Another "game when?" + Focus Change Feedback Thread

Should EM-8ER change focus from Thumping Encounter to Kaiju Hunting?


  • Total voters
    8

liandri

Omni Ace
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Jul 29, 2016
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Zone of Bones, Australia
#1
Hi all.

The last few emails from the Ember forums, and the lack of updates, have got me itching again, so here’s a new forum post.

I completely disagree with the change of focus of the demo. I too thought it sounded a bit too much like Evolve, and it detracted from the reason that I backed M3 in the first place: Firefall. Now, I’m not expecting EM-8ER to be like Firefall, on the contrary I was hoping it would greatly build in the original concepts and modernise it in a meaningful way; where players are the focus, not their cash. But, I do expect it to be Firefallesque, which selling cosmetics, not adding features/fixing things in your game, and fighting large bullet sponge monsters ARE NOT the parts of Firefall I wanted to see emulated.

The current demo is not impressive given the massive amount of time that has gone into it from 2018 onwards. The time lost through COVID, features non-existent in UE4 and now standard in UE5, and the art passes, are noted. They do not together justify the state of the demo, and the state of the demo does not justify putting our faith and wallets towards EM-8ER for another change of direction.

So I “thought about it” for “a couple of weeks” and tried to find features that could be reused and improved upon so we could have fun rock collecting.

Incorporate the New Copa level into the demo
Adding New Copa to the demo utilises the ‘Taxi’ mechanic from the Claimstakes dev build. New Copa is also a much more friendly, interesting looking world than the frost plains, though much smaller. This would be a good environment for players to trial using the personal THMPR (instead of in their own instance), safely gather materials, test out weapons and gliding. It also introduces them to the world of EM-8ER and what the Gatestriders are trying to achieve. Changes would need to be made in:
  • Adding back rifts on the outer islands only, or when a player is mining a lot of resources.
  • In the UE5 world, these could be readded as a dynamic event when you’re travelling around looking for resources. Have them spawn faster in the UE5 demo.
  • Replace the really bad water effect with something else.
  • The Home demo, or social hub demo, could be scrapped completely with New Copa being used for this purpose instead. The world is there, but some basic structures (maybe some huts and a landing pad) and a place for players to gather and communicate with their avatars (such as a bar with interactable seating and an omniframe parking zone). Tiki torches to bring back the Copacabana Firefall vibe.
  • New Copa needs to be placed in a terraforming bubble for lore reasons. Even if this is a whitebox model in the sky with a light on it, at least it is there and it explains, in part, why there is an invisible wall.
  • There’s a render of the bike. Put the bike in. It’ll look cool. This goes for other completed models, like the Mk1 omniframe.

Thumping encounter dynamics
The crux of my issue switching to a Kaiju-focused encounter is the thumping encounter was already going to feature a kaiju. Instead of now helping your THMPR defeat one, you’re going out to hunt one yourself. This should be an optional uncommon event, not a full demo on its own.

The thumping encounter is boring because there is:
  • No variety - you fight two enemies, who spawn at consistent intervals in the same quantity
  • Same-y low level combat mechanics - you have two weapons, missile swarm to eliminate Tsi-hu and Deepstryke for clumps of kneebiters.
  • No reward - resources that do nothing
  • It's the same encounter every time.
I propose the following to resolve these:

Variety.
  • Lower the health on the kneebiters to 15.
  • Increase their spawn rate by 3x.
  • Increase their speed and responsiveness so they can easily chase down a sprinting omniframe.
  • Where is their model and beam attack?
  • Add back the grappler enemy. Instead of killing you outright, change their attack to pull you to the ground, disabling gliding and temporarily your jumpjets energy to 10% for a few seconds.
  • Add back the Tsi-hu armoured. Give him a plasma cannon.
  • Change how the crystals drop so they don't just fall in a huge clump. When the encounter portal opens, crystals spawn 100m above with 0% opacity. Raise to 100% as it reaches the portal and drops to the ground. They should do this one by one, for each ring at the same time. Falling speed should be doubled.
  • Tsi-hu don't fall out of the sky in the novel. Perhaps rifts could serve this purpose also.

Combat mechanics.
A single-player encounter can be defeated with missile swarm only. A 4-player encounter is hectic due to the constant number of enemies. All abilities and weapons should be used.

Still, the combat appeals to the assault player of Firefall, with the added Missile Swarm of Arsenal, albeit restricted. The assault class isn't the only Firefall class, nor is the Medium Omniframe a "class". Weapons use on a frame is more restricted to energy use and size, rather than "class".
  • Add a charge rifle. Equivalent to a sniper rifle, but it takes energy much like the plasma cannon does.
  • Add a combat shotgun.
  • Add a poison needler. Each shot can deal base 1-2 damage, plus 5 poison damage (stackable) over 2.5 seconds. 50 rounds, can expend this in 7.5 seconds.
  • Add the Turret ability.
    • Better yet, place these models near spawns to add some more flair.
  • Add the Overclock ability. Increase movement speed, energy recharge rate, and weapon speed (in omniframe) by 50% for 10 seconds. 1 min cooldown.
  • Add the Poison Cloud ability. Shoots to an area, spawns an area of denial cloud dealing 10 poison damage per second for 15 seconds.
This requires a basic inventory system, or a way to switch weapons and abilities in the hotbar.

