Author Topic: New efforts!  (Read 448925 times)

johnrobey

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #280 on: April 06, 2014, 01:48:06 pm »
THANK YOU, IRONWOLF!!!!  I guiltily confess that I don't log into Titan Network forums nearly as often as I once did, but I am thrilled and delighted to see something going forward that has the potential to make City of Heroes available again to the public and all us fans.  We knew the "Hail Mary" TF's were long shots, but it certainly made sense to try them.  Here's to hoping your concerted efforts come to fruition.  Let me (the community) know if there is anything we can do to support these efforts.  Thanks again!

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wyldhunt

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #281 on: April 06, 2014, 02:38:10 pm »
Maybe someone can explain to me what an engine does then? I thought it was what was making the gameplay works.

First, Ironwolf, thank you for spurring these efforts. I know I've been quite of late, my nose dug in undergraduate degree and NWO, however I have been following CoX and successor progress here and elsewhere.

BenshowSly, an analogy: I can use WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and OpenOffice to create document files. Most of the time they can look exactly the same. Think of those applications as the various engines through which I can create my text game. Similarly, different gaming engines can be used to create the same rules-sets, graphics, and gameplay as CoX. There may be some minor differences due to technical specifications, however the overall game would be extremely similar. The question will then become whether a new company behind CoX would want to implement developer-desired improvements, such as bringing down the War Walls and updating the textures (both costume and maps), or exactly recreate what we had before. In that I can sense your possible fear - would a desire to update include changes which would kill the old heart of the game? I hope not, though we would have to wait and see.
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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #282 on: April 06, 2014, 03:47:20 pm »
First, Ironwolf, thank you for spurring these efforts. I know I've been quite of late, my nose dug in undergraduate degree and NWO, however I have been following CoX and successor progress here and elsewhere.

BenshowSly, an analogy: I can use WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, and OpenOffice to create document files. Most of the time they can look exactly the same. Think of those applications as the various engines through which I can create my text game. Similarly, different gaming engines can be used to create the same rules-sets, graphics, and gameplay as CoX. There may be some minor differences due to technical specifications, however the overall game would be extremely similar. The question will then become whether a new company behind CoX would want to implement developer-desired improvements, such as bringing down the War Walls and updating the textures (both costume and maps), or exactly recreate what we had before. In that I can sense your possible fear - would a desire to update include changes which would kill the old heart of the game? I hope not, though we would have to wait and see.
A couple examples of engine upgrades/changes that CoH itself had that modified parts of the engine: The graphics upgrade effectively gave it a new rendering engine that added in features that weren't supported in the original (ambient occlusion, real shadows, et al). Ragdolling for enemies wasn't implemented initially (IIRC, it was early in the game and at that point i was paying more attention to learning the game and less to details like defeated enemy animations) and gave enemies that ability to cartwheel so gracefully when hit and drape themselves over objects so elegantly when defeated. (Also made it possible to embed Freakshow tanks' heads in walls and other objects with some well-placed knockback so that they'd flail helplessly until defeated, but i digress.) There was a later upgrade to the code that handled ragdolling that somewhat broke ragdolling in that enemies lost most of their feeling of mass and would twist and flop around like half-inflated balloons when defeated, so changes in the engine do sometimes cause issues. Although it had gotten a fair bit better around the time the game closed down.

Actually, beyond the combat mechanics a lot of what made CoH so appealing to me were the animations, which would also have to be completely redone for a new engine barring some coding wizardry. Especially melee combat. Still, if CoH was rebuilt on a new engine i would hope that they'd keep the basic combat formulas and numbers. Although i would be fine with tweaking things a bit as long as the basic system remained the same. Things like strong control abilities and massively powerful buffs and debuffs were part of what allowed CoH to play so differently from any other MMO i've tried and gave players enormous flexibility in building characters and teams, and allowed us to ignore the Tank/Healer/DPS trinity common to other MMOs.
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ShadowMokadara

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #283 on: April 06, 2014, 05:54:39 pm »
If I wanted an entirely new super hero game I'd wait for City of Titans. It'd be much better to just get the game as is, in my opinion. CoH was completely fine as is. I know the engine sucked, but I'm at a point where I wouldn't care if it was ever even updated. Just being locked at i24 is fine.

BenshowSly

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #284 on: April 06, 2014, 05:57:50 pm »
Thank you for the explanations but still, and I don't mean to be a whiner, but the safest thing would be to keep the same to reach as much people as possible.

