Mods question

Mods question

Discuss game development here, from a distinct game project to an accessible third-party mutator, down to the interaction and design of individual units if you like.

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Caydr
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Mods question

Post by Caydr »

Still fighting to get less hours where I work so, still, nothing is likely to happen soon. Like, probably months before I even open the "mods" folder on my desktop.

I want to keep this brief. There are a few things I'd like to hear the community opinion on. If I explained all the questions in detail it'd become a tldr, but please feel free to ask for specific details.

1) Are you interested in a new version of AA?
a) No
b) Yes, and I want all the changes you've made over the last couple years immediately, regardless of how disorienting they may be
c) Yes, but you should introduce the changes in small bites so we can get used to it and give feedback
d) Yes, but you should go back to an earlier version and restart development from scratch using new engine features, etc.

2) What should be my top priority in the future?
a) AA, the mod everyone knows. The mod's completion, on a scale of 1-10, is 9. It would require the least amount of time to complete.
b) GEM, a space/ground hybrid strategy game based in the Imperium Galactica universe. The mod's themes include separate space and ground combat, realistic-duration starship combat (SoaSE is an example), and colony management. To win, you must destroy your enemy's Colony Hub structure. The mod's completion, on a scale of 1-10, is 7. It would require a medium amount of time to complete.
c) Advance Wars: Spring, a mod that was scrapped when another group claimed to be working on it, but nothing else has been heard since then, that I'm aware of. The mod's themes include territory control and tactics that take advantage of terrain. To gain income you must control cities. To win you must defeat your enemy's command structure. There are no static defenses, and the game features (iirc) about 16 units and 3 structures. The mod's completion, on a scale of 1-10, is 8. It would require a short amount of time to complete.
d) "RTS 2.1" is a project to create an entirely new RTS game. Aspects of it bear a striking resemblance to a 1997 PC RTS game called Total Annihilation. This is entirely coincidental. The game will initially feature only 1 race, but will have a large number of units. Notice how I am being purposefully vague. The mod's themes include... hmm... how to put this, "adaptive strategy". The goal is the same as my ultimate goal for AA: For every defense, an offense, for every offense, a defense. The key here is that there will most likely be significantly more units than AA ever had, so there will be a lot more flexibility in that direction. The mod's completion, on a scale of 1-10, is 4. The vast majority of the units and structures are ready but need to be textured and balanced. It will require a longer amount of time to complete.
e) RealOTA, a mod intended to be an exceptionally close copy of Total Annihilation. This project was shelved, again, after a third party claimed to be working on something similar, and then disappeared. This is the closest thing to playing Total Annihilation you can get while running the Spring engine. Even many of the things that might be considered "bugs" are duplicated. The mod's completion, on a scale of 1-10 is 3 - as it was completely scrapped 3 years ago and I would have to start "from scratch" with a fresh OTA 3.1 port.

All of these mods are designed to be compatible with the same maps AA is compatible with, a prime example being Altored Divide.

3) How important is a mod's graphics to you?
a) Very important
b) Important'
c) Not very important
d) Unimportant
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Caydr
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Re: Mods question

Post by Caydr »

My own inclination is to say:

1) Yes, but take it back to an earlier version

2) Priority should be RTS 2.1, GEM

3) Not very important

The reason I choose RTS21 as the top priority is that it is not threatened by copyright law and it is a project I know the engine is ideally suited for in its current state.
Last edited by Caydr on 01 Jul 2008, 02:37, edited 2 times in total.
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ralphie
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Re: Mods question

Post by ralphie »

"I'm far too busy to mod, but tell me what you think about my projects i'll never make but love procrastinating about because obviously you all love me because I made AA"

why do you insist on posting this style of thread every 3 months?
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Caydr
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Re: Mods question

Post by Caydr »

08 Jan 2007
You haven't been around nearly long enough to have any idea what you're talking about, please don't talk about things you're ignorant of. You have almost certainly never even played AA.

This is what I'm capable of doing when I'm not held back by time constraints:

AA thread 1 October 2005. 1172 posts, 59 pages of discussion.
AA thread 2 February 2006. 1422 posts, 72 pages of discussion.
AA thread 3 May 2006. 1040 posts, 52 pages of discussion.
AA thread 4 June 2006. 3530 posts, 177 pages of discussion.
AA thread 5 October 2006. 1327 posts, 67 pages of discussion.

