Overall "look" of the game

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pd
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#16 Post by pd » Tue May 04, 2004 10:40 pm

i think it should be only selectable with custom races. when creating the ships, the artist has a specific race in mind. the characteristics of each race should influence the ship design. at least in it's overall shape. this should be respected :)

but if the player really wants another ship type, he is of course free to create a custom race based on a premade race and choose the ship type he likes most.

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#17 Post by Lyx » Wed May 05, 2004 4:00 pm

Hmm, the problem with players being able to modify an existing race is that the race becomes kind of "just a collection of exchangable building-parts". With single-player games thats less an issue, because the AI-players would probably only use the standard-races in an unmodified way. But with multiplayer-games imagine how many custom races there could be, all using "parts" of the normal races, but at the same time playing a different custom race. Together with race-mods this could easily become irritating and the race-specific graphics just appearing like "modules" and "build-parts".

Also, imho it would make sense to have a motivation and "advantage" to make someone want to play one of the original races in a unmodified way.


How about the following approach:

Race creation is strictly seperated into two modes...

Use an original race:
--------------------------------------------------------------------
- all graphics, race-modifiers, etc. are fixed and cannot be changed
- only the ruler name can be changed
- every single original race can only be played by one player during the game. If all original races are already taken then additional players have to create a custom-race.

Create a custom race:
--------------------------------------------------------------------
- no graphics of the original races can be used. Instead, the player chooses from art-packs(race-graphics, building-graphics, ship-graphics) which are especially made for use in the custom-race mode.
- To save resources at v1.0 there could only be one variation for each art-pack type, like buildings, race-graphics and ship graphics available. Or in other words: just one art-pack for buildings, one pack for ships, etc. Of course especially the first of those art-packs would need to look very "general" and "neutral" to make them suitable for as many cases as possible.

Voila. We now solved multiple issues at once:
- the original races keep original - so if someone playes on of those you can be sure its indeed the race you know.
- players who created a custom race are easily recognizable and at the same time later will have lots of ways to customize their race via the art-packs
- modders, who for example created some races graphics but aren't that good in ship graphics don't have to create a full blown race - they could just publish their race-graphics as an art-pack for use in the custom-race mode. Similiar to that someone could just create some ships and publish them as a ship-artpack for use in the custom-race mode, and so on and so on.
- there now is a reward to play one of the original races in an unmodified way(because its the only way to play them - they're special), and as well a reward to play a custom race(because of the art-packs).
- modifications and add-ons are now easier to keep track of, because there is an easy system to it: either its a full original race, or its a custom race, created via artpacks(race-gfx, ship-gfx, buildings-gfx).

- Lyx

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#18 Post by Daveybaby » Wed May 05, 2004 4:19 pm

Lyx wrote:Voila. We now solved multiple issues at once:
Well you created an issue out of thin air and then imposed gameplay restrictions to fix it...

I cant think of a single reason to impose such limitations on what the player can and cant choose. :?

I can see the use of an optional mode in multiplayer which prevents 2 empires from using the same art set, and i can see the sense in having AI races pick art sets which suit their species, but in SP the players choice should have priority, AI races should probably pick another unused art set if their favourite is already gone.
pd wrote:when creating the ships, the artist has a specific race in mind. the characteristics of each race should influence the ship design. at least in it's overall shape. this should be respected :)
Alternatively, the ship designer has probably designed a set of ships to look cool without even thinking about the race. I dunno if FO is going to have a 'race bible' a la moo3, with ship styles (and city styles? and tech styles?) for each race - but that didnt work particularly well in moo3 - they could only come up with one design per species... and thats with a full time paid art team working for over 4 years.
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#19 Post by Lyx » Wed May 05, 2004 4:34 pm

Daveybaby wrote:
Lyx wrote:Voila. We now solved multiple issues at once:
Well you created an issue out of thin air and then imposed gameplay restrictions to fix it...

I cant think of a single reason to impose such limitations on what the player can and cant choose. :?
Hmm, i thought i wrote those reasons? Okay, i'll try again:
- Immersion and unique race-specific-feel: There is the danger that the original races may just feel like parts of a toolbox put together.
- Giving a motivation to play original races in an unmodified way.
- Confusion in multiplayer games when players partially use the graphics of an original race, but in reality play a completely different custom-race.

