1. Hey Guest! If you're more than just a WildStar fan and want to keep up on the latest MMO news, reviews and opinion pieces then I'd like to suggest you visit our sister site MMO Central

Hello folks! Meet Jon Wiesman, Lead Client Engineer at Carbine

Discussion in 'Community News' started by Aether, May 8, 2012.

  1. Aether

    Aether Community Director/Producer

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    As promised, Jon has agreed to pop by and answer some of your questions about himself, our UI Addon program, or what it's like working at Carbine. Here are the simple rules for today:
    • We are not talking about beta
    • We are not sharing information about other features beyond UI Addons
    • We are being nice to Jon for taking time out of his busy day
    And that's about it! Jon should be here in just a bit. Remember, he is doing this during his work day, so he won't always be able to respond immediately. Ok?

    Let's have fun!

    Enjoy, won't you?
    Troy 'Aether' Hewitt
    Sonntam likes this.
  2. Myrddin

    Myrddin Cupcake

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    Hello Jon and Troy,

    thanks for joining us here at Wildstar Central. We heard Jon has been forced by pinching to come but I hope he will be happy he did in the end :D

    Personally I find it difficult to ask a detailed question, since we do not really know what the framework can do.

    What kind of add-ons are you shipping with the game?
    How much control do you intend to give to players?
  3. Bitwise

    Bitwise Carbine Studios

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    Hello future Addon developers and WildStar enthusiasts.

    Underdog (Jon Wiesman) here. I'm ready to answer any questions/concerns people may have about Addons and how we'll be supporting them.

    Before anyone posts a question, one of the first things I wanted to address was a concern that if we are allowing the UI to be modifiable, then that might mean that we are not giving 100% to making sure that the default UI is worthy of a AAA title. I can assure you that will not be the case. Our lead UI designer is passionate about making the WildStar UI a great UI, and for the people out there who never ever want to install new Addons, we are committed to making the default WildStar UI just as good as the rest of the game.

    And the rest of the game is awesome. Especially the part where... hmm, that's weird. I just got a chill down my spine. Aether must be reading this... Oh well. I guess I'd better stick to UI discussion.
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  4. Zap-Robo

    Zap-Robo Administrator • King Cupcake

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    Yes, welcome to your corner of the internet - where the fans you didn't even know you had live :)

    For me, I'd be interested to know if there are any plans for UI Profiles - the ability to hotswap between different pre-prepared UI layouts/visible addons.
  5. Cosmic Debris

    Cosmic Debris New Cupcake

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    Hello both Jon and Troy ;)

    I am realy fan to work on LUA but, as number of people, I am realy a novice in programming. So, your project to make AddOns more accessibly make me curious.
    How will you deal with initiation? As thought about communication within gamers and you to adapt guides according needs.

    And what about API, could we know some of point about it?
  6. Zap-Robo

    Zap-Robo Administrator • King Cupcake

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    Oh, and as a side-note - Underdog is over on chat right now if you want to ask your question "live". Click on Chat at the top of the page and join the fun!
  7. starspun

    starspun Well-Known Cupcake

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    Hi Jon, thanks for taking the time to do this for us! Here, have an obligatory (and obnoxious) request/demand for beta... just so we get that out of the way.

    That said, I have a few questions from a friend (no, really), but they're not about UI addons and I'll understand completely if you can't answer them at this point!

    1. How much does the game rely on reasonable latency?
    2. How much client-side prediction is done in your average MMO?
    3. What does it take to get studios to understand and care about how important it is to craft a really excellent game interface? Is anyone brave enough to try something profoundly different instead of just rehashing the character portrait, minimap, action bar soup we've been slurping for the past ten or fifteen years - like actually thinking deeply about what information the player needs at any given time and how best to present it, rather than just slapping everything on the screen willy nilly?
    (Basically this is what came up when I asked friends for questions to ask a client engineer, so... yeah, that's what they wanted to know, haha.)

    Other than that... I think one concern a lot of people might have is the eventuality of addons such as (early versions of) Decursive and AVR in WoW - where Blizzard had to step in and break things that made these function because they were so powerful, and basically required if you wanted to do any kind of serious raiding. Will you take precautionary measures to prevent something like this from happening in WildStar, or will you step in and say "no, we're not going to let you do that" if a situation like that should arise?
  8. Dyraele

    Dyraele "That" Cupcake

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    Thanks for stopping by Jon.

