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Josh

What's the biggest development challenge you face?

  

90 members have voted

  1. 1. What's the biggest development challenge you face?

    • Obtaining good quality art assets
      37
    • Writing game code
      53


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I feel extremely gimped having very little artistic talent. I do think one of the coolest things about indie development is all the hats, you have to wear.

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When I first started with le 1 a few years ago I new ziltch about anything exept a little programming but I got stuck into the art side of things and am now a reaonable designer of static art objects, exept for characters which I purchase. You may not be a natural born artist but with determination you CAN learn to be pretty good.

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I agree I think with a lot of hard work, you can pretty much be strong in anything you want. I will never be the best in the art department, of course the games I plan to make will never require that, so I think I should be OK.

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I'm a hobbyist, but an experienced coder. I would admittedly struggle with coding complex motions/physics if I didn't leave that up to some LIBs, but I think 3D assets and textures are the biggest stumbling block for me, because I'm not in the position buy them.

 

I don't like auto-completion for the sake of having it, or for simple fundamental language syntax issues. To me, its almost indispensable when you have a new library and haven't mastered the details of the available classes-methods or functions. Sure, you can look up this info, but its much faster when you can get hints directly in the editor you're coding in.

 

I find that syntax highlighting makes code easier to read.

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I just started to learn programming, coding by myself... And I feel i'm walking in thick fog... Making 3D assets is kind of ease for me and realy enjoy it. I work as a 3D mechanical designer for a living and making 3D assets in Blender is something I realy enjoy. But when I want to make my assets do what I want... I paralyse and just stare at my screen. The thing I thinck is lacking is tutorials for learning specific stuff. When I compare to Blender (I know, the Blender community is big), when you need to know something in Blender... it's no struggle to find your answer. But I know that every thing is going to fall in place one time or another, i'm keeping faith biggrin.png.

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There is definitely a learning curve if you haven't programmed before. That can't be helped. But as you said, there is documentation out there to help you and also existing scripts which you can learn from and also reuse yourself.

 

I'm more on the opposite end - I can code "ok" in C / C++ but I'm not much of a modeler. I'll have to pay a lot of money once I'm ready to incorporate non-placeholder models into my project.

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I just started to learn programming, coding by myself... And I feel i'm walking in thick fog... Making 3D assets is kind of ease for me and realy enjoy it. I work as a 3D mechanical designer for a living and making 3D assets in Blender is something I realy enjoy. But when I want to make my assets do what I want... I paralyse and just stare at my screen. The thing I thinck is lacking is tutorials for learning specific stuff. When I compare to Blender (I know, the Blender community is big), when you need to know something... it's no struggle to find your answer. But I know that every thing is going to fall in place one time or another, i'm keeping faith biggrin.png.

 

I do offer 1 on 1 Lua and Lua for LE training if you are interested. $10 for 1 hour sessions. I've been with LE since version 1.x. I'm a professional programmer and have been for 13 years. I'm a friendly person who has patience and enjoy teaching. I have 1 student who has been doing 1-2 sessions a week for months while I help him make a chess game. Just send me an PM if you are interested.

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get the made 3d models correct in the game engine cost a lot of time and its a big challenge for me.

example: the texture/color is missing, the texture coords or scale or offset are wrong, the modell converted ugly, the model have wrong scale, wrong axes,mesh out of center, the normals or wrong, the modell did not update in scene or treeview, search and copy texture files in filesystem and so on.

there is space for optimization. i waste a lot of time with stupid export parameters and workarounds.

i prefer a (WYSIWYG) 3d modeller from leadwerks engine.

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Ive seen lua script builders elsewhere and something like that would be epic for the engine and would help sales skyrocket.

Its basically a set of blocks you put together to create functions or actions. A user created one for FPSCR and it worked great. Since exploring Leadwerks, I havnt been back to see any of the progress of it.

 

None the less, something like that would be a great addition or even as a secondary purchase.

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Aversion to adding complexity and progressing with the game, when you are not sure why things break.

 

My first two games have been using LUA, but when things go wrong, I tend to get bogged down trying to understand why.

 

In LOSW for instance, I had to limit the number of Crawlers and Zombies and number of Levels, as it would crash, mainly when loading a new level, where I had over 120 characters loaded in total, during previous levels.

