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Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #259885] Thu, 19 August 2010 20:20 Go to next message
Morness

Messages:9
Registered:August 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Hey guys,

I asked my business partner that is attending GamesCon to check out Jagged Alliance Online on your behalfs, so here's me reporting back what he told me, and in a nutshell, there's nothing to see yet.

There is no gameplay prototype, and he saw some sort of pre-rendered video, which in general are quite worthless as was his opinion of it.

But when he talked to them, they are claiming is that they might be using a web-based Unity engine so they can utilize 3D in a web browser, coupled with Facebook Connect in order to get access to the Facebook community. The plan is to release it in 2011. Given what they are going for, that's the path of least resistance and a good option.

So now I'll speculate, given my experience in the games industry ranging of how this thing will likely go down. Call it my predictions based on little fact.

Let's start with what we know:

March 9, 2010 -- BitComposer aquires Jagged Alliance license from Strategy First. http://www.bit-composer.com/www_en/newsarchive.aspx?newsid=9e87d356-8529-45b5-a49f-8a814749efc9. Given the stock announcement, I am guessing they didn't pre-emptively work on the game in secret.

May 15, 2010 -- http://www.jaggedalliance.com was "changed" -- the web logs show a transaction which likely was BitComposer taking possession of the website and registering it for the next 2 years. Really just shows some behind the scenes action.

June 17, 2010 -- BitComposer announces new head of development. This guy is going to be managing all external development efforst. http://www.bit-composer.com/www_en/newsarchive.aspx?newsid=f5e67b9e-5bbe-49a0-bc5d-f8259388994a

I tried to do a little digging on this guy, and it seems he's been pretty active in German Game development circles ranging from tester in the early days up to senior producer on several titles. http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,146340/. I was hoping to find a connection between him and Cliffhanger Productions which is developing JAO, but didn't find anything - though I didn't dig very deep. Finding a connection would have been a positive in my opinion.

August 13, 2010 (approx) -- Was first noticed that Jagged Alliance Online was being worked on and as you know it has only been a few weeks since it has been known that CliffHanger Productions is responsible for it.

August 18, 2010 -- CliffHanger Productions announces they are working on JAO.


Speculation Time -- Last few months to present
Individually none of that sparse information is particularly important, but when you combine that with educated guesses, well -- here are my predictions:

I believe that bitComposer acquired the rights and spent the past 5 months doing business research & planning and completing developer selection, which probably closed no more than a month ago.

Behind the scenes, I'd guess CliffHanger has been working on it informally for a couple months. They would need some time to figure out game scope and rough design, complete due diligence on project costs, technology selection, devise a schedule, and possibly even create a rough internal prototype.

With the deal being finalized, CliffHanger is likely now just at the very beginning of ramping up production. Likely utilizing an existing internal team -- maybe a few extra hires. They look like a pretty small team. I'd guess around 20.

Meanwhile, BitComposer has been working on drumming up some attention. Announcing Jagged Alliance Online at GamesCon required some marketing resources to print out some concept art, make a quick promo video -- and probably without much coordination from CliffHanger.

Speculation Time -- Future Year
Assuming my predictions are right so far, we're probably looking at either an unrealistic schedule or a very simple project. Even if we assume Xmas 2011, that's only ~15 months from now. You're not going to get a whole lot of complexity in such a short time frame. Utilizing Unity and Facebook Connect will buy them some time but without knowing their team size and experience, there is no way to predict what they will be able to pull off. With my guess of 20 devs, they might be able to pull something off to the scope of Lords of Ultima... and if anyone has played that game, the only resemblance to Ultima was the name. Completely different type of game. But I don't think it'll be that drastic of a difference comparing JA2 to JAO as it will need tactical combat.

