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Single player maps teaser


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#1
defcon_x

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The levels so far appear focused on "lore" scale. That is, you have absolutely nailed the "person to ship" ratio that was comically (but arguably arbitrarily) ignored in the first two classic games. There was a rude YouTube comment complaining about the apparent size of new previews of Single Player maps and saying everything is wrong and a confident reply that this whiner needs more experience with the levels to understand what they are even talking about.

 

I can see the whiner's point just a little bit.

 

There is a level that looks like a huge Star Wars catwalk, but the ships are so big that such a space is not explorable, just little more than a vent in the floor.

 

So of course it's "realistic" (the drones are massive -- the size of airplanes) but can we not have a few more big areas? Like the Kickstarter teaser?

 

I can hear the response: "Big areas are not fun. Look what happened to Talon or Descent 3"

 

I disagree with this straw man entirely and completely. Hehehe

 

There is a figuratively huge difference between large enclosed spaces with obstacles (like Rama) vs. outdoors.

 

Despite levels being considered "too big" one of my absolutely favorite levels so far is Colosseum. I also adored the environments shown in the Kickstarter trailer. Tartarus is a fantastic scale although one can imagine just a couple new areas with great big open areas cut apart by strategically placed rock spires, rock bridges and machinery -- just like the teaser trailer.

 

Of course it is hard to combat from far away but that doesn't mean there should never be "far away" in levels. The strategy would be to try to get drones up close. Constant hot combat is one fine way to play. But another element that is extremely enjoyable for me is a mixture of levels where there is no place to hide and levels where you can hide many places and other levels where you can "hide in plain sight" by flying maneuvers in open space. I wouldn't worry about the weapons being designed for close combat. That is fine. I wouldn't change that. People whining that close-quarters weapons don't function in big spaces need to change their strategy or find their favorite missiles.

 

I wouldn't say the levels appear small but just not done yet. And a lot of focus on little lovely details. They are beautiful. Fantastic work on the art! It does bring up something that happened with the training mission I wanted to address. The training mission was planned pretty well but it was not programmed completely and there were times one felt that the balance of voice and of text and of actual activities had settled around a very ponderous form of play.

 

Maybe it had not really anticipated for an eager pilot's actual behavior or "sense of fun" within the level. Is the dev team focused on details that many people will ignore/breeze by? Is the "being into the game" too focused on little things that people won't actually "be into"? Is there still some space and play, like the great balance of tunnels and open spaces and surprising room changes of Descent II? Can we be assured that playing fast and hard and explosively will be enriching? But also that there is a reason for the greebles and details besides just making a metric tonne of non-interactive art?

 

I have SO much faith in this team, especially with the help we have seen come in now. Just wanted to muse and hopefully get some replies and sorry to bring you away from the development. I hope it is helpful and not distracting or useless.


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#2
Splotchie

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I see a good point here -- by focusing too much on what the community says is the "right" way to build a Descent level the team could lose a sense of variety that would really breathe life into the game.  Big areas pose a different challenge and while tight tunnels have always been Descent's bread and butter there's still room for some to show up now and again.


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#3
PuDLeZ

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Care to share the review that you're speaking of? Is it a fairly new review or is it about an older build of the game?

While some big areas would be ok for single player, for multiplayer it would make it really hard to hit other players. If you recall when you could get outside of maps, unless you were dog fighting with someone, it was really hard to hit anyone. Granted this was before the weapon tweaks/etc, it will still be hard if you have some distance between since you can see the shots coming and easily move out of the way...

 

Rama works for multiplayer, even the Hot Rock map works (same size of Rama's main room without obstacles) but I think it's mostly because you know where someone is going (ball or goal).  

 

P.S. Bring back Hot Rock!!!


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#4
defcon_x

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Yeah the Hot Rock map would be a good maximum volume for empty space. I see you could make a cavern out of 8 bubbles (2 x 2 x 2) of that size disjointed by spires, constructions and obstacles, too. 

