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Weirdbeard
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JA came out at a time when most left in the JO community swore no more "Jedi" games were coming anytime soon. Some claimed to have friends at Lucas Arts and Raven and were in contaxt with them via email, yadda, yadda. When JA came out it was a surprise to everyone and we all found out Raven had been working on it since a few days after JO's release. If LA is going to release another game, they are not obligated to say so one way or the other.

 

Well, it was only a year after JK2. Using the same engine base saves a lot of time for a sequel. Now it's been more than two years since JA, and still not even a rumor of a new Jedi game (unless you counted ROTS: The Console Game, which I'm told kinda sucked anyway).

 

At least in the case of JA, JK2 was a great game to begin with. SWBF had serious problems, and its sequel is supposed to supplant it pretty much ("it's the game we wanted to release in the first place" they're saying).

 

If it uses a new engine (which it will, at least new in the sense of the JK series not using it before), it'll feel new and different. Whether it uses Doom3 or Havok or Unreal Tech, etc. they'll still have to work from the ground up to add the melee combat and force system. It'll still be a lot of work and take years. All of those engines have ragdoll, don't they? It's kind a standard feature anymore in FPS game engines.

 

The idea of using "Mouse saber control" has its downsides. How are you going to make it work well in an environment with lag such as multiplayer? How are you going to make it useful for a PC gamer that isn't using a controller with dual analog sticks? Having more realistic physics (as Obi-Wan tried to do) and more interaction with the environment is a fine idea, but I'm sure it's even more work. Whatever the case we're in for a long wait.

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But Half Life 2 has ragdoll right? Wouldn't it be better to use hl2 because of the havok physics engine and the HUGE environments?

 

Half Life 2 has rag dolls as well, yes...of course the physics code can't be released to modders since it uses Havok. The Doom 3 SDK actually has the entire physics engine open to modders to modify or even replace...in fact the SDK has about half of the games code. I'm not aware of any other major engine out which is this open to modders.

 

Anyway, Source's collision detection seems to be somewhat suspect which would be pretty bad for saber fights...Doom 3's per-poly collision detection would be far better IMO. Physics-wise, Doom 3, as a game, didn't really use its physics engine very much...it's actually pretty good if you turn on g_dragentity and start throwing things around. (Grab a dead zombie by the arm and swing it around)

 

And Half Life 2 didn't have any huge environments...it's use of portal skies gave the impression of a huge draw distance, but it didn't actually have anything that large. Artistically Half Life 2 was brilliant and gave those kinds of impressions without actually literally doing it. Source is actually somewhat limited because of its BSP implementation...the Doom 3 engine is portal based and has no actual limit to level size. It also means there's hardly any time to compile levels compared to BSP implementations. A week ago or so, I ported a level from the 1998 game Trespasser to Doom 3...the level terrain is about a mile in size, and it was just a matter of seconds to compile it.

 

http://dynamic.gamespy.com/~trescom/board/viewtopic.php?t=3639

 

And of course Quake Wars is another example of huge environments in the Doom 3 engine...in fact it uses a Doom 3 engine technology called MegaTexture which allows the use of a single huge 30,000 by 30,000 texture for the terrain which completely eliminates the need for tiling. :)

 

The idea of using "Mouse saber control" has its downsides. How are you going to make it work well in an environment with lag such as multiplayer? How are you going to make it useful for a PC gamer that isn't using a controller with dual analog sticks? Having more realistic physics (as Obi-Wan tried to do) and more interaction with the environment is a fine idea, but I'm sure it's even more work. Whatever the case we're in for a long wait.

