Log Entry 018: Deadlock Goes Open Door Development

published Tuesday, 15 March 2011, 13:00 by Kenneth

For our upcoming multiplayer release called Deadlock, we will open our doors and give you access to follow the development step-by-step, day-by-day and week-by-week. You'll be able to try prototypes from various areas of the development, read about our daily struggles and progress, and last but not least try the actual game from the earliest crude baby-steps, through major milestones - all the way to a fully featured kick-ass multiplayer game!

http://www.interstellarmarines.com/media/uploads/misc_images/deadlock_newsletter_comingsoon.jpg
Soon you will be able to follow the development of Deadlock and play it as it's being developed.


Deadlock

Bullseye was the first selection round of "Project IM", which is the top-secret Interstellar Marines program under Gen. Sebastian Travis. In Bullseye elite soldiers from all over the world had their weapons skills tested by ITO AI 'SARA', and those skilled enough went through to the actual program which started in Running Man. Those good enough to complete the first three days of the "Project IM" training program are now ready for the next step: man-to-man combat in Deadlock!

Deadlock is the next planned Interstellar Marines release, and is basically a multiplayer where Interstellar Marines are fighting each other in a top-secret training facility deep below ground. The actual development of Deadlock will start soon and you will be able to follow it, comment on, discuss with us at Zero Point Software and participate in the making of it.

http://www.interstellarmarines.com/media/uploads/article_images/development/assaultrifle003/assaultrifle003.jpg
Go here to see 'Assault Rifle 003' from all angles in an Unity prototype


Open Door Development

Throughout the development of Deadlock, we will give Spearheads and Frontliners access to play the current official browser build of the game, and we intend to release updates regularly. We don't want to lock the releases to a certain time interval, but rather just make releases when they are ready. This means that sometimes there will only be a few days between an update and other times they will be a few weeks apart. We call this "Open Door Development".

In a way this resembles a closed beta program as you might know it from other games, but with two major differences: 

  1. The game is not nearly as finished yet as you normally experience in a beta program, but will evolve drastically over time.
  2. You have the chance to influence all elements of the game by providing us with feedback.

This is the first time we try to develop a game with this extreme kind of openness and we have some good ideas of how we want to execute it. However if things don't start up as you expect or if the progress is slower than anticipated in the beginning, please bear with us - we are only four guys working on this and we need to learn what our new Open Door Development methodology really is about and what kind of challenges it involves as we go along. There are no books or best practices about Open Door Development - it's all learning by doing, while we invent and evolve the methodology.

It's still a bit early to give you an expected date for the first crude "version 0.0.1" release as we are still just preparing the development process, but it's a matter of a few months.

http://www.interstellarmarines.com/media/uploads/article_images/development/audio-occlusion-first-prototype/doorwayocclusion.jpg
Kenneth is prototyping a more realistic approach to audio occlusion than usually seen in games


Embedded Unity Prototypes

We are in the process of restructuring what we now call "Articles" to more regular developer blogs. Here you will be able to follow the ongoing development of Deadlock, and as a new feature we will embed actual Unity prototypes from various areas of the development directly in the blog entry, just like you know it from embedded YouTube movies. These prototypes will probably not involve gameplay, but will be focused on new tech, 3d-models, lighting, sound, animation or similar. To see what this is about - head straight to our current Article section and see the first two Unity prototype blog entries:

Assault Rifle 03 Show Off in Unity:
http://www.interstellarmarines.com/articles/development/assault-rifle-03

Audio Occlusion - First Prototype:
http://www.interstellarmarines.com/articles/development/audio-occlusion-first-prototype


Other news 


FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME,
ZPSHicks, Reese, heks and Kenneth
The team at Zero Point Software

- Latest Change log updates for InterstellarMarines.com available here:
http://www.interstellarmarines.com/forum/threads/id/175/


Comments

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3 years, 9 months ago

Great idea, although to be completely honest, you should have done this from the start or at least from Bullseye. You did kinda start with Running Man but not to the full extent. Anyhow, better to start now than never. :)

I better be on the first list of people invited or I will lose it. :P

/jk

Seriously though, give priority to those who've supported the most, but also to the most active Spearheads.

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Astalano - all Spearheads and Frontliners are automatically "invited". That is - as soon as you upgrade your account to either you can play Deadlock in the current browser build. (Well - in a few months)

It's that simple!

/Kenneth

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3 years, 9 months ago

Awesome. ^^

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Kenneth:

This is really great news! I think alot of people will be more and more interested in purchasing a Spearhead or Frontliner account!

Since it seems you have an idea on how multiplayer is gonna unfold like please tell us: Dedicated servers or serverless connection?

