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Author Topic: Second Look at Mayhem Intergalactic  (Read 3911 times)
CautiousChaos
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« on: July 21, 2008, 01:16:49 pm »

I had taken a look at MI some time ago and though I thought it was an interesting game, I had ultimately decided against it.  Frankly, some of the reason behind it was just a fairly lackluster interface, graphics, and sound.  Recently, I noticed that there was a graphics and sound overhaul and decided to give it another go.  Here are my impressions this time through.

First off - what a big difference in atmosphere!  Good job with the music, sound, and the interface tweaks.  I especially like the sounds of the battles, which come across uniquely and echo-y, which is especially nice on a good set of speakers.  Bravo!  The music is a nice touch as well and makes the game much more interesting.

I think, though, it's the gameplay proper that still is problematic for me.  Like a previous poster mentioned there is a tipping point that once it has been reached results in a steamrolling.  I've seen it even on the highest AI settings that once I get product running, assuming that I have been left alone for a very short period, that I will prevail.  Conversely, once the AI gets that to that point, it prevails.  Out of 10 games I have played, the Blue AI has one in every instance where the AI has one. 

I like the battle system well enough, that though simplistic, it is just entertaining enough to keep going.  I don't know that making wholesale changes there would be the answer.  Perhaps more the answer is some other influences in the game that can help to counter the tipping point.  Perhaps planets with bonuses or random events that have a positive or negative effect temporarily on a player, planet, or fleet. 

Something along this lines could really add a bit more depth to the gameplay and make it much less a battle of who can get the most initial planets fastest.

I'm going to keep trying out the demo as I really do want to see if the title grows on me a bit more.

-cc
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Chris
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2008, 06:43:13 am »

Thanks for the second chance and the feedback! I really appreciate it, and I'm also glad to hear that the investment in improving the graphics and sound was worth it. I'll pass your comments on to Duncan Watt, who did the audio; I'm sure he'll be thrilled at getting such a positive response.

The next update, incidentally, will include yet another round of upgrades to the graphics. It's a slow process, and I think I'm gradually getting there!

I hear you about the "tipping point" issue. I'll keep thinking about it.

Cheers,
Chris Pelling
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CautiousChaos
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2008, 04:57:31 pm »

Chris,
Thank you for the response.  I've been playing at the Hardest level and can say that I will beat the demo every time (well, the last 6 out of 6) when I make sure that I acquire a planet on the very first turn.  If I wait even that one turn, I don't have the same luck.  It seems that sometimes even missing that one turn with the opportunity to get an extra 5-11 ships from the acquired planet can make the difference.
Dan
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Chris
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2008, 08:23:23 am »

Yes, the early game can make a huge difference. It's an admittedly unfortunate trait which is shared by many strategy games; half the key to success in many RTS games, I'm told, is getting a good initial setup created really fast. (I wouldn't know myself - I'm no good at those games!)
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CautiousChaos
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2008, 04:26:47 pm »

Makes sense.  I think the biggest issue I have now is that I can so easily win at the hardest level of AI.  I'm still in the demo, mind, so there's a limit to what I can configure, but I'm shying away from the title a bit only because I can just about bet that I will win each time.  Occasionally I lose, but for the most part I get through without too many challenges. 
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Chris
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2008, 07:55:43 am »

The AI does need improving. It's been on my to-do list for at least a year now, but keeps getting trumped by other concerns.

It really has languished for too long, so I've bumped it up the priority list for you. Don't count on seeing it in the next release (already suffering from feature creep - I replaced half the graphics again Cheesy), but perhaps I'll get it into the one after that. Watch this space, as they say.

Thanks again for the feedback!
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