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tranthe

What happened to the good space games?

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Edited by tranthe

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Be careful about pinning too much some on SC, the signs are not exactly rosy at the moment: http://dereksmart.com/2017/06/star-citizen-final-countdown/

 

Beyond star citizen, I don't really know why the space genre is such an under-served niche. You should know that x3: reunion now has four spinoffs/expansions/remakes/I don't really know what the deal is there. Never the less, there's been X3: Albion Prelude, X3: terran conflict and X Rebirth (and friends?) since then.

 

You might want to take a closer look at one of the more recent entrants in the X universe. I have absolutely no idea if they're any good or not, but if you haven't looked, you might be missing something.

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Be careful about pinning too much some on SC, the signs are not exactly rosy at the moment: http://dereksmart.com/2017/06/star-citizen-final-countdown/

.

<sigh> That hory old chestnut again. I realise that he tells you what you want to hear, working for the competition and all, but you really should check your sources.

 

Derek Smart is a fuckwit. He's been around naysaying everyone elses efforts and bignoting his own since at least 1992, which is where I first encountered him in newsgroups. Aside from lying and distortion, he also has a restraining order out against him from one of the CIG staff.

 

Basically, you just quoted Andrew Wakefield - THE antivaxer.

 

Edit: just to clarify, there may well be issues with the game development, and certainly not all backers are happy to have been waiting so long, but using DS as a source is like using Infowars for your news.

Edited by Cybes
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Speaking of Derek Smart, it seems odd that no mention has been made of the Elite games.

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Speaking of Derek Smart, it seems odd that no mention has been made of the Elite games.

TBH, I never did get used to the turn&burn style of flight - not in the first one (yes, I'm that old), and not in any subsequent one either. It's inefficient even for missiles compared to yaw/pitch control,and completely disorienting for humans. E:D does allow p/y steering, sorta, but a housebrick is more responsive. So, I have E:D, but I haven't made any progress beyond the training mission.

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Be careful about pinning too much some on SC, the signs are not exactly rosy at the moment: http://dereksmart.com/2017/06/star-citizen-final-countdown/

.

<sigh> That hory old chestnut again. I realise that he tells you what you want to hear, working for the competition and all, but you really should check your sources.

 

Derek Smart is a fuckwit.

 

Correction 1: My doubts about SC well predate my starting to work for CCP, and stem from a professional understanding of the scale of the work they've promised to their backers. It's a bit cheeky of you to imply otherwise, I'm all but certain we've had discussions on this over beer in the past.

Correction 2: Derek Smart is not the source of this particular sign, and it can hardly be called an old chestnut when it's from 3 months ago. The source is a pair of documents filed with the UK government:

 

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08703814/charges/AHMo7d0tVN50wGM-FC6tbyhYlss

https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08815227/charges/W3FsufjDb8gTRZZqoCvnEAJKzSk

 

In both cases you can see that the agreement includes a "Floating charge covers all the property or undertaking of the company.". You can read more about that here: http://www.companylawclub.co.uk/fixed-and-floating-charges

 

The short version is that SC has taken out a loan, and secured it against 100% of all their assets and IP, worldwide. Think about that for a second.

 

Star citizen collected more than 100 million dollars from crowdfunding sources. That's obligation free cash in hand. They're now taking out a loan that comes with obligations, and to get that loan they've bet the entire farm, including the remaining money from the crowdfunding campaigns. Check sections 4.1.8 (Foundry42) and 4.2.8 (Cloud Imperium Games), they've staked "the Accounts (including all monies standing to the credit of each Account, all interest accrued on each Account and all debits represented by the foregoing)".

 

I don't wish SC ill, I've got a small ship of my own in a digital hangar somewhere I'd like to take for a spin some day. But you've got your head in the sand if you think the signs are good. Right out the gate, they made a tonne of promises about what the game would look like and what features it would have well before they'd even done enough technical exploration to know what they were really capable of as a company, let alone how far they could stretch the engine. There was a lot of questioning about the organizational challenge they were taking on, but they had all the money in the world, and as long as they had money they had all the time in the world. People figured there was a chance they might just about be able to pull it off.

 

But now it looks pretty damn suspiciously like the money is gone, and if true that means the time is gone too. I hope they pull through, and either way it'll be a hell of a case study to read. But SC is clearly more in peril than it has ever been. We might not know how in peril they are, maybe not that much in an absolute sense, but their company position today is quantifiably worse than their company position a year ago.

Edited by Sir_Substance

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Correction 2: Derek Smart is not the source of this particular sign, and it can hardly be called an old chestnut when it's from 3 months ago.

