SITREP - Week 015

published Friday, 19 Aug. 2011, 15:00 by Reese

Heks went to the US on vacation, ZPSHicks has added the color green to a world of grey and Reese has barricaded himself in the music studio. For the love of SITREP

Please remember that you can support the development of Interstellar Marines by upgrading your profile to Spearhead or Frontliner, or by purchasing a few Support Medals in our [Shop]

Read last weeks SITREP [Here]

Team debriefing

Kim
Kim (ZPSHicks)
Game Director

"I started the week with a self-realization regarding Unity's fabulous Tree Generator; I do not have the time (nor initial skills) to become a self-proclaimed Tree Generator expert in no time .. something that was pretty clear after a few days of tests and tweaks last week. This however is not a problem (thanks to the power of Unity) I just had to spent about 15mins in the Unity Asset Store and $150 later I had imported a few kick-ass vegetation packages into out project (created by forst - example scene).

I'm additionally working on setting up our dynamical environment system and yesterday I finished staging a small Lightning prototype, I guess its my job to promise stuff, so lets me tell you this; we're completely committed to acing and delivering; Day/Night, Rain, Wind, Thunder/Lightning, Fog, Temperature, Simulated Soundscapes etc. all dynamically available to provide SARA with maximal control of the simulated combat environments we'll all be fighting in during Deadlock!. Can't wait! ".

heks
Mikael (heks)
Lead Programmer

"OFFLINE - Vacation"








Cotta
von Cotta
Concept Artist

"Here is that latest update from the ZPS art department. After a nice relaxed summer vacation, I am back at the drawing board. Recently we have been exploring the overall look and feel of the training area. Now, we have started to explore each of the different elements in detail. From the square boxes that make up the rooms, down to rails, staircases, crates and lightbulps. Well, maybe not lightbulps... Yet.

Anyway, I hope to be able to show you some nice design in the coming days.".



"Final piece of the music library received. Initializing one happy composer :)"
"Final piece of the music library received. Initializing one happy composer :)"

Anders
Anders (cptKickASS)
Game Artist

"Moving forward. Pipeline for characters and weapons have been polished, and the first animations added. I have started looking at our earlier character controllers and will be starting to do some animation prototypes, before we build the new "network ready" version of the Character controller.".





Jess
Jess (NecroSonic)
Level Designer

"Last week I was MIA because I was getting married and stuff (tough as nails marines needs love too you know). Now I’m back, and I’m getting nothing but good news from the team. Anders seems happy about the progress on the character controller, there is new concept art, Kim got me a bunch of trees to plant in my levels and even Heks is reported to be quite positive - maybe the server has been at its best behaviour lately :)

I have been creating a few new maps that can be used for the initial testing once we get the character controller and net code ready. Based on these tests they might end up as sectors in the final cave environment. I’m trying to do different styles of maps in terms of complexity, number of routes/interconnections, symmetrically/asymmetrically, sight distance etc. so that we may try out a lot of different stuff before deciding what to put in the final cave environment.

Here is a question for you guys: On what map/game/game mode did you have your best FPS multiplayer experience?"
.

Nicolai
Nicolai (Reese)
CEO & Composer

"Besides taking care of a huge pile of emails and various management tasks (post vacation) its finally MUSIC TIME :)

I just received the Hollywood Brass (digital instruments) from East West / Soundsonline and feel like a kid in a candy store. I have been scoring using these digital instruments for the last several years and for the last six months or so they have significantly improved the quality so I am really looking forward to implement this in my upcoming music. It's actually the same guys who compose  much of the trailer music you probably already have heard in various trailers - TwoStepsFromHell

However, we haven't quite decided whether I should pick up on one of the previously released "in development" pieces or if I should pick up on some of the older IM scores I found while digging though my own music library.. or something completely new. Never the less, I'll be sure to keep you updated with some music articles as I progress
.

