V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

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David
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V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by David » Tue Oct 10, 2023 2:53 pm

Just published V2.91 with resolutions to most of the issues raised in Qloof’s document in the previous topic. See the Release Notes for details.

This post is a response to Qloof. While I appreciate the effort and passion behind his post, it would have been far better if logged as GitHub issues or as individual Forum or Discord posts. If Qloof had raised his concerns as he found them, they would have been resolved long ago.

Also, many of the complaints in the post amount to "the original game was better!". Of course, Qloof (or anyone else who feels that way) can continue to play the original game; nothing about releasing S&L prevents that. S&L's goal - both in its mobile and Steam editions - is to introduce this amazing game to a new generation of players who may not have seen (or have almost forgotten) the original game.

This Forum is not well suited to discuss a seven-page document covering multiple topics, but I’ll do my best. I've posted a line-numbered version of the Qloof's post to Google Docs and will reference its topics by line number, shown in [square brackets] after each point. The Google Doc is enabled for suggestions if you'd like to comment it directly.
  1. Steam background image [35]
    The character art has not been upscaled, and I'm not seeing any pixelation, even at maximum resolution on my ultrawide monitor. I've changed the color of "in" to red so that it's easily visible regardless of where it falls on the rainbow (it moves when you resize the Steam window).
  2. Slow load time [39]
    issue #748 is included in V2.91. Initial start time is still slower than I'd like, but second and subsequent starts are very fast.
  3. Splash screen image is blurred while logo is sharp [51]
    Unity blurs the splash screen image so that its logo shows up better. There’s no way to change this. However, Unity has announced that they’re going to change their policy and allow the logo to be suppressed. Once I get the update that supports this, I’ll remove the logo, which hopefully will remove the blurring.

    In addition, I’ve changed the splash screen image to use a slightly modified version of the main screen image. IMO, this works pretty well even when blurred.
  4. Menu [51]
    • The menu consists of seven buttons, each with its own icon and text. I need clarification on why Qloof believes it's “confusing to navigate” or has inconsistent graphics and have PMed Qloof to ask.
    • While Controls and Change Language (but not Help) could conceivably be moved to Options, this would add an extra click to using them. In addition, new players might not be aware of them. As for Cloud Connect, it’s not on this menu and hasn’t been for some time.
    • Controls gets a keyboard button because (unlike the other items), players may want to consult it while playing. Informing players of this button is another reason Controls is on the initial menu.
    • The Controls form is laid out in three columns of function, key, and description. What is confusing or unreadable about this?
    • The game has relatively few controls and some of them (like Shift+Arrow for pan) are not readily customizable. That’s why issue #674 for customizing controls suggestion has been deferred to a future release.
  5. Stories Organization [51]
    I don’t understand this one. The game has exactly two changes to the original game’s story organization:
    • RTW classic has been split into two stories
    • The Back to Wonderland tutorial has been moved to the Playground
    Otherwise, the stories are exactly as they are in the original games (including the various embedded tutorials Qloof mentions). New players are steered first to RTW because IMO its levels are more interesting and engaging than those of TOW. I asked Patrick about this, and he agreed.

    The mini tutorials that begin each story are as they were in the original games. Aside from the TOW first chapter that is in the Playground in S&L, I’ve left them as they are.

    The Platinum levels are in Custom Stories for the same reason they are in RTW: they introduce game mechanics that are used only in custom levels.

    It’s interesting that Qloof points to Wonderland.Net’s start screen as an example to emulate. Not only is this screen more crowded and bland than anything in S&L, but also it’s a laundry list of game names that are meaningless to anyone who’s not familiar with the originals. This screen is designed for fans, not for new players.
  6. Secret Worlds map [85]
    The principal reason the Secret Worlds map is not in S&L is consistency. S&L is one game with multiple stories. It’d be confusing to new players if one story had different coins and gates and a different way of progressing through levels. And IMO, the map does have navigation issues – it results in a lot of backing and forthing that I personally found somewhat tedious the first time I played WSW.

