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Project Eternity Update #36: Off to our elfhomes, but first...

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Thanks as always for a very informative update Mr Sawyer.

 

 

Speaking of the menus and their organic feel - I think that an important part of this (which I really came to love about IE games) were the beautiful hand drawn depictions of the in-game items. I believe they were and are a hallmark of all the IE games. I do, however, realize how much work and effort had been put in drawing all the pieces of armour, swords, maces, shields, halberds, bows, crossbows, etc. My question therefore is this one: would it be possible to somehow implement this kind of artwork (even if partially) into the Project Eternity?

What I'm worried about is that the omnipresent 3d could potentially overshadow this unique feel that IE games' interfaces have.

 

Anyway, I'm sure PE is going to rock :)

 

 

Have a great holiday!

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Sounds nice overall... But im abit worried about the choices that you can make within your class... I happen to like the "overwhelming" choices aslong as they are in some way useful. Also are there weapon specializations? I mean using a axe or sword or dagger or staff is very different and one would in general have to learn how to use the weapons.

 

Anyway nice update :)

 

Also i hope the "roll" that the rogue have use "stats" to decide if it work or not. Im going to be very disappointed if you activate the ability and you "twitch" away without the ability to fail it or so.

Edited by Kaldurenik

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but they've specified several times they're sticking with a 16:9 ratio not 16:10

 

Basically giving Europe, where 16:10 is the norm, the finger? I doubt Obsidian would be that dickish. At least I hope they're not.

 

I dunno, I'm just saying what they've mentioned a few times now. I'm sure it'll probably still work at that ratio, it'll just be a little wonky.

 

Why should we have to put up with 'wonky' FFS?

 

Call me old-fashioned but I'd prefer 'optimal.' A large chunk of the backers for this project hail from outside the USA and would like to see their regional norms catered for when it comes to stuff like this.

 

I think you're having a conniption for no reason. He explained there would be a solid ui and if you go beyond their specified dimensions you go into "outer space." This no different than many other games I've ever played. Even games like Final Fantasy Tactics, but especially the IE games had black around the screen when zoomed out. At worst I think it's going to look like that. At best it'll look normal with maybe an extra inch of ui border not being used and look like extra skin.

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Awesome update and I dig the beard.

 

I'm wondering if there will be weapons with multiple damage types? For example, a halberd could be used both as a slashing and as a piercing weapon. What about a cleaving weapon like an axe? It has an edge, like a sword, but has a good bit of weight behind it that is concentrated into a fairly small area, producing a fair bit of impact. Would that maybe be a weapon that does half slashing and half crushing damage?

 

Lastly, happy holidays to all the good folks at Obsidian!

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Can't see a stilleto? May I point you to a cool little demo call "phone wire AA" http://www.humus.nam...p?page=3D&ID=89

 

Or rather, just anti aliasing for very thin objects, it's not actually anti aliasing, and it really is dead simple. It just makes sure objects that are really thin don't vanish entirely by, instead of you not being able to see them, fading them out via transparency the farther away they are. So that way, the object, like a phone wire in many games, doesn't get smaller than a single pixel, and so doesn't just vanish (and possibly pop back in).

Perhaps they can use motion blur on the slender objects so that they leave a trail as they swing around?


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Merry Christmas all.

 

Could we select several skins for the interface - ivory, granite, wood, leaves for example?


Spreading beauty with my katana.

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Mr. Sawyer, on rendering the artwork in two different scales, let me get this straight:

 

First of all, it sounds like you've got the functionality for selecting different sets of high/low resolution graphical assets implemented and working, that is awesome. Can these be toggled on the fly?

 

Secondly, for the initial release of the game I gather you are currently planning to generate one set of "regular screen resolution" assets that'll scale well to regular DPI ranges, 100-120dpi, or 13" 1280x720 to 24" 1920x1080. You're referring to this resolution as a "1280x720" resolution.

 

You are also generating a set of assets at 2x the resolution, referred to as "2560x1440". These, I assume, would make the in game scale similarly to the above mentioned "regular" set when seen on Hi-DPI/retina, 200-240dpi, or 13" 2560x1440 to 24" 3840x2160, is this correct?

 

If this is correct, then people worrying about this game not scaling well to 4k needn't worry any more: it most certainly will.

 

However, I feel I should point out that these two sets are only accounting for screen DPIs in the range of 100-120 and 200-240, which leaves quite a large "black hole": all monitors with 130-190dpi, and there are a lot of laptops in this range currently on the market (far more than there are Hi-DPI/"retina" ones). On these monitors, the "regular" resolution is going to look too tiny, while the high DPI assets are going to look too large. Have you considered creating a third set of assets at 1.5x the resolution of the regular one? It would cover this middle ground very well, formed by fairly common 13" 1600x900 to 15" 1920x1080 screens.

