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12 years 3 months ago - 12 years 3 months ago #6337 by Silk_Sk
A message to the developers was created by Silk_Sk
EDIT: Don't just disregard this as another complaint about no checkpoints. The reason this game should have them has nothing do with difficulty or convenience. I'm talking about something bigger than that. Please read the whole thing before you start disagreeing with me.

First of all, thank you. Thank you so much. I am no were near capable of fully expressing my colossal gratitude to you for making this game. I didn't really know how much I needed it until I started playing, but when I took off from the Wellington for the first time I felt a rush of exhilaration I haven't experienced in years. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Space combat sims such as this have been absent from gaming for far too long.

However, as much joy as this game is bringing me, there is an element of sadness as well, and posts such as this are why.

Renegade: I am a professional game developer with full access to the source code of the engine. So our only limit, if any, was time.

And if I had through, if only for a minute, that savepoints were a really essential feature, I would have put them in. But to be honest, we even discussed that. And we all agreed that that would just be bad design. Yes we are aware that SOME of our dialogues are a bit too long in terms of mission flow. But here we made a concious decision to put more easter eggs and more character development in, to compensate for other storytelling freatures and to give fans a little more to grin about.

In a commercial game we probably would have cut some dialogue a little shorter and put that stuff in some in between flights cutscene. But we still would never put save points in a space sim because we simply think they have no place in that genre.

If we don't punish you for dying, what's the point?


I'm not saying that the decision to not include checkpoints and the ability to skip the dialogue was wrong. I whole-heatedly agree that features such as that are not in the spirit of the WC games of yore. The dialogue is top notch and I love listening to it. And I don't mind being sent back to the beginning of a mission as punishment either. But that's not to say I wasn't bitter about it for a while. I imagine everyone has been softened to some degree by all the checkpoints in modern games. But that just makes it painfully apparent that this is not a modern game. Rather than showing these games can succeed in the current market, you just show that you are stuck in the past. Then there are posts like this that really rankle me.

Nobody is forcing you to not lower the difficulty you know. And yes punishing the player for playing in a too high difficulty level is supposed to happen. And no, Wing Commander punished you just as much as this. Anybody remember a long approach to a planetary mission in wc4 just to be blown up at the last nav point by a stupid missile turret? Or that mission where you hunt the jammer ship, a lot of blah blah, even a cutscene in the middle, just be blown up near the end.

Sorry but that is exactly how we wanted it.


I'm sure many gamers can relate to the conviction that lowering the difficulty=failure. It is, quite frankly, not an option. Stating otherwise is not only ignorant, it's the equivalent of telling us to put on our floaties and get in the kiddie pool. You should also understand that the "that's how the old games were" argument is a horrible excuse for bad game design.

Yes, bad game design. As much as I am in agreement with the no checkpoints/no skip decision, it is still a glaring flaw carried over from darker times. Nostalgia can only carry this game so far.

And here we come to my main point. This game has made me very passionate about the current lack of awesome space combat sims. I want them to come back and I want them to come back in a big way. I had thought that this game was a sign of that, but I was wrong. This game may only have been released last week, but it's still ten years old. It is both a celebration of the "good ol' days" and a reminder that that weren't actually that good.

With just a few changes, this game could be so much more than that. Don't let your stubbornness blind you from the bigger picture here. The gaming community is many times larger than it was in the heyday of WC. If you were to open up to that larger community instead of re-awakening the old one, you could revitalize the SCS genre in a huge way. But, the way this game is now, you're just shutting them out. I'd love to be able to recommend this game to my friends if I thought they were going to stick with it after being forced to listen to 3 minutes of pilot chatter every time they explode.

Yes, pandering to today's market means including features such as checkpoints. I don't really know much about game development, but would it be possible to just make them a setting of some kind? Hardcore mode=no checkpoints or something? (separate from the easy-nor-hard settings preferably) Rest assured, I personally would not play with checkpoints on, but I cannot understate how much I want this game to have them. From where I sit, it should be quite easy to maintain the spirit of the games and still make them accessible to new players.

