This is a transcript of an ICQ conversation between programmers of several Space Sims and the gamers, who posed questions. Steve Robertson of Particle Systems was here for this one too!
<beth_atfw> If all of the developers could introduce themselves really quickly so everyone knows who's here, that would be cool. :)
<V-Dave> ok. top down ?
<[DW]DreAdFaq> hey, DW outnumbers DC now :)
<V-Adam> I'm Adam Pletcher, lead game designer on FreeSpace, and part-time designer on FS2.
V-Dave nudges adam
<V-Dave> I'm Dave Baranec, programmer on Freespace, and lead programmer on FS2
<V-Mitri> Hey, I'm Mitri Van. I worked on cutscenes and various other things on FS. Currently I'm doing level stuff for Summoner.
<V-Alan> I'm Alan Lawrance, FreeSpace programmer now working on Descent 4. I will be doing some sound/music coding on FS2.
<PS_Steve> Hi, I'm Steve Robertson from Particle Systems, One of the designers of Independence War / I-War
JD_Devane nudges Henry
<VV-Dan> I'm Dan Tanguay .. work on Terminus as a designer and concept artist
<DW_Wingnut> Have you changed the FRED interface at all? In my resolution (800x600) some of the stuff is off the screen...
<Henry> Hey I'm Hnery Kropf, you might know me from such games as Terminus...
<JD_Devane> funny Hnery
VV-Dan quickly puts Henry's straightjacket back on.
<Henry> an of course, i can't spell my own first name :>
<VV-Dan> or nineteen
<JD_Devane> ?me feels left out for getting no credit
JD_Devane feels left out for getting no credit
<V-Dave> Ok then. Questions ?
<Maniac_SFL> OK, let's go with a bread one, what are your thoughts on the emergence of a space-sim community and what do you think fans and developers could do to promote this? (phew!)
V-Dave raises hand
<beth_atfw> Ooooh, a nice genre question. :)
<V-Dave> I think the space-sim genre is interesting for 2 reasons
<V-Dave> 1.) Its very difficult to be unique, and many things have been done "before"
<V-Dave> 2.) BUT, networking and hardware acceleration is rapidly changin this
<VV-Dan> Yeah ... it is an older genre than others ...
<V-Dave> So - I think interest will pick up and we'll see more interesting things
<V-Dave> And of course, the whole massive multiplayer thing is a big modifier :)
V-Dave lowers hand
<V-Adam> I think just having different "styles" of space-sim games does the most for the genre. People immediately saw the differences between FS and I-War, for instance...
<Olento> Q: What do you think is the right way to develope space-sim genre? How ie. role playing features and realistic behavior of environment are going to affect future titles of this genre?
JD_Devane is now known as JD_VV
<V-Adam> The debates about what people liked the most is only making the genre more interesting, IMO.
<V-Dave> I would like to see more RPG elements. If you've ever played Space Rogue (and OLD origin game), you'll know what I mean
JD_VV is now known as VV-JD
<V-Dave> It was an outstanding game that blended the 2 well
<[DW]DreAdFaq> hey dave, is V going to set up or sponsor things like PXO-wars?
<V-Dave> FS2 is going to have builtin PXO-wars support. Already does, in fact :)
<V-Dave> Tested and working
<V-Adam> I'm really lagging :(
<Maniac_SFL> Q: After the Mankind debacle, do you believe online persisten universes are currently possible (technically speaking)
<beth_atfw> Does Volition have any "massively multiplayer" aspirations (since Dave mentioned it)?
<V-Dave> Maniac - absolutely. UO pulls in a million a month
<V-Dave> That's reason to make it possible
<PS_Steve> I agree
<V-Dave> And UO is constantly coming up with new stuff, which keeps V-Adam coming back
<DW_Wingnut> Are you SURE there is a repeat a sexp event in FS1???
<V-Dave> He keeps getting killed by llamas, though
<PS_Steve> Personally I'd love to play a persistent universe space-sim.
DC_Zarathud asks Q: What impact do you think the release of the Wing Commander and Star Wars movies will have on the space sim genre?
<VV-Dan> Nod ... just putting something out and not expanding it won't get people to come back.
<Maniac_SFL> so would I, which is why i asked :)
<PS_Steve> However it's probably a long way off.
VV-JD raises hand
<VV-Dan> More people will be buying Star Wars games ...
<V-Dave> Zar - not much.
<VV-JD> To answer DC's question...
<V-Dave> Star Wars will help Lucasarts, though
Lorien-away is now known as Lorien-GA
<Olento> Because it looks like you're interested in massive multiplaying environments (man I like that word...), what do you think is the best way to earn money out of it? Should customers pay monthly with a credit card or checks, or do you think it's better to sell the game with somewhat higher price without monthly payments and therefore get more users for the game?
<VV-JD> The opening of Wing Commander and Star Wars should help the operation of space-sim's,
<Maniac_SFL> nice question :)
<PS_Steve> If any of us run game adverts in the Starwars movie intervals it will help us too..
<PS_Steve> He said slightly seriously...
<VV-JD> because the fact that since everyone is all hyped-up (for lack of better terms) about these movies, and they will say, "Hey, if the movies are awesopme, the games should be just as cool"
V-Dave sets mode: +o Adam
V-Dave sets mode: +o VV-JD
<VV-Dan> I think people buy Star Wars games only because they are Star Wars ... not necessarily because
Adam is now known as V-Adam
<VV-Dan> They are space sim fans ...
<VV-JD> and itll save them the 20 bucks for seeing the movie again
VV-JD lowers hand
<VV-Dan> So I don't know if it will have that much impact on space sims in general
<V-Dave> Hey, where is Origin anyway?
