Feedback Unity Open Beta Feedback/Discussion thread

Discussion in 'Player Feedback' started by shooger.sweet, Sep 28, 2020.

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  1. zerodegrees

    zerodegrees Forum Veteran

    Ok, let's say you're right. What would regular updates from the game team look like?

    Here's a random comment from a random game dev about how they optimized their Unity game for WebGL:
    • Set all Mesh Compression to High in Import Settings
    • Setup Static Batching + Occlusion Culling + Layer Frustum Culling to reduce draw calls, vertex count, and increase frame-rate.
      • Note: Previously used Mesh Baking but discovered when combined with Occlusion Culling, culling was ineffective due to (hidden) meshes rendering at a distance at times if part of a combined mesh becomes visible. Hidden parts of combined meshes will render in this case, thus totally ignoring Occlusion Culling. Also we found that Mesh Baking increased Mesh data and Texture size, producing larger Builds.
    • Set Terrain Pixel Error to High Value + Low Detail Distance (rendering trees and grass details at a fairly short distance)
    • Set Camera Near Plane Clipping to 0.3, and Far Plane Clipping to 100
    • Use 1 Real-time Directional Light with Shadows Disabled + Auto Render Mode
    • Use Mobile/Diffuse Shader for all Materials with exception of few Materials that required Legacy Transparent Shaders.
    • Use Crunch Texture Compression (set all textures to 80% compression + 512 pixel resolution)
    • Utilize Unity Profiler, and review Scripts for Script Performance Issues
    • WebGL Player Settings: Enable Static + Dynamic Batching, Enable Prebake Collision Meshes, Preload Shaders, Stripping Level, Optimize Mesh Data, and Enable Exceptions set to Explicitly Thrown Exceptions.

    How much of that did you understand? Would an explanation like that from the game team really help players be more patient while waiting for the reported issues to be resolved? Seems like a waste of time and energy to me as most of it would probably go over our heads...

    Same here! :D I'm using an ancient desktop PC but I logged in this morning via Firefox and harvesting by hand was virtually painless - almost as smooth and fast as Flash. :inlove:
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  2. Aluntino

    Aluntino Board Analyst

    I've worked in the IT IT industry for 25 years having to deal with many SW development projects along that time from a position of a non-expert SW developer (generally, a managing position, dealing directly with customers) and certainly that's not what I meant and it surprises me that you choose to answer to what I said that way.

    Software is developed for users. Particularly in a migration, users expect same functionality. One of the key duties of people managing that development is to provide time-lines for the provision of that same functionality (or part of it) if not provided in the first released version. Paying customers do demand this for a simple reason: they pay and their patience withers when expectations are not met within a reasonable time. And in this game, all of us pay one way or the other: the game has no life if players get tired and quit because they pay with their time, plus the advertisements they are compelled to see, plus those of us who pay for specific things (BBs, machinery, etc.) with real life money. Then, I'm sorry, but the least we can expect is that they tell us, if someone spots a specific problem and reports it, especially if it's of a functional nature, when they expect to get it solved.

    In short, my "they could tell us why they haven't solved them yet" is not the only thing many others and I are saying. You are right, explaining "why" in such technical detail doesn't help at all. But even if they don't say why (they could anyway choose to tell us simply that's "difficult" because that specific thing is causing performance issues, if that were the case), what I see is that they don't even bother to let us know that they do acknowledge some specific thing reported and when they expect to have it solved or even if they will never solve it.

    If I had seen on Jan 11th that functional issues reported 2/3 months ago had been solved I wouldn't have written a single post on the subject but they had not. I wouldn't have written the previous paragraph either.

    But the flying things are still there -reported months ago-, fall frozen dead and block whatever is behind, after months.

    And the sorting/ordering problems are still there after months, that make rebuilding fields a painful task.

    And I could go on. The first one some may think it could be solved by just adding a setting that prevents them from flying in the first place if someone has animations deactivated. Most probably I'm oversimplifying it and it creates a major "culling/batching/pixel terrain" error. I don't know. The second one some may think is simply a database handling problem, but for sure I'm wrong since months went by and the same sorting mess is there.

    If I do bother to write these posts now is because I care, because I don't want to quit the game. I think that's the spirit of all who report issues.

    But, again, lack of results on those key functional items and silence about that don't help.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
  3. hans_lotte

    hans_lotte Someday Author

    is there any way to cut down the motion on the clouds of the beanstalk?
    RebaFC and nortonc like this.
  4. ctindaldavies

    ctindaldavies Old Hand

    how do you mean?
  5. hans_lotte

    hans_lotte Someday Author

    yes, how!!
  6. yusufça

    yusufça Junior Expert

    I don't expect a quick fix for this game, with more royal than the king here.

