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Thread: Underworld Ascendant launching on November 15

  1. #26
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by froghawk View Post
    The mac version isn't supposed to be available yet, but I just put the key in on my mac and steam is letting me download it, which it's never done for a windows game before. I'm a bit confused by this, but I guess I'll just ride out the download and see what happens. It's not very big.
    So it appears there is indeed a mac build uploaded on steam even though it's only listed for Windows. Weird. I didn't try the game, but the menu lagged a bit, which seems suspect.

  2. #27
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Location: Yeah.
    On the save issue, speaking as someone who programs in Unity, saving a full state in Unity, without any plug ins, is a tedious and difficult process as you have to make it store information on every single gameobject that can be manipulated or changed in any way. Every position, rotation, scale, every variable, has to be manually told to save. That being said, the fact that reloading a save doesn't even put you at the last respawn point is very problematic. I can even produce some pseudocode to show how it can be done.

    (On establishing a spawn point)
    Gamemanager.instance.lastspawnpoint = id number assigned to the save point;

    (On reloading a save)
    foreach(Gameobject in scene with the tag "spawnpoint")
    if the id of the last spawnpoint == the id of the current pointed spawnpoint, transform the position of the player to that point

    else
    spawn the player at the starting point of the level.

    I don't mind not being able to save everywhere, it can prevent cheesing with quick saves. But the fact that it doesn't even bring you to the last spawn point, or even check point, is a major problem.

    I'm still enjoying the game, but I'm genuinely surprised that this oversight was left in the game.

  3. #28
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    So, its release was so underwhelming that it doesn't even get front-page coverage on Steam, and more than half of the reviews so far are negative.

    Honestly, I'm not that surprised - the game seemed far from complete in the betas - but it's a bit sad, especially considering that this was supposed to be the start of our LGS revival.

    I guess now it's just waiting to see if they manage to patch out the worst of the problems post-release, or if they make enough money to even afford to do so.

    I haven't played it myself yet, I'll probably wait until I get the physical goods from backing it on Kickstarter... which I strongly suspect will be the second of my two Kickstarter-backed games which gave me physical items for a game that turned out to be grossly disappointing (and SS-R will most likely be #3). Ah well.

  4. #29
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    I actually feel more optimistic about SSR at this point. The Night Dive guys just have to follow a proven template. The Otherside guys got distracted on their way to making an Underworld sequel and apparently we ended up with some kind of physics toy.

  5. #30
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Read through the steam reviews and got really bummed out. Oh well. Tried booting the mac version for the heck of it, and yeah... nope... that's nowhere near functional yet lmao

  6. #31
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Location: Yeah.
    Yeah... I just requested a refund. It's just so unpolished, even in basic ways. Like the way your weapon clips through walls. There is such an easy fix for that in Unity. Even my free spooky FPS game I put out last year doesn't have that problem. I expect this from asset flips that get shit onto Steam, not LGS alumni. Unity is a great engine but this is another game that will hurt it's reputation.

  7. #32
    This is really bad... And I have this feeling they might not fix it..

    The graphics and sound are amazing though. And, despite the minimal requirements being kinda high, it's an almost constant 60FPS on my toaster (medium settings, 720p) with an occasional stutter. However, I can't run this game on normal fullscreen mode (only borderless) ...

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by chischis View Post
    BUT YOU CAN'T SAVE WHERE YOU WANT
    W.T.F. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buccura View Post
    On the save issue, speaking as someone who programs in Unity, saving a full state in Unity, without any plug ins, is a tedious and difficult process as you have to make it store information on every single gameobject that can be manipulated or changed in any way. Every position, rotation, scale, every variable, has to be manually told to save.
    W.T.F. ?

    Ah well. This doesn't affect me until I have new hardware, so hopefully they'll fix as much as possible before then. Sounds like the save issue is permanent though. My mind is BOGGLED that a game engine as heavily used as Unity doesn't support saving a game state in any sane kind of fashion.

  9. #34
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    You still have to program most things yourself in Unity. Saving in Unity-made open world games can certainly be done, The Long Dark does it for instance.

  10. #35
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    I suppose in a way this mess is the fault of people like me who were so unimpressed by the demos and betas (plus, not all that invested in Underworld anyway) that I never bothered to go to the Otherside forums / Discord / whatever and give them feedback on my disinterest.

  11. #36
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2004
    Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Saddened to say but this game feels like a half baked modding project, not something that came from seasoned developers.

    There are just sloppy bugs that should have been caught long ago. It's kind of shocking.

    The opening voice over captions don't even match the spoken text. I just don't know how they let that through in what is supposed to be a professional release.

