Home » FULL CONTROL GAMES » #JAFDEV » FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338188] Wed, 10 December 2014 16:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TWJunky

 
Messages:82
Registered:November 2012
Location: Austria
should i point this misguided soul in our direction? Shanga I think its time to start a steam forum discussion. the steam user need to know that we are working on a solution. this is were the money will come form.

[Updated on: Wed, 10 December 2014 16:18] by Moderator

Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338189] Wed, 10 December 2014 18:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sooner

 
Messages:35
Registered:January 2004
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
Personally, one of the first orders of business I think should be to standardize the weapons.json file. Looking at it the other day, things like the silenced value are present on some weapons and not on others and if you go through the weapons you will find more items like that which could make things more complicated than they should be. I know it did for my weapon editor GUI which I need to rework.

Since JA has always been about gun porn to some degree I also think a rehash of the weapons table is in order. We have the ability to increase the number of guns significantly based only upon the 3D models which currently exist in the game. The HK 41X series could use the existing M16 model, all of the AK variants, could use the AK model, etc. Currently all of the assault rifles are pretty much the same, ditto for the rest of the weapons within a very small percentage gain or loss. Shanga mentioned something a few days ago about only needing sniper rifles and shotguns, and I find that to be true in almost all situations. The pistols and SMG's are worthless basically once you leave Badilla which is a shame. In fact, the one thing that I think the BIA series got right was the fact that SMG's were valuable for building clearing all the way to the end of the game as they should be due to their speed to ready as well as the volume of fire they can put out in close quarters.

Some of this is due to the fact that many of the maps are pretty sparsely populated. Even the major cities have some very long fields of fire meaning the rifles/sniper rifles are much more valuable due to the engagement ranges which they tend to cover. Not much we can do about this one until they update the map editor but there are quite a few maps with little to no cover in rather large areas of the map itself which leads to the long shot stand offs and the person with the biggest gun, always wins those.

With the 18 AP mercs not being able to even fire one max aimed shot of the rifles, much less anything sniper related, I think some changes or at least a little balance is in order here as well. I think this issue exists because all of the Mercs are level 1 to start. In the original JA you had some of the better mercs who existed at considerably higher levels to start with which meant increased stats. While a level 1 merc could eventually be brought up to the same skill level it took a lot more time and effort. With the physical stats being hard set on the characters, I see no way to ever make someone like Buns anything more that sub-par at best without some edits of the json files for the MERCs. I can't recall off the top of my head what the worst AP number was for a JA2 merc, I don't feel like the lower AP mercs were as worthless in a fight as they seem right now.



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338190] Wed, 10 December 2014 19:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Sniper rifles and ARs need to have a much bigger penalty upclose. That's what would make SMGs worth their weight in gold.

Also the loot tables (including drops, containers and shops) are screwed, allowing the player access to easy to powerful sniper rifles.

We need also to rebalance the attachment slots so some weapons are not overpowered. Due to the fact that AK basically can take all attachments possible, you can turn that into an all-around/sniper/burst weapon of doom. Making everything else optional or obsolete.

I'd also enlarge the city sectors on Garcia, give the game more CQB combat. Marino should be like 4-6 sectors. Badilla 2x. Tio should be huge. Every city should be built on the Tio model: garrisons with open spaces for sniping and flanking, slums with a lot of intricate passages where handguns and SMGs rule and central sectors where loot is, with a lot of defences and combined tactics.

First island should have way way more stuff to do than 3-4 fights. So the player gets some training before main war.


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338191] Wed, 10 December 2014 19:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sooner

 
Messages:35
Registered:January 2004
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
Shanga
I'd also enlarge the city sectors on Garcia, give the game more CQB combat. Marino should be like 4-6 sectors. Badilla 2x. Tio should be huge. Every city should be built on the Tio model: garrisons with open spaces for sniping and flanking, slums with a lot of intricate passages where handguns and SMGs rule and central sectors where loot is, with a lot of defences and combined tactics.

First island should have way way more stuff to do than 3-4 fights. So the player gets some training before main war.


Totally agree with that, the existing maps need to be spiffed up, and new maps added, but again that depends on the editor. Something else that occurred to me from a modding standpoint though. If someone were to throw together some base weapon models, and the skins accepted a transparency color, we could use a very small number of models to make an enormous amount of weapons. We have the basic pistol and revolver models already, we need some AKSU based models, something with a wire stock since there are about a billion variants of that and with some texture work you could create just about anything without putting undue strain on the engine with additional models. I would assume if we could provide the devs with the models, they could throw them into an existing asset bundle so we could at least take a stab at it.
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338192] Wed, 10 December 2014 20:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ryan_Prime

 
Messages:18
Registered:October 2007
Sooner
Since JA has always been about gun porn to some degree I also think a rehash of the weapons table is in order. We have the ability to increase the number of guns significantly

Well ... Jagged Alliance had four pistols, one shotgun, one single-shot rifle, and two assault rifles. There weren't even any SMGs until Deadly Games, which added one. Even in JA2, "Tons of Guns" was an option not included in the default game for a reason.

