Welcome to another news update, in which we feature an update of the Eternal Outcasts Team. In the next 5 days, this news post will feature 5 additional updates, each released with each new day, concluding in 6 updates. On Saturday, September 18th, the final day, you will be presented the playable open Outcast 1.1 version for Crysis Wars. We'll leave the words to the fellas from Eternal Outcast, since you will have enough to read in the next days. Have fun!
Oasis 1.1 is finally released!
Where to download it?
You can download it from ModDB (other mirrors following during the day)
I need more information!
For more information on the release, please also visit our release posting on ModDB.
I want to join the oOC team!
Then go over to the Jobs section on our site and see what we have to offer!
Oasis 1.1 is great but I want to give you a more detailed feedback!
No problem, we prepared a small survey exactly for that purpose. We would really appreciate additional feedback after you played through Oasis 1.1! And if you have any further questions, ideas or critics - join our discussion over at the Boards.
Thanks for playing open Outcast!
Countdown: 1 - Pre-Torrent release
The fellas of the Eternal Outcasts Team have just released the pre-download Torrent on Gameupdates.org.
To download this torrent, you will need a Torrent client which can be found here
Countdown: 2 - Dialogues, Voice Acting and Localization
Voice Acting and lipsync
All dialogues in Oasis 1.1 feature voice acting and lipsync! While this meant some considerable additional work, we're sure it will make the game world more vivid and atmospheric. Sample, anyone?[videoext=660,396]http://www.youtube.com/v/oXqY0PcGsFQ?fs=1&[/videoext]
Our Dialogue System has experienced a steady refinement process since we presented a first prototype back in March this year. For starters: Crysis Wars doesn't allow the effective implementation of nonlinear dialogues, so we designed our own system based on XML files.
Visible improvements include support for Depth-of-Field effects and tweaked camera perspectives (thanks for the feedback on those!). Under the hood the system now supports instanced dialogues (what means you can play more than one at a time - will become interesting in busy streets as soon as the AI system is mature enough), localization, and different dialogue types, e.g. some that take control of the camera and some that rotate and move the actors in a proper distance.
Here is some good news for our non-English-speaking audience: Oasis 1.1 will feature French and German subtitles and journal entries!
To ensure a good quality, at least 2 translators are working on each language and the other French-/German-speaking developers are also looking over the text from time to time. The translation process is managed using an online service called Web translate it, that has useful features such as comments, listing untranslated lines, proofreading and of course exporting the data into a format that can be used ingame.
While Crysis Wars offers a localization system based on spreadsheets we... ah you know how that goes - we created our own one ;)
If you'd like to see open Outcast translated to your language, and think you may help us out there, don't hesitate to check out the job listings!
Countdown: 3 - Camera-, Quest- and Interaction System
Being a First-Person shooter, the usual camera setting in Crysis Wars is the first person perspective. Since we are developing an Action-Adventure, where exploring the game world plays an important role in the gameplay, we weren't happy about this and decided to implement our own third person camera system that supports different zoom modes and an additional aiming mode.
If you played our first tech demo you may have noticed an unpleasant behaviour of the third person camera inside of buildings - in fact the camera wasn't smart enough to change the distance to the player depending on surrounding obstacles, walls and the like. This has been solved in Oasis 1.1 (although there is still some room for improvement till the final release) so that you needn't fear to explore the interior of buildings or other narrow places in the levels anymore.
You want some video demonstration? Wait till Saturday (or Friday for the torrent release) and you can try it out yourself!
While Crysis Wars comes with an inbuilt mission system, the source code of it sadly isn't included in the SDK. Since our requirements to a mission/quest system went above it, we decided to design our own one from scratch.
During the development of Oasis 1.1, that includes quite a couple of quests with varying complexity, we were able to test whether the ideas on paper translated into a proper workflow when it came to implementing real stuff. Eventually we found one or two things that will be changed after Oasis 1.1 since because of the huge amount of quests open Outcast will have the implementation of them has to be as easy and reliable as possible.
Interacting with the game world
Most games today have separate key bindings for firing your weapon, jumping and using things or NPCs. The original Outcast used another approach: There was one single interaction key that changed it's function depending on the context. If you approached another character for example, a head icon would appear in the interaction indicator area of the HUD telling you that the action button would start a conversation. If your weapon was drawn, a gun icon would appear indicating the action button would trigger it, etc...
