Avara 2

is under way...

We are getting there.

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sweeeet.

Won't get my hopes up untill I see more.

I hope you get my hopes up.

EDIT: Heh, don't know if this is rude on my part, but I found this.

Looking good!

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This post has been edited by Two Jacks : 02 September 2008 - 05:21 PM

@two-jacks, on Sep 2 2008, 03:14 PM, said in Avara 2:

Won't get my hopes up untill I see more.

I hope you get my hopes up.

EDIT: Heh, don't know if this is rude on my part, but I found this.

Looking good!

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Don't see how it is rude, but it does look as if you found me out. I started this project about a year ago, and at that point in time, I didn't have much access to Maya. Now that I have the program at home instead of at college, I can devote all my time to it.

Yes, that is my photobucket, and those are my various works in progress, past and present. In fact, I am working on this model right now. The above model is based on the two splash screens found with the game, the title and credits. I have limited info to work on. I've been using Maya for about 2 1/2 years, btw. Besides that, I plan on finishing this, and that includes rigging and texturing. After all that is done, well, we still have much to do, such as various small props, the scout, etc. Then comes the programming.

Camera is Off
Live feed of me working: Click here

This post has been edited by Daedalus969 : 03 September 2008 - 01:39 AM

Although there is one thing I need to ask from all of you.

Should I stick with the idea that H.E.C.T.O.R.s are remote-control, or should I design a cockpit?

Huh... That looks very much like a model that was circulating back in '97, with a few lights added. I'll see if I can find it when I get home tomorrow night.

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Huh... That looks very much like a model that was circulating back in '97, with a few lights added. I'll see if I can find it when I get home tomorrow night.

They're probably similar because it's based off of the splash screen by Joe Ralla.

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Should I stick with the idea that H.E.C.T.O.R.s are remote-control, or should I design a cockpit?

As I told you before, it's a work of awesome. My suggestion is to keep it tasteful by not over-detailing. And don't use any "distressed" metal textures. If you can keep this level of quality consistent throughout all of it, it'll be great.

If we intend to make a sequel for Avara, we need to talk to Ambrosia about this.

This post has been edited by Nathan : 03 September 2008 - 12:03 AM

I think you should stick to porting Avara exactly as it is, without any changes in gameplay, graphics, or interface. Your models look very nice, and while I'm sure everyone would like to updated graphics and stuff, everyone has their own idea of what they want Avara to be like and changing even the smallest detail is certain to alienate and even anger some people.

I've come to think of Avara as a game of the imagination. It's a bit like abstract art. Everyone can see what they want in the game (until it gets blown up) and if determined enough can make level sets with models and landscapes to whatever their whimsy.

I don't mean to undermine the work you've done so far, it really is very nice, but I think that would be the best solution for everyone.

@-carlet--wordfish, on Sep 3 2008, 04:32 PM, said in Avara 2:

I think you should stick to porting Avara exactly as it is, without any changes in gameplay, graphics, or interface. Your models look very nice, and while I'm sure everyone would like to updated graphics and stuff, everyone has their own idea of what they want Avara to be like and changing even the smallest detail is certain to alienate and even anger some people.

I've come to think of Avara as a game of the imagination. It's a bit like abstract art. Everyone can see what they want in the game (until it gets blown up) and if determined enough can make level sets with models and landscapes to whatever their whimsy.

I don't mean to undermine the work you've done so far, it really is very nice, but I think that would be the best solution for everyone.

Your opinion is noted, but I'm going to go with what I have planned, and try to implement the features that the community has requested, where possible. Better models and textures was one of those requests.

Update on Hector model:

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Starting on rigging now, after that is finished, I shall texture.

Nice looking model. Unfortunately, the modelling's the easy part, especially since this is Avara we're talking about.

@rickton, on Sep 4 2008, 09:23 PM, said in Avara 2:

Nice looking model. Unfortunately, the modelling's the easy part, especially since this is Avara we're talking about.

Indeed, rigging has actually turned out to be harder than I thought: I got the basic skeleton down, and all the pieces parented in the correct ways, but giving it a full body IK is a different story. Texturing I now see, will be much easier than rigging.

Also, as many Avara communities have lost their servers, such as Avara.org, it has become hard to find images. Does anyone have any images of the in-game UFOs, Scouts, Parasites, and the like?

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Parasite's a bit smudged, I'm afraid, but you can still see the lines of design and the like.

