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"How in the hell could Interplay release a game with such major, glaring, near-fatal flaws? Didn't anybody know? Didn't anybody care?" - PC Gamer Nov 98

"Running a close second in the shovelware market is Interplay, which also takes second place (after Sierra) as The Company Who Hates Its Customers The Most" - PC Gamer Feb 99

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March 26 Chat Log

Highlights from the IRC meeting 3/26/98

MAX2Paul: First.. a lot of people have been asking us about the NDA.. (nondisclosure agreement) So we've decided to modify it and allow people to start talking about the beta on their web sites, newsgroups or wherever.. We'll put the exact wording of this on the web site.. and it'll be in the next e-mail.. We're still asking that you don't distribute the files anywhere or give out the URL, of course.. Chris.. want to tell them about any new features or anything before we start??

MAX2Chris: Well.... (Sorry, I was distracted by violent programmer discussions... :) We just recently added more of the new interface. The map selection interface is sooooo much better. I've been trying to update the webboard everyday with the changes and fixes we've been making. I highly suggest, if you haven't already done it, that you stop by and look for the [STATUS] messages.

CHynes: Is there any definite date for the next beta yet?

MAX2Paul: not yet.. A few new things have come up that are delaying it.. We've decided to add a bunch off new animations.. mainly to all the units.. so they won't just sit around all the time not doing anything.. To do that, we needed to free up some memory, so we're having to go back and redo the way the units are done.. So that's holding up the alien units even more.. But hopefully.. *hopefully* it'll be in another week or so..

CHynes: It goes _really_ slow on my P90, especially with a lot of units. Its a little better on the P166, but still slow... Are you doing any optimizations?

MAX2Paul: not really any yet, no.. we'll be looking at speeding things up really soon, but we're planning on keeping the minimum spec to a P90. Are you using the line of sight functions? We've speed those up a lot in the last few days..

CHynes: Yeah. How can I know where I can see without that?

MAX2Paul: Next version that will be a lot faster..

Jovian: There's a line of sight option.....can you explain that....because there's no "FOW"

MAX2Chris> Jovian, FOW is in the latest beta. Hit "j" to turn it on.

MAX2Paul: the next version will include the 'attack shading' as well..

cleric1: I noticed that aircraft move at different rates of speed, even when grouped, fighters don't adjust spd anything to do about that?

MAX2Chris: I was just talking to Gus about this. Today, as a matter of fact. Not much can be done about that without making them very jerkily. We probably won't change it.

cleric1: too bad, without fighter escort the ground attacks get nailed and vice versa

MAX2Chris: We tried changing the speed of the entire group to the slowest unit moving. But it did not work. The entire group waited for one single unit to get into place and it really, slowed them down. My suggestion is send them to a staging area close to your target.

Reliant: I was wondering if you have some sort of manual for MAX 2? Would help us tester if we new what the game is supposed to do (or at leaste the ones who didn't play MAX 1)

MAX2Paul: Yes.. the manual text is almost final.. and we're planning on making it available to you all soon..

MAX2Chris: We're talking about the different ways of getting to you. It was just signed off today, so it's fairly complete.

LionDog: Has the max2 team considered using tactical modifiers for units receiving damage in an attack?(i.e. Like the direction an attacked unit is facing. Units could have stronger frontal armor/shields, etc.) Another idea for unit direction is the direction affecting the line of sight?) This could make flanking the enemy real interesting....

MAX2Chris: Hmm. We don't have a cost to turn rotation.

LionDog: cost?

MAX2Chris: No movement point cost.

LionDog: hmmm....could it be a fraction of the movement?

MAX2Chris: It could, but adding it now would throw a monkey into balance. We did talk about this and ran into a few interface problems, like how do you control the exact facing of your unit. Nothing that we could not solve -- but it's always a question of payoff for work involved. (I do like that idea, however.) We also talked about SFB-like shield arcs for the Sheevat and weaker rear armor.

James_D: Could you explain attack shading? What is it? Selecting units?

MAX2Paul: It's like fog-of-war for your units range.. In MAX1 we had circles drawn to indicate how far units could shoot.. It just is an indicator of their current range..so there'll be three shadings.. one for what you have seen and still have scan on, one for areas you've seen, but don't have current scan and the attack shading, showing the attack range of each unit..

LeJohn: we started to discuss this so I'll re ask: Are the automodes going to be reworked? It never fails, I tell a unit to hold position and as soon as an enemy gets within scan range they move up to engage it. The infiltrators are the worst they either move up to engage some one or unless I stand over them they will move away from the unit I want them to disable and move to a different target without orders to do so.

MAX2Chris: AutoMove-Hold should be holding your units. They should not be moving under those conditions.

LeJohn: they do

MAX2Chris: That's a bug. Please report it...

LeJohn: This especially happens when I have them disabling an enemy mine (refinery), the infiltrator will move to the next closest target instead continuing to disable the mine unless I stop him and make him go back into position.

MAX2Chris: Ahh, that may be another bug entirely. If you give them an target to disable and they don't, it could be the problem...

Reliant: I was wondering about the crashes in MAX 2. Do you know what caused them and if it will be fixed in the next ver?

MAX2Paul: We've fixed a lot of crashes.. I'm sure there are still some more lurking around..

drglenn: I've tried to mine from a gold resource a few times and keep getting a message that there isn't enough to mine. If there isn't, why show it as a resource?

MAX2Chris: Okay, first make sure that you have actually scanned that area. Then make sure that you are actually laying the gold mine down on top of the resource. What happens when you press SURVEY? What number do you get? If there is any number of the gold resource icon, you should be able to mine it.

drglenn: Usually a number under 5

MAX2Chris: That sounds about right. Gold resources generally have lower resource numbers. Do you have the map tilted down at all?

drglenn: Top down

MAX2Chris: It should be working. I can't think of anyone *non-bug* gameplay reason why it should not. If there is a resource of 1, you should be able to lay a gold mining station down on top of it.

LeJohn: Is anything being done about the power usage/time out bug in Sim/TB modes

MAX2Paul: It's on the list of things to fix.. our QA found this right after we released the last version..

LeJohn: Was not one reason for getting rid of the power generators, power stations and connectors to limit the size of the bases, to get rid of the "super base"?

MAX2Chris: Yep. That would be one of the reasons. (Somehow I can see a backstab coming up...)

LeJohn: The way the game is set up now, not requiring connectors or power stations, the bases can easily span half the map. These virtual bases are harder to crack than any that could be built in Max1. follow this

http://www.ptsi.net/user/rachael/max2bug.htm

to see a super base I own 90% of the map and do this in virtually every game no just control the resources and you control the game. 0 gold, but I get the same results with 250 gold

MAX2Chris: what Material and Gold levels did you start the game with? (High, Medium, Low)

LeJohn: low, med. and High I've tested them all it very easy on the low setting

Edward_D: Will ever be a way of adding smoke screens to hide our units from enemy site? or infantry unit. that way your infiltrators are not seen by infantry if they are in the smoke screen

MAX2Chris: Well, if I saw a smoke screen near my base, I would shoot it dead. Hmm. We do have trees. And they do provide cover. It makes it a lot easier for units to sneak up on you, if you are not careful.

Meghan> We have reached the bottom of the queue.


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