What I do know, is that we need a score for Deadlock and a trailer score but if I got the time I might throw in an extra piece in exchange for your patience while waiting for the Deadlock release :)

Of course I am responsible for the sound design as well, but we agreed that it would be wise to let the rest of the guys progress on the Deadlock level design and gameplay features before I start messing with the audio part and in particular stressing Heks with some custom audio coding.


InterstellarMarines.com Summary

Picture of the Week 0039

First vegetation test on one of our artificial cave maps

 

Interstellar Marines CARD GAME

Although this surely deserves a frontpage feature when we find the time, we just have to link the Interstellar Marines Card Game developed by our former employee Daniel (AnusCondus).
You can find the THREAD HERE and DOWNLOAD THE CARD GAME HERE. Thank you very much Daniel, you rock :)

Thanks for your support and feedback on our community website.
Feel free to preorder and support us by upgrading your profile.

 

All the best,
Nicolai (Reese) & the team at Zero Point Software

Join and follow us:

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Comments

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2 years, 8 months ago

WOOOOO Cant Wait for Deadlock! Great work guys! Keep it up!

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2 years, 8 months ago

best mp gaming experience ever?? hard to say. propably css dust 2 ...

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2 years, 8 months ago

"Here is a question for you guys: On what map/game/game mode did you have your best FPS multiplayer experience?". - Driving community engagement eh?

Not that a lot of these things would be right for Interstellar marines but:

I'm thinking killing floor - fast paced, skill driven, learning enemy weaknesses, levelling up allowing you to up the difficulty, trait based class system. weapon store, team work. Maps - not so great...

Natural Selection: Innovative, Skill based, purchasable items, team work, commander driven (without a good commander, you will lose the game). Maps - Atmospheric, great sound of steam and low droning humming of surrounding machinery in futuristic space ship like locations. really makes you listen to the environment, immersing you in the game. Ventilation systems for exploration by aliens. One particularly memorable area was a walkway between two points with an opening below on either side and large platform for the hive in the middle. Cylindrical kind of room with very high ceiling.

Hope that gives you some inspiration.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Multiplayer experience:

That would probably be my first 240+ kills under 20 minutes of TDM in COD 4, Wet Work (map). Lots of frag grenade kills topped off with airstrikes. Let one airstrike go, get 5 kills, commit suicide, and you got another airstrike ready for placement ;)

It was really great feeling, my blood was full of adrenalin for the last couple of minutes (3 min I think). For comparison I usually would get maybe 80 kills MAX :))

Other great moments in different games are from when I played with some friends and when our TEAMWORK would turn the tide of the match and we win :D Indifferent of maps or games for that matter. For example Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and (sadly, because the game was poor) COD: Modern Warfare 2.

Talking about battlefield, I am truly exited about Battlefield 3 for some spectacular teamwork moments :)))


To end this blabbering of mine, I just want to wish you guys strength and patience building Interstellar Marines! :)

For the love of the game.

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2 years, 8 months ago

So much good news. Seriously, friday has become my favourite day of the week (previously saturday).

@ NecroSonic: I searched the 'Question of the week'-threads and found some that could help you find many opinions on your question:
http://www.interstellarmarines.com/foru
m/threads/id/753/
http://www.interstellarmarines.
com/forum/threads/id/812/
http://www.interstellar
marines.com/forum/threads/id/1182/
http://www.int
erstellarmarines.com/forum/threads/id/1339/
http:
//www.interstellarmarines.com/forum/threads/id/137
0/

You seem to regularly ask questions to the community (which I think is great), so I want to encourage you to take over responsibility for an initiative similar to 'Question of the week'.

My regards, Kendzi

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2 years, 8 months ago

So... Best multiplayer map? I'll put shame on myself by chosing CoD4. Vytautas mentioned Wetwork, which I don't like for the very same reasons he likes it: Many frag- and airstrike related kills. In shooters, I generally prefer shooting. The Bog, however, was a map I really loved. There was always a heated battle going on somewhere, either over long distances in the middle or in the buildings to the left (as seen from the Marines' spawn). There were fair sniping spots on both sides, you could almost always find a way around the heat and flank, you could even sneak if you hid in the grass near the centre. You could do well as a defender and an attacker. It simply was fair for anybody and you could win with tactics and wit.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Whoa, this has been a very productive week for you guys, I can tell for sure! :) Rock on Marines!

