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Author Topic: Talon v1.0 Released!  (Read 15283 times)

Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2014, 06:17:49 PM »
My impression of Scottris's response to the idea of a single-player version of Talon was that he had no interest... though, I believe he did not rule it out completely.
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Offline Scyphi

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #16 on: January 03, 2014, 08:17:48 AM »
My impression is that he's open to the idea, but had no real plans for it at present.

Which is okay, I'm sure he's got his hands full enough as it is, but that's still there just in case. :)
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Offline Scottris

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2014, 09:05:53 AM »
Sorry if I gave that impression, WillyP. I am in fact interested, although I have had no immediate plans for it; really owing only to a lack of time and budget.

I chose to focus on multiplayer for several reasons:

1) I was primarily a multiplayer player in Descent(3), and that's really what I missed.

2) Multiplayer requires fewer game assets, and gets better mileage out of them. I needed that value/efficiency because this project was already stupidly ambitious for a single developer.

3) Mutiplayer demands better game dynamics and balance, whereas when developing a single player game there are any number of quick and easy "shortcut" solutions to improve gameplay (like simply giving the player powers like invisibility or invulnerability, or way upping the strength of the ship or weapons, which always feels good to the person wielding them, less so to the one on the receiving end... but when that is a computer it hardly matters). Because multiplayer requires one to consider how things feel from both sides, I think it's better to start by hashing out the gameplay in multiplayer first, then extending to single player content; rather than the other way around, where one is likely to fall into the trap of producing a fun single player game where the dynamics simply don't work well in multiplayer (but by the time you find that out it's really too late to fix it).

(This is getting rambly, far less organized and eloquent than I prefer, but I'm afraid I don't have time to do better today, so please forgive.)

Thus I started with multiplayer. Single player didn't satisfy the cost/benefit analysis. Although I have spent many more hours playing multiplayer Descent, I have spent just as many hours playing single player games over the years. I do like single player, and there are many types of single player game modes I enjoy and would like to make. I like the objective-driven campaign style missions often found in flight and space sims. I enjoyed the simple find-the-goal play of the first two Descent games. I would like to have these things in Talon.

I have not wanted to make any promises, however, since I can't be sure what I can deliver in this regard.

I can say that what is most likely to happen first is a single player mode similar to what was found in the old DOS Comanche game by Novalogic (if anyone remembers that), which was a simple search-and-destroy system on open maps (very similar to Killing Fields), with bases and groups of enemy fighters positioned at points around the map. The goal is to clear the objective points (bonus for clearing the entire map) without dying. This is very do-able, because it requires not much more in terms of game assets and scripting than I already have. This then is what I plan to work on first in terms of developing single player for Talon, although I am making no promises as to when (or even if) it will happen at this point.

I am definitely interested, though.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2014, 09:13:25 AM by Scottris »

Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #18 on: January 03, 2014, 11:42:41 AM »
Cool. Glad I was wrong, and thanks for setting me straight!  ;)

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Offline Scyphi

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #19 on: January 04, 2014, 09:24:47 AM »
That actually sounds like a very sensible plan to go about approaching this, Scottris. But if you do go for the single-player...you know where we are. ;)
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Offline Hunter

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #20 on: January 14, 2014, 04:23:36 AM »
Single player projects, for any game, are just a huge amount of work. But given that many projects these days are crowd funded, anything is possible down the pipeline. I'd give anything to be able to finish my own projects :)

Offline Scottris

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #21 on: January 14, 2014, 11:18:57 AM »
Hey Hunter! Good to see you. What are you up to these days?

Offline Hunter

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2014, 04:35:20 AM »
Not much, working to put food on the table and a little bit of downtime here and there. It's about all I have time to do these days  :)

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #23 on: July 30, 2014, 12:28:00 PM »
Shameless thread bump!

I seriously didn't know Talon was actually a thing, so I downloaded the demo... And now I want the real deal. Very Descent-like, but faster-paced and more twitchy - very ideally suited to MP. Kudos to developer Scott Richards - this is some great stuff, and you seriously have some skills. If you've ever thought of game development as a career, this is a heck of a resume to start with.

I've got fifteen bucks on wanting to get into some solid 6DOF gameplay. Question is: Anyone playing?
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Scottris

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2014, 07:43:12 PM »
Question is: Anyone playing?

Unfortunately, I must report that, no, there is little to no activity online at this point. I have not [yet] done sufficient marketing outside of the Descent community, and as a result have not achieved the critical mass required to maintain activity online. It is not my intention to make excuses, but life has been complicated these last 8 months. I hope, but cannot promise, that I will find more time soon to work on a better marketing plan.


Offline D2Disciple

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2014, 08:42:56 AM »
Sorry to hear that. I'll still buy the early access because you've earned it.  8) But I get what you're saying about marketing. Truth is, I know there's an audience out there because Descent still has a huge following that doesn't even realize that the community is still thriving. In today's multiplayer obsessed culture, Talon could get some serious traction among gamers that left the 6DOF scene after it faded into obscurity after D4 was cancelled.

It doesn't hurt that it looks good and plays amazingly well, either.   ;)
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline NUMBERZero

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2014, 03:00:26 AM »
I'll see about telling some of my clanmates about it.
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Offline D2Disciple

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2014, 06:29:15 AM »
Just purchased and downloaded Talon and updated to 1.0.3.

