|2a)"We feel a lot of games are trying to hit the ball out of the park
with one feature or another, be it their multiplayer feature, their rendered, the weapons
they have - we're really working with advanced technology here and we think it's going to
be a breakthrough product. The major feature we have over everyone else is the physics
engine" Rick Flier.
2b)Products were not judged
by how cool or fun they were, or how good a time you had playing them, but by the
implementation of the standard feature set. The same thing is happening with first-person
shooters. It's as though there is this standard rack of questions like, "What does
your water do? Do you have multi-texturing? What is your colored lighting like? List your
weapons and how are they different." And I guess it is possible to purchase the
first-person shooter construction set, but Trespasser doesn't fit into that mold
because it's not a shooter. Seamus
(um not to interrupt... but so you don't fit into the mold because you don't compete
graphically? But yet you will call out all other FPS on their Physics engine?
2c)I have to underscore that
my goal at the beginning of the project was to make a world that was consistently real
enough that it would make for a great game. I am not trying to simulate the world; nothing
goes into the game that is not fun. What would be the point? I have been doing physics for
computer games since 1993, and have produced a lot of really dull stuff. I have produced a
lot of neat stuff as well, but the point is, if it's not fun, and you are not enjoying it,
and it is not working as a game -- independent of whether or not it is a perfect
simulation -- then I don't want it. So the razor of Trespasser is, "Is this
fun?" Seamus Blackley
"The realistic physics aren't. Well, perhaps
everything on the island is made of ultra light super bouncy rubber."
"It was an interesting idea to allow objects to slide and bounce around "just
like in the real world", but in practice it's maddening. After spending five minutes
getting a box lined up just right to enable you to reach a high platform, for example,
you'll jump up on top of it, only to have it bounce and tumble away. "
"And how did the 'physics' enhance gameplay? By making jumping on stacked boxes so
frustrating you just want to give up." Newsgroup post
I don't see where they get off saying the game has "real physics"!!!!! Since
when do boxes bounce around on the ground like the ground was made of sponges!?!? Their
idea of real physics is so "unreal" that it makes the game unplayable. In the
real world you'd be able to hold yourself upright on small items by using other senses.
They should have figured out that these senses (balance, feel of air, better sight on
distance) can't be recreated yet on a computer. Thus they shoulda given a little more
input into the capabilities of the "girl". Plus I got sick of seeing boxes pass
partially through walls and the ground. What is real about that?!?
3a)"This is the first
ever fully physics based engine. This allows us to have puzzles that aren't the same old
thing, where players are wandering around stale, internal environments looking for a gold
key to open the gold door. Our physics engine allows for a very intuitive puzzle solving
process..." Rick Flier.
3b)"As far as the player
is concerned, puzzles will arrive in many different shapes and sizes. Sticking with the
door concept, if a player comes up to a door that won't open in the normal way, what do
you do? Maybe you pick up a log and smash the door. Maybe there's a window on the door you
can break, jam something through to the other side, and release the latch. A lot of these
guys worked on System Shock and that game had some limited physics interaction but this
thing (Trespasser) is fully physics based. Everything from the Dinosaurs to the doors to a
rickety little table, which you could literally knock down, turn over, and break the legs
off and use one as a weapon or whatever." Rick Flier
3c)Our puzzles. Our puzzles
are free-form, and that sounds dangerous, because it implies they might be frustrating,
but again, we have tested the hell out of them. The best moments will come when you solve
a puzzle by thinking of a motion we didn't see, or wasn't obvious according to the visual
clues we gave you. For example, we might give you a plank to get over a fence, but
instead, you spring yourself up some clever way. You might set a crate up, shoot it with a
gun onto the other end of the plank, and that flings you up over the wall. It can happen!
You will be so proud of yourself, strutting around and thinking, "I am the king of
the world!" That is where I get my joy out of puzzle solving. That, and after I solve
a puzzle, I want to be led into a new area. I want a new environment to explore, a new set
of challenges, and more stuff to do. Trespasser is all about that kind of payoff.
