DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

All things BZFlag - no [OT] here please
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DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by ryanfesta » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:30 am

COME ON PEOPLE! I SIMPLY CANNOT FATHOM THR IDEA OF BZFLAG RETIRING. WE MUST WORK AS A COMMUNITY TO SUPPORT IT AND NOT LET IT GO!!! Try to do whatever you can to help develop new ideas or suggestions that will help make a major update; this update will (hopefully) be so great that tons of people will play like the old days. JeffM said something that I agree with: attracting players now will just ruin the game. We need HUGE update to make bzflag more up-to-date. I would love to see it challenge the most popular games out right now!! So hurry up and get thinking, because if you want to help bzflag become a huge success, then you all have to help!!
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by JeffM » Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:40 am

You registered 2 days ago, how about you see how the project and community works before you get all riled up about things you don't seem to fully understand.
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by joevano » Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:42 am

cdogg9200 wrote: So hurry up and get thinking, because if you want to help bzflag become a huge success, then you all have to help!!
Thinking isn't the problem... executing is!
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by blast » Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:53 am

He's actually guitargeek42, so not new to the community.
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by ryanfesta » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:34 pm

Yes, I was guitargeek42, my brother littlelep and I have been playing for years. Maybe (in time; no rush) a new game should be made, but BZFlag should still be running. That way people can play the new game if they want. If not, they play the old BZFlag. Their choice. If the new game IS a success, then retiring BZFlag would be fine with me...
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by ryanfesta » Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:46 pm

Hey, blast, how'd you know I was guitargeek?
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by blast » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:46 pm

Um, because I was the one that helped you get the new account activated when you couldn't find the activation email... less than 20 hours ago... :P
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by ryanfesta » Thu Apr 05, 2012 3:52 pm

Oh yeah, huh... Sorry :?
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by joevano » Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:32 pm

cdogg9200 wrote:Yes, I was guitargeek42, my brother littlelep and I have been playing for years. Maybe (in time; no rush) a new game should be made, but BZFlag should still be running. That way people can play the new game if they want. If not, they play the old BZFlag. Their choice. If the new game IS a success, then retiring BZFlag would be fine with me...
Admins can also tell who else posted from your IP address, so I had a pretty strong suspicion before he said.
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by ChaoticFangUp » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:20 am

cdogg9200, I will be short with you here. :)
BZFlag... at start, it sure was a huge and a great game.
One of rare awesome 3D games.
However, there are many better games now, because people made money out of it making it.
Here, at BZFlag, people upgrade it only on their free time!

So you see, it will be hard to pull people from better games that they play like 5 hours a day (addicts).

PS - I just want to warn a few people on this Thread that it shows how you are trying to pull a back-stab Flame on the OP.
Cmon, be nice.

Cheers,
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by ryanfesta » Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:12 pm

Thanks, I understand what you are saying. It is completely natural for such an old, free game to be overpowered by new, professional game with many game modes. I created this thread before I fully understood how hard it would be to bring BZFlag back. Now that you have all explained this to me, I can comprehend how underlaid tic it is to try and make the game popular again.


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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by a liberal » Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:44 pm

It's not like we haven't tried. There's been some wonderful events and whatnot, but there are two huge problems with BZF: advertisement, and beginner interactions.

With advertising, I've noticed a certain ambivalence towards it in the sense that going to more "mainstream" routes of PC gaming traffic isn't what BZF wants. I once had a potential opportunity to work with a competitive online gaming group that I was a Media Manager for in possibly making a paid BZF tourney, or at least a free ladder with streamed matches. I made sure though first the community was for it. I had an overwhelmingly negative response, with the primary arguments being "sponsorship and prizes of the sort are against the open-source mentality" and "those kinds of players are not who we want to play BZF." In some regards these arguments are right. And I'm not one bit mad at the community, because again, I definitely see where players were coming from. My argument to them has always been, it's going to get to a point where a mainstream "revival" of sorts isn't what will be what is wanted but what is needed. And to reject a potential player base because they might be too mainstream is harsh, I personally think.

The second problem I cite for inactivity is the experiences for new players. When I started back in '04 I want to say, it was my first online game and I was 10. I was stomped repeatedly. My first game was on HiX and I went -134. I wanted to feel awful, but I was so wrapped up in the experience of playing with people around the world I didn't care. And I only wanted to be better. That mentality no longer exists in today's gaming scene. When you are so terrible at something it's unbelievable, you really don't want to continue. Tutorials are the savior for many in this situation, but with BZF, there are no tutorials. There are no videos really. There is little help with a forum base because, well, you see how often posts are made. People don't want to fight what they think is a losing cause.

On top of all this, when you have players like me who after so long feel like they reached their pinnacle in comparison to the competition, they also tend to move on to new experiences and challenges. I certainly don't have just one high moment, I had a fantastic career I feel that I am glad I experienced. But I've moved on to new games. GW2 coming out is huge for me, and alongside that I play Fifa 12, TF2, and various other games. Even those I wont be playing a ton, simply because I'm so busy now. I work part time anywhere from 20-35 hrs a week at Geek Squad, and on top of that I go to an accelerated college, ECPI, for a degree in Network Security that I should finish next year when I'm nearing 21. Should I keep playing for entertainment a game I already reached my max threshold for, or should I try new things in hopes I reach that same pinnacle? I absolutely choose the latter, and I cite my original reason for playing BZF: the challenge of becoming good at something I'm not.

