After the DEMO- things to improve!!

Everything Caesar IV that doesn't fit elsewhere
Josh
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Bug report-ish thing

Postby Josh » Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:12 pm

Three bugs last night, I Played the game a rather long time until it started to lag, once it started to lag three things became very annoying. The advisors panel took forever to load, I dont know if it is because of the 3D in the advisors panel, but could there be a way to disable that, I would be more than happy with a 2D advisors background, i just need easy access to the data.

Seccond, when clicking the Shutter button for industries in the advisors panel, the game was laging so the time between clicking the icon becoming deppressed, and the icon becomeing Un-deppressed was probably 1-2 secconds.

If i click, it depresses, it un-depresses, the command has just been issued.

If i click, it starts to depress, then i move to the icon above it, before it has un-depressed the command is aborted.

Basicly it made a simple commmand take a long time, since i couldnt just click on all of them in a row like you could in any other check box in the world. I had to wait between each one.

Third. Something wonky happened with the Overview options, not wanting to go away, even when the interface gets minimized or you try and close it (again, this was when the game was lagging)

My main wish would be to make the advisors pane move and load a lot smoother, Maybe an option to strip off many of the bells and whistles. I dont care about a fancy depress so long as I can click stuff quickly, or load up the info I need.

clobberella
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada eh

Postby clobberella » Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:19 pm

To each their own Mark, that's why I suggest a toggle. CotN's [rotate] camera never did work as advertised in the demo, nor in the full game according to the forum posts. (I'm still looking for a copy, may have to resort to internet purchase. :( Bleck!)

[Just for the record, I liked CotN's camera just fine, other than the rotation issue, at least it didn't turn when I didn't want it to :) ]
Last edited by clobberella on Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

MarkDuffy
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Postby MarkDuffy » Sun Aug 20, 2006 6:24 pm

clobberella wrote:CotN's camera never did work as advertised in the demo, nor in the full game according to the forum posts.


Not true, Clobberella. Not true at all. :)

Marc5
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Postby Marc5 » Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:57 pm

A couple of things I have noticed that I would like to see changed:

1. On the Labor Advisor screen it lists the number of Plebs and Equites "Have and Needed". Whether you have extra workers or not enough, it always lists the over/under number below the "Needed" (right) column and you have to read whether you have unemployment or open jobs. If I have unemployment I would rather the number was listed under the Have (left) column and then I could tell with a quick glance whether I need more jobs or more people. (I hope this makes sense :)

2. Working factories should have smoke coming out of their chimneys if they have raw materials that are being refined.

3. The small popup for Insula lists it as providing labor for water services but I believe water is actually worked by Equites.

4. Whatever happened to the 10%-100%, in increments of 10, for the game speed. Slow is too slow and fast is too fast. Sometimes I want to play at 30% or 70% game speed.

5. I am always checking the labor advisor screen so if I close out of the labor advisor and go back to the game, when I click on the advisor screen again, it should go back to whichever one I had up last, not back to the Chief Advisor.

6. PLEASE give us the “over-the-shoulder and able to follow a specific person around the city” camera back from CotN. Sometimes with CB games you have to sit back and let the game play and I really enjoyed taking this time to follow some worker around the city as they bought their goods or went to a temple.


Overall I enjoyed the demo but not having a Save option really stinks. It is a pain in the butt to try various layouts etc. if you are always having to start from scratch. I got the victory screen once, so I know I am just going to wait for my pre-ordered copy to get to GameStop!

bexgames
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Postby bexgames » Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:12 pm

I agree, the "over the shoulder" camera from cotn is one of the best features. it's nice when your city is up and running to be able to sit back, walk the streets, and enjoy your hard work, relax for awhile. plus, for me, it brings you closer to the lives of these people...hear the sounds of their walking about! :)

MarkDuffy
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Location: San Diego, California

Postby MarkDuffy » Sun Aug 20, 2006 10:19 pm

Marc5 wrote:6. PLEASE give us the “over-the-shoulder and able to follow a specific person around the city” camera back from CotN. Sometimes with CB games you have to sit back and let the game play and I really enjoyed taking this time to follow some worker around the city as they bought their goods or went to a temple.


