Burma the game

Discussion in 'Burma & India' started by Bob Turner, Aug 27, 2012.

  1. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    I've been looking at the issues involved in making a game, mainly how to get models into the game engine Unity 3d. It's one hell of a game engine, so I've got high hopes of ending up with something that looks pretty good.

    I did get a couple of names of people who know coding for this but I'll hang back for now. One, they'll perhaps want to create a simple shoot em up game, and two, they are American, so might want to make it Merrill's Marauders.

    The Gurkha image with body, is just a stand in body, until I make him a new one, with less polygons to it. The Sikh head needs his chin pulled out a bit, so that I can make his beard.

    Now, in a computer game, the hero runs about shooting people. I can put him anywhere in Burma, by bringing the terrain in from Google Earth. So perhaps a small town, or the outskirts of a large town?

    I'll post the kit as I find it, and ask for your help in getting it right. hell i#ve even found a 3d mule! Though i dread animating it.
     

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  2. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    This thread has been for a bit of a wander, it was put into the gaming section for a day. I'll see if I can find a bren gun model, and pout that up with the short lee enfield and sten, to check whether I've got the right dates for their use in Burma.
     
  3. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

  4. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    Odd bit of luck there, I was looking to see if I could find a ready made 3d bren gun. It seems the Japanese were so impressed with captured brens, that they built their own version. I'll have to see if I can find any photos of it, just in case it needs a few tweaks here and there.

    Would I be right in saying that there was one bren to eight men? I wonder if the Japanese had the same ratio?
     
  5. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    The Japanese adopted the same design earlier, so it wasn't a case of captured guns.

    Oh, and I found the village of Gyo, it's not very far from Mandalay. That might explain the strong anti tank gun presence. Which knocked at least one Grant tank.
     

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  6. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    It'll be interesting to see how you fare with this...
     
  7. zeezee

    zeezee Member

    Yeah, I'm interested in this also. It would be neat to incorporate actual people & their stories. One might even see if anyone on this board wanted to have their relatives included... ;o)

    I am loosely connected to the Indie gaming scene/coders/artists in Canada and have some friends that work at EA. Not sure how that might help but thought to mention it.
     
  8. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    I'm sure it will help zeezee, Unity 3d is the game engine of choice and even NASA use it for educational "walkthroughs." Sadly though, the amount of work that has to go into making the generic hero, is just too great to allow making models that look like someone's uncle Bill. For the moment, people will just have to enjoy the idea of having a Chinese squadie in an American uniform firing a Thompson.

    To give you an idea, I have to make a body for a soldier, then take it into a sculpting program. In there it's just like making a statue out of virtual clay. Great fun but not that easy to do.

    Once back into my main app, I have to give him a paint job, make him look like he's been in crap for several weeks. He then needs to have a skeleton built, so that his arms and legs move. Not easy and it's bloody tedious! Then he needs a series of short animations recorded. Walking, running, running backwards and firing his weapon. So that also means animating the gun. With a bren gun let's say, he has to fire off thirty shots and then change the mag.

    All of that is then sent into Unity 3d. You also have to send his environment in, plus semi believable enemy actions. It adds up to a lot of scripting. That all of this is done, so that spotty adolescents can think themselves warriors, mind boggling!!

    Actually it's all done because 3d designers are totally barking mad. I've decided to do the Gurkha first, simply because if I do a good job on him, 3d designers will want to work on an off the wall project. I'm sure they're sick of heroes with automatics. plus, who can resist a slouch hat? I bet even the Japanese wanted to wear them :D
     
  9. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    This is one to watch, done by the people at Unity themselves, and they are very good at what they do! Now I can use a lot of that terrain for the Burma game. Saving me heaps of work. Demo Unity 3 - YouTube
     
  10. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Might be interesting to offer an "open source" format to allow for facial "skins" for those that feel up to it... something to make it different to the runofthemill... ;)
     
  11. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    I did get a message from someone here, who was interested in doing something like this. Now he had a program called Poser, and that let's you make a generic asian face and body lets say. It also has a walk designer, which is very good. For import into Unity, you want walks and runs etc. to be "standing on the spot" So from this little video, you wouldn't bother with the walk line (spline) Created with Camtasia Studio 5

    All well and good but you need to take your character, who is all built from tiny squares, and reduce those squares to the lowest value you can. That can be often a rather tricky task. Now there is another program, which is free, called Blender. It's honestly a high end program but its manual is a wiki and a bit of a nightmare. Best to watch youtube videos to learn the app.

    I think for a game, it would be best to just use a generic face, unless you can sculpt to artist levels. Making a General Slim or a General Stilwell is a possibility though.

