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Thread: Technical Feedback

  1. #1
    Junior Member mercy's Avatar
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    Technical Feedback

    Technical Feedback:

    Very nice title screen. Main Menu letters could be larger and more in focus / in front of the player. Too far to the left currently.
    Nice big fonts mostly, this is important.

    "You arrived just in time.."-these texts could use bigger font and window.

    RED LETTERING should be avoided overall - straining to the eyes -, use a more neutral color, like the blue you used on "Armor".

    READY button: the action that the player must click to begin battle is annoying. Auto-begin?

    RALLY: Better would be click on rally then click on target. Player shouldn't have to confirm everything with the okay icon, makes tactical battle annoying, restricts game flow.

    Auto-scroll screen missing when mouse reaches screen border.

    Blood-gush particle effects are offset if character is turned in some directions.

    Cannot attack in all 6 directions

    The subtitles should be closer to the cutscene window. Interestingly this split / detachment in communication to the player plagues all systems of the game.

    First dialogue: Who speaks to whom? The game doesn't introduce story characters successfully.

    Currently speaking characters don't look into the players resulting in a split / detached / broken communication to the player

    "You meander through rows of open-face houses.." - these types of texts should occupy the center of the screen.

    Big red canvas:
    When characters speak via texts placed on the upper part of the big red canvas, why is the canvas center empty and an icon placed at the bottom? = detached communication to the player

    You don't know who is speaking and why they are saying that. Only clear thing are the numbered answers, but again, who is answering?

    Speaking characters are not placed into the focus of player attention. Story-telling suffers from this. Missing emotions - apart from battle cries and the nobles monologue. The whole game feels like leafing through a comic book.

    Combat screen is supersaturated with icons, nauseating, unclear, not very tactical, not much fun. It feels like Battle of Icons rather than a visceral battle of vikings.

    This is more like an RTS than a good XCOM-like gameplay, where you care a lot for your squad members and are constantly worrying about their health. In Banner Saga a "squad member" is just a paper-cut piece.

    Probably among the most unfortunate dialogue designs in the game industry.

    Good that I could check out Banner Saga at my friends, because I found this type of drawn 2D graphics too straining for my eyes. The eye must constantly strain to "read" the outlines of battling units among the 2D sprites, where as in 3D the eye doesn't need to focus / separate a unit from the background that much so the gaming experience is a lot more relaxing, like watching a movie.

    Because of increasing eye-strain - as the first battle progresses - from picking out what's happening on tactical battle screens, I can't play, so won't buy.

  2. #2
    Senior Member loveboof's Avatar
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    A lot of this 'technical feedback' is clearly just subjective design choices that you personally would not have made. Also, I don't think you have played enough of the game to build an informed opinion; for example, the ready button is actually quite necessary for the player to have the time to reposition their characters before a fight. I see no benefit for a strategy game to rush through this... when the player is ready, they can click ready.

    But it is good of you to offer some feedback, especially as you do not intend to buy the game.
    Last edited by loveboof; 02-01-2014 at 03:04 PM.

  3. #3
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Hello mercy.

    I agree with most of your feedback comments concerning how dialogue and narration is handled & delivered, leading to what you refer to as "detached communication to the player". In my opinion, this is one of the areas of the game that still requires polishing to achieve the "consistency & homogenization" required for the graphical novel feeling the game is (or seems to be) aiming at.

    I, personally, disagree with almost all your (subjective, as loveboof remarks) comments on the combat system & 2D-vs-3D design choices. All this eye-straining you mention, makes me think that you didn't invest the time necessary to let the game's style sink in. How much time did you play? For the record: I am not a fan of modern first-person-camera games; the first time I played Skyrim (on a decently strong system), I got so much headache and strained-eyes that I nearly got sick. It took me a lot of time, to gradually expose myself to those camera dynamics and get used to then. So, I am wondering, how can anybody get that feeling from a game like The Banner Saga?
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Kuba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mercy View Post
    Technical Feedback:

    Cannot attack in all 6 directions
    Well, game is based on square grid, so there are just four directions.

