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Supreme Cmdr

Universal Combat - First Impressions

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quote:


Originally posted by Shriver:

That being said, UC seems to have similar problems with general physics that any first semester physics class would bring into play. I can only imagine programming them into a game would be a rather collosall task at best for a large staff, let alone an independent development company.


Actually, thats not the reason why we don't do it. We don't do it because it won't be fun.

quote:


have seen a number of things that indicate to me that the code could use a bit of tightening. The system seems to be running constantly an FDN rather than as a minimal. That is to say, it is trying to do everything at once, which as any Discrete math student can attest, is not possible or necessary. Principles of uncertainity and issues within the limitation of computability indicate that one is not warranted and another is not possible. Prinicples of uncertainity indicate that within dynamic environments, specific values can not be know simulatneously. The FDN is trying to do just that, when a Minimal would be more than sufficient to do the task.


Stop. Please. Just stop. At 19, the math and physics I've forgotten, you don't have the text book for yet. Guaranteed.

This has nothing to do with an FDN. The game runs in real-time. It NEEDS to run in real-time and it has a multithreaded kernel which partitions and schedules several engines - all at once. It has to because the entire game runs on a very sophisticated neural net kernel which requires as close to real-time processing as possible.

...and if I could look at a game screen and tell that some bits of code needed tightening, I won't be developing games. I'd be travelling with a circus.

quote:


I see a number of people commenting about the size of planets in the game. Size is immaterial to scale. What is more important is minimal unit of measurment. A Planet measured in meters comes back with a very impressive number. Earth has a Mean Radius of 6.37 x 10^6 or 6,370,000 meters from the center to the surface. Jupiter has a radius of 11.2245 earth radii and doesn't seem to impressive. This is a simple matter for a math engine to handle. My T-89 seems to deal with both rather quickly. And how far is too far. From an engineering point of view, there are few instance where it is necessary to go below a 100th of a Radian. Is it necessary for the math engine to compute below a meter?


Did ANYONE get his point? I must have missed it back at radii.

[ 02-08-2004, 01:57 AM: Message edited by: Supreme Cmdr ]

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quote:

Personally I would expect someone who is supposed to be a Programmer, Physics major or whatever to grasp the depth of this game pretty Quickly.. I am a little Suprised at your comments.

There is no need to get insulting...

I'm 19 years old and I have been attending Embry-Riddle University since I was 17. My specialized field of physics is flight dynamics and unstable airframe designs.

I do enjoy games like Independence war and Terminus and their Newtonian flight models in varying degrees of realisim and I was hoping for something similiar. I was one of the many disappointed in EVE online with the "skunked" models and ignorant ship flight characterisitics. They have Zero understanding of acceleration and gravitational constants in non frictional enviornments.

That being said, UC seems to have similar problems with general physics that any first semester physics class would bring into play. I can only imagine programming them into a game would be a rather collosall task at best for a large staff, let alone an independent development company.

User Interfaces have a huge pyschology behind their developement. High performance Aircraft use simplified displays, controls and instrumentation to prevent pilot overload. There are two forms of UI, Positive and Negative Interfaces. The F-22 Raptor has a positive interface, with much of the Aircraft's "house keeping" in the hands of the Airdata Computer, leaving tactical and fight handling to the pilot. A perfect Example of Negative UI is in the A-6 Intruder. A pilot spent most of the time "Running the pattern" in the cockpit's instrumentation, to the point that I can only wonder how they ever had time to actually make a bomb run.

UC seem's to have a Negative Interface, for reasons that I can not fathom.

Graphically speaking, EVE has it beat hands down. Sorry but that is the case. It is rather difficult to find something that UC is comparable too. But keeping in mind the purported number of algorithms and processes running at any given time, I could state flatly that they are along the same lines as "Tribes". That is with all things considered.

