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#661242 - 02/04/01 03:31 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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James McKenzie-Smith Offline
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Here's what I can say in FlashPoint's defence:

1. It can be considered an entry level sim as well as a FPS. Perhaps the sim world would be better off if there were a few more truly entry level sims out there, sims that potential new simmers would actually buy. Given the FPS games are pretty big right now, I cannot see FlashPoint's sales being too small, and perhaps some of the people who play it might hunger for stronger simulation of the various systems therein. Today's FlashPoint player may well be tomorrow's Steel Beasts II player. Given that the market share of simmers in computer games seems to be ever shrinking, it is our best interests for new people to be attracted to the hobby. It is all rather reminiscent of the problems suffered by board wargames years ago.

2. The simplification of many vehicles so that players get a taste of many different weapons systems is acceptable. While I often hear of many players clamouring for dead nuts perfect simulation of various systems, the simple fact is that these can take considerable time to learn for the player (to say nothing of the time for the programming team to implement them). I only play a few simulations at a time, and a large part of this is because I do not have time to know how to operate all the virtual equipment that I would like to, at least not to the extent that I would consider myself even remotely competent. FlashPoint will enable me to have a 'lite sim' to blast around in, and at least get a taste of the various weapons out there. As for the argument that if something is not done right, then it should not be done at all, well, if you prescribe to that doctrine, you had best chuck out Steel Beasts. Their mine warfare modelling is rather abstract.

3. Simple control systems does not necessarily mean inaccurate physics. The team at Bohemia Interactive have stated time and again that the control systems might be simplified, but the performance will be pretty accurate. Consider the analogy that, if you are a back seat driver telling a taxi driver where to go, the physics of the car remain realistic, but your method of control will not be precisely the same as driving the car yourself.

4. Simplification of systems operations procedures does not necessarily lead to unrealistic combat results, and accurate weapons systems do not automatically lead to realistic battle results. As long as the weapons and equipment operates well within realistic parameters, then realistic usage of such weaponry on realistic terrain should still yield realistic results. FlashPoint's AI is said to be very realistic, so certain weapons may well interact more realistically with competent players on it's battlefield than super high fidelity models operated by foolish and unskilled players fighting with and against moronic AI. The AI looks to be the crowning acheivement of the game, if previews and the intentions of the developers are even half right; we'll see. Certainly the modelling of some of the soft factors of war would be welcome rather than the usual suicidally brave AI so common in most sims nowadays.

5. The graphics do allow engagement ranges longer than point blank; download and look at screenshots and MPEGs and you will see that the lines of sight can be quite far. On the other hand, there is realistically dense terrain, so good luck seeing a tank four KM away against a remotely competent foe anyway.

Finally, the game is not out, and besides a few screenshots and MPEGs and the odd preview and interview, there really is not too much to on with regards to the accuracy of the sim. Writing it off on the basis of the available information, or worse still, writing it off on the basis of only parts of the available information and some misinterpreted or misunderstood information, would be unfortunate, especially if the game turned into a fairly decent sim.

[This message has been edited by James McKenzie-Smith (edited February 03, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by James McKenzie-Smith (edited February 03, 2001).]

#661243 - 02/04/01 11:27 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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I would say that, if anything, the videos in particular leave even more evidence of the departures from realism. Physics are lacking (Soldiers have no inertia whatsoever, stopping on a dime from full sprint), controls are simplified to the point that the vehicles don't appear to behave correctly (Helicoptors seem immune to the effects on their lift that banking and tilting causes, and what appears to be the M1's GPS is so simplified that it bears virtually no resemblance to the real thing), and weapon behavior (BMPs firing their missiles while moving quickly, at targets maybe 50 feet away? Tank co-axial machineguns apparently loaded with (very) high-explosive rounds?). The more and more they show, the more and more it looks like an oversimplified, arcadey action game and less like the realistic portrayal of combined-arms warfare that they claim to depict.

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#661244 - 02/04/01 10:04 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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I think that some of you folks, indeed, are being too demanding. I've played a beta of the game, and while it's not totally realistic, it's a HELL of a lot of fun. I think that mixing first person and vehicle control is a step in the right direction, and I have a feeling that Op: Flash will help test the validity of mixing the two. If Op: Flash does well, maybe more realistic games of its type will be made. Right now, the game isn't released yet, so as someone else said, don't write it off yet. The game, from the beta I've been playing, is an absolute blast, and what more could you ask of a game?

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[This message has been edited by SimHead (edited February 04, 2001).]

#661245 - 02/05/01 06:43 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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Phoenix: Have you seen any Apache's in any FP screens?

