Author Topic: Dimensional Eclipse Discussion Thread (original release thread)  (Read 98325 times)

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Offline AndrewofDoom

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Isn't this what we all want?

Considering it dissolved into discussions of how to sleep with the characters by trickery or force, no, not really.

Exactly why I don't want it.

REMEMBER GUYS, RAPE IS BAD
My Efforts:
SF Knight

20:08:19   AndrewofDoom: Though I find it mildly disturbing that a loli is giggling to mass destruction.
20:10:01   Spoon: I find it mildly arrousing
20:10:07   AndrewofDoom: Woah
20:10:15   Spoon: sound like my kind of loli
20:10:21   Spoon: and im not even a lolicon

 

Offline The E

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Since it was utterly irrelephant, I have split, moved, and locked the episode of "Keeping up with the Cardassians, presented by Legate Damar" that was originally here. We now return you to your regular scheduled programming of non-Star Trek anime things.
Let there be light
Let there be moon
Let there be stars and let there be you
Let there be monsters and let there be pain
Let us begin to feel again
--Devin Townsend, Genesis

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
While I agree with a split, I don't think locking it was necessary. It was actually pretty funny (though I doubt it'd go on for much longer. There's only so many jokes you can make in this style).
Isn't this what we all want?

Considering it dissolved into discussions of how to sleep with the characters by trickery or force, no, not really.
Joking aside, while WoD thread at one point had this problem, it was only after 50 or so pages. Besides, I'd wager that considering how DE characters look, if somebody tried to derail the DE thread in a similar way, FBI (or a similar agency in his country) might suddenly become very interested in him...

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
While I agree with a split, I don't think locking it was necessary. It was actually pretty funny (though I doubt it'd go on for much longer. There's only so many jokes you can make in this style).
Isn't this what we all want?

Considering it dissolved into discussions of how to sleep with the characters by trickery or force, no, not really.
Joking aside, while WoD thread at one point had this problem, it was only after 50 or so pages. Besides, I'd wager that considering how DE characters look, if somebody tried to derail the DE thread in a similar way, FBI (or a similar agency in his country) might suddenly become very interested in him...
I don't know if that is a good thing or a bad thing, and I would prefer to not have to consider that situation...
(´・ω・`)
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Offline Dragon

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
What I'm trying to say is that anybody trying to hit on girls from DE will (rightfully) get called a pervert and a creep, and not as a joke this time. WoD characters look much more... mature, so to speak. Also, under the new order moderation standards, I doubt any derail in style of WoD thread would be able to go on very long without being splitlocked.

I think that because of that, most questions in your "ask a character" thread would be wacky and outlandish, but at least sane. Just like first 50 or so pages of WoD "ask a character" thread, which are full of genuine fun and have some really interesting questions.
It would also give you a place to adress any possible plotholes and expand on the universe, which is rather interesting.

 
Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
As I've said on IRC with Andrew and Droid, most DE characters are pretty flat and boring, lacking the development of WoD's characters.  They're unwilling to generate as much arousal excitement interest as WoD's cast of emotional lookers.
17:37:02   Quanto: I want to have sexual intercourse with every space elf in existence
17:37:11   SpardaSon21: even the males?
17:37:22   Quanto: its not gay if its an elf

[21:51] <@Droid803> I now realize
[21:51] <@Droid803> this will be SLIIIIIGHTLY awkward
[21:51] <@Droid803> as this rich psychic girl will now be tsundere for a loli.
[21:51] <@Droid803> OH WELLL.

See what you're missing in #WoD and #Fsquest?

[07:57:32] <Caiaphas> inspired by HerraTohtori i built a supermaneuverable plane in ksp
[07:57:43] <Caiaphas> i just killed my pilots with a high-g maneuver
[07:58:19] <Caiaphas> apparently people can't take 20 gees for 5 continuous seconds
[08:00:11] <Caiaphas> the plane however performed admirably, and only crashed because it no longer had any guidance systems

 

Offline Dragon

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Well, they're indeed less developed (so to speak), but they do have potential.

