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Outerra Engine => News => Topic started by: cameni on February 09, 2014, 11:14:46 am

Title: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: cameni on February 09, 2014, 11:14:46 am
New blog post:
http://outerra.blogspot.com/2014/02/2013-retrospective-2014-look-ahead.html (http://outerra.blogspot.com/2014/02/2013-retrospective-2014-look-ahead.html)

(http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-QZzF-BbjRZI/Uvaxctz2fBI/AAAAAAAAAzw/pWcjOgXno1k/s1600/pipeline.jpg) (http://outerra.blogspot.com/2014/02/2013-retrospective-2014-look-ahead.html)
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: ZeosPantera on February 09, 2014, 11:27:28 am
Boss, BOSS.. Da Planes!
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: James on February 09, 2014, 11:58:02 am
Is it odd that I had a dream I was flying through the clouds in what appeared to be Outerra, then you post this? :3

Anyways, this is great! :D
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: ddenn on February 09, 2014, 11:59:59 am
Thanks for the heads-up! Amazing news, especially about team growing and flight simulator :)
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: Jagerbomber on February 09, 2014, 12:31:11 pm
Quote
extended road system capabilities - separate properties for the left/right side, configurable road profiles, markings

polygonal vector mode for larger overlays - large rivers with well defined bank shapes, lakes, but also for fields, pastures, artificial trees or tree removal, terrain leveling etc

YES and YES!!!  ;D

Still, I'd prefer to build it myself use pre-generated roads n stuff I think.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: DeanosBeano on February 09, 2014, 12:31:24 pm
Wow
 Thast some fantastic news , i am really excited about all of it :)
 great job so far  i am especially looking forward to animations of character , maybe not the 81 bones including face tho ;)
 
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: PytonPago on February 09, 2014, 01:24:36 pm
Animations looking good ! ... dual quaternion - fine addition there. Hope the wiki comes with the bone-structuring explained too - cant wait to jump into that stuff a little deeper. Also - SHOOTING! I will finally put my BTRs KPVT to some action.  :D

  .... fingers crossed Angry and Cameni !
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: John514 on February 09, 2014, 03:41:11 pm
Sniff! :')
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: SpaceFlight on February 10, 2014, 05:05:46 am
This is great news!  :D
The animations system video is nice also. Cool thing the feet are visible in first person mode.

Out of curiosity, is there a rough ETA for a potential Kickstarter campaign?

And the 3D trees, are they on the backburner for now?

Thumbs up and its awesome what you are creating there!
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: cameni on February 10, 2014, 06:44:40 am
The work on 3D trees has been resurrected, or better they are being reworked using the knowledge we gathered in the mean time. Screens of tree skeletons would not be likely taken warmly, necessarily compared to the old 3D trees, so we'll show something when we get past the mark :)

Kickstarter - well, that's still an open question. Presuming we are speaking about a KS for a simulator stuff: over the time we have been approached by several companies inquiring about the use of OT for a flight simulator, and a couple of them also for a railway simulator. Most of these companies had their own plans to make a simulator, and looked at OT for the engine. While it's true that OT is still in development and lacks a lot of features for this and that, developing a simulator is a huge amount of work in itself as well, and actually both things should be developed in parallel, providing feedback to each other and shaping up the tech both ways.

However, while there are still some of these contacts open, most of them eventually trip not on the OT tech state, but because of funding issues, lack of expertise once they start to see the extents of the work, and not the least lack of confidence (usually because of the former two). Interestingly most of these companies have little SW development experience, but they are somehow connected to the business - making HW or content for existing simulators. With the demise of MS they are facing a bit of decline but also a bit of chance, and they are basically the first ones probing the grounds, but not yet strong and sure enough to actually do something.

On the other hand there are small developers who are willing to go into an experiment, aware of the amount of work and the quality required, doing it for the love of sim stuff. However, without funding from an investor, this would rely on crowd funding. A successful campaign basically requires either a proven name, a promise of future success, or a good prototype. Winning the support of (flight) simulator fans will be especially hard, and the prototype will have to go into depths.
So that's where we are now - planning and discussing what would be needed for the prototype and for the campaign. Looks there will have to be a prototype of the prototype to get some devs support us as well :)

As for a non-simulator game project, that's similar, except the thing to show would be the gameplay. Once we are there, there are other options to get the support, for example Steam early access.
Both projects share a lot of common engine functionality, together with our other activities, so we are still moving on without having to face tough decisions, but I guess that time comes later this year.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: SpaceFlight on February 10, 2014, 07:28:19 am
Thanks for the reply Cameni.
Looking forward to where this is all going.  :D
Steam early access for the non-simulator game sounds like an interesting option.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: PytonPago on February 10, 2014, 08:05:43 am
Kickstarter - well, that's still an open question. Presuming we are speaking about a KS for a simulator stuff: over the time we have been approached by several companies inquiring about the use of OT for a flight simulator, and a couple of them also for a railway simulator. Most of these companies had their own plans to make a simulator, and looked at OT for the engine. While it's true that OT is still in development and lacks a lot of features for this and that, developing a simulator is a huge amount of work in itself as well, and actually both things should be developed in parallel, providing feedback to each other and shaping up the tech both ways.

