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Supreme Cmdr

Galactic Command - Echo Squad SE Sneak Preview!!!

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Well after playing the demo for a couple days I like all the new audio, the voice actors, and music is fantastic.

A few things though:

1. The fighter combat doesn't seem to be all that different from UCCE with the exception that a fighter can take more abuse.

2. Your probably going to have the same problem with your fanbase as bioshock had with the complete lack of shader model 2.0 and 2.0b support.

3. I think the classic pew, pew lasers will get old pretty fast... There really needs to be more variety in a game like this.

anyway, just my 2 cents

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1. The fighter combat doesn't seem to be all that different from UCCE with the exception that a fighter can take more abuse.

None of the flight dynamics, nor the shield/armor ratings for the ships were altered. Why should they be? The game is based on an existing IP. So the part about fighters taking more

abuse is rubbish. You're just bad at dogfighting and keep missing.

Flight dynamics are ship related. AI is pilot related. Two completely different things. Which is why an agile fighter in the hands of a low AI pilot is nowhere near a threat as a less agile fighter at the hands of a high AI pilot.

2. Your probably going to have the same problem with your fanbase as bioshock had with the complete lack of shader model 2.0 and 2.0b support.

Everyone is an armchair developer these days. FYI, the graphisc engine not only uses SM 2.0 and 2.0b, but also 3.0. If you don't know what you're talking about, don't talk. I love how you talk about "complete lack of" as if you actually knew wtf you were talking about. And do you even *know* what either of those shader models do? FYI, we don't even use anything less than SM 2.0. Hence the game's system requirements.

And despite the lack of SM 2.0 in Bioshock, how exactly did that hurt the game, considering its phenomenal sales and critical acclaim? heh.

3. I think the classic pew, pew lasers will get old pretty fast... There really needs to be more variety in a game like this.

Again, you're not paying attention. Every single audio in the game is brand new and designed to my specifications. If you don't like it, turn off the sound. Its there in Config. You go tell George Lucas or anyone with an IP that they should change something just for the heck of it.

Enjoy the game for what it is and not what you want it to be. Makes no difference to me either way since I didn't make it for you.

That is exactly why PC game developers don't even pay attention to gamers anymore. Some gamers think they know whats right and whats wrong. As Gore Verbinski said recently at DICE, everyone has an opinion, but at the end of the day, only your opinion of what you're creating matters. Or something to that effect. That has been my philosophy all along.

- DS

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I would think you would of changed the dynamics a bit to be more what the game is now than what it was.

if it supports 2.0 why does the min requirements list cards with shader 3.0 as the min requirement? Furthermore why do I have black boxes around everything then as my card only has shader model 2.0?

I was actually refering to the weapons themself not the audio. all you have is the stock laser, and nothing else besides missiles.

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if it supports 2.0 why does the min requirements list cards with shader 3.0 as the min requirement?

You're KIDDING me right?!?! Listen to me, do you KNOW what any of this stuff means or are you just throwing out stuff to see what sticks?

The minimum cards requirements are what they are specifically because we support SM 2.0 and 3.0; so it makes sense (at least from a developers standpoint) to support cards that have both of these shader models without having to do separate paths like we did before where we supported SM 1.1 and SM 2.0 as two separate paths, with separate shaders etc. Listing an SM 2.0 card (which is legacy btw, considering that SM 3.0 and 4.0 cards have been out as next gen for awhile) means that we need to support two shader paths. SM 2.0 for the min and SM 3.0 and higher (we don't use any SM 4.0 instructions) for the max. Why do more work when in fact any gamer with half a brain and wanted to play high-end games released in 2007, let alone 2008, need to have an SM 3.0 card?