While a certain amount of people would want this or that change, another amount of people might not want it at all.

The game as it is right now is making like, random number as an example, 95% people happy. Every change made would make it reduce that number.

One change that SOME people want...80% of people like the "new game". Then another change... 70% of people... and every change has greater chances to reduce that number.

People want City of Heroes, not a modified version of it that will please only part of the community  :-\

So thank you to understand my fear because as far as I'm concerned, the game is perfect as it is (yes, perfect despite some of its flaws)
« Last Edit: April 06, 2014, 06:11:24 pm by BenshowSly »

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #285 on: April 06, 2014, 07:08:51 pm »
I would LOVE for the game to be back as it was at closing.  BUT, I DO have to say, logging into games like DCU Online, the graphics there is such eye candy that picturing CoH in THAT would be having our cake, eating it too...AND rolling around in it, giggling like school kids, ready for the opening of mountains of presents!

My only fear, in getting such a graphics upgrade, might just mean losing some of the beauty we had before.  Sure, the animations might be duplicated to near perfection, but I have to say, I REALLY did love how the animations, powers, sounds, and sights combined so well.

I'm not a gambling man, so would much rather play it safe and bask in the AWESOME we had, than roll the dice on losing any tiny bit of SHMAWESOME-SAUCE we DID have.

AND, once again, thank you to Ironwolf and the forces behind the veil working on whatever they're working on.  You all have given us hope and reason to believe again!
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Senkan

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #286 on: April 06, 2014, 07:15:07 pm »
I'm thinking that the City of Titans kick starter success has opened some eyes.  And it would be wise to capitalize prior to the release of that game.  I'm wondering if those funds sent to the The Phoenix Project would have been sent to NC Soft that the game could be open now.  I'm thinking that whoever gets the rights to CoH will open the game as it used to be and will then go into development on a next generation CoH with new engine and old CoH NPC's.

Sorry if something like this had already been mentioned...haven't read this whole thread or the others like it.

Kaos Arcanna

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #287 on: April 06, 2014, 07:17:43 pm »
I think if there are investors who are interested in acquiring the COH property you can bank on them making changes even if it's limited to only upgrading the graphics. 

If it keeps the same playstyle, lore, and powersets, I could live with that.  ;D

ShadowMokadara

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #288 on: April 06, 2014, 07:41:14 pm »
I'm thinking that the City of Titans kick starter success has opened some eyes.  And it would be wise to capitalize prior to the release of that game.  I'm wondering if those funds sent to the The Phoenix Project would have been sent to NC Soft that the game could be open now.  I'm thinking that whoever gets the rights to CoH will open the game as it used to be and will then go into development on a next generation CoH with new engine and old CoH NPC's.

Sorry if something like this had already been mentioned...haven't read this whole thread or the others like it.

NCSoft would want millions. TPP earned just below $700k from their Kickstarter and aren't trying to revive CoH, just make something like it.

NCsoft also didn't need the money to keep the game open, if I hear correctly.

Omega Mark V

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #289 on: April 06, 2014, 08:45:33 pm »
Ok, I'm stupid in those kind of things. Maybe someone can explain to me what an engine does then? I thought it was what was making the gameplay works.

An engine basically executes the code that is written for it; so it's a part of what makes the game play work.

For example, City of Titans was originally coded for Unreal Engine 3, and recently they have had a post stating the change over to Unreal Engine 4, using the same code.

As long as the code can be understood and read by a new engine, it should be possible for the game code to execute.

So as Ironwolf said, the codebase was to be gained from these talks, but not the engine. We would basically gain all the programming code for City of Heroes, but not the engine itself, which I am guessing is under NCSoft's copyrights.

This would lead us to up to the point of modifying the code to work with a different (namely open source) engine.

Hope that helps!
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Thunder Glove

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #290 on: April 06, 2014, 09:05:43 pm »
Assuming that's even possible.  I've read here and there (from Matt Miller and others) that CoH code was a frightful mess of spaghetti code and hacks around hacks around hacks to get everything to run, and to run specifically in the engine designed for it.

Transferring from Unreal 3 to Unreal 4 is not the same thing, because it's just an update of the same engine, so naturally it'd be at least somewhat forward-compatible.  Getting the CoH code to run in anything but the CoH engine... well, it might be easier to make a whole new game from scratch.

