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Counter Strike, free-to-play and the future of the FPS

Counter Strike, free-to-play and the future of the FPS

Tue 09 Jul 2013 7:00am GMT / 3:00am EDT / 12:00am PDT
PublishingDevelopmentGamelab 2013

Minh Le, co-creator of Counter Strike, on the problems facing his latest project and the end of innovation in first-person shooters

Fame and influence don't always go hand-in-hand, and Minh Le is walking, talking proof of that fact. As the co-creator of Counter Strike, Le was responsible for one of the biggest evolutionary leaps in the industry's most popular genre; a game important as Quake or Half-Life to the development of the modern first-person shooter, and an important milestone for the growing popularity of e-sports.

"A lot of players were really turned off by the fact that Tactical Intervention wasn't on Steam. They didn't even want to install it"

Le is attending Barcelona's Gamelab conference to speak about the challenges facing contemporary developers working with multiplayer shooters, and he is uniquely placed to comment. Not just because of the huge success of his 1999 Half-Life mod, but because of the ambiguous fortunes of his latest project: Tactical Intervention, an online FPS five years in the making. Indeed, Le moved to South Korea from his native Canada in 2008 to secure funding from a local publisher called OGPlanet - a considerable personal sacrifice for Le, and one that didn't pay off as he had hoped.

Tactical Intervention launched in March this year, and its servers were closed in June. The players simply didn't turn up.

"We were publishing in North America with a publisher that was mainly geared towards casual games," Le says when I meet him just before his talk. "They were kind of disappointed with the numbers we were getting. We weren't getting a lot of player retention. The publisher felt that, in order to get that retention, it would involve a lot more money to promote the game. We came to a mutual agreement. It's probably not the best thing to be working with a publisher that doesn't cater to hardcore FPS games."

1

But Tactical Intervention is far from dead. Le recently signed with the German publisher RNTS, which plans to relaunch the game globally through Steam. This, Le believes, will correct one of the problems that most undermined Tactical Intervention's chances of success on its first attempt.

"We found that a lot of the players were really turned off by the fact that it wasn't on Steam," he says. "They were really against installing a separate launcher and that sort of thing. It was a huge problem for us to convince people to play our game, because they didn't even want to install it."

While Le can understand the PC gaming community's loyalty to Steam - he praises Valve's platform for convenience and user-friendliness - he believes that their devotion has created a sort of tacit monopoly in the market. Simply: if you aren't on Steam, your chances of success are exponentially worse; a significant proportion of the audience won't even contemplate playing outside of its confines.

"All I wanted was to explore new mechanisms in game design, but having that aspect of free-to-play really did put a burden on development"

And the decision to go it alone was taken due to another disruptive force to emerge since the release of Counter Strike: free-to-play. When Le first approached Steam about supporting Tactical Intervention three years ago, it hadn't yet embraced the business model that was rapidly changing the way that games were developed, sold and played. Today, things are different, but at the time OGPlanet left Le with no other option.

"It was not my decision. It was someone higher up," he says. "They were really adamant about going down the free-to-play route. They really felt that the future of the industry had shifted, and in order for a game like ours to exist we had to explore this avenue of monetisation. Initially, when I started the game, I really wanted it to just be a standalone product, much like Counter Strike, but they convinced me that there's just so many games out there that it's really hard to find a market space without free-to-play."

Speaking to Le about free-to-play now, it's clear that he has problems with the model on pretty much every level. He believes that the core audience for a game like Tactical Intervention still nurtures a strong aversion to free-to-play games - another important factor in its struggle to find a large enough audience. "People will just not play our game for that reason, regardless of how interesting it is," he says. "It's frustrating trying to make a game when your business model is driving them away. I'd rather they didn't play the game because it sucks. As a developer, I just want them to give it a shot and, if they don't like it, leave for that reason - not the business model."

