Project BZ?

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Project BZ?

Post by danrhodenizer » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:17 pm

I met some great people during and since working on Bionite. It's hard to believe it's been over a year since I left. I've stayed in touch with John (Nielk1) over this span of time and I consider him a good friend, even though we have never met.

Anyways, after some personal stuff that happened in my family, the stress of Bionite, etc. -- I took a break from the game scene for almost a year. Once I got my bearings back, I started focusing on my Twitter in hopes of one day returning to the game scene. I didn't know how or what it would be, but I dedicated time every single day since April 2013 to start building towards it.

I took on my first project since Bionite -- Insanity's Blade, near the end of December 2013. I came in the final week and helped them reach their modest $6000 goal on Kickstarter. I worked with them for 3 months and then I left, as it was the right decision for me to make. There is another indie team that I'm going to help soon, though it will be a bit higher of a goal this time -- $20,000.

I'd rather not speak so much about myself though, I just wanted to give everyone a little background. If you guys have any questions I'd be happy to answer them.

I've always been a Battlezone fan, I grew up watching my uncle play it since it came out in 98'. I have only played Battlezone 1 until recently. John helped me with Battlezone 2. It really got me itching for a Battlezone successor. I have also heard some others in the Battlezone community have that same itch. It is a large task, but I believe we can do it. It would be up to the team how we would approach this, but I suggest not to let money get involved, at least until things get going. The first reason for doing this, is because we love Battlezone, but also, it would also be great if we could end up doing what we love for a living.

My vision would be taking the best elements from both worlds (Battlezone 1 & Battlezone 2) implementing our own ideas where suitable and staying true Battlezone as much as possible... (woah, I just noticed how many times I said Battlezone :P)

I'm going to stop here for now though, I know there's a lot more to discuss so let's get the discussion rolling! :)
Last edited by danrhodenizer on Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Project BZ?

Post by General BlackDragon » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:42 pm

I have always believed a sufficient BZ2 1.3 mod can achieve a BZ3.
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danrhodenizer
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Re: Project BZ?

Post by danrhodenizer » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:04 pm

A bz2 mod would be interesting. Would it be capable of modern graphics or close to, or would it be limited? Not saying graphics mean everything as gameplay comes first and foremost. But it's 16 years later since BZ1 and something more modern looking would be ideal.

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Re: Project BZ?

Post by Ded10c » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:57 pm

Learning a new engine - be it Unity, Unreal, Source, idT or something else - is a large task. Most of the developers who enjoy BZ1 and 2 are primarily skilled in using the engines of BZ1 and 2 and it would take them years to learn a new one in order to create a game with it (not the months John assumed it would take to learn Unreal).

In short, why spend years learning a shiny engine and produce a mediocre product when you can use a mediocre engine (comparatively) and produce a shiny product?

If you want an example of good graphics on the BZ2 engine, QF2 seems highly praised (haven't had time to play it myself yet, mind).

If you want to build a team of community developers who are willing to continue BZ instead of disagreeing on what they want and creating some mutant hybrid like Battlezone, I'd suggest looking at CP2. The work we're doing there is somewhat similar to the work you want to do here; as true a continuation of the series as possible created by the best the community has to offer instead of just a developer or two.
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Re: Project BZ?

Post by danrhodenizer » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:05 pm

AHadley wrote:Learning a new engine - be it Unity, Unreal, Source, idT or something else - is a large task. Most of the developers who enjoy BZ1 and 2 are primarily skilled in using the engines of BZ1 and 2 and it would take them years to learn a new one in order to create a game with it (not the months John assumed it would take to learn Unreal).

In short, why spend years learning a shiny engine and produce a mediocre product when you can use a mediocre engine (comparatively) and produce a shiny product?

If you want an example of good graphics on the BZ2 engine, QF2 seems highly praised (haven't had time to play it myself yet, mind).

