Author Topic: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2  (Read 10560 times)

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Offline Spoon

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Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Played Wings of Dawn RE episode 1 & 2 and want to share your thoughts on it? This is the place!

All feedback and comments are welcome (but try to keep it constructive).

Report bugs in the release thread.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 06:40:03 am by Spoon »
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 PIe

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
The combat in WoD is quite enjoyable and the campaign being almost all fighter based puts it right up my alley.  The flight model is a welcome change from the regular FS style and overall WoD really nails the feel of being chaotic (in a good way) but not overly hard (it generally wasn't very hard for me at least).  The ships are all quite pretty and there are a few hilarious moments involving Nordera.
Overall, WoD delivers on the ambitious moments that I expected after playing the previous iterations and improves everything else.
[9:50 PM] Sottises: wait did you do vassago's verge?
[9:50 PM] Sottises: .. dirge?
[9:50 PM] Axem: yes
[9:50 PM] Sottises: ohh
[9:50 PM] Sottises: well I have that and JAD too
[9:50 PM] Axem: :)
[9:50 PM] Sottises: what a contrast of themes lmao
[9:50 PM] Axem: isnt it
[9:51 PM] Axem: super grimdark thriller about unknowable alien intelligence and over the top colorful action about friendship
[9:51 PM] PIe: jad is grimdark???
[9:51 PM] Axem: :skull:

[6:23 PM] PIe: why do I have the feeling that I shouldn't be able to give orders to 22nd armored hq
[6:24 PM] Axem: 22nd armored hq, i order you to get me a cup of coffee
[6:24 PM] PIe: and donuts
[6:24 PM] PIe: BECAUSE THIS IS THE GTVA POLICE
[6:25 PM] Axem: :O
[6:25 PM] Axem: am i under arrest
[6:26 PM] [`_`]/: no, just please step out of the myrmidon
[6:26 PM] [`_`]/: you have so much to fred for

 
Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Wings of Dawn is kinda what you get when you take super-focused and polished mission design usually found in minicampaigns like Vassago's Dirge and then just make 27 of those.
Its core strengths are definitely ~feel~ and pacing. Everything feels great to do.

The drifty, slidey flight model makes even slower-turning ships feel alive and not totally lethargic like they do in FS. Primaries and missiles consistently look great and feel nice and weighty. Just wailing on things is so satisfying, especially combined with the AI being a big fan of going fast so it never makes itself an easy target. The (swap) system found on the Rays allows you to switch from a 'DPS' weapon to a 'burst' weapon at just the right time with just the right aim and see your target burst in flames. It's one of the coolest things you'll get to do in FSO.

The mission pacing is nice and tight, leaving gaps just long enough for you to rearm and get your bearings and then slowly ramping up in intensity and sometimes cooling down again to prepare you for the chaotic finale.

This is possible because most of the talky character building stuff has been relegated to the VN segments, so you'll never find yourself wanting to skip through 5 minutes of in-mission blabber when all you want is a 2nd chance at shooting down some green bastards.

And those VN segments are really well done, animated apng character portraits really help bring them to life.
If you decide to read through everything they offer they're usually just long enough that being back in your fighter's cockpit feels ~special~ again. For me, they never felt like they were dragging on or wasting my time but still provided an enjoyable break between the action-packed missions.



It's not gonna launch 20000 fan theories on its deep lore like BP. It's not gonna wow everyone with its serious attitude and amazing polish like BtA.
But it will put a smile on your face bigger than anything else. Wings of Dawn is just pure joy combined with child-like wonder as you keep finding new ways in which the team has bent the FSO engine to their will.
[19:31] <MatthTheGeek> you all high up on your mointain looking down at everyone who doesn't beam everything on insane blindfolded

 
Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
My review is going to be spread out, so I'll just keep a running tally.

The look and feel of the combat is still great, more frantic than Vanilla FS2, more shooty, more explodey. The weapon system has been rebalanced to have a combo system of sorts. The big difference between this and the first release of WoD is the overall level of polish, and the re-balanced missions (It's possible to kill things now in the UEU prologue for example thanks to a better primary burst weapon). I'm still only a few missions into the first story arc, but it's been worth the wait. Everyone on this project put their heart and soul into it. WORK was put into the ships, graphics, weapons, and music selection, and it pays off big time.

The characters are endearing, and the world building remains superlative, unchanged from Vanilla WoD. The story tweaks of a more limited Human-Cyrva war, and more human factions help the universe feel bigger and more lived in. I suppose the best compliment I can give is I would totally watch this weird FS2 anime.

The Ophelia mission is a huge improvement. While micromanaging the bombs was interesting, in practice I ending up staring at my keyboard more than the action. The "ace" fight was like, well, a moment out of that other anime simulator that I love, Ace Combat 7.

