Author Topic: January Progress report.  (Read 15848 times)

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January Progress report.
« on: January 11, 2009, 08:58:57 AM »
Between my health problems and a heavy work schedule I haven't had any time for BZC in many months, but am now going through the SP missions and fixing the issues brought on by my working on true DLL's for MP support.  This has caused me to change many of the animation methods so the SP mission units like the Comm Tower, NSDF Factory, and various power supplies aren't animating properly.  Shouldn't be too much to fix them, I just need to sit down and go script by script.

About that MP support...

*sigh*

I started to type this up earlier but it devolved into airing dirty laundry so I killed it.  I'll try again for a short form...

Once again my patience with GBD ran out, and despite a dozen PM's he doesn't understand my position on BZC.  He ticked me off and I ticked him off and nothing I tell him seems to get through. 

Many of you know GBD, and many of you don't.  He's bright, talented, and creative but he's also pushy, obstinate, stubborn, single minded, and not very open to other people's wishes.  I had to get blunt with him trying to get my points across and blunt never works well when dealing with GBD.   You can tell him something a million times and he won't take it to heart.

The basics are that after submitting a weapons folder for BZC he shifted to doing tons of things and putting it all in his own BZCAddon folder, with a custom config file that loads it over the BZC assets.  He's stated that when it's all done he'll integrate his stuff into BZC and doesn't understand that I can't work that way.  Right now if I enable his config, loading his stuff over mine, I can't deal with the problems that come up.  I have no idea if it's his files or mine, and don't want to spend days sifting through his files to see what he's doing.  I can't work on MP support without his shell, and I can't get his shell to work integrated into BZC without screwed up screens and pages of duplicate file warnings.

This has created an impasse and his only response is for me to hand everything to him and he'll put it all together and hand it back.  I can only imagine what the response would be if he'd done that to Lizard for Fleshstorm, or GSH for the 1.3 assets...

It's always been a fine line with him as to whether his involvement has been 'helping' with the mod of just barging in and taking over.  I'm insanely patient and tolerant, as I feel any other Mod going would have either just let him take over or told him to take a hike, but I have my limites.  I feel he's been modding BZC before it's done, rather than submitting things for inclusion in the mod.  He's not working with me he's working around me...  and I can't handle that from a development point of view.    That puts us back to some of my earlier posts along the lines of "GBD's doing his own version of BZ1 and I'm doing mine.", although I can't say what he's going to do now.  He seems depressed about the whole thing, as am I.

He submitted the weapons folder so I'm including them in BZC unless he specifically forbids it, in which case I'll reload my BZ2-ish versions.  He hasn't officially submitted anything else so I'm finishing up what I have and releasing it.  If he wants to then mod it with what he's got that's fine with me, as it's always been.   He has done an amazing job recreating the BZ1 shell, and BZ1 MP diehards will definitely feel at home with his version.

I expect that what I have will become the "Expanded Missions" version, as a lot of that will be more like BZ2.  I'll leave making things exactly like BZ1 to him...

So, shortly I'll be releasing the SP missions with limited IA and MP support, probably much more BZ2-like than BZ1.  As I doubt I'll modify any further shells there won't be support for the life limit win condition, but everything else should work pretty much as it did in BZ1.

-Av-


TheJamsh

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2009, 01:46:49 PM »
Well i dont know what to say.

Of course, im all for the release of BZC, but the term 'when its ready' comes to mind. Seeing as its one of the biggest projects in BZII at the moment (although i don't know that much about it so i wouldn't really know), i would like to see it completed to its full potential.

I was under the impression that BZC was meant to be a total re-make of BZ1 in BZ2's engine, taking advantage of BZII's AI and suchlike. I have really been looking forward to it and i hope whatever happens it all goes well. As i understand it from this post, GBD is trying to get a lot of modded things into BZC and obtain the assets before release. Admittedly, i was a bit annoyed a couple of weeks ago when he forced some BZC aip's on me and near-enough ordered me to look at them and make them work. Had he asked first i might have been more inclined, and im busy most of the time with Serenesis or RL...

Personally, i have never had any real issues with him so i hope he doesnt read this and think i dont like him or whatever.

