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William

General feedback after a few hours playing

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I stopped playing because the programming feature is impossible to use. Resorting to gates that return key presses is not a viable model. It's impossible to visualize and becomes a complete mess as soon as you try to do anything remotely sophisticated. The whole programming component should be separated from the ship building aspect and placed inside a distinct "layer" or interface. There is no reason a gate should have weight or take up space. You need a visual way to structure the program. Even the most rudimentary program can require up to 10 gates, which would take up too much space on the ship.

 

I also wonder if a programming model based on object-oriented programming wouldn't be more engaging than this low level gate system.

 

Ship structure is an issue. There needs to be a way to connect ship parts with more than one vector in order to create a scaffolding of some kind. Or introduce a different ship part to play that role. As it is right now, any big enough ship becomes an unstable wiggling mess.

 

Make the ship core smaller. There is no reason for making it so big.

 

Of course, there are the obvious bugs and fixes that need to happen. Too many times, my ship would explode for no reason, just because I broke the physics engine for some reason.

 

I could never figure out how power and fuel work... They recharge, except when they don't??? If you put enough solar panels, the shields will work forever and you are invincible... Is that by design? I like the idea of a strong shield, but maybe change the rules so that you are not allowed to fire weapons from behind a shield? That would make things interesting! And even encourage more battering ram designs.

 

All the weapons that track the mouse are overpowered. I only used 2 or 3 weapons, 2 of which where turrets that track the mouse. You need to remove those. Same for the sensor that tracks the mouse. It's just too much direct control.

 

We need more weapon data when building. Damage, range, etc.

 

More content also, obviously. More diverse enemies and more diverse challenges. How about maps where destroying isn't required. How about maps where you need to move stuff or navigate places.

 

New players should have 2 or 3 stock drones to start the game with. Having to build from scratch on the first try will scare away many new players.

 

More ship stats while building too: weight, size, total firepower, total fuels, etc.

 

The viewing area during a mission is too small. Often I would get shot by enemies off screen.

 

You should make the magnet directional.

 

When I send out sub-sections of my drone, I would like to see what happens to them. Some split screen feature would be nice.

 

Mechanical hinges should have an adjustable speed, or at least be faster when there is only a single weapon on it.

 

The proximity sensor should have a feature to change it's visibility arc, so that it isn't just a laser, but could be used to scan a wider area.

 

The small thruster needs to have some benefit over the larger one, or we will never use it. Same for the small battery.

 

Armor would be a nice addition.

 

The game isn't consistent in the way it deals with self collision (aka: shooting through your own ship). That needs to get sorted out.

 

I have no idea what springs are for...

 

An inertia sensor would be a nice addition.

 

I would play this game forever if it mean that I could go up against other players on a leader-board for the most bad-ass drone, but only if the arenas are procedurally generated and random, so that players can't optimize for a specific map.

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Just another user giving feedback (about 100 hrs played). Some of the things you mentioned I definitely agree with, some I have respectful disagreement on :) 

Some overall thoughts on your comments: I think many of the changes you are requesting basically relate to making it easier to create very large complex ships (something I found was difficult as well). My only concern is that they shouldn't make it too easy to build uber-complex ships right from the beginning. I think the core "fun" in games like this comes from design constraints that are slowly lifted (either by unlocking stuff or slowly figuring out how to get around them) allowing you to create your wildest fantasies. In the demo, there are very very few "intentional" design constraints (no part limits, almost everything is unlocked, etc.),  but quite a lot of unintentional design constraints due to engine and part limitations. I would like to see the engine and part library expanded to support super cool complex ships, but to have this complexity be slowly unlocked over time in some way.

I stopped playing because the programming feature is impossible to use. Resorting to gates that return key presses is not a viable model. It's impossible to visualize and becomes a complete mess as soon as you try to do anything remotely sophisticated. The whole programming component should be separated from the ship building aspect and placed inside a distinct "layer" or interface. There is no reason a gate should have weight or take up space. You need a visual way to structure the program. Even the most rudimentary program can require up to 10 gates, which would take up too much space on the ship.

I REALLY do not think they should take out the logic gates and replace them with some kind of scripting language because this makes it much much less accessible to the everyday user (I know it's hard for programming-savy people to believe, but the average person cannot figure out even an absurdly basic scripting language or object-oriented model). However if they were able to add in the ability to specify more complex logic in addition to basic logic gates I think that could be really cool (maybe some kind of special part that's unlocked later on that can support more complex logic).

Ship structure is an issue. There needs to be a way to connect ship parts with more than one vector in order to create a scaffolding of some kind. Or introduce a different ship part to play that role. As it is right now, any big enough ship becomes an unstable wiggling mess.

I agree to an extent, although the longer I played the more tricks I figured out for making gigantic ships stable. For example, making interlocking blocks of connected parts rather than just having everything connect to its neighbors. This was actually a lot of fun to figure out.

Make the ship core smaller. There is no reason for making it so big.

Again, I think design constraints make things fun BUT that having these constraints lifted over time is the core of gameplay progression. Maybe having multiple cores with different sizes and functionalities that can be unlocked?

Of course, there are the obvious bugs and fixes that need to happen. Too many times, my ship would explode for no reason, just because I broke the physics engine for some reason.

Yes :( sadly, there are some things that just aren't possible in the physics system of the demo (for example, any flame/spark throwers put near each other make the whole thing explode).

I could never figure out how power and fuel work... They recharge, except when they don't??? If you put enough solar panels, the shields will work forever and you are invincible... Is that by design? I like the idea of a strong shield, but maybe change the rules so that you are not allowed to fire weapons from behind a shield? That would make things interesting! And even encourage more battering ram designs.

I agree, this stuff is awesome but obviously needs to be unlocked over time in the final game.

All the weapons that track the mouse are overpowered. I only used 2 or 3 weapons, 2 of which where turrets that track the mouse. You need to remove those. Same for the sensor that tracks the mouse. It's just too much direct control.

I actually disagree. I think these things could be harder to unlock and cost more (if there is a system of cost for parts on a ship), but there's no reason they can't be balanced and I think they add fun/variety.

I wholeheartedly agree with all your other comments :) 

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