Resources and Crafting
Rock collecting he says. You’re right, we’re collecting meaningless rocks and not doing anything with them. So, add some crafting basics! Nothing crafted in this stage of the demos need be very complicated. This is optional equipment meant to reward players for doing the encounter, without locking new features requiring testing behind a timewall.
Possible craftable items could include:
  • Alternative colour swap options for the omniframes. Maybe one or two.
  • The jump pad as a deployable in the C menu.
  • Maybe small cosmetics for the pilot. A pair of shades that can be toggled in the C menu.
This feature also leads into the Kickstarter demo for actual rewards for playing in the demo (ie. keeping it active). You could eventually offer a special skin or emote in the KS demo only to encourage players to remain active during the campaign.

Same encounter every time
This will be resolved with the above, along with new updates to existing content. The new Tsi-hu will change the encounter with their spear-like weapons, kneebiters will beam attack and swarm the THMPR. A kaiju will shake things up. If a player is doing well, you might spice up an encounter by adding a Tsi-hu “death squad” that actively pursue the player during the encounter, rather than focus on the THMPR to pull the players attention.

My opinion on this change of direction
My opinion on EM-8ER, or whatever the new name will be, is that the project is dawdling aimlessly. It used to be about new features now and for when the game releases, but it now just seems to be… Not “trend” hopping but something similar. In trying to stay on the cutting edge and give players the most interesting experience possible, the project has lost its grounding and is suffering for it.

There is no need to switch focus. There is need to improve the game experience you have. It’s too late to go on another several month tangent to try something new. If you can’t even hit the backlog of roadmap milestones, you won’t be able to release a massive feature AND make it fun, enjoyable and rewardable for the player base in a reasonable span of time.

Last Words
Grummz made up his mind about claimstakes, so I’m sure his mind is made up about 4v1 Kaiju hunting. This forum post, and all your feedback, likely won’t matter.

In short, the focus change feels like a failed attempt at hype generation. The name change sounds like an optics shift. Sit down and build upon what you have now instead of running away from your promises. Show us and stop telling us.

At least, that’s what I think. What do you think?
 

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
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#2
Adding New Copa to the demo utilises the ‘Taxi’ mechanic from the Claimstakes dev build. New Copa is also a much more friendly, interesting looking world than the frost plains, though much smaller.
I'd like to see something like this guess it is where we created something we call close to a home away from home.


The Home demo, or social hub demo, could be scrapped completely with New Copa being used for this purpose instead. The world is there, but some basic structures (maybe some huts and a landing pad) and a place for players to gather and communicate with their avatars (such as a bar with interactable seating and an omniframe parking zone). Tiki torches to bring back the Copacabana Firefall vibe.
Copa could be the hub for new folks and bring a familiarity to those who played Firefall.
Having a community build there is a good place since we can think of the atmosphere and beaches as relaxing unless the odd tsihi and annoying stuff tend to waltz in time to time!

I don't know about totally scrapping homes / social demo what if those are advanced homes or social sectors.

As an example

- Copa Community homes, ease of access with taxi location.
- Social / Home In the future we can discover areas and create our home or even link with others to make a social network optional.

As an example i'd like to have a racing area with a garage home and on the other side a stealth generator where my underground home is with a guard pet who greets friendlies walking into someones foot and nods

What if i like to link up my racing area with others who have similar racing area's then the taxi naviagation systems would update and reveal more to the race network etc.

This could be for other things such as Fashion where we can see others fashion at their area.
Even a battle Dojo where we can spar with others or practise skills with others instead of npc's in Holo simulations.

Copa could be the main place because our homes / social area won't have everything compared to what copa has to offer.


There’s a render of the bike. Put the bike in. It’ll look cool. This goes for other completed models, like the Mk1 omniframe.
If it is too early to put a working bike could put a toy version to wobble on this can include mounts too with a message saying coming soon!
1668085832398.jpeg


  • Lower the health on the kneebiters to 15.
  • Increase their spawn rate by 3x.
  • Increase their speed and responsiveness so they can easily chase down a sprinting omniframe.
  • Where is their model and beam attack?
  • Add back the grappler enemy. Instead of killing you outright, change their attack to pull you to the ground, disabling gliding and temporarily your jumpjets energy to 10% for a few seconds.
  • Add back the Tsi-hu armoured. Give him a plasma cannon.
  • Change how the crystals drop so they don't just fall in a huge clump. When the encounter portal opens, crystals spawn 100m above with 0% opacity. Raise to 100% as it reaches the portal and drops to the ground. They should do this one by one, for each ring at the same time. Falling speed should be doubled.
  • Tsi-hu don't fall out of the sky in the novel. Perhaps rifts could serve this purpose also.
Yes I think those are good!