I have seen a number of things that indicate to me that the code could use a bit of tightening. The system seems to be running constantly an FDN rather than as a minimal. That is to say, it is trying to do everything at once, which as any Discrete math student can attest, is not possible or necessary. Principles of uncertainity and issues within the limitation of computability indicate that one is not warranted and another is not possible. Prinicples of uncertainity indicate that within dynamic environments, specific values can not be know simulatneously. The FDN is trying to do just that, when a Minimal would be more than sufficient to do the task.

I see a number of people commenting about the size of planets in the game. Size is immaterial to scale. What is more important is minimal unit of measurment. A Planet measured in meters comes back with a very impressive number. Earth has a Mean Radius of 6.37 x 10^6 or 6,370,000 meters from the center to the surface. Jupiter has a radius of 11.2245 earth radii and doesn't seem to impressive. This is a simple matter for a math engine to handle. My T-89 seems to deal with both rather quickly. And how far is too far. From an engineering point of view, there are few instance where it is necessary to go below a 100th of a Radian. Is it necessary for the math engine to compute below a meter?

Now, that being said... it is just a game. Some games are way overprices for what they charge, others are undervalued. I think I got skinned on Terminus, and my money's worth with I-War. EVE online was a bad Star Trek episode. Afer all that has been said and done. UC is a Twenty Dollar game out of the box.

Ummmm....ok?!?

You are totally ripping the physics and THEN admit that it is "just a game"? Very strange! I do not care if the physics are completely "right" as long as the game is fun, and, for me, it is.

I do not care about the "math" involved, nor the "mean radius" of the Earth, I just wanna see the missile I just fired obliterate the city from Orbit!

Relax, and play the game! You will find that there is so much to do, that you will forget about the physics and math of it and just have FUN!! It is "just a game" afterall!!

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quote:


Originally posted by Elric_Sloan:

BTW, Derek, shouldnt you be in bed? We need that patch and tutorials tomorrow! Need ya well rested!!


*sigh*

I know. Actually I released the patch to the 3000AD testers several hours ago, with a view to releasing it on Monday. I am trying to reproduce a problem with upgradeds and saved games. If I can reproduce and fix that one, it should be good to go on Monday night.

Tutorials should be finished by tomorrow afternoon I think.

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Guest Shriver

[]Stop. Please. Just stop. At 19, the math and physics I've forgotten, you don't have the text book for yet. Guaranteed.

Wanna Bet. People often make the mistake of dismissing me because of my age, Then I ask, "How many times has your name appeared in the American Journal of Mathematics."

I graduate in the Spring...

This has nothing to do with an FDN. The game runs in real-time. It NEEDS to run in real-time and it has a multithreaded kernel which partitions and schedules several engines - all at once. It has to because the entire game runs on a very sophisticated neural net kernel which requires as close to real-time processing as possible.

Actually I think there is a disconnect with "FDN". You might be thinking of "File Distribution Network" and I am thinking more along the "Fully Distinguished Name" and your description seems to bear that out.

A Fully Distinguished Name is a complete description of an objectÔÇÖs context, also called a Distinguished Name, and includes all objects in a root. A Distinguished Name uniquely identifies every object in the tree.

In this case, a FDN is a tree that contains all the algorithms that are part of the overall program, even though they may not necessary be a part of every process. A Minimal is the algorithms necessary to a given process.

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Guest Hellbinder[CE]

quote:

UC seem's to have a Negative Interface, for reasons that I can not fathom.

Graphically speaking, EVE has it beat hands down. Sorry but that is the case. It is rather difficult to find something that UC is comparable too. But keeping in mind the purported number of algorithms and processes running at any given time, I could state flatly that they are along the same lines as "Tribes". That is with all things considered.


Again.. I dont see the menu system as being "negative" at all.

Graphically speaking Eve is not rendering 250 planets in actual Solar systems to SCALE with every other object in the game universe to SCALE all interacting on each other with Dynamic AI in Real time,,,

I just dont see the reason to even be making comparrisons like this. Again.. I point out that someone in your study field should be able to understand the massive differences between this and any other game currently on the market.

What do you think would happen in this game if it had Eve style Graphics and at the same Time Tried to render a Fleet Battle around a Star base in orbit around a planet???

