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News & Features Discussion  » General: Dana Massey: Why Not Well Animated MMOs?

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130 posts found
  th3proph3cy

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/06
Posts: 31

5/20/09 4:40:08 AM#121

Champions Online is your answer to this topic. Wait for more videos to come out regarding the travel mechanics and the combat mechanics.. you won't believe how realistic it is
 

Flying will eventually, once you hit top speeds, give you a sonic boost, where the screen shakes.
 

Super jump makes you jump like the Hulk where your arms and legs fly all over the place, and your character animates when it lands, bending it's legs and causing a breakage in the environment.
 

The combat is fast-paced, but still looks very realistc, having each arm move at different times, for different powers.
 

I'd say get yourself into beta, or follow the videos as they get release - you'll be amazed at how much work has been put into the animation itself.

www.champions-online.com

  th3proph3cy

Novice Member

Joined: 4/26/06
Posts: 31

5/20/09 4:48:01 AM#122
Originally posted by Ossot

is this guy 14 or am I just a horrible judge of age?

Dana Massey is the former Editor of MMORPG.com and The WarCry Network. He recently returned to MMORPG.com as its PR Manager. Dana was also the Co-Lead Game Designer of "Wish," an MMO that never made it past Beta.

Yep, he's 14 alright - co-lead game designer, editor of MMORPG and the WarCry Network, and now PR Manager of MMORPG.com; if he's 14, then he's done a lot of game playing and developing in his young life to score those jobs / projects.

 

  thorwood

Novice Member

Joined: 10/04/07
Posts: 485

5/20/09 5:44:26 AM#123

Summary

Animations for MMO's is more complicated when it comes to the number of individual toons with unique appearances in the same area and synchronisation of user action with graphics and sound.

Current graphics do not handle well large numbers of toons with individual appearances.  This is even harder when much of the information has to be downloaded on the fly before it can be drawn.

Detail

Some of the games I have played with better quality images have been really out of synchronisation with what is happening on the server.

For example, you hit the command to strike your enemy.  This command is sent to the server.  The server sends back the instruction to draw a slashing strike that completely misses.  An excellent 2 second animation then shows you swinging at the enemy and missing magnificently.  However, the completion of this magnificent 2 second animation is 2 seconds plus internet latancy times  behind what happened on the server, and meanwhile several other things have happened.  And it is even worse when the sound is similarly out of syncronisation.  Sound, graphics and keyboard instructions can be all out of synchronisation.  I follow audio prompts as much as visible prompts, and things like the sound of an arrow shooting occuring at a different time to when the arrow fired visibly is onscreen is disconcerting.  This lack of synchronisation seems to be ocurring more commonly  in both MMO and non-MMO games. If I issue a keyboard or mouse command I expect immediate feedback that this instruction worked.  Imagine if when typing, your keystrokes appeared 2 seconds after you pressed the key.

In addition, if the graphics are tied too tightly to server instructions, your computer will lag badly while your graphics card freezes as it waits for instructions from the server on what to draw.  Internet connection speeds (latency) are millions of times slower than graphic cards and internet latency will not improve much due to the finite speed of light.  Bandwidth will improve, so it will be possible to download more detailed information, but it will never update faster than the internet latency.

I actually prefer the old Evequest style.  You strike at enemy.  Your computer immediately shows you swinging your sword at the enemy.  Often, the results came back only as a line of text wtihout the 1 second delay while it went through a magnificent animation. You get immediate feedback that your keyboard or mouse instruction worked, even if there is some delay before you know if your attack was succesful, there is not a further 2 second delay waiting on a magnificent animation. I prefer this to magnificent graphics that lag what is actually happening and give you the feeling that your interface is not working because the current animations never match your curent keystroke or mouse command.

The other lag problem in Everquest was everyone wanted to look different.  So not only did you graphics card have to draw the animations of 50 nearby player characters plus the opposing enemies, it also had to draw all 50 characters uniquely.  The more unique the characters, the more chance that the necessary images are not stored on your local drive and your graphics card has to wait while the unique image is downloaded.  WoW got around this by making every toon of the same class look the same.  In EQ, by contrast, several nearby players may each have very rare weapons you have never seen before, so details of these weapons cannot be drawn until enough information is downloaded to enable these to be drawn.  One trick to stop graphics cards from freezing is to draw a standard image of that person's class and modify it to a unique image as details download.  You can visibly see the screen updating for several seconds.  Each of the 50 nearby people has 1 or 2 weapons, a shield, chestplate, boots, bracers, gloves, pants, jewelery, different heights, different classes, different races, different faces, beards, hairstyles, hats, different colour dyes on their clothing and armor set.  More detail,  more individuality and more people nearby, means there is much more information needed from the server.

In comparison, on a standalone PC game,  there is usually smaller numbers of nearby toons, that have less variation in appearance and all of the information is stored right there on your hard drive. 

Any actions taken by NPC's on a standalone PC are known almost immediately and there is more likely the graphics and sound appear to represent what is actually happening now and the graphics will change on the fly if you take some action.

While I am in favour in what some may call better animations, I do not want this in MMO's if the price is the graphics lagging your keyboard instructions.  I know the graphics lag exists because many  games also have the text descriptions of combat, and the text often precedes completion of the animation by 1 or 2 seconds.  If the animation takes 1 or 2 seconds, how do you make the graphics represent what is happening now rather than the graphical representation of what happened on the server 2 seconds ago?

