Line Of Defense “Nightbridge” Glimpsed

By Jim Rossignol on April 27th, 2011 at 7:44 am.


3000AD’s upcoming MMOFPS Line Of Defense is big. The latest devblog reveals at that one of the base areas, Nightbridge, which is a base within a ruined city, is: “…nearly 2km x 3km massive.” And the surrounding environment is even more serious: “The entire scene itself – like the other three – is about 64km x 64km. A lot of space to run around in with weapons of mass destruction.”

Mr Smart says he’s worried that players of normal FPS games might end up being a bit overwhelmed by it all: “My single greatest concern at this point is that it is so huge that most gamers used to the “closed in” level based design of fps games, may just get lost in there. Or at best, be intimidated by the size of it all.” More screenshots here.

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70 Comments »

  1. Thants says:

    More than intimidated my concern would be if it’s all boring, procedurally generated space.

    • Premium User Badge

      P7uen says:

      My concern is how big this planet’s DVDs must be if that is the size of their CD racks.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Procedural != boring, necessarily. Depends on the algorithms involved, and how much is left up to the algorithms vs. how much is put into the universal ruleset.

      Procedurally generated spaces can be boring, certainly, but they don’t have to be that way if the programmers know what they’re doing and don’t try to use proc-gen as a magic wand without making sure the parts that aren’t generated algorthmically are already interesting aside from the proc-gen parts.

      Example: like how Minecraft’s terrain features vary wildly, but the crafting rules stay 100% the same, and you always start near trees so you can start crafting right away. A bad example would be any one of the many, many roguelikes that don’t do enough to avoid screwing over inexperienced players (Nethack could be worse, but even that one’s not super-friendly).

  2. Gormongous says:

    Glad to see Mr. Smart is still thinking grandiloquently, absurdly big.

  3. Stevostin says:

    My greatest concern at this point is that this appears to be a FPS presenting itself with not a single one First Person View screenshot. IMO this demonstrates a lack of understanding from both the gamedesign and communication side of FPS publishing.
    My second in line yet serious concern is that it looks very ugly, like in “2007-ugly”. It feel like a FPS made by modding a RTS engine.

    • Wilson says:

      Two things: would you honestly argue that games from 2007 really qualify as ‘ugly’? Not as stunning as modern good graphics games sure, but ugly? Also, I think a lot of fairly modern RTS games look really good, even when zoomed in a lot.

      I think it looks perfectly fine, and if it was a choice between allowing a bigger more ambitious scope or having better graphics, I would toss next-gen or even current-gen graphics every time.

    • Tei says:

      This image clearly need a bit of fog added. Fog help add a sense of distance. Like any effect can be abused, but his absence on this shot is jarring.

    • HexagonalBolts says:

      All of the shots on the main website are very ugly by today’s standards – the terrain looks awkward, the textures bland and repeated, giant rocks are just randomly plonked down on the ground… if this has been created by a small indie team and the focus is on the gameplay elements then fair enough, but if this is intended to compete with the big boys then there’s a loooong way to go!

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      Guess what does not make a good game.

      Yep! Graphics. I don’t care if this has graphics from 2000, if it’s a really well put together game I will play it and play it and play it.

      Deus Ex certainly wasn’t good because of its graphics…

    • Stevostin says:

      Ugly doesn’t mean “humble 3D rendering”. There are plenty of games (not all indy : think WoW) who have been able to charm more user than a realistic looking Crysis with very low 3D engine ambition. And most of the best FPS have a focus on fast and smooth. IMO Line Of Defense’s issue is that it has the kind of visual design (detailed sci fi) that requires a good engine. It could have been fine with cartoonish rendering, but it’s not what we have here.

      And yup, it doesn’t mean the gameplay to be bad (although showing TPV instead of FPS doesn’t smell good at all). But we can only comment what we have. Here are screenshots, let’s speak about visuals…

    • Wilson says:

      Mmm, I think I’m using a slightly warped definition of ‘ugly’. To me, a game is ugly when it’s so unpleasant to look at that it spoils the game. I would certainly call these graphics old and plain, but ugly seemed too harsh to me.

      @Stevoshin – Good point about how certain styles better lend themselves to lower tech graphics, but I think the style here suits the game without being so unpleasant to look at that it would distract me from the game. And yes, because we have screenshots we’ll be talking about the visuals more than anything else, but you can’t ignore what the game is trying to do, that has to be considered in the commentary (not that you were ignoring it, but your last comment kind of sounded like you may have been advocating that, though you probably weren’t).

