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RE: I paid for this? - 3/14/2007 4:00:01 AM   
Son_of_Montfort


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My screen does not look like that Screenshot posted above. The res "gremlins" look more like people to me. Again, I blame the LCD monitor's attempt to stretch the 1024X768 image into a larger resident screen resolution. This causes image deformation and pixel "wandering."

I like the quote about the tires... very fitting. I do disagree with Iberian, because I happen to think that some wargames, in particular Matrix's games, are very pretty and have come to expect a certain level of "beauty" from their games. I love the aesthetics of both the DB series (BF included) and the WiTP/UV/WP:O series. So much so that I think HPS Panzer Campaigns Series and many of Shrapnel Games wargames (besides Dominions) just look barbaric in comparison. I guess to each his own.

Son of Montfort

_____________________________

"Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet!"
(Kill them all. God will know his own.)

-- Arnaud-Armaury, the Albigensian Crusade

(in reply to Zakhal)
Post #: 31
RE: I paid for this? - 3/14/2007 4:40:26 AM   
Joe 98


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quote:


ORIGINAL:  Doobious
Note the blue dolphins and the red gremlins I commented on previously.

 
There are no red gremlins.  In the manual they have a specific name and a particular purpose.
 
I don’t see any blue dolphins.  I see blue arrows and which represent the front line as you would already know from reading the manual.
 
Ultimately your monitor is too big for wargaming.
 
-
 
 

(in reply to Zakhal)
Post #: 32
RE: I paid for this? - 3/14/2007 6:28:56 AM   
JAMiAM

 

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Hi all,

I don't usually poke my nose into the other developer's forums except to lurk, or offer congratulations to the new Matrix acquirees. However, there are several issues raised in this thread that I think should be debated. With the intent, of course, to offer constructive criticisms for future improvements of the Matrix line of games. Forgive me in advance if I gore any sacred bulls, or step on anyone's toes.

The radio sound. Honestly, it is annoying. Like the OP, I have my gaming computer hooked up to a nice set of Klipsch Promedia speakers and yes, mousing over the buttons on the Game Menu is grating on the ears. Like another poster mentioned, this does in fact annoy me so much that I likewise drop a shortcut to the desktop and bypass it completely. If you really want to find out how annoying it can be, then try listening to some MP3's on your player, with some headphones, at a sound level you find suitable. Then, without adjusting your volume, open up the game menu, and mouse over some of the buttons. When you're recovered from your ear surgery, then drop back by here and let us all know what you think...

Graphics. I'll deal with this in three parts. This is an age-old bone of contention between gamers as toward how much "importance" should be placed on the graphical representation of the battlefield. My personal criteria for whether the graphics are "good" for a particular title hinge on three items. The first is "do the graphics clearly display the information important to the gamer, in a clearly readable fashion?" As I have not purchased the game, I cannot honestly speak with any level of authority on this, since I have absolutely no familiarity with the game engine.

The second question is "do the graphics suit my personal sense of aesthetics?" In my case, from the screenshots that I have seen, I'd have to say "No" - quite emphatically. I come from a more traditional boardgamer background, and the screenshots have all, without fail, "caused my eyes to bleed". This is strictly my own opinion, but for me, the colors are overly bright, and garish, and I could not possibly play this game for more than 5 minutes at a time. It is interesting to note here, that when we were developing TOAW III, and decided to incorporate one of the "brighter" sets of modified color tiles as the "standard set" for the release, some of our Beta/QA team felt the exact same way about our decision to change the comfortable and familiar graphics that we had all used for the last 8 years through the previous iterations of TOAW. Though for some tiles, the information being presented with the new tile sets was more clearly communicated, as a whole, the new set was substantially brighter. One tester even likened it to being "cartoonish". Thus, the decision was made to not only ship the game with the new tile set, but with the old one included. Matrix built into the package a graphics set switcher, along with a start menu shortcut, to make the job of switching back and forth, a seamless and effortless task. Which leads me to the third criterium...

