Author Topic: "Coming in June 2001!!!"  (Read 11286 times)

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Whatever helps you sleep at night, Aldo.  You're also not having to build your engine from the ground up, deal with publishing companies, bug-hunt anything more complex than a scripting error, or build your own in-house development tools.  Correct me, if I'm wrong, but for Casualties of War, you didn't look at the FS2 and FRED2 source, clear the pages, and rebuild it, did you?

Your argument ignores the fact that FS2 is already a completed game, to which you are adding content.  Granted, a full-sized campaign is a lot of content, but with the available tools, and the size of the development teams working on the major projects on HLP, they're still taking an unreasonably long time to complete.

 

Offline aldo_14

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Quote
Originally posted by BlueFlames
Whatever helps you sleep at night, Aldo.  You're also not having to build your engine from the ground up, deal with publishing companies, bug-hunt anything more complex than a scripting error, or build your own in-house development tools.  Correct me, if I'm wrong, but for Casualties of War, you didn't look at the FS2 and FRED2 source, clear the pages, and rebuild it, did you?

Your argument ignores the fact that FS2 is already a completed game, to which you are adding content.  Granted, a full-sized campaign is a lot of content, but with the available tools, and the size of the development teams working on the major projects on HLP, they're still taking an unreasonably long time to complete.


Well, you try modelling about 9 average-poly models, mapping them with high quality, hig res maps, building high-poly render models and rigging the character ones - whilst learning how to do it from scratch of course, animating bugger knows how many small cutscenes, briefs, tech stuff and soforth, writing a storyline (which at present has something like a 20 pages - excluding scripts) - working at a rate about 2-4 hours a day.  On a very good day.

I'm sure you'll recognise that the content takes time, too.  Sure, if someone was paying me 16-30k a year to do it, I'd have this finished in a quarter of the time.  But no-one is.  You don't like it?  Fine.  I don't give a ****.  You come here, and do what I - what every person in Ls and beyond - am trying to do, then you can talk about what is unreasonably long.   Don't give me any comparisons with professional development - you know full well what professional stands for, and why people do it.

CoW was a piece of cake.  It was practice.  That's why it was finished.

Pay me money,  and I'll do LS double quick.   Otherwise, haud yer wheesht.

 

Offline Roanoke

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Quote
Originally posted by Roanoke
I seem to recall MindGames getting in the highlights with "We're half done. Yay!"

Can't remember how long ago that was.



Quote
Originally posted by karajorma
We did have screenshots too though :D  



how long ago was that ? :)

 

Offline DragonClaw

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I'd suggest releasing your own campaign done entirely out of your own free time before trying to point fingers at anyone.

Because everyone working on projects such as these do not get paid, its done entirely for their own fun or entertainment for the most part. If a person doesn't feel like working on it that day, they won't. I personally have things better to do than sit in front of the computer in my 4 hours of free time a day working on a project.

 
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I'd suggest releasing your own campaign done entirely out of your own free time before trying to point fingers at anyone.

Second Front.  Have I earned my right to gripe yet, or are you going to rewrite the rules just for little, ol' me?

Quote
Well, you try modelling about 9 average-poly models, mapping them with high quality, hig res maps, building high-poly render models and rigging the character ones - whilst learning how to do it from scratch of course, animating bugger knows how many small cutscenes, briefs, tech stuff and soforth, writing a storyline (which at present has something like a 20 pages - excluding scripts) - working at a rate about 2-4 hours a day. On a very good day.

That's kind of the entire point of my previous posts in this thread.  The developers in this community are piling way too much stuff onto their projects to ever expect them to be finished.  They then compound their time-crunch problems by piling even more work on top of that as new SCP features get added to the mix.

