the Junkyard

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The Next Tribes Q&A

Posted by: Diotoir on Thu Mar 20th, 2003 at 5:25 PM
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Ever since the initial announcement of Tribes 3, people have been swarming to Tribes3.org. The simple forum website was originally setup to be a site for discussion of what the game should be like, etc. One day, however, a miracle happened. A Sierra rep on the Tribes Franchise, Thrax, started a Question and Answer thread on all of the information he was allowed to reveal. I have collected all that he has answered and put them in Question and Answer format. Its quite a long peice, but definately beats digging through the forums to find out what the game might be like.

And now for the Q&A:




Q: who is developing Tribes 3?

A: You already know that I'm not answering that

Q: Can we expect the same sort of general game dynamic from Tribes 3? Or is it a totally new game? (in the same universe of course) To clarify: will it be the similar to Tribes 1 & 2 as far as gameplay/weapons/packs/vehicles etc. goes, or are we in for something completely new?

A: It's still Tribes, so don't expect it to be like Myst or anything.

Q: One of the great aspects of both Tribes 1 and Tribes 2 was the ability to "dictate" how fast you wanted to go, through a combinations of disc jumps, as well as planned "ski routes." As I understand it, there was no speed cap in either game. Do we plan on using this same model for mobility in the upcoming sequel? (This will also pertain to how skiing and "friction" are handled.)

A: There was a speed cap in T2, dictated by air and ground resistance. My personal feeling is that speed should be capped only by a player's skill level. The actual decision will be based on what is best for gameplay.

Q: Back when Marweas wrote a poem on TribalWar, he mentioned the possibility of an "open beta." I know we are in the beginnings of development, but is this still the plan?

A: At this time, yes.

Q: Do we have a projected quarter for release? If so, what is it?

A: Yes, and I'm not telling you.

Q: One of the issues with Tribes and Tribes 2 is the steep learning curve associated with both. Assuming that the steep curve is brought over to the upcoming sequel, how will this be handled/addessed? To clarify: This pertains to how "newbies" will be brought into the game.

A: We have good ways of making the learning curve (steap or just large) aproachable. Some day we'll tell you what they are.

Q: In Tribes, the most widely accepted format for pubs/matches was 10 vs 10. In Tribes 2, it varies from 14 vs 14 to 16 vs 16. What is the planned size for the upcoming sequel?

A: I prefer between 8 and 12 on a side in competitive situations. It makes it easier to hold a tribe together and distributes the talent acrosss more tribes.

Q: ...using the Tribes 2 Shrike for example, a player could change the blasters to mortars, or maybe rockets. They could also change out the vehicle "pack" to add either a sensor jammer, or maybe an energy pack, resulting in a number of different combinations. It seems like a good idea, as long as it is balanced properly. Is this a possibility for the upcoming sequel?

A: You'll also be able to set the stagger, tire pressure, fuel load, shock package, .... oh wait, that's NASCAR.

Q: Aside from yourself are there any people that play(ed) Tribes or T2 competatively?

A: I'd have to double check, but I believe that there are.

Q: Are you going to add in support for an "auto-download" feature? As it keeps the game fresh for many.

A: We're looking at it, but as always no guarantees.

Q: this is question/request. will you have the option of an "ugly" mode in tribes3? having pretty eye candy in the game is all well and good but i like these types of games for the gameplay not the grahpics. also, i suffer from old computer syndrome which means i'm greatly fps deficient. please aid those of us with low end computers by making this game still playable.

A: If you consider your current computer low end you will have to upgrade to play this game (or any game that comes out around the same time). We're at 3+ GHz now, and probably 4 or 5 by the end of this year. I don't think it's reasonable to think that a 400 Mhz machine would run a game that also pushes the bounds of a 4000 Mhz machine.

Q: Will the game be "Tournament-ready" out of the box? ... T2 was also one of the only games that was "competition-ready" out of the box (Tournament mode).

A: Starsiege: Tribes was also Tournament ready out of the box, so you can expect some sort of Tournament mode.

Q: ...Will the browser, or another method of online team organization, be included in T3?

A: We don't know that yet. If it is it won't be in-game. The browser was a waste of time and resources.

Q: ...MMORPG...

A: No.

Q: Will T3 be a descendant of T2 Classic/T1? Some posters on these boards seem to revel in the old days of Base slowness and boredom... even branding skiing as a "bug" that should be eliminated. Please recognize that T2 Base led nowhere, that the competitive community is the true lifeblood of Tribes, that withou their efforts (Base++, Classic) and the ressurgence of T2 Competition and gameplay, we wouldn't even be talking about a Tribes 3.

A: First, it will not be a descendant of anything. It's a new game. Second, stop trying to tell me what saved tribes. Nothing saved tribes. This project has been under way for over a year, and I promise you that the executives who gave it the final green light in october of last year were not checking on the vitality of the competitive community, they were looking at our project plan and the sales of T1 and T2. In fact, Marweas and I got more resistance to doing anything for T2 than for starting a new Tribes project. "Tribes the Next" was easy to get going in comparison to Classic, TR2 and the new maps.

Q: How steep will the learning curve be?

A: A better question might be will there be a practical cap on player skill?

Q: Will Sierra support early T3 competition with a CPL/CAL push, money tournaments, etc?

A: This is a marketing question that I can't answer. I can say that we won't be doing it out of my budget (which goes to about zero on the day we ship). I would hope that we will support things like this, and I will push for us to do so, but it's not my call.

Q: A great part of the ressurgence of T2 is the efforts of the competition players and teams, especially www.teamwarfare.com, which has shown itself to be the center of that community. Are there any plans to support the TWL in an official way?

A: They seem to be doing fine. Why would we want to spoil that with endless streams of lawyers and contracts?

Q: Will waypointing, or a similiar feature be a part of tribes 3?

A: Currently we do plan to have waypoints. Avoiding the WP cheats from the previous Tribes titles is an obvious consideration.

Q: In the day and age of online "personas" and "identities," one of the important aspects of any online game is the exclusivity of a person's online "nickname."

A: We haven't decided how this will work yet. My opinion is that we don't need exclusive names at all, just a clear way to uniquely identify a person. My nick is "Thrax" which I've used since college, so I'm fairly certain that I've been "Thrax" for longer than just about anybody else in online games, but that doesn't mean that I should have exclusive rights to the name, just like I don't have exclusive rights to the name Chris. As long as there is a way to uniquely identify a particular Thrax (or RangerX, or Aragorn, or whatever) it shouldn't matter if there are more than one. Perhaps if you do a nick query on me in a game I would come back as Thrax_00001, and the next guy who claimed Thrax as his main nick would be Thrax_00002, etc... The actual method doesn't matter, but I think the idea is sound.

Q: And...I dont get it, why are you keeping the dev team secret? whats the point of not telling us?

A: Honestly? A couple of reasons:
1. It's fun. Watching the gussing is a total gas!
2. It's information that you want, so it's valuable information, which means magazines want it, which means we can trade exclusivity to a magazine for a nice cover story. But if I tell you who it is that cover story goes away.
3. Did I mention how much fun we're having with it?

Q: I want to agree with Flawed's idea to include teamwarfare.com links in the game, support tourneys, and keep the browser system. Also, I would like to know about the armour classes in T3. Are we going to just keep the 3 existing classes, or try to make new ones with specific aspects from each? Perhaps by making more armours, the specific advantages and disadvantages of the existing ones could be blended for more variety in the gameplay?

A: I'm not going to answer this at the moment. Sorry.

Q: I haven't read all of the other questions, so excuse me if this has been asked. Will we see the login/t-mail/tribe tag system return verbatim or in some form?

