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NEO Coding Competitions => NEO Spring Coding Compo 2008 => NEO Compo 2008 => The past Neo Coding Compos => the GBA/NDS game zone - March.2008 => Topic started by: smealum on March 20, 2008, 08:10:34 AM

Title: Legion
Post by: smealum on March 20, 2008, 08:10:34 AM
Nickname: Smealum and Lobo (and ZeBlackos for the music)
Projet name : Legion
From : France and USA
Division : NDS Game
Original enter : YES
Support Motion : NO
In last NEO Compo this project have won in the top 10 : NO
Project description:  { Legion is an isometric 3D Action/Shooting game set in a Fallout-like post apocalyptic world. You play as Brutus, a mutant who is accompanied by a quite unnerving machine...CHAP. }

LINK (http://www.isawtheassassin.com/smea/Legion/NeoDemo_20-03-2008.rar)
(the file is too big to upload it on the forum  :( )


(http://www.isawtheassassin.com/smea/Legion/demo_screen3.PNG) (http://www.isawtheassassin.com/smea/Legion/demo_screen1.PNG) (http://www.isawtheassassin.com/smea/Legion/demo_screen5.PNG) (http://www.isawtheassassin.com/smea/Legion/demo_screen2.PNG)

Controls :

In Game :
Stylus : aim, change Brutus' direction
Up or X : Run forward
Down or B : Run backwards
Left/Right or Y/A : Run side ways
R or L : Shoot
R + L : Open MOD menu
Start : Pause
Select : Swap screens
The DS is supposed to be held this way :
(http://www.isawtheassassin.com/smea/Legion/control.png)

In Dialog :
Stylus tap : make the dialog continue
Start : skip the whole dialog


The game's goal is explained during its introduction.
Beware when you save : there's only one save slot, so saving will automatically erase your older save file.

To get the game to work, you must place the "legion" directory at the root of your card and DLDI patch the Legion.nds file !


To the judges : please do not judge the game after having only tested the first level as it is far deeper than that and has very various environments and a very complete background story.

Also, this is only a demo. There are 6 levels, the final version will feature 12.

Special thanks : LOBO ! ZeBlackos ! dev-fr.org , playeradvance.org , #dev-fr , #pa.org (especially the testers...) and #dsdev.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: minishlink on March 20, 2008, 02:35:00 PM
Arf, it's time for me to go, but I'me very pressed !

"Le messie est arrivĂ©"  ~sm-44.gif~

Good luck :-)
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: Cid2Mizard on March 20, 2008, 04:10:56 PM
yeah good luck  ;)
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: omg on March 20, 2008, 07:24:20 PM
Great Work! Smealum, Lobo, ZeBlackos thank you!

I will test it in few hours!  :D
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: sturmen on March 20, 2008, 08:07:33 PM
Awesome! Looks really nice!
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on March 21, 2008, 03:54:37 AM
Just testing. Nice indeed, what bugs me is the control scheme and the zoom in tho.

I'd rather have the controls so the movement and fire would be independent - stylus = aim, dpad movement up down left and right, no bond with the character. I guess I can get used to this but it's not really intuitive. Or at least allow shooting while strafing :D
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: smealum on March 21, 2008, 04:28:55 AM
Thanks for the comments.  ;D

Just testing. Nice indeed, what bugs me is the control scheme and the zoom in tho.

I'd rather have the controls so the movement and fire would be independent - stylus = aim, dpad movement up down left and right, no bond with the character. I guess I can get used to this but it's not really intuitive. Or at least allow shooting while strafing :D
Actually, you're the first one to tell me you don't like the control scheme. I myself thought it was intuitive enough, but I guess it's normal that everyone doesn't share my opinion. Thanks, for telling me, I'll try to do something about it in the final version. ;)
About not being able to shoot while strafing, I do agree it can be quite annoying... But the reason I didn't allow it is because I thought it'd make the whole thing way too easy : while strafing, you can dodge pretty much anything the enemy shoots at you, so being able to shoot yourself while dodging would just be unfair I think.  ;)
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: TeenDev on March 21, 2008, 05:21:51 AM
I must say this game looks pretty ***yful  >:D
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on March 21, 2008, 05:44:24 AM
Yeah, I don't know but controls have been made this way due to suggestions of all the people who have tested the early versions.
I'm usually picky about control scheme but I got myself adjusted to this one and have no idea as to what would be the better alternative. I guess it's about getting used to it at the beginning, later on it will feel just about right.

