SITREP - Week 010

published Friday, 24 June 2011, 15:30 by Reese

Another former employee from the Zero Point family returns, SARA is fully operational and is currently being filled with tons of research images and the IM:Deadlock development is getting up to speed. Find out more in this weeks SITREP

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Read last weeks SITREP [Here]

Team debriefing

Kim
Kim (ZPSHicks)
Game Director

"Currently jacked-in stitching together a couple of Mood Boards (Deadlock Reference Research) which I was really hoping I could share with you guys/girls this week, but they'll be online next week instead.

We've nailed a few ITO Training Ground concept drawings in the past, but just have to dig down again getting our hands dirty with everything to make sure that we plot our ambitious course on achieving the right type of setting, mood and canvas for our continued journey into Project IM (Starting with Deadlock). To move this conceptual work forward on the art creation side of things, I'm extremely happy to announce that Andreas Von Cotta our old GURU conceptual artist is back on the team working freelance (Back after having worked about a year at CCP on Iceland).

Getting closing to the speed of light and still picking up speed! :)"

heks
Mikael (heks)
Lead Programmer

"Today we _finally_ got our servers fully up and running in the dedicated server room — don't ask why it took so long; it's a convoluted story!

I won't miss the noise of three servers by my side (as if Kim and Nics' vocal noise factor aren't enough...).

Despite inadvertently having spent wayyy too much time on this, there's a few upsides: a) We've got a proper backup procedure now (redundancy FTW!), b) Potential downtime will be much much shorter in the future, c) Old server software has been updated and last but not least d) We've freed up a bunch of disk space for production use.

So this concludes the chapter on "get your infrastructure straight, mister!". I (and the rest of the team!) can finally get back to 110% dedicated Deadlock development.

Now, where was I?"


 A fairly clean office for a change in the occasion of "A Return of The mighty Anders Antoft" :)
A fairly clean office for a change in the occasion of "A Return of The mighty Anders Antoft" :)

Anders
Anders (cptKickASS)
Game Artist

SARA: Entry mismatch. Subject appears to be offline. No record stored this week.


 

 

Jess
Jess (NecroSonic)
Level Designer

"I have been quite busy during this week cooking up a new map. This time it is a purely indoor map as Kim has stressed that we need to be able to deliver an awesome indoor multiplayer experience. I have however gone out of my way to set the new map apart from what you saw in Running Man.

The challenge for me regarding Deadlock is to stage the maps in relation to the setting of the underground training facility. The main issue is to make it believable while at the same time making it visually interesting and engaging. Most shooters create multiplayer maps based on various settings from the singleplayer campaign.  This means that you have the benefit having a visually rich environment with a lot of props implied by the setting.

The challenge with the training scenario of Deadlock (where all the multiplayer games is part of the overall story as the training of the marines) is that settings created for such training would probably be rather scarce on props that would add detail. For example: Why would there be a lot of exposed cables hanging from the ceiling or lying on the floor in this training facility? Why would there be monitors and computers along the walls? Etc. In order for the rooms and battle arenas to work gameplay-wise you need to put something in them to create cover and hiding spots but it can’t all be crates as this would make for a very dull and uniform map.

I know that Kim has the answer as to how to solve this but I would like to hear your ideas as well. Fire away!"

Nicolai
Nicolai (Reese)
CEO & Composer

"For the love of creativity. Audio, here I come at last. All major admin tasks complete and its down to the daily and somewhat minor running admin tasks.

Besides currently spending time trying to dig a music composing hole of creative solitude for the next period of time I have also started to play around with the audio part in the Unity engine. It's been a while since I last worked with in-game sound design (back in the UE3) but the team has big faith in my skills to adapt to this engine".

I hope I'm soon able to release some new versions of the ongoing music pieces as well as a follow-up in form of the Music Dev' Blog Part 2,- as well as some initial audio tests of some kind. Kenneth left me some good basic tutorials as well as a nice handover presentation, so I should be up and running fairly fast on that part".

 

InterstellarMarines.com Summary

 

Picture of the Week 0036

Out of this world! Heks and Nics just returned from Iceland with tons of research images, each more beautiful than the next!

