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No CTD, but some ugly basics

 
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No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 3:59:12 AM   
Malevolence


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No CTD, exactly, but I do have some first impressions.

For reference, I am running a Win 10 Pro 64bit, Intel i7-1065G7, 16GB RAM. It is a Surface Pro 7, connected to 2560x1600 display monitor via USB-C.

I would upload a screenshot of the scaling, DPI, etc. but even in JPEG the file is 1.5MB.

(1) I absolutely hate the installer, which I think is wholly the responsibility of Matrix's team. There is no reasonable reason Matrix's games aren't installed/configured on machines using the modern, best practices. The current installer seems to be a convenience for Matrix's aged key system at the expense of purchasers' security.

(2) Per impression #1, the inability to store a user's var profile data separately from the game's installation is not acceptable for professional software anymore. The person installing should be able to specify the installation location and the location for user var data (config, saves, screenshots, etc.).

(3) The game lacks configurable keybinds. Given that this game is based on a few previous iterations, it is reasonable to assume a basic input module was written by now. Keybinds are must have not just for convenience, but also for accessibility for people with special needs. An added benefit is a ready reference to find a needed keybind.

(4) Lacks sufficient localization. There are a mishmash of mixed decimal and thousand separators. The English string values were not corrected by an editor. I have done a very quick pass across the game's installation and I did not see any available files for even community provided translation. This might be unfair, but the Matrix side of the credits shows a lot of contributors. Why were these basic and reusable tasks left undone by them? The game feels insufficiently produced... by Producers.

(5) In a more general sense, the game interface's composition, and its direction (both per painting), lacks unification. Elements draw the viewer to the edges and around of the screen instead of a centrally focused. Modal reports, for example, pull the view to the right side of the canvas. Another issue is that there are multiple paths to the same information. The same information is provided in different views and via different tables and reports. To me at least, this all feels undisciplined. Maybe an industrial machine style was the objective, but in my mind a leader is not an engineering technician pulling switches like the Wizard of Oz. It could just be my aesthetic.

(6) For me, selecting tabs and UI elements on the strategic map is noticeably delayed.

(7) Tooltips appear to disappear with little movement. I was forced to turn my mouse sensitivity down to 800 dpi to keep tooltips from blinking.

That is enough for now. If I did not like this game, I would not bother wasting my time or posting about it. I do not think it does your team much good to focus on adoration.


< Message edited by Malevolence -- 6/5/2020 5:18:28 AM >


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Post #: 1
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 5:51:53 AM   
Malevolence


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Those look suspiciously like variable names? Perhaps text was intended.




I'll be honest, I like the insight into the numbers, but I do find the game's shifting back and forth between "game" speak and "world" speak jarring as a player. It somewhat spoils the suspension of disbelief going "out-of-character".



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< Message edited by Malevolence -- 6/5/2020 5:58:54 AM >


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Post #: 2
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 6:01:57 AM   
Vic


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Hi Malevolence,

Thanks for the critique. I am doing what I can with the means I have at my disposal :)

I'll be looking into your points 6 + 7 on the very short term.

Thanks and best wishes,
Vic

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Post #: 3
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 6:08:38 AM   
Malevolence


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HISTORY EVENT: "Unit Appears"

I had this Militia unit come into existence at the end of the turns calculation cycle.

It is nowhere near my single zone and will likely die given no logistic support. Perhaps some clamps on the distance from the parent zone?






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*Please remember all posts are made by a malevolent, autocratic despot whose rule is marked by unjust severity and arbitrary behavior. Your experiences may vary.

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Post #: 4
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 6:14:43 AM   
Vic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Malevolence

HISTORY EVENT: "Unit Appears"

I had this Militia unit come into existence at the end of the turns calculation cycle.

It is nowhere near my single zone and will likely die given no logistic support. Perhaps some clamps on the distance from the parent zone?







It is related to a Decision you made the previous turn. (I think its the one about adventurers finding something) Or that your secretary made for you if you pressed end turn without making it.

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Post #: 5
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 6:21:57 AM   
Malevolence


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vic
It is related to a Decision you made the previous turn. (I think its the one about adventurers finding something) Or that your secretary made for you if you pressed end turn without making it.


All decisions made. I used a fate point card for a walker unit. That walker unit appeared immediately as was inside the zone.

I did get a message in the "VID" portion when this same turn began (after that rogue unit appeared) that said the militia held a parade to show strength and loyalty.

No other actions or decisions that appeared to be related.

For the record, this unit appeared between the first and second turn of the game--no adventurers.

