Development Blog Update - 14th Podcast



  • afratnikovafratnikov Join Date: 2003-08-05 Member: 18931Members
    edited December 2007
    Charlie: Welcome to Unknown Worlds podcast number 14. Today is Friday December 14th. This is Charlie.
    Max: And Max

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--> VALVE <!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Charlie: And let’s get right into it. So this week we went to Valve
    Max: we did
    Charlie: That was pretty fun. And we showed them NS2, or what we have of it so far, which is a bunch of orange levels and kind of stuff that we’ve been play testing.
    Max: yeah we talked about it on I think the last podcast, or maybe it was 2 podcats ago actually
    Charlie: Yeah what we were going to have for them. And we went up there to see if we could get some help from them: some financial help and maybe some development help. And I think they liked it – I’m not really sure.
    Max: Yeah it was a pretty reassuring meeting
    Charlie: yeah
    Max: and we’re going to go back at some point when he have a little more to show to them again.
    Charlie: yep and I think that’s that [inaudible]
    Max: people were speculating why we were going to Valve when we mentioned [inaudible]
    Charlie: Oh right, we didn’t want to talk about that. We’re looking forward to showing it to them again and keep them updated with our progress and hopefully we’ll have some way that we can work together, ‘cause we would like to have their help and expertise and all that stuff.
    Max: yep
    Charlie: and money. So we’ll keep it at that and keep you posted as we know

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--> FEEDBACK TO <a href="" target="_blank">PREVIOUS PODCAST</a> <!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Max: There has been quite a lot of feedback from the last
    Charlie: the welding
    Max: yeah we talked about welding a bit…
    Charlie: dear lord
    Max: …in the last podcast, and there were a lot of comments on that.
    Charlie: it took like an hour to read all those posts and yeah it was cool stuff. Lots of people like welding lots of people think its going to break the game.
    Max: I was actually surprised by how much people were in support of the …
    Charlie: Me?
    Max: … the weldbot. Yeah, that surprised me. I thought people wouldn’t actually like that.
    Charlie:, ‘cause the AI control, people wouldn’t like that?
    Max: I guess, yeah, it’s a departure from NS 1
    Charlie: that’s true
    Max: there are no AI controlled things unless you go back to the babblers. Although I think calling them AI-controlled [both laugh]
    Charlie: would definitely be generous. Yeah, think if we give the commander more stuff to do - I think decoupling the commander from the other players a little bit would be helpful. I think it’s pretty black and white in NS and if you are a commander and your players are not listening to you it can be pretty frustrating. So I think having some elements that are just [ametely?] responsive and AI-controlled I think could work out pretty well. But we haven’t play tested that yet. Not even close.
    Max: Yeah we have been [inaudible]
    Charlie: Yeah, we kind of skipped it for our demo this week. We ran into some problems with physics and stuff, so not really on hold but we’ll get back to that soon. So thanks for all those suggestions and feedback everyone. That was really cool to read all those well-written posts. Like it didn’t even get flame-y or anything, I was impressed. There was like one bad comment
    Max: Give it another week
    Charlie: I don’t know I was pretty darn impressed. People really spent a lot of time writing up their ideas. I think we might want to talk about some elements of the ideas there. Or do you want to?
    Max: Go ahead
    Charlie: Well actually it was covered pretty well in the forum thread, but I think the main thing that I want people to know is: well I think of downtime in the game is being really important, things like building and welding and I think the downtime in the game will let you have up-time. So, I don’t look at those things as being boring parts of NS. I think those are pretty integral to having good moments in the game and having kind of a flow an up and down. You know like Beavis and Butt-head said: “you cant have things that are cool without things that suck.” So, you know, it was profound…
    Max: [Laughs]
    Charlie: But you’re right, we do have to worry about to make sure that players don’t weld themselves into corners, or you know, you have players who don’t know the map or they feel like griefing and they weld off, close the only 3 exits to a room. So obviously we’ll have to make sure hat it can’t happen. But thanks for mentioning that stuff, ‘cause sometimes we don’t think of all those things, so that’s good.
    Max: Yeah, well lot of problems I’m sure we won’t think of. Or will think things are gonna work one way and when you actually play them, they will work another way. So pretty much everything we talk about is final subject to change – is the phrase we like to use
    Charlie: Final, yes, nice
    Max: No they’re just ideas. We gonna try them out we are not necessarily committed to them. If the [inaudible] or if they are problematic or whatever – just ideas.
    Charlie: yep hopefully we’ll be play testing them a lot more often soon
    Max: yeah that’s our next goal.
    Charlie: Now that we have this really tight development set up, we can come up with an idea; we don’t even have to think about it or argue about it or anything or debate. We just come up with an idea implement it very quickly, play test it, and get some immediate feedback. Hopefully that’s the new process instead of thinking about stuff…
    Max: no thinking
    Charlie: …endlessly. Well I mean, ‘cause you never know - thinking and talking are totally different in the game. So that’s cool stuff.

