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  1. Strategos

    The Game Development Thread

    Yeah that one I linked wasn't the best there are some really nice ones out there , I'd have to dig them out though, couple are PDF's as well if I remember correctly. The problem is that you need 100's or thousands of passes for the nicer ones to generate the realistic results. The possibilities are endless, there is some nice stuff with a harder base layer covered in a softer layer that can be eroded. And in an ideal world id like to use voxels so you could have caves and overhangs.
  2. Strategos

    Have you ever found a game too hard?

    FTL on hard difficulty.
  3. Strategos

    Atlas (MMO from the creators of ARK)

    If i remember correctly it was the same in Ark but they made it easier to find stuff lying around without the need for punching. this def a step back from the current state of Ark in many ways which is disappointing, even though they have added in later content, like climbing picks etc. Its a bit weird! Saying that it's pretty easy to get up an running if you know what your doing.
  4. Strategos

    Atlas (MMO from the creators of ARK)

    Even if I feed them delicious snacks?
  5. Strategos

    Atlas (MMO from the creators of ARK)

    40 hours in. Update. Strangely we (there are 3 of us now) seem to be enjoying this somehow. II guess you have to really like games like ARK, or be a masochist. There is still a lot of lag, and disconnections. But we have discovered that building is not as big an issue as originally thought. There are lawless islands where you can build quite easily. The claims degrade so one of your company has to log in ever four days to keep it fresh otherwise you will lose what you've built. We have built successively larger ships , a time consuming job. And been thrilled with them, and lost them almost immediately one after the other. Rafts get stuck , one was lost to bugged NPC pirates that has since been patched and our last and biggest ship was docked at a freeport overnight, but we found out you aren't supposed to do this when we logged in to find it sunk. It made one journey. Pretty soul destroying, and yet we will no doubt be back and chopping down trees to replace it asap. Like I said masochists. There is a surprising amount of satisfaction and fun in there, amongst the frustration. The patches seem to be coming quickly as well. There were reports of hackers nuking peoples bases and it was patched out in a few hours. The skill tree is big, meaning although everyone has the basic skills some specialisation occurs, we have a shipright a gunsmith and an armourer in our little group. We've done some treasure hunting , but have yet to start employing tamed animals to help our harvesting. TLDR: Frustrating yet fun.
  6. Strategos

    The Game Development Thread

    Well I'm not using erosion here, Im generating the heightmaps the old fashioned way, with noise functions , then I'm messing with it in a variety of ways. The erosion algorithms are really fun to play with if you are generating maps for use later. If you are trying to do stuff at run time the good results are just waaay too slow. One method is to drop "raindrops" on the map that run down hill eroding as they go, as they erode they gather the material and deposit it when the slow down. I simplified that to drop a few on the map that carve valleys and gullies in one go. It's a much blunter tool but works much more quickly. Then I created a circular algorithm, a bit like the kind you would use for generating craters on the moon and randomly apply some of them to create ridges and cliffs. If you are interested in "proper" erosion google will give you some good examples , like this one. http://ranmantaru.com/blog/2011/10/08/water-erosion-on-heightmap-terrain/
  7. Strategos

    The Game Development Thread

    I haven't got onto the trees yet. Need to optimise the mesh code, want a version suitable for mobile, and it's a bit heavy duty at the moment. Normally my process here is to use tree instances not generate the actual trees procedurally, just their size, orientation and position. Some Lodding with sprites for the lower level of details.
  8. Strategos

    Day Z, The Road with Zombies

    Update: Flaws that have become apparent. Base building is very slow, as it should be in this type of game I think. BUT you can just server hop inside someone base so it's completely redundant. You can also break in with an axe pretty quickly anyway. They seem to have in order to get out v 1.0 (presumably to release it on Xbox) decided to remove a bunch of features without actually alerting the user in game. After spending 3 hours trying to Tan leather (which I did fine last time I played it about 2 years ago) and trawling the web I found out it has been removed for 1.0 release. This nips in the bud my plans to live as a feral in the wilderness and also wasted a good chunk of time. All of the UI , the ingredients, the item descriptions are all still there , it just doesn't work. The same goes for bows and fishing rods. My previous comments still stand, it can still be great fun, we've had guys getting robbed, escorted with bags over their heads and executed. Friendlies helping us out. We've found and raided bases. Got massacred in gunfights at the airfield. You can still have the enjoyment and excitement of Dayz which is great. But there is the Dayz frustration too , compounded for me by some really bad decisions on the part of the developers.
  9. Strategos

    Atlas (MMO from the creators of ARK)

    So a very kind benefactor gifted me this on Steam so I've had a chance to play it, I'm 16 hours in time for some first impressions. People familiar with Ark will have no problems getting started. You pick a point on a huge map to start playing and begin punching trees. It's ... not great it's like the old days of Ark, it's a bit choppy , punching the trees kills you. But all in all in serves it's purpose. You get 8 levels on starter islands which lets you level up, get a raft build etc. The main problem is that it's worse than Ark. That's not really a good starting point is it. Expect other players stealing your meat out of your fire and generally being pricks. Although a nice person did give me some flint before I battered myself to death against a rock. I should probably add we are on a PVE server. So fast forward. Raft built, bed placed on raft, the great exploration begins! I have to say I really enjoyed this aspect. The sailing is fun, even when the wind screws you. I could really get into a game like this. You journey off with no idea where you going, stocked up on food and water. The raft rolling over the waves, the odd vaguely shonky dolphin saying hello. And its pretty terrifying when you go in the sea and sharks start appearing, frantic jumping back on the boat ensues. Finally you glimpse land! And that's genuinely exciting. This excitement builds ... to a bit of a disappointment as you arrive and every inch of shore line is filled with massive shipyards.... No space to build here! No problem a quick resupply and off we go again.. repeat, repeat , repeat. Ah. There is no space. Every island is claimed.. The claim flags allow players to place as many plots as they want so it seems you can just spam then every where, in the sea, all over each island. To put it bluntly it's fucked. Honestly if this was a single player game I think i'd play the shit out of it. We have found a small place to build on a type of island that you cant claim permanently , but your buildings decay super fast. So we are going to truck on and build a proper ship. And will report back. Cons: Lag: Everything is claimed. Monsters that agro you from miles away and destroy your precious raft. And spawn camp it. Food and vitamin management that just means you die and re-spawn. Janky mechanics. Obfuscated skill tree. Even the Wiki has no information. Even in PVE people can grief you. Steal stuff, sink your boat by overweighting it, kite monster into your stuff. Pros: Looks really pretty out at sea when the sun sets. Exploration is really fun! (Until you find something) Your beard grows. There is a good game in there somewhere but it's badly implemented to the point of being completely broken as it stands. I dread to think what the PvP servers are like.
  10. Strategos

