Feedback (contains spoilers)

Talk about the mod here, could contain spoilers!
gb_remake
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Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby gb_remake » Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:18 pm

Played through the ravaged city and part of the swamps...

First off, congrats to the level designers. The environment is nice, proper medieval city feel and lots of corners to explore for items. Nice use of ladders etc to proceed past the fires etc that often block the street. The swamp was, well, swampy... but there were enough trees and staked bodies to catch the eye. Pretty well done so far, anyway. Nice use of traps and the spike 'puzzle' at the barracks door was good, although I could swear I've seen the exact same thing before. Oh well. The rotating stuff was nice, like the waterwheel.

The interior of the barracks etc. was also fun to run around in. It's clearly a labour of love. Kudos for pulling it off well.

Monsters: The ettin is OK, but as soon as the player uses the staff, even groups of ettins die long before reaching you. They have no chance at a distance since you can take them out so quickly and without needing a lot of mana, and they have no distance attack themselves. They're more effective when they are used in indoor situations and ambushes it seems. Outdoors, when they are running towards you, they're mincemeat if you have the staff. On the other hand, there needs to be cannon fodder, so that's maybe OK :)

The afrit (?) ie flying monster is pretty nice, although hard to hit due to its size and really hard to kill when you run out of mana and have to use the mace. If these guys attack in groups, the player can be in trouble, which is nice (and shouldn't be overdone). Really need to aim well before loosening a shot (spray and pray doesn't work), but if you aim carefully then these guys aren't too much of a problem. It would be worth considering to increase these guy's silhouette somewhat to make them a little easier to hit.

Spiders were a little sci-fi, they remind me of the crawlers from Prey with their decidedly unspideresque look. :) The other kind of spider that looks like a tick is pretty good, probably because it has a little more health and is somewhat easier to hit (the spiders are very small).

There were problems with monster placement. I noticed a few cases where an ettin was in my back, suddenly, without any warning. Same for fireballs that suddenly appeared, again without any indication that a monster had started to attack me. In other words, it was a little too ambush-y in places.

I have two suggestions:

1) Don't do cheap spawns in the player's back.

2) Have a monster always play a sight sound when it wakes up, ie notices a player. This is simply the fair thing to do. The player must get a cue that a monster started attacking him, not just fireballs suddenly raining down.

Also, the fliers have trouble going through doors or archways, with the result that when you leave an area or back out of a house that contains them, you're safe and they're helpless. Maybe put a point entity in doorways that they can use for navigation.

The fliers can move inside the trees, which is slightly unfair because they can still attack you but you can't see them. Maybe place monsterclip brushes over the upper parts of the trees to avoid this.

The health of the monsters is exactly right, don't make these any harder to kill or the game will lose its speed. Running speed is also good and typical of older games.

Flechettes: Several people remarked about the problem where you always hurt yourself when deploying those. These people are right, that needs to be fixed. Flechettes could do more damage IMO to monsters. You need to throw a lot of them to kill a couple ettins, which is weird because ettins really aren't hard to kill otherwise.

Doors: As I suggested elsewhere, maybe solve the clipping through player problem by always opening in the direction away from the player, and make them open slightly earlier, not just when touched.

Weapons and items: The mace and staff are well done and useful. The Tome of Power effect wasn't as powerful as I had expected, ettins still took two or three staff shots to kill. I would expect this to be more like a Quad in Quake. I didn't notice any ToP effect on the mace.

Mana and other items are well done and well distributed and placed. Accessing the mystic urns and tome of power was properly tricky. I don't remember if the original Hexen played a secret sound or something, but I would have liked a "You found a secret!" message / sound when picking up some of these in their hard to reach spots.

Inventory: Again two suggestions.

1) Make the inventory left/right buttons cycle through the inventory, instead of stopping at the left and right ends.

2) When I picked up the barracks key, I think it was, it wasn't displayed anywhere. It would be good to add display of key items you have collected to the HUD.

Otherwise, the HUD and inventory are nice.

The shield was a bit ... well. It wasn't very effective IMO since you can't attack while having the shield up. Plus you already have Discs of Repulsion, so the shield seems a little unnecessary. Or at least it wasn't very intuitive how to use it best.

