WC4 Remake

Manic

Rear Admiral
Also, is there a possibility of adding settable hotkeys directly to the power adjustment? My x52 has a few toggle switches on the joystick that'd be perfect for that.
 

ODVS

Ensign
Also, is there a possibility of adding settable hotkeys directly to the power adjustment? My x52 has a few toggle switches on the joystick that'd be perfect for that.
Hi Manic - @Pedro's words from the readme:

Note that you can adjust power settings using a gamepad/joystick by mapping VDU Up/Down.
 

Darkmage

Vice Admiral
Any chance of making the key bindings more like wc4? e.g Ctrl-O for options? I was stumped trying to find it before stumbling on esc.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Great work!
The settings buttons at the bottom are difficult to discern as the red on red makes it tough to identify what's what. Setting up the controls were pretty simple once that was worked out.
Also, kind of shot in the dark, but... are there any plans for VR support in the future?
Hi Manic - yes we do plan on supporting both VR and IR head tracking.
 

Pedro

Admiral
Any chance of making the key bindings more like wc4? e.g Ctrl-O for options? I was stumped trying to find it before stumbling on esc.

Well Escape won’t go away, it was the default for all games even by Wing Commander Prophecy (and remains so today) - and like prophecy it isn’t only options anymore so that binding wouldn’t make sense.
Also the briefing text mentions the key to bring up the pause menu for good measure :)

But down the road I suppose we could also add the original keys to opening the menu direct to a specific page.
 
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marco999

Master Chief Petty Officer
This is a very good news !! do you think to add in the future the support for Force Feedback or Vibration ?
 

Picard90

Spaceman
Hello, I hope this message will reach the game development team.

First of all, it's awesome that you're working on remastering this great game. Thank you for all your efforts.

At this time, I only want to address a specific area: the subtitles.

I am deaf, so I depend on the subtitles to enjoy the game fully. One thing I would love to change is giving some options to change the fonts, size, and an ability to set background transparency (opaque to transparent). For example, I prefer a black background with white fonts, while some others prefer a transparent background with yellow fonts.

Thank you for releasing a playable demo!

-- Picard90
 

ODVS

Ensign
Hello, I hope this message will reach the game development team.

First of all, it's awesome that you're working on remastering this great game. Thank you for all your efforts.

At this time, I only want to address a specific area: the subtitles.

I am deaf, so I depend on the subtitles to enjoy the game fully. One thing I would love to change is giving some options to change the fonts, size, and an ability to set background transparency (opaque to transparent). For example, I prefer a black background with white fonts, while some others prefer a transparent background with yellow fonts.

Thank you for releasing a playable demo!

-- Picard90
Hi @Picard90,

Yes, this is the perfect way to send us feedback - thank you so much for your kind words :)

And thank you especially for your feedback about the subtitles. Addressing accessibility is very high on our list of priorities - this is exactly the kind of feedback we're looking for.

In terms of the project, this falls outside my remit - but I just wanted to drop a note here to let you know that, as a team, we'll be taking your feedback on board and we'll definitely address it in future versions and the final game.
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
Hello, I hope this message will reach the game development team.

First of all, it's awesome that you're working on remastering this great game. Thank you for all your efforts.

At this time, I only want to address a specific area: the subtitles.

I am deaf, so I depend on the subtitles to enjoy the game fully. One thing I would love to change is giving some options to change the fonts, size, and an ability to set background transparency (opaque to transparent). For example, I prefer a black background with white fonts, while some others prefer a transparent background with yellow fonts.

Thank you for releasing a playable demo!

-- Picard90
Hi - I have added this to the feature list for future development. Thanks for the feedback, accessibility options are one of the areas we want to focus on.
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
Is there a canonical place to give detailed feedback? Or do we just all dump in here?

Until this is answered, I will keep it very brief below.