Predicting what they will release
If I was tasked to making JAO given the timeline and a small team of ~20 -- this is what I would build: Players will manage a group of mercenaries taking a bunch of randomly generated missions, and using the money to upgrade mercs and equipment. You'd also have a few key story driven missions as well. I'd utilize microtransactions so players can progress faster by purchasing cool weapons or unlocking new mercenaries, but I doubt there will be any form of multi-player or even direct communication with other players. I'd focus on allowing the player to at least create his own persona to take in the field.

The combat system wouldn't be nearly as advanced as JA2 was -- cover systems, ballistics, AI. AI would likely be very weak given the short time frame, and I think balance will also suffer greatly. So I just don't think the game will be very challenging. I'd match JA2 in terms of real-time exploration and turn-based combat seeing the business announcement already promised that at minimum.

I'd focus on a minimum viable product approach using agile development so we'd release something playable and fun, at the cost of content. The cool thing about social games is that you can expand greatly after your first public release. So I'd focus on the core gameplay experience and less on content.

Try playing Desktop Defender on Facebook... gameplay progression will probably resemble that -- play a bunch of maps, get a few coins, buy more stuff -- repeat. Try to get higher scores so you can compare favorably to your friends. Not a hardcore game, but it may be successful enough for casual gamers.


In Closing
I don't mean to be a pessimist, in fact it's quite easy to call things negatively because more often than not, the pessimists win. But I've seen this pattern time and time again on a lot of game projects at a lot of companies, Unless I have a key number of early assumptions wrong, this is likely the way it's going to go down, even if they don't realize it yet.

Right now they are in the optimistic phase, and over the next 6-8 months, they'll likely reach a point where they will have to either extend the release or scale back their goals. Historically the developers are forced into difficult situations -- the whole publisher / developer relationship fosters a "low-bid for over-promised products" culture. Once the contract is nailed and several months pass, it becomes clear that the original promises simply cannot be done without throwing more time and money at the problem. Then the publisher has to decide whether to pull the plug or compromise. What makes it worse, publishers and developers already know this and factor it into initial negotiations, but the publishers have all the power.

It's usually a really shitty situation for the small developer and it rarely works out. I just don't understand why this particular business relationship model has been allowed to survive for so long. If it doesn't work, change it....

So just remember, this is purely speculative based on very limited data and a lot of experience.

[Updated on: Thu, 19 August 2010 20:45] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #259889] Thu, 19 August 2010 21:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
7h30n

 
Messages:26
Registered:July 2010
Thanks a lot for your insightful info!

I'm expecting something like this will happen, but there is still hope that people will notice Jagged Alliance and that there will be a title that will do the franchise justice!

Now that I think about everything ... I hope too much xD
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #259896] Thu, 19 August 2010 21:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tao

 
Messages:2225
Registered:August 2009
Location: The Known Universe
Mad :angry: :digit: :computer2: :compsmash: :rant2: :puke:
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #259946] Fri, 20 August 2010 03:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Faithless

 
Messages:445
Registered:October 2009
Location: The safe end of the barre...
Quote:
The cool thing about social games
Another "cool" thing about social games is that you can reach the casual gamer (facebook anyone?)
Because this casual gamer isn't used to games, you can spoonfeed him pretty much anything.

Sometimes I don't believe the worthless crap so many people play on facebook. *points at farmville* *sighs*
If you compare the concept of JAO with those games, it might actually have a chance.

Oh well, since I found out they're also making a normal JA title, they can do to JAO whatever they like.
Let's hope it draws attention to the real thing.

[Updated on: Fri, 20 August 2010 03:29] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #259964] Fri, 20 August 2010 11:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Luppolo

 
Messages:157
Registered:July 2009
WarmSteel

Because this casual gamer isn't used to games, you can spoonfeed him pretty much anything.


wrong as hell, it means you have to simplify the game beyond reason otherwise the casual gamer won't give a damn, the game won't sell and the overall thing is doomed to failure.

