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lordnikon
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Posted:
Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:01 am
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Over the course of Dreamcast Online gaming many dreams were both realized and crushed. I am not just speaking of games taken offline. I am also referring to games released without planned online functions, and new online games that were canceled. Armada for the Dreamcast was a console exclusive game originally intended to include online functions. Sega did not have their online plans ready in time. Thus, Armada was released to the market without online functionality, and instead featured an innovative 4-player mode.

After Armada’s release, a sequel was announced, which would have full online multiplayer. Unfortunately, Armada 2 was canceled. As soon as Sega Announced their intentions to pull out of the hardware market, 3rd party publishers/developers no longer saw the Dreamcast as a viable option. Armada 2 was then announced for release on other platforms. At first you’d hear of it coming to the Playstation 2. Then the game was set to release for the GameCube. Multiple release dates were listed for the GameCube release, which came and went. Then the game was going to come to the Xbox as an exclusive. At the moment I do not have any official confirmation if the games really were in development for these 3 platforms. All of these details are what filtered down to various e-zines such as IGN and GameSpot.

I myself have been among the many who still dreamed of what could have been. From time to time I would check the forums at Metro3D to see if a platform had been decided upon for Armada 2’s release. The game has been shelved for a longtime now and had been listed as “in development hell”.

This morning I check yet again, for the 100th time in the last few years. I peruse a few threads and stumble upon a recent thread with a URL inside. I think to myself, “Ooo neat a fan site.” Upon opening the link I start looking things over. I am having a hard time registering in my mind what I am looking at. At first I think some group of fans have banded together and are working on a homebrew Armada game. As I dig deeper, I find out how wrong I am…

Original developers Mark Jordan and Roger Fang bought the rights to Armada. They are now working as an independent company to develop Armada Online, a multiplayer online game for the PC. They have a little help as well. Some of the other people who worked on the game at the time are helping out. They are using the Armada 2 build as starting material.

If you have never played Armada for the Dreamcast, then you are going to have a hard time understanding the magnitude of this news. If you have played Armada, then you realize this is the single greatest piece of video game news you will hear all year. On top of this when you read the developers say, “Armada Online is the game of our dreams”, you can’t help but get excited to see developers expressing the same level of passion, as the fans that play it.

If you have any doubts about this actually matching your appreciation for the original Armada, you have no need to worry. The unique graphical style of the original is being preserved, as you can clearly see in these recent screenshots:

http://www.armada-online.com/screenshots/ss01.jpg
http://www.armada-online.com/screenshots/ss02.jpg
http://www.armada-online.com/screenshots/ss03.jpg

For more information and community interaction for Armada Online, please visit the official website at:
http://www.armada-online.com

On a side note: Please do not haggle or harass the developers of AO to release the game on the Dreamcast. The game is obviously going to take full advantage of the PC’s capability to provide a detailed online gaming experience. Releasing it on the Dreamcast would be unrealistic, and probably detract from the goals the company has in mind for AO.


Last edited by lordnikon on Thu Feb 16, 2006 6:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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IMP@QT
rank 8
Posted:
Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:59 am
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Im curious, is this some kind of space sim/action-adventure RPG? Looks pretty damn cool from those screencaps you posted. When i get another PC ill have to check this title out when it gets released.
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Chile
rank 30
Posted:
Sun Oct 23, 2005 12:43 pm
quote : #3
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Great News! I know they said they are working with a build of Armada 2 right now. I: do hope they improve the graphics because the 5 year old engine is really showing. Really great news though. Very Happy
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pakkitman
rank 41
Posted:
Sun Oct 23, 2005 6:59 pm
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Holy. Fucking. Shit. That's absolutely awesome, I kept up with the development process of Armada 2 for quite a while. While I don't own Armada, I had the game for a while bought used and played it for a good 10 hours before a scratch on the disc stopped my progress. The game was awesome and I think its amazing that this game is back, I was sure it, and the Armada license, were goners, especially in this day and age where people look at Armada and think it is nothing but a Asteroids game. This could easily become the Freelancer of online gaming. I'm getting hot just thinking about it. Excuse me. Embarassed
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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:49 am
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Chile wrote:
I: do hope they improve the graphics because the 5 year old engine is really showing.

