I've always wondered how they do it

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Desktop Gaming, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Desktop Gaming

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Hidden Object games! Looking at some of the ones that have come through in recent years the artwork is awesome (example) and I can't begin to imagine the production costs involved.

    Is this sort of stuff typically hand-drawn or rendered in 3D? I never thought the day would come when I wasn't able to tell the difference.
     
  2. gamer247

    gamer247 New Member

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    It's a mix. The way I do it:
    Make 3d scene of a room and render it out, then post production painting details, effects,adding/croping some pics.

    It is very expensive. The cost for one hidden object scene (this is where you find a list of objects) is ranged between 400-800$. Time to make one 5-10 days. Nevertheless the price can skyrocket, it all depends on the level of quality and amount of objects.

    Typically a studio has about 12 artists working on one title. Time to deliver 5-6 months.
     
  3. Bmc

    Bmc New Member

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    Typically yeh, it's 3D scenes with stock objects photoshop'd on top.

    Here is an interesting idea to cut down on costs.

    Take pictures of actual locations, then post process them to make them appear rendered. Would work especially well for the spooky games that have been in vogue for the last couple of years.

    For example http://3exposure.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/carnival_stictched_web.jpg
     
  4. Nexic

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    I attempted something like that a few years ago. Unfortunately taking pictures and making them look rendered is incredibly difficult.
     
  5. Bmc

    Bmc New Member

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    Many cameras have HDR capabilities built-in now

    Results won't be as good for every type of scene, but for a lot of pictures it looks pretty close to rendered (at least what you would find in the majority of HO games)

    http://www.stuckincustoms.com/hdr-camera/

    I definitely think it's a workable idea nowadays.
     
  6. electronicStar

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    There is no easy shortcut to do great looking art, if you want to create great looking photocompositions you have to be a master at photoshop and everything else that is required. Or pay an artist.
     
  7. Applewood

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    That does look mighty impressive tbh. I'd not looked at this genre since the first ones that came out which looked like they were done with MS Office clip art.
     
  8. Gary Preston

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    We did a contract job to produce a short demo for a HO game a few years back, I was pretty surprised even then at how far the art bar had increased in the genre. When you think how many levels HO games tend to involve it looks like one of the most costly genres an indie could go for in terms of art requirements.

    [​IMG]

    HO also seem to be slowly moving towards the point and click adventure game style, started out just finding objects, then you had puzzles, then story lines to fit it all together, inventory manipulation and more detective elements... Wonder if the audience that plays HO will eventually find adventure games appealing or just how close the two might come to converging.
     
  9. Applewood

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    That's an interesting observation. If anyone's old enough to remember them, I had an involvement in Shadowgate and its derivatives and we've been thinking of reworking something like that. Not so much a puzzle game as a story unfolding - all very linear and easy to author, but engaging nonetheless. It was monster on the mac once.
     
  10. Desktop Gaming

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    I don't recall Shadowgate but I remember plenty of others from the era, right back to some of the classic text adventures; Colossal Cave, Heroes of Khan, Fantasia Diamond, Circus, Kentilla, Sorcerer of Claymorgue Castle - I played them all to death. The graphics were sparse at best, non-existent in some but it didn't matter since, like decent books, your imagination filled in the blanks for you.

    All of this stuff was my influence for the way I did the adventure element of Magicville, and some people just didn't "get it". There's a tiny part of me (which isn't even closely related to common sense) that wants to tackle an adventure game of sorts. If only I knew some millionaires/muppets with cash on the hip.
     
  11. lakibuk

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    Yes, loved those games. The mouse driven GUI was special. My favorite was Uninvited. Shadowgate was hard, never got far.
     
  12. Indinera

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    Shadowgate on NES?
     
  13. Applewood

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    That was before even my time, sadly. I was the "coding department" of infinite ventures who brought them all to mobile (pocket pc, brew etc). They were rewrites though as the original source was long since lost.
     
  14. Grey Alien

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    Played ShadowGate on the Amiga. Loved it. Still want to make a similar game all these year later.
     
  15. Indinera

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    Ah, pity. Was a teen at that time. Shadowgate is my favorite NES game ever.
     
  16. Applewood

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    You probably wouldn't like my reinterprations then tbh - you could take three steps without dying! :)
     
  17. Indinera

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    I always thought the deaths were funny and to be fair you restart immediately with no downside.
    I liked the game for its great atmosphere mostly. And the music was cool. Not sure how your reinterpretations would fare, would need to play them to tell you. :p
     
  18. Applewood

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  19. Sysiphus

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    Not gonna mention which, but inside a game company, like 11 years ago, one of my main functions was this sort of matte painting tricks stuff: I was in charge of, a) Beautify by wacom painting over all 3D character renders for the full page press ads, make it look like it was a GI, super detailed, errors-free 3D render. Obviously any 3D expert would detect it was not a render output, but the other 99% of the readers wouldn't notice. b) We were smal 5 guys studio. The 3D guys (by then I had not enough 3D pro experience for them to even give me a chance) were in the end extremely tight in deadlines, a lot of rendered in-game stuff , they couldn't take the time of expect certain fx plugins to work, etc. I've been since always an oil/digital painter, so my task was to make a lot of gfx from scratch look like 3D, and yep, it's pretty easy if you now your way around realistic painting, and if you've dealt enough with Photoshop editing. And certainly, way faster than achieve that with 3D. There are things faster in 3D, like animation, or certain drawings with lots of perspective lines, detailed city structures, etc. But stuff like this, hadn't ever done specifically hidden objects, but I guess yep, way easier to go the 2D route for the additional objects, once you have main scene rendered. What is more, for me and I guess other painting people, might be easier to start even over a drawing of your own or a basic render (helps a bit as gives basic perspective lines and basic lighting) . The issue is the amount of work. Rarely would be a good bang for the buck for the artist, if not charging certain money.

    Wow. I actually worked always in small studios. The time with more people we were like 5 artists, but rarely it is more than 3. For cell phones, and some non AAA but large games, been like 2 artist (usually a guy for fx and me for meshes/textures, or 2 guys very high end guys in max, and then me, etc)
    12 artists... Just imagining that amount of graphic making ppl in a company... guess I've not experienced working in a big company...

    Btw, this :
    http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/15938/witches-legacy-the-charleston-curse-ce/index.html
    Looks like illustration, maybe using some boxes for perspective, or the artist just throw some lines, is not that hard, not a city scape... And then all hand paint.
     
  20. Indinera

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