    That said, I agree that the map is a charming feature and it’d be great to have it in the game as an alternate method of navigating Secret Worlds, perhaps with a "fast travel" feature allowing quick navigation to a completed level. There are two next-release enhancements for this issue #522 the map itself and issue #527 for an option to restore original graphics, which would include the keys and stars.
  7. In-Game menu [100]
    Qloof makes a good point that Select New Level would be better at the bottom of this menu. issue #738 for this is resolved in V2.91. Qloof is also correct that this menu could be reduced to six buttons. However, players who wanted to check help or select an option during gameplay (as Qloof himself does in his “first ten levels” video) would be forced to save the level, request the menu again, complete their desired activity, and then select and restore the level.
  8. Vsync Count [113]
    I doubt that Qloof seriously believes that Unity implemented a feature solely to lower performance. In fact, Vsync Count does exactly what it says on the Options menu – addresses screen tear in fullscreen mode. I added this option to the game when a couple of players reported screen tearing, an issue specific to their setup and one I couldn’t reproduce. They were both able to correct the problem by setting vsync=1.

    BTW, there’s an undocumented feature that Shift+F11 displays vsync count and FPS.
  9. Can’t navigate a menu [132]
    I’m not sure which menu is being referenced here, but I’m not aware of any menu buttons that don’t work or are mislabeled. I’ve sent a PM to Qloof asking for clarification.
  10. Camera moves too fast at level start [145]
    This is the first time anyone’s mentioned this. But I respect Qloof’s experience and have opened issue #737 to modify level start setup so the camera moves more slowly and in only in one direction (down).
  11. First person mode has some serious issues [156]
    I’ve opened issue #736 for this. This is not resolved in V2.91, but will be addressed in the following update.
  12. Coin counts and timer are hard to read against white background [181]
    issue #740 for this is resolved in V2.91.
  13. Sign text may interfere with mobile gameplay [188]
    My guess is that Qloof has never played the mobile game. Mobile players navigate using a joystick and buttons at the bottom of the screen, so the sign text is well out of the way.
  14. Z-fighting on some conveyors; white artifact on chat icon [193]
    issue #741 for this is resolved in V2.91.
  15. The mipmapping on the level textures is very, very noticeable here. [201]
    Unfortunately, this paragraph doesn’t define “here”. I’ve sent a PM to Qloof asking for clarification.
  16. Seams on top of walls may result from texture atlas [205]
    While an atlas is a fairly standard method of texturing a cube to have different textures on individual sides, Qloof's contention that it may be causing seams on the walls is interesting, and I’ve opened issue #742 to investigate.

    Qloof also states that the atlas width not being a power of two could be an issue. I’ve never heard of any power of two requirement for textures. Can Qloof (or anyone else) provide a reference? The reference in Qloof’s document is to a Wikipedia page defining power of two, which is not helpful at all.
  17. Shadows are low-res [215]
    Qloof is correct that the shadows are low-res, which was done deliberately to minimize their impact on graphic performance. I’ll consider a future release option supporting player selection of shadow resolution, though I’m dubious that it’ll have any significant effect on gameplay.
  18. Water [222]
    I understand that Qloof prefers the original game’s water and has arguments to justify this position. However, I spent a good deal of time on S&L’s water and very much like the way it looks. Although there are some community members who share Qloof’s opinion, there are others who like the water the way it is (and have told me so directly). I’ll accommodate both groups in the next release by implementing enhancement issue #527 to provide an option for classic textures (including water). But the initial release will have refractive water.

    That said, I agree there is a flickering problem that is resolved in V2.91 under issue #743.