Having made a campaign and several standalone missions, I don't understand why developers do that to themselves.  As an audience member, I can understand that stuff takes time, but cannot tolerate it when the development community whines about having too little time, followed right up by, "We're scrapping old content to make way for newer, shinier things!"  If you want to make nine new ship models with high-res maps from the beginning, fine, but don't come back to your design document later, and say that you need to scrap the ships because they don't have enough polies and there aren't enough pixels in the texture map.  That's where it stops being an issue of not having time to commit to the project and starts becoming an issue of ridiculously bad time management.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2005, 12:23:08 pm by 143 »

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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Quote
Originally posted by BlueFlames

Derelict did fine with voices released seperately.  Placeholder sounds would have been nice, but even without, the campaign is still quite good.  I'm not sure you're in the greatest position to be telling High Max, myself, or anyone else waiting for a campaign-in-development what we want.  We know what we want a hair better than a third-party might.


No, no, you misunderstand me. You don't want them to release, because THEY ARE NOT DONE YET.

They hired people to test the last batch of missions just recently, if you'd been paying attention. I'm one of them. And the missions need testing and revision.
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Offline CP5670

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I can definitely see what Blueflames is talking about here. I fell into that trap to some degree myself when building my campaign, PI. My project was originally going to be very small, like four or five missions, but my plans became larger as I got more ideas - 7 missions, then 12 missions and finally 16 missions with more new ships and mods - and the project dragged on for years, by which point the community, which was never big in the first place, had become much smaller.

I actually didn't spend a lot of time adding in the SCP features though, as I wasn't using that many mods in the first place (the only thing I spent some effort on was replacing the default nebulas with Lightspeed's ones). I don't know if any of you have found yourselves doing this, but what actually consumed a lot more time for me was that since I was gaining experience as a mission designer while I was making the thing, the later missions were of significantly higher quality than the earlier ones, so I ended up completely rewriting the first few missions, even though they were still very good. It takes an enormous amount of time to fully playtest and debug one of these things (easily 50+ test runs) and it was a doubly stupid idea in my case since that was about the time that I was starting to get busy with the ISTS competition and other things in real life.

That being said, my project was far less ambitious than some of the stuff here and I would easily have had the whole thing fully polished and ready for release at the beginning of this year (after working on it on and off for four years or so; makes me wonder how long it would take to finish these really big projects) if I hadn't lost a ton of work due to a hard drive failure at the very end. At this point, it's hard to have the enthusiasm to pick up the pieces and redo everything. I suppose I could just throw out the stuff I have into the public domain in case anyone can use any parts of it, but I doubt I'll do anything more with it.

I haven't done any mission designing at all for quite some time, but if I get back into it, I will be sticking to standalone missions. I think we need to have more people working on those rather than full blown campaigns, as they take much less time to produce. I have a few that cover events that occur during the main campaign, but the thing is that they all run off my PI mods (and use the hundreds of gameplay tweaks incorporated in those), so I doubt I'll actually release them separately.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2005, 01:12:03 pm by 296 »

 

Offline Prophet

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Quote
Originally posted by BlueFlames
Having made a campaign and several standalone missions, I don't understand why developers do that to themselves.  As an audience member, I can understand that stuff takes time, but cannot tolerate it when the development community whines about having too little time, followed right up by, "We're scrapping old content to make way for newer, shinier things!"  If you want to make nine new ship models with high-res maps from the beginning, fine, but don't come back to your design document later, and say that you need to scrap the ships because they don't have enough polies and there aren't enough pixels in the texture map.  That's where it stops being an issue of not having time to commit to the project and starts becoming an issue of ridiculously bad time management.

He ain't subtle, but speaks sense...

Everyone who spends his/hers time doing something for the community earns my respect and appreciation...
Sure, state of the art models, comm anis, briefing anis, interface art and such are cool. But are they more important than getting your story, your campaing out to them who you have been making it: To the community?
One of my wild examples: A good burger is a damn good burger even if it's not served on a golden platter by half naked beach babe...
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Offline CP5670

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He ain't subtle, but speaks sense...


heh, my thoughts exactly.

