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[Question] Transitioning Colony Wars From S2D to S3D?

1mo
#1
Hello @bastecklein!

It's just my little question regarding the future development of Colony Wars..........
Would you favor transition it to Scroll3D engine just like in My Empire?

This can save a lot of sprite work as they can be simply replaced by models.
There's some details to be considered though.
Like, attack animation - most vehicles in the game has turret structures. To make stuff look normal separate moving components might be needed.
On the other hand, real time fog of war calculation in S3D engines. Which currently (If I'm guessing correctly) (non-real-time) fog of war is a new feature first implemented in Terra Nova. Would it take a toll on game performance?
The map editor and terrain has issues to be considered as well - the terrain elevations, currently in S2D represented by cliff obstacles. The generation of slopes (passable terrain elevation "intervals") and cliffs (impassable terrain elevation "intervals") for map terrain might be a thing to be considered as well.
Plus, unit models, especially big stuff like ships (and if you have planned, large aircrafts spawned from support powers). Although from MC2 modding attempts shown it is possible for units with model size wider than a standard tile, BUT as the model isn't centered on the tile it is on, some weird scenes can happen....... like some parts of a model landed on terrain that it isn't supposed to be on. Either it can be solved by adding displacement value to model rendering, or really just have unit models at single-tile size.

These are the "issues" I can think of if Colony Wars is transitioned into using S3D engine.
So in your opinion, is it a good idea to give Colony Wars a 3D update? 🤔
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1mo
#2
Yes @GeneralWadaling I would 100% transition Colony Wars to Scroll3D. One of the main reasons the game is incomplete is the pain of creating the 2d graphics, each unit for instance requiring 12 different graphic frames:


It's not so bad for rectangular tanks, but it's not great for anything more complex, which is why I have not been adding new units to the game :-/

I have given thoughts to many of your points.

Firstly, I do not think there would be any big performance hit for fog of war. Scroll3D now handles this natively as you have seen in Terra Nova, there are just some bugs to work out (sprites can still be seen under the fog, as in the town names in Terra Nova).

It is true that the map editor would need to be reworked and that none of the existing maps would be able to carry over. Considering there are only a handful of maps, this is probably not a huge deal. The only downside is that the pathfinder would be slightly more expensive. For example, it is easy to say that tile x:y is not passable, because there is a cliff sprite there. With an actual cliff, you have to say that x:y is passable from this direction, but not if you are coming from this other direction.

A performance improvement could also be made by splitting the map terrain into chunks, say 8x8 or 16x16 tile chunks like MC2 does. Terra Nova does this and as a result will perform far better than My Empire did at large map sizes. This would just require that all map sizes be a multiple of 8 or 16, which is usually appropriate in computing anyway.

The larger model size issue is easily solved, in fact some work was done on in this regard on the Scroll3D engine when I added the Blockhead tokens class to the last My Tokens update, as those models are larger than 1x1 tile, and are wider than they are deep.

To easily animate, I believe each unit can have a base model, as well as an optional secondary turret model. The base model's rotation will be set in regards to the direction it is moving in, and the turret model's rotation would be set in regards to the direction it is firing. I was going to do something similar when I create Gone Rogue 2 using voxel My Tokens characters in the game, as voxel My Tokens are actually composed of three models, the body/head, and then each arm, allowing for arm movement (swinging swords, steering a go-kart in Token Kart, etc). So anyway, a Tank for example would have a model with just the bottom half of the tank, and then a second model containing just the rotating turret section. This same concept could work with structures also, for instance, a SAM site that shoots in specific directions.

In conclusion, I am 100% open to converting this game to Scroll3D. It is ultimately a far easier engine to develop for than Scroll2D is. I suppose the first step in development would be the complete rewrite of the map editor and the path finding routines. Most of the other code should carry over largely unchanged. Like MC2 and My Empire, most of the processing in Colony Wars happens on a separate thread that is completely divorced from the rendering engine anyway.
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1mo
#3
@bastecklein,


So here are my models for Colony Wars so far, although originally created for fun.
Includes units (includes separate parts for those with turrets) and buildings.

did you see something?:There is an Alpha Draconian probe at the right side of the image!


Just tell me if you need some edits on the models or something else!



Edit:
wHoops! Missed one model in my .zip!
You can help by EXPANDING IT.
23d
#4
Hey @GeneralWadaling I might use a couple of these also in My Colony 2 proper, if you don't object.
Owner of Ape Apps
23d
#5
bastecklein said:Hey @GeneralWadaling I might use a couple of these also in My Colony 2 proper, if you don't object.

Sure!
You can help by EXPANDING IT.
23d
#6
Owner of Ape Apps
23d
#7
Owner of Ape Apps
Colony Wars
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Ape Apps, LLC is an independent software development company founded in 2010 by Brandon Stecklein. Over the years, Ape Apps has published over 400 apps and games across various platforms. You can get in touch with Brandon on Twitter or by leaving a post on his wall @bastecklein
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