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 Post subject: Re: Issues of Scale
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:28 pm 
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Baffled wrote:
But those pesky loading issues may interfere with the seamlessness that is an important factor in the immersion and believabilty of most sandbox gaming environments. The map in Ep2 was architecturally quite sparsely furnished, so building a reasonably dense and detailed coastal city will presuambly involve many maps. Or have I got that wrong?

Does anyone have any views on whether the loading events may disrupt the "open" gameplay, or do they not really matter? Afterall, the player may well find himself crossing back and forth between maps as they tread their unique path through the game; whereas in a conventional linear game you rarely have to re-load an area you have already passed through.

I really would like there to be a way to incorporate those necessary pauses into the narrative in some way. Perhaps checkpoints or force-fields or Dagda's locked-down sectors may offer a solution?


I think that it could work well if like someone else (I could not find the post) suggested the loading pop up could be altered to display something else related to what the player is doing (like an unlocking icon, or some other appropriate icon or phrase). Then it would seem that the loading sequence was actually "doing something" other than just loading a map in the eyes of the player.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:15 pm 
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Hasn't anybody played STALKER? That game was extremely wide-open, and in fact it is basically what Adam described, a wide open area where you have a map and a compass and are given goals within it. (it even has a radar-type screen.) It has both large outdoor regions as well as city-type environments. In fact close to the end you fight through an exact replica of the (former) city of Prypiat and through the actual Chernobyl reactor. (I think that's what that was.) I look back very fondly on that game, it had probably the most realistic-feeling and fun combat of any shooter I've played. (I found the story rather uninspired though.)
I'm not sure if that sort of thing would work in the Source engine though, and STALKER did have pretty high system requirements. And I guess there was some 'waste' involved, you didn't have to go through nearly every room and see everything to finish the game.
But, I think a viable prototype is out there.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:47 pm 
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STALKER had disgusting, slow, immersion-breaking loading screens between each of the maps. and upon entering/leaving large underground structures.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:49 pm 
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One of the biggest problems Adam is going to run into is map size. Anyone who has played Insurgency knows that the source engine doesn't like big maps. However I did notice that in episode 2 some of the areas are quite large, but still nothing compared to the scale of say, Red Orchestra, now that game has some big maps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:56 pm 
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Kastanok wrote:
STALKER had disgusting, slow, immersion-breaking loading screens between each of the maps. and upon entering/leaving large underground structures.

Disgusting? Goodness. Yeah they were long, but they weren't very frequent, and you always knew where they'd be. And if you want to have large, open maps like we're talking about here I'd think that would be probably be necessary. I guess this is a matter of personal preference, but I'd rather have one large load point than 5 small ones. I figure as long as I'm having to 'break the immersion' I may as well let it go awhile longer and then not have to worry about it again for awhile.

Anyway, perhaps Episode 2 mods would allow larger maps?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:00 pm 
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Right Ace, I do think that they have made it possible for larger size maps with th erelease of episode 2, I dont know anything technical about source coding, Im just making an educated guess.

As for load times, that can all depend on the computer, example: When I play Oblivion on my laptop it takes 3+ minutes to load a game, when I play on my desktop it takes mere seconds, so really I say that load times cannot be judged as long or short except on a specific system setup


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:07 pm 
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I think I'd better warn you all that I've been playing around with a birthday-provided Bluetooth GPS whatsit thingy - a combination of TrekBuddy, a vaguely modern mobile phone (SE K750i), some hacked-together Ordnance Survey and Google maps and GPS Visualizer has had some interesting results.

(No, the continental side of the Channel Tunnel doesn't end there - I took a few minutes to remember to switch the GPS thingy on again. I've also missed out the ridiculously slow stuff from Waterloo - I have a corrupted GPX file I need to mangle back into shape...)

So ... erm ... Something vaguely like the openness metastasis_2, except perhaps with more than one objective, and a radar to stop absolutely everyone from getting lost?


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 Post subject: Many Happy Return (sic)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:58 pm 
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So you're/were back in Blighty, and have had a birthday as well!

Let us all belatedly wish you a happy birthday and many happy hours with your eclectic collection of gadgetry!

... and fervently hope that not too many more of these happy events pass by before we are all blissfully lost in the snowy urbs of Out of Time.

How about an in-game GPS instead of a radar, (if there'd be any meaningful distinction) and a paper map that we could select and hold in our hands and which would blow inside out in the wind, and have Minerva increasingly irate as we resolutely refuse to ask directions from the locals?


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 Post subject: Re: Many Happy Return (sic)
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:07 pm 
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Baffled wrote:
Let us all belatedly...


The b-day is actually tomorrow...


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 Post subject: Happy Birthday Tomorrow!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 9:59 pm 
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Tomorrow, there will be cake!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 11:02 pm 
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Hmm, let's see, if I understand correctly, and my time zone analysis is correct, it is now appropriate to wish Mr. Foster a...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
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(I prefer to bake my own)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 5:04 pm 
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Ace wrote:
Hmm, let's see, if I understand correctly, and my time zone analysis is correct, it is now appropriate to wish Mr. Foster a...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Code:
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|_____________________|


(I prefer to bake my own)


He's three?! ;) Wow and already making fantastic mods and everything! Really though, Adam, how old are you now? No beating around the bush either...I could see that one coming a long way off. :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:16 pm 
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I'm older than I was last week, anyway.

Tonight's gaming edict: go play S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - it's great.

Glitchy, a bit buggy and unpolished, but it's basically a humungous amount of radioactive Ukrainian architecture and terrain that's in there because, rather than for any truly specific gameplay purposes. It's MINERVA's vague architecture-first mantra taken to a ridiculous, glorious extreme.

Chernobyl FTW!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:12 pm 
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Cargo Cult wrote:
I'm older than I was last week, anyway.


See I told you that you were going to do that... :)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Cargo Cult wrote:
Tonight's gaming edict: go play S.T.A.L.K.E.R.


What, again!?! Awww...

Seriously, though. I've played it twice through when it first came out and tried a third time recently but couldn't get interested again. For all it's claims of freedom and adventure, STALKER is incredibly linear just with large spaces to navigate.

And the architecture doesn't seem to really come into it until the latter half of Prypjat and the CCP itself. The bunkers particular seemed entirely game play oriented.

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