We still have the TRACKING, Marc. Period & comma. There are also icons at the bottom of the interface that are goto person & home.

Try it! :)

We will get more zoom-in. TM has heard us loud & clear. ;)

Lord W
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Very good game, but with many things to improve !

Postby Lord W » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:06 am

Hello all !

Here are my first impressions of this fantastic game that I've waited for a so long time ! As all the other things are good to me, I'm listing below only the bad points of this game. Note that I've played two times the demo till I got a very big and well running city. And by the way, I've lost hours and hours on the marvelous Caesar 3 (not the other Impression games... shame on me, I know :) ).


Camera
-------

The way to move the camera is VERY disappointing.

First, please don't let by default the rotation of the camera with a reverse mouse... when I'm going to the left, I don't want to go to the right... The option is available, but should be reversed and still there for mad guys :)
To be honest, I took a long time before disabling this horrible option in the Interface menu... but then, that was far better :p

Then, as many people said in differents threads of this forum (and elsewhere), the rotation should be done around a central point, or at least where the mouse was clicked...
I would also prefer some keyboard commands to do a simple 90 degrees rotation.

When you manage to place the camera with a certain angle and height, it's always horrible to see this camera beeing disturbed because of the map boundaries ! The camera should be able to go out a little bit from the map, in order to keep the original camera angle.

The zoom is very nice, but not enough.
Such like Theme Park World that went on retail many years ago, it would be extraordinary fun to be able to incarnate a citizen of the town, and to be able to walk in its streets freely. That's already in 3D, and even if this latest would look very crappy in a close zoom, I don't care, I do want this feature ! :p

One thing VERY important : please put an option to allow the user to lighten the fog... When you have zoomed out from your city, and a fog is coming, it's nearly impossible to play anymore... I guess the fog option of the menu is dedicated to the far distance fog used to optimize the framerate, but the "height fog" should be tunable in another option.

Then, what about meteorogical effects ? Ok, I can see some rain, some snow, but I don't see this snow on houses, and I can't see also some water falling or dropping from the houses roofs when it's raining. Same thing for the wind, with boards of houses moving and dust moving on streets...

Well sure, the camera is very laggy, and it always takes some tenths of seconds to react, which is quite disappointing.

I feel that the citizen of the town are very crappy, they look like those of Caesar 3... I remember a quite old game like Startopia, where the "citizen" where far more beautiful in 3D that those of Caesar 4... Enhance these guys only if you can fix your performance problems, for sure.
And add more animations for these guys, they are always repeating the same things, that makes me sad... :(


Interface - Gameplay
--------------------

The right panel of the game is very intrusive, and when I'm clicking to construct a building, a half of my screen is lost... which is not acceptable !

The way to construct streets and plaza's is also disappointing. As soon as there is a red stuff in the path (like a tree, or even a sheep or a cow !!), we loose the whole construction path... A smarter system would be better, where you construct where you can, or where you try to avoid the obstacle...
And if I want to build some plaza's on some streets, why haven't you kept the Caesar 3 system, where you could select an area where to place the plaza's in ? For the moment, as soon as you are out of the street, or across a red item, the plaza's building is cancelled...

And I still don't understand why an aqueduct cannot be constructed on a hill... when this structure was precisely dedicated to this kind of reliefs...
We should be able to construct on hill also, but instead of forbidding it, we should have some penalities (more expensive, less inhabitants, more care from engineers) instead. Only some building wouldn't be "modifiable" to be placed on hills...
A smarted system would also allow some digging to place this kind of building on some new flat ground, but this operation would forbid to trace some roads across lands with a too marked digging...

Why is it necessary to have some streets that are so large ? Wouldn't it be better to add some small streets that would cost the same price than bigger ones, but that would allow to access to some buildings that wouldn't be available with "regular" streets. Moreover, it would be also nice to have some big streets for our town, to create a kind of roman Champ-Elisées in the middle of the town ! ;)

As said by other people, the ESC key should be used to leave the current open window, and not to go in the system menu. Use keys like F10 instead, which is used in many games for that purpose (Warcraft for example).

