Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Post Launch Polls Are In

I realized this morning that I had neglected to post a blog yesterday so 'oops' for that! The day after a demo launch often involves running around making sure everything worked, and I am glad to sat that it did. The reaction was mixed, with some positive messages coming out and some scathing insights as well. No-one likes to hear criticism, unless you're trying make the worlds easiest to use game creator :)

Had a strategy meeting today to discuss the launch, the early feedback and the plans moving forward.  As one mind the team does feel the visuals are falling short of the general expectation of the general public. With titles such as Titanfall knocking around, it's easy to see why the bar is set very high these days and explains why we've had more than one comment putting the current game somewhere in the previous decade. From this, one of the questions raised was whether we should even be looking to match or beat these top titles, especially for a small team with a limited art budget.

We still plan to have something for Steam in September, but what form that takes will be the subject of further discussion in the weeks to come as we complete V1.008 and V1.009.  I could reveal more, but I want to give the ideas we discussed time to settle and gain gravitas before I promise you all some lovely vapor.

Releases and feedback aside, our character artist has not been idle and is starting on some re-skins of our soldiers, adding more variety to the combat area.


A hostile bunch these guys, featuring a pistol Pete, rocket-man Rodger, shotgun Sam and Uzi Tom (names have been changed to protect the guilty). My suspicion is that if we added these guys into the new game demo, doubled the speed of weapons fire and reloading, tripled the number of soldiers and made it a two-shot kill combat system, it would get the heart pumping!

One feedback that did resonate with me, and one I want to resolve as quickly as possible, was a comment from one reviewer who stated that there was a "disconnect and weightlessness" in the weapon usage. If anyone agrees, can you give me your insights how this can be resolved. Something specific that I can get an artist / coder to look closer into and come up with some adjustments.

Our timetable is still set to get you the V1.008 build next week so not much longer to wait before you can make your own versions of the demo game!

26 comments:

  1. Hi Lee

    Before you tackle multiplayer please download a copy of Titanfall via Origin or purchase a copy from Game for £24.

    http://www.game.co.uk/en/titanfall-231285/

    Now I'm not suggesting we need 20ft robots in Reloaded but there is much to be inspired by in this game and FPSC multiplayer really needs a ground up approach at this point.

    For example the parkour elements of Titanfall have largely been praised as one of the biggest reasons for its success. That would get you some serious kudos in Reloaded.

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  2. I think multi needs to wait nomad starting multi will open huge can of worms. And so many other things need doing like all the other said stuff and a great working world with all the trimming. I am somewhat gonna be a minority.

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    1. You did not read his comment properly, you dingus :P

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  3. Titanfall and reloaded are not the same animal. Tgc is creating a a piece of software that allows us to creat our own games. Titalfall is a complete game with no creative elements that the user CONTRIBUTES. Apples are apples and oranges are oranges if you get my drift. What makes Titanfall so impressive is the envionment and the fast paced action. In my opinion tgc should strive to provide sophisticated elements you can control such as characters and landscapes. The obvious place to start is to redesign and or reskin the tgc characters you provide. They need to get athletically in shape and aquire a more sophisticated set of uniforms. They should appear to be more from the future then from some terrorest country. They need to lose a little weight and aquire a little sophistication. The trees and landscape elements you provide really need to become more realistic. The thought that I might make a game that would rival Titanfall using Reloaded or any other FPS GAME MAKING software might not by very realistic, but I can have a good time trying, given the right elements..

    Please do not be discourged by the constant comparison to an orange when you are not an orange but an apple, (A very talented one I might add).

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  4. Seems funnys
    as soon as we keep getting what we want, we suddenly want more.

    Lets brake this down
    by adding multiplayer - tgc starts to work at the feature list items and that means
    not that long until we see other stuff such as ConKit or CharCreator and so on.

    Anyways i for one am all for multiplayer, its a major part of a engine and the sooner you add that feature, the better you can control its overall impact!

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  5. Personally I agree with the comments here except for those things which take the development away from a steady, stable development of where you are at any stage comprising of maintaining the core important features TGC have tried to carefully adhere to to date of quality, stability and performance.

