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Jumpgate Evolution Dev Interview, Dogfighting Video 66

Posted by Soulskill
from the bring-on-the-lasers dept.
Massively recently interviewed Hermann Peterscheck, a producer for NetDevil's upcoming space-fighter MMO Jumpgate Evolution. He talks about the UI and the huge level of customization, as well as basic flight and zone design. Also available is a video showcasing space combat inside an asteroid belt. "We're still sort of working on [ship progression], but the idea is that you pick your first ship at level five, which is about an hour or so of gameplay. Basically there's sort of forks, so you start out in kind of a beginner ship and then there's like fighting types of ships, mining types of ships, cargo haulers and within that there's sort of sub-classes. So like, there's light fighters, medium fighters, heavy fighters, bombers. There's haulers that carry a lot of stuff, but move kind of slowly and there's haulers that carry lost stuff, short little courier shuttles that move really quickly."
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Jumpgate Evolution Dev Interview, Dogfighting Video

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  • by Shrubbman (3807) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @01:10PM (#24911527)

    When I hear of space fighter dogfighting I'm expecting to see something I can pull out my old underused Logitech Attack 3 to play, something with a damn cockpit view. That trailer does NOT deliver the goods I'm looking for in a space shooter. Boo.

    • by aseth (893952)
      That's what the original Jumpgate was all about.

      The mouse control for flight has me... concerned. The best things about Jumpgate were the physics inspired flight and joystick controlled combat.

    • by Cecil (37810)

      While I'm not going to complain overly about something that plays like Freelancer, which I did greatly enjoy, I do strongly, strongly feel your pain.

      I wanted to get back into combat flight sim/space sims, so I went and ill-advisedly bought a Saitek X52 a few months ago only to discover that the entire genre of joystick games seems to be a barren wasteland with the number of games in the last 5 years countable on one or two hands.

      It's a truly disappointing state of affairs, and every time a game comes out th

      • They have joystick control, but I'm a bit fuzzy after seeing the demo as to how it's going to work. It better not be anything like the mouse control we saw in that video, that's for sure. That would be horrendous.
      • by Bios_Hakr (68586) <xpticalNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday September 07, 2008 @10:02PM (#24915525) Homepage

        If you really want to exercise that joystick, take a look at Falcon: Allied Force.

        Cheap game. No DRM of any kind. No CD needed to play. Huge online community.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sammy baby (14909)

        My kingdom for a Freespace 2.

        • by Knara (9377)

          I'm assuming you mean "a game like Freespace 2" not actually Freespace 2 [wikipedia.org], since the latter actually exists?

          • by Tesen (858022)

            Personally I want Elite III: First Encounters but modern :) That was a seriously kick ass game! X series does okay, but I loved being able to enter a planets atmosphere, drop in over landing destination or just cruise around the globe. It was also nice, that the planets and moons were treated as "apart" of your environment instead of just eye candy. Sure it was faked changing orbits, gravity etc but I loved it. Park over the planet, cut engines, begin to fall :)

            Elite III, but with X2/X3's abilities to creat

    • When I read dogfighting I was hoping for an online virtual dog-fight game, where you could train (read: starve and abuse) your pit bull and take him to some redneck house and fight them and bet money. Maybe as a minigame in the next Madden.

      While I'm opposed to animal cruelty and think people who do real dogfights should be fed to their own dogs, I'm not opposed to VIRTUAL animial cruelty. Just ask my tamogatchi, or any of the residents of Hell, my animal crossing town.

    • by 4D6963 (933028)

      What's worse, gameplay wise it looks like it's all about point and click shooting. While the graphics are nice, looks like the gameplay doesn't really bring much over the "dogfight" sequence of the 1983 Star Wars game.

      Shiny graphics on top of antiquated gameplays! Welcome to the late 2000s!

      • I'm pretty sure this is in 'noob mode.'

        The original Jumpgate did indeed have great Joystick controls, with real newtonian physics to play around with. It was fun blasting past someone on afterburners and spinning quick and firing at them as they try to turn around and get at you.

