Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » v1.13 General Development Talk » Feedback you should care about (Something 99 out of 100 users won't bother to inform you about)
Feedback you should care about[message #358772] Sat, 11 January 2020 19:17 Go to next message
miracle.flame
Messages:3
Registered:January 2020
I've registered just to leave this feedback.

Just to clear things out I am somewhat tech savvy person with decades of experience with applying game mods or modifying game mods to subjective taste. This applies to games ranging from 1997 till today. The various modding communities and their forums can be rated on some scale of accessibility and user-friendliness while yours can be easily rated as one of the worst out there. These boards remind me of 1999 when modding was something underground and it was absolutely normal to require and expect from newcomers to invest hours in research consisting of reading half the threads (80% obsolete and outdated junk) of the whole forum before getting grasp of what are all these obscure thread titles all about.

Just to let you know it is 2020 now and the standard nowadays (which is around for quite a few years though) even for games as old as System Shock 2 (check their boards to see how it is done properly) around modding communities is to make the boards as clear and accessible for newcomers as possible. The standard can be called "How to get the core mod with core features up and running in 10 minutes without using search feature once!" "PS: Thank you for being yet another of thousands of satisfied visitors 10% of which instead of giving up like the rest 90% did not bother to spam our boards with questions on how to make the friggin' game run in non-640x480 non-flickering non-stretched absolutely normal for 2020 standards and enjoyable stable state."

Yeah, just the sheer state of these boards made me give up in frustration (feel the level of frustration in this post?) after considerable amount of invested time searching and reading and trying to grasp the whole concept while aiming for trivial goal. I believe vast majority of interested visitors gave up way earlier while not even thinking about saying hi, this here sucks a lot, I don't have time for this, I came here to play JA2 for the very first time with some decent output for the start and we'll see then, not to stumble upon hours of study of shattered archeology of JA development.
Re: Feedback you should care about[message #358782 is a reply to message #358772] Sun, 12 January 2020 01:16 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The_Bob

 
Messages:413
Registered:May 2009
Location: Behind you.
Yeah, this place could use big download links for the latest single-click installer (a self extracting exe we use to distribute the 1.13 mod) and post-install instructions.
Currently the files are to be found in the "Depri's v1.13 Builds and Packages" section while the instructions on what to do with them... I thought there was a pinned thread here somewhere, but looks like there's no such thing. There are some pinned threads in the "v1.13 General Gameplay Talk" section, but it doesn't look like they'd be much help either.
There's usually a bunch of helpful people on Discord, but the link to BP Discord isn't terribly visible on the main page, also I realize online chat might not be everyone's thing.

Re: Feedback you should care about[message #358787 is a reply to message #358772] Sun, 12 January 2020 12:06 Go to previous messageGo to next message
miracle.flame
Messages:3
Registered:January 2020
I slept well and I appreciate the response level so I'll expand on this in hope JA2 deserves yet another chance. While being aware there's probably noone terribly eager to manage and tidy these boards now that it "was okay" the way it was for a decade and there is nothing indicating blowing future for JA still I'd point this out...

It doesn't really take that much to write down a single introduction post visible from the main board for every newcomer to see exactly what 95% of them come here for. First off an explanation of various matters like what is what and what is not. What the hell is this this cryptic "1.13" everyone praises into heavens and is seen just about everywhere *EVERYWHERE* (it's even the most shiny part of the boards logo) and anytime around like it's some kind of stigma that occurred in ancient times (since 1999) and will linger on with the same ancient name forever and ever and ever. I guess these boards suffer mostly of the lack of introduction and explanation like everybody should already know their way around without need to provide overview of anything.

So again, 95% of new visitors come here seeking for something like "Unofficial patch" or anything with a name indicating this is for mending what obviously needs to be mended. They have no idea who Depri is and believe it or not they could not care less before experiencing anything. They are not looking for builds and packages, they are looking for a "patch" a "resolution mod" a "basic fix", the clearly latest up to date stable version of vanilla experience adjusted for current popular display and OS setup.

Since GOG thwarted from quality to quantity any average user should automatically settle with 640x480 stretched flickering screen believing this is how it looked way back. It is even more puzzling when their release is marked v1.13 and everywhere around the whispers say it's the magical 1.13 that's supposed to elevate the experience far and beyond. Well guess what, it's far from being entirely true.

As unbelievable as it may sound I've always loved JA1 and never played JA2 which should have changed these days. Knowing that this can't be true I've searched and got lost on these boards. As unbelievable as it may sound I've managed to live without the need of a Microsoft account but eventually figured there's no other way around downloading this without yet another pointless registration and creation of an account - from my experiences Onedrive is not really popular for public hosting of popular files and one should *never* need to register anywhere to download public files. And guess what after applying the latest version of "version 1.13" (doesn't this sound awkward to anyone at all? Is this what all settle with forever?) the game all of a sudden felt like complete overhaul and nowhere near to v1.13 that GOG offers. I mean, the game mechanics are heavily altered starting from different A.I.M. rosters through different AP counts and whatnot. This is not what I was after and I believe most newbie users aim for vanilla experience on modern systems.

