Status Update - Aug 24, 2005


Vice Admiral
Howdy folks!

Just a quick note to let you know where things are right now. Work is progressing rather well, the design document for the game is one page away from being completed, we have the last few ships and a base interior in the pipe right now. The engine is up and running and in a bug test mode, some minor things Joel's got to sort out yet before we can show anything yet, hope you guys will be excited to see it as we are!

We're nearing the end of the line for comments/suggestions for the Landreich ship textures. So, if you have anything you want to suggest or think may look neat, please drop us a line, we're looking at having that all wrapped up by the end of the week, as we've got to begin shifting gears to the next area of the graphical development, the bases.

All of the feedback we've recieved to date has been great! We really appreciate all of it. I'm going to work on compiling an official feature list once the design document is finished. That way everyone will no for sure what exactly they'll be getting from the game when it is finally released, whenever that may be. No dates yet, we're just kind of relaxing and taking it one step at a time with this, we all have lives and aren't out to burn ourselves either.

Also, i'll look at posting up some snippets of the story as well, let you all get a taste of what's in store for you all, unless i'm overruled by the team, then you'll just have to wait :D

Anyways, please keep the feeback coming, and remember, this will be the last week to get your say in on the Landreich textures, so please let us know!

Brad McKinstry
HD I’ve loved your work since the first time you posted them and I remember posting how much I would love to see your videos with a fan made game in the VegaStrike engine. I’m ecstatic to see that you’ve not only taken that challenge up but have gone a step further and are building your own engine. So far the ships look wonderful. Congratz to the group! From what I’m reading here you have a lot of concepts you’re trying to implement. I am a little bit worried about that, having seen many home grown projects come and go as I’m sure you have, your work however speaks for itself so if anybody can do it you and the Pioneer Team can.

Suggestions and ideas:

Since I’ve started writing this you’ve added the nose art idea. I think this is wonderful. If somebody is going to run their own faction they should have an insignia.

I love the idea of the first person view and moving around. While this truly hasn’t been tried in the WC world we did have a taste of it in WCIII and WCIV with their transitions videos. I did like it but after awhile it did get so repetitive that I had to toggle it off. The ability to toggle it off may be something to consider.

Of course everyone would LOVE to have the multiplayer ability. We’ve all had a taste of it in Armada but frankly that was sourly lacking and we are all dreaming of the real thing. I think you’re right however not making this a primary focus.

I understand your not wanting to release your code and I respect that, (personally I wouldn’t know what I was looking at if you did!) but I was wondering, instead of releasing your code could you create a mission builder for the fans? (Think of Academy on Uber Steroids.) In later releases you could release other ships from the different time periods: WC1, WCII, and so on, so that people could make stories for whichever period they desire and post them for others to play? (Along this idea the ability of toggle of random civilian ships might be good too) I can think of several ideas for this and if you’re interested we can talk about it off-line.

Please don’t let the privateer purchase Military ships. At least not those of the “active time period”. I can understand being able to buy “vintage” military ships that might require some “modifications” to make them more currant and privateer friendly.

You mentioned hiring turret gunners. How about the possibility of a computerized firing turret with the possibility of various accuracy upgrades?

While Leach cannons / missiles haven’t been invented yet I always thought it would be neat to disable an enemies ship and capture it to add it to your fleet, use it for parts, or sell it; also giving the user the option to release the prisoner, sell them, kill them, or ransom them.

When being a “pirate” and finally earning enough to buy a base and set up an operation I would think that one would become a bit too high profile and bring the wrath of the law enforcement. Some pirate bases should be around but too many seems wrong. I do like the idea of a medium sized ship as a mobile base / mini carrier to work out of though.

Those are my thoughts for what they are worth.

Aplha 1-1

So far your work looks highly polished and well thought out :) Few care to admit but the WC community really do need a new game from scratch and with your teams efforts this'll definately be top-notch. Just be sure you don't over-stretch your efforts and end up like another duke nukem :rolleyes:

As for suggestions, perhaps realising the main bulk of the game first, then all the flashy bits n pieces patched afterwards just to cut down the waiting time for your eager fans?
Jokes aside all I can think of would be in the texturing department: Perhaps showing REALLY faded Confed insignia under/around the fresh landriech insignia? Perhaps just on the more "modern" fighters perhaps. Just a thought.

Howard Day

Random art guy.
Shades: Wow. That's a bit of a post. :D
Okay - answers to your questions! The design doc we're working on right now is a much, much, much reduced version of the original game concept. I'd say what we're actually working on is about a third to a quarter of what we originally thought we could pull off. The key thing to keep in mind here is that we're approaching this in a very compartmentalized manner - IE, we're looking at it in small bits, not as one big-ass project. The individual pieces are much easier to work and focus on if we do so one at a time. We keep the overall frame work in mind, of course - to not do so would be folly - but we don't focus on it. That would be far too depressing. I think the difference between this project and others that I've seen go down the tubes due to...too much that we recognized from the very beginning that this was a big deal - and then we put it out of our minds. That, I think, is going to help us succeed.

As for toggling off the FP mode - I don't think that's gonna happen. The reason that the transitional videos were a pain was just that - they were videos. You had no choice on how you were walking around. Once you clicked on a door, you moved through that door the same way you had before, even if you'd done it a thousand times. Boring. This is significantly different. Each base is a different layout, with different options. You can change your mind mid-stream and decide to go somewhere else, if you like. It's much more fluid than what's been done before. You may even get lost.

As for the releasing of other era's ships - I really doubt it. That's the playing field of the WCU project - the desire to make a free-for-all game system where people can do whatever they want. We're not going down that road, simply because it leads to waaaay too much work. As a closed system (Not open source) we can focus far more effectively on getting specific goals done. We can't produce a large sprawling project like the open source guys can. We'd self-destruct within a month.
The player will not be able to purchase military ships. Ever.

As for the auto turret idea - I don't think that would mesh with all the other systems we've got going on. We're actually forcing you to hire Crew - you won't be a lone pilot on a big merchant ship like you were in Privateer. By forcing, I mean that if you buy a turret, you have to hire a gunner to run it - or it's pretty much useless.

We're not doing anything fancy like leach guns/missiles. You can, however, intimidate other pilots into surrender, and convince them to hand over the cargo in their holds. Or you can blow them away, and collect whatever left-over scraps you can grapple into your hold. Not reccomended for fuel tankers.

As for the "too many pirates" thing, this isn't Gemini. There really isn't much of any sorta law enforcement out here. Vigilantes, yes, but you'd have to deal with them anyway. I think we've got an excellent balance of how much clout you can get in this universe - I credit Brad for doing that very well.

Aplha 1-1:
8 years in development? I think not. :)
well, the ships right now have a sorta spraypaint flat gray inder the landriech insignia. Like they sprayed it and the re-painted it. This was suggested by LOAF, and I think it works fairly well.
Thanks for the comments so far, guys. Rockin!
One of the things I liked in the original games was the changes in colors when a ship afterburned but that disappeared in later games. I liked it because it allowed me to respond better to the other ship. Will you have this?