PiArmada

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
PANI said:
i have also some question, why is there the vega strike engine and not the flight commander engine included
I will try to say this without sounding rude, but the vegastrike engine is several orders of magnitude better than the flight commander engine. Just look at gemini gold or the VS screenshot gallery. Oh, and it also has net-code which will hopefully get polished and give us a new mulitplayer version of armada :)
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
eh...visually the Flight Commander engine is a lot nicer, also, it accurately captures the feel of the WC Flight Dynamics, where as with Vega Strike its this really odd newtonian-modified-to-be-wing-commander hack dealy.

i'd vote FC engine any day, personally.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Meh, I thought it felt like wing commander but a lot sloppier somehow, not sure if it's still like that in the newest version. You are right that it feels a lot more like wing commander than VS does, but thats not really a technical aspect of the engine. Of course, with the right tweaking VS can be made to feel more WC-like too. Future versions of PGG will probably demonstrate that.

It's worth mentioning that Privateer online was going to use newtonian physics, so in a way that was what wing commander was moving towards before it got canned.

As for looking nicer, I don't know how you could possibly argue that. Perhaps with some better models and backgrounds it would look nice, but everything I've seen on it so far looks like prophecy x1.25. Even then I dont think flight commander can use spec maps like VS can, and I'm not even sure if it can even use light maps (if it has, I've never seen them). All in all, I dont think flight commander is at all capable of looking like PGG 1.01.

Where flight commander looks promising is with mission scripting, which needs to be done in pure python in VS. The VS system for scripting is therefore more flexible, but a lot (as in several orders of magnitude) harder to use.

Overall flight commander is a very commendable engine given that it is the work of one programmer. VS just has a lot wider scope, and a lot more people working on it.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
hurleybird said:
Even then I dont think flight commander can use spec maps like VS can, and I'm not even sure if it can even use light maps (if it has, I've never seen them)..
I didnt even care until this post... But that is just too stupid. I don't know if you're with the remake team, the WCU, or just some random Vegastrike loving critter. Before screaming "UR STiipud projjekt DoeSN hAvE Spec MapZ, U Sux!", you should take a look at how your own beloved projects use them! Unless it's one of Spiritplumbers moronic ideas how Origin would have done it, I'm pretty sure most spacecraft are'nt supposed to look look like they have been covered with mirrors.

I'm sorry if this post offended anyone, but I'm so friggin tired of reading random cadets' "VEGASTRIKE IS DA GREATEST! SPIRIT IS GOD" statements in all fan project threads they can find.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
I'm not on the PR remake or WCU teams and you are way out of hand there buddy.

First off, learn what a spec map is. WC saga uses them and they look fine. If you want to see how VS uses them go here. The fact is, I've only seen flight commander use a single texture layer on an object. The debate was on how advanced the VS engine was compared to flight commander, I don't see how you could possibly take my comment in the way you did, wrap it up as another one of those horrible 'canon vs. non-canon' debates.

And no. I wasn't here to say that you 'sux' or anything like that, In fact to quote myself: "flight commander is a very commendable engine given that it is the work of one programmer. " However, I did see a project that I care about dissed in a very ignorant manner, and I am going to respond to that.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Dyret said:
I didnt even care until this post... But that is just too stupid. I don't know if you're with the remake team, the WCU, or just some random Vegastrike loving critter. Before screaming "UR STiipud projjekt DoeSN hAvE Spec MapZ, U Sux!", you should take a look at how your own beloved projects use them! Unless it's one of Spiritplumbers moronic ideas how Origin would have done it, I'm pretty sure most spacecraft are'nt supposed to look look like they have been covered with mirrors.

I'm sorry if this post offended anyone, but I'm so friggin tired of reading random cadets' "VEGASTRIKE IS DA GREATEST! SPIRIT IS GOD" statements in all fan project threads they can find.
Ok, no - see, you are the idiotic troll here. If there's anyone in this forum that I'm tired of, it is most definitely you.

