Getting to know Team Assault

Team Assault is a 3D turn based tactical game where players fight in close combat action at a squad level.

Moderators: Slitherine Core, Team Assault Design, Zeal

Post Reply
nomet
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:32 pm

Getting to know Team Assault

Post by nomet » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:08 pm

Here is a video with some more details of how team assault works.

http://www.teamassault-game.com/dow/Video_01.7z


Here is a streaming version:

https://vimeo.com/39688010

Xerkis
Major-General - Tiger I
Major-General - Tiger I
Posts: 2312
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Northeast, USA

Re: Getting to know Team Assault

Post by Xerkis » Mon Apr 02, 2012 4:35 pm

Pros that I saw:
A good taste of the game!
Something to get people interested and wanting more.
Excellent paced.

Cons that I saw:
Voice was a bit too quiet.
This is most likely just my poor graphic laptop – but at 04:40 and a big time at 16:10 and actually a few other times too I had a lot of screen flicker (stripe lines down the screen) and sometimes total screen distortion.
No need to show everything about the game – but perhaps at least show medkit and the importance of healing or what happens if you don’t.
Maybe a bit more of an overview of what the difference is between the game types.

All in all – very good. Thanks.

boerkameel
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Getting to know Team Assault

Post by boerkameel » Sat Apr 07, 2012 2:28 pm

I do not like this video.
For me directly that does not matter, as I've experimented with the showed topics myself. But as I like this video to attract a lot of new players and make them battle ready, I'm taking a very critical approach to it.

I work in a TV and radio production company, and have been a technical chief for a radio station for 3 years. That may make me a bit more nitpicky on this topic then others. I hope you don't find this hard, I'm trying to constructively help you make others see the game as I do.

General feel
---------------

In general, the voice over is not good. I think you have recorded it in one go, in a language that is not your own, while trying to remember what you have to say and may not forget to mention. This makes the narration slow and hesitant, which makes it hard for the viewer/listener to keep his attention focussed.
Many people like to watch these kind of gameplay intros before buying. Keep in mind that this may be the very first thing someone sees of TA. Don't risk him being confused in the first 2 minutes and clicking the video away, looking for some other game to spend his cash on. Explain to-the-point in a firm voice. Cover details briefly. Be specific. Refer to what you said earlier, this makes it easier for people to remember (we remember everything by linking new to previous information).

Think clearly about who you're targeting. Someone who played the game once, someone who's interested in buying because he loves TBS WW2 games, or someone who's a casual gamer that is trying to find out what this game/genre is.
What good radio hosts often do, is picture 3 people from their target audience sitting in front of them. You can do the same: pick 3 people, one being one of your friends, one an acquaintance that likes WW2 strategy games, and the last one someone new to the genre but willing to try it out. Imagine you're explaining the game to them. The friend is enthusiastic, but you'll have to convince the others why this game is so good they should try it. Or, provide enough details so person 3 can realize it's not his type of game, and he won't make a bad purchase and come pollute our message boards with his rants :p



Some examples:

Around 1:00 I think it would be more interesting to click on the Force Builder, shows it opens a second screen, briefly say "this is the force builder where you can customize your troops. I'll return to the game now, the FB is covered in another video and the help files. Remember for now that a lot of fun comes from adapting troops to your play style, but I recommend you to use the predefined squads first to get a hang of the game". Don't leave people wondering what the button does, it distracts them from what you're telling next.

You say "here is a list of predetermined teams. You can build your own later". When is later, in a DLC package? With modding tools? next year?
Refer your previous topic instead: "You see a list of predetermined teams. These are the ones you can customize in the FB I've shown. Or, when you create your own squads, they will also be listed here".
It's hard to find a balance between leaving the viewer to fill in blanks, and being so informative that you're insulting someone's intellect. I feel you're tending towards the first more, this is not enough information.

Around 2:00 "there are a lot of maps, and we will release a level editor". This is vague: what is "a lot"? Why mention there will be a level editor so soon, this makes it sound as if there aren't a lot of maps at all and I'll have to build my own when an editor is released.
I recommend getting immediately to the point: "there are # maps in the game, varying in scale between small, medium and large. This will allow you to control game length. An editor will be released to share custom maps with the community".

"I will choose random map. ... Because I like random map".
Ok, this tells me what?

4:00: when going over the weapon stats, get to the point. Make an example between the pinning modifier of a SMG versus a MG, and mention "there are enough stats for you tweakers out there to experiment with. Every weapon effects the opponent differently, from armor penetration range to morale damage. If this isn't your thing, no problem: just ignore that for now, and get a feel for the weapons by using them. You'll see what they do soon enough".