Not even a 9800XT could handle that load.. Nor the CPU for that matter.

Its more of a Simulation style game than an Arcade shooter style game.

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Come on Shriver! Just PLAY the game! That is all there is to it, forget your math and physics for a moment and have fun!

I agree with Hellbinder about the graphics, they are perfect for this massive universe and I am more than happy with them!

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quote:


Originally posted by Shriver:

Wanna Bet. People often make the mistake of dismissing me because of my age, Then I ask, "How many times has your name appeared in the American Journal of Mathematics."


uhm yeah, in fact, I do wanna bet. I probably have more published works (not in the AJM) of practical use than theories. But I digress.

Anyway, as others have said, just play the damn game. If you feel that you can do a better job, as soon as you develop it, send me a copy. But hurry up though, I'm aging quickly (or so my daughter tells me) and I'm probably not gonna wait 15 years for it.

ps: Good luck on the graduation. All you need now is to grow up. And remember, life's too short.

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Shriver,

There's a freeware sim called Orbiter which has accurate physics and interplanetary space travel.

It's great. There's no combat of course and I think if you played it you'd realise why UC doesn't use real physics.. it'd be a bloody nightmare. Just landing on a planet with retro burns and all would take ages to master and would result in more crashes than success.. the whole thing is too much for a combat game.

I can't speak for others, but when I mentioned the size of planets I was speaking about the terrain graphics. Morrowind has hand placed graphics that (to my mind) look beautiful. You are limited, though, to a rather small island. Flight Sim 2004 has the whole planet earth, but uses generic tiles and autogen buildings and trees to cover it. UC has 250 whole planets, so obviously no one is expecting things to be hand placed..

It's the sort of game where you could be wandering around in FPS hankering after a bit more eye candy.. but what if you fly down 40 marines to the planet, 4 shuttles, 8 fighters, 8 ground craft with the cc firing off OTS weapons from above, and the enemy base respond with similar numbers.. suddenly the onscreen poly count is massive! UC is unlike any other space game out there. It gives you choices no other game can give. Hopefully when you play the game more you will see this and enjoy it for what it is. When trying to plan a base attack by bringing in teams of personnel from your ship, placing your assets for attack, the last thing you want to worry about it orbital mechanics and escape velocities!

If you play it for 10 minutes I guess you could think it's a 20 quid game, but take my word for it, it ain't. It's worth a hell of a lot more

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quote:

Originally posted by Banquet:

Shriver,

There's a freeware sim called Orbiter which has accurate physics and interplanetary space travel.

Go here to download Orbiter. Btw, there are a couple of other "physics-based" freebies, like Starshatter, that are combat oriented. Do a search here, at the forum, to find them.

quote:

When trying to plan a base attack by bringing in teams of personnel from your ship, placing your assets for attack, the last thing you want to worry about it orbital mechanics and escape velocities!

Yes. Think of all the AI processing that would require ... all those vehicles trying to take off, land, and orbit using real-world physics. Besides, doesn't the game maintain a running scenario throughout the entire universe? Things you can't see from your position in space continuing to progress and possibly affect the outcome of your own mission? Dynamically?

The physics in this game is pretty much the same as in Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Dune ... on and on and on. Even Kubrick's 2001 ignored physics when it slowed the pace of the movie.

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First Impressions:

Generally good. I like the scale and complexity of what has been done here. I would have preferred an "idiot interface" for C&C, similar to the captain's view in Bridge Commander, leaving the complex flightsim view for when you put your AE in the flight officers' position. I would have also liked a first-person perspective aboard ship, but understand the difficulty in modelling such a thing, given the immense scale of the ships and bases. The graphics are more than adequate for this type of game. I think that most people who complain about them just don't get the scale of what is being accomplished.

That said, I have to wonder if gameplay would be seriously affected if planets were made to be a fraction of the size that they are here, but made more interesting. Or alternatively, more of them. I long for that interstellar-immensity feeling that I got from the old classic, Starflight.

