first impressions

A space strategy macromanagement game with turnbased battles.
CautiousChaos
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Re: first impressions

Post by CautiousChaos » Sun Jun 01, 2008 9:22 pm

New techs and a skirmish mode by end of month?! Yowzers! That's impressive! On the random events topic I would also like to contribute a few suggestions as well...

I would add, in general, events that can influence production, relations, technology, economy...

Economical: Events that influence economy in the following ways:
- Temporary boost to economic output (robust economy)
- Temporary reduction to economic output (recession, depression)
- Increase in materials processing due to mineral finds
- Decrease in materials processing due to planetary conditions, mine collapses, ...
- Decreases in economic output due to labor disputes or politics

Production: Events that influence production (military or research)...
- An event that causes a research project to be completed early or delayed significantly
- Accidental discoveries of technology
- Delayed or early completion of military vehicles

Relations: Events that influence either the relationship you have with opponent or the loyalty of your folks
- Political dissagrements causing negative loyalty during the current administration and vice versa

Miscellaneous:
- Poor space weather causing delays in travel
- Space lanes that get temporarily closed due to various stuff

Just a few random, er, thoughts...
-cc

wolfdaddy2002
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Re: first impressions

Post by wolfdaddy2002 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:34 am

Well don't kill yourself doing it. I do like the idea of creating several new techs, but limiting the number that show up. 2-3 techs that are found in ruins, when the list is 6-7 is pretty good. Especially if you limit the scope of the new techs, and DON'T feel like you have to make a whole new tech tree. MANY sci-fi writers introduce a tech and deliberatly leave it vague. Here's another thought, though there might be a copyright problem. Uniques Systems
1. Ringworld.
2. Dyson Sphere.
3. Worlds arranged in a perfect pentacle while in the same orbit.
4. A moving world.
5. A world orbiting a black hole.
While each would look interesting, you could also have them be a location for ruins, randomize which ones appear in any given game (perhaps making it limited to one or two?) Each system could provide some sort of unique bonus to ships defending it, and to the empire that holds it.

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jack1974
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Re: first impressions

Post by jack1974 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:17 am

Hehe no don't worry, won't kill myself of work :mrgreen:
Adding new techs shouldn't be hard. Global events a bit more, and skirmish probably long to write but not really hard to make since it is basically a new screen where you can build your fleet with a certain percentage of money.
Thanks for the ideas, some of them are both very good and easy to implement. Will try to add as more as possible, but of course next update won't be the last :P so I can always add even more through the course of the year.

KnockOut
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Re: first impressions

Post by KnockOut » Mon Jun 02, 2008 5:27 pm

I second all of CatiousChoas' reccomendations for random events.

Also, it's a little annoying for it to pop-up all the time that I can't have less than 5% or more than 60%. Maybe just a red beep and if it happens twice in a row than it pops up. It's easy to do it over or under accidentally and it's a pain for it to pop up all the time.

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jack1974
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Re: first impressions

Post by jack1974 » Mon Jun 02, 2008 7:10 pm

Ok, indeed maybe that pop-up isn't needed everytime, only if the player really insists :mrgreen:

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jack1974
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Re: first impressions

Post by jack1974 » Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:35 am

A quick update... as I posted in my blog, I'm trying to release before end of this month the version 1.0.3 that will contain custom ships design, random global events, and a interesting real-time macromanagement part (in practice you don't have to click end of turn all the time! :lol: ).
I left skirmish mode to be done later because I'm making the custom ship screen, and would be cool to be able to reuse it even in skirmish mode, rather than using the standard ships. So the skirmish mode will come later this year :roll:

biff
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Re: first impressions

Post by biff » Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:05 am

Hi all,

I've been playing the 1.02 version on my Mac laptop for a few days and I have a few comments along the line of what started this thread.

1 - I agree with that it seems to take far too long to get the game started. How about starting with at least some material or money or even a ship or two?

2 - It would be helpful (especially at the start of the game) not to have to fight for every neutral system. How about some systems being uninhabited?

3 - I'm still mulling this over but are there too many technologies? I get the point of it but I'm not sure what it adds. So far I just develop them by building new ship types so I haven't really seen the strategic or tactical purpose to them.

4 - Why does one ship in my fleet flash when the enemy is moving in the battle screen?
5 - The enemy ships move too slowly - half teh time I can hear them moving but I can't see them so it feels like a waste of time.

6 - There needs to be a zoom out available so that you can see the full map - especially in the battle screen.

7 - The side panel that comes up when you select a ship in the battle screen is too big and obscures too much of the screen space. Most of the time it either obscures the space I want to move too or the ship I want to attack. There should be a way to toggle it on or off or put it along the bottom of the screen maybe?

8 - I hate the screen re-centring that happens when a ship is selected in he battle screen. 90% of the time I end up having to scroll back to what the screen was like so that I can do the move or attack I wanted to do when I selected the ship in the first place. This would be somewhat solved in the ship info panel was changed as I mentioned above.

9 - I'm not sure what the advantage is in capturing a planet during a battle when you always need to kill the enemy ships to win the battle.

10 - When I capture an enemy ship why doesn't it get added to my fleet for the next battle?

11 - The spinning spinning "blue team turn" text takes too long at the top of each battle turn - since there is only me and the computer playing I'm pretty sure when my turn is so it feels like a time waster - plus you can't start scrolling the screen when it's happening. Just flash it up quickly and be done with it.

12 - Can you move the "end turn" button from top centre of the battle screen - I keep hitting it when I'm using the cursor to scroll up. Perhaps it and the Options button could go to the bottom corners just like the options and end turn buttons on the other screens.

