Thursday, October 21, 2010

To Ban or Taliban?

    EA has an interesting look at the new Medal of Honor game they created.  So they select the current war to cover the game one, where it's the US against the middle east.  In single player you play against the Taliban as the opposing force.  They're called Taliban and from someone who plays any fps you should be pretty used to it.  However in multiplayer, they have been changed from Taliban to Opposing force to comply with a government censor that seems like a Ruse.

     The censorship starts at Military bases refusing to sell a video game on the current war based on soldier's potential feelings about the matter (in a negative light).  While that is perfectly understandable some of the soldiers would love to be able to touch up on their skills and be able to shoot some Taliban on their off time.  However this isn't the problem, the problem is that during multiplayer the player is able to be Taliban and shoot American soldiers.  Thus the nomenclature in multiplayer of other potential Americans shooting them under the identity of the Taliban was too much for the soldiers who have to deal with the real thing every day?!

     I would give our soldiers more credit than that, but since the government seems to have their panties in a bunch about it, EA caves and decides to change it for them... to see if they would allow them to sell it on military bases again.  This in no way changes the availability of these to the soldiers off base nor should it be banned on a military base with the changes made to it.  Even with the changes it isn't being sold, so this game was censored for nothing basically.  Loosing many players who would have bought the game if it had Taliban in it (I have seen many canceled orders from it because of this) and still not making any kind of impact on the market they were reaching with the censorship.

     I just think of Counter-Strike and how it's genius works.  It's the most played FPS online and the opposition is named "Terrorists" and the infamous phrase "Terrorists win!" when you win/loose.  I'm sure if Medal of Honor just named the Taliban Terrorists that could solve this, but the level of censorship in Video Games is getting pretty ugly.  So Americans shoot Americans as Taliban? Nobody says anything about Americans playing a game as Nazis shooting other Americans like in Day of Defeat... It's historical and overlooked, as this should be.  We don't to follow the pattern of destroying and altering history.  Tell it how it is...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Miner Wars 70% Discount

     Apart from the Miner Wars .com page getting a few features like a Store Front, and Statistics upgrades, the Test Build is being offered via pre-order.  Here is a readout from the page:

"This last phase of development was rewarding, but really very hectic. In recent weeks, we haveintensified our efforts to establish relationships with publishers and investors. The good news is, We have made a lot of progress in this regard and so we have decided to share our progress with all the fans. Literally! Finally, we are publicly releasing the game in its current pre-alpha state at a 70% discount from the price of the final version! Every player who chooses to buy the game at this stage of development will not only be able to play the game now, but will also receive monthly updates, as well get the full game at its release with no additional charges. We will be adding a lot of content to the game as we progress. As time goes by, and we near our final release date, this offer will become more expensive for you, so now is the chance to get the game for just a small portion of the price."

     What more could you want, a 6DoF mining space game, on sale for a ridiculous price, and you see it being developed.  There isn't too much gameplay aspect now besides computer AI dogfights and tunnel blasting madness but it shows much promise of a great in-house game engine and a very sandbox feel gameplay.

What are you waiting for check it out ----> Miner Wars

Saturday, October 2, 2010

What is Trichording? (Tricoording)

     Trichording is the ultimate skill in a 6DoF world. It's compairable to straferunning, Where if you move forward at X speed, and you also move to the side at the same X speed, then if you go both forward and to the side, you straferun, allowing your top moving speed to be ultimately faster than if you just went forward. 

     Now you could talk about this in a realistic sense, because it's physically possible in real life, however our current technology (at least that which is commercial or feasible) doesn't allow for us to consider this a practice.  I'm sure in the future this will be as common as is drifting to cars, but until we move like this we'll have to talk about it in video games.

     When I first started playing Descent, I didn't know anything about tricoording, So my controls were pretty standard. I played the game the first time just with backwards and forwards as movement controls. The I played multiplayer and hated multiplayer because I epically failed. So then I started getting tips, like sliding in more directions to escape certain attacks. So the second time I played I added the S anc X Up/Down controls to my current configuration. Then I learned what an advantage trichording was and took my time developing my tricoording skills. So basically if you move 1x speed in the X axis, then you move 1.4x speed with X/Y axis, and about 1.7x speed in all X/Y/Z axis. This should explaing it better than I did...

