Jump to content
CyberCrunch

Gamescom insights

Recommended Posts

The DU gameplay at Gamescom was really amazing. I learned so many new things from talking to JC and actually playing the game that I would like to share them with you.
I’m very surprised no one else started a topic about the Gamescom jet, as there were people who spend much more time at the NQ booth then me…

 

Disclamer: None of this information is official! It’s just my interpretation of the conversation I had with JC. Also none of the features are final! I got the impression that a lot of details are not fully thought out and will be changed during development.


I hope we can freely discuss features “as seen in the Gamescom” without violating any pre-alpha NDA… I just think this will be interesting for those who were not there. ;)

 

Orbital mechanics:
In space there are actual physics calculations like in Kerbal Space Program! I managed to catapult my ship into orbit with atmospheric engines, but it was pulled back in a parabolic curve by the gravity.
JC said that atmospheric engines are actually a bit overpowered, as you could reach escape velocity with them and fly straight into space… without any control… because the engines only work in atmosphere… xD
I have to say that I really liked the atmospheric flight mechanics; they felt very realistic just like a real airplane.

 

Damaging system:
Functional parts get damaged on impact and are supposed to lose their function until they get repaired by hand. (currently tweaked as it’s a little bugy)

 

Lua Scripting:
We already know about the minigames you can create in DU, but what about the multiplayer capabilities? Interestingly enough it’s already possible to connect multiple programming units together by just using global variables, which are shared inside one core unit.
Thereby multiple sup-components on a big ship can be interconnected and exchange information between each other.
In theory it could also be possible to communicate to another construct using the same mechanic, but with a growing distance the update rate of the data would be decrease…
They are thinking about creating a component that can be accessed “globally” by any programming unit in range… but the whole topic about distributed systems will be another milestone that has not been considered jet.
Another thing I asked was if we could use an external IDE for programming, as the ingame one was kind of limited… JC said in theory you could import an external library in the ingame interface, which should access the Lua scripts directly from your PCs hard drive.(not sure about the Lua limitations inside DU though)
Or you just copy the code over to the game for testing.
The Lua development is also tied to the ingame IDE as each connected component actually provides predefined event-function-blocks that are triggered by certain events (e.g. a switch has an on, and an off block) and you have to place Lua code in the corresponding function blocks.
I’m sure in the long run NQ will develop a fully fledged IDE for the game, so this will become no issue at all….
The breakout minigame was also simply some code executed in the “start” function that was able to receive keyboard inputs and generated svgs that were displayed on the screen-unit.

 

Rendering/Performance:
Ok, the game is not the prettiest rendering wise.
All vegetation and functional components get only rendered up to a certain distance (few 100 meters) than they get de-spawned. Also all lighting and shadows are only active up to this distance.
Further away voxels also get simplified a lot… I honestly don’t care about the visuals that much, but I’ll admit the space station looked kind of squashed from far away.  But JC said they are working hard on improving the rendering.
On the flip side flying around was very smooth! In god-mode I flew to the moon of Alioth in 2 seconds without any noticeable frame drops!

 

 

So, that’s all that was new/interesting about the game for me. Maybe most of this was already known, but it wouldn’t hurt to share it here…
I actually did not have enough time to cover all my questions. But others are probably able to share a lot more insights from Gamescom, so feel free to post them to the rest of the community!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for the scouting report!  I personally really hope that the wireless communication between constructs is limited because it provides more of a realistic feel and encourages the development of infrastructure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@_devu_  Well to mine something would be a bit pointless because we had unlimited resources. (i did not try out the resource sensor either)

But I did build a couple of constructs, which was actually most bugy part of the game, (EDIT2: Wrong wording! It's actually working fine, I just meant that it's not that intuitive to learn for the first time!)

but lets first describe how the system woks:

 

All constructs start from a core unit (blue = dynamic ; yellow = static), which creates a cube shaped building area around it (e.g. 64x64 meters). In this area you can place any components you want... you can even place sth. into the ground, which will still count as part of the construct.

(Edit: I forgot to mention that it was kind of hard place some componets were you wanted (e.g. for building sth. underneath it), but JC told me they plan to implement some feature, that allows you to move the spaceship around while designing it!)

I actually build a whole spaceship using a static core unit, but when trying to testfly it didn't move...

All in all I'd say their current building UI is the biggest weak-spot of DU! :(

It's not responsive at all, and its hard to figure out how to turn sth. the way you want it. (e.g. I placed a programming unit upside down, and a screen unit in the wrong direction without noticing it)

 

Also you get a bunch of numbers and information when building a spaceship, but it feels like you have to study a manual to figure out what they actually mean, or why your first spaceship just did a nosedive into the ground... xD

...ok, might also have had to do with some problems they had with the server. But the building has to become much more intuitive! Nyz also told me they are working on tutorial videos prevent the frustration that you get when you just don't get why your construct doesn't work!

 

Also that is what he replied to me regarding the UI:

 

20 hours ago, NQ-Nyzaltar said:

(...)

On the User Interface aspect:

The unfriendly feeling comes (in our opinion) from 2 points.

First, there should be tooltips when you select a tool, to ease considerably the understanding of the mechanics.

Second, many elements and/or tools are not well organized and we will make a lot of changes in the coming month.