Personally, I don't want 15 different assault rifles to choose from. Inventory management is enough of a headache as it is without juggling 50 ammo types across dozens of characters in several different sectors. To me, making inventory more bloated and complicated would be very very low on my wishlist. In fact, it would not be there at all, and I hate to think of modders spending time on it that could be spent balancing and improving the basic gameplay.

I do agree with your comments about the roles of weapon types however. It's sad to read that pistols and SMGs become worthless late game.

Note that I have barely played JAF yet, so take my comments for what they are worth. This has been one zebra's opinion.
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338193] Wed, 10 December 2014 20:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Sooner

 
Messages:35
Registered:January 2004
Location: Broken Arrow, OK
Admittedly, the original JA options were limited and I have had a lot of whiskey between now and my time with the original JA or even JA:DG. JA2 however, which is my base point since it is something I still play from time to time, did end up with a great deal of weapons.

I guess for me it boils down to choice. I like to have options, and those options can come with a certain amount of added work in the inventory management department. As much as it pissed me off when I found a weapon that I didn't have ammo for, I appreciated the fact that if you waltz into a third world country, you would often have to "make do" with what was available in the short term, which may mean using inferior gear for a while and sparingly using the top of the line stuff for a while.

I think it could also add to the personality factor of some of the MERCs. For instance, I have always been a fan of Steroid, not sure why because his voice drives me insane, but I also always thought it would be cool if he refused to use German made weapons (due to his polish background). Similarly, Len might only be willing to use the M16 and M9 related variants or other weapons you might find in the US military. Grunty could be an HK fan, Ivan/Igor AK fans etc.

I have way more ideas then I have time to execute said ideas but the weapon mods or editing is something that I think can be used rather easily to fine tune the game since we don't have access to all of the under the hood stuff.

Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338194] Wed, 10 December 2014 21:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Folks, as long as we release these weapons in mod Packs, there is no issue with quantity. People install whatever they want. The only issue I see is making sure loot tables are updated correctly because one mod will overwrite the other's ItemGroups.json.

Atm making weapons based on current models isn't that hard, we just need someone who can make Unity asset bundles with spare IDs. Same goes for armor. Non-ID related stuff like attachments (that have no 3d model) or trash items or ammo can be edited to infinity and beyond without any UnityPro license.

===========

Another thing I want modded is a more intricate difficulty levels. Atm they are tied only to AI damage. A real difficulty level must have different loot tables, different enemy load-outs, different enemy squad composition.

Heck on Insane difficulty, is a must that we give AI the option to use grenades!

[Updated on: Wed, 10 December 2014 21:19] by Moderator



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338211] Thu, 11 December 2014 17:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TWJunky

 
Messages:82
Registered:November 2012
Location: Austria
Cant we take some of the work that has been done for JA2 mods like enemy load outs and loot tables. heck we might even be able to use some attributes like hearing and seeing distance that influence AI behavior. we of course would have to translate this information to make it work in a JAFB environment.

[Updated on: Thu, 11 December 2014 17:04] by Moderator

Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338217] Thu, 11 December 2014 20:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia

I want to bring some JA2 flavour to JAF, but not copy paste. JA2 suffered from the same weapon depreciation the moment gun mods were invented. Not my ideal model of loot table setup, if you ask me.

But when it comes to attachments, weapon calibers, enemy load-outs, yea, there's a lot of inspiration in JA2.

I've just finished a full playthrough of JAF and now I have a clear idea what is missing and what can be improved. Definitely a gun mod is a must. But we also need more city sectors. And a few deeper quests. And if we can get people to voice NPCs, maybe some merc banter from FC's side, the game will become lots more fun.

Atm is ok, but it has very very limited replayability once main campaign is over. FC devs put a lot of example quests in the game that show us how we can thicken the plot, it's time to put that know-how to good use.

Now all I want is a JAFeditor and a few more formulas externalised.


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338219] Fri, 12 December 2014 02:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Guess what folks. JAFEditor works... I mean it loads the new game assets and you can create sectors that open up in game...

I will be testing new maps the following days, see what it lacks (if anything).



EDIT: I was overoptimistical, the asset bundle loaded halfway and fooled me. Actually the reality is this:

http://i.imgur.com/jt4b2Xzl.jpg

This are the assets left from my old Krasnodar base. As you can see, lots are missing. We definitely need a dev hand here.

As for roofs and multi-level buildings, from what I've read so far, you can pretty much add anything to the game. Prebuilt towns if you wish, for free (there're a tonne of those in Asset Store). But... To put them in the game, you need to pack them as asset bundle... tadaaaa... Other than that I don't see any real difficulty into making JAF in whatever we want.. heck we could even redo it's UI if we try... BUT... we need Unity know-how and the Pro license to go with it.

[Updated on: Fri, 12 December 2014 03:01] by Moderator



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338221] Fri, 12 December 2014 03:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
On other hand... I was using an old editor... not JAFeditor 0.5

http://i.imgur.com/2ofSKRQl.jpg

Could this be it?