    • Stevostin says:

      I was just pointing out that IMO those screens were making a poor job of selling us an MMOFPS. It looks like they’re showing stuff waaaay to early in the developpement. They should show stuff with real FPS views, other players, and polished visuals at least. You don’t have that much open window to leave an impression, so it’s pretty sad to use it and make a negative difference to the usual news stream. Especially when, as you state it, what the game tries to accomplish is actually interesting. A good MMOFPS could certainly turn me on ! I will still read news about this game for that reason.

  4. JackShandy says:

    My largest concern is that my game will be simply too awesome, overwhelming those that have become accustomed to smaller, less awesome games.

    • Wedge says:

      I’m confused because I thought of posting this exact comment, except I wanted to add a picture of Derek Smart wearing sunglasses and remembered you can’t do that here.

  5. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    That’s a lot of brownish buildings. Browntown?

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      P7uen says:

      When you’re alone,
      And can’t play co-op Portal,
      You can always go…

    • stblr says:

      … which was sung by Lucille Bluth to General Garvey in Arrested Development. Garvey was played by J.K. Simmons, the very same man who voices Cave Johnson in Portal 2!

  6. Wertymk says:

    Hmm, that doesn’t actually look as bad as the other 3000ad games. It does still look like someone is trying to make an fps game on a flight simulator engine though.

    • Anonymous Coward says:

      “It does still look like someone is trying to make an fps game on a flight simulator engine though.”

      which, if given the ability to fly, could be a good thing…

  7. Rii says:

    I can tell that this is going to be a fun thread.

    On a constructive note, I think many of the screenshots would be considerably improved by the judicious application of AA/AF.

  8. amandachen says:

    What does it mean that a virtual world is nearly 2km x 3km massive? Think about a game set in space–Eve Online, or something–a game like that would be millions of times bigger.

    • Item! says:

      It is about scale.

      EVE doesn’t actually offer you millions of light-years of space, just a representation of such.

    • amandachen says:

      So how is Line Of Defense different?

      Well, okay, you move around at a much lower speed. That’s about it.

    • Berzee says:

      Today in Science News: Spaceship Shrinks The World, Relatively!

  9. PaulMorel says:

    Lol. Reminds me of the big talk that came from the CrimeCraft developers.

    I guarantee that this game will suck.

  10. DSR says:

    Last “huge open world fps” game I remember was Soldner: Secret War.
    It was bad.

    P.S. I’m not talking about OFP and Arma. Those are not games but MilSims.

  11. Love Albatross says:

    Actually, 2x3km is not that big and the screenshots show a rather dull, unimaginative ruined city, so I don’t think it likely I’ll get lost.

  12. Fondue says:

    This concept is really The Megagame – huge space battles, planetary conquest etc. However I don’t know if this guy has the developer power to make it a reality. Hard to judge based off these shots.

  13. 7rigger says:

    I just wonder how players will find the action in those big maps. If I play this, will I be running around endlessly looking for a fight that I’ve just missed?

    I hope he’s looked at ways to keep the action centralized around certain points, otherwise anything below the full player count will probably just feel like a ghost town.

    I’m looking forward to this, but cautiously…

  14. shagen454 says:

    I don’t even care about screenshots if the gameplay mechanics are good. I mean those graphics look pretty boring but if the gameplay is there… but I’ve been hearing Derek Smart talk big about his games for more than a decade. Maybe he’ll deliver something this time? Ouch.

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    MajorManiac says:

    The graphics look live a 90s RTS. However if they can make a Battlefield meets Gound control game I’d be very happy.

  16. Rond says:

    Line Of Defence. Here, fixed that for you.

    • BloodPukeSalvation says:

      “Line Of Defence. Here, fixed that for you.”

      um..

    • Teddy Leach says:

      It’s ‘Defence’ outside of America. It may have the ‘s’ spelling in other countries, but I’ve not yet noticed it.

    • Koozer says:

      Defence looks nicer!

    • BloodPukeSalvation says:

      well ill keep that in mind… when im de-fencing a fence. when i break it down like that… it sounds like a better word for offense… you know… removing a fence/barrier.

      fair enough though.

  17. Rocketsocketrobot says:

    Baring the graphics, and the lack of actual first person screen shots, or even a shot at what the hud will look like, or even some weapon renders, man even those would be good to see.