A: Let's just say that I'm not a fan of t-mail, etc., but I recognize a need for some of the features it provided.

Q: Also, are there new vehicles coming about? I've heard of a one man bomber, but how bout some new vehicles to give one person a bit more punch in the air or ground?

A: The one man bomber was in Tribes Aerial Assault.

Q: As we have seen from T2 if dynamix's server or database has a problem it effects upwards of 200,000 people with that in mind .. Questions about the games "back end"....

A: any back end will be made using industry standard solutions, not gum and paperclips.

Q: Clicking in game and going out to a web link is a great idea. Will the game support it's own internal web browser so you don't have to use another program to browse the web?

A: No. Microsoft spends a lot of money making a perfectly good browser. I'm not going to spend game development money recreating a crappy version of it.

Q: Will there be a way to auto download missing maps? (this is a big problem for newbies)

A: Perhaps.

Q: Will there be a map depository where people can upload maps to Dynamix for auto downloading?

A: First, Dynamix doesn't exist. More to the point, probably not. The community is very good at providing for these sorts of things and we'll likely let them do their thing.

Q: Will in game IRC chat connect directly to irc.dynamix.com so people can use mirc out of the game and chat with people in game?

A: You assume that we will have in game IRC?

Q: So my question is, will Tribes3 maintain vehicles as another effective tool to use, or will they dominate (like t2 base) or be a novelty (like t1)?

A: First it's not going to be called Tribes 3. As for your question, Tribes (the franchise) is at its heart about people fighting people. Earth/Starsiege is about vehicles fighting vehicles. From a general standpoint Tribes the Next will have vehicles, and they will be fun and useful, but not primary.

Q: Can we get a project lead that actually listens to the community rather than his massive drug induced "visions" of a game he's never had a part of until he got signed on contract?

A: Do I count?

Q: Any chance there will be rag-doll type physics for deaths? It could be hilarious.

A: Maybe

Q: Is Sierra planning on distributing a free server package separate from the client for the next Tribes game?

A: Good question. I'm not going to answer it

Q: one of the things that's always kept T2 incredibly addictive for me has been the immense ability to customize your game, from GUI to sounds to skins, ect. Will this ability to personally enhance your game be kept in mind for the next Tribes game?

A: Yes, what we call "modability" is very important to us.

Q: Will there be hand to hand weapons or any other changes from the disc, chain, nade, laser, plasma, etc, etc line up that we know now?

A: Not as far as you know at the moment

Q: Given that it is the Tribes universe, what time period will the game take place in in relation to the storyline and the other 2 games?

A: Excelent question! Somebody who knows a bit about the universe. Start a side thread on this and we'll discuss

Q: Will mechs have a place in the game, if so what is that place?

A: Yes. Back in the empire.

Q: will there be a heavy female? or will there just be a heavy that is both male and female? :X Heavy female = win

A: I don't think any of us want to be spammed by a heavy female.

Q: What is your main focus for T3, being either Competitive Players, the general crowd, or niether?

A: I can't (won't) answer this at this time.

Q: Will T3/TNTG make use of DirectX 9 effects and features?

A: If they're needed to make it real purdy.

Q: BY YOUR BEST GUESS, are you going to be shooting for a 'Mature' rating or 'Teen'?

A: We're ignoring the whole issue at the moment. We're making the game, and then figuring out the rating later. My guess is that it will be teen.

Q: I know you said that Sierra couldn't give a crap about the competitive community, but do you?

A: I didn't say that. Don't put words in my mouth. I said that the executives who made the greenlight decision weren't looking at the size of the competitive community when they did that. Not at all the same thing, and not at all enclusive of all of Sierra.

Q: Hrmm...what about the music...will it be dynamic according to the intensity of the battle or calming if you are in the middle of nowhere or something, or perhaps something like the scripted players we have with t2 where we can just load a custom playlist and use our own music?

A: I think we're leaning more toward the playlist idea.

Q: When will we find out more about realease dates and developer info? 1 month? 6 months? 2004??

A: One of those three is close.

Q: Are the weak humans finally gona be removed?

A: I take it you're a fan of the Space Orcs.

Q: Are there any plans to include some of the tribes 1 voice binds that got cut from t2 ? Ones such as Doh! , You Idiot, and Damn! were excellent. I don't want a recycled Tribes1, but little things like that would be great.

A: There are no specific plans for T1 binds.

Q: Will Windows Be the only supported os or will there be ports to Apple and Linux platforms?

A: In general there no good business reason to make a client for Apple or Linux. I know people hate to hear that, but it's true and it's hard to convince people in charge of huge budgets to spend even more for a negative return.

Q: From what people are assuming, there is only going to be one game type of physics for the game. My questiion is, Will there be more then one gametype upon release?

A: Yes, more than one game type, no to different physics per game type.

Q: In stead of having a browser, could you make it so that you can click links in-game and it would use your computers browser?

A: It's possible. Just need some engineers to write some code to do it.

Q: If the nicks and tribal tags and things that fall under that catagory arn't handled in-game, would there be a link to the web site(s) that handle this?

A: I suppose, assuming that were the plan, that we could do that.

Q: Have you ever thought about releasing some of the most popular client-side mods with the release, such as Mechina or TAC2?

A: The wouldn't work. They're written using the Tribes 2 engine, this won't be using the Tribes 2 engine.

Q: Are you going to build a new engine for the game? Or use an existing one?

A: Yes, we are.

Q: Ack! Are you anticipating that a) the game will not need to be patched, b) the patching will be out of someone else's budget, or c) the patching will take about zero dollars?

A: No, I just said that to point out that my budget isn't designed for marketing PR stuff.

Q: Is there any chance that user created scripts and/or maps might make it into the gold version if they are developed during beta and determined to be solid enough to be included by the dev team?

A: There is always a chance.

Q: I think this question was asked, but I didn't see the answer: Will the new Tribes game have a spectator client like T2TV? If so would it be more like HLTV, where there is a client on the server that everyone can connect to and observe that match as if they were really in there as on observer... or would it be like T2TV, where the people watching could only watch through the eyes of the person who is shoutcasting?

A: You're right, it wasn't answered.

Q: Are you trying to achieve a "sporty" or "war/epic" type atmosphere in the next Tribes game?

A: I'm looking for a "Sporty War Epic", with jaunty voice binding.

Q: Is it safe to say that the new Tribes game will have demo recording/playback capability? If so would it most likely use the .rec format?

A: .rec format? I'm not up to date on my international standards, is .rec one of them?

Q: Thrax, can u give us an example of what the physics are going to be like for TNTG? For example, when turning around while jetting foward, will the lower torso swing momentarly (i cant spell) after the upper torso turns around?

A: Is this an important gameplay element? Your legs will not swing around because you're super strong from the tribal brand vitamins and your'e wearing cool non-leg-swing brand (tm) armor.

Q: Will the single player/Training sessions be better?

A: I'm not sure that I intended to say that. From a T2 perspective we want to make the introduction to the game easier, but the top end much higher. Easy to start, impossible to perfect. As for the training missions i think we'll be able to improve on them.

Q: you also mentioned (ANd I LOVE that u did) that you won't be adding in an ingame internet browser, or IRC. BUT can and will u impliment a viable scripting code, that say 3rd party scriptorz (PJ,Crunchy,Cowboy etc..) can add in built in browsers and IRC's ? Basicly I was thinking along the lines of how mIRC is - it works fine and u can taylor it to your desire - perhaps a help file with the scripting commands?

