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Zen001

Programming Gameplay and Continuity

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First I have to say that player generated content using LUA sounds like a very cool idea. However, I do have some reservations. After having seen some LUA video tutorials, I highly doubt the general public will be tripping all over themselves to learn programming; what's more, if programming provides an advantage via mechanics, many if not most players will feel this is not a game for them. However, if we are only talking visuals, assets and structures, LUA will definitely provide interesting content for a relatively small number of programmers that can benefit all players. 

 

That said, I am wondering what DU intends to do about LUA visual continuity? Being a big believer in immersion, I think DU can run into problems if they don't have strong oversight of player generated content. I'm not sure about everyone else but I don't want to take off from a beautifully sculptured planet as seen in DU screenshots to find myself landing on a planet that looks like minecraft - can't think of anything more immersion breaking. For me continuity lies at the heart of immersion and this includes ships, structures and everything that will make up the DU universe. So I'm wondering if DU will keep programmers from dominating gameplay mechanics and will they insure continuity?

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First I have to say that player generated content using LUA sounds like a very cool idea. However, I do have some reservations. After having seen some LUA video tutorials, I highly doubt the general public will be tripping all over themselves to learn programming; what's more, if programming provides an advantage via mechanics, many if not most players will feel this is not a game for them. However, if we are only talking visuals, assets and structures, LUA will definitely provide interesting content for a relatively small number of programmers that can benefit all players.

 

That said, I am wondering what DU intends to do about LUA visual continuity? Being a big believer in immersion, I think DU can run into problems if they don't have strong oversight of player generated content. I'm not sure about everyone else but I don't want to take off from a beautifully sculptured planet as seen in DU screenshots to find myself landing on a planet that looks like minecraft - can't think of anything more immersion breaking. For me continuity lies at the heart of immersion and this includes ships, structures and everything that will make up the DU universe. So I'm wondering if DU will keep programmers from dominating gameplay mechanics and will they insure continuity?

What I know is that there will be restrictions to lua, we don't know them yet and we might not know them till release, you never know what's capable with something so open untill you release it into the public. I would imagine there will be basic lua scripts you can buy and plug into the DCU? (Forgot what the modules called)... so anyone will have access to many lua scripts, but big complex lua will remain coder only unless sold, so there will be some advantage but not a great one.. (hopefully)..

 

But that is the same as anything, you out in the time to learn something, you will be better than someone who hasn't learned that thing.

 

Also, for the Minecraft part, if anyone makes Minecraft style objects and ships they clearly have too much time on their hands to get the shapes pure squares consistent. But if you meant the shoddy (mud hut) Minecraft objects I don't think you could avoid seeing that, that will be every new players go-to building.

 

I'd prefer for any constructs player made be left player made and not interfered with, if someone wants to do something they should be able to do it, given doesn't break restrictions or rules :)...

 

Thinking now though, I'm not 100% sure on what the meaning of.your post was, but i hope I answered it on topic at least :)

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What I know is that there will be restrictions to lua, we don't know them yet and we might not know them till release, you never know what's capable with something so open untill you release it into the public. I would imagine there will be basic lua scripts you can buy and plug into the DCU? (Forgot what the modules called)... so anyone will have access to many lua scripts, but big complex lua will remain coder only unless sold, so there will be some advantage but not a great one.. (hopefully)..

 

But that is the same as anything, you out in the time to learn something, you will be better than someone who hasn't learned that thing.

 

Also, for the Minecraft part, if anyone makes Minecraft style objects and ships they clearly have too much time on their hands to get the shapes pure squares consistent. But if you meant the shoddy (mud hut) Minecraft objects I don't think you could avoid seeing that, that will be every new players go-to building.

 

I'd prefer for any constructs player made be left player made and not interfered with, if someone wants to do something they should be able to do it, given doesn't break restrictions or rules :)...

 

Thinking now though, I'm not 100% sure on what the meaning of.your post was, but i hope I answered it on topic at least :)

Yeah, I would have to step back from a game that allows programmers to have any advantage...even a small one. Also minecraft mud huts would definitely make the game less appealing. 

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Levels of complexity and beauty will naturally increase the further you get from the arcship.

 

Im hoping that LUA is unrestricted as possible. We're already restricted to premade mesh built items.