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3 years, 9 months ago

I love the design of the rifle, good work ;) I´m impatient to help you in deadlock

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3 years, 9 months ago

@th3k1d - This has actually not been decided yet, and it's a hot topic at our office atm. Maybe we'll do a hybrid solution where there will be both dedicated ZPS hosted servers, AND you are able to make servers yourself. But everything is still up in the air - and we might make several different solutions throughout the development of Deadlock... But that's the beauty of Open Door Development - You'll be able to experience it first hand, and are able to influence us in our choices.

Cheers,
Kenneth

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3 years, 9 months ago

Open Door Development, that is fantastic news.

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Kenneth please start with whatever is the easieste for you guys to make so we can get to try an early build asap :D if that means zps hosted servers only for a good while then so be it imo :)

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3 years, 9 months ago

OMG Cann't wait!!!

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3 years, 9 months ago

@forgefire - don't worry. We'll let you in as soon as possible, but please note that the first couple of builds probably won't have any gameplay. But we aim to introduce gameplay sooner rather than later. It's a matter of making a solid platform we can work on and expand.

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Kenneth:

Thanks for the answer! I really hope you guys manage throught this as best as you can!
I have to agree with @forgefire when he says that ZPS hosted servers are best for this initial run, but I love that you propose a hybrid with both serverless and dedicated at the same time!

Best of luck

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3 years, 9 months ago

nice idd. would like to see dedicated servers, will make (just like in CoD 4) the community even better :) well i think u guys will find a great solution

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3 years, 9 months ago

This is so great, I love it! It also gives us a deep look into the deeper workings of Interstellar Marines. I hope for dedicated servers and a lot of options for them (at least in the final game) so if I am a freak who loves to play two on four deadmatches with all damage but melee deactivated (or stuff like that^^), I'll find a server providing that.

Oh, I can't wait to fire that nasty little assault rifle. She's quite the rough girl, isn't she? Needs to be tamed by a real man.

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Kenneth

I think the hybrid solution would be better for you - in that respect, game server networks wanting to host IM multiplayer could then pay you a monthly fee that you could use towards further development of the trilogy...

On another topic; I know this upcoming suggestion for Open-Door development might be seen as insane but, there are going to be a lot of people looking forward towards your games (including myself) that are mod developers. Would you consider opening a workshop where people would submit textured models of content you still need built, and in exchange, place their name in the credits under something like a "Volunteer Contributors" section?

It might not be as good as getting paid, but it's something to add to a CV for if they are planning to get a job in the games industry.

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3 years, 9 months ago

I think beeing able to create your own server is a must for a game mainly based on multiplayer. But I also think that this option can wait for later, either when the full game is released, or when Deadlock is running smooth.

And the Open Door Development sounds so great. I'm so happy to be part of that great community here and just want to say: Thank you ZPS for making this all possible :)

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Hyncharas

Though I see where you're coming from, the issue with that is whether the community can provide the necessary talent to produce high-quality models that suit the game; then there is the issue of copyright, who owns the model? The company or the individual who made it - especially if there is existing licenses on the model/design.

Though it might help speed up development there are still risks to weigh-up. Besides, a beta isn't intended for polish, I'd be quite happy to play the game with placeholder models that are nothing more than untextured blocks with a muzzle. Beta is there to refine the features and balance, then you move into late-stage beta for polishing visuals and stuff.

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3 years, 9 months ago

I wonder if you can take a guy's helmet off with a head shot... guess I'll have to wait and see...

can't wait to play this every step of the way!

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Zuriki Well the developers could always turn down the assets, say "thanks, but no thanks." As long as the person submitting the asset was prepared for possibly being turned down. The copyright issue would probably entail the creator to turn it over to ZPS. It isn't a bad idea but Im not sure if there are some sort of legal issues with it.

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3 years, 9 months ago

Looks Freaky. For The Love Of The Game...

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3 years, 9 months ago

Good to see you guys still trucking away. Keep up the good work, it will be exciting to see where this goes.

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3 years, 9 months ago

Ohhh my a lot of new stuff!!...something with deadlock...Assault Rifle...BETA testing!(Screams like a little girl...*passes out*...) ...

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Zuriki

I'm suggesting an incentives program, or maybe two competitions -- one for a basic mesh and another for a complex mesh, for the real pros who churn out models by the dozen for a project. Say for the plain fan with modelling experience, you were to offer 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for the best models and render of it from a concept, submitted to the studio, and then each prize offers support medals (10 for 1st, 5 for 2nd and 2 for 3rd). This would be held monthly.

However, the larger, more dedicated competition would be for the proper enthusiasts, and held every three or four months. Let's say it's the same prizes as before, but the 1st prize for this one would also include it being put in the game and your full name and nickname put in the credits! For both competitions there would also be a gallery set up, for showing picures of all the participants who entered...

