chrismdp
It makes sense to have an ongoing thread where we discuss the gameplay: the idea is to collect ideas and suggestions for improvement, along with particular things that aren't fun or that work well.

Post your thoughts here!
Chris Parsons
http://revelationgames.co
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DaveGLeeds


Hi Chris, 

Really impressed with what I've seen so far - a few observations based on half an hour before my first crash: 

All of these are based on a forty year old female character: 

1). When viewing father's story, some of the pregnancy and birth events are the wrong way round (i.e. - the child is born and THEN they find out that they are expecting a child). 
2). Father mourns death of spouse - meets someone else in the same year. Go Dad! 
3). During the tutorial when it asked you to click on your portrait in the top right, it brings up your profile, but when you click 'next' it disappears, so you can't do the profile bits it asks you to do - reclicking the portrait in the top right does not bring the profile back up until you have clicked through to the next section of the tutorial. 
4). Inertia in space flight is a bit heavy going! Perhaps slow the ship down as it reaches orbit or have some sort of autolanding system? It's frustrating to overshoot and then have to backtrack - I would imagine doing this in combat would be a nightmare. 

I'll have another crack with a different character later today! 

Keep up the good work. 

Dave 
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chrismdp
Quote: 1). When viewing father's story, some of the pregnancy and birth events are the wrong way round (i.e. - the child is born and THEN they find out that they are expecting a child). 

Yeah, that does happen sometimes. It's because they're sorted by year, and there's no other differentiator.

Quote: 2). Father mourns death of spouse - meets someone else in the same year. Go Dad! 

Lol [smile]

Quote: 3). During the tutorial when it asked you to click on your portrait in the top right, it brings up your profile, but when you click 'next' it disappears, so you can't do the profile bits it asks you to do - reclicking the portrait in the top right does not bring the profile back up until you have clicked through to the next section of the tutorial. 

That's weird. Clicking NEXT only advances the tutorial - it doesn't change the the rest of the UI at all. Is it that you're not able to click on the portrait at the top when you've clicked NEXT?

Quote: 4). Inertia in space flight is a bit heavy going! Perhaps slow the ship down as it reaches orbit or have some sort of autolanding system? It's frustrating to overshoot and then have to backtrack - I would imagine doing this in combat would be a nightmare. 

That's part of the skill of flying [smile] You get used to it! You'll be pleased to know though that there's an autopilot already although it's not turned on for players. I'm thinking of making it an optional component.

Thanks for the feedback! Very helpful!
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Hyfrydle
After installing the latest update I managed to play through the tutorial without crashing so I now have some thoughts on the game as it stands.

Firstly I love the ambient music it fits the games mood perfectly and I find the game relaxing to play, I'm not one for frantic games so this suits me fine.

Is the only character available in the demo Percy Farmiloe as that is the only character I seem to be getting.

Suggestion - When clicking on the player character social it doesn't show how each character feels about the player until you click on the character. If you click on someone else it shows how that character feels next to each character, this is much easier to read and would be useful in the player character view too.

Maybe relationship info should also show in the who's here section if the player knows the character this would also be a huge help.

One issue I had whilst doing the tutorial was the closure of the bank, I had to wait for it to re-open, maybe the game should start earlier so the bank is open when the player reaches that point in the tutorial. Alternatively some way to speed up time.

Maybe showing opening hours would also be good.

Before the game crashed I managed some jobs and travelled about in space and even with the fairly basic game play found myself enjoying myself, I'm sure more is planned as the game moves forward.

Unfortunately all came to an end with a crash to desktop with the following error:

w:\solc\src\block.cpp:31!findInBlock(*block, index)

So far I'm enjoying the game and will definitely be playing more, thanks for giving me the chance to help test the game.




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chrismdp
Quote: Firstly I love the ambient music it fits the games mood perfectly and I find the game relaxing to play, I'm not one for frantic games so this suits me fine.