While we won't be able to simplify the UI to some extreme extent, there is room for big improvements.

 

(...)

 

 

This might sound like bad news, but I'm sure NQ really thought through this complex building system... in such an early (bugy) stage it’s just normal that it can cause some frustration when you see it for the first time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well I wouldn't call starting with static construct and expecting it to fly a bug ;)

 

But will take your word for it, learning curve is expected for sure, and some orientation indicators are a must have. But unresponsive UI? ... hmm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for sharing the great information about your experience playing Dual Universe! Pre-Alpha will be a bit buggy but that is to be expected about alpha's and beta's but I am ready to get started and I even bought a new note book for finding game bugs! I hope to see you for the Pre-Alpha.    =)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the pleasure to talk to JC for about one hour at gamescom. Here are some hopefully new informations I can remember:

  • JC dont know when the Alpha is ready but it is going to happen in 2018
  • The Market-Feature is going to be implemented in the first update for the alpha (some weeks after the alpha launch)
  • They havent done much yet to prevent hackers
  • To prevent glitching when standing on moving objects (like space engineers or GTA) they give every construct their own relative coordinate system, called Local-Frame, which the player is bounded to. To detect which Frame is the right one (e.g. jumping from a ship to a planet) they send a ray downwards and the ray detects the Frame underneath the player.
  • Right now only the skybox is rotating, but planet rotation is planned for the future
  • On Tuesday, August 22, Novaquark has implemented a sitting function for the couch (not a joke!)
  • They are hiring several new people starting in september, including a webdeveloper, who is going to work for the first 4 month on the community portal full-time
  • JC itself has written the LUA-Scripting, flight-mechanics, logical-gates and the HTML/SVG Screenunit
  • The Community Managers are really happy seeing such a growing community and that much interest in the game
  • Most of the people at novaquark are playing the game mosty at work, not very often at home
  • You can freely reskin the entire UI of the game, the whole UI is made up of HTML and CSS, NQ wont prevent making changes to the ui
  • Right now, you can embed any HTML-content, except for Javascripts, in the Screen-Unit, e.g. embedding a Youtube-Video works right now, they arent sure, if they continue to allow that
  • The client and the server are written in C++. The client needs C++ for the performance, the server is also written in C++ due to the high amount of the same code with the client. They wished, they could make it in a safer language like Java, but htey simply doesnt have the time to write a lot of code twice.
  • Traveling to other planets takes in average 2 days, to other solar systems 2 weeks
  • When the player has a limited internet-connection, they lower the refresh-rate of constructs and players
  • When the player has a slow computer, they are limiting the viewing distance and also lowering the refresh-rate of constructs and players
  • The goal is to reach 30fps on every mid-sized pc

Thats all for now, sorry for my bad english and some typing errors:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you! Sharknoon ! Traveling to other planets takes in average 2 days, to other solar systems 2 weeks ! That seems about right until they get engine upgrades. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Right now, you can embed any HTML-content, except for Javascripts, in the Screen-Unit, e.g. embedding a Youtube-Video works right now, they arent sure, if they continue to allow that 
  • they really need to allow it cause then we can watch streams of wars going on in bars and where ever we want

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Sharknoon said:

I had the pleasure to talk to JC for about one hour at gamescom. Here are some hopefully new informations I can remember:

  • JC dont know when the Alpha is ready but it is going to happen in 2018

Is that Alpha in 2018 or Release in 2018?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

alpha cause it hink they probly wanted to delay another 3 months at least for alpha but they decide to allow us to help test in pre alpha to keep the word. this is a very hard thing they are trying to accomplish here. it hasnt been done yet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Sharknoon said:
  • On Tuesday, August 22, Novaquark has implemented a sitting function for the couch (not a joke!)

I think this is the most important piece of knowledge we can take away from gamescon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Lord_Void said:

 

Wow. I hope that is just with "early ship tech"

In the future they will implement stargates, which allows teleportation. So only the first time traveling to new solar systems takes that long. This time is targeted by NQ as the best time you can reach. They will also implement (post-release) a function to send out "probes", which teleports you to that location, when they have reached their destination, so that you can build a stargate. But all of this is post-release!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, mrjacobean said:

Is that Alpha in 2018 or Release in 2018?

Alpha. They are targeting around Q1 or Q2 2018 for a complete game loop (alpha). Beta should come in H2 2018. Remember, these dates are likely to be changed in the future!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Sharknoon said:

In the future they will implement stargates, which allows teleportation. So only the first time traveling to new solar systems takes that long. This time is targeted by NQ as the best time you can reach. They will also implement (post-release) a function to send out "probes", which teleports you to that location, when they have reached their destination, so that you can build a stargate. But all of this is post-release!

 

yeah I know about the stargates and systems and such, and 2 weeks actually seems short for a blind first jump. It's the time between planets that has me surprised

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Lord_Void said:

 

yeah I know about the stargates and systems and such, and 2 weeks actually seems short for a blind first jump. It's the time between planets that has me surprised

 

It has sounded in the past as if they think that intra-system stargates are desirable, so you would just have to (presumably) leave the gravitational pull of the planet to travel to another, once the stargate is built.  Remember, the spread of civilization is built in to be slow, and preventing the immediate colonization of the solar system leaves time for the development of inter-system mechanics and is more realistic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...