    Also, Qloof makes a fair point that some of the other objects in the game could be considered for visual upgrades. I’m open to that in the next release – please log a Suggestion issue citing objects that should be upgraded (or – even better - provide actual upgraded models).
  19. Animation issues [233]
    I’ve divided the items in this paragraph into three groups:
    • Issues resolved in V2.91 (issue #744)
      • Turning is faster on ice and conveyors
      • Characters blink more often and for longer (characters already blink, but probably not often enough)
      • Sliding animation starts after the character’s first step onto ice
    • Issues I’m not seeing or can’t reproduce
      • Delay before death animation (it starts as soon as the character dies; if anyone knows of an exception, please provide a video)
      • Trampolines halting motion or delaying the camera (I cannot reproduce this; please provide a video if you can)
    • Issues deferred to next release (issue #745)
      • Additional idle animations
      • Revisions to pushing and walking animations
      • Higher trampoline jumps
    BTW, if anyone would like to take a crack at revising the animations, I’ll be happy to provide the Blender files that define them. The original game’s animations cannot be used in S&L because they use a now-obsolete technique called mesh distortion that’s not supported by either Blender or Unity.
  20. Bonus coin particle effect [247]
    The issue with the bonus coin particle effect in first-person view is that it’s not visible at all, not that it’s pointing straight up (which is facing the camera in first-person). In any case, this is fixed V2.91 under (issue #746. I’ve also changed the text orientation in the standard view, though to my eye, it doesn’t make much difference.
  21. Fireballs, flames, and rainbow bursts [253]
    This is similar to the water issue. These are as-designed and I like the way they look. There will be a next-release option to use the original graphic (a plain white sphere) for fireballs and flames.
  22. Wood box explosion effect needs improvement [267]
    Qloof has a good point here, and this is resolved in V2.91 under issue #747.
  23. Remastered music is tiring to listen to [275]
    This is interesting for what it implies about the overall approach in the critique. I didn’t do the music remastering (it was contributed by Cyndanera), so I don’t have a personal stake in how it’s received. But it sounds good to me (which is why I put it in the game), and it’s hard to understand why someone would find it “tiring to listen to” – except that it’s different from the original game
  24. Performance issues on some levels [293]
    This is an excellent example of why it’s better to report issues as they’re found, rather than saving for a massive data dump. This problem was previously reported by Ash and kumaccino and logged as issue #637. It was resolved in update V2.83, so Qloof would get different results if he reran the performance tests on a current build.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by Qloof234 » Tue Oct 10, 2023 7:28 pm

There's a lot that I could say in response to this, and a lot that I want to say. However, after reading this post, in combination with the clarification requests you've asked me for on Discord, and your handling of feedback in the past - I no longer believe that you're interested in engaging with feedback in good faith if it's not something you want to hear.

Whether it's claiming to have asked me for clarification about something you haven't said a word to me about, claiming ignorance about some extremely basic computer science concepts that you could look into yourself by using Google, or brushing off extremely visible issues by claiming that you "don't see the problem," your responses have consistently pushed the onus of investigating issues onto us, the testers, before you'll actually acknowledge and act on them. I don't have the mental or emotional energy to deal with this anymore.

In the interests of transparency, here are all of the "clarification requests" you've sent me:
Image

I do not have any private messages from you in my Inbox here, nor have you reached out to me anywhere else.

Not once during the development of MoFI or PoTZ (particularly MoFI, when I was twelve years old and in a much worse state mental-health-wise than I am today) did I feel this kind of apprehension about raising my critiques of the games. I was also never put in a position where I had to defend myself against how my feedback was received.

Just something for people to think about.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by Sammy_P » Tue Oct 10, 2023 7:49 pm

edit: At this point just skip ahead to Cookie's post.
Last edited by Sammy_P on Fri Oct 13, 2023 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by David » Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:07 pm

Wow. Just wow.

I have no idea what I've said or done to generate this level of anger from Qloof. Certainly, there's nothing in this post, where I went out of my to respect his input and address his concerns.

The PMs in his screenshot were sent a week ago, and this is the first time he's acknowledged even receiving them, much less replied, which is why I embedded my questions in the response above. I PMed on Discord rather than the Forum because I hoped to have a dialog, but obviously, that's not happening.

Qloof has been a beta tester almost from the beginning and has never opened an issue, or even made a comment since the beta began - until last week's post.

As for not respecting feedback - I just spent a week nearly full-time updating the game to respond to Qloof's concerns. And before that, I completely revised the warp gate model in response to Sammy_P's feedback (though I still don't know what he thinks of the update).

It's a real shame and a great disappointment to see this level of vitriol on a forum devoted to a game we all love. There's nothing I can do about it, though.

Just a shame.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by jdl » Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:17 pm

For now, I'd like to contribute the following 2 things to this conversation:
1. As far as animations go, I mentioned before in a forum post during mobile testing that it looks like Bisquick has found a way to import the original game animations into Unity. This was done for Krabby Quest though, but I'm assuming the process would be similar if not the same for the WDL models (?):
https://www.pcpuzzle.com/forum/viewtopi ... 11#p367311
https://github.com/JDrocks450/KrabbyQuestEmu
https://discord.gg/wvFPYSrGRu

2. A little over a week ago I dusted off Inkscape and vectored one of the images from the official Stinker Sprite Sheets. It's not perfect, and Patrick was probably provided the originals in vector format, but until they are released tracing them is the best we can do. This can be used to scale the graphics however you'd like without losing quality. I assume for game development the correct way to use these would be to build your Stinker in Inkscape/your vectoring program of choice, export them as PNG at a large resolution, and then scale them down to where they need to be in the engine instead of the image file itself. For those of you more familiar with game dev, feel free to correct me.

