What defines Warzone?

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by zydonk » 08 Dec 2011, 12:42

Iluvalar wrote:
zydonk wrote: I play v110 mostly (Delphinio's new stand alone - try it out) - (auto)balance has weakened the impact of slap in recent versions. (Iluvalar, with all respects for your talents, you are just an accountant at heart.)
I'm not sure which version you are talking about suddenly. The versions on my mods or 2.3.8 ? Can you define more what you are seeking in the game it still unclear for me.
Relax. You're analysis of existing balance is impressive, but you - and other balancers - forget that the original balance is tilted towards a particular style of gameplay. Most latter-day balancing tends to reproduce the gameplay of other RTSs or to suit mp quickies.
vexed wrote::annoyed: Stay on topic, if you want to discuss that mod, take it elsewhere.

p.s, what, nobody has listed it is as fun today, as it was back then... :hmm:
This is not about mods, as you'll see. This will be about existing versions of WZ, as you appear to realize...

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by Chojun » 08 Dec 2011, 17:35

zydonk wrote:Relax. You're analysis of existing balance is impressive, but you - and other balancers - forget that the original balance is tilted towards a particular style of gameplay. Most latter-day balancing tends to reproduce the gameplay of other RTSs or to suit mp quickies.
Agreed - I'd say, in a negative sense, that Warzone is also defined for me by turtling. It's too easy for a game to go on for 1-2, or even 3+ hours due to turtling and the inability for the 1.10 AI to win decisively. The 1.10 research tree back to front took about 2-3 hours to fully research if started from T-1.

I think for most people (and for most people's schedules) the ideal game time is between 20-40 minutes. Assuming that the non 20-40-ish minutes problem is a problem, then this is something that Warzone won't easily overcome due to the complex research tree.

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by Iluvalar » 08 Dec 2011, 18:33

vexed wrote::annoyed: Stay on topic, if you want to discuss that mod, take it elsewhere.

p.s, what, nobody has listed it is as fun today, as it was back then... :hmm:
I stay on topic. I just try to make Zydonk talk more. I believe that Zydonk identify warzone to a small group of weapons. He is aware and willing that some few weapons are overpowerful. He like skirmish games and he'd like them to be longer. With slower research BUT same progression. In such way each new component is a epic jump. A "slap" that will turn the tide of the game. I understand what he say, and I believe he is right to say that the last versions (not only mods) are reducing those effects.
Heretic 2.3 improver and proud of it.

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by Rman Virgil » 09 Dec 2011, 03:10

*Drats* ;)
------------------------------------>

* I here abide that old James Bond flick, "Never Say Never", for who knows what singular event may arise to spur a momentary change of heart - like this topic's proposition & question (along with some subsequent irksome confabulations).

* So for a breath longer I tarry, to speak to this topic's proposition & question as well the crux points raised by others here in response. However I will do it all without quoting. I think it not essential to clarity & likely would make this post way too long for prevailing cyber cognitve & culture norms.

------------------------------------------>

* I understand Starcraft developers rationale & motivation in approaching Starcraft 2's development. Up till it was supeceeded by the "Sims" franchise & this years "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare", the original SC was the most successful comp-vid game of all time. Heck, it's still close to the top of that heap.

* On the flip side, WZ 2100 probably wouldn't make the top 1000 list in any incarnation to date & there are a set of clear reasons for that - not all of which can be laid at Eidos feet for forcing concurent PS1 dev or ultimately, & prematurely, pulling the plug on WZ Creators, Pumpkin Studios, & WZ's continued, & laid-out (as in code work commenced & still in the base), development. A goodly share can be assigned Net MP cheating - which first plagued MPLayer in '99 & has never really changed much since. But that's just part of the iceberg that sank WZ like the Titanic.

* So I think it at least as apt & useful to identify, define if you prefer, the iceberg that sank WZ 2100 - above and below the surface - as it is to look closer at what is uniquely WZ, as in its core game play experience identity.

* Ok, let's get some more fodder on the table to chew on (based on eyewitness accounts and historic, primary source docs).

---------------------------------->


* What is original to WZ is the simplified oil harvest resource mechanic & the combining by Pumpkin of a totally derived back story, unit design & research mechanic. That's correct - individually, those components were extant many years before WZ 2100. The backstory well over a decade prior in the form of 2 hugely succesful movie franchises & those 2 game mechanics a good 5+ years prior in a set of classic, seminal, even legendary, DOS games....