        I'm less concerned about this as I am with NetDevil's poor quality of service with the original. They didn't have enough players to really have an interesting gameworld on its own, so they added really stupid-acting giant purple spa

    • by cbhacking (979169)

      Out of curiosity, have you tried Allegiance? It's primarily an online cockpit-view (though there are other camera views) space dogfighting game. It also has some fun strategic elements. Joystick is supported and by far the best way (I used a Force Feedback Pro, which was fantastic).

      The game was originally a commercial product out of Microsoft Research, but didn't really go anywhere. MSR open-sourced the game, and it is now community supported, with the client available for free download.

      http://freeallegianc [freeallegiance.org]

    • I did not see anything in the interview or the trailer that suggested that you couldn't use a joystick.

      The original Jumpgate had both available, mouse or joystick, and though the joystick was infinitly more fun, the mouse was usable.

      Can you show me why you think they will not support joysticks?

    • The parent is not 'Informative' The parrent is 'Wrong'. There IS joystick support. Do your research.

      • by kalirion (728907)

        Does it support it for actual flying, or as a replacement mouse for moving a cursor around the screen?

    • by OverlordQ (264228)

      I can pull out my old underused Logitech Attack 3 to play, something with a damn cockpit view.

      The game will have first and third-person views. The videos have just all been in third-person.

  • No inertia?
    Sound traveling through vacuum?
    Over-the-shoulder view?

    Count me out on this one.

    • by cowscows (103644) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @01:15PM (#24911573) Journal

      Two of your complaints are valid, but seriously, would you enjoy playing a game where the only sound you hear is your pilot shifting around in the cockpit?

      • by Cecil (37810)

        There is plenty one would realistically hear in a combat spacecraft, but most of it would be generated by the targeting computer, etc. In a completely silent combat environment, there is a wealth of information that can be conveyed aurally with great effectiveness. Explosions and gunfire sounds certainly wouldn't be my first choice, though I admit the traditional "whooshing" of ships flying nearby might have some small amount of value.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          You'd expect to 'hear' explosions as well - albeit some time after the fact. You'd (in theory) get a spherical, diminishing pressure wave travelling at the space equivalent of the speed of sound - which would cause a rumble or thud as it passed you.

          My understanding is that the 'speed of sound' in space is a hell of a lot higher than on earth due to the lack of dampening. That being the case, explosions at least make sense.

          If the onboard electronics were detecting and amplifying such sounds, then you'd also

          • by JosKarith (757063)
            Uh... I guess you didn't do basic Physics then. How can you have a pressure wave in a vacuum as there is no fluid to have a pressure in.
            Admittedly there is a certain amount of matter even in Hard Vacuum but the amounts are microscopic - certainly not enough to transmit any form of pressure wave with enough force to be detectable by human hearing.
            As for your point about onboard electronics amplifying the sound of a shot that's passed you - what would be the point? That's like an Early Warning system that
            • The point, at least in a game environment, is to make up for all the cues you would have in a real environment that you don't have in the game, like peripheral vision for example.

      • Re:I don't think so (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TheLink (130905) on Sunday September 07, 2008 @01:43PM (#24911821) Journal
        If I made a fighter spacecraft or aircraft, I would also use audio to convey information.

        If a fake sound helped identify the type of craft, I'd use it.

        If a fake doppler sound effect rapidly helped convey that something is approaching (whenever fake sound is played it ascends in pitch) or leaving (descends in pitch), then I'd use that too.

        I'd make a fighter spacecraft be able to shoot in almost any direction - in a vacuum you can shoot stuff sideways or backwards without the atmosphere causing "inconvenience".

        BTW, I've always thought it might be interesting to have network equipment make sounds that are correlated to what they are doing - via say network monitoring software. Then a sysadmin could get used to a "normal baseline sound", and one day maybe the sysadmin might just detect that something is not quite right, way before things go belly up, and before the conventional warnings come in.
    • I don't understand that complaint about sound in space...

