Directional facing graphics should be removed

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Trau
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Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by Trau » May 2nd, 2008, 6:40 am

When I was playing the game today, I noticed some weird looking little unit that was, on closer inspection, a goblin spearman facing toward the north. After browsing the forums some, I found that, apparently, units with different facing in the hexes has been planned.

I suggest that having all the units face the south is a better idea than different facings.

Why not have graphics with facings?
- Facings do not matter for anything in Wesnoth, so there is no necessity that it should be represented. It may even be confusing to some newbies who think that having units with directional facings mean they get bonuses for attacking from behind.
- Having facings creates a larger workload for artists.
- The more facings there are, the harder it is to recognize units at a glance (twice as many pictures that need to be recognized). This becomes important in games/campaigns where a large number of units are expected to be on the board at once. Every effort at reducing clutter would help.

Why have graphics with facings?
- It makes the game look more realistic, in that units don't look like playing pieces on a boardgame all arranged uniformly, but like real people and creatures running around.
- Work has already started on directional facings and it would be a waste to throw them away?
- Anyone who concentrates just a little harder would not have any problems with telling units.

I personally think WINR would defeat the first "pro" argument I thought of. Reducing screen clutter and letting players have an easier time comprehending the board is a gameplay factor that should trump a realism/aesthetic factor.

As for the second, I think it's better for there to be no work than counterproductive work.

For the last "pro" argument, I believe that though the obstacle could be overcome with some effort, it would be better had there not been an obstacle there at all.

BTW, directional attack graphics are perfectly fine since players are not expected to "read the board" while an attack is going on.

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zookeeper
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by zookeeper » May 2nd, 2008, 7:05 am

The art lead won't accept that, and our animation engine has been designed in such a way that an option for that probably won't happen either (feel free to correct me on that). So you're stuck with a silly-looking game for at least another 2-3 years I'm afraid.

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turin
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by turin » May 2nd, 2008, 7:26 am

I tend to agree that directional static frames are probably a bad idea because they'll be hard to recognize as the same unit, but I'm perfectly willing to be proven wrong.
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Edward V Riley
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by Edward V Riley » May 2nd, 2008, 7:32 am

I agree. I hadn't played much Wesnoth in a while and once I downloaded the new version, I was staggered to note some units would face different ways. One of my dwarven Lords was facing west and all the others faced east.

Yeah, it would be different if facing played a role, but I don't see that happening, nor do I want it to.

Should it be removed? yes, in regards to newer players.
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zookeeper
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by zookeeper » May 2nd, 2008, 7:40 am

Edward V Riley wrote:I agree. I hadn't played much Wesnoth in a while and once I downloaded the new version, I was staggered to note some units would face different ways. One of my dwarven Lords was facing west and all the others faced east.
Eh...that's how it has always been...and we're not talking about that.

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irrevenant
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by irrevenant » May 2nd, 2008, 11:14 am

turin wrote:I tend to agree that directional static frames are probably a bad idea because they'll be hard to recognize as the same unit, but I'm perfectly willing to be proven wrong.
This is my position too. It seems like a poor idea on the face of it, but the art team may well have the skill to pull it off.

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Neoskel
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by Neoskel » May 2nd, 2008, 7:01 pm

And when in doubt what a unit is, you don't need to read the boards; just mouse over the sucker...

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shadowm
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by shadowm » May 2nd, 2008, 8:11 pm

Edward V Riley wrote:I agree. I hadn't played much Wesnoth in a while and once I downloaded the new version, I was staggered to note some units would face different ways. One of my dwarven Lords was facing west and all the others faced east.
Perhaps next time you should read more carefully what the topic is about before making such comment. Horizontally inverted facings for units have been possible since version 0.3.x or earlier - thought just not with additional graphics.

I strongly defend this feature. Players should have no problem if they first look at the unit stats in the side bar / attack dialog. Of course they should always do that, even if the unit looks exactly like others of the same kind, since every unit in Wesnoth is differentiated by having different traits, AMLAs/objects (when applicable), etc. That is exactly why this game isn't mechanical and monotone. (And probably why players excessively accustomed to monotony have trouble to learn the game... although this is also a side-effect of our modern culture.)
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by Thrawn » May 2nd, 2008, 9:11 pm

um, yeah. I think that people are simply not used to it, but that will change the more you play with the additional graphics.
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by TrashMan » May 2nd, 2008, 10:19 pm

An interesting idea, but one that IMHO falls under the category of diminishing returns - all the work that gos into that would be better spent into other animations or features.
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Trau
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by Trau » May 2nd, 2008, 11:32 pm

I know it's perfectly possible to tell which unit is which, but my case is that having two different graphical representations of units (front and back) makes it more cluttered, not that it hides any information from the player. The issue of clutter is especially bad for campaigns and games designed with large armies in mind and can be distracting to someone trying to keep track of which units are where.

Neoskel: by "read the board" I don't mean go browse the forum, I was using figurative language to describe the act of looking at and and understanding the picture that Wesnoth is presenting to you, which I likened to a game board, like a Monopoly board or a chess board.

Trashman: I don't know what you mean. What I'm proposing will actually reduce the work for sprite artists.

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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by TrashMan » May 2nd, 2008, 11:40 pm

Yup, I agree that direction sprites are pretty redundant. Especially for units with capes/cloaks.
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by torangan » May 3rd, 2008, 12:40 am

What a strange argumentation many here employ... You should try to remember: artists do NOT get tasks set. They work on whatever THEY like. Obviously our art directory supports directional animations and even standing frames. This means they're in and stay. If you don't like them, copy the normal base frame over the file. Personally I'd also like to see other stuff getting done first but instead of complaining about fine art I'm happy for it and everything completed increases the chances that what I want to see comes next (or soon).
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shadowm
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by shadowm » May 3rd, 2008, 1:08 am

TrashMan wrote:all the work that gos into that would be better spent into other animations or features.
What Torangan said.

Besides, the progress on making directional standing frames is pretty low and slow. It is not a high-priority project. The highest priority at the moment is the TC project.

And if you are thinking about "other animations or features" as artwork for completely new units, user interface, etc., then I'm sorry to tell you that having been here for mere 3 days means you don't have the experience required to suggest anything; see the link to the Wesnoth Philosophy (TWP) in my signature. Things don't work here the way they'd work in a commercial game.
TrashMan wrote:Yup, I agree that direction sprites are pretty redundant. Especially for units with capes/cloaks.
:roll:
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irrevenant
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Re: Directional facing graphics should be removed

Post by irrevenant » May 3rd, 2008, 1:46 am

torangan wrote:What a strange argumentation many here employ... You should try to remember: artists do NOT get tasks set. They work on whatever THEY like.
Wesnoth artists are, of course, volunteers and free to work on whatever they want, but the art team does strongly encourage particular priorities.
Shadow Master wrote:And if you are thinking about "other animations or features" as artwork for completely new units, user interface, etc., then I'm sorry to tell you that having been here for mere 3 days means you don't have the experience required to suggest anything; see the link to the Wesnoth Philosophy (TWP) in my signature. Things don't work here the way they'd work in a commercial game.
To clarify this: AFAIK, Shadow Master is saying that you need a lot of experience with the game to make meaningful suggestions. This is not a 'seniority' thing related to the amount of time you've been a member of the forum - it just means that if you can demonstrate a lot experience with Wesnoth, your opinions will carry more weight.
Shadow Master wrote:
TrashMan wrote:Yup, I agree that direction sprites are pretty redundant. Especially for units with capes/cloaks.
:roll:
I suspect TrashMan's point was probably that units with cloaks are going to be quite hard to tell apart from behind. But I could be wrong...

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