    I think the biggest problem is.. Uh, why does nothing in that city make sense?

    There look like there are at least two, possibly three buildings that could house things and even maybe people. Everything else looks like a giant futuristic CD rack, what the hell is the point of those? And why does the city just seem to be stuck in the middle of no where, why would you build a city of giant CD racks in the middle of no where, and what the hell is wrong with the roads, they zip and twist a million times to go in a straight line and that canal is no where near big enough to house a proper boat.

    Nice to see the 90′s lumpy terrain brush tool back again though.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I think the CD racks are meant to be destroyed buildings. If you look in some of the shots there are sort of half-buildingy buildings whose top halves are CD rack, and bottom half is buildingy, and which have piles of rubble and bits of building sticking out of said rubble.

      So my guess is, this is the “line of defence / defense” that isnt working very well, resulting in explodey building syndrome and sort of building carcasses that resemble CD racks. Maybe the point of the game is to stop your buildings becoming CD racks.

  18. Teddy Leach says:

    I’m waiting for someone to perform the summoning ritual.

  19. groghog says:

    that guy looks like a cross between shepard and the robot from fo3

  20. mollemannen says:

    i hate when mmo devs brags about how big their maps are. like with fallen earth. just fill a small map with a lot of content instead.

  21. Derek Smart says:

    I am going to address all the posts thus far into a single one.

    @Thants

    More than intimidated my concern would be if it’s all boring, procedurally generated space.

    It is all manually created. No procedural or autogenerated stuff going on – apart from vegetation and such

    @Stevostin

    My greatest concern at this point is that this appears to be a FPS presenting itself with not a single one First Person View screenshot. IMO this demonstrates a lack of understanding from both the gamedesign and communication side of FPS publishing.
    My second in line yet serious concern is that it looks very ugly, like in “2007-ugly”. It feel like a FPS made by modding a RTS engine.

    You must be blind. Not only are there several fps shots (some of which a debug command removed the GUI), but there are three other albums with fps and tps shots from other bases.

    As to the ugly. Yeah, uhm, ok – whatever man.

    @Tei

    This image clearly need a bit of fog added. Fog help add a sense of distance. Like any effect can be abused, but his absence on this shot is jarring.

    Fog is usually used to hide artifacts in draw distances. This engine does not have that problem. We do have fog (e.g. during various weather patterns) but it is used only where/when necessary. I think once new shots of the different weather patterns, especially in the Frostbite based set in an artic region, you’ll see quite a big of fog and how it is used.

    @Wertymk

    It does still look like someone is trying to make an fps game on a flight simulator engine though.

    I’m sorry – and you know this how? Just because of its size you immediately conclude that this was a flight sim engine? seriously?

    Funny thing, not only is this a brand new engine – that has nothing from my previous game engines – but it was built from the ground up to be fps/tps and with a minimal flight dynamics engine implemented for that whole, you know, aircrafts flying around thing.

    If you have a question, why not just ask instead of making ridiculous claims?

    @PaulMorel

    Lol. Reminds me of the big talk that came from the CrimeCraft developers.
    I guarantee that this game will suck.

    Please don’t compare or confuse talent for incompetence. I have never talked up a game – any game – and not delivered on exactly what I envisioned. Sure my games may not be for everyone, but as long as I can envision it, I can build it. Which is why – more than 22 yrs and 16 games later – I’m still here. Comparing my track record – not to mention dev pedigree – to the likes of the travesty that is Crimecraft is the sort of thing that people get tackled to the ground for a beaten senseless for.

    @Fondue

    This concept is really The Megagame – huge space battles, planetary conquest etc. However I don’t know if this guy has the developer power to make it a reality. Hard to judge based off these shots.

    uhm….

    @7rigger

    I just wonder how players will find the action in those big maps. If I play this, will I be running around endlessly looking for a fight that I’ve just missed?

    I hope he’s looked at ways to keep the action centralized around certain points, otherwise anything below the full player count will probably just feel like a ghost town.

    I’m looking forward to this, but cautiously…

    As I mentioned in the blog that accompanied these shots, that is my single greatest concern. At least for people not used to playing my games which, by their very nature, a massive.

    However, due to how the game is designed, there will be huge chokepoints where most of the action is centralized. But despite that, with a fully functional radar system, just look for the Red dots and go there. :)

    Anyway, a public Beta is planned and from that we’ll learn whether or not gameplay tweaks will have to be made in order to compensate for the size of the game world.

