Second Thoughts!

One thing I recently thought of is that it’s really even too EASY to see zee-monsters and other ships? Even if you haven’t in-game noticed them yet, they’re all fairly obvious the moment they come on screen, so it makes it very easy to avoid them if you want to. It would be interesting if there was some way to make them unnoticeable, or at least much much HARDER to notice, not necessarily having to be in your beam of light, but at least until they got somewhat closer to you, to make them a bit of of an actual potential issue.[li]

Any chance of having a compass? I send out my bat think I’m heading in the right direction to discover the new place and miss it.

Also I would love it if terror didn’t strike after you get the message that you are in home waters and just about to dock in London. I’ve “died” there too many times.

This is a great idea!

This may be astonishingly petty and of interest to no one else, but I would a way to delete saves! What with new game starts to activate new content, manual saves at various stages, I’m ending up with a slightly longer list of save games than I find convenient. Is there a handy way to winnow my list of histories that I’ve missed?

I’ve simply taken to over-writing old manual saves that I am pretty sure I won’t use again.

Regarding battle: It strikes me a bit odd, that monsters, beasties, and pirates that I have managed to hit dead-on with the spot-light before entering battle, are not Illuminated at all once combat opens. Having managed to center them at the nose of the ship, right in front of the light, I keep feeling that battle start with them already Illuminated a little bit. Maybe no more than 25 (on the scale in battle), not enough for a full attack, but a bonus for managing to catch them so would be nice. In my head, most battles start with &quotWell, that must be a very sneaky ___ to start the fight completely hidden from sight, in spite of the spotlight!&quot

…speaking of battle, I don’t mind the mouse/pointer being flipped around to ‘normal’, but now it covers the top-left corner of every single pop-up text bubble. So I cannot actually read the names of my attacks; the mouse hides them.

I have been playing a lot of this game. Thoroughly, tremendously enjoyable, even at this early juncture! Okay, I’m laying out some thoughts here - some are reiterating others’ points, I’m sure.

I’m getting my head around the stats and the levelling system - Fragments are XP, Secrets are skill points, but you need the right Officer to level up a given skill, plus they can also be used in other stories. Sailing the routes you’ve already charted is safe and potentially profitable, but it won’t level you up quickly, if at all. That’s a good system! I like it! I expect there’ll be a bit more to do on those safe routes once wandering monsters are sorted out?

I’m getting my head around how the stories that appear in port work, but it’s rather counterintuitive to click the &quotLocale&quot tab in the Gazetteer and have there be nothing there. Perhaps the popups representing port stories could be moved to that page, differentiating them from those that appear at zee?

It would definitely be nice if those stories that expend &quotSomething Awaits You&quot could be more clearly differentiated from those that don’t. In fact - and I’m just thinking aloud here, knowing nothing of the programming side of things - given that Locale, Shops and Shipyard are rarely relevant at zee, might it be possible to move them to a separate port UI, distinct from the Gazetteer? One holding the Hold, Journal, perhaps Logbook history, and so on, while the other has tabs enough to cover relatively-permanent Port stories, Something Awaits options, Lodgings and the University and other location-specific things, and so on?

Also: would it be possible to make clearer what resources will be expended when taking a story action? I don’t always know whether a given option will expend the Supplies or Echoes or whatever needed to unlock it, and resources are so precious, I’m disinclined to take the risk.

I just noticed the hover text for the Outlandish Artefact. Very clever! So long that the first few letters are cut off, but very clever indeed.

Finally, I wonder if it’s not a little misleading, having the Fuel, Hunger and Terror bars laid out as they are. Fuel’s a straightforward resource bar - it goes from full to empty, and so long as you have more barrels, that’s fine. Hunger’s more of a menace, but it goes up all the time, and can be reduced instantly with a good meal. It could work just as well if it was a Supplies bar like the Fuel one, refilling in exactly the same way. (This might be overcomplicating things, but it could even work to have the &quotmealtime&quot bar be moveable, putting the crew on lower rations and risking menace cards to preserve Supplies for long trips. Or, similarly, if the Hunger bar was separate, and only appeared once the Supplies bar had been used up and no more were in the hold. Or both!)

The Terror bar, however, might never raise at all, and if it does, it means trouble. If the Hunger bar is 50+, it might mean rumblings of discontent, but it can be reduced to zero with one ten-echo item. If the Terror bar is 50+, however, that means madness, mass suicides, dogs and cats living together - so, you’d expect it to be grouped with vital statistics like hull strength.