A: I really don't know. There is not currently any plan or effort to insure that the scripting engine/language would support creating a browser.

Q: so in other words, you don't plan on maken a specific coded demo format, but would rather use one that is already made ? (i.e .avi format) so that we DON'T HAVE to open t3 to watch recordings, but rather DivX or winamp3?

A: I didn't say anything remotely like that. I asked you what the .rec format is.

Q: will there be demos in the next tribes? If so, will you be able to rewind?

A: Endless recording questions are making me cranky. No more recording questions.

Q: Did you and/or the other people involved with developing this game play T1 competitively? Now? Ever? Back when it was going strong?

A: I may have played a bit of competitive T1. How about you, ever been at the sharp end of the ladder?

Q: Using lowcompressed avi would make your demos weight few gigs each, or if you dropped the resolution to 320x240 few hundred. Or if you would use a highcompressratio coded (xvid, and such) you wouldn't be playing at all, or perhaps at 1fps on a 5Ghz system. We do not need a new ".rec" format, we need a standalone demoplayer.

A: or a stand-alone conversion utility.

Q: Will Tribes3 be P2P (Pay to Play)?

A: Already answered. Yes you'll pay to play, once, when you buy the game.

Q: As of now, demos are only possible as one players point of view. To attempt to reconstruct a match, many demos are required, and then it is up to the viewer to try to imagine how the match played out. Many times after a match, my teammates will watch demos of that match from as many perspectives as they can, to attempt to figure out what went right or wrong. Would a 'server side' demo be at all possible? I mean, basically a recording of the entire match, so that when it is played back, one can observe the entire match, wandering around to follow specific players, or watching a flag battle from a distance? I realize this could be complicated, and open to abuse. But at the same time, the benefits could be great.

A: T1 demos were just that beast oddly enough.

Q: hmm, its shame that sierra probably wotn be doin t3 thrax, so no "dev" team has been created, sorry to break ur fame ppal, but there is no "dev" team as of yet anyways

A:

Q: Will there be a linux / bsd client for Tribes3

A: very unlikely

Q: Will there be a linux / bsd server for Tribes3

A: somewhat likely

Q: How much weight will be given to community (and by community I mean both t1 fanbois and t2 fanbois, and everyone in between) opinion on game mechanics/playstyles/etc? Will we have a say, or will it be whatever the T3 teams Vision(tm) is?

A: That's a tough question. Let me start by saying that our first goal is to make a fun game with staying power that people can continue to grow into long after they start playing it. To a large extent that obviates any need to pay attention to T1 physics vs T2 physics. Bauhaus game design: Form follows function . So we already know where we're starting, and we think our physics solution will be spot on (or we'd start somewhere else) but if it's not right we're perfectly willing to modify it until it's the perfect physics system for our game. The one thing I can guarantee is that it won't be exactly like either T1 or T2.

Q: What exactly is the reasoning that it's unlikely there will be a linux client? Is it the perception that there arent many Linux gamers ? Also I'm sure you are aware that many T2 servers are currently run on linux / bsd boxes due to the cost, availability and stability of the operating systems.

A: First, it's not a perception that there aren't many Linux gamers, it's a fact. Second I completely understand how many servers run on Linux which is why I said it was more likely. Third, I felt like typing third twice and this was the only easy way to do it.

Q: Are you going to keep the disk launcher?

A: Yes, but I'm thinking about renaming it the Diskamabob.

Q: It would just be good to see another developer support the linux community, but i know the likelyhood of it happening is rather remote.

A: T2 got a linux client because a third party company was willing to take the risk (which didn't pan out for them). For Tribes the Next the same thing is possible. If a valid reputable Linux or Mac developer were to take on the task (and the risk), we could easily come to terms with them.

Q: Thanks for answering. Now, what would be easier and less resource consuming:
1) Simple .exe that would load .rec and play it in a window of your choise (size) and have the basic VCR functionality
OR
2) Software that will load the rec, pass it trough the game engine to get 30 bitmaps/targas per second, then ... the 400Mb .avi.
But if you look at this from the developer's aspect, I really would go along with the 1 if I would have to make a choice


A: Well you hit the issues on #2 fairly well, except you missed out on the fact that the average processor will be a bit better by the time we release so encoding times will go down.
But for #1 you missed all the issues, like the fact that the "simple" player will have to be the entire game engine minus the player controls, including the entire map, sound, and graphic resource set, and that people who don't have a map won't be able to play the recording, etc...
We're at an obvious impasse that can only be solved on the back of a cocktail napkin...

Q: Is Sierra going to have a dedicated spokesman for this whos sole job is to communicate with the community, kind of like how Mythic did it with Dark Age of Camelot?

A: That's a spiffy idea but I'm not sure it will happen until late in the process. If we're lucky we'll get a support lead who can do that sort of thing (which is what Sanya Thomas does at Mithic I think).

Q: How hard set are the designs at the moment? I mean if one of the folks here came up with a great idea that would have large design implemications is it a possibility it would be included?

A: Set, but not rigid. The team (in my opinion) have done an excelent job of their initial design and also in leaving flexability in a few key areas of that design.

Q: Also in terms of scripting, how flexiable and powerful is it going to be in relation say to the T2?

A: Probably a bit less powerful and flexable in some areas specifically to limit cheating. We want to give as much flexabililty as possible without giving away the bank at the same time.

Q: Can you promise me that the game will be enjoyable?

A: Well obviously that's the goal, but who knows what you define as enjoyable. For all I know you might require the ability to pull wings off a fly while humming the battle hymn of the republic before you consider it enjoyable, so no. I can't guarantee that.

Q: How will you be listening to the community feedback on progress/once the game is released?

A: Sales of over 2,000,000 units - from my new beach house in the Carabbean. Sales of under 500,000 units - from the unemployment line

Q: ) Will the dev team be with the game long after its release? For patching, code updates, new textures etc?

A: Obviously that's the goal, but since they don't work for Sierra I can't force them to do anything. I believe that the need for patches will be lower than in the past and that this dev team will take pride in continued excelence in their product.

Q: Will TNTG be taking ANY community input? I mean if the community will be playing it, seems best to cater to their likes..

A: I'm here, yes?

Q: T2 came out really buggy when it was released, and I know that due to that fact, it caused a lot of potential players to throw it in their closet and not look at it again. Will TNTG be needing a half dozen patches to become playable to the masses?

A: Is there any possible way I can answer this and have the answer matter? I think not.

Q: Why will T3 need such high end systems? If you look at games like Half Life (Counter Strike mod, it's what, 5 years old?) , they still have massive amounts of players and they will run on my old 486.

A: Like it or not Shooters are judged visually against their most recent competition. If Doom 3 doesn't look as good or better than Unreal 2 then they've screwed up, and the press and fans will let them know about it

Q: Will TNTG have an ingame voice-chat system, like a built in roger wilco?

A: I don't have a concrete answer for you on that. Sorry.

Q: What is the feasability of having some cinematic tools(primarily camera based: Dolly, zoom, pan, tilt) for creating pre scripted type movies if you will?

A: Good question. No answer, sorry.

Q: Will the main gun still be the good old spinfusor or will there be a much wider range of diversity between weapons, so you can use more than one gun instead of just the spinfusor as the main gun?

A: You'll still shoot disks by default, but none of the weapons will be exactly like T1/T2 and some will be replaced with other types of goodness.

Q: Will their be an option for server admins to put a "no rape unless it is 10 v 10" rule in the servers? Or will it just be decided by the community like the other tribes franchises?

A: I don't know, but it's a good idea that I'll be sure to pass on to the team. I know that some other things like this are being implimented so this would be a tiny change.

