Apollo and Briefings

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Kerensky
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Apollo and Briefings

Post by Kerensky » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:09 pm

VoD

https://www.twitch.tv/pixelatedapollo/video/539089634


So I was especially curious at an outside user checking out our briefings.

I would say he enjoyed it for being different, but he was clearly not interesting in read it in it's entirety.
Seems to me he obviously enjoyed it, and he spent a good amount of time doing his own thinking and talking about the scenario. He didn't just skip the briefing entirely and outright.

but

Its also clear there is too much, he started to get impatient and just wanting to get into playing
He starting skipping historical text to get right to it

Hopefully people who enjoy briefings will enjoy them still, but those who want to move on a bit faster won't be bogged down quite so much

In fact, the briefing version he got in there has been heavily reduced very recently (so recent it didn't make it into the build he played today). So briefings of that length will be gone moving forward.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by Retributarr » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:31 pm

Why not have an option available...to either listen/see the comprehensive briefing... or a scaled down/short version...of the briefing. Not all individuals...are short on patience.

Kerensky
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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by Kerensky » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:50 pm

Players are in full control of the pace of the briefing already. And they can even skip it entirely if they want.

The 'short version' of every briefing exists already. It's the part in bold that spells out in no uncertain terms what the actual mission objectives are. Such as 'Capture all Victory Hexes' or 'Destroy all units'

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by tucsonbandit » Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:58 pm

I had to stop watching him play. Not sure why they got this guy to play their game. He could hardly read anyway, and he struggled when he attempted the few sentences he mumbled and stumbled over at the beginning. Honestly was pathetic. It is sad developers feel they have to try and meet the needs of people who are incredibly uninterested and impatient to the point that 30 years ago they would have likely been diagnosed as having some sort of pathological illness.

Some people still find the world they live in and history itself to be interesting, odd as that may be to hear. I would guess the % of such people who might be described this way is likely higher amongst those who play turned based historical wargames. But likely we are a 'sure thing', and there is less need to cater to us, so they cater to these types instead. So cut out the historical flavor it is... its boring and people just skip over it and even worse it makes for awkward youtube videos when 'influencers' mumble through the flavor text or even call it 'boring'...can't have that... have to get right to exploding things up.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by martiniiirichard » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:18 pm

I have to say I found the map not underwhelming but terrible. It doesn't feel right. If I open an old Panzer Corps 1 map, I straight away know what I am looking at. I can see units to deploy, I have a feel for where units go, I can easily tell terrain locally and at a macro level ...this map is a mess. I find movement from flags on the map distracting. The whole 3D look is surprising distracting. I am curious what feedback you got on this with beta testers.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by Kerensky » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:22 pm

tucsonbandit wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:58 pm
I had to stop watching him play. Not sure why they got this guy to play their game. He could hardly read anyway, and he struggled when he attempted the few sentences he mumbled and stumbled over at the beginning. Honestly was pathetic. It is sad developers feel they have to try and meet the needs of people who are incredibly uninterested and impatient to the point that 30 years ago they would have likely been diagnosed as having some sort of pathological illness.

Some people still find the world they live in and history itself to be interesting, odd as that may be to hear. I would guess the % of such people who might be described this way is likely higher amongst those who play turned based historical wargames. But likely we are a 'sure thing', and there is less need to cater to us, so they cater to these types instead. So cut out the historical flavor it is... its boring and people just skip over it and even worse it makes for awkward youtube videos when 'influencers' mumble through the flavor text or even call it 'boring'...can't have that... have to get right to exploding things up.
That's harsh. :shock:

But for what it's worth, we're going to try and perform the balancing act as best we can.

No, we're not going to strip out all historical fluff and context and background out of the briefing. This is a historical war game, and the history deserves better than to just be glossed over. We're going to fight to keep important historical notes and nods, and hopefully be able to emphasize the mood and tone of the war. Briefings are lighter when the war is going well for Germany early on. They take a significantly darker tone as the war turns against Germany.

