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Author Topic: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***  (Read 10283 times)

Ed

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*** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« on: February 04, 2013, 01:00:27 AM »

Hey all,
Firstly, thank you for all the support and appreciation over the past few days, it means a great deal!

I wanted to write something about the plans for Proteus after the release of the 1.0 version. Some of these are more definite than others, but perhaps the main thing to say from the start is that despite some plans for updates, we don't plan on this being a constantly-updated "game as a service" like Minecraft or Terraria. There are a couple of reasons for this: Firstly the combination of a simpler concept and a focus on harmony between the elements means that adding things can be harder than expected. (For example the "autumn magic" stuff went through a truly tortuous process to arrive at an acceptable form). Secondly, both David and I need to start thinking about other projects in order to stay creatively fresh. Proteus has been something we've been working on for several years and even though a lot of that was part-time, just being exposed to the same creation for so long has a big effect on how you feel about it. It's new to thousands of people now, but not for us :)  (On a similar subject "Development history of Proteus" might be an interesting blogpost/story).

Anyway, that said, here's the rough plan in chronological order, with some overlaps:

"1.01" Maintenance Patch
There haven't been too many problems with the 1.0 version. (thanks awesome beta testers!) The main ones are mouse issues on OSX in some cases and fullscreen picking invalid resolution by default on some PCs. Jon (Brodsky, Mac code hero) has been hard at work on the mouse issues and I've been... well... answering a huge amount of emails and writing essays with dumb titles. But I *will* be looking into the fullscreen problems. I also want to tweak a few little cosmetic things that slipped through and generally make the configuration process a bit more forgiving... maybe allow access to the options menu in-game? (Related: I'm sorry I left Invert-look on by default! Didn't mean to inflict my freakish preference on the world!)

As well as little functional fixes, I hope that there's room to drop in a little extra thing, and maybe a twist on island generation. Just something to make it a fun patch for people that weren't affected by problems.

We should be able to put full Steam Big Picture support in this patch.

Soundtrack and Artifact Edition
Overlapping with this patch, we need to resume design and production on the Artifact Edtion - a limited preorder of 300 physical editions with various extra stuff in the package. These sold out a while ago, but once we've fulfilled these orders we might make a second run.
One of the extras is the soundtrack album, which will probably also be available to download a short while after it's been shipped with the "Artifacts."

Linux Version
I'm looking into contracting someone to set up a version for Linux. Hopefully this isn't too big a job, but I am a total newbie to Linux, so it's good to have some expert help.

"1.X" Update
This is vague, but I definitely want to do one large-ish update later this year, with a few more creatures, locations and other new things to discover. This update should also have a basic modding system. (If you're suggesting updates, this is probably the update that I'm considering them for). I'll expand on this later.

Things That Aren't Proteus
New games! I have some thoughts on prototypes that I really want to play with and test. I might release one as a free game sometime before "1.X". If you like Proteus, I hope you'll like the future stuff: it'll be thematically linked but exploring exploration (hah) in different ways. More procedural worlds, more thoughts about how we relate to wild places, but focusing on different aspects.

Open Source?
This is several years in the future, but if Proteus does ok commercially then I'll think about open-sourcing it. Hopefully it will still be of some interest then, and it'll be nice to have it live on in some form. I need to investigate a bit more, so this is more a conditional statement of intent than a promise.

Let me know thoughts on all this!

(and I hope it's readable - very late at night here, so might be some grammar nonsense to fix in the morning)

- Ed
« Last Edit: February 04, 2013, 01:04:31 AM by Ed »
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Ed

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2013, 01:32:56 AM »

Related: Going to post a few more things over the week.. and a sort of "phew, launch week!" post on wednesday
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Patacorow

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2013, 06:15:25 AM »

Awesome! Can't wait for 1.X ;)
Dying to see how modding'll turn out!
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Grey

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2013, 11:18:07 AM »

Good to hear your plans.  I'm quite enjoying Proteus as a finished piece, so it's all good news to me  :-)  It seems funny to me that players are so keen to see a game they enjoy changed - we don't ask for new hats on the Mona Lisa!

