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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 05:12 
Omnidouche
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Just about finished rounding out the still-mostly-theoretical tech tree as a flowchart, and figured out a few ways how the economy can work and still be compatible with existing maps while not sacrificing my original thematic design.

If you're unfamiliar with my newest project, it's basically intended to be a merger of a variety of the ideas from my previous half-finished mods. To my great shame, there are, ah, too many to list. The three biggest influences would be the "new" (and probably never-to-be-released) version of AA, the Galactic Empire Mod, the "RTS 2.1" mod, and some smaller concepts I came up with while developing other mods like Advance Wars.

What's set in stone so far:

The current design calls for 30+ structures and 60+ units, though I expect this will expand a bit as gameplay demands. I would ideally like to keep the total unit/structure count below 100 to avoid making the game too intimidating or having redundancies.

For the most part, units will be on a small scale, while structures will be on a much larger scale. The mod won't have gigantic L3 mechs like you're used to from AA, where the largest ground unit was something like 6x6 IIRC. The largest ground unit in this new mod will be more like 3x3 or 4x4 at the largest, while structures will commonly be the size of AA Experimental Gantries and larger.

There will be no Commander unit or superweapons such as berthas, nuke launchers, etc. However there will be "unique" or special units that you're only allowed to have a certain number of, for example.

Most of the game will be focused primarily around ground combat, similar to TA/AA. Any combat that takes place at sea or in the air will merely be a means to that end. There won't be a lot of fortification buildings, so you will need to be careful about spreading yourself too thin.

I'm working to eliminate the possibility of cheesy game-ending tactics like the strategic-bomber-on-commander-swarm, commbombing, memorized optimal teching patterns, etc.

I'm taking a special approach to unit design that greatly reduces my workload, making 100 units not such an intimidating number for one person to create and balance. It is still a large task and I'm unsure as to even approximately how long it will take. Like I said in a previous post, to avoid any "confusion" about whether screenshots feature final models or textures, I won't be releasing any media until the mod is fairly close to completion.

The mod will attempt to focus fighting on smaller conflicts rather than just "repeat build X, order pizza, attack en masse and hope for the best". Units will be expensive so you will not want to throw them away. Throughout the game there will be economic limitations that make careless mass production very dangerous.

The mod will be initially released with only one "side" or "race", whatever. I may allow people to choose their own special starting options or something to help make this less of a disappointment, however the unit list will remain the same. At some point in the future I would like to design the second "side", and I already have a pretty solid idea of how it would work, but I'm prioritizing getting something released rather than risking a repeat of past performances.

The mod will not use any copyrighted material, everything will be my own original work. Well, probably not scripts, but everything else. I think.

Finally, there's lots of other stuff that I can't even figure out a way to be purposefully vague about without giving away top secret ideas.

"My New Mod" is on a totally different level compared to AA/BA or, to my knowledge, any Spring mods/games to date. There's a lot more complexity, but I hope I will be able to reach this goal while keeping gameplay very intuitive and sensible.

edit: Oh, one more thing, the whole game system I have planned does not yet even take into account any use of lua whatsoever. It's possible with just the stock engine without any bells and whistles. This means two things, first that it won't rely on any broken tacked-on functionality. It also means there's tons of untapped potential if I decide I want to conservatively add to the basic engine's feature set.

I've broken lots of promises and ruined whatever reputation I once had, but try to remember the glory days of AA - I'm going to bring them back and a lot more. A lot of planning has gone into this (directly and indirectly), and regardless of how long it's been since I actually released anything, I still know this engine better than almost anyone. Still, it would be stupid to say anything about my plans for testing, a release date, etc. I'll try to update this forum as there are new developments.


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 05:22 
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*obvious troll comment referencing that giant, chrome, space penis you made*


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 05:44 
Conflict Terra Developer
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It sounds like some of your goals correlate with the some of the goals of Conflict Terra. I'll be excited to see what comes of your project.


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 06:24 
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Caydr wrote:
"My New Mod" is on a totally different level compared to AA/BA or, to my knowledge, any Spring mods/games to date. There's a lot more complexity, but I hope I will be able to reach this goal while keeping gameplay very intuitive and sensible.