Another semi-disappointment is the set-up of interstellar travel. When flying about, I get the feeling that I'm not so much exploring, as I am wandering around places that are well-trodden, complete with "jump gates" and all. I would prefer a more freeform approach to travel than just going from one jumpgate/wormhole/flux to another. I'm guessing this has to do with removing 'loading areas' or boarders between space regions, but its a price I'd be willing to pay for the extra freedom.

For all these negatives (which I acknowledge are just personal preferences) this is a decidedly unique game, and one which accomplishes what it sets out to admirably, given the limitations of today's hardware. The fp-mode is a huge improvement from BCM, and reason enough to own the title, IMO. I'm impressed by the gameplay and dynamicism of the universe here, and hope to see more games of this genre in the near future.

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quote:


Originally posted by IntgrSpin:

Another semi-disappointment is the set-up of interstellar travel. When flying about, I get the feeling that I'm not so much exploring, as I am wandering around places that are well-trodden, complete with "jump gates" and all. I would prefer a more freeform approach to travel than just going from one jumpgate/wormhole/flux to another. I'm guessing this has to do with removing 'loading areas' or boarders between space regions, but its a price I'd be willing to pay for the extra freedom.


Yeah, I agree - but thats one of the downsides of having a fully fleshed out universe. Sure n00bs can explore, but vets of previous games already know (at least I think they should), know where everything is. At one point I had planned to create a separate galaxy for BCG, annexed to the existing one. In fact, I have a WIP version of it here somewhere. That all got nixed once Dreamcatcher decided to refocus the game - which saw me making things more idiot proof, redesigning and refocuing entire game engines (e.g. the fp mode) just to cope. As a result, a plethora of features (23 in all), such as the new galaxy, persistent server support, the ability to capture starbases, the ability to build your own bases in space/planets, the ability to upgrade your CC etc etc. I could go on, but you folks would just get depressed.

And considering the $20 price point (for which I am currently suing Dreamcatcher for damages), the UC label is as good as dead because even if I did an add-on, it couldn't possibly be priced higher than $19.99. And for the amount of work involved, I have no intentions of doing an add-on.

So, unless something changes, its looking a lot like we'll be seeing another Battlecruiser title in the next couple years.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

That all got nixed once Dreamcatcher decided to refocus the game - which saw me making things more idiot proof, redesigning and refocuing entire game engines (e.g. the fp mode) just to cope. As a result, a plethora of features (23 in all), such as the new galaxy, persistent server support, the ability to capture starbases, the ability to build your own bases in space/planets, the ability to upgrade your CC etc etc. I could go on, but you folks would just get depressed.

Too late!

Man, an add on with all that stuff would be so cool.

I hate DC.

How about a 'mini', downloadable add on with maybe the extra universe and the base building for 15-20 bucks?

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Guest Hellbinder[CE]

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

quote:

Originally posted by IntgrSpin:

Another semi-disappointment is the set-up of interstellar travel. When flying about, I get the feeling that I'm not so much exploring, as I am wandering around places that are well-trodden, complete with "jump gates" and all. I would prefer a more freeform approach to travel than just going from one jumpgate/wormhole/flux to another. I'm guessing this has to do with removing 'loading areas' or boarders between space regions, but its a price I'd be willing to pay for the extra freedom.

Yeah, I agree - but thats one of the downsides of having a fully fleshed out universe. Sure n00bs can explore, but vets of previous games already know (at least I think they should), know where everything is. At one point I had planned to create a separate galaxy for BCG, annexed to the existing one. In fact, I have a WIP version of it here somewhere. That all got nixed once Dreamcatcher decided to refocus the game - which saw me making things more idiot proof, redesigning and refocuing entire game engines (e.g. the fp mode) just to cope. As a result, a plethora of features (23 in all), such as the new galaxy, persistent server support, the ability to capture starbases, the ability to build your own bases in space/planets, the ability to upgrade your CC etc etc. I could go on, but you folks would just get depressed.