In fact - and I don’t want to propose turning your system on its head! - I’m imagining that it might be more consistent and intuitive to rearrange the present counters into Fuel and Supplies - which deplete and are replenished constantly - and Hull and Morale - which deplete through danger and adventure, and are costly to replenish.

Has anyone else found it a bit too easy to level up Veils? Every time I drop by Mutton Island for a bit of terror reduction, I come away with three to five new points in Veils (and significantly lighter pockets). I started as a former urchin, which did give me a bit of a bonus, but even subtracting that leaves my Veils well above the rest of my stats thanks to all those rubbery lumps. Since terror is unavoidable, and incredibly expensive to reduce anywhere else that I’ve found, it feels like it’s throwing off the balance.

Is anyone else getting a situation where the fragments progress bar is telling you to collect negative fragments to get your next secret? I THINK (but am not sure) that this happens when you get a lot of fragments from stories (rather than exploration) and going and exploring something will make it tick over into a secret. I guess this could be working as intended? (as in fragments from exploration are supposed to be superior to story fragments?) Anyone else run into this?

Only fragments acquired through discovery (might it be land or creatures) erase all fragments earned and trigger the reward of a secret. Personally, I’m quite (almost scientifically) sure of it.

Second thoughts:

Buoys do SOOO much more hull damage than head on collisions. I imagine this is due to them actually being many collisions as your ship scrapes along them with their side versus a single bump when your nose rams the shore, but it feels weird.

It would be super cool if upgrading engines and cooks affect your efficiency of Fuel and Supply consumption. I understand they’re working on it, but I just think it an excellent idea.

The beauty of the game continues to impress me. The added underwater seaweeds and abysses (abyssi?) really add to the depth. And the particles are AMAZING. The little sparks floating up from the torches outside Venderblight, the smoke from the ship and the industries of FL. I really, really appreciate these little details.

There is a lack of clarity as to whether you and your officers are included in the Crew count. It certainly doesn’t seem like it, because your officers never die when your crew does. Not quite sure what about this makes me itch a little, but it does. Will officers stats improve? As you work through their stories, or something to that effect?

Combat is in a good place. It is functional, makes sense, and though rudimentary at the moment, has room to expand in really interesting directions. It feels a little binary at the moment, either you smoosh your foe, or they massacre you. I’d like an option to somehow run away from battle after you’ve engaged.

I find it odd that after Hunter’s Keep suffers its fate, you can’t submit a final port report about it. Seems like that piece of info would be of interest to the admiralty.

Does the Story Tab in the gazetteer scroll? Because I’m pretty sure I get more qualities than display.

I am having more fun looking for bugs in this game than I do in playing the released version of many games. I am really impressed by what y’all have put together.

I have found that as soon as you tick fragments through exploration, you suddenly gain several secrets. This also occurs when your Pages gets boosted very rapidly (I had a really good run at chess).

I wonder, maybe this was brought up before - do you think ship movement should be tweaked a bit to feel a little closer to the way ships move in water in real life? at the moment they act rather like airplanes, with whatever momentum they might have being disregarded as soon as the direction they’re heading in is changed. Will it be fun, and/or add a bit more challange to navigating dangerous waters, if it took a while for the movement of ships to change in accordance with their headings?

[quote=StormKoala]Second thoughts:

Buoys do SOOO much more hull damage than head on collisions. I imagine this is due to them actually being many collisions as your ship scrapes along them with their side versus a single bump when your nose rams the shore, but it feels weird.[/quote]
I completely agree.

I’ve lost several ships already by accidentally bumping into a buoy (especially the one to the south west corner of Hunter’s Keep). The hull’s health drops from 100 to 0 almost immediately.

I was puzzled as to why the buoys (which I’d only sideswiped) were so deadly for everyone else and only took off maybe ten points for me, and then I rammed headfirst into one and went from eighty-something to 22 Hull.