 

Yeah...the multiplayer is especially problematic. I think that won't be completely possible until there are much faster connections that can handle all the physics and collision detection and stuff. As for the mouse thing, I think it could work well if when you click you can swing your saber by moving the mouse...the camera view could continue to move as well, since it would be in the direction the mouse is going (although perhaps it would need to be slower). It would need a lot of tweaking, and it would have to be very smooth and responsive...but I think it would be brilliant if done right. And I think Raven would be a great company to do it since they seem to be pretty good at getting things done properly in a reasonable amount of time. :)

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Half Life 2 has rag dolls as well, yes...of course the physics code can't be released to modders since it uses Havok. The Doom 3 SDK actually has the entire physics engine open to modders to modify or even replace...in fact the SDK has about half of the games code. I'm not aware of any other major engine out which is this open to modders.

 

That sounds cool for modders, but really has nothing to do with whether it would make a good Jedi game or not. A company liscensing the engine would have much more access to things than a modder would ever dream. And how many people are going to make a mod of the Jedi game and completely rewrite the entire animation physics and saber engine for their mod? So that really isn't such a big problem as you make it sound. ;)

 

Anyway, Source's collision detection seems to be somewhat suspect which would be pretty bad for saber fights...Doom 3's per-poly collision detection would be far better IMO. Physics-wise, Doom 3, as a game, didn't really use its physics engine very much...it's actually pretty good if you turn on g_dragentity and start throwing things around. (Grab a dead zombie by the arm and swing it around)

 

Then the question is how that translates to online play. I've been told (and I'm no network systems expert so I could be misunderstanding this) that most games don't have to send a lot of data for online play. You're either shot or your shot. Whereas all the saber stuff in JK2/JA is very complex and error prone. It's their "best compromise" that we endup seeing. The more complex the physics the more strain on the server and the more chances for it to goof up on somebody's end. So while more and more complex physics seems like a great thing, it comes with its own problems.

 

And Half Life 2 didn't have any huge environments...it's use of portal skies gave the impression of a huge draw distance, but it didn't actually have anything that large. Artistically Half Life 2 was brilliant and gave those kinds of impressions without actually literally doing it. Source is actually somewhat limited because of its BSP implementation...the Doom 3 engine is portal based and has no actual limit to level size. It also means there's hardly any time to compile levels compared to BSP implementations. A week ago or so, I ported a level from the 1998 game Trespasser to Doom 3...the level terrain is about a mile in size, and it was just a matter of seconds to compile it.

 

So we're really talking here about the illusion of huge areas vs. actual huge areas to explore. It depends on the case really. For multiplayer the illusion of size is usually fine. A giant single player level is a nice thing but it need not be done that way, most games tend to break them up into chunks and as long as the load time isn't severe, you'll barely notice you're not in the same giant level, but several sub portions of it.

 

And of course Quake Wars is another example of huge environments in the Doom 3 engine...in fact it uses a Doom 3 engine technology called MegaTexture which allows the use of a single huge 30,000 by 30,000 texture for the terrain which completely eliminates the need for tiling. :)

 

Is Quake Wars what they're calling Quake IV now? Also, what's the deal with 30,000 x 30,000 textures? While that's a nice feature to have, that just means you'll have to design a texture that's that big. Is all that work really necessary? I'd be tempted to copy and paste and tile while making the texture to save time! But I'm sure that's just the limit of the feature if you happened to want to use it for some strange reason. I mean, in a game do you stop and stare at each grain of sand to see if it's just a copy of the grain of sand 10 feet away on another patch of ground? Most of the time that wouldn't even matter, in fact probably all the time where an FPS is concerned.

 

Yeah...the multiplayer is especially problematic. I think that won't be completely possible until there are much faster connections that can handle all the physics and collision detection and stuff.

 

Super complex physics might require them to limit the number of players below what we're used to or skimp on other things. I don't know. But if that's the case, then that's a pretty big trade-off.

 

As for the mouse thing, I think it could work well if when you click you can swing your saber by moving the mouse...the camera view could continue to move as well, since it would be in the direction the mouse is going (although perhaps it would need to be slower). It would need a lot of tweaking, and it would have to be very smooth and responsive...but I think it would be brilliant if done right. And I think Raven would be a great company to do it since they seem to be pretty good at getting things done properly in a reasonable amount of time. :)

 

The trouble is I've seen how this kind of "mouse control" which sounds great at first, actually plays out. Everybody remember "Die by the Sword"? It had full mouse control over your swings. Swing your mouse, swing your sword. Swing fast, you swing fast, swing slow, you swing slow, etc. The trouble is even though it worked, it took little skill. Basically a battle was won by who could "wiggle" their mouse the fastest. So break your wrist, and you lose!

