Echo #76: Better experience and big questions

If you don’t have time to read the whole post, scroll down to BIG QUESTIONS. (The big questions part is dedicated to active, high-level Steam users)

The new tutorial is nearly finished! I’m almost done with one of the hardest development phases.

Here’s the list of previous tough phases:

  1. Tutorial 1
  2. Interface rework
  3. Tutorial 2
  4. Graphical update
  5. Controller support
  6. Tutorial 5?

There were many tutorials. Too many =P

These things aren’t that hard, but they are very boring. Reworking entire combat was a much more difficult task, but it was fun.

When I have to work on boring stuff, I have to force myself and I don’t always succeed, and then the boring thing takes even longer to make. Vicious cycle!

But I’ve dealt with this tutorial pretty well. I’m going to polish it a bit, adapt it to controller/carrier class and then I’ll update the game with the new tutorial. That should happen in 2-3 days.

And yes, I need to have different tutorial versions for each starter spaceship and then different versions of those for controller users.

With the upcoming update, I’ll also make mission 1, 2 and 3 shorter. I’ll just reduce filler space between things happening.

After the tutorial update, I’m going to adjust level systems and…

This needs a dramatic pause. …

And I’ll add Titan class!

Titan class will be absolutely amazing - except at removing shields - but more about it in next post.

Now, the new level systems…

When I get player feedback about things, I still don’t do anything, until I start seeing patterns in feedback. For example, when I start seeing more comments about level up system.

So yeah, I’ve got enough feedback about level up system to consider changing it.

First, I’ll make sure that it takes more kills to level up in higher levels. To be more proportional to how many parts the spaceship needs in higher levels.

Then I’ll change the way enemies level up.

Every 10 missions completed, the Machines move. It is when enemies will scale to player level, instead of automatically leveling up when the player does.

This will make leveling up very advantageous to the player, even if temporary.

To make this work, I’m going to need to change several things about leveling. I think I’ll nerf The Decision modifier and make it impossible to level up quickly by killing low-level enemies. I don’t want players to be more than 4 levels higher than enemies.

THE BIG QUESTIONS:

There are a few very important questions I want to ask my small community:

1) Should I decrease maximum part limit from 80 to 70?

80 parts are difficult to stuff into building field. It feels limiting, so I thought maybe I could reduce a size of spaceship a little. Fewer parts also mean less time spent managing ship. The better solution would be to increase building field, but I can’t do that.

2) Should I nerf The Decision difficulty modifier? If yes, how much?

The safest option would be just let it have 1 level, that increase mission length just by 100%. When I implemented it, I thought it was a good, heh, decision to make modifier that modifies mission length. Now I’m not so sure. I still want to keep it, but I don’t want to force players to spend so much time on just one mission. It would also allow exploiting enemy leveling after the upcoming changes. Although new enemy leveling might not come.

3) Should I delete all saves and reset leaderboards when the game will leave Early Access?

Ships built in old version are a constant headache. Update button helps a little, but with upcoming changes, old ships will become completely alien to the game. Possibly different maximum part limit, part sets, new part properties, new experience formula - and old spaceships are build with different rules.

I’m NOT GOING TO DELETE PLAYER SAVES WITHOUT MAJORITY OF PLAYERS ACCEPTING IT, so I’m just asking to consider it.

I know many of you spent really a lot of hours playing Early Access versions, so if a fresh start doesn’t sound good, I will respect that.

The question could be rephrased to: When the game will leave Early Access, will you continue playing with an old spaceship OR will you start the new game?

Another thing, there will be some serious changes to save system. It would be a lot easier for me to make these changes if I didn’t have to port old saves to new save system.

4) Should I release all story missions in one update, or should I release a mission, whenever I’m done with it?

Once I’m done with everything else, I’ll be working on new story missions. There will be 9-10 more missions.

Finishing story might take several months and I don’t know if anyone wants to wait that long.

The good thing about the mass release: I might pull the game out of Early Access with the same update, so you can complete story in final game version.

5) How is the part sets?

How difficult is to obtain and maintain them? Are there problems with them?

That’s something to think about, eh?

So, that’s all for this echo.

Until next time!

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