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338222] Fri, 12 December 2014 10:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TWJunky

 
Messages:82
Registered:November 2012
Location: Austria
I also think that a gun mod should not be the top most priority. Imho I would first redefine core mechanics and implement new ones. Redesigned maps are also a must. Currently there are just too many open areas. urban combat does not exist. I haven't gotten to play through the game but I am already missing core mechanics moving with a raised weapon and suppression fire. line of sight and fire are also kind of hard to tell. Seems to me that u can only shoot at people that are straight in front of you. Also missing shooting around corners strafing etc.

Just let me know when you guys want me to start using the unity engine. As promised I will buy one.

[Updated on: Fri, 12 December 2014 10:34] by Moderator

Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338223] Fri, 12 December 2014 10:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
TWJunky

 
Messages:82
Registered:November 2012
Location: Austria
I stumbled across this last night:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/321300/
Tale Worlds is selling a mod on steam. This is something new for me. I haven't seen any publisher sell community mods on steam before.
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338224] Fri, 12 December 2014 10:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
There's also this community made mod for Portal:
http://store.steampowered.com/app/280740/?snr=1_7_7_230_150_1

I found out a very interesting development in JAFEditor0.5. The "Export Bundle" menu works now and produces a JSON in the /Mods section. Sadly it's an empty JSON, no matter what I tried. Probably due to the fact that my Unity is free edition. But at least I see how this could work.

What we do need from FC is an addon to their editor for weapons and gear, because atm in the asset bundle you only have mapping stuff.

I've spent a few late hours trying to get up to speed with Unity and so far I've learned this: you can procedurally generate heightmap terrain about 100 times larger or more than current maps. So making a map with heights isn't actually that difficult. But coding proper shooting might me (that part is a bit too complicated for me).

You can procedurally generate whole freaking towns, house interiors included.

You can find and use simple AI scripts. I have yet to get it working, but I've found a free nifty pack that you can apply to animals to make them flee, follow, flock, pursue, etc.. I also noticed the game has crocodiles... if we could implement at least one form of aggressive animal it would be quite cool.

Creating cutscenes and movies also can be done with cheap or free tools directly from within the editor. Now idea yet how you link that to the main game, but I haven't read much documentation either. I did animate inside the editor a vehicle to go from point A to point B on a timeline. Was very easy.

In general, if we get a developer to sit down with us and explain so inner workings of the Unity, it's immensely modular and open, because, at its core, it's a freaking game making platform.

Ah also Unity has an UI creator that even allows UI built out of HTML and CSS. Think GameDev Tycoon. If we can plug in such UI for JAF then the sky would be the limit.




Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338229] Fri, 12 December 2014 13:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Hyperlord

 
Messages:16
Registered:May 2014
Great findings, Shanga!
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338233] Fri, 12 December 2014 20:37 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ryan_Prime

 
Messages:18
Registered:October 2007
Sooner
JA2 however, which is my base point since it is something I still play from time to time, did end up with a great deal of weapons.

Definitely. Just throwing it out there that for me at least, this was a downside. JA2 was/is great but not perfect, and for me at least bloated inventory management kills the fun.

Quote:
As much as it pissed me off when I found a weapon that I didn't have ammo for, I appreciated the fact that if you waltz into a third world country, you would often have to "make do" with what was available in the short term, which may mean using inferior gear for a while and sparingly using the top of the line stuff for a while.

Realism is neat, and for some people the extra work it creates is a fun part of the gameplay. For others, it is a goddamn drag. Smile Sometimes, the realistic choice is not always the best choice for gameplay. Honestly I don't play JA for realism - I play it because it's the only TBT game with entertaining characters.

Quote:
I think it could also add to the personality factor of some of the MERCs. For instance, I have always been a fan of Steroid, not sure why because his voice drives me insane, but I also always thought it would be cool if he refused to use German made weapons (due to his polish background). Similarly, Len might only be willing to use the M16 and M9 related variants or other weapons you might find in the US military. Grunty could be an HK fan, Ivan/Igor AK fans etc.

Of course I would be a fan of little character touches like this, but not at the expense of an inventory system that made me consider putting a real life gun in my mouth.

Quote:
I have way more ideas then I have time to execute said ideas but the weapon mods or editing is something that I think can be used rather easily to fine tune the game since we don't have access to all of the under the hood stuff.

That is definitely true. A weapon mod would be "low hanging fruit" as it were, and it that light, I certainly support any mod maker who wants to go for it, particularly one who doesn't have time for more substantial, systemic mods.

Shanga
Folks, as long as we release these weapons in mod Packs, there is no issue with quantity. People install whatever they want. The only issue I see is making sure loot tables are updated correctly because one mod will overwrite the other's ItemGroups.json.

Well, the thing is that I doubt a serious weapon mod would be that ... modular. If I'm reading correctly, it sounds like weapon balance isn't that good in the vanilla game (SMGs are worthless, etc.) - for me, I would hope to see a simple rebalance mod to give each weapon type a role without adding 100 new guns and 300 new ammo types into the mix. It's very easy to imagine Joe's Crazy Comprehensive Gun Mod that tweaks all current weapons brilliantly and adds a bunch more. At that point I the user only have the choice to install it or not ... do I live with the poor vanilla balance or do I turn inventory into an inflated nightmare? Not an appetizing choice.

