Author Topic: First Impressions  (Read 2969 times)


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First Impressions
« on: April 03, 2014, 12:05:07 pm »

I'm a big fan of the topdown space shooters and sanbbox games, so as soon as I heard about this, the purchase was a no-brainer. So here's my first impressions so far. If blunt honesty puts you off, stop reading now.

Good stuff:
- Great graphics, solid performance.
- I like the conversation system and even more so the fact that there is one!
- I was surprised to see a really massive universe
- Good amount of equipment variation and customization options, and I expect this to improve.
- Overall the amount of depth and variation in game layers seems pretty impressive (factions, missions, sand box features). Haven't gone to deep into those yet.
- I like the Cruise Mode and how it's implemented.

The not so good stuff:
- Core gameplay (flying around and shooting) feels like you're severely underestimating your customers (me :P) by removing any notion of physics and making it completely arcadey whatsoever. It's ridicilous. Sure, you float if there's no thrust, but every time you thrust in a different direction, it's instant acceleration. It's stupid, no matter what kind of lore-justification you have for it (yeah, sure inertial dampening makes sure crew don't turn to goo). Also automatic dampening is stupid. You have a break key (space), so what's the point? Why not give the player perfect control? If your reasoning for any of this is because AI is simpler to do without taking into account the bit more complex physics, then you're doing it for the wrong reasons.

- No turn-to-mouse option. I feel this is a must. Faster ships need better maneuvering with the turn-to-mouse and slower ships benefit more from the keyboard turns, but mouse controls turret -method. E.g. see how SPAZ plays it out. Perfect example. It needs to be a toggle button, or preferably toggle AND hold buttons. Again, there should be no excuses, this is pretty simple thing to do.

- Character progression system... Well, this doesn't really bother me, and I haven't gone too far in it yet, I just think it's pretty arbitrary. So far what I've seen it's mostly +1% in variable x and that sort. Really? That's it? If you need character progression why not try and making it more meaningful. I'd rather progressions occurs through learning to play and customizing the ship. Maybe you could add crew members and make them provide some bonuses if you absolutely have to. Preferably a simple, generic system so you have crew of varying experience (rookie, regular, veteran, elite...) and can then assign them on different duties (there's should always be too many duties for you to fill completely in order to avoid maxing out stuff), and based on those you get different bonuses. Once upon a time, leveling systems where meaningful. Nowadays they are nothing but +1% on variable x. Which is equivalent to very boring. So I'd rather do without.

- Can't set a custom radar target on the map. You should add it to improve navigation.

I'll add more impressions eventually, but these were the things that stood out within the first hour or so. Thanks for reading.


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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2014, 09:01:12 pm »
I really appreciate your in-depth opinion. It helps us understand how people see this game.

Now, in regards to some of your points.

About physics - you want more hardcore, while a lot of people say it's too much for them and they want to control their ship just my moving their mouse in a particular direction (including yourself). Both a valid opinions, but we have to find a balance between the hardcore-ness and ease of use. And I think now it is right in the middle. We will investigate if we can implement direct mouse control though.

As for character progression system - it is pretty much a placeholder. You have to understand that it's only an alpha version. We will certainly rework the system and make it more meaningful. But I
think it's quite fun even now. But maybe a bit too simplistic, yes.

Radar - good point. We will see what we can do!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2014, 01:17:09 am by Lurler »


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Re: First Impressions
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2014, 12:41:39 am »
An acceptable solution to downplaying physics is implementing a toggle-able inertial dampening. i.e. with inertial dampening turned on, movement would constantly be compensated so the move vector doesn't "drift off" as you move towards a particular target, as well as automatically slowing down a float ship. With dampeners turned off, your speed should be capped a bit higher, but obviously this would make maneuvering a bit trickier. I think it's more fun that way. The biggest problem really is the acceleration. You should tone it down significantly. That would already have a great emphasis on the believability of the physics.

Turn-to-mouse is easy, since you don't seem to use torque for rotation. If you'd use torque, then it'd be a lot trickier, but not by that much for an experienced programmer (I've implemented that myself with Unity's Box2D physics).