Author Topic: First game feedback  (Read 719 times)

Offline Hearteater

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First game feedback
« on: May 05, 2013, 12:59:29 PM »
I just finished my first game last night, just a standard 40 turn with Tutorial/None Edicts on the initial map.  To start with, you've got a really solid base here.  It feels good (with a few minor exceptions I'll mention) and I can see a lot of really interesting places for it to grow into.  My overall impression is positive, so I want to apologize in advance if it seems I'm pointing out all these little issues.  I really want this game to do well and believe it has that ability, so I'm really focusing more on what can be improved and less on what you've already done excellently (of which there is a lot, and I'll try and mention).

1. Rounds/Turns
I'm starting here because this is the fundamental structure of the game, and it came across a touch confusing.  Now sure, you can fix the tutorial to clear this up, but there may be a better way.  I think the Round+Turn layout is confusing because Rounds don't really need to exist.  There aren't an arbitrary number of them, and they really are distinct phases more than incremental steps.  Round 0 (as I commented before) also is a little odd.  So I propose renaming these Rounds into named phases.  Put the name of the current phase above the center score bar in text.  The Phase names might be: "Setup", "The Age of Man", "The Age of Monsters", "The Age of Gods".  I think those names give a lot more of a visceral feel to the phases than just a number.  It also lends itself well for the round transitions to be something like: "Now Entering the Age of Monsters" or something.  The naming really gives you a better and quicker feel for what will be changing in a given round than a number.

2. Round 0: Setup
I mentioned in another post, but setup could really stand to be combined into a single turn for each side with 15 AP.

3. Tutorial
First, it is a little odd the tutorial pop-up comes after the Round 0 pop-up.  I think the tutorial should probably be broken up into smaller steps that walk you through setting up the Red Faction.  Then the instructions can be shorter and easier to read.  The Tutorial instructions are pretty intimidating in their length.  I'm thinking a series of instructions with 1-3 sentences each: "Let's Build a Barracks near the Town Center"..."Let's see what the Barracks needs to make troops"..."We needs Bacon which comes from a Butcher, so Let's place that"..."Uh oh, the Butcher needs Pigs, let's place a farm.  Resources need to be placed a little further from the Town Center."  And so on, probably walking the player through the first 5-8 actions.  This would really benefit from my suggestion #2 because you could do Red Faction and then on switching to Blue say "Now you try it!" which gives the player a chance to reinforce the lesson they just learned setting up Red.

4. Instructional Pop-up
Man those are intimidating.  I think they could stand to be broken up a lot more.  Especially because the theme of them is: "You are going to lose...a lot.  Don't feel bad."  Which is interesting, because in my game I just passed both sides for the entire last 40 turns with no chance of losing, and really, I only had 1 moment I could have even lost (stupid Greek Lion-thing making invulnerable units Round 1).

5. Map Navigation
It is mentioned on Mantis, but I strongly support centering the map on the starting Town Center of the Faction whose turn it is.  Also, the center of the screen should pop up a brief "Red Faction" message.  The transition is too light at the moment.  Maybe it is the LoL player in me, but I kind of want Spacebar to center on Town Centers, with repeated presses cycling through them, like how it works in AIW when I press D to select a Space Dock.  I also feel SC would really benefit from having click-and-drag panning of the map.  You can't really select anything anyway so it fits in very naturally.  I find edge-scrolling really more appropriate to action games than turn games.

6. Mini-Map
I think I would like a mini-map in this game.  Just something small, with colored squares to show open air, passable, impassable, and building owners.  The map itself is a little busy and I find myself missing important things like flags changing to white/yellow or even from red to blue.  A mini-map would help bring that information to my attention better, as well as encourage me to spread stuff out because I'd be better able to keep track of it (especially with Spacebar to hope between Town Centers).

