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Author Topic: 0.9 Feedback Rundown  (Read 7671 times)

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February 16, 2015, 11:31:51 PM

Offline Corey

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0.9 Feedback Rundown
« on: February 16, 2015, 11:31:51 PM »
Before we get to any of the substance for this post, we'd would like to thank everyone for their feedback so far. The response to 0.9 has been very positive, and we want to thank everyone for their support in the past and hopefully going forward as well.

Now, on to the major areas of feedback. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive discussion (not going to mention stuff like individual missing strings or specific unit balance), I just wanted to hit on some of the more common areas and bigger changes.

TL;DR

Planet Defenses: Ineffective because of a bug, not design. Been fixed.
Starbases: Coming, just early in production, and not the same uber powerful all-in-one style.
Galaxy Gun: One per customer. Cannon shells cost extra, some assembly required. Opt in with heroes.
UI: Menus good, icons questionable. More feedback requested.
[/b]


...Planet Defenses & Starbases...
There was some concern during the initial release about the ineffectiveness of planetary defenses. This was actually the result of two rather unfortuante bugs with planet shielding and Golans, which have been addressed. We are, however, increasing planet health as well. I wrote a bit more about this in the description of this image, but that's the gist of it.

Second in this category is concern over the lack of starbases, which was not helped by my own poor choice of words in responses. We maintain that we have no intention of adding Sins-style starbases into the mod, but I should be more clear about what that means, specifically. By Sins-style starbases, we mean the all-in-one essentially armed planets that acted as immobile (or not, Orkulus) Titans militarily, while providing large economic and cultural bonuses. Those kinds of structures didn't exist in Star Wars, and we don't want to make them exist.

We do plan for each faction to have more specialized and less individually-powerful, deployable starbases however. We didn't want to talk about this until there was more progress on the assets, but considering it's my fault for the confusion I'll talk about it in some general terms. The current plan is for each faction to have two starbase options; one military, one non-military. They won't be the one-structure fleets/planets of the base game, but they will still have considerable power and utility in their respective areas. These will be included in 1.0, so we'll talk about them more once we've got more progress on them (we only recently even decided what specific structures to use, so it'll be a bit).

This is part of a larger point where we want to emphasize that people should not come into the mod with the expectation that this is Sins with a Star Wars facelift, and it shouldn't be played as such. Nor is the point of a Total Conversion to just tack features on. Features that we feel work and suit the material are kept or added (fighter supply, degrading systems, etcetera), and features that we feel don't work will be removed as necessary (all-in-one superbases, bypassing travel nodes, pirates). The end result will, we hope, provide a unique and well-fleshed out experience where features aren't just there for their own sake, and instead serve the larger purpose of reflecting the source material and creating a cohesive gameplay style.



...The Galaxy Gun...
This is a bit more simple. The Galaxy Gun is meant to be a very powerful (meaning no, we will not give you a way to avoid it once it has shot) weapon which is, crucially, very rare. In 0.9, considering you can't make availability scale with map size, on some maps it lived up to this while on others it was a bit too ubiquitous. We've made a few changes which should hopefully put the Galaxy Gun where it should be.

First, it's unique. You get one. Don't lose it, and don't set it to autocast or you'll waste one of your 20-minute-cooldown shots. Secondly, it costs resources to fire. Third, since this seemed like a popular request, it's now tied into the upcoming hero system (meaning at the start of the game you decide if you want heroes and superweapons or not).



...User Interface...
The response to certain UI components has been mixed. Some people have said they love it, others not so much. Our general perception of the feedback is that while people tend to like the overall design (main menu, sub menus) the achromatic theme of the buttons is less appealing to some. This is
an area where we're still deciding how to progress with the feedback, so if you're one of the people who dislikes it we encourage you to give as detailed feedback as possible in the comments on what it is you dislike about it, planet icons notwithstanding since we're already working on those to make planet types more identifiable.
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February 17, 2015, 06:36:08 PMReply #1

A_Suvorov

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Re: 0.9 Feedback Rundown
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2015, 06:36:08 PM »
My thoughts on the UI:

As far as the buttons go, the lack of colors and shading makes the different UI buttons less visually distinct and harder to recognize at a glance. Some of them have symbology which represents what they do, but because of the achromatic theme, it often takes a moment to recognize what they are. All of this would become less of a problem with more play-hours in the mod as you learn to recognize the buttons more reflexively (which may be why you the developers and the experienced testers don't see it as a big deal), but it is a bit off-putting at first as it is difficult to infer what is what.