------------------------------------------------->

* WZ Retail release was v.1.0.

* From April 1999 to October '99 there were 10 patches that had a few bug - fixes, some new maps, vastly improved Ski A.I., brand new, totally unplanned for Ski UI & mechanic, opening-up CAM Techs to MP, & adding a bunch of MODS suggested by the community over the initial 4 months following release. For all the new additions over those 10 patches (including MODs to GPMs), very little in the way of overall balance was done - in other words, WZ's balance was UNFINISHED such that, for one, a great majority of design combos were worthless..... and this was NOT because of some sort of deliberate balance design end goal for a certain style of MP game play by WZ Creators.

* No, coming to such a conclusion would amount to saying that the GPM complexity-depth was predominantly intended as superflous red herrings & that would be a preposterous ambition for creating an RTS. Even without being an eye witness to events & converstions back in '98 - '99, there is source evidence that speaks volumes to this point.

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* If anything, WZ Creators strategy was for ongoing development with community input totally encouraged in an overall culture that had much in common with Pixar Corporation's creative culture of hugely successful development these last 2 decades. THIS was also very much at the heart of what made WZ 2100 special (I cannot stress that enough) & you could only know that by direct experience within the community between 1998 - 2004.

* If you were not there, an eyewitness to Pumpkin's '98-'99 community or it's officially sanctioned and sustained '99 - 2004 Fan/MOD/Dev community (till source liberation in late 2004) and have no idea about Pixar's creative culture of the last 2 decades to know the powerful congruence between the two then I would recommend perusing "The Pixar Touch" by David A. Price, "Innovate the Pixar Way: Business Lessons from the World's Most Creative Corporate Playground" by Bill Capodagli & Lynn Jackson, "To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios" by Karen Paik, & "Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries" by Peter Sims.

* And to better undertstand the core differences between that community culture of '98 - 2004 and the "Open" culture that supplanted it begining in the latter part of 2005 (to the present) you can do no better than checking out the lucid expression by the father of virtual reality tech & software, Jaron Lanier, in his 2010 manifesto "You Are Not A Gadget".


---------------------------------->

* (And btw, NONE of the content in the 10 Pumpkin patches were intended for a WZ sequel like someone stated in an other thread recently. I should no longer be suprised by peeps confabulations about WZ but it still shocks me to read bullchit like that. Unfortunately, it too is much like an iceberg - the bullchit history that circulates like a herpes infection.)

------------------------------------>

* Fun, yes. Addicting, sure enough. That is, till the limited winning procedures are rote memorized & the realization sets in that the combat gameplay, the actual in theater warfare pay-off experience, has very, very, little to do with ANY battlespace tactics of the 21st Century. In fact, it's well nigh non existent. As in full implementation, non existent. However, in rudementary form, it's there. They just never got to finishing it. Remember, the original plan & unique strategy by WZ Creators was on-going GPM enhancment & development AFTER retail release - "a living product" as the software lead engineer for the project phrased it in June '99.

* So for the last 12 years "Warzone 2100" remains crucially unfinished & could just as well be called - "RaBo Zone 1916".

* Research and Build Order Zone 1916 makes for one dimensonial battle-space, one center of gravity & one front maneuver, circa World War I tank warfare to counter the attrition of infantry & arty entrenchment - & all in an analog world. Even rebooted futuristic eye candy won't change that. The seeds for something much more do exist in the source code but they remain dormant. More interesting & in theater diverse; more fun, tactically far, far, richer, (allowing for asymmetric gambits as well) &, ultimately, a more popular RTS game with a greater on-going currency and resistance to gaming obsolescence.

* Square one going forward, IMHO, is the new schema for UI creation, new scripting lang & ECMs. With these in place other powerful game play developments will become compelling & obvious (& I think need not be spelled out here).

------------------------------------------------->

*Rman engages ECMs* 8)
.

