Maps seem a bit flat

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Zekedia222
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Maps seem a bit flat

Post by Zekedia222 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:21 pm

I’ve been looking at some images of PzC2, and the map seems a bit flat...
I really like how some terrain is done (forests, towns/cities), but when it goes into what I assume are mountains, it just looks... flat. Now, that does make sense, with the name Panzer Corps 2, and generally tanks don’t exactly thrive in mountains, but I figured I’d point it out. :D
After watching some ‘Early Look’ videos, I’ve noticed something else. The infantry attacks, and actually attacks in general, seem wooden and almost robotic.
The little bits that denote movement seem like they could encourage confusion. You might not look carefully, and quickly move a unit, but instead it embarks on its transport.
But hey, thats just my two cents.
Winchester: Klinger, you're dumber than you look, and THAT boggles the MIND.
A great quote from one of my favorite TV shows, M*A*S*H

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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by proline » Fri Jan 24, 2020 6:59 am

That's unavoidable. It's a consequence of using 3D. In 2D, your mind just suspends disbelief. In 3D, your mind asks why the mountains are flat, why the tanks are bigger than submarines, and so on. The icky feeling of 3D is why the 3D movie fad ended- it's been years since I've had to don the 3D glasses.

Schweinewitz
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by Schweinewitz » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:52 am

Check the Norway map. Looks adequate:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaOpo2g5cp0

prestidigitation
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by prestidigitation » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:50 pm

IMO the map is excellent. It clearly conveys most terrain types and looks very much like terrain viewed from an airplane. It is a huge upgrade from PzC1 and OOB (where flat terrain and hills are exactly alike).

The units by contrast look awful and very low res, to the point that it is challenging to differentiate infantry or armor types or even armored cars and early war tanks. This is IMO a huge issue!

Another big issue is that cloudy or rainy days are totally unclear. I don't know how to solve this and I don't know that any game has done so adequately using just the map. IMO the PzC1 solution of a tiny weather porthole (one for current, another for next turn) was good at communicating both state and effect, but I can understand not loving it.

Zekedia222
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by Zekedia222 » Mon Jan 27, 2020 12:14 am

Got to disagree with OoB terrain. If you don’t know what you are doing, it looks bizarre. If you actually work for a while and ‘test’ what the terrain looks like by launching it in a game, then it can look amazing. Of course another thing also comes up. The ‘scale’ for the map size is very clearly larger. What appears to be a city hex contains probably 20+ buildings (maybe I can’t count, but still) in PzC2, while OoB city hexes contain maybe 9 or 10. Now, what I mean is that, say a hex in OoB is 1km across, a single hex in PzC2 is probably 2km across.
And, of course PzC2 is coming out 5 years after OoB.
As for weather, I’d almost say some kind of event or pop-up. Not really sure if that is really used in PzC2, and those could probably be a bit intrusive.
Winchester: Klinger, you're dumber than you look, and THAT boggles the MIND.
A great quote from one of my favorite TV shows, M*A*S*H

prestidigitation
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by prestidigitation » Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:17 pm

I'm very comfortable with OOB2 and have beaten Soviet, Burma and the US Campaign on diff 5. The hill terrain is indistinguishable from most flat terrain types absent detailed inspection of the hex. In some places the hill terrain decorators are even used on flat terrain!

The PzC2 map clearly differentiates between the two. This is already a win.

Both PzC and OOB use variable scales, not the fixed ones you imply. The devs for both have been very clear on this and idk why it would even come up. Typically only operational war games covering a specific AO use fixed scale.

The city hexes for PzC 2 are much more clear and appear to have a 1 to 1 match with the underlying terrain. In OOB the village terrain decorator is often used on what is actually flat, defenseless terrain. This is wildly irritating!

The city logos in PzC2 and the victory hex indicators are frankly very ugly. The actual city terrain and in particular the port terrain look very good. I saw a depiction of Paris in one stream and it looked fantastic.

I like OOB and I like that it has always had Allied campaigns as first class campaigns unlike PzC where the Russian campaign was an offensive farce. US Corps was excellent, but the work of a single very good designer unable to add units or change any stats to avoid changing the Nazi campaign balance. My biggest objection to OOB has always been the poor informational content of the map graphics.

That said I think both games are much worse at map stuff than the Strategic Command franchise which also happens to have the excellent HQ system and a bunch of interesting historical and functional events.

Zekedia222
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by Zekedia222 » Fri Jan 31, 2020 1:14 am

Yes, you’ve made it quite clear on both forums that ‘Strategic Command is superior to both’.
I know not of these ‘hill terrain decorators’ you speak of. Perhaps attach a photo or tell me specifically.
Winchester: Klinger, you're dumber than you look, and THAT boggles the MIND.
A great quote from one of my favorite TV shows, M*A*S*H

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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by Patrick Ward » Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:37 am

prestidigitation wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:50 pm
IMO the map is excellent. It clearly conveys most terrain types and looks very much like terrain viewed from an airplane. It is a huge upgrade from PzC1 and OOB (where flat terrain and hills are exactly alike).

The units by contrast look awful and very low res, to the point that it is challenging to differentiate infantry or armor types or even armored cars and early war tanks. This is IMO a huge issue!

