Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » v1.13 General Development Talk » Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine (we need to give up on making a new engine for JA)
Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344162] Fri, 19 February 2016 19:54 Go to next message
GASK3T

 
Messages:135
Registered:March 2011
I have said this in the past, but as much as we all would love a flawless JA engine, its not going to happen. JAF really proved that.

XCOM2 engine would be perfect for a new JA game. Instead of our modders wasting time on a 20 year old engine, let's evolve. The XCOM2 engine has everything we need.

- open source to modders
- we can fully customize our troops
- make new guns / weapon mods
- perk tree
- fully customization options

I just see potential everytime i jump on XCOM2 for a incredible JA mod. Thoughts?

GASK3T
Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344163 is a reply to message #344162] Fri, 19 February 2016 20:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Unreal you say? While the engine is free, the assets for XCOM are copyrighted. You are either developing a mod for XCOM, which will hardly resemble JA or actually create a game from scratch, which will require a lot of manpower. And money.

Not saying it can't be done, but I am not sure what you will end up will even stand up to v1.13 in terms of complexity. XCOM is cool and all, but it's pretty shallow in some aspects. Or, let's say, very different from JA2.

One more thing:

Quote:
I have said this in the past, but as much as we all would love a flawless JA engine, its not going to happen. JAF really proved that.


JAF was marred by sloppy development not its engine. It was based on Unity engine, which is a fine engine, just as fine as Unreal is and easy to use. But with a small team of 20 (of which only a handful were actually working full time on JAF), Full Control was never able to implement a proper QA and bug-check. Thus the game came out with buggy assets, like rocks who didn't have the proper block set up and bullets flew right through them. Also a small team meant they couldn't properly allocate manpower for some advanced stuff such as multi-height levels. Which are do-able on Unity, so it's not the engine's fault.

So you see... it comes down to how professional and organized the development process is, not down to the engine. And while I respect and love our modders, anyone involved in mod development knows that coordinating a team over the internet is an effing nightmare.

JA needs a proper budget (read: a couple of million) and a good developer with experience in strategy games not out for a quick buck. These things lacked for the past 15 years.

[Updated on: Fri, 19 February 2016 21:05]



Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344164 is a reply to message #344163] Fri, 19 February 2016 21:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
GASK3T

 
Messages:135
Registered:March 2011
And i get that completely. But start even smaller. Basic reskins and such with a JA like theme. We are a small game community. JA is a great game that isnt really well known. I propose we make moderate modifications to an existing platform and get the brand recognition to increase visibility over time and create more interest. Increased interest will result in more kick starter funding. Think of Counter Strikes' origins with HL.

Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344165 is a reply to message #344164] Fri, 19 February 2016 21:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3777
Registered:July 2009
Oh, if all you want are some JA flavoured dime-a-dozen mods that currently flood the workshop, go ahead and create some. It's not something that requires our modders' skills so they can keep wasting time on what they want to waste their time on.



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Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344166 is a reply to message #344165] Sat, 20 February 2016 00:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Quote:
Oh, if all you want are some JA flavoured dime-a-dozen mods that currently flood the workshop, go ahead and create some. It's not something that requires our modders' skills so they can keep wasting time on what they want to waste their time on.

Yea, basically every game under the moon nowdays that involves soldiers and/or guns claims a undying Jagged Alliance legacy and eternal love. As if you played JA2 twice 15 years ago you were impregnated by Ian Currie's genius and anything that you deliver is DEFINITELY a JA2 offspring. Righhhhhttt...


Quote:
JA is a great game that isnt really well known. I propose we make moderate modifications to an existing platform and get the brand recognition to increase visibility over time and create more interest. Increased interest will result in more kick starter funding

Speaking of Kickstarter - it's a dying idea. It was good for a while but it created so much controversy I don't see crowdfunding having a future. Basically when someone rich dude funds a game he signs a contract, has an army of lawyers behind him and he still takes a huge gamble. If the gamble pays off, it pays off big. The crowfunders have nothing of that sort (albeit their financial risk could be seen as smaller - but that arguable, $1 million for Bill Gates is less than $1k for me). They're only left to pick up the broken pieces and even if the project actually manages to produce something viable they have almost no bonus/reward compared to let's say a Steam buyer who gets the game with 40% discount in like 2 months after release.

Plus Kickstarter had just too many fails and scams imho.

[Updated on: Sat, 20 February 2016 00:25]



Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344167 is a reply to message #344166] Sat, 20 February 2016 00:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
GASK3T

 
Messages:135
Registered:March 2011
you mentioned that XCOM holds the rights to their game, which is very true. But if you can get the title for JA, and then have some kind of licensing agreement setup with them in which they got a royalty for each unit sold, you could easily take 80% of their structure, modify 20% of it, and get a fun base JA game setup.

My thought process here is to minimize the initial setup costs, get a JA title out there, and continue to build off of that with DLC.

[Updated on: Sat, 20 February 2016 00:59]

Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344169 is a reply to message #344167] Sat, 20 February 2016 03:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:856
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
Having worked in the pen & paper and the computer game industry I can say that you don't need a million dollars . . . but what you do need we don't have. What we have are dedicated modders who love and understand the game -- and that is of utmost importance for creating a good game. IMO, to get a game created we need to have those modders all in the same building, working every day for a year or more. We need face-to-face communication, brainstorming, idea development, playtesting and co-operation. We also need to be paid a living wage during that time, and afterwards. Marketing is another expense, and there we could depend a lot on the game speaking for itself -- but even then it would take a few tens of thousands (at least) to get proper coverage. So a million dollars isn't necessary, but the quarter million we'd need is just as far out of reach, as is getting all of us together in the same building for a year or more. Co-coordinating efforts from a distance is aggravatingly slow, disappointingly un-connected, and would triple the time needed -- at the very least -- and would result in a much less innovative game. There is no substitute for having the creative team all together within easy reach of each other at a moment's notice. I have worked both ways -- together in the same building, once from 3000 miles away, and once from 60 miles away. I can say that the difference between 3000 miles away and 60 miles away is negligible, but both are vastly inferior to being in the same building.

