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Re: Beta preferenceson on completeness

#2
Personally I would've liked to play with it at the state it was in when we saw the last dev video. I know we'll never see it, but I liked it. Granted, this isn't a good state to release it in, likely, or you'll get NMS flak all over again. "But you promised so much more!" etc. If Josh was as open as he was before, that wouldn't be a problem. People forgive if you're open and honest. Not so much if you go silent for months at a time.
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Re: Preference of beta completeness

#6
Nobody's taking BFett's question seriously. Here, here's a serious response.

MUST HAVE
  • Everything that was in the Limit Theory Prototype, only more of it
  • Multiple star systems grouped into multiple sectors
  • Procedural generation of new star systems/sectors
  • Basic NPC-controlled ships
  • Cargo of destroyed ships randomly generated and magically transported to nearest station
  • Simple markets (as in Freelancer)
  • Fuel and weapon ammo costs (to have a reason for selling stuff in markets)
  • Static factions spanning specific areas
  • Assortment of static ship types (as in the LTP)
  • Static space stations
  • Basic contract system
  • Basic LOD management for NPCs
  • Basic fleet control/management
OUGHT TO HAVE BUT COULD LIVE WITHOUT IF NECESSARY
  • Dynamic NPC-controlled factions that can rise and fall depending on their actions
  • Ships controlled by NPCs with individual personalities and behave accordingly
  • Basic asteroid mining (simple ores are magically transported to cargo bay)
  • Ships carry plausible goods as cargo
  • Static planetary colonies
  • Basic sensors for seeing what's nearby
  • Full information economy
  • Advanced fleet management
  • Complex contract system
  • Optimized LOD management for NPCs
  • Basic project management ("projects" being how resources get acquired and turned into products)
  • Procedurally generatable ships/stations
OK TO HAVE BUT REALLY NOT REQUIRED
  • Dynamic player-controlled factions with definable organizational structures and command processes
  • Detailed project management
  • Detailed sensor capabilities for information-discovery gameplay
  • Detailed asteroid mining (drones collect complex ores for refining)
  • Detailed product creation system (projects define factory processes)
  • Player-creatable planetary colonies
  • Planets rotate
  • Planets orbit their star
  • Information hacking
  • Complex management of ship systems
  • Basic crew management
PROBABLY SHOULD NOT DO AT THIS POINT
  • Built on a scripting engine (modding is nice, but don't you actually want a game to play?)
  • Planetary landing
  • Technology research
DUDE, WHY ARE YOU SPENDING TIME ON THIS?
  • Warp lanes ;)

Disagree? Awesome. Let's see your list!
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Re: Preference of beta completeness

#7
Flatfingers wrote:Nobody's taking BFett's question seriously. Here, here's a serious response.
What do you mean, Flat? I was in almost deadly earnest mode with my reply. True it lacked detail but I can always count on you and others to provide such niceties.
Flatfingers wrote:DUDE, WHY ARE YOU SPENDING TIME ON THIS?

Warp lanes ;)
No, sorry, you lost my interest just prior to that point. ;) *chuckle*
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Re: Preference of beta completeness

#8
Flatfingers wrote: DUDE, WHY ARE YOU SPENDING TIME ON THIS?
  • Warp lanes ;)

Disagree? Awesome. Let's see your list!
Long-time lurker here. I agree with most of your list, but this I disagree with. Having space-travel take tons of time is important! Space is really freaking big and it seems that no one really captures the size of it.

Space lanes are visible representations of the size of space. Moreover they're a way to contract space according to a nice geometry. They absolutely could and should bring an interesting dynamic to the game: including using them to flee from pirates / calculating distance to mining fields based off of time, rather than direct distance / choosing to work in a system where the lanes aren't quite as accessible, but the wealth available makes it worth the added risk of getting caught out by pirates and losing everything.