Please, I'm begging you, don't squander this opportunity. You made this game for people like me and you succeeded beautifully. It's awakened a hunger in me that cannot be fed by just this. I want more. I want more of these games. Not from you, though. You guys have worked plenty hard and I appreciate it. But you could make this game more attractive to today's market. Other developers will take notice. Yes, I am aware that this game is already a huge success, but it could be so much more than that. Please, guys. It's not enough to show that this genre isn't dead. You could make it explode bigger than it has ever been before.

PS: As far as skipping dialogue goes, I don't mind either way. However, I do think today's developers have the balls to allow their players skip content instead of forcing it down their throats because of how much work it took to make. (again, I do not have knowlege of the technical limitations of the engine. If skipping was just plain not possible, congrats on making the chatter very enjoyable.)
Last edit: 12 years 3 months ago by Silk_Sk.
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12 years 3 months ago #6380 by tolwyn
Replied by tolwyn on topic A message to the developers
We appreciate your feedback! Thanks for taking the time to let us know! Were there any parts of Saga you particularly enjoyed?
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12 years 3 months ago #6415 by Arthandas
Replied by Arthandas on topic A message to the developers
I don't see why you had to make a separate topic instead of posting in the current nav point one.

I would like to clarify some things. We don't think that the dialogues are too long. They are great... at least the first or second time you hear them. After that it's just a frustrating thing you want to skip asap. I don't know how making a single checkpoint after the initial banter could lower the difficulty. Does the difficulty of this game come from a 5+ min banters? Imagine if you couldn't skip dialogues in a MGS game. Would it make the game harder? No, it would just make it a lot harder to enjoy.

Silk, you compared "skipping dialogues" to "skipping content". I don't think it's true because no one would skip the dialogues before hearing them full at least once. You don't actually skip content afterwards as you already experienced it.

As for the mid mission checkpoints. Yes, those would actually dumb down the difficulty. But we don't want those, we want a single checkpoint after the banter and before any shooting as a meant to skip the dialogues we already heard a few times. At least it's what I would like to see.

There's also an argument that making a checkpoint would hurt the game's "oldschool feeling". Well, you recreated the game on a different engine with a modest graphics and the game still plays much like the original. Adding a checkpoint wouldn't change that.

The authors say that making the checkpoints would be a complicated thing to do. Then don't force it. You already made an exceptionally good game and everyone is grateful to you. The only thing that I won't accept is saying that skipping the dialogues would make the game easier or won't punish the player enough.
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12 years 3 months ago #6429 by maverick375
Replied by maverick375 on topic A message to the developers
I remember a few missions in WC3 that had me wishing for some checkpoints... But not having them made me think harder on how to do things better each time until success no long eluded me. A few of those missions (the raid on Kilrah being one of them) were long and arduous, and having to replay them time and again was much the same.

Still, after all that, I wouldn't have traded that game time for a checkpoint. After going through a couple of long missions in Saga a few times, and in spite of the frustration, I learned a few things and managed to beat the missions.

Tolwyn and the other devs said from the beginning that this would be a labor of love, as dedicated fans of the series. What they've accomplished is a masterpiece on the level of WC3/4. I suppose that while this was also supposed to be for the fans, this was the dev-team's dream. To quote (?) Orson Wells: "Why spend your life making someone else's dream?" I'm thankful they kept us die-hard wingnuts in mind in the process, sacrificing as little of the classic flavor as they possibly could.
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12 years 3 months ago #6467 by Silk_Sk
Replied by Silk_Sk on topic A message to the developers

Arthandas wrote: I don't see why you had to make a separate topic instead of posting in the current nav point one.

*snip*


I'm not going to split hairs about what specific kind of checkpoints/dialogue/content skipping everyone wants. As I've said, I don't personally require those features. If I did, I would have posted in another thread. The game is fine without them. The reason I made this a separate topic is because I believe if the game had these features, it would have a greater chance of achieving the kind of success that would being this genre of game back into the mainstream.

