Goblin Storm First Look and Let's Play

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NS2 Xenophon
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Goblin Storm First Look and Let's Play

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weB4s9jvZNU&feature=youtu.be

Here it is! 25 minutes of solid gameplay of Goblin Storm for you guys to enjoy. I talk about gameplay, mechanics, combat, orders, intelligence, tips and tricks and more. There is still much left to discuss, so I am open to questions as always smiley

OrkRaider
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Nice video, game in movement looks fine.

Maybe the worst thing is the very small size of letter... not easy read info specially when you want know about unit info maybe here a good option could be do like in Tiller games with the unit portrait bigger, covering all the bar and with the info in a table in the flank.

Something like this, portrait, under it unit name and right of unit portrait table with unit atributes and next unit same with this if you click in a hex and have all the info big and accesible, for example now the unit name appear very rare around the unit counter in the unit list, in minute 15:45 the names of human units are imposible to read and is not like is lack of space in the bar, i doubt we see with stacking limits units in number to cover all the low bar.

Other thing i notice is that using same colour for all movement orders is hard notice when 2 or more pass same hex what orde is for what unit... maybe use diferent colours for lines.

The creation of units is a little cahotic, if you want create custom units you need be carefull to dont mix them specially if we dont know if unit is a company or a regiment or if is the same unit we moded earlier.

Apart this for the type of missions map size is correct but maybe VS a human player become small and is possible find excesive bottlenecks even with the limited number of units avaliable, double map size is interesting, i am curious if game is going to have a map editor.

Other thing i like is how is possible defend well terrain even with limited number of troops... at same time you could suffer a lot if dont be carefull.

Well, waiting more info, the WEGO system works very fine, i like the option to see turns impulse by impulse even when i prefer see turns like this and not use repetition to see the turn step by step, in the end you see turn 2 times.

 

PD: for the unit composition... at least in a counter corner add a number to know if has 1 or more companies, interested in your mod.

NS2 Xenophon
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Improving the unit display at the bottom of the screen is one of our immediate post-launch priorities. We are going to be adding more space between the unit names and hopefully when we do that, we can also make more space for displaying how many companies are inside a unit at a glance.

Battle group creation can look a little chaotic at first. But you get used to it pretty quickly. It will only let you battle group units if you have divided them into their constituent companies like I did at 3:10. So you won't have to worry about accidentally merging entire regiments or other groups into your new battlegroups.

There won't be a map editor in the beginning. I have talked with NS2 Archimedes about this and we think there are roughly 3 ways we could implement a map editor in the future. That is a long term development goal and I will talk about it in a bit more detail in the modding dev blog.

Quixzlizx
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1. Is there a reason why Hold & Defend or Rest aren't the default orders for units that don't receive any?  Perhaps there could be a toggle in the options to make either one or the other your default order for units that don't receive any? I think that would help reduce micromanagement for garrison units.

2. I agree with OrkRaider above that it would be good if there was some indication at the bottom of the screen that a regiment contains 2+ companies.

3. Is there a reason why you didn't do the standard grayed out filter to show fog of war/line of sight? Also, is there a zone of control filter? That would probably help players who may not remember all the intricacies of how terrain/unit composition affect zone of control in particular situations.

4. I'm just wondering how players are supposed to know the context of certain intel messages.  I thought of that when you showed off the "Goblins have bought Dwarven maps" message.  You said that was strong evidence of a gold or slave raid, but it seems like they'd need accurate maps of human settlements for conquest missions, too.

I appreciate the preview video.

NS2 Xenophon
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The Hold and Defend probably should be a default order. Since it makes sense to leave units in Hold and Defend when they're sitting around idle and it would reduce micromanagement of garrisons. Rest is a bit more risky, because units with the rest order fight at half strength.

We chose a selectable Line of Sight filter instead of standard grayed out fog of war because it was how we did it in our original CAOS project upon which Goblin Storm is heavily based. We did it that way back then because of an engine limitation, although theoretically that should no longer be a problem for the improved engine Goblin Storm uses. There is a zone of control filter, right next to the Line of Sight filter. The hotkey to toggle it on/off is Z.

