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    Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  1. Ronyn

    Ronyn DEEPSTRYKER Community Manager

    Personally I like the mecha head.

    Which reminds me that it is very rare that there is a true consensus among the majority of a community when it comes to something visual like this. For every person who might not like one aspect of the omniframe there is another who does.
    Game communities are full of different people with different preferences. To change something based on one groups feedback may very well be against the feedback from another group. I'm all for the creator of something listening to the community when possible but its not as though there will ever be a universally liked design.
  2. Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  3. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    TY! Just trying to manage expectations and not let hype get out of proportion to the game. :)

  4. Thread: is it time for F2P players to pack the bags and leave? in General Ember Discussion

  5. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    I don't know what constitutes a DLC and what constitutes a mini-expansion in your mind? In my current thinking, mini-expansions are a probably going to be a collection of new content and gameplay that are bundled together and sold. For some, that's DLC, for others thats an expansion. Game can't be free, servers to run, people to pay and network bandwidth is a bitch.
  6. Thread: is it time for F2P players to pack the bags and leave? in General Ember Discussion

  7. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    Free Steam weekends have proven more effective to replace a free demo. Massively more effective. Demos just aren't as effective anymore. Free weekends get heavily promoted on Steam, and the limited timeframe means a huge wave of new players each time.

    The industry and markets have just moved on from demos, practically speaking.
  8. Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  9. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    In a perfect world, we would offer options for everyone to do anything. But we don't have a budget, we don't even have Firefall's budget. We have, as of today $3000 (which we used to pay for the website software, concept art time and backer fulfillment, etc.). I have to plan for that and not commit to saying "yes, we can do xyz option no problem!" Because every piece of art, chunk of armor, feature, and slider costs hundreds of not thousands to make. I'd rather offer fewer things, at higher quality, and focused on gameplay, than 1000 options.

    So if I sound hesitant on "why not just make it an option" its because we have to be very frugal. Ember is going to be have to be different simply because of math and dollars. I'm just trying to find creative ways that satisfy me as a creator to keep to the general principles of Firefall and match my original, but Ember will still be very different in execution. It has to be. Firefall cost over 60 million to make, while we have $3000. Firefall had a 150 person team, we have 2-3 part time people right now, and our team size will probably never exceed around 15 people. We can be true to Firefall's spirit, but there is no way we can be Firefall 2.0 and match them option for option, feature for feature. Nor should we, Firefall ended up being a huge mish-mash of half-completed features going in a thousand different directions.

    Imagine if we drew a concept of the recon frame and said "this is it! The one and only frame for Ember!" (because that's all this game can realistically afford: is developing one universal look of frame). We would have even more people in here that really miss their Assault and Arsenal frames.

    Omniframes have fast movement, gliding, jumpets and preserve the mobility "feel" of Firefall, which IMHO was the most important part of that aspect of frames. The gameplay trumps all.

    Meanwhile, I'm spending a lot of time figuring out how to do things in new ways to keep costs down and offer more. We're looking heavily into procedural tools for terrain, texturing, photogrammetry techniques for 3D modeling, and motion capture for animation. We're also looking at radical ways to keep server hardware costs down for a type of online game that is traditionally extremely CPU heavy (action shooting, etc.), so that Ember does not require huge monthly server costs and a team of 8 dedicated IT staff to run (like Firefall did just to keep servers running).

    I think we can do it. I'm more encouraged each time I see the support grow in the community. But remember, its still going to be a "mini" massive online game.
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  10. Thread: is it time for F2P players to pack the bags and leave? in General Ember Discussion

  11. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    When it comes down to it, I don't like how free to play games "taste" and I'd rather do a smaller niche game that didn't compromise design in any way to make enough people go to a cash shop. Yes, it probably means a smaller audience, and I'm fine with this.
  12. Thread: is it time for F2P players to pack the bags and leave? in General Ember Discussion

  13. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    The game will cost at the high end of Indie games. Looking at most indie games that seems to be in the $30 range, plus or minus. There will not be a subscription fee. The cash shop is for cosmetics and utility (name change, etc.). We will sell mini-expansions to keep content coming.

