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Kavik Kang

Does anyone have any advice for my unique situation?

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Hi everybody, and thanks to the moderators for letting me back in:-)

 

I don't want to revive the thread about Rube that I had started, because that clearly was not going well. But I still really would like to get advice about what I might do to actually get to make my games, the first 4 of which have been worked on for over 20 years now. Together, all 12 games are a “Big Three-like” gaming universe the likes of which has not been seen since the 1980's. They tell a single story, through a “timeline”, what you know as “JMS of B5's famous Bible”, which was actually just a Star Fleet Universe inspired timeline just like the one than encompasses my game universe. I have been designing games for about exactly 40 years now (obsessively, non-stop, since I was 7!!!!!!), with half of that time spent on these games. I've had quite a bit of time to work on them... and make them better, and better over the years. A pretty big advantage on most, or even all others. Right?

 

In the other thread Tom Sloper had said that it is not actually impossible for me to find an existing game company that would consider something like this, as I had believed for many years. He also suggested finding a partner to handle the business aspects of this... If I could do that I would do it in a heartbeat. I am really bad at this, I just make games and simulations. Really, that is pretty much the ONLY thing I do. So, since I am apparently not inherently incompatible with the modern game industry, and the possibility of someone actually having the capacity to make my games if they wanted to does exist... How do I go about even doing that? I've been trying to do that for over 20 years without ever having any hint of success, and probably only 2 or 3 actual responses in a lifetime of doing that. That's what I tried for over a decade and gradually determined, through what they were saying too me, that such a thing does not exist and the only way to make my games is to fund it all myself. If I have been wrong about this, that is great, but what do I even do about it? I already have 20 years of experience with exactly that which tells me if I could get so much as a single response saying “No thank you” in under a decade I'd be doing great! I am 48, I don't have a decade to get a first answer back from someone.

 

So, is it really possible for a designer to make their games through an existing company? Or do they already know the games they are making, and the only way to do it is if I can find millions of dollars on my own... which isn't going to happen? This has been my entire life. I either find a way to make my games or literally my entire life has been a waste of time. So I'd really like to find out how I should even be trying to go about this before I even begin to try this time around, and only the people in the industry can tell me that. I KNOW that my ways don't work.

 

I would think that 20 years of work on the first 4 ought to be a hint to at least somebody that this might be worth looking into. How many computer games spent 20 years being designed and refined before they were made? Does this actually happen regularly to where it is an uninteresting regular kind of thing? I'd think somebody would at least be interested in such a thing. Especially space ship games... a lifetime of work on space ship games... coming from a former member of the SFB Staff!!! I would think that somebody might be at least interested in taking a look at it...

 

My games are completely and totally unique, because of Rube. That's what Rube is. It's how I have always made games that was so different and unique that I could never get anyone to understand. Now I have Rube which is simply, in the end, my finally being able to articulate exactly what it is about my games that are so different than everyone else. Exactly how they work that makes them so different. Instead of getting into Rube, I'll just give an example of those differences. I pretty much specialize in space ship games and strategy war games. 7 of the 12 games of my universe are strategy war games. So now you are thinking.... “So there must not be much of a story to this universe.” Yes, there is. That's one of the differences between my games and everyone else that is easy to point to. As a byproduct of how Rube (or simply my games) functions, my strategy war games tell stories almost as well as an adventure game or RPG, but in a very different way. They really do. Maybe even in a better way... you read about it little-by-little, and then it unfolds around you in the near future little-by-little. Constantly, all the time, over the course of the entire game. My games don't work anything remotely like any game you have ever played before. They really, really don't. My games are “alive”, because that is what I do and have always done. I make games that play themselves around you as you play them.

 

So, what should I even do? Who should I even be trying to contact? What options do I really have from the perspective of you people who are inside the industry, and therefore understand it? What I thought I had learned the first time around was that the only way this can be done is to fund it myself, but now that is apparently not the case. But how do you even go about finding anyone who might be interested? I don't see how I would do that, or even know who to contact other that just sending something to random game companies like I used too... and that never came close to working. How do even I do this? This is my problem, this is probably the one thing I am worst at. I am worse than bad at this, and over a decade ago ran out of ideas for even trying anymore.

 

In our industry the phrase "Design by Committee" was known by anyone involved with it.  One of the most often heard phrases in our industry.  It translates as "the worst possible way to make a game".  This is the method that the modern game industry has institutionalized.  "Too many cooks spoil the pot".  This is not an insult, it is an observation I would hope those in your industry would at least contemplate.

Edited by Kavik Kang

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If you made a really, really thorough GDD a dev team might be able to make your game I suppose. It would need to include everything they could possibly want to know though, and that just isn't possible. Plus actually convincing a team to pick up and make your games in itself is a nearly impossible task. After all they all probably have 5 or more game ideas of their own that they'd rather make.