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--> DECODA + BIG COMPANIES = $$$ <!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Charlie: And Decoda has been doing really well this week.
    Max: It’s been a good month I’d say
    Charlie: Yeah. It’s been growing slowly and we have the source code license coming and a bunch of other units sold to a couple big games companies, that we probably have to ask about whether we can talk about.
    Max: We can’t say who they are but they are big
    Charlie: they are big. It’s pretty exciting
    Max: Some might say the biggest
    Charlie: Yes. So hopefully we can - we should definitely get quotes from these people, so we can put their little icons and logos on our website. And make us look official and stuff
    Max: yeah [laughing] make it look like we know what we’re doing
    Charlie: yeah. The important people care. So that’s nice to have a little money coming in.
    Max: yeah. Do we want to declare this as the profitability point?
    Charlie: Yeah actually this month we are profitable
    Max: is that the first time in the long history of the company?
    Charlie: It probably is and maybe… I don’t know if it’s the first time ever. It’s definitely not the first time ever, but it’s the first time in a long time.
    Max: … that we are not losing money?
    Charlie: yeah, it’s a good feeling.
    Max: hopefully we’ll keep up
    Charlie: yeah I hope so. And then we take over the world [both laugh]. Actually Max and I had a neat conversation about an alien idea. I know that…

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--> DEVELOPMENT, MAPS, M VS M <!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Max: Somebody had mentioned on the forums, that we have been talking a lot about marine stuff, but we haven’t really mentioned much aliens and new things for aliens
    Charlie: which is mostly true
    Max: it is. We have talked about a few things that I think people have largely overlooked, but
    Charlie: Let me just mention, well dynamic infestation being
    Max: well I don’t think people overlooked that
    Charlie: Ok, and plus in the beginning - next play test we have scheduled on our development road map is marine versus marine as a way to get to that point as quickly as possible. So that’s one reason
    Max: right, to be able to play the game without having to develop both sides
    Charlie: exactly
    Max: and we want marines versus marines to be a viable option for the game. It may not be
    Charlie: … as good
    Max: it may not even be something that we have maps for, right.
    Charlie: I don’t know
    Max: We don’t know if it fits into the fiction.
    Charlie: I’m less worried about the fiction, if it’s a cool element
    Max: yeah I’m not so worried about it either
    Charlie: I really like random spawns – random teams like star craft, where each side will have generic start locations; and if we have totally dynamic hive areas, you know where the mappers don’t have to create anything special for a hive rooMax: they just place the location, they place the spawns and that’s it, all visuals are procedurally generated. Then we could have maps that support alien versus alien, alien versus marine, marine versus marine.
    Max: Yeah
    Charlie: I think that would be fantastic. Or Marines versus Robots – the mystical third race.
    Max: yeah, we’ll see about that. I guess most of our attention has been focused at least in terms of implementation on marines. But we have been thinking about alien stuff as well. And I have to say I’m pretty excited about alien stuff.

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--> ALIEN COMMANDER <!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Charlie: You want to talk about this idea?
    Max: Well the first thing we should… Specifically when I said people have overlooked stuff: maybe we haven’t explicitly said it about the idea of an alien commander
    Charlie: yeah we haven’t said that
    Max: Well I think ... Oh I figured we had to say that is that what you wanted to say?
    Charlie: I guess so, yeah that’s probably true. Oops!
    Max: You just shot me a dirty look there
    Charlie: No I didn’t – oh, I didn’t mean to. It’s fine.
    Max: Yeah, that’s an idea we’re considering – strongly considering
    Charlie: Yeah. I could say it’s pretty much definite. Well actually we shouldn’t say that. We think the aliens need a commander for balance, basically to unify the resource model. But I guess we can’t really know until we play test it - for sure.
    Max: Final subject to change
    Charlie: yes, that’s a good phrase. So, once aliens have commander that lets us do some really cool things like: You want to tell them this idea? – the canals?
    Max: Go ahead

