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Depth of Field (Blur) seems off

Discussion in 'Release 31 Feedback Forum' started by Wintermute of CoF, Jun 30, 2016.

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  1. Bluefire

    Bluefire Avatar

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    The blur is a good start, but really this effect should be caused by the humidity and smoke in the air. It is just too stark right now.
     
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  2. Bluefire

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    I'm gonna guess those "few bugs" are the bug known as Unity.
     
  3. StrangerDiamond

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    If I was the COO of Unity, I'd fire all my team.

    Then... oh I didn't think about then...

    [​IMG]

    oh wait... I also say that of about every corporation I sit down to think about...

    I'd fire everybody and then... profit.
     
  4. randomonium

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    Exactly. I don't give a giant rat's ass if it's "fixed" or not. I just want an option to turn it off (much like the stupid mouse focus). This game is *literally* unplayable right now due to the bug stack.
    As in, I have died 15 times just trying to walk because it either throws me into the sky (wth), drowns me (Again, wth), or tosses me somewhere on the map that requires me to use /stuck.

    Sorry to be annoyed about it, but this has gone from my favorite game to a pile of rubble - *fixing* isn't what this game needs. It needs *unfixing*.

    [​IMG]

    Not even kidding. That was me, attempting to walk a straight freaking line and ending up atop a mountain - a different mountain each time I moved anywhere.
     
  5. Wintermute of CoF

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    Yep, I feel the same way. Veering off topic here, but I've also given up playing it in R31. Steam tells me I'm up over 600 hours of playtime now so I guess I've got my money's worth even if I never play it again. But we know how far down the list of priorities Linux is when they change things so that we can't even start the game without triggering the death crash we've all know about for two releases.
     
  6. randomonium

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    I blame Unity for a lot of it - I code in Unity a bit (mostly for android), and it's really been an unstable platform the last few releases. I can't even imagine how much worse Unity is for Linux right now.

    I'm very grateful that Shroud is still focusing on Linux (it's 99.5% of why I ponied up, even to Knight level). Several Kickstarters that promised Linux eventually abandoned it. I assumed that Portaltarium would be more honest - and they have been. So I'm not all /ragequit or anything. I'm just highly annoyed that as we approach the "big milestone" they are doing much more than bugfixing.

    But, it is pre-alpha - I too have gotten a lot of hours of fun out of it, more than I expected at this super-early stage.

    My largest irritation is with the devs not simply replying "Yeah, an off button for a buggy/broken feature - we can rig that up fairly quick and roll that out so these folks will shut up".
     
  7. RobotBeginner

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    I stopped playing R31, too. It is because the graphics make me very uncomfortable. We need an option to switch on/off the blur problem or a slide bar to control the graphics rendering distance from the avatar.
     
  8. Gix

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    Unity has nothing to do with the fact that the devs added a blur component and didn't calibrate it accordingly.

    Geez, people will blame Unity for everything these days...

    Odd, because I've been working in Unity (OSX) on a daily basis for the past 3 years and I'm not experiencing any issues. So I'm quicker to blame the developer instead of the engine. I guess there's something to be said about using 3rd-party assets from some random person, eh?

    (another example) 3D Studio Max is one of the most unstable 3D app there is and that's because it's been assembled from hundreds of plug-ins that are incorporated into the software throughout the years.

    As for SotA, I'm experiencing crashes in R31... last time I had a crash was in R17.

    You want to avoid problems? Build your own stuff. Stop blaming the engine for other people's crap software.
     
  9. randomonium

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    Thanks, excuse me while I collect 90 million dollars to build a persistent MMO on a from-scratch engine. How much can I put you down for?

    I think we've wandered far off field here - all *I* want is an off-button for the blur.
     
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  10. Gix

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    If you don't have the budget and/or team to work on a project of that scale, maybe you should re-evaluate the project you want to work on... or at least not be surprised that a mash-up of various assets don't perfectly align.

    Which is fine. For the sake of having options, I'd like one too. Just don't blame the engine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2016
  11. Berek

    Berek Portalarian Emeritus Dev Emeritus

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    Let's keep this on topic please. The blur issue is our own. While Unity has caused some issues we're still trying to deal with, this isn't one of them, so let's remove that discussion from this thread please.
     
  12. Fionwyn Wyldemane

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    ***Disclaimer - The following expresses my opinions. I am in no way a professional game developer and so I see things from the perspective of a player. Not looking for anyone to agree with me, but I have a few things to say...so I'm gonna ;)***

    Agile Development. I've learned a lot about it over the last 15 months; learned some things about myself too. But I have to wonder what the Devs have learned?