13 - I'd love to be able to group ship movements - especially for slower ships that have fallen behind the main battle.

14 - In the fleet placement screen just prior to the battle, I think it would be helpful to grey out or disable the "next" and "previous" buttons when there are no ships in inventory on those pages since there are no more ships anyway.

15 - Love the custom ship and random events ideas that others have spoken of. Random events would certainly spice up the macro aspect of the game.

16 - How about adding stationary defences (mines) that you can research and build to protect your systems?

17 - The green window that pops up when you start researching a ship telling you that you will now be researching all the necessary technologies is a bit redundant in my opinion. Maybe add a "don't show this again" check box?

18 - In my last game I exited and quit without being prompted to save the game. What's up with that? Yes I got a warning about quitting but never any indication that the game wouldn't be saved or an option to do so.

19 - I've read about being able to save in the middle of a battle but haven't seen any way to do that in the manual or tips. Did I miss something?

20 - I find that many of the tips pop ups are really badly written. Almost like there were translated into English. This may be the case and I mean no disrespect but all of the other written elements are fine so I'm not sure why the tips are so badly done.

Lastly I'd like to say that I enjoyed the game and the work that was put into it enough that I didn't mind paying the $25 shareware fee (although I think the demo could have been longer) and I was interested enough to comment to help make it better. Thanks.

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jack1974
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Re: first impressions

Post by jack1974 » Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:18 pm

Hello,
I'm working frenetically on version 1.0.3 with many new features, but I'll try to reply to some of your questions here:

1. I could indeed have the game start with some materials and money already, and a few ships. In 1.0.3. there will also be a real-time management that will solve the problem (you can always pause the speed if you need to think)
2. I didn't thought about it, but there are so few stars already... don't know about this one, you can select a smaller galaxy (with less starsystems) if you want to start fighting sooner with the opponent faction :)
3. Ah no, actually there are even not many considering the kind of game! the good thing though is that you really don't need to research them all to win, if you're good in the wargame part (or choose easy level)
4. The flashing ship is your active ship, it flashes even when is your turn (so you know which one you're moving)
5. You can speedup the movement using the + and - numeric keyboard, probably would be better to set it at max speed by default
6. yes, zoom will be added, probably on version 1.0.4 though :roll:
7 and 8. this is a known problem (another user reported it) and indeed I'm thinking what to do, if to put it on the bottom, or make it disappear if you just want to move the ship (it would appear only if you target an enemy)
9. well planets give regeneration to HP and crew, so if you have damaged ship/transport is good to capture one and station a few ships around it
10. because otherwise the game would be too easy ;)
11. yes, I agree, will make it faster already in next version!
12. problem is that moving on those part, could be hidden by the ship panel. I have to think where to place them though, since that is a known problem too
13. yes, group movement would be a cool addition, I wrote that down for a future update :)
14. good idea, will add this in an update for sure like above
15. working on it right now :)
16. yes, another good idea, I took note!
17. yes, for some windows like this one I need to put the checkbox, true
18. hm so you want an auto-save option if you quit? I think could add this as well, would just store the last position if player quit without saving.
19. yes to save in middle of battle you just click option (top of screen near end turn) or press escape, and click save :)
20. I've asked an american friend of mine to fix them - I wrote all the texts of the game but I'm not a native english speaker, so surely have some problems with language, no offense taken! :mrgreen:

Lastly thanks for all the feedback. If you're new to my forums and my games you'll see that I'll probably implement 90% of your suggestions (expecially since are very good and make sense). Surely will take a while, but be patient and I'll get there... :P

biff
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Re: first impressions

Post by biff » Tue Jun 24, 2008 6:59 pm

Thanks for the quick and detailed reply. A few further comments on may and your replies.

1 - Since you can't do anything without ships, materials, and money I think it's good to start with something otherwise you're just clicking for m,any turns until you can actually start playing.
2 - Actually it's not so much that I want to fight the opposing faction sooner. It's that I'd like to not have to fight for every star system. (As an aside - how about some kind of colonizer ship that you need to build to actually colonize a star system once you control it).
3 - I guess I'm still learning about the technologies and how they affect the game.
4 - OK, I wasn't sure why it was flashing during the opponent turn.
5 - Ok I'll try that. This is the first that I have seen about how to do this. I don't think it's in the game or the manual.
6 - Yay!
7/8 - Great to hear this.
9 - Ah now I understand. Thanks.
10 - hmmmmm ok maybe
11 - Great
12 - Great
13 - also great
14 - cool
15 - also cool
16 - thanks
17 - great
18 - That would be very helpful. Or at least a reminder that the current game hasn't been saved.
19 - interesting - pressing escape doesn't work for me. I'll try the option method.
20 - Cool I thought that might be the case. Your posts are very well written by the way so I wasn't completely sure.

One last thing. I was playing yesterday and my home system was invaded by the opposing faction. I successfully fought them off but I still had a screen come up saying that I had lost because my system had been invaded. If this is the case then there is no point in fighting that last battle because even if you repel the invasion you still lose the game. It also means that all I need to do to win is send a single scout into the enemy's home system and I win the game. I haven't tried this yet but something doesn't seem right about it.

Looking forward to the next version. Thanks.

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jack1974
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Re: first impressions

Post by jack1974 » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:34 pm

One last thing. I was playing yesterday and my home system was invaded by the opposing faction. I successfully fought them off but I still had a screen come up saying that I had lost because my system had been invaded.
Ah no, this is not right, is a bug :mrgreen: I'll do a test here to see why that happened, could be that you started the fight the same turn that the invasion was over, so the bug appeared, but of course that is not the regular behaviour of the game! :lol:

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