Author Topic: FAQ: Early Access, System Requirements, Game Price, etc  (Read 1397 times)

Offline x4000

  • Chris Park, Arcen Games Founder and Lead Designer
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FAQ: Early Access, System Requirements, Game Price, etc
« on: May 12, 2016, 10:02:19 AM »
When can I buy this game?
That... is a very good question.  We may or may not do early access.  If we do, then potentially you can get into that in about a month (sometime in June).


How much will it cost?
I'm honestly not sure on that just yet, either.  If we go the early access route, then the plan would be to release something that is bulky and fun, but which could be built out more.  If we go that route, then we'd release it at a starting price substantially lower than what our v1.0 price would be.

In that scenario, the price would gradually go up as the game gets larger and larger.  If there's a huge popularity to the game during early access, then we'd probably build it out more and the final price might be a bit higher for those who don't get in earlier.

Overall I don't see this costing more than $15 USD at v1.0, though, and ballpark I'm presently thinking of $6.99 for the starting EA price.  If we do EA.


How accurate are your system requirements?
Very inaccurate!  The minimum system requirements on the graphics card side are literally the bare minimum to actually have the game function.  Below that it won't launch, but with that I'm not sure you'd get any appreciable framerate you like.

The recommended system requirements are a stab in the dark based on other similar games, since I have limited styles of hardware to test on.  But most likely you could get 60fps on that hardware.

Figuring out the real system requirements, and having time to help optimize things for people's specific machines (whether that means options they can toggle or adjust, or code improvements or whatever) is one strong argument in favor of EA.


What sort of rig are you running?
Personally I am developing this on a GT72 6QE Dominator Pro G laptop.  Crazy as it sounds, because I always built my own PCs -- I used to do that for a living, and prior to that I built PCs with my dad going back to the 386 days.  Ah, sweet memories of my first pentium.

Anyhow, I wanted the mobility of the laptop, and I wanted specs that were good, but not TOO good.  If I was running some crazy SLI setup that almost nobody has, then I'd get a very different experience from most people who tried to play my games.  As it is, it's rocking a GTX980M, and that's a bit of a jump above the average card already.


What performance do you get with that?
On my 980M, I've mostly been playing in test levels thus far, not real ones constructed and fully optimized using my custom occlusion system.  Despite that, in the worst instances I'm dropping to only about 30fps, and on average I maintain a high-50s framerate.  In places that are closer to approximating the actual load of a real level (read: where the occlusion system is able to properly do its job), I'm routinely getting 200fps or more.


What is the status of optimization in the game?
Premature optimization is always a bad thing, but I've also been very frustrated in the past with many early access games (or release games) that don't pay any attention to it at all.  One goal of mine has been to figure out "budgets" for various things (destruction physics, camera post-processing effects, dynamic objects, particle effects, static meshes, etc) in terms of GPU/CPU latency.

Overall my goal is to make it so that I maintain a smooth 130fps or more on my machine, so that lower-powered machines can hopefully maintain 60fps either at the full graphical settings, or with things turned down a bit.

In my case, these performance goals actually play into level design itself.  The way that the mazes are created is specifically designed around the custom occlusion system that I created, which in turn was developed specifically for this kind of game.

The test levels I've been running around in and having lower framerates in have these issues specifically because they are not split up and designed properly like the procedural levels are.  In a lot of cases, because of their design, the occluder has no choice but to show about 5x more of the level than it otherwise would, and that's when the framerate hit kicks in.  When it's able to show just an appropriate section of the level, then that's when I'm back to 200fps or so.
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Offline tuigirl

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Re: FAQ: Early Access, System Requirements, Game Price, etc
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2016, 09:28:53 PM »
Sorry I rarely post here and just doing this creepy lurking thing....
Just wanted to say that this game is an awesome idea. This is really original and sounds like a lot of fun.
Just the right game for some angry destruction when you come home in the evening (and just feel like killing someone) !
Really looking forward to it and might even buy it on early access, even when I normally do NOT do early access anymore. Some bad experiences in the past....(I think the only good experience with EA I had so far was with Grim Dawn). But I love Arcen games and I think in this I can trust you! Now the only worry is that my old labtop is able to run this game.
This game also looks as if it is right up the alley for a lot of my friends, so I will make sure to make lots of advertising for it!

