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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

#46
mcsven wrote:Cut me some slack here. I'm not Abh, harping on about "but it's a commercial game!". I'm asking a reasonable question, driven by a sober look at the reality of the development process to date. The things I listed - which have also been listed by other senior members, incidentally - aren't always direct matches to the Kickstarter promises, so Josh will have to decide how much he includes in any event. Why can't we have a sensible discussion about what could be pushed out beyond v1 whilst still delivering on the broad Kickstarter promise?

To what purpose? Regardless of our opinions, it's Josh's game. He's in the driver seat. Kibbitzing is probably not going to get you there faster and will probably just annoy the driver.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

#47
Dinosawer wrote:
mcsven wrote: Secondly, surely we all want to play the game as soon as possible?
Yes, but "the game" is as important as "as soon as possible". All these special features are what make LT LT. It wouldn't be the game we're excited for without them.
What makes LT LT is unknown to us, since the game hasn't been released yet. Once the game is released, how many features could you say didn't make the cut? What process would you use to go about making that assessment? The dev logs are now well over a year old, and the sum total of our learnings since Josh came back online is that he's rewritten the guts of it again. Right now, outside of an unlimited PCG universe and the broad promises from the Kickstarter, I would be unable to declare with certainty what will be in the game. Can you say otherwise?
Poet wrote:To what purpose? Regardless of our opinions, it's Josh's game. He's in the driver seat. Kibbitzing is probably not going to get you there faster and will probably just annoy the driver.
Look dude, I'm sympathetic to your point of view that the community shouldn't pressure him. I've a long history of posts that demonstrate that. But this thread is about reducing pressure, not increasing it. Getting something out of the gate is the ultimate goal, so if the community can demonstrate that we're aware of the difficulties and can live with something broad and shallow at release - with the understanding that it will become broad and deep over time - I think that's a good thing.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

#51
mcsven wrote: But this thread is about reducing pressure, not increasing it.
I doubt an early release would reduce pressure. 'Game when' would turn into 'bugfix when', and 'new visible feature when', from a much larger userbase who are probably not as civilized and patient as we are (since I'm guessing v1 means public release). Right now Josh can implement new, incomplete features and do the backend for months on end. With a release, he couldn't do that without some serious snarking about 'not doing what's important'. That's what you constantly see on the channels of games that are being perpetually updated: 'why are you not doing this instead of useless crap like that, this patch sucks'.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

#52
Mistycica wrote:
mcsven wrote: But this thread is about reducing pressure, not increasing it.
I doubt an early release would reduce pressure. 'Game when' would turn into 'bugfix when', and 'new visible feature when', from a much larger userbase who are probably not as civilized and patient as we are (since I'm guessing v1 means public release). Right now Josh can implement new, incomplete features and do the backend for months on end. With a release, he couldn't do that without some serious snarking about 'not doing what's important'. That's what you constantly see on the channels of games that are being perpetually updated: 'why are you not doing this instead of useless crap like that, this patch sucks'.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

#53
Guess I should add I'm also not operating on the belief or intention that anything I say should (or can) push Josh or add any pressure. As far as I'm concerned, we're just fans having a friendly conversation -- if Josh takes anything useful from that conversation, great, but it's not why I'm participating.
Cornflakes_91 wrote:
Flatfingers wrote:
  • Complex "warp rails" (not critical to the KS vision or a Freelancer feel)
i still find that the tradelanes are an integral part of the freelancer feeling, and warp rails are the LT version of them, so an implementation of them is necessary imo
Please note that I carefully phrased my opinion as saying that "Complex warp rails" are not required for the Freelancer feel.

I also have strong doubts that trade lanes actually deliver anything integral to what it felt like to play Freelancer (which I did). When someone asks, "Hey, what was the main thing that made Freelancer so awesome that I should want to play it?" I'm guessing "dude, there are trade lanes to help you go faster between planets!" is not going to be the most popular response.

