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FreeSpace Chat with Volition - 03/13/98


Date: Friday March 13th
Time: 7:00 EST
IRC Network: DALnet
IRC Channel: #freespace-chat
Server: spider.dal.net (port 6667)

*** V-Adam (bambam@ has joined #freespace-chat

[snip random chat]

<V-Adam> I'm Adam Pletcher, I handle a lot of game design, and am the art lead on FS.

<V-Adam> I also spend way too much time on the web page. :)

<V-Adam> Comet?

<V-MikeComet> I'm Michael Comet (aka Sushi-Boy). I'm am animator and have basically been working on the characters for out cinematic sequences.

<V-Mitri> I'm Mitri Van, the other animator guy. I share an office with Comet and another guy.

<V-Adam> heh. Their office is pretty packed. :)

<V-Mitri> It's all on the web page anyway, so no need to repeat ourselves. ;)

<IceFire> hehe

<V-MikeComet> but sitll not enough toys... :)

<V-Adam> ah, right. good point.

<V-Adam> okay, fire away.

<IceFire> well....I spose that the question period should begin

<Gabba-away> packed :)

<IceFire> so, fire some off people

<Gowron> <SuP> 1) How similar is the "feel" of the flight engine / physics close to the descent engines (hows that for subjective)

<Crypt-> eheh

<V-Adam> Gowron: Not very similar, actually. It's much more realistic, and has a better physics model.

<IceFire> <Rtwice> hi, i'm wondering when the playable demo will be released :)

<V-Adam> Gowron: Descent ships feel lighter by comparison. FS ships feel more massive.

<V-Adam> RTwice: we're not sure on that yet.

<V-Adam> details still being worked out.

<V-Adam> GA

<IceFire> <HH-Soft> what will one be able to customize in addon missions?

<V-MikeComet> I think that's a good point. The ships in Freespace also have various handling characterstics. You'll be able to tell when you're in a fighter vs. a bomber.

<Gowron> <SuP> 2) Are there ways to build missions to a) restrict the types of ships availble in the game and b)

<Gowron> <SuP> crowd objects in a limited area of space to intensify sensation of speed and location, to make "deatmatch levels"

<V-Adam> HH: you mean what can you do in the mission editor?

<V-Adam> hang on... too many Qs.

<IceFire> hehe...sorry, I'll slow down a bit

<Gowron> same here :)

<V-Adam> SUP: 2a = yes, absolutely. 2b = yes indeed.

<NS_Covell> I gots a Q too :)

<V-Adam> SUP: although...

<V-Adam> SUP: I don't expect deathmatch style play to really be the best way to play FS...

<V-Adam> SUP: It's much more geared towards coop and team.

<V-Adam> The editor...

<V-Adam> is completely the same we use. You're able to set up very complex events and situations and cues. These cues can do lots of things...

<V-Adam> make ships arrive, depart, explode, damage subsystems,

<V-Adam> dock with each other, fighter bays spew fighters,

<V-Adam> escape pods flee from dying ships, messages (voice) fly around...

<IceFire> <HH-Soft> ... using some kind of script language?

<V-Adam> it's all very cool. And you guys can use the editor to pretty much do everything we do in the missions.

<SuP> wow =)

<SuP> I'm imagining a level that would allow you to chase your opponent

<V-Adam> HH: At a low level it uses a form of LISP sexpression code, but you don't have to type crazy script to get it to work...

<SuP> around and thru ships...

<IceFire> okay, next question

<IceFire> <Rtwice> what system requirements will we be looking at for FS?

<V-Adam> HH: It's all done in a nice windows tree-like interface. With help notes displayed along the way.

<V-Adam> RT: Hmm. I think last time we talked it was a P133 w/hardware, P166 without, but it's possible that it's gone higher.

<V-Adam> GA

<IceFire> <_aurum> My question is, will there be balance? Will this be like descent2 where there are a million powerups that make the game require no skill and just a click and point fest?

<V-Adam> aurum: Balance is very important. There are lots of things a mission designer does to make sure his missions are balanced well...

<NS_Covell> In Wing Commander 3/4 there was an Autoslide on some of the ships. my question is that when you start the afterburns will there be an increased turn rate as a result for 'punching it'?

<V-Adam> this is done by the types of ships he places, the weapons he arms them with, the AI "class" he gives them, and a dozen othe rthings...

<V-Adam> and there are no powerups in FreeSpace. Except for re-arming ships, which give you more weapons and repair you. This is a sim, after all. :)

<Gowron> <SuP> 3) Will the Pyro-GX appear in the game?