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
I'm just going to pipe in and say that DE was never intended to have any significant character-driven nature. IMO, the charas are there to give voice to the plot and gameplay, make the universe feel a bit more alive.

I'm not adamantly opposed to starting such a thread (if you so desire one), but I probably won't be writing all that many responses, responding all that often, or even answering all the questions. I'd rather do a developer Q/A where I will answer your questions, and it'd probably be more meaningful.

Tell me which you would like more...
(´・ω・`)
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Offline AndrewofDoom

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Dev Q/A sounds better to me. Doylian answer >>>>>>> Watsonian answer.

...Then I may be a bit biased. :p
My Efforts:
SF Knight

20:08:19   AndrewofDoom: Though I find it mildly disturbing that a loli is giggling to mass destruction.
20:10:01   Spoon: I find it mildly arrousing
20:10:07   AndrewofDoom: Woah
20:10:15   Spoon: sound like my kind of loli
20:10:21   Spoon: and im not even a lolicon

 

Offline Legate Damar

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
You should consider yourself lucky that people are even requesting such a thread.

Even if my mod one day gets its own subforum (unlikely) I don't think anyone would be interested in asking any of my characters anything (partially because 90% of their responses would be some variation of "I'm going to kill you, puny humans.")

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
It's not that I have some stuck-up thing about denying people what they want or anything, it's that I don't believe I'll be able to live up to people's expectations...

I'll put something up once I get home from work.

EDIT: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php?topic=81157.0
There you go.
Abuse it and it will go away (obviously)
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 09:03:05 pm by Droid803 »
(´・ω・`)
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Haven't done one of these in a long time. My comprehensive review.

The Good:
The music is mostly good and sufficiently fast-paced for the sort of combat in the mod.

I'm actually pretty glad to see Ra's Lizard ships finally got used, since I wasn't sure anyone even remembered them anymore.

The catapult launch was a nice touch. (Which was never really used again! No, flying to Earth doesn't count!)

All these old assets nobody ever used, jesus. I half-expected to encounter my never-completed Akula model at any moment.

The Flyssa is hilarious, if not terribly useful. Actually I could say that about most of the missiles.

Silly Chapter 2 is a welcome change for a second playthrough, though not really any better than Serious Chapter 2.

The Bad:
I'm sure you've been sufficiently castigated over the various bait-and-switch bits, so I'll just wag my finger at you.

I got a “no debriefing” screen on Contact.

The lack of targetable markers, much less adding them to an escort list, for the side jobs/no side jobs in the Chapter 2 hub wasn't a wise decision. A player might not even notice them right away; I certainly didn't, and spent a few minutes wandering around.

Dissonance's messages at the start scroll too fast to read straight, and there's no way in hell anyone could speak them fast enough to actually say that.

The same problem occurs during most of Stronghold, doubled by the fact messages with explosions behind them are pretty much unreadable and a lot of dialogue pops up while you're probably making attack runs on the demonic-named cruiser.

Reversal appears to be entirely luck-based. It's far too possible to get caught in kinetic hell unable to move after downing an enemy and then get fried, even on the easiest difficulty. (It's the only time I dropped the difficulty from the Medium-equivalent on my first playthrough.)

Command briefing after the second cutscene has repeated problems with not scrolling as far as it needs to. I blame Random SCP Coder #57.

There is something very wrong with the Losna shield model, as it is bypassed by enemy fire often. This isn't the first time I've seen things like this happen, and I suspect a combination of high-velocity weapons and imperfect modeling, but I don't know for sure. Regardless, it's pretty bull**** to blow up without a shield breach and I've done just that several  times, and since nobody talks about it otherwise, I have to assume it's bug. This means there is no reason to ever fly the Losna.

