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First thoughts. I'm already in love Messages in this topic - RSS

SarahTheEntwife
SarahTheEntwife
Posts: 50

12 days ago
@Plynkes -- yeah, the port-vanishing thing is a known bug. SO FRUSTRATING. If you feel like dabbling again before the final version, quitting and resuming the game will get the port back.

--
http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Strel Retired zee-captain turned scholar. Open to social interactions of various sorts.

http://fallenlondon.storynexus.com/Profile/Winona~Tintenfisch Winona Tintenfisch, aspiring street urchin. Would definitely be up for some fisticuffs or loitering.
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Flyte
Flyte
Administrator
Posts: 659

10 days ago
Thank you all for your comments – this has been a really interesting thread for me. I'd like to respond to a couple of the points that have come up to do with locomotive movement

Steering
The general impression I've gotten here and elsewhere is that most people like the way the locomotive moves, but that for some players it's unintuitive and preventing them from accessing the rest of the game.

We're not currently planning on making significant adjustments to the way the starting locomotive handles by default, but I'm interested in whether there's anything we can offer custom difficulty settings that would improve the experience for those who're finding it too difficult to control. To put that in context, our general approach to difficulty is still the one we described for combat in our Kickstarter pitch:
We want combat to be challenging, but we know that means different things to different players. So we'll provide a range of settings to adjust its frequency and difficulty, meaning that players can customise the experience to be right for them.
I already have some ideas about what settings might help with this. If anyone who's continuing to find steering difficult after they've spent a moderate amount of time were willing to share a video excerpt from their travels, though, that would be very useful.

Strafing and boosting
There's been quite a lot of discussion of lateral movement, so I thought I'd talk about how we ended up with the way it currently works. When we were designing it, we wanted to respect three constraints. Lateral thrust should:
  • Allow small course corrections during ordinary traversal;
  • Have significant tactical utility during combat, at a cost in heat;
  • Be useful only in moderation (it shouldn't be the primary means of locomotion, for instance).
At first, it worked just like forward or backward thrust: you could hold down a key to thrust in any direction for as long as you wanted. We quickly encountered a problem with that: to allow for rapid combat manoeuvring and projectile avoidance, lateral thrust had to be very powerful. But that meant the quickest way to get anywhere was to zoom sideways, like a steam-powered crab.

We then experimented with various ways of capping speed, so that even though you had more sideways acceleration, you couldn't actually go faster sideways. But that had all sorts of problems – the fastest way to travel became using both forward and lateral thrusters to slide diagonally, or using lateral thrust immediately killed much of your forward velocity, which felt unsatisfying (and was hard to understand – we've tweaked the underlying physics in a few subtle ways, but we've discovered some violations of it feel more intrusive than others).

We also briefly experimented with making it a binary thing, where you'd tap Q or E and get a fixed amount of thrust and then have to wait to use it again. But that meant you didn't really have enough fine control when traversing tight spaces. The current system was actually influenced by an idea about how it might work in practice: if you imagine that your space train has a chamber full of superheated steam that can be rapidly ejected, that it takes time to refill the chamber, and that you don't have to use it all up at once, the way it now works in game should make sense.

I think the current implementation is working well, and we have no plans to remove it – I suspect the podcast discussion mentioned earlier in the thread was specifically about its previous steam-crab incarnation.

A boost option for forward thrust is interesting; if we did add that, I'm pretty sure it would be an ability unlocked by a specific piece of equipment. The current set of movement options meets all of a captain's basic needs, and we're interested in giving players customisation options that have tactical and playstyle ramifications.
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lady ciel
lady ciel
Posts: 2446

10 days ago
The only time I don't find the engine fast enough is when I encounter Chorister Bees. They are very fast, hard to kill and bugged (at the moment - which wants to make me ask when will that be bug fixed) so they are not worth spending the time to kill as that means using fuel and supplies and increasing terror for no reward.

Tackety scouts can be troublesome as well. They are faster than the player's engine and their weapons seem to have a longer range. But, probably, as the game develops the player will be able to upgrade to counter that.

