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Improvements that ST should see to keep up with competition


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Yes I'm referring to SnowRunner, and before I say more, let me say what ST does better.  Controls, especially support for wheels & shifters!  Currently that's rough in SR and only partially supported.  Audio quality (regarding truck engines) is also much better in ST.  I still see ST as having a strong position in the market and providing an alternative (or addition) to SR.

Now here's what SR does well and could be implemented in ST as well or some variation thereof:

  • Graphics!  The wetness & shine of the mud adds nice realism.  So do the impact animations from rain drops.  Makes the rain feel real, even if the ground & trucks don't get wetter from it (the ground is already partly wet).
  • The variety in gameplay and economy.  The in-game money and being able to spend it on new trucks & upgrades adds more purpose to the gameplay.  Cargo other than logs adds variety.
  • Many tire types to choose from and the tires actually make a real, expected difference in traction.  As we know, this is broken in ST, where highway tires perform better than offroad tires or small tires perform better than large tires in mud.  I'd say this is the most urgent thing to address in ST.

I still play ST and see a good future for it with the right improvements.  I hope this helps provide some useful feedback.

P.S. Pavel doesn't seem to be involved with SR anymore.  In the credits he's only listed as a "creative vision holder".  He's not listed as a programmer or anything else.

Edited by Unster
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I agree with all @Unster wrote. I have the feeling this is a big opportunity for ST to grow and occupy a niche (hardcore simulation) that, for some reason, is constantly being ignored by most of the developer teams out there. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Zukakis said:

I have the feeling this is a big opportunity for ST to grow and occupy a niche (hardcore simulation) that, for some reason, is constantly being ignored by most of the developer teams out there. 

Totally agree.  That's one thing I didn't mention in this thread.  While SR does physics reasonably well, it leaves room for improvement.  For example deep mud or snow is a little on the easy side, maybe by design, and there's no hardcore mode though that's being planned for later.  ST has a chance here to cater to the hardcore crowd.  The stock mud traction in ST is also on the easy side.  To fix that I use the following settings in media.xml:

    <Mud>
        <Substance
            FullPushDepth="1.0"
            LinResistance="1.8"
            PushResistance="36.0"
            SubstanceFriction="0.3"
        />
    </Mud>

This makes deeper mud harder as it should be while making shallow mud a little easier to pass through, i.e. more variety in line with realism.  Unfortunately this does nothing to address the incorrect differences in tire types.  But it works well for the average offroad tire, like those on the C-255.

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I would also add that the seasonal variety of the regions in SR is nice.  Together they basically cover all 4 seasons.  That would be another nice addition to ST.  The existing summer assets are nice, but more variety would be even better.

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1 hour ago, Unster said:

I would also add that the seasonal variety of the regions in SR is nice.  Together they basically cover all 4 seasons.  That would be another nice addition to ST.  The existing summer assets are nice, but more variety would be even better.

Maybe dynamic seasons could also be implemented.

Another thing that no offroad sim seems to have done yet is use the real gearboxes from the trucks. Some of them may have range-splitter functions but there are plenty of keys left for that. I had this idea a while ago, and Zane was also thinking about it before me, but it seems to have been forgotten: 

 

Edited by DeltΔV
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@Unster not only different tires should have different traction. Also each type of ground, Mud, sand, dirt road, tarmac should have different traction to the wheels.

this is one of the main reasons that make SR quite realistic to drive.

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21 minutes ago, Eversman said:

@Unster not only different tires should have different traction. Also each type of ground, Mud, sand, dirt road, tarmac should have different traction to the wheels.

this is one of the main reasons that make SR quite realistic to drive.

Yes, but I assumed that was a given.  ST already has different traction for pavement & mud.  But different mud types would add to the game.  ST's mud is kind of dry & loose.  If there was also a wet, slicker type that would be great.

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54 minutes ago, DeltΔV said:

Another thing that no offroad sim seems to have done yet is use the real gearboxes from the trucks.

BeamNG has that. But it doesn't have dynamic mud.  Dry off-roading and on-roading is excellent in that game.

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1 hour ago, Unster said:

BeamNG has that. But it doesn't have dynamic mud.  Dry off-roading and on-roading is excellent in that game.

I was thinking about putting that in my reply, but then I realised pretty much everything is either a 5-6 speed manual or automatic. At least these Soviet trucks have different, interesting gearboxes.