If you want to build a team of community developers who are willing to continue BZ instead of disagreeing on what they want and creating some mutant hybrid like Battlezone, I'd suggest looking at CP2. The work we're doing there is somewhat similar to the work you want to do here; as true a continuation of the series as possible created by the best the community has to offer instead of just a developer or two.
I agree that it is a large task, but why assume that no one in the Battlezone community doesn't know how to use Unity or maybe Ogre3D (C++)? Unreal would not be the choice of engine. My best friend is in university specifically studying the Unity game engine (4th year) and he's also a Battlezone fan. But maybe my itch is still a bit premature though? I don't think it hurts to find out what everyone else thinks. I also have quite a few connections of my own. Who knows, maybe they could help? I thought I'd get the opinion from the Battlezone community first though. I'm fine if this is premature, I thought maybe it would be something to chip away at in our spare time. Thanks for the suggestions though, I will look into it. Do you have any direct links please?
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Re: Project BZ?

Post by bigbadbogie » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:08 pm

danrhodenizer wrote:A bz2 mod would be interesting. Would it be capable of modern graphics or close to, or would it be limited? Not saying graphics mean everything as gameplay comes first and foremost. But it's 16 years later since BZ1 and something more modern looking would be ideal.
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Re: Project BZ?

Post by danrhodenizer » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:10 pm

That looks quite beautiful! 8-) Thanks for that bigbadbogie, hmmm.. One of my concerns with a mod is the process in which someone has to go through to get the mod working correctly. I know right now it's about a 3 step process (and not including this mod) to download/install Battlezone 2. That would turn many people off right away.

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Re: Project BZ?

Post by Ded10c » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:57 pm

danrhodenizer wrote:I agree that it is a large task, but why assume that no one in the Battlezone community doesn't know how to use Unity or maybe Ogre3D (C++)? Unreal would not be the choice of engine. My best friend is in university specifically studying the Unity game engine (4th year) and he's also a Battlezone fan. But maybe my itch is still a bit premature though? I don't think it hurts to find out what everyone else thinks. I also have quite a few connections of my own. Who knows, maybe they could help? I thought I'd get the opinion from the Battlezone community first though. I'm fine if this is premature, I thought maybe it would be something to chip away at in our spare time. Thanks for the suggestions though, I will look into it. Do you have any direct links please?
Not that there aren't any, but that there aren't enough. You can't make a game in, let's say Unreal (which I'm learning at University), if only your programmers know the engine. Your artists would need to too, as well as your designers. Making a game like this is no simple task; a small game can be done in Unity if one or two of the developers know the engine, but not a large project like this.

Unity is, from my experience with it, not the right engine for a Battlezone game either.
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Re: Project BZ?

Post by Nielk1 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 10:00 pm

When I think of a modern BZ I would probably think of it in two halves. I would look at the "Classic" era and the "Future" era. (Both games would use the same lobby, but would technically be separate games, a sort of 2 sides of the same coin as they have certain fundamental differences.) Classic would be like BZ1 and would probably start way back with The irregular American and Russian forces defeating the Reich's polar assault force. Of course, I would make the Reich play a far larger part after their retreat to space. Such a story design would give you a while without a recycler and allow for a lot of early exposition. Of course, it is always hard to beat just starting with a camera panning around the LEM until a massive American space base comes into view.

I've been collecting a few pictures of real life things that I think could influence some art direction, but it's all just free flowing ideas atm.

I would suggest using Ogre3D for rendering and writing a custom engine beneath. Note that slapping in a physics system could hurt as well as help if you don't balance it well enough. With a physics engine and a render engine, all that is left is your logic engine.

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Re: Project BZ?

