What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Forboding Angel » 09 Aug 2009, 00:46

Well, Evo is a project I started some years ago all by my lonesome. At some point Lurker offered to fix unit scripts and somehow got roped into doing lua for Evo. All was fine and good for a while until I decided that it was time to update the look. Enter Kaiser and Bumblebee.

Kaiser has almost completed the explorer side of things and we are getting very near to a beta testing phase. Last night I completely overhauled the game, balance, and economy to something a 2 yr old could understand, and I think that the people here will really appreciate it (Think CA, but even more simple to work with).

The game itself right now looks fanfrickingtastic. We have gone all out on the effects and subtle things that add atmosphere. I made a bad mistake of trying to take on too much at one time earlier this year and crumbled underneath it. So I'm taking things in smaller strides now and I'm really excited till when we can show off what we have.

There will be a beta test thread up soonly. It's not going to be a "Closed Beta" per se. I would prefer that the testers didn't spread around a version that might have some sucky characteristics, but I'm not going to raise any hay if anyone does. I myself am doing EXTENSIVE gameplay balancing and workout right now. I can only balance so well by myself, but I wanted to establish a solid baseline to work off of, once we have humans duking it out.

More on all this crap later :-)

Edit: Oh and AF should be here any moment with the cookies!
Last edited by Forboding Angel on 30 Oct 2009, 03:35, edited 1 time in total.
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bobthedinosaur
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by bobthedinosaur » 09 Aug 2009, 20:29

Can we have an alternative to evolution? For those who don't believe in it.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Forboding Angel » 09 Aug 2009, 21:59

Creation RTS? WIN!!!
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bobthedinosaur
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by bobthedinosaur » 10 Aug 2009, 06:42

I take it back.
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Forboding Angel » 10 Aug 2009, 08:07

Destruction RTS?
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Caydr
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Caydr » 12 Aug 2009, 09:59

If a mod contains destruction but all of it is virtual, does it really exist?
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hoijui
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by hoijui » 12 Aug 2009, 11:54

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual
The term has been defined in philosophy as "that which is not real" but may display the salient qualities of the real.
The whole simulaton is virtual, therefore it is bound to be virtual.

Virtual Insaneilation?
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Forboding Angel
Evolution RTS Developer
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Forboding Angel » 12 Aug 2009, 23:03

How about "Virtual Insemination"? I rolls off the tongue about as well as "Total Annihilation" does :-)
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Caydr
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Caydr » 15 Aug 2009, 00:08

No, you're thinking of hentai.
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AF
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by AF » 10 Sep 2009, 09:23

hmmm, cookies
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Zoombie
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Zoombie » 12 Sep 2009, 07:29

<ahem>

I was also involved in this project... somehow!

I forget how, though.

It had something to do with hitting my head against the keyboard...
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Gota
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Gota » 12 Sep 2009, 11:03

I am here,where is my cookie?
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Decimator
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Decimator » 21 Sep 2009, 17:39

Over there, in the cabinet labelled BIOHAZARD in large red letters.
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Gota
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Gota » 21 Sep 2009, 21:22

Hmmmm seems we have different tastes Decimator.
So in terms of gameplay...Where does Evo shine?
How is it constructed?Will there be several labs per faction?only one lab?any labs at all?will they be static?
What kind of units?the usual ones seen in OTA?
What about the economy system?Like in OTA?
How did you go about balancing the units?
What about the visual effects?I rememeber last time i tried evo some of them were a bit over the top..is that still the style?
What are your takes on widgets?
Are there any special game altering gadgets that do not exist anywhere else?or a different combination of existing ones?

Give me some mind candy...Last time i played it,it was a not so well balanced OTA clone with different models...
Did that change?

The people playing your mod will mostly be people experienced with BA or other games/mods that have a lot of unit depth how will evo compensate for its lower unit quantity?How will you create as much flexibility and depth?
There are ways of compensating for lower unit amount but have you even considered this issue?and if so how will you go about it?

Perhaps you intend to draw in players with some elaborate and engaging campaign or even a co-op campaign?