 

Mentions this week

 

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Nicolai (Reese) & the team at Zero Point Software

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Comments

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2 years, 10 months ago

well this is a first....FIRST :)

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2 years, 10 months ago

Von Cotta is back (granted, only as volunteer) ??? That is probably some of the best news I've heard in sitrep ever! I hope we get to see some of his new work!

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2 years, 10 months ago

Sitrep gives me hope everytime!

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2 years, 9 months ago

Ideas for cover besides crates?

Well, this is an underground training facility. In Running Man, everything was enclosed and the surrounding environment was unavailable to the player. Maybe let some rocks or something inside the training facility? Kind of like when roads are built, they can't always level the ground, so instead they have to make the road go uphill and then downhill.

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2 years, 9 months ago

not a volunteer aevaris, a freelancer.

Anyway...took you guys long enough to get that server fully running again! ;)

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2 years, 9 months ago

gud u made some progress!!! best of luck for the rest of the journey!!! btw please do tell ...this is a question in my mind since i read the plot of IM . why havent u included india and china ( well more particularly india ) in the ITO ??? is it bcuz there are some diplomatic obstructions or are they supposedly hostile ? this was suprising for me and my friend bcuz 1) we're indians and it was a blow for us when after being so impressed by your vision , we saw our nation left out of a world government scenario .....2) india and china are currently one of the major space players .. well modest compared to nasa and russian space programmes , but still very much significant .

please understand why i have asked this question and thank u for listening to me .

as for the cover problem , being a underground facility , u cud add some natural caves and stalagmites wid some mining equipment and rocks on the surface . rest of the complex wud be constructed but leave a few passages which accommodate the above . simple water tanks or even surface vents having a sufficient height cud act as cover . nt so great options but it cud work ......

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2 years, 9 months ago

@Jess, I would say cardboard boxes !

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2 years, 9 months ago

Jess: Well, training facility should simulate real world scenarios, so there's nothing wrong with filling it with normal objects. For example one room can simulate office full of cubicles, second room can simulate warehouse etc. Some props can be cardboard/obviously faked, so it would still look like training facility.

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2 years, 9 months ago

I am glad the server is finally back up. And having more members in the team is never a bad thing :-) My hopes for the audio design are high, the prototypes already show more than most FPS games have in their final versions.

The underground facility could use levels that simulate real scenarios where a unit such as the IM might be deployed. We have to assume that the unit would be used mostly in cases when a communication with the object of interest was lost and there is reason to believe it may have been caused by corporate terrorism, sabotage or forces unknown. It is also reasonable to assume the levels could be damaged in some serious way - it a terrorist communitates, it means he is threatening the authority with destruction of property of deaths of hostages = he doesn't want to endanger his own plan by excessive damage caused to the ship / facility. This leads me to thinking the IM would be send to missions in hazardous conditions (loss of property / loss of control over the property under suspicious circumstances) that might eventually turn into a counterterrorist operation. The training levels could reflect that.

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2 years, 9 months ago

Hi guys (and girls possibly).
I'm glad that you are up for discussing how to approach the level design. Some of you probably know more than me about the IM lore and it is great to read your suggestions.

I think that the idea that the training facility has some sections that are complete reconstructions of settings from previous IM missions that now has become 'school examples' is good. This would allow for creating levels that has a lot of props and atmosphere, and why wouldn't ITO be interested in immersing the marines fully in the training? It is a valid approach that I at least would welcome, but it seems that Kim and Cotta is up to something so you never know. Will it be a clinical Mass Effect/Portal environment or a reconstruction of a gritty decayed off world base?

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2 years, 9 months ago

cant play running man anymore i need help please cause i want to play deadlock map

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2 years, 9 months ago

Jess: the idea of having simulated areas for different chambers like others are suggesting is a great idea, although i think it should maybe be taken one step further. As a training facility, i would guess that they would want to train their subjects for a variety of outdoor environments too, so they could maybe have large indoor facilities that are simulated outdoor environments. To put it clearer , in the underground base , one room may have thick jungle in it, then the next room over would have a bunch of red rock simulating a canyon type environment , etc etc. This could also add a variety of conditions too (maybe some areas would be low gravity or something idk, kinda like how they train astronauts present day). As top notch marines, they definitely need to be tested in a variety of situations in a variety of environments and conditions, thats probably the best way to look at it, not to mention that variety makes for a very fun multiplayer.

