Jump to content
3000AD Forums
Sign in to follow this  
Supreme Cmdr

First Person Mode - Whats wrong/right with it?

Recommended Posts

Since BCM, we have released 'Gold' versions of our games but with UCAWA being the last in the series, there won't be a Gold version. Instead, a Special Edition version (more details on this later) will be released around the end of the year or early next year.

Anyway, apart from some further graphics and multiplayer tweaks, there won't be any stupendous features or enhancements apart from one or two items (e.g. visible character models in open vehicles) which didn't make it into the final version.

However, since there is nothing further that can be done in space (we've done all there is to do), for UCSE, we are focusing on the first person and planetary rendering engines. Particularly first person gameplay mode.

To this end, this is an open discussion to garner suggestions, opinions etc for how to make the first person gameplay mode more intuitive (?), fun or whatever. Some folks have said that the first person mode is the least desirable mode in the game. I simply don't get that, but thats probably because I designed and developed it the way I wanted it.

Here are some topic highlights :

    [*]INTERFACE: I don't see whats wrong with it. The HUD system gives you all the info you need and if you don't want it, there's F1 to get rid of it. What about the DIE? There is no other way to implement it without cluttering the screen; so it had to be made its own sub-system.

    [*]CHARACTER MODELS: I'm quite certain that they're fine. I have no plans to revise them.

    [*]WEAPONS: As with character models, I don't see what's wrong here. I have no plans to revise them.

    [*]DYNAMICS: Movement is realistic and you're not running around at 100mph like in most fps games. I have no plans to change it.

    [*]CONTROLS: Apart from the fact that you can't remap them, the controls are standard fps fare with support for keyboard and mouse controls.

    [*]WORLD:Yes, the world is barren in some parts, but thats especially because of the size of planets. Also, you can't populate the areas of interest (bases, cities etc) without running into performance issues. Heck, even in flight sims, they use basic rectangular blocks here and there for cities, bases etc.

So, perhaps there is something that I'm missing is in fact the fp mode is the weakest part of the game? Bear in mind that the game is not a standard fps. This mode is just another feature in a massive game; without which, these games would be just like all the others in which you are ship bound.

Discuss!!

ps. We are in talks to release both UC Gold and UC A World Apart in box form sometime this qtr (before the end of March).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO there isn't anything overtly wrong with FP its more a combination of little issues that add up to it just not being as interesting.

1. Scale. One of the greatest strengths of the BC games is the scale, everything is the right size but in this case I think itworks against the FP mode. The ranges that things seem to take place most of the time make it hard for a player to score hits on targets without a scope. I always get the feeling that combat ranges are way outside my capabilities to successfully engage.

2. Interface. again everything you have is necessary and works but its aesthetics could be improved. Especially with the crosshair. I think that everything could be laid out much more attractivly than the bar at the bottom.

3. Life expectancy. FP is much less forgiving, you can die much faster than you usually can in space and if you have a ship in orbit you have been working with for a couple of weeks it makes you very leery to go out in FP mode in a hostile situation.

4. vehicle interaction. Space is great, ships have different speeds and flight characteristics but on planet vehicles don't follow the pattern. A turrent on a tank can pivot at unbelievably high rates and the camera doesn't track with the turret. Thats my biggest beef with ground vehicles. I'd like to see a system in place like with the foot model where you camera is locked in standard FPS style but your "look" key is tied to the turret or vice versa.

5. Sound. I know your gonna berate me for my onboard sound but I think the library itself could be improved. alot of the sounds are a little tinny or abrupt. Footsteps could carry more weight, weapon switch sounds could be softer and less obtrusive... I guess what I'm saying is that sounds don't seem to flow like they do in space. in space main guns feel powerful and carry weight but I don't get that feeling in FP.

There is alot of stuff thats great in fp its just alot of little things that sit slightly off that add up. Plus I tend to enjoy watching action unfold from my CC than get down in the dirt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm really in doubt if my following suggestion is any good considering realism vs. gameplay, but here is a suggestion that I personally think would improve gameplay on my part:

What I'm missing is some kind of visible tracer rounds or something like that, so both on a planet and in space you are able to see marines / fighters / cap ship fire tracing through the "air" to hit its target. I know that you are able to see fighter / cap ship fire, but its really hard to see (but probably more realistic).

I think it would be cool so you could get a clear indication of when you are being shot at.

I really like that the missiles now have that "fat" particle generated flame behind, so you really can see them coming at you.

I don't know, is this a bad idea? I'm not suggesting that marines should shoot fat laser beams at each other but something more subtle but visible from a distance though?

Of course this would probably have a major impact in performance, but luckily its not up to me to decide.

