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Messages - Dauntless395

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1
Gaming / Re: Command & Conquer
« on: May 18, 2017, 09:01:57 PM »
I used to play a metric ton of Command & Conquer: Generals a decade or so ago.
(probably going to get a lot of flak for this since the consensus is that it's "the worst of the C&C series"...)


The generals were all unique and required varied strategies to beat your opponent. For example, if you loaded out as the Chinese infantry general and were up against the GLA toxin general who melts your infantry with purple goo sprinkler systems, you employ the age-old tactic of quitting the match and re-queue.

But really, the different factions made for dynamic game play, the units constantly complain about needing shoes, and it's glorious to launch over a hundred nukes to crash the game.

And the mods weren't too bad either. Would play with the Reborn mod active, which changed up the different generals to add a few extra cool units and abilities.

I always played as George Bush...


It was always nice to be the general with pretty much every ability, dropping MOABs and mini nukes from B3 bombers from the comfort of my base. Jam-packed with more laser turrets, EMP patriot systems, and mortars than Ronald Reagan's Star Wares program.



2
Contests / Re: 4 year Anniversary Giveaway
« on: April 07, 2017, 01:51:10 PM »
*Raises hand for a game*

3
Guides / Re: TM video tips/ideas
« on: September 10, 2016, 10:27:24 PM »
Xian-mei adds some really good points to making great TM videos!
I figured I could chime in to add some of my own advice on how to take your videos to the next level, with some relatively-beginner points:


- Cross Dissolve Is Your Friend!
Cross Dissolve is a standard feature that is found in most video editing software. If it is not, that is a sign that you need to jump ship and get a new one.
Essentially, Cross Dissolve makes a fading transition between two scenes by blending the two shots together.
If you need an example, watch my Total Miner: The Amityville Horror at the following timestamps:

0:13
0:16
0:17
0:24
0:26
0:50
0:55
0:58

Cross Dissolve gives that extra boost to footage by making soft transitions between similar interests. For example, in scenes 0:13, 0:16, and 0:17, each Cross Dissolve was between establishing shots of the house, and then 0:55 and 0:58 dissolves made nice transitions between the Lutz family unpacking.

Im pretty sure any respectable video editing software has Cross Disssolve as a hotkey, so use it!


- Shoot More Footage Than You Need!
Think of a photographer who shoots hundreds of photos of a model for hours at a time to get that perfect cover photo shot. The artist doesn't get the perfect one on the first try.
And neither should you.

I honestly shot a good 15GB worth of footage for my Amityville Horror movie (in contrast to its ~250MB final compressed size). What I did, outside of filming actual people interacting in the film, is a ton of establishing shots.

- Footage of me flying around as the camera with the hud off, seeing if I could get really good day shots of the exterior and interior of the house.
- Same as above, except I did it again at night. Tried many, many angles of view, tumbled the camera, flew straight at the walls, etc.
- Walked around inside of the house with a torch, and basically strolled through the house as if I was the main character walking alone in the dark.

When filming with with real avatar actors, have them redo their acts multiple times. Even if the first or second one is "perfect", you may find when it comes time to edit that they actually went too fast, or your shot isnt long enough, etc.
For example, at 1:27 and 1:52 in my video, I had my brother redo that same jumping scene for a whole five minutes nonstop. Just to nail that perfect "surprised jumping back motion". As well as open and reopening doors, walking around, spinning in circles, etc.

When it comes time to edit, having way more footage will not only help you get that perfect shot, it will also help fill in some "blank" areas in the film. If you don't know what should go in that scene, put in an establishing shot.


Plan Out Which Scenes Contain Characters
To make my life simpler in creating a video, I always plan out actors in the following ways:

-Scenes (in chronological order) that have NO players
-Scenes that have ONE player
-Scenes that have TWO players
-Scenes that have THREE OR MORE players

This helps, because you can prioritize and cross of scenes that you need to shoot, and scenes that you can do yourself. If say, I needed to film a scene of the Amityville house, I can do that on my own time. If I need someone in another scene to be walking, then I'll plan to have everything ready when I need to film that person.
Have those props and sets built before the actor shows up to help. Makes things much easier.

