My (Design) Suggestion List

Here you give us specific suggestions on how you think the private release can be improved.

This isn't for bug reports, this is for features (example: wrong way indicator)
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Tycerax
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My (Design) Suggestion List

Postby Tycerax » Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:15 am

Hello everyone;

Since this is my first post here, I'll start with an introduction. My name is Emre and I'm an Alc... sorry, a Game Designer. I'll get my Post-Grad Game Design Degree this August (if I finish my game by then). I recently (just a couple hours ago) had the chance to play GRIP and I've seen a couple of flaws on the choices so I'm here to point them out. No worries, they are somewhat insignificant to the fun of the game. (:

1 - Primer, is bad. Don't pull your pitchforks, I'll tell exactly why it's bad. GRIP (and it's predecessor, Rollcage) is all about the speed and car combat carnage. But in Primer, you get almost no combat and the game slows down to a crawl when it wanted to teach you something. It's the direct opposite of what the player wanted from the game! I know it's a tutorial but tutorials MUST be fun as well, not some "READ THIS TO PROGRESS!" signs. These are the ways to do it right:

a - NEVER slow the game: If you want to address something, show it on screen (and near the relevant thing) and wait for the player to read. It should take around 5 seconds to read while going at full velocity.
b - Start some carnage: At the end of the track, I was like "meh". The map didn't encourage me to go to the next race. It should end with a bang; the players need to feel the intensity of the game. Every AI racer should attack each other with everything they got. There should be some chaos.
c - (This gets its own point)

2 - YOU DEFINITELY NEED AN ANNOUNCER! I can't stress this enough. The announcer should give the information about pickups and standings (and maybe more). Without an announcer, the game feels a bit monotone and you don't actually anticipate what's your standing with all the different routes and shortcuts. Players should focus on the road and the enemies, not the HUD.

3 - Acceleration feel is horrible. I chose the fastest speeding car and I still felt like I'm driving a bicycle when I start speeding up from 0. Also...

4 - EMP needs to be toned down. It's a HUGE AoE in which the cars go in like 500KM/h and get out 100KM/h (at best). It's by far the best and most frustrating weapon. And I know that you know this because I read patch notes. (:

5 - Some maps don't encourage speeding. In fact, they are littered with speed halts (not speed bumps) that STOPS you. In a game about speed, that's insane. Why are not destructible when hit by a car that has 400+KM/h? The car gets damaged and slowed a bit but it's much more satisfying than to dodge or evade them. In some maps, the railings are pretty much jump-pads. They're beyond useless, they give a false sense of security. Make it like Rainbow Road if you want but if you put railings, they should divert me from the big pit of doom.

Also, you should put more pickups and speed plates on the map. The fun is stretched, if you know what I mean. The maps should contain more intensity rather than play time. Reducing a lap in favour of putting more pickups and boosts is the way to go IMO.

6 - Speed Up plates have the same colour as the pickups. From a distance, they're indistinguishable.

7 - Speed Plates give no sense of boosting, whatsoever. They should have a distinct sound and visual effect along with the big boost you're getting.

8 - About unused/unusable pickups, why not let the player "consume" them for a little bit HP?

9 - Missiles can crash into the road I'm driving on and ragdoll me all around. They should have no collision for the first moments (1-2 seconds?) they are launched.

10 - The right stick can be used to orient the car while "ragdoll flying" (when hit by the tiniest rock on the side and launched to the unknown). While on the ground, it can be used for targeting enemies and/or obstacles.

That's it for now and I'm glad I bought GRIP. Hopefully, the game will be much better after EA.

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Re: My (Design) Suggestion List

Postby playabot » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:30 am

All valid points... exept point 2. Please no announcer!!! :)

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Chris_CE
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Re: My (Design) Suggestion List

Postby Chris_CE » Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:14 pm

Hey dude, thanks for the feedback :)

RE: Primer
We had tester feedback saying there wasn't enough time to read text, and it was over 5 seconds long, so I can't agree there. You're going to have to baby people into the game, just like any other. People won't be able to read at full blast, shooting weapons and dodging obstacles. If they want to be hardcore, they can just quit the primer and get going in some races

There's also no "end" to the primer, it's meant to allow the player enough play time they need to feel ok with the car controls and mechanics. All this said, we need a better tutorial, I will agree with that. We have a very small team, getting this primer in was a miracle by itself

2. This is very subjective, and I'm in the camp where I find an announcer very cheesy and annoying

3. The cars are massive tank sized vehicles that weight 10,000 kilos at least. We didn't want them to feel like toys (ala rollcage), so weight is accentuated. With the new boost mechanic though, it's pretty easy to get speed again

5. Which map has railings that are jump pads? Destruction is not in the game yet because cars weren't behaving well with it. Destruction will be a big part of the game, just a matter of time

We had complaints about the game being too easy in that you could just floor the accelerator and never have any issues navigating, so I worked on some harder tracks with many turns and the actual need to slow down. Again, this kinda thing is subjective, but I think with the newer tracks you'll see the variety in type of play will be great

I agree somewhat with adding more pickups, but this also causes more chaos and more chances for players to be taken out of the race. Also decreases satisfaction of nailing your opponent if it's happening so much. It's a balance, I agree tho.

7. The latest patch has a distinct effect when running over a speedpad

8. There's a whole thread on this, so I won't get into it here ;)

9. Missiles are much improved for next patch, which is very soon

10. Is this a suggestion? Because it's already possible to roll/pitch the car in the air with the right stick. Let go of the gas when you do. And there's an input for switching targets already when you have a missile. Soon you'll be able to target destructibles
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Tathendal
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Re: My (Design) Suggestion List

Postby Tathendal » Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:25 pm

On #10 Chris probably means left stick, not right stick. There are topics on how much you should be able to control yourself in the air, with the minority saying that it should be more (this is probably what you meant?)

