Feedback from an old user trying wesnoth again after some years (TLDR; wesnoth improved quite a bit IMO)

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shevegen
Posts: 176
Joined: June 3rd, 2004, 4:35 pm

Feedback from an old user trying wesnoth again after some years (TLDR; wesnoth improved quite a bit IMO)

Post by shevegen » May 22nd, 2018, 9:39 pm

Hello.

After several years, I recently tried the most recent Wesnoth
release - 1.14.1.

I compiled it from source on my linux box (slackware but 98% is
self-compiled) and, to my surprise, it compiled AND worked
right away!

I remember, years ago, I had some difficulties going this route,
but whatever the cause back then, either I have gotten smarter
and compile better (thanks to "linux from scratch" and "beyond
linux from scratch", or the quality of the game here has
improved - or possibly both.

Either way, I tested this wesnoth version in the last 2-3 days
and I wanted to provide some feedback. I played about 2 campaigns
so far and am in the third right now, so I thought I should give
early feedback, before I forget it again.

Perhaps the suggestion(s) here and feedback may be useful to
someone out there, and one or two suggestions may be included.

I will also make some recommendations for change here and there.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
First, some feedback:

- The graphics improved a lot and are very good. In general, props on
the artwork; the people involved did a great job IMO.

- The gameplay is still fairly simple. I had no big difficulty getting
into the gist of things. A few oddities exist here and there, such
as the AI being a bit ... predictable. But I think these are mostly
minor issues, not really the whole picture, so let's not dwell on
it too much.

- The interface is both good but sometimes a bit klunky here and there.
I understand that improvements take time in an open source, free to
play game. However had, I think in the long run, it would be nice to
improve on some aspects. I will give you one example here:

When the enemy is moving, and/or when it is your start of the turn
(but you can not do anything yet because e. g. the "heal-up" phase
happens), the "save game" button disappears and I can not save the
game. I would recommend to instead grey it out rather than remove
it from the interface, before putting it back into the interface
again. This is really a tiny issue but I wondered why the save game
entry disappeared. I assume that it is not trivial to save the game
state right there when the computer is calculating moves and such,
but as a user I'd love to be able to save/load/interrupt at any
moment in time; and if it is not possible, to ideally show some
greyed out entry that can not be clicked, rather than a disapparing
entry.

Anyway - now to some more specific feedback:

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

- The buttons in the game are still sort of like they used to be.

Could they be improved a bit? Perhaps different themes or such could
be used? Take the new GIMP releases; they come with 4 different themes
by default.

I'd love to be able to look for a slightly different "look" of wesnoth,
including different buttons. This does not have to be complicated,
just a few different themes to pick from. Keep the current one as
default/classic/ and perhaps add a few ones that may be different.
Perhaps even a different font size and such for short-sighted
people. And in general, perhaps improve the buttons a bit, make
them slightly bolder and such. I understand that some people may
not like this, which is why it should be optional/easily customizable.

Which is also why I brought the example of GIMP here.

(1) There is a campaign where there are sea serpents or such. The
animation is a bit slow compared to other attacks, feels almost
as if there is a lag.

(2) I'd recommend increasing the animation speed there by perhaps
20%-30% or so. Hopefully that is simple.

(3) The orcish warriors, grunts etc... have a big sword. That is fine
but it looks like ... a twohander or so. Or an oversized sabre.

(4) I would suggest to make it a bit more like a serrated, jagged blade.
Should not require too much change, IMO. The other units look quite
ok. I guess the orcs have not seen an updated in a long time.

(5) I would recommend a search-button in the help section.

For example, I wanted to find out what happens with experience above
level 3, e. g. if the units still improve stat-wise or hp-wise.

Unfortunately the in-game help does not (yet) have a search
functionality, so I would suggest to add one.

In the simplest case, we only need to have a small text widget where
the user types in a string, and then some result-page or widget with
links towards the relevant subsections. Of course google and the
webforum may be more efficient, I get this, but I am simply talking
about in-game help here. Oldschool stuff.

(6) I recommend adding an "end turn" keypress event, e. g. "alt+e"
or something; and to also add it under the "Action" menu too, to
also display the shortcut used. "alt+e" is just an example; the
more important thing is to add a shortcut, and to display which
one it is there.