edit: the idea was simply "either you play an original unique race, OR you create your own custom race - but not both at once"
I can see the use of an optional mode in multiplayer which prevents 2 empires from using the same art set
Umm, i wasn't even proposing such a restriction. The idea i had that no two players can play the same original race at the same time. BUT that as many players as you like can use the same custom-art-set. The "restrictions" only are about the original races - to make sure they remain unique instead of just a patchwork of multiple modules.
but in SP the players choice should have priority, AI races should probably pick another unused art set if their favourite is already gone.
True. But then again, applying different rules to SP and MP concerning how you may create custom races could be confusing.
pd wrote:when creating the ships, the artist has a specific race in mind. the characteristics of each race should influence the ship design. at least in it's overall shape. this should be respected :)
Alternatively, the ship designer has probably designed a set of ships to look cool without even thinking about the race. I dunno if FO is going to have a 'race bible' a la moo3, with ship styles (and city styles? and tech styles?) for each race - but that didnt work particularly well in moo3 - they could only come up with one design per species... and thats with a full time paid art team working for over 4 years.
[/quote]
Hmm, that sounds exactly like what i had in mind and why i proposed to distinguish between full unique races, and art-packs containing just one kind of graphics(race-art, spaceships, buildings...) for use in custom-races.

- Lyx
Last edited by Lyx on Wed May 05, 2004 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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#20 Post by pd » Wed May 05, 2004 4:38 pm

I dunno if FO is going to have a 'race bible' a la moo3, with ship styles (and city styles? and tech styles?)
i promise that we will have ship styles per race.

individual tech pics is another question, because we will need _many_ of them. seems to be impossible to make them race specific.

and i hope of course we will also manage to have individual city pics.

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#21 Post by Lyx » Wed May 05, 2004 5:59 pm

I thought a simple image may explain things better than a thousand words:

Code: Select all

               +- official complete races(incl. race-, ship-, buildings-graphics, banner, etc)
               |
Unique Race ---+- unofficial complete races made by users(incl. the same things as above)


(the modules below do not include graphics from the "unique races" above)


Custom Race ---+- race graphics from an official race-artpack
               |
               +- race graphics from an unofficial race-artpack
               |
               +- ship graphics from an official ship-artpack
               |
               +- ship graphics from an unofficial ship-artpack
               |
               +- buildings graphics from an official buildings-artpack
               |
               +- buildings graphics from an unofficial buildings-artpack
               |
               +- banner from an official banner-image
               |
               +- banner from an unofficial banner-image

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#22 Post by Daveybaby » Thu May 06, 2004 8:41 am

Lyx wrote:Hmm, i thought i wrote those reasons? Okay, i'll try again:
- Immersion and unique race-specific-feel: There is the danger that the original races may just feel like parts of a toolbox put together.
- Giving a motivation to play original races in an unmodified way.
- Confusion in multiplayer games when players partially use the graphics of an original race, but in reality play a completely different custom-race.
Heh, but i'm afraid i dont see any of those reasons as issues that need fixing.
- Immersion isnt a problem - if people want to customise a standard race then why shouldnt they? If people want to play the standard races then they can. If they want to customise then why on earth shouldnt they be allowed to?
- Graphics are a poor motivation for getting people to play a race - maybe make the gameplay for the races interesting instead?
- Confusion in MP due to custom races with standard graphics???? Has this ever happended or are you just making this up? Certainly its not something i've ever heard of in Moo2 and Moo3 MP.

You seem to be proposing that we have separate art sets for standard and custom races. So somebody has to create twice as much race art - a *huge* amount of extra work to fix 3 incredibly minor issues that some people (well, me actually :P) would argue arent actually issues at all.


Lyx wrote:
I can see the use of an optional mode in multiplayer which prevents 2 empires from using the same art set
Umm, i wasn't even proposing such a restriction.
I know, i was proposing it myself. Having 2 races with the same art set *is* often confusing (as opposed to having a custom race with a different art set than you'd expect, which isnt) because you wouldnt be able to tell at a glance who's ships were who's - a common problem in Moo3, where multiple empires shared the same ship art - remember they had to add little coloured flags to the icons on the starmap so that you could tell if the ships heading for your homeworld belonged to you or your enemy?

Even so, it should still be optional.
Lyx wrote:The idea i had that no two players can play the same original race at the same time. BUT that as many players as you like can use the same custom-art-set. The "restrictions" only are about the original races - to make sure they remain unique instead of just a patchwork of multiple modules.
I'm sorry but IMO thats just completely back to front. I've discussed why having 2 people use the same ship art can be confusing, above.

If people want to play the same race in an MP game then they should be allowed to - why do you need to tell people how they can play the game? Sure, have an optional MP flag that limits a game to one instance of each race, and/or one that limits the game to standard races only - but these are decisions which should be made by the players when they set up the game - not hard coded.

