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JEames
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Posted: 20 October 2003 at 11:43 | IP Logged Quote JEames

Well, Santi: you have the last word. I think you could adapt fast and easly some of your ready made games like transball to N-Gage. If buying the hardware is the problem I might buy one for my self, and to compete, if it has to be a company that should'nt be a problem either (for some reason I started the getput bussines).

Even if we don't make a prize, we might just atract some atention to get in futher projects. A 5k prize is good, but the name and projection might be the best about this compo. I'll check on Nokia to see what is all this about.



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Posted: 20 October 2003 at 11:57 | IP Logged Quote JEames

Well, it might not be that easy (from nokia web):

Our wish list:
- It has to be an original title, exclusive to the Nokia N-Gage game deck
- Maximize mobile gaming over GPRS and Bluetooth, with wicked social and interactive features
- Think more co-operative and constructive, less blowing stuff up
- Use the N-Gage Arena to its fullest. Players will be able to download and play against ghosts, upload clips and high scores, get cheats and
walkthroughs, share experiences, and meet friends.

By January 31st, 2004, send us:

1. A game demo based on the Symbian Series 60 platform and optimised for the Nokia N-Gage game deck
2. A document containing your concept, features, and other info
3. 6 screen shots

So this means networking capabilities... what about making trasnball network-able? -We are going to have to retrive those strange net-ideas about transball?



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Popolon
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Posted: 20 October 2003 at 13:19 | IP Logged Quote Popolon

I'm starting to get excited!!!!
But I've to say to myself "Santi, control yourself, you cannot spend much time now..."

However, we can talk about it, and if a good idea comes out. We can try it! 15K 10K and 5K are too big prices for being ignored. Even more, if the goal is to code a game! (something that I already do for hobby)

Let's see:
- To test the preview versions, I already have a symbian device (Nokia 7650), that should run all the symbian programs (may be N-Gage has a fater processor or a better graphic card, but to preview games, my phone should work).
- About making a networked transball: transball is a very adictive game, however, (as I've tested by myself) It's not the perfect game to play on a phone (maybe with the N-Gage new keyboard disposition it's easier), but I still think that it's not the perfect game to be played in a phone. However, I'd like to to make that networked version. And I's also like to make the mobile version of i. Howdver, I'd better not present it to the Nokia contest.
- I think that the best idea goes in the direction of MoG2. May be we cannot use the MoG name for copyright issues, but we can make a MoG-like game. As far as I know, there is no networked-platform game in the market. So MoG2 will be innovative in that direction. The idea of playing a platform game in a network with some friends, against the computer, or even making teams to play against each other is somehow exciting. The typical networked games (i.e. Enemy territory), are 3d shooters (not very suitable for portable devices). So networked-platform games can be the alternative to them. I'm imagining now, 2 groups of popolons firing arrows to each other! and doing a sword battle once they have runout of arrows!

What do you think?

I think that the first step to do is porting the MoG2 engine to a symbian to test the performance of it. I hope to be able to run the Nokia SDK once I buy my new laptop. Since it doesn't run well in my current laptop with Windows ME... (yes, I could intall XP or 2000 in my current laptop, but not before having the new one...)

January 31st is quite close... don't you think?
However, the engine is very close to completion (my current development version has already sound into it!)
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Posted: 20 October 2003 at 15:20 | IP Logged Quote JEames

Hey, I think it all sounds great, apart of the fact that you might have limited time to dedicate to this project. My first conclusions is that you need a new laptop strightaway. Have you had some time to take a look at those models we were talking about?

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Posted: 20 October 2003 at 15:29 | IP Logged Quote jpkokkon

Oh.. this post thread is starting to go way off its topic... but anyway..

January is close if you can't start focusing on the development right now. If it's gonna take a month or two until you can get into it, you're probably not gonna get anything good enough done by the deadline.

On the other hand, if you can start developing it right now and you have a lot of tech already done, you should have enough time to create the required demo (not the actual finished game).

One should remember though, that content probably requires at least as much time as the coding...

