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 Post subject: Observations on v0.4 RC3
PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:17 am 
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Space Krill

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Hello, I just played through the 0.4 RC3 version of the game, installed onto a Windows XP machine, having never played any version before, and the following things were the most confusing (in no particular order):

1) What the heck does trade do? How do you enable it? Under what conditions *can* it be enabled?

2) Colonization:
a) It would be really nice to know how subtable a planet is for colonization *before* you go to the system. (Looks like this was discussed here with someone with a similar complaint)
b) Some captured alien planets allow you to build colony ships, some do not. This inconsistency is weird, and makes it seem like a bug. the fact that each species seems to have their own environmental preferences (which are not explicitly explained somewhere) also makes it seem buggy.
c) I still am unclear what the difference is between a "colony" and an "outpost". It seems like one delivers 1 million, while the other delivers 0.1, but is that it?
d) Should there be a lower limit on the size of a ship that can have a "colony" or "outpost" or "troop transport" module? I find putting them on the small ship saves lots of build points -- but it seems that is unintended?

3) If a spaceship has something like 100 health, it is displayed as "0.1" rather than, say "0.1k". This is confusing, as this looks like a fractional number, since 60 health is displayed as "60".

4) A bit of text overlap in the spaceship's status window.

5) Lots of text overlap in the production window, especially with the colony names.

6) Lots of places labeled "Asteroid belt" in various systems. Perhaps a different naming scheme involving the system name, e.g. "Orion Asteroids"

7) Combat:
a) Some better explanation of the mechanics of the combat system for both ship-ship, and ship-ground. Both have a number of different options, which, even after playing, I still don't understand. (E.g. why doesn't a weak, highly stealthy, but heavily armed ship get a surprise attack and win?)
b) Could these battles be animated using sprites? We already have images of all the ships... It shouldn't be too hard?

8) Upgradeable ships would be nice. I was kind of expecting the orbital drydock to allow me to take, say, a medium hull, and replace the "Mass Driver Mk1" weapons with "Laser Mk1" without needing to build a new chassis, same with trying to upgrade armor.

9) In the technology tree, the Industry and the Mining should be different colors. I was confused about what was what.

10) When production is being wasted, there should be something that tells you why.

11) The in-game "pedia" is very hard to navigate.

12) The info thing in the production window can't be minimized or made smaller. It would be nice if it was.

13) What about setting up outposts in deep space, or in planet-less systems?

14) It seemed to have some issues running on Ubuntu 11.10, although this probably was a configuration issue on my part. (I think it wanted to run at the max resolution of my monitor, which is much higher than what my graphics card supports.)

Additionally, the registration for this forum wouldn't allow me to use my normal e-mail for this (which is a yahoo.com address ), so I had to use a temporary e-mail. So I probably won't be reading many responses.

Overall I enjoyed playing it. Some of my issues probably would be resolved by just having a more in-depth wiki page.


Last edited by salimiles on Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:23 am 
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Space Krill

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Sorry, one more, and this was fairly annoying:

15) If you select "Spiral, 3-legs, 3 enemies, human, 60 systems" the systems have the exact same placement (even if their configuration in terms of planets may differ slightly). It would be nice for the randomization function to also randomize the stars and the star lanes too. Maybe a random seed like OpenTTD does?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:55 am 
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salimiles wrote:
No randomness
This is an intended feature, not a bug. Reproducible galaxy generation makes testing much easier.

If you want a different galaxy, add or subtract a system.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:07 pm 
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Vacuum Dragon
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salimiles wrote:
b) Some captured alien planets allow you to build colony ships, some do not. This inconsistency is weird, and makes it seem like a bug. the fact that each species seems to have their own environmental preferences (which are not explicitly explained somewhere) also makes it seem buggy.

Some alien species are unable to leave their home planet, so they can't produce colony ships. Other species can't build ships at all.

salimiles wrote:
c) I still am unclear what the difference is between a "colony" and an "outpost". It seems like one delivers 1 million, while the other delivers 0.1, but is that it?