As part of a recruitment process for a studio, most companies will delete your application-portfolio and this might smooth over reffled feathres in the community. I would suspect in the case of the both competitions, all models entered who won prizes would become the property of ZPS, but all others that only had their models appear in the gallery would be deleted, with those who created them keeping ownership.

But anyway, it's just a thought. I've seen other mods that have become indie-game projects offer this with no abuse whatsoever, and if you don't trust the studio building a game trilogy with a "by fans, for fans" approach, you probably shouldn't be entering at all.

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3 years, 9 months ago

This is some sweet stuff, The rifle looks amazing. Can't wait 'til deadlock.

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3 years, 9 months ago

Great , GG team ! . IM Best :)

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3 years, 9 months ago

Great news and really good approach. Thumbs up!

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3 years, 9 months ago

After being enlisted for a full year, I decided now to become a Spearhead :D

Excellent news for all!

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3 years, 9 months ago

Keep it open guys, the only way to succeed!

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3 years, 9 months ago

Welcome to the Spearheads McCheesyNoodle :)
I think you won't regret that decision.


The idea of the different selection rounds for "Project IM" is pretty nice. Although suddenly it came on my mind how this is going to be realized in Deadlock. Of course, the participants will fight against each other, the strongest will win and therefore be elected to join the Interstellar Marines.
In Running Man you are already able to imagine that the election process is pretty hard, because some participants "didn't make it". If you got overrun by the robots there still was the possibility to survive that and get a second chance.

But what will it be like in Deadlock? When I imagine that my Marine gets killed there it would spoil the whole story for me. I trained at Bullseye, made it through Running Man just to be shot to dead in Deadlock? And when "my" Marine got killed what happens then? Do I just hop into the body of an other Marine?
Something like that would spoil the immersive gameplay for me.
It's hard to find a solution for that problem, I'm already spent more than a hour thinking about one. Some sort of paintball guns? Wouldn't fit into the hard selection. The best solution I've got right now is to train with some sort of "weak" bullets. These should have enough power to deal you dangerous injuries if you have bad luck but on the other hand they should be so weak that the risk of actually getting killed is reduced to a minimum.

But what happens when you got shot down in a challenge? Do you have to wait till all the others are also shot down, then all go to the medic station and after that a new challenge starts? (a little bit like CS where you can't respawn till the match is over).

Hopefully ZPS will read this comment, understand what I mean and think about it.
I did also open a forum thread about this (hope the link will work: [link](http://www.interstellarmarines.com/forum/th
reads/id/1314/ "link") )

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Spiderpig - it's actually a good question and some very valid points you have there.

In Running Man we prototyped "Gun Bots" but due to our restricted deadline we couldn't make it in time, so we decided to focus on Close Encounter Bots instead as they were much more manageble to do within the budget and time we had.

But to cut it short. In Running Man the CTR's gave you an electric shock when they hit you, and when you had enough damage you passed out. This same approach is what er had (and still have) in mind for bullets; that they give you a non-lethal electric shock.

Hope my ramblings make sense - I'm sure Kim has a lot more to add on this issue. :-)

Cheers,
Kenneth

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3 years, 9 months ago

Can't wait to try this out :D

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3 years, 9 months ago

Sounds good, cant wait till this is fully implemented and we get to test :)

Verrrry excited!!

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3 years, 9 months ago

any comfirmed date for the release of deadlock

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3 years, 9 months ago

@gamerfly:
The article says: "It's still a bit early to give you an expected date for the first crude "version 0.0.1" release as we are still just preparing the development process, but it's a matter of a few months."
In the most interviews ZPS said that the release of Deadlock will be in ca. 3 months. So I would say 2-4 months could be a realistic guess.

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3 years, 9 months ago

Haha, Deadlock for my birthday presant^^ Sweet

Good going! Semi-live development feed sounds great!

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3 years, 9 months ago

In what way do you plan to accept feedbackfpr the early versions? I mean, as forum-posts it would be public. As comments on articles you would have to go through many "awesome"-posts.
I mean, I really would like to give detailed feedback-reports, but seem to be missing an appropriate platform to do so.
It just came to my mind, maybe you could introduce a kind of a ticket-system for feedback. Where I have a drop-down-menu to decide on which feature to comment and then there would be a box for text and maybe even a possibility to upload a textfile... or not. Just a thought.

My regards, Kendzi

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Kendzi

Our goal is to create the best game experience possible and we believe that your feedback will make this possible! Our vision is clear and we know what we want but are always looking for cool ideas and suggestions that can take this vision of ours to the next level!

For the love of the game!

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3 years, 9 months ago

I want in really bad. I'm a stickler, and I would make sure to brief you on all of the things I find to be extremes, good or bad.