At its peak, AA had hundreds of games played and consistently over 2/3 of the total games daily. This lasted for over a year, and if you check my Sourceforge page you'll find that some versions had many thousands of downloads, more than any other mod to date IIRC, and that's through only one mirror. Despite my having been away and only posting rarely over over a year, I still have the ninth most posts on this forum - back in those days I didn't just mess around here having fun either, I was answering questions and getting feedback to better serve the community.

Just because it's become a meme to call me a talentless hack that never completes anything doesn't mean I'm incapable of driving a mod forward when I have the time for it. AA died when I got my job in late November 2006 and I'm not always going to be held back like this.

I have been trying to get my hours reduced for 6 months now, meaning less money in my pocket, just because I enjoy this hobby so much. There's no need to be so disrespectful of someone trying to work on something he wants you to enjoy.

The reason for this post is to get information so I know where to direct what little time I have. Imagine how much it would suck if I finally got time for something and released a mod nobody was even seriously interested in.
Last edited by Caydr on 01 Jul 2008, 09:57, edited 2 times in total.
[Krogoth86]
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Re: Mods question

Post by [Krogoth86] »

Concerning 1):
Well what are we talking about here? Do you mean "just" improving AA or integrate some of what you called "Abolition" iirc?

2)
Well I'd really like to see how you'll manage to get b) working (and I'm talking about the game dynamic like planetary combats vs. galactic map). I'd just discard a 1:1 integration of the Imperium Galactica universe in such a project due to copyrights... :wink:

3)
c)
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HeavyLancer
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Re: Mods question

Post by HeavyLancer »

1) C is the best fit IMO, but I would rather see work done on another project. ATM I think it is rather pointless to bring out another OTA-like mod even if it is the granddaddy of most of them out at this point in time.

2) RTS 2.1 would be rather interesting to see done, and if it had enough variety and even reasonable graphics (IE better than most OTA or 3rd party TA units) it might be another AA.

3) Graphics is important, but gameplay should not be neglected because of a focus on graphics.
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Pxtl
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Re: Mods question

Post by Pxtl »

Caydr, this is why you have to release early and often - I just released Hardcore Annihilation, which is a project with the same goal as your RealOTA. Which means one or both of us just wasted a ton of time because you sat on the files.
exdeath
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Re: Mods question

Post by exdeath »

1) A
2) A
3) C - I dont mind if they game graphics worse if they have a reason to do that, like making the view distances farther in a fps, or adding more things (like they did in gta san andreas)...... But if the developer is making the graphics worse just to release the game faster or another thing like that i dont like.
smokingwreckage
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Re: Mods question

Post by smokingwreckage »

1) A OR both B and D . There are a range of *A mods with strong development and significantly different gameplay: BA follows roughly an old AA format, CA is a sweet re-imagining of TA, XTA is still around and updated, and then there's NOTA as well. SO unless you have something radical to bring to the table, it's probably the least excellent use of your time.

2) C or D . pxtl is doing E already. While I'm an AA fan, the whole "TA expanded" approach has IP issues and is well covered anyway.

3) C. Graphics are nice, and probably important in getting a mod noticed and played, but I personally don't care as long as they're effective.
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Argh
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Re: Mods question

Post by Argh »

Meh, not this again. Quit procrastinating. Show us GEM, finished or not. It's the only original thing you've got, and it's the only one where not being an uber-leet animator won't kill your chances of getting people to play it.
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Caydr
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Re: Mods question

Post by Caydr »

Not true. Advance Wars requires little original animation, and RTS21 is an unusual case. All told there is probably little difference between GEM, AWS, and RTS21 in terms of skill needed to animate.

As for originality, GEM isn't an original property and just like with AA all I need is for Atari to say "Mmm... no" and all my work is gone. Similarly, regardless of the liklihood, Nintendo could easily pull the plug on AWS, although the work lost wouldn't be so great.

So, you see my dilemma. I have approximately equal chances of finishing any of the above projects in a reasonable amount of time, and I'd really like to spend that time on the one that would be most enjoyed.

Some people have asked why I make out as though RTS 2.1 isn't going to be a lot of work, then go on to say it has hundreds of units and structures. I know it sounds like it doesn't make sense, but it does, it's just not anything like you're expecting. I told Noize about it a while back, I think he understood and agreed with me that it was a good way for a single person to make an original mod. That's not to say it's not a large, ambitious project, but less so than taking a traditional approach as Argh has.

