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Outerra Tech Demo download. Help with graphics driver issues

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Author Topic: Zeos' Suggestions  (Read 36660 times)

ZeosPantera

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Zeos' Suggestions
« on: December 25, 2010, 05:38:12 am »

I suggest everyone make a separate thread and we can comment and combine ideas to help guide the game to be as simple and awesome as possible. Nothing crazy here, I will try to keep suggestions relevant and hopefully easy to implement. Excuse me if I ramble and this ends up incomplete.. I can't sleep.

I think in what could probably only be seen as "hardcore mode" ANY noclip flying should be completely prevented in order to set the right atmosphere.


Story/Setting::
Before I get off on a tangent let me work out my vision of the START of this campaign.

 Having players either choose their spawn (hometowns mostly) or be randomly place on the globe next to the shore (fishing/trade) or the mountains (mining/lumber) or the plains (farming) will set the 3 main classes. The people on the plains create the most food, the people in the mountains create the most building materials needed by all 3 classes and the shore people have direct access to easy trade routes and can fish. Perhaps oil can be found on the plains or by the shore if you are lucky. Oil will drive the reconstruction of our new world just as it tears our current one apart. (I am a sucker for Mad Max Films)

Game Opening::

Welcome to outerra (playername), You are alone now but out there are others and you can find them and trade once you are ready(1) Here is a truck, a gun (for hunting food), parts to a plane and helicopter you can't use yet, some wood planks, a ham radio and enough fuel to last several weeks.


Since you are going for a sims type developmental game you will need to start with nearly nothing and work toward the set goal of....  I assume long life and prospering via trade and societal development. Unlike the sims however you the player will be getting your hands dirty! Use of the bulldozer to fell tree's and lay roads(2).  Simple structures should be possible to build out of the starting wood planks for storage and shelter. An Oregon Trail type inventory system keeps track of very rudimentary supply types (food, lumber, ammo, fuel)


(1) ie once the cloud has other settlers near or a type of live multiplayer is enabled.

(2) I presume you would be able to drive the dozer or assign an entire path or even two points and the dozer will be able to make roads hundreds of miles to other settlements automatically over an in-game amount of time based on the distance and complexity of the road route. Some resources like crushed rock may also be required to lay road.


Vehicles:::
We know currently of only one land vehicle. The Tatra 815

Two Flying. The Cessna and Apache

And one "semi" floating vehicle the DDG-96

Having a road generator system for the game may require some sort of tractor or bulldozer to lay down the roads. I can't see using the current noclip system in its current state.
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Blockaderunner

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Zeos' Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2010, 06:23:55 am »

That's cool.

Add here a technology-invention-implementation triad and it will shine. Of course, huge nations are included. I'll return with more detailed explanation.
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cameni

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Zeos' Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2010, 07:14:44 am »

Quote from: ZeosPantera
Having a road generator system for the game may require some sort of tractor or bulldozer to lay down the roads. I can't see using the current noclip system.
I think we can easily use a kind of design/planning mode without ruining the immersion by saying that player is wearing futuristic HUD glasses or a helm that overlays graphics over the visuals.

Presently the road editor looks like this:


Making the effect look more HUDdish and styling the dialogs could blend it into the game nicely, IMO.

Of course, the planning mode is just that - a planning mode. Actual road will have to be built by a machine, and it will take some time. There should be a vegetation cleaner that initially clears the path. Perhaps not a dozer, but something that cuts the trees and chews them in whole, producing a building material or energy. With a dozer the trees would have to vanish or something, that I don't like.
 After the cleaning, another machine would produce the road surface, consuming appropriate resources. This reminds me of one video of :)

Alternatively, dirt roads can be made by repeated driving over a cleaned path, the effect could be made continuous.
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cameni

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« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2010, 07:39:36 am »

Quote from: ZeosPantera
Before I get off on a tangent let me work out my vision of the START of this campaign.