But some trimming of the fat is clearly needed, such as that extended sequence where the officer is talking on the phone to a third party. Maybe that is too much. We might see such phone conversations later on, because they offer the briefing officer something to do other than purely to monologue at the player and they can be a powerful tool for providing historical context. (spoilers, he may or may not start shouting at the person on the other end of the line when battles aren't going so well! ;) )
But they won't approach the length of what we saw in the stream.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by Kerensky » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:23 pm

martiniiirichard wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:18 pm
I have to say I found the map not underwhelming but terrible. It doesn't feel right. If I open an old Panzer Corps 1 map, I straight away know what I am looking at. I can see units to deploy, I have a feel for where units go, I can easily tell terrain locally and at a macro level ...this map is a mess. I find movement from flags on the map distracting. The whole 3D look is surprising distracting. I am curious what feedback you got on this with beta testers.
I forget if there is a way to disable flag waving animation. I'll have to see if that's possible.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by tucsonbandit » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:19 am

martiniiirichard wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:18 pm
I have to say I found the map not underwhelming but terrible. It doesn't feel right. If I open an old Panzer Corps 1 map, I straight away know what I am looking at. I can see units to deploy, I have a feel for where units go, I can easily tell terrain locally and at a macro level ...this map is a mess. I find movement from flags on the map distracting. The whole 3D look is surprising distracting. I am curious what feedback you got on this with beta testers.
I really like the map. I find it clean and easy to read.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by tucsonbandit » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:32 am

Kerensky wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:22 pm
tucsonbandit wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 9:58 pm
I had to stop watching him play. Not sure why they got this guy to play their game. He could hardly read anyway, and he struggled when he attempted the few sentences he mumbled and stumbled over at the beginning. Honestly was pathetic. It is sad developers feel they have to try and meet the needs of people who are incredibly uninterested and impatient to the point that 30 years ago they would have likely been diagnosed as having some sort of pathological illness.

Some people still find the world they live in and history itself to be interesting, odd as that may be to hear. I would guess the % of such people who might be described this way is likely higher amongst those who play turned based historical wargames. But likely we are a 'sure thing', and there is less need to cater to us, so they cater to these types instead. So cut out the historical flavor it is... its boring and people just skip over it and even worse it makes for awkward youtube videos when 'influencers' mumble through the flavor text or even call it 'boring'...can't have that... have to get right to exploding things up.
That's harsh. :shock:

But for what it's worth, we're going to try and perform the balancing act as best we can.

No, we're not going to strip out all historical fluff and context and background out of the briefing. This is a historical war game, and the history deserves better than to just be glossed over. We're going to fight to keep important historical notes and nods, and hopefully be able to emphasize the mood and tone of the war. Briefings are lighter when the war is going well for Germany early on. They take a significantly darker tone as the war turns against Germany.

But some trimming of the fat is clearly needed, such as that extended sequence where the officer is talking on the phone to a third party. Maybe that is too much. We might see such phone conversations later on, because they offer the briefing officer something to do other than purely to monologue at the player and they can be a powerful tool for providing historical context. (spoilers, he may or may not start shouting at the person on the other end of the line when battles aren't going so well! ;) )
But they won't approach the length of what we saw in the stream.
You are right, I was probably too harsh-- I just get tired of seeing games I like get simplified and don't want to see it happen with this game. Honestly it actually appears you are introducing more complexity overall, so I should be happy. But I would like to see more historical details well, and would be sad to have it cut out because of some users attention spans.

One thing that can make it appear better for streaming is to have such parts read by voice actors. It makes the game come across more dynamically to youtube/twitch viewers and causes the "influencer" to not to skip over the text as often since he does not have to read it himself. I am sure you guys are aware of all of this stuff however, and of course it adds costs as well to have everything voiced; but one reason it has become so prevalent is due to how important twitch/streamers have become to promoting new games.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:48 am

tucsonbandit wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:32 am
You are right, I was probably too harsh-- I just get tired of seeing games I like get simplified and don't want to see it happen with this game. Honestly it actually appears you are introducing more complexity overall, so I should be happy. But I would like to see more historical details well, and would be sad to have it cut out because of some users attention spans.

One thing that can make it appear better for streaming is to have such parts read by voice actors. It makes the game come across more dynamically to youtube/twitch viewers and causes the "influencer" to not to skip over the text as often since he does not have to read it himself. I am sure you guys are aware of all of this stuff however, and of course it adds costs as well to have everything voiced; but one reason it has become so prevalent is due to how important twitch/streamers have become to promoting new games.
We'll see what happens, I can make no promises.
But I will say that overall improving the writing (including effective editing and trimming down) will only increase the likelihood that the text will be read by a voice actor. ;)

After all, the last thing we want is for a voice actor to have so much text to read, it feels like they're just reciting a Wikipedia article or something similar in just a really dry, purely technical description of the historical events.