And with this ordering, you can also cut corners too!
When I make a list like above, most of the time I can filter out ones that can be fullfilled with a real actor, and one with an NPC.
Say for example in 0:54-0:59, when the Lutz family is unpacking. Technically, that gets filed under "three or more", but really, the characters dont need to be moving around all that much. So instead of rallying three people to stand still, use NPCs!
In contrast, take 0:48, with two characters. I was able to cut corners by employing only one actor and one NPC. The real actor (Refugee) was turning as if he was talking, and the NPC girl was motionless. Simple. No hassle of getting two people.


Green Screen Effects
Use SkyColor [0,255,0,255] for a green screen effect. If you've got video editing software that can perform Keying, this is how you use it. If anyone wants me to elaborate on this, feel free to post. It's a bit of an advanced feature that required trial and error on my part, but I'm willing to share if interested.

I used a metric ton of green screening in my video. If you can master keying, you will absolutely take things to the next level.


We might as well use this thread as a Q&A session for video-making tips for Total Miner, so if you have any questions, post them below.

4
Ideas / Re: nerfed walking speed
« on: April 26, 2016, 03:04:17 PM »
Just because its a block game does not mean that nothing has to make sense, & you know its true

Just like carrying around a meter-sized block of marble, that would weigh almost 3 tonnes? And stash 30 stacks of 100 of them in your backpack?
Yeah, realism....

Movement overhaul would be something necessary for down the road. Changing walking speed isn't going to improve your PvP experience, as there is way more factors to take into consideration.

-Momentum as was mentioned
-Fatigue
-Hit Strength (I want to use a Mjolnir hammer, and smash a crater into the ground instead of some standard girly mining hit)
-Leaping vs Jumping
etc.

5
Spawning in NPCs is like adding a couple hundred more blocks to your world; each NPC is made up of tiny voxels, all of which the game must draw in. As each face of the tiny voxels are rendered, the game has to keep up with it.

So imagine what adding all 50 soldiers to your map does. It would be like adding several thousand more blocks to the world. All of which the game has to try and render.
This is why there is a limit to the amount of NPCs you can spawn.


As for the texture limit, I believe it was said somewhere that having 16 textures makes coding easier since it's a perfect square (like 4, 9, 16, 64, 128, etc). As for why it is only 16, I imagine it falls under the same answer to "why are there only X amount of block IDs?".... limitations to the hardware.

6
Contests / Re: Star Wars Bundle Giveaway: Episode II
« on: April 05, 2016, 09:01:22 PM »
Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds is an awesome game.
It's an RTS game in the same style as Age of Empires II, with admittedly the same graphical look of the time (around 15 years ago). Picked up this humble bundle a few weeks ago for this very game.

Congrats to Lady Lobo for winning.

7
Ideas / Re: Host and Admins ability to search player's whole inventory
« on: March 28, 2016, 01:22:52 PM »
I believe a smart admin can get around having to look at a player's inventory, by controlling drops and shops.

- If the admins set up the drop rates properly for mobs, unwanted items (like TNT, lighters, fire blocks, extremely valuable items to be sold for lots of gold, etc.) will not be an issue.
- Setting up the economized shops to not stock dangerous or unwanted items can also alleviate this problem. Assigning a negative value makes them unable to be purchased.
- Going into game options, and physically removing the unwanted items from even appearing in the shop can help too.

It seems like this feature is a response to players abusing items already found within the admin's world. If the admins control the supply of such materials, you don't really even need a feature who's only purpose is to scrutinize remotes.

8
But I think there should be something to be done to at least prevent players from tricking the people who join their world.

For the PC port, it would be nigh impossible with custom avatars. The same dilemma will plague the Zeus and Testerman avatars.

As for Xbox, that wouldn't really be a problem. Only hosts could pull off your teleport trick, so anyone hosting a map would not experience the "Hey, look at my avatar! I'm a developer!" from remotes.
And one would hope players who join such worlds would have the common sense to know that the developer of a prominent game wouldn't be hosting a deathmatch world asking for Five Star rats, or boasting about his exclusive avatar.