On a side note, i dont know what all you guys are planning, but you may want to try having some dynamic elements to your maps too. For example, have a draw bridge that u can activate with a button.

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2 years, 9 months ago

Personally I think reconstructioning possible combat situations would be suitable. A company would probably do this with cheaper, not fully functional props though.
They must be coming up with something really great, if you consider it even better than the previously mentioned ideas. Looking forward to next week when they finally show it!

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2 years, 9 months ago

@Silvers.

Low gravity tactical stealth scenario! That is the most crazy and brilliant idea imo:D

The jungle room has already been a hot topic at the office and it might actually be doable with the tree generator that is now part of the Unity editor, but I haven't had the time to test it yet.

Dynamic elements is at the top of Kims list and I know that he is planning to have SARA in control of the environment somehow.

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2 years, 9 months ago

Jess: Those are the juiciest news I've heard, such a teaser.

What I would like to see is dynamically changing gravity, plethora of alternative routes and static defenses.

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2 years, 9 months ago

Have you read about this technology before? :
http://io9.com/5688164/orbiting-3d-printers-are
-the-future-of-space-exploration

In the future you could imaging that it would be very cheap to print 3D objects.
So I imagine that it could be used to create cheap props to be used in the training simulations for different enviroments.

So after each round, Sarah takes notice of all the things that have been destroyed and then print some new.

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2 years, 9 months ago

Some cover objects: forklifts, trolleys, barrels, spare parts, old equipment eg. servers ;), technical equipment, electrical box, open technical hatches and wall panels, pipes, suilding stamps, chairs, , emergency hardware cabinet.

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2 years, 9 months ago

@Jess

Glad you like my crazy thoughts =D. Although to be honest I never even thought of combining stealth with low gravity ( i tend to run and gun lol). The thought of it, though, just screams amazing level for the campaign *wink* *nudge*.

On a side note, I just cant help but think of portal / portal 2 when you guys talk about these training environments. Its the same kind of top secret training facility run by a robotic lady, only this time with guns! lol cant wait, keep up the good work!

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2 years, 9 months ago

@Jess

Just thought of one other idea right after i posted my last comment. An indoor mock village type training area, similar to indoor paintball environments like this one.
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_O_5jG4K66GE/TPVfmK
QvaOI/AAAAAAAAA6U/WLR3NogRdUY/s320/ArnoldIndoor.JP
G
Or at least thats what google told me that was lol.

I dont know how it would fit with the style of play you guys are planning, but imo it would feel open yet create close quarter fights while still using the basic panels/boxes that you guys currently have. Just a thought =P

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2 years, 9 months ago

@Silvers. The mock village is definitely possible but my personal fear is that the "mock" will turn out to be visually boring, and whereas it would fit the story about the training environment I guess that players would actually enjoy it more if it had been an actual village.

On a related note Kim told me that he will brief me later this week, when he and Cotta is done working their magic. I can tell you all that I am as exited to see Cottas new stuff as you are.

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2 years, 9 months ago

@Jess

Visually boring doesn't mean it wont be memorable =D, but honestly I know what you mean, you want your levels to leave a lasting impression on people, enough that they will continue to play it and remember it for years to come. I just want to point out a few examples from other games to show you what im talking about, hopefully you have played them lol. To me the most memorable level in Halo 1 was Blood Gulch. Why? It was the one that was played the most often for one, but for good reason. The map had amazing yet simple level design. It was 2 small forts and a patch of land in between. Thats about as simple as it gets lol, but the map was so memorable because it was simple yet fun. Another great example is Counter Strike Source. Everyone remembers de_dust 2, and by god that is the LEAST visually appealing map ever made (everything was yellow!). Hell even the name makes it sound dry and boring. Yet, that map was probably the most played map in that game simply because it had a simple design, balanced layout, and memorable choke points.

Granted im not trying to say that my mock village idea by any means is the best, and needs to be implemented or anything, just keep in mind that it doesnt quite matter if the map is as visually appealing as it is visually different. If every map in CSS was covered in dust, there would have been a problem, and the game would have been rather disliked. Variety is the key to the maps (and visually boring is in fact variety! =D).

Of course, this is all just my observation, i could very well be down right wrong lol.

Looking forward to seeing more!

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