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So what do you think?
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Poo Bear
Pod Team
Pod Team

Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 3:24 pm    Post subject: So what do you think? Reply with quote

Not sure how useful this will be, but we would be interested to hear peoples thoughts on the site and the game. Constructive stuff would be nice i.e. "you are great" and "you suck" wont really help Smile As a rough guide;

1. Where did you hear about it?
2. Why did you bother downloading?
3. What put you off and stopped you buying?
4. Do you think the website could be improved?
5. Why did you buy it?

kind of marketing stuff really, might help us improve things...

-------------------Moonpod Notes----------------------------
If you are reading this thread for the first time, please note that older comments likely apply to older versions of the game.
Starscape has had many feature updates, so the comments may not apply to current versions.
Look for notes from us in orange at the bottom of messages to see if we have fixed any of the issues raised.
- We want you to know to know that we are listening!
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Joined: 24 Apr 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2003 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought the game yesterday, and it's eating my mind. I haven't had a game since Starcraft that I went totally junkie for so quickly.

I heard about the game off Penny Arcade.

Not too long ago I bought Master of Orion 3, and it didn't really satisfy my lust for blowing up spaceships. The gameplay, what there was of it that didn't get turned over to a second-rate AI that is, was torturously slow.

There's none of that with Starscape! It's all fast-paced space combat action, made more engaging still by the mining/R&D side of the game.

Also, the plot is highly entertaining and I love the anime-esque artwork! Kudos to y'all at Moonpod on a terrific game!
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Starscape Jedi
Starscape Jedi

Joined: 25 Apr 2003
Posts: 1143
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 1:49 am    Post subject: Excellent, let down by some HCI issues Reply with quote

1. Penny Arcade.
2. Recommendation from Penny Arcade, screenshots reminded me of Tyrian, and I've been looking for something blasty that's good for 15 minutes of play in between work.*
3. Was almost put off by having to pay in dollars...
4. Less tables would be nice, but I don't recall seeing any commercial site that got by on CSS and DIV tags for layout. Also, "title" attributes as well as "alt" attributes on the screenshots - it's frustrating to see the alternate text briefly when the page loads then not be able to read it other than be viewing the page source. (Using Mozilla.)
5. Reasonable price tag, very playable demo, and the fact that there's obviously a lot more still to come. Compare to Tyrian which I mentioned earlier - I never bothered to get the full version because it wasn't clear that I'd get all that much more over the demo/shareware version. Also, the very low barrier to purchase - I played the demo and wanted more, then thought "Hey, I can afford it, and I can be playing it in 15 minutes."

Other points:

Some of the UI could do with work. The button focus navigates oddly on the ship deployment menu - pressing up from the Repair Aegis button doesn't take you to the Repair Ship button immediately above, but to the Deploy Ship button. Several times I've deployed a damaged ship into the middle of combat when I meant to repair it.

The Modify menu when removing parts from a ship can be very confusing. After I choose "Store It" or something similar, I then get "OK" and "Cancel" choices. Sadly there doesn't seem to be any indication of what action I'm confirming - it's like a quiz-show contestant being asked "is that your final answer?"

In general, navigating complex structures of buttons and menus are the only weak point I've found in this game. I'd like to see improvements to the Research/Development interface, the Storage interface and the Navigation interface, as well as those issues listed above. The "Are you sure"s seem to be attached to actions of small consequence, while it's very easy to press the wrong button and enter a node or launch a ship when you don't mean to.

The large 2x2 battery image didn't have a right-hand side when I installed it. Guess this is just a minor glitch.

The gameplay is generally excellent. The weapons seem nicely designed to make you feel incredibly powerful while still giving you a big challenge.

When I visit a Xenarch node, I'd like to be able to avoid exiting my ship and re-entering it if there's nothing I want to do there. (I.e. I don't need the healing.) Sometimes I'd like to be able to skip the node entrance and exit animations. Sure, they're really nice, but they keep me from blasting things and getting better tools with which to blast things.

Hope these are generally helpful. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for a patch, but I think it would be a damn shame if you were to make another game so good that is let down by poor HCI.



* - Sadly it's not. I always think "...just one more node, just one more upgrade..."