 

The younger players and those not committed to the game wont make it far from the arcship. Those that do will purchase their constructs. And they're going to purchase the cool looking ones, not tge crappy ones.

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Levels of complexity and beauty will naturally increase the further you get from the arcship.

 

Im hoping that LUA is unrestricted as possible. We're already restricted to premade mesh built items.

 

The younger players and those not committed to the game wont make it far from the arcship. Those that do will purchase their constructs. And they're going to purchase the cool looking ones, not tge crappy ones.

 

I agree, let us build and code as complex as we like. This is supposed to be an unrestricted free range game so let it be. Just like in the real world you will have some players better at things than others. I know from my time in eve I suck at market trading, lost out every time I tried it. But I can organize and run massive mining fleets as well as knowing whats profitable to manufacture with the goods. My friend however did amazing at trading with even low skills. 

 

And you can always buy an advanced constructs made by someone who can code. The better ones will cost more but be worth it. 

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There DOES need to be some sort of cleanup function.

 

Otherwise, the arczone will be one huge junk yard within 6 months.

 

Agreed, but it could just be a decay or abandonment system. If you dont long on in a month your constructs in a protected zone become abandoned. Maybe even for protected zone you have to interact with them every so often. 

 

Non protected zones will deal with themself. Besides it would be cool to see wreckage from a massive battle 2 years later. 

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I agree, let us build and code as complex as we like. This is supposed to be an unrestricted free range game so let it be. Just like in the real world you will have some players better at things than others. I know from my time in eve I suck at market trading, lost out every time I tried it. But I can organize and run massive mining fleets as well as knowing whats profitable to manufacture with the goods. My friend however did amazing at trading with even low skills. 

 

And you can always buy an advanced constructs made by someone who can code. The better ones will cost more but be worth it. 

I like the idea of coders selling their wares but again it would have to meet certain standards overseen by DU. This is because trolls take on all forms and trust me on this, it will only be a matter of time before we see planets adorned with massive happy faces and ships  in he shape of giant dildos. So I am not so keen on 'unrestricted' free range game design. And if coders are making selective sales involving mechanics (speed, trajectory, ordinance and all the things that are crucial to gameplay) it will lead to questionable gameplay at best. 

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I like the idea of coders selling their wares but again it would have to meet certain standards overseen by DU. This is because trolls take on all forms and trust me on this, it will only be a matter of time before we see planets adorned with massive happy faces and ships in he shape of giant dildos. So I am not so keen on 'unrestricted' free range game design. And if coders are making selective sales involving mechanics (speed, trajectory, ordinance and all the things that are crucial to gameplay) it will lead to questionable gameplay at best.

I am not a fan of flying dildos (even if it does sound hilarious) there will always be the people who play the game just to fanny about and see how obnoxious they can be. Nothing you can really do about the shape of their ship, I think, but any restrictions that stop people doing stupid things that will wreck immersion I could be a big fan of.

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I am not a fan of flying dildos (even if it does sound hilarious) there will always be the people who play the game just to fanny about and see how obnoxious they can be. Nothing you can really do about the shape of their ship, I think, but any restrictions that stop people doing stupid things that will wreck immersion I could be a big fan of.

Just a bit concerned that freedom, though a good thing, can be abused when it comes to gaming. That said, it would be great to build stuff but it would go a long way to win over potential supporters if building didn't require LUA but a system of reusable preformed material. Sure it would have its limitations but it would put everyone on an equal foot. It would also have the added benefit of continuity/immersion. But asking people to learn LUA as an essential part of the game? I think it pushes the limits of patience, even for EVE players.  :huh:

 

Also I have to ask if absolute freedom is the way to go because the concept of millions of systems with the ability to land on planets  - WITH AVATARS - has never been done before! Nor has a single server with millions of players!!! So already, even without building, DU is light years ahead of the competition. With such lofty goals, adding absolute freedom to build whatever you want is overkill , or in short, feature creep. I say focus on the aforementioned game mechanics and either make building comprehensive within the UI or not at all. 

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Im thinking a giant dildo is just asking everyone to blow them outa the sky...

 

You bring up a valid point there..

