevere. SO because of this, I plan to program at least an hour to three a day, and finish one homework question every couple days.

The most interesting question so far, would be the robotic arm. The way this could be done would be to:
  1. Learn how to attach primitives to nodes
  1. Create child's of the parent node and then lead them off until you create a robotic arm.

There's a lot to think about in terms of this one problem...time will only tell if I'm able to do this…

Anyways, see you next post!

Kazekumaru -- signing out!