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Dune 2: The Golden Path (formerly Dune 2: The Sleeper Has Awakened)


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Hey everyone,

I realized today that I hadn't visited this site in quite some time, so I dropped in to check around.  Turns out some people here were actively following the project and I've been chastised for not announcing the changes here (knew I forgot something), so without further ado:

http://drackbolt.blogspot.com (dev page)

http://dune2.krizik.com (forums)

Focus is on multiplayer and development is very strong.  Should be a relatively stable network release before 2010.  No single player other than skirmish mode against AI oppponents (in other words no campaign, which is what most people think of for SP).  Many enhancements coming in the next release.

Cheers,

Drackbolt

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No single player other than skirmish mode against AI oppponents (in other words no campaign, which is what most people think of for SP).

Skirmish is a lot better than nothing at all ;D Especially since your game has been focused on battles, rather than on story, from the very beginning when it was purely multiplayer. I must say that the crucial difference of D2TGP from other Dune II "clones" lies in the extremely well thought-out and balanced game mechanics. I like the way you introduced unique new features (like the unit selection method different from the usual "rubber band") with increased playing efficiency in mind.

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I agree skirmish is needed... My AI is not fantastic, but they're good enough to beat you up if you stand still.

Great to hear you like the interface.  It's definitely not mainstream design, so most people love it or hate it.  I keep the onus on the player to do things correctly in most cases, because I hate interfaces that "help" too much and cause mistakes.

Next version should be out within a week (and will probably be followed by a bugfix release a week after).  I'm testing some final changes out now.  I may or may not have the wherewithal to post about it here right away, as I have a lot to do before Xmas when I leave for a long holiday.  At the least it will be up on the dev page.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody (to whom it applies)!

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Great to hear you like the interface.  It's definitely not mainstream design, so most people love it or hate it.  I keep the onus on the player to do things correctly in most cases, because I hate interfaces that "help" too much and cause mistakes.

It's nice to see that you pay so much attention to seemingly minuscule details. Many developers would have been content with implementing an already widely used method in their projects, while your attitude shows that the entire game has been thoroughly designed in every aspect, not just unit balance or side differences.

Next version should be out within a week (and will probably be followed by a bugfix release a week after).  I'm testing some final changes out now.

Good to hear that ;D

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Hmm... I played for a while, but the controls are actually really annoying IMO. The shortcut keys are different than in Dune II, the command buttons are only indicators of the shortcuts, and not actual buttons, and if I order a unit to attack one specific enemy it ignores the command because there are closer enemies to attack around it...

Not to mention, right click scroll deselects the units :(

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Like I said... It's not typical.  See the FAQ section in the forums for more info on how to control the game.  It works very well once you get used to it (in my opinion better than other RTS games), if you have the patience to do so.  Not everyone will.

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Tried it out, and its very nice. Actually, the command interface is quite good once you get used to it. The only thing that seemed weird to me is that the selected units or buildings fade in and out constantly, making them practically invisible at certain points. Personally I'd rather have had a flashing mask over selected items, so that it doesn't look like they disappear and then reappear on the battlefield :)

if I order a unit to attack one specific enemy it ignores the command because there are closer enemies to attack around it...

Heh, you haven't played Horde: The Northern Wind (a Russian Warcraft lookalike, and a very well done one IMO): the units there almost never follow exact orders in the heat of battle. It adds some realism to the game ;D

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Thanks for the feedback.

My two favorite modern RTS games (which I would actually call "Real Time Strategy", and does not include Starcraft and other hybrid action/RPG games) are Total Annihilation and Axis and Allies.  If you've played those you should be able to see a fair amount of my inspiration.  There is also an older hybrid game called Dark Omen that I think is just fantastic, although perhaps less of an inspiration.

I think what's missing from most games is the chaos of battle at the front lines.  I can't stand seeing people able to do things like the Dragoon shuffle in Starcraft, and watching units scout entire enemy bases in Dawn of War before getting killed is completely aggravating to me.  A suicidal movement should end in suicide and formation at the start of battle should be absolutely critical.  It's just a matter of personal preference in gaming.  I'm a control-freak so I designed the interface and combat model to appeal to me. ;)

P.S.  The lack of graphical mask for selected units was an old design choice to try and cut down on screen draws.  It's probably not even necessary to avoid it anymore so maybe I'll change it in the future.

