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Author Topic: Congrats and various suggestions  (Read 2003 times)

Cort

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Congrats and various suggestions
« on: February 11, 2008, 09:55:59 PM »
First of all, I'd like to say that you did a wonderful job there.

I loved Privateer... well, that's not really true. What I had with Privateer was always more of a love/hate relationship. I loved it for what it could have been, I hated it for not being that. There were so many issues, most of which could have probably be fixed in an hour, but did affect gameplay majorly.

Ascii Sector on the other hand, imho already outperforms the original Privateer in gameplay. You really capture the atmosphere of Privateer. I immediately recognised ships like the Broadsword or the Tarsus. I love your Drayman and the jump animation. Hell, you even made the targeting view flicker when the radar is damaged!

My first suggestion would be calling your releases 'episodes'. The current version really doesn't deserve to be labelled with something as betaish as '0.2'. :) It's a complete implementation of Privateer (plus some) and the version number should reflect that.

Now on to some random thoughts I had while playing...


Escort runs:
  • I'd like to see the other comm options being available when talking to a target you're currently escorting. The first two ideas that come to mind are "Status report!" (a simple good/bad/okay would be a sufficient response imho, of course it would be awesome to have the damage report being transmitted like in WC2) and "What's our destination?" (Yeah, I know, that information is available through the mission report on the nav screen, but it's not like comm options in WC ever made a whole lot of sense, they are there purely for the atmosphere. :D)
  • Is there a good reason why you can't go into autopilot with an escort target as you can with wingmen? This way, escort missions take forever. (220k at 200kps, ouch!) In fact, this whole post was written during two escort runs. :(

Cargo:
  • I agree with Default Settings here that it would be nice to manage hidden cargo more efficiently. I actually think it would be useful in general to be able to jettison cargo partially. (Ever tried to pick up a gem, but your cargo is full of grain?)
  • I'd like for cargo to be targetable. It's been that way in Privateer and it's very nice to be able to check if it's worth picking something up. (Or whether it might get you into trouble!)
  • There is no message when trying to pick up a passenger but all passenger seats are full. (I guess that's why. If not, there's a problem with picking up cargo and I have a video of it. :))

Various:
  • When approaching a ship you have to deliver an item/cargo to, but that is currently in a fight, it will nevertheless respond "Decrease speed to zero and prepare for docking." However, it won't dock until it is done fighting. I'd prefer a response like "I'm busy, can you help me get rid of those bad guys?" here. (It would also be necessary to request delivery again then, before the docking sequence is initiated.)
  • I read here that other ships can jump, dock, launch, etc. I've never seen that happening, unless related to a mission (wingmen, escort targets), though.
  • The people appearing on base after you took them there should imho respond with something more realistic. It's kinda ok that mission passengers do not care about me, but if I rescue someone without being told to, you'd think they were more thankful than just "Leave me alone." (Btw., the Confeds don't pay a single cent for rescued pilots, do they!?)
  • If I understand it right, wingmen are escorting you until you dock again. It would be cool if either: a) they appear on the base and you can re-hire them for another run (for a lower fee, I guess -- maybe half or a third of the original fee). Or b), you could re-hire them before docking via comm.
  • For all the discussions with fixers, I'd like to see "reject" being made the default. Just as in Privateer, I stopped reading them completely and am now just parsing for keywords ("wingman", "transport", sectors, etc.) I've been more than once accidentally accepting a wingman or a mission when intending to make the text show completely.
  • I think more low fines could be added, for example for jumping out during a contraband scan. Btw., regarding fines, is there any way to pay them? Do they matter? I've got 220k in fines, but am still 100% friendly with militia and confeds. Also, they are pretty harsh (imho). Is there a way to work them off? How about getting a reduction for every killed enemy (Pirate/Kilrathi/Retro), but going back to full if you kill another Confed/Militia in between?
  • I'd like to give my voice for adding a few sound effects. No music, probably not even shooting sounds, just for stuff like jumping, maybe a quiet bell when a new enemy ship arrives. I think it would add to the atmosphere. I also agree with what Apollo said here, PC speaker sounds would fit the overall feel very well. Soundblaster might be too much. Maybe MIDI music, but even that is borderline.
  • I'd like to see some of the people standing around on bases (outside the bar, etc.) offering missions as well. Maybe they could walk in your direction when they see you, so you don't have to walk over the whole base (New Beijing, *gasp*) to find missions.