    Why did we never get head coupled-perspective?

    TrackIR is great I've used it in Arma for years. Was pretty disappointed when I tried DayZ standalone recently and they had removed support for it. I still try turning my head when Im playing it though and it's really jarring when I don't look around. Any FPS / flightsim etc is improved with it I think.
  11. It's on Amazon now to rent. Gave it a shot as it's been on my list for ages. Was severely disappointed. bad / 10
  12. Strategos

    Alien Isolation Is Getting A Sequel

    This is one of the cruellest thread titles I've ever seen.
  13. Strategos

    The Game Development Thread

    Thanks alot
  14. Strategos

    Are AAA games killing themselves?

    Selling a dot for $1. Literally.
  15. Strategos

    Day Z, The Road with Zombies

    Reading back through this thread the stories fill me with nostalgia. It was a great time. Dayz was so new and exciting. The fear and excitement was real. The sense of danger and exploration fantastic and the player interaction unparalleled. The Arma engine, though shonky provided features, scale and atmosphere you just couldn't get anywhere else. Despite being killed by rocks and ladders it somehow was greater than the sum of it's parts. The change came slowly as players learn't every inch of the map, exploited the server hopping mechanics and learn't that KOS was safer than talking. In a twisted version of the prisoners dilemma, as KOS spread it became the only sensible choice. The risk / reward balance was tilting and reached a point of no return. The flaws in Armas networking code also meant cheating was rife. As a millsim Arma was designed to be modified, you can edit the maps, drop in enemies and equipment on the fly and isn't server authenticated, it just wasnt made to be a multiplayer game like Dayz. So they carved it off into standalone and began trying to resolve all of these issues. Things did not go well. So we all stopped playing. BUT here we are at 1.0... FIVE years later , it's out of early access ..... or is it? We are back playing Dayz. And we are enjoying it, for the most part. So far. So what's changed? Is it worth playing again? Should it be a full release? I suspect the primary reason we are having fun is because we had a long break. The incremental changes that have taken place oh so slowly have arrived in one big dollop for us. The map while following the old template is radically different. Navigation can be hard as familiar towns have changed and new ones been added. Every part of the map has been overhauled. This returns the sense of exploration, a crucial part of the Dayz experience. The flip side of this is that as we learn the map , this will fade , just like it did originally. The features have expanded, it's still not as feature rich as the Mod but there is more to do than the old days. There is a clunky base building mechanic which adds an end game dynamic and some fun crafting which gives alternatives to just hoping you find the right loot. I suspect there is some mileage to be gotten from just surviving in the wild, hunting and crafting. Pros: The survival is still harsh but fun. The zombies are dangerous again. The players seem to have a slightly higher percentage of friendlies. The loot tables are better and more balanced. The map is more interesting. The graphics have been improved. It's more stable and less glitchy (but that's not saying much is it) Cons: The AI routines really hit the CPU. The zombies while better are still terrible. Players are still dicks a lot of the time. Be prepared for floating cows, loot and cars. Servers still crash, bugs still happen. Gear still dupes. The question still remains, does Dayz work. On a fundamental level? I've thought a lot about this as my original time with the mod provided some of the best gameplay moments I've ever experienced. But that experience seems to have come largely from the novelty, without that sense of trepidation and uncertainty , something you cannot ever get back once you have learned the mechanics, a core part of Dayz is gone forever. The new changes are enough to return a part of that excitement, we will see how long that lasts for. It's a blast playing it again with the gang. It may be a case of "for old times sake", but we are certainly having a lot of fun. But the same old cracks are starting to show. Yes you can build a base. But is it worth the huge effort when someone can log off, change server , move and spawn inside your base? After hours of running and looting , you still get sniped by an unseen protagonist in a bush out in the wilderness, no questions asked. You can still server hop at high loot locations, meaning that at any moment in a military base you can expect an enemy to magically appear and shoot you. Some of these problems can be solved by playing on a private server. But then you are stuck with the same players which again removes a core part of the game and leads to a whole different set of frustrations. The mechanics of Dayz that make the game so fun are perversely the same things that make it untenable in the long run. I cannot think of a way of fixing it either. I suspect this realisation is the reason Rocket abandoned it. The fact remains though that we are having fun revisiting the game for the moment. So if you already got Dayz and haven't played it for a while I'd recommend giving it another go. I don't know how long it will last but it does feel good to be getting some value out of that standalone purchase finally! Should it be labelled a 1.0 release ? Certainly not, it is very clearly early access still and has fewer features than the mod. It even pops up messages asking you to report bugs! Not an indicator of a dev team confident in their product. But it is at last in a playable state and there is nothing else we've found that scratches that Dayz itch.

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