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Outerra Tech Demo download. Help with graphics driver issues

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cameni

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« on: December 22, 2010, 05:18:18 pm »

As you know there are several developers that would like to make games and applications with Outerra engine. However, the process is rather slow, partly because new commercial projects that are aware of possibilities promised by the engine and at the same time capable to use them are only being planned, and partly because the engine is not yet ready for use by developers other than us - many features are still missing and there's no documentation either.

To kill two birds with one stone, we are seriously considering making a game on the engine ourselves first. The game should maximally utilize the procedural world we've got, providing entertainment in multiple areas - exploring the world, driving and piloting vehicles, building stuff etc. At the same time we will be forced to make the engine more feature rich, to be usable by other developers later.

Here's the description of a game idea (will be continuously updated) that we would like to follow. Since we want to be in touch with our community, we'd like to discuss it here too.

We are eager to read your opinions and answer your questions about this all, while also enhancing it along the way. Thanks!
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Jagerbomber

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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2010, 05:38:22 pm »

If I read it correctly, the lack of real time traffic, or direct online multiplayer, at least at first, is obviously disappointing, but other than that...
 :lol:
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C. Shawn Smith

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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2010, 05:38:30 pm »

I like the idea of owning pieces of land in an online version of the game.  Since the world is so large, I imagine there will be PLENTY of space to go around :D.  And I LOVE the indie-concept of low starting fees, and progressing upwards.  This gives Outerra the ability to expand almost exponentially as more and more content-savvy 3rd party users come into play.  In my very first online game, Total Annihilation: Kingdoms, the developers never released their design tools to help improve the functionality and replay-ability of the game.  It took savvy 3rd party developers to hack into the individual game units to help extend the game's very short-life span.  By tapping into that resource early, Outerra development could explode very quickly.

I'm going to go over the design document again later tonight or tomorrow, and will post some thoughts I've had regarding the game proposal.  There are a lot of interesting possibilities with your design ... the first regarding individual computers "hosting," for lack of a better word, "realms" that would allow users and players to experience possibilities they might not otherwise have considered.  Perhaps some sort of "portal object" would allow sandboxed and online players to travel between various incarnations of the world, if the host system is in some way "officially registered."

I guess the short of that would be something similar to Second Life's linking system, where you can click a link and go immediately into that person's developed gaming area.  That would also have an advantage of keeping the "wargames" stuff separated from the "peace" areas, without unnecessarily griefing players who want to just explore and admire the beauty of the virgin Earth.

*Edit: And something tells me this is going to be the most popular thread on the forums.  If you guys had a penny for every read and post on this particular thread, I'll lay odds that you'll be millionaires by the end of the year ;)

*Edit2: Because apparently even someone who professes to be a writer can't spell very well at times :D
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RaikoRaufoss

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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2010, 07:58:27 pm »

I'd love to see something like PlanetSide.  That would be very nice indeed with this engine.
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C. Shawn Smith

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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2010, 11:51:34 pm »

Before I log out for the night (early day tomorrow), I was thinking about this:

Have you guys considered some sort of in-game (er, in-engine) chat functionality?  I think with the game design you're proposing, and the lack (initially) of real-time traffic/multiplayer environment (except as noted on possible "host servers" on individual computers), this would be a necessary and needed function to facilitate communication with the alpha/demo users to discuss expansion and modifications of the engine, including models and other things.  It could also help in keeping any models/modifications consistent with your design plan for both the game and the engine, as interactivity amongst those of us who would be exploiting that part of the design could collaborate a bit more easily, and ensure that we maintain a certain level of "professional design" that's hard to come by in 3rd party development (specifically in regards to professional quality models, etc).

Not to mention it would make trading resources and the in-game economy a LOT easier :).

