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Messages - Ryan390

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Personally not a huge fan of 4x type games, it feels like it's trying to make SS more 4x based, which isn't personally to my taste.
Good effort on the mod though, very polished, never really noticed any bugs, very solid.

Blog Posts / Re: GIF Roundup
« on: April 23, 2020, 01:17:33 AM »
That's fine, thanks for that Alex.

W/R to SafariJohn's post:

Developing software is iterative

Correct, software should be iterative. From a commercial perspective, releasing early and often is usually the best way to get feedback quickly (QA)
To make your product iterative and not run at a glacial pace it requires you to slow down initially and plan and slice the work accordingly, constantly re-evaluating yourself as you go along.

By getting a full vertical slice of functionality through the door we can prove the infrastructure / deployments & CI pipeline is solid. Achieving this forces us to think about our ticket / story slicing in a way that each feature can be separately developed and released. We call it 'getting a bullet trace through the system'.
This approach usually lends itself a slower start, but doesn't have as much of a negative effect later down the line - (as you call it - the 'development hell')
Therefore in the long run you can maintain a more steady velocity. There shouldn't ever be a development hell, your process somewhere down the line has failed if you've gotten yourself into that situation.

What we're describing here is basically an agile approach vs a waterfall approach:
Notice each release on the left is much smaller, yet more frequent, if we're really talking about iterative software, this is how it's done.

With the gaming industry this isn't as easy to do, especially when your trying to not leak information about your product.
David Braben followed a similar agile approach to iterative software releasing, creating a full vertical slice of releasable game play pretty much right from the start.
He wasn't that bothered about keeping updates a secret and actually was very candid about upcoming releases. Yes, there ended up being plenty of bugs on day one, but they got ironed out pretty quickly in his defense.
Every release which came after was frequent / iterative and they never slowed down, he ended up finishing the 1.0 version of the game in no time at all.
Not everything has to be a big bang release, though it makes sense in some situations, such as releasing a big expansion pack for a game.

That's how many projects end up spending 90% of their time and effort on the "last 10%" of the work AKA Development Hell

That's because most projects you've been involved with probably are run in a waterfall fashion.
They start quick due to lack of initial planning / slicing, also develop initially fairly quick..
Then what usually happens is they slow down over time as things get more complex and the code base becomes more out of control.

Yes there will always be non functional requirements to consider, scope creep, un-expected technological barriers, Peoples illness / absences. Live issues you need to jump on, etc,etc But that's the same with all software usually.
The difference here is how you manage the stuff that is purely in your control.
If you're running a really big project over multiple teams, you kind of have to do this stuff or everything just grinds to a halt and cost will sky rocket.
However even for smaller products / individuals - the same principles above can be applied - It just happens on a smaller scale to bigger businesses.

Blog Posts / Re: GIF Roundup
« on: April 20, 2020, 09:03:24 AM »
Appreciate you want to keep your secrets, I'd never suggest you should do otherwise.
However just a simple update such as a *rough* level or progress would be appreciated.

For example last month we might of been 18% complete on mainline story progression.
In the next update you might mention your *approximately* 29% complete.

Based on your current ambition VS the current amount of content.. i wouldn't consider that a spoiler, just a rough idea of where that particular mechanic is up-to.
A spoiler would be oh yes I've created a new alien race that will invade the Galaxy through the inactive sector gates, or something..

Not expecting details but a very very rough idea of progression I think would go a long way, personally.

Blog Posts / Re: GIF Roundup
« on: April 18, 2020, 11:40:36 AM »
Well with the sandbox nature of this game, story certainly isn't the biggest element, but I agree on the goal, there's not too much to do in late-game now. That said, I'm 100% sure we'll get more of both story and goals before 1.0.

Totally agree, and yes fingers crossed indeed!

Blog Posts / Re: GIF Roundup
« on: April 18, 2020, 11:26:52 AM »
In a word: Story campaign (two words  ;D) !
The game is great - I even prefer vanilla over the mods I tried, however it's just missing that story / goal.