Information
--------------

The main goal is informing your (potential) players. I see some topics with which the players are struggling now not being covered in detail in the game. Some examples:

8:50 and onwards:
- Deploy a force with at least one airdrop squad, showing the difference in drop range. To me, this was an important discovery.
- When showing where you deploy your troops, point at the enemy drop zone again, tell the viewer "remember, this is where the enemy will drop". You know the map and this tactical information, a newbie is trying to process all this new info and may be disoriented by all your map scrolling and rotating.
- You immediately start talking about camera control and control range of Capture Points. What is a capture point? Why would I be interested in them? Start by saying it's goal, then people know immediately why it's important to know what their range are and how to focus the camera on them. You start talking about it at 15:00, that's way too late, at this time I'm not even sure what the goal of this game/map is.
- you mouse-over an ammo dump. Explain briefly "this is not a capture point, this is an ammo dump. Get at least one soldier of a squad into it's control range to let the squad restock their ammo".
9:50: here you mention "the enemy can see you here". Focus the camera again on the enemy drop zone, and show how you think the enemy could walk. Try and trigger the viewer's strategic insight.

At around 12:00 you should focus more on the walking/running aspect. It's not at all clear to someone that does not understand the game.
Eg: "here you see a white dotted line. This means the squad will walk, leaving them with action points to shoot or take cover after their move. Now you see the dotted line turns blue. This will make my squad sprint, diminishing their fatigue, and leaving them without an action at the end of the sprint".
Also mention cover here, leaving the squads in the open is dangerous. This isn't such a good map to demonstrate it, except if you equip that MG squad with parachutes and have them sprint to the LV2 cover barrels besides the fence (or the sandbags behind the train).
Alternatively, you can have 2 squads sprint to cover, one behind the sandbags, the other behind the barrels. That will show the LOS difference more clearly, as the derailed train blocks LOS for the sandbag squad.
Explain the toggling of run/walk with the button in the gui, to not accidentally waste an action. You could say "I accidentally made my men run once, wasting their action, and leaving them in front of an enemy team. Which did not make me a happy camper. Use the buttons here to force your squad to walk, and you'll avoid repeating my kamikaze run". Some humour and self-relativation is good for bonding with the viewer :) (above happened to me quite a few times, tbh).

15:50: Mention the green LOS line is a lot clearer ingame, it's due to the streaming video that we can't see it clearly.
You say "if it's red, he can't see them". If they can't see them, pressing control won't show a line. If you have them selected and hover over the enemy, it shows a grey line, not a red one. Or I'm completely confused here.
This is a good moment to show what the H key does.
Also, focus the camera on the enemy when counter firing. Show the hit % per soldier and explain why it's low (running). With the camera there, it's much clearer to see you don't hit but cause massive morale damage. You go on about morale specifics, start by explaining what it is and why I would find it important.

16:57: "I hope I don't take enough stamina from them before they get into battle". Why? What is stamina? How will it affect me?
eg: "As you see in these messages, and in the blue bar, stamina is decreased by running. When it's low, it will impact morale. When it's depleted, your men won't be able to run until they have recovered their stamina. It refreshes every turn they stay immobile".
It's good to refer to your relationship with your men! It is how the viewer will relate to you. In this example you could add "I've placed them a bit in the open here, only this guys is behind cover. As you can see by the yellow shield. If an enemy pops behind the corner, he'll have a clear shot at my other men". Explain the different kinds of cover and what they do. Explain the double arrow symbol (has run, no action left).

17:08: same here, explain why you move them to exactly that spot: it provides cover and is in range of the capture zone, that's a very good spot. Make note again of the shield symbol



I'm going to stop here, I think you see where I'm getting at. If you want more details, just ask me.
If you want feedback on these kind of video's before publicly releasing them, I'd be happy to review them for you.

General
---------

The voice was not too quiet for me, it was OK. I'm listening with a good headset though. For a native English speaker, it may be quite confusing sometimes. They tend to be nitpicky about their language and sometimes don't take effort in trying to understand foreign accents. Examples are the words "morale" and "further" (around 16:20). I'm not a native EN speaker myself, these TH sounds are hard to pronounce!
Overall, it has somewhat of a lack of "enthusiasm". Not that I want the standard US "drill sargeant" voice trying to push me to love the game. But pausing a lot and saying "errr... ehh" takes the speed out of the narration. Less patient gamers will lose interest. Then again, less patient players might be more interested in RTS :)


Voice-over techniques
--------------------------

I'd advise you to narrate separately from the video recording. How we record audio narration to videos professionally:
- Write your intentions, what you will cover in the video, and what you will say.
- Record the video, making "production notes" (you'll mostly remember things you didn't write down before). Don't record audio yet.
- Play it back, reviewing and writing what you want to say in each section. Make notes of timing, eg "9:50 mention enemy can see me".
- Play the video back again, while you record audio separately (reading the notes) in something like Adobe Audition ($350). This program allows you to quickly listen to what you just recorded, cut and paste parts, shift timing by some seconds, overwrite a bad sentence (as opposed to starting from scratch)
- When you finished recording, Normalize the audio to a reference dB level. This will make your voice sound more clearly, eliminates differences in volume. You can add filters to make your voice sound different as well, giving a more "warm" effect (this is a technical term, I'm not saying anything about your voice specifics here!)
- Add the audio back to your video file.

