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      W3D Hub Discord   02/22/2017

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    • FRAYDO

      APB Regular Playing Times   04/05/2017



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About Raap

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  • Birthday 09/04/1988

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    The Netherlands
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  1. Such small rockets do not need big smoke trails though, short and thin streams would be enough to communicate to players what they are (along with audio, weapon firing and explosion effects). By no means use standard rockets as a point of reference for particle effects for a weapon like this, so try not to box yourself into a corner - similarly, I never believed a game inspired by another game has to always carbon-copy the latter, but that creativity should be applied where it can be justified. Anyhow, good luck with the project.
  2. Most logical would be a lightweight burst-fire micro-rocket launcher, '20mm' rockets to be exact. High velocity projectiles (but slower than average bullets) with small explosive warheads that do minimal area damage but do offer a reasonable punch to vehicles and structures, and when directly hitting infantry. A single burst would be 6 to 8 mini rockets depending on the design of the weapon, see your final concept art, which matches this weapon conceptual nearly perfectly. My 2c. While it may not be the un-animated 'magic bullet' weapon in-game from RA2, I believe a mini burst rocket launcher would fit concept art while also still generally being both cooler and suiting to the unit theme. Edit: Raap, don't try writing words while suffering from coffee deficiency. Bad words happen when you do. Edit2: Come to think of it I may have accidentally ripped this idea from PlanetSide2. Here is their spin on a 'rocket rifle', used by an infantry class that has a jet-pack... (it all makes sense now):
  3. Oh yeah, the days of simple single-file maps are absolutely a thing from the past. Both Hostile Waters and Siege consist of 30+ W3D files and 40+ additional files. The bigger the virtual real-estate, the bigger the file-count and size. It's a big shortcoming of the aging development framework of W3D; we don't have a cohesive file managing system and there is a lot of going back and forth between files and stand-alone applications, none of which feature instant-updates of new files and constantly require re-booting to load updated assets. Icing on the cake: Imagine if more than one person worked on the same project with the above kept in mind, I hope you like manual version control! As for game logic implementation, it is tedious for sure, especially the naval stuff. If you made a generic ground level with no air or naval units then the process is fairly manageable in a timely fashion, since the process has been done so often and those systems have been perfected over a decade, you can essentially produce such a level with zero testing, push it to a live environment, and be reasonably safe in assuming nothing goes terribly wrong. Stuff like naval, air, and especially visibility culling when one or both of these things are present, is a true bitch, and absolutely one of the primary factors in what delayed new level development, at least on my part. To re-iterate, it's not hard to do these things, just tedious and time consuming. Edit: And a personal note, working on naval content, such as Hostile Waters, is very unrewarding, because while the gameplay can be fun, from all other points of view W3D's concept of water is, to put it lightly, falling short. Despite all the work that goes into setting it up, in-game it still looks like a plane mesh with a texture you can walk through. I can make a single promise quite easily: Hostile Waters revamp is the last naval project I'd ever contribute to on W3D if this logic remains unchanged.
  4. Overhauls of that magnitude take about as much time as creating entirely new environments, because it is actually the same workload; In both cases you're creating something from nothing, but with an overhaul you got the added challenge of making it fit within an existing canvas. Part of the reason Siege took a decade to be released was these never-ending overhauls, so ultimately I had to settle for a design and stick to it. I can also point at the HW revamp I worked on (and will eventually finish). What you do with revamps is, you select the stuff that needs changing and you press 'delete', and go from there. But there is a bigger problem native to APB; The game logic set-up process has become quite convoluted and nearly all of it is undocumented, this is one of the reasons why Pushwall never got around to making a community development kit, explaining some of the things you need to set up can be confusing even to a seasoned W3D engine developer - and there are few of those left these days. Just another example of this is that before I can release a HW revamp, I have to completely redo the concept of 'water' due to all the various new collision logic that was added in a post-Delta launch patch. But going back to Siege or revamps in general, some of these things are hard to pull off in some places due to the way I texture meshes. Once I've textured something, the 3DS object modifiers are deleted in a particular way so that the mesh can be merged to reduce draw calls in-engine and optimize performance substantially this way. The problem is, this development method assumes that once this process is triggered, the mesh is "finished" and not edited again beyond that point. If I did edit these objects later, then the textures would be stretched and warped, and you wouldn't want that. A vast majority of objects act this way in my work, save for tiled terrain. TLDR: Lots of reasons for why revamps should be avoided if possible and that more thought should be put into initial designs to avoid them.
  5. Unfortunately the word "secret" has been banned from my APB-anything. (Side note, I honestly doubt any of you ever found the last "easter egg" on the map, but it is nothing like the scale of the axed secret area.)
  6. That's a very fancy way of saying "He messed around in the dark while generally being pretty clueless yet despite of it still managing to somehow produce what in exclusively purely technical terms can be considered game levels". As for returning maps, fun fact: I didn't! Hostile Waters got added - then pulled - and I never got to finish the revamp! And Siege was never officially released previously. Still, I'd live fine knowing I did a mere two level contributions to Delta, it'd beat the baby-sitting jobs I got handed to me during BHP's Beta development period. I looked, I couldn't find anything. This forum does not allow transparency PNG's for avatars and I didn't feel like making something new, especially not an avatar, since that requires a capacity to express ones state of mind.
  7. Actually that'd be a positive thing since I didn't expect people to even think of me at all when I die! And I'll be on Steam more, I just don't get around to it a lot. The last game I briefly got to play was Player Unknown's Battlegrounds to see what all this hype was all about - suffice it to say I don't see the appeal in a RNG-infested deathmatch, and have since concluded hat the bulk of the sales of this game are from Chinese businesses that turn a profit from the tradable cosmetics... Yeap, how's that for being cynical!
  8. I'll see if I can polish up the assets for HW's surface play space while leaving the rail network as it is (read: not implemented), as it appears that there will be no opportunity to test such horizontal elevator logic in a larger scale online environment. I unfortunately have no idea what's up with APB's development right now, and therefore currently have no idea on where to tie this up to, but hey, I'm willing to see what I got to work with here. From where I'm standing, I'm OK to deliver something now, for it to be used down the line if activity picks up again. Axing the rail network - despite the hours that already went into creating and testing it - would actually simplify the wrap-up process down to surface aesthetics and gameplay mechanics. But regarding the latter; APB level development had become increasingly more time consuming due to requiring more and more logic set-up with each patch, this also did not help much the last time I tried to deliver this level, it just boils down to increased workload per level. Anyhow, I promise no dates, but "I'm around" and hopefully by the time APB reboots itself, I'll have something to share.
  9. Wooh, bumping old topics... Actually is a topic old if it is still on the first page? Questions... Anyhow, back when I worked on Siege I sort of used it as a pressure job to keep me from dealing with the real life obligations that one has to go through once a parent dies, so I cut some corners here and there, but one of the corners not actually cut was those ore mine tunnels. I created this map that, essentially, was a vehicle meatgrinder. I wanted to make sure infantry still had places to go and feel useful, so the infantry tunnel came to life for this purpose. There is still a small connection to vehicle play, the passage trough the trench can be a hazard, but ultimately I wanted infantry to be able to easily harass the income of the other team, something vehicles would have a harder time doing. Opening it up for vehicles would completely destroy that component. Back when I actively worked on contributions I always stated a Plan B scenario exists; If vehicles needed more play space, the castle rear could be opened up for play. Similarly, if infantry still struggled, a new infantry-only beach passage could have been added that connects the bunker area to the rocky beach on the Soviet side of the water. Both of these would have taken minimal development time. I do not know if Pushwall ever altered the map beyond moving some base defenses around, so I don't know if anything changed here.
  10. Heya, Raap here, aka the guy who promised some sort of APB contributions but failed to deliver 1/3rd of it. How is things around here these days, and does APB stil have an audience? Despite how I left things during a 'heated moment', and despite an attempt to finish up my last contribution in august was just not working out due to a long excuse-train of reasons I don't believe are worth mentioning, I can't help but feel this nagging feeling of having some unfinished business. So I wonder, is there a point for me to consider making the time available to finish the Hostile Waters revamp that got stuck in a development hell? I'm speaking of this thing here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7fULGRONJ7dNldqVHVRQVhRSGc/view I put a lot of work on various art related things earlier this year to finish it but I just wasn't able to pull through, and unfortunately there is still a lot left to be done unless I trim down the development scope a lot (like axing the completely untested underground railcart system). So, TLDR: Do people still play APB?
  11. Miss you Raap, hope to see you around again soon.