<VV-JD> It could renew the
<Maniac_SFL> Q: What do you think is better, inventing a new universe for a space-sim or using an established univers like Star Wars or Star Trek, which can take the foucs off game play...
<V-Dave> New new new.
<VV-JD> Hype of space-sims in general
<DC_Zarathud> In their massively multiplayer online world, I'd expect V-Dave <grinning>
<V-Adam> no kidding. Too chicken to show. :)
<beth_atfw> I doubt they'd say too much about the massively multiplayer situation right now, anyway. :)
<Maniac_SFL> Someone forgot to tell them :)
<VV-Dan> Working with licenses will always have restrictions.
<PS_Steve> Both have advantages and disadvantages - With X-Wing Lucas arts didn't have to create an intro movie to get the player to 'buy in' to their universe, as we did with I-War
<V-Adam> maniac: Hard to say. As a developer, I prefer working in an original universe. Much more creative freedom, and the long-term franchise potential is larger.
VV-JD is now known as JD_Devane
<V-Dave> And - if you get lucky like Star Wars, you have almost a license to print money
<V-Adam> steve: That's true, too. Original universes have to work harder.
<PS_Steve> yes, much more creative freedom, but with an existing franchise you have an easier job as you have plenty of reference material.
<Olento> Q: Do you think space sims should have lots of non-electric material included in the box, like most of flight sims, or are popular online manuals the way to go?
<Olento> I like manuals :)
<DW_Wingnut> I prefer the manuals...
<Henry> Personally, I love big spiral bound manuals.
<Maniac_SFL> non-electric material :) i agree printed manuals are better
<PS_Steve> i prefer manuals. it doesn't seem like you get your moneys worth if all you get is a CD and CD inlay
<Lorien-GA> Steve : mind telling us what PS is working on now that I-War has fully shipped?
<PS_Steve> Even though the game is far more expensive to produce than a manual :-)
<DC_Zarathud> In a world of electronic gadgets, paper still has its place. :)
<V-Adam> Olento: in-game tutorials always rock, IMO. If you can train players in your game that way, then do it. It's much easier to learn things in-context rather than a manual.
<V-Dave> Tell that to marketing ;)
<Maniac_SFL> good point
V-Dave slaps V-Alan around a bit with a large trout
<V-Dave> Say something, foo
<PS_Steve> our next release is going to be Independence War Deluxe. This will include the original game, plus an all-new campaign called 'Defiance' played from the indie side.
<Lorien-GA> oh :)
<Redag> What's the schedule on that Steve?
<Maniac_SFL> ladies and gentlemen: i think we have a SCOOP :)
<DC_Zarathud> hmm...the bad-guy add-on packs?
<PS_Steve> Quarter 3 1999 (Maybe Quarter 4)
[DC}Overlord is now known as DC_Overlord
<beth_atfw> Sweet. :)
<dudehere> we get to fly patcoms?!?
<Redag> How many missions is 'Defiance' slated for?
<PS_Steve> No, but you get to fly an Indie Corvette.. and some other things too..
<dudehere> aww...but still...yay!
<PS_Steve> 18 missions
<beth_atfw> Will Deluxe include some new mission editing tools?
<Lorien-GA> brb ,. need to reboot :(
V-Dave changes topic to "Space Sim Developers Chat! 4:00pm Eastern (V-Alan has GAME) "
<dudehere> I've already seen a classic version of Independence war...
<PS_Steve> We've improved the script language, with new commands, which will make programming easier, but no new development tools.
<PS_Steve> All you need is a text-editor
<VV-Dan> Sounds nifty.
<JD_Devane> wait a second....
<PS_Steve> we're just about to release the texture converter so that users can create their own custom ship textures
<JD_Devane> youre saying that if we have a text editor... That we can script?
<Olento> so you believe that in the future space-sim community will play an important role in the development of genre, like it does in the current FPS community?
<V-Dave> Olen - absolutely.
<V-Dave> The FS and Descent fan pages mean a LOT.
<dudehere> If this isn't a trade secret, what 3d software was used for the creation of Iwar's cutscenes and intro?
<V-Adam> olen- Sure. A big fan base would benefit any genre.
<beth_atfw> So the texture converter will be out fairly soon? Within the next month or so?
<PS_Steve> yes... You can get a mission devkit from the independence war website - all you need is a text editor (though a programming one is useful)
<DC_Overlord> FS means alot! :)
<V-Dave> And as everyone knows, mods and conversions keep games alive much longer.
JD_Devane is now known as VV-JD
<TwinsenEd> very much so
<[DW]DreAdFaq> amen dave, is FS2 gonna have easier MODing?
<DW_Wingnut> Q: V - Will there be support for custom tbl files on PXO? Even if it does count towards your points?
<Methodica> Are you going to be releasing any more info on FS for moding.
<PS_Steve> beth, yes. All we have to do is document how to use it. Of course we're busy with the Indie Campaign so we have to fit it around that
<V-Dave> We've added the ability to use variables within sexpressions, so heck yes
<V-Mitri> Yeah, feedback from the people you're developing for is always important. Once you get detached from that, it's like, "Why are you making this game and who are you making it for"
<V-Adam> wing: Mods will not count towards the PXO stats.
<Maniac_SFL> what do you think of the fact that the "newborn" space-sim developping companies seem te be much more active in the community then the old ones like Origin and LucasArts?
<DW_Wingnut> But you can use them?
<PS_Steve> The fans of I-War mean a lot to us - they've made the IWar message board a real community.
<V-Dave> Wing - of course you can, but your stats will just not get saved
<IceFire> sorry im late
<dudehere> hey icefire
<V-Dave> For FS2 we're going to take things a step further and checksum model data, table data and mission data
<beth_atfw> hi icefire
<V-Adam> wing: not sure. There's nothing stopping you today from using them, as far as I know.