It's teasing us with the (not going to give away any spoilers) - current abrupt ending of the quest line..
Which has been that way for months now.
As polished as it already is, as great as everyone's impressions already are - I'm just finding it excruciatingly painful waiting for the update that'll shut me up!

I've recommended the game to a couple of my friends, i believe in this product, and have gotten other people playing it.
Lets get to the next level and get this story mode done lads, cmon!  :)

No more colouring in, let's make some ground trembling changes eh?

Blog Posts / Re: GIF Roundup
« on: April 18, 2020, 11:03:09 AM »
I think you both missed my main point, let's discuss a bit further..

I agree, lot's of games these days (early access / or even finished AAA titles - get rushed out, sometimes)
That's a different business as your talking about these companies investing hundreds of millions of dollars into a title. it some cases the future of that company can rest on a single titles revenue at launch.
Some of these companies are extremely large - It's a business, so sometimes they need to release a bit early then patch it after.
They are employing people with families and mortgages, so the company needs a return at some point. What I'm trying to say here is that I get why this happens, despite how much I hate it.

It sucks when a released title has loads of bugs / glitches, I'd never be an advocate of rushing a title out, in Star Sector's case, this is anything but rushed.
I get the polishing, I do..

*Edit* Look at Mount Blade 2 for example - Bit of a disaster in terms of initial impressions due to bugs / performance issues (I was extremely disappointed after 8 years of dev)
*But* - They made a good attempt at getting key features out first such as the tutorials and campaigns and custom battles, the right strategy just a poor execution as they clearly lacked the QA / balancing / polishing discussed here.
Realistically in an ideal world you want both, not just one or the other.

I'm a commercial software engineer myself, quality is important as code rots over time and features get harder to implement if the code base isn't maintained to a quality level following good SOLID principles..
I get it, I do..

With regards to the first reply, it's not about *first impressions* we're ten years in first impressions have been and gone, surely?
When the game becomes 1.0 and is released fully (on Steam or not, I've no idea what Alexs' plans are with that) - then your impressions and initial reviews are going to matter.

I wasn't suggesting releasing early before final balancing and tweaks are completed, obviously that's a bad idea!

There's also a thing called MVP (minimum viable product) and having a focused release cycle on getting key features and functionality out first, makes a lot of sense.
I've played multiple sessions on vanilla, I've not noticed any glaring bugs, horrible glitches or UI issues or major balancing issues.

In it's current form I find the game extremely decent, let's not talk about first impressions as:
Number one, the game's had players playing it for ten years or so.
Number two, it's well polished and I doubt a single player has a bad thing to say about the game (especially the lucky few who are experiencing it for the first time)

I've been aware of Alex working on 'core' features for a while now, but please let's not wait another ten years till 1.0 because we are obsessed about colouring in asteroids and the like..


Blog Posts / Re: GIF Roundup
« on: April 18, 2020, 07:43:50 AM »
Alex when are you going to get this game finished / 1.0. The game doesn't need more weapons / ships or fancy effects why are you focusing on these silly trinkets?
Finish the story / campaign, i'd be more interested in seeing what the jump gates will do and how the story pans out.. It's getting ridiculous waiting years for this game to finish, checking every day for a monthly update which rarely comes each month..

Only to see another update obsessing over graphical tweaks, the games already pretty, what are you doing?
How long can one expect to wait it's been in develop ten years now mate, you've had the core mechanics down for a while now (years IMO), yet still not a finished 'game'.

Why don't you add a feature, something like a hire able mercenary fleet that can bodyguard you for a credit cost?

Things I like in updates:
- Colony building (yes)
- Quest / mission variety increase (yes)
- Story / campaign progression (yes)

Things that make me super-super eye roll:
- Graphics tweaks
- More balancing tweaks
- More UI re-designs

I'm just giving a few examples here, I'm surprised the community is so enthralled with these kind of updates, like magpies chasing a sparking diamond..
Get the core game out, add polish and refinement later dude?

