Thread: You are Empty
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Old 02-03-2012, 04:08 AM
Captain Xavious Captain Xavious is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Hello people, I just wanted to stop by and say I absolutely am in love with this game!

However, its not without faults. Fortunately, the game appears quite mod-able and I have fixed most of the faults I seen with it myself.

But first, the good aspects of it:

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- Beautiful and immersive atmosphere! Seriously, good job!
- Delightful homage to old school shooters (mostly, see below)
- Has a definite survival horror feel to it
- Long campaign! Takes a good amount of time to finish! Love it!
- Mod-able! Yay!
Now , unfortunately, the bad points (Please don't be discouraged by the wall of text, I only take the time to write this out and fully explain things because I love this game so much):

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- Enemy design could use work. Many enemies lack any significant differences in what they actually do. Most are simply melee enemies with very similar attack patterns and similar health, others could have been used more often (swap out some of the fire men for dogs for example) and the few ranged characters also lack a lot of variety (nail gunners and machine gunners don't fill very different roles, nor do the pistol and rifle men). Also the sections with the machine gunners generally aren't very fun to me. You face so many groups of one or two of them in a level, with rarely anything to break the monotony. A few different enemies mixed into the fights would have helped a lot.

- Actual appearance/style seems inconsistent among enemies (some are zombies, others are mutated, others are cyborg ish, while others seem completely unchanged). Some enemies seem to have different levels of detail too, the weight lifter for example seems to be of significantly lower quality than the machine gunners, and if you put them beside each other without any context they would most certainly look like they are from different games.

- There are not enough enemies! Very rarely are you really overwhelmed with the amount of enemies to fight. Not very often do you have more than 3 enemies attacking you at once. This is rather bad when the overall feel of the game is more like Doom than your generic modern shooter.

- Player speed. This has many impacts on the game. While I accept that Survival Horror style games tend to slow the player down, this game tends to place ammo and health pickups in bursts, so you could have to backtrack an awful lot to get more health that you left behind. With slow walk speed this is not fun. A slow walk speed also makes the game feel slogged down. It makes all the time between fights that much longer and you really start to feel it. Exploration also is not fun with slow walk speed, which is a shame considering how immersive the world is. Fortunately, this was easily fixed by me, but its still a problem.

- Fall damage is way too severe! This makes some of the otherwise simple jumping sections extremely unforgiving, it discourages exploration considerably, and just navigating the levels become a hazrd if you take an otherwise harmless jump instead of taking the stairs.

- Item Placement. Health kits are waaaay too abundant. I rarely feel a need to try and avoid fire from bad guys simply because I know there's a couple health bottles I left behind. Ammo placement is also very strange, with shotgun rounds always being left behind despite it being my most used weapon, while everything else stays near empty. See next point.

- Ammo system. Enemy drops are a far more common way to get ammo for most guns, and seemingly the only way for the Nail Gun. Unfortunately, the nailgun enemies more often than not are placed in areas inaccessible, making the ammo impossible to get. This makes nail gun ammo very scarce. And why would the pistol (of all weapons) have less ammo capacity than the shotgun? Each individual shell for the shotgun is far more useful than a single bullet for the pistol, logically you should be able to carry more pistol rounds than shotgun shells because of this. This alone makes the pistol very weak, particularly if it needs half a clip or more to kill an enemy (not counting head shots). In short, ammo distribution is all out of whack; there should be more ammo placed in world (and more evenly distributed), and max carry capacities should be overhauled.

- Also, how the PPSH ammo works, you will have more available than you can pick up when you do go against the machine gunners, and none given when you aren't facing them. This effectively forces you to use the machine gun almost exclusively against the machine gunners despite it not necessarily being ideal for the environment, this leads me to my next point.

- Weapon functionality. I tweaked most of them only a little bit and I feel they are much better from it. To start off with, you got the wrench. Not much to say there, its your starting melee weapon, that pretty much gets replaced by the rifle. I wouldn't have minded picking up a weapon (like that fire axe!) from a slain monster to upgrade it though.

- Then, there's the Mauser. If its fire rate wasn't so horribly slow (and the ammo issues I mentioned earlier), this is an awesome gun. In fact all I did was increase its fire rate and I find it a solid fall back weapon rather than my starter gun (i.e. crappy), giving it usefulness at range with its good accuracy and up close with a fast fire rate.

- The shotgun is acceptable, except that its range is so dang low, (not counting spread and lack of pellets!) yet it is the most common ammo in the game. I tightened the spread, and increased the number of pellets while retaining its original potential damage (actually a little less) and give it a potential range equal to most of the other guns (as in the pellets will actually travel that far, though spread makes its usefulness questionable). This gives the weapon at least the option to be usable in all situations (like taking out snipers, though using many shells to do so) so that hopefully you don't have to leave so many boxes of shells behind while the other weapons are empty. So far, I still leave boxes of shells behind and other weapons are still low on ammo, but it doesn't seem like as much as before.