To give you an analogy that may be more pertinent: I have a bunch of old MacWrite 5.0 and MacWrite II files from my college days.  Despite trying many times with many different file converters, I can't open any of them in any modern word processor or text editor. (And neither version of MacWrite will run on any modern OS).  I fear trying to run the CoH code in any other engine may be more along those lines than the "Unreal 3 to Unreal 4" situation.

BenshowSly

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #291 on: April 06, 2014, 09:25:14 pm »
Assuming that's even possible.  I've read here and there (from Matt Miller and others) that CoH code was a frightful mess of spaghetti code and hacks around hacks around hacks to get everything to run, and to run specifically in the engine designed for it.

Transferring from Unreal 3 to Unreal 4 is not the same thing, because it's just an update of the same engine, so naturally it'd be at least somewhat forward-compatible.  Getting the CoH code to run in anything but the CoH engine... well, it might be easier to make a whole new game from scratch.

To give you an analogy that may be more pertinent: I have a bunch of old MacWrite 5.0 and MacWrite II files from my college days.  Despite trying many times with many different file converters, I can't open any of them in any modern word processor or text editor. (And neither version of MacWrite will run on any modern OS).  I fear trying to run the CoH code in any other engine may be more along those lines than the "Unreal 3 to Unreal 4" situation.

Each time I think I'm reassured, some people feed my fear :P

Oh I'm not blaming anyone for that. I better know the reality than having false hopes. But from what I understand, even if this whole thing happens, I'll never have my beloved game but just something similar to it but totally different...

CoT version 2 in other words...

Felderburg

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #292 on: April 06, 2014, 10:27:36 pm »
Even if there are minor (or even extreme) changes, that's what happened to the game anyways. Inventions, Incarnates, Alignment Switching... those are all VERY major changes, that probably had some people unhappy, others content, and more overjoyed. The nature of MMOs is that they evolve - this would just be another step in CoH's evolution.
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dwturducken

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #293 on: April 06, 2014, 11:31:31 pm »
Each time I think I'm reassured, some people feed my fear :P

Oh I'm not blaming anyone for that. I better know the reality than having false hopes. But from what I understand, even if this whole thing happens, I'll never have my beloved game but just something similar to it but totally different...

CoT version 2 in other words...

I see Thunder Glove's analogy as more of a matter of figuring out the steps necessary to bring the files "up to date." For instance, for the sake of argument, I have an old iMac (one of the originals with OS 9) and an old Dell laptop running Windows 98, with Office 97 and the driver installed for the Kingston DataTraveler USB flash drive. (I actually have the Dell, but the iMac had a bad power supply and is in the process of being converted into a fish tank) It then is only a matter of getting a word processing program that would open the MacWrite files but still be contemporary to OS 9 or Windows 98, save the files as a file format that would be something you could open with a modern word processor, and voila! It's not hopeless, but a matter of how much effort and time (and, well, money) you're willing to put into it.

And, presumably, looking back at the analogy literally, you have the files on floppy disks. One of the reasons that I have the Dell laptop is that it's the only computer I have that A) still works and B) has a functioning floppy drive. I've gone through all of the old 3.5 inch floppies That I've just never thrown away, archiving all of the old pictures and documents and what-not else, and a disappointing number of the disks are just no longer useful. Can't access 'em, can't format 'em to reuse, nothin'. I did discover an adhesive, though, that, after proper "roughing" of the plastic outer surface of the disk, will bond cork sheet to the plastic. I gave out about half a dozen sets of novelty coasters to my nerdier family members for Christmas. :D
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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #294 on: April 07, 2014, 12:09:53 am »
Aren't you guys all running rather insanely ahead of what we know here?

Somebody's exploring the possibility of making an approach to NCSoft to see if they're willing to sell their rights to the game.   That is ALL we know.

This may or may not have anything to do with restoring the game in any form.  IF it were to happen, the new owners might do lots of different things. 

The one thing that would be certain would be that if NCSoft sold it they would no longer own it (and MIGHT have no say in whether or not anyone ran a private server). 
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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #295 on: April 07, 2014, 12:34:10 am »
Aren't you guys all running rather insanely ahead of what we know here?

Somebody's exploring the possibility of making an approach to NCSoft to see if they're willing to sell their rights to the game.   That is ALL we know.