Outposts seem to be a work in progress. They are now kind-of-like small colonies. There was some discussion, will find the thread later.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:18 pm 
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salimiles wrote:
1) What the heck does trade do? How do you enable it? Under what conditions *can* it be enabled?
Nothing. In the future, trade will do cool stuff related to espionage and diplomacy.

salimiles wrote:
3) If a spaceship has something like 100 health, it is displayed as "0.1" rather than, say "0.1k". This is confusing, as this looks like a fractional number, since 60 health is displayed as "60".
The k is there - it's just hidden behind the next meter icon. This is something that should be fixed.

salimiles wrote:
7) Combat:
a) Some better explanation of the mechanics of the combat system for both ship-ship, and ship-ground. Both have a number of different options, which, even after playing, I still don't understand. (E.g. why doesn't a weak, highly stealthy, but heavily armed ship get a surprise attack and win?)
Stealth and speed do nothing right now, as combat is a work in progress.[/quote]
salimiles wrote:
b) Could these battles be animated using sprites? We already have images of all the ships... It shouldn't be too hard?
There will be a fully interactive 2.5D combat system later on.

Quote:
b) Some captured alien planets allow you to build colony ships, some do not. This inconsistency is weird, and makes it seem like a bug. the fact that each species seems to have their own environmental preferences (which are not explicitly explained somewhere) also makes it seem buggy.
This information is given in the Pedia.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:55 pm 
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Regarding outposts, see here and here.

On a side note I like the idea of ship upgrading/refitting, but the way spaceships are done now (a vessel is constructed basing on a design, the design sticks to the ship later on) I'm not sure if it would be easy to implement (change a ship's design? measure how the new design is different from the previous design?).

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:50 pm 
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salimiles wrote:
2) Colonization:
a) It would be really nice to know how subtable a planet is for colonization *before* you go to the system.

b) Some captured alien planets allow you to build colony ships, some do not. This inconsistency is weird, and makes it seem like a bug. the fact that each species seems to have their own environmental preferences (which are not explicitly explained somewhere) also makes it seem buggy.

You can check the 'Pedia for info on how each planet type rates with a particular species, or what kind of ships they can build.

Some of it is currently arbitrary, or the text description is not yet in the game, but species that can't colonize and/or build ships will have backstories or biologies that explain it. See the Acrema for an example.


salimiles wrote:
3) If a spaceship has something like 100 health, it is displayed as "0.1" rather than, say "0.1k". This is confusing, as this looks like a fractional number, since 60 health is displayed as "60".
....
6) Lots of places labeled "Asteroid belt" in various systems. Perhaps a different naming scheme involving the system name, e.g. "Orion Asteroids"
....
10) When production is being wasted, there should be something that tells you why.

I Agree with those three.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:09 pm 
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Space Kraken

Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:27 am
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Few more observations that Id like to add my $0.02 into....

1. On the "Fleet Window", the only way to re-size it is the bottom corner handle, which re-sizes both sections (Fleet and units). I think there should be a horizontal grab bar that we can move. I want a small fleet window but a large unit window cause i make big fleets.

2. After about turn 1500 you start to have Site-Rep messages every turn. If im in the production window and if i like to monitor my production turn by turn, its REALLY annoying to be flung back into the "Star-Scape?" for just 1 important Site-Rep Message...esp if im making units that are all 1 turn apart. The Site-Rep window should be able to be displayed in any production screen and we could close it or click a panel and have it hide itself behind that panel.

3. Could the Site-Rep window automatically close if there is nothing to report and pop up if there is?

4. It seems the most important messages on the Site-Rep are the battles. Wins and losses....You can have those messages a LOT and its kinda annoying to have to read each one to see if you lost ships. Could there be like a skull and cross bones by a message where you lost a battle and maybe a flag with a "V" where you win? Then we could just glace at it looking for the skull then go on our way. The human eye seems to get faster information in a image rather then text.

5. Could we be able to view "Previous" Site-Rep "History"?, maybe a "History" tab?

6. If we research a technology that unlocks a building or ship part, on the Site-Rep could we have a bullet under the message that the technology has been researched with the unlocked building/parts?

7. Like already stated, could we have a "Upgrade Design" button where we could just open up the Design window and click on the ship and click "Upgrade" or "Optimize" to upgrade any applicable components?

8. Some of the techs are missing descriptions or have really short descriptions (Take a look at the Planet Defense Descriptions).

