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Subject: Thoughts on the gameplay video. rss

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Team Ski
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I really enjoyed the gameplay video. It was one of the most entertaining ones I have seen so far on KS.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ESQei...

From what I see, GD is the space equivalent of Ravenloft. I don't think that is a bad thing, though. The movement, phases, and feel are pretty close to the earlier game.

The only concern i have is how busy the game board is. There are so many colors, icons and graphics that it is difficult to break the board down. Now, it might very well be easier to understand it in person, which I hope will be the case. I'm not a big fan of iconography on a game board. I think it detracts from the feel of it.

Overall, I think GD will be a really good game. It just won't break any new ground. Did I pledge? You bet! Thoughts?

-Ski
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Hi,

thank you! we really appreciate your support

we can assure that components are pretty well visible in real life, we have used some "outglow" effects on the video but is not easy to clear represent the third dimension in a 2d video, for instance every miniature in the video is a real figure from a top view camera shot, but even in this case without the shadows it seems a bit flat...

By the way you can check some real pics here:





Please consider that this is the prototype, the final product will have much better quality and most important thickest tokens, markers and map tiles

STAY TUNED for the next video!
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Team Ski
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What is the reason for the skull in the center of the hex areas? Can that be a small black dot?

-Ski
 
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Alex de Burgh
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I was worried about the boards too...until I saw these pics. Wow, these look so much better than the other images make them appear. They should put these up on the Kickstarter page
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Francesco Neri
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How big are that dice ?
They seems giants !!
 
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Sean Brulet
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Teamski wrote:
What is the reason for the skull in the center of the hex areas? Can that be a small black dot?

-Ski


It appears that it's marking the center of the hexes, but I agree if the skull has no relevance on gameplay as an icon, a black dot would suffice. Or even leave it up to the white edges of the hexes to determine those areas instead of an icon at all.

Not complaining, but overall it takes a bit away from the atmosphere of the gameboard by having the icon there.
 
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Patrick Leacock
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Teamski wrote:
What is the reason for the skull in the center of the hex areas? Can that be a small black dot?
-Ski


I think that symbol represents the alien movement spot for the center of each area. See the video. Aliens move from area to area. Agents move from hex to hex.
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George Breden
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I'll chime in and say that the boards seem far too busy to me, too. Quite unattractive with that yellow and black border, whatever it is for. Also all the white alien heads -- I agree it would be far better to make everything a bit more subtle. Or a lot more subtle. Also, I think that the dice are not large -- it is more likely that the figures are quite small. Do we know the figs dimensions? The figures themselves, even if small, don't bother me a bit. It's just that the rest of the art with its hard borders and very all-over-the-place color palette is an eye-sore.
 
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Hi,

the figures are BIG more than 42 mm for most aliens, some 50mm too!

during the week we will publish a size chart with all GD figures...

By the way these dice are GIANT !!!

We are using them in public demo because they are cool cool

The final product will have the same custom dice (with engraved faces) but in a standard d10 size.

The yellow/black line is a BLOCKING EDGE, it blocks Line of sight and movement.



Each map tile is made up of two elements:


HEX: is the smallest hexagon present on the map. It is used mainly for agents movements and melee combat.

AREA: it is formed by 7 HEXes and can be easily recognised by two main aspects:
• The center HEX of each AREA has an alien face printed on it.
• It has thick white borders.

The AREA has several purposes in the game. It has several uses in the game: determining ranges: 0 [adjacent], 1 [up to 1 area], moving aliens and signals, for ranged combat, and so on.

this picture can help:



While moving the aliens, there are few simple guidelines to keep in mind:

• There can be only one alien/agent or signal for each HEX.
• To apply one A.I. rule there must be a L.O.S. and a legal walking path. Only the [+] rule can be applied without L.O.S.
• Aliens move from AREA [ALIEN FACE] to AREA [ALIEN FACE] . When this is not possible, aliens move on other HEXes of each AREA. In any case, if they are able to, aliens end their movement in order to be adjacent to the agents; this means that aliens can move one additional HEX from the [ALIEN FACE] (remaining in the destination area) in order to engage an agent in melee combat.