    Flash's death date was announced 3.5 years ago.
    I think Farmerama players do not deserve this stress they have been going through for months.
    ozneme, DBAYES, RebaFC and 5 others like this.
  7. mindy1701

    mindy1701 Forum Veteran

    Today is the second day that Unity will not play in Firefox - it won't even open: just spinning flowers and load showing 100%. Back to Opera where it's slow, but playable. I miss Firefox and wish I had some idea why this is happening.
  8. nlm24

    nlm24 Forum Inhabitant

    Unity decided to plant Bubble Algae all by itself. I am in the middle of an event and would like to plant event crops at this time -- not other crops. I did not click on Bubble Algae and there was no indication that it was going to plant it it just did.

    Reported this before on my other farm when it planted Four Leaf Clover without being clicked on.
  9. sanddollar15

    sanddollar15 Living Forum Legend

    mindy I have had the same problem for over 2 weeks now, it was working beautifully on firefox and now just sits at 100% and won't let me into my farm! I am now using 2 other browsers and Microsoft edge keeps freezing on me, so I jut added Google chrome to see how this works! I am on a PC and have windows 10 the newest version so I don't know what the problem is, I really would like to get back on Firefox too! Good luck!
    Clashstrummer likes this.
  10. BlackCaviar

    BlackCaviar Count Count

    Today I was pleased with the improved display on the Prize Wheel. It spins in a much more realistic manner than ever before. I just wish I had better luck on it. 103,000+ Herbal Elixir is way more than I can ever use.
  11. RebaFC

    RebaFC Someday Author

    The amount of data the game saves locally seems excessive. Playing using the Edge browser (the current chromium-based version) farmerama has stored more than 1 GB on my PC.
  12. nortonc

    nortonc Regular

    Went to check. Yes the spin cycle is shorter. And then after a few spins it started freezing on me, so "massive" improvement ....... lol
  13. mindy1701

    mindy1701 Forum Veteran

    sanddollar, I do everything on Firefox except Farmerama. It's kind of a pain in the tuchus keeping 2 browsers open at the same time and toggling back and forth. Let's hope the game team can fix it soon.
    sanddollar15 likes this.
  14. Juniorama

    Juniorama Forum Apprentice

    Agree, Aluntino! I'm not asking for a list of the technical jargon they are working on, just a hey, we're working on this, this and this, we'll let you know what we have found and when this, this and this could be resolved. A weekly update would be perfect!

    I sincerely do not want Farmerama to go away due to players leaving. I love this game.

    I, too, have played on Puffin with my Android, but cannot anymore. Today i used Chrome on my phone. I logged in and harvested then it froze, I logged back in to plant, it froze, logged back in to water, the game froze, logged back in and manured. I could not get to the 2nd field at all, the game just froze. Were you able to use Puffin today and play? Or what did you use on your phone?
    Last edited by moderator: Jan 16, 2021
    jäniksenpelätti likes this.
  15. zerodegrees

    zerodegrees Forum Veteran

    I was trying to show you why I believe the situation is a bit more complicated than silence = serious disregard for what players are going through.

    You said yourself that one of the "key smooth-playing options" that "have [not] been fixed even though they've been reported a zillion times in these threads, for months now" was the issue where "everything takes more time; everything; especially, complex operations in a short time window defined by buffing"; in other words, performance issues.

    As I've tried to show, performance issues can have many different causes - some yet to be discovered by the devs. So if you were on the game team, how would you explain to players who do not have a technical background why you haven't been able to fix the issue of "everything taking more time"? What more could you tell us other than "the game team is working hard to improve the playing experience"?

    I feel like if the devs knew what they were doing (i.e., had a lot of experience building a game in Unity) and were able to meet deadlines, we probably wouldn't even be in this mess right now. To me, it seems like the devs are learning as they go. So again, if you were on the game team and couldn't figure out why some players were experiencing major performance issues but not others, what would you tell your customers who want to know when they can expect the problem of "everything taking too long" to be solved?

    I know you highlighted some non-performance-related issues as well, which are probably easier to fix. I figure once they're able to ensure that the game is stable across all platforms (excluding mobile) and everyone has equal access, they'll start working on the incredibly annoying but not critical issues you and the others have mentioned in both this thread and the bug reporting thread.

    Look, I'm not saying paying customers don't have a right to be angry about what a disaster this migration has been. I think we're all frustrated - some of us are just better at hiding it than others. I'm simply asking, is it really worth the energy to get angry at BP for not providing regular status updates when they probably won't do very much to help players feel better about the situation anyway?

    What can they tell us that they haven't already said? If they go into enough detail to make the updates worthwhile, it'll probably be too complex for me to understand. If they set an arbitrary timeline that they probably won't even be able to stick to, it'll just get my hopes up and I'll become even more frustrated when they experience setbacks (which are almost inevitable) than if they hadn't said anything at all. I'd prefer to have the game team focus their time and energy on actually fixing the issues so that Farmerama becomes a pleasure to play again as soon as possible. That is my personal opinion, however. You do you.