    Well, suppose you build a 3d model of your uncle Fred, and it's drop dead gorgeous. you can then scale it down to say 70 mm making sure that there are no "holes" in the mesh, and send him off to be 3d laser printed. They send you back a metallic resin figure of uncle Fred. last time I looked, such a figure will set you back about £60 quid. You could always go a little cheaper and get your model converted into a holographic image.
    Shapeways - Make & Share Your Products with 3D Printing
     
  12. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    Something for Ed, I think. If you download Google Earth and Google Sketchup, you can grab a piece of contoured terrain from anywhere in the world. Once in Sketchup, click on the textured landscape, to select it, then go to edit and "explode" it. That just turns it into connected triangles. Then export it, and with the free version of Sketchup you only have two options. Choose Collada.

    Now you need to do a google search for a little program called MeshLab. This lets you open collada files, repair them if necessary and then convert them to another format. That way you can bring them into Poser or Bryce or whatever. Do pick a format that exports uvw data, for applying textures.
     
  13. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    This is what Gyo looks like. It's about thirty miles west of Mandalay. Quite a large village and reading of the attack on it, it was then as well. The huts look as though they are built up on stilts. Seems wise as that is a flood plain. I've upped the y axis four times to show the contour relief a bit better. My uncle Matty, attacked an anti tank gun over open ground but it doesn't look the best sort of open ground for tanks. i would have thought there's a bottle neck here for them.

    So one possibility fro a game scene. Any map references for others?

    How do you attack such houses? Getting a figure to run up the stairs is okay but do you run underneath and fire up through the floor? Or do you use mortars; and tanks in this case; to flatten everything?
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    This is a map from NASA's srtm data. The shuttle stuck a boom out and radar mapped most of the world. This is the region that includes Mandalay. The data for public use makes for pretty damn big files but it looks lovely!

    I really should have left the map grids on but forgot. These you get from here Coverage map viewfinderpanoramas.org

    Once you have them, file ext hgt you need a little free app to convert them. Find that here. 3DEM Visualization Software | VisualizationSoftware.com
     
  15. Hebridean Chindit

    Hebridean Chindit Lost in review...

    Presently experimenting with your links...
     
  16. wowtank

    wowtank Very Senior Member

  17. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    One immediate use I can think of for that 3dem app, is that it lets you do fly throughs. So if you know where your chindits are and the flight plan for air drops, you can animate the fly through. You can also do a 360 degree animation, to show your horizon.

    With that app it's a good idea to read the help pdf. It's actually well written for the lay person. If you do a "find" for SRTM (Shuttle Radar Tomography Map) it tells you where the website for the maps is. Now I haven't checked that out but it might also have overlay images there as well. These are what they sound like, very much like google earth images but they have a position file to fit them to the elevation map.

    There's also a Terragen export, which is great, as Terragen does almost photo real renders (very slow though!)

    Wowtank, for the game side of things, I do plan on making a Merrill's Marauder figure.
     
  18. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    Hi Wowtank, I watched a bit of this game on youtube after reading the wiki article. Joe the hero, meets a bunch of ANZACs, and proceeds to ride around on an elephant shooting short sighted, idiotic Japanese. I'm not sure you should have an elephant in the script, simply because you can! I'm also not keen on a guy carrying multiple weapons and ammo.

    Then, the script overall looks way to convoluted for my taste, Indiana Jones on acid. The comments about the AI are valid, and that is one of the areas where I need to find some good programmers.

    At the moment it's too early to worry unduly about the script. Subtle is best. I think it needs to look at the frictions between Stillwell and Slim and what the SOE were up to.
     
  19. Bob Turner

    Bob Turner Senior Member

    Another one for eddie I think. Poser makes nice figures but they are nice because they have a lot of polygons. For game engines, the poly count should be as low as you can get away with. So, save a Poser figure as an obj file and then bring it into this app to reduce its poly count. The model will look faceted but Unity can use something called a normal map, this has the effect of smoothing the model and giving the appearance of detail where there isn't really any. The lite version of this app works up to so many polys, the pro version can handle huge numbers of polys and it's only about $45, up to you. 3D models optimization tools, polygon reduction and fast 3D rendering | Atangeo
     
  20. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    Not wanting to be negative but... with the amount of work involved, and assuming it's not a commercial venture, have you considered doing it as a mod for Arma and adding your own models, configs, terrain and missions on to the existing engine? There may even be scope for a mod within a mod as I notice there's a US-centric Hell in the Pacific mod in development.

    And anything done with Arma is unlikely to end up as a CoD clone as the AI are not puppets and can only be 'encouraged' to do things!
     

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