Griffin Endurance Blog

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Endurance Updates

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Haven’t had time to produce a video lately so I’ve decided to post a little update post on here about Endurance. After a lengthy discussion about the economical system of star trek on youtube I decided to change the Endurance to a Starfleet Cargo/Transport ship. As a result several changes had to be made to the overall design to allow it to conform to Starfleet safety and operations requirements. One of those changes was personnel transport capabilities. This change forced me to produce some Chinese style hotel pods as habitation areas for up to 12 people in a single room and a joint shower and rec area for passengers. Not the best way to travel but if a Starfleet outpost requires some new staff its certainly a way of getting people there and certainly acceptable for emergency evacuations. Here are some pics of the new sections.


First Image: Sonic Shower Room


Second Image: Joint Rec Room


Third Image: Habitation Pods


Forth Image: Habitation Module Corridors

Asteria Pack Update

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I have just updated the Asteria Pack to allow for greater stability with RPG-X V2.2 Beta 8.4.4 and 8.4.6. It hasn’t been tested with server loads yet “that’s where you guys come in” but essentially I just trimmed out a few bits, simplified some brush work and removed some minor functionality. Changes include:

– Removal of Mirror in Engineering Locker
– Removal/Simplified some brush work and removed some meshes
– Removed Phaser/Photon/Tractor beam damage sub systems and replaced with a single weapons system
– Reorganized Engineering entities, removing reactor cooling, injector and flow regulator status screens
– Removed console controls for removable panels in engineering and replaced with simple panels
– Tidied up entities to make them less resource hungry

If you guys could try it out and let me know if you can get more people on a server that would be great!


Whats going on?

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OK so its been a while since my last post so I thought I would just say Hi! I’m not dead…. yet…. but I am really busy. Shortly after the release of Asteria I decided to cut my hours down at my place of employment and focus on designing and creating my own first commercial game for sale as an indie project. As a result I made the decision to cut off all communication with the interwebs in an effort to avoid distractions so I could focus on my Game Design Document. All other projects and time investments were put on hold and I focused 100% of my brain power on this new project. So what can I tell you about it? Nothing of course, its in its infancy, nothing is certain. What I can say is that I’m a good portion of the way through both the Game Design Document and the tech demo to ensure the engine can take what I’m throwing at it so that’s good. This of course leaves us with a “what has happened to everything else you were doing?” situation. Lets keep it simple:

Asteria : Never going to be released 2.3 compatible because I can’t be assed to spend months tweaking it and learning lua scripting but may have a new reduced version to make it more stable with 2.2)
Mapping Videos : My map doesn’t work, do you really think I should be teaching people how to map for RPG-X when I cant technically do it myself? Cancelled despite having the first episode almost done 🙁
Station Leto : Will be released for V2.3 but there is no time table planned for its continuation so could be in a month could be next year.
Let’s Play of Deus Ex – HR : I really wanted to carry on with this, but I am going to focus on a new style of let’s plays that will be based around maybe a few episodes dedicated to each game with developers point of views as to what was done right and what was done wrong in my opinion.

That’s all, don’t even have a picture to show, let me rummage through my desktop crap folder, hang on! AHHHH! For those that haven’t seen my Leto pics from before, here they are on my bloggy.

The War Z first thoughts

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Normally I post information on this blog about my own work but I decided to make a new category for things related to gaming and video that I would like to voice opinions about. Today I’m going to talk a little bit about The War Z Alpha. Its quite reasonable to say that I am a real hardcore zombie fan. I love zombie survival stories in film, television and gaming, probably due to the Resident Evil franchise that first introduced me to it. So when I heard about a MMO zombie survival game I pretty much jumped in the air and ran around screaming “F***ing awsome!”. So I headed to the website and was very impressed with the screenshots I was seeing as well as the gameplay footage released. So over the past few days I decided to purchase the game which is currently at alpha stage and give it a little go. Keeping in mind that the game is in alpha I started her up, created a character and went off into the world. To begin with I would say that the War Z is probably not far enough along to be considered an alpha in my books. There are no objectives, no strongholds, and almost every zombie I have come across is unable to move off the spot. They just animate in one place and scream at you. Again this is an alpha so that is understandable that there will be a few bugs.

Unfortunately there seems to be one underlying feature that stands to spoil this game. PVP is particularly free, you can just shoot another player or hit them in the head with your flashlight and damage is fairly realistic only requiring 1 shot or a few hits with a melee weapon. With the Zombies not really working 100% this leads to other player just killing each other for something to do. Because of the large environment its quite easy for someone to sneak up on you and hit you or sit on a cliff face with a sniper rifle and take you out. Further more when you are killed by another player you loose all of your items leaving you with nothing after a 1 hour wait to re-spawn. You are left now with most of the players running around the servers killing each other and looting each others stuff. I don’t think this portrays an accurate and enjoyable experience of a zombie apocalypse. The zombies are nothing more then furniture and the real threat comes from just about every direction in the name of other players. Ultimately you are going to die and loose all of your items and with no other objectives at the moment or features it makes the entire experience redundant. In fact you are better off creating a new character every time you die as at least you would have some starting items when you enter the world.

Again this is just an alpha but sadly it has sunk way below my original expectations and considering I spent USD 29.99 for the experience it has fell short so far. I would suggest that this game is probably at least a year off of any meaningful release and that is of course assuming that they are going to sort out the PVP problems, make obtaining items a little more worthwhile and fix the many bugs located throughout the game. They have safe zones but there is nothing to do there at the moment. Why not take a page from classic games such as Fallout or S.T.A.L.K.E.R and have small survivor towns where you can get missions, purchase weapons and supplies and get food, water and rest. Add in some missions that explore the cause of the outbreak and help develop the world around you and more importantly keep PVP to a system where both parties must agree to PVP before they can harm one another. Assuming that more features of this type are going to find their way into game as it is developed further it is probably going to take years to get it to a comfortable release that is worth the asking price and further reinforces my own convictions of “Do not release something until it is at an acceptable stage of development” because this alpha has clouded my opinion of the game greatly, introduced buyers remorse and means that I am unlikely to bother playing it for a long time to come.

Close it down, work out what you are actually trying to create here, and then start alpha testing. For the moment a large open environment deathmatch game would suit this title better then a zombie survival MMO. A lot of people have already paid for this title Hammerpoint and you have promised them something that is looking undeliverable for your “fall release”. I doubt you will be adding much in the way of changes to this alpha except for bug fixes. If you want your MMO to be successful, you are going to have to deliver on your promises otherwise it wont make it past a year. Focus on what it is you have promised and want to make, push back the release date and work extra hard working out these kinks otherwise its simply not going to be received well. The engine looks good graphically, and has a interesting inventory system. It renders well and runs well. Gameplay simply needs further thought.