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For the discussion of our next game, coming January 2019.

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Strydom
Strydom
Posts: 2

12/18/2017
First of all, I wanted to say that I'm loving the combat system but it is in need of some polish to make it great, for example adding in a small targeting arc or line could help ensure that you can lead the intended target accurately, making combat less finicky.

In terms of improving the general immersion of the world and to make progression more meaningful, I would suggest doing a few things to improve the general atmoshphere of the game.

1. Focus a bit more on combat and iron by adding in more enemies and increasing the spawn rate of (increase the diversity of creatures/ships), passing creatures and ships as currently the number of ships/creatures in space is lacking. I think adding some more faction ships/merchant trader ships could also make things interesting, which attacking could lead to rich rewards but at the same time have negative effects with the subsequent authority (think space piracy). Also adding in non-hostile creatures/ships which are a challenge to defeat in combat but drop extra rewards/exp would be fun as it offers a decision on whether or not you should attack them.


2. Perhaps adding in some form of escort missions for ships from port to port or assassination/hunting contracts where you have to seek out and destroy a particular ship/creature would add another playstyle into the game for people who don't want to make money from trading, but instead want to make money from fighting.


3. Change what happens to a ships/creature when you kill them. Instead of just blowing them up into a sparkly loot crate, if you could have destroyed enemies leave behind a carcass or pieces of their locomotive that would add to the overall immersion and make defeating enemies a bit more visually rewarding.


4. To improve the experience when flying (this area needs more improvement) perhaps adding in different colour nebulas/stars and alternate the colour/ arts of the background space for areas outside of the procedurally generated sections, as currently its just standard green space all over which becomes boring when flying. Also, some areas of space are far too bright and adding more dark areas would be great.


5. INCREASE HOLD SPACE IN STARTING SHIP (10 is way too small) AND OFFER SHIPS WITH MORE HOLD SIZE PLEASE!! (It is still far too small for even the most expensive ships)


6. Handing in port reports is no longer enjoyable like it was in sunless seas, as you hand them all in at once and thus no longer get to read little passages about reactions to each individual port report. This made exploring and collecting them more meaningful (the different dialogues were great in seas and should be brought back), plus you get a lump amount of fuel instead of an individual reward for each one which plays havoc for the already small storage hold.


7. Increase the number of things to do and number of people to talk to in New Winchester as even though its the central port of the reach it's lacking largely in life, perhaps adding in restaurants/interactive markets/bars/casinos/more characters/storylines whatever would add more life into the port.


8. Change the current UI background to something more immersive and suiting of a story based game, such as a UI based in a book/journal rather than in just a popover window.

9. Finally, the amount of music in the reach is quite disappointing, I think more tracks need to be added as currently, I've played over 16 hours in Sunless skies and have only heard three different repeating tracks.

These are just some basic ideas which I'm sure could be talked out in greater detail by your development staff, but if you considered adding some of these suggestions it would correlate to much more enjoyment/immersion.
edited by Strydom on 12/18/2017
edited by Strydom on 12/18/2017
edited by Strydom on 12/18/2017
edited by Strydom on 12/18/2017
edited by Strydom on 12/18/2017
edited by Strydom on 12/18/2017
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Nanako
Nanako
Posts: 535

12/19/2017
wow, lots of great ideas here! I'd love to add some comments of my own

1. Focus a bit more on combat and iron by adding in more enemies and increasing the spawn rate of (increase the diversity of creatures/ships), passing creatures and ships as currently the number of ships/creatures in space is lacking.

i'd like to say, i think the base spawnrate is about fine just now, at least for exploration and trader playstyles. I agree it's not high enough to make a living as a monster hunter, but increasing it too much would get in the way of the other two.

I'd propose instead, reintroducing a lure mechanic like was added late in sunless sea, where you can expend items to attract certain monsters
http://steamcommunity.com/app/596970/discussions/0/2906376154314692157/

One poster there mentions smearing honey on the figurehead to attract bees!

I think adding some more faction ships/merchant trader ships could also make things interesting, which attacking could lead to rich rewards but at the same time have negative effects with the subsequent authority (think space piracy). Also adding in non-hostile creatures/ships which are a challenge to defeat in combat but drop extra rewards/exp would be fun as it offers a decision on whether or not you should attack them.

the stovepipe engines will be coming soon. They're the london loyalists, opposed to tacketies
a preview of their train, the Enduring Dreadnought was posted




Also planned is "the Altani-class outrider, an evasive locomotive from the Khanate."



We'll also be getting the Aeginae sometime soon, no art released yet i think
Aeginae, leviathans that dwell in the belly of the heavens. Usually, they are only glimpsed as sliding shapes–grand as mountain-ranges–in the fogs below. It is said that the suns have an ancient pact with them.


So, space whales!


2. Perhaps adding in some form of escort missions for ships from port to port or assassination/hunting contracts where you have to seek out and destroy a particular ship/creature would add another playstyle into the game for people who don't want to make money from trading, but instead want to make money from fighting.

