Kickstarter Thread

Discussion in 'Other Games' started by Godwin, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    Most of the buttons and controls on the screen are not intuitive, and there's a whole lot of keys that have no associated controls for them. That's what I mean by non-intuitive. Labels would certainly help, although more meaningful icons have been used in the past in other games. Actual buttons for some of the hidden features (such as speeding up time) would be useful. I feel that every time I take a break from the game, I have to relearn a whole bunch of stuff that had it been designed better, would have been a whole lot easier. Remember also that combat starts with no pause (and no obvious pause button, that sometimes clicking on a destination when you start close to a sun (in order to flee around the sun), does not work properly (during that unpaused time, I have to zoom around a bit until the click to move actually functions properly). There's just a lot of little things that result in an unfriendly UI. Each individually might be considered a nitpick, but taken all together, they show what a flawed interface it has.

    There are also some quirks in combat, such as if you tell your ships to flee, depending on the racial movement rules, they tend to stand around and do nothing unless the flee timer is up -- that one makes no sense. Furthermore, telling a ship to go to the back lines (to allow another ship to take its place) often is a bit screwy (sometimes it works perfectly, but not always). I'd also like to see standing orders to always have, for example, tankers and colony ships and spare C&C ships to always be in the back. I don't want to have to micromanage every single fleet, only the combat fleets. And they get screwed up again if multiple fleets happen to meet at the same place, and you don't have a chance to straighten things out until after a round of combat. These aren't huge problems, but they tend to take away from the user-friendliness of the game.

    BTW, I know that I'm really kind of demanding when it comes to user interfaces. That comes from several sources. First, I actually had to design a lot of user interfaces back in the bad-old DOS days, for use by people who were completely PC illiterate (or worse, sometimes complete idiots). I've also had to deal with my mom, and her PC use, so I know what kinds of control placements will cause problems. Furthermore, I personally have some visual problems with my ability to focus (my eye muscles are weak so it takes a while to refocus when I change my point of focus, which means that I have problems finding the correct controls on screens (usually because of anti-intuitive control placement). If things are in the obvious place, I have few problems, and I've learned to focus on those places first. If the screen is too busy, I'll sometimes not see the controls at all.

    Remember that we no longer live in the days when the only people playing games are young people with no memory or visual problems, and too much spare time on their hands. Some of us just want to be able to dive into a game and learn as we go. Figuring out how to do very basic stuff should not be a struggle -- the struggle should be reserved for the strategy and tactics. I want to fight an enemy, and that enemy better not be the game itself.
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  2. Aegho

    Aegho Member

    Kerberos... I've been waiting YEARS(5 and change) for Northstar, which as far as I can tell is vaporware(it's been "currently in preproduction" all those years on their website).
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  3. Re NorthStar, from an interview at about Ground Pounders:

    "Do you have any ideas for future spin-offs in the Sword of the Stars universe? If so, could you tell us a little about one?

    Well as you may have noticed from the deli idea, we spend a lot time here in the Dawghouse kicking around what is going on in the SotS-verse and what would make an interesting game. Right now we have about 6 games sitting on the table, 3 of which take place in the SotS-verse and 3 that don't (and before any of our older fans have a heart attack, yes one of the non-SotS ones is NorthStar, a space trading RPG) and of course we can't really go into a lot of details buuuuuuuut.... if you have played our very successful roguelike game set in the SotS-verse, The Pit, you might see how we have proven how well a military SF style game works in third person... stretch that a l’il further and you might see how well we could do a squad-based kind of game based on a certain division of SolForce that investigates new alien menaces and gathers intel on old ones. Train up your troopers, research new armor and weapons, set up forward bases... well, I am sure you get the idea and I should say no more. <exit with evil grin>"

    So, not vaporware yet! Although I don't think KP ever got any funding for NorthStar, so they just had their partial prototype floating about.
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  4. oasis

    oasis Member

    Sunless Sea is an upcoming roguelike game of exploration, survival and loneliness set in the Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London, and is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter.

    The creators of Sunless Sea, Failbetter Games, are best known for their freemium choose-your-own-adventure browser game Fallen London, which I am a huge fan of, and is widely praised for its writing, which is rich, atmospheric and varies from hilarious to menacingly droll.