Also the ship icons (e.g. the ones used in the empire tree and to represent the ships once you zoom out too far to make them out clearly). I find it practically impossible to distinguish classes of ships without zooming in or scrolling over. In base Sins, the icon representing each ship actually looked a lot like the top view of that ship, so even when you zoom out on the battle, it is easy to tell what is where at a glance. However in this mod, I have a lot of trouble distinguishing between the icons, as they don't seem very representative. In fact, I'm not really sure what those icons are supposed to be.

February 17, 2015, 06:51:00 PMReply #2

Offline Corey

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Re: 0.9 Feedback Rundown
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 06:51:00 PM »
Quote
Also the ship icons (e.g. the ones used in the empire tree and to represent the ships once you zoom out too far to make them out clearly). I find it practically impossible to distinguish classes of ships without zooming in or scrolling over. In base Sins, the icon representing each ship actually looked a lot like the top view of that ship, so even when you zoom out on the battle, it is easy to tell what is where at a glance. However in this mod, I have a lot of trouble distinguishing between the icons, as they don't seem very representative. In fact, I'm not really sure what those icons are supposed to be.


With this, keep in mind that ships in Sins are a lot more distinct within an individual faction than in Star Wars. The icons are entirely representative in the mod. They aren't just representative, they are literally 1:1 top down renders of the models. The only difference is, because every ship class looks so similar (League of Triangles) we then cut them in half and added symbols because there's no other basis by which to distinguish them.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2015, 06:55:48 PM by Corey »
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February 17, 2015, 11:11:27 PMReply #3

A_Suvorov

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Re: 0.9 Feedback Rundown
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2015, 11:11:27 PM »
Yeah, that is a bit of a puzzle. Unfortunately the symbols on the other half are too small and very difficult to make out. But hard to say what else could be done. Maybe eschew the ship icon entirely in favor of a NATO-esque symbology like this?

http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g64/PoorOldSpike/CMSF/WW2-symbols.gif

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b4/Symbols_of_unit_type.gif

http://www.gatheryourparty.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/WGALB10.jpg

It would take awhile to learn what is what, but then again, so does squinting at the little symbols being used right now. And a well-designed system could be intuitive enough. Then again, it might look hideous. I dunno.

February 24, 2015, 08:17:23 PMReply #4

Offline OzWolf

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Re: 0.9 Feedback Rundown
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2015, 08:17:23 PM »
We have talked about the symbol concept in the past.

It is potentially something I want to look at more and assist the others in once I clean up the (obvious) scattering of unimplemented or original game UI components still waiting to be done.

The idea of small, compact but clearly recognisable symbols that don't crowd each other out but don't just become a block of WTF on screen is a hard one to juggle.

Borrowing from naval-style tactical symbols would mean that a diamond is a ship.  We would then add something like style changes to indicate size (ie. frigate, cruiser, capital and super capital) along with something to indicate the actual type.

Yes, it takes time to learn, but at the end of the day, even the original SOSE tactical icons needed some training to recognise quickly.

March 01, 2015, 03:31:04 PMReply #5

Offline Brutoni

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Re: 0.9 Feedback Rundown
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2015, 03:31:04 PM »
Taking inspiration the NATO tactical symbol rule may be the best option IMHO. It would allow players to quickly identify the roles of individual ships in the fleet (carrier, battleship, battlecruiser, heavy cruiser, anti-fighter, repair, etcetc) and select them accordingly. While a little more..... bland if players wish to witness the sheer beauty of your mod they simply have to zoom in.

 

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