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Another Kickstarter - Ground Branch


Psychomorph

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Even if you are generally not interested in games such as tactical shooters, some gamer friends of yours might be. Even if you don't care for this game, please tell your friends and you might do them a favor and they might be thankful to you for pointing them toward this game.

 

Even if you don't care, please spread the word and you may reach those who would be interested.

Edited by Psychomorph
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Reverse psychology for the win \o/

 

I think indi-development is awesome and Kickstarter awesome for indi-development, but I'm just not someone who obsesses about guns or men shooting men simulators - so I kinda don't get the appeal of this.

 

Stick some gun nerdiness in an interesting fictional setting and I might think it does nice things to make the fictional setting seem believable and immersive. But gun-wanking for the sake of gun-wanking is a big turn off for me - sorry.

 

--edit--

 

still, it seems as though lots of other people who fantasise about shooting people for a hobby seem to want this happen - so there's hope for you yet.

 

--edity edit--

 

Perhaps if gaming wasn't already so boreishly and thoughtlessly violent all the friggin time then I might be less dismissive of this - but as things are it's just - meh :(

Edited by jay pettitt
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um, no

 

But gun-wanking for the sake of gun-wanking is a big turn off for me - sorry.

 

It's all fine. You don't have to support it if you don't want to. Only thing you still could do to help is to tell those who you think might eventualy be interested in such a game afterall. Just drop a line, they may be hooked and decide to support the project. That's one of those things about Kickstarter, you don't have to pay to support an indie dev who tries to make anotehr game than a typical console port. Just spread the word and you helped.

 

 

Perhaps if gaming wasn't already so boreishly and thoughtlessly violent all the friggin time then I might be less dismissive of this - but as things are it's just - meh :(

 

Intersting is, that these games, so called tactical shooters aren't all about guns and killing, they are so called "thinking mans" shooters. It is about outmaneuvering and outthinking the opponent. I played some cooperative missions where you move around and go for objectives and barely use the guns. There is a reason why I don't like the mindless violence of action shooters liek Quake and Call of duty.

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Sorry bub, I be the wrong demographic for knowing people who'd like that.

 

The tension that comes from tactical gameplay I could get my head around to liking (especially if there was a narrative to make use of it), but they didn't mention or demo any such gameplay in that kickstarter vid once. That's probably my biggest beef with it. It's just men dribbling over guns and gun stuff. As far as I can tell that's a recipe for zero gameplay, tactical or otherwise.

 

I do remember Infiltration for Unreal Tournament back in the day. It started out pretty entertaining in a hide 'n' seek sort of way (thinking man's stuff) - it was genuinely decent, but ended up an unplayable mess as they tried to make it increasingly "realistic".

 

Realism in games is great for creating a believable atmosphere - but it can be terrible for gameplay. You need to balance those things. There ain't be no balance on show in the Ground Branch Kickstarter. And I'm not into guns enough to want to chance it.

 

Again, I'm probably sounding way too down on this - but I'm suffering a really heavy dose of violence as entertainment fatigue.

Edited by jay pettitt
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What is this game about? In the vid (I had to watch with sound off) there was only a shooting range. Is there more to it than this?

My Eigenvalue is bigger than your Eigenvalue.

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Sorry bub, I be the wrong demographic for knowing people who'd like that.Realism in games is great for creating a believable atmosphere - but it can be terrible for gameplay. You need to balance those things.

 

That is the problem with mainstream games, developers think they need to balance things and things end up all the same. There is no spice in the meal, it all comes down to arena style firefights where you can use a sniper rifle, a machine gun or SMG and always win if you're skilled enough.

 

Ground Branch sets a different goal. Weapons are all "unbalanced" and thus you are required to think and determine what weapon fits the situation you are going to have the next map. They model realism appropriately, that means a long rifle will be the wrong decision for indoor environments (door steps, etc) just like in reality, because there is a collision system (gun collides or gets lowered), they still would work, but not as fast, effective and responsible as weapons that are made for close combat (short guns). Think about Thief and how you need to purchase the right equipment for the mission. If theres heights, you go for rope arrows. If there's zombies pack up holy water and fire arrows. It's about making the right decision based on common sense. Reality, and that's the important point, balances itself if you let it.

 

Here a quote from the developer:

Do not try to artificially balance weapons as you will always be tweaking this or that and throwing off "balance" requiring more "balancing" to fix it. Weapons are already balanced in real life, in that they each have strengths and weaknesses. Some are better used in particular situations than others.

 

 

 

What is this game about? In the vid (I had to watch with sound off) there was only a shooting range. Is there more to it than this?

 

The shooting range in the vido was meant to display the (realistic) gameplay and gear mechanics. Like in real life you carry weapons in a lowready position and raise them to aim, in contrast to how most generic games do it by having the gun pointed forward all the time and that you always can instantly fire and that makes gameplay very quick and arcade. In Ground Branch you will need to identify a target, face it and raise the muzzle to aim and fire. It still will be fast, but in an authentic and realistically proper way (which adds immersion).

You will not have a nigh vision ability in your eyes that you instantly switch to, like in many games, but instead in Ground Branch the NV is a tool that you can really see the character to pull down with his hand infront of his eyes. Also NV will be unusable at day.

 

Anyway, these are just some game mechanics examples. To further construct an idea about the principles of this game and why they are unique in comparison to other, mainstream games I need to actually use Thief as an example, because they share the same fate and have something in common.