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--> CANALS <!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Charlie: You got really excited about it, so I think you can talk about it
    Max: Now it’s just built up so much. It’s gotta be awesome what we say. The idea is to create a technology that the aliens would have which would allow them to basically create tunnels between two different points of the map through the infestation, which you might say is similar to the Nydus canal.
    Charlie: Nydus canals in StarCraft, everybody is gonna say that, and it’s totally true
    Max: But the reason why I’m excited about this, actually has very little to do with how fun it is or anything like that. But I think it would just be a really interesting thing that you have never seen in a game before. I have never seen in a game before. Those are the kind of things that get me excited.
    Charlie: It would be really strange, because you could do kind of a Portal-esque thing, where the distance between the two canals or sphincters or flesh-doors – whatever they are – the distance between them in real life is different than the distance you actually have to walk through to get there.
    Max: So it would be kind of like, the analog on the marine-side is sort of the phase gates, but it’s also different in the sense that it actually creates a new gameplay space between those – it’s not instantaneous. It’s a place where you could hang out waiting for the marines to come through or maybe in the flash hall. That would be good
    Charlie: Whatever you want to call that
    Max: We could put something that’s interesting to aliens like I don’t know what…
    Charlie: I think it could be neat that…
    Max: a little alien lounge area where they could relax
    Charlie: Well I think it would be neat, if it was a space, so you have dynamic infestation on one side a… So, first of all, the commander can only place the canal entrances on dynamic infestation, and then you would have the goo - it would like open up there, would be a crater basically, a sphincter or some kind of a door, but it would be organic. And then when you got near it, it would open up, you jump in and you’d see that really cool hallway. I don’t know what it would look like exactly, but you would be in a hallway. And I think you could probably not get hurt in the hallway and you couldn’y use your weapons cause you don’t want aliens firing out of the hallway into the room
    Max: Why not?
    Charlie: Because, well unless the marines can go inside it too.
    Max: Yeah they should be able to go inside.
    Charlie: You think so? That could be cool.
    Max: See the way I think of this is, like in those horror movies or whatever, where you go into a basement and they discover there is this weird infestation going on and then… I can’t even imagine what I’m thinking off
    Charlie: hmm [inaudible]
    Max: I feel like I’ve seen this a million times, but I can’t think of where
    Charlie: You probably have
    Max: And where the teenage kids go down in there and one by one they get picked off
    Charlie: the ones that had sex get killed first
    Max: Yeah, that’s how I imagine this. So I think it would be cool if the marines could go inside
    Charlie: if they get inside or they get sucked inside
    Max: yeah, maybe, that’s an idea
    Charlie: You don’t like the idea?
    Max: Well I like it just being a hallway almost. I mean it wouldn’t look like a hallway really but
    Charlie: a flesh hallway
    Max: a flesh hallway that you could just walk inside you wouldn’t get sucked inside or anything. The game would act normal when you’re in there, except for the fact that you would be off the grid. The commander couldn’t help you
    Charlie: that’s the part I really like
    Max: you’ll be at the mercy of the aliens
    Charlie: And it’s funny, ‘cause that’s one of those things that would be harder to implement, like how would you put a dynamic
    Max: that’s why I suggested it – because it would make the implementation easier.
    Charlie: And it’s also just cool. Actually there are early versions of Bast, I can’t remember maybe even the shipped versions of bast. I know in 1.0 there was essentially a long under-water road
    Max: That was in the shipping version
    Charlie: was it? Yeah, and that was basically inaccessible by the commander it was too far away and plus it was under water so you couldn’t drop stuff. So you knew if you were diving down from Feedwater: “Sayonara! You are on your own.” So that’s cool
    Max: we’ll try that see if it’s cool. Sound like it will be though
    Charlie: I think it will be, yeah. Especially after we get up on the episode 2 code base, we’ll do that first. So there is some ideas for aliens looking forward to your feedback on that stuff and I think that’s about all we have
    Max: Ok

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--> ALIEN VIEW ROTATION VIDEO <!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Charlie: So, we’re not sure what we will be doing for the holidays, but I imagine we are not going to be recording next week and we might not record the week after. But we’ll be back after the break.
    Max: I think there will be some blog updates too.
    Charlie: Yeah I’m sure
    Max: I meant to put one up this week but
    Charlie: on what, can you say?
    Max: Yeah, it will be a little teaser I guess. Well when we were putting together some of our materials, to show off to people, we unearthed an ancient video
    Charlie: Oh, yeah yeah yeah!
    Max: … of the skulks <a href="" target="_blank">view model rotation</a>. Which I though that video was lost forever, and since that feature didn’t make it into the game, there was no evidence that it has ever existed. But there is!
    Charlie: Yeah we were going through my backups and saw that video. So, what are you going to do about that?
    Max: I’m just going to post the video.
    Charlie: That’s it?
    Max: Well maybe write why we didn’t include it and stuff like that. You know, actually watching it kind of made me want to put it in NS 2.
    Charlie: Yeahhh… View model rotation!
    Max: We’ll see.
    Charlie: I think it could be fun.
    Max: We could just skip the blog post and just put it in the podcast now
    Charlie: Oh, yeah, that’s true, I guess we could, but I’d have to upload…
    Max: Nah, we can’t do that, because people will just watch the video and there will be no context.
    Charlie: Yeah that’s true. So, look for a blog post about that and maybe some other stuff. And we will be working over the holidays to an extent at least. So, don’t fear if you don’t see any updates, we’re still around. Thanks for listening guys, Have a great holiday season and we’ll talk to you afterwards. Take care
    Max: [inaudible]

