Say hypothetically...

Talk about all things to do with the acclaimed 4X title.

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Cpt. Awesome
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Cpt. Awesome » Thu Feb 21, 2019 2:21 am

THIEFs wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 8:28 am
I do not understand other player obsession with "I want all tech researchable"... SOTS 1 provided much bigger replay variety, as each game may have significantly different play... you had to play with what you get.. and there is no guarantee that you will get that one uber tech you always love to use. But there were too many other players crying and the "fixed/guaranteed techs" got implemented.
It's simple. Every kid wants all the colours of playdough. If they actually get it, they quickly wonder what the hell are they gonna do with a giant grey lump after a few min.

Limitation is where things get interesting, but nobody likes the idea of being limited.

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rytram
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by rytram » Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:06 am

Mecron wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:47 pm
"additionally, i know i stated this before somewhere. but allowing the salvaged tech to rebirth that tree/branch would be massively appreciated. after all when the tech is reverse engineered it should provide insight into where you failed before. newer understandings and all."

...this is what is known as "I want candy that won't make me fat!" fan design requests.
welp. clearly Mecron doesn't agree. NEXT!

honestly, i do get it. it'd probably be boring if we had access to all tech. tho i didnt feel that was exactly what i was suggesting. after all. it isnt guaranteed we would get said techs from salvage at all. additionally, salvage missions still take a long ass time. and lastly, you could always still fail said tree again. which is likely because if a race such as Hivers are not good with energy tech and i salvaged an energy tech. lets say Light emitters. i would still have a 30% chance of success and a 70% chance to fail the next emitter anyway. so i really dont see how that candy is going to make me fat. especially if i already have to run a marathon just to get the tech from salvage in the first place. agree to disagree. additionally. in SoTS 2 with the feasibility one could fail a tech yet have multiple chances to research it later again with new feasibility studies.
Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war!

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fivve
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by fivve » Sun Feb 24, 2019 8:35 am

Mecron was kind enough to make the techtree easy to mod so everyone who wanted to have all techs can just edit the techtree file.

Any thoughts on diplomacy? I tend to find diplomacy a very difficult area to work with as I tend to lack diplomatic skills?

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MoRmEnGiL
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by MoRmEnGiL » Mon Feb 25, 2019 4:24 am

I do agree about the tech tree, SotS1 had the single best tech tree I have ever encountered in any game. When I first played the game, the randomness, weird unconventional connections between techs (as opposed to boring linear stuff) and the huge jump in research time from fission fusion am, plus the fact that some races had guaranteed techs that others only had a chance at, all these things blew my mind. I definitely vote for the carousel style representation of the tech forest (I failed to resist using that term, sorry)

My one major UI hurdle as far as sots1 goes, is how chaotic it can become on the galaxy screen when playing as humans. I had quite a bit of trouble figuring out what is going on if the galaxy type was not sufficiently compartmentalised, which is why I only played humans on stuff like cluster maps or so. Not sure how, or even if, that spaghetti mess can even be improved, I suspect that this is simply the nature of trying to portray a 3d map on a 2d monitor..
War..
War never changes..

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functional
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by functional » Mon Mar 04, 2019 9:00 am

Mecron wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:17 pm
Its an idea that did not survive implementation. If we could have merged them we would have but the information needs of the 2 different screens always overwhelms screen real estate.
While I'm sure this will absolutely never happen, but honestly it would be amazing to see for once a game that actually supports two screens. Though it's obvious why smaller studios would not do it: you still have to design an interface for only one screen and as such, you're just doing more work for the convenience of a fairly small playerbase. But it does surprise me why larger studios have never considered the possibility, especially in non-competitive games.

Anyhoo, if it's of any relevancy anymore, the original hypothetical. If, hypothetically speaking, such a scenario were to occur, I'd be pleasantly surprised with graphics update and UI update. With these, I think I could get friends who have never played the series to give it a try as well.

