Author Topic: Can't reply to News articles anymore?  (Read 6034 times)

Offline Admiral

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Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« on: August 14, 2009, 01:05:43 AM »
Is this a bug or a feature?

I wanted to reply that I agree: Most games need more design and less production. I think the 90%/10% is a good ratio. I just hope that X's promised "more production" won't hinder the "more design" and replayability that I keep coming back for.

Oh, and just for the record, in my games I think the AI's should be called the Borg and the Berserkers. :)

Offline Fiskbit

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2009, 02:37:08 AM »
It's a feature; it's never been possible for standard users. I do like the possibility of community discussion on news posts, but on the other hand, that forum's place is to archive information that's posted on the main page, and perhaps discussion could get in the way of that? *shrugs*
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Offline x4000

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2009, 08:05:27 AM »
Yeah, having belated replies to those topics would also misorder the news items, which would be a problem -- so I'm thinking I'll probably leave the news forum as being kind of a small and austere one, with the real discussions happening here.  I might change that at some point in the future if a better way of handling it arises, but Fiskbit basically stated my way of thinking about it.

I'm with you also that the design is king over production.  Much as I love the incredible visuals of a lot of AAA games, sometimes the design is just too light on the ground.  Tom (who wrote the article) had evidently seen the latest version of the visuals (which are of course still inwork) and was still not impressed, which is a disappointment, but we've still got a long way to go in that area.  And the sound effects also still have a long way to go, though we're very proud of the music for the game.  Oh, well. 

Design is definitely always going to be our core focus, but now that we have some actual money there will be better production values too.  I guess to maintain that 90/10 ratio, we'll just have to keep upping the design, too, right? ;)
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2009, 09:03:50 AM »
The source of this it probably that some news, and the sites behind the links are comment worthy. For example some sites reviewing AI War are.. ehm, well not sites i would link to even if they'd praise me. ^^

(And apparently the latest review actually does praise me as "one of the 3 dudes who contributed graphics" ,p) of course thats link worthy.. hehe ;p Did i ever mention how proud i am to see my contributed explosions everywhere? ;p


Ehm yeah... while most reviews are fair, some are really.. odd - and some like the OutOf8 one, are really outdated. And thats bad because outofeight is probably another one of those sites (besides bluesnews.com) where oldschool gamers regularly browse. I also read the first bit about Ai war on outof8 - though that was.. a really long while ago.

The regular updates - but especially the graphic/formation changes in the last few ones have made this game quite different from what was reviewed before
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Offline x4000

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2009, 09:19:13 AM »
The source of this it probably that some news, and the sites behind the links are comment worthy.

And that's cool.  Just, the comments and such should be over here, not in the news forum, I think.

For example some sites reviewing AI War are.. ehm, well not sites i would link to even if they'd praise me. ^^

Well, I'm certainly not going to be picky about who reviews the game and who I link to.  That's kind of a foolish attitude for someone in my position to take, since I'm expecting people to come out on a limb and look at a little-known indie title.  So if people have a site and they review the game or do an article about it, then it goes on the press page (but the order of the press page is at my discretion, as you may have noticed).

(And apparently the latest review actually does praise me as "one of the 3 dudes who contributed graphics" ,p) of course thats link worthy.. hehe ;p Did i ever mention how proud i am to see my contributed explosions everywhere? ;p

Yeah, I think that was referring to you. :)  I was a bit bummed that he still was unenthused with the graphics after all the updates (since he posted screenshots of the latest, I presume that is what he saw), but oh well.  I've definitely been highlighting screenshots with your explosions all over!

Ehm yeah... while most reviews are fair, some are really.. odd - and some like the OutOf8 one, are really outdated. And thats bad because outofeight is probably another one of those sites (besides bluesnews.com) where oldschool gamers regularly browse. I also read the first bit about Ai war on outof8 - though that was.. a really long while ago.

Yes, well, not everybody "gets it" and that is to be expected I suppose.  I certainly don't agree with everything that is written about the game, and a lot of minorish criticisms have been made about things that are simply out of scope of the game's design.  I'm thinking here mainly of complaints of no story, or a lack of emotional involvement with the ships, or whatever.  It's getting so that people expect games in every genre to have a certain amount of homogeneity, I think, which is frustrating since I explicitly try to break those molds with my stuff.  If a story mode or whatever doesn't interest me, it doesn't go in the game.  If some sort of naming will add "flavor" at the expense of clarity, it doesn't go in a strategy game.  Etc.