I think the engine for the original still looks good today. It could use a clarrity upgrade....BUT....thats it really. The developers did a great job of creating a dark futuristic atmosphere. They used a lot of very very simple design elements to do this. Notice the fog plane is just a simple stationary texture plane. It's not a particle system. However since your eyes are focused on the plane below it, this goes out of focus. Creating the illusion of a natural fog in your field of view. Also the use of ghostly Armada within the fog really add to the games personality. If anything I'm afraid they will make the PC version too crisp and bright without that dark feel that the original had. Armada made you feel like you really were out on your own in a vast dark universe, I hope the developers will replicate this for the PC version.

Also, Armada's framerate on the Dreamcast holds up near perfect. You can have a full screen of enemies, bullets, and explosions and the framerate doesn't budge.

The developers don't need to give Armada some "next gen" look. I think they are on the right track with where they are taking the game. 2D graphics and 3D graphics in a scrolling plane are not inferior to an x,y,z plane 3D experience. With the next generation of Console and PC hardware almost upon us it makes me cringe to think that some publishers no longer considered 2D perspectives an option.

I agree that an upgrade to the graphics is in order, but merely to make the game more clear and at a higher resolution. Any more change could drain the game of its aesthetic look and style. Then the game would cease to feel like Armada, and be some wierd freakish cousin of Armada.
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Chile
rank 30
Posted:
Mon Oct 24, 2005 4:14 pm
quote : #6
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Posts: 643
lordnikon wrote:
Chile wrote:
I: do hope they improve the graphics because the 5 year old engine is really showing.

I think the engine for the original still looks good today. It could use a clarrity upgrade....BUT....thats it really. The developers did a great job of creating a dark futuristic atmosphere. They used a lot of very very simple design elements to do this. Notice the fog plane is just a simple stationary texture plane. It's not a particle system. However since your eyes are focused on the plane below it, this goes out of focus. Creating the illusion of a natural fog in your field of view. Also the use of ghostly Armada within the fog really add to the games personality. If anything I'm afraid they will make the PC version too crisp and bright without that dark feel that the original had. Armada made you feel like you really were out on your own in a vast dark universe, I hope the developers will replicate this for the PC version.

Also, Armada's framerate on the Dreamcast holds up near perfect. You can have a full screen of enemies, bullets, and explosions and the framerate doesn't budge.

The developers don't need to give Armada some "next gen" look. I think they are on the right track with where they are taking the game. 2D graphics and 3D graphics in a scrolling plane are not inferior to an x,y,z plane 3D experience. With the next generation of Console and PC hardware almost upon us it makes me cringe to think that some publishers no longer considered 2D perspectives an option.

I agree that an upgrade to the graphics is in order, but merely to make the game more clear and at a higher resolution. Any more change could drain the game of its aesthetic look and style. Then the game would cease to feel like Armada, and be some wierd freakish cousin of Armada.


Don't get me wrong, I don't want an overhaul, all new look. I, like you, want the same look, but just more focused and clearer.
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ultrapro
unknown
Posted:
Sat Nov 05, 2005 11:31 am
quote : #7
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Posts: 1674
great news!! i didnt complete the original but i own it, have played it and thought it was superb!! cant wait to pic this game up when it finally surfaces. might need to upgrade my pcs ram by about triple tho!!! and nikon for some reason those links dont work and i searched for it manually and no record of the site comes up either. hasnt been taken down has it??
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NibelheimPromise
rank 11
Posted:
Sun Nov 13, 2005 1:48 pm
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I saw the headline a couple of weeks ago but didn't get a chance to post about the news... So, let me take this opportunity to say: hell freaking yes. My roommate and I play Armada all of the time actually and when I read What Jordan and Fang were working on, I actually ran into my roommate's room and woke him up to tell him - of course he didn't seem all that excited, maybe he was taking a nap... but still, I was excited and that's all that mattered to me.

The idea of taking an armada game online is quite possibly one of the neatest ideas ever - the concept with that type of game is a work of genious.
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axlrose2k5
rank 6
Posted:
Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:40 pm
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Posts: 45
Right now there are allowing for alpha sign ups.http://www.armada-online.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=1
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:45 pm
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I have been checking out some videos of this game in action. It is a bit frustrating to me because there is a divide here that shuns me out of the game almost entirely.

Armada Online has point and click gameplay, vs being able to actually control your ship. It is still exciting to see this franchise evolve on the PC platform. However I can only watch from a far, as the control mechanisms of Armada Online completly contradict my own preferences for playing video games. *sigh*
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U-235
rank 18
Posted:
Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:42 pm
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I absolutely hate the point and click gameplay. But at this time, the options menu is disabled so perhaps they will add gamepad support in the future. On the plus side, GREAT graphics.
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