Author Topic: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)  (Read 1906 times)

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Offline General Battuta

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Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
Let me repeat, I'll be really mad if you guys don't release. These assets are way way way too good to be wasted.

 

Offline Raven2001

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
Hopefully we're getting steam back on, but we still need a few more hands on deck. The most pressing concern at the moment is having a couple of Fredders/Designers... experienced ones, with vision. We really need an overhaul on missions (in terms of structure and gameplay. The general ideas are good and have potential, but the execution is lacking, by today's standards. The rest of the help we need is secondary, really.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
I would love to help but I have a lot of commitments on me already. :(

How complex are we talking, mission-wise? On a continuum from, say, retail to Just Another Day or a big BP mission?

 

Offline BTA

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
The general ideas are good and have potential, but the execution is lacking, by today's standards.

There are standards? I thought the only "standard" was that the mod can't be as bad as mine.
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Author of Dusk Wars - A modification for Freespace 2.

 

Offline Raven2001

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)

How complex are we talking, mission-wise? On a continuum from, say, retail to Just Another Day or a big BP mission?

I hope I'm not giving bad information, because I don't know much about Fredding, and when it comes to today's capabilities, even less. But the gist of it is that complexity would be about halfway retail and BP. We want to modernize and take advantage of new gameplay possibilities, but we also want to keep it well within the realm of what is Freespace. And of course some missions need more work than others.
A couple of years ago, me and BD made a play through of the whole thing and created a document of "problems to solve". I'm sure that I'd I did the same thing again, others issues would arise.
The way I see it, is that now that we're finally going somewhere with asset production, it becomes more apparent that the missions need a facelift, design wise.
Yeah, I know you were waiting for a very nice sig, in which I was quoting some very famous scientist or philosopher... guess what?!? I wont indulge you...

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Offline Goober5000

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
We really need an overhaul on missions (in terms of structure and gameplay.

:wtf: Why?  The missions were essentially done back when Ace retired.  You guys did a full playthrough, beta-test, and evaluation of every mission!


The way I see it, is that now that we're finally going somewhere with asset production, it becomes more apparent that the missions need a facelift, design wise.

Please don't.  I can understand the desire to upgrade the models, even though I don't agree that it's required for release.  Ditto voice acting.  But if you're going to redo all the missions as well, then you're basically starting the campaign over from scratch.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
I think the community could really use a major release with approximately V-complexity missions. There hasn't been one since ST:R and while I love big elaborate productions we've always thrived on heterodoxy and diversity of content.

 

Offline CT27

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
Goober mentioned voice acting.  It took the BP team (and that's one of the bigger teams here) a couple years to add VA to part of WIH.

I think people would rather have a BWO release without VA sooner vs. waiting a few years for a 'complete' release.  Especially since the revival of the past year or so when people were given hope that BWO may actually get finished someday.

 

Offline Mongoose

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
Yeah, as amazing as the work that Battuta and Axem et al. have done in creating some ridiculously-cool gameplay concepts, there's still a ton of room for more retail-styled campaigns as well.  At this point we all know that BWO has been trapped in feature-creep hell for a solid decade or more, and it's been really heartening to see it come back to life over the past year or two.  Don't spoil that progress by scrapping half of what's already done, because if you go that route I'm fairly certain that we'll never see any sort of finished product be released.

 

Offline jr2

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
You can always do a re-release.  Just don't make Greedo shoot first. :P

 

Offline Raven2001

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)

:wtf: Why?  The missions were essentially done back when Ace retired.  You guys did a full playthrough, beta-test, and evaluation of every mission!

How many times do we have to go through this conversation? What is "essentially done" are basically mission skeletons, a rough outline.
Not to mention there's a number of missions that are blatantly bad and boring on most levels.

Quote
But if you're going to redo all the missions as well, then you're basically starting the campaign over from scratch.

I'm not talking about redoing the missions from scratch, I talked about giving them a facelift. Different. Taking the missions we have, clean them up, and perhaps add something to them when\if applicable and somewhat easy\fast. Considering that in any case the missions would have to go through a huge balancing pass (including reducing the number of enemy wings, etc), is it that much of an hassle to, for example, replace an enemy wing with Aaru drones, add an AWACS that when interacted with turns the drones against your enemies?!? The way I see it, it's a worthy investment, especially if we could get started ASAP, while the art assets aren't finished.