 

Offline karajorma

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If you want to see the hosted campaigns finished how about signing up for them instead of going off and doing your own thing?

I've been complaining that MG needs a modeller badly for about 2 years now and it's never gotten me anywhere. That's been the major hold up for me. I'd FRED the rest of MG in about 6 months if I had the models done.

The problem with the community is that everyone has their own personal little project that they prefer to work on instead of helping out the hosted projects. That's why everything is taking so long. MG has FREDders sitting around doing very little sometimes precisely because we lack the mods we need to finish the story. MG has had a few redesigns but the simple fact is that it's mostly cause we've been waiting so damn long to get the models done.

Sometimes it isn't feature creep that's the problem. It's getting the original features we wanted right from conception into the game.
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Offline TrashMan

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Hm...FOW is mostly done, all it's left to do is FRED several more mission (~15).

But since I'm the only working team member (out of 3 - the other 2 are mostly giving me feedback) and I have MANY other things to work on besides my campaign it's going slowly... :(
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Offline aldo_14

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Quote
Originally posted by BlueFlames

Second Front.  Have I earned my right to gripe yet, or are you going to rewrite the rules just for little, ol' me?


That's kind of the entire point of my previous posts in this thread.  The developers in this community are piling way too much stuff onto their projects to ever expect them to be finished.  They then compound their time-crunch problems by piling even more work on top of that as new SCP features get added to the mix.

Having made a campaign and several standalone missions, I don't understand why developers do that to themselves.  As an audience member, I can understand that stuff takes time, but cannot tolerate it when the development community whines about having too little time, followed right up by, "We're scrapping old content to make way for newer, shinier things!"  If you want to make nine new ship models with high-res maps from the beginning, fine, but don't come back to your design document later, and say that you need to scrap the ships because they don't have enough polies and there aren't enough pixels in the texture map.  That's where it stops being an issue of not having time to commit to the project and starts becoming an issue of ridiculously bad time management.


Funnily enough, that's exactly what I'm doing.  I've not changed the required content list, nor reworked any of the existing content, since writing the devdocs in August 04.

It takes a good month or so for me to build a ship.  It's that simple.  I'd note that Second Front doesn't AFAIK have any new models, for example, and once you get into the stage of new content it's a different kettle of fish.

But don't throw this 'unreasonable' claim out.  There's nothing reasonable about spending a good 1,2,3 or more years of your life working on something you'll give away for free - it's done purely out of the goodness of our hearts.  And for people to ***** about how we're letting them down?

 

Offline Nuclear1

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Quote
Originally posted by karajorma
If you want to see the hosted campaigns finished how about signing up for them instead of going off and doing your own thing?


That's really the main problem. While I see that more and more people joining big campaigns to get them done is an issue, I honestly feel that some of the major ones would be somewhat restrictive (especially to FREDers) in terms of style and ideas.

The big thing is that lots of people want to see their ideas and stories put into FS2, and joining a big campaign just simply won't allow it to happen. However, with some of the lesser-known camps (i.e. Mercenaries, GTI, Pathways), designers often set guidelines, and then allow their FREDers to do a mission however they feel like. For example, when I FRED a mission for Pathways, I pretty much have reign on dialogue/story ideas so long as I stick to what Cobra and Ransom have said before.

The same goes for GTI: I set out the plot, mission details, and then allow FreespaceGundam to play around with the mission as much as he wants, so long as it A) gets the original point across and B) doesn't change the story drastically. Because of this, I often find FG's missions to be extremely enjoyable and deep simply because I let him use his own style and ideas when it comes to FRED.

I do see your point, however. People who start (or attempt to start) campaigns that are simply overambitious or grandiose and require a decent staff are the main problem. Honestly, people should just start basic: get some ideas for FRED, and, using either pure FS2/FSO or with some released mods, FRED a campaign with their own storyline. No new CBAnims/effects/mods of their own, just FRED, a story, and a campaign.

