--- Cliff Hudson <chronosws at comcast.net> wrote:
> - 10 updates/sec.  Because the client does not
> interpolate between 
> server updates, gameplay appears 'choppy'.  This is
> probably the area 
> where I would most be inclined to change the server,
> moving to an 
> event-based network protocol with sync rather than a
> updates/sec protocol.

I like this idea. I dunno anything about programming

> - Graphics.  In general the bitmapped graphics look
> dated.  Now I have 
> the utmost respect for those who have come along and
> tried to give the 
> game a more updated look with new bitmaps (Pascal
> comes to mind 
> recently) but it's not just the bitmaps.  Smothing
> out movements 
> (vis-a-vis smooth ship rotations) and better effects
> (explosions with 
> particle effects, maybe some lighting, trails off
> the torps or plasmas) 
> are the top things which come to hmind.

I like this idea.

> - Playfield. I've always felt the tactical should be
> much larger.  
> Obviously the galactic is very important and its
> ability to convey 
> information should not be diminished, but perhaps it
> could be made as an 
> overlay, or hidden under some circumstances, etc to
> give the player more 
> tactical screen real estate (even if no real
> additional information is 
> disphhlayed on the tactical.)

Well, we can make the tactical/galactic more user
configurable. But as you get good at this game, you
spend way more time looking at the galactic than the

> - Sound.  Netrek has always been weak on this front.
>  We all know that 
> it sounds like what it is - developers grabbed some
> wavs from their 
> favorite Star Trek-themed source and slapped a
> playSound() call in the 
> right places in the code.  What needs to happen is
> someone who is good 
> at manipulating sound files needs to fix these up,
> balance their levels 
> and integrate them into an overall sound scheme for
> the game.  A bit of 
> background noise (the hum of the ship) wouldn't
> hurt.  To be fair, 
> recent clients have done a better job with some of
> the sounds (shields 
> sound good, for instance,) but others leave much to
> be desired (the 
> login WAV on NetrekXP 2006 for instance seems
> jarring, the cloaking 
> sound takes WAY too long compared to the cloak
> animation time, phaser 
> blast sound is slightly delayed compared to the
> graphics.)

I have personally turned off the sound in every
version I tried with sound. So the sound definitely
needs improving, by alot. 

> - Configuration.  RC files died in the 90s, at least
> as a primary method 
> of users configuring applications.  There needs to
> be a proper 
> configuration UI, including a modern keymapping
> system.  Obviously keys 
> can be remapped using the help screen, but this fact
> is a bit opaque to 
> new players and provides no instruction.  The
> ability to move windows in 
> the client is nice, but quite possibly misguided,
> especially since you 
> can do it while in combat.  There are probably a
> limited number of 
> genuinely useful configurations, and it may be wise
> to make it so you 
> can't create dumb ones (for instance, where the
> galactic is partially 
> obscured by the tactical.)  These will obviously
> seem like minor issues 
> to devs and hardcore players, but I believe new
> players will expect more 
> polish from a game which is ostensibly 20 years old
> in its present form.

Oh yeah, this I would like to see too.

> - Window decoration.  Now maybe this can be turned
> on and I simply 
> haven't looked for the switch, but by default the
> game should be using 
> the OS standard window decorations for the main
> window, so that it can 
> be resized, closed, minimized, etc.  Having a game
> window without a 
> title bar (as appears on NetrekXP 2006) looks VERY
> strange.

Too many people with too little screens. And netrek
has too much to show if you want to play effectively. 

ALL SERIOUS GAMES take up the full screen. Any modern
game I've played, takes up the whole screen. It's
weird that netrek is in a window... I have the exact
opposite opinion about this than you.

> Overall, the client needs to be polished.  It looks
> and feels rough 
> because it was made by developers for hard core
> gamers, and for those 
> two groups it large meets its presentation goals. 
> But if I put this in 
> front of a new person, the first thing they think is
> that it looks 
> awfully old (and therefore must not be very
> interesting.)  I think if 
> people can just get past the first-impressions
> hurdle, they will be more 
> inclined to stick around long enough to see how deep
> the gameplay goes.

Agreed. However, the reason it looks old is because it
is old. Awfully old at that! You'd probably need to
re-write the client to make it look signficantly
better than it does now. 

I'd love to see client improvements, however, I don't
really know how to program.