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 61 
 on: January 17, 2020, 02:55:12 PM 
Started by Mania - Last post by CraigStern
Ahhhhh, thank you so much! Reading this really gave me a huge morale boost. :D

I hear you on the status effects thing. It's tough to come up with effects that are clear, consequential, and easy to understand without making them so significant that they basically need to have a chance at failure to avoid unbalancing the game. (I suspect you may have read it, but if you haven't yet, you might find this interesting--it discusses the design philosophy underlying what is and isn't deterministic in Telepath Tactics: https://sinisterdesign.net/unpredictability-and-control-in-turn-based-combat-an-examination/)

Perhapsthe counters need to be stronger; Lead Ointment and Thermal Paste giving only +10% resistance upon use isn't that impressive, and they're not super accessible in the main campaign. In fact, yes--I am going to go do that right now!

 62 
 on: January 17, 2020, 02:21:50 PM 
Started by bugfartboy - Last post by bugfartboy
I downloaded the demo this afternoon to try out. Here is my feedback. All of these were written down and grouped by what map I was in. Apologies if it they're jumbled. Disclaimer: The game locked up on me during the caravan battle. That is as far as I reached.


Concerns

Major

LoggingHaving the "Log" button is nice, but it appeared to only work the first time I pressed it. At first I thought it simply didn't work when a dialog box was on the screen, but it later appeared to not work at all. This is unfortunate because I was unable to generate a log file when the game locked up on me.
CameraUsing the scroll wheel to zoom out was very inconsistent. At times I would need to scroll in just to get it to scroll out further. The maximum zoom-out felt inadequate, especially for a tactical game where seeing what's going on is important.
Dialog ActionsThere were several instances where the dialog box would begin to render, vanish while a character moved as part of the script, then pop back up. It was kind of disconcerting, and I felt like I accidentally skipped ahead in the conversation when I really didn't.
Lakshmi BanaDespite Emma sprinting every round to reach her, Lakshmi Bana was cut down in front of her. When she fell, the "Player should not see this" message referring to the CheckForMoreDialog action came up. Lakshmi had no words in death.
VisualsI like how the terrain and objects look. The sprite-based graphics (characters, menu/dialog boxes, etc), look bad when used alongside them. I understand that this is very much so a work in progress, so I'm hoping there's a plan to get sprites updated so the graphics feel cohesive. Overall, I kind of miss how terrain and objects look in the original. Everything fit together nicely and, while the visuals weren't necessarily stunning, it complemented itself extremely well.
Game Locked UpThe turn after Lakshmi died, Emma tried to use Sprint. The game zoomed in on her, then stopped doing anything. The music continued to play, but nothing responded. As mentioned above, I couldn't get a log file for it since the key stopped working.

Minor

LightingTying into Visuals above, the checkbox pattern visible on the ground around the campfire when Zash and Red attacked looked funky.
"10 Years Later"Minor nitpick: The dialog box during the "10 Years Later" screen looked to be a lighter shade of black than the background, so it stood out maybe more than intended.
Edge PanningI'm hoping edge panning finds its way into the new system.
Action ZoomZooming in when characters use an ability felt a bit unnecessary. I'm not saying it's bad, but it would be nice to be able to disable it in the settings.
Counterattack DeathDuring the campfire fight, Red died to a counterattack. Is this an intentional change in the AI's behavior, or was Red just feeling lucky?
Skill A/V EffectsMind Shield was really emphasizing the target's mind: the base of the bubble started at the target's neck. Arced Shot should be called "Missile Launch" judging from the light blast sound effects.
DoorsSince I couldn't open any doors when defending the village from bandits, I can only assume the good people of Adelbrae finally learned to lock their doors.


Praise

Indestructible Corpses!Seriously, why aren't people building castles of the stuff? Corpses are immune to all damage, and have a ludicrous amount of hit points! What's not to like?
Game IntroI liked that the music started, the Unity splash faded in, then out, then Sinister Design logos did its thing, and THEN the main menu came up. It felt so professional. It also didn't take an actual eternity to sit through like some of the ELDER games I've SCROLLed through.
FACIAL EXPRESSIONS! :D'Nuff said.
Eyeless MooksDo you need reassurance that the bandit you're about to cut down in the heat of battle isn't actually a person? Look no further than their face! You see, you, your friends, and even your enemies that actually have names have eyes! That generic bandit, though? They don't. They're not sentient. Kill them. Kill them now.
InventoryIt took me a few minutes to realize that the Inventory screen was now integrated into the character details screen. I like being able to see exactly what each item is doing to my character! A border around the inventory region would help it stand out even more, I think.
Text decorationAdding it was a bold decision.
Talk BubblesI like the little dialog bubble that pops up when a character is talking. It's a nice, unobtrusive way to indicate who's doing what.

Suggestions

CounterattacksWhen a character triggers a counterattack, maybe extend the delay between them slightly? The current character's action would be replaced with the counterattack's name before it could be read sometimes.
Counter FlairThis is frivolous, but adding something like "Counterattack: {SkillName}!" when displaying the skill used to counterattack might make it seem more exciting, or draw more attention to it.
TAB to CycleIf there aren't plans for it already (I may have overlooked it), could a button be assigned to select the next character in the turn order? The Tab key would feel natural as the default.
Deployment InventoryAn "OK" or "Exit" button on this window would do wonders.
Self-Only skillsIt would be neat to be able to activate self-only skills directly from the action bar. Clicking "Sprint" and then clicking the character who's using it feels unintuitive. I understand why it's happening from a mechanical perspective, but it feels unnecessary from a playflow perspective.
Deploying CharactersI miss drag-and-drop deployment. As is, the deployment screen could use something more to make the currently selected character stand out. Swap characters' positions if they're both already deployed would help make deployment smoother.



