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The future of Sauer SP

by eihrul on 12/13/2008 02:42, 24 messages, last message: 12/28/2008 00:33, 8084 views, last view: 12/11/2019 09:31, closed on 01/03/2009 02:49

I have decided for the next release that my goal is to polish up Sauer as a MP game - making the game seem like some sort of vaguely coherently designed thing, rather than a tech demo collection of random features. So to this end, I have tentatively considered dropping Sauer's SP system. This seems to have caused some heated opinions, so I will solicit feedback about the matter here.

My feelings were this: I am basically the only one doing any significant programming on Sauer anymore, and the SP system was too much a mess for it to meet the demands of a real SP system that most mappers and players wanted. The number of SP mappers and players always seemed rather small, and the overall reaction of outside players to the SP system was always negative.

It was a collection of old Quake 2 models that were supposed to have been replaced 6 years ago (but no one cared to replace), that just ran around in random directions and occasionally maybe decided to randomly shoot at you - when they weren't getting stuck behind boxes.

I myself am too busy to expend any significant effort in working on this part of Sauer anymore, since just keeping the engine in working order is more than a fulltime job, especially for someone who is doing it on an unpaid hobby basis.

Now, Quin has been doing a lot of work towards addressing most of these issues in BloodFrontier, with the foundations of rather intelligent AI and coop-SP, and a more configurable look and feel for individual maps in general. There is a much more robust SP system sure to come in BloodFrontier in the future.

So, overall, I am content to let BloodFrontier develop as the primary SP platform for Cube 2, since I feel that when it is finished it will blow away the vestigial SP system in Sauer.

Now, please, let's not let this thread devolve into a list of feature suggestions for SP, or requests for me to implement stuff, because as I quite clearly stated above, I do not have the time myself anymore to implement any suggestions of this nature, and again, am the only real person left doing any major programming on Sauerbraten.

This is your opportunity to dispute or support my decision of de-emphazing Sauer SP. Have at it.







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#5: ..

by Captain_Ahab on 12/13/2008 04:02

Even though I never played MP ( probably never will ), I'm not as upset by such news as I had thought.

I've always believed that the RPG stuff should have been the way SP should go and thats another project already. Also, BloodFrontier looks very good and the Intensity Engine looks awesome (so far) for single player opportunities.

As long as these other projects can take any updated graphic stuff, such as texture blending, I see nothing wrong with this.

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#6: ..

by Acord on 12/13/2008 04:42

Texture blending is good on the BF end of things, and the AI is excellent. Laying out pathing for it is as simple as typing "/dropwaypoints 1" into the console and running around, then saving your map.

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#7: ..

by m3ep on 12/13/2008 11:02

I think its a good decision to focus your very rare time on MP rather than wasting it to fix SP from a 0ish-base.

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#8: Deprecate it.

by demosthenes on 12/13/2008 11:31

I think that it ought to be deprecated. By that I mean that the next release would contain no SP content (including the removal of menu entries and aliases), but the code would still exist and be available. If a truly polished game is what we're looking for as a community, then a single consistent SP campaign may well be desirable at some point.

I know I personally despise games that attempt to limit you from doing anything but internet multiplayer. It's extremely discouraging to some new players because they're thrust in amongst players who already know the game and the maps. So from a personal standpoint, Sauer is not a game I *ever* would have considered playing if it had had only multiplayer functionality when I picked it up.

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#9: Moving on to Blood Frontier

by mitaman1 on 12/13/2008 15:55

I have already moved on to SP mapping for Blood Frontier. I loved mapping for Sauer, but there's no longer any point to it. Blood Frontier has a SP future. I will be re-using most of my textures and maps (as a base) originally made for Sauer and continue creating original content for Blood Frontier. I'd hate to see all my hard work turn to vaporware.

To Eihrul & Aard: Thanks for the great CUBE and Sauer engine that got me started SP mapping.

To Acord & Quin: Thanks for allowing me to contribute to Blood Frontier and continue my passion for SP mapping.

MitaMAN

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#10: ..

by PainKillAH on 12/13/2008 16:24

Even though I´m new in this game, and on this forums; I totally understood your words; and although I´m not glad that a feature for beginners like me is taken down, I get the point.
What bothers me the most is that some people didn´t understand your words completely: you were not ranting (well maybe a little but is OK XD) about being the only programmer working on the game. You are asking for help. So... to everybody:

NEO.... WAKE UP.... help needed

What I think is, and always was, great of this game, and was the main thing that attracted me to install it (apart from "somebody´s" constant annoyances), is that everybody can be part of this game and help to
develop it on its own way.
Unfortunately is not in my future plans try to learn to program... thank God that I can use the mouse :P... my skills are merely at designing...

I understand your need to cut down your amount of tasks to make an accurate work on the main Sauerbraten engine, cause everybody knows that smaller projects are easier to handle and to work on in regular basis, and I think that if someone is doing a good job to improve the SP outside the main engine it is a great way to keep developing new modes inside the Cube 2 engine, while they come to make part, at the end, of the main game (Sauer) and keep the "feeling" of it - concentrate to develop small things but without losing the whole picture -, I could be wrong... and please correct me if I do...


But.. hey man... you rock anyway ;), and we truly appreciate your daily work to improve Sauerbraten!!!

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#11: Keep it.

by tentus_ on 12/13/2008 17:18

My personal opinion is that we should keep it, with perhaps a note in a prominent location pointing out that BF is the superior SP experience. I think that despite the limitations, SP is still a valuable place for people to get familiar with the engine, and I still very much enjoy playing through Mitaman's old SP maps. (To put it in perspective, I also enjoy playing through the old Cube SP maps).