    Finish what you started to the best possible level at each stage is still a good yardstick to me. As has been said if you want to improve things to higher standards relative to any realistic expectations then improve what you have and I would not worry to much about looking at whats out there to compare with. You are not going to make Reloaded comparable to the next Destiny and alike - thats just wishful thinking and will never happen within the resources and budgets available to everyone concerned with this product unless that changes and even then it takes a lot more than just - money at least.

    Before you go off on a tangent with multiplayer - which as someone said is a huge can of worms - which you will also want to be of top quality so a big job best not half done that will do approach I would concentrate on taking single player to the level either TGC or users - still wanting much more from are satisfied with first. Currently neither TGC or users seem to be happy with progress there and seem to aspire to much more - akin to top title games which seems to me to be out of the question but prove me wrong? - well get there first - if you can before adding another gameplay dimension such as multiplayer even though as everyone knows I have always been a supporter of MP - its just not the right thing to do yet whilst making single player games seems to be way lacking completion and not meeting anything like aspirations apparently with all wanting much more.

    I would think that there are a thousand more things yet nee to get into single player as well as improving what is there to date. I fear the approach is switching to a little bit of this and a little bit of that without completing anything wholly or fully as best as possible at any stage and a lot of going back to things done before to update instead of doing them right to the highest level of quality in the first place.

    Seems to me if you are adding any seriously large feature user need the Conkit if its going to be done so they can add some variety to their construction. (yes I know we can use entities), Character creator too would be the way to go. These things have been planned apparently and are good solid components which will add a great deal to users practical game building in what is a game maker.

    If you then want to make some good games ( a better demo would be a good start ) add that which we had seen some glimpses of previously - much better game mechanics and smart AI - smart is better than hard - hard is easy to do - smart is not but makes for good gameplay and dynamics. Lets have the enemies outflank the player, team up, go get that health pack when short of health, climb ladders, shoot accurately from rooftops, jump across rooftops. Multiplayer? Where are the players allies and team in single player leave alone multiplayer?

    Talk about Top quality titles - where are the variety of characters that all look like different humans shapes forms and so on as well as all kinds of other aliens and creatures - how will users accommodate for those. Where is the ability for characters to talk to and interact with the player, friends, enemies, civilians, monsters, aliens all.

    Seems like to get to meet with aspirations if you want to match any top title or any modern game at all then there are as said many thousands of serious additions and improvements yet to go in even to single player and reloaded is hardly started as yet.

    Anyway keep up the good work

    :-)

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  6. Sorry I must comment further on this while I am at it.

    If you are seriously aiming at something akin to approaching any modern game title then it seems to me that a lot more needs to be done with what we have before moving on apart from ensuring preformance is maintained or improved.

    We don't have anything anywhere near professional enough for what we have to date. serious improvement are needed to what we have yet to date for that. Much better Terrain building and editing tools and features. More terrain editing tools for shaping terrains, adding roads, paths efficiently and so on, much better terrain texture management and painting tools. Import textures much more easily and thumbnails to choose what you paint with. I have no idea what I am painting with by selecting keyboard numbers - what a poor idea? and much more.

    We don't have any real water feature/features akin to anything professional at all and you know whats lacking there. We have outdoor open world environments but no weather - all things bypassed - where are they? these things are Pro top tile things which are needed if you want pro, modern day game type end results.

    We have some basic AI enemies to shoot at but modern games require much more and much more advanced character and game dynamics and interactions than that.

    All things to date that are nothing like modern game, top title features and functions.

    All things which are providing a little bit of this and a little bit of that as said and nothing completed if you want quality features and quality games made with it of a modern standard and some look to jump to add even more major features in which case you will also get a little bit of that too.

    This is an indie game maker. To date what we have is good relative to that but if you want to aspire to a much higher level of quality games made of modern top title standards everything done to date needs a serious update before moving on and that I guess would include the engine to accommodate it efficiently to ensure the performance and core can support all of that and more, much more yet to come.