I have got better steering, learning to recognise which objects need to be avoided and which you can safely fly over helped (though I still get it wrong sometimes)

--
ciel

No Calling Cards or boxed cats please. Will take dupes on the affluent photographers. Other social invitations welcome though loitering might be inconvenient at times. Parabolan Kittens usually available, send me an in-game social action saying you want one and I will get one to you as soon as possible.

storynexus name - reveurciel
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kived
kived
Posts: 3

10 days ago
@Plynkes Not being able to loot happens when you hit ESC with the map open (use the map key to close the map again instead of ESC). The disappearing port bug is triggered by loading a saved game after already playing a game (i.e. getting killed and using the reload function). Exit the game and reload that way instead.

@SarahTheEntwife In the Tips and Tricks thread (I think) it was suggested to shoot at features to see if they are passable. If your bullet doesn't go through it, your train can't either.
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A Parliament of Hounds
A Parliament of Hounds
Posts: 22

10 days ago
Flyte wrote:

A boost option for forward thrust is interesting; if we did add that, I'm pretty sure it would be an ability unlocked by a specific piece of equipment. The current set of movement options meets all of a captain's basic needs, and we're interested in giving players customisation options that have tactical and playstyle ramifications.


I could live with it being equipment-unlocked, if that's the way you went with it, but I'm mostly still just surprised it's not a basic feature.

The boost in Sunless Sea was one of the best mechanics, travel-wise - it could get you out of danger in a pinch when your hull was low, or drag you into port just before a terror-induced mutiny... with the threat of explosions that could tear through that remaining hull or kill the very crew you were afraid would turn against you. It was a risk/reward in the best, most tangible way.

Now we're in a locomotive, in space. It's much faster by default, but the distances you have to cover are also larger. Enemies are faster, but your ways of escaping them have been reduced (though your ways of avoiding or destroying them increased). You have a heat gauge and overheat mechanic, but you're never going to see it out of combat because travel affects it in such a minor way.

Trading speed for heat (or even hull integrity) just seems... Logical?

If it's something you've decided against as a group, I'm sure there are good reasons for it - you're the game designers, after all! And overall, I'm really happy with the changes to movement and travel. It's just this particular decision I can't really seem to parse. smile

Edit: Oh! And thank you for getting in touch, sharing some thoughts. Having this kind of developer feedback sometimes is a really positive thing in these discussions.
edited by A Parliament of Hounds on 9/12/2017
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MidnightVoyager
MidnightVoyager
Posts: 666

9 days ago
I have never been able to chase anything down unless I start in gun range. If I can't shoot it, I will never catch it. So I've given up chasing anything down that isn't actively fighting me... and that's a problem with some of these sidequests. I mean, if it's too far away for me to shoot, I can never get faster than it even for a moment so I will never gain on it. It will just run in open space until I stop chasing it due to fuel/supply concerns. I'm also surprised it isn't just a basic feature... on the other hand, it will absolutely kill me if I use it anywhere near anything solid, so.

My main problem with the movement, since you're asking for input, is the floatiness. I hit things less with the strafing momentum change, but I've got to go super slow in any remotely enclosed/narrow place for potentially zero reward because I can't tell what's "discoverable" and what's just a thing that's there. I just avoid exploring them now, because it's not worth the bother. Also I can't tell when hitting something is going to hurt me and when it isn't, so I've had several moments where I think "AUGH I'M DAMAGED AGAIN" and I'm not. (Often when bonking into docks)

If I sound vehement or whatever, it's because it's just frustrating for something so mundane to be such a bother. It doesn't feel like a challenge to me, it feels like it's just unnecessarily finicky. I'm not even talking about fighting anything. All my fights are pretty unmemorable for now.

It's better with strafing, but I don't really feel like I know what the heck I'm doing no matter how long I play. I'm not sure how it could be fixed with options. A floatiness slider? Option to be able to stop dead? I'm trying to think of how to even describe a way to make it better. I HAVE played space games... I think maybe the momentum is just always too much and too fast and the ship is too light so I'm less of a space train and more of a balloon.

--
Midnight Voyager - A blood-cousin to predators. Collector of beasts. Affably mad.
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Jimmius
Jimmius
Posts: 13

8 days ago
some sort of 'emergency stop' button might be helpful for beginners. Like how when your ship heats up you can't move, maybe pressing a button could drastically (like 90%) spike heat, but quickly bring the ship to a halt.
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