This is a games forum, right.....?

There are about 15 pages with over 500 shots at the link below. Take your pic :D

The different page tabs are on the lower right btw

“Derek Smart: More Reliable Than The Pizza Delivery Company Near Charybdis’ house”

*Talk about beating a dead horse :D

OK, I have uploaded 24 new shots

These shots show another of the vehicles. This time a four person Combat Assault Vehicle (CAV).

Also shown are the new Elite Force and Recon Force marines (of the six new marine classes) handling a few of the twelve new weapons. In addition to the seven ported in from BCM, BCG will have about 20 fp weapons in all (excluding a variety of grenades, sensor stations etc etc)

Two station shots show a Type 5 station with simultaneous glow, specular and detail maps, made possible with DirectX 8.1 pixel shader effects.

Your comments are welcome

One thing I noted while playing BF1942 yesterday (on my server), is that someone mentioned (dunno if it was Erik, Dave Long or someone else) that …this is how you should make BC3K. At the time, I didn’t quite get what he meant - but then it hit me that he was probably talking about the ease of use, simultaneous use of air/land/sea vehicles etc.

Well, all that and more are already supported in my mp engine. While not everything planned will be going into the free BCM mp patch, the experience remains the same. There will be use of land, air and space crafts/vehicles (no sea vessels in BCM, only in BCG - and that also includes submarines). And you can already take off as a pilot from the deck of a carrier in BCM. In BCG, in addition to commanding a sub, you will be able to take off from that sub with a twin-seater submersible.

Games like BF1942 and OFP which do this kind of stuff, are fun (when its not crashing) because they are simple and targeted at a specific market. Alas, my target never has been that market - but the more I think about it, the more I find ways to compromise between satisfying the die-hard niche fan base while catering to the casual gamers. I’m not a very good game designer when it comes to bridging the gap, unfortunately, since my roots are entrenched in the hardcore area, but hopefully, I’ll continue to learn thru trial and error I suppose.

e.g. I noticed that most all games like this, support the same method of controls for vehicles i.e. simplistic WSAD type movement. This I plan on implementing in BCM and all BC titles going forward. In fact, this is how it already works (for personnel and jetpack use) in BCM, but I never extended that to vehicles - nor did I even think of it.

And for flight dynamics, while I cannot and have no intentions of making mouse flight control a point and click affair, I’m thinking of also extending the WSAD controls to aircraft, since arrow keys for flight is already supported. Of course, joystick support remains as-is.

The only concern I have, is the size of my space and planetary regions. It looks like I’m going to have to do something I didn’t want to do. Which is create smaller space/planet regions (similar to how I did the smaller galaxy in the Instant Action scenarios) for mp.

e.g. the size of Earth planet region in my game, is exactly the surface size of the real planet Earth. Same with Jupiter, Mars etc. For the fictitious planets, I just used templates.

In BF1942, OFP, Tribes etc etc you can see the small enclosed map area when you are about to launch a game. heh, in BC games, that entire 45km (I think thats what they said the size was - or maybe I’m thinking of OFP) is like a pebble. With up to 32 players in a BC game, they’d be lucky to see each other in the first hours of game play even they even try to get from one base to another by air, land or sea. And this is why I have Dynamic Jump Pads (teleporters which link all regions on a planet) through which uses can jump in/our of at will.

But even DJPs don’t solve the problem; since, at the moment they only support personnel, not vehicles. And they won’t support aircrafts at all.

Players who chose a commander career and are space-borne, can access any portion of the planet (e.g. they picked a station as their spawn point) from orbit. For them, thats easy. But for marines and planetary support pilots who are planet bound, they can only get around either on foot, jetpack vehicles, aircrafts, subs or DJPs.

So, I’m going to have to create a smaller pocket galaxy specifically for mp in BCM and BCG (for BCO, the MMOG version, size is not a problem I don’t think, especially with over 1000 players roaming around on a server - with no zoning whatsoever). Of course, the regions in this smaller pocket galaxy would have to be large enough to support the basics of BC gameplay (e.g. trading) as well as the skirmish of combat. Its pointless creating regions which are so small that only combat is a worthy career. If I did, I know for a fact that I’d get lynched to the barebones.

To give you an idea of what the hell I’m talking about (most of you who have played BCM, have a good idea). Here is some more info with accompanying shots to illustrate the points I’m going to make :

  1. This is a typical planet view from orbit. In this case, Earth. See all those
    Green boxes? Those are defined regions based on the race/caste affiliations. The Yellow boxes are the mission zones with the planet. You can think of these as areas of interest within a given map.

