Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Demo Comments

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> Decisive Battles: Battles in Normandy >> Demo Comments Page: [1] 2   next >   >>
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Demo Comments - 3/12/2005 2:21:16 PM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
OK, having finally found it, a couple of comments:

1. The tutorial would be MUCH better if you could get to/from the Tutorial manual from within the game - trying to Alt-Tab back and forth is a real pain, especially as the game and acrobat seem to conflict over resolution. I don't like the idea of printing out a 60 page colour manual to try to learn a game, especially when there';s another 60 page game manual too...

Perhaps if there was some way to have the text pop-up from the manual - the diagrams aren't needed, since the game interface is right there, but it's certainly not an easy learning experience.

2. The game graphics are, I'm afraid, and of course IMHO, ugly as hell. The colours all seem very 'bright' and exaggerated. It's very offputting; doesn't look at all like a map, for one thing. It's as if a decision were taken to make the game look 'computery'. The more muted toned of e.g. HTTR are, again IMHO, several orders of magnitude better; it looks more like a 'map'. Look at a current (or old) paper and card board wargame to see what I mean - the best maps have very muted tones, so that the counters - which are the important thing - stand out better. On the BiN interface the units almost get lost in the map clutter.

Both of these are disappointing because the game has got such good reviews and I want to like it; but as things stand I can hardly bring myself to try to learn the game.
Post #: 1
RE: Demo Comments - 3/12/2005 2:45:41 PM   
JSS

 

Posts: 781
Joined: 10/15/2003
Status: offline
Reference the map colors, I think this is a matter of perspective and what you're acustomed to seeing... To my military eye the KP and BIN maps look very much like real operational maps. The very distinct terrain differences make planning operations easier IMHO. I highly recommend giving BIN a chance; the game play is very well worth it.

(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 2
RE: Demo Comments - 3/12/2005 4:51:21 PM   
AlvinS

 

Posts: 665
Joined: 12/2/2000
From: O'Fallon, Missouri
Status: offline
quote:

I highly recommend giving BIN a chance; the game play is very well worth it.


I agree. This system is well worth the effort. When I first started playing the map seemed too busy for me. After playing a few times everything seems so natural now. IMHO the AI is very good and makes for a great solitare game. I will give PBEM a try soon.

I did have to print the tutorial for this one, as I agree that it is a pain to alt-tab between the 2. If you stick with this one, I feel your efforts will be rewarded.

_____________________________

"Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." ---Mark Twain

Naval Warfare Simulations

AlvinS

(in reply to JSS)
Post #: 3
RE: Demo Comments - 3/12/2005 9:34:25 PM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
Yikes - no unit IDs displayed on the map. Yeouch. This right-clicking constantly is annoying. And I still hate the colours. (It looks like no military map I've ever seen - UK OS maps are, again, muted colours, generally.

(in reply to AlvinS)
Post #: 4
RE: Demo Comments - 3/13/2005 12:41:35 AM   
Fred98


Posts: 4380
Joined: 1/5/2001
From: Wollondilly, Sydney
Status: offline
What is a unit "ID"?

I can tell what most units are by the unit counters.

_____________________________


(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 5
RE: Demo Comments - 3/13/2005 1:44:18 AM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
Formation Identity.

Such as "CCA/1st Armd", for example. As things stand the Division identity seems to be some king of cryptic symbol - maybe it's the Divisional shoulder patch? And the actual unit identity is in the info section that shows up when you select a unit.

I find it much, much simpler to think of the units by their historical identities; it also engenders more "suspension of disbelief" - I'd rather think "I'm going to order the Royal Scots and the Coldstream Guards to attack" than "I'll send the guys with the yellow blob and the guys with the red triangle" or whatever symbols might be on the counter. I'm also more likely to remember that the 2nd PWO got cut up attacking last turn than I am a generic unit.

I'd have preferred a centred NATO symbol, the unit size above that, the formation ID to the leftt of the NATO symbol, the superior formation ID on the right side. [NATO STANAG 2019, in fact ;)] All 4 corners would still be free for the "action" indicators or whatever, plus the bottom of the counter.

I know it's a style thing, but it's how (more or less) the vast majority of board game counters have been arranged for decades now; it does seem to be functional.