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2 years, 8 months ago

@CrotosXtreme I undertstand what you mean! However, for my defense question was what was my best experience. I in my example I described just one moment in years worth of playing. Just like you I would not recommend that map for any one if they wanted just to shoot. For that I would recommend "Ambush" or Pripyat (Russian map with apartment buildings). They are probably two of the best in multiplayer.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Sorry I meant to say :

@GartosXtreme !

Sorry mate, my bad!!

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2 years, 8 months ago

I think the best idea for a multiplayer map would be; one with close range fighting to keep up the tension, and some sniper points for shooting your enemy but staying in the same place for a long time would be bad. Multiple layers for getting higher for jumping people and shooting from above. as long as it is fast paced.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Damn, it's nice to see the team so excited about the game :-)

Eastwest have really great sound libraries, I'd buy them all if I had the money - and there was still something left for a set of Crucial SSD drives.

As for Jess's question, I think I'll restrict the answer to titles that are somehow similar to the IM, guess noone wants to hear about slow paced games like PR. Battlefield 2 map - Strike at Karkand offered some really great moments. If I look at the map and what made it so special, I think it's the fact that it's large yet the fighting is concentrated in few key areas. In my opinion it has a lot to do with how the line of advance looks like. On large maps, noodles work better than squares. Dice apparently learned from this lesson and in BFBC2 all maps look more or less like noodles (rush mode offers very thin lines sliced into smaller pieces, conquest mode is a lot wider but still follows this rule). When there are too many paths the players can choose on their way to the objective, they won't meet and the pace will slow down. When there are too few, the better team will quickly gain an advantage and the enjoyability for the other team will go to hell. It also has a lot to do with how the paths can be defended. In Battlefield 2142, this is quite obvious on Camp Gibraltar map. One of my best and most funny teamplay experiences btw was also being a crew member of a transport howercraft in Battlefield 2142 with a couple of friends on any titan map. This vehicle is supposed to fly away from gunships and tanks but as it's possible to fire weapons and repair the vehicle from the passenger seats, we turned it into an unstoppable fortress of doom with 2 mounted machineguns, 2-3 handheld machineguns, AA and AT guided missiles + ability to drop bombs and explosives.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Best multiplayer experience: Star Trek Voyager Elite Force. Something about the maps. Some of them were complex, some were simple. Either way, it added variety. And I liked that I could add bots to fight against--something I'm sure I'll never see again, but oh well.

And I love the music from Two Steps from Hell. Everytime I watch the Mass Effect 2 Launch Trailer, I get chills.

"even Heks is reported to be quite positive - maybe the server has been at its best behaviour lately :)"

This deserves a +1 and an lol.

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2 years, 8 months ago

You'd better not add killstreaks. Christ no.

My best MP experience would have to be one where the game doesn't intervene with itself at all. A I see multiplayer as an extension of social interaction. Games that stay out of the way of themselves give the player much more room to breathe. Quake and unreal with their even playing fields. Even halo and battlefield are acceptable to me. Battlefield just barely with its gun unlocking still slightly crippling that balance.
The moment a player suddenly has an advantage over others, the experience is broken. the player should be what dictates weather our not he wins.
IM seems like it would play more like a mix between halo with its map domination playstyle with crysis 1 style gun customization. We can't afford another COD duplicate. There's too damn many.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Best multiplayer I've played has been the Battlefield 2: Project Reality mod. Holy crap sandwiches, it's wicked intense. Even if you don't kill anyone or fire off a single shot, you still feel like part of something bigger. Points hardly even matter in it and doing a good job in support roles (drivers, medics, transport pilots, command, spotting, etc.) is well respected. There's typically a high degree of communication amongst players which, even over the course of a single game, can quickly turn to comradary where everyone begins to have faith in each others' skills and choices, turning off most peoples' tendency towards lone-wolfing it ("Grr, if you aren't being a direct influence on how well I'm doing, then you're working against me. I'll just win the war on my own.") It's the only game I've played where you can crawl around on your belly for an hour without even spotting anyone, yet still find yourself having fun. Short of airsoft, of course.

