Reviving Ground Control

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby shpooky » 24 Sep 2014 21:08

would lets say......... people in the community be able to help make the game? im not just talking about advice and questions im talking about coding and graphics etc.......
and what would we expect would the units be there right when the game starts or would they come into the map from the edge? what would we expect to see? what are your limits? what is our limits if the community worked with you?

ill support you............
i only work in cyan and sometimes really really bright blue :D so bright it burns your eyes!!!!!

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby Ninja_Prime52 » 24 Sep 2014 21:48

Hey johno, I like what you're planning, if you could capture the feel of GC, no base building, instant action, drop in games, then you would be halfway there. Reviving GC as you propose would finally give the original game a proper sequel, even though its in the spirit of the of the original game, unlike DC which I felt, like so many others too, that it was rushed to cash in on GC's relative success, unfortunately it backfired IMHO. If you plan on making a game in the spirit of GC, please make it balanced and as long as the game play is similar to GC, then I am all for it. Will you be basing the factions on the Cray's and OND forces, incorporating each factions strengths and weaknesses and also using their weapon biases. Would it incorporate an editor too. I like to buy games that incorporate editors.

Btw Alien's name was Nicolas I think. He was one of the level designers on the original game.

Looking forward to this plan maturing. If you need help with map making, count me in :D
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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby johno » 24 Sep 2014 22:18

Pricing:
Pricing should be "fair" to both the developer and the customers. I think that games that are "early access" should have a low prices initially (a couple of dollars) since they have low value initially. If / when the game gains value as new features are added the price should rise accordingly. Users who purchase early can show their support, influence the development, and of course get the game for a low price and all upgrades for free. MineCraft is a good example of this working out and feeling fair.

Community Role:
Since I'm planning a commercial product I would keep the source code closed and work on that myself. nornware currently doesn't have an artist so I would probably buy starting content online and / or buy work from freelancers to get the basics in there.

Editors (for maps, creating / editing units, importing art) would be in the game executable or in a dev / tool version that accompanies the game executable. Currently I usually have a dev deployment (game plus integrated editors) and a retail deployment (just the game) of all my games, and that model would probably be a good fit here too.

I envision the community contributing with maps, unit type creation and balancing, and probably also art / graphics (textures, props, unit models). Think a development sandbox. The big point for me is allowing the maps, unit types, and balance to evolve over time by the community for the community. This is partly because all of that is way too much work for me to do myself, and also because those are the things I hear you guys wanting to be in control of anyway.

Especially when it comes to unit balancing the project would be much better off if the community did all of that. For GC I was involved in designing the unit systems and coding them, but remember that I had no hand at all in actually deciding what the units were, how they were balanced, or how they looked (that was the designers and the artists). Similarly I was the only coder on the level editor GenEd, so I know how everything worked there, but I never actually created or scripted a level.

MineCraft (again) was a big deal for me conceptually because it is really quite free from what I call "designer agenda"; it lets gamers play the game pretty much the way they want to, and that is a huge part of the appeal. As an indie I feel that games like that are the new frontier.

Another good analogy is software like music programs (Ableton Live is awesome in this respect) or 3d modeling packages. They are "construction toolsets" that allow the user to be creative. If a game could be more like that the value of the software just explodes exponentially.

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby shpooky » 25 Sep 2014 17:23

good enough for me
i only work in cyan and sometimes really really bright blue :D so bright it burns your eyes!!!!!

(if you have any questions don't be afraid to PM me or you can contact me via email ddavidshpak@aol.com)

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby [_Hellfire_] » 26 Sep 2014 00:23

I've always thought a modernized spiritual successor to GC could take off. (By modernized I mean improved pathfinding, graphics, and all the other things one would expect from a game nowadays as opposed to the early 2000s). It has a solid foundation of a mix of strategy and action that makes it still my favorite game to play.

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby XFunc_CaRteR » 27 Sep 2014 01:40

Johno,

It's good to have someone who understands the original source code.

But I think you're applying programmer-think to a business problem.

I tabled a plan, informally, to the team during gameplay in which we would do a deal with Rebelliion.

IP is more than just code. IP includes storylines, units, characters, the world and so on. We want ALL of it.

A partnership with Rebellion, as a community, would make the most sense. As a community we have probably a century worth of experience as now expert players of this game. (Personally, I think it would be difficult to recreate the gameplay feel... but that's another issue.)

We have been tossing around an idea to raise funding and doing the project in tandem with Rebellion. If we had a programmer who could get access to the source, I am pretty sure I could find a way to do a partnership with Rebellion that would make it possible to do an actual bonafide revival of Ground Control itself... complete with the world of Krieg7b, Major Sarah Parker, Deacon Jared Stone, access to the original maps, use of all the available art assets, and the whole shabang.

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby XFunc_CaRteR » 27 Sep 2014 07:51

One of the things is that this probably can't really be looked at as just another game dev deal.

We are trying to retain the very distinct gameplay, look-and-feel and the universe of Ground Control itself. Even the name "Ground Control".

It's as much a preservation project as a new game project. Probably more so.

My opinion is that I would rather take the existing game and simply improve the hooks that permit multiplayer access. Our biggest hurdle to growing a community is that we have major onboarding issues with the game as it is now... using GameRanger for net connectivity (as GR is basically a duct-tape-and-bailing-wire fix to the connectivity).

Other than that, the game works as is with only minimal need for improvement.

But preservation of the gameplay - including the pathfinding algorithms and all the nuances of timing around gameplay... This is extremely important to us. We aren't really looking to just do another game.

We have a community that has refined its skills, bred over 14 years of play. We have a lot of depth here. I would be very hesitant to mess with that, and I'm pretty certain that any new game just couldn't capture what GC is now, gameplay wise. The units would move differently, they'd feel different. That sort of thing.

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby johno » 27 Sep 2014 09:20

XFunc_CaRteR;

You are right about pretty much everything you say, especially about all the nuances of the original.

My posts were based on the premise that cooperation from Rebellion and / or access to the original source simply were not an option.

If Rebellion were on board and the original source were available things would be MUCH simpler, and I would probably not even have to work on this personally at all; there would be other people with more time on their hands to do what the community wants done.

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby XFunc_CaRteR » 27 Sep 2014 23:22

Would you be interested if we could raise funds to pay you?

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby johno » 28 Sep 2014 09:21

Sure, paid work is better than speculative free work.

Your plan is of course dependent on Rebellion being onboard, and if they were they might want to keep the development to themselves (i.e. not release the source code outside their own company).

I admit I have speculated that my experience with the project might be helpful in getting Rebellion to do a deal with the community, but I have not contacted them personally.

You should try contacting Rebellion and we'll take it from there.

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