As for simplification of the game... I think the game is simple enough for players to easily jump into it, a Panzer General hallmark since the original game, but by no means does Panzer Corps II throw all complexity out the window. Proper army and unit management is a complicated process that you can really get involved with, and it wasn't really something they had time to really dive into during the stream.

https://www.pcgamer.com/panzer-corps-2- ... re-for-it/
Carrying a personalized army from map to map was a great touch, and the units felt mine in a personal way that's rare in wargames at this scale. I had picked each unit out of a large lineup, used it through multiple battles, and chosen specific heroes to accompany it. By the end of the rather short campaign I had treasured veteran units, and my army makeup was remarkably different from the one a purely historical wargame would have provided. My most veteran infantry had worked to encircle Warsaw and storm Oslo, and I rewarded them with equipment upgrades and heroic leaders. Other games may have simpler mechanics, or at least more elegant ones, but Panzer Corps 2 is delivers the experience of being a General like little else.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by tucsonbandit » Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:42 am

Kerensky wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:48 am
tucsonbandit wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:32 am
You are right, I was probably too harsh-- I just get tired of seeing games I like get simplified and don't want to see it happen with this game. Honestly it actually appears you are introducing more complexity overall, so I should be happy. But I would like to see more historical details well, and would be sad to have it cut out because of some users attention spans.

One thing that can make it appear better for streaming is to have such parts read by voice actors. It makes the game come across more dynamically to youtube/twitch viewers and causes the "influencer" to not to skip over the text as often since he does not have to read it himself. I am sure you guys are aware of all of this stuff however, and of course it adds costs as well to have everything voiced; but one reason it has become so prevalent is due to how important twitch/streamers have become to promoting new games.
We'll see what happens, I can make no promises.
But I will say that overall improving the writing (including effective editing and trimming down) will only increase the likelihood that the text will be read by a voice actor. ;)

After all, the last thing we want is for a voice actor to have so much text to read, it feels like they're just reciting a Wikipedia article or something similar in just a really dry, purely technical description of the historical events.

As for simplification of the game... I think the game is simple enough for players to easily jump into it, a Panzer General hallmark since the original game, but by no means does Panzer Corps II throw all complexity out the window. Proper army and unit management is a complicated process that you can really get involved with, and it wasn't really something they had time to really dive into during the stream.

https://www.pcgamer.com/panzer-corps-2- ... re-for-it/
Carrying a personalized army from map to map was a great touch, and the units felt mine in a personal way that's rare in wargames at this scale. I had picked each unit out of a large lineup, used it through multiple battles, and chosen specific heroes to accompany it. By the end of the rather short campaign I had treasured veteran units, and my army makeup was remarkably different from the one a purely historical wargame would have provided. My most veteran infantry had worked to encircle Warsaw and storm Oslo, and I rewarded them with equipment upgrades and heroic leaders. Other games may have simpler mechanics, or at least more elegant ones, but Panzer Corps 2 is delivers the experience of being a General like little else.
I actually don't really care if its voiced myself, but I understand why so many games are going full voiced now, and I think its partially because of how it comes across during streaming. Like I mentioned, I actually do think the game itself has actually been adding complexity like with encirclement, more complex support fire rules (adding anti-tank gun support), overrun rules and more..so I have to say I am happy in that regard. Many modern games seem to be going the opposite way.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by Kerensky » Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:12 am

tucsonbandit wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 3:42 am
I actually don't really care if its voiced myself, but I understand why so many games are going full voiced now, and I think its partially because of how it comes across during streaming. Like I mentioned, I actually do think the game itself has actually been adding complexity like with encirclement, more complex support fire rules (adding anti-tank gun support), overrun rules and more..so I have to say I am happy in that regard. Many modern games seem to be going the opposite way.
Well modern gaming has been steered towards 'dumbing down' because it's trying to reach a vast an audience as possible. That is obviously a good business idea, except sometimes it's not the right idea for some titles. Some games are only popular because of their quirks and complexities. And removing or dumbing them down can potentially destroy all value a particular game may have had. I won't name specifics, but there are a litany of games that have divorced so far from their original form that they're just a mess.