I have provided the SVG file (in the zip) and an example PNG export that's 5x bigger than the originals. Right-click and view the image in a new tab to see what I mean.
What does everyone think? Should do the rest of the sheets or is this is a pointless idea?
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by tooncool64 » Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:27 pm

As far as game issues go, I think it's common courtesy to provide clarifications to criticisms that one levies against a product. I think David has been very fair in his responses. Do i think SLiW is perfect, or a replacement to the original games? Not at all, but to continue with this level of contempt in your responses after David has put in effort to address your criticisms, demonstrating care for the game, is unnecessary and quite frankly rude. I can understand being resistant to change, but I think it would be better to work WITH David, not against him.

QLoof, you are a respected veteran of this community, and I would like to see you and other veterans work together to build a future for the Wonderland games outside of these forums. The community won't survive forever with just us old farts showing up every other couple of years for a few months.
Currently playing WSW.

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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by David » Tue Oct 10, 2023 10:08 pm

Thanks, tooncool. I appreciate the support.

And thanks also to jdl for a really interesting post. The updated graphics look great! And it'd be huge if there's a way to import the original animations. I'll let you know how I make out.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by cloudrac3r » Tue Oct 10, 2023 10:09 pm

Sign text may interfere with mobile gameplay [188]
My guess is that Qloof has never played the mobile game. Mobile players navigate using a joystick and buttons at the bottom of the screen, so the sign text is well out of the way.
David, you are being intentionally ignorant. This is a PC game. Qloof's original point is that the interface should actually be designed for the PC.
I doubt that Qloof seriously believes that Unity implemented a feature solely to lower performance.
The Unity docs clearly say that this setting lowers the frame rate.

But, rather than discuss the actual point about what this setting does, you instead immediately jump to dismissing Qloof's comment as a lie.

The docs say that this setting lowers the frame rate. If you disagree with this, please explain why, rather than jumping to attack a long-time community member unprovoked.

But since you're bringing out the attacks, so shall I.
It’d be confusing to new players if one story had different coins and gates and a different way of progressing through levels.
Let's get real. Your lack of vision is honestly pathetic. I have no nostalgia for the original games. While they are fun on the whole, they have many flaws in the puzzle design, some levels are bland, tedious, or filler, WSW is way too difficult, and the graphics would seriously need to be improved to meet the standards of a 2023 game. There's so many opportunities to make a fantastic game out of this by changing things and improving upon the original!

You have not improved upon the original. Worse, you haven't even tried. You have put the bare minimum effort into every aspect of this port. The levels are unchanged, the map is unchanged, the graphics are unchanged. You sent it to beta testers in a barely playable state (in fact, some levels were even impossible), wasting the time they spent reporting these issues that you honestly should have seen and addressed from your own initiative while developing the game in the first place.

Your vision is pathetic because, while you like the concept of the map, and you felt it would be unnatural to include for only one of the stories, you didn't even stop to think of what would really improve the game as a whole: Adding a map to all stories.

They should all have a map. That would be so fun! It would give you the chance to restructure the levels to remove the tedious and filler ones while making the world of Wonderland seem even more alive.

Here's another free idea - I know how much you love those - You're right that it's hard to fit three games into one game and make it feel cohesive. There's actually a great solution to this. You can put all the games on the same world map, and let the player start at a fork in the road so they can begin with any story they like, and can naturally switch to a different one if they're roadblocked on a tough puzzle. I solved your game for you.
Also, Qloof makes a fair point that some of the other objects in the game could be considered for visual upgrades. I’m open to that in the next release – please log a Suggestion issue citing objects that should be upgraded (or – even better - provide actual upgraded models).
You have to be out of your mind. Stop asking people to do free labour for you when you're selling this game - you're trying to make as much money from it as possible, and the volunteers receive nothing aside from a copy of the game that they don't even want to play.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by tooncool64 » Tue Oct 10, 2023 10:37 pm

I do like the map idea. The WSW map should be able to be adapted fairly easily. Here is a mockup of the "progression" system that could be used for ToW levels.