I think that's all of my notes for now.

 63 
 on: January 17, 2020, 12:57:23 PM 
Started by Mania - Last post by Mania
I just finished my extensive review/retrospective on Telepath Tactics, so I'll share it here!

It's rather long, I had quite a lot to say so it wound up being over 5000 words long, so I'll link to my article about it rather than copy it over, since it also contains screenshots and whatnot.

https://maniafig.blogspot.com/2020/01/telepath-tactics-deterministic-effort.html

I'm hoping this doesn't count as advertising, I'm guessing not?

 64 
 on: January 16, 2020, 04:14:45 PM 
Started by CraigStern - Last post by CraigStern
Uploaded an alpha demo of Telepath Tactics Special Edition in the new engine for Kickstarter backers, and created a Sinister Design homepage on Steam. With that done, I'm back to focusing on Together in Battle for a while!

-- when you refuse a character a raise, they now become resentful for a few days to a week.

-- added a message within the victory box explicitly letting you know that loose item sacks have been auto-looted at the end of a battle when the Post-Battle Looting condition is set to true.

-- tweaked values on some 2D particles to improve appearance and performance.

-- fixed: VFX would continue to update even after failing to load an animation.

 65 
 on: January 16, 2020, 05:09:32 AM 
Started by CraigStern - Last post by CraigStern
-- fixed: I had accidentally caused the blinking status effect displayer that appears over characters' shoulders to stop working by switching the order of two lines of code.

-- updated the scripting in the Training battle within The Vengeance of Emma Strider to use IfInAreaRun instead of the now-deprecated IfOnCoordsRun, thereby allowing the game to once again handle it if the player is blocking Silithis from exiting the training area at the conclusion of the tutorial fight.

 66 
 on: January 15, 2020, 04:23:54 PM 
Started by CraigStern - Last post by CraigStern
-- new facial expression supported: Peeking. Has the character peeking out from behind the "Pained" expression with one eye, as if discovering that they are not, in fact, actually about to die. :)

-- the skill editor now has a character animation field that lets you specify a type of character animation to be used in concert with the skill (e.g. "Cast" or "Ability"). It has an explanation of what the attribute does when you click in the field.

-- the skill editor now successfully saves and loads the anim attribute for skills.

-- the game can now randomize character camp activities in the character creator. Added randomize and clear buttons to the camp activities window in the character creator.

-- the game now sets its custom campaign folder appropriately based on whether it is set to be Telepath Tactics Special Edition or Together in Battle.

-- updated the AddPortrait and AddSpeakerPortrait actions to use the destination peg system used by MovePortrait. This makes it much easier to predict where portraits will be placed, and far simpler to replace a portrait that has already been moved so as to update its facial expression.

-- updated a bunch of the scripting in The Vengeance of Emma Strider to comport with changes to the scripting system.

-- implemented the LightBackground script action for cut scenes. It remains just as it was in Telepath Tactics, but with different supported presets: Black, Red, Green, Blue, Yellow, Purple, Dark, Fire, and Custom.

-- fixed: the impact timing field was not being read when creating skill data upon validation in the skill editor.

 67 
 on: January 14, 2020, 04:27:26 PM 
Started by CraigStern - Last post by CraigStern
-- the 'L' key now saves a log when used inside the campaign editor and all of its sub-editors.

-- made some placement and scaling tweaks to the in-battle weather particle system.

-- made a few small updates to the old Guard Llama mini-campaign.

-- coded what should be support for custom destructible object images in the game, but alas, Unity is being frustratingly recalcitrant.

-- fixed a bug with the RemovePortrait action.

 68 
 on: January 14, 2020, 08:28:34 AM 
Started by CraigStern - Last post by CraigStern
Hahaha, nice! I like that idea so much, I've gone ahead and added Mind Control into Lorenzo's ordinary skill progression. :D (I've now also fixed Chomp, Llama Stomp and Firehoof not working--it seems they somehow got erased from the campaign's Attacks.xml file at some point without my noticing!)

The file has been updated. :)

 69 
 on: January 13, 2020, 03:41:13 PM 
Started by CraigStern - Last post by CraigStern
-- created ogg files out of the remainder of the Telepath Tactics soundtrack, numerous additional TSoG music tracks.

-- imported the new tracks into the game, updated asset names list so that all music tracks in the game can be easily referenced by custom campaigns.

-- updated music track references in The Vengeance of Emma Strider to match all updated track names. (Previously, tracks were referenced by unofficial work-in-progress names.)

-- the title screen now changes the cursor to an hourglass when loading a new scene, as do the battle and cut scene scenes.

-- you can now talk to Sabrina in the Training battle in The Vengeance of Emma Strider.

-- improved some of the scripting in the Training battle as well as the Zash and Red battle in The Vengeance of Emma Strider.

-- fixed: attack animations were being cut short.

-- fixed: when AI-controlled units became stunned, frozen, or otherwise incapacitated during their turns, the AI would blunder right over the 2-second "determine the next best move based on changed circumstances" timer, sometimes resulting in strange behaviors or bugs.

-- fixed: under certain circumstances, it was possible to drag-pan the camera during in-battle dialogue.

-- fixed: repeatable OnTurn dialogue could inappropriately re-trigger upon attempting to move directly to a new scene via a script action or reply.

 70 
 on: January 13, 2020, 12:29:45 PM 
Started by CraigStern - Last post by Mania
The new download link worked, I just finished the campaign!

It did seem that Llama's special Chomp and Hoof abilities didn't work though, they don't appear in the attacks file so that might be the reason. I gave him Possess instead by editing the classes file, because who can look his magnificent face and resist doing whatever he tells you to? Hooray for modding mods!

Sadly Anu Partymember and Bill Swordsmanface died bravely in battle. Their losses shall be mourned.  :(

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