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www.gcvets.net - View topic - Reviving Ground Control


Reviving Ground Control

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby mind-pt- » 17 Sep 2014 19:10


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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby shpooky » 17 Sep 2014 21:03

thx mind this could become useful...............
oh.............................he was here........................
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 Destroy » 17 Sep 2014 21:10


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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby shpooky » 18 Sep 2014 21:08

if only i knew about GC in those good old days..............
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 johno » 20 Sep 2014 12:04

I read the EULA again. It is painfully clear that there is no way to use any code or data from the original game. Any attempt at a "remake" would have to be "in spirit" only.

This is both good and bad. The good is the freedom to change / fix things that were bad in the original game. The bad is the effort required to start from nothing.

Here's some (at this point) speculation:

If I were to personally spearhead a remake I would do it within the scope of my game company (http://www.nornware.com/), so that means it wouldn't totally be from scratch and I could get something up and running pretty quickly.

There are good places online to legally get starting content (for example: http://www.3drt.com/), and it wouldn't be all spheres and cubes. :)

My main agenda would be to keep the spirit of the original game(s) alive.

I would shoot for Steam Early Access for ease of development (when it comes to updates) as well as funding.

I would allow for lots of experimentation when it came to unit types, game balance, tweaking, etc, since this is lots of work and something that I expect the community to want to do anyway. The concept of "mods" would be integral, probably having the clients download most of not all config / unit / weapon data from the server.

Editors would probably be built straight into the game executable. There would probably be some kind of online storage of all mods / data for optimal sharing. This might require some kind of account concept, access rights, etc, but if I could get it on Steam all of that stuff would be solvable.

I would initially focus on multi-player and related modes. Single-player in Ground Control involved lots of scripting with a fair amount of related engine code as well as editor support, and who knows if people would even want missions like that anymore?

I would want to do the whole thing as incrementally as possible, with very frequent updates, but also to make sure that anyone actually cares about the project. I have released a couple of smallish games via nornware already, and I haven't made enough money to make it a full time thing, so I have to be careful what I spend my time doing. I like the idea of using Steam Greenlight as a kind of marketing test-space.

I think that absolute hardest thing would be to get the feel of the low level unit A.I. to be close to the original game. Dan Andersson, who was the lead on Ground Control 1 and responsible for all of the A.I. code, was a pretty maverick kind of guy with correspondingly messy code style that I probably couldn't emulate even if I tried.

For perspective consider that for Ground Control II we did a complete rewrite of the whole thing, with different coders on the various aspects of the engine. We extracted some low level stuff from GC1, but GC2 was really a completely different program. Dan Andersson wasn't involved in GC2, and the task of trying to emulate what he did for GC2 didn't really result in some that was especially close, at least not in my opinion.

Then again, I seem to recall reading that people in this community wanted to "fix" aspects of the GC1 unit behaviour anyway, so maybe the best thing would be to not even try to emulate it and just incrementally do what people want in the here and now.

One really telling thing I recall from GC2 was very late in development when I discovered that the aiming speed (for turning turrets / barrels / guns) was hardcoded to be PI radians per second for ALL units. We had forgotten to expose this variable to the unit script, and no one in the design team ever asked for it or even missed it. I remember changing it to not interpolate at all (instant aiming) just for kicks and just be completely blown away at how much that changed the feel of the game; everything was of course way faster as units could switch targets immediately after destroying the current one. Actually it felt quite a bit like StarCraft come to think of it.

Anyhow, that's pretty much what I'm thinking about. I'm sure some people will be upset with my intent to try to make a commercial product out of this, but I am in the process of trying to build a game dev company from basically nothing. The upside is of course all my experience in game dev, the ability to use nornware's codebase, and the fact that I really like building software that people actually use. For example the most fun I've ever had in game dev was building both GenEd (for GC1) and the basis of XED (for GC2) as tools like that are used by "customers" in-house and the feedback loop is really quick. So I gues I think about this project as being a sort of sandbox for GC-style games with a big focus on game mechanics.

Feedback anyone?

