Arcen Games

Games => Bionic Dues => Topic started by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 08:25:56 PM

Title: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 08:25:56 PM
Hey folks,

A number of you have already gotten a steam key for the private alpha, with a note that I would post on the forums when it is ready to actually install.  This is that post!

If you have NOT gotten an email from us, but you did PM Josh (tigersfan), then don't worry: we are doing this in batches of players, so we didn't just ignore you.  If you have not emailed Josh, but would like to be in the alpha, feel free to email him as we may still have some room in a future batch of testers (we'll see).

Alpha Process
We'll be doing this in waves, as usual.  So if you are not in but hope to be, please tell Josh when your time availability actually is during the next week or two.  The idea of doing this in waves is the fact that we can only make a first impression on a given person once.  So having some testers be first and then making adjustments on their feedback means that the first impressions of the later testers are closer to what the beta and 1.0 customers will experience.  Which is really useful to us.

Current State Of The Game
This thing is practically done, to be honest.  It's very 0.900 at this point.  This is unlike any other recent alpha or even beta that we've done.  The reason is that this game HAS to be pretty much done in order to be playable much at all.  So don't expect titanic shifts in the game during alpha or beta (it already works and is plenty fun), and in general don't expect much more in terms of content.

Current known things that are going to change during alpha and beta:

1. We are still working on more floor graphics and more "flavor objects" to add more variety in the visuals of your locales.  These have no impact on gameplay.

2. There will inevitably be some bugs found and some balance things that need adjusting (of course).

3. Four(ish) more cities will be added so that we have a total of 5 rather than the current 1.

4. We may add a few more bots, depending on how it winds up feeling over time.  But there are already 100,000 possible combinations of normal bots that you may face in a level, plus more with the "special" bots that are in smaller numbers.   So that's, uh, pretty good. ;)

5. During alpha, not all of the bots are yet lit and animated.  We'll be finishing that next week.

6. We're also still putting in some of the "robot chatter."

7. The comic from Nick Trujillo is just getting started.

8. The hackable computer terminals that are kind of like potions in other roguelikes are in, but this is one mechanic that may see some substantial revision as it is less mature.  We'll see.

9. The big one: there may be things that are unclear in terms of the game not explaining whatever.  There is no formal tutorial in this game, and we don't plan for there to be.  There's no large wiki or encyclopedia, and we don't plan for there to need to be (though feel free to create one if you wish).  The idea is that the game presents you with what you need at all times, and I think that it accomplishes that for the most part already.  THAT said, that doesn't mean there aren't some awful glaring oversights, so let us know what confuses you.

And... yeah.  That's pretty well it. :)  When it comes to this alpha, mostly we're going to want you to just play it and report anything you feel like you want to tell us (bugs, balance, something that isn't clear or fun or whatever).  And that's about it!

Schedule
- Alpha will last for 1-2 weeks or so.
- Then we'llgetting that to anybody from the public who wants to try it.
- Shortly after that, when things settle down some (maybe a week in), we'll be treating the beta as our press build.
- Then 1.0 will be in mid-October.

Cheers!
Chris
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 07, 2013, 08:53:40 PM
Whoa, didn't expect this yet.  Excellent.  I thought this was coming on Monday though?  Or am I making that bit up....

Either way, I'll give my usual overly-detailed feedback later after I've had some time with it!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 08:54:42 PM
Cheers!  I thought it was Monday as well, but I wound up with extra time this weekend (Keith was blazing as I knew he would be).
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: madcow on September 07, 2013, 09:50:43 PM
Whyyyyyy was I programmed to feel pain!?

I laughed.

I had a moment for a quick trial tonight, and will play more in depth time tomorrow for some real feedback. Definitely looks like a title I'll really be able to get behind.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 09:51:34 PM
Awesome. :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Coppermantis on September 07, 2013, 11:42:01 PM
I did some light playing today and sent in a few comments/bugs. Will do more tomorrow, since it's late. The main menu song is fantastic though. I like it maybe even more than AVWW2's theme.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: mrhanman on September 08, 2013, 12:10:37 AM
YES!  I was staying up late tonight anyway. :D

Title music is awesome! 

khadgar's voice acting is top notch!  I hope this kick starts his VA career, if that's what he wants.

I run a triple monitor setup running at 5040 x 1050.  Excessive for this?  Sure, but the game chose it, so I'm going to use it!  Thought I'd post a title screen shot, if that's ok?  Looks pretty awesome, in my opinion.

The store tooltip text is hilarious.  I think I detect Keith's style in that one.

ClawBot took me out on my first mission (Assasination).  I assume the way to kill it is by hitting it for 15,000 in one shot?  If so, I couldn't figure out how to do it.

Found some confusing behavior from the RadarBot.  Mainly, I can't kill it.  I tried to drop a mine to lure it onto, but that was bugged (I reported it).  Everytime I shoot at or around it, I miss horribly.  Once, it missed and destroyed a bot that I had not seen yet through a wall.  Next, I hit it with a virus.  It's on my side, but my shots still miss wildly.  Worse, it's blocking the way and I can't get past this.  I might have to abandon this mission.  The worst part is, I suggested this thing!  How embarassing.  I didn't put this one on Mantis because I'm not sure how much is desired behavior.

After enough shots, I finally landed one on it.  Whew!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 08, 2013, 02:10:36 AM
Well.   This is pretty fun so far.   And I liked the Eagleface Forest joke in the Eaglebot's description, haha.  I havent forgotten THAT place and it's accursed demon birds.

That being said, it's time for my Horrible Blob of Feedback!

I wrote all this as it occurred to me when I was playing the game, so I apologize for the format.

Here we go:


1.  On the initial screen where you select your exos, have the name of each appear on their portraits;  it's a small thing but it can help newer players to remember which one is which.

2.  On the customization screen, when I've clicked a slot and it's showing me available items, allow me to click anywhere outside of that window to close it.  Used to doing this in many other games that use a similar interface.

3.  On the customization screen, if you have the mouse cursor on the far left, it still gives the "choose a mission or customize on the left" message from the main map screen.

4.  Customization screen, my initial reactor part, "MK 1 Auxillery Reactor"  in my inventory is equippable in both shields and propulsion, but not actually in the reactor section.  I also seem to be able to equip this "coolant tank" anywhere at all?  But it's given stats, according to the equip window, seem to change based on what type of slot it's in?  EDIT: Ok, I figured this out.  It is explained in the tooltip, but not in the actual equip window; that one definitely should be changed so it's explained in the equip window, as it really was very confusing indeed.

5.  Map screen, initially started off all squashed to the right side of the screen.

6.  I cant seem to remove parts once placed in the customization.  I can replace them, but not simply take them back out.

7.  Tooltips for equipment only shows up if you havent clicked a slot, when you're in the "choose a part" window it does not appear.  It might be good to have this appear on either side of that window.

8.  City map can be scrolled while in the customize screen.

9.  Initial question upon entering mission:  Why can I fire through walls?  This is the part that makes the least sense so far.

10.  Is there some way to look at Exo stats during missions?  Or look at my inventory during missions?  Both would be useful.

11.  Have tooltips for objects/enemies/whatever in missions always display;  holding the mouse button to do it seems unnecessary as there's a good amount of screen space, and the info is always useful.

12.  Two items with the same name have different stats?  (edit: I think I mighta just read these wrong).

13.  CPU Overcharger goes in the reactor slot?

14.  EMP bot effect never wears off!  This is by far the worst of the bugs so far.  I've done a couple of missions, and the strategy/tactics in both almost entirely revolved around my AssaultBot and ScienceBot using their range 10 lasers to pop those guys; a mistake would lock up my bot for the rest of the mission, and all enemies within the large range were also totally locked for good.  As such, I cannot yet say much about balance and such related to most of the enemies as most of them dont get a chance to do much beyond that sniper type.  EMP bot range of effect also should be shown when mousing over it.

15.  Allow Sentry Turrets to be placed on any adjacent square, instead of just whatever you happen to be facing, since the angle thing can really interfere with this.

16.  Percentages on weapon damage dont make any sense!  Example, the ninjabot starts with a machinegun that does 120 damage.  When I equipped a module that says it gives a 1% attack boost, the attack power of that weapon went up to 274.  It's welding laser went from 300 to 1257!  I'm thinking there might be bugs here...

17.  That being said, percentages on many things are way too low to have any real or desirable effect.  Or that's what it looks like at least.  Considering the weapon thing, I cant entirely tell if the percentages actually ARE that low, or if they're being displayed wrong in the stat window. But the non-attack ones dont seem to do that.... it's very confusing.  If those percentage numbers are displaying properly then they are definitely too low.

18.  I do not entirely understand what propulsion does; is that part entirely meant for things like stealth and having the bot explode?  The word propulsion makes me think it has something to do with movement speed, or something like that.  As it is, seeing "propulsion-stat increase" on various things is confusing.

19.  An item that says it gives +40 power has it's stat in the window reflected as being 4000.

20.  During missions, some things can blend in with the environment a bit too much, particularly considering all of the "cover" objects all over the place.   If you can, simply applying a bright outline to important objects such as mission goals or items/stations or whatever would be a major help here.  I had a science mission that I thought was bugged out because I just couldnt find the thing that was the mission goal; it's a 2x2 object, but it still managed to blend in with everything else that it took me some time to notice where it was.

21.  This game, it needs a tutorial.   I'm used to figuring things out on my own, but as with most of your games this one has a learning curve, but it doesnt explain much at all.  New players might end up quite frustrated at this.  I know what you said in your inital post up there, but this one I think is worth considering.  Even having only played a couple of hours of this so far, I'm seeing that this game is pretty darned complex, especially when you get into all of the stats and such, which are pretty important.  So far, the two most confusing things to me is the way it shows how much Stealth a given Exo has left, and also how it determines visual range VS what I assume is "sensor" range (with the glowing bot outlines).

22.  Music on the map/customization/shop screens would be nice.  They're too quiet, since nothing is exploding or shouting hilarious lines.


Ok, so there's the initial wall of stuff.   As I'd said the EMP bit is the nastiest problem right now, that'd definitely be priority number one out of this list, I should think.

And my browser/connection is being a snot here, I'll try to remember to stick the bugs/problems into Mantis once it calms down, but I apologize if I forget to do it.   Bloody Comcast.  They really are terrible...

All in all though, this game is off to a nice start.   I like all of the tactical options that I have during missions, I like having the different Exos that fulfill different roles on the team, and I like the mission/city map structure overall.  There seems to be quite a lot of variety to things as a whole as well.   And the humor is good too, heh.  The game has alot of personality to it.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Coppermantis on September 08, 2013, 02:16:01 AM

6.  I cant seem to remove parts once placed in the customization.  I can replace them, but not simply take them back out.


Click on a part again to remove it.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Histidine on September 08, 2013, 02:18:34 AM
Hey Josh, you gave me a key even though I never asked for one! But I'm sure not complaning  ;D

Anyway! Here are my running thoughts playing through the game; I've highlighted UI issues and bugs.

Before game
Main menu theme is typical Pablo prowess, but too short :'(

Not Clear: Exo/character tooltips should display their names. For that matter, they should probably have proper dropdown boxes; I figured out that you needed to click the images within 2 seconds, but others may not.

I first noticed this on Axis because of her complexion, but the character sprites seem unusually "shiny."

Science Exo: "Borderline weapons and health..." I don't think borderline is the most descriptive word here ;)

Alert on sight strikes me as really counterintuitive. (But it turns out Sniper is OP anyway.)

I hereby dub the Sniper Exo "Tree Golem."


Game Start
Using Axis with Assault, Sniper, Ninja and Science exos, normal difficulty

Lol @ DragonBot description. Reminds me of a gameplay hint someone wrote for my game once: "[...]There is no such thing as a weak fire unit though, because they all shoot fire."

Not clear: To remove a module you have to reselect it in the screen. To exit from screen without any changes you have to click on the same module slot.

I can't take the names of the store items seriously. Will there be cheesy achivements to collect, like in Valley 2? :D

Aaaah lost first mission. I guess I need to be really careful about when and where I engage.

Won second one. Getting caught in the open by snipers is deadly.

Bahamut Sniper upgrade! Now if only I knew what it does.

Not clear: Module tooltips don't always make it clear which part they go into.

Not clear: Exos could use a list summing all bonuses from modules. I noticed this when I needed to check which of my exos lacked regen. (What does regen do anyway?)

Bug: Started a Bahamut Ninja upgrade mission, spawned next to objective, won without making a single move. Huh. (Later won Bahamut Science upgrade in same way.)