 

It's akin to winning a multiplayer fighting game by button mashing. I mean, what's the fun in that, ultimately? And of course lag affected it like anything else. You could choose between the VSIM mouse system or preset attacks, but there's my point. People assume a free swinging mouse based saber would be more realistic and more fun, more movie-like, more natural, etc. but there's still the issue of game balance and fun. People would learn to swing wildly to overcome their opponents.

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That sounds cool for modders, but really has nothing to do with whether it would make a good Jedi game or not. A company liscensing the engine would have much more access to things than a modder would ever dream. And how many people are going to make a mod of the Jedi game and completely rewrite the entire animation physics and saber engine for their mod? So that really isn't such a big problem as you make it sound. ;)

 

Well I noticed people talking about ease of modding and stuff earlier, and this certainly is pretty big as far as that goes. (Especially if the combat system relies heavily on physics...with a closed physics engine anyone wanting to change the system is pretty much screwed)

 

 

Then the question is how that translates to online play. I've been told (and I'm no network systems expert so I could be misunderstanding this) that most games don't have to send a lot of data for online play. You're either shot or your shot. Whereas all the saber stuff in JK2/JA is very complex and error prone. It's their "best compromise" that we endup seeing. The more complex the physics the more strain on the server and the more chances for it to goof up on somebody's end. So while more and more complex physics seems like a great thing, it comes with its own problems.

 

 

 

So we're really talking here about the illusion of huge areas vs. actual huge areas to explore. It depends on the case really. For multiplayer the illusion of size is usually fine. A giant single player level is a nice thing but it need not be done that way, most games tend to break them up into chunks and as long as the load time isn't severe, you'll barely notice you're not in the same giant level, but several sub portions of it.

 

Yep, well a lot of this comes down to SP vs. MP...I'm thinking more from a SP standpoint here rather than MP. For MP you can always just simplify things if there's too much going on...Quake 4 for example uses hitboxes in MP rather than per-poly collision detection since that was one of the things that caused Doom 3's lag. Jedi Knight games have always had a major SP focus and the better tech would greatly enhance that. MP unfortunately can't benefit from most of the physics stuff because of the lag, but at least it can be in SP.

 

 

 

Is Quake Wars what they're calling Quake IV now? Also, what's the deal with 30,000 x 30,000 textures? While that's a nice feature to have, that just means you'll have to design a texture that's that big. Is all that work really necessary? I'd be tempted to copy and paste and tile while making the texture to save time! But I'm sure that's just the limit of the feature if you happened to want to use it for some strange reason. I mean, in a game do you stop and stare at each grain of sand to see if it's just a copy of the grain of sand 10 feet away on another patch of ground? Most of the time that wouldn't even matter, in fact probably all the time where an FPS is concerned.

 

Actually Quake Wars is a completely different game that is being developed by Splash Damage (who made RTCW: Enemy Territory)...in fact the full name is Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

 

http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/enemy-territory-quake-wars/

 

I don't think anyone actually draws the 30,000 x 30,000 texture by hand...Splash Damage hired some texture artists with procedural texture experience, so I think the texture may actually be procedurally generated at load time. (1Gb textures are kind of heavy to be including with each level) Apparently different materials have different physical properties, which makes me think the artist just "paints" different materials onto the terrain. With procedurally generated materials, you can have huge expanses of sand or rock or something without tiling. Look at the Trespasser screens in the link I posted to see why tiling is a bad thing...tiling isn't a problem up close, it's the overall pattern that becomes very apparent when seen from a distance that looks bad. It means a lot of extra work to hide the tiling. With the ability to just have a huge texture, things are a snap to make (at least with procedurally generated textures).

