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View Full Version : First impression, criticism!


WaZzUp115
12-21-2010, 11:23 PM
Hi, just got this game on a whim and I'm not sure what to make of it..

I expected some more gameplay and more exploration, the maps I'm playing on seems small and there's not much to do?
I tried shooting the black pacman dudes but that got boring pretty quickly..
The speed also felt quite slow, I couldn't find a way to keep the high speed boost..

Some gameplay-suggestions from my first impressions.

- Afterburner: I like going fast, especially with music, an after burner with along with a recharging energy meter would be quite neat.

- New Enemies: Enemies that you have to chase which moves around and tries to avoid your fire, the current ones seem to random, there's no dogfighting.
An enemy which fires from the rear and rolls around and flies in spirals to avoid you would make things more interesting.

- Larger worlds, higher speeds.

- New weapons, missiles that leaves colorful trails and result in vivid explosions, Laser beams and other weapons that can add more eye candy and variation in gameplay would be welcome!

Dmytry
12-21-2010, 11:48 PM
well did you set difficulty to insane? they're harder to shoot on insane, and they reach quite far, and the strategy is that you cant just fly straight ahead and shoot an enemy, in this case it hits you too well. On insane you dont live long without speed boost. You have to look for ghosts and flowers.

stillwater78
12-22-2010, 12:04 AM
Yeah, I got it on a whim a while back and found it a bit perplexing. The visuals were nice, and the music was great, but I could barely see any relation between the two. Since it was advertised as being all about the synchronicity, that seemed a bit lame.

The gameplay seemed too random, unrewarding and/or non-existent to me, so I abandoned it pretty quickly. It doesn't mean it's a bad game - maybe it suits a particular type of gamer with a particular type of taste, but it wasn't for me.

Shindawg
12-22-2010, 12:34 AM
I had a similar problem - The music didn't really seem to have much effect on gameplay. I just bought the game on special and gave a couple of my own songs a whirl... but I'm sorry to say I am a little disappointed. I found it to look absolutely incredible (better than most other music games), but it just felt like I was zooming around a visualiser, as opposed to playing a game.

RockyMM303
12-22-2010, 04:00 AM
I would agree with WaZzUp115, stillwater78 and Shindawg. My feelings exactly. Some how it felt slow, and killing pacman characters... dunno. I'm not sure what are the mechanics, how do they shoot me, does theirs explosion hurt me, how to save aliens?

And the universe felt kind of empty and sterile because of somewhat lacking sound efects.

Still, I had fun with 3D side-by-side option and tweaking fractals, that was cool for a while. :)

Dmytry
12-22-2010, 05:12 AM
"the maps I'm playing on seems small"
"The speed also felt quite slow"
Let's suppose i raise speed 3x, afterburner or not, the maps will feel frigging tiny. One of early versions had speeds of 1/10 current, and I kind of regret I raised it, at least then everyone agreed that arenas were huge, even if everyone wanted more speed. :D Now everyone agrees arenas seem small, and (of course) everyone wants more speed and will keep wanting more speed no matter how fast it will be. :| I'm trying to make a more enjoyable product here, not a product that's harder to criticize, sadly this is slightly different product types.

"I'm not sure what are the mechanics, how do they shoot me, does theirs explosion hurt me, how to save aliens?" needs more tutorial perhaps?
How to save, shot the pacman while it's chewing on alien.
Is there not enough mechanics or is there so much it needs explaining? Sure I can add more explaining texts in level 0 but that will be not good, games should not need explaining too much, people dont want to memorize giant manual to play, and some people love to try to experiment and discover such things.

more different enemies, etc etc etc:
of course there is a lot of stuff more of which is really better. Working on it. More enemies is time expensive, it's a fully 3D game (free flight in any direction) so making enemies is significantly harder than in a 2D game or walk on a surface "3D" game, and it being abstract i dont think you are wanting more enemies that all behave mostly the same, like diff soldiers, some of them very big, i've idea that you rather want enemies as diverse as tank/soldier/airplane/helicopter/submarine and the guns, more like rocket launcher/minigun/crowbar/gravity gun rather than "different" like ak47, ak74, m16, Sten, desert eagle, etc etc etc.