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by Shadow Wolf TJC » 09 Dec 2011, 04:57

What defines "Warzone" for me? Well, I'd like to be open-minded about this kind of thing to allow more freedom in terms of designing a proper sequel without it seeming like too much of the same thing (like with the Madden series), but if I had to list the more important parts of what makes this game "Warzone", then here's one for both spiritual and direct sequels:

1. The basic traditional rts mechanics: You collect resources, which you use to build units, as well as structures, some of which are needed to build said units. You then use said units to defeat opponent's forces using some sort of rock-paper-scissors mechanic, though said mechanic may be more metaphoric than literal. (For example, better speed and range allows one's units to attack the enemy's slower, shorter-ranged units from a safe distance without them getting attacked in the process, unless they get trapped that is.)

2. Being able to design your own units. Although I don't think that you'd HAVE to stick to Warzone 2100's way of designing units, by picking a body, propulsion type, and weapon/system, as I've seen other games possess better-designed design systems in my opinion. Take the Master of Orion series' ship-designing system for example, in which you just had to pick a ship size, and slap whatever weapons or systems that you need that can fit within the space limits allowed by that size of ship.

3. Being able to research new upgrades, weapons, systems, etc. from a long research list. Other games have recently adopted this as well, but none have yet to reach Warzone 2100's sheer variety of research items. However, how you research items doesn't exactly have to be like what Warzone 2100 does, along with Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and Starcraft 2: namely that you spend your resources on purchasing said research item and have to wait until it finishes researching. Alternatively, like in Supreme Commander 2, you could generate these research points, either over time through certain buildings, or by engaging in combat with enemy forces, and spend them (and possibly some resources) to purchase new research items.

4. The implementation of sensors and counter-battery sensors to spot for artillery (and possibly other units as well). This allows for the implementation of artillery in ways that seem more realistic (such as being able to fire much farther than what they can normally see) than what is otherwise seen in most other rts games out there, while still keeping them balanced.

5. Different propulsion types that allow units to cross natural or man-made barriers such as water, steep cliffs, or the walls of an enemy base.



Now, for a more direct sequel, I'd require all that, plus the following few things:

1. A post-apocalyptic setting, where players do battle in scarred wastelands and ruined cities. The setting would take place after the events of Warzone 2100, though whether or not the player will be part of the Project, or whether the Project will be an ally, enemy, or neutral to the player, is debatable.

2. Oil as a resource. Notice how I said "a", and not "only"? We could add some alternate means of collecting resources in addition to oil, such as solar or wind power.

3. The return of all the researchable high-tech stuff, like lasers, railguns, plasma cannons, a laser satellite, etc. that was featured in Warzone 2100, though whether you start with them or not is debatable.

That's all that I can think of for what defines "Warzone" for me. Like I said, I'm keeping an open mind so as to allow for more creativity in terms of developing a sequel to this game.
Creator of Warzone 2100: Contingency!
Founder of Wikizone 2100: http://wikizone2100.wikia.com/wiki/Wikizone_2100

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by Chojun » 09 Dec 2011, 06:32

Rman Virgil wrote:A goodly share can be assigned Net MP cheating - which first plagued MPLayer in '99 & has never really changed much since.
Agree wholeheartedly. 2 things I think made Starcraft successful - polish and a good multiplay experience. The multiplay's success in SC I think has 2 parts - the cohesive multiplayer community and the ability to sit down and play a meaningful game in 20 minutes. The latter simply is not possible. Pumpkin had the former with the strategy Xtreme boards but even that would've put WZ in it's grave immediately if it weren't for the NEWST community initiative. Regarding a cohesive MP community - one simply cannot exist if/when cheaters reign free. Funny how cheating (in general - any game) is such a malignant cancer that it will send almost any great game to its demise (Diablo 1 anyone?).

Rman I think you provide a good thesis on why WZ lacks polish.
Rman Virgil wrote:What is original to WZ is the simplified oil harvest resource mechanic
Which I also think is one of the things that WZ brought to the RTS market that was badly needed - moving the economy of the RTS game from a primary to a secondary role. I defy anyone to prove to me that the champions of the modern RTS are those that do not master resource management. With resources being merely at the back of the player's mind, the player was open to pursuing more tactical strategy which is what the RTS is all about... right?
Rman Virgil wrote:very little in the way of overall balance was done - in other words, WZ's balance was UNFINISHED
I've always felt this way too - I was around when Pumpkin was rolling out updates and it seems their focus was on new community driven features and not balancing (aside from the backlash from the 1.04 AI). To me the balance issue feels more like an opportunity lost/incomplete rather than broken gameplay.