And considering the $20 price point (for which I am currently suing Dreamcatcher for damages), the UC label is as good as dead because even if I did an add-on, it couldn't possibly be priced higher than $19.99. And for the amount of work involved, I have no intentions of doing an add-on.

So, unless something changes, its looking a lot like we'll be seeing another Battlecruiser title in the next couple years.


I am already depressed...

Now i know what happened to the Mission Terminals for the different Careers went.

After another day of playing I can only see 2 things that this game needs to make it 100% *perfect* as far as game play goes.

1. A Quick save feature or save feature without exit.

2. Mission terminals in every mission zone. With a few missions for each career. Explorer, scientist.. etc.. Personally I would really like to see this just for the marine and pilot carrers first. There is literally nothing to do when you become an earth force pilot or marine. You are far away form any action and I have yet to see a dynamic attack happen on your location that you need to defend.

Ok i may have a 3.

3. Perhaps the possability of a Dynamic mission generator for the various carrers?

(I did a search and read around but only see one post where mission terminals are brought up, by me in fact back in 2002 and were supposed to be included in BCM XP1 before all that was changed)

Aint it time 2 years later for mission terminals to finally make an appearance?

Just Something I really feel would add/Complete the players abitity to actually experience the various Careers to the fulest.

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Guest Hellbinder[CE]

well ok one more..

from the VCF shipped with the game...

quote:

If the player enters a multi-person vehicle (e.g. CAV), escorting NPCs cannot enter the same vehicle. This was not part of the original design and is not a bug. If you are part of a personnel team and you take off in a vehicle, they will simply run after the vehicle you are in.


Something that was not that should have been.

If you have marines on the planet with you, you should be able to have them "mount up" on your vehicle with you and get off at will.

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P.S. I forgot to mention the pricing travesty, relevant in the 'first impressions' thread...

This is certainly not a budget title. At the VERY LEAST it is an expansion pack, falling in the $29.99 - $39.99 range. Being a (good) niche title, I would even expect to pay a 20%-30% premium. It is an OBVIOUS spite move by the publisher, and is indicitive of everything wrong in PC game publishing today. Lost revenue to this title is the least of the problems, as it has now taken a very unfair hit to the IP by being labeled 'budget'.

I am saddened to learn that the UC series is likely dead. Hopefully the BC series thread can be continued in a pay-to-play MMORPG. It sounds like this series is headed in a good direction.

I would appreciate a pay-pal account where I could donate my part of the cash that DC has apparantly cheated 3000AD out of. Maybe a thread dedicated to this topic would be appropriate?

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quote:

Originally posted by IntgrSpin:

I would appreciate a pay-pal account where I could donate my part of the cash that DC has apparantly cheated 3000AD out of. Maybe a thread dedicated to this topic would be appropriate?

I agree I want to give SC his money that he was cheated of... I think you could price a Expansion pack at $25-29.95 with out too much problem... Aslong as it expanded the game alot people might even pay more. Plus I am sure if you asked it, a lot of the people here would help with the creative side, if you asked. Just give those who help Dev first right to beta test it. I would!!!!! heck Some of us are holding money we want to give you!!! I mean WE WANT to give you money!!!

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quote:


Originally posted by Opal_Dragon:

I mean WE WANT to give you money!!!


Thanks for the offer guys, but at this point, I already have a lawsuit against Dreamcatcher for damages going forward, so I can't take any money etc. That was the original lawsuit, which cited this pricing fiasco, sales and royalty reporting on BCM Gold etc. The injunction attempt was just to prevent them from selling the game at that price point until the lawsuit was in the courts. But since we didn't get the injunction because the judge (according to his ruling) would rather see a damages lawsuit (if their claims of increased sales and revenue proved to be horseshit) than several lawsuits against Dreamcatcher from the retailers (for asking them to raise the price), I just have to sit back and play it out.

One thing is certain - I have seen it - DREAMCATCHER WILL PAY.

But lets keep the thread on topic.

