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Turn-Based Tactics Archrebel: Tactics - A reincarnation of the classic Rebelstar.

Ularis Badler

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Mar 17, 2021
Messages
257

You make a strong case. One reason why I like fog-of-war in tactics games is that it lets me understand which parts of the terrain I've explored. Although one could argue that you could have the terrain fully revealed but still have a visual layer pointing out which areas of terrain have been uncovered.
But I also think that having the terrain fully revealed is unrealistic as it gives you persistent access to every single detail about the terrain, each rock, tree, and bush within the map area, without any effort or latency. You would only be able to explain this if units had a visor with direct access to a satellite or drones in the area, which may not fit the setting the game presents itself in. Even if you arrive through an aerial vehicle you won't be able to memorize all the terrain features down to the details I described - once you land you will rely on memory, which is faulty.

My point is that gameplay should keep realism at bay. There's still a myriad of aspects that make a game unrealistic, no matter how realism is taken into consideration, exactly because they are games.
:salute:
That can easily be justified from the context of the game, though. In the future, it is not a huge stretch to imagine that troopers would have a way to "streetview" whatever part of the surrounding they want with micro drones swarms, satellites or whatever.
In a way, if the commander(ie player character) is supposed to be remotely giving order, being able to see any part of the terrain in real time would make sense. It sounds a bit more difficult if he is leading from the front, though.
Sure, you can always justify it, I did mention a visor linked to drones and satellites as an example of how you could do it, but you could go further: "Soldiers have a brain implant linked to a computer from where they access the whole battlefield." My point is this requires a specific setting to function.
 
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Galdred

Studio Draconis
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Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.

You make a strong case. One reason why I like fog-of-war in tactics games is that it lets me understand which parts of the terrain I've explored. Although one could argue that you could have the terrain fully revealed but still have a visual layer pointing out which areas of terrain have been uncovered.
But I also think that having the terrain fully revealed is unrealistic as it gives you persistent access to every single detail about the terrain, each rock, tree, and bush within the map area, without any effort or latency. You would only be able to explain this if units had a visor with direct access to a satellite or drones in the area, which may not fit the setting the game presents itself in. Even if you arrive through an aerial vehicle you won't be able to memorize all the terrain features down to the details I described - once you land you will rely on memory, which is faulty.

My point is that gameplay should keep realism at bay. There's still a myriad of aspects that make a game unrealistic, no matter how realism is taken into consideration, exactly because they are games.
:salute:
That can easily be justified from the context of the game, though. In the future, it is not a huge stretch to imagine that troopers would have a way to "streetview" whatever part of the surrounding they want with micro drones swarms, satellites or whatever.
In a way, if the commander(ie player character) is supposed to be remotely giving order, being able to see any part of the terrain in real time would make sense. It sounds a bit more difficult if he is leading from the front, though.
Sure, you can always justify it, I did mention a visor linked to drones and satellites as an example of how you could do it, but you could go further: "Soldiers have a brain implant linked to a computer from where they access the whole battlefield." My point is this requires a specific setting to function.
But your setting is already SF, and currently, drone operators already have an almost complete real time view of the battlefield, so for me, it would be the other way around: the commander not having accurate information on the land would make much less sense than the reverse.

That's the same with night vision in OG X-COM. I understand it was meant as a gameplay mechanism to make nights more terrifying, but it was unrealistic to me to have night vision capabilities being much inferior to what I got to use at the same time.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
257
But your setting is already SF, and currently, drone operators already have an almost complete real time view of the battlefield, so for me, it would be the other way around: the commander not having accurate information on the land would make much less sense than the reverse.

That's the same with night vision in OG X-COM. I understand it was meant as a gameplay mechanism to make nights more terrifying, but it was unrealistic to me to have night vision capabilities being much inferior to what I got to use at the same time.
There's more to a setting than just its technological aspects. Places and events drastically influence how gameplay unfolds, thereby having a significant impact on how technology can be accessed and used. In other words, having Archrebel play with fully discovered maps would make little sense, considering these critical elements. That's why I said it depends on how well you can integrate it (and whether or not you are up for it). In my case, even if I could explain it, I would still use fog-of-war for discoverability because I will always prioritize gameplay over realism. That's why I went with a turn-based system, action points, and tiles, all of which are fundamentally incompatible with realism.
 
