Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

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Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby Aloys » Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:37 am

Following the 'Texture updates' thread at the MOUL board I wondered what would be the top things I'd want to change when (if?) we get OS Uru..
In order not to go overboard I tried to limit that to a couple entries.

What are the top things that you would want to change, or add, in the Uru code?
(note: we're only talking code here, not content, or whole game redesign)

In no specific order mine are:
1) New 3rd person Camera System - I've said it since day one: Uru's camera is definitely not my cup of tea. Let's forget the 'pan & scan' system and go with a more efficient 'orbit around head' system. (I'm only talkin of the default 3rd persone camera here, not the custom camera, those shouldn't change). Camera is key to immersion, and if I knew my way around C++ that would definitely the 1st thing I'd change. It could also be included has an option.
2) Widescreen support - Please. Please pelase please please. It's probably less than a day of work and it will litterally change my life (ok, maybe not).
3) New dynamic avatar animation system - This one is a biggie. How tired are you of seeing the avatar take 10 seconds to line himself up with a button or a book? Or see his feet hanging in mid-air when standing on the edge of a rock? Me: a lot. Uru's animations are nice, but the system is rigid, it is both a pain to use and to play with. Today there are much more dynamic animation systems that would be perfect for Uru. (Somehow however I've never heard of open-source advanced animation systems.. hm... :? ).
4) Better wavesets / Water reflections - This might not seem big, but to me water is a core component of many Ages.. Teledahn, Gira, the Cavern, Myst, Garrison.. All of those would look much better with proper water reflections.
5) Better lighting - Vertex lighting is nice and all but it will only get you so far. And the dynamic shadows are far from great: both visually and performance wise.. Those alone would be a real improvement.

I could add others, but I'll go with those 5 for now. :) (network improvements, Ki performance improvements, Ki/Chat redesign, bug fixes, soft particles, HDR..)
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby diafero » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:33 am

You are quite an optimist, I gave up making such plans many months ago ;-) . Btw, wasn't widescreen supported in MOUL?
Here we go...

My main pain point is definitely the KI interface. This is not exactly an engine change as most of the KI is "content", but some support by the engine is required (like scroll bars). And while we are at it, the GUIs are in general not really... perfect. Ever tried linking to Wianery from the Nexus with all the fan ages installed?

The Python interface could also need some work, or at least be made a bit more consistent - which is ahrd to do though as all the Python scripts might have to be adapted. Main pain point: We need a single way to initialize an object without caring whether the page is loaded statically or dynamically...

Oh, and I'd really like to see a native Linux Uru client :)

I don't know how the MOUL dataserver works, but the UU one has some problems - the dataserver should not only specify what files have to exist, but also what while must not exist. So we need some option like "remove EVERY file which the dataserver does not have" (except for directories like log and vnode_cache, of course), or at least some way to provide a whitelist. Support for a blacklist might also be nice, but is not enough.

And one more internal item, if some of the items breaking the API abstraction could be fixed, that'd be awesome (though this might already be invalidated by the MOUL engine). For example, there should be a way for the server to tell all clients "this player unexpectedly left, remove it's avatar" without the need to parse the game messages forwarded through the server. And don't let me get started about SDL and SDL-in-the-vault...
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby ddb174 » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:27 am

I would like to see it not fragment into a bunch of different codebases for different people, which it will probably do once everyone does what they want :P Ah, what can you do. It won't be fun.
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby diafero » Mon Feb 01, 2010 1:43 pm

Yeah, I already thought about that, too - it's almost impossible to prevent, and we'll end up with a different client/server for each Shard I guess... happy bug hunting ;-)
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby Chacal » Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:57 pm

But in the end the Shard with the better code maintenance team would prevail. They would draw the best people, and the others would fold.
Soon only that version would exist.

There can be only one.
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby Paradox » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:12 pm

Aloys wrote:1) New 3rd person Camera System - I've said it since day one: Uru's camera is definitely not my cup of tea. Let's forget the 'pan & scan' system and go with a more efficient 'orbit around head' system. (I'm only talkin of the default 3rd persone camera here, not the custom camera, those shouldn't change). Camera is key to immersion, and if I knew my way around C++ that would definitely the 1st thing I'd change. It could also be included has an option.

I always avoid 3rd person for a number of reasons, and I doubt any number of improvements will change that; but I've seen this mentioned by quite a few people as something that needs modifications.

Aloys wrote:2) Widescreen support - Please. Please pelase please please. It's probably less than a day of work and it will litterally change my life (ok, maybe not).

MOUL already had widescreen support. Personally I'd like to see a system that is flexible enough to handle windows of any size at any aspect ratio.'

Aloys wrote:3) New dynamic avatar animation system - This one is a biggie. How tired are you of seeing the avatar take 10 seconds to line himself up with a button or a book? Or see his feet hanging in mid-air when standing on the edge of a rock? Me: a lot. Uru's animations are nice, but the system is rigid, it is both a pain to use and to play with. Today there are much more dynamic animation systems that would be perfect for Uru. (Somehow however I've never heard of open-source advanced animation systems.. hm... :? ).