The colony mission is a nice change of pace, and who doesn't love side quests! I love it when games let you explore the world a bit, "mah immersion," etc.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2018, 09:23:16 pm by manwiththemachinegun »

 

Offline niffiwan

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
I've only played a few missions so far but I'm liking it a lot! The changes in Episode one are a nice surprise, keeping me on my toes :)  And I like the new weapons you've added, that rapid-fire (with cooldown per 4 shots) shotgun thing seems like a lotta fun :)

I also really like the new loading screens, there's so much cool data to read there; which brings me to some feedback, I'd really like to see them for longer as the missions usually load too fast for me to read them! I dunno if there's anyway (without changing FSO) to have a "click to continue button" like some other games do, i.e. once loading is complete you click to enter the action. Eh - not a priority as I can just crack open the VPs to find all the loading screens anyway... but it just seems a shame for all that work to vanish before it can be properly appreciated!

Anyway; looking forward to playing through the rest  :nod: :yes:
Creating a fs2_open.log | Red Alert Bug = Hex Edit | MediaVPs 2014: Bigger HUD gauges | 32bit libs for 64bit Ubuntu
----
Debian Packages (testing/unstable): Freespace2 | wxLauncher
----
m|m: I think I'm suffering from Stockholm syndrome. Bmpman is starting to make sense and it's actually written reasonably well...

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
The combat in WoD is quite enjoyable and the campaign being almost all fighter based puts it right up my alley.  The flight model is a welcome change from the regular FS style and overall WoD really nails the feel of being chaotic (in a good way) but not overly hard (it generally wasn't very hard for me at least).  The ships are all quite pretty and there are a few hilarious moments involving Nordera.
Overall, WoD delivers on the ambitious moments that I expected after playing the previous iterations and improves everything else.
Thanks for this post and for the playtesting. :yes:


Wings of Dawn is kinda what you get when you take super-focused and polished mission design usually found in minicampaigns like Vassago's Dirge and then just make 27 of those.
Its core strengths are definitely ~feel~ and pacing. Everything feels great to do.

The drifty, slidey flight model makes even slower-turning ships feel alive and not totally lethargic like they do in FS. Primaries and missiles consistently look great and feel nice and weighty. Just wailing on things is so satisfying, especially combined with the AI being a big fan of going fast so it never makes itself an easy target. The (swap) system found on the Rays allows you to switch from a 'DPS' weapon to a 'burst' weapon at just the right time with just the right aim and see your target burst in flames. It's one of the coolest things you'll get to do in FSO.

The mission pacing is nice and tight, leaving gaps just long enough for you to rearm and get your bearings and then slowly ramping up in intensity and sometimes cooling down again to prepare you for the chaotic finale.

This is possible because most of the talky character building stuff has been relegated to the VN segments, so you'll never find yourself wanting to skip through 5 minutes of in-mission blabber when all you want is a 2nd chance at shooting down some green bastards.

And those VN segments are really well done, animated apng character portraits really help bring them to life.
If you decide to read through everything they offer they're usually just long enough that being back in your fighter's cockpit feels ~special~ again. For me, they never felt like they were dragging on or wasting my time but still provided an enjoyable break between the action-packed missions.


It's not gonna launch 20000 fan theories on its deep lore like BP. It's not gonna wow everyone with its serious attitude and amazing polish like BtA.
But it will put a smile on your face bigger than anything else. Wings of Dawn is just pure joy combined with child-like wonder as you keep finding new ways in which the team has bent the FSO engine to their will.
To repeat myself here again, thanks for this post and for the playtesting. :yes:
High praise indeed :)

Although I will have to politely disagree with the polish part, aside from the voice acting, I feel like WoD has been polished down to a T. Down to all the nitty gritty details like each species having its own flyby&countermeassure launch sounds, weapon loadout icons, etc.
BtA is fantastic and has indeed a great amount of polish to it, but I don't feel that WoD comes up short in comparsion. (But that's my biased self speaking, who spend this last half year polishing his mod).


My review is going to be spread out, so I'll just keep a running tally.

The look and feel of the combat is still great, more frantic than Vanilla FS2, more shooty, more explodey. The weapon system has been rebalanced to have a combo system of sorts. The big difference between this and the first release of WoD is the overall level of polish, and the re-balanced missions (It's possible to kill things now in the UEU prologue for example thanks to a better primary burst weapon). I'm still only a few missions into the first story arc, but it's been worth the wait. Everyone on this project put their heart and soul into it. WORK was put into the ships, graphics, weapons, and music selection, and it pays off big time.

The characters are endearing, and the world building remains superlative, unchanged from Vanilla WoD. The story tweaks of a more limited Human-Cyrva war, and more human factions help the universe feel bigger and more lived in. I suppose the best compliment I can give is I would totally watch this weird FS2 anime.

The Ophelia mission is a huge improvement. While micromanaging the bombs was interesting, in practice I ending up staring at my keyboard more than the action. The "ace" fight was like, well, a moment out of that other anime simulator that I love, Ace Combat 7.

