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[Defense Force Omega] Darkmatch/Invasion/XCom

Discussion in 'Concept Discussion Board' started by RegularX, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    I decided to go ahead and post this here since I'm bored at work and find that writing mod synopsis a couple times helps me think this stuff out.

    The premise of Defense Force Omega (DFO) is a pure co-op, team based game that sets up a global conflict of humans versus aliens. The DFO is an elite international force formed in secret to protect the earth from extraordinary dangers. They are funded by major countries of the world and have access to the latest and greatest in technology.

    Alien incursions are on the rise, and so the DFO makes the investigation of the phenomena their priority. The aliens always come at night, prefer remote locations, and their overall plot is unknown.

    There will be a hub map which is the DFO base. This is where the team goes before and after missions. It's also where new research and manufacturing will be handled, as well and maintaining intel reports. The computer/powers that be will handle most of the research and planning, but with the right skills players will be able to influence it.

    Players will skill up after they get experience from missions. They can get new weapons training, letting them use more weaponry, or medic/science training, etc. More experienced players will be faster, healthier and harder to scare. Fear and fatigue will factor in a big way for players during battles.

    When a player dies, unless they are saved/revived by a medic, they're dead. End of story. Character gone. Hint: don't die. You'll have to restart with a new guy.

    I've been playing pretty hard with the modelling and mapping, and I think I've got a setup of "blocky but good" working. The maps will generally be large outdoor areas with a kinda levelled/isometric feel (except for indoor craft areas). They'll mostly be completely dark except for streetlights, etc. Players will be equipped with a flashlight and a motion sensor (and perhaps NV goggles).

    The iso-feel might seem a little retro, but a) I hate the UED terrain editor b) I don't want these maps to look/feel/play like every other UT2 terrain map and c) I hate the UED terrain editor.
     
  2. 8mm_BuLLEt

    8mm_BuLLEt I will rule the world!

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    *ahem*, there already is one. ATLANTIS.
     
  3. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    Atlantis sounds very Team DM to me.

    And somewhat YARMy.

    And no campaign mode.

    And no emphasis on darkmatch.

    And no fear/morale rules.

    Oh, no skill/cert rules. No psionics. No multiple races of aliens. No research rules.

    I could go on and on. There is zero chance they'll be remotely similar.
     
  4. EvilDrWong

    EvilDrWong Every line of code elevates you

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    8mm, not in the least :p Atlantis is TDM with lasers and realistic weapons. I see how you could get the idea that theyre alike, but working on atlantis and talking to reg about this, i see that their differences are night and day.
     
  5. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    I bet ATL will use the Terrain Editor too ;)

    At any rate, I have a model started for the SkyHawk, which is the team's starting point on a map (think SkyRanger for XCom fans). There's nifty stuff I'd like to add like have a fly-in anim for the start of each level, but for the time it will just be a big static mesh. There might be features added to it like a medic station, or a radio, or something, to make it more useful.

    Tonight I hope to do what I wanted to do last night, which is to get a basic INV running on my custom map with flashlight code operating.
     
  6. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    Started to piece together the core gametype last night, currenly hung off of Invasion.

    The good news is that the team AI for INV is surprisingly adaptive and the bots didn't seem like complete idiots even without any nav points or pickups. Also, the flashlight tute on wiki proved pretty easy to plug and go and looks like it should work fine online as well.

    The bad news is that dynamic lighting and static meshes, which now comprise 99% of maps, sucks. Static meshes don't really like to be lit, especially if they are large, stretched out affairs like ... um, terrain (or even in my case, fake terrain).

    I think with a redone map/terrain mesh, some better lighting, and some improved projectors, I can get the walking with a light working OK - but not sure how flares may ever work correctly with this engine. I may have to go real retro and return to BSP for the main landscape work, which naturally has it's own problems.
     
  7. 8mm_BuLLEt

    8mm_BuLLEt I will rule the world!

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    hmmm... getting my mods muddled up.
     
  8. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    And so the expirement progresses -

    It works better with a BSP floor (less stretched out - no vertex lighting) and smaller, more tesselated static meshs (more vertex points to light up). Also, add in some ambient lighting and a dark, black fog seems to accurately create a "dark forest" feel if you were holding a light source that acted one part lamp and one part flashlight (I'll have to weigh that into the shoulder lamp design)

    I plugged in Wong's Aliens last night and the creep factor is ... getting there. It was kinda neat to see shadowy figures crawlling away in the darkness...

    I may try the Terrain Editor again with these tricks just to accurately weight the damned thing against the static meshes.
     
  9. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    Update:

    - Work has been slow, because of illness and job. I'm working mostly on feel right now, pawn movement, enemy placement, some prototype weapon work, etc. I'm messing around with Wong's HC mute for some things and have added in a quick version of the running and fatigue rules that will be in place.

    - Terrains, as much as I despise the deep black soul of the TE, are back. Much of the lighting and darkness problems appear to be at least in check and for the most part are working pretty well.
     
  10. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    Updates. Updates.

    - Terrains are back out. Maps are now a simpler affair, smallish square dealies with lots of static meshes to divide out the sections, buildings, etc. Darkness will also be a little simpler as it makes for better lighting with the terrain gone (in the dark triad of dynamic lighting - bsp, static mesh or terrain - terrain actually sucks the most).