The best way to add this dynamic is to make sure that they're not always available everywhere. Maybe you enter a system with NO warp-lanes and you have to build the tech (which should be inordinately expensive, at first -- and related to locally-sourced ores somehow, so that you have to buy / mine / construct it nearby instead of carrying a surplus of supplies to make them as you go). Maybe there's a critical field of asteroids that is just too darned far away to mine, so you invest in a warp-lane JUST to mine it! Maybe one recently failed (or fails after you're in it!) and needs to be replaced. Maybe a system-entry point is brand new and doesn't have one. Lots of cool stuff could happen here.

Space lanes are, ironically, one of the coolest ideas I've seen in any space game in a long time.

I'd be happy with a game with most of your "must have"s AND space lanes.

P.S. The graphics that josh is so quick to denigrate himself for are a big reason that I love the game already ... most space games flub the graphics just to make it "available" sooner (like No Man's Sky ... some things are pretty, but space doesn't feel or look like space at all).

Anyway, back into the shadows. :squirrel:
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Re: Preference of beta completeness

#13
Victor, my impression was that BFett was looking for specifics, perhaps so that we could have a substantive discussion about LT gameplay ideas as a nice change from complaining.

"Serious" was perhaps not the best choice of words. I offer finishing my post-writing efforts near 3 AM on a working day as my explanation, and I throw myself on the mercy of this most august Court. ;)

Now, as for you, Edowyth: hello! :) Glad you delurked, and thanks for the thoughtful comments.

The oldtimers here will have already heard in detail -- repeatedly -- the reasons why I conclude that "Dude, Why Are You Spending Time On This?" is a proper description for Josh designing and implementing the warp lanes feature. But with apologies to them, here's one more brief effort to explain -- not to insist on persuading you, but mostly to show that my assessment of the value of Josh developing warp lanes is not just some random, mindless anti-warp lane bigotry on my part. I haz reasons.

First, my understanding of the pro-warp lanes arguments:

1. Freelancer had simple warp lanes; LT is inspired by Freelancer; therefore LT should have at least simple warp lanes.

2. "Space is big -- really big." Warp lanes are a practical necessity to shorten the distances (i.e., time for the player to travel) between planets.

3. Warp lanes are aesthetically pleasing in helping to showcase the feeling of the bigness of space.

4. Complex warp lane technology -- warp lanes interact with other functional gameplay systems; warp lanes can eventually be constructed by characters (player and NPC); etc. -- creates additional gameplay activities.

5. Josh wants warp lanes.

While simplified, those are meant to be fair summaries of the pro-warp lanes position. If I've badly described a pro- argument, or left an important one out, that was inadvertent and I welcome proposed corrections/additions.

On the hope that the pro- arguments I listed above are generally acceptable, here are the reasons why I come to a different conclusion regarding this particular feature.

1. Simply duplicating features in other games is never, ever the Right Thing, not even for sequels. Individual features should always be selected for implementation only when good reasons are given for how they directly support the overall vision of the new game's intended play experience.

Remember that Freelancer also had space bars with NPCs who could be talked to, but Josh (rightly IMO) isn't implementing that feature in Limit Theory. So it's clearly OK to not implement in LT some aspects of Freelancer.

2. The practical desire to go more quickly from one planet to another than ships can usually fly can be satisfied in multiple ways. Warp lanes are one solution. Another is simply letting every ship have a "go really fast" mode. Warp lanes are not a practical necessity; a "interplanetary" (IP) drive mode also satisfies this desire.

An IP drive has the additional virtue of being simpler/faster to implement (yes, even for Josh) than warp lanes. I'll come back to that "faster to implement" argument in a moment.

3. Warp lanes require planets to be static and unmoving, which prevents them from rotating and orbiting. That's an aesthetic flaw in a game that otherwise models planets as huge spheres properly lit by stars and separated by vast gulfs of mostly empty space.

This one is certainly debatable. It bugs me personally that Josh has built this amazing science fiction universe, but then lets a desire for a replaceable feature prevent planets in this universe from behaving plausibly.

