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Re: randomness

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 6:38 pm
by Endoperez
TBH, I don't see the point of a carbon copy. The original already exists, and is good. New graphics etc. wouldn't make it that much better, just a bit more pleasant. Anything that changes anything important, such as UI, has to be considered more carefully than these sorts of projects generally do it.

The XCOM remakes changed the mechanics, but it FEELS like memory of the old game feels through the lense of nostalgia. It's amazing how they managed to do that with what is a different game. Playing it, I could see exactly how dated the original was, design-wise. Still fun on its own terms though. :)

Re: randomness

Posted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:25 pm
by Phoenixwarrior141
Endoperez wrote:TBH, I don't see the point of a carbon copy. The original already exists, and is good. New graphics etc. wouldn't make it that much better, just a bit more pleasant. Anything that changes anything important, such as UI, has to be considered more carefully than these sorts of projects generally do it.
It seems like a remake on modern systems, fixing things like the 80 item limits, resolution problems and a whole sort of other bugs that were fixed with OpenXCOM. Not to mention adding and rebalancing the aliens, weapons, base building and things of the sort.
It needed to get made.
Like, look at this:
Image
Oh, and it was in 3D. That's amazing.

Someone really should make a remake, the website doesn't exist (Tried it through Strategycore to no avail, and according to the wikipedia article on XCOM and the license, the game was canceled in 2012.
I wonder why.


This soundtrack is amazing, I may grab the mod and port it into OpenXCOM at some point.
It presses all the right buttons, and creates an "Out of action" mixed with "Work with what we can"

On topic however, it was a noncommercial remake that included stuff by fans for fans, meaning the copy was intended to exist to copy the game's feel, UI and things of the sort, while fixing, rebalancing and creating things fans wanted for the game.
Essentially, it was the ultimate XCOM game.
Y U NO DEVELOPMENT?
The XCOM remakes changed the mechanics, but it FEELS like memory of the old game feels through the lense of nostalgia. It's amazing how they managed to do that with what is a different game. Playing it, I could see exactly how dated the original was, design-wise. Still fun on its own terms though. :)
I have to recommend OpenXCOM if you're playing the original, and a few patches for the remake (Not long war though, Long War is horrific).
OpenXCOM brings in Widescreen support, is open source, bugless, moddable, comes with options to make your campaign easier or harder, fixes the AI and also introduces a simple skirmish mode if you want. It's also easy to install.
Long War is still too early in the balancing phase of development and a pain to install, I'd suggest staying away.

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:23 am
by Glabbit
Endoperez wrote: but it FEELS like memory of the old game feels through the lense of nostalgia.
Oh man. I love it so much when modern games manage that. Quite the magnificent feat.
I do remember one other game managing this, and being extremely impressed by that fact, but it's been long enough since I played its modern variant that I don't even remember what game it was.
Such a shame.

Also a shame I never played all this XCOM stuff in the past so I can't share the nostalgia about the current topic.

EDIT: A quick skim of my steam list did nothing to jog my memory of what the other well-revamped game was. Starting to wonder whether it was revamped at all or just had aged very well...

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:31 am
by Endoperez
Phoenixwarrior141 wrote:Like, look at this:
Image
Oh, and it was in 3D. That's amazing.

That is more detailed, but worse. It is a LOT prettier. But...

The background behind the planet is now dotted with bright stars. They are too eye-catching, too saturated and bright for a background piece. The background should be toned down so that the planet itself is the focus.

The buttons on the right are lighter than in the original, the text is slightly smaller in comparison to the button, and there's a bright overlay across all of it. That overlay makes it hard to read the text on the button.

The world rotation buttons are now a bright neon green that doesn't exist anywhere else on the screen, with a purple-and-black gradient background that doesn't exist anywhere else on the screen. It ends up looking separate, instead of a part of the whole. In the original, it had a background similar to the planet's (tying them together), with the purple gradient in the corner being slightly brighter than the other nearby areas so that while it ties them together, it also catches your eye. The planet rotation icons were the color of green landmasses, while the arrows were better at showing rotation instead of just a direction; they were properly curved.

