Author Topic: A First Person (T-Rated) Shooter for a FS3  (Read 15355 times)

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Offline Sandwich

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A First Person (T-Rated) Shooter for a FS3
 
Quote
Originally posted by TDM/JM:
Been out of the USA and away from the keyboard for over a month. What's happening?

A.

Hey! Glad to see you again, dude(s)!  

Out of the USA, eh? Travel to Israel, by any chance?  

------------------
America, stand assured that Israel truly understands what you are going through.

Know how to use Rhino3D? Want to put your ships into Freespace 2? You've come to the right place!

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"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline mikhael

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A First Person (T-Rated) Shooter for a FS3
 
Quote
Originally posted by TDM/JM:
Bloody heck, people, it's obvious: The Shivans are AI smartweapons ...

I disagree completely. Explaining away Shivans as automotons bent on murder takes them back to being monsters under the bed. Robots just aren't scary, there's no visceral and hormonal dread. This idea just makes them cartoons.


------------------
--Mik
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ruhkferret on ICQ/AIM

"Your guy was a little SQUARE! You had to use your IMAGINATION! There were no multiple levels or screens. There was just one screen forever and you could never win the game. It just kept getting harder and faster until you died. JUST LIKE LIFE." --Ernie Cline
[I am not really here. This post is entirely a figment of your imagination.]

 

Offline Nico

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Me too, and this point has been debated many times. Sorry, but I won't again.
SCREW CANON!

 

Offline TDM/JM

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OK, we can disagree. But an AI smartweapon is not necessarily mechanical or solid-state. Here, we're talking about an engineered biological system, indistinguishable in many ways from an evolved one, except for certain built-in features, and the programming, of course.

No, not Israel. Singapore & Japan.

A.

 

Offline TDM/JM

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One more thought -- such engineered biological systems may not even know about their own origins or nature. Convincing cultural and historical contexts could be created for them. Greg Bear wrote about this in a novel called ANVIL OF STARS. There are other examples, too.

*We* could be such a species.

A.

 

Offline mikhael

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Quote
From TDM/JM:
OK, we can disagree. But an AI smartweapon is not necessarily mechanical or solid-state. Here, we're talking about an engineered biological system, indistinguishable in many ways from an evolved one, except for certain built-in features, and the programming, of course.

One more thought -- such engineered biological systems may not even know about their own origins or nature. Convincing cultural and historical contexts could be created for them. Greg Bear wrote about this in a novel called ANVIL OF STARS. There are other examples, too.
*We* could be such a species.

We could, but that's not relavent.

If the Shivans are weapons, they're boogymen, ghosts under sheets. If they have a convincing artificial background (which would be adding complexity to allow for the idea, failing Occam's Razor), then we are back to my conjecture of a species that believes it is doing the right thing for the right reasons. By making them unaware of their artificial construction and history, you render the artificial nature of that construction of that history irrelevent to the them and us. Revealing this knowledge to the GTVA or the Shivans, just reverts us back to the monster under the bed setup.



------------------
--Mik
http://www.404error.com
ruhkferret on ICQ/AIM

"Your guy was a little SQUARE! You had to use your IMAGINATION! There were no multiple levels or screens. There was just one screen forever and you could never win the game. It just kept getting harder and faster until you died. JUST LIKE LIFE." --Ernie Cline
[I am not really here. This post is entirely a figment of your imagination.]

 

Offline TDM/JM

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Quote
Originally posted by mikhael:
We could, but that's not relavent.

If the Shivans are weapons, they're boogymen, ghosts under sheets. If they have a convincing artificial background (which would be adding complexity to allow for the idea, failing Occam's Razor), then we are back to my conjecture of a species that believes it is doing the right thing for the right reasons. By making them unaware of their artificial construction and history, you render the artificial nature of that construction of that history irrelevent to the them and us. Revealing this knowledge to the GTVA or the Shivans, just reverts us back to the monster under the bed setup.