If you have not thought through these issues i suggest you do not release even if you really want to.
You will just scare people away and leave a bad impression that will need 10x more work to revert.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Forboding Angel » 21 Sep 2009, 22:24

So in terms of gameplay...Where does Evo shine?
Everyone has their favorite stage, but I think my most favorite is the raiding stage, which generally lasts the entire game in one form or another. Being raided on a front that isn't protected sucks, but when you're the one hiotting the weak spot, it's actually quite satisfying :-)
How is it constructed?Will there be several labs per faction?only one lab?any labs at all?will they be static?
Currently there is one faction, and 4 techtrees in said faction. You start with the hoverplant, but have the option to go with air, amphib, or all-terrain (or all of the above). Amphib is 1 unit away from being initially complete, but I have to balance them with the rest of the units before I add them in with the rest of the game, and all-terrian is still in the process of being built.
What kind of units?the usual ones seen in OTA?
Quite a bit different actually. Each tech tree focuses on a few different weapon types. For example, hovers use mainly lightning, projectiles, and missiles. Amphib uses mainly lasers and homing plasma projectiles. All-terrain, uses more of a mix types, but generally extremely fast projectiles.
What about the economy system?Like in OTA?
It is based in metal and energy, yes. However, all unit costs are 1/1/1. What that means is if lets say I want to build a structure that costs 60e/m/bt. If I have a single con building that structure, it will take 60 seconds for that con to finish building the structure. There are various forms of building speedup, the most common of which is the ORB, which is similar to a FARK but 50x cooler and 90% more jawsome.
How did you go about balancing the units?
That's a really loaded question and you should know it, but I'll attempt to answer. Every category of units has a base HP and damage rating. Using that base is where I derrive the weapon damage and hp of a particular unit as well as other things such as speed and maneuverability. It's rather complex, but easy once you understand the system. I put a lot of forethought into it and it has panned out better than I could ahve ever hoped.
What about the visual effects?I rememeber last time i tried evo some of them were a bit over the top..is that still the style?
Image

Yes, the effects are still very much entertaining to look at, and it's one of the reasons many people like the game. No one (much less myself) wants to play a game that is uninteresting to watch. In fact, I love spectating games because the effects make them very entertaining to watch.
What are your takes on widgets?
Err, the more the merrier? I include all of the widgets that I find absolutely necessary to play any game in spring and I keep them updated. My lua loader thingy is set up so that the mod's lua loads before the user's lua (which is opposite of the default behavior).
Are there any special game altering gadgets that do not exist anywhere else?or a different combination of existing ones?
There aren't too many, but the ones that are there are fairly important to the metagame. A few that pop into my head atm are:

1/1 continuous resources. THis is so that your income is always 1/1 regardless of whether you lose your "Commander" or not.

100/100 minimum resource storage. Same reason as above. SO that no matter what happens, your minimum resource storage amount is never less than 100.

Drone spawner. This gadget allows engineers to spawn gunship drones from ammoboxes. THe drones are fast, with practically no HP and very little damage, but if you spawn a bunch of them and send them in a pack, they are beautiful for raiding resource buildings and various other uses.
Give me some mind candy...Last time i played it,it was a not so well balanced OTA clone with different models...
Did that change?
How am I supposed to answer that? It was never an OTA clone, It was never balanced around OTA principles, and jsut because a game resembles things in another game, doesn't mean that there is anything in common.

Btw, the very question (and the attempt at a buried statement) was very rude.
The people playing your mod will mostly be people experienced with BA or other games/mods that have a lot of unit depth how will evo compensate for its lower unit quantity?How will you create as much flexibility and depth?
There are ways of compensating for lower unit amount but have you even considered this issue?and if so how will you go about it?
I wouldn't worry about it. Evo has quite a few units available, and more are in the works/planned. The learning curve in Evo is very gentle, and anyone who has half a clue in BA/SA/NOTA will feel right at home in Evo after 1 or 2 games.

I suppose I should mention that the 2 aren't really similar, but the structure is such that it isn't a jarring transition and everything is very easy to understand.
Perhaps you intend to draw in players with some elaborate and engaging campaign or even a co-op campaign?
http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=51&t=20400 << It's a long read, but it covers most of the basics.
If you have not thought through these issues i suggest you do not release even if you really want to.
You will just scare people away and leave a bad impression that will need 10x more work to revert.
You can already play the prealpha... It's been around for quite some time now. The onyl reason I'm forcing it to remain in Pre-Alpha status is because I want to have all the tech trees implemented before going further in the release cycle. As it is the game is quite full, very playable and a lot of fun.
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Gota
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Gota » 21 Sep 2009, 22:41

My comment about being an OTA clone/having similar gameplay was sincere...
That is what i felt when i played it last time about 6 months ago i think...
Sure you start with a hover and not a vehicle or a kbot lab but everything felt the same except different units being available at start like emp units as oppose to getting them in t2 in OTA mods..the raiding felt similar,and of course the balance was much less solid but that is something that improves with time and there were much less units in general..

I didn't mean to offend you it's just how i felt when playing...
You could say well any rts game will be similar to OTA within the frame that you have just given Gota,however that is not true...
You have many different rts game designs and many different ui and economy systems to accompany those designs..
C&C,Perimeter,earth 2150,starcraft,Warcraft and so one...You could never confuse those games with OTA/BA/SA/*A.

