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Author Topic: Star Control : TimeWarp  (Read 13740 times)
GeomanNL
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2006, 11:33:21 am »

Well... if everyone insists on being so negative and gloomy about timewarp, it will most certainly fail. Cause, why would people even remotely consider joining the timewarp project, after they've read a thread like this ?

Y'know what, I'll throw in some more positive things on timewarp's behalf Smiley

First, Deus:

- The PPI is not about making the "best ever" sequel. It's a fan project, and aims at something reasonably enjoyable. I don't think a fan-project can ever match a professional product. On the other hand, something like the ppi can give a lot of people some moments of fun.

- Imo secret teams suck. And there is no "one talented writer" around who wants to write a sequel. Maybe there'll be one someday when an engine is ready, but until that time, I doubt they'll spend their valuable time on a project that might turn out very different from what's expected.

Then, Halleck:

- I'm sorry to hear that tw-light failed, but that doesn't mean that the rest of timewarp should fail. If it makes you happier, you're not the first one who's lost weeks or months of work. So have I, and many others - but I've had some fun in the meantime Smiley

- Your work is only wasted when it's deleted. It's public, and the project can be restarted. You, or someone, should give it some more publicity, and make it easy for people to work on it.

Then, Bioslayer:

- Different is good.

Then, some good things:

- Timewarp has a lot of (experimental) ship designs. An awful lot of work had gone into all of those, and they provide an invaluable base of ship designs to choose from for a sequel. I believe, that having a good set of ships, is one of the hardest things about making a sequel - it's not just a plot. So, timewarp has already done a good job in that regard.

- Tw-light, twx, UQM, and UQM-R may all someday support modable dialogs. Therefore, plot development of any type is not a meaningless effort. Some plot ideas or ships that are developed in timewarp, can be applied (with some effort) to other projects, and vice versa.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 11:43:08 am by GeomanNL » Logged
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2006, 12:49:29 pm »

Well... if everyone insists on being so negative and gloomy about timewarp, it will most certainly fail. Cause, why would people even remotely consider joining the timewarp project, after they've read a thread like this ?
I apologize if I'm hindering the project in some way. I used to be very optimistic about the project, but I just don't have much optimism left.
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Then, Halleck:

- I'm sorry to hear that tw-light failed, but that doesn't mean that the rest of timewarp should fail. If it makes you happier, you're not the first one who's lost weeks or months of work. So have I, and many others - but I've had some fun in the meantime Smiley
Well, it was just the TW-Light plot that got scrapped. But yes... losing work is not fun.
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- Your work is only wasted when it's deleted. It's public, and the project can be restarted. You, or someone, should give it some more publicity, and make it easy for people to work on it.
My work on UAF's plot is public. I honestly don't think it should be restarted. At most, some of the races could be gleaned from it, so you're right in that it's not totally lost. Ultimately though, I felt like what I was doing wasn't making much of a difference to the project, which contributors really need to feel.

I would certainly love to see some major TW progress (especially with yurand's adventure engine, which I actually am optimistic about to an extent) but I don't think I'll try and contribute again anytime soon.
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Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2006, 05:05:58 pm »

I'm not trying to beat down the TW projects, I just think that to be successful, some realizations and changes need to be made (and fast.) I agree with Guesst's suggestion that the plot/campaign section just get cut loose altogether, and that time warp focus on:

1) Cleaning up the Interface (which you are working on, I know, and this is a good place to start.)

2) Kill the bugs (maybe this should be #1, it is hard for me to say.)

3) Focus on making the SC1-SC2 ships work perfectly, all the way down to the AI (no fish tailing.)

4) Make any graphical updates that are needed to make things look really good, like using alpha channel sprites (and little things like redoing the UQ Dreadnaught so that it better matches the first two games.)


I really am very optimistic that these things could be accomplished and TW could kick ass. BUT, it would require dropping everything else, at least until these are finished. Really, I can't stress enough how important focus can be. If there was one part of the game that worked and looked superb, it would be much, much easier to recruit people to fill out a story, build a campaign engine, etc.

Instead it appears (from the perspective of an outsider, admittedly) the plot process has created a good deal of turmoil, and generated an end result that a majority of fans might not consider satisfactory (granted, SC2's plot seemed much more entertaining and better structured than that of the majority of games, so there's a lot to live up to.)

But anyway, I don't think you are too far from victory, but to get there some honesty is required- focus on the core gameplay and get it finished or the project will stagnate forever.
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2006, 07:33:02 pm »

I'm not trying to beat down the TW projects, I just think that to be successful, some realizations and changes need to be made (and fast.) I agree with Guesst's suggestion that the plot/campaign section just get cut loose altogether, and that time warp focus on:

1) Cleaning up the Interface (which you are working on, I know, and this is a good place to start.)