If you were playing as a marine on a planet, this is the same map you’d have access to. But unlike the commander in space, who can set a waypoint and planetall exactly above the desired region, you have to either leg it, use vehicles etc to get from one area to the next. Imagine being a Terran/Raider (TER/RAI) and wanting to assault a Terran/Military (TER/MIL) base!!

  1. Going down one level, you come to thelocal map area. The mzones within that map are also indicated.

  2. Going down further one level, you come to the final map level. This is where you are and where you get to see stuff.

See that White line going to the horizon? Thats a waypoint line. I set two waypoints (from orbit) stretching from a friendly (Green) base to the nearest hostile (Red) base. The distance (which spans several maps)? See those White numbers? That reads : 39452 or thereabouts.

Thats in KILOMETERS

And you see this map? Thats me in the middle. Those waypoint lines going from edge to edge, give the distance between each two points on a single map. Again, thats in KM.

The entire surface area of just that one planet, spans enough maps, edge to edge, to map an entire area the size of our real-world planet, Earth.

…and thats just one planet. BC has 145 moons and 75 planets of varying sizes, topology, climate conditions, mzones etc etc.

So, If I wanted to go from my base to that base, I have to figure out how to get there. Now, being planet bound, I could use an aircraft (If I’m playing as a pilot), vehicle (you try driving 34K km in an mp game and see how far you get) or just use a DJP to get there (instantaneous)…and hope that a marine sniper is not camping it from the other end (I have remedies for that).

Of course, since you can’t take any sort of crafts through a DJP, you have to find one once you get to your destination. Which is why I now have to ensure that in mp, all bases have an ample supply of vehicles. Not too many, or it will unbalance the game.

Sure, I could leave the regions this large and just create a clone pocket galaxy for mp. Or I could, after creating the mp specific galaxy, go back in and adjust the sizes, placement of mzones etc etc in order to provide more reasonable coverage for up 16 (BCM) and up to 64 (BCG) gamers on a server.

Also, my tech is completely seamless in that I don’t have a concept of mp maps. So, there’s no map rotation going on. You have an entire playing area (a galaxy as it were) to fool around in and due to the unique nature of the topologies and mzones created, seemingly have this whole concept of mp maps, rolled in one massive playing field. The day/night state, weather conditions etc etc are not specifically coded for a particular map. So, e.g. you could enter a server which just happens to be running at night, bounce off to another base and not only is it day time, but it also happens to be raining etc.

Think the planet stuff is large? This is an orbital view of a space region. The distance between those waypoints is 2124527 KM edge-to-edge.

There are over 200+ space regions (all containing planets and moons) in the main BC galaxy. The IA galaxy has a handfull of regions, but they are all the same size being that I created them from templates of the main galaxy itself.

…and you folks wonder why I still haven’t released an mp patch for BCM;since I have no intentions of hacking anything - but rather, have to get it right or I’d have to do it all over again - from scratch - for BCG and going forward.

So, any thoughts you’d like to throw my way for consideration? After all, some of bastards are the ones going to be reviewing this stuff at some point - and wanting to give me an 85 score, then leave it up to the bastard in charge, who then goes and gives me a 75. :D :D

*why create a new topic when one already exists. I don’t tolerate that at my site. So, forgive me for reviving this thread - if only to post the latest pimpage. :D :D :D

Wow…that’s a lot of verbiage Derek. :)

As for your dilemma…I think for a product more like 1942, you need to focus your game on specific zones on a planet with the express purpose of fighting over very important objectives. I mean, look at Earth…sure, it’s big, but some areas you wouldn’t ever go to (the Sahara) while others are rich in reasons to acquire and hold them (Persian Gulf for oil, etc.). So building your game’s fiction based on that, you have the 16-player zones set in different places on a world with the express purpose of focusing conflict.

I think that given the richness of what you’ve already created, you’d do well to expand that in two ways. The first is to push for the same level of simulation you always have and focus that into the MMOG game. The bigger the MMOG, the more the minutiae of flying different craft or piloting different vehicles means to the overall experience. If things are too “easy”, you get the level race you see in Everquest, etc. Why not pull a Wumpus and focus on sim/skill/training based things to do? If someone wants to play a grunt, that’s always going to be easier, but you give them the ability to work up to a Battlecruiser Commander.

Another thing you could do to reduce the scale is simply make planets that are small. Like tiny chunks of rock rather than the lifesize rocks you have today. That might be interesting…if not at all physically possible.

