Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

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Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby LUMPdizzle666 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:45 am

So what does everyone think?

I am stoked and really looking forward to it. Let us spread the XenoMiner universe!

By the way I really like the name :D
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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby LUMPdizzle666 » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:37 pm

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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby LUMPdizzle666 » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:02 pm

Is it ready yet?
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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby Lone Wolf » Mon Nov 25, 2013 4:25 am

I can't wait either. It's going to be awesome!
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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby ARCLIGHT545 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:38 am

Well, Im unconvinced. The whole idea of further dividing limited resources to develop another game seems to be completely misguided. Rather than focusing on XM and making it better, for some reason, GM has decided to divide the staff's attention and essentially kick XM to the curb. They could have put out 2 stability updates and really solidified XM's foundation then put out a big features update. Instead they do this. As a loyal GM supporter, Im completely confused by their decision making. How can you take a staff that is, compared to big developers, a "handful" of staff members and even consider trying to put out two titles. I do not rationally see how a small staff is going to manage both games. I think a prime opportunity to really push XM to the top is being flushed for the sake of a new unknown. Especially considering that it is based on the XM platform that is currently not stable. A passage in the bible puts it best "a foolish man who built his house on sand". If XM platform is unstable and crashing in a building environment, how is it going to react in the dynamic randomness of a FPS.
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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby Lone Wolf » Sat Nov 30, 2013 6:39 pm

ARCLIGHT545 wrote:Well, Im unconvinced. The whole idea of further dividing limited resources to develop another game seems to be completely misguided. Rather than focusing on XM and making it better, for some reason, GM has decided to divide the staff's attention and essentially kick XM to the curb. They could have put out 2 stability updates and really solidified XM's foundation then put out a big features update. Instead they do this. As a loyal GM supporter, Im completely confused by their decision making. How can you take a staff that is, compared to big developers, a "handful" of staff members and even consider trying to put out two titles. I do not rationally see how a small staff is going to manage both games. I think a prime opportunity to really push XM to the top is being flushed for the sake of a new unknown. Especially considering that it is based on the XM platform that is currently not stable. A passage in the bible puts it best "a foolish man who built his house on sand". If XM platform is unstable and crashing in a building environment, how is it going to react in the dynamic randomness of a FPS.


You do realize that all they really have to do in Xenominer is fix a few minor bugs right? And add in the new stuff they had planned, There's really no NEEDs list for Xenominer (Love the game). And as for making a new game, while I'm no Game Dev, I do know they're using the same game engine as well as taking a lot of things from Xenominer which will cut down on the work they have to do. And as for kicking XM to the curb, where'd you get that idea? DG is to bring in more people and add an FPS feel to a Xenominer type surrounding, And they are in no way inexperienced, they have made other games and most likely already know how to manage their time very well. I expect updates for both XM and DG after DG is released. And as for a "Handful of Game Devs" compared to big companies, you also must understand that they're making an Indie game, not a Giant game with a bunch of hyped up stuff (Not saying Indie is bad, just what I would think easier to handle [Hell I haven't really stopped playing this game since I rebought it and I can't say the same for a lot of major well known games]) And as for pushing XM to the top, it's already there for me, I've been getting quite a few people either; back into it, or newly playing the game. And so far most of them love it. And as I said above, it's not like their going to forget about XM, they've still got things planned out for it, XM can only get better, and if, somewhere down the road, I get tired of building, I could load up DownGate and shoot the crap outta people. Which will be REALLY fun. I personally can't wait til this game comes out. And I know it will be one of my favorite games to play, Hell, Xenominer is #1 on my list.
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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby ARCLIGHT545 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 7:25 pm

Lone Wolf wrote:
ARCLIGHT545 wrote:Well, Im unconvinced. The whole idea of further dividing limited resources to develop another game seems to be completely misguided. Rather than focusing on XM and making it better, for some reason, GM has decided to divide the staff's attention and essentially kick XM to the curb. They could have put out 2 stability updates and really solidified XM's foundation then put out a big features update. Instead they do this. As a loyal GM supporter, Im completely confused by their decision making. How can you take a staff that is, compared to big developers, a "handful" of staff members and even consider trying to put out two titles. I do not rationally see how a small staff is going to manage both games. I think a prime opportunity to really push XM to the top is being flushed for the sake of a new unknown. Especially considering that it is based on the XM platform that is currently not stable. A passage in the bible puts it best "a foolish man who built his house on sand". If XM platform is unstable and crashing in a building environment, how is it going to react in the dynamic randomness of a FPS.


