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  #1    
Old December 24th, 2009, 10:25 PM
Alais
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Dec 2009

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Pokémon Universe MMO

Firstly, apologies to anyone who has read our site content, as some of this post is lifted almost verbatim. I didn’t see the point of rewriting for the sake of rewriting.

Secondly, we thrive on feedback, and read every post and suggestion the community makes. If you would like to point out something you think we should fix, please tell us exactly what you don’t like, preferably with your idea of how to improve it. Don’t leave us to guess.

We have recently migrated to our new website, and made some major leaps in progress over the last two months, particularly in graphics. I am posting because the game is now fit for showcase.

1. Game Info

Type: MMORPG (Not a hack!)
Programming Language: C++ with SDL (OpenGL/DirectX)
In development since: September 2008
Website: http://Pokemon-universe.com
IRC: # irc://irc.rizon.net/#Pokemon-universe
Webchat: http://qchat.rizon.net/?&channels=%23pokemon-universe

Introduction
Pokémon Universe is an online game that takes the gameplay of the original Pokémon games (blue, gold, diamond etc.) and turns it into a Pokémon MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game).
You will be able to adventure in a whole new world many times the size of the original games.

The Team
Spoiler:

Founders:
Urmel (The Netherlands)
- Founder, PUClient developer
Mr_Dark (The Netherlands)
- Founder, PUServer developer
Wasabi (The Netherlands)
- Founder, Website development/design

Mapping Team:
Kamaran (Denmark)
- Lead mapper
Hiteryan (Portugal)
- Mapping dude

Design/Pixel Team:
Ilsu (Romania)
- Pixel artist
Bakagringo (Norway)
- Vector artist of the GUI and other misc.
Alais (United Kingdom)
- Pixel artist of tiles, sprites and icons; vector artist of battle sprites, icons, general dogsbody!

Music Team:
Hiteryan (Portugal)
- Lead Music Team

Moderators:
Carbon (USA)
Tap1oN (Sweden)

Community Managers:
Shashi (Norway)

2. Graphics

Pokémon Universe is a game built from the ground up. We have looked at its platform, the PC, and decided to tailor our graphics system to the high resolution it offers.
  • Game field size: 964 x 720, with the semi-transparent GUI covering a bar at the bottom and right.
  • Tile size: 48x48, three times the size of the original tiles (16x16).
  • Tileset: 100% new tiles, with a little inspiration from existing Pokémon games.
    • Tiles redesigned from scratch to make the most of the extra resolution, not just smoothed existing tiles for the larger size.
    • Topography (layout of land tiles) has been overhauled for realism, including animated flowing rivers with variable depth and flow direction; natural-looking forests with offset trees and the ability to place single trees in three different places per tile; mountains will no longer look like a stack of pancakes, with new tiles blending in the vertical direction where there is no path.
  • Upscaled overworld Pokémon sprites, manually smoothed and detailed.
  • Customisable player characters: Male/female sprites with a large choice of clothing and accessories.
  • Vector-based battle sprites with a 256x256 size, drawn in new poses not copied from any existing game.
  • Vector-based battle animations in the style of the Pokémon anime, including realistic Pokémon send-out, return and capture.
Graphical known issues within the screenshots:
  • Tile pixel alignment errors on a roof
  • Slight blending errors in short grass edge shading
  • Missing player character shadows
  • Variable shadow colour and lightness
  • Forest shadows may need to be larger
  • Slight lack of embellishments in mapping (flowers, rocks, weeds etc.)
  • GUI does not display menus or icons (blank bottom right box) or the Minimap (above Pokémon party)
  • Empty slots in Pokémon party are not greyed-out
3. Gameplay

An online version of the Pokémon games, hasn't that been done already?
Pokémon Universe is not a multiplayer mod to an essentially single player game. This is a whole new game set in a brand new region, taking the popular gameplay of the existing Pokémon games and adding many unique features and enhancements to create an even better experience. It is a fusion of the original gameplay and mmorpg elements such as team play, “dungeons”, character training and loot.

What we have to offer:
  • A whole new world to explore alone or with friends.
  • Tons of new quests to solve including a party system for team play.
  • Surprising new events on the world map bring unprecedented realism.
  • Catch and train all currently known Pokémon.
  • Battle against NPCs and other players. Including team battles (e.g. 2 vs 2).
  • Tournaments. Beat all other players and win unique game content.
  • Trade or sell your obtained Pokémon and items.
  • Talk to the players around you or open the world chat to talk to everyone currently online.
4. Story

Spoiler for length.
Spoiler:

A decade has passed since the last major Pokémon journey was made and now the time has come once again.