Morness

JA2 didn't sell very well, I think it was only 400k copies. It was a game made by the hard-core for the hard-core.


if you're going to make a complex game, it both requires time and bravery to face a possible failure due the game beng too complex or people using just a bit off all the game, that means much work for "nothing"

since the game is aimed to random people (don't see the point of facebook otherwise) we can't expect anything better than a good looking flash game to begin with

[Updated on: Fri, 20 August 2010 12:01] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #259968] Fri, 20 August 2010 12:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Logisteric

 
Messages:3474
Registered:December 2008
Location: B
the reason why I play ja is the complexity, but i'm not s casual gamer
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #259987] Fri, 20 August 2010 14:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Faithless

 
Messages:445
Registered:October 2009
Location: The safe end of the barre...
Quote:
wrong as hell, it means you have to simplify the game beyond reason otherwise the casual gamer won't give a damn, the game won't sell and the overall thing is doomed to failure.
You have a point, but let's not pretend that crap is very hard to make.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #261406] Thu, 02 September 2010 21:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mauser

 
Messages:799
Registered:August 2006
Location: Bavaria - Germany
Thank you very much for your help and professional input in that regards Mr. Morness. And of course, please convey the thankfulness of the Bear

☆★GL★☆
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #261496] Fri, 03 September 2010 19:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Skott Karlsson

 
Messages:64
Registered:May 2001
Location: Oldsmar, FL. USA
Interesting read. I also am not interested in JAO. Sounds like they are trying to reach a different audience with it. That's fine as long as they don't take the entire series that direction. Personally, I'm more interested in JA3 and where its going or not going but thatss just me.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #261502] Fri, 03 September 2010 20:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lockie

 
Messages:3968
Registered:February 2006
Location: Scotland
Quote:
Poster: Skott Karlsson
Subject: Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions

Interesting read. I also am not interested in JAO. Sounds like they are trying to reach a different audience with it. That's fine as long as they don't take the entire series that direction. Personally, I'm more interested in JA3 and where its going or not going but thats just me


Nah , not just you Skott .
:armsfolded:


Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #262652] Wed, 15 September 2010 09:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Geoffrey_White

 
Messages:24
Registered:June 2010

It seems tonight (this morning) I'm voicing my opinion on quite a bit, here...

Has anyone considered that Jagged Alliance Online (JAO) is basically meant to be a decent, quickly created social networking game (such as FarmVille, etc.) meant almost entirely simply to garner more outside attention?

If they announce Jagged Alliance 3, we (the handful of people that we are) freak-out.

If they create Jagged Alliance Online for the masses, they gain some new fans for the series (social networking is all about spreading the word, after all).

If they create Jagged Alliance 2: Reloaded for us, we see that they're serious about keeping the series as close to its roots as possible, and we won't start condemning Jagged Alliance 3 before it's even published.

If they create (or maybe they already have created) Jagged Alliance 3 as a next-generation game (graphics/physics engine, etc.), keeping the specific brand of storytelling and humour (and some specific characters) of the previous games in the Jagged Alliance series...

They've won on all-fronts, and have achieved something that everyone aims for, but never accomplishes:

They made everyone happy, and made lots of money doing it. Wink

P.S.: I'm sorry about the random fragmentation of my post, but it's nearly 3AM, and I think you'll prolly understand it well enough.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #262705] Wed, 15 September 2010 20:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lockie

 
Messages:3968
Registered:February 2006
Location: Scotland
Quote:
Has anyone considered that Jagged Alliance Online (JAO) is basically meant to be a decent, quickly created social networking game (such as FarmVille, etc.) meant almost entirely simply to garner more outside attention?

Yes , it'll be shit ! ( for us at least , for others perhaps an easier entry into our game)

Quote:
f they announce Jagged Alliance 3, we (the handful of people that we are) freak-out.
When I'm old and grey(er) !

Quote:
If they create Jagged Alliance 2: Reloaded for us, we see that they're serious about keeping the series as close to its roots as possible, and we won't start condemning Jagged Alliance 3 before it's even publishe


Quite true !

