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I finished Frontlines today.

All in all, Frontlines is pretty fun. I found it refreshing to play missions that didn't always have hidden twists and turns or complicated storylines. There's not a crapton of reading messages. Just good ol' FS1 style 'Here's your mission, go kill stuff' fun. I ran into a good number of bugs here and there (nothing major except CTD probably related to the Turret Hotkey Script) as well as some things that could have used a little spit-shine. However, Frontlines is the closest thing to a TVW I've ever played and I would like to play more of it. However, I would also add a heavy dose of polish to the missions to remove the minor bugs and increase the general presentation by a small amount.

I'd be happy to give more detailed feedback if you want it, but first I wanted to focus on the positive here. It's easy to nitpick all the little things I would have fixed or done differently. Instead I want to encourage you that this was worth your time. The missions were varied and interesting. It definitely felt like the first few missions of FS1. I looooved that. I look forward to seeing what you do next.


Thanks!  :)

Good to see that you found the Frontlines gameplay model and experience fun and rewarding. It was definitely a unique experience to FRED and test. Speaking for myself alone - nothing personal against anyone, and I can understand where they were coming from, but I was kinda bummed by the underwhelming response we got. Our future releases should, hopefully, be more thoroughly polished.

Speaking for myself at least, I'd like to hear some more detailed feedback.


Thank you mjn. I'm happy you enjoyed it. :)

--- Quote from: Lepanto on December 05, 2014, 06:20:21 pm ---Speaking for myself alone - nothing personal against anyone, and I can understand where they were coming from, but I was kinda bummed by the underwhelming response we got.

--- End quote ---

This I think was a side effect and consequence of the way it got rushed out at the end. There was of course a very good reason why this needed to be done, but if that hadn't been the case, then we could have devoted some time to pimping and savouring the release with teaser material before release to show people why they should care. That, and I think it was a big mistake to have, I can't remember exactly what it was, but it was something like "Just another campaign" in the board description, when that should have been something to sell people on the product.

Black Wolf:
Cheers mjn, for the review and the reference.

Glad you liked the FS1 aesthetic - retaining that feel was one of the primary design goals. Feedback since release on that subject has been decidedly mixed - some people liked it, others found it a bit dull. I can see where they're coming from - in a lot of ways, good campaign design has moved on a lot since FS1. But I'm also a bit of a purist, and every now and then I think it's a good thing to go back to where we all started.

In terms of what happens next, FL is in a (planned) hiatus at the moment, while everyone works on other projects, and, to some extent, the TV War creative juices get a chance to recharge. Sometime in 2015, I plan to restart work on FL, with a new minicampaign set much earlier in the war, and add in a few new flight mechanisms (like heat management, ammo restricted primaries and capital ship ammunition restrictions (though that will likely require code changes), as well as Fury AI, which should change the flight model significantly enough to make it feel like a more primitive technological era. That'll also be when things like the Canberra and Stalker get made use of.

As for specific feedback, I'd be very keen to hear it. There's still an outside chance of revisiting FL2334 - possibly through a patch, or a "Directors Cut" type re-release, though that would probably need something substantial to justify it - either new missions or voice acting, most likely. In any case, if we do revisit the campaign, bugfixes would also be pretty high on the priority list (as well as the difficulty tweaks a few other people have talked about).

Finally, thanks for the playthrough and the review!

I seem to have lost my notepad notes of my playthrough mission by mission. The gist of it was the same throughout each mission. Here's the bullet points.

* Fix the turret hotkey script. Check out the post I linked. Because it crashed on me several times, I was afraid to use it later. That made missions much more difficult.
* I'm forgiving on balance because I haven't even started that horrible horrible process for BtA :p
* Multiple RTB directives. On many missions I ended up with several RTBs. One even gave me a failure debriefing but still let me continue the campaign. If there's one bug that can totally remove any suspension of disbelief (other than a crash), it's this kind of bug. I'm a stickler for that kind of thing in my missions.. to a fault, according to some of the BtA team. (There are missions in BtA where you are ordered to return to base via the fighterbay. If you warp out you get scolded and fail the mission. My team insists I need to change that to be less... uh... terrible since Alt-J is so habitual.)
* Something I learned from Axem (I think). Always have a valid directive.. even if it's 'wait for whatever'. The player should always be able to glance to the directives list and get a good sense of what he/she should be doing at that moment. There were a few places that I found myself lost. And while I'm at it.. I remember a few directives that didn't fail when they should have (or "completed" when they are no longer relevant to the mission objectives). I'm a stickler about that too. If it cannot be failed, I make sure it goes red. I don't like white directives in the list that are impossible for the player to complete anymore.
That's what I can remember from my notes. I'm betting it's all stuff you had on your list to fix anyway, but there it is. Again, though, I'm glad Frontlines exists. I enjoyed it despite these things.


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