Drawing graphics takes a lot of time. Can't use MoG graphics - or even anything "drawn on top of them" in my opinion. Using graphics that are obviously just "improved" versions of original MoG graphics might be considered to break copyrights. I don't know how strictly copyright laws should be interpreted, but I would say that for example the alternative graphics set used in MoG remake could not be used directly in some commercial game - the graphics are too obviously based on original MoG graphics. Well, that's just my opinion, but others may feel like that too.

Creating maps and other content (need to design items, enemies, etc.) is another timetaking task. Poorly designed maps and gameplay might take away all the fun in the game, even if graphics and technology would be ok.

And yes, the idea for a networked MoG-like game is definately a good one. I must agree on that, cos I've been thinking about that one myself since -99, when I first decided to start designing a MoG-like multiplayer game. I still think that the idea was good, but somehow I buried the project almost immediately.. I guess I thought that doing something else would be more important, just don't remember what I was.

Possibly I buried the idea because the project seemed to be just simply too big to be a hobby-project. And back then the only platform I had in mind was PC (back in -99 there weren't too many programmable game mobile phones available . So, the project seemed like something that could not possibly pay off - the game would have been freeware material, it didn't seem like something that could make any money (or maybe just a little as shareware).

Some 6 months ago, after I got acquinted to these new Java-phones, it seemed like an interesting idea to re-start the project and make the game for mobile phones. So, I started looking into Java MIDP.. It didn't take very long for me to realize that there was just no way to do a proper MoG like game for current Java phones (except for the most expensive phone models). The current java phones are just so damn crappy.. No support for simultaneous keypresses, ridiculously small display, unbelievable limitations to the the whole game size (64K on cheap models). So, I buried the project again.

...Then came along n-gage. And once again the project seemed like something that just might pay off.. It seemed like the perfect game for n-gage. Well, of course I decided to take take a look if other games like that already existed and what did I find.. "MoG remake"!

I must say I was really stunned by the accuracy at which the remake resembled the original MoG. Of course, I immediately started thinking that this game should have multiplayer capabilities.. And very soon found out that Santi was already one step ahead of me with "MoG2".

Now, realizing that this kind of game was already "in production", it seemed kinda unwise to start making another game almost like it from the scratch (well, I already do have a little bit of crappy graphics made for the game, but anyway, that's just a small fraction of what it would need). So, I just thought about seeing what the situation with MoG2 was and whether the project might need any help. (And here I am, writing way too long posts to this forum )

Now... what's the lesson in that story? There really isn't one. Just decided to tell how I ended up here... However, one could make some assumptions based on that..

The first assumption being that since Santi is not the only one who has been thinking that a multiplayer MoG-like game might be great, he is probably right. One single person may very often be wrong, but if a lot of people, who don't even know each other, have come to the same conclusion, the result is more likely to be right. So, multiplayer MoG-like game is likely to be a good idea.

Another assumption that could be made.. Since MoG is one of the favourite games of all former MSX owners, there are probably others that have thought about making a MoG-like game too. (this is proven by the fact that I am one of these people ). And since there are no 2D-platformer games for n-gage, it may well be possible that others are also developing a MoG-like (or some other platformer-like) game for n-gage. So there may be fierce competition. Don't expect to be the only one that has thought of this idea. The others may even be companies that have several employees working on the project. They may be hard to win.

Of course it may also be possible that no skilled/funded game development companies are really interested in the competition. So the quality of the competition entries may be crap. In which case, 1st prize might not be so far away after all.

One more thing, winning the 1st/2nd/3rd prize probably takes at least a few months work of a couple of people - without enough effort put into the competition, there probably is no way to win - there's always someone else (= some company) that will put some effort into their entries. And the competition is not really about the prize money.. I think that the reason for nokia to have the competition is really to find new games and developers for the n-gage (which seems to lack them) - So , the real prize may be that the best entries have good chances of getting a publishing deal for the game from nokia. I'm just guessing here, but that's the way it seems to me.
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Posted: 20 October 2003 at 16:19 | IP Logged Quote JEames

Hey, never mind the long off-topic. It's just us in this forum.