–Dave

I haven’t tried BF1942 yet. How do you steer an airplane using WASD controls? I mean, I’ve used that control scheme in top-down shooters and isometric shooters - Asteroids and FireFight clones - but I don’t understand how it would work in an airplane. The A and D keys are for turning, obviously, but what do the W and S keys do? Pitch? Altitude? Speed?

Curious.

Um… I almost hate to bring this up, but… the Earth is only about 40074 KM in circumference. So either you misplaced a decimal point, or you took the long way around. :wink:

–milo

…against my better judgement, considering our Usenet history…

They are used for speed

And yes, it sucks and takes quite some getting used to

Um… I almost hate to bring this up, but… the Earth is only about 40074 KM in circumference. So either you misplaced a decimal point, or you took the long way around. :wink:

If you’d spent half as much time disecting my post and allocated that time to actually comprehending it, you’d notice that NOWHERE did I say that the mzones I used for that waypoint test, were on opposite sides of the planet.

In fact, the excerpt you yourself posted above, indicates exactly what I was illustrating. The distance from one point to the next. Not the distance from the edge of the planet to the next.

And even better, the first orbital shot of Earth, shows you exactly where on the planet I happened to be. This is clearly indicated by the pop-up menu on the lower left corner. You know, the one that has Derek Smart in it.

FURTHER…and uhm…I almost hate to bring this up, but…my post did clearly indicate that the Earth, like every planet, comprises of several maps which make up the full coverage. Thats how the terrain engine works. Unlike most games which map restricted area based on a single height map.

You might want to go back and read my post again. Slowly this time.

Have a nice day

hehe, I wanted to present a clear picture and minimize the chances of there being too many questions and or fuzzy explanations. ;)

As for your dilemma…I think for a product more like 1942, you need to focus your game on specific zones on a planet with the express purpose of fighting over very important objectives. I mean, look at Earth…sure, it’s big, but some areas you wouldn’t ever go to (the Sahara) while others are rich in reasons to acquire and hold them (Persian Gulf for oil, etc.). So building your game’s fiction based on that, you have the 16-player zones set in different places on a world with the express purpose of focusing conflict.

Indeed. And thats exactly how I have it right now. While you can go anywhere on a planet, it doesn’t mean you’re going to find anything interesting. Unless of course you just happen to be mining for minerals.

I think that given the richness of what you’ve already created, you’d do well to expand that in two ways. The first is to push for the same level of simulation you always have and focus that into the MMOG game.
The bigger the MMOG, the more the minutiae of flying different craft or piloting different vehicles means to the overall experience. If things are too “easy”, you get the level race you see in Everquest, etc.

Thats the BCO plan - and thats why I’m not compromising it in any shape or form.

Why not pull a Wumpus and focus on sim/skill/training based things to do? If someone wants to play a grunt, that’s always going to be easier, but you give them the ability to work up to a Battlecruiser Commander.

BCM mp and BCG won’t have any skill based training. You pick your class and you’re off. And I’m not talking classes like you have in other games which present serious game balancing issues. e.g in BF1942, why the heck can a scout enter and fly an aircraft? In my games, if you’re a marine, you’re not flying anything. Sure, you can cop a ride if the driver is a pilot, but you can’t fly an aircraft etc.

BCO will have skill based training but thats based more on rank and experience, than the oft abused and boring level tree. My plan in this area is more evolutionary than revolutionary and will benefit both sides of the equation. I will say more about it as time goes by. But generally, if I have some guy paying me a monthly fee to play my game, I’m not interested in putting his ass on a treadmill so that he keeps coming back. As with the BC fanbase, if there is stuff to do - and its cool stuff - and I keep adding more cool stuff, they’d still come back if they can just pick up from where they left off without having to worry about a treadmill skill tree. When someone comes online after two weeks of not playing, maybe he’ll come across a new weapon, maybe a vehicle, even a station - or more missions. I want him to logon, play for as long as he likes and log off. If he wants to improve his skills, then there are various ways to do it - without prancing about on a treadmill for months on end.

Sure, it won’t be perfect the first time around, but thats what R&D is for.

Another thing you could do to reduce the scale is simply make planets that are small. Like tiny chunks of rock rather than the lifesize rocks you have today. That might be interesting…if not at all physically possible.

Reducing the scale is trivial, since I generate my regions using a bespoke script. Its what happens due to the reduced size that concerns me. There’s a difference between creating a planet area that is 200km and having one that is 40000+ but with small 200km mzones scattered throughout. Know what I mean?

Hmmn. So I’m guessing that if it’s an airplane, it has some default speed (which I hope isn’t set to “hover in place”) and the W key means faster than the default and the S key means slower. Do they give you other keys for pitch or altitude? Or are you stuck flying level at 5000 feet?

