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different building models and effects based on phase

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Hi i dont know if this is the right forum but i would like to make an art suggestion. I think it would be great if when progressing from one phase to another it changes the building model from one to another more sophisticated looking building. I hope this is a planned feature.

If possible it would also be great to add effects like smoke coming out building chimneys as an optional graphics feature

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Hi i dont know if this is the right forum but i would like to make an art suggestion. I think it would be great if when progressing from one phase to another it changes the building model from one to another more sophisticated looking building. I hope this is a planned feature.

I have no influence on decisions in any way, but I believe this is not really considered as it would triple the amount of modelling required for every civilisation. Plus, existing buildings do not change in real life just because the village got bigger ;)

If possible it would also be great to add effects like smoke coming out building chimneys as an optional graphics feature

The Britons civil centre does this, as do a few other buildings. This could be added where it is relevant, but there is a slight performance cost.

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I think last time the discussion had come up, it was said that it would be very nice to have but, of course, more work.

I think 2 viable and fairly easy solutions would be:

-Changing some things in the texture to look neater/bigger (even easier now that we can have multiple textures per actor. We could have "dust" textures, or "roots on the tiles" textures that would go away when changing phases)

-Adding more props as your city grows (to simulate more activity) / more particles.

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It doesn't even have to be a big change on the building. Example: Celtic buildings should have more details on then like more skulls hanging off of them maybe a little extension, more banners, things like this so the other player can see what phase the other player is in easily.

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I think adding more props would be the best option. And perhaps paving the area around the civ center? But never mind, we didn't get roads.

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I think adding more props would be the best option. And perhaps paving the area around the civ center? But never mind, we didn't get roads.

Making new props would still take time, at least if they are to look any good.

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It is a city phase change, not an era/age change like age of empires, so upgrade/change building's appearance it's not very logic.

Adding more props to the buildings sounds like a cool idea, but having more barrels/crates or whatever around the building does not give you an accurate visual feedback of which phase are you or your enemy. (also it's not very realistic to suddenly appear more props magically when the phase changes)

When I play, the way to know which phase my enemies are is normally observing which buildings/units the enemy has.

For your own visual feedback on which phase you are, some subtle changes to the GUI artwork could do the trick IMO

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I agree with Enrique's view. We don't advance through ages like AOE does, so showing visual changes to buildings isn't necessary in my opinion.

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When I play, the way to know which phase my enemies are is normally observing which buildings/units the enemy has.

For your own visual feedback on which phase you are, some subtle changes to the GUI artwork could do the trick IMO

Grander music and ambient sounds would do the trick too!

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When I play, the way to know which phase my enemies are is normally observing which buildings/units the enemy has.

For your own visual feedback on which phase you are, some subtle changes to the GUI artwork could do the trick IMO

Perhaps adding a flag / two flags to the civil centre in some way (one for town and city phase) does the trick? Just like garrisoning units shows a flag on a building, something similar can be shown on the civil centre. To reduce workload, a modification of the civ's garrison flags could be used, as I quickly did in Photoshop below:

post-14722-0-10173800-1344025074_thumb.j

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Using flags like that is not a good idea, they would only be confused with garrisoning. I wouldn't mind something subtle like using banner or statue props: more or fancier banners could indicate a later phase. I'm not sure it would look good with every civ's style though.

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Perhaps adding a flag / two flags to the civil centre in some way (one for town and city phase) does the trick? Just like garrisoning units shows a flag on a building, something similar can be shown on the civil centre. To reduce workload, a modification of the civ's garrison flags could be used, as I quickly did in Photoshop below:

post-14722-0-10173800-1344025074_thumb.j

It's a nice solution, and it's very little work, but I think the whole point of the thread is getting visual feedback on the current town phase of a player. With this solution, you'll have to keep the enemy civil center on your LoS (or put phase-town-flags on every building). Regarding your own town phase, it is more elegant to tweak the GUI artork a little on each town phase IMO

Edit: corrected some words (english is not my mother language :P)

Edited by Enrique

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Using flags like that is not a good idea, they would only be confused with garrisoning. I wouldn't mind something subtle like using banner or statue props: more or fancier banners could indicate a later phase. I'm not sure it would look good with every civ's style though.

My precious fountains finally finds a purpose :P

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What about different territory line-styles for each town phase? discontinuous, continuous and double line. Or something along those lines (pun intended xD)

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instead of different textures i think i agree with more props. Or maybe props could change with a city phase. Usually as a city grows it gets more money so it can have nicer props and also to show more activity. Otherwise it will be difficult to know what phase a particular player is when looking at his outpost.

I think it would be better to have roads around major buildings or for buildings that have multiple buildings such as the civilisation centre.

Does adding effects like smoke from chimney take extra effort in development? I thought graphical effects like smoke are generated without extra work from the developer such as when buildings are hit by catapults.

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I think the territory line-styles is a great idea.

I used to love how the buildings would change between eras in aoe. Although I understand that you don't want any drastic changes in the buildings (and that you don't want to redo every building that can be build over multiple phases) but people will expect and want to see their city change over time.

When I showed 0AD to a friend of my sister not very long ago he was like "Coool! and it's free?" but he was disappointed when after going to the second phase he didn't notice anything had happened at all. He'd been hoping to see his buildings change. I'm convinced we should show the player somehow that his city has advanced to a new phase. We might not mind the absence of phase-change indicators very much and we might have gotten used to looking at the buildings our enemy players possess in order to know what phase they are in, but for a new player this might come as quite a big defect in the game.

An idea I would like to propose is to have a special house model for each phase. I'll explain what I mean and why I think it would be a good idea.

I would start by posing you a question: What does it mean when a city grows?