 Having players either choose their spawn (hometowns mostly) or be randomly place on the globe next to the shore (fishing/trade) or the mountains (mining/lumber) or the plains (farming) will set the 3 main classes.
We have an idea about the starting point, that would also show the scale and capability of the game. If the humans returned on a spaceship to recolonize the earth, we could show just that - players would start off of a huge spaceship in a colony pod that contains everything necessary to start the campaign. So they would begin in these ships high above the planet, descending down on it, choosing their place. Of course they should be able to select it on a map or by a name too.

Here's a cool twist that can be used with Google Maps. When people had to leave, they took all data they could, along with a snapshot of Google Map databases. So now when they come back after some thousands of years, all they have for navigation are those "ancient Google maps" .. which are the current ones Google provides ;)

It shouldn't be against their terms either - they would be used for mapping purposes, running in browser ..
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ZeosPantera

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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2010, 01:14:25 pm »

I hear only good things. I used the term bulldozer very loosely. I imagine any vehicle http://i175.photobucket.com/albums/w158/scottrell001/LevellerSnaps.png could be used if the model made sense for what it had to accomplish. Wheeled or tracked with perhaps a giant bag on the back to collect the all the building materials. OH.. What if after it cut X number of trees It placed a stack next to the road and moved on? Forcing you to travel and collect the resources and the possibility of future raiders stealing it (if possible in the future).

I love the dirt road wear-in tech and can't wait to see a demo of that. If weather is implemented I would hope in the rain dirt roads form faster.

How is this for an idea, what if there were a persistent orbiting space-station used to coordinate the rebuilding effort. That would force players to take the X minute trip up and down for ____ or ____ keeping the grandeur of the space travel prevalent throughout. In order to make roads necessary, heavy supplies should not be able to go on the spacecraft or helicopter.

The Google Maps idea is also good. Perhaps some of the old roadways could be in-place all be it in HORRIBLE disrepair but giving the sense of a previous society.
http://www.americansouthwest.net/wyoming/photographs700/old-road.jpg
Perhaps they can be rebuilt for less resources then building a new road.
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cameni

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« Reply #5 on: December 25, 2010, 02:11:12 pm »

Quote from: ZeosPantera
How is this for an idea, what if there were a persistent orbiting space-station used to coordinate the rebuilding effort. That would force players to take the X minute trip up and down for ____ or ____ keeping the grandeur of the space travel prevalent throughout. In order to make roads necessary, heavy supplies should not be able to go on the spacecraft or helicopter.
Actually there's a whole story behind it that we are loosely developing with Shawn, in which the ship plays a significant role. I don't want to give it out to public yet, but yes - in that scenario the transfers between the ship and the settlers deal mostly with technology and rare elements, so no big loads.

Quote
The Google Maps idea is also good. Perhaps some of the old roadways could be in-place all be it in HORRIBLE disrepair but giving the sense of a previous society.
Exactly. Main roads from OSM could be imported for that purpose. Ruins of big cities would be nice too ..
 BTW those hills in Manhattan - I think the data contain samples with heights of solid structures on ground, so these would be some skyscrapers that get interpolated into hills of rubble in the engine.
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C. Shawn Smith

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Zeos' Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2010, 02:40:22 pm »



This is just a simple quick and dirty way to make the GUI without detracting from the immersion.  If, like Cameni says, the player is given a datapad/eyepiece (similar to what you might see an Apache pilot wear), then the upper right area can "swing into view" when a hotkey is pressed, giving access to the construction tools.  Likewise, perhaps the view takes on a slightly bluish tone, with a wireframe overlay to make it look like a computer constructed display, while in construction mode.  Also, this eyepiece could be your general "Survey Tool."  When you click the hotkey, it swings into view, and you select "Survey Region."  When this happens, the view behind the eyepieces shows the terrain in wireframe mode, with a red scan line moving up and down.  As it continues scanning, a readout shows resources in the area, and in what quantities.  It'll send that information to your datapad and save it, so you can come back to it later if you decide to mine the area.