    <!--sizeo:3--><span style="font-size:12pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo--><i>Here are responses by Charlie and Max in this discussion so far:</i><!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->

    Max<!--quoteo(post=1664127:date=Dec 15 2007, 01:53 PM:name=Max)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Max @ Dec 15 2007, 01:53 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664127"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->We understand that having two different sides is important to that game. This is in fact one of the <a href="" target="_blank">four pillars</a> of NS2 that we talked about previously.

    Similar things can also be quite different. Starcraft is full of these, and I think the "tubes" we talked about in the podcast are a good example of that as well. You could say that phase gates and the tubes are the same because they allow players to move between two points on the map quickly. However, they are also different:<ul><li>Travel between the two ends of the tubes will not be instantaneous</li><li>Both sides can use the tubes</li><li>There is an actual gameplay space between the ends of the tube where players can fight, etc.</li><li>Multiple players can travel through (and emerge from) a tube at the same time</li><li>The tubes will be difficult to destroy</li></ul>We think of the alien "commander" the same way. The role of the commander on both sides will be to spend the team's resources (the unified resource model was mentioned in the podcast) and provide support for the other players. Outside of that description, they may act totally differently. That's almost what the Gorge does in NS, except the resource model is a bit wonky (and no we're not removing the Gorge in NS2). Although we are considering a top-down view for the alien commander, that's not a necessity for that role.

    We enjoy reading your feedback, so keep it up!<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Charlie <!--quoteo(post=1664131:date=Dec 15 2007, 03:15 PM:name=Flayra)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Flayra @ Dec 15 2007, 03:15 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664131"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->Yeah I hear you and definitely agree. Let me be clear that the addition of the alien commander isn't definite (we must try it and see if it's better) and we would still be completely focused on keeping the teams unique. That is never going away. Even if the resource model needs to be unified between the two sides, we're not going to see the same tech on both sides with a different skin. The alien Comm would have totally different abilities or "spells" - not droppable medpacks and energy packs!

    Think of it like Starcraft or Warcraft 3 - the basic resource model is the same but the sides are totally different. There can even be differences in how resources are gathered, but the asymmetry of a top-down strategy (NS1 marines) vs. a bottom-up strategy (NS1 aliens) presents so many difficulties that I don't think can be ever be fixed properly. An alien Comm could let us really go crazy adding new weapons, abilities and lifeforms later without it breaking the entire system (which in NS1 is quite fragile).<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Max responding to 11k's post: "The alien tube thing is totally dynamic right, so wouldn't portal technology be perfect for it? This diagram explains why. Only problem is you need 4 portals per hole." <!--quoteo(post=1664360:date=Dec 17 2007, 01:35 AM:name=Max)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Max @ Dec 17 2007, 01:35 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664360"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    That's pretty much how we were thinking about implementing it.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    <!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->The four NS2 pillars<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec-->
    from 9th podcast starting at 13:20 (i just numbered the pillars)

    Charlie: The big kind of four pillars for NS2 are:
    1) the dynamic infestation or should I say "dynamic environments" - it’s not just infestation. We hope that it’s going to be much more than that, which includes the new welding system and anything else we can do to make the environments really - maybe not living and breathing - but definitely reactive and changing during the course of the game.
    2) And the second pillar would be the commander mode. Obviously it’s a distinctive feature for NS. Other people might do it, but they don’t really go the distance quite as far as we do. So that’s the second one.
    3) Totally different sides that’s a difference for us, too, which obviously you saw in NS. We’re going to see it even more in NS2.
    4) And then the whole modding and user extensibility component, which for us is largely about Dacoda and the fact that we’re doing everything in script and setting things up building the infrastructure for players to really make their own game out of this or mod NS2 and tweak things the way they want.
    There's more than that. Those are the pillar stones, though.
  • INKEDOUTINKEDOUT Join Date: 2007-06-23 Member: 61343Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1664706:date=Dec 20 2007, 05:57 PM:name=StixNStonz)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(StixNStonz @ Dec 20 2007, 05:57 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664706"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->I see it like this:

    It took NS 5 years to get to the amazing masterpiece that it now is. Yes this is my opinion, but having seen practically every game ever made, I believe NS has the best gameplay of any. It has constantly evolved towards this, and there have been a few hiccups and bumps, but its made it here.

