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Topic: Barbarian Trainingscamp Remodel

chuckw
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Joined: 2010-03-15, 16:23
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Posted at: 2011-09-14, 13:24

The trainingscamp is categorized as a "big" building.
oldTC
I thought I would explore using more of the plot of land available to it. I'll post an example of what I mean soon. face-smile.png


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chuckw
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Posted at: 2011-09-14, 19:06

Here is a peek at what I've been doing for the trainingscamp.
Original: oldtc working model: TC1
Now before you start with your observations, this is by no means near done (and I know it looks crowded.)

As I said above, I'm hungry for land, just compare these two graphics as proof! face-wink.png
However, in my quest to make the most use of the land available, I've encountered the notorious "z-layering" issue with a vengeance.

This map gauge shows the positions of the possible roads around a building site and the potential area I can fill (shown to scale):
gauge
Small and medium buildings are allotted the area in the red hexagon, while the area for big buildings is indicated with the green.

Translate that onto the map, however, and the current impact of z-layering logic on animation on the roads reduces the usable area considerably.

[Please excuse the following if it is slightly "off-topic".]
The "magic" happens when a worker travels "north" of the building hot spot (yellow dot).
This next series illustrates the problem. Notice the worker on the road to the "east" of the building site:
1) tc1 2) tc2
3) tc3
In (1), the worker is shown traveling northeast as he approaches even with the building hot spot (at the front door where the builder is standing). In (2), the worker has traveled "higher" than the hot spot and is obscured by the graphic. (3) shows the worker returning and layered properly at that same spot on the road.
Things can be even more unpredicatable to the west of a building site.

It seems to me that if the game engine can identify a worker's direction and position relative to the hot spot of any adjacent building site, the following logic should address our z-layering difficulties.
Example: Ex1
The yellow lines in the example mark the path on which it is desirable to layer the building graphic "under" worker and "critter" graphics. The red lines indicate roads whose traffic should be layered under the building. Both of these conditions should be independent of the direction in which the worker/critter is traveling.
That is to say, relative to a building's hot spot, IF a worker/critter:

  • is on an east-west road and the road is immediately SOUTH of the hot spot, OR
  • is on a northeast-southwest road and the road is immediately EAST of the hot spot, OR
  • is on a northwest-southeast road and the road is immediately WEST of the hot spot, THEN display the worker/critter ABOVE the building.

Conversely, IF a worker/critter:

  • is on an east-west road and the road is immediately NORTH of the hot spot, OR
  • is on a northeast-southwest road and the road is immediately WEST of the hot spot, OR
  • is on a northwest-southeast road immediately EAST of the hot spot, THEN display the worker/critter BELOW the building.

And that is as close as you are going to see me get to coding. face-grin.png

Now back to the model. The hot spot of the original trainingscamp tc, was placed at the "front gate" and thereby its design lost use of the area "south" of the hot spot. To exploit that unused area, I plan to place the main building at the hot spot where it makes sense for deliveries and arrival/departures. This leaves the rest of the area to depict the nature of the camp.
If we look at the current battlearena, ba, it, like the original traingscamp, was pushed to the northwest due to its hot spot at the gate. I mention this because, the track I'm taking with the trainingscamp tc gives the possibility to show the buildings at a larger scale.

My question to the community is:

  • Should I keep the trainingscamp buildings to the relative scale as shown in the battlearena, or pursue a larger scale as in the working model (and subsequently re-work the battlearena)? In either event, I intend to use as much of the area as I reasonably can. face-smile.png

Okay, it's your turn. What do you think? (BTW-those are supposed to be melons on top of the practice dummies at lower left. They sort of look like turtles from here, don't they? Like I said, "WORKING MODEL") face-smile-big.png
EDIT - A hot spot of 115 81 should work well if you want to try THIS working model in a game. face-smile.png

Edited: 2011-09-14, 19:21

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Astuur
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Joined: 2009-02-28, 10:08
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Posted at: 2011-09-14, 19:51

Nice analysis of the z-layering behavior, Chuck!
I wonder what the programers can do for a solution.
I think this is a pretty complicated matter.

But I meant to try an answer to your question about scale.
And the answer is ......It depends face-smile.png -- seems to be always like that.
In this case I think it depends on whether you want to show some recruits actually moving around the place. If they are not to appear as giants in a toyland, you'd want the scale of the building as close to the "natural scale" as can be - that means the working model scale rather than the arena.
Even if you plan nothing of that sort, it may already look strange to see giant carrier walk up to the main building (because the hotspot will be there). Another consideration is of course the immediate comparison to the buildings like the citadel.
There too, I think we're better off with a scale like your working model.
I think we all need to see this in the game. Hard to decide otherwise...