 

You did mention something about "downsampling" the "2560x1440" assets to 1080p, which I suppose might be the missing 1.5x set I just mentioned.

 

Thank you yet again for this update, you guys are doing a fantastic job at figuring out excellent solutions to all the issues we've been fighting about here on the forums :p

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Blast - When wizards use any implement (i.e. a wand, rod, or scepter), they generate a Blast on the target. The Blast does a modest amount of damage to all enemies in a Small area around the target (excluding the target).

Hope these are finite and at least damage party too. Pewpewing enemy with infinite colorful orbs of magical attacks from staff with DPS 445.2 of elemental damage does not make magic more believable or complex, neither it suits an "old school" game.

Edited by Shadenuat
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Blast - When wizards use any implement (i.e. a wand, rod, or scepter), they generate a Blast on the target. The Blast does a modest amount of damage to all enemies in a Small area around the target (excluding the target).

Hope these are finite and at least damage party too. Pewpewing enemy with infinite colorful orbs of magical attacks from staff with DPS 445.2 of elemental damage does not make magic more believable or complex, neither it suits an "old school" game.

 

While, I agree with the first part. That's actually been the case/problem for a lot of old-school rpgs (Well without the DPS part).

Edited by C2B

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Merry Christmas all.

 

Could we select several skins for the interface - ivory, granite, wood, leaves for example?

 

Could be a nice reward to unlock after beating certain difficulty settings.

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My question is, when would piercing be the preferred damage type? Against medium armor? How would the maths work for this?

 

There's the possibility that piercing weapons have generally a faster attack speed or a higher crit chance, for example, so it balances things out.

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Steam hardware survey says hardly any laptops run at 1280x720 (0.78%), most run at 1366x768 (18.69%) or 1600x900 (7.28%). Monitors are mostly 1280x1024 (9.25%), 1680x1050 (9.56%), and 1920x1080 (29.47%). It makes sense to extend the UI to fill the space left in 16:10 displays, because they're not very popular at all. Reason for 1280x720 is it covers 1280x1024 and 1366x768, since the aspect ratios for these resolutions are non-standard.

 

They could probably justify a dedicated middle tier, probably 1600x900, although I imagine the amount of 1600x900 and 1680x1050 is going to start going down rapidly, all the top selling monitors on Amazon are 1080p, and all but one of the top selling laptops (a 13" Macbook Pro) are 1366x768.

 

I doubt many people own 13" 1600x900 (unlikely to be gaming PCs anyway), 15" 1920x1080 rarer still.

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1366x768 is, like 1280x720, 16:9.

 

I own a 13" 1600x900 laptop, I could rattle off the names of a number of popular 13" ones with this resolution, but you're right that they are not really aimed at gamers (that would be 15" 1080p), they're productivity tools. But then, many IE/PE fans seem to be in their mid twenties, and will likely be using computers for productivity as much as gaming :p.

 

Honestly, looking at resolution really doesn't make much sense. DPI/PPI is what matters.

 

1920*1080 can be had at 11", 13", 15", 22", 24", etc. and will look different on each one screen. The UI needs to scale to a set of DPI ranges, rather than making it look good at a particular "ideal" resolution, because that resolution will appear on both 11", 15" and 30" screens. And that is exactly what the devs seem to be doing, which I'm very happy about :). They've taken today's "ideal" as their standard, and, in addition to this, also render assets at twice that resolution to account for higher DPI screens... at least that's how I understood Sawyer's post.

 

As for aspect ratio, it makes sense to design it for 16:9 right now... but generally speaking it's always bad to design for any current standard. They change. Often. The UI designs, if possible, should be flexible enough to work on 6:4, 16:9, or even 21:9 (cinema aspect ratio), at varying pixel densities. That would be future proof :).

 

That "future" proofing I just mentioned is based on what screens are already on the market today, and the direction the industry is currently going in.

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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They could probably justify a dedicated middle tier, probably 1600x900, although I imagine the amount of 1600x900 and 1680x1050 is going to start going down rapidly, all the top selling monitors on Amazon are 1080p, and all but one of the top selling laptops (a 13" Macbook Pro) are 1366x768.

I would expect 1600x900 to become more popular soon (or at least stay the same) and 1366x768 to become less popular as many of 13" and 15" laptops that were 1366x768 are moving to 1600x900 with newer models.

Edited by Keyrock

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Vancian magic (at least in the beginning) and learning spells from scrolls. I hoped to never see you again.