(in reply to Fred98)
Post #: 6
RE: Demo Comments - 3/13/2005 4:19:44 AM   
ravinhood


Posts: 3891
Joined: 10/23/2003
Status: offline
Ahhhh tis nice to see someone else "whine" besides me for a change about a game. hehe

What was it "Joshua" said in that movie "War Games" at the end?

"The best move in this game is just not to play it at all". lol

(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 7
RE: Demo Comments - 3/13/2005 6:03:32 AM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
The way I see it, if I don't whine to the developers, I've no reason to expect anyone to design the game the way I like them. I'm assuming that saying what I'd like, rather than just what I don't like, might be useful to someone, somewhere, somehow....

(in reply to ravinhood)
Post #: 8
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 1:24:32 AM   
Gregor_SSG


Posts: 681
Joined: 3/6/2003
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: MadScot

Formation Identity.

Such as "CCA/1st Armd", for example. As things stand the Division identity seems to be some king of cryptic symbol - maybe it's the Divisional shoulder patch? And the actual unit identity is in the info section that shows up when you select a unit.

I find it much, much simpler to think of the units by their historical identities; it also engenders more "suspension of disbelief" - I'd rather think "I'm going to order the Royal Scots and the Coldstream Guards to attack" than "I'll send the guys with the yellow blob and the guys with the red triangle" or whatever symbols might be on the counter. I'm also more likely to remember that the 2nd PWO got cut up attacking last turn than I am a generic unit.

I'd have preferred a centred NATO symbol, the unit size above that, the formation ID to the leftt of the NATO symbol, the superior formation ID on the right side. [NATO STANAG 2019, in fact ;)] All 4 corners would still be free for the "action" indicators or whatever, plus the bottom of the counter.

I know it's a style thing, but it's how (more or less) the vast majority of board game counters have been arranged for decades now; it does seem to be functional.


The developers have played boardgames for more years than they care to remember, so these ideas are not new to us. However, we made the design decision, based on the unit scale of the game, that the most important aspect of a unit is what division it belongs to, rather than its regimental identity. This might seem somewhat paradoxical, given that the units are mostly regiments. However, given the divisional integrity rules, which are so important to combat efficiency, it's vital to be able to see at glance where the constituent units of a division are.

The problem with making the primary designation "CCA/1st Armd" is that, when printed on a unit, it's hard to distinguish from "CCB/1st Armd" or "CCA/2nd Armd". I don't want to have to look closely at every unit just to determine who it belongs to. Giving primacy to the divisional insignia also really helps when looking at the enemy. In Overlord, if playing the Allies, I'm vitally interested in where Panzer Lehr goes, and I can see it instantly on replay. Similarly, playing the Operation Husky scenario from our next game, I have to know what the HG division is up to.

As fot the map graphics, I know from long experience that we can't please everyone. However, I can say that they have proved wildly popular with large numbers of gamers, and have attracted very favourable comment from players and reviewers. There is some consolation here, in that if you do decide to play the game, you will find a large and enthusiastic pool of PBEM players. If you check out the SSG website, www.ssg.com.au you'll see screenshots from Battles in Normandy and you can check out the forums there for tournaments and user created scenarios which indicate a thriving and happy player community.

Gregor

_____________________________

Vice President, Strategic Studies Group
See http://www.ssg.com.au and http://www.ssg.com.au/forums/
for info and free scenarios.

(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 9
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 4:08:11 AM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
Well, obviously you've made your design choices now.

But on the actual map display I can't see either the division name or the unit identity; just a symbol. Given that one can always toggle the division integrity option on and off, I'd have much preferred text than a graphic. Even if it was the division rather than the unit itself. I'm certainly not enough of a WW2 enthusiast to have memorised shoulder flashes or unit badges.....

To take your example : I can't tell you what the Panzer Lehr symbol might be, but if the unit name were there I'd be aware it was a significant unit.

To take boardgame examples - I've seen some where division integrity or corps integrity was so prime that the units were different colours on the same side to indicate this; but I've never seen an operational scale game where the individual units weren't identified if at all possible.

(in reply to Gregor_SSG)
Post #: 10
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 5:29:06 AM   
Fred98


Posts: 4380
Joined: 1/5/2001
From: Wollondilly, Sydney
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: MadScot
To take your example : I can't tell you what the Panzer Lehr symbol might be, but if the unit name were there I'd be aware it was a significant unit.



And to other players its exactly the opposite.

