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FPSC Classic Product Chat / Beta Tester comments

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Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 11:35 Edited at: 28th Jan 2005 11:36
I really liked all the comments made by the beta testers about FPSC in the lastest newsletter:

http://developer.thegamecreators.com/data/newsletter/newsletter_issue_25.html

For me I think the most interesting (and the one I would very, very much agree with - oh please Lee, please read this for v1) is Rob K's comments:

Quote: ""Where I think FPSC needs improvement is in terms of story-telling possibilities, the ability to display mission summaries or a secret map on screen or play a movie. The ability for users to vary the scenery and the characters more without having to resort to a full-blown modelling program would also be useful. The ability to spray dust, snow, or cracks and rubble onto segments for example, or to be able to select an individual segment and change its texture. The ability to scale segments to create more interesting architecture and get away from the 'blocky' look would also be welcome. I think a proper particle engine would also be a very welcome addition - the multiplayer won't work without some serious explosions, plasma bursts, smoke rising from guns and so on. Last but not least, any nifty additions for better gameplay the team can think of will be most welcome." "


Richard Davey
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 11:42
There are more things planned for FPSC than can be met in the EA or even V1 release. You have to actually stop somewhere and draw a line saying "this is what we have in V1", otherwise the project will never get finished.

Super Joe crack combat soldier fights a long battle against overwhelming odds.
uman
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 12:19 Edited at: 28th Jan 2005 12:21
Pogo Pogo will know that I agree with him in that most would like to see more or better features. That goes without saying.

However Richard is right and we should now leave TGC to concetrate on stabalising the prog and completing all those things that were intended to be provided the version to V1. That may include some improvements to the EA of course I dont know and any problems that crop up shown to be not working correctly perhaps in the EA when everyones working with it. Then you have an actual FPSC V1 proper at least.

Following V1, hopefully if all goes well as Richard has said there is more planned for FPSC in future versions and again hopefully TGC will then listen to users requests for additional features or functions and add them whenever and wherever possible.

I think we can trust TGC to do what they can to make the programme the best that it possibly be within the limits and scope of its remit commercially and practically.

RobK, has highlighted many of the concerns and requests for additional features or functions that many at the form have debated about ferociously. I am sure we would like to see added. We must be patient - if it ever comes along V2 may be a much improved game making tool that will satisfy most users requirements.
SkyCubes
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 12:23 Edited at: 28th Jan 2005 12:25
Rick,

You are absolutely correct, of course. A line has to be drawn. However, I've said it before and I'll say it again...without the ability to "storytell", FPSC is reduced to the mindless simplicity of a tetris game. I'm confident though that Lee and the team is going to see that fact and have some measure of storytelling ability in the final v1. Especially considering how easy it would be to add say the simple ability of playing an avi/mpeg/swf file from within the game.

I have to be perfectly honest though, and say it is beyond me why this isn't being included in the EA. You've listed the recent additions and I have to believe adding the ability to play a media file in-game has to be a quicker, easier than adding player check points at the last minute.

I'm very grateful to Rob K for bringing the issue up as a beta tester. Thanks Rob for being a voice for those of us who find storytelling more important than say...angled walls
uman
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 12:43
fdecker,

You know I agree again wholeheartedly with your passion for the story. My game relies heavily on need for story telling in a dynamic way. We dont yet know exactly what will be included in V1 or future versions do we? Perhaps the inclusion of calling the, Media player for FPSC to function for to play video in game would be more complex than would meet the eye, such things are not explained and I cant say. It looks like it wont be in the EA at least - Perhaps V1 - and angled walls are good too.
Eric T
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 12:43
Fixes of features that are already there before the addition of new features.

I could only hope they take that route.

<Mouse> lag, d'you like "real" RPGs? : <drac_work> ... : <drac_work> isnt that an oxymoron : * Mouse slaps drac_work :
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Richard Davey
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 12:45
If story telling is going to be done, it has to be done right - a quick AVI does not a story make, whereas people will actually use player check points from the start. I would be interested to know the numbers of those capable of actually producing CGI quality animations to split up their games. For story telling to actually work it needs to allow for camera control, music/effect/animation sequencing and entity interaction. Indeed a whole game flow engine. Something we discussed last year at a developer meet-up, but not something built-in overnight. Throwing in AVI support and claiming you can then build up a story around it is a false economy for the majority of those who will use FPSC.