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4 hours ago, Unster said:

To fix that I use the following settings in media.xml:


    <Mud>
        <Substance
            FullPushDepth="1.0"
            LinResistance="1.8"
            PushResistance="36.0"
            SubstanceFriction="0.3"
        />
    </Mud>

This makes deeper mud harder as it should be while making shallow mud a little easier to pass through, i.e. more variety in line with realism.  Unfortunately this does nothing to address the incorrect differences in tire types. But it works well for the average offroad tire, like those on the C-255.

I don't think you should have to change these for your own preferences. There should be different kinds of mud, with all the parameters ranging, e.g.

  • deep mud (deeper FullPushDeph)
  • watery mud (low SubstanceFriction and PushResistance (I'm not exactly sure what PushResistance does but I think it's inversely proportional to how easily the truck sinks))
  • etc.

Snowrunner seems to have done this to some extent, although I can't be sure because I haven't bought it, I can only watch videos of people playing it.

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20 hours ago, Unster said:

Yes I'm referring to SnowRunner, and before I say more, let me say what ST does better.  Controls, especially support for wheels & shifters!  Currently that's rough in SR and only partially supported.  Audio quality (regarding truck engines) is also much better in ST.  I still see ST as having a strong position in the market and providing an alternative (or addition) to SR.

Now here's what SR does well and could be implemented in ST as well or some variation thereof:

  • Graphics!  The wetness & shine of the mud adds nice realism.  So do the impact animations from rain drops.  Makes the rain feel real, even if the ground & trucks don't get wetter from it (the ground is already partly wet).
  • The variety in gameplay and economy.  The in-game money and being able to spend it on new trucks & upgrades adds more purpose to the gameplay.  Cargo other than logs adds variety.
  • Many tire types to choose from and the tires actually make a real, expected difference in traction.  As we know, this is broken in ST, where highway tires perform better than offroad tires or small tires perform better than large tires in mud.  I'd say this is the most urgent thing to address in ST.

I still play ST and see a good future for it with the right improvements.  I hope this helps provide some useful feedback.

P.S. Pavel doesn't seem to be involved with SR anymore.  In the credits he's only listed as a "creative vision holder".  He's not listed as a programmer or anything else.

I agree, that ST needs a solid boost to be able to compete. However, I think that some new solutions can't be implemented simply, like for example sandbox mode, seamless map transitions and so on. Still, I think it can go in different direction, and with nice chance of success. Here are some thoughts.

  • Graphics - I can't see total overhaul, but some consistency would be nice. Texture resolution on some models is very different. See orange cistern add-on and cab. Two different standards, that should be leveled.
  • Gameplay formula - we can't just drop in sandbox easily, I think, but I don't find it very troubling. Every map should be a solid scenario, with a sequence of objectives. Aftermath DLC as an example: Get some trailer with wood -> build a bridge -> unlock garage and new trucks -> start logging -> repair main road - > repair houses and cabins. That's just chain of events tailored around logs. Some new equipement would be nice, but there is an idea. Every map should be redone this way, but there could be variations for every single one of them - freeplay (just fill the lumbers) and objective (do stuff in some order, change the map opening new options).
  • Seasonal variations - I don't think it is easily done, but maps could have variants - muddy, rainy autumnal aura, sunny and dry summer, snowy winter. All of them would have different difficulty. Even separate variants would be great, because now we have just more of the same over and over again.
  • Multiplayer ideas - remember Enemy Territory? An old game, with dated graphics, but the formula was perfect. Different specialisations, progression, and so on tailored for team effort. Maybe something like that would be in order - like a passive bonus you choose when game starts. Scout - having greater cloaking interaction range and bigger visibitlity radius on the map, logger (+1 log or so), tanker (more fuel or something like that), mechanic (better repair ratio). You can do other stuff, but without bonus. Just an idea, but you get it.
  • Multiplayer saves - in game made around rather scenarios than sandbox - it is a must have. Period. Even now I prefer MR, because I can save the session if I have to go or connection is failing for somebody. And I prefer ST in terms of gameplay, to be honest.
  • Customisation - maybe we don't need a bunch of decals with some out-of-place stuff, but choosing one of a few colours of cab and addons wouldn't hurt.
  • Wheels - they would be great to change, to adapt to various maps, seasons and so on, if they would work.
  • Difficulty level - that's what seems to scare a lot of devs in various games, and I don't think that SR will be very difficult. Because nobody will play it. Wrong. I own DCS MiG-19 Farmer (and some other planes), and tutorials there allow me to get a firm grasp of game principles, and there is A LOT of them. Don't get me wrong, I am fan and user of flight sims for 20 years, but there is a lot of differences to overcome between, say Rise of Flight (WWI) and DCS's Cold War jets. Good tutorial solves it all. And multiple difficulty settings. ST should get proper tutorial and proper, harder, difficulty. It can be complex, that is no problem, if it is explained well. Factorio is very complex, but has great tutorial and learning curve.
  • Vehicle choice in MP - it has to go. Right now I'm setting up vehicles for all, and some of my players don't like it. Make categories (scout/light/heavy/special) and allow players to choose.
  • Economy - lumber runs could generate some income (choice between filling lumber or spending logs for currency), for example in requisition. We exchange requisition for new vehicles, addons and fuel. Thus we can let go of tons of vehicles abandoned on the maps. Well, there can be one or two.
  • Map overhaul. Zane said in one of the trads, that GPS would ruin the immersion and made game easy. But the map we have, with our position and heading actually IS GPS already. We could remove cloaking, remove map position, leave compass and instead of plotting course on the map just put some markers on charactersistic landmarks - junctions, bridges or buildings.