Bug: Aaaand all subsequent missions are instant-lose at start, without making any moves. Saving and loading seemed to fix that, huh.

Bug: Left-clicking an item in store puts it in layaway even if I have enough money. Needed to right-click to buy (or sell).

Sniper Exo lets me mow down enemies with impunity if they're more than a certain distance from me (so they don't bother moving at all). Particularly silly on the Training Ground level I just played.

UNHANDLED EXCEPTION! Man, "Object reference not set to an instance of an object" again. Hate those.
Code: [Select]
9/8/2013 2:01:19 PM (0.900) Mem: 83,210,240 Mode: SinglePlayerOrMultiplayerHost Plat:WindowsPlayer
-----------
FixedUpdate: System.NullReferenceException: Object reference not set to an instance of an object
  at AIMutableGameEntityData.GetEffectiveIsOnAlert (AlertConditionType RestrictToThese) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at AIMutableGameEntityData.GetEffectiveIsOnAlert () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at WorldMapTile.CalculateCurrentPriorityForGeneralMilitary (.GameEntity MilitaryEntity, .EntitySystem WithSystem) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.FindBestNewTargetForRangedMilitaryUnit (.GameEntity Entity, .EntitySystem WithSystem) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.HandleMilitary () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.ProcessSimStepOnPrimaryMachineOnly () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.ProcessSimStep () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.RunNextCycle (Boolean DoRendering) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.RunFrame () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at ArcenMainCameraImplementations.MainUpdateLogic () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
Stack Trace:   at AIMutableGameEntityData.GetEffectiveIsOnAlert (AlertConditionType RestrictToThese) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at AIMutableGameEntityData.GetEffectiveIsOnAlert () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at WorldMapTile.CalculateCurrentPriorityForGeneralMilitary (.GameEntity MilitaryEntity, .EntitySystem WithSystem) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.FindBestNewTargetForRangedMilitaryUnit (.GameEntity Entity, .EntitySystem WithSystem) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.HandleMilitary () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at World.ProcessSimStepOnPrimaryMachineOnly () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.ProcessSimStep () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.RunNextCycle (Boolean DoRendering) [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at Game.RunFrame () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
  at ArcenMainCameraImplementations.MainUpdateLogic () [0x00000] in <filename unknown>:0
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 08, 2013, 02:20:37 AM

6.  I cant seem to remove parts once placed in the customization.  I can replace them, but not simply take them back out.


Click on a part again to remove it.

Hm, that's a bug, then.  I kept doing that (it was the first thing I thought of) but they simply wouldnt come off.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: mrhanman on September 08, 2013, 02:25:35 AM
I wish the "walls" were more clearly defined.  When clearing the map, it would make it easier visually on some of the darker levels.  Other than that, I'm having a blast!  I put a few things on Mantis, but nothing too major.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 08, 2013, 02:36:49 AM
I wish the "walls" were more clearly defined.  When clearing the map, it would make it easier visually on some of the darker levels.  Other than that, I'm having a blast!  I put a few things on Mantis, but nothing too major.

Aye, same here.  In particular, when they're in the "fog of war", they're difficult as heck to make out.


On that note, I also wanted to emphasize my suggestion about outlining things to make them stand out.  The more I think about this, the more important it seems to me.  Overall, the UI for the game as a whole is very good, aside from that "hold left click to bring up tooltip" bit.  But everything blending together and being hard to spot is a major step back.  In a game like this, it's super important for the player to be able to easily spot everything on the screen, so they can consider all of their tactical options.  Doing this isnt as important as fixing the horrible EMP glitch (which is nearly game-breaking), but I still think this one is really, really important.  I found that I was missing stuff very easily the entire time I was playing except for enemies, and the main reason why they were the only easy thing to notice was the glowing outline when you're aware of them but cannot see them.

To further that suggestion, if you apply such an effect, it'd be good to also have it color coded.  For example, all enemies get a red outline, all treasure/items get a green outline, explosive things get yellow.... you get the idea.


Oh, and one more thing:   The "rescue" missions, it's not clear as to if you're supposed to DO something with the pods or not.  I kept trying to activate them or something to rescue them and get the loot, but it didn't seem to work that way.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: mrhanman on September 08, 2013, 02:41:45 AM
I agree that enemies and interact-able items should stand out more, but I think instead of an outline, idle animation would look better.  If I remember correctly, that kind of thing is still being finalized.

I'm not sure I agree that EMP never wearing off is a bug.  An EMP fries electronics.  It kind of makes sense to me that it wouldn't wear off.  It's pretty harsh, but I finished a mission with my AssaultExo crippled by it.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 08, 2013, 03:33:19 AM
I agree that enemies and interact-able items should stand out more, but I think instead of an outline, idle animation would look better.  If I remember correctly, that kind of thing is still being finalized.

I'm not sure I agree that EMP never wearing off is a bug.  An EMP fries electronics.  It kind of makes sense to me that it wouldn't wear off.  It's pretty harsh, but I finished a mission with my AssaultExo crippled by it.

The main reason I"m sure it's a bug is that on the EMPbot's tooltip, it says it's temporary.

.....also, it being permanent is so far having the side effect of making the missions dramatically easier, by freezing the majority of the bot population forever.  I stopped getting hit by it myself as soon as I figured out the best positioning and weapon choice to use to make sure that the EMP doesnt hit me.

And the last bit is simply that having a very common enemy bot with a 9-radius instant kill (which is what it may as well be) is just unbalanced as heck  :P


EDIT:  And after I escaped EMPbot Land, it got much more interesting.  THose guys showed up for the first 3 missions I did, and then I havent seen them since.  The other bots are entertaining in their general wackiness.   One thing though: if it wasnt for the big attack boost that I'm getting from the weapon damage percentage increase, I'd be finding most of these missions unbeatable.  It usually seems like I *have* to kill these guys before they get into firing range, or I'm basically screwed.  There's almost always a bunch of them at once, and if multiple things shoot at me in one turn, my guys die.

And stealth.... when you turn it on, enemies will still fire at you that turn.   Kinda drops the usefulness of it quite a bit.   Also, is it me, or is the customization screen outright lying about the stealth counts?  It tells me I have 10 consecutive turns for my ninjabot right now, but once I'm in a mission, it becomes 6 (and I went back to doublecheck that just now to make sure that number was right).  For the bots that have a low consecutive stealth count, it's basically useless for them.  When it DOES work though, it has a bunch of interesting applications.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: tigersfan on September 08, 2013, 06:41:26 AM
Hey Josh, you gave me a key even though I never asked for one! But I'm sure not complaning  ;D

I gave out keys to everyone who gave us an idea for a bug that we ended up using. :) You were one of those folks. :)

For others, don't worry, I've not lost your note to me, I promise.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Hyfrydle on September 08, 2013, 07:22:10 AM
That's good to hear can't wait to get involved I love roguelikes and sci-fi :-)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 08, 2013, 07:58:54 AM
Hey Josh, you gave me a key even though I never asked for one! But I'm sure not complaning  ;D

I gave out keys to everyone who gave us an idea for a bug that we ended up using. :) You were one of those folks. :)

For others, don't worry, I've not lost your note to me, I promise.

Oh cool, I can't wait to see which ones got in!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 08, 2013, 08:09:07 AM
I played without reading any of the other feedback here, so I was going in as blindly as I could. The experience was... not great. :( This is a copy of what I sent to the email address in the alpha invite, and is brutally honest.

The good news is that I like a lot about the game and want to try again. Later. The bad news is that my first attempt went so badly that I'm going to go do something else right now because I'm rather annoyed.


Writing as I play, so this may not be the most organized. :)

1. Opening music is great, though at the end of the vocals it seems to just cut off abruptly before looping. A fade might make it sound better.

2. What's a "speciality unlock code"? Typing something in there ("1") doesn't appear to do anything, it just took me back to the main menu with no message about what it did. Also when the prompt to type it in appears after clicking the button, the keyboard cursor isn't in the box so typing does nothing.

3. It wasn't clear on the character/exo select screen that I could select anything, or which ones I already had selected once I figured out how to select things. The name of each character/exo in the title of the portrait and forward/back arrows to cycle through them would be useful to make it clearer. (Same for the city, I really didn't realize there was anything to select there.)

4. There's no sound on the map. I'd expect the background music just might not be in the alpha, but there was also no "clicking" noise when you click on icons or menus, and that absence was odd.

5. On the exo customization screen I clicked an empty slot. This opened a window that I had no way to close using the mouse. It was one of the shield ones, and so it blocked seeing nearly every other slot.

6. On the customize screen, I was seeing a tooltip at the bottom to "click on a mission icon to start, or customize on the left." That's not helpful when I'm already in the customize screen. (Screenshot: http://www.hiredgoons.ca/bionicDues/customizeTooltip.jpg )

7. Is there a difference between shields and health? Some items say shields and some items say health, but I don't appear to have a shield stat on my bot, and equipping an item with a bonus that adds 1% more shields increased my health.

8. When I left the customization screen, the map wasn't centered on my HQ or available missions. I was down in the bottom left corner. (Possibly related to alt+tabbing)

9. A click-to-move option (ala XCOM and most overland TBS games like Age of Wonders) would be AWESOME. Using WASD overhead is really awkward and confusing to me. (Particularly since WASD is typically go forward/go backward/turn left/turn right, and here it's just the four directions to move in, like the arrow keys.)

10. It's not at all clear how the enemy bots react to my movements. I moved a bit and nothing happened, despite a Wyvernbot being visible in the open. One more move and it started moving too. Did I run out of movement points?

11. Holding down left click to see enemy info is awkward. Why not just show it when I hover over an enemy? You're already hovering a tip telilng me how to see the info, it'd be easier to just show the info instead.

12. Oh hey, I can switch bots! It'd be really helpful if the game told me that. I only thought to try it because I'd previously asked on the forum and found out that only one of your four is active at once.

13. The enemies seem to be jumping around rather than moving, which is making figuring out what's going on in combat really difficult. Suddenly there's four bots, including multiple wyvernbots. Yet they don't seem to be shooting at me, they're just jumping around the map.

14. So I've got a bot with a rocket launcher. It has a huge AOE. The bots are positioned such that I can only hit one with it, and the other three are just out of range. Why can't I target this on an empty square and get all of them in the AOE? (Screenshot: http://www.hiredgoons.ca/bionicDues/rocketLauncher.jpg )

15. I'm playing on Easy, and the first bot I encountered has 800 health and just one shot my sniper exo. I've hit it four times and it's still not dead.

16. Do the turns work on a single action basis? Seems like when I move, they move. That's fine, except I can't outrun this WyvernBot. The game changed me to my assault exo (the one with lots of health), and the Wyvernbot took off most of its health in one shot as soon as I stopped to return fire. (Screenshot of the mess I was in at this point: http://www.hiredgoons.ca/bionicDues/wyvern.jpg )

17. Took another shot at the Wyvernbot. It didn't die. My assault exo did. The game gave me the Ninja Exo, which wasn't in range to attack.  Changing to the science bot (which maybe could be in range) got it one shot. Then the ninja bot tried to move into range, and got one shot. So I've been totally wiped by the first bot, on easy. (Screenshot of the log from that and the "you lose" screen: http://www.hiredgoons.ca/bionicDues/fail.jpg )

Lets summarize this experience:

On Easy, on my first game, on the first mission, the first bot one-shot three of my four bots and two-shot the other. I took four shots at it and didn't kill it. There was *FOUR* other bots on the screen at the same time, and for some reason they weren't aggressive at all. They just kind of hung around. Oh yes, and at least one of those four was the same Wyvernbot that just wiped me out. Although they're off radar in the screenshots I have here, earlier in the fight they were all clearly visible (then I started backing up).

To put it bluntly: that's an absolutely terrible starting experience. I've got no idea what the game mechanics are and have to learn them on the fly in the first mission because there's no tutorial. While I'm trying to do that, the game opens with something that will totally massacre me. I don't get how the bots I have could have possibly killed two of those (which is what was visible on the map) without the rocket launcher, because no other weapon was doing over 1/4 of its health.

This is when an experienced player might say: "do X". Which is fine, except that people buying the game (and reviewers) can't be expected to know that information, and the game didn't give me a chance to learn it by experimenting.

To give an idea of how badly this went, my score is showing as -1000.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 08, 2013, 08:52:08 AM
4.  Customization screen, my initial reactor part, "MK 1 Auxillery Reactor"  in my inventory is equippable in both shields and propulsion, but not actually in the reactor section.
That's actually intentional, the idea being that it's using the stuff on those systems to generate more power.  Though as you mentioned having the description show on the part-picker would be good.


