Good game. enjoyed it.
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Good game. enjoyed it.
I was going to give a few pointers, suggestions, and slightly criticize a few things.... but after AgentCrucible I think that would be rather redundant. So here it is, love the game but it still needs a little bit of work. So, um, yeah.... damn it Crucible!
First and most important, whatever else I may say, I played this game through to the end. It took me about 2 hours. This is one of those games that needs a lot of improvement, but also deserves it. I'll start with Gameplay Tips because they're actually quite revealing.
PLACEMENT: Only two things matter. Weapons and collectors. Any hit to any part of the ship is just that, a hit, even to a fuel tank or the command module. Place collectors so they can cover the outside AND inside of the ship without any holes. It might help when fighting bosses to put all the weapons on one side of the ship, more on that later.
CAPACITY: Small Claws may not look as cool as Drone Collectors but they're far more reliable. To continue to do its work, a Drone has to make it back to the hatch. They're surprisingly inept at this. There's also the issue of capacity. While repair and fuel pickups don't take up any fuel, if a module is full, it won't collect ANYTHING, not powerups, and definitely not new modules, which you can't afford to miss. Furthermore, your capacity is not an overall stat, each module has its own capacity, and when it fills up, it immediately goes on a union break.
BOSSES: I've never seen a regenerating boss. This means if you move Starboard out of range of its Port weapons, it's half as effective. This will give you a chance to regenerate (if you can, and you should), and if you put all your weapons on one side of the ship and only show them that one, it will be over quickly. Furthermore, bosses have drones and claws. The little bastards grab up powerups, and repair pickups actually count for them. Anything they pick up won't be back when they die, so if they grab a module before you do, bail out. It'll be back (I think).
MINIONS: Late game, the appearance of non-boss enemies ramps up sharply, to the point where they're actually the bigger threat than the boss. By now your ship is probably the size of Camden Yards, and there's no reason not to. Maneuvering is not a thing (no matter what size your ship is, it always turns at the same speed). And "small" in this game means "defenseless," as there's just too many of them to make the minimalist approach viable. Besides, you can only move left and right. So while most of your weapons array is going to be at the fore, you'll find that the enemies that get through that hang around the back of the ship and just won't go away. You're going to want to move at least 25% of your weapons aft to peel them off, but not all, as mine- and missile-like enemies are going to be a nuisance.
RESOURCES: Remember this if you remember nothing else. -->Stars are useless.<-- There is NO module that costs more stars than minerals, and by the end of the game you're going to be sick of looking at them. They distract claws and drones, they take up cargo space, you're going to be avoiding them by endgame. Your priorities are, in order, modules (FOREVER), minerals (gears are worth 1 mineral, they don't tell you that), fuel (early game) and repair powerups (late game). To find a situation that would put you in need of stars would blow my mind.
FUEL: You can't do anything to conserve fuel. Even sitting still in space. This isn't as bad as it sounds. You only need enough fuel to get from point A to point B(oss). I killed the first half of the bosses drifting in space. Guns don't need fuel to work. Endgame, two maximum capacity Fuel Tanks are ENOUGH. You're going to need that space for Site Modules. Speaking of modules,
MODULES: Site Modules are the #1 priority, which is fine because they only come late game and you're going to need them. Once you have those there's no reason not to use all Triple Missile launchers to capitalize on the percent increase (+25% of 1 is not much. +25% of 4 is another turret gun). Regeneration modules should also be grabbed up as soon as possible and hung onto. These two are the ones that don't pop up every day. Weapons and even shields, you'll be lousy with 'em by the end of the game, but there are only so many Regen and Site Modules to go around. Collection modules are also scarce, and by the end I had them all, even if I kept two or three in reserve sometimes.
-"Captaining" my ship is a bit of an overstatement. I can move it left and right. This leaves, as stated, no incentive to have a small ship, so my ship's "speed" drops rapidly to 1 and stays there. I'd like to be able to...you know, play. For one thing, I'd like to be able to hit the brakes. Stopping for powerups should be something I can do on purpose, not just when I run out of fuel, even if cutting the engines causes the ship to drift like it does when fuel runs out. I'd also like to be able to move "forward" on the playfield to take advantage of any maneuvering ability I might have, so I might consider having a small ship with a decent Speed. Prioritizing what objects the collector modules grab would be nice (STOP GRABBING STARS AND FUEL, START GRABBING MINERALS AND REPAIR MODULES). A cloaking device that disables weapons and collectors but allows me to pass unchecked would be nice too, and shifting power between the various systems (ALL POWER TO FORWARD WEAPONS!!) would give me something to do, especially on a fatass ship that can barely move at all. I suggest a slider on a radar graph with Engines, Weapons, Shields, Regen and Collectors as points. With the maneuvering being done with the arrow keys, the mouse isn't very busy, so designating "priority" targets might be nice instead of leaving all the targeting to the AI.