Training Grounds --> Five Star Gate --> Water Palace --> Eight Star Gate --> Winter in Wonderland --> Eight Star Gate --> Halls of the Undermountain --> Eight Star Gate --> Top of the World --> Eight Star Gate --> Desert Cities --> Six Star Gate --> Spaced Out --> Ten Star Gate --> Mixed Up Stinky and Loof --> Five Star Gate --> Heart of the Volcano --> Ten Star Gate --> Jade Temple up to level 9 --> Twelve Star Gate --> Final Level of Jade Temple.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by Nobody » Tue Oct 10, 2023 10:58 pm

Personally speaking, I can’t say I care all that much about Wonderland. I think it’s fine if a new game is bad. The less bad it is, the better, but I’m not nearly as emotionally invested as some people clearly are. I don’t necessarily want to pile more aggression towards this project or its director after Cadence just unloaded enough aggression for the whole community to share.

That being said, I’d just like to say:
It's a real shame and a great disappointment to see this level of vitriol on a forum devoted to a game we all love. There's nothing I can do about it, though.

Just a shame.
This ending of the response from David to Kyuu’s post really rubbed me the wrong way. Unwarranted or not, I feel like there’s a graceful way to respond to criticism while holding a position of power or authority. It doesn’t involve beleaguering the assertion that you are blameless and helpless in the face of a spontaneous phenomenon called “people being mean”. Also, mentioning that this is happening on the forum we all use as though Kyuu is somehow targeting all of us and not just him is a little disingenuous.

I don’t think David is some evil monster who everyone would be fully justified in attacking, but I definitely don’t think Kyuu is acting in some utterly unjustified and unreasonable way. This manner of public reaction to Kyuu strikes me as a little bit manipulative, frankly. (Not commenting on how Cadence’s tone factors into all this because that’s a separate issue.)
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by David » Tue Oct 10, 2023 11:28 pm

Hey, Cadence - the idea of maps for all the games came up on Discord yesterday, suggested by Keifer - did you see it there? It's a good idea, but please don't try to take credit for it.

As for the rest of your post, I was starting to respond, but what's the point?
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by StinkyFTW » Wed Oct 11, 2023 12:54 pm

Arright, guess it's my turn as an old fart to make a post here.

As someone who has been in contact with David since basically day 1 of the Mobile remakes, saying that he does not care about criticism is completely unfair.

I don't care that you've played these games since you were a little kid - because I have too; Wonderland Veterans don't get the end all-say all when it comes to new games/re-releases. The Steam Release isn't your ideal 'just take the O.G release, fix compatibility and throw it on steam'!

And the amount of entitlement in Qloof's statement, "These games and this franchise deserve better than this. We shouldn't have to either hack our way around compatibility issues to keep playing the original games, or settle for a lesser experience in what should be an improved re-release." is just gross. Same with all the other 'veterans' who show up maybe once a year coming out just to dis David or support this aggression.

I'm not saying criticism is an attack; there was fair critique levied against the game, but as stated, the Wonderland Discord has been testing and helping suggest things to David to fix and resolve issues. It's never going to be perfect, and not everyone is going to be happy at the end of the day.

You also need to realize that, at the end of the day, it was Patrick himself who gave David the go ahead to make the Mobile and Steam Wonderland remakes. If he thought they were going to be lesser than their originals, he would've never approved it.

I'm not expecting this statement to go over well with some of you other veterans; y'all have been holding onto an almost 8 year old grudge now, but hey; everyone's coming out of the wood work so here's my 2 cents.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by Qloof234 » Wed Oct 11, 2023 4:30 pm

