Truespace 7.6 - game industry standard?

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Truespace 7.6 - game industry standard? // Game Development

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Post by tamtam // Aug 8, 2008, 12:20pm

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I wish Truespace 7.6 could be considered one of the industry standards for game artists.


I mean with Truespace teamed up with Microsoft, and all its new features in 7.6, including cloth, animation improvements, and it already has hair features, plus it can export to popular game formats, especially if you have the gamepak.


Why is Truespace not one of the industry standards?

Is it used by big game corperations, or just small ones? Or is it both?


Thanks

- tamtam

Post by TomG // Aug 8, 2008, 12:35pm

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The biggest reason tS did not catch on for games was the previous skeleton system. It was impossible to do the most critical thing for your game - animate your characters.


That's been addressed now with the vastly superior new system, but of course now it takes time to catch on. When other apps have been used for decades, then there is an established and entrenched set of tools. It becomes self-fulfilling at that point - everyone trains in Package A because every studio uses Package A so everyone trains in Package A so every studio continues to use Package A and so on and so on....


Large companies will be slower to change than small ones (but there is still a big benefit there with distributed work teams these days, in being able to pull 3D assets into a collaborative shared space and work on things together in real-time, even if just used as a "plug-in" to load up models from other apps, then returning to those apps for modeling and animating due to established workflows).


Smaller developers on the other hand can change faster. Now development tools are more and more available - eg XNA is free to make the game code and logic and render engine. Now tS is free to make the 3D content. And now there is the chance of distribution and sales through XBLA for the low price of Creator's Club membership. A lot of opportunities now not just to make your game, but to promote and sell it!


I know a lot of small and indie developers are constrained by budget, and now that other apps like XSI are removing their lower priced versions and GMax has vanished, there was a bit of a hole there again - but not now.


So while tS is not a standard now, that could certainly all change, starting with small and indie developers, and perhaps working up to the larger companies. It can be surprising how long it takes change to happen though :)


HTH!

Tom

Post by tamtam // Aug 8, 2008, 1:03pm

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I think you're right about TS starting with the indie developers, and working its way up. I definately want to keep TS 7.6 in my list of software to use for game making. That's because i'm sort of an indie developer. I've come up with tons of ideas for games, but haven't got the chance to make them all. I'll just take it one step at a time, and it may take a long time before I finish making my first game, because I still have a lot to learn (mainly on the programming part).

Post by RichLevy // Aug 8, 2008, 1:14pm

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I'll just take it one step at a time, and it may take a long time before I finish making my first game, because I still have a lot to learn (mainly on the programming part).


You need to process 2 quality's to make yourself a success...


1) the willingness to try.


2) the drive to keep your idea alive...


With those 2 things, you can make it happen. learning to model, rig, animate and tell a story can be learned and improved upon... the other 2 must come from you.


Rich

Post by splinters // Aug 8, 2008, 1:57pm

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You mention certain features there tamtam that really are not that 'polished'. I never use the hair feature in tS relying instead on Dribble for basic fur/hair. In this price bracket, Carrara 6 seems to have the edge (price being the old tS7.5 as 7.6 is free, although I only paid around £30 for Carrara 6). Someone on the Carrara forum (I am not a Carrara fanboy, by the way; I was reading the 'tS is free' thread) described the results as 'pubic hair'. Try it for yourself and see how you fare....

Their hair really is excellent and the cloth system in tS is also pretty rudimentary compared to dedicated solutions but then we are back to the 'can't grumble for free' point of view...:rolleyes:


Watch this:


http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EFLQIUrLENc


Here is my first ever attempt at using hair in Carrara (took all of 5 minutes!) and it still looks more realistic than what I achieved in tS after weeks of testing, but you only have to look at what Parva has achieved to see what you can do if you persevere.

Post by tamtam // Aug 8, 2008, 2:00pm

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Trust me, I have been willing to make a certain simulation game (and a few others) for over 3 years, and I keep trying new ideas for the characters, objects, animations, etc. This idea has been going and changing through a long time, and I still want to make that simulation game. I'm up for this challenge for sure. I am the only one in my family who does all the game graphics (3d and 2d), web design and creation, and most of the ideas for the games come from me. So, with my dad being the professional programmer, and me being the "student programmer", it's pretty much me on my own for the game creation. My dad hardly has time to help me with the programming, because he works long hours at his job, where he makes programs (not games) all day.

Post by tamtam // Aug 8, 2008, 2:13pm

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Wow, that's amazing splinters!:) I did watch the video, and it looks cool. Do you know if 3ds max 2009 has good hair and cloth features? I was thinking of saving up for that, possibly from a student software store.

Post by transient // Aug 8, 2008, 3:19pm

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Unfortunately, 3dsmax is the industry standard (imo) due the fact it was the first program that could export quake files, and subsequently half-life. There was excellent work being done in other apps around that time, like admir elovichs's awesome serious sam work in lightwave.


