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Author Topic: B-17 II Multiplayer Features ???
The Menace
unregistered

posted 10-10-1999 12:08 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Dear Graham (and others from Wayward)

One thing which is common of game designers these days (and which may be reasonable... this is not a disparaging remark) is that they rarely "leak out" the details of their multiplayer design specs. Often, they say things that are vague and even their boxes do not give out the specifics of what the game will realistically do over the internet.

Can you help break this mold today? can you tell us what the details of a multiplayer game over the internet will potentially be like? I will open this discussion with a few leading questions.

Can we fly the protection planes in a multiplayer game, like the P-51?

How many players, over the internet, do you think the bandwidth will support (if every one playing has typical 56K modems with 42K true connects)?

Will we have access to play all the single player missions in the multiplayer mode, or is the multiplayer mode limited to other missions that were not part of the single player experience?

Will you have "real- time" viewable ping meters and other in-game visual aids which allow players to asess thier connection quality to all the other members of the game?

Which multiplayer packet model for gun hits have you used? i.e. does the gunner determine his own hits and then send a message/packet to tell the target that he has been hit, or must the target determine for himself that he has been hit. ( I firmly believe that the first design is far more satisfying to players...)

Will B-17-II allow players to enter a game which is already is flight? Say you have an AI chin turrent gunner....can a human replace that gunner in mid flight if he arrives to the game IP later, or must all players be there from the start/launch of the game ( I believe the industry seperates these issues using the terms "Dynamic entry" vs. "Static Entry")?

Have the game designers considered giving the Host of any particular game control over multiple variables so that the same missions can seem different each time? Variables to be set by the host might be things like the "Rules of Engangement" screen seen in Falcon 4.0 or the types of defending aircraft the attacking B-17 squad might have on their side. The more options that can be controlled by the Game's Host, the more likely that "long term multiplayer replayability" will be achieved.

Have you considered "canned" vioce messages or other forms of rapid communication between players which prevents the need to "chat type" during heated battles? Such things as a single key stroke allowing a vioce message to be played to all the turret guys so they can hear warnings such as "he's moving to the rear", or "chin turret...he is coming your way". Clearly, in a B-17, a player in one turret can judge the direction an enemy aircraft is moving and tell other turrets to prepare them before they have view themselves.

Many in the multiplayer community are excited about the possibilities for this game as a multiplayer game, but we fear that it will be (as is often common in the industry) and after-thought for the product and not an integrated and thorough design. Can you remark on this issue as well please?

I am not one to start the "angry type" threads, I would ask restraint from my fellow pilots. I simply want to hear some detail about this games multiplayer potentials, and have no inclination to retort in anger based on the designers responses. Those are the acts of children. I hope that others will show restraint in this regard so that the designers will always feel welcome in these forums, no matter what choices they must make for their products.

Sincerely,

The Menace


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gdavis
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Member # 165

posted 10-10-1999 12:55 PM     Profile for gdavis   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Hi The Menace, - can I call you Dennis? J

Hereís what I can tell you now.
1) Can we fly the protection planes in a multiplayer game, like the P-51?
Yes, you can fly all planes in B17II Multi player : The B17 (all 10 positions), P51, P38, P47, Bf109, FW190, Me262, Me163. All planes are modelled to the same high level of detail as the B17.

2) How many players, over the internet, do you think the bandwidth will support (if every one playing has typical 56K modems with 42K true connects)?
We have our ideas, but I answer this when we have tested this aspect of the game in a few months time.

3) Will we have access to play all the single player missions in the multiplayer mode, or is the multiplayer mode limited to other missions that were not part of the single player experience?

Yes you can play all single player missions in the campaign in Multiplayer mode.

4) Will you have "real- time" viewable ping meters and other in-game visual aids which allow players to assess their connection quality to all the other members of the game?

We want to, time permitting.

5) Which multiplayer packet model for gun hits have you used? i.e. does the gunner determine his own hits and then send a message/packet to tell the target that he has been hit, or must the target determine for himself that he has been hit. ( I firmly believe that the first design is far more satisfying to players...)

The person fires the gun notifies the target that it has been hit.

6) Will B-17-II allow players to enter a game which is already is flight? Say you have an AI chin turrent gunner....can a human replace that gunner in mid flight if he arrives to the game IP later, or must all players be there from the start/launch of the game ( I believe the industry seperates these issues using the terms "Dynamic entry" vs. "Static Entry")?

Yes you can join at any time. The owner of the game can however choose to prevent new players from joining on the fly.

7) Have the game designers considered giving the Host of any particular game control over multiple variables so that the same missions can seem different each time? Variables to be set by the host might be things like the "Rules of Engangement" screen seen in Falcon 4.0 or the types of defending aircraft the attacking B-17 squad might have on their side. The more options that can be controlled by the Game's Host, the more likely that "long term multiplayer replayability" will be achieved.

The extensive mission planning that is available in the single player mode is also available in the multiplayer mode, so you can tailor your own missions, ie. Change target (over 200) change escorts etc. This gives an massive number of variations.

7) Have you considered "canned" voice messages or other forms of rapid communication between players which prevents the need to "chat type" during heated battles? Such things as a single key stroke allowing a vioce message to be played to all the turret guys so they can hear warnings such as "he's moving to the rear", or "chin turret...he is coming your way". Clearly, in a B-17, a player in one turret can judge the direction an enemy aircraft is moving and tell other turrets to prepare them before they have view themselves.

No, but B17II does come with itís own inbuilt multiplayer voice comms so you can actually talk to the rest of the crew, no need to type.
The fast canned option is a good idea though, do you think people would use it if they have voice?