<DC_Zarathud> Hiya, IceFire
<V-Dave> Maybe even checksum the .exe itself
<Redag> Steve, is 'Defiance' an outgrowth of the mission disk we've heard about before, or is that still in the air?
<Payne> # Appears as XENO
<Olento> what do you think... should community have lots of small sites dedicated to certain topics, or huge all-in-one sites with commercial goals?
<PS_Steve> Well they're more established than we are. We're building up a customer base, so customer support is very important, and for us it always will be important.
<V-Adam> Olento: room for both, I think.
<Olento> of course the ideal situation is one where both exist...
<DC_Overlord> I know your going to release mod tools with fS2..will each player be able to be flying his/her own custom ship in the saem game?
<DC_Zarathud> Even though your customers will hunt you down and ask you questions until you squeak :)
<V-Dave> The plan right now IS to release all developer tools once FS2 comes out
<[DW]DreAdFaq> V: are you going to patch the FS1 checksums or just leave them and concentrate on FS2??
IceFire is now known as PFS_IceFire
<V-Dave> Including BSPGen
<V-Dave> And probably the MAX exporter
<dudehere> developer tools are always good
<PS_Steve> Redag - defiance is the mission disk. There'l be some sort of rebate for existing owners, but I don't have the details yet.
<V-Dave> So you'll be able to do everything
<V-Adam> overlord: Correction, we'll be releasing the model tools sometime after FS2 release. I really doubt they'll be on the CD.
<V-Dave> Yes - after release
<V-Adam> dread: Probably leave FS alone.
<Lorien-GA> Steve : Do you expect the Deluxe pack to be released worldwide at the same time?
<[DW]DreAdFaq> damn, FS could really use a better checksum
<IceFire> finnally got on
<V-Dave> Dread - how?
IceFire is now known as PFS_IceFire
<dudehere> whee...it's Colin!
<V-Adam> overlord: that would require in-game data downloading of models and textures. Not sure that will happen, those can get huge.
<[DW]DreAdFaq> models, client side TBLs
<Olento> Q: Will Mika Häkkinen win the WC of coming F1 season? :)
<V-Adam> dread: client tbls are checked now.
<Maniac_SFL> Q: is the add-on campaign going to be released seperately as well or am I going to have to buy the whole game again?
<V-Mitri> Maniac: I would agree with PS_Steve. Also, I think the thing you're talking about highlights the difference in the operating structures of places like Origin or LA and us here.
<[DW]DreAdFaq> well i saw a herc go 500 and the guy still got stats
<DC_Overlord> V-Adam: Understood. Mainly asking about it for LAN Party games :)
<PS_Steve> It's the US first, as we have to translate the European version. I don't have release dates yet. I hope the European version will be soon after the US, but I can't say when yet.
<V-Dave> Ah. Yes - client side hacks will be accounted for
<DW_Wingnut> Q: V - you currently "qualify" missions that give points on PXO is there any chance you would do ones with custom tbls?
<V-Dave> We may even add the option to not allowed hacked clients to join, altogether
<V-Adam> dread: Not sure how he managed that. I'd ahve to see it.
<PS_Steve> At the moment the publisher has decided to not release it separately :-( But there will be a rebate for existing owners.
<Lorien-GA> steve : both publishers?
V-Dave is now known as Kayser|brb
<V-Adam> wingnut: unlikely. We only have a limited amount of time to spend on validation. Validating a whole mod would be much, much more work.
<[DW]DreAdFaq> adam- i dont know either but it cant have been server side TBLs, it was in my game and i always make sure to delete them before going to PXO
<PS_Steve> Lorien: Only one publisher: Infogrames
<Maniac_SFL> Q: Will the european release of the Deluxe version integrate the changes from the US version directly ?
<V-Adam> dread: *shrug*
<Lorien-GA> oh its not an activison one this time round? I see. ok
<PS_Steve> They'll be the same game, except the European version will support french and german too.
<DW_Wingnut> Maybe you could set up so that missions don't needed to be validated, BUT there is a points cap that can't be exceded unless the mission is validated?
<PS_Steve> No decision has been made on the details of the European release yet.
<DC_Overlord> V - Any thing is great as long as it dosen't turn into something like Battle.Net: Cheating there is ridiculous
<[DW]DreAdFaq> yeah i know, i HATE it when people cheat on me. thats why im so concerned about the checksums
<beth_atfw> Can you give up any minor plot info about Defiance? Will it be set to occur simutaneously with the actions of the original I-War?
<Lorien-GA> Steve: do you plan an on-line demo for the extra campaign?
<Olento> I hate it that games must be translated into other languages
<Olento> English is just fine for me...
<V-Adam> wingnut: allowing mods to advance stats is just not high on our list, I'm afraid. It would skew the stats in a way we'd rather not do.
<Olento> in fact I think it's awful when games are translated in Finnish
<Maniac_SFL> Do you think there should be more female characters in space-sims and should developers take the female public into account better [Beth :)] ?
<DC_Zarathud> I'd expect balance would be extremely impossible to validate, right V-Adam?
<V-Adam> dread: a dedicated hacker can get around any checksums. Completely cheat-free game is not possible, but FS2 will be more resistant.
<PS_Steve> beth - it occurs simultaneously with the original, and expands on the original plot. Some events in the campaign correspond directly with events in the original game.
<DC_Zarathud> I agree with you there Maniac_SFL. We should encourage females in space sims.
<V-Adam> zara: yep. It would be like a whole different game. ONly reason we can validate FS missions now is because we know the current balance by heart.