Overall, what quirks have been lost to the BZC that we all thought was coming? MP support essentially?

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 02:32:45 PM »
The extent and scope of BZ2 has changed as my skills and the 1.3 patch changed. 

Originally it was just going to be a vehicle/buildings pack that was sortof BZ1.  A lot of concessions had to be made, like the Hangar/Supply being one building, Scavs rolling around on invisible treads and Recyclers that one-way deployed into buildings.

Scripting for the masses (BSer's DLL Scriptor) meant I could redo the SP missions and getting used to it let me figure out a simple way to undeploy buildings.  Changes to the 1.3 patch made things a LOT more like BZ1 with true hovering units, trundling back to the Recy/Silo with scrap, and all of the buildings (Hangar, Supply, Comm) working just like they did in BZ1.

Each time something in the patch changed or I learned new things BZC got closer to being more like BZ1.

I love GBD's shell, or at least the parts that work for me, but I can't get it to work without being in his BZCAddon pack.  That means the current BZC shell, which is very BZ2-ish, is what I've got.  I don't know why he won't submit a shell folder like he did the weapons folder, but he must have his reasons.

I did some simple AIP files that made Instant work, but changes in the patch may have botched them up.  I need to test them again and I'm hoping to do something tricky using Wug's set as an example.

I'm working on the Strategy DLL to add support for BZ1's win condition, which is how many times you die rather than the destruction of the Recycler.  I'm not sure how the current one is working as he and I don't have the same assets so weren't able to test it.  If he managed to test it with other players I didn't hear how it went.   Anyway it should work OK without being able to set up the lives limit, and if I can I'll add a setting in the Strategy config.  Deathmatch is unchanged and I haven't looked at the MPI DLL (it's more odd than the Strat one).

So it'll have a BZ2 type HUD, a BZ2 type shell (although it's very pretty), pretty simple AIP files for Instant, and while the Strategy and Deathmatch modes will work they'll be more BZ2 style play (blow up the Recy to win, Team Strat set up like BZ2 does).

Then there's physics, which is always going to be a hot topic.  BZ2 gives you a lot more input control over things like turning and accelerating, so I imagine people will argue the physics for some time.  I'm hoping someone more inclined to pour over ODF's will take it on themselves to get a Community approved physics patch together.

That is, if anyone cares once it's out.  The way the BZ1 Community is I doubt it'll be a huge hit or generate any real interest there, and the way the BZ2 Community is I doubt many BZC games will be around to play.  Nobody can agree on the right patch let alone the right Mod.

This is, of course, why the heart of any Mod should be the Modder's love of the game.  You should Mod for fun and for yourself, not for any other reason.  :)

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Nielk1

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2009, 04:02:26 PM »
Time to go hunt down GBD...

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2009, 04:52:33 PM »
dude I sent you a PM, but basically it's your mod so do it your way.

that's all there is to it, doesn't matter if 1 person or a million people play it aslong as you are happy with it. 
« Last Edit: January 11, 2009, 04:52:47 PM by Lizard »

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2009, 07:20:21 PM »
No hunting...  I'm very anti-hunting.  GBD has to be who he is and I have no problem with him creating a Mod for BZC rather than contributing to BZC itself.  I was just looking forward to using his Shell is all, as it is a fine piece of work.  I'm sure someday he'll understand my side of it.

Thanks for the supportive PM Lizard, and I didn't mean to make it sound like I'm dying.  In fact every one of the $6000 (US) worth of tests has supported my being a slightly overweight Greek God.  :)   Listen to me carefully here...  right before you hit your 40's you want to be in the best shape you can be.  Mid 40's is when everything goes south...  After my divorce I let myself go, eating and drinking too much, and now I'm paying the price in wandering ribs, sliding hernias, and spinal/stomach issues.  Nothing too serious but very much a pain in the arse... hard on the quality of life.  I'm making good progress though, and fully expect to see the issues dwindle as my waistline does and my muscle tone comes back.  At least I seem to have avoided the cholesterol and diabetes issues many of my family members have to deal with.

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2009, 07:51:46 PM »
Sorry to hear about all the drama.