1.) As expected, given the complexity of this topic, there are several issues with input devices :) originally, I thought everything was just buggy, with the autopilot-key being still A even after I reassigned it, buttons failing to get assigned, stick axis not being recogized and assigned joy-buttons not working. In the end though, all of it turned out to be usability issues. Details once the above place has been defined so you can start fixing those, for now all you need to know is that I stressed the Demo with all the input devices I have and they all work gloriously 👍. However, it seems I cannot mix them for some reason? Why exactly is that, polling all the devices for events should not be a performance problem, right?
2.) I have noticed that the crosshair changes position when I switch guns. Is is intentional? Does it actutally reflect where my projectices will hit depending on the gun?
3.) For the demo, it is absolutely fine, but for the full game, place heed this advice: Include an language-option setting! My Windows is German but I want the game in English. Full English, no partial translation, no nothing. Like I said, defaulting to the OS is totally fine for a demo and as a default, but please let me override that.
4.) Game is buttery-smooth on my RX580 at 1920x1080 but there are some strange stutters sometimes... Does not seem to be loading-related or shader-compilation related, hard to pin down exactly what is causing it. Anything I can enable, provide or opt-in to track this better, in order to help you?
 
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Pedro

Admiral
Is there a canonical place to give detailed feedback? Or do we just all dump in here?

Until this is answered, I will keep it very brief below.

1.) As expected, given the complexity of this topic, there are several issues with input devices :) originally, I thought everything was just buggy, with the autopilot-key being still A even after I reassigned it, buttons failing to get assigned, stick axis not being recogized and assigned joy-buttons not working. In the end though, all of it turned out to be usability issues. Details once the above place has been defined so you can start fixing those, for now all you need to know is that I stressed the Demo with all the input devices I have and they all work gloriously 👍. However, it seems I cannot mix them for some reason? Why exactly is that, polling all the devices for events should not be a performance problem, right?

In your proposed solution you'd have one set of mappings which you would have to change every time you change controller. Even if we let you bind enough inputs for a single function to accommodate every single controller axes interfere with each other. You don't want the axes you've bound for mouse movement, or your joystick throttle bound when you're trying to play with a gamepad.
It might be nice to have a wiping animation etc to make it more obvious that each controller has its own set, but this is something that I'm not eager to change as we bounce between control devices a lot and we want to encourage other people to do the same.

As the documentation notes your keyboard bindings always apply; I can't think of a scenario where you'd want to mix and match gamepad/mouse etc.

2.) I have noticed that the crosshair changes position when I switch guns. Is is intentional? Does it actutally reflect where my projectices will hit depending on the gun?

Yes, different gun types have different convergence points. The reticule is located where your guns converge.
3.) For the demo, it is absolutely fine, but for the full game, place heed this advice: Include an language-option setting! My Windows is German but I want the game in English. Full English, no partial translation, no nothing. Like I said, defaulting to the OS is totally fine for a demo and as a default, but please let me override that.

The documentation details how to set the language (it's the same way as with the original game!)

4.) Game is buttery-smooth on my RX580 at 1920x1080 but there are some strange stutters sometimes... Does not seem to be loading-related or shader-compilation related, hard to pin down exactly what is causing it. Anything I can enable, provide or opt-in to track this better, in order to help you?

Not something we've experienced or would expect. As you say it's unlikely to be loading related as everything is pre-loaded during the briefing. I can't think of a way you could track it down unless AMD has something similar the the nvidia performance monitors.
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
Is there a canonical place to give detailed feedback? Or do we just all dump in here?
I cannot help but notice that you did not answer that 😇 . The doc says you maintain a thread in the forum, so you really want me to dump the entirety of my feedback in here as a big wall of text?
 

DefianceIndustries

Rear Admiral
I cannot help but notice that you did not answer that 😇 . The doc says you maintain a thread in the forum, so you really want me to dump the entirety of my feedback in here as a big wall of text?
Text walls are ok for now. Issues that require builds/attention get logged into our internal project tracker.
 