tooncool64 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:27 pm
As far as game issues go, I think it's common courtesy to provide clarifications to criticisms that one levies against a product. I think David has been very fair in his responses. Do i think SLiW is perfect, or a replacement to the original games? Not at all, but to continue with this level of contempt in your responses after David has put in effort to address your criticisms, demonstrating care for the game, is unnecessary and quite frankly rude.
StinkyFTW wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 12:54 pm
As someone who has been in contact with David since basically day 1 of the Mobile remakes, saying that he does not care about criticism is completely unfair.
The opening post in this thread:
  • is full of passive-aggressive snipes about how it's "interesting" that I'd make such and such comparison, or how it's "interesting" that I'd make a point about the music when talking about how the volume on certain sound effects makes it unpleasant to play*
  • demonstrates a failure to read my original post properly by turning my criticism of the mobile-oriented sign UI into a jab about how I "have never played the mobile game," while echoing the exact point I was making in the first place
  • opts to put me on the spot for not providing a source for something that's both an extremely basic element of computer science (the importance of powers of two) and could be very easily sourced by Googling something like "textures power of two" (which actually happens to bring up Unity documentation as its first result)
  • contains at least one lie, about what I've been asked for clarification on - the mention of needing clarification about the mipmapping visibility problem in the opening post is the first I've ever heard of it
Also, several of us put together a Google Doc back in February consisting of our feedback. A fair amount of it was dismissed, ignored, or dragged out by semantic arguments when it really shouldn't have been. One issue that was reported took six months to be addressed because half of the original issue report (which was one clear, concise sentence that described the entire issue accurately) was ignored.

Also, when given a picture like this, with the context of "there are artifacts around the sign graphic":
Image
Even if the white line underneath the sign isn't terribly clear (which it is at 1080p), it'd take less than five minutes to open up (or make) a level with a darker texture and check there.
Image

(EDIT: I have been informed that this bug is fixed now, yes; the point is that the original screenshot and description is all the clarification you should need for a bug like this)

I don't think it's contemptuous or "vitriolic" for me to respond to a post like that by drawing a line in the sand and saying that I won't engage further, or by calling out the behaviour that I'm seeing.

* in hindsight, yes, the bit about the music in my original post was tangential, considering that there's an option to use the original tracks and that I'm not well-versed in music theory, I'll concede that - but I fail to see how it's "interesting for what it implies about the overall approach in the critique," except that I'm sharing my honest impressions as I play it casually.
StinkyFTW wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 12:54 pm
I don't care that you've played these games since you were a little kid - because I have too; Wonderland Veterans don't get the end all-say all when it comes to new games/re-releases. The Steam Release isn't your ideal 'just take the O.G release, fix compatibility and throw it on steam'!
I'm not throwing seniority around as if we should get final say in what the game's like - I'm all for new takes on it and improvements, there's nothing wrong with that. What I have been saying is that, as someone who's been playing video games in general for a very long time, I see some serious issues with the game's menus - how they're constructed, how they work, how they're laid out - that I think should be addressed for the sake of the new audience this version's supposedly aimed at.

I do have a friend who's more well-versed in UI design and user experience, who's barely played Wonderland at all, and his opinion was largely the same.
tooncool64 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 9:27 pm
QLoof, you are a respected veteran of this community, and I would like to see you and other veterans work together to build a future for the Wonderland games outside of these forums. The community won't survive forever with just us old farts showing up every other couple of years for a few months.
StinkyFTW wrote:
Wed Oct 11, 2023 12:54 pm
And the amount of entitlement in Qloof's statement, "These games and this franchise deserve better than this. We shouldn't have to either hack our way around compatibility issues to keep playing the original games, or settle for a lesser experience in what should be an improved re-release." is just gross. Same with all the other 'veterans' who show up maybe once a year coming out just to dis David or support this aggression.
I want to see these games have a future, too - that's why I worded my original post as strongly as I did. Was it harshly worded? Yes, I'll admit that - but part of the reason for that is because, as someone who already has a lot of nostalgia and love for these games, this version's lackluster at best - and I simply can't see it being well-received by the average Steam user in its current state. If it's "entitled" for me to make an impassioned plea for improvements because I don't want to see these games remembered poorly in the future (and this kind of thing has happened before - see how poorly people regard the original Sonic Adventure after the various re-releases that made it buggier and more unpolished), then so be it.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by |Cookie| » Thu Oct 12, 2023 1:47 pm

I really did not want to partake in this, I tried to avoid this topic as much as possible. However, I can't help but feel that I am a big part of why this transpired the way it did to begin with, so I feel the responsibility to mediate between both parties, and provide necessary context. This post aims to shutdown the drama, not escalate it.

I am only speaking for myself, I cannot say nor control how others feel about this. This is not a personal attack on anyone, just an elaboration on my part. I will also preface by saying that I do not condone some of the aggression in this topic + the original one and will not try to defend it. I also did not thoroughly proof-read this, so I apologize for any typos or mistakes.

