Author Topic: RELEASE: Exposition  (Read 26720 times)

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Offline Akalabeth Angel

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Mission Eight has me die over and over again.  Uknown cause of death? :warp:

Spoiler:
that's the escort mission right? If you lose one of the transport it explodes and is supposed to kill anythign in the vicinity (ie you). So don't lose any transports

 

Offline Mongoose

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Okay, so I finally made it through to the end.  Just a few more comments to add to the pile:

--There seems to be some strange graphical issue going on with several weapon shot effects.  There are thin bands of color around the edges of the "rectangle" that comprises the weapon effect, as if there's something wrong with the transparency.  I'm not sure if that's a general graphical bug or a problem with your media, though.

--To add to what I said earlier about the lack of command briefings and debriefings, the briefings that are there are so short and insubstantial that they do little to nothing to add to the plot.  One in particular I remember had a sentence that essentially said, "Whoops, everyone died."  No hint of remorse, no description of the consequences to the war effort, nothing.  As it stands, there's very little actual story going on over the course of the campaign, not to mention the issues with character development.

--There were several occasions on which a friendly or enemy capital ship was set invulnerable when its hull integrity dropped too low, and they all managed to stick out like sore thumbs.  It's one thing to use that trick with wingmen, but when you have a capital ship in your escort list getting pummeled with enemy fire yet holding stubbornly at 1% hull...there's something wrong there.  On a related note, some of the missions had capital ships using direct "attack" orders on each other, which is kind of a big no-no since it turns them into baseball-bats-o'-doom.

--Again, there are way too many capital ships in most of these missions, to the point where immersion becomes completely broken.  Eight enemy destroyers in one location?  How could anyone logistically field that sort of a fleet?

--On a related note, with the large numbers of enemy fighters you have to face, I feel like the missile bank sizes are substantially too low.  I know you were probably going for a more realistic treatment, but leveling the playing field by slinging a few missiles was by far the best way to survive a few of those missions...unfortunately, by the time at which I needed to do so, I had usually run out of them.  I wound up just cheating myself invulnerable during one mission, just because I didn't feel like putting up with the hassle of half a  dozen fighters constantly taking potshots at me anymore.

--One big thing that wore on me over the course of the campaign was how little changes from the player's standpoint.  You're always flying the same ship, using just about the same exact weapons, shooting the same few enemy types in mostly straight-firefight missions, and almost all of them take place in the same murky "hurricane" environment where you can't see anything that's going on.  Without a compelling story to back it up, that severe lack of variety really hurt things.

--As for the last mission...like someone mentioned earlier, it isn't really explained at all what the player is supposed to do, though the mission ended fast enough that it didn't really matter for me anyway.  The big development barely mentioned in the briefing really needed to be expanded on, preferably by something like a command briefing, or maybe even a cutscene.  Also, the big twist in-mission was almost laughable in how sudden it was.

Overall, this release left me genuinely disappointed more than anything else.  I'm convinced that there's a truly great campaign buried somewhere in here, based on the backstory and the mods, but it's being trampled by all of the in-mission issues, some of which are practically game-breaking.  A lot of the points I raised seem to me like things that could and should have been caught in playtesting.  I really hope that a few of the team members take the time to read through this thread and respond to some of these comments.

 

Offline Trasher258

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A crazy campaign from what I read. When I heard that there is this capital ship that bats you like a baseball, I feel like messing around with that myself. It beats shooting ships in my opinion but then again... it has to go since it doesn't make much sense physics wise. That's why I'm downloading it now before that glitch is fixed.
They see things, they ask "Why?" But I dream of things that never were, I say "Why not?"

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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I'm going to dispense with my usual campaign review procedure. Mongoose made most of the points I might have, had I not come to a very important conclusion.

Exposition is not actually a campaign.

To be a campaign it would actually have to be telling some kind of story, and it goes out of its way not to to do that. Even Second Great War Part 2 was at least the story of how much Alpha 1 rocked. This doesn't have even that going for it.

