Ashes goodies for founders coming

By on March 7, 2015 3:59:39 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1469

Greetings!

I'm on the plane and have some time to talk a little bit about Ashes.  I've been getting a ton of questions about the game and I'm going to try to answer these questions in the clearest way I can.

First, some house cleaning:

1. If there isn't a subedit on Ashes yet, could someone make it? The nature of this game is such that we really want to be able to talk to the community a lot prior to release. 

2. We are instituting a new Founders system that we will apply retroactively to other games that have had founders programs (like GalCiv III).  In essence, we will be giving Founders more exclusive stuff early on. That stuff may be made available later to everyone but we want people who supported us from the start to get first dibs on things.

Next, Founders info:

a. Re Supreme Commander & TA questions.  Yes, Ashes is probably most similar to those games with one major difference - the maps themselves are broken up into regions.  Thus, you have to control the region (ala Company of Heroes) and the contiguous regions back to your seed (Base) in order to receive the resources of that region.

b. Re scale.  I've seen a lot of people talk about how many units are in other games with an accompanying screenshot.  The difference here is that one of those big battles would just be one of potentially many battles going on across the world.  The difference in actual units is an order of magnitude higher than anything that's previously been done. 

c. Re Managing units.  While each of the potentially tens of thousands of units can be commanded individually, that would be relatively insane to try.  Instead, think of each individual as being a lego and being able to quickly and easily put together these legos into a single bigger unit which we call Meta units.  The meta unit works together as if it's a single unit. You click on one, you have clicked on all of them and all their special abilities are available to use.  They will automatically help each other (since they see themselves as part of a greater unit).

d. Meta units are not control groups. A control group might have multiple meta units in it. A meta unit can be 1 unit or it might be 3000 units depending on what the player wants to do.  

Next, early debates on topics we can have:

a. There are 3 main resources players are fighting: Metal (for constructing stuff), Radioactives (for advanced units and researching), and Computronium.  Comporting acts as the victory point ticker in this game. It's a real word and a real concept.  But we hate the name.  We are open to ideas on a different name.  Computronium is the theoretical name of an idealized computing substance.

 

b. Map sizes.  Our tiny map is about the size of the Bay Area in California. The largest map size is difficult to describe because it's so big. It takes a hour for a unit to travel across it.  Based on who is reading this post, how long do you prefer your RTS games to last?

 

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March 7, 2015 4:13:09 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Sounds, great Frogboy! I am thrilled to find out what we founders will get to chew on soon!

1) Computronium is an interesting concept. Do I understand correctly that this 'victory point' ticker is active all the time and so maps are going to be played on a timer? I am not sure I would like that, but as long as there's an option to have unlimited time it would be a fine feature for those who do.

I have never liked RTS games with a time limit and I hate the timed missions in games like Command and Conquer with a passion!

 

2) I vividly remember multiplayer matches on a serial cable connection between two PC's, playing CnC Red Alert. Those matches lasted whole evenings (3 hours plus) and it was great fun! I don't mind these long games at all, but with the huge scale Ashes is going to have, the better question is perhaps how we would like shorter matches, because that seems more of a challenge! Most SupCom Forged Alliance multiplayer matches I've played lasted several hours as well.

So yes, I like long stretches. Big grand strategic scheming and frontlines that vary dynamically for several times on a huge map! As long as there is a savegame feature so I can pickup where I left.

I am not even sure how such a grand scale would work in short ferocious skirmish-like matches (the term as used for smaller scale table top wargames)? Perhaps Ashes is huge on a strategic level, but fast and ferocious on the tactical level? I would need to get more info on this, I guess.

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March 7, 2015 4:25:27 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

1. Maps aren't on a timer. They'll work like COH where maps with computronium generators, when captured, will start a build up towards critical mass.

2. Great to hear.

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March 7, 2015 4:41:59 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

It would be very nice to be able to disable the computronium victory.

 

I don't really know how fast you should try to make games.  An hour to travel across is a long time for a game, it sounds epic for the scale of the game, but not so epic if you're actually having to travel for an hour.  It should be fine if you're able to use logistical methods to transport things around faster, or it's reasonable to direct your production across the map so that as you take territory from players in between, you wont still have to walk through your new territory for half an hour to get to the enemy.

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March 7, 2015 5:17:31 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

5v5 Sins games in MP could be anywhere from 45min to 2 hours, which for me is a nice duration for these larger scale RTS games. Don't recall how long SupCom:FA matches were - probably somewhat shorter than Sins. I like the resource sector control and victory point countdown ideas from CoH here. It helps make for more to fight over on the map and reduces the chance of every game turning into a turtle-fest that drags on for  hours and hours. Generally in other games you can turn off victory point type options for skirmish games if you want, so probably easy enough to do here as well. They're essential for MP imo. Given the map size for the larger ones, will there be a lot of transport options? Vehicle based or teleport nodes or something along those lines?

 

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March 7, 2015 5:35:11 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

As far as I'm concerned, length of the average game does not really matter as long as we are able to save the game, both single-player and multiplayer.  Sometimes real life happens at the most annoying times.

