Brand new guy here, interested in getting some info on this game in order to make a purchase decision: my first question is if I pledge right now for $60.00 and get “immediate access” does that mean that the game exists in some early form that I can just download and play literally right now? Or is immediate access just limited events such as the recent beta?
Sorry if I’m putting this question in the wrong place–it’s my first visit to the forum.
Thanks so much for the reply, InovaeFlavien. Is there a prototype that I can download if I purchase the game now that gives me access to a ship(s) so I can learn the controls and just sort of knock around getting the hang of things?
I really love the concept and “The Expanse” vibe you guys have going on.
I feel like the problem is compounded by the game not really effectively signaling to the player which team they’re in. I didn’t choose a team in the launcher, so it took me a good while to figure out that I’m in the red team. Potential solution is just UI work, to make sure the player understands what’s going on.
Using something else than the standardized friendly/enemy colors would help too. Like, yellow purple cyan or something. Maybe different sets of shapes for each faction’s ships, instead of the default of triangle for fighters etc. for all of them. For colorblind people, and general clarity.
Other things I wondered during the weekend:
-What does the safety lock thing do? I found no difference in setting it on or off.
-The hit indicator sound could have a bit more punch to it, but that’s probably for the audiovisual polish stage. Took me a long time of wondering whether or not I’m hitting anything to notice it.
-I don’t have a particularly powerful PC (In fact I recall asking on Twitter if an R9 270X would even run the thing, and the answer was a no) but it runs fine, aside from when approaching stations and bases, where it freezes for a moment. Odd things seem to happen sometimes during that freeze, like suddenly finding myself reversing away from the base at warp speeds instead of going towards at that speed, and general lag-like maneouvers. Probably something to do with the connection not being solid while the PC figures itself out? I don’t really have anything easily reproducible on it, though, sorry.
The game is currently in an Alpha build state that you can access if you pledge the appropriate Alpha Access tier. This weekend is special, because Beta-level backers also have access to the Alpha build.
So, if you bought a Beta support tier today, you could download and play today, but then would have to wait for the next Beta access weekend to log in again. If you bought an Alpha tier today, you would be able to download, play, and continue playing all the way through to full release whenever you like.
From my point of view (as a Developer-tier backer - meaning I’ve had access for ages), it’s been amazing watching the game come together! If you’re happy to accept that it’s in a really early state, and even give a bit of feedback on what you think, then this is a great time to join. But if you want to wait until things are a little more polished, Beta is probably more for you.
It’s a safety for missiles/torpedos. Turn it off and you can fire them without a target lock. Make sure you’re aimed properly though!
I get this a bit too. When the game loads the stations, it can hitch for a moment as the stations are relatively complex structures. The weirdness afterwards is your computer catching up with where the server thinks you should be (all positions are checked by the server).
It’s basically the server going, “Oh FFS, Client. You should be here, not there!”
Sure thing. If you have web camera you can try Facetrack no ir. It is not as precise as a ir tracking, but for testing all you need is just web camera. Software is(WAS) free.
EDIT: No it seems to be paid, hmm. Older version perhaps.
Or i should have one of the old versions of B.O.W.T.T. devices
This was my first time playing the game and I enjoyed it, I’m still trying to get used to all the controls and power settings but the F9 keyboard layout is a great help, especially for new players.
What I would like to see is the option to increase the text captions that come up at the bottom of the screen, sometimes its quite small and hard to read.
I would like to see in the future where you have the option to explore more and complete goals, maybe the options to do something different instead of just fighting.
Looking a the videos from this weekend and the feedback, the controls seem to be expanding and getting a little more complex. The game has to work on a xbox or xbox type controller, one with more top buttons and bottom paddles (for me at least). And then at minimum the entry level and very popular Thrustmaster T.Flight Hotas 4 (2016), or earlier T.Flight versions. Or some other basic entry level or mid level joystick and separate throttle like the Thrusmaster - TWCS Throttle (2016 new) or CH Pro Throttle.
Its going to take some clever thinking to make the final release game work well with an xbox type controller. And also maybe offer 2-3 other gamepad layouts, like one would find in a lot of games by 2019/2020.
For me, I’m going to try and get a good xbox type controller with more top buttons and bottom paddles. I’d want I:B to work well on gamepad and or HOTAS set up. And to have a good interactive UI for gamepad and HOTAS, including the rumble/force feedback support (if in final game).
Gotta save for a game rig first capable of running the game.
The last game I played was I:B demo, one orbit of a planet during your kickstarter on low settings @<30fps. Saving has been painfully slow when life and other shit keeps getting in the way. Really sucks balls to be missing so many good years of gaming.
Thanks for the response. This could very well be resolved once the main game UI is more fleshed out as well. During the weekend gameplay session I was thrown into the game straight from the launcher (excluding a short “press any key to continue” screen). You could have this kind of information on the loading screen or the initial spawn screen, something like “You’re on team RED (Havoc)”.
It might also be an idea to avoid red for any of the team colours at all, and just keep green for friendlies (regardless of side). Enemies could then be yellow and purple (just two quick colour ideas that popped to my mind). That said - team colours and distinguishing friendlies from enemies is something that needs to happen QUICKLY and at a glance - if the colours start to blend with the backgrounds / environments… well, that could be bad. Another option is to have green / red (friendly / hostile) with small icon indicators showing which team which ships are from (I assume that there’s no way to form alliances, so in a 3-team game it’s all “TDM” anyway).
