Some feedback and questions

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Some feedback and questions

Post  trjp on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:16 pm

I picked-up RR off-the-back of the positive comments on RPS - and whilst there's some fun to be had, there are some significant issues I think you need to address...

Whilst I like your approach to physics and flying, it's annoying-as-hell to have a limited turn speed but be regularly rammed by enemy ships which send your spiralling-off at many times your combined speeds. I notice after grabbing something there's a delay before you can turn too - which makes the limited time before it's 'released' almost useless. It's all thrown out when ships collide too - when it's basically like playing Pinball - as the Pinball - either the ships are slow and need time to change direction - or they don't - make your mind up (and save me migraines!)

The 'green targetting' line is useless when it constantly hunts between targets - why not just run more than 1 or - even better - why not just make you and the targets much more visible and obvious.

I don't think you could have made your own ship harder to see if you'd made it invisible - for all the 'Arena' stuff in the tutorial you're the same colour as the background - which makes it astonishingly hard to see what the hell is going on. Add the 'pinball' issue, above, and a camera prone to zooming around far too much and - well I'm lost.

I think we need more feedback as to the damage being done by attacks too - a sound effect and a little number is not enough, we need something to give us more idea when an attack is effective or not. Bits flying off ships, more focus on shield and hull (which is all that matters on an enemy really)...

Overall I think the whole thing is great but it's sorely in need of tightening up - a ship which is more visible, feels more consistently controllable, with weapons which are more aimable and which give better feedback - oh and a which game talks at you about 100% less (and never repeats itself - ever) - would be awesome.

As it is - I think I'll leave it for a while because it's more frustrating than fun right now.

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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  EvilNinjadude on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:53 pm

trjp wrote:or - even better - why not just make you and the targets much more visible and obvious.
... there's an option for that. I'm not nagging at you here but, if you're complaining about your quality of life, at least check what options you have (You're looking for enemy Outlines, highlights, and health bars).

Also, camera zooming can be disabled by setting the min to max and the max to min -- Thereby normalizing the camera distance.

Ships need time to change direction. That's the point of Newtonian physics. Meanwhile, there's movement abilities, that mitigate this problem... however, expect your enemies to adapt to whatever abilities you have.
To solve this problem: Play a fighter. Low mass, high angular velocity, high acceleration. Can't equip a fighter? Get past the tutorial area -- as of the latest patch, you can also skip it if you want, though it is not recommended.

Hope this helped you.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  Paul Dryere on Mon Jul 22, 2013 7:59 pm

Hi and welcome to the forums trjp,

For ship visibility, go into the options menu under Game, there are target highlight options. I'd recommend scrolling down and enabling Stroked Entity highlights as well. You can also enable enemy and ally health bars there if you would like. You can also disable the targeting reticule.

If you are frustrated with the tutorial section of the game, you can skip it, assuming you are playing version 1.0.0.0. This will allow you to begin customizing your ship to your liking as you play through the rest of the campaign.

If you don't care about story at all, there are plenty of scenarios which just let you get straight to killing. The scenarios are designed for Rank 5 hulls, so I would recommend starting them at lower difficulties.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  trjp on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:14 pm

I'll go dig in the options - tho I have to say that if you need to put them in the options, you probably just need to turn them on by default!? - I'm struggling to work-out why people would want their ship to be 'near impossible to see' Smile

To clarify the physics thing - you have a ship which takes time to build speed - takes time to slow down - takes time to turn (esp after grabbing something - which I'm assuming relates to momentum from the greater mass - or is it just a glitch?)

BUT

Then you're hit by enemy AI which just seems to revel in ramming you and you both SHOOT off in the opposite direction at a much greater speed than either of you were travelling before (which seems to me like physics engine collision repulsion rather than a 'bounce' calculation - if it IS a bounce calculation then the bodies are either HIGHLY elastic which large spaceships generally aren't - or there's no consideration of energy lost in the collision itself!?)

Put more simply - they're massive lumps of metal, not squash balls - they should act like massive lumps of metal all the time...

if you're making a game with slow and calculated movement - and I'm ALL FOR THAT by the way - then it should be like that all the time. Sadly, the amount of enemies which treat the game as 'ping pong' - jink around - ram you - ram each other - generally spoil that feeling of 'floating in space', is quite jarring.

I'll take 2001 a Space Combat game - rather than Zen Pinball the anti-gravity edition...