    But now its going retail. There are a lot of cool ideas being mentioned about NS2, but NS is SUCH a fragile game. Yes you can playtest it and try to do all this, but there is one fact that cannot be forgotten.

    <u>As a retail game, you cannot overhaul, renovate, or significantly modify the game away from its first release on the shelf (even if its a digital shelf).</u>

    Imagine if NS 1.0 was released retail. What would have happened when they suddenly overhauled it so the res system wasn't dependent on single gorge? Or when they unlocked the alien classes? Or when they changed the JP? The lerk flight system? The cost of almost every structure? Or added the horribly unbalanced first grenades?

    Imagine they added the tunnels and alien comm into NS1 right now (forget the technical restrictions of HL1). How long do you think it would be before they actually fit into the game in a balanced fashion? I'd give it at least, at LEAST 6 months of constant 'playtesting' by every player who's downloaded the game. (im no PT but it seems like most of the real balancing comes from simply seeing the changes in action on pubs over months and months). And these features would almost certainly be overhauled significantly a few times over that period.

    You simply can't do that with a retail game. NS2 cannot evolve past its release. It can have new maps added, new props, new textures and even new gamemodes (LUA), but the game itself can't progress. (Unless you want to pioneer an Evolving Game concept? Very risky, but it could bring the best benefit of mods to the retail world... you'd just have to make it very blatant in the descriptions that 'game mode subject to change' <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tounge.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tounge.gif" />)

    It seems like a huge risk to do any of these massive game- and balance-altering changes. Yes they can playtest the crap out of it, but playtesting has failed many times before. IMO, the worst case scenario would be the destruction or significant reduction of the beauty that is NS gameplay in NS2; and we all know that NS1 will definitely fall into oblivion once NS2 is out. If NS2 fails in keeping the same tightly-knit balance, we've lost the best game ever made.

    So who knows. If I was the devs, I'd have focused on a direct port. Update everything. If this was the original plan, NS:S could have been released months or even years ago, and they'd have solid income, a solid company foundation, and the ability to drive forward with the new concepts in NS2 with a helluva lot more security. Right now, its really up in the air how it'll turn out; we're supposed to be smack-dab in the middle of the development phase, but aside from the static assets (textures, models and basic maps), it sounds like half of the game mechanics hasn't even been fleshed out, let alone balanced.

    Im afraid they might be aiming far higher than is rational. I just hope to god they prove me/us wrong.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Think of it this way, you wouldn't even worry about all this stuff if UW was like most game developers, you wouldn't even hear about their ideas, you would just hear about the things they had got working. So I wouldn't worry about balancing just yet, by the sounds of it they have only just got around to testing a marine team.
    As for the whole NS:S thing. F**K NS:S, we all know we don't want just the same old NS1 with better graphics, what would be the point? Hell that's why half the people on here read the blog and listen to the pod casts, they want to know what new stuff might be considered for NS2 and what ideas they can add into the brain storm. It's half the fun of being on these forums, hearing about all the new ideas people have, even the really silly and rubbish ones.

    <!--quoteo(post=1664767:date=Dec 21 2007, 04:06 AM:name=PseudoKnight)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(PseudoKnight @ Dec 21 2007, 04:06 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664767"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->A thought on the tube, if it hasn't been mentioned yet: it should have two corners to improve performance when both ends are open. It'll also better suit the illusion that you're going through the infestation to another part of the map instead of a straight line.

    <!--c1--><div class='codetop'>CODE</div><div class='codemain'><!--ec1-->╞═╗

    Yeah, I said something like this earlier. See the yellow bit...
    <!--quoteo(post=1664412:date=Dec 17 2007, 03:44 PM:name=INKEDOUT)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(INKEDOUT @ Dec 17 2007, 03:44 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664412"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--> the sounds of things (based on what they said in the pod cast), the tubes themselves might be "grown" like DI. So I imagine there would be plenty of constrains on how they are grown, like size, twists, shape, etc. So I imagine there is going to have to be minimum size of a tube, like 2 aliens across, and then maybe <!--coloro:#FFFF00--><span style="color:#FFFF00"><!--/coloro-->a 90° turn after (lets say) 300 units<!--colorc--></span><!--/colorc-->. But then a rule stating that after a 90° (lets say) right another my happen that goes left. And the same with up and down. That way the tubes can constantly go in a straight line without being straight. These three rules (1. Make all tunnels Y units in size. AND 2. turn 90° after X units. AND 3. turn tunnels 90° back on self after X units) alone would be enough to stop a marine camping in there without risking his own neck.