It means that more and more people are moving to the city, so more houses are necessary. In the game this means you'll be building more houses, but in history this has lead to the construction of apartments. If we made some secondary models of the house and used these in later phases as a replacement for houses build within a certain radius of a civ center (a house in the middle of nowhere should not be an apartment ... it would look wrong)

Houses are by far the building you'll be seeing most in the game, so you'll notice changes in them for sure.

Another idea I would like to propose is that of bigger markets and possibly docks:

The increase in commerce that generally accompanies the growth of a city could be represented by a growing market.

As the building size cannot and should not be changed, the activity (probably number of props) could be changed, but having different models would be even better.

For the docks it's exactly the same.

In phase one I would suggest something like: a lot of pier, a little building where they build the boats, and maybe a half-finished fishing boat on the side.

Phase two would have a bigger 'construction yard' and more props on the piers. (Maybe some of the piers could be made from stone?)

Phase three would have an even bigger 'construction yard', more props on the piers and the piers could be made of stone.

The place where the ships are constructed should get bigger as you can build bigger boats and the props should show that commerce is increasing. Switching from wooden piers to stone ones would show the city is getting richer.

I think it is very important the city looks richer every time you go to another phase (and my sister who's reading over my shoulder is seconding this).

Not all of these are my ideas, it is a resume of the options that have been mentioned with what I think about them and some of my own suggestions:

-Changes in the civ centre (would be nice, but it should at least be combined with some other changes)

-More props (would change the look, but people might not tend to be counting the props all of the time)

-Banners (nice for civ center, and special buildings (barracks, market, ...)

-Bigger markets (seems logic, as the city grows, so does the commerce - although in real life it would be in the other direction)

-Bigger docks (seems logic too, for the bigger boats to be build and to accommodate for the increase in commerce)

-Border-styles (obvious, unambiguous, clear, ... but it does not satisfy the eyes and you can see what phase another player is in before actually meeting them, therefore a bit unrealistic)

-Paving (sound absolutely great, but again it should be combined with other options)

-Texture changes [more decorations, building techniques that were more expensive, ...] (quite satisfying, models don't have to be changed, can be based on historical knowledge)

-Houses (most numerous building, historically accurate changes should not be too difficult)

-Statues and fountains (would look wonderful, but I think it should be combined with other stuff)

So my final point is: Give us a change in the outlook of our cities. It might not seem like an important thing, but then: does having those nice 3d models we have now? I mean: you could play the game with red, green and white squares couldn't you? The answer of course is yes; you could, but no one would be playing it. People will want the nice transition changes between different stages, just like they have longed for the beautiful graphics we already have. If we want this game to beat all other free strategy games and if we want it to be able to compete with commercial one these are the little details that get it to the top. Gameplay is one thing, but satisfying the eyes of the players is just as important. Now that we can satisfy the eyes of people who generally play commercial games with our screenshots, let's make sure they'll also be satisfied when they play the game themselves. When you play a lot of open source games you tend to forget how critical the gaming world can be over such small details and concentrate more on the experience of gameplay. I agree, that is the most important part of a game, but if we want to acquire a big community and improve the ranking of this game we should try to go for the full deal: gameplay and graphics. What we have now is amazing and awesome ... in screenshots. For a great in-game experience I think we should implement some of the ideas I listed before.

Rgds,

Ilya

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So, you are suggesting:

-Add two new civic centre models for each civ.

-Add two new market models for each civ.

-Add two new docks models for each civ.

-Add new textures for each civ.

-Add new models for each house variation for each civ.

-etc

Don't misunderstand me, I would love to see some/all suggestions implemented, but the amount of time required by the reduced group of artists that contribute regularly to 0AD in their spare time just for this feature is simply too high (even the popular solution to add more props for each building). Keep in mind that we are still generating new content needed (revamp old models, last included civ Mauryans buildings&units, fauna & flora for different biomes.... just take a look to the art roadmap) This is one of the reasons the Art department has been moved to "public" to make easy for new contributors to immediately see what is needed and start working on assets that are planned/needed for some time ago.

I stepped on this thread because I was also looking for a solution regarding "which town-phase each player is" (I think it's important) keeping in mind the above mentioned. That's why I ended suggesting the changing territory lines style and GUI solution, which I think it's easy to implement and a unmistakable way to know the current town-phase.

That said, I hope in the future creating "upgraded" models with more props for the main structures (cc, market, docks, fortress...) for each civ could become a reality, wich I think is the best cool-looking solution/graphic enhacement for this feature, obviously :P.

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What I meant was that you could chose some of the suggestions I listed, not all of them o_O that would be ... like ... near impossible.

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I think idanwin made a good resume. I have to agree that it gave a sense of accomplisment in AOE when you saw your buildings switch to better versions.

That said, I hope in the future creating "upgraded" models with more props for the main structures (cc, market, docks, fortress...) for each civ could become a reality, wich I think is the best cool-looking solution/graphic enhacement for this feature, obviously :P.

I think we could as a minimum add support for it in the engine. Can I persuade you or someone else to create a nice-to-have ticket for it?

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I think idanwin made a good resume. I have to agree that it gave a sense of accomplisment in AOE when you saw your buildings switch to better versions.

I think we could as a minimum add support for it in the engine. Can I persuade you or someone else to create a nice-to-have ticket for it?

There's no stopping you from creating a ticket for it ;)

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There's no stopping you from creating a ticket for it ;)

No, but I won't bother working on it if there isn't really interest.

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No, but I won't bother working on it if there isn't really interest.

And how will there be interest if no one is thinking it's important enough to create a ticket? :) And the point is not so much that there isn't any interest but rather that compared to the amount of work it would take it's not as interesting as other things.

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There will be interest if artists see a need for it. Since there's no ticket, I'll assume there is no need at this at this point.

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