  12. #37
    Moderator
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: Hong Kong
    I've played only 15 minutes or so of the game so far so take my following comments with a pinch of salt. It's visually impressive playing at Ultra settings (I didn't try any lower) and the art style is a marked improvement over the cartoony look of some of the initial iterations. Performance is also acceptable so far. That said, it feels like the game needs a little more time in the oven to make it ready for general consumption. I realise that they are a small team and based on my belief of what I feel these developers are capable of, I'm going to hold off on commenting too much until they release a patch or two to bring this game up to speed. While I haven't read through the negative comments on Steam, I wouldn't be surprised if what I encountered is not too dissimilar to what others have experienced. It's actually difficult to believe that some of these bugs got through their QA since they are so prevalent at the beginning of the game. A few of these include: voice overs that don't match the subtitles; chests that make the opening/closing sound without always opening (it may be that I was too close when I tried but it should at least capture the event properly); an item falling out of the chest after opening it. I am also surprised to see they have implemented a "body-awareness" movement system like Thief DS though I doubt they can fix that now.

    At any rate, I still have some faith that there is a decent game (possibly a great game) under the hood. I'm just not in a hurry to play it in its current state.

  13. #38
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Nameless Voice View Post
    I suppose in a way this mess is the fault of people like me who were so unimpressed by the demos and betas (plus, not all that invested in Underworld anyway) that I never bothered to go to the Otherside forums / Discord / whatever and give them feedback on my disinterest.
    I doubt they're unaware of the issues.

  14. #39
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    No, plenty of people brought up these issues during prototype, alpha and beta. This was a poorly managed project from the beginning.

    There were plenty of us calling on them to walk before they ran during the prototype because it was so janky, but the response was largely just, "This is how the sausage is made," or "We know what we're doing; we're experienced professionals." That last one was Chris Siegel, who I think should go by Hubris Facepalm from now on. But problems from that first prototype are still there in the release.

    To give you an example, we criticized how you couldn't walk up stairs and even struggled to walk up ramps, or how finicky the mere act of picking up and moving a crate could be. At the time I half-joked that they should start with The Dark Mod since it already implemented everything they were trying to do at that stage, but with greater polish and reliability. It wasn't a good sign when a couple of the developers said, "What's The Dark Mod?" D'oh!

    But they were already layering on an ambitious magic system and complex physics interactions before getting the basics down. To this day the basic act of walking up a set of stairs can be finicky and irritating.

    So besides poorly scoping this project in its early stages, they also exhibited a pretty severe Run-Before-Walk Syndrome.

    Sadly, I still think there is potential here. Try not to be too influenced by the people raging at the game in its early stages. Once you reach the larger, more complex missions and you can start playing with the still-unique runic magic system, there's something special there.

    Just give it a few months of patches before you try discovering all that for yourself.

  15. #40
    Member
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    So, today I installed Underworld Ascendant and played it for 66 minutes. My first impressions:

    It doesn't seem as bad as I had feared! But it's not exactly great either. The game also seems to run better now than it did when I tried the beta version a few weeks ago, which is a relief. Even with my budget PC I've been able to keep the gfx settings at 'ultra' for now. The visual look is pretty good and while nothing has made me go "wow!" so far, at least the game isn't all grey and boring. The user interface is simple but pretty damn ugly, to be honest.

    The controls can be a bit awkward and the protagonist moves like a sloth at times. That's not good, but perhaps it just takes some time to get used to it. UA tries hard to be a "physics simulator" (god I hate that word), and while there's a lot going on, nothing has particularly impressed me so far. The biggest problem is that I feel like a drunk elephant when I try to handle objects in the game world; I already lost the count of times when I tried to pick up an object to "carefully" examine it, only to smash the object in thousand pieces when I try to "carefully" put it back down. I know I still suck at this game, but come on, simple stuff like this shouldn't be that hard. I also encountered quite a few physics bugs; floating objects (not magically floating ones!), stuff sinking through the floor and walls, that sort of things. They've still got a lot of tweaking to do. Some of the physics "puzzles" are just absurd too - I can't believe that someone in the dev team thought that it'd be a cool idea if you could burn your way through locked wooden doors by setting things like baskets on fire and then dropping them next to the door --> in a few seconds the door is gone. Come on...

    Another totally random thing that really annoyed me for some reason: There are those really majestic looking chests with decorations and stuff in seemingly hard-to-find places, and you'd thought that there's something cool in a giant chest like that. Right? Well, nope. So far I think I've found one broken shoe, a bone, a few arrows, and some kind of a rag. Mostly worthless junk, in other words. Why would anyone put stuff like that in a giant chest in the first place and then hide it somewhere? Argh.

