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Author Topic:   What do you think of the Public Test?
LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 11, 1999 06:55 AM           
Did it run on your system? Did you think it was fun? What aspects do you think need improving? What are your favorite parts of the game?

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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Jagsmith
New Member
posted August 12, 1999 02:17 AM            
The game did run on my system. Not the best, but it did run. Of course it was a Test version. And my Video card isn't the best. But I do have a fast computer.
Specs: P2 (I think), 366 celeron (benched at 385), 64 megs of ram. And of course my video card, a 4 meg Creative Labs Graphics blaster Extreme (not a pro. Difference is that a pro is a 8 meg)

I loved the game..It was awesome. First time I have never seen/played a TANK RACING GAME.
I loved the shooting, jumps, ect. Pretty much everything about the game is cool.. AND IT IS ONLY IN THE TEST STAGE

I didn't have to many problems. Need to make it more workable for those OTHER video cards. Maybe it is just mine.. Who knows.
Need to fix getting stuck. You probably allready have by now. Don't forget the MPH/KMP thing. If I can think of any more I will tell. Thank you for letting everyone try the test. That is pretty cool.

Jagsmith

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 12, 1999 02:53 AM           
With only 4 megs of Video Ram, you'll probably improve performance quite a bit by setting the Max Texture Res down to 128 or even 64. That only affects the models, so the terrain will still look the same. Also turning the terrain detail down and Detail Texturing off can speed things a lot.

As for getting stuck, do you mean the way the computer tanks sometimes get stuck on checkpoints, or something else?

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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Falcon
New Member
posted August 12, 1999 08:42 AM         
The game did run on my system. The frame
rate was very choppy which made the game
seem to run slow. I read the README file from start to finish. I have the latest drivers for my video card. I figured since it was a test, it would run pretty roughly.

My specs: Intel Pentium ][ 350 MhZ
128 megs of ram
Creative Labs Banshee AGP 16 mg of sdram and 250 MhZ RamDac
Creative Labs Live! Value sound card
KDS 19" monitor

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Jagsmith
New Member
posted August 12, 1999 12:08 PM            
Wow... That is pretty good Falcon.
I have a Q. When you run the game do you have your windows display setting on 16-bit High Color or do you run it on 32-bit True color.. That was my problem.. (Blame Microsoft and Windows) After that it ran pretty smooth. If I were you I would put it on 16-bit High Color. That will/should with your computer make it run perfectly smooth. I wish I had your video card though. To help the graphics and other junk. With saving your monitor. Change your monitor's refresh rate one thing lower than it is.. That was my problem on a game.. I couldn't watch any cut-scenes on FreeSpace (space-sim game)until I put my Refresh on 60hz. If you don't know how to do that just ask me. But I am pretty sure you do. Your computer probably will never have a problem with your Refresh rate. So you don't really have to do that. I was just making a an suggestion

See ya,
Jagsmith ICQ# 20263505

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JBakels
New Member
posted August 12, 1999 02:29 PM            
I've had only a few problems. The problems were with ATI RageFury. Put the new drivers on and it runs great! Even ran a network game! There were some hiccups in network play. Other than that, lots of fun!

My configuration is as follows:

PIII 450
256mb PC100 Ram
10.2gig HDD
ATI RageFury 32mb
SB Live!
Quad Speakers (sounds awesome!)
Intel 10/100 NIC

Thanks for a great public release!

P.S.

When will you have a new release?

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Falcon
New Member
posted August 12, 1999 10:28 PM         
Thanks for the advice Jagsmith.

However, I am already running in 16 bit mode.
24 bit and 32 bit modes take up too much memory and slows the computer down. Micro$oft's fault again!

I will try working with the refresh rates. I didn't think of that.

The only other possibility could be that maybe my glib drivers aren't really up to date. I have to check on that too.

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 13, 1999 02:10 PM           
We don't have a Banshee here to test on, but the game seems to run decently on Voodoo2 and Voodoo3, though Voodoo3 performance is a little choppier than it should be.

For drivers, make sure you have the "Quake 3 Compatible" drivers for Banshee, and make sure the OpenGL32.dll in your system dir is made by Microsoft and not 3DFX (search for it, then right click, properties, and version).

GLSetup has also been updated recently, and has a much smaller web-based setup mode now. It may be worth running it again in case it has newer drivers than are on 3DFX's site. http://www.glsetup.com

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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yellowEye
New Member
posted August 16, 1999 05:06 PM            
Wow, havent been to LDA in a while uhh, when I tested Tread Marks, it seemed like a good game. I sent in a whole bunch o things to make the gameplay better. I think I will play right now heh. how's the programming going? right now i am helping some friends make an Add-on Pack for an Activision game called "NetStorm". I think NS happens to be one of the best games for the PC. However, since it only sold like 13,000 copies, it seems people think otherwise :P enough about NS. uhh, I have a Riva TNT Velocity 4400. This would be a good video card to run the game, correct? Good luck with the game. Thanks fer the time.