9
Gaming / Re: PSN (Playstation network) News and Discussion.
« on: March 16, 2016, 02:26:46 AM »
$400 doesn't seem like a bad deal. Considering the competition (Facebook's Occulous Rift and Valve's Vive) are priced at $600 and $800 respectively, the price for the PS version seems to be the best to get if one was in the market for such a thing. And clearly developers will have access to produce content geared towards such headsets in order to boost attractiveness of the product. Not to mention it would most likely be compatible with Steam/PC games too. (Negating the need to buy Valve or Facebook's version).
And as technology progresses, the cost of production drops, and so will the price tag of the VR headsets. While I won't be running out to get one now (as there aren't any games I own/will own in the near future that will utilize such technology), if the price ever drops a bit lower I would consider buying.

I got to demo the Occulous Rift at a neuroscience conference last year, and I was pretty neat. Wearing it definitely feels like you are within your fantasy world. The particular demo I got to experience was walking across a plank, then stepping off of it. You definitely feel like you're falling at that point.

 

10
Eventually I got sick of that and decided to take a trip over to the bay of pirates because I needed a keygen for my legit copy of windows. Which is not really a great solution either, as the keys only last for 6 months before you need to do it again. 

*cough*windows loader*cough*

But anyways, didn't Microsoft state that they stopped updating the virus definitions for Windows XP, Vista, and 7, to force people to use Windows 10?

And for anyone who is manually upgrading to the new OS, be sure to back up your data. Never assume there can't be a crash or a bad install. In fact, never update within the first few months to make sure most bugs are ironed out.

11
Ideas / Re: Cinematics
« on: March 08, 2016, 11:23:16 PM »
To touch back on the camera motion options, they could be scripted like so:

Sweep [x,y,z] [velocity] [duration]
- [x,y,z] is the origin of where the orbit takes place. So wherever the start of the CCTV script is, that is how far away from the origin it will orbit.
- [velocity] how fast it orbits. Positive value for clockwise rotation, negative value for counterclockwise
- [duration] how long it orbits for.

Crane [x,y,z] [velocity x,y,z] [duration]
- [x,y,z] same as above
- [velocity x,y,z] how fast it moves in any particular direction. Adding velocity to more than one axis will have it crane diagonally
- [duration] same as above

You could make very interesting shots without even needing special effects or a professional video editor.

For example, say you wanted to match this gif below of Barad Dur.


What this is, is a combined sweep and crane shot. The camera is simultaneously orbiting the tower as well as moving upwards. Kind of like ascending a spiral staircase.
So to make this, one would set up the CCTV script like so:

CCTV [x,y,z]
Sweep [x,y,z at the center of Barad Dur] [positive velocity to go clockwise] [duration for however long]
Crane [x,y,z at the center of Barad Dur] [velocity 0,positive large value,0] [duration for however long]

The above would be the equivalent of holding the A button while simultaneously using R stick to watch the tower as you fly up. Much easier and more controlled to use CCTV scripts for such a job.

12
Your world / [Construction] The Amityville Horror
« on: March 08, 2016, 10:53:34 PM »
Houses don't kill people... right?

I am giving away The Amityville Horror House!
Please message me either on the forums as a PM, use the shoutbox, or send a message on xbox live. If you do not plan on using it as a haunted house, it will still look very nice as a Dutch Colonial Style dwelling for your avatars!

The Story

In the early morning of November 13, 1974, police responded to a domestic disturbance dispatch in the quiet town of Amityville, New York. Upon entering the house at 112 Ocean Avenue, they discovered a gruesome scene: six dead, killed with a shotgun in their own beds. Among them a couple and their four children.
The suspect: the sole surviving son, Ron Defeo Jr. 

He was taken into police custody, and confessed to the murders. During his trial he claimed to have been possessed by a demonic entity, which forced him to kill his family outside of his own will. On another occasion, he states that the demon possessed his sister Dawn, killing her three siblings and parents, and Ron killed her in vengeance.
Ron was nevertheless convicted of six counts of second degree murder, and was given six consecutive life sentences.



Fast forward a year later, the Lutz family purchases their dream house. George and Kathy Lutz, along with their three children Missy, Daniel, and Christopher, are eager to start a new life in a new town. Due to the house being vacant for almost thirteen months and the previous murders, the listed price was a bargain that the Lutzes couldn't pass up.

