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Thread: ISO Game in Flash, using Swift3D

  1. #1
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    ISO Game in Flash, using Swift3D

    Somebody has asked already, if it's possible to use ActionScript with Swift3D, but the answer was no. I got Swift3D last week, and now I am planning to make Flash animation (rotating&moving character) and then import it into Macromedia Flash MX 2004. Basicly it's like this:

    I am creating a character in Swift3D then importing it to Flash scene. This character will be rotating in 360 degrees and moving, so for example when I press left key it shows me animation from 0 to 90 degrees, if i press up key....and so on. That's how I guess Isometric game works?! That's where all problems come - 3d animation + actionscript....

    So my question is can I create a character in Swift3D, export to SWF, import this SWF animation into Flash, and then work with action script. Also there is another problem, how will shooting, jumping, crouching work? Or can someone give me a link to a detailed tutorial how to make Isometric Flash game with characters in it. I've seen some tutorials on how to do that, but they are so simple that you just draw an area, collision, square-character, square-enemies...everything in squares.

    If you have ever played Fallout 2, Heroes of Might and Magic, Baldur's Gate you'll know what I mean. The difference is that those game were created on diferent platform not in Flash. I am kind of newb in all these things, so I am not sure how isometric world builds. Because in ISO, you see character in all 8 views, only what is fixed is game world (walls, terrain, buildings).

    If I am not too clear...please ask.
    Thanks,
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    Last edited by syntax_error; 08-08-2005 at 02:53 PM.

  2. #2
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    this is an example of what your looking for (i think). this stuff is pretty advanced so you might consider trying to tackle something a little easier at first.
    here it is in action;
    http://www.swiftdev.com/gallery2/dis...e.php?pos=-608
    here is a link to the .fla and sample .t3d's
    http://www.swiftdev.com/index.php?ca...&p13_fileid=22
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  3. #3
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    So you've made that one? Looks pretty nice. I want something like that, just instead of keyboard control will be mouse.

    How long it took you to do that? And could you advice me some useful tutorials on how to reach something like what you've made?

    EDIT : It's nice example of 3D in Flash. But the game we are making is not only about moving 3d character . I know it will sound complicated but I think it's possible. Ok, character will be able to change clothing, armor, equip/unequip weapons, and all these will be shown in real time on that 3D model of character. See there is a problem, if you have 3D character then you need every object made in 3D, such as blaster rifle. So when character holds blaster rifle, player would see it from all sides. And not only for that, when in the shop, there will be ability to see any object and rotate it, so 3D is must there.

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    Last edited by syntax_error; 08-08-2005 at 02:53 PM.

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    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    if you want that level of complexity you'd better stick with iso. so you will only have eight viewing angles to the character.
    you are taking on a VERY VERY big task there. i suggest you start at the start.
    here are some tutes for actionscripting iso characters and worlds;
    http://www.tonypa.pri.ee/tbw/start.html
    forget about the graphics for now and concentrate on the scripting. then you will see what is required on the graphics side.
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    Thanks a lot BlinkOK, I will look into your .fla file of that 3D game today. Looks complicated to me . And how did you create "free" movement, I mean instead of 8 sides you can see full character in 360 deg? But I guess I won't need that since character will be controlled by mouse, and keyboard will be used for hotkeys and for chat.

    And that 3d game you've made is pretty small by size, did you optmize it or what? My friend told me to stick with vector graphic, size will be much smaller, and game will work faster. But raster graphic looks way much better, especialy terrain and objects. Of course levels won't be as small as in this 3dwalk.swf, but for each sector in the game i will put preloaders, in other words, game will be splited in bits, so even users on Dial-up could play it.

    Today I'll read Tonypa's tutorials, and if I have any problems with coding, may I contact you, BlinkOk?
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    I just checked your 3dwalk example in Swift3d and found only your chess board, so my question how did you make those characters (rat and cow). Did you make them in Flash or any other 3d program, or you just didn't include them in Swift3D file?

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    Last edited by syntax_error; 08-08-2005 at 02:54 PM.

  7. #7
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    the characters are made in swift3d. id stick with the 8 view iso thing and raster. i don't think vector will be fast enough and size wize they end up the same. in iso you can create a pretty good game. have a look at this one;
    http://www.dofus.com/
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    WOW, I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Dofus... Amazing MMORPG, graphic and sound is super. That game is made in vector right? This just gave me an idea, which will solve a big problem that I've failed to see before. It's better to create a game and then allow people to download it. This game is about 40MB, and making it web-based is just insane. Yes at first I wanted to make it web-based online MMORPG, but now I see how big this game can be, the whole 40mb!! Gameworld in MMORPG we are currently working on will be almost that size (map), or maybe even bigger since there will be 6 planets.

    And besides that I think the game will work faster if it will be on localmachine.

    By the way are those characters made in Swift3D too? It's pretty cool that you can equip/unequip clothing or any other objects such as necklace, belts in real time.

    Dofus just gave me great inspiration, and removed all obstacles for me - meaning, all what I thought would be nearly impossible to make is possible.