How adaptable is graphics engine in being modified by the end user? This takes on several sub-categories. For instance, which aspect ratios are supported? Does the program recognize non-standard (i.e., non 4:3) aspect ratios? If it does, what other ratios are supported? Widescreen (16:10) is becoming an increasing large segment of the monitor market, both in desktops, as well as in laptops. Another case is, what resolutions are supported, by default? Does the game stretch, or scale the interface to suit different desktop aspect ratio and native resolution combinations, or does the burden to figure this out fall on the end user? Beyond the basic issue of aspect ratios and supported resolutions, a developer should also ask, "Am I giving the end user the tools with which to adapt the graphical display to one that he will find aesthetically appealing?" That is, can the end user swap out graphics files, and with a minimum of effort on a bare-bones graphical program, create new or substitute graphics for the game, that will suit his own personal sense of aesthetics? I think here, wheresoever possible to do so within the constraints of the game engine, the answer should be "Yes". In fact, I would consider it a "no-brainer" in this day and age of "mod-friendly" gaming. Whether or not Battlefront does this, again, I do not know, since I am not familiar with the game. Only with the general issue.

Thanks in advance for your "eye time", and thoughtful replies.

Best Regards,
James A Mathews
TOAD Team

(in reply to Joe 98)
Post #: 33
RE: I paid for this? - 3/14/2007 7:10:12 AM   
Son_of_Montfort


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I think Mr. Mathews brings up a very good point:

quote:

The second question is "do the graphics suit my personal sense of aesthetics?"


The entire issue of graphics is so personal that debating them endlessly on the forums (and there have been no fewer than three threads on this board devoted to the "bad unit graphics" or pixelated terrain maps) is rather futile. All of these threads reach the same conclusion: it all depends on your personal feeling. As it is nearly impossible to persuade anyone else to "like" a computer game they viscerally respond to negatively, these types of threads are pointless.

Mr. Mathews does raise a few good points regarding the use of graphics to clearly relate information. Yes, the manual does point out what the "red gremlins" and "blue dolphins" are, but these symbols should be intuitive within the game as well. While I love BF, I really don't know exactly what these symbols mean (I believe they represent flak interdiction that slows down initial paratrooper movement in the Market Garden scenario) and the graphics do not display them intuitively. As mentioned in other threads, more liberal use of tooltips and more extensive right click information could clear this all up. As it stands now, the only way to rectify this is not within the game's graphics, but in a "tutorial" made by JSS on this forum. The graphics do need to be altered to fit Mr. Mathews's first paradigm, as they really do not display the information in a clear and uncluttered way that does not require heavy reference to a sparse and slightly defective manual (lets face it, if I had not played Korsun's Pocket and the BiN demo, BF would be totally alien to me).

My last response to Mr. Mathews is...  Shame on you for not playing BF or any of the DB series! If you were to merge the TOAW and DB systems you could probably make the UBER WARGAME  (tm)! It would be the true Kwisatz Haderach of gaming! (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kwisatz_Haderach)

Son of Montfort

< Message edited by Son_of_Montfort -- 3/14/2007 7:11:06 AM >


_____________________________

"Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet!"
(Kill them all. God will know his own.)

-- Arnaud-Armaury, the Albigensian Crusade

(in reply to JAMiAM)
Post #: 34
RE: I paid for this? - 3/14/2007 9:39:47 AM   
aysi

 

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I think the graphics are fine,between this and the Panther games stuff,thats all i need.They are wargames after all,the maps are fantastic the units are counters,and after reading the rules aout all the little numbers they convey the information fine,i dont think too many people read the rules to pc games much,they just charge right on in and it gets all to much for them.