Pedro

Admiral
I cannot help but notice that you did not answer that 😇 . The doc says you maintain a thread in the forum, so you really want me to dump the entirety of my feedback in here as a big wall of text?

I had intended to make a new thread specifically for feedback but fell sick just before launch.
If anyone on the team wants to create one and update the links that'd be great. I'm still half dead.
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
Here is to Pedro, to whom I wish a speedy recovery. Also, do not go for another record please, I have just reached 17 in '@' and think 18 is beatable given a few more tries, so do not increase that further ;-)

Minor bugs I noticed:
* press F2, then press Escape to enter the menu: no menu appears but game pauses anyway and mouse cursor is present
* in the flight-deck menu (no matter upscaled graphics or aspect-ratio), my mouse cursor is rather choppy, with FPS drops occurring every 2 to 3 seconds
* several funny visual oddities when using original graphics, but your manual stated these were to be expected
* I have visible tearing lines during the briefing screen, of all things (a very minor distraction). If these also occur during gameplay, then I fail to see them
* during the teaser, I seem to be able to press spacebar to pause the video. If that happens, I can see a flickering black line from the upper left to the lower right corner. Looks very much like tearing at first, since it is diagonally, that cannot be it...
* I think your manual should remind us on how to get the Stormfire, aka how that works exactly, considering you have issued a challenge to the player that depends on that gun

Gameplay:
* let's begin with the biggest praise: responsiveness of flying is great, with both an expensive and a cheap flightstick. It feels very authentic, the hard to nail feeling was indeed nailed but I dare to say that it is even better than the original, due to framerate, sensitivity and a much deeper understanding of acceleration and zones. Great work! Keyboard is fun (I used to fly both Freespace 2 and all WCs with a Keyboard for 20 years).
* I also like the new flight model in essence, a hybrid of the old and the, well, other old ;-) It feels WC4-enough to me, while introducing a bit weight and slide that makes it feel more like WC1 or WCP!
* my fears that the game currently feels "too slow", a concern I voiced in this thread earlier, have unfortunately been confirmed. Everything feels very sluggish in the sense that, unlike the original WC4, there is never any sense of flying at a speed faster than walking across the street! Not when chasing someone, not when someone evades, not when I kick in the afterburner. Flying feels snail-like in this new engine however I noticed a big difference when switching to original graphics. If I am not mistaken, the new models are simply roughly 1.5x the size of the old ones, while the speed of everything else stays the same. The difference is startling, to be honest, as combat in the original graphics feels so much more like actual WC4 combat. I think this is mainly a scaling issue for now and probably on your list, but it has the unintended side-effect of making your score challenge dependent on the graphic setting...
* AI is obviously early but already promising. The same scaling issue applies, as the AI's shortcomings are much less visible in original graphics, where everything just happens at a bigger distance... It seems the Arrows especially have a tendency to brake and re-orient, which is a less suicidal maneuver in the original graphics.
* your efforts to make WC4 a bit less missile-driven are appreciated, although I never personally bought into the opinion that it was a Missiles-only game anyway. Guns and Missiles feel mostly great and I love the shield effects, as well as the understated but present hull damage effects. Very much in line with what the original tried to do. In short, weapons are fun to use
* love how the HUD works, how parts of it bend into my yaws and pitches... Reminiscent but modernized, feels great. A slight (configurable, think of VR) camera twist could probably increase immersion even further by giving a visual illusion of G-forces, but that is hard to get right...
* the targeting system currently has a few oddities (which, honestly, I could only notice because locking targets is not in yet), there were multiple instances in which it did switched to a target that I deemed unintuitive. The easiest to reproduce is the following: I had targeted and was firing at the frigate in the center of my screen and the game decided to re-target a newly spawned figther 45 degrees to my right, which just feels odd...

