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Supreme Cmdr

A Blast From The Past

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I think he was saying you made two threads for the same topic.

Foxtrot, SC is allowed to do that....he is allow to because ehhh, basically he pays for us to post here. :grins:

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Guest Fox__Trot

Well yes

That and he makes the rules doesnt he?

Oh well time to change to a work computer see you later

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oh, this ad. I remember it. was in the PCPlayer back then and I especially liked/like it, because it got censored

it was truely impressing for me to read the backtext on the package in a store. sadly I had not enough free time then, and I knew at the instance that this would be dearly needed for this game.

can you imagine? I stopped playing X2 for BCMG last week! it is truely the game I ever dreamt of back then when playing ELITE on my ole ATARI ST in 1987. just playing a few days now and got the hang of it earlier than expected. ok, I am no newbie in simgames but you rarely put your hands on something as complex as this one.

pretty sure I will play UC, too. after BCMG (perhaps Derek remembers my post on the Avault forum, that I want to go thru BCM first before advancing to UC. I kept my promise and I'm here now ).

strangely I still underestimate this simulation. I missed a display of the load of mining-drones and thought this would have been nice to have been implemented. the joke is: I found out shortly afterwards that there are 2 of it. LOL

carry on, SC....

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quote:


Originally posted by Capt. Anarchist:

(perhaps Derek remembers my post on the Avault forum, that I want to go thru BCM first before advancing to UC. I kept my promise and I'm here now ).


Yeah I remember. Welcome, we're glad to have you around!

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I'd been obsessed by First Encounters (Elite III), when I bought a game mag because it had a CD with free old games (I had a 486). Bundled with these oldies was the free release of BC3K version 1. At first I thought it the next logical step after Elite; I didn't realise it was another animal entirely. I kept that CD for 3 months till I had the scratch and the skill to upgrade that old clunker to a Pentium system. I had no clue what I was doing (in game) or what I was getting myself into. It wasn't long before I scored a copy of version 2 at EB, scrounged up a VooDoo 2 card, downloaded patches and RC's, and was enjoying the early days of ground ops.

I've sent a lot of marines to their deaths since.

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Guest Shingen

quote:

Originally posted by Psirat:

I'd been obsessed by First Encounters (Elite III),

I used to live a breath FFE for the longest time. Then after JJFFE came out, I was hooked again.

Sorry Derek, but FFE is my most favorite Space-sim ever. It's the only game out there that you can land on a planet, look up at the sky and think to yourself; " I could go to that star if I wanted to..there might even be people there."

It never had the complexity of BC, but it just had the feeling of freedom. That I could go anywhere I wanted to any star in the galaxy and beyond.

It also had the best flight model ina space-sim (after JJ fixed the code). Sling-shoting around a star just for the hell-of-it, scooping fuel from a gas giant, being able to fly from Mercury all the way to Pluto without hyperdrive or jumpgates or cutscenes... that game was awesome.

It they could ever get it to run at 640X480, or 800X600, that game would still contend with any space sim made today.

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quote:


Originally posted by Shingen:

Sorry Derek, but FFE is my most favorite Space-sim ever.


heh, makes no difference to me either way. Elite was good for its time.

quote:


It's the only game out there that you can land on a planet, look up at the sky and think to yourself; " I could go to that star if I wanted to..there might even be people there."


Thats because the altitudes are not even close to being realistic and two, what you are actually seeing is an approximation. So, no, you really can't actually do that (point to a star and say, hey, I can go there). You have no idea what the code is doing underneath; and guess what? I do.

In all BC games, the altitudes and scales are realistic and not boxed. For that reason, you could stand on Earth and can't even see the starstation in orbit because (a) it is accurately culled by the graphics engine since it is too far (B) even if you could see it, it won't be more than a spec. The same reason you can't stand in New Zealand and see the ISS space around Earth even if it is passing ahead.

And in BC games, why not try standing on a planet, then have one of your support crafts enter the planet at your location (use a waypoint) and see how long before it clears the BVR range and allows you to see it with the naked eye.

