Blog entry - Prosumers and NS2

FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds EntertainmentSan Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Posts: 6,821Super Administrators, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer admin
edited February 2007 in NS2 General Discussion
Discuss it here
Please use this thread to discuss our latest blog entry.
Post edited by Unknown User on
Charlie Cleveland
Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
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Comments

  • Lt_PatchLt_Patch Join Date: 2005-02-07 Member: 40286Posts: 1,229Members
    Not a bad idea at all, adding the LUA methods to the engine.

    The only issue that I see with this, is that it could cause a further split in the community, similiar to the "Combat Vs Classic", or "Vanilla vs Modded" arguments have. Adding new structure is a nice touch though, again, the main issue being balance for the new structures would be entirely in the hands of the person who created the LUA script. The main concern for this being akin to some of the anti-knifing plugins, which gave alien resource nodes which used to do 50 damage a second, to all classes, in an attempt to stop marines from conserving ammunition, by forcing them to shoot at the node, instead of knifing it.

    On the flip side of this, it could give the community a chance to finally implement a volumetic flamethrower, if it isn't already planned for NS2. Again, the balance may be an issue, but it would actually give people the ability to change the way how the way is visualised, on a per server basis.

    Obviously, from the above points, the main concern for the LUA scripting, is the issue of balance. If the server is running at the time, could a server admin rewrite the script, giving siege turrets a secondary ability, to shoot at line-of-sight aliens, in the same manner as a normal sentry turret? Could the damage for any weapon be magnified, at the simple whim of someone who can change a 10, into a 100?

    Giving the community access to something as essentially powerful as the LUA scripting system could be a breaking point, in terms of sub-mods, but again, it may cause a player base split, more drastic than the current ones that NS is experiencing after a good run of 4-5 years...

    Still, nice to hear some news on NS2 anyway. I'm sure Depot, and the rest of the gang at NSMod can't wait to start work on the new LUA modifications smile-fix.gif
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  • coriscoris Join Date: 2003-07-08 Member: 18034Posts: 2,064Members, Constellation
    I thought Flay himself said that people should play the game the way the creator designed it and not as you wanted it to be designed (or something similar).

    While I think the system itself sounds awesome, I'm a bit skeptical about giving the players too much room to freely modify the game mechanics. If the game play differently on every new server a player joins it's bound to alienate new players from the game.

    However, I do like the thought of entirely new game-modes being created, kind of lika DoTA for wc3.

    I do like the syntax of LUA aswell, kind of reminds me of ruby. I hope it's as elegant smile-fix.gif
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  • antyanty Join Date: 2003-02-05 Member: 13143Posts: 87Members
    I think adding LUA is defenitly a good way to go!

    If you code bad scripts, you will have no players on your server. This is natural-selection, the bad scripts will die biggrin-fix.gif

    I really love the fact that you can add new abilities to a game, making it easy is the best step to make me happy biggrin-fix.gif

    What I would suggest: make sure you can include scripts to maps (like in the *.res files in the HL1 engine) so you can provide special mappacks with scripts designed for specific maps.

    I see a oc-defense mod in my inner eye, where all players are gorges and marines are only models with health that are moved from point A to point B, like in StarCraft wink-fix.gif

    NS2 gets better and better, keep up the good work, and don't stop including new ideas!
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  • MasterPTGMasterPTG Join Date: 2006-11-30 Member: 58780Posts: 283Members
    edited February 2007
    imho,

    You don't want 10 different mods for the same game, as it fragments the community too much. Having a large base of playtesters that have a open-source game to mess around with would be nice. However, empowering all of the different server admins to change around the parameters quickly, will, I think, be a bad thing.

    Bad thing, meaning differing game styles from server to server.

    CS has 1 game style that is largely unalterable and stays the same from a single patch.

    If NS server admins can change stuff around (as they already have to a small extent in NS and to a large amount in CO), then you risk the crappola that CO has turned into. Server admins often have warped senses of what is 'cool', while the Dev's have thought through endless streams of consequences & counter-consequences of possible changes. Leaving this to server admins is... B-A-D.

    Lock out these scripts or encode them for the live game, so as to make modders approach you for changes. Would you want your game going down a course of action that you didn't really want it to go down? If you allow lots of mods, expect some REALLY funky stuff to start happening. What will that accomplish? Fragmentation.

    Fragmentation, while not bad--as it's like 'diversification'--, will cause people to choose x community over x community and lead to a less competitive atmosphere (less people playing a game, less overall competitiveness).

