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Xenonauts 2 - Feedback & Priorities

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12 minutes ago, Max_Caine said:

I would disagree. I had originally set it to "Fastest" and it was a muddy blur throughout (menu screen, loading screen and combat). Giving it a higher setting made it sharper. 

The (Unity) Quality settings at the start mostly affect the Texture quality and Shadowing at the moment.
(It reduces texture sizes, anisotropic texts, etc; it also affects the number of applicable lights, but with this scene that wouldn't affect things as much.)

The smoothness is probably the result of the VSync being turned on at the higher qualities.
(Although we do force it at start through code at the moment; it could be overridden by the Quality Settings)

We haven't adjusted the Quality settings yet for the scene or game. They'll need to be to properly take advantage of the camera distance and other things.
Some of the bigger performance hits (post-processing) aren't controlled by those settings, but changing the Quality Settings will certainly have effect.

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Finished one game.  Ver 0.0.5.
Failed to see most alien shots for camera reason, but won without taking a single hit, and didn't get to try reaction shot.

Core i5 2500K @ 3.3GHz, 8GB RAM, GTX 660, 2560x1440. FPS ok, no jarring fps drops.

Bugs

  1. At start of turn, soldier list shows everything full, until a soldier is selected.
  2. Destroying the only cover (in my case a rock) does not make the alien stands up.
  3. Alt+Tabbing out of ground combat loading screen cause ground combat to never finish loading (progress says 100% but gc never show up). Only happened once and cannot reproduce.
  4. When moving a single grid, soldiers sometimes move only half the distance, spending TU and then cannot be selected from either grid.  Movement still possible but start from original grid.  Cannot reliably reproduce but happened twice on crouched soldiers. (How can we report grid coordinates?)
  5. New game, soldier 8, move left 3 squares to be next to tree.  Then he cannot move forward (over the fence) or backward 1 grid - cannot select the ground.
  6. Firing cursor sometimes does not register clicks (left or right).  Often after a shot was taken.  The most frustrating bug to me.


Design issues

  1. The opt-in checkbox's state is not obvious.  It's either a white box or a black box.  Which state is checked?
  2. Input config does not show rotate functions; I only learned there is rotation (and how) from the feedback thread.
  3. Font of loading screen is small.  Quote on loading screen is way too small.  English translation of quote is almost unreadable.
  4. Cover indication is sometimes covered by vertical rocks.
  5. All ground indicators (cursor, move path, selected soldier etc.) covered by grass, elevated grounds (I:29 J:29), trees etc., hard to see.
  6. Move path may totally disappear into unknown (black) grid.
  7. Mouse over on UI elements should hide area/cover indicators.
  8. LOF block indicator may overlap each other. Can we take away "Block" and simply show "-20%"?
  9. Bullets are too short and small to see where they hit, esp. when firing over long distance.  Can we use tracing bullets? Invented since 1915.
  10. Cannot clearly see alien's actions.  Everything is greyed out, too low contrast.
  11. Everything is so detailed that it's hard to pick out important details - from enemies to flying bullets!


Potentials

  1. Would be nice if soldier list shows which soldier is being mouse hovered (in addition to who is selected).
  2. Cursor (ground and mouse) is the same for passable ground, impassible ground, and ground with soldier.  Expected better indication.
  3. Zoom in and out, please.
  4. Would be nice to have free form rotation, like UFO:Afterlight.


Balance

  1. Line of fire issue (low hit rate) is a bit depressing.
    1. I accidentally put a solder 5 squares from a drone without cover.  The alien moves to get better LOF and makes two shots, neither hit.
    2. Said soldier then moves to an square adjacent to the alien (round a tree) and fire shotgun.  Zero hit.
    3. Just curious, which RNG is X2 using? Mersenne twister?
  2. Never need to reload despite my preference for long range snipe/burst.


Likes

  1. Solder list is rich in information.  Replacing roles with weapons (and ammo!) is a nice idea.  Hope there'll be a shield background for shield bearers.
  2. Height difference makes the map more varied and fun (plenty of cover).
  3. Love the red berets.
  4. The fact that the early preview exists, playable, and relatively well polished.
Edited by Sheepy
Add "height difference" to likes.

