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Supreme Cmdr

BCG - Reality Check

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quote:


Originally posted by Fermin:

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

If you don't see a feature listed, its not going to be implemented.

e.g. the ability to build your own units is a BCO feature and not planned for BCG.


From the BCG Features listed....

┬À NEW! ability to construct space/planetary cities, bases, stations

Which is correct?


I know for a fact that you're not reading the version that everyone else has. In fact, there only three references to cities in that file - and neither of them is as you indicated.

Clear your browser cache, reload the page or download the HTML file.

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LBM had one I really, really want, and I hope others do to.

3 - GBS to go with the game so we can make our own missions.

SC- you can ignore the rest here, I just elaborate on the above. I hope you don't mind.

I watched a Star-Trek NG episode recently where and old teacher of Picard's, an archeologist was in search of some DNA from different planets. He trys to get Picard in on it, but Picard doesn't want to give up his career because it could take possibly a year away from starfleet. The teach was killed in a shuttle, so Picard goes on a scavenger hunt to find them missing DNA on different planets.

That being said, some of my favorite episodes, besides the battles with Borg, are the archeological missions where Picard went to different planets in search of artifacts.

Sometimes it was just for historical purposes, discovery and study of ancient civilizations. Sometimes it was for artificates that when assembled may lead to advanced technology or some dooms-day-type weapon.

For you trekkies, you know the Star-Trek episodes I am talking about. Multiple races looking for the same artficates, competition, etc.

SC, if you just started with some basic scavenger-type-hunt missions, then expanded to more involved missions that advance technology through exploration, or competing with other races to find the artifacts.

Here is the basic idea though.

If I pick to be an explorer caste, then I would hope there would be missions that BCG comes with, or ways for us to create these scavenger-hunt, artifact finding missions. It would basically round out the game. Right now, I can explore and mine for minerals, and fight, fight, fight, but to what end? Total domination? What if I just wanted to find artifacts and gain knowledge of the BCM universe and its deep history?

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quote:


Originally posted by StarRider:

SC- you can ignore the rest here, I just elaborate on the above. I hope you don't mind.


Very well

quote:


Right now, I can explore and mine for minerals, and fight, fight, fight, but to what end? Total domination?

The BC games have always been military based. Thats what military do. Fight. BCM is the first game in the series that allowed gamers to pick different castes.

In fact, there is 90% chance that I will completely remove the ability to play as any other caste other than military or insurgent, in BCG single player. That should solve the issue of someone mistaking my design generousity for wanting aggravation.

quote:


What if I just wanted to find artifacts and gain knowledge of the BCM universe and its deep history?

Oh I dunno, go buy and play another game maybe?

Let me post, verbatim, what I posted in another forum. Hopefully it will sink in.

quote:


quote:

# FEATURES THAT ARE EITHER NO LONGER PLANNED FOR BCG OR WHICH WILL PROBABLY BE CUT

# Basic two-way communications with some NPC units using built-in database script and based on unit's caste, career etc

# Dynamic generations of missions (based on world events) posted at station/base pinboard

# Global news system powered by NPCs and alliance matrix. This will work similar to probes and relay critical info at specific intervals.

:cry: Too bad, for me this is would have taken the series to the next level.


Yeah, I know. The clan is disappointed too - as am I.

The fact is, I have to work on BCM Gold (mostly multiplayer now, since the single player is done and solid) and BCG simultaneously. This is my fault for talking Dreamcatcher into re-releasing BCM Gold (even though the main focus is in BCG). I did this primarily because I wanted to restore good faith with the retailers who are pissed at the EB exclusive. Which is why none of them carried the game.

To this end, Dreamcatcher folks have done an excellent job in winning the retailers back, due to their support of me doing BCM Gold and with the one critical feature - multiplayer. To the extent that Gamestop, who flat out were quite vocal in not taking BCM due to the EB gig, came on board and are one of the most commited (along with EB and others) now and with a pretty high sell-in (I was shocked when Gladguy gave me the figures).