So at the end of the day I hope that Joe's Crazy Comprehensive Gun Mod isn't the only one out there ... I also hope to see Joe's Weapon Rebalance Mod without all the extra baggage.
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338236] Fri, 12 December 2014 21:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Shanga's Weapon Rebalance mod is in the oven, hopefully it will be a source of inspiration for more savvy gun experts. At least it will annoy them so much it will drive them to make their own mods. Very Happy I never claimed to be a gun expert, I mod stuff only to get better gameplay out of them and using just Google references. I might commit a few unforgivable sins in the eyes of the experts along the way, but at least I will give it a shot.

And yes, I will deal only with stock weapons. I do plan to make a small "Weapons Pack" later, maybe part of a bigger mod, but that's not even feasible yet.

First priority is to make sure the stock weapons work great. Then we it's everyone for himself in regards to what weapon packs we create or what weapons pack we install and play with.


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338238] Fri, 12 December 2014 21:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Ryan_Prime

 
Messages:18
Registered:October 2007
Sounds fantastic. Carry on, everyone Smile
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338241] Fri, 12 December 2014 22:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Well one thing we can say for sure...

http://i.imgur.com/oTOhV1Ul.jpg

The game does support freaking huge maps when they're empty (this one is 1000x1000). But this isn't how I wanted to go about, cause enlarging the terrain apparently is tied to ingame sector limits... We don't want 1000x1000 sectors (yet). We just want a scenery in the background. Will do some more testing, but I had to share this with you, was too funny.


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338274] Mon, 15 December 2014 02:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tox

 
Messages:249
Registered:February 2000
Location: www.webcodesign.de
I feel flattered but for now I have to decline. As you have probably noticed I haven't been very active the last months, mainly because I was overloaded with work (worst customer EVER and now he ain't payin'). For now I have to fill the financial gap that job left before I can spend time on free community services. Maybe I'll jump in later, but no promises!

JA2STI Creator
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338276] Mon, 15 December 2014 04:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Tox
before I can spend time on free community services


I guess you mean being in the modders panel. No problem, I appreciate the honesty. But I do not anticipate a very quick launch of the whole thing, not in the next months or so anyway. So you do have plenty of time to change your mind.


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338279] Mon, 15 December 2014 06:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fathamburger

 
Messages:27
Registered:October 2006
Location: USA
Shanga
http://i.imgur.com/guG9AKZ.jpg

Sorry, I couldn't help myself posting this little gem. Because Steam...nvm...

This game will have no chance if we as a community stand legs crossed and watch trolls like above getting the game stomped on. If we let the Steam trolls win this ratings battle, we as a community, have failed miserably. And the whole crowd-funding and community plan and modding talks are for nothing.

We need a plan and we need to execute it. Pick a minimum of 5-10 positive reviews on Steam you agree with and upvote them. Write your own review, even if it's just a simple 7/10 rating. We need to give JA:F a chance, because there will be no game to mod unless we can come up with something to balance the hate. Devs are doing what they're are expected to do - keep working on features and fixes. It's up to us to fight the trolls.

But this deserves a detailed plan so for now..carry on, we need more ideas for the poll.


Well this is why I've said the base game needs to be fixed first. They cant upvote something that isnt there even if there is a community forming here to address this. Lets focus on something on a "statement of intention" mod first and maybe FC can announce it ASAP and give people something to support. In its current state, Id have to agree with the rating.

Ive been a bit busy the last two weeks (especially getting distracted by Watchdogs) but I finally have some time to at least work on a story treatment tonight

Sooner

I think it could also add to the personality factor of some of the MERCs. For instance, I have always been a fan of Steroid, not sure why because his voice drives me insane, but I also always thought it would be cool if he refused to use German made weapons (due to his polish background). Similarly, Len might only be willing to use the M16 and M9 related variants or other weapons you might find in the US military. Grunty could be an HK fan, Ivan/Igor AK fans etc.


Fantastic reminder, Id forgotten about this. Ill work it in



[Updated on: Mon, 15 December 2014 06:27] by Moderator

Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338285] Mon, 15 December 2014 13:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Maybe you're right. Too much energy spent on those. Energy we could use much better modding the game.

Btw, I think we need to ask for a Morale bar near character portrait. There is a numeric display inside inventory, but that's too discrete since everything about merc interactions are actually about Morale.

Also we need more Energy consumption, tied to inventory weight. And tied to AP points.


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338291] Mon, 15 December 2014 16:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Tox

 
Messages:249
Registered:February 2000
Location: www.webcodesign.de
Shanga
Tox
before I can spend time on free community services


I guess you mean being in the modders panel. No problem, I appreciate the honesty. But I do not anticipate a very quick launch of the whole thing, not in the next months or so anyway. So you do have plenty of time to change your mind.


good Smile

JA2STI Creator
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338299] Mon, 15 December 2014 23:42 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fathamburger

 
Messages:27
Registered:October 2006
Location: USA
Hey Shanga.