The colony mission is a nice change of pace, and who doesn't love side quests! I love it when games let you explore the world a bit, "mah immersion," etc.
Another good and encouraging post :yes:
Don't be afraid to just make a new post instead of editing this one. I like getting that little dopamine shot whenever there's a new post :P


I've only played a few missions so far but I'm liking it a lot! The changes in Episode one are a nice surprise, keeping me on my toes :)  And I like the new weapons you've added, that rapid-fire (with cooldown per 4 shots) shotgun thing seems like a lotta fun :)

I also really like the new loading screens, there's so much cool data to read there; which brings me to some feedback, I'd really like to see them for longer as the missions usually load too fast for me to read them! I dunno if there's anyway (without changing FSO) to have a "click to continue button" like some other games do, i.e. once loading is complete you click to enter the action. Eh - not a priority as I can just crack open the VPs to find all the loading screens anyway... but it just seems a shame for all that work to vanish before it can be properly appreciated!

Anyway; looking forward to playing through the rest  :nod: :yes:
Good to hear, good to hear. :)

Yeah, the loading screen "click to continue button" button idea has come up during development. But Axem said that it was unfortunately not possible with how the lua hooks into the game. Alas.
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 0rph3u5

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
I am still at it (I am at the "Mining Mission"), but let me preface any remarks with this: I really would like to see a Rosencrantz and Guildenstern-version of the story :D
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline QuakeIV

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Well, its very videogamey rather than the sortof tense quasi realism other mods go for, but frankly that seemingly worked pretty well.  In fact that may well be neccesary, what with the rampant ineptitude everywhere, the anime tiddies, and the goofy characters.  That having been said I think it was pretty fun, and super well polished, it just requires that you not take it seirously.

 

Offline General Battuta

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Video games are fun, whereas tense quasi realism is not always.

  

Offline Spoon

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Well, its very videogamey rather than the sortof tense quasi realism other mods go for, but frankly that seemingly worked pretty well.
You almost say that like it's some kind of requirement that every single freespace mod ever, must follow the same old 'quasi realism' standard.
I guess it's a good thing WoD merely uses the Freespace engine and isn't bound by any other supposed unwritten freespace modding rules then, because that kind of sounds dreadfully uninspired, uncreative and dull to me.

In fact that may well be neccesary, what with the rampant ineptitude everywhere, the anime tiddies, and the goofy characters.  That having been said I think it was pretty fun, and super well polished, it just requires that you not take it seirously.
Something can be lighthearted and fun, while also being taken seriously. They're not mutually exclusive things, really.
But I'm glad you had fun regardless. :)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 05:03:55 pm by Spoon »
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 Commander Zane

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
That was all? I haven't had my fill yet! ;)

Well worth the wait oh my god.

The expansion to the prelude and actual Episode 1 did well to flesh out that part of the story and really got me into the flow of the revision. I'm obviously going to need to go back to check out the other outcomes since I screwed up some parts not being aware of what would happen if I did certain things, but the fact that even fifteen missions later those actions affected how some of the missions went is absolutely mind-blowing. The added interactive elements to the VN sequences are great, the faction diversity with the characters is great, the combat throughout Episode 2 is a ****ing rush and the cinematics are spectacular. I don't know how I'd word any of this better when I had as much fun with the initial Episode 1 release as I did and find oh look at that, it's even better now.

It's awesome that there's callbacks to some of the original WoD missions, especially since they're much better executed and less restrictive.

Also Mandibles are dicks and **** you for managing to make me tear up to a FreeSpace mod. <3

Seriously, this release is amazing. Don't stop being awesome WoD team.

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
That was all? I haven't had my fill yet! ;)

Well worth the wait oh my god.

The expansion to the prelude and actual Episode 1 did well to flesh out that part of the story and really got me into the flow of the revision. I'm obviously going to need to go back to check out the other outcomes since I screwed up some parts not being aware of what would happen if I did certain things, but the fact that even fifteen missions later those actions affected how some of the missions went is absolutely mind-blowing. The added interactive elements to the VN sequences are great, the faction diversity with the characters is great, the combat throughout Episode 2 is a ****ing rush and the cinematics are spectacular. I don't know how I'd word any of this better when I had as much fun with the initial Episode 1 release as I did and find oh look at that, it's even better now.

It's awesome that there's callbacks to some of the original WoD missions, especially since they're much better executed and less restrictive.

Also Mandibles are dicks and **** you for managing to make me tear up to a FreeSpace mod. <3

Seriously, this release is amazing. Don't stop being awesome WoD team.
Awesome, thanks! 
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 CKid

Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Really enjoyed the remastering of episode 1. Felt it was much more fleshed out story wise and game-play wise. The new missions certainly added some much needed length to the episode. I always felt that the original vision was too short. The mission Holding off the Nordera while the zephyr reaches the node was a welcomed addition.