    The "we'll let you know what we have found" is the part that I'm struggling with. How does one distill that technical jargon into terms we can all understand?
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2021
  16. nm561

    nm561 Forum Expert

    For some reason this one spot on the playfield is reluctant to let you harvest it. Sometimes you can harvest it and other times you can't -- sometimes it takes one click and other times you have to click on it numerous times to clear it.

    It doesn't matter which playfield you are on. It is the same plot location no matter what field that does not want to let you clear it. I also tried deleting it, moving it, etc.
  17. Clashstrummer

    Clashstrummer Count Count

    I am using Firefox without a problem. You might want to clear your cache, make sure you have any ad blockers disabled, and check your security settings in Firefox. It's possible it's just being blocked.
    sanddollar15 likes this.
  18. mindy1701

    mindy1701 Forum Veteran

    I do that on the regular. Have been playing in Firefox until 2 days ago when the CR and pet playground wouldn't harvest, then yesterday the game wouldn't load at all and still won't. I'm not the only one having this problem. Could be an issue at the server level.
  19. jäniksenpelätti

    jäniksenpelätti Junior Expert

    I've got this too a couple of times. Not sure it's the same exact field but somewhere quite near. Clicking it was blocked by an info field.
  20. Aluntino

    Aluntino Board Analyst


    It's, bottom-line, all about showing empathy with your customer community (us players) or not.

    Having the experience I have I told you about, it was apparent to me from the first moment that they were concentrated on performance issues. Just remembering the first time I got into Unity, months ago, gives me shudders. Improvement on this matter has been really huge: today I don't experience serious performance-related issues (but I'm not the best testing ground since I have both a very good computer with plenty of SSD -for those who don't know, the "hard" disk is not the traditional one but practically like memory, hence immensely much more responsive and faster-, and a very good Internet connection).

    But this is a game. And function is as important as performance, and as critical as performance -please let's don't fool ourselves-. Concentrating on the latter but ignoring to a great extent the first until all performance issues are solved is a management choice. Since it is, the golden rule is to explain your customers what you are doing. Communicating is key because that's how expectations are managed. Not communicating is also a management choice. And, in my opinion, an extremely poor one that opens to speculation and eventually anger from some.

    If as a manager/company behind the manager you choose not to communicate, then you must be consistent:

    * it's contradictory to open threads to collect user-identified issues and then not following up regarding them with those users and the community about the progress (or non-progress);

    * it's contradictory to go on as if nothing were happening with hard-to-work and complex computer-resource intensive events that require building and rebuilding multiple fields when you haven't moved a finger to solve the nightmarish mess still in place on the sorting/ordering matter and the constant kick-back to the first position (sorry to say, any good developer should be able to solve that in a handful of days or less) -I chose to not do the current event because of this contradiction: I dont have hours to waste trying to find what I need and getting kicked back to position 1 every single time-;

    * it's contradictory not to openly admit to the community that, for whatever reason, their product is not ready in full and that, therefore, you will stop pretending it is and go on as if nothing were happening, maybe deciding to stop with those complex events until you get the product fully stabilized (this would be a way to acknowledge your customers' suffering and give them some relief);

    * it's contradictory, knowing that you have performance issues, not to temporarily extend buffing windows you know users won't be able to fully use because poor performance makes that impossible, thus reducing stress (another way of showing acknowledgement and giving some relief).

    None of those things have been done. None. Of course, doing them would mean temporary less revenue from cash-paying customers. It's the price they should be willing to pay for having waited to the last minute without being decently ready. The alternative is less permanent streaming revenue since many customers, fed up and frustrated, will walk away. In the past few weeks I saw 4 of my neighbours abandon the game for good....

    Hiding behind the "timelines we don't know we'll be able to meet" and "it's impossible to explain in plain terms" lines to justify the absolute lack of customer expectation management I am seeing is, to say the least, childish. Actively communicating with customers is not only possible but also mandatory if you want to keep things as calm as possible, especially in a migration. You may choose not to explain complex technical matters but, believe me, you can always give the idea with simple terms understandable by almost everyone: I've seen it done for decades. I don't think they don't know how to. They are simply choosing not to.

    They haven't even opened a place where both their functional progress (like, for instance, the addition of the PF5 function) and players' findings are published to make players' life easier or less miserable. For instance, yesterday night, after having learned the PF5 refresh was again available -from previous posts- I used it after the annoying flyings things had all dropped dead and frozen blocking everything behind, even preventing clicking on items: SOLVED, they disappeared. It works better on the Client. I know this may be impossible for those having older computers and/or poor Internet connections, but at least that's a way out of the problem. Found after months of suffering it, by chance. I hope they would have communicated that to us somewhere.

    Enough said, I think. If I hadn't invested so much time, energy and money in the game for over 9 years now, I would have already left in this situation. I'm still here, who knows for how long. It depends on them.

    There's only one thing I'm sure of: they could have done much better on how to handle the whole process. They can still improve communication and better manage expectations. It's up to them.