Jump to content
3000AD Forums
Supreme Cmdr

What it is and isn't

Recommended Posts

I know there was some talk about the possibility of replaceing the current physics with the bullet physics engine. Will this be the first release with it or is that still on the drawing board for things to come?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should I feel bad that whenever I see the 'standing' stance, all I can think is that they're going to hug me, or show off that they're strong (grr!)?

As for a question - since the release said that it takes place in 400kmsq, will the terrain be dotted more with more detailed structures and establishments? As in, detailed cities, etc?

Otherwise, right now I just can't wait for it to come out, it looks so interesting!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Should I feel bad that whenever I see the 'standing' stance, all I can think is that they're going to hug me, or show off that they're strong (grr!)?

As for a question - since the release said that it takes place in 400kmsq, will the terrain be dotted more with more detailed structures and establishments? As in, detailed cities, etc?

Otherwise, right now I just can't wait for it to come out, it looks so interesting!

Since it is based on LV115, a near desolate Gammulan planet, there won't be much to see apart from military bases and a city or two. This is first and foremost an open world game in which you're not going to be doing any siteseeing. At the very least, its not going to be like those other games (Ace Combat 6, H.A.W.X) etc which use satellite imagery and from high altitude looks populated when in fact there really isn't anything there - apart from a few blocks - and of course looks like crap at low altitudes.

Though the scenes on the test map are used for testing various engines and gameplay tech, most of them are placeholders from our previous game and will be replaced with the new content as they get created. Our goal is to make the bases - the focal point of the game - as detailed a possible for those who are playing in fps/tps mode most of the time. The air combat jocks won't pay too much attention to that since they'll be airborne most of the time anyway. Unless of course they're running around a base looking for an aircraft since everyone starts off in the game world with a gun, some ammo and stick of gum. No asset.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, awesome game name :WBtazani:

Will you be using your own engine or an external one such as Knightblade using the C4 Engine?

What's happened to Talon Elite now that AAW will be released in 2-5 months?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Will this be available for the PC or is it game console only?

It is a PC and XBox360 game.

First off, awesome game name :WBtazani:

Will you be using your own engine or an external one such as Knightblade using the C4 Engine? What's happened to Talon Elite now that AAW will be released in 2-5 months?

Talon Elite (the console version of Echo Squad SE) was canceled awhile back because of XBLA limitations (price point is capped at $19.99, royalties suck, file size is 350MB etc) and because since we can't self-publish a boxed retail console game and no publisher will touch a space combat game, we couldn't get a publisher for that either. So no XBLA and no retail = project termination.

Apart from physics (Bullet), audio (FMODEx) and vegetation (SpeedTreeRT), the game uses all our engines. We evaluated C4 but didn't use it because it just wasn't designed for the kind of game that I wanted to make. For one thing, C4 wasn't designed to handle an open world terrain. Nor could other engines (e.g. Leadwerks 2.0) we looked at. Most of these engines have bullet points, but when you get down to it, you start seeing all the limitations (e.g. 25km max size terrain for LW 2.0). So for both AAW and KB, we're using our own engines. More below from a post I made elsewhere.

Most of those assets aren't even the final versions since some of them are actually placeholders from previous games which get replaced as the game's own versions are completed and integrated. Owners of our games will recognize some of them. But since the game takes place in our established game world, I just had to decide which assets (e.g. 12 vs 25 fighters in previous games) to use and then have them redone from scratch. Its like Star Wars, Star Trek etc the games may be different, but the assets and mythos stay the same. There are only so many ways you can do an X-Wing model. One thing I wanted to do was to depart from the colorful palette spectrum of the previous games. e.g. the Starlance fighter is Bluish in previous games, in this game, all the fighters have a modern day metallic Silver palette.

The graphics renderer, terrain renderer, fx system etc are all 100% from the ground up new. We had wanted to license a middleware engine at one point but it turned out that we were better off just - once again - doing our own so that we get to do exactly what we wanted. It was a huge gamble but I'm pleased with the results.

It is a departure from our previous games, but it is still sci-fi and takes place in our established game worlds. We've been working on it for quite some time now but I didn't want to announce it until we go to a specific stage. Its about to climb out of Alpha and into the realms of Beta later this year.

My plan is to start the public Beta testing early (maybe sometime in Feb) way ahead of the game's release because being our first fps/tps game, focus testing is a big deal.

