Alpha play-test week-end: issues or feedback

My feedback from this weekend:
Downloading the game and everything went very smooth.
Starting game for first time took awhile, but i remember reading something about the first time may take awhile.

when game finally loaded and finally ready to play…I had NO idea what to do. I spent 5 minutes just trying to figure out how to even make the ship move. Once I finally did get the ship moving…I couldnt figure out how to get from place to place quickly. As in, i spent 5 minutes flying to nearest planet…and gave up because i still wasnt close. I think last time i remember a warp speed option…but for some reason i couldnt find it for this play.

anyways, i got frustrated not knowing what to do…and stopped playing after 10 minutes. Certainly im not frustrated with the game overall because i know this is VERY early in development still…so i wont put much emphasis on that. However, it would be nice if on those weekend plays…if you create a quick “how to” document…video…or something that you tell people to watch before playing for first time.

I am sure those videos are out there, but honestly i dindt want to go around finding videos…mostly because i wouldnt know what was current or not (since it is actively being developed). You can also call me lazy if you want =)


This is what happens at higher velocities, the net-code breaks because of client prediction and latency, it makes using weapons useless even if you are not in warp at those velocities.

There was nobody online to guide you?
The warp button has been removed and now it is in the systems menu (V key IIRC).
I totally agree that we should have a tutorial somewhere.

dont get me wrong, i am sure most of my troubles are because i was too lazy to get the help.

certainly a tutorial is not high on their list of things to do…but when you have a testing weekend…as in limited time to play…people should be given more direction to start.

if i was open to play any time during the week…i wouldnt have same complaint. but i didnt have a lot of time to play this weekend…and as soon as i realized it was going to take a bit to figure everything out…i went back to doing something else that was more enjoyable for me.

Did you accidentally close the help image when you got into the game? Or did you close it and then forget how to open it again?

button has not been removed, it’s J

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Really? It’s not in the default Qwerty.xml.

I didn’t upgrade the profile version, so it probably didn’t overwrite your old version. It should be there for new players though, or you can simply copy/paste the file from the Battlescape installed folder ( should be in Dev/Profiles )

i didn’t play as much as i wanted, but here are 3 things regarding feedback for the alpha:

  • the zoom-effect when accelerating/slowing down makes it hard to judge the actual change of speed.
    Esp. for me a a first-time-player, i actually thought i was flying backwards, beause when activating the turbo, the planets seemed to become smaller.
    And when i stopped, suddenly the planets became bigger…
    Also while warping… when getting closer to a planet, i have no idea how far i am away, or how fast i’m approaching, because the FOV is changing all the time…

  • The “direct control” mode had almost no mouse sensitivity for me. I would have to move my mouse across the mousepad like 8 times to turn my ship.
    Any Ego-shooter can do a 180° turn with a single mouse movement…
    The mouse speed of the other control mode was fine… both modes should harmonize, so that with the same mouse sens settings both modes are usable…

  • It was hard for me to aim at enemies in the default control mode, because my eyes were always distracted by the fast moving cursor icon, and i had a hard time to keep my eyes on the green crosshair, when that cursor was moving around…
    I found myself several times aiming with the cursor instead of the crosshair…


This. I’d rather that the effect would be removed.


I also have this problem, its very hard to keep track of the correct cursor/indicator when a lot is happening.
Maybe the movement cursor and target recticle could be merged into one.

Normal current target recticle:

Target recticle with “rubberband” merged movement cursor (moving the ship to the top right):




Nice change. In addition I think that the cursor looks like crosshairs is a problem too, it suggests that it is meant to directly aim the weapon.
I would propose to change the cursor crosshair to an arrow that points into the direction the ship is turning to. The actual aiming point could then remain as a crosshair symbol.
Here is a crude sketch:


Apparantly I missunderstood/didn’t read carefully the way TARSs sketch would work.
I like it except that the crosshairs’ “hairs” would have to rotate to make it work, also there is no clear idicator anymore where the cursor is, I think a visual cursor is still important for selecting targets.
Here is a version that achieves the same thing differently.

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nope, i spent a few minutes looking at it. again, probably i was just too lazy to really dig into it. however, majority of world is lazy so this will need to be addressed at some point in the future =)

One Idea would be some flashing text in this order:

  1. To hide key help press “x” {Wait for player to press the button}
  2. To power up ship press “x” {Wait for player to power up ship}
  3. Use “XXXX” and “X” to controll ship.
    Use “XX” to fire weapons.
    {show these two or more alternating for a few minutes}
  4. Press “x” to enter Warp. {Wait for the player to enter warp}
  5. To show key help press “x”

Other games do that and it works quite well.


Over the last couple of weeks and the alpha weekend has there been a little kick up to the funding. Can someone check please.

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A small bump, an extra $1k - $2k.


If there is one thing that stands out for me, after having played the latest builds extensively, as many of you have, and that’s the feeling of being immersed with complete freedom.

Freedom of movement.
Random, completely unexpected things happen, even with the game being, so called set pvp-shooter. I LOVE that!

Freedom of choice.
When the space-battles got too frantic for my brain, I just warp down to the planet’s surface, and relax for 5 minutes, exploring, enjoying the view. Then 2 enemy NPC’s come to pester me, which in game context is expected, but the location and terrain is random, which creates new game-play. I dealt with the NPC’s swiftly and got great satisfaction from that. Then warped to the circular station, in time to see 7 interceptors and a bomber take down a destroyer. (3 inties and the bomber survived).

In all other space games I’ve played, even if they claim that you can supposedly go anywhere, I still feel boxed in.

I don’t have that with I:B. I would find it heart-breaking, if we lost that freedom.

So do what feels good, cause it’s working! I don’t think i can play anything else, you’ve spoilt me.


Watching @SpaceJay’s latest videos, two things jumped out at me.

  1. The shot spam is overwhelming with just a few ships. I can’t imagine what it would look like with lots of ships. I realize that the current software only has the one weapon type, but I hope that the end result of all the tuning is that I can look at a fight from any distance and immediately get an intuitive sense of what’s going on. It may just be that SpaceJay likes using shot spam, but it seems to be constant and, like I said, overwhelming.

  2. The explosions need to manage propagation rates. That is, explosions always expand at X meters per second. By doing that, the scale of an explosion will be intuitive. Right now, I watch explosions and they don’t look right at all because of the loss of scale cues. If you must have a dramatic finish to a large ship explosion, then use a bright flash - a very intense, very brief light source that overwhelms the HDR stuff. I can see it really adding to the lighting of a battle as some ships that blow up will be in your field of view while others will not. The ones not in your field of view will just light up the ships around you. It should all be pretty dramatic.

Things look to be coming along very nicely, and @SpaceJay is perhaps the best thing to ever happen to INS’s marketing department since the departure of the marketing department.

SpaceJay, a suggestion for you would be to tell a simple story with the combat video. Mostly, I see random shooting that tries to follow the music. Surely you could collect some clips of ships racing away from the camera towards a distant fight, followed by lots of shooting, followed by fewer ships slowly flying past the camera with music carrying a triumphant note. A couple snap victory rolls would be particularly tropey - and fun.

We came, we saw, we kicked their butts.


Is exactly what I would love to do.

Many, many awesome variations to that story, I would love to do.

@Hutchings is planning something that would facilitate that and would be combined with a strategy to get more players in-game on alpha weekends.

Shotspam FTW!