I still know this engine better than almost anyone.

lol


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 10:14 
Omnidouche
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Start any version of CA
/cheat
/give all
crash

That's what happened when I tried it... maybe a year ago? Check to see if it still crashes. If it doesn't, let me know so I can come up with another offhand reference about a mod developed by our foremost experts that breaks the game.

I do say "almost" since I admit the engine developers themselves obviously know more about the engine than I do. But from a mod/game development standpoint, you're going to have a hard time finding someone else that knows so much random information about how the engine works and how to exploit it to its full potential.

I spent so much time working on AA that even now I can tell you any unit's FBI filename, roughly how much health it has, the names of the weapons it's equipped with, etc. I spent a year and a half with this stuff and for over a year AA had 2/3 of the playerbase with XTA taking the rest. Now it's the AA-derived BA in that position. Did we arrive at this state of affairs because I have no idea what I'm doing?

I'm not saying this to say "look at how great I am", I'm reinforcing the fact that I have what it takes to really make this happen. I mean no offense to the CA people... you should really figure out what's causing that sometime though...


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 13:51 
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An hour is a long time in the history of CA, a year is just incomprehensible


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 14:57 
Map Creator
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Quote:
There will be no Commander unit or superweapons such as berthas, nuke launchers, etc. However there will be "unique" or special units that you're only allowed to have a certain number of, for example.


Quote:
I'm working to eliminate the possibility of cheesy game-ending tactics like the strategic-bomber-on-commander-swarm, commbombing, memorized optimal teching patterns, etc.


waaaat?

also, less hours spent writing design documents and more hours actually doing the work


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 18:52 
Omnidouche
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AF wrote:
An hour is a long time in the history of CA, a year is just incomprehensible

It still crash though?

1v0ry_k1ng wrote:
also, less hours spent writing design documents and more hours actually doing the work

Modeling has been ongoing, but figuring out how everything is going to properly mesh together (ideas from 7+ mod concepts) is very difficult.


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 21:28 
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1v0ry_k1ng wrote:
Quote:
There will be no Commander unit or superweapons such as berthas, nuke launchers, etc. However there will be "unique" or special units that you're only allowed to have a certain number of, for example.


Quote:
I'm working to eliminate the possibility of cheesy game-ending tactics like the strategic-bomber-on-commander-swarm, commbombing, memorized optimal teching patterns, etc.


waaaat?


Is it just me, or does all that sound a lot like Gundam RTS?


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PostPosted: 11 Apr 2010, 22:39 
Zero-K Developer
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Caydr wrote:
Start any version of CA
/cheat
/give all
crash

That's what happened when I tried it... maybe a year ago? Check to see if it still crashes. If it doesn't, let me know so I can come up with another offhand reference about a mod developed by our foremost experts that breaks the game.
Why are you bringing CA into this? Also, your comparison is distinctly flawed, and you know it.

Quote:
I'm not saying this to say "look at how great I am", I'm reinforcing the fact that I have what it takes to really make this happen.
If you want to reinforce the fact that you have what it takes to really make this happen, then make it happen.

Quote:
I mean no offense to the CA people... you should really figure out what's causing that sometime though...

I mean no offense to you here with this post, but what you have said is not only an offhanded insult that was very much out of line and a pathetic dig at CA in an attempt to make yourself look better despite not having released anything in the way of actual playable files in over a year (correct me if I'm wrong), but also a complete and utter fabrication:
Image


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 03:50 
Omnidouche
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Actually it's been a heck of a lot longer than just one year since I released anything.

I brought up CA because on several occasions over the course of at least a year I tried both stable and development releases, and rather than spend time figuring out what every unit does and what builds it, I wanted to see what sorts of units in general the mod had. I was, you see, under the impression from several people that it was a mashup of broken things that don't fit together. This seemed to be confirmed when:

/cheat
/give all

...would always crash. As CA was at the time (or is still?) regarded as being very cutting-edge in terms of use of the engine's features and lua, I regarded this as a sign that its developers - and therefore, most probably many less experienced, less cutting-edge developers - were very likely not fully versed in the more basic things like how to not crash the engine.

