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Author Topic: Questions about development  (Read 916 times)
Nighteyes
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« on: March 20, 2017, 06:54:16 PM »

1. Are there any plans to scale the game with higher resolution displays? While not impossible to play at 1440p, the menus and UI are quite small. If not done by the dev, will he at least open the door for modders to improve the UI?

2. Early game and the balancing of different profit paths. It seems like early game is just way too hard, while late game is a lot easier but not mindless. I can never seem to successfully engage in cargo hauling. Even when trying to use the Intel price events, the profits earned are always so minor if at all. Combat missions seem to always be a lot more successful but the first 15 levels or so are just painful to navigate through. Will trading be made a bit easier and obvious?

3. Any plans for a more in-depth mission system? To cite another game, Endless Sky has a relatively competent mission generation system that allows players to take set cargo/passenger/escort missions. This really helps direct players like myself who need a bit more of a helping hand. Having both the open economy that currently exists and a more focused generated mission system like in Endless Sky would give players both support and freedom.
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Midnight Kitsune
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 07:40:46 PM »

1. Are there any plans to scale the game with higher resolution displays? While not impossible to play at 1440p, the menus and UI are quite small. If not done by the dev, will he at least open the door for modders to improve the UI?

2. Early game and the balancing of different profit paths. It seems like early game is just way too hard, while late game is a lot easier but not mindless. I can never seem to successfully engage in cargo hauling. Even when trying to use the Intel price events, the profits earned are always so minor if at all. Combat missions seem to always be a lot more successful but the first 15 levels or so are just painful to navigate through. Will trading be made a bit easier and obvious?

3. Any plans for a more in-depth mission system? To cite another game, Endless Sky has a relatively competent mission generation system that allows players to take set cargo/passenger/escort missions. This really helps direct players like myself who need a bit more of a helping hand. Having both the open economy that currently exists and a more focused generated mission system like in Endless Sky would give players both support and freedom.
1: From what I know of, I don't think there are any plans, but of course only Alex knows. It might be a last minute addition before the game goes 1.0.

2: There are already somethings in the coming update that will help out in the early game, mainly the rebalanced skills, ship salvaging, being able to remove D mods and drone ships (IE the slimes of SS)

3: I THINK the mission system is a placeholder until more of the campaign main features are built and balanced and bug tested.
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Stop trying to balance the game around a few minmaxers...
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Alex
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 07:51:52 PM »

Hi! Midnight is pretty much on point, but let me just confirm here anyway.

1. Are there any plans to scale the game with higher resolution displays? While not impossible to play at 1440p, the menus and UI are quite small. If not done by the dev, will he at least open the door for modders to improve the UI?

Definitely not - not because I don't theoretically want to, but because it's quite involved. There's a reason that HD remakes of games are just that - remakes. Basically, anything that's at all easy-ish would not be superior to just playing at a lower resolution in the first place.


2. Early game and the balancing of different profit paths. It seems like early game is just way too hard, while late game is a lot easier but not mindless. I can never seem to successfully engage in cargo hauling. Even when trying to use the Intel price events, the profits earned are always so minor if at all. Combat missions seem to always be a lot more successful but the first 15 levels or so are just painful to navigate through. Will trading be made a bit easier and obvious?

Well... yes and no. Yes, a lot of the early game will be easier - new opponents to fight, and a focus on exploration and salvage. No, trade is not going to be all that great. I'm not sure what shape it'll take eventually, but it just hasn't gotten much dev attention during this upcoming update's development.

Just to give you an idea, I think the starting options for this one will be "bounty hunter" and "scavenger", to more clearly indicate/prepare the player for the paths that have gotten the most work so far.

The late game will also be more difficult - or, at least, there'll be some late-game challenges that should be a lot more difficult than what's in the game right now. I wouldn't say it's all the way there in terms of creating a proper difficulty progression from start to finish, but it's going to be in a much better place than it is right now.

(Trade, hypothetically, might end up being done as something that's indirect - i.e. let's say you set up some outposts and the trading is done for you. Or it might not. Need to figure out a few more high-level mechanics around that before sorting that out, so don't want to spend a lot of effort band-aiding something else in for trade.)

3. Any plans for a more in-depth mission system? To cite another game, Endless Sky has a relatively competent mission generation system that allows players to take set cargo/passenger/escort missions. This really helps direct players like myself who need a bit more of a helping hand. Having both the open economy that currently exists and a more focused generated mission system like in Endless Sky would give players both support and freedom.