No 40-50 mission campaign either: just something basic to give them a rep and a test drive for building campaigns (there are exceptions to this, though; Blaise Russel, as we already know as a God with the ability to FRED 20 missions in his sleep and Ransom who simply catches onto FRED and does amazing things).

Usually a released campaign can give a designer a good rep among the community, and then that may lead to requests from various projects to have him enroll in their campaigns. Thus, one person starts a small project, impresses some people, one person joins big campaign, big campaign speeds up.

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But don't throw this 'unreasonable' claim out. There's nothing reasonable about spending a good 1,2,3 or more years of your life working on something you'll give away for free - it's done purely out of the goodness of our hearts. And for people to ***** about how we're letting them down?


Amen. I know that as a (minor campaign and thus slow-working) developer, it takes a lot out of a person to formulate story ideas, manage teams, delegate tasks, and work out the bugs in campaigns. Having to deal with PR and people saying 'Is this dead?' or 'OMGOMGOMGHURRYUP!!!!1' I can imagine is just unbearable.

Seriously, people. If you want a quality product, don't edge the staff on. Give them reminders at the right times (i.e. when an update thread is posted) that you're still a fan and are waiting patiently, but don't spam their forums with "WE WANT UPDATES! POST SCREENIES OR I'LL SPAM YER FORUM WITH USELESS FANB0Y CRAP!" A project will be done when it's done and it feels  that it has been fully worked-out to completion and their satisfaction. If the developers are happy, the people should be happy too. If they say they're moving along, spamming the forum doesn't make them go any faster. A lot of developers have been nice with dealing with these posts (Port Team with ST:R and Sesquipedalian with Scroll especially; I'll give credits to kara for being egged on for finishing SoR as well :) ), but just because they're nice about it doesn't make it alright to do.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2005, 05:30:26 pm by 673 »
Spoon - I stand in awe by your flawless fredding. Truely, never before have I witnessed such magnificant display of beamz.
Axem -  I don't know what I'll do with my life now. Maybe I'll become a Nun, or take up Macrame. But where ever I go... I will remember you!
Axem - Sorry to post again when I said I was leaving for good, but something was nagging me. I don't want to say it in a way that shames the campaign but I think we can all agree it is actually.. incomplete. It is missing... Voice Acting.
Quanto - I for one would love to lend my beautiful singing voice into this wholesome project.
Nuclear1 - I want a duet.
AndrewofDoom - Make it a trio!

 

Offline BlackDove

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Quote
Originally posted by aldo_14
And for people to ***** about how we're letting them down?


