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"IT'S A NICELY DESIGNED GAME AS LONG AS YOU DON'T WANT ANY MEANING IN YOUR LIFE."-TIM

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Author Topic: Prototype feedback  (Read 3086 times)

Psychomorph

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Prototype feedback
« on: January 05, 2016, 08:17:23 PM »

I tested the prototype, thanks for giving us lowlifes a chance to test it. I think the game will look awesome and Unity was not a bad choice.

I have some feedback. If this public place is the wrong one to address those things, than you can remove this thread. I wanted to underline things with screenshots, but I need to know if I got the permission to do so (but then I probably wont be able to edit the post).



Rope/vine interaction

The first large hall had a wooden rope bridge that was broken on one side and the right side hanging down. I tried to walk on the left rope with the wooden planks, but slid off. I always want to solve problems in games in a realistic/logical way and am frustrated if I can't. This bridge had a second "railing" rope and I tried to grab it with use key, so I can hold on to it while walking across. These are the kind of emergent solutions I'd like to see working in the game.
This same logic should apply to climbing on any rope. I tried to climb up on the ropes of the wooden lift in the first testing chamber, but couldn't.

I once tried to create a vine on an edge of a platform in the ceiling, but the spell went trough it and the vine was created on the ceiling in that room above. Collision should be improved on there.

It's awesome that if you create a vine in a small room, it keeps growing and winding up on the floor. You can even walk into it and push it down a hole on the floor, that's awesome! I'd like to have more options there though. Using the use key to grab it and move it like a crate and letting go above the hole. I'd also like to just kick it if there's no time to fiddle around with it. Also create a wind to push it (don't think I tried, so apologize if that's a feature already). It would be awesome if you could also grab the rope/vine and move it around an object (wrap around it) and if you push the object down the abyss you could make use of it to break things or tense the rope/vine.

I love how casting the vine grows mushrooms on walls and I think you should be able to climb on them. You could even plot a path by growing them in line and climb there. I tried that and unfortunately stuck in them and had to restart the game.

I think that you should also grow vines alongside vertical surfaces. It might have implications on gameplay, but I see no reason why it shouldn't do so. Generally, the vine spell should be well implemented. There are some parts of the map (the left/right corners of the bottom side of the stone ledge of the opening in the wall above the lava pit), where I couldn't grow the vine, but it worked closer to the middle. Emergent gameplay only works if you can trust the mechanics and you can't trust them if the mechanics are that selective. If something looks like you can do something there, than you should be able to.



Growth spell

There is the spell that makes things grow, so you can intensify fires. I'd like to use that spell on vines to make them grow a bit more. If they hit the ground and you keep growing them more, they'd start to become thicker until you created a pole. That would be interesting.

Speaking of the mushrooms, using the growth spell you could make them grow, too. They'd become larger and harder to climb up on, but they'd become secure enough for you to step on them and you could create a path along walls.



Wind spell

If you cast it below you, it should lift you up a bit (if strong enough, so it could be a more advanced spell).



Fire spell

I like how it works. Having the torch in my left hand and casting the fire spell made me think of the firespitter in circuses and I got that idea that casting the fire spell, while using a burning torch could create a fire, like the firespitter. So you'd hold down the right mouse button to hold the torch in front of you and left mouse button to hold the hand in front of the fire and cast the fire spell.

The idea is that you create the fire through magic, but having a fire source would have an additive effect.

Speaking about the torch. Using it with the right mouse button should be a hold action. You hold the button and the character holds the torch in front until you release the button. That way if something takes longer to ignite, you'd just apply your torch as long as it is needed.



Physical interaction

Needless to say that there should be Thief style climbing and also leaning and forward leaning.

Before I figured out you could intensify fire I tried to get up that room above the large wooden gate. I got creative and grew a vine to jump on that large fire dish that was hanging down the ceiling (I extinguished the fire before). I then created a wind to make this dish swing, so I could jump off it Indiana Jones style and grab onto a rope I grew from the dark opening in the ceiling. But the dish moved without me, under my feet and I just slid off it. I even tried to walk forward to avoid that, but that would be a bit ridiculous mechanic. So I though what if I would indeed fall off that object if it would swing (but not that it would move under me, but the movement should make me lose balance and I would actively fall backward or to the side), but if I crouch, than the character would brace itself and I would not fall off (unless there are forces). If that is how it is meant to work already, than it didn't with that dish.