As for story - I'm all for story but you're sometimes missing that lightness of touch which is the keystone of good game writing and, especially, comedy.  By all means crack a few jokes but there's this thing about space games and 'just going on too much' which I don't understand (SPAZ, for example, talked my head off - I lost interest because it talked about the story, the characters, the tutorial, the enemies, just general chit chat - it was like a mothers meeting!!)

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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  EvilNinjadude on Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:25 pm

trjp wrote:SPAZ, for example, talked my head off
SPAZ. Talking your head off.
I don't know how to tell you this, but I think you might be a rare case.

SPAZ had a few boxes of dialogue, every time you entered a plot-related area, and almost every time you left one. That was all. The rest was just you, blowing things up. In fact, I would have liked my crew to interact with me just a bit MORE while they were waiting for me to get moving to the next important system.

Also, I think you might have a problem with Grapplers. In the Litter Glitter Galaxy, the gear isn't too advanced, so all the Grapplers pack Joust Drives and nothing but Joust Drives.
There are more movement abilities. There are movement abilities for different Archetypes. If this game did nothing to influence the standard ship movement, it would feel sluggish and slow. If the standard ship movement was any faster, then fighters would be careening off walls everywhere. Trust me, I beat the qualifiers in 44 seconds, and I don't wanna spend the entire game going that fast.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  trjp on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:37 am

Looking through the options menu, it strikes me that the problem may be that someone is trying to be all things to everyone - which means you end up bring nothing to everyone other than the people who tinker in options menus!!

There's too much going on which doesn't work with everything else IMO - you have a game with core movement based around Newtonian Physics but then you add things like 'flicking the mouse to jump short distances' and drives which make you leap around which just jars with the floaty stuff - make up your mind what you want and stick with it.

It seems you've taken a massive pile of ideas and just rammed them all in - the problem being some some of those ideas were fine in isolation (slow rotation) but just annoy-the-hell out of people when combined with others (ships which jink around - collisions which send you pinwheeling).

The control systems on-offer are many and varied and none of them really work as well as they could. Joypad is just a bad choice for this genre but you've packed it with stuff anyway and yet I think unplayable is the only word I could use for it - wheras the default mouse/keyboard splits movement and attacking across both hands which is counter-intuitive and gestures are a gimmick best ignored entirely.

When I set about creating a custom scheme I got on MUCH better but there's SO MANY keys that there's a serious risk I'll unbind something I later need - which is aggravating...

Even the menus suffer from 'too many ideas' - you have that 'lock on' reticle which works against how a controller would use a menu - and the way it resists moving between selections means that mouse users will actually run out of mousemat before getting to the option they want in some cases.

The menus are also buggy - try changing something to LMB when it's already assigned and weird things happen - took me a while to fix that...

I also tried some of the highlighting options - they're not exactly subtle. "Draw a box around collidable objects" is a poor solution to a game which makes you collide with some things but not others - and even turning everything up to max doesn't make the ship you have in the 'Rat and the Hawk' part of the game any easier to see or control, sadly.

Still - I guess it's better to have the options than not - but I tend to prefer games which just work rather than games which are a collection of bits which might work when I get the right ones on and the wrong ones off Sad

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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  trjp on Tue Jul 23, 2013 9:39 am

EvilNinjadude wrote:
trjp wrote:SPAZ, for example, talked my head off
SPAZ. Talking your head off.
I don't know how to tell you this, but I think you might be a rare case.
Nah - the original release was widely criticised and they editted it quite a bit - at one point it would simultaneously tell you the backstory, have crew chatter AND the tutorial all open at the same time - you couldn't actually see the game!!

Space games are notoriously talky tho - I think it's because everyone knows what zombies and pirates and orcs and elves are but space games tend to invent and change stuff and the developers just HAVE to tell you about it.

I should be aware of this really - I should avoid space games...

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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  Paul Dryere on Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:13 pm

Well, the game isn't for everyone, it requires a fairly high amount of skill which alienates some.  

But it isn't really fair to call the controls schemes unplayable. They are unplayable for you, no doubt, but many people have completely mastered them.

