Prologue Released!

Nob Akimoto

Rear Admiral
I'm trying to relearn the Freespace controls - when I noticed something truely terrible. None of the buttons on my joystick allow me to barrel roll. When I tried to change the control schemes - it seems you need to map two seperate buttons (one to roll left, one to roll right) which is the most utterly absurd thing I've ever seen.

Is there a way to correct this - or did I just miss something again and profess to my own idiocy?
Bind the key called: "Bank When Pressed" under Config -> Controls -> Ship.

That should let you roll whenever you have that pressed and hit the stick.

This is typically left unbound because 3-axis joysticks are more common than not these days, I guess and the name's a little off since it's not really banking per se when you have no air.
 

Janet Noslen

Spaceman
I must say i'm very impressed by the final product here; I thought Baws' voice acting wasn't worth much, but everything else seemed great - it actually feels like being in Wing Commander again! Even the ending sucked in a good way!
:confused:

Actually, Baws was great, he is just kind of a deadpan character. I think someone else used that word earlier to describe the acting.

Congrats to the voice actors for such a pro job, I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Does anyone else think the acting had a kind of WC movie feel to it? "Not many of us rookies survived..." and "You guys actually fought in it?" Sounds like Freddie Prinz Jr.
 

gwydion

Spaceman
not sure if comparing it to Freddie Prinze Jr is a compliment or not :D

a suggestion for the problem where the mission ends if you fly out of formation - is it possible to script all the pirates to target you and go missile happy... if going out of formation makes things very very difficult, a player getting blown up might stick closer to his wing next try through.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
I finally completed Saga yesterday (it didn't actually take me that long - it's just that I didn't play it for most of the week). Right off the bat, I'll admit that I died three or four times in mission 2, and finally decided to turn difficulty down to the lowest possible. I suppose it's as much a fault of the mouse controls as it is of my limited abilities - although I had turned mouse sensitivity up to max, even the Arrow was frustrating to play, let alone the Thunderbolt.

...I really should learn to use a joystick.


Anyway, since I've now seen the whole thing, I want to give you some more feedback. This will not be 100% positive, I'm afraid - but then again, I've often said at the Standoff forum that I much prefer to hear negative comments about things that I can improve than positive comments which don't leave any room for improvement, so hopefully you guys will look on my Saga comments the same way. Still, we'll start with the good...

- Cinematics. The cinematics are great. As I mentioned previously, the intro was extremely impressive - easily on par with what's been present in the original WC games. The extro... I got the impression that the extro was a bit rushed, but it still looked very good, particularly the opening shots.

- The ships. Well, I already said they look great ;).

- Voiceacting. Great. You guys have managed something we've been struggling with in Standoff - consistent acting quality. Of course, it's easier to achieve when you've got so few speaking parts... ;)

- The manual. As I mentioned last time, I thought it was great to finally see a manual for a new WC game. It was well-written, and very well put together.

- The storyline.
Establishing a bunch of characters as being important to the player, including a romantic interest... and then pulling their heads off one by one - very original. That kind of originality isn't necessarily always good, but in this case it worked very well - you established very nicely that there's a war going on, and all that. One minor issue, though - isn't there anybody out there that knows how to eject? It was weird to have everybody die with only one ejection. :)

- The fiction. The fiction is very well-written, but you do need to be a bit more careful with the proofreading, especially when it comes to apostrophes: "the ships system's" is definitely not the same as "the ship's systems". You're in good company, I suppose, since I've even seen articles on BBC online where they make the same error, but it's still an irritating thing to see. Actually, the same thing applies to the manual - you even have the Wellington coming off the frontlines in 2557 :). In the game, you also have one or two text-related bugs - one of the Kilrathi ship profiles (IIRC, the Vaktoth or the Pakhtahn) ends in mid-sentence. Finally, there's that whole date issue, with the fiction taking place mid-year and the game taking place at the start of a new year.