The regular updates - but especially the graphic/formation changes in the last few ones have made this game quite different from what was reviewed before

This is very true.  Unfortunately, reviewers are not used to reviewing moving targets, nor are they largely interested in trying to do so.  And on the flip side, I need reviews (and exposure) now, so it's not like I can just wait and send people a later copy.  When a lot of the art stuff is complete in another couple of months, then I'll go through a big "AI War 2.0" rebranding with associated press releases and requests for re-review, etc.  Right now the art has improved a lot already, but there is still so far to go, I don't want to ask people to re-review the game until more of those changes are in place.  But all new reviewers get the latest copy of the game, though, so the most recent reviews are on the most recent copies of the game...
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2009, 09:36:18 AM »
Yeah well if you had a big budget to burn graphics could still be improved a lot - multi stage explosions, debris/ Dynamic overglow in battles / Death Animations for ships, animated backgrounds / space weather / animated planet deaths (nukes!) etc.

And most importantly, better ship sprites (larger/more detailed)
At some point - Full DX9.0 3d engine/SM3.0 features/Shadered Distorted Explosions/Realtime lightning etc - 3d models / free camera - free zoom from galaxy map to planet local etc.

Ok i was day dreaming ^^
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Offline x4000

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2009, 09:37:40 AM »
3d models

Never. :)  I'm a 2D game designer only.
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2009, 09:44:49 AM »
;D But i am 3d-modeler  :D ;D ;D ;D

Actually i am fairly happy with the looks of the game now
« Last Edit: August 14, 2009, 09:46:58 AM by eRe4s3r »
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Offline x4000

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2009, 09:49:50 AM »
Fair enough. :D

And, for what it's worth, I'm a 3D modeler, too (not a great one, but copetent):  http://www.christophermpark.com/gallery.php?sGal=12_Dreams_of_Steel_and_Coal

It's been a hobby of mine for 12ish years, and I love me some 3D video games, too, but that doesn't mean I want to make them. ;)
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Offline Revenantus

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2009, 09:56:15 AM »
I really quite like the game's sprites. I'm surprised that reviewer commented that the game 'lacked a style', I've always felt the game had a consistent and unique feel to it.

Some of the units do look slightly flat next to the new explosions however, but this isn't a huge issue.

By the way, DarkReaver posted this link in the IRC Channel, it's obviously not quite in the same genre as AI War but I thought that perhaps the graphics might provide some inspiration if you were planning on future development.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfRXJFrPubs&fmt=18


Offline x4000

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2009, 10:01:22 AM »
I really quite like the game's sprites. I'm surprised that reviewer commented that the game 'lacked a style', I've always felt the game had a consistent and unique feel to it.

Glad I'm not the only one. :)  Although, other people have also commented on liking the ships, which are from one of the great classic shooters (Tyrian), of course.  I guess maybe he was hung up on the interface in particular or something, I don't know.  Well, we'll be improving a lot of it either way.

Some of the units do look slightly flat next to the new explosions however, but this isn't a huge issue.

Yeah, dynamic lighting is probably not real feasible with sprites, just because to simulate that would take so many man-hours as compared to doing that for real in 3D, etc.

By the way, DarkReaver posted this link in the IRC Channel, it's obviously not quite in the same genre as AI War but I thought that perhaps the graphics might provide some inspiration if you were planning on future development.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dfRXJFrPubs&fmt=18

Yeah, that's a cool-looking game for sure. :)
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2009, 10:06:27 AM »
Ah a landscape artist ;)  ;D

Yeah i can understand that - its not like 3d-engine would add anything to the current gameplay

GSB does not allow you to command your fleet in the battle itself - so they (or he) can make them a lot more cinematic.. something Ai war can never do given the scale of command.

Also wth.. 3 posts while i typed this? ,p
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Offline Admiral

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #13 on: August 14, 2009, 11:31:31 AM »
Never. :)  I'm a 2D game designer only.