Here are my thoughts:

Gameplay is beyond excellent. Each craft is very well balanced and has equal pros and cons. From a physics standpoint, I love that the craft have mass and inertia despite being zero-G. Being able to select your weapon loadout from the start was a very good idea; I always hated having to hunt down a Fusion or Vauss and a couple of napalm rockets to stand a chance in D3 multiplayer. The limited ammo helps negate any one weapon from being better than the others, and being able to pick up ammo dumps from downed players means that you're not absolutely committed to your weapons loadout. Cloaking is an interesting concept; the only change I would make to the formula is to have a limit on how long you can stay cloaked and keep players' shields from recharging during cloaking, but strategy balance is still pretty good as it stands. I like the idea of introducing rogue players to team deathmatch and capture and hold.

Enemy AI is... Passable. On the plus side, on the hardest setting, bots duck and weave and evade shots well. However, in wide open spaces, they just can't seem to draw a bead on other bots or players. Creating a capture and hold game does help the AI figure out their targets a bit. Still, this isn't a game about bots, so theoretically, this should be a moot point.

Level design is, overall, good. Warehouse is classic Descent, and is therefore my favorite map. I also really like Frontier, which, much like Hunter's Hyperspace mods for D3, prove that zero-G 6DOF control works extremely well in the context of a space sim. I can see capture and hold games on this map being especially intense with a few human players involved. Killing Fields suffers from a minor issue Scyphi and Techpro already pointed out: Fights start low and inevitably gravitate towards the sky. There's just not enough interesting terrain to keep things low to the ground. Still, it's a fun level. Lastly,  Bunker and Battlecube are maybe just a little too simplistic in their design, but of the two I much prefer Battlecube. I know there are plenty of very talented mapmakers in the Descent community, so I don't see why some new truly excellent maps couldn't be developed for it.

Sound design is also very good, with some great tunes from the Descent community. Sound effects are just a little weak, but I can well imagine developing earth-shattering sound effects a la Freespace 2 would be difficult. They're not bad at all, and overall, it's pretty tertiary to the gameplay.

Presentation is also excellent. The menus are easy to navigate, everything is very clear and easy to understand, and the interface has an appreciably modern style to it. HUD design is fantastic; it presents all the information anyone could want on their cockpit. Shields, hull strength, weapons info, enemy craft info, lead indicators, you name it - Talon does it, and does it with a very, very cool look.

Stability and performance seem to also be excellent. The game runs very, very smoothly at 1366x768 (my monitor's native resolution) on my old hack of a desktop, A 3.0Ghz Pentium D with 2GB DDR2 RAM and a GeForce 8600 GT. Even some older games freak out on such bottom-shelf hardware, but Talon seems to put it to good use. Visual effects and lighting are consistently excellent, and in the heat of battle, the game looks great.

The games only major flaw, and it has absolutely nothing to do with development: Just as developer Scottris said, it needs players. The Descent community needs to buy this and organize fight nights. With such a small community, that's the only way games will be played - and I think this seriously has a chance of besting D3's multiplayer if there were more players and a few players wanting to build maps. Heck, according to the forums, there are already methods of converting D1/D2 levels into formats supported by Talon. Let this be an open letter to the Descent community: You have fifteen bucks, and you want this game. Of course, getting players to come to a multiplayer-only game with very few players is going to be difficult...

...So, to finish this very long post, I have a possible solution. I mentioned above that the 6DOF controls worked absolutely wonderfully in open space, which gives me an idea: would it be possible to develop a one-size fits all giant space level and it's own mission creator, like Freespace's FRED? Because I'm thinking a 6DOF space sim might be one way to easily create a fun, short single-player campaign, especially if the Freespace community got involved (I'm sure there are a few who would love this game). If something like this could be developed, I think you'd have a very easy sell to a bunch of gamers who left PC gaming behind when everything turned to hardware-benchmark shooters and MMORPGs. And of course, once you convinced them to come for some space-sim action, it wouldn't be hard to convince them to stay for a few rounds of team deathmatch.  ;)

Just an idea; I'm not even sure the engine would handle anything like this. But it's crazy enough that it might work, honestly.
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #28 on: August 02, 2014, 06:43:54 AM »
There's already been some custom maps developed -- none of them in space but that's just cuz most designers wanted to create the Descent aspect.  I can't imagine building a space map would be very hard even with what tools already exist -- it's basically a skybox with a little bit of stuff sprinkled around.
I keep telling people on the Talon forums that we need to start organizing games so people actually know when to find a game, but nobody listens!
There is a limit on how long you can cloak, but you might not realize it if you don't play like I do. ;D
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 07:02:49 AM by Kaiaatzel »

Offline D2Disciple

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Re: Talon v1.0 Released!
« Reply #29 on: August 02, 2014, 07:10:17 AM »
The most difficult part of a space mission would inevitably be crafting new ships - enemies, cruisers, capital ships, etc., but after that, all you've really got left is scripting. Create a seek-and-destroy mission, a couple of escort missions, a couple of take-down-the-capital-ship missions, open it up to online co-op to up to 4 players and you'd really sweeten the fifteen dollar pot.

And we should totally organize a game, Kai!
I, for one, hope this is much, much more than a reconnaissance mission.

 

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