  12. Proposing theoretical changes for a basis of discussion doesn't require a programmer to already have done work. I've suggested various changes in the past that got dismissed due to reasons not related to resource commitment. As for Hostile Waters, nice low-blow, I kept you informed on that including my reasoning for the delays. I'm not interested in playing this game so I'll state it publicly: I've not been able to work on HW due to a never ending shitstorm of real life problems including financial ones and family ones. These are the type of problems that do not put me in a creative mood, and based on past experience where I rushed projects out of the door (such as Siege a month after my father died), I rather not repeat that same mistake. Mature. Let me return the favor: I'm withdrawing my plans to contribute entirely. I don't need this shit right now.
  13. My proposed solution would solve this as well since there would be no incentive to use a spy over anything else that can actually guard the flare location. It would require a lot more team work. Unfortunately it seems that radical gameplay changes are not favored here, even if they would improve the game a lot.
  14. I'm curious, what was the reasoning here? Do large particles have some adverse effect on performance that small ones do not, or was it merely an aesthetic concern due to texture stretching (which could have been solved with the texture in use)? My question regarding performance aside, Pipeline allowed for some scenes not really seen in W3D, like this; I wish we had more advanced fog options on W3D as well as particle edge smoothing. Oh well! Add that to the pile of "Things-I-Wish-W3D-Had".
  15. It'd have to be considered experimental and probably only work with direct damage (so no splash damage). I'm just highlighting potential extra usage of such functionality, but my case for it with defenses stands, one needs only try to fight around the cannons on Siege to see that problem.