Guys, I'm planning, not procrastinating. There's a way to go about this and I have no control over the time when I will actually have the opportunity to do the work. All I can control is whether or not I am prepared at that time. That's the part that I actually need help with, and I'm asking for it here. I've got about 100kb in plaintext files just with plans and ideas. I still have a functioning brain, I still think of ideas that shouldn't go to waste, but at the moment the only thing I can do is write them down.
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Hoi
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Re: Mods question

Post by Hoi »

1a: from AA BA was made, and i think that is good as it is
2b:this looks like the coolest idea to me
3c:some nice grafics are cool, but gameplay is the most important
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Caydr
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Re: Mods question

Post by Caydr »

[Krogoth86] wrote:Concerning 1):
Well what are we talking about here? Do you mean "just" improving AA or integrate some of what you called "Abolition" iirc?

2)
Well I'd really like to see how you'll manage to get b) working (and I'm talking about the game dynamic like planetary combats vs. galactic map). I'd just discard a 1:1 integration of the Imperium Galactica universe in such a project due to copyrights... :wink:
1) Still talking strictly about improving AA. Abolition is something that would have to come after multiple mods had been completed.

2) There is an ancient description of how GEM was working as of the last time I actively, uh, worked on it, in the wiki, here: http://spring.clan-sy.com/wiki/GEM

And I imagine there are lots of embarrassing typos and outrageous claims like, "will be done by summer '03" or something. I'll have to fix that eventually.

A short summary would be:

Commander is not a unit, it is a structure, called a Colony Hub. The Colony Hub is not planned to be armed but it is well-armored. From the Colony Hub you can build a constructor. The constructor is an airborne unit capable of building many ground structures, as well as the Starship Factory structure.

There are two "zones" of combat in GEM: "Space" and ground. Space basically means "not on the ground", heh. It can't be realistically depicted in Spring, but you can use your imagination. Space and Ground units cannot interact with each other with a few excptions. Space combat units can fire on ground-based cannons, and vice-versa. Otherwise space and ground units cannot interact with each other, this is enforced by weapon categories and special damage categories. Space transports can load and unload combat vehicles. Combat vehicles such as tanks, rocket launchers, radar cars, radar jammers, etc, are the only way you can fight a battle on the ground. There are also defensive-only ground-to-ground structures.

You must clear a colony's anti-space cannons before you can safely land ground transports. Since tanks are slow-moving and are rather easy prey out in the open, you WILL want to use transports 90% of the time when you start an attack.

Only certain space units are capable of attacking ground cannons. These include flagships and high-end cruisers.

If you lose the war on the ground, you've lost the game. Similarly if you lose the war in "space", you've lost the game. There are no long-range ground-to-ground weapons.

Resources are Energy (generated at ground power stations) and Money (generated through housing). Energy is a resource primarily used for defense structures and for powering structures which generate money. Money is used to purchase most everything in the game, and it is the primary resource.

Colony management will not be as elaborate as in the original game, for instance you will not need police stations, stadiums, etc, unless there is a way to add a third resource, "morale", and maybe "health", etc. That's something that can come later.

This is just a really basic description... there's a lot I have to leave out to prevent tldr syndrome and some things I don't want to discuss yet. For instance you can build more colony hubs using colonization ships... many of the larger ships are a one-time-investment you can't afford to ever lose... there aren't really any "throwaway" space units... eh... there's a form of research planned... anyway, playtesting has proven the formula to work very well.
[Krogoth86]
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Re: Mods question

Post by [Krogoth86] »

Caydr wrote:1) Still talking strictly about improving AA. Abolition is something that would have to come after multiple mods had been completed.
Ok - I'd say a "No" with a) then. The reason is that there is no real need for an updated AA. BA improved the basic gameplay you provided and has grabbed all the popularity of your mod. In terms of not just doing some balance stuff there are things like NOTA, Complete Annihilation, Maximum Annihilation and soon a most certainly non-sucky version of LLTA. I don't know what you've actually planned for your future AA versions but to say it straight ahead: Just adding some units from Unit Universe and doing some balance (even if it's all nice) won't be enough nowadays. Even if you provide unique and new units like I did in MA or a very unique gameplay like NOTA did it's extremely hard to get ANY of the playerbase which is like >90% BA to play something else...

