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0x10c Interview; Test Footage

An article on PC Gamer talks with Mojang's Markus 'Notch' Persson and Tobias Möllstam about 0x10c, their upcoming space simulation. "The goal is to have it feel a bit like Firefly," says Notch. "You can try to land on a planet but you mess up and, instead of having the ship just explode like it would in real life, the landing gear gets broken. Then you have to try to fix that by finding resources. Instead of the adventure being flying from here to here, it’s: I set the destination, oh god I hit a small asteroid and the cloaking device broke. I think they really nailed that kind of emergent aspect in FTL." They also include a link to this trailer showing footage of a "first draft" of an "art test" for the game.

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48. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 15, 2012, 00:26 Sepharo
 
Creston wrote on Oct 14, 2012, 10:30:
Sepharo wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 23:06:
It's shaky but I believe the "emergent" aspect is how you deal with these events that happen. The narrative in FTL is emergent. "Aliens boarded my ship, there was a fire, I lost most of my crew, but I picked up more from a slaver later." Random != Scripted

No, but random isn't emergent either, because all these things are planned to happen. Aliens will often board you because they're designed to do so, fires happen because getting hit sets stuff on fire, being able to pick up more crew from a slaver is programmed to happen in that encounter. (or at least it's one of the options.)

Maybe my definition of emergent is too rigid, but the things you described are natural outcomes of events that were programmed. I see emergent as something that happens that the devs never planned for, but which changes something in the game in a way that actually has an effect.

So, to give a weird FTL example, you get boarded by aliens and you lock one in a room somewhere. Then because you don't have enough crew left to kill it, you decide to leave it there. If you were then able to continue on (I don't know if the game allows that, but let's assume it does), and get boarded again, you find that the other aliens won't try to enter that room because one of their own is already in there. So you have effectively created a wall they can't pass.

Maybe not the best example in the world... ehm... let's go with Notch's example of a damaged landing gear. If it damages when you land, that's because there's a chance of it damaging when you land. That's just written into the game. But what if you land and go outside your ship, set off an explosion somewhere that dislodges a bunch of boulders, which roll down and slam into your ship, thus breaking its landing gear?

To me that's more emergent gameplay.

Creston

The Wikipedia article on it is pretty good. Details different types of emergent gameplay.
The part I was referring to would be emergent narrative which they say includes The Sims, Deus Ex, and L4D. Though at the bottom of the Talk page there are arguments against that.
 
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47. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 14, 2012, 11:27 NKD
 
Creston wrote on Oct 14, 2012, 10:30:
NKD wrote on Oct 14, 2012, 01:32:
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 19:01:
The trailer is stupid,
Creston

It's not a trailer, it's an early art test.

Poor choice of words. I should have just said video.

Creston

You're right though, a lot of people ARE running with this video as some kind of trailer. Notch just puts this kinda stuff out for the curious. He's not a very PR savvy guy and that's refreshing IMHO.
 
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46. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 14, 2012, 10:30 Creston
 
NKD wrote on Oct 14, 2012, 01:32:
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 19:01:
The trailer is stupid,
Creston

It's not a trailer, it's an early art test.

Poor choice of words. I should have just said video.

Creston
 
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45. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 14, 2012, 10:30 Creston
 
Sepharo wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 23:06:
It's shaky but I believe the "emergent" aspect is how you deal with these events that happen. The narrative in FTL is emergent. "Aliens boarded my ship, there was a fire, I lost most of my crew, but I picked up more from a slaver later." Random != Scripted

No, but random isn't emergent either, because all these things are planned to happen. Aliens will often board you because they're designed to do so, fires happen because getting hit sets stuff on fire, being able to pick up more crew from a slaver is programmed to happen in that encounter. (or at least it's one of the options.)

Maybe my definition of emergent is too rigid, but the things you described are natural outcomes of events that were programmed. I see emergent as something that happens that the devs never planned for, but which changes something in the game in a way that actually has an effect.

So, to give a weird FTL example, you get boarded by aliens and you lock one in a room somewhere. Then because you don't have enough crew left to kill it, you decide to leave it there. If you were then able to continue on (I don't know if the game allows that, but let's assume it does), and get boarded again, you find that the other aliens won't try to enter that room because one of their own is already in there. So you have effectively created a wall they can't pass.

Maybe not the best example in the world... ehm... let's go with Notch's example of a damaged landing gear. If it damages when you land, that's because there's a chance of it damaging when you land. That's just written into the game. But what if you land and go outside your ship, set off an explosion somewhere that dislodges a bunch of boulders, which roll down and slam into your ship, thus breaking its landing gear?