Quote
5.  Map screen, initially started off all squashed to the right side of the screen.
Yea, it'd be nice if it could clamp that a bit better.  It's tricky with the zooming logic, though, to avoid some pretty jagged movements.


Quote
10.  Is there some way to look at Exo stats during missions?  Or look at my inventory during missions?  Both would be useful.
Left click your character icon on the bar to open the customization screen (though you obviously can't change parts there, the balance implications would be fairly humorous).


Quote
13.  CPU Overcharger goes in the reactor slot?
All the Overcharger-type parts are reactor-only.  The idea being that it's directly shunting main power to that system, etc.


Quote
14.  EMP bot effect never wears off!
Odd, I was testing it just yesterday and it wore off just fine for my exos; just had to wander around maybe 5 moves.

The enemies being permanently locked down is something I've noticed, though.  I'm guessing their paralysis prevents them from getting to the part of the code where their paralysis timer counts down... which sounds oddly appropriate for these bots, come to think of it.


Quote
16.  Percentages on weapon damage dont make any sense!  Example, the ninjabot starts with a machinegun that does 120 damage.  When I equipped a module that says it gives a 1% attack boost, the attack power of that weapon went up to 274.  It's welding laser went from 300 to 1257!  I'm thinking there might be bugs here...
Hmm, that used to work great, not sure what changed.  We probably haven't specifically looked at what it does in a while.


Quote
17.  That being said, percentages on many things are way too low to have any real or desirable effect.
The very early equipment is pretty low, yea.  But it gets significantly higher as the mark levels go up (from scavenging increases).  And even at MkI stuff an exo with all slots full is a lot better than an exo with them empty.


Quote
18.  I do not entirely understand what propulsion does; is that part entirely meant for things like stealth and having the bot explode?  The word propulsion makes me think it has something to do with movement speed, or something like that.  As it is, seeing "propulsion-stat increase" on various things is confusing.
There's also a TrapAvoidance stat, but yea, that's it.  We'd also planned a "Maneuvering" stat that would give the enemies a miss chance against you depending on their level (but never doing the miss chance thing against the player, other than the thrice-cursed RadarBot, of course).


Quote
19.  An item that says it gives +40 power has it's stat in the window reflected as being 4000.
Yea, sounds like more stuff that worked fine the last time it was specifically tested, then something else happened later ;)


Quote
21.  This game, it needs a tutorial.
That may be true, but we'd really like to see if the holes in understanding can be filled in without that.  Tutorials always seem to suck the excitement right out of the beginning of a game, and we still get people not understanding half of the stuff anyway.



Thanks for the feedback :)  I'd reply to the others too, but I've got to run.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Histidine on September 08, 2013, 08:58:51 AM
Hey Josh, you gave me a key even though I never asked for one! But I'm sure not complaning  ;D

I gave out keys to everyone who gave us an idea for a bug that we ended up using. :) You were one of those folks. :)
Ah, I see. Thanks :D


On EMP non-recovery: I played a level that was crawling with EMP bots for some reason, and all of my exos got zapped at least once. Some recovered functionality after a while, others were seemingly disabled for the duration of the mission.

Does part damage resistance and/or exo type affect EMP behavior?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 09:00:57 AM
Will respond further later, but a few things of note:

1. Version 0.901 is now out, which addresses some of the issues reported: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Bionic_Dues_Alpha_Release_Notes#Alpha_0.901

2. Tridus, in terms of your experience of getting killed rather immediately, to some extent that is the genre.  That happened to me on my first run with Dredmor, too.  THAT said, Keith and I had planned to put in some code to make the starting mix of monsters in the first mission or two always be predictable and easier than the later ones, to avoid issues just like this.  Needless to say, we forgot to do it, so the mix of monsters could range from incredibly nice to incredibly mean depending on how the RNG rolled for you.  Looks like the latter happened for you.

3. Regarding the title music track, I forgot to mention that that is not done, it's just a preview snip.  It's just one verse, and does indeed cut off really abruptly.  Pablo says the full thing will be ready Monday, which I'm very excited about.

4. Regarding the tooltips on left click thing, I've not read the arguments as I just skimmed here.  But I am unlikely to change this, as it's a game where I think tooltips are not appropriate to have.  Similar games do not in my experience, and having a tooltip of any merit here causes waaaay too much of the screen to get blocked.  It feels terrible.  Think of these tooltips not as tooltips, but rather as a super-quick reference that you can get just by left clicking and holding on an enemy.  This does not impact your normal experience when you are not wanting a tooltip, it doesn't affect your ability to get the tooltip, and clearly you found the function given that you used it (and it says in a real tooltip at the bottom of the screen, a very small one, where this function is). 

So in other words, yeah it's different, but it's something that is different because normally this game would not have tooltips at all: there would be a reference that you'd have to click into a menu and then find the enemy in and all that.  Or you'd have to go to a wiki, depending on the game.  In this case we cut out the middle man and you just left click and hold on a tile to get that info.  Super handy!


Cheers folks, I'm glad most of you are enjoying it.  Bear in mind that the balance is the big thing that is currently not solid in this game.  It's something where I and Keith can play it since we know what we're doing, but the ramp-up of balance for a new player is... not there yet.  This is where you come in, as I kind of noted in the original post here (but probably was not clear enough on).
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Histidine on September 08, 2013, 09:19:56 AM
Damage irregularities mantis'd as 0012169: Damage bonuses are behaving very oddly (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=12169)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 08, 2013, 09:24:14 AM
Quote
17.  That being said, percentages on many things are way too low to have any real or desirable effect.
The very early equipment is pretty low, yea.  But it gets significantly higher as the mark levels go up (from scavenging increases).  And even at MkI stuff an exo with all slots full is a lot better than an exo with them empty.

Well, I've yet to see any of the later game stuff, but yeah, the early game stuff, percentage stats are so low that they may as well not exist.   A percentage boost that ends up giving you +10 damage on a weapon doesnt mean anything when the weapon's original damage is like 250, and when even early game bots often have hundreds of HP.  And heck, even the bugged boosts that were giving me huge increases ended up not being nearly as huge as I thought they were;  the way the game mechanics all come together, I wasnt exactly mowing down everything with extreme ease, even with the damage boost of doom.   Yet at the same time, I'm not sure the missions I've done so far would even have been doable WITHOUT those larger, bugged boosts.  Enemies would have simply taken too many hits to kill in many situations, particularly considering their huge numbers.   

Some of the other types of percentage boosts do literally nothing whatsoever, such as the AoE range ones.  No effect whatsoever.... because when you've got a range of 4 or 5 tiles, you'd need a really big percentage number to actually increase that any. 

I think part of the problem stems from the fact that they ARE percentage based, instead of fixed numbers.  It's hard to deal with percentages in a game like this;  you end up either with items that are so weak that they're pointless, because the low percentages dont generate enough change to the fixed stats, or you end up with items that are much too strong and versatile, because a higher percentage modifying a weapon/whatever with a stat of 10000-something ends up getting a monstrous increase.  This sort of thing seems like a balancing nightmare to me.

As it is, the items that DO offer fixed numbers instead of percentages are already dramatically more desirable than the others;  HP boosts, sensor range, stealth turns, all that sort of thing that gives you a definite number, those are immediately useful even when they're not very powerful.  Those bonuses can add up without being OP at all, and also without being individually too weak.



And the tutorial bit, I think what Tridus posted illustrates that problem pretty well.   To clarify, I dont think you guys need to do a full tutorial.  But having some explanations come up would be great, similar to how the hamlets are explained in-game in Skyward.  There's no tutorial there, but the text gives enough of an explanation that you dont need it shown to the player step-by-step.  Heck, there's some stuff I cant figure out myself, such as what exactly some of the stats do, like "system protection".


Now lets see.... there were a couple of other things I wanted to mention....


Uhhh.... ok, the bot types.  I'm using pretty much the default team, right, assault, siege, ninja, and science, and the ones that actually see the most combat are the assault and science bots.  Both of these guys have a range 10 weapon.... and I've noticed that range is stupidly important in this game, possibly a bit too much.... and that automatically gives them more power than the others.  The science bot also is the only one with a decent amount of options to use during battle, things like mines and viruses and turrets.   The siege guy is powerful with his rockets, and the ninja is great IF you can get up close, but I find that's really situational and cannot be done whatsoever in open areas.   Heck, I did one of those funky "enemy robot training group" missions, the ones that seem like I'm not really supposed to be able to win them but they knock down army numbers, and I actually almost DID win the very first one I tried..... with the science bot, who did about 70% of the killing.   The ninja and siege got blown up right away, after the siege guy had gotten a couple of rockets off;  the assault one got maybe half of his range 10 death rays off before going, and the science guy just wouldnt die.   He had the all-important deathray, he had turrets and other stuff, and his health wasnt TOO terrible after I'd given him a few health boosting items.  I was even able to reach a couple of the loot rooms inside of that mission.

And also, turrets.  These things are either bugged, or dumber than a sack of hammers.   I kept placing them, and they kept just SITTING there, not doing anything except maybe pointing their targeting lasers at me for no apparent reason.   Every now and then one of them might MAYBE fire a bolt at the nearby enemy horde sort of, but it was pretty rare.   Definitely seems glitchy to me.



In an overall sense though, I'm quite enjoying this so far, despite some funky problems.


EDIT:  Ahhhh I *knew* that when I hit the post button it was going to tell me that multiple messages appeared while I was typing..... and it did! 
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 08, 2013, 09:27:38 AM
oh, and to clarify one thing:  On the tooltip idea, I dont mean having the actual tooltip appear somewhere else in the screen;  keep that info appearing exactly where it is, in the bottom-left-ish area.   Just make it so that it can do the very same function without me having to hold the mouse button down, that's all.   I have yet to find a point where I'm pointing at something and I *dont* want it showing me that.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 08, 2013, 09:36:24 AM
The tale of your !!Science!! exo going rambo is quite amusing :)

We'll be thinking through the stats stuff.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 08, 2013, 09:49:10 AM
The tale of your !!Science!! exo going rambo is quite amusing :)

We'll be thinking through the stats stuff.

Hah, yeah, I thought so too.

The science guy is also alot of fun to use.  That virus thing is hilarious, totally worth it when I can figure out a way to use it without getting wrecked.  I had an interesting moment with that, I caught that big huge bot with the lotsa health that likes smashing cover objects, and basically sent him into a room fulla jerks to clear them out.... without entirely having read his text fully.   I went towards the room afterwards thinking it was probably clear.   What he'd ACTUALLY done was shoot all the cover objects and leave all the robots, and then he ran outta ammo.   Fun! came next.

The siege guy and his doom missiles are also great fun.   .....though his rockets are now doing 13,000 base damage.   

Oh, and the visual change you just did helps ALOT.   It also just looks much, much more awesome.  That's actually a really good change, thanks.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 08, 2013, 11:17:06 AM
2. Tridus, in terms of your experience of getting killed rather immediately, to some extent that is the genre.  That happened to me on my first run with Dredmor, too.  THAT said, Keith and I had planned to put in some code to make the starting mix of monsters in the first mission or two always be predictable and easier than the later ones, to avoid issues just like this.  Needless to say, we forgot to do it, so the mix of monsters could range from incredibly nice to incredibly mean depending on how the RNG rolled for you.  Looks like the latter happened for you.

That'd be a good change, yeah. If there isn't going to be a tutorial level, people need a chance to figure out what's going on in a non-instakill environment.

Quote
4. Regarding the tooltips on left click thing, I've not read the arguments as I just skimmed here.  But I am unlikely to change this, as it's a game where I think tooltips are not appropriate to have.  Similar games do not in my experience, and having a tooltip of any merit here causes waaaay too much of the screen to get blocked.  It feels terrible.  Think of these tooltips not as tooltips, but rather as a super-quick reference that you can get just by left clicking and holding on an enemy.  This does not impact your normal experience when you are not wanting a tooltip, it doesn't affect your ability to get the tooltip, and clearly you found the function given that you used it (and it says in a real tooltip at the bottom of the screen, a very small one, where this function is). 

So in other words, yeah it's different, but it's something that is different because normally this game would not have tooltips at all: there would be a reference that you'd have to click into a menu and then find the enemy in and all that.  Or you'd have to go to a wiki, depending on the game.  In this case we cut out the middle man and you just left click and hold on a tile to get that info.  Super handy!

