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#1 21 May 2008 2:43 pm

winsr
Extreme Member
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 90

so what is the great madhatter up to?

Dude i know you told us that you were working on making a game... which is really cool, but, does it has a name, type at least, game modes? story? release date?, online? offline?

By the way have you ever heard of warzone 2100?

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#2 21 May 2008 3:46 pm

MadHatter
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From: Dallas TX
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 529
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Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

man, I've been working my tail off on the game (well, to be honest, I haven't been coding as much as I'd like to have, but thats part of running your own business).

we've begun to set up a site for the game here: http://www.vizualfxstudios.com/crusades/ where you'll be able to get some info on it.  Its far from launch (the site) but should give you something to look at in the time being.

It's a sci-fi virtual world MMOG.  You should be able to read up on some of what its about on the site.  One of the really cool things about the game is the scale of the game world.  The game tech features a theoretical infinite number of concurrent players,  galaxies w/ solar/star systems w/ planets, all of which are explorable.  That means that you take the biggest game you've ever played, multiply that by a few hundred and thats the size of the playable universe.  We've been planning on release around the end of this year, but we've made a decision to drop the game engine we were using which puts us a bit behind schedule, though we're looking at a new engine that should put us back pretty close inline w/ at least beta around the end of the year.

I've never heard of warzone 2100.  Is it an RTS?

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#3 02 Jun 2008 9:14 am

winsr
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Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 90

Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

well i have checked your site, and look really good, that open universe idea, and all players on the same universe sound really cool, server intensive but cool. For online games, keep in mind that if player is lagging, he is the one laggin himself, and not the rest of the players, thats SUPER important, but i think you already know that.

Still dont really get the game play as such.. is it a WoW / age of connan kind of game play?, or maybe a titan quest kind of gameplay?, and how do you get from one world to the other (spaceships i know), but are you able to fight in space as a space cowboy Online MMO kind of game? And are  you are incorporating some dofus kind of ingame economy into your game? Have you seen age of connan fighting style... man thats cool.

And, how come a battlefield guy ended up doing an MMO?, are you going to have awards as in battlefield... you know thats what keeps most battlefield players in the game... same as with dofus weapon/item crafting. Combine those two and you have a winner. Add some age of connan fight style, and some titan quest enemy item handling, and finish it up, with some space cowboy online universe transportation fight to get there motto... and well.... youll have plenty of work to do... lol.

i gave you some you some names of games you already know and some that you might not know but you should check out, since its always great to have some proven to be liked / proven to sell features in a game. Also, always have you limited free first world users can check to hook them up to your game.

from the ones you might not know... dofus is an rpgmmo, which gameplay is not that fun, since its turn based... kind of slow fight theme, but economy sistem is remarcable... all items can be crafted by players if they have the rigth profesion level, and raw material, gattered from other profesions or killing monsters, its just brilliant, tell your research department or guy, or yourself to check it out.

On the other hand there is titan quest, which is an action RPG, diablo like but greek themed and without all the hellish things, and has this, mosters carries special weapons, armor you can see he is wearing, and moster has those powers, and only drops what you can see he is wearing, so if he has a glowing sword, and cool armor, you know he is going to kick your ass, but if you win, there is going to be a good bounty for you. and the best thing of this game... and this is a critical feature, it was its client support... they had this fan forum, where the devs themselfs, came and answer fans questions, even when the game was not out yet... for every bug, every questions, good or bad comment there was one guy from the dev team, 3d, management, audio guys you name it, answering questions. They even made a contest to see who had the best idea for an expansion pack.... the price was just a t-shirt.. but guess who won cool... and they did put out an expansion pack with the ideas i gave them... that was really cool.

Now another thing you can add to your game to keep it fun and lower your work... if im not wrong, youll have an infinite universe... infinite is a big word.. and needs lots of planets... unless you have a really good dev team that makes 100 planets a day this can be one of you critical features but one you can take advantage from too... make a good world editor, for user to use, and do the same thing DICE did for their last patch... grab some good comunity maps, and just pullish them and put them into the game... so you can have fans make their own worlds and then you review them, if its cool, add it to the game, and youll have a lot of free employees that will be paid enough with having their worlds into the game.

