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Dev Blog A Mad Week, Deadline coping Plans.

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Geti, Jul 11, 2012.

  1. Geti, what about archer combat? As much as I know archers and knights still have the same base speed. I think archers shouldn't hurt 1.0 damage when they are on air/ladders. Maybe it would balance a bit.
    + mobility
    - damage
     
  2. Reactorcore

    Reactorcore Shark Slayer

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    As good as it sounds on paper, I'm a bit sceptical about this.


    From how I understand it, you're basically focusing on building a platform that uses an object driven system to fuel the game. What I mean by that is, using the limits of the engine, you create a world type with its own rules, populate it with objects that represent various items and characters, and finally wrapping it all up with a game logic script as well as a custom menu.


    Its a sound concept, however the things you can experiment and innovate will be limited to the engine, although you can still make a lot of interesting stuff if its anything like what I speculated above. If you'll try adding new mechanics to the engine (new systems, like adding zombies, physics and water to KAG) you risk having to reiterate the engine itself to keep it robust, which is very important for modders. If your engine is unreliable, not many modders are going to stay long with it.


    Also, with such a short schedule for games, you won't have enough time for robust game design, especially when the type of games you'll most likely be building are entities-interacting-with-a-world-in-realtime, which are some of the most demanding types of games to properly set up. This short time may very well result in most of your projects being shallow throwaway experiments, that may have fun idea within them, but none will have a lasting appeal. Like fireworks. Nothing wrong with that, but its still going to be something less significant and polished than more serious titles out there, meaning less people may buy your wacky experiments and save their money for more polished games because those are more well rounded and thus more exciting.


    Modders may be able to pickup these experiments and expand them further, but since these projects are built within a month or so, a time that is not enough to lay down a robust foundation(standards for world rules, entity basics), it might be far more suitable to start from scratch, which is a lot of work. Enough work to make people think twice before starting and most likely considering a way to gain something back from their work if they decide to release it into the public, which is ultimately the whole point.


    Also, unless that engine is going to get new features with new projects (which, as I said above, can destabilize it for the need of reiteration), modders that have one game, may even become a direct competition against your own official releases by making new games that are better in everyway, causing users to play modder made games than the ones you will produce, even if they are free. The modders having more time one their hands to make better games overall and be a big threat if the modding system is infact that open as I speculate it is. Unless the modding tools are not that robust to create a whole new game from scratch or there are some hardcoded restrictions, then this will not be the case, however, then the modding possibilities are very limited in the end, which isn't good either if all you can do is mod on top of a shallow base.


    Besides all that, a hat store wouldn't work in this setting at all, as its only suitable for serious projects that are built to last.


    All in all, this kind of strategy is ok if your goal is to generate ideas and concepts without commiting to them, but its certainly not going to produce quality products or make anything big, which means not as many people will be too interested in the projects as they are with KAG because they will know not to expect anything more than what they will get, even if they show potential for something bigger (which KAG had and still has to some extent, which is one of the largest reasons for why its so actively followed.).


    These projects may help you figure out a bigger game you may want to develop in the future or atleast give other devs some ideas to think on too. Very curious to see how will turn out, but thats what I think of this now.
     
  3. FlameHaze3

    FlameHaze3 Shark Slayer

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    Well they have a contract with "sombody", assuming the deadline is so they can make more money off of products and such, it could mean they are being semi/fully absorbed into a larger group, in which using there ideas on a larger scale could push out more awsome games like KAG much sooner than just the few of them are.
    We will learn more about there situation and how things will plan out once the deadline hits, because i assume THEN we will know just whats going on behind the scene.
    ;)
     
  4. Templar_Fug

    Templar_Fug Catapult Fodder

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    Im really looking forward to the Overworld update. I hope it is for single player as well as multiplayer so when i dont have interweb connection or just dont want to be with people! :D Cant wait for all the other stuff to!!!
     
  5. GloriousToast

    GloriousToast Bison Rider Donator

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    overworld does not exist anymore. the idea was not viable for the time frame
     
  6. HERaLD

    HERaLD Shark Slayer

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    Instead we have War Mode being made, which seems to be the core gameplay of Overworld adapted to fit with regular KAG more.
     
  7. Geti

    Geti Please avoid PMing me (poke a mod instead) THD Team Administrator Global Moderator

    Messages:
    3,730
    Sorry for going off on a tangent here, but I feel that this needs to be addressed.

    This is a fundamentally flawed assumption that breaks quite a few of your other points.
    I can't really talk about some of the finer points behind the engine, but the main points are:
    - Component Oriented Design
    - Nothing Hardcoded / Handle as little as possible in the engine itself.
    This basically means that the engine just handles allocating objects, rendering graphics, playing sounds, doing physics updates, performance intensive AI tasks, and networking. Literally everything else is built from assets, from menus to end of world bosses.