We liked this idea so there will be only one action button in Oasis 1.1 - the currently mapped function is indicated in the HUD as well. Jumping will have a separate key though, since we agreed that especially in the hecticness of a fierce battle accidently jumping instead of shooting can be pretty annoying. You see we don't simply copy-and-paste the gameplay of Outcast, but take the freedom to evaluate it, compare it with today's standards, and possibly even change it.
Oasis 1.1 should be an opportunity for us to get your feedback on whether we succeeded in creating a smooth and enjoyable gameplay while it still feels like a sequel to Outcast.
Countdown: 4 - Travelling System
In the original Outcast, the different regions of the game's world were connected through a network of gates, called daokas. Their origin was a mystery, yet the locals happily used them to travel between distant places in the blink of an eye. The player was free to visit the regions as he liked which created an amazing atmosphere of freedom - especially in a time where virtually any game proceeded level after level in a linear fashion.
Naturally, this feature shouldn't be missing in a proper sequel. However, we had serious doubts about the possibility of realising such a Crysis modification using only the SDK. Therefore, this issue was moved to the top of the programming priority list, as it wouldn't have made sense to continue development if this hadn't worked out.
Finally, our effort paid off: You will be able to travel freely between our two regions in Oasis 1.1!
This level is created in the style of Talanzaar, a desert region with noticeable oriental influence. You will have to help the inhabitants of a small village to find out what happened to the water of their oasis. It's the larger of the two playable regions and also the namesake of our series of technology demo.
If you already tried the first tech demo you will notice the newly added mountains and all kinds of smaller improvements on textures and such. This time the water of the oasis is a habitat for a few sankaar (fish) as well. You may also find one or two surprises...
If you just can't wait for the official release this Saturday, you'll be able to download a torrent version on the day before. By doing this, you'll also help us keep the server pressure down on release day.
Countdown: 5 - Teaser Trailer
Our second tech demo is arriving just as we didn't announce a couple of weeks ago. Huh? Right. Better to release something without announcing it than the other way round, don't you think?[videoext=660,396]http://www.youtube.com/v/33tfeGERKI4&hd=1&rel=0&color1=0x2b405b&color2=0x6b8ab6[/videoext]
Download video in HD
We went quiet for a while after the last article about our travelling system (except for the release of the Okasankaar artbook of course). Did we lose interest in pushing the limits of the Crysis Wars SDK in order to transform the game into an Action-Adventure? On the contrary! While preparing some news posting about the improved camera system we decided to hold back any further information till the completion of our next milestone: Oasis 1.1
While this meant some shortage of real updates over the last weeks, in the following days you will receive details about newly implemented features on a daily basis - and the best thing: you will be able to try everything out by yourself when the Oasis 1.1 technology demo is released on Saturday, September 18th. Time to lean back and follow the release countdown on ModDB!
If you want to know what open Outcast actually is and how to get your hands on it, even if you don't own Crysis or Crysis Wars, read on below:
What is open Outcast?
In case you didn't hear about this yet: Open Outcast aims to create a freely available inofficial sequel to the Action-Adventure Outcast. We are NOT recreating the original game using a modern engine (no clue where so many people got that idea).
Still you will be able to visit familiar locations and meet old faces from the first part while the story will continue after Cutter Slade (the protagonist) returned to earth from his first trip to Adelpha (a planet in a parallel universe Outcast took place in). Since we also want to reach a decent visual quality, and prefer to work on the gameplay rather than developping our own level editor or exporters, the project is now developed as Total Conversion of Crysis Wars. We can promise you you won't find too much of a first-person-shooter left in Oasis 1.1, though!
But I don't have Crysis or Crysis Wars!
No big deal, simply use the freely available Crysis Wars Trial to run Oasis 1.1 as described here. Oasis 1.1 hasn't been released so why bother about that already, you may ask? Well the demo is about 5.5GB in size and the additional patch is another 0.5GB. You may want to start downloading already so you can give it a try on release day - and if you are still not convinced simply check back in the following days when the features of the tech demo are examined in detail.
ModDB Page: open Outcast on ModDB
Crymod Thread: [SP] open Outcast - Oasis 1.1 release countdown
Crymod ModDB Entry: open Outcast in the Crymod ModDB
- Crymod Staff Team