I don't get this at all. The information is already there, and you're already showing it to me. You're just making me hold down the left mouse button first. When I point at a unit, I only want to do one of two things:

1. Shoot it
2. See that information

So, letting me shoot it and then bringing up a tooltip telling me that I can do #2 if I hold down the button doesn't make sense compared to just doing #2 immediately. It's an extra step between me and the thing I want to do that doesn't accomplish anything.

edit - Actually I'm having the same problem with the other stuff on the map too. I need to hold down the button to see what a computer terminal is, which objects are cover, etc. It's a hassle compared to just telling me without holding down the button.

edit 2 - What I'm finding myself doing now is just holding down the left mouse button all the time. That gives me the effect I want, where I can move the mouse around and be told what things are. I don't understand why I should have to do that.

Quote
Cheers folks, I'm glad most of you are enjoying it.  Bear in mind that the balance is the big thing that is currently not solid in this game.  It's something where I and Keith can play it since we know what we're doing, but the ramp-up of balance for a new player is... not there yet.  This is where you come in, as I kind of noted in the original post here (but probably was not clear enough on).

I need to agree with some previous comments that the percentage increases aren't very meaningful. I started with an item that was a 1% shield boost, and equipping it added 1 health. Not exciting.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Cyborg on September 08, 2013, 11:52:57 AM
Hello, just fired this up. I have questions.

1) on the city map, where am I supposed to go? I have just been picking whatever sounds good and playing those maps.
2) as I am moving my robot through a level, there are explosions going on. My enemy seems to be self-destructing without my doing anything. Is that normal?
3) is only one robot active at a time? It seems like I would always want to use my assault robot to move around and only switch if it makes sense. If it's not true, that means I should be able to do 4 attacks.
4) I don't know where I'm going in the levels. Just going in a given direction. I don't really know my own strength or that of my enemy, so I haven't been lasting very long.
5) the customization screen requires that you click on the original box that you chose in order to close the menu. I think you should just have to click outside the menu to get it to close.
6) I would appreciate some customization advice. It looks like I start with something in my inventory, but I don't know who or which robot it belongs to.

Absent a tutorial, just need a little guidance on where I am supposed to be heading on the map and what I'm looking for in the levels. And should I be going all combat or avoiding the other robots? They seem to be kicking my butt really quickly.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 08, 2013, 12:04:22 PM
Okay, continued with my first game despite the butt kicking I took. Now I have some idea of what I'm doing, so this should go better, right? Well...

- This time the first bot I encountered isn't a "lolno" weapon of mass destruction. In fact it seems to stay asleep until you attack it, so I hit it with the ninja bot's welding laser and it died. We're in business.
- Hey, a computer terminal! (Note that at this point I'm always holding down the left mouse button so pointing at things tells me what they are, because with how the icons blend into the background I absolutely can't tell otherwise.)  Bring out the science bot and hack it. Result is... lose all hacking points. Talk about anti-climatic.
- Fight a few more bots and things are going relatively okay. The computer seems to be stumbling around on the electric floor harming itself quite regularly. Run into a door that I can't open due the loss of hacking points, so go around.
- Then I hit one of those sleeping bots with a weapon that didn't one shot it. A couple of other bots come at me, no problem.
- Yeah, so I misunderstood what was happening on the last point. Because a few turns later a giant mob of stuff is coming at me. I get too close to it trying to figure out what it is, and then I stealth. It seems to know exactly where I am anyway, but isn't shooting. I get around a corner and stuff follows me. Try to bring out the sniper to use the rocket launcher, and they blast it to smithereens. Now everything that's coming out is just getting killed by the mob of stuff, and another loss.
- I don't appear to have gotten any inventory from this one, unlike last time.
- This was an "assassination" mission, but I'm not sure what the target to assassinate was. Given how quickly stuff kills me I'm really not sure how I could have assassinated anything tough anyway.

So at this point it seems like there's absolutely no reason at all to continue this save, as I've failed the first two missions and gotten basically no loot, putting me far behind as the enemies gain levels.

I'm also not particularly accustomed to getting smashed like this on Easy. There's a definite newbie factor and mistakes going on, but that's the only way to learn with no tutorial and it's crazy unforgiving given how fragile my bots are and how many enemies there are.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: mrhanman on September 08, 2013, 12:13:15 PM
can we get a help button on the equipment screen that explains what stats do?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 12:15:00 PM
Just one more note: for everyone getting smashed to pieces, or with other griefs about this or that, thanks for bearing with us on it.  As I noted in the OP, it's extremely hard for developers in a vacuum to gauge how difficult something is.  Honestly I had been worried that it was a bit too straightforward until really recently.  Now at an advanced level of play it feels satisfyingly right to me in terms of the combat, but clearly at a new player level we are well off the mark.

But that's what the alpha is for, and you guys are great in terms of the feedback there.  I have like a jillion things on my list to help with this and other issues, and every comment that has been made here has been read and noted.  Things should be much better for you in an upcoming build.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: mrhanman on September 08, 2013, 12:20:59 PM
misery talks about range being so important. he should try out the sniper! that's generally all i use until ammo runs out.  i can't say it's OP exactly, but some more enemies with long range weapons might even things up a bit.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 12:32:55 PM
The problem with enemies with a long range is that they tend to just ruin the player bots beyond that.  I think that the sniper is in for a nerf of some sort, but honestly I would like to keep him as unique as possible.  So some sort of counterbalance to his range, rather than just reducing his range, is something I'd like.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: mrhanman on September 08, 2013, 12:45:28 PM
maybe addons are half as effective? so much energy is spent extending his range that not as much is left for other systems, causing them to be less effective. or something if that sort.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: madcow on September 08, 2013, 12:53:06 PM
I've not played with him. But massive ammo reductions perhaps? Or (and this might be uncodable) using up two actions to fire?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 12:57:30 PM
Well, enemies do act every time you do, and we have ways of giving them two actions each time you take an action (this actually already happens in a number of cases).  I wonder if that might not be annoying, though?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: madcow on September 08, 2013, 01:00:57 PM
A weapon cooldown is also possible maybe? Like I said, I've not used him yet, just trying to think of ways to keep him unique as intended. I'll be starting over to try out the new exos. As it is, I can use the assault Exo as a kind of sniper, though I typically dislike sniper focused playstyles.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Histidine on September 08, 2013, 01:09:11 PM
Some possibilities for sniper:
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 01:10:45 PM
Okay, I've made some changes to him, we'll see how that is next version. :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 08, 2013, 01:11:30 PM
Just one more note: for everyone getting smashed to pieces, or with other griefs about this or that, thanks for bearing with us on it.  As I noted in the OP, it's extremely hard for developers in a vacuum to gauge how difficult something is.  Honestly I had been worried that it was a bit too straightforward until really recently.  Now at an advanced level of play it feels satisfyingly right to me in terms of the combat, but clearly at a new player level we are well off the mark.

But that's what the alpha is for, and you guys are great in terms of the feedback there.  I have like a jillion things on my list to help with this and other issues, and every comment that has been made here has been read and noted.  Things should be much better for you in an upcoming build.

Don't worry too much, I expected something like this might happen in an alpha build. :) They're usually either too easy or too hard, it's something that is really hard to get right without more eyes on it.

The good news is that whenever I take a break, I can sit back down and want to play again. That's a good sign.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 01:12:46 PM
Ooh good! :D
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Coppermantis on September 08, 2013, 01:20:38 PM
Good to see changes for the sniper. I was hesitant to call it OP, but it was basically the only bot I'd use except for certain specific situations.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 01:43:09 PM


*********************** Version 0.902 now out ***********************


I'm going to be off for a few hours, and may not get much more done today.  Do keep the feedback coming, as this week I'll have more or less nothing to do except deal with the results of all the feedback (which is, um, enormously plenty to keep me busy for a while).  But it's the weekend and I'm pretty beat.  Had about three nearly-90-hour weeks in a row to get this ready for now.

Not that there's a huge rush, because we have more than a month until 1.0 already, but I wanted there to NOT be a rush.  And there were some other reasons, but that is private to another member of the staff.  Anyway, that reason for rush ceased to be a rush yesterday, not coincidentally, so that's happy.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: madcow on September 08, 2013, 02:09:56 PM
Laser rifles definitely needed a bit of a nerf. It might have been a little too much though, it also does somewhat feel like they could use more differentiation from the miniguns now.

My suggestion would be a slight increase to range (maybe halfway between the old and the new to 8?) - I would also say swap the damage on it and the miniguns maybe. That would make rifles for ranged plinking, miniguns for midrange damage.

Edit: Probably getting to the land of infeasibility here ;)  but I would find it pretty cool if the miniguns had a "burst" option on them - do increased damage but use up 3 ammo instead of just 1 (it would not necessarily have to do 3x damage)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Breach on September 08, 2013, 02:24:44 PM
Hey, I've not read many of the preceding posts in this thread since you emphasised so much the importance of first impressions, so forgive me for raising points that have undoubtedly been mentioned already by the fine people of this forum.

I'm assuming more music will be added on top of the intro theme type thing rather than it just being looped over again.
One thing I did see mentioned is that bot names in both the portraits and the drop down list would be useful - I agree. I also think that maybe the city picture at the top (which also has a drop down list - is this intended?) could do with a similar label. I start up a normal difficulty game. I imagine most people will be doing this.

On the map screen I'm immediately led towards customising the bots thanks to the arrow.

"Dmaage reduction" in the 'Overall stats' tooltip on the equipment customisation screen has a typo.

What's the difference between base equipment on the robots? E.g. Gamma-Ray Laser and Laser Rifle on the sniper bot. I don't know which one to put the laser scope on because I don't know which one needs it most. Ah, I see now that the base stats are given on the window that pops up when you change equipment. The numbers are pretty meaningless to me at this point though, is an attack range of 50 long or short? Given the scope only adds 1, I'm assuming it's very long. Maybe some actual description of what the weapons suited purpose is on a hover tool-tip over the weapon name would be good.

It took me a while to realise that equipment was shared between bots. Maybe a quick rundown of the workings of the equipment screen and the mechanics would be a good idea.

Going back to the city map, it seems apparent that the map is controlled by actions even when on another screen. (This is also made clear by the appearance of tooltips on the customisation and shop screens regarding buttons only visible on the map screen). As such the map has scrolled mostly off-screen. A hint that pops up explaining how to move the map might be good. The ability to pan using a mouse button might be good as well since the default speed is a bit slow. (Edit: now notice you can do it using MMB. Could swear that didn't work before. Good choice though, as long as it's made clear).

Holy bananas, just went to the training ground and got pancaked. There were at least 20 bots that homed in on me and destroyed each of mine one by one. Wasn't too clear exactly on what I should have done to avoid defeat due to sheer number.

Just went to a parts fab. Things were going ok until I ran into a.. plasma bot? I think? I look into the controls to see if there's actually a way to bring the console log back up again, fortunately there is, though I think there should probably be an option to make the log window in the top-right be permanent. It was a wyvern bot that destroyed my assault exo before I could kill it, then destroyed the remainder of my other bots the moment they came onto the field. Nothing I could do as far as I could see. Am I just not very good at this?

Nothing to do but move onto a blockade mission since I haven't actually won anything or gained any equipment yet... Oh good, hunter bots immediately start putting some serious hurt on to my assault bot and there's already two wyvern bots in sight. So much for the blockade being an easy mission! Managed to get the siege bot to wipe up a few, but the wyvern bots survived (and another one appeared to my left with about 10 other bots), got into range, and again one-shotted the rest of my bots. Another failure.

The Blockade hasn't locked itself after failure like the other missions have for some reason, but after that experience I think I'll just give up on the 'very easy' mission and move to the overdrive mission. Apparently all the bots will be 10x more powerful! Given they've been one-shotting basically everything but my assault bot anyway, this doesn't really mean much to me except that there is zero chance of success if I'm seen. I shift a stealth generator onto my sci bot so it has 27 stealth actions total. Let's see how this goes.

Par for the course! Immediately enemy bots have line of sight, and despite cloaking the scibot is destroyed instantly. Repeat for my other three bots. I'm assuming here by the way the choice of which bot appears first is determined by what you customised last? Or is that wrong? Anyway, only one more failure before this game is over, woohoo! Wait, this isn't good.

Time for an outrun mission. I like the mission variety anyway, even if I have only been able to explore about 5 tiles before being wiped out. My previous hypothesis is proved wrong, first bot out appears to be random, which isn't too helpful.