I agree that transport vehicles (think C-17 or CH-47 in modern day) would help with the moving across the map.

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March 7, 2015 5:48:03 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Can you split meta units at will and remerge them at will?

 

For match length as a 1v1 multiplayer focused person I would say 30 to 60 minutes. So it a map is so incredibly big that it takes a unit 60 minutes to go from my base to the base of my opponent that is a problem. I doubt many people have time to play 5 hours matches on a regular basis.

So I'd hope for "smaller" maps in 1v1 ladder (I think I read somewhere you want to have that?) games. Or you could have gameplay mechanics that involve logistics buildings. For example a stargate like teleporter or air units that can carry large armies. It's no issue if it takes 2h for a tank to traverse the map if there are transport air units that can do it in a few minutes.

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March 7, 2015 5:51:14 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

I'd think that optimal all-out match duration is 90-180 min. That is a normal duration of SupCom epic-scale battle, counted by internal simulation time. In real world, it was twice that time due to enormous slowdown of a single-threaded engine, but AotS is not going to have that technical problem.

Map segmentation principle still seems unclear to me. When your forces move to the segment, is there a restriction on an approach vector so that they cannot strike from behind the frontline? And how large continuous map segments (i.e. battlefields) are? Does it takes a hour for a units to cross an entire largest network or only its largest possible segment?

BTW, is there some info on how long Lifetime Edition will be available? I'm probably going to get 2 Lifetime Edition keys, but still have some doubt that the AotS can serve as the replacement of Supreme Commander I'm looking for. Given that, I'd like to watch over development for some time, but right now I don't know does it really make sense w.r.t the time frame of Lifetime Edition offering.

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March 8, 2015 12:25:16 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

If you're keeping track of it, they announced the impending end for GC3 pretty far in advance of the termination.

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March 8, 2015 1:23:40 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums


Computronium.  Comporting acts as the victory point ticker in this game. It's a real word and a real concept.  But we hate the name.  We are open to ideas on a different name.  Computronium is the theoretical name of an idealized computing substance.

 

For Computronium or Comporting victory? I couldn't find the real world concept you were referring too, so its hard to come up with anything specific. But some generic ideas for the substance.

 

Latin Derived (Warning, I googled this, I don't actually know latin)

Reorium/Rerium - From Latin reor, to think

Indicite - From Indicina, Latin for information and presumably where our English word index comes from.

Cognoscium - From Cognosco, same root as cognitive.

 

Other


Quantanium - Assuming this could be applied to quantum computing in AotS.


b. Map sizes.  Our tiny map is about the size of the Bay Area in California. The largest map size is difficult to describe because it's so big. It takes a hour for a unit to travel across it.  Based on who is reading this post, how long do you prefer your RTS games to last?

Preferably a wide range depending on the time. Smaller, open maps for short games, larger, more isolated terrain for longer ones. A good average game is 2-4 hours I think, but preferably with game modes that can speed this up for things like multiplayer.

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March 8, 2015 4:38:15 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Extropium

it's even a thing in the transhumanist circles apparently (Google extropy) so that's a good tie in as well (extropy = opposite of entropy).

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March 8, 2015 5:18:32 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Will there be naval units/battles? If not, huge disappointment.

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March 8, 2015 8:22:13 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Looks like Total Annilation .....

Twitchy to fast...clickfest? Just cause you can put thousands of units on screen doesn't make it a better game.

Would prefer a small scale strategic battle with units you get to know, not expendable units to make fancy booms.

Thousands of units might be impressive selling point but looks ridiculous to this older gamers eyes.....

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March 8, 2015 1:54:47 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

on tech trees: Will teching require something like a building of a specific type to be made? An issue I see with tech trees is that you cannot scout into which direction your opponent techs until it is "too late" because your opponent has the stuff on the field. 

So that could be fixed by requiring you to make some tech buildings, depending on what direction you want to tech.

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March 8, 2015 2:17:42 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Small 1v1 maps for quick games and enormous maps for long long games and everything else in-between should meet everyone's needs I think I do like the option for huge maps which are played over several days (with saving and loadings of course). For me it is no different from playing a big map in a Civ or a Total War game, you can get some great stories out of them as you role play in your head

I love the idea of supply lines and all that that entails.

I also hope there will be navy warfare, I think it worked well in Supreme commander, and the big maps should lend themselves well to navy warfare.

I like the way GoaFan 77 is thinking, my favourite of those he mentioned is: Reorium/Rerium - From Latin reor, to think


(edited for spelling mistake)

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March 8, 2015 3:18:19 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting Ticktoc,

Small 1v1 maps for quick games and enormous maps for long long games and everything else in-between should meet everyone's needs I think I do like the option for huge maps which are played over several days

This. So much this. 

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March 9, 2015 1:07:14 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting ,

1. If there isn't a subedit on Ashes yet, could someone make it? The nature of this game is such that we really want to be able to talk to the community a lot prior to release. 

 

Subreddit?

If that is what you are after then I made one as soon as the game was announced. If any of the devs or community guys join over there be sure to message me and I will get you some special flair.   

  

Also thanks for answering some of the pressing questions. 