Q: Will DJ be enabled?

A: It is now, so unless we turn it off it will be.

Q: Considering that the Havoc and some other vehicles are basically useless now in classic, has there been any thought in changing the vehicle system?

A: Vehicles will be different than in either T1 or T2. No info beyond that.

Q: Will there be a central site for TNTG ala www.tribes2.com? IE with intergration with say, TWL and such.

A: As I've said before, we'll provide the minimum, and the community will provide the rest. Nothing Sierra could ever do would touch the size and popularity of TW for instance. And the TWL is doing quite well without our interferance. I see no reason to try to improve on that either. Where there is an abscence of coverage we'll do something, otherwise we'll keep our mits off.

Q: With the developers - have they made (and released) a game or two before as retail, or will this be their first?

A: They've done a game or two, never fear.

Q: Will you be using a 3rd party program to make buildings, or will you make your own/build it in to the engine?

A: Discreet and Maya are both making free versions of their editors now. You should be able to use one or the other to make buildings.

Q: Do you think balancing is needed or maybe we need more AA turrets that not only shoot you while your sitting down and drinking tea but also can solve quantum mathematics problems

A: I think that a good player should be better than a deployable turret, but a good turret bitch (er... that's what we called the position on Cows w/ Guns) should be valuable to a team.
I loved the Rocket turret in T1, though it was a tad easy to kill. Extreamly valuable on Raindance, but not overpowering.
I don't really like the turrets in T2. I hate it when the server kills me. It's about the other players, not the CPU.

Q: Will the new t3 get rid of grenades and mortars bouncing at the wrong time?! And will the disk physics be changed for easier ma's or possibly harder ma's?

A: I really can't give definitive answers on a lot of these questions because the final outcome depends on the game balance. For instance if mortars are too easy to use, adding bounce is one way to make them harder to use. What I can say is that I like things that go boom when they hit my target, as do most of us. (thing + target + boom = good, in the technical lingo). As for the disk physics thing, again itís a play balance issue, but I think that a major part of why itís so much easier to MA in T2 than T1 is the lack of jetpack control in T2. The same issue makes the sniper rifle easer in T2 than T1. Itís not more accurate (I think it may be a bit harder to use in fact), itís just that your target is less mobile.

Q: is 'Tribes The Next' still something thats still an idea on paper? Or have you moved it to working on it on the computer?

A: Actually it's in development and I have a working version on my computer.

Q: Do you intend to make the engine for the new Tribes sequel equally powerful in the scripting aspect, allowing replacement and overrides of existing functions, and the convenient packaging provided by .vl2 (aka .zip) files in the recent version?

A: We are commited to making the game customizeable. The Mod community breaths life into games long after they should be dead (look at Half-Life) and we want to take advantage of that as much as possible. More than that I can't say right now.

Q: you have said that you are wanting the learning curve to be quick to learn impossible to master. does this mean that we will be seeing a more tribes 1 style competitive game play where one or two 'masters' of the game can join a team and drastically change the outcome of the match rather than that of tribes 2 where no matter how good you are unless you get 90% of your team working with you wont be able to achieve anything. Basically I'm asking will the game promote 'cowboys' or will it promote 'team players'

A: I very strongly feel that the T1 = Cowboys idea is a big misconception. Old-Timer story. At Tribes Con 1 in Reckless/Cows with Guns (basically a bunch of people from Sierra for the most part) took on an all-star team from the competitive community. We had good players on our team at the time, but no masters. We played well together and knew each other much better than the all-star team did. We destroyed them because we were a team. In an unorganized pub game against an unorganized defense, yes a "cowboy" should be able to turn the tide. Against an organized defense a cowboy should need teamwork, just like they did in T1. Remember that in battle the defender always has the advantage, and more so when they respawn on site.

Q: you say that scripting will be less flexible to combat 'cheat' scripts. will you still be able to script such things as movement and shooting etc? as i believe that being able to script this enables players to bridge a skill gap that would otherwise be unobtainable i.e. mortar jump scripts, disc jump scripts, 'ski' scripts, auto ski route scripts. all of these scripts made an impact on tribes 1 by taking the skill out of the game and allow players to improve themselves by simply downloading the latest script pack.

A: All of the examples you give should be bridged by playing skill, and not programming skill. And I never said we would make scripting less flexible in general; I said we would potentially sacrifice flexibility for security.

Q: do you envisage the next tribes game to be fast paced on smaller streamlined maps or slower and more strategic on t2 base styled maps?

A: You should never have to drop bread crumbs to find your way back out of a base.

Q: one thing i believe set tribes apart from other games was the ability to characterize yourself, by having multiple voices / models / skins players could differentiate themselves from the crowd, also having a lot of things to play with and have fun with (beacons, targeting lasers, local animations etc.) meant that you could have a lot of fun even if you werenít playing competitively. Do you plan on expanding on or even matching what was in tribes 1/2 ?

A: There will be multiple skins and stuff. Off the top of my head I don't have a count, but a respectable number (whatever that might be).

Q: So, what is your role in the development of this game?

A: I'm the producer at Sierra. Along with Marweas and Menzo I put together the product plan and researched the developer. We researched about 30 different developers (and dismissed many others out of hand) and finally selected... we'll call them CompanyX for now... I was honestly somewhat surprised (but delighted) when they agreed to do the game as they were far and away at the top of our most wanted list.

Q: Will T3 support custom resolutions? Instead of the 640x480, 800x600, 1024x768, etc. The reason I ask is I like to play games on my 51" HDTV, and custom resolutions go a long way to making that easier.

A: Send me your TV and I'll spend some time investigating it.

Q: will tribes3.org recieve first wind of beta signups?

A: Well, we don't know how the beta will work yet, so I can't reasonably say much about it other than I don't think we'll play favorites to anybody. We'll probably send out word to all the tribes news sites we can find, and also HW/CS, Quake, Doom3, VoodooX, Blues, etc to get as diverse an audience as possible.

Q: ...But if you can think a even better way to support demos (serverside tracking of all events so you could observe the game in slo-mo that you just played) feel free to do so

A: We're looking at that. Full tracking replay is very useful to QA - but also hard to do correctly. It requires tracking every variable and being able to reset all of them to the correct starting position. But at that point you can replay the game right up to the occurance of a nasty bug which makes fixing them that much easier. So fingers crossed replay should be nice.

Q: Can you state what year we might start seeing some development images/info? Will an account/login still be required?(ie; Tribes2) Will there be enviromental effects like swaying grass/trees? I've noticed several games being developed lately with tall grass rather than flat textures, will that even be a possibility? A you watching the modding community for possible gameplay ideas in TNTG? Example: I play a lot of TAC2 and I think it adds a new element to the game that most mods do not. It's not just a mod for weapons, rather a mod for gameplay. Will packages be released to the mod community before the official release so that they might get a head start?

A: Sigh. These are good questions, but I'm either not sure or can't answer them. Sorry.

Q: If you plan on having the missile launcher, can you just have them lock on to vehicles, turrets, ect.. not people?

A: if we plan to have the missile launcher then yes, we could have them lock on to vehicles but not people. If we plan to have them.

Q: Any chance of making the enviroment, the terrain not invulnerable?

A: The problem with deformable terrain is partly technical, and partly play ballance. It's easy to make deformable objects, but Terrain systems are all height field based, and rebuilding that height field and it's texture every time somebody farts hard would be problematic. From the play balance side of things the ability to put big divots in all the good ski routs would turn the game into a flyer only cap-fest, which is not what Tribes is about at all. So no to the deformable terrain idea I'm afraid to say.

