Forums / Games / Halo: Spartan Assault

What this game lacks

OP GinningSquid712

What this game lacks to be great or simply better? Fill the list with what you wish was implemented, with what was particularly mistaken in the current release or with what was done just the way it should have been.

Points I would like to make:

= Serious place in the Halo franchise, making people probably argue whether it was such a good choice to dress the title in a topdown/isometric shooter formula, but without doubt making them state the title does bring proper Halo contents and lore, next to proper Halo gameplay feeling. For the current release, it is very clever to have made it all confined within TacSim, a mixed reality type of trick, albeit I am afraid many gamers miss it out and take these little spoilers they encounter throughout the game - reminding them it is all just a simulation - as interruptions to immersion, so there is a cognitive error, influencing players to rate the release doubtfully in the final evaluation.

= Soundscape. The game is mostly quite silent or with mild music. It is allright, as the repetitively played tracks - even if good - wear down anyway. Situationally applied music is a good choice, underlining important moments. But the bits must be saturated, properly emphasized, catchy. Apart from that, important is the soundscape. Make the environmental elements recognizable not only by their visuals, but also by the sound they make - at least the chosen ones - minding distance the protagonist is positioned against these elements, to avoid cacophony. What I think is a good example of a game mostly silent but rich in soundscape nonetheless, is Doom3 [hey, I made a mod for Doom3 improving the general experience of gameplay without too much twist, message me if you want to know what is in it and maybe check it out; works only with standard edition, not the BFG edition]. The highly futuristic and industrial environments in Doom3 live their own life, at times acting like spiritually possessed, enchanting the encompassing sceneries with cold radiant magic and light they evaporate, communicating their presence through monotype, hypnotizing, rhytmic sounds of industrial labour.

= Sense of making damage impact. The game lacks the punch, albeit at times there is a screenshake on particularly expansive explosions occasion. Too much screenshake definitely is annoying, nonetheless you know your dev ways to influence the player with an impression of the power the protagonist wields and delivers. Soundscape is important in that measure. Guns have to sound right. Opponents have to sound right. Explosions have to sound right. Sound is important.

= Target primarily the PC/XBOX audience, but make it a mobile-compatible game. There is a little deception here. Make the game compatible with standard level modern PC, initially releasing the title only for XBOX and the PC. Then, after a little time - say, half a year - you may create some noise about releasing the game on mobile devices big time. The point is, the game had already been prepared to run on mobile devices but only those powerful ones, which could have cost you some negative comments in the early days after release - which is to be avoided - as to how systemheavy the game stands. Cutting off the risky audience at the beginning saves you the negative PR at grave point and when opinions settle down a bit, you re-boom the novelty, opening the channel of income from mobile device users. In the end, the game at development time should be suited for XBOX and PC mostly, hoping that the average tech level of mobile devices would in the meantime increase, granting that at least couple of popular hardware pieces available on the market could run the title efficiently. If you do it wrong, you will get bashed by PC/XBOX players for having released a mobile level game, while mobile device users will bash you for having released an inadequate mammoth.

= Length and challenge. Currently the game appears simply short and sweet for any mobile user, estimated to be played in a relaxed manner from three to five hours alltogether on a smartphone touchscreen, without regards whether it would be completed by most of the buyers. Just a cheap get go waiting in a que to the doctor or something. Give it length, give it challenge but not cheap challenge. Make it a game worth playing longer, worth replaying, worth digging but not overdo it above what it can sustain with the material you have. Try to make some puzzles with the equipment you provide ingame, scenarios where improvisation and creative thinking are expected. Experiment around a bit.

= Local seat multiplayer, especially the CO-OP, important especially to the XBOX audience, even more important than online gameplay. Check out the shared screen post. Possibly an indirectly competetive multiplayer could be implemented, where players compete with how much score can they get - perhaps already given in some version of the game, for sure not the PC one. Direct versus mode should be carefully considered, bringing all the balance and function issues, creating possibly some field for complaints but also stimulating the ambitious, if the gameplay mechanics make good terms for protagonists mutual combat. If microtransations for ingame currency are going in, keep it apart from competetiveness as entirely optional. I would actually leave the direct versus multiplayer mode to be considered last and whether to be necessary at all.

= Unity, in particular the unity of contents. All players must get the same version of the game, offering the same gameplay features and qualities. It greatly spoils the community if the basic experience of gameplay differs on the level of hard contents. If you are going to make online multiplayer, be sure to build it cross-platform, enmassing joiners from all around to enable them playing together. If you make online multiplayer, build ways to populate it as much as possible, without artificial divisions. Otherwise, skip it entirely as waste of effort, give only the local seat mode.

= Customizability and flexibility of character traits. Ingame currency could play the role here but if so, do not overemphasize it, there must be some good equipment pieces available for free. Economics and wallet management are fine. Make it a thing to properly configure a soldier but do not spam players with a rush of possibilities. If you are going to make the thing more tricky, remember to introduce elements in a gradual manner, properly tutoring the player, but I do believe the game should maintain fair simplicity to just remain fun and not be overdeveloped to appearing complicated.

= Reasonable price tag. It is expected the day of release price may be a little inflated, nonetheless the target honest value amount that I suggest is about 12€. Keep in mind the price paid for the game, even the original asking price despite any occasional discount purchases, does affect reception and evaluation of the title on part of the customer. Customers want to be treated fair, which is understood. Adjust the price adequately, balancing between the tolerance of the PC/XBOX and mobile device audience, remaining true to estimated value of what is being offered as far as possible.

What I think the game has done right is that it is clear in contents and function, technically well executed, with very good visuals and level design, next to having properly interpreted Halo gameplay elements put in the right order.
I would forget, the controls. It has been a controversy regarding the "Spartan Bundle" whether the controls did the justice, especially when it comes to vehicle maneuvers, both in the Assault, as well as the Strike, which the latter one further divided between the hovercrafts and the wheeled/threaded vessels. In general a PC game should have perfectly swift controls, which I believe is hard to achieve with topdown shooter formula, minding a keyboard plus mouse [K+M] set. In the end, four basic directions plus diagonal movement achieved with the use of four main keyboard control keys seems unavoidable, mouse used for combat function controls. It seems a standard solution employed all throughout the genre. The controller is another option, introducing perhaps some fluency to the way the protagonist is controlled but having own drawbacks as well. Where the thing becomes questionable are the touchscreen controls that I would develop as the last ones. Precise and fluent controls are an important factor and you want to avoid getting bashed by the PC/XBOX community, that is the first wave audience. Touchsreen is going to be anyway compromised compared to both the K+M, as well as the controller, so you just think of something reasonably sensible for the touchscreen but it must be certain that if one wants to efficiently play the game, more traditional devices need to be used.

Another thing, we did not get to see UNSC tech versus UNSC tech or even Marines versus Marines, Spartans versus Marines or maybe Spartans versus Spartans. Idea for the story thread?
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