The only reason the planetary egress in BC games is 20K feet (in UC), is because I didn't want to make ingress/egress a tedious affair. The actually altitude at which EV kicks in, is exactly the same as the real world planet Earth.

Cheating is one thing; feasibility is another.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

(
B)
even if you could see it, it won't be more than a spec. The same reason you can't stand in New Zealand and see the ISS space around Earth even if it is passing ahead.


If you happen to be outdoors tomorrow around 6:55 UTC take a look out almost due south very low on the horizon. The ISS will be a very fast moving ÔÇ£starÔÇØ moving off to the east. No equipment needed to see it though binoculars do help.

any ways got around to playing bc3k in '98 first impression was

[ 08-21-2004, 11:41 AM: Message edited by: jamotto ]

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Guest Shingen

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

Thats because the altitudes are not even close to being realistic and two, what you are actually seeing is an approximation. So, no, you really can't actually do that (point to a star and say, hey, I can go there). You have no idea what the code is doing underneath; and guess what? I do.

No no..I meant that the game gave you (me at least) that feeling....not that you could actually pick a star and fly there.

The game had something like 100 million different star systems, from bianary systems, white dwarf stars, red giants, ect. Planet distances were in AUs and orbits around the star, gravitational effect, velocity and decelleration all had to be taken into account when flying there after hyperjump.

Sure, there were only about 12 actual planets in the game, about 6 actual stars (everything was randomly generated when you installed the game based on these models), but it just gave ( to me at least) that feeling of being out in the vast universe millions of light years from home.

quote:

In all BC games, the altitudes and scales are realistic and not
boxed
. For that reason, you could stand on Earth and can't even see the starstation in orbit because (a) it is accurately culled by the graphics engine since it is too far (
B)
even if you could see it, it won't be more than a spec. The same reason you can't stand in New Zealand and see the ISS space around Earth even if it is passing ahead.

FEE didn't have the scale of BCM, but it did have scale, You couldn't stand on the surface of Earth and see a space station, but you could see the moon.

quote:

And in BC games, why not try standing on a planet, then have one of your support crafts enter the planet at your location (use a waypoint) and see how long before it clears the BVR range and allows you to see it with the naked eye.

Yeah..there are things in BC that make all other space-sims look like windoze solitare. Stand outside your BC on some moon, and getting the profile of the ship against the sunrise. Windsurfing on the back of a shuttle or fighter. Tons of stuff, but FFE was still on hellava game none-the-less.

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quote:


Originally posted by jamotto:

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

(
B)
even if you could see it, it won't be more than a spec. The same reason you can't stand in New Zealand and see the ISS space around Earth even if it is passing ahead.


If you happen to be outdoors tomorrow around 6:55 UTC take a look out almost due south very low on the horizon. The ISS will be a very fast moving ÔÇ£starÔÇØ moving off to the east. No equipment needed to see it though binoculars do help.


Yes. Once again, you miss the point.

You can't see ANY discernable features of the ISS. None. Which is why, it looks like a star. It is BVR.

Now go back and read what I wrote.

quote:


Originally posted by Shingen:

FEE didn't have the scale of BCM, but it did have scale, You couldn't stand on the surface of Earth and see a space station, but you could see the moon.


And thats because it was rendered where it was supposed to be (an illusion), not its actual position in the game world. To have done that, they'd have had to render it at actual scale - which would not only blow the graphics engine to kingdom come, but it would also reveal the cheating thats going on in the scaling matrix.

The reason you don't stand on Earth and see the moon in a BC game, is because for performance reasons, the space region is rendered in the background - but it being rendered or you won't be able to switch back/forth from planet to space and vice versa, nor will anything in the space region be updated (e.g. NPCs attacking a station in space while you're pissing around on the planet below).

quote:


but FFE was still on hellava game none-the-less.

For its time, yeah. No question about that.

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Hmmm... Hey SC, I wonder if there's a way we could reduplicate true scale and still be able to TRICK the graphics engine so we don't overload it.