 

We, as the players, get to decide what is acceptable and what is not, at least if we can enforce it. The game is going to be emergent gameplay, so if we don't like a design we as the players can band together and form a 'anti-dildo' brigade or something of the like.

 

I've changed my mind a little bit. As long as the device is not overpowered or glitching the freedom of the game, let them build, we can just take it down if it's not what the game should have as a people.

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I like the idea of coders selling their wares but again it would have to meet certain standards overseen by DU. This is because trolls take on all forms and trust me on this, it will only be a matter of time before we see planets adorned with massive happy faces and ships  in he shape of giant dildos. So I am not so keen on 'unrestricted' free range game design. And if coders are making selective sales involving mechanics (speed, trajectory, ordinance and all the things that are crucial to gameplay) it will lead to questionable gameplay at best. 

 

 

I like the idea of certain mechanics being out of reach for some. You can learn it or stick to the aspects of games you are good at. This is in every game already, DU is just brining in coding as well. 

 

Besides we have some interesting ideas for system and would want people to buy our ships at low prices :)

 

 

I am not a fan of flying dildos (even if it does sound hilarious) there will always be the people who play the game just to fanny about and see how obnoxious they can be. Nothing you can really do about the shape of their ship, I think, but any restrictions that stop people doing stupid things that will wreck immersion I could be a big fan of.

 

Hey, what other ship would you recommend to fly around in when screwing other people out of their hard earned resources? A government building?

 

 

Just a bit concerned that freedom, though a good thing, can be abused when it comes to gaming. That said, it would be great to build stuff but it would go a long way to win over potential supporters if building didn't require LUA but a system of reusable preformed material. Sure it would have its limitations but it would put everyone on an equal foot. It would also have the added benefit of continuity/immersion. But asking people to learn LUA as an essential part of the game? I think it pushes the limits of patience, even for EVE players.  :huh:

 

Also I have to ask if absolute freedom is the way to go because the concept of millions of systems with the ability to land on planets  - WITH AVATARS - has never been done before! Nor has a single server with millions of players!!! So already, even without building, DU is light years ahead of the competition. With such lofty goals, adding absolute freedom to build whatever you want is overkill , or in short, feature creep. I say focus on the aforementioned game mechanics and either make building comprehensive within the UI or not at all. 

 

The devs have mentioned putting out a standard set of basic control systems for players to use at the start. Beyond that you can buy from the market. Certain sellers will gain a reputation from their products and everyone will want them. Or maybe you run across someone who has an amazing ship setup and he tells you hes using XXXXX's control system. But he tried YYYs and it was garbage. They have already said they want a completely player driven market and game, so let it be that way. 

 

And sure their goals are high, but thats how you get a next gen game. And it wont start with millions, just thousands. And grow from there but remember technology is growing as well. 

 

 

Im thinking a giant dildo is just asking everyone to blow them outa the sky...

 

How dare you try to blow my ship up. 

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Yeah....don't think design anarchy will work. It will end up being a hodge podge of criss-crossing chaotic designs that will ruin immersion and the game. And who is to say a coder won't keep his/her game winning mechanics for themselves or their corporation, leaving those who don't want to spend weeks learning how to code at the mercy of players more talented in coding than playing? Sorry but this won't work. Of course it will work for a very small specialized niche market and that's ok if that is all DU is aiming for. So I leave it to everyone and really do hope you all succeed, because space games rules, even if you have to fly a giant dildo. And I guess for some space rules because you can. 

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It sounds like you're concerned about lua scripts changing game mechanics. Lua scripting will basically be another part of the building and designing process. You can script different functional elements of your constructs to work together - reacting to events by performing a corresponding function. There won't be graphics generated by player written lua scripts or anything like that.

 

I recommend you check out the scripting blog https://devblog.dualthegame.com/2015/09/18/lua-script-and-distributed-processing-units/

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It sounds like you're concerned about lua scripts changing game mechanics. Lua scripting will basically be another part of the building and designing process. You can script different functional elements of your constructs to work together - reacting to events by performing a corresponding function. There won't be graphics generated by player written lua scripts or anything like that.