"Not relevant"? Not quite. The point is that the distinction between artificiality and a natural evolution can be imprecise, at best -- an example is the effect of tools and culture on human cognitive development, both in the physical and intellectual sense. I would argue that the Shivans, by their displayed behavior in FS1 & FS2, would have to be artificial and "programmed" to some degree. And that argues, of course, for an unknown programmer.

You misuse Occam's Razor, which does not argue against complexity, but against recursive devices that "complexify" a solution without the need. In this case there is a very convincing need for contexts such as history and culture.

But I'll grant your critique of the "monster under the bed" agenda. I don't find it so troublesome, however.

A.

 

Offline mikhael

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Quote
Originally posted by TDM/JM:
"Not relevant"? Not quite. The point is that the distinction between artificiality and a natural evolution can be imprecise, at best -- an example is the effect of tools and culture on human cognitive development, both in the physical and intellectual sense. I would argue that the Shivans, by their displayed behavior in FS1 & FS2, would have to be artificial and "programmed" to some degree. And that argues, of course, for an unknown programmer.

You misuse Occam's Razor, which does not argue against complexity, but against recursive devices that "complexify" a solution without the need. In this case there is a very convincing need for contexts such as history and culture.
...
A.

First, to Occam's Razor: The principle of parsimony (also known as Occam's Razor) states, "one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything". Your interpretation is incorrect. Their behavior is explicable without introducing artificial construction or unknown programmers. I see no evidence of either programming, nor artificial behavior. They, in fact, act like more technologically advanced, and angrier, versions of GTVA pilots.

I have very specific reason for disliking, and therefore challenging, the boogeymen theory. Simply put, I have more faith in Volition's ability to create a satisfying enemy. If the Shivans are as one dimensional as the monster under the bed, how can we take them as a credible threat? I for one can't, and my satisfaction with the game would be diminished. If they're such one dimensional beasties, I might as well play Space Invaders, for all the satisfaction I will recieve from defeating them.



------------------
--Mik
http://www.404error.com
ruhkferret on ICQ/AIM

"Your guy was a little SQUARE! You had to use your IMAGINATION! There were no multiple levels or screens. There was just one screen forever and you could never win the game. It just kept getting harder and faster until you died. JUST LIKE LIFE." --Ernie Cline
[I am not really here. This post is entirely a figment of your imagination.]

 

Offline Dark_4ce

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Well... If you think about it, the Shivans "were" programmed by the   boys...  
I have returned... Again...

 

Starwing

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A First Person (T-Rated) Shooter for a FS3
As was Command. And, if you really think about it, Command can be quiet scary  

 

Offline mikhael

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Quote
Originally posted by Starwing:
As was Command. And, if you really think about it, Command can be quiet scary    

Command is only scary when they say things like "This will be a routine patrol. Alpha Wing you'll be flying our newest interceptor, the PaperAirp--er..."


[This message has been edited by mikhael (edited 01-17-2002).]
[I am not really here. This post is entirely a figment of your imagination.]

 

Offline Sandwich

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Y'know, it's probably threads like this that make   hesitant of doing an FS3 - they'd hate to reveal something as simple as the Shivans being a standard antagonist.    

Back to the topic, I tend towards the "saftey valve" analogy - Shivans, whether engineered, modified, created or evolved, are ultimately around to protect the fabric of existance from ruin. We can possibly think of subspace as the bones of reality, and if subspace goes kaput - so does reality.

Shivan travel through subspace is different then ours, and perhaps their way does not damage subspace. But they have a special sensitivity to subspace, and are "attracted" - not in a friendly manner - towards any use of subspace by other races.

They then seek and destroy those subspace-capable races who are, by their very lack of true understanding of subspace, damaging it.

Thus, they fit both the role of "Great Destroyers" and of "Great Preservers".  

------------------
America, stand assured that Israel truly understands what you are going through.

Know how to use Rhino3D? Want to put your ships into Freespace 2? You've come to the right place!