 

So to debug, I created a simple large box, a camera, pulled it back to view the scene, and added crawlers and zombies, No FPS player. I set up the return key to load the next level. Basically the world cleared, and map reloaded. Depending on how many characters had been put into the scene, would cause the same crash after 120.

 

So I thought must be a leak somewhere, so I added a bit of logic to the dead status, that lowers the entity into the ground and then, sets its target to nil, and releases it, and it disappears.

 

This didn't fix the limit of 120.

 

The problem now is I end up going down all sorts of blind alleys, like creating a map with just Root, and testing lines of code with the collectgarbage("count"), what I need is a method of clearing a level, all of its memory and structures, and being able to load the next level. I could live with 120 within a level but its a bit restrictive across multiple levels.

 

I've even tried a "collect" after loading the empty map between levels, made no difference.

 

So now I am wondering how do I live with these limitations, do I have to write some game status out to a file, end the program, and reload the program from a .bat file, which reads in the status and creates a new level, to continue.

 

Is there some tidying up code that needs to clean up all the assets loaded in a Map.

 

Is there an array/buffer/stack overflow causing the crash, should it be possible to unload a map collect garbage and load another level, without causing the crash after 120 characters have been loaded?

 

Has anyone else found a cure?

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Out of the two options I would say art is harder for me to obtain.

 

In general I would say that the performance and memory management of the editor are my biggest issues. It's possible I'm doing something wrong somewhere though.

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I agree with Haydenmango. I usually have to design around performance management (I don't really have the memory problem, just more of the performance problem), and that takes a lot of time. Of course, part of it's me, but no doubt Leadwerks could improve certain areas of performance.

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Hard poll to choose between. In reality its neither and both or more accurately specific aspects of each which slow me down.

 

I have vastly more coding than art experience so my initial impulse is to say the art but I am slowly building up my library there too, some bought in, some revamped old stuff (modern tools are great!). The models I'm not so worried about, the textures and most of the graphics I'm fine with. The hardest area in art for me is the sound assets.

 

With the coding side I can easily get functionality to maybe 90% of what I want without any problems. Its the last 10% where I'm wrestling with, how the game engine works versus what I need to achieve. That last 10% is probably 90% of my time spent coding. So getting working code, no problem, having it good enough to publish, big problem.

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Is there an array/buffer/stack overflow causing the crash, should it be possible to unload a map collect garbage and load another level, without causing the crash after 120 characters have been loaded?

120 characters each as an entity with a script is heavy, there are special games like Dynasty Warriors but they use an engine made for that purpose and their own specifc framework. On games like Far cry or Crysis games you don't have 120 characters at same time, and they use many optimisations also :

- LOD on character and level models

- LOD to switch to less expensive materials shader when characters are not near

- Lights activation/desactivation based on distance

- Character animation not played when it is not in the angle of view of the player or when not in the same sector area

etc ...

 

You could try perhaps to simply manage an array of pivots at game start, each pivot could have properties like the type of ennemy , when the player is coming near some pivot , the pivot spawns a character , if the player goes far away the pivot just destroy the character it spawned. perhaps this could allow to have more than 120 characters while having some 10 active at same time only with a clever level design.

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Thanks YouGrove,

 

I am taking things right back to basics. I created a platform as a map and added 10 zombie type 1 to it.

 

I gave the all different colours and names to match. No longer prefabs.

 

I used the idle cry timer to kill off the zombies using setmode("dying"), one by one, and released them when they died. When last zombie dies, many bits of the entities report themselves as deleting in the log, I then press 1 and the level is reloaded by setting changemapname to "ten". The remaining elements of the scene then report as deleting, ie the platfrom mat tex and 2 shaders.

 

If i force a map reload before the last zombie dies, the world.clear takes over and the same number of lines are reported in the log but in a different sequence, starting with the monsterai.lua.

 

I also call AnimationManager:ClearAnimations() just before releasing the dead entity. And I divided the radius by 300 in GetEntityNeighbors to minimise the size of the table.

 

So now I can reload a map with 10 zombies about 48 times before it crashes. My only clue is that the next entry I would expect to be written into the log is

 

Loading shader "C:/Users/pro1/Documents/Leadwerks/Projects/MaxCharactersTest/Shaders/Lighting/ambientlight.shader"...