One would think that I'd be focusing on BCG - which is the primary title and where all the time, effort and money is going, but the fact is, I commited to doing BCM Gold as part of the marketing campaign (among other things) as well as delivering a multiplayer component. Which is why I decided not to do a downloadable component for BCM but which Dreamcathcher, even though they didn't have to, agreed to give a BCM Gold discount to existing BCM owners.

Because of all this and with less than seven months to go (for BCG shipping), I have been working on THREE projects simultaneously (which is not as bad as it seems, because all my games are based on established technologies - so no wheel re-inventing here). In the past month, after delivering the Beta 1 candidate of BCG, I have been focused 99% on BCM Gold multiplayer and 1% on BCG (asset management, the odd fix here and there). The XBox title is currently all about asset creation and pre-production, so not much work there (until BCG ships).

And because of this, I decided - about three months ago - that, once again, these three high-end features which I wanted to do in BCM, are again going on the cut list. As I mentioned in my other threads, these features are very extensive and not something that I can just up and do on a whim.

To wit:

  1. The dynamic mission generation alone requires a very extensive architectural revision and which I HAVE to do for BCO (the MMOG version of BCG) anyway. So, rather than attempt it now - and either do a half-assed job or cut it half way through, I decided to put it on the cut list right now and not even touch it. I can't just auto-generate missions without taking into account world events, race/caste/alliance issues etc etc. Its not a simple cut 'n dry game (like for e.g. FL).
  2. The news feed is not a big deal - IF - I wanted to just use existing technologies (which the probes already use). But I do not want to do that because its not going to be meaningful and won't add much to the game. I envision this feature being something that you [player] can act upon depending on your race/caste/career. Its going to be pointless if the system generates news feeds which have nothing to do with you.

    e.g. if you're playing as a Terran/Trader/Commander, you won't care about an invasion going on in Centris would you? So, the system has to generate an equal balance of events which would beneift any of the careers and over 25 castes that you can play. Otherwise, it will just be peripheral.

    Apart from that, the system just can't up and make stuff up. The entire game runs on an AI kernel that is event driven. As such, any news feed that comes through, is going to be about something that is actually happening somewhere in the game (in space or on a planet). And given the size of the game world, that could be a LOT of stuff. In BCM, if you have even launched a probe into a remote region and watch its feed, you'd know exactly what I mean. Sure, it can tell you about hostile incursions in its region, but how many players have ever responded to a probe's feed?

    If I don't do it right, once again, I'd be accused of putting in features which are not fully fleshed out for all careers - in much the same way people tell me that the marine career in BCM is pointless in single player.

  3. The two-way NPC communication is - as I described in another thread - not just some throw in that I want to do. It is very ambitious and complex, to the extent that it, again, has to tie into the game world and events.

    In under a few days, I can whip up a quick canned system based on a canned DB of sends and responses. How long before it gets tiring and with no variation? I mean, how many times are you going to send something like

    Lower your shields and prepare to be boarded

    and getting back

    Fack off, you toothless wanker!!

    Eventually, you'd just stop using the comms system - no matter HOW large the canned DB is - and do what you do now : arm weapons systems, achieve primary lock, fire, blow stuff up, collect cargo. Move on.

These are serious design issues which, on the surface, don't seem like a big deal. It is all a matter of time and scheduling. And for the next seven months, I've got my hands full and I don't plan on putting my game releases in jeapardy. BCG was supposed to be a Summer completion and release but because of BCM Gold, its now an Aug/Sept release.

Thats bad enough - especially since BCM Gold, which is responsible for the BCG delays, is not a title that anyone (I've made all my money on BCM), let alone Dreamcatcher, is going to make a lot of money on. If anything, for me, its a marketing gig. The only consolation is that with a publisher and commited retailers, the game would get more exposure and if I do a good job on multiplayer (my first foray into this aspect of gaming), it can only bode well for BCG. Also, being a world wide release - and with foreign versions - it will get more exposure than BCM ever could have hoped for. Its all good.