3d)" Most players that
we sit down in front of this game, veteran Quake players, when confronted with a door with
a handle on it, will not reach out and open the damn door. Instead they're running off
looking for a lever instead of trying the obvious. In some respects, Trespasser is like
Quake re-education school." Seamus Blackley
Trespasser as an action game with enough puzzle elements to also make it an adventure
game. "But we're working really hard not to make any kinds of puzzles that you can
solve by chance or brute force or just by searching," Grossman explains. "We try
not to have too much stuff based on coordination. You should be able to think about a
situation and use tools to solve it. It's all about using physics, the rules of this
physical world, to accomplish goals."
"Yes, though we do have keycards. It's great! You pick it up,
and it's this little object, and you stuff it down in your belt. You can see it down
there, and to use it, you grab it with your hand, hold it up, and rub it against a card
(Repeat after me, Gold Keys Suck, Gold KeyCards Rule!)
"Also annoying is the lack of an ability to climb, which seems obvious, but
supposedly would ruin some of the puzzles. " OGR's amazing, buttkissing review.
The "physics based" engine was hyped, but honestly, I would rather that the
puzzle-solving had more direct solutions than "think of something that would work in
the real world" - the interface just got in the way too much, and I wouldn't have
nearly so much trouble moving things around in reality.
If you have not touched Trespasser yet... in the first 10 seconds of the game (okay first
15 minutes unless you have the latest everything in hardware) you cannot climb up a simple
incline.... I guess the ability of your character to break a sweat is unrealistic...
Also... not able to be solved by brute force? In the "real world"
where there are "real physics" brute force is right up there in physical problem
solving. Ahh... but what "real world" do we want to emulate?
What puzzles are made out of real world physics? Get ready to stack crates...
4)"The game has a
beginning, middle and end. It's linear in that sense. But it's not linear in the way you
go about completing the game. Let's say you need to get over a fence...maybe you figure
out where they key is if it's locked, maybe it's electrified and you rip apart the metal
casing somewhere down the road and hotwire it, rip out the electrical fuses...maybe you
walk down a mile and stack some objects so you can climb over the fence...or maybe you
take a crowbar and try to rip a hole in the fence. We're really excited about the approach
we're taking and it should be interesting to see how gamers react. "
"The worse part though were the levels. At no point I felt I was on an island, there
was always one exit and one entrance"
The entire game really takes place in a single linear quest to find a phone or radio, with
no twists or turns.
OGR's inexplicable, buttkissing Review
I don't want to spoil anything, but the last level and the ending video rank among the
most anti-climactic and disappointing in recent memory.
OGR's wacky, buttkissing Review
The game is divided into levels, which are fairly linear in that they have one entrance
and one exit and you can't ever return to a previous level.
OGR's "Mr. Spielberg is on line 1 and would like to cast the author of the Trespasser
review in Indiana Jones 4", buttkissing Review
The outer edges where you run into an invisible force field are actually quite easy to
get to... no natural wall blocking you... no that would not be "cool" or
"natural" instead merely having you bump up against a totally invisible
forcefield is much better....
not your standard pathfinding gimmick AI that other companies claim as revolutionary...our
dino's have motivations and different factors that alter their behavior. One dinosaur
might have a higher level of fear than another one...some dinosaurs are hungry, some are
thirsty, some have curiosity factors, we have somewhere around fifteen different aspects
that make up the dinosaur mind, all of which will effect the way they interact with
you." Rick Flier
"We are setting up one of the final fights now, where you
come across three Raptors eating a downed Stegosaurus. They look around, and as soon as
they see you, they go for you, just to kill you, and it's a really difficult encounter. Of
course, that's a situation where your brain just doesn't matter. "
So this is different AI? Or is the fact of the 7 dinos only 1 type can actually
fight you? Is that cool?
"I though DOOM did a better job at creating AI."
"You end up on the top of a mountain, it;'s fenced in with a sheer drop outside
the fence. there is only one entrance. There are three smallish building and some boxes.
