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Who wants to beta test my space-themed action/strategy/rpg?

 
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Camdog




Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 606

PostPosted: Sun Feb 13, 2011 3:32 pm    Post subject: Who wants to beta test my space-themed action/strategy/rpg? Reply with quote

It's in flash, so no download, just click the following link and start playing:

http://www.sapientgames.com/games/farscape

I'd love any and all feedback, from bug and typo reports to criticisms and ideas for making it better. Thanks!

Current list of known bugs:
No audio cue is played when you save/load
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TMC
On the Verge of Insanity




Joined: 05 Apr 2003
Posts: 3240
Location: Matakana

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A Star Control 2 clone (what a myriad of parallels)! Awesome! You've really done an excellent job; I had a lot of fun. The writing is great, and the 'minigames' continually surprised me with their variety.


*** SPOILERS ***

First some remarks:

Remembering which planets have factories is pretty annoying, and the $ symbols on the galactic view are really hard to see when they're dark. Also, you have to keep track of which systems have had their factories destroyed yourself, so I suggest a second icon on the galaxy screen.

You could hide the "Collect Resources" button unless there are actually resources. As it is, it's a little annoying to have to scan the text to see whether I have any factories on the planet, and how many resources there are.

I found that the difficultly of battles diminishes to nothing as you buy battle upgrades. This is also my biggest complaint against SC2: the battles start out difficult, and at some point suddenly become pushovers because your ship's strength increases horribly fast. In your game however, the battles start out easy to survive (but difficult to kill anything), then suddenly become difficult (if you haven't bothered to buy many battle upgrades) when the harder enemy types appear. In fact, when that happened, I had to fight a battle about 15 times before I survived! (I found it hard to play on this touchpad.) I immediately bought upgrades, and soon couldn't be harmed. It would mean rebalancing everything, but I would have things ramp much more slowly: by starting with more than 1 hp, and by diminishing the strength of each bullet when increasing the number of bullets.

The battle with the Burgbap battlecruiser took forever (I had lvl 0 weapons and spread and lvl 1 firing speed). I was about to commit suicide, figuring that I wasn't actually damaging it, and that it was impossible to kill. Shorten this battle, and make it harder (it was trivial to avoid all the bullets).

The "Last Stand" ending did annoy me a bit in that my choices affected something they couldn't have, but eh.

When I found out I needed 100,000 resources I was a little annoyed, as I had stopped (re)building factories long before, when the need for resources had apparently disappeared. It took me a while to gather that, but not too long.

I think the galaxy could do with more variety. Aside from special planets, the rest are all the same. You could for example, vary flavour text, colours, and add moons and asteroid belts to the solar systems. SC2 had more variety, but I had this complaint against it as well. Nearly every body in our solar system is unique and fascinating, yet everything is fairly dull in these games. On the other hand, it might be a bad idea to encourage inspecting every planet; it'd make the game less fun.

I'm wondering why Earth's solar system doesn't appear in the galaxy if it is supposed to be the nearest to "Alpha Centauri" in hyperspace. Or why the colonists decided to misname all the systems...

It would be nice if the items in the inventory had descriptions, or just names which appear when hovering over them.

I beat the game on Medium with neutral karma at about 26600.

Now the bugs:

Are you not meant to be able to build on any inhabited planet? I believe you can build on the Glarfian's planet and one or two others.

The planet with the text "the readings are fluctuating wildly" doesn't work at all!

Sometimes planets are generated partially off the bottom or top of the screen.

The text for the planet with the structure half-buried in the sand with the energy cannon at the entrance doesn't change even after you've retrieved the artifact or explored all possibilities. Would be nice if it did.

I notice that galactic coordinates are quoted as the top left point of the star sprite on the hyperspace view, instead of the centre of the star, as would be expected.

The sidescroller was bugged; when I hit the wall at a dead end, I flew up to the top of the screen. And jumping doesn't work while walking into a wall. Also, I wish the controls were way less sensitive.

I saw a solar system with a ! icon, but without any planet with anything interesting. Maybe the planet was off the top or bottom of the screen? I never found the 4th text even after exploring the whole galaxy, so I guess it was on that system :(

I suggest showing more confirmation on saving the game.

The sound effects mute every time you save the game (but the menu isn't updated until you reenter). Also sometimes after saving, the buttons in the menu no longer highlight when you hover over them.

