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Could TM be used as a sort of "Source Port" for BattleTanx?

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Level 8 Human Private Pilot
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: East Coast, USA
Posted on September 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm

In the waning years of the Digital Decade (read: The '90s) several major video game companies who had tried to make their way as hardware developers in the beginning of the CD-era found themselves reduced to software-only developers. Some, like Sega and Atari, were quite successful up until the release of the first PlayStation. Others, like Commodore (not necessarily Amiga) and 3DO, through either abysmally bad corporate management or just plain mediocre products didn't even make it that far, as far as being console manufacturers goes.

Anyway, one of the above mentioned companies, 3DO, did make a few commercial successes, and it's one of these I'd like to talk to you TM Modders about.

The name of the game is "Merid--", I mean "BattleTanx". If you had a Nintendo 64 console, more than one controller, and at least a couple friends, you've played BattleTanx. It's basically Mad Max in tanks. The plot is that there's a virus that wipes out all but 0.01 percent of the human female population (I swear I've seen this plot in a movie before, only it was the men who were nearly wiped out and fought over). The game's main character, "Griffin", loses his wife a la Double Dragon, and takes his fight to the streets in five tons of armour, recruiting team members as he travels across the remains of post-WWIII USA. Long story short, he defeats the rival gang boss, rescues the girl, and a son, and sequel, are born. In BT: Global Assault, the single player campaign spans the globe (I'd like to see the ship that makes regular trans-Atlantic deliveries of whole tank platoons) as Griffin, Wife & Co. look for G's kidnapped son, stolen by a rival female leader.

Anyway, I've always felt that TreadMarks needed a stronger Single Player element. You know, plot-driven campaign and all that. Catering to the multiplayer community alone hits only half the market. I mean, even the Unreal Tournament series had SP campaigns (even though UT3's story ended in an unsatisfying cliffhanger with no chance of official expansion or sequel that would tie up the loose ends).

So, if this sort of Total Conversion were attempted, how hard would it be to implement some of the things TM doesn't provide for, such as destructible skyscraper ruins (Clearing buildings so as to make a clear path between your base and the enemy's base so as to CTF more efficiently was a BIG part of BattleTanx) or gunboats firing inland from offshore (shouldn't be too hard to make boats and "water physics", right?)?

Level 12 Human Cyb0rg tank pil0t:|@- ҉҈҉҈҉-§¹Ç--҉҈҉-
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: Standby In Winters's North
Posted on September 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm

In the waning years of the Digital Decade (read: The '90s) several major video game companies who had tried to make their way as hardware developers in the beginning of the CD-era found themselves reduced to software-only developers. Some, like Sega and Atari, were quite successful up until the release of the first PlayStation. Others, like Commodore (not necessarily Amiga) and 3DO, through either abysmally bad corporate management or just plain mediocre products didn't even make it that far, as far as being console manufacturers goes.

Anyway, one of the above mentioned companies, 3DO, did make a few commercial successes, and it's one of these I'd like to talk to you TM Modders about.

The name of the game is "Merid--", I mean "BattleTanx". If you had a Nintendo 64 console, more than one controller, and at least a couple friends, you've played BattleTanx. It's basically Mad Max in tanks. The plot is that there's a virus that wipes out all but 0.01 percent of the human female population (I swear I've seen this plot in a movie before, only it was the men who were nearly wiped out and fought over). The game's main character, "Griffin", loses his wife a la Double Dragon, and takes his fight to the streets in five tons of armour, recruiting team members as he travels across the remains of post-WWIII USA. Long story short, he defeats the rival gang boss, rescues the girl, and a son, and sequel, are born. In BT: Global Assault, the single player campaign spans the globe (I'd like to see the ship that makes regular trans-Atlantic deliveries of whole tank platoons) as Griffin, Wife & Co. look for G's kidnapped son, stolen by a rival female leader.

Anyway, I've always felt that TreadMarks needed a stronger Single Player element. You know, plot-driven campaign and all that. Catering to the multiplayer community alone hits only half the market. I mean, even the Unreal Tournament series had SP campaigns (even though UT3's story ended in an unsatisfying cliffhanger with no chance of official expansion or sequel that would tie up the loose ends).