Nevertheless, Le offers sympathy for their position. As a consumer, he places himself in the same part of the market: the old-school, the hardcore, who nourished their hobby in times when all the cost of purchasing was up-front. Beyond the ever-present concern over 'pay-to-win' mechanics - something Le fought throughout Tactical Intervention's development - Le noticed compromises that seemed inevitable with building an economy into a game's design. At some point, free-to-play developers will be compelled to make different choices to developers for whom micro-payments are not a concern.

2

"There were certain aspects of the game design where I had to cut some features, or just not implement them. It was frustrating, because, as a game designer, you don't want to be limited by these external forces," he says. "All I wanted was to explore new mechanisms in game design, but having that aspect of free-to-play really did put a burden on development. For the most part, though, it wasn't so much that I couldn't achieve what I wanted to do."

"I think we've really explored the limits of how we can innovate in the FPS. There are little things that can be done, but I can't see where the big changes will come from"

And the question of achievement is a more difficult subject for Le than when he started Tactical Intervention. Counter Strike wasn't created with innovation in mind, but in looking for fun in the first-person shooter at that time Le was able to create something revolutionary. Today, however, the genre has matured to the point where the vast majority of new releases are essentially riffs on a small handful of classic designs - Counter Strike among them. Indeed, Le questions whether the creative leaps taken by games like Quake and Half-Life will ever be replicated within the FPS again.

"In this day and age, I don't think that can happen. I think we've really explored the limits of how we can innovate in the genre," he says. "There are little things that can be done, and graphical improvements as always, but for the most part I can't see where the big changes will come from. I'm always asking myself, 'What else can we do that really hasn't been done before?' I've run out of things to experiment with. The genre really has matured.

"If you ask me today about doing another FPS, honestly, no, I don't think I will. But when I started Tactical Intervention I thought there was a window of opportunity to evolve the shooter. These days, with games like Battlefield and Call of Duty taking all the mind-share through the sheer amount of money they're backed up with in promotion... I mean, they're great games in and of themselves, but for a smaller company trying to develop a game that's different to that, you can't really rely on your differences for success. The challenge is all about driving players into your game. Pulling players away from these games would require huge amounts of marketing and promotion.

"I do wonder about why the number of FPS players hasn't decreased, but the answer is that there's always a new generation that hasn't played those games. The audience peaked a few years ago, but it will never die down to such small numbers that the industry won't make any more."

17 Comments

Samuel Verner Game Designer

131 243 1.9
Popular Comment
Speaking to Le about free-to-play now, it's clear that he has problems with the model on pretty much every level. He believes that the core audience for a game like Tactical Intervention still nurtures a strong aversion to free-to-play games - another important factor in its struggle to find a large enough audience. "People will just not play our game for that reason, regardless of how interesting it is," he says. "It's frustrating trying to make a game when your business model is driving them away. I'd rather they didn't play the game because it sucks. As a developer, I just want them to give it a shot and, if they don't like it, leave for that reason - not the business model."
they don't play it, because map based f2p fps are pay2win games and this is a no go in the western competitive scene. even if marketing says its not, they know it is, because hardcore gamers are very experienced and are looking trough these kind of mechanics.
"There were certain aspects of the game design where I had to cut some features, or just not implement them. It was frustrating, because, as a game designer, you don't want to be limited by these external forces," he says. "All I wanted was to explore new mechanisms in game design, but having that aspect of free-to-play really did put a burden on development. "
that's one of the reasons why f2p is broken.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Samuel Verner on 10th July 2013 10:02am

Posted:A year ago

#1

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

227 604 2.7
The FPS market is oversaturated, there's just too many. Back in 99 we had Unreal Tournament (my favorite) with it's tactical counterpart Tactical Ops. We had Quake III with also a tactical mod equivalent (forgot the name) and then Half-Life and it's Counter Strike spin off. That was pretty much it, all of them outstanding and seriously competitive games.

