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Demo issues, bugs and what not.

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I think the hotspots need to be clearer, and the pointers should have a little dot or pointed part that shows you where the icon is actually clicking. I found the hotspot for the supplies closet impossible to find, despite4 probably 200 clicks all over the door.

 

+1

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Ok, there is a lot of good and bad it sounds like here. Swiping meh. Music Love, Bugs moderate infestation, Icons are pretty but could be tweaked. I love the progress here but If I am to be honest I really am not a fan of the art as it is. I truly thought there would be hand painted backgrounds with real paint not a wacom tablet kinda vector color job. I am frustrated to see how beautiful the concept art was and then to see the game play it feels like the magic was lost. I disagree with some of the comments about that it feels space questy and pretty, it doesn't and it's not. It feels kinda cold, kinda clunky, generic and uninspired. I was expecting all along hand painted and scanned pieces which should have been a no brainer since mark is such a strong artist. Even the frame rate is hard to look at it has the 60 frames rate look of a consumer handy cam. The old games felt more epic and felt more 24 frames-esk. I know you guys have been killing it all year and I am not here to discredit the hard work that was put in. I didn't finish the demo and have no plans to do so. I never lost the love to play adventure games but I won't kid myself into thinking this looks as amazing as others here say it does. Personally I know nothing about making a computer game so in my humble opinion I have lost all interest in the game if this is any indication of what the final game will look like. Optimistic yes, Disappointed yes, Frustrated yes, Confused yes but I'm still rooting for something as magical as the first 6 go rounds.

 

Mildly Discouraged

 

HCH

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I agree in part with the comment above by HCH. While I do not think that SV should necessarily adhere to the exact same art style as the old SQ games - as long as it creates a coherent style of it's own - I do feel a bit of the magic was lost by using modern and/or time or cost saving techniques. The most jarring to me is when software used to create the art or the engine that runs the game shine through in the final product (that '60fps feel' is a good example, I mentioned poly-count and particle effects earlier). While the same could be said for the pencil and paint origins and low resolution of the old games, to me that somehow has more charm and personality- and I don't think it's *just* nostalgia. But curious to hear if any 'old school' Sierra fans disagree.

 

Don't get me wrong, I am personally still immensely exited about this game, but I do think this is something that should be mentioned here.

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I do feel a bit of the magic was lost by using modern and/or time or cost saving techniques.

 

I remember some Moebius backers thinking the same thing, while Broken Sword and Armikrog projects raised more money to be able to include expensive graphics to impress their nostalgiac backers (2D graphics for $800k + internal funds, and $900k for physical stop-motion respectively). If SV can be a decent hit despite such regrets, there could be sequels that manage to hit the "EGA graphics" feature.

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If SV can be a decent hit despite such regrets, there could be sequels that manage to hit the "EGA graphics" feature.

I don't even mind the art direction as-is (not speaking for previous commenters). The way I see it, is that the choice to use 3D character models (not my preference, but a given) also calls for a different style for backgrounds etc. to make everything blend together. I think if even more effort could be put towards smoothing things out I could still be perfectly happy with the end result. I remember watching behind the scenes videos from Iron Giant (and I believe Emperor's New Groove) that showed how much trial-and-error the animators went through to blend in CG with traditional animation before getting it just 'right'.

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More bugs:

- After closing the box, from collecting the sockets, the wait/processing icon won't stop spinning.

- Some of the dialogue overlaps when clicking on different things (i.e. dialogue from first click remains after clicking again on something else and so on)

- Graphics intersect when Ace is moving the crates.

- Unable to view work bench until Ace is near it.

- No description for workbench items (may be random as first time was able to).

- Rag on workbench managed to shift with the look icon.

- At one point, rag was not movable at all.

- At one stage when leaving the suppy closet, Rooter does not follow when he was a dog. Went back in the supply closet to get him and he had switched back to the toolbox :S. After Rooter switched back, playing as Rooter, he wouldn't move and Ace appeared to be sliding towards him.

- When Ace leaves the supply closet, on a couple of occassions, he appeared north of the crates, towards the red corridor. At one stage, the crates got reset. Luckily Ace appeared outside the crates at the time.

- After Rooter entered the vent (headless. oops), he kept walking back on forth whilst the wait/processing icon spun. Couldn't do anything after that.

- When opening airlock door, there's one dialogue that shows 'N/A'.

