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Author Topic: Still hopeful but disappointed  (Read 6407 times)

Offline Lepidopterist

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Still hopeful but disappointed
« on: July 15, 2010, 05:13:47 am »
I know it's a for free game and all, but I just can't get over all the goofy design issues especially with the geoscape interface.

The geoscape now looks top notch and things feel more complete than the 2.2 but if anything things seem more strange than ever in some ways. It's like everything got placed at random, to look cool, or to specifically do things differently than xcom did it. People who play all the time and are used to it may disbelieve me, but I literally spent 20 minutes figuring out how to intercept a UFO after trying the latest version. My brain would think to click on the base and have a list of craft come up and assign them to go somewhere. Admittedly that's partially because xcom does it that way but it's the most sensible way this could work. It also easily allows me to do things like send out a patrol with ease. Instead you have some weird options inside the base for the plane, none of which make much sense to me or I can't figure out how to make work right, or you double click on the UFO to assign attackers. But the UFO has nothing to do with the interceptors. If this really made sense wouldn't you click on the aliens in the ground mission and then choose who fires the bullets?

Things like save are put in the weirdest places. What does whether you play a campaign or skirmish have to do with loading a game? Why do I wind up quit from the game all the time just due to saving? The ability to access bases without clicking them is hidden deep inside the actual bases, where it ought to be on main screen, and clicking a base to access it should be abolished. How many times have I clicked on the screen and wound up in the base when trying to do click on something else? Then when I do need in the base, since obviously bases will be the most active hotspots I constantly get the popup caused by the interface not knowing what I am trying to click on, which is always annoying and jarring. An interface should have as few layers as possible, keep everything simple and clean and clear, not have eveyrthing hidden as deep as possible. That also means not having extraneous garbage, too. Like why do I want to click on individual workers and scientists? Really, I don't. It's a half step away from physically feeding my soldiers. And don't be ashamed to do things the way xcom does them. Hint, that's how a professional interface looks and feels. It's not a 'style' or a 'design', it's influenced by what you are doing. You'll notice cars have suspiciously similar interfaces. That's not just because sometimes people copy each other, but because form is led by function.

A lot of the stuff gives the impression it's just that way to make it look as uber cool as possible. Like the mailclient and the popups of messages. Really, like I'd want the screen to suddenly get taken over by these messages. If they stop the game, they should have something more than an unobtrusive message, if they don't they might not be worth having in such a prominent spot. If you have to have a console of silly messages, put it somewhere unobtrusive not at the top of the screen where all the action is, put it in an area just for messages, a message box. Worse, stuff that I really do care about just comes in a message. You ought to get some more feedback than 'you lost the fight' when you lose a ship in one of the instantaneously resolved fights. I know that's partly just unfinished, but you really need to (as in xcom, or any similar game) slow down the game a bit and have some feedback in this important part of the game. Maybe have a chance to flee sometimes, some feedback on how powerful the ship is, etc. etc.

The game map interface could use work (Again, everything is placed completely at random or for mere aesthetic value) but is much better, but the geoscape map pretty much does everything completely wrong and needs some serious work. I know it's a combination of incompleteness, time constraints, and many cooks in a small kitchen but right now it is a pretty big mess that makes the game difficult to play let alone enjoy.

Offline geever

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2010, 09:41:09 am »
I know it's a for free game and all, but I just can't get over all the goofy design issues especially with the geoscape interface.

You have quite strange conception of a useful GUI, also XCOM's interception (assignment) doesn't work the way you wrote, but fine, that's Your oppinion.

-geever

Offline dingoperson

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2010, 03:13:23 pm »
I know it's a for free game and all, but I just can't get over all the goofy design issues especially with the geoscape interface.


Ahh, come on ;)

Things to think about:

1. People have different thoughts about what an UI should look like. It's slightly arrogant to say that "how UFO1 did it was basically perfection". I feel that as well, but I override it because I know that someone has to sit down and design, and they want a bit more freedom than just to be told "make everything identical to UFO". If you want to play UFO1 then play UFO1.

2. It's free.

3. It will only get better, the nice thing about open source. The game is far enough along that if people drop off someone else should join in.

4. You are free to join and program it yourself ;)

5. And if you can't be bothered to do 4, it's better to phrase it as a request rather than a demand

6. You will get used to it :)

Interfaces can be learnt and gotten used to. Game mechanics should be the biggest deal.

Offline tzzimy

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2010, 05:26:55 pm »
Quote
Really, like I'd want the screen to suddenly get taken over by these messages.
Wow this is either Miley Cyrus talking or Eurogamer Reviewer! (no offense just joking hihi ;D but seriously i LOVE those mail screens ;D)

Lepidopterist I could reply to all the weird things you found but I decided that would be waste of time since, at the bottom line you do seem to like this game, admit it! ;)

Very few points you have must agree but some of your points are so emotionally expressed I cannot tell what your point is in the end. One advice: when you do not agree with something if you want to make a clear point, suggest an alternative instead of talking of car design ;D.