My want to remain on relatively good terms with everyone and not starting any conflict let this go out of hand. I had my frustrations with David when giving feedback, frustrations which I voiced to friends, including people who know nothing about Wonderland to get unbiased and contextless opinions. I kept showing interactions which rubbed me the wrong way between us, because I was always uncertain of myself: "Did I explain it badly?", "Can I not communicate well?", "Is my wording confusing?", "Does David really not understand, or is he just hand waving my feedback?"

I tried to act in good faith, and these issues I had with his response to feedback are something I should've told David directly, but didn't, because I did not want any conflict to rise (which is ironic, because now it's become way too big of a deal). My complaints have led my friends to become frustrated on my behalf. This, coupled with the way our first feedback document was handled also demotivated everyone else from attempting to contact David and providing feedback directly, because a lot of the issues were not fixed.

I will not provide any names, but I know of another unrelated person who was very motivated to give feedback initially, only to personally tell me they got immediately demotivated once David replied and said the issues were fixed when some of them weren't really fixed and the others had the bare-minimum done to them.
Seeing how I am not the only one who felt this way, I believe fault also lies on David for not doing his part as a game designer to attempt to understand feedback and hold the game up to modern standards. The issues, to me, isn't that the game isn't like the original, the issue is that SnL is visually incohesive. If we want new players to give this game a try, it needs to look presentable, and for a title on steam, especially a commercial one, what is here does not cut it. It's not about having higher or better graphics, you can make low-quality graphics still look presentable. It's about cohesion and consistency, then polish. Many choices made do not make sense, and the game clashes with itself with its UI elements and in-game models/textures.

I have tried to explain that to David on various occasions, but I never felt like this point made it across. When I said that the editor icons were messy, badly cropped, and had inconsistent resolutions, I provided an example of the pyramid icons to demonstrate my point (keep in mind this wasn't the first time the icons were brought up). David did not take a closer look at what I said, he did not investigate the root cause of my complaint, instead, he only fixed the pyramid icons, the literal example I gave. I had to write and screenshot every | single | icon (different link per word, hence the | for separation, not for tone) which had these issues I mentioned before they got fixed.

This does not motivate someone to give more feedback. It felt like I had to write everything in excruciating details or it would never matter. It wasn't enough to say that X had Y issue, I had to screenshot every instance explicitly, because if I forgot to mention one, it will not be touched. It was tiring and it felt like what I was doing was futile. Not to mention David often saying (paraphrased)"I don't see any issues" unless you literally zoom in on images and circle it , he never tried to dig deeper on his own accord, and it always felt like a one-way conversation a lot of the time. The straw that broke the camel's back to many people was when I pointed the watermarks on the intro screen.

My sister, whom I showed the tree model to and asked what she thought of it, noticed the issue and said "why is there this weird hole inside the tree?". It is extremely infuriating when people with 0 experience playing games notice such issues without being told there is an issue, while the developer of the game misses them, I do not want to lash out, but like, you could just look closer, zoom-in on the images if you can't see it, check in-game for a better view, do something to understand it on your own first rather than dismiss it or say you don't see it. We are trying to work with you, not against you! Just try to understand the feedback and why we are reporting these things. When I said I saw watermarks on the logo, you did not have to make someone else point them explicitly out to you, it just makes the feedback process tedious.

So when David asked Kyuu such a filler non-question about powers of two, especially when Kyuu already provided detailed links as to what it is and why it matters, and coupled with the history of my own complaints, and the past experience he had with the first document we wrote, I understand why he acted the way he did and just promptly gave up on elaborating.

Now that I have let that out of the way, I want to apologize to everyone.

Everyone is very passionate about this game, they want it to be the best version it can be because it's an important part of our lives and the reason we all came together in the first place. It pains me to see everyone feel distressed this way, and I want to clear the names of my friends, because I fully understand their frustrations and where it came from, and if it wasn't for my reluctance to participate in the original post and my non-confrontational nature, this all wouldn't have felt so sudden and unjustified. They were trying to voice frustrations which they could not mention directly due to my request, because I did not want to get involved, so it just came out as being entitled without any basis.

I caused more trouble than it is worth for them, and I just want this to be over with.