These days there's FPS being thrown at your face, not the best timing to release yet another one, despite being the spiritual successor to CS. Aggravating the situation is listening to a publisher saying "go F2P" and actually doing it, that is absolutely WRONG for the target he was aiming for, and not being in Steam is commercial suicide.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,138 1,179 1.0
Judging from games such as Firefall and Destiny, the fps genre is moving more towards co-op play than anything else.

Trying to reinvent the tactical PvP-only team-based shooter is as pointless as reinventing the wheel.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.

2,271 2,440 1.1
As Samuel noted, Le points out one of the biggest flaws in F2P games: the fact you design the game around an economical model rather than a gameplay mechanic or just old fashioned fun. When you tailor a gameplay mechanic to fit an economic model like F2P, you have to make concessions to design, you have to restrict your mechanic to fit the model and you're always having to consider how anything and everything you affects the economic model.

You are no longer making a game but rather an interactive financial tool.


On topic a little more. Le definitely got hit with a bum deal. F2P with wrong genre, a genre that's saturated, a publisher focused on other genres and no Steam. That's almost a textbook example of being set up for failure. Hopefully he'll find a more receptive market on Steam and can release his game as he intended without the F2P model behind it.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
I enjoy co-op more than multiplayer, and Im really looking foward to games like Destiny. I hate the idea of getting killed and respawning all the time. And pointing and shooting doing it all over again a million time. Co-op gives you different gameplay options and scenarios, different things to do, and you can do it with a friend. Instead of shooting each other, and repeating it a million times. I like the idea of collaborating to shoot different monster types, you can have week ones that distract you and more powerful ones that force you to change your play strategy. For example, 2 guys can work to disable a creatures movement while others can work on shooting its weak spots, others can distract it. It can also be done with opposing teams of other players trying to protect the creature, not only do you have to deal with AI opponents, but live players as well, but id like to see different approaches to multiplayer. And what i saw in Destiny I liked.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 9th July 2013 5:35pm

Posted:A year ago

#5

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
The FPS market is oversaturated, there's just too many.
This probably applies to nearly every game genre at the moment.
the biggest flaws in F2P games: the fact you design the game around an economical model rather than a gameplay mechanic or just old fashioned fun.
Well this does not applies to all F2P games. Yes some are built like this (and I am still wondering how it comes it works) but many F2P are conversions of games that were not developped to be Free to play at first, as well as many games use (and this especially in the F2P FPS genre) well known games mechanics (while not exactly innovative nor creative, they are still based on a concept that previously had a demonstrated record of "old fashioned fun).

My belief is that it is very possible to develop an innovative and fun game that is released on the free to play model while still being innovative. Has it been done in our current reality is another question, but I do not, on my side, doubt that this is possible.

Typically in the F2P FPS games, many studios have chosen to actually provide F2P mechanics that only fasten your progression if there are RPG or Unlocks elements included or give you (just) unique skins and sometimes even just an illusion you just bought some awesome item giving you so much power. Illusion did I say? Definitely, if you have the 99% all stats weapons but you fail to put your crosshair on the target, or if you just run around like a fool out of cover thinking you are invulnerable, then you will not really benefit from your awesome Premium gun or extra armor/HP and anyone with an average basic pistol will still take you down if he can aim better or has a better tactical sense than you do. Real skill, tactical intelligence still matters and that cannot (yet) be sold by any F2P (with the exception of aimbots or similar mechanics - which is for example sort of simulated in WoT with the bouncing hits and compensated by the Gold Ammunition -high penetration- which is since a few patches available for soft currency to all players and then became fair and realistic at the same time), whenever you are in a coop or competitive multiplayer game.

Regarding what Le says about the innovation in FPS having reached its limits, I very much doubt it on my side. While not strictly talking about pure innovation, there is still a long way to go till a FPS compiles all the good ideas and features of multiple other FPS - or other games the FPS genre could take an inspiration from -, all in one game (whenever those features are not negating each other).

