Yes, this is a long post, but it's worth reading if you are in Development or QA (or Management) at Spiral.
This morning I bought 3 copies of ORION Dino Beatdown on Steam to play with my 9 and 10 year old sons on our home network, and I’ve run into an incredible number of problems. I know that this game was just released a couple of days ago, (and was inexpensive), but I must say that I am very disappointed in Spiral's QA staff. However, I heard online that you are asking (seriously asking, unlike most companies) for community feedback, and that you plan to fix all reported problems quickly, (or that’s how it sounded). So, I’m hoping that someone at Spiral will read the bug report below and put together an update in the very near future, (otherwise I just wasted my Sunday… and my money).
Steam Installation Notes:
• If Visual Studio is already installed on a computer, then the game installation is not as clean as it should be.
• If Visual Studio is not already installed on a computer, then the game installation is not as clean as it should be, (different behavior than if VS is already installed).
• I was able to get the game working on all 3 PCs with very little difficulty, but it wasn’t a smooth, “behind-the-scenes” process… which, for a Steam game, should be a requirement.
Find Game / Create Game Bugs/Problems:
• It is not possible to sort the server/game list by ping or any other header. Very un-cool.
• It is not possible to assign a unique identifier to a game when you create it, so friends have no way of knowing which server to join.
• Players must double-click when selecting a class. There should also be a Start/Join button that becomes "un-greyed-out" when a class is selected, (so there’s a single-click method too).
• Sometimes after you select a class on the class selection screen, a different screen is displayed for a split-second and then the class selection screen is redisplayed. There isn’t an error message, so I suspect that there is an exception that hasn’t been handled properly. When that happens you need to log all the way out of the game and then log back in to get it working again.
• Players must single-click a server and then click the Connect button to join a server. Instead, players should be able to double-click a server, or single-click a server and then single-click the Connect button.
• Sometimes when you double-click to join a server you are thrown back to the main menu, (probably another unhandled exception).
• There isn’t an intuitive way to exit a multiplayer game before finding a new one. To make the interface more clear, more options should be added to the ESC/Pause screen: “Exit to Main Menu”, “Exit to Windows” and “Exit to Server Selection Screen”.
• Players should be able to create a LAN game if they want to, (worldwide bandwidth savings, plus more flexibility for players).
• When PC1 was refreshing the multiplayer server selection screen, and PC2 (on the same LAN) started a refresh, the game crashed on PC1, (happened once… not re-tested).
Solo Play Bugs/Problems:
• The Solo Play interface should be redesigned, (simpler). It currently looks like the multiplayer interface.
• The easy difficulty setting is too difficult for my 9 and 10 year old sons, (they’re saying that they get killed after 1 hit).
Options Menu System Bugs/Problems:
o The ESC key should move the player up one menu level on all menus, (industry standard).
o None of the Reset Defaults buttons that I tested work.
o On the key bindings screen “Pick New Key” should be displayed on a darker background (with a border) so it’s easier to read.
o You might also want to change the wording to “Select New Key” or “Assign New Key”, (debatable, low-priority).
o Having 3 rows of key bindings displayed on the same screen, instead of on separate tabs, (and no scrolling), is a nice efficiency, but you might want to put them into 3 separate columns, (vertical lines between columns).
o Instead of REVERSE MOUSE, you could easily have 2 separate options: INVERT Y AXIS and INVERT X AXIS… or REVERSE UP/DOWN or REVERSE LEFT/RIGHT.
o Mouse sensitivity should not be turned all the way down by default.
Audio and Voice menu:
o No issues found, (haven’t tested voice yet though).
o Video options don’t always save correctly – haven’t tried to narrow in on the exact issue/cause.
o The game crashed more than once when I was tweaking video settings to optimize performance.
A little while ago one of my sons said that he doesn’t like the game and then switched to a different game. Then, a few minutes later, my other son logged out and started playing something else… primarily because:
1. The easy difficulty setting isn’t easy enough when playing Solo.
2. The game has crashed several times when exiting servers and entering different servers, (solo or multiplayer).
3. The 3 of us couldn’t play together on the same server cooperatively, so it didn’t meet their expectations.
If you have any questions, or if you would like for me to test something specific, please let me know. This game definitely has potential, but (in my opinion) Spiral has put it at risk by releasing the game too early in the QA process.
1x Core2Extreme X6800 @ 2.93 GHz with 4GB memory, an nVidia 295 GTX and dual 10k rpm sata drives, striped.
2x Pentium D @ 2.66 GHz with 4GB memory, an nVidia GT 520 and single 7200 rpm sata drives.
Last edited by Grapool on Sun May 06, 2012 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.