    If you are a player who needs a game they can play without every paying anything, anytime, we can't, as an Indie afford to do that. Our audience just won't be big enough for enough paying players to subsidize completely free players and cover the costs of servers and bandwidth. Well, that's not completely true, we could do this, but we'd end up having to monetize critical parts of gameplay and introduce deliberate "inconveniences" into the design to make more people pay so you can play absolutely free.

    If you are the type of player who likes to try a game for free and then decide to support it through cash shop, etc., then I'm sure we will do things like Steam free weekends where you can try the game for free.
  14. Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  15. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    Hey I know a few of you don't like the direction of the Omniframe. I just ask you keep an open mind and judge it by how it plays. I know I'm super excited and motivated by it, and that can only make for a better game. And to answer the question, the game is more science fantasy than hard sci-fi.

    Remember, the poster was made before any game pitch was made, just to judge interest and then later raise $500 for a website and forums where we can have arguments like this :)
  16. Thread: Alien concept art done, posted Soon(tm) in Ember Art & Design Updates

  17. Ronyn

    Ronyn DEEPSTRYKER Community Manager

    Hold on..who said the aliens we fight are indigenous to or even regular inhabitants of the planet we land on?
    What do you say we wait and see what the basis of these alien/human encounters are before we start pointing fingers shall we?
  18. Thread: Just a small forum design request + Poll in General Ember Discussion

  19. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    Xenforo features optional, user selectable themes. If you find a free one you like, I can install it for you and you can select it as your default.
  20. Thread: Alien concept art done, posted Soon(tm) in Ember Art & Design Updates

  21. Ronyn

    Ronyn DEEPSTRYKER Community Manager

    be afraid....
    Fryepod, Mahdi, engjang and 1 other person like this.
  22. Thread: Alien concept art done, posted Soon(tm) in Ember Art & Design Updates

  23. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

  24. Thread: which types of gameplay could Ember support? in General Ember Discussion

  25. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    We just don't know what method of procedural generation we will use yet. We have to look at every option from real-time to pre-proessed procedural generation that generate a library of maps that are randomly drawn upon. Sorry I don't have more info. All I know it we can't handcraft the maps like we did with Firefall and we need to find ways to generate a lot of terrain, and a good variety, with a very tiny team and budget.
    Ronyn and Fabricio21RJ like this.
  26. Thread: which types of gameplay could Ember support? in General Ember Discussion

  27. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    We're going to be using *some* kind of procedural generation. This might be based on algorithms, or by assembling random tiles. The actual methods and results have yet to be explored.

    Ember needs big zones with lots of room. Doing all of this by hand would be prohibitive for a tiny dev team and limited budget.

    We'll start with one planet. A very large planet. You'll open up terraforming "pockets" (i.e. zones) on this planet to explore for resources and build bases. If we get the budget and support, we may open it up to multiple planets. But we need to take it one small step at a time.

    A note on Terraforming: Right now all terraforming means is locating a new place on the planetary map and dropping down a terraforming machine. That will clear a space on the planet. Zones will not be connected, as its far simpler and cheaper to have separated pockets with loading. We're a small small team.
    Astro, Wyntyr, Beerdog6 and 3 others like this.
  28. Thread: I had hoped Ember would be Free to Play... in General Ember Discussion

  29. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    People here seemed to be worried about paying to unlock zones? I was thinking of having a couple of mini-expansions to the game. So instead of unlocking zones, you would be unlocking a combination of new features and content.
    TGVirus and Mahdi like this.
  30. Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  31. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    heh, fair enough. :)
  32. Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  33. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    The time the poster was made, there was no design, no game, just a petition. It's like trying to hold Star Wars to the first draft of its script and saying it cannot deviate, no matter how early in the process it is.

    The game is not in production, ideas can and will change. From your post you also sound like you know what crafting and customization and gear progression will be like. Well, I do not know, because we haven't designed it yet.