Porting to Linux sounds like it might be hassle.  As I understand Proteus is written in C# with .NET?  There's things you can do with Mono to get that onto Linux, but it can be a torturous prospect, especially for a game of this size.  Still, if you can do it on Mac you can do it on Linux, and I'm sure you have some good contacts for this.

New games sounds great!  Especially new procedural-based stuff.  After such a long development time I can only imagine you're dying to start on a new project (I know I would be anyway).  A long development time can make a game into a burden after a while, and taking on a new task, even a small one, can help overcome that.  Would be great to see what different sorts of games you could make.  Planning on taking part in any jams this year?

Open source is something I'd be keen to see, or at least some discussion with code snippets on how the generator makes the islands.  Proteus is at the forefront of 3D procedural generation at the moment, and it would be good to see it inspire more works like it.  The only developers working in the same area I'm aware of are Tom Betts and Miguel Capero.  There are a few others doing 3D procedural stuff, but generally in far more enclosed areas and using stitched room style methods, which is much less interesting to me than Proteus' open generation.  I don't know if anything would happen with a fully open source Proteus, though it would at least ensure that it can always be ported/updated to systems in future.

Looking forward to the artifact edition.  Can't remember what was in it, I just remember thinking "£5 is too cheap for this - I'll nab the premium version instead".  Sad to know that this actually costs you more  :-/  But I hope the game has been enough of a commercial success that you can easily absorb this.  Also, I still want a frog medley ringtone!  :-P
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Ed

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2013, 12:01:41 PM »

Awesome! Can't wait for 1.X ;)
Dying to see how modding'll turn out!

Cool :)
Modding has already had a bit of work done on it - the engine was originally set up to be highly scriptable, but that fell behind a bit due to other considerations. More recently Jon started setting up a mod folder system when he was bored of doing OSX stuff, so it's on the way already!

Good to hear your plans.  I'm quite enjoying Proteus as a finished piece, so it's all good news to me  :-)  It seems funny to me that players are so keen to see a game they enjoy changed - we don't ask for new hats on the Mona Lisa!

Nah, I can totally understand the feeling: it's always possible to imagine a richer world, and with a surge of people just discovering it, you don't immediate see it as something that's already had a ton of evolution and feels quite conceptually complete to me too. I'm still keen to do those two patches, as there are definitely nice things that can be done without harming it.

Quote
Porting to Linux sounds like it might be hassle.  As I understand Proteus is written in C# with .NET?  There's things you can do with Mono to get that onto Linux, but it can be a torturous prospect, especially for a game of this size.  Still, if you can do it on Mac you can do it on Linux, and I'm sure you have some good contacts for this.

Yep, "already working on Mac" is the key thing here. It shows that it already runs without any Microsoft stuff and that setting it up to behave nicely within a new OS (e.g. player data files etc) is doable.

Quote
New games sounds great!  Especially new procedural-based stuff.  After such a long development time I can only imagine you're dying to start on a new project (I know I would be anyway).  A long development time can make a game into a burden after a while, and taking on a new task, even a small one, can help overcome that.  Would be great to see what different sorts of games you could make.  Planning on taking part in any jams this year?

I'm addicted enough to procedural worlds that that is pretty much guaranteed :)
Not sure about jams, I'll see what I'm doing when they come up. Quite tempted by 7DRL actually!

Quote
Open source is something I'd be keen to see, or at least some discussion with code snippets on how the generator makes the islands.  Proteus is at the forefront of 3D procedural generation at the moment, and it would be good to see it inspire more works like it.  The only developers working in the same area I'm aware of are Tom Betts and Miguel Capero.  There are a few others doing 3D procedural stuff, but generally in far more enclosed areas and using stitched room style methods, which is much less interesting to me than Proteus' open generation.  I don't know if anything would happen with a fully open source Proteus, though it would at least ensure that it can always be ported/updated to systems in future.

I think i'll probably release some snippets and articles before open sourcing, if that does indeed happen. As you say, it's nice to just have it out there available, even if it's not being actively worked on as a project.

