TA Spring Minor quibbles
- 1 No way to make a LAN game in the default install
- 2 If you are in a unit that dies in FPS mode, then it should return to the camera mode that you were in before it died
- 3 Some bugs on goto source of last message function
- 4 Minor: Please define two tooltips
- 5 Left-hand unit action window looks transparent, but it is not transparent to actions
- 6 Tooltip area should pass-through clicks, like the console
- 7 Smoother unit tracking
- 8 Please include Key Reference in program group, and add missing keys
No way to make a LAN game in the default install
This is a packaging issue. If you want to play a LAN game against someone sitting next to you, you might well do this: Run the "TA Springs Battleroom", then go "Battle screen", then go "Host battle". However if you do this, you will get an error message that says: "you must first log onto server". It appears that all the players need to logon to the Internet server, create an Internet game (which can have a password to keep other people out), and then play that game. I.e. there appears to be no standalone "LAN game" mode.
Update: LAN only mode is possible, but you need to download the separate server. It would be better if the "TASServer" software needed to do this (which is very small at 122 Kb) were included as part of the default Windows install, with an icon in the "TA Spring" program group for "LanServer.bat" that was labelled as "Start LAN server".
If you are in a unit that dies in FPS mode, then it should return to the camera mode that you were in before it died
The game features a first-person mode, where you can "jump" into the perspective of one of your units by pressing the "c" key. Pressing the "c" key then toggles back to the normal top-down isometric view. The person I was playing against did this, and the unit they were "in" was destroyed. They pressed "c" to get back to the normal view, but it didn't work. They were stuck in first person mode. They tried pressing every key on their keyboard, and eventually got back to normal, but had no idea how they did it. Either pressing "c" should always go back to the normal view if you are in the first-person view, or it should return the view you were in before the unit died.
To see this, select a unit in the normal view, then press Ctrl-D to commence self-destruct, then press "c" to jump into their view. After the unit has been self-destructed, pressing "c" again will not return you to the normal top-down view.
Some bugs on goto source of last message function
Pressing F3 means go to source of last message command, and select that unit. However, the F3 function sometimes doesn't seem to work very well. To see what I mean, select your commander, press Ctrl-D to activate self-destruct, then cancel it with Ctrl-D again. Now press F3. It should stay focussed on your commander, since he was the source of the last message, but instead (for me at least) it flies off to the top left of the map.
Update: F3 appears to only go to the last off-screen unit that gave a message. Personally, I don't agree that this is the best behaviour (I think it should always jump to the last message source wherever it is, as this is simple, elegant, easy to understand, and not context-dependent). Furthermore, irrespective of what I think, even the Spring readme says F3 means "Jump to last message location". It does not say "Jump to last message location if the last message location is not currently on the screen, else jump to previous off-screen message location, else jump to top left of the map".
Minor: Please define two tooltips
- Placing your cursor over the "You won the game" popup shows "No tooltip defined" in the info box on the bottom left of the screen (only happens on the very edges of the box, now that it shows a stats summary).
- Placing your cursor over the tooltip window that shows tooltips says "No tooltip defined". :-)
Left-hand unit action window looks transparent, but it is not transparent to actions
The left-hand unit action window (that shows buildings that can be built, stop/patrol/attack, etc) is transparent (shows the terrain underneath). However, you cannot click through it (i.e. it catches any clicks). This window should not look transparent if it does not behave transparently. It should be a solid colour instead (e.g. black), so that the way it behaves matches the way it looks.
Tooltip area should pass-through clicks, like the console
To see what I mean, select a unit, and order it to move to the location behind/underneath the console/message window. This works. Now order the unit to move to the area behind the tooltip window. This does not work - the tooltip window "captures" the click. I think it should pass all clicks through, like the console does, because I can't think of any situation where the tooltip window itself needs to respond to mouse clicks. The behaviour of the tooltip window should match the way it looks (i.e. transparent behaviour for transparent appearance).
Smoother unit tracking
If you track/follow an aircraft using the "t" key, the screen jitters a bit. The original TA from 1997 played pretty smoothly on a PC with one tenth the CPU speed of my current one, and little or no 3D graphics acceleration - so it should probably be possible to do this on a reasonably modern PC with a 3D graphics card.
Please include Key Reference in program group, and add missing keys
A key reference / cheat-sheet would be very helpful, especially because there are some differences between the original TA and TA:Spring.
Update: Turns out there is a TA:Spring key reference. In that case, please include it in the "TA Spring" program group, with an icon that says "Key Reference".
Update 2: The TA:Spring key reference is missing some keys that work, but which are not listed in the key reference, namely:
- SHIFT : Hold down to queue up multiple commands.
- CTRL-A: Select everything - all units and buildings.
- CTRL-C: Select and centre on Commander.
- CTRL-Z: Select all units of same type as currently selected.
- - : Reduce game speed.
- + : Increase game speed.