The highlights are meant not to be subtle, that's kinda the whole point. Razz 

Thanks for giving the game a fair shake, sorry it isn't your cup of tea.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  EvilNinjadude on Tue Jul 23, 2013 2:12 pm

Paul Dryere wrote:But it isn't really fair to call the controls schemes unplayable. They are unplayable for you, no doubt, but many people have completely mastered them.
Damn straight I have... and I like them! But I am also the guy who tried to type with each hand on a different keyboard, for fun. I am biased.Rolling Eyes 


Paul Dryere wrote:Thanks for giving the game a fair shake, sorry it isn't your cup of tea.
I'd say the same. Thanks for coming to the forums and giving your opinion. I like reading forums.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  trjp on Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:33 pm

Paul Dryere wrote:Well, the game isn't for everyone, it requires a fairly high amount of skill which alienates some.  

It's hard to tell how much piss-taking one sentence can be attempting there isn't it?

I mean I could read that as "sorry you're not good enough to play our game" but I'm sure that wasn't your intent? ;0

I'm not having a great deal of luck with space games tho it's true - it seems to be a category packed with developers who must cram every possible thing in there at any cost - irrespective of whether it adds anything or indeed, actively breaks stuff!

You don't get that with Zombie games ;0

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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  EvilNinjadude on Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:49 pm

trjp wrote:
Paul Dryere wrote:Well, the game isn't for everyone, it requires a fairly high amount of skill which alienates some.  

It's hard to tell how much piss-taking one sentence can be attempting there isn't it?

I mean I could read that as "sorry you're not good enough to play our game" but I'm sure that wasn't your intent? ;0
Well, I didn't see it that way. But I have to admit that I AM surprised at how other people take this game, then realizing I should be, since I don't really remember how I was when I first played this game. It's like forgetting what it was like to be a little kid.

Watching most people play through the tutorial galaxies is positively cringeworthy, every time. And I'm never sure if I was like that, the first time around. I remember being surprised at there being four bars to take care of, and suddenly I was later using them on all enemies in a fun little setup on a Mercury that I ended up disabling every enemy with.

I like to think of this as evidence of a big ol' learning curve. It isn't a cliff, as the devs have made sure to include a tutorial. However that itself is quite lengthy, equating the entire experience to scaling Mount Everest from a base camp in lowland India.

This game has a ton of complexity, it's true, probably due to being indev for 5+ years. It's more complex than necessary, and the features also aren't few in number. But there's never more complexity at a time than you are eventually able to handle, once you get to grips with the game.

It doesn't mean you aren't good enough to play the game. Eventually you will be able to know what to expect from a ship from the get-go, and will be less excited by its shape than by the nodes it can pack... like me. Also, a ton of muscle memory. All that innate knowledge can be called "skill" or "experience". In games like Starcraft, they're almost the same thing. So, also, here.

So if you don't have enough skill, that doesn't mean you aren't good enough. Everything any one of us has, can probably be acquired. Like being able to play with a controller, like Paul and Aratex... which I can't do, and would have to spend days practicing.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  Paul Dryere on Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:05 pm

I didn't mean it as an insult. Smile It is just simply a fact, the game asks a lot more from the player than most games nowadays. Depth is the game's greatest strength and weakness at the same time.

We are currently working on trimming the intro galaxy, trying to get the player all the skills and knowledge they need as fast as possible without overwhelming them. We have shortened it to ~66% its original length.

We are also adding prebuilt ships to be used in scenarios and multiplayer. They will be selected from a menu similar to smash bros character select. These ships will not be customizable, but will allow players to immediately jump into multiplayer and scenarios in a ship that can hold its own.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  trjp on Thu Jul 25, 2013 8:21 am

EvilNinjaDude really highlighted the huge problem that is taking a game you've created/tested/worked-with for a long time and putting it into the hands of new players is quite an experience.

It's OK for players to struggle a bit at first but if that continues they'll just bounce-off and move along - and if it's a demo they're playing, you lost a sale.

If you are cringing watching them play tho - you probably did something wrong. Games should be fun and easy to pickup for everyone - with the option to 'turn up the music' later when they've mastered everything.

If bullet-hell shooters can do this - everyone can do this - it just requires the game to have a learning curve which teases people along without overloading them with keys/info/story/controls/ships/weapons/whatever.

Far better a slightly slow intro than something which drives people away eh?

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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  Paul Dryere on Thu Jul 25, 2013 12:32 pm

We are working on refining the intro galaxy right now, the problem is we have people complaining it introduces concepts to slow, while others are overwhelmed. We are trying to find a happy medium, but ultimately it is impossible to please everyone.

We will likely be adding a difficulty below Rookie in the near future which will allow players a bit more wiggle room as they are learning the ropes.

