Overall Suggestions / Ideas / Bugs etc ( Long Post )

Hey Guys,
Before you start this long post on my ideas for castle story, I’ll simply state that I’ve enjoyed the game thus far but with 1.0 release I still feel like the game is 80% of where it should be for a ‘complete’ experience but it’s really turning out in a good way. I myself am a game developer and I primarily use Unity so I have a bit of an insight to how things might be working internally and do it for a living. This post it is constructive criticism, nothing personal towards the developers just some stuff that might need more polish than what was done. I also imagine you likely have a bunch of these in your todo list anyway. My experiences with this game has primarily been online as well.

Gameplay

I will state that I feel like this game has a bit of an identity crisis happening, it wants to be an RTS but at the same time it wants to be a construction management game. I feel like it could be both and I will address these issues with potential fixes to allow the game to excel better at them.

Specifically some design choices seem like they’re intended to make the player visually monitor everything and take your time and keep it slow, but for an RTS game that is an incredibly time consuming process when you’re trying to out build your opponent.

“Castle”
It’s a game about building castles but the amount of time to setup a castle takes too long and making it entirely pointless to do anything beyond a wall most of the time, there definitely needs a way to speed up the process and create large objects faster. A suggestion would be to have a prefab blueprint style that allows you to drag out a basic design much the same as quarries that automatically setup stone walls and a wooden floor at the top. And more similar types of blueprint prefabs.

“Story”
It’s been a running joke with the friends I play with that this game seems to lack both Castles and a Story, with that said I believe if there was a kind of story to be implemented it needs to be a kind of consistent map or a build up to it. Specifically allowing the player to construct a grand Castle/Fortress and have the map expand as the player gets further into the ‘story’. One of the issues I have with the game in general is you spend the first 30 minutes doing ‘setup’ every single new game, if there were to be a single player experience that needs to be a one time thing or at least in the 2nd or 3rd level to a story (And probably leave it at 3 levels). My suggestion would be 1 to 3 Tutorial style missions where you slowly gain access to the new techs and get taught how to use them (The help menu is great but still lacks catapults and understanding of the game) then the ‘main’ story mission that allows players to put all the skills together to build their dream castle as intended by the game’s design and use for for the remaining long mission or have a system that brings it to the next level. Undone time consuming construction is frustrating to say the least.

Corruption Enemies
There is a bit of weird issue I have with the current AI, they destroy blocks which is understandable and fine, but to deal with it you need to make your walls thicker. Because of this it takes longer to construct Castles as you’re doing them 3 blocks thick etc, it is also counterproductive to make the walls higher than 4 blocks, if you do the enemy will ‘burrow’ into the walls making it impossible to kill them until they reappear on the other side. There needs to be some way of dealing with this issue, which brings me to doors, they’re useless and destructive a lot of the time. I’ll make them 5 thick but again the enemy hides within them as they push through, often my dudes will open them up to get outside for whatever reason. Locking them is clunky at the best of time with no feedback to whether they’re locked or not. Their health should be the equivalent of 6 stone blocks at least, I think they should be almost double that, double dooring looks silly and barely works. Honestly a draw bridge would be fantastic, thematic and purposely serve the problems I’m having with the current doors and allow you to make it accessible when necessary when enemies approach.

Call to Arms preset points
A Task that allows you to set a class position when call to arms happens they try to fill those positions. Problem I have in Invasion / Defending is the amount of fiddling of trying to get dudes into positions where they can optimally defend and often take too long and loose half a wall or so in damage.

Coop Invasion
Invasion is probably one of my favourite modes but you can only play online as one colour team which is very disappointing. Seems like it was done for balancing and performance reasons perhaps? But I can tell you right now the amount of people who joined multiplayer games with me and were (like me) excited to play it COOP online were very disappointed. COOP Versues is neat but lacking that grand defense and building of cool “Castles”.

An Alternative suggestion would be to give the team say 4-6 dudes at the start and divide the control among the players evenly as possible, for example A starts with 3 and B starts with 4, when a new Dude spawns it goes to A, then B gets the next one etc. That individual control of dudes at least gives players chores that can divide properly and played cooperatively.

Fast Mode
One way to improve the game taking a long time to setup would be to speed it up, or have an option to. Being able to build walls and castles takes a long time for what people may only play for 1-2 hours. My suggestion would be to double mining speed, half the resources required to create building materials (Double the resources required for Structures and items), increase the yellow dudes movement by 1.25x. Maybe not all together but these simple changes would vastly speed up the process, just because we’re playing for a long time doesn’t mean it’s a good thing for the experience. RTS games have “Short Game” option for a reason.

