First Impression

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SunDawn
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:17 am

First Impression

Post by SunDawn » Fri May 03, 2013 5:27 pm

Hi.

This is my thread, discussing about my first impressions, and my subsequent impressions, about Pandora-First Contact.

Downloading and Installation :
  • No problems on download
  • No problems on update
  • No problems on installation
  • Game could be Alt - Tabbed easily, excellent.
Before starting the game :
  • We simply need a custom race selection.
  • The loading screen is a little big long, and the loading percentage should be changed to reflect actual overall loading progress, instead of noting individual items progress.
  • The "initializing server" and "initializing game" took some time, thus requires some loading bars/percentage.
  • Because we stick to human race, the difference between the factions are just in the stats. Some have high upkeep but high power, some has huge production but huge pollution.
  • The map choice is great.
  • The AI choice is great, though if we select the difficulty settings, then we go to "Advanced", the AI is "flipping" to show our latest AI difficulties. This should be changed to remove the "flipping" and just show the latest AI difficulty chosen.
  • There should be an explanation on AI difficulties (cap on AI, AI aggression levels, etc.)
Tutorials :
  • There are no problems in the tutorials
Playing the game :
  • Civilization V comes directly into comparison. In the first glance, there are so many things that look like Civilization V.
  • All of the texts are too small. Still readable, but a little uncomfortable. I am using 1920 x 1080 resolution on my wide-screen laptop.
  • The Colonial trooper looks nice, but the Colonizer is just decent. I start somewhere in the Arctic/Tundra areas, bad start, but it's OK.
  • Build my first town, quickly recognize possible similarities of Civilization V's worker with Pandora's Former. Which in fact, is somewhat true.
City Building :
  • Former unit can easily be automated, really great. Former unit shape don't look interesting.
  • We could set "All productions to wealth" or "All productions to growth" but we could still queue building indefinitely in the city. If we change the production to wealth/growth, we shouldn't be able to queue any building/production.
  • The queue turns didn't represent how much turn a production a finished, simply showing how much that particular product took time. If we queue 5 tanks (@ 3 turn) the 6th tank should show 18 turn instead of 3 turn.
  • The building list in the city is great.
  • The ease of moving population between research, farming, mining, and production is really easy, great.
  • We still need the ability to shuffle the workers to work on a tile. Though population and production can be adjusted, sometimes I want my workers to work at a special tile (hot springs, for example).
  • I don't see any abilities to build road between cities.
  • There should be explanation if you can't colonize a tile (enemy present, military units too near, etc.)
  • I observed that the AI is aggressively build their cities, though their spacing between cities is too close (hence sometimes the city growth is stopped by other cities). Is this intended? I got about 2-3 cities, and my opponent got 8-10 cities, even on Easy. Is this intended?
Diplomacy :
  • AI has strange behavior. Sometimes they gave me petty number of credits (10-30 credits) for unknown reason. They also willing to sign up NAP when my soldiers are near their border. They also willing to sign research pacts on first contact.
  • There are no clear information why the AI loves or hates you. Some numbers and reason (ex : You have smaller troops (+ 10 relationship), your cities are expanding (- 20 relationship) are needed.
  • The AI has quite nice writing in them, each representing their goals in their talks.
  • AI is somewhat like to build a lot of cities near your border, sometimes cutting off your city connection to your other cities.
War :
  • The customization of the war equipment is simply great.
  • There are no clear initial indication that "power" is your "attack strength". The symbol is also a lightning, which are synonymous with power (power generators) instead of attacking power. Changing the name or the logo (maybe a fist?) will solve the problem.
  • There should be an indication on what happens if I attack this unit.
  • There should be an explanation that you can only refit in your city.
  • Unit difference is great. I can see weapon differences between infantries quite clearly. I can see that that infantry is holding a sniper, this infantry holding a flamethrower, etc.
  • Rocket trooper show some strange behavior, where they shot their rocket to the top of my screen, instead of the enemy.
  • Flamethrower weapon really look bad, the color are bad.
  • Sound differences between weapons are great.
  • The game seriously need some "faction units" to spice up the game.
Research :
  • Research tree is not good. I have to research fertilizer to have a planetary council. I have to research planetary council to have a missile launcher. I have to research a beam weapon to have a theater. This is a serious issue.
  • The pictures after a research completed don't have any variation.
  • The research adviser sometimes tell that you are lagging behind in research, while others clearly left behind by your research.
  • The research types (mathematics, sociology, etc.) are not clear if they are used or not.
I will continue testing, but some important things I have noted :
  • This game looks like Civilizations V. In fact, in just looks like Civilizations V in space. Is this intended? I am not saying that Pandora is bad, I love it, but this game is too similar to Civilizations V.
  • There are no campaign. It would be great if a campaign is in place.
  • The overall text is too small (like what I have seen in Sword of the Stars II), which I am a bit uncomfortable.
I will continue playing, and will update and discuss things.

Thank you!

Soheil
Proxy Studios
Proxy Studios
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:23 pm

Re: First Impression

Post by Soheil » Fri May 03, 2013 9:21 pm

Wow great feedback, really interesting to read through! Thanx a lot!

- I will change the lightning icon to a fist like you suggested. (good suggestion)
- Can you clarify exactly what you dont like about the flamethrower, what color would you like it to be and do you think all the flamethrower tiers look bad or just the first one?
- At the moment we have a randomly generated tech tree, thats why some of the tech advancements dont really make sense in how they lead to each other, would you like to have a option to turn this feature off and have a pre-designed tech tree?

