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Author Topic: Gameplay feedback first four hours  (Read 13056 times)

Sire

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Gameplay feedback first four hours
« on: September 28, 2013, 05:24:34 PM »

Ok here's some general feedback from my first 4 hours playing. Unfortunately I wasn't able to record with FRAPS, the recordings ended after just a few minutes. I did take notes while playing however.

Most important thing first: I love the game! A Dwarf Fortress inspired game actually being build by a GREAT game designer (I can tell from the book) with an eye for UI as well. And the setting is so much more inspiring than Prison Architect (which is not a bad game). This is going to be a truly great game.


Things that were confusing when starting out:
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People going mad without obvious warning. Suggestion: Before people are halfway to going mad, give a tutorial hint, or even a message so you can learn about the ! sign, checking people's thoughts, and that it's actually important to have separate rooms with lightning, nice walls etc..

People might be a bit TOO hung up on having nice quarters in the beginning? It is a brand new colony after all, people should be ok to live a bit primitive for at least the first couple of hours game time. Perhaps increase the "new colony" happy bonus, and make it slowly decay?


Food
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Ok this is slightly embarrassing, but I just realized I've played for 4 hours without a stockpile! I wanted to move the starting camp closer to the cave I was building, and while doing so I forgot to build a new stockpile. A lot of my food problems that I write about below are probably caused by this. Suggestion: Create a permanent warning when you have no stockpiles.

Constantly low on food. I made a mistake of selling a bunch in the beginning, thinking 150 food was plenty. I thought it was 150 daily rations for one person (which feels logical!), but people seem to eat a lot more (10 per day??). Right now it's impossible to know when food supplies are decreasing in a dangerous way. I would suggest making 1 food = 1 ration per person and day and adding a number behind the food number that indicates food growth or decay. For example: 100 (-2) means you have 100 current daily rations, but it's decreasing with 2 per day so you better build some more tables or farms.

Also, I feel that it's not logical you need 10 tables and one farm to feed 4 people? (And still often be dangerously low on food). Perhaps I'm missing something? Can you use the


Rooms / Walls
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Building walls is annoying, you often dig too small rooms (you forget you need walls outside). Suggestion: You should be able to build a wall inside the rock, which in effect makes it a mining AND a wall building action.


User Interface
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The overview screen should have 3 more tabs that show thoughts, needs and skills respectively, for all colonists. So you can quickly get an overview of what the major problems are (darkness, food?).

Overview screen should show skill numbers (or a small progress bar?) so you don't have to display the tooltip to see who's the best colonists for the particular job. Columns should be sortable by clicking the header, where appropriate.

The trading interface is ok, the click-and-drag motion is unusual but works fine when you understand it. Money can turn red when you can't afford a transaction. You need captions under the icons, I had no idea what I bought from my first trader (turned out to be missiles which could only be used a pretty expensive interior decorations :)

When displaying character details, it would be nice with buttons to switch to the next and previous character.

When clicking overview, and then research buttons, the overview window should automatically close. Right now you need to close it manually first.


Raider attacks
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The last two hours of my play I constantly suffered from being low on both food and metals, and what felt like constant raider attacks. One of which was only survived by walling myself in (8 raiders attacked my 3 colonists, one had a rifle). Hilariously, they were then attacked by a frenzied squirrel, and since they didn't seem to fight back (a bug I assume), half their team were dead and the rest fled :)

The FPS dropped to 3 when walling myself in, I guess it's karma. (But should be fixed anyway).

I would tweak the AI so there are no "impossible to survive" raids the first couple of hours of gameplay. Basically a more peaceful first hours, then ramp up to current levels.  And perhaps add a more aggressive AI for the hardcore players.


Bugs
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Sent one guy to capture a downed pilot, after he had dragged him half-way, my warden went out to his previous location to feed the prisoner. He should probably wait until he's in prison.

As mentioned before, raiders sometimes don't fight back against frenzied animals.

Hauling weapons seems bugged, on several occasions people just froze outside the equipment rack, and I had to temporarily draft them to the military to make them resume their duties.

One time a colonist tried to bury a pirate in an occupied grave, got an error message in the console. I was quickly using "prioritize hauling" dead bodies at the time.

A save file just got corrupted, it's just showing fog, and spewing error messages constantly. Can email for review. Thanks for auto saving often!

About four times I got a few "index out of range errors". Next time I will try to save so you can reproduce the error.


Gameplay Suggestions
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Traps! This is one of the most enjoyable aspects of Dwarf Fortress and Gnomoria. I don't know what the science fiction equivalent of a trap door with a spike trap at the bottom is, but please figure something out! :) A start would be different kinds of auto turrets, rockets, lasers and grenade launchers for example. The possibility to experiment with water and lava is extremely fun, but might not fit with your science fiction setting.

The challenge is to balance gameplay so you cannot build a totally impenetrable fortress without weakness. It should be possible to wall yourself in if you're so inclined, but you should never be able to feel 100% secure.

Soldier training (shooting and melee).

More fun random events. Suggestions: Meteoroid smashes down, destroying everything in a large radius, but can also deliver large quantities of metals.

Not sure if your lore is open for this, but I would love to see strange alien monsters, both peaceful animals and intelligent aggressive beasts. Make most animals edible, some might have negative effects on the colonists however. Being able to tame large alien animals and use in battle?


I'd love to get some comments on this. Now I'm off to begin a new colony, this time with a stockpile.