Why does Talos Station care if their reactor melts down, so long as they're nowhere near it when it does? Seriously, just pull your **** and go, it'll be stable for the ten minutes or less that appears to have ultimately taken you.

Several times the screen blacked out and the Repair/Rearm got called for no reason; frequently I was over a thousand meters from the nearest capital craft at the time. This usually meant the mission was a bust as nothing could be done to get it out of this state.

Again with the too-rapid messages when I started the stealth mission.

The Ugly:
You really ought to collect the test answers an easier-to-access place than where they are, it took me quite some time to find Andrew's...actually I take it back, I didn't find that, I found your link to that post via search, eventually. That's how buried they are.

It would have been nice to have somebody ask why everyone look so young, or at least hang a lampshade on it. You didn't honestly think you'd sell us on them being late teens, did you?

The new ships (mostly fighters) you can spot in the two missions before Dissonance aren't added to the tech room after the missions they're visible in, which is a little disappointing considering the mod was good about that until then.

Text with explosions behind it, or indeed most of the effects here, isn't readable. All the pretty effects inhibit the ability to grasp the story or much of anything as to what's going on.

The autoaim feature is pretty much necessary to make the mod work, but much like my experience with it in Wing Commander 3, it's pretty much useless at high deflections or long ranges. It's kind of like having a primary battery of Hornets.

The main menu music is pretty much uniformly terrible and overly loud/fast-paced for when somebody's just trying to read the goddamn Tech Room. This goes some way towards counteracting all the effort you put into said Tech Room.

The anti-subsystem missiles seem to consume excessive bay space for their terminal effects.

The campaign in general appears to have been very poorly balanced for multiple levels of play, and on my second run through on the Very Easy equivalent I found all the missions pretty much exactly as challenging as they were on the Medium equivalent.

Ships in this mod have an extremely bad habit of continuing to fire upon targets which are already dead at 0HP and simply still in the process of blowing up, often in the case of capital ships firing on targets which have visibly broken up but aren't quite finished with their death animation. This looks dumb, and given the speeds of ships and weapons in the mod, can often make it unnecessarily more difficult when three seconds of fire for the PD on the ship you're defending gets completely wasted.

The last mission is laughably easy compared to the three or four that proceed it. Which is probably a good thing.

Summation
Dimensional Eclipse makes impressive use of a variety of mods from a variety of sources to tell its story. It has very good visual effects. It has unique gameplay and a variety of interesting, if not always effective, weapons. The missions are for the most part unique, with the last one (which is at least derivative of multiple sources) being the exception.

But the spit-and-polish stuff in the mod is really bad. From the poor timing of messages to the questionable balance a lot of the time to the low level of player agency in most missions. While the player's impact is arguably critical, the difference between victory and defeat is so minor as to make the missions luck-based most of the time; they may turn on the player's actions but certainly not on their skill. (It's interesting to compare the number of kills the player gets from mission to mission; it's often very, very low but enough to win, and this should be considered a bad sign in a mod so crowded with enemy wings.)

There is a story here. It's not very deep and honestly it's not very good. I was at first impressed by the attention to detail in the Tech Room and the like but that fell away rapidly as things happened and I wasn't given very much reason to care about it, as initially strong characterizations withered and died for lack of ever being reinforced or used. The further into the campaign you get, the less reason there is to care about any of the characters, the less any of them seem to be separate people, the less they even matter. Mars and Earth got glassed, somebody in your unit is FROM Mars, and we get exactly one blink-and-you'll-miss-it line on the subject. Command briefings previously used to convey characterization and interaction disappear, only for one to suddenly reappear before the final mission and even then come off remarkably flat.

