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New Dev Diary about Unity, Pantheon and MMOs

    • 610 posts
    June 18, 2019 4:55 PM PDT

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/blogs/151/185/unity-mmos-and-pantheon

     

    Feel free to comment and ask questions.

     

    -Brad

    • 467 posts
    June 18, 2019 5:04 PM PDT

    I read it this morning and am very grateful for this.  Thank you for explaining.  It really provided the one part that was missing from Baz' video (which was good on its own).  <3  Glad to see you here, sir.

    Asked two questions below.  The wording in the article makes me wonder about the player cap in zones.   I feel it is important to discuss expectations of concurrent players in an area without throwing NPCs into the count. 


    This post was edited by Tigersin at June 28, 2019 7:46 AM PDT
    • 1483 posts
    June 18, 2019 5:45 PM PDT

    If the partnership between Pantheon and Unity is successfull regarding enhancing the unity core to incorporate more pantheon assets, could this also be a template for other ambitious studios or creative teams to effeciently create interactive platforms? gaming or otherwise? or perhaps allow pantheon to effeciently produce more product seemlessly, like expansions?

    If so, is it worth pantheon at some time in the future looking ahead and  partnerning with unity on a seperate development side?

    • 151 posts
    June 18, 2019 5:46 PM PDT

    Very interesting, I love the insight into how you have used the Unity and how you foresee it’s continued usefulness. 

    Youre right, it’s not the kool-aid, the visual quality has significantly improved In the videos, screenshots and streams. 

    How much of the improvement would you attribute to adding features, I.e. lighting, etc... as opposed to what Unity by itself adds to the result?

    Or is that a difference that doesn’t really exist? ( Unity facilitates features to the point of ‘where does one start and the other leave off’). 

     

    • 4320 posts
    June 18, 2019 5:55 PM PDT

    Thanks for posting this Brad! To provide a little more context, if anyone would like to watch the video where Brad's comments were originally posted, you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAW0kpAixZU


    This post was edited by Bazgrim at June 18, 2019 5:56 PM PDT
    • 610 posts
    June 18, 2019 7:19 PM PDT

    Bazgrim said:

    Thanks for posting this Brad! To provide a little more context, if anyone would like to watch the video where Brad's comments were originally posted, you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAW0kpAixZU

    Definitely worth watching!

    • 363 posts
    June 18, 2019 8:42 PM PDT

    My guess is you wrote the last paragraphic and probably thought, "this reads like promotional content for a game engine". Given how they seem to be helping you and the team at VR and with that continued support down the line, at least be rest assured in knowing that it's only appropriate. If they really are doing as much as you say, I too would herald their engine.

    The one thing that stood out to me was, "So Pantheon Expansion #3, just as an example, will likely look upgraded, even in the same older areas, than how it looked at launch". I know this is a continued issue in previous and even modern MMORPGs and through their lifetime. It's about future proofing an engine. Some have engines that allow for this, especially when built ground up in any of the C variants, but one of the concerns was whether that could be done when it's not a propietary engine like with Unity. It was a relief to read as someone who lamented the job SoE did upgrading West and East Commons as well as Nektulos Forest post OOW expansion. Instead of retroactively modifying key elements in the zones, including shaders, art assets, etc., they had to build it from scratch and the charm that the zones once had was gone. They looked nothing like the original zones before and it was also jarring to zone from a Vanilla zone directly into the redesigned zone. That's one issue that with Unity support and with what you stated we'll happily and hopefully never have to experience.

    And on another note, at least now you aren't having to work within a 4MB VRAM threshold like in 1998/99. I say this as someone who played an Enchanter and would often ask for more illusion options outside of the zone allotment. For that, knowing what I now know 20 years later, I apologize. 


    This post was edited by Janus at June 18, 2019 8:48 PM PDT
    • 220 posts
    June 19, 2019 1:36 AM PDT

    I'm so excited for project Faerthale, just seeing all the progress you all have made its just so exciting.

    • 8 posts
    June 19, 2019 1:40 AM PDT

    Project Gorgon is using Unity too :)

    • 284 posts
    June 19, 2019 6:51 AM PDT

    I appriciate VR's relationship with Unity, if they can keep a direct line of contact maybe even personal line with them then unity might be more inclined to put more time and effort into adapting new models and design into their system to support pantheon, as to then support themselves, but with a good communication both between VR and unity it will help drive pantheons success and future success like expansions etc.