I can't think of a convincing reason to outright remove the SP content. Package size? So much of the SP content is reused in SP it'd be a hassle, all you'ld really drop is the ogz files, which don't total up to *that* much. I could see SP being moved into a separate "optional" package perhaps, if we're hurting that much for filesize. But really, is there a good reason to remove the SP content?

(On a different note, why not port a few of Quin's features over to Sauer? I'm not a fan of waypoint AI, but there are a number of useful things in BF).

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#12: Lean and mean

by yoopers on 12/13/2008 21:27

+1 for dropping SP.

I'm of the school of thought that if something is going to be done, it should be done well. If eihrul doesn't want to commit to keep SP up-to-date, and no one else steps in to do the same, then I say we've all voted on the subject and the verdict is clear.

Regarding the SP content and code, I say remove it. If it's not going to be advanced then it does indeed perpetuate the tech demo image of Sauer to include it.

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#13: ..

by mIscreant on 12/13/2008 22:28

I'm in agreement with most everyone here. I've played a lot of the singleplayer levels, and while they're fun, they lack the coherency and polish of other SP games. I can completely understand where you're coming from.

Also, I think it's a great idea to refine the multiplayer.

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#14: ..

by Acord on 12/14/2008 00:54

It's literally easier to simply strip everything out and start new, and that's basically what we're doing with Blood Frontier. If anyone who enjoys creating SP missions and story arcs can think of any necessary or logical features, drop by the appropriate thread and let us know.

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#15: ..

by mayhem on 12/14/2008 01:00

I also feel the focus should be on MP, though I will miss DMSP mode if it is dropped completely.

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#16: Stating the obvious

by a~baby~rabbit on 12/14/2008 07:11

I would assume local editing or just running around maps locally (minus monsters/triggers) would still be possible, that is, without the need for a separate server program or an internet connection.

Beyond that I can't even remember the last time I played SP sauer.. 2+ yrs ago - and maybe that was Cube...

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#17: Keep

by Joste on 12/14/2008 21:26

How else do you hone your skills before getting owned online? And slow-mo is so much fun. It might just be me but I like the way the levels are different - it stops it getting boring.

And thank you for such a great game.

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#18: Well ...

by spentron on 12/15/2008 01:10

Anything that is a better way to make maps would seem to be a better way to make SP maps too. But it is currently crappy enough, in some scenario getting rid of it might be the best start.

Please make the last SP version easy to find if you get rid of it... And you need some way to put static characters in the map when you're making it, like you can with SP, otherwise the scale is all the harder to judge.

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#19: ..

by BML on 12/15/2008 09:53

Since I don\'t care much about SP anyway, can we get an insight on MP improvements that are planned?

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#20: About Eisenstern

by Maxime -Max of S2D- Lebled on 12/15/2008 12:26

I tend to think that Eisenstern should be merged with the main Sauerbraten codebase and stay available as a RPG game mode.

Being part of its devteam, I know the needed content is here- only some code needs to be fixed.

Or something like that.

Like I remember saying a few weeks ago, since we'll never have the power to ship a complete SP game, it should instead be available as a complete RPG engine (or a gamemode merged with Sauerbraten) with a LITTLE demo campaign for the possibilities.

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#21: ..

by Xsaii on 12/17/2008 06:32

Not to throw out 'suggestions', but I just think there are some things that could be implemented that would work nicely for *both* SP and MP besides aesthetics (like the somewhat recent glow option, etc). Not just additions like game modes either. I really hope someone picks up the SP aspect though. It seems to me (and others too apparently) that the best idea is to just drop it. Maybe it will just be easier to come back to it later.

If pack size is a big issue (it really shouldn't be in this day), just make a separate pack without SP.

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#22: ..

by SanHolo on 12/17/2008 09:46

Drop it like it's hooot, drop it like it's hooot. :D :D

+1 for more focus to MP.

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#23: ..

by Khane on 12/20/2008 04:33

Eh, I've got alot to say on the whole subject. But first, I have to thank Eihrul for finally saying that he's going to polish the game and try to not make it look like a tech demo. I think this is what we should have been doing for a long time, and I am very happy with this announcement.

On the subject of SP: If that much work is required to make anything of it, go ahead and cut it. Singleplayer is something should be done well or not at all, so I think that removing it for the sake of polish in other areas is a good decision, and definitely worth what we'll get out of it.

P.S. Finally started listening to some of whine, eh Eihrul? Heh, well, I'm just glad thing'll get cleaned up.

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#24: Eh.

by Nems on 12/28/2008 00:33

Hey Sauerbraten community. First time poster and kind of new to using Sauerbraten.

In terms of dropping SP support, I can understand. However, as a single-player gamer, even with the talk of making Sauerbraten MP focused, I have to ask if that means it'll be strictly online. I don't play online. I have my reasons. Despite the fact that the bots are a bit on the goofy side, I still find them quite challenging, be it in SP or DMSP mode. Would the bots remain as part of this new MP direction of Sauerbraten or would they be eliminated along with SP, as well?

Also, like Captain_Ahab said, there's Blood Frontier (I tried the latest Alpha release, which is awesome) which I can use for my single player fix. However, I did a search for the Intensity Engine and from what I read, there doesn't appear to be any single player elements at all. It looks like it's more geared toward online multiplayer gaming as well. I could be wrong or might have overlooked something, so if someone could correct me, I'd appreciate it.

In the end, if there won't be bot support for the future releases of Sauerbraten, I can always just stick with the current version that's out as well as use Blood Frontier. Again, I understand the reasons for wanting it dropped. Nonetheless, no matter the direction this and other versions of Cube go, they have my support, being a believer in the power of open source and what the average Joe can put out there. (:

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