Development Blog Update - Unknown Worlds Podcast #19

MaxMax Technical Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment Join Date: 2002-03-15 Member: 318Super Administrators, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts, Future Perfect Developer Posts: 1,737 admin
edited March 2008 in NS2 General Discussion
Please post comments on the topic Development Blog Update - Unknown Worlds Podcast #19 here
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Max McGuire
Technical Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
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  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation Posts: 2,395 mod
    Congrats on getting the office. You're going to need some non-living space to put all the piles of cash that build up from sales. The new commander camera sounds pretty sweet too, hope it ends up working as well as it sounds.
  • locallyunscenelocallyunscene Feeder of Trolls Join Date: 2002-12-25 Member: 11528Members, Constellation Posts: 4,022 Fully active user
    That's cool about the official xbox360 middleware.

    WRT the commander view it sounds like you're taking the time to really hammer things out "the right way". Keep up the good work. pudgy.gif
    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!


    - NS in game name - tilde - My Steam Id Page - .
  • PrefixPrefix Éirinn go Brách Join Date: 2006-12-31 Member: 59353Members, Constellation Posts: 456 Advanced user
    Nice podcast, don't listen to trolls, some of us like the other stuff too.
  • La ChupacabraLa Chupacabra Join Date: 2008-02-25 Member: 63729Members Posts: 194 Fully active user
    QUOTE(Prefix @ Mar 7 2008, 10:07 PM) »
    Nice podcast, don't listen to trolls, some of us like the other stuff too.

    GFT!

    I completely agree with the part about hardcore players who will always choose the more effective way over the more fun / visually enjoyable way of doing things. Other developers would probably tell that the player is a re*ard, but you guys polish everything so a hcp doesn't have make such decisions - that's why I believe NS2 will be beauty!

    Keep up the great work!
  • Kouji_SanKouji_San Sr. Hινε Uρкεερεг - EUPT Deputy The Netherlands, Hoogezand Join Date: 2003-05-13 Member: 16271Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue Posts: 15,780 Advanced user
    Very nice idea for the commander view! Also this perma link works tounge.gif (both in NS and NS2 skins)

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  • TheNinthPlayerTheNinthPlayer Join Date: 2002-05-20 Member: 637Members, Constellation Posts: 74
    Congrats on the Office Space and XBOX License!

    Having played around with mapping and commanding I realize what an annoyance the comm view can be especially on custom maps like Missile Command, where one part is very high and the other part is very low.

    BTW, I liked last weeks podcast.
  • obsidobsid Join Date: 2003-09-16 Member: 20909Members Posts: 133
    I just wanted to say, its not that we need to hear about how things will be in NS2 every week. More we would like to hear about things NS2 related. The a talk about the various +/-'s to diffrent types or styles of play or options. Maybe questions to the community on what we think of various NS2 topics etc. We know you wont be able to tell us "hey we just got done with this great new feature we are putting in NS2" every week. Also a great thing to talk about would be lore related to the natural selection universe (there is always more lore questions). If your not sure what you want the lore to be, thats OK too, talk to us about it and ask us for suggestions then try and take the best.
  • dudepuppetdudepuppet Join Date: 2007-10-24 Member: 62727Members Posts: 83
    congrats on new office. i like the hight idea for the cammera even though im not a level designer i got a really good idea for a map you could test that on
    Bob: if 1 onos is onos
    2 oni is oni
    what is 3?
    John: umm why dont you ash these 3?
    Bob: what is the plural for 3 onoss?
    onos 1: easy lunch..... "OH ****"!
    Bob: oh ****?
    John: oh i get it.


  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    edited March 2008
    One suggestion on those camera entities. I think it would be much easier for the mappers to just put the entity on the floor. Then you can add some amount to the height to programmatically determine the commander height before you interpolate. Then the commander height is a gameplay choice you guys can make independent of the map. If the mapper really wants to raise the commander height in an area they can just raise the entity off of the floor, but in general that should be discouraged.