::: ((Ping)) Sent PING request to V-Adam...

<IceFire> I think were having technical dificulties

::: ((Ping)) Sent PING request to V-MikeComet...

[snip: there is a netsplit..no info]

<IceFire> welcome back....

<V-Adam> Polpolion = FrankC from Volition.

<V-Adam> yet another artist. :)

<V-MikeComet> No relation to MikeC hehehe. :)

<IceFire> hehe

<SuP> hi frank

<Gowron> bunh o' ops :)

<V-MikeComet> These were the last questions:

<V-MikeComet> <SuP> 3) Will the Pyro-GX appear in the game?

<Gowron> bunh=bunch :)

<V-MikeComet> <NS_Covell> In Wing Commander 3/4 there was an Autoslide on some of the ships. my question is that when

<V-MikeComet> you start the afterburns will there be an increased turn rate as a result for 'punching it'?

<V-Adam> answered those.

<V-MikeComet> nevermind...guess i got kicked off earlier. :)

<V-MikeComet> ga

<Crypt-> what happened?

<NS_Covell> not mine

<V-Adam> is there a question?

<SuP> evil netsplit

<IceFire> well....start fireing off your questions

<V-MikeComet> crypt: first dinosaurs came...then they all died....

<Crypt-> uhh

<Crypt-> :)

<IceFire> <ZDrEvil> can you fly into the super structure of some of the capital ships?

<V-Adam> ZDr: Yes and no. There are tons of details that you can fly around and into, but it's not going to look like the inside of the Death Star.

<Gowron> darn :)

<NS_Covell> Adam I don't think I got (NS_Covells) or (Sups) messages answered

<V-Adam> ZDr: Much more surface detail than other games of this type.

<V-Adam> GA

<V-Adam> oh...

<V-Adam> Sup; Pyro won't appear in the game as a full-fledged player ship. That's all I'll say. :)

<SuP> !

* SuP ponders... ;)

<V-Adam> sliding: There is no autoslide feature like WC, but the FS physics model has a difference between heading and bearing...

<IceFire> (hint hint)

<V-Adam> meaning that the more massive your ship is, the more difference there is, and the more inertia you'll have into turns.

<NS_Covell> hmmm

<V-Adam> GA

<IceFire> <ZDrEvil> Will the voice communication slow down internet games alot and cause lag?

<V-Adam> ZDr: Not sure the extent of lag that will cause. We're still testing it...

<V-Adam> ZDr: But I'm sure the players will have detail/resolution settings for it. Also on the server sides.

<V-Adam> The bandwidth needs are below our expectations so far, though. GA

<Gowron> <SuP> Can you remap all major control keys in the game, and are the flight axis of the ships assignable to any controller motion you choose?

<IceFire> <HH-Soft> a more technical question: you say that it will support up to 16 players... now will that be playable over the internet assuming all 16 are using ISDN?

<Gowron> hehe

<V-Adam> Sup: Yes, I believe so. You can thank Dan/Ebola for that. He's the controls config nut. :)

<SuP> nice :)

<V-Adam> HH: We don't have specific numbers over different sized pipes yet. Still in testing there. We're supporting up to 12, though, not 16.

<V-Adam> GA

<IceFire> okay, next question

<IceFire> <_Tiny_> you mentioned servers. Will this be client/server like Quake or peer-2-peer like D1/D2?

<V-Adam> Tiny: Client/server baby. Dedicated or non-dedicated.

<V-Adam> GA

<IceFire> <Guest96408> Will the size of the missions be more like Descent (a few k) or more like Quake (a few megs)?

<V-Adam> Guest: The mission files are very small. Much smaller than Descent or Quake. Even the most complicated ones are very quick to transfer (which servers do automatically, BTW).

<V-Adam> The biggest one we have now is 85k. GA

<IceFire> <ZDrEvil> For capital ships, can you disable/destroy different sections such as Turrets or engines?

<V-Adam> ZDr: Oh yes...

<V-MikeComet> Oh yeah baby!

<V-Adam> ZDr: Every ship has several subsystems, especially large ships (cruisers, capitals)...

<Crypt-> lo war

<IceFire> <Rtwice> to what degree are the ships going to be customizable? ie like Quake skins

<V-Adam> including turrets and missile launchers.

<V-Adam> RT: We won't support changing ship textures, but we will support squad logos for people who belong to registered squads on our Tracker.

<V-MikeComet> For example one of the cruisers has a spinning radar dish for the "communications" subsystem. When you take it out you'll see that part of the ship become damaged (ie: bye bye Mr Radar) and that ship will no longer be able to communicate.