- When exiting the close view of the workbench, Rooter turned into a toolbox, when he was already a dog prior to viewing the workbench.

- After popping Rooter's head back so that he can go through the vent, his head still shows up in Ace's inventory.

- Rooter disappeared when at corridor near lab and no longer seen when went back to the red hallway where he was last.

- Ace doesn't appear to be walkthrough through the lab door. He goes through slightly left of the door.

Suggestion:

Would be good when holding Rooter when he's a toolbox that he be made available in the inventory. It would make more sense when putting him on the shelf in the supply closet.

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Would be good when holding Rooter when he's a toolbox that he be made available in the inventory. It would make more sense when putting him on the shelf in the supply closet.

 

That is a great suggestion. I'll run it by the management :) Thanks! Also, I've recorded all your bugs and cross-referenced with what we have already. Much appreciated.

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I like the art. I have no problem with it. Yeah, it's different. But hand-painted art has its own problems too. Many of which I don't like. Even some scenes in SQ4 and SQ5. Especially if scanned artwork is going to be full-size and not downsized, which can hide imperfections behind big blocky pixels....not so forgiving with high resolution art. It would require a compounded amount of time and effort to pixel-correct many things so it didn't look like a painting, compared to the pixel editing that was required for 320x200 backgrounds.

 

I just don't think it's a big deal. I think the art looks great. No problems with it. Everything seems to work in my eyes. And interesting blend of SQ6 style and SQ5 style graphics. The camera angles (minus the straight-on view of the airlock door, which led to confusion in me regarding the toggles/handles) are even quite interesting. Like that one in the closet.

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Sorry about that - it appears that Unity doesn't implement the screen resolution dialog for Linux yet. Can you try using the -screen-width and -screen-height command line parameters as described on http://docs.unity3d....eArguments.html? Thank you.

 

Sorry I didn't reply earlier, I didn't see this until today. I tried the command line parameters. Worked perfectly. Thanks!

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I've always felt the complaints about "it feels like Unity game" to be a bit absurd. Each game I've backed and is using Unity has managed to use the engine in dufferent ways. Only indicator of Unity I've seen in them is the settings dialog window, otherwise if I wouldn't know the games have been made with the same engine I don't think I could have guessed it. What I believe is going on here is, that I've seen some people being very critical towards Unity from the get go, because of games they've seen done with it or that they've used some older version, which have been reportedly "not as polished" as the current one is and they are hating the engine because of their previous difficulties.

 

From what I've personally seen of Unity has astonished me. It's flexible engine and if I'd start doing a game right now it would be among the engines I'd consider using.

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The retro adventure love group is a vocal one, but I don't think they're as large as they sometimes think they are. Sure, there's a lot of retro adventure games made, but I think it says something about the amounts they sell, that none of them become huge hits no matter how good the games themselves are or how good reviews they get. I do understand why retro lovers like the games, as I am prone to nostalgia from time to time myself, but at the same time I've played some of those retro graphics games thinking how good they would look with high resolution art work.

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I was the person who started the "Style of the new game..." thread in the other part of the forum because I was worried about the look

initially, but after they showed the couple of screenshots of Ace in the corridor with crates, etc. I was sold on it...

I haven't seen the demo, so I don't really know what it all looks like with movement, but I can't imagine anything that

would be that off-putting...

 

Though I assume the demo is all in a similar environment to the already released screenshots, correct? Like on a spaceship...

 

I think the real test of the graphics/look will be when you see him in less of a close-up in a larger setting

(eg. if he was in the mall from SQ4), and particularly when he's in a place with more "natural" elements,

like if he finds himself in a forest or jungle location.

 

The straight lines and boxes/rectangles of a spaceship seem like they are a lot easier to depict

with these types of graphics than stuff like trees, etc. so will be interesting to see future screenshots/gameplay

from other locations...

