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The Dream Continues?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Tyron, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. Tyron

    Tyron Crash Landed

    Hey all! I've been stumbling upon SOA once every while for the last year or two, though I guess you couldn't quite call me an active follower of the project. But anyhow!
    I ended up watching most of the Bens update videos on youtube and was surprised by the similarities in the vision of how a voxel game could be done compared to my own.
    The one thing I found severly lacking is a plan - in a video in spring 2013 he talked about adding crafting very soon, and it is still just a prototype of an engine.

    Which brings me to a project that I have been working on - Vintage Story. It's not quite the direction SOA goes, but perhaps I can still spark your interest.


    Implemented, working and immediately usable features that are Similar to the ones in SOA:
    • Landform/Biome generation base on rainfall and temperature maps
    • Large worlds with a double precision render engine
    • Colored Lights! (As a matter of fact, it is heavily inspired by the SOA Colored Lights article, but I fixed the color attenuation problem)
    • A few pretty shader effects (hdr basics, fxaa, bloom, god rays and color grading)
    • Powerful tree generator using just a dozen of input variables fully configurable through external json files
    • Beautiful terrain generation that is fully configurable through external json files
    • All blocks available in the game are also fully configurable through external json files. Can freely add and remove blocks without programming anything.
    • Multithreaded Engine

    Some of the VS features that SOA does not have (to my knowledge):
    • Multiplayer
    • Basic Crafting and other survival basics (I'm currently working on survival)
    • WorldEdit features (similar to the MC mods VoxelSniper and WorldEdit)
    • Custom block models with a very easy to use model editor
    • Items (i.e. Pickaxe) and blocks you can interact with
    • An extensive Client and Server Mod API for modders who can write C#
    • A lead developer that already has a part time job to pay the bills, 15+ years of experience in software engineering, 4 years experience in minecraft modding, a clear plan and still a lot of motivation ;-)

    Some features Vintage Story does not have:
    • LOD, so max view distance on a beast PC is probably limited to 2km
    • High performance sand physics, though a basic system would be quick to implement
    • Explosions (pretty high on my todolist though)
    • High performance water physics. We have one but it is not (yet) optimized for speed.
    • Planet / Star system rendering. Thats beyond the scope of our project right now.
    • Extremly tall worlds. World height is configurable, but limited by the CPU. Still can go way higher than minecraft.
    If you are interested, come check out some more clips and screenshots on www.vintagestory.at
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2016
    Tyron, Dec 12, 2016
    Last edited by Tyron; at Dec 12, 2016
    ColdFuseon likes this.
  2. ColdFuseon

    ColdFuseon Lost in Space

    • Contributor
    Nice man. I'll check it out, pretty interesting.
  3. _zombiehunter

    _zombiehunter Artist & Designer

    • Dev Member
    Tyron, I don’t know what exactly you want to tell us with "if you are interested". If you mean we should dump SoA in vavor of another voxel game, then I can give you a clear no. We also do have plans, a story and a vision for the game, the only reason why the game is lacking progress over the last months is due to the core team being very busy with uni or their jobs. The game primarily lacks behind on the programming front, so all we really need is an experienced programmer who can spend a reasonable amount of his free time coding the game.

    Also, SoA is not just about developing a voxel game better than Minecraft, it’s about crash-landing on an entire voxel planet with realistic proportions and about surviving there, progressing and eventually visiting other planets and moons while learning about the story of the game. You said planet and star system rendering is beyond the scope of your project, which I would consider being one of the most fundamental features of SoA.

    If you actually meant you want to help us out developing our game, then I can’t really say how the rest of the team would feel about that, but definitely contact us with more information about you …
    You seem to be a very motived and skilled programmer ;)
  4. Tyron

    Tyron Crash Landed

    Late reply, but better late than never (I hope ^_^)

    I apologize, I've worded my post not in the most polite way. You do of course have your own set of plans and vision for the game. What I wanted to point out is your ever growing scope for the game that forces you to work on the engine instead of gameplay. This project is already 6 years old and the engine doesn't even seem half finished, if I understand that correctly. And building really good and polished gameplay is the majority of the work if you want to make a really good game. So even if you would manage to make it with 50% engine work, 50% gameplay, judging by the past speed of development, it would take you another 6 years to complete the game.