I saw Kelley's Heroes the other night and their shoulder patch is the same as one used in the Normandy scenarios. Fascinating!

_____________________________


(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 11
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 6:00:15 AM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
Now, if we could choose whether to show badges or IDs........

(in reply to Fred98)
Post #: 12
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 6:01:54 AM   
merrillh

 

Posts: 23
Joined: 3/5/2005
Status: offline
Just "tried" the demo, and the lack of cursor pass over tool tips made me want to pass over the game.

Some hint as to what the buttons did by passing your cursor over them is a standard. Not sure why this very helpful function was omitted.

Hunter

< Message edited by merrillh -- 3/14/2005 3:59:00 AM >

(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 13
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 2:39:55 PM   
ravinhood


Posts: 3891
Joined: 10/23/2003
Status: offline
LOL Merrillh you are spoilt. Back in my day, you didn't have no pass over the mouse features, and you had to map all things and keep logs and journals. Man you kids today are spoilt. lol

(in reply to merrillh)
Post #: 14
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 3:33:14 PM   
wodin


Posts: 10477
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
Status: offline
I love the badges and it doesn't take long to recognise which badge is which.

Well done to SSG for the counter graphics.

The counters aren't big enough to state the name of the unit. Just click on it and it will say in the unit box. You would have to abbrieviate so much that you would need to be a code cracker to decipher it.

< Message edited by wodin -- 3/14/2005 1:31:49 PM >

(in reply to ravinhood)
Post #: 15
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 4:30:49 PM   
merrillh

 

Posts: 23
Joined: 3/5/2005
Status: offline
merrillh = 40 year old that was gaming before pong...

merrilh <> kid <> spoilt

merrillh = window designer

I just know good design.... *shrugs*

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 16
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 5:17:28 PM   
Rainbow7


Posts: 404
Joined: 11/4/2003
From: Ottawa
Status: offline
Hey merrilh,
You can right click on any button and a pop-up will give you its function. Slightly more labour-intensive than a passover pop-up, but I'm sure these things usually get turned off with a bit of play experience anyway.

_____________________________

Troubles overcome are good to tell. -Yiddish saying

(in reply to merrillh)
Post #: 17
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 8:35:09 PM   
gsxr1000


Posts: 4
Joined: 12/18/2004
Status: offline
To all the nitpickers
if you get past all your nitpicking and just play the game for what it is you will realize its
a great game, a fun game, interesting, challenging game.

_____________________________

" vous autres, legionnaires, vous etes soldats
pour mourir et je vous envoie ou l'on meurt."

(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 18
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 10:44:11 PM   
JeF


Posts: 1170
Joined: 4/1/2003
From: Belgium
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: merrillh
Just "tried" the demo, and the lack of cursor pass over tool tips made me want to pass over the game.
Some hint as to what the buttons did by passing your cursor over them is a standard. Not sure why this very helpful function was omitted.


I cannot speak for the demo. But on the version of the game I have, you can activate Rollover Help Text in the map option menu (shortcut 'q'). This defines what type of info is displayed on the bottom of the screen. Very helpful, indeed.

To get back to the look of the game, I think that the comparison with HTTR is not quite fair. First, as being said, counters represent regiments and the division symbol is a very important factor in game, as you can quickly check for divisional integrity. I'd like to have pictures instead of NATO symbols but I got used to it. It's not so heavy stuff and most decisions rely on : "armor or not armor".
The map is done differently.
I'm impressed by the graphic quality of BiN maps. Pure beauty. But at the expense of readability i'm afraid. HTTR maps are very nice, but mostly functional. They look like topo maps (which I like). I'd drop a bit of beauty for a bit of readability in BiN, but that's it.

All in all, well done SSG !

JeF.

_____________________________

Rendez-vous at Loenen before 18:00.
Don't loose your wallet !
Conquest Of The Aegean Web Development Team
The Drop Zone

(in reply to merrillh)
Post #: 19
RE: Demo Comments - 3/14/2005 10:51:26 PM   
ravinhood


Posts: 3891
Joined: 10/23/2003
Status: offline
quote:

merrillh = window designer


A window designer eh? Do you do Gothic? hehe I want some Gothic windows for my house. ;)

(in reply to merrillh)
Post #: 20
RE: Demo Comments - 3/15/2005 12:09:31 AM   
Gregor_SSG


Posts: 681
Joined: 3/6/2003
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: merrillh

Just "tried" the demo, and the lack of cursor pass over tool tips made me want to pass over the game.