 

I've run it in debug mode and video memory usage starts at 23mb after the first level is cleared, 17mb and just before it crashes 25mb and 19mb when the 48th level is cleared.

 

Using the same code but with a level with 30 prefab zombies, still causes the crash after the 4th level. And the next expected line in the log is the same as above, ambientlight.shader, is also missing. Also worth of note is the entity entries are not showing as deleting in the output log.

 

I tried reducing the number of prefabs from 30 to 20 to 15 to 9 and the entity deleting line never show in the log. So I named each prefab entity, and the entity deleting lines reappear.

 

I saved one of the zombies as a prefab, tried again, and the entity deleting lines are still appearing. But if I then create a new zombie from the saved prefab, I get the same results as when I used the prefab from AddOns.

 

So maybe not using prefabs is the answer.

 

No, I can have 30 non prefabs and the deleting entries for zombies appear in the log, but alas they still crash after 4 reloads. The animation does however does look smoother with non prefabs, don't know why.

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If you setup a small project that shows how to reproduce this you can post it in a bug report and instructions and Josh can check it out and possibly fix anything on his end that he sees. He will run your project through the engine in debug mode and can see exactly what line in the engine it's crashing at and determine what's going on.

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I've run it in debug mode and video memory usage starts at 23mb after the first level is cleared, 17mb and just before it crashes 25mb and 19mb when the 48th level is cleared.

 

Using the same code but with a level with 30 prefab zombies, still causes the crash after the 4th level. And the next expected line in the log is the same as above, ambientlight.shader, is also missing. Also worth of note is the entity entries are not showing as deleting in the output log.

 

It seems perhasp some clearing memory problem or something remaining in memory somewhere ?

Thanks for your test, this is very valuable informations , that can help fixing and improving LE3 cool.png

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While art assets are always nice to have, I'm assuming this poll is trying to judge where Leadwerks devs should focus more attention. The DLC, such as the FPS and Zombie packs, are nice, but anyone using them is going to have a game that looks like everyone else's using those packs.

 

For me, having ready-to-use code is much more valuable. I find that having scripts for things like doors, the visual flowgraph, and built-in navmesh pathfinding are what sets Leadwerks apart. Having out-of-the-box functionality with no or very little programming is why people would choose Leadwerks over other engines. Seeing things like the vehicle prototype is a lot more exciting to me than a new art pack. I find the Steam Workshop to be a better asset for art. Facilitating other people creating props and textures is a great thing.

 

I think that the devs' focus should be on creating an easy to use engine with lots of functionality that non-programmers can utilize. Let other people create the art.

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While art assets are always nice to have, I'm assuming this poll is trying to judge where Leadwerks devs should focus more attention. The DLC, such as the FPS and Zombie packs, are nice, but anyone using them is going to have a game that looks like everyone else's using those packs.

 

For me, having ready-to-use code is much more valuable. I find that having scripts for things like doors, the visual flowgraph, and built-in navmesh pathfinding are what sets Leadwerks apart. Having out-of-the-box functionality with no or very little programming is why people would choose Leadwerks over other engines. Seeing things like the vehicle prototype is a lot more exciting to me than a new art pack. I find the Steam Workshop to be a better asset for art. Facilitating other people creating props and textures is a great thing.

 

I think that the devs' focus should be on creating an easy to use engine with lots of functionality that non-programmers can utilize. Let other people create the art.

 

I would be willing to make art for people. I have the spare time and can put the effort in to do so. Just need code to make the characters move around and such :)

 

EDIT: Also - Just a heads up I am not the best at making characters. Just saying...

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@HeadClot88

 

If you get around to making characters, I can write code for you. I have a lot of game code that I can adapt to make it generic.

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@HeadClot88

 

If you get around to making characters, I can write code for you. I have a lot of game code that I can adapt to make it generic.

 

Sounds good and I am interested. Shoot me a PM and we can talk :)

 

I am re-installing my Operating System right now as well as tools (3DS Max, Photoshop, etc.)

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Hey maybe we can have some sort of partnership between modellers and progammers. Making team or association of 2 person. You Know... to help out each other, to learn.

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