There's a fogged outline of a ship that's bright red/white. Is this the murderbot I'm supposed to be running from? No info given from left click.

I'm physically trapped by bots, so switch to the assault bot. Something explodes, maybe the mines triggered an ammo bot which detonated? Either way, the assault bot is immediately destroyed but the way is clear.

Come across a blockade, have to blow it up using a machine gun. I try to move past it but then stealth runs out and I get instantly killed by a panther bot, which destroys itself as well.

Just sniper bot left with no stealth generator as it was shifted to the science bot. Encounter a wyvernbot and a hunter bot. Attack the wyvern bot twice with the gamma-ray laser which still isn't enough and it destroys me with no effort.

And so ends a disappointing and frustrating experience. I can count the number of bots I destroyed on one hand throughout the entire campaign and felt utterly helpless the moment I stepped into battle. This isn't how a first game should be, even if it is a roguelike, in my opinion. Some fine-tuning or hand-holding is seriously required but I could see it being fun if I was able to actually do anything. Sorry if this has appeared as a bit of a rant, just describing my thoughts as I played.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 08, 2013, 03:14:22 PM
Hi Breach. Your first game sounds a lot like mine. There's been some patch changes to try and alleviate that: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Bionic_Dues_Alpha_Release_Notes

Playing with the new version, "easy" was in fact significantly easier. Just blindly charging around still got me in trouble, but there is a LOT more margin for error (and learning).


On that note - is system damage supposed to be permanent? My bots have been losing the ability to shoot temporarily due to systems damage or EMPs, except my Ninjabot. That one just lost the ability to fire, period.

I'm also noticing that the Sniper bot's rocket launcher doesn't do AoE damage if it hits an EMPBot. Seems like the EMP disables that. I actually killed a bot with bots around it taking no damage, it was pretty weird.

That said I'm actually in a mission now and doing stuff, thanks to the Easy buff. Game is a lot more fun when you're not being one shot. :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 03:23:53 PM
Will respond more later, but in brief:

1. Glad the new difficulty stuff is helping at least, and that you're having more fun. :)
2. Yes, system damage is permanent until the end of the mission unless you run into an EMPBot.
3. In terms of the rocket launcher, I guess you mean the siege bot?  Rocket launcher damage falls off with distance from the source, but beyond that I can't think of why the AOE would be disabled there.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: orzelek on September 08, 2013, 03:27:14 PM
Hmm first impressions would be:
Nice game startup screen.. ohhh those are click-able and you can form a team. Thats good to know.
All that characters are a bit implanted.. guessing thats normal around here.

Getting to map screen.. reading all tooltips.. omg that army on the right is huge.
Poking equipment screen. Lots of spaces for lots of items.. coool :D
And everyone has a cloak - thats suspicious.

Time to go and die somewhere :D

PS I want more tracks like title one.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 08, 2013, 03:30:14 PM
3. In terms of the rocket launcher, I guess you mean the siege bot?  Rocket launcher damage falls off with distance from the source, but beyond that I can't think of why the AOE would be disabled there.

Yes, I do mean the Siege Exo, sorry. I noticed it more than once. If I target an EMP Bot with the rocket launcher, nothing else takes damage. The other bot was adjacent to the EMP and should have. I also fired it with no EMP Bots nearby and int hat case AOE happened.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 03:34:16 PM
Okay, thanks -- added to my list to check out.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: madcow on September 08, 2013, 03:48:07 PM
I noticed similar behavior with the shotgun on a brawler exo now that you mention it. I think it was only hurting one at a time even though there was a cluster of about 4 under its AOE.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: orzelek on September 08, 2013, 04:13:04 PM
Mission is fun.
I think that easy might be a tad to easy.. although I lost one bot already.

Question:
Explosive runes and ammo - am I supposed to go from 14 to -2 after one shot?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 04:15:09 PM
Definitely not on the explosive runes -- thanks, I'll look at that.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Breach on September 08, 2013, 04:25:33 PM
Thanks Tridus. Looking back on the thread I see you had a similar experience to me, which gives me a bit of relief. These changes made seem like they should do some good, especially smoothing out the bot distribution early on - wyvern bots have just no place in early days for lower difficulties!

A suggestion though: when you remove the stealth generator from a bot, the stealth action is always overlaid by a cracked graphic, as if it's damaged instead of missing. Maybe if the bot has no stealth generator this icon should just be greyed out instead, or missing altogether?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 04:27:59 PM
A suggestion though: when you remove the stealth generator from a bot, the stealth action is always overlaid by a cracked graphic, as if it's damaged instead of missing. Maybe if the bot has no stealth generator this icon should just be greyed out instead, or missing altogether?

Yeah, it should already be doing that, so it sounds like a bug since it is not.  Thanks!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: orzelek on September 08, 2013, 04:45:00 PM
My comments in random order:

1. I have a bit of health/shield confusion. They are the same stat are they? If yes then.. why have two names for it.
Also health bonuses on items might use adding difficulty scaling to them. 26 health bonus is tiny bit on easy and will help on extreme a bit more. It would help to make health bonus of similar usefulness on any difficulty.

2. Also as someone noticed... auxiliary reactors can be mounted only on propulsion and not in reactor slots.. which is confusing. It gets more confusing when you get coolant part that states that in reactor subsystem it increases other parts power generation (in same subsystem) while you can't put anything that generates power there. It doesn't seem to affect the base power generation when mounted in reactor either. Same applies to magnetic containment part.

3. As for enemies... aren't ThunderBots a bit to quick at cleaning whole chamber of bots with their 2k explosions from cover objects?

4. Stealth generators:
Mk I you start with gets 10 actions per mission.
Mk IV you find gets only 3. That's a surprise.

5. Actually all stuff you find is Mk IV... is that an easy difficulty thing?

6. What is this Regen Window stat.. can't figure out what it helps with.

7. In bot overall stats there is a Dmaage reduction instead of Damage Reduction.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Breach on September 08, 2013, 05:32:54 PM
With the patch changes and playing on easy mode, I can now happily report that I am Having Fun™! I feel kinda bad that my first post about the game was so negative, but I suppose I just got some bad rolls. Regardless though, I'm enjoying the big range of equipment options I have and the thinking I have to do in preparation for each mission. 50 days seems a long way off though!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 05:35:09 PM
Awesome!  There is no better feeling for me than having someone have a bad feeling and then being able to turn it around, honestly.  I mean, when someone loves it immediately that is amazing too, but I guess you know what I mean. ;)

There are more changes coming that I think you'll appreciate, too.  In terms of the 50 days, bear in mind you could be doing as few as 30 if you go for their command stations.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Aeson on September 08, 2013, 06:17:32 PM
"6. What is this Regen Window stat.. can't figure out what it helps with."
My guess is that it's the number of turns after you take damage that your regeneration can apply to the damage. That's a guess, though.


A couple of typos that I've noticed:
1. In the city screen, hovering over the Salvage mission brings up a mission description which says that it allows you to "restore ON health to the headquarters." I assume that "on" is supposed to be "one".

2. In the Customize Exo screen, in the tool-tip that pops up when you hover over the section that says "Hover here for more information", damage reduction is spelled "dmaage reduction".


A bug I've encountered - after a while, missions started to end as soon as I entered them, giving me either an automatic success or an automatic failure. Saving and reloading appears to correct the problem, so I'm not sure if I'll be able to come up with a save that can reproduce the issue. However, the first time it happened was for the mission to recover the advanced science exo, and the next few missions played normally, but after that it seemed to become every mission either succeeded or failed as soon as it began. I have only encountered this bug in one game so far, but then I've only really played one game so far. The bug appeared after ~1.5 hours of continuous playing, if it helps. If there are any debug files or error logs that I can provide, please tell me where to find them and I'll send them to you or put them somewhere you can find them.


Comments:
1. Some kind of tutorial would be helpful, whether it's extra tool-tips that can be disabled or a tutorial campaign map that gives more detailed mission objectives or whatever.

2. If shields and health are meant to be identical, please use only one name for it. If, on the other hand, shields are meant to be a restores-over-time health bank or something like that, please have the statistics distinguish between shields and health.

3. I have four different Mark I Stealth Generators that give different total and consecutive stealth actions per mission, ranging from +5/+3 to +15/+4 total/consecutive stealth actions. Could you make some way to distinguish between the generators (e.g. Mark I Basic Stealth Generator +5/+3, Mark I Super Ninja Stealth Generator +15/+4)?

4. I would like it a bit if more of the things which went into the "Reactor" section actually produced power rather than consuming it. Mostly because when I see "Reactor" I think that that's the section that should be powering most of my other stuff. However, until I started to find Slave Reactors, the only things I had that produced power were the couple of Power Adapters sitting wherever I happened to place them, and much of my power consumption was in the "Reactor" section.

5. The tool-tip describing the object you're installing in the customization screen tends to cover at least part of the area telling you its actual effect when installed in your vehicle. It would be nice if the description text from the tool-tip were moved over into a field either below the selection area or off to the side so that a) it would always be over there and b) it would never block any relevant information while you're trying to decide what to install on the vehicle.

6. It would be nice if the item shop carried a few more items, especially lower-tech items (which would presumably cost less). This could be done as a reward for successfully completing missions, too - since you're presumably securing more of the city (sort-of), the shop people have more area to scavenge in and therefore have a wider variety of stuff to sell you, though not all of it is necessarily an improvement on what you have.

7. It would be nice if in the customization screen I could filter for certain types of objects (e.g., show me only items with +hacking points that fit the selected slot).

8. It would be nice in the game set-up lobby if you could tell at a glance which exos and which character you'd chosen. While I understand that there are currently few enough of them that I'll learn what each of them looks like, it would be helpful if the name of the exos was displayed on or next to or under the icon for them.

9. It might be interesting if there were an "Upgrade Item" feature in the shop. Result being you'd lose access to the item being upgraded for a mission or three, but when it was returned to you it was improved in some way (higher mark, gains extra bonuses, something - but I don't think you should be able to choose how it's upgraded). It would be something you'd pay a bit for, and there could be a chance that it gets broken during the upgrade or something like that.

10. I don't know if there's something like this in the game already or not, but it might be nice if there were, say, a rechargeable powercell for energy weapons, which allowed you to pass turns to gain ammunition for the weapon it's installed in but reduces the total number of rounds available between recharges.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: GrimerX on September 08, 2013, 07:55:21 PM
All this really sounds awesome guys!  I probably should not have read all of it.  Patience...  patience.  :-)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 08, 2013, 08:21:45 PM
Will respond more later to things that need responding to (mostly tomorrow), and have added the things that are just to-do items to my lengthening list. ;)  But it's a solid list, so that's good.  All in the realm of polish and balance, really, which is as expected.

Anyway, the main news is that 0.903 is now out!  http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Bionic_Dues_Alpha_Release_Notes#Alpha_0.903
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 08, 2013, 08:28:43 PM
The problem with enemies with a long range is that they tend to just ruin the player bots beyond that.  I think that the sniper is in for a nerf of some sort, but honestly I would like to keep him as unique as possible.  So some sort of counterbalance to his range, rather than just reducing his range, is something I'd like.

Agreed with this.

That being said, there's still definitely an imbalance here.  One problem I notice is that enemy bots with low range just dont get a chance to really do anything.  High ranged foes can be a threat, sure. But if I'm going up against something with like 5 or less range?  It wont touch me.  It wont have the chance.

One thing that I think affects this is bot awareness;  right now it seems very screwy.  I've had times where there's a bunch of bots that are in sensor range, and I'll hit the "whistle" to try to lure them to me..... and they dont notice.   I get a little closer, do it again..... no response.  Or there might be some major fighting going on really close to them, but they just dont notice.   As a result of this, it's very easy to get into a situation where enemies are only ever coming from one direction at a time, and in a roguelike, that can lead to "chokepoint" situations, or just make things easier in general since your enemies are practically just lining up to get shot.    Bots also get stuck on things just a bit too easily, as in this screenshot:  http://i.imgur.com/Aif8u1T.jpg

In that screenshot, NONE of those enemies could move.  They came up from the left, ran into the two bots there that had shut down due to lack of ammo.... and got completely stuck.  I kept waiting out the turn, they kept not being able to move.   The one that's facing north came up from below a couple turns into that, hit the bot line, and got stuck himself as well.  This is kinda baffling to me since the pathfinding in all of the Arcen games I've played so far has actually been really good, with almost no incidents of the AI ever getting stuck on anything, but here it happens constantly.   I know these bots arent supposed to be particularly bright, but they do need to be able to navigate better to be any threat at all.