The return of OldWod characters in NuWod was fantastic. Like meeting up with old friends you haven't seen in years (I guess it has been years), Misuzu and Milkshake personalities are spot on. Misuzu still being the nerdy care-free jokester and Milkshake being blunt and foul-mouthed but now she has a face. Love the chemistry between these two.

The last few missions were damn intense and challenging but not to the point where you were being overwhelmed and losing track of your objectives. That Nordera torpedo barrage was insane and the way you deal with the juggernaut was masterfully done. Those animated cooling pods with all the effects were so "cool" looking.

Well done Spoon and all those involved. I'll be busy doing another couple runs of this campaign cause I still haven't used half of the ships or even a third of the weapons yet. Too much selection!
If I agreed with you, we would both be wrong

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Really enjoyed the remastering of episode 1. Felt it was much more fleshed out story wise and game-play wise. The new missions certainly added some much needed length to the episode. I always felt that the original vision was too short. The mission Holding off the Nordera while the zephyr reaches the node was a welcomed addition.

The return of OldWod characters in NuWod was fantastic. Like meeting up with old friends you haven't seen in years (I guess it has been years), Misuzu and Milkshake personalities are spot on. Misuzu still being the nerdy care-free jokester and Milkshake being blunt and foul-mouthed but now she has a face. Love the chemistry between these two.

The last few missions were damn intense and challenging but not to the point where you were being overwhelmed and losing track of your objectives. That Nordera torpedo barrage was insane and the way you deal with the juggernaut was masterfully done. Those animated cooling pods with all the effects were so "cool" looking.

Well done Spoon and all those involved. I'll be busy doing another couple runs of this campaign cause I still haven't used half of the ships or even a third of the weapons yet. Too much selection!
At the risk of sounding like a broken record: Awesome, Thanks!

If we take the original WoD release date, then it really has been over 8 years since we last saw these characters. (And that's kind of nuts, and it makes me feel really old.)
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 procdrone

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
My review.

How should I even start this... Ill start off by saying I played all Spoon releases in the WoD project. The Original, the old Chapter 1, and now, new Chapter 1&2.

And as a "veteran", I cannot help but notice the amount of retconing going on, with each new entry, A lot of things did change. While I will not blame Spoon, I have to mark this as some thing were just a tad confusing, and in some instances, I was wondering how Spoon will glue on old characters here. Do not get me wrong - its very welcoming to see the old team come together. I don't mean its a bad thing overall, I just had to point it out, since I just couldn't get it out of the back of my head.

While keeping the universe he made coherent, the story got redesigned. Was it for the better? Not able to tell until we see the conclusion to the story. (hopefully)

So far though, I enjoyed it. It builds up decently, and provides answers in its time. Keeps things interesting - and engaging. I couldn't play anything else until i managed to beat WoD. It keeps inside its genre well. (gimme chapter 3 already ;_;)

All these technological improvements like VN menus, animations, art direction... is absolutely of the highest quality. One could write a lot about it, but ill keep it short. Its good. I liked it a lot. Animating characters is surely a big stepup from what we saw previously. Increased art quality all over the board.

[the inclusion of +18 pack also is a very welcome, it adds to VN nature of the project. Handshake, Gentelmen.]

One could think that FS2 engine isn't suited to this kind of abuse. And look at that. Absolutely revolutionary. They got it to work and I haven't crashed A SINGLE TIME.

Given that Axem was on the team, I expected cinematics to be little more dynamic and frequent.(We all seen what this devil is capable of already. He works magic with cinematic events) That wasn't the case but the current cinematics are still on a high level.

While i suffered few technical issues, they weren't serious enough for me to care.
(Like some bullets just going through ship models, or the new control scheme not being applied, but I believe thats because I used an existing pilot account).
That didn't influence my flow one bit. I honestly can't remember any other.

Missions? Dynamic, fast paced, and with purpose. There was a lot going on the screen, and player always had a slice of it. Missions helps story building tremendously and there is never a mission which feels out of place, or you never think... "Why I am doing this?"

I also think that the approach to wing command and AI orders is a welcome addition. You can focus more on actually shooting hostiles, and not sitting back barking orders at escadre of fighters.

Combat in WoD only seen improvement. Damage split is a very nice thing to do. It gives you a lot more weapon options, and a lot of planning. You always have to remember who you are going to shoot and prepare accordingly.

Overall, Technological, Story Telling and Art Direction are obviously superior to past projects, and I am waiting with anticipation, what will come next. I enjoyed my whole time with WoD, and regret nothing.

Its a very good and likeable VN game.

P.S. All hail our Cyrvan overlords!
--Did it! It's RELEASED! VeniceMirror Thread--

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Alright, alright, alright ... I am through.

And you will have an enthusastic and rining endorsement form me.  :yes:

Thank you, Spoon. This has been great and well worth all the anticipation.