    @Rocketsocketrobot

    Baring the graphics, and the lack of actual first person screen shots, or even a shot at what the hud will look like, or even some weapon renders, man even those would be good to see.

    I think the biggest problem is.. Uh, why does nothing in that city make sense?

    There look like there are at least two, possibly three buildings that could house things and even maybe people. Everything else looks like a giant futuristic CD rack, what the hell is the point of those? And why does the city just seem to be stuck in the middle of no where, why would you build a city of giant CD racks in the middle of no where, and what the hell is wrong with the roads, they zip and twist a million times to go in a straight line and that canal is no where near big enough to house a proper boat.

    Nice to see the 90′s lumpy terrain brush tool back again though.

    First, it’s a game. It doesn’t have to make sense – as long as it is fun.

    Second, you’ve only see bits and pieces with no possible stitched coherence.

    The city is laid out just fine – and those canals were not designed to house boats. There are numerous lakes and rivers outside the city for that.

    If you read my previous blog, you will understand why this city/base is where it is.

    The buildings look like a “CD rack” because the windows do not yet have transparency (again mentioned in the blog) – hence no window panes. This is what they looked like a month ago.

    • 7rigger says:

      Thanks for the reply :) I’ll get into the beta when it’s available, but I am awful for getting lost in games (Even in tight mp games I always feel like I just missed the action!) so I’ll try not to screw up your figures :)

      All in all, I am happy that you have realised this and have solutions in hand for idiots like me :P

    • Berzee says:

      Regarding fog, just remember that in Real Life objects further away do gradually become more desaturated (foggy) and more bluish. Even on a perfectly clear day =)

    • aerozol says:

      The problem is that your website isn’t very well laid out. Like most other internet users, I’m not going to dig through your blog to find out that the terrain is hand made.
      I look at the first thing I see, which is the screenshots linked by RPS, or the prominent ‘Latest Shots’ part of your website, both showing (literally the least appealing and varied media you have) a cityscape that looks graphically not so impressive, or particularly interesting to explore (eg looks procedural). As a proof of concept, fine, but consider only showing the bits that really show the games intent, otherwise it just looks… boring. Check any big dev website for an example. For the people following your development closely, show them all that dev stuff/ process on another page, because they will do an extra click to get there.
      Just some web designer input here (:
      You might not have the people/ budget to make large changes, but consider what shots they get on the front page. When i looked closer, and saw the desert environments as well, I started getting a little more interested. But that took a while.

  22. Ovno says:

    Looks interesting, initial impression is that there looking at scratching that planetside sized itch many of us still have and if it does, it will be f-ing mighty.

    And less of the hate guys its a game not a personal insult.

  23. Derek Smart says:

    @ 7rigger, Ovno

    It really is a balancing act. I want to make the game as accessible as possible but by the same token, I’ve tried that in the past and failed miserably at it – simply because of how my mind works. I don’t go out and design/develop games that I can already play from someone else. So I tend to go my own way and that usually means that I end up appealing to a smaller audience, despite my best efforts. But hey, that small audience has kept me in business. And since I’m not greedy, I’m not complaining.

    I have developed a large fps game before. All Aspect Warfare, released back in 2009. Though the setting was different, the landscape size of that game was over 100x that of this game. The smaller scope of LOD allows us to focus on a more populated environment and one which can be tweaked in order to shoehorn the gameplay into it.

    There will be lots of cues to prevent players from getting lost. But since I’m planning a three month “invite only” public Beta (scheduled to start in the Sept/Oct time frame), I think that there will be enough time to iron out this singular concern. Of course if the game itself sucks, then no amount of tweaking is going to help. SInce it’s not going to suck, I’m not particularly concerned about it either way.

    Yes, because of the kind of game that I’m building, the size really concerns me greatly but I think that it will come together eventually as it will all depend on how the choke points work. e.g. someone taking out your nuclear reactor, shuts down the base entirely. meaning that not even the automated defense systems, shields, cannons etc will work. So that’s one choke point right there. There are over 16 of them; each one a key component to the base’s operations.

    • Ovno says:

      Hey if you can make money making only the games you want to play (and from your back catalog you can and do) then go for it mate.

      And having the choke points being actual functional areas of the base that have an effect on game play will be brilliant as well, I loved the way they did that in etqw there’s something so much more satisfying about fighting over something important rather than just a flag.