I, quite frankly, just want to get this BCG game over and done with so that I can move on with new things and experiences (e.g. my XBox project and the MMOG project). As such, I'm not inclined to keep jamming stuff into BCG (I didnt' do it for BCM because what I couldn't do then, I defered to BCG) when I can just do what is required for the game and defer what I can't do for the next (and final) game in the series, BCO.

A man has got to know his limitations - and I for one, learned that lesson back in 1995. I'm all the better for it and it has served me well in the two projects that followed the first. Why mess with what works?

In fact, that list you see remains relatively unchanged since I first wrote it about a year or so ago. Thats because I knew what I wanted to do in BCG, going in. The only features I added to that list in the past month or so are the following :

  1. Mouse supported flight control (in addition to keyboard and joystick support) : because it would make the game a bit more accessible when coupled in with new interface revisions.
  2. All-Seeing-Eye server browser support - built-in as well as external (using ASE client app) : because Dreamcatcher wanted an alternative to my battlecruiser.net alternative and I had no intentions of using GameSpy Arcade nor forking out $40K for GameSpy.Net in order to use just one SDK out of a suite of stuff I don't need. They [GS] refused to let me (or DCI) license what I need a-la-carte, so I said **** it, signed with the little guy and gave him my money. Had ASE working in under two days. Case closed.
  3. Personnel now have unique names which can be modified via INI files. This means that e.g. MARINE#1 can now have an alias that reads JOHN DOE. : because the clan complained that their experienced marines were treated too much like Red shirts and they wanted to personalize them.

Anyone who has played BCM can take one look at this BCG gameplay section of that list and see that a vast majority (about 50%?) are existing feature enhancements. Some of which could have been in BCM but weren't. And if you look at the version control file for BCM, you will see a significant amout of revisions, enhancements and new features which I have added to the game in patches. Those too could have been defered to BCG.

These aren't easy decisions to make, but the last thing I need right now is aggravation.

And before the speculation about the suits being involved starts, let me stop that one in its tracks right now : Dreamcatcher have never, ever asked me to alter my design, nor my game in any shape or form. The only discussions we've had - and which I welcomed - are related to a browser alternative (in the event that some gamers want to host their own servers) as well as interface revisions for ease of use. Nothing else. So, I hope that one sinks in.


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It's all-good, though I must admit I'am a little disappointed about the dynamic mission selection feature.

Does it have to be dynamic? Can't it be a set scenario list with in the roam mode? It would be like instant action with you're experienced avatar, in the game world. You could gain access to the list from places like GalcomHQ. A player could benefit from experience they get from the combat.

Is this a viable option?

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quote:


Originally posted by Rosko:

It's all-good, though I must admit I'am a little disappointed about the dynamic mission selection feature.

Does it have to be dynamic? Can't it be a set scenario list with in the roam mode? It would be like instant action with you're experienced avatar, in the game world. You could gain access to the list from places like GalcomHQ. A player could benefit from experience they get from the combat.

Is this a viable option?


It would have to be manually scripted and tested. And I just don't have time. And again, how is it going to cater to the playable career/caste combinations?

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No, seriously, those are two very important features that, given additional time, I would have put in. But I don't have that additional time and as such, I'm not going to attempt it. Who knows, maybe we'll do an add-on. I'd have to run that one by DC and see how they feel about it, once BCG ships and the dust settles. After all, if I'm not going to do another BC title (apart from the MMOG one), add-ons are the way to go. With maybe 2-3 months in dev time, I can whip up these two features and release an add-on for about $19.99. But again, this would depend on the sales of BCG. So, buy two copies if you ever want to see these dropped features appear in this game other than in BCO.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

1. Who knows, maybe we'll do an add-on...add-ons are the way to go.

2. So, buy two copies if you ever want to see these dropped features appear in this game other than in BCO.

3. # Dynamic generations of missions (based on world events) posted at station/base pinboard


1. Add-Ons developed by the user community that become popular(sim to HL/CS) could be professionally tuned, packaged, and sold by 3000ad giving written credit to the original author of the MOD.

