Initial Impressions and Suggestions (Full Version)

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nweaver -> Initial Impressions and Suggestions (1/8/2002 11:10:00 AM)

The graphics are considerably nicer, and some of the gameplay changes make sense (the limited build-amounts does restrict my strategy of 1 reserarch world and 1+ build/mining world, so I guess I need to be more flexible). A couple comments however: the pacing is MUCH slower, 5x speed is still way too slow. There really should be a slider for speed, from 1x-25x or even 50x. The pausability means that one can get away with it, and it would greatly reduce the tediousness in the early game. It also seems much harder to start a good economy, I'm going to have to see about the effects of freighter levels and how that changes the strategy. It didn't help that my first game I was a long way away from the other initial planets.

mischiefmaker -> (1/9/2002 11:57:00 AM)

I like the new game. I like it a lot. The first time I let a spread of pack rockets fly I cracked a smile. The graphics are excellent, the ship designs are refreshingly original (Although why were my beloved robots and treeclops replaced by hairy guys in masks?) and the AI caught me off-guard when it threw its entire fleet at my homeworld while I was leisurely picking off its freighter routes. Then the game crashed to the desktop while I was defending my world (I think the AI was jealous because my two scouts were holding their own against its five.) Assuming you're going to be issuing a patch for this world attack bug, (And lemme know if you want my autosave, too.) I have a few suggestions for improving the interface a tad: 1. FASTER TIME COMPRESSION!!!! I like the increased distances between stars and the slower research speeds, they make every step of the way feel like a momentous achievement. What I do not like is the new tedium feature that comes with them. STUN1's brisk pace kept me glued to the monitor for hours on end, STUN2's agonizing crawls had me getting up from the computer after telling my scout to return to my home system, getting a drink, and returning only to find the ship had barely moved an inch when the game decided to pause and tell me the aljfbalsians declared war on the flkhjohors. Give us 10X and 25X, please! Move the mission selection box I know this is going to become a pet peeve very soon. When a ship requests a new mission, I go to the galaxy map to select the next place I want it to go. BUT the mission selection box lies smack dab over the galaxy view and there's no way I can drag it out of the way. Please move or give us the option to move the selection box off the galaxy map. Hilight Ships The improved borders aroung ships looks excellent, but when my grey-blue ship is floating over my blue-green homeworld during a crowded battle I have the damndest time picking it out of the background. A simple hilight around the ship requesting navigation orders would be more convenient. I nitpick because I like it.

nweaver -> (1/10/2002 3:52:00 AM)


Move the mission selection box
Actually, I'd rather see the galaxy view just shifted over to the right hand side of the screen instead of the left, because it isn't just the mission selection menu, but also the build menu (freighter routes). Glitch/buglet: In galaxy view, stop a ship's moving (cancel current mission) and select a new target. It's dot on the galaxy view moves to the center of the system it is in. (It's actual position hasn't moved), thus the galaxy view of ship's position ends up out of sync.

Andrew Ewanchyna -> (1/10/2002 11:46:00 PM)

Nicholas, you've actually uncovered a limitation in the ship drawing code for the star map. I refer to it as a 'limitation' because I knew about it and didn't know of a way to fix it (you can laugh now). I'll seriously think about moving the galaxy to the right. Mischief Maker, I'll keep the slower pacing as is. The shareware version was too fast to get any sense of the size of a galaxy. Just add more drives to your starships or research new drives.

Andrew Ewanchyna -> (1/11/2002 12:27:00 AM)

On second thought, Mischief Maker, I could add a cheat code that doubles the 5x speed to 10x. Don't even ask about 25x.

vmxa1 -> (1/11/2002 8:55:00 AM)

10X is all I asked for, thank you Andrew. Hey who won the drawing?

mischiefmaker -> (1/11/2002 12:42:00 PM)

Waitaminit! You mean in STUN 2 drives have a cumulative effect? That changes everything! By the way, I'm very impressed with how the AI handles itself in this new game. Only getting an instant cruiser near the beginning and stuffing it silly with weapon boosting artifacts allowed me to survive. My economy was in shambles, everyone declared war on me, and no one, save the wimpiest race in the galaxy would even consider allying with me. Jerks! Good thing I lucked out and grabbed a planet killer from a marauding enemy ship! By the way, my planet killer worked 2 times in a row. Is that a new feature, a bug, or poetic justice for being such meanies?