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@Chris: "Should be a red button in the bottom right of the screen, no? What screen resolution are you playing on?"

1024 X 768. My eyes are not happy at finer ones.

@Larry Burstyn: I have Xeno 1 and 2 both installed, and neither interferes with the other. I do have them installed on different partitions, though.

 

  -- Mal

Edited by malthaussen

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11 minutes ago, malthaussen said:

@Chris: "Should be a red button in the bottom right of the screen, no? What screen resolution are you playing on?"

1024 X 768. My eyes are not happy at finer ones.

Hmm, yeah that would explain it.
I'll check if I can jury-rig something that'll make sure that you can get to the basic elements at that resolution.

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@Gis-jan: I appreciate the thought, but I've tried several different resolutions just now, and they all default back to 1024X768. And yes, my monitor is capable of 1920 X 1080. I also tried the windowed 800 X 600 mode, but that just shrinks the display field, all the elements remain the same size.

Weirdly enough, I play Xeno 1 at 1280 X 800 just fine (well, the battlefield is a bit small); other resolutions distort the screen. I have a 3/4 aspect ratio.

The red button is hidden at this display level. By using esc,. I can reveal the "end turn" button, but not the Overwatch button during turn execution.

  -- Mal

Edited by malthaussen

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Finally had some time to look at this.  Using most recent build (as of 28/10/2016).

Not sure I really have anything new to say.  The game ran fine on my machine - smooth and no lag except (except with burst fire but that seems obviously a consequence of it not being implemented fully yet).  No crashes or serious bugs, though I may well have gotten lucky.  PC specs, for reference:

AMD FX(tm)-8530 Eight-Core Processor 4.00 GHz; 8.00 GB RAM; AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series

On an aesthetic level, I really like it even in its early, unpolished form.  The new soldier designs are strong and the environment has a nice rugged feel to it.  It also still feels very 'Xenonauts' - that might just be a consequence of it using a lot of the same assets but even putting that to one side I think it had a very familiar feel to it which is pleasing.  I'm not sure how taken I am with the new Psion models but I think that might just be the fact that they're a very similar colour/texture to the environment.

In terms of gameplay stuff, I didn't have any trouble at all with the auto-crouch mechanic and would be quite happy for it to stay.  Some of that might be due to map design - the demo map has a lot of cover so you're never really in a position where you might want manually crouch in the open anyway - but even so I didn't miss the busywork of having to manually crouch soldiers.  Didn't have any overwatch fire so cannot comment on that.  Otherwise, again, felt very familiar - balance seemed perfectly in line with X1 experiences.

In terms of UI, I assume a lot is currently placeholder.  However, I did find the cover/grid overlay surrounding the cursor a little excessive, especially given how much cover there is.  I'd be inclined to make it smaller, change the cover icons, or have a key toggle the cover displays (I wasn't having any difficulty identifying cover locations even without the overlay - while it might be useful for new players my feeling is that experienced players won't need it other than occasionally).

All in all, then, I'm not sure I saw anything glaringly problematic.  There's obviously plenty of issues but none which got in the way of my playing.  But maybe I got lucky?  Or maybe I just have a high tolerance for early-build issues.  Like, the AI turn camera is pretty dreadful at the moment - it's more or less never showing what's going on - but then I recall that X1 had all kinds of camera issues 'til not long before final release so it's not something that bothers me much.  So yeah, maybe not the best person to give feedback on that.  Honestly, I think I'm just excited to see it, and I'm impressed with how much it seems to capture X1 considering it's been built on an entirely new engine.

(Oh, one thing, seconding the comment above about the 'opt-in' box being unclear which state indicates opting in.)

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@Sheepy(and anyone else who dislikes small fonts) - it would be really useful if you could take a screenshot of the loading screen or in-game level and use Paint or Photoshop or whatever to give me an example of the sort of font size you'd like to see. I'm totally cool with the current font size in the game and I imagine most other people will be too, but I'd like to create a "large font" option for those who aren't.