Nothing else. I walked behind the buildings, nothing there until, and I was watching the
entrance, when you walk toward the middle of the area suddenly out from behind the
buildings run two raptors and a baby t-rex (or a really big raptor.) How the fuck did they
manage to teleport up here. Never mind the hordes of raptors who just managed to climb up
the side of mountain and are just waiting for you at various intervals. For a game that
hypes it realism this just throw it all out of the window."
6)On what system will it run....
"The game is broken down into manageable chunks for us! We have
nine levels, and each level has close to 15,000 objects in it, and is 2x2 square
kilometers in size. That's just an extraordinary amount of data. Our clipping plane is
close to 2 kilometers, so you'll see 35 to 50 million polygons at all times. To do that
requires an editor that is par excellence, so we use 3D-Max plugged into an incredibly
stoked machine, and we have an export process that boils all of this down to something you
can actually run with a good framerate on a Pentium 166 with 32 megs. So the editor is an
amazing, prodigious piece of technology, and we have divided the island into these
workable areas. At first, we had this idea that it would be one, big space, but our data
structures couldn't handle that, though our original memory manager could. Still, why beat
yourself? " Seamus Blackley
"What happened is we struggled to figure how to make it
better on hardware systems, because like I said, in order to draw the outside, you have to
use primitives and rendering techniques that are just not supported by today's hardware.
The current generation of cards is designed around Quake II. Period. That's what
the hardware does; it plays Quake II. We are interested in drawing something newer
and more innovative. Figuring out how to hack the hardware to do it is difficult, but once
the hardware guys saw what we were up to, they got enormously excited, and now we have to
turn them away because we don't have time to talk them through all this stuff. We have a
hardware implementation that, in the words of one of the biggest card manufacturers, is
"a showcase of this generation of hardware." It does things you have never seen
before in hardware, which is very cool. "
"Take a look at Battlezone, which is a great looking game, or a Tomb
Raider which is also great looking, but both worlds are very sparse with objects. We can
easily have a setting that has over 40,000 trees being rendered on the fly, in software
mode. It's real easy to get lost on our island because the entire place is so choked with
vegetation...that's the kind of atmosphere we wanted to create"
"Everything you'll be seeing today is software driven. Right
here you're looking at at least 40,000 trees which we can render with ease. We're using a
whole bunch of new algorithms to draw the outside world and we're running into some snags
supporting 3D cards. We think we have most of them worked out. I went to give a big talk
at Winhack a few weeks ago to basically bust the jaws of the hardware manufacturers and
let them know that, yes, it's very pretty to draw interior scenes like Quake - a clipping
plane at twenty-feet is great and all, but we want 5 kilometers. The problem is, the cards
currently available are constructed to run games currently available, and we don't think
the consumer wants that. We feel they want something they've never seen before. "
I saw the screen shots at AGN and the graphics look absolutely terrible...what
happened? Did they rush this game out? I saw the brontosaurus<sp> and the neck
looked so simplistic...so angular...like nice texture map dressing an ugly model...
Trespasser = prime example of overhyped underachieving software. What was that about
over 100 trees rendered even on a low end pentium? This game runs like crap on my p2 333
with a monster 3d. I got the game thinking it was going to look like the screenshots on
the pages of PC gamer. I'm afraid to say I am very disappointed. Let this be a
lesson to future game makers to deliver games that work the way there are advertised.
Chances are you aren't doing anything wrong. The graphics *are* that awful...
The rendering engine is no beauty either. With its poorly chosen LODs (level of detail)
and mip-mapping horizons, objects are constantly jumping around and changing appearance,
and textures are endlessly swimming all over the screen. The effect is nausea-inducing.
it almost requires tomorrow's hardware to run well
OGR's odd, buttkissing review
Even people with fast computers can expect some areas to slow down quite a lot, especially
with "only" 64MB of RAM. I played mostly on a P2-450 with 64MB, and quite often
the game would freeze for 3-4 seconds of disk access when I fired a new gun, or turned
quickly in a dense area.