In the newly discovered region of Miryus, people have settled down in small villages and begun work on larger cities to make new lives for themselves. It came as no surprise when Pokémon were discovered inhabiting these new islands, but they were astounded to find Pokémon from all over the world, perhaps every species known to mankind! Could it be true? No-one knows for sure.

When the word got out, a rumor quickly spread among the other regions that this might be the birthplace of the legendary Pokémon Mew, thought to be the ancestor to all Pokémon. Trainers from not only Miryus but the whole world traveled to the new regions' official starting towns and set out into the unknown, each aiming for the stars on their quest to become a Pokémon Master.

But something was slightly different here. Miryus was not just another region. A mysterious air hung over this set of isles, everyone felt it but no one could quite tell what it was. Scientists started to dig into the isles’ past, hoping to uncover some clue to the mysteries surrounding this land.

A few years later, the people settled, and Miryus had become a thriving region of bustling cities, peaceful countryside towns and undisturbed wide open landscapes. The official Pokémon League Commission established no less than seventeen new gyms across the isles and started preparations for a Miryus region Pokémon League, to be held every 6 months along with many other competitions. Trainers are now able to choose one of the already known starter Pokémon from a region their choosing upon arrival in Miryus.

Meanwhile, the scientists had come across a few small artefacts which were fascinating, but it was clear they were just scraping the surface. They called upon trainers who travelled the lands to join them in this adventure and help them unravel their secrets. Trainers arriving from other regions are requested to bring nothing but their knowledge and skills, as a region-wide rule to encourage exploration.

Along with the many settlers were some amazingly strong Pokémon trainers, their hearts set on being the most powerful of the new world. Self-proclaimed as the Brutal Five, their leader Natalia is said to live alone on one of the smaller islands to focus on her training. Few people know the exact location of the Five, as their training grounds are closely guarded secrets, and they devote their lives to training in solitude. It is common knowledge, however, that the Five are always looking for trainers to test themselves against, and keep a close watch on any rising stars. Perhaps if you train hard enough, you will catch their eye as a rival and receive a challenge.

Only one question remains:
Will you have what it takes to beat every other player in the Miryus region, rise to the rank of Champion in the official Pokémon League, and conquer the Brutal Five? Or will you break under the pressure of fighting other trainers reaching for the same goal?

5. Jobs

General requirements:
  • You speak good English.
  • Active on IRC (internet relay chat) to communicate with other team members, and are online regularly. Using IRC isn’t difficult, if you don't know how, we can show you.
  • Minimum age 18 years, unless you can prove that you are exceptionally talented and committed. It is very easy to feel enthusiastic about something for a couple of days, but we cannot afford drop outs two months down the line because people joined on a whim.
  • Enough free time to work on the project most days of the week and most weeks of the year. We’re not asking that you spend every evening on it, but if we don’t know when you can get something done, it will hold the development back. There are exceptions to this, some jobs such as Pokémon vector spriting are not urgent and could be done when a person has time.
  • A can-do and get-it-done mentality.
  • It is helpful to live in a European timezone (most of our members are from The Netherlands). This is not vital, but if you live elsewhere it will be more difficult to communicate and you will have to do much of your work while we are afk.
How to apply:
Create a new topic in our Jobs forum
http://pokemon-universe.com/index.php/board,6.0.html (preferred), email us at [email protected] after reading the Job post on our site, or reply in this topic.

Details on the application are on our site, but it is like any job application – tell us about yourself, why you want to join, and provide examples of work. You don’t need to have specific game-design experience, a talent for computer-based artwork and the ability to apply that to the job is fine.

Open Jobs:
  • Visual designer(s): creates original artwork including any or all of:
    • World map tiles (static and animated)
    • Character sprites, clothing and accessories
    • Vector Pokémon battle sprites
    • Vector battle animations
  • Mapper: map our new region with no bounds on creativity, come up with new themes for various areas, even suggest new tiles to the art team to bring your ideas to life.
  • Other jobs: we are a small dedicated team, but if you think you have something to offer us that is not listed above, we’re always looking for good, solid developers. The best way to discuss this is to join us on IRC. irc://irc.rizon.net/#Pokemon-universe
6. Screenshots
Where there's a Wingull there's a way!
Spoiler:


Picture-perfect Pokécentre!
Spoiler:



Again, read the known issues before pointing out errors in these screenshots. Thanks, and Merry Christmas everyone!