In fact, I distinctly remember feeling that Pumpkin's dilligent response to community input was one of the most impressive things I've ever seen in a game company aside from Blizzard and Starcraft at the time. The monthly patches was like a recurring Christmas.
Rman Virgil wrote:And btw, NONE of the content in the 10 Pumpkin patches were intended for a WZ sequel like someone stated in an other thread recently
Haha, I saw that too written somewhere and pulled one of those :shock: O_o :?: :?: O_o :...:
Rman Virgil wrote:ECMs
I remember looking at the source in 2004 and '05 and seeing the ECM code in there. Probably something slated for a 1.11 or later, but too bad it never saw the light of day.. (or at least, hasn't yet seen :twisted: )

The crux of it all is that I think Pumpkin and some people saw Warzone as something that was 'simply more', i.e. an idea - in the hands and minds of the right people an idea becomes a living, breathing entity. Warzone bit off a large chunk of that idea, I think. :3

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by zydonk » 09 Dec 2011, 13:00

For me, WZ v110 is more like a work of art. Speaking from experience, you work with ideas and materials and things fall into place. It's not perfect, but the overall effect is just-so. Take any good painting, novel or film - you can easily diss it for the bits that don't seem to fit, but it is almost impossible to show just why the work is so good. It's like the quality of the work is given.

I've played WZ since '99 and never bothered myself with what was wrong with it (except for the stupid trucks, of course). I simply enjoy playing it and I like finding over and over again how much I like it, just like any good book or film(movie).

I suspect many people are haunted by the idea of the perfect machine - all its parts fitting - but the artist is more concerned with something like beauty, that can appear despite the imperfection of the vehicle of expression.

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by the_madman » 15 Dec 2011, 18:40

I think most others have already said what I wanted to, but here:
  • The tech tree - both for vehicles and your base;
  • Vehicle design;
  • The fight for oil - the idea that the tides can be turned by stealing key oil depos.

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by Jorzi » 18 Dec 2011, 00:55

Rman Virgil wrote: ---------------------------------->

* (And btw, NONE of the content in the 10 Pumpkin patches were intended for a WZ sequel like someone stated in an other thread recently. I should no longer be suprised by peeps confabulations about WZ but it still shocks me to read bullchit like that. Unfortunately, it too is much like an iceberg - the bullchit history that circulates like a herpes infection.)

------------------------------------>
Sorry for spreading the misconception (I no longer remember who told me that, but at the time, it seemed logical), but in that case, the question remains: Were there ever any development made on the planned sequel and how far did they come?
ImageImage
-insert deep philosophical statement here-

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by NoQ » 18 Dec 2011, 06:58

Yet another trivial reply:
  • Unit design similar to Master of Orion (a bit simplier though).
  • Complicated tech tree that allows fractions to evolve during the game.
  • The complicated system of sensors.
  • Unlimited resources.
  • Last but not least, unique campaign structure.

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by Rman Virgil » 23 Dec 2011, 09:59

.

Quotes this time, me thinks best. :good:

Chojun wrote:

The crux of it all is that I think Pumpkin and some people saw Warzone as something that was 'simply more', i.e. an idea - in the hands and minds of the right people an idea becomes a living, breathing entity. Warzone bit off a large chunk of that idea, I think. :3
True enough. Ideas have consequences and are embodied philosophies (like WEB 2.0 & even the very notion of a "file").

And also from my PoV, boots on the ground so to speak, part of the triumverate that has driven engagement for well over a decade and thousands of man hours of deving, creating & experimentation (AFTER original WZ Creators dissolution and even during the first half a decade WITHOUT the source).

Think of it as the Pumpkin Studios Compact setting in motion in the 1998-1999 MPlayer BBs a Bergsonian elan vital that embodied WZ's on-going creative evolution. A palpable covenant that became the generative meme binding and propelling various communities for a compelling baker's dozen years. Like a perfect storm (in a sense), this winning trifecta (the meme, the game, the peeps, all three inextricably connected) has brought us to this unfolding moment (some of the players have changed, but the journey continues by all metrics).

zydonk wrote:For me, WZ v110 is more like a work of art. Speaking from experience, you work with ideas and materials and things fall into place. It's not perfect, but the overall effect is just-so. Take any good painting, novel or film - you can easily diss it for the bits that don't seem to fit, but it is almost impossible to show just why the work is so good. It's like the quality of the work is given.