I do not so much care about the feathers (I did read about how difficult it might be to implement) BUT-
will there be an option to personalize your raptors colour for example? Just to identify yourself a bit more
with your creation and do the whole role-play thing.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: FAQ: Early Access, System Requirements, Game Price, etc
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2016, 01:29:01 AM »
It seems the raptor we play was genetically engineered for a purpose and released by its creator as a vengeance. I think it would be fun to do a very simple "pimp my raptor" part just before a game, like if the player plays as the genetic engineer and make minor esthetic choices for its creation.

I support this idea. Does that sounds feasible, Chris? I have no idea how difficult it would be to dynamically change the texture/color filter for a 3D model.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: FAQ: Early Access, System Requirements, Game Price, etc
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2016, 11:31:35 AM »
It seems the raptor we play was genetically engineered for a purpose and released by its creator as a vengeance. I think it would be fun to do a very simple "pimp my raptor" part just before a game, like if the player plays as the genetic engineer and make minor esthetic choices for its creation.

I support this idea. Does that sounds feasible, Chris? I have no idea how difficult it would be to dynamically change the texture/color filter for a 3D model.
"Pimp my raptor" just sounds like the most fun activity to engage in at the start of a new run that I have heard in a long time. Definitely +1 in case it is feasible.

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Offline x4000

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Re: FAQ: Early Access, System Requirements, Game Price, etc
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2016, 09:50:38 AM »
Cheers folks!  Sorry on my slow response, I've had a heck of a couple of days wrangling some specific code, and have been kinda heads-down as much as possible during that bit.

Raptor customization is a great idea, and character customization in general  is FAR (far, far, far, far, FAR) easier to do in 3D than it is in 2D.  Odd as that may sound, haha.  I'll have to see what exactly I can put in in terms of what is feasible time-wise.  Doing different skins is trivial, and in fact the raptor pack comes with them already.  That said, obviously it would be nice to do more than that.  I am possibly going to create a new shader from scratch for the raptor, and if I do that I'll be able to put in a number of handles on it that can be customized.  Things like the color of the eyes, color of the rim light, possibly even hue of a chosen skin would become possible.

Beyond that, doing the raptor equivalent of "hats" and having little bits of bling that you could put on your raptor is as trivial as can be, too.  Having some various tail addons that give a bit of a mace-like approach to the end of the tail would be fun, I think.

tuigirl -- I'd love to know more about your specs.  If they're borderline, then if you're willing I'd love to have you (and others like you) help do a bit of performance-related testing prior to this going EA.  Specifically I'd be looking to find out exactly how it performs on your machine out of the box, exactly what your specs are, and then what sort of gains you can get by toggling specific features individually and by group.  I'd provide tools for logging all that so it's not too manually intensive, but it's still a bit more of a pain and not the "fun" sort of testing where you just play and see how things go, heh.  But on the other hand: free game!  And hopefully I can use that information to either give better minimum system specs, or improve how it runs on the lower end, or ideally both.

Anyone interested in that who feels they have a sufficiently marginal machine for these requirements, feel free to email us at arcengames at gmail dot com.  It will likely be a few weeks from now that I'd need you, and likely I'd want feedback within a couple of days if at all possible when the time does come.

Thank you! :)
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Offline tuigirl

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Re: FAQ: Early Access, System Requirements, Game Price, etc
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2016, 07:33:22 PM »
Wow, this already sounds fun. Pimp my raptor. Need to give mine a huge gold chain.... ;-)

Chris, no worries at all, I would be more than happy to help you out. I even have some time in the next few weeks to test the game on my computer. Just one thing- I am the exact opposite of tech-savy, so might need VERY detailed instructions. Hope that is not a problem.
Also might buy a copy in EA anyways, and definitely will recommend this to my friends. Just because it is such an awesome idea.

The specs of my labtop- Toshiba Satellite, 1.8GHz, 8GB RAM, Win 8.1, 64 bit. Bought it 4 years ago. Sadly I cannot really afford anything better right now, but hey, I am able to play quite a few games with a little bit of tweaking (where there are step-by-step instructions on the web).
I even can play Stellaris which just came out and I am WAY BELOW minimum specs. Just have to play on a small map with lowest settings, but runs without stuttering.