 

I recommend you check out the scripting blog https://devblog.dualthegame.com/2015/09/18/lua-script-and-distributed-processing-units/

I recommend you check out what was posted as I clearly talked about design. What's more, including design as an element of gameplay that only a small fraction of players can contribute will only turn people away. As for not coding gameplay mechanics, this is good news but it will still make DUAL chaotic and, well, unappealing for those who enjoy immersion. Personally, I really don't think it is necessary to make a game that is all things to all people > DU should focus on making a solid universe with reliable gameplay first, especially gameplay that hasn't even been achieved yet. This is reminding me a bit of Star Citizen - the sky was the limit but they simply couldn't understand that a solid foundation was needed. 

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If this game isnt hitting on all cylinders for you, should they cater to your wishes?

 

My point... I actually agree with you. They should develop the game THEY want.

 

Because...

 

They cant be "all things to all people."

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If this game isnt hitting on all cylinders for you, should they cater to your wishes?

 

My point... I actually agree with you. They should develop the game THEY want.

 

Because...

 

They cant be "all things to all people."

If you think having the basic foundation first and not getting sucked into feature creep is equal to 'all things to all people' then I guess you are well on your way. Sure DU Devs can make the game they want but will it be a game players want? And will there be enough interest - real financial support - to insure it's completion and long term survival in an extremely competitive market? The Devs at Battlescape thought so and were so confident of their product, but their Kickstarter barely paid the bills. In fact some Devs had to leave. And Battlescape isn't alone in this department. So as much as I admire a Devs commitment to completing a project, it requires more than commitment: it requires looking at the market, what has been done before, what is being done presently, timely releases and what ultimately players want. One should be careful building the game they want because the game THEY want may not in the end pay the bills. 

 

Don't get me wrong - though I'm sure some will try - DU has great vision and one which I can support - for the most part. Financial support however will probably depend on Kickstarter information. And to be honest, if DU insists on making a game untenable for those who don't wish to spend weeks learning LUA and months if not years becoming competent in coding/game design, I simply can't support the game financially. 

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What I know is that there will be restrictions to lua, we don't know them yet and we might not know them till release, you never know what's capable with something so open untill you release it into the public. I would imagine there will be basic lua scripts you can buy and plug into the DCU? (Forgot what the modules called)... so anyone will have access to many lua scripts, but big complex lua will remain coder only unless sold, so there will be some advantage but not a great one.. (hopefully)..

.....shortcut

 

 

To come back on Point. I was also thinking about that. In general its a nice feature which give much freedom to the Players.

So if they will have an small Advantage it would be okay otherwise it will be a no go if I find high Price LUA Scripts with 100% aim-accuracy in the black market.

 

I also recommend to sell a wide choice of Lua Scripts In-Game and give the Players the Chance to sell there scripts InGame.

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I was thinking about this before.

 

I don't think, or i can't remember, if it's said that you could code 'pure lua' into the game (as in make up your own functions) or if it is solely based on the elements functions and DCU's you put them in.

 

So, i don't know if this will make sense but, maybe you can only ever increase/decrease a thruster and can't 'set' the value of the thruster. Or if you have a scanner you will only ever be able to get the information of the ship/size and not be able to 'target' it through it.

 

Maybe the only functions you can call in the Lua editor are the functions that NQ/DU allows us to call, limiting both the capabilities of LUA and the advantage that other players will have inside lua.

 

I'll have a look when i get in to see, again, how lua has been described, but i don't think it's been mentioned that you can create custom functions.

 

nora,

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If you think having the basic foundation first and not getting sucked into feature creep is equal to 'all things to all people' then I guess you are well on your way. Sure DU Devs can make the game they want but will it be a game players want? And will there be enough interest - real financial support - to insure it's completion and long term survival in an extremely competitive market? The Devs at Battlescape thought so and were so confident of their product, but their Kickstarter barely paid the bills. In fact some Devs had to leave. And Battlescape isn't alone in this department. So as much as I admire a Devs commitment to completing a project, it requires more than commitment: it requires looking at the market, what has been done before, what is being done presently, timely releases and what ultimately players want. One should be careful building the game they want because the game THEY want may not in the end pay the bills. 

 

Don't get me wrong - though I'm sure some will try - DU has great vision and one which I can support - for the most part. Financial support however will probably depend on Kickstarter information. And to be honest, if DU insists on making a game untenable for those who don't wish to spend weeks learning LUA and months if not years becoming competent in coding/game design, I simply can't support the game financially. 