Display Remaining Resources on Construction
When constructing anything it’s always frustrating not being able to see what's missing on an object for it to be completed and often you’ll have to backtrack over all your stockpiles which is just consuming time and leaving you vulnerable for something that should be a quick glance.

Display Resources
Knowing exactly how much of everything I have would be fantastic, having to look at my stockpiles and make a random guess sucks (Especially when you confuse Ingots). Simple icons on the top center to top right of all resources in stock 1 or greater being displayed would be ace.

Prompt Box
Simple pop out feed box that tells you what's going on for tasks, if a dude cannot find wood it should display “Billy - I cannot find ‘wood’ to construct with!”. This giving you the exact information on a current issue in your base.

Comments

  • PackerPacker Member
    Mouse Traversal
    Example: I want to do a quick new build task for a workbench, I go from centre screen to bottom left, new task, to build center left, to bottom structures, to top left workbench, to centre screen. The traversal is huge for such a simple task.

    CNC95 Example: I want to build a power plant, centre to right centre ‘buildings’, slightly down ‘Power Plant’, centre screen placement.

    I’ve put dozen or so hours into 1.0 and I’m still having to painstakingly read and navigate the menu system in a very slow unoptimized manner. If you want the game to be about competitiveness (Verses etc), this should be optimized.

    UI layout
    UI looks great, but the design is incredibly frustrating and confusing. I get why things are where they are but I feel like the whole of Structures in Structures needs to be moved into Blocks, I’m trying to build a bridge and its not connecting, back and forth constantly between the two menus. I also build a tower for a catapult and I have to go find catapults now. The “Task” bar that appears when you go into construction and moves the new task button up is confusing, that button should never move. The Task button should also (imo) be on the top left of the bar, more often than not I’m using it to get to construction, the 3 building options should appear underneath it allowing for instant access to the low tier construction option with minimal mouse traversal.

    Right Click Menu
    It’s a decent menu but an option to speed up the pop up time would be great, takes twice as long as I’d expect of any other game and a popup time slider bar to determine that in options would be great.

    Give to Colour(Give to Teammate)
    I’ve created and played my own maps where 4 players must fend of a large group of enemies and the best way to do that is have one player build the wall while the others arm themselves, the problem is the player doing the wall often has to mine the materials as well. My suggestion is if you build something, you should be able to right click it and a colour block option should appear that has a sub menu with all the players colours and you simply release click on the player you wish to give that stockpile/structure to. Additionally an option to own a stockpile but anything placed on it, the selected colour dudes will recognise the resource as something they can use thus reducing micromanagement of resource transfer. (I am aware of dropping resources manually onto other stockpiles, its slow and requires full attention).

    Click and Drag Harvest Tasks
    If I’m placing a new task, I want to be able to click and drag out the radius in one action. It’d just simply speed up the process and wouldn’t even need the edit mode to appear.

    Centre Camera on ground
    A quick button to press when the camera centre is above or below ground and it snaps to the ground. I want the camera on the ground almost all the time but want it as a hotkey.

    Increase Camera Height Scroll Speed
    I’m aware it’s depending on zoom level but often I want to raise or lower per block consistently, an option to do per block height with a scroll bar to adjust amount of block per scroll (or speed) would help a lot.

    Keep Placement Rotation
    When you place a structure blueprint then select a new structure it loses the previous blueprint rotation, so you have to rotate the new blueprint to suit previous placed objects every time, most of the time I want to keep the same rotation when placing structures and blocks so having it keep rotation between objects would help.

    Blueprints popout
    Blueprints being a separate menu is annoying, I need it as I build in a convenient position on screen. If I want to duplicate something or delete large amount of objects I’ll often just manually do it than bothering with it.

    Performance

    Note: These are just some recommendations and not based on pure fact.

    AI / Bots
    AI seems to lag out the game quite (Especially online) a bit while just idle, have them not spawn until the yellow dudes are in range or preparing an assault to me would be the easiest fix.

    Quick Physics
    Physics looks cool, dunno what the performance impact is exactly but having a million pieces of rubble fly everywhere and roll around for several seconds must be hell on the network traffic and even CPU. Perhaps an option or setting for servers to spawn rubber/tree logs safely and quickly around the harvest point?

    View Distance
    Rendering everything at once looks pretty, but man is it taxing. Again I cannot tell what things off screen are being rendered and what aren’t, but I don’t need to see what Player 2 is doing across the entire map from my POV. I imagine the rendering cost would come down a lot if the view distance was half of the map. ( You clearly have LOD on the terrain but you’re still rendering it, and the lowest setting is still not adjusting enough terrain closer to the camera) Same as X-Ray but inversed.
  • PackerPacker Member

    General Improvements

    Able to Title your Multiplayer game
    It should be dead simple to setup and greatly help players identify games from being private to open to random players. I like to host COOP games mostly so I have to rename myself and if I forget to change it before starting the game I have a giant name in game.