Instead Exposition is a series of unconnected single missions that appear to have designed mostly for visual effect, and then hampered in it by the overuse of the "hurricane" environment. Numerous assaults were mounted on the FSO engine's limits for no reason other than because the mission designer felt like it.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

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Offline TopAce

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There is a story. It's about the 158th Banshee Squadron and how it took part in the war. There are no moral conclusions to take and there is no hidden message in it as far as I can tell, but it's "some kind of" story nonetheless.
My community contributions - Get my campaigns from here.

"Truth" is the opinion of the majority which it can enforce on the minority. Members of the minority have two choices: join the bandwagon or think. Those who do not fall into line will be brutally crushed.
The tools to maintain order are: lies, double standards, and hypocrisy. The most powerful and the most insidious of them is hypocrisy

 

Offline Mongoose

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There is a story. It's about the 158th Banshee Squadron and how it took part in the war. There are no moral conclusions to take and there is no hidden message in it as far as I can tell, but it's "some kind of" story nonetheless.
But the thing is, in the sense that NGTM-1R is talking about, there really isn't.  There's no real connectivity between the events of subsequent missions, no building on what happens before, no overarching development of particular events or themes or characters.  It really feels most like a bunch of stand-alone tech demos strung together, except that some of said tech demos don't function all that well.

I am sort of curious as to how the development process of this went.  From the credits, it seems like the original missions were created some time back, with the current team going back and touching them up a bit.  Given that, I'm curious as to how the original mission creators could have done things like exceed the projectile limits, since said limits were certainly no higher back then, and could have been even less for all I know.  And if the new team did playtest all of the missions, did they just miss things like the player's shots completely disappearing on numerous occasions?

 

Offline NGTM-1R

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There is a story. It's about the 158th Banshee Squadron and how it took part in the war.

Which is why it leaves us with no concept of their impact on the war if they had one (not likely from the BoEs), or the war's impact on them for that matter, or why there's even a war in the first place, or how it's going, or what they're trying to do, or tactics, or strategy, or... You get the picture.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline TopAce

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The website and the ModDB entry reveal some background information, but you're right: the team shouldn't have relied on their potential players read through all that before launching FS.
My community contributions - Get my campaigns from here.

"Truth" is the opinion of the majority which it can enforce on the minority. Members of the minority have two choices: join the bandwagon or think. Those who do not fall into line will be brutally crushed.
The tools to maintain order are: lies, double standards, and hypocrisy. The most powerful and the most insidious of them is hypocrisy

 

Offline Spoon

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Interestingly enough, none of the team members of 158th have replied to the comments yet, at all.
Urutorahappī!!

[02:42] <@Axem> spoon somethings wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> critically wrong
[02:42] <@Axem> im happy with these missions now
[02:44] <@Axem> well
[02:44] <@Axem> with 2 of them

 

Offline Mongoose

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Woolie Wool did, but he only commented on the visual and audio effects, not on the missions themselves.  I'd really like the rest of the team to take a look at some of these comments myself.

 

Offline achtung

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In the wise words of Charles de Gaulle, "China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese."

Formerly known as Swantz

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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Too much grey nebula. . .
 
Not enough reason to interact, ie- I could have just fled, fled like wailing penguin to the edge of a battle area and simply watched from afar while the mission played itself out.
 
Which I did for the station defencive.

 

Offline TopAce

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Quote
Which I did for the station defencive.

Really? I almost lost that mission. Maybe it's difficulty setting-related?
My community contributions - Get my campaigns from here.

"Truth" is the opinion of the majority which it can enforce on the minority. Members of the minority have two choices: join the bandwagon or think. Those who do not fall into line will be brutally crushed.
The tools to maintain order are: lies, double standards, and hypocrisy. The most powerful and the most insidious of them is hypocrisy

 

Offline Colonol Dekker

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I might replay with fraps and time compression on then yoochoob it. I do tend to play new campaigns on easy nine times out of ten though in all honesty.