Alternately, clicking a hotkey could bring up a Datapad with a mini-wireframe view of the local area.    When you're done, the datapad disappears (or consider in a First Person perspective, we see your hand holding the datapad, and as you mouse over it, your other hand swings into view and presses the buttons/sliders.

As for the actual construction process, I can see a massively monstrous vehicle "unrolling" a road behind it according to the path you set down.  For buildings, imagine the ship in orbit sending down the basic construction pod (with a loud crash and a flash of particles and dust), and you feed it the raw materials.  When you hit the green button, it begins automatically constructing the building.  When it's done, the construction pod packs itself up, requests refueling and the nominal usage fee (you have to have money sinks to prevent the economy from exploding), and then launches itself back to the ship in orbit for refitting and the next user (of course, if you don't refuel it and pay the fee, it never relaunches and bars you access to the building ... maybe even going so far as to deconstruct the building, salvaging the materials, and blasting off, leaving you without the resources as punishment).
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flightmaster

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« Reply #7 on: December 25, 2010, 09:38:29 pm »

why don't you just make the game a MMORPG? maybe something similar to runescape except more futuristic of course...
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ZeosPantera

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« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2010, 09:47:50 pm »

Quote from: flightmaster
why don't you just make the game a MMORPG?
I am all for the MMO part but the RPG bit doesn't quite fit. I mean you can say when you're playing as Gordon Freeman and fighting the combine you are role playing.. I think this engine being a simulator will need alot more of a hands on, define your own destiny sort of thing.
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C. Shawn Smith

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« Reply #9 on: December 25, 2010, 09:55:46 pm »

Consider it a "Second Life" combined with all the best of many varied aspects of MMOs, with a few extras, as well as a combo of FPS, combat, simulators, etc, without all the drawbacks to MMOs or other types of games.  You'll be able to do much MUCH more than just your average MMORPG. :)

*edit* As Cameni said in either this thread or the other one, they're basically setting the foundation of a whole new type of category of games.
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OGREMAN

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« Reply #10 on: December 25, 2010, 10:13:52 pm »

So here we are, the "ground breakers" for an advanced civilisation with technologies that are carbon neutral, renewable energy from vegetable matter is routine and your mission is to lay down the critical infrastructure that will smooth the way for the colonists who are crossing the vast reaches of deep space in generational ships.

The "ground breakers" mother ship is performing a detailed survey of the planet and providing information about resources but there is a problem because the instrument used to detect one critical resources (unobtainium) was damaged during the long inter galactic flight and is only capable of surveying at a much reduced rate, this means that in order to repair the survey instrument a special compound must be manufactured from earthbound resources so the "ground breakers" must survey and exploit planetry resources by direct observation and testing (ie exploration).

The driving force for this is the urgent need to explore and map critical resources and to lay down infrastructure (roads, rail and airport) so that these resources can then be extracted and put to use to make a complex compound needed for the repair of the motherships survey instruments.
In order to manufacture this compound there will have to be a lot of maufacturing of other kinds and not all of the needed raw materials will be available in the immediate area, making it esential to explore other continents in the search for key materials.
Progress is made by the accumulation of sufficient resources, the aquisition of recources requires colonists so the Built environment must be attractive to them. As colonists arrive they choose which colony base they wish to occupy and yours is not the only "ground breaking" team there is competition to attract colonists. The race is on to build a eutopia...
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C. Shawn Smith

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« Reply #11 on: December 26, 2010, 12:48:34 am »

Just wanted to quickly add a potential monicker for the game's category:  MMOWB ... Massively Multiplayer Online World Builder :p

@Ogreman: it would be more along the lines of a ship that had been in deep space, returning to the Earth to find civilization gone.  Cameni and Angrypig have always discussed on the forums exploration and rebuilding of a "virgin" Earth, without the current influence of humanity (in one conversation I had with Cameni, we both moaned about the absence of stars in our own skies due to light pollution.  I used to be able to view the rings of Saturn more or less with the naked eye where I live, and the moons of Jupiter through even the cheapest store-bought telescope.  But not anymore.)