And well, warzone 2100 its an rts, but insted of having a, you upgraded the factory, now you can do, heavy tank, killer tank and uber tank... and thats it... it has a research system, where you research parts of tech, suck as turret, body and track sistem, and when you want to build units, first you have to make a preset model... where you pick from a list of your researched bodies the one you want, then pick a turret type, and the a track system, depending on what you put on, is the cost, and life of the vehicle, and of course the fire power, fire rate, and all that stuff. Then it has about 400 upgrades for fire rate, fire power, amor, etc etc...

All in all, web page is comming out great, like the concept models, they have a starwars kind of look into them, but the big question is... can i be a beta tester cool... jejeje... as a programer and 3d artist i can give you some good feed back, and as you can read, i know some mmo games out there... anyway, let me know when you have some screens of your game up, so i can check them out.

I have to admire your courage to start a company, its lots of works, specially in this gaming comunity. once your game is on the market youll have your first player here... and ill let my MMO clan section know of this game.

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#4 03 Jun 2008 8:22 pm

MadHatter
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From: Dallas TX
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 529
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Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

the game is similar in some aspects to that of early swg.  Other things are present in wow and eve online, while others are very much fps style of game play.

you'll start out in one of 4 home planets.  those home planets will be pve only, outside those home worlds you can do pve or pvp, and there are no restrictions as to where you can do whatever it is you want to do.  there are literally several galaxies (planned) which contain hundreds of thousands of systems (star, planetary and other), which each contain 5-15 worlds, all of which (space & planet surface/sub surface) are playable area.  anywhere in between deep space and under water on some remote planet (and we have several under water cities as one of our races is an aquatic race) is fair playing field.

much of the world out there will not be artist created.  we're using procedural content generation to generate the vastness of the universe.  while we have the ability to distribute and use 100% artist generated content, we'll only store that which artists or players have touched / modified.  you can purchase land, bulldoze it, and build a mall, or battle arena, or whatever.  once you do that (assuming you're on a 100% procedurally generated planet) your modifications (or the artists contributions) will be stored for that particular location, and everyone who comes there will download data capable of reproducing what you or the artists have done.  This isn't like FPS games where we'd release an SDK and the communities create mods, its a system where players can actually control locations, provide quests, story line, content, and so on to make the game their own (no coding / level design skills required).

since the game is an MMO and not an FPS, the literal demands on bandwidth will not be the same (actually, it will be far more demanding that even bf2) in that FPS's typically have a lot more moving parts to track and distribute amongst players (bullets, player movement, player synchronization--where one lagging person messes everything up--and so on) and can therefore load more people in one place w/ out lagging out the entire experience of everyone else playing.  our client / server tech will allow for much more than anything you've seen so far in mmog's.  everything in our game will be distributed by our content servers (models, environment, sounds, effects, UI, so on and so forth), while we will ship the game w/ a pre-defined set of game assets (stuff like player models, armor, weapons, vehicles and so on), as the game is played, there will be completely unique, user defined items that are introduced which will also be distributed and can be bought and sold to anyone else in the game, and all that requires that we be able to transfer massive amounts of physical data, in a very small package.  planetary terrain for instance:  one planet could easily take 8-30gig, now multiply that by the number of planets in the game, and you'll need some massive network attached storage to store everything (if thats the way we did things--which we DONT).  as you play on a planets surface we stream in, cache, and unload various parts of the planet, to keep bandwidth usage, disk space, and memory to a minimum.

its a long story of how we came to existence, and while I'm more of an FPS gamer, I have played and do play MMO's as well.  All of our employees are big MMO gamers, and as such, we get a diverse spectrum of feature requests for the game, some of which we consider, others we don't (gotta keep it real wink).

feel free to join in the community over there.  we've told our employees to take an active part in the community and we will be there answering questions, listening to feedback and possibly implementing them.  we'll cut the community in on things like pre-release play testing and the like as they come out.  our devs will also be blogging as we go so folks can check out some of the more boring bits and pieces we're working on in implementing this seemingly impossible game engine.

