Author Topic: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.  (Read 1506 times)

Offline x4000

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.936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« on: October 07, 2013, 11:20:33 AM »
Release notes: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Bionic_Dues_Alpha_Release_Notes#Alpha_0.936_Release_Candidate_5

Restart steam to force a quicker update if you like.

Lots of balance stuff here, my favorite of which is making the early-day enemy stats not quite so pathetic compared to what the later game has.  That keeps the good progression of the middle-early game and onwards, without the very early game seeming too easy.

Several bots got a minor rebalance as well, and a big bug with which bots could seed in a mission is now fixed.  Among some other last-minute bugs.

With the release being about 30 hours away, our intent is now to touch the game as little as possible unless there is something particularly important.  That way we aren't adding in NEW problems right before the game comes out.
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Offline Aquohn

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2013, 12:20:55 PM »
Er, you might want to look into this: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,14017.0.html

In which assorted players grieve about the number of civilians that they unintentionally get killed during cryo rescue missions.
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Or is that "to kill"?  Hmm.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2013, 12:34:27 PM »
Right. We talked about this a little in the last release thread, but ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrYUB32i690

This is the second review I've seen that criticises the game for being a bit too drawn-out and fatiguing. Specifically mentioning that they played 50 turns. It seems to me that maybe the fact that you can decrease the length of a campaign by doing Robot Control Center missions should be made more prominent. Not exactly sure how, but maybe you could add some text to the Robot Control Center missions that says "or if you're just spoiling for a rumble, doing these missions will speed up your campaign". I know that it already says something like this, but I think you really need to slap the player across the face and say "Doing these missions will reduce the campaign length a lot!". Or even by explicitly saying campaign length can be reduced to a minimum of 30 days.

I wouldn't like the game to receive unnecessary criticism as being a bit of a grind when you have a very cool way to reduce campaign length already integrated. I can see reviewers looking for easy negatives that might latch onto the campaign length as something to complain about, so it'd be nice to nip that in the bud by really getting over to the player that campaign length can effectively be reduced if they desire.

Offline x4000

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2013, 12:45:05 PM »
I also find it strange given that most roguelikes -- well, many at least -- ask you do to 100 floors down, and then 100 back up.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2013, 01:14:10 PM »
I also find it strange given that most roguelikes -- well, many at least -- ask you do to 100 floors down, and then 100 back up.

Maybe it's because in this game you are quite specifically tantalizing the player with what is going to happen at the end. So, when some players are getting to the 20 days left mark they are more anxious to see the end than they would be with another title in which they don't know exactly what's coming up.

Also, I definitely wouldn't call this a short game -- not at 50 days anyway. At least, for a rogueLITE. For example, FTL can be played and completed quite easily in an hour. Even in Dredmor, I think it plays a lot shorter than this game, although that's usually because your often dead before you get very far. :)

If this game were a flat 50 days, I'd probably say it was a little long for my taste. For some reason when I get to the 15 or 10 turns left mark I start getting a little fatigued. Exactly why this is the case, I haven't fully analyzed. However, this game DOES come with a very nice way to shorten a campaign so I don't think you should really be getting any criticisms at all on this front. I just don't think new players are fully understanding how those Robot Research Center missions can be used to steamroller through a campaign. Well, those two reviewers at least definitely didn't make use of the ability. Maybe those two reviewers are not indicative of what future reviewers might complain about, but I think if you could emphasize the role that Robot Research Centers can play in the length of a campaign then that would at least soften any potential criticism in this area.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2013, 01:58:28 PM »
One more thing (as Columbo would say).

It's probably too late in the day for this, but this feature would be a very nice luxury to have before release:

http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=12715

Specifically, allowing the player to use their mouse scroll wheel to scroll up and down the stats information. If it's too late for this, then I'm just highlighting it as a nice future feature.

Offline x4000

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 02:00:45 PM »
Got it, that makes sense.  We're going to make an emphasis on that more in the next version.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2013, 02:30:30 PM »
For 0.937:

Quote
* The fact that the player can choose to shorten the campaign with the Robot Command Center missions is now mentioned in a bunch more places and more clearly than in the past.
** Thanks to Pepsisolo for the suggestion.

* City mapgen now makes Robot Command Centers not seed _too_ far away from the player's HQ, as otherwise their intended purpose of providing an optional campaign shortener is only sometimes met.
** Thanks to Pepsisolo for inspiring this change.

I also think Chris is putting in a change to make the Robot Command Center nodes more visually distinct on the map, hopefully attracting at least a mouseover :)


The overall topic is one of those things, though, where if the reviewer is willfully blind towards all tutorial messages and also refuses to mouseover anything (or read the mouseovers, anyway), there's just no way we can get the info to them.  We'll see :)
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Offline nas1m

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2013, 02:34:50 PM »
One more thing (as Columbo would say).

It's probably too late in the day for this, but this feature would be a very nice luxury to have before release:

http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=12715

Specifically, allowing the player to use their mouse scroll wheel to scroll up and down the stats information. If it's too late for this, then I'm just highlighting it as a nice future feature.
Any chance for this to make it into the game before 1.0? I think this would be a real improvement in terms of usability! 12253 adresses this issue as well.
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2013, 02:36:20 PM »
Quote
The overall topic is one of those things, though, where if the reviewer is willfully blind towards all tutorial messages and also refuses to mouseover anything (or read the mouseovers, anyway), there's just no way we can get the info to them.  We'll see :)

Yeah, there's only so much you can do. I think these changes should be enough, though. 

Quote
Any chance for this to make it into the game before 1.0? I think this would be a real improvement in terms of usability!

Agreed. This would increase usability by a significant amount. Didn't realise this idea was already Mantised weeks ago. From before I was even in the alpha, so I guess that's why I missed it.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2013, 02:44:03 PM by Pepisolo »

Offline x4000

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2013, 02:48:35 PM »
Keith, I leave that to you, but I agree it would make things feel a lot more natural.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2013, 02:59:18 PM »
For 0.937:
Quote
* On the Exo customization window the mousewheel now scrolls the bottom-left stats block.

:)
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Offline Pepisolo

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Re: .936 Release Candidate 5 now out.
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2013, 04:18:50 PM »
For 0.937:
Quote
* On the Exo customization window the mousewheel now scrolls the bottom-left stats block.

:)

Nice!

One more small thing. On the customization screen the weapons hover-over details trigger area seems to need expanding a bit. If I hover directly over a weapon's name no hover box appears. I have to move my mouse pointer just below the name of the weapon to get the pop up. Maybe just extend the trigger area up a little.