Other than that, I think the rest of your post is more or less along the lines of what they're looking at, as well as Zeos's ideas.  Honestly, from what little I knew of the direction prior to this release, I think Cameni and Angrypig were as surprised as I was how close to their idea Zeos's (and now yours and the others in this post) is to their initial thoughts.

To add a bit to Zeos's ideas, there are a number of possibilities that open up here.  For example, jobs.  A person who only wanted to experience the flight simulator portion of the game and who had access to the appropriate vehicle, could be responsible for ferrying resources and passengers (for a fee) to other parts of the world.  Potential traders could hire these individuals for the task, by posting on a Job Search bulletin board within the game.  And new players who decide they want to go to another part of the world could buy tickets on these planes, trains, buses, whatever, to get to their destination.  Others who need resources but don't want to do the task themselves could hire surveyors to do it for them, and even hire miners to extract the resources and/or process them.  Entire corporations could be setup for any of these endeavors, just as in the real world (although that would probably be a programming nightmare).  And those who want to only experience combat can hire themselves as mercenaries, and take mercenary-related jobs, or join up with an Army for bad field rations and combat pay :).  The only real drawback I see to this kind of system is the downtime while waiting to get to another location ... but I think that should be part of the beauty.  Everything, including down to the time of day, is rooted in real-time.  A day on our real Earth is a day in Outerra.  It would almost be a real world experiment in the evolution of a digital world, something that hasn't been done before on this scale.

Back on jobs:  In a lot of ways, this would be more of a skill-based system where a player could advance only skills he wanted to pursue, without necessarily tying himself to an individual profession or "class" (which is the bane of games like Warcraft).  And over time, he can change his skills as he evolves his own gameplay choices.

The ship in orbit is responsible for the initial funding and colonization.  Further needs can be purchased (more advanced buildings or vehicles) for a fee (creating a money-sink for the player, and driving the economy, as well as perhaps the Outerra Dev's teams profits).  These new buildings/vehicles can be created by the community and approved by the developers, or created/purchased by the developers from existing modelers around the world.

And as the engine/game develops, players who want to engage in "combat-related" activities could exist within the same world as a traditional (sorry for the term .. I'm a part-time care-bear myself) care-bear, who doesn't want any kind of combat at all.  Special devices aboard the ship in orbit could allow certain sections of the planet to be "combat-neutral," effectively stopping combat from happening at all within that particular area.

For people who want to create cities, new players can choose to "start" within a city, and establishing a home would require its purchase (or hiring an architect to design and build it), as well as paying taxes to the city for upkeep.  Or, for the adventurous newcomer, he could opt to try an undeveloped area, and build his home from scratch by the sweat of his brow.

*Edit* And to help facilitate initial starting players, one city could be pre-established: Outerra City.  Created as part of the design process, it would contain empty homes, factories, airports, a seaport, etc, to help the initial startup.

I don't, however, think the economy should necessarily be ensconced by "money."  The driving force behind re-colonization of a barren Earth should be more altruistic in nature, since we'd all be after the same thing.  However, there has to be something there in some fashion, but I haven't come up with a possible solution as of yet.  Credits are almost cliche now.

*Edit* Perhaps a "Reputation" can be exchanged.  Give me X number of resources, and I'll give you Y amount of Reputation.  But really, that's not much different than Credits or Dollars :(
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ZeosPantera

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« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2010, 05:01:12 am »

God, I love this thread. OK. working from the bottom up.

Money - I agree it should be avoided. Credits as you said are a crappy concept and using just trade to "fuel" an economy seems like a great way to scam new people but will be hard to balance. I do think however a rudimentary stock exchange with value of items should be accessable. (ie  Latnum +8 to being worth 48 arbitrary units while pure Mahogany -3 and is only trading at 12) So in theory you should be able to trade 1 unit of latnum for 4 units of mahogony. Just a thought.