OGR's surprise ending, buttkissing review
Read the newsgroups... there are too many posts of it not running and/or looking like
7)Is it fun?
Quake is a great game, and all the 3D shooters are very
alluring, but Austin and I feel that interactivity with a game world is really, amazingly
fun. We have testers who come here and spend two hours putting planks together, floating
them out into the water, jumping on them, throwing stuff in, knocking things down, and
playing with the world . It's unbelievably, incredibly fun to do things like that. On top
of that, you haven't seen anything until you are holding a shotgun and shooting at a
Raptor, and he jumps on top of you, knocks the shotgun out of your hands, stands on your
chest, and starts eating your face! That is just outrageous! You just don't see that in
other games. Blackley
"Oh yeah. We did a lot of research. A lot of our artists aren't
game-players in the traditional sense. They went, they looked at these plants, and they
reproduced them." Rick Flier
We have spent a tremendous amount of time making the interface
easy to use -- it weighed heavily upon us. We call the first level in our game the Quake
re-education camp! [Laughs] For instance, there is a door, and Quake players just
stand there hitting the space bar, when all they have to do is open the door. So we've put
a tremendous amount of time and effort into the interface in order to make it really,
really intuitive to use. Now, much like a fighting game, your success is going to be
directly related to the skill you acquire using that interface. There are five buttons,
and you have a hand. You can pick things up, manipulate them, and put things together. You
are not going to get it all at first, but we are not going to require you to do it all at
"I want the puzzles to be deep but not
arbitrary," Grossman says. "The game world is full of objects and you can use
them, but no object has a special purpose. The idea is that every object has its own
properties and you figure out what to do with it."
This wide-open approach does have its limitations.
For example, the game lacks fire and explosions, and there are no shovels (you can be sure
some gamers would try to dig to China) or chisels (otherwise players might be tempted to
spend hours trying to break through walls). You also cannot fill a bucket with water and
make 100 trips to try and flood a room. "There are a lot of things we don't
have," Blackley admits. "We only have things that absolutely, 100 percent of the
time, without exception, work exactly as they should with everything else."
"After the 20th or so raptor kill it got alittle dull and with even more of the same
for the rest of the game it wore even thinner. The occasional 'where's the coloured
keycard' didn't really help. But if you get off on nothing but runing around shooting
raptors, more power to you. However after all the claims by Dreamworks that this was big
step forward in gamedesign and gameplay I was expecting a little more than Quake 2 with
But perhaps the worst shortcoming is in its "robot arm" style interface.
Oh this is always the most subjective of calls... all I will add is this.
If this idea of real world problem solving is your idea of fun, I am coming out with a
game this Jan, 1st. Its called Murray & Sons 1998 Corporate Taxes.
The winner gets the feeling of accomplishment knowing we are going to
file their entry with the IRS...
Quick "I told you so" from erik:
Here's my E3 report from way back in may:
After reading OGRs massively positive preview of this game, I was really
looking forward to seeing it (moreso than Half-Life). Now that Ive seen it, I can
only conclude that A) OGR played a different version than the one at E3 or B) the OGR
staff is huffing gas. The idea of a real physics engine is pretty revolutionary but the
execution feels like some kind of crappy VR demo. Spielberg makes about 40 million dollars
a day, so Im assuming Trespasser was running on at least a 400 with lots of RAM and
IT WAS STILL CHOPPY. There was no real fogging, but many landscape elements would
noticeably pop into existence and then kind of jump around until they eventually left your
field of view or, for some reason, became stable. The engine had some cool features, but,
if the demo is any indication, theres no game there yet. Also, apparently you play a
little retarded girl who says "Mommy I found something" every time a dinosaur
comes into view, even if its the same dinosaur she saw 2 seconds ago. Im sure
this will be removed in the final game, but maybe it could have been taken out of the demo
Extra points to Trespasser for having the bitterest, most uninterested guy demoing
it. Im I big fan of bitter, but cmon man, if the game sucks at least pretend
to be excited about it.