    (Or, if your interpolation is a linear function of the heights, you don't have to do it before you interpolate.)
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • MaxMax Technical Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment Join Date: 2002-03-15 Member: 318Super Administrators, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, Constellation, Subnautica Developer, Pistachionauts, Future Perfect Developer Posts: 1,737 admin
    QUOTE(moultano @ Mar 7 2008, 05:24 PM) »
    One suggestion on those camera entities. I think it would be much easier for the mappers to just put the entity on the floor. Then you can add some amount to the height to programmatically determine the commander height before you interpolate. Then the commander height is a gameplay choice you guys can make independent of the map. If the mapper really wants to raise the commander height in an area they can just raise the entity off of the floor, but in general that should be discouraged.

    (Or, if your interpolation is a linear function of the heights, you don't have to do it before you interpolate.)

    That's how it works.
    Max McGuire
    Technical Director, Unknown Worlds Entertainment
  • schkorpioschkorpio I can mspaint Join Date: 2003-05-23 Member: 16635Members Posts: 3,543 Fully active user
    could the entity be the same as the entity that names the locations "via duct hive" on your hud. that way you wouldn't need two similar entities overlapping smile-fix.gif
    Want to make an NS2 map but short on time? Join the NS2 Community Map Project
    thou shall slide!
  • HarimauHarimau Join Date: 2007-12-24 Member: 63250Members Posts: 3,883
    edited March 2008
    Awesome. Sounds great. Grats on the office and xbox license.
    And it's good to see the podcasts back on track, so to speak.

    I find I have to completely agree with:
    QUOTE(La Chupacabra @ Mar 8 2008, 08:41 AM) »
    I completely agree with the part about hardcore players who will always choose the more effective way over the more fun / visually enjoyable way of doing things. Other developers would probably tell that the player is a re*ard, but you guys polish everything so a hcp doesn't have make such decisions - that's why I believe NS2 will be beauty!

    I think it's great that you're making the effort in this regard.

    QUOTE(moultano @ Mar 8 2008, 10:24 AM) »
    (Or, if your interpolation is a linear function of the heights, you don't have to do it before you interpolate.)

    Hmm, what is meant by this, exactly?

    Also, about levels/commander camera; you mentioned that levels can now have a greater level of depth, rather than existing on a relatively horizontal plane.
    But does this mean we'll have levels underneath levels? - ie. multiple-storied maps - If so, how would you navigate between stories in commander mode, and how would you show the mini-map?
    And could you tell us more about the map that you mentioned in the podcast? I didn't quite catch the name, but you mentioned 'descending into the earth'.
    Thanks, and keep up the good work smile-fix.gif

    Nope, we won't be supporting multiple levels. It's just that the commander camera is no longer restricted to a single height, so as you pan around the map, it's moving up and down automatically. -- Charlie
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • cerberus414cerberus414 Join Date: 2005-05-07 Member: 51098Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 217
    Congrats on the Xbox 360 license, that will open up many doors for you guys. Just a general question, How much is a devkit for Xbox? You make it sound very expensive.
  • moultanomoultano Creator of ns_shiva. Join Date: 2002-12-14 Member: 10806Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Gold, NS2 Community Developer, Pistachionauts Posts: 4,219 Advanced user
    QUOTE(Max @ Mar 7 2008, 09:33 PM) »
    That's how it works.

    sweet.
  • 11k11k Join Date: 2007-11-17 Member: 62941Members Posts: 9
    How many people are on your development team, and how many of them will be working in your office?
  • SinisterSinister Join Date: 2002-04-15 Member: 451Members Posts: 362
    When you started to talk about the commander view, I first thought you were going for an isometric perspective. That way nothing would be too close or too far away. However, making the world appear "flat" to the commander might take away from the experience, and would make the level-over-level situation even worse. Also it might make commander mode feel more like an oldschool 2D rts.