    Some non-spoilery fun titbits from the game:

    • You can play at being a subterranean Sherlock Holmes and take on such cases as searching out a devil who's gone AWOL somewhere in London.
    • You can have a tiger, a grubby street urchin and/or a rat bandit chief as a pet. Did I mention felines in Fallen London can talk? And so can the rats? The urchins, too. Just because the game calls them pets, that doesn't mean they don't have their own agendas.
    • You can interact with the shy, mournful, squid-faced denizens of the Neath that are probably, but never quite conclusively, eldritch horrors.
    • You can look into the case of a Jack-the-Ripper-like serial killer who is deuced difficult to stop owing to his little habit of swapping bodies.
    • You can fight giant mobile fungi and beat up eye-stealing sorrow-spiders.

    In-game items aside (and there are tons, from moon-pearls to dead rats to tradeable secrets), the rewards for completing plotlines are largely the story and writing themselves. Occasionally at the culmination of a sequence you'll have to make a hard choice, and damn it all, the game makes you care. When I tracked down the missing heiress and discovered what she was up to, I honestly sat for several minutes before I decided what to do. Even Skyrim never did that to me.

    Still, in the vast majority of cases, your actions don't close off other stories, so your character can experience just about everything. Finished being a detective for now? You can move on and take some time out as a burglar without losing access to future detective work. The one notable exception are major story arcs still being written that are mutually exclusive, at least for now, but the game gives you enough info to pick and choose the arc that suits you best.

    It's freemium but they're not obnoxious about pushing their real-money options. I've never bought any of the pay content; I'm nowhere near exhausting all the free content yet. You will occasionally also earn small amounts of the real-money currency (Fate points) for free in game, if you really want to try a premium story.

    The only criticism I have of FL is that the F2P browser gameplay is quite limited in scope. This is where Sunless Sea comes in, where there's a new gameplay style to marry to their talents.

    Please consider supporting Sunless Sea, and also do consider giving Fallen London a try. If you'd like to, just let me know because I'm happy to send an invitation so you can get some extra in-game content.

    OmniaNigrum likes this.
  5. Aegho

    Aegho Member

    I'd be more surprised if the street urchins couldn't talk, considering it's a term for poor/homeless human children.
    These are street urchins:
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  6. That Sunless Sea thing looks pretty cool, I must say. Did I miss a combat explanation vid though?
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  7. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    I pledged a week ago. The devs - like Gaslamp Games - seem like stand-up guys who know their flaws and limits but strive nonetheless to be accepting and diverse.

    That and Fallen London, IIRC, has a third gender option which amounts to "mind your own goshdarned business" which is pretty awesome.
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  8. BlueTemplar

    BlueTemplar Member

    Which ones? I can't think of a single control which doesn't have a keyboard shortcut.

    You have tool-tips. Labels would probably take too much screen space.

    Not really true. Combat starts paused in SP games.

    I don't know what you're talking about, there are no suns on the map in SotS1.

    It does, prevents you from abusing the retreat system by making your ships retreat as soon as the combat starts.

    It's not screwy. You're probably just not aware that you have to be at some distance from an enemy for your ship to go to the back line. (Yeah, this could have been explained better.)

    Actually, spare CnC's always get ordered in reinforcements last, even if you placed them earlier in the reinforcements list, which can actually be annoying in the cases when you want your CnC's to be used as replacement combat ships. You can order the ships by health in the fleet manager, which will usually place support ships last. Or you can name them with names starting with last letters of the alphabet, so that when you double-click on the reinforcements list in the fleet manager, they are automatically placed last.

    Yeah, a pre-combat fleet manager like in SotS2 would be great (one of the rare features where SotS2 is better).
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  9. OmniaNigrum

    OmniaNigrum Member

    I think the middle "Urchin" is an impostor. Perhaps he is just poor and good friends with the Urchins to each side of him. The shoes are a dead giveaway though...

    Some people in my family think that Street Urchins are a myth. They also believe people are homeless by choice. But I can tell you from experience that they do exist, and despite some quirks of behavior they are just like everyone else in this world. I have shared meals with them and found them to be kind and polite company for a meal.