PLUS anyone who has a system that is more than eighteen months old, SHOULD have an SM 3.0 card. If they don't, then should stick to browser games and their rubbish ilk. Any gamer who knows what they're talking about or who reads gaming mags (online or print) knows that a mid-range card these days is spec'ed at GeForce 8800GT levels, with a high-end card being spec'ed at GeForce 8800 Ultra. In fact, anything short of a GeForce 6800 card is sub-par and considered legacy hardware. Just like my decision to support Windows XP and Vista and with no support for legacy Windows 98.

Even further, Talon Elite was scheduled to be released in Q4/08 (November to be exact). So its engines were based on a 2008-09 period. When Echo Squad SE was decided on and its graphics engine replaced with the TE one, obviously Echo Squad SE inherited those requirements. Here are the requirements for the original 2006-07 game right there on the game's product page. Go compare it to the Echo Squad SE requirements and ask yourself why that became the case.

Furthermore why do I have black boxes around everything then as my card only has shader model 2.0?

Go and ask your graphics card. We have SM 2.0, 3.0 and 4.0 cards here running with ZERO problems. If you have a crappy card or one with crappy drivers, thats your problem. The system requirements are pretty crystal clear. If you have a tech support issue, report it. Thats why there is a thread for that. But come asking me stupid questions like I have a crystal ball gazing over what machine every gamer has. Hence the reason the system requirements are printed online and in the game's manual.

Even at other sites that I visit, when someone encounters a problem, they post about it and I look into it. Hence the recent revisions and hence the preview build in order to identify and resolve any pending issues we may have missed, since we're going gold sometime this week for a March 3rd release.

I was actually refering to the weapons themself not the audio. all you have is the stock laser, and nothing else besides missiles.

You specifically said I think the classic pew, pew lasers will get old pretty fast... There really needs to be more variety in a game like this.. The "pew pew" terminology - at least to those of us who actually do have a firm grasp on the English language - know that it refers to audio, not video. Hence my response pertained to audio.

And to answer your video related comment. Its because different colored lasers add NOTHING to the game. Coloring them is a two - three line shader instruction. I chose to leave them standard. What difference does a Blue laser from a Yellow laser make? NONE. That is a design decision that I get to make. And I chose to have it that way; as opposed to the way it was in my previous games.

Unless you have something constructive to post, I'd think twice about posting again if I were you. You know the rules. No exceptions.

If someone else wants to pitch in here, so I know its not just me, please go ahead because I'm stumped by the foolishness of this discussion.

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I'm not a techie so I'll not talk about shaders and video requirements.

On the other side, I've seen this franchise and SC's games for a while now and I might just say the they are mainly focused on content and game than eye candy (not that we may have to complain about it ;) ).

Fighters in the 3000AD games have always been just like modern jet fighters. You change payloads under your wings, but the rest is fixed. No cannon switching in base or upgrades grabbed around.

This is and from what I may expect this will be. I'll not expect to have multiple cannon types to be fitted in my craft on demand. We're talking not only in colors and effects but in game dinamic too, no different powers or damage kind.

Just my 2 cents.

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Apologies for my tardiness in responding, life has been extremely hectic the last couple of days, and I have been trying to confirm a couple of issues I think I found.

First impressions:

graphics- awesome, immersive, realistic, everything I could want and more, very nice touches on everything, some minor issues but I'm sure those are not game related.

the cockpits are great, but I miss the mouse hover info on the radar screen. I understand that is difficult to implement in combination with the cockpits, so it's not a complaint.

voices and sounds, big improvement, background chatter is not nearly as annoying,

I have to try and get my framerate up a little so that mouse flight controls are smoother, I'll be experimenting with that tonight.

Fighters seeming to take more damage is down to the fact that in this game you are being placed in a starlance fighter, which has the tied weakest guns of any fighter. Not a complaint, just an observation for those who want to insist there's something wrong- there isn't, you are just starting at the bottom, and I expect you'll move up to more powerful craft in later episodes.