[...]

The short version is that SC has taken out a loan, and secured it against 100% of all their assets and IP, worldwide.

 

...

 

But you've got your head in the sand if you think the signs are good. Right out the gate, they made a tonne of promises about what the game would look like and what features it would have well before they'd even done enough technical exploration to know what they were really capable of as a company, let alone how far they could stretch the engine. There was a lot of questioning about the organizational challenge they were taking on, but they had all the money in the world, and as long as they had money they had all the time in the world. People figured there was a chance they might just about be able to pull it off.

DS has been poisoning the well since Day One of this project, leaping on expenditures for office decor and staff travel with great gusto and suggesting that CIG was making it rain with backers' money. That this particular instance is only 3 months old is a technicality.

 

As to this instance, there was considerable upset about it at the time on the CIG forums and the subreddit. As it turns out, that's a fairly standard accounting practice in the UK for tax minimisation, apparently. (I'm no authority on UK corporate tax law - if you can find one to refute that, please do) CIG had plenty of liquid assets left at the time that happened, and even more now: funding recently exceeded $159 million.

 

...

 

I don't believe (in a religious sense) that the game will be released with everything completed in exactly the way promised, and nor do I believe that it will be done on schedule. Right at this moment, however, there are working and playable modules for dogfighting, racing, and fps combat. When alpha 3.0 drops (there's a burn-down chart updated each week, and it shows definite progress), quite a lot more will come on line.

 

Did they make missteps? FUCK YES! And they know it. Biggest of which is that Chris Roberts is primarily an artist, and has the typical artistic habit of letting his imagination run away from his abilities. And whilst he still does get hung up on things sometimes, he now has people on hand (his brother, mainly) who can and will stomp on him when he gets into fantasy. This was demonstrated fairly well when they basically threw out the entire first years' product as being unworkable and redesigned it as something that doesn't need a million kludges to hang together. Most of the time then to now has been spent building the tools they need to build their 'verse.

 

I've backed it because I want it to happen. Not just for me, but because I think a game like this needs to be out there. I'm fairly confident that there will be a release. I do not know when (but I'm willing to bet Sq42 will be before 2020, and SC the year after). I do not know what won't make it into the game (though I have hunches). But even if it doesn't ever progress beyond 3.0a the guys who worked on this will take the tech they've made for it out into the world, and some of the people who've gone along with the dream will help shape the games of tomorrow.

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Speaking of Derek Smart, it seems odd that no mention has been made of the Elite games.

TBH, I never did get used to the turn&burn style of flight - not in the first one (yes, I'm that old), and not in any subsequent one either. It's inefficient even for missiles compared to yaw/pitch control,and completely disorienting for humans. E:D does allow p/y steering, sorta, but a housebrick is more responsive. So, I have E:D, but I haven't made any progress beyond the training mission.

 

i played a tiny bit of Valkerie — dont know if the flight model is the same as in Dangerous.

 

what do you mean by "p/y steering" (pitch and yaw?) and how do you contrast it with 'turn and burn'?

 

i like the idea of being forced to get used to unrestrained inertia, because there is a lot of skill to picking a line through space and knowing exactly when to pivot on it to take an epic shot. manoeuvring through a slalom-like pattern with a minimum of sloppy 180s to bleed off momentum when you have overrun a turn is also an interesting challenge. a bit like flying a quadcopter.

 

however, its also frustrating as all hell :) personally, i would like a mixture between that and the option of some kind of inertial dampening but at a realistic energy cost. like, imagine if you had a 'pedal' you could press that would counter whatever momentum you had that didnt match you current attitude. with that pedal you could pull off both huge turning circle arcs while maintaining optimal speed (in terms of A to B flight time) and tricksy turn-on-a-dime shit like momentary 90 degree strafing along a curved path.

Edited by @~thehung
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what do you mean by "p/y steering" (pitch and yaw?) and how do you contrast it with 'turn and burn'?

 

i like the idea of being forced to get used to unrestrained inertia, because there is a lot of skill to picking a line through space and knowing exactly when to pivot on it to take an epic shot. manoeuvring through a slalom-like pattern with a minimum of sloppy 180s to bleed off momentum when you have overrun a turn is also an interesting challenge. a bit like flying a quadcopter.

 

however, its also frustrating as all hell :) personally, i would like a mixture between that and the option of some kind of inertial dampening but at a realistic energy cost. like, imagine if you had a 'pedal' you could press that would counter whatever momentum you had that didnt match you current attitude. with that pedal you could pull off both huge turning circle arcs while maintaining optimal speed (in terms of A to B flight time) and tricksy turn-on-a-dime shit like momentary 90 degree strafing along a curved path.