7. Building Placement
Somewhere on mantis is a suggestion to show Town Center placement radius.  That's would be really useful.  At some point, an Auto-Smite toggle for putting buildings on regular tiles would be nice (so it would take 2 actions to place, and would only work if you had 2 actions available).  It might even be nice to have a pop-up appear if you try and place a building on a normal tile: "Would you like to Smite the Tile so you can place here?  It will cost an addition Action?  YES/NO/ALWAYS"

8. Town Management
I really have trouble telling what production buildings I have in a town.  Having that information appear when I hover over the Town Center would be nice.  I'd really like it to appear when I go to the build menu, but since it doesn't know which town I'm building for, it can't really show that info.  Maybe if when I'm about to place a Butcher and that Town already has one, the word "Duplicate" appears just to warn me.

9. Tutorial Length
I felt 40 turns was too long for my first tutorial game.  I realize a lot isn't finished yet, but I had built everything by 20.  Sure I could have made a second town, but in my first game I didn't realize this.  I passed the last 10 turns of Round 1 just to get to Round 2 because I couldn't think of anything else to do.

10. Game Over
I'm assuming something more will happen here.  It just dropped off.  I'm sitting there staring at the game, expecting to go back to the menu, or something.  What I'd really like is a stats screen, maybe with bar graphs to show where I got my score from.  How much from kills (and that option could expand to give a per-unit break down) and how much from buildings, passing actions, etc.  Maybe even a score timeline for each factions as a line graph.  Also how many of each unit got produced, and how many resources where gathered and maybe even wasted (turns when a resource node is full and so some or all its production is wasted).

11. Lesser/Greater God Roadblocks
They are cool, but they really seem to just make the cities invulnerable.  Once the Lesser Gods appeared, it really didn't seem possible for the towns to get taken anymore.  Are there going to be ways of getting past them?  What about ways of moving them?  Like I can build a Temple (and I can only have one Temple) and they appear at it.  Or maybe I can have multiple Temples, but they randomly pick one to appear in each turn.  Probably ideal would be they never spend two turns in the same Temple, which would give a little less randomness.

12. Mirrored Play & Action Points
I was finding my play was mirrored a lot.  I'm sure that is partly because the Norse/Greek just aren't fully fleshed out yet.  But one possibility I was consider was shared actions.  What if instead of 3 actions per faction, 9 max, we got 5 actions per turn to use on either faction.  That makes it impossible to mirror your play since you can't split the actions evenly.

13. Greek Lion & Command
Wow, that Lion breaks the Greeks in Round 1.  Don't build it unless you want the Norse crushed!  I had a use Command for 9 turns in a row to pull back the Greeks to get to Round 2.  Then I needed to use Command to lure them all into range of my Lesser God to kill off the 5 immortal humans.

14. Combat
Combat feels pretty good, although the replay flashes away from the results too fast at x1 speed.  I can't tell if the target died or not.  Just give it like 1/2 a second before it auto-follows to the next guy.  I felt the combat against structures was a little odd though.  Took me awhile to figure out what was happening, and I still might not understand.  I also felt like the Mountain Giant and such are really a lot weaker than I expected.

15. Overall
Again, I feel there is a really solid base.  I am feeling like there isn't enough to manage.  I build every producer in each town because there isn't a huge reason not to.  I don't need more than one of each.  No real reason to level up buildings.  I feel leveling-up buildings/units could be made more meaningful.  I think combat against cities needs to allow them to get taken down a little quicker.  I went 5+ turns with Greeks wrecking my town before I Commanded them to leave, and the end result was pretty minimal to the Norse.  Also, Command might be way to strong, or at least need a cooldown.  I don't think it is possible to lose when you have Command available.

And that's about the extent of my brain dump...need food.

Offline Winge

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Re: First game feedback
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 02:03:07 PM »
I'm wondering if the Nemean Lion needs a slight nerf.  Maybe something like 50% damage reduction from humans, instead of the current 100%.  That said, I'd like to see what the other tokens cause before saying that it has to be nerfed.  I think part of the point of those tokens is that they are insanely powerful (just look at Adamantite...it's not even remotely balanced for one side to have that and the other not to).  Note that you can give the Lion to the Norse as well-those buffs work just like ruins in that either side can gain them once placed.  Two units with Lion attacking each other...well, let's just say not much happens.
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