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Heh, you haven't played Horde: The Northern Wind (a Russian Warcraft lookalike, and a very well done one IMO): the units there almost never follow exact orders in the heat of battle. It adds some realism to the game ;D

Well I wanted my sonic tank to take out that particularly nasty rocket launcher in the back, and preferable blast away some stuff in between in the process, but it insisted on attacking the closest unit. Not very logical, for a sonic tank.

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P.S.  The lack of graphical mask for selected units was an old design choice to try and cut down on screen draws.  It's probably not even necessary to avoid it anymore so maybe I'll change it in the future.

Well, maybe a "pulsating" change of brightness of the selected item would do. It's the occasional invisibility and transparency that make the current method of indication seem weird to me (as if those items became insubstantial or something... :))

A nice touch regarding item selection is in the above-mentioned Horde: The Northern Wind game. The color of the selection box ("brackets", actually) is used to indicate health status (as opposed to the Warcraft series where the color of the selection box/circle indicates allied/enemy/neutral units), and it gradually changes from bright-green through shades of yellow and orange to bright-red according to the amount of health. The shape of the box, on the other hand, indicated alliance status (player-owned, allied, neutral and enemy units all had differently shaped "brackets").

By the way, Drackbolt, since you did such a nice job with Dune II graphics (lightning effects, smooth flying animation etc. etc.), maybe this would be of any interest to you? It's an abandoned Dune II-inspired project that was under development back in 1993, but never got completed. It has an elaborate graphics pack that is free for download ("Use them, abuse them," as the author himself put it), and some nice ideas in the roadmap (described on that page). Maybe you'll make any use of this? :)

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Looks interesting, unfortunately the link is broken.  I was able to download it by removing the space between the words though.  The art is pretty neat.  If the owner really doesn't care about its usage I might actually consider using it for a modified project, with the goal of selling it some day for a buck or two.  Thanks for passing it along.

Your comment about colored bracket boxes... actually if you look at older versions (like very old) you'll see that exact thing put in place.  However, I think any kind of box around the units or floating health bars is hideous.  Can't stand seeing it in the field.  If I do anything I might make the units shift color somehow, if it's not any more distracting than the current indication.

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Well, then it's back to the old dilemma of making something easy to see vs. making something that isn't fugly.  I'd like to use a "soft" halo of some sort but I'm pretty sure people would complain about it being hard to see, especially if you happen to be a color that's close to the current health color (or permanent selection color).  I don't think anything will be ideal but what I use now is going to be hard to improve upon.  I'll keep thinking about it though.

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That's a matter of preference. Besides, with relatively small-sized unit graphics, the actual units can very well get obscured by the selectors, especially in the case of a large group of units that stand close together.

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Then larger units obscure the selector.

I've decided not to use anything other than what I currently have as a permanent selection indicator, for the reasons already given.  However, I will be adding something that may please other people looking for more of an "at-a-glance" idea of their army's health.

At any rate, I'm sure this has gone far enough off-topic for us to give it up now. ;)

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  • 5 months later...

Just to get this thread back on track...

Up to version 1.88 now, with solid multiplayer and up to 6 players.  The interface has also been modified to default to a style much more common in today's RTS games.

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  • 5 months later...

Still going very strong. Many improvements, up to 1.1.09 for both Windows and Linux now (changed number versioning a while back, so 1.88 was really 1.0.88). :)

I'll check it out. Nice to know the project is developing actively. Have you changed the "fade-in-fade-out" animation for selected items to something different? I remember it could become quite annoying.

[Edit] I've looked through the changelog since v1.0.88 (the last one I have played), and noticed that the selection method, indeed, had been long changed. In general, the list of changes and innovations is very impressive, so keep up the good work! :laugh:

Edited by MrFlibble
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