Author Topic: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?  (Read 2693 times)

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is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
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FROM: Colonel IceFire, TCN ONI
DATE: 2012.05.02
 
We're almost there! The beta testing has been a long process for the testers and for the team but we can all see the end of this very long road. With ten years of development behind some of the team members this is an incredible project coming to fruition.
 
Final Mission Testing
 
I have described in earlier reports that the beta testers have not had access to the entire campaign but rather we have tested the missions in the same order that players will experience when the project is complete. After 15 beta versions we have now arrived at a content complete beta test and testers are working hard beta testing the final missions.
 


Scale and Scope
 
I've talked about before how the scale of the missions in WC Saga has a huge amount of variation. You can expect small skirmishes with a half dozen spacecraft at once or huge engagements with over a hundred spacecraft in combat at once. Keeping the player relevant in the melee is important. So is making sure that the battle plays out the way it should, provided the player is doing their job correctly.
 
So we've been testing dozens of times to ensure that everything works the way it should. With large scal battles the complexity and potential for errors to appear increases so testers are making sure that these final missions live up to expectations.
 
Here's just a few of the bugs that we've been able to identify and eliminate:
 A Kilrathi raiding party arrives with several capital ships. In one instance two capital ships arrive on the same trigger and appear inside of each other. The triggers were changed and now they arrive separately. Much to the relief of the Kilrathi!
 In another mission the player receives a message to protect a Confed capital ship, however, if the ship is already lost the sound file is still played. Problem solved.
 A missing voice over causes a bug in the message line up resulting in some dialogue continuing over an autopilot sequence. Voice over files found and problem solved!
 


For All Mankind
 
There is a definite buzz and a sense that something special is really starting to come together as we test the final missions of the campaign where the story comes to its epic conclusion. More missions are green lit and problems are found and solved.
 
It takes many years of serious work and commitment to get to this point and there will be more time and serious work to come. I think it will be all worth it. Stay tuned for more updates in the near future!
 
-IceFire
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The Darkest Dawn is Almost Upon Us

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FROM: Rear Admiral Tolwyn, CINCWEAPONSDIVISION
DATE: 2012.29.01
 
We have reached an important milestone that has been a very long time in the making. All 50 of the missions in the main campaign are now finalized; The Darkest Dawn is now complete! We still have a bit of work ahead of us before Saga is ready to launch. We are currently working on significantly updating the missions of the prologue campaign (with updated game play, improved missions, refined dialogue, more characters in game, and a few other things to bring it up to par with the main campaign) which will be included as a small, introductory campaign in the full Saga package. We are going through our final rounds of beta tests, making sure everything is fully polished and as bug-free as possible for launch.
 


Keep your eyes open for a release date announcement soon!
 
-Tolwyn
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There is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel!

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FROM: Rear Admiral Tolwyn, CINCWEAPONSDIVISION
DATE: 2012.06.01
 
By the end of next week, we will have finalized 48 of the missions from the main campaign, leaving only the final two climactic missions. In addition, we are also remastering and upgrading the original prologue missions to be released as a second, brief campaign as a part of the full Saga package. Beside that, we are finishing working out a few issues with the code, and of course we will resolve any issues that come up as we finalize the missions. We are just as anxious to be finished with the project as you are for us to be finished, but we are making sure to be careful and not take shortcuts on these final missions as we come around the bend on the last stretch to the finish line. So, while we do not yet have an exact release date because we cannot foresee what issues may come up as we make these last missions and code refinements, we are confident in stating that in a matter of weeks, Saga should be ready for launch.



After ten years of work, the end is indeed near!
 
-Tolwyn
 11 comments

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
It's not done, but it is almost done.

 

Offline Mikes

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
They are still busy fixing all the spelling errors in the darkhest down... :cough:

:)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 12:38:00 pm by Mikes »

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
So, can anybody give an estimate?
Is it days, weeks, or months away?

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
I estimate that it will be released tomorrow.

 

Offline The E

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
I estimate it will be released at a time of day.
**** every cause that ends in murder and children crying. ― Iain Banks
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Offline Dragon

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
I estimate that it will be released tomorrow.
Too good to be true.
Though maybe not, considering my luck and the fact I'm going on a horse riding camp sometime around tomorrow...
I only asked for a rough estimate, is it going to be done this month?
My guess is, it'd be out on monday (because that's the day I depart for a week-long military camp).