     Why I use two spellings? I think I'm the only one I've ever seen type it two different ways, but I do this because each word has a different meaning to me.

Trichording (Verb/Noun) - 1) The act of moving(chording)and rotating in three axis at once. 2)The ability to physically chord in three axis. (singular, to trichord)

Tricoording (Adj/Adv) - 1)The controling or ploting of coordinates in three axis. 2)The ability to manage chording and rotating in three axis at once at all times.

     Thus in Star Trek, those 'trichorders' are actually Tricoorders.  Because they plot and scan the area around them on a 3 axis level.  And don't actually manipulate movement in any way.  However I could see how the mistake was made when the word was made.

I have a video of Descent 3 multiplayer combat, CTF more precisely showcasing both of these tactics.  I start getting in the zone around when the music hits.  You'll notice how I make use of all my axis and when i'm going 'straight' i'm somewhat looking at the ground a bit to compensate for the angle of inertia i'm causing.  I do ok considering I have 200 ping to Germany :D

From a post in Miner Wars Forums: Here

What is 6DoF?

Six Degrees of Freedom

     6DoF was a term coined by Interplay for Descent in video games. Seeing as it was the first game to promote such, because the user was able to control these axis. And unless you're givin strict control over that axis it is not a Freedom, but a limitation. Thus not all game give you any control over all of these axis.

     Notice how Luner Lander or Asteroids is only 2DOF. Because the user is only given control over two of the axis. You can go diagonally but that doesn't justify more Degrees of Freedom.

From wiki, By definition 6DOF is:

     "Six degrees of freedom (6DoF) refers to motion of a rigid body in three-dimensional space, namely the ability to move forward/backward, up/down, left/right (translation in three perpendicular axes) combined with rotation about three perpendicular axes (pitch, yaw, roll). As the movement along each of the three axes is INDEPENDANT of each other and independent of the rotation about any of these axes, the motion indeed has six degrees of freedom."

     Notice I put the keyword in caps. Some game engines don't allow for full 6DOF movement even, and must have fake ways of implamenting certain features like leaning in some FPS. Perhaps you can move in these fashions but in limited ways, for example you can crouch and jump, but you can't nessesarily fly, and if you fly in most cases (like DragonBallZ) you cant bank.

     There are many claims made by people that certain devices will be six degrees of freedom when in fact they are not.  A few easy to mistake objects are Helicopters, or Harrier Jets.  I have a radio controlled helicopter. And understand the troubles of this 6DoF.  The Helicopter isn't free do move on every axis, but uses it's momentum to slide into them while switching control of the axis.  A Helicopter is a simulated 4DoF device or a true 2DoF device:

1DOF - Up and down from the top rotor spinning. And blades moving. (TRUE)
2DOF - The tilt forward and back from the top rotor for simulated movement forward (notice this is a limited movemnt and if held too long will serve as pitch)
3DOF - The tilt side to side of the top rotor for simulated movment from side to side (notice this is also a limtited movment and if held too long will serve as bank)
4DOF - The tail rotor which rotates the helicopter's heading. Either on lower or higher timing than the top rotor sync.  (TRUE)

     Notice without the top rotor the function of the rest of the freedoms fail.  Thus only true freedoms are the top rotor spinning, and the required tail rotor to keep you from spinning and making the top rotor functional.

     With airplanes it's worse, where there is only one functional freedom, Thrust.  Forward for true 1DoF, and simulated banking, heading, and yaw for 4DoF but only when moving.  The Harrier Jet doesn't have more freedoms, it has to reroute it's engines from back thrust to down thrust to hover, so the amount of freedoms stay the same.  Unless it could thrust forward and up at the same time.  In which case it's 2DoF still because the pilot wouldn't bank when that's happening... 

     There is no current known object that does true 6DoF, and if most people saw one, pilots included, they would claim it's a UFO.  Unless we somehow have figured out anti-gravity and enough renewable energy to support it.

     Trichording is a movement that is only possible in 6DoF environments.  This is the ultimate skill in a 6DoF world, and is similar to strafe running.  However instead of moving in one diagonal direction, you move in three.

From a Miner Wars forum thread: Here