    But enough of that. Back to the topic. :)
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  10. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I had friend/co-worker who had lived on the street for a while -- she was kicked out of the house by her mentally ill mom. She eventually made her way to Ohio, where she met another friend of mine, and the other friend's parents kind of adopted her. Her time on the street wasn't something she really talked about much. I do know, however, that she eventually went to a technical school and learned how to program. She now has her own home, and 2 kids (one of which is all grown up). So some homeless people do make it back from the streets -- it is possible.

    Now back to your regularly televised discussion.
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  11. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    This is odd news and I'm not sure what to make of it. I told you about a kickstarter campaign a while ago for a game called "Worlds of Magic" Reportedly, they are close to releasing an alpha 'battleboard' for their supporters to play around with (not the full alpha quite yet, just something to test combat balance, which imho, can't be balanced separately from the strategic game, but whatever).

    Well, I just received an update today that they've decided to launch a second kickstarter campaign. I'm going to quote the post here so that I don't accidentally misinterpret this (although I'm 100% sure that this won't stop there from being more than one interpretation):
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  12. Haldurson

    Haldurson Member

    I want WoM to be a success (after all, that's why I backed it). There's something that worries me about the decision but I can't say if those feelings are warranted. For one thing, most games, when the amount of features they want to add exceeds their budget, will save those features for DLC. Maybe it's just that with Kickstarter, they don't have to do that. Anyway, it sounds like the project is further from done than it was before, and that alone doesn't thrill me. But we'll see.
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  13. Godwin

    Godwin Member

    Well they only talk about art while these types of games can get complex real quick. Especially when you release mod tools. I'm wondering if maybe part of the problems are that they underestimated the work needed on the design/code side. If so that could be worrying because who's to say they get it right this time?
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  14. Kerberos updated their Alpha Demo for the Ground Pounder's Title! They added air units and engineering units amidst other things. Oh yes, the ANDROID phone version- not just the PC. I'm sure some of you have those fancy phone-thingamajigs.

    They're in their last 10 days, and so hopefully their updated demo will inspire more to take the plunge. :D
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  15. Godwin

    Godwin Member

    Usually I limit myself to kickstarter, because otherwise there's not enough time in an evening to go through all of it, but somehow I stumbled upon this:

    Looks cool! It's an oldskool point and click adventure where your identity has suddenly been removed from all government systems.
    The trailer was interesting enough to hook me, they're only asking 5K and they have only 5 days left and are about halfway.

    Check out their campaign here:
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  16. oasis

    oasis Member

    Rimworld: a scifi colony sim inspired by Dwarf Fortress, FTL, and Prison Architect

    here's some pre alpha gameplay:

    It's inspired by Dwarf Fortress, and as a DF player, this and Clockwork Empires are really what I'm looking forward to scratch that DF itch, since gnomoria, towns and the other DF-likes just don't cut it. I have this love hate relationship with DF where I crave the mad micromanagement of rapidly deteriorating dwarven situations but end up rage quitting because of all the bugs and the bug workarounds and the like. Anyway I know Gaslamp really groks what makes DF awesome, and so does this guy. The planned development modules for Rimworld are basically emulating DF's complex systems and the unpredictability that comes out of that.
    Daynab, muddyhawk, Godwin and 4 others like this.
  17. muddyhawk

    muddyhawk Member

    Very excited about Rimworld. Looks very promising
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  18. Daynab

    Daynab Community Moderator Staff Member

    I agree and will probably back it myself. Very cool!
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  19. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Member

    I've backed The Mandate, which looks like the sort of sci-fi game that should have been out years ago. It looks a bit like GalCiv crossed with Sword of the Stars, with maybe a dash of FTL in there. It's a high goal, but I think they may just make it.

    But look at the team. Some people from some very big studios there.

    Oh, I also (of course) backed Zeboyd Games' Cosmic Star Heroine because it looks awesome.
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  20. Gorbax

    Gorbax Member

    Both RimWorld and The Mandate look really cool. Bummer The Mandate doesn't have any possibility to pay with PayPal (something I am very thankful for with RimWorld).

    The music for The Mandate is fupping amazing, too
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