I would love to work on JA3 . . . I think the modders we have now could absolutely make a better game than the original. But without being able to work together in person without financial worries is the stumbling block that has to be removed in order for JA3 to happen from us.




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Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344171 is a reply to message #344169] Sat, 20 February 2016 14:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Dunno what to say, unless you plan to make a game with 3-4 people, 250k is snack money for any decent scale project.

Considering the average pay in the business and about one year of development (at least) I can see about one million go poof only in salaries and salary tax. Nevermind location rent, hardware, software, gas, electricity etc. And I am thinking in Romania salaries terms (where 1k euro is considered a good pay) not Germany or another Western country (where you wouldn't get off the ground without 5k euro salaries).

But all this aside, yes, a complex project such as a game can't be done online in a decent time frame.


Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344172 is a reply to message #344171] Sat, 20 February 2016 15:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:856
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
Quote:
onsidering the average pay in the business and about one year of development (at least) I can see about one million go poof only in salaries and salary tax


Well, we're doing it for free now -- and correct me if I'm wrong, but do any of us make 6-figure salaries now? If so, let me explain that I am unemployed, facing homelessness, and would love a donation from any millionaires out there for my mod.

(Which, by the way, will be coming out this weekend with v1.06)

[Updated on: Sat, 20 February 2016 15:11]





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Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344174 is a reply to message #344162] Sat, 20 February 2016 17:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
grim

 
Messages:297
Registered:July 2006
Location: France
If you want to mod XCOM 2, go for it. If you want to make a Jagged Alliance mod for XCOM 2, do it, great!
Just don't push it on others ;)

By the way, has anyone experienced the limitations of XCOM 2 modding? What can be done, and what can't?

It's a pretty decent game in the genre, and contrary to its predecessor, it has some official mod support. So, sure, let's see if something interesting can be done with it. Be it in the same universe, or ported to another (JA, another or a new one).

EDIT : I'm not very fond of the monetisation you are bringing in all this. If you want to mod, do it, but keep it to that, a game modification. If you want to make a JA sequel, build up your company, get the rights and make the game. A totally different process.

[Updated on: Sat, 20 February 2016 17:07]

Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344182 is a reply to message #344174] Sun, 21 February 2016 18:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
I've only peeked at Long War mod for the old XCOM. It was mostly config files tweaking, nothing major. Definitely nothing related to modding graphics or interface.


Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344183 is a reply to message #344182] Sun, 21 February 2016 18:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3777
Registered:July 2009
So far the workshop is about 30% each soldier voices, various real and fictional nation flags and kitbashed skill trees, with some alternate conventional weapons ripped from battlefield, some random props, a couple actually useful comfort tweaks and a dozen or two cheatmods ranging from little 'rebalances' to blatantly OP gear. Special mention goes to a mod whose sole function it is to unlock every achievement immediately tired

Though I'll of course reserve final judgement until enough time has passed for someone to have and implement an actual creative idea for a larger mod.

[Updated on: Sun, 21 February 2016 18:22]




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Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344190 is a reply to message #344183] Mon, 22 February 2016 14:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Considering how much fame the Long War guys reaped by simply tweaking some variables, makes me wonder what the gaming world should give back to the v1.13 coders (if there was a far and just world out there). Their statues in solid gold most likely.
But then XCOM has a living breathing and mod-friendly company dev behind it, while JA2 is a dead horse. A beautiful horse but a dead one. Oh well...

Speaking of game engines though, I think a true next-gen one is Snow Drop (Massive/Ubisoft). Although I am not much into FPS, I've peeked this weekend at Tom Clancy's The Division beta and I was 99% impressed with how far they've taken stuff like environment damage. Bullets that actually pass through objects (you shoot a car's window, bullet passes through both windows as it should), glass that chips then breaks off, different effect of the bullet on various materials, etc. I gave it a 99% because while bullets vs environment are very nice, bullet vs humans were made quite arcade-ish, which left me with a sour taste. Also sadly the game sheds off almost everything you loved in Tom Clancy games at tactical planning level which is also meh for my liking.

But it's beautiful. And it has guns. Only took 5 years and 400 people in 21 countries to make it.

[/youtube]

[Updated on: Mon, 22 February 2016 14:35]



Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344191 is a reply to message #344190] Mon, 22 February 2016 20:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
GASK3T

 
Messages:135
Registered:March 2011
"But then XCOM has a living breathing and mod-friendly company dev behind it, while JA2 is a dead horse. A beautiful horse but a dead one. Oh well..."

THAT BEING SAID (and dont lynch me for saying this), let's make a new franchise. Go around the red tape. Trying to think high level here. Thus the reason I've been acknowledging the fact that making basic mods to mod-friendly engines would be the route to go.
Re: Jagged Alliance to XCOM2 (unreal) engine[message #344194 is a reply to message #344191] Tue, 23 February 2016 13:59 Go to previous message
Shanga

 
Messages:3536
Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
Btw, check this out, looks like there were others playing The Division beta like I did (aka shooting random things just for the heck of it):

https://www.facebook.com/GameSpot/videos/10156595327085436/


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