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About GnaM

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    Ranger School Dropout
  1. The YouTube Thread

    Love how seriously the participants take this: Indian girl: "kick him! be a man!"
  2. To me it really depends on the tone of the game... for example, Unreal Tournament is so far removed from reality that practical design of the weaponry doesn't bother me. Every weapon is already feeding off an escher-esque infinite internal load of ammo, so why bother analyzing ergonomics or functionality. However, if you are trying to make a realistic tactical shooter set many years in the future, then yes, I think we should be sticklers about functional design. TBH when it comes to conventional gas-operated firearms, almost every possible practical design has been done. So if you are trying to make a "realistic" assault rifle, battle rifle, etc. of the future, all you can do is take an existing design and change the aesthetics...try to glue ###### on that looks futuristic. There is way more latitude when designing energy-based weapons because we don't know how the technology works. Maybe the weapon doesn't have recoil, so it may not have a huge need for a shoulder stock. Maybe the weapon does have a long-lasting internal battery, so it doesn't need clips or magazines. Who's to say? I will say that the "overheating" mechanic for energy weapons in Halo is really poorly executed, and the aping of it in other scifi games tends to be counterproductive. The main issue is, from a gameplay standpoint - they allow you to just stash the weapon when it overheats, allowing you to shoot some other weapon while it cools off. This is the gameplay equivalent of a rifle that reloads itself while it's slung not being never actually have to stop shooting. A superior gameplay design would be a weapon with an energy pool that replenishes itself over time as long as it is never completely depleted (like a car engine/battery). If you do deplete the battery completely, then you would have to recharge it manually using a pump or crank (holding the reload button for specified amount of time). This way egardless of if you stash the weapon, you will still have to commit the time apart from doing anything else in order to restore the weapon to functioning order. Presumeably during moderate shooting, the weapon could continue shooting for a longer time than magazine-fed weapons, but if you kill it, it would take longer to manually recharge than reloading a mag. And of course none of that is based on realism concerns, it's just a more effective way to create tradeoffs in gameplay. In general you have to face the fact that if you're making a game far in the future, in the midst of space travel, wars with space aliens, etc. then all everything involved is such utterly based in fantasy and speculation that there is no way to be perfectly realistic, and everything you do is only so far removed from 50's pulp sci-fi or Japanese tokustatsu sci-fi.
  3. Yeah one of the things I've been meaning to try with RSV2 is to use much tighter spread values coupled with revised damage values based on everyone having rifle plates. Thus you could cut down on the unintuitive nature of recoil by reducing the cone of fire, but since everyone is absorbing more hits before going down (with realistic reasons) it does not completely strip the challenge out of the game.
  4. Ok I see where you're going with this, and I kind of agree, but I think the problem has more to do with random cone of fire being inherently unintuitive - regardless of what visual aiming indicators are being used - because real guns just don't act that way. IMO using 1st person weapon sights with a spread bloom system can be just as bad or worse than point shooting, because they give you a false sense of security in how accurate the weapon will be... you think you know where the bullets are going, then suddenly the next minute they are going someplace totally off when you didn't expect it. At least when you are point shooting without crosshairs, you sort of expect things to be a bit off. And yes, crosshairs do sort of give you the best idea of what the conefire bloom is doing at any given point in time, but IMO it can still be counterintuitive. This is one of the main reasons I never liked CS... even though allegedly the crosshairs are showing exactly you how the bloom system is working at all times, it often feels "wrong". For one, the crosshairs always seem wider than desired, leaving a large degree of guesswork even in the most accurate of situations. For another, there is a tendency for the crosshairs to bloom out too wide too suddenly, so that your brain doesn't have time to register in the heat of the moment, particularly in reconciliation against your own intuitive sense of how it things should be working which isn't actually happening. CS is an extreme example, but even in the Clancy games where the conefire system is at least more realistically-implemented than CS, it is still too hamfisted to feel wholly unintuitive. In the case of my own RSV2 realism mod, I set all the conefire bloom values myself and thus have a pretty intimate feel of how it works, and yet even using the crosshairs to shoot instead of the STILL feels off to me sometimes because at the end of the day, conefire is still conefire and it's just not totally natural. It's also largely dependent on just a matter of degrees...literally. I tweaked the conefire of the assault rifle in Halo to work more realistically, and it always felt extremely intuitive to me where RSV2's conefire sometimes doesn't. I think a lot of this is just entirely dependent on the degrees of deviation involved. In RSV2 you have very high damage which, without a high thresh hold of recoil values, will make the game feel "too easy", particularly in the cause of larger caliber weapons like the AK47, M468, SCAR, and G3. In the case of Halo, the low damage threshold requires smaller amounts of recoil/spread to make things work, and thus the conefire can never be off by too high an amount compared to what you expected. Thus, in Halo the reticle does not even adjust to show the conefire bloom, there is not even a firm center point indicator, and yet I am able to hit targets pretty reliably from long range just by centering them as much as possible within the circle and firing according to my own mental idea of the conefire's bloom. The conefire at its max size is the exact width of that circle, and I think that's basically the maximum amount you can have in an FPS if you want to completely eliminate that counterintuitive feeling with a conefire system, where the bullets are going totally off from where you expected.
  5. Someone told me once that the lack of a first person weapon model in early Clancy games was just to lend credence to the reticle-bloom accuracy system. Allegedly they realized that the reticle bloom was creating more severe penalties for posture and recoil than would actually appear realistic and believable if viewed behind 1st person sights. They wanted to keep the exaggerated penalties for the sake of tactical gameplay within the short CQB distances of the game, so they decided to keep the abstracted visuals of the reticle in order to discourage players from thinking literally about how the bullets were actually being sent in such scattered directions. Honestly, guestimating the center of the screen in games w/out crosshair is just not that hard. You can feel it out without crosshairs, even in games with free-aim (like Infiltration, RO, Insurgency) just like in real life. Therefore, adding crosshairs is more like using a laser sight, except without any of the visibility restrictions of laser dots on surfaces across various distances and lighting conditions. You go from needing to "feel out" your point of aim as in real life, to not needing to feel anything at all - just point and click.
  6. No Man's Sky