-------------------Moonpod Notes----------------------------
Node enter and exit anims are now skippable. The UI has had a lot of tweaks, and mouse support is in.
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Joined: 02 Apr 2003
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2003 12:10 pm    Post subject: My humble thoughts... Reply with quote


1. I saw it on FilePlanet (don't flame plz) and guessed the url of the homepage.
2. It seemed to show promise, at least for a few hours of mindless fun. I would never have downloaded it if I knew there was a time limit.
3. Length of play/depth of play was a concern, but the forum put my fears to rest.
4. Who cares? It does the job.
5. It's a quality product. Deep, meaningful, fun.

Some advice from a long-standing computer game salesman:
- Get help with the dialogue. Every character speaks like they're educationally subnormal. Someone even mispelled 'research' on the Research Screen.
- Put in a lower difficulty setting, with a slower pace, for those of more mature years. I'm not sure I'll be able to finish this.
- Just a little bit more friendly help, like letting the Aegis tractor in 'elements' close to it.
- A better tractor beam that teleports the 'elements' to the Aegis, without having to dock.
- Shields for the Aegis please.
- Research for better armour types.
- More depth to the flight model, eg better slides, true afterburners (on a separate button), enemies that don't fire blind whenever you are close.
- A radio command to tell the Aegis to warp out until called back.
- I'd prefer less enemies that were smarter, harder to kill, and didn't fire spreader-shots. The endless waves of cannon fodder start to grate.
- A large tech tree ala MOO2 would give this game massive replay value. You can't research everything, you must choose which paths to go down, so you can't see all the weapons in one game.
- For Starscape 2: AI wingmen.
- Launch/dock the fighters FASTER. It's the dullest moment in the game.

Gentlemen, your game is very impressive. Memories of Sinistar and UFO come flooding back. I loved nurturing my mothership, and dealing righteous explosive vengeance. I haven't registered a shareware game since I had a 386.

Please dazzle me further. Everything is negotiable except explosions.

-------------------Moonpod Notes----------------------------
All dialogue, grammar and spelling errors are fixed in current versions of the game (sorry! we were too tired to spot them when we originally finished the game). Since this post, we've also added tractor beams for the Aegis, an easier difficulty setting, and lots more explosions, sound effects, and special effects :D
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Joined: 28 Apr 2003
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Penny Arcade... www.penny-arcade.com
2. Was recommended on Penny Arcade.
3. So far... it's a combination of cost and having other games to play.
(Morrowind, Arcanum)
4. The site seems attractive, although the front page didn't really tell me much about the game or the company, I had to dig for either.
5. When I do buy it, it will be because it's a fun game that I can play for a few minutes while I'm DLing other things. Also... it reminds me of Star Control 2. Further... the demo was well constructed and got me hooked on the game, it always seems to shut down just when something cool is about to happen. To often I'll DL a game demo and think, "this blows, why would I buy this game?" Simply because the demo is bad.

On the topic of "marketing stuff", maybe you should put an ad up on penny arcade, since just a mention on the site has sold a few copies...

Or maybe offer some reg codes as prizes there, it might encourage more people to DL it, and since the demo is so good, I'm sure they would be hooked.
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the truth

Joined: 30 Mar 2003
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Bluesnews www.bluesnews.com - had a short mention but figured i would check it out as work was proving to be slow and managers were all out,...

2. see above

3. nothing initially

4. website appears fine, my only gripe with it is getting to the update section is pretty tricky, no obvious link to it

5. i was suckered in by the research aspect. other asteriod type games offer more levels and things for $10 but no clear indication of how fast it would get repetitive. Starscape tho u could see how it would progress before buying. that said the research tree is over pretty fast, which is a shame as it then degenerates into a big blast fest
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Joined: 27 Apr 2003
Posts: 9
Location: Costa Mesa, California

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2003 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. We can once again thank Gabe and Tycho for turning me to this wonderful form of digital crack.
2. I downloaded it based on the look of the graphics (too much 3D can be bad, mm'kay?), and on the strength of Gabe and Tycho's review.
3. I have not yet bought it due to my aversion to PayPal. My lingering questions of multi-platform registration have since been taken care of.
EDIT: Now that there is an alternate purchase method, I have indeed bought the fraking game. That slurping sound is all my free time going bye-bye. Very Happy
4. The only thing I can think of to improve the website is to give an atlerative to PayPal for purchasing. Other than that, I have no qualms.
EDIT: Nebbermind. I now have no qualms about the site.
5. I will buy it because of how fun the game is and how it combines an "oldskool" play style with a very X-Com feel to the research and development. MMmmmmmm... X-Com....