"He who laughs last thinks slowest."
"Just becase you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you."
"To err is human; to really screw up you need a computer."
Creator of the Sandvich Bar, the CapShip Turret Upgrade, the Complete FS2 Ship List and the System Backgrounds List (all available from the site)
SERIOUSLY...! | {The Sandvich Bar} - Rhino-FS2 Tutorial | CapShip Turret Upgrade | The Complete FS2 Ship List | System Background Package

"...The quintessential quality of our age is that of dreams coming true. Just think of it. For centuries we have dreamt of flying; recently we made that come true: we have always hankered for speed; now we have speeds greater than we can stand: we wanted to speak to far parts of the Earth; we can: we wanted to explore the sea bottom; we have: and so  on, and so on: and, too, we wanted the power to smash our enemies utterly; we have it. If we had truly wanted peace, we should have had that as well. But true peace has never been one of the genuine dreams - we have got little further than preaching against war in order to appease our consciences. The truly wishful dreams, the many-minded dreams are now irresistible - they become facts." - 'The Outward Urge' by John Wyndham

"The very essence of tolerance rests on the fact that we have to be intolerant of intolerance. Stretching right back to Kant, through the Frankfurt School and up to today, liberalism means that we can do anything we like as long as we don't hurt others. This means that if we are tolerant of others' intolerance - especially when that intolerance is a call for genocide - then all we are doing is allowing that intolerance to flourish, and allowing the violence that will spring from that intolerance to continue unabated." - Bren Carlill

 

Offline Dark_4ce

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A First Person (T-Rated) Shooter for a FS3
Thus keeping the Circle of Life going... (cue the music from Lion King)  
I have returned... Again...

 

Offline TDM/JM

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Quote
Originally posted by mikhael:
First, to Occam's Razor: The principle of parsimony (also known as Occam's Razor) states, "one should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything".


Uh, then we are in agreement, for this was exactly my point. I think the key didactic in your comment is "beyond what is necessary." It's necessary, but you disagree with that assessment. And often that is the point where the utility of the Razor becomes limited -- an issue that many people fail to recognize.


Quote
Their behavior is explicable without introducing artificial construction or unknown programmers. They, in fact, act like more technologically advanced, and angrier, versions of GTVA pilots.
[/b]

On the contrary. The Shivans make no sense in any other context. You have a vastly technically and experientally superior species, and yet the Pilot takes out hundreds of them in the games. The AI has little initiative or creative intelligence, certainly not enough to convince the player that this is a bonafide species that has evolved in the face of natural selection. They show no evident cultural artifacts beyond their ships, which envince a chaotic and formless aesthetic. Apparently they behave instinctually, which raises the question of how instinctual intelligence can develop advanced industry, information systems, and starflight.

Frankly, there are very few convincing ways you could explain the Shivans without invoking artificiality. (Of course, all of these characteristics are the results of technical limitations within the games, but I guess we're assuming that we are advancing the story line by discussing ways to take advantage of these limitations.)

Ascraeus

 

Offline mikhael

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Quote
Originally posted by TDM/JM:
... You have a vastly technically and experientally superior species, and yet the Pilot takes out hundreds of them in the games. The AI has little initiative or creative intelligence, certainly not enough to convince the player that this is a bonafide species that has evolved in the face of natural selection.
You're confusing the poor programming for literary personification. There are no good combat AIs. Anywhere. The only way to have a good computer pilot is to ditch the artificial part and put in a human pilot. Wingman AI and enemy pilot AI is always inferior to human piloting.

 
Quote
They show no evident cultural artifacts beyond their ships, which envince a chaotic and formless aesthetic. Apparently they behave instinctually, which raises the question of how instinctual intelligence can develop advanced industry, information systems, and starflight.
To the contrary, Shivan ships are not 'chaotic and formless'. They are in fact, very distinctly designed. How else to explain the Sathanas and the Mara? Both of them are designs that are quite distinctly unnatural, but very structured and ordered. This is in direct contradiction of the 'chaotic and formless' arguement. Further, on what basis to you argue for Shivans "Apparently they behave instinctually"? I see no proof of instictual behavior. You give no supporting evidence for this conclusion, and then move on as if it were fait accompli.

 
Quote
Frankly, there are very few convincing ways you could explain the Shivans without invoking artificiality. (Of course, all of these characteristics are the results of technical limitations within the games, but I guess we're assuming that we are advancing the story line by discussing ways to take advantage of these limitations.)

