Is spectating features a longterm goal of the CDT?

SantaClawsSantaClaws DenmarkMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
edited August 2014 in NS2 General Discussion
One of my biggest griefs about the state of ns2, is not the performance, balance or even a lack of gameplay features. Sure there is room for improvement in all of these departments, but I honestly think ns2 is in a good place in terms of that, even now in build 266

My biggest issue with ns2; is the lack of spectating features.

There is no replay function - no hltv - not even a functioning first person spectate (in a first person shooter? come on).

Keep in mind, I am not talking about UI improvements, like what we've seen from ns2+, which is awesome btw, keep it up!. I want the abillity to record matches from every angle.

I would like to hear from @CDT,

1) Is improving the spectating tools a priority at all, outside the UI stuff we got from ns2+?

2) If so, in what capacity?

3) If it is not a priority, or if it is low on the list, what are the main priorities instead?

I don't need these features in 268 or even 275 - but I really need to know if there's going to be progress at all in this department.

The reason I ask this now, rather than 12-18 months ago, is because I have so much more faith in the CDT than I ever did UWE. UWE did a great job with the game imo, but the CDT has just blown me away with their amazing progress in the short time they've been steering the ship. So I really hope that you guys will look in to this - and thanks for all the hard work so far!
Pelargird4rkAlfmeatmachineBeigeAlertblindNominousNeoQuaker1
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Comments

  • SantaClawsSantaClaws DenmarkMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
    I'll explain briefly why I think this is so important:

    Without proper 'hltv', demo recording or first person spectate, it's next to impossible to make frag movies. Something that has been part of fps culture since quake.

    It makes it incredibly difficult to analyze matches in depth unless you have a good spectator stream it - but even then, you can't always get a full idea of the battle, because you're stuck with that one perspective. You can't investigate exactly what made player1 miss that crucial pistol shot at player2 - so you're left with guessing. We're missing learning opportunities.

    If someone wanted to make a show, in the similar mannor as day9, where he watches a replay, he rewinds, fast forwards, pauses etc. a thousand times during a daily and uses it to convey really deep and abstract concepts. This is almost impossible to do in ns2 - and I know some people have expressed that they wanted to do a show like that, it's just too difficult to do with the lack of spectating tools, in a job that is already extremely difficult.
    blindMETROIDCannon_FodderAUSNeoQuaker1
  • AsranielAsraniel Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Retired Community Developer Join Date: 2002-06-03 Member: 724Posts: 2,557 mod
    The problem is mainly that the engine was not written in a way that would make that easily doable. To implement that kind of feature, big parts of the engine need to be rewritten, completely breaking the engine in the process. Yes it can be done, but right now there simply isn't the manpower to do it. It would likely be a multi month full time job, so unless we find a programmer that can do that, its unlikely to happen. That said, everybody would LOVE to see it happen, so it can't be excluded, its just that the effort right now is too big for a community project.
    Ollj: "ns_napo, the first good custom map ever" ns_napo
    McGlaspieNeoQuaker1
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws DenmarkMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
    @‌Asraniel

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻
  • AsranielAsraniel Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Retired Community Developer Join Date: 2002-06-03 Member: 724Posts: 2,557 mod
    I have literally no idea what that means... but i see a small smilie face on the left side of it :D
    Ollj: "ns_napo, the first good custom map ever" ns_napo
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws DenmarkMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
  • meatmachinemeatmachine South EnglandMembers, NS2 Playtester, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Supporter Join Date: 2013-01-06 Member: 177858Posts: 1,551 Advanced user
    @Asraniel‌ could you be more specific?

    It seems to me odd that this would be an engine issue rather than game code; countless other games with various engines manage to do it well.

    It looks a bit shitty for spark too if the flagship game created using the engine can't accommodate what is historically one of the most basic FPS functions.

    CDT has been freaking great at providing behind-the-scenes info regarding game code etc so far and maybe this is a subject that requires one of those posts! And i'm sure you know that sometimes, writing these things down for peer scrutiny can open doors. Doors in the miiiind
    Too weird to live, yet too rare to die
  • AsranielAsraniel Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Retired Community Developer Join Date: 2002-06-03 Member: 724Posts: 2,557 mod
    @matso could tell you more about the issue, we actually talked about this internally recently
    Ollj: "ns_napo, the first good custom map ever" ns_napo
  • MendaspMendasp I touch maps in inappropriate places Valencia, SpainMembers, NS1 Playtester, Contributor, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Retired Community Developer Join Date: 2002-07-05 Member: 884Posts: 4,177 Advanced user
    As asraniel said, we talked about it internally. As with many things, while not impossible it'd require a good amount of work to be put into this because of how the things are set up. The priority right now is elsewhere, and I'm sure people will appreciate the engine work that went into 267 and will be going into 268, 269, etc.

