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Old 05-22-2012, 07:10 PM   #1
francisdrake
Addon Developer
Thumbs up TorchShips game development



http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/...d-space-combat

I came across this website following an Atomic Rockets tweet by Nyrath.
They intend to develop a tactical space combat game, based on newtonian physics,
having torch drives, laser, kinetics, missiles, etc.

It sounds promising! I decided to support this project.
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
Enjo
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"This project will only be funded if at least $40,000 is pledged by Sunday Jun 17, 11:13pm EDT."

Sounds like a threat. Where does the money go if they don't get the whole sum?
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Old 05-22-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
Napalm42
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Kickstarter is a safe site, if the $40k isn't raised, nothing happens. With Kickstarter you pledge an amount, and if the goal is raised, then your account or card is charged, otherwise, nothing happens.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:49 PM   #4
Hielor
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Quoting myself from another forum:

I really don't think kickstarter is the right method to get funding for indie games. It makes a whole lot more sense for things like physical objects that are being manufactured, where you actually *need* a certain amount of money before you can get the molds or dies or whatever that you need to produce the thing in quantity.

For software? Notsomuch. Nothing is blocking game development from continuing without that $40k--it's not like their programming skills will evaporate if they don't reach that goal.

IMO, a "funding model" similar to Minecraft or KSP is much more appropriate, and well-proven, for indie game development. At first, offer it for free, with the option to pay in order to get a guarantee to get all future versions of the game. Then, freeze the free version as a demo and continue developing, and require people to pay in order to get the latest version (and all future versions), raising the price as you get closer to completion.

From the video:
Quote:
The planet and other mass points in the UI are to scale; the ships are not, they are exaggerated in size.
Well then I guess the planets aren't to scale, are they? I mean, what else would the planets be "to scale" relative to, if not the ships? If you're going to have the planet size be accurate but the ships too large, you might as well have the ships accurate size but the planets too small...

Quote:
I develop commercial applications for a living, I have dozens of applications in the app store...
Great, but do you have any experience making video games? And why exactly do you need $40k all in one lump sum to fund a hobby project?

From the website:
Quote:
It will be released for Windows & Mac first, and then later for the iPad.
Why an iPad release? Planning an iPad version will just dilute the "real" version, IMO.

So what are they using Kickstarter for when they don't even have a playable demo available?
Quote:
Server and hosting fees for multi-player portion of the game during the beta test and initial launch
This isn't something that needs to be funded at the start of the project.

Quote:
Unity Pro & Team License
That's $2000, not $40000.

Quote:
Professional 3-D art & models
Or you could, you know, find a friend who's pretty decent at modelling to do it for free for now, and then as the game takes off make it better...

Quote:
Additional sounds and music created for the game
See above.

Quote:
Development of additional levels, systems, and features.
Why do you need to get paid in advance for this?

Quote:
Polish, fine-tuning, and game-play balance.
Again--why do you need to get paid in advance for this? This is something that can come with time.

I can't support this project. The idea is interesting, but the methods are all wrong. I purchased KSP for $10, because I could see that Harvester and his crew were capable and dedicated, and the game was already pretty darn fun. I knew they were going to put it to good use, because they had already shown (as a playable version) that they had a strong team and the concept was sound.

But with this--all he has is a simple video showing a few very simple things and a website straight out of the 90s. There's not even a playable demo available, they have graphics that are placeholder at best, and they claim they're shooting for a full version release in five months?

If he succeeds, more power to him, but I'm not about to give him any money until I can see what he's capable of outside of a 6-minute youtube video.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:05 PM   #5
Jarvitš
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Well, there are legitimate requests for funding software development, such as this case, where the author literally asked for a year's worth of his living costs so he can work without interruption. This, however, doesn't strike me as one of them, agreed.
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:32 PM   #6
Linguofreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hielor View Post
 Quoting myself from another forum:

I really don't think kickstarter is the right method to get funding for indie games. It makes a whole lot more sense for things like physical objects that are being manufactured, where you actually *need* a certain amount of money before you can get the molds or dies or whatever that you need to produce the thing in quantity.

For software? Notsomuch. Nothing is blocking game development from continuing without that $40k--it's not like their programming skills will evaporate if they don't reach that goal.
Well, they might have to look for some other source of income, which might crowd out their programming time.

Also, I'll agree with you that Kickstarter may well not be the right method to raise funding for *proprietary* software (which this seems to be), but it could be a really good thing for FOSS. It's difficult (though technically possible) to make money off of selling FOSS by the copy, because your licensing terms allow anybody else to give it away for free. A Kickstarter-like system could allow developers to raise the development costs and desired profit for a FOSS project up front, thus allowing the development of FOSS itself (as opposed to offering support for it later a la Red Hat) to be profitable.

Quote:
Well then I guess the planets aren't to scale, are they? I mean, what else would the planets be "to scale" relative to, if not the ships? If you're going to have the planet size be accurate but the ships too large, you might as well have the ships accurate size but the planets too small...
I'd guess the planets are to scale with respect to each other and the distance between them. As if in Orbiter, Earth were still 8000 miles across and 93 million miles from the Sun, but the Delta Glider had a ten mile wingspan.