Blog Posts / Re: Raiding for Fun and Profit
« on: November 28, 2019, 03:34:48 AM »
I don't want to put a downer on things but..

We have't had an update in months, but it seems one has finally arrived!
Alex it seems you are obsessing over the wrong things, clearly the game lacks content in terms of story.

I think a lot of people want to see the game move forward in the correct direction, Star Citizen is currently suffering from the same symptoms.
Elite Dangerous on the other hand was developed in such a way that all the core mechanics got released and then polished afterwards.

Personally I think the combat system, progression system, mission, reputation, skill points etc.. (All of that stuff) - is good enough in it's current incarnation.

We are years down the line now, how long do we continue to apply polish to features which already exist?
Can't we focus our efforts on the features which are crucially missing?  :-\

General Discussion / Re: Babysitting mitigation
« on: June 13, 2019, 04:54:03 AM »
The inspection mechanic definitely needs some tweaking I feel..

My experience of (Hegemony) inspections are that of two distinct, bitter tastes.


Well, the first time it happened I hadn't seen the notification as it must of been drowned out in the other notifications.
All the cores had been (what felt like stolen) from my first and only colony.
I wasn't even aware of it as a feature, until I got the notification of the inspection after the fact of it happening.

Ah cool, next time I'll try and pay more attention to this "inspection", right?
Well, the good news is I did exactly that.

The bad news is I felt like my decision was entirely wrong in how I dealt with the following Hegemony inspection.
I decided to fight the inspection, not really knowing that this would cause an immediate hostility.

+100 faction reputation suddenly plummeted to -50 (hostile)!
 I didn't expect such a drastic drop, only maybe 20 or 30 points at the most I would of expected to lose.

I was wrong! What happened next was..well, I can only describe it as "Interstellar war".
You see I had two colonies at this point in Hegemony space, which were now under threat of being wiped out.
In a sadistic way it gave me "something fun to do" or worry about..

The problem I find with that mechanic though, is the lack of warning around the consequences of resisting the inspection.
I don't believe I saw a summary warning me of open hostilities, should the inspection be resisted.
If I'd of known this, I probably would of just paid the bribe, as I'm still unpicking this decision I made by wiping out the Hegemony colonies, effectively ending a war I didn't really want!

I like the idea of the mechanic, it just needs to be a bit more informative (possibly) of what consequences each action has.
Perhaps also a "sticky" RSS feed option for certain types of events would be useful.

For example if a particular type of issue such as inspection is deemed important to the player, it could become "sticky" on the main overview to remind you of something happening / occurring?
We could have an option when viewing a notification which says "Pin {event_type} events" - or something?



General Discussion / Re: Feedback #1
« on: June 12, 2019, 02:56:00 AM »
Good responses Alex!

I'm looking forward to the next few updates..
I can't believe I didn't notice the deployment cap size increase in the options..

That's going to make things more interesting for sure..
Hopefully, when things story wise really get going, it won't require a game re-start, but no worries if it does, things like that can't be helped I guess!

General Discussion / Feedback #1
« on: June 11, 2019, 05:26:15 AM »
    Hi Guys,

    After coming back to the game many years since its early conception - I've put quite a lot of hours into Star Sector and managed to "finish" a play through.
    In terms of finish I really mean I have a huge fleet ranging from paragon to pretty much every other ship type.

    Most are in storage as I can only fit 30 ships in my fleet at a given time (More on this in a second)
    Also I have a max level character (level 50) - max number of colonies based on my character build.
    Not to mention finish the story currently on offer (more on this later also)

    That being said, I'm still playing my save as there is loads more stuff I want to do in the Sector. 
    The concept of "finish" is really a relative concept, based on one's ambitions within the game..