    While I'd LOVE at the very least HLTV (server-side) demos so you can review an entire match after the fact, it isn't trivial to do and I assume that people want better performance, faster load times, etc.
    DecoyZeframNominous
  • Soul_RiderSoul_Rider Mod Bean Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2004-06-19 Member: 29388Posts: 4,269 Advanced user
    Get hold of @Player!!! He began work on a spectating system during Beta, and now with engine access available to the CDT, it might be an idea to see if anyone can track him down... His original build was outside the engine, and with engine access, he may be able to do something.
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  • IeptBarakatIeptBarakat The most difficult name to speak ingame. Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2009-07-10 Member: 68107Posts: 2,679 Advanced user
    Has first person spectating been fixed? I remember it not being very reliable and causing the player you're spectating to suddenly lag.

    Also did they add the player glow to first person spectating like in CS:GO, shouldn't need to remind about the drama that happened from the lack of it.
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws DenmarkMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
    Has first person spectating been fixed? I remember it not being very reliable and causing the player you're spectating to suddenly lag.

    Also did they add the player glow to first person spectating like in CS:GO, shouldn't need to remind about the drama that happened from the lack of it.

    It has not been fixed no. Iirc, it's technically still in the vanilla build, but on the competetive servers it has been disabled and replaced with 3rd person spec.

    But any time you actually do spec from the first person, the aim is just going all over the place, it's not accurate at all.
  • AsranielAsraniel Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Retired Community Developer Join Date: 2002-06-03 Member: 724Posts: 2,557 mod
    Has first person spectating been fixed? I remember it not being very reliable and causing the player you're spectating to suddenly lag.

    Also did they add the player glow to first person spectating like in CS:GO, shouldn't need to remind about the drama that happened from the lack of it.

    When did you play last? Because the player outline has been added a very long time ago (before the last ns2wc actually)
    Ollj: "ns_napo, the first good custom map ever" ns_napo
  • IeptBarakatIeptBarakat The most difficult name to speak ingame. Members, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2009-07-10 Member: 68107Posts: 2,679 Advanced user
    Asraniel wrote: »
    Has first person spectating been fixed? I remember it not being very reliable and causing the player you're spectating to suddenly lag.

    Also did they add the player glow to first person spectating like in CS:GO, shouldn't need to remind about the drama that happened from the lack of it.

    When did you play last? Because the player outline has been added a very long time ago (before the last ns2wc actually)

    I don't spectate very often. :P Just wanted to know. I saw them for the commander view of course but at the time they weren't in first person view as well.

    Thanks for clarifying.

  • AsranielAsraniel Members, Playtest Lead, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Retired Community Developer Join Date: 2002-06-03 Member: 724Posts: 2,557 mod
    Asraniel wrote: »
    Has first person spectating been fixed? I remember it not being very reliable and causing the player you're spectating to suddenly lag.

    Also did they add the player glow to first person spectating like in CS:GO, shouldn't need to remind about the drama that happened from the lack of it.

    When did you play last? Because the player outline has been added a very long time ago (before the last ns2wc actually)

    I don't spectate very often. :P Just wanted to know. I saw them for the commander view of course but at the time they weren't in first person view as well.

    Thanks for clarifying.

    You activate the outlines with the flashlight key, just in case :)
    Ollj: "ns_napo, the first good custom map ever" ns_napo
    IeptBarakat
  • PelargirPelargir Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, WC 2013 - Silver, Forum staff Join Date: 2013-07-02 Member: 185857Posts: 1,199 mod
    Asraniel wrote: »
    Asraniel wrote: »
    Has first person spectating been fixed? I remember it not being very reliable and causing the player you're spectating to suddenly lag.

    Also did they add the player glow to first person spectating like in CS:GO, shouldn't need to remind about the drama that happened from the lack of it.

    When did you play last? Because the player outline has been added a very long time ago (before the last ns2wc actually)

    I don't spectate very often. :P Just wanted to know. I saw them for the commander view of course but at the time they weren't in first person view as well.

    Thanks for clarifying.

    You activate the outlines with the flashlight key, just in case :)

    And what about the spectator bug? that forces us to have the third person view for all scrims & matches thanks to the NSL Mod? It has been added because of this bug, right?
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us"

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  • McGlaspieMcGlaspie www.team156.com Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Squad Five Gold, Reinforced - Onos, WC 2013 - Gold, Subnautica Playtester Join Date: 2010-07-26 Member: 73044Posts: 966 admin
    @Soul_Rider‌ What Player was doing was a massive hack, and not practical as a genuine solution. He was essentially trapping network traffic and sending it back...hackish.