Great - glad you like it! It's custom-written for the game by Andy Dollerson (http://dosounds.com) This demo only contains one sample track.

Quote: Is the only character available in the demo Percy Farmiloe as that is the only character I seem to be getting.

Yep, unless you choose a different starting age. This will change when I re-add character choices into the game: hopefully next week.

Quote: Suggestion - When clicking on the player character social it doesn't show how each character feels about the player until you click on the character. If you click on someone else it shows how that character feels next to each character, this is much easier to read and would be useful in the player character view too.

This is a good point and I've gone back and forth about this. When looking at a character, it's all about their thoughts on the people on their sheet. So when looking at the social tab, that's how the current character (big picture) feels about the character in the tab (little picture), not the other way around. Perhaps it would be better the other way around - which would be more intuitive? Anyone else have other thoughts about this? 

Quote:

One issue I had whilst doing the tutorial was the closure of the bank, I had to wait for it to re-open, maybe the game should start earlier so the bank is open when the player reaches that point in the tutorial. Alternatively some way to speed up time.

Maybe showing opening hours would also be good.



This is a good idea - perhaps rather than hiding closed buildings I should show them with the opening time.

Quote: Before the game crashed I managed some jobs and travelled about in space and even with the fairly basic game play found myself enjoying myself, I'm sure more is planned as the game moves forward.

Unfortunately all came to an end with a crash to desktop with the following error:

w:\solc\src\block.cpp:31!findInBlock(*block, index)


This is the same as the one on another thread. I've narrowed it down to just one possibility and will look into it further soon.

Thanks for the feedback ... glad you're enjoying it! [smile]

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dawa11
A very minor Gameplay inconvenience.

When you are in space and fire your Thruster to spin, when you hold that key down and additional hold the key for a spin to the other side the Thruster keeps going but you spin to the other side.
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chrismdp
Ok thanks Dawa11 will fix that one
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PrinceAnduril
I've also found flying a bit tricky. Comments:

- If you are flying one way then turn the ship, you would expect reverse/break to send the ship backwards on the new vector, however, it just slows the ship down on its current direction.
- This feature is especially weird when you hit reverse and let go multiple times, as this keeps switching the ship to travel back and forth in direction.
- The distances to objects in space are a bit odd. 1/3 of a Km from a planet would be in the atmosphere, when the planet is not even on the screen. Could this be amended by changing the distance scale to something more appropriate for the vastness of space?
- The controls are quite hard to get used to, and even then, I found I needed a lot of tweaking to get into a jump gate or planet. When it takes me a good 2 minutes to line myself up long enough to hit a button, the fun of flying disappears. One suggestion I would make would be that ships go to autopilot as soon as you reach a certain distance from an object. So when you get in visual range (say), you can no longer move and it guides you into place. You'd still need to click a button to enter, but since you are unlikely to fly over something unless you wanted to go there, I think this would be a nice feature and wouldn't be irritating. It would certainly stop the annoyance of having to hit a jumpgate button fast enough before I fly past.
- Ship inertia seems quite fast. Could you reduce the level of acceleration, but make it much easier to stop? Perhaps using the space bar to brake (and not reverse) as stopping dead is pretty hard right now.
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PrinceAnduril
Assorted non-flying comments:

  • I found the social relationship colours a bit confusing. The different colours imply the relationships are on different scales, not different levels of the same scale. This would make more sense to me in any case. That way you could have different types of relationship (friendship, romantic, business, rivalry etc.) and these have a different strength, shown by the number of bars.
  • The tutorial is helpful, but having buttons not doing anything when you haven't get to the explanation in the tutorial is annoying. It just seems like those features don't work. Maybe grey them out beforehand, or hide them altogether?
  • Would be nice to be able to skip the tutorial
  • The father tutorial figure is one of the first people you see, but the portrait isn't that interesting. Could you make the father look more cool, as less interesting portraits for ancillary characters doesn't matter too much.
  • Clicking the Ships link in the top bar should load the ship directly, rather than the 'My ships' dialogue box. This is what happens with people, so is confusing when it doesn't happen for ships
  • Jobs at Earth Starfleet HQ: "Mercury City Market in Mercury City on Mercury". Reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean: "Look alive, men! It's not for naught it's called Shipwreck Island where lie Shipwreck Cove in the town of Shipwreck."
  • Places to visit should be listed in order of people present. When you see nobody in a location, its odd to see lots of people somewhere below. One feature that might be nice in the future would be to have a little map, with different places, rather than a list.
  • Give the option to board ships from the Ships summary page. Or if you are in the wrong location, at least say where the ship is. I borrowed a ship for Alesha and then had to search for it.
  • Ashlee Good-Kielt in Mercury City looks very youthful for an 83 year old. Botox?[wink]
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Zeno
  • I'm not finding the flight controls a problem but I'm finding the Ocelot is really lacking thrust making flight feel a bit plodding, also I'd imagine it would be very frustrating to manoeuvre in combat.
  • The retro thrusters also don't feel very effective maybe have "S" rotate you 180° from your current course so you can use the main engines for reverse thrust.
  • The view seems a bit too zoomed in when flying, is there any plans to have a radar added or being able to zoom out as it would be a real pain to find other ships.
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chrismdp
Replying to the last three posts!

Quote: - If you are flying one way then turn the ship, you would expect reverse/break to send the ship backwards on the new vector, however, it just slows the ship down on its current direction.
- This feature is especially weird when you hit reverse and let go multiple times, as this keeps switching the ship to travel back and forth in direction.
- The retro thrusters also don't feel very effective maybe have "S" rotate you 180° from your current course so you can use the main engines for reverse thrust.


Yeah, sounds like it needs work. I could just take it out, which means that people will have to turn around and use "W" - would that be clearer?

Quote: - The distances to objects in space are a bit odd. 1/3 of a Km from a planet would be in the atmosphere, when the planet is not even on the screen. Could this be amended by changing the distance scale to something more appropriate for the vastness of space?

That's true. The distances are to scale for the ships at the moment (they're about 20 metres across) Perhaps I should just add a zero or two

Quote: The controls are quite hard to get used to, and even then, I found I needed a lot of tweaking to get into a jump gate or planet. When it takes me a good 2 minutes to line myself up long enough to hit a button, the fun of flying disappears. One suggestion I would make would be that ships go to autopilot as soon as you reach a certain distance from an object. So when you get in visual range (say), you can no longer move and it guides you into place. You'd still need to click a button to enter, but since you are unlikely to fly over something unless you wanted to go there, I think this would be a nice feature and wouldn't be irritating. It would certainly stop the annoyance of having to hit a jumpgate button fast enough before I fly past.

I'm actually tempted to leave this in - people will get used to it and that's the skill of flying somewhere quicker. It'll get more stressful when I put things you can actually bump into into the game, like asteroids...

Quote: - Ship inertia seems quite fast. Could you reduce the level of acceleration, but make it much easier to stop? Perhaps using the space bar to brake (and not reverse) as stopping dead is pretty hard right now.

Unfortunately that's not real physics and I'd like to stick to real physics I think.

Quote: I found the social relationship colours a bit confusing. The different colours imply the relationships are on different scales, not different levels of the same scale. This would make more sense to me in any case. That way you could have different types of relationship (friendship, romantic, business, rivalry etc.) and these have a different strength, shown by the number of bars.

Yeah, that's possible in future. I'll see what I can do here.

Quote: The tutorial is helpful, but having buttons not doing anything when you haven't get to the explanation in the tutorial is annoying. It just seems like those features don't work. Maybe grey them out beforehand, or hide them altogether?

I'm going to remove the rectangle 'stopping clicking' I think, and make it possible to skip the tutorial.

Quote: The father tutorial figure is one of the first people you see, but the portrait isn't that interesting. Could you make the father look more cool, as less interesting portraits for ancillary characters doesn't matter too much.