<DC_Overlord> V - Think was asked before in FDl but. Will the by any chance be a stand-alone server (only) port for Linux?
<Olento> how the development of *computers* will affect space sim genre, will we see better and more complex graphics or larger game world and more features?
VV-Dan is now known as DOLey
<DC_Zarathud> Nice Q, Olento.
<PS_Steve> We like to include strong female characters in our games. We also try to represent different races and cultures too.
<V-Adam> overlord: That's not very likely, but we're still discussing it.
<beth_atfw> It would be nice to see more females presented in sims in an intelligent manner, yes.
<V-Adam> over: It's not easily ported.
<DC_Overlord> V-Adam: hehe include some 'standard' female pilot pix in FS2 :)
<PS_Steve> I think code expands to use the resources available :-)
<V-Adam> We had a female commanding officer in FS, and a female pilot picture to choose. But I hear that not everyone knew it was a female pic. :)
<HH-Soft-2> but nice female pilots please <g>
<V-Adam> guess she wasn't femenine enough or something.
<PS_Steve> Adam - difficult to see with a space-helmet on!
<[DW]DreAdFaq> ive been looking for female pilot pix for AGES. (not dressing up, it was for a site!!)
<DC_Zarathud> Looked a bit more Asian than female, V-Adam
<V-Adam> steve: her helmet was off in the barracks picture.
<PS_Steve> Adam - oops forgot :-)
<V-Adam> zara: there are Asian females, you know. She was both.
<[DW]DreAdFaq> except for that half-breed standard pilot there are only images from SF series
<beth_atfw> I think alot of women are turned off to gaming because it appears to be within the male's realm; inclusion of more female chars would make them feel more at ease, I think. But there are also society also supports the games=teenage male theory, although that seems to be changing a bit. :)
<Olento> I don't want female pilots that are included just to suck in teen players :)
Kayser|brb is now known as V-Dave
<Maniac_SFL> I'd really like to know about linux ports for any of the games too, show some support for linux pls :)
<Maniac_SFL> Yep not like putting in Ginger Lynn Allen then
<PS_Steve> Maniac - We're not planning to support linux, sorry :-(
<HH-Soft-2> olento: as long as lara croft does not reach the space-sim genre ;)
<V-Adam> It's difficult to justify Linux ports from a commercial standpoint.
<DOLey> T&A in space :)
<DC_Zarathud> HH, I'm going to make a Laura Croft Pilot Pic just for you then :)
<Olento> hh: ya ;)
<HH-Soft-2> zara: haha
<V-Dave> We should just stick a helmet on the Forsaken ad chick's ass and make it a pilot pic
<DOLey> V-Adam: I think linux servers would be great
V-Adam has to leave soon. :(
<Lorien-GA> V-Adam - check Carmack's laters remarks at sCary's for that point.
<HH-Soft-2> i liked that one female in Baldur's Gate...
<DOLey> most of the Inet Servers out there are linux based
<V-Dave> That would get the younger players
<V-Adam> doley: servers are different. It's possible we'll do that, but not certain.
<Maniac_SFL> are MS os's even stable enough for servers?
<V-Dave> NT is fine
<[DW]DreAdFaq> now now, not all of us teenagers are over-sexed little buggers
<Olento> Linux community would grow much faster if there were more commercial games available... we need some pioneers there
<Redag> With all this talk of Defiance, how is I-War2 going?
<HH-Soft-2> maniac: our D3 server runs on NT since the early beta test phases... thats multiple months now
<Lorien-GA> Olento - you could say the same for the MAC community btw
<PS_Steve> I-War 2 is in development, but It's not due out until next year.
<DW_Wingnut> V - I have an interesting idea that is still under contruction, it has custom tbls, with 3 possible player ship, one fast, one average, and one heavy, and custom weapons, it's taking a while to sort out because it really needs a repeat sexp, its a _new_ idea for a multiplayer game based on a mixture of real sports, is there any chance to make it a validated mission so that the winner gets something like 1000 points per win in a game?
<DC_Overlord> Hee Hee us 'old-folks' (42 here) like this stuff to :))
<[DW]DreAdFaq> WOW!! 42!!
<Olento> lorien: probably, although I've no experience on mac's
<V-Adam> wingnut: Like I said, it's very unlikely we'll validate custom-mod missions.
<[DW]DreAdFaq> youre old enough to be my dad!!
<V-Dave> Wing - there _IS_ a repeat count for events.
<PS_Steve> Wow - older than me - 32.
<Redag> Uh oh, the geriatric squadron is edging in!;)
<beth_atfw> Will the FS2 beta testing open up in the future? Or will it just include those who signed up and made the cut in February?
<V-Dave> beth - I would think it will remain closed.
<DC_Zarathud> A question IceFire wanted to ask, Beth. :)
<Maniac_SFL> Q: What do you guys think of Origin's Secret Ops distribution system - do you think quality sims could be created this way (i personally was disappointed with SO)
<DC_Overlord> And most of us can afford the the new toys from you delvelopers :)
V-Dave is 23
VV-JD is 14
HH-Soft-2 is 23, too
DC_Zarathud is 26
<beth_atfw> He seems to be having problems. :( So he can thank me later. :)
Redag is 22.
<V-Adam> maniac: Not sure what they're dist. system really was. It was just free, right?
<PS_Steve> Maniac - it was a very interesting method.
<HH-Soft-2> geez, you looked older when i met you, dave ;)
<Maniac_SFL> releasing new episodes every couple of weeks...
V-Adam is 27
V-Dave slaps V-Adam around a bit with a large trout
[DW]DreAdFaq is 14
V-Mitri is almost 27.
dudehere is 56
<V-Adam> maniac: There's definitely room for that (episodes-per-week kinda thing), but money has to be made on it somewhere.