Hope it can helps

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Peter Vandorffy
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a_flying_possum wrote:
I'll chime in and say that the boards seem far too busy to me, too. Quite unattractive with that yellow and black border, whatever it is for. Also all the white alien heads -- I agree it would be far better to make everything a bit more subtle. Or a lot more subtle.


I have problems with the boards too. The background terrain looks good, but all those heads, and yellow-black, and white lines break the illusion, and it kind of hard to read the board. I hope it's not too late to tone it down.

I have further concerns. They seem to be a little bit small both in playing area (size in hexes), and physically compared to the "minis". Finally I would have gone with squares instead of hexes for such a game.
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Federico Luison
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I've played it on Play2013.
Maps are good in my opinion, alien faces have the correct size: large, so you can easily identify them, not so large to make board busy.
And yellow-black lines seems ok for me, with colours really different from the background.
We played 3 hours and we was 5 gamers that have never seen before Galaxy Defenders.
Nobody had problems with hexes (yes, a strange choice, but was intended to recreate the 80's feeling) or alien heads ^_^'
And, finally, we used standard dice. Jumbo dice was simply for demo, and they was funny, but relax: final release will use standard dice
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Roberto Di Meglio
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Note also that hexes, while they look "old style", make rules about movement and LOS much simpler than the more "modern" squares do.
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Stefano Castelli
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I prefer a "busy" map with clear symbols and borders like these to an "elegant" map with less symbols.

I have to play on that map, I do not have to put it in a frame and attach it to the wall.

I tried the game and I feel that the maps are clear and easy to "read" as they are now.
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Team Ski
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Maybe the yellow/black can be replaced with dark gray/black for buildings and brown/black for hills. That yellow/black really detracts from the board.

-Ski
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Stefano Castelli
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Teamski wrote:
Maybe the yellow/black can be replaced with dark gray/black for buildings and brown/black for hills. That yellow/black really detracts from the board.

-Ski


Let me understand... so, you'd rather have worst rules (with different markers on each zone in order to make the map "prettier") instead of clearer ones just to have "better looking" boards?

 
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Stefano Castelli
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vonDorffy wrote:
I have problems with the boards too.


I think someone can "have problems" with a game board if, after trying the game, the board itself causes problems to arise.

Lots of people played Galaxy Defenders (including me) and basically no one had issues with the maps due to the clear design of hexes and areas.

So, if "i have problems" means "I can't play well on these maps", then you have actually something to discuss about.

If "i have problems" means "Heh, I like more the maps with *FILL WITH AESTETIC DESIGN CHOICE ABOUT THE MAPS*", then we are probably talking about nothing.

Like replacing the alien head with a BLACK DOT. Why? The white alien head is clear and easy to spot, once you actually play the game you can easily use it to understand how the aliens may act. Why toning it down? Just to have a map "prettier"? No, thanks. I prefer a easier-to-play game instead of a prettier one.

(even though I still consider the maps very good looking, that is...)
 
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Team Ski
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Castef wrote:
vonDorffy wrote:
I have problems with the boards too.


I think someone can "have problems" with a game board if, after trying the game, the board itself causes problems to arise.

Lots of people played Galaxy Defenders (including me) and basically no one had issues with the maps due to the clear design of hexes and areas.

So, if "i have problems" means "I can't play well on these maps", then you have actually something to discuss about.

If "i have problems" means "Heh, I like more the maps with *FILL WITH AESTETIC DESIGN CHOICE ABOUT THE MAPS*", then we are probably talking about nothing.

Like replacing the alien head with a BLACK DOT. Why? The white alien head is clear and easy to spot, once you actually play the game you can easily use it to understand how the aliens may act. Why toning it down? Just to have a map "prettier"? No, thanks. I prefer a easier-to-play game instead of a prettier one.

(even though I still consider the maps very good looking, that is...)