With the intel hints, the cross connections and similarities you see between messages help the player identify the context. When I saw the Dwarven maps I was fairly confident that it was a gold raid because the hints I had seen so far were mostly gold related (prisoners talking about loot, brawls over division of loot, anticipating plunder). You would see many of those same hints in a conquest too, but there would also be other hints that point towards their plans for future occupation or indicate a greater degree of preparation than you would see in a raid.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Quixz! Let me know if you have any other questions smiley

Quixzlizx
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Thanks for answering my questions.  I would just suggest (depending on how much programming work that would be) that you eventually try to switch over to the standard fog of war if your engine can support it.  I only say that because I would consider myself a "casual grog" gamer, in that the games I've spent the most time with are games like Battle for Wesnoth and Unity of Command.  I know how to read NATO counters, and I actually appreciate how much information they're able to easily convey to the player, but I'm too afraid to start up War in the East and try to play it, despite it being in my Steam library :P

So I think it'd help you pull in new players if your game's UI is presented as much like "casual" strategy games like Civ and Wesnoth as possible, even if the complexity is obviously leveled up with systems like WEGO and creating an OoB.  With the potential Steam audience, you don't want to box yourself into appealing to "grogs" who are used to UI eccentricities.  I'm personally excited about the game because I'm more into fantasy settings, and I don't really know of any other operational-level games with fantasy settings (and if there are, the fact that I don't know about their existence is a perfect example of the problem!)

So the point of my post isn't that the fog of war display is some sort of massive issue on its own, but I thought I'd give you the perspective of someone coming from less complicated strategy games (instead of a grog coming from more complicated ones) who immediately noticed that UI dissonance.  Because from your response, it kind of sounded like "Oh, that's just the way we've always done it." Although I have no idea who beta-tested the game, so for all I know your test group had a bunch of strategy casuals in it.

Best of luck for the launch tomorrow.

NS2 Xenophon
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Yeah I see what you mean, this is very helpful feedback. Our goal with Goblin Storm is to make the game appealing to traditional grogs, but accessible to more casual strategy gamers as well. Fantasy operational strategy raises the possibility of bringing the two radically divergent camps of strategy gamers together and we want to make the UI intuitive, despite the necessary complexities.

I discussed a fog of war overlay (as opposed to the current Line of Sight overlay) with NS2 Archimedes and he is concerned that it may still be an engine problem due to the necessity of drawing a fog of war overlay on every single visible hex. So the only way to find out for certain will be to prototype it at some point and try. But it is certainly worth trying.

Thank you for your input and well wishes Quixz, we will see what the morning brings us!

OrkRaider
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Thanks for the reply.

Well, the problem i have with creation of battlegroups (regiments-hordes) is that all the unit portrair looks the same, even if you add the ability to see the number of companies that form the battlegroup you need click to see what companies are part of the unit... here i remember my first wargame (ACW wargame), that used a very simple system based in show brigades with the regiments that from them.

I imagine in something like this but instead see brigades top-down see them left-right... imagine image turned 90º to the right or left with the brigade symbol as unit portrait and the regimenta as unit companies.

Because when you buy army you dont need see terrain i suggest you use a bigger square to place units, you place regiments in column and on the right area for the regiment see the companies that form them, to detach under every company a detach buttom and you send the individual companies to another square... the point is have 2 squares, one to show regiments-hordes in column with company composition and other for detached companies... and you can move a company to an empty slot in regiment list to create a new regiment-horde moving the companies to the regiment you want create... apart that you can have empty slots in every regiment to move the companies.

Map editor in the end is going to help you leave part of the work in comunity, i dont know what you want do with game in future (something like FOG 2 with army lists or base all in sell base game and release in future games with diferent ambientation) but at least maps could be neutral on this area, not like new races.

In the end i think that first thing that players are going to want is switch attacker-defender roles and human VS human or goblin VS goblin of course add new races is going to be popular dwarves, orks, undead...  could be fun undead armies that start with very small number of units but that rise them using casualties from enemy.

Well, tomorrow is the day, lets see if we see more about game.

OrkRaider
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A little question about multiplayer... how it works??? i refer if you need have both players at same time playing their part of the turn or you can play your part and send it to the other guy, play his part and resolve turn on his computer and you receive the turn solution to visualize it... like in AGEOD games.

 

Thanks.

NS2 Xenophon
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You need both players playing at the same time. In fact, when you are playing co-op, you can even see your ally planning their moves in real time and what hex they currently have selected. This makes coordination very easy and ensures that games are fast. After both players have submitted their turn, the game resolves the turn.

OrkRaider
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Thanks for the reply.

Well, is strange in a turn based game need have both players playing at same time... even when is WEGO is the first one i see with this... games like AGEOD titles, Flashpoint campaigns... offer the classic PBEM style without need have both players at same time in playing.

PD: any option to see a preview of changes for UI???

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