That's your actual in-game father, and it's entirely randomly generated [smile] You get what you get! Perhaps we could have gone with more caricatured faces, but it's too late now sadly. One for the sequel!

Quote: Clicking the Ships link in the top bar should load the ship directly, rather than the 'My ships' dialogue box. This is what happens with people, so is confusing when it doesn't happen for ships

Got it. It's fine with one ship. Fixed for next build.

Quote: Jobs at Earth Starfleet HQ: "Mercury City Market in Mercury City on Mercury". Reminds me of Pirates of the Caribbean: "Look alive, men! It's not for naught it's called Shipwreck Island where lie Shipwreck Cove in the town of Shipwreck."

I've renamed Mercury City for the next build [smile]
  • Places to visit should be listed in order of people present. When you see nobody in a location, its odd to see lots of people somewhere below. One feature that might be nice in the future would be to have a little map, with different places, rather than a list.
A map is a great idea, thanks! The list of organisations probably won't change for this build though. Sorry!
  • Give the option to board ships from the Ships summary page. Or if you are in the wrong location, at least say where the ship is. I borrowed a ship for Alesha and then had to search for it.
Saying where the ship is is a good idea. I'll fix that.
  • Ashlee Good-Kielt in Mercury City looks very youthful for an 83 year old. Botox?[wink]
Yeah, I know [smile] Aamar is hopefully working on proper older faces very soon!

Quote: I'm not finding the flight controls a problem but I'm finding the Ocelot is really lacking thrust making flight feel a bit plodding, also I'd imagine it would be very frustrating to manoeuvre in combat. 
The view seems a bit too zoomed in when flying, is there any plans to have a radar added or being able to zoom out as it would be a real pain to find other ships.


I've zoomed out the view a bit for the next build. The Ocelot is quite plodding, yeah: I've given the smaller ships bigger engines [smile] Radar is unlikely as I really want to get away from the gameplay trap of just looking at the mini-map and missing the game.

Thanks!
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dawa11
Again i my thoughts a very minor inconvenience.

I think 500$ for a Parcel Mission from a Planet to Another is a bit over the Top i made about 6000$ from one flight Mars -> Earth alone with Parcel Missions (Maybe if they need some Cargo Space i would be a bit more Balanced)
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DaveGLeeds


A couple of observations from the latest build after about half an hour play (before crash to desktop): 

1). The tutorial does not like it if you click through using next - it disables all of the buttons you need - for example, portrait, city, social tabs etc unless you click them exactly when it says so. 
2). Started on Earth, went to the university of Tokyo - couldn't talk to anyone even though there were 3 people present? 
3). Minor text issue - it reads: "You chat briefly about the time A girl named Maude was born" - should be a lower case A. 
4). Hector Amerihn-Semple is dead - his 'Deceased' status is pasted over the top of the word 'husband'. 
5). Again, Earth, went to 35 Capifast St as it was showing 1 person present - nobody there! 

Hope this helps, 

Dave 
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PrinceAnduril
Tried latest build before crash to desktop (Parcel Mission to Mars)

- It would be nice to have the planet name after the location at the top. I know I just travelled to Mars and there is a nice picture, but some other sense that I'm in a new place would be good. Also, what about subtly different UI designs or colour schemes for different planets? Might be a nice feature.
- I arrived to Mars late at night and found my Mission locations not present. I worked out that I needed to wait a few hours for stuff to open, but maybe rather than hiding locations completely, you could include them at the bottom of the list with 'Closed' on the link in red. That way you think, 'Oh, it's too early' and feel happy exploring while you wait. I like the idea of things being closed, it encourages you to explore a place and make some relationships, rather than being able to complete missions instantly.
- The 'last seen' descriptions on people can be too long and overrun the boxes. eg. Clyde Banvell-Cairns on Mars Asimov prison.
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Zeno
Could we have an option to skip the tutorial, I'm about ready to stuff dear old dad out of the nearest airlock [smile]
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