So with that said and as you're very new to all the new LUA-crafted features like morphing you've yet to integrate in your plans I'd say don't waste your time on this...
Caydr wrote:2) There is an ancient description of how GEM was working as of the last time I actively, uh, worked on it, in the wiki, here: http://spring.clan-sy.com/wiki/GEM

And I imagine there are lots of embarrassing typos and outrageous claims like, "will be done by summer '03" or something. I'll have to fix that eventually.

A short summary would be:
[...]
Ah - allright. Sounds a bit like a Final Frontier with ground units... :wink:
This could be good fun... :-)
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KDR_11k
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Re: Mods question

Post by KDR_11k »

Yes, third resources are possible, you can even do a fourth, fifth, etc. Forget the restrictions of the Spring you know, we have Lua now. Try e.g. Fibre to see how much we can change Spring now.
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smoth
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Re: Mods question

Post by smoth »

caydr, when you posted this thread most of us outcried with this:
Image

post some ACTUAL progress or stop talking about it. We keep hearing about all this crap that you have done but we do not see it.

So post some shots. You say GEM is 70% complete that must mean you have actually learned to texture! That would be worth seeing but I personally do not think you have the talent or ability. All you do is come back here, talk about projects that are vaporware and excite the few remaining fans you have. Stop teasing them, either produce some shots or stop trying to milk attention. I mean come on, if you actually textured GEM properly I would be forced to apologize for calling you talentless. What, after all the shit you have talked, can't you back it up with something!
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rattle
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Re: Mods question

Post by rattle »

3) How important is a mod's graphics to you?
Right now it's all ascii. PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!
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Neddie
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Re: Mods question

Post by Neddie »

Caydr, I'd just make some units of original design for CA, honestly. Start slow, build up, achieve some little goals before setting a reach goal.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Mods question

Post by Forboding Angel »

Yes, I would like to see AA again, however, only if you start from 1.46 as a base. After you nerfed the bladewings, things we pretty damn good, then stuff started taking off in really wierd directions, which is when i started losing interest.

Units in AA were actually useful as opposed to BA which is all about "just use the most OP units and you're guaranteed to win".

However something to note. If you were to do this, it would be nice if you took advantage of a little gadget that lurker made for me which scales the metal on the map up or down depending on the amount of players in the game. It is very very good. Use it as a modoption, not the default behavior.

We were actually playing aa 1.46 yesterday :-) Was good times.
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Pxtl
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Re: Mods question

Post by Pxtl »

smoth wrote:caydr, when you posted this thread most of us outcried with this:

post some ACTUAL progress or stop talking about it. We keep hearing about all this crap that you have done but we do not see it.

So post some shots. You say GEM is 70% complete that must mean you have actually learned to texture! That would be worth seeing but I personally do not think you have the talent or ability. All you do is come back here, talk about projects that are vaporware and excite the few remaining fans you have. Stop teasing them, either produce some shots or stop trying to milk attention. I mean come on, if you actually textured GEM properly I would be forced to apologize for calling you talentless. What, after all the shit you have talked, can't you back it up with something!
You know, for somebody who BAWWWWs the moment anybody says anything about you, you sure can dish it out. Not that you're wrong about any of that stuff you said, but still.

And yeah, no way that GEM is 70% done. It's only 70% done in that Caydr has no idea how huge the last 30% is.

And yes, Argh ("rts 2.1") and I ("real OTA") are already hitting two elements on that list... and KDR_11k is making a nice space mod in THIS that he could probably steal Lua from for GEM.

If he wants to work on an RTS 2.1 project, he should be looking at contributing some models to CA or something.

edit: to be clear, I'm a huge fan of AA, and think BA latched onto the worst elements of the AA 2.x changes. AA isn't the basis for all the played mods on Spring for no reason - it was really good work. But the fact is that, as RL took over, Caydr's been spending more time daydreaming about Spring than working on it, so he's stuck in fantasies that he doesn't have time to work on, much less work the kinks out of (see later AA releases). Perfectly understanding - when working the daily grind, my hobbyhorses run around in my brain... but you have to keep that stuff attainable or you'll never squeeze an ounce of them out into the real world in your meagre hobby time.
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