Speaking of that dish. I applied the heavy lifting spell on it to move it, but I intended to move the heavy firewoods off it. You should have the ability to focus on specific objects to apply spells by aiming with the crosshair on them. So I could move either the dish, or the things that are on it.

I can imagine that there could be some sort of a "focus mode". Applying the heavy lifting spell in "normal mode" could affect what you look at, but the bulk of it (largest object or a set of objects), while in "focus mode" you apply the spell precisely on an object you're focusing on. So the normal mode would be practical if there's one large object, or if you're in haste and got no time for precision, the focus mode is practical where you exactly need precision. The "focus mode" could be a hold or toggle key, one that could make the corsshair smaller and more opaque, for instance.



The spell that destroys a stone ball that you've created also creates one. Is that intentional?



Metal gate

The room with the metal (or stone) gate that is locked by a wooden bar. I don't know if it is supposed to be part of the puzzle, but when I opened the lower half, it just opened a bit and I couldn't pass.

In any case, this part was my least favourite, because using the spell to lift the bar felt like an on off switch, and the heavy weight lifting spell to open the gate also. It felt like a scripted Half-Life moment.

I'd like to move things not in a predefined way by just applying a spell on it and applying it again to reverse the action, but by actually doing things myself. So I apply the spell and then move the mouse up looking at the object to lift it up. If it has to stay up, I'd apply a levitation spell additionally. Same with the metal door, think of the Amnesia/Penumbra games where you open up and shut doors with mouse movement (which his great and I wished this feature for Thief).



That's it for the moment. I'm excited for more!
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Psychomorph

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 05:09:52 PM »

It's limiting that you can only jump on a rope and a bit a disadvantage, because it swings you and that can cause accidents. I think it would be cool if you could use the use key on a rope to just cling to it and climb with zero swinging around, but also there should be an alternate way to use the rope, so the movement keys don't make you pull yourself up or down the rope, but you move and thus pull on the rope.

Perhaps it could be done so, that tapping the use key will make you grab it to climb and holding the use key, like now, will treat it like an usable object that you move (thus pull the rope if move backward).

Also there should be a way to pull the rope stationary, which can be done only once with one hand (like you pull the rope to tear something down) and continuously only when you have both hands free. Since you operate the hands with the main mouse buttons, so you could do with ropes: Hold use key to grab rope, if torch in left hand (operated by right button [although I'd prefer reversed]), you tap left button to perform a single pull, if both hands free, you could tap the one and the other mouse button to continuously pull the rope.

Say the rope is taut after you've pulled it by walking backward, or stationary, you can tap use key to let go of it, or move forward and jump to actually swing on the rope Tarzan like.

I think this would cover most possible actions you could do with the rope. And as suggested in the first post, use key on a winded up bunch of rope that is on the ground, would pick this bunch up and you could move it and even throw it across a gap (or down the gap).


That should be enough homework for you for today. :D want to see results tomorrow
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Browncoat Jayson

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 05:25:09 PM »

The jump control might need a little more finesse to it, so if you are standing right below the rope and do a quick jump to start climbing the rope doesnt swing so much. Unfortunately, you can't look straight up, so its hard to judge when to jump.
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other-will

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 05:35:49 PM »

I tested the prototype, thanks for giving us lowlifes a chance to test it. I think the game will look awesome and Unity was not a bad choice.

I have some feedback. If this public place is the wrong one to address those things, than you can remove this thread. I wanted to underline things with screenshots, but I need to know if I got the permission to do so (but then I probably wont be able to edit the post).
1st off, this is great. I love the feedback.
Yes you can talk about the game, yes you can post screenshots anywhere, yes you can make youtube and twitch videos on it. And also, Please do any/all of the above!
This is a great spot for this feedback. And the feedback is very constructive as well.

We chose Unity because it's amazing at allowing us the freedom to take advantage of physics in all it's glory. It is also very quick to write systems/code for. The keys to a successful game that doesn't take forever is rapid implementation+iteration, which Unity excels at.