 

Hey Zen,

 

I know you're excited about this game, and its easy to project the problems of other game developers onto it.  It appears that the majority of forum members are aware of the other projects and the challenges they're experiencing, so I'm sure NQ is aware as well.

 

The "Project Charter" will have all of the features and goals that were initially stated.  You and I may not ever see it, but we can get a good idea of what is in it by reviewing the details of the Kickstarter campaign.  Scope crepe comes in, when you don't have a good project manager.  There will certainly be revisions and addendums to the charter.  Some may be critical, and delay the initial release, but a good PM will make those "additional features", future expansions.

 

But your suggestion shouldn't be dismissed outright.  At the moment, we're "Pre-Alpha" so things a pretty fluid.  Feel free to make recommendations.  They can easily be added to the project before Kickstarter.

 

As for the economic viability...  JC Baillie is an entrepreneur.  He already owns other companies.  I'm confident he's aware of the demand for the project he's developing.  He's already heavily invested in this project, and I'm confident his business model has been heavily researched.

 

Zen,

 

Here's a question to you...

 

Since all the other "sandbox games" have a scriptable interface, why should DU hamstring itself by not providing a common feature? 

 

I would expect not providing a common feature in your product, would turn off more customers than it will generate.

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I recommend you check out what was posted as I clearly talked about design. What's more, including design as an element of gameplay that only a small fraction of players can contribute will only turn people away. As for not coding gameplay mechanics, this is good news but it will still make DUAL chaotic and, well, unappealing for those who enjoy immersion. Personally, I really don't think it is necessary to make a game that is all things to all people > DU should focus on making a solid universe with reliable gameplay first, especially gameplay that hasn't even been achieved yet. This is reminding me a bit of Star Citizen - the sky was the limit but they simply couldn't understand that a solid foundation was needed.

 

 

"Design" might have been a poor choice of words.
 
I think you are greatly overestimating what is possible with in-game scripting functionality.  For the most part it will simply be calling predefined functions of predefined elements in a way that makes sense.  Let me try to make a few things clear because there's terminology that might confuse matters.
 
Voxel-based Elements are basically shapes made of one or more materials.  They have no function beyond structure and aesthetics.  Players will be able to create their own voxel-based elements.  No lua scripting here.
 
Mesh-based Elements (referred to as "Elements" for short) are predefined functional components that you can add to your designs.  Every one of these has a Distributed Processing Unit (DPU) with predefined, non-modifiable lua code that defines what that element can do.  All functionality falls under either broadcasting an event (e.g. enemy spotted; aircraft altitude dropping) or performing some function (e.g. fire at enemy; increase throttle).  Again, everything about these is predefined and unmodifiable - size, shape, and DPU.
 
A Construct is a player creation - something that players build by putting together Voxels and Elements.
 
A Control Unit is a mesh-based element whose DPU is not predefined and can be modified.  This is the only place where players can write lua code.  You plug in the DPUs of other elements that are a part of your construct into the DPU of your Control Unit and write lua code that calls the functions of those elements in a way that makes sense.  A typical function will probably have structure like: receive broadcast event, perform some calculations,  broadcast one or more events, perform one or more functions.  Note that ultimately, everything comes down to calling predefined functions, it's just when, how and why that is player controlled.  In other words, players can code control systems for their constructs (as the name Control Unit suggests).
 
Actually there is one other place that players can write code.  There is a DPU that isn't linked to any Element called the "System DPU".  This is mainly for defining keyboard controls for your Control Units, but can also broadcast events at regular intervals.
 
I think your other concern is continuity of designs.  I think this is an aesthetic concern if I understand you correctly and is completely unrelated to scripting.  There's already been a discussion about that and Nyzaltar responded. I want able to find that thread but I was able to find a quote from Nyzaltar that answers the question:
 
 

 

As explained before in this thread, We'd love to give full customization powers to players, but we also need to maintain an artistic style for the game. And if we would offer the ability to players to upload textures, you won't have that anymore. While we can expect most of the players to "play by the rules", there will always be some who won't, uploading "funny textures" that can destroy a big part of the immersion. We want to give to the community a realistic, immersive world, and that comes to a price: not allowing all players to upload custom textures.
 