    Maybe you have already explored this idea?
  • ekul26ekul26 Join Date: 2007-12-16 Member: 63174Members Posts: 6
    hey nice podcast. it would be good if the talk about what are going with the alien commander
  • DominingDomining Join Date: 2007-09-27 Member: 62452Members Posts: 480
    Great podcast! Would like to hear moar about XBOX.
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Members, Constellation Posts: 964
    Are you considering implementing "levels", ie. if there are two conflicting hints at one location on the x/y axis (where x and y are non-height dimensions) the mapper could determine which hints link to which in what order (similar to a rope entity, so that the flat plane can bend back on itself intelligently)? If you did that, the commander could "toggle" between layers, which would allow a mapper to build level geometry that overlapped itself on the z-axis.

    Maybe you answered that already in the podcast? I don't remember hearing anything about it.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

    http://nsdojo.net - Covering a wide array of advanced topics on one of the deepest games ever made.

    "Women aren't intuitive, ... so we would be better off without them surely." --Pheus
  • AlignAlign Remain Calm Join Date: 2002-11-02 Member: 5216Forum Moderators, Constellation Posts: 8,207 mod
    That sounds awfully fiddly. I'd rather the mappers be constrained to (mostly) no overlapping levels, really.
  • caboose4lifecaboose4life Join Date: 2007-03-22 Member: 60455Members Posts: 4
    dudes that is gona be so awsome if it goes out for xbox 360 :o btw im thinking if u could like make camaras so u can place in each hive so like u can be informed if there r any alien nearby or something like that (btw if u r thinknig bout that can u plz mention "caboose" on your next podcast tounge.gif)

    ps. nice podcast tsa.gif
  • OrtzinatorOrtzinator Join Date: 2008-03-02 Member: 63781Members Posts: 9
    Personally, I don't listen to these podcasts for the NS2 news as much as for the BTS game dev insight stuff.
  • naggynaggy Join Date: 2005-03-22 Member: 46068Members Posts: 97
    Not entirely sure if the whole 'automatic camera' thing will work TBH.. A pretty fun mod called Zombie Master (http://www.zombiemaster.org/) - which is also a RTS/FPS - uses a system where its similar to spectator mode, but you use the mouse wheel to move up and down amongst the environment and use a bound button to initiate freelook mode to set the camera up the way you want it. You then use wsad buttons to move around at your desired level of height. It works surprisingly well with multi-leveled maps (which most are) and Isn't 'that' hard to learn to use.

    Whats so good about it is that it gives you freedom to observe every nook and cranny of the map, be it vents, hallways, sewers, inside houses, etc.

    Grats btw.
  • cerberus414cerberus414 Join Date: 2005-05-07 Member: 51098Members, Constellation, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 217
    QUOTE(Radix @ Mar 8 2008, 01:14 PM) »
    Are you considering implementing "levels", ie. if there are two conflicting hints at one location on the x/y axis (where x and y are non-height dimensions) the mapper could determine which hints link to which in what order (similar to a rope entity, so that the flat plane can bend back on itself intelligently)? If you did that, the commander could "toggle" between layers, which would allow a mapper to build level geometry that overlapped itself on the z-axis.

    Maybe you answered that already in the podcast? I don't remember hearing anything about it.


    What about the minimap, how do you display two layers on a single minimap?


    QUOTE(caboose4life @ Mar 8 2008, 05:21 PM) »
    dudes that is gona be so awsome if it goes out for xbox 360 :o btw im thinking if u could like make camaras so u can place in each hive so like u can be informed if there r any alien nearby or something like that (btw if u r thinknig bout that can u plz mention "caboose" on your next podcast tounge.gif)

    ps. nice podcast tsa.gif


    Oh please god no, Xbox 360 version would need to be dumbed down. I mean it does sound cool and all, letting over 20 million people experience the game, but NS2 will be fast paced and imagine how awful the controller will be when you'll try shooting down a leaping skulk or a blinking fade. (How would you even control aliens with a controller might be a better question) I think they got the Xbox 360 license to make some casual games (port Zen of Sudoku maybe) and get some cash flowing for NS2 development.
  • BacillusBacillus Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Members Posts: 2,774 Advanced user
    I don't think the manual zooming would be much of a burden, but many seem to be overtasked in basic comming, so whatever suits the game. Anything goes as long as it feels quick and reliable. Almost everything in the ns feels like its in your exact control, I'd hate to lose that in ns2.
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Members, Constellation Posts: 964
    QUOTE(cerberus5 @ Mar 9 2008, 01:13 AM) »
    What about the minimap, how do you display two layers on a single minimap?