 

But the part about abilities and skills sounds very promising. What is unknown yet is... since Rogues are the best at lock picking period, will I ever want to have someone other than a Rogue in my party to pick locks? :cat:

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How about refresh rate and fps, will you lock the game engine ticks at 60fps, or allow it to scale to 120Hz? There are alot of people enjoying 120hz monitors, it is easier to see the action, more precise mouse feel and solid look when you pan around the map. Sample-and-hold smearing and RTC artifacts are also improved.

 

Here are some testimonies for your conversion :-D

 

- Wonder in amazement as the 120Hz display produces an easily observable higher fluidity in the animation.

techreport.com/articles.x/21516

 

- The ASUS VG236H was my first exposure to 120Hz refresh displays that aren’t CRTs, and the difference is about as subtle as a dump truck driving through your living room.

anandtech.com/show/3842/asus-vg236h-review-our-first-look-at-120hz

 

- Doing precise image editing, as another example, is an area where faster display processing times are desirable.

anandtech.com/show/2787

 

- 120hz lcd Smoother motion and the lack of RTC artifacts leave a highly positive impression, making you unwilling to return to 60Hz.

xbitlabs.com/articles/monitors/display/samsung-sm2233rz_5.html

 

- I ran Fraps and found using the display’s 120hz mode that once the framerates were up above 80 there is an amazing solidity and 3d-like quality to the gameplay. Once the framerate hits 100+ – well, the effect has to be experienced to understand it.

hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1486357&page=4

 

- Sorry been playing some Quakelive. Its so nice to be at high refresh in Q3 again. Quakelive is goddamn amazing at 120hz. I’m just going through some games now…Dragon Age looks good too. Even the windows desktop is instantly smoother, even my fiancee could tell the difference in the mouse moving around.

hardforum.com:80/showthread.php?t=1466381&page=18

 

- You’ll also dig the smoothness of running at 120Hz in 2D mode. It’s remarkable how much slicker everything looks and feels compared to conventional 60Hz panels. The future is definitely 120Hz.

techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/monitors-and-projectors/monitors/acer-gd245hq-908747/review/page:2

 

 

I hope you take into consideration 2560x1440 120hz IPS monitors when you make the game: 120hz.net

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Though you're trolling me I'm happy to say that it's unlikely they'll lock the frames to game speed in the way IE did. You'll likely be able to reach whatever FPS your GPU is capable of and still have the game run normally. IE's sprite based animations were only generated at 30 fps, and forcing the game to run at a higher FPS resulted in speeding it up.


"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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It's kind of a moot point. I doubt you could tell any difference whatsoever in this type of game for any framerate over 30 fps, much less 60, regardless of how convincing your testimonials are. (other than placebo effect "yeah, I can totally tell" difference)

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1366x768 is, like 1280x720, 16:9.

 

1280/16=720/9=80

 

1366/16=85.375

768/9=85.333

 

They've taken today's "ideal" as their standard, and, in addition to this, also render assets at twice that resolution to account for higher DPI screens... at least that's how I understood Sawyer's post.

 

Josh has written they're going to be supporting retina displays that implicitly suggests they're supporting high PPI screens, although there's no detail about how broad support this will be, only 2560x1440 is mentioned in regards to high PPI. The graphic shows they're going to be supporting a wide range of resolution from 1280x720 to 2880x1800 at standard PPI 90-120.

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1366x768 is, like 1280x720, 16:9.

 

1280/16=720/9=80

 

1366/16=85.375

768/9=85.333

The definition of 16:9 is 1.77:1, both 1280/720 and 1366/768 actually round up closer to 1.78:1 (1.77777777778 and 1.77864583333 respectively), but that doesn't stop either of them from being considered 16:9, aka 1.77:1.

 

They've taken today's "ideal" as their standard, and, in addition to this, also render assets at twice that resolution to account for higher DPI screens... at least that's how I understood Sawyer's post.

 

Josh has written they're going to be supporting retina displays that implicitly suggests they're supporting high PPI screens, although there's no detail about how broad support this will be, only 2560x1440 is mentioned in regards to high PPI. The graphic shows they're going to be supporting a wide range of resolution from 1280x720 to 2880x1800 at standard PPI 90-120.

Yeah, I know he didn't specifically say the "target high resolution" will be intended for retina displays, but it's, I think, the only interpretation that makes sense of the following quotes:

 

Though it's nice to be able to scale up and see more of the environment, at a certain point dungeons start looking like ant farms. That's what happens when you take a game designed for 640x480 and run it at more than double the resolution. It is now the year 2012, so we're looking at supporting a range of resolutions that runs from modest laptops to Macs with crazy Retina displays.