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 9th July 2013 5:18pm

Posted:A year ago

#6

Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing

1,138 1,179 1.0
@Rick
you don't hate dying and respawning, you just hate what it means. It means being out of combat, it means having lost the rough idea of who was where (battlefield orientation so to speak), you hate having your progress reset, having to chase down a weapon naked again.

But those are not unsolvable problems. CS practically invented the loadout and got rid of trying to gear up naked. CoD introduced the idea of spawning closer to the right side of the battle. CoD innovated with progression. A thing called gun-game innovated progression within a single match. Everything which makes dying un-fun can be made fun and has been made fun. but good luck trying to sell them piecemeal.

Playing with friends together for a relaxing match with some monsters putting up less of a fight than some internet guy fighting tooth and claw is a very powerful experience. One which will define coming consoles more than some share buttons for showboating. no matter the outcry happening right now, most of the audience will be an always on audience. That does not make it right to try and disown the rest, but it will define games such as Destiny.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Brian Lewis Operations Manager, Aeria Games Europe

134 84 0.6
I am personally on the opposite end of this. I work for a F2P publisher, and know how challenging it is to bring a game to market. A good developer will never let a publisher dictate the business model. Not all games should be F2P, and trying to force it, just makes for a bad game. Bad games don’t survive, regardless of business model.

However, I think the opposite is also true. The developer should feel responsible for developing a game that monetizes well. If they want to make a living creating games, they have to make a commercial product. This means that if F2P is a good match for their game, they should build it around that model. They should not arbitrarily dictate terms that will result in the financial failure of the game.

I do agree that they made a poor choice by going with OGPlanet. This is something that I see a lot. I can not tell you how many ‘good’ games I see ruined/cancelled or just locked into a contract but never launched for years because they have chosen the wrong publisher. I also know that we have passed on many games, because they were not a good match for our market, only to have them launched, and fail with other publishers.

I hope that they do better the next time around, but they also have to realize that just changing the business model and publisher may not be enough (but it could be a good start).

Posted:A year ago

#8

Christian Murphy Games Programmer / Designer

10 17 1.7
Why not on steam?
It's market suicide...

Posted:A year ago

#9

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,593 1,448 0.9
From what I saw, TI wasn't that good a game, so dare I say that blaming F2P+no Steam only gives part of the picture? I'll hold my hand up and say I've not played it, I only watched YT vids, but it seemed a very "woolly" game at times, with a couple of interesting mechanics, but nothing amazing. Last I saw (which, I guess, was in one of the last beta stages a few months back), it just seemed too rough to really capture the imagination.

Also, I'm not sure if having a CS:S screenshot in this article is a fabulous idea. Did Le have a hand in the Source version (which is substantially different to 1.6 in terms of bullet-spread and recoil)?

Posted:A year ago

#10

James Ingrams Writer

215 85 0.4
I said elsewhere about the saturation of FPS games, and how this will continue the market decline. It's funny how you here comments like "FPS game sales haven't declined at the same time that we have had a 38% decline in games sales in the last 5 years and have gone from 125 publishers to 30! Continue with this and we see an ongoing decline in AAA game sales and indie and casual gaming taking a bigger slice, at 1/20th the income stream and a very different gaming market that is far from "mainstream"

Posted:A year ago

#11

Seth Bembeneck Game Master

3 1 0.3
From my view as a player, the problem with FPS games is not that there are too many, its that they are all follow the same model - Small fast paced maps, restrictive options for hosting, limited weapons, every server having the exact same maps. Stuck with a specific gun until you either level up enough or buy one.

What I look for in a FPS game:

1. Number of players per server. Average I see is 8-16. I'm used to 50 man servers
2. Ability to host the server your self. 24/7, from home if you wish.
3. Custom maps. When a game has thousands of servers all playing the same maps, the game gets boring.
4. Features of the game /gameplay

There are games out there that try to do the above. But they are still fall short. Custom maps are basically mini-mods that require modding skills and depending on the game for that map to be downloaded before the player can join the server. And they aren't professionally made - just mods of other games.