About the strafe and shoot, that's not a bad idea and I can easily implement it into the model, it's up to smealum to make enemy AI to also use the strafe+fire so there's some balance in there (if not a whole bunch of dancing and prancing in circles that will probably occur in this case).
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: smealum on March 21, 2008, 05:46:24 AM
Just uploaded a new version (Neo said I have until midnight in my timezone...that lets me about an hour) which corrects a few bugs. :)
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: thebawp on March 22, 2008, 08:01:55 AM
I'm not sure if it's me, or if this game is just buggy.  I'm trying to follow the red arrow, but it just sends me in circles, allowing me to walk on the gray parts of the first map (which don't look like I should be able to walk on them), in my first play through I managed to walk onto the next screen on the right hand side of the map, but in my second play, I couldn't walk across.

This is a really nice looking game, and it has potential to be a lot of fun, but it just seems too buggy at the moment.  =/
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on March 22, 2008, 08:43:29 AM
Game is definitely not too buggy, get the latest version there and try again.
Red pointer shows you where the exit is, follow it and you'll get to the exit of  the map. Currently, the threshold for the exit is a bit small, about one tile 32x32 I guess, so you have to nail it but it's easy once you simply follow the arrow so no, it doesn't send you to circles, it's not coded to confuse you but to help you out.
I don't know how you managed to get to the grey area, maybe you found a hole, get out of it the same way you came through.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: thebawp on March 22, 2008, 08:59:07 AM
I downloaded the latest version about 2 hours ago.   There was quite a lot of grey area that I could enter - if I shouldn't be able to enter it, then it shouldn't be that easy to enter an area I shouldn't nor that hard to enter an area I should.  I'm not posting a bug report to be vindictive, but it's what I encountered.

Seriously, this is a really ambitious game, I can see that.  What has been done so far is very impressive, and what has been achieved so far is very promising (and certainly far more than I could ever achieve) but I am encountering weird problems.  If you don't believe that it's buggy, then I'll post a video of the whole thing. 
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on March 22, 2008, 09:02:36 AM
By the way the zoom is like that because of polygon limatation or just because you like it this way?
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on March 22, 2008, 10:58:03 AM
I understand but here I am playing for about an hour or so, especially level1 and I can't get to the grey area. However, what I'm getting into with 'not too buggy' is the fact that 'too buggy' implies that game is unplayable almost which is not true cause I keep playing it so far and, well...almost finished it (i'm chasing bugs as well so didn't finish it yet myself) so it is quite playable.
Maybe if you can post that video so we can see where exactly are you hitting the grey area, that would be helpful as smealum would be able to 'seal it off'.

All in all, thanks for response but I wish people would report clear problems with exact errors that I cannot see but someone else might, makes it much easier for us to fix it, you know.

@Magnet
Zoom thing, yep, you're right on the spot there. We had the idea of zooming out long time ago in order to effectively use sniper, cover and generally have a better view of the area and enemies. Unfortunatelly, this is still DS we're talking about and we kept cutting things in half all the time just to get constant 60fps and not kill the gameplay.
If you look at the level in the city, those 2-3 buildings, you might notice that they're kinda not too high as they should be -proportionally toward the character. Well, that's just one small example of rescaling, cutting or generally keeping the way as it is to keep the constant framerate and to hide triangles that might be too much for the scene. :/
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: sumiguchi on March 22, 2008, 12:30:27 PM
For the version I downloaded - the last version submitted before the deadline - there is a big hole to get in the grey area - South West Corner.  I went in circles a little but managed to get back on the map pretty quickly to finish the first level. 

I love this game - FANTASTIC work guys!!!  ;D
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: thebawp on March 22, 2008, 05:43:28 PM
That's what I encountered, and couldn't for the life of me exit the level (although I knew where the exit was).  I've tried to replicate the error this morning, but couldn't do it to the extent I was experiencing last night.  I apologise for my 'too buggy' comment, but when I wrote that, I could not get past the first screen, which to me, rendered the game quite unplayable. 