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Well, the game design document is easy.  The modern game industry believes it is not possible, because they don't use them so they have no experience writing them.  I have seen many pre-production game design documents from your industry, so I know what they are.  They are perfectly adequate for the process being used, but by the standards of my industry could only be described as "20-60 pages of vague notes".  Only one of the design documents is totally complete like that, but 3 others only aren't that complete because they have intentionally "left open" so those games can continue to freely evolve with the rest.  I am 4 or 5 games ahead of the process if I ever found a way to make them.  The computer game industry has no need to write complete design docs, so they don't, so they don't know how to make them only because they haven't ever needed them.  This does result in a "trial-and-error" process on your part, and adds a great deal of that risk you are always so concerned with... so it is actually better to fully design the game before you make it.  Writing a complete design document is definitely a lost art.  As I said in the last thread, I have publicly put that completed design doc in the internet before.  It's not a big secret for me, and is the only game of the 12 that does not have Rube in it anywhere because it was intentionally designed to be far more simple than my other games because that's what I kept getting told everyone wanted from me back in 1998 when it was written.  I could post that same 2005 revision I had posted before, not the current one:-), if people wanted to see an example of what I am talking about.  That "frozen in time" version is 197 pages.  It's actually Pirate Dawn itself, the MMO "Flagship Game" of the entire Pirate Dawn Universe.

 

As me simply being incompatible with you industry because they don't make a designers games, they make their own.  That is what I had been led to believe and the primary thing that made me finally give up 8 years ago.  But now people are saying that's not true, and it can happen... so I'd really like to know how you make something like that happen.  I have absolutely no interest in making someone elses game.  I tried that before.  That only winds up making me look bad over a game I was telling everyone from the beginning wouldn't be all that great.  "There is no such thing as a first person shooter in space." - Me, 1998:-)

 

So I'd really like to know, if there is any way for someone like me to find a way to make their games... how do you do that?

Edited by Kavik Kang

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That's not really what I am talking about, Tom.  I don't want to license it to anyone.  They couldn't possibly be made without me.  The strategy games are Rube, the space ship games are based on 40 years of SFB knowledge that less than 20 people on the planet possess.  Only I can make them, nobody else has the knowledge required to do that.  The Pirate Dawn Universe is essentially the "3rd Generation" of the hobbyist game industry that got created after the industry died.  Avalon Hill/ASL, Task Force Games/SFB, and then Lost Art Studios/PDU.  It's not like someone else can just make these games like they are Civ or FPS clones or something, here in 2016 nobody else has a frame of referance from which to understand them either because of Rube or the vast SFB knowledge underlying the space ship games.  I'm not being arrogant when I say only I can make them, it's just a "fact of knowledge base".  For example, do you fully understand the Kaufman Retrograde?  If not, you can't make any of the space games on that one issue alone.  There are 10,000 or so others just like it...

 

So I am looking for a way for me to make my games, because that is the whole point of them and because nobody else could make them anyway.  If there is no way to do that, then that is what I had determined 8 years ago.  Either fund it myself or it can't be done.  Which actually seems logical to me, existing game companies already know what games they are making.  If that is the case, then I am still looking for some way for a whole new company to be created around me as the only way of making it happen.  And that is really what I am trying to determine right now.  Should I be trying to make the games through your industry?  Or trying to create Lost Art Studios to make them, in which case Rube is by far my best chance of making that happen.  Is there a way into your industry to make my games, or do I have to create my own company to do it.  That is step one of what I am trying to figure out in my final effort at this here.

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That's not really what I am talking about, Tom.  I don't want to license it to anyone.


Well, that's what there is. You want money to make your game. That's how to get it, unless you
go for crowdfunding (like Kickstarter or Indiegogo) or FFF (Friends, Family, and Fools). It's
not a given that if you got a publisher to fund your game that they wouldn't let you be involved.

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Ok.  So it still is the same situation as I had learned the last time around.  The only way is to find my own funding for it in some way, and there aren't going to be any existing game companies that would ever be interested.  By that I mean that there is no such thing as "being hired as a game designer to make your own games".  "Licencing" it to someone in the hopes they will let me be involved in some way is just not an option, they can't possibly make the games.  It really is that simple.  Only I can make these games and I would never leave the possibility open to be embarrassed by having my name on the disasters these games would be if anyone else tried to make them.  I don't even get how anyone could think that anyone else could possibly make anyone elses games at all, let alone mine considering the circumstances of what they are and where they come from.  Only Sid Meier can make Sid Meier's games, only Steve Cole can make Steve Cole's games... and on to infinity.