      No sane space combat interface designer would leave out a sense so important to humans as sounds. Imagine you're sitting in a spacecraft fighting reds; one of them far away shoots at you.

      You can hear the railgun fire as soon as your spacecraft detects the shot. Now imagine the cockpit is silent but for the shots that hit your hull.

      Do you still have complaints about sound in space?

      • by 4D6963 (933028)

        Why would it necessarily be a bad thing? Instead of trying to solve the problem for a game designer point of view, try to solve the problem from the point of view of an hypothetical spacecraft designer from the futuristic future. The problem remains, you naturally don't hear a sound in reality. So what do you do? You equip the spacecraft with sensors that can detect the kind of dangers you care to be warned about and you give them a warning sound or visual indication. That's actually how it works in modern

        • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Sunday September 07, 2008 @10:34PM (#24915699)

          Why would it necessarily be a bad thing?

          Because it would sound boring as hell.

          Realism isn't the enemy of fun, it can even enhance it.

          Realism is not the enemy of fun, but blindly applying realism is. I cringe every time someone cries that something in a game isn't realistic. It's not supposed to be realistic, it's a game. It's supposed to maximize fun, not realism.

          • by uncledrax (112438)

            Unfortunately in the RO:O [redorchestragame.com] community, there has been no end of the realism debates over the years.. such is life.

            If Jumpgate was being billed as a MMO-Space-Sim, then yes: It should definately be more sim oriented.
            This article bills it as a "space-fighter MMO", so that in my mind makes it just a 3d version of Subspace.. and that's fine too.

            On an aside.. i'd play a MMO space sim.... something the likes of the old X-Wing games [wikipedia.org] or the X^n [wikipedia.org] games.

            • On an aside.. i'd play a MMO space sim.... something the likes of the old X-Wing games or the X^n games.

              You might like Vendetta Online, then. Its extreme low-budgetness does show through at times, and the fact that it's been in development for several years means that you're going to see some fairly jarring differences in quality between the various models and textures, but in gameplay terms it's basically X:Online.

        • by sammy baby (14909)

          Why would it necessarily be a bad thing? Instead of trying to solve the problem for a game designer point of view, try to solve the problem from the point of view of an hypothetical spacecraft designer from the futuristic future. The problem remains, you naturally don't hear a sound in reality. So what do you do? You equip the spacecraft with sensors that can detect the kind of dangers you care to be warned about and you give them a warning sound or visual indication. That's actually how it works in modern fighters, because you can't hear it either when a missile is fired at you from 25 miles away.

          Oh, come on. If your hypothetical spacecraft of the future can detect small weapons fire, it should be perfectly capable of making "pew pew pew" sounds to let you know you're being shot at. Next time you feel the urge to gripe about how sound doesn't travel in a vacuum, how about pretending it's the flight control system synthesizing the sound of weapons fire to wake up the pilot?

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          when it comes to space stuff they violate so many rules it's not a bit funny

          You mean like a ship with practically instant acceleration, particle/energy weapons, 'respawning' when it blows up, 'shields', practically infinite energy supplies, the fact that any one who could build such a craft would probably also have weapons that were far better at aiming themselves than the guy with a mouse, hrm, I'm sure I missed a few things ...

          Seriously, you're talking about realism in a space combat game when I can't eve

          • by 4D6963 (933028)
            My point pretty much. There's already so many broken rules, breaking more only makes it worse. You pretty much have to break rules to make a game, that's a must, but the fewer the better, no matter the genre. It's just wrong to think that because you've broken a few rules it means you can break as many as you like.
      • by jythie (914043)

        Not sure I agree.
         
        While EvE is a bit of a different beast, I usually play it with sound disabled.
         
        It is amazing how uncluttered a game can feel when it is silent.

    • You know very little about the original Jumpgate so I will address your silly comments.