Alais

Last edited by Alais; December 25th, 2009 at 06:49 AM.
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  #2    
Old December 25th, 2009, 06:07 AM
ryushin5's Avatar
ryushin5
In College YAY! :3
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: illinois
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Well I have to say this game looks amazing, love the story and the new graphics give a new feeling to Pokemon. Can't wait to see more. :D
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  #3    
Old December 25th, 2009, 07:34 AM
davidthefat
I Love C++
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Age: 20
Gender: Male
I suggest dropping DirectX and just sticking with OpenGL and SDL, I mean just **** microsoft and go for the better alternate.
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  #4    
Old December 25th, 2009, 07:53 AM
Urmel
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidthefat View Post
I suggest dropping DirectX and just sticking with OpenGL and SDL, I mean just **** microsoft and go for the better alternate.
DirectX is one of the rendering engines that SDL uses. Also, DirectX is very good, there is absolutely no reason to not give users the possibility to use it.
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  #5    
Old December 25th, 2009, 07:58 AM
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Mr_Dark
Poke Dev.
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Netherlands
Age: 26
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We tested the performance of DirectX and OpenGL on various systems and on some systems the DirectX client had better performance then OpenGL and on other systems it was the other way around. So there is no way to say OpenGL is better then DirectX, it depends on your system.

And with SDL we can give users a choice of which rendering engine they want to use.
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Website: http://pokemon-universe.com
Topic: http://www.pokecommunity.com/showthread.php?t=203849
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  #6    
Old December 25th, 2009, 11:16 AM
V0RT3X's Avatar
V0RT3X
Scientist at fluid dynamics
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Gender: Male
Nature: Bashful
It's nice to hear that you guys are programming in C++, and also that it would be a MMORPG.

Keep up the good work.
And in dutch: Hoop nog veel hiervan te zien, veel geluk met toekomstige updates.
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  #7    
Old December 25th, 2009, 11:31 AM
davidthefat
I Love C++
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Dark View Post
We tested the performance of DirectX and OpenGL on various systems and on some systems the DirectX client had better performance then OpenGL and on other systems it was the other way around. So there is no way to say OpenGL is better then DirectX, it depends on your system.

And with SDL we can give users a choice of which rendering engine they want to use.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Urmel View Post
DirectX is one of the rendering engines that SDL uses. Also, DirectX is very good, there is absolutely no reason to not give users the possibility to use it.
Im just not a microsoft fan LOL, Im for linux and sony... Any way... Im just sticking with SDL and OpenGL on my project, I dont care if directx will run better on some systems
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  #8    
Old December 25th, 2009, 01:29 PM
Urmel
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidthefat View Post
Im just not a microsoft fan LOL, Im for linux and sony... Any way... Im just sticking with SDL and OpenGL on my project, I dont care if directx will run better on some systems
Are you aware of the fact that SDL is simply a wrapper around certain renderers? DirectX on windows. So even if you "stick with SDL", on windows that means you're sticking with DirectX
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  #9    
Old December 25th, 2009, 04:46 PM
Bakagringo
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Gender: Male
The goal with Pokemon Universe is not to show we are in favour of a technology, or another. Several of our members use more than just one system, and we want the game to be as compatible with a normal consumer's computer as possible.

There has been talk about porting the game to Linux and Mac Os with time, and obviously those two systems will use OpenGL for rendering. On Windows on the other hand, OpenGL has it's positives and negatives. An Intel GMA GPU is unable to run the game properly using OpenGL. Considering this type of GPU covers large masses of the laptop market, it would be stupid not to allow a feature that's easily accessible through SDL. Doing otherwise would only make it harder for people to play the game.
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  #10    
Old December 25th, 2009, 04:49 PM
davidthefat
I Love C++
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Age: 20
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You can just program in SDL and OpenGL without any platform specific libraries and just compile for each system without modifications
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  #11    
Old December 25th, 2009, 05:15 PM
Bakagringo
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Gender: Male
Look, if you want to be a fanboy, nothing stops you from using OpenGL as the engine when running the client. It's not like you're forced to use DirectX. There are no platform specific libs in the PU client (From what I know).