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby [_Hellfire_] » 20 Sep 2014 20:23

That sounds awesome Johno. If you need people to help test things out, you know where to look :)

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby Ninja_Prime52 » 21 Sep 2014 23:07

Hey Jono

Great to have you on board. I always thought that Rebellion had the IP for this game, and we had to get their permission to use it. If you think you can sell this game and make it economically viable then the best of luck. I am surprised that after 14 years no gaming house has come forward to revive this title.
How do you plan on selling this game if its already free? Who would want to buy it then.
Steam would be a good starting point, mainly as its the best known and most widely used game portal. Would you consider porting this game to mobile devises or just for PC only?
Would there be demand for this type of game? We have tried to expand the fan base for this game with very limited success.
If you were to solely concentrate on the multi player aspect to start with, would you increase the number of players that can join? It is currently 8, would GC even support more?
I would love to see this game go viral, but that would take a lot of time and effort.
If I member correctly, Tabu and Tweaks managed to create models for the game, if they could be contacted they might prove useful.
Btw Jono do you know what happened to Alien? Last I heard he was working for a gaming company doing racing games. He must have moved on by now.
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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby DarixIta » 23 Sep 2014 18:03

Well i think everybody here would love to see an improved gc-like game, taking all the good aspects of it and solving the network\compatibility related issues. As for not using rebellions' highly valued data, since the main aim would be MP, specific units could be replaced by more genric ones ( ex: jags=>sniper ). Out of curiosity, what game engine would you work with?

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby johno » 24 Sep 2014 10:49

Ninja-Prime;

Yes it is true that Rebellion owns the IP for Ground Control, and hence this "new game" that we are talking about will not be associated to Ground Control in any way that will get anyone into a legal jam. It would be a "spritual successor" to the GC games, a new game "inspired by" GC, etc.

I really don't know if it could be economically viable, that remains to be seen. The whole trend of doing things like Steam Early Access ties very much into the kind of incrementalism required in developing something like this, while simultaneously evaluating if anyone cares. The demand is probably not very large, but probably larger than for my previously released titles under nornware... :)

Related Trivia: the GC IP was "killed" by Vivendi Universal about one month after the release of Ground Control II (mid 2004), probably after getting sales figures for the first month. I remember us having already started work on an expansion when the call came down to just kill the franchise. That was pretty depressing after months of crunch to get GC2 out the door. I left Massive shortly after, but the tech that was GC2 eventually mutated into World In Conflict.

I would develop "the new game" initially for PC, ports would come later.

I probably wouldn't hard code any limit in the number of players in multiplayer, but I suspect the real-world limiting factor would be bandwidth and probably also CPU for running all the AI on the server. I suspect people would really be upset if "the new game" didn't support drop-in, and that kind of dictates the network architecture I would have to use. Both GC titles used a client-server model similar to the Quake games, whereas games like Starcraft (as far as I can tell) use a distributed model where every player runs the simulation based on deterministic inputs (more akin to Doom).

Speaking of tech options like that, I really think that the input-driven approach is more elegant and distributes the load much more evenly, but I have yet to hear about a game that uses that approach and still allows for drop-in during a match. Then again maybe drop-in isn't a must have, and the game should more "round based" like StarCraft. It's really up to the community.

About creating models; the "new game" would use a completely different renderer, so there is nothing to be gained from knowledge about the old models.

I haven't heard anything about Alien, no. I don't even recall who he was IRL, so it would be hard for me to track him down. :)


DarixIta;

I would probably start off with the current codebase I have i my company nornware, which a homebrew C++/DirectX pile of code that I've iterated on since about 1996. I don't like the term "game engine" much, but I guess you could compare it to the situation of Valve calling their source code the "Source" engine because the directory root was "src". In that case my "engine" is called "cpp"... :D

In general it seems like there are couple of people here who might care about a game like this. That in itself isn't really enough to motivate full time development, but I personally have a fondness for the original game, and that is motivation enough for at least starting work on a minimalist multiplayer version. My situation with nornware is that I haven't yet have a "hit product", so I'm still searching for the "best" next thing to do.

nornware is currently working on this: http://sbtf.nornware.com/

nornware is planning on pushing out a public demo of SBTF "soonish", and then switching gears to another project. This is partly in order to see if there is interest in it, and also because I currently have an intern from a game school and it is beneficial for him to work on as many different types of art tasks as possible. This internship ends at the end of January 2015.

Based on those plans I would start on the "new RTT game" at the earliest this coming February, granted that it is still of interest to both me and the community, and barring other things happening in nornware.

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Re: Reviving Ground Control

Postby shpooky » 24 Sep 2014 20:58

having a new game like gc would be awesome i would pay...............
that brings up the question if you were to make a game like gc how much would you sell it for???
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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