Demo Feedback

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KalAdrius
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:22 am

Demo Feedback

Post by KalAdrius »

First of all let me say that I am very much enjoying the demo so far, especially the take on politics feels quite fluent and intuitive. This is supposed to be a list of all the improvements from general game features to nitpicky annoyances I would like to see in the final game. This is going to be a lot and obviously all of this is my subjective opinion. Feel free to discuss all of this in the replies :)

User Interface:
  • Consistency. Why is income displayed as daily in the top "resource" bar but monthly basically everywhere else? I would suggest making the top bar monthly as well, this would probably also fix daily income/upkeeps of 0 being shown due to rounding (e.g. Water 0-0 or Fissiles 0+0)
  • Draggable and Hidable windows! I most noticed this when trading for stations/habs or waying event options. Please give us the ability to temporarily hide windows to give us the option of assessing the current state of the game (or properly identify the stations I am trading / check the habs available resources/modules/etc.) This might work well in conjunction with the BadgeNotifications below (Windows being minimized to those BadgeNotifications)
  • BadgeNotifications (The small ones left of the main UI-Navigation, eg. when defend interests runs out) are way to small to spot easily. I suggest looking at Paradox's CK2's or EU4's NotificationBanners for inspiration :). Also please make more of these there are a lot of things to keep track of in this game, a few more lingering reminders about running out cooldowns or modules/ships/probes arriving at their target wouldn't hurt.
  • WorldEvents (The ones scrolling by at the left screen edge). I find it very hard to see at a glance what is happening, leading to me having to hover over every "seemingly" interesting entry to find out what actually happened (and if it is at all relevant to me). I don't really have a good solution to this though (Maybe a panel similar to MissionSummary to more easily scan world events?)
  • MapModes
    • Selector: This feels like the perfect place for a drop-down-menu. Why do we need to run through all of the mapmodes just to find the one we are looking for?
    • MissingMapModes: Just some MapModes I would expect to exist (and would be very useful in my opinion): GDP (instead of just PerCapitaGDP), Stability(Peaceful, Subversion, Strife, etc.), Nukes (Count but also progress towards nuclear weapons project / first or next nuke), Basically one for each of the Values under "Development" in the country window (Science, etc.), Federations
    • If Dynamic MapModes are possible (changing based on the selected country): Claims, FederationClaims, Relations(Allies, Rivalries & Wars)
  • Tooltips:
    • Region Tooltips could include much more information (eg. Everything seen under Regions in the country window (Special Features, Pop, Boost, MissionControl, CLAIMS!))
    • In the quickselect window on the right:
      • Hab/Station Tooltips showing upkeep/income, modules, Location (Identification of Orbit/Location and celestial body (the small planet/asteroid photo is not very helpful here if it isn't mars))
      • Councilor Tooltips showing the current Location, mission and target (Especially for missions like inspire, where the location might not identify the target). Maybe also their stats and profession?
    • Country Flags (eg. under Allies/Rivals etc.): The additions to the flags for federation, nukes? and armies? are very hard to see (and decipher at this size), please add this information to the tooltip. This information would also make sense for any other country-flag tooltip.
  • Selecting a councilor should show the currently selected assignment (eg. in the same view as when setting it), crucially including the target etc. (I couldn't find a way after the fact to check the target of eg. an inspire mission)
  • MoreHighlighting! Success/Failure are highlighted but things like country/region/target and councilor are not? This would make it considerably easier to check things like the mission reports and mission summary.
  • Assignment Timing Indicators: It took me way too long to notice these... Also some like hostile takeover and assassinate have the same timing (What if I want to steal an org and assassinate afterwards in the same turn? Is there any way to see if things like this would be done in the correct order or not?)
  • More Detailed descriptions: eg. for the advise mission it basically just says it improves the nation according to the councilors stats (So what does that mean for the current stats of the councilor? How much is x being improved? And is it just temporary for this round or are there any lasting benefits?)
  • DirectInvestment: This window seems very poorly explained. Changing the values at the top only shows what this would cost? There seems to be no display of what the current selection actually does? How would clicking confirm impact the nation? What do the numbers I am changing actually mean???
  • MoreFilters: This especially applies to the SolarSystem tab in the Intel window. Please give us an option to filter by Expected Resources (eg. only show bodies with water above 2 chevrons), Hab-Spaces, Existing Habs/Stations, ProspecterProbe on the way, ProspecterProbe available to be sent, etc.
  • TableHeaders: They are important! Please add table headers to the different lists in the game (eg. Prospecting or SolarSystem tabs in the Intel window). One might infer what is shown from the names and values in different fields but especially columns that only show icons when something is there (like existing habs or ProspecterProbe on the way) are easily missed and confusing when accidentally sorted by.
User Experience:
  • Selecting a councilor assignment will fill a default target but NOT zoom to it, this can lead to confusion. (For example the detain councilor assignment). The default target also seems quite randomly chosen sometimes, maybe choosing the closest eligible target to the current viewpoint might be more intuitive.
  • The Target DropDown in councilor assignment: Maybe give us a checkbox to filter only targets in the currently selected nation? These lists can get veeeery long (see Purge or increase unrest)...
  • Clickable Text: It would be really nice if councilors/regions/nations/targets where clickable in text(similar to a hyperlink) and would select the referenced object/person.