Are there more things or features you would like to see in the game that you feel are currently missing?

Again thanx for the extensive feedback and i look forward to reading your future feedback! :)
Soheil Khaghani
Graphics Artist on Pandora: First Contact
Proxy Studios

azpops
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Sergeant - 7.5 cm FK 16 nA
Posts: 205
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Re: First Impression

Post by azpops » Sat May 04, 2013 12:08 am

Soheil wrote:- would you like to have a option to turn this feature off and have a pre-designed tech tree?
I think that would be a great idea. Some people like to have a fixed research tree, others like it variable. Give the player the option for how this works. The more you allow the player to fit the game to his style of play the better they will like it.

SunDawn
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:17 am

Re: First Impression

Post by SunDawn » Sat May 04, 2013 5:42 am

Soheil wrote:Wow great feedback, really interesting to read through! Thanx a lot!

- I will change the lightning icon to a fist like you suggested. (good suggestion)
- Can you clarify exactly what you dont like about the flamethrower, what color would you like it to be and do you think all the flamethrower tiers look bad or just the first one?
- At the moment we have a randomly generated tech tree, thats why some of the tech advancements dont really make sense in how they lead to each other, would you like to have a option to turn this feature off and have a pre-designed tech tree?

Are there more things or features you would like to see in the game that you feel are currently missing?

Again thanx for the extensive feedback and i look forward to reading your future feedback! :)
About the tech tree, although it is great to be randomized, I think they should be some "order" put into it.
Maybe take the Sword of the Stars approach, make some tech unavailable? Or some tech that shouldn't be available be available?
Or, divide it into few trees, maybe a mathematics tree, physics tree, or sociology tree. The technology can be randomized, but every mathematics technology is in the mathematics tree, physics tech is in physics tree, and so on.

Flamethrower tiers are the first tier only. The colors are too dark, in my opinion.

Some other musings :
  • Tanks should move faster than Infantry.
  • There should be a basic "city defense". Unmanned cities will be taken immediately. You could create a unit solely for the purpose of city defending (this unit is not created by the player, but auto-created by the city when defending. Probably the type of unit depends on city level), or take Civilization V approach by allowing city to shoot the enemy.
  • Attacking defended cities should be harder. This is where siege is taken into account.
  • Some balance should be addressed to the veteran system. I think veteran units are too overpowered, though I still need more observation.
  • When designing units in Workshop, the button "New" should give us a blank template, instead of "copying" previous unit. Auto-unit rename would also be great.
  • Refitted units don't change their name to reflect their new loadout (a flamethrower unit outfitted with SWS headhunter will still show as flamethrower trooper)
Some features that I would like to see :
  • Aircrafts should have limited range. They have high speed are quite powerful, and it's hard to hunt them, unless with other aircrafts. Flak tanks could be just avoided.
  • Diplomacy system should show more depth. As I stated above, some AI do weird things.
  • Aliens should not act like barbarians in Civilization V. I would like to see that alien is the same threat as the humans. As of now, I see aliens as a less threat. Maybe create more powerful units? Faster spawn? Some events that change the landscape (plague, alien burrowers, spore rain, alien infestation, etc.). Aliens has some potential in it, they should be more powerful, have more meaning, and have more impact to the game.
  • As I outlined above, all of the texts are too small.
I will continue my musings later.

bbmike
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Corporal - 5 cm Pak 38
Posts: 34
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:19 pm

Re: First Impression

Post by bbmike » Wed May 08, 2013 10:47 am

I liked the Blind Research option in Alpha Centauri. Research could be random but it was still based on the regular 'ordered' research tree.

Soheil
Proxy Studios
Proxy Studios
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:23 pm

Re: First Impression

Post by Soheil » Wed May 08, 2013 4:39 pm

Thanx again for the feedback, i can confirm there will be option to disable the random tech tree and have a ordered one.
Soheil Khaghani
Graphics Artist on Pandora: First Contact
Proxy Studios

SunDawn
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Private First Class - Wehrmacht Inf
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:17 am

Re: First Impression

Post by SunDawn » Fri May 10, 2013 5:34 am

Soheil wrote:Thanx again for the feedback, i can confirm there will be option to disable the random tech tree and have a ordered one.
Great, although I had hoped that you mix-up the research, so its still orderly, but its random too.
Are there any other comments regarding my other suggestions? Cheers :D

Soheil
Proxy Studios
Proxy Studios
Posts: 63
Joined: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:23 pm

Re: First Impression

Post by Soheil » Fri May 10, 2013 5:51 pm

Well all the suggestions you guys make are good and useful and your really good at thinking outside the box, as a game designer sometimes our imagination can be confined because we filter all our ideas through what is easily implemented in the game engine as well as because we have design the game we view it with totally different eyes as someone who just started playing. Another thing is that we have such a small dev team and our brainstorming sessions consist of just three guys.

But generally speaking the AI can always be improved and we will try to improve it as much as we can before release and keep improving post release because this part of the game can never really ever be perfect. And please dont think that if we dont comment on everything that we didnt read it or we ignored it, i try to comment on ideas that i know we will implement because even though we would like to add all the features you request there simply isnt enough time and i dont want to give a misleading impression regarding whether or not a request might get implemented or not. But know that all your comment are invaluable to us and we take it all into consideration. I would also like to say that you guys are doing a great job and we are very grateful that you spend your free time playing a game that isnt finished and might have flaws in an effort to improve it for others so thanx again :)
Soheil Khaghani
Graphics Artist on Pandora: First Contact
Proxy Studios

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