Still, the combat appeals to the assault player of Firefall, with the added Missile Swarm of Arsenal, albeit restricted. The assault class isn't the only Firefall class, nor is the Medium Omniframe a "class". Weapons use on a frame is more restricted to energy use and size, rather than "class".
  • Add a charge rifle. Equivalent to a sniper rifle, but it takes energy much like the plasma cannon does.
  • Add a combat shotgun.
  • Add a poison needler. Each shot can deal base 1-2 damage, plus 5 poison damage (stackable) over 2.5 seconds. 50 rounds, can expend this in 7.5 seconds.
  • Add the Turret ability.
    • Better yet, place these models near spawns to add some more flair.
  • Add the Overclock ability. Increase movement speed, energy recharge rate, and weapon speed (in omniframe) by 50% for 10 seconds. 1 min cooldown.
  • Add the Poison Cloud ability. Shoots to an area, spawns an area of denial cloud dealing 10 poison damage per second for 15 seconds.
This requires a basic inventory system, or a way to switch weapons and abilities in the hotbar.
More options is good i'd also like to see melee, and none-lethal options too such as weapon bash to shove, concussion nade, Glider wing double slap, just before you land execute a barrel role to hit an enemy with glider wings! Etc


Rock collecting he says. You’re right, we’re collecting meaningless rocks and not doing anything with them. So, add some crafting basics! Nothing crafted in this stage of the demos need be very complicated. This is optional equipment meant to reward players for doing the encounter, without locking new features requiring testing behind a timewall.
Possible craftable items could include:
  • Alternative colour swap options for the omniframes. Maybe one or two.
  • The jump pad as a deployable in the C menu.
  • Maybe small cosmetics for the pilot. A pair of shades that can be toggled in the C menu.
This feature also leads into the Kickstarter demo for actual rewards for playing in the demo (ie. keeping it active). You could eventually offer a special skin or emote in the KS demo only to encourage players to remain active during the campaign.
An actual purpose to crafting also to create items to fix things such as nanobots.
Also customized special affects by using certain rock combinations e.g. a dark rock with electric rock could create a dark storm effect! Etc


My opinion on EM-8ER, or whatever the new name will be, is that the project is dawdling aimlessly. It used to be about new features now and for when the game releases, but it now just seems to be… Not “trend” hopping but something similar. In trying to stay on the cutting edge and give players the most interesting experience possible, the project has lost its grounding and is suffering for it.

There is no need to switch focus. There is need to improve the game experience you have. It’s too late to
go on another several month tangent to try something new. If you can’t even hit the backlog of roadmap milestones, you won’t be able to release a massive feature AND make it fun, enjoyable and rewardable for the player base in a reasonable span of time.
I have no idea what is going on in the background, it can be very very quiet. There does need to be at least a weekly presence for updates however big or small. The forum is a very important info hub for Em8er and the community who follow this just as much as Discord.

Also not sure how the work is being managed perhaps there is lots of good things happening or the work load is split so not enough of one area is focused depending on the workload of the team. This is all guess work here i'd certainly hope that we can focus on the listed points such as on the Roadmap.

In short, the focus change feels like a failed attempt at hype generation. The name change sounds like an optics shift. Sit down and build upon what you have now instead of running away from your promises. Show us and stop telling us.

At least, that’s what I think. What do you think?
Grummz made up his mind about claimstakes, so I’m sure his mind is made up about 4v1 Kaiju hunting.

With the 4 vs 1 does seem like Evolve but then its also like l4d2 against the tank boss.
I'd guess its a good way for quick match ups for those who want to team up and do that stuff.

Question is would the Kaiju always be A.I or controlled by an Em8er staff member time to time?
I think this would be more interesting with the crafting mechanics and how our classes can be customized for those mission types.

I do think it is an interesting option though this should be tested out in the future so we can see how it feels. I am sure there are plenty of super ideas but would it be as good as we think compared to the actual possibly?


It is very difficult to tell when not enough update is given, so many things can pop in one's mind.
I do think the hype train gets going and then vanishes very fast too, perhaps that's the way of the train as it comes and goes.

I do agree with actually showing us the actual things than saying, however do wonder if the team are holding their cards closer to their chests and only showing things when done to a certain standard?

Please keep updating even if it is very small updates or that you managed to do a hardstand to your office and was mistaken for an intruder!
 
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Thorp

Omni Ace
Jul 27, 2016
176
488
63
California, CA
#3
While I do sympathize on the stance and share the passion, I am most inclined to side with the shift. The main points Grummz made make the most business sense to me. (1) Thumping is hard to sell. (2) Monster hunting is popular and a more straightforward sell.

All the asks for more stuff to be added in terms of enemy variety and simple number adjustments is understandable. However, asking for New Copa and quality of life stuff should wait until either of modules is more complete. A larger dev team could split up to create gameplay and hub building at the same time, and unfortunately we don't have a team to split. Em8er therefore is stuck on one element of the game and Grummz sees that monster hunting is a better bet.

In fairness, yes, Thumping is what brought most of us here; the FF vets. The majority would probably vote to keep Thumping as the priority. However, I agree with Grummz in that a monster hunter module is more straightforward to a broader audience and easier to sell.