 

So, I think that probably answers that question.  The only way this can happen is for Lost Art Studios to be made real.  So, now... how do I even try to do that?  VC doesn't pay attention to "one person with an idea" no matter what the story is.  I alone can never make this happen... Nothing has changed.  I really do find it amazing that it seems impossible to interest anyone in this, that really is very hard to believe.  Especially considering what it is, where it comes from, and who I was in that world.  I really don't get it...  I am just stuck again.  The only hope seems to be Rube... the games just don't matter at all, but Rube might be able to make it happen.  So I wind up right back to what brought me back out of retirement to begin with, Rube.  That's the only thing I've got to work with because the games really don't matter at all, nobody cares about the games.  And I have no idea how to do anything with Rube, either.

 

You know, this was a lot easier in the old hobbyist game industry where they just hired game designers to design their own games for them.  That sure did make it easy for the talented game designers to be the ones actually working in the business.  So I am back to Rube, which is definitely not looking good so far in ever getting anyone to so much as even look at that, either.  This attempt might wind up being a lot shorter than I have been thinking, it appears that nothing is any different at all now than it ever has been in the past.  Even with Rube... Wow...  I bet I could invent both a phaser and a warp drive and still wouldn't be able to find a single person on the planet who cared, hahahaha...  I am soooooo bad at this!

 

EDIT: I thought I'd throw this out there, just in case it happens to catch someone's interest.  Pirate Dawn is actually the second game of the Pirate Dawn Universe.  The Pirate Dawn Universe, which is entirely a sci-fi universe focused on the ships, fleets, and primary characters, has a "Broken Time Loop" as a "next generation timeline".  The PDU begins with a Cold War game (Game#1)... and ends with a WWII game called "Armageddon" (Game#12).  The "gap" in the broken time loop that this creates, 1945-1989, is an "Era" of the timeline called "The Eternally Unstuck Reflection of The Dark Side".  I just thought some people might find that interesting.  I really have no ideas at this point, but I'm thinking...

Edited by Kavik Kang

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I think there are professional teams that were offering to prototype a game for  2-4 k $ here.

Knights of Unity is one that I remember.

 

So your path may be. Think out a game that utilizes your (physics+GM) approach at the best for current market, make a prototype, reiterate, give it a breath (some arts, story) and run a kickstarter campain. Maybe I should try it myself :D.

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There are actually two games I could potentially try something like that with.  One is one of 5 "side games", I actually have 17 of my own games for the PDU, but at my age the core 12 would be the most I would probably live long enough to make now.  One of those side games was designed specifically to be an Indie project, but because of that is very simple and does not demonstrate my unique style of game design and the "Rube" that creates.  The Cold War game, however, is entirely Rube and could actually exist as a board game...so is not actually that complicated even though it has Rube at it's foundation.  It's the game Rube comes from, and is an easy to work with "crippled" Rube.  So that does seem to be an option I could try to get Lost Art Studios going, and maybe that will be what I wind up trying to do here in the end.

 

Thank you for reminding me of that, things were starting to seem hopeless again.  At least I have that to think about if I can't find a more direct path to giving that Cold War game the "AAA" production it actually deserves.  I mean... It's "The Civilization Killer", at least that is what I have called it since coming up with it while playing Civilization 1 in 1991 during the first few months of it's release and taking it as a challenge that I had to be able to outdo if I was really the game designer I was supposed to be at that time.  That was when I was actually working at TFG and on the SFB Staff.  Civ was a tough nut to crack... it took me almost three months to come up with something better.  There is a reason it comes first, to get everyone's attention!  I'd really rather do the CivKiller right if I could, but using it to get started instead would be worth it if it worked.  I could always break my own law and do a "CivKiller II" game later to fix it.  Normally a direct sequel is something I would never want to do:-)

Edited by Kavik Kang

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and the possibility of someone actually having the capacity to make my games if they wanted to does exist... How do I go about even doing that?

So I'd really like to know, if there is any way for someone like me to find a way to make their games... how do you do that?

 

You can make the game yourself, if the design is as good as you say people will see it even if it has bad art. Once people can see how it plays they will be interested, just taking your word for it won't work.

Dwarf fortress is a good example, a great game with bad graphics and controls.

 

You first need to prove there is oil before people will dig for it.

 

A persons word and design document means almost noting. I only do freelance work for people who can show me they made a game or have a design document, even then only one out of eight ever get to the point where the game is lunched.

 

You know, this was a lot easier in the old hobbyist game industry where they just hired game designers to design their own games for them.

 

The hobbyist game industry moved, it's now stationed in the Indie market, where a single mistake doesn't cost millions and people can be more open with ideas.

 

 

But how do you even go about finding anyone who might be interested?