I'd also advise you to use a good headphone and separate microphone, preferrably connected to a (USB) sound card that allows you to regulate the voice characteristics. Use it in a room with as few angled and empty walls as possible, next to thick curtains is the best spot (this dampens audio reflections). I can advise you in this topic as well, I've built some radio studios. But rest assured, I know a bit about home studio as well, radio is another price range :)

Xerkis
Major-General - Tiger I
Major-General - Tiger I
Posts: 2312
Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2011 12:56 pm
Location: Northeast, USA

Re: Getting to know Team Assault

Post by Xerkis » Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:41 pm

Zeal – please don’t just hear what boerkameel is saying above but please listen to him.
Thank you for all of that boerkameel

nomet
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Getting to know Team Assault

Post by nomet » Sat Apr 07, 2012 4:48 pm

Yes we will : ). Thanks for the great feedback. As you might have understood I did the video in as a one off thing to get some more info of how to play out there. The only thing that is hard is the force builder can't be recorded in my recording tool. (this was the reason I did not show it) On the other things I will try to get time to do a better version! : ) with all your awesome feedback in mind.

boerkameel
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Getting to know Team Assault

Post by boerkameel » Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:10 pm

I understand and appreciate you quickly wanted to remedy a complaint some players had, as they were confused and need information. I find it refreshing to see a game developer taking it's customers seriously and answering to their questions and remarks.

When I look back on my career, I remember the people that gave me pointers and told me where I could improve the most. It is only because I like this game that I want to take the effort of improving it. After just playing 3 MP sessions, I can only say I want more, and I hope to see you guys survive the hard gaming world.
Especially when the game hits the reviewers everywhere, I would like them to find in the game what I find : a good game with an original approach to some mechanics. Too bad they need a manual to figure that out, I'd assume someone getting paid to game can figure it out, if I can in my spare time... I'm really not that much of a game guru, maybe I think more like you guys gaming-wise.

Sorry if the above sounded harsh, it's really well intended!

nomet
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Administrative Corporal - SdKfz 232 8Rad
Posts: 168
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:32 pm

Re: Getting to know Team Assault

Post by nomet » Sat Apr 07, 2012 6:29 pm

boerkameel wrote:I understand and appreciate you quickly wanted to remedy a complaint some players had, as they were confused and need information. I find it refreshing to see a game developer taking it's customers seriously and answering to their questions and remarks.

When I look back on my career, I remember the people that gave me pointers and told me where I could improve the most. It is only because I like this game that I want to take the effort of improving it. After just playing 3 MP sessions, I can only say I want more, and I hope to see you guys survive the hard gaming world.
Especially when the game hits the reviewers everywhere, I would like them to find in the game what I find : a good game with an original approach to some mechanics. Too bad they need a manual to figure that out, I'd assume someone getting paid to game can figure it out, if I can in my spare time... I'm really not that much of a game guru, maybe I think more like you guys gaming-wise.

Sorry if the above sounded harsh, it's really well intended!

I like feedback, truly. This is how we learn! None offense taken at all. (I'm not easily offended) Our studio today lives on our contracted work, witch is working fine for now. I just hope that we be able to follow up TA with more games taking a new approach to the Turn-based games. Having a budget would help a lot. Now most of our work that we put in to fix and add stuff is just outside of our work hours. Witch is fine cause I want everyone out there to enjoy the game.

boerkameel
Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 50
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Getting to know Team Assault

Post by boerkameel » Sat Apr 07, 2012 9:11 pm

Ah, someone who values competence over compassion - I can relate! Also on the not easily offended part.

So TA is both a hobby and a demo of your capabilities? This is how, years ago, Black Isle Studios (RIP) formed under Interplay. One guy used to tinker on a game engine, others joined after hours, and everything was considered a "class B product" by Interplay. Until Fallout proved to be a cult success. Too bad they didn't survive long, although making quite some classic RPG's. But that's a different story, the rise and fall are well documented in interviews on Youtube.

Laxen
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
2nd Lieutenant - Panzer IVF/2
Posts: 666
Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:03 pm
Location: Visy, Gotland, Sweden

Re: Getting to know Team Assault

Post by Laxen » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:10 pm

An outstanding analysis BK. Thanks.
Rasmus Davidsson
Lead Designer at ZEAL Game Studio

Post Reply

Return to “Team Assault”