    - Maps, once there's a body of decorations, buildings and other meshes to pull from, should be really easy to make.

    - Your squad will typical consist of yourself and 4 others (although the plan is for co-op to support up to 8). You can give simple orders to bots under your squad, like go there (by pointing and pressing a key bind) and eventually advance, etc. Hopefully I'll be able to add in support things like "Heal Epsilon" or the like. It adds more strategy in the game when playing solo because you can place the bots in key points for defense and offense.

    - The basics of the skill and load out code are in, and the beginnings of a tech tree exists. The game alternates correctly between the base map and the mission map, but I still need to add in the campaign logic to figure out just where, what aliens, what technology, etc. is going. I -might- have this part of the framework done this weekend.

    - Fear and adrenaline code is in, but Fear isn't doing much right now.

    - When you die, you can take control of a bot on your squad to try and complete the mission. Eventually I'll also add in retreat code.

    I'm hoping to have a beta out by March 1, but anyone who knows me knows I lie about dates all the time. When I say beta, I mean beta - I'll be trying to find people for a closed beta this time.
     
  11. Postal

    Postal I apear to have lost my pin.

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    Can we see some screenies?
     
  12. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    I need to revist the darkness fog on the test map and some static meshes. Might be after this weekend I might have something view-worthy (but still ugly)
     
  13. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    Hey look, lied about dates again ;)

    Mostly had time this weekend to revisit the skill and loadout code, and added in the "armor" code, which is actually more complicated than it sounds since it determines your actual pawn used in the game. It's a variation of the Riftwar code that I'm hoping will avoid certain network problems that still hound RW.

    I need a night or three to make a series of static meshes that I can serious try to apply textures to and use ingame, then screenies might make some sense.
     
  14. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    I would have screenshots if I didn't keep redesigning the maps over and over again.

    Last night I created several primitive models that I'm hoping to reuse in multiple ways via static actors in order to create various types of buildings and walls. So a square block with one roof and one texture proportioned one way might be a barn, but the same block used in a different way might be a cottage.

    Bit expiremental, but it's another step in the rapid map creation I'm going for.



    Oh yeah.

    Wong and I had a debate about this ... I'm considering emphasizing, heavily, the usage of a listen (non-dedicated) server for this game to try and bump coop up. There's a chance it might be the -default- mode for the game, basically when you load DFO up it will dump you into a listenserver with your campaign settings - which may include whether other people can join you or not. The idea is to make coop/joining/getting games a singular experience instead of 3 distinct ones.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2004
  15. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    Well the block/house usage might be out, I'm not sure. Still playing with it. Dear golly I could use a 3D modeller/skinner worth some salt right about now.

    I did, however, get the character upgrade screens, erm, upgraded. Now you can control any of the bots on your squad - upgrade their skills, etc. This allows you to customize your squad members to be more combat, etc. I need to get the AI code for Bot Medics to work.

    The next big thing will probably be to try and get the coop code to work, where you can open up slots in the squad for play, etc.
     
  16. EvilDrWong

    EvilDrWong Every line of code elevates you

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    how is that gonna work? will the host always be the 'commander' and the rest of the guys who join are just squadmembers?
     
  17. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    Using the listen-coop idea, yeah. So it goes like this:

    I start a game/server. This means I'm the host and I'm also "Omega", which is the callsign for the commander of the squad. The four other members of the team are bots.

    I get bored playing solo, or Wong keeps bugging me or something, so I decide to open up a couple of squad positions. Let's say two peeps log in and pick which positions they want to take, let's say it's "Alpha" and "Beta".

    As Omega, I can now re-assign the remaining two positions (Gamma, Delta) to still be under my orders or be under one of theirs. There might also be a "Any Human" option.

    If Alpha or Beta leaves, the bots go back to being under Omega's command.

    So "Wong" doesn't really have an account on the server, but "Alpha" does. Characters in DFO are going to be short-lived and transitory I think. While it might be nice to be able to get a "vet" up to speed and running on a server somewhere - it would also have a tendency to ease out the gameplay. If you had some guy with 30 medals and 15 skills, everytime you log into that server you'll be throwing the gameplay totally out of whack. With 5 "community" accounts that aren't likely to make it through 5 missions in a row, it's more of an even keeled revolving door.
     
  18. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    Footnote: the "vet" thing will probably happen - but it will be more likely to groups of people who play well and frequently together. IOW, the Omega character will more likely to be a vet just because it usually has bots to throw in front of it. If I played with Wong weekly, he would be more likely to be a vet just because we would be more apt at watching each other's back.

    I'm considering an option to "lock" accounts to certain ID's too. So if Wong wanted to always be Alpha, and be the only human Alpha, it might be an option.
     
  19. Postal

    Postal I apear to have lost my pin.

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    Sounds like a good idea. But how about some screenies?
     
  20. RegularX

    RegularX Master of Dagoth Lies

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    mebbe tonight. I have some, but they are mucho large because I ramped up all my vid settings after the new hardware.

    And I was having some odd probs getting the GUI to screenshot...
     

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