Posted by Andy in Cortex Command - October 5th, 2009
When will we have emission stacking while inside dropship? – Duh102
When will we have sliding doors for dropships (as well as the current rotating ones)? – Duh102
Any plans for rebalancing terrain integrity to prevent actors chipping away at it? – Duh102

Any plans for rebalancing terrain integrity to prevent actors chipping away at it?Duh102
A: Yes, we are always open to tweaking the material properties, although we are very careful with it since changing, for example, a strength value so it works better in one context often makes it work worse in some other. – Data

unseen areasAsk Data about the cryptic stuff releated to potential fog of war.Findudex
A: We haven’t planned fog-of-war in the traditional RTS sense, although we might do something similar where enemy actors disappear or are only hinted at graphically if none of your team’s members can currently see them.
On a related note, we actually have already implemented a pretty cool “unrevealed” areas feature, so that team might start with large areas of the scene unexplored and therefore remains black, until one of their team Actors “sees” and uncovers the area. This will be an integral part of the gameplay, especially in the metagame campaign. More on that in a separate post! – Data

Is there any optimization being done? My FPS tends to suck, and it’s slightly annoying/confusing to mess with DeltaTime settings and all.Cody
A: We are always thinking about what rough optimizations can be done while implementing new features and code in general. However, we also follow the principle that it’s more important to first get a new piece of code to generate the desired output with a very clear or naive implementation, and only then work from there in small steps to obfuscate it with crazy optimizations. So, to answer your question: Yes, we are definitely going to be profiling and optimizing the whole engine a lot more to make it run as well as we can, although our first priority is to get things working at all! – Data

Will water particulates/pixels be made to behave more like water? Cause right now they just crush like plants and everything else.Connor
A: Getting proper-ish liquid physics in is unfortunately a very low priority now. The “bang for the buck” in terms of how much trouble it would be to implement and the improved gameplay just doesn’t seem worth it! The “water” materials you might see in some of the official scenes are purely experimental so far, and I don’t think they’ll stick around. That’s not to say I’m not open to trying some easy hack/approximation solution for pools of water at some point… think the “falling sand” algorithm. – Data

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38 Responses to “Monday Mailbag: Technical Teasers”

  1. Xhuma - # October 6th, 2009 at 1:59 am

    Beautiful Andy. Keep em coming!

  2. war_man333 - # October 6th, 2009 at 2:14 am

    Sweet, hope my question turns up soon πŸ˜€

  3. Yay - # October 6th, 2009 at 2:19 am

    Very nice! But The “monday night” mailbag is more like it.

  4. Madmax - # October 6th, 2009 at 5:02 am

    Awesome, I’m looking forward to gigantic piles of debris again.

  5. AtomicTroop - # October 6th, 2009 at 5:11 am

    My question next week? Good, thanks.

  6. KupaFM - # October 6th, 2009 at 5:15 am

    It’s good news!! I Like it!

  7. Abbat - # October 6th, 2009 at 6:20 am

    ANDY, I’m so happy that dev log is alive now! not just posts of new builds πŸ˜‰

  8. Bluedrake42 - # October 6th, 2009 at 7:32 am

    yay! you answered me! =D

  9. war_man333 - # October 6th, 2009 at 7:57 am

    I agree with Madmax, I miss the piles of debris πŸ˜€

  10. Metal Chao - # October 6th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I’m glad Data has officially told people that there won’t be realistic water in the game so hopefully they’ll stop making this completely pointless and complicated suggestion

  11. Yaddy1 - # October 6th, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Abbat you took the words out of my mouth!

  12. ZevN47 - # October 6th, 2009 at 9:07 am

    I guess I’m not important enough to have my question answered πŸ˜•

    anyway FoW looks interesting and I’m glad for the notice. Also I think water should be higher priority… could you use Grif’s regenerating wall code for puddles… it would need some tweaking but it might work. It would look weird if you tunneled under the puddle though (floating puddle)

    For the terrain rape stuff. I personally just think the heavy (darker soil) should be the normal soil and just have the light soil around sand.

    End $0.02

  13. Captain Kicktar - # October 6th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    “think the β€œfalling sand” algorithm.”

    I would like that.

  14. war_man333 - # October 6th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Zevn47, your question’ll be answered eventually.

  15. Lizard - # October 6th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    The FoW looks awesome, can’t wait ’till next build πŸ˜€

  16. CrazyMLC - # October 6th, 2009 at 12:14 pm

    ‘Cody’s question is suspiciously like mine…

  17. Andy - # October 6th, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    Due to [data’s] time constraints I don’t post *ALL* the questions πŸ˜›

  18. Hydra - # October 6th, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    That fog of war picture, doesn’t impress me much, the idea of units being ‘unseen’ or ‘hinted’ at I do like however. I just think parts of the screen should be ‘darkened’ if not traveled.. Or ‘almost’ blacked out, because otherwise we’d need to have a map implemented into the system. (or simply have completely darked out areas for specific campaign/story elements, but not the entire map itself).

