Author Topic: Next alpha build (and more alpha players) late tomorrow (11/20).  (Read 1817 times)

Offline Misery

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Re: Next alpha build (and more alpha players) late tomorrow (11/20).
« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2015, 01:14:04 PM »
Misery, I have to strongly disagree with you here. Having multiple control options is a recipe for... mediocrity. These kinds of games are first and foremost about the feel of the controls and the movement. You can't split it up and give people all these different options, because then the core of the game is lost.

And as much as these games are about mechanics, they have to be loyal to the narrative. This has been a constant Arcen sore spot -- they come up with a narrative, then they come up with mechanics, and then the mechanics keep evolving but the narrative mostly stays the same, and the mechanics don't really fit the original narrative anymore. The mechanics are shoehorned in, and require heavy exposition just to explain the basics, and they're not a clean fit. You can see it in title after title.

If the narrative is about a ship in some... bigger ship. (Which is still just so weird and unnatural sounding to me, and again requires a ton of exposition just to explain the basic premise), then you're piloting a ship. It has to feel like a ship. It can't move like a robot on the ground. People just won't accept it, and will discard the game before even giving it a chance. The feel has to be right. It just has to. I don't think I can stress this enough. And that doesn't have to mean momentum btw: it could just be a matter of playing with the bob animations and such, the way Descent does.

And once you get the feel right, the challenges have to match what you can do with those movement parameters. If that means that you can't dodge as well, so be it -- the shmup parts need to be made compatible with the limitations of the movement. It should actually be seen as a benefit, because the limitations make the gameplay different and more interesting.

I also have trouble with you dismissing things because they're in Nuclear Throne. Say what you want, Nuclear Throne is a brilliant design. I'm sure part of it was pure luck and stumbling on the right things, but it's really really good. The feel of the characters is incredible, and the whole game just meshes together really well. You can criticize specific aspects of it, but I don't think any game designer worth his salt would say that it's a bad design. Arcen would be very lucky to have a Nuclear Throne on their hands. Not that I'm saying they aren't capable of it by any means, but to have everything in the design come together so well is just very tough.

The same applies to the Binding of Isaac design. I personally feel like Edmund messed up quite a few parts of Rebirth, but the basic design (carried over from the flash games) is solid and works really well. The art is inspired, the enemies are great, and the constantly increasing powers are cool. This is why the game has lasted this long and people are still interested in it.

I'm not dismissing anything because it's in NT or any other game, or just accepting anything because it's in Isaac.  I just keep using those as examples because they're the first things to pop out of the mess that passes for my memory.  Understand, I've seen all of these concepts many times.... including multiple control styles.  I feel exactly the same about them in other games as I do when it comes to those.

And I agree with what you said:  the feel of the controls and motion is important.  Which is a huge part of WHY it needs to be an option. What feels good & right for one player often feels like an exploded disaster for another.  This is why I keep bringing up NT VS Isaac in this context.  Isaac allows TWO types of controls.  Digital, VS analog.  If they'd gone with JUST analog simply because "well digital is so limited, it'll mess with the feel of it", quite a number of people wouldnt have gotten into the game; I sure aint the only one that plays it with the dpad.  Wheras NT, popular though it may be, DOESNT have that option.... despite the total lack of any real reason as to why it couldnt be there.  It's still the exact same game even if you have that option there.

And that'll be the case here.   As I keep pointing out, the balance of the game... which is the important bit... isnt going to change because of this. The control types being different wont change what can or cannot be dodged; EVERY enemy in the game, ALL of them, would have to be changed if the alteration went THAT far. The current set of rooms also would not work, they'd have to be changed too.  Hell, Nuclear Throne itself is a good example.  You DO have momentum in that. Watch how your character comes to a stop in that.  But you might notice, this momentum is very light; it's just a few pixels, and it's a fairly smooth stop.  It's there for effect and to just give off a certain "feel".  I cant imagine that Chris would have the ship in this game sliding around like it was slipping down some ice slope somehow.

 This whole thing does one, and one thing only:  Means that players have more control options to choose from.  Some players will want the feel that you're after.  But others are going to want that "total stop on a dime" precision that's in there (and most of THEM will be coming from the shmup genre, as I am, where the ability to do that is central to literally the entire game; they'll be used to it, very much so). 

And as I've said elsewhere, all that really needs to be done with this is to make sure that the "momentum" version of this (not the version that's in right now) is the default, since that'll be more popular (probably).  Players can go and specifically change it if they want it.

Really though, it's just about keeping the game open to that many more people.  I cant stress enough how ridiculously irritating it is to go into a totally new game.... only to find that the controls are just all wrong for you.  It feels like you just shoved money into a blender.  What feels great for one person might feel like a hammer to the face for another.



And yes, what Tombik said is true, I've got TONS of time in NT.  It's not really the core gameplay that killed it for me (though the forced use of analog did hurt it alot).  The game does alot of things right.   It's just that what it does WRONG, it does SO wrong that I just couldnt take it anymore.  The absolute biggest offender is the still-broken-after-a-freaking-year-despite-nonstop-complaints spawn system.  It can STILL give you bad spawns like, say, spawning in a little corner in the Palace with 3 Dog Guardians RIGHT NEXT TO YOU.  You *are* dead if it does that, and your run ends with some sort of sad little fart sound.  That's a bunch of time down the drain.  It doesnt even have to happen all that often to break my patience; that it can happen AT ALL is enough (and sadly, it DOES happen pretty often, actually, when you spend alot of time with the game).   I also had alot of issues with just how Vlambeer was handling things.... that's a whole other rant seperate from the game, but it did dent my interest a good bit.  And dont get me started on Lil' Hunter.  My eye twitches just thinking about THAT whole debacle.  Which, I note, still hasnt ended.  The COMPLAINTS.... they never stopped.