For a more personal wishlist, I actually really liked the inactive ship & fleet management system of SotS2. While I suspect a lot of people didn't, I would suspect it had a lot to do with its potential to give you RSI on larger maps (similar theme existed with station management). At the core of it, it was still a great system due to how straightforwardly you could see the supply limitations and the actual fleet size you would have in combat. And fleets felt more personal, as you'd use different designs for different purposes.

I can't remember that well anymore whenever SotS Prime had a lot of repetitive tasks, but in general avoiding those would be awesome. For example, standard UI design stuff such as ctrl/shift + click to select multiple items and an action that concerns all of them. This has the potential to save so many unnecessary clicks which is important when you scale the size of the game (i.e. larger maps where you control ridiculous amount of ships).

Lastly, get rid of unnecessary micromanagement if any exists. If I remember correctly, SotS Prime didn't really have station modules for example. But station modules are the perfect example of unnecessary micromanagement: they added very little to the gameplay with the exception of mundane micromanagement. The only stations where modules made sense were research stations, because you could choose a path. But even in them, it would have been better to just dedicate the station to a path rather than deciding it through modules. Same issue is with trade: it's better to stick with the core idea of dedicating some resources of planets to trade and the piracy mechanism that you have to deal with or suffer loss in trade profits. Making it more complicated than that with actual trade ships, trade docks et cetera just doesn't really add all that much value to the gameplay. It's been now nearly 10 years since I've played actively SotS Prime, so I really can't remember enough how things were in there. But I think honestly these issues are present in almost any given 4X game.
Upon a gate of light barrier, faces that have been forced into metal
The infinite calmness in their eyes
The bronze expressions, never changing, unfamiliar
All the horror that always and only continues

But it's a dream, only a dream
Everything a dream faraway here
On the other side of any comfort
Banished from the beaches of beauty

As the elders of council decided to force me into an experiment
I took the assignment and disappeared on the deck of their most beautiful ship

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Cainan
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Cainan » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:09 am

Mecron wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 9:39 pm
I preferred the carousel arrangement as well but it was something we changed because of fan feedback.
We were wrong! :)

Seriously though, I saw first-hand a newbie experiencing difficulty figuring out the tech carousel. But i don't think it was a failing of the carousel, but a minor fail on the part of the UI. Once i explained the navigation, they took to it immediately. they just needed some hint to get them started.
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willdieh
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by willdieh » Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:06 pm

UIs should be designed to not need hints to understand...

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Cainan
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Cainan » Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:35 pm

willdieh wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:06 pm
UIs should be designed to not need hints to understand...
Thanks for volunteering to design all future UIs for Kerb.
I bet they will really appreciate your properly designed UI elements.

:)
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Cpt. Awesome
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Cpt. Awesome » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:13 am

willdieh wrote:
Tue Mar 05, 2019 3:06 pm
UIs should be designed to not need hints to understand...
Average Reviewer "In this day and age it is unacceptable for a 4x game to not have pop-up tooltips for every pixel. 5.5/10" :googly:

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willdieh
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by willdieh » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:09 am

I don't think we need tool tips to have a good UI. You need logical layout with relevant information in appropriate places. SOTS1 had a fantastic UI! With perhaps the exception of Trade (but the dedicated Trade screen made up for the lack of info on the Starmap) everything you needed to know was displayed on the screen where you needed it.

SOTS2 is an example of a more, shall we say, unpolished UI. Things like fleet travel times, distances, colony, political, and trade information are all hidden in submenus or two to three clicks away from the main screen. There was a LOT more information to deal with in SOTS2 (bio/psionics, fleet supply, admiral age/traits, province information, etc) and I think in time it would have all been easily visible to the player, but as released it's all hidden away in nooks and crannies.

The best thing about SOTS1 was exactly how it was advertised: Extreme depth but simple to use UI.

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Cpt. Awesome
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Cpt. Awesome » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:11 am

My tongue in cheek comment aside...I don't disagree.

