Author Topic: So is a playable release on the horizon?  (Read 2869 times)

Erebus

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 602
So is a playable release on the horizon?
« on: November 04, 2014, 07:30:01 pm »
So after a year Im checking in again...Anything new? I still see vague Twitter-updates, but nothing really playable.

Aaron

  • BR Developer
  • Creative Director, ZanMgt
  • *****
  • Posts: 2018
  • Available on the IRC from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST)
    • http://www.zanmgt.com
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #1 on: November 05, 2014, 12:08:47 am »
We're over a year into the new engine, so most of the work that's been done isn't going to really pique much interest.

However, as Micah being a dispensable 'artist', we've put him to work building 'Unity Standalones' to play-test parts of the game before Nathan Zack and Gabe cement the mechanics permanently into the new engine they've been building.  As one of the Founders you can try out the so-called "Unity Standalones" here in the Founder's Club board!

A for engine playability, Zack and Nathan spent the spring and summer restructuring the game engine around the modding API and the vastly superior Artemis component system, which has held us back from releasing anything 'playable' on the main engine.  If we did, it'd be about as "fun" to play as an excel document. =L

We're making progress towards playability though; Zack recently performed a 50-player client test with the game running entirely off of the new modding API and components for multiplayer, and Nathan's finishing up re-integrating the voxelmeshes and entities into the new component system.  Nathan and Zack's schedule for the next two weeks are still on restoring base functionality for being able to move and place voxels so no playable release for Founder's again until it's first playable on Micah's and Terah's and my end (i.e. the 'artists')!

And, just to keep things in perspective with all this talk of engines:

A new engine usually takes about 2-3 years to complete, minimum. Schema spent four years building his engine before going public with Star Made in 2012, and Space Engineers used the VRAGE engine built for Miner Wars over the course of 4-5 years.

Also, nice to see you about again, Erebus! =]
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 12:19:53 am by Aaron »
Stop by the IRC and say Hi! -- Online Dev Chat

Czorio

  • Founder
  • Residential nutbag
  • *
  • Posts: 685
    • Youtube Channel
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2014, 06:59:33 am »
Is there going to be a point soon wherein we can get a portion of a "game" on an unfinished engine? Extending the features of the game with the engine that is getting new features (Becoming more complete) as time goes on.
"If you're in an equal fight, your tactics suck."

http://www.youtube.com/user/czorio4

Erebus

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 602
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2014, 08:15:15 am »
And, just to keep things in perspective with all this talk of engines:

A new engine usually takes about 2-3 years to complete, minimum. Schema spent four years building his engine before going public with Star Made in 2012, and Space Engineers used the VRAGE engine built for Miner Wars over the course of 4-5 years.




So since you are one year in I can expect a release in 2016-2017....Gotcha. Thanks!

Cy83r

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 1254
  • It's Shooowtime!
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 06:45:15 pm »
Is there going to be a point soon wherein we can get a portion of a "game" on an unfinished engine? Extending the features of the game with the engine that is getting new features (Becoming more complete) as time goes on.
I think the Unity Standalones are part of that kind of effort, or at least that's it seems to be like to my perspetive.

So since you are one year in I can expect a release in 2016-2017....Gotcha. Thanks!
Just in time to see Obama crowned Emperor or whatever the prevading theory my grandmother is so worried about.  Interesting times are ahead even if it only gives us a fun game to enjoy.
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

Aaron

  • BR Developer
  • Creative Director, ZanMgt
  • *****
  • Posts: 2018
  • Available on the IRC from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST)
    • http://www.zanmgt.com
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2014, 08:27:25 am »
@Erebus

Well it shouldn't take that long to have something fun to play, but if you want a top-down complete package then those numbers are probably accurate!

As Cy38r mentions, the Unity standalones are the safe and effective way to test gameplay at the moment. =]
Stop by the IRC and say Hi! -- Online Dev Chat

Erebus

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 602
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2014, 11:36:19 pm »
@Erebus

Well it shouldn't take that long to have something fun to play, but if you want a top-down complete package then those numbers are probably accurate!