...

First off the technical critique:

While Episode 1&2 might be not be flawless, it is very good and polished almost like fine marble.

You kinda have to seperate yourself from the usual Freespace flight model and learn to rely on Glide and directional thrust, but once you do you are having your fun.
I won't say more about internal balancing because I quickly converged on a favorite configuration (in the end it was VK-03N Cannon, VK-03N Energized and two HLP-1 on Ray III-W) and thus didn't play with enough options to truely pass judgement - suffice it say there is an abundance of choice and when I strayed from my comfy Ray III I found every weapon useful in a way.

The mission design is varied but also laser focussed, as already mentioned here, the story was outsourced to the Visual Novel interludes, which are a technical highlight (on the story, a bit more below).

I've have a few technical glitches:
- In the fight against the Contravention, I frequently blew Orphelia up by accident, despite my best intentions to spare her. Splash damage from some explosions I guess (I used the Nuke).
- In "Spirit Quest" I was run over by a wave of ships warping out.
- In "Search and Destroy" the multiple Resupply Drones kept tripping each other up.
- In "Broodwars" some enemy reinforcement reverted to basic AI behavior at great distance and thus did not impact the mission.

There a few quality of life issues that could be resolved better:
- As "Solo Recon" transitions via Red Alert, you can cancel the subspace jump at the end, as usual, but the transition to the next mission will continue away. It was annoying when you fail to catch the message about the bonus objective in time.
- Before "Mining Operation" there is no way to go back to Engineering and build a "shopping list" for yourself once you are through with the Visiual Novel Briefing - a quick "back to menu" step would have been nice.
- I found the descriptor "Ore Status" in the mission specific HUD element confusing. How about something like "Ore Collected"?
- I might have missed it, but is there a ammo counter for weapons in the Loadout menu?
- A HUD indicator that you are in Glide-capable ship would be nice, esspecially in a mission like "Broodwars" where I went every two minutes "right, can't glide".

There is a particular perferencial point I would like to make regarding the use of the MarkBox script. I, at times, found the number of marked ships distracting, esspecially since I was using the HLP-1 and my own targeting groups on top of that (I mean, in my own stuff the HUD now looks quite like this on a not that busy day). It's very much my fault for sticking to my habits, but might serve as food for thought.



The story is ... there is no simple way to summarize how I see the story.

On the one hand, it is accessible and easy to follow. The plotting of both episodes is very much focused on keeping things moving than weaving an intricate yarn. It's is nice in a fashion and really a very good palete cleanser as compared to some stuff that is taking itself too serious.
That's all a compliment - just so you know.


Now I already dropped the refrence to Rosenkranz and Guldenstern Are Dead, and now that I have seen the conclusion of Episode 2, I still think it is still a valid point to bring up - although the urgency I felt earlier is not there anymore.

Let me explain that one: One of the claims to fame Rosenkranz and Guldenstern Are Dead has is it commentary on the Shakespear's Halmet. The play reimagines the events of the original Shakespear tragedy through the eyes of two minor character, and by stripping out most of what is played for just for the benefit of the audience in Halmet and so unknown to characters in the play. This turns the intricately plotted and complex series of events into something incomprehensible and seemingly random (as befitting a tragedy that leaves all its principal characters dead by the time final curtain falls).

To me it feels like something similar is afoot here, as a lot of information is only kept between the Audience, Dawn and first one than two characters - which side note, is not helped by the last two segments of expostions racing past a "show not tell"-sign. And everytime a piece of information spills over to the rest, it does so unquestioned quite a number of times (I was quite suprised that one character in particular doesn't seem to display at least a professional curiosity when her original job-title on the GA would suggests it).  This now may sound like I was the story rewritten into a tale of suspicion, intriuge and shifting loyalities - I don't, I think it is fine as is, esspecially since the narrative does exist in a sphere of suspended plausiblity through its light hearted tone and "kinetic" pace (which is good). However it leaves me concered that might eventually leave everything at an impass at a future date (which would be sad; but is all hypothetical at present).

(Now please scroll back to the top and remember that all that doesn't negate what I said on the outset.)

ps. You did not fanservice yourself out the cold stop that the Combat Simulations represent BTW  :p
« Last Edit: January 01, 2019, 08:24:49 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Spoon

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
My review.

*snip so I don't clutter this thread up too much by quoting all these long and good posts*
Awesome, Thanks! x3 cccccombo

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They got it to work and I haven't crashed A SINGLE TIME.
Honestly, I'm surprised about this too.  :lol:
We had to deal (Axem especially) with some pretty hard to find crashes during development.

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[the inclusion of +18 pack also is a very welcome, it adds to VN nature of the project. Handshake, Gentelmen.]