  5. #5
    I must admit, i was stunned after completing my first run in almost all aspects of this game. perhaps a few glitch fixes here and there (but nothing comes to mind atm)
    I am quite please that just about everything in battle requires a conformation since sometimes i space out and miss-click. In short, i respectfully disagree with all of OP's opinions

  6. #6
    Junior Member CSRosewood's Avatar
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    Yeah, there's not much stock in 'feedback' on someone who hasn't played through the first chapter. For the following reasons...

    RED LETTERING should be avoided overall - straining to the eyes -, use a more neutral color, like the blue you used on "Armor".
    So how are you suppose to tell from the difference between Armor damage and Strength damage when you're characters get hit? Red is a distinct color. It's used in traffic lights because it's the most clearly visible and easily recognized. Along with green and yellow. However, this 'eye-straining' due to color is a very subjective feedback. I don't think many or even a few encounter this problem. In fact, if you make the armor and strength damage similar in color, how are color-blind individuals suppose to tell the difference? They have to check every time their character gets hit to be certain which value was dropped and that would be disrupted to game flow.

    READY button: the action that the player must click to begin battle is annoying. Auto-begin?
    Yeah, did you even played the game at all?! Refer to earlier post.

    RALLY: Better would be click on rally then click on target. Player shouldn't have to confirm everything with the okay icon, makes tactical battle annoying, restricts game flow.
    That's not an option because, you still have to select how powerful 'Rally' is going to be when executed. Whether at Rank 1, 2 or 3.

    The subtitles should be closer to the cutscene window. Interestingly this split / detachment in communication to the player plagues all systems of the game.
    What are you on? Even movies overlap with their subtitles over their motion pictures. People still are able to read them, understand them. Why would this need to be an exception? And how would this 'detach communication with the player'? Do you even knows what this means or do you invoke this term blindingly so?

    First dialogue: Who speaks to whom? The game doesn't introduce story characters successfully.
    You have to be a troll. The first dialogue has Eirik talking to Ubin. His dialogue is floating at the bottom of the screen with a blue banner with the name "Eirik" on it. How is this not intuitive?

    Currently speaking characters don't look into the players resulting in a split / detached / broken communication to the player
    I'm assuming you're referring to when a character is talking off-screen in which case, an icon portrait of talking character is presented. Maybe you're just use to voice acting and having distinguishable voices to tell them apart.

    "You meander through rows of open-face houses.." - these types of texts should occupy the center of the screen.
    No they don't.

    Big red canvas:
    When characters speak via texts placed on the upper part of the big red canvas, why is the canvas center empty and an icon placed at the bottom? = detached communication to the player

    The center part is reserved for player options. If you played just a little bit, you would have made that observation.

    You don't know who is speaking and why they are saying that. Only clear thing are the numbered answers, but again, who is answering?
    OMFG, read a book. They also don't directly indicate who is speaking all the time. But authors do expect the reader to have SOME intuition. Lol, why are they saying that? Now you want their motives?

    Combat screen is supersaturated with icons, nauseating, unclear, not very tactical, not much fun. It feels like Battle of Icons rather than a visceral battle of vikings.
    Have no idea what resolution you're playing on. Or even if what your saying is accurate. Majority of icons are kept to the edges of the screen. Segregated from the center of the screen like jews and nazis.

    This is more like an RTS than a good XCOM-like gameplay, where you care a lot for your squad members and are constantly worrying about their health. In Banner Saga a "squad member" is just a paper-cut piece.
    Both games have permadeath. But executed differently. Due to how the combat system work, it would be highly unfair to have permadeath as a result of a character falling in battle (losing a battle aside). And people do care about their fighters, because sick leave is a bitch.

    Probably among the most unfortunate dialogue designs in the game industry.
    It's similar to many old school RPG's. Something that worked quite well.