Saving/loading: maybe consider introducing a checkpoint system that autosaves your progress at certain points. A trigger placed by the level designer in certain places can accomplish this; it needs to do nothing else than making a quicksave. Then after the player dies, simply load the latest quicksave instead of having them start over. This would avoid frustration if players forget to quicksave often.

Other random things: Not all locked doors had the locked sound, which was irritating. The skull switches with the messages about the puzzle always said "one third of the puzzle has been solved" instead of "two thirds" and "all of the puzzle", which also seemed a little weird. The fire shouldn't be quite as dangerous. The spikes puzzle and the spike traps shouldn't immediately kill the player, that's a little harsh.

The Journal could use better background graphics and better player feedback when you pick something up. Don't make the Journal items look the same as the other books in the level. Give a message "Picked up the Journal of Person X". At one point, I collected a scroll with red letters on it, which I assume was another Journal, but I couldn't make out which one it was and why it had a different appearance.

Armour: It wasn't clear what the effect of armour and the different armour items (I assume) is. Maybe consider automatically applying armour when it is picked up? Armour doesn't seem like a powerup, more like something that should be applied automatically just like Health is.

The climbable rings: Good idea in principle, but those rings are all over the levels. Perhaps make the climbable rings look different - a slightly different skin maybe.

Difficulty: I would classify it as Hard difficulty. It would be nice and professional if the game supported skill settings. People who don't often play FPS will otherwise be punished and discouraged, and you don't want to discourage people from playing your game. Suggestions:

1) Scale the monsters' damage according to skill level.

2) Mark some monsters as "not in easy / not in Medium" and so forth in Radiant.

It is really the professional thing to do to support skill settings. If you don't offer skill settings, consider having an adaptive skill system where the game spawns more monsters when the player is doing well, and less if the player is struggling.

So much for now. I'm trying to get into the port city now.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby deadite4 » Sat Nov 13, 2010 1:23 pm

Sounds Great. Do it again.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby gb_remake » Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:07 pm

Posting feedback is all I can do :)

It's cool that you can make the game harder, but it might be too hard for some people as it is...

Edit: I got really stuck in the swamp level, around the port city it is I assume.

I need the dungeon key and crypt key, but can find nothing. I pulled three of the skull switches up on the city walls, and another switch that allowed me to access the banishment device... plus the lever that opens the city gate. I went all the way back to the ravaged city to see if something had changed, but eventually got frustrated and quit after I couldn't find anything.

Can't figure out what to do next. Hints of some sort would be good.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby Caffeine Freak » Sat Nov 13, 2010 6:39 pm

Yeah, the next thing you need to do is solve the bone puzzle, which will get you the dungeon key(dungeon is inside the port town.) The stone altar in the big open area with the burning trees is where this is done. You collect the corpse ribs nearby, and place them in the 5 small rock circles surrounding the stone altar. Start with the rock circle closest to the burning trees, and proceed in a clockwise order from there. Hope this helps.
Yep, time for another Doom fix.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby gb_remake » Sun Nov 14, 2010 10:28 am

Thanks, this should help.

I noticed the ribs only after a while of running around there, but had no idea what they were good for. I tried touching the stone altar, and hopping on it etc, but then gave up on it.

Maybe put one or two ribs in place so the player sees what needs to be done.

Displaying collected keyitems in the HUD or at least in the Journal might also alert the player to the fact that these are keys and can be used for progress. I wasn't sure what they were for.

It was clear to me that the area was of some significance, what with the burning trees etc, but it didn't get across 100%.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby gb_remake » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:25 pm

OK, I got past the rib puzzle, dungeon and crypt.

Rib puzzle: I was immediately killed by fire when I first tried to place the ribs. I think this had happened to me earlier as well, making me avoid that area.

In the crypt, there are four identical buttons. One of them gives you the key, the others seem to spawn monsters. I'm not sure this is fair, since there is no clue for the player which button is the right one.

Around the crypt, after getting the key, there are lots of monsters, but no health. Had to mace my way through a horde of ettins and flechette an afrit, all at 20 health (I was pretty beaten after the dungeon), then the newly spawning ettins at the graveyard did me in. I had no chance to get past this since there were no health items. Abusive difficulty at this point and total lack of health items.