Ascraeus

If you merely define Shivans by the inherent limitation of the media through which they are presented to us, then yes, they are absolutely artificial.   are the hidden programmers and they have sent them to murder the GTVA for the sake of a story. Good bye central conflict, for the player can win, anytime, by killing all the Shivans with his might ON/OFF button.

I would rather assume that the media is imperfect and unable to represent the Shivans properly (as witnessed by the abhorrent combat AI that plagues all space combat games and sims). I'll take the scary, powerful, intelligent, naturally evolved and fully civilized Shivans over the pathetic, weak, unintelligent, constructed and badly simulated video game Shivans for which you argue.

------------------
--Mik
http://www.404error.com
ruhkferret on ICQ/AIM

"Your guy was a little SQUARE! You had to use your IMAGINATION! There were no multiple levels or screens. There was just one screen forever and you could never win the game. It just kept getting harder and faster until you died. JUST LIKE LIFE." --Ernie Cline
[I am not really here. This post is entirely a figment of your imagination.]

 

Offline Zeronet

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Shivans ships are designed very orderly, they strike fear into the enemy and breed terror because 90% of beams on most ships are located at the front. I see no Chaos in a Mara, i see a refined design, one that maximise's fear and terror.


Also about nanobots, yet usually to achieve an effect there are millions of them. Nanobots can literally change substances by rearranging stuff  .
Got Ether?

 

Offline TDM/JM

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I fear this has become one of those arguments where folks began to talk past each other. To whit:

"You're confusing the poor programming for literary personification."

No, I'm using literary personification to augment the aesthetic value of programming, poor or otherwise. That's one of the reasons why game creation is an art.

"To the contrary, Shivan ships are not 'chaotic and formless'. They are in fact, very distinctly designed. How else to explain the Sathanas and the Mara? Both of them are
designs that are quite distinctly unnatural, but very structured and ordered."

It's in the eye of the beholder, I'm afraid. There's no reason I can see why a Mara should look like a frightening beetle complete with (useless)legs, or a Sathanas like tarantula ready to strike. These earthly denizens would not exist in the Shivan milieu, nor would the Shivans recognize their shock value to humans (to say nothing of their irrelevance to Vasudan allies). Shivan vessels appear to be organic in character, "grown" and not mechanically engineered. As such, they appear quite "natural". Maras and Sathanas aside, they are one of the few artifacts that can give clues to Shivan character.

"I see no proof of instictual behavior. You give no supporting evidence for this conclusion, and then move on as if it were fait accompli."

I defer to the V-people, who have implied as such.

"I'll take the scary, powerful, intelligent, naturally evolved and fully civilized Shivans over the pathetic, weak, unintelligent, constructed and badly simulated          video game Shivans for which you argue."

Well, of course you've characterized my Shivans for me, in a way that best suits your argument. It's a tactic, not a conclusion. And it's really not relevant. Personally -- again, *personally* -- I think the idea of a mysterious element capable of constructing and manipulating biological species to function as "defense grids", without their knowledge, is a horrifying and fascinating concept. Conceiving the Shivans in the same way as the aliens were conceived in "Independence Day" -- destruction according to some "territorial imperative", be it resources or ritual preference -- lacks originality; frankly it's been done to death.

But again, it's an eye-of-the-beholder thing, and reason wouldn't necessarily apply here. Those who argue that the Shivans should remain mysterious do have a point.

A.

[This message has been edited by TDM/JM (edited 01-18-2002).]

 

Offline mikhael

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Quote
Originally posted by TDM/JM:
No, I'm using literary personification to augment the aesthetic value of programming, poor or otherwise. That's one of the reasons why game creation is an art.
No, you're explaining away a well known fact: Computers can't simulate living things with current technology. Wingman/enemy AI is inferior to the player's own organic reactions. This isn't part of the art of game design, its a limiting factor.