- The nailgun is in a weird spot. It has good accuracy, good fire rate, high ammo capacity. Its damage is half of that as the Mauser per shot, but its much faster fire rate can make up for it. Essentially, this is filling a role the Mauser should have filled; a general purpose fallback weapon that is useful in most situations, buts its scarcity of ammo makes it a weapon you don't often use. I'd say its strictly better than the pistol if it wasn't for that though. But with only 9 weapons, you shouldn't have much overlap in weaponry. It needed a change somehow. What I personally did was make it fire 3 nails at a time (using 3 ammo per shot) with a fairly tight spread while lowering the fire speed a little bit. Admittedly this doesn't really seem right considering the nature of the weapon, but it gives it a unique role; something like a semi automatic shotgun, but different. It fills the role of a good general purpose weapon quite well without making the Mauser irrelevant; its got decent enough accuracy when aiming it (I think it could have done better with something other than aim for alt fire) and good up front damage with decent fire rate. However you have to reload it fairly often (33 round clip with each shot taking 3 rounds = 11 shots before reload), which is acceptable to me.

- The PPSH is a weapon that is mostly pointless due to the flow of the game, unfortunately. The only time I use it is when I am going against the machine gunners (its the only ammo I can get then) and against the rare mob of 4 or more enemies. I think it benefits from general improvements in damage and accuracy, as I find myself using it a bit more, but rarely am I in a situation where it feels necessary. I blame this mainly on overall flow of the game and the general lack of enemy numbers.

- Mosin Nagant is an odd one. Its got a terribly slow fire rate yet high damage. This pretty much only makes it useful when you got time to take aim at the enemies. I personally lowered the damage and increased the fire rate by 3 to give it a more believable feel (doesn't take long to re-chamber a round for a bolt action with any amount of practice), which generally gives it more usefulness outside of long range combat (which isn't often enough to have a weapon dedicated to it), but the cripplingly low ammo capacity and scarcity of ammo means its only used a tiny amount. While the bayonet does occasionally get used, I would have much rather preferred this having an aim mode instead.

- The scoped Mosin Nagant... Does not need to be in the game. The pistol, nailgun, and normal variant of the Mosin Nagant already excel in long ranged combat, which again, isn't often enough to justify a dedicated long ranged rifle. The normal rifle with a sight view for alt fire would have been just as useful without needing to add another weapon, this gun is just unnecessary.

- The electric gun... this is a gun that probably would have been awesome in a different setting. Rapid firing, lobbed explosive attacks would be great in an open environment with lots of enemies. You Are Empty seriously is lacking in those scenarios. I have killed the splash damage and increased the magazine capacity to 99 while increasing fire rate to give this a feel similar to the Plasma Gun in Doom, which seems pretty appropriate. But splash damage on an automatic weapon in an environment that is so heavily close quarters combat means you will die a lot when using this gun. Also the effects are just way too big for such a fast firing weapon. Even at half the size I have a hard time seeing what I am shooting.

- The molotov cocktail suffers the same problems as the electric gun, only a few more. First off, you can't quickly throw it outside its explosion range. If you try to aim high you will simply hit the ceiling. And ammo is so rare that I honestly never even use it. The one time I did find it useful, in a street battle against the machine gunners, all my weapons were removed, so I didn't even have a chance to use it. I'm not sure how you could even fix this. I would start with increasing the minimum distance you can throw it, but beyond that, I think you need to change how the game plays (more open environments and more mobs of enemies in open environments) in order for this to be useful to any degree.
Anyways, that's all I can think of (sorry for such a read, I don't mean to be negative, I just really love this game and want to see it to its potential, despite the unlikelihood of that, considering the team is broke up). If anyone is interested int trying out my modifications, drop me a PM, the engine is set up so you can drop a file in place and it works, and if you don't want it you just remove the file, no need to replace or overwrite things.

Also, I do have a few technical problems. The post processing (I think specifically the motion blur) causes my screen to flash a solid color, rendering me momentarily blind. I can work around this somewhat by disabling a property in the player class code, but that only stops the damage effects.

I would like to find a real fix to this though. I must contact support some time.

And secondly, I see there is a lot of great music in the game files, yet I am not hearing much music at all in the game. Every once in a while on specific levels I will hear some, but not often. Is this just me?

And does anyone know if there is a level editor out there for this game? I would like to manually add more enemies and ammo and stuff.

Last edited by Captain Xavious; 02-03-2012 at 04:51 AM.
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