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  9. #9
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    i don't think the characters are made in swift3d. they may be made in max and exported to swift3d.
    i'm pretty sure the characters are vector (when you go to low quality they pixelate too much to be bitmap)
    remember ther's probably a fair bit of backend (php) for the player organization and movement. i reckon they may just generate a .swf with all the player properties (clothes, weapons etc) and then load it into the loacl machine.
    again this is a HUGE job.
    good luck!
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    Huge work, indeed! We were discussing combat system today, and I didn't realize what a big issue it could be. Real Time vs Turn.Based. Dofus is pretty much turn-based, but I want to stick with Real Time. I know it's really complicated to make a real-time combat in Flash MMORPG, but it is possible. The reason why I'd like to stick with real-time based combat is because turn-based is boring. Dofus has amazing graphics, but after killing some monsters in turn-based mode, combat became really boring.

    And as for clothing I decided just to make pre-rendered generic characters for each race and gender with different look and clothing, which solve many issues. But still game will need armor, which could be equipped from the inventory and will be "generated" relative to character's position - as an overlay.

    Right now we are trying to make something really simple: Small ISO world with some enemies and character to see how the combat system will work. That's how we could start off.

    And what 3D software do you recommend for modelling characters and objects (weapons, armor, equipments)? And as for game world(terrain, buildings, trees, rocks, water etc), probably it will be drawn and edited in Photoshop rather than making it in 3D, dont know yet... Because making game world in 3D and then exporting it as JPG/GIF/PNG to Flash will be time consuming, since world will be very huge (6 planets).

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  11. #11
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    i would render the world objects and characters using max (mabey with the swift3d plugin) max has an iso render (not sure if swift will support that though). the ground tiles i would use either max of ps, whichever you are most familiar with.
    real-time combat will be almost impossible. notice the delay when you just want to move in dofus. imagine waiting that long just to do a punch or kick. i would look at some sort of hybrid where the characters fight with some AI and the player acts like a trainer where they select a style to fight in and/or an area of the opponents body to attack (kind a like a mini-simulation). that way you get immediate feedback visually and dont strain the bandwidth (i'm not a big fan of turn based either)
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    If you think rendering world and objects would be better idea ok then. But I'd rather go with Lightwave, than max. I've tried 3ds max trial, and interface is too complicated for me. Besides it's not tool that makes objects and game world for you, but artist. Also there is Swift3D plugin for Lightwave, what I am happy about. And what ISO render are you talking about? I've searched google and didn't find any max iso render. If I am not wrong, you can make Iso view practicaly in any 3D tool just by changing camera view, oh and having iso grid to make "things" accurate.

    As for that hybrid type combat system - it looks a lot like http://www.battleon.com, except that this game is not MMORPG and it's not real-time. That's where is mini-simulation. During the fight you are being transfered in some area and there you fight (you can choose weapon to attack, cast spells, drink potions, etc). It is an easy way, but won't be as good as "real or semi-real time" combat. Imagine you are on corellian corvette, in the group with other guys, you see there Super Battle Droids, and how will you attack them? One by one, in turn-based mode, and if you are in group with other guys, who will attack if there about 4 people?! See this a big issue. Real-time would resolve it. You just go and shoot it, and other people could help you. But as you said lag problems, I don't know how laggy it may be, but here Dofus plays just fine, I get delays only sometimes and they are short. Anyway what makes that lag happen? Complexity of the game, tons of graphic details or what? It's not like playing Counter-Strike or Unreal Tournament, so why people will have lag...

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  13. #13
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    max has an iso render (some help here would be cool people). the iso render has NO perspective. that, while not being critical will help to improve your workflow (seeing as your doing one massive mother of a game). if LW has an iso render then more power to ya!
    fighting..yeah whatever you want. you got the bucks for the servers then bingo! your GOD!
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    Ermm, I got a little problem here. I've seen demo of Swift 3D LW Plug-in, looks very good. So I downloaded it. It works but with limitations - can't export anything with that render, only for preview. What I am trying to do is to create a character in Lightwave 3D Modeler, then export it to Lightwave 3D (Renderer/Animator), and create an animation (walking, running, standing, crouching, proning, shooting, etc), it's not that hard to do in 3D. Once I am finished with animation I have to export it to Flash. Swift 3D LW, as I realized now can only render vector graphic , which means it's useless for me, since I need raster.

    So, the only way that I see now, is to create bitmaps, lots of bitmaps, thousands.... Just imagine, each character with 8 bitmaps just for standing position...

    If I am wrong, and Swift 3D LW plug-in can render raster graphic please correct me. But I doubt, because I've checked everything in Swift 3D Render Options.

    [EDIT]:If for example animation when you walk consist of 50 bitmaps, is it possible to assign all this 50 bitmaps in ActionScript to Left-Right-Up-Down arrow? All I am trying to say that, you can't use just 1 bitmap for each animation, like when you press down { show down.png }, there should be more than just 1 bitmap to make animation smooth. I hope it's possible...Just want to make sure before I start modelling.

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    Last edited by syntax_error; 08-09-2005 at 07:54 PM.

