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 Post subject: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:21 am 
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As promised, here's a video of Fightoon in action:



And here are some 640x480 screenshots:

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Now, the news:

Fightoon is not coming out in 2007. And it is not coming out in 2008 either.

I am sorry to announce this, but the project has been cancelled.

There are many reasons for this. I will list some, but there are some others that we prefer to keep in private. This is a sad event for us, and right now we just want to take some rest.

In this topic I will explain why some aspects of the game are the way they are. There were many things I had to take in consideration when designing the game, and I want to let you know why some decisions were made. It is a lot easier to talk about these things now that the game is not coming out, since we don't have to worry about leaving bad impressions anymore.

Right now I will only mention that we didn't have any music to put in it yet, so I used a freely available music for the sole purpose of recording this video. Except for the music and the Makaqu engine, everything else was completely developed from the ground up by me and Rodrigo.

We want to thank everyone who gave their impressions about the game, and everyone who expressed interest in it. Sorry for not being able to get it done.

Also, thanks to the GOAT Store for all their support.

I will post again in a few days.

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 10:43 am 
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It looks damn good :!:
Sorry to hear about the cancellation. Still, it's nice to see what can be accomplished by talent and creativity.


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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:42 pm 
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I'm seeing the video and it looks awesome. I can't understand why it's cancelled :(


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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:42 pm 
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I am sorry to hear the project has been cancelled. Well you at least offer up a demo of the game or the engine so those that are interested may create their own fighters?

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:10 pm 
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I know I trashed the game but once I got to see it in action i'm really sad to see its canned. The high resolution screenshots and the video just make it look fab.


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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:42 pm 
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Fightoon looked so promising (in fact it still does!), whatever the reasons behind the decision to cancel, I really have to admire Fragger for all the work he's put into that project (Rodrigo too of course).

I can't help feeling that the 'graphic whores' have put the final nail in the coffin for this game, it's a shame really, but then again, some people just can't distinguish the wood from the trees.

Here's to you Fragger, at least you gave it your all.

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:37 pm 
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what the fuck i just watched the video and was amazed by it thinking "I can't wait for this to come out" and then I scroll down and see that?

BAD NEWS FIRST! ALWAYS! gahh

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 2:16 am 
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Manoel wrote:
Fightoon is not coming out in 2007. And it is not coming out in 2008 either.

I am sorry to announce this, but the project has been cancelled.


I was really looking forward to this.

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 5:53 am 
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EH ?

One question. Why ?

Ok, it's a private matter to a certain extent, and I'm sure you have valid reasons. Still, you whetted a few appetites out there with earlier screens so I'm not surprised people are slightly baffled or upset by the decision to cancel.

I realise projects get cut short all the time due to time restraints, finance, workload, life, sheer exhaustion, boredom. In this respect it's nothing new or strange, just another in a long line of cancelled Dreamcast games, a half-finished bunch of code, a curiosity.

The most striking features of the game for me are/were the bold design and lovely cel-shaded graphics which just seemed ready made for the Dreamcast. A homebrew homage to days gone by then, a chance to reminise over the Dreamcast's raison d'etre, it's singleminded mission to reinstate fun, colour and happiness into gaming.

The upside to this bleak news is that you, the coders, must have learned so much over the course of the game's development. This will surely stand you both in good stead for future projects. Good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:42 am 
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Another very promising DC-Game going down into development-limbo...
*thinking of Drill, Echo's Quest and Rocket Racer*
:cry:


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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:31 am 
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:cry:


oh no...
bad news :(



i really like the cel-shading you have done.

please, release the source code.


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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:13 am 
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I was also one of the people who trashed the earlier released screenshots, however after seeing this video, I see good stuff however far from Jaw dropping. Maybe the game could have been truly something if it got completed.

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 9:48 am 
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MapleBuster wrote:
One question. Why ?

Because we wouldn't be able to get it done. I always knew we had the talent to get it done, but I found out that having talent is not enough.

Dan was right when he said that projects like this can't be classified as homebrew. You must drive them as a business if you want to be successful. We didn't, and that's why we failed. When we finally realized the inevitable, we decided to stop.

Green Ranger wrote:
Will you at least offer up a demo of the game or the engine so those that are interested may create their own fighters?

No. Sorry.

BILAL_XIA wrote:
after seeing this video, I see good stuff however far from Jaw dropping. Maybe the game could have been truly something if it got completed.

Mortal Kombat 1 was jaw dropping. We intended to make a good game.

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 10:10 am 
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Manoel wrote:
Because we wouldn't be able to get it done. I always knew we had the talent to get it done, but I found out that having talent is not enough.


Were there technical difficulties involved or was it just the amount of work that led to this decision ? If there are problems with the art department (packaging/music), I am sure there are many people who wouldn't mind helping you out - even without royalties/payment, depending on the amount of work involved.

If that is the problem, I know people who do compose some nice tunes, much better of what we heard in the video. I also know people really talented with pixel art or digital drawing. Let me know.

Edit: Maybe it's a good idea just taking some longer break from working on this project and come back to it later ?

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:20 pm 
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Christuserloeser wrote:
Were there technical difficulties involved or was it just the amount of work that led to this decision ?

It was a lot of things. We can't just get the project at its current state and continue from there, and we can't just go back to the beginning either. There are many things I must learn and prepare before working in a game again.

