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Author Topic: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback  (Read 1017 times)

bugfartboy

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Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« on: January 17, 2020, 02:21:50 PM »

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.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 03:00:04 PM by bugfartboy »
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CraigStern

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 03:04:40 PM »

Thank you! This is very helpful feedback.

The CheckForMoreDialog script action is not supported in the new engine, since that functionality is now inherent in anything that ends a dialogue tree. It makes sense that the game would refuse to progress from the death monologue under those circumstances. (Clearly, I forgot to actually test out the scripting on those old dialogue trees, or I'd have noticed this.) I'll have that fixed soon! :)
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bugfartboy

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 03:51:00 PM »

Be the change software testing you want to see in the world! Glad to be of help. I'll be excited to see future demo releases in the future.

They get a bad rep sometimes, but have you considered submitting the new game under Steam's Early Access or GOG's Games in Development programs, once you're closer to release?
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CraigStern

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2020, 04:03:28 PM »

Not Telepath Tactics, no--but the other game I'm making in the engine might be a good candidate for that. One thing at a time, though! ;)
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bugfartboy

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CraigStern

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2020, 08:10:30 AM »

Thanks! :D

Out of curiosity: have you had a chance to try out the campaign editor? (I'm particularly interested in getting feedback on that!)
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bugfartboy

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2020, 06:01:14 PM »

I have not yet, I'm afraid. It's on my to-do list, though. Back in the original TT days, I considered taking a stab at a campaign creation tool, but never got very far. (Thankfully. It would have been a train wreck.) I'm curious to see how easy to use it is. Actually, I think I might check it out tonight.
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bugfartboy

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2020, 08:35:33 PM »

My notes are a bit more scattered and not as detailed as I would like. I didn't get to test every feature tonight, because I'm not sure where my time went.



Overall impressions:
  • Most menus felt oversized and too much like a game. It didn't feel like something I would want to potentially spend hours working with. Reducing the font and text box size would help make it feel more manageable.
  • Some fields (anything to do with skills or battlefield conditions or scripting actions) could benefit greatly from a dropdown list component (like a little arrow-down button that would bring up the list, maybe filtering based on what's already in the text box).
  • The music in the background was fun at first, but being able to turn it down (more likely off) is going to need to be a necessity. But it'll also need to be a different control than the in-game music, so that you don't need to keep updating the volume settings any time you switch between the two.

Campaign Overview Screen:
I entered the name of my new campaign, "Revenge of Squash", and clicked "Proceed", but nothing happened. When I clicked "Proceed" again, it told me that the campaign already existed. I had to cancel out of the name entry, then load the campaign to actually continue.

Revenge of Squash
Squash is my cat. He's always hungry. In this campaign, he assumes human form and sets out to get revenge on the evil, invisible spriggat/fairy who keeps emptying his food bowl.


Character Editor:
  • The idea that species determines class struck me as odd, but it's an understandable restriction. I would have liked to be able to create new class names and set their portrait type, though.
  • Being able to set a character's pronouns was a nice touch that some of my friends would appreciate having available.
  • Paging on the character portrait details screen misbehaved, and oddly. Page 2 and 3 of the Scars/Beards/Etc list were the exact same.
  • Stat Grows and Starting Stats could really benefit from tooltips describing what each stat actually does.
  • The Equipment Masteries section baffled me. Some explanation or more detail there would be good.
  • Some things, like Skill Progression and Inventory, felt like they would be easier to interact with if they weren't text boxes so much as drag-drop-adjust controls.

Music:
I like the expanded music options, and could see myself using some of them in Tabletop RPG sessions (Out of Your League!) if there's a new soundtrack for sale. I'm especially curious to hear what this new "[X] Custom/CustomAssetInfo" track is ;).

Dialogue Editor:
Adding a new script or dialogue tree would create two with the same name. Closing and re-opening the dialogue editor got rid of the duplicates, however.

Map Editor:
  • Zooming in/out had an obnoxious *whooom*ing noise.
  • Zooming in/out felt too slow, and not responsive at all. A snappier/less-smooth zoom would be nice in the map editor, if nothing else.
  • The default zoom level was waaaaay too close, especially for how long it took to zoom back out.
  • It would be cool if the "Next Scene" option had a drop-down list of already-existing maps.
  • The palatte swapping on the tents on the Army setup screen wasn't working correctly. They stayed mostly purple.
  • Weather effects (on the editor screen, at least) felt wonky. They fell in a nice cuboid shape, regardless of how the map had been shifted around.
  • The elevation tool could probably be implemented differently. Maybe left-click to increase, right click to decrease? Having to move the mouse all the way to the top of the screen and back any time I accidentally raised something too high got old quickly.
  • Something like a toggle-able grid overlay would be helpful.
  • Object previews on the object screen had quite a few big "?" in there.
  • Some character settings, like initial rotation/orientation, would benefit greatly from being editable outside the "Edit Character" menu. Maybe right clicking a character to rotate it clockwise? If nothing else, being able to jump straight to a character's edit screen with a right click would be a huge improvement.
  • I'm very confused about how ground tiles actually work now.
  • Being able to rotate the map (maybe holding the scroll wheel or some other keybind) would be a wonderful addition both to the editor, and the game. You're already starting to utilize Unity's 3D capabilities, why not go all in? If they rotated as the camera did, it might even help the 2D sprites feel more natural with the rest of the graphics.