I wouldn't say the mission *system* itself is a placeholder, but yeah, there'll be more missions eventually - again, holding off on getting deeper into that until basically everything else is set. In the current build, there's one more exploration-themed mission type.

As you note, the reason for it existing is to help direct players - give you a reason to go somewhere out on the fringes of the Sector, and then you'll find/run into things along the way, but just need that little something to get you started. So, being sparing with missions, adding just enough to get things going, but not so much that re-working them later would be a big time-drain.

Also: welcome to the forum!
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 08:07:45 PM »


Just to give you an idea, I think the starting options for this one will be "bounty hunter" and "scavenger", to more clearly indicate/prepare the player for the paths that have gotten the most work so far.


Ooh, does that mean new career options when creating a character? If I'm honest, I've been finding the current selection a little bit... lackluster. They're completely usable, just a change would be welcome in that regard.
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Alex
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 08:17:44 PM »

Yep! I wouldn't get too attached to the new set, either.
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AxleMC131
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 08:23:04 PM »

Yep! I wouldn't get too attached to the new set, either.

Fun fun! Wink
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"I ain't one to punch first, but if the mil' wants a piece of me tonight, then they're sure as hell gonna regret it in the morning!"
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Nighteyes
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 08:39:50 PM »

Thank you so much for your replies. A few follow-up questions if you don't mind.


Definitely not - not because I don't theoretically want to, but because it's quite involved. There's a reason that HD remakes of games are just that - remakes. Basically, anything that's at all easy-ish would not be superior to just playing at a lower resolution in the first place.

I'll admit to knowing very little about the dev work that goes into the game, but is there the possibility of allowing the modders to do the work for you? Or is it something that goes much deeper?

Just to give you an idea, I think the starting options for this one will be "bounty hunter" and "scavenger", to more clearly indicate/prepare the player for the paths that have gotten the most work so far.

You have such a robust and dynamic trade system that I assume you put a lot of work into. You have freighters, tankers, and shuttles in the game that you intentionally designed and gave a role to, but from what it sounds like, you have no plans to actually give them any purpose. Maybe I misunderstood? Or maybe trade influences the universe in ways I just haven't comprehended yet?

Although I am new on the forums, I am not new to the game (I have been playing for about a year and a half) and as a veteran, and even from the perspective of a new player, seeing such robust systems can be quite misleading when the reality of it is trading is just not a viable play style and shuttles serve almost no purpose.
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Alex
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 08:54:55 PM »

I'll admit to knowing very little about the dev work that goes into the game, but is there the possibility of allowing the modders to do the work for you? Or is it something that goes much deeper?

It's not something that's well-suited to being modded, unfortunately. Just because of how things are structured, at most mods can change a specific part of the UI (say, replace the (new) radar with something else, or provide a custom interaction with an entity) rather than overhaul the UI entirely.

That'd also be a pretty huge project - the amount of UI code in the game is extremely non-trivial.

You have such a robust and dynamic trade system that I assume you put a lot of work into. You have freighters, tankers, and shuttles in the game that you intentionally designed and gave a role to, but from what it sounds like, you have no plans to actually give them any purpose. Maybe I misunderstood? Or maybe trade influences the universe in ways I just haven't comprehended yet?

Although I am new on the forums, I am not new to the game (I have been playing for about a year and a half) and as a veteran, and even from the perspective of a new player, seeing such robust systems can be quite misleading when the reality of it is trading is just not a viable play style and shuttles serve almost no purpose.

Hmm - as far as those types of ships specifically, I'm not sure I see what makes them trade-purposed in particular. Freighters, tankers, and personnel carriers are all good for expanding the carrying capacity of your fleet, which, yes, it's good for trade in the conventional "carry stuff from X to Y for profit" sense, but it's also good for, well, just being able to carry more stuff which is useful in various other ways. Put another way, all those would be in the game even if you couldn't trade for profit at all.

For this next release, for example, I'd imagine that tankers and freighters will be very important to have for a successful salvage expedition - the former to be able to get there and get back, and the latter for carrying all the supplies and equipment (on the way out) and salvage (on the way back in). Crew transports would also be quite useful, both to support the "ship recovery" playstyle and for REDACTED reasons.