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#5 04 Jun 2008 7:51 am

winsr
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Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 90

Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

hmmm... hmmm... and more hmmmm.... i dont remember the name of the game but this game strategy, where you have a "base" terrain, and then what ever players do is reflected for everyone else sure rings some bells to me....

Or course the other game was a free mmo, and no fighting involved, just some kind of boring civilization thing going on. So if a player builded a monument... (he could even had other players build piramids and other big and small stuff), it would retain there... for other players to see and contemplate, and aparently steal, but that was a case of a theft player looking for raw materiasl... lol.

What really sounds cool is the ability for players to introduce new items, and buildings... im guessing you will put at gamers disposal several hundreds of preset building blocks for this kind of taks, so they can just convine all things together to  make your unique item/building thing, which i asume you wont be alowing user made items in the sence of new 3d models for example.

And dude... this is going to be a hell of a game if you pull it of right.

Another couple questions, these are easy ones.. buddies on my clan have asked me the following

-since its going to be a future MMO, is it going to be turn based or moving action?

-and are you going to have swords, guns, lasers? clocking devices perhaps? teleporters? worm holes that send you to the other side of the galaxy in a second (it would be cool to have a couple of those... )?

-spaceships will have warp speed, and will it look like star trek?

-later.

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#6 04 Jun 2008 8:24 am

MadHatter
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From: Dallas TX
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 529
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Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

game objects will have blue prints / templates / whatever-you-want-to-call-it that define what the object is, provides its model and textures, particle effects, environmental effects, protection, damage, healing, or whatever effects it will provide (if any).  there will also be a materials list of things that comprise the object.  to some degree you'll be able to disassemble parts of all of one game object, and use it in another, or farm materials to craft some game object.  To be able to support a wide variety of materials, you'll be able to mine things like planets & asteroids. there will be an extensive library of these blue prints available in game, and once we figure out how to allow players to add these in in a way that doesn't potentially kill the system, then players can create these from scratch too, and place them in game (to use or sell).

- game play will be real time and live (not turn based)
- we'll have a myriad of weapons.  since we'll have a broad set of races to choose from, the weapons they use will vary as well.  we have races that reside in water, air, or surface, and depending on location, some weapons will not work, or some weapons will have increased or decreased level of effect.  there will be various ships (space and land) which could have projectile, or laser based weaponry.
- ships will have various propulsion systems one of which is a jump drive.  we'll have folding stations in space too that will be portals to other locations, which you can use to go from one location to another (these are not always game provided, and you could build one too, and charge people to use it).  some drives will speed you through space, while others will be instantaneous.  other portal technology like from ship to surface will also be there, though we're pushing for in flight transport from space to surface, since (like everything else) this will be a seamless transition.  The game will not have "loading..." screens or dialogs.

one thing that will be a challenge to players is that everything is real time.  there is no oblivion like map that will let you fast travel to one place or another.  if / when you fast travel, it will be by some of transport vehicle or portal that provides that functionality.  For portals & folding stations to work, you'll have to set up both ends (for ex: you can set up a portal window in your house, and potentially carry another portal device that links you back to the one at home.  after you finish a  quest that takes you way out into nowhere land, you can open up the gateway and jump back home).

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#7 06 Jun 2008 8:17 am

winsr
Extreme Member
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 90

Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

man, this games sound awsome... like the realtime thing... even a little worried about land vehicles with weapons on board. since, well, they will preatty much own every on foot player out there... unless you have some bazooka item or something like it that can blow a vehicle... did someone said pilum out there roll...

And another questions arrises, that i havent though about that yet.... are you using a scale for worlds and universe?, i know you might not want to do a 7,926.41 miles diameter world as earth is right now, or have a 230 million miles between planets as earth is from mars, for example, not to say other planes, or even a couple ligth years away... i know this can easily be fixed by either doing smaller worlds, or having a true hyper speed velocity propultion method for you spaceships, but the questions is still there.

And is good that for now you only have building blocks for making stuff, that game dies thing is never good for marketing. But the smaller the blocks the more custom you can have without killing everything.