Why all the spouting off about Hellfire missile modes? The Hellfire, nor the AH-64 will be included in this GAME. It's the AH-1 Cobra, shooting TOW, 20mm and 2.75in .

Also, if it's really that simple to include every operational detail into a vehicle sim, then why does it take typically two years for a sim maker to develop the next sim? Oh, and that's for a single vehicle/fighter type, not a whole range of armor, helos and attack jets....

Have you read the very recent post by one of the managers of the Flanker:Attack project? If you have not, then I suggest strongly that you should....

http://www.ballisticsites.com/flanker/ubb/Forum1/HTML/002282.html

Oh, and in case anyone forgot, FP is more GAME/light-sim NOT A HARDCORE SIM. I plan on buying it as soon as it's available.


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[This message has been edited by Rick.50cal (edited February 05, 2001).]


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#661246 - 02/05/01 08:20 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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Quote:

Why all the spouting off about Hellfire missile modes? The Hellfire, nor the AH-64 will be included in this GAME. It's the AH-1 Cobra, shooting TOW, 20mm and 2.75in .
[/B]


There was mention of an AH-64A Apache in the past, but I admit I can't find it now. They may have removed that one.

However, it was more of a general example of what's going on than an exact example. I can understand having to take some liberties to make the game, but they seem to be cutting corners on all sorts of things that will directly impact the end result in terms of the results it will show. They say that despite not being "perfectly realistic" it will have battles which will still result in "realistic" outcomes. With so many differences from the real systems, I don't see how that could occur..

Frankly, the main reason I'm disapointed is because it seems to mostly consist of what has already been done. There are dozens of other "realism-hype" action games out there, but there hasn't been one single "soldier sim" that I'm aware of, much less a combined-forces sim that included infantry simulation. Flashpoint looks to be taking that idea and turning it into a typical action game, which is rather disapointing to me.

But then, that's just me. I'm sure it'll sell wonderfully with those who think Delta Force is just like real-world infantry combat, Armored Fist is like real-world tank combat, etc, etc. Myself, I'm not impressed.

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#661247 - 02/05/01 10:19 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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Must take a lot to impress you, then.

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#661248 - 02/05/01 10:25 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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Not a lot, just a good game. That seems too much to ask for these days.

As for the "asking too much" crowd, you seem to misunderstand the argument. The point is that simple does not have to equal stupid.

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#661249 - 02/06/01 12:05 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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James McKenzie-Smith Offline
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"Not a lot, just a good game. That seems too much to ask for these days."

I think that your assumption is that FlashPoint is not a good game, based upon this and your previous posts. Correct me if I am wrong.

If I am right, then I might say that you have not played it, you know little about it, yet based upon this nearly complete lack of information, you have decided that FlashPoint is not a simulation (your quote: "sim"?), and that quite possibly it would be too much to even expect that it is a good game, let alone a simulation on any level.

Well, I do not think that anyone has pretended that it will be a hard core simulation (although what the copywriters eventually scrawl on the box may prove me wrong), but your writing it off as a game is puzzling to me. I do not think that there is enough evidence whatsoever to draw such a conclusion, and I can only assume that some form of simple prejudice drives you to think this. Perhaps Steel Beasts has narrowed your vision while broadening your horizons?

In the long run, perhaps it would be more prudent to wait and see, and try a demo before making such decisions and possibly depriving yourself of the opportunity to play something that might actually be enjoyable.

As for me, I have have a great deal of interest in the game concept, although past experience has taught me to expect to be disappointed most of the time. Steel Beasts and Battle of Britain were welcome departures from that trend, and I can only hope that it will be another satisfying game experience when FlashPoint finally hits the shelves.

As for the other allegations about FlashPoint on this board, that .50 cal rounds explode, ATGMs fired on the move, etc. etc., I have noticed the BMP firing on the move and the dodgy GPS, but then I also know that these are pre-Beta shots and movies at best, and that we should therefore give the developers some wriggle room. These things can be changed, and to assume that a game is going to be poor just because the prototypes and pre release builds are not 100% complete is to draw conclusion based upon incomplete and old data.

Other things pre-release naysayers may have missed when writing off FlashPoint:

1. The motion captures of the soldiers are now more or less in place and looking very good.
2. Facial hair is largely gone (it was actually the facial hair of some of the developers put there during development)
3. The helicopters do not seem to move at all like tanks.
4. .50 cal rounds do not explode, and probably never have.
5. Look the rest up yourself, and bear in mind that the game is still evolving and being tweaked. If anything is bugging you, contact the developers, they are receptive to constructive criticism and suggestions.

