Author Topic: A WoD dev blog  (Read 113669 times)

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Offline niffiwan

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Quote
I hope you will all look forward to the eventual end result.

Oh yes! All my yes, this is looking fantastic :nod: :yes:
Creating a fs2_open.log | Red Alert Bug = Hex Edit | MediaVPs 2014: Bigger HUD gauges | 32bit libs for 64bit Ubuntu
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Linux OBS Packages: FSO 3.7.0 | FSO BP Build | wxLauncher (?) | PCS2 (?) | wxVPView (?)
Debian Packages (testing/unstable): Freespace2 | wxLauncher
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m|m: I think I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Bmpman is starting to make sense and it's actually written reasonably well...

 
Escaping the clutches of FRED's awful briefing editor, we're moving onto JAD style briefings now.
Somebody should change the UI for the briefing room, so that retail FS2 can be liberated as well from this slavery :warp:

Quote
I hope you will all look forward to the eventual end result.
Yes, your highness! Any WoD effort will be appreciated and celebrated!

 

Offline LoneFan

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This is amazing. I'm getting pumped up now.

 

Offline Commander Zane

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I'm actually in tears. Those videos are superb and I already like Zeri. My lust for combat personified.

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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I hope you will all look forward to the eventual end result.

I do ...

ps. drop me a line if you want to make the stream I talked about happen for Episode 2 ....
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"...because they are not Dragons."

 
I saw the gameplay video posted a few weeks ago and have been merrily spreading it around the internet hangouts I visit. So yep, still hyped.

 

Offline Spoon

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Weapon crafting, a feature long planned and recently implemented into the game. Remember that brief bit of gameplay showing some mining from the last video? Well, any of the none critical ore that you get from that mission can be used to create some modified versions of existing weapons. And you might be able to obtain more resources at various points in the campaign. Needless to say, these crafted weapons will carry over to the next episode. (Thanks to 'eternal' variables).


Axem's visual novel script is really amazingly versatile.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Not a exactly a feature that gets me excited but cool to see it happen nonetheless ...
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"...because they are not Dragons."

 
While I always appreciate anything that happens here (as well as new features), I think I'll switch to not-sure-if-want mode for this one. Loads and loads of weapons always confused me at some point, and generally prefer weapons with proper gameplay roles.

If it's already going to that direction, than why not directly deliver only a bunch of basic weapons that do this or that, and leave it to the player to configure E-use/ammunition/ROF/Damage themselves? Maybe it could be done via scripting, lots of tabled weapons or a mix of both...

Also, story-wise I'm wondering whether they modify their weapons aboard the GA due to use of raw materials (hence no spare parts or prefactored addons). I thought it was supposed to be a warship, not a factory (unless you call Episode 2 "Exile" ;) ).

 

Offline Commander Zane

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The nice thing about the system is it looks like some mods will result in the same weapon with some sort of improvement as well as others changing the dynamic of the weapon itself. That doesn't even acknowledge that time is being taken to also show us how it changes.

The fact you can even do this is mind-boggling. You'd get some bizarre reactions next time someone asks what you're doing and you answer with "Mining asteroids for materials to turn some plasma cannons into shotguns in a FreeSpace mod."

 

Offline Lorric

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Clearly Spoon wants to beat Star Citizen in all aspects. Even feature creep. :p

 
Clearly Spoon wants to beat Star Citizen in all aspects. Even feature creep. :p
Star Citizen is good!
Wings of Dawn is better!

Beating SC can be done by simply releasing something complete though, so it is a simple target...

 

Offline Spoon

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I saw the gameplay video posted a few weeks ago and have been merrily spreading it around the internet hangouts I visit. So yep, still hyped.
Spreading the WoD word is really helpful, because I am socially inept and don't do any kind of social media. So I'm not much good promoting my own game.

Not a exactly a feature that gets me excited but cool to see it happen nonetheless ...
How so? Does it conjure up images of triple A open world games that obligatorily include some form of crafting in all of their titles?