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Tycerax
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Re: My (Design) Suggestion List

Postby Tycerax » Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:01 am

Hi! Thanks for the answers.

1 - Primer ends when you destroy all other vehicles. Also, I didn't say "the text should be gone by 5 seconds", I said, while you're showing the text, the deceleration of the game is immense. And it kept throwing me things like "It feels good to speed up and ride along the ceiling, right?". yes, it feels good if you let me go full speed on the ceiling without stopping the game every 4 seconds!

You can show the player the text/info and let them go full speed even though they are 5 years old. That way they will get accustomed to receiving visual feedback while maintaining control of a vehicle that can go as fast as 600km/s. You can add an element (a panel) to the UI that will show all of the info and the required steps to finish the tutorial (closer to the middle of the screen of course). Like you said, getting the primer done may be a miracle, but it doesn't give the total feeling of the game with all of these bus stops.

2 - Announcers can keep you in track of your inventory (weapons), other players' movements/attacks and a lot of things. If done incorrectly, it can be cheesy, yes. But if you do it right, you get announcers like in Unreal Tournament 2004. And the reason I said that you need one is because, the game, while plays very very good, has a very deep lack of sound-space. There are a lot of bad things happening in your sound design, like the music track trumping EVERYTHING. A missile explosion is subdued by the drum n bass (or house, or whatever the music track is). I don't feel the gravity of that explosion, I don't feel, pretty much anything. There's not a single sound that is gratifying. Watch a round of UT2004 and tell me that it doesn't give you the joy to watch. Like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzsWcYwxdjA

Let me put it this way: When a missile is about to hit me, I don't feel any kind of haste, fear or tension. "It's just a missile" is something you don't want and this game feels just like that.

I got a little off-tracked but the problem remains the same, the sound design of the game doesn't provide the "oomph" feeling so it feels monotone. You can fill the void with taunts and announcer like UT but it'll still feel off.

I think every different pickup needs a different sound to accompany them. So you distinguish the pickups the moment you pick them up and you'll have no need of looking away from the center of the screen. Players should keep their focus on the middle of the screen if you're making an action oriented game. You don't want them to split themselves from what's going on in front of them.

3 - I disagree with you on the "massive tank sized vehicles that weight 10,000 kilos" part. They sure look giant but when I got thrown off like a kilometer vertically and ragdolled all over the map, I don't feel that weight. I don't feel that weight when I go 600 to 0 when I hit a relatively slim concrete wall without even denting it. Or going almost 90 degrees vertical with just 100 km/s. Sorry but I don't agree with you on the part that they are tanky.

5 - I think it was a glitch; I tried every map again (10 min ago) and it was Skytrack. I was able to pass the railings and fall to the void before but now I couldn't. So either it got fixed in the meantime, or it was a bug/glitch.

Sidenote: I get the need to slow the fast going players down to make firefights great again but the solution shouldn't be "let's punish them for going too fast!" in a racing game. Let players punish them by giving them "Blue Shells" that can catch up to them in a fixed amount of time so whereever the leader is, I don't care, I'll drop the bomb on 'em and I'll pass them.

------------------

I think the game also needs a "gravity" notification (like a small arrow) on the UI, telling me which way is actually down. Aliens vs Predator did it before. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YObPcndL6Ec

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Broscar
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Re: My (Design) Suggestion List

Postby Broscar » Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:05 pm

The primer is just a quick tutorial. Can it be better? Yes. Is it worth spending more time on that right now instead of on (new) tracks/multiplayer/controller support for the menu etc.? Not really, especially considering most people will run the Primer once or twice.

Good points on sound design. The game isn't feature complete yet (at least the things that are important for sound design, like the weapons + planet sound themes) and we still have a polishing phase, so things'll change with your feedback in mind.
Previous threads on sound design / announcer:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=38&p=400
viewtopic.php?f=10&t=226&p=3272
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=698&p=17632
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=3830&p=17077
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3719&p=16231
viewtopic.php?f=20&t=3721&p=15979
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3944&p=18169
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=76
(Keep in mind the older the thread/post, the more likely the info is outdated by now)

I agree with the not a tank bit. That element only shows in the slow acceleration of cars and that's the one bit you don't really wanna see it in, but others are quite determined to keep it as is. We'll see how destruction influences this all; driving through buildings was part of what set the tone in Rollcage and it would probably feel a bit weak too if those obstacles slowed you down instead.

The game has a gravity notification and it is a small arrow.

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Re: My (Design) Suggestion List

Postby playabot » Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:33 am

The primer is the right idea and i believe it has a place in the game -

To compliment it though I think the game should provide player hints during the load screen (like most modern games - thanks burnout!). I know this can seem invasive at times, after all, how freaking hard is it! but watching new players demo the game on youtube (often sponsored users), they don't understand some of the basic mechanics of the game or understand what affects a weapon has. From their reactions, often they seem to feel cheated. Just spell it out during the load screens - explain the boost mechanic, what does catch-up do, this weapon is an effective counter to..., this weapon does this (maybe accompany it with a screenshot of the weapon in effect), EMP affects all but one player (the user) so don't feel to cheated, switch missile lock on by pressing this, change the race camera in settings, more damage more points.....

Also I think its worth implying to the player that this isn't an easy game. This isn't need for speed, this isn't mariokart, your not going to win your first race, this is going to take practice, it's hard core so respect it. I think that taking this approach can have as much appeal to the mainstream as trying to accommodate the mainstream. 'This is the antidote to your gaming fatigue'. - More of an issue when marketing the game but still, I think its important to make the point.


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