Presentation:
* this is boring, because it is really good. There is so little to complain about here, it sounds great, it is fluid, it looks classic but not ugly...
* will a talking pilot's video stream be "projected" WCP style later, or how will this work?
* could one take a slight artistic liberty and create a _no missile lock yet_ sound, so that the player get's negative feedback upon pressing the fire button if no missile can be fired yet (or there are no more missiles?)

Mighty impressive work so far!
 
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Pedro

Admiral
* in the flight-deck menu (no matter upscaled graphics or aspect-ratio), my mouse cursor is rather choppy, with FPS drops occurring every 2 to 3 seconds
Have you tried the fix in the readme for this one? Something about polling frequency; people seeing the issue tend to also see it in GoG.

* I think your manual should remind us on how to get the Stormfire, aka how that works exactly, considering you have issued a challenge to the player that depends on that gun
This was a controversial decision internally; in the end we decided that since the original demo had scores with the stormfire (and didn't tell you how to get it), encouraging the player to find it was the aim.
The difference is startling, to be honest, as combat in the original graphics feels so much more like actual WC4 combat. I think this is mainly a scaling issue for now and probably on your list, but it has the unintended side-effect of making your score challenge dependent on the graphic setting...
Some models are larger, some are smaller - seems like they resized *everything* for the demo. To avoid making two sets of everything we just matched the scale to the hellcat. But collision geo doesn't change between view modes (as the two should line up for the final game) so no one will be cheating using classic visuals to get a higher score.
I'm wondering if acceleration is more a factor; if you bump your engine power to full it'll accelerate faster, try that and let me know if that impacts your view any?
Also, as described in our of our articles we added a sense of momentum (without which WCIV had essentially infinite acceleration when turning which would have made it feel faster).
Finally the settings on the dust have a major impact on the sense of speed - I'll be sure to play around with that.

* your efforts to make WC4 a bit less missile-driven are appreciated, although I never personally bought into the opinion that it was a Missiles-only game anyway. Guns and Missiles feel mostly great and I love the shield effects, as well as the understated but present hull damage effects. Very much in line with what the original tried to do. In short, weapons are fun to use

We use the armour/shield/missile stats unaltered, and didn't make a conscious choice to change missile damage. I think the difference is how we apply randomised damage; I think in the remake you're less likely to get a one hit kill by taking out the power core or engines in a single shot (I did put in a bit of a hack on systems damage to scale it down if you're hitting one of those systems as they are insta-kill, maybe I took it too far? But core hit points are unimpacted so missile damage from the front/sides should hopefully be identical to the original).

* will a talking pilot's video stream be "projected" WCP style later, or how will this work?

Yes, fortunately for us the demo included no video. Whilst WC3 comm videos can be extracted WC4 can not, ideally we'd like to extract *both* PC and PSX videos to combine them for the best possible upscale. I was rather banking on the wctoolbox figuring it out before we got to them, but the author has been silent for a while now. I hope he's just busy; you worry in these covid times.
But whatever the reason we need to prioritise reverse engineering them ourselves, that'll probably be a big focus for me.

We'll collate all the feedback for later work. Thanks, it's all appreciated!
 

Vidmaster

Rear Admiral
Some models are larger, some are smaller - seems like they resized *everything* for the demo. To avoid making two sets of everything we just matched the scale to the hellcat. But collision geo doesn't change between view modes (as the two should line up for the final game) so no one will be cheating using classic visuals to get a higher score.
Is that true? Strange, the classic visuals create such a different feeling experience and that is not the nostalgia talking. Engagements feel like they happen at larger distances, other ships feel as if they are moving faster. Watching a Ferret or an Arrow go from left to right, or banking to evade "feels" different in the classic visuals... Given the info above, I will try if I can nail down why it feels that way when I got some more time to spare.

When it comes to feeling of speed, I also suspect it is the fake stardust but unfortunately, one can probably only do so much there. The original games were slow... but since everything was low-res and also running very choppy back then, things felt different.
 
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