    Yeah I do feel like little details here and there could be polished. All the animals look the same so far, and very similar to familiar earth animals, rather than bizarre alien life. From the footage I've seen it seems like every planet is actually just the same planet with the same wildlife and simply a different lighting color scheme. I also wonder how engaging the gameplay will be if it's always just "land on a planet, walk to a beacon, leave"...the longterm gameplay scheme has yet to be proven or revealed to us. That being said, the scale shown off in recent videos has still blown me a way... the way you can go back and forth between exploring a landscape on foot, flying over it, and then fighting ships in space all within seconds.
  7. Epsilon - Serellan

    Yeah, I was really surprised at how barebones the basic moving and shooting mechanics felt, given how much that aspect of the game was hyped. The animations for using optics were literally exactly like the vanilla Unreal sniper rifle animation. Instead of the avatar actually raising the sights to his eye, the camera just zooms in and crosshairs appear as if you're a cyborg with built-in "targeting computer" in your head. Movement just felt incredibly jerky and "vanilla shooter". When you walked diagonally in any direction (i.e. holding W+A or W+D) the game seemed to miscalculate your momentum and double your walking speed, resulting in an incredibly unnatural feel reminiscent of Perfect Dark more than a real tactical shooter. It became annoying and constantly killed immersion just walking around the level and feeling how robotically your avatar glitched around. It just really killed the game to have stuff like this in the final release. It's exactly the sort of basic details that were promised to be right. As far Epsillon, the whole psuedo-hightech, semi-GRAW vibe just seems marketed at no one. It's not scifi enough for Halo or Advanced Warfare fans, yet tactical shooter fans will feel that it's too watered-down looking and not realistic enough. Granted, we haven't seen much yet, but I don't get what the selling point of the game is supposed to be. For Christian's sake, I hope it all works out, but the current direction really isn't winning me over.
  8. It goes both ways really. Rainbow is going the way it is because "Ubisoft", basically. They don't want to waste resources on a campaign or terrorist hunt AI if they can simply opt not to and reap the plenty of sales through COD and BF players looking for another multiplayer run and gun fix. Meanwhile, I think the popularity of zombie/horde shooters, mobas, games like Titanfall, and whatever Blizzard is up to with their shooter...all shows that there is still a place for AI even in mainstream shooters. Within the military/tactical shooter niche, there is still AI in Arma, and Insurgency tries to have a co-op, despite the limitations of their AI. That being said, I really do think tactical shooters need to step up to the plate with matchmaking and party systems so that as many teams are being formed by players who know eachother as possible. It's simply not a good formula to throw random strangers into a team and expect them to work together. What is really needed is a party system based on fireteams and squads, where a group of friends form their own unit with squad roles negotiated amongs themselves, and then a matchmaking system tries to drop their whole unit as-is into a team in an existing game with the sufficient number of free slots. I believe people who are friends and are used playing together are much more likely to try to work together. This won't completely eliminate the random run-and-gun pervasive in pubs, but it should help. And I agree, it's always nice to see AI options available.
  9. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam

    The sad thing is that the RS devs actually believe casualization is necessary for commercial success... and yet a quick look at the Steam Top100 shows that it hasn't worked for them so far. Arma 2 and 3, while not perfect, have managed to avoid progression, unlocks, and other pandering features, and have remained among the most played military shooters on steam, just under CS:GO and Team Fortress on the list. Meanwhile, RS, RO2, and even the COD and BF games fall towards the bottom of the list because the casual gamers who are into that ###### aren't on PC, they're on consoles. Smooth move, Tripwire.
  10. Rising Storm 2: Vietnam

    My experience debating with a Rising Storm dev over the inclusion of obligatory prototype weapon unlocks and other casual pandering forever left a sour taste in my mouth regarding anything with the name "Rising Storm" in it. Get ready for AR10's, T25's, duckbills, and other oddities in the hands of every player as soon as the minimum time has passed to reach max level.
  11. First Doom 4 Gameplay Footage from E3

    The one positive thing I can say after digging up some new screens, is at least they did the cacodemons right: But yeah...the cyberdemon looks like he came out of Gears of War or a Michael Bay movie. And yes, the "fatalities for ammo" mechanic is basically designed to eliminate any need to hunt for ammo, so that basically you can just keep running-and-gunning through the set pieces rather than ever have to stop and figure out puzzles/resources/map layouts.
  12. I know an arcade horror game like Doom is not at the top of everyone's concerns here in the Ground Branch community, but as the father of FPS it's still interesting to see if this franchise could make a decent come-back. Personally, I was hoping for a more back-to-the-drawing-board approach. This just looks to me like a mission back for Doom 3 BFG Edition with melee execution gimmick ripped from Brutal Doom. The good: 1) Larger enemy groups attacking simultaneously than Doom 3's paltry duos and trios. 2) Enemies appear a bit faster in general than Doom 3 and no longer spend 30 seconds standing in place burning when they "spawn" in 3) Projectiles like plasma and rocket weren't removed in a fit of modern game design retardation 4) Hell levels are promoted up front rather than hidden in the late game as an after-thought The bad: 1) Single barrel shotgun still functions like Doom 3 with crappy "modern shooter" spread instead of the tight patterns from Doom 1 or Brutal Doom. 2) Green helmet looks more like Master Chief than the original blue/grey Doom guy 3) I thought we were past this dumb "hell knight has no horns" trend from 10 years ago. The Doom 3 hell baron design that modders came up with was a sensible and mandatory revision for this design. 4) Game pauses/slowmos during weapon select so n00bs without proper binds can take their time rolling through the weapon selection 5) Minigun still fires at a mediocre slow rate that pales in comparison to a real minigun and doesn't remotely necessitate a rotating multi-barel design 6) Too many monster designs defaulted back to Doom 3 (i.e. imp is vanilla and boring). Newer monster designs look like Michael Bay monsters (mancubus looks like a flabby transformer). 7) Enemies drop glowing 2D ammo icons which break immersion I think people make way too big of a deal out of archaic elements like "no iron sights" and carying 10 guns at once. At its core, Doom was always a survival horror FPS with an emphasis on immersion, ammo rationing, exploring for the way out. Beyond a certain point, high speed unrealistic movement is really better left to Quake and actually undermines the horror aspects that Doom intended. Thus, the 10 guns + hip shooting w/ crosshair setup for Doom 4, while not game-breaking, is kind of a pointless retention to me. If Doom 4 had Ground Branch movement and shooting mechanics limited to only 1, 2, or 3 weapons, I actually think it would improve the immersion of the game while still allowing for plenty of run-and-gun. After all, if really need a crosshair, 10 guns, and extra speed just to kill a dumb monster with instinctual fire on the move, you lack the requisite skills to bother with a game like Doom, sorry. The melee executions feel like they missed the point of Brutal Doom. When you make it past the novelty of Brutal's gory execution gimmicks, you realize that the true strength of the mod lies in the way it updated the weapons and enemy abilities in key little ways. Additions like the aim-able assault rifle, "realistic" shotgun and 40mm launcher brought much-appreciated immersion and a "tactical" side without hurting the core of Doom gameplay. A lot of new monster abilities were also added to increase the pace of the action, as well as stuff like multiple Plasma Rifle firemodes. I don't really see any additions like that in Doom 3. So sure, if it has co-op it will probably be entertaining enough as just a brighter, bigger Doom 3, but it doesn't seem to have any unique or interesting approach to the art direction, creature design, or level design, and will probab;y not really succeed at making me "feel like I'm really there" the way a modern remake is supposed to.
  13. Squad