That's just few ideas right now, if I'll think of something more, I'll post it here. :)

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18 hours ago, DeltΔV said:

I was thinking about putting that in my reply, but then I realised pretty much everything is either a 5-6 speed manual or automatic. At least these Soviet trucks have different, interesting gearboxes.

In BeamNG the offroad vehicles, even though they may have 5-6 gears, often have a low and high range, effectively doubling the # of gears.  And the semi truck has 12 gears.  I don't know how many gears these Soviet trucks have, but I'm quite sure the gearboxes are different from what ST/MR have.

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2 minutes ago, Unster said:

In BeamNG the offroad vehicles, even though they may have 5-6 gears, often have a low and high range, effectively doubling the # of gears.  And the semi truck has 12 gears.  I don't know how many gears these Soviet trucks have, but I'm quite sure the gearboxes are different from what ST/MR have.

With our H-shifters, perhaps there could be a range-splitter function, ETS2 style.

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18 hours ago, DeltΔV said:

I don't think you should have to change these for your own preferences. There should be different kinds of mud, with all the parameters ranging, e.g.

  • deep mud (deeper FullPushDeph)
  • watery mud (low SubstanceFriction and PushResistance (I'm not exactly sure what PushResistance does but I think it's inversely proportional to how easily the truck sinks))
  • etc.

Snowrunner seems to have done this to some extent, although I can't be sure because I haven't bought it, I can only watch videos of people playing it.

I agree, I shouldn't have to change the game's parameters to get the maximum possible realism.  And a variety of mud types, that are different physically and visually would add tremendous value to the game, especially if also snow & sand were added.

FYI, higher FullPushDepth actually makes traction easier in the game as it increases the depth at which vehicle can still traverse.  SubstanceFriction is self-explanatory.  However I never quite figured out PushResistance.  It's not related to how deep vehicles sink.  It seems to be related to how hard mud pushes you side to side.  If you increase it too much, vehicles start spazzing out.

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5 minutes ago, DeltΔV said:

With our H-shifters, perhaps there could be a range-splitter function, ETS2 style.

In BeamNG there's a mod you can download that enables range-splitting.  Very handy for that semi.

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  • 2 weeks later...

After playing SR for hours and going back to ST I feel another thing that ST could use is more pronounced colors.  It's funny that about a year ago I felt ST had enough color, but now it looks washed out to me.  That can easily be fixed by adding more color saturation on your monitor and I've done that, but I was thinking ST could use a little more color by default so monitor settings can stay the same.

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26 minutes ago, Unster said:

After playing SR for hours and going back to ST I feel another thing that ST could use is more pronounced colors.  It's funny that about a year ago I felt ST had enough color, but now it looks washed out to me.  That can easily be fixed by adding more color saturation on your monitor and I've done that, but I was thinking ST could use a little more color by default so monitor settings can stay the same.