  19. Geti - # October 6th, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    woot, looks like the robots have some slightly tweaked wound effects, in the form of some more sparks.
    the terrain debris placing algorithm seems to be a bit off judging by those plants, but i suppose that could just be a depth thing.
    @Hyrda: “doesnt impress me much” yeah, but i assume the masking will be interpolated more than just squares.
    keep these mailboxes coming andy πŸ˜€

  20. pieman - # October 6th, 2009 at 3:09 pm

    Please, whatever you guys do, make sure Fog of war is optional! I don’t want to have a line of sight, and fog of war style being mandatory. It may ruin some maps, and mods.

  21. ZevN47 - # October 6th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    I was only joking when I was saying “I guess I’m not important enough to have my question answered” πŸ˜›

    But also I agree with PIEMAN FoW should be optional… though I would hope that the programming devs would have the foresight to understand that… Check that I KNOW they would (yes I put that much faith in people I don’t know… am I foolish or am I just so sweet and innoccent :))

  22. BillyBobJoeFrankPieCheese - # October 6th, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Shouldn’t ya make FoW after u optimize? I thought it would lag. a bunch

  23. pieman - # October 6th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Depending on how it’s done it may reduce lag. It reduces the amount seen on the screen at one time, and that may help. I hope I’m right about this, because I’d hate to see it lag worse!

  24. tons0phun - # October 6th, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    I definitely like the implementation of line-of-sight. If it’s only from the player’s perspective, I’d like to see (in time) a mechanic for the line of sight for the AI (enemy). In such a manner that they’d also have to search for their enemies (you), rather than being omnipresent and knowing where your troops and brain are at all times.

    Good questions though, with good answers.

  25. Echo - # October 6th, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    I hope they fix the terrain issues…I can dig through a bunker faster with spent shells from a Gatling Gun than I can with bullets from the Gatling Gun!

  26. 3POK_PHALE - # October 6th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    You are forgiven for “CHILL”.

  27. Joe - # October 6th, 2009 at 9:37 pm

    Now, I seem to remember that Geti made (or found) some regenerating terrain code, and I think that it would make for some really good water effects where you step on it and the water fills in where you stepped. What do y’all think?

  28. FinDude - # October 7th, 2009 at 2:28 am

    Technically, it’s you who is omniaware.
    AI only knows where the brain is, the rest is done with
    raycasting and shot/gibbing “sounds”.

  29. Smithno13 - # October 7th, 2009 at 7:31 am

    Why are there different questions in the preview than in the actual article?

  30. Kzerog - # October 7th, 2009 at 9:08 am

    I was wondering that myself, the preview says:
    When will we have emission stacking while inside dropship? – Duh102
    When will we have sliding doors for dropships (as well as the current rotating ones)? – Duh102
    Weird huh?

  31. Geti - # October 7th, 2009 at 10:03 am

    @tonsophun: currently, as stated before, the AI only accounts for line of sight anyway. it doesnt even have last percieved location yet -_-;

  32. PlasmaNova - # October 7th, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    If you dont plan on adding water, then you might want to redraw the planet without any water lol. But otherwise, thanks for keeping us updated.

  33. BloodyHell - # October 8th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    3 golden rules of development :
    – make it work (meaning, get it to work at all as a concept)
    – make it right (meaning, with properly done coding and as bug-free as possible)
    – make it fast (meaning, optimized for performance)

    I hope Data has a locked down set of “must have” features and a side-list of “optional, might be cool” features, because as development goes along, one might be tempted more than often to try to code something optional in as a must-have, only to find out after some days that it’s not that “cool” anyways, therefore only wasting precious development time.

  34. petri.kaija - # October 8th, 2009 at 12:36 am

    Not bad. I like it.

  35. Metal Chao - # October 8th, 2009 at 9:13 am

    @Plasmanova: Just because there is water on the planet doesn’t mean we’ll be going to that part of the planet

  36. Lenny - # October 9th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    As point-men for a mining company, we would probably want to avoid the watery areas: There are good reasons why most mines are built in dry solid ground, away from rivers and lakes.

    If you really need water in some mission, then I say fake it. Just colour the background blue and tweak the gravity, or just “drown” any actors hwo falls in it. The feature is’nt worth much more work than that.

  37. 'Ard Bob - # October 10th, 2009 at 8:08 am

    @Lenny: what about oil rigs? πŸ˜›

    i agree with you on the point about “fake” water though, it doesn’t have to act as though it’s made of particles, since large bodies of water rarely do, though i reckon humans and clones should be able to survive for some time without drowning, while robots and clones would just die instantly.

    that said, water physics with waves ‘n’ shiz forming when people/rockets fall into it would be SUPER AWESOME.

  38. ZevN47 - # October 12th, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    Lenny do you understand the mining prosess? after you get below the water table you cannot avoid water without pumping it out. Also to keep the ground rock moving you have to make it into a slurry…