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Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
257

Ah! You have beaten me to it. I was going to post it now. :)
For a bit of context, if players see that animation, it's pretty much game over. The Air defense system needs to be taken care of before they can signal the shuttle for evacuation, which will be part of the demo mission I will be releasing soon.
 
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Lord of Riva

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Strap Yourselves In Pathfinder: Wrath
I just want to reiterate how much I dig the artstyle. How far has development progressed, how long do you think it will still take?
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
257
I just want to reiterate how much I dig the artstyle. How far has development progressed, how long do you think it will still take?
I truly appreciate the praise. A demo is on its way but I've been saying this for 2 months now. Lol!
I have all core mechanics in place which I want people to experience through the demo. The whole game is about 80% complete having only 2 major aspects to develop, the game's campaign and multiplayer (co-op/pvp). I want players to experience campaign in co-op.
 
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Alienman

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Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Codex Year of the Donut Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Steve gets a Kidney but I don't even get a tag.
If someone stands close to that when it explodes, please add force to the corpse and send it flying (for hilarious effect).
 

negator2vc

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May 1, 2017
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Greece
Why game devs these days don't know when to stop with the visuals enhancements?
With every update an otherwise very interesting game looks more and more "SKALDed"
In fact the visual "improvements" even hurt the tactics layer with the units blending with background elements :(
 

Matador

Arcane
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Codex+ Now Streaming!
Why game devs these days don't know when to stop with the visuals enhancements?
With every update an otherwise very interesting game looks more and more "SKALDed"
In fact the visual "improvements" even hurt the tactics layer with the units blending with background elements :(
It´s an usual dev flaw to get in the loop of introducing new cool things they discover/learn to do, instead of focusing on product. (I´m a software developer).

BTW, I agree terrain is getting too cluttered.
 
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Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
257
Why game devs these days don't know when to stop with the visuals enhancements?
With every update an otherwise very interesting game looks more and more "SKALDed"
In fact the visual "improvements" even hurt the tactics layer with the units blending with background elements :(

If there is a thing that annoys me greatly, is having the experience of a game being penalized due to the lack of clarity. That's why 3D tactical games tend to annoy me when I have to constantly rotate the camera to fully grasp the tactical situation, with obstacles getting in the way. It stops being a visual enhancement when it comes out the other way around.

For players that want more clarity between units and the elements, there's an option that lets them adjust the brightness of the grass, which currently comes with 3 levels. Below is the grass at its lowest setting (it affects the base grass that is considered terrain free of penalties):
1703798729010.png


As a complement, you can always activate the info layer to easily get familiar with the functionality of the GFX, which is mainly used to understand terrain movement penalties.
1703798936603.png


After you select a unit, the path preview will engage showing you if the current projected path is valid, and its movement cost. It updates constantly as you hover the mouse to new potential destination tiles. This will allow you to quickly understand the functionality of each tile in a matter of seconds.
1703803952256.png


When in fire mode, I believe the picture is clear regarding where units are, with their pulsating circle signatures.
1703799666841.png


Finally, by using the unit bar, you can easily access your troops. It highlights those with remaining action points, making it virtually impossible to overlook them.
1703801021093.png


As a color-blinded person who is developing eyesight problems, I haven't experienced an instance where missed a tactical opportunity due to how the game is visually presented. But I've always been open to criticism and have changed some elements according to feedback I've received over these last 2.5 years.

Thanks for the feedback. Cheers.
 
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Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
257
Why game devs these days don't know when to stop with the visuals enhancements?
With every update an otherwise very interesting game looks more and more "SKALDed"
In fact the visual "improvements" even hurt the tactics layer with the units blending with background elements :(
It´s an usual dev flaw to get in the loop of introducing new cool things they discover/learn to do, instead of focusing on product. (I´m a software developer).

BTW, I agree terrain is getting too cluttered.

That can be a problem, especially during your first project where discoverability reaches its climax. In my case, I knew exactly what Archrebel would look like from a sprite-style perspective.