My point is that people will want to play the game in different ways - i certainly seem to have a different set of preferences to you, so why should we hard code the game to your preferences and not mine? It would be like me saying "we should code the game so that every race's ship art must always be randomly chosen, players are not allowed to use the race's standard ship art" :wink:
Lyx wrote:
but in SP the players choice should have priority, AI races should probably pick another unused art set if their favourite is already gone.
True. But then again, applying different rules to SP and MP concerning how you may create custom races could be confusing.
My bad i didnt explain myself well - i was talking about AI controlled races in general, whether in SP or MP.
Lyx wrote:
pd wrote:when creating the ships, the artist has a specific race in mind. the characteristics of each race should influence the ship design. at least in it's overall shape. this should be respected :)
Alternatively, the ship designer has probably designed a set of ships to look cool without even thinking about the race. I dunno if FO is going to have a 'race bible' a la moo3, with ship styles (and city styles? and tech styles?) for each race - but that didnt work particularly well in moo3 - they could only come up with one design per species... and thats with a full time paid art team working for over 4 years.
Hmm, that sounds exactly like what i had in mind and why i proposed to distinguish between full unique races, and art-packs containing just one kind of graphics(race-art, spaceships, buildings...) for use in custom-races.
Thats all fine, but its an incredible amount of extra work - and even if it werent, i *still* maintain that if a player wants to use unique race art in a custom race, they should be allowed to.
pd wrote:i promise that we will have ship styles per race
Where is this discussed? I've yet to see anything that implies this is being done, but i could well have missed it.
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#23 Post by Lyx » Thu May 06, 2004 11:01 am

okay, i give up - no matter how much i explain it, it gets misunderstood and misinterpreted. Also, important senteces with details which explain certain things get skipped and then later this "missing" info is used as an argument. This simply gets too tedious for my taste.

edit: it all comes down to that you give priority to "player choice/modification", while i give priority to "race-uniqueness and immersion". The other points discussed are minor and can be solved.
Last edited by Lyx on Thu May 06, 2004 11:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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#24 Post by pd » Thu May 06, 2004 11:07 am

Where is this discussed? I've yet to see anything that implies this is being done, but i could well have missed it.
i don't know, i guess nowhere... but is there an argument against this, if it is possible to do for the graph team?

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#25 Post by Daveybaby » Thu May 06, 2004 12:38 pm

Lyx wrote:edit: it all comes down to that you give priority to "player choice/modification", while i give priority to "race-uniqueness and immersion". The other points discussed are minor and can be solved.
Agreed, i guess we have different priorities. I dont think they are mutually exclusive though, just give the player the freedom to either play the game using 'proper' races for immersion, or let them modify it as they wish... that way everyone is happy, right?
pd wrote:
Where is this discussed? I've yet to see anything that implies this is being done, but i could well have missed it.
i don't know, i guess nowhere... but is there an argument against this, if it is possible to do for the graph team?
No argument against it, but is it being done? I havent seen any indication that there is, but maybe someone from the graphics team knows?
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#26 Post by pd » Thu May 06, 2004 12:45 pm

not yet, cuz it isn't needed at the moment... and we don't know any specifications about the engine, so it would be a waste of time.

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#27 Post by Satyagraha » Tue May 11, 2004 1:43 pm

i guess i understand what Lyx is trying to say and i agree with him. i also think it is an issue and deserves attention. "Give the player all the freedom" is exactly what ruined Deus Ex 2. In the original design, races & artwork should be fixed (maybe have 1 race that has special artwork and is a "custom race" like in the moo2 race selection screen). If a player desperatly wants to change the races, he can still do so by creating a mod editing the .txt-files.

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#28 Post by miu » Tue May 11, 2004 2:16 pm

I agree with this.
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#29 Post by Elethiomel » Tue May 11, 2004 3:04 pm

Satyagraha wrote:i guess i understand what Lyx is trying to say and i agree with him. i also think it is an issue and deserves attention. "Give the player all the freedom" is exactly what ruined Deus Ex 2. In the original design, races & artwork should be fixed (maybe have 1 race that has special artwork and is a "custom race" like in the moo2 race selection screen). If a player desperatly wants to change the races, he can still do so by creating a mod editing the .txt-files.
I agree with most of this, except the DE2 point. DE2 was ruined by lots of things, but not by its freedom. As if it had much.

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#30 Post by drek » Tue May 11, 2004 4:23 pm

Satyagraha wrote: If a player desperatly wants to change the races, he can still do so by creating a mod editing the .txt-files.
The removal of race creation was one of the points that dissappointed me about moo3. I consider it to be one the fun aspects of moo2.

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