These days you can't throw a rock at the neighbor's house without hitting an fps or tps game, so we're sticking to what we know and making it stand out from the crowd of [pure] shooters out there. Since we already have flight dynamics and avionics, AI etc down pat, we're more focused on the fps aspects.

For one thing the new terrain engine alone has been the biggest brunt of the work. We had opted to go with USGS satellite maps and set the game on Earth but as with games going that route, you just don't get the fidelity and high resolution needed for ground zero (fps, tps, vehicles), low-medium (gunships) and high (fighters) altitude. Satellite maps look great at high altitude due to the resolution, but utter rubbish at low altitude. See the upcoming H.A.W.X, Ace Combat 6 etc. Doing an fps game on a satellite map is like blocky pixel city. So we ripped it all out and went with our own height maps and set the game on an alien planet.

Where most flight combat games are just about flight, earlier in my design, my mind was made up that it was going to feature fps/tps and vehicles as well because we didn't want to do just a pure flight combat game as that wasn't that appealing to me - nor the team for that matter. And we certainly didn't want a BF2142 clone - merely a "map" based game. So we took it open world. Now the challenge is in creating scenes (bases & cities) that are equaly appealing for fps gameplay and air combat.

The air combat engine itself is an entire breed and not like those other guys who use an fps engine to create an air combat controller (see Battlefield, Frontlines etc). It is a pure and standalone engine so even if someone doesn't want to play in fps mode, all they have to do is grab a gunship or fighter. Its kinda like Warhawk a bit, but huge - really huge - on steroids and none of the cartoonish premise.

The biggest challenge now is that whole PC vs XBox360 argument. These days, no publisher wants a PC title lead-in. Even though we're on the XBox360 dev program, we can't self-publish a console title like we can a PC title. Since the PC game is looking like a March/April release, the XBox360 version is looking like late Q3. The problem is that if we release the PC version first - without a publisher - we pretty much kill any chances of the console version ever getting published since no publisher will take it. Its bad enough these days that publishers are utter bastards to third party devs but adding insult to injury and doing a PC lead-in is receipe for losses.

...and thanks to the brain trust at Microsoft, XBLA is a complete bust for any meaningful high end game. Especially not when - to make things worse - there is a $19.99 price cap and a publisher slanted royalty scheme in place. Oh well.

As always, we're hopeful that it will do well enough for us so that we keep doing what love to do. Making games.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Humm, 360 as well. That should be interesting - there wouldn't be any chance that it will be a 'Games for Windows LIVE' title. I realize that its pretty much a failure, but some features, such as the cross-platform multiplayer are pretty interesting.

And, open beta in Feb? A great birthday present. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have zero interest in the Games For Windows brand since it is nothing but a gimmic. The game does not support cross-platform gaming, has its own server browser etc. And such there is nothing in GfW that I want or need. The GfW thing is nothing but a marketing gimmick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BTW, is that a Vista target?

Vista target implies DX10. We have no intentions of using DX10 in any of our games at this time. So the answer is no. The game will work just fine on both XP and Vista.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Vista target implies DX10. We have no intentions of using DX10 in any of our games at this time. So the answer is no. The game will work just fine on both XP and Vista.

Doubleplusgood! I would really hate to have to buy Vista to play this. Yay!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We evaluated C4 but didn't use it because it just wasn't designed for the kind of game that I wanted to make. For one thing, C4 wasn't designed to handle an open world terrain.

Yeah, I agree with you on that point. Well, until build 1.5 is released :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah, I agree with you on that point. Well, until build 1.5 is released :).

Yeah, we were waiting to see what would be in Build 1.5 but given the time constraints - and inevitable wait for bug fixes and such, I didn't want to take the risks. Even if it comes out this qtr as was planned, my guess is that it still won't be anywhere near on par of what we did in ours since ours is a 100% dedicated terrain engine.

Anyway enough about C4. Create a new thread in the gen discussions if you want to discuss further.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Derek,

Has been a very long time since i've been here (too long:) ). Just watched some pics and i must say WOW you've come a long way! all aspect really looks nice. haven't played much last coupla years (too busy) but this seems like a good reason to start again and buy a new PC.

Finally something or a sim to look forward to. I'll be tracking it more closely once again

Cheers,

Mano

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the game name, Derek. It's good to see you back, Mano! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, I saw the trailer at GameTrailers and followed it back home. I think the trailer was a bit deceptive in that it didn't show a large enough scope, and that's why people were deriding it for bad graphics. The graphics might not be exceptional for a FPS or TPS game, but for a flight sim they're pretty good. :) I guess... I guess I followed the video home because of the name. From what I saw in the video, I wasn't too impressed, but at least I understood that if the title is correct (All Aspects Warfare), it was indeed an impressive game. So good job on the name. Most gamers don't even realize there's a balance between scope and detail.