Glad to see that's been ironed out though, and again my words were meant as a comparison against your former, less experienced selves, not your present, apparently-having-learned-how-to-not-crash-the-engine selves.

The purpose of this topic is not, as I believe you suggested, to create false anticipation or talk about my as-yet-unproven skills, but to provide an update on this new project as it stands now, where I intend to take it, and what can be reasonably expected. Q&A can also take place. I have decided to use this "one update, one thread" approach since my old "all updates in one thread" approach necessitated me to keep the thread locked for organizational purposes and thereby discourage discussion, questions, and comments, all things I value and rely upon to guide my decisions.

- Caydr
PR Director



BTW, nice ground decals - I believe I asked to be credited in the event they were used.

- Caydr
Legal Advisor to Caydr



I've been asked to inform you that Caydr doesn't mind if you continue to use his ground decals. He says... Uh... Pardon me, his exact words were apparently, "It's no thing, 'ma bitches, don't worry about it."

- Caydr
Administrative Assistant


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 03:59 
Conflict Terra Developer
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Joined: 29 Aug 2009, 19:12
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Rad!


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 04:29 
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It sounds like you've set up a nice, achievable goal for yourself... but I'm totally confused how this game will work. You want players to have small, modest bases, and use manageable army sizes, and avoid superscalar hardware. I can imagine how this came about - you've frequently complained that low-resource maps like DSD were far too high in metal, which sounds like your problem is more about AA/BA's geometric growth than freely available metal - did you miss the Greenfields days of getting Krogoths on no-metal maps? Obviously you want to make a game that is more manageable in scale.

What economic system do you have in mind to provide this? It's certainly impossible with the TA economy, and it's even damned hard with makerless economies - CA, even when playing without Overdrive, still gets heavy hardware into the late game... Only Gundam's fixed-income system seems to provide that, and Gundam has the drawback that there's less focus on territory control that way (although there are some reclaimable features on the map). Starcraft-style depletable resources seems to also provide this, but those can be very tricky to get working right.

Also, note that CA has traditionally had a "concept factory" full of units that aren't ready for prime time, disabled by default. This may be why "give all" crashes for you.

Either way, good luck.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 04:56 
Zero-K Developer
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Caydr wrote:
Actually it's been a heck of a lot longer than just one year since I released anything.

I brought up CA because on several occasions over the course of at least a year I tried both stable and development releases, and rather than spend time figuring out what every unit does and what builds it, I wanted to see what sorts of units in general the mod had. I was, you see, under the impression from several people that it was a mashup of broken things that don't fit together. This seemed to be confirmed when:

/cheat
/give all

...would always crash. As CA was at the time (or is still?) regarded as being very cutting-edge in terms of use of the engine's features and lua, I regarded this as a sign that its developers - and therefore, most probably many less experienced, less cutting-edge developers - were very likely not fully versed in the more basic things like how to not crash the engine.

Glad to see that's been ironed out though, and again my words were meant as a comparison against your former, less experienced selves, not your present, apparently-having-learned-how-to-not-crash-the-engine selves.

The purpose of this topic is not, as I believe you suggested, to create false anticipation or talk about my as-yet-unproven skills, but to provide an update on this new project as it stands now, where I intend to take it, and what can be reasonably expected. Q&A can also take place. I have decided to use this "one update, one thread" approach since my old "all updates in one thread" approach necessitated me to keep the thread locked for organizational purposes and thereby discourage discussion, questions, and comments, all things I value and rely upon to guide my decisions.

- Caydr
PR Director



BTW, nice ground decals - I believe I asked to be credited in the event they were used.

- Caydr
Legal Advisor to Caydr



I've been asked to inform you that Caydr doesn't mind if you continue to use his ground decals. He says... Uh... Pardon me, his exact words were apparently, "It's no thing, 'ma bitches, don't worry about it."