We are also making all the health bar and highlight options on by default in the next patch. They were off because they take a bit of extra performance and we wanted the default options to be capable of running on minimum req machines. This will hopefully make the game a bit easier to get into as well.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  EvilNinjadude on Thu Jul 25, 2013 1:47 pm

Paul Dryere wrote:We will likely be adding a difficulty below Rookie in the near future which will allow players a bit more wiggle room as they are learning the ropes.
This is exactly what I mean by the effect of the learning curve. A difficulty BELOW rookie? I did a double take on that one.

I came here straight from SPAZ, so I started with Sage and eventually worked my way up the difficulties. Not everyone has the luxury of knowing so much right off the bat.

Also, to clarify one of my earlier statements: SPAZ only gets too text-ey when you consider the tutorials. I looked back at them and damn, there was a ton of them. Sure they had pretty pictures, but you didn't need so much info right away! However, the devs did a good thing and allowed you to view them all both before and after you needed them... perfect for an open-world game, where people can look at it as they need it.

I view cutting down the intro galaxy as a good thing, since it's the most massive one by far in the whole game.

I obviously appear to have an affinity to large chunks of text. I write them and read them on forums all the time, and even played a few text-based games myself without Issues. I even read books! That's right, people still do that! Not everyone though, as you've kindly reminded me, OP. Thank you.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  trjp on Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:17 am

For the record, I read 2-3 books a week - I read BOOKS if I want to read, I play games to play.

Games should contain just enough text to add some flavour - it should be skippable (as it is here but it forcibly repeats on retry, which is grating).  The normal idea, if you want to try out your writing skills, is to write a companion book - which I see you've done and so there's even less excuse for the WAY WAY WAY too heavy dialogue.

Eventually I gave-up on the tutorial and headed into the game but that's no better really.  I came here looking for a space ARPG which used the thrust/dampener thing to make nice, balletic combat but you ruined that from the get-go with AI ships packed with silly jump drives, jinking around , crashing into you with regularity (not a wise thing to do in space - made worse by some simply dodgy physics where you can only move/change direction slowly but when hit, pinball around like an epileptic flea).

The fact background objects aren't obviously 'hittable' is annoying - the fact that when you put the highlight on it becomes obvious than their outlines aren't really their 'hitboxes' is just more grating.

Also - and completely unrelated - installers which don't allow you to choose where to install a game should be banned from the universe - if you're successful in getting onto Steam you'll have to ditch it, I'd ditch it before then if I were you tho - otherwise SSD owners will be around your house for a word...

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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  Paul Dryere on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:11 pm

The GoG version offers you an option for install location, we offer free GoG keys for anyone with that as a concern. The downside is GoG takes awhile to put up patches.

Ultimately, the only things that allow for high end skill in the game are the things you dislike. I think it is fair to say the game isn't for you at this point.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  EvilNinjadude on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:57 pm

trjp wrote:Games should contain just enough text to add some flavour - it should be skippable (as it is here but it forcibly repeats on retry, which is grating).  
I've nagged EC no end on this: "Is there a "skip all" button? How about a no-dialogue option? How about no dialogue on retry?" All that and more.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  Paul Dryere on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:29 pm

I suppose I can look into it in the future, but if you are playing at the proper difficulty setting, you shouldn't have to restart a mission very often. For most missions it would save you a couple of seconds, and a lot of times players may have missed a bit of information that was important the first time through.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  EvilNinjadude on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:36 pm

It does get annoying when I'm out hunting Bonuses though, and put my ship at risk to accomplish objectives more difficult than they should necessarily be. If I fail, I will need to restart, prompting the dialogue.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  srulz on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:37 pm

I'll have to agree with ninja dude here. While dialogue is less grating for me (since it's just a few seconds), the main problem is with the "showing of key points", since that took a lot more than a few seconds. It's not a major problem in any way, of course, but with a skip dialogue already there, it seems like it can be handled a little more gracefully (by letting us skip everything).

Paul Dryere wrote:I suppose I can look into it in the future, but if you are playing at the proper difficulty setting, you shouldn't have to restart a mission very often. For most missions it would save you a couple of seconds, and a lot of times players may have missed a bit of information that was important the first time through.
There are a few times when I've missed key points, and the game elegantly reminded me using in-mission prompts, like the one where you have to destroy the outer bases first before the inside. This doesn't take away from the actions at all, and the way which I prefer for the "key information".

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Re: Some feedback and questions

Post  Paul Dryere on Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:17 pm

I'll take a look at possible solutions in the future.
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Re: Some feedback and questions

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