Christuserloeser wrote:
Maybe it's a good idea just taking some longer break from working on this project and come back to it later ?

I want to try making a fighting game again in the future. Fightoon's gameplay was getting rather nice, and I'd like to develop it more.

However, if I work in a game again I'll focus the project on what's better in terms of productivity. In Fightoon we had to get everything running and looking well at 320x240 x 8-bit color with no filtering at all, and working under these conditions was a lot harder than working in content for a hi-res and hi-color game. There were many other difficulties in this project, and if I work in a game again I won't make it under unnecessarily difficult conditions; I will probably make it for the PC, using another engine.

Anyway, thanks for the help offer.

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:05 pm 
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Manoel wrote:
We can't just get the project at its current state and continue from there, and we can't just go back to the beginning either.


...it looks absolutely fantastic as it is if you ask me.

Manoel wrote:
In Fightoon we had to get everything running and looking well at 320x240 x 8-bit color with no filtering at all, and working under these conditions was a lot harder than working in content for a hi-res and hi-color game.


...how high would you rank the lack of hardware acceleration and the 320x240 limitation with your current engine within your list of reasons for this decision? Maybe you could give an estimated percentage ? 50% ? Higher ? Lower ?

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 6:30 pm 
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Christuserloeser wrote:
...it looks absolutely fantastic as it is if you ask me.

But there are many problems.

One of them, for example, is that the gameplay is inconsistent across different machines. On the DC the controls feel clunky and laggy, it's harder to input special moves, and combos are harder to hit and perform. It also differs too much between my computer, Rodrigo's computer and my mom's computer. Their computers are faster, and it's impossible to do all the hits during several combos when playing in them.

This problem happens because in the Quake engine the gameplay and the physics runs at a variable framerate (also, it's thanks to its variable framerate that we can do FPS counters in QC). This isn't a big problem in Quake itself, but in one-on-one fighting games all the elements of the gameplay works so closely together that the game must have perfect synchronism and rigid timing. The video itself may have a variable framerate, but the rest mustn't. And this is not how the Quake engine works.

Christuserloeser wrote:
...how high would you rank the lack of hardware acceleration and the 320x240 limitation with your current engine within your list of reasons for this decision? Maybe you could give an estimated percentage ? 50% ? Higher ? Lower ?

It's pretty much impossible to give an exact value, but it was very small. If everything had happened as I predicted in the beginning, it wouldn't be a problem. Sure, the graphics would still be low-res and low-color, but it would have been a game with good gameplay, interesting original features and a good amount of content.

However, we had no experience, we were unprepared, and due to this we faced a regular flow of bad surprises going on top of the problems we already had. The framerate problem mentioned above is one of them.

We also found out that the visual quality of the 3D models are a lot more sensitive to lighting and to animation when they're cel-shaded. Slight deformities in models are unnoticeable under normal lighting, but in cel-shading they generate bizarre shadowing and messy outlines. So, while cel-shading makes it much simpler to draw textures, it requires a lot more accuracy and testing when modeling and animating.

Quake's vertex-based animation also became a problem. When vertex-based frames are interpolated, each vertex follows a straight path all the way from a frame to another. However, all animations in the character models are achieved through rotating parts of the model around their joints. Mathematically, this means that the interpolated model's shape will be wrong at all times. In practice, this may be unnoticeable if the angular differences between a frame and another are small enough. Because of this, there were several times when the number of frames in some animations had to be increased because the interpolation was making them ugly. Plus, we made the models in Milkshape 3D, and it's a pain to add/remove/switch frames and animations in it because it treats everything as a single cumulative animation. Reordering animations in qME also gives a lot of work because we would have to reorder everything every time we re-exported a new version of the model. If the engine and the model format supported joint-based (skeletal) animation, animating the models would have been much easier.

These are just some of the technical problems. There's many more, and there's also many non-technical problems. I could spend weeks explaining them.

We should have done a lot of research before starting to work on this project, discovered all downsides of the techniques, tools and technologies we were going to work with, searched for alternatives, devised a solid work plan, prepared a time schedule, assembled reference databases, etcetera etcetera etcetera. Instead, we just started working on it right away :(.

Now, what we will do about this is to write a private postmortem of this project, and use it to learn with our mistakes and be better prepared for future opportunities.

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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 5:15 am 
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I can understand your reasons. The fps problems is quake-specific (afaik in q2 & q3 too). animations with milkshape is a payne. milkshape is great for converting models from one game-format to an other. i would not use it for modelling and animating.



can you still release the source code you have done so far? im interestend in the cel-shading part, not really in the bemup thing.
i think cel-shading would be great for jump'runs (like the castlevania mod) or some action adventure mods :D


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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:46 pm 
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Sounds like the cancellation was due to a number of problems. I feel for you Manoel. It seems like you have a better idea of the demands now than when you embarked on the project. That's got to be good in the long run.

Did you read the recent interview with Dan Potter and DJGeki ? They were talking of 65 hours a week by each person on the team. There was another interview by Marcus pointing out the professional approach needed to complete any game, homebrew or not. They've been thereseen it, done it. Essential reading. Can't find the threads but I'm sure they're both on here somewhere.



Bit OT. How did Tyne get A.O.Vigil's fight mechanics sorted. Doesn't that non-fps game use a Quake engine ?


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 Post subject: Re: Fightoon video
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 10:08 pm 
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That sucks. This could have been a great addition to the life support of the Dreamcast...

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