I would encourage you, by the way, to work on porting Avara directly; while new graphics and the like may have some value, I'm sure that if you were to ask those who supported the addition of those things, that they would say making Avara compatible with OS X, in pure, unchanged form, is a higher priority, for certain. Once Avara itself was made, it wouldn't be particularly hard to add the graphics you desire, and people wouldn't mind waiting; it would annoy the playerbase much more, though, for the original to be unavailable, so that this game wouldn't accurately replicate Avara until you made a more legacy-focused modification, if even then.

- Bob

This post has been edited by Consul Bob : 05 September 2008 - 11:16 AM

Come on... How big is the player base these days? I would rather see major updates revitalize the game by drawing a new, large player base than some simple porting to satisfy a few old hands so it can continue on it's way to further obscurity.
While backwards compatibility would be nice, the legacy physics, maps, models and such are rather limited by today's standards. I ran into issues with Avara's map parsing system on numerous occasions, and it's limitations were what eventually turned me off from map making all together. These limitations included not being able to display more than a few hundred polygons on screen at once without Avara crashing, or at least grinding down to 1-2 frames/second. Making a wall door too large would result in a fragmented or non-existent panel in game. If two objects intersect or pass through each other, Avara has no clean way to judge the points of intersection and what should be displayed... Instead it simply flips the viewability of the various polygons on and off in a seemingly chaotic manner. This minimalist approach to sorting out polygon visibility can combine with the previous issue, making larger ramps or the sides of walls suddenly pop invisible, or seem to flip so a ramp covers the players view of what's above, while allowing him/her to see what is underneath. I think the game would be better off if more modern, robust formats and game engines were used, and then a separate program written to port the old maps, models and such to the new formats. I always wished there was a way to enable freeSolids to pitch, yaw and roll appropriately when hit, rather than acting like they're on an invisible rail system. A newer physics engine could let that happen. Of course, newer code could also open the way for eye candy such as textures, local light sources, particle effects and such... In my opinion, so long as the gameplay mechanics stay close to the same, you can update whatever you like.

This post has been edited by bobski : 05 September 2008 - 08:45 PM

@bobski, on Sep 5 2008, 06:42 PM, said in Avara 2:

Come on... How big is the player base these days? I would rather see major updates revitalize the game by drawing a new, large player base than some simple porting to satisfy a few old hands so it can continue on it's way to further obscurity.
While backwards compatibility would be nice, the legacy physics, maps, models and such are rather limited by today's standards. I ran into issues with Avara's map parsing system on numerous occasions, and it's limitations were what eventually turned me off from map making all together. These limitations included not being able to display more than a few hundred polygons on screen at once without Avara crashing, or at least grinding down to 1-2 frames/second. Making a wall door too large would result in a fragmented or non-existent panel in game. If two objects intersect or pass through each other, Avara has no clean way to judge the points of intersection and what should be displayed... Instead it simply flips the viewability of the various polygons on and off in a seemingly chaotic manner. This minimalist approach to sorting out polygon visibility can combine with the previous issue, making larger ramps or the sides of walls suddenly pop invisible, or seem to flip so a ramp covers the players view of what's above, while allowing him/her to see what is underneath. I think the game would be better off if more modern, robust formats and game engines were used, and then a separate program written to port the old maps, models and such to the new formats. I always wished there was a way to enable freeSolids to pitch, yaw and roll appropriately when hit, rather than acting like they're on an invisible rail system. A newer physics engine could let that happen. Of course, newer code could also open the way for eye candy such as textures, local light sources, particle effects and such... In my opinion, so long as the gameplay mechanics stay close to the same, you can update whatever you like.

That is what I hopefully plan to do. Although, in regards to graphics and textures, although I have based the Hector model on the splash screens by Joe Ralla from the original game, there are not other highly-detailed pieces of concept art for this game, of the other objects. As to the port, the models would be easy as pie to do, and texture. In fact, I wouldn't even need a texture, just a simple color. As to the maps from the original, I would need top-down views of all maps players want included, along with screen-shots to base everything.

As to the engine, and what you spoke of in terms of physics, Havoc is sounding good, although I do wonder if those kind of collisions are possible with the Quake 3 engine, as that was my original plan, although with some tweaks(to make the jumps and such as close as possible to the original).

And alas, there is one more problem. I don't know how to ask this of Ambrosia SW, the right to do this I mean. Others on another forum have suggested that I call it something else, or such.. but still, I'm afraid they'll say 'no'.

