Meet Me Midway (February 28, 2007)

NinjaLA

Alex Von T.
no, read again, he said episode three, yeah, none of those ships had towers that lead to observation decks conveniently designed to make Anakin and Obe wan have to travel for a really long time up a turbolift. Nothing conveniently created there -_-

and none of the ships in starwars have obvious reactor cores for fighters to blow up. Or exhaust ports for torpedos.. or turbolaser batteries to blow off..

yeah.. its totally against tradition to add things to a ship model
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
LeHah, Ninja -- stop. It's pretty apparent now that DaBrain is just responding with the opposite of what everyone else is saying... just let him dig his hole without dragging the rest of us down.
 

DaBrain

Spaceman
Because, you know, having things on a ship make it *not* battle worthy?
[/qoute]

Why would you put fragile stuff on the outside hull of a battleship? Doesn't sound reasonable...


They obviously are there for a reason

Yes, like having a time limit...

So, you're assuming that they're putting things on the ship to reduce the game's performance?

I don't really understand how you could possible read that from what I've posted.

Sticking in meshes has multiple negative effects on the performance.
Hoever, it's easier and faster to do, which is only valid reason I can think of for that. Well if you can shoot them, it's a gameplay element, which can have an effect on the assets too.

Thats a rather inane defense. If thats the case, then the only ships we would have in science fiction would be X-Wings, Headhunters and Tri-Wings.

You should read it, not everybody. The people doing Scifi movies know this stuff already anyway.

The bad guys being...? This is thirty years after Prophecy. I assume you mean the Nephs?

Not limited to WC. Red seems to be the common color for the bad guys, while the good guys have blue.
That's was a pretty nice element in WCIV though. Like a twist. ;)

Thats about as astute a statement as "I'd stop lying to you if you'd believe me!"

Just trust me on that one.

Yeah, they just let an eight year old blow it up instead.

The droid ship?
It had a round shape, so you could hardly call a sphere out-of-place.
Also it was a part of the basestructure and not a detail.

LeHah, Ninja -- stop. It's pretty apparent now that DaBrain is just responding with the opposite of what everyone else is saying... just let him dig his hole without dragging the rest of us down.

I'm posting what I think, and I'm not basing postings on the opposite of what anybody else said.

Do I have to like the new style for the ships?

What I really do here, is defending what I said before.
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
If you changed the color scheme this ship would be very wc2-like in shape. It fits very well the rest of the universe.
 

Cam

Spaceman
Wow, you guys like to have heated debates. Normally I lurk on this forum but I am going to have to put my 2c into the conversation to defend DaBrain.

I am not a hardcore WC fan enough to nitpick the details, but devoted enough to have been playing since WC1 and following the series and novels. I *used* to be in the game industry as an environment artist and I am currently a professional designer, so yes, I have a professional opinion on aesthetics and am knowledgeble of the design process to provide an informed opinion.

Personally, I have to agree with him. I think the new game asthetics are terrible. It is certainly not what I would expect from a Wing Commander title, given the trajectory the game was headed towards last time we heard anything new about it. It went from cartoony (WC1/2), to realistic and functional (WC3/4), to hyper-realistic and modern (WC5). I would only assume it would continue along the same path.

But, given the concept for the game, and that it's name is "Arena" I can totally understand why things look the way they do. It looks to me that the developers (I doubt Chris Roberts would ever do it like they did) are taking a more cartoony approach (proportions of shapes, smoothing, etc). I don't like the odd bits on the outside of the hull because they aren't tastefully done, but for gameplay mechanics, I can understand why they have done so. Altogether, the look builds up to make it seem fun and easy to play. That's the goal of the designer and sure enough, I think they did a great job. Starlancer and Prophecy were more serious games, for serious fans, so things fit in like they should--to DaBrain's point, within the realm of expected realistic science-fiction.

As a fan of the series, my preference is for a gritty, WW2 feeling. I think that was Chris Roberts' vision, and I don't think they've captured that well since he left. That doesn't mean it won't be a fun game, but to me it won't be a memorable one. The art directors at EA do their jobs well, but knowing how they work, it'll be just another formula game. The WC brand to me was always about serious storytelling and total immersion into the environment. When business goals are running game design, you get... EA. I think it'll be really fun, but empty. I guess that's why it's an arena game.

Oh I wish Chris Roberts was back to making games...
 

Pedro

Admiral
And the big stupid balls on top of the star destroyer did the first time we saw them?

Oh we've got those in addition to the little spikes shooting out of everything too. I'm taking the redesign with a pinch of salt, its clearly to allow for the game mechanics in which case fair play, its nice to have the midway in there; but so many people are looking at this as a good step forward, and I can't agree.
 

Zorch

Spaceman
I like it

Gues Im not a hardcore Wing Commander fan (please dont flame me for that!) but Im excited to see another one come out. Arcade is cool and this game looks better then any of the others you can download.

I guess I want to tak about all the ea bashing. Its easy and its fun, but I dont think its fair to the people who work there. You can depersenalize the company but that doent mean you can do that to the people too. I bet the people who worked on this game poured themselvs into it. My uncle works for a game company and he works really hard and all his friends are really intense.

And look at all the game designers that have so nicely joined in to grace us with there presense! What games have you guys worked on?

And I think the midway looks really cool too!
 

Cam

Spaceman
Zorch:

I worked on Counter-Strike Beta 5 and Global Operations. I have dealt with EA on numerous occasions as an employee of one of their agencies (I created the C&C3 site and know the person who did the WC: Arena page which you've yet to see). I have about 10 friends in various positions in EA ranging from PR to design to QA.

