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initial tests of version 0.412b

Discussion in 'AotSS Feedback' started by pavlosg, Feb 27, 2015.

  1. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    My testing rig resolution: 1280x1024
    • problem with picture ratio: when resized to screen resolution, the height/ width ratio is NOT respected, leading to image distortions (squeezing, if you prefer). This applies to all screens and also to the emperor picture. Top main screen icons are also distorted (squeezed horizontally).
    Title screen:
    • the 3 horizontally-aligned buttons would be better re-aligned vertically, in a column (as before). It is OK if the button is over the crotch of the emperor, who cares :).
    • about the buttons themselves. The text color should be a grey-blue, for instance RGB (120,177,193). The text should also be smaller, so that there is at least 1 cm margin to the button's edge. No deformation of the button text is required (as it is now), just smaller size. The text is not critical nor complex: it needs space to breathe. All 3 button texts same size, if you think "credits" is too short, replace with "About imperia" or "game credits".
    • Button sizes: as your index, not larger. Will we need more than 3 buttons ?
    • Click feedback needed for the buttons...
    Universe generation:
    • if progress bar is too complex to code right now, can we at least have an animated mouse icon ? It is very unusual today to have a screen hang-up like that (its not the early 90s anymore, hehe).
    Main screen (astrogation etc.):
    • get rid of the blue tag behind the system's name (to denote it is under our control). Replace with color code: gold is ours etc... We have the icon anyhow (that needs to be re-aligned and centered vertically to the system's name). What happens if in a system there are more than 1 planet owner ?
    • Remove blue glow. It does not work. Will try to find a replacement that is not as kitsch.
    • Moving the map: enable arrow-keys movements of the map, double-click --> center on mouse location, and or mouse-on-edge-of-screen map movement. (double click is not a good idea, forget it). Even clicking on areas of the "galactic north" could do the trick (so-so, though)
    • remove "mission submode" pending the upcoming map modes.
    • Add map key related to the modes. Just like standard maps, you know, explaining map symbology.
    • Smaller empire icons near the system names
    • Make grid map more visible
    • add constellations, even if they are not star-related. They will add visual anchors, style and personality. We can later devise an algorithm to truly incorporate stars into their structure (by reverse positioning on random pre-selected locations across the constellation).
    • Make sectors more coherent spacially. Sometimes they cut across vast expanses without much sense. Cluster them more closely, after all they are arbitrary enough, no need to make them weird -they are neither political nor astronomical entities, so let them make sense astrologically.
    • Revise the current planetary generation algorithm. It produces irrational results, such as ice planets close to the sun, weird habitable planets very far away etc... Could help on that. Although we have lately witnessed weird exoplanet positions (gas giant migrations etc...), the habitable zone is quite a reality, as much as the star's heat too. Take in account some original star-cloud material richness and the star's age and spectral class. (can help on that topic too)
    • make the green lines of sectors more transparent, and with anti-alias if possible.
    • Make circles grey-blue, not green. Green does not belong in the basic imperial color palette
    • in the astrography main screen, currently, the system's planets appear on a mouse-over (or roll-over, if you prefer). I understand that it makes sense if by clicking you then go into the system itself. But the rollover is not right, at least in my resolution: it takes almost all of the screen, and is more annoying than useful. What we could do is: make the system window appear with a CLICK on the system, and add a "go to system" button below. A double click would get to the system screen directly. The system window could be moved around, and many could be opened simultaneously if so desired. They should also be smaller, perhaps. Some of the window corners are blurry too.
    • Replace or remove the "planetary nexus" sounds.
    • A planet's starbase level should also be visible, with a letter/ number. Sizes are too vague, and the big starbase is too large compared to tiny planets.
    • Too many planets are just too tiny, like specks
    • when in planets or in general, clicking on a person's portrait opens up the contact window.