I'm definitely onboard with this idea.
Have you played the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt ?
Theres tons of witcher contracts that involve hunting down a specific beast terrorising a local community. But the best part about them was the detectivework beforehand - you have to learn the monster's habits and methods of attack, question witnesses,figure out how it lives and locate its nest. It's a great system that allows injecting narrative into a typically staid mechanic of "go here kill this" quests. I'd love to see something similar added to sunless skies, the narrrative parts would be an opportunity for FBG to shine!


3. Change what happens to a ships/creature when you kill them. Instead of just blowing them up into a sparkly loot crate, if you could have destroyed enemies leave behind a carcass or pieces of their locomotive that would add to the overall immersion and make defeating enemies a bit more visually rewarding.

not 100% certain, but i seem tor ecall reading somewhere that this was planned. probably not a high priority feature though

4. To improve the experience when flying (this area needs more improvement) perhaps adding in different colour nebulas/stars and alternate the colour/ arts of the background space for areas outside of the procedurally generated sections, as currently its just standard green space all over which becomes boring when flying. Also, some areas of space are far too bright and adding more dark areas would be great.

You've played since the procgen release, right? A lot of ports have their own differently colored mists, sometimes blizzards too. I feel like we see those stars pretty rarely (sunless!)

I'm pretty sure that the green space background is an identifying visual characteristic of The Reach, the region we start in. It might not be too obvious now that they've been temporarily hidden from the map, but there's going to be four star sectors in the final game. the entireity of the reach is only a quarter of the game.

Albion, the next sector, has quite a different color palette planned
https://www.failbettergames.com/onward-to-albion-malmquist-bias/



Lots of metallic greys, regal purples, and blinding yellow/orange light. Albion has a man made, clockwork star, so it will likely have quite a different background feel


5. INCREASE HOLD SPACE IN STARTING SHIP (10 is way too small) AND OFFER SHIPS WITH MORE HOLD SIZE PLEASE!! (It is still far too small for even the most expensive ships)

I do think we need a bit more capacity, especially in the pellinore, but not too much. I'd rather see more trains added later - a whole second tier of them that are upgrades to the ones we have.

Its worth noting that with a fully kitted out moloch, you can get an absolute maximum of 37 cargo slots

6. Handing in port reports is no longer enjoyable like it was in sunless seas, as you hand them all in at once and thus no longer get to read little passages about reactions to each individual port report.


This is a common complaint, and one that i've made myself. But the issue isn't entirely clear cut. while those little narrative parts were fun the first few times, you do quickly memorise them and stop reading them. And handing in all those reports one by one becomes tedious clicking work when you have a lot of them

might be nice to see some kind of compromise that allows either approach at your leisure

plus you get a lump amount of fuel instead of an individual reward for each one which plays havoc for the already small storage hold.

A change was made a couple of patches ago where, if you go over your hold capacity, you're not forced to dump things until you try to leave port. As long as you're still sitting there you can hold an infinite amount of stuff. This allows you, for instance, to sell off excess fuel/supplies/goods or in the case of new winchester (which is where you are if you're handing in reports) you can deposit things in the warehouse.

7. Increase the number of things to do and number of people to talk to in New Winchester as even though its the central port of the reach it's lacking largely in life, perhaps adding in restaurants/interactive markets/bars/casinos/more characters/storylines whatever would add more life into the port.


I'm hoping we might see this kind of thing when terror is worked on more. Right now terror is just reduced to zero for free when you dock at winchester, and that feels like a quick hack as a placeholder. maybe in future we'll see the return of night on the town style content, ala sunless sea.

8. Change the current UI background to something more immersive and suiting of a story based game, such as a UI based in a book/journal rather than in just a popover window.

this one's just a matter of opinion, personally i disagree. I think the art deco style of the UI is beautiful with its unintrusive teal backgrounds and gold rims. It has a feeling of nobility and opulence which fits the tone of the game

A booklike style is, imo, more suited to a medieval/fantasy game, whereas the theme of sunless skies is closer to steampunk

9. Finally, the amount of music in the reach is quite disappointing, I think more tracks need to be added as currently, I've played over 16 hours in Sunless skies and have only heard three different repeating tracks.

The variety of music is something that's being worked on too, its mentioned at the bottom here

http://steamcommunity.com/gid/103582791457574597/announcements/detail/1470853049806738547

The artist is named Maribeth, although it was difficult to find out much more. Their twitter feed is linked, but it seems to be full of aggressive political content, and doesn't talk about the game at all
Apparently they have a portfolio site here though, you can listen to samples and such http://www.mickymar.com/Home.html

There was one new music track added recently, but it seems very area specific. I only heard it while flying over the Mold Pastures near Hybras. It's an odd high intensity action track that felt like it'd be right at home in a wild west movie.
edited by Nanako on 12/19/2017

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Sunless Skies needs engine and speed control mechanics. Have a look at my design proposal for implementing it

http://community.failbettergames.com/topic25687-a-design-for-engines.aspx
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Gady
Gady
Posts: 1

1/11/2018
I like the idea from the second point - it will give some more diversity to the game smile

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