    I'm not talking about code, world building, content or fixing bugs. I'm talking about dealing with players. What have the Devs learned about dealing with their playerbase (who also happen to be their backers)?

    I bring this up now because of the change to the visuals.

    From a certain perspective one can take the view that SoTA has been in development three years and the visuals are part of the foundation of the game. Now, after three years, the visuals *still* aren't solid? After three years and vast improvements with how the game looks, there is a step back with visual blurring? At a time when content has to be added, Single Player needs work, PvP needs work, Combat/Crafting needs work, scenes need to be polished and persistent bugs need to be fixed, not to mention all the problems with Unity, NOW is a good time to eff with the visuals? (Which likely introduced more bugs that have to be fixed.) Really?

    It occurs to me that perhaps the Devs haven't learned that this kind of development is akin to shooting oneself in the foot. (IMO.) If you flub it right out of the gate, it fosters aggravation and it damages trust within the playerbase. Perhaps it hasn't provoked as vocal a response as the other other change to a core system, ie, *Reticlegate*, but it's just a bad, just as perplexing. And it has the potential to give some players more things to dislike and more reasons to say *Adios*.

    Now I'm not saying all players find Reticlegate and blurred visuals something to wail about. And I certainly can't speak for others who don't like these changes. But for myself - ranged combat is no longer fun, it's a chore. The look of the game is no longer beautiful, it's annoying. Do these things make me look forward to logging into SoTA? No.

    When you, *the Devs*, push these changes out to live, I think you need to do a better job of hitting the nail on the head (if at all humanly possible...yes I know you guys/gals are human). If you're going to make drastic changes to core systems after three years in development, doesn't it make sense that, at the very least, you include some options for players to toggle?

    Since this thread is about blurred visuals, why wasn't the choice to turn off the blurring included when this was pushed out the door? If the idea is to help with LOD problems or FPS problems on lower end machines/video cards, what about those of use who have the hardware and systems that are capable of handling the visuals, no blurring needed? Where is the option to turn it off? Seriously, this is a no-brainer. And yet, here we are having to ask for this kind of option.

    Anyway, if we go back to my original question, "What have the Devs learned about agile development and the needs of the players?" I'm sure they've learned a lot. It's more of a rhetorical question. And in all fairness to them, I have seen them make changes based on player feedback many times. I'm just finding this sudden change with the visuals completely disconcerting, especially that it was released without the ability to turn it off, ie, leave it as it was up to R30.

    30 releases...and now we have visual blur. I can't reconcile it :-(
     
  13. Gix

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    Video game development is an iterative process. Despite what people think how software development should work, it pretty much has always worked this way.

    You make something, try it, force it, and then redo it. Repeat.

    When do you believe artists are supposed to work on a given project, exactly? When programmers and the TD are working on systems, artists have to quickly provide placeholder art. Characters, items/props, UI, HUD, environments, etc. They do this knowing that they have to go back and rework a lot of their assets because the TD and the TA have to troubleshoot everything before the final pass.

    The Avatar model, for example. I guess THAT change got praised because it was something the crowd asked for when it was most likely going to change regardless of what people thought of the original models. Add a filter? "Oh no! That's just unacceptable!"

    Setting up and calibrating visual filters like blur is pretty much the TA's job and he/she'll do that typically when a lot of the level art is established and ready for launch. There's no point playing around with filters when your environments & lights aren't setup or when LODs aren't ready, etc. You don't work on LODs until most of your assets are set and your team is working on optimization.

    So, yes, NOW is a good time to mess around with the visuals. They could've easily have spared themselves from the community uproar by doing these changes on a alternate build but that's a pain to keep organized; especially when you save backups.

    As an artist with video game dev background, I find that comment of yours particularly frustrating.

    Same thing goes for the targeting system: they put something bare-bones to build the game on, then they go back and make changes. How is this so damn difficult to understand?

    The only difference(s) Portalarium is doing from what the industry have been doing for over 20 years now is that they're crowdfunded and they're being ballsy by showcasing a rudimentary W.I.P. game to the public.
     
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  14. agra

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    Sure, if you're working on a solo project with an audience of one. Team project with audience of thousands? Nope.
    Not without a toggle on/off, no, it's not. There are dozens of performance crushing video/rendering features in this game without toggles that are in every other modern game, with toggles. They can do it. They choose not to. It's illogical.
    Nope, that's what a/the dev/test environment is for. Not production/live. In any project I've ever seen or worked on, when the end user(s)/paying customer(s) sees a crash bug on live, people starting getting disciplined and/or fired.
     