However, while there are still some of these contacts open, most of them eventually trip not on the OT tech state, but because of funding issues, lack of expertise once they start to see the extents of the work, and not the least lack of confidence (usually because of the former two). Interestingly most of these companies have little SW development experience, but they are somehow connected to the business - making HW or content for existing simulators. With the demise of MS they are facing a bit of decline but also a bit of chance, and they are basically the first ones probing the grounds, but not yet strong and sure enough to actually do something.

What about bringing them all to a common place to discuss their special needs in a greater picture of things. After all, it seems many of those have something to do with aviation simulations. One may be pure military, other pure civilian, other on a special brunch. May be a bigger bunch of people, but if they work part-timey in those numbers on something, might come to interesting ends(kinda like the spin tires group, that tried to see, how much people it interests) - that also means hawing some (even if few) skilled people too and others getting something from them in knowledge, also progressing step-wise with anyone's little hand-work. 

      ---- maybe something else in legal dev. sense.
Kick-starters do have the "need to be finished" line. What if a Bunch of people just said themselves to get on a risk and investment in the future skills of those people instead - a "try-start project" so to say. Where the end-product may not come up at all - doe the real aim is in a little else thing - in one, the promotion of the skills of those people, witch may not end this project but will gain the oversight of a kick-start-like projects to get into in the future (many just dont think they would handle it on their own) and also partially promoting the OT engine itself, as at one hand - those people get it well known and be more viable to reach for it when choosing one in future endeavors and at the second - during the project-duration development screens and vids. showing its capabilities.
... its a well known dead-end risk investment in now-days view, but actually, many technological industries (witch have such capabilities) do that kind of future-tech/product investments daily, mainly with ending and out-coming students. Just think how many people just started in an industry engineer-board house, with a free hand-project from the general-director and ended up making new revolutionary stuff (they laughed at rotary-wings so long ago and see what people like Bell, Sikorsky, Kamov and Mil ended up like). Except, it would be a crowd-based and not industry/state/school-grant promotion.

 -- The idea needs a more idealistic and trust-based thinking, doe, i think, in the end it could prove its potential for all three parties ... (just that you know, im a Venus project fan guy - so i wrote it in that kind of thought) ... you may just give them a glimpse of this - i would definitely support them if those guys decide to get together in that fashion. 
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: ZeosPantera on February 10, 2014, 12:03:14 pm
Yeah, a kickstarter has to be a very cleanly defined goal and if it can help support the overall development of the engine that is even better. So you have to make a promise you can keep with relative ease. Create SDK in conjunction with developer X so a Flight sim platform can be made and implemented in Outerra.  Seems legit but you have to sort of mention with the completion of the SDK for Outerra for this particular flight sim also comes the public release of the SDK for "INSERT MONTAGE OF ALL THE OTHER THINGS POSSIBLE IN OUTERRA HERE".

You can probably even mention in the video that the kickstarter is for the flight sim mods development but the work helps all aspects of the engine for development from users and modders like you!

Steam greenlight you just have to have something pretty with some guns and you are golden. That can come like 2 weeks later. But 3d trees, clouds and terrain shadows first. I miss those.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: John514 on February 10, 2014, 12:17:44 pm
The thing I liked about the Blog post is that it was like:
We did this and that and that.
We are going to make a fiew adjustments.
.....
....
...
..
.
BTW Here`s Mars!!!
ME : O________O
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: DeanosBeano on February 10, 2014, 12:20:43 pm
Steam greenlight is a must ,
 considering i have paid £19.99 last month on steam greenlight for a very very very early Alpha , i would value this  Engine with the 2014 Blog commits in as equally worthy and would even goto £25 but £19.99 with a Dayz /Dead Linger type warning for buyers would for me give great value /resource for you as developers and not put any massively OTT commitments beyond your blog promisses .
 I came from the Arma 3 scene and there is 1000s of disolusioned people there who are craving co -op , that would also be a great thing to look to aim for if you get enough revenue for the Alpha .

 anyway ill be happy giving you a bit more if you add the blog stuff and ask me for another £10 direct on top of what i paid for the Alpha no problem

 
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: 2eyed on February 10, 2014, 03:45:31 pm
Great foresights - but why not doing moon first and the other planets (mars) later, since our sights on earth are more affected by moon light and the moon itself than by faraway mars. The moon data also should be more precise.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: cameni on February 12, 2014, 02:49:29 am
Right now the planets don't reside in a common universe, for that we need to tidy some stuff up, separating global world rendering settings from individual planets etc. Otherwise yes, the Moon data are of better detail, with the best global resolution of ~120m.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: foxfiles on February 12, 2014, 08:12:02 am
However, without funding from an investor, this would rely on crowd funding. A successful campaign basically requires either a proven name, a promise of future success, or a good prototype............