I also thought that from the pre-release screens this game was just some rehash of the DB games.But this is a whole new engine,it has superb game play and for people like me who are more into board games it fits the bill perfectly,i have had it now for about 3 weeks and have played it every day,and i will have to eat my words about the price it is worth every cent.

thanks for the great game

(in reply to Son_of_Montfort)
Post #: 35
RE: I paid for this? - 3/14/2007 4:27:36 PM   
hank

 

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Since I haven't bought BF yet but I do have both KP and BiN; I'm wondering with all things equal in hardware, is there any difference in the graphics between BiN/BiI and BF?  ??  (regarding image quality ... not content)

Personally I never had a problem with KP/BiN graphics.  Yes, they are more "pixelated" or whatever you want to call it vs. many of the other map based strategy games but I just adapted to it (especially if the game play is good).  There is a lot of color in SSG games.  Much more than any other game.  It does make for a colorful screen and I suppose some people don't like that. 

There's simply good and bad in every game I own.  Its all just a matter of taste and opinions.  I personally can conform to just about any interface if I enjoy playing the game.  If the game is so convoluted in its User Interface to confuse or make information retrieval painful, I will lose interest.  If the game is too bland or too color busy, I normally get over it and enjoy the game.  (I own both kinds and I still play all of them from PzC to HttR to BiN to FG ... and on and on)


later

< Message edited by hank -- 3/14/2007 4:29:50 PM >

(in reply to aysi)
Post #: 36
RE: I paid for this? - 3/14/2007 5:28:22 PM   
Arinvald


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While I like the engine and have no problem with the look of the graphics, I do wish there was an 800x600 resolution. My old eyes get tired from straining at the somewhat small counters after a few hours. The one complaint that I have as far as the engine is concerned; and this goes for many games these days; is that it still uses the old IGO/UGO turn resolution instead of WEGO. I have never been able to truely enjoy any wargame at this scale that uses IGO/UGO since I played the V4V/W@W series so many years ago. That engine was certainly ahead of its time and is still, imo, the GOLD standard for operational wargames. I dearly wish that SSG would develope their engine to use WEGO or that Matrix would re-release the V4V/W@W series. I fear Combined Arms will never see the light of day.

_____________________________

"The fruit of too much liberty is slavery", Cicero

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Post #: 37
RE: I paid for this? - 3/14/2007 8:32:38 PM   
JSS

 

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@JAMiAM,

Some great comments and hopefully we can get a good discussion going.

BF (and the DB games for that matter) are fully modable. Looking into the possibilities of doing essentially dual graphics for my next big project. One would be SSG style colorful (which I like personally). One would have a more subtle color scheme (a la TOAW hues)... think this will be pretty easy.

Most of the OP comments are directed at SSG's included art and not the game engine (only true game engine issue here is the limited set of scales). I like the unit icons done for the DB series better than the BF (personal preference). BTW I did a direct comparison of the Tutorial scenario graphics vs the N. Afrika graphics that ship with TOAW3. Maps are equally pixalated at 2:1 zoom (TOAW uses more patterns, Tutorial map is more random). TOAW icons are 2x2 pixals larger than 1280x1024 BF icons. My Icon graphics are generally (and substantially) less pixalated than the TOAW icons. Clarity will be something I focus on even more given the discussion here.

Finally, I highly recommend you give either BF or BII a try! Lots of great game play concepts that could (should!) be included in further TOAW development.

JSS



< Message edited by JSS -- 3/14/2007 8:39:41 PM >

(in reply to Arinvald)
Post #: 38
RE: I paid for this? - 3/15/2007 1:15:44 AM   
Joe 98


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quote:

ORIGINAL: hank

is there any difference in the graphics between BiN/BiI and BF?  ??  (regarding image quality ... not content)




Hank, no they are about the same.

In the side bar the info panels are very bright but the maps and counters are very nice.

The game engine is better. I reckon it will take a while for this to sink in to the wargaming comunity.




(in reply to hank)
Post #: 39
RE: I paid for this? - 3/15/2007 9:03:17 AM   
Hentzau


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JSS

Looking into the possibilities of doing essentially dual graphics for my next big project. One would be SSG style colorful (which I like personally). One would have a more subtle color scheme (a la TOAW hues)... think this will be pretty easy.


