Sword of the Stars demo

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Daveybaby
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#61 Post by Daveybaby » Mon Oct 09, 2006 5:14 pm

Zanzibar wrote:1) If you play Liir or Tarka you can do deep space interception of any race that is NOT human.
Ah, ok, fair enough. But i still dont think this makes enough of a gameplay difference to warrant the 3D map - unless you routinely have many fleets incoming from different directions simultaneously then you can achieve the same gameplay in 2D.
2) Have you tried middle clicking anywhere on the map?? Have you tried ctrl + C... the main issue you are having is a LOT of the controls are not documented well.
Well, i think that was my point. :P
3) Your ships fire as soon as they detect an enemy ship in thier weapon range. And well... I guess those sensors are active while warping in to the screen. If you want to skip the warp in animation thingy... hit space bar. There ya go!! Problem sorta solved. And really... this is caused by missiles... you could just put something like plasma cannons on your ships instead.
Its not the animation, its my ships firing at stuff before its visible. Sometimes this isnt until youve moved in towards the enemy planet, but your ships are still firing on (and being fired on by) things that you cant see (including the radar screen). So what control does the player have at that point?
4) What are your system specs? Do you have the graphics turned ALL the way up?? How big of a galaxy are you playing? How many AI's are in the game? You really need to look at all the issues here... :roll:
Framerates are fine, it's loading times that bother me. Not sure how AI/galaxy size should affect loading times for a combat round. System specs are good enough handle everything else i throw at it without complaint. Anyhow, i'm not the only person complaining about the issue - so there's probably something very wrong in there somewhere.
Dude, it has multiplayer... install xfire, add me as a friend... I will happily invite you to the sword of the stars chat room. The game is definitely made for multiplayer. Other suggestions... try playing as a different race then human. See what all the advantages are and disadvantages of other races.
Cheers, i might just do that at some point, if i get enough free time :?
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utilae
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#62 Post by utilae » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:38 pm

Space Empires V demo is out if you want to try a game that is probably better.

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Zanzibar
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#63 Post by Zanzibar » Tue Oct 10, 2006 4:20 am

Well the loading time for combat is because it has to pre-render all the ship models that can be used in combat. These aren't simple 2d Moo 2 ships... I mean... really... go ahead, zoom in on a ship... all those little details take time to generate!!
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#64 Post by Moriarty » Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:56 pm

Zanzibar wrote:1) If you play Liir or Tarka you can do deep space interception of any race that is NOT human.
It's possible to intercept with Hivers (I've done it - the target fleet was out of fuel which is how I caught it :) ) and I'd image humans too as they can do sub-light travel. So everyone can do space combat. But its very rare.
Daveybaby wrote:Its not the animation, its my ships firing at stuff before its visible.
There are two types of visible in this game. Sensor visible - which is what your ships fire at - if you can see it on sensors (the black area with green grid) then you can fire.
There is also Sight visible. This is solely in the game to make life hard on you the player - as in you can't center on an enemy ship with the camera until its in "visible" range, which seems to be about half sensor range.
Not sure how AI/galaxy size should affect loading times for a combat round.
So its taking a long time to load combat is what you're saying? That'd be because there are n ships in combat and every single one of them is a different design (at least if you're fighting the AI they will be). The more types of ships there are in combat, the slower it is to load (Zanzibar says it's pre-rendering which would make some sense).
So this is really a flaw with the AI in that you get attacked by a fleet of 50 ships, there WILL be 40 different classes of ships in that fleet.

Zanzibar wrote:I mean... really... go ahead, zoom in on a ship... all those little details take time to generate!
Which is all well and good until you reaslise I do all my combat with Sensors (as you can't see your ships at range outside of sensors) and thus have three different sized triangles to represent both sides' fleets. Thus its a waste. :(


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But generally I'm going to agree with daveybabys assessment (and that review he linked to). The game is simply NOT good (outside of the pretty combat which is still lacking). It's lacking any real polish and the UI is severly flawed. Shame really - the devs are very forthcoming and helpful on their forums.