The way to place the buildings is also very disappointing. First, an explicit icon should be added to mark the entrance of the building. Then, when I click to place the building, I don't want to have this operation aborted because my click was considered as an "orientation" choice, which is sometimes cancelled when you move your cursor out of the place where to build on.
So, either you change the orientation of the building with a keyboard key, and you perform a single click to place the building, or you keep your mouse button pressed to change the orientation directly.
With the demo, it's sometimes needed to click several times at the same place to be sure to have successfully build a house or anything else.

I've played on a map with a big river across, and I wonder... why isn't there some fishing industry in the game ?... That would be another food source.
Will there be some docks, some boats, some harbour in the full game ?
I can't remember if it was the case with Caesar III...

The plaza's are very nice to set on the streets of the town. But they are too easy to set ! Not because of the interface (it is NOT simple :) , but it should cost more, and need more care from the engies, like what would be the reality I guess ! :) Nevertheless, we should be more rewarded with plaza's on the ground, regarding the appeal of the area around plaza's.

Like said previously, I miss some more birds, animals, and fishes in this game... What about some pigeons coming on the buildings roof, on the streets, etc... For sure, animals that wouldn't be involved in any kind of craft industry would be "deactivable" in the game settings !

Another guy also said that it is very strange that there is no button to empty a warehouse... So, as soon as we want to destroy one of them, we are loosing its content ? :confused:
We should have a button to call some guys to empty it, along with the one to close it.

The relationship between the citizens and the governor should be more complex. What about demonstration if they are not happy at all, or even the availability of more cops in the streets to avoid such demonstrations if you choose to be more severe with them, etc... I think that the politic side of the game should be more complex. Not like a Civilization-like game, but more complex than Caesar III.

The overlayer systems is very good. But it must be enhanced, regarding - for example- the food markets, the basic goods markets, etc... How many times haven't I seen that some houses were missing some food without beeing able to simple have an overlayer about food distribution, etc...
Actually, an advance menu should be available in the Overlayer option, to be able to select any kind of building in order to see the efficiency of their position and if some others are not needed.

One more thing about overlayer : the current colors of the overlayer system are not very explicit. Why don't you use a green-to-red system, with dark green if the area is perfectly covered, and red if it isn't at all. Then, you'll have some intermediate colours (yellow, orange, ...) for intermediate quality of covering. You could still use other colours for a special meaning, but they should be either deactivable, or explicitely explained.

If any serious problem is blocking one building (no farm available, no stockpile available, etc...), an explicit icon should be place on this build with - why not ! - a specific animation of the building's characters (we could see them sleep or wait for job). A buttton would help us to jump on buildings with such problems, and to solve it.
And a help window related to this problem would be available to help the governor to identify the problem and solve it.

When a popup message is appearing, that makes me angry to be interrupted in my construction, and to loose the operation I was doing. So, as soon as I'm clicking on the close button of this message, I should come back to my previous activity, without loosing anything.

You should review the tips and message system. A more discrete system would be better, with a small stack of message beeing updated at each event sending an alert, with a little sound and a button to open the message if wanted. Some colors would distinguish urgent messages (requests from Rome, fires, epidemic outbreaks, etc...) and others.

Patricians should be useful at least for something else than Law... Maybe we could use them as politics, to get the opinion from the citizens (the more you have patrician, the more precise will be your informations about your citizens' opinions). We could also see some big forums with politicians talking to the crowd, like it was the case in the real Rome (including with the young Caesar).
We could also have some happy Patricians organizing some local festivals, with some decorations out in their street, etc..., and making their neightbourhood more happy.

The governor could also prepare some events for his city. Instead of having abstract events like in Caesar 3, where only a video was showing you that a big event was organized, we could see concrete modifications in the town aspect for these festivals, like lanterns in streets, deguised people, musicians, outdoor shows, etc... And you could also have some events specific to the month of the year, like religious celebrations, or more pagan ones like festival of wine or annual sportive events. Actually, that would be a good mean to explain to the player what were the celebrations of this time, like the roman "Ludi".