I've made a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts0Kg8HCndI) of me entering that grey area (apologies for the awful video quality), and also being followed by enemies into the grey area.  The second part of the clip partially illustrates the arrow directing me 'in a circle', which is what I experienced last night.

Seriously though, I do want to stress this is a really great project so far - I think the controls are very smooth and intuitive, the music and graphics, particularly the character animations and dialogue screens, are very cool.  This is certainly one of the most ambitious homebrew projects I've played on the DS - it's not a port, but a game started from scratch and you guys deserve a lot of kudos for that.  I know it can't be easy, and matters were certainly not helped by my rather rude statement that the game was 'too buggy', for which I apologise. 
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on March 22, 2008, 06:35:00 PM
@Magnet
Zoom thing, yep, you're right on the spot there. We had the idea of zooming out long time ago in order to effectively use sniper, cover and generally have a better view of the area and enemies. Unfortunatelly, this is still DS we're talking about and we kept cutting things in half all the time just to get constant 60fps and not kill the gameplay.
If you look at the level in the city, those 2-3 buildings, you might notice that they're kinda not too high as they should be -proportionally toward the character. Well, that's just one small example of rescaling, cutting or generally keeping the way as it is to keep the constant framerate and to hide triangles that might be too much for the scene. :/
Is the floor made out of cubes with some polys cut out or planes where nothing else is needed? Maybe making the tiles bigger or the characters smaller would fix all this. I'm sure it can be done better somehow, look at Zelda for instance. Anyway if you want some more 3D assets I'll be more than glad to help you out.

Also for the sniper you could at least show some blobs for enemies and then allow for view movement as aim.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on March 23, 2008, 01:43:59 AM
Now I see where it is, yeah, this is the first time I've encountered it and it is on the NW and goes along the line to the NE until you reach the Exit. I did manage to get out of it right away but it is a huge gaping hole. I've notified smealum already, he should be able to patch it.

All in all, thanks to both of you thabawp and sumiguchi and yea, these weird things are quite expectable in the early builds (I've found myself a few scary moments, can't even tell what it is as it is my fault :D).

@Magnet, floor is a plane on which 32x32 tiles were applied, on top of that additional layer has the height info (like roads on some maps), and three more layers, for items/environment and enemies placement and 'sidewalls' effect. All in all, maps are huge but nothing that is a killer of the framerate. Now, the actual 3d stuff that goes on top of that, that's problematic.
The latest Brutus MD2 model weighted about 298 faces, take 3,4 enemies with him nearby, especially when zoomed out, bam-1200 faces easy, visible at any rate at least half of it and than add the environment, a building, a tire, this and that...
The problem is that it is an action game and you can run to the certain part of the map then run to another and spawn dozens of enemies to follow you. In Zelda, there is no such case, everything is controlled, the same applies to Warhammer, being turn based and all, much easier to control what the player will see at any given moment and hide the rest behind the fog. The only thing in Zelda is the fact that those guys took, what 6-8 months, a year to finish it with knowing everything about the inner workings of DS hardware, you know. Smealum did all of this in a few months between the school and optimized for speed and constant framerate just a week or two before the compo?!
However, that also means that we can still try some tricks here and there and make it as best as we can do ;).

So, thanks for the comments and all, too much I typed.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on March 23, 2008, 09:57:22 AM
Yeah I understand, Nintendo of course has a lot more experience and better devkits. Just saying that maybe if you zoomed out you could also have the characters at around 100 polys each maybe, I might try to whip such model up. Also when there would be too many polys onscreen you could assign a poly number to each object and if that number goes over 2048 you could simply load even simpler versions. How's that?

But all in all amazing work guys, for a homebrew and two guys' work it's awesome.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on March 23, 2008, 11:09:51 AM
Hehe, thanks but it's three, Zeblackos did the music, actually 3 tunes but only one so far made it into this demo. :)

About the zoom, well..smealum just told me that he might have some way to get the zoom out, nothing granted, as he said that it might not work but he has something in mind so I guess we'll wait and see what's he cooking there.
On the same note, I sent him the latest model with a few fixes and additional animation for the 'Strafe and Shoot' so I guess for the final version that might get implemented as well. Actually, so far Brutus has about 120+ frames of animation, not even half was used (hitting, crawling, crawl+shoot, two death sequences, run back+shoot, etc.) so by the time we progress to the final, there should be a whole bunch of changes and additions that we couldn't fit into the demo.

