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Author Topic: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test  (Read 3537 times)
MisterFrosty
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Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« on: April 19, 2003, 08:04:00 am »

Dear All --

I have lurked in this forum for quite some time, being a big fan of SC2.  I hope I am not abusing this form, either its rules or the hospitality its members extend, by posting this message.

Over the past few weeks, I've been working on a prototype for a game called "Beyond Infinity."  BI is an open-ended space RPG, currently essentially without graphics, in the line of Elite, Privateer, and Freelancer.  Because this type of game is not totally dissimilar from SC2, I felt it appropriate that I post here.  Moreover, fans of old games are less likely to post sneering comments about the "graphics" of Beyond Infinity.  Lastly, BI is designed to be very open-ended and customizable, and once I have the dev software out, I would be flattered if people developed an SC mod.  Hell, I might do so myself.

Anyway, what I'm posting for is to ask for help in the alpha stages of this project.  Because it is open-ended and because of the way the gameplay is set up, it's really hard for me to test all the possibilities myself.  I think I've covered the glitches and gotten the game very playable, but I'm hardly impartial.

Here's the link:

http://www.noir.org/beyond/beyond.zip

Hope I can find some takers.

Best,
Mark
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2003, 10:44:28 am »

Welcome to the forums, Frosty!  Your post is definately appropriate.  I for one am very interested in this space RPG of yours.  I've only played some of the game so far, but I see a lot of good things in the gameplay.  It's great to see you're bringing back the glory of games like Privateer (an oldie and a classic.   Grin ).  I'm sure you'll find alot of other fans of these types of games, since the Star Control realm is not far from them.  I think you might also find alot of eager people to work on your project.  Me?  I don't really have any skills or talent, even.  However, I would be glad to help if I could.  Even if that just means getting the word out or hitting somebody with a big stick, I could do it.

I think that a Star Control mod for BI would be awesome!  I like the way this game runs so far, so putting it into SC context would be wicked!  I'd be curious to know how you would plan for an SC mod to work, or how others would see such a mod working...  the future of this game looks really promising!  I'd love to hear more.  Maybe as I play the game a little bit more and learn my way around it, I too will have some comments and criticisms... keep up the good work, man!
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MisterFrosty
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2003, 10:52:11 am »

I actually don't need any help except for supportive comments like yours, and the occasional snide, "You know that you can wind up with negative money through drug smuggling fines" when you come across a glitch.

Basically, there are a bunch of easy-to-program features that would allow me to lock in some of the factors that are currently random.  For example, planets could have non-varying ships, ships could have fixed components (rather than letting you put them in as you wish).  Then I'd change the faction names to "Slylandro" "Hierarchy" "Korh-Ah" "Alliance" "Melnorme".  I'd lock in the ship loadouts for each of the ships to be vaguely analogous to the SC2 ships -- which would be a serious bastardizing, but you'd have things like Cruisers having a missile mark 2 and a beam mk 1, a Skiff having a beam mk 2, Dreadnoughts having cannons mk 4 (I guess) and missile mark 1 (for the fighters. . .)  That sort of stuff.  Change the system name set -- though I use real star names, so there's huge overlap.

There'll be a scenario editor eventually, which would let you create a starmap just like SC2's, load out the planets with the proper ships for that race, give them the right name and relevant stats, and so on.  It would be seriously imperfect, but might not be too bad.

Pretty much EVERYTHING is changeable except the gameplay -- so all the data can be changed, but not the structure.

Anyway, I'll write more tomorrow.  Thanks for your kind words.
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2003, 08:33:48 pm »

Any chance this will be coded for a *nix-based system in the near future?
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2003, 08:52:33 pm »

Unfortunately, no.  My programming knowledge is limited to nigh-useless languages (Logo Writer, QuickBasic, and a smattering of Visual Basic), so unless there's any easy QB->Unix port, I don't know how I can pull it off.  Aren't there DOS emulators for *nix systems?
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2003, 09:43:44 pm »

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Aren't there DOS emulators for *nix systems?

DosBox works under Linux better than it ever did under win32 (for me, anyways) so us penguinistas that are properly motivated will be able to play, yes.
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2003, 12:19:54 am »

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Unfortunately, no.  My programming knowledge is limited to nigh-useless languages (Logo Writer, QuickBasic, and a smattering of Visual Basic), so unless there's any easy QB->Unix port, I don't know how I can pull it off.  Aren't there DOS emulators for *nix systems?


Hmm. Care to release the source code, so that I might be able to port it to C/C++ for us Linux-y types?
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2003, 01:38:10 am »

Lith -- Once it's done, I might be amenable to that.  The source is a little sloppy and I'm leery about the idea of releasing the source to it while it's still a WIP; my concern is a desynching of versions and stuff.  Maybe once the prototype is finished, we can talk about rebuilding it entirely in C++ rather than my current plan of porting it to VB.  (Since I want to ultimately add graphics / music.)
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2003, 03:45:32 am »

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Lith -- Once it's done, I might be amenable to that.  The source is a little sloppy and I'm leery about the idea of releasing the source to it while it's still a WIP; my concern is a desynching of versions and stuff.  Maybe once the prototype is finished, we can talk about rebuilding it entirely in C++ rather than my current plan of porting it to VB.  (Since I want to ultimately add graphics / music.)


That would be a good idea to port it to C++, and if you want some help in that I could offer assistance, yes. And I can see your worry about de-syncing, so I can agree with not releasing it yet.

Drop me a mail at Postmaster@[NOSPAM]Lithorien.net ((Remove the [NOSPAM]..)) sometime to discuss this, if you like. Smiley
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2003, 06:55:45 am »

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It's great to see you're bringing back the glory of games like Privateer (an oldie and a classic.    ).  


Mmm, Privateer! My favorite game ever! *hides from angry SC2 fan mob*

I am certainly up for a SC version of that!

So Frosty, the help you need for the game is basically playtesting for bugs?
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2003, 07:01:56 am »

It's not bugs so much -- though I'm sure there are many nasty ones -- as balance.  Basically I /think/ things work, but I'm not sure.  By "work" I mean, for example, that it's possible to make decent profits on trading, but not too easy, or that it's viable to start as a fighter, or that the rewards from missions are suitably commensurate with the difficulty.  Things like that can be tested on my end, but because there's so much diversity (or so I tell myself) in the game, it's hard to be sure that I'm right -- a lot hinges on how the random numbers fall at game's start, and a lot may depend on my "insider knowledge" of how things work.

Thanks!
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MisterFrosty
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Re: Beyond Infinity: Alpha Test
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2003, 11:54:56 pm »

Hey all.  Though I've been busy with a couple of commercial projects I got involved with, I've also been slogging away at Beyond Infinity.  The newest release improves on every aspect of the previous gameplay -- two new mission types, rebalanced components, vastly better AI, newer/better economic / system state model -- and fixes a string of really stupid glitches.

As always, I'd really appreciate feedback.  I know it can be hard to play a game without graphics, but I really do think that if you play for a bit, you'll find it's fun notwithstanding.

http://www.noir.org/beyond/beyond.zip

I'm hoping to get the core elements finished ASAP (I have a couple more mission types I want to add, but beyond that, it's really just balancing) so that I can work on the scenario editor and then on porting it to a graphical engine.

The areas that I'm most suspicious of right now are:

1) Mission payments seem like they're out of whack.  They don't seem adequately balanced between pay/difficulty.

2) Components and ship prices seem like they may not be properly balanced either.  My last play-through, it seemed like ship prices were way too high relative to component prices, but I'm not sure.
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