Quote: "without the ability to "storytell", FPSC is reduced to the mindless simplicity of a tetris game."


If that is how you structure your game, then yes it could be. It wasn't the "story" that made Doom3 an entertaining game. I would like to see user events supported first (i.e. you pick up an object that triggers a full-screen sized image (map, document, etc)), but we're not far off that at the moment.

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Eric T
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 12:51
On the topic of story telling, I can do it in FPSC without the use of voice/cutscenes/anything too special.

When the player starts, he walks down the Futuristic hallway into a room with 2 doors. 1 door has a blood trail on the ground leading out of it, the other clean. Of course the player is looking for action, so he goes for the blood trail. He then goes through a blood stained hallway till arriving at a door, which is locked (points to something fishy going on in the room). He then goes back and enters the other door, which after a clean hallway, leads to a small office that has a key and a Blaster laying on the table. He takes the key and the blaster and heads back to the locked door, opens it, and see's 2 Conkers standing over a dead body. The conkers see you and shoot, you shoot back...

See, I could go on forever.

Just remember, Doom and Wolfenstien had no story telling in game, but yet we're able to tell a tale (as light as it was).

<Mouse> lag, d'you like "real" RPGs? : <drac_work> ... : <drac_work> isnt that an oxymoron : * Mouse slaps drac_work :
<Mouse> don't contradict me bitch
SkyCubes
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 12:56 Edited at: 28th Jan 2005 13:57
Rick,

It may be true that "real" storytelling in a game is far more complex than simply playing an avi file. But, I would respectfully disagree in that the ability to play a media file at the beginning, end, and between levels of a game is in fact storytelling. It certainly qualifies as more of a storytelling feature than not having any ability at all to storytell (other than the way points you've described).

I know full well that my approach to this issue is probably unique in that I'm a teacher and desire to use this tool in a classroom setting. The need to storytell in my game making classes is crucial. But I still insist that if the big picture scheme of things, those new to game design (the majority of future FPSC users) need to learn at the beginning the art of storytelling in thier design. Sure, adding a media file with text, 2D animation, and maybe some 3D art is in fact very primitive storytelling, it is storytelling nonetheless. I happen to believe that beginning game design should and must be accompanied by basic storytelling.

The other consideration here is that there is a massive untapped educational market for FPSC...that is if it will include this basic storytelling ability.
uman
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 13:11
Thank you Richard for the overview of TGC thinking there. At least that clarifies the TGC reasoning. Of course I agree totally with the reasoning. One cannot expect the average user of FPSC to create commercial quality GCI animated scenes from tools available to them outside of the FPSC environment if thats what you mean and I dont think anyone here at the forum unless I am mistaken has ever suggested that.

The suggestion I believe is that one might be able to utilise FPSC to create Cut scene levels or alternatively save the action from such singularly created levels and save it out to Video via a capture prog and use the resultant video sequences in game between levels or when called otherwise.

Of course I would agree that many of the same difficulties and perhaps even greater ones would be faced in order for TGC to achieve this with FPSC - obviously I am not aware of your technical difficulties.

I dont think it in any case personally that making GCI cut scenes outside of FPSC or any other engine is really fair - its cheating a bit - I recon Videos should show actual in game action, but thats just a personal view.

The posibility of the addition of the Full Screen Bitmaps is to be welcomed though.
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 13:50
Quote: "The suggestion I believe is that one might be able to utilise FPSC to create Cut scene levels or alternatively save the action from such singularly created levels and save it out to Video via a capture prog and use the resultant video sequences in game between levels or when called otherwise. "


That's what I was thinking. Also I believe you can convert flash files as well so that would also be useful to me... although:

Quote: "The posibility of the addition of the Full Screen Bitmaps is to be welcomed though. "


that is even a better and of more practical use. Clever use of multiple images can produce a film like quality also (besides having sooo many other applications - maps, briefings, computer screens, documents, etc.). Glad to see you recognize how useful this would be.

Thx Rick!