-- Cort

PS: It's *always* a girl, isn't it? Where do all the boys in this universe come from? ;)

Christian Knudsen

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Re: Congrats and various suggestions
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2008, 09:32:13 AM »
Quote from: "Cort"
First of all, I'd like to say that you did a wonderful job there.


Thanks!

Quote from: "Cort"
My first suggestion would be calling your releases 'episodes'. The current version really doesn't deserve to be labelled with something as betaish as '0.2'. :) It's a complete implementation of Privateer (plus some) and the version number should reflect that.


I feel that using "episode" denotes some kind of story being told. I think I'll just stick with the standard version numbers.

Quote from: "Cort"
Escort runs:
  • I'd like to see the other comm options being available when talking to a target you're currently escorting. The first two ideas that come to mind are "Status report!" (a simple good/bad/okay would be a sufficient response imho, of course it would be awesome to have the damage report being transmitted like in WC2) and "What's our destination?" (Yeah, I know, that information is available through the mission report on the nav screen, but it's not like comm options in WC ever made a whole lot of sense, they are there purely for the atmosphere. :D)
I suppose I could add some more comm messages at some point.

Quote from: "Cort"
  • Is there a good reason why you can't go into autopilot with an escort target as you can with wingmen? This way, escort missions take forever. (220k at 200kps, ouch!) In fact, this whole post was written during two escort runs. :(
Actually, no, there really isn't any reason for why you can't go into autopilot when escorting -- except that I didn't figure out a method for doing this until I got around to doing wingmen. :) It will be added at some point, probably for 0.4.

Quote from: "Cort"
Cargo:
  • I agree with Default Settings here that it would be nice to manage hidden cargo more efficiently. I actually think it would be useful in general to be able to jettison cargo partially. (Ever tried to pick up a gem, but your cargo is full of grain?)
For 0.3 I've already created separate slots for hidden and unhidden cargo. I don't think I'll make it any more managable than that right now.

Quote from: "Cort"
  • I'd like for cargo to be targetable. It's been that way in Privateer and it's very nice to be able to check if it's worth picking something up. (Or whether it might get you into trouble!)
Good idea.

Quote from: "Cort"
  • There is no message when trying to pick up a passenger but all passenger seats are full. (I guess that's why. If not, there's a problem with picking up cargo and I have a video of it. :))


I've added "scoop" messages for 0.3 (i.e. "cargo on board", "ejected pilot on board", "insufficient passenger/cargo space").

Quote from: "Cort"
Various:
  • When approaching a ship you have to deliver an item/cargo to, but that is currently in a fight, it will nevertheless respond "Decrease speed to zero and prepare for docking." However, it won't dock until it is done fighting. I'd prefer a response like "I'm busy, can you help me get rid of those bad guys?" here. (It would also be necessary to request delivery again then, before the docking sequence is initiated.)
Yeah, that needs to be fixed.

Quote from: "Cort"
  • I read here that other ships can jump, dock, launch, etc. I've never seen that happening, unless related to a mission (wingmen, escort targets), though.
I doesn't happen that often, but some ships are for example flying towards a jump point and will jump out when reaching it. Other than that, you'll only see it during escort missions. (These features will probably come more into play when I reach the versions of the game related to storytelling, i.e. the user scripting stuff.)

Quote from: "Cort"
  • The people appearing on base after you took them there should imho respond with something more realistic. It's kinda ok that mission passengers do not care about me, but if I rescue someone without being told to, you'd think they were more thankful than just "Leave me alone." (Btw., the Confeds don't pay a single cent for rescued pilots, do they!?)
Yeah, they should be a bit more thankful. :)

Confeds don't pay anything for rescued pilots -- you just gain a boost in your rating with that faction.

Quote from: "Cort"
  • If I understand it right, wingmen are escorting you until you dock again. It would be cool if either: a) they appear on the base and you can re-hire them for another run (for a lower fee, I guess -- maybe half or a third of the original fee). Or b), you could re-hire them before docking via comm.
That's certainly a possibility. I'll look into this for 0.4.

Quote from: "Cort"
  • For all the discussions with fixers, I'd like to see "reject" being made the default. Just as in Privateer, I stopped reading them completely and am now just parsing for keywords ("wingman", "transport", sectors, etc.) I've been more than once accidentally accepting a wingman or a mission when intending to make the text show completely.
That shouldn't be too hard to fix (having "reject" as the default selection).