Ultimately, different guns and spells are going to be added no matter which route Em8er goes. There's no way Em8er could sell Thumping or Monster Hunting without diversity. The concern about not getting these when shifting away from Thumping, I believe, is incorrect. We're going to get more stuff, it's a main part of gameplay.

In the end, I suspect that Em8er will have both Thumping and Monster hunting by Kickstarter (with one being more finished). They share too many similar elements and assets to not grow alongside each other; even if they are separately constructed.

P.S. Grummz did say a while back that jump pads were going away to be replaced by landscape launch points. (Small geysers, for example will launch players; similar to Dauntless). The primary argument, iirc, is traversal abilities drastically dwarf landscapes. I ask that jump pads still be craftable. I would bet they would be anyway. Imo, craftable jump pads are too cool to remove.
 

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
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#4
I agree with Grummz in that a monster hunter module is more straightforward to a broader audience and easier to sell.
In the end, I suspect that Em8er will have both Thumping and Monster hunting by Kickstarter (with one being more finished). They share too many similar elements and assets to not grow alongside each other; even if they are separately constructed.
After taking a look at the steam charts i can see why.
The action packed fun and what kinds of bosses we could face from varieties of locations to unlocking secrets etc etc.

Though i have to say Thumping is just as important too, if you ask me Deeprock galactic makes fun with the combination.

I'd really like @Grummz & the rest of the Em8er team to discuss more on the direction, so we are all on the same page in understanding.
 

liandri

Omni Ace
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Jul 29, 2016
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Zone of Bones, Australia
#5
I don't know about totally scrapping homes / social demo what if those are advanced homes or social sectors.
My recommendations are more focused on a) building on what they have already or b) adding new features that shouldn't require a massive undertaking. I want the home demo. I think it's incredibly important to play on the social aspect of MMOs, especially with FFXIV Online being so active and Firefall (and in turn, Em-8ER) having such a good community.

However, money is tight and the hype is barely there. Grummz needs to be laser focused on new features as mere promises and ideas aren't cutting it like before. The home demo would be a lot of work for very little pay-off. They'd likely be using bought assets for the interiors, which would flag with some as an asset flip. The New Copa map already exists and can be repurposed. Even with some bought assets, most of it is original work, and would be more visually appealing than what they could manage on the HOS.

i'd also like to see melee, and none-lethal options too such as weapon bash
Melee is likely to come with the light frame, whenever that is slated for.

There does need to be at least a weekly presence for updates however big or small. The forum is a very important info hub for Em8er and the community who follow this just as much as Discord.
Also not sure how the work is being managed perhaps there is lots of good things happening or the work load is split so not enough of one area is focused depending on the workload of the team
Grummz hasn't been in the last two Discord chats. It has been Ronyn instead. Presumably, that, and the fact that Grummz didn't want to take '20 to 30 minutes writing a blog post', means that they're laser focused on this new Kaiju thing. As for what the rest of the team is doing? Who knows.

Small updates would be great, and the Medium could be better utilised. I see the Medium currently as another outlet where they'll try to push skins by posting their short stories. What would be better is actually taking that 20 minutes a fortnight to update everyone on what is being worked on. Screenshots of the editor even. Perhaps it's time to stop trying to surprise people every 3 months and just show people.

The Kaiju will be AI controlled. 100%.

---

I appreciate your response Thorp, but I think it's a bad business decision. He lamented that sales were down and patron numbers were declining. The project is stagnating. I can understand the want to try a different approach but it will take a lot of time.

Technically, the combat in the demo is poor. We were sold a "skill based" shooter with no skill required. They haven't proved they know combat yet they want to create a 4-5 player instance against a massive creature. A low-level imitation of a single battle from Monster Hunter might bring in new blood, before they see everything else and go "oh, it's taken how long to get here? nevermind I'll come back later". That issue is compounded by how long it takes them to actually have something to show, which might be 6-12 months.

Focusing on the existing demo, while also not interesting on paper, would increase the content available to show by recycling what they have, enhance the existing gameplay, and be closer to closing the gameplay loop they keep talking about.

The jump pad would be a cool little thing they could add back. Again, another feature. Another thing to do.

---

I'd really like @Grummz & the rest of the Em8er team to discuss more on the direction, so we are all on the same page in understanding.
It does strike a little bit like claimstakes or the backer recognition program where a "feature" is "announced" with very little information, where those in the community that like the idea completely overthink it, and people who don't just want him to stop trying to innovate every 6 months.

He could clarify his thoughts and get feedback, rather than drop it and run, but apparently "we love it" so that won't happen.
 

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
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#6
However, money is tight and the hype is barely there. Grummz needs to be laser focused on new features as mere promises and ideas aren't cutting it like before. The home demo would be a lot of work for very little pay-off.
Keep overlooking this and forget the size of the team, because of how ambitious Em8er is.
There is the possibility that in the future when the team and funding improves could have more options on the homes etc?

