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 Post subject: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (But With Suggestions)
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:15 pm 
Citizen
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I started following this game and posting on the forum way back in 2005. I sort of lost track of this game during the dead period so I wasn't aware when it came out. Therefore, I'm kind of late to the party. Overall, I think it's been worth the wait. But now that I've been playing a while, I though I'd offer my review/critique of the game in my Good, Bad and Ugly format.

The Good:
1 - Overall, I really like the game. In a lot of ways it's simplified from the usual 4X game but that is not a bad thing at all. You've done an excellent job of reducing the need to micromanage without making me feel like I'm not in control.

2 - Choosing a Planet Type so the Governor can manage it is an excellent feature. Having reduced numbers of building and them managing them with upgrades is a nice touch. This is one of the best features of this game!

3 - The tactical combat system is overall well implemented. Easy and simple yet you feel like you can make a difference. From my experience with the Autocomplete, it seems like it comes out pretty fair if you choose to use it.

4 - The Tech Tree is different but a nice touch! The options for managing and rushing techs is pretty easy to handle but still allows you to guide your civs advancement.

5 - Diplomacy is pretty good. Simple but adequate. I've never been a big one for playing for diplomatic victory. My usual complaint with 4X games is that the actions and attitudes of the alien races tends to be too random. Thus far, other races behavior has seemed more deliberate.

6 - The Logistics/Command Points system is a nice, original touch! It really encourages you to expand and develop your systems.

7 - And super-kudos for making the game moddable! Given you're a small, indie shop, that's a nice touch. It's allowed me to tweak a couple of things that bugged me!


The Bad:
1 - Fighters are way under powered. The only real use for them I've found is to chase down enemy non-combatants before they escape and even then I need three or four fighter groups per transport to take them out. I understand there has to be balance. Simply put, Fighters need more powerful weapons on them or more fighters in each group.
A - Give fighters two or three light mounts instead of one.
B - Give them Close Air Support role in a planetary invasion and remove the Air Fighters and Air Bombers. Or let the Air Fight tech simply allow Fighters to assume that role. This gives fighters and carriers a real reason to exist!
C - Include a tech that allows for Assault Fighters that can carry a couple of Torpedoes.
D - Include a tech that allows for larger Fighter Bays.
E - in order to balance the above ideas, make the initial build and maintenance costs significantly higher. Like in real life, carriers should be powerful but expensive to build and operate.
F - Fighters could also be very effective at destroying planetary defenses without destroying planetary non-combat buildings.

2 - Missiles are not so much underpowered as clumsy. A classic use of missiles is to launch them just ahead of the fleet or fighters to draw the fire of the enemy ships or make them pay dearly if they ignore them. But since they just sit in space after firing for a full turn it makes them far less versatile. I understand that there needs to be counter to them or they would be way overpowered. To be useful and effective, missiles need to move somewhere between the speed as a small ship and a fighter.
A - The problem isn't with the missiles but that Point Defense for ships is clumsy. A new Tech called Aegis should be added to the tech tree to allow ships light weapons mounts to automatically fire at any incoming missiles or fighters. My suggestions would be to make it a Special item. Aegis would, of course, increase the cost of building a ship.
B - An alternative would be to create a new Mount type called Point Defense or Aegis that makes them automatically fire at ships or fighters. An Aegis mount would not be able to be fired by the player or at ships but get a bonus against missiles or fighter thus making installing Aegis mounts a trade off.
C - Missiles should also have a minimum range meaning you can be to close to the target to fire them. This also gives point defense a chance.

3 - I wish there were some lighter versions of armor for outfitting ships. For example, I'd like to be able to have a smaller, lighter and use less resources (i.e. uses less space) armor alternative to put on ships that are designed for stand-off fighting (like a carrier) so that more fighters or weapons can be added instead. Available space on ships is an important limitation!

4 - In general, it would be nice if some of the ships systems on the bottom of the design page (ECM, Armor, Power Hailing, etc) had the ability to either have less-space using alternative or the ability to not include them at all. Why would an unarmed transport need targeting scanners? I'd rather use that space for more troops!

5 - When in combat, I really can't figure out which of an enemy's armor I'm facing. It would be great if there was some kind of indicator on the enemy ship/target display that indicated that.

6 - There are no Special items to install on your ships to increase the effectiveness of your weapons. Some sort of enhanced targeting system or something similar would nice.


The Ugly:
The only thing I'd call ugly is the strategic map. I admit it is quite serviceable but it is ugly. I'd much rather see a strategic map that looks more like space but that's me.

Edit: I just discovered you can turn off the parts of the strategic map that I dislike. Thanks for that!

Again, overall this is a sweet little game! I'm really glad to see this game get published finally! I know it's been a labor of love for you and I hope it's a financial success for you as well!


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 Post subject: Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (But With Suggestions)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 12:24 pm 
Dev. Team
Horizon
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Very much appreciate your feedback AerionIstari, I indeed remember you as one of our first members to the forums. I'm happy to hear you finally had the time to play Horizon after all those years and you found enjoyment.

With regards to "The Good": This kind of feedback is very valuable, it's good to hear how you find different parts of the game. So we can improve on or discard in our next game(s). In addition to the points you made if I could ask: did you like/enjoy the quest system or was that not too important for your enjoyment?

With regards to "The Bad": I plan on reviewing the Fighters balance. The rest you make some really good points which I'm mostly in agreement and will have to consider them for the next iteration of Horizon.

With regards to "The Ugly": Yes you can filter on/off map settings through the legend window as you found out. But to the point, the map is very functional but it's not "space" or more 3d. If we were to redo it it would be seamless (zoom-in/out) from strategic to tactical.

AerionIstari wrote:
Again, overall this is a sweet little game! I'm really glad to see this game get published finally! I know it's been a labor of love for you and I hope it's a financial success for you as well!
Thank you, it's been quite a journey. 4x games are quite hard to make so we have had our ups and down, while Horizon wasn't a big hit, it's done well enough to allow us to get some valuable experience which we hope to apply for our next game.

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Horizon - Lead Designer


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 Post subject: Re: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (But With Suggestions)
PostPosted: Wed Dec 16, 2015 6:26 pm 
Citizen
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Zaimat wrote:
V In addition to the points you made if I could ask: did you like/enjoy the quest system or was that not too important for your enjoyment?



I've thus far pretty much ignored the quests preferring the more traditional 4X.


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