I suppose total hate might be going a BIT too far.... in reality I might go back to it later on, quite possibly.  But I always sound absolutely beyond negative by default, so just take some things I say with a grain of salt.  Even with games I absolutely love, I could probably write you a 3 page essay on things I think are bloody stupid in them.  I could certainly do that for Isaac.  It'd be 8 pages long, not 3....
« Last Edit: November 20, 2015, 01:25:13 PM by Misery »

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Next alpha build (and more alpha players) late tomorrow (11/20).
« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2015, 02:36:10 PM »
OK so maybe I'm misunderstanding your statement. How is NT not allowing digital control? When you play with the keyboard you have digital movement control by default. Do you mean that in the gamepad controls of NT, you're automatically mapped to the analog stick?

Offline Misery

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Re: Next alpha build (and more alpha players) late tomorrow (11/20).
« Reply #17 on: November 20, 2015, 02:55:32 PM »
OK so maybe I'm misunderstanding your statement. How is NT not allowing digital control? When you play with the keyboard you have digital movement control by default. Do you mean that in the gamepad controls of NT, you're automatically mapped to the analog stick?

Yep.

dpad does nothing.

I tried forcing it via keyboard emulation, but as happens with some games, it just makes things really.... screwy.

And unfortunately I cant just use the keyboard/mouse for this, it'd wreck my arm, all that clicking (and that game would have ALOT of clicking).  Though, frankly, I'm bloody terrible with a mouse anyway.   You want to see some major inaccuracy, then watch me play a game using mouse control!  I'll show you missed shots everywhere and characters falling offa cliffs or something. 

Offline Bluddy

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Re: Next alpha build (and more alpha players) late tomorrow (11/20).
« Reply #18 on: November 20, 2015, 03:45:51 PM »

Yep.

dpad does nothing.

I tried forcing it via keyboard emulation, but as happens with some games, it just makes things really.... screwy.

And unfortunately I cant just use the keyboard/mouse for this, it'd wreck my arm, all that clicking (and that game would have ALOT of clicking).  Though, frankly, I'm bloody terrible with a mouse anyway.   You want to see some major inaccuracy, then watch me play a game using mouse control!  I'll show you missed shots everywhere and characters falling offa cliffs or something.

OK but you realize that this almost certainly has to do with the fact that it's an early access title, right? They're only getting to the final layers of polish now, and in fact, I think you can now remap any control you like.

In general, it doesn't make sense to have analog movement as the baseline in any PC game since 90% of your audience will be playing with a keyboard, which is digital only. So the baseline for PC games is always digital. In fact I can't think of even one game that requires analog movement.

Offline Misery

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Re: Next alpha build (and more alpha players) late tomorrow (11/20).
« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2015, 02:18:01 AM »

Yep.

dpad does nothing.

I tried forcing it via keyboard emulation, but as happens with some games, it just makes things really.... screwy.

And unfortunately I cant just use the keyboard/mouse for this, it'd wreck my arm, all that clicking (and that game would have ALOT of clicking).  Though, frankly, I'm bloody terrible with a mouse anyway.   You want to see some major inaccuracy, then watch me play a game using mouse control!  I'll show you missed shots everywhere and characters falling offa cliffs or something.

OK but you realize that this almost certainly has to do with the fact that it's an early access title, right? They're only getting to the final layers of polish now, and in fact, I think you can now remap any control you like.

In general, it doesn't make sense to have analog movement as the baseline in any PC game since 90% of your audience will be playing with a keyboard, which is digital only. So the baseline for PC games is always digital. In fact I can't think of even one game that requires analog movement.

Oh, I know that.   But honestly, that just makes the problem seem even screwier to me.  I mean, why in the world wasnt it just there to begin with?  Particularly as I could swear the characters only actually MOVE in 8 directions, even with analog.

This though goes more into the bit about how Vlambeer's been handling the game the whole time.... let's just say, I havent exactly been agreeing with their approach one bit. 

Even though they're likely to fix THIS issue.... there are certain ones that have been there for AT LEAST a year that are very, very likely to NEVER get fixed.  I'm so certain of this (as are others) that if they DO get fixed.... I'll be absolutely flabbergasted.

But again, that's a whole other (very, very long) rant, and too much derailment here.  Suffice it to say though, eventually it just wore thin on me way too much and my patience, or what passes for patience for me, just completely snapped.

Offline tombik

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Re: Next alpha build (and more alpha players) late tomorrow (11/20).
« Reply #20 on: November 21, 2015, 05:22:51 AM »
Even though they're likely to fix THIS issue.... there are certain ones that have been there for AT LEAST a year that are very, very likely to NEVER get fixed.

Btw, maybe you missed it, but they released two patches for dealing with killer spawn points. We can argue that they failed at doing so, but we cant say they just dont care.

Offline Misery

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Re: Next alpha build (and more alpha players) late tomorrow (11/20).
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2015, 06:18:02 AM »
Even though they're likely to fix THIS issue.... there are certain ones that have been there for AT LEAST a year that are very, very likely to NEVER get fixed.

Btw, maybe you missed it, but they released two patches for dealing with killer spawn points. We can argue that they failed at doing so, but we cant say they just dont care.

Unless one of those was extremely recent (as in, update 96 if it came out, I'm aware of every update before that; update 95 I think it was, was where I stopped playing) then I'm already aware of those.... and they didn't really fix it, which was known pretty much immediately after each time (which, for most developers, would have sent them right back into bugfix mode).  They fixed it for SOME levels (after long periods of the bugs being there), mostly areas 3 and 6.  But the two worst ones, area 5 and area 7, were not fixed.  5 got marginally better, 7 was untouched.  7 is always untouched.  5, however, got 3 times worse after the Lil' Hunter change.