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This topic contains 31 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  shade the wanderer 6 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 32 total)
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#103487
obesitybee
Participant

It’s too late now to do anything about it but I know the physics engine is a pain in the ass and a detriment to Worlds Adrift. The irony is WA evolved from prototyping some kind of pre alpha Spider-Man like game plus nostalgia from Dreamcast Skies of Arcadia that gave birth to Worlds Adrift.

My gripe with the engine is that it returns little and asks so much in terms of development. The swinging is nice and the potential for malarkey like dumping trees or rocks on someone to sink their ship is cute but it’s also so impractical and gimmicky. Over 99% of gameplay the physics won’t be utilized. WA is a sandbox, survival, MMO hybrid with a physics engine thrown on top of it and it’s totally not needed. But now you got WA pregnant with it and you got to do the shotgun wedding and commit. At least Bossa is not a bastard.

I would have aborted the physics engine and I mean like with the morning after pill. Save the physics engine for a smaller scope project to begin with and from there who knows what the future entails. At the end of the day an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I would have sacrificed the Spider-Man stunts and pie in the sky physics hijinks for a solid engine that can deliver powerful performance with less effort. WA would have gone gold with more features by now if it weren’t for the physics engine, it’s gobbling up so much resources and time.

This is not me hating on WA. I love WA and because of my love for WA it’s such a shame to see it hamstrung by experimental technology. I do enjoy the grappling hooks and the physics cannon shots, etc. but it’s painful to realize the game would have gone farther and faster without the physics. The only significant lose of ditching the physics would have been the grappling nothing else would have needed to be sacrificed. Just plainly said WA would have been better off without the physics.

#103489
Montchalpere
Participant

I agree the game has a lot on its plate, too much some would say. I don’t think the physics are really the issue though, they give the game a very unique feel and mechanic of movement which is fun. Granted they actually can optimize the game, it should be fine. I think the lack of focus is the real issue with WA going forward. What is this game supposed to be? What do we actually tell people they do in this game? Right now all we have is pvp and ship-building because nothing else is added yet, both of which already have their own giant host of issues. Now we know PVP isn’t the main focus of the game and they’ve announced a lot of plans for PVE content in the future, but what is the main focus? What does this game actually mean to become? A jack of all trades but a master of none is the best way to describe it now, unfortunately. Does this game want to be an exploration game where PVE and PVP are balanced and controlled/separated somewhat to please the bulk of the population? Does it want to be a free-for-all where players build entirely their own worlds and adventures without any kind of structure or aim? Maybe a giant PVP zone the likes of rust or ARK with some added PVE for…nobody, since no pve folks will stick around for that? We don’t know, and I don’t know if Bossa really knows yet either.

“Why not all?” I’ve heard this response a lot. I know it sounds grand to have all of this included right? Never bite off more than you can chew. Games without a strong central focus lack direction and therefore lack success most of the time. If this game wants to be a PVE exploration game it can still have PVP obviously, but it needs to be clear in its marketing for consumers what it is exactly. It also needs to be more careful in dictating rules of PVP to ensure its PVE playerbase is happy. The same is true for the reverse, a PVP game with some PVE content (though that seems less marketable, for who is the PVE content really for then?) It’s better to be the world’s best swordsman than it is to be able to pick up two swords. In almost all major games that do both PVP and PVE, they are separated in some form to keep the two different player groups happy. EVE online, World of Warcraft, Runescape, Lord of the Rings Online, etc. There’s a reason they all do it, it works.

Worlds Adrift, and Bossa, you need to decide what to market this game as going forward and make clear to us all what the intent is for the future. You can make a core group of the population happy either way, but you can’t walk down the middle and play neutral forever, that will only lead to all players being unhappy eventually.

#103493
obesitybee
Participant

The game is going through it’s iterations and this is common in all games. The play testing was meant to inevitably make changes to the game, the community is pressing Bossa to add in more PvE content. It’s been said that the human brain is an awful emulator, so games you think up in your head will often play out horribly in real life and many changes through it’s iterations will take place. I think the fantasies of exploring islands without interaction gave way to the reality of how boring that is in a video game. Now Bossa is rushing to add PvE elements. The player base is pressing for more commerce and socialization so yes WA is changing through it’s development. At it’s core WA will still be about you and your airship trying to survive in a broken world and you plot out your own destiny.

