BA model replacements - Page 25

BA model replacements

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Mr. Bob
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Mr. Bob »

This is a good time to let you guys know whats happening on our side of things.

Well I cant speak for whoever is currently maintaining the game, but as for the models being modeled and uvwrapped, I'd say summer or late spring. (For all 350+) Our original estimations of 3 to 4 months was obviously wildly off. Then again, a good chunk of this time was taken out with personal issues. (Holidays, Pyra's Korean compulsory training, and ofc a huge chunk taken out when I had to deal with various family issues in Texas. Texas being a solid 4 or 5 weeks of collective chaos.)

I'm fairly certain that the units will go far faster than the buildings, and that arm will go even faster because there shouldn't be any random instances of family matters warranting my immediate departure to Texas or anything any time soon. Also, we sort of learned what to do and more importantly what not to do with these buildings. We should be more organized and ready to crank them out even faster with these next 3/4ths of the models. Also, a large part of the collective time usage was due to us trying to figure out exactly what needs to be in the texture. Again, we learned from core so arm should be much faster.

Also, this is probably a good time to announce that Pyra will in fact not be going to the army after all. Turns out his country values his education more than his manpower. :3 So he is back on board and making the arm atlas texture as we speak. (Hurrah!)

On another note, I apologize for not distributing the collective work that needs to be done to the talented people here. It unfortunately, is crucial for us to make a basis for ourselves first before we can branch out like that. As we have stated before, mixing art styles is heresy in our books. But, being as this first batch is coming to completion, I'd like to say that I would be more than happy to distribute the UVWrapping duties (for the units) to anyone who would like to contribute. Just contact me if you want to help in that regard. Unfortunately, for the sake of keeping the art style consistent, I will be making all the meshes still.

Likewise, for arm we will model the first half and uvwrap them ourselves first, then we will open up to anyone who wants to help uvwrap for the second half. And as we learned the hard way, uvwrapping is something that cant really be rushed when you have 80 buildings.

All in all, I apologize for the massive delays and the lack of communications about what exactly is going on. We should be able to organize ourselves and get the rest done more efficiently this time around.

The support and instant critique we have been getting so far is EXTREMELY helpful. Thanks.

And on the note of these buildings, they are all completely uvwrapped! (Hurray!) Now all that's left is animation notes (a text file with specifics about how things work on the models) and some other random finishing touches. Oh...and the mega render. As promised. :D
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Masure »

Very good news !
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by GBscientist »

MidKnight wrote:I think it's probably best that Bob goes on with his own agenda. He's done phenomenally so far. Who're we to tell him to change his plans?
It just seems a shame to me to discard the awesome work that Mr.D and Beherith already did.
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Hobo Joe
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Hobo Joe »

Thanks for the update. :mrgreen:

All sounds great, your work so far has been awesome. Also I agree that if you're willing to do so, you should definitely model everything, even if other people have already done some. Mr. D and Cremuss have both done fantastic work but like you said, if you mix two art styles, even if they're both good, it can end up looking really bad.

Good luck and keep it up!
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Mr. Bob
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Mr. Bob »

Gah, I need to take one final trip to Texas. Sorry. Luckily it will only take around 2 to 3 days. The family member in question finally passed away.
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Floris »

Ive got an idea, how about implementing a optional low-poly setting for units, so that the current playerbase can still play the new BA well enough?

Like stripping the additional details of the most spammed units, I think this could help a lot for some systems.

But maybe its tooo much work anyway. dunno, just throwing it out here.

-- my condoleances
Last edited by Floris on 03 Mar 2011, 11:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Pxtl »

Floris wrote:Ive got an idea, how about implementing a optional low-poly setting for units, so that the current playerbase can still play the new BA well enough?

Like stripping the additional details of the most spammed units, I think this could help a lot for some systems.

But maybe its tooo much work anyway. dunno, just throwing it out here.
Honestly, most tests have shown that Spring is generally CPU-bound, and even when we take a hard look at graphics the unit polycounts are negligible in cost compared to the landscape, shadows, effects, etc.

LOD isn't really a worthwhile expendeture.

Didn't somebody run a test on modest hardware with some weird tumbleweed-looking objects before and found that the massive polycounts had no real effect?
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Neddie »

Not to mention Saktoth's demonstration with that imported female model.
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by KaiserJ »

bob im sorry for your loss :<
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by MidKnight »

You don't have to be sorry to us, bob.
My condolences. :(
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Aether_0001 »

Yeah, I'm very sorry for your loss, Mr. Bob. Don't sweat it, I'm sure everything will be fine for you.
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by liamdawe »

Sorry to hear it dude, take all the time you need!
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by P1h3r1e3d13 »


Long-time OTA-er, newbie BA-er here. Just read through this whole thread and had to register because I simply must chime in.

I'm sorry to hear about your loss, Bob. I hope your time with family was healing. And Pyra, I'm glad to hear you can stay in school!

Firstly, major kudos to all involved here. These models look AMAZING. You have real talent and I'm thrilled that you're applying it to what I consider the biggest remaining problem in my beloved game. I can't wait to play it with your improvements.