    The minimap would toggle when the commander shifted his view to the second level. Either that or you could implement a 3D minimap ala Descent, but that seems unnecessary.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

    http://nsdojo.net - Covering a wide array of advanced topics on one of the deepest games ever made.

    "Women aren't intuitive, ... so we would be better off without them surely." --Pheus
  • ChromeAngelChromeAngel Join Date: 2002-01-24 Member: 14Members, NS1 Playtester, Contributor Posts: 2,677
    edited March 2008
    Max, you're all echoy this week, were you recording this on the can?

    Sounds like you're using point entities for the commander height. If you place one at the centre of a rectangular room does that make the camera bob up/down when you go to the corners? Perhaps a brush that sits over the floor would be better so the whole room is at the same level when you (the designer) want it to be. I like schkorpio's suggestion of combining the area naming entity with the commander height entity. Since it's placed on the floor could this entity be used as a hint as to where to create commander dropped items too? It might help prevent stuff being stuck in the floor and suchlike. Or are they literally being used to generate a heightmap? a greyscale bitmap we could paint over and re-touch?

    OK, so you couldn't give us NS news last week, but did you have to be like 40+ minutes of "No NS news... but WE got to do the really cool thing that YOU didn't... Na Na na NA Na!" </envy>

    The whole xbox thing sound ominous to me. To my ears it sounds like you're getting sucked into making middleware for mass market mediocre casual player console games. I can imagine that expanding to take over all your time rather than being the cash cow that funds NS2+. First nail in the NS2 coffin.

    The 360 middleware stuff is so we can add 360 remote debugging support for Decoda and so we can see if NS2 will work on the 360 (PC will be first). We're not planning to switch to casual/XBLA games! --Charlie
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    image - Marines VS Aliens - Public Beta Download
  • KerostasisKerostasis Join Date: 2005-01-07 Member: 33056Members Posts: 12
    I just have one request for Commanding mode:

    In the early NS-1 versions, a Commander could drop his item drops directly on top of players with no problems, and it was good. Well, except for the annoying possibility of pinning players to the ground with new structures so they couldn't move. Amusing when done to your own marines, rather broken when done to aliens.

    In the later NS-1 versions, players carried around personal no-drop zones that stopped the Commander from dropping buildings on them, and it was good. Until you tried to drop helpful items like medpacks or equipment on them, and had to figure out how to avoid that no-drop zone while doing so. With some effort you could still pull it off by sort of tagging the very edge of the marine model with your medpacks, but its definately harder than it was in the early versions.

    So my request for NS-2 is this: Do whatever you have to to stop buildings from spawning on top of players, but let me spawn medpacks and other helpful drops right on their heads!
  • invader Ziminvader Zim Join Date: 2007-09-20 Member: 62376Members Posts: 255
    edited March 2008
    good idea on the comm camera

    i can say forme xperience of playing galatic civ2 (which has a zoom function) that i always play at maximum out zoom so i can get the bigger picture sorted in my mind. This of course means my experience of the game is loads of icons on map rather than the ships and planets graphics i get at a close zoom.

    What kind of interpolation do u use, Krigging, IDW, Splining, or just generalised polynomials.


    Yes sir! --Charlie
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • Rendy_CZechRendy_CZech Life is a Koan Join Date: 2003-10-11 Member: 21608Members Posts: 470
    Is there any chance that NS2TR alpha will be updated?
    image
    Playing NS since 1.0
    image <- Highly addictive elements!!
    Maps:
    ns_Hulk
    co_Overmind
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