Animations could definitely use improvements. The keyframing system in MOUL/MystV is different than the one in PotS, but doesn't really add new features (I blame the change on a 3DS Max upgrade at Cyan during the Myst V days).
A system that properly handles "target points" would open the engine to avatars having different heights.

Aloys wrote:4) Better wavesets / Water reflections - This might not seem big, but to me water is a core component of many Ages.. Teledahn, Gira, the Cavern, Myst, Garrison.. All of those would look much better with proper water reflections.

MOUL already has a much better option for reflections by using DynamicCamMaps. This was used for the K'veer floor in both Myst V and MOUL, and gives accurate reflections based on the position of the camera, not based on a statically rendered EnvMap, or a fixed position DynamicEnvMap.

Aloys wrote:5) Better lighting - Vertex lighting is nice and all but it will only get you so far. And the dynamic shadows are far from great: both visually and performance wise.. Those alone would be a real improvement.

The key here is to make lighting improvements that don't break the existing vertex-painted Ages.
The lighting itself seems alright to me, but the shadows are the main problem. Firstly they need to be moved away from the CPU and onto GPU, and they need to be smoothed better and blended better.

My goal is to get an OpenGL Pipeline implemented to allow Linux and Mac native ports, while fixing the graphical issues that I encounter along the way.
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby Aloys » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:29 am

Paradox wrote:I always avoid 3rd person for a number of reasons, and I doubt any number of improvements will change that; but I've seen this mentioned by quite a few people as something that needs modifications.
I enjoy playing in 1st person, but really Uru wasn't made for that. :/

MOUL already had widescreen support. Personally I'd like to see a system that is flexible enough to handle windows of any size at any aspect ratio.'

I didn't know that, probably because I was still using a 4/3 screen at the time. Good news. :) (obviously a system allowing arbitrary resolutions & aspect ratio would be ideal)

Animations could definitely use improvements. The keyframing system in MOUL/MystV is different than the one in PotS, but doesn't really add new features (I blame the change on a 3DS Max upgrade at Cyan during the Myst V days).
A system that properly handles "target points" would open the engine to avatars having different heights.

Exactly, and also it would allow for more flexible items positionning in the world: you could have levers/buttons/books anywhere.. Again this is more of a 3rd person gameplay thing, as in 1st person this is irrelevant. (one of the many reason why developping games with FPS in mind is so much easier).

Aloys wrote:MOUL already has a much better option for reflections by using DynamicCamMaps. This was used for the K'veer floor in both Myst V and MOUL, and gives accurate reflections based on the position of the camera, not based on a statically rendered EnvMap, or a fixed position DynamicEnvMap.

I didn't remember that, I'll have to reinstall MV to look at Kveer again. (I couldn't attend Kveer in MOUL.. )

The key here is to make lighting improvements that don't break the existing vertex-painted Ages.
The lighting itself seems alright to me, but the shadows are the main problem. Firstly they need to be moved away from the CPU and onto GPU, and they need to be smoothed better and blended better.

That's true, retro-compatibility is always a concern. It still think there are ways to improve the lighting. Either by moving to fully lightmapped Ages (Lon's Age in the last RAD contest was a good example of that) or just by improving the current vertex lighting...

in the end the Shard with the better code maintenance team would prevail. They would draw the best people, and the others would fold.
Soon only that version would exist.
If the server isn't too complicated to maintain you can be sure that there will be many servers as like-minded people will form groups. Just like during UU.
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby keiya » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:27 am

Chacal wrote:But in the end the Shard with the better code maintenance team would prevail. They would draw the best people, and the others would fold.
Soon only that version would exist.

There can be only one.

Define better, though? Different people will prioritize different things... I'm hoping we can convince most people to make their patches reasonably tidy so they can be mixed without excessive difficulty.

Honestly, though, my top 5 things are probably something like "gut the engine, steal the content, implement something sane, rewrite the scripts, never look back"... but I don't think anyone here really /likes/ Plasma that much, and so it's just lazyness that we haven't done at least something uruish already. :P
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby Tweek » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:43 am

I pretty much exclusively play in 3rd person view.

I'd actually like to see the 3rd person camera handle the same as it does in World of Warcraft. In WoW you can pan 360 degrees around the avatar, zoom out a fair distance, zoom in until you're in 1st person, you can also pan the camera up to a birds eye view or down so you're looking up from the feet.

I think a system like that would allow for a better controlled view in the Ages not to mention allow for a wider range of screenshots.

Most of the things I'd change I posted here a while ago: http://uru.grey-skies.net/

thats more cosmetic than codewise though.
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Re: Top 5 things you want to do when OS Uru lands.

Postby semplerfi » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:29 pm

Chacal wrote:But in the end the Shard with the better code maintenance team would prevail. They would draw the best people, and the others would fold.
Soon only that version would exist.

There can be only one.

This did not happen in UU and it will not happen in OS Uru either.

We must not forget about the perceived negative factors of Elitist, Asshats, IC, OC, RP, Spelling & Grammar Nazis and bias Admins & Moderators & Shard Operators.

The “better code maintenance teams” will not necessarily prevail and be the only one unless the above perceived negative factors are addressed.

What will happen is people will go where they feel the most comfortable and have the most fun playing in and working on OS Uru.
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