So, if this sort of Total Conversion were attempted, how hard would it be to implement some of the things TM doesn't provide for, such as destructible skyscraper ruins (Clearing buildings so as to make a clear path between your base and the enemy's base so as to CTF more efficiently was a BIG part of BattleTanx) or gunboats firing inland from offshore (shouldn't be too hard to make boats and "water physics", right?)?


this is what TM lacks out of most games, its just too simple

many of us from the TM community have many suggestions features and ideas, but due to the person who's working on the game (Rick) as well as the rest of the LDA team spend their efforts on hegemony nothing is changed however the most notably unchanged portion is the actual gameplay.

the most major reason TM wasn't as advanced as battle tanks is the fact that 3DO is a large company that produced consoles (previosly)

LDA was and still is a small indie company with 6 or so programmers and a few contributers.


the "source port" is extremely unlikely unless somebody knows how and wants to do the programing for a "source port" with the low chance if getting permission from LDA.

all i can say is if i knew how to program and get permission to improve or change TM i could make it way better than it is.

as TM has close too or as much potential as hegemony.

the problem here is nobody bothers to improve it and people who have been are killing us with unexplained waiting times that are long enough to make us all lose hope and doubt anything betters going to come of this game.

Level 8 Human Private Pilot
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: East Coast, USA
Posted on September 19, 2010 at 4:56 am

...the fact that 3DO is a large company that produced consoles (previosly)...

...is something I mentioned in the first paragraph of the introductory post. You should also not that the 3DO console was a failure, and most of their in-house developed games were of poor stock. Big money doesn't mean big quality. And you don't need a large staff to make a plot-based SP campaign. id and 3DRealms (nee Apogee) used to be "indie sized".

Also, I put "Source Port" in quotes to emphasize that I meant "not really a source port, just a Total Conversion mod using the TreadMarks game".

Level 13 Human Sr Code Monkey
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: lost in the evil lands, of soccer-mom piloted minivans....
Posted on September 20, 2010 at 8:02 pm

3DO was a failure because it priced itself into oblivion. 800 dollars for a console and 100 to 170 bucks per game in the 90's was insane.
They were the 1st hardware based 3d console on the market, and it showed in their ridiculous licensing, lack of working development tools (you coded in assembly right to the processors, no api what so ever) and a holier-than-thou attitude. There was no way that company would have survived even if the games melted your eyeballs. The hardware was dodgy (half of what we sold back when I worked in software etc, came back defective) and if you didn't have money coming out of your ass by the bucket load, you couldn't have afforded it. When the company folded, the name rights got sold. The only thing that ties 3DO back to the console is just the name. None of the original development team is there.

As far as the "id and 3DRealms used to be "indie sized"" comment, you're forgetting that everyone (except for EA) was indie sized in the late 80's and early 90's and games were no where near as complex as they are today. id, at the time of the original Doom, was just a couple of developers and a level designer. They would not be have been able to pull off the latest incarnation. The amount of people-power need for modern games eclipses what was needed in the past, your comment is just not valid for the modern game development. Compare Doom to Doom4, there is alot more than just newer hardware there.

You need:
mo-cap people
animators
artists
script writers (hey, someone needs to write the plot)
level designers
modelers
Music composers
Voice actors
software developers (of several specific fields)
content management support (someone has to know where the 4th version of a texture for the finger nails of an insignificant background character is stored)
recording engineers
encoding engineers

and the list goes on. The reason is that the entire process has become a complex beast, not just what is being developed, which can only be tamed by lots of man-power to deliver what players want.

just watch the credits on some of the newer games, the production list reads like a movie.

And rightfully so, as games have become a little more than interactive movies if you think about it.


In any case, like star striker said, the game is very simple (compared to whats out there) and is limited to what it was designed to be: a tank race game with destructible terrain with a very easy modding system. That limits you in how it can be modded. I've done the destructible towers stuff ( my TeamCTF conversion mod did just that on a few maps) but the towers were actually tanks not meshes, and the collision detection is limited to 2d (x-z) and bounding box collisions. You fall though any mesh that has a "top" (see my boomstickville mod) and you are limited to a maximum size for a bounding box. So bridges are out of the question. Mesh's don't take damage, nor can you damage things by running into them. None of this is supported, all of which requires extensive rewritting of the source code. Further, there is no plot engine and no scripting logic. At that point your better off writing it from scratch to do all what you need.

Level 8 Human Private Pilot
Alignment: Chaotic good
Location: East Coast, USA
Posted on September 21, 2010 at 11:10 pm

I've got some ancient Amiga games from EA (back when they used that old logo of the triangle, square and circle) that looked like only three or four people were working on it. Heck, even UbiSoft were small once (remember Puffy's Saga on the C64).

That said, if making a BattleTanx clone is too complex, I'm not averse to investing in an old N64 and looking for a used cart.

Level 13 Human Sr Code Monkey
Alignment: Chaotic
Location: lost in the evil lands, of soccer-mom piloted minivans....
Posted on September 22, 2010 at 3:47 pm

Yah the old logo. LOL

I use to have old 5" disks of old titles when EA was "Electronic Artists". EA was a different animal, they were a group of loosely joined independent software houses that combined resources to produce their own games.

Teehee Amiga. Last time I had anything to do with an Amiga was when I was doing consultant work for Hyperion Entertainment in porting Shogo and Heritic II. LOL