I mean, get a grip. There's all sorts of reasons why you can dislike Vega Strike - I know I'm not a big fan of how it looks. But you are being a complete ass - Hurleybird simply explained (truthfully!) in what aspects the VS engine is better than FC. He also explicitly stated that he has a very high opinion of the FC engine and its maker. And look at your reaction - you're accusing him of being... what? A random Vegastrike loving critter? Here's some advice - if you can't participate in a normal discussion without stupidifying it, then shut the hell up.


Let's get one thing straight, because it's clear that some imbeciles are confused about this: not thinking that Vega Strike is a piece of shit does not make you some kind of idiot. But thinking that everyone who has even the slightest appreciation of VS is some kind of Spiritplumber fanboy is... just too fucking stupid to respond to, really.

I don't like the Vega Strike engine, personally. I think it has a really awful user interface, and I think it's a horrible waste that they've spent all their time improving the graphics while neglecting the parts of the game that actually count. But that's the thing - they neglected the other parts of the game, but their graphics really are a lot better than Flight Commander (except for the awful, awful polygonish planets!). The fact that somebody went and overused one of the effects they incorporated doesn't mean that the effect itself is bad - and if you think that EA would not include specular mapping in the next Wing Commander game, then I guess there's really no hope for you.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
I know i have been warned before, Sorry, Q.
I know attacking Hurleybird was moronic and inexcusable, and you're right, i *do* tend to attack people i disagree with. I'll do my best to improve.

I have nothing against vegastrike or the remake project, only the WCU.

The fact that somebody went and overused one of the effects they incorporated doesn't mean that the effect itself is bad
No, but it *does* make the overall impression bad.

Let's get one thing straight, because it's clear that some imbeciles are confused about this: not thinking that Vega Strike is a piece of shit does not make you some kind of idiot. But thinking that everyone who has even the slightest appreciation of VS is some kind of Spiritplumber fanboy is... just too fucking stupid to respond to, really.
Thats true... Although theres been a few of them around. Sorry Hurleybird.

and if you think that EA would not include specular mapping in the next Wing Commander game, then I guess there's really no hope for you
Hehe, yes I think they would, but I'm sure they would leave the ships textures visible.

As for a sensible version of my post, i thought FC was supposed recreate the feel of prophecy? That's why i thought it was stupid to complain about it *looking* like prophecy... I might be wrong though... in that case i am even more sorry.


Ok, no - see, you are the idiotic troll here.
Okay, I know i'm acting like a total ass sometimes, but I'm not sure i deserve the title "troll".
 

scheherazade

Rear Admiral
wow, another thread that degraded into VS bashing.

vs is an engine that has gotten a lot of attention when it comes to features and 'generality'.

you can do almost anything you want in it short of animations. (and will be more with the move to ogre3d)

vs' problem isn't that it sucks, it's that for all the options that have been added, they are either :
1) not used
2) half assed to see if they work, then abandoned to work on the *next* option

physics : you can customize them completely. if you want to fly on rails, just adjust intertia and lateral thrust.

python for missions allows you to do whatever you want. whatever you can do in FC you can do in VS' mission scripts. it's just a matter of python being a language that not everyone wants to learn just to write some missions.

VS' poor looks are mostly the fault of hasty artwork. few projects using it are managed by artists. believe me, don't ask a programmer to make a game. they'll just make an engine. art just becomes placeholders to test your code with.

although, straight ported 1 texture self lit + diffuse WC models look about as good in VS as they do in FC.

whatever VS's appearance issues may be, blame the art, not the engine.

VS is a *decent* engine.
it's been getting sucked into WCU's community relationship troubles way too much.

-scheherazade
 

BradMick

Vice Admiral
wow...yeah, that was a bit nuts there dyret.

i guess in the context of look how stuff is used in VS, the only time i've ever seen spec maps used, the ships have this really awful all over shininess. Saga has most certainly used spec maps to great effect (i think they call them shinemaps though).