Rope/vine interaction
I actually didnít even think about walking on the ropes until someone mentioned it to me when we went live. Iíll post a screenshot of the physics of the ropes so you can see why itís possible but difficult. I aim to make that a bit easier in the future.
The mushrooms being climbable is actually something we had, but it was crashing the game so we disabled it for now. Our floor mushroom that we will spawn actually has a top that you can snap off and use as a boat!
Iím still not sure how we will make it obvious that you are about to cast a mushroom or a vine. Maybe we could do mushrooms on floors only? And all walls/ceilings are vines?

Growth Spell
Using growth spell on vines to make them longer would be awesome, we were thinking that same thing!

Wind Spell
Casting it down to lift you a bit would be really great. It could even save you from landing to your doom (because itís not the fall that kills you).

Physical interaction
Yes to the thief leaning! By climbing what do you mean exactly?
The player physics still need some work when you are standing on objects (like the dish and the hanging platforms).
We are most likely going to have a spell rune that will allow you to specify where you are looking. I personally will not cast a spell without that once we have that, the beauty of the current setup is that more casual players can just look in the general direction of what they want to cast towards.
Destroying the stone ball Ė Thatís a bug, thank you for mentioning it, I didnít know that until now. Iím 90% sure that that will destroy the ball.

Metal Gate
I agree that the double metal gate isnít very fun. I need to sit down and come up with cooler doors, maybe some that use gears/pulleys in strange ways. As you can see with the door next to it, the gears mostly work.
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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, 05:45:46 PM »

Here's the physics of that rope.
I actually have the physics skip every other link. I may change that, I tried it that way because I was concerned of performance. But my desktop at home is actually pretty old so it may not be as big an issue as I thought.

These colliders are capsule shaped, so walking on them (when your player is capsule shaped as well) is tricky. We have some ways to improve how easy it is to walk on ropes, and we are discussing adding that as an ability for the more agile fighters.
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Psychomorph

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2016, 01:08:02 PM »

Thanks for the positive feedback to the feedback. :D


Rope/vine interaction
I actually didn’t even think about walking on the ropes until someone mentioned it to me when we went live. I’ll post a screenshot of the physics of the ropes so you can see why it’s possible but difficult. I aim to make that a bit easier in the future.

Walking on a single rope is something that should be possible for the agile characters, but be difficult, but if you have two ropes like in the prototype, than the character can hold on to the one rope while walking on another, so it should be doable even for the non-agile character, but still be a risk, so you'd need to do it carefully (move slow, hold down sneak key). If you have a rope bridge (two "railing" ropes for the left and right hand and a single rope to walk on), than it's even more secure for non-agile characters.

Best thing in games is if you can apply common sense, where you not ask yourself "what does the game wants from me, what does the developer want me to do", but "what would I do for real if I was in that situation".


Our floor mushroom that we will spawn actually has a top that you can snap off and use as a boat!

Hah, that's great, that's the stuff I want to see in the game. ;)


I’m still not sure how we will make it obvious that you are about to cast a mushroom or a vine. Maybe we could do mushrooms on floors only? And all walls/ceilings are vines?

Would work, but maybe I'd prefer something where you're more in control. Maybe a mouse gesture, where you basically draw a simple line with the cursor to do a specific thing. This would be also based on a certain logic that would make it natural to use.

For instance if you want to grow a vine, you aim at the spot that you want it to begin, hold the mouse button and move the cursor down just a bit and upon release of the button the vine grows (down). If you move the cursor up a bit, a bunch of mushrooms would grow (up). If you move the cursor left or right a vertical area, a bracket fungus grows on the wall.

This then you can combine with the growth spell. A vine would grow, then get thicker, than become a pole like (just for example), the bunch of mushrooms would degenerate, but a single of the bunch would grow taller and thicker, so you can climb on it (like on a crate) and of course use it's hat for other purposes, as you said. A bracket fungus would become a real small platform that can hold you when you step on it.