This may or may not have anything to do with restoring the game in any form.  IF it were to happen, the new owners might do lots of different things. 

The one thing that would be certain would be that if NCSoft sold it they would no longer own it (and MIGHT have no say in whether or not anyone ran a private server).

Iron wolf is saying that he does know more than that.

This is an excerpt from his post on page 14

"Just so you folks understand the current talks do NOT need the engine - all the folks want/need is the IP - the stories, artwork and codebase. I honestly don't have any timeline for what is happening but I know it has been about 2 weeks since they started work on a pitch. Obviously they want to get it right - and so do we :)"

I'm on the fence as to how much sense that will make in the long run - if it's accurate.

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #296 on: April 07, 2014, 02:37:13 am »
Also, from reading the entire thread, it looks like NCSoft wanted to keep control of the Engine....not sell it outright.  So...if some one buys the IP....is it not possible that they could continue to use the same engine..LEASED from NCSoft?
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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #297 on: April 07, 2014, 02:56:18 am »
So as Ironwolf said, the codebase was to be gained from these talks, but not the engine. We would basically gain all the programming code for City of Heroes, but not the engine itself, which I am guessing is under NCSoft's copyrights.

Except that there's no difference between the two. The code is the engine is the engine is the code.

COH is not like most games these days where they buy a prebuilt engine and add their own logic on top of it, often managed code like C# and Java, or even JavaScript.

When it was developed, MMOs were in their infancy. No suitable engine for such a game existed. The engine that was created for COH has no separation from the game itself. All of the logic is hardcoded into the engine, since it's not an off the shelf product -- it's something that was developed exclusively for COH.

It later went on to become the Cryptic engine and power CO, Star Trek: Online, and Neverwinter, but only after Cryptic spent a large amount of effort (likely several developer-years) to remove most of the COH-specific aspects of it and make it useable for other things.

Long story short, you won't find any code that can be purchased or transferred that isn't part of the engine. You might get some data files like Excel spreadsheets with powers numbers, but nothing that can be dropped into a game engine. You're going to be reimplementing everything from scratch.

That said, if someone wants to acquire the IP, I still think it's a good idea. I'll say "Good luck with that" to the idea of transplanting it to a different engine, but even if that fails, all is not lost. Getting the rights out of NCSoft's hands and into someone's who may be less likely to cause legal trouble for certain projects could be a good thing.

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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #298 on: April 07, 2014, 05:40:42 am »
Except that there's no difference between the two. The code is the engine is the engine is the code.

COH is not like most games these days where they buy a prebuilt engine and add their own logic on top of it, often managed code like C# and Java, or even JavaScript.

When it was developed, MMOs were in their infancy. No suitable engine for such a game existed. The engine that was created for COH has no separation from the game itself. All of the logic is hardcoded into the engine, since it's not an off the shelf product -- it's something that was developed exclusively for COH.

It later went on to become the Cryptic engine and power CO, Star Trek: Online, and Neverwinter, but only after Cryptic spent a large amount of effort (likely several developer-years) to remove most of the COH-specific aspects of it and make it useable for other things.

Long story short, you won't find any code that can be purchased or transferred that isn't part of the engine. You might get some data files like Excel spreadsheets with powers numbers, but nothing that can be dropped into a game engine. You're going to be reimplementing everything from scratch.
Do things like graphical and audio assets count as part of the engine? While the combat systems would have to be reimplemented in a new engine, i'm hoping that the IP would include everything that isn't actual computer code, including the rulesets that were implemented in the original software. (Tohit formulas, resistance and defense mechanics, etcetera.) It would still be a mountain of work, but it could recreate the CoH "feel" that made it so distinct.

Quote
That said, if someone wants to acquire the IP, I still think it's a good idea. I'll say "Good luck with that" to the idea of transplanting it to a different engine, but even if that fails, all is not lost. Getting the rights out of NCSoft's hands and into someone's who may be less likely to cause legal trouble for certain projects could be a good thing.
Ah. Yes. Well there is that as well.
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Re: New efforts!
« Reply #299 on: April 07, 2014, 10:20:34 am »
I find both amazing and sad that there are people who, before anything has been done yet and despite the efforts of otehrs trying to bring the game back, are already demanding how they want the game back. When the spiritual successor games launch, I bet those will be the ones endlessly moaning "this is not like CoH" and such.

I honestly thank Ironwolf for his efforts and admire his patience,.