Beta version of new Slay ready for testing!

Conquer the island
Ber
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Post by Ber » Tue Nov 01, 2011 1:39 pm

Beta 1 & Beta 5 install fine on my main gaming PC (has Direct X 9 - 11 installed already).

The new (/ported from iphone version) feature of highlighting squares you can invade is working nicely, and I very much appreciate it while playing! I also like the wooden window frame and water effects, they look real nice.

I found the map a little hard to 'read' when it got full. I think this is because the graphics for buildings, men and trees are so 'tall' - they're nearly as much in the square above as in their own. Maybe it would be easier to read the map and click on men if they were placed lower in their tile, or shorter, or scaled smaller?

I played the first Island on very clever and the AI was good, but I don't have any detailed feedback, I just don't know the AI well enough :(

Anyway, since it's a beta I should also mention, I didn't encounter any bugs or crashes either.

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Sean OConnor
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Post by Sean OConnor » Wed Nov 02, 2011 4:50 pm

Wakke wrote:I was able to install it on an other PC (vista laptop), but when in game, the screen would very rapidly flash (alternating between the normal screen and a completely white screen). Also, while moving the mouse, the screen would be completely white all the time (instead of flashing).
Could you let me know what video card you have?

The only thing I could suggest is make sure your graphics drivers are the latest versions.

Wakke
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Post by Wakke » Fri Nov 04, 2011 10:34 pm

It's an integrated Intel 965 GM grapgics device. I've updraded to the latest version, but still the same problem. The last version of Slay ran just fine btw.

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Fusion_power
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Post by Fusion_power » Tue Nov 08, 2011 3:15 am

The buttons at the top don't appear to be properly defined. Also when I 'mouse-over' them, they should give a description of the button's function.

I have a serious problem with the location of the End Turn button. It is not readily accessible for either left or right handed people. Since all people that I know are either left handed, right handed, or like me (ambidextrous) :) , the button must be difficult to access for everyone. This is more of a problem on a laptop than on a desktop machine. Please look at alternatives for location of the end turn button. My suggestion would be to turn the "land" graph into an end turn button. That would let it have two functions.

Overall playability is pretty good, but there is no Auto move at this time. I presume it will be added later?

DarJones

jcscar21
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Post by jcscar21 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:14 am

Fusion_power wrote:The buttons at the top don't appear to be properly defined. Also when I 'mouse-over' them, they should give a description of the button's function.

I have a serious problem with the location of the End Turn button. It is not readily accessible for either left or right handed people. Since all people that I know are either left handed, right handed, or like me (ambidextrous) :) , the button must be difficult to access for everyone. This is more of a problem on a laptop than on a desktop machine. Please look at alternatives for location of the end turn button. My suggestion would be to turn the "land" graph into an end turn button. That would let it have two functions.

Overall playability is pretty good, but there is no Auto move at this time. I presume it will be added later?

DarJones
It took me a while to locate the end turn button as well. I kept clicking the other buttons thinking one of them must be it. Now that I found it I feel like a tool.

I find myself clicking on the men a lot instead of the tile. If I click low on the man this isn't a problem. But clicking waste or higher doesn't select the man. Easy enough to get use to. Just annoying.

I personally would love the option to switch back to the old sounds.

ziggyred
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Very good

Post by ziggyred » Fri Nov 11, 2011 7:23 pm

Overall I really like this new version. I was worried about the isometric view at first but it works really well. Many thanks.

Didn't have a problem with the End Turn button.

I like that you can right-click a territoy to pick up a man.

The graphics for peasants could be improved a touch but this is minor.

No bugs or glitches.

Excellent!

If only it were Android ... :)

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Sean OConnor
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Post by Sean OConnor » Mon Nov 21, 2011 12:53 pm

I've uploaded beta#8 to the same link.

I've broken the computer player's turn into two stages so you now get to see the trees grow on their hexagons, there's a pause, and then you see the computer's men move.

I've also added tooltips to the buttons in the toolbar.

The graphics and sounds have been moved into a "themes" folder. There's still only the default Medieval theme there but there should be some new ones in the next beta.

Mostly I've been working on networking and that's coming on well.

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Sean OConnor
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Post by Sean OConnor » Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:39 pm

Up to beta #9 now. Improvements are:

- I now draw the 4 panes on the right hand side of the window to off-screen buffers so they don't need to be completely re-drawn each frame. In previous versions my laptop's CPU could get up to 10% usage when the graph pane was full of lines. Now it only gets up to 2-3%

- The final stretch to the screen is done better so if you drag the game window larger or smaller it doesn't look all nasty and pixelated any more.

gebba
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Post by gebba » Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:43 pm

whatever color theme you choose, the colors representing players in the right menu do not change, they are always yellow-green-brown

flap
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Post by flap » Mon Nov 28, 2011 1:32 pm

I have just tired rapidly on a windows 7, 64bits. It seems to run allright.