The other solution is to make sure uploaded textures will be compatible with the artistic vision of the game by going through an approval process. Some games have already done that in the past, and we "might" (no promise there, nothing guaranteed) go this way in the future. Just keep in mind that having an approval process can be time consuming, pondering the number of requests of such type. The artists will have already their hands full of other tasks, as it is planned to have very different materials and props (while the game will start on a planet quite similar to Earth, some other planets are supposed to be far more "alien"). But for now, consider you will have access to predesignated palette.

 

Nyzaltar Thread on Voxel Tools

LUA Scripting Devblog

Builder Gameplay Devblog

 

If you already knew all that and think it's OP, fair enough.  Personally, I don't think there's any problem.

 

If anyone thinks I've misinterpreted anything , please chime in.

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Hi everyone! 

 

This topic raises very important ideas and concerns.

 

We are perfectly aware that not every player that will be interested in Dual Universe will be a naturally talented voxel-based spaceship designer. or even interested to be one. That's why, right from the beginning, we plan to have generic blueprints available, to avoid that - even it's a very improbable scenario - some organizations recruit all the builders to build only for them.

 

We are planning to do the exact same thing for the LUA scripts: having some decent generic ones available to all players right from the beginning, to avoid any monopolistic situation, because not every player is a natural born developer.

 

That way, we expect each player to be able to build, buy and use decent static or mobile constructs.

 

We want to promote creativity freedom, not monopole. Monopole is not fun.

That being said, creativity freedom comes at a price: in order to remain fun on the long term, a game needs to be balanced.

We don't want to sacrifice everything on the creativity freedom's altar. There's a need to find the right balance. So as much as we don't want to intervene, it might happen that the dev team will implement some limits to LUA scripts at some point, if this is really necessary for the sake of the game and the global fun experienced by the community. Or maybe it won't be necessary. We'll see. The thing is the team can't anticipate all problems... but we can definitely react to them.

 

Will the organizations having talented coders in their ranks get an edge over others? Probably.

But the same could be said for organizations having pro-gamer level players, that can win fights on 1 vs 3.

The same could be said for organizations having 10, 20 times the number of people than others. There is strength in number as well.

This is part of the game too.

 

Best regards, 

Nyzaltar.

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Hi everyone! 

 

This topic raises very important ideas and concerns.

 

We are perfectly aware that not every player that will be interested in Dual Universe will be a naturally talented voxel-based spaceship designer. or even interested to be one. That's why, right from the beginning, we plan to have generic blueprints available, to avoid that - even it's a very improbable scenario - some organizations recruit all the builders to build only for them.

 

We are planning to do the exact same thing for the LUA scripts: having some decent generic ones available to all players right from the beginning, to avoid any monopolistic situation, because not every player is a natural born developer.

 

That way, we expect each player to be able to build, buy and use decent static or mobile constructs.

 

We want to promote creativity freedom, not monopole. Monopole is not fun.

That being said, creativity freedom comes at a price: in order to remain fun on the long term, a game needs to be balanced.

We don't want to sacrifice everything on the creativity freedom's altar. There's a need to find the right balance. So as much as we don't want to intervene, it might happen that the dev team will implement some limits to LUA scripts at some point, if this is really necessary for the sake of the game and the global fun experienced by the community. Or maybe it won't be necessary. We'll see. The thing is the team can't anticipate all problems... but we can definitely react to them.

 

Will the organizations having talented coders in their ranks get an edge over others? Probably.

But the same could be said for organizations having pro-gamer level players, that can win fights on 1 vs 3.

The same could be said for organizations having 10, 20 times the number of people than others. There is strength in number as well.

This is part of the game too.

 

Best regards, 

Nyzaltar.

 

Nice, so the Devs understand the concerns at least that is bonus, we were probably all sitting concerned that the Devs were doing things because they could, and didn't think of whether or not they should do it.

 

Good post, plenty of information for me to catalogue away in the brain box for pulling out at a later time and linking people to :)... I might start something where I catalogue all the responses you've given in a fashion that can be searchable... But I already have to much on my plate for work :(... Someday maybe :)

 

"The thing is the team can't anticipate all problems... but we can definitely react to them."

Also, ^ I can help you find things to react to if you like.... ;)

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