    • Often, a person's name and 'active area' are mis-aligned (to the right): you ahve to click on the right-hand side of the name to open the communication window to the person.
    • We should add governors and viceroys to the system screen. Also see above. Planetary governors should be displayed close to the planet (bottom left or right), system and sector on top, close to the system's name
    • What's the ILEV ? Level of knowledge of a person's trait ?
    • A person's apparent age needs to be aligned: you cannot have old guys with beards that are 25 years old :) More likely would be to have young ones that are 60 to 90 (thank you botox). I sent you some portraits of very old characters: could we have governors over 100 years old ? That would be cool.
    • As I talked to the persons, I found out that I was (almost) always more liked. Should it be always the case ? Shouldn't talking with a person who dislikes you make the dislike even more intense ? Or would you sometimes say something inappropriate and a misunderstanding happen ? In any case, currently, it is a tad too easy to be liked.
    • I love the ideas or political allies. I also love even more the idea of political enemies. It is a pity I found none in my game.
    • Shouldn't we know the loyalty of political allies ? What is the value close to the political allies' names in the emperor screen ?
    • Is it my impression or people stop being your allies spontaneously ?
    • Having someone become your ally or enemy should be sent as a message at the beginning of a turn. Same with completion or failure of an edict.
    • Edits should have a % chance of overshooting their estimated completion date, at the end -or a breathrough kind of faster ending (less likely of course). [Like Moo3 I think]. Also, there should be a % of chance that an edict should fail mid-course.
    • I always find myself looking at the demographics part of a planet to quickly identify areas of possible action and problems. Shouldn't we always display that data in the common top-part of the window ? It is crucial for me
    • At one top, I decided to reduce the government on one planet to reduce its deficit. Out of he blue, 3 to 4 million people rioted, even with low unrest. I did not understand really where it came from. I ordered the public sector to grow bac, and the people got back home. Weird. But interesting :)
    • We should introduce something softer than rioting, such as protesting. Then something harder, such as... sabotage ? I think these are already in the game, right ?
    • Do we have curfew options ?
    • Add an icon for YOUR location (system/ planet)
    • in the emperor screen, clicking on a political ally or enemy should open their personal window
    • on one instance, I had a political ally that did not exist anywhere. Weird. Also had a general, where do I assign generals ? Can I yet ?
    • Should we be able to see all 'buildings' built on a planet, somewhere ?
    • Even if you do not have enough ADM to initiate edicts, the edicts should still be visible: you are not a 5-year old to be punished by having the edicts hidden :)
    • the up and down arrows in the edicts list, at 1280x1024 resolution, are hardly visible or functional. Took me a while to find where they are.
    • I am convinced that spending 1 ADM just to OPEN a character's window is not a good idea at all. I mean, I often go back and forth to check out a character, and each time it costs me 1ADM. And when the ADM are zero, I can STILL open the windows. Make the ADM cost to open a character window zero, for the love of Marx !
    • I must provide you with something to put behind the name of the planet, in the system screen: the solar flare often makes the name of the 1st planet unreadable
    • what is the star near some planet's name ? What does it symbolize ?
    • Does the sympathy (or else) that a person have for you influences the speed of an edict AFTER you have initiated the said edict ?
    • About exploration. Perhaps, for the sake of speed and clarity, when you open a system that is totally unexplored, you could add a button "explore" somewhere, that would show you what options you have to do so, if you can. Same with unscanned planets, perhaps ?
    emperor's screen:
    • remove morality bar, we already have it on top
    • place emperor in the center, move friends to the right
    • make main background black transparent window invisible (and place the emperor accordingly, in the center)
    • wouldn't we see some variations in the emperors' skills, with time ? Increased charisma, will, greed etc?). Could we introduce "stamina", to show how strong your body is, and how much it is tired ?
    Economy screen:
    • economy lists should be like:
    • sector 45739743