Oh, lighten up. I’m just kidding with you (I even put in a :winky: for good measure).

–milo

You’d think thats what they’d do, right? But no, nothing could be that simple. Go try it and you’ll see. It sucks dried bones.

I tried flying planes once - even with the joystick (which they strongly discourage you from using!!!), it sucked. I just gave it up and stuck to playing as a scout and running around in vehicles.

Oh, lighten up. I’m just kidding with you (I even put in a :winky: for good measure).

Yeah right - like I don’t you by now Milo; always playing both sides against the middle and what not. :roll: I deal better with people who are consistent with how they feel about me, my shenanighans and my rep. One either likes me or they don’t. Either way, I’ll still sleep at night better than most people.

Anyway, lets not bring this here. If you want to participate in my discussions, be my guest. As long as you remain civil, I will, in turn, extend the same courtesy. It always is THAT SIMPLE.

I should’ve clarified “skill”… I’m not talking about getting skill points to make you “better” at what you do. I’m talking Quake 3 skill. Like, I’m a better Quake 3 Arena player than many because I spent a lot of time playing and I’m good with the mouse and keyboard and I know the maps/weapons/power-ups better than you “skill”. I like that in BF1942, I can get better at being a tanker or better at sneaking around… but it’s all based on my ability as a player, not some arbitrary set of numbers. (pardon my French but… Fuck that)

I’m definitely more interested in games where I can use my head and my hand-eye coordination to be “better” than someone else at a game. Strategy games are a blast and I love playing them, but I don’t want every game I play to devolve into a numbers fest. That’s my biggest gripe with the MMORPGs. It’s all about numbers. I’d love to see a game like BF1942 set in a sci-fi world where I can do lots of different things. But most importantly, I can set the focus on what I want to be. I think BF1942 is pretty darn cool but I’m concerned that it’s dumbed down a bit too much. They may not have left in enough of the skill of tank driving/aircraft flying. They also allow a bit too much craziness like leaping from jeeps while at 50 MPH and surviving. The rules of physics should still apply.

Anyway, sorry if you misunderstood that.

–Dave

No problem. But I’m glad you clarified that, because I agree with you. I’d rather have a play’s skills help him be good at something, rather than a treadmill based skill tree.

OK, here is a quick de-classified example of what I’m going to be doing for BCO.

Say choose the command career. You then start off as a pilot because you ike flying (you don’t have to be a hard core simmer or anything like that, since I’m not developing a dedicated flight sim) and also want the chance to roam the galaxies. So you start off as a Planetary Support Pilot (PSP) who is planet bound (not to be confused with the Elite Force Pilot who is space bound but can also go between space<->planet) and spawn at a planetary base located in an mzone.

Even though you are at a low rank and with zero EPs, you can still fly - but you don’t have a choice of which fighters to grab. e.g. a n00bie isn’t going anywhere near Vandal super fighter, let alone a carrier for that matter. So, you’re stuck with probably a Sentinel light fighter belonging to the base. While you can still run around and do what the heck you like (even if you fancy jumping into a firefight with a sidearm the equivalent of a peashooter), your primary goal is to go on many offensive missions, base defense missions etc rack up a lot of kills, build up your EPs, which in turn increases your rank.

And before you know it, you’re at a rank which allows you to choose from all the fighters (more than the 24+ in BCM), including the high-end ones.

Eventually, your class (PSP) evolves to that of a full blown Commander. And again, starting from shuttling rubber dog doo-doo from planet to planet (you now have access to space btw) and one day, you too would be a Strat Cmdr in charge of a sole carrier, then a fleet etc etc.

When you screw up (e.g. kill a civilian, botch a mission in some spectacular manner, get your ass blown up one time too many), you lose EPs…then rank…then you’re busted back down where you started. You get the idea. The better you are, the more you benefit. And given the size of the BC galaxy, you can even put in for a transfer to any part of the galaxy of your race/caste affliation.

Give the above, the desire to get off this fucking rock is enough aspiration to keep getting better at what you do. :D

And thats just the commander career skill tree. With 13+ races and 25+ castes to play (all the ones in BC games plus over 25 more), you can be anything you want to be, including raider, bounty hunter, arms smuggler, gun for hire etc etc. Like in all BC games, your gaming experience is limited only by your imagination, not some arbitrary roll of the dice.

Its a lot more complicated than it sounds, but I know you don’t want me rolling out another newspaper column, so I’ll just stop now. :D