Managed to get a LOT done story wise last night (made that post on Steam afterwards heh). Before I distill it all into a teaser that I can get everyone's feedback on, I wanted to ask this quickly so it doesnt get lost in the wall of text Wink

I haven't played through the whole game yet (still find it a painful waste of time), but is there already a list of ALL recruitable mercs that you can find actually on the island, in game quests etc and their backgrounds?

Last I checked there wasn't a decent FAQ yet.

Wall of text coming later today Smile

[Updated on: Mon, 15 December 2014 23:50] by Moderator

Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338301] Tue, 16 December 2014 00:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
I haven't compiled a list, but their names are in JSON files. It's easy to extract them. I did post on Steam guides a list of all the missions I know of though. I am looking forward to your story, I have some ideas myself (based on the initial Kickstarter story).

PS: If the story is very long, you can make a special topic for it and post just the link here. You won't get your story feedback mixed with general discussions that way. I recommend this forum:

http://www.ja-galaxy-forum.com/ubbthreads.php/forums/93/1/#JAFDEV_Story/Level_Design

PS: I have re-read your introduction and your sample merc bio and I am now double excited to read your script. I'm ready, I even brought the cheerleader team back from Steam with me, look:

:cheerleader: :cheerleader: :cheerleader:

[Updated on: Tue, 16 December 2014 00:21] by Moderator



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338318] Tue, 16 December 2014 16:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Well? Writer's block? Wink

[Updated on: Tue, 16 December 2014 16:54] by Moderator



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338324] Tue, 16 December 2014 20:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Vortexdr

 
Messages:57
Registered:April 2013
So now that Bitcomposer went bust, and they owned the JA rights how exactly will this play out?


FC obviously needed BT's permission in order to even offer to give mod creators profits. I suppose they will need to talk to whoever purchases the rights in the future?
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338326] Tue, 16 December 2014 21:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Quote from Thomas Lund's post on official forum:

Quote:
It doesnt have any influence (fortunately) on JAF.
We have a contract that secures the JAF license and the product. We are free to do expansions etc as wanted/needed.


Quote:
We secured the license for JAF (NOT JA) to be with us in case of bC bankruptcy. So there is no effect on JAF as a product.


As a matter of fact, I did send a mail to bC (one of their producers had registered here during the days on BIA) and asked if they had anything against the idea. They said it's only up to Full Control when it comes to JA:F, because they own full rights. I can't find the email now, but that's a pretty accurate quote I think.


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338358] Wed, 17 December 2014 02:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
fathamburger
Hey Shanga.

I haven't played through the whole game yet (still find it a painful waste of time), but is there already a list of ALL recruitable mercs that you can find actually on the island, in game quests etc and their backgrounds?


Just made one:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=357273195


Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338362] Wed, 17 December 2014 05:45 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fathamburger

 
Messages:27
Registered:October 2006
Location: USA
Shanga
Well? Writer's block? Wink


hahaha no. Just lack of time and focus to finish things off. I got down everything and incorporated your economy ideas (liberals and commies) as I was kinda stuck there and didnt want to just have a renamed fallow sap thing again lol. Fell asleep while sorting out the mercs into different camps, factions and tiers. Still doing it now This is the most boring part, just lots of wiki-ing and data entry. Home stretch though, expecting to make a new thread in a few hours

Thanks for the cheerleaders btw, also reminded me that actually my current choice of villains/setting might be too dark for the cheesy 80s rambo/expendables type vibe for JA. The rest is pretty solid but that might need to be ripped out. You'll see, ive mentioned when when I do eventually post this monster.

Have to be out for dinner in a few hours but I should be posting it before then
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338366] Wed, 17 December 2014 08:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fathamburger

 
Messages:27
Registered:October 2006
Location: USA
Here it is finally Smile

http://www.ja-galaxy-forum.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/338364#Post338364


Shanga
fathamburger
Hey Shanga.

I haven't played through the whole game yet (still find it a painful waste of time), but is there already a list of ALL recruitable mercs that you can find actually on the island, in game quests etc and their backgrounds?


Just made one:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=357273195


Thanks for that. I incorporated it into my post. So they really did end up making the White Asian, Commander Spice etc actual characters but yeah.. it's a bit of a shoehorn. As I mention in my post I'd rather virtually retcon them entirely or just slip them in as the end but what I came up with can also work.
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338374] Wed, 17 December 2014 14:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
I added a lot of backstory regarding gangs on San Hermanos. The main idea is this:

The map is small, true. But can you have a complex game on a small map? Of course you can, a great story doesn't need miles and miles of terrain to unfold. It can happen in a single room, if the writer is good enough. My idea allows us only to do minor changes tot he game map. A bigger starting island is required, maybe more mountains for rebels to hide, maybe larger Badilla and Marino, maybe a special cruise ship sectors with multiple layers (think of the tunnel to OSIM - does that look like a ship interior or not?). Based on this map, you can have 3 full campaigns or stories unfold:

A) A strong RPG style campaign running missions and and/or getting rid of gang factions around the towns of San Hermanos, while building up a team of mercs and gathering gear.