Damm... this is a bit stressing. I just wish I was a good programer to be able to offer all the help I can. Unfortunatelly, I'm not programer neither graphist nor even a good gamer... So the kind of help I can offer is rather limited.

I think that if all the people arround braingames teamed up we could get a N-Gage MOG working with complete new graphics and music in a couple of months ... but there is a slight difference with other projects done here:

Until now, most games that Santi has done have never depended strickly on other people rather that Santi him self... so, for example, if McBain didn't have enough time to finish the Road Figher Graphics, Santi would have finished them up him self... at this time we might not have this possibility, so team work come's critical and this means that everyone in the team is 100% in.

And now the tricky part of all this... we are now talking about making a game for money. That make's things harder when there's a team behind because it's hard to evaluate how much time and effort has each one put in to the project.

In any case, it's all down to Santi who has the key to the whole story. C'mon Santi!!! You have your whole life to do that Ph.D. thesis that you now will be useless for anything rather that your C.V. and this might be the oportunity to start a career in the gaming industry (which is what you have been aiming to do all your life!).



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Posted: 21 October 2003 at 11:42 | IP Logged Quote Popolon

He,he... That "evil smile" you have put is perfectly placed... you are the devil itself!

Well, I'm going to finish my Ph.D. by March or April regardless anything that can happen here. That's mandatory!

However, I'm a professional on finding time to spend coding games. So I think that I will be able to manage to find time somewhere to spend in coding an N-Gage game. I just need a graphics artist and a musician, and of course, if jpkokkon wants to help me in the coding. He will be wellcomed! Moreover, we need to design maps and characters and a storyline (not the storyline that I'm developing for MoG2, since it uses all the copyrighted names of Popolon, Galious, etc.). But it can be very "Greek Myths" inspired. After all, I've recently readed a complete book about greek myth, and I'm ready to create a plot involving gods, monsters and greek myths!

Therefore, I'm going to post a message in the "general forum" now, as a "CALL FOR PARTICIPATION" (I'm going to post it also in other forums to see if there's people that wants to join). If we can join a good group in a week's time. Then maybe we can present a game for the N-Gage competition under the name of "Get-Put software"!

However, as I've said. My Thesis will be done on time!
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Posted: 21 October 2003 at 14:56 | IP Logged Quote JEames

   

Well... I am happy about that. Let's see how the rest of the people come's allong. I'm sure you are capable of doing both things, specially nowing that the N-Gage project has a earlyer deadline than the Ph.D which can be finished at April or May..,.

I'll ask the greek restaurants people (Dionisos) if they would like to sponsor the game... I can't promise anything but you never now.



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Posted: 21 October 2003 at 19:59 | IP Logged Quote jpkokkon

I'm being a bit sceptic about actually getting the necessary team up and working in time... It's not easy getting people to devote a lot of time to some project when they are doing something else for the money. There just usually isn't much time to spare...

I, for one, am an example of this. I have already pretty much overloaded my work amount with my current work and studies. As I've been working on another game project for some time now, it is my current priority. However, as I'm probably not going to put a lot of effort into it at the moment, I just might have some freetime of my own, to do well.. a game for n-gage or something. So, I would not count on myself in this matter. I'll gladly help, but can't promise anything about the amount of effort I can put into it. I'll have to look more into my own schedule for the next months. (After tomorrow I'll probably know a bit better).

Also, I think that before actually starting to put a lot of effort into this, there should be some rough estimate of the work required to complete the game in time - and the available resources (people) that to do it. If there is no way to meet the competition deadline, there is not much point in putting any effort into it.

Planning is something that seems to be already happening - and of course it is something that needs to be done before going much further with this project.

And btw. I'm possibly going to this "finnish game developers pub night" thingy on thursday, so I'll see if I can find some nokia games people there and if they can tell me any useful info about the competition. (At least previously there has been a guy from nokia, I just don't know if he knows anything about the n-gage competition.) It might be useful to know what the whole competition is actually about.
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