 

Offline Tolwyn

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
Well, all missions are finalized. As a team, we're all ecstatic to see all the years of hard work finally packaged up and almost ready to go. Every element of the game has a soul, and that only comes when you have a team dedicated to the vision of what they're creating and unwilling to settle for anything less than outstanding. In other news, we still have some work ahead of us: we should complete the beta phase in 2 weeks time and then start preparations for the RTM build.
Wing Commander Saga: A Legend Is Reborn | WingCenter
 
Tolwyn’s reputation for risk taking with other people’s lives was considered  to understate the facts. The admiral’s willingness to sacrifice anyone or anything to achieve his objectives had long been lauded in the popular press. He was “the man who got things done”.- Colonel Blair

No errors, no random CTDs, just pure fun and proof of why getting hit with missiles is a bad thing.
-WC Saga's beta tester


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Offline Angelus

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
That's good to hear.
Hey, if things go well, i might get Saga as birthday present!  :D
while ( !asleep)     |     Building a Warmachine for FreeSpace: Chronicles of a dark Age        |       My WIP's                                 
{Eights++}

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
Every element of the game has a soul, and that only comes when you have a team dedicated to the vision of what they're creating and unwilling to settle for anything less than outstanding.
It struck me just now how similar this sentiment is to that expressed by the staff of BWO.

And then it struck me just how different the efforts of WCSaga have been to those of BWO.

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
BWO lacks people with both necessary skills, time and motivation. Most skilled people get hired by more active projects, like BP or WCS (or if they're really great, Diaspora). People who are active on BWO have ambition and motivation, but they lack skills (UVmapping and texturing, mostly) and time.  It has a similar problem to Inferno, the difference is that Inferno managed to get a few really good, active people who work somewhat faster than average and it's willing to sacrifice some quality by tile-mapping their ships (in fact, if BWO agreed to do that, they'd be in final testing phase by now).

 

Offline Tolwyn

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
BWO lacks people with both necessary skills, time and motivation. Most skilled people get hired by more active projects, like BP or WCS.

Contrary to the popular belief, WCS never had a large team, just a few individuals unwilling to abandon the project and ready to sacrifice a lot of things just to get it done.
Wing Commander Saga: A Legend Is Reborn | WingCenter
 
Tolwyn’s reputation for risk taking with other people’s lives was considered  to understate the facts. The admiral’s willingness to sacrifice anyone or anything to achieve his objectives had long been lauded in the popular press. He was “the man who got things done”.- Colonel Blair

No errors, no random CTDs, just pure fun and proof of why getting hit with missiles is a bad thing.
-WC Saga's beta tester


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Offline Aginor

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
It is indeed a problem to get something done well AND quickly.
Also: The quality Saga (and other projects as well) aims at is high, which is a problem for new guys because even if you want to spend all the time and work for the project you may notice that your skills are just not good enough.
I'm the best example for that. I'm a 2D guy who did menu screens and squad logos and medals for Saga, even a few glow maps and shine maps, I helped with the uniforms and with some translation, but.... Well, apart from the lack of time I suffered from during my studies (I think I joined the team in... 2005 or 2006) I noticed that I just couldn't do more for the project in the 2D department because the quality bar was raised so high that my skills didn't suffice anymore.
Of course that's sad for me, but when I look at the project now I'm happy that I could even do a little bit for Saga. I still check the forums daily to spot something I could help with, but in the last two years there was hardly anything I could have done efficiently. So meanwhile I have been active telling everybody and their mother (the latter one being more likely to have played Wing Commander) how great this will be and where they can get news about the project. I feel at least a bit useful by doing this.

The day Saga is released will be a great one for me.
So here's a big "GO TEAM" to the guys working for Saga.

GO TEAM
Member of the Scooby Doo model Fanclub "verticies and splines are the medium and he is the artist."

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
It is indeed a problem to get something done well AND quickly.
Also: The quality Saga (and other projects as well) aims at is high, which is a problem for new guys because even if you want to spend all the time and work for the project you may notice that your skills are just not good enough.
I've had this happen to me with BP, at first I pretty much had a monopoly for making normal and shine maps for it, but then, better texture artists joined and I found my normal maps inferior to their. I'm now mostly testing and doing small things like minor corrections or small POF work (and recently, trying to implement team colors).
Quote
Contrary to the popular belief, WCS never had a large team, just a few individuals unwilling to abandon the project and ready to sacrifice a lot of things just to get it done.
It's not the size of the team that matters, but rather the amount of skilled members on it. Inferno is currently run by about 7-8 people, with a modeler-mapper, texturer-tabler-coordinator, model converter, effect artist, texturer-miscellaneous stuff guy-tabler (you could describe my part as that) and two-three FREDers. All those people are active, good at what they do and dedicated to the project. Also, what is very important, people in charge of models are well coordinated, good and reasonably fast. That way, HTLing models doesn't slow down the project too much.

