View Full Version : A few things, from a fellow game dev

08-19-2015, 01:47 PM
Hi guys, haven't really got any way of contacting the dev team, so here is my next best shot. This isn't supposed to be anything negative or aimed in a negative way, but as a fan of the original on the Wii U and a fellow game developer, I just had to say a few things. (Although on reading it, I guess it is, but what can you do, right?)

First of all, the way the launch of the game was handled was very poor, although I think anybody you ask will say the same. No details, no info, no price, no comparisons, nothing really, until right before the game launched digital only. There wasn't even store pages in advance. Nothing tells your potential customers that you are sending a game to die more than not even bothering to set up a store page. Regardless, the price was good, the game released on time, so we can be thankful for that.

However the game itself is FAR from a solid product.

1) Performance. Are you really telling me that you can't manage to get more than 30fps? Sure its not overly needed on such a slow paced title, but being 30fps, with dips, isn't really anything to write home about. Even more so when you notice...

2) Missing shadows and lighting. Really guys, come on, you couldn't even manage to get shadows into play? Nobody wants real time shadows on everything unified in the world (A feat even we as a dev team struggle with, but have managed). But there isn't even basic shadowing under characters? Not even a hint of AO, to at least try and make up for it? The lighting is crazy bright, ruining the mood of the game as well. Which leads me to the next issue...

3) No dirty bloom. None at all. You see, dirty bloom was a design of the previous game, and yes, I have read your single comment on the matter (more on that in a moment) and totally find it wrong. You see the problem is nothing to do with what was said, its to do with the fact you upped the brightness so much in the game that everything Is now glowing and overly bright. In the original, darkness was very, very common, and light was something less. But here, I walk into an open, dead street, and the ground is glowing with light, for no reason at all. Compared to the original, this looks stupid. Now we all know why you did this, it was to get around the multitude of complaints about how the game is "too dark!" for the masses. But this isn't a game for the "masses", its a game for hardcore survival fans. Whats worse, I even have the gut feeling you did this because on the xbox one the black crush would kill the look of the game. (Black crush, by the way, is something that takes, oh, seconds, to remove. You just need to set up your curves correctly in the game for full RGB.) Anyway, that's the issue... Because the game is now mega bright, the game blooms everywhere. And because your bloom pass includes a dirty texture, it will now display that dirty texture in a LOT more places, making it overkill. Sadly, because this was developed in a rush with bare bones additions, nobody there thought "wait a second, the dirty bloom is actually a stylish, very unique choice, that sets the games visuals apart from most. Why don't we include a slider that tones down/increases the dirty bloom to peoples liking?". Then again, with how bare bones this is on PC, I can see why even adding a slider would be too tricky... In short, while your excuse about the character not wearing glasses is valid (Although artistically incorrect as you have changed the visual of the previous game), your other reason that it messes with the "back end", a phrase that isn't exactly used in the context it should, is incorrect. See, the only way this would cause trouble, is if you were using the wrong blend func for the effect, which would then either make the dirty bloom texture additive or passive. (Either that, or coded in such a way that its adding an addition full pass to the screen which will of course decrease performance even more than you already have, which is clearly the wrong way)/ Additive doesn't need to worry about drawing order, which really would have been the one you would likely use, and drawing order is the only real problem you would come into. If you used a different blend func, something that is of course possible, you would run into drawing order issues, however you have an element that draws above everything... In short, any issue that was caused by the dirty bloom should, in theory, be happening with your standard bloom. That is of course suggesting you implement your dirty bloom as part of your standard bloom shader pass and now its own effect, which would be pointless and expensive to boot. In short, its clear you guys removed it not because you couldn't get an effect even modders on a 20 year old game could get working, but because you made the game overly bright for no reason at all other than laziness, and then saw what the effect was looking like. Hell, people on the pc release have managed to get the dirty bloom back in and working... It serves no point other than to make your already bland game, look more bland. It now has no visual identity. It would be like id Software re-re-releasing Doom 3 in 1080p on xbox one/ps4 only now with no dark areas... You've removed something with zero choice to the player, when you could have clearly and easily gave the option to play without. Bad. Very bad.

4) Your controls... Are... Terrible. Its pretty par for the course for everybody to release games with zero customisation. I think most are used to that by now (Something we are simply not willing to do ourselves). But the problem here is that you force the most basic issues on people. I, like many others, game on console as well as PC. But for this game you force players to click in and HOLD the left stick to run? What year is this? Toggle run/crouch etc has been standard for years now. Did none of you play test this? xbox one sticks have these little ridges on them, which appear more after a little bit of use. Making click to do anything while holding the stick in a direction tricky. How could this be avoided? Again, with menu options for toggle/hold run. But of course, adding stuff into this port seemed too much... But that's nothing compared to...

