I was going to ask "When will CA be 'done'?" However, Saktoth has already answered my question. "Saktoth Post subject: Re: CA is neither a joke nor a techdemo New postPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:10 pm ...CA wont be 'done' until its IP free." Is there any easy way of seeing how far along it is toward that sweet, sweet 'done'-ness, maybe like they had for that one starwars mod? ... never mind. I am so awesome that I read your minds and answered my own question again.
CA will probably never be IP free. 1faction can and almost is. There are a couple of trivial units left (spy, a few ships), a few sounds, some background stuff like names and logos, and then the cleanup and migration of the content so 1faction is no longer a dependency.
I plan on doing this during my uni break.
After that we have rebranding work, if we're going to launch as Zero-K whatever. Taking it one step at a time:
1. We need a high quality, well designed website that we can direct traffic towards, with a download link. (This is what we have right now: http://www.zero-k.info/) 2. A simple click-through installer that gives you the whole game in one package. 3. A decent lobby-type interface that allows for tutorial, singleplayer and multiplayer content. (Winter/Spring Downloader is being merged into one client ask licho about progress here). 4. Tutorial and singleplayer content! (We can use chickens here to a large degree, and nubtron is at least a groundwork). 5. A coherent, attractive functional interface (Chilli, but we've a way to go there).
There is no point 'launching' until all that is done to at least a large degree, otherwise we will just lose any new interested parties to one of these stumbling blocks, as we no doubt already do.
But when people usually ask 'when will CA be 'done'' they mean 'when will we stop editing it and maintain it as a static game'. For CA proper- we've already done this to a large degree. The gameplay has barely changed. You get a few big projects like Pylons, jiggering terraform etc, but most of the unit stats have been stable for months.
1faction? Well, its really going to switch up the gameplay. Its going to be a while before we get it perfect. How will the new factory lineups work? Will land-viable hovers just dominate mixed water maps? How many other options for sea will there be (where are the amphs?)? Do we want a whole new ship lineup and what should it look like? New units are being introduced because we dont need both stumpy and ravager, flash and gator, samson and slasher, more interesting options and interactions can be pursued but the factory that replaces arm veh still needs something in these roles- how will they work out, and interact with other units and within their lineup?
And thats just the direct consequence of 1faction, google and I have also tweaked the raider/con setup so both are both slower and weaker, to try and break the raider monoculture and encourage the use of the other units. We want to work more on AA balance, especially the packo, which is problematic because it uses a weapon with far too much DPS to make up for its inaccuracy and unsuitability as AA. Its also a pop-up as well as being your cheapest (and often most effective) dedicated static AA, which means your main AA is impervious to being sniped by land or artillery to prepare for an air strike- a key tactic we want to encourage. There is also the fighter types and relationships.
This will take time and playtesting, but you can be sure that when the mod is 'launched' as a 'polished', IP free product with all the frontend stuff done, we will certainly make the gameplay more stable as the playerbase increases.
Dammit, now you've got me all excited about 1fac. I totally agree on the air problem, though. As much as I love CA's MTs, the problem is that they turned the air defense tech-tree upside-down. Where land units start out with an OP, general-purpose but easily outranged defense like the LLT and gradually works up to increasingly overspecialized or prohibitively expensive uber-defenses, air is the reverse. The two lowest-level defenses are over-specialized, and the high-level defense (the chainsaw and flakker) effectively _end_ the air attack game. The pop-up AA defenses are fiddly to balance because they're a specialized unit (a pop-up anti-gunship defense) that CA developers are trying to balance for general-purpose use, making it oscillate between OP and UP.
Too bad the video on the Zero-K website is obviously full of CA's TA content. I was all excitied to see a vid of what 1fac currently looks like and was greeted with a video of Krogoths and Penetrators.
I actually can help you out a bit with a Launcher. I made AppLauncher for PURE. It's a simple .NET 1.1/Mono-compatible app that lets you produce a skinned list of buttons or blocks of RTF-compatible text. It's nothing flashy, but it gets the job done.... but these days an integrated Lua-based launcher is probably a better approach, and KDR, Z and Smoth have done wonderful stuff with that style... you could take that further with Chili.
I think he's referring to raider-friendly flatland maps like CCR, and the problem isn't that the game is all raider, but that there's really only one class of raider used.
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