You are being awfully defensive about this. My recommendations are not just off the cuff, but reflects what quite a few people are saying about the mapboard. I don't know if you are involved in this game, but input from experienced gamers might just help a good game become even better. Having big white alien heads in the middle of the hex areas looks obnoxious.

Your previous comments about the rules being bad vs. the board makes no sense whatsoever. That is a false dilemma. Having good rules and a good mapboard adds up to a good gaming experience.

-Ski
 
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Peter Vandorffy
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Castef wrote:
vonDorffy wrote:
I have problems with the boards too.


I think someone can "have problems" with a game board if, after trying the game, the board itself causes problems to arise.

Lots of people played Galaxy Defenders (including me) and basically no one had issues with the maps due to the clear design of hexes and areas.

So, if "i have problems" means "I can't play well on these maps", then you have actually something to discuss about.

If "i have problems" means "Heh, I like more the maps with *FILL WITH AESTETIC DESIGN CHOICE ABOUT THE MAPS*", then we are probably talking about nothing.

Like replacing the alien head with a BLACK DOT. Why? The white alien head is clear and easy to spot, once you actually play the game you can easily use it to understand how the aliens may act. Why toning it down? Just to have a map "prettier"? No, thanks. I prefer a easier-to-play game instead of a prettier one.

(even though I still consider the maps very good looking, that is...)


Look, Stefano, English isn't my first language. Yeah, my choice of words might not have been perfect. It does express my feelings, though. So, to clarify:

First, I predict that I'll have problems "reading" the map because information overload. It's a prediction based on my preferences, and the way my brain works. It might not apply to others, and might not even apply to me in practice. We'll see. It's good to hear that it wasn't a problem for others.

Second, I have a problem with those AESTETIC DESIGN CHOICES mentioned. It's a problem for me because I really like everything else I've seen so far, and I want to love, and support the game, but aesthetics are really important for me for such a game. I've seen cinematic experience used to describe games, and this one has the chance to be one for me. I do not view it as an abstract game. I rather view it as a storytelling engine. A story in which I participate, and those graphics elements will likely break the illusion, disrupt the narrative, ...

All these problems are my problem, so to speak. Doesn't have to effect others, but it as discussion forum so I wanted to discuss it. Might want to have them put to rest, or might even want to effect changes. It's the designers right to decide, of course.

A few specifics. Is the black-yellow do not pass border necessary? Would a a more subtle design element work? Is it necessary at all? I'm not convinced that it's necessary.



In the image above there are no black-yellow borders, but it's quite clear for me what is a wall, and what isn't. The terrain is kind of self-explanatory. You can help to avoid any misunderstandings by adding a map guide to each mission. That image shows to me that the white alien head isn't necessary either. I can very clearly discern areas, and area centers using a shadowy head, and just white (two thickness) hex borders.

My post might be pointless, by the way. Which is the production image?

I understand hexes, and they are useful here. I'd still prefer squares, but it's a personal preference.

My final two gripes. Playing area size might be completely unfounded as I haven't played the game. The relative size of the hexes, and terrain elements compared to the agent minis is personal preference again, and couldn't be effected at this stage anyway.
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Sean Brulet
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I forgot all about that picture, but agree it's a nicer asthetic for the theme and environment.

It may not be drastic enough for some people, but I think after a play or two I will have no trouble finding the marked areas even if the alien skull wasn't on the board in white since the white borders are there if I forget.
 
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Team Ski
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I also love the black alien's heads. Far more subtle but easily found.

-Ski
 
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Roberto Di Meglio
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We are discussing the topic with Gremlin - the map are nice and usable, this does not mean that they can be improved (we are in the philosophy that "everything can be improved - always").

The problem with black lines or grey heads is that they do not work well on all kind of backgrounds. The good side of the solution found (which is probably the bad side for some tastes) is that they stand out loud and strong out of any background.

That's a good thing from a gameplay perspective, as Stefano noted. But may not be to everybody's taste from a visual point of view.