Q: Also any chance of some real interest in the maps, as it stands they are all hills and valleys of different levels, howsabout some massive sharp cliff-faces, waterfalls, forrests.

A: I think we may be able to take care of some of that for you

Q: Will TNTG be unveiled at E3?

A: That is not currently the plan, no.

Q: Will existing T2 scripts/admin-mods be reviewed for their use as possible T3 features? Not relating on toys like in Tricon there.

A: Yes, they have been.

Q: I apologize if this has been asked already, but the comment on a working version on your computer piqued my interest. How long as TNTG been in developement? When I saw Marweas's poem on TW, I'd assumed it had just gotten the greenlight. But a working version of the game in 3 months seems....impressive.

A: We built a full working prototype to get the green light, then tossed all of that out (except the lessons learned) and stared over for the game. Prototype development started (I think) in April of 2002, and was given the green light whenever Marweas posted his sonnet. The prototype kicks ass.

Q: Do you plan to keep the In-Game map editor? Or plan to use/allow outside programs to create maps for 'Tribes 3'?

A: I can't answer that at the moment. Sorry.

Q: Is there any chance of some Cave maps? Or would that be to hard on the terrain engine?

A: We're actually investigating that, but don't have an answer yet, so I'll fall back on my standard "I can't answer that yet".

Q: I'd love to have a way to playback a battle from any vantage point, and to save snippets of it as an mpeg. Bonus points would be awarded for the ability to re-render the battle using ultra-high quality models. Insanely cool demo reels could be compiled as recruiting tools for new buyers, uh, I meant players. Does any of this ring your chimes enough to make into the game?

A: I certainly agree with you, but that doesn't mean it will make it into the game

Q: In regards to HO, will players expect the main mode of transportation to be heavy transports, such as T2's havok, or by ski routes practiced and perfected like those in T1/T2 classic?

A: My personal preference would be that good heavies would ski, and bad (not yet good?) heavies would fly

Q: One of the deployables I missed from T1 was the sensor jammer deployable. Will this be back in the upcoming Tribes game?

A: I doubt it.

Q: Will there be floating bases like those in T1, or will they be primarily ground bases?

A: You'll just have to wait and see.

Q: One thing that pissed me off to no ends about T2 was the complete retardedness of the mortor turret and how it ended up, the majority of the time, in killing more teammates than enemies. Will the mortor turret be automated like it was in T2, or will players be required to operate themselves via command screen similar to T1?

A: I think we all miss the days of Broadside mortar spaming.

Q: my only other request is that you list is that you keep an open ear to the community. however, please keep that ear pointed at the people who have played the game at high competition levels. please listen to the people at TribalWar (ask marweas). the people who have played the game at the top of competition have an intimate knowledge of how competition should be, and their opinions should speak loudest to your dev team.

A: Let's examine this, shall we
1. I played Tribes 1 for over a year at the sharp end of the ladder. I was part of an NCAA championship soccer team. I have an older brother. I hate the Yankees. I believe I understand competition.
2. Marweas cannot claim any of these things, except possibly the older brother. Marweas knows marketing.
3. Most people never play competitively. If we don't satisfy those people there is no possibility of continuing the franchise and we all lose, so (like it or not) pubs are very important.
4. The competitive players (of whom a much better concentration can be found at TWL than TW) are important as they do tend to push the community forward. The are also (like it or not) very important.
5. There is no way I'm going to let the masses at TW design anything beyond a ham sandwich. It's a fantastic community but that doesn't make it a game designer.
Let me fall back on my car analogy: Just because somebody has played a game for a long time doesn't make them a game designer. My mom has driven cars for a long time and there is no way I'm getting into a car she designed.

Q: Are there any plans to supports tools such as gmax? (like Dungeon Siege, NWN, UT2k3 , and others have done). I know these require quite a bit of cash to license in a game.

A: It's possible that we could support GMax or the Maya Personal Learning Eddition.

Q: I've been playing T2 since a few months after it's release, and almost that whole time I've been playing siege. if you don't know siege is a smaller community, but a cummunity never the less, there are over 100 of us that play it alot, and I was wondering if we were gunna be included in T3?

A: You may have noticed that I'm avoiding specific map type questions, and I'm going to do it again.

Q: There's a ton of great ideas there as well as at TW (less morons seem to be at TWL though)

A: I don't think there are more morons at TW, it's just a different type of community. TW is about the people and the communication. TWL is about the games. The two audiences intersect, but a lot of TW isn't really interested in anything more than the latest photoshop this thread.

Q: Within this year (2003) will we see Screen Shots of the game and/or In-game Movies?

A: I don't know about you, but I've got some great Screen Shots

Q: I've seen discussion threads about a 'Commander' position, or something along the lines of that. Will this happen? (I don't like it myself just wondering)

A: I think that was just random wish-listing. I certainly have not intention of forcing a commander position.

Q: Will the game push the boundaries of newer computers when it is released? As in, when it comes out will it push a 6ghz (or whatever it is at the time) computer to the max.?

A: I hope so, while still running well on a moderate machine of the day. It's getting tough to do. People expect current games to run like butter on their over-clocked Celeron 300 and still push a PIV 3 Gig machine. At some point those PIIs and low end PIIIs need to go away.

Q: Will there be separate textures for each team? As in each team has a different looking base, vehicles etc.

A: That is the intention.

Q: will there be 2 (or more) types of deployable turrets? i.e. an indoor and outdoor or will there be one universal deployable?

A: 2000 years into the future and they can't make a freakin' indoor/outdoor turret?Unacceptable! Henceforth one turret shall rule them all. And it won't be tiny, camouflaged, and silent. Little bastards.

Q: i think you missed my point. i too know people who have played tribes for years and still suck my point was that you lend a more open ear to the people who are good at the game; they are usually those who have an intimate knowledge of competition and how gameplay works at the top level.

A: No, you've missed mine. Being good at play doesn't make you a game designer. Being a good producer doesn't make you a good game designer. Game design is freakin hard stuff. How many games were made from the Quake (I/II/III) engine, and how many just sucked? It wasn't the engine, it was bad design. Just because Natural's a good player doesn't make him a good designer, and just because Colosus Boston's around like he's stuck in the mud doesn't make him a good or bad designer either.

Q: Hey, will we the important community sites get first dibs on content? Or will you just throw it out to anything that wants it. I think it would be great of special community sites get something, esspecially communities just for this game.

A: That's really a PR question, but I can already tell you that they'll hand out content based on where it will get the biggest bang. IGN, Gamespot, and the like will get content first, everybody else later.

Q: is the netcode going to be cleaned up with the new engine ?

A: It's a new engine. As in not the same. Different. Including the network layer. A more interesting question is might we support IPv6? I have no idea, nor any idea about why we should or shouldn't. Anybody out there an IPv6 expert?

Q: What would you consider a 'huge' game for the next Tribes game?

A: Final game of the World Championships. Televised live on TV. World wide audience. $1,000,000 in prize money to the winning team. Endorsement deals for Twinkies and Tropicana Orange Juice ("Keeps me healthy even though I never leave the house!"). That'd be huge. Or is that not what you were asking...

Q: Will client side weapon models be allowed like they were in Tribes or will the server have to use them too (like how T2 is set up)?

A: If we can be sure they're not being used for cheating, we'll allow them. Cheating is a huge issue.

Q: will tribes the next be totally wickedly the coolest game ever created by the human mind in your opinion?

A: Second only to Myst

Q: can you reveal which one has/had bigger budget, this t3 here or t2 (just curious if sierra has/had any doubts about this project) ?