But I understand that people here like them, and I'm not arguing against them here. My "what would you cut if you had to?" was narrowly targeted at COMPLEX warp rails. The version in the Prototype was fine; it got the job done no worse than in Freelancer, and it wasn't as (unnecessarily IMO) detailed as the warp rails example that former-Josh said he spent days, if not weeks, developing.

Of all the many, many game features that Josh could spend extra time on to give LT its own unique and satisfying feel, a complicated way to travel quickly between planets does not seem to me to have the highest return on the investment of his time.

Cut. :)

Actually, I remembered one more thing I meant to include in my list but forgot:
  • Planetary surfaces for colony interaction (just do it from space)
This is another thing I'd hate to see go. But I have two reasons for it:

1) The time required to model even patches of planetary surfaces, plus buildings, plus whatever other UI stuff is needed, has to be considerably more than just using some existing UI gadgetry to "talk" from one's ship to a planetary colony.

2) Having planetary patches will do nothing but cause new players of LT to complain about "missing" seamless space-to-ground-and-back transitions and free flight over procedurally generated planets. Heck, I asked about that myself until Josh explained that the ground he was flying over (in Development Video #10, I think it was) was just a patch, not an entire planetary surface. By far the vast majority of people who buy and play Limit Theory after it launches will not read these forums (or anything else), and they won't give a tinker's dam for reasons why they can't fly from space to ground and back, and fly over the entire surface of planets that they can SEE (in that version of the colony management interface). They'll just complain, loudly, everywhere, that LT is "unfinished."

In summary, is a complex planet-based colony management interface a core feature for LT? I would say no. Is the simple way of talking to colonies sexy? No. Is it functional, allowing Josh to spend more time on the really LT-unique stuff? Yep.

To be clear: I am not saying I'm FOR cutting this! With maybe one exception (see above ;) ), I'd love to see pretty much everything Josh has showed off in the first two years of LT's development make it to the game that launches. A planet-based colony management interface would certainly be cool. I can even argue that it would add to the science-fictiony feeling of the game to show radically different biomes. And I'm certain it would be a lot of fun for Josh to work on. (Love that water!)

But mcsven's question was, "What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?" If I take that question seriously, a colony management interface that renders planetary surfaces doesn't make the cut, compared to a space-based UI interface that accomplishes most of the same functionality with far less special coding.

I know; I'm a buzzkill. :lol:
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

#55
mcsven wrote: What makes LT LT is unknown to us, since the game hasn't been released yet. Once the game is released, how many features could you say didn't make the cut? What process would you use to go about making that assessment? The dev logs are now well over a year old, and the sum total of our learnings since Josh came back online is that he's rewritten the guts of it again. Right now, outside of an unlimited PCG universe and the broad promises from the Kickstarter, I would be unable to declare with certainty what will be in the game. Can you say otherwise?
Implementation != design. That Josh has changed the engine doesn't mean he changed his design. Or his implementation, for that matter; porting to a new language (from LTSL to Python) takes a lot less time than writing from scratch, so even if he still has to do some of that I still consider stuff we've already seen (dynamic market, ship ownership etc) as "in the game" until I've seen otherwise.

But either way, I don't need detailed design docs here.
LT's core design principles are very clear from all that Josh has written here over the years. The exact details may be nebulous right now, but there are three principles that have always (to me) stuck out constantly and clearly so that I have no doubt they will never change:
  • Everything is procedural
  • Every AI has exactly the same options as the player and vice versa
  • everything is dynamically done, comes from real cause and effect
so prices come from market dynamics, NPC's mine because they decide to in the current economic situation, mission are posted by real groups, factions and individuals because they want to pay to fulfil a real need they have, items you can buy were made by real groups, as are ships you pilot, and so on and so on.
Cutting anything that follows those principles and replacing it by some facsimile that cheats them in would make LT less LT in my eyes, because these principles exactly are what makes the game special in my eyes, and is there reason I'm still more excited for it than any other space game on the market or in development.
Which I why I think you can't cut a lot of what is proposed in this thread, such as dynamic markets and multiple ship ownership: it goes against design 2 and 3.