    The only games that have $$ prizes are the largest ones. BF2 (sometimes), CS, CS:S, & DoD (& maybe even Q3 or Q4). Don't you want NS:S to be there? Don't split the audience.

    Develop different maps that have different map styles, NOT HAVING a different game mode. Only allow one game mode, but allow the map and map situations to be different. One core-core game mode == win.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • ScytheScythe Join Date: 2002-01-25 Member: 46Posts: 4,371NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation, Reinforced - Silver mod
    The thing I hated most about Tribes 1 was the number of custom serverside mods. They essentially ruined the game for me. Nobody ran vanilla servers anymore. They were all Team Aerial Combat or some variant of Renegades.

    Surely a per-server player experience is a very bad thing? What if a new player joined a modded server unawares and has a terrible time due to poorly-thought-out plugins?

    I'm all in favour of being able to embed scripting into custom maps for events and complex interlocking systems, airlocks, power systems, etc, but scripts that effect the gameplay on other maps at a base level are a very bad thing.

    At least from my point of view.

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  • Router_BoxRouter_Box Join Date: 2004-09-07 Member: 31483Posts: 638Members, NS1 Playtester, Constellation
    edited February 2007
    I agree with coris and masterp.

    This is really a neat technology to build into a game. But any time you let the general user base control a game you get the "Big Game Hunters" phenomenon.

    People like to get cheap thrills from being able to do whatever they want. Let loose, this turns into an insta-kill-sporemines, perma charging onos, buildmenu, whichbot, cluster######. It sucks all skill, deep interest, and long term satisfaction out of your title.

    You guys built an amazing game, which in my eyes has no rival. But you also didn't stick to your guns and let it stand on it's own. Amx is bad enough, this is going to be a train wreck unless done properly.

    Make sure that some quality, unalterable core ns game remains the focus of the title.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • demmdemm Join Date: 2003-09-10 Member: 20714Posts: 76Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Diamond
    edited February 2007
    I share the concerns of most of the people that have already replied.

    Look at the current AMX mods for NS that have a gameplay altering effect. They're all unbalanced! Whether its extra-levels, buildmenu or spawn-protection... they all ruin the balance of the game.

    I completely agree with MasterPTG!
    QUOTE
    Develop different maps that have different map styles, NOT HAVING a different game mode. Only allow one game mode, but allow the map and map situations to be different.


    If you really want to give the community so much power over how your game is played, then at least have some kind of server-side setting that is visible in the server browser that indicates whether a server has custom scripts or not. This way people that don't want to play on unbalanced servers can filter them out.

    edit: PS: This blog entry completely ends the discussion about a global ranking system! good news smile-fix.gif
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • KungFuDiscoMonkeyKungFuDiscoMonkey Creator of ns_altair Join Date: 2003-03-15 Member: 14555Posts: 2,587Members, NS1 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos mod
    Sounds pretty interesting though I share the concerns of some of the people above. Having some consistency across servers is a good thing. I would prefer to play on different servers and have a similar gameplay experience (within reason) instead of servers having vastly different gameplay settings.
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  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Posts: 3,276Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow mod
    Firstly, I'll ditto the general feeling in this thread so far; giving the players that much freedom with the base game mechanics is bound to fragment the community.

    One issue with exposing large portions of the game mechanics to the players is that extensive and varied modification of the base game is that it indirectly increases the learning curve of the game.
    Suppose I join a server and jetpacks are flying about. Going by the last server I was on, jetpacks have unlimited fuel and burn anyone they touch. However on this server, jetpacks have extremely limited fuel and they explode violently when killed. Prior to joining this server, I had no clue that jetpacks would behave any differently to how they did on the previous server I was on. I now have to keep in mind that jetpacks behave in a certain way.. except when they don't; which as you can imagine is terribly unintuitive and probably quite alienating for a new player.

    That said; as you mentioned in the blog entry, from a development standpoint LUA is a godsend. It gives you the freedom to alter and tweak the game mechanics without lengthy recompiles or the danger of greatly affecting the stability of the game.