I really hope it turns out great , buuuttt , looking at the forerunners (hired guns , BE5 , SS ) my hopes are lower than a snakes belly ! Smile
Still , while there's life..... :/


Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #276819] Tue, 29 March 2011 16:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
While I concur with many of the assumption- us being the develoiper and all - I think there are two plainly wrong assumptions.
a) AI sucks and an online game cannot be complex/challenging.
While I agree that it will not be on par with the amount of detail, work and balancing put into JA2 Mods and cutrrent JA 2 1.13 version, we will use a dedicated AI server for the game, which will actually run an advanced Ai inlcuding cover seeking, differing enemy behavior sets, commander AI (marshaling the troops) etc. This may still not be enough for the pro-player, but I for one am certainly hoping for it to be challenging enough for most players.

b) Online games using FB connect equal Farmville.
Nope, we will do a true JA game - not exactly like JA2, but then, that game already exists. Turn based combat, tactical options and a high level of individual mercs are part of that. Of course there will be a micro payment model, so you can buy guns, armor and items as well as HQ upgrades and Mercs (as opposed to renting them temporarily, which you can also do).
Now while we aim to be accessible for more than just the old time JA fans, since we actually need a couple more people to play it, it is important to us to at least get a grudging recognition from the fans. You are all about what made the game great, so we should damn well be listening to what that is in your mind.

By the way, since it will be free to play, you can just try it and if you don't like it, drop it and run away screaming bloody murder. As pposed to games that take your money and don't much care about what comes next, we actually have to make people happy enough with the game so they shell out their hard earned bucks.

I guess what I am saying is: I can understand the gut reaction, but at least afford us the benefit of the doubt Smile

[Updated on: Tue, 29 March 2011 16:30] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #276823] Tue, 29 March 2011 18:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peal

 
Messages:251
Registered:August 2007
Location: Germany
@primetide

Jagged Alliance Online will work, no doubt. I played Gunrox and Total Influence, only to equip your mercs makes me addicted. BUT thats not Jagged Alliance! Plz make sure that there is much tactical gameplay.

Different options to take advantage of the terrain!
JA is all about terrain usage, you have to place your mercs right! Thats why we compare chess with JA, its about usage of the map and thinking more turns ahead then your enemy!

Without an good environment like bushes, walls, Trees for ambush/cover it will not be a Jagged Aliance game!

And the most important thing is of cause the interaction with the environment, plz consider things like crouching to one of the most important gameplay elements.

[Updated on: Tue, 29 March 2011 18:05] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #276903] Wed, 30 March 2011 21:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
Well, we do have crouching, cover, visual and audio detection (so bushes will allow hiding, different (and indeed very varied) map scenarios from humpyards to missile silos, so check the box for that. We will have to make some sacrifices probably compared to JA, though we plan to add them later on as the game continues. That is the best part about it being online - we can (and will) add things continously.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #285001] Wed, 29 June 2011 12:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
The MMO Site TenTonHammer.com has nominated us as one of five games for best gameplay of E3. We didn't win (that honor goes do Tera and rightly so) - but seeing as we had a pre-alpha with not even half the features at E3, that would have been ridiculous.
However it at least seems to say we have some solid gameplay going for us and turn based is absolutely the right way to go...
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #285038] Wed, 29 June 2011 19:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
7h30n

 
Messages:26
Registered:July 2010
I'm really glad for you and for turn based tactical games. I just stopped by after reading an interview about XCOM - that's why I'm so optimistic about JA:O.