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As of yet, everything is still quite rough around the edges, which is perfectly acceptable for an early alpha. Lots of bugs, but it's thoroughly satisfying to see that things are progressing! I'll try to limit my list of issues to things not already reported by others:

  • After clicking to use the airlock door, there's no way back to the full view, which was disconcerting, especially as I had no idea I could operate the handles (just clicking the hand icon on them gives no feedback, and the swipe is unintuitive for a mouse on a desktop PC).
  • Because of that airlock door view, I thought the arrows at the bottom were like an "exit" or "rotate view" thing. Perhaps add something like a darker background behind the inventory strip and place the text "nothing in your inventory" or something to make it more obvious what this actually is?
  • I clicked the Rooter icon in the toolbar whilst looking at the airlock door (even though it was white as Rooter was in toolbox form) and it switched anyway, but I couldn't switch back to Ace anymore.
  • In the red steam hallway, it is very difficult to select an icon from the top toolbar unless I move the mouse cursor down very slowly. Moving it too fast closes the toolbar. Happens only in this area.
  • Apart from many Rooter heads, it's also possible to multiply the sockets. Unlike the Rooter heads, those can't be gotten rid of.
  • The font is not very readable. A cleaner typeface as well as a darker background, sort of like a text box would make it much clearer.
  • When running in full-screen mode, the game does not limit the cursor to the extents of the monitor. This happens with all Unity games and is quite annoying as I keep accidentally clicking on another monitor when I simply wanted to walk of the screen.
  • I found getting Rooter to switch modes inside the supply closet only worked some of the time.
  • Some of the timing is off. (Rooter switches to dog mode on the shelf in the supply closet *before* Ace whistles, Aces walks out of the forklift's way, but then walks right through it as it is moving)
  • Clicking the "look" icon on the workbench ("use" icon doesn't work, though I think that should) when Ace is near the doorway makes his walk just a few steps, but doesn't actually gets to the workbench view.
  • Getting Rooter to the other side of the steam, then simply walking off the screen gets Ace there despite the steam not having been shut off.
  • Alternatively: switching to Ace after turning off the steam, then walking left off the screen makes Rooter disappear permanently. The steam also switched back on.
  • The slider with which the tubes open is so thoroughly hidden it was purely accidental that I managed to open it. Expecting that the Nostrodomus had touch-screen technology, I clicked the "use" icon on the "Locked" indicators, which did nothing except slide Ace left a few pixels.
Other things that stood out to me and I liked them very much:
  • The crates that have to be moved are actually numbered graphically indicating the order in which they are to be moved -- nice touch!
  • Love seeing the sleeping Roger and many other nods to Space Quest.
  • Different people have different tastes, but I gotta say I love the graphics and animation. Very atmospheric as well as perfectly fitting for the genre. Apart from some clipping and timing glitches, I think it's great. Only improvement I might suggest is to give Ace a bit of a shadow so he is more grounded in the scene.
  • Ken Allen is doing a great job at the music too!
Overall, I love the progress being made and am looking forward to being able to play this game. At the same time a little wary about having too much demo, as I'm afraid it might spoil the fun. Then again, I'm not sure I can help myself... gotta see what's happening :)

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I won't comment on the alpha bug issues as a lot have already done that but general feedback is:

 

Great audio & visuals,

 

Gameplay & UI seemed like the biggest challenge:

 

1) Everything felt a bit clunky when thinking, doing actions, moving around, smooth will be important

2) right clicking through action items still feels the most natural compared to the popup and mouseover UI

3) Hard to read text without some type of background (maybe transparent)

4) No voice-overs made it feel very "empty"

 

If the gameplay and UI can deliver as well as the audio/visual this will be an awesome project!

 

-Brent

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Sorry about that - it appears that Unity doesn't implement the screen resolution dialog for Linux yet. Can you try using the -screen-width and -screen-height command line parameters as described on http://docs.unity3d....eArguments.html? Thank you.

 

Thank you. Worked for me, although I still used manual trial and error to find a window size that matched the desired aspect ratio.

Fedora 19, Gnome 3

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Nope -- that's why backers got to see it first. A proper demo wouldn't be an alpha version, anyway.

 

What you're seeing in the backer's alpha is literally the earliest cohesive, playable version we've made. Hate to use the word again, but what you're looking at is literally the first effort. It's part of a ploy to keep fans involved and show them progress of the game -- warts and all -- to see the progression of the game from earliest beginnings to full-fledged galaxy-crushing monster product.

 

I understand your reticence to love the game right off the bat, but please see the bigger perspective. :) You wouldn't necessarily fawn over watching the first pencil sketch for the Mona Lisa, either.

 

I think most of the bugs and whatnot have long since been covered, but...Just a few points, particularly in relation to this.