@bobski, on Sep 5 2008, 08:42 PM, said in Avara 2:

Come on... How big is the player base these days? I would rather see major updates revitalize the game by drawing a new, large player base than some simple porting to satisfy a few old hands so it can continue on it's way to further obscurity.
(maptalk)

See, I'm not against making changes. But I've seen a good number of people who seem to think that making sweeping changes to things like gameplay, interface, etc. are utterly essential, and that Avara is not just something they're not entirely into, the way it is done in (such and such a way) is wrong, and needs to be revised. I've played it for a decent while in my own right, and have learned to appreciate all its aspects; the "experimental" interface is a brilliant touch, I think, once you've learned mastery over it. The keyboard remapping in particular offers amazing power and flexibility, but at least one person seems to think that it's one of the worst parts of the game!

I know that when you start making changes, it becomes easier to make another change, here and there -- and before you know it, those changes aren't optional or insignificant anymore, and the basic gameplay is being altered. The basic gameplay, in my opinion, more than anything else, needs to be preserved exactly -- in all aspects. I'm okay with new features or options for modmakers, but once these things are added in, the urge many developers get to change the basic game and make these changes stock will prove overpowering, and they'll give in and alter Avara beyond repair, eliminating all hope at a port and the preservation of the original game. I feel it would be better to shoot for a straight port, with no new features at all, than to allow feature creep to overrun an Avara 2 and destroy all that made the original great.

Moddability and improved mapmaking are absolutely important, for sure, and take predecence over all other new features. But I feel it's most critical, of all these things, to make sure the original game works perfectly first.

@daedalus969, on Sep 6 2008, 12:06 AM, said in Avara 2:

That is what I hopefully plan to do. Although, in regards to graphics and textures, although I have based the Hector model on the splash screens by Joe Ralla from the original game, there are not other highly-detailed pieces of concept art for this game, of the other objects. As to the port, the models would be easy as pie to do, and texture. In fact, I wouldn't even need a texture, just a simple color.

Since the original Avara doesn't have any texture, then porting it would be relatively easy, as far as graphics go. It would take a lot of time to get everything exactly so, but it wouldn't be hopeless. I'm not against new graphics and features, I just don't want them at the expense of a replication of the original.

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although with some tweaks(to make the jumps and such as close as possible to the original).

I am glad to hear that; I was kinda obsessive about perfect accuracy to begin with, and that instinct's been honed in further through my work on EV ports. 🙂

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And alas, there is one more problem. I don't know how to ask this of Ambrosia SW, the right to do this I mean. Others on another forum have suggested that I call it something else, or such.. but still, I'm afraid they'll say 'no'.

Well, a bunch of other Avara projects have come up over the years, and Ambrosia never curtailed them. It probably won't be much of a threat, as long as you don't sell it.

- §torm

Before I continue, I would like to say, Storm, it is good to hear from you again. In case you don't remember me, I may have gone by Daedalus or Raptor, I can't remember the nickname I used, but if it helps, I was Groove's/Katana's brother.

Onto the work in progress game, to strictly speak, I plan on changing the asthetics, not the gameplay, however, I will not go overboard graphics wise, but I will have to take some artistic license due to lack of reference images. As to the gameplay, due to the request of realistic physics, does the Havoc engine sound reasonable? I was originally thinking of using the Quake 3 engine, as there already exists an easy-to-use map editor that can be used on apple computers. Can the Quake 3 engine support realistic physics? If not, resorting back to Havoc, I believe collisions like in the original game would be possible, all you have to do is turn of different axis of movement, and turn off friction.

This post has been edited by Daedalus969 : 07 September 2008 - 02:00 AM

@daedalus969, on Sep 5 2008, 06:58 AM, said in Avara 2:

Indeed, rigging has actually turned out to be harder than I thought: I got the basic skeleton down, and all the pieces parented in the correct ways, but giving it a full body IK is a different story. Texturing I now see, will be much easier than rigging.

No, it's not even that, I'm referring to the programming. Many people have started trying to program Avara 2 projects over the years but gotten bogged down with the sheer complexity.

@daedalus969, on Sep 6 2008, 03:58 AM, said in Avara 2:

Before I continue, I would like to say, Storm, it is good to hear from you again. In case you don't remember me, I may have gone by Daedalus or Raptor, I can't remember the nickname I used, but if it helps, I was Groove's/Katana's brother.