As for the cluttering, I encourage you to have a look at my previous response.
Cheers.
 
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negator2vc

Scholar
Joined
May 1, 2017
Messages
330
Location
Greece
If there is a thing that annoys me greatly, is having the experience of a game being penalized due to the lack of clarity. That's why 3D tactical games tend to annoy me when I have to constantly rotate the camera to fully grasp the tactical situation, with obstacles getting in the way. It stops being a visual enhancement when it comes out the other way around.
The 3D by itself isn't the problem. The lack of "clarity", as you put it, is and it affects both 2D and 3D games.

For players that want more clarity between units and the elements, there's an option that lets them adjust the brightness of the grass, which currently comes with 3 levels. Below is the grass at its lowest setting (it affects the base grass that is considered terrain free of penalties):
The brightness isn't the only problem. The noise of the most of the terrains elements is also a problem especially when the blend a little too much with the units.

When in fire mode, I believe the picture is clear regarding where units are, with their pulsating circle signatures.
View attachment 45023
The fact that the game need different graphics for units for the fire mode explains the graphics problem better better than I could.
If the main visuals where ok you wouldn't need to switch them in the fire mode.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
257
The 3D by itself isn't the problem. The lack of "clarity", as you put it, is and it affects both 2D and 3D games.
3D itself is not a problem if properly done, especially when using a top-down perspective. However, many 3D games tend to be deployed in a way where rotating the camera is fundamental to fully grasp the battlefield.

The brightness isn't the only problem. The noise of the most of the terrains elements is also a problem especially when the blend a little too much with the units.
So far, the people who tried it haven't mentioned it. This doesn't mean the problem isn't there, but after 2.5 years of continuous feedback from various sources, I would expect to have received more criticism about it if it was something problematic - you're the first person who cared enough to point it out.

The fact that the game need different graphics for units for the fire mode explains the graphics problem better better than I could.
If the main visuals where ok you wouldn't need to switch them in the fire mode.
Couldn't be farther from the truth. Units are transformed into circles to mimic the mechanics from which the game derives, Rebelstar. These mechanics are also found in games like Laser Squad and Sabre Team. Collision is done at a vector level (pixel precision if you want) using physics; ergo, shots need to connect with their signatures to hit them - this replaces the hit chance mechanics tactical games usually deploy, like in Fallout 2. Therefore, the bigger their circle signatures the higher the chances units have to successfully hit them.
 
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Matador

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Codex+ Now Streaming!
The brightness isn't the only problem. The noise of the most of the terrains elements is also a problem especially when the blend a little too much with the units.
So far, the people who tried it haven't mentioned it. This doesn't mean the problem isn't there, but after 2.5 years of continuous feedback from various sources, I would expect to have received more criticism about it if it was something problematic - you're the first person who cared enough to point it out.
Count 2 with me mentioning it.

Game looks fantastic, and seems it´s going to be great. But the terrain elements worse the visual parsing of units. Not big deal, but I´m sure we are not going to be the only ones mentioning it, and seems an easy tweak worth to consider.
 

negator2vc

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May 1, 2017
Messages
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Location
Greece
So far, the people who tried it haven't mentioned it. This doesn't mean the problem isn't there, but after 2.5 years of continuous feedback from various sources, I would expect to have received more criticism about it if it was something problematic - you're the first person who cared enough to point it out.
First of all there are 2 people as Matador pointed out.
I point this out because I like your game and I know as a fellow game dev how easy is to damage our own creations with those sort of "improvements" even though we think we are improving them.
Not to mention the time that is wasted and could be better used to improve the gameplay instead.
 

Ularis Badler

Arcane
Developer
Joined
Mar 17, 2021
Messages
257
Count 2 with me mentioning it.

Game looks fantastic, and seems it´s going to be great. But the terrain elements worse the visual parsing of units. Not big deal, but I´m sure we are not going to be the only ones mentioning it, and seems an easy tweak worth to consider.
Thanks for the praise. I'm hoping you will overlook the issue once you try out the demo (if you are willing to). :salute:
 

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