Well, thats my suggestion anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The size of the shots are scaled according to the weapon they are fired from. They won't be changed.

Also, most fp weapons use projectiles (bullets) and no tracers. If you use a weapon that uses lasers, you will be able to see shots at reasonable ranges.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my end the first point that Eclipse pointed out is the main weak spot for the FP mode.

Most of time I end up killed without even be able to respond to fire or see what hit me.

I'm one of those tactical FPS aficionados that have played really a lot of them and that is able to win games of this kind in a short time and with little effort.....but here I have a really hard time.....

In other FPS if someone can shoot you, you can see him; here most of times the target that is engaging you is out of normal sight range and in the few seconds that you have to use your targeting systems you're already dead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Most of time I end up killed without even be able to respond to fire or see what hit me.

I agree on this. I know there is a good reason for why it has been designed this way, but the marines seems far more accurate in their shooting (In fact, somtimes you get the feeling that they never miss, which gets you running and hiding instead of fire fighting), than you see with e.g. your pilots, even if at 100 AI.

I guess this is probably because you are able to train you pilots in DF and BA, and they thereby have to have some limitations to begin with, but the accuracy of the enemy marines seems extremely high.

But hell, this also enforces some planning and caution which is also a very fun part of the game, but there may be a golden path between these extremes?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's nothing that I can do about someone being shot. And yes, they do miss or fps would be unplayable. If you don't want to get shot, don't stand around gaping at the scenery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think scale is the largest problem. Sure the world is huge and thats nice, but it just does not 'feel' like im taking cover. There are not rocks, boulders, debris, buildings you can hide behind, run to at a moments notice, etc. Id rather have a planet 1/16 of the size or smaller and have lots of cover rather than a large, nearly barren planet.

Also of course you may not want to read this, but FP combat inside ships would be would make my day.

Main thing: too vast, not populated enough.

Anything less and I probably wont even consider buying another UC title (unless of course you do something awesome to steal my interest). Tweaks and graphics will just no longer do it for me. This is just my opinion on the UC series and how I just dont feel it advanced as far as I would have liked it to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:


Originally posted by Carl Burning:

Also of course you may not want to read this, but FP combat inside ships would be would make my day.


Take this thread off topic again and you will be banned without warning. You know the rules.

quote:


Originally posted by Carl Burning:

Tweaks and graphics will just no longer do it for me. This is just my opinion on the UC series and how I just dont feel it advanced as far as I would have liked it to.


The advancements are not made for the benefits and/or likes and wants of one person or persons. I advance my titles based on what is feasible, within the scope of the game and which do not break from my original vision. Anyone who thinks otherwise is sadly mistaken.

And the leap from UC to UCAWA is much larger than most think. Like most, I'm quite happy with it because it keeps the original focus of the franchise exactly as I envisioned it. Change for the sake of change is a waste of time and thats why most franchise properties die.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the problem I have with FP is that I really don't feel like I have a reason to put myself in danger to attack a base myself. Why bother when I can just park my CC above it and blast away with my PTA's. Also I can have my fighers attack and deploy marines to take it out. There's nothing that really requires my direct interaction.

Even though I've been around here for a while, I haven't played FP too much so I don't know the answer to this question: Does each building actually serve a purpose in a base, so if one is destroyed the others are affected, or are the seperate from each other? The reason I ask is because I know there are defense turrents on the ground in some bases, and if you destroy one of these than they can't shoot at you anymore, but can you get the same result by destroying the radar tower, for example. If they can't see you they can't shoot at you. The same with a power station. If they don't have power they can't have working defenses.

What is the feasability of putting shields around bases to protect them from your CC and fighers? This way you would have to send down an assault team to destroy or disable the 'shield generater' before you could use air support. To disable it you could add an interface that can be used to 'hack' into a building from the outside (from a close distance or at a certain position next to it), giving you access to some of it's functions (this way you wouldn't have to add the ability to enter a building). Examples of the functions are bringing down shields, changing enemy turrents so they are friendly and fire on the enemy, turning off the orbital defenses that have been knocking your CC around, or overloading the power so it explodes and takes out the base , etc. It could also require higher AI to access the more important functions of a building (e.g. sleep (little inside joke for Star Trek fans ))

Things like this would make me feel a little more needed in the base-destroying process. I might not feel comfortable giving a squad of marines with an average AI of 6 the task of going in and taking down the shields, and decide that this something I should really do myself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

None of the points above have anything to do with the question I'm asking.

I wasn't asking why you - or anyone - needs to assault a base in fp mode. You don't.

I wasn't asking about what new features to add. There won't be any.

The question - I thought - was clear in the subject thread. If you don't play fp mode, then you shouldn't respond.