(in hindsight, I realize I did use the word "overhaul" in my previous post, and that was a mistake)


I think the community could really use a major release with approximately V-complexity missions. There hasn't been one since ST:R and while I love big elaborate productions we've always thrived on heterodoxy and diversity of content.

Indeed, and that's what we're aiming for, in general. I'd still like to add some more options within reason.
Say, we have this super heavy turreted bomber that is more like a small cruiser than an actual bomber. They shoot SSM bombs.
Right now we have them behaving like a dive bomber pretty much, which is kind of dumb since these bombers are slow, unmaneuverable and in the case of the SSM bombs, it doesn't really matter that the bomber is close to the target ship. So instead of having them behave like any other bomber, we could have each ship of the wing jump in different spots in space around the target, and just do their thing without getting close. It would be a "mini-game" of sorts, it would be different, and I suspect that it would be fast to implement.

Of course, there are certain features that I would think to implement that would be major time sinks. I have no clue about Fredding, and I suspect the rest of the team is the same.
That's why I'm being very specific about those Fredders being experienced and having vision, because I'd expect them to check the possible ideas, and say "X is a trivial feature, fast to do. Y would take a lot of time, better scratch it" and look at the missions we have and suggest features we could implement in a timely fashion, to make those missions more interesting.
Indeed, perhaps 3 or 4 missions could benefit from more complex changes, but those would be the crown jewels of the campaign. But that would be a possible bonus, not a requirement.

Goober mentioned voice acting.  It took the BP team (and that's one of the bigger teams here) a couple years to add VA to part of WIH.

I think people would rather have a BWO release without VA sooner vs. waiting a few years for a 'complete' release.  Especially since the revival of the past year or so when people were given hope that BWO may actually get finished someday.

I believe I already talked about this in some other post: that's still up for discussion, so I can't really give a definitive answer. But I'm writing more on the "complete" release topic further down.

You can always do a re-release.  Just don't make Greedo shoot first. :P

That's not out of the table. I always imagined that we could do a "Cold Element" pack post release, featuring remastered versions of Derelict, Warzone, Twilight and BWO. But that's so far off in the future that it's not worth talking about.


Finally, about community expectations: I'm very well aware what our decision to go "more public" did to your expectations. That one was one of the goals of that decision. But we also have expectations: motivate the team to be more active (which is working), and to finally get the other resources we need to finally get this thing done.
What perhaps isn't so obvious is that a lot of the internal vision has changed when it comes to the project development process and community relations. While in the past BWO was this super secret project, highly directed\micromanaged and always kept under wraps with the goal of a single "wow" release, now we want to be more transparent, more open, give the team members more input and creativity in their work (this is important, as no one enjoys just following directions, especially when working for free), and finally give you something to toy with. That's why you've been seeing all these WiP posts, and that's why you'll be able to download the Aaru and another asset as soon as they're finished, for example.
We even talked about episodic releases on internal. The plot structure is already quite organized into acts, so we wouldn't have to change anything plot-wise. Asset introduction lends itself to this format as well, to some extent. And this is something that pretty much everyone on internal agrees it would be a good thing to do. But it's all moot if we don't get those Fredders, at least.
Yeah, I know you were waiting for a very nice sig, in which I was quoting some very famous scientist or philosopher... guess what?!? I wont indulge you...

Why, you ask? What, do I look like a Shivan to you?!?


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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
Derelict SCP had a good, interesting variety of missions without ever drastically altering the toolkit used in retail missions. It's one of my favourite things about it. If you can put out another release with gameplay of that quality it'll be a great mod, up there with the best of them.
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Offline General Battuta

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
That's why I'm being very specific about those Fredders being experienced and having vision, because I'd expect them to check the possible ideas, and say "X is a trivial feature, fast to do. Y would take a lot of time, better scratch it" and look at the missions we have and suggest features we could implement in a timely fashion, to make those missions more interesting.

I can do this for you without much trouble. Give me a feature list and I'll turn it around for you.

 

Offline Raven2001

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
That's why I'm being very specific about those Fredders being experienced and having vision, because I'd expect them to check the possible ideas, and say "X is a trivial feature, fast to do. Y would take a lot of time, better scratch it" and look at the missions we have and suggest features we could implement in a timely fashion, to make those missions more interesting.

I can do this for you without much trouble. Give me a feature list and I'll turn it around for you.

I appreciate that, every little bit helps :) Give me a couple of weeks to organize my thoughts and speak with the folks, and then I'll shoot you a PM
Yeah, I know you were waiting for a very nice sig, in which I was quoting some very famous scientist or philosopher... guess what?!? I wont indulge you...