 

I know the "demo" is currently "backers only" through the SVRewards site, but...As I recall, wasn't a big part of releasing a demo now that Chris Pope wanted something to show off to the media and the general public at SDCC? If so, I'm hoping that plan has been shelved, because showing this to media isn't in the best interests of the Two Guys. Unless Chris Pope is showing a substantially different version of the demo, that is.

 

I'm also a bit perplexed by the comment that it's the first cohesive bit that's been done and an effort to show backers the 'earliest beginnings'. Honestly, I wasn't expecting large studio quality and perfection from an early demo, but...I was expecting something approximating what we'd been told to expect. From the updates on Kickstarter about demo plans and the update last month, it sounded like things were in good shape and on target:

As far as the demo goes, we mostly have some more programming to wrap up and a little more polish left.

What we'd been told to expect wasn't an "early alpha" or a "prototype" or "Living Concept Art", it was a polished demo that was to be introduced to the public and press.

 

Obviously that wasn't the case as several items were dropped or missing, most noticeably the voiceovers we'd been anticipating.

 

Two issues from that.

 

The most pressing is if the demo is an accurate reflection of the status of the game's development, I'm concerned. There's a lot to like in the art style and the direction it's obvious the game's going in, but for things to have not progressed to the point were there's not more progress...It does make me wonder a bit about the last year or so and, to me, suggests there's no way we're going to see a finished, polished game before sometime in the first or second quarter of next year at the earliest. Don't get me wrong, being late isn't a bad thing at all, I'd prefer they take all the time they need.

 

On the other hand, you guys absolutely have to get better at communicating with your fan base and potential buyers. Some of the blowback from the demo could have been mitigated and controlled if expectations had been set and managed. Just jarring when you're told to expect one item that's been delayed for "polishing" and are presented with a much rougher/earlier version without warning.

 

The commitment to the two updates a month is a significant step in the right direction, but it defeats the purpose if updates are just convention appearances and plugs. Or generic reassurances that something's coming soon, just needs a little more polish.

 

Know this last bit will be unpopular, but, to me, it's pretty apparent that Chris has committed the biggest mortal sin in PR and that's not to do anything that would give cause for mistrust or suspicion. Bottom line, I don't trust a word out of his mouth and, as I suspect I'm not alone in that opinion, nothing good comes of a company spokesperson with no credibility.

 

Just my $0.02, so....make of it what you will.

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Tutorial (or as far as I've gotten):

 

  • Turn door handles counter clockwise by moving mouse 360 around them
  • Look at janitor cart to find ID card (easy puzzle)
  • Drag mouse on far right crate to push it forward, drag across upper middle crate to push to the left, drag middle crate to push it forward, drag crate in front of door.
  • Pick up Rooter
  • Use ID Card on Door
  • Place Rooter onto Shelf in Janitor Closet
  • Talk to Rooter to activate
  • Switch control to Rooter and walk towards other side (top right menu item)
  • Use Rooter's second action (head) to activate the lift
  • Move rooter to exposed area, Switch to Ace
  • Talk to Rooter to deactivate (this will avoid Rooter sleeping behind a random crate)
  • Look at the Roger's Workbench
  • Eat the hamburger, (there will be french fries in inventory)
  • Move the magazine away, collect socket and adapter
  • Collect glue remover
  • Use glue remover on accessory box, open box (do not close or you cannot reopen), collect 3 more sockets
  • Move cloth away from vice grips
  • Use socket adapter on vice grips, collect socket (important for next puzzle)
  • Pick up rooter or turn on Rooter and have him follow you.
  • Push janitor cart to reveal panel
  • Look at panel to see needed socket type
  • Put last collected or matching socket in Rooters head (You should have plenty of Rooter heads, if not click hand action to take one)
  • Use Rooter Head with Socket to open Panel
  • Change control to Rooter and walk through panel
  • Use Rooter head action to turn off Steam
  • Walk with Rooter to next screen, Ace will follow
  • Use ID Card on Lab Door or just walk through it (You cannot return if you walk through)
  • At this point there doesn't seem to be anymore to do, other than walk around.

 

 

Very usefull, but you miss the end of the demo :

 

 

• Move the cursor of the specimens screen to each tank. When the tank 4 is opened, the demo ends.

 

 

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*snip*

 

I just don't agree. I never had the impression this stuff was going to the press. I always thought of this as a buggy version that needs testing, and the backers were the lucky people that were going to do it.