While I always appreciate anything that happens here (as well as new features), I think I'll switch to not-sure-if-want mode for this one. Loads and loads of weapons always confused me at some point, and generally prefer weapons with proper gameplay roles.
Well the crafting part is entirely optional. So you definitely don't have to use it if you don't want to.
The overabundance of weapons to choose from is actually kind of a concern to me. I've been doing a lot of pondering how to best dripfeed them to the player without overwhelming them with choice.

If it's already going to that direction, than why not directly deliver only a bunch of basic weapons that do this or that, and leave it to the player to configure E-use/ammunition/ROF/Damage themselves? Maybe it could be done via scripting, lots of tabled weapons or a mix of both...
While a neat idea, it's basically unworkable. I've thought about something like that initially, but the sheer amount of extra work that would require would be insane. Not to mention, that WoD is already currently at 249 weapon entries out of the engine max limit of 300.

Also, story-wise I'm wondering whether they modify their weapons aboard the GA due to use of raw materials (hence no spare parts or prefactored addons). I thought it was supposed to be a warship, not a factory (unless you call Episode 2 "Exile" ;) ).
Even historically, warships have had some limited refinery facilities onboard them. (Graf spee for example, suffered battle damage to her facilities, which crippled her for any future long voyages.) It's not that big of a stretch for a futuristic large assault carrier to have the means to process ore and to be able to produce some spare parts itself.

The nice thing about the system is it looks like some mods will result in the same weapon with some sort of improvement as well as others changing the dynamic of the weapon itself. That doesn't even acknowledge that time is being taken to also show us how it changes.

The fact you can even do this is mind-boggling. You'd get some bizarre reactions next time someone asks what you're doing and you answer with "Mining asteroids for materials to turn some plasma cannons into shotguns in a FreeSpace mod."
Your posts are good and encouraging.

Clearly Spoon wants to beat Star Citizen in all aspects. Even feature creep. :p
Star Citizen is good!
Wings of Dawn is better!

Beating SC can be done by simply releasing something complete though, so it is a simple target...
Well, it's not technically feature creep if it was planned to be included from the start. I've always kind of wanted something like this in my game.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline ngld

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If it's already going to that direction, than why not directly deliver only a bunch of basic weapons that do this or that, and leave it to the player to configure E-use/ammunition/ROF/Damage themselves? Maybe it could be done via scripting, lots of tabled weapons or a mix of both...
While a neat idea, it's basically unworkable. I've thought about something like that initially, but the sheer amount of extra work that would require would be insane. Not to mention, that WoD is already currently at 249 weapon entries out of the engine max limit of 300.

I remember some coders talking about extending the scripting API to allow scripts to modify weapons without adding new table entries. You'd be able to modify the weapon properties directly from Lua (if I understood correctly). Not sure if that helps you but if you're interested, I could look into whether it was implemented and how it works.

 
I think weapon crafting is a really cool feature for WoD, because of how it encourages a wide variety of weapons with its armour types and hull/shield balance. So providing power increases via upgrades rather than just continuously dumping new weapons onto the player eases the burden of knowledge. There are some neat little tricks you can do with certain weapons and you don't have to keep learning those if you're not constantly using new ones. Things like loading up a Ray 3 with 2 VX08s against Nordera and then switching banks right after you fire, just like you would with bombs. Except you don't have to deal with lockon times so you'll essentially get double the firerate of a single VX08. You can also do this with VK03N and VX08 when shooting at hulls, just sneaking in a few VK03 shots between your plasma bursts to optimize DPS.

And the upgrades seem to increase a weapon's strengths or add new quirks rather than covering up weaknesses so you'll still want a varied setup.