    Anyway you get the point.

    Reloaded is making good progress, It takes time, features will get done and patience is required and I understand pressure is there to add as many features as possible as quickly as possible.

    Again quality is better than quantity. Now we have reached a specific stage questions are raised about improving the quality - content, visuals and well just about everything else. Is it good enough is being asked? Should it be like this or that modern title? Well that should be decided early on as to what quality of all things are aspired to and those things already existing should already be of that quality if such was known and try and avoid going constantly around in circles changing the bar. I can understand of course that often things are not that simple and straight forward and don't work in a strictly linear fashion, but again you get the point.

    I am sure TGC know much better than I what developing Reloaded is all about so I am just making my own thoughts known in case there may some some little value in them at best.

    Me I would love to see a Modern Title quality game maker equivalent tool but at the moment I am happy with Reloaded progress to date as I can at least make a working game with it and despite any shortfall perhaps mentioned in my comments regarding features and quality and so on there are no other tools available to me to achieve the same so efficiently so that says a lot for the product even as it stands.

    Most importantly you can actually make a game with Reloaded and I am thankfull for that.

    Next Beta Please.

    :-)

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  7. I agree that we should perfect each step of development as we go. Less can be more. The concept of a game is worth more than its parts. Team fortress is still being played, and one of the best games still around. If the concept, which directly relates to gameplay, is appealing, original, fun, and addicting, flashy graphics are not why the player plays the game. That being said. 3D games are built up in layers.

    It starts with the terrain layer. This should be perfected first, before moving on to anything else. This means being able to make complex materials in editor, to blend throughout an ever changing landscape, to add riverbeds, roads, and to blend different grasses... After the terrain material is created it should be baked, for performance. To make this short. The top layer is AI, which comes after things like entities, BOIDS, particles, lighting, etc.

    Let's take time and perfect each layer as we go.

    Also, three things we need to make original, fun games are: a character creator, a weapon creator, and a customizable inventory system.

    Reloaded is well on its way to becoming a great creation tool. But it is just a tool. A game is only as good as it's creator, it's concept, which should not be hindered by the tool. I have faith is Reloaded...

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  8. As far as the weapons go, Lee; it has a lot to do with weapon sounds, in my opinion. The sounds need to be a bit "heavier" and robust. I remember a mod for the original Call of Duty; where the gun sounds for the German MP40 were changed to a much heavier sound. It really gave a new "feel" to the overall experience of using that weapon, and as such, I preferred using it. I'm sure there are other nuances that others can point out; but the sound (again, in my opinion) plays a huge part.

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  9. It seems the new thing is LOTS of NPCs. Most of the big titles out there have dozens if not hundreds of people, creatures, or animals walking around the level. Enemy or not, they add a certain sense of life to the game.

    I also agree with the above comment that there needs to be a weather system, even if it's simple for now. Throughout my own levels and the demo I was thinking how much more fun a dust storm or gusts of wind or even some light rain could be with the level.

    Performance is always a pending issue, but I know you all are polishing that up. All in all, for a beta demo it was great and I found myself forgetting I was even playing a FPSCR game. The gameplay was quite engaging and the new features really "rocked" my experience :)

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  10. Here's my thoughts.

    In order to get the demo working in the state it is, you covered a whole variety of elements and built them to a satisfactory level (that is, enough to build the demo how it is). This included terrain, water, entities, weapons, visuals, characters, AI and LUA and so on. However, each element is only progressed so far. And some, as pointed out are not up to the level of quality that people feel they should. I recommend revisiting each element that makes up the existing demo and taking the next step in each of those fields.

    Revisit terrain and add advanced tools and techniques. If you haven't already, I highly recommend checking out the farcry 3 map editor: http://youtu.be/HSx33038zTE?t=3m
    Simply for the raise and lower tool, you could have all of the options radius, speed, hardness, distortion and shape. These options, which I imagine are relatively simple to implement are a significant improvement. Add a ramp tool, with options of width. Add a road tool, where you pick nodes similar to waypoints and have a road texture painted onto the ground. And so on.

