Idea/Question: 3D client for Wesnoth

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Eightball
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Idea/Question: 3D client for Wesnoth

Post by Eightball » June 27th, 2007, 2:01 am

Right, this is something I've been thinking about as both a Wesnoth noob and hopeful future game designer. So I ask, how hard would it be to implement a 3D client of Wesnoth, compatible with non-3d ("traditional" or currnet) clients?

By 3D, I mean units, terrain, combat, the meat & potatoes of Wesnoth, but portrayed in a 3D enviroment instead of sprites.

Problems with the idea:
1) Coding. I don't know how to do it, either from the ground up or by mashing together game engines. I have a rudimentary grasp of C, but that's it. And the developers here aren't going to drop everything (or anything) for such an outlandish undertaking.
2) Content generation. While it takes a while to generate sprites and their animation, Wesnoth has a numbingly large library of 2D content that would need to be replaced. Additionally, to make the two kinds of clients compatible would require two sets of resources, which means twice the work unless the developers and community decide to create 3D only resources.

What might be good about the idea:
1) User content generation. I think it's easier to create a 3D resource and animate it than make a sprite and 15 frames for each of 8 directions. This might allow "faster" generation of content.
2) Compatibility. Although it would be nigh impossible to implement, having a version for people with slow computers (or a preference for 2D) and a version for people with brawnier computers (or a preference for 3D) could widen the appeal for a campaign or mod.

What I'm asking:
I'd like some feedback and advice.
The farthest I can honestly see this going is a 3D engine for a "total conversion" of Wesnoth - IE, base game used in another setting. Something like a post-apocalyptic Wesnoth far in the future (:wink:) that uses the same battle and campaign mechanics but in glorious (or simply bland, mediocre) 3D.

I know it's not as simple as downloading the source of Wesnoth and the source of some 3D engine and throwing them into the same directory.

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Re: Idea/Question: 3D client for Wesnoth

Post by nightcrawler » June 27th, 2007, 4:18 am

Eightball wrote: Problems with the idea:
1) Coding.
2) Content generation.
Well, I'd say you pretty much nailed it! Get past these two little gems there, and you're done!

Reminds me of some gnomes I know...
1. Collect Underpants
2. ???
3. Profit!
You're at step 2. I would suggest you do a search, but the search function doesn't seem to be cooperating. A google search on site:wesnoth.org and 3D might produce some previous discussion for you to read. This has come up before.

Edit: here's a link
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Eightball
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Post by Eightball » June 27th, 2007, 4:57 am

Thanks for the link. I tried the search function but didn't realize that it didn't work.

After seeing that thread...

...please don't stone me.

Dave
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Post by Dave » June 27th, 2007, 5:20 am

This would be roughly as difficult as programming a whole new game in 3D.

Given that that is the case, instead of doing all that effort and having two interfaces to one game, why not just program an entirely new game, and then we could have two nice quality games instead of one?

David
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Viliam
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Re: Idea/Question: 3D client for Wesnoth

Post by Viliam » June 27th, 2007, 8:56 am

Eightball wrote:Wesnoth has a numbingly large library of 2D content that would need to be replaced.
Also the downloadable campaigns may contain new content. So in 3D client you would have to:

* restrict downloading additional campaigns
or
* make an algorithm for generating 3D pictures from 2D (may be ugly pictures, but playable)



I think this idea requires a huge amount of work for very doubtful result... however, if you really wish to start it, I suggest this:

The first step should be an algorithm to generate 3D pictures from 2D. This way after you write the algorithm, the game is immediately playable. Ugly, but playable - so you have a working prototype. And then you can improve it. So the client would go like "if there is a 3D model, use it... if not, generate it from 2D model". And they you can start a long work on converting 2D content to 3D, starting with the pieces which look most ugly in automatic conversion.

Generating algorithm would be like this: For terrains, create a horizontal hex, using the picture as a texture. For units, create a vertical rectangle, using the picture as a texture.

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zookeeper
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Post by zookeeper » June 27th, 2007, 9:08 am

The code would probably be the whole lot easier one to do. It'd be getting all the necessary artwork converted to 3D that would be the much bigger undertaking.

I'd also suggest rather making an entirely new game than trying to convert a perfectly well working and reasonably pretty 2D game to 3D. It'd probably just look way worse at least for years.

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Post by Dragon Master » June 27th, 2007, 1:57 pm

I could swear we've had this conversation before, but that was a while ago...

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zookeeper
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Post by zookeeper » June 27th, 2007, 1:59 pm

Dragon Master wrote:I could swear we've had this conversation before, but that was a while ago...
And I could swear we'll have this conversation again after a while... :P

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Baufo
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Post by Baufo » June 27th, 2007, 2:29 pm

I wonder how people keep getting the idea that it takes just a little magic by a programmer and some guy doing the animations and - boom - you have turned a 2D game into a 3D one.
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Post by theotherhiveking » June 27th, 2007, 2:33 pm

I suggest the ogre engine as 3d engine.

ogre engine

It also have a support layer for python, python is very easy programming language, and doesn't require compiling and works like C so if you arent a expert with c++ i would give a try. to make the prototype and see how all works.
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Dave
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Post by Dave » June 27th, 2007, 2:43 pm

theotherhiveking wrote:I suggest the ogre engine as 3d engine.
This is probably one of the better possible suggestions.

However, it trails the best possible suggestion by a very long margin.

The best possible suggestion is to not do it.

David
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Post by Angry Andersen » June 27th, 2007, 2:44 pm

BfW is a 2D game - 3D adds nothing to the game itself (unlike flight simulators, ego-shooters and stuff like that - they're intrinsically 3D)

I remember when 3D started to become popular: everything had to be 3D, irrelevant of whether 3D was good or bad for the particular game. In many cases, 3D was more of a nuisance than an advantage!!! The current BfW works nicely in 2D. Why change it and risk breaking it? 2D is beautiful!

I think there are many other areas of the game, where less effort would pay off more (e.g. AI development, content development, management of add-ons, etc.)

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Post by theotherhiveking » June 27th, 2007, 3:01 pm

Don't worry he is talking about a making a separate Wesnoth in 3d compatible with the normal Wesnoth not about making the official Wesnoth in 3d.

What he probably want is to add some kind of code to Wesnoth, to make it run in 3d, and the add 3d models instead of sprites, is possible to make Wesnoth in 3d and still use the sprites, using a method where all sprites always face the camera.

And yes, the 2d Wesnoth is nice, clean and beautiful.
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Noyga
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Post by Noyga » June 27th, 2007, 3:09 pm

Well another problem is all the images/animations are 2D oriented, WML has nothing to manage 3D properly...
And if 3D is managed properly then it might be not compatible with 2D...
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Post by toms » June 27th, 2007, 3:11 pm

I think 3D graphics in the size of the Wesnoth sprites will just look terrible.
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