    I understand this direction is a personal disappointment to you to a very large degree (maybe fatally, in terms of supporting this game). I'm sorry for that but what can I do?
  34. Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  35. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    That's mostly the foreshortening and perspective at work. We normally tweak proportions during the modeling phase as it makes a big difference to see it in 3D.
  36. Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  37. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    I've mentioned it in other places, but travel speed is not the primary differentiating factor or purpose of a vehicle in Ember. Think more Planetside 2, and less bikes and armored personnel transport or jeeps. The purpose of vehicles in Ember is not always about transportation as it is about firepower and options/features/tactical options.
    Pandagnome, Sud Monkey, Astro and 3 others like this.
  38. Thread: The Omniframe Revealed in Ember Art & Design Updates

  39. Grummz

    Grummz Administrator Ember Dev

    Ya sorry guys, but open cockpit is the way I think it needs to be. Covering it up makes it much more like a robot and most people have less connection with their pilot this way. You'd basically never see people, unless you invented entire social gameplay mechanics that required it, which is a lot of work just to see your character. Putting your char on a UI screen really only makes it work for you and only when you open up your UI. Others can't see you unless they maybe pull up an inspection UI, which again is not most of the time.

    People are overthinking the shields thing. It doesn't ruin gameplay, or even immersion to have a hand-wave here. Granted, it might to some players, but we have games with death and respawning, infinite ammo, and enemies that pop into existence and in some games animals that drop weapons. It's really not going to cause a design problem (unless you say that all design must make physical sense, but that's never the case and is a straightjacket that limits the core goal of fun). What it does require is a suspension of disbelief. You already did it with Firefall frames and their lack of coverage... and Firefall has no shields. By all rights a weapon that can chew through Firefall's ceramic and sintergel filled frame should evaporate you on a headshot, but it doesn't.

    The design for the Omniframe is already more striking than any "guy in a suit" type thing and stands out as fairly unique. If we close the cockpit it would start to look like every other mech game out there. If we do away with the frame and use a suit, then we're going to have trouble standing out from generic space marine (or Warmachine or Overwatch).

    Movies make this sacrifice all the time. The mechs in Matrix, Edge of Tomorrow (Live, Die, Repeat), Aliens (loader), and in many cases the open helmets and cockpits of movie designs are there to let you see the character and identify one from the other and to see their expressions and humanity and character. This design will let us have far more customization options and a unique look that I think sets us apart...while creating a stronger connection to your friends characters and your own.

    For those that want a more armored look, the pilot can have suit variations that resemble hard armor for those that prefer it. For those that want to dress casual, this allows it. Its all about expressing your individuality as a person and not just as a machine. In fact, nesting the pilot into the frame gives your a ton of more options for customizing your look, feel and even personality than Firefall ever did.

    Maybe I'm wrong. If so, that's the goal of the mini-milestones. If I guessed wrong and people can't get behind this design and feel its a deal breaker for them, the next round won't fund. That's why we break it up into smaller chunks. It minimizes your risk by raising smaller amounts and gives us the ultimate feedback. Meanwhile, though, the response has been overwhelmingly positive with only lingering worry about the openness. "Have a cookie, by the time you're done eating it, I hope you'll be as right as rain"...to butcher a quote from the Matrix. What I mean is, see how it feels to play it, and you won't really be remembering your worries about an open pilot.

    For any BMW fans out there, you might remember the Bangle butt. Chris Bangle, lead designer for BMW, changed the trunk of the 7 serious BMW radially, and the outcry was immense, not like the polite discussion we have here. :) I hated it too. But sales of the 7 serious rose, and the butt spread not just to other BMWs but to many other makes as people copied it. I've long since forgotten why I hated it, and even think its normal now. Same with my reaction to the N64 controller with its middle "prong." I sent a not so nice letter to Nintendo about that one, and so did many, many others. You never hear about that now.

    This won't be the only departure from Firefall's *specifics*. I'm not aiming to copy Firefall but to adhere to its original principles and design, much of it never implemented. Ember will be its own kind of game....the game Firefall never got the chance to be. So expect the unexpected, but I think its safe to say this (the Omniframe) is one of the biggest differences you'll see.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
    Pandagnome, Sud Monkey, Astro and 5 others like this.