I've played WZ since '99 and never bothered myself with what was wrong with it (except for the stupid trucks, of course). I simply enjoy playing it and I like finding over and over again how much I like it, just like any good book or film (movie).

I suspect many people are haunted by the idea of the perfect machine - all its parts fitting - but the artist is more concerned with something like beauty, that can appear despite the imperfection of the vehicle of expression.
I feel ya on most of that and, in the spirit of creating and artistry in all forms & mediums, I also recall the following....
"A poem is never finished, only abandoned." ~ Paul Valery.
“Where I to await perfection, my book would never be finished.” ~ Chinese Proverb.
In both above cases, I would expand: "Abandoned to & submitted for publication." Which is to say, you either keep it to yourself for life or go public and move on to other works. The following historical anecdote speaks to this dramatically.

The great Leonardo da Vinci as a young man painting the Mona Lisa then carrying the canvas with him where ever his travels took him throughout Europe, for decades; constantly working on it and, in the twilight of his life, found on an easel at his bedside when he died an old man, perhaps wishing he had more time to finish it.

Jorzi wrote: .................the question remains: Were there ever any development made on the planned sequel and how far did they come?
Nope. No development on the WZ sequel (2120). All work done was for WZ 2100 and is in the source code we have in formative, various unfinished states.

Such as -

ECMs, "Transformations" (think a "Nano Tech" implementation which was released in one patch but pulled out in the very next patch just 3 weeks later because of protests from the community that it was not quite polished enough), Pilot Mode / Battle HUD (which I hold connects naturally to UAVs, C41, 21st Century Tactical Battlespace, and, in specific GPMs, to Commander Unit "Special Abilities" ) This last especially raising the crux need for the new scripting lang & UI creation schema.

(For fuller scope details SEE artist Elios fabulous GUI mock-ups HERE) and whippersnapper's Commander Unit enhancement aggregation HERE)


Time enough has passed to let this cat out of the bag...

Summer of 1999 Pumpkin was already coding a new game engine code named "Firestorm" and it was NOT for WZ 2120 but another game entirely ("The Great Escape" ). Eventually, as Pivotal Studios, that "Firestorm" engine also became the basis for the entire "Conflict" series of games (with improvements / new features added over the years, till the very last title).

- Regards, Rman. :hmm:

.

EDIT: A simple typo correction. Changed Begsonian to the correct (Henri) Bergsonian. My double entendre reference in the following -
Think of it as the Pumpkin Studios Compact setting in motion in the 1998-1999 MPlayer BBs a Bergsonian elan vital that embodied WZ's on-going creative evolution.
- was to the French philosopher's magnum opus "Creative Evolution". 'Nuff said.
.
Last edited by Rman Virgil on 08 Jan 2012, 18:40, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by effigy » 28 Dec 2011, 19:43

  • atmospheric music
  • exploration
  • scavenging for technology/resources
  • Apocalypse
  • freedom to design units/bases
  • I'd like to single out unit design in respect to choosing appropriate counters based on weapon description, as I did when first playing the game. However, in reality this is largely broken. lancers on tracks suffice for the majority of the single player campaign.
  • commander units are a large part of the campaign for me, i wish they were an attractive option for MP
  • repair/recycle units
This is why some features aren't implemented: http://forums.wz2100.net/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=7490&view=unread#p87241

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by zydonk » 29 Dec 2011, 23:34

Ah. ML - the original "Girl I left behind" poster, which graces all the dating sites...

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by lav_coyote25 » 30 Dec 2011, 00:42

zydonk wrote:Ah. ML - the original "Girl I left behind" poster, which graces all the dating sites...
huh??? explain. please.

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Re: What defines Warzone?

Post by NoQ » 30 Dec 2011, 05:41

I'd like to single out unit design in respect to choosing appropriate counters based on weapon description, as I did when first playing the game. However, in reality this is largely broken. lancers on tracks suffice for the majority of the single player campaign.
Well yeah, that's why i love this one (:

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