    Because of the assumption made above, this is false. Adding water as it stands in KAG, for example, would involve making an object comprised of a world bisection collider and 2 polygon renderers (for the front and back layers of the water), adding the code to make it move upwards and downwards, and making it send specific messages to anything it overlaps. Adding water behaviour to objects would involve attaching a waterUpdate script to them, which would respond whichever way to water.
    Entities without those scripts would ignore the water - however it would actually be possible for the water to try to attach the script to those objects itself if they didn't have a specific property set. In effect this means that adding something is as complex as its interactions with other things are - if it mostly just walks around with movements controlled by physics, then the main implementation drain will be coding its attacking code - and if you already have some core attacking scripts (like the hardcoded component shared by zombies, zombie knights, skeletons and migrants in KAG), you might simply be able to reuse that code with different properties.

    This seems wrong to me for a number of reasons. Firstly, the entities-interacting-with-a-world-in-realtime archetype isn't the only type of game this engine will be capable of at all - turn based games and entity-entity interactions were never taken off the table as far as I'm aware.
    Secondly, short development time != not a serious game. The idea isn't to shit out millions of wacky experiments, it's just to cut down development time and scale to smaller, fun games. Canabalt, a game that rocked the world and made millions (and helped fuel exploration of one button games, which is great to see considering how shitty phone controls are) took a long time to perfect the design of, but when it came down to implementation, was made in 6 days. Adam Saltsman has said he could make it in 6 hours now given his current framework and knowledge of the game. You don't need time to make fun mechanics, you need time to build gigantic worlds of content. The only games we're banning ourselves from making are giant handcrafted open world type games. Not a big loss in my opinion, considering in those games the mechanics take a back seat anyway, which is no fun for me :)

    This is flat out wrong. If we spend a week designing the world from scratch while prototyping mechanics, we can make sure that the world is cohesive from the get go. In larger systems requiring years to set up, sure, a month would not be enough time to finalise everything, however with a smaller, mechanic driven game, 3 days is enough time, let alone 30.
    Read the note at the end of this post, you're strawmanning pretty hard here.

    I don't mind modders trying to better us. Considering nothing will be hardcoded and the modders will be using the same tools we use to make the games, that sounds like a fun challenge. The modders generally don't actually have more time on their hands unless they're full time game developers, nor do the majority of them have our experience or drive. I'll be very happy if this engine spawns new indies though, that's part of the aim.
    I honestly doubt that a casual modder would be able to release games "better than ours in every way" though.

    Who says a project has to take years to be serious?

    I'd say you're wrong to assert that we wont be able to make quality games from this, but I'll leave it up to us to prove it to you down the line :)


    tl;dr: you might want to ask those things in real-time so you don't end up strawmanning :/
     
  8. KnightGabe13

    KnightGabe13 Arsonist

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    Will we still get the extra classes in war mode? (Barbarian, Thief, etc.) Contrary said no, as the Overworld was cancelled.
     
    Arcite likes this.
  9. HERaLD

    HERaLD Shark Slayer

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    As far as I know, even if we don't get classes, some form of upgrading/progression has been announced for War Mode, although I think it's in the form if workshop upgrades or team buffs.
     
    KnightGabe13 likes this.
  10. Geti

    Geti Please avoid PMing me (poke a mod instead) THD Team Administrator Global Moderator

    Messages:
    3,730
    If we can fit more classes in before the deadline then yes, though we're designing on the assumption that we wont have time for that at the moment.
     
    xChapx likes this.
  11. AnRK

    AnRK Shark Slayer

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    The potential to mod them into the game will be there though won't it? I'm hoping that the sprites that were made for them amongst others that were made for KAG stuff will be publicly available for modding extras in the game.
     
  12. Geti

    Geti Please avoid PMing me (poke a mod instead) THD Team Administrator Global Moderator

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    A change that we made/are in the middle of making today makes that likely if we dont get them done.
     
    FlameHaze3 and MooCowMan like this.
  13. MooCowMan

    MooCowMan Shopkeep Stealer

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    Is it possible that shielding could be made as a toggle function? So instead of holding down RMB, it could be just hit once to toggle on/off?
    (I ask this because I have a one-button mouse, which can do right-mouse functions, but requires to be clicked in a different location, not allowing both LMB and RMB to be used at the same time)
     
  14. FlameHaze3

    FlameHaze3 Shark Slayer

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    Thats a VERY odd mouse, but no i doubt they will have such an option. You should probably just get a normal mouse lol, but i guess we will see what they say if they comment back to you.
     