The game that did all the above the best was Novalogic's DeltaForce series. For 10 years I hosted a 50 man Team Death match server with a rotation of over 200 custom maps. I wasn't the only one. Maps were easily built using in-game assets that every one already had, average map file size was 500kb, and it only had to reside server side.

Massive communities sprung up around the game. Squads 80+ members. Matches between squads - You can't do that stuff with the current generation of games at least not on the same scale or with the same ease.

I think there is still room for a decent FPS game - just have to be unique. Would love to take a shot at it my self - got several ideas, just short on funds to do it lol


Oh, and as for Steam - I use it - but I would rather have the game being standalone. I only use it now because of being forced into it.

Posted:A year ago

#12

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

227 604 2.7
What I look for in a FPS game:

1. Number of players per server. Average I see is 8-16. I'm used to 50 man servers
2. Ability to host the server your self. 24/7, from home if you wish.
3. Custom maps. When a game has thousands of servers all playing the same maps, the game gets boring.
4. Features of the game /gameplay
1.Like you mention later on, it's not unprecedented, Unreal Tournament 99 had some servers hosting up to 32 players, and I believe Battlefield also follows the same lines. However we have to take into account the context of the game, even in multiplayer, say for example a game like Left 4 Dead suits perfectly with only 4 people around, same with say Borderlands or Rebellions 99' AvP and Sierra's AvP 2, ramps up the tension.

2. I don't agree wholeheartedly since we all know even with today's broadband how much of an issue that can be to whoever isn't hosting, I think it should be an available option to players, but not as a general rule. Best servers were always dedicated with dedicated machines, even if owned privately. (which was pretty much 100% of the cases back in the day)

3. Easier said than done. We can't really expect developers to supply dozens upon dozens of maps, back then we had freebee patches with some extra maps as you likely know, now even with paid DLC there's only so much they can do with their time and budget.
The single most important thing, in my opinion, is to give the power to the users, every developer should consider supplying modding/editing tools to keep their game alive and consumers entertained by following their own creative endeavours, they will love you for that.

4. I suppose I can hijack this line into innovation. FPS's don't have much more room to manoeuvre, like Le says, it has matured (more than I think he realized) and saturated with clones of 'been there done that' features.

Apart from playing an FPS with an Oculus Rift on a Omnidirectional Treadmill - since it's not exactly standardized to be affordable - I'd reckon the only way to go forward with immersion in an FPS will have to be a killer A.I. along with voice commands (yes, the Kinect thing but not so evil).
If there's one thing I still find disturbing in so called realistic games is the A.I. still being ironically so stupid and unresponsive, I can only imagine it must be hell to code (if it's even possible these days) something seriously mind blowing:

- We need to see a game (FPS or not) where I'm standing with a co-op friend to take a room of 5 bad guys and those guys patrol like they got a purpose, try to flank and kill us with true tactics.

- We need something where a BOT hearing a disruptive noise and checking it out, won't immediately go "Oh it's probably just an elephant in the trees". If I throw a bottle at his face (Last of Us) he'll sound the alarm and rush to his squad members and not just say "what was that" stroll around 5 seconds and reset to a "It's-all-fine-and-dandy" mode.

- We need to get bad guys playing cards, throwing darts, sleeping on duty, drinking one, searching stuff inside furniture and moving on, and not just mindlessly patrolling or stare at a wall or file cabinet.

- BOTS need to realize when their team is being killed one by one and react (or retreat) accordingly, they need to realize and investigate why that other guy patrolling with him didn't show up at the point where they would cross with each other. Radio in for help or report, anything!