Some of the text on buttons overflows, I suggest doing something about that. Also, the "Booby Traps" text overflows the message area of the screen. Also, one of the solar systems was called "Gamma" because the rest of the name overflows. Related, I noticed some random black text at the top of the galaxy view, of which only the top couple pixels is visible.

The Glarfian text tree is repeatable... so I guess it's possible to get the weapon upgrade multiple times. Also, I was disappointed that it's not actually possible to tell them what their text says (though I doubt they'd understand me!)

When lots of things are on-screen in battles, the game slows right down (this is a netbook), and my ship starts flickering between multiple positions rapidly.

The teleporter doesn't do what you're told it does. I like it the way it is better, though.

One time after the message my factories in a system were destroyed, just as I reached a solar system, I was teleported to a position just off the bottom of the galaxy map.

Typos:
During intro: "It was makind's..."
Alarins: "unihabited planets" "it isn't they're fault really" "Isn't the things that are happening now..."
Alpha Centauria 2: "...after the problems ... is sorted out" "They have an old civilization, but that have not yet..."
Glarfian: "still relatively primative" "logical phallacy"
Burgbap: "we pray to 'Koppikorn'. a gaseous being"
"What do you think about the alarin?"
Kalaarni"no sign of faster-than-light propulsion technologu"
"we're sending you the device ummediately"
"I'm sure you use them responsibly"
Suugart: "into the galaxy peacfully"
Uxquat: "generate en extra-dimensional field" "you figuring our how to"
Fiiliifo: "reasearching how to get out"
Other:
"device that we can covert"
"dangerous when it's use becomes widespread"
"once we have they're attention"
"membranes seperating them"
"an anamoly"
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Camdog




Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 606

PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, so many suggestions/bugs. Thanks so much for all your help!

Quote:
Remembering which planets have factories is pretty annoying, and the $ symbols on the galactic view are really hard to see when they're dark. Also, you have to keep track of which systems have had their factories destroyed yourself, so I suggest a second icon on the galaxy screen.


Done. The dollar symbols now appear over planets in the solar-system view as well as in the galaxy view. The dollar signs will be red if your factories have been destroyed. I think I'm going to keep the icons dark when there's not much there, though; I like the visual indicator of how much each system has in the way of resources, and honestly, when it's too dark to see, it isn't really worth traveling to a system to get resources.

Quote:
You could hide the "Collect Resources" button unless there are actually resources. As it is, it's a little annoying to have to scan the text to see whether I have any factories on the planet, and how many resources there are.


Done.

Quote:
I found that the difficultly of battles diminishes to nothing as you buy battle upgrades. This is also my biggest complaint against SC2: the battles start out difficult, and at some point suddenly become pushovers because your ship's strength increases horribly fast. In your game however, the battles start out easy to survive (but difficult to kill anything), then suddenly become difficult (if you haven't bothered to buy many battle upgrades) when the harder enemy types appear. In fact, when that happened, I had to fight a battle about 15 times before I survived! (I found it hard to play on this touchpad.) I immediately bought upgrades, and soon couldn't be harmed. It would mean rebalancing everything, but I would have things ramp much more slowly: by starting with more than 1 hp, and by diminishing the strength of each bullet when increasing the number of bullets.


This is definitely a tough one, but I made some changes; there are two things the game does to make it more difficult as time progresses: the enemies that spawn during combat become tougher, and the speed at which they spawn becomes faster. To smooth the curve a little bit, I gave the hardest enemies more hit points, and decreased the speed at which the spawning speed increases.

Quote:
The battle with the Burgbap battlecruiser took forever (I had lvl 0 weapons and spread and lvl 1 firing speed). I was about to commit suicide, figuring that I wasn't actually damaging it, and that it was impossible to kill. Shorten this battle, and make it harder (it was trivial to avoid all the bullets).


Done.

Quote:
The "Last Stand" ending did annoy me a bit in that my choices affected something they couldn't have, but eh.


Fair enough, though I can't think of an easy way of changing this.

Quote:
When I found out I needed 100,000 resources I was a little annoyed, as I had stopped (re)building factories long before, when the need for resources had apparently disappeared. It took me a while to gather that, but not too long.


Also fair enough, but after much deliberation, I think this is going to stay, since it keeps resource gathering relevant and makes the time constraint mean something.

Quote:
I think the galaxy could do with more variety. Aside from special planets, the rest are all the same. You could for example, vary flavour text, colours, and add moons and asteroid belts to the solar systems. SC2 had more variety, but I had this complaint against it as well. Nearly every body in our solar system is unique and fascinating, yet everything is fairly dull in these games. On the other hand, it might be a bad idea to encourage inspecting every planet; it'd make the game less fun.