+1

I would also add more colour schemes to the trucks - nothing fancy, just few templates added both to the cab and attachements. Right now we have very small amount of colour options, and attachements are disregarding the lorry - civilian C-6520/6522 are orange, but crane or garage parts in the flatbed w/tent are olive, military style. Now that should change. Easy thing is Russian trucks back in the day were painted in small variety of schemes, but there are some we can use to achieve some more colours.

And about vehicles - quality difference between older models and the DLC new ones is speaking volumes. Ural 4320 (C4320) looks plainly dull and boring comparing to the Zil 157 (B-157). Now granted, this is not such a complicated form, the latter lorry is older and has a lot of sticking-out elements, (headlights, wing reinforcements, radiator bars etc.), that were streamlined later, both to save material, amount of time and work needed to manufacture and due to purely cosmetic trends, but still you can tell the difference in first glance. Those should be uniformed in amount of details and texture resolution.

I also mentioned in "Think Tank" section, than lighting itself could use some saturation, to be more pronounced, based on actual time of the day and weather. Also, could be linked to different season, but it is map dependable. And sky, sky would be nice.

Being around graphics, I would also change the rate of mud disappearing from the lorry bodywork and undercarriage - it could last until fording, rain or garage visit. This last one would be considered as maintenance cleaning. 

And for graphical tweaks - you all have seen the way bodywork gets wet - it takes while, when submerged in water, until it "soaks" and the effect is triggered. This should be almost instant rather than delayed effect. Delayed would be great for the rain though, as truck would get gradually wet (and clean from the majority of mud).

Speaking of rain, proper wet effect on the both vehicles and surroundings would be nice - but it was stated it is going to be implemented, so I guess we have to wait.

Last but not least thing that bogs me down since the beginning - scaling. Some buildings are oversized (lavatories for instance), while others seem to small (some cabins). Same goes of flowers, mushrooms and pumpkins (pumpkins in Siberia?). I think tweaking would be nice - said mushrooms would be very small in real scale and almost invisible, but half of actual size could be decent balance between gameplay and realism.

Well, I usually don't complain about graphics, so this is one of my first takes on this subject. I'm having fun with game as it is, those thoughts aren't criticism, rather wishful thinking. :)

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1 hour ago, Fairey Gannet said:

Ural 4320 (C4320) looks plainly dull and boring comparing to the Zil 157 (B-157).

There is a clear difference in quality between the newer creations and the older ones, though the C-4320 looks pretty good to me for an older model.  I think the A-469 is more painfully old looking (old in a bad way, like an old game) and could use a refresher, much like the B-130 did (the newer model is much nicer).  From what I remember it is a long-term goal of Zane to update the truck models one by one.

And regarding the rain, a wet effect would be really nice but it's not even necessary given that SR doesn't have it but the way they make the rain look more real is by having raindrop impact animations including on the trucks.  Of course having a wet looking mud (with more specularity), even if it never changes, helps with that effect.

As much as SR has pretty graphics and interesting maps & trucks, it's still a very buggy game, like an alpha version.  ST, while lacking some features, is comparatively a much more polished game, and with the added color saturation I still find it nice looking.

Edited by Unster
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14 hours ago, Unster said:

After playing SR for hours and going back to ST I feel another thing that ST could use is more pronounced colors.  It's funny that about a year ago I felt ST had enough color, but now it looks washed out to me.  That can easily be fixed by adding more color saturation on your monitor and I've done that, but I was thinking ST could use a little more color by default so monitor settings can stay the same.

Increasing the saturation of colors, this is one of my main wishes for improving the design of the game. When I wrote about sunny weather earlier, I had in mind an increase in saturation (it is very difficult for me to accurately state in English). Now, all the same, there was a feeling that I was looking at a normal picture through sunglasses. It would be ideal to make the saturation medium, between the legacy versions and what is now.
The second is to remove the fisheye in the menu. It would look more elegant, and would provide more opportunities to add new, more convenient functions to the menu.

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14 hours ago, Unster said:

  I think the A-469 is more painfully old looking (old in a bad way, like an old game) and could use a refresher, much like the B-130 did (the newer model is much nicer).  From what I remember it is a long-term goal of Zane to update the truck models one by one.

Zane told us in the discord that the A-469 is being worked on, and he's waiting for the artist to send him pictures.