GREAT! You should look up GJK for those easy on the eyes muted graphics. He did excellent new terrain graphics for TOAW3. Does alot of vassal work on board games as well. Not sure I've seen him here, but he is at wargamer, gamesquad"SZO" or boardgamegeek I believe.

(in reply to JSS)
Post #: 40
RE: I paid for this? - 3/15/2007 1:20:09 PM   
Marc von Martial


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM
The radio sound. Honestly, it is annoying. Like the OP, I have my gaming computer hooked up to a nice set of Klipsch Promedia speakers and yes, mousing over the buttons on the Game Menu is grating on the ears.


Just replace them with ones you like. The format is open and modable. They are in "\Autoplay\Audio" folder of the respective game, for every of our titles.


_____________________________

Marc von Martial

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Post #: 41
RE: I paid for this? - 3/15/2007 5:05:18 PM   
sterckxe


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM
The radio sound. Honestly, it is annoying. Like the OP, I have my gaming computer hooked up to a nice set of Klipsch Promedia speakers and yes, mousing over the buttons on the Game Menu is grating on the ears.


Just replace them with ones you like. The format is open and modable. They are in "\Autoplay\Audio" folder of the respective game, for every of our titles.


Just an amusing aside - you know that tick-tick-tick sound on the Matrix Games intro movie for COTA ? My dog thinks that's the sound of cat-paws outside so he rushes out only to come back in 30 seconds later bewildered that that invisible cat managed to escape again

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 42
RE: I paid for this? - 3/15/2007 7:49:47 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck


quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM
The radio sound. Honestly, it is annoying. Like the OP, I have my gaming computer hooked up to a nice set of Klipsch Promedia speakers and yes, mousing over the buttons on the Game Menu is grating on the ears.


Just replace them with ones you like. The format is open and modable. They are in "\Autoplay\Audio" folder of the respective game, for every of our titles.


Thanks for the tip, Marc. Is the format limited to .wav files, or can it also be MP3? WMA?

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 43
RE: I paid for this? - 3/15/2007 8:02:29 PM   
JAMiAM

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: JSS
Finally, I highly recommend you give either BF or BII a try! Lots of great game play concepts that could (should!) be included in further TOAW development.

I'll make you a deal...point me in the direction of a more subdued color-schemed mod, and if I like it, I'll pick up BF. I'd really like to play a good depiction of Gazala, and I think that would be a great way to give the game engine a shakedown.

(in reply to JSS)
Post #: 44
RE: I paid for this? - 3/16/2007 2:54:02 PM   
Marc von Martial


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quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM


quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck


quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM
The radio sound. Honestly, it is annoying. Like the OP, I have my gaming computer hooked up to a nice set of Klipsch Promedia speakers and yes, mousing over the buttons on the Game Menu is grating on the ears.


Just replace them with ones you like. The format is open and modable. They are in "\Autoplay\Audio" folder of the respective game, for every of our titles.


Thanks for the tip, Marc. Is the format limited to .wav files, or can it also be MP3? WMA?



The tool we generate these menus with can handle everything, but once "linked" the files have to be the same format and name as in the folder I pointed to.

_____________________________

Marc von Martial

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Post #: 45
RE: I paid for this? - 3/16/2007 2:54:37 PM   
Marc von Martial


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quote:

ORIGINAL: sterckxe

quote:

ORIGINAL: Marc Schwanebeck

quote:

ORIGINAL: JAMiAM
The radio sound. Honestly, it is annoying. Like the OP, I have my gaming computer hooked up to a nice set of Klipsch Promedia speakers and yes, mousing over the buttons on the Game Menu is grating on the ears.


Just replace them with ones you like. The format is open and modable. They are in "\Autoplay\Audio" folder of the respective game, for every of our titles.