Campaign Testing:
  • I was confused when I didn't find this on the map editor screen, but instead on the campaign overview screen. I feel that having to exit the editor just to test the map you're working on would get old very, very quickly.
  • When I clicked the "Test Campaign" button, and started my test map, I got a "Very Very Long Army Name's Turn!" popup, along with the portrait of a bow-woman in the bottom left of the screen. The game then froze entirely, save music. More graceful exception recovery?



Let me know if you need more clarity on anything. If I came across as rude or cranky, it wasn't intentional. It's been a long day of testing/debugging other software for me.
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CraigStern

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2020, 10:23:38 AM »

Thank you for the detailed feedback! :)

A few questions:

  • do you have logs from any of the bugs (i.e. the window not closing on creating a new campaign, or the dialogue editor creating duplicate trees, or testing making the game throw an exception?) The 'L' button should save a log in the campaign editor much as it does in the main game.
  • stats and growths in the character creator actually do have mouseover tooltip explanations--do I need to make the mouseover area larger so they're easier to find?
  • when you ask for drop-down lists on text fields in the various editors, do you mean that displaying 1-3 predictive text suggestions isn't cutting it--or did those not come up for you?
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bugfartboy

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2020, 07:56:03 PM »

  • do you have logs from any of the bugs (i.e. the window not closing on creating a new campaign, or the dialogue editor creating duplicate trees, or testing making the
    game throw an exception?) The 'L' button should save a log in the campaign editor much as it does in the main game.

I didn't even think to try. I went back to try recreating the issues, and have attached the resulting log files.

I pressed 'L' when trying to re-crash the testing function, but no dice in getting a log file. I did grab a screenshot for you, however useful that may be.

Another note on the map testing functionality: Loading a map with no armies or characters starts the battle, but does nothing. Looks like you're missing some validation to ensure the map is even functional? (I attempted to get a log file of this as well, but no luck. Have another screenshot, I guess?)

I tried pressing 'L' from the character creation menu, and no log file. Something might be eating my keypress between the keyboard and the function that spits out a text file. I eventually got a log file, but it made me wait a few minutes to appear, and doesn't appear to be the one I was looking for.

  • stats and growths in the character creator actually do have mouseover tooltip explanations--do I need to make the mouseover area larger so they're easier to find?

I went back to look, and it appears you do actually have tooltips! I was initially hovering over the name of the stat, not the icon, so I didn't see them. Expanding the area to the text, at least, probably wouldn't hurt.

  • when you ask for drop-down lists on text fields in the various editors, do you mean that displaying 1-3 predictive text suggestions isn't cutting it--or did those not come up for you?

The predictive text suggestions came up, but without a list of valid entries directly front of me to reference, it can be hard to remember what's actually available and what everything does. If I want to "AddCharacter" to the map with a script, the modding chapter of the original TT manual lists 10 different actions that start with "Add". None of them actually do what I need, though. "SpawnChar" does. Being able to quickly see what's available would be a tremendous help. Skimming through the manual is one way (and how I had to look up the correct action, since I haven't played with TT's scripting abilities in a couple of years), but having to tab out to search through a PDF can be tedious, especially if the campaign editor is being run in full-screen mode to maximize visual real-estate.



Completely unrelated to anything else, something occurred to me tonight: Would it be possible for the default volume on the title music to be lower? With the big *brawwww* at the beginning, I jump out of my skin if I don't turn my speakers waaaaaaay down before starting it up. I had this complaint with the original engine as well, but I don't think I voiced it.



-Edit:-

-- the game now gives you the option to turn on a battlefield grid. (It's ugly, IMO--but people seem to want it, so...)

Hey now, I like a good battle grid! It makes it easier to judge distances at a glance!
« Last Edit: January 22, 2020, 08:13:57 PM by bugfartboy »
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CraigStern

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2020, 09:15:46 AM »

Thank you! This is very helpful.

An in-game searchable reference for scripting and other documentation is in the works, but I simply haven't finished implementing that yet. (Scrollable drop-down menus are a real pain to code, so I'm hoping to avoid that approach!)

Can you attach a copy of the map that's causing the game to crash upon testing?
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bugfartboy

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2020, 05:05:07 PM »

An in-game searchable reference for scripting and other documentation is in the works, but I simply haven't finished implementing that yet. (Scrollable drop-down menus are a real pain to code, so I'm hoping to avoid that approach!)
That, I definitely believe. Any kind of in-game reference would be an extreme improvement, so I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Can you attach a copy of the map that's causing the game to crash upon testing?

See attached.
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CraigStern

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Re: Special Edition/Demo - Bugs and Feedback
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2020, 11:19:09 AM »

Aha! I figured it out. The "for army" parameter in your Kill-All Victory condition is malformed.
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