I'm tremendously grateful for all the work you've put in and for the value you've put on community input. I would hate to do anything to discourage you, but you say verbose criticism is helpful, so I'll throw in my $.02:

You've taken the style a little further from OTA than I would have, but that's just me. More importantly, you've done a stellar job of a consistent theme between the pieces. For that reason, I fully support your art-direction-exclusivity policy.

However, I think you've erred a little on the monotonous side of consistency. Compare, for example, the following: Underwater Fusion, U. Energy Storage, U. Moho Metal Maker (ÔÇ£ConverterÔÇØ), t2 Solar, and Targeting Facility. Perhaps I'm just underestimating the power of the textures, but those meshes look very similar and I can imagine not being able to tell the difference at a glance.
I still agree with Wombat that a little less symmetry would help with interestingness and distinguishability.

I'd like to point out a concept aimed at making the functions of units and their components easily discernable: design features characteristic to functions. Some examples: Lasers always have thin barrels, usually with a taper and some kind of blob on the end. Solar always has a blue grid. Rockets and small missiles always come from a tube. Energy-related stuff has glowing yellow panels. Radar tends to have a disc (Core), panel (Arm), or fork (jamming) that spins or looks like it can.
These sound obvious, but it seems to me that some are a little diluted in your models (vs. OTA), so I wanted to make sure you're considering this. That is, the concept of having distinguishing features for these and other functions, not necessarily keeping the same set of features.
In particular, aircraft plants should all have control towers, like airports do, in my opinion. It seems you've conflated that with radar dishes, which may not effectively convey their aircraftiness and instead may give the idea that they are radar buildings.

As regards Core vs. Arm design, I'm not sure where people got the ÔÇ£Core is square, Arm is roundÔÇØ idea; I always thought of Core as being rounder (ÔÇ£bulgyÔÇØ is the word I'd use) and and Arm as sharper, edgier, constructed of more, smaller, geometric shapes. (Compare the OTA commanders or Bertha vs. Intimidator for perfect examples.) I think your theme of boxy, radial things jutting-out-from / clamped-onto circumferential things does really well for Core as an evolution of ÔÇ£bulgy.ÔÇØ I hope your Arm concept relates similarly to OTA's sharper, smaller-detail theme.
That said, you have earned my trust a hundred times over as far as art direction goes, so don't let me stifle your creativity.

I know the proportioning is going to be massaged later, but please, please match OTA/BA footprints and heights as best you can. The aforementioned concerns about balance are very important and I don't think they've been stressed enough.

My biggest gripe about BA models is that they're really hard to identify and distinguish in the menus. I think this is due to: 1. me being very familiar with OTA menus; 2. general distinguishability-at-a-distance issues (discussed sufficiently above); and 3. the screen caps, which seem to have simply been taken in inconsistent conditions, at inconsistent and generally crappy angles and distances.
I'm sure this is a long way out, but when it comes time to make menu icons, can they be done from snazzy renders instead of fuzzy screen caps or at least at consistent angles, lighting, etc.? This would significantly improve my gameplay by saving me several seconds every time I try to build something.

I also had a couple smallish critiques about individual designs as I was reading the thread. I'll skim back through and pull out anything I think can be constructive.

tl;dr: Awesome job! My gripes are minor and I'll try to contribute. Keep up the good work!
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by luckywaldo7 »

P1h3r1e3d13 wrote: As regards Core vs. Arm design, I'm not sure where people got the ÔÇ£Core is square, Arm is roundÔÇØ idea; I always thought of Core as being rounder (ÔÇ£bulgyÔÇØ is the word I'd use) and and Arm as sharper, edgier, constructed of more, smaller, geometric shapes.
I think you are completely right about OTA design; I think people might be getting confused with the original CA redesign. Looks like Bob already has his own design in mind though, I am intrigued to see what he has planned for arm :).
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by gonpost »

I must agree with a lot of P1h3r1e3d13's points, especially about distinguishing between the models. I've thought that for a while, but I guess I was hoping that the textures would make them very unique...I suppose that could still be the case, but I'd like to emphasize the point that you should definitely be able to tell the difference between things at a glance.
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Mr. Bob
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Mr. Bob »

Turns out they have laptops in Texas. I guess they were imported from the civilized world. :3 Anyway, I'll be back on Monday.


First off, thank you very much for taking the time to throw your ideas in! I seriously do love it when you guys chime in like this. It helps shape how the model art direction turns out.

Anyway, as far as distinguishably between buildings is concerned, there are a couple of defenses against the dreaded supreme commander look that I may or may not have hit. (I dunno, you guys can tell me.)

The first and most important distinguishing factor is the ques that tell the player what the building is used for. Thing like solar panels on solar buildings, guns on turrets, 4 corner crates for metal storage, yellow lights for energy related buildings. Etc. The problem now is that there are obviously multiple of each of these ques. (Multiple solar buildings, multiple turrets, etc) The next line of defense is general shape and size. For instance the bigger the model and the more detail, it generally means it is the more advanced version of sed building. The exception to this would be a building like the advanced solar. Which is why I added the yellow glow. Then ofc, is the fact that each building has a different shape anyway, so the player should be able to subconsciously distinguish between buildings after a few playthroughs. So, if I'm not hitting these, please tell me and I can change something. Just thought I'd point out what to look for. Keep in mind, there are 80 buildings. I think some similarity between buildings in inevitable.