I hope this shows you just how difficult a BZF revival would be. Last I saw, the community was content with a slight death, and I don't blame anyone. The core community that's been there has always been wonderful, and at one point I was content as well. I grew tired though, and once I saw OpenLeague die, I lost nearly all interest to continue because it was no longer about the difference and challenge, but about the same group with the same styles and same behavior. There is always a challenge to be the best you can be and beat them, of course. I just lost that spirit, and I know many others have.

Thanks as always to everyone who made it fun while it lasted. Good luck with your efforts though. Feel free anyone to contact me about this and other things, I love sharing ideas even if they won't get anywhere, because who knows? Take it easy, friends.

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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by ryanfesta » Tue Apr 10, 2012 4:50 pm

joevano wrote:
cdogg9200 wrote: So hurry up and get thinking, because if you want to help bzflag become a huge success, then you all have to help!!
Thinking isn't the problem... executing is!
Not executing has been the problem from the start (in my opinion). Once BZFlag started going downhill, people were coming up with great ideas to keep it running, but no one EXECUTED. This has come back and bitten us in the butt; because of this BZFlag is retiring. Trainer maps/ tutorials: one of the best examples. This is a great idea, but an old one that nobody carried out (although someone might be doing it now; I'm not sure... If so, then they're probably too late). To me, it seems we have dug our own grave and we can't get out.
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by blast » Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:01 pm

a liberal wrote:With advertising, I've noticed a certain ambivalence towards it in the sense that going to more "mainstream" routes of PC gaming traffic isn't what BZF wants. I once had a potential opportunity to work with a competitive online gaming group that I was a Media Manager for in possibly making a paid BZF tourney, or at least a free ladder with streamed matches. I made sure though first the community was for it. I had an overwhelmingly negative response, with the primary arguments being "sponsorship and prizes of the sort are against the open-source mentality" and "those kinds of players are not who we want to play BZF." In some regards these arguments are right. And I'm not one bit mad at the community, because again, I definitely see where players were coming from. My argument to them has always been, it's going to get to a point where a mainstream "revival" of sorts isn't what will be what is wanted but what is needed. And to reject a potential player base because they might be too mainstream is harsh, I personally think.
The problem with "advertising" is that it would be wasted money. The game itself would need to improve before advertisement would make sense. It isn't about being "mainstream" or not.

As for a tournament with prizes, I don't recall the reactions you're mentioning. If anything, the reason against doing such a thing is the ease at which cheating is possible with the game. People already cheat. If you start throwing prizes/money into the mix, then there's even more incentive to cheat.
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by joevano » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:40 am

cdogg9200 wrote: ... people were coming up with great ideas to keep it running, but no one EXECUTED.
Ideas are cheap, anyone can have them but if they (the idea creators) aren't committed enough to implement them themselves they are worthless. The wiki didn't happen because I had the idea, it happened because brlcad said "So..... are you volunteering to do it?" enough times till I realized it is not about the devs (or someone else) doing something but about everyone doing something. Not doing something because you don't know how is just an excuse. Not knowing how is really just a reason to learn!
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by a liberal » Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:56 pm

blast wrote:
The problem with "advertising" is that it would be wasted money. The game itself would need to improve before advertisement would make sense. It isn't about being "mainstream" or not.

As for a tournament with prizes, I don't recall the reactions you're mentioning. If anything, the reason against doing such a thing is the ease at which cheating is possible with the game. People already cheat. If you start throwing prizes/money into the mix, then there's even more incentive to cheat.
That was a large concern, cheating sure, but the league had an injection Anti Cheat that could have been adopted to the game I'm sure. At least the staff that worked on it said it was certainly possible even in an open source game. Please interject an opinion with that, but none of it matters anymore, since the opportunity came and went. The whole idea though wasn't as much a new league though as just exposure. And I tried to expose it there but without more incentive no one would give it a shot. Even if it would have just been a little forum trophy it would have been better, but no one wanted to go forward. I don't blame anyone for the decision to not support a new league idea because I absolutely understand. I suppose the risks could be bigger than the reward, but it was exposure to thousands of gamers. Even just twenty new players is very good for BZF these days. Regardless, I agree, BZF needs to be improved to appeal to today's crowd, it really does. I hope one day I help (I'll be learning C++ within the next year as part of my curriculum, and I'd enjoy contributing code at that point). The community as a whole is content with where it is, though. That's a problem you'll need to crack to get any real pursuit of ideas.

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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by JeffM » Wed Apr 11, 2012 5:54 pm

BZFlag's core structure was never designed for internet play, so it's more then just "putting anti-cheat in". The entire simulation system has to be redone from the ground up to take latency into account and have an authoritative server. This is a massive task, and impossible for a project that is unable to release even minor package updates in a timely manner.