I wanted to like this campaign, and at first I did, but Dimensional Eclipse ended up making promises regarding its providing a unique and colorful cast that it didn't keep. The novelty of everything else had worn off by the time it was clear those promises were not going to be kept in Chapter 3, the balance had gotten questionable sometime late in Chapter 2, and there was little or nothing left to hold my interest for the post-Earth sequence. Fortunately, it wasn't very long.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

  

Offline Droid803

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Thanks for the review!
What you found seems to be entirely consistent with what I put my focus on, or rather, what I didn't. With the exception of balancing, where I've gotten a lot of different responses and can't seem to find a solid answer. The closest I got was that things are leaning on the "too hard" side of things. As for the non-skill based player interaction, I guess that is mostly true. However, I disagree with the luck-based statement, as with the correct strategy applied, there should be no luck involved in winning (though strategy selection will involve a good amount of that to start with, I presume). I don't think that having a low-but-just-enough-to-win kill count is bad design at all, if anything, I feel it is good. I means that instead of simply flying in and relying on "I AM A HUMAN, SUPERIOR PILOT TO THE FREESPACE AI", you need to think of your approach and order your wingmen to do things like draw fire for you, or whatnot. I will admit that I am not the best pilot, and much prefer to use a tactics-based approach to solving problems than simply shooting everything, which is partially the aim of the design of the modpack, which I understand will not sit well with everyone...

I will also admit I didn't try very hard at the story or the characters. I figured it wasn't worth finding someone else to go over and rewrite everything for me, but to rather just get it done. I don't know how much of this I can attribute to having to convey a ton of information (which people still have told me is insufficient, and you already said that text scrolls too fast to read) and do characterization/development, I just don't feel there's much of a possibility to expand on any of that, short of inserting walls-of-text low-action speaking missions or fiction viewer entries (which I didn't want to do as it would take away from the core concept of the campaign). As far as I'm concerned, there's not much to be done about this, given the design choices leading up to the current outcome.

As for some of the miscellaneous polish stuff I missed...I blame Andrew. For a) not testing it, and b) insisting that he did and telling me to release it already. :P Not much I can say about that, except that I'll see to it that they're remedied when the time comes for an updated version...

Quote
Ships in this mod have an extremely bad habit of continuing to fire upon targets which are already dead at 0HP and simply still in the process of blowing up, often in the case of capital ships firing on targets which have visibly broken up but aren't quite finished with their death animation. This looks dumb, and given the speeds of ships and weapons in the mod, can often make it unnecessarily more difficult when three seconds of fire for the PD on the ship you're defending gets completely wasted.

What, do you want me to ship-protect every single ship after it hits 0%? D:
Dammit, can I get a game_settings.tbl based fix for that?...sounds like the AI being stupid to me...

Quote
You really ought to collect the test answers an easier-to-access place than where they are, it took me quite some time to find Andrew's...actually I take it back, I didn't find that, I found your link to that post via search, eventually. That's how buried they are.
I had no place to put it before.
Now I do, so I could put them in a thread. Thanks for reminding me :D
(´・ω・`)
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
However, I disagree with the luck-based statement, as with the correct strategy applied, there should be no luck involved in winning (though strategy selection will involve a good amount of that to start with, I presume). I don't think that having a low-but-just-enough-to-win kill count is bad design at all, if anything, I feel it is good. I means that instead of simply flying in and relying on "I AM A HUMAN, SUPERIOR PILOT TO THE FREESPACE AI", you need to think of your approach and order your wingmen to do things like draw fire for you, or whatnot. I will admit that I am not the best pilot, and much prefer to use a tactics-based approach to solving problems than simply shooting everything, which is partially the aim of the design of the modpack, which I understand will not sit well with everyone...

I actually came to the luck-based statement from watching things I was escorting blow up many, many times, and playing the mission over because of it. (I selected the "capital craft were too weak" option over in the other thread not because their defenses are poor, they aren't, but because they explode with surprising ease.) It had nothing to do with tactics and a lot to do with random orientation of my nose at the time a bomber wing arrived or whether I could manage to sprint over and slot into the line of fire of a bomb strike so I could pick off the bombs as they went past me.