"Turn & Burn" was the name missile mechanics gave to their steering method; "p/y" is indeed pitch & yaw, and is the method more familiar to humans as it's basically "follow your nose". T&B would more accurately be called "roll & pitch" - you roll until your up/down is aligned with the direction you want to go, then pitch to orient.

 

I have no problem with Newtonian momentum models. There is a lot to be said for tracking your target whilst moving in a totally different direction.

 

That damping mechanism you describe is present (though possibly not exactly the way you describe) in both E:D and SC/Sq42. In the latter, not only are your manoeuvring thrusters visible to you as they rotate and fire, but that firing costs fuel - of which you have a limited amount.

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well thats a potential source of confusion for me.

in a space context, my immediate conception of T&B is to assume a situation where pitch and yaw are the primary determiners of direction, and roll is a secondary visual preference (like in the game Descent, if you ignore strafing). to my mind, any emphasis on "roll & pitch" alludes problematically to atmospheric flight in aircraft that necessarily produces maximum drag and turn rate across horizontal wings.

but i guess all things are possible in a space craft, depending on its role, and the geometry of where thrusters are placed.

Edited by @~thehung

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in a space context, my immediate conception of T&B is to assume a situation where pitch and yaw are the primary determiners of direction, and roll is a secondary visual preference (like in the game Descent, if you ignore strafing). to my mind, any emphasis on "roll & pitch" alludes problematically to atmospheric flight in aircraft that necessarily produces maximum drag and turn rate across horizontal wings.

 

Indeed so - which is why I never 'got' it.

 

In the missiles that used that system, though, cylindrical rockets were steered with vectoring vanes in the rocket exhaust, rather than wing control surfaces - which would be just as easily done in vacuum. But it seems little more than snotty to insist upon that when p/y steering only necessitates that those same vanes work together rather than in opposition. (ie: to roll, the top/bottom vanes in opposition: top goes, bottom goes right -> missile rolls clockwise; put those in concert not opposition: both go left -> missile yaws right left.)

 

It's more than a little snotty to insist upon that control scheme when almost none of these game spacecraft have only a single main thruster, and all of them have steering thrusters.

 

Edit: control reversal (struck through).

Edited by Cybes

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so if i have understood correctly, the common parlance used to denote alternate flight models in space games is kind of iffy.

 

 

about Elite:Dangerous, please elaborate on "E:D does allow p/y steering, sorta, but a housebrick is more responsive"

 

on face value, it seems to have it all:

 

447863473.png

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Not sure how "common parlance used to denote alternate flight models in space games is kind of iffy". Maybe we're just using different viewpoints on the same thing? The most egregious common parlance error for flight/space sims has to be "barrel roll": in every instance I've seen (which admittedly does not include many military flight sims) they use that term to mean aileron roll - rolling around the RZ axis on that pic of yours. A barrel roll is flight along a spiral path - kinda like if you could strafe sideways around a loop whilst still going forward.

about Elite:Dangerous, please elaborate on "E:D does allow p/y steering, sorta, but a housebrick is more responsive"


Ok, I may have spoken out of turn, there... My experience with E:D was <check Steam> nearly 2 years ago, and it's had quite a few patches since then. However, when I tried it, you either got used to the (imo) obtuse T&B system with familiar input speed and lag, or had P/Y control at about 1 degree/minute turn rate.

Please note change on above posting. Only a simple one-word error, but kinda large importance. :P

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yeah i ignored the typo coz i knew what you meant.

 

"Maybe we're just using different viewpoints on the same thing?"

 

maybe :) thing is, i am coming at this really ignorant to the state of play and general history of discussion, whereas i am sure you are not.

 

so when you draw a salient contrast between "P/Y vs T&B" i dont know if youre reflecting a de rigeur convention, or if this is just the gist of your personal shorthand. because if these are anything like ways of denoting the two main competing flight system designs in space games, although i find these labels awkward and highly misleading, i should still familiarize myself with the lingo regardless. if however, this is not the case, then i am a little perplexed by you not 'getting' the characterisation of T&B you presented and essentially agreeing with where i identify problems with that. although, it does make perfect sense with your cylindrical rocket example.

 

 

P.S. whenever you find the barrel roll misnomer particularly upsetting, you know what to do :P

Edited by @~thehung

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so when you draw a salient contrast between "P/Y vs T&B" i dont know if youre reflecting a de rigeur convention, or if this is just the gist of your personal shorthand.

