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Space combat prototype - phase 4

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The space combat prototype has been progressing well these last days (depsite a "slow" last week, thanks to Bethesda!). In a next update i'll describe from a technical standpoint how spaceships are constructed and handled internally.

Now, weapons can be attached to hardpoints, hardpoints attached to ship parts, ship parts to a ship entity, and each part can have its own status (can break or not, take damage, etc.. ). Thrusters are attached to a specific part too. So, if a weapon is damaged by a laser, it won't fire anymore, and if a thruster is destroyed, it won't operate, making some "fun" situations. Loose a wing of your interceptor, and you'll start to spin like mad in some directions.

JoeB has sent in an update of his battleship. It looks really impressive now. Especially with the hangar in which you can fly and dock with an interceptor.. the sense of scale is really nice.


In other news, i want to start developing in these journals another aspect of the development, which i'll call (for lack of a better word now), the "social" situation. Infinity is getting more and more exposure, and i think it can be interesting for other developers not only to learn about the technical aspects of the game, but also about its "social" ones, the problems encountered in the community/organization, etc.. So, do not take the following as a rant or some selfish blabling, if i'm exposing these publically, it's only in the hopes that it can help other developers. I've been pretty open on the technical side, discussing about algorithms/implementations, why not doing the same with the social side ?

One thing that i should mention now is that my official position regarding attacks, flames or simply negative opinions (founded or not) that could happen on any external forum (gamedev.net excepted of course) is to never comment. It would open a pandore box, if you see what i mean..

Today when i connected, quickly checking my logs i saw a high amount of incoming connections from the Eve Online forums. By curiosity i had a look on them and saw a thread called "Developer of Infinity bashing EVE !!". That was quite a surprise!

All started on moddb.com when Betelgeuze posted an answer to a question somebody posted regarding the difference between Infinity and Eve (is Infinity a clone of Eve ? how are the games different ?). Betelgeuze promptly (and quite innocently) answered by detailing the differences between Eve and Infinity, namely:

- seamless landing on planets
- size of the universe (billions of systems)
- newtonian physics/collisions
- owning planets
- owning more than one ship at a time
- the storyline concept with "unique" quests

(For the curious, the moddb.com thread is here).

There's an error in what Betelgeuze said (owning more than one ship at a time), but i believe it was more a shortcut that was really meant to be interpreted as "you can't control more than one ship at a time", since that post was likely written in 3 minutes.

I don't really know what could be considered "bashing" in that, but it looks like it's not the opinion of some Eve fans.

There was quite a lot of criticism in that thread, i'll just list the most frequent comments (incidentely, it's not specific to the Eve forums. I've seen similar comments pretty much everywhere). A selection:

- i am lying about the amount of worlds in the game universe, because it's not technically possible (would take too much CPU or hard drive space, your choice). Coincidence or not, these kind of comments are generally made by players, not developers.
- it is impossible to develop a game such as Infinity because it'd take an infinite amount of time to design such a big universe
- (my prefered) it is impossible to do because i'm a newbie at programming and obviously have no understanding of how big such a project is
- the screenshots/videos are fake, that cannot run in real-time
- the terrain from the screenshots were made in Terragen (thank you!)
- it will take years to complete (an obvious statement, i've been saying this everywhere)
- it will take an insanely high machine to run (despite the fact that it'll run on a medium-specs machine at release time)
- vaporware (can't really blame)
- copyright infringement (huh?)
- trademark infringement (re-huh?)
- the game is a clone of <> (triple-huh?)
- some ships design have been copied on <> (given the amount of games and movies released up to today, it'd be quite hard not to find something that looks remotely similar, don't you think ?)

Don't think i'm annoyed or angry by these kind of comments, because it's really not the case. As i said, i'm just ignoring them and never reply, unless you contact me by email or on the game forums. Fortunately there's a lot of constructive and positive feedback too (actually, more than the negative one), but i thought posting this would be interesting for our fellow gamedev.net developers :)
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Well, I've been reading through the comments on those EVE boards a bit and you do seem to have some supporters over there. One of the members put it like this:

I don't understand the whole concept of taking a game (or anything) personally. Oh no, someone is making a game in the same genre! Shouldn't we be happy to see people with new ideas? And shouldn't it fill everyone with excitement that basically a one-man dev team may be able to bring a game to life?

That's just incredible to me!

I can only agree with that [smile] It's sad at times to see how people can react to things like this, especially when they're talking about your dream, or your hard work in any case. I'd attribute it to ignorance and arrogance on their part, but that would be arrogant and partly ignorant of me, so I won't do that :p

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I'd say something, but when I first saw your videos and what you were claiming, I was more than sceptical myself [embarrass].

I'm glad you've shown me the error in my ways, that the "impossible" can be quite doable if you approach it from a different angle...