Now, BWO has a large team, but no active people with skillset necessary to finish, UVmap and texture the models. Essentially, they're missing the first two skillsets I mentioned. The converted is standing by because he has no models to convert, effect artist is pretty much done, FREDers are tweaking the missions and I don't have anything to do either, because I can't work with "raw" models.

It's like sort of like Tropico, in which you might have a fully staffed furniture factory, power plant and lumber mill, but you're not going to make any furniture if your logging camp has no workers.

 

Offline Aginor

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
Oh man, now that you mention it, FRED is also one of those topics.
I really really tried hard to make missions in FRED. And I managed to do some including triggers and stuff, FRED is really easy to use if you want to do some simple things.
So I went to the forums and told Tolwyn I could maybe help with missions (most of the 2D work I did was done).

Two hours later (one o'clock in the morning) I checked my mail and he had just sent me some templates to make missions for Saga
...and I almost jumped out of the window. I had THOUGHT I could do simple missions for Saga. But that was wrong. I didn't understand anything. I don't remember who did the templates for the missions, but he is great. Those things were pretty darn complex for a new FREDder like I was (and still am because I got really depressed).
I guess I will give it a try again when Saga is released. I don't know. Maybe I'll try to make my own small campaign if I find some time.
Member of the Scooby Doo model Fanclub "verticies and splines are the medium and he is the artist."

 

Offline Tolwyn

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
True. Then again - over the past year we had three full time team members working on the game (myself included) plus a few freelancers. To get the game done Keldor and myself had to work up to 16 hours a day to make this project a reality. It is a huge endeavour wirh tons of new content. I could continue gushing but I better hold my tongue for now. Besides, you will see it for yourself once the game is released.
Wing Commander Saga: A Legend Is Reborn | WingCenter
 
Tolwyn’s reputation for risk taking with other people’s lives was considered  to understate the facts. The admiral’s willingness to sacrifice anyone or anything to achieve his objectives had long been lauded in the popular press. He was “the man who got things done”.- Colonel Blair

No errors, no random CTDs, just pure fun and proof of why getting hit with missiles is a bad thing.
-WC Saga's beta tester


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Offline Dragon

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
Can't wait, it's one of the first FSO Projects I discovered (even before I found out about FSO), and I've been watching it ever since.
BTW, will the templates Aginor mentioned be included in the release? They could come in handy for figuring out how certain more complicated features work.

 

Offline Fury

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
I've had this happen to me with BP, at first I pretty much had a monopoly for making normal and shine maps for it, but then, better texture artists joined and I found my normal maps inferior to their. I'm now mostly testing and doing small things like minor corrections or small POF work (and recently, trying to implement team colors).
I'm pretty sure BP never got another texture artist. Some people only pointed out that the method you used to create normal maps was not optimal, and that there was (and still is) a tutorial made by HerraTohtori how to make them right. http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=64769.0

 

Offline Tolwyn

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
BTW, will the templates Aginor mentioned be included in the release? They could come in handy for figuring out how certain more complicated features work.

The template Aginor was referring to is our autopilot template - it is fully scripted in FRED and is highly flexible. We will publish the template along with the tutorial a few days after the release.
Wing Commander Saga: A Legend Is Reborn | WingCenter
 
Tolwyn’s reputation for risk taking with other people’s lives was considered  to understate the facts. The admiral’s willingness to sacrifice anyone or anything to achieve his objectives had long been lauded in the popular press. He was “the man who got things done”.- Colonel Blair

No errors, no random CTDs, just pure fun and proof of why getting hit with missiles is a bad thing.
-WC Saga's beta tester


Report Wing Commander Saga bugs with Mantis

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: is test from wing commander saga the darkhest down done?
I'm pretty sure BP never got another texture artist. Some people only pointed out that the method you used to create normal maps was not optimal, and that there was (and still is) a tutorial made by HerraTohtori how to make them right. http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=64769.0
HT took over maps creation after he joined. Some time ago, The_E made a lot of great normal maps for Steve-O's fighters. Add to that the fact all ships made by Esarai already came with normals. I know my method was not optimal, I've actually learned a great deal from HT's tutorial. While my technique has improved, BP sort of ran out of things to normalmap by now.