Just an amusing aside - you know that tick-tick-tick sound on the Matrix Games intro movie for COTA ? My dog thinks that's the sound of cat-paws outside so he rushes out only to come back in 30 seconds later bewildered that that invisible cat managed to escape again




LOL

_____________________________

Marc von Martial

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Post #: 46
RE: I paid for this? - 3/17/2007 7:15:07 AM   
Prester John

 

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I think I've purchased and played all the Decisive Battles games and have had great fun, and recently I've noticed the pixilation effect too. I'm sure it's a combination of the fact that I am older and wear reading glasses and I am now richer and own a seriously high end game playing PC with an Nvidia 8800 video card and large LCD monitor. ( I also have a wide screen monitor but don't play BF on it because Nvidia don't have the native resolution letter-box option for the 8800 driver yet).

Anyway I find it hard to concentrate when I can't focus properly on the icons, only to realise that I can focus because the icons are blurry on my monitor. I suppose back when I was using low-res CRT the blurrynes was just subconciously ignored but now that I'm used to other software with a crisp image definition I do find myself getting distracted by BF icons. I guess this makes it a psychological effect for me, but annoying none the less.

I have no other problems with the layout or interface or maps or tool tips or whatever, just the distraction of trying to see clearly that which can't be seen clearly on my top of the line home entertainment toy. And to prove that I'm also going senile I'm setting up an old PC with a CRT monitor just to play BF, and hopefully I'll be able to concentrate more.

And yeah I avoid the radio noise on the menu by quick-starting the game too.
     

Edit: I should specify it's the counter icons I'm talking about.

< Message edited by Prester John -- 3/18/2007 1:15:27 PM >

(in reply to Marc von Martial)
Post #: 47
RE: I paid for this? - 3/17/2007 8:08:23 AM   
Son_of_Montfort


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Prester John,

Didn't your namesake have a magical mirror that could see anywhere in his kingdom? That should deal nicely with the pixelation problem...

Love the name... Just wish I could find your kingdom...

On some of the older Matrix Games, the radio static was a gunshot. I know UV is like this. Seems to me that was shorter and maybe a bit more palatable. Regardless, it doesn't really bother me much... I sometimes run the mouse up and down to hear it "freak out" with radio static! Wish my cat reacted like the above mentioned dog... that would be hours of fun!

Son of Montfort

_____________________________

"Neca eos omnes. Deus suos agnoscet!"
(Kill them all. God will know his own.)

-- Arnaud-Armaury, the Albigensian Crusade

(in reply to Prester John)
Post #: 48
RE: I paid for this? - 3/17/2007 10:26:43 PM   
Hertston


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Having finally bribed the Mrs into letting me buy BF, I'll briefly stick my oar in on the graphics. For the record I have a very good 19 inch flatscreen CRT (the last of the breed); so good I have no intention of replacing it until either a resolution above 1600*1200 becomes essential or it ceases to function.

Firstly, the maps. A big improvement on BiN (I don't have BiI). Much clearer and don't give me a screaming headache. I had big issues with BiN regarding that to the extent I stopped playing; I just found the whole game uncomfortable to look at. I accept that must be some peculiarity with my eyesight (which isn't the best) as it didn't seem to trouble others.

Secondly, the unit counters. Frankly, bloody awful. Unclear, with no real reason to be so in view of the level of information they transmit, and in need of total replacement. TOAW is as good a model as anything, they tell you just as much but are far sharper and clearer, and information from them can be absorbed instantly.

(in reply to Son_of_Montfort)
Post #: 49
RE: I paid for this? - 3/18/2007 6:53:12 AM   
cesteman


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While I watch this thread with interest, I have to ask myself one or two questions about the final game graphics that we see in BF. I for one am wondering if when the game was being designed they had to take several things into consideration for bringing the final product to market. One would be cost, and the other would be a middle of the road aspect for the designing general graphics for the game. I for one think the programmer's and company making this product had to choose graphics that would work on most of the systems out there right now. While most gamers have a better system, such as graphics and monitors, most of the people buying the game probably don't have a system that is up to date so to speak. I'm sure there are a lot of people out there that are working on a computer system that is around two years old. I'm sure the makers had to take this into consideration when designing the game. Just my two centavos!
Christian

(in reply to Hertston)
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