    Set game port
    I can do it outside the game in the settings file but seems like something simple again to add. I set most of my games I host off my main computer to the same port so I don’t have to fiddle with my router.

    Select Starting Position
    Allow players to choose their starting position, as the host I’m always in the same spot and if the map is A-symmetrical it would be nice to change it up and be able to deal with different map environmental layout each game while still playing the same map.

    Dedicated Server
    This game is a resource hog (Curious to the optimization but anyway), having a dedicated computer hosting would help alleviate that pressure from the host and players. Being able to use a public dedicated server would be great too.

    World Editor

    Its an awesome tool to create maps relatively quickly but it has some annoying problems.

    Symmetry Mode
    Like all competitive games and trying to save time as a map creator, a symmetry mode to create a perfectly mirrored map (X, XZ and 4 quadrant Mirroring) would save ⅔ of a map’s creation time and give each players a perfectly even match.

    Undo Function
    I imagine it being very complicated to implement but really necessary to have at least one
    “Undo” implemented, the amount of times I’ve miss clicked and messed up 10 minutes of work is incredibly frustrating.

    Markers
    Being able to edit and rename/set their ID, I personally do not know if that has an effect on the marker themselves but having to delete a marker then spawn a new one as ID 717 messes with my want for symmetry or consistency in general.

    There needs to be an option in Markers to visibly show which player will spawn where (IE player 1 spawns at X location) and where the corruption will spawn on which shard. I’ve created maps that I struggle to balance because I want the corruption to get certain shards but I want the players to get others and then having the corruption spawn Next to the player kills that. Perhaps being able to define options on each marker to enable disable corruption spawning on said markers and whether the corruption or player starts on it or not.

    Markers should also get a transparent visual for what will be spawning on it too, I have no idea how the player crystal will spawn on the position (Assuming its 3x3) and a visual would aid that. Same for Corruption spawning on shards, I’ve had them spawning in walls simply because I cannot tell where they would spawn.

    Build Mode
    It’d be great to be able to throw in constructibles the players could capture (For things like catapults/work benches etc) or simply just world stone blocks that are there in the world the player could use such as a pre constructed tower etc.

    Creature Mode
    Same as build mode but letting the player create monsters that may patrol an area or guard a position. As well as spawn in extra yellow dudes for the player to start with. Having these two modes could allow for some fun creative map design that gives the players only access to limited resources and have to utilise them to conquer other parts of the map to acquire more resources to continue onwards.

    AI Setup
    Ideally for me (I primarily map COOP experiences), a way to determine how the AI will attack and what they’ll spawn in COOP Versues or even perhaps a custom gamemode of the designers choosing. To be able to spawn a few waves of enemies that attack the player, then maybe they’ll get a boss, then have it escalate. Having the enemy become even harder every time the players take shards would be a cool feature. Ideally more control to the map creators and have the AI interacts in that world towards the player.

    Grid
    Automatically turn off the grid when taking a map screenshot. It's a small thing but it’s nice polish.

    Save As
    An option to save a map as a different file, sometimes I want the same map twice but slightly configured differently for different player counts.

    Bugs

    Launching a game then being thrown back into the main menu, has happened a few times and I’m not sure what triggers it.

    Spawn Crystal collision/hitbox seems buggy or too small at times, often creating new tasks instead of opening its menu.

    When you have low framerate, often you’ll try to place a blueprint but instead place multiple where you dragged your mouse even though you only clicked once. It happens a lot in Multiplayer matches after about an hour.

    Graphics

    Need more graphics options.

    Increase Icon/Font Size
    When I try to read what a dude is holding I basically have to squint and lean into my screen to know what it says, doesn’t help that the tiny little icons are very similar to each other (Iron/glass Ingot & Iron / Stone rubble). I have above average vision, this shouldn’t be a struggle.

    Disable bloom
    Looks pretty, but is literally blinding on my screen; Especially at night.

    Option to Increase night time contrast and brightness
    While the nighttime probably looks good on half the players screen, to me it’s too dark to really make stuff out, if its an intended mechanic it’s really unfair for people like me who intentionally lower my screens brightness as I use it all day and don’t want to damage my eyes. I have to strain to see things in the darkness, it doesn’t need to be as bright as the dark but bright enough to see everything again.