You mentioned something about sniper before, I didn't understand that, can you explain what do you mean by the 'blobs' thingie?
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: minishlink on March 23, 2008, 04:17:26 PM
I've just finished it this morning, the game is pretty cool !
So, when you understant that you must go where the red cross say, it's become too easy :(
Is that normal that the game bug at the end but not crash ?

Great work Smealum, Lobo and Zeblackos !  :)
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: tiancai on March 23, 2008, 06:53:01 PM
Does this game not work for R4?
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on March 23, 2008, 07:56:38 PM
You mentioned something about sniper before, I didn't understand that, can you explain what do you mean by the 'blobs' thingie?
Yeah, of course. What I meant was some kind of radar that would be there instead of the zoomed out view and with sniper you could move the view around and shoot those targets visible on the radar.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on March 24, 2008, 02:37:18 AM
@Minishlink, thanks, yeah I guess once you follow the compass thing you can get to the exit by avoiding some enemies, however there will be instances where you need to pick one of the parts before getting to the exit meaning that finding the part first will get you in the way of awaiting enemies.
Also, we'll probably make the replenishing of the energy slower so it should be tricky.

@tiancai, yes, it works on R4, that's the card that I have, don't forget to put the legion folder on the root of the card.

@Magnet, I think I understand and I think I saw that in some game but can't think of where. Like, moving the screen kinda thing while your character is frozen to target the enemy, not a bad idea actually. We had a bunch of different ideas for the sniper that are kinda similar to this. In case we get the proper zoom out I think this can be done nicely.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on March 24, 2008, 02:52:11 AM
Oh don't make the HP restoring slower :D, it's already slow enough now, sometimes I have a little problem aiming at the correct spot when shooting somebody and get shot a few times before he dies, I don't want to wait too long before I get my HP back. Maybe with some inventory system and medkits but otherwise leave it at this, thanks.

Also in the dreamworld you could rotate the shrooms in the texture to fit the camera angle. So it looks like an object more like a flat texture.

And again if you want another 3D artist onboard just contact me.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on March 24, 2008, 03:12:20 AM
Haha, yeah, it's just these darn kids nowadays, every game is easy for them so you have to 'harden it up'.  :-X
Somewhat, dunno, about a minute maybe to replenish 100 points of energy might be reasonable as we didn't plan the health pickups so we'll see how it goes.

Thanks for the offer, definitely keep you in mind, all the stuff for Legion is pretty much done but we were thinking at one point after the single play version is done to maybe do another build for multiplayer only. In that case, some variety of models would be more than welcome. Which 3d app you're using, btw and how comfortable are you with the MD2?

@Minishlink, forgot to ask but what do you mean bugs out but doesn't crash? 

EDIT: I forgot to say about targeting the enemy, we have this solution where the enemy will be outlined in red whenever your aim is right, so to speak, so that will help.
Mushrooms, heh, that whole level is a joke obviously so the tiles with mushrooms are intentionally like that. Now, that made me think and I'm sure smealum would kill me for doing so, heh but maybe a giant or smaller 3d mushrooms in there, that might be, umm...disturbing enough.  ::sm-07.gif::
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on March 24, 2008, 03:46:54 AM
Hehe SHROOMS!!

Anyway, using 3DS Max and IIRC I was exporting to the MD2 format for the DN3D HRP so it shouldn't be too much problem getting back into it. I'll just gather a few exporters and I'm all set.

What amount of tris are you limiting the environment models to?
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on March 24, 2008, 04:10:45 AM
Super, even though I got confused with DN3D HRP until the power of the internet showed what that is. :P

Environment models, anything goes really, from 8 to maybe 40-ish for 'complex models', hehe. The easiest thing to see this is to get, let's say 'MD2 Viewer', can't find a link but if you don't have it- I can upload it somewhere, and check the 'environment' directory in Legion folder. That will give you the idea how small or large are some of the environment models.