Post by danrhodenizer » Fri Feb 28, 2014 2:36 pm

AHadley wrote:
danrhodenizer wrote:I agree that it is a large task, but why assume that no one in the Battlezone community doesn't know how to use Unity or maybe Ogre3D (C++)? Unreal would not be the choice of engine. My best friend is in university specifically studying the Unity game engine (4th year) and he's also a Battlezone fan. But maybe my itch is still a bit premature though? I don't think it hurts to find out what everyone else thinks. I also have quite a few connections of my own. Who knows, maybe they could help? I thought I'd get the opinion from the Battlezone community first though. I'm fine if this is premature, I thought maybe it would be something to chip away at in our spare time. Thanks for the suggestions though, I will look into it. Do you have any direct links please?
Not that there aren't any, but that there aren't enough. You can't make a game in, let's say Unreal (which I'm learning at University), if only your programmers know the engine. Your artists would need to too, as well as your designers. Making a game like this is no simple task; a small game can be done in Unity if one or two of the developers know the engine, but not a large project like this.

Unity is, from my experience with it, not the right engine for a Battlezone game either.
The engine would have to be something discussed by the team. I don't like bringing up the past, what's done is done. But there was an opportunity for more help on Bionite. I think a strong leadership, organization and a plan would help a project like this tremendously. I've learned a lot, I'm still learning. I suggested to do this in people's spare time, chip away at it and leave it out of the public. That way there is a lot less pressure. The last thing I want is someone pouring their heart and soul into this and the project end up failing. Take baby steps, see what happens and go from there.

I believe something like this can only be good for the Battlezone community, I'm tired of the BZ1 community vs the BZ2 community and I don't want a project like this to overshadow those 2 games. Both games have different pro's and con's.

If there's no interest then it's simply the wrong time to start a project like this. I'm fine with that. But if we're just waiting and hoping for some studio to make a Battlezone 3, it's not going to happen. The only people who can make this happen is us.
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Re: Project BZ?

Post by danrhodenizer » Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:35 pm

Nielk1 wrote:When I think of a modern BZ I would probably think of it in two halves. I would look at the "Classic" era and the "Future" era. (Both games would use the same lobby, but would technically be separate games, a sort of 2 sides of the same coin as they have certain fundamental differences.) Classic would be like BZ1 and would probably start way back with The irregular American and Russian forces defeating the Reich's polar assault force. Of course, I would make the Reich play a far larger part after their retreat to space. Such a story design would give you a while without a recycler and allow for a lot of early exposition. Of course, it is always hard to beat just starting with a camera panning around the LEM until a massive American space base comes into view.

I've been collecting a few pictures of real life things that I think could influence some art direction, but it's all just free flowing ideas atm.

I would suggest using Ogre3D for rendering and writing a custom engine beneath. Note that slapping in a physics system could hurt as well as help if you don't balance it well enough. With a physics engine and a render engine, all that is left is your logic engine.
That's an interesting way to look at it. It's cool because it sort of merges BZ1 and BZ2. You would know more about what engine the game would be best on than me. I'm going to look into Ogre3D more, I heard of it many years and heard some good things about it, but that was a long time ago. Good ideas.

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Re: Project BZ?

Post by Ded10c » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:07 pm

Whatever happens I'd like to be involved regardless. As others have commented I have a habit of digging up bits of narrative people haven't known for years, and whilst I love the expansions to the story it pains me to see where they don't quite fit in. I'd very much like to help prevent that happening.
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Re: Project BZ?

Post by danrhodenizer » Fri Feb 28, 2014 8:22 pm

AHadley wrote:Whatever happens I'd like to be involved regardless. As others have commented I have a habit of digging up bits of narrative people haven't known for years, and whilst I love the expansions to the story it pains me to see where they don't quite fit in. I'd very much like to help prevent that happening.
Sounds good Anthony, you're great with writing, I'd like to get everyone who's interested involved -- whatever way anyone can contribute. :)

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Re: Project BZ?

Post by Ded10c » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:25 pm

I've still got the Bionite prologue I was working on. I intend to release it after the game with as a "thing that never was".
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Re: Project BZ?

Post by danrhodenizer » Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:01 pm

Awesome! I don't know if I ever seen that? But anyways once I have some more time I'm going to share some of my ideas that I've always had for a BZ project. I'd love to hear some of your guy's ideas too if anyone has some they're willing to share.

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