So to answer the question, what he can cut in my eyes, is anything that doesn't compromise these design principles.
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

#59
I personally see this thread as less of "Josh, please cut this stuff out of the game because we want it NOW NOW NOW". I don't think, realistically, Josh is going to cut anything out of the game if he can at all help it. It might, however, show him that we aren't really as hard to please as he may think we are. :)

Agreeing with Flat, planetary surfaces are another thing I consider pretty but ultimately unnecessary. I'm also fine with warp rails that aren't quite so pretty. :P
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Re: What would you cut from v1 to accelerate its release?

#60
Mistycica wrote:I doubt an early release would reduce pressure. 'Game when' would turn into 'bugfix when', and 'new visible feature when', from a much larger userbase who are probably not as civilized and patient as we are (since I'm guessing v1 means public release). Right now Josh can implement new, incomplete features and do the backend for months on end. With a release, he couldn't do that without some serious snarking about 'not doing what's important'. That's what you constantly see on the channels of games that are being perpetually updated: 'why are you not doing this instead of useless crap like that, this patch sucks'.
There's something in what you say. However I'm drawing a distinction between pressure before and after release. The pressure after release will be broadly the same whenever he releases - including the demands for bug fixes and new features, provided Josh releases something that broadly matches his Kickstarter promises. Before release, my guess is that the longer it goes on, the more of a monkey on Josh's back it becomes. There really isn't any replacement for a track record of delivery. That's why I asked the question at the start of this thread.

I should say that if Josh feels no pressure from the release date, then the question becomes irrelevant as many of you seemingly want it to be. I would wager that is not the case, however.
Dinosawer wrote:Implementation != design. That Josh has changed the engine doesn't mean he changed his design. Or his implementation, for that matter; porting to a new language (from LTSL to Python) takes a lot less time than writing from scratch, so even if he still has to do some of that I still consider stuff we've already seen (dynamic market, ship ownership etc) as "in the game" until I've seen otherwise.

But either way, I don't need detailed design docs here.
LT's core design principles are very clear from all that Josh has written here over the years. The exact details may be nebulous right now, but there are three principles that have always (to me) stuck out constantly and clearly so that I have no doubt they will never change:
Everything is procedural
Every AI has exactly the same options as the player and vice versa
everything is dynamically done, comes from real cause and effect
so prices come from market dynamics, NPC's mine because they decide to in the current economic situation, mission are posted by real groups, factions and individuals because they want to pay to fulfil a real need they have, items you can buy were made by real groups, as are ships you pilot, and so on and so on.
Cutting anything that follows those principles and replacing it by some facsimile that cheats them in would make LT less LT in my eyes, because these principles exactly are what makes the game special in my eyes, and is there reason I'm still more excited for it than any other space game on the market or in development.
Which I why I think you can't cut a lot of what is proposed in this thread, such as dynamic markets and multiple ship ownership: it goes against design 2 and 3.

So to answer the question, what he can cut in my eyes, is anything that doesn't compromise these design principles.
With the exception of "everything is procedural", the other features you list are not obviously linked to delivery of the Kickstarter promises, they are things that Josh his indicated from posts in the forum/dev logs/video updates. Such features are often transitory, and are by no means a promise. Josh indicated that the player is more important than NPCs here, for instance. I would also point out that I'm not proposing to cut these things, I'm just saying that I wouldn't be bothered if they were cut - as were Flat, Talvieno, Victor and others in their answers.

I respect where you're coming from however, and I suspect Josh is pretty much in your camp when it comes to whatever he's planning to release. That said, my original question was intended to be a little more specific about the features you'd be willing to omit from the initial - not final! - release. Care to expand a little?
Talvieno wrote:I personally see this thread as less of "Josh, please cut this stuff out of the game because we want it NOW NOW NOW". I don't think, realistically, Josh is going to cut anything out of the game if he can at all help it. It might, however, show him that we aren't really as hard to please as he may think we are. :)
Aye, that was the goal - nicely put.

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