A small nitpick about that video though, the "Rate of Fire" stat seems to be $Fire wait. RoF usually refers to the number of shots per unit of time rather than the time between 2 shots. So the VK03Ns Rate of Fire would be 2.5/s or 150 RPM rather than "0.4". Though that really is just a small nitpick.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 10:33:55 pm by FrikgFeek »
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 

Offline Spoon

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I remember some coders talking about extending the scripting API to allow scripts to modify weapons without adding new table entries. You'd be able to modify the weapon properties directly from Lua (if I understood correctly). Not sure if that helps you but if you're interested, I could look into whether it was implemented and how it works.
Definitely interested. Something like that could have a wide range of uses.

I think weapon crafting is a really cool feature for WoD, because of how it encourages a wide variety of weapons with its armour types and hull/shield balance. So providing power increases via upgrades rather than just continuously dumping new weapons onto the player eases the burden of knowledge. There are some neat little tricks you can do with certain weapons and you don't have to keep learning those if you're not constantly using new ones. Things like loading up a Ray 3 with 2 VX08s against Nordera and then switching banks right after you fire, just like you would with bombs. Except you don't have to deal with lockon times so you'll essentially get double the firerate of a single VX08. You can also do this with VK03N and VX08 when shooting at hulls, just sneaking in a few VK03 shots between your plasma bursts to optimize DPS.

And the upgrades seem to increase a weapon's strengths or add new quirks rather than covering up weaknesses so you'll still want a varied setup.
:yes:
A small nitpick about that video though, the "Rate of Fire" stat seems to be $Fire wait. RoF usually refers to the number of shots per unit of time rather than the time between 2 shots. So the VK03Ns Rate of Fire would be 2.5/s or 150 RPM rather than "0.4". Though that really is just a small nitpick.
Valid nitpick. Not something I'm going to bother changing at this point, but you're right.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Not a exactly a feature that gets me excited but cool to see it happen nonetheless ...
How so? Does it conjure up images of triple A open world games that obligatorily include some form of crafting in all of their titles?

For one, I am an old RPG-hound who has learned all too well, that every shiney newly crafted/bought item is only as shiney and new as the next one that comes along, so I would be hoarding ressources until a point of no return anyway...

That being said, item crafting (in the narrow sense) has featured in some of the my most recent top games (Breath of the Wild; Horizon: Zero Dawn; Monster Hunter World) and my view on it is always informed by how well it is implimented - One of the one hand, HZD infurated me by not tracking normal animals despite them being a source of valuable crafting ressources. On the other MHW offered the option to save a "shopping list" so I didn't have obsessively track my next object for acquisition. BoW thankfully restricted it's crafting to consumables (meaning you where you good as long as you had plently of Bananas).
In the same vein, I will hold my verdict once I see it implimented in Wings of Dawn.


Now putting the player role aside, there are some design problems I see, which give me pause to do something similar:

Firstly, there is the impact that ressource gathering and crafting have on a player's psychology: How you are going to adress the issue that any players (excluding completionists) might feel compelled to invest an disproportiante ammount of time in gathering and crafting on the off-chance that any of crafted items might turn out to be the key to a difficult mission down the line.

Secondly, there is something you have already adressed, which is the "overabundance of options rendering the choice meaningless".

Thirdly, there is of course the ever present spectre of any optional activity in a video game ruining the pacing of the main story...
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"...because they are not Dragons."

  
I think the things I'm most excited for other than the new missions is the greater attention to characters and cinematic elements viewed "outside" of the cockpit. The bridge battle cutscene for example. Anything to immerse the player in that they are a pilot living on a ship with comrades and friends as part of a larger galaxy, rather than a cockpit which flies around and makes things explode. :P

And no, I'm not talking about sacrificing good gameplay, but there's a reason people remember Metal Gear and Resident Evil so fondly, people get invested in the cast.

The fact that Freespace was successful without these elements was due to its great sense of tension. You didn't need the plot to tell you you were outnumbered and outgunned, you could feel it while playing the missions.

But anything to enhance those story telling elements gets a big thumbs up from me.