Quote
[19:47] CaptJosh> Blueflames, if I had to judge you entirel based on your posting in that thread, I'd have to say that you're quite an ass.
[19:48] CaptJosh> It's possible to raise concerns without being a jerk about it. There's this thing called tact...
[19:48] BlueFlames> My apologies.  I figure after something's been hyped for four to five years, the development team should have a release to show for it.
[19:49] Judd-MGT> agreed..
[19:49] Judd-MGT> and there are many campaigns that have been continually hyped... :)
[19:49] BlueFlames> I also have a big gripe with the "we don't care when we release" mentality that has swept over the FS2 development community.
[19:50] * CaptJosh shrugs.
[19:50] CaptJosh> I'm used to this. Ever hear of Ambrosia Software?
[19:50] BlueFlames> They need a kick in the jaw, and I'm giving it to them.  They've had my tact to hide behind for ages, and I'm done with it.
[19:51] CaptJosh> Everything they do has no release dates. They release a game "what it's done."
[19:51] Judd-MGT> Ambrosia released games Josh..
[19:51] CaptJosh> er, "when it's done."
[19:51] Judd-MGT> We are talkig about people who haven't released anything.. other than press releases.. persay
[19:51] BlueFlames> Yeah, that just gives them an open license to never finish.
[19:51] CaptJosh> ASW has been at it a lot longer than these guys, and they do this professionally.
[19:52] CaptJosh> i.e., they get paid for this.
[19:52] Judd-MGT> but Ambrosia releases games..
[19:52] Judd-MGT> And they get paid becuase they release games.. :)
[19:52] BlueFlames> ASW?  I'm not sure who exactly they are, but if someone's paying them and they aren't making releases, then the someone signing the checks in wasting a lot of money.
[19:52] CaptJosh> You're asking rank amateurs to behave like a professional game developing company.
[19:53] CaptJosh> Ambrosia Software. http://www.ambrosiasw.com
[19:53] Judd-MGT> He is asking Rank Amateurs to do in 5 years what used to happen in 6months..
[19:53] BlueFlames> Hey, they're the ones saying they're going to make a "professional-quality" product, so I'm holding them to a professional standard.  They can't tell me they didn't ask for it.
[19:53] Judd-MGT> :)
[19:54] CaptJosh> By their standards "professional" means it has all the bells and whistles. You and I know that's not how the real world works, but these guys haven't quite figured that out.
[19:54] Judd-MGT> yep.. and because they haven't figured it out.. BF is calling them to task.. ;)
[19:54] BlueFlames> Well, I'm giving them a lesson.  They can manage their time, or put up with people griping.
[19:55] CaptJosh> Maybe your post will help light a fire under them, or maybe they'll just all say "**** you" and you'll get nothing.
[19:55] BlueFlames> Let 'em say "**** you."  I care about that about as much as they care about releasing a final campaign.
[19:56] CaptJosh> You don't care, do you? Because if they release something in short order, you've won. And if they shut down because of *******s like you, you've been proven right.
[19:58] BlueFlames> I'm not trying to shut anybody down.  I'm trying to bring it to their attention that they're taking too damn long, and there's easy ways to prevent that.
[19:58] CaptJosh> There are better ways to do that then being a damn troll.
[19:59] BlackDove> So good we have YOU to educate us on how things should be done. We'd be lost otherwise.
[20:00] BlueFlames> Hey, when you release something, you're welcome to say, "I told you so."  So far, you've not got anything to show for five years of work, BD.


Yeah. I've got nothing to show for it. Deary me. I'm so embarrassed.

Let me go hide in the corner somewhere.

I love people who think that I'm supposed to justify something that doesn't concern them.

You're not going to be getting the satisfaction of an "I told you so", because I'm not obligated to you in any way.

Go back to waiting and keep quiet. Kids like you make me want to cease any development or association with this community.

 

Offline Goober5000

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Quote
Originally posted by TrashMan
Hm...FOW is mostly done, all it's left to do is FRED several more mission (~15).

But since I'm the only working team member (out of 3 - the other 2 are mostly giving me feedback) and I have MANY other things to work on besides my campaign it's going slowly... :(
Which FOW are you talking about? :confused:

 

Offline CP5670

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I think FS2's open ended story is one of the main reasons that there are so many campaign projects, as everyone has their own idea of how a post-FS2 plot should proceed. The storyline is the starting point and basic framework of any FS2 campaign, so a lot of potential new staff for existing campaigns just decide to start their own projects and do it their own way.

I never joined any campaign projects mainly for this reason. I had a pretty clear idea of how I wanted the storyline to go on, down to a lot of small details, and wanted to be in full control of the missions that I was building simply for fun; if I worked under someone else, there would always be disagreements. The project head cannot give total freedom to the designers or it wouldn't be much of a campaign. I also had my own mission style (as everyone does) that nobody else could quite replicate, so I never considered getting any help with the design of my own campaign either.

By the way, what's the deal with Ambrosia software? I used to play their stuff all the time about 12 years ago. Maelstrom on my mac was SO cool back then. :nod:

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But don't throw this 'unreasonable' claim out. There's nothing reasonable about spending a good 1,2,3 or more years of your life working on something you'll give away for free - it's done purely out of the goodness of our hearts. And for people to ***** about how we're letting them down?