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#65 Post by Daveybaby » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:02 am

Moriarty wrote:There are two types of visible in this game. Sensor visible - which is what your ships fire at - if you can see it on sensors (the black area with green grid) then you can fire.
There is also Sight visible. This is solely in the game to make life hard on you the player - as in you can't center on an enemy ship with the camera until its in "visible" range, which seems to be about half sensor range.
And my ships are firing at stuff which isnt visible in either way. Not visible on the sensor screen, not visible on the 3d screen. I cant see it, i cant order my ships to attack it, but theyre happily launching missiles at it anyway.

Example: cleaning up defense platforms, these things are trundling around the planet waiting for you to kill them one by one (for the hundredth time). Youre trying to speed things up (so you dont have to do this for yet another round) by trying to convince your fleet to fly around the planet in the opposite direction instead of just squash up against the side of the planet in a brainless splodge. Missiles are coming in from platforms outside your sensor range. That's fine, maybe they have better radar than me - but my ships are firing missiles right back at them.

Eventually the platform in question lumbers into view on my radar screen, and sometime after that (if it survives long enough) it will appear on the 3d screen and i can actually order my ships to attack it (assuming i havent yet researched whatever sensor tech it is that stops me having to switch between 2 screens every couple of seconds). My ships can see it. It can see them. They can target it. It can target them. I cant see or do anything. So what exactly is my role in all of this? I thought it was supposed to be me playing the game.

When stuff like that happens it breaks my sense of immersion far more than having individual bump mapped weapons on every ship helps to create it.
The more types of ships there are in combat, the slower it is to load (Zanzibar says it's pre-rendering which would make some sense).
So this is really a flaw with the AI in that you get attacked by a fleet of 50 ships, there WILL be 40 different classes of ships in that fleet.
Pre-rendering, disk accessing, calculating pi to twelve million places, whatever. Its either bad coding and/or bad design and/or i need to upgrade. When you start autocalcing battles because you cant be bothered to wait, when youre making a decision to sacrifice ships (cos you will lose more in autocalc) not for some strategic reason in the game, but to save you having to look at the effing progress bar for another 3 minutes, then you have to wonder why youre bothering to play at all.

I wouldnt mind, but i dont actually think the game even looks that good. My machine handles games with far more going on than this graphically without any problems. If the designers actually think that modelling the hairstyle of the captain of each ship adds more to the game than having to wait 2-4 minutes for every combat subtracts from it, then... um... well, actually that would be in keeping with a lot of the other decisions theyve made, i.e. 3-d graphics are more important than playability.

Actually though, i suspect they just have some bad memory management code. Even once the battle is loaded and your ships have arrived, there is a 10 second or so pause before you can actually do anything. The same thing happens when loading a game, or indeed after every turn in the strategy map. Something very inefficient is going on somewhere. Maybe its my machine, but i can walk from one end of the country to the other in oblivion and not get a single pause due to loading, so i doubt it.
Zanzibar wrote:I mean... really... go ahead, zoom in on a ship... all those little details take time to generate!
Which is all well and good until you reaslise I do all my combat with Sensors (as you can't see your ships at range outside of sensors) and thus have three different sized triangles to represent both sides' fleets. Thus its a waste. :(
Agreed. Are there people out there that actually play this game zoomed in all the way? Really? Or is all this stuff just there to look good in magazine screenshots?

Here's the thing: in a first person game like Doom 3 or Halflife 2 or Oblivion or whatever, you get to look at things close up, a lot. If youre fighting a monster hand to hand, then youre going to be right up close in a one-on-one situation. If youre controlling a fleet of ships, then youre going to be looking at them from a distance that takes in quite a few of them at once. Youre not going to be close enough to see individual guns recoil as they fire.

The other thing is: graphical porn gets ignored after the first hour of play anyway. Once youre actually getting into playing the game, your brain stops noticing it. Sure, everyone will zoom in on that first dreadnaught they build and go "oooohh". But after that, unless you somehow get sexually aroused by polygons, you will be trying to actually play the game instead.