It's fine that this game was made for the fans by the fans. But with just that, we won't be seeing any more of them any time soon. These are GREAT games and there's no reason they shouldn't still be as popular as any other genre. Making the game attractive to an audience that doesn't feel for it as strongly as we do could achieve just that.
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12 years 3 months ago #6469 by horizon
Replied by horizon on topic A message to the developers
well then. Keep the game as is for hardcore fans. release a new version on super mega very easy with no capship missiles... lol.
The game difficult level is fine. :)

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12 years 3 months ago #6470 by Silk_Sk
Replied by Silk_Sk on topic A message to the developers

horizon wrote: well then. Keep the game as is for hardcore fans. release a new version on super mega very easy with no capship missiles... lol.
The game difficult level is fine. :)


You clearly aren't hearing me. I have no problem whatsoever with the game's difficulty. I'm trying to point out the role this game could play in modern gaming trends.
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12 years 3 months ago #6551 by spajn
Replied by spajn on topic A message to the developers
Checkpoints in a game like this would totally screw up the whole feeling of the game.

Lets face it, wing commander games doesnt change pace very often and you mostly gunning for some fighers 99% of the time yet the game never feel repetitive and im pretty sure thats because its a very intense and unforgiving game.

If i knew that if i die or fail mission i just wasted 3 min of game time because of checkpoint i would get bored so fast.. how could the game get me excited if there is nothing at stake? the hardest missions in wing commander games i remember them even if its 10 year since i played them and i remember the feeling of joy when i landed at tigers claw/victory.. no way in hell i would remember that if there was a checkpoint system.

I think you have perfect difficulty in this game, not a single mission has been too hard yet and im at the end game now and its getting really hard (as a end game should be).

My favorite wc game was wc3 and you have wc3 feeling all over this game i love you guys for making this game and i love the game too =) Could you please release the soundtrack its kinda good. One point of criticism i have and thats the controls.. when i bend my joystick it doesnt go spinning like most flygames do, also the controls dont feel wing commander at all, buttons for like autopilot, full guns, missiles are all different from wing commander games.. also you should make it more obvious that ships can glide with afterburners because some missions its ESSENTIAL. One more thing about the controls, there is way too many commands that includes SHIFT+key or ALT+key.. noone likes hitting two keys for one command.

Now some suggestions

I would really like a cockpit.. the worst thing about wc4 and wc5 for me was no cockpit (and no kilrathi). You know guys, i thought really hard but i cant come up with too much more suggestions probably because the game is so frecking GOOD as it is =) Oh yeah one major suggestion i have.. MAKE MORE!!!! this game is godly, i wonder how more godly it could be if you guys had the same resources as chris roberts had =)
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12 years 3 months ago #6570 by meganerd
Replied by meganerd on topic A message to the developers
I am glad that something like this can happen. First the good. It looks great. It definitely has the Wing Commander feel.

Now for the things I was not a fan of. I should preface this by saying that I understand this was a game by the devs for the devs. This is also the biggest problem. I have not spent 10 years playing this game, consequently I found it hard. Really hard. As in on the easiest mode I get offered to skip missions for failing so often. Dialing down the difficulty to super easy just makes the enemy dumb, but some of the missions are still really hard. This is not fun. I do not expect anything beyond the refund for what I paid for this, but if you are listening to feedback I hope you take this in to consideration.

As someone has already said it does remind me that the good 'ol days were not as good as I remember. Maybe I had the time 15 years ago to play these missions over and over and listen to the same dialogue again and again, but today with a family of my own this is not possible any more. I fired up my ancient copy of WC III (because I am tired of the mission I am stuck at) and it was obvious that the good as well as the bad has been successfully replicated. One thing the gaming producers seem to miss in every generation is that games are supposed to be fun.

This game is a great achievement and rivals most of the commercial games out there today. I am just disappointed that I did not enjoy playing it as much as you folks obviously had fun making it. WCSaga is very obviously a labour of love, and that is a good thing.
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12 years 3 months ago #6615 by arisian
Replied by arisian on topic A message to the developers
FYI, you can re-map all the keys in the game, so if you don't like SHIFT or ALT as modifiers, just change the bindings to whatever you'd like.

And the soundtrack is going to be released soon; stay tuned!
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