 

And I would like to see larger levels...One of things that was great about Jedi Knight was how huge the levels were. When I think "huge environment" that's the sort of thing I think of. You can't fake Jedi Knight's levels with portal skies. And besides, with vehicles and stuff, large levels are pretty much a must or else it feels very cramped. The image in my head right at the moment is the very high elevator in the fuel station level...it was incredible because the elevator was just screaming up at a tremendous speed, but the tower was so high it still took a long time...looking at the space ship you could tell that the size was real. That's the sort of thing that needs to return.

 

 

The trouble is I've seen how this kind of "mouse control" which sounds great at first, actually plays out. Everybody remember "Die by the Sword"? It had full mouse control over your swings. Swing your mouse, swing your sword. Swing fast, you swing fast, swing slow, you swing slow, etc. The trouble is even though it worked, it took little skill. Basically a battle was won by who could "wiggle" their mouse the fastest. So break your wrist, and you lose!

 

It's akin to winning a multiplayer fighting game by button mashing. I mean, what's the fun in that, ultimately? And of course lag affected it like anything else. You could choose between the VSIM mouse system or preset attacks, but there's my point. People assume a free swinging mouse based saber would be more realistic and more fun, more movie-like, more natural, etc. but there's still the issue of game balance and fun. People would learn to swing wildly to overcome their opponents.

 

Well, that's why physics would be a must as well...in real life if you try and quickly swing your weapon back and forth like that you'd quickly lose your balance and end up making a fool of yourself (in quite a deadly way). If things are set up right the same thing would happen in-game...it would require players actually use their head to win. Of course with MP all this data is a nightmare to get across the internet...it could probably work over LAN if we're talking 2-3 person duels. I guess other than that we're stuck with Jedi Outcast combat (since even Jedi Academy was problematic).

 

Personally I hated Die by the Sword's system since it seemed like the swing was always way too high or way to low or something...it was never where I felt I was actually moving my mouse. I think technology may not have been far enough along for it to work properly...I think it could be done now though. Of course it's no easy task, and it could easily come off completely wrong, but I still think it could be worth it, at least for SP.

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Well, that's why physics would be a must as well...in real life if you try and quickly swing your weapon back and forth like that you'd quickly lose your balance and end up making a fool of yourself (in quite a deadly way). If things are set up right the same thing would happen in-game...it would require players actually use their head to win. Of course with MP all this data is a nightmare to get across the internet...it could probably work over LAN if we're talking 2-3 person duels. I guess other than that we're stuck with Jedi Outcast combat (since even Jedi Academy was problematic).

 

That's all well and good but you'd have to part artificial limits on people then, because in the gaming world most of the stuff that limits us in real life doesn't apply, and for good reason (it's more complicated and cuts into the fun). Would they add a tired meter as well? Think of how over-reliance on physics ruined a game like Trespasser. Now there was a disaster! Not only was it "unrealistic" but it wasn't even fun.

 

Would it really be desirable to have a feature that makes you stab yourself with your lightsaber or fall flat on your face if you swing your saber too fast?

 

The thing is, if this were a straight "duel" game, it wouldn't be such an issue. Like Doom3's small intimate matches, this could be a very personal, Soul Calibur-esque experience. The trouble is, that's a radical departure from the rest of the JK series. I think you'd drive away a lot of fans if you did that.

 

Leave that kind of thing to games like Revenge of the Sith or Obi-Wan. Then again playing on the console does have certain advantages there (if you're both playing on the same machine... no lag!).

 

Personally I hated Die by the Sword's system since it seemed like the swing was always way too high or way to low or something...it was never where I felt I was actually moving my mouse. I think technology may not have been far enough along for it to work properly...I think it could be done now though. Of course it's no easy task, and it could easily come off completely wrong, but I still think it could be worth it, at least for SP.