FWIW, I'm just hoping that you'll be able to get something that *plays* like BZ1 (even if the interface looks different) to which you'll be able to add a new single-player campaign. MP doesn't really interest me, and creating a perfect visual clone of BZ1 seems unnecessary.

Good luck!

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2009, 01:11:34 AM »
:(
Well that sure wasn't something I saw coming...

Sorry kiddo.

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2009, 06:42:36 AM »
It's happened before, look for a few posts I did about "GBD is now doing his own BZ1 recreation".  For some reason he was dead set against that though, even though I told him he was doing it anyway...  I mean he's done the work and he's already converted all of the Chinese units over using Dummy's tools, might as well keep gong and do a whole mod.

I confess I don't always understand him.  He's got an image in his mind and he's dead set against turning away from it.  It must be very frustrating for him that I'm so laid back and don't treat this like life or death.  I admire his tenacity and drive, and it makes him the perfect "rabid quality control guy", but from my side of things I can't work without him actually helping instead of doing his own thing.  And of course it has to be at my pace...

Most modding, or game making for that matter, comes with a LOT of drama.  Like Lizard says, you sometimes have to be a 'Benevolent Dictator" if you want to finish.  This is why GSH comes across sometimes as uncaring or arrogant, because it HAS to come down to one person calling the shots.  For BZC that's me, even when I'm tied up and can't do much for awhile. 

I will say it helps a LOT that 1.3 stabilized with the Public release.  I've got one, unchanging directory now and a concrete set of rules to follow...  like Sloar said, "hard to develop to a moving target".

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2009, 07:16:48 AM »
I think when you are working on something like this and you have others helping you it's entirely necessary to have very clearly defined roles and procedures, it's important for folks to know what they can and can't do, I'm guessing that your laid back nature didn't really help you here.


When developing Fleshstorm I was quite strict about what I would and/or wouldn't allow - for instance I was against including any DLL supported features, this may have put one or two people off helping me but by having an overall design philosophy and a set of rules to work to I think it helped to channel the assistance I did recieve into the areas where I needed it the most. There were very few ( if any ) bust ups or disagreements on the team that I remember and I'm very pleased with the way the whole thing went, I think I learnt a lot from working on FE which was a bit of a freeforall and very frustrating to work on at times. 

Nielk1

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 07:57:03 AM »
GBD is a mad man who likely can't be controlled.

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IQ's have really dropped around here just recently, must be something in the water.

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 10:55:53 AM »
The thing of it is that the more creative you are the more likely you are to be a bit wild, undisciplined, 'seat of the pants' kind of person.  The organizers and programmers are the more rigid, stay in the rules kind of people.  The two NEED to work together to get things done but it can be difficult seeing eye to eye.  That's where you need a "Project Manager" or "Lead Designer" to act as an interface between the two types.

If I were doing this for a living I'd be much more structured, much more organized, but even then I'd bet GBD would do what I do which is go from aspect to aspect as the mood struck me.  I've got 90% of three more races here, the Titans/Hadeans/Olympians.  I've got a 90% set of Chinese that just need updating to the final 1.3 patch specs.  I've got a 90% done Red Wolves set that are just updated CCA but still in development between ssuser and myself.  I've got a fully working but old setup (hidden wheels, no undeploying) German faction.  I've got TONS of Furies of all kinds.  And finally I've got a few dozen "First Ones" ships and such as set pieces.

Lots of things to play with, no time to play with them, makes it hard to focus on any one thing.  :)

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Dataanti

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2009, 11:22:19 AM »
hurry up and finish it, i really want to play it :(

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2009, 12:10:57 PM »
hurry up and finish it, i really want to play it :(
like previously stated... it's done, when it's done.
take a look at many promising games, see how it turned out when publishers rushed them to meet some deadlines...

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Re: January Progress report.
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2009, 09:05:43 PM »
Right...time to put the leash back on :(

I agree that I need to work WITH avatar on this, but he also has to communimacate better, or perhaps differently then he has.

I guess we just need to sit down and go over all that ive done so that you know what's what.

It's like you say you're going away for a weekend and you want me to make a dozen paper swands, but you're gone for a month and I end up making 12 dozen. Then you come back and I expect you to pick wich ones you like.


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