Manuals and Resolution

Discussion relating to Across The Dnepr Second Edition

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Manuals and Resolution

Postby Scritty » Tue Apr 13, 2010 2:24 am

Hi, the seemingly "non sequita" nature of the post title can easily be explained.

I am trying to leverage myself into TBS games, and the subject matter and presentation of your games looks truly excellent.

However, after buying both Battlefront and Korsun Pocket, I have a couiple of niggles.

The first is a decent tutorial (or to be more precise the lack of one) Battlefront came none but this very site had one that you could download from the forum - but stopped half way through.

Korsun pocket seemed to have none.

This is an issue for me. Every developers "take" on how TBS's should go (once you get past the basics) is very different. I don't seem to be able to apply concepts "across the board" and am really looking for some in depth tutorial.

Manuals are not really as good. They are very situationaly specific.

"Ok, what do I do now to dig in" (search through manual)..
"Ok, now what do I do to use on this unit to board transport" (search manual again)

Tutorials (well done ones at least...) take you through these in a logical way, so there is no need to wade through over a hundred pages of manual for each specific unit (making the first turn I tried in Battlefront last over 8 hours - or to be more precise - until my patience ran out and I figured that the "effort/reward" ratio was out of kilter and I turned the game off, never to load it again.)

Don't get me wrong, these look excellent games, but the documentation seems squarely aimed at either seasoned wargamers or those familiar with the series.

I play the Panther games series (not turn based I'l admit) and despite the manauls (beginners, reference and tutorials) running to over 400 pages, I was playing at a level that was tactically pretty sound and very enjoyable in less than three hours.

This encouraged me to look into the "deeper" aspects later in the game. (managing re-supply, bridge building, controlling landings and drops etc)

The reason? A couple of well written tutorials supported with save games.

I don't think Battlefront is much more or less complex than Conquest of the Aegean, but in the latter I was playing and competing within hours. In the former after double that time I was still staring at a blank - purely due to the inclusion of tutorials.

That brings me to resolution - more specifically a windows mode.
This applies to just about every game I have ever bought from Matrix games (not just SSG or Panther)

Set to unwindowed low res (and I couldn't even find a 1280x1024 monitor in my local PC world, they stopped doing them some years ago)

So ok, low res -not a massive problem in itself - but aesthetically a bit dissapointing as modern (well not so modern any more) flat screens try to "scale up" none native resolutions - but why no windowed mode?

I am forced to print out massive reams of paper (hundreds upon hundreds of pages) that I really have neither the time, money or desire to print out simply because the games won't let me have the PDF document open the same time as the game.

This alone - just the introduction of a windowed mode - would be a real blessing, making the game look better on monitors under 4 years old AND - more importantly, allowing players to access the instruction manual from PDF while playing without the painful (and wasteful) process of printing the whole thing out (then buying a binder or suchlike - gawd that really is a pain)

Great games (i'm certain of it) but please take into account people new to your game engine and cut us a break as far as documentation and manual access goes.

Regards

Paul Clarke :oops:
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Postby Nebogipfel » Tue Apr 13, 2010 7:20 pm

Hi Scritty,

playing and reading pdf simultaneous, worked fine for me by using Alt-Tab short-key. Ok I did it with BiN and BiI, but with the newer games there shouldn´t be a difference.

The window-mode seems to be a "no go" at the moment for SSG. Because of a small team and an engine, which seems to be hard to re-code for windows-mode.
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Postby Scritty » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:04 pm

Nebogipfel wrote:Hi Scritty,

playing and reading pdf simultaneous, worked fine for me by using Alt-Tab short-key. Ok I did it with BiN and BiI, but with the newer games there shouldn´t be a difference.

The window-mode seems to be a "no go" at the moment for SSG. Because of a small team and an engine, which seems to be hard to re-code for windows-mode.


Hi,
Thanks for the reply. Yes this works most of the time, but is prone to going a bit loopy sometines (and crashing) not often, but enough to make it annoying. Also , to look at what the diagram says in the manual, and refer back to the screen often to make sure you have the details right (essp when co-ordinating attacks from multiple units) it is not really a satisfactory situation.- and detracts greatly from any sense of immersion.

I will get my strategy kicks elsewhere until perhaps vitual PC is powerful enough to allow me to play in the VPC window and have the PDF open as well. (my 3.8 ghz quad core PC should be powerful enough, but VPC emulates a very poor quality PC)
CotA is similarly hamstrung, but at least provides comprehensive play through tutorials. Though at the moment I'm enjoying the far simpler grand strategy of Hearts of Iron III (finally playable after the latest patch :-)

Hope I can resolve this at some point, these games look very good indeed.

Thanks again for your reply.

Paul Clarke
Scritty
 

Postby Lipa » Wed Apr 14, 2010 9:30 pm

I think it would be a shame to miss these titles simply because of this pdf issue. These games offer so much that a few (very minor IMO) glitches are easily ignored. :wink:

Personally, what I did for BiI was simply to print the pdf manual. :D I don't like reading text on screen anyway, and I also have a habit to mark stuff which seems more important... This approach worked for me very well indeed! :)

Cheers!
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Panther games series

Postby Guest » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:49 pm

I play the Panther games series (not turn based I'l admit) and despite the manauls (beginners, reference and tutorials) running to over 400 pages, I was playing at a level that was tactically pretty sound and very enjoyable in less than three hours. i like it very much
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