Intuitive, Tutorials and the new player experience


For a ‘casual’ player the hard warp is too difficult, we had a streamer that played during the previous Alpha weekend and they couldn’t figure out how to engage warp, it was a really awkward situation. There are way too many barriers for a casual player with a million different key-bindings and menu items atm.

And TBH holding W to set velocity seems like a much better idea than the current setup with 10 different keys being used, it would free 1-0 keys for something that’s usually mapped to those keys, like weapons and equipment slots.

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I don’t think pressing a key is too hard to learn for casuals. The reason why some had problems is because there are no hints or explainations inside the game currently except the keybindings screen which they didn’t bother to read apparantly.
Also some people didn’t know how to fire missiles recently and asked how to do it. Is this a reason to make missiles automatic, I don’t think so.


The game should make it easy to do these things, the worst thing you can do is blame the player for ‘not getting it’. It’s a slippery slope, because everyone becomes an idiot at some point with that mentality.


You can already do that right now, just remap the IncrTargetSpeed / DecrTargetSpeed events to W / S and remove the keys 1-0.

If the consensus is that it’s better than the current default mapping, I can do the change. However after testing it, I find it a lot less intuitive than the current scheme, especially in close areas where you’ll bump into walls all the time. But if you test it and find it to be an improvement, please let me know.

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What is the increment? I would be ok to use that if it is exponential like with the number keys. Or map it to the mouse wheel instead, I rarely need the precision it gives.


The 0-9 being used for setting speeds is a little excessive, but I like the strafing controls the way they are. Could we instead keep those, and have a “Select next preset speed” button? E.g. press ] to cycle through 100… 250… 500… Etc. And [ to cycle back. Mouse wheel could still control it more analogue-y, and it frees up the numeric keys for weapon-related stuff (which is perhaps more familiar to people).

Weekly Update #103

Absolutely; however which keys would you use to increase / decrease to the next speed level ? If you use 1-2 ( where it’s closest to the hand on the keyboard ), that leaves 3-0 for weapons or other functionalities… but these keys being very close and starting at 3 ( while 1-2 is for target speed ) might confuse new players.


Allright, the target speed cycling has been implemented and will be available in the upcoming patch ( in a few hours ). Event names are “NextTargetSpeed” and “PrevTargetSpeed”. I’ll bind them to F5/F6 for now.

Weekly Update #103

I personally will try target speed cycling on the mouse wheel. I feel like the way the wheel works now doesn’t really work that well and would be better as two buttons (the manual set speeed up/down).

How do other 6DOF games handle this? How does Decent do it?


I think the whole concept of the target speeds is unintuitive* and should (and can) be done away with entirely. (For warp and non-warp)

W and S should accelerate/decelerate the ship as they do currently.
FA should ignore your forward/back speed and just try to eliminate drift, ie try to align your total velocity vector with your forward direction, but only while a thrust input is pressed.

*Even if you don’t think it’s unintuitive, it still adds unnecessary interaction complexity.


So kinda like disabling flight assist but only on the forward/backward axis? I really like this idea especially in warp.
How does one totally, absolutely stop then though? Special button?

So your last sentence says that flight assist will be off when not touching translation controlls?

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I would say target the thing you want to stop relative to and press the match velocity button…

but I think it’d mainly be new players who’d want to ‘stop’ so a convenience button to match velocity with the nearest big mass without having to select it would be good.


About to drive home but I’ll address this later.

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Or how about double tapping S (backwards, decrease speed) sets target speed to zero, any further increase/decrease input deletes the target speed. That target speed would then be the last target speed avaiable.

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I know that the UI is on your priority list: how high is it? Key / Control binding through UI would go a long way avoiding tedious changes like these.


Nice, I think that will help. I see myself binding those possibly to my additional mouse buttons on the side if possible (though I will test effectiveness of default mapping too).

But… Doesn’t the whole speed thing currently rely on target speeds? They’d have to rework the entire flight model and we’d have a very different-feeling game. With such great speeds involved, the only way to travel is choose your speed and wait for the ship to catch up!

At least we have a choice of a gradient (via mouse wheel) and incremental set speeds. The latter can simply act as a ballpark setting which is then fine tuned. Speaking as someone who’s mouse wheel is not very good, I rely on the increments quite a lot.


I think as I understood it would change from “set target speed” to “target speed adjust automatically to current speed”.
But that’s only part of the idea of Hrobertson.

So you use your W and S and the target speed automatically adjust to the current speed of the ship and stays there.
There are some possible problems though. What if the Person looks retrograte and presses W? Is that somtehing they can understand easily?

Playbennis idea of double pressing S would be a nice addition. That would set the target speed to zero and as long as you don’t touch W or S the ship will stop.


I just tested it real quick and it sucks for the reasons you mentioned.
hrobertson’s would be worthwhile testing I think.

This would basically behave like the usual speed acceleration/deceleration right know but instead that the speed decreases automatically once we stop pressing acceleration it just stays at the reached speed like it would using a target speed setting. With these changes normal flight wouldn’t feel that much different but the whole target speed thing could be scrapped.

EDIT: Lomsors last post explained it better


Not at all. When actually playing (rather than testing) I fly entirely with FA off which doesn’t use the target speed. Target speeds are just a FA system.

Nope. There’d be no such thing as a target speed.
You’d control your acceleration, not your speed, just as you do in a car or aeroplane. You’d press the forward thrust button to accelerate. In air, air resistance would slow you down unless you accelerated to counter it.
Under no circumstances would the computer keep you at a certain speed.

@Playbenni’s explanation is correct.


I like that even better.
So basically all that would need to happen to implement this idea is to stop the automatic deceleration when using the current speed increase/decrease functionality and to do away with all target speed setting and only leaving the target speed zero setting in. Right?

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Yeah, on paper it sounds like a nice idea. Will experiment it, it sounds like it should work and stay quite intuitive.