- The missions. Here, unfortunately, I have a lot more negative feedback. To begin with, the game is virtually unreplayable. After suffering through the second mission four or five times, the reason why I turned the difficulty down wasn't because I felt I couldn't win. Eventually, I would have. But I simply couldn't stand going through all those dialogues and autopilot sequences again. After mission 2, I turned the difficulty back up, started playing mission 3... and again, it turned out that the mission had way too much dialogue and autopilot sequences, so after I died once, I turned the difficulty back down and never again considered turning it back up. This was a good choice, it seems, because the remaining missions were just as excessive. I don't want to know how frustrating it would have been to die at the end of the first Kilrathi mission, and go through the pain of flying through all those navpoints again, listening to all that chatter, and so on.
I also got the impression that you yourselves noticed this in the last mission, and completely destroyed the mission because of it. My impression was that the very last navpoint, the big climax of the mission, was also the easiest. I was out of AB fuel long before the battle was over, but not even once did anybody fire a single missile at me. Mind you, the Kilrathi in general seem to have fired less missiles than the pirates did, but in this case, it seemed like you actually sent the cats out with no missiles at all. However, in the case of the final mission, it wasn't so much a matter of dialogues and autopilot, as it was of having simply too many events in one mission. It wouldn't have been hard to find an excuse to have the player land and rearm after the destroyer encounter, and as a consequence, instead of having one weak mission, you would have had two great ones. And you would have been able to make that final encounter harder than the battles before it, instead of easier, which would have been great. And having more cats flying around during the final battle would have given the player something to do while the capships slug it out.
In short, my advice would be:
1. Cut down on the dialogues. One or two witty dialogues add a lot, but if you have too many, they don't add more to the game, and instead start detracting from it. It's like an action movie - ever seen an action movie where every action sequence is repeatedly interrupted so that the good guys can chatter for a bit? You have to keep things flowing.
2. Limit the dialogues to the start and end of the mission, and situations where the player has something to do. A dialogue in the middle of the mission is only acceptable if it takes place during combat, or if it's some extremely special event - otherwise, it simply breaks the flow of the mission and makes it feel dull and repetitive when you die and try again.
3. Avoid autopilot like the plague. In WC, it takes ten seconds to go from one navpoint to another, while in FS2 it takes a minimum of one minute, sometimes more. You're making a WC mod, but you have to consider the engine's limitations.
4. If a mission is too long, break it in half. Remember, even WC4 found an excuse to let the player rearm in the middle of the battle against the Vesuvius... and to this day, I wish I'd done so in that UE mission that everybody complained about for this very same reason :p.
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
Rembering the creation of the cinematics it was a real pain and fun at the same time. The funny point is that the intro was quite rushed out while we had a lot of time for the outro.
Still I am very pleased that you liked it. Now that we have set the bar that high it will be come difficulte to keep this level or even get better...thougth my time for working on them becomes less and less. *sigh*
Well I will see what comes up from our scriptors.

Reminds me what would you like to see? More smaller/simple sequences or only a few but longer/complex ones? For the longer ones I think about 3min is the max I can do if at all.

-Storyline
Good question...I think I know who to ask about that ^_^

-Fiction
I think some errors will allways slip through. I won't even get the differance in your example since I am not a native english speaker. Still I think we should tell our profe-readers to look at it even closer.

-Missions
We got a lot of ideas, complains and feedback from all over the places where we are mentioned. Forums and Websites alike and currently we are collecting all these stuff and try to figure out the best way of doing things better in the final release.
The autopilot and chatter are a top topic in this case. Some people like it very much to have these things others totals dislike it. Now we are thinking of how to balance that out.

Currently I am waiting for the first alpha to show up and time to read the mission script. Also their are some new things in development with the SCP that will also change/add the one or the other thing.
Well time will tell if what we do next is good or not.
All of the critics and ideas that have been posted here are very welcome...as is all the praising ^_^
 

Sharpshooter

Rear Admiral
I finally completed Saga yesterday (it didn't actually take me that long - it's just that I didn't play it for most of the week). Right off the bat, I'll admit that I died three or four times in mission 2, and finally decided to turn difficulty down to the lowest possible. I suppose it's as much a fault of the mouse controls as it is of my limited abilities - although I had turned mouse sensitivity up to max, even the Arrow was frustrating to play, let alone the Thunderbolt.

...I really should learn to use a joystick.
Well, whaddya know. I was right about you having trouble completing the missions. :p

Nice to see I'm not the only one having trouble with the mouse. I did exactly what you did - turn sensitivity to max, and difficulty to lowest.