I was simply hoping such cult game Jagged Alliance 2 is would be easily enjoyable and accessible even for average majority and not only for those willing to invest a heap of time and focus just to learn about things they have no reason to be terribly interested in before actually falling in love in the first place. Makes sense? Yeah, the skills I learned and mods I've made were driven by love for the respective games in the first place. But the frustration here is leading me the exact opposite way.
Re: Feedback you should care about[message #358789 is a reply to message #358787] Sun, 12 January 2020 17:24 Go to previous messageGo to next message
The_Bob

 
Messages:413
Registered:May 2009
Location: Behind you.
I didn't know GOG branded their version as 1.13 as well... Historically the "1.13 mod" is called that because the last official version was 1.12, and AFAIK initially the mod was mainly about fixing bugs and small QoL improvements, not a total overhaul on all levels. I guess the old AP system was dropped a while ago, IIRC the old inventory system was removed as well, you'd need an older mod release to play something closer to the original. I'm not sure how far back you'd have to go for the game to work properly with these old systems, AFAIK they weren't supported by anyone of years before the decision to remove them entirely.

If you're looking for something that feels more like a community patch than 1.13 mod, then look up "JA2 Stracciatella", it's a separate project. AFAIK at this point it's mostly about cleaning up the code and fixing bugs, no significant gameplay changes. Also makes old JA2 playable on modern systems, Linux included. Not sure about high-res support, but I'd be surprised if they didn't figure something out by now.

The mess on these boards (and no clear instructions on how to get the 1.13 mod) is largely due to the history of this place, this used to be a hub for all JA1/UB/JA2 modding and gameplay discussion. I mean, it still is, just that there's much less activity now. Also, like you noticed, 1.13 mod isn't for everyone, so shoving it in everyone's face might not be a great idea either. AFAIK there's no project that could be called a JA2 community patch, just more or less invasive mods that take the game in a different direction, and Stracciatella which fits the bill from the gameplay standpoint, but technically is... different.

Re: Feedback you should care about[message #358791 is a reply to message #358789] Sun, 12 January 2020 19:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sevenfm

 
Messages:2053
Registered:December 2012
Location: Russian Federation
First link when you google "how to install jagged alliance 2 1.13" is http://ja2v113.pbworks.com/w/page/4218345/Installation which hasn't updated since 2014.
If wanne is still active on this forum, he could probably help with updating it, or give someone access to do it.

As for this forum, I agree that first thing a new player should see when he opens this site, should be a big red flashing sticky thread "Click me and you'll know how to install this mod".

Also, I think my unofficial 1.13 unstable modpack can be used as a base for a quick installer as it's basically an actual 1.13 SCI + all mods that work with unstable.
All it needs is a good installer to configure features in a convenient way, check target folder, optionally patch registry/copy dlls if win8-win10 is detected etc.
I will probably try to do something like that when I have time, but I cannot put the link to pbworks or forum main page.



7609+AI (r1436) | Unofficial modpack | Win8+ fix | Experimental project | Youtube | Trunk (r8740)

"It's already "dog-eat-dog", friend. Not sure what worse a bunch of zombies could do."


Re: Feedback you should care about[message #358792 is a reply to message #358791] Mon, 13 January 2020 04:51 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Buggler

 
Messages:208
Registered:November 2009
Quote:
If you're looking for something that feels more like a community patch than 1.13 mod, then look up "JA2 Stracciatella", it's a separate project. AFAIK at this point it's mostly about cleaning up the code and fixing bugs, no significant gameplay changes. Also makes old JA2 playable on modern systems, Linux included. Not sure about high-res support, but I'd be surprised if they didn't figure something out by now.
To add on, Stracciatella 'high-res' feature is for tactical screen viewport only, everything else (like strategic screen & GUI elements) remains at 640x480. Download the 'Nightlies' version for the latest bugfixes.
Highly recommended to use Stracciatella for 1st-timers/replaying at vanilla settings.


Also, as more people upgrade to 4K/higher DPI monitors on Windows OS, recommend to use IntegerScaler with '-clipcursor' option to play in 'Windowed Mode' for both Stracciatella (Win7 & above to take screenshots) and 1.13 (Win8 & above at native monitor resolution for non-blurry text).

Below is Stracciatella running at 800x600 internal resolution, 2x integer-scaled to 1600x1200:
https://i.imgur.com/7ShR6TI.png

Edit: Added Stracciatella links

[Updated on: Tue, 14 January 2020 02:24]




No savegame (just before e bug occurs), no cure.

'Not everything that counts can b counted, n not everything that can b counted counts' - Albert Einstein
I may answer/reply in my old public posts & prefer PM over e former [FUDforum's PM suxx]
Re: Feedback you should care about[message #358806 is a reply to message #358792] Thu, 16 January 2020 14:12 Go to previous message
miracle.flame
Messages:3
Registered:January 2020
Oh wow! Thank you all for your valuable inputs, I appreciate how my expectations were surpassed.

@Buggler you just convinced me to give it an actual try one more time, putting aside Blade Runner game which I switched to. Maybe I'll handle both along.
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