Reply To: First impressions


The project manager, with the underlings doing the actual work 🙂

I knew roughly what this game was going to be like because I’d played Heroes of Might and Magic 3 many years ago, from a CD borrowed from someone. My overall impression was that I hated it – my primary memory is of fumbling around, entering combat, the computer declaring I had no morale and skipping all my turns, and then having its units slaughter me instantly!

So I started HOMAM1 up this evening and to be frank my first impression was “Oh my god what on earth is going on”. The art style is very, very busy, with a veritable avalanche of things going on on-screen even when you start a scenario (the grainy look of the terrain contributes to that, along with the bold lines of the sprites) – the view and lack of labelling on the buttons contribute to make something that looks incomprehensible.

Fortunately the manual is generous enough to provide a tutorial, although it cuts off just when you’re about to find your feet – . With its help, I was able to just about understand what I was meant to be doing – there definitely seems to be a lot to discover, and even the combat doesn’t seem as insurmountable as it once was. I think that one of the major things that it explained was to get into the habit of holding down the right mouse button on things to get more information – in a modern UI, this would just be done by hovering, and that action hadn’t occurred to me.

I definitely agree with a few comments above – the combat grid is very vague and it’s unclear where units are standing, partly due to their different sizes… on that subject, the unit graphics are just all over the place and look like they’ve been drawn by at least two separate artists without fully agreeing on a style. That, along with the odd collection of sound effects, reminds me of early independent games which just used whatever sprites and WAV files they found lying around 🙂

I think tonight I’ll do something very nostalgic, and read the manual in bed – I used to do that with all my DOS games in the early 90s, because reading them was so vital to discovering things that weren’t made obvious by the game itself!