Perhaps I had taken what health there was on an earlier visit, but there were no health items in the crypt itself, and afterwards about a dozen monsters spawned in but there was no health provided. My 20 HP didn't last long. :-/

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby deadite4 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 4:04 pm

Sounds Great. Do it again.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby gb_remake » Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:47 pm

Reading the journal shouldn't be required in an oldschool shooter game though, IMO.

It was a mistake in Doom3 already. Most people want to shoot things, not read journals.

Basically you're punishing people for not reading the journal with that random monster button setup, which is unusual for a shooter.

In my opinion, a mistake.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby ShadesMaster » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:51 pm

Damn good thing there's only 4. But yeah there could have been 4 DIFFERENT symbols, and nearby a visual indicator of the correct one, like on the Hypostyle level in HeXen 1.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby deadite4 » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:12 pm

Sounds Great. Do it again.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby Arno » Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:24 pm


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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby deadite4 » Fri Dec 24, 2010 3:19 pm

Hey Arno, Thanks for the feedback! A few good issues you brought up, especially the Chaos device one. We'll have to see what we can do. Overall, glad you enjoyed it :)
Sounds Great. Do it again.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby Agilethief » Thu Jan 27, 2011 9:41 am

Spose I might as well post my own feedback here as well instead of posting a new thread altogether.

Things I noticed. (And my apologies if it's already been said 101 times)

The grunts from the player, IMO are too quiet, when you jump off large ledges it's fine but simply jumping or getting hit by a monster didn't feel right, it was too subtle I guess.

Occasionally on picking up an item and it's text was displayed, it would be half cut out at the bottom, as if it were being clipped.

In the menu, when you mouse over the different menu items, it should play a sound, a simple clicking sound would be fine.

The loading screen... this is not a problem, more just personal preference but I feel the chain shouldn't just appear, but should grow as it loads more of the next area, rather than sliding away to reveal more chain.

Probably already addressed but, the exploding ettin's into blood was irritating, I felt there should have been death animation and bodies left behind (though I suspect you wanted a release rather than delying it, and are working on that already)

Sorry but, visually the fire in the middle of the streets looked all wrong, it was a light reddish particle effect along it's outer perimeter, It simply didn't look right (though if it was some kind of magical flame...) Perhaps if it had embers littering the ground beneath it, it would look better, as it appeared almost to be there simply because the game needed it there rather than actually burning wood or something.

The weapons, mainly the staff that is, didn't sound right. It was primarily that while it sounded like it fired, and the energy created sound, the staff should kinda reverberate or something, like the Crossbow in Heretic did.

Hope all this can help.
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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby Crimson Wizard » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:56 pm

Hmm, how do I begin...
I know this may sound pretty rude, but I am trying to be honest here. When I first started to play this game I found myself being strongly confused, and after I played through a moderate part of the game I understood that I feel... disgust (it was the first reaction, and it weakened to mere "not like much" as more time passed).

I came to these forums to see what other people think and was shocked by the amounts of positive comments. At that time I was feeling like I am an idiot or insane, like I do not see something others see: everyone seem to like the mod and I don't. Some people said the mod has same atmosphere as in original Hexen, and my first thought was that it has no atmosphere at all, let alone being close to Hexen. Others said the first level feels like real medieval town, and I thought it looks like random bunch of stone houses.

At that point I decided to take a break and reorganize my thoughts and feelings, replay the game a little more and not make any hasty conclusions. The fact is I am making mods for old Hexen on modern port, so I see and play it often, and the jump from original "2.5D" game with its ole textures and level design to full 3d on Doom3 engine could have been too radical. There's also a fact that my vision of how Hexen could look on modern 3D engine was mostly different. So I took some time trying to better understand what makes me dislike "Edge of Chaos" and how much these reasons are subjective. It also took some time to persuade myself not to think about this mod as of remake, but rather as of sequel (which is correct).

