Feedback wanted: New map border image, clouds and reworked resource icons on Beta

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  • Feedback wanted: New map border image, clouds and reworked resource icons on Beta

    We just implemented a new WebGL graphics update to beta games (only for frontline pioneers), which includes the following:

    • A Map border frame
    • Clouds
    • Reworked resource icons


    The border and clouds were added increase the immersion and graphics quality of the game. The resource icons were reworked to make them pop out more on the map and make them clearer to see at a first glance, as they are an important gameplay aspect.


    We would like to get your feedback on these graphical changes. If you are a FP player, please play with it for a while (you have to join a beta game) and then post your thoughts here. What exactly do you like about it? What exactly you don't like about it? Are there any problems with it?

    Thanks for testing on beta!
  • I am not a Frontline Pioneer, but here is my opinion on it:
    everything sounds good on it, except I am a little uneasy about the clouds. I don't think the game needs clouds and I also think it would make it harder to see when zoomed out. if they were faded, maybe, but I just don't think they are really needed. but better resources and map border sound good since it makes it look like part of the United States in under water, as well as Africa and Asia. again, I am not a frontline pioneer, so I don't know what they look like, but these are my opinions on it from what is sounds like.
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  • i dont like the new resources. they seem glued on and look too screamerish. not in line with the rest of the graphics.
    but then again, i have always been in favour of the great minimalistic graphics. the rest just clogs the view, i.e. clouds ;)

    edit: I had hped that my antipathy for the new icons would dwindle, when getting used to them, but every time I go to the market, I just really get irritated by the fake-ish icons. I really suggest undoing those new icons.
    In the market its is especially the bundles of money displayed, which are just almost causing an epileptic attack.
    In the map, it is just too much. But if you won't undo that change, maybe you could tune down those new icons a bit? Smaller? Anyways, looking less like a misplaced sticker?

    The post was edited 1 time, last by _Pontus_ ().

  • Thanks for the feedback! More opinions from beta players?

    Regarding resources: We deliberately made them stick out so that they are much easier to see on the map. Sometimes when there is alot going on on the scren it can be hard to recognize them, especially on mobile. if no one likes the style we can of course think about achieving the same effect with a different style.
  • I dislike the one for rare materials, and the one for money also looks "cartoonish" perhaps is the right word. I am not sure what the rare materials icon is supposed to be, but it looks more like a can of beer to me, or maybe a rocket of some kind. :00008359: Aside from those 2 the others are ok.



    Although I wonder how many new players are going to think that they can shoot the oil barrel and make it explode. It reminds me of the ancient DOS game Duke Nukem.







    The size is rather large as well, compared to units. (I still think that the units in webGL look small, but that is a separate issue, and I am not sure how many people share my opinion)




    Perhaps what I find odd is this: When I think of a map there is always background information that I don't need on a minute by minute basis, but is there to see if I look. This is how terrain and resources should be as background information. I want to be able to see my units and the enemy units clearly and distinctively, as well as a precise location for them.





    When looking at my city of Birmingham: The resource icon is displayed on top, as well as the province label. I have two unit types there, both planes and a ground force depicted by a railroad gun. These are jumbled together and "hidden" behind the "clutter" on the map. Sure I can turn the resources and labels off, but the units still show in a heap, especially if I add a third unit type, like a rocket.






    or with resources and labels:





    So the layering of
    A) what is important
    and
    B)what is background

    still needs work. In addition the coloration and shading of the units needs to be reworked so that they are what pops out, like what you did for these resources. It looks like my naval bomber in the above pic has a layer of snow on it. There isn't a crisp definition between the edge of the unit and the map behind it.






    Once you turn off WebGL enhanced graphics you also have a "separation" between units. This makes them easier to see and easier to select. It is quite clear that all of these units are in Birmingham, and city is also clearly visible and clickable. This lack of separation is sometimes frustrating in WebGL, and results in more time needed to wiggle the mouse around until the one item you want to select is highlighted.