What we see slowing down progress in WA is it’s technical obstacles. This happens in all games. I was a beta tester for EVE online and it was full of technical issues but comparing the two experiences CCP had an easier time at it. WA is giving Bossa more tech problems then EVE did for CCP. It’s the physics engine load, it’s a resource hungry beast and it takes more then it gives. Like I said the grappling system is fun, I do enjoy it. The cannon shots are awesome and those are the most players will directly experience dealing with the physics engine. Sure there is cutting down trees and things rolling away from you or towards you ready to crush you but I would gladly sacrifice that for an easy to work with engine that doesn’t take so much in development and performance.

I think creating a survival, sandbox hybrid MMO was too large in scope to roll out a new game engine to pioneer in. They should have saved that engine for their original spiderman like adventure game and gone with something like the Unity engine without the physics thrown on top of it for WA. We could have traded in grappling for jump boots or jet packs. The cannons could have been hitscan weapons faked to give it an appearances of ballistics. WA still would have been WA and we would have been in the business of adding content and working on expansions by now.

#103500
ritchiej
Participant

. . . WA is a sandbox, survival, MMO hybrid with a physics engine thrown on top of it and it’s totally not needed . . .

On the contrary, the WA Sandbox has been specifically launched to help test and develop Improbable’s SpatialOS technology.
Thus at this point in time it’s at the ‘tech demo/proof-of-concept’ stage and the prime purpose of its user base is to highlight current deficiencies in the physics engine.
Boss didn’t ‘make a mistake’ with going with SpatialOS –
This is a long-term joint venture designed to ultimately provide a marketing tool for the underlying physics backend once the technology achieves stability.

. . . What is this game supposed to be? What do we actually tell people they do in this game? . . .

See above

#103508
Montchalpere
Participant

So it’s just a glorified tech demo? Yikes.

#103509
ritchiej
Participant

. . . So it’s just a glorified tech demo? Yikes . . .

Nothing wrong with that considering the ‘game’ is in its Pre-Early Access phase
and is piggy-backing on top of the new SpatialOS tech which itself is unproven as yet.

I believe it will ultimately be successful but the development phase will take a few more years.

#103510
Montchalpere
Participant

I hope you’re right, I love the game a lot and want it to be successful. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a game with so many deep issues though. Time will tell though 🙂

#103517
obesitybee
Participant

On the contrary, the WA Sandbox has been specifically launched to help test and develop Improbable’s SpatialOS technology.
Thus at this point in time it’s at the ‘tech demo/proof-of-concept’ stage and the prime purpose of its user base is to highlight current deficiencies in the physics engine.
Boss didn’t ‘make a mistake’ with going with SpatialOS –
This is a long-term joint venture designed to ultimately provide a marketing tool for the underlying physics backend once the technology achieves stability.

In one of the earliest dev videos they talked about the origins on WA. They created a kind of Spiderman like action adventure game to prototype the engine. They really enjoyed the grappling and expanded upon it and I believe they moved away from familier landscapes like towns and cities with floating islands probably for fun and creativity. I wasn’t there so please excuse my ignorance. I’m just going by memory and making some assumptions. They wanted to create a game where grappling is the main mechanic. The floating islands reminded them about Skies of Arcadia and ofcourse probably Avatar. That’s when they started going through the creative process of the design phase for WA. At this point the physics engine was no longer needed but I guess no one thought about dropping it since WA was born because of it.

I know hindsight is 20/20 and it’s easy to talk crap but knowing myself I believe I would have sincerely campaigned to drop the engine and save it for a smaller scope game. I would have saved it for that original spiderman like action adventure game. I would have realized it’s experimental technology and it’s best to start small and build upon your successes. Crawl before you walk. Eventually after years of developing with the physics engine and having mastery over it then yeah sure go for the large scope projects if you wish.

I enjoy the physics, it is apreciated but I wonder if it was worth the trouble. It’s like having a friend tag along on a date, you like your friend but wish he would go away for now lol.

#103518
misho
Participant

I don’t think Bossa has that many problems on their own. The problem is that they are doing an MMO where they have to rely on 3rd party software, SpatialOS, which in itself is experimental. Bossa has done physics games before, just not at this scale.