However Id's preference for max, and the easy availability of warez, pretty much handed Autodesk the industry. A whole generation of quake and HL modders now make commercial games, and run their art departments.


The indi scene is probably the best bet for other apps, but even with platforms like FPSC, many people still use max, mainly due to the fact it's the only easy way to get assets into it. How they get their hands on an expensive app like max, to use in a cheap-ass one like FPSC, is anyone's guess...;)


With microsoft XNA and free truespace, who knows, maybe the future will be different.:cool:

Post by Daaark // Aug 8, 2008, 5:16pm

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Transient, Id used Lightwave for Doom3 content.

plus it can export to popular game formats, especially if you have the gamepak. There is no such thing as a popular game 3D format.

Those popular formats for importing and exporting from modeling packages are often worse than useless for anyone doing serious work. They are also sometimes worse than useless just for plain casual exporting and importing because there is way too much wiggle room in what counts as a properly written 3ds, obj and .x file. Me and TomG were having a good laugh at the inability for most programs to read an .x file written by any other program last night in the TNL chat.

Most games use their own custom file format for 3D data. They write their own exporters with a plug-in for their 3D art program of choice, and the file contains only the exact data needed, and is optimized to be read by the program quickly and easily.

Post by transient // Aug 8, 2008, 5:41pm

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I'm pretty sure there is someone on this forum who has developed a doom 3 lightwave plug-in, along with a ts one. Clinton?


I was talking about the early mod years. After half-life became the modders choice, it was pretty much game over for autodesk's competition in games. Lightwave, maya and XSI are all used in the game industry, but they are still minnows compared with 3dsmax, as far as I know.

Post by JimB // Aug 8, 2008, 9:11pm

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The indi scene is probably the best bet for other apps, but even with platforms like FPSC, many people still use max, mainly due to the fact it's the only easy way to get assets into it. How they get their hands on an expensive app like max, to use in a cheap-ass one like FPSC, is anyone's guess...;)

The TGC use a 3DSMax biped for attaching animation to thier models which makes it easy for animating and sets up a certain exclusiveness when thinking about freelance work:( .The users have a fpsc skeleton which is derived from the biped that they use in Milkshape3D or Fragmotion,in those two modelers the fpsc skeleton can be loaded and a mesh can be modeled around it.

Edit: The Fpsc skeleton can be downloaded at http://forum.thegamecreators.com/?m=forum_view&t=62483&b=24


Jim

Post by jamesmc // Aug 8, 2008, 10:06pm

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So which one of you has written a game that is known world wide and played by millions? :)

Just saying...

Post by JimB // Aug 8, 2008, 10:19pm

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So which one of you has written a game that is known world wide and played by millions? :)

Just saying...

I'll go first, for me game developement is just a hobby at the moment although I do take it quite seriously, game content creation is my main thing.

Just telling... :D


Jim

Post by Daaark // Aug 8, 2008, 10:49pm

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I've got one in the can that I am sitting on, that I hope to port to XNA to publish to XBLCG next year. :D That has solved so many of the problems I had with the idea of a PC release.

Post by transient // Aug 8, 2008, 11:37pm

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@Jim B - yes, I've used fragmotion to do this, but it's a stuff around. The milkshape skeleton didn't work, so I imported a character from FPSC into fragmo. That doesn't work either, but if you select and delete all of the biped dummy bones, one by one, you can get an FPSC character back into FPSC from fragmo.


I'll have a go at importing a skeleton into FPSC from ts when I have more time.

Post by JimB // Aug 9, 2008, 4:53am

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I have converted the fpscSkeleton to BVH and it loads ok in to the Workspace side and the animations run ok,I have zipped it if anyone wants to try it.





Jim

Post by 3dfrog // Aug 9, 2008, 4:59am

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thats the same way I did it, you have to fix the firespot in fragmotion or uu3d though after. I will see if I can get it with functional firespot in ts and post it.

Post by JimB // Aug 9, 2008, 5:07am

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thats the same way I did it, you have to fix the firespot in fragmotion or uu3d though after. I will see if I can get it with functional firespot in ts and post it.

Hi 3dfrog,
I am just looking in to the firespot problem if I have any luck I will post it.

Jim

Post by RichLevy // Aug 9, 2008, 5:19am

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Ok guys, this question is from a noobie wannabe game content producer... What is a firestop? I am looking into FPSC and if I can rig in TS7.6 it looks like a good way for me to get content into it well enough...


Any love for the newguy?


Rich

Post by JimB // Aug 9, 2008, 5:30am

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Ok guys, this question is from a noobie wannabe game content producer... What is a firestop? I am looking into FPSC and if I can rig in TS7.6 it looks like a good way for me to get content into it well enough...

Any love for the newguy?

Rich

Hi Rich a firespot is a joint in the right hand ,it is where a weapon is attached it allows ease of changing weapons.