I found some controller issues with the mouse and keyboard flight controls, namely some conflicting key maps:

A (without any other simultaneous key presses) is both roll left/slide left and the autopilot toggle, which means the roll/slide function is lost

D (without any other simultaneous key presses) is both roll right/slide right and the designate target button, so if you have a target selected, you can't use this button to roll right

These two are displayed in the game commands help file in the keyboard controls, cockpit views/tactical and miscellaneous images. (I just noticed the miscellaneous image has the key combo for game frame rate and version info wrong, should be ctrl V, not V, this works fine and doesn't conflict, just the help file has it wrong. I haven't checked out everything, I will look some more tonight)

right click when using mouse flight controls brings up the tactical targets in the current region, instead of launching a missile (this one I need to test out a little more to make sure)

the issues with A, D and right mouse click are not game-killers, since there are other keys available that will do the same, but they are more awkwardly placed.

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the cockpits are great, but I miss the mouse hover info on the radar screen. I understand that is difficult to implement in combination with the cockpits, so it's not a complaint.

The problem is that you can't accurately determin the regions within that 3D cockpit in order to implement clickable 3D cockpits without writing a lot of kludgy code. Also, since the

radar targets depend on which radar (NID or TRS) system is active, you'd also have to detect which one is actually active.

Compromises had to be made, so, I went the path of least resistance and just made the mouse click work anywhere within the HUD but depending on which radar system was active. So if the NID is active when you click the mouse, only the NID radar targets are populated in the list.

Since there are three episiodes in the game and each one will require a new executable, we may come up with a solution for this somewhere down the road if one exists.

background chatter is not nearly as annoying,

It was designed to be subtle, but I still made it a toggle in Config for those who still find it annoying.

I have to try and get my framerate up a little so that mouse flight controls are smoother, I'll be experimenting with that tonight.

Flight dynamics are not slaved to the controls. So your mouse flight controls are not related to the framerate.

Fighters seeming to take more damage is down to the fact that in this game you are being placed in a starlance fighter, which has the tied weakest guns of any fighter. Not a complaint, just an observation for those who want to insist there's something wrong- there isn't, you are just starting at the bottom, and I expect you'll move up to more powerful craft in later episodes.

Exactly. Even the fighter's stats in the game manual are identical to the one in the UC games appendix (e.g. in UCCE).

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Fired it up tonight with the new patch (yay for no black boxes!) and had some fun familiarizing myself with the controls and looking things over.

I can't comment much on the graphics, but what I can get are nice if a tad dark inside the cockpit. Mostly I was noticing the little things tonight before trying to fire up combat given Sho's experience coming in from the cap ships ;) I really like the mother voice, very nice. The 3d cockpit is nice too, but it doesn't seem to have a back wall when I use the rear looking view. I'm especially fond of the HJ effects blurring and the slight jarring through the jump. The final weighty jolt on entering realspace again was pretty cool and a nice touch. I also like the new implementation of the screens fading in it seems somehow more integrated and doesn't break the immersion. Overall the interface feels more unified and integrated. I guess my graphic designer roots are showing through, but my one complaint was the typefaces used; Courier is up next to Papyrus in fonts I dislike with Trajan about to become third for it's overuse :) It just made me a little sick seeing it and the compressed HRD on the hyperdrive recharge.

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but it doesn't seem to have a back wall when I use the rear looking view.

Thats because it doesn't have one. The camera angle is looking through the cockpit dome.

but my one complaint was the typefaces used; Courier is up next to Papyrus in fonts I dislike with Trajan about to become third for it's overuse ;)

Nothing wrong with Courier fonts. They are perfect for a fixed width font and since they are standard, are guaranteed to work on all machines and within the new GUI interface. There was a reason I picked it. That would be the reasons. Pretend they're not Courier fonts and you'll be just fine. :)

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Nothing wrong with Courier fonts. They are perfect for a fixed width font and since they are standard, are guaranteed to work on all machines and within the new GUI interface. There was a reason I picked it. That would be the reasons. Pretend they're not Courier fonts and you'll be just fine. :)

It doesn't seem to be on everything so I'll survive ;) Might get to fire up some actual combat tonight and around the time the missiles lock goes off I'll probably forget about things like whether or not my profile entry uses Courier or Ariel.