 

This is the problem with releasing too much information to the public when you're still in design-and-implement-phase. They all get the wrong idea and it blows up in their face. I figured the fact that this would be limited to backers only would be cause enough to understand this.

 

And the Two Guys weren't just designing a game the last year, they were setting up a company. No game is going to be all "polished" and such during that time with all that going on. I think many people have been getting lofty expectations based on assumptions and misunderstandings. I will grant that communication with backers has been pretty slow. Myself, I've always just been too busy anyway to worry about any of the Kickstarter projects I've backed. I just trust them to get it done. If they have news then awesome. If not, they're working. I feel lucky to get anything. Especially such an early demo as this! I personally find it fascinating how game design evolves (one of the reasons I love the Double Fine Adventure documentary episodes) and I also feel lucky that we are able to influence the design in some way by offering helpful feedback on the weaker parts to shape and mold the game into what it'll eventually become. It's a small part, but it's still nice to be a part of it.

 

I don't think this demo was what a lot of people were expecting it to be. "Polished" meaning as playable as they were wanting it to be for backer/tester release, not "looks good enough to send to the public". Like I said before, I don't think the Two Guys want this demo in this form released to the public for review and critique. I believe they're showing a bit of it off, but I don't think anybody is going to be playing it. So much misunderstanding going around. That could be down to lack of communication I suppose...

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I never had the impression this stuff was going to the press. I always thought of this as a buggy version that needs testing, and the backers were the lucky people that were going to do it.

 

I actually had to go back and double-check after playing through the demo/prototype/whatever, myself, just to make sure I hadn't misunderstood or misinterpreted anything.

 

It's right there in print in previous updates as well as in the update announcing the download availability, specifically, here:

 

Come meet up with them and get a chance to play a demo of the upcoming SpaceVenture(funded by you amazing fans). All press is welcome to come by and check out the demo as well, and write about it! ;)

With the previous comments about holding off on the demo for polishing going back to May, and the mention of showing it off to the media, I don't think it's unrealistic to have had higher expectations, particularly since Chris explicitly outlined what to expect in early June and didn't bother to mention problems cropping up or the like until the mention of bugs and no voiceovers in the release announcement.

 

Just to me, it raises questions as to what's going on over there and is a clear indication Chris is in way over his head if he's taking this demo/prototype to the general public and the press.

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I suppose we'll just have to wait and see how tough the SDCC crowd is. I think they're going to be more forgiving when it's not shown off at something like E3 where a tiny little crash or bug can make gamers rant for months on end. But I can see why Chris wants something to show off. Mission accomplished; they have that now.

 

Is it perfect? No. But again, there is very much a niche market-thing going on here. The people that know the Two Guys from Andromeda in advance are the ones most likely to come see this in action, and they're likely going to be very forgiving. C'mon, there hasn't been a "Space Quest"-game since 1995. Or 1991, if you want to adhere to the dogma that both of the Guys need to be involved. What would you rather want to see as a fan? This or nothing? Well, I was present in quite a few of the years where we gradually came to realise it was probably only ever going to be the latter, and that wasn't exactly a barrel of laughs. Some of us are honestly grateful for anything new at this point.

 

I'll agree partly that bringing this to SDCC might've been a rushed decision, but I just don't see it causing as much damage as you do. I think that part of the charm with the Two Guys as opposed to some of the other projects is that there's a self-made quality to their PR. It may not always be flawless, but at least it's honest. Jim Walls and Robert Lindsay are displaying the same quality with the "Precinct" PR right now, and it appears to be working in their favour. As far as I can tell, we Sierra fans (generally speaking) love this honesty. It's in direct opposition to all the corporate bullshit we had to read about after the cancellation of "Space Quest 7". Chainsaw Monday, the acquisition by Vivendi, the whole Escape Factory mess, Activision's half-baked collections, etc.

 

In conclusion: yes, you do raise some valid points. This could've been more polished, but don't inflate it into more than it is. "SpaceVenture" has had a lot crappy press from the beginning; part of their PR effort was sabotaged and I also remember Rock, Paper, Shotgun being particularly critical of pretty much everything GFA did. And yet, the game still got funded. Clearly by more people than the "inner circle". I could be proven wrong, but all things considered, I just can't see this disaster approaching. They're always going to have a very limited grip on the mainstream crowd no matter what they do, and there are always going to be sycophants like yours truly around. As far as those are concerned, this is hardly a game-changer.

Edited by Frede

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