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Old 26th Oct 2010, 06:08 AM   #1
jayhova
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A Stupid Idea

I was thinking the other day. A bad habit, I know. I was thinking about what the difference between a good tactical shooter and similar games. Many years ago I played the SWAT series of games. Oddly enough the things I liked about SWAT were very similar to the things I like in INF. This whole line of thought was brought to the surface the other day when I saw a forum survey somewhere about the most realistic games. One of those games was SWAT. I asked myself what is the real difference between a game like SWAT and one like Inf? Maps and uniforms. SWAT was everything Inf wants to be. Of course freeaim and iron sights were not in vogue then but the game stressed team work, fire control, room clearing and proper weapon selection. The game had bullet penetration and enemies that would surrender if met with sudden force, tear gas, commands to surrender and perhaps a leg shot.

Given all this and the fact that there must be plenty of SWAT fans who would love to see a remake with a new engine I thought that if someone were to develop a mod like SWAT it would be a huge duplication of effort. That is to say the perfect Inf mod is pretty damn close to the perfect SWAT mod. For that matter any mod that wanted to be as realistic as possible would duplicate this effort. It seems logical that sharing resources could be mutually beneficial to everyone.

Here's the problem, no one wants to do a lot of work only to have some lame team somewhere else contribute little or nothing and walk away with all the assets developed by someone else. Because of this development teams such as the Inf team jealously guard these assets and keep them to themselves.

I think I have an answer. A cooperative community that uses a point system to buy and sell licenses to use developed assets. Let me give an example. Let's say you have developed a pretty good M16 with animations. You could then put it up on the site for sale at say 100 AP (asset points). Now other developers could then spend their AP to buy the license if they liked the price. Now let's say someone else offered an M16 with a grenade launcher and all those animations for say 110 AP. Now then for only 10% more you could get a grenade launcher. Now you could keep your asset at the same price or lower it or add a launcher. Of course this is the problem with a very common thing like an AR family or an AK family weapon. But what if you developed something like a .45 Dragoon? Now you are likely to be the only game in town and such things might be valuable to an old west gun fighting mod. The value of any asset is set purely by supply and demand. To keep things reasonably under control we would only allow assets to be bought and sold by qualified individuals. We would also only license for non-commercial uses unless the seller specifically allows commercial use. Distribution of assets would be strictly limited and violation would carry all the penalties of software piracy. That is to say that if you developed something and someone got a hold of it and used it in an unauthorized manner they would be liable for a $10,000 fine per incident. Any mod created with such material would not be legally distributable. As a part of the license the mod team using an asset must give credit for that asset.

OK that's the part about assets now we can talk about basic game collaboration. Let's say that we want to develop a base mod for realistic games. All the features of this are laid out. Now two our more parties agree to collaborate on a system. This works by using a buy in price. Let's say for our system the buy in is 3000 ap this would give the basic developer 6000 ap to spend on assets for the basic system. These points must be spent on agreed on items such as perhaps in our case iron sight code, realistic movement, head tracking integration, what have you. A team leader would have final say on what assets were purchased and for how much.
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Old 26th Oct 2010, 05:42 PM   #2
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What an incredibly stupid idea.

You're an idiot.
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Old 31st Oct 2010, 10:57 PM   #3
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Your keen mind has poked holes in my plan. I had no idea how dumb it was until you pointed out all the faults.
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Old 1st Nov 2010, 02:55 PM   #4
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You're welcome, it's no problem really.
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Old 1st Nov 2010, 03:41 PM   #5
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How do you smoke carpets, doesnt that taste like feet?
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Old 3rd Nov 2010, 04:43 PM   #6
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No. It tastes more like curtains.
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Old 6th Nov 2010, 02:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
No. It tastes more like curtains.


In regards to the asset-trading thing...it sounds complicated.

About the SWAT series...

SWAT 3 was an incredible game in my opinion, and for all of the reasons sited. In regards to CQB, its AI still has yet to be beaten. SWAT 4's AI behaved like people who smoked all kinds of illicit drugs.

Like carpets that taste like curtains.

In any case, if we could have INF mechanics and even its visuals (I certainly don't have to have a super-uber fancy graphics to enjoy a great game) mixed with SWAT 3's AI, we'd have a sure winner. Without question.

Several years ago I had even suggested using the soon-to-be-released SWAT 4's engine for the next version of INF, but while that title can be pretty, its mechanics were far clunkier than its predecessor. Wasn't SWAT 3 an Unreal-based game? If it were at all possible, how hard would it be to blend the two?
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Old 6th Nov 2010, 11:27 AM   #8
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Kyle, afaik SWAT3 isn't unreal engine but an inhouse engine used by that team back then. I agree SWAT3 is the most outstanding tac-sim.