2. Buy 2 copies?, sometimes I do that with games, I have 4 copies of Battlezone II, but only as part of a package that includes other games.

My plan, buy BCMG and BCG this year, full ticker price. Good luck getting BCG out before year-end.

3. SC, I was really refering to something like Morrowind, where we would have access to the tool to modify worlds, systems, etc, single-player-only. Of couse, there is no support for MODs, but it would certainly add to the longevity of your upcoming titles. I'm not referring to cheats, just missions, like those scavenger missions i wrote about someplace here.

Its hard to compare BCM with other titles, Morrowind is the closest in terms of bredth and depth. So I won't bother to compare half-life.

Allow us to this type of control, to generate our own missions. So, I'm not referring at all to Dynamic missions, way to hard from what I understand, major changes to kernel.

I don't what you to waste your valuable time on stupid stuff or trying to satisfy a small number of us, personally. I am interested on where you are going with the XBOX, I'll have to do a search for some of your posts on the topic.

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quote:


Originally posted by StarRider:

1. Add-Ons developed by the user community that become popular(sim to HL/CS) could be professionally tuned, packaged, and sold by 3000ad giving written credit to the original author of the MOD.


Thats never going to happen. Ever

quote:


SC, I was really refering to something like Morrowind, where we would have access to the tool to modify worlds, systems, etc, single-player-only. Of couse, there is no support for MODs, but it would certainly add to the longevity of your upcoming titles. I'm not referring to cheats, just missions, like those scavenger missions i wrote about someplace here.

Those features can't be done with mods. Significant changes have to be done to the game engine and kernel.

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

It would have to be manually scripted and tested. And I just don't have time. And again, how is it going to cater to the playable career/caste combinations?

If you don't have the time it's cool. I think you should remove all the non-combat castes like you said. Have only the Military castes available. The other castes are purely trivial, and I could only see a purpose for them in BCO!

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quote:

Originally posted by Rosko:

I think you should remove all the non-combat castes like you said.

I think you should just leave them in, if they don't get in the way, code-related.

Don't enhance them any, but just give us the option of exploring the BCM universe, make some money, upgrade ship, etc.

It is just plain fun, don't have to worry about attacks. It is like going on an interstellar cruise, while being protected by the Geneve Convention.

:-)

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If I do make any changes in this regard, I will definitely leave in the military, insurgent, raider, trader and explorer castes.

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quote:


Originally posted by Mrxknown:

good cause you can always RP that your an exploring scientist!


LOL!! Thats the spirit

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quote:

Originally posted by StarRider:

quote:

Originally posted by Rosko:

I think you should remove all the non-combat castes like you said.

I think you should just leave them in, if they don't get in the way, code-related.

Don't enhance them any, but just give us the option of exploring the BCM universe, make some money, upgrade ship, etc.

It is just plain fun, don't have to worry about attacks. It is like going on an interstellar cruise, while being protected by the Geneve Convention.

:-)


I see you're point!

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BC is a very interesting series of games to say the least. Unlike most games in the past where the sequal is a totally new game we get the same game with more added onto it. That may sound bad to some but to me and others I supose it is perfect. Instead of risking having a crapy sequal that couldn't capture the fun of the first game you HAVE the first game INSIDE of the new game. I think it is good that you aren't trying to do more than you can because that would risk making everything else not as good as it should be. I think most would agree with me when I say that you form of deving is almost perfect! I know I'm going to buy every title you release in the BC series and if you move on to other series I will probably buy them as well : ) I really can't think of anything to compare you work to. Not even Morrowind because THAT Game made the fatal mistake of taking out things that made daggerfall great! Sure it was pretty but it just wasn't the same. BCG will be pretty and the same but with totally new things added on that will allow you to explore and interact with the world more fully. I guess what I'm trying to say is whatever you put into your game is good and I'll buy it regardless How can I ask for anything other than what you've already offered?

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heh, my thing is, if it ain't broke, why fix it? I have spent a lot of time, effort and money in developing the technologies that go into my games. There is no point in me re-inventing the wheel each time. Its all about revising and enhancing what works and going beyond that if at all possible.

