After test game some observations

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enpi
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After test game some observations

Postby enpi » Thu Jun 04, 2015 6:59 pm

I just began a new game and I have some observations.

1. The new production list is much better than the old one due to its smaller size. Thats great. But the icons IMO its still to big. I would make them smaller, maybe half the size. Especially if more ship designs are added, it still could become too "scrolly."

2. The Orthac (those mansized bugs) attacked one of my ships (escort cruiser vs lt. cruiser) and I got no message about a combat, or any option to fight it out in the tactical mode. The only feedback I had was that my lt. cruiser suddenly "disappeared" from screen and when I clicked on the escort cruiser from the Orthacs which was in same system it was damaged. I guess this is a bug.

3. Good that we can now choose between 3 different galaxy sizes. Maybe you could introduce a text field were I can enter the no. of systems i want manually instead of clicking the system button 50 times up.

4. There need to be a visual feedback which planets I can reach when I click on a ship. (maybe a semitransparent sphere or so?) Additionally I strongly suggest that you introduce a tool where I can premeasure the distance between any 2 planets. MOO2 had such a similar tool in one of its patches which you could use if you press f10 or f12.

5. I have no idea which planets are good for my race and which not. Maybe I am dumb but I didnt find any infos about this topic anywhere. The game dont give me any data about this. the only info I get is uninteresting and irrelevant for playing like Orbital period, climate zones, solar days and something called "debug" (what ever this is) I dont even know if the type or size of a planet influences the slots I have for my factories or if it influences the population cap or not.

So is it better to settle barren worlds or is it better to settle ice worlds? Maybe only earthlike worlds, I dont know. The game dont tell me, there is no wiki or even some manual about this topic. Maybe you hide some information in the description of the race but its tediuos not openly knowing the data because usually I am not that interested in the text fluff and I read it only when I have time. I would suggest that you include either accurate data about planet colonization priority for each race or that you make a color coded system which gives the player some feedback which planets are good for his race and which planets are a priority for the AI enemy to colonize. That lack of data is one the 2 bigger problems in your game IMO (the other one is the presentation of your tech tree) because it does not promote strategic planning by the player. (strategic planning I am sure is where the fun for most gamers is in 4x games)

6. Which leads to the presentation of the tech tree, the second element which I dont like in the game. I really I hope you find the time to fix this, because its simply not fun to tediously browse through hypertext windows like in 1990 instead of a modern easy to use 2015 presentation.

I would also STRONGLY suggest to fix your technology text by STRICTLY seperating fluff and crunch. (eg description text what the tech represents in the game world and hard game data like damage etc.) Only narrative roleplaying games do this nowadays. In other games its a no go to mix those two.

For example in Laser tech you write in the same description: Deals 1-10 damage (crunch). A basic weapon .... (yadda yadda fluff which I really dont want to read but have to read because maybe you hide some info in it. I find this boring. When you want to write scifi/technobabble fluff thats ok but please make it seperate from game crunch data so that you dont FORCE the player to read it in order to get hidden crunch data out of it)

Additionally many technologies dont have good crunchy description which explain what they do in game. Again an example is the Laser: I dont know which ship classes accept the Laser as weapon module for example, so I dont know if it pays off to research it. Without relevant data for me to decide its not strategy but luck (or maybe experience if I play the game often) decides if the tech is usable or not. I had this problem with several "heavy" variants of weapons like Heayy Laser? I researched it for many turns and then I could not integrate them into my light ships which made me quite angry about the wasted research time and the lacking tech description.

I know its still alpha, but please include more precise description what a tech is really doing and what ship type can use it. I mean dont write "lasers have significant range". "Significant" is as good as non-information and means as much as "applecakes" when I have no relation to the tactical arena. Write instead "laser range: 40 squares".

7. Planetary report - On this list it would be quite practical to have info about the remaining turns and filters to sort the planets (parameters - type, remaining turns etc.)

8. One of my games were a small galaxy with just 1 AI and the others removed. Nonetheless I met not just one but several other AI like Terrans etc. I seems atm the "remove AI" feature in your setup screen does not work correctly.

As always I really liked the rest of the game and I am sure it has a great potential once these alpha problems are fixed. Please keep on with your excellent work.

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Gyrfalcon
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Re: After test game some observations

Postby Gyrfalcon » Thu Jun 04, 2015 8:55 pm

enpi wrote:5. I have no idea which planets are good for my race and which not.

I think having just the maximum potential population shown next to the planet is pretty much enough. Trying to put the information for each different race is likely to make a mess. Although if you did it kind of like a clock with the numbers highlighted if I have that race present in my empire, it might look pretty good.