You do realize that all they really have to do in Xenominer is fix a few minor bugs right? And add in the new stuff they had planned, There's really no NEEDs list for Xenominer (Love the game). And as for making a new game, while I'm no Game Dev, I do know they're using the same game engine as well as taking a lot of things from Xenominer which will cut down on the work they have to do. And as for kicking XM to the curb, where'd you get that idea? DG is to bring in more people and add an FPS feel to a Xenominer type surrounding, And they are in no way inexperienced, they have made other games and most likely already know how to manage their time very well. I expect updates for both XM and DG after DG is released. And as for a "Handful of Game Devs" compared to big companies, you also must understand that they're making an Indie game, not a Giant game with a bunch of hyped up stuff (Not saying Indie is bad, just what I would think easier to handle [Hell I haven't really stopped playing this game since I rebought it and I can't say the same for a lot of major well known games]) And as for pushing XM to the top, it's already there for me, I've been getting quite a few people either; back into it, or newly playing the game. And so far most of them love it. And as I said above, it's not like their going to forget about XM, they've still got things planned out for it, XM can only get better, and if, somewhere down the road, I get tired of building, I could load up DownGate and shoot the crap outta people. Which will be REALLY fun. I personally can't wait til this game comes out. And I know it will be one of my favorite games to play, Hell, Xenominer is #1 on my list.

Well it seems you are new around here and havent been through what many of us have been through with this game. Ive seen this game at its best and its worst. This whole downgate thing is drawing already busy minds away from the issues affecting XM. If XM had been completely fixed and was running as flawlessly as any video game could, may be this DG thing would make sense. As it stands now, I and a few others are not seeing the logic in building another game from an engine that is far from perfect. Adding a boat load of moving parts to that engine, something they could not do with XM and expect the game to function.
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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby BushKillFalls » Sat Nov 30, 2013 8:14 pm

I think the Confusion comes in where Guns including the Sniper Rifle and Rocket Launcher that haven't been added to Xenominer yet including some other Features like more Mobs, Meteors, Pressurization, and Scanners as well as the generally expected Signs, Stairs, Placeable Devices were and still are expected in Xenominer. With the Announcment of DownGate the question of then what features aren't now going to make it into Xenominer since they are coming out with a Dedicated FPS. If you are making a FPS then do the FPS elements expected in Xenominer get Dropped and added to DownGate. Also part of the FPS being built off of the Xenominer Engine is the ability to build shelters and alter the landscape in DownGate along with the FPS. Does that mean DownGate is going to be what we were expecting out of Xenominer and if so would Xenominer still be necessary is the fear.

To me those seem to be the true roots of the confusion. We all Love Xenominer Extremely and we also all want to see Gristmill Grow and expand and that is why we support it so much and get so concerned. We also understand it is all up to GM to make the decisions where they go and how they lead their company to success. I believe a bit more info is what is really desired on the futures and scopes of the 2 Similar Games Xenimoner and Downgate and how their Futures Intertwine.

On the Bugs part there are still some left to fix even though there is a Mountain of Bug Carcases 8-) that GM has Squashed. I am Sure GM has the Ability to fix these but it has slowed some gameplay lately like the Guest Log-Out that Crashes Multiplayer, but I believe they stated they have that one Squashed as well in the Bug Thread. So it is just a matter of waiting for the update for my 24Hour World to be Posted once more. Though that hasn't stopped me from playing single player on that world. There are Bound to be bugs in any game big or small. Look at GTA V giving out $500k for the Bugs they have been having. The Concern about Stability is that a focus remains on Xenominer through DownGates Release which in past statements GM has said it would be a focus but the clarification of how the two Games are going to work together would answer the questions people have been having.
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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby Lone Wolf » Sat Nov 30, 2013 10:21 pm