 

Offline Nemesis6

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First impressions thus far...

Spoiler:
The mission where I had to engage the Stalingrad and Leningrad was pretty damn confusing. I started attacking the Leningrad, not knowing that there was a reason it was spinning around like crazy which made it impossible to damage it; that it would leave and the only one I could really attack was the Stalingrad.

In the mission after that, I can't focus because any and all visual clues about missiles, enemies close to me, or fire grazing me just cannot be heard. Tone down those sound. It's nice to be able to heard the big guns for once, but I can't play like this.

EDIT: Well, completed it now. My only gripes remain the way-too-loud cannon sounds, and my weapons apparently fail to work during big battles. If it matters, I'll hold fire button down, and one measly laser will spew out of one side, then two on both, and then I can't fire for a few seconds and it continues like that. As soon as the action clears up, they work fine again.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 06:05:06 pm by Nemesis6 »

 

Offline Krackers87

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Well i believe a big issue that hampered this mod, was that so much of what was done originally (i was much more involved in the original development, i didn't do much with this later work) was lost over time and various reasons. Including voice work for the entire campaign. I am actually quite surprised this much of it survived, or was pieced together, remade or what have you. I don't mean to make excuses or anything, just trying to offer some insight.
Put this in your profile if you know someone who is fighting, has survived, or has died from an awp no scope.

just like seventies goofballs
he's waiting on last calls
well listen method man
'cause if you leave on the last line
don't leave on the ground kind
born just a little too slow

 

Offline Krackers87

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There is a story. It's about the 158th Banshee Squadron and how it took part in the war. There are no moral conclusions to take and there is no hidden message in it as far as I can tell, but it's "some kind of" story nonetheless.
But the thing is, in the sense that NGTM-1R is talking about, there really isn't.  There's no real connectivity between the events of subsequent missions, no building on what happens before, no overarching development of particular events or themes or characters.  It really feels most like a bunch of stand-alone tech demos strung together, except that some of said tech demos don't function all that well.

I am sort of curious as to how the development process of this went.  From the credits, it seems like the original missions were created some time back, with the current team going back and touching them up a bit.  Given that, I'm curious as to how the original mission creators could have done things like exceed the projectile limits, since said limits were certainly no higher back then, and could have been even less for all I know.  And if the new team did playtest all of the missions, did they just miss things like the player's shots completely disappearing on numerous occasions?

Most of the work was done prior to 2005 the main campaign itself (actually i believe the mod was at 100% completion, voice and all) was completed around 2003 but it was decided to upgrade all of the missions, ships effects etc to scp standards, as 158th was originally done for vanilla, the scp upgrade was almost finished minus some tech room errors, then for whatever reason, real life took a hold and the team kind of fell apart, and as a result of time passing a lot of the data was lost.

A big reason for the upgrade was the vanilla iteration didn't have atmospheric battles, so the entire campaign took place in the "hurricane"/nebulae minus the last mission.

I cant remember the projectile limit being an issue before, certainly not in the vanilla campaign, i dont know what was changed or when, but i imagine it has to do with the gurkov.

Edit: I also remember there was modeled terrain and roads + buildings for the atmospherics before (which were closer to the ground at that tme), don't know if that was taken out on purpose due to implementation difficulties or actually lost.


« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 02:58:57 pm by Krackers87 »
Put this in your profile if you know someone who is fighting, has survived, or has died from an awp no scope.

just like seventies goofballs
he's waiting on last calls
well listen method man
'cause if you leave on the last line
don't leave on the ground kind
born just a little too slow

 

Offline Polpolion

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Woolie Wool did, but he only commented on the visual and audio effects, not on the missions themselves.  I'd really like the rest of the team to take a look at some of these comments myself.