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2 years, 8 months ago

@NecroSonic

In short, either SnD from the old CoDs (1, 2, and 4) or the extreme teamwork from the battlefield series has to be where my best experiences come from, and 2 different types.

Nothing gets nearly as intense as playing the gametypes where each person has only one life and it comes down to you to safe the round for your team, especially when your playing the game competitively.

Nothing brings a better sense of kicking ass with your buds than flying around in a support chopper mowing down enemies with the side guns. good times =)

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2 years, 8 months ago

Hi all

Thanks for taking the time to answer in this detail. It really helps a lot. The reason for me asking is that I am doing a bit of research into different types of multiplayer maps to make sure that I create enough different examples for Kim to choose from.

In this process one can easily get lost in looking at structure and layout patterns and it is very healthy and inspiring to take a step back and remember the experience of a great multiplayer map. This helps because you need to have a vision of how you would like the gameplay to be when constructing a map. Otherwise you might end up building something that looks great but won't really feel right.

Thanks again for helping me out

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2 years, 8 months ago

best fps moment?
playing a modded game of CTF on blood gulch, and coming 3rd with kills.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Congratulations on getting married as to your questions two of the best maps that I had the pleasure of playing on would be: L.A. Meltdown - Hollywood Holocaust and Shrapnel City - L.A. Rumble the game of course is Duke Nukem 3D. Sure there are tons of great maps (multiple pathways,secrets and choke-points) out there for Counter Strike (and it's various mods and babies), Battlefield and even CoD had few maps that I enjoyed but Duke has them all beat. The main difference in my opinion was that Duke had "aerial combat" without mixing up arms (no helicopters,plains etc just infantry) The reason it is important because you do not need special weapons or equipment to take on infantry however you are out of luck (and most likely outgunned) if you try to take on vehicle - It made it feel more balanced.

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2 years, 8 months ago

If you're looking for examples of good maps in Unity, check out Uberstrike. They have some good maps. Otherwise, I'd have to say the best multiplayer experience in an FPS would have to be in MAG, Domination mode, any map. Just the feeling of working with that many people gets your blood pumping.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Oeh! Card game :D

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2 years, 8 months ago

@Necrosonic

You might find this article useful:
http://www.benb-design.net/article02/benb
_article02.pdf
It's from one of the level designers of Far Cry, I havent read it all, but he details how to design realistic levels for multiplayer.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Nice one Luthreidrome!

Another interesting read would be this article by Scott Jones, about Modular Design Research !
http://www.scottjonescg.co.uk/FYPResearch/Inves
tigation_into_modular_design_within_computer_games
_v1.0.pdf

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2 years, 8 months ago

My best FPS experience was on Kubra Dam / Battlefield 2. It was an intense fight for the dam. I knew the map quite well at this point and it was fun.

I also second what xalener said before. I can't stand that only people who play 1000hrs + get the good stuff..

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2 years, 8 months ago

@ luthreidrome and Kosai106

Yup I know those ones. They are both good texts. Especially if you are new to level design, it can help you to avoid the most common mistakes.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Best FPS experience? Gee, I've played so much... I could narrow it down to three, ArmA 2's warfare mode, Frontlines: Fuel of War's main mode, and Battlefield's "Titan" mode...good times. I like wide open gameplay.

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2 years, 8 months ago

Ooh la la. Congratulations on getting married NecroSonic. OH OH OH OH have a look at this http://www.interstellarmarines.com/forum/threads/i
d/1585/

PS: Best FPS multiplayer experience. Hmm tsk, that's difficult for me to say.

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2 years, 8 months ago

An awful lot of vacation time seems to be happening of late...

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