    When you were first making terrain, what you have is fine. But now you can go back and take the next step before you move onto others things. Visit weather. Add some basic rain, snow and dust weather. Revisit water and add some more functionality to it. Streams, rivers, even waterfalls perhaps. I think it would be good to go back and simply take the next step in each element that already exists in the demo. What you have at the moment is satisfactory to be pieced together in order to have a finished game, and that's excellent, don't let me talk that down. But before moving on, as previously mentioned in the comments, there are 1000 things to be added, aside performance and stability in mind. Personally I don't like seeing multiplayer on upcoming features, I will say that. I am a supporter of it, but I think there is much more to do before it.

    Also, about the weapons I think keith is right. There is an incredible reliance on the sound of the weapons. Another point, although minor, when I am my weapon I am not looking down my sights, instead I have a centered gun and a visible crosshair. I cannot think of any modern first person shooter where this is the case. When I aim my gun, I expect to be looking down the sights of it. And also when I aim my gun, I expect my crosshair to disappear because I am now using the precise sights of my weapon. Take Call of Duty or Battlefield for example, when I aim I use the sights. I think it adds immersion. Put it this way, I think aiming for the colt 1911 is pretty weak.

    Another point, I feel that I should be able to fire the pistol faster. Or any single fire weapon for that matter. There should be an option to fire as fast as I can pull the trigger. It would be best to let the player set the delay between each shots of a single fire weapon. I am comparing this to some modern shooters, where I can fire the pistol as fast as I can pull the trigger. Its a little thing, but combine this with a meatier sound and aiming down the sights, there may be a whole new feel to the weapon.

    Well, I really hope my words have contributed, but I hope more that I haven't simply been marching around shouting "I want this and I want that".

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  11. i have hinted and tried to nudge about certain aspects from the beginning, but am just leaving this to form whatever it develops into.
    my gripe is what you have so far looks like a "year2000 fps game with some editing" ~ NOT a game creator as you mentioned - because its far from a game creator.
    there is nowhere near enough customization to fall into that category.
    editing terrain is very basic and missing many standard features that every other terrain editor has.
    i would have thought you would atleast try to go close to T-ed (which TGC used to sell) but it doesnt even measure up T-ed's left nut@! *sorry to say Lee.
    so far i cannot see any project made with this looking any different to the next.
    all the terrain looks same, have the same problems #1 because you dont have smoothing; #2 because texturing is extremely limited.

    im hoping when the building construction element gets added, it may give this some life to create ANYTHING else but a FPS with soldiers or zombies! I AM SO SICK OF ZOMBIES AND SOLDIERS (with RPGS).

    Questions you should be asking; is Can the Software create a game "like" a FPS (yes) a driving game?, a flight game?, a puzzle game? 3rd person? (and they actually look different to the other games made with it) - Hmm,... so far i cannot see this happening. Yes - custom models will help, but the basic engine is very linear in design IMO (so far)

    i ended up getting Ued4, but will wait to see what this offers.

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    1. FPSCR was never intended to be a all purpose Engine and at the end TGC will deliver what they said but its not going to be a all genre toolbox, its simply a FPS Creator.
      But yes am missing as well many customization options, starting with the menu, what use is it to have one if we cant create our own but then again its to early to expect a ingame menumaker.

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    4. Mio sejic, I disagree. I'm already using FPSC-R for an RPG/Adventure game and it works quite well for that even right now. The future looks even brighter. I also envision mystery adventures in full virtual reality as well as virtual story books or Myst-like adventures. All are possible.

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  12. I think water weather terrain and all things worldly needs sorting. 3 of you. Set one on ai and physics another on water and terrain and the other on new features and fine tuning

    Surely the world needs sorting before mp and oculus rift


    Or are you not wanting to hear us meant with respect but I accepted lua with all people view. And other bits. And I accept it now is near impossible for me to add my beholder and monsters without them my world is a tour not a game and a tour without swimming weather night and day and limited terrain textures. Will sell a million copies of that

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  13. I think you guys are doing great considering the size of your budget and team. I'm not expecting Titanfall level quality for a $100 game making software. As an indie developer I'm expecting to be able to make quality, sellable games, and so far you guys are on the right track.