P.S. Somebody should enlighten people responsible for XCOM
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289098] Mon, 15 August 2011 18:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Silencer

 
Messages:14
Registered:August 2003
Location: Belgium

Maybe I'm jumping ahead here, but is there a release date, a beta date for JA-online?

thnx,

S.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289123] Mon, 15 August 2011 21:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
officially no - we hope to have someone playing by Christmas, but luanch will be early 2012
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289131] Mon, 15 August 2011 22:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shadow21

 
Messages:335
Registered:November 2001
Location: on route to San Hermanos
count me in for betatesting Smile
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289138] Tue, 16 August 2011 01:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Morbo

 
Messages:31
Registered:May 2008
Quote:
But when he talked to them, they are claiming is that they might be using a web-based Unity engine so they can utilize 3D in a web browser, coupled with Facebook Connect in order to get access to the Facebook community. The plan is to release it in 2011. Given what they are going for, that's the path of least resistance and a good option.


Eh ... any "game" that integrates anything with Facebook = death for real gamers. I don't if any of you guys have looked into the new CivFacebook, but that's basically what I'm expecting for JA Online.

Quote:
I'm really glad for you and for turn based tactical games. I just stopped by after reading an interview about XCOM - that's why I'm so optimistic about JA:O.

P.S. Somebody should enlighten people responsible for XCOM

RE: Xcom - google Xenonauts. Indie UK developer is working on a Xcom-eque reboot game. Looks very promising.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289139] Tue, 16 August 2011 01:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tao

 
Messages:2225
Registered:August 2009
Location: The Known Universe
they release facebook game, they lose a customer.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289158] Tue, 16 August 2011 09:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
we havn't got any FB integration. though if we did, it would likely be to allow you to use your Fb account to register, so it does not affect the game.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289387] Thu, 18 August 2011 22:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peal

 
Messages:251
Registered:August 2007
Location: Germany
bunch of gamescom reviews:

www.jagedalliance.com

[Updated on: Thu, 18 August 2011 22:33] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289403] Fri, 19 August 2011 00:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Morbo

 
Messages:31
Registered:May 2008
primetide
we havn't got any FB integration. though if we did, it would likely be to allow you to use your Fb account to register, so it does not affect the game.


Good to hear.

Hm, this screenshot is interesting ... the A-Team van with a satellite dish on top.

http://www.mmoreviews.com/imgs/JAOrw1.jpg
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289618] Mon, 22 August 2011 11:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
brownie points for spotting that. We do want to get on the odd reference or two Wink
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289683] Tue, 23 August 2011 11:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
7h30n

 
Messages:26
Registered:July 2010
Nice easter egg.

I just returned home. Tried JA:O but I haven't played it much. It feels way to simple and I couldn't get into it. I think it might be a really great online game and I'll probably try it (hope for the beta).

Some general feedback:
Graphics are nice but I feel like the camera is zoomed in too much. I'm not sure if it is possible to change the zoom level but what I played felt too close. Headshots and bodyshots are in but no other aiming parts possible. I liked the "cool" items like Ivan's Hat etc. Besides giving personality they also have a use. I haven't experienced it but I was told there is Interrupt phase. Another thing that irks is that you can't reserve your points for shooting or get an indicator over an enemy that he is in your line of sight after you move to the target location. (I moved to a rock for cover but couldn't shoot the enemy, I move a bit right of it ... now I can't shoot it because I don't have APs)
Hopefully I missed those "advanced" options, if not it might be a good idea to add them.

[Updated on: Tue, 23 August 2011 11:58] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289685] Tue, 23 August 2011 12:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
Well, what you saw is a pre-alpha, so a number of features are still missing.
Interrupt, Wound Effects and Interaction with objects to name a few.
Line of sight is actually in- move your cursor over the enemy and you will get a feedback on whether he can be hit. If you want to know in advance if you can hit someone from a different position - we are actually thinking about exposing the info. But I personally am afraid that means everyone is only ever looking at "moving into the green area" as oppose to looking at the environment...some small level of uncertainty can make a game interesting as well.

We haven't added more target zones to make the game more fluent, but also because technically ist is very hard for us to have a merc fall down and cover two squares (as for legshots) and we cannot currently pick up stuff that falls into the map (for arms). However we are working on adding that.