Personally I feel that it would take more time to bring bzflag up to modern standards then it would take to write a new game. This is because every part of the code base would have to be redone. There is nothing in the bzflag code base that would be worth keeping.
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by Sanctified » Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:27 am

The game came packaged with the mandriva dad put in my computer years ago - but it was a weird distro he had put together himself. So maybe someone with some clout in linux
community to should convince distro developers to make this game part of their default games. Most default games in linux are all crappy, so this one will stand right out for sure.
That will be a cheap easy way to bring in new players for sure, and see where that takes the game - more map development, innovation

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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by a liberal » Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:28 am

Sanctified wrote:The game came packaged with the mandriva dad put in my computer years ago - but it was a weird distro he had put together himself. So maybe someone with some clout in linux
community to should convince distro developers to make this game part of their default games. Most default games in linux are all crappy, so this one will stand right out for sure.
That will be a cheap easy way to bring in new players for sure, and see where that takes the game - more map development, innovation
I do plan on something kind-of similar to this soon. My dad is conceiving a project to teach Linux to people online, similar to Khan Academy, but also with other teaching elements such as tests and almost making it more a classroom environment in order to pull a larger demographic beyond Linux in. It's very much in the development phase, but if that picks up a bit, I may add my own little flavor into it by showcasing how well Linux today can play different games. Of course I would have Wine in there and its advantages and give tips and tricks with that, but I also want to show some of Linux's better native games, and BZFlag is definitely on the top of that list. And if there is interest there, I would start off with a tutorial showing the users how to play. That's the biggest thing that cripples BZF to new players: it's so radically different than the games out there. And it's hard to understand what the game is trying to be. By easing people in, I think I could get a lot of people to see how much fun it really is. That's how I hope I can help with the situation at least.

I may end up also putting out tutorial videos of sorts on my dad's channel, so keep an eye out there. If you want to sub, that'd be great, otherwise I'll try to post here with any news I get regarding the channel and project.

http://www.youtube.com/user/wgbass21

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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by JeffM » Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:14 pm

BZFlag is a standard package on most linux distributions and has been for a while. Linux is the least used client OS.
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by Mopar Madness » Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:33 pm

Best I could find, Linux is used on only around 0.7-2% of computers, it could be a good market to focus on and easier to market to, but the returns would not be nearly as big compared to Windows or Mac. IMO, the two biggest things that could help BZFlag would be 1) Youtube, there are no good BZFlag videos on Youtube reviewing or promoting the game. 2) Textures, they stink. BZFlag has no artistic style. The textures focus on realism and good graphics, the maps focus on simplicity and basic shapes, and the tanks are cartoony. When you look at good BZFlag maps with custom textures, they look really good because they have an artistic style, but basic BZFlag has no style. New textures would be the biggest improvement to BZFlag and would be easy to implement.

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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by ryanfesta » Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:26 am

All of these features and ideas would make BZFlag a lot better, but with the production of a new game (I dont even know if this new game is being worked on), it could be near pointless... These ideas would have been very helpful when the game was popular, but no one carries out these ideas. Also,with all the complaining about advertising being wasted money, i think that there are many ways to advertise BZFlag without spending money (i.e. TELLING PEOPLE, YouTube videos, etc.). Im sure there are many more expense-free ways that i didnt name, but its time for others to find out about other ways on their own. For instance, I would be more than happy to make a YouTube channel for BZFlag. It really requires minimal effort, and people could email me videos to upload.

Just some thoughts.
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by Mopar Madness » Fri Apr 13, 2012 1:21 am

A youtube channel I don't think would be popular unless the game was popular, what BZFlag needs is individuals to make videos which can become popular, especially would be good if there are some popular youtubers that play BZFlag that can introduce their subscribers to it.

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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by JeffM » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:22 am

cdogg9200 wrote: (I dont even know if this new game is being worked on)
Since you all seem to be infatuated with youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6xmugS0TPg

Not that anyone won't misunderstand what it is and get the wrong ideas....
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Re: DON'T LET BZFLAG DIE!! PLEASE READ THIS

Post by SkillDude » Fri Apr 13, 2012 2:50 am

Mopar Madness wrote:A youtube channel I don't think would be popular unless the game was popular, what BZFlag needs is individuals to make videos which can become popular, especially would be good if there are some popular youtubers that play BZFlag that can introduce their subscribers to it.
This can also include "game streamers" which may play games and stream them online. This seems to have quite a popularity aspect to it as you will find gaming streams with thousands of people watching. I have a small subset of people who have watched me play the game competitively (1vs1) and have found it very interesting, even getting a few new players to start joining in.

While the game's development may be stalled or halted, it is not to say that BZFlag does not have its competitive aspects already. BZFlag could become ever more competitive and introduce a never ending cycle of tournaments / events to continue to allow BZFlag to develop. The game may not mature, but at least the amount of gameplay and involvement in the league and tournament playing could use some work. Has anyone considered BZFlag to really be a competitive game? Perhaps some people could start gearing it more towards that, since it is clear from JeffM's project that something new is coming along anyways.

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