That is next breakthrough to be made, because at it is, we can use all the graphic power at our disposal, an omni treadmill and VR sets, but the immersion will still be broken every time because A.I. in the game is just... insufficient.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Andreia Quinta on 9th July 2013 11:58pm

Posted:A year ago

#13

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Personally I think that console FPS has done a lot of damage to the game industry and especially to console gaming.
It is but one of many genres that the public will spend money on to be entertained.
But our industry has behaved to a large degree like it is the only game in town. With studios and publishers throwing vast resources at doing their interpretation of the genre.
In doing so we concentrated on just one potential audience and vastly under served all the others.
Consoles became perceived as being FPS machines. Which did huge amounts of harm in the relationship between our industry and its public.

One of the nice things about mobile gaming is the broad range of genres that it offers the public. This comes from the low barrier to entry, the strong indie movement, the proliferation of new publishers who lack the baggage of misconception and a very fast and detailed feedback loop about what works in the market.

Posted:A year ago

#14

Eric Pallavicini Game Master, Kabam

307 209 0.7
@Andreia
While I do completely agree with your post, the IA is not the only thing that can be improved if it is about tending toward realism (in which case innovation would be the ability to transpose this realism into something readable "by intuition" or "instinct" for a player to provide a smooth game experience - minimize the learning phase requirement - and not something that require the player to have a full time job on the game to be able to play it). Basically it is, just like you mention for the IA, all about getting a more accurate depiction of some sort of reality (or lets just say "a consistent reality" as game universes are not all about representing history of mankind). Effect of explosions on the terrain (drop a grenade/explosive not to kill an enemy but to create a persistant crater in which you are planning to get cover), on structures (seriously, I can't blow a terracotta house with a RPG or even more modern weaponry? or how comes this wooden shelter I emptied 2 boxes of 200 12,7mm browning shells on is still up and standing)... lasting corpses (sometime when you kill 20 guys in the same spot... there should be some kind of wall of bodies afterwards that I could use as cover to progress), vehicule carcasses. Interactivity with the surrounding and crafting (i.e. being able to tear down you camosuit to fit it in the tank of an abandonned vehicule in the street, set it on fire to make an improvised time bomb).

Also, more realistic hit localisation and effects on the player (if you get hit in the left shoulder, how do you still manage to carry 1 heavy machine gun, a RPG and your sidearm?), field surgery (not only being a keystroke or a progress bar, but maybe something more in the line of what was depicted in games like Heavy Rain when you have to put some eyeliner on your character for example), weather effects (i.e wind, rain, heavy fog effect affecting ballistics) all those can still be explored and much more. So innovation in the FPS genre will be mainly technical than conceptual now (although I would not bet on that either). And even then, we're talking about games, not about some military class simulators so even if we could get to such extra-deep and challenging gameplay possibilities we would have to keep it fun in a way or another (although it is always possible to have difficulty settings tending to more realism or more "arcade" feelings). Additionally, it seems to me it would be unsettling (at first) to go towards such games that require both individual players and teams (whenever its coop or multi) to process much more information coming from the game and interface and be able to perform many combinations of actions leading to many more outcomes - unless there is a contextual IA assistance, but this is probably Science Fiction right now - in the game (on the top of the many keys already used to move, crouch, prone, sprint, jump, interact with environment, pick up stuff, switch weapons, etc.). Of course there is much more to say on the topic, and I am just giving some hints of what I believe can still be done in at least one direction (while some games already went more or less in a direction or another).

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Eric Pallavicini on 10th July 2013 11:18am

Posted:A year ago

#15

Andreia Quinta Creative & People Photographer, Studio52 London

227 604 2.7
transpose this realism into something readable
Absolutely. Both (the lack of) artificial intelligence and the (in)ability to simply "blow-shit-up" and so many examples you gave, are one of the main deterrents for immersion in a medium that struggles so hard to be realistic. As it is developers tend to only put stock into visual accuracy and neglecting other important factors.

Posted:A year ago

#16

Seth Bembeneck Game Master

3 1 0.3
1. Yes, the gameplay will partly control the map sizes. But some games that doesn't matter. COD4 - no reason why maps couldn't be made bigger, other then to push the non-stop action. But if you give the players the ability to make custom maps, then server admins can tailor the maps for their suited game play style.

