Project Van Buren [Unity3D]

Discussion in 'General Fallout Discussion' started by Hardboiled Wanderer, Jul 10, 2018.

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  1. Beyondist

    Beyondist First time out of the vault

    2
    May 31, 2020
    Thanks for the quick reply.

    I completely understand the legalities, I've signed my own fair share of NDA's during game development. Generally I've always taken small team agreements more seriously.

    I'll get together some questions in a few days after I've got my rough draft of the game done so I know where my holes are. Any assistance would be lovely, but I understand your limits. Thanks for the offer, its very kind.

    Thanks again, have a wonderful rest of your weekend!
     
  2. Ugly Kid

    Ugly Kid minrcaft i play minercaft

    102
    May 9, 2018
    Hello will it "easy" to mod this game? Because I think that would be pretty epic.
     
  3. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    96
    Apr 24, 2016
    Majority of my work involves designing and programming extensions, or tools if you will, to create designer-friendly framework specifically for non-technical developers to provide them rapid and iterative way of creating content. In other words - if I decide to release these tools at some point, you'll be able to create your own content in this "engine inside engine". Of course you'll need to learn the workflows and spend some time with reading documentation and practicing before you'll be able to do that, but the option will be there.

    Anyway, shortly, there will be an announcement of some rather major changes I decided to make, I just need to write it in correct form.
     
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  4. Oracle

    Oracle Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    938
    May 19, 2003
    hoppe thes changes wont set you back in time a lot :) I truely hope this gets an release someday! A demo might be a nice idea
     
  5. Kar1ma7x

    Kar1ma7x First time out of the vault

    2
    May 3, 2020
    Dont mean to get too pushy, but could you give a progress report on the project?
    (as in how close to done it is in percent)
     
  6. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    96
    Apr 24, 2016
    Actually, they speed things up greatly. But anything regarding any demos and releases is a matter of distant future, please acknowledge that almost all "physical" work is still done all by myself. That's not supposed to be a complain or heroism, it's a plain fact and the reason why things take time. I change my mind a lot, trying different approaches and finding best solutions, which did set me back in time several times over. Although I know I have the luxury of time in my hands and every piece of work, even if later scrapped or changed, is a progress nonetheless.

    No more than 5%
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  7. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    96
    Apr 24, 2016
    Dear fans,

    It's been more than 2 and 1/2 years since I started with this project. From the very first environment design tries in technology I barely knew, through first serious software engineering, it's been a long jurney, and I'm pretty confident of an immodest statement that it all helped me to work my way into more-or-less seasoned developer, which inevitably changed the way I look at Project Van Buren.

    What started as a dream with no end in sights, with no real plan, and most importantly, no actual knowledge of the processes needed to accomplish any part of that dream, has become much more clearer, sharper over time. I've changed my mind regarding vast majority of aspects of the game so many times I can hardly count it. The naive dream of what I would like to see Van Buren end up being has been continuously shaped into more concrete, realistic image as my skills progressed and my judgement advanced.

    You've all seen the "nice" graphics I've been posting in 2019, you've all seen the mocap animations and fairly detailed character art. All that was the result of this insane and naive idea of creating a game that would match to triple AAA production. I kept believing in it until I started to be slapped by the "gamedev reality".

    Not everything I desired turned out to be possible to make for various reasons, some aspects just turned out to be not working well with others, and abandoning/changing some ideas inevitably required revision of other ideas, workflows and practices. Since no one ever taught me these things, I naturally had to go through this process of creating, realizing, solving and (hopefully) preventing my own mistakes, which set me back in time several times over.

    So - what exactly is my problem, you may ask. Well, it all started with the latest screenshot I've posted on Twitter. I started to notice some visual aspects of the game just didn't work together, namely extremely low-poly static geometry with much higher quality textures and materials just slapped over them. Once it caught my eye, I just couldn't unsee it anymore. With that, even greater doubt came to my mind - the more I worked on making things look "better" and more "modern", the more I was shifting from the original art style and tone/vibe that was meant for Van Buren. All that made me stop the work and start reconsidering some of my previous decisions. With that, another technical issue showed - I could already foresee that the fancy animation controller I've made and been so proud of will cause many troubles in the future, for it's based on motion captured animations that are not intended for an (pseudo)isometric game because they are not constrained to the grid - or to be more exact, it'd be virtually impossible to edit these animations to work with as dense grid as VB requires. Ok, it may not be impossible, but it would hurt the visual aspect of the animations so greatly (forced turns, stutters, keyframe jumps, etc) all the "niceness" of having mocap animations would be for nothing. The only solution I've been able to think of with my associate lead was to revert back to the original Van Buren animations forged from the tech demo - there is a full set of movements, they're all technically adjusted to the game's needs and most importantly - they are much easier to edit or even expand than mocap animations.