 

Doesn't matter. The point is, this type of control would just lend itself to "mouse wiggling" not skill. To counteract it would mean either introducing silliness straight out of Trespasser (see my above comment) or slapping "unrealistic" limits on how often you could swing. Ultimately I think it sounds like a good idea, but when you get down to it, it's not really an improvement.

 

In the end, you'll still end up with what we had in JK2/JA... a disconnect between Single Player and Multiplayer, two seperate games, which means even longer development time or they sacrifice one game mode's quality for the other.

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Yeah, well I was mostly just thinking of something where if you try swinging your mouse back and forth, you end up off balance making it easy for the other person to knock you to the floor (if you haven't already fallen down due to swinging back and forth). More like something where the physics assist the way the gameplay is programmed, rather than the physics being the gameplay. (As you pointed out Trespasser showed what happens when you try taking that to the extreme) I guess ultimately you're right though that Jedi Knight is more of an all-out combat type of game where that type of precise combat isn't really appropriate. Still, I think elements of the tech could be incorporated to push JO/JA's combat further. Something to make a jump like JK to JO.

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The mouse-based saber system is an ideal because it allows complete customization and requires skill. It is not hack and slash unless you are incompetent. It is also not a series of button combinations; it is free form and versatile. Unfortunately, the MP implementation is an issue. Perhaps in SP it could be completely mouse-based, but in MP (unless on LAN) it could be button comboes. Oh, I don't know.

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Well just think about why it wouldn't be a skill based system (if you have complete freedom):

 

Me: Wiggles mouse back and forth (my character swings rapidly)

Opponent: Wiggles mouse back and forth (their character swings rapidly)

 

Who wins? The person who swings faster, leading to more swings, which means they hit more often or else their swings "beat down" the defenses of the other and they win. Or it ends up being too random.

 

This is what happened with Die By the Sword online multiplayer sword fighting, and the selling point of that game was the mouse based melee combat.

 

It sounds like a great idea, but in actual practice it just leads to spammage, not skill.

 

Worse yet, if there's the ability to script, then people can bind "moves" to their mouse/keys that give them an insane advantage. Why sprain your wrist when you can use a macro that just moves the mouse crazily for you? Or does a complete 360 with one click? People may take advantage and cheat their way to victory (similar to using a "rapid fire" controller to win a "button mashing" sequence in a game).

 

Yes, in SP the computer player isn't going to just swing back and forth as fast as possible (and a computer could swing faster and longer than a human ever could anyway so it wouldn't be fair if they did) meaning you could just spam your way to victory. Again, unless they took away your freedom and limited you in artificial ways.

 

Now if you were using some kind of "Lightsaber controller" (a sword handle like in Omnisashu III or MAZAN: Flash of the Blade arcade game or something like that) that wouldn't be as cheat prone because you would have to move the physical controller really fast, and you could limit that by making it heavy or cumbersome to do so, etc. Of course in a setup like that, would you require people to have the controller to play? Would they have an advantage or disadvantage over mouse/keyboard or other joystick users? That's a key question to ask if you were designing this game. ;)

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  • 1 month later...

The mouse thing won't work anyways... why?

 

You trying to convert mouse movements on a 2D plane into a 3D game. It won't work... or it will look stupid. I like the current system. They just need to enhance it more, add a blocking option, and some counter attacks (simular to Soul Calibur's guarde break attacks)

 

For those unfamiliar, Guard break/impact or whatever it was called, was a special timed block, that the player had to initiat at an exact moment, which basically almost knocked the other guy down by blocking his attack... leaving them open for a quick few hits. This makes both players think before they hit...

 

Its also good because if someone is getting stabbed a lot and can't get away they can guarde break the attack and get a few hits in. This can't be spammed, because the only way to do it is to have someone swing at you first, and you have to get it just right. Simular to the stab thing in JKA, the only way to stab a player on the ground is to knock them down.

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I sure hope there is a JK 4. Won't happen soon, but imagine lightsaber dueling with the Nintendo Revolution controller, with a Quake 4 graphics engine.

 

I think I'll sleep until that happens.