Some hint as to what the buttons did by passing your cursor over them is a standard. Not sure why this very helpful function was omitted.

Hunter


There are two help levels in the game. Right clicking over buttons gives a short description. Cycling the 'q' key will change the display in the bottom middle of the screen to show up to three lines of help text for items on the main screen or the battlefield popup. The tutorial starts with feature on by default, probably we should have forced that on for the demo as well.

Gregor

_____________________________

Vice President, Strategic Studies Group
See http://www.ssg.com.au and http://www.ssg.com.au/forums/
for info and free scenarios.

(in reply to merrillh)
Post #: 21
RE: Demo Comments - 3/15/2005 2:23:26 AM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
Well, it seems to me that one of the purposes behind launching a demo is to gain exposure of your game to a wider customer group than would buy it 'sight unseen'. By doing so you may either gain additional sales or gain feedback from people as to why they won't buy it, or maybe what could be different so that they would buy it (or a later development).

Now, I've not decided on whether I fall into the former category yet, but there are things that, if they were different, would push me closer to that point. Seems to me that nothing but "this is great, give us more of the same" feedback is never going to advance a game beyond its current scope and market. So I'll nitpick away, in the hope that it helps someone understand why I might or might not buy the game.

(in reply to Gregor_SSG)
Post #: 22
RE: Demo Comments - 3/15/2005 2:49:39 AM   
TheHellPatrol


Posts: 1588
Joined: 7/3/2004
Status: offline
If they changed their "badges" and counter graphics it would be like any other wargame ever made, albeit with a top-notch ai. Those of us who have played since the first Ardennes iteration, and set in our ways, are not likely to react positively to such a "retro" act of degradation. The beautiful maps and excellent counter graphics, badges, and backgrounds, give a flavor and distinction that make SSG games unique. Everything you need is a mouse-click away and it's darn pretty to look at. The idea about the demo, IMO, is to expose people to the gameplay and challenge of the ai...not to invite critique over "artistic preferences".

< Message edited by TheHellPatrol -- 3/14/2005 4:46:44 PM >


_____________________________

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau


(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 23
RE: Demo Comments - 3/15/2005 3:15:53 AM   
wodin


Posts: 10477
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: MadScot

Well, it seems to me that one of the purposes behind launching a demo is to gain exposure of your game to a wider customer group than would buy it 'sight unseen'. By doing so you may either gain additional sales or gain feedback from people as to why they won't buy it, or maybe what could be different so that they would buy it (or a later development).

Now, I've not decided on whether I fall into the former category yet, but there are things that, if they were different, would push me closer to that point. Seems to me that nothing but "this is great, give us more of the same" feedback is never going to advance a game beyond its current scope and market. So I'll nitpick away, in the hope that it helps someone understand why I might or might not buy the game.


Trouble is MadScot KP sold well and that too had a vocal minority about the graphics, mainly about the map. BiN has the same but a developer is never going to chnage a game for a minority. I too feel that changing the counter graphics would be a retro alteration. I'm not a savvy wargamer, I don't come from a history of boardgames but I do find the counter graphics far easier to recognise than in any other game.

Suggestions on how to improve gameplay and add to the system would be taken on board without any bad feeling compared to what the graphics look like, which in this case has strong support by fans of the game.

< Message edited by wodin -- 3/15/2005 1:14:38 AM >

(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 24
RE: Demo Comments - 3/15/2005 5:18:28 AM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
Well, I'm trying damn hard to like this game because there aren't that many wargames out there. edit I'm never going to use a BiN or KP map as a desktop wallpaper - something I have done with other games, including from the same publisher - but I am endeavouring to look past the graphics. Trying to work out where the terrain features are on the Ardennes map are giving me nightmares, though.

On the tutorials, I would note that there seem to be some typos - it refers to buttons that don't seem to exist, like a "load lesson" button? I assume this is just a leftover from a previous version of the interface?

Something I never saw explained in the text was that the number of little green/yellow/whatever bars is a stacking indicator - maybe it's so obvious no-one thought of it, but being slow on the uptake it took me a while to spot it.

I don't know if there's any way to smooth the fonts? It looks a bit 'blocky' (yes, graphics again, can't help it). Maybe there's a preferences setting for it?