B) A second delayed main campaign where you actually pick a side (army or rebels) to support and start conquering either hemp farms (for army, against rebels) or gold/uranium/whatever mines (for rebels, against army).

C) The end-game reveal (read the full story) opens a Reversed Campaign, where you get to play a very interesting chess game, starting from Angetta.

The actual reveal at the end of the campaign is a better AIM background story than what FC came up with, imho. It's more hardcore, real-politik and eye-opening than the cheesy "you helped liberate an island from a dictator and US people thank you". My story leaves nobody innocent, because in war nobody is innocent. There's not a single faction that doesn't have a skeleton in the closet. Lilitu inmates are criminals that exploit and terrorize civilians into working for the Rebels. The Hermanista Rebels claim they fight for freedom and the people, but they grow hemp to fund their fight and have no moral problems into being the drug lords of the region, benefiting also from a very kind help from Soviet Bear ally. The Pit Smugglers are death dealers who sell weapons to both parties and entertain themselves by feeding Fluffly the bear a civilian or two (they made a business out of taking in remains of the victims from any side who wants to get rid of a body). The Army wants military control over everythig and is led by a demented general who dreams of building himself a nuclear weapon (and he manages to build one, only to blow himself up in the end - see Nuka in weapons.json). The Blue Oyster Cult has an entire ship of innocent tourists trapped, tied and lined up for cooking under the direction supervision of Chef Dr. Lecter. The Syndicate, aka civilians, may seem harmless, but only on appearance. Because once you start to get their backgrounds you might find out those honest hard-working citizens are either cultist, rebel sympathisers, criminals or army informants.

And you? Who are you? Well...you are The Pawn. A pawn is the most unassuming piece in a chess game. The first to sacrifice. The pawn is the only piece than never moves back. And the one piece that's said to be easy to control yet the only piece that has the power to transform itself and eliminate a King if it reaches the end of the board (hint!).

The JAF world won't cut you any slack, no matter what side you pick. It will just open your eyes.

[Updated on: Wed, 17 December 2014 16:05] by Moderator



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338384] Wed, 17 December 2014 20:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fathamburger

 
Messages:27
Registered:October 2006
Location: USA
I like your idea, especially with how efficiently the map could be reused for more gameplay with an inherent "new game+" built into the second half but it feels like it is less of a prequel that Flashback is and more of a standalone Deadly Games type deal. If anything the factions you've got in there take center stage and should be getting the most story time. There wouldnt be much room to develop the mercs backstories and given that not just the player but their entire team and company are effectively pawns, the mercs are also disposable and interchangable. In that case I would prefer to have a full roster from the start and just pick and choose different teams with different strengths specific to taking on each faction. The merc selection sounds like it would be far less crucial and you could just intercheangeable x-com type guys, going with the ones with the most optimized stats for any given situation.

I feel like it would miss the point of being a prequel. What I was thinking of was the opposite, a game more focused on the mercs themselves with the enemy being essentially a training dummy that helps to "fuse the core" of AIM. I broke the mercs up into tiers so that there could be more of a known quantity as to what the player would be running at any given time so that specific story arcs/mistakes made/relationships developed would happen. The action may be non linear but I was thinking of a more linear scripted story if you will.

Keep in mind that Flashback is also potentially an intro to the franchise as a whole for new players. The theme of there being no innocents in war is pretty great, but I could imagine say MD Dawson and other more well natured of the mercs quitting or bailing from Angetta and not sticking around in AIM if that was their first experience. There would be quite a shift in tone going onto the older *Ahem* later games.

Oh and I do think we need to ask for item durability so mechanics can be important and look more into populating the towns with loot as someone else brought up. We're missing a great deal of that from JA2. Also a recon / rumours option that I brought up i.e place someone in a sector just to listen in on the lay of the land, not just on their own team. It could be a way to generate sidequests for the player to take on.

Oh and somehow you've ended up even darker than I did. I thought the gangs especially with the child violence could be a bit dark, but your whole world is pretty dark there i.e. no one can be trusted and you'll be killing the same people you helped (if you helped them) anyway. Hard to see how any of the mercs could be the JA signature style of being flippant or humorous or flat-arsed incompetent in that scenario

[Updated on: Wed, 17 December 2014 20:14] by Moderator

Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338388] Wed, 17 December 2014 21:53 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
JA:F is actually a pre-quel as much as is the last Star Wars movie. It's set before everything starts, but explains a lot of why and how Anakin turned out to be who he is.

As for mercs dying or qutting, I have mentioned that we have a clinic (so we remove perma death) and maybe a morgue (if we're skittish about mercs dying, we forget that). But in JA2 nobody imported your old savegame to check who you killed in your Metavira trip. They just "cheated" and eliminated arbitrarely a few mercs. So why should we be so delicate when Ian Currie was.

But as I said, we have options better than the default game, to get rid of permadeath and move the wounded mercs into a base clinic.