For twenty-eight days, the Lutz family lived there. By the last day, they were running for their lives. Here is a list of some of the paranormal experiences they encountered.

- The local pastor Father Delaney came to bless the house. When he tried to bless it, the holy water started to hiss and boil, and hundreds of flies flooded the room.
- Missy started talking to an imaginary friend named Jodie. Jodie would turn out to be a demonic pig monster with glowing red eyes.
- George would wake up around 3:15am every morning. It was the estimated time of the DeFeo killings.
- George and Kathy saw a demon's face appear in the fireplace flames before their eyes.
- At one point George walked outside one morning and saw Missy standing at the window. A demon was standing behind her. As George raced upstairs to her bedroom, he found her fast asleep and the rocking chair swinging back and forth.
- Kathy would wake up with scratch marks and welts, and at one point was levitated in the air at night.
- Cloven hoofprints were found in the snow on New Years Day 1976.
- One night when Kathy was tucking in Missy, Missy exclaimed that she scared Jodie away out the window. When Kathy approached the window, she could see two red glowing eyes staring back at her from the darkness of the night.
- Daniel and Christopher's window in their bedroom would abruptly slam shut on its own.
- George began to behave more and more irritable, and bore and extremely close resemblance to Ron Defeo Jr. He started drinking at the same bar Ron was a local at, and Kathy had nightmares of him murdering their children in their sleep.
- George described one encounter where Kathy transformed into a disfigured elderly woman with her flesh sagging off her face, and her rotten teeth protruding out from her cheeks.
- George discovered a hidden room underneath the stairs of their basement. The room was blood red, and was supposedly the passage to hell where the demons poured forth into their house.


Picture 1:All is not quiet in Amityville...
Picture 2: The Red Room in their Basement


On the final night, it was Hell on Earth for the Lutz family. Doors and windows were slamming, thunder and lightning were howling, slime ooze pouring from the ventilation, blood dripping down the stairs and walls, and a loud evil voice yelling "GET OUT!!!"
The Lutz family peeled out of their driveway and never returned to the house. They would send for movers to retrieve their belongings for them.



In September 1977, fiction novelist Jay Anson published a book documenting the Lutz family's encounter with the paranormal, dubbed The Amityville Horror. Working under the assumption that it was based on a true story, it was an instant hit.

By 1979, the first of eleven films were created based on The Amityville Horror. It was an unexpected box office smash hit, grossing over $86 million (one of the highest at that time). James Brolin, who played George Lutz, was given 10% of the revenue due to taking less money upfront. When the movie generated an unexpected amount of success, he was awarded over $17 million for his role. To put this is perspective, that would have been $55 million today. Harrison Ford was only awarded up to $20 million for his Star Wars The Force Awakens role....

The Controversy

Many skeptics caught wind of The Amityville Horror, particularly Jay Anson's novel. There were several inconsistencies and eyewitness accounts that plagued the Lutz family's story. Thrown in the mix were impending lawsuits filed by both the publishing studio and the Lutz family themselves, who all accused each other of defamation.

The director and producers of The Amityville Horror (1979) have gone on record to say that their film was entirely fabricated. They claimed that their purpose was to make it as scary and suspenseful as possible, so whether or not anything in the film is true cannot be deduced as real evidence. Since they purposely exaggerated accounts from the novel.

Jay Anson died a few years after writing The Amityville Horror novel, and mostly dodged skeptic's questions. He oddly brushed off their inquisition with "I am a fiction writer.", which seems to be the most damning evidence as to whether his story is true.

Broken down here are facts that contradict the "truth" of the Lutz family's story:

