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Idea for NS2, need feedback

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  • Idea for NS2, need feedback

    Had an idea for NS2, would like to get some feedback. Tried posting it in the unknown worlds forums, but since it's not a splashy game-breaking idea it doesn't seem to be getting much review. Figured I'd throw it in here, maybe get some feedback on the feasibility of it from programmer types atleast.

    There's a problem in NS that I run into. Welding in NS is somewhat of a guessing game. Yes, the "need weld" menu option and the armor circles when the welder is active are better than nothing. But they both have their flaws, particularly in a combat situation, like a siege. The "need weld" command is hidden away in a menu or bound to a key, both options lowering the player's combat readiness. Switching to the welder to bring up the armor circle reduced the combat readiness of the player welding.

    What I think needs to happen is some way to determine who needs welding require no other menus or weapon switching. I propose two ideas to alleviate this, I'm sure there could be more.

    One idea is to make marine models drastically more visually unique. This serves to make it easy to distinguish between which marine is which. To determine armor levels the welder has to remember who got hit, but it's better than the current system. To do this, I would like to see somewhat customizable avatars. If you look closely at the NS splash screen, one of the marines has a cybernetic leg. Expanding on this idea could easily create fairly unique avatars. I'm imagining selectable slots, with customizations for each one. Head, left shoulder/arm, right shoulder/arm, chest, left leg, and right leg. It might also be nice to have customizable appearance for aliens, too. Selecting these options could be done in the player menu, or possibly randomized on spawn. This would also take some art asset developement time.

    Another option is an easily visible graphic difference between remaining marine armor. I'm talking more than just some cracks on the breastplate, you're never going to see those at the high speed of NS combat. I think you'd need a difference in polygons, with pieces of marine armor actually dissapearing. I don't know how feasible this is to program, I think it would take a bit of time.

    Optimally, I would like to see both ideas enacted at once. It would be by far the most developement effort, however, since doing both ideas would multiply the amount of work needed to be done.

    One thing to remember is that these ideas do not just affect the marine team. If you make it so marines can visually identify either individual players or a player's armor level, then aliens can use this information too. That means the focus fade may be able to tell who's been hit once, and who's full armor.

    The first idea, with a unique customizable visual appearance, affects gameplay in diverse ways, too. It allows players to know who's on their team, without having to press tab. Being able to say "John, cover me I'm reloading." or "Wait there Randy, I'll bait." without having to highlight players and waiting for their nametag to go up changes gameplay. It increases the effectiveness of communication It also has a side effect of strengthening community ties. This is why I mention that customizable options might be nice for aliens too, and not just marines.

    P.S. I think something along the same lines would be nice for the comm. Marines should have nametags for the commander. I'm tired of not being able to tell specific marines information, either that they're in the wrong spot, or to give them praise and encouragement.

  • #2
    Re: Idea for NS2, need feedback

    The problem with the NS2 idea suggestions board is that the people who troll the board over on Unknown Worlds want NS:S, not NS2.
    A truly creative and good idea gets squashed because it isn't a direct port from NS. It isn't worth putting ideas on the board for that specific reason.
    The ideas that get held high for quality are ones that address what are essentially non-issue problems related to shortcomings from the half-life 1 engine... i.e. the "good" suggestions are ones that would be solved by an NS:S port as opposed to ideas that would be unique features for a new game.

    In regards to your ideas, Option#2 is an interesting idea, but I don't think it could be implemented, granted, I have no idea if the Source engine allows for dynamic model change. It could pose an interesting question for a newbie: "Say, uh, why is that marine missing chunks of armor and a helmet, looking like he is about to fall over?" Simple, friendy to beginners, and aesthetic all at once.

    Option#1 is a nifty idea, but I wonder what you would do for alien forms. Could be interesting to be given a preset collection of color pallettes maybe. Granted, if you think about it, who really would notice subtle differences of the aliens in the NS world.
    What I mean is, NS is one of those few games where the playable monsters, where they are meant to be lithe and stealthy, truly are.




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