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For the discussion of our Sunless Skies, released January 2019.

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madflacc
madflacc
Posts: 12

9/2/2017
I've put at least six hours in at this point - died many times - found most of the 11 ports, I think - and anyway, I thought it would be useful to the Failbetter folks to address their questions directly.

  • Is the game fun? What bits work and what bits don’t?
It's gorgeous, but I don't know that I'd call it fun in the same way that Sea is. Without money to buy fuel, I don't have much incentive to explore - certainly not to the outer edge of the ring, unless I'm ready to die. When I have done that, I've seen incredible things, like the Grave of the Saint (WHAT IS THAT), but it's a one-way ticket.

  • How does flying your locomotive feel?
It's hard to navigate within ports without bashing into things, yet often dull on long voyages. It's great to have the strafing controls - although I sometimes don't use them because I can't keep track of which way they'll push me unless I'm going "up" (that's easy to remember).

  • Is combat balanced? Are there areas of it we can improve?
At this stage, no. In my experience, one of three things happens when I see an enemy ship: 1) they whizz past or outrun me due to superior speed; 2) they maneuver around me in elegant, curved flight-paths I can't duplicate and beat the hell out of me as I struggle to line up shots at them; or 3) they sit somewhere, weirdly quiescent, as I slowly blow them up.
I would suggest: slow them down, improve their responsiveness (no fun shooting sitting ducks).

  • How is the difficulty within the game?
The current build is unforgiving; it's hard to come by money (after the clock quest, and even after Mme. Lumiere's shop is open), and the only reliable way to keep from going mad is to stick close to New Winchester. It feels more like a countdown to death than a journey toward anything.
Right now, it's all about Port Reports; the ideal trip takes one to a cluster of places then back to New Winchester before Condition gets worse. Long-distance trips need to keep us in the air, by offering either bigger story-based rewards once we arrive there or higher profit from selling the weird stuff we find there (i.e. Hybras Pus) once we return to Winchester or wherever.

  • Is your time respected enough?
I'm not exactly certain I know what this question means, but again, I'll say in this build, no. Long stretches of empty space give me plenty of time to look at the beautiful backgrounds, but since I'm spending that time worrying about survival, I'm not really enjoying those sights. Right now the only way to really enjoy myself seems to be giving up, playing one short-lived captain after another, each attempting to see something new without bothering to build toward something.

  • What accessibility features would help you play the game?
A money tracker, within ports (I know I can open my Possessions and count my sovereigns, but I'd like something more responsive/direct) and a display showing the cooldown (literally) on weapons would be helpful.
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