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NPCs specs

Sat, 20 Sep 2003 18:57:01

mago

Since the NPCs are a vague factor of SE yet, I made this thread in order to clear obvious doubts and specifications: -It's true we need as many NPCs as we can get, and the easiest format is "standing only", made up with only one frame. Is there the actual need for fully moving NPCs? The standing only position should be 3D (with frames for all directions N,NW,W,SW,S,SE,E,NE)? Are there going to be any fully animated NPC (for combat purpouses)? What are the absolutely needed NPCs? I'm still not familiar with the SE City, so could you RambOrc post the exact places that need a NPC and what kind should it be? I vaguely remember that we would need more than one tavern keeper, a merchant, a Mage (but there is already the City mage) and the 3 Order's leaders (a General, a Bishop and a Sorcerer). I think this is enough for now. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> I'll post again my NPC's sketches, since I can't find them anymore in Koraxdev and they might be useful for B0rsuk and Firebrand.
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 19:27:51

Moose

[quote="mago":2dicor4z]Is there the actual need for fully moving NPCs? They arn't needed but I would very much like them, as I belive does Ramborc. Actually, when you say fully moving do you mean walking and static? [quote="mago":2dicor4z]Are there going to be any fully animated NPC (for combat purpouses)? I remember talk of city gaurds they would need to be fully animated. Ramborc will be able to correct me and add others if needed.
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 19:34:19

mago

"They arn't needed but I would very much like them, as I belive does Ramborc. Actually, when you say fully moving do you mean walking and static?" <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> It's funny, but the fully moving NPCs depends mostly in your capacity of using them, since that, if they move, they have to be assigned to go somewhere, instead of just randomly walking around the city's streets... I would also like to have them, but the question is: isn't them too hard to code? And yes, by fully moving I mean standing and walking only (no fighting or death frames).
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 19:45:40

Moose

I haven't even started looking at NPC movement but it is probabally possible, it's just a case of how much I've learnt in a year when I get round to doing it. Or OTOH if Camper or Janis have enough time to code a more advanced way for NPC movement. But still I think random NPC movment is better than none even if it isn't used to much.
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 19:50:17

RambOrc

The more fully animated NPCs, the livelier the world of SE. Since the move to Vavoom opened new horizons and now there'll be more than one settlement (most probably a town and several villages), there is a lot more space for NPCs. You've also voted for having NPCs in maps where there are monsters too - with the switch to Vavoom and the changed roadmap, this should also be possible, increasing the number of possible NPCs even further, especially fully animated ones. For standing-only positions, only the front view is needed. Here is a list of the minimum needed (a * at the end of the line means it needs to be fully animated - if there is no *, it means only front view is needed): - shopkeeper - blacksmith - city guard * - Legion leader - Church leader - Arcanum leader - librarian - bank clerk This is the absolute minimum, more is of course better. Here a list of the important ones (contains those from above, in some cases with a *): - male citizen * (the one from Strife might be used maybe 1:1) - female citizen * - bankier - bank clerk * - librarian * - chief librarian - Legion leader * - Church leader * - Arcanum leader * - shopkeeper * - blacksmith * - city guard * - priest * - monk * - soldier * (incl. fight and death animations) Additional ones can of course be added any time if you have more ideas or have already started work on some other NPC graphics. p.s. <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.korax-heritage.com/history/korax_history-03.php">http://www.korax-heritage.com/history/k ... ory-03.php</a><!-- m --> contains a detailed map of the original Alpha town (which will be scrapped in the current form and redone, but the building types will pretty much remain the same). p.p.s a lot of the older stuff is still at <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.korax-heritage.com/koraxdev/">http://www.korax-heritage.com/koraxdev/</a><!-- m --> , if someone would download them and upload them on the new kdev, that'd be nice.
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 19:57:50