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Given that Axem was on the team, I expected cinematics to be little more dynamic and frequent.(We all seen what this devil is capable of already. He works magic with cinematic events) That wasn't the case but the current cinematics are still on a high level.
Cinematics in FSO are a lot of educated guess work and are kind of a pain to make. There wasn't too much need for cutscenes, so Axem could be spared a lot of the pain and suffering. :P
Also, I'd argue that the ones he did make, are pretty dynamic. Like the asteroid contravention ambush, that one changes depending on what charges you put down and in which location you put them.

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P.S. All hail our Cyrvan overlords!
Yeah!


*snip again so I don't clutter this thread up too much by quoting all these long and good posts*
Cheers! cccccombo breaker
Lemme elaborate on some bits:
 
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I've have a few technical glitches:
- In the fight against the Contravention, I frequently blew Orphelia up by accident, despite my best intentions to spare her. Splash damage from some explosions I guess (I used the Nuke).
- In "Spirit Quest" I was run over by a wave of ships warping out.
- In "Search and Destroy" the multiple Resupply Drones kept tripping each other up.
- In "Broodwars" some enemy reinforcement reverted to basic AI behavior at great distance and thus did not impact the mission.
1. That's not really a glitch, if she's close to the nuke explosion, then yes, she's going to be exploded.
2. Dive Dive Dive hit your burners, pilot :V
3. Resupply drone a.i. is objectively terrible and they don't need a lot of excuses to trip up on anything :(
4. That's again Freespace a.i. at work. If a ship is set to "attack any target" they only do so within a certain range. If you're very far away from them, they're not going to find a target.

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There a few quality of life issues that could be resolved better:
- As "Solo Recon" transitions via Red Alert, you can cancel the subspace jump at the end, as usual, but the transition to the next mission will continue away. It was annoying when you fail to catch the message about the bonus objective in time.
- Before "Mining Operation" there is no way to go back to Engineering and build a "shopping list" for yourself once you are through with the Visiual Novel Briefing - a quick "back to menu" step would have been nice.
- I found the descriptor "Ore Status" in the mission specific HUD element confusing. How about something like "Ore Collected"?
- I might have missed it, but is there a ammo counter for weapons in the Loadout menu?
- A HUD indicator that you are in Glide-capable ship would be nice, esspecially in a mission like "Broodwars" where I went every two minutes "right, can't glide".
1. There's not really a way to resolve it better, red-alert just ends a mission that way. There's no way to check for "player has cancelled jump attempt" and red-alert needs to trigger a good few seconds earlier than the actual jump out in order to work properly. (It's not great)
2. Yeah, I guess that's a fair point.
3. Sure.
4. Alas no. But I wish there was. I also wish we could display how much ammo was left in a drum for weapons like the vk-01 CIWS etc.
5. The hud is awful to work with, and adding a seperate hud gauge for glide is a lot of effort for very little payoff. The information about a ship being able to glide is already provided in the ship selection screen and if you forget, you could always just hit the glide button ingame to remind yourself.

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There is a particular perferencial point I would like to make regarding the use of the MarkBox script. I, at times, found the number of marked ships distracting, esspecially since I was using the HLP-1 and my own targeting groups on top of that (I mean, in my own stuff the HUD now looks quite like this on a not that busy day). It's very much my fault for sticking to my habits, but might serve as food for thought.
There is alway a fine line to balance on when it comes to these kind of things, for some people it will be information overload, for others you'll not be marking enough priority targets. Finding the perfect balance here is never going to happen, but I feel WoD has managed to get it overall 'good enough'.

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Let me explain that one: One of the claims to fame Rosenkranz and Guldenstern Are Dead has is it commentary on the Shakespear's Halmet. The play reimagines the events of the original Shakespear tragedy through the eyes of two minor character, and by stripping out most of what is played for just for the benefit of the audience in Halmet and so unknown to characters in the play. This turns the intricately plotted and complex series of events into something incomprehensible and seemingly random (as befitting a tragedy that leaves all its principal characters dead by the time final curtain falls).

To me it feels like something similar is afoot here, as a lot of information is only kept between the Audience, Dawn and first one than two characters.
I don't think that really applies here. Now I don't know all that much about Hamlet, so maybe what I'm about to say misses the point. But if you take Episode 2, there's two story threads going on.
- The Guardian Angel and its crew must fight their way out of the system, back into friendly space.
- Dawn's discovery of herself and her abilities.
If you'd view the story through say, the eyes of Milkshake and Rose. The GA story line would still remain completely intact and Dawn's story line would be mostly invisible and irrelevant to them.

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which side note, is not helped by the last two segments of expostions racing past a "show not tell"-sign.
Eventually you come to a point in development where you have to make choices based on budget. Be that monetary or motivational. In my case, I had run out of motivational energy. 'Showing' Acella's exposition through a cutscene or something akin to that, would have taken a significant amount of extra time and energy because it would have required a substantial amount of new 2d and/or 3d assets.