The Pre-Established City. I like this idea but lets expand it to a territory that is "safe". Everyone lands here initially and learns the skills to mine, fly, drive, road-build, hunt, build shelter, play poker, use communications** they can leave the SAFE territory and move outward to more resource rich and dangerous lands on their own (or in a group if the Multi-player comes to fruition). I presume all the resources would then be used to build up and expand the safe zone or even start other safe zones where X players congregate and can build the massive refineries and factories.

{quick side thought. What if we actually came back to earth to harvest a crazy post apocalyptic mineral that now exists for a super-weapon needed to fight off space enemies, Therefore putting some pressure to gather enough to fight off the .... Scarans .... before they are able to reach earth (say 18 months in real time) So everyone works to prepare for the invasion and in that time the gameplay can slowly transition from farming resource mining to warfare preparation+resource mining. Then maybe some farm boy who spent his summers fixing moisture evaporators could find himself in a position to save the day when the death star approaches. What a game plot!}

Combat: I don't want this game to turn into black-ops any time soon or ever because black ops sucks. But with no danger comes a harsh reality. We may as well all get jobs in a salt mine in Canada if we don't plan on shooting something. Maybe not other players or people, but there has got to be some firepower in my hands for the... zombies, mutant post-apocalyptic nazi's, creepers, werewolves, mechanical atomic spiders, bunnies.. Something!! This would also give us a chance to use a modified road builder to make fences / security around strategic building and structures.

** Communications. I think a SMS system of chat messages should be implemented but should not be the main communications medium. Instead some sort of VOIP radio communications that decays over distance if not boosted/repeated and ALL communications on the planet travels across open channels so if I am looking for my friend gambit I tune to 439.2 Mhz but at any time anyone can listen in on our conversation and join or just eaves drop. Standard frequencies are set for emergency or trade communications. I miss the days of CB radio communication.

Jerbs: I think letting anyone that joins simply be afforded the chance to do anything they wish is the best way. If they are no good at piloting then they probably won't choose to be a charter pilot (probably). If you like shooting being a hunter shooting and gathering food for the population would probably be a good career choice. The bulletin board sounds slightly too RPG but I guess having all the request made by real humans changes the feel quite a bit.

1:1 Time scale. Yes and at the same time.. NO. It can't be done for the simple reason that someone like me probably would get on at the same time every NIGHT and play for a few hours. If the time lined up to be daytime all the time that would not be SO bad but if it never turned day. I would kill myself. I think a 2X-6X time scale would be best and it wouldn't need to be a whole number. 2.39X would mean if you came on at 9pm every night it would be 57.36 hours pass per real day. That means in a 4 hour play time you could start at in-game sunrise of 6am and play all the way too 3:30pm but the next day at 9 pm real time it would start you at around... 5pm (math hurt brain). This is just an example and it probably wouldn't hurt if the alpha went through a series of different time ratios to see what we like. Can't really judge on paper.

As for my ideas being close to the dev's.. Great minds think alike or this is a very predictable game layout.. Hopefully more former less latter.

Seeing Saturns rings with the naked eye. To be realistic in the big outerra city the stars should be subdued as they are today and very visible in the scary uncharted territories.

I just like World Simulator. People may get thrown by the MMO prefix.

Now onto some more pressing matters. The forms of

Transport need to be made so that a balance is achieved. It makes no sense to allow your plane/in-atmo flight vehicle to carry heavy loads. That would make roads and truck transport useless. Also bringing supplies UP to the orbiting space station / mothership shouldn't be allowed in large quantity but coming down with a new vehicle or heavy equipment should be possible.

Here is how I figure the vehicles available for each player.