I'd like to think Panzer Corps II hasn't fallen into that trap. I'm quite pleased with the raw gameplay elements I've seen because they run quite deep. I can't really say more because we're not free to discuss the full game at this point, but I'm hopeful there is content that is approachable, but there is also content that is pretty serious too.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by TSPC37730 » Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:24 pm

I watched most of Apollo's video as well. He is an awful player. I could understand that perhaps you might not want a "professional PC player" doing the intro, because you don't want to give away all of the subtleties and nuances of the game. Said professional would be sure to avoid some of the clear mistakes that Apollo made. These would include not buying transports for towed AA & artillery, not withdrawing or reinforcing woefully understrength units, bumbling into obvious ambushes and not understanding that Stukas can't attack fighters. I think a better choice could have been made for the intro video.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by Sourdust » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:05 am

TSPC37730 wrote:
Tue Jan 21, 2020 1:24 pm
I watched most of Apollo's video as well. He is an awful player. I could understand that perhaps you might not want a "professional PC player" doing the intro, because you don't want to give away all of the subtleties and nuances of the game. Said professional would be sure to avoid some of the clear mistakes that Apollo made. These would include not buying transports for towed AA & artillery, not withdrawing or reinforcing woefully understrength units, bumbling into obvious ambushes and not understanding that Stukas can't attack fighters. I think a better choice could have been made for the intro video.
Yes, I had the same reaction: this guy has no clue what he's doing! He was basically paying no attention to the odds predictor, as far as I can tell, and wasn't very articulate or responsive to those following the livestream either. I don't think he did the game much credit, although it was fun to actually see it being played.

Very mixed feelings about the graphical presentation. I hate the waving flags, and on the whole I wish the thing was in a zoomable 2D with a strong graphical style rather than 3D. Aside from the units themselves, there just isn't anything about the map or interface that says "WW2", as opposed to "mid-game Civilization clone". I'd be more excited about it if it chosen a bolder path and tried to strongly situate the game, graphically and through sound and music and complete presentation, as something of the 1940s.

But the mechanics looks solid, and nice unit diversity. I'll purchase it, and if the AI is strong and scenario design is well-crafted, look forward to the inevitable DLCs.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by proline » Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:57 am

Kerensky wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:22 pm
That's harsh. :shock:
No, it's not harsh at all, it's actually quite kind. I really, really, wanted to learn about the gameplay but had to turn it off half hour in. He simply wasn't knowledgeable about either PzC or PzC2 which means he couldn't demonstrate the new gameplay mechanics. The video was constantly being interrupted by notifications about people following his stream. He kept responding to comments which didn't have anything to do with the game, like getting into a discussion about whether the Polish cavalry charged tanks (another subject he admittedly knew nothing about). He didn't seem to even be all that interested in the game. Why did you pick him, is he a celebrity or something?

I get that it was meant for new players (because it sure as hell wasn't meant for existing players), but trust me, a rambling, two hour video is not going to attract new players. Why not lift all the misguided NDAs and just let the people who have the beta share their excitement? Like you forced everyone to keep their mouths shut for a big reveal and then you let this Apollo joker have the honors?! Why?

As for the briefings, please, oh please, keep them well researched and detailed. The attention to detail is so precious to this game. Don't throw it away because of one bozo.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by BloodCat » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:11 am

I liked those briefings myself, they feel like a nice detail for both immersion and fun. Of course, I like both reading and military history... but doesn't the whole target audience of PzC2 like those, too?..
And that Apollo dude... let's just not defile this forums by discussing his way of playing and commentary.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by proline » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:31 pm

BloodCat wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:11 am
I liked those briefings myself, they feel like a nice detail for both immersion and fun. Of course, I like both reading and military history... but doesn't the whole target audience of PzC2 like those, too?..
And that Apollo dude... let's just not defile this forums by discussing his way of playing and commentary.
Just to be clear, my comment was directed at the cringeworthy Apollo nonsense. The interview before that was well done.

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Re: Apollo and Briefings

Post by funat » Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:10 am

The guys looks, talks and acts like a typical entitled lazy millennial. I was out after 30sec.

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