  • HiddenInfo: Sometimes known information is hidden for the player to dig up from multiple different menus for no apparent reason. Examples for me are: Set national policy (What will be my options when I do it? I could rummage through claims, cooldowns, etc. to eg. find out who I would be able to invite to the federation or to unify with. So why make our lives difficult and not display this information when we select a target for this assignment (For example as a tooltip or in the description of the mission listing available policy decisions and respective target countries (ideally even providing success chances where applicable)))
  • HardToReadCountryControlIcons: It is sometimes hard to differentiate between countries where you only have one control point vs. all of them if the other CP are empty. Maybe display empty control points on the map as well if they exist?
  • Default Names:
    • for habs. Why are these seemingly randomly generated? Wouldn't it make more sense to generate a name like Tycho Crater Base for a hab created at Tycho Crater?
    • for stations. Here random names seem more natural, but maybe a prefix according to the orbit would make sense (for example LEO/MEO/IEO/SEO/HEO/EEO for Earths orbits or LLO/MLO/HLO for Lunas) another option would be to do eg. "xxx <planet> interface station" etc. for more natural sounding names.
  • Councilor "apparent" loyalty: Why is this value always reset to the initial apparent loyalty even after investigating and revealing the true loyalty. It would make more sense to update the apparent loyalty to the last known real loyalty otherwise the player just has to remember this for no apparent reason...
Concepts (Probably set in stone, but I am going to talk about it anyway):
  • Federations:
    • Rigidity: Federations currently seem extremely rigid, with only some preset changes available via research (that I have found). Instead of the current hard constraint of having to have a claim, I would suggest changing this to a claim on the nation or the other nation bordering a nation of the federation to be eligible.
    • Federating/Leaving/Unifiying: These actions seem way to "fast", while I understand the expectation that in the games alien situation many of these actions would speed up relating to real world events (eg. Brexit, EU Accessions), I think it would make sense slow this down a bit and also only reflect the change only once this "integration/..."-phase has run its course instead of instantly with cooldown, giving the player and AI factions time to react.
  • Claims:
    • Rigidity: Same as with federations, as we see in the real world (Russia in Krim and Donbas, China in the South China Sea, Turkey in the Mediterannean) claims can be made and dropped and are not set in stone as they seem to be in this game. A way to claim an adjacent region for a controlled country or federation (for a price of course) would be a nice way of opening up this system
  • Demilitarization: Why can I dismantle my nukes and armies, but I cannot reset the progress towards building each of these (or the progress towards the nuclear weapons program). This should be an option instead of or parallel to destroying a countries nukes and armies.
  • Diplomacy between factions: Am I missing something here? There seems to be no way to influence the relations between factions (or even between your faction and another) other than killing councilors, going to war with their controlled countries or purging ther CP (all damaging your relations). Even trading for a Non-Agression Pact did not improve relations (It just said, "In Conflict, Non-Agression Pact"). This seems to me like a big gaping whole in game design.
MissionIdeas:
  • SabotageArmy/MissionControl/NuclearWeapons/SpaceflightProgram: This would obviously have to be balanced but options would be critical success destroing one nuke/army/etc., success resetting the progress to build a new army/nuke/missioncontrol/etc. (or damaging an army) and critical failure maybe advancing the progress of building one of these.
  • Steal resources
SpaceBattles:
  • UI: Please give us an option to hide the waypoints when not selecting a ship, maybe also an option to just show the trajectory in some kind of unobstrusive hologram style? (The colorful waypoints are really annoying when you just want to see the battle)
Issues/Bugs and things that feel like they're supposed to work differently:
  • Multi-Purge, when purging you specifically select a control point to take from the AI, with the executive only being selectable after already taking one of the other control points if they exist. But on nations like Ireland with 2 CP, setting 2 councilors to purge the first control point should not lead to the second councilor to abandon the mission if the first one succeeds but rather try to purge the second (or one of the remaining) CP (the executive). As it is right now it is impossible to take nations like this in one turn (or before the AI takes it out of the federation just so you have to wait for a million years to eventually federate and unify it again).
  • UI:
    • Sometimes a selection indicator just decides to stick around when assigning councilor missions even after selecting other things including things other than councilors (habs/stations/etc.)
    • Stuck Tooltip: Sometimes a tooltip just decides to hang around for a while even after closing or changing to another menu... (It seems to go away when you manage to hover over the exact pixel it originated from)
    • Click-Throug-Issues: I have mostly noticed this in the tech tree when sometimes clicking inbetween techs selects the country behind it on the world map closing all open windows...
    • Some Table-Columns can't be sorted by, eg. Sorting the SolarSystem table in the Intel window by best transfer window (Why not sort the percentages?)
  • CTD: The send to orbit mission has an ops-slider, game crashed as soon as I tried interacting with it. Didn't even give me a crash report or a dump file (I checked the .../AppData/Local/Temp/... location that seems common in the discord)
Okay, that grew quite a lot... To finish it off I just want to mention moddability. As a studio born from your awesome XCOM-Mods I really hope to see this game support mods (ideally steam workshop) as they not only allow for more customisation of the game but also open so many new options for players to explore in a game. And this is only possible by opening the game to hobby-modders as no one studio could provide that much content on its own. I don't think I would be exaggerating to say more than 80% of my playtime in XCOM, TotalWar-Warhammer, the earlier mentioned EuropaUniversalis 4 and so many more moddable games are at least slightly modded, but I often find myself with active mods in the high double digits...
Hansag
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2022 11:40 am