[list=*]
  • Rocket - Takes you and your supplies down to the surface from the station. Has very limited horizontal movement (500 mile radius). Can only be used to return to the station but with little to no supplies. Rarely used. [/*]
[list=*]
  • JumpJet - Think of it as the Cessna from the future. Able to take small but very fast trips across the earth (1000 miles in 30 mins?) Can carry some supplies and maybe a light scout vehicle. I imagine this would be the first vehicle you learn to use.[/*]
[list=*]
  • Scout Vehicle - A small buggy used to ... scout.. for resources. Useful on and offroad for fast moving in a limited range, carried by jumpjet. Can carry some resources including more fuel to extend the range.[/*]
[list=*]
  • Heavy Transport - The Tatra basically. No roads required for this resource mover. Holds TONS of stuff. May be able to tow the jump jet if need be? Not sure how you get this out to a distance, perhaps in 2 parts on the jump jet that once together make the tatra work.[/*]
[list=*]
  • Bulldozer or Engineering truck - This is the Swiss army knife of land vehicles. It chops down trees, lays down roadways and moves earth. Has automatic and manual modes. Takes up about the same space as the tatra.[/*]
GPS - Some form of point to point GPS should be enabled allowing the following of a linear path created by the player. example. Mark 10 dots on the map guiding through a valley and once within ~50m of a dot it disappears and only the rest remain. The dot's should be visible to the player from normal view with the next dot highlighted with a distance marker under and consecutive dots faded beyond. Can be useful for the AI road-builder if the road is to be very long.

Electricity/Power/Fuel - Yeah. Fuel and power. Do we has?. is the question. What are we saying about this? I personally am an oil man and I think drilling for oil on the virgin earth is always a great way to start the morning and I am sure it is exactly what Cameni and pig have in mind.!. OR perhaps we go full electric? Solar panels and fission reactors. I think it would make a positive statement and do some self advertising if alot of alternative energies are represented here. How about taking common minerals and mixing them with SEA water in a futuristic refinery. That way we get a liquid fuel that burns like gas and takes energy to make like gas but isn't gasoline. And it forces use of the shoreline to create it.
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cameni

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« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2010, 08:18:25 am »

Quote from: ZeosPantera
...

Money - probably a form of energy. If there will be some services from the ship (mothership), one could be paying for them with some energy credits obtained for real money AND with some in-game resources refined from raw mined stuff, so that a rich kid cannot buy everything without getting his hands dirty. A market should be there, to support exchange and transport.

Combat: I agree there should be something one would have to defend from, mainly when expanding and securing new lands. Something .. I don't know what yet. A virgin planet would imply that wolf becomes dominant again, but the fact the planet had virginized in the first place allows for other kind of .. somethings.

1:1 Time scale. I have the same feelings - yes and at the same time.. NO :D
I agree that it will have to be tested.

Transport I'd allow for many more means of transport. We want this to be a basis for other simulator type games, and the goal is letting player to recreate a piece of world as he sees it. I'd not diverge too far to futuristic engines for vehicles for that matter.
We definitely need to support railroads here, even if the default locomotive and cars will have a specific character. The vehicles that we've got now are just placeholders - cannot be used because of brand licensing. Making something akin to T817 shouldn't be a problem. But definitely a Tatra backbone chassis :)

Electricity/Power/Fuel - To be consistent, there probably won't be much oil left. AFAIK, Angripig's for algae + sun to produce the fuel. Me, I don't know yet.
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C. Shawn Smith

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« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2010, 12:11:07 pm »

I agree on the time scale thing, since I'd be mostly playing late night too.  But I've always been fascinated by a 1:1 scale, especially in an engine/game that mimics the Earth in this detail.  This would be a cool addition, but as you both have pointed out, it would be a nightmare (almost literally) for some.

The other drawback to a 1:1 timescale would be interplanetary travel, if it's ever added ... imagine the time it would take just trying to get to Mars  :lol:
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What we think, we become -- Buddha
There is no spoon -- Neo, The Matrix
The Cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be. -- Carl Sagan
Outerra is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be. -- Me :)
- Yes, I'm still around ... just been busy with other projects ;)
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