Digitanks demo #2 - More turn-based artillery strategy

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Vino, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    Hi IG forums. I want you to playtest my super duper beta of the demo of the game I'm developing. The beta is uploaded here:

    http://digitanks.com/files/digitanks-beta.zip

    You'll need a recentish video card to play it. Please do yourself a favor and quickly go through the two tutorials before starting a new game.

    I want your thoughts and feedback on how to improve this demo and the game in general. Any thoughts you have are good but it'd also help to answer these two questions as well:

    * What is the best/your favorite part?

    * What is the worst/your least favorite part?

    * From a usability standpoint, what was the worst part? What was hardest to understand?
     
  2. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    Cmon people I'd really appreciate some feedback.
     
  3. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Hi Vino, here is why I'm not giving feedback of the kind you want.

    No recentish video card.

    I previously thought you were working on an arcade game so I wasn't paying much attention but I like strategy games and would have given it a try.

    You could use more screenshots on your website and might consider a new main page banner as the current one doesn't inspire me to want to play the game.
     
  4. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    I tried it yesterday. Here's my feedback:

    Runs well, didnt see an option to fullscreen it straight away, so I played windowed. Would probably be better to run FS and offer an option to window it for this kind of game.

    The movement of the camera on the terrain felt a little wrong. While I unstand you can click the terrain to move the camera position, it felt weird to have to do that. I was expecting the usual "mouse near border of screen" to scroll for instance.

    The turns didnt feel very distinct. What I mean here is that I didnt know wether I had exhausted all my potential inputs or not. Of course its not always required, but I sometimes missed that I hadn't moved a unit that turn.

    Building was ok, although I thought that the distance I could place buffers was a bit weird, not sure why there.

    No build up for when you are about to produce something useful. It sould definitely mean more when you are producing units (unless of course thats going to happen so often it will lose the impact). I think the scale of the real game will tell there.

    I didnt like how you set the shield/attack balance. Seemed clumsy.

    In fact it felt like there was a lot of to-and-fro between the unit and the menu panel, which is fine although some things worked better on the unit. Maybe making more of the menu stuff actually locate around the unit? Maybe a right-click on unit popup menu?

    Overall it feels promising, but there's a lot missing and I cant really tell until there's a bit more depth to the game I think. I'm imagining a map with a lot more building/units on than the demo suggests.

    I'd suggest having a look at Combat Mission (the earlier ones) for inspiration on some of the turn-based order issuing etc.

    I guess the main thing to avoid is being compared to StarCraft 2. But you have a solid start at least!
     
  5. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    slightly offtopic I know, but I've noticed you've been posting on indiedb a fair bit. How is that working out traffic wise? I see the number of comments people leave and it makes me think that the audience is a bit small.
     
  6. BarrySlisk

    Original Member

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    Edit: Nevermind... :)
     
  7. General

    General New Member

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    I tried to play your game on Sempron 2GHz, 512 Mb , GeForce FX 5500 and 1024x768 screen resolution and failed. The first thing I noticed was that the gme window didn't overlap the taskbar, and when I clicked on the first tutorial button, the game stopped responding and I had to close it with the Task Manager, sorry.
     
  8. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    Yay feedback!

    Yes. Working on that one as we speak, hopefully ready before the demo.

    @zoombapup: Thanks for your thoughts, you raise a lot of good points, such as scrolling at the screen borders and distinct turns. I have a few questions for ya:

    If you do resize it there's a visual bug right now that messes it up so better just to leave it. But, would your preference be to play fullscreen?

    Weird how? Too short?

    Can you expand on this? I'm not quite sure what you mean.

    Clumsy how? The interface or the mechanic? Any ideas on improving it?

    Really? The main difference between Digitanks and SC is that Digitanks is turn-based. I've actually been comparing Digitanks to SC myself a lot. Why do you think that's a bad thing?

    Compared to RPS and Joystiq yeah they're small beans. I'm an unknown though, and I'm not comfortable with doing any major marketing to those sites yet so I'm sticking with the small beans for the time being. It's fairly easy to post a screenshot and news post on IDB and get into the top 10 for a day or two, and that results in a lot of traffic to the IDB page, but the problem is that not much of that traffic spills over to my main site. I think that the type of user on Mod/IndieDB is mainly interested in that site and aren't so much interested in non-free games, but it's easy to post stuff there (barring the draconian mods) so I do it a lot. The problem is that too much posting at once and you get diminishing returns.
     
  9. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    I think for more hardcore gamers going fullscreen is expected as a default. Just feels more natural as a game that way.