Advisors menu
--------------

It is very slow to be loaded, just for a static crappy animation with some guys looking you like a strange exotic beast...
It should be more animated, with some angry, unhappy, or smiling advisors, regarding your results in their specific branch...

And what about Caesar wrath when your credits go to negative ? You can use money as you want, without any problem if you remain in negative ?...

The Ressource panel is very confused. How many times haven't I been confused by the Trade part, when I was mixing the export price and the quantities of each items... When I chose the upper export limit for some stuffs, I want to see the total quantity of each of these stuffs within the same panel of the window, and not in another one. That's very confusing.
And there is nothing to convice me that 0 means "no upper limit".
Moreover, if I want to set 50 as upper limit, I have to click 50 times on the same slow button, without beeing able to directly enter this value in a field...

When I press ESCAPE when I'm in the advisors panel, that's not to go in the system menu, but to come back in the game.

The trade map should be included in this advisors panel. You will have many people forgetting it before a long time, which is not very nice for them to optimize their income of money and ressources.
Moreover, the export should be more complex, and the opening of a trade relationship between your town and another one should cost far more money, and beeing enhanced by the availability of trading ships in your hypotetic harbour.


The general ergonomy of this advisors menu and the game right panel and messages system should be seriously reviewed.


That's all (for the moment :) ). As I've said at the beginning, I've loved to play this game, and I will certainly buy it. But that would be fantastic if you could answer at least to some of my questions, and solve many of the problems I've listed above.
Some people will certainly disagree with what I've said, but it's up to you to choose what is the best modification to perform, instead of keeping a system that is satisfying nobody. I trust you, and I'm sure this already fantastic game will be a lot enhanced before it reaches the stores shelves, to become a perfect game !
Last edited by Lord W on Mon Aug 21, 2006 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

JeffW
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Postby JeffW » Mon Aug 21, 2006 12:50 am

Just a note about smoke, as mentioned by a previous poster.

I have seen smoke coming from the pottery factory. Thin wisps of black - looks very realistic. But no smoke from any other factory.

Seems like its just a bug and will probably be fixed by the time of the release.

Bradius
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Postby Bradius » Mon Aug 21, 2006 3:21 am

I guess I will preface this with saying that I understand the demo has limits and is just a limited peak at the game. I am very impressed with the game. The demo is not too buggy.

One thing that surprised me was that you cannot set warehouses and graneries to get goods from other warehouses and graneries. This could make distribution in a large or difficult map very problematic.

I would also have liked to have been able to limit food markets (and frankly all the markets) to any of the three classes of people. I do want to say that I absolutely love being able to mothball buildings. Great job for whoever put that one in.

I am hopeful that the fountain access difficulties will be worked out soon.

The fact that people will stay for such a long time without food made it somewhat easier for me, but it did seem strange. I am not sure if it is something I want changed though.

It would be nice if people would be a bit smarter about getting things and not try to cross the city for some tasty veggies rather than the grain nearby. Of course if I could just limit plebs from some markets, that would solve my problem.

Oh, one big thing for me. Please (please) give me a grid to work from! It is just a major pain to do a layout without any kind of a grid.

I can't wait to see the full release and will get it as soon as possible. Great job folks!

Loerelau
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Maps to small

Postby Loerelau » Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:17 am

According to the new gamespy article, the maps are smaller then Caesar 3. (how large were they? Just like Pharaoh?) I don't like this...

dorn
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Postby dorn » Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:23 am

Loerelau wrote:According to the new gamespy article, the maps are smaller then Caesar 3. (how large were they? Just like Pharaoh?) I don't like this...


He? No way, this tiny tutorial map seems to be larger than a map in C3, though that may just seem to be so cos you have so many inhabitants so easily here cos of the new houses/evolution system.

Loerelau
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Postby Loerelau » Mon Aug 21, 2006 9:58 am

dorn wrote:He? No way, this tiny tutorial map seems to be larger than a map in C3, though that may just seem to be so cos you have so many inhabitants so easily here cos of the new houses/evolution system.