2) Kill the bugs (maybe this should be #1, it is hard for me to say.)

3) Focus on making the SC1-SC2 ships work perfectly, all the way down to the AI (no fish tailing.)

4) Make any graphical updates that are needed to make things look really good, like using alpha channel sprites (and little things like redoing the UQ Dreadnaught so that it better matches the first two games.)


I really am very optimistic that these things could be accomplished and TW could kick ass. BUT, it would require dropping everything else, at least until these are finished. Really, I can't stress enough how important focus can be. If there was one part of the game that worked and looked superb, it would be much, much easier to recruit people to fill out a story, build a campaign engine, etc.

Instead it appears (from the perspective of an outsider, admittedly) the plot process has created a good deal of turmoil, and generated an end result that a majority of fans might not consider satisfactory (granted, SC2's plot seemed much more entertaining and better structured than that of the majority of games, so there's a lot to live up to.)

But anyway, I don't think you are too far from victory, but to get there some honesty is required- focus on the core gameplay and get it finished or the project will stagnate forever.

I have to agree with some of the points here, some of the secondary fire abilitys behave weirdly, that needs to be fixed, (it's hard to rotate the Orz Cannon and strafe with the Supox.)

AI, again, I've noticed this, it can take ages for a slow ship to get close to a faster one, only for that to run away.

I think we should scrap a lot of the useless, indentical ships for more imaginative designs, I like the weird Time one with the laser, but even that's special plays up, all the specials seem to go weird if they're supposed to be held down.
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2006, 12:47:08 am »

That's quite a list  Cheesy

You know, those things will only get done if a new developer shows up who wants to work on timewarp-melee.

Perhaps we should change topic and discuss tw-light or twx instead. That's where most development is going on anyways. I only worked on timewarp-melee cause I like those ships, it's not my main priority and I don't have the time for such an extensive rewrite.
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2006, 05:20:00 am »

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That's quite a list

Is it really, if you eliminate the things that have been suggested. Obviously tweaking and bug squashing the melee has to be easier than making an entirely new SC2 like game, right?


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That's where most development is going on anyways.

Argh, that's the cause of the problem. Melee is not finished and the focus has been moved to starting other elements of the game. Thus, there is very little completed work to show to potential recruits, and to get large groups of people playing TW. Imagine the popularity if you had fully working popular online clan wars with numerous SC2 ships blasting each other away in massive, chaotic glory. This is what TW could be, if only the other distractions were just cut loose. This is focus, and it could lead your project out of this hole, to take its rightful place amoungst the offshoot projects. Authentic, beautiful, massive, multiplayer and AI greatness- embrace your destiny! I can feel the conflict within you, finish what's on your plate. . .err wait, that's not how it goes. . .well just the same.
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GeomanNL
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2006, 12:42:51 pm »

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Thus, there is very little completed work to show to potential recruits

On the contrary. Timewarp is a fully functional game, just wrapped in ugly paper. I think you're confusing limitations in gameplay with incompleteness of a game. Timewarp aims at small (1:1) battles, and does that well enough.
So, I'm only really interested in attracting someone to redo the interface, and for an occasional bugfix (the rest is optional).

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Obviously tweaking and bug squashing the melee has to be easier than making an entirely new SC2 like game, right

You want new graphics, new interface, new AI, new multiplayer code, massive numbers of ships, weapons and explosions (on huge game maps I suppose), and because of that, the core mechanics of the game need to be adjusted  ... add to that MMO-type requirements for modability and scripting, then I am not talking about "tweaks", but about rewriting a major part of the game. That is comparatively as difficult as writing a new game from scratch.

It's possible that tw-light will develop in that direction, though I'm not sure.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2006, 01:23:01 pm by GeomanNL » Logged
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Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2006, 07:13:01 pm »

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You want new graphics,

Just here and there, maybe. It isn't that much work, since the ships are small, and are not super-detailed. You still have the 3D models, right? Anyway, I didn't mean redoing or tweaking many ships at all.


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new interface,

Something a little simpler. Graphics wouldn't have to be anything major, perhaps even taken from other projects.


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new AI,

Tweaked so that they just don't fish-tail, not new. Bug stomping you might call it.


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new multiplayer code

What's wrong with the current code?


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massive numbers of ships,

From what I've seen, you already have this. It was fun too, and would be way better with sound effects (which you could take from SC2 as Aftermath and ReMasters have done.)