    Server wise, I wonder how much traffic this would cause?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
  • StixNStonzStixNStonz Join Date: 2006-11-06 Member: 58439Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    <!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->As for the whole NS:S thing. F**K NS:S, we all know we don't want just the same old NS1 with better graphics, what would be the point?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Because NS is one of the best games in existence? A game dying only because it hasnt been updated to a new engine?

    New features and added complexity can only go so far. NS already has 10 times the depth and complexity of any other game out there.

    If you read what I actually said, you'd see that I was using the past tense. 'I'd HAVE focused on a direct port'. NS:S would have be a huge release, and absolutely secured NS' future, whereas right now, its all on the hope of NS2, which itself is far, far away. NS1 is still going strong (even had a small comeback after what seemed like a continual degradation of the playerbase), but could it last another year?

    A direct port of NS would have been <i>AWESOME</i>, and could have given the devs a much more solid foundation on which to create NS2. Thats all I was saying.

    Everything is riding on NS2 now, so lets hope that the fragile nature of NS' interdependencies can sustain the addition of an alien commander, dynamic infestation, unchained hive rooms, flamethrowers, possibly a new alien class(es), entirely new maps, possibly a new economic system, revamped commander...

    ...Which all would have been more easily done with a fully shipped title already under their belts <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile-fix.gif" />
  • ipriceiprice Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34474Members, Constellation
    <!--quoteo(post=1664113:date=Dec 15 2007, 12:02 PM:name=John Top)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(John Top @ Dec 15 2007, 12:02 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664113"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->1) They said will balance the RESOURCE MODEL out, not teams.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    And lets face it, it does need it, we all know that the game plays very differently when its 5v5 than when its some 16v16 'super' server, the alien res model doesn't scale well in either direction, while the marine one, aside from the cost of buying a few more weapons, is much more stable in terms of how long it takes to achive certain upgrades, their 'build' can be the same in small and large games, just the larger the game the less people get higher weapons, but that isn't balanced on the alien side where the first hive will come much later, and if the aliens do manage to hold there will be a 'rush' of higher life forms but it will be later... Regardless of how this affects the outcome of each game, the resource model could do with some major revamping, and switching to a marine style 'centralised res' is the obvios win, the hive always goes up at the same time in the same build regardless of players (assuming enough players exist to cap the usual 2-3 RTs...)
  • INKEDOUTINKEDOUT Join Date: 2007-06-23 Member: 61343Members
    <!--quoteo(post=1664824:date=Dec 21 2007, 08:07 PM:name=StixNStonz)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(StixNStonz @ Dec 21 2007, 08:07 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664824"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->A direct port of NS would have been <i>AWESOME</i>, and could have given the devs a much more solid foundation on which to create NS2. Thats all I was saying.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Sorry dude, thought you just wanted a game now and didn't want any changes :S My bad!
  • FelcasterFelcaster Join Date: 2005-02-16 Member: 41352Members
    edited December 2007
    Hey there Development team and my peers! I'm a long time fan, listening to the podcast inspired me to give some feedback.

    I love the idea behind an alien tunnel! I'm curious, if in your final version marines can enter the tunnels, do think it would be possible to make the player's Mic cut out as well? To further enhance the feeling that the Frontiersman has been "blacked out" from support.

    I'm not going to lie, I'm not terribly fond of the alien commander idea. As others have already said, it takes away from the uniqueness of the the races.

    <!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->switching to a marine style 'centralised res' is the obvios win,<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    It has a very strong feeling of you guys taking the easy way out. Yes the obvious way to fix the resource problems is go to familiar grounds and make a commander. However it takes a lot away from the unique side of the game. I could tell how excited you guys where in the podcast about all the cool things you could do with an AC; but wouldn't it be better to just figure out how to use gorgie instead? Remember that one of the groups the alien side attracts are independent players who wont be that fond of having a new structure forced atop them.

    If you must follow through with the alien commander, could you try to make it as... well... <i>"alien"</i> to the Human commander as possible?


    Congratulations on turning a profit! I've been buying your games since "Zen" in investment for NS2 and its good to see you guys still going strong!

  • TsunamiiTsunamii Join Date: 2004-01-31 Member: 25786Members
    Just had a listen to the podcast. Just wondering about the "canals" ala, "tubes" - would the commander be able to beacon the marines back from the abyss? It sounds like there's some sort of time/space portal that these "tubes" the alien makes.

