Translating devspeak regarding Shootmania’s railgun-in-name-only.

One of the potential FPS games hoping against hope that it will effectively replace the Quake 3 family in the esport scene is Nadeo’s Shootmania. The game is half-deathmatch shooter and half-first-attempt-to-make-something-other-than-a-racing-game as far as the studio is concerned. Perhaps its this combination of factors that is leading the developer to think that they can change the formula on the classic a bit.

In Quake, railguns shoot straight. The fact is about as etched in stone as it can be, similar to bunnyhopping is the only way to move around in an arena. In Shootmania, they apparently don’t. Players, some of whom may have paid to have access to the game, have been complaining on Nadeo’s Shootmania subforum about the game’s railguns are not behaving as interpreted to be. While the topic sorely needed a post from a game developer, this post was probably not what the users had in mind:

Essentially, the Nadeo official is saying is that outside of servers running their own scripts and having their own settings, the railgun-in-name-only will continue to be itself.

But really, Nadeo just doesn’t give a fuck.

Granted the game is still months from a proper release, if anything that I’ve seen about it is any indication, the only real thing going in its favor is that there seems to be some relatively highly watched tournaments being broadcast with some pretty strong amounts of prize pools for winning teams. There have been tweaks for game-modes, but nothing earth-shattering for the game and nothing that resembles Quake.

A game can’t live on hype alone, but it looks like this is going to be the first real offering of an arena shooter in a while. Perhaps going back to FPS roots will help it build enough of a base to become a practical esport.

8 thoughts on “Translating devspeak regarding Shootmania’s railgun-in-name-only.

    • Plenty of what seems to be Google-translated posts from developers on there. Miscommunication seems rampant between players and devs on the forum, so much so they they even have translators patrolling the forum, it seems.

  1. Hi dude. For you info, the weapon’s name is Laser ^_^

    The range of the weapon is limited by having three dots that separate themselves more or less depending on the zoom. If you think to the Quake railgun, you can have the issue of having a need for really huge resolutions in order to aim things that are really far. In fact, in Quake, you have lesser distance than in Shootmania most of the time, so it was not a real issue. In ShootMania, we wanted to prevent many things, such as hyper long range shoot against subpixel AND introduce at the same moment more strategic positionning with a range of risk against the laser. With zoom platform that gives you better view and better range, it makes it even more strategic. So, I don’t think that taking the Quake formula for another game than Quake should be done in a blind way. Our rocket launcher and our ‘railgun’ are different (ammo management, distance management) because we needed somehow deeper weapons.

    “But really, Nadeo just doesn’t give a fuck.” this is not deep, for example.

    • The fact that Nadeo is giving the laser less than 100% precision at all times even with the zoom disengaged doesn’t feel like the right move to me. Having a weapon that is supposed to represent precision that has even a slight conefire mechanic or a penalty for not aiming-down-the-sights is just puts Shootmania two steps away from being as unoriginal as any recent Call of Duty title. My disappointment in the matter is furthered by the comment that Nadeo intends to prevent ‘hyper long rant shoot against subpixel’ and promote strategy through forcing players to zoom in while using the weapon. I guess the days of players requiring pure skill to compete is over, huh?

      The only real distinctions that Shootmania brings to the scene is a health system represented in the number of hits a player can take and the addition of a stamina mechanic to an arcade shooter. It also brings the *mania standard modular design, which allows pretty much anyone to make simple maps that are bigger than some found in Quake or Counter-Strike era games, but big maps never were the draw for those games because such maps didn’t force players into engagements.

      Of course, Nadeo has the right to make whatever move they want to make and that’s fine with me. There’s not really anything else that is in this space right now, so success for the title comes down to advertising and not much of anything else.

      • Ok, this is probably where there is a misunderstanding. The laser is as accurate as the Quake railgun. There is no random factor, recoil pattern or whatever. You just have to put the 3 dots on the opponent hitbox in order to hit. It is not lack of accuracy, but a more difficult weapon. Where one of the dot is out of the opponent box, the laser is deflected here so it appears out of target and potentially moving from one shot to another, but it is simply a way to see that you missed.
        It is a three-lasers that needs convergence to fire, and I think it makes it deeper than the single pixel railgun that requires a higher resolution screen to shoot further and that makes the zoom just a confort more than a strategic tool. The use of platform located in some part of the level increases the map control part of the game, but if you have already the laser, it is still useful thanks to the zooming side of it.

        • “the single pixel railgun that requires a higher resolution screen to shoot further” – this belies a fundamental misunderstanding about how an FPS engine should work. If you’re tying a player’s client resolution to how granular their character’s gun orientation and movement is, there’s so many things you’re doing wrong.

          • I should have wrote: to see better subpixel targets, and so to shoot them. But I think you understand and that you do not really believe that we made a per pixel move. A least it shows how quickly some are shooting before having some sort of consideration that things may be a little more complicated than first sight.

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