    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
    Main Administrator
    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

    >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
  • Oh, I like the frame around the map.

    The clouds are just pointless. They will lead to stupid questions about what they do for the game, how weather affects combat or the operation of planes. I don't think they are needed or a good idea.
    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
    Main Administrator
    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

    >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
  • I will stick this suggestion here in this thread, that just came to me reading another part of the forum.


    A fairly frequent misconception among newer players is that planes "parked" on the ground are still planes, and will defend themselves once the brief refueling period is done.

    Since we are taking about making the unit images "pop" is there a way to make planes appear to "hover" above the province they are stationed at? Likely just a depth of the shadow or something like that. This might mean needing a different image for a refueling plane compared to a stationed plane, compared to a patrolling plane.
    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
    Main Administrator
    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

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  • Thanks for the detailed feedback! Alot of issues that you listed are general things to improve in WebGL and are not really related to 3 additions I wanted to discuss in this thread. They are on our to do list and we will also continue to improve these issues in the future, for example the unit cluttering.

    The rare materials icon shall represent rare materials like Wolfram or Tungsten. We wanted to replace the black one as it is hard to read and lacked a distinct shape.

    Clouds are there for immersion, and to make make the game look of higher quality to be more on par with other modern strategy games, and to add a sense of scale. Not all graphical elements share a gameplay purpose (for example also the wave effects or the lighting).

    So what you don't like about the resources is the black stroke around them, which makes them look too cartoonish for you? We could experiment with using a shadow instead of a stroke.
  • I realize your intention with the resources is to make them stand out, and you have done that. Perhaps I didn't connect all of my ramblings to get to the point above: My preference would be that they don't stand out as much. I think the resources currently dominate the map which I think is distracting. I would prefer to have the units stand out, and the resources blend in. I realize that the units are also being worked on and these are all separate issues, this was just for comparison.



    freezy wrote:

    the black stroke around them, which makes them look too cartoonish?

    I think that is a big part of it. Cartoons usually have hard lines and sharp edges. Visually you might try a thinner black line around them, or the shadow idea.

    It might also be the illumination of them. The "brightness" perhaps that makes them look out of place. Is the brightness of the lighting something that can be adjusted easily? Might try a couple different things with it.

    I think the "cartoonish" quality comes partly from the color choices as well. Graphic design is not really my expertise, but it seems that the color choices for the resources don't "fit" with the colors in use on the map already. Of course this is going to vary from country to country due to the different colors.



    I didn't check it in morale map mode as I don't use that often, but when I do the current version of the new resource icons feel less out of place. Of course I don't have any poor morale in this current beta map, but with the lush green background of good morale the resources fit better in my opinion.















    freezy wrote:

    The rare materials icon shall represent rare materials like Wolfram or Tungsten. We wanted to replace the black one as it is hard to read and lacked a distinct shape



    I can see that now that you mention Tungsten.


    I just don't think that the image in use today is easily identifiable as a resource. I would start over on that one.
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    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
    Main Administrator
    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

    >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
  • When I saw the new rare last week I thought at first it was a cow skull, then I thought maybe bauxite or processed bauxite to represent aluminum. But I do not know what any of those really look like, other than a cow skull. I liked the new oil drum.

    The clouds were an interesting effect. A couple of times in my last FP game I had to wait for the cloud cover to pass before I could find my unit to click on it, or maybe I was trying to do some fine movement and couldn't see the ground properly for what I was trying to do. It might be better to loose the clouds when you are zoomed in and add the clouds only when you are zoomed out. This might add to the effect your looking for (3D) in that you are either viewing the board from a distance above the cloud cover or up close below the cloud cover. I did briefly wonder if you were adding a weather aspect and how that would affect my planes flying ability, but dismissed it as the clouds never got thicker or thinner then what I first saw.

    I missed the border so I can not comment on that feature at this time.

