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Sun, 24 Jul 2005 18:16:18


I've been looking at the current state of the game, playing it with different classes on different maps, watched the trailer several times and looked at screenshots, and my impression is that while I'm completely comfortable with the artwork (scenery, visuals, sounds, music, overall look & feel) and the gameplay - though needing lots of thinking yet - shows true potential, the current state of the engine/codebase is very far away from being stable/reliable. This worries me a lot and I don't know what to do. While the engine seems to be stable enough in single player (i.e. no probs for SE), the multiplayer component is just not cutting it, even on a single PC in a local botmatch (and once you go to LAN and especially to the internet, it gets worse). I don't want to criticize anyone or anything, it's not about that, but I think it's time for the whole team to discuss what we should do with the Arena project because while we could release a beta3 soon and with the current artwork/maps and a better balanced gameplay the release after B3 could be the first official release (1.0), it's not going to work out... Maybe I'm mistaken but watching the trailer I felt the game looks good - but while recording in-game I went nearly crazy with lots of crashes and other problems, and when that part finally worked, it was still not a dream job - you don't see on the final product how much I had to cut away from those recordings, when bots were getting stuck or doing something weird that looked bad on recording. So my conclusion is that while the game is in an advanced enough state and has enough good parts to pick out enough for a trailer (with lots of work, even for a way longer one than the current) that makes diehard fans excited, it's too uncertain when and how it'll work as an actual game. So what do we do now? Can it? Freeze it until there's a new generation network engine behind it? Release it in the current form and release the source code, hoping someone will happen along who can write a new networking engine? Put it on the backburner and start with SE? Look for someone who could help us right now with the netcode? etc etc... It's an important decision and everybody on the team should have his say... for my part, I am amazed at the quality of work that went into it and I don't want to just ditch it, but don't know how to make something out of it that actually works.
Sun, 24 Jul 2005 20:09:52


I think that what you say here is really important, I really like the state of the game and the feel, I think that we have done a good amount of work on it, and we have a really good thing here, I think that the netcode is all buggy and there are some things here and there that aren't complete, but I think the big advance that the Vavoom engine has had in this time has been really, really big in amount of what it can do, extending the engine to support Boom was a reallly big step in the development of every project we are going to develop using it as a base engine, we have fixed and added a big number of cool stuff to it and I think our advance has been really good comparing the short time (even when the people who downloaded it say was a lot), it used to develop, I say that we release this thing as a 3rd beta, then keep our work improving the engine and maybe starting the development of SE, which is nearly nothing, just some base sprites for damage skins, the base RPG concepts, etc. but the change of engine has made us have to start working on the engine again, and I think that KA is coming to a good state, talking gameplay wise, the only missing part from it is the net one, which once completed will make the game almost complete for a "final" release (e.g. not beta), that will connect between computers, etc. So, my thinking is that we could stop the development of it to advance the SE development and to keep making the base engine better in features and bug fixes, which I think will be worth for everyone, also, we could try to think which parts from KA code could be used as a base to modify or add the missing stuff to create the base RPG stuff for the engine, also we should make a list of the main aspects the base engine should cover to start building the things that will shape the SE world and the basic stuff that will shape up the story, I think it might sound a bit rush from me, but doing that will really shorten the first code modifications and make the development time shorten a bit, I think.
Sun, 24 Jul 2005 20:35:14


I personally think KA looks great and we have all put loads of work into it (perhaps excluding me <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P --> ) and it would be a great shame to see it all go to waste. I think we should stop or slow KA development for now untill Janis has compleated the netcode re-work. And while we are waiting we should focus our efforts on KH (TCS, SE and TSP) me and FireBrand working together to get a base RPG line setup in the Engine and get that all good and balanced before going off and adding the other goodies. Once the netcode is ready we can either shift the work back to KA untill we reach v1.0 or me and FB can split the 2 projects between us. And me now being on holiday for 6 weeks should hopefully mean more (some) work from me. Or I'll eat my hat, even though I don't have one.
Mon, 25 Jul 2005 03:30:13

The 4th Class

Well firstly, it would be stupid and a waste to abandon KA, especially since we've been working on it for at least a year. I also think it would be a bad idea to set it aside and continue work on SE (after all, didn't we set SE aside to start work on KA anyway?). This way, almost nothing would get done and released, which will eventually lead to the end of Korax' Heritage. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying get rid of SE, I'm only saying that KA has been prime focus for such a long time, it would not feel right to spontaneously move to something else. Often, things just aren't as familiar as they were last time you worked with them, and KA progress is going so well not, we should still work with that. Furthermore, I also feel that waiting for a new network is a huge gamble. What if it never comes? In my experience, if you want help, you have to ask for it, because nobody will ever know that you need help. I say look for somone who could help us with the netcode, and if we can't find anybody, then release the beta as is (maybe even with the source code). Betas are betas, and by no means the final product. There's my fame for 15 minutes. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
Mon, 25 Jul 2005 06:00:48


I want to put a new version of Vavoom ASAP (it's been quite some time since last release) and then focus completely on net code. I can't tell how much I'll be able to improve and time it will take. And I think that it's a good idea that we start working on SE.
Mon, 25 Jul 2005 11:54:13


Another good posibility would be to release it all with source code and wait for someone kind enough to code the net for us (which I really dunno would happen to fast, due to the work that it would be to do it from scratch), isn't there a way to use the net code from somewhere else Janis? I don't know, there should be something like a DLL library or something that is already done and just needs some implementation in the Vavoom code maybe, just a tought here.

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