A: I don't have the T2 budget info to look at, but I'd be shocked if the T2 budget came close to this game.

Q: are you looking after any modellers/skinners/mappers, or can you handle all that by yourself ? (not that you couldnt, but extra hand would be cheap and there are lots of talented people who would gladly help )

A: I don't need any modellers, etc... We have a very large team.

Q: . hehe..can you reveal the t3's version number atm?

A: No idea on the internal version number.

Q: does this project have existing deadline?

A: Yes, it has a scheduled ship date.

Q: Will T3 support OpenGL (1.4 or 2), or is it going to be a D3D game?

A: D3D. Possible OpenGL support.

Q: Does the design team responsible for "Tribes the next", believe that allowing the bases and equiptment systems to be completely shut down and instantly imbalancing the entire games design , as a general feature of pick up games,and NOT restricited to a "hardcore" tournament only mode, to be a good design philosophy or a bad design philosophy?

A: I don't think we feel that this is any kind of philosophy, design or otherwise. It's just something that is. My personal take is that people should be able to switch it on and off as they please, perhaps including automatic switches for on when over X people start the game, and off when less than X start. But trust me, this won't have anything to do with your decision to hand over $$ for this game. You'll be buying it

Q: As far as the flag indicator goes, is it going to be in t3? Id hope its not...fixing a cheat from one game != making it a feature in the next...

A: And it wasn't fixing a cheat from T1 that got the flag marked 24/7, Dave just couldn't ever figure out where it was. No plan on the flag indicator yet.

Q: I don't know if you've answered this yet or not but what is it gunna be called? T3?

A: No. It's not called T3.

Q: Can you tell us what the prototype consisted of?

A: No, I can't

Q: When this game is released, will it be a modern day engine for the game for its time (flashy effects, cool environments etc) or are you making only a "bare minimum" engine to make the game, so its not too flashy - if you get what I mean.

A: Very spiffy. Nothing bare bones about it, but probably not the #1 engine of it's day (always tough to make it to #1).

Q: When you do go open beta (You are going open beta, yes?) - can you *please* make it available to AU/NZ/Europe etc as well, not just for say, the US.

A: Thus the name "open beta".

Q: Will the game still feel like tribes, as in have team combat, outdoor and indoor environments etc - or an entirely new game?

A: Both. It will feel like an entirely new game in the tribes universe.

Q: Are you going to try and do something revolutionary with the game/engine - ie, environmental effects/something revolutionary :P

A: Probably not, by then.

Q: Will Tribes: Not Part Three support multiple monitors? For instance with the primary monitor used for rendering the gameworld and the second for informational windows of the players choice.

A: No plans for this.

Q: My question is will there be a Community messages type function. I will explain what I mean with the reasoning.

A: How about instead of all that extra stuff we just fix the problem?

Q: will there be blood... flying heads. or will it be like tribes 2? (no blood but bodyparts go flying)

A: Good question. Some day we'll give you an answer

Q: will it have slight changes in model for varying tribes, such that blood eagle's disc launcher looks different to the diamond sword's (mayb a slighty different shape) but the actual position etc is the same so that aim is not going to be affected if you change teams during a map?

A: The weapons will all be the same.

Q: this TNTG is the new engine name? so you say it will compete with engine like ut2k3 and doom 3 (personally not impressed by doom3, recon ut2k3 looks better)?

A: TNTG = "The Next Tribes Game". Nothing else

Q: will you have deployable walls, fences or turrets. Turrets that you can put anywhere and sit in it and control it? Or is the base going to have a set defense setup which you can control from a commander position?

A: No

Q: when you place mines, will they stay there after you die?

A: yes

Q: Can my team mates send me a way point that I can click and my guy will start running to it?

A: no

Q: Points systems... Have you placed any thought into working out an alternate/new scoring system? something more focused on information rather than a ranking system.

A: Yes, we have spent time on this.

Q: Right now I play T2 on Houston Vehicles with 59 other players. You said earlier it'd probably be 8-12 per team in "TNTG". I'd really like to see many of the maps able to handle MUCH more than that. What I love probably most about Tribes2 is that you can have a HUGE number of people playing at a time, it's fantastic.

A: I didn't say that. I said my preference was for 8-12 per side in organized competition. The question was not about pubs.

Q: In regards to the team score a CTF game, is it going to be a 1 cap = 1 point type system, or is the dev team going to make it similar to T2's where you get a point for each flag grab and X amount of points for a cap?

A: I'm a fan of one cap one point, but if it makes sense to score differently we will.

Q: Can you at least promise us that your scheduled deadline is some actual month/year combo instead of just something like 3D Realms's "when it's done"?

A: I have a ship date. Not a ship quarter, ship month, or even a ship week. A specific date. So far the dev team has hit every date spot on with a little room to spare. Very sharp guys.

Q: is this new engine being written specifically for the new tribes game? and will it be available for other games to copy off of?

A: No comment

Q: also, do you guys plan to market TNTG publically? like tv ads and crap? i think the only way to make it the success we all want will require a large and very effective marketing strategy. GTA 1 and 2 were both computer only games (and totally badass), and the 3rd got some good marketing and took off. plz say you have plans to do the same! :)

A: Not my department, but it's rare that a PC only game can spend the kind of $$ needed for a TV ad, but if pre-game hype and pre-orders are high enough it could happen. I don't understand how the sales guys invent their numbers, but I do know that pre-orders are a huge part of it, so off in the future if you like the beta I encourage you to pre-order from whoever you like to buy from.

Q: will there be a random terrain generator? Also, if there is, will it produce actual random terrain...or just smooth, rolling hills of various height?

A: Photoshop

Q: You keep stressing that it's a "new game" and probably won't be called Tribes3.

A: It's not called T3. It has an official name, we just haven't said what it is yet.

Q: Will target beacons be in the next Tribes (whatever it may be titled) game? As well as cameras?

A: Beacons == Perhaps. We currently have plans for some kind of cameras.

Q: Marweas has spoken before that he foresees a game that is more like a sport than a traditional computer game. With the rise of "pro gaming" will there be an emphasis with tribes the next to try and hit this market. If so can you talk about how this would be achived.

A: I guess you should ask Marweas about that.

Q: My only question is, will there be Bioderms in the next game?

A: You mean the space orcs, right? Does the base janatorial staff count?

Q: What are some of the tools you are using(Max, Maya, MotionBuilder)?

A: All the standards. Every game is Max or Maya, C++, Photoshop, Some source control solution, etc...

Q: On the whole browser/community issue. One thing that the suits should like is that if it is in game, it provides a great excuse for the login system T2 has. Main advantage I can see of that system is that it heavially discourages piracy, where as client side only CD key/CD checks are frequently bypassed and simply inconvience the paying customer.

A: I don't need an excuse to make you log on, just code

Q: I mentioned before a slower-paced strategy-style gametype... do you like this idea? Have you considered it?

A: Sorry U235, it's an Action FPS game. Slowing it down would have an identical effect on sales.

Q: The game will be moddable, right?

A: . It will be modable. The exact level of support is yet to be determined.

Q: do you plan on having a voting system like t1 and t2. Tribes has always had the best voting system out of any FPS type game. It has stunned me that no one has copied it.

A: I should think so. At least something like it.

Q: in t2 the depth perception was a lil off and made it kind of hard to tell the distance another player was from you. i understand that it's going to be a new engine and u'll most likely improve upon it, but i was just wonderin if u guys had thought about it and if it was on ur "to do list"?

A: YES. Most emphatically yes!

Q: Will the rights of foliage, or the players that simply look and move like foliage, be fully respected in this new version?