<V-Adam> RT: The squad logos & pilot pictures you use will appear in the game for everyone to see. :) GA

<V-MikeComet> Taking out different subsystems will affect those ships in different ways.

<V-Adam> right.

<V-Adam> GA

<IceFire> <RazorBlde>When will the demo be comming out?

<V-Mitri> I like sending my wingmen in to take out a cap-ship's stuff so I can fly around and taunt. ;)

<V-Mitri> Well. taunt = screaming at my computer.

<Gowron> hehehe

<V-MikeComet> ie: mitri's a wimp. Can't do anything himself. :)

<V-Adam> Razor: We don't know yet. Details of the demo are still being worked out. GA

<V-Mitri> Yeah. Wait 'til Monday when we do some multiplayer, chump.

<IceFire> hehe

<V-Adam> yes... big multiplayer testing event at Volition on Monday. :)

<V-Adam> GA

<V-MikeComet> ahem.

<IceFire> <RazorBlde> Is the release date still planned to be April 98?

<NS_Covell> well here's a personal question, how much will you guys help out the newsources (ie. IceFires, Gowrons, etc) and the leagues (mine, NetSquads)?

<V-Adam> Razor: Uh... we expect it to be more Mayish. But there is no official release date you understand? :)

<V-Adam> GA

<IceFire> any more questions?

<IceFire> <ZDrEvil> can you fly in ships that are non-human ? and can you directly control a capital ship ? :)

<V-Adam> got art/cutscene questions? We have plenty of artists on the channel here. :)

<Gowron> <_aurum> About the netcode....will it be using asynch or synch? Descent used asynch, and lagged players usally won because of it.

<V-Adam> ZDr: No capitals... too boring anyway... who wants to fly one of those big slow things? :) FS is a fighter sim.

<V-Mitri> We could always make a capital ship that flies like a fighter. Oh wait. That's already been done. :)

<V-Adam> Gowron: It's synch, with a good does of client-side prediction to help keep the footprint low. GA

<NS_Covell> <_aurum> About the netcode....will it be using asynch or synch? Descent used asynch, and lagged players usually won because of it.

<Gowron> I asked Adam this in an e-mail earlier, but he didn't remember. In one of the cutscence screen shots, one of the monitors says "T.E.F." Do any of you guys remember what it means? Just curious...

<V-Adam> Comet, make something up.

<V-Adam> :)

<IceFire> Okay, the big question that you've all been wanting to know "What does GA mean?"

<V-MikeComet> Uhh... Tamale Eating Fuzziness

<IceFire> hehe

<V-MikeComet> go ahead I think...

<Gowron> hehe

<V-Adam> Ice: Go Ahead.

<IceFire> :)

<V-Mitri> Go Adam. :)

<V-MikeComet> or Galactic Alliance . :)

<V-Adam> Tomato Eating Fetish.

<IceFire> okay, now everybody should be satisfied :)

<V-Adam> no more Qs?

<IceFire> <NgC> how much space on my harddisk does it want?

<V-Adam> heh, good question. Probably lots.

<IceFire> I think this will be the last question

<V-Mitri> Actually, I think it stands for Terran Earth Force, but you'll have to ask Comet or Adam if that's true.

<V-Adam> NgC: not sure really, but we have a lot of data.

<NS_Covell> too early to determin that one exactly

<V-Adam> I think Tri's right... but it's now the GTA.

<Gowron> <SuP> Is 3D sound supported?

<V-MikeComet> It was TEF but that was on older test rendering...it's changed to GTA now.

<IceFire> okay, well I think that about wraps this chat up....

<V-Adam> Sup: Not sure actually. I think it is to some extent, but I don't know

<NS_Covell> anyone want to make some last minute statements?

<IceFire> I think I'll turn this over to un-moderated.....

<V-MikeComet> Llamas Rule!

<V-Adam> Buy FreeSpace. Make us happy. We make more games. Make you happy. :)

<V-Mitri> Well, this is probably redundant, but we have a lot of stuff on www.volition-inc.com

<IceFire> I thank you all for coming

<V-Adam> thanks, all!

<V-MikeComet> thank you!

<SuP> thanks V guys...great chat

<_Tiny_> thanks guys

<SuP> cant wait to see freespace

<V-MikeComet> ok...where are teh drinks?

* NgC grins

<Guest96408> see ya later :)

<_Tiny_> :)

<NS_Covell> Special thanks to the V-Guys! :)

<V-MikeComet> We....are....the men in V.

<NS_Covell> Robotech?

[snip random chat]

Logged and slightly edited by

taken from a chat on IRC


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