But quite frankly - we will not be JA 2 with nicer graphics. As mentioned: if you want JA2, the best way to play is playing the mods. As we will have PvP and Co-op (the latter post-launch), we need to also look at the time it takes you to do stuff. And that measn we need to speed up the time players take per turn.

I think the reduction in options is partially countered by the differentiation in AI - we have a very wide range of AI behaviors and types from the gun-toting maniac running at you no matter what to the trained sniper specialist or heavy assault trooper. This will add a level of tactical complexity, as there are no simple winning tactics for every encounter, since AI behaves very diffrerently.

But yes - it will remain our goal to make JA more accessible to new players as well as at least slightly please the fanbase

[Updated on: Tue, 23 August 2011 13:01] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289712] Tue, 23 August 2011 20:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
7h30n

 
Messages:26
Registered:July 2010
Yes ofcourse, if that was pre-alpha then it is rather good! Especially because you can only improve upon it, can't wait for final product.

Also ofcourse you can see if you can hit your enemy from your current position, but yeah I was thinking about not showing some information (like after move LOS) might be a good thing.

I didn't know there will be PvP. Interesting, then yeah too much options will slow the game down.

Anyways, this definitely confirms that JA:O will be a proper introductory JA for this & next generation.

I'm really glad You are so quick to reply with a lot of info, and participating on the forums. Thanks!

As I was writing this I was just talking with a friend about the game. He is interested in it, so that makes 2 of us Very Happy
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289714] Tue, 23 August 2011 21:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peal

 
Messages:251
Registered:August 2007
Location: Germany
Hi, I'm back.

Sadly i was only on the weekend at gamescom, saturday night at the sony party and sunday for breakfast ^^ i wasn't able to play the game (only 2 PC's), but i could take a look and what i saw was for a pre-alpha very good! I cannot wait to play it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289863] Fri, 26 August 2011 17:07 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gades
Messages:3
Registered:August 2011
Okay.. after much lurking i decided to join up and give my impressions on JA-O

i wasnt "impressed" but i "liked" what i saw. what do i mean?
its pretty low tactics as a game at the moment (but at least its a tactical game!) but i had the chance to talk to the guys at the booth about the game (even bugged and crashed their version-lol. my guys suddenly got stuck- its really a very early version). i wasnt expecting much after hearing about the first bad news from the remake but i could see that the designers you could meet at that booth knew JA and had a vision to make at least this browsergame (they are not the same team as JA-bia) work to attract a crowd for the franchise (that's the way you do it btw. Xcom-shooter my a$$!). you shouldnt think of it as anything but a chance to introduce new people to the mindset of the game and rekindle the fire of old players.

its basically "JA - Deadly Games 2". look at the game this way.
dont expect it to be anything like 1.13 in tactical depth and the designers still have much to decide what they want to do with it. to many of my questions the guys at the booth could only shake their heads and answer "we have not yet decided what we want to do about that" (the usage of grenades for example). so its obvious its way too early to make any predictions about the end product. but i hope the betatests (fall->winter) will provide us with a good browser solution for this nasty JA-addiction Wink

the most important thing you have to keep in mind is not to think about it as a full fledged super-tight mercenary tactics war simulation game or anything like that but as a way to have fun, attract new people and show the designers of JA3 which direction the players might want their game to take.

i could talk about the new skillsystem, the things they have dropped or the options they have implemented in the game at the moment and so on. but i dont know whether they would like that.

p.s. as for the presentation for "back in action" on GC2011... it was BAAAAAAAAD... just plain bad.

p.p.s. the faces of the mercs are not the "back in action"-style faces. you can recognize them!