I haven't seen anything on the forums that discusses an in-game/in-engine chat system, so thought I'd throw that out there.  Perhaps one of the existing text-based chat systems could be easily integrated into the system without a lot of overhead or head-aches for you :).  Since you already have a Chromium integration to the engine, it wouldn't be so far-fetched that an existing chat system could be easily integrated, would it?
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cameni

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« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2010, 01:34:48 am »

Quote from: cshawnsmith
Have you guys considered some sort of in-game (er, in-engine) chat functionality?
I think we mentioned the possibility already - using web services for such tasks is the most natural way here. Since web code can directly call engine functions, the integration can be more thorough. Things like the chat, web shop, and almost any such online functionality can be done this way. UI for tools is already done via html with javascript, and this can be easily modded.
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ZeosPantera

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« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2010, 04:49:15 am »

I predicted this thread months ago. Now Lets get down to brass tax (tacks? never understood that saying) I apologize for quoting practically the entire game description but it is the only way I can have this post make sense to a new user.

Quote from: Outerra Team
Our idea is to make a kind of earth re-colonization game, where players start to build on our home planet again, after being forced to withdraw from it a long time ago (for whatever reason) to space or underground, taking documentation and conserving some existing machines & vehicles so that they can kick-start the civilization again when it will be possible. Upon reentry the effects of previous human civilization will be long since eradicated, with nature reclaiming the cities and almost everything else man created, but players will start with modern tools and vehicles preserved from our contemporary or a slightly more advanced age.

Sounds like the plot to WarZone2100 A great RTS that has survived to this day after all the rights to continue its development were made open-source. www.wz2100.net
Granted that game had you developing weapons to fight off marauders and opposing AI tanks and such. Perhaps a mod for a future revision of OT. As for tools and vehicles I presume Tatra's, Cesna's and international space stations will be in abundance!


Quote
The game should include two main modes in the beginning:

   1. Offline sandbox mode allowing to freely explore and modify the environment
   2. Online mode with resource mining and a basic economy, cities, transport networks and trade

It will be basically a slowly running  transportation and world-building game where one can design his city and lands, but also to directly control the vehicles to transport resources and goods, or to explore and prospect the land for resources to be mined, to build road and rail networks, interconnecting with others and building the economy if he wishes so.

Offline mode sounds pretty normal but the second mode is not quite described the way I would be comfortable with. In other words having Outerra turn into this would probably mark the end of me. Those Germans love farming!
 

Quote
Online here means that the game world state would be stored in a cloud system such as Google App Engine, and people will be able to see the creations of others around the world, trade with each other, actually seeing the transports as they go. That means that AI or scheduled traffic will be visible, but not so the direct actions of other players - not until there are special servers capable of handling real time traffic. There's one possibility that can do without such servers that could be applicable in this scenario - player's own computer (or a player's dedicated machine) may be used as a server for limited number of "visitors", handling the assigned area or event. For example, such an outside server could be used to control vehicle racing events organized by players. But any of this will not be essential for the game mechanism itself.

Well I believe a huge empty world alone is a very depressing one no matter the AI running around driving trucks. I see no point of entering a world like Outerra unless some friends can come along. You want to see me at my gaming happiest. 6 of my friends and I all at once "exploring" the 20 mile uphill of Pikes Peak in our favorite cars. Now us being in cars doesn't really matter. Here is that same experience in minecraft The interaction between other human beings is paramount. Now if this kind of interaction requires us to host our own servers, piggy backed onto the database system so be it. But multi-player is the only way you are going to get PEOPLE to want to PLAY in Outerra. Otherwise it is just a better looking google earth with the sims on it.

 
Quote
This design will allow for massively online world without having to care for server side infrastructure. Costs of online access and cloud computing should be included in the price for some initial period, but later it will have to be covered (for online access).

How much. I will write you a check tonight. Or after ATi fix their S**T!


Quote
Initial alpha version will focus around the exploration, driving and flying a limited number of vehicles. These should cover major vehicle types, with more vehicles coming later also perhaps from the community.

Need a car. Something... sporty.


Quote
Online account will come with the possibility to own certain amount of land that can be used to build on solely by the owner.

With the current number of people aware of Outerra that "amount" could be about 100,000 sq/mi and there would still be room for 575 people and that is just on land.
 

Quote
Mods should be normally possible and encouraged in the sandbox mode, but even for the online mode the mods that fulfill the requirements and get accepted may be included into game.