Trouble is, i dont actually think theres much game under there.
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#66 Post by Moriarty » Thu Oct 12, 2006 4:51 pm

Even once the battle is loaded and your ships have arrived, there is a 10 second or so pause before you can actually do anything. The same thing happens when loading a game, or indeed after every turn in the strategy map. Something very inefficient is going on somewhere.
Really? I've had the long lag when loading a game, and at the end of a turn-process, but never at the start of combat and my system is pretty low-mid end.

But yes, as already stated in my ealier posts - I agree with your points - their design goals were wrong.

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#67 Post by Zanzibar » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:24 pm

So - a modern version of Master of Orion 1... is wrong?? Basicly this is how the game feels and plays... They just didn't put in the "fluff" victory conditions like diplomacy and tech... big deal...
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#68 Post by eleazar » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:35 pm

I haven't played it, since there's no Mac version, but i think this is a very interesting UI discussion.

Zanzibar, i think it's pretty clear that Moriarty and Daveybaby dislike it not because it's focused on combat, but because they don't enjoy combat the way it's been implemented.

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#69 Post by marhawkman » Thu Oct 12, 2006 9:48 pm

and thus the reason I got tried of playing.....
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#70 Post by Daveybaby » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:58 am

Zanzibar wrote:So - a modern version of Master of Orion 1... is wrong?? Basicly this is how the game feels and plays... They just didn't put in the "fluff" victory conditions like diplomacy and tech... big deal...
Umm... this is (IMHO) in no way a modern moo1. The only similarity that i can see is the way the tech tree varies slightly from game to game, and they both have space battles. Thats it.

Quite a few years ago, i was playing two fantastic games at around the same time: Shogun Total War, and Homeworld. The only thing that bugged me about homeworld was the horrible linear campaign game. What i really, really wanted was a version of homeworld with the turn based strategic map of Shogun. Shogun in space. Homeworld:Total War, if you like.

Thats what this game is. Or, at least, thats what it looked like it was going to be. Unfortunately (IMO) it has even less going on than S:TW in the strategic game (there is, literally, nothing to do other than move fleets around and pick a tech every now and then) and has neither the tactical depth of shogun's battles, or the ease of use, elegance, scale, and draw dropping majesty of homeworld's battles.

I guess this is why i'm being so hard on this game. On paper its almost my ideal game, but it fails to deliver (what i want) on almost every level. Once you strip away the 3d graphics the actual game itself is paper-thin. I havent felt so let down by a game since moo3.
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#71 Post by marhawkman » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:31 pm

Seconded. The basic idea is GREAT! But the implementation falls short. the randomization is more annoying than anything else, and the only actual "fun" comes from blowing up space hives. Tactical combat is a total pain since you must do manual orders for everything. then there's the fact that the combat engine is 3D but you can only give orders in two. (yes I HAVE seen the AI exploit this) There's also been at least one time where I couldn't actually do anything in combat since the game blacked the entire screen out.
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#72 Post by Zanzibar » Fri Oct 13, 2006 5:46 pm

Eh, well... I guess some people "get" it, and others fail... Manual orders for everything in combat? Yeah... right... if you want it automatic, just click the close to attack button. And from the sounds of it, Marhawkman is still playing the DEMO. This is not the full version. Quite a few of the bugs you described have been squashed by the recent patch. And the rest should be squashed by the next patch coming out this month.

Here's a clue... participate in the game's forums, and tell the developers how to make the game better! :)
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#73 Post by Daveybaby » Sun Oct 15, 2006 2:41 pm

Zanzibar wrote:Eh, well... I guess some people "get" it, and others fail...
Ah, so because we dont like it, we don't "get it". The fact that the product might not what we want from a game, and that we might be pointing out legitimate shortcomings is impossible - its all our fault. I guess we just have to change what we want from a game in order to meet what the game provides. :roll:
Here's a clue... participate in the game's forums, and tell the developers how to make the game better! :)
Why bother for a game i dont really like?
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#74 Post by Zanzibar » Sun Oct 15, 2006 5:03 pm

But it could be a game you like ;)
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#75 Post by utilae » Sun Oct 15, 2006 6:34 pm

Where making our game right here, nuf said.

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