[Updated on: Fri, 26 August 2011 17:08] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289877] Fri, 26 August 2011 21:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
Well we encourage open discussion - so go ahead and voice your opinion. that being said, we are indeed adding stuff to increase tactical depth (interrupt, wound status) and we try to add stuff like grenades further down the road, once we have the core system running
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289886] Fri, 26 August 2011 22:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gades
Messages:3
Registered:August 2011
okely dokely. ill just drop some stuff on the table and lets see who picks it up then Smile

- there was 1 layer of terrain (ja1-style) because of AI-restrictions in the browser

- no grenades because the devs were not sure what they wanted to do with them up until that point according to the guys at the booth. atm no mines or timed bombs.

- no destroyable buildings and terrain except for barriers like fences which could be destroyed by expladable barrels and crates (wounds nearby enemies- of course)

- movement is restricted to walking and running- crouching is available to hide behind obstacles. (again ja1-style)

- the graphics are good for browsergame standards

- skills dont rise per usage. skills rise by levelups and spendable points. thats a bit wierd because you can upgrade skills you never used.. adding "training" to the game would mean your mercs would rather get exp than skills.

- tech, medic and explo are out as skills because the devs "dont want mercs to be hired to stay at home and do nothing". i would love to have base- and squad management. i hope they change that. its such a main part of JA and removing that also makes some mercs useless and defeats the purpose of multiple squads and merc-mixture. i'd love to have missions with medical or technical directives. remove or plant/detonate explosives, deactivate some gizmo, hack a PC, patch up a bunch of NPCs... all under attack by AI? would be nice. would also be nice for PVP. no techis would also remove weapon durabilities. i think they even removed medipacks.

- the player-merc will be back of course.

- no wests (not even wests to increase inventory space like in JA1)- not sure about armor.

- no items to pick up. after the mission is over you get the loot. -> no mission items? *sadface*

- no crowbars, boxes, fences or wire cutters

- tbh i didnt try swimming although there was water on the map i played... so no idea whether swimming is in or out. i'd guess out though.

- you can spend more points to aim ("back in action" removed that standard feature afaik)

- they are still thinking about how they do pvp with everyone having basically the same mercs (ivan vs ivan^^)

- only A.I.M., no m.e.r.c. but the main mercs from JA2 should be all in it anyway.

- money is gained by missions. no mines. no trees. "deadly games" style (i bet on sideobjectives for increased payment?)

- dont remember seeing special abilities like the mercs in JA2 had like stealth or ambidex or knifes.. but cant see a reason why it wouldnt be in it. especially when the mercs lose some of their skills and stats it would be important to make them unique

- i didnt ask about the mercs personalities and hate/live/friend/enemy-lists.. sorry

- merc death means "hospital" according to that boothguys. you cant kill your troops. dont know for how long they are in hospital but having a merc spending his contract in a hospital should be enough motivation to get your guys through a mission without holes in their heads. (im a bit puzzled here.. so hospital yes, but no training and no maintenance of equipment and no medics because that would force you into having mercs idling around at home instead of being on the battlefield? devs.. really.. if i want to leave half my team behind on a mission because 2 are on doctor/patient-duty and one is fixing my rocket launcher and face the consequences of potentially hospitalizing the rest of my team of active fighters its my choice.. thats part of strategy and tactics- either i pick a sideteam that has specialists in the fields medicine, explosives and tech or i pick fighters only. my tactical decision)

- no idea if weapon augmentation is possible.. i doubt it but i hope so.

why do i like it so far? well.. its still early in the game and some important points (for example tech/explo/medics) can still be brought on the plate and i hope they listen to fans more than other companies working on strategy and tactics franchises (damn you xcom!)
but the gameplay is good for such an early stage and very promising and the desingers seem to have their heads screwed on right.
they want to walk a narrow path between appeasing and satisfying the fans while making it accessible for newbies. they dont want to bash those possible new players over the head with hundreds of tactical options and rules.. but imho removing those old stats and skills or most types of explosives- even if they dont blow up buildings may be a bit too much. if you started a game described with words containing "tactical" "mercenary" or "warfare" you'd know what you sign up for and having a level of tactical detail somewhere between JA1 and JA2 should not be too much for any gamer but i digress- that and my personal wishlist of features for JA-O should be in another topic Wink