- Caydr
Administrative Assistant
Nice reply. Everything's good. Also, we're eventually going to have to replace the ground decals due to OTA logos. :wink:
Pxtl wrote:
Also, note that CA has traditionally had a "concept factory" full of units that aren't ready for prime time, disabled by default. This may be why "give all" crashes for you.

This is very true. We also have even more secret, even more experimental units, mysteriously hidden for various purposes. :o


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 04:58 
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As far as I am aware you promised early alphas of the goods in 6 months. Its been 3 years. What happened?


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 09:59 
Omnidouche
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AF wrote:
As far as I am aware you promised early alphas of the goods in 6 months. Its been 3 years. What happened?

That's when I got my first full-time job, remember? It's my universal excuse. Routinely had 60+ hour weeks. So I'd spend like 6 or 8 months on a given concept, get bored, tired, and frustrated by my lack of progress, and shelve it in favor of something else for a while. I'm in a better position now, so I have time to actually follow through this time. This new mod is basically a combination of the best parts of everything I've done but never released, as well as a healthy dose of AA.

Pxtl wrote:
...I'm totally confused how this game will work. You want players to have small, modest bases, and use manageable army sizes, and avoid superscalar hardware.

...

What economic system do you have in mind to provide this? It's certainly impossible with the TA economy, and it's even damned hard with makerless economies...

Bases won't necessarily small and modest. For a long time I've tried to think about game design not just in terms of the obvious resources: metal, energy, time. There are other things, and for one example I will be making "usable land" into a resource in a way that I haven't seen done on a Spring mod. Many structures will be large, limiting how much you can build on many maps, and defense ranges will be fairly conservative. Build too big and you will set yourself up to fail.

Regarding how to avoid gigantic armies, the simplest way would be to just make units themselves not inherently always be "better" in larger numbers. I'm not sure how to be vague about this while still giving a satisfying answer...

This has nothing to do with the strategy I'm pursuing but it's an example of where more units doesn't mean a better attack: if you have 10 crawling bombs, and you attack all at once, 9 of them will explode nowhere near the enemy when the first one goes off. So that's one example of where more units isn't better, but there are many more, and I will be implementing some combination of them.

Regarding the economic system, there will be something of an analogue to metal makers, and I will use only two resources. There will be lots of opportunity for economic growth, but there will be severe risks inherent in trying to pursue TA-style exponential growth. Economy will rely more heavily on map-based resources in the new mod than in AA, and while it won't be impossible to play on maps without any metal spots, it won't just be a matter of making an infinite 5x solar, 1x metal maker queue.

In case I was unclear on this in the past, the mod as a whole will not bear a strong resemblance to TA, although certain parts will. It is currently something like 1 part AA, 2 parts GEM, 2 parts RTS21, 1 part other stuff, like AWS.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 10:23 
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Less walls of text, more quiet progress.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 10:46 
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The fact we don't see a restriction on build space is the mappers fault.
ATM maps are very conservative,many times trying to emulate DSD or some other very popular map.

We could easily have maps with very little space that can actually be built on.
Spring map base lacks many types of maps and map designs.
If some original design is used than the map itself is of low quality in other aspects...
We lack maps that are specific for certain number of players(2v2 3v3),sea maps and mixed sea/land maps,exploring more into different move speeds on maps,build space restrictions,Air maps(this is however really cause no mod/game has been able to create a good enough air play).


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 14:06 
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@ Gota

Also, there's no mapper control over buildspace beyond rough terrain, and rough terrain means also impeding vehicles. Well, maybe shallows, but that brings its own problems. There's no nice way for mappers to say "this is not a place you can build defenses". That means that every vehicle map will also be a base-sprawl map.


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PostPosted: 12 Apr 2010, 14:12 
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Pxtl wrote:
@ Gota

Also, there's no mapper control over buildspace beyond rough terrain, and rough terrain means also impeding vehicles. Well, maybe shallows, but that brings its own problems. There's no nice way for mappers to say "this is not a place you can build defenses". That means that every vehicle map will also be a base-sprawl map.


If im not mistaken there is already a map that uses some lua that does not allow buildings to be made on some areas.


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