      • system 533453

        • planet 54354
          planet 5464564
    ...with the ability to 'expand' or 'contract' lists of sectors and systems.

    Intel screen:
    • planet/ people list should be like:

    • sector 45739743

      • system 533453

        • planet 54354
          planet 54645647
    • OR, make a kind of genealogical tree with portraits and lines connecting them ? Perhaps we could toggle between the 2 kinds of views ?
    • shouldn't we be able to order stuff from the intel screen, such as audits, spying and stuff ?
    That's it for the moment,

    P.
     
    #1
    bmorris2 and Travis like this.
  2. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
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    #2
  3. Texashawk

    Texashawk Developer
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    Finished responses (10,000 character max?)

    -Steve

    P.[/QUOTE]
     
    #3
  4. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Hey Steve,

    I had some more thoughts about the game, in its current state:

    - in general: the game is enjoyable, even though information is a bit scattered and I have trouble connecting people to planets and getting a solid grasp of the power structure -in the game. The experience is enjoyable, there is tension and intrigues, and you really get the feeling you are getting things done -with help or hindrance from others. I did not set up an informant network, I will in the next game, in order to force reluctant leaders to bow to my marshmallow will !

    - Alas, I was not very successful at exploring, the game crashed before I was able to properly scan the surroundings. There are enough un-scanned solar systems to keep you busy with expansion. Same with the number of non-colonized planets. I wished I had done a ton of things differently at the start of the game -that's very good I think. Solid depth and choices everywhere.

    - the initial number of solar systems is OK, a bit on the daunting side because I cannot remember names in general ! I think we need more tools to remember solar systems and planets. A way would be to add twin-sun systems once in a while ("ah, I remember, that's the twin sun system!), some stellar nebulas too (I both sent them to you some time ago), add constellations behind the stars etc...

    - number of sectors is good too. Layout of those are not not very good though. But that is not a game-breaker at the moment, we might assume they are the remnant of lousy administrative power-struggles.

    - I did not find about SYSTEM edicts until some time in the game. Not good: the system edict window should thus at all times be visible. It is too easy to miss at the moment.

    - the edict list is your primary toolbox. It needs more space and some tiding up, especially since the edict list is bound to grow when we enact military, research and diplomacy laws. I would hence advise for some categorization, grouping of the edicts, with corresponding icons and/ or color-code. I think I already sent you such a thing in a planetary interface proposal. You might want to filter/ sort the edicts too, perhaps ?

    - it is sometimes impossible to move someone out of office ? It seemed to me so.

    - in the "interface" thread, I will upload today a proposal for the overhauling of the intel/ economics interfaces, where besides using a 'pyramid' structure for planets, sectors and the rest, I also propose always attaching portraits of people near the planets.

    - we need governors' portraits near their planets in the system window.

    My game was a bit on the easy side, but I did not go very far, and of course, I had no real political enemies, events, challenges or so. So that is to be expected: if you already automatically struggle to keep your empire afloat without any crap hitting any metaphorical fan, how can you cope with it when real trouble begins ?

    I will keep on testing,
    take care !
    P.
     
    #4
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2015
  5. bmorris2

    bmorris2 Alpha Tester
    Testing The Galaxy, One Star At A Time

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    I like the idea of edicts being sorted (I'd sort by cost then alphabetically).
     
    #5
  6. pavlosg

    pavlosg Art Director
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    Hey everybody !

    Steve, I was wondering if you have been too harsh on exploration/ scanning times.

    - I most often need about 35-40 months to scan a solar system. Why would a space-faring civilization need so long ? I mean, ok, today, NASA would need about 3 years to devise and launch a probe to say, Pluto, if the need was dire. With corruption and inefficiency, it needs about 8-10 years today, from inception to arrival. But that's just NASA. In Imperia, you send unmanned probes (in theory, you could just train one of your telescopes and scan the system from any moon or starship: that's what we are doing today !). Am I missing something ? Inter-stellar travel, worm gates, anything ?

    I feel that artificially makes the exploration timing come in line with the administrative and edict execution timing. It is better for gameplay than with consistency. I propose we divide by say 5 to 8 the solar system exploration time, and add some exploration failure percentage, same with planetary scanning: probes have indeed the annoying habit of failing, so far from everything.

    - more than 3 years to attach a solar system to a sector seems too harsh too, IF a planet has not been attached to any sector before. I understand the bureaucratic nightmare of changing administrations and so on if a planet already belongs to a sector. On the other hand, attaching a virgin planet to a sector should be easier. I suggest dividing the time by a bold factor of 3, except if a governor or viceroy sabotages it (hehehe).

    - I would also add some small percentage of spontaneous failure of edicts, with some cashback, perhaps. Things fail sometimes, after all. It should not be too punishing, so we could add unexpected early ending to balance it somehow. I myself love catastrophic failures that lead an edict to the exact inverse result you counted on. But that's just me !

    P.
     
    #6
    damunzy likes this.

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