Visual inconsistencies: an incentive for post-launch improvements

Obviously the game isn’t out for everyone yet, but with the first YTers showing the upcoming release version, I’m nonetheless going to leave some small initial feedback on the presentation alone.

First of all, it goes without saying that the 3D visuals are pretty damn lovely. Modelling, texturework and lighting are all great stuff (especially when you play on high settings and get to experience the game’s full colour space). I also love that the weapon designs are basically all variants of Gauss- and rail guns. There’s a strong and consistent style going on here.

Less convincing, sadly, is the GUI. The two primary typefaces do not always gel particularly well with one another, and the additional fonts used for the compass, reload prompt, binoculars, hijack/boot sequence, etc. are sticking out like a whole bunch of sore thumbs, as do other UI elements such as the dithered waypoint marker. Worse are the smudged colour gradient textures used as backgrounds in the menus (not the screens themselves, but the menu panels), which look downright amateurish in my opinion, and would be better replaced with unshaded single colour panels. Generally, the interface is a pretty incongruous mess that stands in contrast to the otherwise strong presentation.

Particle effects are another weak point; while the weapons’ tracer fire is generally fine, explosions and sparks are really not. Yes, I know that this is a Unity game made on a tight budget, but when one of your main selling points is presentation, then relying on what amounts to placeholder stock VFX really doesn’t cut the robot mustard. Many of the effects and the coloured light they cast on the environment also chafe with the game’s general pastel colour palette.

Neither of those issues are show stoppers (though the particle effects absolutely do make the combat look significantly weaker than it should, and the thankfully quite meaty sound effects are one hell of a saving grace here), but I definitely hope to see improvements done here in the future. Either way, looking forward to release in a few days, and wishing youse a successful launch and a trusty fanbase :relaxed: .

You clearly have an eye for a typeface, but I must say I didn’t notice any of that. When you’re in the game it’s not something that occurred to me at all. Perhaps it’s different when watching a stream.

The sound is amazing, and while all the guns are laser/rail by type, they really end up feeling meaty.

I probably wouldn’t be anywhere as harsh in my criticism if a distinct presentation wasn’t Tölva’s main selling point. Big Robot are priding themselves in recreating Ian McQue’s signature style, and rightfully so, but that makes it all the more important that the visuals as a whole are consistent.

I’m afraid these are the issues faced by a small studio. We simply don’t have GUI or VFX budget, so we have to make do. I wish we could do everything to a AAA standard, but we can’t.