It is prettier, yes, but it works worse. As I said, this stuff is hard, and unfortunately, fan projects and amateur projects get lots of this stuff wrong. :/

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:15 am
by Phoenixwarrior141
Endoperez wrote:

That is more detailed, but worse. It is a LOT prettier. But...

The background behind the planet is now dotted with bright stars. They are too eye-catching, too saturated and bright for a background piece. The background should be toned down so that the planet itself is the focus.
I disagree.

Any experienced X-COM player would not need to be on the geo for any period of time.
Partially because the contrasting would make my eyes bleed (Not even joking there) if I stared at it too long, partially because UFO contacts simply aren't common enough to need to focus on the empty geoscape for any period of time and partially because you're busy in the menu screens banging your head against the armor of your troops .
The geoscape being "worse" isn't possible, there are menus that take you straight to UFO contacts and you'll be spending most of the time in the battlescape and base menus anyways.
X-COM doesn't have a lot of ongoing shit at any given time, unless Cydonia's Fall changed that (Which according to all research they simply had no plans to) there was no reason for Earth to be in focus.
And any experienced UFO Defense player would have no such problems, the original had horrific problems with contrast and speed on the geo but we powered through.


The buttons on the right are lighter than in the original, the text is slightly smaller in comparison to the button, and there's a bright overlay across all of it. That overlay makes it hard to read the text on the button.
Taking an extra second to read the buttons (Or if this game looks at all familiar, use muscle memory) isn't bad in X-COM. I also had no such problems reading the buttons.

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:29 am
by Phoenixwarrior141

I WANT IT
I REALLY DO

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:33 am
by Endoperez
I'm saying the UI is worse when you objectively consider readability, color theory and contrast.

I gave examples of problems in geoscape, but similar symptoms likely infest the whole game.

What an "experienced X-com player" needs is irrelevant, because clearly they don't need the graphical update either. If they did, they couldn't be experienced X-com players! What they prefer is the more important question.

How are they using the more detailed world map, any way? Do horror missions blot out the lights in destroyed cities permanently? When setting up bases & radar coverage can you see overlays of the funding nations' borders? Are alien-allied nations represented somehow? That's the sort of technical limit that lets devs explore new territory while leaning on the original's design. Remaking old graphics isn't that interesting.

Urgh, that logo and font, yikes. :(

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:20 am
by Phoenixwarrior141
Endoperez wrote:I'm saying the UI is worse when you objectively consider readability, color theory and contrast.
The UI is an exact rip from the original, at worse it might be harder to read or focus on. At best, the new colors may make no difference and do nothing. And we can all get on with wishing this game existed.
I want to reiterate, nothing special happens on the geoscape. Nothing at all.
The event markers exist for a reason you know.
I gave examples of problems in geoscape, but similar symptoms likely infest the whole game.
Actually they seem like they don't, a few screenies I found show they had no such problems. It seems like a purely cosmetic change for something that looks a tad cooler.
And that's okay.
What an "experienced X-com player" needs is irrelevant, because clearly they don't need the graphical update either. If they did, they couldn't be experienced X-com players! What they prefer is the more important question.
I think you missed the point I was trying to make. No X-COM player who played the game for any extended period of time would ever have a problem with the Geoscape, nothing happens to make the problems with the coloring a major incident or issue.
As for "they don't need the graphical update", that's irrelevant. Wanting your game to look like something that's playable (And better yet, in 3D so it's okay to look at) or better to look doesn't mean you are less experienced, I played OpenXCOM for god knows how long, and I want a game that is easier to look at for extended periods of time.
I have never seen fat sprites so hard to look at, so mindbogglingly hard to stare at for continuous periods of time since this morning's episode of The View.
(THAT WAS A REFERENCE CALM THE FUCK DOWN)

How are they using the more detailed world map, any way? Do horror missions blot out the lights in destroyed cities permanently? When setting up bases & radar coverage can you see overlays of the funding nations' borders? Are alien-allied nations represented somehow? That's the sort of technical limit that lets devs explore new territory while leaning on the original's design. Remaking old graphics isn't that interesting.
I assume that there would be some more site destruction, the UI would look more futuristic and things of the like. As stated before, the game never reached fruition so we have no idea.
Urgh, that logo and font, yikes. :(
I'll defend the font, but not the logo.