David, I know I have my grievances with how you took my feedback, but I have to again emphasize that these grievances are not personal, they are exclusively in regards to the way you go about taking feedback, please understand. This is not an attack on anybody, and I should not have been afraid of mentioning it to you directly.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by starplatinum » Fri Oct 13, 2023 2:54 pm

David wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2023 2:53 pm
[*] Secret Worlds map [85]
The principal reason the Secret Worlds map is not in S&L is consistency. S&L is one game with multiple stories. It’d be confusing to new players if one story had different coins and gates and a different way of progressing through levels. And IMO, the map does have navigation issues – it results in a lot of backing and forthing that I personally found somewhat tedious the first time I played WSW.

That said, I agree that the map is a charming feature and it’d be great to have it in the game as an alternate method of navigating Secret Worlds, perhaps with a "fast travel" feature allowing quick navigation to a completed level. There are two next-release enhancements for this issue #522 the map itself and issue #527 for an option to restore original graphics, which would include the keys and stars.
Honestly, WSW is so memorable to me because of the map. Otherwise it will be soulless. It shouldn't be an afterthought.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by nasko222 » Fri Oct 13, 2023 4:58 pm

I didn't really want to say it, but now as everyone started to raise their opinions I'll just say mine which is short. Before you read it, David, know that I really value your work and I know you work hard. But here are my honest thoughts. (I hope you wont get offended)

Plain and simple: I don't think we need SLiW for Steam. As a phone game. I was very excited to know that Wonderland is getting ported to mobile and I could play TOW/RTW levels everywhere I go (look it at that perspective). But as a steam release? It came out unexpected, infact I think I was one of the first people who noticed it. We already have RTW, we have ongoing projects like W+ (Though I still want OpenRTW just like OpenWA instead of C# remake, because the C# remakes are buggy and unpredictable IMO).

Having three ways to play original WA trilogy now. Either vanilla RTW, W+ or SLiW -> People that make levels for the first two have to port the levels to SLiW and vice versa (unless you guys are adding support to that, ive been OOTL)

TLDR: SWiL as a phone game? amazing. As a steam PC release, I don't think its necessary.. But hey. The game's pretty much done, theres no going back, we will see what the future holds. I don't say cancel it cancel it!!, its done and there's no turning back
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by tooncool64 » Fri Oct 13, 2023 5:08 pm

As far as porting levels in concerned, I'm pretty sure it's a trivial task, you just have to import the .LEV file and it gets converted to a .LOOF file, which is the format that SLiW uses for it's levels.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by |Cookie| » Sat Oct 14, 2023 5:04 pm

re: Nasko: A steam release in theory means more publicity for a bigger audience, and in the best case scenario, be a modern take on an old game to improve upon its flaws and outdated game philosophies. I won't say a steam version of Wonderland has no reason to exist, especially if convenient backwards-compatibility for custom levels was possible. It just needs to manage to catch the eyes of said audience and feel good to play, hence why polish, UX, and first impressions are extremely crucial, otherwise you'd risk being dismissed at a glance.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by nasko222 » Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:02 pm

|Cookie| wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 5:04 pm
re: Nasko: A steam release in theory means more publicity for a bigger audience, and in the best case scenario, be a modern take on an old game to improve upon its flaws and outdated game philosophies. I won't say a steam version of Wonderland has no reason to exist, especially if convenient backwards-compatibility for custom levels was possible. It just needs to manage to catch the eyes of said audience and feel good to play, hence why polish, UX, and first impressions are extremely crucial, otherwise you'd risk being dismissed at a glance.
I'm not the one to speak here because I don't know how exactly agreements and stuff works but cant we get the original games on steam?
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by tooncool64 » Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:51 pm

As much nostalgia that I have for the original games, they don't exactly hold up quite well in the modern gaming landscape. I think the Steam re-make is an excellent step to popularize these games for a modern audience.
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Re: V2.91 with resolutions and response to previous topic

Post by nasko222 » Sat Oct 14, 2023 8:27 pm

tooncool64 wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2023 7:51 pm
As much nostalgia that I have for the original games, they don't exactly hold up quite well in the modern gaming landscape. I think the Steam re-make is an excellent step to popularize these games for a modern audience.
sure, fair point here, but i also believe like qloof that the game need to be more imrpoved
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