Quote from: "Cort"
  • I think more low fines could be added, for example for jumping out during a contraband scan. Btw., regarding fines, is there any way to pay them? Do they matter? I've got 220k in fines, but am still 100% friendly with militia and confeds. Also, they are pretty harsh (imho). Is there a way to work them off? How about getting a reduction for every killed enemy (Pirate/Kilrathi/Retro), but going back to full if you kill another Confed/Militia in between?
A fine for jumping out during a contraband search is a good idea.

Fines don't do anything right now. I originally just added them in as a gauge of how much of a criminal you are. However, when I've expanded the gaming universe to the Alizarin quadrant (I think) they might have a bigger effect. This quadrant will house the government bases of the sector and you will be able to pay your fines here, and thus reseting your confed and militia rating. Of course, if you're a hardcore criminal, you'll have a lot of outstanding fines and you may not have enough credits to pay them off... but that's my general idea regarding fines at the moment.

Quote from: "Cort"
  • I'd like to give my voice for adding a few sound effects. No music, probably not even shooting sounds, just for stuff like jumping, maybe a quiet bell when a new enemy ship arrives. I think it would add to the atmosphere. I also agree with what Apollo said here, PC speaker sounds would fit the overall feel very well. Soundblaster might be too much. Maybe MIDI music, but even that is borderline.
I don't know, I've already spent waaaay too much time trying to get sound to work, and in my experience PC speaker sounds are always turned off anyway, as they sound pretty aggrevating and you can't control the volume.

It's probably only something I'll look into again, when the stuff I have planned for the next 2-3 versions has been implemented.

Quote from: "Cort"
  • I'd like to see some of the people standing around on bases (outside the bar, etc.) offering missions as well. Maybe they could walk in your direction when they see you, so you don't have to walk over the whole base (New Beijing, *gasp*) to find missions.
I think it's better to just keep the bars as the place of person-to-person business making. I don't really see people outside the bars with missions adding anything to the game, except uncertainty as to whether or not you've talked to everybody with a mission to offer.

Quote from: "Cort"
PS: It's *always* a girl, isn't it? Where do all the boys in this universe come from? ;)


Hehe... It's all randomly chosen, so I guess your computer just prefers baby girls for some reason...

Thanks for the thorough feedback and suggestions!

Cort

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Re: Congrats and various suggestions
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2008, 04:08:22 PM »
Quote from: "Christian Knudsen"
For 0.3 I've already created separate slots for hidden and unhidden cargo. I don't think I'll make it any more managable than that right now.

Ah, right. I read that. Good starting point.
Not enough in the long run if you ask me, but that's your choice. :)

Quote from: "Christian Knudsen"
I've added "scoop" messages for 0.3 (i.e. "cargo on board", "ejected pilot on board", "insufficient passenger/cargo space").

That's great to hear!

Quote from: "Christian Knudsen"
Fines don't do anything right now. I originally just added them in as a gauge of how much of a criminal you are. However, when I've expanded the gaming universe to the Alizarin quadrant (I think) they might have a bigger effect. This quadrant will house the government bases of the sector and you will be able to pay your fines here, and thus reseting your confed and militia rating. Of course, if you're a hardcore criminal, you'll have a lot of outstanding fines and you may not have enough credits to pay them off... but that's my general idea regarding fines at the moment.

I definitely like your 'fines' idea in general.

I still think you should be able to work them off by e.g. killing the 'enemies of the state'. That, or getting a small bonus for every killed criminal. Privateer 2 had that, and I think it made sense.

Other than that (and maybe getting their cargo), there's really no reward in killing enemies, except for getting rid of them so you can autopilot out. Imho, that's a design issue Privateer (and all its successors) always had. What's the point of all these kills? There's no in-game motivation to do it.

As games like Ascii Sector are all about the money, I think that's also what the reward should be like. Or maybe anyone has a better idea. (I don't.) After all, I can hardly imagine retros or pirates having the money to pay you for killing some confeds.

Quote from: "Christian Knudsen"
I don't know, I've already spent waaaay too much time trying to get sound to work, and in my experience PC speaker sounds are always turned off anyway, as they sound pretty aggrevating and you can't control the volume.

Yeah, I guess it's not really high-priority. I missed sound a lot in the beginning, now I got used to it.


-- Cort