 

Only I can make them, nobody else has the knowledge required to do that.

 

The only way is to find my own funding for it in some way, and there aren't going to be any existing game companies that would ever be interested.  By that I mean that there is no such thing as "being hired as a game designer to make your own games".

 

So, now... how do I even try to do that?  VC doesn't pay attention to "one person with an idea" no matter what the story is.

 

So I am back to Rube, which is definitely not looking good so far in ever getting anyone to so much as even look at that, either. 

At least I have that to think about if I can't find a more direct path to giving that Cold War game the "AAA" production it actually deserves

 

Making "AAA" games is expensive and a single mistake from any one of the staff can cost millions, a mistake from the game developer could ruin lives.

The "AAA" industry can't effort to gamble on a idea that has no prove of working, you can't blame them for not working on every idea proposed to them.

 

The problem is that every person in the world has a good game idea, every one of them.

If you ever want your idea made, then you will either have to prove to those who can make it that it's better than their ideas, or make it yourself.

 

Have you ever considered that their ideas is better than yours?

If that upsets you, then just remember that every time you ask them to work on your game idea, instead of there own, you are saying that your idea is better than theirs. It's up to you to convince people you already insulted that your ideas is worth making.

 

If that is the case, then I am still looking for some way for a whole new company to be created around me as the only way of making it happen.

The only way this can happen is for Lost Art Studios to be made real.  So, now... how do I even try to do that?

 

Making a company before you made a game is like putting cart before the horse, make a game that can fund a company first. A company that can't pay for it's own running cost can't pay for a game.

 

 

 One of those side games was designed specifically to be an Indie project, but because of that is very simple and does not demonstrate my unique style of game design and the "Rube" that creates.

 

A good design doesn't need bells and whistles to be good.

 

Only Sid Meier can make Sid Meier's games, only Steve Cole can make Steve Cole's games... and on to infinity.

 

I knew it! Ubisoft is practicing dark magic, how else did they make "Tom clancy's the division"  :o

The fact is a game is made by a team, just because your name is on the box doesn't mean it's yours.

 

In the end unless a developer makes every thing by themself, their name doesn't deserve to be in the Title. When ever some one else makes any thing for your game, they will influence it and change it from your original idea.

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Yes, a design document that is "20 to 60 pages of vague notes" does mean nothing.  A design document that represents a complete, playable game removes the risk that exists with the type of "vague idea" design documents you are thinking of.  That's a point I gave up trying to make 15 years ago.

 

Indie games are not the hobbbyist game industry, and have nothing at all to do with it.  In fact, indie games pretty much the exact opposite of the hobbyist game industry who made by far the largest, most detailed, and complex games ever made.  My blog can teach you a little about the forgotten hobbyist game industry... http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MarcMichalik/787769/

 

Every person in the world does not have a good game idea.  Good game ideas are very rare.  I see the games that the computer game industry makes, they have yet to come anywhere near approaching the hobbyist game industry's knowledge of game design.  If they were going to make a strategy game that could rival my Cold War game, or Armageddon, I would think they would have done so at least once in the last 25 years... they have not.  Why would I expect that, all of a sudden, now they are and I just don't know it yet?  It more than unlikely, since it would require a quantum leap on their part from where they are now.

 

I didn't make a company before I made a game.  I had entire trilogy of games before I made a company.  A "Big Three" designers game design document IS a PLAYABLE game.  People in the modern game industry have never been able to comprehend that fact.  Our design documents are PLAYABLE GAMES.  Finished.  Done.  Playable.

 

Tom Clancy is dead.  He did not make that game.  It is an Ubisoft game, not a Tom Clancy games.  Clancy was an author, he wrote books.  He didn't make games.  Only Sid Meier can make a Sid Meier game, only Steve Cole can make a Steve Cole game.  More obviously true words have never been spoken.

 

I already know all of your responses, these are all the same incorrect beliefs I have been listening too for over 20 years now.  I know you believe these things deeply, but many of them are simply incorrect.  The modern game industry has a lot of things wrong, the belief that a design document that covers all aspect of a game is "impossible", for example.  How did our games ever even exist if that is true?  Have any of you ever thought about that?  If it's "impossible" how do ASL and SFB even exists, then?

 

Obviously, I need to find a way to make Lost Art Studios real.  That has always been the only way, the modern game industry doesn't hire game designers, they hire level designers... or assistant designers at best, by our industry's definition of it.  So the only way for a game designer to make computer games is to start their own company, which I KNOW I can't do.  There has to be some way of doing this without trying to make a lesser B-game version of the Cold War game.  I really don't want to do that to the CivKiller, and wouldn't have the money to try any time in the foreseeable future anyway.