There's two reasons for this. First of all, everything that's been said here is completely reasonable. I don't want to tell people "No, you actually liked the way it ended" and I don't want to tell people things that I'm not altogether qualified to. Second of all, Krackers87 hinted upon how much was done with Exposition such a long time ago. This was a big issue for the team. We had two main goals for Exposition: 1) To stay true to what the original team wanted and 2) To clean everything. Do you see why getting a project that was made a few years back is problematic? It's difficult to tell what the original team was going for when the most we got to converse was the rare moment when we concurrently had free time.

I will start commenting on people's posts, provided that you understand what I just said. (Yes, I know that there's no way for me to verify that :p)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 03:31:03 pm by thesizzler »

 

Offline TopAce

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It all makes sense. Thanks for replying.
My community contributions - Get my campaigns from here.

"Truth" is the opinion of the majority which it can enforce on the minority. Members of the minority have two choices: join the bandwagon or think. Those who do not fall into line will be brutally crushed.
The tools to maintain order are: lies, double standards, and hypocrisy. The most powerful and the most insidious of them is hypocrisy

 

Offline Polpolion

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Now its just amusing (in a bad way)
'Angel' "Blargh i'm dead!" (not a single shot has been fired yet  :lol:)

I cheated my way through mission 3, then ended up in 4(!!!) BOE's in a row. Where my presence didn't make a bit of difference, AT ALL. And then followed by a terrrrible designed escort mission where you spend 10 horrendous boring minutes of intercepting 4 planes at the time. Coming in timed waves.
The skybox on earth is nice though. The mission in the daylight skybox felt a bit like the 360 game, project slypheed. Except here you are stuck in a pityful fighter with pew pew pea shooters with command telling you "An other carrier down! Good job pilots" while I was just laughing out loud in my chair.

I respect your opinion, but I disagree. Here's why: With this kind of combat, a single pilot's contributions actually don't make much of a difference. Did you notice how in almost every mission, the full 158th is flying with you? Flying slow aircraft without shields like this demands superiority in numbers. Without that, there's not much chance of you being successful. That was the big tactical error commit by the CC in the nighttime escort mission. They didn't want to send large swathes of fighters in because when the succeeded, they would all die because of the explosion. This made them send in waves of ships, causing what happened in the mission: essentially a massacre. If they had really wanted to take out those cargo ships, they should've sent in everyone at once, or tried to engage at long range with capships. But they valued their pilots too much for the first, which is ironic because they ended up losing more pilots than they would've otherwise, and they were to close to the station for the latter to be a viable option.

If you look at every mission from the sole standpoint that it's a game and merely that, of course you're going to be dissatisfied. It's just like when you'd read books in a high school literature class and you ask yourself "Why did I even bother reading that?" but when you get into higher level lit courses, you develop a better understanding of literary theory. But alas, it is still up to the authors to make the message clear.

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

Okay, so I finally made it through to the end.  Just a few more comments to add to the pile:

--There seems to be some strange graphical issue going on with several weapon shot effects.  There are thin bands of color around the edges of the "rectangle" that comprises the weapon effect, as if there's something wrong with the transparency.  I'm not sure if that's a general graphical bug or a problem with your media, though.I don't think I've noticed any of that when I was testing the game, but I'm not quite willing to say "it's your fault" or "it's scp's fault." Can we get a screenshot?