    When I was placing buffers to expand, I thought they would go out to the far edges of my territory, but when looking how far they can be placed, the distance wasnt really very far. I think you need to explain the expansion a lot clearer. Maybe have a "controlled territory" overlay that glows when placing buffers so you can see where you have holes etc. I really didnt see the connection between buffers and what I could actually do though.

    Well, imagine you've been building something for 10 turns. I think it would be useful to have more reward when the thing is built (assuming you arent building things really quickly as in a traditional RTS). So for instance a little slide-down-the-side note that tells you something built that you can click on to go to the object that completed. Or alternatively a more clear countdown to when things are imminently going to be completed. You want to make that "waiting for things to complete" part of the game important I think.

    Having to go down to the menu to select the power and then go back up to the unit to set it feels clumsy. Personally I'd do it all on/near the unit somehow. Or all near the menu. You already have bars down the bottom that show the power, why not make them sliders and get rid of the menu item?


    Well, good luck going up against THAT beast ;0

    Seriously, I'd do everything I could to compare myself AWAY from that kind of game. Emphasize the turn based nature. Make sure that people thought that base building and fortification was the order of the day. I would really try and find ways to distance myself from that particular game right now though. Might be better in a year or so though.
     
  10. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    +1

    Two other reasons- window borders on a game look a little ugly, and fullscreen is just more immersive.
     
  11. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    Okay I think that gives me a little better notion of what your problems were. I have some ideas to deal with that. Except I'm still having trouble understanding what you meant by:

    There is, but I noticed after I posted here that it's broken during the tutorial. Maybe that's the problem? Buffers let you construct buildings further and further away from your CPU, they can be placed all the way up to the furthest reaches of your tendrils and they create new tendrils that go out even further. Maybe I wasn't able to explain that well enough in the tutorial or something?

    Re: Starcraft, I don't really think I'm competing with StarCraft per se. StarCraft is a AAA RTS, I'm just a little indie game. I don't really think of indie games as competing with AAA games. The demographic is largely the same I suppose, but this type of game isn't really a commodity, and sales of them aren't entirely zero-sum. So in essence I figure comparisons to StarCraft to be an advantage because it helps cement in people's minds what my game is like. I can piggyback any StarCraft fans by saying my game is "StarCraft, but turn-based." Since they already enjoy StarCraft and they also see how my game is unique, this kind of thing would ideally creates instant value for my game in any StarCraft fan's mind. If I consider every StarCraft fan a potential Digitanks fan then I'm using Blizzard's marketing to my advantage. Or am I thinking about it the wrong way?
     
  12. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I think you are making a terminal mistake. (As you know I'm also developing a TBS, but it's not ready for any announcements yet).

    If you tell people you are making starcraft (or supcom) but turn-based, the only people who will give a shit are starcraft players and maybe other hardcore AAA RTS players.

    Some of those will head on over to your site and know instantly that this is not actually starcraft but turn based, and you've then alienated a decent swatch of potential customers.

    Better to be honest about it from day one. I don't know much about dealing with the public at large, but expectation management is a key thing to think about.
     
  13. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

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    The problem is, if you compare yourself to starcraft, you open up the mental picture of value. You then are comparing the value of your game vs the value of starcraft. Not an easy sell.

    I'd definitely NOT focus on that kind of comparison. If people want to make that connection themselves its fine, but I'd be really hesitant to try and equate my product with something so huge. If it were maybe early last year, I'd say differently, but starcraft have the market sown up for a year at least now.
     
  14. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    That's fair, thanks for the advice. I did stop calling it an RTS a while ago specifically because of SC2, I suppose I should stop comparing it as well.

    Applewood, have you gotten a chance to play it?
     
  15. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Too busy at the moment, but I definitely will.

    Bit of dangerous bias going on though if you want feedback. I'm beyond "yours is shit, mine is ace", but not all bias is intentional. (and therefore avoidable)

    It does look like our games are completely different though, which is good for both of us, I guess. :)
     
  16. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    I'm not really worried about that since I run all advice through a filter anyway, but the way you keep mentioning it is starting to make me wonder :p
     
  17. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Mentioning what?
     
  18. Vino

    Vino New Member

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    All this bias conflict of interest business with you reviewing Digitanks, due to you constructing a different casual (I assume?) strategy game.
     
  19. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Just covering my ass. When we started out it sounded like we're doing something pretty similar.
     
  20. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    ok, consider this the softest announcement on record. I posted a single pic of our progress so far up on our blog.

    Our game really isn't in a fit state to be played on yet as we're still bolting all the mechanical bits together, then I need to write the AI and redo the shite map editor and then we can start actually making a game out of it.
     

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