<Lorien-GA> dudehere really??
<DC_Overlord> Ahh..finally outdome :)
<dudehere> not really
<[DW]DreAdFaq> thats almost old enough to be my grand pa
<dudehere> just wanted to see the reactions
<Lorien-GA> i would interview u if u were:)
<DC_Zarathud> I think the idea was to eventually charge for downloading, V-Adam. Cut out the publisher and go directly on the Internet
<PS_Steve> Unfortunately we wouldn't be able to afford giving a game away for free..
<beth_atfw> hehe, you blew your chance for an interview, Dude :)
<V-Adam> zara: Oh. But Origin self-publishes.
<PS_Steve> Zara - that's probably what origin was testing
<DC_Overlord> I fell lonesome..Q: is the a small over 30 group that plays sims?
<beth_atfw> It was more of a test than a product for Origin. That's my opinion, at least. :)
<dudehere> Origin was just seeing if it was feasable to distribute a game over the net
<PS_Steve> Adam - yes, but you don't have packaging costs, and reduced distribution costs.
<DC_Zarathud> Which is silly, since lots of people will sit around downloading something for FREE (see the piracy thing), but pay for it? Never...
<dudehere> And Origin doesn't self publsh do they, the go through EA, their parent company...right?
<V-Adam> steve: surely.
<Lorien-GA> I was told they did it to keep the fans happy .. after the UP lawsuit.. though that sounds a little lame
<DC_Zarathud> $50 is worth having the CD in my hands
<Lorien-GA> UO i mean
<V-Adam> dude: EA does distribution only. Origin is the publisher.
<beth_atfw> Well, SO was pretty lame. :)
<dudehere> Oh...i did not know that
<dudehere> beth: lame?!?
<DW_Wingnut> someone logging this?
<Lorien-GA> beth : i guess it fits then:)
<DOLey> I have been
<PS_Steve> The internet is still a bit slow to distribute something like I-War or Freespace...
<beth_atfw> I didn't enjoy it, Dude.
<beth_atfw> I am.
<DC_Zarathud> Think Origin saw FS and I-War and said...oops, can't sell it. Gotta give it away
<V-Adam> steve: yeah, I'll say. :)
<dudehere> opinions opinions :)
<Maniac_SFL> yeah that 115 meg d/l was a pain
<V-Dave> Yeah - but you got a free virus with no purchase necessary!
<Lorien-GA> a huge pain .
<beth_atfw> Missions were awful; no variety, tedious, and repetitive.
<dudehere> That 115 download was well worth the trouble :)
<V-Adam> haha, dave.
<beth_atfw> Although, in all fairness, I couldn't even finish it because I was far too bored.
<Olento> which one is more important: realism or gameplay?
<Lorien-GA> same here beth
<V-Dave> Its the reason FS doesn't have asteroid physics ;)
<Maniac_SFL> same here, SO had no story whatsoever and was way too repetetive
<PS_Steve> In the UK we don't have free local calls. By the time you've downloaded the game you could have bought it cheaper from a store :)
<river> How far away, time-wise, are players from having moons--any kind of airless bodies with gravity-to interact with?
<dudehere> Steve> heh
<DC_Overlord> V: Dont know if I should bring this up, but have you heard of the recent outcry of latcency on the PXO FS Server?
<DW_Wingnut> sadly, I have to leave :( I'll have to get the log... good.. bye.. all...
<Olento> I guessed that one
<V-Adam> reality is quite boring sometimes. Playing a game suggests you're bored with reality in the first place.
<PS_Steve> Gameplay. Even in I-War we put gameplay over realism.
<Redag> The most important thing is understanding that the two aren't polar opposites, so long as you pay attention IMHO
<DC_Zarathud> Reality is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes. :)
<PS_Steve> bye wingnut
<V-Dave> Overlord - we've moved PXO inhouse. I suspect 99.99% of that were simply because of setup problems.
<DC_Zarathud> cya, Wingnut
<V-Adam> overlord: We had some complaints, but they've died off. I think a lot of it was DNS problems of some sort from the move.
<dudehere> yeah...B5 sim looks to have both...
<V-Dave> THey should be flushed out by now.
<beth_atfw> Bye Wingnut. Have a good one. :)
<Yakbutter> question..any v guys know about the bad s-exp in the multi mission Last Hope?
<PS_Steve> Our fans keep asking us to make the next I-War game more realistic, but we'll only add realism where it enhances gameplay.
<V-Adam> I have to split. Thanks, everyone! Was fun.
<V-Dave> Bye, Adam
<V-Mitri> See ya, Adam.
<PS_Steve> bye adam
<Yakbutter> i the grant-medal s-exp it says alpha 1 must hv departed to get the medal
<beth_atfw> Bye Adam...thanks for dropping by. :)
<DC_Zarathud> Bye, Adam
<Maniac_SFL> bye adam
<VV-JD> bye adam
<V-Dave> Is this in Fred?
<Lorien-GA> hmm here is a thought: why are harcore space sim fans nicer to hang out with that quakers?:)
V-Adam waves bye-bye
<V-Dave> or in the game itself?
<Redag> Just please grant us combat parity as an option Steve..:)
<beth_atfw> Depends on who is in the crowd, Lorien. :)
<Lorien-GA> good one beth :)
<Yakbutter> well, it wont let u get the medal unless alpha 1 departs..
<DC_Zarathud> Question: any developers here discussing a plan to branch out and cross-fertilize the space sim genre with strategy? Like Homeworld or old WC Armada?
<V-Dave> Yak - is this in Fred or in Freespace itself?