#661250 - 02/06/01 03:50 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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"Perhaps Steel Beasts has narrowed your vision while broadening your horizons?"

A good, well-designed game making one want other games to be good? How terrible!!

"In the long run, perhaps it would be more prudent to wait and see"

Funny how that's always said to the people who have any negative view on an un-released product, but nobody would say the same thing about all the possitive reviews out there.. *shrug*

"As for me, I have have a great deal of interest in the game concept,"

As do I, which is why their rather lax and half-baked aproach to it is all the more disapointing to me :P

"3. The helicopters do not seem to move at all like tanks."

Unless they've changed the way they behave from the way they do in the videos, they sure seem to.. With the difference that they can gain and loose altitude.

As for the videos themselves, someone needs to make up their mind. First I get told to look at all the videos to see how well they handle things, then I get told to ignore the videos because they're old and don't show how they currently handle things. :P

"4. .50 cal rounds do not explode, and probably never have."

That's nice. However, I never mentioned .50 BMG. I -did- mention the 7.62x51 NATO rounds fired from the M1's coax MG, and if you doubt that, take a look at the videos again (The foreign-language one, in particular).

Oh, and for SimHead..

"Must take a lot to impress you, then. "

I guess so. I've never been much impressed by the rapidly churned-out, hyped-up games that rely on flashy features on top of the same-old gameplay. "A lot" to me would be to put even a fraction of that work into making something creative. The typical action game nowadays offers a couple weeks of play at tops untill you've done everything, and then it has to rely on mods to completely change how the game works just so people can pretend they got their $50 worth out of it.

A good game is one that has the depth to play well by itself, and not run out by the first week or two. One where you don't learn everything in the first few days, but where you can play for months and one day find something completely new to you; The game has just gotten that one bit more interesting.

The main downside I see with Flashpoint is that, by simplifying every aspect of it, it will take too -little- time to learn.. After a few days, there is nothing more to learn about playing. The game has reached its peak and can go no higher. It stagnates, and the only way it can go is down. The only questionable aspect I can see is how long that will take. It could be anywhere from a day or two, to a couple weeks, but I don't see it as having any hope of holding out very long.

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"Drive defensively -- buy a tank."

#661251 - 02/06/01 07:49 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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"A good, well-designed game making one want other games to be good? How terrible!!"

Yes, it is terrible when, not only is Steel Beasts seen as the current standard of realism in a game (true!), but that any game that does not meet this standard is necessarily bad. This hobby NEEDS more entry level and lite sims. Steel Beasts is NOT an entry level or lite sim.

"Funny how that's always said to the people who have any negative view on an un-released product, but nobody would say the same thing about all the possitive reviews out there. *shrug*"

How is that a good argument against someone urging caution and waiting for information before jumping to conclusions? Please flesh it out so that I can adequately respond.

"As do I, which is why their rather lax and half-baked aproach to it is all the more disapointing to me :P"

They have chosen a design direction, and they are sticking to it. Their objective seems to be a lite sim that is accessible, with good AI. That being the case, why is this game half baked in your opinion? Why is their work lax?

"Unless they've changed the way they behave from the way they do in the videos, they sure seem to.. With the difference that they can gain and loose altitude."

They have changed the way they behave, and this is readily apparent when viewing the new videos. Real helicopter pilots might have problems with the vids, but having only been a passenger and casual observer, they do not look much like tanks to me.

"As for the videos themselves, someone needs to make up their mind. First I get told to look at all the videos to see how well they handle things, then I get told to ignore the videos because they're old and don't show how they currently handle things. :P"

Someone else needs to read more clearly and also not imply that someone else is contradicting himself when he is not. I indicated these as an example of how the environment looks, and you were the one who brought up all other errors. Of course, the graphics engine that I pointed out might well be the same while the vehicle and weapon errors therein might be changed in terms of their performance in more recent videos.

"That's nice. However, I never mentioned .50 BMG. I -did- mention the 7.62x51 NATO rounds fired from the M1's coax MG, and if you doubt that, take a look at the videos again (The foreign-language one, in particular)."

My mistake. Regardless, nothing I have seen indicates that the coax rounds explode. Look closely at the (admittedly incorrect) sight picture from the alleged M1, then look at the 'coax' image. Notice the different gun barrell in the corners of the pics? In fact, the 'coax' of which you speak seems to be a different weapon altogether. I am guessing, based upon what an earlier external shot in the video seemed to look like, that the main armament of the ZSU-23-4 was the weapon in the 'coax' scene. Of course, whether or not ZSU shells blow up on impact is unknown to me, but I am willing to be enlightened. So, no doubt, is the development team.