Code: Select all

----------
----12----
----**----
--8****6--
--******--
--8****9--
----**----
-----7----


Let's say this is a smallish watery world, so 12 would be the max pop for Phidi, 8 for Ashdar, 8 for Human, and so on around the planet. Once it is colonized, it might change to show how many additional slots are available for each race instead of max pop. It would also probably need to be color coded for different races or have a tootip that pops up with the different race names listed next to the numbers until you learn the system.

I haven't had much trouble figuring out which planets make good colonization targets, however, after the first couple of games, so I'm ok with the current system.

enpi wrote: I would also STRONGLY suggest to fix your technology text by STRICTLY seperating fluff and crunch.

I'm going to disagree as I prefer narrative descriptions as a way to improve immersion. Although a little more direct information on weapon range would be helpful.
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Arioch
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Re: After test game some observations

Postby Arioch » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:06 pm

enpi wrote:2. The Orthac (those mansized bugs) attacked one of my ships (escort cruiser vs lt. cruiser) and I got no message about a combat, or any option to fight it out in the tactical mode. The only feedback I had was that my lt. cruiser suddenly "disappeared" from screen and when I clicked on the escort cruiser from the Orthacs which was in same system it was damaged. I guess this is a bug.

Sounds like a bug; if you have a save, please upload it.

enpi wrote:3. Good that we can now choose between 3 different galaxy sizes. Maybe you could introduce a text field were I can enter the no. of systems i want manually instead of clicking the system button 50 times up.

Yes, the text field which specifies the number of systems will be manually editable.

enpi wrote:4. There need to be a visual feedback which planets I can reach when I click on a ship. (maybe a semitransparent sphere or so?) Additionally I strongly suggest that you introduce a tool where I can premeasure the distance between any 2 planets. MOO2 had such a similar tool in one of its patches which you could use if you press f10 or f12.

Yes, range circles for the movement UI are in the works.

enpi wrote:5. I have no idea which planets are good for my race and which not. Maybe I am dumb but I didnt find any infos about this topic anywhere. The game dont give me any data about this. the only info I get is uninteresting and irrelevant for playing like Orbital period, climate zones, solar days and something called "debug" (what ever this is) I dont even know if the type or size of a planet influences the slots I have for my factories or if it influences the population cap or not.

So is it better to settle barren worlds or is it better to settle ice worlds? Maybe only earthlike worlds, I dont know. The game dont tell me, there is no wiki or even some manual about this topic. Maybe you hide some information in the description of the race but its tediuos not openly knowing the data because usually I am not that interested in the text fluff and I read it only when I have time. I would suggest that you include either accurate data about planet colonization priority for each race or that you make a color coded system which gives the player some feedback which planets are good for his race and which planets are a priority for the AI enemy to colonize. That lack of data is one the 2 bigger problems in your game IMO (the other one is the presentation of your tech tree) because it does not promote strategic planning by the player. (strategic planning I am sure is where the fun for most gamers is in 4x games)

I agree that this information needs to be more clearly spelled out, and it will be in the population and planet info screens. Part of the reason that it's not very clear at the moment is that these values are still in flux, and there are more changes coming. At the moment, the only way to tell if a certain colonist type can benefit from unexploited biomes on a given planet is to use the Move Colonists UI and see if that colonist shows a +X Population Cap message on a given planet when hovered over it

enpi wrote: I would also STRONGLY suggest to fix your technology text by STRICTLY seperating fluff and crunch. (eg description text what the tech represents in the game world and hard game data like damage etc.) Only narrative roleplaying games do this nowadays. In other games its a no go to mix those two.

For example in Laser tech you write in the same description: Deals 1-10 damage (crunch). A basic weapon .... (yadda yadda fluff which I really dont want to read but have to read because maybe you hide some info in it. I find this boring. When you want to write scifi/technobabble fluff thats ok but please make it seperate from game crunch data so that you dont FORCE the player to read it in order to get hidden crunch data out of it)

I agree that the "hard" information on weapons needs to be better, but again, these values are still in flux, and so description text of this kind will be changing a lot in the near future.

I agree with you in general about putting lengthy fluff exposition in a separate space from the game UI, but I don't think a single sentence describing what the weapon is is out of line. One of the things I disliked about Civilization: Beyond Earth was that there was no information at all in the game UI about what items represented in real terms (WTF is a Markov Eclipse?), forcing you to go to the encyclopedia to find out... and I think that's a step too far in terms of immersion or lack thereof. But yes, the stats should be and will be more complete and informative in the future.

enpi wrote:8. One of my games were a small galaxy with just 1 AI and the others removed. Nonetheless I met not just one but several other AI like Terrans etc. I seems atm the "remove AI" feature in your setup screen does not work correctly.

