STELLAR PREY™

GrangerHub is proud to announce the beginning of the new Free and Open Source game project, Stellar Prey. GrangerHub’s STELLAR PREY™ game is a first person strategy shooter that chronicles the conflict between human technology vs extraterrestrial nature, a conflict waged by construction, team coordination, and epic combat. Help shape the course of your species together towards the top of the stellar food chain, or be the prey together on the road towards extinction. Which path will you and your species choose to take? It’s a universal tale of survival vs death, and of order vs chaos, as old as life itself.

Stellar Prey’s engine uses the latest version of @TheDushan’s game engine OpenWolf, and Stellar Prey’s game play will continue where Tremulous 1.3 will leave off. While a major feature of Tremulous 1.3 is legacy support and backwards compatibility, Stellar Prey breaks much of the backwards compatibility (although there would still initially be support for the old Tremulous assets as placeholders as new assets are made designed to take full advantage of the new engine), and incorporates new features that otherwise could not be implemented. Breaking backwards compatibility also allows for in general much cleaner code, faster implementation, and exceeding a lot of limits.

The latest OpenWolf engine, while still being largely based on idTech3, brings to the table numerous new features and enhancements that in many respects are on par with modern engines, including but not limited to support for proper physics, support for much more advanced graphics, potentially support for new platforms like Android and iOS, support for new input devices, updated network code including support for up to 96 players, a cleaner code base to start from, and more. A more detailed feature list will be posted in a subsequent announcement.

While we will be including a “Legacy” game mode based on Tremulous 1.1 vanilla game play, expect Stellar Prey to take some new creative directions, including new game modes (Competitive and Casual), and at some point a single player campaign. The GrangerHub forums will be undergoing some reorganization for Stellar Prey. The initial release of Stellar Prey’s code will be published shortly and links will be provided thereafter. Updates on development will be posted as we progress.

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Nice! And guess who just spoke to me — the Truth itself!

The Truth is giving you its official permission to take all the models and other assets from Unvanquished (only if you wish to do so, of course). Unvanquished has turned its back on the Truth and thus doesn’t deserve them.

The problem with Unvanquished is that it doesn’t scale down — it’s not fun with low player counts, and thus the player base cannot grow naturally from a small number of active players. “It’s intentional, this is a team game, we’ll advertise it when it’s done”, they said — and look where Unvanquished is now…

The Truth begs you to not repeat their mistakes:

  • Gameplay needs to be fun at low player counts, especially when the teams are unbalanced (new vs experienced players, 2vs1, 3vs2).

  • Aliens need to be approachable (i.e. replace the floor CHEATbite with something sane).

  • There needs to be a cooperative training server where both new and experienced players can play and have fun together (possibly with dynamic difficulty scaling). Unvanquished used to have one, but sadly it’s gone now.

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Top priority is fun game play and good overall player experience with the engine (from installation, to maintenance, to actually playing the game). We’ll have both ready relatively quickly (we don’t necessarily have everything crossed off our wish list right a way, just something fun and solid as a foundation to build on), and at that point we can start marketing right away, even using placeholder assets in the beginning. Eye candy is a nice bonus, it can help attract new players into the door, and we will be using at least some of the eye candy potential of OpenWolf from the beginning. But still game play is king, and it is important that new players have a fun first experience in order for us to retain them, otherwise most likely we lose that player forever.

We’ll consider the Unv assets, their licensing and formats certainly allow us to use them, but we’ll have to see if they would fit the style of this new game, maybe at least some might. We also have some other assets made not too long ago we could use as placeholders. But regardless ultimately the final assets should be designed for the game play (rather than designing the game play for the assets).

We do have two ported maps (ported by @TheDushan ) ready to go with new fancy assets, utcs ud by @yalt , and eXcs by @Odin . TheDushan also started porting Vega by Ingar, but that port needs some fixing. I think as some more default maps it would be worth porting Niveus, Nexus6, and Karith as well.