"The main downside I see with Flashpoint is that, by simplifying every aspect of it, it will take too -little- time to learn.. After a few days, there is nothing more to learn about playing. The game has reached its peak and can go no higher. It stagnates, and the only way it can go is down. The only questionable aspect I can see is how long that will take. It could be anywhere from a day or two, to a couple weeks, but I don't see it as having any hope of holding out very long."

An interesting point of view. This implies to me that the main source of pleasure from a sim comes from the learning to use the equipment rather than the use of these equipment and tactics in the field. If this was the case, then after the training missions and a couple of real missions, a sim would get old very fast. Perhaps this is how you play, and this is perfectly fine, of course.

However, I tend to play a little differently. I like to use the equipment in the field, and get the training part out of the way as fast as possible. My horrific work schedule determines that I can only play a handful of hardcore sims, and I would play more lite sims if these were available. For me, interaction in the environment is where it's at, and an environment can be complex and compelling while the equipment can be less so. Also, the game has a mission builder if I get tired of the game's original missions, which I do consider likely.

[This message has been edited by James McKenzie-Smith (edited February 06, 2001).]

#661252 - 02/07/01 07:47 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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Quote:
Originally posted by James McKenzie-Smith:
An interesting point of view. This implies to me that the main source of pleasure from a sim comes from the learning to use the equipment rather than the use of these equipment and tactics in the field.


No, my source of pleasure from a sim comes from it not being entirely predictable. A poorly-done, overly-simplified game makes it much easier to predict the outcome of any action because there are many, many less options at any point in time. The more behavior you remove, the less variations can be done of the same action, and the easier it is to predict what will happen.

That only covers the equipment, though. Tactics are another matter that can effect this, of course, but I don't assume that a programing team claiming "great AI" will necesarily mean it's really that great. Game designers have been claiming highly realistic "AI" ever since around the time Doom was new. Delta Force, HalfLife, Rogue Spear.. All claimed durring development (And even afterwards) to have incredibly realistic AI.. But appart from specific scripted events, they are all not only highly predictable, but at many times, flat out stupid. How Flashpoint's "AI" handles remains to be seen, but I'm not banking the entire worth of a game on a term and design-goal that gets tossed around for every FPS made in the past 5 years.

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"Drive defensively -- buy a tank."

#661253 - 02/07/01 07:45 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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Sad but true. The most recent video (days ago) showed infantry taking cover when one of their mates was shot by a sniper, and then run for other cover after a few more shots from the sniper hit the area. A nice change from the usual 'my friend just had his guts shot out in front of me so I'll just stay here and light a ciggie' approach, but we'll have to see the finished project to judge whether the AI really is I or not. Once again, I suppose, it's a case of wait and see before drawing any conclusions.

#661254 - 02/08/01 07:07 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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Quote:
Originally posted by James McKenzie-Smith:
Sad but true. The most recent video (days ago) showed infantry taking cover when one of their mates was shot by a sniper, and then run for other cover after a few more shots from the sniper hit the area.


Well, it shows they aren't being -entirely- stupid about the AI, but that reaction has been pretty par for the course for most games lately (RS, HL, etc). Too early to tell for the AI, I guess..

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"Drive defensively -- buy a tank."

#661255 - 02/08/01 04:36 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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Really? I certainly remember losing an entire team in RS to the stupid AI on numerous occasions. They walk into a room single file and get killed as they walk in, one by one. Stopping and maybe tossing in a grenade would've been a SMART thing to do, but they decided to DIE WITH HONOR!
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#661256 - 02/08/01 07:14 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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Quote:
Originally posted by jedimaster:
Really? I certainly remember losing an entire team in RS to the stupid AI on numerous occasions. They walk into a room single file and get killed as they walk in, one by one. Stopping and maybe tossing in a grenade would've been a SMART thing to do, but they decided to DIE WITH HONOR!


Have you seen the AI in RS try to use grenades? If they tried that, they would still die with honor, it would just be at their own hand. Ritual suicide

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#661257 - 02/09/01 05:16 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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Quote:
Originally posted by jedimaster:
Really? I certainly remember losing an entire team in RS to the stupid AI on numerous occasions.


That was kinda my point. Do you remember any of the positively glowing reviews of how great the RS terrorist AI was before it came out? I remember them. All sorts of stories about AI that would use cover great, not predictable, wouldn't stand around stupidly, no suicide-rushes towards the first gunshot, team tactics and ambushing... And then we have the reality of what happens after we've seen them for a good while.