Now, if you guys could give a turn-based strategy game a la X-Com (1 or 2, but not any of the newer ones), I'd be so all over that.


P.S. I am not a Penny Arcade schill... I just sound like it at times.

Last edited by Rovylern on Fri May 23, 2003 3:40 am; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 24 Apr 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2003 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, jeeze yes! I was just thinking to myself not long ago how much fun a synthesis between this game and MOO2 would be.

A branching, sizable tech tree combined with some sort of multi-player-friendly turf war raging inside The Grid would make for a pretty sweet game, I think.

Still, you guys at Moonpod have turned out a really enjoyable game. Thanks again!
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Joined: 06 May 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Ohio

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Where did you hear about it?

2. Why did you bother downloading?
Looked cool, and it got a good recommendation

3. What put you off and stopped you buying?
I did buy it, but the dialog almost turned me off from doing it. Someone needs to learn the wonders of proofreading Smile

4. Do you think the website could be improved?
Can't think of anything

5. Why did you buy it?
The demo. Lots of fun, I've already logged about 4 hours in 20 minute increments - I've gotten to the point I can build 4 turrets for my mothership and take down two of the big miner ships and the level one enemy mothership before time runs out Smile

Aside from the dialog, I've got one other annoyance - the verification system. I got the CD version because I like keeping a hard copy of things like this, but it wasn't made clear at the time that you wouldn't be able to also use a code verification and be able to go ahead and start playing. I was downright mad about that right after I realized it since I was planning on playing right away, though I'm just somewhat impatiently waiting for it to arrive now (that's why I came to the forum - after I beat the first mothership in the demo, I figured I'd reached the limit of what could be done in 20 minutes and decided to see what else was on the site Smile ). I understand wanting to fight piracy of the software, but there must be a better way to do it.

-------------------Moonpod Notes----------------------------
All grammar is fixed now (man we really screwed up there Embarassed ) Customers who buy the CD version now also get unlock codes so they can play straight away - it didn't make sense to inconvenience cd buying customers, but sometimes you need people to point out the obvious...
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Joined: 30 Apr 2003
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2003 9:10 pm    Post subject: Re: So what do you think? Reply with quote

Heard about this from Penny Arcade, like so many others.

I downloaded because of reccomendations from online reviews, and it looked like "my kind of game".

Website recommendations:

While it is right at the top of the support page, I actually had some trouble finding the patch because I was looking for PATCH in big letters somewhere, rather than in the middle of a paragraph of text.

I bought the game after playing the 20-minute demo multiple times. The game was simply extremely fun; my only possible reservation when buying the game was that it wouldn't be long enough to be worth the money. (I hadn't actually seen that there were five zones, or whatever, and in my mind it was still possible that there was only one zone worth of play, though that seemed unlikely to be the end of it. This IS alluded to in some places, but it was a concern for me.)

I liked the 20-minute demo, sad as it made me when time was up. I think the time could be increased slightly without really giving anything away, though.

General game notes -- mind you, this is playing through an unpatched version.

- The dialogue seems rough and not very proofread. Lowercase sentences and "I", and just generally a lot of repetition where a little bit of variation would make the game a lot cooler. (I mean, after every level boss the dialogue is the same ... a little disappointing after defeating a large boss!)

- I want more! =) Both more of the same (and additional tech, etc.), and more variations in gameplay (different kinds of instant action, for instance, or some more interesting difficulty levels... maybe one where you only get one ship, or the Aegis can't be armed with weapons... Yes, you can play this way anyway, I suppose... Wink

-------------------Moonpod Notes----------------------------
All grammar now fixed (and we have been suitably punished Smile ) Since this post we have also added an extra difficulty level (ok, an easier one Wink ) an entirely new game mode - Survival, and some extra items of equipment.
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Poo Bear
Pod Team
Pod Team

Joined: 14 Oct 2002
Posts: 4121
Location: Sheffield, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2003 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to prove we are listening to this thread;

1. Mouse support in the menu screens is in (pretty big job - but you want it, you get it).
2. Corrected and smartened up the ingame text (thanks weeble)
3. Started a short run test ad on penny arcade
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Joined: 23 Apr 2003
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Tue May 13, 2003 2:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should have posted here earlier, but didn't get around to it.

