Right on schedule, report №13 is on the air!

Hello everyone and right to the point.

Animations of NPC

The point is that these animations of NPC-guards (they are the guardians of a castle, city patrols, cops and punishers).

Battle animations of the guards look a bit like our character animations, but only from a distance. The main difference is the lack of timing limits in the animations of NPC. That’s why they are not only more ‘realistic’ but also more liberated.

The good news that the social animations don’t have any timings and we are going to go crazy.

Some examples.

This is guards fighting stance:

Here how he walks around:


Well, here he salutes important guests: 

[By the way, ...]

The guards in ROG will be represented by humans instead of fantasy creatures. The main reason is the usage of the same controller of movement for the guards and characters. To avoid the moments when a guard can’t catch up a target because it climbed the stairs or came to a doorway.

There will be three types of guards with battle specification:

  1. warrior with a two-handed sword;
  2. warrior with one-handed sword and shield;
  3. crossbowman.

They can get the nicknames: ‘berserk’, ‘infantry’, and ‘crossbowman’.

Every type can get one or another character. The model of fighting depends on the character. Berserk will often be an aggressor, infantry - neutral, crossbowman - sneaky, as always)

However, it will be funny to meet an aggressive crossbowman that gets angry, throws his crossbow, take his short sword and goes into a battle))

As for the types of the guards and its role in society - we’ll leave it for the next time.

The following question: what do you think if there will be no human mobs? I.e. we don’t want to fill the world with human mobs and leave them as the mercenary for players (hired to guard a city or castle etc.)


II Optimization

This time we will tell about one more way to optimize. We use it while preparing the world to pre-alpha.

The merge of a few 3D objects to the one global (geometry).

This way in its professional form was presented by EpicGames after acquisition Simplygon company. In addition to it this addition presenter UE4 for the players and built-in function of automatic creation of LOD’s. We’ve already mentioned that earlier these licenses cost a lot of money. And only a few studios could afford it.

Both this products on fact save a lot of time of programmers and 3D modellers (they shouldn’t create few LOD’s for every model).

Now about Merge. The main advantages:

  1. simplification of geometry on the junctions of merging objects;
  2. reduction of drawcall tasks that’s connected with GPU and CPU;
  3. automatic creation and setting of LOD’s for the merging objects;
  4. perfectly suitable for the optimization of small objects that get into the frame entirely.

Examples of usage.

Look at the more complicated example, where this function should be used wisely according to the project feature.

Merge Off. The sheer cliff is covered with the separate 3D objects of 3 types. Meshes are repeated but every of it creates the task for drawcall. BUT! We get a few triangle because the remoted meshes use their last LOD (zero about 13k, last about 0,6 triangles).

Merge On (primitive way).

Now we take and merge into one mesh the whole sheer cliff (it’s more than 100 m). The amount of tasks is lower but we lost such function as LOD and now the whole cliff is LOD_0. Because we are located next to one of its edges. It leads to catastrophic increase of triangles (almost twice). Even GTX1066 has the result with FPS.

Merge On (normal way)

So, the problem is that for the extended objects Merge does a disservice. We have an easy answer - to merge not into one huge mesh but cut it vertically into the 6-10 parts. We do it to make LOD’s work.

So, what do we get: amount of drawcalls is lower, of triangles is higher, but more FPS.

‘Why are you happy about 5% of FPS?!’ - a reader unwittingly asked.

The answer is simple:

  1. a frame is overloaded by stones from below and it still exists as separate meshes, effect can be stronger in the clear scene;
  2. last mesh isn’t configured entirely, because we still can compact the distance for LOD’s;
  3. everyone will be able to configure the distance; someone will turn off LOD_0; someone will make the client to display higher LOD’s. The main thing is to minimize the drawcalls.

III 3D models

Few 3D models from absolutely different areas: here’s alchemical oven, and walls decor and even the entry into the Atlants’ cave.

IV Conclusion

We haven’t shown a new UI, so the next frame is a tablet to control not only a castle but also a county and a kingdom. It’s large-scale enough and the next report will be dedicated to it almost entirely.

As for the around-development:

  1. We’ve forgotten to tell that the new rules and the privacy policy are ready and will be extended to the site and the forum of the project. That's why we ask all new members to accept it.
  2. Server hardware is still to gather. After it we will move the game BD, site+forum, SMTP;
  3. New site is making up;
  4. We are going to launch the presales and we will tell about its importance and why we do it before the open Alpha in the separate report [Vatslav Verzhbitskiy].

That’s all, take care and have a nice weekend!

It’s Friday evening - ROGgoms up, friends!

Yours sincerely,

Reign of Guilds Team