Abstract game can't make "different" enemies and "different" guns as cheaply as a realist game where it's really a piece of cake to add all the firearms in history, you need no coding what so ever just all 3d models and you set the rates of fire/overheating parameters. I want to make abstract game, the kind that provokes imagination, even though that also provokes people asking for all sorta stuff and seeing it as incomplete, because abstract game CAN'T be complete. Think about it, suppose I made a WW1-themed flight simulator here. With relatively little coding i would complete all the stuff one can expect, and it would be "not enough guns/not enough enemies" criticism proof - because realism restricts imagination and critics would be unable to easily imagine what can be added. Surely not laser guns, and not guided rockets.

I want to make multiplayer eventually to have as many really different enemies and friendlies as there are simultaneous players on the server, but "more enemies" can keep me busy indefinitely.

edit: and another thing. You know why most software takes a while to load? Ever thought what your web browser is doing when you start it? Surely not loading from hard drive which has like 70MB per second. Because if you load faster than other software, people subconsciously feel they don't get enough features, it makes for bad first impression. When i was in HS i really blew relations with school principal by solving puzzles he showed to me in a very short time instead of pretending i need minutes to think, then he said 'you of course knew those before' (then he realized that I know for sure if I did those before or not...)

It's a known fact and a reason why startup times are seldom ever made small, even though even for games it is altogether technically possible and feasible to load everything you see at the start spot in a very little time and then keep loading rest of the game world asynchronously (or in my case, initializing everything on-demand).
Except when you're an independent developer and you want it done quickly and you need it to start up fast when you're debugging.
I too could of simply have it generate everything when you run it, making for some 10 sec+ load time, and perversely making people criticize it less for 'not enough stuff' even though it would of been a worse product. Oh yes i could of made you appreciate that every ghost and flower is unique by generating few hundreds on load and showing you a progress bar with number of things generated. I know it would of made for better reviews, I have been suggested I slow down the startup for psychological effect to improve critic scores! But I hate doing this sort of stuff. I hate making slower loads to show some marketing material about how much awesome stuff consumer is getting.

WaZzUp115
12-22-2010, 01:03 PM
Perhaps you could add tiny particles that are always around you and that move really fast in the opposite direction of your ship, to give a sense of speed.

The thing about enemies, what makes it less fun is that they're not hard to shoot because they don't dogfight, there's no real chase, it's just random..
You could add bigger versions of the pacman dudes that have more hp and deal more damage, that would add some variation and it would be easier than making a new AI.

And the criticism about the lack of enemies is because there's not much variation with just one enemy type that behaves the same.

Also, new weapons and powerups shouldn't be too hard to add?
Should be a lot easier than adding enemies and would add some much needed variation in gameplay and visuals.

spyrochaete
12-22-2010, 01:27 PM
Perhaps you could add tiny particles that are always around you and that move really fast in the opposite direction of your ship, to give a sense of speed.

I think this would take away from the crispness of the visuals. I like all the blackness in contrast with the bright geometry.

Dmytry
12-22-2010, 01:35 PM
Perhaps you could add tiny particles that are always around you and that move really fast in the opposite direction of your ship, to give a sense of speed.

The thing about enemies, what makes it less fun is that they're not hard to shoot because they don't dogfight, there's no real chase, it's just random..

Hmm? On insane they get jarateed off and face you then accelerate straight at you, killing you very quickly if you don't dodge.

You could add bigger versions of the pacman dudes that have more hp and deal more damage, that would add some variation and it would be easier than making a new AI.

Tried that, those looked like ordinary pacman but placed nearby :/ Can't have differently sized stuff that looks similar, it must look dramatically different. Even that huge sun in the Christmas level with Waves shader, you know what it looked like to testers? Like ordinary sun from the Waves shader stuck to the player and moved together with the player.


And the criticism about the lack of enemies is because there's not much variation with just one enemy type that behaves the same.

Also, new weapons and powerups shouldn't be too hard to add?
Should be a lot easier than adding enemies and would add some much needed variation in gameplay and visuals.
Well yea albeit that depends to how different.
I have new enemy in the poll, but people seem to want achievements first.

Dmytry
12-22-2010, 01:38 PM
Hmm. I'll check, perhaps making it dramatically slower (20x) and making bonuses fly and home at you may have effect of increased perceived speed because you would be flying in the attractor all the time and you wouldn't be frustrated trying to get to the bonus. I can just add slider, though this will make those leaderboards kind of meaningless.

WaZzUp115
12-22-2010, 01:47 PM
I think this would take away from the crispness of the visuals. I like all the blackness in contrast with the bright geometry.

Well, the game is very customizable, so having it could be in the graphics options with on/off toggle?

Thanks for listening :)
I like the idea of powerups homing in at you.