It's entirely possible to make AI appear inteligent before everyone gets their hands on the game. THEN you start finding out how good it really is.

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Phoenix, lava dragon
"Drive defensively -- buy a tank."

[This message has been edited by Phoenix (edited February 08, 2001).]

#661258 - 02/09/01 04:05 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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I wrote all the R6 family of reviews for SimHQ. Actually, I found that the terrorist AI did improve quite a bit from the original. In RS, they add actual fluid movement and varied state of awareness, so if you ran into a tango with his gun down and facing away from you, he no longer instantly brought the weapon to bear on you, like in the original R6 and EW.

I also found that the enemy was much more likely to seek cover in Urban Ops and Covert Ops. They definately did tweak something in there.

The biggest problem I've had with the series all along are with your own team's AI. I hate how inflexible they are once you've set a plan, how poorly they throw grenades, and the like.

That's why SWAT3 is still on my hard drive and RS/R6 isn't. Although SWAT's AI isn't perfect, it's much better than RS, IMHO. Thankfully, there's no frags in SWAT3, though.....




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#661259 - 02/09/01 06:39 PM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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This game is looking sweet

There's a preview at Telefragged that seems to suggest that there are multiple control configurations for the aircraft. He mentioned that they could be controlled "simply" with the keyboard but that when he used his joystick, it suggested more accurate controls. Can't wait to try this game out.

There are some nice early videos available at that fan site and there is a recent one as of a few days ago at http://www.specforce.net/coldwar/

its worth checking out.

[This message has been edited by PV (edited February 09, 2001).]


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#661260 - 02/10/01 08:34 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  

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Quote:
Originally posted by Spoons - SimHQ:
I wrote all the R6 family of reviews for SimHQ. Actually, I found that the terrorist AI did improve quite a bit from the original.


Oh yeah, they improved it a LOT over R6. The R6 AI was just plain stupid

Though actually, they did have varrying levels of awareness in R6; Bored, normal, and alert. They made about .002 seconds worth of difference to their aim, too

Though the RS AI did loose the excelent room-clearing techniques from R6 (First man runs -straight- in? They forgot how to slice the pie, I guess..), and how they get strung out a lot easier.. But they improved in pretty much every other area.

The AI in RS and SWAT both have their ups and downs. Neither of them are really -that- good (In fact, you practicly -have- to edit the game to increase the friendly AI's aggression to get them to actually have a chance of shooting before being killed sometimes). And the SWAT3 AI can't cover a direction for squat; You tell them to cover a hallway, then you come back a minute later to the sound of gunfire as they walked down the hallway to handcuff a surrendered tango and got blind-sided on the way; All three guys "dead". Way to go guys I'd put the two at about equal overall.

In general, it seems like the AI seems much more impressive and "lifelike" before you've thoroughly played a game. After that, they tend to be pretty predictable, and that's when you start finding out how good they really are ;>

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"Drive defensively -- buy a tank."

#661261 - 02/10/01 09:39 AM Re: Has anyone heard anything about Flashpoint?  
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Perhaps if AI conformed to logical and well thought out battledrills, the AI will fight it out realistically. Like a bunch of well-trained real life soldiers. They may not be the sharpest tools in the shed, but get them to do what they know best, and they will kill with terrible efficiency.

For the larger 'operational' AI, they could have a mission builder for the scenario designers that would allow for a high level of pre-made AI, like in SB.

Rather than just give them a simple path and three different 'character types' (eg., unaware, aware, on the ball).

Of course, this would require more than just 'clever' monster placement like you get in most FPS. Rather, it would require a tactical brain. Perhaps if a good dev team wanted to make a proper military FPS, they would involve real military personnel to at least advise on scenario design. AND actually listen to him.

It seemed to work for SB. However, would the suits at a larger firm accept a game with good AI, because a large part of the FPS audience likes their kills plenty and often? Perhaps SB and Battle of Britain is the first and small sign that it's QUALITY of kills that matters, rather than quantity. If this is so, then perhaps AI might be made more challenging in the future. Here's hoping that the good folks at Bohemia Interactive opt for quality rather than quantity of body count while making FlashPoint.

Edited for sobriety, or lack thereof.

[This message has been edited by James McKenzie-Smith (edited February 10, 2001).]

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by RossUK. 04/08/24 09:02 AM
Gleda Estes
by Tarnsman. 04/06/24 06:22 PM
Food Safety and Bad Roommates
by KRT_Bong. 04/04/24 02:16 AM
Incredible historical ironies
by PanzerMeyer. 04/03/24 01:56 PM
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