Intuitive, Tutorials and the new player experience


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?

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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.

1 Like

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?

1 Like

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


Here is an additional idea.
Since we now abolished the whole confusing target speed input layer and only have the “set speed to zero” remaining:
How about having a second special input that replaces all the practical functionality the target speed thing ever offered!

A button to toggle “maintain speed”. With this button we could also cruise in atmosphere without having to press the increase speed button constantly because obviously the air slows the ship down in atmosphere.

Just set aside a key for “maintain speed” or have it toggle by double tapping the increase speed button (W).
Would need testing to see if this may be accidentally triggered with double tap I think, but maybe its worth a try.
This could also be toggled in the same menu were flight assist and the other stuff is toggled.

The “maintain speed” thing would replace most of the old target speed functionality while beeing entirely optional and non-confusing to new players.


@Lomsor and I just had a chat on Discord and he pointed out that in an atmosphere maintaining a certain speed is often desirable. To address this, a double tap of W (or other binding like Ctrl+W) could set a target speed of your current speed. If you later pressed W or S again it would cancel that ‘maintain speed’ so you’d have no target speed.

With the exception of when the above mentioned ‘maintain speed’ setting is active, yes.
It could be made an option in the settings but I think it’d be good for this to be the default behaviour.
A scenario: (In vacuum)

  1. The player points at a station and presses W for a bit to accelerate to ~500m/s.
  2. They then release W and their ship continues on at that velocity (this is just like FA off).
  3. They then use their mouse to point their ship at a planet. Their ship velocity remains unchanged - They are still flying directly at the station at 500m/s. The velocity vector must be made more apparent in the HUD.
  4. They decide they want to go to the planet so they press W and begin accelerating towards the planet. FA uses the side thrusters to cancel the lateral velocity they had towards the station.

This introduces the player to Newtonian motion but gives them the convenience and intuitiveness of simply pointing where they want to go and holding W (an unconscious component of all FPS).

@Lomsor and I also agreed on the deficiency of the prograde and retrograde markers only being visible when your view is aligned with the velocity vector (which is less than 33% of possible ship orientations). Better visualisation of velocity vector relative to orientation is required! This is something that could potentially be a component of the sensor view as it is in other games.)

Edit: @Playbenni, Haha. We arrived at the exact same idea. Must be a sign.


Okay, now I understand what you mean, I could get on board with that. I assume we’d only be controlling acceleration forward and backward and turning would still be assisted, as @hrobertson said?
Presumably, a side effect of this system would be:
1: boost forward with W until you reach 100m/s.
2: let go of W and your ship continues as per Newton.
3: turn ship to face planet and FA compensatea, pulling velocity vector around, but also slowing velocity. This would make speed a constant thing you have to manage, which I like the idea of given that space has no terrain.

And yes, a “maintain speed cruise control” function would be necessary in atmosphere, which incidentally would help distinguish it from space flight.

… You’d have to be really careful with capital ships…!

And it might help warp feel less weird?


This sounds like a decent movement system, would be nice if there was a ‘set velocity to 0’ keybinding though, maybe [Backspace]? Also another thing to consider is what boosting does, I think the ship should fall back to the velocity set with [W], instead of remain at the boost velocity.


Yes, FA would act to eliminate up/down/left/right velocity. ie align your total velocity vector with your nose.

I’m not sure if you missread the scenario in my previous post.
If you just turned without pressing W then FA wouldn’t pull your velocity vector around.

Yep. @Playbenni and I mentioned this in our posts. We suggested a double tap of S but that’s personal preference.

I disagree on this point. I think FA shouldn’t touch forward velocity. In atmosphere then drag would slow them, but FA shouldn’t apply reverse thrust.

If you’ve accelerated for a bit and are now coasting then press boost, nothing should happen. Boost is a modifier to acceleration, not an accelerate input in its own right.
This is the same as the current behaviour.


I don’t agree with this, it’s convoluted, boost should be like an afterburner by default, pressing a boost button and nothing happening is bad design. If semantics are the issue, a boost button can be defined as automatic press of [W+Boost] that’s triggered by the Boost key.

1 Like

Mmm, not sure about this. But we could test both (if Flavien agreed). I just think that if the FA only kicks in when W is held, we’d just end up holding W most of the time, especially in combat.

I would suggest that your core idea is good, but I would like to see the ship attempt to correct the velocity vector to its orientation, as it currently does. This would mean we could strategically fire thrusters while turning instead of gaining unwanted forward speed.

Again, if Flavien likes this idea of control, we could test both:

  • Boost adds speed on top of what is being applied by thrusters (if you were sitting still and hit it, the ship would rocket forwards).
  • Boost enhances effectiveness of thrusters and only works when thrusters are firing, making them more powerful.

The problem with the second system is that it devalues shifting power to the engines, because the Boost function is so effective.


I have no issue with the current “target speed” setup, so please keep it as a flight mode. I never toggle flight assist off anyways (I bind spacebar to warp).