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 16, 1999 05:47 PM           
Yes, the TNT is an excellent card for the game.

And there should be another Test out by the end of this month. We're working on getting a version ready to enter into the Independent Games Festival, and the deadline for that is September 1st.

Things are still mostly on track, with some cool stuff in the works.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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Chris C
Member
posted August 17, 1999 03:51 PM         
OK, here's my bit:
I tested it out an AMD-K6/450 3DNow with an ATI Rage Pro (8Mb), Win98. I was getting perfectly playable frame rates (approx. 20fps) with detail texturing off, and a texture size of 64. I also had the problem of having to switch to 16-bit colour mode before running the game - should be possible to fix, though.
The only other point I think is worth mentioning, is that the smoke (or is it dust? it's black on my card) coming out from the tank's tracks is really dense and makes it difficult to see ahead, but this is probably the Rage Pro's blending screwing up. I got round it by driving around with the tank's turret pointing to the side... great fun! Perhaps an option to turn off/subdue the smoke might be useful for Rage Pro owners.
Last point - the game has locked up occasionally, forcing me to do a hard reset, I'll try to do a logfile it's any help.

Cheers,
Chris

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 17, 1999 07:04 PM           
Thanks. Yeah, that's the RagePro's lack of blending modes causing the smoke and dust to not fade out properly.

There's not much I can do about it looking wrong, but since I've got an option in now for super reduced smoke/dust when in Software Rendering mode, I might as well make it available in normal mode too.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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Kaeto
unregistered
posted August 19, 1999 11:29 AM           
I have a:

PMMX 233
Diamond Stealth II s220 4mb (Rendition v2100)
64 mb ram (Dumb FPM though)
Really cranked motherboard

and I get about 10-15 fps with full smoke 1000 tris no detail terrain (thought its not that big of a hit) and all other options on @ 640x480

BTW, if you have a Rage Pro, get rid of it they stink. I get better FPS than my friend's k62/350 /w ragepro 4 mb. Another thing Seamus Detail Terrain is a no-no on the rage pro. turns the terrain grey!

And I HATE Camera Jazz Make it so we can zoom in and out PLEASE! Cant see enough.

1 more thing. Could you make it so theres a "tagger" kind of projectile? Doesn't use ammo just if it hits a tank then that target gets autopicked for a homer that is the normal projectile.

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Kaeto2
unregistered
posted August 19, 1999 11:41 AM           
BUG!!!

Hey Seamus I tried to make a "Pop Gun" (kinda like battlezone ) which fires straight up for 4 seconds and then locks onto a target. But unless I set the second location parm to 5 or more ( which looks cheezy) it digs into the ground right under my tank half the time! What's up?

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 19, 1999 06:28 PM           
Kaeto,

With the Rendition card you should see a noticeable speed increase by using 512x384 resolution, as it is fairly fill-rate limited. Turning off thick dust will probably help with that too.

And regarding the camera, yes, I know, it totally sucked, I screwed up the camera code for the Test in more ways than one. The new camera is MUCH better. It has two modes, one that pitches up and down with your tank and zooms OUT when you drive fast (I got it backwards before), and the other mode gives you a nice and level, non-pitching, non-zooming 3rd person camera.

Oh, and with the pop gun bug, that's why it was called a "Test". We've been adding a ton of new, fancy weapons, and fixing bugs regarding their implementations along the way. Plus, the full game will have (ghasp) documentation on how to make mods.

If you want to make new 3D models for weapons and tanks, you might want to have a look at NewTek's Inspire3D, which is a great 3D modeling and rendering program for only $360 or so. It's basically LightWave3D Light, and we use LW3D for all models.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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yellowEye
New Member
posted August 21, 1999 03:44 PM            
heh, Seumas, you need ideas for weapons and stuff? heh, I got 3dsm(Studio Max). If you want, I could try to concoct some 3d weapons and stuff. Tho I havent used 3dsm in a while, i think i still got the touch :P heh. It would be interesting to see what I could do. I am on the gfx for the Activision thingy I am making...thanks fer the time

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 21, 1999 08:04 PM           
We're pretty good for weapons at the moment, but if you have a way to save as or convert to LightWave3D .LWO object files, you'll be able to use MAX to create new tanks and weapons once the game's out.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

IP:

Kaeto
Member
posted August 23, 1999 02:07 PM            
mmm. cant turn the res down. My 21 in monitor is a workstation monitor and dosen't support res < 640x480 (even that is at 120 hz MINIMUM)

I realized that renditions ICD has triple buffering turned on by default. Thats not good at 120 hz

with double buffering I now get 15-25 fps

IP:

Kaeto
Member
posted August 27, 1999 01:43 PM            
Seumas:

I had something really wierd happen the other day. I was in a race mode game, and the tank in front of me killed another tank and pick up a medium missle pack that the dead tank had dropped, but the missle pask just hovered over the tank spinning, and he still was firing his tankgun. It stayed like that, so I took a screenshot and quit the game. Well the screenshot didn't turn out too well but it shows what happened. Want me to email it to you?