Melee is likely to come with the light frame
Hope we get to see that eventually and have a good idea on the 3 Mek variation.


Grummz hasn't been in the last two Discord chats. It has been Ronyn instead. Presumably, that, and the fact that Grummz didn't want to take '20 to 30 minutes writing a blog post', means that they're laser focused on this new Kaiju thing. As for what the rest of the team is doing? Who knows.
I'd imagine the work is going behind the scene though that silence can be a little worrying.

If that was filled with something as simple as a few screen shots as you mentioned and some words. Nothing major really most can do that given some minutes of their time.

E.g. Bla bla bla the team's attempt of the first kaiju attack ...gliders beware!
1668170706920.gif
Update 458759869865-5784884

That way we can rest assured there is something going on and the Em8er team have not ventured off for several month to Uranus


I have noticed issues with medium using pale moon browser although using another browser it works. With updates on the forum is simple then those on discord can just link that page in discord.

The jump pad would be a cool little thing they could add back.
I like those pads reminds me of
1668172777432.gif

He could clarify his thoughts and get feedback, rather than drop it and run, but apparently "we love it"
Perhaps some of these thoughts are top secret hmm because revealing too much could spoil the surprise something in the kickstarter or even the cinematics!!! ??

Still some thoughts is better than nothing after all we like to know what Em8er team are thinking and sometimes doing too.
 

liandri

Omni Ace
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Jul 29, 2016
433
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Zone of Bones, Australia
#7
There is the possibility that in the future when the team and funding improves could have more options on the homes etc?
Claimstakes were the idea for that, which probably won't appear in the playable mock-up. Grummz said he will still do them, so they'd be relegated to the actual game unless he decides it is a priority for the mock-up... I doubt it, given that they've abandoned the roadmap.

I'd imagine the work is going behind the scene though that silence can be a little
There is, but no one gets to see that outside of what they decide to show up. The Medium post on the Kickstarter demo terrain was a great example of a blog post. It shows that the game is being actively developed. It's more tangible than just saying you're working on something and not showing it or elaborating.

Having lasers on the kaiju that actively try to follow all the players around while gliding would be very cool and a bit stress-inducing... Love it. Just a thought from your GIF.
 

liandri

Omni Ace
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Zone of Bones, Australia
#10
Is the roadmap really abandoned or is it only delayed that the time frame has shifted?

If the roadmap has altered I'd like to see an update of the roadmap so that we won't be worried.
I would hope that the roadmap is just on a different timeline, but I would guess it will be stripped down due to budget constraints. I don't know officially if it is still being followed.

Just a small note that the world is being built with voxels, and Copa was built with another technology.
The UE5 Demo terrain existed 5 months prior to the Voxels Pro plugin being added. But yes, the New Copa terrain was created in UE4, possibly by hand, whereas the UE5 terrain was generated.

You can, in Voxel Pro, procedurally generate terrain, but you can also import a height map, which would presumably allow them to important the terrain from UE4.
 
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Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
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#11
I would hope that the roadmap is just on a different timeline, but I would guess it will be stripped down due to budget constraints. I don't know officially if it is still being followed.
Let us pray
1668610047802.gif

small note that the world is being built with voxels, and Copa was built with another technology.
You can, in Voxel Pro, procedurally generate terrain, but you can also import a height map, which would presumably allow them to important the terrain from UE4.
That's interesting so if areas procedually generated should save time, while the other hand made sections would take more time.

How much of this will be hand made and how much of this will be procedually generated?

E.g. 30% hand made and 70% Generated
 
Last edited:
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zabernat#1238

D-Gater
Ark Liege
Oct 17, 2019
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#12
Hi all.

The last few emails from the Ember forums, and the lack of updates, have got me itching again, so here’s a new forum post.

I completely disagree with the change of focus of the demo. I too thought it sounded a bit too much like Evolve, and it detracted from the reason that I backed M3 in the first place: Firefall. Now, I’m not expecting EM-8ER to be like Firefall, on the contrary I was hoping it would greatly build in the original concepts and modernise it in a meaningful way; where players are the focus, not their cash. But, I do expect it to be Firefallesque, which selling cosmetics, not adding features/fixing things in your game, and fighting large bullet sponge monsters ARE NOT the parts of Firefall I wanted to see emulated.

The current demo is not impressive given the massive amount of time that has gone into it from 2018 onwards. The time lost through COVID, features non-existent in UE4 and now standard in UE5, and the art passes, are noted. They do not together justify the state of the demo, and the state of the demo does not justify putting our faith and wallets towards EM-8ER for another change of direction.

So I “thought about it” for “a couple of weeks” and tried to find features that could be reused and improved upon so we could have fun rock collecting.