As Cy38r mentions, the Unity standalones are the safe and effective way to test gameplay at the moment. =]

Well see. Your progress is indeed rather slow. Just checked Reddit, and someone critizised the way you handle your API http://reddit.com/r/BlockadeRunner/comments/2ln0gs/so_this_game_was_a_scam_in_reference_to_the_one/

Hope that prophecy wont turn true!

CmndrMarcsBirger

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 300
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2014, 04:44:29 pm »
I would like to take advantage of this moment here and ask if you guys have had the opportunity to mess with adding half slabs for the next update to the ship editor.

Cy83r

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 1254
  • It's Shooowtime!
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2014, 02:17:13 pm »
Looks like there's enough rational discussion in the reddit talking down a few frustrated early investors, hell I know I was and sometimes still am, but that's what we get for coming in on the cutting room floor and taking the private tour around the back and keeping the keys to get in.  We get to see all the boring tedious bullshit that goes into making something nice and worthwhile.  Michelangelo hated the fact that he worked so hard sketching and sketching and sketching and modelling his artwork and felt it should just come out of the mind in a romantic fit of genius.

Tell you guys what, that's how I produce content and it sucks, I can develop a thousand and one ideas as they come to me, but I lack the discipline to even provide a basic level of completion to my work, so it just accumulates in my back logs and flash drives until I lose years of work in a crash or lost drive; those were things I could have published or at least put into a portfolio and now they're gone because I didn't take care of my work and polish on the last most tedious little bits.  It's embarrassing every time I look at my scores of unfinished content that could be polished up but I don't force myself to do so.

Spontaneous motivation only gets you so far, the majority of the journey is built on your own sweat, pain, and grumbling misery while you pay stupid bills.  Don't let my mistakes become yours.
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

Aaron

  • BR Developer
  • Creative Director, ZanMgt
  • *****
  • Posts: 2018
  • Available on the IRC from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST)
    • http://www.zanmgt.com
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2014, 05:35:52 pm »
@Erebus

Huh.  Kinda forgot about the Reddit sub, so thanks for bringing that to our attention! 

As for the 'prophecy' of gaem is dead?  Dunno, been hearing that every year.  Gaem is $cam is new though! ;D

@CmndrMarcsBirger
Re: Messing with Half-slabs: No, although it's now technically possible without too much trouble (it's a subsidiary of the highly moddable custom angle system Nathan made like six months ago).  We have however become increasingly convinced of the need for half-blocks to be used for both interior hallways and potentially to show obvious differences in armor thickness, so they're on our minds often.

The problems we've been dealing with are more lower-level than that, and generally involve game capabilities we haven't talked about yet, but will be bringing up as we go.

@Cy83r

Quote
....but that's what we get for coming in on the cutting room floor and taking the private tour around the back and keeping the keys to get in.

Cutting room floor?  Heck, you guys were in before the cement was even poured for the filming studio! =P

Quote
We get to see all the boring tedious bullshit that goes into making something nice and worthwhile.  Michelangelo hated the fact that he worked so hard sketching and sketching and sketching and modelling his artwork and felt it should just come out of the mind in a romantic fit of genius.

Yeah, but I feel it's our mistake to not have been making the process riveting enough to follow.  We've held back for good reason (Zynga scared the Bejezers out of us!), but we're rounding the corner on some of this stuff, and we're feeling a little more comfortable in letting Zack and Nathan go into details on the hows and whys of the stuff they're working on.  (Tried to get Nathan to write about some stuff last week but he didn't have time with his current workload).

I generally have to obfuscate and translate the work Nathan and Zack do, and so I'm sure it all sounds awful from your guys' perspective.  Better to hear it from the horse's mouth. =P

Quote
Spontaneous motivation only gets you so far, the majority of the journey is built on your own sweat, pain, and grumbling misery while you pay stupid bills.  Don't let my mistakes become yours.

