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LordGood

Startup cinematic?

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Scenes like Caesar's assassination might imply that there is role-playing in the game. I think it is better to stick to shots of cityscapes, battlefields etc.

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I suggest the battle of Plataea instead of Thermopylae. Plataea had Spartans, Corinthians, Athenians and Megarians fighting together and was a decisive battle against Xerxes, even though not as famous as Thermopylae (for obvious reasons).

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We could have roman generals discussing battle strategies, soldiers setting up siege weapons.

And we seem to be forgetting the economics part of the game: soldiers chopping trees to build siege walls/an army camp. Maybe some images of house being erected next to the army camp, the army camp becoming a permanent fortress and becoming the center of a city.

An army breaking open the city gates is a must as well! (preferably the persian ishtar gate, if that one was ever meant as defence that is, it would look really impressive).

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People do not realize how much work is needed to animate all that cinematic scenes that are suggesting. We just have one animator, and he's pretty busy with the list of all current missing animations. If we find more animators, the priority is to finish that list, not a huge time-consuming scene that do not offer too much to the gameplay experience. As I said before, the only viable solution right now (if we want pretty rendered scenes) would be freeze-time and landscape shots. Something on the lines of the mockup halo commercial (without the harsh transition cuts):

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People do not realize how much work is needed to animate all that cinematic scenes that are suggesting. We just have one animator, and he's pretty busy with the list of all current missing animations. If we find more animators, the priority is to finish that list, not a huge time-consuming scene that do not offer too much to the gameplay experience. As I said before, the only viable solution right now (if we want pretty rendered scenes) would be freeze-time and landscape shots.

Why not what proposed here? It should even require less work.

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I was talking about a frozen scene, Enrique, it would be pretty cool to have a peace track on the background, while you watch the frozen syntagma rows, a cavalry charging in wedge formation and end up closing in to the leading horseman's eye. And there could be a narrator, too. Didn't someone record the "0 A.D.: History is yours for the taking"? People generally prefer women narrating stories, but it is acceptable if the narrator is a character of the story himself.

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I'm always for outsourcing. I know you aren't that much, but here's what I would think is the easiest:

Make a YouTube or Vimeo player, and pick a random video from a certain playlist to play. It's certainly allowed by YouTube, I haven't completely read Vimeos ToS yet.

The advantages are:

  • Fans can make their own videos and ask the 0AD team to add them to the list if they are good enough. You aren't restricted to one video.
  • Package size isn't enlarged a lot (only extra videoplayer code)
  • Users can see a lot of different videos if they want
  • It doesn't use the hard drive (which is welcome when loading the game)
  • Videos can be updated without updating the game

The disadvantages are:

  • You depend on a third party service
  • The user needs a (good) internet connection
  • The quality is quite low (although it improved a lot in the recent years)

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IMO, 1024p is enough for gameplay videos, but I'd rather have better quality for cinematics, since they are the game's "presentation" to the player. Cinematic videos most commonly abuse of graphical resources while the game doesn't get a glimpse of that, so there is freedom to do as much as you feel like doing, in terms of fanciful stuff.

Starcraft 2's expansion's trailer (which reminds me of Matrix's invasion of Zion, btw)

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I'm always for outsourcing. I know you aren't that much, but here's what I would think is the easiest:

Make a YouTube or Vimeo player, and pick a random video from a certain playlist to play. It's certainly allowed by YouTube, I haven't completely read Vimeos ToS yet.

The problem is all these "free" services get less free over time :P What happens when YouTube or Vimeo require you to log in to watch a video? And start throwing in invasive ads? Or Germany decides its citizens can't view the video for some reason? And writing our own streaming player doesn't sound trivial. We could probably host it ourselves, but I think the better idea is to optionally bundle it with the game. We can always link to play0ad.com from within the game, and that in turn will lead to other content.

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The problem is all these "free" services get less free over time :P What happens when YouTube or Vimeo require you to log in to watch a video? And start throwing in invasive ads? Or Germany decides its citizens can't view the video for some reason? And writing our own streaming player doesn't sound trivial. We could probably host it ourselves, but I think the better idea is to optionally bundle it with the game. We can always link to play0ad.com from within the game, and that in turn will lead to other content.

Yeah, whatever video etc we decide to include we should definitely only bundle with the game. There are people who have bad internet connections, people who don't want to be connected to the internet etc. It's one thing to require an internet connection if we e.g. include an autoupdater or something, but not for any in-game content/functionality. (Apart from multiplayer over the internet of course, but that's another thing :) )
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