-FUNCTIONALITY: As stated, Drones have a hard time finding their way back to their cages, making Small Claws way more reliable. I threw away every other base tier component but them.
Several terms used for modules in this game are misleading.
I think by Site Module you mean Sight Module. And by Sight Module I think you mean Sensor Array.
I think by Power Module you mean Shield Generator.
I think by Regenerator Module you mean Shield Capacitor or Auto-Repair.
I think by Fast Attacking Weapon and Triple Missile Module you mean anything else but that. There are plenty of terms that are more fitting. Vulcan, gatling, Honest Bob for missiles, anything would be better than what they're called now.
The industry term for a "claw" or manipulator on a robot or vehicle is a "Waldo." Since there are no other size, there's no need to call them Small either, and just call them Waldos.
The "population" information on a galaxy is misleading. It should read either "Faction" or "Race." By Population: Swarm, I thought it meant there were f*ckloads of enemies there.
Size should probably also read "density" or, if you want to sound really posh, "proliferation."
"SHIP IS LOADED" is a bit confusing. "CARGO CAPACITY EXCEEDED" would be nice, but there's the problem that "cargo capacity" has a different meaning than usual, because:
+10 Capacity doesn't mean +10 Capacity. Module cargo capacity is proprietary, so it would be less misleading to supply that the module has "10 Capacity" (and mention that each one has its own cargo space).
Just one, the horizontal and vertical Astroport Expansion (come on, call it what it is, a Launchpad) descriptions are backwards, but the icons are right.
Get rid of them.
Why can't I name my ship? I can do everything else. I'd love to have the ending tell me the galaxy was conquered by the Wolverine M3.
Please get rid of them. Serious.
You're kind of kicked out into the wild without much intel. Granted the game is simple enough that not much is needed, but I went for two star systems not knowing what gears were for (and user sonofpern below never found out at all).
It's a bit of a problem that I can't go back a checkpoint once i beat a boss, and that I only get half the minerals later (really, really need 'em...). I also can't go back to a star system I've conquered.
The galaxy is randomized, but the enemies and what happens in each mission is essentially all the same. I'd be happy to see a difference in the capabilities of the three races (something I'd have to change my playstyle and ship design to compensate for). I'd also like to see the final boss not remind me of every other boss I've seen.
Once again, stopping would be nice. A way to conserve fuel would be good too. Real spacecraft don't expend fuel just going forward, they expend it when they change direction. Only expending it when maneuvering would be more than fair, or at least NOT expending it when I'm standing still facing a boss would help.
No matter what, all ships end up as rectangles. Instead of buying bigger Astrobases, I'd like to buy different...well, different shaped ones, which might lead us to call them "hulls" or "chassis" instead of saying we're buying a new launchpad. We're in space, after all, the launchpad hardly matters.
So we've come this far, you've read all this, and you're wondering,
WHY SHOULD I LISTEN TO YOU IF YOU HATE THE GAME SO MUCH?
Remember I said I spent 2 hours on this? That's because it's a freakin' blast! A giant behemoth of a ship eating up enemies and powerups in its path, terrorizing galaxy after galaxy, one that I designed myself?! HELLYA!!
Notice that of the roughly 9,000 characters I've typed so far, NONE of them rip on the core concept, so don't lose it! You've got the addictive "bigger better faster stronger" customizing thing down. Oh sh*t you're so close! I built a hardcore ship, I want to play with it more. And who's your voice actor? he sounds like Pilot from Farscape, keep him.
-DON'T JUST LISTEN TO ME
For more inspiration, study FTL: Faster Than Light, YouTube is full of Let's Plays. Also try Gratuitous Space Battles, and maybe even the old Master of Orion series.
the game is awesome but can somebody tell me what the gears are???
It's fun, needs a little work, polish the upgrade system, WTF stars, WTF gears
make the field a little bigger, especially with bosses
maybe a speed upgrade and make enemies tougher so I'm not just invincibly coasting through the level with no room to breath
make guns faster and weaker to compensate for reload lag and bad targeting/overtargeting
bullets and missiles should not disappear when the initial target dies, that's just weird and frustrating
independant volume control for SFX and BGM
I get the chill cruise feel so maybe leave it but space would still be cool. Cool and fun to play though. But really, WTF gears and stars?