Even it is probably not bug related, a comment about sounds : they are cut if another event happends. For example you don't hear the end of the sound made by the guys dying when another computer player starts to play. That sounds pretty bad. Maybe you should fade that sound out if you want to interrupt it, or let it play fully...

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Sean OConnor
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Post by Sean OConnor » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:21 pm

gebba wrote:whatever color theme you choose, the colors representing players in the right menu do not change, they are always yellow-green-brown
Thanks for spotting that - it's a bug that's crept in since I started drawing those 4 panes in their own offscreen buffers. I think I'm just forgetting to tell them to update their colours when you change it.

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Sean OConnor
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Post by Sean OConnor » Mon Nov 28, 2011 2:26 pm

flap wrote:I have just tired rapidly on a windows 7, 64bits. It seems to run allright.
Thanks! It's always nice to hear it is working OK.
flap wrote:Even it is probably not bug related, a comment about sounds : they are cut if another event happends. For example you don't hear the end of the sound made by the guys dying when another computer player starts to play. That sounds pretty bad. Maybe you should fade that sound out if you want to interrupt it, or let it play fully...
In all my Windows games so far (except Firefight - it uses a DLL I found to use DirectSound) I've used the basic Windows .wav playing function which has been there since 16 bit Windows days. Unfortunately in those old days I guess MS didn't think much about games so you could only play one sound at once.

I'm planning on writing some code (similar to the DLL I use in Firefight) to play several sounds at once. Not sure if it'll make the 1st release of Slay as this project is taking way longer than I thought, but I want to do that so I can use it in all my games eventually.

flap
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Post by flap » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:23 pm

Some issues related to translation (by the way the number of languages there is is impressive !)
- On the map editor, the two sentences are too long in french, and are cut (see picture)
Image
- The translation is not consistant : some words in the menu are translated, some not. But thinking of it, it probably are things that were not in previous version.
There are for example : undo all, redo, redo all, game sounds, reset window stretch,...
- An other inconsistancy in translation : when passing the mouse over an icon, the text appears in english (while we had it translated in the menu)
- In geman specifically, "End Turn" is still in english.

Some other graphical issues :
- When winning, the "Ok" button in the new window is flashing. Is it normal ?
- When minimizing the game, and reopening it, nothing draws anymore in the window. The only solution I found was to shut the game down and start it again.

Some comments :
- Seeing the graphic all the time is cool, but I miss when we could see the whole evolution from the begining...
- No chance to see that type of display once the game is finished ? ;-)
Image
( that's a movie made with one picture for each turn. The picture of a specific turn could be displayed when hovering over the graph...)

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Sean OConnor
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Post by Sean OConnor » Wed Dec 07, 2011 2:22 pm

Beta #10 is now on the download link

- I've made some more speed improvements (my computer's CPU is about at 1.5% for Slay now whereas it used to be over 10%)

- There's now a "Penguins" theme.

- The colours in the rankings pane now get updated when you change colour scheme

- I've made the font a bit smaller on the Map Editor so the French instructions fit now.

- all of the text for different languages is stored in a .txt file within the "Slay\Languages" folder. If anything needs updating please correct it and email me the corrected file! The tooltips are new editions so haven't been translated yet (I just copied and pasted the English text into each of the language files for now) I'll be able to take the words from the menu strings and remove the \t and ... to create a translated tooltip text though.

- I'll look into the flashing OK on the Victory dialog box.

- I know that closing a laptop lid and re-opening or Ctrl+Alt+Deleting will cause DirectX to "lose the device" and you need to exit and restart Slay. I haven't seen that happen on just minimizing the game though. I'm hoping to be able to get the game to recover from a "lost device" in the future.

- I only showed 8 days on the graphs in previous betas as drawing lines was very slow. I now draw the graphs "offscreen" as they only get redrawn at the end of the day. So, now that it's quicker I show the last 12 days worth of graph

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Fusion_power
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Post by Fusion_power » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:34 pm

Sean, I think there may be a logic problem with the new algorithm that cuts off enemies. What I am seeing is that there are times that a better move is available yet the AI chooses to cut off and kill an opponent. This leads to the AI being highly predictable and therefore easily beatable. Can you tell me if the AI is weighted to do a cut and kill as first choice?

The way I think this should work is for the AI to determine a range of actions and weight them according to play value, then choose the move(s) with the highest play value. The way it seems to work is to run through a list of possible strategies and then select the move(s) that result in a kill. I see this happening when the AI preferentially cuts off and kills an enemy and I see it when the AI attacks a capitol instead of the castle right next to it.

DarJones

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