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I find the invincibility tags on all the enemy cap ships in both of the major engagement scenarios intensely annoying. I know they switch off after ten minutes or so, and I understand it balances the invincibility of the friendly cap ships and the proximity of the enemy cap ships to a friendly station, but it just makes the whole exercise seem a bit arbitrary and restrictive IMHO.

*sneak up on enemy cap ship, get into his PTA blind spot and blast away, taking down his shields and, oh dear, the magic moment hasn't arrived yet, have to try and get out again, exposing yourself to his PTA fire all the way*

I hope the scenarios in the actual campaign aren't going to be all like that, or it would be a major turnoff for me.

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There's no invincibility on any cap ships. All I did was delay the breaching of their armor and increased their internal repair times. All this was to compensate for the requirements of the scenario.

If its a turn off, then I guess you won't be playing the final version because I have no plans to change it. At all.

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Not sure this is a bug, but is you hit alt-s to save the game and cancel out of the screen without saving it takes you to the main menu instead of returning to the game.

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Works as designed. Canceling doesn't take you back to the game. It just cancels the saving op and takes you to the main menu.

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Well after coming back from a traditional Japanese music concert with a few friends, I finally got time to actually get into combat. ;) I gotta say it was quite different than my usual carrier tactics. For the first half of the fight I used my missiles on a few of the fighters to knock down their shields and then ended up in a knife fight after my stores were depleted. Managed to avoid the missiles shot at me with an application of EMD here and there but got shot up pretty good in the process by the variety of craft spinning around. Never even saw any of the enemy cap ships up close, got too involved with the fighters to notice and the rest of the fleet seemed to be doing alright at killing them since there weren't any around once I killed the last fighter. All in all it seemed pretty intense. AB and RR were my lifesavers to knock loose or cause enemy fighters to mistarget me. The only thing that seemed a bit weird was the shield/armor display on the left since it seemed like when the shields went to yellow or orange mother would announce a breach. I'd have though that perhaps going to red or even black/transparent would indicate shield failure. I guess I also kind of miss the numbers on the shield/armor/weapons displays to tell me the percentages they are at and not just status. I must say I'm very fond of the interface improvements overall though. I think I only killed 2 fighters personally, but it was quite fun and none of the kills seemed overly easy. There was this one guy though I think I must of damaged his flight control systems because he stopped maneuvering completely after one salvo breached his armor and just flew off in a straight line.

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The only thing that seemed a bit weird was the shield/armor display on the left since it seemed like when the shields went to yellow or orange mother would announce a breach. I'd have though that perhaps going to red or even black/transparent would indicate shield failure.

A breach (Yellow) is not a failure (Red). It just means that your shields were reduced by 10% or more. Hence the breached warning. A total failure is a breach of 90% or more.

I guess I also kind of miss the numbers on the shield/armor/weapons displays to tell me the percentages they are at and not just status.

I thought of adding them to the graphic but decided against it for some reason or another.

As for combat, all I gotta say is this: wait for multiplayer (which we completely overhauled).

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Ah ok, that makes sense. I was equating breach with my shields being penetrated. I know it's not up for change, but the interface got me thinking about a couple of things... ah well, another day perhaps. :) I forgot to look when I was playing, but does the guns ring on the right do anything other than change color? eg if the weapons are set to a lower intensity or have a limited amount of ammo does it show by drawing less of the ring?

That was probably a muddy explanation. ;)

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but does the guns ring on the right do anything other than change color? eg if the weapons are set to a lower intensity or have a limited amount of ammo does it show by drawing less of the ring?

No they do not. They only change color uniformly.

You cannot change the intensity of the guns either.

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