    This post was edited by Valorous1 at June 19, 2019 9:27 AM PDT
    • 467 posts
    June 19, 2019 7:09 AM PDT

    "That said, we are also considering our own network layer to make things run even more efficiently and to give us the control we need to create both vast regions with hundreds or thousands of players and NPCs, as well as smaller areas packed with gamers perhaps doing a raid (or some other get-together)."

     

    I'm reading that you are considering doing something to make the game more efficient and obtain the control you need to create regions that can support hundreds+ of players and npcs.

    So here are my two questions:

    1) If you opt not to have your own network layer, will the game be able to handle hundreds of players and npcs in a region? (this sounds necessary; do you have a choice?)

    2) If you do make this change, will regions be able to handle hundreds of concurrent players; not counting the npcs? 


    Thanks  :)

    • 208 posts
    June 19, 2019 7:11 AM PDT

    I absolutely love these blog posts! Im so happy to see you've made another.

    I don't know much about game developing except that I don't know much. After Pantheon caught my interest, I became somewhat of a fan and started reading more into each individual persons job, all the newsletters, dev diaries, etc. The amount of work each of you do is no small task, but you each have a very important job - to put your puzzle pieces together and make something beautiful in the end.

    I always look forward to these posts because I learn so much more and it always adds that much excitement knowing how much you've thought about the future of Pantheon and where it should go. Most people start with just getting it made and getting people into the game. Which is truly the first step, but if you don't make plans for the future of a game, then how can anyone possibly see themselves playing it in the future? There are some games I play and instantly know that there is no future for me and this game. I always end up thinking of where it could have gone or what they could have done differently that might have made me stay.

    I don't have much knowledge on engines either. I know there are specific engines used for specific games that have targeted audiences. Obviously this comes with pros and cons of choosing certain engines to use. I can only hope that this relationship between VR and Unity continues to grow and thrive together. 

     

    Thank you, Brad - For watching and listening to the community, for being part of the community, for taking time out of your busy schedule to address important questions and concerns people have, for keeping the hype alive. I'm ready for Alpha.


    This post was edited by fancy at June 19, 2019 7:14 AM PDT
    • 15 posts
    June 19, 2019 7:33 AM PDT

    Does Unity have any plans to add 64-bit positioning ala Star Citizen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB_AI9ukSp8&t=187 ?

    One of the big weaknesses I see in nearly every game engine is that the map size is limited. This forces the player into "zones" instead of having seamless transitions from one place to the next, and "zoning" tends to ruin immersion.  I feel like 64-bit positioning is low-hanging fruit that can improve nearly any 1st person or 3rd person game, MMOs especially.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUgG8RoOsCg

    You don't have to actually make your game world the size of Great Britian (like Daggerfall in that video), but you would be completely unrestricted design-wise by size.

     

    • 2510 posts
    June 19, 2019 8:01 AM PDT

    Very good to get a bit of information about how things are going - thanks.

    • 25 posts
    June 19, 2019 8:12 AM PDT

    This is great information, and will hopefully ease some of the recent cries of lack of progress. Really can't wait to see what Project Faerthale is bringing to the table.


    This post was edited by eunichron at June 19, 2019 8:14 AM PDT
    • 105 posts
    June 19, 2019 8:12 AM PDT

    benaniel said:

    Project Gorgon is using Unity too :)

    its a fun and unique game and I enjoyed playing it up until the point where the only way to meaningfully advance meant needing to have heaps upon heaps of in game currency which meant grinding for days and days on end.  I reached a point where I couldn’t do it any longer.  Otherwise, a great game.

    • 3201 posts
    June 20, 2019 12:42 PM PDT

    Thanks Brad :)

     

    Cana

    • 84 posts
    June 21, 2019 8:14 AM PDT

    Aradune said:

    https://www.pantheonmmo.com/content/blogs/151/185/unity-mmos-and-pantheon

     

    Feel free to comment and ask questions.

     -Brad

     

    This is a great read. I've been going back and forth on which engine to use for my Video Game Prototype for a while. Either Unreal Engine 4 or Unity. Being that I am a developer and code daily in C# and JavaScript and SQL and just a slew of other technologies you would think I would have simply went the Unity route. Being that my C# skills are pretty advanced. However, I've always liked Unreal's game engine as it had so many nice built in features that enabled content you create to just immediately have a very nice look. 