I keep hearing about ogre for VS...i have to say, when and if that happens it will most certainly give VS a leg up visually. IIRC Ogre gives Normal, Spec, Light, etc...maps and it most certainly does a very reasonable job of making it look great. My biggest thing is, most folks don't know about spec maps, normal maps, or any of that other great stuff, so it wouldn't be used.

I understand that its all fully moddable as well, but for once i'd like to not hear 'you don't like it, do it yourself' in any form. if its going to be used to accurately depict an universe, Star Wars...Star Trek, WC...whatever...it should just be setup that way, without a bunch of hacking to make it work.

i wasn't degrading, simply stating i feel FC is the better choice for use as a WC flight engine, and also more in line with the overall WC visual style. Also, i dont think VS having netcode makes a difference, because ultimately it's going to be PiArmada that is going to be handling all that jazz unless i've misunderstood how that all works.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Dyret said:
As for a sensible version of my post, i thought FC was supposed recreate the feel of prophecy? That's why i thought it was stupid to complain about it *looking* like prophecy... I might be wrong though... in that case i am even more sorry.
While you'd have to ask Eddie to be sure, I do believe you are indeed correct - as far as I know FC is supposed to resemble Prophecy. So, if we define "graphics quality" as the degree to which an engine resembles WCP, then certainly FC is higher on the graphic quality ladder than VS... unfortunately, as much as I love WCP, I have to say that in the year 2005, it's no longer the pinnacle of graphics quality (...except in terms of sheer polish and attention to detail - in that aspect, WCP beats every single space sim in existence as far as I'm concerned).

...In any case, the point being that if somebody wants an engine that looks better than Prophecy, then yes, it makes sense to complain about it looking like Prophecy - and it doesn't mean that the FC engine is bad in any way, it just means that it's the wrong tool for this given job.

(at the same time, I want to stress one thing - I think it's very much to Eddie's credit that he is focussed on making his engine complete as a whole, rather than spending year after year implementing the latest graphics card capabilities and leaving the rest of the game unpolished)

Okay, I know i'm acting like a total ass sometimes, but I'm not sure i deserve the title "troll".
Well, if you don't want to be called a troll (and really, who does?), don't act like one - and jumping into a peaceful and constructive discussion when you only have irrational insults to contribute certainly does sound like trolling to me. So yes, on this particular occasion, you did deserve it. If it makes you feel any better though, two weeks from now I probably won't remember I said anything like this... provided I'm not given a reason to remember ;).
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Just a quick question. Which ships are the ones that supposedly used the spec maps to make 'giant space mirrors'?
 

eddieb

Vice Admiral
For the record, Daniel and I have had several cordial and friendly emails, we've exchanged source code, and I think we both respect each other's work. And also the UE/Standoff folks have been quite friendly and great peer reviewers. So enjoy Flight Commander and Vega Strike, and play whichever or both that you enjoy. Vega Strike does indeed have more support for fancy lighting models, I just do diffuse and ambient. Although I attach lights to weapons, I don't know if Vega has that. As for comparisons based on scripting Vega uses Python, I've added a Lua interface coming in 1.3 for some more flexibility in mission design.

I'm happy with my graphics as is. I have a graphic artist staff of 0, that means nobody is there to make specular/normal maps for me, so there's no point programming in support for it. That's also why FC has the look and feel that it does; I have no artists. And I feel its more important for me to focus my effort on gameplay, mission scripting, and AI. Why complain about my graphics, when you notice the turrets don't even fire, and note that there isn't even collision avoidance. Frankly, energy spent bashing one or the other is a waste of time. Support whatever fan project you enjoy, as there are few enough already that have released anything at all. In any case, there is next to nil chance Flight Commander will be used for PiArmada, simply because integration with Vega is already done and successful.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
eddie: Just to let you know when I said that the "VS engine is several orders of magnitude better than the FC engine" I meant that in a completley 'graphics and rendering' way. I'd like to apologize if It seems that I 'bashed' your engine, and some of it may have been a bit of knee jerk reaction to all of the previous posts bashing the VS engine. Also, have you ever thought of switching the rendering side of things to a graphics engine like ogre? thats what VS is doing ATM.
 