    Despite of my moaning above, I was still quite enjoying my 66-minute gaming session, before it sadly ended in a nasty crash. I had just opened one of those majestic chests and tried to pick up the bone that was inside, when the game crashed on me. I had saved the game a while back, but instead of losing about five minutes progression in the game, I went back in time about 65 minutes when I loaded my game again. Great. Basically, I had to start from the beginning. Now, I've never understood these people who complain if they can't save whenever they want to - carefully placed save points/checkpoints can really add some tension - but UA is just taking it to a whole new level. I never even figured out when exactly I can save the game; one of the loading screen tips said something about saving the game in "Marcaul", but I still don't even know what or where "Marcaul" is. I assume that it's an underworld city or something, and I probably would have discovered it by now if I had rushed through the tutorial section, but I wanted to explore the dungeon properly.

    I still feel that there's a lot of potential in Underworld Ascendant, but I think I'll wait for a few patches before I give it another go.

  16. #41
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    The loot gets better later on. It also gets somewhat rougher later on, unfortunately, as far as things like bugs and missing textures are concerned. I'd also say it's best to wait for more patches.

    Also, burning things down is great fun in this game, as far as I'm concerned. At my more careless moments, I've had half the level on fire and the floor literally burning out under me. And not all locked doors are made of wood.

  17. #42
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    Crash bugs: Bad. Extremely restricted saving: Bad. Extremely restricted saving PLUS crash bugs: Screw that.

  18. #43
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    I'm afraid the save issue alone might sink this ship. It's generated so much negativity on release that I worry it will keep OtherSide from having the money to keep improving the game for as long as is needed.

    One dev just mentioned how they paid out of their pockets to push the release from September to November. That makes me wonder how much their publisher will continue to support them post-release if the launch continues to look this bad.

  19. #44
    Administrator
    Registered: Oct 2000
    Location: Athens of the North
    I've played about an hour myself and... it's OK. I've stayed away from general spoilers, beta videos, etc. as I wanted to experience it fresh when released. The mechanics are reasonably fun although I pretty much agree with everything that Tomi posted - it just feels a bit cumbersome in places. Of course, the original Underworlds could also be just as finicky but the physics weren't really the main draw of the game. That's probably the biggest issue I have with it - it's missing the draw of a cohesive world and the environment seems fake. The world is littered with tables with plates, bottles and vases but there's no reason for them to be there other than props for the player to knock about. Perhaps it's a symptom of the early game being a tutorial but I suspect it'll continue along the same vein.

    I guess my overall impression is that it's a fine environment simulator but falls short on delivering what really attracted me to the original games. They can fix bugs and glitches, improve the save ability but unless it improves (and I will persevere) it feels like they've missed a trick. A game like this doesn't require full RPG mechanics or detailed NPC interactions to build a believable world - e.g. Thief was disjointed in terms of levels and had minimal RPG elements but still hung together. This feels a bit like a collection of set pieces and cool environments strung together and it keeps reminds me that I'm playing a game.

  20. #45
    Member
    Registered: Oct 2002
    Location: London / London / London
    ok, so far this is in fact pretty banging, but also pretty un-QA'd. I reckon go in expecting mod-level stuff you'll have a good time. The savegame thing is a total cave-in, but the systems and general vice are pretty on-point. I don't regret buying it at all. Sounds and looks very solid if you dont mind it jarring a good deal and basically telling you to fuck off when you check the graphics config options. Nice writing and acting, like really took me back at a few points. You can't turn the subtitles off and thats more annoying than it should be. The saving is in an embarassing hole. My level of hype for SS3 has actually increased. For 7 devs to achieve this is very impressive. It isn't finished.

  21. #46
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    To Tomi, Al_B and Vivian: If you liked it a decent amount with what little you've experienced, I think you might be pleasantly surprised a bit later. It sounds you haven't really moved passed the tutorial area yet.

    It really does get better and more interesting. But sincerely: wait a few months to play it. There's some great exploration and discovery -- in both evironments and systems -- later on. But it needs a lot of patching.

    As much as the game gets more open and more interesting later on, at this point in development the bugs and problems also get more severe and more... interesting.

  22. #47
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    From the Otherside forums:

    Quote Originally Posted by sluangkhot
    We will continue to work on the top community issues that will take a bit more time to address (save games, AI, saving option settings, art glitches, crashes, player movement and performance, etc.).

  23. #48
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Yeah, treat it more like a rough beta (cause that's what it really is).

  24. #49
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2014
    Location: Yeah.
    Do you think the publisher 505 Games pushed them to release it now? Which, really is the worst time you could have released it since it's so close to major titles like Red Dead Redemption 2, Fallout 76 and Battlefield V.

  25. #50
    Member
    Registered: May 2004
    Well, as Twist mentioned, OSE had to fund the two month extension themselves, so I think it might be likely.

    I really don't get it, though. It seems crazy to push out a game prematurely. The September 15 date may have had something to do with the fiscal year, but November?

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