*Postulates.*

Perhaps if we make a master scale that of a a planets and moons... and base things off of their ranges. For instance, if you get to within' say orbital range of a planet... I'll go at 30,000 Km, or 26,000 miles, you can scan the surface, but nothing is rendered unless you focus on it using the TacOps computer...

I would say, that even with the scaling, you achieve keeping overload on the processing power to a minimum by maintaining the 'active zone' AKA wherever the player is focused at the time. EI, in space, on surface of planet in X sector. Because of the scale of distances involved between celestial bodies... you can design a sector system that can punch out anything not close enough to be seen.

Say for instance, you have the solar system. Get yourself a grid, and scale the ranges of planets. Then you scale the distances a sector would need before planet X becomes a pointless dot in the background. Do this for the LARGEST PLANET combined with the furthest moon. Then increase the size a little for leeway, and call it a sector. Anywhere withing this sector range related direcctly to the ship you're in would be the active zone. AKA, not the planet or a fixed place of space. But a maximum detectable range from a ship which the computer can process data about such things as the AI of opponents in relation to you, or other 'nearby' objects. I would calls this Primary Active. Anything in this range is rendered with detail according to range and as an AI algorythm of some kind going. Anything outside this range goes into secondary active, IE, depending on the situation, certain rules can be established that alter the conditions of objects for a few ajoining sectors. (Example: Primary Active range, you get full AI on a transport and a raider, and you can watch them go into combat, in secondary, this would be reduced to AI and Transport seen, periodic updates of both status, and then lack of one to be seen.) Outside of this, we'd have Passive Zones, IE, basic information about major objects, such as stations, planets, moons. It wouldn't update on minor ship activities.

Ah hell, you've got my brain working now. I'll think about this while I'm at work, write up a report for you, and PM it to you. but I'll engineer a system for you that can employ true scale, and not blow the processors to hell in a handbasket!

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Guest Shingen

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

quote:

Originally posted by Shingen:

FEE didn't have the scale of BCM, but it did have scale, You couldn't stand on the surface of Earth and see a space station, but you could see the moon.

And thats because it was rendered where it was supposed to be (an illusion), not its actual position in the game world.


I think you need to fire up FFE again, 'cause if you start on Earth, target the moon, and fly there, the moon isn't "rendered"..it's there, in the game world (watch the distance meter). There is no "transition" in FFE. You fly outside the planet (Earth) and continue towards the moon without any sort of game "transition".

The moon is positioned in the game world where you see it..."rendered" or not...it's there where the game says it is and it's not a game "illusion". It orbits the Earth, has a gravational pull, and a solid mass that can be landed upon, without any sort of "game transition".

FYI

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Rendered means drawn by the graphics engine. As SC puts it. If you draw the moon with full out polygons and render it as an object existing within an area in the same way you would render a ship, but TO SCALE... the result would reduce your graphics card to a slag heap... We're not talking thousands of polygons, but BILLIONS. Then make earth the SAME WAY. That's easy to do as long as you keep the planet's ground terrain and other object datas on the surface, in a seperate 'sector'... but if they were to exist At the same level as say the battlecruiser Mk II next to you in a fight... You smell something? OH MY GAWD THE GRAPHICS CARD JUST FRIED!

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Guest Shingen

I know what rendered means..I don't have "stupid" written on my forehead.

My point was, in FFE, you can SEE the moon on the surface of the Earth. Target it, and FLY to it, all WITHOUT a game transition, cutscene, or loading sequence.

Depending on your velocity and patience, it should take about 3 to 4 days (real time) if you don't use time acceleration.

[ 08-23-2004, 12:30 AM: Message edited by: Shingen ]

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Shingen, either read what I wrote again, send email to Dave Braben, or ask someone who has seen the FFE code; I can't be bothered to argue about something I know for a fact.

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Wow! I didn't realize the series had such a huge community! Makes me wish I'd registered earlier.

I think the main reason I got BC3000AD all those years ago was purely I liked previous Gametek's games. Speaking of which I just dug it out the box

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I first bought BC3000AD when egghead software was still in business in IL. I was about 10 years old then. Here i am now still playing Universal Combat at 21. Wow.