    Personally, I think the idea of having an alien commander is a bit icky - considering they already do have remote healing services / structure ploppers (not to mention they naturally heal)-- but if it were to be implemented, I would hope it would be a completely different experience than it is to command on the marine team.

    With the weldbots, I can already see NSPlayers crying about being blocked -- will the weldbots have some sort of phase technology implemented to go through marines, and take X% less damage from aliens? Just an idea.

    As a commander, I'm sort of restricted to the amount of build order and strategies I can execute. Perhaps add more technological advances that the commander can research. Here's some ideas!

    • Observatory Advances: I don't always research MT, but I do like the idea of being able to detect aliens stampeding to marine start a little sooner. Also, perhaps an additional upgrade which updates MT with the ability to distinguish the different alien life forms. A bit silly perhaps, but at least you're not running for a kill, only to be greeted by an onos and become the hunted!

    • Structure Decoys: As a commander, it's infuriating to watch your AA die. It's more frustrating when you're in the heat of taking down the hive, only to realize that you've already lost your AA. A decoy armoury which detonates on destruction would definitely take a load of the commander's back, and maybe kill a fade or two.

    • Misc. Upgrades: Grenades, they've been awesome. Although, since they received their nerf - they don't quite pack the punch they used to. A further research replacing the default grenade with ones that pack more "umph" would be a grand concept to implement. Sticky bombs would make the game play a little more interesting. "That fade was on 1 bar, FFS!" "Yeah, but soon the entire alien team will be on 1 bar after I detonate it!". Bit silly and over the top methinks.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you SHOULD implement these - it's just that both aliens and marines are receiving some awesome shinitz, but as a commander - I'm not feeling the love. Maybe a little screen that I can play Tetris on, as the aliens chomp the last CC that's tucked nicely in that vent <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tounge.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":p" border="0" alt="tounge.gif" />

    Loving the podcasts, and good to know you guys are doing well!

    Anticipating NS2,
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Members
    edited December 2007
    <!--quoteo(post=1664811:date=Dec 22 2007, 04:09 AM:name=INKEDOUT)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(INKEDOUT @ Dec 22 2007, 04:09 AM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=1664811"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->As for the whole NS:S thing. F**K NS:S, we all know we don't want just the same old NS1 with better graphics, what would be the point?<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    not quite true, that..
    refer to: <a href="" target="_blank"></a>
    "Why do your friends not like NS1?"
    quite a few of the responses pretty much said 'the game was outdated' (mostly graphically, engine-wise, etc.) - this is how a lot of gamers think, they want things that are shiny and new, we want those things. it wouldn't matter if it was a 'mere' port from an older engine. there'd definitely be more players playing on ns:source today than there are those playing ns.
    if there was an ns:source a couple years back, i'd wager it would have had a following at least as large as ns was for the hl mod community - because back a couple years ago (and less so, now, imo) source (hl2, css, dods) was 'in'. (they- we've got plenty of other- newer, shinier online games to choose from)
    but as it is -now-, yes, F**k NS:S - because NS2 is already on its way, and i hope it's both excellent and successful.

    and about canals, uhh, how would it work in the fiction/ns universe? what are the... physics... behind it? based on those dynamic infestation videos, they didn't seem to cover enough -space- to allow a hallway <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin-fix.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin-fix.gif" />

    also, how many.. sets.. of canals could there be? the diagram drawn by max only shows -one- and the 'hall' is created in a separate part of the map - would there be more and more of them created outside the map? the halls should of course become a completely alien environment, the walls, floor and ceiling themselves should -be- infestation. and as someone mentioned they shouldn't be straight :/. how large and accomodating, how tall, how wide, how long, are the 'halls'?
    and i think aliens have to have a clear advantage inside -their- canals. 'cos if marines camp inside or just outside the entrance/exit, and pick off aliens travelling through, the canals themselves would become useless. maybe you could prevent campers inside by giving the alien comm the ability to 'constrict' the hall and crush the marines inside - this feature would be unable to be used if there were live aliens inside ... but then the marines might run in, hit and run an alien or two, then jump back out, before the alien comm can react.
    it's been said that the marine comm would have no power within these canals, which gives the marines a little bit more of a disadvantage, but i don't think it'll be enough.. i think they (aliens) should gain speed and stealth (carapace, health?) advantages, to be able to fight off the marines well, and the marines would move slower in the murky environment their boots just aren't made for walking in - at the very least, increased alien speed within the hall, so you could get from the entrance to the exit quicker, otherwise it'll defeat the main purpose of canals altogether - quick alien transport.
    will aliens be able to plant buildings/lay webs and such inside the halls? the marines' main function in the halls should be to slow the aliens down, be a nuisance, make the canals more trouble than their worth - negate their utility - but the marines should have a hard time doing this, since canals are kharaa territory.
  • RobotsNeedLoveRobotsNeedLove Join Date: 2007-12-30 Member: 63297Members
    No recordings for holidays? Noooooooo!
  • SgtHydraSgtHydra Join Date: 2007-11-29 Member: 63046Members
    Since you were talking about a place to "Hang out," what happens when both openings are destroyed? Perhaps the first should be at your start hive to avoid the problem (and stop you from having to have one at the hive itself).

