Author Topic: My Issues - Taking Examples From Past Work.  (Read 1619 times)

Offline dm-horus

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My Issues - Taking Examples From Past Work.
« on: November 13, 2005, 03:08:24 AM »
Ever since I first played Outpost 2 Ive held it as one of my all time greatest inspirations. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have a habit of going for "night walks" every night. I walk around with a music device to get my mind off the stresses of the day. Often, I am thinking about OP2 or other ideas that I have. I am a fan of Carl Sagan and I tend to prefer scifi that is more 'sci' than 'fi' rather, I prefer accurate scifi rather than off the wall science fantasy or pseudo science. That is one of the aspects I like about OP2.

Now, Ive been involved with at least a dozen projects like this. Taking abandonware (or some other game that isnt being developed) and advancing the story or straight modding. The single biggest threat to any project such as this is getting carried away. Anyone who uses Homeworld2 and has downloaded Point Defense Systems Mod knows that once a group learns how to mod a game (or develop a new one) they usually start inserting units/structures/gameplay that doesnt advance the story or in fact, make any sense and only serves as a 'cool' factor. In the case of HW2: PDS mod, the early tech tree is ordered, makes sense according to the story and works well overall. But about 15 minutes into construction, you start noticing construction options that make little sense. Super battlecruisers that fill up the entire map and take only 3 minutes to build. Ships with firing ranges and rates of fire that make them virtually invincible with no penalty whatsoever (in terms of resources or build time). Most of the units with high firing rates have ammunition which causes next to no damage, making the fireworks shooting out of their hulls merely for decoration. Eventually the map becomes so filled with rounds coming from all directions that the game falls apart, looking more like a Windows 3.1 screen saver. It becomes obvious that as development continued the team lost focus and began incorporating features that did not mesh with the rest and lost all sense of consistency. You will also notice that all these new units have unit sounds made by people in their homes. In the regular game ships respond when you click them "Yes sir?" or "Standing by." When ordered they reply, "On my way." or "Show no mercy." Quick, short and to the point. No more needs to be said. But in the PDS mod you hear multisentance replies which sound more like recitals. The fact that theyve been recorded on cheap home PC microphones makes this even more irritating. Several units respond when ordered with "Make your bearing mark 3847.234 by 0181.327. Set starboard thrusters to full and prepare for attack." and "Bring all engines online and set thrust to full. Load foreward torpedo bays and charge all ion cannons to full." In the middle of a pitched battle I am issuing new orders to often dozens of ships, these mini recitals overlap until I can hear nothing but static and any audio information the computer is trying to give me (like my mothership is being attacked or resources have been exhausted) are inaudible. This is the newest example of how a few inconsistencies can amplify an amateurish attempt into a waste of HD space.

I fear that this may happen to any continuations of the OP2 story. Getting carried away by adding "cool units" will kill the project. Thinking that having a couple units with 8 turrets on them will make up for lack of story will kill the project. Remember, Outpost 2 has always been story driven. This game was made back in a time when graphics where merely 'representations' of objects that the story was describing. I do not like the way current 3D projects are going as they are merely copying OP2 art to a 3D engine. Shouldnt we be presenting how the game would look had the OP2 developers began making this game today? That is how I look at it precisely. I envision the aim, the goal, the direction the original creators wanted to take and I think "How can I make that happen using todays technology?" The answer is accuracy, realism and consistency.

Example: Reading dev documents and from the game itself, Lynx are basically larger versions of something that looks a lot like current Mars Rovers. Google for pics of the mars rover. Look at its wheels and suspension. Same number of wheels as Lynx. Same general design. Game developers simply didnt have the technical capacity to accurately convey it. In a 3D engine, where we can show things off, we should do nothing less than the best that is possible. (I will be submitting some 3D renders of prototype Lynx designs in the near future as examples of where Id like to see this game headed)

I will be making further posts in this forum on my ideas and observations. I think it is my responsiblity to help guide this project. I may not have experience in the actual technical construction of new games, but I know people and I know why projects fail. Ive had my hands in enough to know that you have to be willing to sacrifice that "cargo truck with 16 trailers attached to it" in order to advance the story which is the ultimate goal. I hope everyone here will take my ideas into consideration. Good games are remembered by how well story reflects gameplay and vice versa. The only game that succeeded without this is Total Annihilation and I think it lies in a category of its own. That shouldnt be the type of thing this project aims for. Instead aim for an evolution of OP2, not a whole new paradigm. The goal here is not to reinvent video games.

Note: I do not think the mods of these forums have the right to lock, pin or delete any post based on whether or not they agree with its contents. I hope other mods will take a serious look at this practice.

Offline leeor_net

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My Issues - Taking Examples From Past Work.
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2005, 05:59:06 PM »
Whoops... hit the wrong button. Sorry stormy.

Anyway, I'm closing this topic and will eventually remove it. There is no need to have two copies of it and most of the replies are in the other one.

Plus, as stormy said, this is not the forum for such a post. In addition, you should be asking us personally about various things before you go making all sorts if assumptions, all of which are incorrect and some are very much insulting.