Onto the work in progress game, to strictly speak, I plan on changing the asthetics, not the gameplay, however, I will not go overboard graphics wise, but I will have to take some artistic license due to lack of reference images. As to the gameplay, due to the request of realistic physics, does the Havoc engine sound reasonable? I was originally thinking of using the Quake 3 engine, as there already exists an easy-to-use map editor that can be used on apple computers. Can the Quake 3 engine support realistic physics? If not, resorting back to Havoc, I believe collisions like in the original game would be possible, all you have to do is turn of different axis of movement, and turn off friction.

Quake 3 has a reasonably good physics engine. It has well-documented and well-supported methods of mapmaking and adding player graphics (the Hector in different colours). sidestepping could be disabled easily enough, and camera control could be decoupled from movement (which I'm working on for Dawn of Infinity). It would be possible to make jumping inertia-d (if it isn't already, I don't quite remember), and make it so you jump higher for holding down the jump key longer. If you can get the quake 3 engine to compile on your own computer, I'd love to work with you on a combined Avara 2/EV4 project (to separate engines, but we would share useful code mods, such as camera/player velocity direction decoupling). I don't know about havoc, I've never looked into it.
Quake 3 has decently realistic physics (it has vector addition/subtraction/etc functions, it stores player movement as a vector with speed and direction, I'm not too sure how acceleration works, friction is calculated in movement and the coefficient of friction can be varied somewhat, and gun/rocket blasts do knock you and the enemy backwards, and I believe you can't adjust your movement mid-jump, but correct me if I'm wrong).

If you don't know about Dawn of Infinity, it will be an EV-like multiplayer game based on the quake 3 engine (openarena.ws version 0.8 for the codebase I'm using, but if you can get the unmodded ioquake3 to work for you I'll switch to that). Right now its in a state of temporary haitus because I can't get the quake 3 engine to compile on any of the computers I own, which is a rather large roadblock.

Currently, the DoI team includes me, Captain Bob (not consul bob), Mock Turtle, and I believe someone else, not quite sure who. Although Captain Bob isn't much of a coder like I am, he's a great graphics guy.

@lnsu, on Sep 11 2008, 07:40 PM, said in Avara 2:

Quake 3 has a reasonably good physics engine. It has well-documented and well-supported methods of mapmaking and adding player graphics (the Hector in different colours). sidestepping could be disabled easily enough, and camera control could be decoupled from movement (which I'm working on for Dawn of Infinity). It would be possible to make jumping inertia-d (if it isn't already, I don't quite remember), and make it so you jump higher for holding down the jump key longer. If you can get the quake 3 engine to compile on your own computer, I'd love to work with you on a combined Avara 2/EV4 project (to separate engines, but we would share useful code mods, such as camera/player velocity direction decoupling). I don't know about havoc, I've never looked into it.
Quake 3 has decently realistic physics (it has vector addition/subtraction/etc functions, it stores player movement as a vector with speed and direction, I'm not too sure how acceleration works, friction is calculated in movement and the coefficient of friction can be varied somewhat, and gun/rocket blasts do knock you and the enemy backwards, and I believe you can't adjust your movement mid-jump, but correct me if I'm wrong).

If you don't know about Dawn of Infinity, it will be an EV-like multiplayer game based on the quake 3 engine (openarena.ws version 0.8 for the codebase I'm using, but if you can get the unmodded ioquake3 to work for you I'll switch to that). Right now its in a state of temporary haitus because I can't get the quake 3 engine to compile on any of the computers I own, which is a rather large roadblock.

Currently, the DoI team includes me, Captain Bob (not consul bob), Mock Turtle, and I believe someone else, not quite sure who. Although Captain Bob isn't much of a coder like I am, he's a great graphics guy.

The reason I was concerned about Havoc is because it is a physics engine I expereienced when I played Half Life 2, and well, I liked it. But as to it, I was thinking about it because someone mentioned realistic physics in terms with how movable objects acted in the original Avara, such as when one shot a cube, and it traveled across the landscape. Or the ice cubes in ice box. I don't know if quake 3 supports modifiable terrain, such as kicking a box out of your way.

As to your offer, I shall stay neutral until my above question is answered, as with how you feel about physics in regard to gameplay(movable cube or no?), until that time, thank you for your offer.

This post has been edited by Daedalus969 : 12 September 2008 - 07:00 AM

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