    We've had a recent discussion around this topic, and did brainstorm on a means to implement it. However, as @Asraniel‌ said, it would require a crapload of work. Personally, I would want two full-time engine & Lua programmers on it for at least 2-4 months. Properly implementing Demos, HLTV-Like streaming, integrated Twitch support, etc requires touching a ton of stuff in the engine. In addition to that, we'd then have to create new stuff in the game-code and reworking existing spectator mode(s).

    Long story short, we've been looking into this but it isn't our top priority...for now.
    GhoulofGSG9
  • PelargirPelargir Members, Forum Moderators, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, WC 2013 - Silver, Forum staff Join Date: 2013-07-02 Member: 185857Posts: 1,199 mod
    IronHorse wrote: »
    Decoy and I just brought that up again at a CDT meeting @Pelargir‌
    It's definitely in our sights.

    Thanks for the answer, that's really nice to know people are working on this. :)
    "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us"

    "However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results."


  • WasabiOneWasabiOne Co-Lead NS2 CDT Members, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Gold, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Gold, Reinforced - Diamond, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow, Subnautica Playtester, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2011-06-15 Member: 104623Posts: 758 Advanced user
    1) Is improving the spectating tools a priority at all, outside the UI stuff we got from ns2+?
    in short, yes!

    2) If so, in what capacity?
    Well with an only volunteer work force it is difficult to address some of the issues that you have brought up. Would we love a replay system? yes, but it would require a significant amount of work and even UWE has said making it work could be problematic. 1st person spec is also something we are looking into fixing as its current iteration is glitchy and causes other issues as well.

    3) If it is not a priority, or if it is low on the list, what are the main priorities instead?
    Check the trello board over the next month to see items as they are added for the next few builds.
  • blindblind Members, Squad Five Gold Join Date: 2010-04-17 Member: 71437Posts: 341 Advanced user
    Dunno how often I asked for this but a year ago or earlier I definitely wanted to a day9 daily like show with match analysis which is kinda impossible without recording features as hltv offered for ns1. Casting ns1 matches also would have never happened without hltv. I even remember getting a negative response on the dev interview shows before release, so the request shouldn't seem new on the wishboard. Maybe just labelled under "nice2have but not worth it".

    Although I won't do it anymore just imagine what a day9 like show could help the gaming community - imo 10 times more worth than any single update has ever offered in ns2 lifetime history.

    So, to add my personal opinion, this feature would have been the most important feature of ns2 of all times, but maybe it's already too late for that. The time it could have hit hard is over imo.
    (E)NSL Head admin

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  • SantaClawsSantaClaws DenmarkMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
    edited August 2014
    blind wrote: »
    Dunno how often I asked for this but a year ago or earlier I definitely wanted to a day9 daily like show with match analysis which is kinda impossible without recording features as hltv offered for ns1. Casting ns1 matches also would have never happened without hltv. I even remember getting a negative response on the dev interview shows before release, so the request shouldn't seem new on the wishboard. Maybe just labelled under "nice2have but not worth it".

    Although I won't do it anymore just imagine what a day9 like show could help the gaming community - imo 10 times more worth than any single update has ever offered in ns2 lifetime history.

    So, to add my personal opinion, this feature would have been the most important feature of ns2 of all times, but maybe it's already too late for that. The time it could have hit hard is over imo.

    About it being too late, I sort of agree, but not because I think there's no audience for that kind of a show - I think there is. ISE is getting a fair amount of viewers for his tutorials and that is, forgive me, at a very low level. Many of these viewers could easily be carried over to a high level analytical show for ns2 - along with many of the competetive players or 'aspiring-to-be' who wouldn't watch an ISE tutorial.

    However, the reason I agree that it may be too late, is simply because of the lack of high level games to analyze. But my hope is, that those will come back in the future as well, as the CDT and compmod team continuously work to improve the game.