Incorporate the New Copa level into the demo
Adding New Copa to the demo utilises the ‘Taxi’ mechanic from the Claimstakes dev build. New Copa is also a much more friendly, interesting looking world than the frost plains, though much smaller. This would be a good environment for players to trial using the personal THMPR (instead of in their own instance), safely gather materials, test out weapons and gliding. It also introduces them to the world of EM-8ER and what the Gatestriders are trying to achieve. Changes would need to be made in:
  • Adding back rifts on the outer islands only, or when a player is mining a lot of resources.
  • In the UE5 world, these could be readded as a dynamic event when you’re travelling around looking for resources. Have them spawn faster in the UE5 demo.
  • Replace the really bad water effect with something else.
  • The Home demo, or social hub demo, could be scrapped completely with New Copa being used for this purpose instead. The world is there, but some basic structures (maybe some huts and a landing pad) and a place for players to gather and communicate with their avatars (such as a bar with interactable seating and an omniframe parking zone). Tiki torches to bring back the Copacabana Firefall vibe.
  • New Copa needs to be placed in a terraforming bubble for lore reasons. Even if this is a whitebox model in the sky with a light on it, at least it is there and it explains, in part, why there is an invisible wall.
  • There’s a render of the bike. Put the bike in. It’ll look cool. This goes for other completed models, like the Mk1 omniframe.

Thumping encounter dynamics
The crux of my issue switching to a Kaiju-focused encounter is the thumping encounter was already going to feature a kaiju. Instead of now helping your THMPR defeat one, you’re going out to hunt one yourself. This should be an optional uncommon event, not a full demo on its own.

The thumping encounter is boring because there is:
  • No variety - you fight two enemies, who spawn at consistent intervals in the same quantity
  • Same-y low level combat mechanics - you have two weapons, missile swarm to eliminate Tsi-hu and Deepstryke for clumps of kneebiters.
  • No reward - resources that do nothing
  • It's the same encounter every time.
I propose the following to resolve these:

Variety.
  • Lower the health on the kneebiters to 15.
  • Increase their spawn rate by 3x.
  • Increase their speed and responsiveness so they can easily chase down a sprinting omniframe.
  • Where is their model and beam attack?
  • Add back the grappler enemy. Instead of killing you outright, change their attack to pull you to the ground, disabling gliding and temporarily your jumpjets energy to 10% for a few seconds.
  • Add back the Tsi-hu armoured. Give him a plasma cannon.
  • Change how the crystals drop so they don't just fall in a huge clump. When the encounter portal opens, crystals spawn 100m above with 0% opacity. Raise to 100% as it reaches the portal and drops to the ground. They should do this one by one, for each ring at the same time. Falling speed should be doubled.
  • Tsi-hu don't fall out of the sky in the novel. Perhaps rifts could serve this purpose also.

Combat mechanics.
A single-player encounter can be defeated with missile swarm only. A 4-player encounter is hectic due to the constant number of enemies. All abilities and weapons should be used.

Still, the combat appeals to the assault player of Firefall, with the added Missile Swarm of Arsenal, albeit restricted. The assault class isn't the only Firefall class, nor is the Medium Omniframe a "class". Weapons use on a frame is more restricted to energy use and size, rather than "class".
  • Add a charge rifle. Equivalent to a sniper rifle, but it takes energy much like the plasma cannon does.
  • Add a combat shotgun.
  • Add a poison needler. Each shot can deal base 1-2 damage, plus 5 poison damage (stackable) over 2.5 seconds. 50 rounds, can expend this in 7.5 seconds.
  • Add the Turret ability.
    • Better yet, place these models near spawns to add some more flair.
  • Add the Overclock ability. Increase movement speed, energy recharge rate, and weapon speed (in omniframe) by 50% for 10 seconds. 1 min cooldown.
  • Add the Poison Cloud ability. Shoots to an area, spawns an area of denial cloud dealing 10 poison damage per second for 15 seconds.
This requires a basic inventory system, or a way to switch weapons and abilities in the hotbar.

Resources and Crafting
Rock collecting he says. You’re right, we’re collecting meaningless rocks and not doing anything with them. So, add some crafting basics! Nothing crafted in this stage of the demos need be very complicated. This is optional equipment meant to reward players for doing the encounter, without locking new features requiring testing behind a timewall.
Possible craftable items could include:
  • Alternative colour swap options for the omniframes. Maybe one or two.
  • The jump pad as a deployable in the C menu.
  • Maybe small cosmetics for the pilot. A pair of shades that can be toggled in the C menu.
This feature also leads into the Kickstarter demo for actual rewards for playing in the demo (ie. keeping it active). You could eventually offer a special skin or emote in the KS demo only to encourage players to remain active during the campaign.

Same encounter every time
This will be resolved with the above, along with new updates to existing content. The new Tsi-hu will change the encounter with their spear-like weapons, kneebiters will beam attack and swarm the THMPR. A kaiju will shake things up. If a player is doing well, you might spice up an encounter by adding a Tsi-hu “death squad” that actively pursue the player during the encounter, rather than focus on the THMPR to pull the players attention.

My opinion on this change of direction
My opinion on EM-8ER, or whatever the new name will be, is that the project is dawdling aimlessly. It used to be about new features now and for when the game releases, but it now just seems to be… Not “trend” hopping but something similar. In trying to stay on the cutting edge and give players the most interesting experience possible, the project has lost its grounding and is suffering for it.