2. At one point I had 3 servers running on my home DSL connection. Granted, not all 3 were in use at all the time, though at times two of them were both in use with at least 20 players - my squad played nightly for 4 years before we got a dedicated box at a co-location provider. But at least I had the option to do that. Those that were too laggy didn't last. Some of the most popular servers were privately hosted ones. Every night all 50 slots filled up.

Newer games you don't have that option, or they limit you to renting from a specific game hosting company (which is better then no option at all, but not as good as providing the server files for download so any one can host).

Only draw back is that you end up with a lot of servers sitting empty - though that can be fixed.

As for hosting from home, even if it isn't a good idea for 24/7 servers, there are other reasons for hosting a server - map makers testing maps and wanting to get input from friends or squad matches where it may be 4 on 4.

Novalogic hosted 7-10 official servers that people could play in. At its peak there were over 500 privately hosted servers - some squads had 3, a main server, map testing server and a match server.

Making hosting the server your self an option just expands the possibilities for the players - and it extends the life of the game. The game can continue to be played in a multi-player environment, even when the publisher pulls the plug - assuming of course the game isn't tethered to the publishers services.

3. Like you said, give the players the tools, For the games I played you used the assets of the games to build your custom maps, using a mission editor that was provided to the players. End result is that the gaming community has made thousands of custom maps. All you need is for the server to recognize the custom map and send the relevant data to the client. Since every client has the assets already, all that has to be sent to the client is the info that dictates the placement, rotation and settings of the items in the map. A TDM map with 1200 items is only about 500Kb.

With this capability, players had a huge range of server types to play, on top of the official servers... small CQB maps to gigantic sniper-only maps.

4. I agree Innovation is key - quit making FPS games that seem to copies of counter-strike source. FPS MMORPG's are great, I have checked out a few, but not all FPS'ers want to have to worry about doing quests at the same time.

I have a ton of innovative ideas for an FPS game - and if I had the funds I would be trying to see if a, they are possible and b, if they are good ideas or not. I have thought about the game play, game features, server admin tools - both for server management and cheater control. Even from the publisher's side - How to keep money coming in after the initial purchase of the game (monetizing the game with out making it pay2win). And of course the map making side of things.

I haven't thought to much about the coop side of things. I'm a death match player at heart. I love going into a server of 25+ people and seeing my name rise to the top. Unless its with a good friend, I don't like using team work. But yes, I agree a huge step needs to be done in AI development. Part of that is just scripting on the map makers part, part is also the capabilities of the game. My friend likes to make coop maps and he does his best to make the ai act as realistically as they can. The game I have been talking about here the AI was so bad that you could be crawling up a hill, and the AI would start shooting at you before you ever made it to the top.


I agree with you Eric about games having further to go - in all aspects of FPS games. Throw a bit of sci-fi into it and things even expand more.

For example a couple ideas I have for the game I would like to see developed:

One thing that I love is being able to destroy the world. I had a blast in Crysis punching buildings down to the smallest pieces possible. I played one FPS where you could shoot bricks out of walls. I want to see that expanded. One idea I had is simulated fire. A player should be able to walk up to a house where a bad guy is hiding, light one corner of the building, step back and watch the fire spread, eventually burning the structure down - leaving only non-burnable structure (metal beams, brick chimney, etc)

Or how about a player running across a flat field, spots an enemy - stops and digs a hole so that he can shoot from cover. For that matter, a player could be able to dig down 15 feet and tunnel to where ever he wants.

lol as I sit here typing I keep coming up with new ideas for a game.

Can that stuff be done with current game engine technology and PC power? Don't know - but I think it would be cool to find out.


Any ways, heres to hoping a good FPS comes a long - I'm dying to get back into FPS :D

Posted:A year ago

#17

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