I know it's a lot to ask and changing the gameplay and design in extreme ways probably requires a lot of lua work but unless you get very creative, without lua it will always have a distinct TAish feel to it..

About weapons and units...What i meant is not what types of weapons they use and how those types are divided to the 2 factions but what i mean is will you have some new unit categories...
This could mean a lot of things like transforming units,or units that have special abilities or units that can combine or morph in some weird ways.
In general,units that can do something not possible in OTA mods or not thought of or just not used cause it didn't feel conventional enough...

I'm trying to be as sincere as possible and i hope this is not throwing you off your chair and demotivating you.
I'm not much of a modder but I would still appreciate a sincere critique even of the little work I do so this is my help to you as just a gamer expressing what gamers want and expect.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Forboding Angel » 22 Sep 2009, 00:07

6 months ago things were very different. Why is having a TAish feel to an RTS a bad thing? TA always was and still is the most fun commercial RTS I've ever played, so if anyhting, saying that Evo has a TAish feel is a compliment. However, calling it a clone is a complete insult.

Regarding the second half of your post, there are still a lot of things to be done and added. For example, one of the units coming up in the "Superunits" Category would be the sawtank. It is a hueg tank with a tractor beam and a circular saw. Put the two together and you get some rather entertaining results ;p

Another one of the units I'm working on atm is a plane that can transform in midair into a submarine (only 1 way, can't transform back). SO you click the button, transformation happens, and the plane lists over and slinks into the ocean. Good times eh?

I suggest grabbing this: http://www.evolutionrts.info/evolutionp ... test21.sd7 and trying it out. It's a lot of fun :-)

You aren't demotivating me, but at the same time, I wish people would at least attmept to bother to be current with critiques. A lot changes in 6 months, and you know that as well as I do. Generally when you critique something, you at least grab the latest version available to play around with so that you can make informed statements.

As it is, you're making statements about a game that has changed dramatically since you last saw it.
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Gota
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Gota » 22 Sep 2009, 00:56

Well I was making statements about what i saw 6 months ago..
I was not criticizing this version...I think i was clear about that.
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KaiserJ
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by KaiserJ » 22 Sep 2009, 20:03

gota... imagine something that plays similarly to TA... but without the movement restrictions as such. hovercraft can go over water; amphibious can go under water, allterrain can scramble over mountains, and planes... well, they are in the air. (except the plane that morphs into a submarine... or have i revealed too much?) anyways. you can have them all pretty much right off the bat.

all mobility options are cheap and accessible, allowing for (i would hope) the greatest number of possible strategies and combinations of units from the start of the game to the very finish as opposed to the TA style in which movement options are limited from the start of the game and open up towards the end.

we have a tentative "teching" idea which i probably shouldn't go on about too much either, which will allow you to build more advanced units without having to build more factories.

so yes, there are similarities; not too surprising seeing as pretty much everyone working on the project is a fan of TA in some form or another... im guilty of bitching at forb to give units and balance a more TA-like behavior, i do it all the time. But i think, if you were to play the game, in the final form as we tentatively have it concieved right now, that you would be more likely to claim it as a spiritual successor to TA rather than a clone if anything. and yes... we have some pretty interesting ideas as far as unit behavior goes... and i wont spoil anything for you in this category, but rest assured you'll see both ideas that could be construed as "borrowed" from other RTS'es, as well as some strange, unusual units that will provide the structure for new gameplay strategies and options.

i thought it was a sincere comment; we need all the feedback we can get. join us for a game when we have the next update (which will introduce amphibious units) and have a peek.

@ forb... i dont think it's a bad thing to be TA-like, and i dont think gota does either!
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Forboding Angel
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Re: What is Evolution, and why should I care... free cookies?

Post by Forboding Angel » 22 Sep 2009, 22:18

Yeah, kaiser pretty much summed it all up for me there. What I wanted to say in a form that is actually readable :-)

BTW, unless something really messes with me again (last week was an open house and a show on saturday, so I got next to nothing done all week), a new update is coming this week, and it will be including the amphib tech tree.

As some of you can prolly imagine, I have been going through 7 layers of hell making this stuff work correctly, and look at least somewhat plausible. When you want to use special weapons and effects in and out of water, you can prolly imagine that things can get somewhat complicated.

So far I haven't hit any damning roadblocks. At first I was a little worried that I couldn't do it, but now I think I got it going. One of the wierdest things about UW, is the fact that there is 0 los down there. ONLY sonar. Something could have a los of 1000 and underwater it is completely blind. In fact, I had 2 tanks the other day bumping into each other and trying to go around. It was kinda funny to watch. So yeah... sonar!

Lets just hope that I don't fuck up the balance something awful :-)
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