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weapons and explosions (on huge game maps I suppose)

Weapons and explosions are nice too, but you've already got those (just need sound effects.) Huge maps you've already got, as well.


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add to that MMO-type requirements for modability and scripting

I didn't mean thousands of online players or anything. Just somewhere in the range of like 4 and 64 (probably in the lower quarter of that scale.) I thought this was already done? (Just maybe needed some bug squashing.)


So basically, better interface, bugs get crushed, sounds are added.
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2006, 02:06:30 am »

I did not download Timewarp, only TW-Light. It's not a bad game, but it seems like everywhere it cries out "this is still under construction" and so on. But I do think, that this will have a great future.

A little bit annoying are the graphics of the ships, most of them look like as if they had been made as StarControl II revamps in 32bit color and then bitdepth was crippled down to 8bit or something like that, making it appear "ugly"... you think "hey, this ship would look very cool, if it looked right." The new ships however don't have this "bitdepth-changed"-look.


My little brothers are playing this a lot and I encouraged them, to make a buglist. Every day they tell me of a new bug or something like that. I said them, they should write them down and also find out, how to reproduce them, because this could be great help to the people who are developing that game.

Is there some bug list already somewhere, so I can avoid posting bugs again, which are already known?


Anyway, keep up the good work. Don't ask for new features, but first try to hunt down the bugs and make the interface appeare less "half-done".
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2006, 10:30:31 am »

Bug page for tw-light: http://tw-light.berlios.de/mantis/view_all_bug_page.php
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2006, 05:15:36 am »

Ok, we're currently looking at redoing the interface. 

We made an attempt to redo it a year and change ago, using Allegro's train wreck of a GUI API.  We're trying a more educated approach this time around based on lessons learned last time. 

Good things are coming for TW-Light and Timewarp.  The scripting stuff should be pretty slick once it gets going.  Extensive thought and design is going into it, with attention on mod-ability and expandability, without sacrificing stability.  In fact, with any luck, we'll expose more bugs by developing an API and creating Python bindings for it.  We'll be in a better position to use unit testing to do necessary refactoring. 

Please do keep the honest feedback coming, it's much appreciated.  It's definitely more efficient to use the bug trackers, but if people are more comfortable posting here and end up having more elaborate debates, go for it. 
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2006, 11:17:43 pm »

Final notice: there's a new, final download for Timewarp (old version).
I cleaned up the menu, but only very little - due to lack of developers.
I also cleaned up the set of ships in timewarp-old version, by removing all ships that had inadequate gameplay.
This download includes a few bug-fixes as well (for networking, graphics, a few ships).
I don't intend to work on this anymore, so unless someone else takes over it's really final - enjoy Smiley

I think all development will focus on tw-light from now on.
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2006, 05:23:09 am »

So does this mean you are just leaving the old tw, or the whole series of projects?
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #28 on: June 08, 2006, 01:19:39 am »

The two best fan melee engines are Star Control Online and Time Warp imo. Aftermath was pretty.. and thats about all.. ReMasters, cant even get it to run and if those screenshots are any indication of things to come...god help em..

SC online has one thing TW doesn't, modability. Yes it's rather limited but you can replace all graphics and sounds easily by simply changing files in the appropriate folders. Unfortunately you cannot change the weapons/special behaviors and ship sizes. However,  it's still cool to see you own artwork flying around with matching captain animations.

If memory serves, poking around in the TW code all the ships are hard coded objects that need to be compiled into the EXE. And yes, many of the user added ships, quite frankly, suck. They look like they were drawn during a 5 second Paint session..

To me, the ultimate melee engine would allow players to customize their own ships,captain animations and weapon loadouts and duke it out across the web in a pickup game.. But my past programming experience tells me this might be impractical..

But what if you could select from a list of pre designed hull sizes & graphics, pre-packaged weapons and pre drawn captains from a menu  into one ship. Then save the design for the arena? If every option kept things in balance such as a dreadnought only travels half as fast as a cruiser, but has twice the power etc. etc. Or maybe simply keep a tally of design points kinda like designing your precursor ship at the star base in SC 2? The idea would be to keep people from designing untouchable uber ships.

Anyway just my .02$ on what TW possibly could do with all those user made weapons and hulls..
« Last Edit: June 08, 2006, 01:25:06 am by RTyp06 » Logged
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Re: Star Control : TimeWarp
« Reply #29 on: June 08, 2006, 01:21:00 am »

Get rid of that huge, grey, rectangular ship that crashes the game, if you haven't already.
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