    Good that I could check out Banner Saga at my friends, because I found this type of drawn 2D graphics too straining for my eyes. The eye must constantly strain to "read" the outlines of battling units among the 2D sprites, where as in 3D the eye doesn't need to focus / separate a unit from the background that much so the gaming experience is a lot more relaxing, like watching a movie.
    Yeah bub, you have issues. Hopefully you didn't have to suffer the 8-bit and 16-bit era.

    Because of increasing eye-strain - as the first battle progresses - from picking out what's happening on tactical battle screens, I can't play, so won't buy.
    I'll also recommend seeing an eye doctor.

    Glad I'm not a member of a stoic team, or else I wouldn't get the opportunity to be an ass.
    Last edited by CSRosewood; 02-01-2014 at 05:32 PM.

  7. #7
    Superbacker netnazgul's Avatar
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    Your opinion is very important for us, please stay on the line.

    Seriously, looks like among the whole history of turn-based-strategy games the only one you've played was XCOM (and I mean the latest) and you think every other game should adopt its UI and mechanics (and those are both far from ideal, I assure you)...
    If you don't know where to put it - put it in the pillage

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  8. #8
    Junior Member Toskk's Avatar
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    Skipping through most of that list (although I am interested in the OP's sources for his explanations on visual media and information presentation.. could you cite some sources?), the one item that I wanted to briefly mention is:

    "READY button: the action that the player must click to begin battle is annoying. Auto-begin?"

    As loveboof mentions, the 'Ready' button is there because you technically have the option to reposition your heroes before the fight starts, which the OP missed (he's not alone with this regard).. however in this one case, I'm feeling like the game learning environment in this case is failing to teach the player about this option in a timely manner (i.e. there is no 'tutorial-like' combat where the player is taught about repositioning heroes before combat). Repositioning is a critical aspect of battles, and the player really could use just-in-time coaching/teaching on this at a very early point in the game. Straying into game design theory a little more, the information presentation during the tutorial battles could use some polishing, as well. In particular, the game freezes when a help dialog box is displayed, and the player cannot continue until they click it off. This kind of intrusion into pace of play often leads players to rapidly click off the text without actually reading to understand it. Ideally, just-in-time information needs to be presented at precisely the moment when the player needs it (i.e. it should remain on the screen, not interrupting the player, until the player completes the directed instruction). I've been meaning to write a post about the learning environment in Banner Saga (including citations and such).. if anyone's interested, I'd be happy to write (a whole lot) more on the topic.

  9. #9
    Skald Aleonymous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toskk View Post
    You technically have the option to reposition your heroes before the fight starts, which the OP missed (he's not alone with this regard)
    This is, indeed, one of the most important parts of the battle, and it should have been stressed more. Correctly deploying your units once the enemy unit locations are revealed is a huge factor to success. I typically spend at least 3-4 minutes in this stage, laying out the strategy I'm gonna follow and accurately measuring distances etc. The only problem is that you don't know the enemy unit initiative order...

    As I've said elsewhere, the battle that first uses deployment is the Nobleman (Strand mead house) one, against the Skafling thugs. However, no tips or introduction are given there. This mechanic is explained two battles later, in Chapter 2, when Rook & Alette face the starving Dredge in the forest... Interestingly, that same battle awkwardly bypasses the Pillage mode turn-queuing (maybe because enemy has just one unit right off the start?), which also throws the inexperienced player out of pace...

    Summarizing, the first four battle of the game are not so well structured:
    1. Strand Great Hall -- Introduces all the basics & Pillage Mode. Except Deployment (which is pre-set) and Horn.
    2. Strand Mead House -- No tips are given. Looks like a "normal" battle, with deployment and all. The Horn is not yet in.
    3. Battle where Vognir is killed -- Tips about Armor-Breaking and Horn introduced. Deployment is taken away, and we're back to pre-set!
    4. Starving Dredge -- Deployment is explained and some more tips are repeated. Turn queuing is not Pillage (when it should) and Horn is redundant (as its only one enemy).
    Together we stand, divided we fall.

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