As I said I agree with some of your points like the load/save accessibility and the no need for workers/scientists screen (although I see a very useful future goal to include stats for them... After all some scientists are better on researching laser pistols and other on dissecting aliens, same for the workers, others are better on disassembling stuff than making rifles, which might be cool if its not a big hassle for the devs).

But for most of the points you try to make (even those that agree with you), they are expressed with so much emotional negativism that I really lose any interest to try to understand what you mean in the end! :D

Try to make some clear suggestions how to improve the gameplay in what you think is wrong instead of expressing why it makes you feel bad emotionally.

I cannot argue with your personal view of things. But I can and its fruitful to  argue on terms of usability, friendliness and conceptional design.

Cheers,
Tzzimy
« Last Edit: July 15, 2010, 05:34:58 pm by tzzimy »

Offline ManicMiner

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 07:16:12 pm »
I played UFO: Enemy Unknown when it first came out, then TFTD. I found their UIs a bit confusing at first...

As for the "double-click on a UFO and then pick the interceptor" workflow, that makes way more sense than anything else.

During WW2, when a German bomber flew over the English Channel, do you think every old self-styled Biggles on the British south coast hearing the drone of a passing enemy craft unilaterally decided to jump into the nearest Spitfire to go up, up up and knock it out of the sky?!

The intercepts should be coordinated in a far more thorough manner, by checking the radar and working out the bomber's heading, ETA, and best way to engage. And I consider it a great credit to the UFO:AI team that they followed this approach.

Thinking about it, a running commentary from the pilot during the intercept would be rather cool:

"Dash it all, Ginger, the beggar's only got particle beam weaponry. How utterly unsporting, he could at least give me a chance to shoot back. Strewth, that shot nearly took my handlebar off! Oh... and now it's lasers, eh? SWINE! This is just too much. Pass me the Very pistol, I'm going to teach this rude little Ortnok a lesson in fair play..."

Offline DiDiT

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2010, 08:49:12 pm »
"Dash it all, Ginger, the beggar's only got particle beam weaponry. How utterly unsporting, he could at least give me a chance to shoot back. Strewth, that shot nearly took my handlebar off! Oh... and now it's lasers, eh? SWINE! This is just too much. Pass me the Very pistol, I'm going to teach this rude little Ortnok a lesson in fair play..."


I LOL'D!

Offline tzzimy

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2010, 11:51:30 pm »
Haha ManicMiner I couldn't agree more with you there xD
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 09:13:03 am by tzzimy »

Offline dingoperson

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2010, 09:38:51 am »
I just rageuninstalled though over:

- Map: Alien Landing - Industrial
- 10+ aliens spread across the map with better armor, better weapons, better accuracy, lots more time units than me
- All placed on roofs and in complex buildings so they can pop out and take out any of my guys with a single shot
- While any of mine need to spend 1-2 units full TUs to take out an enemy
- I can't afford to have even one person die, because they are supposed to advance for 100 missions before they get good and they've only done 50
- And the good old "when any of my units move, reaction fire has them kill any of my other guys single shot on the first round, while I don't have any reactions whatsoever"
- 2 hours wasted.
Sorry, it is far too masochistic for me, I will have to wait until there is an 'easy mode' or autocomplete works :)

Offline tzzimy

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2010, 12:09:26 pm »
That was easy level? What will you do on hard level? ;D
Ye I know, but that specific map is easy to handle if you hide your units before attacking the aliens. It will take 4 to 6 rounds to place your units before you are able to go on the roofs and take them out safely.

My personal hated map is Big City. "Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide" from Iron Maiden fits perfectly with this map where you bound to meet aliens on each floor stair... I hate that map... I will just do auto missions there on hard level!  :P

Offline Siim

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2010, 03:33:07 pm »
tzzimy, that map is also easy to do when you know how. Basically the aliens always start on the top floor and come down from the stairs closest to your ship. So you send your troops to the next floor from ground and hide them behind the pillars and corners, near the stairs. Make sure you take at least one trooper with grenade launcher because sometimes 3-5 aliens are grouped together at the stairs entrance. One burst and multiple aliens dead ;D. Also leave one trooper with IR goggles to the ground floor to scan for aliens' locations near the stairs.

Offline tzzimy

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2010, 07:28:05 pm »
;D Still its the hardest one because of the short distances on the places  you have to hide. Aliens need few TUs to walk across your hiding place, wall, pillar or corner of a stair, say hi, drink a coffee, talk about their last night stand, stab you in the back, cry in your funeral and go back upstairs where they came from -.-' hihihi hate that map ;D

Offline Outlawstar15a2

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Re: Still hopeful but disappointed
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2010, 01:33:28 am »
To the OP: If you want to play UFO 1 might I suggest another remake called UFO: The Two Sides. Now, I won't post the link because I don't know if that's allowed here but just google it it should be the very first result. It's basically UFO 1 with newer graphics and a handful of useful improvements. Mostly just fixing the god awful buggy code of a splendid game by re-writing it. I play it as well and love it.

If you want a original game that seeks to gain it's own pulse then stay tuned. I genuinely am excited for more.