ARCLIGHT545 wrote:
Lone Wolf wrote:
ARCLIGHT545 wrote:Well, Im unconvinced. The whole idea of further dividing limited resources to develop another game seems to be completely misguided. Rather than focusing on XM and making it better, for some reason, GM has decided to divide the staff's attention and essentially kick XM to the curb. They could have put out 2 stability updates and really solidified XM's foundation then put out a big features update. Instead they do this. As a loyal GM supporter, Im completely confused by their decision making. How can you take a staff that is, compared to big developers, a "handful" of staff members and even consider trying to put out two titles. I do not rationally see how a small staff is going to manage both games. I think a prime opportunity to really push XM to the top is being flushed for the sake of a new unknown. Especially considering that it is based on the XM platform that is currently not stable. A passage in the bible puts it best "a foolish man who built his house on sand". If XM platform is unstable and crashing in a building environment, how is it going to react in the dynamic randomness of a FPS.


You do realize that all they really have to do in Xenominer is fix a few minor bugs right? And add in the new stuff they had planned, There's really no NEEDs list for Xenominer (Love the game). And as for making a new game, while I'm no Game Dev, I do know they're using the same game engine as well as taking a lot of things from Xenominer which will cut down on the work they have to do. And as for kicking XM to the curb, where'd you get that idea? DG is to bring in more people and add an FPS feel to a Xenominer type surrounding, And they are in no way inexperienced, they have made other games and most likely already know how to manage their time very well. I expect updates for both XM and DG after DG is released. And as for a "Handful of Game Devs" compared to big companies, you also must understand that they're making an Indie game, not a Giant game with a bunch of hyped up stuff (Not saying Indie is bad, just what I would think easier to handle [Hell I haven't really stopped playing this game since I rebought it and I can't say the same for a lot of major well known games]) And as for pushing XM to the top, it's already there for me, I've been getting quite a few people either; back into it, or newly playing the game. And so far most of them love it. And as I said above, it's not like their going to forget about XM, they've still got things planned out for it, XM can only get better, and if, somewhere down the road, I get tired of building, I could load up DownGate and shoot the crap outta people. Which will be REALLY fun. I personally can't wait til this game comes out. And I know it will be one of my favorite games to play, Hell, Xenominer is #1 on my list.

Well it seems you are new around here and havent been through what many of us have been through with this game. Ive seen this game at its best and its worst. This whole downgate thing is drawing already busy minds away from the issues affecting XM. If XM had been completely fixed and was running as flawlessly as any video game could, may be this DG thing would make sense. As it stands now, I and a few others are not seeing the logic in building another game from an engine that is far from perfect. Adding a boat load of moving parts to that engine, something they could not do with XM and expect the game to function.

I'm not new, I've been playing XM for quite some time. And I'm pretty sure GM has learned from their passed mistakes, you act like they'll happen all over again when they really won't. DownGate is a way to show more of the mysterious universe that started as Xenominer, and a way to get more people interested in the universe. Whilst Xenominer isn't fixed of all bugs it doesn't have any giant game killing bugs, and from what I've seen it (like Minecraft) is a regularly updated game. You act as if XenoMiner is a broken game and it is far from that, sure it could be shinned a bit more but it in no way is broken.

@BushKillFalls: I think they'll keep both of them as their own game and not take things away from either of them: Like as you said taking the FPS stuff from Xenominer completely out of it and giving it to DG.
But yeah, more info is really needed. Which I hope they will release to the public soon.

I can't wait to get my hands on this game :)
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Re: Thoughts on DownGate: ExoDrone Wars

Postby Gristmill » Mon Dec 02, 2013 12:36 am

A lot of concerns coming up in this thread, understandable concerns. I'll try to touch on the major ones:

If XenoMiner is unstable, how do you expect to build an FPS Deathmatch game on it?

The areas that make XM unstable come from what we call "state management" - generally speaking, we have to manage the state of many things across all the clients. If you remove a voxel, everyone needs to know. If you and someone else remove a voxel at the same time, everyone needs to know but one person needs to "rewind" what they did (erroneously, as two people can't remove the same thing). If you drop an item, pick up an item, spawn a mob, shoot a mob, drop a container, dig up a container, etc etc ... all of this has to accurately be reflected everywhere at once.