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ps. You did not fanservice yourself out the cold stop that the Combat Simulations represent BTW
The simulator missions are 'filler' missions, added with the express purpose of giving the player more time to play around with the various weapons and ships. Sure they don't advance the plot, but they don't have to.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 04:44:46 pm by Spoon »
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 General Battuta

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
Could you make the resupply drones no-collide? If they're little maybe nobody would notice >.>

 

Offline 0rph3u5

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
*converstation that started with a Hamlet-reference cut for time*

You are not far off target. (I was afraid that the reference would be much of a projection from the cluttered interior of my head to be comprehensible)

I just can't help but project a hypothetical of the two paralell story threads intersecting (Mathematically paralells intersect in the infinite, in Carthesian Space) and how much future work could be done right now but a few minor and yet relatable scenes* - but maybe I am just thinking of stuff that is going to happen in a future release anyway or, more likely, I am drawning the boundaries between"normal for the characters in the story" and "new information for the audience" all wrong...

*to spell out my earlier reference to a character:
Hidden Text: unwanted suggestions • Show
Invidia is introduced as GA's Science Officer, although she quickly re-assigned to the job of Communications Officer. Now assuming that her previous position was based on apptitude and preferrence, instead of cosmic comedy, you could be right to assume that after they knocked down some interpersonal boundaries between each other during the Combat Simulations, either Dawn or Invidia would seek each other out to indulge in some curiosity. Honi soit qui mal y pense.
For Dawn, this might just be to get some information she wouldn't get out Kunoichi or an additional perspective on what has happend to her so far. While in turn for Invidia, it might a welcome turn to her assigned job "that doesn't involve going through alien scrap metal for Leona".

Such a scene wouldn't have to be extensive or worldshapping; I am thinking of 2-3 lines lead in, fade-to-black, 1 line Narrator Summary ("We talked. Now she/I know(s)."), fade-back-in, 2-3 lines of "thank you"s and "goodbye"s.  It would make minimal connection between story lines (that could escalate unseen yet without need for major explaination, Invidia is the one person everyone in the speaking cast interacts with naturally), lay some ground work for what possible opinions on the current events might come up in the future by giving the audience an additional indication what is "expected knowledge" for the characters that are not Dawn, and finally humanize both Dawn and Invidia a bit.


There is also another scene I came up with, but that would be more a shoe-in for story re-cap at the start of Episode 3: Suzume having to write the after action report on the Events of Epsiode 2 for whoever sits further up in the chain of command, and calling in Dawn for an interview because Suzume needs to make report in accordance with regulations, and so needs to figure out a way to frame events just right and to help her do that she needs Dawn to recount key moments.
You can turn this scene easily into a farce about overexplaining things and give a wink and nod to the audience here with regards to tone and suspension of disbelieve. Again it would establish a boundary of expected knowledge and run through a quick sample of how you want the audience to frame events.

LATE ARRIVING EDIT: If you are willing you to play fast and loose with the sequence you could expand that scene to the entire speaking cast; kinda a greatest hits of the same interview Suzume would have with every other character. That would also double as a nice way to reintroduce all characters and/or explain a few absenses that happen if time moves fowards unseen.)

*Conversation about "Show not Tell" cut for time*

I know that all too well ... but in terms of cutting it might have served to leave out a number of details that until now don't connect to anything yet. A lot the exposition does connect to Dawn's story substatially, which then make the stuff that is "just hanging there" stick out to me.
Now granted my comforts about "floating bits of exposition" is not be taking as a universal standard; my imagination is a restless and overeager after all. Also my appraisal might very well change once what's "floating" now does connect to something in future releases.

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ps. You did not fanservice yourself out the cold stop that the Combat Simulations represent BTW
The simulator missions are 'filler' missions, added with the express purpose of giving the player more time to play around with the various weapons and ships. Sure they don't advance the plot, but they don't have to.

I understood that perfectly, and that's the  reason why it is the postscript; but I also remember what you said in another discussion.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2019, 08:22:52 pm by 0rph3u5 »
"When you work with water, you have to know and respect it. When you labour to subdue it, you have to understand that one day it may rise up and turn all your labours into nothing. For what is water, which seeks to make all things level, which has no taste or colour of its own, but a liquid form of Nothing?" - Graham Swift, Waterland

"As you sought to steal a kingdom for yourself, so must you do again, a thousand times over. For a theft, a true theft, must be practiced to be earned." - The terms of Nysa's curse, Pathfinder: Kingmaker

"...because they are not Dragons."

 

Offline Rhymes

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Re: Reviews and Feedback thread Episode 1 & 2
I'm about halfway through the campaign, and got to the simulator missions. I thought I'd take some time and share my thoughts thus far.