It'd be nice to have more than one map scaling option - if I understand the interface correctly, you have a default hex size and a strategic view and that's all. I found myself wishing there was a way to have a more zoomed in scale - perhaps showing all the units in a hex at once, so it'd be about 2-2.5* the current size? Obviously you'd see less of the overall map, but it might make finessing the local battles easier? (I think I'd rather have a zoomed-in map and scroll it around more than have to right-click to 'inspect the stacks' every time - some board games went to oversized hexes to ease the stacking issue a bit, IIRC)

Finally (for now) the jump from the very small scale canned tutorial lessons to the size of the demo is a bit forbidding; suddenly there's a huge map with what looks like hundreds of units. It'd be a lot easier to learn the feel of the game with a smaller scenario - and I suspect more people would 'try it out' with a smaller scenario, too. (Although I guess you could say the tutorial is that smaller scenario?)

< Message edited by MadScot -- 3/14/2005 10:35:49 PM >

(in reply to wodin)
Post #: 25
RE: Demo Comments - 3/15/2005 5:58:11 AM   
Fred98


Posts: 4380
Joined: 1/5/2001
From: Wollondilly, Sydney
Status: offline
In my view the map graphics in TAO3 (KP) are superior to the map graphics in TAO4 (BIN).

And the map graphics in the Normandy scenarios are noticably better than those in the TAO4 scenario

_____________________________


(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 26
RE: Demo Comments - 3/15/2005 7:04:15 AM   
TheHellPatrol


Posts: 1588
Joined: 7/3/2004
Status: offline
@MadScot: If you hold the "Alt" key you get a magnifying glass which helps. The Ardennes scenario is a more complex scenario, but BiN has MUCH under the hood to digest. I am a professional wargamer IMO and it took me quite a long time to understand the "finesse" involved in winning. The "bars" you referred to are explained in detail in the manual(which isn't included in the demo i assume) but i suggest you go to the SSG website forums where you will find most every detail discussed to enlighten those who seek knowledge. The load tutorial IIRC loads a certain tutorial scenario to be played along with the tutorial manual/readme which may be in the demo documents. BiN is indeed very easy to play but difficult to master.

_____________________________

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau


(in reply to Fred98)
Post #: 27
RE: Demo Comments - 3/17/2005 3:31:33 AM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
@THP : Thanks, that spyglass thing is great

I'll try the forums you mentioned - surprised to see that the developer and publisher maintain separate sites (I assume that's what it is?)

I have to admit the interface and graphics DO get less annoying as I persevere - doubt they'll ever be a fave, but I may get used to them at least.....

< Message edited by MadScot -- 3/17/2005 3:37:03 AM >

(in reply to TheHellPatrol)
Post #: 28
RE: Demo Comments - 3/18/2005 5:41:01 AM   
MadScot

 

Posts: 135
Joined: 4/24/2004
Status: offline
Quick question. Somehow I once managed to turn off the feature that shades the parts of the map you can't move to. The manual/tutorial book says it's 'by default' but doesn't hint how to actually get it back. I looked for a list of hotkeys and found one here, but there isn't one that seems to correspond. Any clues?

(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 29
RE: Demo Comments - 3/18/2005 5:50:51 AM   
TheHellPatrol


Posts: 1588
Joined: 7/3/2004
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: MadScot

Quick question. Somehow I once managed to turn off the feature that shades the parts of the map you can't move to. The manual/tutorial book says it's 'by default' but doesn't hint how to actually get it back. I looked for a list of hotkeys and found one here, but there isn't one that seems to correspond. Any clues?

Bottom left hand corner of your screen is the "control panel" (round w/icons) click the one that looks like a map ("map options") and look for "unit movement" or "movement" IIRC, there you can toggle it on/off and FYI it lists the hotkey. Sorry i don't remember it offhand. P.S. you'll see all the "hotkeys" for that menu though there are more that were added later.EDIT: it's "x"

< Message edited by TheHellPatrol -- 3/18/2005 5:56:45 AM >


_____________________________

A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.
Henry David Thoreau


(in reply to MadScot)
Post #: 30
Page:   [1] 2   next >   >>
All Forums >> [Current Games From Matrix.] >> [World War II] >> Decisive Battles: Battles in Normandy >> Demo Comments Page: [1] 2   next >   >>
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.170