 

So far, nothing seems to have changed and even revolutionizing how games are made with Rube does nothing to help.  I would think this situation would be viewed as a "problem" by a game industry that took itself as seriously as yours claims too.  

Edited by Kavik Kang

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and even revolutionizing how games are made with Rube does nothing to help.

 

by rube do you meant the box2d editor?

 

not to burst your bubble, but some of us have been doing hand rolled 2d and 3d game physics in our sleep for 20+ years now. "don't need no stinkin' editor".

Edited by Norman Barrows

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and even revolutionizing how games are made with Rube does nothing to help.

 

by rube do you meant the box2d editor?

 

not to burst your bubble, but some of us have been doing hand rolled 2d and 3d game physics in our sleep for 20+ years now. "don't need no stinkin' editor".

 

 

No, it's his custom ruleset / simulator / perpetual motion machine.  

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Haha.  I don't want to get into Rube, that didn't go well.  But Rube is actually a physical construct used to describe a very complex "tool of game design" that results in games based on the ASL/SFB style of "real time" game design that are a "next generation" of that form of game design.

 

I have been avoiding revealing this, but at this point it seems like something I really should point out.  I began "designing games" when I was 7 years old.  My parents got me a children's game called "Payday".  But I didn't have anyone to play it with, my brother was only 2.  But that wasn't a problem, because Payday could play itself.  So I would just play Payday against it's built-in "AI".  At 7, that's how I saw it.  I kept doing this throughout my childhood with many different children's games like Payday.  Then when I was 13, I think, maybe 14, Axis & Allies came out.  Once I had played that a few times, I applied my "board game AI" to Axis & Allies.  This was very, very challenging.  It was simple with children's games, but making Axis & Allies play itself was an entirely different matter.  It took months.  Russia is easy, they were playing themselves almost immediately.  America was hard.  England was even more difficult... and Japan.  Japan took a very long time to work out.  In the end, I could either pick a nation and play Axis & Allies against my own "board game AI", or I could not even play at all, and just watch my "board game AI" control all five nations.  This "Axis & Allies" version of my "Board Game AI" is a fundamental component of "Rube", and how I make games.  It is nothing at all like how anyone else makes games, not even Steve Cole.

 

I am a "savant game designer".  People often translate "savant" as "genius", that is not what I am saying.  I mean it in the true, clinical, "socially incapacitating" way.  I have an unhealthy obsession with game and simulation design.  I "see AI" in all games, even board games.  As far as I know I am the only savant game designer there has ever been.  I'm sure there have been plenty of people with a similar... "condition"... over the years, but they haven't made games.  There games would be obvious to me, they would stand out... "jump of the page".  It is possible that SVC is also a savant game designer, with his obsession being the core mechanics of how simulations function and mine being "magic and illusion, trickery... all fake compared to what SVC does"... but it is also possible that he is just that good on raw ability alone.  I've never been able to tell which it is.  

 

Anyway.  This is the source of both Rube, and my unique style of designing games that even Steve Cole does not do.  I am not a normal everyday person who wants to make games.  I am a savant game designer who already has a very impressive history as a game designer.  In a way, as a member of the SFB Staff, I am practically a "founding father of modern game design" simply by having been a member of the SFB Staff.  So I am not the "totally inexperienced guy who thinks he has a good idea".  I am the exact opposite of that, actually.  That's another one of my problems, your industry has forgotten us and therefore has no respect at all for who we actually were to you and your own history.  We were literally your "founding fathers".  The SFU articles of my blog will explain that in more detail if you don't understand what I mean by that.

Edited by Kavik Kang

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I wish I knew.  My father is in over 20 different volumes of Who's Who.  He was one of the greatest businessmen/negotiators of the 20th century.  He was responsible for things like the early 1970's renovation of NORAD, the stadium that the Buffalo Bill's play in, and Saudi Arabia's entire water desalinization system to name just a few.  I, clearly, did not get any of his abilities in those areas.  I am worse than bad at those things.  I just design games and simulations.  I really don't do anything else particularly well.  But when it comes to business... the more "ideas" I have the worse my situation becomes.  There are no words to describe how incompetent I am at that.

 

Any way of making my games would work for me, haha.  That's all I really care about, literally.  It's a life-long obsession.  Funding would, of course, do it.  But I can never get that, I actually tried that, comically, for years.  I hit my head up against that wall enough times to know that I am not capable of doing that.  My fathers "help" always consisted of ideas way beyond what normal people would ever even consider.  His way of thinking led him to advice like... "The CEO or President is the key, don't waste your time talking to anyone else" which, well, I don't think I need to explain why that wasn't actually helpful for me.  "An audience with the King" is how he did it, it's not a meeting that I can even arrange... of course.