I'm wondering about balance vs. realism. Obviously, most soldiers on foot have almost no chance of shooting down a fighter or bomber, and little chance of shooting down a gunship. Would a soldier on foot be completely dominated by players in vehicles, or is the on-foot section more of a segue between vehicles/turrets?

What kind of scope will the multiplayer have? Or will there be multiplayer? It'd seem a bit of a waste to do that much work and not include it. Personally, I think cross-platform would be a good stance for you guys. Sure the console guys would get their butts kicks more often than not, but that'd just be an educational experience. ;-) Besides that, GFWL is free now and all 360 games that are crossplatform with GFWL don't require a gold membership on XBL. So in other words, if it's marketed right, you could target broke-ass gamers. :-P And I'm sure there are plenty of console guys who want to try to prove themselves against PC gamers (yeah, futile but w/e) and visa-versa. BTW yes, I think GFWL is a horrible gimmick as well, but maybe even without their dumb interface you could still get cross-platform somehow.

I'd like to throw my hat in for TrackIR support. I guess given the scope it might be a little hard to do the translational axes for FPS/TPS on-foot because that'd make the characters lean and alter their hitboxes, but you might attract some customers you wouldn't otherwise. They also list and announce supported games. And IMO it's a good product with a lot of applications.

How mod-friendly will the game be? Obviously not so much on the XBox360, but on PC.

You're mapping that much terrain by hand? I mean that's awesome, but - okay you're going to shoot me for mentioning this I'm sure - isn't it about time that procedurally-generated planetary surfaces became a feature for flight simulators? I mean, almost a decade ago people started using fractals to generate realistic and highly detailed terrain - entire planets even. I've seen old-as-dirt renders that still look fabulous even by modern-day standards (except for vegetation, of course). If you're going for big scope, why not go with that? Then you could even change a few variables and get wholly new planets?

Can the draw-distance be altered? The fog in the screenshots seems a bit too close for my liking. Also with that draw distance, I'm left wondering how the terrain will still be detailed from high altitudes as promised.

Water vehicles? :-D Maybe?

Sorry for the multitude of demanding questions and silly suggestions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Okay, I saw the trailer at GameTrailers and followed it back home. I think the trailer was a bit deceptive in that it didn't show a large enough scope, and that's why people were deriding it for bad graphics. The graphics might not be exceptional for a FPS or TPS game, but for a flight sim they're pretty good. :)

Most people know that compressed graphics and screen shots don't do any real-time game justice. But stuff like that doesn't bother me in the least. After eleven games, you tend to just ignore what other people think and just keep doing what you can. You can't cater to everyone. And those people clamouring about graphics - without any hands on - are the same ones complaining that games are too graphics focused than gameplay focused.

The game's graphics are just fine and do exactly what they're supposed to do. One thing's certain, its a lot better than the millions that UBisoft is pumping into H.A.W.X.

Most gamers don't even realize there's a balance between scope and detail.

heh, yah.

I'm wondering about balance vs. realism. Obviously, most soldiers on foot have almost no chance of shooting down a fighter or bomber, and little chance of shooting down a gunship. Would a soldier on foot be completely dominated by players in vehicles, or is the on-foot section more of a segue between vehicles/turrets?

You don't need players on the ground to shoot down air threats. The game features a full suite of automated AI controlled surface to air missile silos and guns to do just that. In both single and multiplayer.

While the game features hand-held rocket launchers which are powerful against low flying gunships mostly, unless some idiot is hovering in a fighter, rockets are not going to be much use against fighters.

There will of course be play balancing issues to address, but I can't imagine why players in assets (vehicles, gunships, fighters) will dominate. Especially since not all classes can control those assets. e.g. only one (Elite Force Marine) of the three marine classes can fly a gunship. Only the two pilot classes can fly gunships and fighters. All six classes can drive any vehicle. And since vehicles are not impenetrable, a well placed anti-personnel mine, grenade or rocket is all it takes to blow up a vehicle and everyone inside. There are no tanks in the game, so all the vehicles - even those with armor - have bullet penetrating material modeling. So being in one doesn't guarantee anything.