Both projects share a lot of common engine functionality, together with our other activities, so we are still moving on without having to face tough decisions, but I guess that time comes later this year.

It sounds like you are "writing" a new business plan there, are you?
Your technology is still at an early stage with broad potential applications... B2C (gaming / flight sim.) BUT potential B2B also.
Are you still at the R&D / proto stage? yourself say that you are; with more coding needed before trying to show or launch any proto product or make a market segmentation.
What I mean is that you are in a typical business startup process and
why not look for seed capital or VC (venture capital) fund raising ?
I am not against crowd funding but your techno has a wide spectrum
and I'm afraid that this fund raising system will impose you to "reduce" your spectrum... and it would be a pity
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: cameni on February 13, 2014, 07:24:47 am
It's actually just a response to the regular inquiries about a simulator based on OT. As I wrote at the beginning, apart from making the tech demo and using it also as a kind of a tech promo, on the back-end we are working with companies that are using OT for those special sim projects. That side of things is going to keep us busy and in business for years. In fact we could close the facade now, if we didn't care for other things ;)

But our interest here is to cover a broader field where OT could find its use, as you wrote - to keep the spectrum wide.
As for why not going for VC - as we don't have to, we rather opt to not have a leg in a shark's mouth. Currently any OT-based app can be made only with our participation on the project (because alpha, docs etc), which we clearly state to any interested party. We have been approached by a couple of companies that want to make this or that using OT. Funny thing is that those of them who seek VC often come back that the investor wants OT to be a part of the investment safeguard. That's because they (the companies) use OT capabilities when presenting their best feathers before the investor, pointing at its uniqueness and market advantage, and the investor sees where the value is and wants to secure with that.
That makes some parts of the equation redundant, reduced to an investor willing to get into OT, basically.

Crowd funding gives you a lot more freedom, but it's also technically far more challenging. Talking directly to the fans and enthusiasts, you must convince the audience you are the right team and have the right tech to make the thing they want to happen. Unlike with an investor who cares only for the financial success and ultimately expects a sellout.

As I wrote we technically don't need the crowd funding for ourselves to function. But it looks that crowd funding is nowadays the only way how to get some relatively niche products developed at all. The net is full of stories from game devs about how traditional investors turn them down because they do see it too risky and not lucrative enough, yet the project gets a big support from the crowd. Simulators seem to me to be one of such projects, though I'm not so sure about whether the community would be so willing as with the other "game" styles. That's what we are trying to find out, and discussing with a few small & dedicated developers, in seek of a prototype that could be used to launch a campaign.

But the OT usage is much wider than that. Maybe we should set up a poll, asking people what type of app they would like to see us to create and set up a campaign for, to assemble a team that would get an early support from us so that the app/sim/game would get an early start before OT is generally usable ...
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: ZeosPantera on February 13, 2014, 11:37:34 am
I'd want the campaign to be for an awesome SDK.. Target the mod makers and dreamers of the world in ALL categories not just just the simulation crowd or even the "gaming" community directly. Players tend to follow mod makers in all forms so if you could sell it as a flight sim platform AND an RTS platform AND an off-road racing game AND Photography simulator AND hunting platform AND space landing sim AND World War II platform AND science and physics learning tool AND Astronomy Simulator AND beautiful background generator etc etc etc.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: cameni on February 13, 2014, 12:18:23 pm
A SDK won't find enough backers. This must address the gaming population. Mod makers usually aren't the ones that have money to spare (at least not before making a successful mod), and getting gamers to support project with a promise that it will bring so much cool stuff once the moders get their hands on it .. is one indirection too many.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: John514 on February 13, 2014, 01:02:12 pm
Lets just focus on the main task of developing the Outerra engine, followed by the Anteworld game. That should be a steady development and founding resource.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: DeanosBeano on February 13, 2014, 02:17:12 pm
Lets just focus on the main task of developing the Outerra engine, followed by the Anteworld game. That should be a steady development and founding resource.
Agreed , there is some inconsistencies to be ironed out in the basics of the engine and the limited inputs of jbsim and terrain manipulation to name a few that will not be acceptible to the purveyors of an engine as they are to a hobbyist addon maker or excited adventurer