 

The question you are asking me, is the question I am asking in this thread because I don't know.  The best idea that seems to be emerging for me here was Tom Sloper's suggestion that I find a partner who can handle the business side.  That could actually work... if only I knew someone like that.  Normally that happens between people who know each other already, and I don't know anyone like that.  What I should even try to do this time around is exactly what I am trying to figure out, because I was out of ideas and had tried every thing I could think of ten years ago.

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And I guess I should give an example of what I mean when I say that "only I can make my games".  There is a series of 3 starship simulator/adventure games in the PDU.  These are, by far, the most sophisticated and advanced game designs I have ever conceived.  I just barely understand enough to make them function.  These games are based on the more advanced version of Rube that I call "Holodeck Rube" and a level of SFB tactical knowledge that fewer than 20 people on the planet possess.  Here is a brief, intentionally vague description...

 

I can put you in the captain's chair, and Rube will do his "maintain a constant illusion of activity around the player" thing that "Holodeck Rube" does.  The bridge of the ship you are on is essentially a Holodeck, and nothing you are seeing is real.  None of it is actually happening.  You will command the ship exactly as you see Captain Kirk do it on Star Trek.  Sitting in the captain's chair on a 3D bridge.  And it will be just like you are in an episode of Star Trek.  The combat, unlike the disastrous and completely broken "Bridge Commander" that you may be thinking of, this combat will play out in a way that feels completely realistic to you.  And the only way that can happen, is that it is not actually happening.  Outside of the "holodeck show" taking place on the bridge Rube is also both "planning the future", and using a trick to "place the AI in the future".  They "AI" is acting from the future, it knows what will happen in the future, and therefore this fight can be "choreographed" into something that seem totally realistic too the player.  I am not talking about any kind of time travel here, this is a "trick" Rube can do akin to the 12 second delay a radio station uses to mute any bad language that a guest might speak.

 

Now... even if I gave you a complete design document... do you think you could make this?  If you do, why haven't you yet?  Because you can't, even forgetting Rube... there are less than 20 people on the planet with the tactical space combat knowledge to make this happen.  This is the kind of thing I am talking about when I say that only I can make my games.  Just as only Sid Meier can make his games, or only SVC can make his.

Edited by Kavik Kang

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Already done in a multiplayer fashion, except for the VR aspect

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoV_ZnBTsrA

 

What doesn't make sense is "rube". Because computers aren't advanced enough to do that yet.

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If you watch the video you will see that no combat is taking place, because they cannot possibly do that.  They destroy a moving ship with a long range missile.  Anyone can do that, there is nothing difficult about that.  Then the "close combat" is motionless, because they cannot have it moving, because that is far beyond their abilities to do.  This is a "faking" of a starship simulator where no actual combat ever occurs because they cannot make that work.  Anyone can fire a long range missile at a moving target at long range, or set motionless ships on the screen to trade shots back and forth.  None of that takes any advanced knowledge, ANYONE can do these brain dead simple things.  What I am talking about... you won't notice a difference from what you think is a real "Star Trek-like" fight.  There is a reason the "game" in this video was never released as a game, and if they do release it as a game... as you can see from the video, the combat will be non-existant.  Motionless.  No different than Faster Than Light.  Moving the ships within range for "tactical combat" is the part they can't do, and won't ever be able to.  The very beginning of that, which doesn't help much because there is so much more they would need to know, are three specific positions that the PDU calls the "Extended Option Point", "Tactical Option Point", and "Close Option Point".  Anyone can make Faster Than Light, where the ships don't move.  That's easy.  Lets see them try to make the ships move... I already know the result of the method they would attempt to use.  Their hostiles will just endlessly wiggle in confusion, constantly changing AI Profiles based on the constantly changing situation.  You guy's have attempted this many times before, it always results in the same "confusing wiggling until I die" enemy "combat tactics"... if you can call "wiggling in confusion" a combat tactic:-)

 

What is it you think computers aren't advanced enough to do yet?  I am kind of confused by that.  "Crippled Rube", that is the one I have actually been using for many years, is actually surprisingly simple.  I am not saying that what I can do with a starship simulator is any kind of magic thing, I have to work around severe limitations to make my ship simulators work.  The biggest limitation being that it can only do 1v1 fights.  There can never be more than your ship, and the one you are fighting in any given scenario.  Stationary objects and defenses, like bases and minefields, can exist.  But there can never be more than a single moving target to fight... because it isn't actually happening.  Of course... a group of 3 frigates, for example, can ACTUALLY be a single ship:-)

Edited by Kavik Kang

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That still doesn't make any sense, having an AI transition/modeling close combat is a simple prospect (even with moving ships). Airships:conquer the skies has this and it's a pretty simple game.