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  15. Gix

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    Video game dev doesn't exactly work the same way as software development and that kind of thing is certainly not influenced by the scale of the project or audience. So... You're wrong here.

    So they didn't add one yet. One guy put the thing without having the UI guy make proper adjustments, what a scandal!

    The fact that you believe it's illogical just shows how much you understand the procress. What's the point of making adjustments to the UI to toggle "performance crushing video/rendering features" when hardly any of the optimization has been done yet? Where's the logic in THAT?

    Or are you suggesting that, when some guy in the team adds something like that to the game (like the new water shaders), that it has to go through the UI guys every single time? Get real! What do you do if you're working on a game for a new console generation? What kind of insane overhead would that create when you're working on a project and you don't even know what the hardware is going to look like?

    What you're seeing is a product that shouldn't even be seen by customers yet... and because of that they'd be stupid to not make the changes to get mass feedback.

    You're trying to correct me but you obviously don't work in that kind of environment. Not that it matters because you'll still believe that you're right.
     
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  16. Fionwyn Wyldemane

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    Well @Gix you done told me. Here's the thing - I already stated that I was giving a player perspective. So lecture away about the ins and outs of game development, I'll yield to your superior knowledge in that regard.

    What I won't do is keep silent when I have what I believe are valid concerns regarding certain choices the Devs are making after three years of development. Blurring the visuals is a concern of mine. I tried hard to explain why *and* be fair to the Devs. I'll stand by my comments.
     
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  17. Time Lord

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    :oops: ~I Totally Agree Duchess~ :confused:
    [​IMG]
    I don't want technolians taking us away from our dreams... :(
    ~Time Lord~o_O
     
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  18. Wintermute of CoF

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    Well there isn't going to be a production/live environment until later this year when the game launches, what we're all playing at the moment is a test environment. There are sometimes frustrations because of this, especially for those of us on Linux, but that's the situation.

    However I agree with @Duchess Fionwyn that from a tester perspective (because currently we are all effectively testers) they do some stuff that's very frustrating, mostly in the form of barriers to us getting at stuff that I would have assumed they would have wanted us to be testing (e.g. making it a $5 charge to test the 'New You' functionality on avatars that are going to get wiped within a month anyway). I think this comes down to communication as much as anything else - we need clear (and mostly non-technical) explanations of why we're having to suffer through some of these things. These explanations need to be easy to find, not buried as two minutes of chat in some hangout.
     
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  19. Selene

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    The point to making an adjustment is that Port has lots of players who are testing the game for them and providing them with feedback and bugs. Port doesn't have a HUGE QA department to test each and every little thing. They rely on our feedback to find a lot of the problems. If one is going to add an incomplete system into the game for us to test that effects the visual quality and playability. You're damned right, I expect them to implement a way to toggle it off. The new blur gives me eyestrain if I play for any length of time in open scenes. Probably in its final form it won't.. and a toggle might or might not be necessary.

    The end result to putting this in NOW when it is broken without a way to turn it off? I am NOT playing very much and NOT reporting bugs that I would usually be finding.

    The end result of having it still broken without a toggle next release? The influx of returning players and new players checking out the game will just think it looks like crap (without knowing it didn't look this bad just two releases ago) and may or may not continue to play based on that alone.
     
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  20. Time Lord

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    Making excuses for our game is very needed for it's flaws, yet I don't want our game's advertisements to become a history of apologizing. Sadly such apologies of understanding are needed, we can even apologize for needing the apology and make it into a gif loop... o_O When the under construction signs come down, I certainly do hope we've got this all sorted out :confused: but I'd like to see this horizon issue taken care of quite quickly :)
    There's the rub... We still need 40,000 new backers to bring us up to 100,000, which that number has been mentioned for a financially sustainable game.

    [​IMG]

    With every new player coming, our game will become more "YouTube Reviewed", and the problem with YouTube, is that it has a very long memory. So with every one of our YouTube Vids until this is fixed, "that horrible horizon" will be there.

    One of the other things, is that our beautifully detailed planets in the sky, will not contrast with the blur on the screen, and if it did, "then it wouldn't look as normal or real as they do".

    The last issue I have with this is, "who are the players that actually want this?" o_Ohu?'
    If it's something that everyone doesn't want and wants a way to option out of, then why is it being an issue instead of an answer, a product that is an obstacle instead of an enhancement? :confused:

    I do have an idea that can fix this though. "Stop working on it, scrap it and put that employee over to help the one that's working on our fishing" :)!'
    It's just a passing thought I had...
    ~Time Lord~:(
     
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