<Yakbutter> which doesnt make sense
<Yakbutter> fs itself
<PS_Steve> Redag -- sometimes you have to make compromises :)
<V-Dave> Zar - that's an idea I've been dying to explore
<Lorien-GA> DC - homeworld is a space sim??
<V-Dave> You get a crash?
<dudehere> homeworld is a 3d enviroment strategy game type thing
<PS_Steve> Didn't battlezone try to do something like that?
<DC_Zarathud> Those are examples, I'd think.
<Lorien-GA> i know .. but DC said its a sim:)
<Yakbutter> V-Dave: not a crash, but it wont grant the medal even if u complete all objectives
<DC_Zarathud> Something where you'd have the cap ship of I-War or the fighter of FS mixed with a strategy
<V-Dave> How do you know you're supposed to get the medal, then?
<DC_Overlord> Yak - I think mission has to be Campaign to grant-medal..but not sure
<Yakbutter> i looked at it in fred
<Redag> Nothing frightens me so much about Homeworld as the fact that the developers seem to /like/ Battlestar Galactica..:)
<V-Dave> BG ownz
<dudehere> There's a scary thought
<beth_atfw> It's a space-sim/strategy hybrid. You're allowed control over combat situations. ATFW considers it to be a mix and we report on it.
<Yakbutter> DC_Overlord: it can be single
<DC_Zarathud> BG is awesome
V-Dave is now known as Starbuck
<beth_atfw> hehehe, BSG
<DC_Zarathud> if you grew up on Starbuck flying around
<DC_Overlord> ?? K
dudehere huddles up in a corner...mommy I'M SCARED!!!
DC_Zarathud pays homage to Starbuck. Cried when my Viper fighter got tossed in the trash by mom
<V-Mitri> Heh. I have a gold cylon sitting on my desk. :)
<DC_Zarathud> since it had "shooing parts"
<dudehere> i'm TERRIFIED!
<Henry> i had the shooting parts Cylon fighter :>
Starbuck is now known as Boomer
<Yakbutter> so..about the bug?
<Olento> when it'll be possible to command REALLY big ships? I've always been looking forward to this.. using navigation computers and giving commands to crew
<Olento> it'd be cool
dudehere is now known as Fubar
<Olento> anyone planning something like this?
<Boomer> Yak - its not a bug. It probably was just determined that it wasn't worth fixing at that point.
<DC_Overlord> Im surprised "Darth_Maul" :) hasnt done a BS:Galactica mod yet :)
<Boomer> Darth who?
Boomer is now known as V-Dave
<Yakbutter> Boomer: i think its a bug cuz a lot o people arent getting the medal just because alpha 1 dies
<DC_Overlord> The one who made the Starwars mod..
<Fubar> hmmm...planet of war looks fuunnkkyyy
<HH-Soft> they killed alan!
<DC_Overlord> Nobody knows who he is :)
Fubar is now known as TheDude
<DC_Zarathud> If you need a good attorney to use the "Chewbacca defense" you know who to call...
<V-Dave> Yak - its not a bug. If there was a problem with the mission, we just left it there. Probably because it didn't matter to the campaign itself.
<Maniac_SFL> Q: What were the major inspirations for your games?
<PS_Steve> any more space-sim questions?
V-Dave sets mode: +o Alan_L2
<Olento> gotta go..
<VV-JD> I have a space sim ques
<VV-JD> Just a quick one
<Redag> For all you development houses, what's the one paragraph description of the money-doesn't-matter space sim you'd like to do?
<TheDude> Steve> are we gonna learn more bout aliens in the next one?
<DC_Zarathud> ooh...nice Q, Redag
<PS_Steve> TheDude - I can't say :-(
<Yakbutter> V-Dave: its a multi mission, not part of a campaign...and id say its worth fixing since it took me a while to figure out about that s-exp in the mission
<VV-JD> Now, With a "persistent universe" Is it possible for the universe to run out after a certain amount of time?
<TheDude> Steve> oh ok, I take that as a yes, I'm reporting a yes :)
<PS_Steve> I think a persistent universe game...
<VV-JD> or is it just "there"
<Lorien-GA> heheh thedude:)
<V-Dave> Yak - I disagree. Everything Fred related is "unsupported". If we'd never release fred, it would never had made a difference.
<TheDude> -GA = GA Games?
<Lorien-GA> yup . you?
<Yakbutter> V-Dave: but no one can get the medal unless they know how to use fred!
<V-Dave> That's exactly my point. Its not part of the game itself
<PS_Steve> TheDude - it's just as likely to be a 'no' - I can't give any plot details.
<Yakbutter> V-Dave: i view the s-exp as a mistake...a super-easy-to-fix mistake...
<DC_Overlord> V: I hear Fred2 is gonna 'make mission designers cry' in joy of all the new features , any truth?
<V-Dave> Yak - it is _NOT_ an easy fix. We would have to patch the game.
<V-Dave> Overlord - Fred2 will have several new features, but its not going to be massively different.
<V-Dave> Basically - just all the new stuff that FS2 supports will be in there.
<DC_Zarathud> So we don't have to rewrite the FRED FAQ from scratch V-Dave?
<V-Dave> And a few tweaks here and there.
<V-Dave> Heck no.
<Redag> Can you give us any technology details then for IW2?
<Yakbutter> V-Dave: and u said its not part of the game itself? i think when someone cant get a medal because of a mission designer's botch up...
<DC_Overlord> V: Will FS2 have an internal Pilot Points Display or do I have to write PointView2 :))
<PS_Steve> redag, sorry - it's too early to say anything about I-War2
<V-Dave> Yak - this is a moot point. For all I know, the designers left it out on purpose to disable it.
<V-Dave> The point is, it doesn't break anything, and it doesn't change the mission. Its just an artefact in there.