1) Penny Arcade
2) Penny Arcade again, I trust their opinion. Plus the screenshots looked pretty.
4) Nope, I like the website.
5) The demo was one hell of a ****tease, and I wanted more.
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Joined: 14 May 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed May 14, 2003 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. As with most people I heard about it on Penny Arcade
2. Small independant developers that write seriously sweet looking/sounding games need encouragement Very Happy
3. I want to buy but can't! My poxy cheap a$$ c-card is not accepted (besides, PayPal sucks the sweat from a dead gibbons funpods)
4. Thought the web site was fine
5. Like I said, can't buy Mad

Played it last night, and loved it to bits. Controls felt nice (even if it wouldn't let me use my pad), graphics were sweet, and the sound and music suitably thumping.

I thought the in-game menu system was ...'odd' but once I got my head round it it wasn't too evil, although not the easiest thing to use. I have no idea what you could do to change it but for Starscape 2, do it differently Wink

After the drek we get from most big publishers, playing a game with this level of polish, thought and attention to detail was a breath of fresh air. Keep it up! Who knows, once I get my poxy card sorted out I'll actually be able to show my appreciation with cash!

-------------------Moonpod Notes----------------------------
UI has been much improved in later versions, and now supports mouse input.
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Joined: 16 May 2003
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2003 3:02 pm    Post subject: Re: So what do you think? Reply with quote

1. Penny Arcade, of course -- though I didn't notice the earlier mention of it, I got here from the banner ads.

2. It was quick and easy, I'm addicted to anything old-school, and I had a spare half hour.

3. Nothing ;)

4. I dunno... it looks pretty good to me. Maybe slightly more detailed information, but it works pretty well as it is.

5. The game was easy to pick up, very addictive, and buying it took 10 minutes (that last part is very important, as other people have mentioned... I don't buy very many games, a major reason I got this one is low initial time investment).

I don't know what more to suggest, really... I think maybe the time limit for the demo ought to be longer, but other than that it's looking pretty solid... it's a great game, best of luck with marketing and such.

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Joined: 17 May 2003
Posts: 2
Location: Nottingham, UK

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2003 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first post, be gentle. Wink

I first heard of this game, I'm sure you'll be incredibly surprised to hear, from Penny Arcade. The guys there seem to have the same taste in games I do, they said I should check out Starscape, so I did.

What do I like? Well, the music is good, but I wish there was more of it. The research element is a fantastic addition too. The game is one of those that happily combines basic controls with in-septh gameplay

What don't I like? As mentioned, it could really use some more music... I'm aware that, among other things, download size is a factor here, but would it be possibly to offer an extended patch at some point in the future, which offered added features such as this?

More ships would be nice, as well as more items to research. A lot of people have mentioned extended research trees, but maybe I can expand on it a little.

<Slight spoilers>

For example, what if, when you had fully researched missiles and bombs, you got the option to begin researching cluster missiles, which explode with an (increasing in size with level) area effect? Or fully researching shields allowed research into shields for the AEGIS? This is just a couple of ideas, I'm sure people could come up with more...

It might also be an idea to allow more types of ships, with specialized capabilities. For example, what if you could develop a dedicated minig ship, which could only hold a few weapons, but could hold a lot more minerals? Or a strike vessel which, again, would only be lightly armoured, but could be fitted with two engines at once to give great speed? From screenshots I saw elsewhere in the forum, it looks like the models are already there from early versions... I don't think anyone would argue if you gave them a dust off and added them in, even if just as a secret one-off thing!

The possibilities are endless... and at least some of these could concievably be added into a patch for the existing game, rather than waiting for a sequel.

Don't get me wrong, LOVE the game, it had me coming back to it every spare moment to beat it, and I'm currently working on a backup save to experiment with different ship construction, and trying to clear the entire Node Universe of the enemy Wink But I guess I just want more. What can I say, I'm a research junky!

I like the idea of extra game modes someone suggested... Perhaps a 'mission mode' of set-piece situations, which allows secrets to be unlocked? (Cheats, no. I've never agreed with cheats. But added content is harmless, often easy to achieve, and can greatly increase replayability.)

Anyway, I've used up waaaay more than my two cents, so I'll simply say this; keep up the good work!
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