...

P.S. whenever you find the barrel roll misnomer particularly upsetting, you know what to do :P

 

Ah. No, it's probably just my own nomenclature. I very rarely play multiplayer stuff, so I have no idea how other people refer to these schemes. "Turn & Burn" was, as I said before, used by rocket jockeys; "P/Y" is my own shorthand for sure, and should probably "P&Y" to stay consistent with the other.

...

Yell at the screen and thump the keyboard? ;p

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Sorry for the apparent harping - it's just a handy way to make this publicly-readable rather than a PM. Just in case you ever have a shred of respect for DS:

This man is a scumbag.

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i dunno Cybes, its starting to feel like you have a vendetta of your own against Derek Smart.

 

/jks :P

 

I have much to learn then. When his name comes up, I might froth at the mouth, but I can go whole months without it. That guru managed to tweet 7 different replies to one of the lead dev's posts this morning - before anyone else even got a single word in. Not only is it unbelievable typing speed (literally), and implies that he does not sleep and lives on Twitter, but to respond faster than anyone could read what the dev had written..? He must have written bots specifically for this. That's impressive, man.

 

Note that impressions are not always good. ;p

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I found few weeks ago Stellaris, looks very promising. Something like Europa Universalis in space ;)

 

I keep looking at the Steam page for this, and not buying it. :/ Screenies look really nice, but the reviews are very polarised: one side loves it, and the other... eg: http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2016/05/18/bone-dry-sci-fi-stellaris-game-doesnt-even-work/

 

I'll pick it up in some insane sale.

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I found few weeks ago Stellaris, looks very promising. Something like Europa Universalis in space ;)

 

I keep looking at the Steam page for this, and not buying it. :/ Screenies look really nice, but the reviews are very polarised: one side loves it, and the other... eg: http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2016/05/18/bone-dry-sci-fi-stellaris-game-doesnt-even-work/

 

I'll pick it up in some insane sale.

 

 

I'm not sure I really rate that guys criticisms. I've put more time into stellaris than almost any other game I own.

 

I'll respond to his two main criticisms:

 

1. The sector system increases late game micromanagement instead of reducing it. Bull. Shit. I raise my eyebrow that he can assert he loves Paradox's historical games, and then trot this line out. Comparing late game EU micromanagement to this is utterly night and day. However, it's a bit of an irrelevant argument because it's invested in the notion that micromanagement must be objectively bad, but the reality is that micromanagement is a game mechanic. What matters is whether you enjoy the implementation, and I think the Stellaris system hits a happy medium that would be about right for quite a lot of people.

 

2. The storylines are dull and the game has no soul as a result. I know what he's getting at, but I think he hasn't delved into the game very deeply if he thinks that. The game basically has two types of events. There's little mini-events that happen as you explore the galaxy. Because galaxies are big and you're going to play lots of games in big galaxies, these events repeat a lot. It's basically the same problem as the NPC's in TES: Oblivion repeating the same dialog all the time. However, there's a second layer of longer, more detailed and way more interesting stories buried in there that you're much less likely to come across (horizon signal being one of the best, but far from the only one), and I've even seen two separate storylines unexpectedly interact. I still don't know if it was a bug or deliberate, but it sure was interesting. There's depth there, but it's not spoon-fed to you. Spend a game digging into the universe instead of conquering it, and you'll find some interesting stuff.

 

I'd also say that it's been a great game for roleplaying for me. The species creator is extremely versatile, and I've had a lot of fun playing everything from short-lived temperamental space-nazi penguins to dull-witted, pacifistic psychic space cacti with a fetish for government paperwork. If you can invest in your own stories a little it's a fun playground.

 

tl;dr I think his review is pretty shallow. The main reason I would suggest holding off on buying it is that paradox has been muttering for a while about making it mandatory to have a paradox account to play MP. I'm a big hater of forced accounts for things which have no technical need for it. Depending on how you feel on the matter, that may or may not be a factor for you.

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I'm not sure I really rate that guys criticisms. I've put more time into stellaris than almost any other game I own.

 

I'll respond to his two main criticisms:

Well, that's reassuring to know, but that particular guy was just one I grabbed for illustration - there are a large number of people on Team Bitch. But I guess that's true of all games, even those that are (imo) great. Flipside: There are people cheerleading even for games that almost everyone thinks are rubbish, so... <shrug>

 

Given that I have a half dozen or so 4Xs installed atm, I still think I'll wait for a sale. Or I get bored with those I have.

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