    I also think that it'd be interesting to allow the community limited access to some of the functionality that LUA allows. For example; it would be unwise to allow access to the core game values (health, damage, movement speed, etc.), however it could be worth exposing variables and hooks that would be useful to mappers (game events, DI movement, structure birth/health/death, etc.) and modders (player status, team status, endgame data, UI data, etc.).
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  • QuaunautQuaunaut The longest seven days in history... Join Date: 2003-03-21 Member: 14759Posts: 7,221Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow
    edited February 2007
    I think it could be just fine overall. Yeah, it may fragment the community, but that will only happen if 1 thing doesn't stay true: NS is better than all of the mods. If it can stay ahead, continue to be better, then it will keep its place.


    Flayra, this causes me to wonder: Are you going to ship NS2 with no combat, and then, if players want it, make someone code it up? It'd be an interesting, VALVe-like take on things(black mesa source omg).
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • Llama_KillerLlama_Killer Join Date: 2002-07-30 Member: 1029Posts: 576Members
    edited February 2007
    I do not particularly like combat, but it does draw in new players who will try NS mode and love it too. As for the modding tools (not a moder/coder so dont hurt me if I get terminology wrong) I just realised I did not finish my thought, (realised I was going to miss my bus) as for including open code/ modding tools I think it is great, it will help expand the community.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • CrispyCrispy Jaded GD Join Date: 2004-08-22 Member: 30793Posts: 3,225Members, Constellation
    edited February 2007
    Imo you should only allow these mods to work in a single-player vs. bots scenario. This way you can download the NS2 mods you want and have crazy customisation and weird map modes, but you're not gonna confuse anyone who doesn't understand that the gameplay they're experiencing is not the core gameplay.

    If any of these SP mods are genuinely balanced and enjoyable the dev team can make take the decision to work closely with the author(s) to include a multiplayer version of the 'scenario' in the next release, but they can vet applicants closely to retain some control of the quality of gameplay given in NS (regardless of the game mode).

    I understand it's the huge popularity of Gmod's sandbox gameplay that you're trying to cash in on here, but Gmod never pretended to be anything other than a sandbox, whereas NS2 is primarily a multiplayer game. All team games need a common set of rules that define their gameplay. Here, what your saying is that you're going to make the rules malleable for the sake of selling a few more copies of the game. (I see no other logical argument for handing over control of how your game is played to the players themselves)

    Don't give stupid people the tools to change the game, it will ruin NS2. If you want to make tools available to people who understand game design and can have a positive impact with worthwhile addons, please regulate it somehow otherwise you'll have so many splinter groups for NS2 it will lose all sense of consistency and get blurred into non-existence.

    By all means, create a sandbox mode, hell even have MP sandbox modes, but make it so they cannot interfere with the core gameplay (i.e. force all NS mods to use a different prefix so (a) there is a clear difference between the game modes, and (b) people who don't want to play unbalanced free-for-all game modes can avoid these at all costs).
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • HarrowerHarrower Join Date: 2005-03-16 Member: 45478Posts: 252Members
    It's a great idea, but the concerns here are valid. What if you set it up so that new server mods were proposed through a QA system, the way BSD handles them?
    QUOTE(Firewater @ Feb 15 2007, 09:59 AM) »
    So if a pro player plays as well an average player, they really aren't pro are they.
  • antyanty Join Date: 2003-02-05 Member: 13143Posts: 87Members
    edited February 2007
    I didn't expect so much bad posts after mine, but I can follow your concerns.
    Maybe NS2 should introduce something that makes it possible to mark servers that have not vanilla ns2 running.

    Like a small icon that shows unaltered games, together with the possibility to add your own icon to mark special types of scripts that have nearly the same game play.

    I don't think that this would be a good solution, but it would be one wink-fix.gif

    Try to find a solution for the "problem" you all fear, instead of saying it shouldn't be in the game!
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • KungFuDiscoMonkeyKungFuDiscoMonkey Creator of ns_altair Join Date: 2003-03-15 Member: 14555Posts: 2,587Members, NS1 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos mod
    I'm not sure what would have to be modified in Source ( or maybe steam) but I would really LOVE to have some kind of server flag for servers that run lots of custom content. Personally the second a server starts downloading random wav files, I hit cancel. I don't like playing games when they add all these extra distractions. I would be a happy person if I could filter those servers out.
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  • Lt_PatchLt_Patch Join Date: 2005-02-07 Member: 40286Posts: 1,229Members
    I've had a thought, after seeing the "OC Defence" part, posted earlier.
    Custom mods, and sub-mods are a break from the mainsteam Classic games, much like Combat is.

    Having thought about the idea of sub-mods, they could be used to prlong the lifespan of NS itself.
    The thought never crossed my mind until I re-read all the posts here again.