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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chuckw
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Posted at: 2011-09-14, 21:29

Thanks, Astuur. Yes, it pretty much boils down to what will "work" taking all things into consideration.

I took a compromise position with the scale of my second version of the trainingscamp: tc2, not as large as the first working model in order to reduce the claustrophobia and fit in another building. face-smile.png Still, the scale is not as small as the battlearena. (Do you see the ox who thinks he's an ostrich?) The eye still has to make a "leap of faith" when the "small" buildings are in such close proximity.

I prefer this model over the first working model for a number of reasons, but there is still much room for improvement. Even after pulling in the perimeter further in from the roads to the east and west, z-layering remains a big issue.

Here is this model for test driving with a hot spot of 113 76: tc2

Comments and ideas are always very welcome.


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Personal_Joke
Joined: 2011-08-10, 14:39
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Posted at: 2011-09-15, 02:57

I like how you added the practice dummies to the trainingcamp. Without the dummies, you can't really tell which is which between the original trainingcamp (upgrades attack and health) and battlearena (upgrades evasion) simply by looking at them.


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chuckw
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Posted at: 2011-09-15, 04:21

Personal_Joke wrote: I like how you added the practice dummies to the trainingcamp. Without the dummies, you can't really tell which is which between the original trainingcamp (upgrades attack and health) and battlearena (upgrades evasion) simply by looking at them.

You're right. It is difficult to tell which building is which at a casual glance.
I have made up my mind to re-visit the battlearena to give it a similar chance to use more room and a better identification. Any ideas for little details that would further help to tell the two apart are welcome.

A related question: Does anyone know how the various barbarian axes might be stored and shown? You can't really stack them in a pyramid like rifles. Hang them on a rack on pegs?

Details, details... face-grin.png


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Personal_Joke
Joined: 2011-08-10, 14:39
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Location: New Zealand
Posted at: 2011-09-15, 07:40

They could be held in place on walls, leaning against a wall, held in weapon stands/racks... I assume axes would typically be stored indoors, but if it's easier to display them outside then whatever works.

Maybe you could add a shelter around the outside of the arena of the trainingcamp and have a couple weapon stands in the shelter holding axes? Just an idea face-grin.png

Edited: 2011-09-15, 07:44

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Astuur
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Posted at: 2011-09-15, 07:41

I did a test drive with the hotspot you supplied.
It's really nice to have something big on the map for a change.
I think, positioning the hotspot to the center was really a brilliant idea!
I can't see any real problem with the scale. Looks good for me.
The main building, while keeping the scale, could be a smaller one perhaps, to save some space for other things visible in the yard.
Surrounding roads and delivery are fine for carriers, but there are still some problems with those bulky oxen. Watch an ox deliver some ware; he's almost onto the roof of the main building.
I don't know... maybe they are a bit too big anyhow, those oxen. The fact that they always turn south east when grazing, doesn't help either.
The weapons and armor delivered to the training site appear too big by far, but that can't be helped.
You will have no chance to display the set of axes at the scale they have as wares, no matter what. The same goes for the masks/helmets.
I remember having seen axes displayed on a tetraeder (a triangular pyramid formed of tree trunks) with receptacles that made it look like the axes were hewn into the trunks.
But that may be hard to do.


Being no programmer, I apologize for all my suggestions that imply undue workload and for other misjudgements due to lack of expertise or relevant skills.
I am on Win32, have no means to compile, and rely on prefabricated distributions (Thanks to Tino).

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chuckw
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Posted at: 2011-09-15, 13:46

Thanks for the ideas.
To display the various axes and armor, I need to first create 3D models of them which could lead to updates for the wares graphics themselves. We'll see. face-smile.png

The tetraeder sounds interesting. I'll see if I can find an image of one on the net. I was first considering a wall of sorts upon which the weapons could be displayed. That could be a good vehicle to show the progression and all the varieties of axes. The helms could be arrayed in similar fashion. The masks and warhelmets, however, may have to be represented as ornaments at the building or some place like at the helmsmithy. I'm looking forward to tackling those. face-smile.png

Downsizing or even remodeling the main building is worth trying. I'm still playing with the placement and look of the practice ring. I'll likely upscale the practice dummies and the weapons for better identification even if they are inconsistent with the buildings like I did with the empire weaponsmithy.

While some animation of human activity is attractive, that will have to wait until after I've completed the rest of the models. Human/animal animation is a bit more complex than fluttering flags and smoke. face-wink.png

Let me know if you have any more inspirations. Thanks again!


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chuckw
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Posted at: 2011-09-15, 15:38

Re: tetraeder - Oh! A tetrahedron in English. tet Got it! face-smile-big.png


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