Jim

Post by RichLevy // Aug 9, 2008, 5:32am

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Thanks Jim!


That is a load off my mind! :D


Rich

Post by JimB // Aug 9, 2008, 5:36am

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Thanks Jim!

That is a load off my mind! :D

Rich

Yeah I'd hate for you to lay awake at nights worrying about it, :)


Jim

Post by tamtam // Aug 9, 2008, 10:35am

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@JimB - 1. Is the skeleton used for enemies, or the player? 2. Is it used in FPSC X10, or the original FPSC? I have the original FPSC.


3. If it's the player's skeleton, maybe could you figure out (and post) a way to get the enemies' skeleton into TS7.6 too... please?


4. Also, how could I use other .bvh files on the enemies and player?


I want to make the enemies have custom animations that I make too.


Thanks!

Post by JimB // Aug 9, 2008, 11:24am

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Total Posts: 341
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Hi tamtam,
The skeleton is for the entities which are mainly enemies but may also be allies and used in the original FPSC .I dont think it would be very easy to use other bvh files with FPSC,I only converted the fpsc skeleton to bvh so I could get it in to TS76,you could ask mr Bones about it though.

Jim

Post by DavidAWinter // Feb 25, 2009, 8:05pm

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Total Posts: 36
As Tom mentioned, it's sort of a perpetual motion machine when it comes to trying to change pipeline tools. They always seem to find a reason, or excuse really, to stick to what they have. Granted, some of their noted TrueSpace shortcomings were valid. It's missing some tools I think are very important and it can be a tad unstable. But compared to 3D Studio, at $3,500 a license, you tend to sort of put up with that. Electronic Arts can afford to spend $10,000 for a license of Maya. I can't :( .


Small/single developers like myself however have been using TrueSpace (and game space to a lessor degree) for eons + a day. I was using TS2.0 for my first published game. Used TS3 and 4 to generate 2D sprites for my first published (and fully licensed) football title. I used TS5 for my first 3D game and I continue to use TS6 to this day for all my game modelling and animating needs.


The desktop icon for GameSpace is the head for one of my football player models (I never did understand how that made a good icon but hey, who am I to argue :D ).

Post by v3rd3 // Feb 26, 2009, 9:56am

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Total Posts: 388
David, if you don't mind sharing, what is your game development toolkit/pipeline? I am going through the machinations of deciding tools etc to start my own indie game and appreciate any, and all, input.

Post by The Master Elite // Feb 28, 2009, 1:46pm

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Total Posts: 107
Wort,


...I believe that, with work, polish, and perhaps a few community members making some sweet plug-ins, tS could in fact rise above the Autodesk-controlled waters, declaring the land and sky its own, so to speak. :D


Max is cool, and very very very tempting for the power it offers [seriously, I'm considering getting the student version for practice and possibly to win a contest or two for a whole bundle of 3D software]. However, I must say that Max doesn't have TrueSpace's easy-to-learn UI. I do admit that, if I had received Max through some glitch of reality 2 years ago, I probably would've been using it for the rest of my life and never heard of tS. However, I asked for and received a copy of David Franson's "2D Artwork and 3D Modelling for Game Artists" for my 14th birthday, which introduced M.E. to trueSpace, and thus to all of you. :rolleyes:


Maybe if I mastered programming and wrote a free Sculpting program to go with tS [I think I'd call it truePlaster or CaliPlaster :p], tS would gain some serious popularity. Autodesk has a whole game dev solution under its roof, which will only interface better and better as time passes. But if we make our own solution, how quickly will the sun come up, y'think? :)

Post by DavidAWinter // Mar 13, 2009, 9:45pm

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Total Posts: 36
David, if you don't mind sharing, what is your game development toolkit/pipeline? I am going through the machinations of deciding tools etc to start my own indie game and appreciate any, and all, input.


My pipeline is admitedly old, but it has the benefit of working so why mess with it.


I use TS6.0 for my modelling and animation (using puppeteer for my animation tools). I export using TrueX. It's an older plug in for exporting X formation files. I've tried using TS7.6 and so far nothing I've ever exported as worked. The DirectX utilities can't load it, and my graphics engine can't load it. So I still use the older stuff. I wish Caligari would have put more effort into fixing bugs in the 6.0 series rather than creating a bunch of stuff I don't use.

Post by nigec // Mar 14, 2009, 2:13am

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Have you tried doing bones animation in Workspace side and use the ts 7.6 exporter rather than the older on in modelside, the newer one does export animation, but as yet I've never had textures attached

Post by Jack Edwards // Mar 14, 2009, 2:32am

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Watch your options when exporting to X from Workspace. Default is compressed binary which a lot of apps can't read. Text format is likely the most compatible. Also you may find that not all the features that tS exports are supported in the importing application, so you may have to uncheck various features until you find out what the other application supports.

The nice thing about exporting it to text, is that you can edit the file in notepad if needed. ;)
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