[Updated on: Fri, 26 August 2011 23:13] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289889] Fri, 26 August 2011 23:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
- explosives and grenades as well as non-weapon skills - not in YET. they are on the list, but being an online game we are able to add after launch
- training mercs in a given skill makes sense to me. you spend time and resources to get them to become better. in gameplay many "increase from usage" skills lead to absurd player behavior, doing things only to level up the skill and not because they are sensible (yes, I have a machine gun, but I need to train my pea-shooter skill, so I will use that one instead...). Mercs get XP based on what they do. In the end both system have merits and shortcomings.
- vests are in (as is armor and helmets), but your equipment is put in a belt (realy just an interface issue)
- weapons have a max of 5 augmentation slots
- item pick-up will likely come in before launch or shortly after. we do not want to have players spend time ransacking crates for band aids, though.
- no swimming,climbing or crawling- mainly for AI reasons. We aim to expand that after launch
- medic, tec and other skills were in but got dropped due to time restraints. however they will come back. mixing mercs still makes sense- however we have fewer merc slots for a map (6 or 8 max), so you may not want to "waste" space on a pure medic
-kill mercs - dead mercs are very hard to revive and only in top level hospitals...

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289890] Fri, 26 August 2011 23:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gades
Messages:3
Registered:August 2011
hm.. wierd. then the booth guys made some minor mistakes, didnt want to promise uncertain features or you guys werent sure about some stuff and waited for the feedback from GC?

with "vests" i meant "vests controlling inventory like in JA1". and with "not sure about armor" i meant "im not sure what the armor can do besides protecting you from impact" (stealth or protection against specific damage for example). me scusi

[Updated on: Fri, 26 August 2011 23:31] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289913] Sat, 27 August 2011 11:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
well one of them was the product manager at gamigo, the other was our projectmanager - so both aren't 100% up to date on design plans.
Armor has different protection areas (back, side, front) and affects stealth - also, you need Strength to carry all that stuff with you, so armor also weighs a bit...
inventory is split between backpack and equipment belt (though this may mean a belt, pockets of a vest or whatever - basically stuff you carry but is placed conveniently for quick access.
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289915] Sat, 27 August 2011 12:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
1Samildanach

 
Messages:56
Registered:February 2009
Location: Southern hemisphere
primetide
well one of them was the product manager at gamigo, the other was our projectmanager - so both aren't 100% up to date on design plans.
Armor has different protection areas (back, side, front) and affects stealth - also, you need Strength to carry all that stuff with you, so armor also weighs a bit...
inventory is split between backpack and equipment belt (though this may mean a belt, pockets of a vest or whatever - basically stuff you carry but is placed conveniently for quick access.

Webbing?

[Updated on: Sat, 27 August 2011 12:48] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289934] Sat, 27 August 2011 18:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
primetide

 
Messages:79
Registered:March 2011
german version gameplay explanation video with me stammering through the presentation. can be found here: gamescom video

[Updated on: Sat, 27 August 2011 21:47] by Moderator

Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289935] Sat, 27 August 2011 18:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Logisteric

 
Messages:3474
Registered:December 2008
Location: B
primetide
german version gameplay explanation video with me stammering through the presentation. : http://jagged-alliance-online.playmassive.de/34458,jagged-alliance-online-gamescom-2011-video-praesentation


da isses
Re: Jagged Alliance Online GamesCon Impressions & Predictions[message #289984] Sun, 28 August 2011 19:39 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Peal

 
Messages:251
Registered:August 2007
Location: Germany
Great video!

Q1: Is it possible to turn around for like 1AP?
Q2: Do you support hotkeys like "L" for turn around? :thumbsup:

[Updated on: Sun, 28 August 2011 19:43] by Moderator

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