I'd like to see organic ways in mechanics and magic system. Personally I never liked the numbers, the percentages, the mathematical logic in RPG's (which I guess comes from the fact that computer nerds developed the early games), I'd like to experience mechanics by sound, colour, effects, physics behaviour, the way the environment responds, etc and less by "you have 50% of this, cast spell X to add 25% of this and 5% of that, so you inflict 75% damage, 5% heat damage, 10% healing, 2,5% taxes and tips"... I din't sign up for math class, I want to feel magic flowing through my veins. /rant :D


Growth Spell
Using growth spell on vines to make them longer would be awesome, we were thinking that same thing!

Speaking of the length of the vines. Since these a grown plant things, why not give them some more natural variety in length? I understand that consistency is necessary so the player can rely on the mechanics, but maybe the player should not rely too much on a static system, where everything has the exact same length and width? Vines could grow in slight variety. This is again my wish for more natural mechanics and a more organic experience.


Wind Spell
Casting it down to lift you a bit would be really great. It could even save you from landing to your doom (because it’s not the fall that kills you).

Great idea. I can see many uses for it with such advanced physics system like the one the engine has.


Physical interaction
Yes to the thief leaning! By climbing what do you mean exactly?

I made a little video taffin' about at Bafford's, showcasing the great mechanics in this game.

At 0:30 I lean forward over the railing, notice how I actually see the guard walking down the stairs from there (if resolution allows to see it). This is something you don't have in almost any 1st person game. Reason I love it so much is because in real life I'd do the exact same thing and in Thief you can and it is full of such things, which is why I love that game so much.

At 0:50 you can see how I check the room by leaning. I'd do that in real life the same way, too. The whole movement, climbing and leaning system in Thief is more of a simulation of how you would do it for real.

Furthermore the movement, see how I walk around, slow down to sneak if I need to be more careful or approach a corner behind which I know not what could be there. Then I was almost spotted at 1:18 and made a run for the storage compartment.
For instance I love Deus Ex Human Revolution, but each time I played it, I though why can't I have those mechanics like in Thief? It would make gameplay and the whole experience so much better, but games never really do it like this and I don't understand why.

Now about the climbing. Best part is the climbing at 2:05. Another thing that I haven't seen being done so great since Thief and maybe the first Splinter Cell game! Today many games have climbing and mantling, but it is nothing more of a "hyperactive low FOV animation". This is why I must say I dislike Dishonored so much, It is a Thief inspired game, but for me it is a more watered down version of it with what I refer to as "god mode gimmicks".

Climbing needs time. In Thief, above all games, the climbing is an actual process that you control. You need to hold down the key to keep climbing and if you release it, you fall back (if you're not on top already), which is not a flaw and a disadvantage, but gives you time to react to possible odds. Like if you climb, you see someone, you let go of the key and the character actually does let go. Same if you look to the side, you basically push yourself away (2:20).

The Dark Mod is the only game that really improved on those mechanics, where you have a dedicated climb key so you don't accidentally jump if dealing with delicate obstacles.


Speaking of which, you guys should make a Dark Mod live stream!


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wK8__e1-mMM&feature=youtu.be


The player physics still need some work when you are standing on objects (like the dish and the hanging platforms).
We are most likely going to have a spell rune that will allow you to specify where you are looking. I personally will not cast a spell without that once we have that, the beauty of the current setup is that more casual players can just look in the general direction of what they want to cast towards.

I fooled around a bit with it. The problems were the physics of the dish, the fact hat somehow I unintentionally ignited the wood below me and saw no flames and burnt my precious vines, etc.

In the video I see the problem that the vines act a bit like rubber. You bounce a lot up and down, which adds to the difficulty managing the rope, but vines should not be that flexible, so you should just swing. Also often you jump off a rope and walk forward, which makes you stick to that same rope if it swings back and forward at you from behind, almost like a spider web.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWzuL6B0AIc


The problem growing the vine on some spots where you'd expect them to grow:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAqd3YyJ2Hg


Here's the physics of that rope.
I actually have the physics skip every other link. I may change that, I tried it that way because I was concerned of performance. But my desktop at home is actually pretty old so it may not be as big an issue as I thought.

These colliders are capsule shaped, so walking on them (when your player is capsule shaped as well) is tricky. We have some ways to improve how easy it is to walk on ropes, and we are discussing adding that as an ability for the more agile fighters.


That's nice. It just should be so that you can't accidentally fall through a rope.

Can I embed videos somehow? Or one can only post links?


