Making Dating Sim 5.7

I’ve been tinkering around with the dating simulator again, making some improvements to the backyard activities, especially the swimming activity, which has not been changed much since version 1.0.

Part of the reason is that the “pool” comes from The Sims 2, which does not really provide full camera freedom. Until recently all the pool shots were above the pool angles, because that is what The Sims 2 allows, which also is somewhat contradictory to the dating sim format of “first person” viewing.

I’ve had the idea for some time of doing some underwater stuff, and experimented a little with that while making version 5.5. In that instance I created a corner of the pool in Second Life, taking advantage of SL’s full camera control and water effects.

For 5.7 I decided to expand the idea, and just build a duplicate pool in Open Grid (at about double scale) giving me every above and below angle I could want. Above is the picture of the pool model in Open Grid.

So, I thought I’d tell you some of the secrets to making some of the pictures. The primary new feature of swimming is a one lap underwater swimming race. One picture I needed was Ariane tagging the pool wall. Above is a break down of the steps involved: 1.) Take a screen capture of the Open Sim at the location Ariane would be tagging the wall. 2.) Create the tagging pose (I actually used a “spider-man” pose from my pose library and adjusted it as needed) and build a set of white walls to stand in for the pool. 3.) Render a “shadow” from available lighting. Backyard pools commonly have underwater lights on the pool walls. She is too close to the right wall to get light from there, so the lighting is coming from light on the left wall. 4.) Render Ariane without the walls or shadows.

Combine the three pictures to produce a great underwater picture:

Another special effect is the above water pictures. These are simply too difficult to render realistically without some fancy expensive program. So when I started the dating sim project, I came up with a way to create these pictures that while not realistic, they get the point across, and in a way they are cleverly artistic.

Here’s my water technique:

This is the beginning of the race: 1.) Same as above. Take a screen shot of the position Ariane would be at the beginning of the race. 2.) Create a matching pose. I did not bother with a shadow this time as the lighting would be coming from multiple above water and below water angles, wiping out most of the shadows anyways. (Yes there is a shadow in this pic, but since it does not correspond to the background it will be erased.) This picture will be Ariane below the water.  3.) Position a black square to match exactly where the water should be. Also add a “wet” effect to Ariane’s skin to represent above the water line. 4.) Starting with the below water picture number 2, adjust the color to make it brighter and bluer before combining with background picture 1. Then use either a ripple effect, or just simply a smudge tool to simulate the distortion of wavy water. Get rid of the black water in pic 3 using a color mask tool, and then merge it with pic 2, then blend them together.

Not very realistic, but it looks cool.

11 thoughts on “Making Dating Sim 5.7

  1. Ge126 May 20, 2009 / 1:56 am

    Very nice adition to this great game.

    Got into one bug though, when Ariane says you can follow her into the bathroom after you race, you get the ‘Stay out of the bathroom, unless I invite you in’ ending.

  2. Ariane May 20, 2009 / 9:22 am

    @Ge126
    Darn, never fails. No matter how much I test, a bug shows up really quick anyways.

  3. Howard Gready May 22, 2009 / 5:25 pm

    Have loved your game–got my lunch buddies interested in it, too. A little competition, hmmmmmm. Anyway, one suggestion for your underwater pic is that boobs float. :))))

  4. natic May 25, 2009 / 5:38 am

    First time here but wanted to alert you to a big bug in the swimming pool scene, it plain doesn’t work on my computer for some reason. Also some other scenes don’t work either like the RPS scene sometimes works and sometimes doesn’.

    I use Firefox, Safari, Opera and Konqueror so maybe there are a few bugs only related to those browsers? I’d say that as a one time web developer if you test on Safari/Opera most of the code will work across all of them.

    Sorry for the nag. Played the game and been updating it with every new release since I found out about it. You managed to fix almost all the bugs so far.🙂 Keep up the good work, cheers.

  5. Ariane May 25, 2009 / 8:39 am

    The swim race is a “timing” game that I suspected might not work for some people. I’ll have to test it on other browsers to see if it is a browser specific issue. Its partly the reason why I avoided “timing” games.

    I found another bug which while not a game killer, it affects the story flow negatively. The simple fix is one line of code, but decided a more elaborate fix might be better, meaning I might have a 5.8 out soon.

  6. Paultease May 26, 2009 / 1:46 am

    @Ariane

    I love your game very much. .6 is easier to replay. I just click to begin again, and it refreshes the same window. .7 it opens a new window. The race is OK I can win or lose when I want. Both the Out of Town Photo Shoot and the Strip Club are great. The First time Live sex act came up for me I missed it. Wow Girl you are one kinky lady. The beach and boat could be more fun. I hope you expand them. That is not a cut. I think your game is one of the best RPG Dating sims on the internet. If you run into me on myspace add me I am (:*SNOOPY*:)

  7. NorseGraphics May 26, 2009 / 8:02 pm

    Good to see you’re still working on this thing. A small tip, there is this program – don’t know if you’ve heard about it. It’s called Bryce version 5.5 (search download.cnet to find it). What is does is creating excellent quality outdoor scenes, and your underwater thing got me thinking of this tutorial here:

    http://www.daz3d.com/i/tutorial/tutorial?id=941&_m=d

    It does not have a steep learning curve, so check it out. The thing to remember is that it doesn’t import bones, so posing needs to be done in Poser or DAZ Studio before import.

  8. Ariane May 27, 2009 / 9:19 am

    Paultease :

    @Ariane

    I love your game very much. .6 is easier to replay. I just click to begin again, and it refreshes the same window. .7 it opens a new window.

    5.6 opened in a popup window, that did not work for everybody, hence the change. Sometimes instead of clicking “start” again, you might try refresh. This solution varies from browser to browser unfortunately.

  9. Paultease May 27, 2009 / 10:47 am

    @Ariane

    I found a method that works on IE7. I add the game to my favorites then just go there each time I want to start. There is no problem with the game itself. When telling friends about the game I tell them to download it. They seem to like it as much as I do. I also let them figure how to play on there own.

  10. Polycarbonate : October 26, 2010 / 6:34 am

    i always prefer to use above ground pools because they are safer in my opinion`;`

  11. Alonzo Vanpelt February 26, 2013 / 11:31 am

    The above ground pools are preferred by most people to the in-ground pools. While some people may not prefer them because of their individual reasons, some do so because they believe that these pools are cheaper and even safer than the in ground pools. To build and set up an in ground pool you have to dig the earth surface to create the required excavation depth.^

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