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14 hours ago, malthaussen said:

@Gis-jan: I appreciate the thought, but I've tried several different resolutions just now, and they all default back to 1024X768. And yes, my monitor is capable of 1920 X 1080. I also tried the windowed 800 X 600 mode, but that just shrinks the display field, all the elements remain the same size.

Weirdly enough, I play Xeno 1 at 1280 X 800 just fine (well, the battlefield is a bit small); other resolutions distort the screen. I have a 3/4 aspect ratio.

The red button is hidden at this display level. By using esc,. I can reveal the "end turn" button, but not the Overwatch button during turn execution.

  -- Mal

What's the native resolution of your monitor? The game's really not designed for 1024 x 768 (and I really don't want to encourage anyone to try to play it on that resolution) and it's not designed for 4:3 aspect ratio in general. Your monitor must be a decent size though if it can support 1920x1080?

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3 hours ago, Chris said:

@Sheepy(and anyone else who dislikes small fonts) - it would be really useful if you could take a screenshot of the loading screen or in-game level and use Paint or Photoshop or whatever to give me an example of the sort of font size you'd like to see. I'm totally cool with the current font size in the game and I imagine most other people will be too, but I'd like to create a "large font" option for those who aren't.

What I see in v0.0.5, at 2560x1440:

x2.gc_load.0_0_5.gif

What if everything is 200% bigger in dimension:

x2.gc_load.0_0_5.font-size-double.gif

 

Note that I'm happy with the font size in ground combat, as far as English is concerned.

Edited by Sheepy

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5 hours ago, Chris said:

@Sheepy(and anyone else who dislikes small fonts) - it would be really useful if you could take a screenshot of the loading screen or in-game level and use Paint or Photoshop or whatever to give me an example of the sort of font size you'd like to see. I'm totally cool with the current font size in the game and I imagine most other people will be too, but I'd like to create a "large font" option for those who aren't.

This remembers me about something which is currently ongoing XD.

I hope im not too annyoing.

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4 hours ago, Sheepy said:

What I see in v0.0.5, at 2560x1440:

Note that I'm happy with the font size in ground combat, as far as English is concerned.

Thanks. Looking at the screenshot I realise that I need to check if the font is set to scale up with resolution on the loading screen; I suspect it isn't intended to be that small. I'll look into it on Monday anyways.

EDIT - as a general note, doing a screenshot with resized text for the UI is a standing offer for anyone who thinks the fonts are too small anywhere. It's hard for me to know what the "correct" size is when enlarging fonts, because I'm perfectly happy with the default sizes.

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Another feature I'd like to see is the ability to turn our soldiers manually with the <> keys, LoS being as crucial as it is.

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6 hours ago, agris said:

Another feature I'd like to see is the ability to turn our soldiers manually with the <> keys, LoS being as crucial as it is.

Noted. Is there a reason why that's more precise than rotating them using the mouse right-click?

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3 minutes ago, Chris said:

Noted. Is there a reason why that's more precise than rotating them using the mouse right-click?

Soldier rotation is in increments of 45 degrees. When right-clicking a tile some distance away, it can sometimes be hard to judge whether it's in the next 45-degree cone or not, at least this is a problem I've experienced in X1.

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4 hours ago, Solver said:

Soldier rotation is in increments of 45 degrees. When right-clicking a tile some distance away, it can sometimes be hard to judge whether it's in the next 45-degree cone or not, at least this is a problem I've experienced in X1.

I can confirm the experience as a new player.
But my experience is mainly on gauging whether a (far) shot would turn a soldier, and a turn soldier key won't help the calculation.

I often dream that having angle and LOF indication to visible enemies, on movement preview (and on visible grid only), will surely help :cool:

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Okay.  Downloaded version 5....color scheme seems all wrong.  Way too much yellow.

Can hardly see the enemy because they seem to be the same color as the ground. 

Also when an enemy is under a tree the top of the tree does not disappear so you cannot see the enemy--the target thingy shows up but you cannot tell when you hit except by a sound. 

The damage done does not stay up long enough to read.