    Warcraft 3 (the base version), is now 5 years old (according to the copyright on my copy of it...);. But yet the playerbase has only slightly fallen since Blizzard took it off of the current projects lists, and replaced it with WoW.

    Why?

    Because the majority of the WC3 players are custom game players. They're not interested in the micromanagement side of the "normal" multiplayer experience that WC3 has to offer. A great deal of them play things like Tower Defence (Much the same as the "OC Defence" proposed earlier), and the eponymous DoTA, or Defence of The Ancients. Which basically turns the normally micromanaged, squad based RTS of WC3 into an isometric, second person, RPG. Which now has its own CPL league... Not bad for a sub-mod...

    This level of customisation is only really possible with the map editor, and the scripting triggers that are shipped with it.

    HL already ships with a general editor, as does HL2. With the LUA scripting being implemented, this could spell the future of NS2, being modded by skilled scripters, into something that is a nice changed from the regular games that people play.

    It's only an idea, but it stuck me mid read...
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  • sherpasherpa stopcommandermode Join Date: 2006-11-04 Member: 58338Posts: 1,043Members
    I don't want a different gameplay experience from each server :`(
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  • KungFuDiscoMonkeyKungFuDiscoMonkey Creator of ns_altair Join Date: 2003-03-15 Member: 14555Posts: 2,587Members, NS1 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos mod
    Starcraft/Warcraft have an option to filter based on default gameplay and use map settings. Having something like that would be reasonable, so that those who wanted classic could find it, and those who wanted other gameplay could find that too.
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  • FlayraFlayra Game Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment San Francisco Join Date: 2002-01-22 Member: 3Posts: 6,821Super Administrators, NS2 Developer, Subnautica Developer admin
    Great feedback everyone. But oops, I forgot to qualify a big point here: even though we want to encourage modding of NS2, we will definitely maintain our own "core" gameplay that is the main game. We will draw an obvious distinction between "core" NS2 and "custom" NS2.

    We'll probably do this by making the server browser default to showing default "NS2" servers, and then having a "custom games" tab or something that shows only modified servers.

    Hopefully this way we get the best of both worlds.
    Charlie Cleveland
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  • KungFuDiscoMonkeyKungFuDiscoMonkey Creator of ns_altair Join Date: 2003-03-15 Member: 14555Posts: 2,587Members, NS1 Playtester, Reinforced - Onos mod
    /me is satisfied with that response ^_^
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  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471Posts: 2,103NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation mod
    edited February 2007
    QUOTE
    That said; as you mentioned in the blog entry, from a development standpoint LUA is a godsend. It gives you the freedom to alter and tweak the game mechanics without lengthy recompiles or the danger of greatly affecting the stability of the game.

    I also think that it'd be interesting to allow the community limited access to some of the functionality that LUA allows. For example; it would be unwise to allow access to the core game values (health, damage, movement speed, etc.), however it could be worth exposing variables and hooks that would be useful to mappers (game events, DI movement, structure birth/health/death, etc.) and modders (player status, team status, endgame data, UI data, etc.).


    Agreed, that would be very handy to use for development purposes. I like the idea of the server browser distinguishing the 'modded' servers from the core, vanilla ones. Although, lets say a server has a couple of simple utility plugins like the old /showres, or /stuck? Will those show up as modded servers?

    Also if servers have their own admin plugins coded in for res slots and such, will this also show them as modded servers? Where is the line drawn between a 'modded' server and a 'vanilla' server? Will it only be when core values are tweaked (ie... costs of items, dif buildings, res model adjustment etc)?
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Petros IchorPetros Ichor Join Date: 2005-07-14 Member: 55917Posts: 57Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow
    great now blog post. i really like the ideas ya'll are througing around.

    Also that shift game was pretty cool concept for only 8 hours of work.

    I think being able to set a player spawning as an onos with all abilities and traits of other races would be of great comical fun, but mods that scare away players willl only last so long. (for anyone who fears this can ruin new comers experiece) eventually all the crap ideas will disinegrate and the really good ones will stand strong.
  • Femme_FataleFemme_Fatale Join Date: 2005-06-21 Member: 54310Posts: 427Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(wereangel @ Feb 14 2007, 11:23 PM) »
    Also that shift game was pretty cool concept for only 8 hours of work.



    so agree!
    id so buy such a game,if it was put more effort into!

    it was genious.i had so much fun playing it!
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  • scaryfacescaryface Join Date: 2002-11-25 Member: 9918Posts: 192Members
    edited February 2007
    whats this about buying weapons from the armory? No more commander drops?

