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My commentary on starscape
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Joined: 19 Feb 2008
Posts: 9
Location: Canada /Quebec

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 9:57 pm    Post subject: My commentary on starscape Reply with quote

I buyed the game a few days ago. I really like it, but it strikes me as unpolished.

Currently fighting for my very survival in sector 4. Medium difficulty.

So what i think about it... with some critics and suggestions..

Its fun! Fast, furious, brutal. Nice graphics that fit the style perfectly. The control, while keyboard only, are quite good. I love missiles too.

And it doesnt lag.

The gameplay is simple enough, and the in-game logic seems well done and has merit, like how barges function and their link with the presence of capital ships (even if the system got a few flaws, IMO)

The sounds are good. But i hated the first boss laser sound, very irritating, makes me wanting to kill it faster so it shut up.

I like mining. Nice change of pace when im not blowing stuff up.

Research is fun, but little choice and little tech tree. Would be nice to be able to do more than just 1 research/ 1 build.. it could be either 2/0, 1/1, or 0/2.
Research take too little time to complete. Like, two/three turns for most projects..
And IMO their prohibitive cost dont make any sense.. the research takes (far) more ressource than the item itself.
I would like to see that research dont cost that much, but takes a long time. While building items is expensive and short.

-- The game would need; --

- Improve the UI, its kind of akward, pressing numerous buttons just to do a single action (like trying to get info on your ship in the dock, and making modifications), like passing my pointer over a coponent tells me what it is.

- It would be nice to have mouse control for steering the ship

- Being able to see more far would help immensely.. most bosses are too big, for us to be able to see what they are doing (without being transformed into space dust that is..) .. its what happened with boss 2 and 3.. i just ran blindly into it because i could not see it until the last second, and shooted everything/got shot.. and eventually got a result at the end. Died a couple of time, on purpose, just to be able to take a closer look and understand their patterns.

-So far, there are plenty of ennemies, but they tend to be the same but "with more weapons, armor, different paintjob".. a bit more diversity?

-There is indestructible armor, and plenty of it, then IMO more ennemies should have it, like frigate with invincible frontal plating, or gunships with invincible flanks. Those units could be strong, but not numerous.. like some sort of elite.

-fast, smart and mobile ennemies. Fighter/frigate sized. That have small turrets so they dont need to face us head on, and use equipement similar as ours (like, heat-seekers that can be avoided)

-- Pesonal "Uh?! how?" questions.

-One minning barge appear to be able to supply enough ressources to keep fleets of capital ship going in large number (even when i manage to kill all the others barges and keep the last one in a ressourceless zone). Is there an actual logic behind them or just their very existence is enough? Or the boss has a big supply of ressources? Or its just murphy poking at me?
I say that because in my game in sector 4, i just keep on blowing up dozens of capital ships, and they just keep on comming back (in force), no matter how much i try to control the barge access to ressources.

-Bosses are "able to produce capital ships", but when we get there.. they are obviously incapable of such things, being made for the sole purpose of war. Would be nice if in a zone close to the boss, there was a shipyard that we could destroy to dramaticaly slow down/stop capital ship production. Until the boss moves in and repairs it, wich takes some time and ressources.. Or maybe when we reach the boss, it removes some modules from itself that allowed it do do just that (war mode).

There are a few extra options i would love to see.

-extra play modes. Maybe those extra difficulty like that scavenger challenge i readed about. Playing as a thrid party similar to the bad guy? (in the story it is said the baddies are fighting eachothers.. i dont know if it is going to happen, but i would love it, warping in a warzone that isnt completey focused on my vaporisation.)

- Being able, while in fighter mode, to tell the science team to stop/resume draining the ressources for their projects.
If by bad luck im badly damaged, against an ennemy Anti-escaper thingy, and my science team is currently working. Well.. im dead.

- lack of information about recycling.. i would like to see how much ressources recycling an item is likely going to give me.

- Would love an in-game message about "current science project complete" and/or "current build order complete"

-Would love some sort of "progression bar", showing the time before the next turn begin.. it is some sort of metagaming and doesnt help immersion, but the whole world works around this concept and we cant see it.

--- Possible upgrades for a sequel:

- Modules for the Aegis, a tad like the ones in homeworld 2, example:
The aegis can add 2 modules on its hull, modules are extra external coponents that work under their own power. Cost a bunch. One outter, one inner.