By the way, I agree with you on the fact that the Kilrathi should have been a bit more dangerous in the last mission. As it is, even the pirates from mission 2 seem to be more difficult to beat. That said, I still think the last mission is fun to play. :)
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
By the way, I agree with you on the fact that the Kilrathi should have been a bit more dangerous in the last mission. As it is, even the pirates from mission 2 seem to be more difficult to beat.
Yeah, I forgot to mention that - I got the distinct impression that those Razors and Demons were much tougher opponents than the Kilrathi ships. But then again, I don't know if that was actually the case, because it so happens that the pirate missions were also the only ones I tried on a higher difficulty... and since I never died in any mission on the lowest difficulty, I guess you could say they were about equal :p.
 

Vinman

Vice Admiral
Replaying it, I have to say just how thrilled I am with this. The voice work is almost perfect, the game is fun and immersive, and the quality level is consistantly high across the board!

If I have any complaints, they are that you rarely get enough time to dump countermeasures and evade incoming missiles and that they do so much damage to you per hit.

-Fiction
I think some errors will allways slip through. I won't even get the differance in your example since I am not a native english speaker. Still I think we should tell our profe-readers to look at it even closer.
If you ever need additional proof-readers, I'd be thrilled to help! :D
 

gevatter Lars

Vice Admiral
As for time to drop the counters against missiles. It depends on the distance. Mostly...at least when I play...the enemy fires them from far away so that when the alarm sounds you have got plenty of time to release a decoy or two and then turn hard and burn away. If you are a little maniac or just love the risk then wait a little till the missile is quite close. You can hear that since the alarm sound gets louder and louder. Then release the counters...IIRC they get more effective the closer the missile is.
You can also see from where missiles are flying at you. Their should be a small pointer somewhere in your HUD.

I just say go to the sim, let some people fire missiles at you and try to evade them. Its the best training and you will get a lot faster used to how to play Saga when doing the sim misssions. At least it was that way for me.


As for proofreaders...well I am not the one to decide who can and who dosn't. Also we got allready some. I think we have just to look over the stuff more carefully ^_^
 

Sharpshooter

Rear Admiral
Yeah, I forgot to mention that - I got the distinct impression that those Razors and Demons were much tougher opponents than the Kilrathi ships. But then again, I don't know if that was actually the case, because it so happens that the pirate missions were also the only ones I tried on a higher difficulty... and since I never died in any mission on the lowest difficulty, I guess you could say they were about equal :p.
I always played on 'very easy', and surviving in mission 2 was harder than surviving in mission 5, probably due to the fact that the Kilrathi in the last mission do tend to use fewer missiles. I found mission 4 to be tougher than mission 2, though.
 

hurleybird

Rear Admiral
Hmm... I have to say that I honestly found mission 5 to be harder than mission 2. I completed mission 2 on normal on my second run through (the first being lost to breaking formation) but I had to put the difficulty down to easy on mission 5. I also use mouse control (the secret, IMHO, is to not move your mouse to fast. Move it any faster than your ships turning speed can handle and your just wasting space on your mousepad. With a 1600 or 2000 dpi mouse, you can move fairly far before needing to recenter the mouse), and actually like it for the added precision I get over a joystick when doing fine aiming. Keep in mind that I probably have a lot more experience with Freespace than most of the people in this thread though.
 

Sphynx

Commodore
Can you tell us more about what you did in the mission and what happened? That may help us figure it out.
 
When I was ordered to engage the pirates, I fooled around flying about and made it to the George Custer. Then the remaining fighters were finished off, and I headed back to the Wellington.

When I reached the George Custer, a few comms were triggered, and I assume these would have been from me reaching the nav point on auto pilot. I wonder if a conflict occured here since I hadn't destroyed all the pirates yet.
 

Quarto

Unknown Enemy
Isn't that an escort mission? If you fooled around long enough to get to another navpoint, the pirates probably had time to destroy the transport...
 

Starman©

Spaceman
I don't think so. When the transport is destroyed, a different ending will happen and Baws orders you back home.

But this sounds that you broke the chain of scripted events by flying to the next navpoint (you have to much time on your hand, don't you ? :) ) and the mission goal was "broken" or not fulfilled then
 

Don

Rear Admiral
A question to the SAGA team:

You wouldn't of happened to implemented subtitles for the whole cutscene and movies etc?

The reason I ask is that my laptop doesn't have sound, most probably because the soundcard is cracked (I'll look into it though).
 
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