SS:2845 now a full-fledged game!
Wed Feb 16th, 2005
This is huge...I'll let you read this for yourselves
It's taken me some time to figure out how to approach this thread and present the news it contains, because I know it is going to cause a bit of an uproar. In the end I decided to approach it in typical no-frills Trajan fashion and just cut to the chase up front. Unfortunately there is just too much info that needs to be conveyed to make this short, so read carefully.
In several key areas, Tribes:Vengeance has turned out to be unsuitable for the unique needs that our envisioned gametype requires. That's not to say T:V is a bad game in and of itself, just that the final product is structured in such a way as to make it unusable for our particular requirements. Believe me when I say we've tried approaching the situation from every angle, and it's just not tenable.
So I have discussed the situation with VU games at length, and they have graciously agreed to allow us great leeway in regards to what we can do to make sure this project reaches fruition and achieves success, and have given us their blessing for the following to occur:
It gives me great pleasure to announce that, going forward from today, Clancore will be joining the ranks of developers working with Garage Games and their upcoming Torque Shader Engine in making Starsiege:2845 a full fledged stand alone game project, and it will no longer be a MOD for Tribes:Vengeance.
Obviously we're very excited to be working with all the great guys at Garage Games, particularly in light of the fact that as some of you may remember they have just a little bit of history with the Starsiege and Tribes universe themselves.
To say the staff is extremely fired up about this switch is the understatement of the millenium. For those of you already familiar with the TSE, the advantages inherent in the engine are almost literally made to order for our particular situation. These advantages are in a word "huge", and will allow us to modify our original goals for the game upwards in many key areas.
Here are just a few:
- We will have access to actual source code, instead of having to work around things using scripts.
- The improved netcode will allow us to up the recommended max limit for multiplayer servers. This means 64 player servers and on up may easily be possible with higher end boxes and fat pipes, there's no hard cut off at 32 anymore. And it should allow people to run a decent sized game on home grown servers and standard broadband.
- The way terrain is handled by the engine will eliminate the OOB grid and offer the more free flowing endless style environments that were previously found in Starsiege and Tribes.
- Torque has a large, well established support community and third party support.
- People will also be able to again make their own skins and client side scripts. If you knew how to do these things in SS or Tribes, then you'll be able to do them in 2845 with minimal learning curve involved.
I know some of you are probably scratching your heads and going "Isn't Torque an old engine that they used in Tribes 2?" Well, this is not your daddy's Torque.
The new Torque Shader Engine (TSE) updates the look of Torque so that it has all the bells and whistles other modern game engines have and puts in all the latest goodies; normal mapping, updated lighting effects, shaders, incredible advances in viewable distance, etc. Click here for some screenshots:
I could go on and on about the benefits, but I'm sure some of you have a few questions about what this means going forward, so here's the scoop on our new timeline:
- We are still planning on releasing an ATR in March (patch or no patch) on the T:V engine. We've done quite a bit of work on it, we might as well do something instead of just let it drop, and we figure you guys that have been hanging out for the long haul should get something to piddle with while we make the switchover.
- While the guys continue to work on the ATR, Tsa and myself will be launching a new website and a massive recruiting drive this weekend. The new people we pick up will be paired with some of our existing staff that are not directly involved at this stage with the ATR and assigned the tasks of starting to move things over to the new venue. Switching over to Torque should help us immensely in finding new staff for certain key areas that we've had trouble filling of late.
- Initially there will of course be a time setback as we adjust and shift our methodologies, but once that's complete we expect the work to fly by compared to our previous pace due to everyones familiarity with the engine, having direct access to the source code, and the extensive support options that we did not have before.
We'd sincerely like to thank VU Games for its continued support of this project and look forward to forging strong ties with Garage Games as we go forward from this point. Things can only get better.
So, that's it. We would have liked to continue working with T:V, but as time went on it became apparent that it just wasn't in the cards. Our only other options were drop the whole project, release it in crippled form on T:V, or try to move it to another engine that would accomodate our needs. I understand that there might be some consternation or confusion in various segments of our community, because people tend to not like drastic changes like this, but we are 100% certain that we made the right choice. And I'm sure that all of you, once you see the obvious advantages inherent in this move, will agree with that choice in time as well.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we make this transition.
Here's the link to the thread in case you want it.