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Version 16.01.15 was the best graphically. After this version, the game began to look worse and worse.
And it was a mistake when remaking the game in 2019 to take the version 03.03.16 as the basis.
Various game versions for comparison.

This 16.01.15:

941779169_SpinTires2020-05-1710-44-31-84.thumb.jpg.e7bd52aaa85c10fc3e9ac4609a674068.jpg

This 1.4.5:

868468980_SpinTires2020-05-1712-51-56-22.thumb.jpg.227bbc0e96fe10e62667b99dc4df6e91.jpg

This 1.4.5 with 16.01.15 textures:

1442848514_SpinTires2020-05-1711-45-14-89.thumb.jpg.99b4acacab5a0cd44b416cfeabca1d1a.jpg

And menu for comparison:

143420823_SpinTires2020-05-1710-50-29-30.thumb.jpg.f78e9693ab23250c30cc29dfa3dcff3b.jpg

839560841_SpinTires2020-05-1711-19-34-00.thumb.jpg.444a1b1b4d2cd9b35ad7ce6cca452550.jpg

 

 

 

Edited by oldman777
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15 hours ago, Unster said:

There is a clear difference in quality between the newer creations and the older ones, though the C-4320 looks pretty good to me for an older model.  I think the A-469 is more painfully old looking (old in a bad way, like an old game) and could use a refresher, much like the B-130 did (the newer model is much nicer).  From what I remember it is a long-term goal of Zane to update the truck models one by one.

And regarding the rain, a wet effect would be really nice but it's not even necessary given that SR doesn't have it but the way they make the rain look more real is by having raindrop impact animations including on the trucks.  Of course having a wet looking mud (with more specularity), even if it never changes, helps with that effect.

As much as SR has pretty graphics and interesting maps & trucks, it's still a very buggy game, like an alpha version.  ST, while lacking some features, is comparatively a much more polished game, and with the added color saturation I still find it nice looking.

Granted, C-4320 doesn't look bad per se. It can be just combination of slick form comparing to the earlier generation lorries design and lower level of fidelity that is so visible. In Chernobyl DLC map latest variations of lorries (B-130/133/Gya, B-505 and 157) look right on spot, they blend with surroundings perfectly. B-131 also fits, but some of the older models look just out of place. Correct me if I'm wrong, it's just my observation. 

 

4 hours ago, oldman777 said:

Increasing the saturation of colors, this is one of my main wishes for improving the design of the game. When I wrote about sunny weather earlier, I had in mind an increase in saturation (it is very difficult for me to accurately state in English). Now, all the same, there was a feeling that I was looking at a normal picture through sunglasses. It would be ideal to make the saturation medium, between the legacy versions and what is now.
The second is to remove the fisheye in the menu. It would look more elegant, and would provide more opportunities to add new, more convenient functions to the menu.

+ 1 on that.

I guess the idea behind it was to make game more realistic and to give it a bit grim mood. It is not a bad idea - S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series also used a lot of ambience to create the atmosphere. I keep mentioning said series, because they kinda feel similar (despite obvious Chernobyl analogy). There is in both feeling of desolation, abandonement, they both operate in former East Bloc, in so familiar landscape (well, some of us), there is old post-Soviet machinery around. Problem is in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. there is dynamic weather and when it is sunny, you can tell - shadows are more pronounced, there is more light, colours seem more radiant, there are even cloud shadows on the ground. Without that variation and proper sky, ST landed in the muddy, gray box. But I hope it will change.

Also, the rendering distance could be higher. I mean now you can forget about decent skyline even in perfect conditions. I know it is supposed to make maps feel bigger. Same solution was implemented in TES III Morrowind, but in said game you moved around slower, and it didn't hurt so much. But you also had dynamic weather and skies, so maybe there is the difference. Here I just wish that I could actually see far and wide. But now I just can't feel the open space around, even if I know it is there.

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12 hours ago, oldman777 said:

It would be ideal to make the saturation medium, between the legacy versions and what is now.

+1.  I also think that would be a happy medium.

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8 hours ago, Fairey Gannet said:

Also, the rendering distance could be higher.

Another +1 (if the game engine can handle that).  That would allow the implementation of the occasional clear weather.  Even now with the persistent fog you can see popping of objects at times.  It's kind of an eye sore in 2020.

Edited by Unster
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