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Author Topic: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)  (Read 12973 times)

Offline -<WillyP>-

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #60 on: March 19, 2015, 09:32:40 AM »
An interesting article here: Classic FPS Descent to be rebooted by Star Citizen alums | Ars Technica

Here are some quotes from that article that I feel specifically address some of the things we've discussed in this thread.

On the subject of reactors:
Quote
From a gameplay perspective, Peterson plans to use Descent Underground to expose modern gamers who might not have been playing games in the mid-1990s (or might not even have been alive in the mid-1990s) to Descent’s 6-DoF style—but to do so in a modernized fashion. For the game's single player campaign, that means not going back and recreating D1 and D2’s find-the-three-keys-nuke-the-reactor level progression but instead giving players more interesting and varied things to do.


What the game will be like:
Quote
"You’re not actually in the cockpit," explained Peterson as we delved into gameplay specifics. "You’re actually flying a drone," he said, "so, you’re in your harvester—think of Dune—and a contractor comes from Earth and says, 'I need ten thousand pallets of this type of ore,' and three or four teams will pick up that contract, land on an asteroid, and launch their drones." The drones you’ll be flying—from a first-person view, or else it wouldn’t be Descent—run the modern gaming gamut in terms of abilities. Some will be suited to take and deal out tremendous amounts of damage, some will be able to repair other ships or extend their shields, and others will be able to drill through walls. The idea is to introduce a more modern role-based multiplayer experience with team objectives and the ability for teams to balance out with players of different play styles and abilities, without falling into a MOBA-style pit—because Descent is an FPS, not a MOBA.


Who owns the rights to assets:
Quote
Peterson has been very up-front about wanting to give the Descent name the full AAA treatment, so that also means not reusing the original game's video or sound assets. "No, we’re not doing sound and graphics from the original—we’re bringing everything up," he said. "The assets are owned by somebody other than Interplay. So we can do prequel derivatives—we’ll show you the genesis of some of these things, like the PyroGX."


« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 09:34:27 AM by -<WillyP>- »
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Offline PyroJockey

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2015, 05:08:44 AM »
I now have mixed feelings about this whole project. I feel that Descendent Studios has not been completely honest with the community. A lie of omission is still a lie. Apparently they have a license to make a game called Descent, but that is all. They do not have any rights to use any of the Descent assets. That is why they are sticking to the whole prequel with drones concept. Since last November they were working on a "Ships That Fight Underground" (a.k.a. STFU) project and now it's been branded as a Descent game by Interplay. I suspect that one of the reasons Interplay chose this project over Sol Contingency's  Proving Grounds is that Proving Grounds made heavy use of Descent Assets while STFU used none.

I wish Descendent Studios had been more forthcoming with the community in what they cannot do (use of Pyro, PTMC, sounds, music, etc...). Instead they have created confusion that could jeopardize the project, such has having poll on including the Pyro when they knew in advance it was never going to happen. If they would have laid out the parameters of the project, the scope and the restrictions, they would get more useful input from the community.

In my opinion the Descendent Studios product Descent Underground will never be the Descent game we wanted. Descent Underground may still turn out to be a good 6DOF shooter, similar to Proving Grounds if it's ever released. As I stated on their forums, in my opinion if there is no Pyro, it's not Descent. Interplay is trying to cash in on the only Descent asset they have, the name. This is similar to what they have done previously with Descent Freespace and Descent to Undermountain.

While Descent Freespace was a good game in it's own right, it was no Descent. Descent to Undermountain was just a turd.
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Offline Scyphi

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #62 on: March 20, 2015, 05:47:16 AM »
Well, Freespace actually wasn't really a cash-in attempt (hence why the sequel lacked it) but rather brought about due to completely different legal issues. They had wanted to publish the game as "Conflict: Freespace" and I believe they did just that in the UK, but state-side, there already was a company who had laid claim to the "conflict" title and unable to resolve the matter in time, they swapped it out, kind of last minute, with Descent, as that was a title they did have permission to use (at the time) and in a way loosely tied in as the two games share similarities in gameplay mechanics. But it was obvious it had squat to do with Descent, so even if it was a cash-in attempt, it didn't work. As I understand it, on average most Freespace players aren't even aware of Descent as an actual game.

But Interplay really does only own Descent in name only. I knew it. I had long suspected it, but I had dared to hope that maybe I was wrong. But, nope, Interplay, as usual, has met expectations precisely. Typical Interplay. Sitting on an IP they own only in name and can't really do much with because they're greedy.