All in all though, low range guys need some way of getting close and having a chance to do some damage and be a threat, without having to nerf the player weapons much.  There's lots of possible ways to do this I think but I dont wanna make any specific suggestions just yet as I feel I should go further into the game first to get a better idea of things.



notice you can do it using MMB. Could swear that didn't work before. Good choice though, as long as it's made clear).
Holy bananas, just went to the training ground and got pancaked. There were at least 20 bots that homed in on me and destroyed each of mine one by one. Wasn't too clear exactly on what I should have done to avoid defeat due to sheer number.

I think these missions need a different name, and a more detailed description.   What they SOUND like (by the name) is a mission that's meant to be a little easier than others, like a low level "practice" mission where the enemies are comparatively weak, and the player can get some easy but low-level loot.  That, however, is not what these are, as I understand it.  What these are is VERY DANGEROUS missions.... compared to all of the normal missions.... that you are NOT expected to win, in most situations.  The idea is that you are basically going in here with a very, very high risk of losing and sacrificing 1 HP on your command center, but the trade-off is that you get a chance to deal a heavy blow to the big army that is building up over the course of the game, as taking out bots here knocks those same bots out of that army.  These are SUPPOSED to be super-hard, as the effect they can have is pretty large and definitely in your favor.... even when you still lose in the end.   Now, granted, if you just die IMMEDIATELY, that's not going to help, but to me that seems part of the risk.    But I think it needs to be explained a bit better that you shouldnt really try these until you've gotten a bit better equipment, and are more used to the strategies of the game overall.

As it is, the difficulty of them may need a little rebalancing in different ways;  I nearly finished one of these with a mostly-dead science bot, and that was BEFORE the health boost that was just applied in this patch.  There's a good chance my next attempt at one of these is going to be a clear win, at least if I play on Normal again.  I might switch to Hard though as I actually wasnt having too much trouble yet, aside from my very first encounter with WyvernBots (sure taught them a lesson the SECOND time though!  Ah, viruses.... so fun).


I think it's also worth pointing out to the player that there's a good chance that they ARE going to be defeated in some missions over the course of the game, and that this really isnt the cause to just give up immediately.   It's not a normal roguelike, you dont just lose totally and instantly when you fail a mission;  heck, the salvage missions even let you repair your command center, at the cost of taking up a day.   I think this system overall is actually very good, but I also think the player can get the impression that if they screw up ONCE they may as well give up, which just isnt true.


And finally, a couple of quick questions here..... that "regen" and "regen window", yeah, I dont get that at all.  An explanation of how that works would be helpful.   Also..... these "bahamut" things, are these missions I should not be doing too early on?  When I was playing last night this was the one mission where I got beaten, partly due to running out of ammo on most weapons (and my damn turrets just sitting there looking stupid the whole time).   It seemed much nastier than the non-trainingground missions I'd done up to that point.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: madcow on September 08, 2013, 08:49:44 PM
Actually I had a thought for short range bots, namely another bot type - some that are immune to being whistled. That ought to make things more interesting ;) Additionally some with "radar dampening" and while they don't cloak, they will be invisible to the out of sight radar scans.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Aeson on September 08, 2013, 11:10:46 PM
Another bug: for some reason, I was unable to switch to the Science Exo at the beginning of a mission. Saving and reloading fixed the problem, but I hadn't even encountered any enemies yet, so I'm not sure what the problem was. (Incidentally, that might be an effect you could consider adding to the game, either as a trap or a special enemy - prevents the player from swapping exos for a little while. But it would need to be something that put up a noticeable message to that effect.)


Some comments:
1. Power boosting components don't seem worthwhile for the power bonus, and don't seem worthwhile installed in the reactor area, because the best that the ones that I've seen can do is more or less cover its own power cost and provide a minor bonus that I could have gotten from a component that didn't use as much power in the first place. As a result, I'd rather install a second Slave Reactor or other power-producing component, because usually those will cover an extra component or two and may have decent subsidiary bonuses to go with them.

2. Maybe I'm unlucky, but power-producing components seem to be a little on the rare side, which is unfortunate because power consumption appears to escalate quite rapidly. My Science Exo until recently had three reactors in it to produce about 750 power and I was unable to do more than fill it halfway. I just managed to get a new 600 power reactor, so now I can take the reactors out of my Science Exo and put this one in, and use those to upgrade my other Exos a bit. I realize that balancing the power consumption is one of the trade-offs, but I think power-production doesn't quite keep up well enough. I'm pretty sure that most (maybe all) of the seven reactors I currently have on my Exos came from the shop, which meant basically that I sold most of what I had in inventory so as to get enough power to run the stuff that's on my Exos, and my Siege Exo has been sucking fumes because of it (240 total power doesn't cut it for the stuff I have now, but I haven't been picking up reactors in loot, so it hasn't been upgraded since probably mission 5 or 6. I think I'm on mission 20 now. Assault is doing a bit better at 450 or so power, Sniper's good at 600, Science is just able to deal with current hacking needs at 750 power).

3. Short-range bots, as others have mentioned, need some kind of way to get close to the player. Pretends to be garbage? Can go invisible for a few moves? Can't be seen BVR?

4. "Training Grounds" should probably be renamed to something more appropriate - Hornet's Nest, perhaps. Hit and Run, Lion's Den, Suicide Run, Smash and Dash, and Assembly Point also seem appropriate to me. I think the description is sufficient warning, personally, but the name is a little misleading.

5. Assassination missions could do with being a bit more clear about what the target is. The first time I went into one, I ran away from the bot I was supposed to kill because I thought it was just an annoying tank that healed about as rapidly as I could shoot it. Its attacks weren't particularly threatening - I emptied the Assault Exo's LMG magazine on it while it shot me without really noticing much damage to either one of us, though this is on Easy - and it didn't look particularly boss-like, especially since the area I found it in was more or less devoid of other enemies (when I ran away and lead it into a large group of bots, it seemed more appropriate because I almost couldn't kill things near the boss bot and so there was an appropriate level of danger for a boss-battle). I was expecting some kind of high apparent threat bot, either something big or something that looked dangerous (big guns, glowing red or green bits, something) or something that did a lot of damage, and as a result was a bit surprised when the mission ended after I finally killed the bot, which I thought was some kind of bodyguard that you were supposed to avoid because it would waste tons of your ammunition.

6. Why do Manufacturing Plant missions reduce bot levels rather than bot production? I'd expect computer hacks, destruction of upgrade components/facilities, or raids on training areas to reduce bot levels, and raids on manufacturing sites to slow the increase in bot numbers.

7. I've noticed that some maps have potential loot which is inaccessible because the only way to the loot is past the item which ends the mission and you can't get past it without triggering the mission end. It's mildly annoying, but nothing major.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 09, 2013, 02:31:45 AM
Well, the stats and such are much better now, as they actually make some sense.   I think there's still some tweaking to be done there, but it's decent now.

The Laser Rifle or whatever it's called, the beam gun that both the assault and science Exos have, seems a little pointless/redundant in this version;   it's barely stronger than the machine gun and has exactly the same range.   

I started a new game with this patch, and right away things got very interesting;  this game seems to really be at it's best currently when you've got crazy, twisted mazes to deal with.  I ran into DoomBots in this mission, and they made things very interesting indeed, as only the Siege or Ninja Exos could really kill them at all.   Having dealt with them it strikes me that a potential solution to fixing up some of the closer range bots might be to simply give them more health;  part of the reason why they're so easy to pick off from long range is that they generally pop in a single hit.   It does make sense to me balance-wise that the really long-range bots have less health, and melee or short range have more.

Let's see.... what else....

Uh, the grenade launcher:   Bloody horrible weapon.  Totally useless.  This needs some sort of major buff.

Aside from all that, the main problems right now seem to be two things:

1.  Firing through walls.  Shouldnt happen.  As best I can tell, if you have "sight" of an enemy, you have a shot at them, wall in the way or not.  This is one of those things that you can expect to be complained about quite a lot if it isnt changed, since it simply doesnt make any sense, and not only can get the player some cheap kills, but could also mean alot of cheap deaths from enemy bots that really shouldnt be able to hit you.   Definitely important.

2.  Bot AI, I swear it's just outright asleep most of the time.  They dont respond to things that they really should, and they get stuck on all sorts of things.


EDIT:   .....is it just me or do EMPbots follow you around constantly taunting you to blow them up if they get real close?   didn't expect that...
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Breach on September 09, 2013, 08:28:26 AM
I agree the maze maps certainly make things very claustrophobic and a bit more tense. Greatly reduced room for area and quite easy to get trapped!

I don't have a problem myself with shooting through walls. Everything about the basic rules seems quite clear to me after one game. If the bot is lit up, they can see you, will shoot you (if in weapon range) and you can shoot them (if in weapon range). If the bot has a red laser towards you, they will fire upon you. Given Chris's response in the player questions thread (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,13800.0.html) (the first one, in response to your question) it seems unlikely this is going to be changed, and it looks like it's an established option in terms of LoS mechanics. As I see it you're not shooting through walls exactly, but peeking around corners. Same goes for the enemy bots.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 09, 2013, 08:48:04 AM
I agree the maze maps certainly make things very claustrophobic and a bit more tense. Greatly reduced room for area and quite easy to get trapped!

I don't have a problem myself with shooting through walls. Everything about the basic rules seems quite clear to me after one game. If the bot is lit up, they can see you, will shoot you (if in weapon range) and you can shoot them (if in weapon range). If the bot has a red laser towards you, they will fire upon you. Given Chris's response in the player questions thread (http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,13800.0.html) (the first one, in response to your question) it seems unlikely this is going to be changed, and it looks like it's an established option in terms of LoS mechanics. As I see it you're not shooting through walls exactly, but peeking around corners. Same goes for the enemy bots.

Hmm, I'd be fine with the "looking around corners" theory.... if I was actually NEAR a corner when this happens, which, almost all of the time, I'm not.  Certainly not close enough for "peeking around" to make sense, anyway.

One of the main reasons why this bit is a problem is partly due to the nature of this genre.  Roguelikes, particularly at higher difficulties, encourage very careful planning.   In a game where weapons, weapon ranges, target selection, and both player and enemy movement, patterns, and AI differences come into effect, alot of the stuff that the player is planning around, and alot of the info that they are using, is based on the structure of the surrounding area.  As it is, I'm never quite sure just when I'll suddenly be magically able to see a given foe until I'm already there;  I cannot look ahead into a room that my sensors are hitting, and try to plan out how I'll go about it, because I just cant really be sure about when/where I'll be able to shoot at them from, or them shoot at me from.  In some cases this isnt that important, but I've found that it can become VERY important when you're going up against something particularly dangerous.   I had that one happen multiple times against things like Wyvernbots and Doombots.  Had one Exo death entirely due to that in a particular mission, as I thought the line of sight would go to a certain spot, and moved to where I figured I should be, based on the number of tiles away the guy was and the fact that he was moving..... but when I got near that section, very suddenly he was in range, and the situation at the time meant that I couldnt really run away from him;  I had to get up there and hit him hard before he got in firing range (which I had enough attack power to do).  didn't work though, because of that.

Some of this will be based on the individual playstyle of each player;  it drives me absolutely up the wall.... and will likely do so even more once I up the difficulty.... but others may not be as affected by it.   I can see it very definitely being a sticking point in reviews though;  it's exactly the sort of thing that reviewers like to point out and berate.

That's my views/opinion/thoughts on it, at least.   It doesnt ruin the game or anything, but I do find it bloody annoying, and like I said, it will be pointed out over and over in reviews.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway.   Aside from that, the current update is fairly good.  It's hard for me to judge the difficulty level yet;  the bot AI and the part where they actually realize that you're there and are supposed to do something is still really funky at times, and I'm about 5 missions into my current game, so that's not too far yet.  Those missions up to this point have been quite easy though;  the doombots presented the only actual threat.  And sometimes a SilenceBot would get in a hit or two.   For the most part though, my guys have so much health that aside from the Doombot mission, it often seems like I *cant* be killed.  Particularly if there's also healing stations that I've found somewhere in the level, as there's never any threat in backtracking, as is often the case in this genre.   This is all on Normal currently.   

Some enemy bots though do seem like they could do with some tweaks in some ways, though I dont have specific suggestions at the moment.   And some missions are easy because of the selection of bots;  for example SilenceBots + WyvernBots are a very nasty combo, but Silencebots + Ammobots are.... well, they make me think of the old Lemmings games, with those little guys just waddling happily into chainsaws.