--------------

My story is as gritty as we want it to be. Fact is, this is the original idea behind JA:F, an idea they sugarcoated and simplified until we ended up with just "crash in SH, help Marion, kill Prince, GJ, go home". Their promise was to deliver a RPG game even more complex than JA2, where you would have the freedom to pick your side, not stick to "help CIA cause they're the good guys" stupid scenario. I might've painted a bit too grim, true. But it is what it is. You know the saying "someone's freedom fighter is always someone else's terrorist". There's no innocence in war. It's all about getting in power. But we can present the story in a lighter way, of course. It's all about how you build the dialogues (nobody will read this wall of text ingame) and quests.

I disagree with the fact that factions will take center stage. Or that you won't have the time for merc backstory. You will have lots of time. The game will not be linear. And you won't get to play ALL OPTIONS at once. What you read above are all possible questlines and choices. In your first playthrough you will probably kill the inmates fast, free Badilla and Marino, work some quests for The Pit and gain access through them to either Hermanista base or Army base. And bingo, you're already into the second part. The Blue Oyster faction will still be there, if you stumble across them and you wish to explore that quest line. I estimate the first simple playthrough to add 5-10 hours extra to the game, until you get to fight the main campaign.

As for mercs, this new setting allows placing a lot more of them in various locations across the map. Some on business, some on RR. Some as locals. What I hate about recruitment in JAF now is that somehow you get a rolodex full of names. How? When? Who are those people? Did CIA gave you that list? There's no backstory there and it's a cheap shortcut.

Ok, maybe you cannot cram so many mercs into the map. Then at least give me a mission to restore comms to the base and have someone email me a list of shady mercenaries for hire that would be ready to come to SH to look for action. Lame shortcut again, but at least there's a justification for having a full rolodex. I would prefer finding all mercs on the map, through various quests EVEN IF WE RANDOMIZE the roster for each game start, like This War of Mine does. So you never get the same mercs, you never get the same stories/quests. A lot of work, but imagine how many times it would increase the replayability.

The mercs aren't disposable. Don't know what gave you that idea. They unlock through quests (at certain tiers, based on their bios) and they stay inside the base until you give them a contract. You can either hire them from the rolodex screen (call it team radio) or you can go in person and talk to them and get all that merc banter everyone cries about. Seeing they are physical NPCs on the ground their backstories only would count much more, not less!!

The whole point of the RPG element in the game (ignore the backstory of all factions, that was just to help with creating specific NPCs, settings, loadouts, etc) is to put future AIM members among all these odd people of San Hermanos. Ivan could be a distruntled Soviet advisor to the Hermanistas. While Len Anderson could be an US advisor to the Generalissimo who wants to get away from the nutcase.

Anyway, once I clean up the story and get into actual script writing I think everything will become more clear.

[Updated on: Wed, 17 December 2014 22:12] by Moderator



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338392] Wed, 17 December 2014 22:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
I do like your approach that develops the story around tiers and merc backgrounds, btw. I left out my "recruitable NPC" item on all factions open thinking I will merge it with your list. But I'll give a try myself and see if I can come up with a faction and tier distribution of the roster. It's a very nice plan I will gladly "borrow" Smile if you don't mind.






Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338404] Thu, 18 December 2014 05:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
fathamburger

 
Messages:27
Registered:October 2006
Location: USA
I think mixing approaches would just dilute and half ass things. Both have their merits but yours needs to be a fully dynamic, hit any sector/faction from day 1 sort of deal. Yes very Fallout. What I meant by disposable is that in that scenario, there really wouldnt be any weaker and stronger sectors that are designed so you could take weaker mercs on and start off with.

Theres basically a very strong difference at its core. In your version the player is the pawn and the mercs are just the tools. They are loyal to the highest bidder as you say so actually I think tiering access in anything other than pricing would cripple the concept. You should be making decisions based on the wallet you have i.e. do I want to have more guys but weaker, or do I want to go in with just 3-4 strong guys that I know will get the job done and wont have to be carried. The sectors should all be at an "equal" level of challenge to keep things fully dynamic and non linear but they would just present different challenges and outcomes i.e. one might need more diplomacy, another is just standard guns blazing, another you couldnt possibly beat with even max squad numbers but requires machievellian manipulation of the different sub factions etc. It would be best implemented as a Deadly Games/Fallout Tactics type deal when you're not going to be constrained by story elements that MUST take place, or you will fail without x merc etc and more focused on the actual tactical challenges. I enjoy both but I know mixing formulas is just asking for trouble especially from an implementation standpoint and then design wise.. This way you also don't limit the potential of the enemy factions just for the benefit of the player having only access to team noobs early on.

The core of what I came up with is that Leon and Sam are specifically going out to Angetta to address a problem that is plague-ing them at home, but at the start they are blind to the "other side" of the equation i.e. Marion's side. They only become acquainted with her once their boots hit the ground and it becomes more of a "saving" mission rather than one of just thinning the barbarian hordes at their door step. There will be a very strong moral core there and within the merc contingent, those guys will also have their own agendas, sub quests and so forth. The mercenary angle is just so that something can be done without official US sanction but the US can turn a blind eye to. Again very similar to how Soldier of Fortune magazine was used for beefing up the Rhodesian forces to fight off the communists. In terms of mechanics, I was thinking similar to JA2 that there is kind of a rough "ideal" progression order that will b intended in the design.