<V-Dave> Lint, if you will
<Yakbutter> V-Dave: if they wanted to disable it, they should have left out the entire s-exp all together...
V-Dave is done arguing over this
DC_Overlord HAA HAA
<Maniac_SFL> re - my comp crashed ! :(
<DC_Zarathud> don't hound V-Dave
V-Dave 0wnz j00
<Yakbutter> who's hounding him?
<Maniac_SFL> did i miss anything?
<Yakbutter> i was just asking a question...
<Lorien-GA> Steve - mind telling us what you think on the B5 space sim? (please don't say "hmmm, looks cool!":))
<DC_Overlord> V: Will Fred 2 be noticablly <sp> different with more features
<DC_Overlord> V: Will FS2 have an internal Pilot Points Display or do I have to write PointView2 :))
<beth_atfw> How about a general ? for all the developers...which space-sims are you looking forward to...besides your own games, of course? :)
<V-Dave> <V-Dave> Overlord - Fred2 will have several new features, but its not going to be massively different.
<V-Dave> Overlord - total points is something we wanted to hide from the players. However, we may decide to change this
<VV-JD> If i may ask a question.........
<PS_Steve> I can't really comment on B5 - I've only seen a couple of early screenshots
<V-Dave> We haven't talked about it yet.
<VV-JD> All your games have radr... right?
<V-Mitri> I'm actually kinda curious how Origin is going to pull off Privateer Online, if they actually get around to it.
<VV-JD> How is it implemented...
<VV-JD> like a way of navagation
<V-Dave> What part of it?
<VV-JD> How is it implemented?
<PS_Steve> I look forward to all of them. I love space-sims, and I'll play them all.
<VV-JD> Meaning... how is it used??
<DC_Overlord> Well..the outcry was that players above 50,000 at the time could see there points..why not all :)
<DOLey> PS_Steve: will you be at E3 this year
<V-Dave> Used by who - players?
<VV-JD> is it like... "bleep, Bleep, Bleep"
<VV-JD> used by players
<DC_Overlord> PXO now shows top 500..no hiding points now :)
<V-Dave> Um. It represents where in space the targets are.
<VV-JD> I mean......
<PS_Steve> Someone will be. I may be there (if I'm lucky - someone will have to demonstrate IWar deluxe :-) )
<VV-JD> What is it looking like???
<V-Dave> Have you played Freespace?
<V-Dave> That's what it looks like.
<VV-JD> Ohh.. ok
<Yakbutter> ok here's a question...whats the special-check s-exp do?
<PS_Steve> I've completed freespace - I really enjoyed it.
<VV-JD> thanx :)
DC_Zarathud is now known as DC_ZarAWAY
<V-Dave> Steve - thanks :)
<VV-JD> dave - thanx :)
<beth_atfw> All of them Steve? :)
<Lorien-GA> I feel a group hug coming up :)
<PS_Steve> I thought it's by far the best of that style of Space Sim.
<DC_Overlord> I still enjoy it (FS)..just hit 100,000 last night :)
<PS_Steve> beth, yes, all of them. :-) (Being non-partisan here)
<V-Dave> yak - the special check is basically a magic # that code uses to do special scripted stuff
<TDawg> I think it's the greatest also
<V-Dave> Basically - Freespace 1 campaign specific stuff
<beth_atfw> Hehe, ok, Steve. :)
<DC_Overlord> Even with the massively terriblr lag to New Zealand, but thats NOT PXO/V fault :)
<TDawg> can fighters go into fighterbays?
<V-Dave> They can come _out_ of fighter bays.
<PS_Steve> I think it was great that Volition released Fred with Freespace.
<TDawg> will fs2 allow this
<V-Dave> Hey, I just realized something. Derek Smart PhD isn't here :)
<V-Dave> What up with that?
<Henry> Oh man, opening the floodgates now!
<DC_Overlord> I flew into the fighter bay of the Hellfire in a single player mission and didnt see any :)
<Lorien-GA> he is in NY .. that is why. would be fun if he was though:)
<Maniac_SFL> But let's not get into the flame war now ...
<DOLey> Derek is in my appartment right now
<HH-Soft> cant you also get inside of fighter bays of friendly capitol ships?
<DOLey> we are chucking beers
<PS_Steve> I think its a shame the space-sim newsgroup is so taken up with flame-wars...
<V-Dave> Nah - we have invisible poly barriers on the most of the ships.
<HH-Soft> not the big one.. how is it called again?
<V-Dave> V-Frank Capezzuto exploited it way too much
<beth_atfw> Yeah, I agree, Steve. Not a happy group of people who like to frequent that group. :)
<V-Dave> The Orion?
<Maniac_SFL> Q: What do you guys think of the quality of user-made missions in general?
<HH-Soft> the one with the big landing place
<V-Dave> Maniac - in general I unfortunately don't have the time to play many
<PS_Steve> Dave, no - a shame, as it could be a great group.
<HH-Soft> the biggest terran ship
<DC_Overlord> The Hellfire seems to have the barrier in Multi but not in Single
<V-Dave> From what I see on the FDL though, there's a heckuva lot of effort going into them.
<V-Dave> Heiko - The Arcadia?
<V-Dave> (space station) ?
<HH-Soft> dave: exactly!!
<Yakbutter> oooh ok 1 more question...how the heck did V use that targeting thing for the asteroids? like in
<V-Dave> Heeehee. You should subscribe to the FDL
<V-Dave> Basically - its cruisers and cap ships on the players escort list
<DC_Overlord> :) V-Dave: If you think there is alot now..wait till the V mod tools are out after FS2
<V-Dave> They'll get the special targeting
<V-Dave> Overlord - I cannot wait :D
<HH-Soft> <shameless plug> FDL rulez btw </shameless plug>
<PS_Steve> Any more questions before I leave?