Discussing this further is pointless, and only keeps attention away from the real topic.
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  #12    
Old December 26th, 2009, 03:58 AM
Urmel
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidthefat View Post
You can just program in SDL and OpenGL without any platform specific libraries and just compile for each system without modifications
Yes and then when you run it on windows and use SDL's surfaces for rendering, you will automatically use DirectX. Get it yet? :D

I suggest reading up on SDL a bit :p Now let's go back to the real topic, the actual game!
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  #13    
Old December 26th, 2009, 04:06 AM
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Tox
fight me
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Ireland
Age: 21
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It actually looks quite impressive. Well done. I'll look into it deeper when my internet is up and running again.
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  #14    
Old December 26th, 2009, 04:35 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Age: 19
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Those graphics are jaw-dropping. Such amazing detail on all the tiles and characters.
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  #15    
Old December 26th, 2009, 08:40 AM
Alistair
Donator Tier 2
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Age: 23
Nature: Quirky
Instead of saying the graphics are jawdropping, I'm going to say this. There are to many different styles going on, which does not make the game look good (in my opinion). The styles seem to borrow from Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Pokémon. While I'm not going to go into too much detail, I will also say that some of the textures are not really that good. The ledge/mountain is one example. Outlines are not too bad, but could use different colors, and anti-aliasing is nonexistent is some situations.

Obviously, there are some issues, and you are already aware of that, so I won't bother mentioning those. But one obstacle that is going to have to be overcome is trying to make all the graphics unique, interesting, and the same style.

But that aside, I think this project has some great potential. But one question, how are quests going to be done? Is the game going to be linear until you beat the Elite Four?
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  #16    
Old December 26th, 2009, 09:19 AM
Alais
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Having drawn the tiles, Alistair, I have to say you are right to some extent. The tiles lack a colour palette to bind it together, which exaggerates their differences. The reason is mainly because I personally don't have experience creating such a palette, and am having to adjust each set of tiles so it looks less out of place.

The anti-aliasing in some places is just a time issue. It is only me working on the tiles, and one person can only do so much! We made a decision to use tiles when they looked "acceptable" but no doubt after the beta I will do some additional cleaning and smoothing.

The mix of styles however is deliberate. I wanted the grass to look lush and the water to look more real, because in my opinion it looks good, but for objects and buildings, the style is strictly pokemon. If you think about it, the anime does this too, with simple cell-shaded characters against a complex water-colour style background and complex blended/3D battle effects.

One of the main reasons I need a good visual designer as a partner (besides the scale of the project) is to help me create an overall "feel" to the game.



Also, I have never played 2D Final Fantasy or any Dragon age so I have no idea what you're talking about there. My influences are the Pokemon games and anime, and real life.
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  #17    
Old December 26th, 2009, 09:35 AM
davidthefat
I Love C++
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Age: 20
Gender: Male
Work on your grass tiles
http://gas13.ru/v3/tutorials/sywtbap...grass_tile.php

Im doing mine at 64x64

also just make a default nude body sprite that everyone will have, but overlay the clothing and eyes and stuff so it can easily be changed, without making a new sprite
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  #18    
Old December 26th, 2009, 10:09 AM
Alais
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
I don't see anything wrong with the grass tiles, unless you are looking for individual drawn blades, and I don't see anything in that tutorial which I can use. If you mean the short grass, it is supposed to look plain, draw blades on that and it looks rough, clumpy or fussy. It did cross my mind that it may be "too" plain, so if you have an idea for making something that looks as flat and smooth as a putting green, I am interested to hear it.

Also, we have a paper doll system for sprites.
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  #19    
Old February 22nd, 2010, 05:16 AM
Alais
Beginning Trainer
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Quick update for you all:

We are having a closed Pre-Beta from April 1 (no, it's not a joke, not sure why we picked that date). If you want to participate, you will need to be active on our forums and/or IRC.

We are still in need of Pixel and Vector Artists, and I would be beyond grateful to see a few applications. We're not stalled because of it, but it would help the project enormously.

We also need Mappers. If you want to map for us, using a totally new, high resolution tileset, our own dedicated editor, and the freedom to request new tiles for your grand ideas from our pixel artist, what's not to like?

Here's one of our vector sprites:


Last edited by Alais; February 22nd, 2010 at 05:43 AM.
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  #20    
Old February 22nd, 2010, 08:31 AM
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V0RT3X
Scientist at fluid dynamics
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
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Nature: Bashful
nice to here there is going to be a beta, keep up the good work
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  #21    
Old February 23rd, 2010, 02:20 AM
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Heinze
~ Pixel Artist
 
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Really great!
Keep going, I loved the Graphics =D
And the game idea

[hr]

Brazukas ownam mesmo =P
Parabéns \o/
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