Basically I think we should make both but keep the approaches very clean but I think yours makes for a better Deadly Games type xpac/spinoff while my approach would be better for a more "strict" prequel that follows the standard JA formula more closely. From the current standpoint its also easier just to do a standard campaign since we know what we have now is for the most part capable of it but it just needs better writing, pacing and content.

Anyhow we've established we've got the fanfiction at least. The question is who else would be on the team and what skills would they be bringing.

On my side, we still havent signed/been paid yet and that's delaying into next week or rather safe to say that I won't know whether I truly have "dead time" to burn on this until the end of the month. With the extra delay and uncertainty I do have to line up something paying myself starting in mid-Jan much like Tox has to as well and Id have to look at the hours remaining. Would love to be working on this or helping out to get a strong start but things aren't quite certain yet.
Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338406] Thu, 18 December 2014 14:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
I get it, your story is driven by mercs own agenda. Good concept and very interesting.

In my script the war happens and the mercs are already caught in it. And you, as their leader, need to go by "gut instinct" when deciding where to kill and where to help. Maybe more Fallout'ish that JA2. But has nothing to do with JA:DG, since that was strictly a different game altogehter.

Anyway, good luck with your plan. Sounds like a solid one.

Quote:
On my side, we still havent signed/been paid yet and that's delaying into next week or rather safe to say that I won't know whether I truly have "dead time" to burn on this until the end of the month.


You're negotiating already a payment with FC or is this about something else?! I mean, I understand, you want to involve a whole studio into this, but if I would go on that route (I am not), I wouldn't label it "Community Edition". It will be strictly your vision (done with community feedback, true). I think we're better off leaving the "Community Edition" tag to a true open solution. I mean at not even I am sure I'd like to keep the tag beyond concept phase, unless the core of the modders here get onboard. If I get 5-10 established modders to participate, ok, its legit. If not, I'll just release that under my own name.

I am doing this as independent from FC as I can, for personal reasons. This is why I will not invest anything but time into it, so I won't ask any payment either. It will be also heavily dependant on what FC offers modding wise, since I have no plans to change anything myself coding wise (except Lua quest coding or whatever is made available by FC). The naming is just a convention, but a convention important to the people around here. I don't want anymore flack than I got on Steam forums for being a profit-grabber and all that shizz.

Btw: if both concepts come to life I think it would be an awesome result, better than anyone could've dreamed of. Heck, if you manage to secure a publishing deal, I'd buy yours as a DLC with eyes closed - provided it is a professional quality studio remake. If it's free for the general public, then I think FC is very lucky indeed. And we were right all along about the game being moddable as being its greatest quality.

[Updated on: Thu, 18 December 2014 15:30] by Moderator



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338409] Thu, 18 December 2014 15:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Regarding to the my script:

Quote:
What I meant by disposable is that in that scenario, there really wouldnt be any weaker and stronger sectors that are designed so you could take weaker mercs on and start off with.


Again, I disagree. The danger will both scale with progression and will be dependant on the playstyle of the guy who's running of the show: YOU. Just from the basic script (which is going to be refined) you get:

  • tier1: Lilitu Inmates - armed with makeshift melee weapons and with no body armor, maybe one or two guns stolen from guards
  • tier2: Oyster cultists - no armor, drugged so they compensate with lots of AP, armed with highdmg melee; can be put down once player gets hollow point ammo
  • tier3: either army or rebeles - decent armor, stock military gear
  • tier4 (pro challenges): Pit Smugglers - they use VSS, Barretts, all the best weapons and they're also armored as tanks

Additionally there will be factions such as Peacemakers and/or Spigadoros that are hardly sketched in the core game and I plan to turn into another set of gangs with a grudge on each other. They would most likely be tier 2.

  • Tier 1 is designed for a solo, small squad experience, where the player has the upper hand if he uses a handgun, is a challenge to do solo (but can be done) due to morale, since you can be easily swamped if you go Rambo style. It will emphasize CQB, stealth and general undercover ops.
  • Tier 2 is more full on combat, where the player already has a squad of cheap mercs (because he have yet enough money for a squad of pro killers and/or too good gear). It will make a strong emphasis on rifles as long range solution and SMGs/shotguns for crowd control.
  • Tier 3 is the full-on war scenario, where you already have a good squad, maybe a sniper or two, good armor and you are prepared to fight off anyone.
  • Tier 4 is endgame play, completely optional, reserved strictly for those who want an additional challenge. It will most likely whoop your ass once or your twice. But it's about bragging rights that we all love.

There are a lot of groups I haven't yet paired with a tier. Also I haven't yet distributed the recruitable pool tier-wise. Because first i want to go through the roster, check and edit their stats and bios, add maybe a few more mercs and only then think about their availability.

[Updated on: Thu, 18 December 2014 15:02] by Moderator



Re: FEEDBACK - Community Rollout Plan for JA:F[message #338423] Thu, 18 December 2014 19:45 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Shanga

 
Messages:3543
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
FYI - in case any coder wants to give it a look, here's the full Lua scripting reference here:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2994227/JAFTXLuaScriptingReference.pdf


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