9. Some parts have misclassified stats on the Design Screen (and or) Research Screen. Such as the "Detection/Radar" parts, they say "Strength" when they should really say "Detection" or something. "Strength" makes it seem like "Structure".

10. If were in the Production Screen and we double click on a fleet, we think it would close the Production Screen and open the Fleets window so I can make my move order, but instead we have to close production which takes a bit more work, esp if you have to do it a lot.

11. On the "Load Game" menu, could we be able to "filter" our saved games from "AutoSaves" and "Manual Saves".

12. The "Next Turn Button" sound effect sounds like a error beep.

13. Could we have tooltips at the top of the screen for the Empire "Food, Minerals, Industry, Research, Trade and Population" explaining what they are and maybe more details about "why" they are the way they are.

14. I think the Empire "Industry" stat (at the top) and Empire "Research" stat need to have the (+/- xxx) like Trade, Minerals and Food do because they can be increased or decreased to and its nice to know how much per turn.

15. I really think "Construction" should be changed to "Infrastructure" cause that's more what it seems like.

16. Once we use troop ships to take over a planet, could we have a way to "Exterminate" that species and colonize it with our own (if we wanted), then we could build ships and such and conqur the galaxy.

17. Say we have a fleet of Colony ships to colonize a system, we click a Colony Ship and click "Colonize", could it "De-select" the now "Unavailable" colony ship so we can click on our next one instead of having to De-select it, this doubles the amount of clicks to colonize a system.

18. If we are building or researching a series of stuff, we should be able to override the RP and PP that are given so we can build things we deem "high priority" faster instead of letting the computer assign (and lock in) our RP and PP distribution.

19. Pedia is very hard to navigate.

20. When we have a system selected and some menus on the panel dropped down to view the bar graphs, we should have a "Collapse All" and "Expand All" button to collapse and expand all the tabs at once instead of having to close each one.

21. Since we can move and reisize the UI, could we have snapping windows? by like 10px or so?

22. Could we add any theming or something to the UI windows so they don't look like a QT application?

23. Could we permanently close the "Empires" and "Messages" Windows? We really don't need those on a skirmish.

24. In the design window, when we click on a ship, instead of just updating the design description could it also refresh the picture of the design and slots so we could accutally "see" it?

25. Could we have better "sorting" in the Design window of our parts, such as combine all the simmiler items together, my level 1 Plasma cannon is mixed up in my lasers....

26. On the "Design" screen could we have a "ABC Sort" button to sort all our designs in ABC order?

27. On the "Design" screen, when we save a modified design, could it "overwrite" the current design instead of making a new design with the same name? Or could we have a option to "Overwrite"?

28. Could we have all 3 digit numbers display as 3 digits and not a 1000 decimal? Like 300? We should only get thousand notation once we hit "1000".

29. Draging and dropping the UI windows around, we should not be able to cover the top bar and the "Turn" button. They should snap to it just like they do the corners of the game window.

30. In the Research Screen on the Pedia, could we have the text that enplanes what the research "does" standout more then the techy talk describing it?

31. On the "Fleets" Window it shows a "Summery" of our fleets speed and fuel, could it also show a "Average" of our fleets Attack and Defense?

32. On the "Fleets" Window, could we have a block summery of our fleets "parts" so at a glace we could get a idea of how many lasers our fleet has, and the same for each unit? Like the planets have there own little summery of buildings? This would make life easier, then we don't need to open up "Designs" to see what we have equipped.

33. Also if a system is in a "Dust Cloud" could it display such as a "Dust Cloud special" so we know for sure?

Thats all I can think of for now... But all-in-all...great game! Im loving it!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 06, 2012 11:56 pm 
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Dart00_Tech wrote:
8. Some of the techs are missing descriptions or have really short descriptions (Take a look at the Planet Defense Descriptions).

Please specify which techs are missing descriptions. That's the kind of thing we'd want to fix before the upcomming final 0.4 release. Many of the other ideas are good, but not the sort of thing to tackle before that release.

As for really short descriptions-- nothing longer has been written. Some of them are tentative new techs, which very likely will change in their effect or relation to the rest of the tree, and so i didn't spend write any fluff.


Dart00_Tech wrote:
30. In the Research Screen on the Pedia, could we have the text that enplanes what the research "does" standout more then the techy talk describing it?