    I thought it's probably a good idea to give some feedback, some of it may help.
    I'm hoping most of the concepts I mention are felt by other people, I don't want to go against the grain of where this amazing product is heading.
    Personally, I don't believe in expecting huge features to be realistically implemented.

    So, I'm keeping my feedback / suggestions to be purely based on what experiences I had as a player.
    These should be fairly (hopefully) easy to implement, if not that's totally fine just ignore them!  :)


    • Story.. I know, I know... we all want it, hopefully. I can't wait to see what happens next, there's so much that can be done with the story / lore!
      This will naturally develop in time, so I almost didn't want to mention it. However I feel it's probably the main thing I'd like to see drive forward.
      Apologies for mentioning this, good luck on the implementation! I look forward to something big happening. Shake up our beloved Sector and blow our minds!
    • Maximum character level - I hit this level pretty fast I guess, does it need to be capped at 50? Raising this can only promote people playing longer?
      I didn't realise the cap was at 50, I'd of put more skill points into colony management otherwise. I'm surprised that I can't hire an extra Administrator, but I look after 10 officers.
      The officer cap at level 20 is fine, I don't see any issues with this itself personally.
    • Maximum fleet deployment points (300) - This limitation seemed a bit like a smoking gun. Is there a reason for this limitation, in terms of performance reasons?
      When a players fleet gets larger and larger it becomes difficult to deploy anything other than the first few capital ships. Bigger battles are more fun too.  ;D
    • Fleet deployment handy-cap (similar to above) This happens when a bigger fleet attacks a smaller fleet, causing the smaller fleet to be able to deploy less than the bigger fleet.
      I'll be honest I dislike this mechanic the most out of all. It makes getting ambushed by an armada even worse than it already is when your at a size disadvantage.
      I'd suggest back tracking on this mechanic, for a level playing field. Then, increasing the deployment cap to at least 500 for both sides.

    That's enough for now I guess. There are other things I'd like to mention but these above are the most obvious that I can see.
    I noticed the pattern of suggestions I had are really around increasing some of the limits which are currently imposed.

    There's probably a good reason for some of them, I'm guessing.
    We can't have "unlimited" amount of ships on the screen at any given time obviously.

    However, if a new player can hit these max levels pretty quick then I feel raising them is a fairly quick solution to this.

General Discussion / Re: Post-game 0.9.1a re-cap feedback
« on: June 10, 2019, 06:46:46 AM »
Just on the space travel..

I found that going for the ship mod which adds +2 to max burn level is a must.
Not only to speed up travel, but to allow for fast escapes from massive pirate fleets / ambushes.

General rule of thumb was to never own a ship with a burn level lower than 9.
So if you buy a capital ship with a burn level of 7, get the speed modification to bring it up-to burn level 9.

Quite a lot of ships are already at burn level 9, so they don't require the upgrade.

This coupled with the navigation skill allowed a further speed increase, totalling at a travel of 20 burn.
That's pretty fast for a Paragon, Onslaught, Conquest, Legion + various other cruisers + Medusa's..

I remember not paying any attention to burn level as a *new* player, and getting caught / intercepted loads of times and having to then start over!

General Discussion / Congratulations are in order!
« on: June 04, 2019, 02:38:40 PM »
Hello Starsector community,

Firstly, congratulations to Alex and any / all developers / artists who have worked on Starsector over the years.
I remember this game back when it was just a single system, with only a couple of factions floating around.

After returning quite a few years later, I see you've been very busy!

A galaxy which can be travelled, colonies, ship building, factions & reputations, story system (at least some), plenty of quests, bars, hire-able crew.. etc..etc..

How addictive this game suddenly is!
It's absolutely evaporating all my free time at the moment, and I freaking love it!

You've really smashed it guys, from the audio to the atmosphere & combat system. The colony management is pretty cool too, even in this early stage.
I'm sure there still even more you can do and look forward to the updates.

Currently enjoying my first colony, aptly named "Pirate Hunters" - I absolutely hate pirates (in a fun way) so I'm dedicated to wiping them out.
They just keep on coming though, throwing themselves against my orbital battle station, its so much fun to watch!!