      Loving the enterable buildings too, I remember I once made a quake 1 level with an enter city of enterable houses and blocks of flats, sadly after a week of compiling the bsp I had to turn my poor 486 off because I wanted to play games.

      Are you planning any sort of command structure to keep the play focused and to add a bit of organisation? Because a game like this is crying for a advanced commander mode (possibly even developed to a rts-esque standard) unless the missions progress in a fairly linear fashion.

      Also, I would love a beta invite when the time comes :p

  24. Spacewalk says:

    I’d like to see more concrete around the bases of those structures or flattening the environment around them so they don’t look so wedged into the ground so hard that they’re clipping with it. Maybe some sidewalks around the roads that don’t have them and to fill in the parts of the city where the grass is intruding. It would make it look a bit more visually appealing.

  25. Sunjammer says:

    I think the core problem with any open world is traversal. If traversal isn’t in itself fun or entertaining, then all that scale is for nought. I see all that space and, to be honest, i just want to sigh. The notion of having to cross all that space… I hated it even in fairly dense open worlds, like WoW, where i’d see my goal on the horizon, but yeah, still 5 more minutes of waiting to run there. It’s just so damn boring.

    I don’t see the appeal of not being where you’re supposed to be, and the bigger the world, the bigger the chances of being in the wrong place. Smaller, tighter spaces make it easier to solve that particular problem so it becomes less noticeable. I’ve been playing some Section 8 recently and so much of that game, though they’ve still made very blunt measures to correct it, is about not being where you’re needed.

    I guess a more constructive argument would be that if you don’t have parkour, or spider man grappling hooks, or weighty, satisfying Battlezone type hovertank movement, or drift racing, or infinite paragliders or whatever. If you don’t have anything to make the moment to moment travel an entertaining minigame in itself, then all that distance does is turn me off.

  26. Springy says:

    I can’t wait to see some combat footage. I wonder how varied the environments are.

  27. Derek Smart says:

    @ ovno

    Are you planning any sort of command structure to keep the play focused and to add a bit of organisation? Because a game like this is crying for a advanced commander mode (possibly even developed to a rts-esque standard) unless the missions progress in a fairly linear fashion.

    Also, I would love a beta invite when the time comes :p

    A command structure is one of the primary focuses of the gameplay. However, I find that in games like this, no matter how well you do the structure, gamers just go and do their own thing anyway. Only in games where you have truly dedicated gamers in guilds (LOD calls them Fireteams) and who get together to play, listen to their command leader etc that it works.

    So regardless, some gamers are just going to run off and try to do their own thing – then cry foul (replite with the usual obscenties hurled at the devs) when they get their asses kicked.

    One thing about Planetside is that the loners quickly learned that you’re simply not going to get very far in that run and gun style mode of play. But despite that, most still did just that. And because of that, command structure games – with a strict focus on that (e.g. Planetside) – tend to not appeal to a large audience. Which is exactly why Planetside faltered and remained firmly planted in the niche hardcore category despite the fact that it was years ahead of its time.

    Games like Global Agenda went in the opposite direction. That didn’t turn out so good either. And recent MMOFPS games like Earthrise apparently didn’t learn anything from that. So that too has failed spectacularly. I don’t expect Planetside Next, Tribes Ascend or Firefall to fare any better; though I have high hopes for the later.

    The key here is, why do you want to develop an MMOFPS that mimics fps/tps games that are already being played on the PC, consoles etc? What is going to make John Doe go play your game, when he already has a ton of brilliant fps/tps games to play? For me the answer is to offer something more.

    And that’s where the balancing act comes in. Someone who plays COD, Crysis2 (which I thought was a gameplay letdown) et al is going to expect pretty much the same gameplay and quite possibly the visuals and aesthetics to match when they play your game. And if you can’t give them that, you better be damn sure that you can give them something else to compensate for that and thus hold their attention.

    I don’t profess to have all the answers. I just want to make games.

    • Ovno says:

      I think perhaps an answer to that sort of thing may be to not list kills and captures for each player on the main score screen and to just list points instead, points that are gained through kills and captures but which are gained much quicker though following orders and even more quickly through killing and capturing while following orders.

      That way there is a definite advantage to the players to do as there bloody well told, particularly (and I hate to say it) if there are unlocks to be gained through level progression, which depends on points, which should pull in most of the cod style players.