Ultimately, consider the option to let players customize the team colours to their liking completely, something like:
Team X [Auto | Colour Picker] / Team Y [Auto | Colour Picker] / My Team [Auto | Colour Picker] (of course this isn’t in any way a top priority).
I’ve been considering that, and I think it would have been a good idea in any other game. But considering Battlescape can have really massive battles, adding icons on top of the existing icons would make the HUD a complete mess IMO ( imagine hundreds of icons all moving on your screen… ).
Like, if this was your first experience of the game in this beta WE, just know that the AI commander is currently half broken and does not spawn battles as big as it should. The server can support 300-400 bots total, but we barely reached 100-150 during this event due to some AI bugs. So battles can and will grow even bigger in the future
Anyway, I was just throwing loose suggestions around.
A few more side notes:
I learned to fly space sims using inverted mouse controls (for pitch), and had those on during the beta. In fact, I think this was the default setting. This, on its own, wasn’t a problem. However, I found something odd once I started to pilot one of the larger ships (destroyer / cruiser). I still don’t know which weapons were auto-aimed and which weren’t, but unlike the fixed guns on the interceptor the larger ships had turrets following the mouse cursor. Except… if I wanted to aim “up” to compensate for a target moving “up” relative to myself, it would mean I would start to pitch downward, away from the target…
All in all, I felt that the aiming scheme and inverted mechanics only worked well for the smaller ships with fixed weaponry. And, unfortunately, with no in-game options menu I couldn’t switch the control scheme whilst piloting the larger ships (without exiting the game and losing said ships).
Finally, would it be a sensible idea to be able to log out at a docking port and keep the current ship (or get a refund) for when one logs back in (assuming the game doesn’t end during that time)…?
One more technicality - the installer(s). Once the beta weekend was over I wanted to remove everything; no point keeping an old version around since a lot will likely change by the time the beta / next beta weekend rolls around. However it seems the installers leave all the directories behind. Biggest gripe is the directory in Program Files which I’m sure I didn’t tell the game to create (it was the one with no spaces in the name). I know I didn’t tell the installers to create any folders there because I keep all my games in a dedicated \Games folder on my C drive… Not a huge deal, but as I’m a coder myself this certainly made me cringe a bit…
Just remembered two more things…
Restocking ammo at a pad / corvette is nice, but it didn’t seem to restock countermeasures. Also - and I may be wrong here, as I didn’t take a close enough look - but either the starting ammo on the cruiser is comprised of strange “non-round” numbers, or the re-arming procedure doesn’t top that ship up…
The other was… I was in an interceptor fighting another (NPC) interceptor, and I ran out of primary ammo, so all I had was the energy-based secondary weapon. Now, how’s the damage on that other weapon? I managed to get a LOT of shots in, but I couldn’t seem to get that enemy NPC down. Is it possible that energy-based weapons only deal shield damage and don’t do any hull damage at all (or do very little damage)?
I’ve watched the developer stream on YT (not live, just now) - and found out some things I wouldn’t have figured out on my own in-game.
The warp jamming effect isn’t passive, it’s triggered! The UI makes it seem like it’s a toggle (i.e. on/off), while it’s in fact activated… Plus, I would never guess the exact range one has to be for it to work.
Bases and (stations) have spots you can assault - cool! Is there a way to target these elements so one doesn’t have to know the layout of these bases beforehand?
These are some more things that would either benefit from a better in-game UI with more information or need to be “tutorialized” at some later stage.
Restocking chaffs should work. You’re right that the max ammo on most ships isn’t a round number. The grand total ( invisible ) is a round number, but it then gets split per weapon group and that’s what you see on the HUD.
Blasters are very effective at taking out shields, but do no damage to the hull. However once shields are down, they deplete the target’s energy ( so they can’t boost / warp anymore ) and it’ll also randomly cause some systems to shut down ( target could lose weapons, power, radar etc… ).
I am glad you liked it despite the early state of many things
And it’s only the tip of the iceberg. A lot of things we’re doing / planning on doing are going to massively improve it.
My personal feeling right now is that it does have some fun elements in it, but it also many frustrating elements ( we’ll work on eliminating those ) and a steep learning curve ( it’s okay for space-sim fans, but if we want the game to be a commercial success, the barrier to entry for the masses has to be reduced ). Replayability is so-so, but I’m not all that worried because a lot of content is still missing ( ship / weapon upgrades, more planets / environments etc… ).
More importantly, the game still feels very “sandboxy” at the moment. There are objectives, but we often see players fly randomly with no coordination in their team, not knowing what to do / where to go. Once we have a smarter AI commander that makes bots less intrusive, better objectives / map awareness, more missions / secondary objectives ( conflicting between teams ) and the remaining major features missing ( attack on shield generators to allow capships to attack ), it’s going to feel like a totally different game.
One thing that it is currently completely missing and which has us a bit worried is the long-term hook.
Individual matches can be fun, but unlike other games they could last pretty long. There’s a good chance most players will participate in the match for some time but won’t be able to attend the end of the match. That’s a big issue that detracts / demotivates players in the long run.
We have ideas to add persistent benefits to participating in winning matches ( even if you’re not there at the end of the match ) but we’ll expand on that once we start to refine gameplay.
I’m always a bit worried that permanent rewards for winning in games (outside of the actual feeling of victory) tend to create a lot of negativity, especially if people start taking the game in question way too seriously. This is compounded by the fact that in a game which is shaping up to be as massive as this, winning or losing might be almost random (unless you have a dedicated team of players to play with).
If you’re thinking about creating long-term engagement, consider some form of XP for in-game activities which unlocks skins, ship models, etc… rather than rely on the win / loss duality.