 
Quote

It's in the eye of the beholder, I'm afraid. There's no reason I can see why a Mara should look like a frightening beetle complete with (useless)legs, or a Sathanas like tarantula ready to strike. These earthly denizens would not exist in the Shivan milieu, nor would the Shivans recognize their shock value to humans (to say nothing of their irrelevance to Vasudan allies). Shivan vessels appear to be organic in character, "grown" and not mechanically engineered. As such, they appear quite "natural". Maras and Sathanas aside, they are one of the few artifacts that can give clues to Shivan character.
Shivan vessels, as already discussed in this thread, are not grown, and show no evidence of being so. They are in fact, on close inspection distinctly artificial. I refer you to the texture files for FS1 and FS2. Further, by assuming that there are no arthropoda in a natural Shivan environment, you set up a circular arguement. To whit, they are not natural, so they have no natural environment, so they don't have bugs, so their ship designs are artificial, so they must be artificial. I will counter with my own viewpoint: they are arboreal arthopods from a low gravity world. Such a world would have other arthropods, such as beetle- and spider-like organisms.

 
Quote

"I see no proof of instictual behavior. You give no supporting evidence for this conclusion, and then move on as if it were fait accompli."
I defer to the V-people, who have implied as such.
[/b]
You've got me there. I've not seen   say anything for or against 'instinctual behavior' for the Shivans. As I don't see any
  people weighing in, I'm going to have to stick with my own assesment. Shivan behavior is intelligent. It is too complex and planned to be 'instinctual.

 
Quote

Well, of course you've characterized my Shivans for me, in a way that best suits your argument. It's a tactic, not a conclusion. And it's really not relevant. Personally -- again, *personally* -- I think the idea of a mysterious element capable of constructing and manipulating biological species to function as "defense grids", without their knowledge, is a horrifying and fascinating concept.
Last I checked, dog breeding is not a "horrifying and fascinating concept". Its old hat. Humans have been doing this to dogs without their knowledge or permission for millenia.

 
Quote

Conceiving the Shivans in the same way as the aliens were conceived in "Independence Day" -- destruction according to some "territorial imperative", be it resources or ritual preference -- lacks originality; frankly it's been done to death.
Did I miss the scene in Independence Day where Will Smith sat down and asked the invading aliens about their motivations? Is that some DVD extra? I don't think the Shivans are interested in territory (they don't seem to conquer, only secure nodes, preventing transit), resources (again, they leave resources behind) and we don't know anything about them socially to even consider ritual. In short, I dont' see your link between the characterization of Shivans and the aliens in ID4. My take on Shivan motivation has a very simple parallel in modern medicine. When you cut out a tumor, you take some healthy tissue with it to insure that no unhealthy cells remain.

As for the question of originality: if its scifi, its been done to death. We've had five limbed aliens, we've had insect like ships, we've had unknown aliens interceding in an ongoing war between species, we've had ancient civilizations destroyed by an unknown enemy destined to come back... so where was the originality again? Every story, plot thread, twist, MacGuffin and red herring has already been used at least once somewhere. Let us not talk of originality, please.

Shivans can remain mysterious and deadly, but they don't have to be unbelieveable.


------------------
--Mik
http://www.404error.com
ruhkferret on ICQ/AIM

"Your guy was a little SQUARE! You had to use your IMAGINATION! There were no multiple levels or screens. There was just one screen forever and you could never win the game. It just kept getting harder and faster until you died. JUST LIKE LIFE." --Ernie Cline
[I am not really here. This post is entirely a figment of your imagination.]

 

Offline Rampage

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I have another question:  Do Shivans breathe oxygen?

Answer #1:  Yes they do because some of their captured ships have the capability to house Terran and Vasudan pilots. (I.E.  The Dragon fighter captured in Freespace and you flying it some hours later.  The techies couldn't have installed a life-support system in several hours.)

Answer #2:  No they don't because they live in a zero-gravity atmosphere (a.k.a. space) and their is no known breathable gas in space. (I don't think they breathe hydrogen.)  And if they DO breathe, then they MUST have been created (or evolved) on a planet with gravity.  (Maybe their bodysuits had lifesupport.)

 

Offline Zeronet

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Who said they lived in space(outside the hull)?!
Got Ether?