    Edit: Triple negative rofl
  • _INTER__INTER_ Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2009-08-08 Member: 68392Posts: 822 Advanced user
    edited August 2014
    One of my biggest griefs about the state of ns2, is not the performance, balance or even a lack of gameplay features. Sure there is room for improvement in all of these departments, but I honestly think ns2 is in a good place in terms of that, even now in build 266
    My biggest issue with ns2; is the lack of spectating features.
    I strongly disagree with that statement. Not beeing able to spectate properly is a luxus problem and I dare say comp only problem. Most servers don't even "allow" spectators (votekicked immedately).
    Edit: Sorry overread the "my", thought you were generallizing. I appologize.
    Warforce17 wrote: »
    RapGod wrote: »
    matso wrote: »
    --> pistol time axe time welder time riflebutt time
  • SantaClawsSantaClaws DenmarkMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2012-07-31 Member: 154491Posts: 1,082 Advanced user
    edited August 2014
    _INTER_ wrote: »
    One of my biggest griefs about the state of ns2, is not the performance, balance or even a lack of gameplay features. Sure there is room for improvement in all of these departments, but I honestly think ns2 is in a good place in terms of that, even now in build 266
    My biggest issue with ns2; is the lack of spectating features.
    I strongly disagree with that statement. Not beeing able to spectate properly is a luxus problem and I dare say comp only problem. Most servers don't even "allow" spectators (votekicked immedately).
    Edit: Sorry overread the "my", thought you were generallizing. I appologize.

    Well obviously, it depends on what your vision for the game is. If your vision of the game is simply to have a game that you enjoy to play, which is a valiant vision I will admit, then you'd be correct that spectating tools are completely irrelevant.

    My dream however, is for ns2 to become a competetive spectator sport. A game where the pro players would not just be able to display their skill and compete against each other, but for other players to truly learn from them by studying them from different perspectives, like we've been able to in pretty much every competetive game from Warcraft II to CS:GO.

    First person shooters in general, don't do so well today in streaming. But Starcraft i.e. still does - because it is ideal for spectating (and has tons of money poured in to it, but that's an entirely separate discussion). You wouldn't really get a good experience watching a CS:GO game from a top-down-view, but in SC you get all the information you need as well as all the action.

    NS2 could've potentially been the perfect mix between these two genres, and bring together the demographics. Because it has the FPS action element, that so many players enjoy, but also the spectating capabillities of an rts. Except, we don't really have those spectating tools..

    TL;DR - In short. The priorities of game development depends on the overall vision for the game. Before you agree on a vision, you can never establish what the priorities should be. I thought the majority of the remaining players in this community shared my dream, but perhaps I was being too romantic.
    Post edited by SantaClaws on
  • RoobubbaRoobubba Who you gonna call?Members, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Join Date: 2003-01-06 Member: 11930Posts: 3,191 Fully active user
    @blind, i agree with everything in your post except that it's too late. It isn't too late for proper spec tools, although perhaps by the time it might be possible to get them (from what has been said by Matso and others), it may be.
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  • METROIDMETROID Members, Reinforced - Supporter Join Date: 2012-10-31 Member: 165171Posts: 296 Advanced user
    People want to watch or Stream NS2 matches, but it is obvious that servers are spectator non-friendly, because they use precious slots. How about to implement spectator-specific or spectator-mode-only slots? So, people can watch the matches even if the server is full, spectator slots can be passworded, use reserve slots and so on, but only to spectate? I think, that spectator-restricted players consume much less server's processing power then normal players... Or I'm wrong?
    _INTER_NominousVetinari
  • _INTER__INTER_ Members, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2009-08-08 Member: 68392Posts: 822 Advanced user
    You're right @SantaClaws, I'm one of those that like to tune in for just a fun game. But even I like @METROID‌ s idea very much (but thats basically HLTV right and therefor not possible from an engine point of view?)
    Warforce17 wrote: »
    RapGod wrote: »
    matso wrote: »
    --> pistol time axe time welder time riflebutt time
  • Cannon_FodderAUSCannon_FodderAUS Brisbane, AUMembers, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2013-06-23 Member: 185664Posts: 877 Advanced user
    SantaClaws wrote: »
    @‌Asraniel

    (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻


    LoL, this reminds me of an actual table flipping incident years and years ago. I beat this guy in chess (at school) when I was 12 (he was 17), and my friends were heckling him so much, he tried to flip the table, but couldn't because the 3 of us were leaning on the other side (small table). He got even more crappy and got up and left. Funny at the time, but I feel sorry for him now.
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  • NominousNominous Baltimore, MDMembers Join Date: 2012-02-18 Member: 146518Posts: 325 Advanced user
    SantaClaws wrote: »
    Without proper 'hltv', demo recording or first person spectate, it's next to impossible to make frag movies. Something that has been part of fps culture since quake.
    I agree with everything in your post except this. You can use Dxtory, Shadowplay, or Fraps to record footage and make frag movies, so it's definitely not next to impossible. Recorded footage has also improved in 267 because of the smoother frame rate. If you mean the lack of features for more interesting and convenient footage (third-person perspective, teammate's/enemy's perspective, free cam, etc.), then I agree that this would greatly benefit video editors and their creative drive. This can be useful for lending a cinematic mood and for creating build up toward frags.
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