    Rayne and KnightGabe13 like this.
  15. Reactorcore

    Reactorcore Shark Slayer

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    Okay, I must say my choice of words sucked totally when I said "serious game". Should have said "serious hardcore game" instead. I really need to explain more about the origin of those opinions of mine and clarify what I meant by a serious game. More on that in a second.

    Although the engine is suprisingly more flexible than I thought (the water example was pretty neat), I feel like my examples of new engine systems were bad. What I meant say is this: what if you wanted to extend or modify the existing engine to have new systems that a new game project needs. Unless you're purposefully limiting the areas in which you will innovate and experiment in terms of gameplay, the kind of production strategy you have may easily generate the need for modifying or extending the existing engine. Stuff like fundamentally different systems that the current engine is not capable of creating or would not be optimized enough without modifying it.


    Alright, like I said, when I said "serious game", I meant it serious in the sense of a hardcore game. A game that takes itself seriously to be more than just a one time snack thrills like most casual games are. A game that can last virtually to infinity through its game design, content updates or community mods. A game with high amount of detail and depth. Serious in that way.

    You brought up Canabalt. Thats a flash game turned into a phone game. Much like Angry Birds, this is indeed a viable thing to do with the smart phone market booming and all that, but does that mean you're aiming at making phone games then? I don't think you can have the whole modding thing working on that, can it?

    As for targetting the PC with small standalone games, it won't be easy competing with the countless free flash game portals and the meaty hardcore games that are often the main reason for home PC gaming. However, the modding aspect holds a big benefit though, so maybe I'm wrong about this strategy having a hard time competing with other titles.

    Still, on the topic of casual games like Canabalt. That game and the many other ones that follow a similar simple game design are often fun for 5-30 minutes and then its old at its core. Having played many games over the years on phones, the PC and even some on consoles, the games that ultimately are far more superior and the ones you actually come back to are the serious hardcore games.

    Casual or scripted story games always only have a lasting effect of a single playthrough due to their very nature, with some titles artificially trying to extend its lifetime through lame tactics like unlocks, achievements and other similar shallow systems. But thats not so fun when the game turns into a predictable routine, is it now? Knowing what happens next in a scripted game you already played will never have the same effect of fun as you did on your first playthrough; the game feels dead at that point.

    A well made serious hardcore game can render thousands of casual or scripted games obsolete just like that and beyond. I strongly feel that making small or scripted games is quite futile when all that hard work of many weeks or months of development are reduced to a single-use product that is overpowered by any serious hardcore game.

    Infact, most of the time you can recreate many casual game experiences within the hardcore game themselves, further indicating how vain casual games can just be.


    Never underestimate what people are capable of.

    Especially if you make the modding aspect as good as in that post a long while ago I wrote on these forums detailing all the stuff necessary for the ultimate modding framework for a game/system. If this were the case with CC, I'd be all over it, even if as a hobby.

    You may want to seriously think ahead about people making money from their stuff they make on your engine, because ignoring that aspect can make many modders fall short or beg for donation to continue work that could have been cool as hell. Theres a big potential here for you guys to make your engine be the next big game creation kit, rivaling the likes of Unity, XNA and others in the realms of 2D games, granted you organize it the right way, among many other things.


    What do you mean?
     
  16. FlameHaze3

    FlameHaze3 Shark Slayer

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    Instead of laying on all of your opinions, and making yourself seem like a total bad guy all at once, hammering them with complaints/critisism, go to IRC and try chatting with them, they are on it somtimes, and would probably chat about these things, instead of spamming the threads with your conversation, rather than what we want - updates on how things are going. Thats what he means by "strawmanning", so many things at once makes it seem like everything is/is going badly, when they haven't voiced there opinions, just clarifying.
     
  17. GloriousToast

    GloriousToast Bison Rider Donator

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    not very odd as apple mouse is a one click mouse
     
  18. Geti

    Geti Please avoid PMing me (poke a mod instead) THD Team Administrator Global Moderator

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    Before anything:
    The OSX mouse is generally considered shitty for gaming in this regard :P Currently no, it is not possible, however we're going to allow the option to rebind to the action keys (LMB/RMB) to different areas so you could potentially have a shield button instead. When we do that if it's possible to add a toggle option for actions on/off in options, we might. It's a very niche thing to be spending time on though.

    Correct except for this one part - strawmanning is a specific logical fallacy where you construct an argument based on a modified or otherwise invalid version of the other person's argument, such as the assumption about specific aspects of the engine design.

    I don't mind criticism but a thousand words in response to something I didn't say is kind of futile.

    @RC:
    "Never underestimate what people are capable of." - I'm not, though you seem to be doing this to me/us a little at the moment ;)

    "You may want to seriously think ahead about people making money from their stuff they make on your engine" - I never said we hadn't ;) I'm more excited for what we can do with it, but this is certainly on the table.