5) Your actual controls. I mean, come on, did anybody play this thing? The base sensitivity is set at 50%. I loaded it up, and tried to turn... Wow... Tank alert. So, I quickly see if theres any sensitivity options, thinking no of course there wont be, but was pleasantly surprised! It goes up to 100% Fantastic. I whack it up to max and... My character still turns like a tank. Still far too slow. What...? Did nobody play this? Add to that the utterly terrible dead zone and lack of acceleration options, and the view sticks control awful. Its almost as if you just copy/pasted the game from the Wii U and thought "that will do" without testing it on the new sticks, and seeing that they behave a LOT differently to the Wii U... Oh wait, that's more than likely exactly what you did.

6) Your UI designer. Fire him. Or at least have a very strong word. You, for some reason, have moved the second Wii U screen over to the primary screen and rendered it in the bottom corner. Its blatantly obvious that's what you've done, hence the load of errors and issues. Such as the second screen appearing on loading screens with the same loading video (something the Wii U did). Its clear you've simply took the second screens input, ripped it all out for other UI's, and just made it stay on the map screen. Its clear, because the side flickering of the Wii U pad screen that was a feature before, is now a problem, because you are simply rendering the second screens map UI on the primary, issues and all. This produces not only seriously ugly flickering on the sides of the rectangle (something, again, which was on the background of the Wii U second screen. This should be a solid colour)., but it also looks totally out of place. Why, in gods name, is it so big, and in such an important area, with no toggle? What's wrong with reducing its size (and hey, even giving us the option! Oh wait...) and moving it top right? Now I will give credit... The actual menu screens for the backpack and what have, they are not to shabby at all... Fine, even. But then you have the worlds most basic MSPaint hud and radar, and it just falls apart.

7) Add these issues to everything else, the numerous bugs that have carried over, performance issues, downright silly things that should not even be here (If we can render a world with decent shadow map resolution, PCSS, full unified shadow mapping, with at least 6x the number of animated models onscreen and at the very least 10x the detail, with far better performance than you, something is wrong), plus removing multiplayer, not bothering to add console specific new features (would it have killed you to add, say, a few new cricket bat skins?)... Its so clear you have done not only what is, in a lot of peoples opinion I've spoken to, the worst port job this year... A port that I, like many, actually was really excited for and thought would work really well. But sadly, it turned into a rush job, a cheap, "get it done and out the door" effort.

Now, you CAN fix the game up. You CAN make these issues go away. Very quickly, I might add, as all they are in shear laziness. But I'm willing to bet nothing of the sort will happen. Its out the door, you've got your money, and that's that. But then we run into that common problem 99% of current gen game devs have... "Release a shoddy product and patch it later" or "Just release a shoddy product and get the money". I would have been ashamed to have released this in its current state, to put my name on a product so clearly rushed. Thankfully though, I'm also my own developer, and I don't have to answer to over bearing publisher at this time. But having such little regard for your fan base, potential new fan base, and customers in general, really, REALLY shows just how poor an effort this is.

My advice? Do the right thing. PATCH ALL THE THINGS. CHANGE ALL THE STUFF. Do what you have to do, to make sure this product is, actually, a decent effort. Save face and show the fans out there that yes, you understand, and yes, you listen. That you could be trusted in the future. Because as of right now, the actual developers are getting slammed quite badly in the public eye for how this was handled, and like another recent PC developer who ported a game, they may just get a lack of money thrown their way in the future if that's the best they can do.

08-19-2015, 02:54 PM
1- 30 FPS? What GFX are you running this on? i have a 780 and am running around the 200 fps mark.

2 & 3- This i agree with you.Lighting and bloom seem a bit overkill right now.

4- matter of preference really. I am doing just fine with conreols. Can aim, shoot and interact just fine. In fact, the controls right now seem pretty standard considering.

5- Again, what mouse are you using. I am using a Razer Imperator and had no issues turning. I can actually turn pretty fast without any changes.

6- Again, personal preference. Hasn't bugged me at all. I see no flickering and it doesn't bug into loading screens to me. Perhaps this is related to Issue 1 for your specific case?

7- Multiplayer would have been nice. As well as a few more bat skins, but overall i have yet to encounter any of these 'bugs' you speak of. Having played both the WIIU and now the PC version, i can say the PC version is playing smoother for me than the WiiU version.

I am not disputing that you are having these issues, but i do not believe they are as bad as you think they are. Most of these i haven't even had.

But since you are a self proclaimed Dev, please do try to at least give SOME constructive criticism instead of just pointing out everything you personally don't agree with. After all, if you want to criticize someone on something they made, than you better be able to do better yourself or your just not worth listening to.

08-19-2015, 03:03 PM
[Well, if you read what I typed, you would see that was console. I'm gaming on a GTX 970, top end everything else. I think my PC will do just fine, but I'm not gaming on PC. If you had rad even half what I wrote, I'm sure you would have seen that. If you really see nothing, fantastic, that's cool. However, every video I've watched, as well as the 17 or so people I know close to me who have the game on various platforms, all see these issues, as well as the UI flickering, which is a wide spread, commonly reported problem, even on this forum.