An FPS Deathmatch game has very few of these issues. State for the world (voxels) and state for the players is about all you need - even the player state doesn't require much sharing as players can track themselves. There are no inventories, no containers, no "items" to worry about. All of the complicated cruft is gone.

The other reason is that starting "fresh" has let us rewrite some core networking and state management systems that are too cumbersome to rewrite in XenoMiner proper. Though the engine is the same, we've been able to re-tinker a lot of the hooks and underpinnings for Downgate that would require a complete overhaul to do from within XM.

The good thing about this is it will not take as much time to pull these changes into XM now that they've been pathforged. It will still take some work, but we will know the system is clean from start to finish ... before we start trying to do the "pro" version (xenominer).

You can relate this to many crafting projects: building your own car, woodworking a dresser, etc. The first one you do you learn a lot, but you can't necessarily "fix" it. You can, however, take what you've learned and all the tools you acquired along the way and make something better.

Long story short: this gave us a chance to do a much-needed system clean on the code that will roll stability back into XM in due time. It would have been agonizingly slow (months) to do so in XM first.

If you make XM more stable, it will grow faster/be more successful/sell more

Unfortunately this sentiment is understandable, but not likely true. It is true that we may see a rise in sales (we did for both MP and for new Terrain) but those rises tend to be fleeting. At our most unstable (pre 1.3) till now, updates outside of MP have only ever slightly raised the bar. I'm talking to 20% or so growth.

The reality of selling product is this: if we are selling 100 units of XM per day (just using fake numbers here), we can spend a couple months on a stability for XM and see it rise to something like 105. We could add a new set of exciting features instead and maybe see it go to 120 or 125. That's it. Now ... if we release a whole second title, likely (if we do it well) it will sell at least it's own 100 a day. Now we have 200 a day as opposed to 105 - 125 from the other options.

As you can see, the safe move for Gristmill is to diversify, just like you would in investments.

This doesn't mean we're kicking XM to the curb, or giving up on it, or not fixing bugs, or never updating it again. It just means we have a window of opportunity to secure a more stable future for Gristmill, and we're going to take it. The Voxmill engine we built for XM was never meant to produce just that one game (we actually had hoped to have 2 other titles out with it by the end of this year ... le sigh).

Are you putting in cool things into Downgate that should go into XM?

Yes, but that's a good thing. We've taken the chance to re-tool how gear, armor, weapons and even bullets interact. We were able to make them configurable via spreadsheet (hella easy modding) and make them purely data driven, even down to the gun/tool model's positions and reload swing. This was not a possibility in XM (not without spending literal months reworking the game side of the code) but was on a fresh start. The exciting thing is this has given us a roadmap for how we want to work it into XM, with the possibility of us just cutting tons of cruft out and hooking in this new system.

You'll see the sniper rifle, rocket launcher, grenade launcher and a few other fun toys in Downgate and hopefully soon XM.

Is Downgate going to just be the XM we were hoping for?

Not likely, not considering the reasons most of you play XM.

Downgate will be a Team Deathmatch game. Like CoD or Halo Multiplayer:

10 minute matches
Limited arenas, about 100x100 to 500x500 or so (think one Massive Crater or smaller)
Character Classes (Marine, Engineer, Recon to start)
Limited Characters (2 - 5), each will have their own independent experience/level and equipment loadout

Maps will be set in a Massive Crater, a Spire Biome, a cave-heavy Tunnels biome or an Asteroids biome. Some of these are not quite possible in XM regular, but can be done on a limited map. Those that can be done in XM will move up to it as we can.

Matches will be Team Deathmatch (kills to score, some high score to win or winner declared at time out), or Control Point (3 to 5 control points on the map, hold points to earn score). Other objective types to come.

You'll earn points in a match for kills, taking and holding points, building/digging within a point (and other reasons to come).

As you can see, this is a very different experience from XM. This is about running and gunning old-school FPS style. Shoot, kill, die, respawn, rinse, repeat.


Hope that clears it up a bit, feel free to discuss/ask more ...
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