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This is great and all, but I do have something I would like to say about it.
One of the biggest “selling points” tremulous had was its dynamic gameplay, no two games were alike, and you could learn new ways to play. What I believe killed tremulous was stagnation, and that the element of variable gameplay faded over time. Players learned the absolute BEST strategies for games, and experimentation could not compete, there was simply no better way to play at that point.

For example: ATCS, the best strategies include base camping and corner killing, CHANGE MY MIND :tm: . Any new player who plays differently cannot compete with these strats, and will get bored, or rage-quit, only leaving old players who CAN compete. New players in trem also cannot learn to build the best base, such as the infamous ATCS scrim base :tm:, or they will face a !denybuild because they “made us looooose, ur such a n00b”.

If you start off your new game with glorified eye-candy trem maps (utcs ud, and eX), and a few old players from trem, you have instantly reintroduced that stagnation into your game, therefore I suggest that gameplay be balanced different from trem, and to not start the game off with these maps before you try to bring into completely new players, otherwise your game might die. Such things could be introduced later.

This is just to start discussion, and not a hate speech, just something to consider.

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@Auriga , you bring up an interesting point.

The first completed game mode we’ll have in Stellar Prey is the Legacy mode, mainly because that’s very close to completion on Trem 1.3 (vanilla mode), and that would allow us to attract a lot of existing and old trem players to start playing with and participating in the game right away. While I think this Legacy mode would be more bearable to new players than previous 1.1 vanillaish QVMs, since this Legacy mode is a lot more polished and has misc minor improvements including various things that prevent a lot of griefing and/or accidents, it still has issues that are fundamental to that game play itself, that can’t be changed without becoming completely different game play. This is where the Competative and Casual game modes come in.

The Competative game mode would be the completed version of the Trem 1.3 Swirl mode. We still have some major features that haven’t been implemented yet, that especially related to building, that allows for more comprehensive strategic building similar to the old unlimitedish build point kind of mods, but with the fundamental issues fixed. We have and will have a lot of features in the Competitive mode that prevent camping, and encourage a lot of intense action through out the match. Not to mention, already this game mode works ok with low player counts, even 1 v 1 is playable, and the quality should improve more as we complete the remaining features of Competitive mode. From testing so far, it looks like existing trem maps would go well with this game mode, including the larger trem maps.

Finally there is the Casual mode. I believe that in regards to new players, this game mode would be the most ideal for them to start on. The basic idea is that this game play would be slower pace (perhaps something like half speed), have greater focus on strategy than Competative, and allow for a generally chill environment. The build system for the Casual mode would include automatic self spawning forward bases, which includes the benefit of taking the pressure off of new players in regards to building experience. The other thing is, because of the slower pace, new smaller maps would have to be made for this game mode.

Here is the overall plan for the initial release:

  1. Finish setting up and publish the repos with a placeholder game logic.
  2. Setup the infrastructure (master server, updater, etc).
  3. Finish porting over the 1.3 game logic, have the Legacy game mode ready to go, and begin public play testing.
  4. Finish implementing the bot system.
  5. Finish implementing various remaining admin tools.
  6. Finish the Competative game mode.
  7. Implement the Casual game mode and make some new maps for it.
  8. Fix up the menus.
  9. Implement a training mode that can be played locally in the client with bots, and accessed from the main menu.
  10. Start actively advertising/marketing to new players.

The order of that plan might vary a bit depending on the progress, also if we get more developers to join in sooner than later, we can finish those tasks sooner than later.

Currently the game builds natively on Windows and on Linux. We need someone to fixup the macos build.

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Also, maybe make aliens actually beautiful, maybe that would make new players more likely to relate to them and play as them, like with an iridescence shader too?

While in my experience the opposite was true, Unvanquished statistics actually show humans are played way more by new players than aliens, but then I mean, no wonder: ugly, dull, barnacle-encrusted, exposed brains, etc…

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One of the best news since a long time! I’m so sick of all those stay-compatible-with-everything games!
Since you’re using the OpenWolf engine, will STELLAR PREY™ support ragdoll physics for your character models?
Anyway, I wish you all the best!

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That is a given at a certain point, since we do have basic support for bullet physics in the engine to start with. :slight_smile:

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