Lets try to stick to the thread subject instead of littering it with irrelevant stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

None of the points above have anything to do with the question I'm asking.

I wasn't asking why you - or anyone - needs to assault a base in fp mode. You don't.

I wasn't asking about what new features to add. There won't be any.

The question - I thought - was clear in the subject thread. If you don't play fp mode, then you shouldn't respond.

Lets try to stick to the thread subject instead of littering it with irrelevant stuff.

Sorry, I gave you my suggestions and opinions, which from my understanding is what you were asking for in the text quoted below from the original post. You're right, I don't play FP much due to the fact that it is my 'least desireable mode' due to the reasons I specified.

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

To this end, this is an open discussion to garner suggestions, opinions etc for how to make the first person gameplay mode more intuitive (?), fun or whatever. Some folks have said that the first person mode is the least desirable mode in the game. I simply don't get that, but thats probably because I designed and developed it the way I wanted it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, I'll take a stab at it.

As a LONG time player of FPS games (I still have a copy of Wolfenstein running on an old 386), I've come to realize that generally, it's the finer points of game design that separate a great shooter from a mediocre one.

FPS games are ultimately about shooting stuff (natch) but it's the little things that you might not be paying attention to that make for a stellar shooter experience. Thus, when a FPS falls flat, it's often hard to put a finger on why. But the biggest factor, at the risk of sounding cryptic, is 'feel'.

Ever drive a high-end performance car that was so responsive that it almost drives itself? When you turn the wheel, when you hit the accelerator, and when you really open it up and start effortlessly weaving in out of traffic and passing the other drivers as if they were standing still, didn't you sense that everything just felt right? And if you've ever done this in a really good car like a BMW or a Jaguar, you probably know what I'm talking about.

So, back to the shooter portion of FPS. In a nutshell, if you play HL2 and then turn right around and play a FPS mission in AWA, it is akin to renting a BMW Z4 for a day and then going back to driving your '94 Escort Wagon. The reason? Feel. The response of the controls, the effect of firing a weapon, the speed at which you change direction and move, all of them feel a little...off.

The question is: how much of this matters to you? I get the feeling that reviewers who slam the FPS portion of AWA are smart enough to realize that there WILL be trade-offs in a game that does EVERYTHING, yet they still do so out of an obligation to not make allowances for such things, thus maintaining their rep as "tough" reviewers.

IF I was a programmer tasked to improve the FPS portion, I would start with the responsiveness of the controls. I would lessen the time from a peripheral input and in-game response, and I would enhance the visceral feedback of a player action. But, unlike game reviewers, who need to maintain a certain "image", I am okay with taking the game as a whole, making obvious concessions for a FPS that makes up only a small portion of a much larger game, and judging it for what it is: a near-limitless giant galactic sandbox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent post Prez. Thats the kind of feedback I'm looking for.

The space and planetary flight dynamics portion of the game are where I want them to be without venturing into Newtonian physics (which I have NO intentions of doing).

So, what I'd like to do is see about polishing the vehicular use, asset switching (which I'm going to revise and make it brain dead like in BF and its ilk) and the first person experience.

I'm not going to reduce the size of the planets just because someone doesn't want to get shot from a mile away.

The planetary engine was designed with three things in mind: high altitude (fighters, ships from space), low altitude (gunships) and ground zero (fps mode) traversal. Naturally in doing that, the planets have to be big or fighters (e.g. going at Mach 2) would go from one end to the other in no time and not even be able to fly slow enough to hit anything on the ground.

Within the scope of whats there, I know that there are areas of improvement and one of those areas is in the fp mode. Sure, I can go off and do my own thing with it, but I just wanted to garner some more comments and suggestions before I do that.

The end result - mind you - is that this represents the last generation of BC/UC games because UCO will be based on the UCAWA/UCSE kernel. Once thats done, they won't go through any significant upgrade. This strategy is similar to games like Planetsite, WW2OL, Eve etc.

BCNG - if it ever gets done, now that we're transitioning to XBox360 only - will be a totally different game entirely and developed from the ground up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't top Prez's response. I'm not a FPS person, but I think his description of the FPS portion is quite good. He gave a really good summation. If the "feel" could be improved, the FPS portion would be more intuitive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, and its that 'feel' thats going to be tricky because, quite frankly, it feels somewhat right to me; but I simply can't put my finger on what is wrong with it.

I know that vehicular ease of use and asset switching needs to be revised somewhat and thats not a problem. But its this feel that I'm having a difficult time figuring out what works for everyone.