 

Like the original Thief was loved and the last sequel hated, so was the original Rainbow Six and ghost Recon loved and the mainstreamlined sequels hated. Like The Dark Mod team wanted (and did) to create a game based on the principles that made fans love the original, so does Blackfoot Studios want to create a game that does the same. Like TDM has not only remade the original with up to date looks and graphics, but also added briliant improvements and worthy additions, so does Ground Branch wish to do the very same thing! That, if people support and fund it.

It is incredible what the TDM team did, making a mod that feels like a full retail game. Unfortunately the tactical shooter fans were not so lucky and an independant developer (Blackfoot Studios) took up the task, only they can not give their best without financial backing.

 

 

To give further insight into Ground Branch I want to reflect on Thief. Original Thief is a game that has a plethora of layers that make it as briliant as it is, one of my favourite is the realistic approach in the area of game play mechanics. You walk, can senak and run, climb, jump and grab a rope, lean, lean into doors to eavesdrop and above all use more sensors to aorientate in the world than just the vision (I'm referring to sound and hearing). When I played the Dark Project demo first I was blown away and totally immersed into the world, because moving around and existing in Thief felt so real.

 

Imagine a scenario; You walk thorugh a hallway. You look down and see a carpet, that means you can move faster and still be silent. You move closer to a corner and don't know what's behind it, so you slow down to not only not accidently run out of the corner, but also to become silent. What you do then is to not actually lean out and look whats behind, but listen! If some close sound is approaching, you get the hell out of there, if there is no or very distant sound, you dare a peek and lean out to look what's there. If the area is clear, you move on.

What we have in Thief are pure and unfiltered game mechanics based on realism and common sense, to give the player the ultimate stealth experience. I had a blast of immersion experiencing Thief. Thief allows you to interact with the environment the way you would do in reality (it has some mechanics overdone, like the sound of footsteps, in favor of gameplay), it invites you to use your brain, to apply common sense the way you'd be required to do in reality. If Assasin's Creed is a stealth game, than Thief is a stealth simulation.

 

Sooo, where does ground Branch fit in? The similarity is like I explained above, it is a game that tries to recreate real life elements to make the player use their brains and common sense to deal with the odds. This can immerse the player into the game, if it feels realistic. Now GB does not try to be a military simulator, just like Thief is not a thievery/robbery simulator.

I don't just say Ground Branch is realistic, because today the terms realistic and tactical are misleading. I say "realistic" and you think Call Of Duty or Battlefield 3. These games are realistic in terms as they have weapons based on existing ones and have soldier outfits that are based on real stuff, but that's it about it, otherwise you have an arcade arena fragfest shooter.

If Call Of Duty is like Assasin's Creed, than Ground Branch is like Thief.

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Not sure that Thief is the right analogy here, if ever a game was unashamedly gamey, it was Thief.

 

Granted, tactical shooter fans would love a back to basics tactical shooter worth their while. But even if I weren't personally sick to death of violent imagery, I'd still struggle with the idea that a self endulgent gun and gun stuff simulator somehow equalled tense tactical gameplay.

 

The balancing you need comes from the fact that sitting at a desk wiggling a mouse and typing WASDWASD over and over has got absolutely nothing in common with the human experience. It's not just a matter of aesthetics - it's a simple practicality if your goal is to communicate human experiences via a medium unable to otherwise capture said experiences.

 

Still, here's hoping I'm wrong, it gets funded and Ground Branch really is the awesome thing you want it to be.

Edited by jay pettitt
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I do find it rather jarring that a lot of gamers can't distinguish a true tactical shooter from any other shooter, but I suppose it is to be expected since there hasn't been a big, very visible, mainstream release of one in a long time.

It is rather difficult to really convey the idea of a tactical shooter to someone who has never had a good one before.

 

It's especially frustrating when you are trying to explain it to someone who hasn't had the chance to experience the sort of gameplay you're trying to explain, and firmly believes that such gameplay simply doesn't work despite the fact that you've had it and have had fun with it for a long time.

 

It's like trying to explain Thief to someone who's never played such a game.

"First person? Stealth doesn't work well in first person. You can't see whether you are actually in hiding or not. I don't see how first-person perspective would work in a stealth game."

 

Of course, there are ways around this. Video often helps:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vW1tq4os9uw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bz4Ewsnyscg

Edited by Professor Paul1290
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I can definitely see why that would be to some degree.

 

TakeDown had a rather messed up Kickstarter to begin with, but it had more of an image as an urban CQB style tactical shooter which is something that ArmA doesn't do much of at all. Ground Branch, at least from what has been shown so far, seems to overlap more with what ArmA already does.

 

More room to room "kill house" style combat might remedy this at least somewhat.

Edited by Professor Paul1290
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Developer commentary video added, some good info on the features there.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1UOtnlwyjg&feature=player_embedded

 

 

And some nice pics showing the customization of the guns and character.

 

weaponcustomization.jpg

 

 

charactercustomization.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

I can definitely see why that would be to some degree.

 

TakeDown had a rather messed up Kickstarter to begin with, but it had more of an image as an urban CQB style tactical shooter which is something that ArmA doesn't do much of at all. Ground Branch, at least from what has been shown so far, seems to overlap more with what ArmA already does.

 

More room to room "kill house" style combat might remedy this at least somewhat.

 

Ground Branch really focusing on both elements, open space and indoor. Reason is quite simple, real special forces do that all the time, they practise for CQB like SWAT, with all the stacking ups, breaching and entries, but also do open space excercises using scopes and battle rifles with larger calibers, etc.

 

Most games focus on either the one or the other aspect, hence noone of them really does it good. Ground Branch is about to correct that error. That means both communities, the Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon, will find their place in Ground Branch.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I do like to play ArmA2 sometimes.

When I get in a mood for really tactical, I'll actually play a full on top-down hex-mapped war sim though, haha.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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