The only real thing I'd like to see is focus on attempting to flesh out the story mode.
I think there's some really exciting things going on in the Starsector galaxy, such as the inactive domain gates, floating domain AI etc..
There's lots of possibilities to really inject some surprises for the player as the story eventually develops, looking forward to that!

Congratulations again! Keep smashing it, I look forward to something big happening next in our beloved galaxy. 

General Discussion / Re: Terrible Game
« on: July 22, 2018, 01:09:24 PM »
Well that would just be a cop-out wouldn't it..

If a customer walks into a restaurant, sits down and pays for a meal which he find unsatisfactory, what would you do as the restaurant owner?
Throw the food in his face or offer a reasonable explanation?
I don't think offering a 'git good' explanation would be sufficient for a customer who's just paid for a service / item. 

Back to the actual game at hand, there's no doubt a very narrow path to financial success.

Combat: Bounty hunting (only viable reason to fight willingly) - Also inaccessible as a feature until sufficient fleet strength. 
Trade: Buy low, sell high (multiple ways to achieve this) - Decent feature and can be fun!
Scavenge: Good way to make money at the start, can be risky and requires lots of fuel and supplies.
Station Building / Industry: ?? Never experienced this as I didn't stomach the game long enough.

I'm sure that are other ways, but there's a small number of actual successful ways to make money it seems.
The real currency in the game appears to be supplies though, they are required for far too many actions and extremely costly to replace in bulk.

The fear of actually making any meaningful decision in iron man mode seems to just be punished by losing supplies at a rate of knots..
Once your supplies are gone you dig into your wallet to replace them, rinse / repeat.

General Discussion / Terrible Game
« on: July 22, 2018, 11:50:31 AM »
I can't believe how difficult the game is and how punishing the game is for every decision a player can make.
It could actually be really fun but no, the player is constantly stripped of all ships, due to clicking on the wrong piece of space or going down a wrong jump hole.

Missions are all pretty much the same, there doesn't seem to be any real aim after completing the tutorial mission.. Or Story, even after this many years in development..

 * There seems hardly any point in amassing a fleet and trying to fight pirates or anything, it always results in a loss of earnings, non profitable. *
Bounty hunting seems the only legit reason to even fight in this game, or to defend yourself, which is all the time..

Supplies are required way too much for everything, and are way too expensive to replace, doesn't make the game fun at all, it's just an outright chore to play..
So disappointing, I preferred the game in its early alpha, why have you had to make it so complicated and difficult to play?

This post from another fella also puts it quite well:

The ratio of cost/reward is horrificly unbalanced.  I slowly but surely get drained of resources to the point where I'm stuck in a random sector somewhere, out of fuel, and unable to do anything.  As you progress the AI ships and fleets get bigger and more powerful, requiring you to match or outmatch what you would normally encounter.  This means more resources, fuel, etc to keep playing the game.  Eventually those resources run dry.  There's no way to "farm" anything in this game, as every attempt you make after the first attempt yields less resources at a heavier resource drain to do said farming.

I've been waiting for an update that alleviates this.  I've had SS sitting on my desktop, staring me in the face, saying "hey, play me".  But I put about 20 hours into this game the first month I picked it up, and haven't played it since.  As it stands, if this game were on steam, I would give it a negative review.  I feel like I threw $20 away on a game that is so punishingly hard, the mechanics make it so that you are beaten down to the point of defeat just as you are getting your feet off the ground.  The push to constantly explore new sectors, that get farther and farther away, at the increased cost of fuel and resources, only to find nothing in those sectors, really makes it so that you can never beat this game.  It is literally impossible to beat this game.  And I don't want the hardcore super experienced players say "just keep playing it".  I'm telling you, as a newbie to this game, I find it unplayable, and I have put it down months ago and haven't come back to it.

Of course, fan boy hate is incoming, surely other people must experience this?


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