I do say, while i hated the fact the original silver box BC3000ad was so buggy, If it werent for that i would have never learned so much about computers at such a young age. I spent a looong time trying to get that game to work for more than a few hours at a time.

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I got BC3K ver 2.0 in the jewel case for $5. The description on the back completely sucked me in. This is the kind of game I had been dreaming about ever since the 8-bit console days. I was awestruck and thouroughly intimidated at the same time. I actually only scratched the surface of the game and other forces in my life prevented me from truly mastering it. I sold the computer that I ran it on to a friend and his kids. I also included the game just in case I could get someone started young.

It wasn't until a couple of years ago that I saw BCMG at the store I worked at and decided to find it online. I did and bought it. Then, two weeks later I saw Universal Combat come in my department freight and bought it on the spot. Bottom line is I am not going anywhere for as long as I breathe and can work a keyboard, joystick, and mouse.

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Well, I've been lurking again, but decided to post since I stumbled across my silver box while gathering up my old stuff for archiving. (Apple IIgs, II, Atari ST, and Atari 800. I decided that I needed/should back up the old disks before they fall prey to bitrot. Still need to build/buy an SIO2PC cable for the 800 though... grrr... Also ran across my old Star Raiders cart, which actually was my 2nd space sim as I played Space battle on the Intellivision first then SR then elite then Sundog then...)

Anyways, I must've picked up BC3K original at Electronics Boutique in the Fall of 1996(just graduated, had my first "real" job and MONEY } . I also picked up a copy of Interplay's(IIRC) rerelease and acquired a copy on CD from one of my game mag subs. I remember the old original site and board(actually the current site or at least the main page looks about the same as I recalled from all those years gone by.) I remember the trials and tribulations of the mad patching by Derek and the manual updates(exciting days in the BC world), then I switched jobs again and sort of drifted away for a while.

Now, then in the late winter of this year I stumbled across all of this again, and eneded up acquiring BCMG, X2, and Freelancer(blech shooter, and I would've expected better considering the developer...) I've been playing BCMG & X2(Combat's a little better now as I haven't had any suicidal enemies yet, and I enjoy the more detailed trading aspects of the game, but not the little boxed "systems" and planets that just serve as background(more or less))

Right now, I am contemplating springing for a Radeon 9250 and attempting UCG but am leery of performance on my currently(and likely to be for a while) lowly machine.

It's good to see that Derek persevered throughout the long mess of the late 90's and found enough success to keep BC going, which I hope continues for the indefinite future. (But with the XBOX360 stuff it sounds like Derek may be taking a short(hopefully) breather from heavy BC stuff... undoubtedly a well deserved break before he burns out on it all...)

(Saw the old link to the old gamesdomain review and had forgotten that Yahoo had acquired them and/or the domain and ruined it, so I went and looked it up on archive.org. Man, gamesdomain WAS my favorite site for reviews, esp. since they REALY did cover my favorite genre: RPGs *ducks*, as well as strategy and spacesims(equally matched for 2nd place, although the relative dearth of spacesims pretty much makes it a moot point...))

Oh well having fun with BCMG and X2 for now...

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Greetings to all BCM fans and esspecially Mr. Smart I've been one of those silent members watching BC3k all the way, and since i'm poor I haven't been able to get all of the series in time to keep up with the times...

But I finnaly got enough resources to grab BCM:G hopefully before the community falls apart completely... or at least that's what it feels like... I hope that when I get BCM up and running there will be some shred of hope that I would be able to play BCM online... This game is waaay to good to just let it sit and do nothing.. even though the game is no longer supported.... it still has a fan base!

Also If anyone can point me to a few guys that still play BCM:G online I'd be tickled to death! I'm one of those ppl who believe that origional ideas are often the best

Oh... I got my copy of BCM off of Ebay...the box and all the contents are original... the guy bought it but it wasn't what he expected and just sold it back on Ebay... I'm hopeing that that won't be a problem.. its the only way I could afford it... I'm a starving student....

To Derek Smart and all BCM Fans,

Never say Die!

Pat

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