<TheDude> None from me...thanks for coming Steve...
<V-Dave> Steve, I have one.
<Redag> Not that I can think of. Thanks for that surprise announcement, very exciting stuff.
<PS_Steve> OK dave
<V-Dave> Is I-War a full-scale sequel, or a 1-year one like FS2 ?
<beth_atfw> Thanks for dropping by, Steve. :)
<DC_Overlord> Err..Sorry us 'Hard Core' FS'ers seem to be monpolyising V's time :)
<beth_atfw> And, yes, thanks for the I-War Deluxe info...can't wait to play it. :)
<Lorien-GA> thanks Steve!:)
<PS_Steve> I-War2 is a full-scale sequel, it's an entirely new game. Defiance is an improved version of the original I-War
<Maniac_SFL> yes thx for answering all our crazy questions :)
DC_ZarAWAY is now known as DC_Zarathud
<V-Dave> Cool. You guys get to have some new fun ;)
<V-Dave> (in the way only developers can!!)
<PS_Steve> it's ok! Glad to be able to announce Defiance at last!
<PS_Steve> Well we've expanded since the original game - we now have 15 people working here, as opposed to the 6 who worked on I-War.
<HH-Soft> only 6? wow
<V-Dave> Freespace 1 had almost 20
<DC_Zarathud> i give u credit then
<DC_Overlord> I have general Q: Do you guys have office Lan Partys with your games , or is it all work and no play ?? :)
<PS_Steve> Working for Particle is a lot of fun - the best job I've ever had.
<V-Dave> Overlord - we play a _whole_ lotta games at Volition
<Lorien-GA> bye all. thanks for your time.
<HH-Soft> ...only seldom their own ;)
<V-Dave> We've even got a full-time Tribes clan
<V-Mitri> Yeah, but not usually our own. 8) Though, we just recently had a big D2 inhouse
<V-Dave> (#2 on the OGL ladder :) )
<V-Mitri> That too.
<DC_Zarathud> Tribes is cool
<HH-Soft> the only guy who played d2 with us was mike kulas himself ;)
<PS_Steve> We're always playing games at lunchtime or after work. Mostly FPS.
<DC_Overlord> <cringe> Whos the best pilot ? :)
<V-Mitri> Yeah. Half-life is a close second to Tribes.
<beth_atfw> This should be interesting. :)
<V-Mitri> For FS or Descent, Overlord?
<V-Dave> I'd have to say Brad Johnson (lead mission designer), although Jim Boone (our producer) is also damn good
<Redag> Will PS or Infogrames release a full Defiance press release? Any chance the fan sites could get it if so?:)
<V-Dave> I'm pretty good, as is Sandeep Shekar
<V-Mitri> Pete's up there too.
<DC_Zarathud> Hmmm... DC v. Volition match next FS Frenzy?
<V-Dave> Yeah. But all us old guys are out of practice
<PS_Steve> redag - soon. I'm really releasing a little teaser here. The promotional machine will get into gear soon.
<V-Dave> DC - perhaps
<Redag> *grin* Cool Steve.
<beth_atfw> Who needs a press release when you already have the info? :)
<DC_Overlord> The reason I love FS is it dosent cater to the "Death Match" gene.. I love co-op
<V-Dave> Overlord - I hear ya.
<PS_Steve> well, maybe a press release will be able to give out more info than I can :-)
<DC_Zarathud> You know the webmasters are going to splash it all over the web for you
<V-Dave> Its what makes FS unique
<PS_Steve> Zara, yes!
<V-Dave> Although, I just put in old-school dogfight mode, by popular demand
<DC_Zarathud> That's a good question -- do you feel that webmasters can give you as effective press as traditional marketing?
<beth_atfw> Yeah, but you have to wait longer for the press release. Much better to know about a project than to have to wait for the full details. :)
<HH-Soft> dave: geez, but you didn't implement sliding by "popular demand", did you <hoping not>?
<V-Dave> HECK NO
<DC_Overlord> Luckily you dont seem to have the 'Player-Killer' syndrome that hit and destoyed Blizzards Diablo
<Maniac_SFL> the space-sim public is more mature :) *coughs*
<DC_Zarathud> traitor sexps help
<VV-JD> The "PK" syndrome did kinda destroy that...
<DC_Overlord> I have never been 'intentionally' killed by someone in a co-op game
<VV-JD> I have....
<VV-JD> It doesnt feel good
<V-Dave> Amazingly, one of our biggest culprits was MikeK
<DC_Overlord> I absolutley loved Diablo until that crap started
<DC_Zarathud> i had fun even with PKing on Diablo until EVERYONE had the mega-cheats
<DC_Zarathud> after 10 minutes of fireballing each other, we found out we were both big cheating losers :)
<TheDude> JD> when can we expect Terminus?
<Maniac_SFL> when it's done ? :)
<PS_Steve> anyway, must go. Good luck with Terminus and Freespace2!
<V-Mitri> Bye, Steve
<DC_Zarathud> cya, st4eve
<VV-JD> TheDude- Direct that to DOLey.. sorry
<beth_atfw> Thanks, Steve...ttyl. :)
<Redag> Later Steve
<V-Dave> BYe Steve. Thanks for coming
<VV-JD> Later Steve
<Maniac_SFL> *spent WAY too much time reading the terminus FAQ at ST*
<Henry> Thanks, and bye!
<DOLey> Terminus should be coming out later this year
<TheDude> k...well I have to go now, c ya guys later
<V-Dave> Ok. I'm gonna run too
<V-Dave> Thanks for coming, all
<beth_atfw> Thanks all for coming. :)