As far as making them all less symmetrical, I agree that it looks a lot nicer, but a lot of the buildings are buildings that you would spam, (aka solar farms) or don't really matter what direction you put them in. What you should be thinking in your mind is, "would these buildings look good when grouped into a base?". Symmetry can sometimes mess this up. I am trying to make a point of making the factories less symmetrical because that will emphasize the fact that they are infact, factories. Anyway, if you want more changed please tell me, I just thought I'd sort of explain myself here real quick.

And on the note of arm art style vs core art style, we uh...have some plans for that. Plans that the hardcore ultra conservative BA/OTA players may not be too terribly happy with. I'll explain more of where we are going when we get closer to starting arm. Just know that arm will look very different from core. Keep in mind that making the game look prettier to existing long time players is sort of secondary to the overall goal which is to gain new players. As important as making the game look nice for you guys is (which is very important), the basic goal of this whole project is to increase the player base exponentially. (Making it presentable on the surface.)



Oh also guys, you should know that once the remodeling is done, there will be an incredibly CRUCIAL and sensitive time period in between then and the release. If we don't nail that time period, this entire project will be for nothing. What absolutely MUST happen, (and I mean MUST) is there should be atleast a month or two of closed testing between existing members here, and in that time things can be fixed, and also during this time I will get a decent cinematic trailer up and advertised everywhere. The other half of this time period will be getting a COMPLETELY INDEPENDENT site up EXCLUSIVELY for BA. Also another important part of the advertisement is the name change. Balanced Annihilation is not advertisement material to be completely honest. We will need some BA specific maps to be released along with the game. Not before. To anyone. Lastly, another slightly more difficult but not quite as crucial part would be to make an independent casual lobby just for our renamed BA game.

This time period will likely be very busy, and will require the collective help of all of the community here. If we get it right, we should see a MASSIVE explosion of a player base that should sustain itself with the obvious help of the game itself. So, anyone willing to help with any of these things, you better start now. At some point we need to decide on a new name, we need to get someone working on the new site, and we need lots of people willing to test. It would be great if we could be ready for all of this to happen BEFORE this time period starts. Its the make or break phase of game development. In other words, organic growth for video games does not work in the early stages. Organic growth is completely community based. Luckily, the game is completely moddable with custom maps etc. That's where organic growth comes into play. But, you MUST have a an explosive beginning period. Otherwise, there is no community to organically grow more off of. That's why spring is somewhat unpopular.

So, just be ready. Everyone is going to need to pitch in for this to work. I can not stress enough how crucial this time period will be. I know I repeat myself, but seriously. This is the biggest part of what should happen if we want this to be a popular game.


I forgot to say that I know I really have no right to say that we should do any of this. But, I figure a lot of you already know we desperately need it anyway. D:


Oh and I also forgot to point out that we will need someone to provide sounds so we can be completely IP free. I can always call in a favor with random sound artists on other sites if no one can get any sounds made.


haha silly me. I also forgot to say that I can provide icons. IP freedom shouldn't be too difficult.


If you guys haven't figured it out yet, I like typing. :3
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Wombat »

sounds, dont remember who made them, someone else should know :D
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by gonpost »

First off I'm glad that you're thinking about the building distinguishable-ness. I have faith in you.

Bob I'd be happy to come out of hiding and help with testing when it becomes necessary. Just send me a message. I'm not a dev/programmer or anything so I can't help with that stuff. I'm just a player, though a very good one who wants to see his favorite game of all time succeed, so I'll be happy to help test. :)

I agree BA isn't a very good name to advertise, and there's no way in hell we can advertise the spring engine and BA separately. People want to play a game, not an engine...too much info confuses people. We'll let them discover all the things in spring once they're here. That being said, I think it'd be good if the name made it clear that the mod is TA inspired.

It'd also be nice to have all pathing related issues fixed before any major publicity stunt was attempted. Are they? Forgive my ignorance if they're gone or trivial by now, I haven't played in a while.

Oh and for map choices to include, we should have about 5-8 I would think. Spring map files are unfortunately large so we can't include too many. 2 1v1, 1 3v3, 2 4v4, 1 5v5, 1 8v8, 1 FFA or something similar.

One more thing. Don't let nay-sayers stall you. Consider their input, but continue going rather than stalling. I hate to see projects die a slow death because an agreement over a trivial issue was never reached.
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by Nixa »

Wombat wrote:

sounds, dont remember who made them, someone else should know :D
I've tried these before, reducing the sample rate to spring spec completely degrades them from memory as they're rather complex :(
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Re: BA model replacements

Post by SeanHeron »

Mr. Bob, I was really glad to read the "must read" section - cause after stumbling into this massive thread a week ago I'd been thinking of approaching you with a similiar proposal :D. I very much wish that this flies, and I do think I'll be able to help in some manner on the "wrapping" of the game.
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