I don't think that asset-trading is good. I fear the lose of continuity. What I mean is, if weapon models are made by different people, they most likely behave different, so you'd have an M4 with reflex sight made by one guy and another M4 with m203, made by another guy, that has a brighter skin, a totally different reloading animation, another posturing and an overall different feel to it. I'd hate to see that (which is already the case in INF).
How I want the game to be, is that the weapons are made with the same base concept in mind, so that they look like part of the same world and transit into each other seamlessly. I mean that's the sorta thing I tried to achieve with Psytex, so that everything, be it weapon models, ammo, effects and camos visually look like part of the same world. Weapon posturing and behaviour is what was impossible for me to affect, I'd have done it if I could.

And anyway, I don't really focus on anything regarding a tac sim, even if it is about INF, because Ground Branch is in the works, it will be there soon or later, everything else is a waste of time and focus in my book. Of course if there's a good team, that raises to a strength to really pull off the job, I'd be there to support them, but I don't see that happening. GB is the only real option, for now.
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 06:57 AM   #9
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A couple of things I'd like to point out here. Since the best assets will undoubtedly garner the highest prices there will be a drive to create accurate weapon models and animations since any problems will probably be discussed in the forums. Furthermore, it's always possible to make a purchase contingent of certain aspects being tweaked to your specifications. Beyond that, there is no reason you would have to use anyone's models, animations, etc. It's up to you. But you have the option. If these things are developed in house and are in fact superior to everything else out there the team can then license those models bringing the team AP to spend on other things. The team can outsource bits of code to whomever they wish. A team that develops superior assets will find they will then have the funds necessary to acquire assets from top notch coders.

I should mention that I expect that weapons will tend to be bunched into collections with similar looks and feels, possibly even multiple skins. Also I should point out that weapons and animations are a small part of an over all game. There are thousands of elements that go into one of these simulations: trees, houses, crates, warehouses, barrels, barricades, fences, roads, bridges, windmills, coke cans, makeup cases, nail clippers, cars, light poles, oil derricks, tools, trash, computers, laptops, swimming pools, etc. If the team developed all of the actual game in house they would still have to either use the items created for the game they are modding of create the items they want. If you create just some of the items I mention you could then use the points to buy the rest. That is to say if you created 3 items and them licensed those 3 items 3 times to three other mods you could then acquire 9 other items.
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Last edited by jayhova; 14th Apr 2011 at 02:30 PM. Reason: more to say
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Old 11th Nov 2010, 04:03 PM   #10
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Psychomorph wrote:
Quote:
I fear the lose of continuity.
Yeah, I could see this happening. And as you said, it happened in INF too. The old MP5 with the hard "V" rear sight is a far cry from the newer version, but it took years for that updated MP5 to make its appearance. That old rear sight looked as though it would neatly slice through its shooter's nose should his face tragically bump into it. Come to think of it, we could add a melee animation to that version and make it part SMG and part hatchet!

Which reminds me of how appreciative I am that you went through all of that work trying to unify the appearance of INF's weaponry and camos with that comprehensive texture package. Pretty generous of you, that's for sure!


In and of itself, the whole "trading assets" idea certainly seems plausible, but it seems to me that the communication level between the mod developer and the person developing the weapon could be quite burdensome.

But then again, one advantage of this system is that it could allow developers to focus more on game mechanics and map design, and less time on getting every pixel slavishly perfect on Item X or Item Y. I mean, with the power and scope of today's game engines, is one really going to notice if the stock of a M16A2 has 1,000 fewer polygons than the stock on a M4A1?

In the "old" days, and I'm talking about games within the last 4-6 years, such a polygon difference would be readily noticeable due to everything being built with fewer polygons to begin with, but now...?

Someone would have to be fanatically addicted to details to even notice when there's 10,000-100,000 of polygons undulating around you at all times.

So, in the end, my opinion on this matter is still firmly stuck in the middle. There's nothing like sitting on the fence!
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Old 11th Nov 2010, 06:46 PM   #11
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Exactly so. I should point out that what I am proposing is a buyers market. You may or may not buy anything you wish. It is up to the seller to satisfy your needs. I wound imagine there would be sample videos of the assets in use and so the buyer would be able to get a good look. There would need to be a system where someone could cancel the buy if the item was not accurately described or some other problem arose along with a short buyers remorse period say 15 days.
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Old 11th Nov 2010, 10:09 PM   #12
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Kyle, I didn't refer to the natural raise of quality (increase in polygons, higher texture resolution) as incontinuity (even if it is, but one I welcome dearly, lol), what I meant was the change in concept, like in INF the hipped position of the original weapons felt like it was hipped, but the later weapons had a more generic looking hipped pos (which looks like the generic unaimed position in most games), and these changes did not even came from 3rd party modders, but from Sentry Studios themselves.
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Old 15th Nov 2010, 08:00 PM   #13
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Psych,

Ahh, I didn't even notice the hipping difference till you mentioned it. Now that's all I'll be staring at. Thanks!




Yeah, I never caught that. Your great eye for details is quite...great. Consider me impressed. Again!
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