      The original had Newtonian Physics. This made flying and fighting very hard for new players, it just had an incredible learning curve which threw new players out of the game. To combat this they introduced special thrusters which added a form of drag in the new game to make flying a bit more bearable. And also it will make breaking far less tedious.

      Are you serious about the sound? Why would anyone want to play a game w

      • by arth1 (260657)

        You know very little about the original Jumpgate

        I do? How do you draw that conclusion? I played it for months, actually. It wasn't perfect, but it was the best thing since Elite. If I were to fault it for something, it would be being too newbie friendly. And for 3do closing down servers.

        Are you serious about the sound? Why would anyone want to play a game without sounds? That's just silly

        It's even more silly to think that sound not propagating through space means "without sounds". You'll have the soun

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Aereus (1042228)

      Quoted from a comment below the article on Massively.com:

      "Understand a few things before you QQ (listen up, it's important). You are looking at a newbie mission - in a Solrain newbie shuttle. This is the equivalent of "Go out and collect me 10 boar tusks young one; gain a level while you're at it. Congratulations, you're two!"

      The flight mode is using "dampeners". That's a jargon way of saying flight-assist mode is turned on. This allows new players to spend their first few missions learning the game instead

    • Seriously, games are meant to be fun. That is their primary reason to exist. Thus that needs to take precedence over all other concerns. A highly realastic space combat game isn't likely to be any fun. I don't want a game that is concerned with having 100% accurate modeling of motion, I want one that's fun to fly.

      All the space shooters that I remember the most fondly are quite unrealistic in many ways. Tie Fighter would be a great example. Love that game, probably the best space shooter of all time. However

      • by 4D6963 (933028)

        reality is going to take a back seat when it interferes with fun

        Not really. Realism always takes the back seat, period. I strongly doubt that these game designers considered even a second going with proper inertia/thrusting (unlike what you think there's not much gravity involved in this setting), or proper sound propagation. It's just out of the norm, out of the space shooter genre, out of the tiny box game designers restrict their thinking to when it comes to making a game. They don't omit realism becau

        • I strongly doubt that these game designers considered even a second going with proper inertia/thrusting (unlike what you think there's not much gravity involved in this setting)

          The game has proper physics, "noob" physics is an option you toggle. You'd be wrong.

          or proper sound propagation.

          Of course they didn't! They didn't because it'd be fuckin' boring! It doesn't even require a second of thought to realize that.

          Of all the science-fiction movies I've seen, 2001 was the most realistic one, with regard to sound, vacuum, distances, etc..

          2001 was also the worst (non B-movie) science fiction movie I've ever seen. That's hardly a great model.

    • Reading their Features page, this game seems just a clone of vendetta online [vendetta-online.com]. Twitch-based combat ? Three nations to pick from ? Bots-shooting grind ? Pirate minor factions ? Epic battles with capital ships ? Player-driven economy where you deliver needed goods to space stations ? The only feature missing is the asteroid mining.

      "there's like fighting types of ships, mining types of ships, cargo haulers and within that there's sort of sub-classes. So like, there's light fighters, medium fighters, heavy fight

      • Jumpgate came first, then Vendetta (which was a clone of Jumpgate), and now ND is remaking JG into something that might (we can all hope) be fun to play instead of infinitely annoying.

        VO and JGC both suffered from the same problem: a max population of about... 25 pilots.

  • Looking at that video, this doesn't seem to have advanced much beyond the sort of game-play we got with Freespace.
    For comparison: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6VhyMzu12c [youtube.com]
    • How, exactly, is that supposed to be a bad thing? Freespace was amazing, a MMORPG version is a great thing.
      • by Knara (9377)

        Pretty much. I've yet to play a space combat game I liked as much as FS1 and FS2.

  • Sigh, they really should have gotten this better. Come on. This gameplay style might have been fun a long time ago, for about 5-10 minutes. Today, MMO, hours... Nope. The I-War people got it right several years ago. Damn good game(s). In the early days even the Warhead (old amiga) got this right. Today, I would expect something a lot better.

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