Thursday, May 19, 2011

AD&DRPG Visual Renovations - Title Screen

Hey everyone!  I've spent the past couple of days in AD&DRPG helping to get the world's half-decade old builds back up-to-date.  If you've never been to visit, AD&DRPG is a fantasy-themed role-playing game that uses Dungeons & Dragons gameplay mechanics for character stats, skills, and progression.  If you're a follower of the blog, you'll remember back in March when we reported that AD&DRPG would be open permanently.  Since they're around to stay, I wanted to contribute some of my time to help address the biggest gripe world visitors have had since it returned: the aging visuals.

In addition to the visuals I've also been addressing some navigation issues by making new NPCs that address players via the say command, but overall the chief concern has been to update areas with zones and particle effects, replace really low-res textures, get sequences to avatar objects... things like that.  Anything to help with interaction and immersion is being addressed, and it is really starting to show.

I would like to share all of my progress here on the blog (since this is a building blog, after all) and I think I'll do so in small snippets, to be released while I'm away next week.  I'll set them to be posted at various intervals through the week, so be checking for new posts!

Today, we'll be looking at the new world title screen.  The title screen appears when players drop into Merinel -- the ground zero town -- and is triggered by a simple bump trigger.  You can view it below.

As you can see from the video, there are a few things going on here.  Perhaps most noticeable is the camera switch -- this isn't native third person mode.  The user is forced into this camera position when they hit the bump trigger, and the camera itself is set to a pole object that moves and rotates back and forward.  In the actual view, you see the AD&DRPG logo, a large dragon, and several buttons.  The dragon is simple, and is stationary except for an appropriate flying sequence that has been set to loop. The two buttons on the left link to webpages, and the button on the right sets the camera location to the user -- effectively terminating the title sequence.

Commands used in the title sequence:
  • Camera
    • Used to begin and end the title sequence.  The 'location' parameter was first set to a named object (the pole) for the title camera, and then set to the user to terminate the title sequence.
  • Move
    • Used on the camera pole to give the camera the effect of zooming in and out.
  • Rotate
    • Used on the camera pole to give the camera the effect of zooming in and out.
  • Name
    • Used for objects that needed to be changed by bump or activate triggers.  In our case, everything that was meant for the title screen had a name assigned to it because when the player clicked 'PLAY,' all of the title screen objects needed to disappear.  'Activate visible <name> no' achieves this.
  • Sequence (Seq)
    • A flying sequence was applied to the dragon avatar object so that it would remain animated.
  • Scale
    • Scale is useful for detail work; in this example the dragon and logo were scaled.
  • URL
    • URL is pretty standard for accessing web-links from Active Worlds.  It is typically accessed via an activate command, and this is true in our example as it is used for interactive signage.
Anyway I don't want to go into a detailed explanation of how exactly to make a title screen like the one here, but this should get you started.  There are a lot of ways to go about it; be creative and see what you can do! :)

No comments:

Post a Comment