Author Topic: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.  (Read 2870 times)

Offline Volatar

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Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« on: September 13, 2013, 02:26:52 AM »
http://bluescreenofawesome.com/2013/09/09/indie-wonderland-skyward-collapse/
Two pages. Most of the content on the second page.

This is a friend of mine who picked up the game after I mentioned it on Twitter. I think what he has to say about "The Arcen Games Problem" is an interesting one.

Offline zespri

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2013, 06:10:17 PM »
Two things I say. First, this guy does not seem to get that the point of the game is to make balancing difficult, this is where the fun is. Almost the whole point of his blog is how the balancing tools the game gives you are imprecise and how chaotic the game gets no matter what. Well, this is the *the whole point* of the game.

Secondly, there is no "Arcen Problem". AI Wars gives you what is useful against what. SC on the other hand does not *need* this since you can't control units directly, so there is no point in finding out what counters what. And you can't please everyone. You don't give a lot of stats someone whines that the game does not give enough info. You give the stats and someone complains that they are overwhelmed by it.

Also, the math in the games is on purpose difficult so that the players can't figure out how to min max it. If it was easy to do the game would be no fun.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 06:12:05 PM by zespri »

Online keith.lamothe

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2013, 07:45:08 PM »
I think it's fair to say we often pick the wrong info to show or display it in a way which is hard to understand.  But to imply it's somehow unique to us or even uncommon in the industry... well, I rarely find a UI I really like :)
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 06:16:03 PM »
I think it's fair to say we often pick the wrong info to show or display it in a way which is hard to understand.  But to imply it's somehow unique to us or even uncommon in the industry... well, I rarely find a UI I really like :)

I think it's fair to say that the Tutorial for Skyward Collapse does not show the right info ^^ Imo that needed some visual helpers that point at stuff. Like

"This red area is what you control this round"  -------------> Arrow points at it
"Build Food and Barracks first ---------> Points at blinking building menu (once clicked, it switches to build 2 of that, 2 of that, and 3 of that)

But the reason I didn't like the game is pretty much this...

Quote
‘Alright’, goes the tutorial, ‘now survive until turn 6!’ I… survive? Yes, survive: since my goal is to maintain balance, I have to prevent both sides from wiping each other out completely. Why I even built barracks and mythological monsters in the first place is a mystery, but I guess Ultragod’s ways are inscrutable even to himself.

I wanna come to something here that I often lament in 4x games as lacking. And it's lacking here as well. That's the motivation. (Not *mine*, but the game's ;) ) Basically, compare this to Populous, you shape land and your settlers build houses where they now can *** Because you as god need their worship to become more powerful ***. But this is not what you decide to happen. It follows naturally as you shape the world. More settlers have more demands.. and so on. That's a motivation to build and lull over imaginary settler people. You wanna see them grow to make yourself grow. (Sidenote: Black and White did it better than Populous, if only the creature hadn't been such a large part of it I would actually like Black and White more ,p)

Basically, the game does the things it does well, but it never gives a good motivation to the player to be doing those things.

Mhh, but either way.. not everyone likes everything. Suddenly I have the urge to play Black and White again. Argh

Ps.: AI war does not have a GUI problem by the way. But that's thanks to years and years of refinement. Though I do miss the group move toggle button in the GUI that was removed *curses*, I used it excessively.. I can't fathom how people can even play without that always on.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 06:24:24 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Online keith.lamothe

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2013, 07:14:21 PM »
Ps.: AI war does not have a GUI problem by the way. But that's thanks to years and years of refinement.
I think AIW is the kind of game that can't _not_ have a GUI problem without like a solid year of a usability specialist, UI designer, and UI programmer (3 separate people) working on that and nothing else, with lots of community input.

There's just sooooo much going on in there.

I think what's going on here is that you've had years and years to adjust to the game, so it's no longer a problem for you :)


Quote
Though I do miss the group move toggle button in the GUI that was removed *curses*, I used it excessively.. I can't fathom how people can even play without that always on.
There is a toggle in the CTRLS window for that.  Do you mean that you used to frequently switch back and forth between having that on and having that off?
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2013, 10:37:18 PM »
I meant that before that got removed, I pushed that button once and every order I gave was group move and used the hotkey to disable it for specific orders, I used that very, very often. I can't seem to do that anymore. I never used the CTRLS menu for anything, it's all hotkeys down to the unicorns

Ps.: Yeah, I guess playing since 1.003 has made me adapt to the GUI more than the GUI adapted to me. ^^

Is the CTRLS toggle a global toggle? Because It never felt that way.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 10:40:00 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Online keith.lamothe

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2013, 10:51:13 PM »
Is the CTRLS toggle a global toggle? Because It never felt that way.
It is.  There's also a control-group-specific toggle (and a similar one for keeping formation move on).  But I believe there's also one on the galaxy-wide section and it functions just like the old UI button did.  Maybe I'm crazy :)
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2013, 10:54:23 PM »
Mhhh, i doubt your are crazy but if that's a global toggle I never have seen it. ... this sounds hilarious, but I need a tutorial here, what exactly do I have to press to make the group move toggle ON a global setting, and would that be overridden by the group move hotkey (ie, group move hotkey would invert it?) (More importantly, does attack order override it or not)
« Last Edit: September 30, 2013, 11:05:53 PM by eRe4s3r »
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Online keith.lamothe

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2013, 11:06:21 PM »
1) In game, not on the galaxy map
2) Click "CTRLS" button on the left-ish bottom
3) in the first column, third from the top, click the "Ship Movement Defaults To Group-Move" toggle.  This should make the normal group-move-key into its inverse.

It's right above the "Ship Crews Drink Tea Instead Of Coffee On Second Tuesdays" toggle.

(this is part of why I think the game still has a GUI problem)
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Offline eRe4s3r

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Re: Review of Skyward Collapse with some heavy criticisms.
« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2013, 11:18:29 PM »
I guess it really came down to the fact that doing the 3 step juggle is far far slower than just hitting the group move toggle button we had before. Holding the group move hotkey while dragging an attack selection is also hard to do (In that case I want them to stop group moving but only for that 1 attack) ;P

Mhhh, I don't have anything installed right now so who knows. I wiped my HDD's and am slow in reinstalling my steam library.
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