Development Update #17: May 2014

Read and discuss the latest big updates in the development process.

Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby JoshParnell » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:26 pm

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Baile nam Fonn » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:31 pm

Already loving the beauty upgrades, sprays of pulse lasers in the background as you get started into the research spiel are a nice touch. :thumbup:

Nebula scene at the end was indeed fantastic. 300+ views already. :lol:

Great job, as usual, Josh. I'm happy with this Update.
Last edited by Baile nam Fonn on Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby pulsar9 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:52 pm

Those nebulas are fantastic. :clap: Definitely loving the subtle color variations in the system. Very beautiful. Well done.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby ThymineC » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:53 pm

Neat update. :]
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Grumblesaur » Tue Jun 03, 2014 6:55 pm

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Hey look, more fuel for the hype train. Full steam ahead! Desination: Contentville.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Maddix » Tue Jun 03, 2014 7:09 pm

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All ahead!




Near the end of the video when you fired your guns I couldn't help but notice that the flash bled through the ship. Almost as if they ignored the ship.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Slymodi » Tue Jun 03, 2014 8:59 pm

CHOO CHOO
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:lol:
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Just_Ice_au » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:28 pm

Wow. Great update Josh.

I especially love all the icons in the various interfaces you showed us this month.

Content! Hooray!
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Victor Tombs » Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:54 pm

Gorgeous backgrounds and a measured, less frantic, presentation of your coverage of missions made the whole very watchable. Lingering on menu screens made all the difference. Your videos always appear to be too short for me but that's probably a good sign as it's always better to leave your audience wanting more.

A shame we didn't get to see a few minutes of dogfighting. A mission designed around this would have been awesome but knowing how awful you are at accurate shooting it would probably have been a financial disaster for you. A pity there won't be specific missions offered for eliminating vicious asteroids.

I still look forward to seeing those missing aspects of the game that scream Freelancer but I know they are coming.

Patience by me and inspired work by you is all that is required.

Thank you for a very enjoyable update Mr Parnell. :D
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby TGS » Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:27 pm

Victor Tombs wrote:Gorgeous backgrounds and a measured, less frantic, presentation of your coverage of missions made the whole very watchable. Lingering on menu screens made all the difference. Your videos always appear to be too short for me but that's probably a good sign as it's always better to leave your audience wanting more.

A shame we didn't get to see a few minutes of dogfighting. A mission designed around this would have been awesome but knowing how awful you are at accurate shooting it would probably have been a financial disaster for you. A pity there won't be specific missions offered for eliminating vicious asteroids.

I still look forward to seeing those missing aspects of the game that scream Freelancer but I know they are coming.

Patience by me and inspired work by you is all that is required.

Thank you for a very enjoyable update Mr Parnell. :D

I think there should definitely be easter egg missions for destroying asteroids!
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Etsu » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:42 am

I think this video shows the best post-process effects so far, and the ship thruster tails look awesome. I also really like the headers over the windows and the icons. Very nice update, much better for me than the last two or three.

I want to play this game now. :cry:
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Flatfingers » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:23 am

Beauty, eh?

I see no way in which anyone could seriously not love this latest video update.

Some quick notes:

1. At 3:15, flying up from underneath the Secret Science Vessel, it looked like part of the wings weren't connected to the body of the ship. Once on top, they looked nearly connected. A visual artifact of some kind?

2. "Research is a very uncertain mechanic, unlike production which is a very certain mechanic."

Part of me loves this. It's pretty close to something I've commented on before: some people find it fun to be surprised, while others really do not enjoy it.

Gamist/Mechanics/Achievers in particular do not appreciate surprising results because that implies waste in the production game (to dominate the economic game) that they enjoy. OTOH, Simulationist/Dynamics/Explorers love being surprised, and the new Research system might offer that... as long as surprise is done right.

My hesitation is this: surprise doesn't just mean calling the RNG. It means learning something new about a dynamic system. Surprise needs to be a product of conscious exploration for it to have meaning and value. Fleming was surprised by penicillin, but he would never have discovered it if he hadn't been mucking about with cultures in dishes.

A RNG doesn't offer that conscious influence; rolling dice is input-only. Happily, a simple constructive system with a large combinatorial space is a way to allow for unexpected results, not randomly, but because it's very difficult for any individual to fully map out all the possible permutations of a deep generative system. "Surprise" in this sense is fun because you discovered something new through exploring a part of that system.

But that's quite different from being surprised by rolling dice to arbitrarily produce numbers. That's not much fun for Simulationist/Dynamics/Explorers because they had no way of affecting the result through the use of perception and creativity, which is what they like about themselves and what they want a game to reward.

Yes, choosing which piece of tech to iterate on seems like it might qualify as "affecting the result." But where is the surprise in that play activity? The only new information after selecting a known tech to research are the random numbers of the new blueprints... but that's not a process that's affected by player choice.

As a constructive suggestion, I think a reasonable way that the Research system shown so far might be tweaked to enable enjoyable surprise would be to offer some way to link different sub-technologies. If I research three levels into Fighter tech, and four levels into Thruster tech, and six levels into Scanner tech, then if some interaction between some of the techs at those levels shows me a new kind of tech, that is a wonderful kind of generative surprise. You get it by understanding that there are plausible connections between different kinds of techs, which you can expose by choosing to research different levels of particular branches. You won't know exactly what kind of combined tech my be exposed, which is where the "surprise" comes from, but you should have some idea, which is what rewards perceptiveness and creativity.

If LT just has random numbers for attributes of newly-researched techs, I could live with that. I'm not freaking out here, or being harshly critical in any way that requires a strong defensive response. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure implementing the "surprise" aspect of research solely as randomly tweaking the numeric attributes of sub-techs will be all that appealing to folks who do enjoy exploratory surprise. As shown in today's video, I think this is not as much fun as it could/should be. The good news is that there are design ideas that can help with that. I'm hopeful we might see those (whether it's what I've suggested here or not) in future iterations of LT.

3. At 12:00, did the Startek Corp mining barge #5 just vanish?

4. "AIs posting missions that affect the behavior of other AIs."

YES. YES. This is what lets the social fabric of the game universe be dynamic (i.e., interesting enough to want to play with it). More of this would be just fine with me!

5. Was the light from the lasers actually appearing behind the guns when they fired?

6. The last big system I can imagine to really tie all these newly-shown core components together is an event notification system -- a way for players to understand what's going on in the universe.

I think this got mentioned in one of the recent devlogs, and it's a good thing, too. This is likely to be the human player's main tool (beyond just looking around their local system) for finding game content they want to experience. I hope we might see some suggestions from others here in the forum for what this "content-finder" might include, and what it might look like.



Overall, I consider this another highly successful update. Take a well-earned break, Josh -- great work, as always. Thank you!
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Basmannen » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:45 am

Flatfingers wrote:3. At 12:00, did the Startek Corp mining barge #5 just vanish?

I'm fairly certain it entered the station, Flat. ;)
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Katorone » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:48 am

Awesome update! The game is really shaping up. :D
Would you say you're an interface away from an enjoyable/playable game? :D
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby telboy007 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:19 am

Flatfingers wrote:I hope we might see some suggestions from others here in the forum for what this "content-finder" might include, and what it might look like.


LTwitter. :) Awesome update by the way, at 4:00 when you're talking about the tech lab you can see two fighters shooting at something near the station - its all looking very dynamic and alive.

That picture of coal got me thinking that variations in colour of the 'roids would look pretty nice.
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