Unless i missed some, it should always be at the beginning, except "Unlocks:" comes at the end.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 5:53 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
Dart00_Tech wrote:
30. In the Research Screen on the Pedia, could we have the text that enplanes what the research "does" standout more then the techy talk describing it?

Unless i missed some, it should always be at the beginning, except "Unlocks:" comes at the end.

Maybe some difference in formatting should be applied? Separate paragraphs for the game effect and flavor? Make the game text bold or the fluff italic? Separate by a horizontal line?

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 6:08 pm 
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Space Kraken

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em3 wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Dart00_Tech wrote:
30. In the Research Screen on the Pedia, could we have the text that enplanes what the research "does" standout more then the techy talk describing it?

Unless i missed some, it should always be at the beginning, except "Unlocks:" comes at the end.

Maybe some difference in formatting should be applied? Separate paragraphs for the game effect and flavor? Make the game text bold or the fluff italic? Separate by a horizontal line?


Ya...I really think the "Effect" and "Fluff" need to stand out or be distinguished somehow. If you just glace at the whole thing it looks like tons of reading (mostly fluff) and just discourages the player. The goal of the technology (besides therys) should be straight to the point and then "If" the person wants to read the fluff they can. I really like how "Unlocks" does it, cause if you just wana see what you'll get you look at the "Unlocks" heading. We should split up the rest of the information into headings awell....and then it will even match the "Unlocks" section creating a uniform and organized text explanation environment.

I was thinking formatting like this:

Effect(s): This technology increases...blah blah blah...

Technical Information: There has always been issues with the idea...blah blah blah...

Unlock(s):

- Building 1
- Building 2
- Etc...

Then the text wont look confusing to new players and daunting because they will be clearly outlined.....

I don't think we should add a horizontal line cause then that just takes up space....


Last edited by Dart00_Tech on Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:21 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:20 pm 
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em3 wrote:
eleazar wrote:
Dart00_Tech wrote:
30. In the Research Screen on the Pedia, could we have the text that enplanes what the research "does" standout more then the techy talk describing it?

Unless i missed some, it should always be at the beginning, except "Unlocks:" comes at the end.

Maybe some difference in formatting should be applied? Separate paragraphs for the game effect and flavor? Make the game text bold or the fluff italic? Separate by a horizontal line?


Again, unless there are some i missed-- The bald numerical description of what a tech does always comes first, in it's own paragraph, separated from the fluff by a full line break.

For instance:
Nanotech Medicine wrote:
Increases health on all planets by 10.

Pathogens, particularly prokaryotes, are vulnerable to disruption of their genetic material from within - that is, if it is possible to permeate the cell membrane or the protein coating, in the case of viral infections. By designing nanorobots capable of identifying and penetrating such pathogens, it would be possible to destroy them by completely deconstructing their genetic material.

While genetic alteration can repair or undo the effects of harmful or undesired mutations or correct biochemical imbalances, treating major physical trauma and non-genetic congenital defects requires actual physical corrective measures. Nanotechnology may be used to accomplish these tasks, with two important advantages: Correction may be done without invasive surgeries and associated secondary damage and risks, and treatment reaction time is greatly reduced, as the tools to do the job are always in place and ready to function.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:21 pm 
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Space Kraken

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Check out the "Space Elevator" and "Cloning Center" tech...ill do a full review when i research everything...im on turn 2000 something...


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:43 pm 
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Dart00_Tech wrote:
Check out the "Space Elevator" and "Cloning Center" tech...ill do a full review when i research everything...im on turn 2000 something...

Those techs unlock buildings, which as eleazar mentioned, is stated at the bottom of the description.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Bigjoe5 wrote:
Dart00_Tech wrote:
Check out the "Space Elevator" and "Cloning Center" tech...ill do a full review when i research everything...im on turn 2000 something...

Those techs unlock buildings, which as eleazar mentioned, is stated at the bottom of the description.


Ah, i see where the confusion lies-- The building descriptions haven't been formatted that way.
I'm on it...



EDIT:
revision 4636
""formatting of building descriptions to put the meat first and fluff second. Some descriptions still need work as there is no quick summary of the building's effect.""

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