Now this I find very strange. Goodness of our hearts? I always worked on my campaign simply because I overall found it to be a lot of fun, both the mission design part as well as building and playing out the continuation of the FS2 story the way I wanted it. It's silly to think that you're doing the community a service and people should be grateful for it, especially when the community is so small in the first place. If you don't think it's reasonable, then why are you doing it at all? You should make missions if you enjoy doing it and for no other reason than that.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2005, 09:02:38 pm by 296 »

 

Offline karajorma

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Quote
Originally posted by nuclear1
The big thing is that lots of people want to see their ideas and stories put into FS2, and joining a big campaign just simply won't allow it to happen.


Depends on the campaign to be honest. There are a few places in MG where we're all open to suggestions for missions. If I trust a FREDder I'm more than happy to hand out a mission after saying "You've seen how the campaign works. I need a mission to show that side x is gaining the upper hand".

Sure we've got the plotline largely set out but it's not hard to slot in extra missions and tweak the others so that they don't look like filler depending on the campaign.

I doubt many campaigns are so rigidly set in stone that they wouldn't take suggestions from new members of the team.

Quote
Originally posted by nuclear1
I'll give credits to kara for being egged on for finishing SoR as well


Glad to see someone noticed :D
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Offline aldo_14

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Quote
Originally posted by CP5670
Now this I find very strange. Goodness of our hearts? I always worked on my campaign simply because I overall found it to be a lot of fun, both the mission design part as well as building and playing out the continuation of the FS2 story the way I wanted it. It's silly to think that you're doing the community a service and people should be grateful for it, especially when the community is so small in the first place. If you don't think it's reasonable, then why are you doing it at all? You should make missions if you enjoy doing it and for no other reason than that.


Exterior perspective.  I start things out of interest, but usually the bulk of work ends up being done as I don't want to let any of the people either a) waiting or b) working with me down.  That's why it took me so long to formally cancel Reci (even though I'd realised it was going nowhere a long time beforehand).

But ultimately the point is that, what 'we' do is as much for other peoples benefit as our own.  And IMO it's unreasonable to ***** about how long that takes or otherwise, because it's not like we're getting anything tangible in return from the waiting people.

If people are so unhappy waiting 1 year or 2 or whatever on me and the people I'm working with trying to make something that's fun, and that's ****ing good, then I'm not sure why I bother.  There's like some implicit assumption that when a campaign is delayed it's because the staff are ****ing up requirements; that it's better to release something you consider half-arsed and incomplete than have people waiting another 6 months or so.  That, I guess, would be like professional development.

 

Offline Prophet

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Quote
Originally posted by aldo_14
If people are so unhappy waiting 1 year or 2 or whatever on me and the people I'm working with trying to make something that's fun, and that's ****ing good, then I'm not sure why I bother.  There's like some implicit assumption that when a campaign is delayed it's because the staff are ****ing up requirements; that it's better to release something you consider half-arsed and incomplete than have people waiting another 6 months or so.  That, I guess, would be like professional development.

Releasing something that is not complete is not what this is about! That is unreasonable, and not what people want.
It's about keeping the work in reasonable size so that it does not take 5 years to complete it.

And do not go assuming this is somekind of attack against the people who work on these projects. Take a look at my first post on this thread. BlueFlames has presented us some issues that are worth noting. But he has done it with such zeal that some people got offended.

I am sorry I started this thread that has turned in to a discussion about time and money. And that some people find it offensive.
Now, please stop lashing out at each other and take a moment to examine the questions that have been raised here.
I'm not saying anything. I did not say anything then and I'm not saying anything now. -Dukath
I am not breaking radio silence just cos' you lot got spooked by a dead flying ****ing cow. -Sergeant Harry Wells/Dog Soldiers


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Offline aldo_14

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The trust the people making projects to judge what is and what is not 'complete'.  That's all I ask.