    Yes, absolutely some people use the anonymity of the internet to be sociopaths, but no one is doing that in this thread. I also think that most reasonably intelligent people have learned to shallow blatant personal attacks which don't actually have zero relevance or meaning to the subject matter at hand. Kids who jump into a game community yelling "hey devs, eat ###### and die" are simply ignored because they're not addressing game mechanics and thus not engaging in real criticism. In a game community, as long as the focus of criticism remains on game mechanics, then the level of "personal harm" is minimized, while the constructive potential of the criticism is maximized. Usually when game discussions turn into ###### contests it's because one or more parties can no longer see the forest from the trees and interprets criticism of their favorite game as a personal attack on their ego. No one here is telling the Squad devs to go die, they're just questioning whether the direction of development and promotion is going in the best direction...which is fine.
  14. Squad

    This statement assumes that EVERYONE is incapable of intellectually understanding the value of criticism and will always go on the defensive rather than learn. This is simply not true, anyone whos been to art school knows this. I spent four years in a community which entirely revolved around offering constructive criticism to one's peers. The entirety of every class was focused on a critique session to this end. Outside of class, friends frequently offered suggestions and constructive criticism before the project was due. In a sense, we pretty much lived constructive criticism and majored in it. Through that time, yes, there were occasional bouts of defensiveness that resulted in that particular student failing to learn from the advice they were given. These people frequently learned to change their attitude as time went on, or they simply didn't get much benefit from being there. Most people learned to value constructive criticism, built friendships over it, and sought out the people who could really help point out things they were missing in their work. A community built around constructive criticism can completely work in a harmonious manner as long as everyone can be intelligent and mature enough to see the value in it rather than jumping to a defensive stance. Of course, there are various factors which contribute to the internet being a more volatile place. One is less likely to value a stranger's advice, as well as their feelings regarding a matter, and less motivated to avoid being overly harsh. One's tone is lost in translation to the internet and words can come across as more condescending or sarcastic than intended. However, this is no excuse. Anyone who wants to discuss things intelligently must learn to take criticism in stride and look for the learning opportunity in negative comments even if they weren't intended to be constructive or friendly at all. That's just the way it is. Some people are better or worse than this, but that's the ideal that must be strived for in order for people to exchange ideas and collectively improve upon them. I personally don't feel obligated to sugar coat my words about a flawed game project. For starters, it's all only a game, so there's no legimate reason to get so upset. Secondly, since I do not personally know the developers, there's only so much patience and sympathy I can have for sugar coating - in the end it just gets in the way of communicating the issues effectively. In cases where I have had personal exchanges and gotten to know developers, I have been more prone to giving criticism in a polite manner, but that can only be taken so far. If we keep our mouths shut to protect our friends' feelings in the development of an indie game, major issues WILL go unadressed and drag gameplay down. I spent a lot of time in the past couple years giving constructive criticism in the Insurgency community. I was friendly with a couple of the devs as we exchanged ideas, but eventually everyone just grew impatient with the way things were going. There's a point where it becomes clear when developers are no longer in touch with the central ideals and mechanics of tactical shooters, and when complete oversights to certain basic components go discarded and unaddressed for so long, everyone will run all out of sugar to coat things with. A lot of us had similar experiences with Takedown. Christian Allen seemed like a very nice guy and most of us would not suggest that he or his team somehow had any "wrong" intentions...but the game simply did not come together as well as anyone hoped. When certain important basic elements did not make it to the initial official release, nor were patched in during ensuing months, there's only so much patience you can have for the game. Better luck next time I suppose... In the case of Squad, I was never too deep in with the PR community, so I don't feel as if I'm badmouthing my friends by criticizing. I am just a stranger giving my thoughts on a project. If someone on the Squad dev team gets upset over what I (or anyone else) has said here, it's probably due to their own personal insecurities and misgivings about the project which has little to do with us. I don't think anyone here has stated that the project is horrible and doomed to fail anyway, they are simply skeptical at the way some aspects have been presented - which is NATURAL for a game getting on its feet. I also believe that "tough love" is an important part of real relationships. If a friend or family member is engaging in self-destructive behavior and making polite suggestions has failed to get through to them, then if you really care about them, you have to be willing to turn down their requests for favors, yell, argue, even call them names, and generally do whatever it takes to make them see that they are ######ing themselves up. If they are truly a good friend and worth the effort, then they will forgive you later and would do the same for you. If you didn't care about them, then why waste the effort? Why not let them ###### up their own life?
  15. Squad

    I understand that and agree that it was the right approach. I would not have wanted to play firsthand anything less than the tech demo. Prior to that, the previews which were released did a perfect job of highlighting the planned mechanics. It's better to show things once they're working reasonably decently than to let people play completely broken, unfinished mechanics, or worse yet...cover things up with a "cinematic trailer" which tells you absolutely nothing about the gameplay and only shows off the quality of the game's cutscenes.