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 6:24 am
by Phoenixwarrior141
Also, in conclusion:

Image

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:07 am
by Endoperez
Phoenixwarrior141 wrote:
Endoperez wrote:I'm saying the UI is worse when you objectively consider readability, color theory and contrast.
The UI is an exact rip from the original, at worse it might be harder to read or focus on.

SNIP

I want a game that is easier to look at for extended periods of time.
That was kinda my point... Readability.

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:30 am
by Phoenixwarrior141
And it has that, at least enough for the game concept at hand.

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:58 pm
by rodeje25

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:17 pm
by Endoperez
It has nice visuals, but some design problems.
[+] Design stuff
Problem nr 1: when the title apppears, the player can't move, but nothing communicates this fact. "Is this a bug? Did I die? Did that creature's stare paralyze me?"

If the title had appeared farther away, the player could be let to move and he'd understand that the game is about hunting, which would work even better than the current title screen. The one right now looks better, but works worse.

Problem 2: The camera has an exaggerated fish-eye effect which means the target looks BIGGER at the sides, making it seem like looking away from it somehow gives an advantage. This doesn't seem to be the case. This is a minor thing, though.

Problem 3: the stealth mechanics are weird.
Once the deer-alike notices you, it stares at you and doesn't go back to the "idle" phase. My first instinct was that moving while it watches me causes a fail state, such as it running away. Nope. Then I thought about moving back, and trying again. Nope. Then I thought about moving to the side and coming in from an angle it doesn't watch. Nope. The fail-state seems to only be based on only the distance - you can pounce and dance to and for in its "sight", and it doesn't react at all.

Problem 4:
Once it starts running away, you can almost, but not quite, keep up. This can take quite a long time. However, the fastest way to try again is to turn around and walk away from it. Another deer magically appears straight in front of you any way. The game encourages you to chase, but it doesn't seem to be the optimal way to try to win.

Problem 5: I can't capture the deer, and have no idea what I could do otherwise. My own movement doesn't seem to affect when it runs - small steps, long continuous moves, forward, backward, sideways... it always runs away. Waiting until jumping, spamming jumps as much as possible, no effect. The wind might be a factor, but I have a hard time judging where it blows from, and since the deer seems to be just a 2D sprite oriented towards you, I also can't use the deer itself to judge how much my rotation for this try has changed from my previous try.
If it is possible to catch the deer, I can't see anything in the game that'd indicate how. If it's impossible, there's nothing in the game that indicates that.
It could be cool though. Reminds me of this and another, a bit newer 3D "lion simulator".

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:08 pm
by rodeje25
did you even bother to click the left mouse button?

Re: randomness

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 4:29 pm
by Endoperez
rodeje25 wrote:did you even bother to click the left mouse button?
Yes, several times.

I just now discovered the problem. I had found the jump, but not the run. I had clicked various buttons several times, trying to discover what I'm missing, but didn't hold it down, because you don't have to hold down space or LMB or the movement keys to see what they do. I probably hadn't tested it while moving, but if I did, the speed boost on a single click might go by unnoticed and the running sound only comes in with a delay, so even that might go by unnoticed.

I also spent more time testing the game controller than the mouse+keyboard, and I still have no idea how I'm supposed to activate run with the controller.

As I assumed, there is a functionality in the game I didn't discover, that isn't indicated in any way.

The default walking speed made me think this is a stealth game, because I associate walking slowly with stealth, in video games. It was, in fact, a game in which you run all the time. Run should have been the default mode of movement, since walking is unnecessary.