A: Some foliage will be respected. Other foliage will get no respect.

Q: Is the engine for Tribes 3 a new propriety one developed in house at Sierra or are there plans to license an existing engine like the aging Quake 3 or the newer Unreal 2?

A: Can't answer the engine question.

Q: Can you give us an estimate on when there will be an artical or offical release info about the game? When will we be able to hear about who is developing it, and how it is goin? A month? during the summer? around xmas?

A: It's a PR thing, and while I'd love to give out more real concrete info I just can't at the moment. There should lots of info available this year, but I'm not going to get more specific than that as I don't want Menzo going all bezerk about me leaking info.

Q: I dont think this has been asked yet. Will there be bots?

A: It hasn't, and I'm not saying

Q: Can you even give us a whiff of when we'll see some concept art? You don't need to describe what it will consist of or how much there will be, just an approximate time period.

A: Later this year.

Q: Will multi-monitor support be added to Tribes 3? Maybe allowing HUD and menu items to be dragged to the second monitor for easy access during the game.

A: Asked previously, and I just don't know. It's not even something that we've considered, so I doubt it.

Q: will you include the ability to 'bounce' a download request to an external server ala the UT engine? So instead of downloading a map off the server you can have that request redirected to a higher bandwidth (or just different bandwidth) web server.

A: We're looking at something like that.

Q: could you change it so that if a player doesnt vote they lose their vote and are thus removed from consideration when calculating percentages?

A: It's also bad to have 3 people decide the outcome of a server when the other 21 are busy playing. It goes both ways. we're looking at that sort of thing tho.

Q: Tribes 1 pushed the limits for playercount (32) and map size for its day. Tribes 2 likewise pushed the limits for playercount (64) and map size for its day. This seems to be a hallmark of the Tribes franchise which gamers have come to expect. Will TNTG push the limits for playercount (128?) and map size when it is released?

A: You're correct that the bounds that held T1 to 32 players don't exist any more (for the most part), so our map size determination will be based on what we think will give the best gameplay for our design. For competitive play that will be smaller teams. 8-12 most likely (although the community will set the final size as they see fit, which is how it should be). For Pub play you'll see more, and the engine will certainly support fairly large numbers of people, so if the community wants larger maps I'm sure you'll see community developed packs of big maps made available.

Q: you gonna stick with the classic "wasd" configuration? Or do what Tribes 2 did and use the "esdf" config?

A: I'm an ESDF guy myself, but I really don't care (I had to reconfigure most of the keys in T2 anyway so it didn't help me having it be esdf. Right now the dev team seems to be going with wadf. Maybe we'll have a contest and the winner gets his T2 conf used as the default TTN config (a lefty with a trackball would probably end up winning).

Q: Are you going to license Unreal Techonlogy from Epic for the game?

A: I'm not saying anything specific about the engine. Sorry.

Q: Will WETWTCTDG have support for actual wheeled vehicles and not just a "hacked" hover-wheel thing?

A: I hope to see wheels on vehicles, but no guarantees.

Q: will WETWTCTDG use skiing solely as the basis for quick troop movement or will there be more focus on user "developed" jetting techniques ala "hopping?"

A: we want to make skill in skiing and jetting something that will make some players stand out above the crowd, so yes, skillful techneque will be important.

Q: I was wondering if something like Tribe Tags are added, would you be able to toggle them on and off? I for one sometimes like to play without a tag but still be in a tribe.

A: That's a good idea. I'll pass it on to the designer (who will probably tell me to read his design doc more carefully as that feature is described on page umpty-ump).

Q: might the next tribes game have elements such as weather effects? like precipitation that effected the game play(not so much as it is a joke) but just to make it more realistic. it would be cool playing maps where the weather changed from sunny to rain and we had life like sky changes and what not. this would be a cool effect in my opinion.

A: I agree, and it's on a provisional feature list (if we have extra time). Unfortunately we all know how often games are delivered early...

Q: Might these be cameras that can see certain things? like cameras that can detect cloakers, cameras that can see IR, and/or cameras that can see long distances?

A: No . I really can't go into detail about cameras at the moment because the idea is quite unique and we don't want to give it out for other games to use.

Q: Will TNTG have more indoor "quake/ut" style maps?

A: Probably not. Tribes tends to play better outdoors, or if indoors in very large spaces.

Q: Will TNTG have CRC? Will weapon skins pass the CRC if there is a CRC check?

A: Any anti-cheat protection is still on the drawing board. As potential areas of risk are developed, engineers document the risk and we (as if I were actually going to write some of this code) will adress that doc later in development.

Q: Will the game physics differ much from Tribes / Tribes 2 in terms of airmovement, weapons physics etc?

A: They will be different, but not radically (assuming you feel that T1 and T2 physics are somewhat close to each other).

Q: What will the main aim of the game be? CTF? DM? TDM? Something completely new?

A: Not DM or TDM.

Q: Will the game feature editing tools? (Like GUI editor, map editor, script editor etc)

A: Yes.

Q: Will there be a 'UT2k3 Bonuspack' equivalent for TNTG?

A: Unknown.

Q: what can we expect from the new engine (or perhaps this is more a design decision?) in terms of draw/view distance? Will it be more foggy like Tribes 2? Or is the plan to have a much farther draw distance? (more of a haze like Tribes1 rather)

A: Right now we have a light haze in most cases. One of our concerns is that the long sight distance could make the sniper rifle a bit overly important. Funny how easily something like haze can effect game-play

Q: Note: Gametype. As in an alternate. Not base. Keep it how you want, just something for the strategy buffs.

A: It'll have to be a mod. We want to ship with just one physics to learn.

Q: will tntg use hitscan weapons like in ut2k3, cs etc or will you have to lead your shots like in t1 and t2?

A: probably have to lead.

Q: Will T3 be more prone to RL tournaments then t2, with a very good competition mode built in? I say this because it seems most people who play t2 could not play it without scripts, thus making real life tournaments hard. But if more features would be added so that scripts weren't NEEDED that would be kool. And is it gonna try to become a recocgnized game by the cpl, the biggest money circuit right now.

A: I think most *could* play without scripts, they just choose not to. We don't plan on adding everything that every script does to the next game. As for the CPL, I don't know if they will accept us as a recognized game. We'll have to see. In the past they have said that Tribes teams were too large for CPL competition.

Q: Who isn't developing TNTG?

A: Vin Diesel's company, Tigon.

Q: I understand that you're not likely to tell us what engine TNTG will be running, but perhaps you'll answer a small question about it. Will the engine support more in the way of terrain features like plants, trees, and such? The odd tree or cactus here and there in T2 was an improvement, but a lot more foliage (like engine capabilities for at least a small forest) would prove interesting for group tactics, I think.

A: Yes.

Q: I seem to recall that some underwater-specific vehicles were originally planned for T2. Any chance of some making it into Tribes the Next?

A: Very Unlikely.

Q: Will mine-disking be in TNTG?

A: Mine-disk will be game-play dependant. If it improves the game, then yes. If it harms the game, then no.

Q: Will water be in TNTG?

A: Yes.

Q: What about different types of grenades?

A: Probably more than one type, again subject to goodness of game-play.

Q: what is being done to make the game playable for small amounts of players? eg. 2-8. Will there be specially small maps or something else?

A: We have some things that we're working on, but as they haven't been tested yet I'll just leave it at "we're working on that issue".

Q: Will the language use the same syntax as for Tribes 2? Will the "moddible" code have the same organization?

A: No to the syntax and no to the organization.