Is there a way to slow down the rotation with the keyboard keys.

Edited by Larry Burstyn
rotating view question

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@ Chris  "What's the native resolution of your monitor?"

It says 1920 X 1080, but when I run Xeno 1 at that resolution, it definitely distorts the gfx. The physical display area is 24" X 18" or so, which is a 4/3 ratio, and 1280X960 is the highest resolution at which I can run Xeno 1 without horizontal distortion. There is some kind of approximation going on, though, because the display is identical at 1280X800 to 1280X960, but if I try to use 1440X900, which has the same ratio as 1280X800, horizontal compression manifests.

But Xeno 2 appears to only run for me at 1024X768 whatever I choose in the setup.  This is true even when I change the monitor's resolution via the Windows control panel. Which is, frankly, puzzling as hell, but presumably a hardware problem and not a software problem.

  -- Mal

Edited by malthaussen

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59 minutes ago, malthaussen said:

@ Chris  "What's the native resolution of your monitor?"

It says 1920 X 1080, but when I run Xeno 1 at that resolution, it definitely distorts the gfx. The physical display area is 24" X 18" or so, which is a 4/3 ratio, and 1280X960 is the highest resolution at which I can run Xeno 1 without horizontal distortion. There is some kind of approximation going on, though, because the display is identical at 1280X800 to 1280X960, but if I try to use 1440X900, which has the same ratio as 1280X800, horizontal compression manifests.

But Xeno 2 appears to only run for me at 1024X768 whatever I choose in the setup.  This is true even when I change the monitor's resolution via the Windows control panel. Which is, frankly, puzzling as hell, but presumably a hardware problem and not a software problem.

  -- Mal

That sounds quite confusing to me - possibly it's due to your monitor setup though? If you've set your desktop to 1920x1080 resolution and it's a 4:3 aspect ratio monitor, I can imagine that causing problems ... and kinda just being awkward to use in general. I wonder if Unity can't properly detect what size everything should be if your desktop resolution is not the same aspect ratio as your monitor is?

Your monitor almost certainly has a 4:3 native resolution so X2 might then work properly in a window if you set your desktop to the largest 4:3 resolution it can support.

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Hi everyone and thanks to Chris for helping me regain access to my user here. So I just got to test the new demo on my laptop over the last weekend (i7-4500u with dedicated geforce 840m, 16GB DDR3 ram, game installed on samsung evo 840 ssd. I loved the new graphics and especially the environmental effects (the shotgun destructive effect is awesome). However, I desperately wish their was a  zoom in effect as the character models seemed much more detailed then i could observe on an 1080p screen. the cover grid is a good idea but should be reduced to the specific tile the mouse pointer is on or tops to a 3x3 grid around where its pointing, otherwise it gets overwhelming on the eyes (in my opinion). For the moment, that's really my main points, nothing else seems be to glaring. The game seems to have a lot of potential with this engine and i'm looking forward to see how it will evolve.

 

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Few random thoughts:

-The game seems to be somewhat laggy and slow on my computer (Core i3, Radeon HD3670, 4gb, Win10, Dx12) Combined with the unresponsive and "floaty" edge scroll made the game feel hard to control. Please tune edge scroll to work similar to X1 (move only when cursor is at the edge and not seconds after it)

-Enemies are still really hard to see. Unit highlighting and outlines, prop transparency and more contrasty textures are needed really bad here. Maybe its also the lack of shadows that makes everything seem too uniform and flat that pretty much nothing stands out visually. UI graphics (movement line, TU's ) naturally need to be drawn on top of the grass.

-Visually the map looks fine aside from the aforementioned lack of shadow and contrast. Maybe the forest tileset is a bit too busy and not so functional in general compared to the original. Line of Fire, cover situation, movable terrain, units and especially fying bullets are constantly unnecessarily hard to perceive. I had a feeling I'm not in full control and can't follow everything that is happening around the playing field. Rich world graphics are nice and all, but functionality first, please! :)

- Units look good aside from the visibility issue (have you experimented (can it be done?) with a slight outline like in X1?) There's something off with animations and I don't mean the obvious vaulting glitches, but the animation framerate seems lower than the game's base framerate and it makes everything seem annoyingly jittery. My under powered computer might be the cause of course. It just doesn't look right, just can't put my finger on it after this first short test. Maybe too slow/fast animation speed in comparison to unit movement speed?