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Yes That totally works in the BC series. Not only do you not have to waste time and money making the same thing over again you also have 0 risk of making a mistake in the recreation. You also aren't tempted to change any of the basic things that make the game great in the first place, which could be a major folly! Civ II for example was really cool. Civ III is okay but I havn't been addicted enough to even get far enough to use tanks as of yet! Star Control II I loved, Star Control III was just ok! BC30K was awsome, BCM is awsome, BCMG will be awsome, BCG Will be mind blowing, BCO Will ruin my life no doubt! I bow before the SC! hehe (I'm not trying to blow BCG and BCO out of reality, I am merely expressing how I feel about the games as they stand now)

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quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

If I do make any changes in this regard, I will definitely leave in the military, insurgent, raider, trader and explorer castes.

Thanks SC

Fyi, I just started playing in campaign mode, usually play roam. I am really enjoying it. Changes the focus, getting more involved in game now.

btw, having the mouse support sounds good in BCM-Gold. I liked the mouse support so much in the freelancer demo, I just changed my other games to mouse support, getting rid of joystick.

I am buying Gold from GameStop.

Again, thanks for everything SC, I am a very satisfied customer.

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Ok, dont shoot me if this has already been asked, im trying to find my disk for BCM now (dont shoot me for that either )

but here it goes

When i drop the RANDOM on a planet, i would like to see some cool death star like explosion where the entire planet blows up and it is no more. Would this be possible or be able to be put in ANY BC game?

I always wondered this. Since i dropped my first RANDOM on Earth (only planet i could get close enough to drop on)I wondered why the planet wasnt bubbling and exploding. I was like and then i dropped 5 more randoms. Then i beamed a few ppl down and hit it with 5 more RANDOMS. I saw my ppl died. So I went down and saw a burnt planet and nothing on it. I liked how it looked but i felt a bit cheated because it didnt kill the ENTIRE PLANET, just all on the surface.

I dont care if this cant be, i just want to know why. I always thought it was because coding in deleteing all structures on the planet and changing the terrain would be alot easier than animating an explosion and a breaking apart planet, followed by deleteing all of the structures inluding the planet, and all of the ways to enter it or take off.

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RANDOM does not destroy a planet just destroys everything on the surface. As it does not "blow up" a planet per say having a sequence where the planet is blown to bits would be (BC wise) unrealistic.

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quote:


Originally posted by TheBunny:

I always thought it was because coding in deleteing all structures on the planet and changing the terrain would be alot easier than animating an explosion and a breaking apart planet, followed by deleteing all of the structures inluding the planet, and all of the ways to enter it or take off.


Rubbish

First of all, everything on the planet is destroyed/killed and the terrain altered accordingly.

Setting off more than one RANDOM on the same planet is a waste of a good weapon because one does the job just fine.

What you are talking about is the removal of the 3D object representing the planet as seen from space. I'm not going to do that because

  1. it is part of the game world structure similar to have a window in a first person game level and I don't want to remove it because then I'd have to save the state in the save game, alter a bunch of code to support it etc etc
  2. RANDOM was specifically designed to destroy everything ON a planet (read the appendix. The English version I mean) and never was designed to destroy the planet itself - even if I allowed it to. Its not a planet killer.

Pre-emptive strike : No, I'm NEVER going to implement planet killer weapons a BC game. Ever.

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ok, though that would be cool

TIME TO UPDATE STATS!!

TheBunny's:

"Your an idiot" count: 0

"Shut up!" count: 5

"Read the manual" count: 7

"Rubbish" count: 2 (YAY!!!)

Annoyed ppl count: 50

Now to find the disk I should check the relese dates to see if i should buy another BCM of wait for BCM gold or BCG.

and when i do find the disk im going to launch a OTS missle and then beam to itys location to see what the animation looks like.

PS what u said in number 2 up there is exactly why i thought that it didnt destroy the WHOLE planet.

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