Its like when you start your first 3d project... and say i want to build a room, so you make walls, floor, roof and windows, and your room is finish but the thing is dull... no life into it... so you start doing a chair, table, glass of vine with its bottle, a frame picture here and there... candles somewhere... and you room slowly becomes alive.. but the big block, looked nice but there were this small things missing. Now for your second project you have all this objects pre-made on your previews project and so you can build an entirely different room with the same objects. So the better is your small blocks inventory, the more different things you can do, with out having users make everything from scrath thata can possibly kill your system.

So in this case, you guys are the ones that make the first room and all the objects, and we gamers use your pre made small block to make our own buildings, items, etc.

Now for the portal thing... at least have a worm hole in the deepest part of your galaxy to warp you to a secret area at least... eastern eggs are always cool. But you cannot enter that easily, since youll need a really top tech ship to make it into the worm hole or the preasure of it will crush you to dead.

And again as for portals, be carefull with your portal business out there.... i can imagine having areas with hundreds or thousends of portals with people charging insane amount of money for them.... even if they go just across street, or there always be the guy that have portal to boss door.... so you will have to be extra carefull to allow portals without spoling the fun of going into levels... in other words, make portal areas and non portal areas, close enough to make it usefull, and long enough to keep the fun.

And how come we cannot enter our planet with our spaceships?? a transport from space to land???.. i wanted a garage in my hut for my spaceship... so i can keep it safe while i go have lunch or im at work.....

Now another interesting questions that came to my mind just about now.... can we atack other planets?... as a invasion kill all men rape al women slave all children kind of thing??? ok no so ruff, but make guilds, clans, teams, kingdoms, empires, masive planetarian conqueror???? did anyone said rank systems with awards roll ....

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#8 06 Jun 2008 2:55 pm

MadHatter
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From: Dallas TX
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 529
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Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

lol, no pilum's (as such) but thats not to same something equivalent will not be in the game.

we will scale planet sizes, though that really only matters in cases where the planet is largely non-procedurally generated content.  some planets will massive though.  since you won't store the entire planet on hard drive though it shouldn't be that big an issue.

We haven't nailed down all of the specifics of the portal systems yet, and I'm sure we'll have to game play those we do settle on to make sure it all works out.

you can park your ship in your garage (small ones like the space shuttle).  the types of ship I'm talking about either "beaming" down to or shuttling down to are the ones nearly the same size as the planet (like a star wars imperial star destroyer... something along the lines of a ship that big).  the preference towards shuttles (or smaller ships landing and parking in your garage) is to experience the seamless transition from outer space to planet surface.

you can attack nearly anything anywhere at any time. I say "nearly" because the home worlds will be guarded by game mechanics (a big security system) that can be replicated by anyone else with enough money or resources.

IMO battlefield and the other gamespy enabled games these days are borrowing "ranks" from the typical MMO or RPG style of play where you get "stuff" as you play the game.  Most FPS's I've played (multi-player anyway) never had any persistent game play functionality, and whatever you had when you logged out, you lost.  we have a fairly complex multi-tiered leveling system that has as many options as you could ever want.  unlike bf the level / rank progression is not linear, and you can level up with many different characters and not pick the same path twice.

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#9 06 Jun 2008 4:42 pm

Butcher
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From: Norway
Registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 308

Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

So, are you saying I can't park my Death Star in the public garage?


http://bamboocommandos.com/butcher_img/butchersig7.jpg

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#10 06 Jun 2008 4:45 pm

MadHatter
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From: Dallas TX
Registered: Jun 2006
Posts: 529
Website

Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

lol

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#11 08 Jun 2008 10:26 pm

winsr
Extreme Member
Registered: Mar 2007
Posts: 90

Re: so what is the great madhatter up to?

man... i was thinking the same about the death star... at least tell me i can custom paint my ride... i would love to surf the stars on a huge ride with this logo on...

http://humour.200ok.com.au/img/bigcupofshutthefuckup.jpg

Last edited by winsr (08 Jun 2008 10:26 pm)

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