 I point out the crater glitch showing white lines at random points and similar with roads that raise or lower the terrain
In addition cockpits can disappear and rotors on ah64
The wheel contact and basic physics are also a little inconsistent too Alt R are too frequently used for a land based scenario at this point

All of the above are of course not complaints and I am sure not new discoveries but in context here I am sure the Devs know these tiny things must be eliminated too pass QC of any potential buyer for commercial use in a mass arena
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: foxfiles on February 14, 2014, 04:09:48 am
I agree with both of you John & DeanosBeano on the fact that OT's team must still "focus on the main tasks related to developing their engine core"...
But what I understand is that Cameni (Brano) and Angrypig are having small developers who are willing to help & work for them on certain parts of the engine; to accelerate the development process... or am I wrong?

As in this world nobody works for free
(if you know talented devs. who do so, tell me  :D) 
then they need to find a way to make their dev team "grow" a bit without falling in the usual finance & capitalistic mess.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: SilentEagle on February 14, 2014, 01:23:59 pm
Nobody has said that the Outerra team was going to quit working on the engine.  In fact, the engine will probably be in a continual state of development until some of the first games are released.  You have to start somewhere and sometime, and the influx of money for future games/sims to be built on this engine will help bring Outerra to where it needs to be by focusing on the correct priorities.

Many of those issues with physics you mention are nothing to worry about.  Any sim that gets built on Outerra will expand the capabilities of the current physics engines and improve or correct issues related to it.  For example, JSBSim is an open source code and can be modified to do whatever the developer wants it to do.  I have already greatly expanded its capabilities in my own testing with it.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: DeanosBeano on February 14, 2014, 03:20:16 pm
Nobody has said that the Outerra team was going to quit working on the engine.  In fact, the engine will probably be in a continual state of development until some of the first games are released.  You have to start somewhere and sometime, and the influx of money for future games/sims to be built on this engine will help bring Outerra to where it needs to be by focusing on the correct priorities.

Many of those issues with physics you mention are nothing to worry about.  Any sim that gets built on Outerra will expand the capabilities of the current physics engines and improve or correct issues related to it.  For example, JSBSim is an open source code and can be modified to do whatever the developer wants it to do.  I have already greatly expanded its capabilities in my own testing with it.
Yup , Nobody said they were quitting thats correct  they only advised to keep the focus on the core.
  Hopefully you can share your JBSIM progress that would be a nice help , i am new here and hope to learn this aspect a bit more but apart from Take on Helicopters where i had some experience tinkering witrh xml files  i am complete novice.
 
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: D-TVPB on February 28, 2014, 01:11:10 pm
Gentlemen,

I am new to this forum although I follow Outerra for about three years now.

With all due respect! I see that your company has a brilliant product so far. BUT: I also see that you are developing this product since over five years now. Considering the speed of development and the state of the product leads me to the assumption that you have smart developers and a good approach but certainly not enough men-power to let it lift off in next time.

Smart people cost money. So it is all about financing. Imagine what your team could do if you would have a big team dedicated developers working full time on this project supported by third party developers for special tasks!

Certainly investors will ask for a return and certainly an investor will limit the freedom of the company. But if you refuse to work with a wealthy investor you will need another five years until you have a full operational product to come to the market!

I am not an investor but “only” a dedicated user of flight simulation software. I see  a very big market for a good simulation engine: ESP/FSX is completely outdated, P3D 2.1 is also based on a legacy code and not really up-to-date, X-plane struggles with the problem that it has a boss who doesn’t want to develop it to be a good commercial solution, and I don’t see other available global engines. Therefore I hope that the Outerra team quickly finds an investor who is willing to pick up the pearl that Outerra is and to take the risk of the development and fund it with a reasonable amount!

Good luck, Outerra!
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: Cycle on April 01, 2014, 06:06:09 am
Outerra flight simulator is my dream! Please Kickstarter!
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: Barnstormer on April 07, 2014, 09:14:38 am
Yes, I am with you at 100% for a Kickstarter campaign for a great flight sim with Open Street Map capability !
look the success of Star citizen or Kingdom Come Deliverance.
Title: Re: 2013 retrospective, 2014 look ahead
Post by: HiFlyer on April 07, 2014, 04:26:06 pm
Yes, I am with you at 100% for a Kickstarter campaign for a great flight sim with Open Street Map capability !
look the success of Star citizen or Kingdom Come Deliverance.

I wonder even with an outrageously successful kickstarter, how long it would take for the current small team to ramp up to a full scale effort......

Seems things could go both ways.