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I think that you are taking the right approach by not responding to the posts (unless they are on your forums/emails). Fans of any game can be worse than a rabid animal in heat. [wink]

I can’t say that I understand all the concepts behind the universe system that you are using, but judging by your engine I believe that you have it under control and know what you are able to do.

I think that a lot of people will doubt new games that have features that they would like to see (especially from a small unknown), mostly because they have become cynical due to the failure of big name studios to deliver/live up to their promises.

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Ugh, you'd better get used to it really quick. People who tend to play online games are on the majority, fucking idiots (no offense to anyone). Its true though, you'll get people going 'omfg wat u sai????' when you've posted the same damn thing thousands of times already, have several stickies on the topic, etc.

They're all idiots. Personally, I say screw them all and take their money. But beyond that point, ugh. Just filter them out and do stuff on your own. There will be the select informed few who do know what you're doing, and they'll try to gain favor at every turn.

And I'm completely smashed. I'm sorry, I'm a bit of a pessimist. But online game "communities" tend to be a bunch of kiddies on the internet pretending to be "smart", and only tend to come of as a bunch of jackasses. Not to say that they aren't. I stlil think they are, but yeah.

Pessimism. And alcohol. lol.

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The only valid point I saw is that when a user interact with a part of your world, you have to store additional datas about this world. In the end, the stored data might be quite huge, but this is a problem that every single MMO have (and I bet you already have some ideas to deal with the problem).

It's going to be a good game. To bad we have to wait for two years [smile]

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Pah - ignore them for now... just wait until the time comes that you can show them just how wrong they are. Then sit back with an insanely smug grin on your face [grin]

The short write-up of Infinity in PCZone magazine was very positive, and of all the magazines I've read they're often the more critical...


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Regarding the comments by people who claimed you've ripped off artwork - We've had the same going back years. Our artist gets really annoyed.

It's even happened on gamedev.
(scroll down to comments which explain to us how we've ripped off Homeworld :) )

The worst was when our artist made a tank model that had overhead tracks, and we were inundated with emails telling us we had ripped off Warhammer. We found that when we explained to these people, that the design was based on the very first tank ever made - a British design with overhead tracks, they mellowed a bit.

You just have to live with it, I think when a game is good, and people get into it and really start to know everything about its world, then they draw parallels between it and everything else they see. It probably seems quite clear to them that the influence was the game they love, when in fact it could be any number of things - often the same things that influenced those game designers. Usually, when you talk it through with them, they understand. Everything is influenced by something else.

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I tend to ignore a lot of things the great unwashed masses come out with regards games and particularly their construction. I spend a lot of time on forums related to other activities I take part in and would probably die from frustration at some of the inane rubbish people come out with about videogames.

*deep cleansing breaths*

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Personally I think your work is fantastic.

Certainly not impossible, but damn, do you have some 'interesting' problems to contend with - primarily I'd think on the zoning side (you are going to get an INSANE take up on this when it launches). I'm absolutely certain there are solutions to all the issues you'll approach, though, even if it means a certain amount of what might be considered 'kludge', for example I'd adopt the SWG policy of dropped items only ever going into containers, rather than being discrete entities in the game world.

I think the social game-bashing that goes on can only be expected - as mentioned there are a lot of idiots out there. Your principle of not rising to it is an example to us all.

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Hey Ysan,

I'm a 3 year veteran of Eve Online - also Beta tested it and I'm happy to enter into a flame war on the Eve forums in defence of Infinity :))).

Eve is only half of what I want out of a Space game, something combining Eve with Frontier FE, up to date graphics (Eve is very dated), possibility of using my Cyborg 3D just like Freelancer - you name it.

I've had a post about Infinity (totally innoccent "look at this" type post) removed by moderators, obviously they don't want to publicise another MMORPG, even in it's early stages of developement. The fan-boys come out in force whenever you criticise Eve, even though it's inadequacies are plain for all to see.

btw: I'm also a Software Engineer by trade, have worked for a Gam e Company too in the past. I can see the potential here in what you are doing and I can also see the developer skills in action.

As far as I'm concerned, if you keep posting blogs on what you are doing and how you are doing it, it won't matter if you fail/succeed at all - you are still contributing positively to the genre and to GD in general. So keep up the good work.

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No such thing as bad publicity! I think it's great that people are getting this worked up over your game. Congrats! =D

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No such thing as bad publicity! I think it's great that people are getting this worked up over your game. Congrats! =D

Hexactly, thats how I'd look at it. Flame threads draw masses of attention, and the one mentioned is full of praise and links to your site. Solid gold.

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You are my god.

Be sure not to forget to take full backups of your work now and then. There has been occasions where divine work has been lost in a harddisk crash (e.g. Liero).

Keep up the excellent work!

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