      Then your main problem is inept commanders, which I think only a kick vote (one use per player per map) can solve.

  28. Derek Smart says:

    @Sunjammer

    I think the core problem with any open world is traversal. If traversal isn’t in itself fun or entertaining, then all that scale is for nought. I see all that space and, to be honest, i just want to sigh. The notion of having to cross all that space… I hated it even in fairly dense open worlds, like WoW, where i’d see my goal on the horizon, but yeah, still 5 more minutes of waiting to run there. It’s just so damn boring.

    I agree 100%. And therein lies the rub.

    However, in this game, I have addressed that problem in many ways.

    1. You can use DJP (aka teleport) units to go from place to place. Either within the same scene/base or to another scene/base.

    2. You have fast jets (top speed of most is a little under Mach 1 at sea level). I had to scale back on the speed of the aircrafts from my previous games due to the fact that this game is a much – much – smaller world.

    3. You have gunships.

    4. You have vehicles. Lots of vehicles.

    5. You have personal subs (both single and duo-seater models).

    6. You have neural implant bios which give you various abilities ranging from super speed to instant teleportation (think Nightcrawler). If you can see it, you can teleport there.

    7. You have planetfall drop launches which means that from space or while freefalling from an aircraft, you can drop launch into any part of the game world.

    8. You have jetpacks (as seen in the recent shots) of various speeds and capabilities.

    And since the game gives you the ability to build your own bases (aka player housing) at designated areas of the game world, you can use those as FOBs close to a base and operate from there.

  29. Hensler says:

    I ended up getting really overwhelmed by All Aspect Warfare and didn’t put as much time into it as I should have. None of my friends had it for multiplayer, so I moved onto the lastest scmho who flowed. There were still a ton of things that I really liked about that game, and it’s sitting in my Steam list to get back to one day. The scope and everything about it were amazing – it’s good to see developers still putting out products like AAW and Precursors and such.
    I’m really looking forward to Line of Defense and the Galactic Command MMO. I’ve read some awesome Lets’ Play with the old Battlecruiser games, too – I’d go back and play that if there were more hours in the day.

  30. fenriz says:

    looks and sounds really good.

    As long as it has no forced gameplay(quests, gear, levels, rigidly scaled zones) and it’s all up to the player’s freedom to follow the career he wants, the activities he wants…

    And that it’s entirely PvP-driven.

    Sandbox simulation = good.
    Themepark anti-social closed = bad

  31. Derek Smart says:

    @ Hensler

    Glad you liked AAW. It was a huge risk for me since it was the first time I’d ever focused on a game type like that. Sure it wasn’t perfect; but the biggest complaint that I got was that due to the sheer scale, the world seemed empty. This despite the fact that it was designed that way due to the fact that the game takes place on a barren planet. I just got tired of explaining that. :)

    There are a lot of things that I could have done differently with that game, but I wouldn’t have made it any more appealing to anyone who doesn’t like games like that. In the end, I simply couldn’t be bothered. So with LOD, I’m trying my best not to make those same mistakes – even though this is a whole new game with a new engine designed from scratch to cater to it.

    I am really looking forward to what comes out of the open Beta. Most of my industry friends opine that doing open Beta’s is a big mistake because a) you give away most – if not all – of the game to a certain group of people b) doing that – regardless of NDAs – if someone doesn’t like the game or if they just want to be spiteful (e.g. being pissed that devs didn’t take their stupid ideas into consideration), then bad word starts getting out etc. So this concerns me.

  32. Derek Smart says:

    @fenriz

    As long as it has no forced gameplay(quests, gear, levels, rigidly scaled zones) and it’s all up to the player’s freedom to follow the career he wants, the activities he wants…

    Indeed.

    But nope. None of those are in this game. It is 100% completely freeform and pure PvP. No instancing.

    There are 100% optional PvE elements however:

    1. Reactor (the primary base asset) requires certain crystals for operation. These can be collected out in the open world and deposited at the reactor core. You don’t have to do it. But there are gamers out there who really don’t care about hardcore combat and thus would happily ensure that the reactor core is always loaded because if the core shuts down – or the reactor destroyed – the base will quickly fall. Get yourself a cloaking device, a collector and minimal weapons, and you have a whole game all to yourself.

    2. There is a base with inactive androids which used to protect it. They can be activated. And they engage any and everything. Which means that they don’t take sides. That is a minimal PvE element there. You get all kinds of cool stuff if you prevail in such engagements.