Right now I only click on "end turn" with the mouse, which is a bit
cumbersome. Perhaps there is some shortcut already but I could not
find it (which may be because ... the font size is pretty small.
On that note, I have bad eyesight; perhaps others do have, too,
so the ability to easily increase the font size would be great;
I did not check on preferences whether that is possible. By the
way, I think the preferences dialogue has been improved, compared
to some years ago when I last played wesnoth).

(7) When we press the "n" key, the next unit will be selected/activated.

I'd like to have a way to skip certain units, e. g. by pressing a key,
so that they then (for this turn) no longer show up when I hit the
"n" key. If I recall correctly, the old Warlords games (DOS game)
used to have this, as well as the old civilization. It's simply for
convenience, so that some units can remain where they are.

(8) Are there any plans to allow the base engine to be used with other
games that follow a similar play style as well? E. g. games such as
civilization, colonization, and Battle Isle. A bit similar as to how
the scummvm project is expanding, by also offering games that are
beyond the scope of the old sierra scripting engine (they recently
integrated support for the old might and magic games, so I am
wondering if wesnoth has a similar idea going for turn-based
strategy games).

Anyway, I will stop here now because it is getting too long.

Please excuse the line wrappings here but I wrote this in my local
editor; I find the webforum textview widget unusable for longer
text, so I usually wrap at around 80 characters per line, give or
take (a bit before that actually).

All in one, I think wesnoth has improved quite a bit in the last
some years. I am glad to see that the project is still alive.

The homepage has also improved, which is nice. I have no idea who
the people were who invested their time into that, but to the
folks who did, you did a really great job in my opinion.

That's all for now, perhaps I may be a bit more active on the
webforum, but reallife time constraints make it a little hard
(actually I should not even be playing games, but I wanted to
have a look at wesnoth again).

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Ravana
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Re: Feedback from an old user trying wesnoth again after some years (TLDR; wesnoth improved quite a bit IMO)

Post by Ravana » May 22nd, 2018, 10:35 pm

There is ctrl+space to end turn and space to end unit turn(skip it from n).

enclave
Posts: 822
Joined: December 15th, 2007, 8:52 am

Re: Feedback from an old user trying wesnoth again after some years (TLDR; wesnoth improved quite a bit IMO)

Post by enclave » May 23rd, 2018, 12:15 am

shevegen wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 9:39 pm
When the enemy is moving, and/or when it is your start of the turn
(but you can not do anything yet because e. g. the "heal-up" phase
happens), the "save game" button disappears and I can not save the
game. I would recommend to instead grey it out rather than remove
it from the interface, before putting it back into the interface
again. This is really a tiny issue but I wondered why the save game
entry disappeared. I assume that it is not trivial to save the game
state right there when the computer is calculating moves and such,
but as a user I'd love to be able to save/load/interrupt at any
moment in time; and if it is not possible, to ideally show some
greyed out entry that can not be clicked, rather than a disapparing
entry.
I agree here with him... New player in certain circumstances may think there is no save game option at all and start to look it somewhere else in panic.. :)
shevegen wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 9:39 pm
Could they be improved a bit? Perhaps different themes or such could
be used? Take the new GIMP releases; they come with 4 different themes
by default. ...it should be optional/easily customizable.
also agree with you. Developers said that they preparing new engine for next wesnoth versions (1.16 or whatever), but it will obviously take a while, would be cool if there was something done now. I think there is just nobody who is a themes specialist in their team at the moment, plus there might be other much more important things they want to invest their time... So... you could be that person to create more themes :D jk.. or not jk.. :D
shevegen wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 9:39 pm
... the font size is pretty small.
On that note, I have bad eyesight; perhaps others do have, too,
so the ability to easily increase the font size would be great;
I did not check on preferences whether that is possible.
that can be done in the C:\Program Files (x86)\Battle for Wesnoth 1.14.1\data\themes default.cfg file :D at least that's what I done. Alternatively you can reduce the screen resolution in wesnoth settings (that's what I done too). On saying that my eyesight is fine :D But I really needed that :D Also in preferences there is a display and themes... so you can chose between...... 2! Themes! ;)
shevegen wrote:
May 22nd, 2018, 9:39 pm
(8) Are there any plans to allow the base engine to be used with other
games that follow a similar play style as well? E. g. games such as
civilization, colonization, and Battle Isle.
not sure what you mean ;) Try to download add-ons from add-on server... like "q civ" or "a new land"

Aaaaaaaaaaaand... Welcome back! ;)

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