Re: Demo Feedback

Post by Hansag »

I second everything said above. To this, I second what Perun mentioned about dismantling nuclear programs.

WorldEvents - Pressing "n" brings forth small summaries. Not sure if that is what is requested above?
  • Ability to select/buy starting characters
  • Ability to select a random seed (which can be copied from "Load" screen)
  • Make organisations appear in a two-column list instead of a grid, where you can see what they do next to the Logo (this to remove the need to mouse over organisations constantly; goes for all places where they appear, and can be acquired)
  • Top info bar, perhaps make it thicker and display monthly income under the amount accumulated
Aside from Operators, who can travel to enemy orbitals etc.?
Perhaps selecting a country or asset and right-clicking on it could bring up a dialogue on who can do what to it?
(Also, when selecting things to sabotage, it would be nice to get at least a colour hint telling who the asset belongs to)

The "Looking Glass" menu (on mid-right) needs some work as I can imagine it will become VERY crowded with 100-300 entries.
Perhaps also make it two rows per entry showing what a base produces (just icons) or combat power for fleets as well as their delta-v
It doesn't have to be so cramped, but even in the demo it started to be crowded.
Perhaps revamp it as a filesystem, that could be customized (see Stellaris), based on orbits that you could expand or collapse (with the current filters being changed to include or exclude other factions, stations etc. with probes being included under fleets so you could see what they are and up to.

Otherwise, 85h on a demo is probably a personal record for me. Good job!
Kadelake
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:20 am

Re: Demo Feedback

Post by Kadelake »

The demo was really addictive; I finished two full demo games and can't wait for the full release :)

Here are some quality of life features I missed:

Ability to filter habs in the list.
In just seven years you end up with far more bases than I could keep apart. Some ideas on how to filter the list:
  • Filter by planet. (But you'll probably still end up with too many platforms around earth and mercury)
  • Ability to mark habs as "favorites" that will be shown at the top of the list
  • Ability to tag habs and sort by tag.
Ideally, I would like the ability to sort by both planet and tag at the same time. And the ability to add several tags to the same hab. Maybe the tags could be both auto generated (mining base, laboratory, shipyard, e.t.c.) as well as manual options.

Movable windows
For many reasons.

Generally clearer information
To make the game more accessible for newcomers. Two things I remember wondering were:
1. What is the range for the construction module? Do they work between planets and their moons? What about L-points, are any of them in range?
2. How large is the effect of the advice action? I noted the effect was hidden and spread out among different tool-tips, but only during the action phase. It would be nice to get a clear rundown before committing the actions.
Beanstalk
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:27 pm

Re: Demo Feedback

Post by Beanstalk »

Regarding badge-notificiations: I'd like to be able to customize those a bit more. e.g. make it certain event types have larger badges, or even trigger pop-up windows. You could also group events of the same type into badge-"stacks", that expand sideways when you mouse over them.
GeneralLemarc
Posts: 8
Joined: Sat Jul 02, 2022 2:36 am

Re: Demo Feedback

Post by GeneralLemarc »

I've yet to play the demo, but I've been gobbling up Perun's series on it. As weird as this might sound, I want to make a formal request to not get rid of the EU federation mechanic. I think it's something that both makes sense in universe(he basically described it as "ok, aliens are here, we need to band together") and makes things more fun.
Beanstalk
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:27 pm

Re: Demo Feedback

Post by Beanstalk »

Is there any talk of removing the federation mechanics? (which isn't unique to the EU btw)
spacedoggo
Terra Invicta Beta Tester
Posts: 8
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2022 6:47 am

Re: Demo Feedback

Post by spacedoggo »

I wouldn't worry about that.
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