    "What I meant say is this: what if you wanted to extend or modify the existing engine to have new systems that a new game project needs?" - then we do that without breaking previous functionality. All of the systems are 100% discrete from one another in terms of engine code -> there's no reason to break old functionality. If we want to change how something works, we can flag functions as obsolete but leave them in, so that when modders revisit that code they're given a friendly message that they might want to update their code to use the newer, flashier, not-obsolete functions, but old mods would still work.

    That's the beauty of having almost everything outside of the actual engine - if someone wants to roll their own editor, they can. If they want to alter the menu, they can make a fork. We're also likely to merge some of the cooler changes into the official "base" code from time to time if this gets big.

    "Casual or Scripted Story Games" - and then the whole post started becoming invalid again, because I said gameplay orientated rather than content orientated and you heard casual or story driven. Story driven games are the epitome of content driven games. That's not to say that they'd be impossible to create with this engine, but they certainly wouldn't be our focus. Casual games are also not our intended pursuit. Cmon, can you see MM working on the next Angry Birds? :)

    Canabalt was used as an example of a terrific (if casual) game that was made in a short amount of time and has achieved critical acclaim.

    You know that game Soldat? Yeah, you do. The reason it has been in development for such a long time is that it was made on little to no tech, with tech changes feeding back into game balance leading to more and more tweaking needed. Talking with Gregor/Shoozza about development at the moment, just about all of the time goes into replacing old code with newer code, or making the GUI or end user experience nicer (for example, he's looking into building an autoupdater for it, to ease the need for constantly checking for updates and manually running installers).
    The reason I'm talking about Soldat is that I'm fairly sure it would fall into the category of "Serious Hardcore" games in your estimations, however it also fits the bill as the kind of game we'd be looking to develop. It's not content hungry (ten guns, one actor, nades, terrain set pieces and a core set of maps), it is easily iterable in terms of gameplay (especially in an engine where everything can be tweaked in real time - "lets play a round with 1.2x SOCOM damage and 0.8x Luger damage and see if that's better, guys!") and it has deep, endlessly combinable outcomes from just a few simple actor driven movements. Michal and I estimate with the current tech we could do a port of soldat in 2-3 weeks, which leaves a week of wiggle-room for unexpected bugs or further polish if we get there without a hitch. Once its stable we'll very likely have a talk to gregor about doing that, as he's wanted to open source the game for years. That's getting off the topic though.

    We want to create deep, extendable multiplayer games. Competitive shooters. Cooperative survival simulations. Role playing games with a proper world editing kit behind them for players to create their own story from (and a 16 hour polished demo world - likely a 2 month rather than 1 month project). And yes, very likely some new foray into the wacky world of KAG.

    It's not about one button games (but hey, if we get a fun idea for a week-long project for a free game, why not?) or little stories or casual crap. It's just about fast turn around, gameplay focused games rather than content focused games, and freedom to explore whatever we want. There's nothing stopping us coming back and giving a game more love down the line, but having it open to the community also means that if people love a game and we're off doing something else, they can do what they like with it.

    And if it makes you breathe easier, if the one month turnover is too short, there's noone but us to hold us to it, so we can extend it anyway :)
     
  19. Reactorcore

    Reactorcore Shark Slayer

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    @FlameHaze3:I see what you mean, but please do remember that both Geti and I are on the opposite sides of the globe. I'm also very busy and forum posts or emails are much more thorough and flexible for these types of discussions.


    Ah now I see.

    Although Canabalt and multiplayer games are way on different levels of complexity, and the reason for Canabalts success was being a right type of a game on the right type of a place and time, where as a multiplayer is an entirely different beast, but your plan does sound very good actually now that I know properly what you're up to. It ain't perfect, but I'm excited to see what you guys will come up with.

    The final concern I would have is with the game design of these projects, especially with such hasty schedule and from what I've seen done in KAG, in terms of design choices made, which some of them were as bad as making the game unplayable or stupid. Design is the most single important thing that everything else will depend on and its not something that can be rushed. That opinion comes from lots of experience.

    But I'm still giving you the benefit of doubt that you can pull of good design in such short time, considering the knowledge accumulated from past work, although my personal experience says the opposite. Well see.
     
  20. AnRK

    AnRK Shark Slayer

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    Isn't that the reason for them constantly updating the current engine to be broader and more flexible though, through all the time spent on the engine they'll know it like the back of their hand and how to do what they wanna do with it, giving them the opportunity to spend much more time on core mechanics and content then desperately trying to fix problems. If they continue to develop with the engine for different games they'll be able to hunt bugs more easily and they'll iron out core problems with the engine itself that make development more difficult over time won't they.

    That's a fairly ill-informed opinion coming from someone that knows next to nothing about programming or games development, but it seems that's the ideal geti/MM/etc are pushing for.