 

Few quality of life improvements are needed asap to make the gameplay more enjoyable:

- "TU's left after this move" information should be shown all the time in the cursor when deciding where to move, instead of only after clicking.

- Soldiers should move as far as they can, even when ordered beyond max TU limit.

- You should be able to reroute soldiers while they are moving.

- Shooting reticle needs to snap more neatly to grid

- Cover information around the cursor is way too intrusive

- UI is scattered all over the place, but I'm sure it's a place holder...

 

After testing this, I fired up old Xenonauts for the first time in ages - and damn it (still) feels great after this demo. I understand that X2 is still in very early production stage, but still... if you haven't, go play few GC rounds there and feel how snappy and responsive everything feels and how easy it is to see where to move and get into cover. (if not, I probably need a new computer... ;))

EDIT: I play with 1920x1080 resolution with 1920x1080 native screen and I too found the loading screen text too small. Also would like to read actual gameplay tips instead these historical warfare wisdoms.

Edited by Skitso

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Interesting. Suddenly I don't need to post my feedback as it's pretty much word for word what Skitso wrote. Aside from the performance. I don't have issues at all.

Edited by Moonshine Fox
Forgot performance.

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@Chris:  "That sounds quite confusing to me."

Me, too. For one thing, I don't understand why my monitor tells me the optimal resolution is 1920X1080, but every time I boot up it tells me so. That is far from a 4:3 ratio.

Further experimentation is showing me that the game will only run at the same resolution at which the monitor is set. At lower resolutions, the "next turn" and overwatch buttons do not appear. Unfortunately, the highest resolution with the correct 4:3 ratio is 1280X960, which does not display these buttons ("next turn" can be made visible by using Esc). At other resolutions, all the information is displayed, but horizontal compression occurs. This is not so much a problem in the Xeno 2 demo as there are no soldier mug shots to be distorted (as yet); the compression of the soldiers, aliens, and terrain is not so noticeable. 

  -- Mal

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On 30/10/2016 at 2:05 AM, Chris said:

Thanks. Looking at the screenshot I realise that I need to check if the font is set to scale up with resolution on the loading screen; I suspect it isn't intended to be that small. I'll look into it on Monday anyways.

EDIT - as a general note, doing a screenshot with resized text for the UI is a standing offer for anyone who thinks the fonts are too small anywhere. It's hard for me to know what the "correct" size is when enlarging fonts, because I'm perfectly happy with the default sizes.

 

In general, it would be best if the UI scaled to a percentage size on the screen, rather than to a specific resolution. That way even if someone in the far future using a 32k resolution monitor is playing, they'll be able to run it no worries. People range from 768p to 4k screens today, which is a huge gulf to cover. Vector images for UI elements are ideal, but even just primitive scaling of 2D assets is better than nothing.

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On 11/4/2016 at 0:19 AM, ThoseDeafMutes said:

 

In general, it would be best if the UI scaled to a percentage size on the screen, rather than to a specific resolution. That way even if someone in the far future using a 32k resolution monitor is playing, they'll be able to run it no worries. People range from 768p to 4k screens today, which is a huge gulf to cover. Vector images for UI elements are ideal, but even just primitive scaling of 2D assets is better than nothing.

Yeah, that's been standard design for a while now. The problem is that if that default font size is too small, it'll always be too small irrespective of what size monitor and screen resolution the person has - hence the need for a "large font" version.

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The game is EXTREMELY lagging on my PC and I am blaming the inability to turn off shadows and other quality for that. I will have to wait to make them toggleable instead of choosing "Fastest, fast", etc because they don't seem to do anything.

 

EDIT: My specs are:

R5 230 Graphics (Very poor but can run most old-medium games with SHADOW OFF!)

8GB RAM, Intel code i5 4460 3.2ghz.

Edited by thekillergreece

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