There is no need to switch focus. There is need to improve the game experience you have. It’s too late to go on another several month tangent to try something new. If you can’t even hit the backlog of roadmap milestones, you won’t be able to release a massive feature AND make it fun, enjoyable and rewardable for the player base in a reasonable span of time.

Last Words
Grummz made up his mind about claimstakes, so I’m sure his mind is made up about 4v1 Kaiju hunting. This forum post, and all your feedback, likely won’t matter.

In short, the focus change feels like a failed attempt at hype generation. The name change sounds like an optics shift. Sit down and build upon what you have now instead of running away from your promises. Show us and stop telling us.

At least, that’s what I think. What do you think?
I appreciate your perspective and insight for sure, especially knowing that I have zero knowledge of Firefall. However, my personal buy in is not based on Firefall whatsoever either.
The Crixa universe, EM-8er (or whatever the new name is going to be), and surrounding lore may be spiritual successors to Firefall but I assume the base concepts of the two games are in fact different from one another. My expectation continues to be that Ember will feature Thumpr resource gathering, gameplay in and out of omniframes, solo and group base and city building, attractive character models with wide ranging customization, and Kaiju of all shapes and sizes.

I see this demo refocus reflecting a broader vertical game slice being developed overall as the thumpr encounter loop is essentially complete. The big battles and light/heavy omniframes have not seen the light of day in any demos and if they’re a part of the final game product then it makes sense to develop and demo those. For myself and many of my contacts who share interest in the project the Kaiju introduction will generate a lot of new hype and hope that the full game will be completed eventually.
 

liandri

Omni Ace
Omni Ace
Jul 29, 2016
433
1,071
93
Zone of Bones, Australia
#14
How much of this will be hand made and how much of this will be procedually generated?
E.g. 30% hand made and 70% Generated
Depends I suppose. With the planned world size, it'll be much less than 30/70. They'll likely only hand make areas where players are planned to be for an extended time. Around bases, for example. Grummz showed off Houdini in a Chief Chat, though I don't remember which one. It made some very interesting terrain features, so I'd imagine that the world will still be a very interesting place to be either way.

I appreciate your perspective and insight for sure, especially knowing that I have zero knowledge of Firefall. However, my personal buy in is not based on Firefall whatsoever either.
The Crixa universe, EM-8er (or whatever the new name is going to be), and surrounding lore may be spiritual successors to Firefall but I assume the base concepts of the two games are in fact different from one another. My expectation continues to be that Ember will feature Thumpr resource gathering, gameplay in and out of omniframes, solo and group base and city building, attractive character models with wide ranging customization, and Kaiju of all shapes and sizes.
I've seen you around in the Discord quite a bit, and in your lore thread. Very nice.

I can only speak from the Firefall player perspective since that was half the reason I backed; the other half because it was Grummz. Em-8ER was also backed and supported (mostly) by players of Firefall. It was advertised in the original Firefall forum.

About Firefall, the game went through a number of iterations. Firefall was Grummz' project, one he never got to fully realise as he was ousted from Red 5 Studios. Capturing bases and fending off an alien race from "elsewhere", different battleframes for different playstyles that you could customise, crafting your own guns and armours, no player levels, freedom of movement, mining, dynamic world encounters, repulsors pushing back the melding (like terraforming), and I'm sure more was planned. Em-8ER has taken all those and expanded them, adding new role-playing elements, and can leverage an extra 10-12 years worth of experience and more modern and accessible game development tools. You can even argue that "kaiju" were a part of Firefall in a way, with events like Big Game Hunt, or raid bosses like Baneclaw and Kanaloa, though EM-8ER has a far more Japanese anime/mecha inspiration.

I see this demo refocus reflecting a broader vertical game slice being developed overall as the thumpr encounter loop is essentially complete. The big battles and light/heavy omniframes have not seen the light of day in any demos and if they’re a part of the final game product then it makes sense to develop and demo those. For myself and many of my contacts who share interest in the project the Kaiju introduction will generate a lot of new hype and hope that the full game will be completed eventually.
"Essentially complete" I don't agree with. While I don't expect a Firefall-level encounter, which changed enemy types depending on where you were, increased difficultly with the type of THMPR you had and the number of players, that actively showed you how much time and health you had left to stress you out, I would expect a fun experience. It's missing any sense of dynamism, with most of this issue caused by it running the same each time (8 minutes long, tsi-hu spawn in groups up to 5 in a clock-wise motion) but also by the player's available options (they can influence the location, but nothing else). It feels very pre-pre-alpha, like the project's current state, but it shouldn't. It doesn't need polish - it needs an angle grinder.

I agree with the fact that the current thumping demo is boring, but that's the issue. Removing resources from making that fun, to focus on hunting kaiju because the idealised version of it would be more fun serves only to ignore the problem. I too hope it generates hype and gets us closer to the final crowdfunding campaign, but they need to show something great. I worry that it will be the same as the current THMPR encounter before it too is sidelined.
 

NF85

Commander
Jul 28, 2016
337
924
93
#15
I can see the ugly shape of the beast called "developer hell" looming in the distance.