It did not feel like a large map. A lot of it is not suitable to build on. I really hope they are bigger in the full version.

dorn
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Postby dorn » Mon Aug 21, 2006 10:46 am

Loerelau wrote:It did not feel like a large map. A lot of it is not suitable to build on. I really hope they are bigger in the full version.

They will be bigger.
When i saw this map i thought: oh my god how tiny, is this a joke???
But i was pretty surprised how much i could built on this small map and how many people are living in this city, if this map already allowas 5,6,7000 how many will we have on the large maps (50000?)?? :D

Lord W
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Too small !

Postby Lord W » Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:16 am

Actually, I felt the same thing when I played to this demo : this map is very small... Moreover, with all the rocks and the hills that are forbidding any building, except some roads, that increase the feeling that the C4 maps are smaller than the C3 ones...
I hope that in the full release, they will be far bigger (that could be an option, like in many RTS), because I can't see how we'll be able to manage the building of a big city with all the unrevealed structures, plus all the army stuffs...

Kiya
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Postby Kiya » Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:17 am

dorn wrote:But i was pretty surprised how much i could built on this small map and how many people are living in this city, if this map already allowas 5,6,7000 how many will we have on the large maps (50000?)?? :D



There is not much sense if you have 5000 or 50000 people in a city, since we don't actually see most of them. The Devs have set the numbers quite high
this time, could have been lower too I guess. Only now we are happy when we are able to say 'Oh look, how many people there are in my city!'
I remember the very opposite when CoTN came. 'There are so few people in my cities? Why why... I used to build...' :rolleyes: :D

How many of us would have computer problems if there are very large maps and huge population on it? Just wondering....
Hopefully too large cities are not part of scenario goals. :eek: Sandbox things are a different story. ;)

xau99
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Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2004 9:18 pm

Postby xau99 » Mon Aug 21, 2006 5:29 pm

I may have missed this reading thru the threads, where is the option to "GET" or "EMPTY" a granary or warehouse. I see the option to refuse goods (by setting it to zero), but I would like the option to "GET" or "EMPTY" a warehouse/granary. Is this option available and I am not seen it?

I know this has been mentioned, but to reiterate it, we need small roads or allow the current road to fit in smaller areas, I have plonked down a two buildings with a gap inbtwn thinking I had enough road space only to find I missed it by an inch

UberMalark
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:28 am

hello everyone

Postby UberMalark » Tue Aug 22, 2006 2:48 am

this is the appripriate thread to post my reactions to the demo right?...


CoTN was a pretty good game in my opinion... i ended up losin interest in it but play it occasionaly... pharoah is by far my favorite of any CB game (zeus bein the second... i never really got into emperor... just didnt like it) ... and from the limited taste of what we got in the demo i think this is combining very good traits from both... it seems alot of people have problems with camera movement... it didnt seem to bother me much... but i guess thats cause ive gotten used to the camera movement in black and white 2 ;) ... which is far worse then this....

the only thing i miss is the amount of numbers and graphs we used to get in other games...


but it looks like it could easily become my favorite CB... but ill reserve that judgement for the full game... one more month :)

clobberella
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Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada eh

Postby clobberella » Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:06 pm

MarkDuffy wrote:Not true, Clobberella. Not true at all. :)

Might just be my computer Mark (and a few others'), but the issue I had w/C4 camera rotating seems to have been a random glitch that I can't now duplicate. I wonder if others have run into it too?

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sat Aug 26, 2006 6:17 pm

It depends on what the glitch was.

Babbens
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Postby Babbens » Sat Aug 26, 2006 9:54 pm

Many good points!

My two cents:

Critical data should be more accessible and more comprehensive.

I'd like to be able to put down the footprint of at least the main buildings, and it stays there while I set the roads;

I'd like one trade warehouse for all routes. If capacity is exceeded place another one and so on.

I realize the sensitive "slaves" issue. Weren't there "servants" in CotN? How about bringing them back?


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