And yes, I agree with PyroJockey, Descendant should've been upfront about this from the start, rather than getting the hopes of fans up unnecessarily only to have to crush them later (and inevitably rob themselves of both supporters and buyers). But still, maybe hope's not all lost. I can still see Underground capturing the Descent spirit enough to be worthy of the name, even without the iconic assets, it just means Descendant's going to have to get very creative in trying to mimic said assets without actually recreating them as they appeared in other Descent games. The question is, will Descendant have the gumption to pull off exactly that? And see, that's the problem we have now. Doing this won't be easy and would require a lot of hard work (you try reinventing a universe without actually reinventing it at the same time), and to me, Descendant hasn't shown that yet, and indeed, haven't really tried. But at least now I know why, and in some ways I can't blame them for playing it so safe. This is a very tricky matter they're in, and one wrong move could spell legal disaster. It's just that they're putting themselves at risk of building a game that all will agree is utterly unworthy of Descent title, and would've been better if they had kept it as something else. And indeed, now I'm wondering if that would've been for the best.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 05:49:37 AM by Scyphi »
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Offline Pumo

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #63 on: March 20, 2015, 07:38:10 AM »
...Descendent Studios has not been completely honest with the community. A lie of omission is still a lie...

They have not omitted anything:
Quote
Peterson has been very up-front about wanting to give the Descent name the full AAA treatment, so that also means not reusing the original game's video or sound assets. "No, we’re not doing sound and graphics from the original—we’re bringing everything up," he said. "The assets are owned by somebody other than Interplay. So we can do prequel derivatives—we’ll show you the genesis of some of these things, like the PyroGX."

-

..Doing this won't be easy and would require a lot of hard work (you try reinventing a universe without actually reinventing it at the same time), and to me, Descendant hasn't shown that yet, and indeed, haven't really tried...

This is contrary to what I (and Lothar and other active users at the Descendant Studios forums) have been seeing, as I'm seeing they are trying hard and making a big effort to listen to the Descent community and to implement a lot of the stuff suggested by us to bring that original Descent feel and to bring a bit of continuity, even if the game's story will be set several decades before Descent.
So I can't agree with the 'haven't really tried' part at all... :P

They are being EXTREMELY communicative with us, be it either on chat on or forums or through interviews or through video streams.
So they are trying to do the best they can.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2015, 07:39:54 AM by Pumo »

Offline PyroJockey

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #64 on: March 20, 2015, 11:40:56 AM »
...Descendent Studios has not been completely honest with the community. A lie of omission is still a lie...


They have not omitted anything:
Quote
Peterson has been very up-front about wanting to give the Descent name the full AAA treatment, so that also means not reusing the original game's video or sound assets. "No, we’re not doing sound and graphics from the original—we’re bringing everything up," he said. "The assets are owned by somebody other than Interplay. So we can do prequel derivatives—we’ll show you the genesis of some of these things, like the PyroGX."



I disagree. The article you are quoting was from arstechnia . I have not seen this on the Kickstarter page or any official statement on the Descendent web site. The forum post where I asked about the IP directly was ignored by developers.

Also the article from arstechnia was published on 3/18/2015. On 3/12/2015 Wingman started a poll for adding the Pyro and promised "open development and we are committed to making that happen...let us know your thoughts, and we the team will honor your decision", a promise that he can not deliver. 

Quote
We have had a ton of requests for the Iconic Pyro-GX ship in our game - but being a prequel, we were planning to show the BIRTH of the 1st iteration of the Pyro - in the single player portion of the game.

However, tons and I mean TONS of people have emailed us asking for it, so we are thinking of adding it earlier as an add on opportunity with an exclusive campaign version - only available during the campaign - and it would be the genesis of that iconic ships line.

However, we want to know how everyone feels about adding it now, or waiting until later, so we are going to have a poll and let you guys decide.

We promised open development and we are committed to making that happen, so Descendents, vote, and let us know your thoughts, and we the team will honor your decision.



Many contributors were under the impression that Descendent Studios had full license to the Descent franchise and all it's assets. Even though this quickly became obvious in the forums, Descendent Studios took no steps to clarify this. At the very best this is a major communications failure. This would be a lot easier to swallow if they stated up font (in the official site and Kickstarter) that they could not use the original assets but would provide precursor ships with the same gameplay. Yes it was stated "we've got the name" but most people would not have assumed that was all they had.
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Offline tueidj

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #65 on: March 20, 2015, 05:22:43 PM »
I think the worst dishonesty is saying "Yes single player will be included" but further down on the kickstarter page it is stated that only a "mini-campaign" will be included, with development of a full single player component being dependent on the success of the initial release and no details given as to how it will be made available - will it be a free add-on, a completely separate purchase, or DLC?