Andrew Ewanchyna -> (1/11/2002 11:08:00 PM)

Oh, ya, will post the names of the people who won the drawing in the What's New section of the website. I was waiting for one of the people to get back to me or something. The cheat code 'fast' and 'slow' have been added to change the 5x to 10x or back again. As far as moving the galaxy part of the star map to the right: the star system overlay would have to be displaced. I think it's important to keep it in the same place between screens. Also, I think you'd still have problems with popups overlaying some of the stars so you wouldn't get that great of a change. Are you right-clicking outside a popup to quickly remove it? Most components are accumulative, try reading the manual Press F1 in the game. Well, I've corrected some AI problems such as the AI not building its best weapons if it got one of the weapon expert artifacts. I've also added a few more things to the harder levels to make the AI more challenging. I'll check the planet killer thing, sounds fishy to me.

mischiefmaker -> (1/12/2002 2:16:00 AM)

Oh wow. Doubling up the drives on my scout had me snatching up artifacts four times faster than building a second scout. Too bad for all the AI, I snatched up all the wisdom artifacts. The ending was messy. I had a fleet full of Anti-Matter techs and only one AI world had reached fusion. By the way, there's another quirk I remember from STUN1 that I'm seeing here. Sometimes the AI will build a new colony world with no security at all. Easy pickings for spies, I know, but then the AI never increases its security after I steal something. This inevitably results in me getting all their tech, robbing them blind, and leaving that colony totally open to attack. Bug, or just persistence in allocating all its population for engineers?

Andrew Ewanchyna -> (1/13/2002 12:02:00 AM)

You're just exploiting a low-population ai world. Will plug that one up. Thanks for reminding me.

Dr. Lee -> (1/13/2002 5:03:00 AM)

A minor issue...the play/pause glyphs for the pause button seem to be reversed. Surely you want the button to show the pause glyph when pushing the button would pause the game, and vice versa, instead of using the button to reflect the current status? The way it currently works is counter-intuitive, and opposite of the way the galaxy/system map button works. Also, the intro movies appear to be unskippable. This annoyed me to the point of zeroing out those files, but it would be nice if that weren't necessary? The game looks solid overall. I've only had the opportunity to play one full game so far, but I like the new techs. I didn't notice any techs/artifacts affecting espionage...this would be a nifty addition. I remember you were considering adding random events to the shareware version. Is this something you still might do?

Andrew Ewanchyna -> (1/14/2002 12:16:00 AM)

You're right about the pause button but in reality, it's the map/view button that is opposite to how I've been doing things. I tend to show the current status of things rather than what the button does when you press it. I believe this is normal. If you're playing a cassette you'd see the playing arrow lit up. When you paused it, the pause icon would get lit. If anything, I should reverse the map/view icons. You can't skip past the matrix and apezone parts, but you can get past the rest by pressing any key or mouse button. There's no need to 'zero out' the avi files, unless you mean move them. I'm not too keen on tampering with spy/security-related artifacts/techs as I've noticed that good players tend to horde wisdom artifacts and the AI players need to steal them back. Anything in particular that you think would add to the game? I didn't have time to add random events, but would be willing to consider them now. Again, let me know the kind of events you think would be cool and, maybe, even the ones you'd hate to see.

Dr. Lee -> (1/14/2002 5:59:00 AM)

I see where you're coming from regarding using buttons to reflect's a personal preference, really. As long as the interface is consistent, either method is fine. As far as the intro movies go, I replaced them with 0-byte didn't occur to me to just move/delete them for some reason. It's just a pet peeve. Usually when intro screens are unskippable, they're static images that display briefly. The Matrix/Apezone animations take a while to complete, and I just want to get into the game quickly, dammit =) This, and the fact that the game requires its cd in the drive, are my biggest quibbles, which should serve as a testament to how good the game is. I'm trying to collect my thoughts on the espionage subgame and random events, which seems to merit a new topic. Hopefully we'll spark some interesting conversation and idea-sharing among the community.

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