I know the effort required to make a game--I used to do that. I think the designers are doing a great job with the IP, and doing everything well that is within their scope. But that doesn't mean I agree that it's taking the WC brand in a good direction. EA is about making money, and they do so with fun games--not necessarily innovative, and not necessarily with a great story. Their bread and butter is franchises, with tried and true formats. It's not good business to dump all your cash into being totally innovative with every title--time is money.

I'm psyched that there is a new WC game coming out, and I totally understand the business goal of acquiring an untapped casual gamer market that has little or no experience with the WC series. But you'll have to understand my apprehension. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Woo a fellow developer! How many of us are there? I've only poked my head in and out of Wing Commander a few times in the last couple of years, but there didn't used to be any I was aware of, now that's atleast 3.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Well, you're more likely to find people wanting to enter games development amongst hardcore fans than in the population at large, and most of the long-term WC fans you find around here have either finished university in the past few years, or are finishing it now.

...Things are really gonna get interesting, though, when we reach the point where you can join any major company and run into wingnuts ;).
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I know the effort required to make a game--I used to do that. I think the designers are doing a great job with the IP, and doing everything well that is within their scope. But that doesn't mean I agree that it's taking the WC brand in a good direction. EA is about making money, and they do so with fun games--not necessarily innovative, and not necessarily with a great story. Their bread and butter is franchises, with tried and true formats. It's not good business to dump all your cash into being totally innovative with every title--time is money.

People keep saying this... over and over... as if it's a bad thing. I know, it's part of the grand internet rant... but does it remotely apply here? Aren't you complaining that they *are* being innovative here? Isn't what you *want* a cookiecutter sequel?

People complain and complain about how EA does the same sports game every year and makes the same popular Sims game over and over... but hoo-boy, if only they'd do that for Wing Commander!

(The ultimate irony here is that you're not composing a new argument for Arena... you're reusing the one from EA Sucks 2006 without even adding new players. :))
 

Pedro

Admiral
People complain and complain about how EA does the same sports game every year and makes the same popular Sims game over and over... but hoo-boy, if only they'd do that for Wing Commander!

I'd like a cookie-cutter sequel in addition to nice little spin-offs. Come on we've had metroid pinball, mario paint, now a Halo RTS, Sonic had everything from puzzle games to spin-offs. I'm all for innovation, I'm all for sequels. I'm all for both in the same franchise (and our spin-off looks a LOT better and more respectful to our beloved franchise than the titles I've just mentioned).
 

ZFGokuSSJ1

Rear Admiral
That is so AWESOME. I can't decide between the high-res Arena logo and this one... So tough, both are awesome. ;)
 

Delance

Victory, you say?
It went from cartoony (WC1/2), to realistic and functional (WC3/4), to hyper-realistic and modern (WC5).

Actually, no, the original Wing Commander was a hit because its top notch graphics and had a realistic gameplay. It only looks cartoonish now because it's dated, but that's now how it was perceived in 1990. Same thing for WC2, which had some of the most realistic cinematics ever on a game for its time, using techs like 3D animation and rotoscoping.

But I'd point out another major flaws in your reasoning: if the looks changed from game to game, the fact that Arena looks different is not a bad thing itself.
 

Dundradal

Frog Blast the Vent Core!
I'm curious to see if any other familar ships make a return, seeing a Plunkett or a Murphy pull along side that Midway class would be great, hell even seeing a Tallahassee or something would be real nice.

While I don't like the darker color selection that runs through the capships (I'm more drawn to the lighter colors of the other games, it just makes the ship look well dirty) I can't wait to be part of an alpha strike that blows it straight to hell.

Any words on any familar kilrathi ships as well?
 

Taser8

Captain
Lemme throw out a couple of thoughts here. I'll throw down my creds; been making games sixteen years, worked on several Wing Commander titles, and I designed and built the original Midway.

My thoughts on the new Midway - overall I like the structure of the ship as far as faithfulness to the original design; the lower, fatter bridge is cool, the wider engine ports work fine. The front struts still bug me, but I never really got them how I liked them in the original design either, so that's nothing new.

As far as the tchotchkes all over the ship - yes, they're there for gameplay reasons. I can't help but wonder if they couldn't have been designed in a way that integrates better into the overall design of the ship - I mean, there are definitely turrets on the original, so that's nothing new, and we deliberately kept surface detail low because of the polygon face count limitations in the engine; much more detail on the Midway and you would have had to own a Cray to play the dang thing. Obviously the limitations are less of a factor now so they're free to add lots of detail. But the spindly antennas and such just don't really look like they belong on that ship. They don't have the solid-mass look that was a driving philosophy of our ship design and honestly, some of the objects (and I'm thinking especially of the large cylindrical thing that reminds me of an old oil tank) seems to really throw the scale of the ship off - makes it look small.

That being said, I don't really have a good grasp of how the game will work or if there is a hard reason they needed to be designed that way; might be there's a very specific need for them to look like that.

The color scheme choice seems odd - it is almost exactly the Kilrathi color scheme we always used. I showed my ten-year-old the pic of the new Midway last night and the first thing he said was, "Is that the evil version of the ship?" Again, not knowing much of anything about the production I can't say why that decision was made - there may be a perfectly good reason. But off the bat it seems a little odd.

None of this is meant as a criticism of the producers of the game; I know well how hard it is to make a game and that there are a lot of technical factors that inform design decisions. I don't know anything about the restrictions or rules they're operating under so I am in no position to offer anything but the most general opinions on the look.

All that being said, it's actually pretty darned cool to see someone else's interpretation of something I designed and built ten years or so ago!
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
In so far as gameplay goes, the base of the carrier is the central "plain" of the map -- and your fighters have to defend (or attack? I'm not sure) the objects on the hull.
 
Top