    3. We can generate on-the-fly events e.g. an invasion (where we add some of my other races to the mix) and such.

    See the FAQ

    • fenriz says:

      Still sounds very good.
      Sandbox doesn’t exclude PvE but it should be made coherent with the environment which implies persistancy and dynamicity. PvE “typically” claims the right to tell you how you should develop the character, explore the land(with rigid scaling), find equipment and discover lore; but it can make the world more seamless if it’s not so pretentious, like EVE’s discreet missions. The keywords are discretion and BLEND. In a game that’s been designed carefully, PvE has a direct connection to PvP.

      If your game is driven by players’ politics, if it’s a sufficiently complex all-aspects simulation, and it’s gritty and high-cyberpunk, you can count me in, i am no doubt your base fan.

      I love games like Mortal Online(so what Ultima was) so the thought of a sci-fi mortal online gives me frolicking goosebumps. Not only, but i would do anything to help you in your success. Since, i repeat, i’m much probably your most typical fan, feel free to use me anyway you need for opinions and stuff.

      Anyway the question is obvious: are there enough players like me?

  33. Jad says:

    Mr Smart: As a long-time FPS player, the most important thing to me is that the gunplay is good. Because behind everything else, that is of course the point of the game. Definitely work on how the player traverses the world, the objectives and all that, but if when I start shooting at someone and it doesn’t feel right, then there’s no point.

    I know “feel” is very subjective, but I think a lot of it comes down to feedback: is it clear that I’m connecting with my target, missing slightly, or really missing? Am I being shot at? If so, and they are missing, how close are the bullets flying by me? What direction am I getting shot from? Is there a difference if I shoot while moving or standing still? (doesn’t have to be, Quake did fine without that, but make it clear if it is the case — expanding cross-hairs, etc.) Does the motion and animation of my opponents look real and does their interaction with the world (the ground, mostly) look natural?

    Now, I’ll admit I did not play your previous FPS, so perhaps you got that perfect the last time and I’m worrying about nothing. But I do notice that newcomers to the FPS space often mess up this very subtle and important part of the gameplay. Take a look at how long-time veterans in the industry do things, particularly Valve. I personally thought DICE did a pretty poor job of this in 1942, as players seemed to skate around unconnected to the ground, but have been improving with each game and get it very right now.

    Anyway, I’m always interested in new FPSes that do something different with the gameplay, so this is definitely on my radar.

  34. Derek Smart says:

    @Jad

    Mr Smart: As a long-time FPS player, the most important thing to me is that the gunplay is good. Because behind everything else, that is of course the point of the game. Definitely work on how the player traverses the world, the objectives and all that, but if when I start shooting at someone and it doesn’t feel right, then there’s no point.

    Yep. And that’s why I pointed that out in an earlier post. The average fps/tps gamer has come to expect a certain “feel” to the games they play. And capturing that, is going to be key.

    In AAW, we got a lot of complaints about people being killed by an unseen enemy. Why? Due to the vast distances you could be sniped from up to 1500m away if you stand around admiring the scenery. I expect similar complaints in this game – but I’m not going to do anything about it because that is the nature of the beast.

    All your points are quite valid and all of them have been taken into consideration. Whatever we miss, we can catch up on during Beta testing feedback.

  35. dsi1 says:

    I think his largest concern should be Planetside Next, why will Planetside players play this instead of Planetside Next?

  36. Derek Smart says:

    No, it’s not my concern. If any game dev sitting around being concerned about the next guy, none of us would get any game done.

    Planetside Next is a different kind of game. So why should I care? For one thing, my guess is that mine will be cheaper to make, I will sure as heck make money from it – as I do with all my games – and I’m not going to layoff anyone if we miss targets.

    There is a reason that the original Planetside didn’t exactly set the charts or SOE’s coffers on fire.

    So yeah, Apples to Oranges.

  37. Guyver says:

    nobody talked about this? :D

    Derek Smart’s Desktop Commander

    • Malawi Frontier Guard says:

      Nobody talked about it because it’s ten years old.

    • amandachen says:

      Yeah, that’s an old game and not much fun. And it crashed my desktop.

  38. amandachen says:

    Derek Smart has been called the Peter Molyneux of game design, but I think that’s a bit harsh.

  39. Antlerbot says:

    Someone has been playing a lot of Outcast…