IP:

LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 27, 1999 04:26 PM           
Kaeto,

Yeah, I've seen that bug before. I _think_ I may have fixed it already, as I don't recall seeing it at all lately when playing the game here. We'll see for sure when the next Test comes out though.

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

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S1hane
New Member
posted August 30, 1999 10:54 AM         
I like it. It ran well for me (no crashes), the sound played but there was very little of it, making only little noises when in a group of large tanks or a firefight. That's probably all the sound there is though. Heres what I have:

P3-550, 128MB, Hercules TNT2 Ultra (175/200), SB Live!

The FPS was decent, I turned down the terrain detail all the way for a huge fps increase. (from 10/1 for 30 to 120fps)
I think that when you catch on fire, there shouldnt be a side effect, or at least have it toggle somewhere. It's annoying to have your turret move slow, making fighting so hard.. and with health so hard to get on that map, its annoying.

I'm not much for racing games, I like the deathmatch. Work on game balance!

As for targeting, it seems to me it relys on the terrain, which could lead to some bad camping spots! (where you can hit them and they cant hit you)
My Sidewinder Gamepad, worked except I couldnt fire with it. Also the game leaves these blank taskbar items on my Windows 98, thats kind of annoying. (like Quake2 does) I hate that.

Nice job, keep up the good work and I'll be sure to check out the 2nd test release!

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 31, 1999 02:23 AM           
That reminds me, I've lowered the health level for when you start on fire, but forgot to lower the level for when the turret starts to lock up. I'll make it so you have to be much more wasted to get a lock up.

Targetting does have a lot to do with the surrounding terrain, with most weapons, but I think that makes it more fun actually. We haven't found that there is much of a problem with camping so far, as there's almost always a way to sneak up behind a camp spot. Some of the new weapons we have now (rocket grenades, cruise missiles, nukes, and of course MRLs (now with better guidance!)) make terrain less important when it comes to wasting your target.

Also health and ammo boxes are a bit more plentiful than most weapons now.

I'm not sure why the sidewinder wouldn't fire, as I just check for the first joystick button being pressed.

The blank window buttons appearing seems to be a harmless windows 95/98 issue, as it doesn't happen under NT, and as you've seen, other OpenGL games do it as well. Anyone know of a fix?

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

IP:

S1hane
New Member
posted August 31, 1999 11:15 AM         
I think vertical aiming would be a good feature, perhaps only on certain weapons. Would encourage teamwork if a teamplay mode is ever added. The fire really gets in the way of my vision, maybe you can make it fly lower. Maybe some bigger guns, the main gun (that the 'ammo' uses) if you could put upgrades in there for that, maybe make it kick when you fire your weapons too! That can help to balance the game if a weapon becomes too powerful is make certain weapons kick you back, thus slowing you down. Also the reverse speed should be lower, sence you can rotate your turret around and fire backwards while still moving forward at exceptional speed.
Also have gears(?) on the tanks
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S1hane

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LDA Seumas
unregistered
posted August 31, 1999 11:26 AM           
Teamplay will DEFINITELY be in. I think it will be really cool to be able to drive in real tank platoon formations with a bunch of friends, hunting down AI tanks in Battle Match.

Fire blocking your vision is one of those things that makes it good to not be on fire... <grin> But I know the arrow does get obscured a bit too much, so it might be moved to a more visible spot.

There are some bigger guns in now, but the main tank gun is still the same. Picking up "better ammo" for your main gun is a possibility. And weapons will have kick back eventually, too. Since the Test I've added Splash Damage, which imparts velocity too, so you can really get smacked around when you're hit by a volley of missiles.

Being able to drive at full speed in reverse is something I like, actually. It gives really good players an extra tactic, in that if they get spun around, they can just start driving in reverse, using the turret view. Of course, if you're being shot at from a tank "in front" of you, it's bad, since rear armor is half the strength of front armor. (So shoot for the butt, and CYA!)

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-- Seumas McNally, Lead Programmer, Longbow Digital Arts

IP:

S1hane
New Member
posted August 31, 1999 11:57 AM         
Maybe you can make the turret turn faster then? or have it sensitivity based somewhere. I think that would be a good change, and make it so people could play with the mouse if they dont have a joystick or something. Also have a base sensitivity if you are going to include mouse support, configs and aliases are good too, but thats probably too much trouble. That is needed if you are going to support mods of the engine. Also lighting effects, on the tank models would make them look better. Making the treads animation more visible would also be neat. For the kickback it would be done on the model or just by pushing the tank off some? (for instance having the gun kick your entire tank a bit, or just having you pushed back?) and what about tank's peices falling off instead of having them catch on fire so soon?
Other than that all I can think of to change would be the max speed in deathmatch, possibly make that changeable too, so you could have faster action.
If you need a tester for modem play I can help you there, I'm big on beta testing. (bug squasing!)
--
S1hane

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