2k6 Battleground Europe Convention

Long day today, and aside from Rafter we didn't get today or yesterday off, infact today was pretty busy.  I can only guess my bosses wanted the tour to show an office full of very busy people.  I wish I'd had more time to answer questions. Most frustrating is that I really needed to spend at least an hour – probably four – with Bable giving him chance to go over some of the obstacles my tools provide to his doing his job efficiently and smoothly. Agh. And I never did upgrade the training server – which was on my list. I've just done that now.

Tonight had a couple of good presentations. Rafter's was pretty interesting especially for its uniqueness – Playnet is nothing if not secretive about its business, and Rafter lifted the skirts on some of our production and publishing issues.

I'd touched on a number of issues last night expecting a long QA afterwards, so I kept my presentation short. Gophur actually ran his long and re-covered those topics in great detail. His presentation had great slides if you see them on-screen. I hope he posts his slides – the backgrounds are all actual photographs of whiteboards from around the office. Naval players will have conniptions.

He also revealed plans for new lighting in-game to create atmosphere, and yet-another infantry redo in the makes using much, much higher poly models with screenshots of some sweet looking rifles, and a list of vehicle additions that are back in the 1.24 pipeline.

After that we had a QA session with some interesting questions. Someone asked why the grenades had changed – Granik revealed that he'd tried to get the grenades to work the way everyone expects, firing from your centerline, so that the windowsil-of-death would come to an end, but that they'd had to roll the code out and try and fit the new grenade/models to the old method instead.

There were some questions about the UI – why can't we select brigades from the map, eg, which Gophur answered (we want to make it so you can), someone asked when we'd have the Ju88 and Doc said when we can get around to not just it but companion vehicles. I'm getting sleepy now so I don't remember all of the great questions. I answered Slam/17th AACs (correct me, I'm real tired) question about strategic bombing targets, and I expanded on it with him afterwards, that we want to introduce some as STOs – whether they be radar stations, fuel dumps, player based spawnables, etc: but we want to add objects for these so that they are connected to gameplay but they are not simply attracting increased numbers of bombers to the ground pounder fights. Gophur had already mentioned possible STO naval convoys as a naval/air target, but raised the issue of what to give the land-locked Axis. Doc and I thought MOF (Mobile Oktober Fest) was the answer.

Someone asked about dynamic missions – something Gophur had touched on in his presentation – asking how hard to make it so you can change mission target. Right now, nearly impossible, the coding involved is just too complex, the systems too fragile and delicate, until I can finally break the map/mission host out of its shell and drop the code, instead, to the chat host. The reasons are fairly complex and I'm too tired to cover them again here.

Then Doc ran some kind of Axis vs Allied operation in the live theatre, and we all watched on the buzzard cam. His timing was impeccable, with the first 30 minutes being at night and the conbox having a very low gamma setting so we all watched a black screen for 20 minutes.

Once daylight came up tho it was fascinating to watch – the players who come to the con salivate over the buzzard view – people don't believe us when we say its a totally different picture, and totally different than you imagine, until they see it for themselves. And there was some awesome in-con action – fluth being hunted down by his own brother, a 190 vs a 520, with the two of them sitting next to the con box, and with Doc following on their tails – tripple perspective for those of us standing nearby. And mingbat flying a wounded 520 with 6 lufties chasing him, and managing to take 3 of them down with him – shame we don't award maneuver kills ;)

Maybe tomorrow I'll remember to take some pictures.

There's a bunch of people I wanted to say Hi and Thank you to, but I suck at names.

I need to call it a night. I have to be back at the con tomorrow, and I have to get right back to CTHL/related stuff Sunday and Monday. So I need my beauty sleep.

To those at the con: Salute!

To those who didn't come: /wtf!

Worst thing about the convention so far: I don't have a computer at the con so I only get to *watch* people playing the game. Man I was itching to play tonight. But having chance to answer a few questions kinda makes up for it.