- The National Weather Center reported no snow on New Years Day 1976, denying any possibility of cloven footprints being found in the snow.
- The "glowing red eyes" was supposedly the neighbor's cat, whom had distinctly colored eyes that glowed when a light was shown on it.
- Neighbors to the Lutz family never reported any suspicious activity in the house. They claimed they would hear George and Kathy fighting and arguing over money quite often.
- Father Delaney, when interrogated by critics, gave inconsistent accounts of his visit to the house. On one occasion, he stated that he never even visited the house.
- After the house was sold in March 1977, the house inspection noted no interior damage consistent with the "Hell on Earth" descriptions in the novel.
- The Red Room was noted on the blueprints of the house. So it was not hidden or concealed in any way. George claimed that the Red Room contained the bones of Native American Indians whom were sacrificed for blood rituals. The local Native American tribes report no such history of being present in that location, nor to have ever done such acts.
- Ron Defeo Jr. frequented a different bar than the one claimed in the novel.
- The Lutz family fled their house on the twenty-eight night, leaving all of their possessions behind save for the ones the movers picked up a few days later. When the camera crew came in March to film a documentary surrounding the novel, they found everything nice and neat in their place. No oozing vents or stained blood, no smashed doors or windows, no presence of demonic activity.

The Lutz family was made out to be crafty con artists, wooing America with their false ghost story to gain financial wealth.

However, some evidence still remains, shrouding the mystery in more enigmas:

- George and Kathy both took a polygraph test after being questioned about the truth of the events. They both showed no signs of lying.
- When the bodies of the Defeos were found, they were lying on their stomachs. None of the six victims appeared to have even attempted to escape their fate. Sources suggest some unforeseen force held them down while Ron killed them.
- None of the neighbors heard gunshots when the DeFeos were killed. The weapon of choice, a .35 caiber rifle, would have definitely been heard.
- Some critics claimed that the story was fabricated to escape their bank loans on a bad house. However, the Lutz family paid the mortgage up until it was sold in 1978, so they were still able to balance their finances despite not even living in the house they were paying for.
- When the film crew came in March of the following year of the book, they set up a stationary camera in the hallway on the second floor. When the camera crew developed the time lapse, they found a picture of a boy leaning on the railing. It is one of the most famous paranormal pictures to date.




Today, the 112 Ocean Avenue, Amityville New York house still exists, but has been extensively renovated. The outside has been completely redone to stop would-be ghost enthusiasts from taking pictures of it. The infamous quarter-round windows on the third floor have been removed in place of plantation shutters. The house has also had a change of address to 412 Ocean Avenue.


Picture 1: 112 Ocean Avenue in 1976
Picture 2: 412 Ocean Avenue as it is today


Renovations for the 1979 film home in New Jersey, and the 2005 remake one in Wisconson, have both been remodeled for the same reason.

The town of Amityville has not been happy with the publicity either. Their historical site makes no mention of the Amityville Horror, and has forbade film crews numerous times from filming the house.
At present, none of the successive owners have reported any paranormal activity in the house.


Building and Filming the Lutz's Dream House

I started off by creating the exterior. I fashioned it as a blend of the current house's model and the 1979 version. Bevel siding was made by upside down stairs, and the cylinder texture gave it a nice 70s look.
I gave the house a remote location, contrary to the acutal house which sits on a narrow lot along the river, with neighbors about fifty feet from each other. The remote location fueled a more suspenseful atmosphere, as was also the design choices of the 1979 and 2005 movies.

The interior was a pain to create. While the exterior was done in under an hour, the interior took a good two weeks to finish. I tried to keep it as close to the original layout as possible. Even going so far as to pull up blueprints of the house on the Amityville Horror's website.


Picture 1: A changed layout of the property from the original.
Picture 2: Missy's bedroom, with the rocking chair...


After finishing the property, work was done on the special effects in the video. I set up a seperate map specifically for effects.

Spoiler for Hidden Content:


Bloody stairs and Children's Bedroom shotgun blast scenes. I set up some particle blocks on circuitry to get the desired effect.


Above: from left to right: Custom avatars created for the film. Pastor with his eyes closed holding a cross, Short Hole Face Jodie, Normal Height Hole Face Jodie, Red Scary Eyes Jodie, and George Lutz holding hatchet.
Below: custom designs of George in a sitting position, able to sit in a chair to watch some old timey footge ;)



One can see the textured wood flooring used for the particle effect for boiling holy water. It is activated by circuitry to power the particles. Also one can see the enlarged version of the "dial tone" phone off the hook, and iterations of the 3:15am alarm clock.

The designs for the characters were inspired from several sources. The pastor was to closely resemble the one in the 2005 Amityville Horror trailer.
Jodie is a conglomerate of several. She was taken from a Girl NPC, then changed to bone and grey for the ghostly look. Her outfit was fused to make it more like a dress, and her hair dyed dark brown.

