Primetime ETA?

Primetime ETA?

Various things about Spring that do not fit in any of the other forums listed below, including forum rules.

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Scones
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Primetime ETA?

Post by Scones » 25 May 2012, 04:52

I'm a long time fan of TA, even though I missed the "golden age" and never really played any proper multiplayer matches... I've kept an eye on TA successor projects. Spring was a mess and SupCom blew chunks. Really been waiting for a good chance to get into what I missed out on.

*Many Years Later*

Hmmm... I wonder what happened to Spring?
Version 0.88! I should see if it's actually playable now!
It is! Only one de-sync so far! Graphics are not-quite-as buggy! BA actually almost lives up to it's name!

So I've spectated, played a few matches without sucking enough to warrant badmouthing, and it's pretty fun. Way different and less boring than SupCom, decent lobby system, love the torrenting content system, good maps, great interface (I'm not sure why it gets so much hate, it's highly customizable and transparent), LOVE widgets and features like area commands and metal maker AI, truly is the TA successor made by fans who loved the original g- oh dear god.

There's only ever like 2 servers full, or at least with more than 4 people (inc spectators), and 4/5 of all servers are always completely empty. I've tried morning and night across this week. I realize it's been said here many times before but: "Spring is dying", but more accurately "Spring is the living dead".

No seriously. There are 10x more people in-game AOEII than spring at any moment in time. Hell, most times of day SWGB has more in game than spring. That and half the games for spring if not more are pretty much dead, save for being a pet project with active development.

I know there's a laundry list before Spring goes prime-time and actually gets advertised around in a serious manner, but how far away is that? It's already 2012.
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luckywaldo7
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by luckywaldo7 » 25 May 2012, 05:21

Its generally considered up to the game developers to advertise their own games, as Spring is just the engine.

It regards to BA in particular, its primary obstacle is its dependence on TA content. Some people are working on replacing all the old models with a brand-new, consistent set of artwork. That is probably the effort you will be most interested in helping.
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SinbadEV
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by SinbadEV » 25 May 2012, 05:32

What do YOU think... do you think we're read for Primetime?
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MidKnight
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by MidKnight » 25 May 2012, 07:09

Prime Time? What does that mean?

Also, welcome back! Doesn't it feel great when you come back to something and it's grown and cool? It's like opening a present!
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Hobo Joe
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Hobo Joe » 25 May 2012, 07:48

Well, BA is coming out with a very large update very soon, a complete graphical overhaul. I have no idea what you're talking about with "primetime" but I will be doing my part getting the word out after this update releases.
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Beherith
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Beherith » 25 May 2012, 08:18

For BA? Very soon.
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smoth
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by smoth » 25 May 2012, 14:41

what he means by BA being ready for primetime is ready for the masses. I think a combination of NOTALobby and BAR could be. I think that with the model work, some cegs, and some testing for a month or so to get out the remaining bugs BAR very well could be ready to bring BA into the primetime as you say it.

As far as the rest of spring. 1 of the larger project(mine) was shutdown while I replace the art, there are however, 2 other large projects being actively developed. Those two are ZeroK and EVORTS. ZeroK uses it's own lobby and has matchmaking + a persistent tournament called planet wars. EVORTS has been working with DESURA trying to work the indie beat.

S44, Conflict Tera, Kernel Panic also are honorable mention projects but do not have the lobby/distrubution stuff worked out like ZK or EVO
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Google_Frog
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Google_Frog » 25 May 2012, 15:40

Zero-k isn't just actively developed. The playerbase is comparable to the BA playerbase. We would like advertising help because we don't have that much time and we all seem to be bad at it.
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Hobo Joe
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Hobo Joe » 25 May 2012, 16:53

smoth wrote:what he means by BA being ready for primetime is ready for the masses. I think a combination of NOTALobby and BAR could be. I think that with the model work, some cegs, and some testing for a month or so to get out the remaining bugs BAR very well could be ready to bring BA into the primetime as you say it.
I'm crossing my fingers so hard for that mythical NotaLobby 3.0 update to come out in time. I love NotaLobby so far it's just missing a few key features. If it gets those? That's hella close to a perfect lobby, IMO.


Anyway OP, Spring games are all developed by people doing stuff on their free time. Projects start, stop, start, and stop again, development teams are in a constant state of flux, people's interest ebbs and wanes, etc etc etc. It's hard to advertise things like that.


But if there's one thing that could be a final big kick before Spring disappears into nothingness (the playercount has been slowly but steadily going down over the last couple years), it will probably be this upcoming BA update. Help us make it this "primetime" you speak of! We are a small community of people, and if you want primetime you gotta help it happen.
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smoth
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by smoth » 25 May 2012, 16:57

Hobo Joe wrote:
smoth wrote:what he means by BA being ready for primetime is ready for the masses. I think a combination of NOTALobby and BAR could be. I think that with the model work, some cegs, and some testing for a month or so to get out the remaining bugs BAR very well could be ready to bring BA into the primetime as you say it.
I'm crossing my fingers so hard for that mythical NotaLobby 3.0 update to come out in time. I love NotaLobby so far it's just missing a few key features. If it gets those? That's hella close to a perfect lobby, IMO.
it's pretty swank. needs hosting ability though.