To me that's more emergent gameplay.

Creston
 
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44. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 14, 2012, 01:32 NKD
 
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 19:01:
The trailer is stupid,
Creston

It's not a trailer, it's an early art test.
 
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43. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 23:06 Sepharo
 
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 22:58:
Sepharo wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 21:38:
The point of mentioning FTL and the landing gear is that he wants to emphasize it not being a game about flying a ship through space, but a game about working on and managing a ship flying through space.

Okay, and that's fine. And if you do an First Person game about flying a ship through space, that might be seriously frakking awesome.

It has nothing to do with emergent gameplay, though.

Creston

It's shaky but I believe the "emergent" aspect is how you deal with these events that happen. The narrative in FTL is emergent. "Aliens boarded my ship, there was a fire, I lost most of my crew, but I picked up more from a slaver later." Random != Scripted
 
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42. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 22:58 Creston
 
Sepharo wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 21:38:
The point of mentioning FTL and the landing gear is that he wants to emphasize it not being a game about flying a ship through space, but a game about working on and managing a ship flying through space.

Okay, and that's fine. And if you do an First Person game about flying a ship through space, that might be seriously frakking awesome.

It has nothing to do with emergent gameplay, though.

Creston
 
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41. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 21:38 Sepharo
 
Creston wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 19:01:
The trailer is stupid, tbh, as I see nothing there to even get remotely excited about. Why are his laser bolts flying towards that planet? Does his space ship have no windows? (to be fair, I watched it with the sound off, so maybe he explains that.)

The more interesting thing would be if he made an emergent gameplay rogue/fps variant. However, he mentions FTL which, quite frankly, has zero emergent gameplay. Every single thing that happens to you in FTL is scripted. It happens randomly, but all those encounters are scripted. FTL doesn't throw something at you that the devs didn't prepare.

So him saying "Oh, and the landing gear breaks, and you have to spend resources to fix it" isn't emergent, because he'd script for the landing gear to break.

The point of mentioning FTL and the landing gear is that he wants to emphasize it not being a game about flying a ship through space, but a game about working on and managing a ship flying through space.
 
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40. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 21:01 Rea1One
 
Even though its all about "gameplay" it still doesn't sound all that compelling to be honest.  
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39. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 19:01 Creston
 
The trailer is stupid, tbh, as I see nothing there to even get remotely excited about. Why are his laser bolts flying towards that planet? Does his space ship have no windows? (to be fair, I watched it with the sound off, so maybe he explains that.)

The more interesting thing would be if he made an emergent gameplay rogue/fps variant. However, he mentions FTL which, quite frankly, has zero emergent gameplay. Every single thing that happens to you in FTL is scripted. It happens randomly, but all those encounters are scripted. FTL doesn't throw something at you that the devs didn't prepare.

So him saying "Oh, and the landing gear breaks, and you have to spend resources to fix it" isn't emergent, because he'd script for the landing gear to break.

Not saying this might not be an interesting game, but I doubt that he's actually thinking about emergent gameplay versus scripted gameplay where weird shit can happen.

Creston
 
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38. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 18:18 Dmitri_M
 
Slashman wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 13:29:
Most indie games don't even sell 500k copies. This guy, with a tiny team, sold more copies than most AAA games these days sell. He did it with no publisher taking a cut and extremely small overhead. He now has the means to produce something better. If this was a startup indie company, I could maybe excuse that because they need to start somewhere. But this guy has the finances and resources to do much better.


His hit game featured sandbox style gameplay. The players "created" the gameplay. What he's attempting here is much more conventional. He will be responsible for the gameplay, and he's already talking up emergent features. Something no one else has really pulled off.
 
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37. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 16:57 killer_roach
 
Prez wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 14:42:
Minecraft didn't grab me; Terraria (the 2D Minecraft ripoff) totally did. I much preferred Terraria because even though it wasn't a graphical powerhouse its graphics were charming in their simplicity and it wasn't ugly.

Hell, you can't even blame it on the blockiness - Voxatron and (a bit further up the food chain) 3D Dot Game Heroes look better despite being the same sort of blockiness. In the case of Minecraft, it was simply a lack of art direction because Notch admits he's not much of an artist (an understatement if ever there was one).
 
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36. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 14:42 Prez
 
We haven't seen enough to dismiss the game based on its graphics alone, unless one is a graphics whore.