Incidently I want to say that I hope my post aren't percieved as a endless litany of whining for far reaching features and useless code bloat. I actually just want to see the program be the #1 in it's genre. We've never truely had a program quite like this before and I hope that it will not only LOOK good (which is does - spectacularly), but also PLAY good and allow the amateur designer to reach new heights he would never have been able to achieve before.
Coldnews
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 15:15
At the moment there is the ability to customise the loading screens in between each level. Its only a simple BMP, but it does help! Better than nothing...

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Rob K
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 15:48
I think that some of the suggestions I mentioned could be implemented fairly quickly. Plus Lee did say that feedback on the EA would influence the contents of v1. I realise that not everything there could be done, but I have tried to make my suggestions realistic.

AVI Support - Very easy, DBPro already has a set of animation commands.

Displaying Images on Screen - Lee has already suggested this himself as FPI commands.

Particle Engine - TGC already have a plugin which can generate some very nice effects without too much difficulty.

Changing Segment Texture / Painting over segments - Perhaps a little more tricky, but Lee will already have done a lot of the groundwork with his lightmapping efforts.


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Coldnews
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 20:02
I think Rob K made the most valid contribution. And I think that the most important things for the V1 release are multiplayer, more easily customisable textures/models, and some bigger explosions. Other than that, theres really not much to complain about at all!

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Richard Davey
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 20:39
Guys.. will you please stop calling me "Rick" - it's not my name!

Quote: "But, I would respectfully disagree in that the ability to play a media file at the beginning, end, and between levels of a game is in fact storytelling."


You disagree that playing AVIs is story-telling? Well.. that's two of us (sorry, couldn't resist.. I know what you meant).

I still think there are features that would prove far more useful to the game experience than showing a video. I can't remember the last game I played that used that technique (Painkiller I think.. and the videos were a pain and I skipped them each time). I would rather see full-screen bitmap support AND (configurable via the editor) some means to display text. Although I guess just having bitmap support could be used for this anyway, but that still requires external skills and applications, something we would like to avoid.

The fact remains that it doesn't matter what FPSC can do today, there will always be someone who insists that it's useless without feature X added to it. It's a growing and evolving product, the V1 release will be markedly different to the EA, so if you want to influence it then get the EA, script it to your hearts content and show what needs to be added to make game X possible.

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Dave J
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 20:48 Edited at: 28th Jan 2005 20:58
You have my deepest apologies, Dick.


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blanky
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 20:56
@Exeat: LOL

Although I don't know how much control the scripting language will give, if it could load external files and you could reposition and rotate objects, and trigger points, you essentially have a cutscene.

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Coldnews
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 20:59 Edited at: 28th Jan 2005 21:01
@Rich Yeah, thanks Mr. Davies. Nice to see that your open to ideas.
No seriously though, I think people want to make sure that this product gets the full support after the product is released. And that it doesnt become like another "the 3d Gamemaker". I'm glad that Rich sees it as an evolving product and not just a standalone "take the money and run" type product. They really seem to be taking huge pointers from the Beta testers, acknowleging every point made to ensure that the product is decent. Something thats making me very happy. I like to influence people. Bwahahaha!
*goes off to type some "suggestions" about how FPScreator should be able to send funds to ColdNews sporadically*
edit: how do you spell that last word?

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Noldor
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 21:07 Edited at: 28th Jan 2005 21:09
Soo hmm ehhh Rick..
What is your name. What do you like us to call you.
(just so i heard it from you)

BTW. im with you i see a bigger need in being able to display bmp images then avi files.
Dave J
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 21:11
'God', 'Master' or 'Oh Great One' are all fine. However, when in doubt, 'Rich' usually suffices.


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Coldnews
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 21:13
You could call him "When's FPSCreator out?". I've heard people shout that to him in the street, I presumed its his name.

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Noldor
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 21:36
SkyCubes
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 23:01
Quote: "At the moment there is the ability to customise the loading screens in between each level. Its only a simple BMP, but it does help!"


If that is indeed true, then you've just made my day, coldnews! I'll take simple bitmap support over nothing in a heart beat. For my purposes with FPSC, simple bitmap support between levels will give me what I need to make it work in the classroom. We can use the other tools we have like Bryce and Fireworks for the "storytelling" aspect.

Richard...sorry about the "rick" thing, guess I shouldn't have assumed.