 

The "review" as I called it is rather nasty and from recent YouTube comment sections; it would be better to simply designate it a typical rude "YouTube comment" by somewhat of a troll — apparently a developer. You can find it. Recent WMH maybe a few vids ago: 

 

Once more I think Colosseum is a great distance. It's not too hard to hit many from across rooms and it helps amateurs.

 

I play the game with everyone and unlike some pros I don't target and curbstomp thinking, "Meh, I'm holding back enough. But I can't have my precious kill/death ratio effected.

 

I actually do hold back somewhat and don't care about that stat which will be re-set anyway, although I think drawn out fights may not be fun for some, I think it is fun and we must consider matchmaking.

 

Pros love the tight quarters but there aren't many pros and they have very loud voices in this development process so far.

 

I want to speak up for those that aren't great too, and Descent has a huge learning curve.

 

Here are the facts, IMO:

 

1. Everyone has a reticle in every ship

 

2. Amateurs' #1 mistake isn't super poor aim (though aiming is a challenge for everyone to master), it's not moving unpredictably enough

 

Long distances don't help amateurs as much as it helps pros because pros learn how to maximize every advantage. Leading is effective and is a good skill to learn -- maybe even needs to be more emphasized in a training mission.

 

So for pros it's not fun to have super big quarters. I understand that.

 

But for me, playing with non-pros and against robots is fun; it's not about getting as many kills as fast as possible but sometimes the clashing and retreating and regrouping; or fighting robots with interesting AI as Descent II was. So I am also talking about single player a lot here, not just the multiplayer.

 

I agree that totally outdoor areas in Descent3 would be way too big for D:U. WAY too big.

 

I just mean we should see a few more caverns with obstacles and some awe-inspiring depth and scale, even if some of it is through the bars of an enlongated cage. And Hot Rock should totally return, even if just as an expansion.


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#5
dunkelza

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There is a figuratively huge difference between large enclosed spaces with obstacles (like Rama) vs. outdoors.
...
I just mean we should see a few more caverns with obstacles and some awe-inspiring depth and scale, even if some of it is through the bars of an enlongated cage. And Hot Rock should totally return, even if just as an expansion.


Absolutely. Indeed, many of the missions have large spaces broken up with obstacles.

 

This image, which we share a few weeks back, shows a large interior space. I don't recall if this was just a scenic overlook or if you could fly around inside it, but it connects a number of points in the map- so you can see from space to space.

 

A5gXNQJl.png

 


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#6
defcon_x

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That's cool! I remember that one!

 

I know that you can't/won't reveal anything about SP right now but I think when people say "large areas" they mean more like Colosseum scale large.

 

However, I am just patiently waiting and I trust the devs when they say you have to play and feel it to understand what works.


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#7
inspades

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I believe theres a place for larger spaces if they promote interesting gameplay.

 

One thing they have going is that it creates a "leading game" (Who's leading shots better)

 

The bear in the room is the issue of two players dodging like crazy having trouble hitting each other at all.

That issue is helped by obstacles in the room like pillars, grates, etc...

 

Another possibility is significantly upping vulcan speed and reducing its damage (to 3 per bullet from 5). Make vulcan super easy to land hits with at range with only a little leading. not hitscan mind you, but approaching it.

 

This changes the dynamic. You completely destroy that effective god-mode from sliding around in a large room. You'd no longer be untouchable. if someone has a vulcan at range, they will chew you up with impunity if you let them. This is also counter-able :

  • "Hey he has a vulcan, i dont want to fight him here" (too hard to hit with other weapons, while its kinda easy for him)
  • let me take the fight somewhere constrained..."
  • "Your vulcan does 70 damage a second? cool. my plasma cannon does over double that ....and youre a lot easier to hit now in this tight room. you effectively have laser 1s

Or:

  • "Crap, i have nowhere to run.  wait, if i lead him around those pillars and grates, i got a chance"

 

Also, if maps have larger areas, they should also have more plentiful longer-range weapons...make sure there isn't only one Vulcan on a Colosseum-size map for example.


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