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March 9, 2015 8:18:04 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

The control nodes in each region dictating whether you can mine that region should be sufficent incentive to keep players battling over regions without the need to the ticking timer, so yeah it should be an optional victory condition.  

 

Length thy wise if I'm playing sins it would generally be me verses many ai's set the the hardest level I can manage, then play it like a survival game for as long as I can. It's weird how we come up with our own ways of playing these games that designers never intended. 

 

Sup com fa, I would generally play setons crutch map, I'd practice a position like front or back left and jump in to a 4 v 4 game.  And usually it was 1hr, or longer if I'm playing ai as again on hard settings it always turns into a survial game to make it interesting against the ai, and it can go on for hours.  Another thing that was popular on sip com fa, was the player ranking system and how it auto found a matching player of a similar rank.

So official board rankings would be cool played on official competiion maps, auto mated start to make it fair would be very cool.  Always was exciting seeing it count down to go, knowing if I lost I would lose ranking points.   That way players can build up in game profiles with badges and rankings etc 

 

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March 9, 2015 9:23:02 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Scratch that.

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March 9, 2015 11:20:35 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting GoaFan77,

I couldn't find the real world concept you were referring to.

Comporting is a real verb, thus concept.

We're supposed to name this imaginary substance that represents the computation behind said thing. In other words, it's most likely about reprogramming the opponent to do your bidding, thus winning.

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March 9, 2015 11:55:17 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting ,



a. There are 3 main resources players are fighting: Metal (for constructing stuff), Radioactives (for advanced units and researching), and Computronium.  Comporting acts as the victory point ticker in this game. It's a real word and a real concept.  But we hate the name.  We are open to ideas on a different name.  Computronium is the theoretical name of an idealized computing substance.

 

b. Map sizes.  Our tiny map is about the size of the Bay Area in California. The largest map size is difficult to describe because it's so big. It takes a hour for a unit to travel across it.  Based on who is reading this post, how long do you prefer your RTS games to last?

 

a:Stuff.  Stuff is a real word.  We all want it.  Some people think it's the key to winning.

 

b:Remember the commonlands(Both east and west.  Yech).  Great if there's something to do.  Otherwise it becomes a timesink.

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March 9, 2015 12:19:48 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Ideal game length should depend upon map size.  If i'm playing on a small map it's because I want the game to last 10-30 minutes.  If slightly larger, then 20-40, if say, a medium sized average map, then 30-60.  Why the variation?  Skill, mucking around, waiting for the unit that makes the biggest boom, that kind of thing.

As for waiting a full hour for units to cross - I'm all for it as long as there's a save option.  Turn-based strategy games have always needed that for the same reason.  If you've got 3 hours every Saturday to spend playing the game with your friends and you want to play the same match for the next month... hey, more power to you.  I don't have that time, and would probably be using smaller maps with smaller player counts, but that's just personal preference.  More options are always good.

Really looking forward to this one; was surprised to see a ground-based RTS out of the Star Swarm tech instead of something space based ala Sins.

Best,

Merku

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March 10, 2015 1:39:42 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting Adridos,


Quoting GoaFan77,

I couldn't find the real world concept you were referring to.



Comporting is a real verb, thus concept.

We're supposed to name this imaginary substance that represents the computation behind said thing. In other words, it's most likely about reprogramming the opponent to do your bidding, thus winning.

I was looking for a bit more elaboration. Yes I know its a verb, but I think the concept Frogboy alluded to would be more than that. If it was simply mind control of your opponent or something they could use a wider variety of words.

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March 10, 2015 7:03:29 AM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

This is going down a tangent.  "Comporting" was a phone's auto-complete fail.  Brad was trying to type "Computronium" and his phone knew better (stupid AI).

Computronium is a term used by some people in the Singularity community.  The back story for the the game is about a scenario for the Singularity that has gone down a bad path.

"...the primary resource we will care about in the late 21st century will be the capacity of our thinking substrate, not energy or water or housing or any of the things people worry about today. It is for that reason that we will then expand away from the Earth to find more matter and energy suitable to convert into “computronium” (the optimal substrate for computation / thinking). Through this process, we will ultimately saturate the Universe with our intelligence." -- Ray Kurzweil ( http://www.kurzweilai.net/ask-ray-future-battle-for-resource-storage-as-a-substrate-for-sentience )

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March 10, 2015 2:57:20 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Ah, OK.

What about something like Metagel? Though something like that might clash with metal that's already a part of the resource lineup.

Maybe morphogel or morphigel? It would depend a lot on how you're portraying this matter in the game if you already have some plans/concepts regarding that.

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March 10, 2015 4:13:50 PM from Ashes of the Singularity Forums Ashes of the Singularity Forums

Quoting wbino49,

Looks like Total Annilation .....

Twitchy to fast...clickfest? Just cause you can put thousands of units on screen doesn't make it a better game.

Would prefer a small scale strategic battle with units you get to know, not expendable units to make fancy booms.

Thousands of units might be impressive selling point but looks ridiculous to this older gamers eyes.....

 

I take it you never played Sins of a Solar Empire.

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