Story
I played the original Wings of Dawn, and I enjoyed it, but I was never very engaged in the story--I felt it threw a lot of faces and factions at the player without giving the player a lot of time to get familiar with each of them, or even a subset, in sequence. When nuWoD 1 came out, I was really impressed not only with the extra depth the setting had gotten in the remake, but with its story pacing and how the new character introductions were handled, and that holds true here. The story is well paced, the characters are interesting and each of them has a unique voice, and I found that I was really interested in interacting with all these different people and finding out about them.

Visuals

Not sure what to say here other than it's gorgeous. Every faction's ships are unique and polished. The weapon effects look great, especially anything with a lot of smoke, and the character animations look awesome--the degree of improvement between original WoD and this is massive, and I love it.

Sound
ANIME SFX EVERYWHERE!/s

Actually though, the sound effects and music is well chosen, the timing is great, and it generally does an excellent job of capturing that sci-fi anime feel. I'm not personally a huge fan of anime weapon sounds in general (I think a lot of them lack body in the lower register--too much pew, not enough boom), but that's entirely a case of personal preference. With the stylistic choices being made here in mind, they do an excellent job. Also I love the second main hall tune--it's great.

Gameplay

Combat first.

Flying in WoD is pretty different from vanilla FS2, with greater speeds, most ships having glide, reverse thrust, and some even getting lateral thrust, and auto-equalizing shields, it definitely takes a little getting used to. However, after taking the first couple of missions to familiarize, I quickly got the hang of it, and I appreciate the variety it brings from regular FS2 gameplay.

Secondaries are very powerful, more so even than in vanilla FS2, but primaries are way more versatile, and the wide variety of options (which starts with a decent spread and then expands wildly as the campaign progresses) gives a lot of room for experimentation and for the player to find options that they like. I, for example, absolutely love the homing laser pod, even if it's not the "best" weapon. The different damage types also add an extra layer of strategy to my loadout selection, which is also nice.

The missions are well planned and paced, and I liked having the multiple options for the early missions, with the persistent choices carrying over into subsequent engagements. I've noticed that the choices seemed to drop off once I got into episode 2--not sure if that's just me or if I haven't seen any others yet.

One thing I'm not super thrilled with is the fact that, up to this point, I rarely if ever had an option to adjust wingmate loadouts, and I've only been able to give orders to my wingmen a couple of times. Frankly, it's  a little frustrating to not be able to yell at Tempest or Misu or whoever to give me some goddamn cover. Furthermore, it's not always clear when I'm able to call in support to rearm/repair and when I'm not, and sometimes I'll be able to only to lose it later on in the mission for reasons I don't get.

One other quibble--the cracks in the screen when I take too much damage are cool. Having them show up in the center of the screen when I'm trying to aim is not.

Visual novel:

These segments are a great way to break up the constant stream of combat, and do an excellent job exploring characters, explain parts of the setting, and generally fill in the gaps. It's solidly executed, and I enjoy them a lot. The writing's not perfect on a technical level, but the ideas and characters are interesting enough, and the execution is solid enough, that I don't mind (and that's not easy for me to do, which is a testament to how much I'm enjoying what's here).

Thoughts so far:

Up to this point, I've had a blast. I've been really excited for episode 2 ever since I played nuWoD 1, and up to this point it's met or exceeded my expectations.

But.

As I said, I've just gotten to the simulator missions, and the whole experience just came to a crashing halt on the first sim mission.

Holy **** do I hate this mission.

Up to this point, the campaign's done a great job of making every mission feel justified, as a natural consequence of the things that happened previously. Even something as mundane as retrieving supplies from a space station makes sense--the Guardian Angel had to leave dock quickly and needs to stock up on equipment and get all its systems online. This mission doesn't--the justification is "we have some downtime so we're going to throw the pilots into a simulator," which means that there's no story to reinforce the fun of the mission if the gameplay doesn't hold up as well.

And oh boy does the gameplay fall apart here. The enemy starts with an entire fleet and the player gets basically nothing--a couple of wings of fighters that the player can't even order around. The points system, while a neat idea, fails in execution because the fighters get chewed up too much by the AI for the player to get points for killing them. And yet, even though the AI is great at stealing points from the player, they do a piss poor job of protecting the player from enemy fighters. Since the primary target is a carrier, and the friendly carrier is so far away, the player has no chance of getting any fire support to keep the enemy off of you once the carrier starts launching more fighters. To top it all off, there's no support ship, so the only way to rearm or repair is to save up points and try to swap for another fighter, which means reinforcements either come later, or not at all.

It's not fun, and it feels pointless. I rarely if ever skip missions, but after dying like 10 times on this mission I finally broke down and used the skip mission option, only to hop into a second simulator mission, and when I saw in the tech room that there was a third on the way, I had to stop--the thought of dealing with another mission like that just repulsed me. I'm not sure whether I'm going to try to get through it the normal way or not. I've been really enjoying the campaign up till now, and I don't want to abandon it just because of this segment, but I really, really, really did not have fun here.
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