I still think TGC should seriously consider adding the necessary pieces and marketing FPSC as an educational tool. There is a growing interest (at least in the US) for this type thing in the classroom. With an educational marketing division of TGC and a exhibitor booth at an NECC conference, you would be able to ship them out fast enough.
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 23:07
Quote: "Guys.. will you please stop calling me "Rick" - it's not my name!"


I'm really, really sorry! I meant to type "Rich" and instead had a brain fart and typed "Rick"... I guess I could avoid that by actually calling you Richard (though I have a friend named Richard who refers to himself as Rich so I'm used to using that 'nick )

Also because RICK (RickV) is the other prolific poster here on the FPSC forum my mind really got fargabled (is that a word?). So again please accept my appoligy - no offense implied or directed!

O.k. having said that onto my next post
Cloud of Crows Studios
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Posted: 28th Jan 2005 23:10
Quote: "I still think there are features that would prove far more useful to the game experience than showing a video. I can't remember the last game I played that used that technique (Painkiller I think.. and the videos were a pain and I skipped them each time). I would rather see full-screen bitmap support AND (configurable via the editor) some means to display text."


I agree with this 100%

and

Quote: "Although I guess just having bitmap support could be used for this anyway, but that still requires external skills and applications, something we would like to avoid."


This is a really good philosophy for TGC to take with regards to this product. It will help a wider base of users new to "modding" or game design.

Thanks RICHARD!
nemo85
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Posted: 29th Jan 2005 01:00 Edited at: 29th Jan 2005 01:00
Quote: "The fact remains that it doesn't matter what FPSC can do today, there will always be someone who insists that it's useless without feature X added to it. It's a growing and evolving product, the V1 release will be markedly different to the EA, so if you want to influence it then get the EA, script it to your hearts content and show what needs to be added to make game X possible."


IMO, this is proberbly FPSC's best feature, the possibilities for the future of the product!

David T
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Posted: 29th Jan 2005 01:12
Oh dear - completely forgot about submitting a comment It was pushed onto the end of my "todo" list - unfortunately that list isn't cleared yet!

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uman
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Posted: 29th Jan 2005 05:44
AVI as a file format is not what anyone needs - the file format is just too heavy in file size - resolution and compression quality is still today poor by other format standards. Delivery/play speed is below that of other formats too.

Granted one can achieve good quality at a couple of hundred meg (other formats with much less) for a short clip - wont get many of them in a web download.
Noldor
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Posted: 29th Jan 2005 05:50
Are you insaine.
Have you ever heard of DIVX or XVID??
they are both AVI formats.
uman
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Posted: 29th Jan 2005 06:04 Edited at: 29th Jan 2005 06:05
They are variations on a theme they do not have the same structure as .AVI codecs (which is what I should have specified for your approval) as much divorced from the original .AVI as is .WMV

People here have been referring to AVI and too me AVI is .AVI not any specific derivative of it and it is to that which I refer.

I am not sure too that there are also restrictive copyright licenses for some of the formats you have mentioned as there are for audio formats like MP3?

- yes Noldor you know I am insane - I'm writing this arnt I.
Shadow Angel
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Posted: 29th Jan 2005 06:05 Edited at: 29th Jan 2005 06:06
I myslef cannot wait to see what people archieve

I'm gonna probably start off with a doo-dally/first project with it so that I can get into it and learn the basics, I would probably get into it for within 20mins, I'll probably be on it all day!

In fact, I WILL be on it all day!

Ali M


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Coldnews
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Posted: 29th Jan 2005 06:25
Quote: "
I am not sure too that there are also restrictive copyright licenses for some of the formats you have mentioned as there are for audio formats like MP3?
"

probably no licencsd graphics/sound compressors as a license will obviously have to be paid and there are decent other compressors out there that are just as good, if not better. Current talk is of using OGG. Which is a massive leap in quality and only slightly larger sound files. And because its open-source, it doesnt require a licence.

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DMXtra
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Posted: 1st Feb 2005 19:39
Rich,

What should happen is that you have the ability to show videos and you can skip them with some keypress that you script in. This is put in and of course left in until you can build the ultimate method like I mention below.

This will work for now, later you can add even more advanced ways to add in story lines like what you are suggesting.

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