...

we're going to render the game out at a target high resolution and a target low resolution. Currently, we're looking at a base resolution of 1280x720.

...

For our higher resolution, we are likely going to render out to a ~2560x1440 screen size

I interpret this as meaning that the "target low resolution" and "higher resolution" will both display the exact same scene, only one is twice the resolution of the other, eg. the high resolution ones will be meant for "retina", as it will display the same size on a "retina" screen as the low res one would on a normal screen.

 

If the interpretation is correct, this means they're rendering the scenes to scale well to monitors around "normal" PPI (~100), and 2x "normal" PPI (~200), but leaving all PPIs in between these ranges untargeted, leaving, say, 150PPI monitors having to awkwardly choose between the low res (ant farm) or high res (too large) assets. (I'm not really worried about this, but I thought it should be brought up :))

 

But I might be completely wrong. I'm not sure what to make of the statement "With resolutions above "mere" Retina displays, we will zoom out, which should allow the backgrounds to scale into outer space (close enough, anyway).", where he's speaking about resolutions even higher than Retina (4k?). The graphic gives a hint of how it works, and can just as well be interpreted as showing what would happen at a "retina" PPI, it's all down to the physical size of the screens.

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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great update, love the armour piercing system (and everything else too, i guess)

 

P.S.: Mr. Sawyer is frightening me with his laughter, face paintings, wielding a mace and other stuff he does *shiver*

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4:3, 16:10 and other aspect ratios will be supported and will not have "black bars". Our main challenge will be making sure the interface adjusts properly.

 

When it comes to ultra-high resolutions, we will likely do the same "zoom out" of the environment up to a certain point and then pixel double the high-res backgrounds. When the pixel density is as high as it is on a laptop or desktop screen (that 2880x1800 display is for a 15" MacBook Pro), a pixel doubled image won't really have much of a loss of quality, IMO.

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However, I feel I should point out that these two sets are only accounting for screen DPIs in the range of 100-120 and 200-240, which leaves quite a large "black hole": all monitors with 130-190dpi, and there are a lot of laptops in this range currently on the market (far more than there are Hi-DPI/"retina" ones). On these monitors, the "regular" resolution is going to look too tiny, while the high DPI assets are going to look too large. Have you considered creating a third set of assets at 1.5x the resolution of the regular one? It would cover this middle ground very well, formed by fairly common 13" 1600x900 to 15" 1920x1080 screens.

It really shouldn't be necessary to generate a third set of intermediary assets. Planescape: Torment, IWD, and BG were designed to run at 640x480 and people played those comfortably at 1024x768. Doubling those sizes takes us to 1280x960 and 2048x1536. Going from 1280x720 to 1920x1080 is a proportionally smaller jump.

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When it comes to ultra-high resolutions, we will likely do the same "zoom out" of the environment up to a certain point and then pixel double the high-res backgrounds. When the pixel density is as high as it is on a laptop or desktop screen (that 2880x1800 display is for a 15" MacBook Pro), a pixel doubled image won't really have much of a loss of quality, IMO.

Still not sure I understand. I must be getting some of this wrong (sorry, English isn't my native language):

 

You mentioned the assets will be rendered at two different target resolutions, making me believe one will look good at normal DPI screens of any size/resolution and the other will be for high DPI screens? Or are they for some other purpose? I don't understand why pixel doubling has to happen if there is a set of assets rendered to retina screen resolutions. The pixel density of retina screens is roughly 2x that of normal screens, and your high resolution renders are 2x that of your target low res.

 

My personal opinion is that the difference is noticeable on high DPI (retina) screens, when you compare a pixel doubled image next to one that was rendered at the actual resolution. The effect is similar to looking at a pixel doubled image on a 'regular' screen beside a non-doubled one. It will look just as fuzzy, just a higher definition of fuzzy :p

 

If your in-game areas are planned to be 20k x 20k pixels, is it infeasible to render them at 40k x 40k, and then downsampling them back to 20k? I realize this quadruples rendering times, but it might also save time since you can downscale images with virtually no loss from these source files. That way you have one set of assets that doesn't have to be pixel doubled for retina screens, and the downsampled set(s) would be for regular screens.

 

If there's a definite no to this happening I'll let go and stop campaigning for it at any given opportunity. For what it's worth I'll still love the dev team just as much for making this game reality :p

 

Thanks for the replies, and to everyone:

 

I'm truly sorry to those who are annoyed by me going on and on about this, it's just... I believe the game could really benefit from it. It would simply look astoundingly good on these screens. You really have to see it to believe it, I guess.

Edited by mstark

"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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