EDIT: It's working as designed; this unit appears in order to further a FUTURE decision to support or not support that unit (i.e. the adventurers) in the next turn. Very nice; sorry for the confusion.

< Message edited by Malevolence -- 6/5/2020 6:40:39 AM >


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*Please remember all posts are made by a malevolent, autocratic despot whose rule is marked by unjust severity and arbitrary behavior. Your experiences may vary.

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Post #: 6
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 7:36:50 AM   
profanicus

 

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quote:

(6) For me, selecting tabs and UI elements on the strategic map is noticeably delayed.


I get this too. UI is sluggish and unresponsive.

Even the main menu for example, move the pointer over a button and it takes the highlight a second to appear.

In the spirit of your post, the biggest negative first impression for me was you cannot access the prefs to change resolution/dpi until you have started a game, which was quite hard to do with everything so tiny at 4K. :)

< Message edited by profanicus -- 6/5/2020 7:39:44 AM >

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Post #: 7
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 7:45:33 AM   
Vic


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@profanicus,

The combination of (for example some laptops) a relatively light CPU (or a good total CPU but spread over many cores) and a very high resolution (like 4K) is not ideal.

Try switching your 4K resolution to 1920x1080 in prefs.. It should make the UI much quicker.

Would be interested in your full specs of your computer by the way.

Best wishes,
Vic

< Message edited by Vic -- 6/5/2020 7:47:15 AM >


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Post #: 8
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 10:23:16 AM   
profanicus

 

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Hi Vic! :)

Ok to post specs here? I am running on a reasonable desktop system. Also note that I am using the '1/2' DPI setting.

CPU is i7-7700K, pretty quick single core base clock of 4.5Ghz.

I don't think the game is using the GPU but it's an RTX 2080ti.

I have 32GB of 3200 RAM.

I can provide dxdiag if you want more detail.

The UI is much quicker running at 1080p but this is bad for me because the game is changing my desktop resolution to 1080p, and not running in a proper exclusive mode. I also note it doesn't change my desktop resolution back after it quits.

Thanks!

< Message edited by profanicus -- 6/5/2020 10:57:21 AM >

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Post #: 9
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 12:01:24 PM   
Vic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: profanicus

Hi Vic! :)

Ok to post specs here? I am running on a reasonable desktop system. Also note that I am using the '1/2' DPI setting.

CPU is i7-7700K, pretty quick single core base clock of 4.5Ghz.

I don't think the game is using the GPU but it's an RTX 2080ti.

I have 32GB of 3200 RAM.

I can provide dxdiag if you want more detail.

The UI is much quicker running at 1080p but this is bad for me because the game is changing my desktop resolution to 1080p, and not running in a proper exclusive mode. I also note it doesn't change my desktop resolution back after it quits.

Thanks!


Yeah either post dxdiag here or send it to vic@vrdesigns.net for more privacy.

The thing that really bugs me with your system is the resolution doesn't change back. It should not have done that.

I'll look into it.

Best wishes,
Vic

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Post #: 10
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 12:08:56 PM   
AttuWatcher

 

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I would also like to report very sluggish UI / game experience on my system running at 2K / 1440p.

Dxdiag is attached.

Thank you Vic.

Edit* I believe the sluggishness is related to the ingame DPI setting. I'm using 7/8 125%. If I turn DPI off the UI sluggishness is mostly gone, but then the UI is just a bit too small for me.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by AttuWatcher -- 6/5/2020 12:12:54 PM >

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Post #: 11
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 12:29:41 PM   
profanicus

 

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Thanks, I have emailed a dxdiag.

I have an additional piece of info - the UI performance at 4K is only poor when using one of the DPI scaling options. When the scaling is disabled, UI at 4K runs fine.

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Post #: 12
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 12:40:07 PM   
Vic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: profanicus

Thanks, I have emailed a dxdiag.

I have an additional piece of info - the UI performance at 4K is only poor when using one of the DPI scaling options. When the scaling is disabled, UI at 4K runs fine.


Thats a valuable piece of info. Maybe i can optimize that scaling operation.

And just to double check does the game resolution remain on your desktop if you QUIT or if you ALT-TAB out of the game?

With ALT-TABBING it is expected, with QUITTING Windows should have returned your orginal setting.

Thanks for sending over the file. I'll take a look :)

Best wishes,
Vic

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Post #: 13
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 1:38:10 PM   
Malevolence


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Per the attachment (log), the game launcher is somewhat stalker-ish and contains many spelling errors, making it all the more creepy.


Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Malevolence -- 6/5/2020 1:48:00 PM >


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*Please remember all posts are made by a malevolent, autocratic despot whose rule is marked by unjust severity and arbitrary behavior. Your experiences may vary.

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Post #: 14
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 3:14:38 PM   
Vic


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quote:

ORIGINAL: profanicus

Thanks, I have emailed a dxdiag.

I have an additional piece of info - the UI performance at 4K is only poor when using one of the DPI scaling options. When the scaling is disabled, UI at 4K runs fine.


Tommorow we should have an open beta patch published.

This patch includes a major speed-up of the 200% DPI setting.

Best wishes,
Vic

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Visit www.vrdesigns.net for the latest news, polls, screenshots and blogs on Shadow Empire, Decisive Campaigns and Advanced Tactics


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Post #: 15
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 9:51:23 PM   
profanicus

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Vic
And just to double check does the game resolution remain on your desktop if you QUIT or if you ALT-TAB out of the game?


I checked again and it did revert the resolution on quit this time. Perhaps last time I may have quit the game by using Alt-F4 instead of using the quit button, in which case I guess the game wouldn't be able to change resolution back...

quote:


Tommorow we should have an open beta patch published.

This patch includes a major speed-up of the 200% DPI setting.


Fantastic news, thank you for the quick response! :)

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RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 11:49:56 PM   
Che12

 

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For point (4): can you provide a system with a further patch that allows a community translation for other languages? There are a lot of games with just a folder where you can place some txt or csv files so that this is easily possible and it would be really nice to play it in the own language some day.

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RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/5/2020 11:59:19 PM   
Malevolence


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Che12
For point (4): can you provide a system with a further patch that allows a community translation for other languages? There are a lot of games with just a folder where you can place some txt or csv files so that this is easily possible and it would be really nice to play it in the own language some day.


I have no idea how the game currently works, but if the strings aren't in a resource with a string builder used in the presentation already, that is far from a quick fix. It would take some significant refactoring.

I'd offer a PR to fix the English myself as a mod.


< Message edited by Malevolence -- 6/6/2020 12:04:50 AM >


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*Please remember all posts are made by a malevolent, autocratic despot whose rule is marked by unjust severity and arbitrary behavior. Your experiences may vary.

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Post #: 18
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/6/2020 12:34:16 AM   
Malevolence


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Recommend you add the following reference "documents" to the Help Topics: (a) explain the counters and their elements (this would be approximately manual sections 3.4.2 to 3.4.7); (b) glossary of important game terms with the acronyms and icons used throughout the interface; (c) game's keybinds





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< Message edited by Malevolence -- 6/6/2020 1:31:25 AM >


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*Please remember all posts are made by a malevolent, autocratic despot whose rule is marked by unjust severity and arbitrary behavior. Your experiences may vary.

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Post #: 19
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/6/2020 12:46:03 AM   
Malevolence


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With mouse lock off (in PREFS->GFX), the map continues to scroll and move when moving the mouse in another monitor--if the game continues to have focus in its display monitor. It does not move if the game no long has focus within its own display monitor. This was reproducible with the game in fullscreen, not window mode.

< Message edited by Malevolence -- 6/6/2020 1:32:04 AM >


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Nicht kleckern, sondern klotzen!

*Please remember all posts are made by a malevolent, autocratic despot whose rule is marked by unjust severity and arbitrary behavior. Your experiences may vary.

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Post #: 20
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 6/7/2020 8:18:21 PM   
Periastron

 

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quote:

(2) Per impression #1, the inability to store a user's var profile data separately from the game's installation is not acceptable for professional software anymore. The person installing should be able to specify the installation location and the location for user var data (config, saves, screenshots, etc.).


Agreed here. The game is impressively ambitious, but I was dismayed to see that save files are going where the program itself is installed. The "Shadow Empire" directory and everything in it should basically be treated as read-only when the game isn't being installed or patched. User data, like save files, belong somewhere under the user's profile directory by default; e.g., "Documents\My Games\Shadow Empire". This has been the practice in Windows for a long, long time.

Anyway, thanks for listening and continuing to improve the title post-release.

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RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 4/11/2021 11:52:15 PM   
TokyoDan

 

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What is Mouse Lock supposed to do?

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Post #: 22
RE: No CTD, but some ugly basics - 4/12/2021 9:09:37 AM   
varangy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: TokyoDan

What is Mouse Lock supposed to do?


Lock the mouse inside the games window.

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Post #: 23
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