Random planets now have varied descriptions. Not sure of other good ways of doing this. I think adding things like moons and asteroid belts would be too hard at this point to be worth it.

Quote:
I'm wondering why Earth's solar system doesn't appear in the galaxy if it is supposed to be the nearest to "Alpha Centauri" in hyperspace. Or why the colonists decided to misname all the systems...


Well, the idea is that the solar system was destroyed. The random names are just a function of the randomly generated universe.

Quote:
Are you not meant to be able to build on any inhabited planet? I believe you can build on the Glarfian's planet and one or two others.


Fixed.

Quote:
The planet with the text "the readings are fluctuating wildly" doesn't work at all!


Fixed.

Quote:
Sometimes planets are generated partially off the bottom or top of the screen.


Hopefully fixed.

Quote:
The text for the planet with the structure half-buried in the sand with the energy cannon at the entrance doesn't change even after you've retrieved the artifact or explored all possibilities. Would be nice if it did.


Fixed.

Quote:
The sidescroller was bugged; when I hit the wall at a dead end, I flew up to the top of the screen. And jumping doesn't work while walking into a wall. Also, I wish the controls were way less sensitive.


Hmm... I'm not able to duplicate this. The side-scrolling code is basically just the flixel default, and as far as I know it's a pretty solid engine, so I'm not sure what's going on here... Anyone else seeing this?

Quote:
I saw a solar system with a ! icon, but without any planet with anything interesting. Maybe the planet was off the top or bottom of the screen? I never found the 4th text even after exploring the whole galaxy, so I guess it was on that system Sad...


Fixed, though you probably didn't see the 4th text because the adventure that grants it wasn't generated. Not all adventures are added to each galaxy, so you'll need to play multiple times to see everything. Achievements like 'Librarian' will almost definitely need multiple plays to get.

Quote:
I suggest showing more confirmation on saving the game.

The sound effects mute every time you save the game (but the menu isn't updated until you reenter). Also sometimes after saving, the buttons in the menu no longer highlight when you hover over them.


The save button no longer turns on the mute and it chimes after a successful save, so hopefully that's a satisfactory resolution to both of these issues.

Quote:
Some of the text on buttons overflows, I suggest doing something about that. Also, the "Booby Traps" text overflows the message area of the screen. Also, one of the solar systems was called "Gamma" because the rest of the name overflows. Related, I noticed some random black text at the top of the galaxy view, of which only the top couple pixels is visible.


Fixed.

Quote:
The Glarfian text tree is repeatable... so I guess it's possible to get the weapon upgrade multiple times. Also, I was disappointed that it's not actually possible to tell them what their text says (though I doubt they'd understand me!)


Fixed. (And yeah, I didn't add in a part where you can tell them about the text, since they wouldn't understand anyway.)

Quote:
When lots of things are on-screen in battles, the game slows right down (this is a netbook), and my ship starts flickering between multiple positions rapidly.


This is a tough one, since I can't reproduce it, but I've done a number of optimizations: less than half the amount of stars are now generated as a background during combat, the enemies that appear in droves are now fewer and stronger (should help with screen clutter AND balance issues), and bullets are now drawn directly, instead of rotated and then drawn (which shouldn't have been happening anyway). Let me know if this fixes or at least helps the problem for you.

Quote:
The teleporter doesn't do what you're told it does. I like it the way it is better, though.


Yeah, I realized you couldn't do a random teleport with a mouse-based game, since the ship would just snap back to the mouse location after a teleport anyway. I like this way better too, and maybe I should change the text to reflect it better. On the other hand, this is a Burgbap gift, after all...

Quote:
One time after the message my factories in a system were destroyed, just as I reached a solar system, I was teleported to a position just off the bottom of the galaxy map.


I wasn't able to reproduce this, but I think I found the offending code. Let me know if you see it anymore.

Quote:
Typos: (long list of embarrassing mistakes)


Fixed!

In addition to the above, based on some other comments I received, the text is now bigger and easier on the eyes. Thanks so much for your help! If you want to play it again, just remember, you'll probably see different side-quests!
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Camdog




Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 606

PostPosted: Thu Feb 17, 2011 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If anyone is interested in this game's progress, you can check out the ongoing discussion here:

http://www.slimesalad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4004
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