8) Many in the multiplayer community are excited about the possibilities for this game as a multiplayer game, but we fear that it will be (as is often common in the industry) and after-thought for the product and not an integrated and thorough design. Can you remark on this issue as well please?

Glad to hear that people are excited. Our objective is to give players an opportunity to play through, in cooperative fashion, all the missions and game types that are on offer to them in single player mode.

Thanks for your posting, hope the answers above help.
Best regards

Graham


Posts: 36 | From: Bristol, England | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
The Menace
unregistered

posted 10-10-1999 07:04 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Dear graham,

I had no doubt you would approach the line of questioning with the same gentlemanly approach that I had read into your previous posts. Thank you for taking the time to "debrief" myself and the reading public.

I am impressed with the answers you have given as well. I expected less in the way of intended features.

You asked me If I thought poeple would use canned vioce calls even if you gave them true "vioce-over-net" type technology. My answer would be yes. Experience has shown me that sometimes, players who can connect well in a MP game simply lack the bandwidth (or other issues) to use Voice-over-net successfully. Further more, many players have not yet experimented nor do they have the equipment to use voice-over-net technology. Also, sometimes vioce-over-net technology simply doesnt work very well. Both (If time and resources permit) would be the best solution, but clearly, both means time and resources you may not have available.

I would like to expand this line of questioning if I may be so bold.

Do you intend to utilize some sort of "game finder" mechanism within the game itself so that all players who are hosting games world wide project their games to players who enter the multiplayer section of b-17II? Battlezone and all the more recent Activision games is a classic example of this. No need to know other players IP's etc. Any player who starts a game of Battlezone can have his game seen by anyone else who might be looking for a game by simply entering the multiplayer section and being connected to the internet. Tribes is another example of this feature done extremely well. This, of course, must include password protection for those who only want thier friends involved in their games.

Cheating in multiplayer games has been a huge issue of late. Will B-17-II attempt to include some sort of "anti-cheating" mechanism whereby any modifications to the original code (like invulnerability "hex hacks" or flight model changes) would be seen by the Game host and prevented from entering?

Is there some sort of "mission builder" where custom missions can be designed by the users? and can these missions then be played in multiplayer?

Have you guys intended for a "multiplayer capable flight sim recorder" whereby missions can be recorded and reviewed after the mission is over. Like Falcon4.0's ACMI or Flanker 1.5's TRK?

Please do not think that if you guys exclude any of these features that this might be construed by me (or anyone who understands the limits of resources and time in a business such as yours) as innapropriate ommissions. I recognize that design teams must limit their scope at some level to insure timely and profitable completion of projects. However, all these things that I mention are widely viewed by the sim community as "premier" multiplayer features, and if we can somehow make you guys think about them for this or future releases of later projects, then this forum has served us all very well.

Respectfully,

The Menace

p.s. Dennis would be just fine. : )


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SkoolD
unregistered

posted 10-11-1999 02:43 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
How many planes will take part in a raid, will it be of EAW size? I am wondering this because I have only seen pictures of single planes, and I haven't heard anything along the lines of numbers in a mission.

Also, Why aren't you going to add These Planes:

Me-110
??-210
??-410
JU-88

They would be a good addition to the play set. Plus they did do a lot when it comes to RL. They were used even though they had their problems.

What versions are going to be added to the plane set? You gave us which planes, but not if they are A-4, A-8, D-9, D-13(My personal favorite), B, D, and such.

Are you going to model, Aerial Bombs, Rockets, and Photo Electronic firing cells?

Thank you for your reply,

Tim


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Cap'n Black
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posted 10-11-1999 10:28 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
They decided the plane set quite early. For every flyable aircraft there are hundreds of hours of work involved, so in order to finish a simulation in reasonable time they decided to thoroughly cover the aircraft they are doing... B17, three American fighters and three (4?) German.
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juzz
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Member # 31

posted 10-12-1999 01:26 AM     Profile for juzz   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The way I see it, they should have these models of the fighters

P-51D-25-NA
P-47D-30-RA (but they already have a razorback instead, a D-22-RE maybe?)
P-38L-5-LO

Me163B-1a
Me262A-1a
Bf109G-6/14/10 with R2/4/6 kits
Fw190A-8 with R2/6/7/8 kits

They should have the Bf110 instead of the Komet, although I really want to fly the Komet it is a bit of a "novelty" choice of plane to include.


Posts: 125 | From: Oz | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged
Shere Khan
Member
Member # 560

posted 10-13-1999 03:59 AM     Profile for Shere Khan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
How about a Spitfire (a griffon engined Mk X1V would do nicely) or a P51B or C
Posts: 110 | From: Western Australia | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Bad Omen
Member
Member # 593

posted 10-13-1999 06:56 PM     Profile for Bad Omen   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
From what I have seen, I think their plane choices are fine! I just want to see it finished. It looks to be THE game to blow every other WWII game out of the water.

We can bug them for more planes later for an addon.;-)

Then we can start bugging them for a PTO sim.;-);-);-)


Posts: 8 | From: Salem, OR USA | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged
Dunedain
Member
Member # 375

posted 10-17-1999 08:57 PM     Profile for Dunedain   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Wayward: The Menace asked some interesting questions in his
second post in this thread. I guess it got overlooked in
all the new threads posted, quite understandable.
I was wondering if you could take a minute to answer those
questions he asked, as I think they would be of great
interest to many fans of B-17 II. Thanks for taking the time.

Posts: 10 | From: | Registered: Sep 1999  |  IP: Logged

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