My point is that it is easy to talk about ideal principles of UI, but can get extremely expensive to develop and implement.

What I would consider an asset is that many of the features that came out during expansions can be planned for from the start.

The hypothetical remake is only a twinkle in Kerb's eye right now. It would be a major victory to just re-make the game "as was" in a modern engine with updated assets; plus maybe some low hanging fruit in the form of re-balancing to account for years of gameplay experience and changes of physics engine behavior.

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functional
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by functional » Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:26 pm

willdieh wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:09 am
SOTS2 is an example of a more, shall we say, unpolished UI. Things like fleet travel times, distances, colony, political, and trade information are all hidden in submenus or two to three clicks away from the main screen. There was a LOT more information to deal with in SOTS2 (bio/psionics, fleet supply, admiral age/traits, province information, etc) and I think in time it would have all been easily visible to the player, but as released it's all hidden away in nooks and crannies.
The more complexity there is, the more information your UI has to pack. In fact if anything, SotS2 actually lacked tooltips because, for example, a newer player would have hard time understanding how endurance worked. Especially because they didn't visibly consolidate endurance into fleet endurance which meant that things such as ram scoop weren't entirely straightforward to understand.

Either way, a polished UI was probably not on top priority with SotS2 release which means bringing that up is more or less pointless.

Also, you should understand that there's different ideas in UI design. UI might be logical and accessible and yet takes a long time to learn if there's no manual and/or comprehensive tutorial system (depending on the complexity of the system you're supposed to operate, in this case a game). The purpose of tooltips in such scenario is that you'll learn about the game mechanics while playing the game (rather than reading about them outside of the game). Total War: Warhammer had solved this issue nicely by including a codex into the game which made a lot of sense. In a way, it's like combining the idea of a manual with the idea of context-based tooltips since there were embedded links everywhere to relevant sections of the codex. Not the first game to do so as far as I know, but I really wish that would become the standard especially for 4X games.

But sadly SotS has also lot of things that are best demonstrated not through a tooltip but rather through gameplay mechanics themselves. SotS2 had "simulation" in ship designer which was nice thing. That idea could be further refined into C3 tech where you could broaden the simulation: freedom of movement, target practice ships, enemy ship designs etc. That environment could allow you to test most things if it was refined far enough.
Upon a gate of light barrier, faces that have been forced into metal
The infinite calmness in their eyes
The bronze expressions, never changing, unfamiliar
All the horror that always and only continues

But it's a dream, only a dream
Everything a dream faraway here
On the other side of any comfort
Banished from the beaches of beauty

As the elders of council decided to force me into an experiment
I took the assignment and disappeared on the deck of their most beautiful ship

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willdieh
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by willdieh » Fri Mar 08, 2019 12:15 am

functional wrote:
Wed Mar 06, 2019 4:26 pm
SotS2 had "simulation" in ship designer which was nice thing. That idea could be further refined into C3 tech where you could broaden the simulation: freedom of movement, target practice ships, enemy ship designs etc. That environment could allow you to test most things if it was refined far enough.
Simulation mode but no firing arcs on screen... Nor in the ship designer. That, I did not understand. Such a key piece of information. Best you got was range circles in combat when hovering over weapon icons.

It was a cool idea though and I liked the "Fire xxx missiles" option for testing PD. Be nice if they had a more advanced simulator that could (perhaps with proper tech tree advances) include "holographic" decoys of enemies with their stats and armor, while showing DPS and enemy armor penetration (along with firing arcs of course).

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Mecron
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Mecron » Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:48 pm

there was firing arcs

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Slashman
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Re: Say hypothetically...

Post by Slashman » Sun Mar 10, 2019 1:18 pm

Mecron wrote:
Sat Mar 09, 2019 11:48 pm
there was firing arcs
Yep I distinctly remember when they went into the game.
If you want a different perspective, stand on your head.

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