    Just a couple things.

    1) Assuming macros will be allowed, will they be simple or complex?
    a) Will there be a doc showing the available keywords available for macros?
    b) Will macros be able to call other macros?
    c) Will macros be limited to prevent botting?

    2) Will the UI allow overlays? As in, can I create my own look and feel to put over the screen?

    3) Now many keys will I be able to bind skills to?
    a) Will there be multiple rows to show all the key binds?
    b) Will the key rows be easily accessible, as in all available at once on screen?

    4) Will I be able to have random shots of beautiful female Aurin popping up in random corners if I want? :)

    5) Is the map going to be interactive, in that I mean:
    a) If I click on an area it will pop up close up map of that area if I have been there
    b) Allow me to transport directly to that area if I have certain items or conditions met

    6) Will there be a friends map that is interactive as well?
    a) Shows the character of my friends?
    b) Allows me to click on them to perform friend functions, like chat, mail, go away, etc

    That's all for now. Thanks for listening.
  9. Bitwise

    Bitwise Carbine Studios

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    Hi everyone! I'm just popping in quickly to answer some of the questions posed here and in last night's chat (which was fun).

    Zap-Robo:
    Yes, we allow the ability to set the loading parameters for Addons based on character/realm/account/machine, so that you can configure different load profiles according to how each character might play.

    starspun:
    Certain aspects of MMO server architecture are just facts of life, for the foreseeable future, and dealing with latency by using strategies like client-side simulation, prediction, and resolution (when you are wrong about the predictions) will always lead to certain expected (and possibly undesirable visual) phenomena on the margins. Some games are better at making this feel more natural than others, but all of them deal with it in one way or another.

    Game studios have long realized that UI design and implementation is not just an afterthought. This stuff matters a lot. Unfortunately when certain types of games dominate an industry for a period of time, they sometimes tend to have a persistent effect on UI design for years afterwards, and studios are reticent about breaking out of established patterns. This is where you guys come in.

    Dyraele:
    Yes, we do have macros in the game, but they are currently much simpler than they are in other games. Part of that is a desire to limit the possibility of botting, and part of that is because other areas of the UI API make macros less important. We will absolutely document all the macro commands.

    The in-game UI will be 100% completely modifiable. You can completely recreate the UI to look however YOU want it to look. Seriously.

    Keybinding is pretty straightforward, and will allow you to bind most key combinations to any action you want. If you want multiple rows of action bars, you can make that happen. It's up to you.

    Our map UI will have lots of cool features built in at launch, including features like showing friends, zooming in, highlighting objectives, etc. If it doesn't do something really cool that you think it should... well, either you or somebody else will fix that soon we expect.

    The Chat:
    Going over some of the questions from the chat, I shared that our window positioning will be based both on relative % from the parent as well as offsets, giving you a lot of control on exactly where windows will appear. I talked about how we aim to curb botting by containing certain kinds of game functions within specific widgets and enforcing rules on their placment and showing/hiding.

    One concern that is brought up is the invention of a "Superaddon" or something that basically makes it necessary to have that particular Addon in order to compete at all. I think our API should make that less of a concern, but we will deal with those kinds of things as they come up. We are going to be very much involved in the Addon development community. We won't be just throwing the API out there and then ignoring everyone. And when we do need to make changes to the API, we will be forthright about the reasons why.

    I hope that answers most of the questions. I'm sure there will be more. I'll post when I can. Thanks everyone!
    Sonntam, Thee, Myrddin and 1 other person like this.
  10. starspun

    starspun Well-Known Cupcake

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    And once again I just have to thank you for doing this for us, Jon!

    I'm going to dig out the chat log from last night and make it available for everyone sometime tomorrow, for those of you that might want to read it (and be sorry they missed it).
    Thee likes this.
  11. Thee

    Thee Cupcake

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    Fantastic stuff. Thanks Jon for stopping by and answering questions and also thanks in advance for providing the chat log for the chat. Can't wait to delve right into it.
  12. starspun

    starspun Well-Known Cupcake

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    Alright, here we go - the chat log! I'm afraid it looks a little messy, when it comes to cleaning up logs like these I never know what to keep and what to discard... so my apologies for that bit! Hopefully it's still readable!

    Pastebin, because I didn't know where else to put it: http://pastebin.com/zmfcsaCx

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