Time has passed, and gone, to make what i am guessing G wanted to make with this project, and if the development has shifted to monsterhunting then at its core it is an idea that works, but he has to act fast, it is getting crowded here now: Monster Hunter, Wild Hearts and Dauntless all deliver the exact same gameplay, a 4th entry wont work well unless it is solid, and can separate itself from these 3 titles.

But time has allso shown us what monsterhunters do not work, aka Evolve and Predator: Hunting Grounds. If ember follows this development path, a U-Turn needs to be activated right now as the correct formula for 4v1 pvp has not been found and it is too big of a risk. And firefall showed us that combining pvp and pve in this game world cant be done. (games that combines pvp and pve are no success, it has to be either mono pvp or mono pve, even the PVPVE formula has mediocre success at best)

Yet pve horde wave survival aint dead, Back 4 Blood showed us that if created the right way it can work.
Sadly the "thumping" experience currently existing is not the right way.

We can discuss, we can argue, we can agree, but simple fact is, time is against any small dev team and any changes to the core path is a massive negative time sink. 8 years since firefall is a long time, in that timeframe we saw the death of mmorpg and the birth and death of MOBA. Now we are in the age of "heroshooters" for pvp and monsterhunting for pve.

So, continue on what they have and make it better (wave survival) or start all over (monsterhunting)
In the end, a roof with water leaks is better then no roof so i say stick to the thumper gameplay.
It is a big risk seeing it is hard to make a good game from it, but giving us another 2-3 years with nothing but tech demos and email news feeds will purge 95% of the hardcore supporters.
(and at this point, soon 4 years into development, only the hardcore supporters are left, rest of us lurks, not caring to make our presence know, not wanting to spend money, before a game product has been released)


i am glad i am not a game developer..
 
Likes: liandri

Pandagnome

Kaiju Slayer
Fart Siege
Welcome Wagon
Happy Kaiju
Jul 27, 2016
7,234
9,675
113
Island of Tofu
#16
a 4th entry wont work well unless it is solid, and can separate itself from these 3 titles.
Yes, i feel that with the Meks the whole idea of the time loop and the different environments would make it neat.

Yet pve horde wave survival aint dead, Back 4 Blood showed us that if created the right way it can work.
Also like Darktide looks like a kf2 + Doom + l4d2 mix i think in an open world in different settings and different bosses etc etc. Em8er could make it super fun even in some enclosed spaces for some scary encounters etc


Sadly the "thumping" experience currently existing is not the right way.
Thumping experience for the moment doesn't really show us the different thumping and what if we are thumping an asteroid in another dimension and must escape before the asteroid gets too hot or hits something!


i am glad i am not a game developer..
Me too i'd be too obessesd with super mario mek kart!
 
Last edited:

zabernat#1238

D-Gater
Ark Liege
Oct 17, 2019
44
58
18
#18
I've seen you around in the Discord quite a bit, and in your lore thread. Very nice.

I can only speak from the Firefall player perspective since that was half the reason I backed; the other half because it was Grummz. Em-8ER was also backed and supported (mostly) by players of Firefall. It was advertised in the original Firefall forum.
I appreciate the shout out and it’s good to know we have different base perspectives and those may cause us not to see eye to eye even if we agree on many things. I notice you in discord quite a but too and appreciate your insights.

About Firefall, the game went through a number of iterations. Firefall was Grummz' project, one he never got to fully realise as he was ousted from Red 5 Studios. Capturing bases and fending off an alien race from "elsewhere", different battleframes for different playstyles that you could customise, crafting your own guns and armours, no player levels, freedom of movement, mining, dynamic world encounters, repulsors pushing back the melding (like terraforming), and I'm sure more was planned. Em-8ER has taken all those and expanded them, adding new role-playing elements, and can leverage an extra 10-12 years worth of experience and more modern and accessible game development tools. You can even argue that "kaiju" were a part of Firefall in a way, with events like Big Game Hunt, or raid bosses like Baneclaw and Kanaloa, though EM-8ER has a far more Japanese anime/mecha inspiration.
This description of Firefall makes a lot more sense when I compare it to the core promises of EM-8er and how the two are related. I do hope for far more of the anime/mecha inspiration to shape the game differently than the end product of Firefall. I was not a part of the rise and fall of Firefall but eventually I do expect the games to diverge heavily. They may have similar game loops and there was a lot to aspire to in the loops from Firefall based on your descriptions, but I hope this game eventually builds on those and builds many other new systems.


"Essentially complete" I don't agree with.
I feel it’s very important for me to restate that the loop is essentially complete from what I view would be the base programming standpoint. The encounter, on the other hand, as you described is pre pre pre Alpha and needs tons of work and then tuning and then fine tuning before being ready for a successful game.
That being said, the game actually IS in a pre-Alpha stage and while a fine tuned THMPR encounter would be more enjoyable than a super basic loop like the one we have is, there are a lot of other core game loops needed for a solid, playable, pre-Alpha vertical slice of the game and the Kaiju encounter is a big one. At least, that’s my take on it.