Offline Scyphi

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2015, 06:09:35 AM »
Quote from: Pumo
This is contrary to what I (and Lothar and other active users at the Descendant Studios forums) have been seeing, as I'm seeing they are trying hard and making a big effort to listen to the Descent community and to implement a lot of the stuff suggested by us to bring that original Descent feel and to bring a bit of continuity, even if the game's story will be set several decades before Descent.
So I can't agree with the 'haven't really tried' part at all...

Not really. Most of this stuff I have to agree with something that was said earlier and that Descendant's only really applying some of that after the fact, meaning they didn't think of it themselves. On some aspects of that I can understand, but others I can't at all; they should've been obvious. Like the whole post about the gameplay physics that they made such a hullabaloo about. WillyP's right; that should've been set to happen from the beginning, back when it wasn't even Descent just yet. Furthermore, when they announced it, all they did was slap "Descent" on the title and then made next to no other attempt to even make it look or even feel like the franchise it claimed to be taking upon it's soldiers. Personally, if I were them, if I were serious about building a Descent game, I would've at least done something to present it so it was clear that was what I was doing in more than just the name.

And yeah, they're applying some of these things now, but largely under pressure from the fans. I'm not convinced that were it not for that pressure from fans, they would've actually thought to apply some of these things on their own. Indeed, after looking around their forums and seeing their average reaction to some of these suggestions, a lot of it feels almost half-hearted and something that's just getting tagged on as an afterthought. They could be trying a lot harder to bring it closer to Descent, even with the stumbling block of lacking full rights to do so, and yet, even now, the game they're presenting still feels like it's massively missing the mark.

In the end, I still have to question, as good as the intentions of Descendant are, and I really do believe they want to make a fun game in the end, that they don't "get" Descent as much as they'd like us to believe. There's a lot more to Descent than 6DOF, after all, but they seemed to have thought that as long as they got that much right, they were good. But no, we fans know better, as can be demonstrated on any internet thread discussing this very subject.

To be sure, though, Descendant certainly could still pull it off. I just can't help but think that we, the fans, are going to have to hold their hands all the way through it or they'll wander off and get themselves lost.
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Offline PyroJockey

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2015, 10:45:18 AM »
As whiny as I may sound, I'm still backing this game. I'm always looking for a good 6DOF game. If they get the gameplay right, and allow object customization in private servers, they could have a winner.
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Offline Pumo

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #68 on: March 21, 2015, 01:39:28 PM »
Interesting post from Lothar regarding D:U, worths a read in case you're skeptical or undecided:

http://descentbb.net/viewtopic.php?p=349336#p349336

Much as him, I truly think D:U deserves to be supported!

Offline Hunter

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2015, 03:41:50 PM »
Been sick lately so haven't been following  closely - But mostly TLDR. Read the forums (in detail), join chat often, speak with the developers and then form your opinions about this project. You can't base everything on the PR material alone. TBH I believe they were rushed into the Kickstarter by Interplay (which doesn't surprise me)

Offline Kaiaatzl

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2015, 04:46:04 PM »
That... wouldn't surprise me either.
I honestly do think these guys have good intentions but I get the impression this is still early days for them and they're still trying to figure out what their game should be.  I don't think that's a bad sign.

Offline PyroJockey

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #71 on: March 26, 2015, 06:07:43 AM »
They are halfway through the Kickstarter but haven't reached half their goal. This is discouraging. I wish they would have gotten the Descent community involved BEFORE they launched the Kickstarter.
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Offline Scyphi

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #72 on: March 27, 2015, 05:15:03 AM »
I also wish they had been more upfront both about what they planned, and what they could or could not do, because the confusion over that has NOT helped. A reoccurring theme I've seen throughout the Descent community is a widespread and general skepticism over just what, exactly, it is Descendant intends to do with this game...as well as how dedicated they actually are to the project. Some of this is brought on by disinformation, to be sure, but Descendant's attempts to clear it up are now seeming like too little too late. I, personally, am STILL unclear on certain details of what they have planned, and that's worrying.
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Offline Pumo

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #73 on: April 02, 2015, 11:18:57 PM »
BTW, there's a new gameplay video of Descent: Underground (although it's still very WIP and pre-alpha):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jCoP9HJkNg

Offline Scyphi

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Re: Descent reboot confirmed! (Descent Underground)
« Reply #74 on: April 03, 2015, 05:21:02 AM »
Not bad, though it seems awfully spacious for such small ships, and I'll say it again; I can't help but feel there's something off about the physics. It being pre-alpha, though, I'm not sweating that too much just yet.
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