    The artwork does need some work. The soldiers are fine but the zombies looked very poor quality. Before adding multiplayer, you should work on melee weapons (not being able to butslap a baddie when he got close in the demo was very frustrating) and the character creator so that the games can look different from each other (especially as you hold more contests.)

    Anyway, keep up the great work!

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  14. Also, one piece of advice. Try to recreate EXACTLY a level from Battlefield or Call of Duty with FPS Reloaded for internal demonstrations. Then you'll be able to do an exact side by side to see where you need improvements. I think it would help a lot, but just some advice.

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  15. During the time I was being roasted for producing a product that ran poor on low-end hardware, I did take a good look at UE4 ($19) but could not export a standalone executable with lowest settings to make a comparison. If you are venturing into UE4 land, could you produce such a level akin to 'get to the river' and send it to me, I really need to understand both the visual and performance trade-offs between these engines.

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    1. On my laptop the FPS between Reloaded on full and UE 4 are the same. Unusable. But I am resigned to the fact that an HD 4000 card isn't going to cut it unless I go Unity or something else and I don't want to pay the big bucks for Unity Pro (where a lot of the benefits lie.) So eventually I'll just need a new computer. I accept that. That is why I didn't give feedback on the efficiency and speed improvements you have made since they didn't seem to help me. I realize that's not your fault but my laptop's.

      My comment is that, sure, UE 4 is amazing, but there's 100 people working on that engine. And as far as performance, as of now, it's editor is more demanding than the actual games it creates (you can read feedback on their forums regarding this.) I know they are working to get this fixed. I don't think UE 4 should be the competition. I think Reloaded should be carving its own path of ease of use and of producing beautiful graphics and great game play. Most games I play are indie and for the most part I prefer their creativity than the AAA games that have been redone to death. Sparkly graphics don't make a game fun but they do help the initial impression people have when they see screenshots.

      You are on the right track, I think. Your goal is to make it as fun to create the games as it is to make them. And look at the point it is at now and what artist's like rolify has accomplished? Just keep pushing along and I think Reloaded will succeed. (but improve the workflow for asset and character importing (the importing part is not fun).)

      * Oh, and UE 4 is $19 but it also requires 5% royalties on the gross income.

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    2. I have to laugh when people make it sound like paying a 5% royalty is a show stopper or undesirable. If you were creating a game with your own engine and got a publisher to distribute it, you'd be lucky to receive even 10% of the sales, which means the publisher would be getting 90%. Paying a 5% royalty is nothing.

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    3. Nope, I don't think that 5% is a show stopper at all but I wanted to include that for completeness. I just didn't want people to come by and think, "Hey, $19 for UE 4 or $100 for FPSC Reloaded Gold?" I personally think UE 4 is worth it but I also think Reloaded should not try to play catch up with it but takes its own path. It can be great in its own right.

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    4. Glad you don't think that's a showstopper. I honestly have heard people talk like it is and it's not only funny because it's a bargain really, but because they probably won't make anything resembling a real game anyway and are just dreaming. As far as FPSC-R goes, I think in time it will improve in performance and features to the point it can support the making of AAA titles. But I would say we are about a year away from that point.

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    5. Well, in fact I'm going to get the latest 4.3 which was just officially released and give it go. I hear they made the editor more usable even on lower end laptops. At $19 it won't hurt to see how well it works.

      Also, I want this blog to remain focused on Reloaded and I already feel bad enough mentioning Unreal Engine. I really believe Reloaded will turn out to be a great game making kit and I am definitely not walking away from it (I just need better hardware which I am bugging my wife about.)

      The future for Reloaded that will help make it unique:
      1. Easy and powerful landscape creation.
      2. Easy and powerful prefab creation (ex. ConKit).
      3. Character creator.
      4. Built-in foliage and rock creator (similar to what Unity has)?
      5. ....?

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