 

  Deathwing980

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/08
Posts: 80

5/20/09 6:23:44 AM#124

MMO's have been lacking in player deaths havent they? I figured that in most mmo's they just cut the corners because they were lazy at developing each and every concievable death (Including the death by achievements in Warcraft online... see comic joke "Warcraft Sexchievements"

 

There have been a lot of graphic card updates and recently games are trying to keep up with it, though most mmo's are using old school becuase its easier to render and keep up with instead of going and spending years on it like Darkfall (Fail but graphics were pretty good), and Mortal Online (Its oblivion online guys... OBLIVION!)

 

Now i do iwsh they they would get animations and ragdoll physics into the game but really it's not going to happen unless someone kicks the original animators ass out and puts someone in whos willing to spend all his time on it... look at most games now a days and hes right...  *clutches chest* my god... I just got my balls cut off, my heart just stopped! *dies* 

  nekollx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/17/08
Posts: 573

5/20/09 9:51:50 AM#125
Originally posted by Deathwing980

MMO's have been lacking in player deaths havent they? I figured that in most mmo's they just cut the corners because they were lazy at developing each and every concievable death (Including the death by achievements in Warcraft online... see comic joke "Warcraft Sexchievements"

 

There have been a lot of graphic card updates and recently games are trying to keep up with it, though most mmo's are using old school becuase its easier to render and keep up with instead of going and spending years on it like Darkfall (Fail but graphics were pretty good), and Mortal Online (Its oblivion online guys... OBLIVION!)

 

Now i do iwsh they they would get animations and ragdoll physics into the game but really it's not going to happen unless someone kicks the original animators ass out and puts someone in whos willing to spend all his time on it... look at most games now a days and hes right...  *clutches chest* my god... I just got my balls cut off, my heart just stopped! *dies* 

 

in City of Heroes/illian we do have rag doll, for NPCs at least.

 

ITs fun watching you knock a Outcast over a bansister, she then fold liek a switch blase, role, tumbling as they try to regain their hold and hen hit the ground, face down

 

or to Power Blast a Rikti mentallist back 10 feet, arms and legs splayed as they pick themselfs up off the ground then charge you again

 

  Roland_Aseph

Novice Member

Joined: 9/02/04
Posts: 138

"Speak softly and carry a damn Big Sword!"

5/21/09 2:43:37 PM#126

Blade & Soul

 

http://feature.mmosite.com/content/2008-10-17/20081017005708830,1.shtml

 

www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtA1jSreK84

 

http://www.massively.com/2008/08/04/ncsoft-announces-martial-arts-mmo-blade-and-soul/

 

I think it's safe to say we've come a very long way from EverQuest ;)

 

"It'll be dark soon."
"Aye...that it will."

  Dana

Novice Member

Joined: 1/07/04
Posts: 2425

 
OP  5/21/09 2:56:41 PM#127
Originally posted by drkelusion
Originally posted by Ossot

is this guy 14 or am I just a horrible judge of age?

Dana Massey is the former Editor of MMORPG.com and The WarCry Network. He recently returned to MMORPG.com as its PR Manager. Dana was also the Co-Lead Game Designer of "Wish," an MMO that never made it past Beta.

Yep, he's 14 alright - co-lead game designer, editor of MMORPG and the WarCry Network, and now PR Manager of MMORPG.com; if he's 14, then he's done a lot of game playing and developing in his young life to score those jobs / projects.

 

I still get carded regularly, so it's not just him =)

For the record, I'm 25.

Dana Massey
Formerly of MMORPG.com
Currently Lead Designer for Bit Trap Studios

  Sanguinia

Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 235

U.S. Government Sponsored Role-Player.

5/21/09 4:46:13 PM#128
Originally posted by Dana
Originally posted by drkelusion
Originally posted by Ossot

is this guy 14 or am I just a horrible judge of age?

Dana Massey is the former Editor of MMORPG.com and The WarCry Network. He recently returned to MMORPG.com as its PR Manager. Dana was also the Co-Lead Game Designer of "Wish," an MMO that never made it past Beta.

Yep, he's 14 alright - co-lead game designer, editor of MMORPG and the WarCry Network, and now PR Manager of MMORPG.com; if he's 14, then he's done a lot of game playing and developing in his young life to score those jobs / projects.

 

I still get carded regularly, so it's not just him =)

For the record, I'm 25.


 

That'll work out better for you when you're in your 30's and 40's. [and so on..] With my beard, I haven't been carded for anything since I was 20. [And I most always have a beard.]

What Happened With SWG Went Down YEARS AGO! Please Try To Stop Whining About It In Every Thread I Read. Mourn It, And Finally MOVE ON With Your Lives! Thanks A Heap.

  BlackWatch

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/01/06
Posts: 988

licensed to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations

5/22/09 3:53:50 PM#129

Great article.  Well said.

  kiddyno071

Novice Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 1331

5/26/09 2:56:21 PM#130

That would be great to have better death animations, but before this article I really didn;t pay attention to it.  Now I will, great!  Thanks Dana! 

Clutches his chest and dies.

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