 

Empyrion:galactic survivals has this as well, as does Shores of Hazeron (Which has thousands of AI active/following/taking orders from players at once)

 

My battleship in Shores of hazeron has 300 boarding soldiers, which all work in real time to capture ships, which are free to move during that time.

 

What doesn't make sense if when you say "isn't actually happening". That means it's only happening in your head, not on a computer, as a computer can't process what isn't happening.

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It is most definately not a simple prospect, if it was there would be all kinds of game about space ships fighting each other that worked.  There are no games where ships fight each other in any real or even acceptable way.  Open space combat is "the science of 2D ACM without gravity" and there is only one group of people who know that science.  "Boarding Soldiers" has nothing to do with this, "land combat" is easy.  There is no existing computer game where ships actually fight each other using coherent maneuvering.  In fact, most computer space games consist of stationary ships because it is an extremely complex combat environment (2 ships in open space... you have nothing to work with here.  No terrain, etc, you are all on your own) that nobody in your industry knows anything about.  If you did, your space combat games would work VERY differently.  

 

And it is not all in my mind.  What the player is experiencing on the "holodeck bridge" is not happening, that is the only way it can be made to happen.  Because even I cannot make an AI that will make an AI controlled ship fight you in a way you are expecting to see for it to "feel as real as Star Trek" too you.  But I can come close.  And once I get it close... Rube, effectively acting from the future, re-choreographs what would happen based on the combination of the player's actions and the AI ships actions into what the player expects to see... and not the broken mess that is actually taking place.  Rube knows the future before it happens (through a trick similar to a radio station's delay), so this can be made to happen.  

 

Even I can't do this "straight", this is my "magic and illusion" that is the way I make games that work.  I am taking what can be done through the AI, which is still not quite enough to work right, and "choreographing" what it should be "from the near future".  That is currently the only way that this can be made to work, AI is far too primitive and stupid to do this by itself.

Edited by Kavik Kang

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Explain the mechanism about how it knows something that will happen in the future to something that doesn't exist. You do have a point that there's not TOO many space games with boarding combat, though. But that's not because of technical issues, it's because space games are pretty much niche now, and boarding is usually a small aspect/passed over.

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Its not that space games are niche, it's that the limitations have prevented anyone from making space ship games that would be popular.  The AI is one limitation, the knowledge of how that type of combat functions is another.  Boarding is very cool, and I actually have that in my starship simulators.  It is necessary, really, to be complete.  Especially in my games that are half starship simulator and half adventure game.  Both boarding and landing parties are kind of necessary to make it seem real.  But that has nothing to do with the maneuvering between the ships.

 

I don't want to explain too much detail and then watch the disaster of my style of game design emerge and I am still not making games.  But in this case, such a high level of SFB knowledge is required to make this work that I feel pretty safe telling the modern gaming world the specific thing that is making it possible for the AI of this game to "think from the future".  I am pretty sure I am the only SFB player alive with this level of SFB knowledge who has ever so much as thought of a computer game, let alone played one, haha!!!  So this should be pretty safe...

 

You would control this game through voice commands.  You could use a mouse... but most people have a mic these days or would be willing to buy one for $10-$15 for a game like this.  So I always think in terms of voice commands.  The delay I am talking about actually occurs naturally in this situation, which is what inspired the idea in the first place.  You can only issue new voice commands so quickly.  As I had said, this form of combat is essentially a "science of 2D ACM without gravity".  I know it inside-out.  In the end this is all based on that, which I cannot describe here.  There is an optional rule in SFB called "Plotted Movement".  In my game, whenever you issue an order by voice command (or mouse) it creates a valid movement plot for BOTH ships.  This plot is (usually) to one of the "Option Points" I mentioned earlier.  This will not change, unless you issue a new order, in which case a new plot will be created and the AI will still know the future.  The enemy ship in reality is not fighting you, not making decisions based on the goal of trying to destroy you.  It is actually cooperating with you to show you what you expect to see.  "Magic and Illusion.  Trickery."  This actually also partly relies on the lack of situational awareness that you have in any 3D game, more of that "illusion".  The AI knows the future because you told it the future.  The AI is acting on your commands, and it's fire decisions are now based on it's knowledge of the future of movement.

 

I can't give too many things like this away, for obvious reasons, but this was a good one because you can't do really do a lot with this.  At least not in making ships fight realistically, although I am guessing someone out there will be re-writing some code based on an idea this gives them for what they are doing:-)

Edited by Kavik Kang

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If you watch the video you will see that no combat is taking place, because they cannot possibly do that. They destroy a moving ship with a long range missile. Anyone can do that, there is nothing difficult about that. Then the "close combat" is motionless, because they cannot have it moving, because that is far beyond their abilities to do. This is a "faking" of a starship simulator where no actual combat ever occurs because they cannot make that work.