I was sort of hoping that AI War 2 would be a full 3D game in all important aspects, which is to say, positional aspects. Each planet would be somewhat like the "Homeworlds" - but real 3D with no preferred direction instead of their "2D with elevations" which they sort of forced you to play as.

Additionally, having an actual planet at the center of each planet - or turning each "planet" into a "solar system" with gravitational effects and/or moving planets and moons and/or occlusion (sniper turrets can't shoot you through the planet even if they can shoot anything in line of site), etc., would make ship placement very interesting. Non-euclidean movement due to warped spacetime (gravitational effects, planetary and solar wells, etc.) would be interesting as ship speed would vary depending on locality.

I think all the ships, etc., could definitely still be represented as 2D sprites or icons in a 3D world.

Having a 3D star map in addition to a 3D planetary/solar map would be icing on the cake.

I know, I'm dreaming, but I sort of like the 3D concept. We all live in a 3D world, and I fly in one sometimes (c.f. Pitts aircraft).

Cheers!

Offline x4000

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Re: Can't reply to News articles anymore?
« Reply #14 on: August 14, 2009, 11:45:22 AM »
I was sort of hoping that AI War 2 would be a full 3D game in all important aspects, which is to say, positional aspects. Each planet would be somewhat like the "Homeworlds" - but real 3D with no preferred direction instead of their "2D with elevations" which they sort of forced you to play as.

I know a lot of people will jump on me for this, but I really did not like Homeworld, and the camera was a big part of this.  I thought it was a solid game, and I can definitely see why other people love it, but it just was not to my tastes at all.  I like 3D space games, but not in an RTS context.

Also, I have no real plans for AI War 2, just as an FYI -- instead it will be expansions and continual improvements to the base game in support of those.  So, in 2-3 years it will hopefully be that AI War plus its expansions will be equal to what AI War 2 (and maybe even 3) would have been, but with far more content since everything is carried forward.

I know that the standard pattern with games is to release a long series of separate titles, but I guess in some respects I look at this more like an MMO except without the fees.  The way that MMOs are continually upgrading their base experience and adding optional expansions is very much in line with my style of thinking about software development in general, and I think it's the most friendly approach for actual players, too -- that way everyone benefits without being forced into the expansions if they don't want, and hopefully that will give the game a shelf life longer than Starcraft of Total Annihilation (not because of higher popularity of AI War, which seems unlikely, but because of the continual evolution of it ala MMOs).

With other Arcen titles, like Alden Ridge or some of the others planned, you might see a more traditional sequels model, but with AI War it just seems to me that having everything all in one game will make it better than if it were scattered across many games.  That's the main reason I so much prefer the Rock Band series over the Guitar Hero brand, for instance.

Additionally, having an actual planet at the center of each planet - or turning each "planet" into a "solar system" with gravitational effects and/or moving planets and moons and/or occlusion (sniper turrets can't shoot you through the planet even if they can shoot anything in line of site), etc., would make ship placement very interesting.

That would be cool, but would also make the ship targeting even more CPU-intensive.  I'd need to either lower the ship count or wait for better CPUs for that to be possible. :)

Non-euclidean movement due to warped spacetime (gravitational effects, planetary and solar wells, etc.) would be interesting as ship speed would vary depending on locality.

Some of this was actually discussed during alpha, actually, and I was really thinking about adding the effects of gravity wells on ship movement.  But what I realized is that, without fuel, in an RTS context it just would not make much difference because when you click a point your ships are supposed to go there.  If they don't, it's a broken RTS, and if they do, then the warping of their path there might not matter much.  But some variant of this might make a comeback in a future DLC or expansion, we shall see.  I certainly am attracted to the idea.

I know, I'm dreaming, but I sort of like the 3D concept. We all live in a 3D world, and I fly in one sometimes (c.f. Pitts aircraft).

I just feel like there are too few 2D games out there, and that's a dearth I aim to fill.  Plus, 3D development requires a different sort of thinking and expertise, plus more expenses on making art and such.  The AAA titles will almost always beat out the indies in 3D in terms of wow factor because of their resources, but I think that 2D done really well can have a lot of wow factor for a fraction of the cost.  And, with the PC in particular but also some of the consoles, the possibilities of 2D are really staggering (just look at Braid, among others).  So that's the space I really want to stay in, it's just where I have always been most interested.
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