[007b] Collected thoughts and suggestions on the prototype (Part 2 - Game Design)
This is a continuation from Part 1 of my collected thoughts and suggestions for the prototype.
That's all for now from me! 😜
- (❗❗❗) Add speed ramp-up to all movement types
Currently there are several "modes of movement" (normal speed, boost speed, cruise drive) when going about an area and with all of them one reaches top speed almost immediately. I believe the movement system would immediately become much richer by adding a ramp-up time to all types of movement, in addition to it being more realistic. With the current design, there is only a binary decision "am I boosting or am I not?" or "Am I cruise drive or am I not?" By adding a ramp-up with a continuum of different speeds in between, you can then have players learn to master different speeds for various activities of the game, whether combat or exploration or future racing or whatnot. You'll probably need a speed indicator to be added somewhere though.
- (❗❗❗) Add abilty to toggle inertial dampeners
This is actually one part of Everspace 1 which bothered me -- there didn't appear to be a way to turn off the inertial dampeners. Accelerating in space and turning off your engines and effectively remaining at that speed in the same vector of travel is a fundamental aspect of space travel which was missing from Everspace 1 and really ought to make it into Everspace 2. Not only is it kind of strange to not have this fundamental aspect of physics in the game, but more importantly, by adding it you would greatly increase the richness of player movement capabilities and combat strategy. All there needs to be is an easy way to toggle inertial dampeners and immediately you have added a way for players to more cleverly use movement to both navigate the map and engage in combat. It opens up new possibilities for strafing (shooting in any direction while moving in any direction) and energy conservation (using inertia instead of energy to move). However, you would see greater benefit from it if you increased the ramp up time to reach the max speed (both boost and non-boost, see Add Speed Ramp-up).
- (❗❗❗) Add distance numbers of HUD edge icons
HUD icons appear on an circle around your HUD to indicate an item of interest. As of now, players have to mouse over each one one at a time to find out their distance because they can map the best route in their head to go to all of them. This is definitely not an enjoyable part of the game, so make it simpler and just show the distances below the icons in small text so players can more quickly jump into what a level has to offer.
- Add Area Map? ("nice to have" feature)
I was surprised to see no area map in Everspace 1 and now that Everspace 2 is more of an RPG, I'm even more surprised to see it missing. I think adding a map would make the game much more enjoyable and allow users to better plan their routes without having to look around themselves trying to piece together a map in their minds based off distances. Let people be efficient if they want! The map should likely be entirely obscured outside one's sensor range other than showing large objects which are easily visible at great distances from the cockpit. It should probably also have "fog of war" in areas outside your sensor range after you explore an area. This could allow some additional interesting features in the game such as the ability to deploy sensor drones (whether at your existing location or to a distant area to "explore"/reveal it and keep it revealed during the life of the probe.
If you cannot add an area map due to resource/time constraints, it is in my opinion especially imperative then that you add distances to icons which are displayed on your HUD. Without either a map or distances, players have to mouse over everything and form a mental map in their mind in terms of a path to take, which while not necessarily difficult is tedious and not particularly fun. Every time I get to a new area I don't want to have to spend 5 minutes trying to determine the best path to take, and so often in Everspace 1 I just skipped trying to figure out things and just flew off in any random direction of interest, planning to get to everything eventually anyways. But then I would spend extra time traveling back and forth between spots because I didn't fly an optimal path... Can we just let players focus on the fun stuff and make it easy to determine a path to all the fun stuff in the game? 😊
That's all for now from me! 😜