    Unrelated question: How come the only available maps right now in FP are 10 and 22 player? I have scaled back to dong just FP for the time being and was hoping to find a 50 player map. I will keep watch, hopefully I don't loose my FP account before one pops up.
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  • one of the things I like about the WebGL is that I can zoom out fully and see all my troops. I think it would be harder to do that if their were clouds in the way. I also like the old resources look as well. besides, Tungsten isn't very rare either. I like the old resources because they look more colorful, these all look like they only have two hues, brown and green. the old resources look more colorful and fun.
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  • Peter Mat wrote:

    Unrelated question: How come the only available maps right now in FP are 10 and 22 player? I have scaled back to dong just FP for the time being and was hoping to find a 50 player map. I will keep watch, hopefully I don't loose my FP account before one pops up.
    There aren't any system generated maps for frontline currently, so most of the frontline maps are ones that players create.

    If someone mentions that there aren't any frontline games available I use one of my 5 games per month to make one, but I am still limited to 22 player and smaller maps like everyone else. I don't have access to anything larger.


    Usually one or two of the event games each weekend are set up as Frontline games as well.
    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
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    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

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  • @Vorlon: Thanks for the clarifications :) So from what I gathered in this thread the main feedback/critisism on the resources is that they stick out too much now. I forwarded the feedback to the team and the decision for now is to keep them as is, as the intended effect to make them stick out more is actually what is wanted and what is achieved, as can be seen by the feedback. Unless there are more urgent reasons coming up to change them again, like gameplay/usability issues.

    You are right that visibility of units is another issue and also needs to be tackled.
    On a sidenote, your naval bomber comparison is slightly misleading though, because in the first picture you have the army selected, which makes it brighter on the map, in the second picture you selected the province :D


    @Peter Mat: We actually implemented the clouds in a way that they should never conceal any units on the map. They should be barely visible when you zoomed in on land. Maybe your graphics card is rendering them in a strange way, without the translucency? If it happens again please make a screenshot and send it to me.
  • VorlonFCW wrote:

    is there a way to make planes appear to "hover" above the province they are stationed at?
    Yes there is already. Just use the + button in the commands: make the planes land for refuel where you want them and add a command to make them hoover.

    No need for an automated function. I love to catch air forces of lazy or over-confident players on the ground :)

    Further, planes on the ground do defend if already fueled up, when the attacker attacks the army or airforce directly in that place.
  • freezy wrote:

    the intended effect to make them stick out more is actually what is wanted and what is achieved, as can be seen by the feedback. Unless there are more urgent reasons coming up to change them again, like gameplay/usability issues.
    But it is a game play issue! In multiple ways:
    - clogging the view
    - irritating players
    - confuddling players

    All in all reducing player fun, which end up being a commercial concern for Bytro.

    Maybe 'the train has left the station', but every train has brakes and can be stopped and return or sidelined ;)
  • _Pontus_ wrote:

    Yes there is already. Just use the + button in the commands: make the planes land for refuel where you want them and add a command to make them hoover.

    No need for an automated function. I love to catch air forces of lazy or over-confident players on the ground

    Further, planes on the ground do defend if already fueled up, when the attacker attacks the army or airforce directly in that place.
    Indeed, but you missed my point.

    My point is that there ALREADY IS a difference in capability between refueling planes and planes that are "parked" and able to defend themselves once refueling is completed. I think it should be a slightly different image to educate newer players.
    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
    Main Administrator
    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

    >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<
  • not to cause any trouble, but isn's this supposed to be feedback for the new update, and not for a discussion on planes? ?(
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    attacker 101
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  • attacker101 wrote:

    not to cause any trouble, but isn's this supposed to be feedback for the new update, and not for a discussion on planes?
    Yes, I take full responsibility for derailing the conversation with a suggestion for plane icons since we were discussing current icons.
    War is a game that is played with a smile. If you can't smile, grin. If you can't grin keep out of the way til you can. - Winston Churchill



    VorlonFCW
    Main Administrator
    EN Support Team | Bytro Labs Gmbh

    >>> Click Here to submit a bug report or support ticket <<<