    This decision, of course, yielded yet another concern - would it be ok to leave "nicer" graphics with 2003's animations? Leaving the concern about shifting from the original Van Buren vibe completely aside, the answer is, in my opinion, still no, no matter how I would like to rationalize and justify otherwise.

    And thus, the decision has been made - we are reverting to the original Van Buren visuals and animations.

    I took 2 weeks off and reprogrammed some of our tools to support other tile types we haven't been using before (namely the "ground", or "landscape" tiles). I used the gift of this modern age of ours - AI algorithms - to enhance the original textures to look better on modern resolutions, and I decided to create normal maps for them as well to add a bit of a "depth". Then my team mates joined me and helped me with conversion of even more tiles and props. I took our reprogrammed in-house level editor tool to build this small map (built according to actual placement screenshot of one of the submaps of Maxson Bunker location - check the design document) to better demonstrate the results (still WIP):



    I understand this may leave some of you disappointed. But this is the only way I can continue working on this project, and it's the only way I have my full confidence in.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2020
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  8. Kar1ma7x

    Kar1ma7x First time out of the vault

    2
    May 3, 2020
    thanks
     
  9. Proletären

    Proletären A Smooth-Skin

    682
    Mar 15, 2012
    It sounds like a wise decision and most of us Fallout heads would be fine with or even prefer the original Van Buren graphics. Personally I think they look great.
     
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  10. ironmask

    ironmask Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    453
    Mar 10, 2018
    I like retro graphics anyways, I kinda prefer if you stay closer to Van Buran's original art style and design. That's a pretty good screenshot.
     
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  11. Oracle

    Oracle Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    938
    May 19, 2003
    works well for me too
     
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  12. Mr Fish

    Mr Fish Snug Rubber

    Sep 11, 2010
    I think stylized art works better for isometric cRPG's anyway. Realistic or high quality graphics just means detail upon detail and in an isometric perspective that detail is lost. Better to stylize it so it looks good and each thing distinctive from afar.
     
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  13. mef

    mef Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    492
    Dec 29, 2014
    i too prefer this retro-style graphics, a good decision
     
  14. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    96
    Apr 24, 2016
    AI-enhanced original textures and generated maps for modern material setup - comparison
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2020
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  15. ironmask

    ironmask Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    453
    Mar 10, 2018
    Doesn't look too bad. I think it looks pretty good.
     
  16. Oracle

    Oracle Water Chip? Been There, Done That

    938
    May 19, 2003
    yea! looks really nice. Then again, I don't really can much for eye candy to much. I hope you won't be stuck to long in the whole visual aspect, as I dont think its the biggest concern regarding a FO sequel.
     
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  17. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    96
    Apr 24, 2016
    I know what you have in mind but believe me, it's not that easy just not to care about the visuals. Game assets directly affect the way some of the other game systems operate so they need to be sorted out before doing anything else. For instance - Van Buren used tiles for environments. Formerly, due to detail requirements, tile meshes used different material/submesh division then they use now, and this change requires fundamental changes in physics, pathfinding system and lightmapper settings. It's not just "swap the textures and you're good to go". If it only was that easy...

    As a matter of fact, I can't agree with this - Fallout always had very specific aesthetics, which regard mainly the visuals, and that cannot be ignored or pushed out of the concern.
     
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  18. Joshikumako

    Joshikumako First time out of the vault

    4
    Jun 9, 2020
    I am refreshing your twitter daily, I am extremely looking forward to seeing where this goes, have you thought about doing developer blogs? I'm dying for more on this project, even created an account just to send this... As for reverting the graphics... just concentrate on making the game-play good and I am sure someone is going to be making mods for this. The OG van buren graphics are fine, its either that or we see another Van Buren project die... I for one would rather take anything at this point, but they do not look bad at all and add to the original gritty vibe... you can always edit textures to make them even more darker and gritty if need be. good luck into the future dude!
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2020
  19. Hardboiled Wanderer

    Hardboiled Wanderer I'm just here for the guzzoline...

    96
    Apr 24, 2016
    Thank you. Unfortunately, I'm not able to write dev blogs, for one I don't have a time for it and for two there are times there's no progress or the progress is not presentable in any way.

    I'm taking a couple of weeks break as I need to deal with personal and work matters.
     
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  20. PsychoSniper

    PsychoSniper So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Jun 27, 2003

    Not gona lie, the thought of playing van buren gives me a half chub.