Benson Russell
2015, Inc. | Level Designer | Dec 14, 2000, 11:49:25 (ET) | benson@2015.com

*** Welcome to the 2015 Finger Server ***

User name: benson
Plan modified: Mon Dec 04 10:27:24 2000

E-mail: benson@2015.com
Handle: elmagoo
Position: D.O. (Director of Opression), and some level design
Project: Super secret game that even your momma will love


***************************************************************
*** NOTE: Any views expressed here are personal ***
*** and do not reflect the official position of 2015 Inc. ***
*** -In lamens terms....MY opinion! (and I know my ***
*** spelling sucks :). ***
***************************************************************

Plan Modified: Sun Dec 03, 2000 - 11:45pm

************* Laser Arena **********************

Well it's been great to read a lot of the comments about the game so far.
There's a few questions and comments that I've seen pop up that I wanted
to give an opportunity to answer for ya'll out there :).

1) Do we have to give out our Quake engine technology?

- Yes we purchased a Quake engine license, so we do not have to give
out our technology. We debated about doing this, but in the end it
boiled down to the fact that it took us 5 months total to make the game,
and that's 5 months of paying employee's salaries to bring the engine up
to specs for what we needed. That means that if we gave it out for
free, any other company choosing to do the same would have a jump start
that we paid for :(. This leads me to the next question:.....

2) Did we use stuff from the internet / mod community?

- No we did not use any code from the internet mod community.
Our coders ended up writing all the changes thenselves from scratch.
An example of this is getting colored fog and additive blending working
in software. The bots were written from scratch as well. Actually, if
you were to analyze the bots from a technical standpoint, they have a
much better undertsanding of tactics than both the Q3A or UT bots.
Also, they do not cheat in any way at all (as in they don't always know
you're position in the map, they actually have to look for you to find
you). The bots actually have a set of virtual senses that they use. For
example, each bot has a restricted field of view that they use, and they
scan around as they move just as a player would. An interesting thing
to try is bring down the console, and the command 'becomebot botname'
where botname is the name of the bot (also don't type the quotes either :).
This will place you inside the viewpoint of a bot and you can watch it
play from its perspective. They are also more 'human' feeling than
either the Q3A or UT bots. This stems from putting in many different
skill parameters that we can tweak to give each bot it's own personality.
If you have experience in editing quake stuff, if you unpack the pak file,
under the game/main/bots directory you will find a skills.txt. This gives
a listing of all the characteristics the bots have. Also, every .bot
file in that directory is a different personality (there's about 75 I
believe). There are skills to emmulate how good with a mouse the bot
is, to his aiming ability, to which powerups he favors and will go
for over others, his dodging abilities (even to the point of if he's
an alt+ strafer, emmulating a basic keyboard user), reflex speed,
aggressivness, ambush ability, awareness, item respawn prediction
memory (how good he is at remembering respawn times), etc.... It's
pretty interesting to watch from a bots point of view :). Plus, for
fun, each of us rated a bot to how we actually play, so in a sense
we're all in the game. Which leads me to my next comment:......

3) The bots are too easy / suck / too hard..

- Before you start a game, there is a bot skill level setting you can
adjust. They range from 1 (the default) "hi, I just bought a computer
and have never played a fps before in my life" bot, all the way to 10,
"get over here Thresh and I'll own your ass all day" insanity :). They
gradually ramp up all the way inbetween, so if a bot is too easy, don't
just pop it up to 10, go up a few skill levels and see where that's at
for you. Also, the bot AI is programed with personalities to round out
how they play. So each name you see is a different bot personality :).

Something else to remember is that this was designed to be a non-voilent
valueware deathmatch game. It was never meant to be on the same lines
as Quake3 or Unreal Tournament (both very great games :). Want to say
a big thanks for those of you that enjoy the game and like it, we're glad
you do :). And for those of you who don't like it, well perhaps our
next game will be more to your liking ;)p.

"It's the quite ones you gotta watch out for......but I bet while your
watching a quite one a noisy one will kill you!!!!"
- George Carlin

=========================================================================

Plan modified: Sun July 30, 2000 - 6:50pm
Well, unforntunately there's nothing much I can update on the company end,
all I can say is we're wrapping up the design phase and starting to work
on content now. EA is a great publisher to work with. They've been very
helpful with lots of feedback and suggestions, working with us
colaboratively so the outcome is the best it can be. The organization
over there is top notch, and we're all very happy to be working with them.

On a personal plug, for anybody who loves great techno music, you must go
check out the Boom Boom Satellites, some of the best stuff I've heard in a
long time. They encompass many different styles, yet have their own
distinctive flavor to their music. I hear they're currently touring with
Moby. If anybody knows of their tour dates, or where I can find them,
could ya drop me a line? I bought their CD 'Out Loud' back in February,
and I still listen to it daily. They've also done the intro track called
'Fogbound' for Ridge Racer V. Really great stuff, go buy it!! ;)p.


Plan modified: Thu September 25, 2000 - 7:40pm
****** Warning ******* Personal Rant Here ********* Warning ******
Mission Impossible 2:
OK, I'm sick of seeing all the bad press from people that are obviously not
John Woo fans, or fans of that style of movie. It's very obvious to tell
that they aren't when they comment on all the slow motion camera work.
That's John Woo style, check any of his films. Even The Matrix had a ton
of slow-mo in their action sequences. In fact, if you watch the interview
with the Wachowski brothers where they ask who are some of their main
influences, John Woo is at the top of the list. But the point is simple,
if you are wanting to go see MI2, just remember that it is a John Woo film,
done totally over the top, with total comic book hero style action and
stunts. It's a very entertaining action movie if you like this style, by
far his best work in the states yet. If you don't like his style, you
probably won't enjoy this movie. It's a simple plot, has some very well
filmed twists, and some impressive stuntwork and gun-play. If you're
looking for something deeper, then this isn't for you.

Sorry, I wanted to get an objective opinion out there about this movie then
just "it sucks my dead uncles rotting left ass cheek, totally lame and I
didn't like it!!!!!" critiques. Because obviously these people we're going
into this movie expecting a lot more then what it was clearly going to
deliver.
2015, Inc....
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