Q: how much of a learning curve will the experienced Tribes 2 coder/scripter have when he/she jumps into The Next Tribes?

A: Should be easier to learn than structured programming in Perl

Q: What engine will Tribes III run on? What features will the Tribes III engine offer? What mod features will be available on Tribes III?

A: All of these are answered elsewhere in the thread. To sum up, I can't give any specifics about the engine at this time. Sorry.

Q: you obviously are going to use a limited amount of players in the open beta (if it does end up being an open beta) My question is, what if you have ... lets say 1/2 for reference... of said players play the beta for 1 week, then disappear, and also do not interact with the Dev team in any way before, during and after they are gone. will you then delete those accounts and open those slots then to "2nd string" testers ?

A: Actually our current plan is to have something like the Quake 3 technology test that absolutely anybody can take part in. Download it and you're in.

Q: for how long is tntg already in development?

A: Around a year.

Q: if the graphics are going to compete with whatevers current, and assuming you're still going with the rolling hills deal (you better), how are you going to balance detail like trees and general foliage with the need for clean routes through the map? Are we gonna be fighting on nuclear wastelands devoid of organic life, or what?

A: I'd bet that the best players would find a route thru the trees and the second level players would find a tree.

Q: what are your thoughts on fast 400-600kph route capping (T1/T2 Classic) versus slower, more freestyle/weaving route capping (T2 base). Will TNTGWNNYAIHBAY strike some sort of balance here? There was a point in Classic's development where it had what I consider a better balance of air control and speed, but this got the boot in favour of an arguably faster game than T1.

A: capping speeds (and all speed) will be set by what makes for fun play. Perhaps we'll impliment a new unit with which to measure speed and distance.

Q: You say that the script language will be easy to learn, but will be be as powerful, or better yet, more powerful and flexible then T2's script?

A: Where did I say easy to learn? I said easier than structured programming in Perl which is largely impossible (I kid, please don't email and tell me how great perl is). The language will be complex enough to do what needs to be done.

Q: kind of related to question 3- will map sizes that are much larger than t2 (i'm thinking hundreds of square miles) be possible? i ask this because it'd allow for some interesting mods that i've been thinking of..

A: Since T2 maps went on to infinity, no, we won't be doing maps larger than T2

Q: Will it be possible to change the amount of thrust that your jetpack gives? i mean use more energy to ge higher faster but you wont be able to fly as far because you use up too much energy.

A: Very unlikely.

Q: Are dev people aware that running admin on a t2 server is almost like a black art?

A: Yes, absolutely. There is a nice large section on server admin UI in the design document.

Q: Will there be female player models with their own attributes? One of the things I liked about tribes was that you can choose a female and have better mobility and be less of a target, while sacrificing a little hit damage. It's like having 6 player classes as opposed to 3 armor classes.

A: I hate to burst your bubble, but that's an urban legend. The female may look smaller, but the hit box is the same, and the hit points are identical. The only difference between male and female in T1 and T2 is visual.

Q: Are you going to make it so that a player can use more than one grenade? In T2, the rocket launcher can lock on to a player. This weapon should be anti-vehicle only. Always having to carry flare grenades is ridiculous.

A: Undecided.

Q: Will you be making it easier to get in vehicles? Getting in vehicles in T2 is a joke. It's a bug that never got fixed, IMO.

A: Agreed. It will be easier to get in a vehicle in the next game.

Q: do you anticipate or have you considered the implementation of a respawn delay in the new game? i dont mean a suicide penalty like base t2 had, but just, you die to your opponent, wait from 5 seconds to some other painful duration to spawn back into the game. tribes has never had one, thank god, but more and more other online teamplay games are exhibiting respawn delays these days...

A: We've talked about various ways to do that. One possibility is a delay that decreases the farther you were away from your flag, so that offense isn't penalized for being agressive and defense doesn't just respawn right in the face of the attacker that just killed them. We're looking at all sorts of options, and good game-play will be the deciding factor as always.

Q: Will there be difference in ski speed depending on what sort of terrain you are on? Like on snow you can ski faster downhill then on sand?

A: Possibly. We can definately do that (and could in T1 and T2 as well) the question is does it make the game more fun, or more confusing. For experts, obvously more fun, for beginners, a bit more confusing. Is it an overall win? I'm not sure yet.

Q: My question is, have you (the dev team, really) been given access to the T2 cheats? I'm not talking about waypoints in the sky and the external program that autoaims for you, I'm talking about this: http://www.team5150.com/~fsb-ao/happy/. I know that it's impossible to halt cheating altogether, but knowing what's out there already can't hurt.

A: Happy is actually quite willing to work with us to fix any little issues he finds. He's always been great about such things with Marweas and me. Since it's a new engine specific cheats are only educational in a general sense, but we are familiar with most of the cheats out there (for tribes and other games).

Q: Will bots and/or other AI be given more of a focus in Tribes the Next? And will automated systems (bots) -if any- be hunters, sentries, and/or peons (build/deploy/repair/gather resources/etc.)?

A: We are spending a lot of time on AI.

Q: Cntrl + K, time delay or no?

A: No delay, but post Ctl+K your player model has an obvious load in it's pants for the rest of the map...

Q: Will The Game Be CPU Intensive Or Graphics Intensive, Or Both?

A: GPU intensive, and CPU intensive depending on the power of your system.

Q: Oh! One word: overtime. Can you add this for tournament mode? That would be l33t as all hell.

A: Should it be Sudden Death / Golden Goal?

Q: Are there any plans for basic interiors for use in mapping? In tribes 1 the editor came packed with basic base shapes that could be "assembled" into complete bases without having to create shapes in WorldCraft/hammer. This allowed for a large number of serverside maps and many variations on known terrains. Also will such elements as elevators be included or will tntg retain the slide up and down feel as in Tribes 2?

A: Possibly. If we can make our basic interiors available we will. We have extensive pre-fab building-bits far beyond what was available in T1 or T2. As for elevators you'll probably see some sort of lift to get big fat-ass heavies out of deep bases when they're loaded with something heavy (an ATM or some such).

Q: Will the spawning system include spawnspheres or will it be a new system?

A: I simply don't know yet. We want to avoid the problems of spawn camping or spawn mining, but there are other options (such as shielded spawn tanks or some such). We'll see what looks good as we move forward.

Q: Can we expect a NEW gametype, a PROVEN gametype or an old boring gametype? (main focus)

A: Well, as I read elsewhere, it's not going to be BF Tribes. CTF (or something that looks an awful lot like it) will be a major componant, but there will likely be a shift in the way you think about map design and game types.

Q: I was just wondering if the t3 map editor will be fucked up like t2 or not so hard just hard to get into

A: I should imagine it will be quite a bit more robust than the T2 editor.
__________________

Fans of Tribes,

We're closing the thread.

I thank you for all of the questions and I really wish I could be more open about where we are. Menzo has told me that I can tell you to expect more information soon (which I take to mean around the end of Q2, but who knows how PR guys measure time).

Somebody told me that I behaved poorly in this thread, and I can see how somebody new to this community might think that, so let me say that if I offended or insulted anybody I apologize, that was not my intent.

More importantly, I apologize to all of you whose questions I glossed over, no-commented, or just ignored. There are limitation on what I can say at the moment and until those limitations are lifted I can't go into more detail. Luckily for all of you, once those limitations are lifted the rest of the dev team will be able to answer questions and you won't have to listen to me ramble around the issues.

I'll be doing this again in a few weeks (for one day only - I need to get some work done on occasion). We'll pick a different location and let people know on all the main Tribes web sites.

Thank you again,
__________________

Thrax


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