4. The complicated version of warp lanes that Josh is documented to have spent weeks working on consumed time that could have been spent coding and testing other features (some of which are in my list above) with arguably much greater gameplay value.

Deciding whether to implement some cool thing in a game is a function not just of its promised benefits but also of the likely cost to implement it, both in an absolute sense as well as the opportunity cost of losing the time needed to implement some other feature. Do warp lanes, whose practical function can be accomplished by a fast-but-constrained interplanetary drive, deliver enough value for their likely cost-to-implement that spending weeks coding them can be justified?

I think no. And that's before considering that it's now nearly four years after the Kickstarter ended, with no progress visible to backers. That's not a shot at Josh, it's just a fact.

Given this fact, and the fact that making a game (to say nothing of a fun game) is incredibly hard, with more pieces to build and integrate than you can imagine, is it really right to insist on coding and testing a feature whose practical function can be implemented much more quickly with a different "go fast between planets" metaphor?

I haven't addressed the aesthetic value cited for warp lanes, or Josh simply declaring, "they're in, end of discussion." Aesthetics may be a point in their favor.

And as for Josh deciding to do warp lanes no matter what, all I can do is shrug, say I disagree, and move on. But unless he chooses to be a part of this conversation ;), I hope it's OK for me to discuss with other fans of LT why I disagree: I want LT to see the light of day, and I don't think that ever happens if Josh spends days or weeks implementing minor and replaceable features like warp lanes.

So in an important sense, I'm not actually anti-warp lanes specifically. What I think the structure of my prioritized list above proves is that more than anything else, I am pro-release a good basic v1.0 of Limit Theory.

And yes, this was the "brief" explanation. :D Thanks for giving it fair consideration.
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Re: Preference of beta completeness

#14
Flatfingers wrote:Victor, my impression was that BFett was looking for specifics, perhaps so that we could have a substantive discussion about LT gameplay ideas as a nice change from complaining.

"Serious" was perhaps not the best choice of words. I offer finishing my post-writing efforts near 3 AM on a working day as my explanation, and I throw myself on the mercy of this most august Court. ;)
I really liked your listed contribution, Flat, and I do understand what you were doing with it. I know BFett appreciates your sort of approach to his questions so it was good to see your extensive reply. :)

As far as your observations on warp lanes are concerned it's good that you restated them again. But the only important point to remember is Josh wants them. ;) I'm well aware of the missing aspects of the original Freelancer...I tried hard to talk Mr. Parnell into keeping them but he would have none of it. So I'm not getting everything I wanted. :(

He asked me to trust him and ever the optimist (although that's not always obvious) I do trust him. I'm not looking for a straight copy of Freelancer which is why I refer to it as Freelancer 2 most of the time. :angel:

Don't ever change, Flat. We need your approach to important questions here. I don't always agree with you but I appreciate all your efforts. :thumbup: :D
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Re: Preference of beta completeness

#15
Flatfingers wrote:
[everything that was said about warp-lanes]
I would certainly agree with 100% that was said. But two years ago. I mean, it makes a lot of sense that investing so much time into a replaceable feature like warp-lanes was clearly a mistake. However, two years after their were pretty much fully implemented, what is the point of such argumentation? Or does anybody think that after two whole years not even warp-lanes were finished?

1) if they are fully finished, which is the obvious bet since they were already pretty finished last time we heard of them, then why the hell would be any waste time to have them? The time-cost is already paid;

2) it seems to me that deep down, the whole argumentation is because you would like planets to rotate and move and you judge the warp-lanes as the main obstacle for that.

For a game that has been clearly a victim of feature creep, I see it as out of question to even consider the idea of Josh adding even new stuff like planets rotating or moving or crew management. On the other hand, it amazes me deep into my soul that someone classifies "procedurally generatable ships/stations" in LT as something "could live without if necessary". Those are core things that have defined LT since the beginning.

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