When I was designing this game - unlike the focus placed on my space games and for which ground combat was "just another feature" and not fleshed out, this game is fully focused on game balancing. You're not going to find the frustration of BF games, the confusion in FoW or the hard core nature of ArmA. This is a sci-fi action game, designed first and formost to be fun and accessible. It was designed for a quick "pick up and play" fix. A radical departure from my original space combat roots.

What kind of scope will the multiplayer have? Or will there be multiplayer? It'd seem a bit of a waste to do that much work and not include it.

Multiplayer was the #2 focus in my design and it has the same scope as single player. Except that it also has a mode that supports four player co-op in the single player campaign. Outside of that, you have the standard deathmatch, team deathmatch and one other mode I can't talk about just yet.

Personally, I think cross-platform would be a good stance for you guys. Sure the console guys would get their butts kicks more often than not, but that'd just be an educational experience. ;-) Besides that, GFWL is free now and all 360 games that are crossplatform with GFWL don't require a gold membership on XBL. So in other words, if it's marketed right, you could target broke-ass gamers. :-P And I'm sure there are plenty of console guys who want to try to prove themselves against PC gamers (yeah, futile but w/e) and visa-versa. BTW yes, I think GFWL is a horrible gimmick as well, but maybe even without their dumb interface you could still get cross-platform somehow.

Cross platform gaming is a gimmick. GFWL is rubbish. I have no interest in either. Ever.

I'd like to throw my hat in for TrackIR support. I guess given the scope it might be a little hard to do the translational axes for FPS/TPS on-foot because that'd make the characters lean and alter their hitboxes, but you might attract some customers you wouldn't otherwise. They also list and announce supported games. And IMO it's a good product with a lot of applications.

I have looked at TrackIR in the past and communicated with them in the past but I have no interest in it as it doesn't add anything to the game nor are there any fiscal rewards or benefits for spending my time doing it. So, it won't happen. If player A can play the game just fine without it, then so can player B, C etc

How mod-friendly will the game be? Obviously not so much on the XBox360, but on PC.

Its not. There are no plans to release any tools for it.

You're mapping that much terrain by hand? I mean that's awesome, but - okay you're going to shoot me for mentioning this I'm sure - isn't it about time that procedurally-generated planetary surfaces became a feature for flight simulators? I mean, almost a decade ago people started using fractals to generate realistic and highly detailed terrain - entire planets even. I've seen old-as-dirt renders that still look fabulous even by modern-day standards (except for vegetation, of course). If you're going for big scope, why not go with that? Then you could even change a few variables and get wholly new planets?

Anyone who knows anything about terrain generation and rendering, knows that procedural texturing for games that require a certain level of fidelity is (i) overrated (ii) restrictive (iii) not suited to the kind of visuals you would need for high and ground zero altitude traversal.

In fact, the terrain engine does have procedural texturing as thats how it was designed. Once that was finished and we realized that it wasn't doing what I wanted, we disabled it.

Then we went with satellite maps. Now that was a mess. It looks wicked at high altitude (see Ace Combat 6 etc) but low quality, blurry, rubbish at low altitude. See how rubbish H.A.W.X. looks.

Once we dumped that, I decided to just go old school and had our guy create a 400 sq. mile height map and manualy create masks, textures etc. This gives 100% control over the visuals and such and has given us the best results thus far and at any altitude. Our Beta testers have had access to several early shots, movies etc and they've seen how things have evolved from then to now. And we're still at Alpha.

Can the draw-distance be altered? The fog in the screenshots seems a bit too close for my liking. Also with that draw distance, I'm left wondering how the terrain will still be detailed from high altitudes as promised.

No, it can't be altered because the game engine does it automatically. You may not be seeing fog in the shots because the cloud layer is dynamic and may be high, low etc. So you may be seeing low flying clouds, even though there is fog at certain distances.

The next movie features air combat. You will have your question answered then.

Water vehicles? :-D Maybe?

Yes, several. But only one (LCAC) is player controlled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ask all your questions here, post your thoughts etc.

As always Derek I am impressed. Good to see you cranking these games out. I have been silent but continue to buy all of your games. This one looks good and is on my list. Good luck to you...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Derek

Hows the combat system going to be like? Similar to UC:CE or completely different? Anything going to change?

What type of land vehicles can a player go into, and will they be gammulan-based vehicles instead of the general tanks and buggys?

Will there be ROAM?

How long is the campaign expected to be, or, how much of it is there?

Thanks if you can answer these questions. Im looking forward to buying it...and a new graphics card xD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×