--To add to what I said earlier about the lack of command briefings and debriefings, the briefings that are there are so short and insubstantial that they do little to nothing to add to the plot.  One in particular I remember had a sentence that essentially said, "Whoops, everyone died."  No hint of remorse, no description of the consequences to the war effort, nothing.  As it stands, there's very little actual story going on over the course of the campaign, not to mention the issues with character development.
While I can't say much about what the original team was going for in regards to story and character development, I can say that a fair amount of info that should've been in command briefings was compressed into the standard briefings. I guess something for the patch will be to re-expand that. As for the "Whoops everyone died" debriefing, I'd imagine that if everyone had died, there would be no debriefing period, as everyone was dead. But I get what you mean. :p

--There were several occasions on which a friendly or enemy capital ship was set invulnerable when its hull integrity dropped too low, and they all managed to stick out like sore thumbs.  It's one thing to use that trick with wingmen, but when you have a capital ship in your escort list getting pummeled with enemy fire yet holding stubbornly at 1% hull...there's something wrong there.  On a related note, some of the missions had capital ships using direct "attack" orders on each other, which is kind of a big no-no since it turns them into baseball-bats-o'-doom.Okay, the first is a fair observation, and the second is understandable considering game play, but considering how they'd behave in reality, I've always imagined that it's the person in small ~20somethingTon fighter to stay away from the large 1000000000ton space warship. If high powered lasers barely scratch them, then smacking fighters around is a viable tactic if it's practical. But yes, it is pretty ugly.

--Again, there are way too many capital ships in most of these missions, to the point where immersion becomes completely broken.  Eight enemy destroyers in one location?  How could anyone logistically field that sort of a fleet? In the same ways that all of the naval fleets were fielded in WWII. Eight is actually a pretty small number of ships to supply. IIRC, Taffey-3 from the battle off Samar had ~8 DD/DEs and 6 escort carriers, and the fleet that they fended off had 4 battleships, 6 heavy cruisers, 2 light cruisers, and 11 destroyers. All that we can assume is that it was strategically worth the hassle to support these ships.

--On a related note, with the large numbers of enemy fighters you have to face, I feel like the missile bank sizes are substantially too low.  I know you were probably going for a more realistic treatment, but leveling the playing field by slinging a few missiles was by far the best way to survive a few of those missions...unfortunately, by the time at which I needed to do so, I had usually run out of them.  I wound up just cheating myself invulnerable during one mission, just because I didn't feel like putting up with the hassle of half a  dozen fighters constantly taking potshots at me anymore. This, too, is a wholly reasonable observation. We were indeed trying to bridge the gap between modern fighter's missile load outs and FS's missile load outs, and were trying to emphasize gun combat, while maintaining an actual missile threat, mostly via Fastreaches.

--One big thing that wore on me over the course of the campaign was how little changes from the player's standpoint.  You're always flying the same ship, using just about the same exact weapons, shooting the same few enemy types in mostly straight-firefight missions, and almost all of them take place in the same murky "hurricane" environment where you can't see anything that's going on.  Without a compelling story to back it up, that severe lack of variety really hurt things. 'Kay. In most fighter squadrons, you really don't have the opportunity to fly more than one kind of fighter. There's just no need to train you to fly more than one kind of ship. This was supposed to illustrate more precisely when these changes in fighter doctrine happen. But yeah, it really doesn't make for an interesting game. /:

--As for the last mission...like someone mentioned earlier, it isn't really explained at all what the player is supposed to do, though the mission ended fast enough that it didn't really matter for me anyway.  The big development barely mentioned in the briefing really needed to be expanded on, preferably by something like a command briefing, or maybe even a cutscene.  Also, the big twist in-mission was almost laughable in how sudden it was. Yup, command briefings need to be expanded.

Overall, this release left me genuinely disappointed more than anything else.  I'm convinced that there's a truly great campaign buried somewhere in here, based on the backstory and the mods, but it's being trampled by all of the in-mission issues, some of which are practically game-breaking.  A lot of the points I raised seem to me like things that could and should have been caught in playtesting.  I really hope that a few of the team members take the time to read through this thread and respond to some of these comments. It really seems to me like a lot of the issues point out aren't the issues themselves, just that we didn't illustrate clearly enough the point we were try to make with them. And that's one of the issues with internal play testing. The confusion was compounded by the team change. But all together, I don't see it as impossible to repair these faults.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2009, 04:28:35 pm by thesizzler »