Last edited by Linguofreak; 05-22-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:22 PM   #7
Pablo49
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Everyone wants to be Double Fine. The video was a bit unprofessional for a 40k lump sum. Also he doesn't link to his apps if any are actually related to games. So I definitely think this should have gone the minecraft funding route, or even just a full priced pre-order in exchange for alpha/beta access. 40k for what seems to be this guy's first full game? Meh.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:53 AM   #8
Andy44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hielor View Post
 From the video:

Quote:
The planet and other mass points in the UI are to scale; the ships are not, they are exaggerated in size.
Well then I guess the planets aren't to scale, are they? I mean, what else would the planets be "to scale" relative to, if not the ships? If you're going to have the planet size be accurate but the ships too large, you might as well have the ships accurate size but the planets too small...
The planets would be to scale with the inertial coordinate system, which defines the playing space. The vessels would be bigger.

This is actually done in real life programs like STK, so that when viewing a scenario with satellites thousands of miles apart you can actually see where they are. So in a combat sim it is a useful tactical tool. No different than showing Enterprise and Reliant orbiting Regula by representing them with large glowing dots on the main display instead of scale-sized models.
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:18 AM   #9
Hielor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy44 View Post
 The planets would be to scale with the inertial coordinate system, which defines the playing space. The vessels would be bigger.

This is actually done in real life programs like STK, so that when viewing a scenario with satellites thousands of miles apart you can actually see where they are. So in a combat sim it is a useful tactical tool. No different than showing Enterprise and Reliant orbiting Regula by representing them with large glowing dots on the main display instead of scale-sized models.
Thought of this later after thinking on it further, and yes that makes sense.

However, it would be nice if they'd actually called that out in the video. It would also be nice if the game offered two distinct modes--one which is what's "real" in the scenario, and one which is the "tactical display" that has blown-up models (possibly false color).
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Old 05-23-2012, 02:31 AM   #10
Frogisis
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I have been dreaming about this exact thing for at least a decade, and I really hope it goes through. Wish I could donate more than a few bucks.
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Old 05-23-2012, 03:51 AM   #11
NovaSilisko
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I really like the idea but don't believe a kickstarter for 40,000 was really necessary...
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:34 PM   #12
francisdrake
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These are interesting points raised here. Makes me think about why I really support this project:
- It is a theme I am definitely interested in, and there is nothing comparable available.

- The market for this kind of game is small. Reality is not too popular
I doubt this game will be sold a lot.
Heck, they even canceled MS Flight Simulator and Wing Commander!
Spaceships that do not zoom by and woosh and do not turn like fighter planes will be only for a small number of people.

- In the 90s I played a lot 'Harpoon', a naval wargame with minimal graphic interface, but exceedingly thrilling tactical gameplay. So I am used to bare-bone interfaces
(Btw. Harpoon is still alive, sold as download and supported by an active fan base, 20 years after its initial release; only few computer games can look back on such a history).

I hope they can reach the funding and start the game development.
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:47 PM   #13
Codz
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Quote:
Originally Posted by francisdrake View Post
 These are interesting points raised here. Makes me think about why I really support this project:
- It is a theme I am definitely interested in, and there is nothing comparable available.

- The market for this kind of game is small. Reality is not too popular
I doubt this game will be sold a lot.
Heck, they even canceled MS Flight Simulator and Wing Commander!
Spaceships that do not zoom by and woosh and do not turn like fighter planes will be only for a small number of people.

- In the 90s I played a lot 'Harpoon', a naval wargame with minimal graphic interface, but exceedingly thrilling tactical gameplay. So I am used to bare-bone interfaces
(Btw. Harpoon is still alive, sold as download and supported by an active fan base, 20 years after its initial release; only few computer games can look back on such a history).

I hope they can reach the funding and start the game development.
I've been looking for that. Can you give me a link?
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Old 05-23-2012, 06:52 PM   #14
Urwumpe
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Why not try it in orbiter first? I have a nice small idea for one such gaming idea, I just lack the time to implement it before 2020:

does somebody remember the old Linux game of two satellites orbiting a star and you needing to do maneuvers and targeting to destroy the other satellite? What about doing this in Orbiter? The spacecraft could be pretty simple, must not be manned, but a manned combat platform might be more for the lulz. You need weapons, attaching rockets and mines on such a platform would be no difficulty with orbiters attachment system. The Linux game spacecraft was powered by solar arrays, maybe it also works in orbiter like that. No powerful engines that permit FTL, just small corrections on the trajectory, maybe with DG-class specific impulse but less fuel capacity and thrust. would be pretty chess-like. if you maneuver to extreme, you are out of fuel and helpless. Maneuvering when a weapon detected you is too late. A tiny maneuver and you could get out of the missile range - at least until the opponent gave the missiles correction data.

If it works in orbiter, it could work as well outside it with more fancy graphics, weapons and stuff.

The next steps then in orbiter would be adding sensors and sensor stations, better damage models or reloading the satellites by rendezvous with collier spacecraft. You could add defensive missiles or defensive lasers. Decoys for hiding. Suicide drones with AI, that are immune to EW.
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Old 05-23-2012, 08:12 PM   #15
Linguofreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 Why not try it in orbiter first? I have a nice small idea for one such gaming idea, I just lack the time to implement it before 2020:

does somebody remember the old Linux game of two satellites orbiting a star and you needing to do maneuvers and targeting to destroy the other satellite?
I think you're referring to KSpaceduel, which is a reimplementation of Spacewar! for KDE.

Spacewar! itself first appeared in 1962 as a standalone program for the PDP-1.
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