Another big issue is that cloudy or rainy days are totally unclear. I don't know how to solve this and I don't know that any game has done so adequately using just the map. IMO the PzC1 solution of a tiny weather porthole (one for current, another for next turn) was good at communicating both state and effect, but I can understand not loving it.
Weather is always shown in the top right, current weather and the next days. Weather type is indicated by the icon, sunny, cloudy, raining, snowing, stormy. And the colour suggests the ground state - green = clear, brown=muddy, white=thick snow, blue=thick snow and frozen lakes/rivers.
City names in the press build and current beta are early implementation. They've already changed.
All graphics are designed to work at 4K so don't look their best when highly compressed on Youtube at just 1080.
Cloudy days are cloudy, sunny days aren't. Its pretty clear from the lighting. Rainy days have rain splashes all over the map and units, if you zoom in, and the ground is waterlogged. Youtube compression kills that also. It can be more obvious if you spin the lights round. Once the soundFX are finished that should also be clearer.

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prestidigitation
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by prestidigitation » Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:11 pm

Patrick Ward wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 2:37 am

Weather is always shown in the top right, current weather and the next days. Weather type is indicated by the icon, sunny, cloudy, raining, snowing, stormy. And the colour suggests the ground state - green = clear, brown=muddy, white=thick snow, blue=thick snow and frozen lakes/rivers.
City names in the press build and current beta are early implementation. They've already changed.
All graphics are designed to work at 4K so don't look their best when highly compressed on Youtube at just 1080.
Cloudy days are cloudy, sunny days aren't. Its pretty clear from the lighting. Rainy days have rain splashes all over the map and units, if you zoom in, and the ground is waterlogged. Youtube compression kills that also. It can be more obvious if you spin the lights round. Once the soundFX are finished that should also be clearer.

Pat
Glad to hear about the city names, they looked awful in the press review build. Honestly I'd point to them as one of my most disliked elements!

A press review build that isn't youtube friendly seems a curious choice given that all the press reviewers posted their gameplays on youtube. Even your own first party streams come out on twitch and youtube! You might want to consider changing that in the future given how many people are introduced to games via streams and LPs and other video formats these days. I'm also seriously confused why the units look absolutely gorgeous at full zoom, but then revert to plastic looking blobs at standard play levels of zoom. Steel Division 2 also has this problem, but operates at a totally different and much greater level of scale for units on the field (real time to boot!). I know this seems like a silly complaint for an operational wargame, but look at how much effort Unity of Command 2 spent on making gorgeous units.

I actually JUST noticed the weather icons on the top right. Could you make them more visible? I disagree on the lighting communicating the weather effectively. That system requires a good memory of the baseline "sunny day" lighting to work. If you are just starting a mission and the first turn is "cloudy", you won't have an appropriate baseline and won't realize what the weather is, which is why I asked about a secondary system like the PzC1 briefing portholes.

Can you make the rules on encirclement more clear? I was pretty surprised to see units retreating out of encirclement and am not sure how to make a larger encircled area. The system seems very opaque and could use a visibility pass. The OOB system isn't great, but it does communicate what is going on and even silly suicide cutoffs at least have an insane logic to them. Strategic Command radiates supply from the HQs and other supply sources and that works pretty well overall. Unity of Command 2 has a complex supply system that is also utterly invisible on the primary map mode, but communicates it with a detailed secondary mode and some nice icons. Maybe a second map mode showing pseudo-supply would be helpful for communicating what is going on?

BTW I'm totally focused on criticism, but I actually have a lot of positive things to say too:

Trait system looks like a great way to diversify play
I like the changes to the ruleset (specifically the effort to make AT worthwhile outside of US TDs in US Corps) and the emphasis on greater casualty count
The prototype and captured kit system seem pretty cool (haven't noticed captured artillery? is that a thing b/c it really should be)
The cities look gorgeous and are best in class for an operational wargame
The 2D operational map is phenomenal (and I'm one of five people who will regularly use it)

Patrick Ward
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by Patrick Ward » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:28 pm

prestidigitation wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:11 pm

A press review build that isn't youtube friendly seems a curious choice given that all the press reviewers posted their gameplays on youtube.
Where did I say it wasn't Youtube friendly? All I said was that the details had been compressed out by Youtube. Nothing we can do about that. It's also dependant on what CODEC the youtuber originaly used before uploading it. My son uploads gorgeous looking goPro footage only to have YouTube mangle it, so uses Vimeo instead now.

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proline
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by proline » Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:34 am

Patrick Ward wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:28 pm
prestidigitation wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:11 pm

A press review build that isn't youtube friendly seems a curious choice given that all the press reviewers posted their gameplays on youtube.
Where did I say it wasn't Youtube friendly? All I said was that the details had been compressed out by Youtube. Nothing we can do about that. It's also dependant on what CODEC the youtuber originaly used before uploading it.
Your second sentence directly contradicts the first. It suggests that you could research the correct codec and record using that.

Patrick Ward
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Re: Maps seem a bit flat

Post by Patrick Ward » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:03 pm

proline wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:34 am
Patrick Ward wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:28 pm
prestidigitation wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 4:11 pm

A press review build that isn't youtube friendly seems a curious choice given that all the press reviewers posted their gameplays on youtube.
Where did I say it wasn't Youtube friendly? All I said was that the details had been compressed out by Youtube. Nothing we can do about that. It's also dependant on what CODEC the youtuber originaly used before uploading it.
Your second sentence directly contradicts the first. It suggests that you could research the correct codec and record using that.
No it doesn't. The first bit refers to Youtube, the second refers to the YoutubER/reviewer. Two different stages of compression that compound each other. The first stage is potentially under some control of the youtuber/reviewer if they understand it, the second is under nobodies control because its done by Youtube itself. Neither stage is under any control of ours.

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