I was inspired by mikee's post about his mysterious EV3D 'project' to dredge up this post I made some months ago about the concept of a quasi-EV X-Wing style flight sim that combines the best aspects of Exobattle and EV while still being practical and capable of running on older machines. mikee might be working on something almost the same; if so, I'd be glad to contribute my ideas. Here goes...
After reading Chrestomanci's article, and after much pondering, rethinking, and thumb-twiddling, I've come to the conclusion that EV 3D is a drastic step with enormous difficulties to deal with: boarding, landing, etc. Thus, I have conversely come up with a plan that is a stepping stone to a true 3D EV: an enhanced version of Exobattle, Matt Burch's barebones 3D space-combat sim.
Exobattle has a good game engine, but it has no interface, mediocre AI, no plot. and lacks most of the things that make EV great. Some improvements could bring Exobattle closer to the standard set by EV and might even help developers create EV 3D.
Firstly, a plot. A quasi-EV plot could fit quite nicely - you're a solo merc fighter pilot, fighting for the Rebels in EV.
Different ships. You should be able to fly a selection of ships - Lightning, Rapier, etc. In Exobattle as we know it, you fly a sort of quasi-Manta. And plenty of ships to shoot up - Argosies to Confed Cruisers.
Missions, of course. It would have to be X-Wing/Ares style missions, with a direct objective on a fixed storyline.
Customizability - EV style upgrades to ships in exchange for cash.
Better AI and collision detection. It's a bit disconcerting when an enemy flies straight through you.
And finally, a real interface. Cockpits, useful radar, ship status - desperately needed.
The nice thing about Exobattle is that you don't need a super-powered G4 to run it - it runs on the oldest iMacs and Power Macs with 3D acceleration. And it already has network play through GameSprockets. Since the main game engine is done and is free in the public domain, this avoids the enormous complexity of creating a whole new system, like in Parsec.
Now, if any programmer types want to help out . . .
This post doesn't exactly capture my ideas, but I'll try to elaborate later.
"We shouldn't have pissed off the judge."
- Source inside Microsoft following verdict in the Microsoft antitrust case.
Having no programming skills, I'm just an interested bystander...but it's an intriguing step towards a full-blown 3D version of EV. Does your concept of this allow for plug-in modifications ala EV and EVO?
if you lived here, you'd be home by now