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3 years, 9 months ago

@ZPSHicks

I think you misinterpreted Kendzi's post.
We all know you want feedback (that part's pretty clear xD) in order to create a game that pleases all (which would make it the best game ever(and it probably will)). And we love tossing feedback at you, I for one, could throw suggestions in all directions all day, but doing so on the public forum does not really appeal to me. If you were to request large-scale feedback, my opinon on how to accomplish that would be to make a new page(HTML) dedicated solely to the incoming feedback.

Here goes (IMO):
The page would be a number of dropdown menus containing generalized fields of the in-game experience, which the person in question could select from (to narrow the feedback down to the relative field before proceeding on to the Rich Text Field where the user supplies his own thoughts in his own words) which makes piling through the feedback easier for you. The user would submit it as a private (the feedback is only viewable bu ZPS employees) or public (for everyone to see) supplication. OR he could go to the public part of the page and view other's feedback.
The page should have a rating system, somewhat like on YouTube, (This is a good idea! or This is the dumbest piece of trash I've heard in my entire life! (just kidding)) so that users viewing the public feedback section could vote feedback up or down, displaying the most recent/relative/popular feedback at the top and so on. You could announce in the top what kind of feedback you're interested in at that particular moment, or just comment on feedback publicly. Note that this would mean that public feedback would be more "heavy-wheighting" than private feedback like; "Damn! That female character is so hot that I did unspeakable things to myself" Which is the dumbest piece of trash I've heard in my entire life and it shouldn't be submitted, just supplying an example.
This page should also perhaps be available for Frontliners and up only, or you could have one for each (Enlisted), making the viewing of feedback even easier. I'm not saying that you guys who havn't contributed economically (yet :) ) don't have good ideas, just that they stated the Open Door Dev would be Briefing Room matierial.
This page could be used for everything else of Open Door Dev you do (derp), or simply a better organized feedback platform, elevated from the noisy forum (or soon to be anyway).

So I'm basically asking you to open a "Feedbook" with lots of sticky locked threads. ...I just poked that ludicrous suggestion in the face.

That being said I am in no way wishing you to get too constrained to the community and it's imperial march for answers and it's bloothirst for being heard, I am simply throwing a suggestion in some random direction. Feel free to ignore my painstakingly written deliberately stupendously long comment and stick to the forum. JUST SAYIN'

For the love of the game.

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3 years, 9 months ago

@Split_Second

Your idea is good, but it would take a lot of time creating such an "Feedbook".

Of course we could create it oure selfes and impliment on Aevaris site if he allows us to do so.

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3 years, 9 months ago

Split_Seconds idea is pretty good. And I think the time it would take to create something like that could be less time than going through the forum all the time.

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3 years, 9 months ago

Indeed.
Again; It was originally Kendzi's idea.
Anyhow, having it on Aevaris's site is a good idea, but we'll wait and see how the brass(i.e. ZPS xD) reacts.

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3 years, 9 months ago

@ Split_Second:

Thank you for making my point a bit clearer. You even go further than I thought. I suggested a ticket-system where we could chose a category (like sound, technical issues, immersion etc.). That would be only private for the developers. For example Kenneth could go through the sound-feedback. That would make searching for relevant feedback much faster. Also, Split_Seconds post is pretty long and a detailed feedback-report could be even longer. Reading this post is not that easy and that's why I feel it could be pretty uncomfortable reading through feedbacks in this format.

Also, I think that a rating system isn't needed THAT much. ZPS will know what the people think by reading the feedback. If many users are complaing about collision-models for example, they will know that these should be improved.

It is just important that many many users give their constructive criticism so that the developers can get a clear picture of what most people think.

My regards, Kendzi

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3 years, 9 months ago

:)

1. My comment was simply a thought draft to get the guys started if the need for the Feedbook arose.
2. The ticket system you told about in your first post is EXACTLY what I meant, only that I added a little more detailed info. Not going into what category this, which category that, that's up to ZPS to make as needed.
3.I didn't mean the feedback to be posted in this format, that would just be plain out silly.
4. A rating system IS needed THAT much. Otherwise ZPS would just get a million bazillion reports about the exact same thing. The rating system takes care of that. Instead of seeing how many magillion posts have been made about one certain thing, people will just simply "Thumbs up" and they'll see how many people agree. Simple.
5. If a user has any other constructive info to add to the existing "TOP-report" people who read that extra report can pin it to the existing report, thereby "commenting by popular demand" on the TOP-reports without it being tsunami'd by one-sentance comments.

6. Why the bloody **** am I not writing this in the forum?
*slaps himself* someone make a thread. I have forufobia.

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3 years, 9 months ago

sweet can't wait to try :D

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3 years, 9 months ago

Is there classes or weapons that u can choose or does everyone have 2 use the same weapon?

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3 years, 9 months ago

oh and is there going to be a melee weapon or attack?

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