    Borderless / Resizable Windowed mode
    I have multiple screens, having the game minimize everytime I click outside of full screen is annoying and windowed mode is too small or too big and not in between. Alternatively give an option for a custom window size in-game.
  • Gameplay:

    "Castle":
    I agree entirely. There needs to be a way to save blueprints to an actual file to be used over multiple saves. This would make things a lot better. General improvements to the AI are also needed.
    "Corruption Enemies":
    I agree there's issues with wall/castle design, but I think a lot of the issue also comes from how precise ranged attacks are. See this post for what I mean. Ranged attacks need to be fixed so that when they are against your wall, more than one archer can actually hit them.
    "Call to Arms preset points":
    I agree this would be useful, even though I don't play Invasion. However, I think the process needs to be refined, because having preset locations for everyone is a bit much, but maybe just having a rally point to head to once you finish equipping is fine.
    "Coop Invasion":
    I believe, but am not certain, that this is already in works. A two player Invasion mode, as opposed to the shared control. Likely, there are a lot of systems that need to be worked out.
    "Fast Mode":
    I would like to see this implemented not as a mode, but rather as Lua configs. Allowing you to modify your experience on a preset-to-preset basis. If I just want the cost of knight kits to be lower, I can just modify "kit_KnightsHelm_cost": X;

    "Display Remaining Resources on Construction":

    Agreed.
    "Display Resources":
    This used to exist... although it was hidden in a menu, but still easily accessible.
    "Prompt Box":
    This already exists, Bricktrons will tell you what is wrong with messages above their heads. Sometimes the messages are vague however, but this is likely due to the issue with the AI being complex. However, I agree that if they are missing a resource, a message would be nice, however if you implemented your "Display Remaining Resources on Construction" this would be less needed.
    "Mouse Traversal and UI layout":
    This is something I have actually brought up before the release of 1.0, and I instantly noticed when I started playing v0.9. The UI is designed to be optimally minimalistic. This however, makes it very user UNFRIENDLY. I too agree that there should be a rework, similar to how Rust reworked their UI to implement the Radial Menu system. I am no UI design master, but I will draw up some ideas later after testing.
    "Give to Teammate":
    An interesting idea. Technically they can already access your resources manually by selecting a unit and grabbing the resources, but this is of course, time consuming.
    "Click and Drag Harvest Tasks":
    Sounds reasonable.
    "Center Camera on ground":
    Press 'V'. It's in the Keybindings menu. Also you can use the Editor camera, which gives you full control.

    Performance:

    "AI/Bots":
    Completely agree. Major issue that there isn't much entity pooling. Additionally, there seems to be no garbage collection for memory. Likely, because Unity is a mess when it comes to that, and C# lacks almost any memory management. (Rust has been working on fixing Garbage collection performance issues for weeks).
    "Quick Physics":
    We need this.
    "View Distance":
    This would help so many people. It also begs the question of what those islands in the distance are, the ones off the map. They look real enough to be actual blocks, which worries me.

    General Improvements:

    "Able to Title your Multiplayer Game":
    Yes, this along with what's listed here.
    "Set game port":
    This is an option in the Settings, you don't have to actually modify the file, it's in the Options menu in the first submenu.
    "Select Starting Position":
    This is absolutely needed.
    "Dedicated Server":
    Would improve things, probably, but would require a major rewrite of all netcode. That's pretty significant when you could just optimize the game.

    World Editor:

    All of these minus "Creature Mode" and "AI Setup":
    I want all of these besides Creature Mode and AI Setup. Those ones, it would be cool to have, but not needed at all compared to the others. The lack of a Save As really gets me, because I didn't realize it would overwrite my previous edited map. Others are asking for these changes as well.

    Bugs:

    I suggest you post all bugs to the bugs forum, so they can be reviewed better. I also suggest separate posts so they can be linked separately.

    Graphics:

    "Increase Icon/Font Size":
    This is in the works right now.
    "Disable bloom":
    Not to mention, it would be a performance increase for some.
    "Option to Increase night time contrast and brightness":
    Currently this is both hardcoded, and modifiable through the Presets's lua files. Having it be editable would be nice. But beyond implementing it, the PvP implications are strong, so it would need to be done correctly.
    "Borderless / Resizable Windowed Mode":
    Borderless fullscreen used to work fine in v0.9.1, then they added in a feature to select which monitor your game starts on in v0.9.2, which disabled Borderless fullscreen. They removed it in v1.0 as minimizing a fullscreen application caused a ton of issues with multiplayer (and probably because I wouldn't shut up about the lack of Borderless fullscreen). Now Borderless fullscreen is back, but if you click off the screen, it minimizes it instead of acting like it should. It still runs as if it was Borderless fullscreen, but minimizes as well. I notified them of this, so they should be looking for a fix.
Sign In or Register to comment.