[color=#009900]We’re looking at removing all damage from buoys, because the little fsckers are so lethal due to collider quirks and we don’t really need them to be menaces anyway.[/color]
[color=#009900]We iterated a lot over the movement of ships, and it’s unlikely to change much. [/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]In previous iterations, it handled much more like a ship, and we gave up because it felt consistently confusing and surprising, and made it very hard to deal with things at the scale where the game works. [/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]What we finally got to is something that feels weighty, consequential, and requires concentration to steer without [/color]too[color=rgb(0, 153, 0)] much concentration; which handles around coasts and colliders in a way that makes it hard for you to scrape off too much of your hull (except, you know, buoys)[/color][color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]. As Liam put it, 'it’s as much like a ship as cars in GTA handle like cars. [/color]
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I saw someone in a different thread - I forget where now - suggest that we included the helm. Early iterations did, in fact. There were at least two problems with it: (i) it took up a lot of valuable screen space, because either it was a substantial segment of a circle or it didn’t look like a ship’s wheel; (ii) having to move your mouse there to steer was such a nuisance that we added keyboard shortcuts. And as soon as we added keyboard shortcuts, the wheel itself was just a big space-hungry decoration. It was one of the first things in my first design documents and it saddened me to lose it, but when I’m wrong, I’m wrong. [/color]
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[color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]Officers are likely to be affected by crew reduction events, but there are a lot of implementation details we need to work through first. Nothing fundamentally impossible, just lots of specific design decisions.[/color]
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[color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]Terror is probably going to work in a subtly different way. At that point we may find ourselves revisiting the HUD anyway.[/color]
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[color=rgb(0, 153, 0)]Illumination: in previous iterations, your light setting affected the illumination level of both you and your enemy, but we took it out to do some balancing. I’m not sure we actually had thought of making enemies caught in your light more illuminated, which seems a weird omission. We’ll look again at that.[/color]
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[color=#009900]Thanks folks! Keep 'em coming![/color]

I was the one who suggested the helm. But it would still be nice, as an optional setting.

Personally, I love games that allow me to park the mouse pad on my hip, lean back, and do everything from there. That’s how I play FL, FTL and Age of Empires, for instance.
Then, you know, tablet support. I can’t see a reason not to make it toggleable.

I have difficulty using the information given by the zeebat, especially since I have no idea of how much 745 yards is in the game, and if I’m short on supplies the distance is important. Perhaps it would be possible to add a symbol on the chart at the spot found by the zeebat? You could also add a scale on the chart, it wouldn’t be quite as helpful but it would give me a better idea of the distance involved. Seconding the compass suggestion.

My main problem with the zee-bat is not so much the yards given, but with the direction being all over the place and unreliable.
There were several cases of the bat telling me something (e.g. God’s Fall) being to the south, when it was in fact east-south-east. I kept zailing south and it kept giving me weird distances while insisting it’s still to the south (even though by that point it was already to the north-east. The minute I’ve turned the ship to the north-east (without traveling much yet), the bat changed its directions and correctly reported the right heading.

Happened with Bonny Reefs too, so it’s not just a case of God’s Fall not being implemented yet.

Had to take a few days away due to house full of guests!
The much sadness! As soon as they were gone I was right back onto the Unterzee and sailing![li]

I have to agree that having my Zailors not panic and leap over the rails or eat each other when off the coast of London would be a nice addition. It really is a bit odd to have them leap to their doom inside the harbour walls let alone whilst they are gathered at the railing watching London’s Lights approach.

Let me see what else have I discovered today… I seem to be having issues making echoes. All the echoes I make tend to vanish into fuel and supplies! It seems rather hard to build up a decent progress or echoes to buy things. But this may just be due to beta lack of stuff to do.

Hrrmm it is late and my mind has gone blank but I am still enjoying it a lot and now I am at home and on my real PC it is gorgeous!
Oh and the ability to delete save games would be useful!

I feel that I ought to pipe in with the observation that now that I’ve played the game for over 20 hours (maybe over 30? ye gads!) I am finding the supplies and terror to be less of a problem, although I do still think that they will likely feel horrible for the brand new player who hasn’t figured things out yet. I am still sometimes overly ambitious and run into trouble but my last deaths have mostly been to buoys or large monsters.

I agree that being able to record information in your journal might be of use, although I would most likely use it for story elements as much as for market prices at different ports. In fact I would probably use it for story/plot elements more than market prices unless market prices do indeed end up being variable.

The biggest problem with this game is that I’m going to lose too much sleep to the accidental 3am play-session, especially after all of the content is complete (maybe there needs to be a little clock in a corner somewhere to remind me I need to sleep)!