There are the "outer module" (only one fit for the whole ship perimeter)
--Could be a moderate shield generator,
--extra weapons (point-defense, or missile racks, or a few extra turrets.. but weaker.)
-- Ressource module that does the job of collecting and giving the player access to more maximum ressources.. like 125 with this module.
-- or a repair module, it can stock up ressouces by itself ( a little amount) and will work at keeping the aegis and any friendly ships/turrets in proximity repaired.

And there are the inner modules, that fit on top/middle of the aegis.
-- It could be a superior sensor system giving the player more detail and information about the content of ennemy flleets on the travel map, and more precise info for the minimap (distinctive color and shape for ennemy ships). And it could also give us intel in the form of --incoming ennemy fleet, fighter sqadron, expected arrival in 30 seconds--
And IMO, it would help immersion, since the aegis would do a more active role in the battle rather than just be a (dangerous) sitting duck.

--Could also have a sensor jammer; its job would be to make your detection harder for the ennemy so only half of the ships on the travel map are going to pursue you instead of 100%,, have a harder time joining their comrades in battle when they were outside of it (takes them longer), and they tend to appear farther of the aegis in the battles.
--Could also have some sort of ECM that jams the weapon systems of some ennemies, like guided mines do their thing, but slower. Drones are less effective (being fully electronics), Missiles tend to miss the aegis.

Thats it, a bit negative, but actually i love the game a lot. But i tend to stop at those details..
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, it's always appreciated. I like the idea of elite enemies that have armoured zones.
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Location: Canada /Quebec

PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


And i would like to add; we need an ammo indicator.

I never know how many missiles i have left... when i have them equiped..

But im pretty sure i saw one when i was not using missiles.. weird.
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 4:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finally got to play this game (thanks to GameTap) and after 3 days of marathon playing have finally gotten to the end.

Here's my commentary.

I'm a HUGE fan of StarControl, more 1 than 2, tho I love and respect 2.

Where this game succeeds IMHO is where it emulates aspects of Star Control; the exploration aspect, the constant need to mine, the fact that later in the game enemies help you mine, the resource management. The strategy map juxtaposed with the furious action elements. The ability to build your own ships is always good.

Where this game excels is where it does things I always thought would be cool to add to Star Control. The capital ship is way cool. I love when you can get it to do your mining for you. I love the research and development aspect.

Where it fails is where it doesn't take a page from Star Control (esp 2). The exploration is not truly open. Breaking the game into Zones with a checklist of things to do in each is kinda lame. (Enter zone, find crew, face off with big ship, find robots, hunt mining ships, research and build, kill baddy.) Story development is equally systematic. We're introduced to all the characters on level 1 and in each face off with the baddy, though no effort of your own, you get to see the same thing, just escalated. "I'm going to kill you!" "No, I'm going to kill you!" Mind you it gets the job done with minimum overhead, but a step up would have been to discover the twisted body of your crew mate later in the game (Level 4 personally). But still, if you've played SC2 the way its story unfolded was so subtle and so interactive.

It's in no way an excellent game, hardly ground breaking except for being one of the best "indy" success stories. And while I can't complain, I mean I'm sticking with this until the end, I doubt I'll be telling anyone they NEED to play this game.
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Poo Bear
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Joined: 14 Oct 2002
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PostPosted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, it's most welcome. Sadly we didn't have the budget of Starcontrol to make a really open game, that would have been great though. Or perhaps I'm making excuses and we just didn't have the skill to reach that far in the time we had available.

Anyway, it sounds like you liked it and that's all I hope for, knowing that real people actually had some fun is why we do this (it certainly isn't the pitiful financial reward - ho ho).

It's a shame the portals (like gametap) cannot really push these hardcore games, portals only seem to generate a proper income from casual titles which is a real shame. What we get from portals isn't enough to keep Sunny in dog food. So we're left desperately trying to raise awareness of these games with our own website, it can feel a bit like we're a tiny voice in a vast crowd desperately trying to be heard. So even though it isn't a ground breaking games, or a perfect one, if you did enjoy yourself and have some fun then I hope you'll mention it to others who might enjoy it. Perhaps it's a bit of fun until the next blockbuster comes along - Mass Effect on PC is out soon Smile
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