A lot of the time whether a ship I was protecting from inbound bombers survived or was destroyed was pure chance based on my own position after the last wing or while defending myself, and whether or not my wing had just disposed of their current target so they'll go after incoming ordnance.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Except that there are like, 4 missions maybe out of the entire 20+ mission campaign where you are actually defending a capital ship from bombers which have more than one wave...
(´・ω・`)
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Offline NGTM-1R

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Except that there are like, 4 missions maybe out of the entire 20+ mission campaign where you are actually defending a capital ship from bombers which have more than one wave...

And how many times do you think I played them!? :p

Also that seems to underestimate the number of Oppressors in the campaign even if they're not with multiple waves.
"Load sabot. Target Zaku, direct front!"

A Feddie Story

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Oppressors? They are only in like, 3 missions (Nexus Station, Passed Judgement, The Defence).
I've tried to keep the campaign relatively enemy-bomber free...

I guess it may seem more to you if you had to replay those specific missions multiple times, though. (and there are quite a few of them in those 3)
(´・ω・`)
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Offline Legate Damar

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
I will also admit I didn't try very hard at the story or the characters. I figured it wasn't worth finding someone else to go over and rewrite everything for me

Next time you make something, call me. I can write.

 

Offline Droid803

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
Correction: I figured it wasn't worth finding someone else to go over and rewrite everything for me that I trust to meet my standards and time frame requirements.

I would not trust just anyone with this task, especially not someone who would blatantly just ask for it like this.

I'm not even convinced it is a problem...because I didn't even try with it. Figured time and effort would be better spent elsewhere. I just didn't bother aiming for "unique story" or "deep/developed/interesting characters". Note that I never actually advertised it as such, nor did I ever make any promises about it. It was never the centerpiece of the campaign. As I've said, DE was never intended to have any significant character-driven nature. IMO, the charas are there to give voice to move what little plot was necessary to provide a reason for gameplay forward. If you expected something like BP in terms of characters (or story), you came to the wrong place and I don't know where you got the impression that it was ever the aim of this project. The only reason I even have characters is for the novelty of it (at the beginning), and the fact that not having characters and leaving it as retail FreeSpace-esque style storytelling would not work. I guess in the end that left me with something that looks half-assed, but it should have been obvious that I never put a focus onto it.

Could it have been done better? Of course.
Would I have put some more effort into making it better if I were to go over this again? Possibly - another possibility would be that I remove as much of it as possible so that nobody gets any "wrong ideas".
Do I really think it is necessary, or worth acquiring extra help for? Not in the slightest.

Nothing is perfect, it's all about which corners to cut.

The beginning of the campaign had much better exposition and character portrayal/development, but also kind of SUCKED in terms of gameplay, where you basically didn't do anything. This was just so there was some introduction and context, which I felt was necessary.
Then you launch into gameplay-driven mission chains for the rest of the campaign, where character development is essentially forgotten, because it wasn't needed anymore.

If I wanted to have better character development and have more depth, I would have had to make more words during explosions (apparently bad), or more gaps in the action and gameplay purely for exposition. Apparently, I already have too many words during explosions, and I am entirely unwilling to insert anymore boring expository gaps, which leaves the only option as editing the existing lines (which must also provide the relevant information to complete a mission!) to provide more character development...which is basically impossible. Yes, everyone ends up sounding the same, because they're all tasked with telling you what you need to do (I've also recieved complaints that I don't tell people enough of what they need to do already).

You see the problem? Very limited amount of textspace available, tons of stuff to convey... Sure, it could be optimized better, but in the end it isn't going to get much better.

I hope this answers any further inquiries onto my design choices about character development/exposition. Perhaps my choice is different from what people expected, but the way it turned out is largely intentional (or at least constrained by intentional choices).
« Last Edit: June 22, 2012, 12:15:05 pm by Droid803 »
(´・ω・`)
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Offline Legate Damar

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Re: RELEASE: 次元のエクリプス - Dimensional Eclipse
I was simply offering my assistance because I wanted to be helpful.