Quote
Looking forward to the artifact edition.  Can't remember what was in it, I just remember thinking "£5 is too cheap for this - I'll nab the premium version instead".  Sad to know that this actually costs you more  :-/  But I hope the game has been enough of a commercial success that you can easily absorb this.  Also, I still want a frog medley ringtone!  :-P

Yeah, we can absorb it. Not yet sure how much it'll cost us, but it'll still be a personally rewarding thing to do. More news when we have it.... Ringtone... we'll see ;P
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Grey

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2013, 12:14:52 PM »

Not sure about jams, I'll see what I'm doing when they come up. Quite tempted by 7DRL actually!

Do iiiiit!  :P  Seven Day Roguelike Challenge is a bit less intense than many of the shorter jams.  I imagine doing a jam on a scale of hours or days would be rather a shock to the system after a multi-year project  ;)
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Ed

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2013, 11:14:40 AM »

Couple of related discussion threads, which have a few more post and whose first posts moved my to make this thread:
http://www.visitproteus.com/forum/index.php?topic=184.0
http://www.visitproteus.com/forum/index.php?topic=185.0

Locking them as the discussion is getting duplicated, but feel free to carry on below:
(as long as you've read the details in the first post here! :))
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Ed

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2013, 11:41:45 AM »

If I didn't already say this: This plan isn't absolutely set in stone, it's just what I would like to do. Launching this game is hard to get used to!
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Pigeon

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 04:14:34 AM »

Will there be a way to purchase the soundtrack soon? Do the early birds (those who bought Proteus during beta) get a little off? If I can't play Proteus on the bus, I'd fully enjoy listening to the music of the island :)
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Jeb

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2013, 01:37:30 PM »

Reading this topic I'd like to chime in that with modding support coming soon I'd like to think we'd find community developed updates that would add much more content than could be done alone. My thoughts anyways.
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Ed

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2013, 01:59:41 PM »

Will there be a way to purchase the soundtrack soon? Do the early birds (those who bought Proteus during beta) get a little off? If I can't play Proteus on the bus, I'd fully enjoy listening to the music of the island :)

Should be coming in a few months! No exact timetable, but it's one of the current tasks. I'm sure we can give some discounts and freebies.

Reading this topic I'd like to chime in that with modding support coming soon I'd like to think we'd find community developed updates that would add much more content than could be done alone. My thoughts anyways.

Sure, I'm hoping modding will produce some nice stuff!
I feel a bit bad about being so strict in response to pressure to update, as from my point of view I'd just finished a crazy hard month of work at the end of a long period of up-and-down development and got a bit freaked out by demands to continue.

Anyway! Work is progressing on the "1.01" patch, which is now on the beta branch live on Steam, but the mouse and ATI FPS issues are the ones really causing problems. I'm contracting a friend to work on some of the issues, so it's not just me on it. Most of my time at the moment is spend dealing with email!

Still planning to do a bigger update later this year - basically all the top post still stands.
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Jeb

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2013, 02:04:40 PM »

I'd rather see a tightly integrated exploration 'game' than a feature full game that was thrown together because of the community pushing you guys. If you don't feel the creative flow back off of the project. The potential for Proteus is outstanding but not without that creativity that birthed it in the first place. Ask for suggestions from the community, and definitely try to bring us an open and full modding system so we can do our own updates, but don't lose what you have because of pressure from the community.
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Ed

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Re: *** Post 1.0 development plans ***
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2013, 02:55:53 PM »

Right, thanks for understanding! Tech stuff like modding (and remxing) is actually the least difficult stuff to add and could well be really satisfying too. (Apart from anything, the plan when releasing that is to release a few premade mods/remixes at the same time).

Also bear in mind (I think you already get this, but just checking) that this is conceptually complete. We can add little things here and there that add more life to it, but for new mechanics and different focus, that's the next game(s). Proteus money is basically all getting ploughed into further games (no plans to blow it on sportscars!). Anytime I seem tired about the idea of Proteus updates it's because I'm absolutely desperate to get going on new games :)

(Edit: Actually some Proteus money is getting ploughing into paying for some freelance work for updates to Proteus, as i've said elsewhere)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 03:10:08 PM by Ed »
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