(I also wouldn't say trading is entirely not viable, it's just ... there's just not as much there, in terms of both gameplay and content. But, alright, that's a minor nitpick and that's fair enough.)
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Nighteyes
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 10:10:24 PM »

Thanks for your replies, Alex. I greatly appreciate your time!

I think part of my observations is based on my perspective of the game. The game kind of initially shows itself as this open space, free to choose your own path setup (I'm likely influenced by all of the other space games out there), but really, and maybe this is your vision, everything in the game seems to be designed to support the big pew pew fleet (at this point).

As an observation from one of your many players, the means to consistently earn profit is a bit blurred currently. Hopefully .8 and the new mechanics will start to address that. Having more clearly designated paths to becoming rich would benefit the player greatly. Making use of your already awesome ship content would give added meaning to their existence (e.g. shuttles are used to bring manpower to colonies looking to expand or build defensive military stations, tankers to bring fuel to colonies wanting to build fleets, freighters for the cargo missions).

If your vision is only to make profit through combat, make that more clear to the player, or you might end up with frustrated players trying to play in a style that the game just isn't designed to support. Anyways, I hope this feedback is useful and keep up the great work. I love your team's blog postings and I hope the release of 0.8 and beyond go smoothly.
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Alex
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 10:40:33 PM »

Thanks for your kind words!

Yeah, it's more of an "at this point" situation. Combat is a big part of the game, though, so ideally I'd like it to figure in whatever one's playstyle ends up being. For example, exploration and salvage is designed with plenty of opportunities for combat in mind, even though what you're *profiting* from there isn't combat, directly.

Regarding trade specifically, I think I mentioned it more or less, but I just want to see how things shape up regarding the increasingly-less-hypothetical outposts etc before putting a lot of effort into it. I mean, it's had some effort directed at it along the way (procurement missions, trade disruptions, intel price map, etc) but it hasn't exactly come together into a coherent whole (yet).

And, again, I think ideally combat would factor in somehow - whether it's defending your outposts and trade lanes or just fighting off pirates that become increasingly aware of the valuable cargoes you are wont to carry. That's what the campaign design approach has crystallized into; looking at everything in terms of how it leads to combat or flows from it.


If your vision is only to make profit through combat, make that more clear to the player, or you might end up with frustrated players trying to play in a style that the game just isn't designed to support. Anyways, I hope this feedback is useful and keep up the great work. I love your team's blog postings and I hope the release of 0.8 and beyond go smoothly.

Yeah, this is a good point just in general. Even if "trade" was fully fleshed out but just implemented in a way that didn't match initial expectations, that's still be something to watch out for. I appreciate your feedback - it's good to think about these things, even if there's nothing immediate to do about 'em.
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intrinsic_parity
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« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2017, 02:42:27 AM »

It does seem like you (Alex) have put a significant amount of time and effort into designing a relatively complex economic system, but then made it have almost no impact on actual gameplay. That always seemed odd to me. It would be disappointing if you just left it as a bit of icing on the cake.
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majorfreak
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2017, 12:11:42 AM »

I found the "extra system" mod took care of my roleplay needs of loot gathered (the requirements are all the items you normally loot from wreckage)...trading just...well...sucks. It would be fun to have a small fleet of smugglers to whip around doing missions and stuff but the missions template isn't suited for that (cargo space either too insanely large or time frame ridiculous, etc)
Nexerelin takes care of one's industry needs (you'll need ore for 'extra system' stuff, so voila! you get to be a miner)

so, basically, those two mods enable you to be a "salvager" + "miner" that actually have ingame affect on your gameplay. It encourages one to keep haulers about as well for both purposes. It's actually quite fun to have a jury-rigged industry side to the game.

As for criticism:  been playing eve-online since 2003 (stopped last year) and their mission template is basically beta that truly sucks and they've never really bothered to improve fundamentally (you know: common sense immersion stuff that makes you feel like you're working towards something or at least a fiction of contribution to something beyond the boring monotony of the same old random meaningless crap)...compared to the iterations on PVP one simply wonders why the developers even bothered with the mission system. It's literally a pale afterthought they haven't prioritized for improvement in major ways for almost two decades (meaning they never effing will and it's a bloody tease)
Code:
it's almost as if the bastards had some stupid focus group that told them attaching a half-baked teaser for missioning/trading would actually attract alot of customers

*shrug* never played WoW but i have heard Blizzard did right by the quest system.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2017, 12:21:09 AM by majorfreak » Logged
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