Just played 0.9.3 and some comments

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Just played 0.9.3 and some comments

Post by esper256 » Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:28 pm

Great improvements so far.

After some time in the game here's what immediately lept out at me. I know your time is limited so I've included more thorough recommendations that are very minor at the end. So you can skip those.

Low hanging fruit (stuff you might already know about, but to my eyes completely prohibits play, although very easy to fix)
  • Improvement: Right click to recenter map. I recommend recenter map without any animation or scrolling. I simply can't get around on the map. Moving the mouse to the edge of the screen is a terrible navigation mechanism. Especially since playing in windowed mode is an option. If you want to break away from the original and do it yourself you could consider a different option. Left click drags the land around. So you click on a tile, and you move the mouse right, moves the world to the right and essentially your POV moves to the left. Then this conflicts with the unit Go To path setting. This would have to change to a right click on the land with a psuedo context sensitve menu. So you click your army. Select which units you want to issue the command to. Then you use the left click and drag the world around to find the square they should go to. Then you right click on the square and select "travel here". Right click would then conflict with entering cities, and that would have to change to left click. OK so that's all very complicated but it could work. I think right click world re-centering is the way to go. Sorry for the verbosity.
  • Improvement: Unit move animation speed is way too slow. Units should move from one square to another in no less than 100 milliseconds in my opinion. (you added keyboard movement (yay!) which in addition to this will make moving 20 units a turn a snap!)
  • Improvement: Map scroll speed. When focusing on next unit to move map moves absurdly slow. Ultimately if you insist on doing map scrolling then the scroll speed might start slowish but then quickly increase until the halfway point then slow back down. So continual scroll acceleration until halfway point, then continual deceleration.
  • Bug Fix: Map occasionally decides to scroll the wrong horizontal direction to find the next unit to control. Wrapping all the way around the map. This obviously has something to do with the seam in the map that wraps the map.

    assume seam of map is located so that the x coordinate of -1 and MapWidth-1 is the same square. Essentially the seam of the map is on the left edge of squares with x coord=0

    Code: Select all

    //current window center position is windowx, windowy
    void scrollTOSquare(int squarex, int squarey) {
            int xdirection = 0;
            int ydirection = 0;
            if(squarey < windowy)
                    ydirection = -1; // up
                    ydirection = 1; //down
            if(squarex < windowx)
                    xdirection = -1; //left
                    xdirection = 1; //right
            int xdist = abs(squarex - windowx); //distance without wrapping
            int xdistwrap = MapWidth - xdist; //distance if we do wrap
    	//shortcut if we wrap around the seam of the world
            if(xdistwrap < xdist)
                    xdirection = 0 - xdirection; //go the other way! it's faster	
            //Do some rudimentary animation speed acceleration
            int scrollSpeed = CONFIG_MINIMUM_SCROLL_SPEED;
            int squaresToMove = max(xdist, xdistwrap, abs(squarey - windowy));
            int movedSoFar = 0;
    	while(windowy != squarey || windowx != squarex)
    		if(windowy != squarey)
    			windowy += ydirection;
    		if(windowx != squarex)
    			windowx += xdirection;		
                    if(movedSoFar <= squaresToMove / 2) //round down
                          scrollSpeed += CONFIG_SCROLL_ACCELERATION;
                    if(movedSoFar >= squaresToMove - (squaresToMove / 2)) //round down
                          scrollSpeed -= CONFIG_SCROLL_ACCELERATION;
    The code is probably not right, because it's dealing with map squares. where really after you figure out which direction you are scrolling, you want to convert that into pixel by pixel movement, then scroll speed can smoothly ramp up on a per pixel basis, instead of the speed changing jerkily only on a square to square basis. But introducing square to pixel conversions would unnecessarily complicate the sample code
Signifantly would improve gameplay:
  • Lair treasure
MINOR improvements:
  • Spell book should open to research page if no spell is selected for research
  • Modal dialog scroll windows should be closable by clicking outside of the scroll, not just on the top or bottom
  • Combat: When mousing over units you can't see how hurt they are. I think the green/yellow then red life bar was useful all the time in the original.
  • Bug. Clicked a map square below and to the right of my unit. Saw an animation of my unit moving down and to the left. After animation was completed, my unit appeared in the actual spot I had clicked. Doesn't happen every time. Not sure what sets it off. I saw this again moving up and to the right.. Instead my unit animated up and to the left before ending up on the correct square.
  • Suggestion: In the turn box I can see that I am playing against LoPan as he takes his turn before I've met him. When AI players are introduced have it be "Unknown" taking its turn perhaps.
  • Suggestion: When you click the (i) logo for the advisor list. There's no way to close it without picking one (no cancel).
  • Suggestion: In city production window consider having the name of the building and not just the picture?
  • Suggestion: when taking an empty monster lair. The screen scrolls away to the next unit before it shows your unit actually taking up that square. You miss a bit of that satisfaction of seeing your unit move into that square.
Stuff that you've ventured away from the original that I think is right on and doesn't detract from the game at all and I think deserves some applause
  • The arrows in between the boot icons in the go to trail for a unit
  • When scouting a lair, you get to see what's inside on the world map.
  • The added info on all the help screens.
  • The added info everywhere. Turn #, max pop size in cities.
One change you've made that *doesn't* make sense to me:
In hard or impossible. It makes sense that 80% of the neutral cities are smaller. The larger the neutral cities the easier the game is. You do 11 books. You summon a 2nd or 3rd tier creature to your army in about 10 turns. Hopefully they have flying and at least 2 moves. You now conquer the entire world of neutral cities (for wraiths this is completely a given at any difficulty). Now the enemy wizards are still challenging. Even though now you have like 12 cities and they each have about 6 (depending on land size). But if my 12 cities were big like 10k people? Wow the game would be easier. At least that's one way to look at it.

All I'm saying is that might be an angle you hadn't considered when tweaking those values for MoMIME. The raider cities are an advantage to the player not the AI wizards. imagine playing with no raider cities! That would be so hard IMHO!

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Re: Just played 0.9.3 and some comments

Post by klausbreuer » Mon Oct 20, 2008 2:58 pm

Whooo, I agree with nearly the entire post - in fact, I wanted to post on most of these points myself :D

One thing I do not agree with: scrolling the map using the left mouse button.
Let's not change the UI too much - but perhaps a [Ctrl]+[LMouse] wou d do the trick? Because esper256 *is* right, you know: moving around on the map is veeeeerrrryyy ssslllloooooowwww...

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