I imagine you could have this download via link right in-game. Would a mod load require OT to restart? Because I do not believe any game has ever been able to enable a new mod without restarting..  ;)

Quote
We would like to try the indie development model (known for example from Minecraft), when the game is released early in alpha stage for a reduced price so that enthusiastic gamers can support and even direct the development, getting all further updates and the final release for free.

1842 players online, in 942 servers. 2642060 registered users, of which 860538 (32.57%) have bought the game. Bought it at $14 US for the alpha and now $20 for the beta. So 12 million bucks so far

In the last 24 hours, 21326 people registered, and 5207 people bought the game That's $100,000 in sales in 1 day. I don't understand how!

Maybe you should start this game with pigs, chickens and cows. Also being able to punch trees could not hurt.

In summary I wait in anticipation for our shot at whatever comes out of this thread. Remember, you can please some of the people all of the time and all the people none of the time.. But you can't please everyone all the time. So do what you think is best regardless of us and our constant nagging. Except that multiplayer part, that is important.
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cameni

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« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2010, 07:33:54 am »

Yes I agree that multiplayer is very important to get and keep people playing the game. But a sure thing is that we won't be able to afford the server infrastructure needed to make it possible to run on a global scale.

Now the described online model is more suited for huge transportation/civilization style games on a whole planet for large amounts of players. These will be building cities and laying down the roads and railroad tracks, sending stuff around - basically building the world. The world they create will be stored in a cloud, accessible by others.

Players who don't feel like playing that aspect of the game could set up real-time servers that control the dynamic entities and a kind of gameplay, and play whatever game will be supported on these. However the cloud would still be sourced for definitions of the world you are in. So you don't like farming, but I guess you'd still like to see farms by the roadside as you zoom along. Imagine someone builds New York as a part of the strategic game, and you would take your guys and instantiate a car race there. The only thing is that initially players would have to provide their own server iron for that, until we can set up some global ones, but obviously that won't be easy&soon.

So the plan is about making a global world building game that would be able to carry instances of other game types going on in that environment.

Quote from: ZeosPantera
Quote
Online account will come with the possibility to own certain amount of land that can be used to build on solely by the owner.
With the current number of people aware of Outerra that "amount" could be about 100,000 sq/mi and there would still be room for 575 people and that is just on land.
Yes, the land would be plenty especially in alpha. We hope that the interest rises when it gets finally released on Steam or somewhere. I think alpha/beta testing will resolve many questions like how to proceed with that.

Quote
Quote
Mods should be normally possible and encouraged in the sandbox mode, but even for the online mode the mods that fulfill the requirements and get accepted may be included into game.
I imagine you could have this download via link right in-game. Would a mod load require OT to restart? Because I do not believe any game has ever been able to enable a new mod without restarting..  :wink:
Should be doable, depends on the type of mod.


Minecraft .. at least serves to show there are plenty of world builders out there :)
Maybe it's not for nothing that some people were exclaiming Minecraft 2! upon seeing Outerra. Not that it makes any sense to compare, but just what people think about doing ..
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Blockaderunner

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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2010, 08:52:19 am »

Quote from: cameni
I think alpha/beta testing will resolve many questions like how to proceed with that.

It's the only thing to do.
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ZeosPantera

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« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2010, 03:13:28 pm »

If you could nab the minecraft crowd and the Garrysmod Crowd you would be set. With Notch's inability to code correctly and the limitations of the source engine as far as map size and object/collision handling by the physics engine have really set an expiration date on its usefulness. I am sure I could convince the modelers of the basic gmod props to re-do them in whatever format OT would need so that the spirit of lego could live in OT. Does the Bullet Physics engine support constraints like rope, weld, axis etc? Because I imagine the ability to spawn a model and weld it to another should be easier then setting up an AI transport system.
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cameni

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« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2010, 04:07:14 pm »

Quote from: ZeosPantera
If you could nab the minecraft crowd and the Garrysmod Crowd you would be set.
I don't think we'll be getting a considerable chunk of either. Considerably higher hw demands than Minecraft and more complex controls and environment. For garrysmod we'd need to work on an universal physics system that would be necessarily poorly performing, and perfecting the object/collision handling would take enormous time while we still have a lot of work on the technology that we actually want to demonstrate in the first place. And I'm not convinced that planetary expanses are the thing that garrysmod needs .. though I don't know much about it and how big is the crowd behind it. I was taking it mostly as an interesting physics toy, and I can imagine it as an addon in Outerra as well, just not as a primary thing it should be about.