Or even better OP, stick around, play games(Not dsd 8v8 or whatevs) and tell your friends!
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Hobo Joe
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Hobo Joe » 25 May 2012, 17:19

Yeah, that's one of those key features I was talking about. :wink:

They made a thread for 3.0 in the lobby forum but it has no DL link and they haven't responded for days. :(
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SinbadEV
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by SinbadEV » 25 May 2012, 18:44

(I got busy and am going to post this without proof-reading it... consider it a draft)

Assuming that NOTA Lobby is the second coming and given that we have at least 3 major projects and many minor projects worthy of attention I propose we come up with a concrete promotion plan.

Phase one is to establish a welcoming environment for the expected influx of players so we actually need to start a few steps back...

Pick a Game (I'll use ZeroK as and example as it seems to be as good a starting place as any... the idea would be to repeat this campaign for each eligible game).

Ensure Lobby, Game and Engine versions (and Installers) are currently stable and will be for a reasonable period. Having up to date tutorials and maybe some single player scenarios and a working AI to run them would also be essential.

Create some boilerplate troubleshooting guidelines that everyone involved is familiar with that encompass the target Lobby, Game and Engine versions (and installers)... for the period of promotion all issues will be treated as game issues, never say "you asked the wrong place, this is a widget issue or a game issue or a lobby issue"... all issues are treated as ZeroK issues, you may say things like "this is an engine issue" but don't redirect.

Make sure everyone knows when we are going to start the campaign and ideally have a tournament and "official freeplay" times when all those involved will try to host games open to noobs.

We should also have fresh sizzle ready to go, gameplay videos, screenshot

If we can get a game to this point it will mean we have a game ready for "Prime Time" and we can start promoting it with fervour (I have some ideas on that too) I just think fixing, even for a temporary promotional period, all the things that are barriers to entry for new players is a necessary first step.
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Hobo Joe
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Hobo Joe » 25 May 2012, 19:09

I was curious about that, actually. I'm very much in favor of the idea of picking a stable engine version and shipping a game with it and not upgrading that unless there's a significant engine update. How feasible is that?

For example, I don't know when it happened, but I've been away for a while and I noticed that the pathfinding in .88 is REALLY bad. Units clump up more than I've ever seen before and instead of redirecting a collision course they just push through other units - I'm sure this has advantages in some ways but it seems to be a weak solution to me.

Now I'm not trying to turn this into a pathfinding thread (We've had enough of those) but I'm using it as an example of a reason to pick a good engine version and stick with it.



As for other promotional stuff, I plan on doing much of that when BAR comes out, and will of course take any help anyone is willing to give it. I'm sure there are plenty of ZK players who will do the same thing for that, etc. I feel like NotaLobby is finally the good simple and slick lobby we need to help random newbies pick things up quickly (SL and TAS were godawful for this - maybe good for experienced people who want to customize stuff, but not for new players). I'll be making a couple tutorials, doing screenshots, possibly videos, building a one-click installer with stable game/engine/lobby versions and so forth.

We've often talked about advertising, and some of us have actually gone out and done it, but I feel like things are now getting to a point where it will actually work. We have better looking games and maps, more functional lobbies, and a more stable engine. Things are finally getting away from the hassle of installing 10 things and then having it still break, ugly maps and games and so forth. And we need to capitalize on it before what playerbase is left disappears!
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Johannes
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Johannes » 25 May 2012, 19:54

SinbadEV wrote: Assuming that NOTA Lobby is the second coming and given that we have at least 3 major projects and many minor projects worthy of attention I propose we come up with a concrete promotion plan.
What's the 3rd?
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SinbadEV
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by SinbadEV » 25 May 2012, 21:19

Johannes wrote:
SinbadEV wrote: Assuming that NOTA Lobby is the second coming and given that we have at least 3 major projects and many minor projects worthy of attention I propose we come up with a concrete promotion plan.
What's the 3rd?
Given the timeline I have in mind I was including BAR.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Forboding Angel » 26 May 2012, 14:00

Is this the point where I mention that pathfinding in evo is excellent?
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Google_Frog
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Google_Frog » 26 May 2012, 16:53

It isn't I tested.
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KaiserJ
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by KaiserJ » 26 May 2012, 19:33

making small efforts to get players onto the lobby is like tossing handfuls of earth into a vibrating collander

unless you dump a whole ton in at once so that you get pebbles and large aggregate blocking the holes at the bottom, you'll just end up back to the current situation with a few lonely stones rattling around
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Google_Frog
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by Google_Frog » 26 May 2012, 19:35

If you don't have any players then you have to dump a whole heap in at once. But if you already have enough players for games all day (about the level of ZK and BA) then incremental growth could be all we need.
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gajop
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Re: Primetime ETA?

Post by gajop » 26 May 2012, 22:22

or if you had good singleplayer/co-op it wouldn't matter how big the player base, since there's always something to do
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