If we find a better solution that works well, makes more people happy, and not delay the game, we will use it.
But I also think that it's one of those elements of a game which you notice the first five minutes of play, then forget about it as you're too busy shooting aliens!
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Alex de Burgh
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I like the image that Peter Vandorffy posted, this looks much better to me. Obviously I've not played the game though, so there might be reasons that it wouldn't work in practice.
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Sean Brulet
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cybernex wrote:
We are discussing the topic with Gremlin - the map are nice and usable, this does not mean that they can be improved (we are in the philosophy that "everything can be improved - always").

The problem with black lines or grey heads is that they do not work well on all kind of backgrounds. The good side of the solution found (which is probably the bad side for some tastes) is that they stand out loud and strong out of any background.

That's a good thing from a gameplay perspective, as Stefano noted. But may not be to everybody's taste from a visual point of view.

If we find a better solution that works well, makes more people happy, and not delay the game, we will use it.
But I also think that it's one of those elements of a game which you notice the first five minutes of play, then forget about it as you're too busy shooting aliens!


This is a great point that depending on the background you may not be able to see a darker skull, but maybe the brightness of the skull can be lighter or darker depending on what map it is on? Reserve white for those dark areas and keep it darker or more subtle where needed?
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Personally, I like the map's current incarnation pretty well (although I'm always interested in seeing incremental improvements). I suspect the more difficult you make it to distinguish between gameplay-important elements and background, the more annoying it will be to play. Sure, there's a balance, but switching to barely-visible translucent black alien heads and solid walls seems a bit too much of a swing in the direction of making it difficult to tell the difference between setting and mechanical structure.

Then again, I'm less interested in playing the game as a sort of role-playing story-telling session, and more interested in the maps serving as a visually-appealing background to the overall interesting mechanics (and reinforcing the theme). So that's my bias.
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Peter Vandorffy
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Skaak wrote:
Personally, I like the map's current incarnation pretty well (although I'm always interested in seeing incremental improvements). I suspect the more difficult you make it to distinguish between gameplay-important elements and background, the more annoying it will be to play. Sure, there's a balance, but switching to barely-visible translucent black alien heads and solid walls seems a bit too much of a swing in the direction of making it difficult to tell the difference between setting and mechanical structure.

Then again, I'm less interested in playing the game as a sort of role-playing story-telling session, and more interested in the maps serving as a visually-appealing background to the overall interesting mechanics (and reinforcing the theme). So that's my bias.


As I said my brain must be working differently. For me those barely-visible heads are pretty visible when I look for those heads. Perhaps because it not that difficult to find the center of an area even without them. I might not even need the heads at all if it wasn't for the s1-2 maps, where the rooms do not cover a whole area. There it's useful to have them.

On telling the difference between setting and mechanical structure, I prefer the setting blend with or be part of the mechanical structure to a certain degree. Those solid walls look solid, and they look like walls. It's just common sense that you cannot cross them. Add a map key to the scenario to confirm it. The edges of those hives (?) in the desert maps are quite clear without the black-yellow lines. Mark them on the map key with their effect.

There are thing you have to set clear anyway about the maps. Those hive edges, for example. You cordon them off with the yellow and black, and that's all needed from a mechanics point of view. You would have to explain what they are, though. You'll also have to set it clear that no, those barbed wire coils do not impede movement in the city map. And yeah, agents kind of climb on top furniture all the time (again city map in the rooms). It won't matter that they are not marked with yellow and black. Common sens will intrude, so to speak. So, why not use it?

In the space ship map represent walls with two thin grey lines (steel plates) sandwiching wires, tubes, and/or glowing goo. It will be kind of obvious that you cannot cross them. Again mark it on the map key.

Not everything "mechanic" is bad of course. For example in the current map incarnation the door and window signs add to the information overload (or noise for short). I do not like them there, but in the alternate map with actual doors, and windows drawn and the signs also included, the signs do not trouble me. They even make it easier for me to read the map.

Again, all these are just my personal preferences.
 
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