  15. #15
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    check with erain about the raster render. i know the stand alone version does a raster render.
    when you export raster animations with just about any app they will sequence the bitmap filenames like so; anim0001.png anim0002.png anim0003.png ...
    if you import the first file (anim0001.png) into flash then it will ask you if you want to import all the bitmaps and then place each bitmap on a separate frame. in other words managing multiple bitmaps in flash is pretty easy.
    the number of bitmaps is not so bad 8 angles, say ten frames for the walk cycle gives you 80 frames, not too bad.
    you should have a look at fireworks for optimizing your sprite .pngs (and i recommend you use .pngs) i will convert 32 bit .pngs to 8bit with alpha transparency and by reducing the palette size to say around 64 it will considerably reduce the size of the file. fireworks has a batch processor to do this in bulk.
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  16. #16
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    you can output/render to bitmap *.swf with the current versions of the plugins by Erain. however, you'll lose the transparency. If you use the vector versions, your movie clips will not be on a background... and you could control via AS those MC's.

    rendering as bitmaps, you'll want to look at using *.PNG output for transparency... gotta see around it. You could render that way natively via your 3D program of choice, and then use the rendered output as frames for that movie clip.

    It'll get a bit clunky if they have to stop, turn and the frame ends with the legs up in the air and it moves to the left or right... it hasn't finished it's walk cycle, for instance, so it's left leg is in the air... and the walk cycle for the character when facing you and going down/left will invariably start with it's left leg on the ground.

    But that's something else. I haven't ever made an ISO game in my life other than my Zaxxon rip-off I made loooooong time ago.

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    BlinkOk
    check with erain about the raster render. i know the stand alone version does a raster render.
    I've checked both 3ds max and lightwave renders, they both do vector graphic. I have Swift 3D 3.0, it can render me a raster image, but I don't like so much animating in Swift3D. So even if I will import .3ds file (my character) into Swift3D I will have to animate it.

    if you import the first file (anim0001.png) into flash then it will ask you if you want to import all the bitmaps and then place each bitmap on a separate frame. in other words managing multiple bitmaps in flash is pretty easy.
    the number of bitmaps is not so bad 8 angles, say ten frames for the walk cycle gives you 80 frames, not too bad.
    Yes, I see what you mean...so basicly it's just inserting each *.png in each frame on the timeline.

    Gerbick
    It'll get a bit clunky if they have to stop, turn and the frame ends with the legs up in the air and it moves to the left or right... it hasn't finished it's walk cycle, for instance, so it's left leg is in the air... and the walk cycle for the character when facing you and going down/left will invariably start with it's left leg on the ground.
    I see your point, but it should be possible to fix with ActionScript. For example when you press left { play left Movie Clip } { if (press right) cancel that action he was doing before, and start { play right Movie Clip }. I am not ActionScript expert, but what you've said above shouldn't be a big problem .

    And by the way, if I will render character in Lightwave in Iso view, he won't be on transparent background. So does it mean I have to edit each .png file in Photoshop to get rid of its background?

    Thanks again for your replies.

  18. #18
    ism BlinkOk's Avatar
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    i dont think the sequencing will be too big a problem. remember it's not cursor controlled, it's point and click so there should be no conflicting commands. i click on a point and the dude moves there.

    Yes, I see what you mean...so basicly it's just inserting each *.png in each frame on the timeline.
    flash will do this automatically. try it and you'll see what i mean.

    I've checked both 3ds max and lightwave renders, they both do vector graphic. I have Swift 3D 3.0, it can render me a raster image, but I don't like so much animating in Swift3D. So even if I will import .3ds file (my character) into Swift3D I will have to animate it.
    like gerbs said. LW and 3DS both have built in raster renders so why not use them?

    And by the way, if I will render character in Lightwave in Iso view, he won't be on transparent background. So does it mean I have to edit each .png file in Photoshop to get rid of its background?
    i'm sure the LW .PNG render can have a transparent background, just check the options or mabey ask at a LW foum
    Last edited by BlinkOk; 08-09-2005 at 09:20 PM.
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  19. #19
    supervillain gerbick's Avatar
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    i dont think the sequencing will be too big a problem. remember it's not cursor controlled, it's point and click so there should be no conflicting commands. i click on a point and the dude moves there.
    see, and I come from a video game background... so to me, it was always controller controlled... so animations popping from one routine to another was a concern. listen to Blink on this one...

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  20. #20
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    When I rendered object and exported to .png it was already transparent which makes everything much easier.

    Oh yeah and take a look at these:
    http://www.weiweihua.com/works/environment/00.jpg
    http://www.weiweihua.com/works/environment/01.jpg
    http://www.weiweihua.com/works/environment/02.jpg
    It looks so amazing, just look at that level of detail... Those scenes were made with 3ds max and Vray render. But I'll stick with Lightwave, since it's much easier to learn. 3ds max will take me at least half of year to learn and 1 more year to finish modeling.

    If anyone knows any Lightwave Hair/Fur and Trees/Plants plug-in could you recommend me some?

    As for now I have to create an isometric camera. All I need is just to pick correct angle. I think tonypa has "special formula of isometric view" on his site.
    Last edited by syntax_error; 08-10-2005 at 04:07 PM.

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