The jump control might need a little more finesse to it, so if you are standing right below the rope and do a quick jump to start climbing the rope doesnt swing so much. Unfortunately, you can't look straight up, so its hard to judge when to jump.

Indeed. I think that rubber banding should be fixed, so if you stand right near the rope, look down, jump up and the character grabs the rope and there might be a bit swinging, but right now you begin to bounce like on a rubber rope and that adds more force to your weight and makes you accelerate to all sorts of directions.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 01:28:56 PM by Psychomorph »
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Psychomorph

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2016, 11:13:56 AM »

...maybe I'd prefer something where you're more in control. Maybe a mouse gesture, where you basically draw a simple line with the cursor to do a specific thing.

If a mouse gesture type of thing does not fit your vision of how you want to make things work in the game, than maybe a spell made of two runes can be altered by glyphs? What I mean is that every rune combo has its basic function (vine, wind, etc.), but additionally you have a row of symbols below the rune shards and those symbols are like the manifestation of will. So a symbol that resembles an up movement ^ would make things grow from the earth (mushroom), or cast wind from below the point you aim at (little tornado perhaps).
« Last Edit: January 22, 2016, 11:17:08 AM by Psychomorph »
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Psychomorph

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2016, 07:36:42 PM »

Parkour is nice. You can climb up walls best by looking at a wall, jumping on it, than off it, than on it and so forth. So you keep looking at the same wall while bouncing off two walls.

What I tried is something I'd consider more natural and in control, where you look at a wall, say you run up to it slightly diagonally, than jump on it and when you're close to it, you turn toward the other wall you want to jump on and hit the jump key, to push off the first wall and jump toward the wall you look at. Emphasis with this is "you push off toward the wall you look at", that means you would have the control to fine tune the trajectory, as realistically you can push off a wall straight away from it, or slightly diagonally to the side. A straight jump off a wall may be more stronger, but the ability for diagonal angle should be there and it would be controlled by looking at the direction you want to jump to.

This is possible, but does not work very reliably yet. I'd work on this further.

Also, climbing by grabbing onto ledges and pulling yourself up when you keep looking at the ledge and holding the jump key would be a real nice addition to the parkour. But I guess this will come with time.
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jtbalogh

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2016, 02:54:26 PM »

I'd like to see organic ways in mechanics and magic system. Personally I never liked the numbers, the percentages, the mathematical logic in RPG's (which I guess comes from the fact that computer nerds developed the early games), I'd like to experience mechanics by sound, colour, effects, physics behaviour, the way the environment responds, etc and less by "you have 50% of this, cast spell X to add 25% of this and 5% of that, so you inflict 75% damage, 5% heat damage, 10% healing, 2,5% taxes and tips"... I din't sign up for math class, I want to feel magic flowing through my veins.
Nerds may appear to be showing off, but consider that math builds the trust between any player and the game, making sure something with multiple stats actually upgraded inflict damage to 10% instead of 5%, or upgraded inflict damage and lost healing. Without math, the opportunity cost would otherwise be extremely difficult to measure after spending 1000 gold, walking 100 miles or building a new character to get an upgrade, and being barely able to perceive how much the game was willing to give you or lose some other stat. Getting environmental effects and sounds to display with +/-1% accuracy and any lost stat would be nice, instead of interpreting them with a casual +/-10% or +/-20% if even discernible.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2016, 02:59:28 PM by jtbalogh »
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jtbalogh

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2016, 03:53:44 PM »

https://www.othersideentertainment.com/forum/index.php?topic=1065.msg17461#msg17461

It really all comes back to a LGS philosophy of adding 5% or another number isn't really 'fun'. We went at this and the other main systems with the total idea of when you level up you know it. It's not under the hood, or in a UI as a number. You can do more, be that move better, sling new spells, or have your spells be noticably more potent, new traps or posions, or shadow stealthy stuff we haven't made up yet.

From the other thread about figuring out how to use less math so it's more fun.
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SHODANFreeman

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Re: Prototype feedback
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2016, 03:43:31 AM »

The controls feel sluggish and absolutely awful in the prototype right now.  I really hope you're spending a lot of time polishing those, because it's nearly unplayable in its current state.
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