 

That would rock so hard, combine that with geo modding and havok physics for the force powers. Love your avatar btw.

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  • 2 months later...
* Darth Vader: This is an interesting one. Many rumours have been around for some time regarding a Jedi Knight/Outcast style game revolving around the rise of Vader and the Empire. It's all quiet on the Vader front lately, but it's possible this game may re-appear around E3 time if LucasArts make it a reality.
Found this quote in an article about "what's new for Lucasarts in 06 " at theforce.net I dont know where they got this info from but I hope it's true. :slsaber:
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I remember hearing about the "Darth Vader Game" back in the day, but we all assumed what that REALLY was, was "Episode III: Revenge of the Sith" for consoles. What would they do this time, a Vader game that lets you play through the classic trilogy? That would be neat, but I wonder if the rumor poster realized the possible connection with that game that was released last year to coincide with the movie...

 

Now of course they billed ROTS the game as "the ultimate Jedi simulator" and people talked about it as if it were the first game with lightsaber and force powers (it wasn't of course), etc. etc. Basically they implied it was the next Jedi Knight game, but it clearly wasn't, since it didn't have first person, it wasn't set in the same era and didn't have any of the same characters or storyline, and was not released on PC.

 

Considering how annoying some people found that game, hopefully they can do better!

 

Well, anyway, if nobody has any new information on a "JK4" I think it's time to close this... until next month when the next person asks, then just send them the link to this thread to read. ;)

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Wow, I am suprised this thread is still alive. Then again, if it wasn't, some moron would surely make another JK4 rumor thread anyway.

 

Until LEC decides to make a quality JK game that can compete with other big name FPS's as opposed to simply competing with other Star Wars games, this series is dead to me. Chances are against us, though, because LEC will milk the cash cow until the utters are bone dry, regardless if their products are mediocre or not.

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Don't be so ready to call them "morons." Merely, not as informed as we are. ;)

 

After all, EVERY time somebody likes a game, they almost always hope for a sequel, and turn that hope into a "is there a rumor" type thread. See the Battlefront 3 thread, the Republic Commando 2 threads, etc. Heck the SWBF3 one came out shortly after the first game came out! People demand sequels to games they like, it never fails...

 

I agree though, we don't need a sequel just for the sake of a sequel. It should be worthy of the series, and not something rushed or done half-way. We don't need a rehash, but something special. I personally think there's plenty of potential in the series, such as exploring the Dark Side angle, expanding on the ideas begun in the "siege" gametype of JA, and bringing back the "morality scale" and other underutilized ideas introduced earlier in the series. Some people think too one-dimensionally with this and assume that we either have to get rid of Kyle Katarn or make it an entirely saber based game and since that would be boring and divergent, then we should give up on the series.

 

Of course it's really out of our hands, since LucasArts gets to decide if there's to be a sequel or not, and when, and by whom.

 

Frankly I think JA and JK2 DID (and do) compete with other FPS games. I'm not sure which games you mean that are only competing with other Star Wars games (Battlefront series perhaps? Republic Commando?). Even as pure FPS games, the JK series is amazing. I'm concerned with the multiplayer aspect, but even in those areas, the two recent titles are very much within the FPS tradition. It's more recent titles, outside the JK series that have failed I think.

 

Yet, supposed "bare bones" FPS games that are extremely hyped and popular still "Fall down" in terms of features. Compare say Doom3 with Unreal Tournament. How feature rich is Quake IV compared to UT2k4? There's something to be said about marketing potential. Anyway, yeah, what else needs to be said here...?

 

We could lock this one, but you're right, somebody else will just ask again in a few weeks. ;)

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Hopefully, stickying it would stop people from posting new threads on it every other week. And when they inevitably do post a new one anyway, we can a) link it easily as it's on the front page, and b) point out to them that it's actually on the first page.

 

It seems to be a recurrent topic, so I thought stickying might be a bit of a solution. (we could do with a parsepacket_entities one as well, didn't there used to be one?)

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