I'm not dismissing it entirely, but the video made me extremely pessimistic that I'll ever play it because the visuals are terrible. In the 21st century I don't think I need to play a butt-ugly game, and I don't think that makes me a 'graphics whore'. I married a pretty woman but I don't think that makes me obsessed with looks. I play FTL, which has simplistic graphics, but it isn't ugly, just 'minimalistic'. Many indies have proven that you can make a game with a very small graphics budget look nice. Obviously he is aiming for the broadest market appeal here by making the game able to run on low spec machines (which was part of Minecraft's massive success I think), but I don't think considering myself outside his target audience means I'm obsessed with graphics; it's just that ugly visuals make a game far less appealing. Understanding that it is an early video, considering how Minecraft looked, I doubt I should expect this project to get a whole lot more visually exciting. If it does, great.

Minecraft didn't grab me; Terraria (the 2D Minecraft ripoff) totally did. I much preferred Terraria because even though it wasn't a graphical powerhouse its graphics were charming in their simplicity and it wasn't ugly.
 
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35. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 14:17 SM0k3
 
Should get interesting when we see some solid gameplay concepts/mechanics come along, otherwise like mentioned below this is just a techdemo.  
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34. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 14:12 Jensen
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 04:48:
and I still say he's out and out lied about his sales numbers.

Why do you say this? Do you think the counter at minecraft.net/stats/ is fake? Is minecraft not really the #4 paid app in the ios app store? Is he conspiring with 4J studios in the announcement of 4 million sales of the XBLA version?
 
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33. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 13:58 Jensen
 
Slashman wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 10:33:
Minecraft sold over 9.2 million according to sales figure from Notch. I think he could afford to do something slightly more than what we're seeing in that video.

Notch can afford to do anything he wants to, and he wants to design and program a game by himself or with a very small team. It's not like all of Mojang is working on the game.
 
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32. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 13:51 Beelzebud
 
Let me know when there is a game to be shown off. This is a java tech demo that takes place in one room. Listening to him rattle off features he "plans" to add does nothing for me, after seeing all of the abandoned ideas in Minecraft.

People all over the net keep saying "yeah it looks like crap but the game looks interesting": What game? Having a 16-Bit CPU emulator in a room with N64 textures, and stencil buffered lighting isn't even close to being a game.
 
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31. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 13:29 Slashman
 
NKD wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 12:33:
I don't really buy into the concept that indie's are obligated to spend millions and millions developing their next title if they are successful just to measure up to some arbitrary level of "Triple A" polish and art.

I don't what you think I'm saying. Here is what I am saying:

Most indie games don't even sell 500k copies. This guy, with a tiny team, sold more copies than most AAA games these days sell. He did it with no publisher taking a cut and extremely small overhead. He now has the means to produce something better. If this was a startup indie company, I could maybe excuse that because they need to start somewhere. But this guy has the finances and resources to do much better.

I don't care about 'AAA standards', I just want graphics that don't make me feel like I'm playing something from more than a decade and a half ago. I have no reason to doubt he can get the gameplay right. Why not work on polishing the graphics and art too. You no longer have the excuse of: 'We're a small indie. We can only do so much.'

Minecraft was hugely successful with meager art and a shoestring budget. If Notch can't do it again, then him spending millions of more dollars is only going to get you a prettier failure, not a more successful game.

If he can't make a good game again, then he's failed as a developer. Making games is a risk. The difference is that he has a huge buffer of cash to help mitigate it, while most indies live or die based on their next tile.
 
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30. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 13:00 NKD
 
Prez wrote on Oct 13, 2012, 12:53:
Sorry, but I'm not going to feel bad or arrogant about giving a game a chance despite it's limited graphics, no matter how you want to frame it.

You made a douchey statement; playing the victim now doesn't change that. No one is attacking you for giving a game a chance, so you can put that strawman to rest.

I'm not seeing where calling out someone for dismissing a game solely on its graphics is douchey. Especially when that someone is Cutter. Come on Prez, you know how he is. Maybe I was a bit more abrasive than I would have been with someone else, but my point still stands. We haven't seen enough to dismiss the game based on its graphics alone, unless one is a graphics whore.
 
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29. Re: 0x10c Interview; Test Footage Oct 13, 2012, 12:53 Prez
 
Sorry, but I'm not going to feel bad or arrogant about giving a game a chance despite it's limited graphics, no matter how you want to frame it.

You made a douchey statement; playing the victim now doesn't change that. No one is attacking you for giving a game a chance, so you can put that strawman to rest.
 
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Goodbye my Monte boy. May you rest in the peace you never knew in life.
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