RambOrc

Camper has been experimenting with "critter AI" years ago (a pattern how a buch of NPCs in a city would walk around), he might come up with something. At any rate, I think waypoints is the way to go, latest 3D FPS games use predefined paths throughout the map for bots to orient. We could e.g. make a mailman or beggar AI that would go down a street, stop at every house and knock at the door, then move on after a couple of seconds. If "used", he'd stop for the conversation and then move on afterwards as if nothing has happened. Or another example is the city guard, marching around the streets after a predefined timeplan, not even stopping for a chat. Add 20 such pre-programmed NPCs to a small town with a couple of streets and the result should look like a city bustling with life. The effect could be greatly enhanced by throwing in a bunch of random-moving NPCs.
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 21:10:28

mago

Fully movement: That's great. They are hard to make, but they are a most have for an action-RPG. There one minor problem: the sprites in hexen don't look like they are walking, but rather running. The wide steps and the fast swapping of frames makes the sprites move very fast, even the humans (Cleric, Mage and Warrior). Just take a look at the Janis' map with the City Mage, and you'll see what I mean. -Is there any way to slow down the sprites' speed, and maybe even animaion (if it wouldn't look strange)? Fully animated: Great thing also, to have non-hostile sprites fighting at your side (or on their own). It makes the game deeper, and funnier (as you could choose to help them, or use them as cover to your retreat, etc.). Now this is something I REALLY want to see in SE! <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> Anyway, they are as hard as the ones above, but will be worth it. For the artists: Even though you can use anything to make NPCs, from drawings to real photos, I would suggest you use Hexen's sprites first, because it's a simpler and easier way. You would also be sure the new sprite's animation wouldn't look worng or odd, since it's based upon an existing Hexen's sprite. Thanks for the list and the insight. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) --> PS: I remember I once saw a Doom site where a guy made a tutorial about setting waypoints to sprites inside a maps using a new engine (kinda like doomsday). That could help Moose, since it had code writting with explanations. Do you remember the site, RambOrc?
Sat, 20 Sep 2003 21:16:27

RambOrc

No idea what site you mean... at any rate, all DOOM engine games work the same in this, so you can take a Strife, DOOM or Heretic animation 1:1 and the only thing you need to change is the palette. BTW Mago don't forget SE will be now in many ways what TSP would've been (because of the engine change), so things postponed earlier are now on topic once again - like the fortress defended against a large army, where a bunch of friendly NPCs fight on your side on the battlements. The ballista and the catapult should be converted from Hexen II including full animation, the ballista as weapon for the defenders and the catapult as siege weapon of the army outside.
Sun, 21 Sep 2003 00:52:25

mago

That would be crazy!!!:D I'm really looking foward for this one! Anyway, the site I meant had a tutorial about "coding" a way point routine in the DOOM engine (slightly changed by the new port I talked about) - that's why I think it would be useful for Moose (since the engines are very alike). I'll search for them later, if I can.
Sun, 21 Sep 2003 01:38:01

mago

Alright, I found the damn site. It's the Zdoom port's site, and there is an entire tutorial section, with info that might be useful to the coders. Here is the link of the tutorial section: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://zdoom.org/zdkb/zdoomindex.html">http://zdoom.org/zdkb/zdoomindex.html</a><!-- m --> And gere's the tutorial I was talking about: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://zdoom.org/zdkb/zdoom7.html">http://zdoom.org/zdkb/zdoom7.html</a><!-- m --> Hope it helps in any way. <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->
Sun, 21 Sep 2003 02:01:07

Firebrand

Hey Mago! that's a good work <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> I will try to make some standing NPC's and upload them during the next week (I'm really busy right now, also I just have bought a new NVidia card and I'm testing it right now <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D --> ).
Sun, 21 Sep 2003 10:35:27

Moose

Thanks mago that should help alot, I'll download the ZDoom source code and look later today or in the next week or two.
Sun, 21 Sep 2003 17:58:07

RambOrc

AFAIK some of ZDOOM's functionality is built into Vavoom too - Janis should be able to tell more on this.
Mon, 22 Sep 2003 20:54:31

Camper

Well in ZDoom the waypoint stuff is fairly simply made, the Waypoint are getting targetted as they would be enemies, but when the monster gets close enough to hit, it looks at the waypoint to determine the next waypoint and making the next waypoint to his target. The normal behaviour of the monster isn't modified meaning that it will still attack on sight or on hit.
Mon, 22 Sep 2003 21:15:02

RambOrc

This is very good not only for NPCs but also for monsters - we could populate a dungeon with monsters on the move instead of stupid buggers standing around waiting to be butchered. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> If monster AI could go as far as open doors, monsters could be wander around in such a large territory that you could really sneak past them - that'd be a REAL stealth mission for a change, not that pseudo-staff like in RTCW or JK2.
Tue, 23 Sep 2003 06:32:31

dj_jl

AFAIK some of ZDOOM's functionality is built into Vavoom too - Janis should be able to tell more on this.
Only some, and waypoints isn't one of them. Anyways the idea is cool, we can also borrow some code from quake.

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