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I'm not sure first impressions is as important as the lasting impression of the game. I'd like to think that Gameplay is of more importance than Quality and I'm thinking this game excels at the Gameplay aspect.

That being said I'll be back in a few days with my impressions.

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"As a result, a plethora of features (23 in all), such as the new galaxy, persistent server support, the ability to capture starbases, the ability to build your own bases in space/planets, the ability to upgrade your CC etc etc. I could go on, but you folks would just get depressed."

Well, sir; one thing you could do is leave it up to us, the community, to code in all or some of that stuff. Will this be possible? Hey, a good retaliation in addition to the lawsuit is to make part of your source code open like quake 3. Then we could enhance your baby and take the load off of your back!

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Guest

quote:

Originally posted by frumple2:

"As a result, a plethora of features (23 in all), such as the new galaxy, persistent server support, the ability to capture starbases, the ability to build your own bases in space/planets, the ability to upgrade your CC etc etc. I could go on, but you folks would just get depressed."

Well, sir; one thing you could do is leave it up to us, the community, to code in all or some of that stuff. Will this be possible? Hey, a good retaliation in addition to the lawsuit is to make part of your source code open like quake 3. Then we could enhance your baby and take the load off of your back!

I know the answer to that RIGHT NOW.

Absolutely, positively NO!!

The source code is the SC's, DC owns the rights to distribute UC, but not the engines etc, those are Derek's, they are the fruition of many years of hard work on his part, he owns them.

And I assure you that he will tweak them and make them that much better for the next generation of, YES.....

BATTLECRUISER!!!

Oh please SC, Make it so!!!!

Frumple2, Sorry, dream on...

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quote:

Yeah, I agree - but thats one of the downsides of having a fully fleshed out universe. Sure n00bs can explore, but vets of previous games already know (at least I think they should), know where everything is. At one point I had planned to create a separate galaxy for BCG, annexed to the existing one. In fact, I have a WIP version of it here somewhere. That all got nixed once Dreamcatcher decided to refocus the game - which saw me making things more idiot proof, redesigning and refocuing entire game engines (e.g. the fp mode) just to cope. As a result, a plethora of features (23 in all), such as the new galaxy, persistent server support, the ability to capture starbases, the ability to build your own bases in space/planets, the ability to upgrade your CC etc etc. I could go on, but you folks would just get depressed.

And considering the $20 price point (for which I am currently suing Dreamcatcher for damages), the UC label is as good as dead because even if I did an add-on, it couldn't possibly be priced higher than $19.99. And for the amount of work involved, I have no intentions of doing an add-on.

So, unless something changes, its looking a lot like we'll be seeing another Battlecruiser title in the next couple years.

Too late, I'm already depressed. But here's an idea... you could do a follow-up 'Gold' version of the game with the extra content and price it at $39.99 or call it something totally different like Universal Combat: Subtitle Here. Only catch is you include the original game.

And, uh, thoughts on those realtime planetary umbrae (shadows) in space? SC?

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Guest

I LOVE THIS GAME

Derek, I've been playing these games for a long time and they NEVER disappoint. This game is awesome. The new ship models, to the INCREDIBLE first person improvments (love the vegetationa and wildlife)....I've only been playing it for about a day now but it is awesome. I think the new action-oriented approach is a good one, I personally like it that ships are slower now, makes for much easier combat with fighters. The new first person weapons are fantastic (my fav is still the good ol ZS10). I think one of the biggest improvements is the music; its epic and very, very well done.

The only thing that bothers me about this game are the circumstances surrounding its release. I just want to echo what other folks have said and wish you luck puruing legal action against Dreamcatcher and to let you know you've done a fantastic job once again.

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Or what about when the storm is settled make a downloadable expansion pack payed by ex. PayPal right to you? I would gladly pay for it and it seems that is what all BC fans would do.

Other companys make a link that works for 24 hours and that is the time you have to download the file. I know that some don't have broadband but mayby a CD version could be made.

Or make the download possible for alle UC registered users and then they can un-lock the install with a key, one recieved after paying to you.

Just my thoughts.

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