    Anyway, i support the modability (is that a word?) of ns2, but hope it doesn't overtake 'core' ns2. Putting custom games in a separate tab would not be a good idea since it would also label servers with harmless plugins with no effect on the game (i.e fireworks in the readyroom.) Maybe just make it a voluntary cvar and hope people use it? or preferably have each script add its name to the 'game name' in the server browser, so players can use a filter to distinguish between different types of custom games and the core game.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • UnderwhelmedUnderwhelmed DemoDetective #?&#33; Join Date: 2006-09-19 Member: 58026Posts: 756Members, Constellation
    <@Dirm> the real concern here is:
    <@Dirm> do we interpret this as flayra endorsing 50-level combat
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  • locallyunscenelocallyunscene Feeder of Trolls Join Date: 2002-12-25 Member: 11528Posts: 4,021Members, Constellation
    QUOTE
    whats this about buying weapons from the armory? No more commander drops?


    Okay I'm glad I'm not the only one who focused in on that first. Honestly though, I have faith. I could see a "Savage" like system where the player have limited options to choose his or her layout based on team resources, commander research. Or maybe it isn't even as complicated as that, sounds like an interesting tack to take.
    QUOTE (Flayra @ Mar 28 2007, 09:21 PM) »
    It's not an easy balance to achieve, but we do want to make a game that will be both the best competitive game since Starcraft and also one that many people can enjoy casually without being in a clan or an experienced or knowledgeable NS player. That's the goal at least!


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  • Llama_KillerLlama_Killer Join Date: 2002-07-30 Member: 1029Posts: 576Members
    QUOTE(Flayra @ Feb 14 2007, 02:35 PM) »

    Great feedback everyone. But oops, I forgot to qualify a big point here: even though we want to encourage modding of NS2, we will definitely maintain our own "core" gameplay that is the main game. We will draw an obvious distinction between "core" NS2 and "custom" NS2.

    We'll probably do this by making the server browser default to showing default "NS2" servers, and then having a "custom games" tab or something that shows only modified servers.

    Hopefully this way we get the best of both worlds.



    I'm not sure I understand the entirety of your post, so here it goes. I play on servers who have custom options, like grabbing shotties HMGs etc.. from the arms lab (if in stock). To me that seems to be more of an addon than an all out mod.

    If you are reffering to an all out change I.E lerks able to go through walls and kill everything in sight with a fart (exageration). That would seem to be an all out mod and would fit within my understanding of your post. If I got this portion incorrect, toss it and feed it to your pet skulk.

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  • BuzzouBuzzou Join Date: 2006-12-14 Member: 59056Posts: 402Members, Constellation
    i'm guessing he means that only 'vanilla' NS servers will appear in the default server browser. if the server has modified or tweaked the game in any way, shape, or form, it will appear in the "custom games" tab. even if its only a tiny little change, its still different from "vanilla" NS2, and therefore a custom game.

    thats the way it should be.
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  • SheepeSheepe Join Date: 2003-12-22 Member: 24650Posts: 88Members
    How about a tweakage bar? A little meter in the custom games section that shows how much has been added, changed, or removed and you could filter by that?

    -Sheepe
  • NsPlayeronoNsPlayerono Join Date: 2005-01-09 Member: 34088Posts: 26Members, Constellation
    QUOTE(Llama_Killer @ Feb 14 2007, 09:26 PM) »

    I'm not sure I understand the entirety of your post, so here it goes. I play on servers who have custom options, like grabbing shotties HMGs etc.. from the arms lab (if in stock). To me that seems to be more of an addon than an all out mod.


    Its only a plugin of AMX Mod, dont change the game style, only AL and PL take weapons and upgrades and expend you using and select if have in stock. It's only a modification to prevent lag spikes when commander drop a lot of things in base and dont change game style.

    QUOTE(Llama_Killer @ Feb 14 2007, 09:26 PM) »
    If you are reffering to an all out change I.E lerks able to go through walls and kill everything in sight with a fart (exageration). That would seem to be an all out mod and would fit within my understanding of your post. If I got this portion incorrect, toss it and feed it to your pet skulk.


    I think wants changes same as certainly plugins in NS to change the game mode. I think plugins as: AvA, MvM... etc.
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