    What I'm saying is, if you want to build a game as you described, you don't really need procedural star rendering, parallax displacement, eyelight adaption effects, or planet orbits to make a really good game. These features are all surely nice to have, but have little to no value to the player if there is no core gameplay loop. You are building a fancy game engine, but not much of a game.

    Just my 2 cents. In the end its entirely up to you how you want to work, but focusing on gameplay first might get you to your goals faster :)

    And yea, I'll be sticking with working on VS for the time being ^_^
    Since my lost post we've added *a lot* of gameplay updates and we're now very close to having a gameplay experience comparable to the MC Mod TerraFirmaCraft and hell a lot of modding possibilities

    Tyron, Aug 12, 2018
    Last edited by Tyron; at Aug 12, 2018
  5. PsychoticLeprechaun

    PsychoticLeprechaun Designer & Web Developer

    • Dev Member
    It looks like you've made quite a lot of progress! Glad for anyone able to make significant contributions to the ecosystem of sandbox games. It is true that development on our end has been slow, well non-existent in any end-user sense for maybe nearing three years. However most of the passion we have is for the game we've been designing so I don't imagine any of the core team would still be any more interested. Of course, that said I do hope some in the community are able to get some fun out of similar games that are making more progress than SoA, this or otherwise!

    On the note of development focus, you're not wrong that the scope got very large very quick, but that wasn't necessarily a bad thing even though it meant no finished product in the timescales we originally imagined. We all learned a hell of a lot as a result that we just wouldn't have otherwise. Though ofc that is a personal opinion, can't speak for everyone!

    Since we open-sourced SoA we have actually made some degree of progress, and once more have the game compiling and running even on Linux. Really I've personally been continuing in that vein for learning purposes more than anything for now. Though hopefully at some point in the future we will have the time, resources and focused passion to bring SoA back to life - or that maybe the open-source repository just takes off and goes the full mile.

    I wish you luck with your game, and I may check it out when I'm not mid-job application (taking a five minute break from writing some dull self-congratulatory bullcrap).
    OfficialCoding and Tyron like this.
  6. OfficialCoding

    OfficialCoding Crash Landed

    • Member
    IDK how many people are still here, but I still come back and check SoA every week or two. It's kinda sad seeing pretty much everyone gone but I guess idk. Just thought I'd share this. I do miss Ben's tutorial series though (hint hint) :)
  7. PsychoticLeprechaun

    PsychoticLeprechaun Designer & Web Developer

    • Dev Member
    Some of us are still about, I don't check in on the forums as often as I should. We're more available via the Discord we set up. Do drop by and say hey!

    As it stands, development isn't super quick but I've been doing a fair bit on the UI - rewritten it to be much more powerful, introduced even better script integration and working on loading UI from YAML as we speak. Other progress mostly has centered on improving the development experience so that the codebase itself is more accessible.
  8. Potatocat

    Potatocat Back Into Space

    • Member
    I'm still here!!! :D
    OfficialCoding likes this.
  9. ColdFuseon

    ColdFuseon Lost in Space

    • Contributor
    I'm still here too
  10. Mr-M

    Mr-M Tester

    • Tester
    im still here three :D
  11. Snipecoolbunny

    Snipecoolbunny Back Into Space

    • Member
    here. been a while
    Potatocat likes this.
  12. PsychoticLeprechaun

    PsychoticLeprechaun Designer & Web Developer

    • Dev Member
    Hey guys! Another while since my last stop by. I've been less active the last bit due to PhD applications & moving flats. Hoping to do more soon (just gotta write a research proposal first), especially wanna get YAML UI stuff finished and revamp our font rendering (it's a bit janky) after that.

    Once more, do stop by on the discord as linked above! We're all about on there way more frequently. :D
    _zombiehunter and OfficialCoding like this.
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Forum Title Date
General Discussion The Dream Oct 18, 2016

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