Yet to be seen how it'll go as I get further though!

And again, quite enjoying it.   The gameplay is fun and the customization is interesting;  min/maxer types will love that part, hah.   

If I might make one suggestion on that:  In the Inventory screen, divide it up somehow, so I can look at it and say "Ok, these are all the parts that can go in weapon slots, these others are the ones that go in shield slots, and these are ones that can go in multiple slot types".  It'd really help when looking over the inventory to see what I just got from the last mission.


EDIT:  Oh yeah, a question:  How in the heck does regen even work?  I could swear it doesnt do anything.  Or if it does, I've never been in a position to notice it.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Histidine on September 09, 2013, 09:53:53 AM
Is Hard supposed to only have 3 Bahamut stations? My Brawler Exo had to do without in my last game.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: orzelek on September 09, 2013, 01:00:20 PM
Patch notes state that grenades got attack power buff from 300 to 400.
I'm on 0.903 and grenade attack power in information of weapon states 52.
That 400 is total attack power?

In current state I still don't see how it could be useful. Getting shot by that 3-4 bots that you are trying to kill will end badly.

Unless I need new game to see changes like those?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 09, 2013, 04:40:53 PM
Wow folks, I wish more mantis usage would take place.  I'm drowning in unorganized feedback and I'm really going to lose some of the comments, unfortunately.

New version is up though: http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Bionic_Dues_Alpha_Release_Notes#Alpha_0.904
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 09, 2013, 04:41:47 PM
Is Hard supposed to only have 3 Bahamut stations? My Brawler Exo had to do without in my last game.

No, there should always be enough.  It may have been tucked away somewhere, but I've never seen a map without it.  If you have a save without it, feel free to send it and I'll check it out.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 09, 2013, 04:44:50 PM
1.  Firing through walls.  Shouldnt happen.  As best I can tell, if you have "sight" of an enemy, you have a shot at them, wall in the way or not.  This is one of those things that you can expect to be complained about quite a lot if it isnt changed, since it simply doesnt make any sense, and not only can get the player some cheap kills, but could also mean alot of cheap deaths from enemy bots that really shouldnt be able to hit you.   Definitely important.

Trust me, the alternative is incredibly worse. We had that previously.  It absolutely stunk.  This is actually fun, the other was not.

2.  Bot AI, I swear it's just outright asleep most of the time.  They dont respond to things that they really should, and they get stuck on all sorts of things.

The waking up thing is a bug.  Getting stuck should never happen, as they can walk through debris and destroy it, and so on.  They have the same pathfinding as in skyward, too.  The only thing they should ever be stuck on is each other.  Are you looking at things like eaglebots and some of the others that are intentionally bonkers?


EDIT:   .....is it just me or do EMPbots follow you around constantly taunting you to blow them up if they get real close?   didn't expect that...

Yes.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 09, 2013, 04:50:53 PM
Another bug: for some reason, I was unable to switch to the Science Exo at the beginning of a mission. Saving and reloading fixed the problem, but I hadn't even encountered any enemies yet, so I'm not sure what the problem was. (Incidentally, that might be an effect you could consider adding to the game, either as a trap or a special enemy - prevents the player from swapping exos for a little while. But it would need to be something that put up a noticeable message to that effect.)

If you find a way to repro, let me know.


1. Power boosting components don't seem worthwhile for the power bonus, and don't seem worthwhile installed in the reactor area, because the best that the ones that I've seen can do is more or less cover its own power cost and provide a minor bonus that I could have gotten from a component that didn't use as much power in the first place. As a result, I'd rather install a second Slave Reactor or other power-producing component, because usually those will cover an extra component or two and may have decent subsidiary bonuses to go with them.

Added those to my list to look at.

2. Maybe I'm unlucky, but power-producing components seem to be a little on the rare side, which is unfortunate because power consumption appears to escalate quite rapidly. My Science Exo until recently had three reactors in it to produce about 750 power and I was unable to do more than fill it halfway. I just managed to get a new 600 power reactor, so now I can take the reactors out of my Science Exo and put this one in, and use those to upgrade my other Exos a bit. I realize that balancing the power consumption is one of the trade-offs, but I think power-production doesn't quite keep up well enough. I'm pretty sure that most (maybe all) of the seven reactors I currently have on my Exos came from the shop, which meant basically that I sold most of what I had in inventory so as to get enough power to run the stuff that's on my Exos, and my Siege Exo has been sucking fumes because of it (240 total power doesn't cut it for the stuff I have now, but I haven't been picking up reactors in loot, so it hasn't been upgraded since probably mission 5 or 6. I think I'm on mission 20 now. Assault is doing a bit better at 450 or so power, Sniper's good at 600, Science is just able to deal with current hacking needs at 750 power).

You might go for a reactor fab mission then.  Right now it's pretty randomized.

3. Short-range bots, as others have mentioned, need some kind of way to get close to the player. Pretends to be garbage? Can go invisible for a few moves? Can't be seen BVR?

I think that's actually counter to the idea.  Either they need a bit more range, or they should work as they do now.  The entire point of the way they work now is that they are slow to approach you and fire on you.  If you want to be taking more fire from some of these guys, I'll just up their range.  Adding new mechanics to counteract a specific design choice of making them not reach you fast seems a bit complicated.  Specifically they aren't supposed to get to you too fast because if they do, you die.

4. "Training Grounds" should probably be renamed to something more appropriate - Hornet's Nest, perhaps. Hit and Run, Lion's Den, Suicide Run, Smash and Dash, and Assembly Point also seem appropriate to me. I think the description is sufficient warning, personally, but the name is a little misleading.

Hmm.  Maybe Lion's Den.

5. Assassination missions could do with being a bit more clear about what the target is. The first time I went into one, I ran away from the bot I was supposed to kill because I thought it was just an annoying tank that healed about as rapidly as I could shoot it. Its attacks weren't particularly threatening - I emptied the Assault Exo's LMG magazine on it while it shot me without really noticing much damage to either one of us, though this is on Easy - and it didn't look particularly boss-like, especially since the area I found it in was more or less devoid of other enemies (when I ran away and lead it into a large group of bots, it seemed more appropriate because I almost couldn't kill things near the boss bot and so there was an appropriate level of danger for a boss-battle). I was expecting some kind of high apparent threat bot, either something big or something that looked dangerous (big guns, glowing red or green bits, something) or something that did a lot of damage, and as a result was a bit surprised when the mission ended after I finally killed the bot, which I thought was some kind of bodyguard that you were supposed to avoid because it would waste tons of your ammunition.

There are a variety of bots, not just one.  They all glow a different color.  I'll have the description mention that.

6. Why do Manufacturing Plant missions reduce bot levels rather than bot production? I'd expect computer hacks, destruction of upgrade components/facilities, or raids on training areas to reduce bot levels, and raids on manufacturing sites to slow the increase in bot numbers.

Because the levels thing is way more powerful, and the manufacturing level wouldn't affect as much.

7. I've noticed that some maps have potential loot which is inaccessible because the only way to the loot is past the item which ends the mission and you can't get past it without triggering the mission end. It's mildly annoying, but nothing major.

Hmm, that is annoying.  Not sure what to do about that, though.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: orzelek on September 09, 2013, 06:27:27 PM
Don't have much time for playing but I really like recent patch.
Stat and equipment changes make whole process much more pleasant.

That click module again to unequip it is a bit of a quirk still.
Would it be difficult to add separate item like icon when you are choosing what to put to a slot that would mean to make it empty?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Breach on September 09, 2013, 06:43:35 PM
Thanks for the continued hard work! Should we be reporting localization error messages on Mantis? Just a hunch they may be related to translations or something that won't be put in until right before release.

Edit: Orzelek beat me to it below!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: orzelek on September 09, 2013, 06:50:31 PM
I added few issues on mantis including localization exception.

And came here to file small complain to nice update of customization screens.
When part X fits into more than one system previously it had all possible effects shown in tool-tip.
currently you see only effect for system you are placing it into - to see if it would be better somewhere else you need to go to customization of that particular system and compare.
It would be nice if that part of info could return to description as it was - with system names in parenthesis and maybe in a different color.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Aeson on September 09, 2013, 06:52:36 PM
About the power-boosting components: I no longer entirely agree that they aren't worthwhile, as I've now found some that provide bonuses of about 50% and I'm using multiple reactors which produce ~600 power each on most of my vehicles. If I have a reactor I can put in instead of the booster, I'll still probably use the reactor, but the boosters no longer appear to be as poor of a choice. I'd still look at the early boosters that give ~10% bonuses, though.

About the power generators: I think you're right and it was just a lack of early access to reactor stations, as, while I'm not exactly swimming in reactors, my power problems have more or less gone the way of the dodo after completing a couple of those and saving up for a few reactors from the store. I'm still putting any good reactors I see in the shop on layaway, though.

About the new customization screen: I like it. However, I've noticed that sometimes the selection/description area 'jitters' when enough stuff is changed by a component that the game needs to add a new line to the system overview at the top, because if your mouse cursor is towards the upper part of an item icon then when the system overview area adds a line your cursor won't be over the icon after the line gets added, which causes the game to rapidly switch between the current and modified system overviews, making it look like someone is shaking the customization window.

About the names on top of character icons: you might want to work on Rey's name or his shirt, because the name text color and the shirt color are a little too close for the name to be easily read.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: orzelek on September 09, 2013, 07:12:34 PM
Please take a look:
http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=12199
Some messy stuff with mines and sentries not being assigned correctly or some other oddity.

I'm not sure but did hp of normal bots halve?
It's possible I seen only easier bots this time but they had about 50 hp on normal.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Breach on September 09, 2013, 07:25:17 PM

And came here to file small complain to nice update of customization screens.
When part X fits into more than one system previously it had all possible effects shown in tool-tip.
currently you see only effect for system you are placing it into - to see if it would be better somewhere else you need to go to customization of that particular system and compare.
It would be nice if that part of info could return to description as it was - with system names in parenthesis and maybe in a different color.

You can still view that information in the inventory window, which shows all the equipment you have. I think that marries nicely with the more comprehensive tooltip.

I really am diggin the new customisation layout.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 09, 2013, 08:03:17 PM

The waking up thing is a bug.  Getting stuck should never happen, as they can walk through debris and destroy it, and so on.  They have the same pathfinding as in skyward, too.  The only thing they should ever be stuck on is each other.  Are you looking at things like eaglebots and some of the others that are intentionally bonkers?


I've seen them get stuck on walls, and I've seen them get stuck on "shut down" bots, you know, ones that run out of ammo and just stand there.  They dont get stuck on cover objects, no.   Generally though when I say "stuck" it's often in a situation where there's a very obvious way around it.   Like, they're in some huge open room, and they might have a whole one shut-down bot in front of them, and they just cant seem to figure out how to go around it.   That sort of thing.



7. I've noticed that some maps have potential loot which is inaccessible because the only way to the loot is past the item which ends the mission and you can't get past it without triggering the mission end. It's mildly annoying, but nothing major.

Hmm, that is annoying.  Not sure what to do about that, though.

A suggestion for this, maybe have it so that it acts a bit similar to how you activate hacking objects, where you have to sorta walk "into" it in order to activate it?  Instead of having it be like the loot boxes.  The level generator does seem to like to place items and locked doors behind these goal objects.


EDIT:  Ah, excellent, you added to the customization screen.   That's much better.  Alot easier to see the stats.

On a side note, I have discovered that reprogramming a BlunderBot isnt necessarily the brightest idea I've ever had.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Histidine on September 10, 2013, 12:42:33 AM
Is Hard supposed to only have 3 Bahamut stations? My Brawler Exo had to do without in my last game.

No, there should always be enough.  It may have been tucked away somewhere, but I've never seen a map without it.  If you have a save without it, feel free to send it and I'll check it out.
Well, I think I've explored the whole map, but I can't find the last one. Save attached.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 10, 2013, 09:38:00 AM
Well, many bugs found and reported today.  The EMPBots are still glitchy as heck.   Their effect still locks down enemy bots as it seems to strip all the ammo from them.

Also, Thunderbots.  I've killed entire missions by just getting in sensor range and hitting the whistle when it's a mission fulla cover objects, and then just watching them go berserk and explode everything and everyone.  These guys need therapy or something, I keep wondering just what the poor, 11-HP cover objects did to them to deserve the Super Nuke Beam.

And a tip to everyone:  That bot that can restore it's shields by sucking power out of allied bots?  Yeah.... dont give it a virus.  Just dont.