Cheers!
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Syphus

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2013, 07:36:17 PM »

Traps....maybe being able to hide turrets and set them off with some kind of tripwire?
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Fenex

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2013, 08:33:19 PM »

May I ask how you get the game because I really want try it.
Do I have to be a tester to play before kickstater because I would like to be one if that's the case. Or is there another way
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Tynan

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2013, 10:40:32 PM »

All right Sire! Thanks for the very full report. I wish you had some screenshots to post; It always makes these stories much more interesting. I've written a bunch of this down as stuff to look at/fix/add. I'll just respond to some of your notes below:

-People going mad: Were you looking at the alerts in the top right? When someone is near going insane it plays a red alert sound and you'll get a flashing red warning in the top right. I should probably make it play earlier and put a slightly louder indicator arrow.

-You couldn't have had no stockpile... there'd be no way to collect any resources. I think the game would crash. You must have just had your starting stockpile? Wish I could see a screenshot.

-Regarding food granularity, it used to come in larger "chunks" but that doesn't leave enough granularity for the amounts of food that come from some of the smaller or less-developed plants during harvesting. That's why it's 10 per day. Yeah, it's kind of arbitrary... sorry.

-Good idea on the wall building mine/build combined order.

-Overview does always shows colonists' 'suitability' for each job. The brighter the check box area, the better they are at the job. Of course, this isn't made clear anywhere.

-I need to add more overview interfaces for other stuff.

-On my "soon to do list" is having everyone defend themselves from immediate threats. This includes raiders fighting against frenzied squirrels.

-Regarding traps, for now I suggest you look into placing blasting charges on anticipated enemy approaches. In fact they're extremely OP if you use them properly; it's kind of ridiculous. I want more tactical possibilities too (hidden turrets would be cool).

All those bugs are very useful reports. Haven't heard those before, but I can see how they'd happen and I will fix them. Thanks!

And, I'm looking forward to hearing how your colony is developing. And hopefully seeing it :)



Fenex: You can't get the game right now. However, the Kickstarter will open next week and one of the reward tiers will give access to it as soon as the Kickstarter ends.
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Yarkista

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2013, 10:50:42 PM »

May I ask how you get the game because I really want try it.
Do I have to be a tester to play before kickstater because I would like to be one if that's the case. Or is there another way

Ty has already explained it, but please don't go asking for alpha access in the future, not just for this game but for all ames, it can realy piss some people off man.
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Tynan

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2013, 11:14:37 PM »

May I ask how you get the game because I really want try it.
Do I have to be a tester to play before kickstater because I would like to be one if that's the case. Or is there another way

Ty has already explained it, but please don't go asking for alpha access in the future, not just for this game but for all ames, it can realy piss some people off man.

Well, it's not a big deal. It'll all be clear once the KS is up anyway.
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Tynan

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2013, 11:43:44 PM »

Quote
Sent one guy to capture a downed pilot, after he had dragged him half-way, my warden went out to his previous location to feed the prisoner. He should probably wait until he's in prison.
This is a really good catch. These kinds of bugs are tough to intepret. Thank you.
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Fenex

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2013, 11:48:43 PM »

Thank you for the answer ill be sure to check out the kickstater.
Sorry for not reading the post I just wasn't sure if there was another way.
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Yarkista

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2013, 12:00:56 AM »

May I ask how you get the game because I really want try it.
Do I have to be a tester to play before kickstater because I would like to be one if that's the case. Or is there another way
Ty has already explained it, but please don't go asking for alpha access in the future, not just for this game but for all ames, it can realy piss some people off man.
Well, it's not a big deal. It'll all be clear once the KS is up anyway.
Say that when people start spamming you tens of times a day, it's been known to happen.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 06:07:16 AM by Hypolite »
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Jakadasnake

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2013, 12:21:45 AM »

This is such a great feedback post! The level of detail is just awesome. I don't really fit into the equation at all, just wanted to say thanks on behalf of those of us that won't be experiencing those bugs because you were able to identify them beforehand.

Also, Yarkista - are you aware you have replying with quotes only for your past couple of posts?
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Yarkista

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2013, 12:23:26 AM »

Yea I'm ion my phone, sorry for the mistakes. ;)

Moderator Edit: I'm fixing them every time when I see one :)
« Last Edit: September 29, 2013, 06:08:08 AM by Hypolite »
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Sire

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2013, 04:53:55 AM »

Added screenshots:

1. Here you can see I have no stockpile. I can mail the save file so you can have a look. When people gather stuff it just dissappears and they move in to the next task, but the counter goes up.




2. Another thing many newbies will fall for is building food tables with no space around them, rendering the tables in the middle useless. I figured the colonists can walk between the plants when working, but then I realized it's tables, not a plantation. I suggest switching them to walkable (rename to something other than a table), OR require a space for a colonists like the research table? Or at least give a warning when there are inaccessible tables.




Quote
Overview does always shows colonists' 'suitability' for each job. The brighter the check box area, the better they are at the job. Of course, this isn't made clear anywhere.

Ah, never noticed this! A great addition would be "data bars" (used in Excel) which would make it super obvious. Can be used in many other interfaces as well as the trading screen:



I will end with my second colony that is running much more smoothly, no one going mad yet and just defended from the first major attack:


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Jakadasnake

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2013, 04:57:34 AM »

That's absolutely hilarious. I mean, less funny at the time I'm sure, but damn those colonists are like why the fuck are we building foodtables like this.
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Sire

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2013, 05:00:35 AM »

Yeah and it too a pretty long time before I noticed :)
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Tynan

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Re: Gameplay feedback first four hours
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2013, 08:47:57 PM »

I like how you went with the "let's all live and eat and farm in a dirty cave" approach to colony building every time :)
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