They could easily drop the physics part of it. The way the ships move is not hard to fake, the trees and stuff are a gimmick and cannons/ grappling could be cost effective localy.

#103535
ritchiej
Participant

. . . At this point the physics engine was no longer needed . . .
. . . They could easily drop the physics part of it . . .

Nope.
The whole point of this joint venture is to successfully develop and utilise the SpatialOS tech within a large-scale environment.

#103571
obesitybee
Participant

Nope.
The whole point of this joint venture is to successfully develop and utilise the SpatialOS tech within a large-scale environment.

The whole point is Worlds Adrift not SpatialOS. There isn’t a right or wrong here. Apple developed their touch screen technology for tablets but Steve Jobs asked If they shrink the touch screen down to the size of a phone and his tech department said sure. He dropped the tablet for a bit and launched the IPhone, then later he launched the Ipad. Apple being the giant corporation it was even had to delay one product to focus on getting their other product right. Bossa should have done that with their engine. Be thankful the engine birthed Worlds Adrift and use the engine on a smaller game.

Worlds Adrift is going to make Bossa succesful not because WA was built with SpatialOS. To be honest the physics may act as a hook to bring in some players but it’s not going to be what keeps them playing Worlds Adrift. Their engine is a valuable asset and Bossa will make good use of it so I’m not saying the engine is a flop. I don’t even understand why defend SpatialOS like it’s some kind of sacrement. I believe no one plays WA because of it’s physics, it’s not what keeps player retention. With that in mind, this is why I cringe when I wonder what headaches SpatialOS is giving Bossa and what is the payoff? Ultimately a developer friendly known engine would have given the same payoff for a lot less. Bummer.

#103576
Arcanum Elite
Participant

But thats the whole point… the whole point is for them to overcome this challenge to improve SpatialOS…they wont consider it a success until they can make it work for Worlds Adrift.. which they havent done yet… until they can make it work properly for WA it is a failure…Worlds Adrift exists because it helps them improve SpatialOS… by improving worlds adrift they also improve SpatialOS.

Making SpatialOS work on a smaller game wouldnt be as big of a deal… the goal is to make it work on a grand scale in Worlds Adrift.. until they can do that their primary reason for Worlds Adrift existing will not have been completed.

#103581
ritchiej
Participant

. . . I wasn’t there so please excuse my ignorance. I’m just going by memory and making some assumption. . .
. . . I don’t even understand why defend SpatialOS like it’s some kind of sacrament . . .

It’s time you started doing some research rather than making wild assumptions – here’s a starting point
And a bit more detail

#103586
jaymz canada
Participant

Worlds Adrift is going to make Bossa succesful not because WA was built with SpatialOS.

SpatialOS is a technology in development, and changing all the time. Although there are other games being built on SpatialOS, Worlds Adrift was the first. When we announced SpatialOS in 2015, Improbable and Bossa Studios took to the stage together and we’ve stayed close ever since. Improbable’s engineers have worked side by side with Bossa’s designers and developers in a real partnership.

Without SpatialOS to empower its vast persistent environment, Worlds Adrift, if it existed at all, would have been a very different game. And without Worlds Adrift to learn from in live development, SpatialOS would have been a different platform. We couldn’t have come this far without each other.

Super easy to argue anything when you just make dumb assumptions and then defend them as fact.

Next time, before posting, I’d suggest you follow your gut…

It’s too late now to do anything about it

#103651
obesitybee
Participant

I don’t understand the point of supporting SpatialOS at the detriment of Worlds Adrift. SpatialOS will put restrictions to WA that wouldn’t have been there compared with the other established engines. Performance and scope must be sacrificed because of SpatialOS. I develop games as a hobby and physics is a gimmick. It puts such a strain on resources and unless the game revolves around the physics mechanic, it’s worse then useless, it’s a detriment.

You build a ship and the size and complextiy of the ship has nothing to do with the simulated physics of the game meaning, weight, mass, inertia, tencile strength, etc. It has everything to do with the engine, server and client and their ability to communicate packets of data.

Technology is awesome, I love it but it’s a tool. SpatialOS is probably an awesome piece of software but it’s about the games not the tech. Bossa wants to utilize SpatialOS and that’s wonderful and they should. They need to learn to use it, master it then build games around it but Worlds Adrift didn’t have to be the flagship title to showcase SpatialOS.

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