Quote
I imagine the ability to spawn a model and weld it to another should be easier then setting up an AI transport system.
I beg to differ, but it's not important. The important thing is with whom we'll be competing. Do we want people saying - it's better garrysmod, it's new minecraft clone - or that it's Outerra. I think we should focus on what we can do uniquely - planetary scale, procedural detail .. something that can really use it while also respecting our available resources.
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« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2010, 04:26:04 pm »

I think I may be getting too detailed on my posts here. Perhaps a more subtle approach. I think what I am getting at is that popular games have no real set goal. Minecraft has no goal.. Gmod certainly has no goal. Come to think of it.. Flight sim's have no goal either. The question is how do you work "doing nothing" so that it can best show an engine as huge as this?
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cameni

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« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2010, 04:51:03 pm »

From this point of view we are pretty safe, the game as described will not have a goal as well  :D
Building the world, building an empire in it .. what is it all for  :P

But seriously, for me the notion of a virgin planet being recolonized sparsely, with places to explore and stuff to build is intriguing. Though I'm a lonely player so my view is skewed. But hey, it has basically no goal :) That means we'll only discover what's there to do.
But the initial strange attractor for the game sounds good, doesn't it? A whole planet to play on .. or to be lost in. With a proper marketing strategy ..
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« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2010, 05:21:59 pm »

Hey, one of the most successful television series on the Earth was "based on nothing."

I will create my models in Lightwave, export to Collada format, import into the Outerra tool for refinement, and then setup in the engine.  I will have a villa on a nice little island, with a runway and a shipyard, and a Ferrari parked in the driveway.  Then, when my son is old enough, he will be able to fly anywhere in the world, sail in a yacht on the open sea, or drive the Ferrari without having to ask for Daddy's keys to his boring RL gold van.

An "open-ended" game is a catch-22 in many ways.  It allows for the absolute MAXIMUM of replay-ability.  In one respect, the engine/game is only bound by what you dream about, and you can make it anything you want.  On the other hand, that puts an extra burden on some of the potential players who may not have working knowledge of 3d modeling or modifications.  I think this latter part is less of a threat this year than it may have been, say, 5 years ago.  Most gamers who are interested either already know the processes, or know who to ask to help them in learning it.  And those of us in the know are usually open enough to share our designs freely.  I was amazed when I saw the number of free FSX models and add-ons.  That was refreshing.

My son's only 2 and a half, and he's already understanding the concept that the mouse drives the little pointer on the screen, and if you click the left mouse button in a certain area, it'll bring up the video with the airplane that he loves so much :p.  In another year, I'll have him working on modifications to the Outerra engine :D

But now I'm off on a tangent :).  The goal of most simulators is the experience itself ... the beauty of what you see around you.  You lose yourself in the moment, and forget that it's only a game, and that you'd never EVER be able to fly a 747 in real life, but you really don't care because it's just a game.

An exploration style game fits the Outerra engine well.  With over 500 million square kilometers being simulated, it will take years to walk from one end of a continent to the other, let alone trying to explore every little nook and cranny.  Perhaps a "Best of Outerra" quest, using the "Writing in the Grass" technique (sorry, my southern American upbringing is imagining a hippie saying, "Far out, Man!" every time I look at that thread lol), to take the end-user/player on a world wide tour of Outerra's most interesting places.  I know Lake Lewisville won't be there  :P

*edit: frickin' twitchy pinky finger hitting return before I'm ready grrrrrrrr.  

To continue that thought ... the world wide Outerra touring quest could end with some form of vehicle not seen before in the Outerra engine.  Some players could take weeks or months to complete it, while others take only a few hours.  But the vehicle reward (something unique and awesome ... maybe Santa's Sleigh and eight reindeer! :D).
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« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2010, 11:01:56 pm »

A flight simulator!
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