Overall, it goes well.  Items seem to scale up decently enough, the stats are pretty balanced now it seems, though I'm noticing one thing with the shop, which is that the amount you get back when you sell something is very close to the amount that you can buy it for;  if you have just a couple of purples or a small number of blues that you can sell.... and you almost always will.... you'll have ALOT of money really fast.  It hasnt hit the point that alot of games do where the money just stops mattering, but it's getting pretty close.   It was more interesting when you had to save up over the course of a couple of missions.

It's hard to fully judge the difficulty since the bots still dont "wake up" properly when things are happening near them (except for the whistle), so I get the impression I'm not fighting as many of them in some situations as I could be.   I do feel that the Bahamut missions in particular should be more difficult though; the reward for finishing these is huge, after all.  It also seems like I got access to these very early in the game. 

The Murderbot mission was one of the most interesting, though it seems he's easily distracted, as every now and then he'd just stop and sit there for 2 or 3 turns.

It seems that most of the balance issues in this are going to be related to all of the various enemy bots.  That and the health boost for Normal mode may have been a BIT high;  the enemy bots attack values are still set on the much lower original values, after all. So quite alot of enemies will attack and only be doing like 5 damage a hit when you've got over 1000 health.  Many of the enemy bots seem like they need to be scaling better as their level rises.   

Though there is one other type of balance issue I can think of:  The Epic Science Exo, the Chaingun he has is the best weapon I've seen so far.   On a SCIENCE bot.  This could probably do with a bit of a nerf.

But still, this is going very well.   I cant think of any other major issues and I dont think I've had any crashes today.

Gotta say, I'm gonna be very interested to see what kind of a reception this game gets from reviewers.   I'd figured that if you guys ever got around to making a Roguelike of some sort it'd turn out to be very good, and so far I think I'm right, hah.   
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: nas1m on September 10, 2013, 11:06:54 AM
Hi there!
I will keep my feedback to Mantis (mainly suggestions at this time - which is great) - just wanted to say I am having a blast so far and enjoying myself ;D.
Only got 3 hours under my belt so far and did not get to try the last two patches yet but the overall direction the alpha/game is taking looks very promising.
I am definitely looking forward to my next play session ;).

More feedback coming - keep it up!

PS:
LoS
I think the move to a more restrictive line of sight might well be the right one - I felt slightly duped by being shot through multiple  tiles of wall myself. Looking forward to try it.

Clarity
One other gripe I shared was that bots and surroundings are not easily discernable in some cases (especially if playing zoomed out view due to screen estate limitations).
This might well be solved once all bots are lit and animated, though.
If not, I would like to support adding the color coded highlights someone else proposed somewhere.

Bugs
As as far as bugs are concerned the most pressing issues to me are:
 
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Histidine on September 10, 2013, 11:17:50 AM
One minor thing I've noticed is that the camera often pans off into the darkness when I alt-tab. This can leave you in trouble if you forget the hotkey to center the screen on your exo.

If this is considered a problem, said hotkey could be mentioned somewhere, or an arrow indicator could be added to show where your exo is when it's offscreen.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 10, 2013, 11:35:17 AM
Clarity
One other gripe I shared was that bots and surroundings are not easily discernable in some cases (especially if playing zoomed out view due to screen estate limitations).
This might well be solved once all bots are lit and animated, though.
If not, I would like to support adding the color coded highlights someone else proposed somewhere.

The highlights were added though..... or do you mean for things that are fully in sight range?   The ones outside of sight range should have glows of various colors to them now in addition to the yellow glow of the enemy bots.


Also I wanted to mention the "power boosters" as brought up earlier in the thread, as I'd had the same issue with those in the early stages of the game, as they're totally worthless at that point, as the player just doesnt generate or use enough power for their various numbers to really add up to much.   Once I'd gotten my Bahamut upgrades all done though and started hitting higher power levels they really abruptly became useful enough that I started equipping them, and now, at that point, they have very noticable and good effects.   But they're going to seem pretty pointless to the player early on, which may cause the player to just keep ignoring them.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 10, 2013, 01:45:45 PM
Is Hard supposed to only have 3 Bahamut stations? My Brawler Exo had to do without in my last game.

No, there should always be enough.  It may have been tucked away somewhere, but I've never seen a map without it.  If you have a save without it, feel free to send it and I'll check it out.
Well, I think I've explored the whole map, but I can't find the last one. Save attached.

It's there -- it's in the upper left corner, between the factory and the hostage mission.  It's not visible yet, as it's just slightly out of your scouting range.  It's 3 hops away, unfortunately, so there's not time for you to complete it with just 2 days left.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: mrhanman on September 10, 2013, 01:50:38 PM
One minor thing I've noticed is that the camera often pans off into the darkness when I alt-tab. This can leave you in trouble if you forget the hotkey to center the screen on your exo.

If this is considered a problem, said hotkey could be mentioned somewhere, or an arrow indicator could be added to show where your exo is when it's offscreen.

I think most Arcen games will do this.  At least, I've seen it in AI War and Skyward Collapse.  You can turn off Edge Panning in the options if you don't ever use it.  I prefer the MMB, personally.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 10, 2013, 01:51:08 PM
To the rest of the commentary here, in the main: great stuff.  I've unfortunately had to skim most of it because I have so many items on my work list that I'm trying to get through. I'm reading the mantis reports carefully though, and Josh is working on transposing the information to mantis that was submitted here but not in mantis.  If people can just directly put bug reports or suggestions into mantis (and thank you to those who are) that would save him some time and also prevent the potential loss of your suggestions just because it got overlooked and wasn't properly archived.

These threads are great for discussion, though, so let's keep that up around the forums rather than trying to have conversations in mantis.  To most of the discussion points above, the main reason for my skimming them is that the next version has already obsoleted almost all of them, happily. :)  I think you'll be pleased with what is in 0.905, and I look forward to reading your thoughts on that.

One minor thing I've noticed is that the camera often pans off into the darkness when I alt-tab. This can leave you in trouble if you forget the hotkey to center the screen on your exo.

Unfortunately we can't detect when you have alt-tabbed out (grumble grumble).  You can use the H key to recenter on your exo, though.  It's a longtime unity oversight that we can't detect the alt-tabbing, and it's been frustrating people since AI War 4.0 (when we first moved to unity with a game with a viewport).  Keith had cooked up a windows-only solution that used some native calls, but that started crashing AI War with later service packs and with windows 8 IIRC, so we took that back out.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: nas1m on September 10, 2013, 01:52:56 PM
Clarity
One other gripe I shared was that bots and surroundings are not easily discernable in some cases (especially if playing zoomed out view due to screen estate limitations).
This might well be solved once all bots are lit and animated, though.
If not, I would like to support adding the color coded highlights someone else proposed somewhere.
The highlights were added though..... or do you mean for things that are fully in sight range?
This :D.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 10, 2013, 01:56:41 PM
Clarity
One other gripe I shared was that bots and surroundings are not easily discernable in some cases (especially if playing zoomed out view due to screen estate limitations).
This might well be solved once all bots are lit and animated, though.
If not, I would like to support adding the color coded highlights someone else proposed somewhere.
The highlights were added though..... or do you mean for things that are fully in sight range?
This :D.

The lighting and animations really will help I think.  They are increasingly getting in there.  If you wind up wanting an overlay still after that, then I can make that be on a hotkey that you press to show the overlay, and possibly a settings option to leave it on.  Letting bots be a tiny bit sneaky is part of the fun, though, I think. ;)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: nas1m on September 10, 2013, 03:03:22 PM
Clarity
One other gripe I shared was that bots and surroundings are not easily discernable in some cases (especially if playing zoomed out view due to screen estate limitations).
This might well be solved once all bots are lit and animated, though.
If not, I would like to support adding the color coded highlights someone else proposed somewhere.
The highlights were added though..... or do you mean for things that are fully in sight range?
This :D.

The lighting and animations really will help I think.  They are increasingly getting in there.  If you wind up wanting an overlay still after that, then I can make that be on a hotkey that you press to show the overlay, and possibly a settings option to leave it on.  Letting bots be a tiny bit sneaky is part of the fun, though, I think. ;)
That's all I could ever ask for ;D. I will get back to this in case I still crave for an overlay after the lighting and animations are in.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 10, 2013, 08:01:15 PM
A few things from a new game.

1. Missing string error, logged in mantis: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=12274

2. While customizing an exo, I can mouse over the stats to see what they do, but it's showing information for the wrong stat. In mantis: http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=12275

3. I'm using Emma as my exo pilot, and it's not at all obvious what her ability does. Are more locked doors with powerups spawning than normal? I've never seen one not behind a locked door (just the computer terminal I saw in my first game). How many more of these are appearing as compared to normal?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 10, 2013, 08:04:12 PM
3. I'm using Emma as my exo pilot, and it's not at all obvious what her ability does. Are more locked doors with powerups spawning than normal? I've never seen one not behind a locked door (just the computer terminal I saw in my first game). How many more of these are appearing as compared to normal?

Yep, more locked doors than usual.  Something like 2x or 3x as many, depending on each type of what is behind there.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Aquohn on September 11, 2013, 08:28:06 PM
Er...this is probably going to sound a bit dumb, but I can't find the game on Steam...
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 11, 2013, 08:34:08 PM
Er...this is probably going to sound a bit dumb, but I can't find the game on Steam...

Are you in the alpha yet? If so, it appears after you register your key. If not, I'm afraid it's not publicly released on steam yet, so it's not in the store.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Aquohn on September 11, 2013, 08:35:14 PM
Er...this is probably going to sound a bit dumb, but I can't find the game on Steam...

Are you in the alpha yet? If so, it appears after you register your key. If not, I'm afraid it's not publicly released on steam yet, so it's not in the store.

Yeah, I'm in the alpha.

...OK, this is just going to make me sound dumber, but what do you mean by "register your key"?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: x4000 on September 11, 2013, 08:38:46 PM
Okay, gotcha -- not being familiar with steam keys is not being dumb.

That said, Josh should have sent you a steam key for the game in the email. Simply go into steam, and under I think the games dropdown at the top here is an "activate on steam" item, or something to that effect. Go through the wizard and plug in your key, and voila.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 11, 2013, 08:39:14 PM
Er...this is probably going to sound a bit dumb, but I can't find the game on Steam...

Are you in the alpha yet? If so, it appears after you register your key. If not, I'm afraid it's not publicly released on steam yet, so it's not in the store.

Yeah, I'm in the alpha.

...OK, this is just going to make me sound dumber, but what do you mean by "register your key"?

If you got into the alpha there was a key (long string of numbers) in the message you got. You need to open steam and click on the Games menu at the top, then "Activate a Game". That'll ask for your key, which will register the game. It'll let you install after that.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Aquohn on September 11, 2013, 08:40:25 PM
Alright, thanks!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Aquohn on September 11, 2013, 08:48:37 PM
Ah, can I just say...lovely title track. Not as good as the AVWW2 one, but still very cool :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Histidine on September 12, 2013, 11:08:23 AM
Is it intentional that the bots gain 11 levels per day on Easy, 16 on Hard, but only 9 on Expert?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Tridus on September 12, 2013, 12:11:08 PM
Here's an issue with the parts fabricator having some misleading text (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=12326).
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Misery on September 12, 2013, 08:22:51 PM
Is it intentional that the bots gain 11 levels per day on Easy, 16 on Hard, but only 9 on Expert?


I'm gonna take a guess and say this is supposed to be 19 on expert?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: zharmad on September 13, 2013, 03:37:07 AM
Whyyyyyy was I programmed to feel pain!?

 I think this quote alone would make more people want to buy the game. :P
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Aquohn on September 13, 2013, 04:48:37 AM
Whyyyyyy was I programmed to feel pain!?

 I think this quote alone would make more people want to buy the game. :P

Heck yes! You guys should release a trailer which focuses on the footage and the dialogue of the bots getting blown up (or killing each other - both are equally hilarious!).
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: tigersfan on September 13, 2013, 04:21:03 PM
Ok, everyone who has requested to be in the alpha should now have an invite, if not, check your PM inbox. :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Rekka on September 13, 2013, 05:06:21 PM
Yay! Downloading it right now. :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: zharmad on September 18, 2013, 02:53:31 PM
Hope it all goes well, I'm waiting for release this time. ^^
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Goekhan on September 22, 2013, 11:51:24 PM
Dammit, wish it wasn't private alpha :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Private Alpha Begins Now
Post by: Cougar_DK on September 23, 2013, 02:44:18 AM
Do you guys need more testers?