    However, one of the things that does irk me a little, beyond the awful UI, is that when Epic rolls out Unreal Engine updates they oftentimes break my project. However, fixing it is not usually that difficult. After reading this thread I must say I'm leaning more towards going to unity. I think I'll still continue my training on both engines but for my first combat prototype system I think I'll go with Unity and see how it turns out.

    Great information by Brad here and I appreciate the time and detail he went into with this post.

     

    Thanks,

     

    ~ CaffeineInjected ~


    This post was edited by Caffeineinjected at June 21, 2019 8:15 AM PDT
    • 873 posts
    June 23, 2019 10:31 AM PDT

    The most exciting part of Unity for me is how as the engine updates will help keeping the older content looking fresh.

    • 298 posts
    June 25, 2019 4:42 AM PDT

    Boildown said:

    Does Unity have any plans to add 64-bit positioning ala Star Citizen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB_AI9ukSp8&t=187 ?

    One of the big weaknesses I see in nearly every game engine is that the map size is limited. This forces the player into "zones" instead of having seamless transitions from one place to the next, and "zoning" tends to ruin immersion.  I feel like 64-bit positioning is low-hanging fruit that can improve nearly any 1st person or 3rd person game, MMOs especially.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUgG8RoOsCg

    You don't have to actually make your game world the size of Great Britian (like Daggerfall in that video), but you would be completely unrestricted design-wise by size.

     

    I swear in one of the streams they pointed out a zone transition and noted the seamlessness of it, but I don't recall which stream.

     

    ESO has seamless transitions except when you fast travel, if I recall correctly. The old loading screen between zones hasn't been a thing for quite some time.

    • 1627 posts
    June 25, 2019 4:52 AM PDT

    Chanus said:

    Boildown said:

    Does Unity have any plans to add 64-bit positioning ala Star Citizen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OB_AI9ukSp8&t=187 ?

    One of the big weaknesses I see in nearly every game engine is that the map size is limited. This forces the player into "zones" instead of having seamless transitions from one place to the next, and "zoning" tends to ruin immersion.  I feel like 64-bit positioning is low-hanging fruit that can improve nearly any 1st person or 3rd person game, MMOs especially.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUgG8RoOsCg

    You don't have to actually make your game world the size of Great Britian (like Daggerfall in that video), but you would be completely unrestricted design-wise by size.

     

    I swear in one of the streams they pointed out a zone transition and noted the seamlessness of it, but I don't recall which stream.

     

    ESO has seamless transitions except when you fast travel, if I recall correctly. The old loading screen between zones hasn't been a thing for quite some time.

     

    As far as I remember, pantheon was stated to have separate zones with non smooth transitions due to tech limitations.

     

    Honestly it's much more easier to add new maps this way in the current existing world.

    • 298 posts
    June 25, 2019 5:21 AM PDT

    Hmm... what I'm hearing is I have an excuse to re-watch all the streams.

    • 400 posts
    June 27, 2019 5:19 PM PDT

    Thank you for post. \o/

    • 4320 posts
    July 1, 2019 4:41 PM PDT

    Chanus said:

    Hmm... what I'm hearing is I have an excuse to re-watch all the streams.

    Haha by all means, rewatch the streams, but the FAQ also has the answer ;)

    20.0 Will you be dividing the world into zones or will it be entirely open?

    Pantheon is a zone-based game as opposed to having a truly seamless world, although this could change as technology and tools evolve, either before or after launch. Regardless, however, our current technology and tools allow us to create truly vast, rich, and detailed zones. Players will not be running frequently into zone borders. Our larger zones also allow us to create long vistas and views, and in almost all cases, if you can see a location you can travel there.

    We have lots of overworld adventure areas and overland dungeons where players don’t need to zone into but there may be several groups hunting there. Even in underworld and dedicated dungeon areas, they will be open world as well. It is all part of the shared experience we really want to capture.

    • 491 posts
    July 6, 2019 10:22 PM PDT

    One thing I've been contemplating is the fact that many of the dungeons seem to be part of the larger outside zone. This means players will not be able to 'play it safe' by fighting near the zoneline in a dungeon so they can zone out if they get in trouble. Zoning out would require training the mobs all the way across the outdoor part of the zone too.

    Imagine if a bad pull in Unrest required you to run all the way out and across Dagnar's Cauldron to Butcherblock until you safely zoned.

    Not to mention the fact that the zones themselves might very large. So you might be running for 5 minutes until you got to the zone.

    Of course, they may use the disposition system to make enemies not want to run too far away from their dungeon. So perhaps after a distance they will give up and head home.