Scary Red Eyed Jodie was created first. At first she had slanted alien eyes that didn't look menacing at all, but I tweaked it enough to be something truly frightening. As the Sea Captain says in The Simpsons, "Yarr, that'll replace -the whale- in my nightmares!"

Hole Face Jodie is a more developed version of Scary Red Eyes Jodie. I flattened and covered her entire face with bone, then began to construct the most unsettling thing I could imagine. She is an inspiration from the TV show Paranormal Witness Season 1 Episode 1 "The Lost Girl". That particular episode gave me the creeps, particularly when they pull up next to a girl dressed in white on the side of the road crying. When she turns to face them, she has a hole in her face as if there was nothing there.
Quite unsettling, which was the perfect backdrop for my Hole Face Jodie.


As for actual filming, it was quite the challenge. I started off by using The Amityville Horror (2005) trailer audio for my base, since it had a lot of creepier sounds than the 1979 version. I then interjected pieces of the 1979 narrator's voice into the audio (where the voice says "It has stood empty for a long while" and "For a growing young family, it is almost too good to be true."), as well as placed a sound clip from when they break into the Red Room, and the clairvoyant starts yelling "The Passage... to HELL!"

Overall, about 30GB of raw footage was taken to complete the project, a majority of it being B-roll footage of me flying around the map in different settings (exterior house shots daytime/nightime, interior shots daytime/nightime, and walking around with a torch in hand nightime).

If you have any specific scenes you want me to explain how I created them, feel free to post below. There are only three places in the film that weren't created in game (excluding intro and credits), so everything you see is very doable in Total Miner.
The SkyColor [0,0,255] script is your friend..... a very powerful tool. It's what got my car to move, and my scary demons to walk....

A huge shoutout to Ugh ThatZ NaZty, CrusadorZach777, CaughtJungle36, and Raptors 18 for their help being my stand ins for avatars! I definitely couldn't have finished the project without their support and dedication.


Ten points for Gryffindor for whoever can spot the Deputy Hippo, the Riddler, and the Joker in the video

112 Ocean Avenue Floor Plans
Some information behind The Amityville Horror House
Paranormal Witness Episode 1 Season 1 "The Lost Girl" Synopsis with Hole Face Girl

13
Ideas / Re: Cinematics
« on: March 08, 2016, 12:43:07 AM »
To expand on this, perhaps if there were Camera Motion parameters, this would help make the CCTV scripts more lively.

For example, you could add the parameters [sweep], [rail], [crane], [dolly], etc. to the CCTV scripts, which would make the CCTV do a particular action.

More specifically,
[sweep] - would make the CCTV orbit an object while maintaining focus on it
[rail or dolly] - have the CCTV move on one axis while watching an object
[crane] - have the CCTV move on two or more axis while maintaining focus on an object
[zoom] - have the CCTV zoom in

Though keyframes would be useful too. The game already has a rudimentary version of it with start and end values. But they would become more versatile and create unique things with keyframes. For example, there are already start and end color values. However if keyframes were added, we could change the rate that it changes color. So instead of taking the full 8 seconds a particle lasts to change to the end color, it rapidly goes from start color -> end color in the last half a second.

14
Contests / Re: Featured Video Voting for Feb. 2016
« on: February 23, 2016, 09:32:45 PM »
First off, I would like to say that I did enjoy everyone's videos who entered them in the contest. From the Garden of Eden to the bustling towns of Baystone to lightsaber showdowns, each video was unique and expressed their creator's passion for Total Miner.

Second, wow! I'm thankful for everyone's vote! I wouldn't have been able to pull off the video without some very helpful people. A shoutout to Ugh ThatZ NaZty, CrusadorZach777, CaughJungle36, and my brother Raptors 18 for their support!

15
It's still being run on static coordinates so long as daunt didn't use fractional coordinates in the main field.

I didn't use fractional coordinates for position. However, I did use fractions for the offset so some of them didn't have to spawn in the dead center of the block.

And once again, only the script blocks were affected. The particle-block-based particles, which were done the same way, are in their correct positions.


But now that I know it isn't a bug, I'll just go about trying to readjust their positions.

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