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Old 12-28-2018, 02:08 PM
Bluddy Bluddy is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
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Default Some belated feedback on Zombasite

I was really into Din's Curse, but Zombasite didn't work well on my Mac. Well, now I'm done with Macs for good, so I had a chance to try it out. Some feedback:

* Don't bother with making native Mac and Linux ports, despite what those users say. Just wrap the Windows version with Wine and you'll get amazing results. Seriously, Steam is improving Wine with Proton, and Wine works better than native ports, since they're experts at translating the API efficiently. I had many issues that only showed up on Mac even back on Din's Curse, and Zombasite was unplayable even with a discrete GPU and an i7. I now have an integrated GPU and Zombasite plays well on Windows. I believe that had I used Wine on Zombasite on Mac, I would have obtained far better results.
* The hi-res UI is excellent. I don't know if it was there originally, but it's amazing how much impact having a higher resolution UI can help as compared to the old 640x480 stuff. I'd port this back to all your games, since it improves the jankiness feeling.
* The assets are really nicely done in Zombasite, but many of the ground textures are too noisy. This causes a really weird effect when viewed from up high, as if everything is a mess. Change the noisy textures for cleaner ones and you'll get much better results.
* Zombasite feels like it has too many systems going on at once. I think it hits the limit of what can be done with this framework. DoP already nearly maxed out player attention, and adding the survival + zombie elements seems like overkill.
* I do like the management screen for the survivors in your camp though. More information about the people you're in charge of is always better.
* Turning into a zombie isn't a particularly fun mechanic, and it's even worse given the horrible flashing on the side of the screen, which feels like an effect from the 80s.
* Flashing icons are bad. Always avoid them. They're distracting and janky.
* I haven't tried mages yet, but I imagine they're the same thing as before. The way to fix mages' linearity problem is to have a single item that can only be used by mages: some kind of magic locket or ring. A full mage maybe can equip 2 of these, while a part-mage can only equip one. These items will channel magical energy, thus finally putting mages on the same power curve as the other classes and fixing it for good. All magical skills will do damage based on these items.
* I still think the 'skill bush' is the wrong approach. It's ok to take back this one feature and switch back to a skill tree. A skill tree allows for some options, while allowing for a sense of progression and unlocking cooler stuff over time. It also makes it so you don't have to have every skill compete with every other skill. It's a superior approach IMO and it's the way to go. Soldak games will still be Soldak games with a regular skill tree.
* It'd be nice if there was some effect that slowed down the world, extending all the hidden timers, while you were resting. Too much stuff happens too fast, especially with so many systems. While you're in your village, for example, or buying something, the timers can be slowed down, allowing you to take a breath. They go back to normal when you're in the field.

All in all, I really like many parts of Zombasite. The animations are currently the weakest parts of Soldak games, and I understand those are expensive to replace. But I think you can go very far by making some of the changes I mentioned.
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