I hear ya man.  In our case though it's a little different.  We've got a thousand and one ideas, but they're attached to a game that can't be made without a hand-crafted engine for the purpose, and we have to patiently wait for the engine to be available before we can get to the fun ideas.  The requirements for the engine aren't really that big of a deal, it just takes the same time to put it together as it does any other custom engine.

But that's why we have Micah do Unity Standalones.  It lets us vent and conceptualize our ideas for gameplay without waiting. =]
Stop by the IRC and say Hi! -- Online Dev Chat

Cy83r

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 1254
  • It's Shooowtime!
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2014, 06:52:57 pm »
Oh, what did Zynga do?
Jibreel: Yeah but [Hufer] that's like [Axis] complaining that his Toyota Camry is stuck in the mud and you responding "Well my M1 Abrams doesn't seem to be having much trouble."

Bladecatcher

  • Founder
  • *
  • Posts: 459
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2014, 08:13:57 pm »
So, what can we expect from the first playable build? What features do you guys feel like are must-haves before you'll release a public build? Can we expect one sometime next year?

As for the people getting restless and angry, I completely understand. I think the major problem that they (and myself) have is that there aren't really any similar games out there to hold their attention. Sure there are space sims, but they aren't quite what I'm looking for. I want more of an adventure game. I want to be able to explore, to get out of my ship, to have a gunfight in some backwater space station. I want to run some blockades. I've tried Space Engineers, but it's more of a model ship builder than a game. Starbound is fun, but is a bit lacking in the actual "space" aspect as of now. And I hate Starmade (no offense.) No Man's Sky looks like it'll fit the bill, but who knows when it's coming out for PC.

Aaron

  • BR Developer
  • Creative Director, ZanMgt
  • *****
  • Posts: 2018
  • Available on the IRC from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST)
    • http://www.zanmgt.com
Re: So is a playable release on the horizon?
« Reply #12 on: November 12, 2014, 10:53:15 pm »
@Cy83r

Nothing really, they just had a representative of some sort who wanted to speak with us over Skype.  We had so many e-mails from "interested investors" back in 2011 it was easy to dismiss, but it was still enough to give us pause from spilling the beans on unique capabilities.  We've already seen what happens when even a AA shares a few similarities with BR.  :-\

@Bladecatcher

Re: Next Founder's Build

We wanted to make sure you could place blocks in space again, and in multiplayer before doing the next engine update in the Founder's Club.  Otherwise it'd just be more "menus", which I'm sure everyone's had enough of.

I'm sure that sounds like something that should be painfully easy to do here in 2014, but the difference now is we've made some 'special modifications' to nail that Kessel run in less than twelve parsecs.  This time around, there's an underlying base of a modding API and entity/object system that puts the game as close to "Open Source" as we can make it, while also making the mods very accessible (in multiplayer, no less).  It's worth all the hard months of work to us since it's the future of Blockade Runner! ::)

The big sweeping change has already taken place, we're just connecting all the loose ends.  Zack's got to finish up some of the connection between CS-Script and the Artemis entity system (which has been working beautifully) so Nathan can place blocks through the "proper channels".  Once that's in operation and we've got movement/placing blocks, we're back in business and can do the regular engine updates from there.  I won't put a time frame on it, but you can follow the Twitter feed below to see how close it is.

There's a lot of optimization to go from there, however, and we're placing voxel optimization finally as a high priority.  For the next six months, expect the majority of interesting gameplay to come from the Unity standalones while the engine grows in strength behind it.

Edit:

I just noticed you said "public build", when I thought you meant Founder's Build.  More or less same answer as some of the above for the 'public build', only some of the root mechanics will have been cemented in by then and hopefully everything's running smoothly with the new engine.  We're more interested in the Blockade Runner platform for the next year.  This might include systems like warp, ship systems, oxygen etc, only it'll be in raw and unbalanced form since each of those systems will be implemented with modding in mind, and only after they're vetted via the Unity standalones.  I'd make no assumption in a fine gaming experience during this period, just growth.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 11:03:18 pm by Aaron »
Stop by the IRC and say Hi! -- Online Dev Chat