    And about the alien comm, what are gorges for now? Have they been replaced? And what will the comm look like?
  • gusdawngusdawn Join Date: 2003-02-18 Member: 13698Members
    Hello Max & Charlie

    I was currently listening to all of your podcasts as part of my research for the NS2 marketing webpage when I came accross the idea of having a alien commander. I wanted to add my two cents to the mix.

    In NS's core structure, the second pillar states that NS is to have two different teams. One of the key differences between the aliens the marines, besides their physical appearance, is that the marines are centralized (they have a commander) while the aliens are de-centralized. Mentally, that lets the gamer instantly know that the aliens function differently than the marines. Just like a movie director will use a different looking location to subtley let the viewer that they have entered a different part of the story, you want to remind the gamer that things are done differently as an alien. To create a alien commander is to provide the gamer with a familiar mental link to the marine's structure of playing. As I read down the comments, I noticed that a few other contributors shared my sentiment.

    My recommendation would be leave the aliens completely decentralized. Playing with communal abilities that affect all of the aliens simultaneously, like hive sight or increased carapace. Have the gamer enter a strange world where they are forced to learn the rule of the land to be successful. How about this? Maybe the aliens can work to give the hive abilities, like a larger healing radius or have it emit toxic fumes for humans?

    Just my two cents, for whatever it is worth.
  • DelphicDelphic Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58262Members
    I wish I could be as elloquent as the poster above... so I'll just say that he's said exactly what I wanted to say, and a lot better than I would have been able to!

    So I'm another saying, yes, it's understandable to want to make balancing the sides easier, but the lack of an alien commander is essential (imo) to the feel of the game and should be avoided even if it makes the game less balanced / harder to balance. The tweaking of two completely different sides till they play well off each other is much harder and possibly risky with a retail game, rather than a mod, but I think it would ultimately result in a better game... However you unfortuantely can't tell if that'll necessarily translate to better sales.

    That said, I'm sure whatever NS2 turns out to be, even if it feels completely different to NS, it'll be fun! Thanks for the podcasts guys and keep up the good work.
  • MAAADMAAAD Join Date: 2007-10-25 Member: 62735Members
    special habilities are the key. Aliens dont need a commander, aliens need one specialist with group support habilities.Expensive and weak.

    resource model is ok, but vote options about important things sare nice...

    We dont want expansion pack of NS.We want a new NS with a regenerated experience of game, with lot of fun and new strategy options, enviroment, graphics...

    Work in differents types of maps should be good, like missions mode, gameplay extreme (Marines must survive in bad conditions after contdown to win) and the most important, dynamic maps.maps with lot of options like transports(vehicles, elevators),conditional eviroment(dynamic infest is great, it should set lot of things)...
  • neoviperneoviper Join Date: 2007-11-07 Member: 62852Members
    I'm not really fond of the alien commander idea, the way the aliens work now is fine. changing the resource system however is completely fine, as long as it stays balanced. but adding in an alien commander removes some of the independence of the alien team. I like how the aliens use the abilities of the different lifeforms to complement the other players. Maybe gorges could act as the commander, collectively i suppose, and build the structures and canals. I do like having the separate resource pools for each alien, it seems to be fairly well balanced as it is, and there could be some scaling added based on the number of players on the alien team. it would be an interesting feature if the gorges could transfer their resources to other players. would also be interesting if this was limited only to gorges, other lifeforms couldn't do this. would be hard to balance it for transferring all the resources to one player for an early fade/hive, so maybe not.

    but basically, the alien commander to me reduces what the aliens are all about, the independence of individual aliens.
  • RedfordRedford Monorailcatfjord Join Date: 2002-04-28 Member: 528Members, NS1 Playtester
    Orange levels?

    Needs more purple tbh.
  • RobRob Unknown Enemy Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 25Members, NS1 Playtester
    edited February 2009
    What the hell, Redford? Sharpening your necromancy skills or what?
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