The interface is fine though, right? I mean you can remove the entire HUD by pressing F1 if you don't want it. Sure, the HUD has a lot of info, but thats because the fp mode has more features and info that other games do. I was thinking of revising it for UCSE to a minimalist level, but I can't imagine what info in that HUD isn't needed. All of it is and thats the best layout that I could come up with.

I am also going to be plotting target dots in that HUD map so that you don't need Tacops to see the hostiles around your location. It would be like the TRS (which is also available in the DIE).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Target dots in the HUD map. I Like. That's a more intuitive feature I think. I don't think the HUD has too much info. Again, I'm not a FPS person, but I love lot's of info, so I think that's OK!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What part of first person are we talking about? Single player or multiplayer?

And about the interface, the bottom bar setup hasnbn't been really used since almost a decade. IMO, this plays a big part in making it feel outdated. I think people realize that with a game world this big, you can't be putting out the latest in visuals.. It should be divided into two parts, spread out on the bottom left and bottom right corenrs of the screen. Total ammo, ammo left in the clip, and currently selected weapon should be in the bottom right and health/stance (prone, standing, etc.) should be in the bottow left corner.

Also, the font looks kind of..chintzy(read :"old school").. Bank gothic is an example of a better one.

Also, I agree moving at 100 MPH is a baad idea, but it would be good if the walking speeed was a increased A BIT. Jogging speed is aboit 10 MPH.

Reasoning : the game involves a lot of walking from point A to point B, so if the walking was a bit faster, it would leave players bored less of the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fonts bear no relevance to thread nor the scope of discussion. Please stay on topic or your posts will continue to be deleted.

When in doubt, don't post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SC, could you recommend a specific IA scenario for all of us to try out and give you our opinions/thoughts/suggestions on? We could try it and then jot down our thoughts on the different pieces of it. It would be almost like a survey. This way we are all working off of the same 'data' when it comes to what we feel is right or wrong with FP, hopefully allowing us to isolate specific issues and get a feel for what MIGHT be wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

UCAWA has enough fp scenarios. I can't recommend any specific one. Just pick one.

e.g. someone mentioned (elsewhere on the board) that the Last Man Standing scenario was too difficult because he couldn't see the enemy. Naturally, thats ridiculous since there are so many ways of evading incoming fire and figuring out where the hostiles were coming from, that I just shook my head and move on to the next thread. People like that are the same ones who complain when games (e.g. Doom and its ilk) end up using stupid closet tricks with triggers for stuff like this; yet they complain when it is done. Its like I'm supposed to have the hostiles send out a warning telling you that they're coming to put a bullet in your cranium. Some gamers are just, well stupid really; and there is no excuse for that. And thats why most game developers end up developing games the way they do: with the assumption that the majority of gamers are stupid and incompetent idiots.

Surveys are meaningless for something like this because they will just end up with skewed results. If I thought a survey would work, I'd have created one or a poll. But thanks for the suggestion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

quote:

Originally posted by Supreme Cmdr:

UCAWA has enough fp scenarios. I can't recommend any specific one. Just pick one.


Ok, maybe I'll just start at the top and work my way down.

quote:

e.g. someone mentioned (elsewhere on the board) that the Last Man Standing scenario was too difficult because he couldn't
see
the enemy. Naturally, thats ridiculous since there are so many ways of evading incoming fire and figuring out where the hostiles were coming from, that I just shook my head and move on to the next thread.

I also get frustrated when playing FP and I get shot but have no idea who shot me or where they were. It sounds like this is something that just requires me to become more familiar with the interface and develop better tactics, although I think the change you are making to put enemy targets on the map will help out a lot.

quote:

People like that are the same ones who complain when games (e.g. Doom and its ilk) end up using stupid closet tricks with triggers for stuff like this; yet they complain when it is done.

I'm just wondering what all the bad-nasties did wrong to get put in the closet in the first place.

quote:

Its like I'm supposed to have the hostiles send out a warning telling you that they're coming to put a bullet in your cranium.

Oooooooh, could you??? Maybe a bright beam of light could come down from the sky to highlight each one........j/k

quote:

Surveys are meaningless for something like this because they will just end up with skewed results. If I thought a survey would work, I'd have created one or a poll. But thanks for the suggestion.

No problem. Just trying to be constructive and help out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hehe, hiding baddies in the closet is the oldest trick in the book. And it sucks. Thats the #1 complaint I had with Doom3. That game just ended up being a tech demo instead of a game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can possibly highlights hostiles in the hudof the helmet when they come into a certain range without the need to have it targeted; something like the space contacts traking system.

You see them in the radar at far distances but when in engage range they are marked in the hud with a small square or rectangle possibly.

Just a thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thats already done. Its in the DIE and you have the VTTs as well. But if you are waiting for the VTT, then you're probably already dead.

And then there's Tacops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  

×