And yea, shrooms, maybe every time you touch it, the controls get inverted, kinda like the 'drunk mode' in Aufwiedersehen Monty.  ~sm-35.gif~
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: pifreak on April 13, 2008, 12:08:42 AM
I liked the game, and will admit the controls are hard to get used to but I suppose they will work even better when you can shoot while walking in any direction.

The graphics...are o.k. but would be much better in a different format, because you just can't get as many colors and that makes it hard to tell the difference between low and high ground, and some of the blacks become greens, and you can't get rich golds and other colors.

I tried modding the textures, and now Brutus looks like Masterchief from Halo, except with a tiny head.

How many colors can you use? It doesn't seem like many...but if its not too hard we would all appreciate some more colors, I think. I mean, it might lagg it if you have TOO many, but the ds screens can display 260,000 colors.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: pifreak on April 13, 2008, 03:01:10 AM
(also, is it okay if I mod it? you don't have it copyrighted or w/e?)
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on April 13, 2008, 07:00:18 AM
Sure, go ahead and mod it all you like. Just make sure to keep everything flipped (vertically, usually with characters) and in 8bit .pcx, colors are up to you.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: pifreak on April 14, 2008, 07:27:02 AM
what program were the models with?
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on April 15, 2008, 03:46:31 AM
3DSmax for the models but in the game it's only possible to change textures as it is.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: pifreak on April 16, 2008, 05:17:33 AM
Okay, But I really want to just make some myself to get experiance because it sounds intersting, I have some programming and art experiance but no 3-d modeling yet
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on April 16, 2008, 02:22:31 PM
In that case you might try stuff like blender (freeware), maybe even milkshape, at least for the export/import functions of any formats out there including md2.
Hmm..can't think of any decent tutorial but if you search something along the line of 'low poly modeling', you'll certainly find some good stuff out there.
In case you want it all, go with Max, takes some time to adjust to the interface but in the end it's worth poking about.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on April 16, 2008, 02:53:00 PM
In that case you might try stuff like blender (freeware), maybe even milkshape, at least for the export/import functions of any formats out there including md2.
Hmm..can't think of any decent tutorial but if you search something along the line of 'low poly modeling', you'll certainly find some good stuff out there.
In case you want it all, go with Max, takes some time to adjust to the interface but in the end it's worth poking about.
I actually find max more intuitive than blender and maybe even milkshape but I guess it's just because I'm used to it :)

It's a very good piece of software in any way tho.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: lobo on April 17, 2008, 06:22:06 AM
Me too actually as I was quite confused with blender and hated milkshape from the start. However, back in the day I've started with lightwave and thought that separation of modeler from layout was the best way to go. Looking at max from that perspective, I thought max was insane with 'all those buttons' until I tried it out and I would never go back to anything else cause it is way more logical and easier than it looks.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: MagNet on April 18, 2008, 04:34:52 AM
Me too actually as I was quite confused with blender and hated milkshape from the start. However, back in the day I've started with lightwave and thought that separation of modeler from layout was the best way to go. Looking at max from that perspective, I thought max was insane with 'all those buttons' until I tried it out and I would never go back to anything else cause it is way more logical and easier than it looks.
Yeah, and then you start with hotkeys and that's where the fun begins :) (I should learn more tho)
Anyway, if I recall correctly the first modelling software I've used was 3D Canvas and anim8tor, never really got anywhere tho until I tried max and found some tuts, etc. I've also tried out modo but didn't really stay with that either.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: HyperJunkie on May 22, 2008, 12:48:59 AM
Hi, im left handed, im sure a lot of other users might be as well.. any chance of an option for left handed gameplay? you know, like swap the functions of the d-pad with the face buttons, so Y and A would move you left and right and the d-pad would be the other main controls, that way we can use the stylus with the left hand and control the character with the right hand thumb.
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: smealum on May 22, 2008, 01:15:30 AM
Isn't it already the case ? I remember implementing it in the game, is it not working well ?
Title: Re: Legion
Post by: HyperJunkie on May 22, 2008, 02:29:28 AM
my mistake sorry. keep up the good work, love fallout :)