So...
The general thing that struck me most was a change in atmosphere. Refering to atmosphere, there's usually a problem that it is based on feelings in many ways and it's not so easy to explain feelings.
IMHO, the original Hexen's atmosphere was constructed on the three "whales": grief, myst and cold. Grey stones, "mild" darkness, whispering winds, the feel of late autumn air. Even the fire-themed levels ("guardian of fire" of hub one) carried the touch of cold somehow. Quite opposite, first level of the "Edge of Chaos" has atmosphere of...... ...well, Doom 3's Hell. A lot of fires, a feel of heat and hatred, sharp shadows, and that everlasting reddish glow. Yeah, I know, it's a burning city after all, but guessing how I'd vision the "ravaged city" in Hexen, I come to think it would be presented to player already mostly burnt, when most of fires are down, and sad winds carry black ashes around gently.
Then, there's still some kind of general Doom3-ish look and feel in the game. It's terribly hard to explain... perhaps the overall image is too sharp and contrasty; that was pretty much ok in sci-fi enviroment, but does not fit fantasy setting much.
(BTW Hexen 2, although being not the perfect sequel to Hexen in my opinion, somehow managed to save its general feel, at least in the first hub)
However, I saw some screenshots from upcoming levels, like swamp level, the one with the fog, for example. I must admit it looks more in the Hexen style.

Regarding architecture... after more time playing I started to see logic in the level design, though there are things that look and feel wrong. Doors are main issue. Many of them are way too high for a human, and their knobs are positioned almost on the level of player's eyes. Whether it is a design flaw or mistake in camera positioning - I know not. Also, some houses are designed so that when door is being opened towards insides it covers most of the passage; I doubt people who live there would build like that. The inner design is clumsy in general, and houses are way too empty. That was ok back when game engines and game designs were simplier, but for modern standarts this does not look right (but that could be a specific of alpha stage in development).

Regarding monsters, I specifically didn't like addition of bugs and spiders. Firstly, I find small spider-like creatures a cheap way to make player's life more dangerous (and annoying), secondly I have an arachnopho... sorry, nevermind.
What is more important in reference to game atmosphere. Few years ago I had a conversation with another Hexen fan, who was a leader in our modding team. We spoke about Hexen bestiary, and he mentioned one concept that I found very interesting. He said that the "fauna" of Kronos is mostly reptile-based and does not have any giant insects, and that differs Hexen from many other similar games ("is Hexen's strength" - as he said). There are dragon-like chaos serpents, dragons (whyvern), stalkers, Korax, and even Ettins and Heresiarch have something from reptiles in their look. Adding insects would break this set and will make beastiary look randomly assembled.

In conclusion, I'd say that although I do not like the game much at current point, I will continue watching over its progress. I've always loved to see Hexen ressurection in 3D. Besides there were few cases in my gaming experience when I hated the game at the first sight and yet found it quite playable after certain time of getting used to it...
Regarding all those bitter words about ruined atmosphere... well, ofcourse, I will be happy if they will make you change something, but since it's your game, and you have possibly done too much to make serious changes, you may as well simply ignore them. After all having different implementation of an older concept has its merits.

------------------------------------------------------------------

Ah, right, and few lesser suggestions:
1. I believe the mace's attack should be fixed. Currently it works like a gun, hitting enemy only when player points crosshair on its model. I think it should hit whatever stands before player, regardless of how accurate player aims. It is a melee weapon, after all, it does not need such a precision.
2. I believe ettins should make warcries when attacking. Right now they are merely grunting. It would be much cooler if they'd run from around the corner with tremendous roar :).

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby deadite4 » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:22 pm

Sounds Great. Do it again.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby Crimson Wizard » Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:38 pm


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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby brethren » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:07 pm

Hey, really enjoying the mod guys, but I just wanted to bring one thing up as far as the menu system goes. I tried to save my game recently and sort slipped and hit new game, and I got, of course, a new game. The problem was, my old game was gone. I think there should be some kind of a confirmation here, such as "are you sure you want to quit your current game?"

Of course, I hadn't saved for awhile, so I had to go back and replay a large section (not the worst thing in the world). :oops: Anyway, keep up the good work.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby BloodRayne » Thu Feb 24, 2011 7:18 pm

Lunchmeataphobia.
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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby Caffeine Freak » Thu Feb 24, 2011 8:51 pm

Yep, time for another Doom fix.

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Re: Feedback (contains spoilers)

Postby Crimson Wizard » Sat Feb 26, 2011 12:21 pm



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