Sounds like a bug; if you have a save, please upload it.

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enpi
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Re: After test game some observations

Postby enpi » Fri Jun 05, 2015 7:32 am

Arioch wrote:Sounds like a bug; if you have a save, please upload it.


No prob. Do you have an email adress where I can send the file?

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Re: After test game some observations

Postby Arioch » Fri Jun 05, 2015 4:34 pm

enpi wrote:
Arioch wrote:Sounds like a bug; if you have a save, please upload it.


No prob. Do you have an email adress where I can send the file?

You can do it in-game. Just load the save and click "upload game logs" from the Options screen.

Or, email at ashdar.games@gmail.com.

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Re: After test game some observations

Postby enpi » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:44 am

ok, I just sent to your email. I had luck, because I got a HD crash yesterday but somehow I could save the file.

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Re: After test game some observations

Postby sven » Sat Jun 06, 2015 5:19 pm

enpi wrote:ok, I just sent to your email. I had luck, because I got a HD crash yesterday but somehow I could save the file.


Sorry to hear about the HD crash :(

As far as the remove AI issue -- I think what's going on here is actually a UI design problem. In the current build, any time you change the map size, the number of races is reset to whatever the recommended number for that map size is. So, for example, if you decide to make a 1v1 map, then change the map size to 'small' you'll end up with a 1v4 map. Which, I suspect, is exactly what happened here.

I'm not quite sure what the best fix for this issue is. A reasonable rule might be something like "changing the map size always changes the number of players, unless the advanced faction settings has been adjusted, in which case, it never does." But, I could see that being confusing as well. Arioch and I will need to think about this one a little more, I think.

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enpi
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Re: After test game some observations

Postby enpi » Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:41 am

why not just letting the player have the number of AI independantly from the galaxy size like it is in many other games? For example when a player want a game with just one single AI enemy on a giant 300 stars map, why not? Shouldnt it be his choice?

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Re: After test game some observations

Postby Arioch » Sun Jun 07, 2015 5:14 pm

Of course it's the player's choice; he can choose any number of players that he likes, regardless of the map size. The only issue currently is that the number of players resets when the player changes the map size.

I think the way to deal with it is probably to assign a "futzed with" flag to the Advanced Factions Settings pane, and once the player has made a manual change there, automatic changes to that pane should be disabled. This flag should reset every time this screen comes up.

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enpi
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Re: After test game some observations

Postby enpi » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:03 pm

I always loved the really simple and fast way MOO2 let you choose the setup. On the screen you clicked on small, medium large galaxy then age of galaxy and afterwards you clicked how many players you wanted. (2-8 or so) Simple and effective and I am always anxious which empires take part but I dont know before I didnt met them on the map. (please not the klackons:))

Why is it not possible to just copy this quick system? Addtionally you could introduce an "advanced setting" button with all the chrome setup mechanics which some (but surely not all) players want (like define the races, create new ones, number of pirates and space monsters the player wants, playing speed or whatever) ?

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Re: After test game some observations

Postby Arioch » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:54 pm

There is no need to touch the Advanced Settings if you're not interested in it. Just select difficulty and map size and go.

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Re: After test game some observations

Postby Awaras » Mon Jun 08, 2015 4:32 am

One thing I really,really like about the SiS game setup:
I have not yet seen two instances of the same race in a single game. Other games (SOTS and Distant Worlds come to mind) have a truly 'random' distribution of enemy empires, which in practice usually means that you will end up surrounded with three empires of the same race. Very immersion breaking for me. I would usually have to manually set enemy empires in these games to make sure it doesn't happen.

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Re: After test game some observations

Postby enpi » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:17 am

Awaras wrote:One thing I really,really like about the SiS game setup:
I have not yet seen two instances of the same race in a single game. Other games (SOTS and Distant Worlds come to mind) have a truly 'random' distribution of enemy empires, which in practice usually means that you will end up surrounded with three empires of the same race. Very immersion breaking for me. I would usually have to manually set enemy empires in these games to make sure it doesn't happen.


For me this is nothing special but a basic feature for a real good 4x game. In Civ, MOO or SE-series I never met the same race twice in a single game. Other 4x games are not that good and dont interest me after playing them a fewhours. (well maybe galciv 3 is nice but not premium class)


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