Your definition of "combat" clearly differs from ours, then. What is "combat" if not destroying other ships? That it happens at close range is only because that's how Star Trek (appeared) to do it, and Artemis is explicitly a Star Trek fantasy without the Star Trek branding.
 

There is a reason the "game" in this video was never released as a game, and if they do release it as a game...


Artemis has been released for several years now. It's on Steam.
 

There is no existing computer game where ships actually fight each other using coherent maneuvering. In fact, most computer space games consist of stationary ships because it is an extremely complex combat environment (2 ships in open space... you have nothing to work with here. No terrain, etc, you are all on your own) that nobody in your industry knows anything about. If you did, your space combat games would work VERY differently.


Or possibly it's been tried, and found wanting for fun. You don't know what may or may not have been tried behind closed doors. That being said, I can think of at least two space sims that are aiming for realistic (or "gameplay realistic") space combat. I've also had a realistic space combat game idea (that would involve open-space maneuvering) on the backburner for years, so not much of what you're saying is new to me. I even went as far as to produce a prototype in Unity. You aren't the only one who has had these ideas. :)
 

"feel as real as Star Trek"


I'll just leave this here. :P

You would control this game through voice commands. You could use a mouse... but most people have a mic these days or would be willing to buy one for $10-$15 for a game like this. So I always think in terms of voice commands.


Plausible. Sub Command had that and Dangerous Waters probably does, too.
 

There is an optional rule in SFB called "Plotted Movement". In my game, whenever you issue an order by voice command (or mouse) it creates a valid movement plot for BOTH ships. This plot is (usually) to one of the "Option Points" I mentioned earlier. This will not change, unless you issue a new order, in which case a new plot will be created and the AI will still know the future.


Ah, so like Lethal Tactics, but in space?
 

This will not change, unless you issue a new order, in which case a new plot will be created and the AI will still know the future.
...
At least not in making ships fight realistically, although I am guessing someone out there will be re-writing some code based on an idea this gives them for what they are doing.


I was working on a prototype for a space game that did this about 5 years ago. Then I was distracted by other projects (and work) before I finished it. If anything, what you're saying is vindication that my own designs can be arrived at by parallel evolution. Frankly, I'm really not seeing anything in what you've said so far that's entirely impossible to do, or that hasn't already been attempted in some form or another. That's not actually a bad thing - it means your ideas should actually feasible - given sufficient resources. But that's always the problem... Edited by Oberon_Command

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Ye, my definition of combat does differ from yours.  Mine includes coherent maneuvering, which none of the games you've mentioned have.  I know these things have not been tried because nobody outside of the SFB Staff has the knowledge to make it happen.  And I've been playing the space games your industry has been making all my life, and seen the "confused wiggle" that is the best you've been able to do.  Yes, you have tried them, and they have been "wanting for fun"... because they lack coherent maneuvering, and the ship designs are like 5-year-olds came up with them.  You see it, but aren't identifying the problem.

 

You MOST DEFINITELY have not worked on a game that was planning the future and having the AI base it's decisions on the future.  Certainly, you had no rational option points which are the key to making this work, and were not choreographing a valid maneuvering environment.  You are not understanding what I am saying.  The video of the "VR Star Trek" game you posted clearly shows this.  Where was the combat in that with coherent maneuvering?  All I saw was ships lumbering like garbage scows in the distance.  Not once did any of these ships so much as attempt to fight back, they are all just lumbering essentially motionless in the distance to be shot at.  This video you posted demonstrates that you don't understand what I am saying.

 

I know you think that you understand space combat as well as a member of the SFB Staff, but you don't.  It really is that simple.  You simply don't have the required knowledge base to even understand that what you are seeing in that VR Star Trek game video is not combat.  It's target drone practice.  No combat is taking place there, just shooting at near stationary target drones off in the distance.  Show me a twisting, turning dogfight.  You can't.  Because you can't do that.  If you could, we'd all be playing space ship games where the ships actually fight back.

 

Where, exactly, is it that you learned how space ship combat works?  You went to Star Fleet Academy, maybe?  What, exactly, is the source of your knowledge of this?  Do you believe you were born with it?  Your piloted a real space ship?  Where does your knowledge of the subject come from?  What is it that makes you think you are an expert in this subject?  Where did you learn it, and what did you learn?  I can tell you don't understand space combat, it's obvious from this post and the video you posted.  Where is it that your knowledge of the subject comes from... or are you just making wild guesses and assuming they must be right?  Because that is what it sounds like too me, someone who it is known is an expert in this subject.

Edited by Kavik Kang

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