scheherazade

Rear Admiral
VS hasn't spent all its energy in rendering effects.
AI is scriptable end to end.
you can script cockpit layouts end to end.
you can customize the physics how you see fit.
you can configure your jump-system styles
you can easilly add and remove weapons from CSV text files, (in excel)
you can easilly add systems and planets editing the text universe files
you can easilly add purchase items and fixers by editing system text files
(and more that i can't think of. try opening the config files to see how much of it is generalized out for customication).

it takes a lot of time to make things 'optional' rather than 'hard coded'.
the graphics side of things hasn't been most of the effort.

the ai is lame. because the AI scripts are mostly basic get-it-working files. no one has tweaked them to be impressive.

the art is lame. because for all the special effects, people just turn them on and don't provide proper maps to 'control' the effects.

the physics is lame. because no one has sat down and tweaked the phycics properties and the ship thrust values to make it fly right.

this is our fault (VS community).
but it definately _is_not_ a limitation on VS in and of itself (and its capabilities).
*most* of the complaints can be tweaked away.

why no one in VS has done it is purely a black mark on the VS community. so we (the VS people) _definately_deserve_ criticism for the shortcomings of the VS based games. our haste and lazyness (well, it is a real chore to script every god'dam thing) is what makes it a poor product.

-scheherazade
 

PopsiclePete

Mission programmer
scheherazade said:
this is our fault (VS community).
but it definately _is_not_ a limitation on VS in and of itself (and its capabilities).
*most* of the complaints can be tweaked away.

why no one in VS has done it is purely a black mark on the VS community. so we (the VS people) _definately_deserve_ criticism for the shortcomings of the VS based games. our haste and lazyness (well, it is a real chore to script every god'dam thing) is what makes it a poor product.
No one said it was a limitation of the engine, but I think the discussion here was rather about where the efforts were mostly put until now. I have no doubt that all the "problems" we see with the various VS-based projects can be addressed when someone will put it's time to it, eventually.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Quarto said:
While you'd have to ask Eddie to be sure, I do believe you are indeed correct - as far as I know FC is supposed to resemble Prophecy. So, if we define "graphics quality" as the degree to which an engine resembles WCP, then certainly FC is higher on the graphic quality ladder than VS... unfortunately, as much as I love WCP, I have to say that in the year 2005, it's no longer the pinnacle of graphics quality (...except in terms of sheer polish and attention to detail - in that aspect, WCP beats every single space sim in existence as far as I'm concerned).
Of course, Vegastrike's graphics are better, and it's a great project, but FC just feels better suited for a Wing Commander game. (If you had to choose between FC and VS for UE2, what would you choose;))

And i can't see why FC can't be upgraded with these effects later. Take a engine that feels like WC and add the cute effects over the following years, not the other way around. At least that's how i would have done a WC mod.:)

If it makes you feel any better though, two weeks from now I probably won't remember I said anything like this... provided I'm not given a reason to remember ;).
I'll be nice.
 

ZOmegaZ

Rear Admiral
Wow

All this over two perfectly servicable flight engines? Y'all are silly. I was looking at engines, and the Vega Strike people came to me and practically did all the work to import the ships and make it look cool. I hardly have to do anything in the engine itself. That leaves me free to spend what little time I have to code on the strategy engine, which is my main interest anyway. If I had infinite time, I'd code my own flight engine that cloned the WC1/2 engine perfectly, and use that.

I'm sure Flight Commander is a fine engine, but I'm not obsessed with the Wing Commander feel. For me, Freespace 2 had more enjoyable flight dynamics than any Wing Commander game. I'm not in this PARTICULAR project for nostalga, I'm doing it because Armada was a fun concept, and I'd like to be able to play and eventually extend that concept.

FWIW, Vega Strike can also be extended to be a Homeworld-like engine. How'd you like THAT in Armada? :)
 
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