I expect oddball replies, insults and the like. Posting directly to a devs forum about a game always yields... Less than perfect replies. But you know what, if you read what I type rather just jumping on to post as quick as possible, you would see that the overall system preference that is alluded to is console, not PC. I was expecting at least some sort of intelligence into that, and didn't think everything had to be spelt out.

As for offering actual advice... That's exactly what I've done. If they require somebody to code for them, I suggest they offer a bit more money than clearly what they have done. First of all, what sort of shaders are they using? Fragment and vertex programs? How is it wrote, and how flexible is it in relation to how its being rendered and linked to the current frame? You can't just copy/paste some code from google. Every engine is different, even if they do all share the same fundamental rules.

Now I could sit here and easily type out, document and list, and post youtube videos, pictures and the like, proving all these issues exist in both the console and PC world, and sure, as a developer, I have more of a keen eye to these issues than most. But that would be wasting my time. Search the countless other forums with countless other threads for those.

I've already fell into the trap of replying to somebody. My post was aimed merely at pointing out that this effort isn't good enough. However, this is UbiSoft we are talking about here...

08-19-2015, 08:29 PM
first of all, if i have somehow insulted you i apologize. English is not my first language and sometimes what i write is misinterpreted.

From what i read on your post, and i read all of it, you were never specific as to what OS you were using, thus to assume it is 'Alluded' or 'Implied' is just setting yourself up for misunderstanding in the first place. If you cannot make your post concise and to the point enough that others will understand, what makes you think it will even be taken into consideration?

Regardless of any of that, you as a DEV should understand that any game release has it's flaws. Specially nowadays. Bugs are expected in a situation like this, as are the patches that follow.

As far as the changes you proposed go, It's a matter of 'Required Work' vs 'Expected Gains'. Simply put, if the effort needed to make changes to an already working game surpass the expected returns, than it's a no go. This much is easy enough to understand, yes? Like you said, every engine is different. Maybe they will do it and maybe they won't. Fact is that at this point it is playable, and enjoyable unless you are extremely picky about 'Next Gen' graphics. And that boils down to opinion, not fact. The only reason I said to give constructive criticism is because all you did was criticize and give generalized offhand solutions that don't even delve into the heart of the matter. Most of your post was just you ranting about what you didn't like and how 'terrible' it all is and how they should fire people, without much solutions at all. That is NOT constructive.

This is, of course, my opinion. :p

08-19-2015, 08:57 PM
Thank you, I was going to buy this but I think I'll hold off and see if it gets patched. I read a few reviews and they all mentioned the same problems that you did, albeit in less detail. It totally looks like my type of game but I'd rather not play a sloppy port.

And I have to shake my head at point 4. That irks me as well. WTF are devs thinking when they do that? They can't have playtested for very long otherwise they would know that holding L3 forward whilst clicking it in becomes physically uncomfortable, if not painful, after a few seconds. It's also clearly bad for the stick/thumb pad.

That only becomes a matter of personal preference if the player is a masochist. Otherwise it is a fact: with analogue sticks,toggle sprint is always better than hold to sprint.

08-20-2015, 12:32 AM
Your original post reads incredibly rude. You may want to proofread your posts in the future and remember that you are talking to other real human beings who weren't out to personally offend you with their work. There is a fine line between productive critique and plain insults. Anyway...

I don't agree with most of your criticisms, but the dirty bloom, as you call it, is a valid point. I was very upset to see it absent. That said, it is still active (in an apparently simpler form) around some (not all!) light sources (veeery dimly) - so there may be an option to reenable it? The screenshot below is the most I could get it to show up. Maybe you could put your fellow developer skills to use and see if there is a way to play around with some files in there?


P.s. Putting the game on about 20% brightness mostly restores its original look.

08-21-2015, 05:11 PM

What do you mean by "black crush"? I've noticed in very dark corridors there is no variation between dark colours. It seems to change in steps as it were. Is that what you mean?

Also, I disagree with 30fps. I have vsync on and am getting steady 60 (HD7850).


08-21-2015, 09:13 PM
Only the console versions are FPS locked at 30, the PC version is unlocked.

08-22-2015, 10:28 AM

What do you mean by "black crush"? I've noticed in very dark corridors there is no variation between dark colours. It seems to change in steps as it were. Is that what you mean?

Also, I disagree with 30fps. I have vsync on and am getting steady 60 (HD7850).


I purchased the game on xbox one, my PC is too overloaded with games atm and with Black Ops 3 beta next week it wouldn't get a look in. I like to couch game with the wife. The console version is limited to 30fps, which, with what this game is doing, is actually really poor.

As for black crush, the xbox one for some reason crushes blacks. Its not a simple OS level fix either, because in order to fix new games, old games would look wrong for it. So MS can't simply roll out a fix for it, which is what a lot of fanboys say (who don't even bother looking into it). However... Its only a gamma curve. Games can fix it themselves with each release in seconds, but not many do.