Why, you ask? What, do I look like a Shivan to you?!?


Raven is a god.

 

Offline Goober5000

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
How many times do we have to go through this conversation? What is "essentially done" are basically mission skeletons, a rough outline.
Not to mention there's a number of missions that are blatantly bad and boring on most levels.

I often wonder that myself.  Let me direct your attention to this post and the one following it.

I am surprised, though, that you're throwing Ace under the bus like that (edit: and IceFire too; look a few posts farther down).  The missions are not skeletons, and - judging from their reception during the beta test - they are not "blatantly bad and boring".

 

Offline jr2

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
Did they add more missions after the beta test ones or something?  Maybe that's the cause for confusion.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
If what the missions need is to be skimmed over, sexed up, and tightened, I can do that for you after my next book is in. That's a lot easier and a lot more fun than building a whole campaign from scratch, and I'm pretty good at it!

 

Offline Raven2001

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)

I often wonder that myself.  Let me direct your attention to this post and the one following it.

I am surprised, though, that you're throwing Ace under the bus like that (edit: and IceFire too; look a few posts farther down).  The missions are not skeletons, and - judging from their reception during the beta test - they are not "blatantly bad and boring".

You're directing me towards threads from 8 years ago. You do realize people's opinions may have changed in that time right?! (and they have) In fact, I distinctly recall having a chat with BlackDove and Icefire when you had your "intervention" a few years back, and IceFire's words to me and BD were pretty much "there's still a lot of work to do, I don't have time or energy for it, so it's your game now". But I guess that's not convenient for your point.
I'm very glad that you're bringing up the past, though, and making accusations of "throwing people under the bus", because that's exactly what you did with me, BlackDove and Icefire when you attempted your "take over".

And to keep this short, because I'm not really up to spending more energy on these discussions with you (because we already had them for ages, it's getting old):
We're the ones who are working on this. We're the ones who stuck with it during the worst times of the project, attempted to pick up the pieces and make something out of it, and we're the ones who are still putting their time on making it happen. And at the moment, I'm the one who's trying to coordinate a change of things for the best, and I like to think I'm having a modicum of success. You might not like it, but it is what it is.
Think it's about time you stop having that chip on your shoulder.

And a mission where all that happens is (literally) the player arriving, a bunch of ships shooting at each other without any kind of sense until the player's side wins (with or without the his intervention), some messages are exchanged, depart. No directives, no target prioritization, no logic. How is that not a skeleton, or boring? And we have other missions in the same vein. Granted, we also have some missions that are very cool, and those will only need some polish to be done.


Derelict SCP had a good, interesting variety of missions without ever drastically altering the toolkit used in retail missions. It's one of my favourite things about it. If you can put out another release with gameplay of that quality it'll be a great mod, up there with the best of them.
That's the thing... what we have so far doesn't even have the variety that Derelict had. It's closer to Warzone's level of variety. And IMO while Derelict aged quite well, Warzone hasn't.

Did they add more missions after the beta test ones or something?  Maybe that's the cause for confusion.
As far as I know, no new missions were added after the beta test. The problem, I believe, is one of expectations. The state of the community was completely different when we had the beta test. Certain things (see the mission I described above) were perfectly acceptable back then (and perceptions may also have been skewed also because it was a beta). Now it's not, in my opinion.

If what the missions need is to be skimmed over, sexed up, and tightened, I can do that for you after my next book is in. That's a lot easier and a lot more fun than building a whole campaign from scratch, and I'm pretty good at it!
I'll take you on those offers. You're also kick ass with writing, which is something we are sorely lacking as well. I'll send you a PM in the next weeks, and bring you up to speed!
Yeah, I know you were waiting for a very nice sig, in which I was quoting some very famous scientist or philosopher... guess what?!? I wont indulge you...

Why, you ask? What, do I look like a Shivan to you?!?


Raven is a god.

 

Offline CT27

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
I played it recently and enjoyed Warzone (and I loved Derelict too).  What was your issue with it?

 

Offline Raven2001

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Re: Digression on BWO development (split from Vasudan cylons)
No "issue" with it at all. I enjoyed Warzone as well. However, I think that people would expect even more from BWO. I would. :)
Yeah, I know you were waiting for a very nice sig, in which I was quoting some very famous scientist or philosopher... guess what?!? I wont indulge you...

Why, you ask? What, do I look like a Shivan to you?!?


Raven is a god.