Latest Developer Posts
IronHorse Developer, QA Manager, Technical Support & contributor
_Grendel_ wrote: » What should really happen is ns2: combat should got F2P. What would it take for this to happen? Does both FLG and UWE have to agree to this? Free2Play is not some kind of magic generating players for a game. For a successful F2P launch you need to do a basic marketing campaign so people know about the launch. Also you need to offer servers so players can play and some basic technical support and community management to keep players playing. All of that costs money. Money that has to come from somewhere. And IIRC combat has no micro transaction system in place that could generate given money. Disclaimer: The following comment is my own opinion and does not represent Unknown Worlds Entertainment in any way! If FLG is really interested in "reviving" Combat at this point the best option they have is to sit down with UWE and turn it into a NS2 DLC like most ppl asked for. Let's do a basic approximal financial pitch for that: Let's assume the migration will take about 500 work hours and each hour costs avg. 40 $ . Now let's say you want to give every combat owner a free copy of ns2 (in case they don't own it yet). Based on https://steamspy.com/audience/310110/4920 (you need to log into steamspy to access this link) you would need to hand out about 5000 copies * 10$/each . Also you would need to do some basic marketing to promote that DLC launch at Steam. That would cost about 2000 $. Hosting official servers for a max CCU of 1000 players in the first month would cost another 1000 $. So in total you would need to invest 500 * 40 + 5000 * 10 + 2000 + 1000 = 73000 $ . Let's assume you sell the DLC for about 5.99$ . On avg you will gain 40% (=2.4$) of that per sold copy (keep in mind the share Steam, credit companies get and the regional different prices). So you would need to sell at least about 30500 ( > 73000/2.4) DLC copies to start making any profit. Knowing NS2's DLC sale numbers that's not a realistic number even during steam sales. However if UWE is willing to give away the extra NS2 copies for free the number of needed DLC copies drops to 9600 (> 23000 / 2.4) which would make it a somewhat interesting investment option. Still it would all depend on the goodwill of UWE & FLG to cooperate and do this not with the aim for any major profit but to get Combat played again. Edit: Another option of course would be to finance the project directly using the community (via e.g. a gofundme campaign)
SantaClaws wrote: » [...] Anyway, back on topic. Somebody get combat back! It was an instrumental tool for learning lifeforms back when I was starting out, new players are missing out on this! Last Stand was kinda created for that purpose. A new combat mod will face the same issue any other game mode mod had so far: Getting people to play it. A large part of the current player base plays NS2 specifically for the vanilla game mode and to some degree despise anything else. Combat IMHO was able to build up it's own player base after the NS2 launch mostly due to the NS1 veterans who enjoyed NS1 Combat more than the base game mode. But I guess those folks moved on a few years ago so you will have to build up a completely new player base for the Combat mode.
Nintendows wrote: » Considering @GhoulofGSG9 worked on this and contributed code, maybe he can fill us in with the copyright situation. First of all I'm not a lawyer so anything below could be incorrect. But I looked into this topic a few years ago and did a little research. The Steam ToS mostly only covers Valves and their partners legally to be able to contribute and use user generated content. However that doesn't change anything in regards to who owns the copyright of the given content. So far most modders have been using game code to generate new content under the aspect of Fair Use . Now i couldn't find any precedence law case which could be used to specify what Fair Use is in the context of game modding. Also both publishers/developers as copyright owners and modders have avoided creating given precedence case by not bringing anything directly to court. Valve will take down any user created content as soon as anybody issues a legitimate DMCA claim. In regards to NS2 this means the game code is under copyright of UWE. However because NS2 has been promoted for being moddable and UWE are rather friendly in regards to modding in general (as they have been modders as well in the past) you can assume it's okay to use the code in your non-commercial ns2 mod under the terms of Fair Use. Same has to be applied for using other modders code. Of course it would be great if we could avoid these legal uncertainties by UWE issuing any kind of legal document that allows Modders to use their code for non-commercial ns2 mods. But creating such a document is rather troublesome in itself. Best practice for modders would be to include licenses with their mods and avoid to use vanilla code as much as possible because to license your mod you will have to disclaim that usage. Anyway back to Combat. Back then I contributed both to the combat mod and even more to the standalone. My contributions have been basically code donations because i wanted FLG to succeed with their dream of becoming a game studio. But after the disastrous launch and due to how they were treated by large parts of the ns2 community mostly everybody of FLG has moved on miles away from anything to do with NS2. So I doubt that Alex still visits this forum or watches the github repro. Your best chance to reach any of them is most likely via email. To be honest the Combat code base is "ancient" at this point and hasn't been maintained for some time, so from my perspective you are better off starting new using the old mod code as guideline for the new mod's design. Specially since you can replace the very buggy EEM module with xDragon's ClassicEnts (https://github.com/xToken/ClassicEnts under MIT) module. Overall the main reason for me to bring back Combat are the combat maps. It's kinda sad to have all the creative work rotting in the workshop without anybody being able to use them.
Time for a little tech talk! First of all NS2 utilizes multiple threads to run various tasks at once. With the upcoming 64bit build (which is available at the 64bit steam beta branch but not stable yet) NS2 gets better in distributing those tasks across all CPUs. Also NS2 is able to run more at once because no task has to wait to be able to allocate enough memory to run. Left aside that every task runs a little bit faster thanks to being able to fully utilize the modern CPU now with 64bit instructions. The image below shows the CPU usage of the 64bit client: (Spoiler) Now some may wonder why not all cores are used by 100%. That's because tasks depend on each other. The render tasks only start after the world has been updated and that depends on various other tasks to finish in time (physics simulation and i/o tasks). For those of you interested to see details about those things in action type profile into your console and hit space: (Spoiler) To make it short as soon as one task takes significant more time to process it slows down every other task depending on it. And that's the issue with NS2. The world update routine is written in Lua using no co-routines and is not very optimized at all. Which means all world entities are updated in order and updating each takes significant CPU time. So increasing the world updates per second is not feasible without a lot single core power to make sure the world update finishes in time even after the 64bit update. Though we have been working on optimizing the game logic code in the last year and hope to get those changes out after the 64bit migration has been done. However there is another reason most who have tried increased rates discarded the idea after testing. There is a lot of game logic code that was not written with the possibility of higher tick rates in mind. So e.g. you have logic routines causing players to take twice as much damage over time when the tickrate gets doubled. To really support higher update rates those lines of codes need to be fixed as well. Which all in all is a lot of work. We will continue working on it slowly but steady and will let you know if we think higher update rates are finally not only possible but also feasible. Edit: Added a screenshot and some details about the ingame profiler
Obraxis Subnautica Animator, NS2 Person
Part of the reason we close threads like this is because they descend into drama, name-calling and problems. Every single time. The time for debate on this subject is over, and years old. Please feel free to continue discussions via PM if you wish, but we've already made clear our thoughts on this matter.
Obraxis Subnautica Animator, NS2 Person