Author Topic: Redshirts: wait for the new HUD or get in prior? (Plus general beta news)  (Read 2520 times)

Offline x4000

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Hey guys,

So things are looking excellent for getting the "redshirt" beta testers in on Monday.  A few general notes:

1. I've been focused on the early parts of the game, and have only unit tested the middle and late game.  The start of the game is feeling super solid to me, but frankly the late game just has not had enough testing yet.  That's just how it's going to be, I think.  The main criteria for me is that the game is fun, and in my opinion it is. 

It's possible that it STOPS being fun after a certain point into the game at the moment, but if that's the case then that's a matter of balance and other refinement, not a ground-up change to anything core.  Getting past that point where I know it's fun and that nothing gravitationally-moon-sized needs to change has been my big focus of things to happen prior to beta.  We're there already, frankly.

2. The last few days have seen me working on mostly stuff that is aimed at making the play experience more fluid in general.  The balance of the early game I got pretty much where I want it (for now) last week, and the last days have seen me pecking away at all the little nits that keep bothering me.  Oh, and stuff where I literally could not make a good decision because the information was not exposed to me.  I'm sure I missed some stuff of that sort, but all of the early blatant stuff I think I've gotten now.

3. The overall HUD for the game is something Blue and I have been working on for the last few days as well.  Just in writing (on my part) and photoshop (on her part) so far.  We first got things to where they were arranged the way that we want now that we know all the stuff that will be on the screen.  It's VERY different from how the gui currently is in the game.  Things on the left have moved to the top, things on the bottom moved to the left, some of the stuff on the left moved to the bottom, etc.  The reasoning for that is based on my playtesting and my frustrations with things like screen space being too obscured at times by tooltips or whatnot, and also by how hard or how easy it is to get to certain functions.

So the bottom line is that the new HUD is far superior, but it's also going to take some adjustment to just because things are all moving around.  I'm in the boat of having to re-learn muscle memory for those things when they get in place.  I have like 40 hours of playtime in the game, so it's going to be an adjustment.  The question is: do you want to have your first experience be learning the already-old HUD and then immediately having to relearn the new one?  Or would you rather wait for the new GUI?

I don't have a solid ETA on the new GUI, but I'd be surprised if we can't get that done by sometime Tuesday.  So it would delay redshirt entry by a day or so, let's say.

Opinions?
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Offline RalphJ

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Here I must agree with you. For old players wold be annoying to re-learn the old HUD. For me honestly is pretty annoying to see again every pixel again and again with the old HUD.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2015, 06:11:46 PM by RalphJ »

Offline x4000

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Yeah, that was my thinking:

Day 1: learn game.
Day 2: relearn entire HUD.
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Offline Misery

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I'd be fine jumping in right away.  I'm used to games having interfaces that are made of crazy (not just Dwarf Fortress, but that one is pretty loopy) so it's not going to bother me.

Offline Pumpkin

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And I disagree. DF-level HUD, remember? Relearning the HUD doesn't scare me, no more than learning the HUD. I think I won't be too focused on the interface but rather on the deep (or at least general) mechanisms. HUD, interface, all that is just a way to interact with the core system; what matters is the system. Of course, a clear, streamlined interface is ideal for a finished game, but I haven't accepted to be a redshirt for nothing! Bring in bugs, glitchs and exploits!

Now that I think about it, maybe it wasn't such a good idea to sign that paper with "you will die" in little characters at the bottom...
Nha, jokin'! I know what I signed for!
(And it was indeed a "you will die" paper ;D)

EDIT: I disagree with RalphJ, not Misery, who posted just before me :P
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.

Offline x4000

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Fair enough!  We may wind up having some "first wave redshirts" and "second wave redshirts" then, I don't know.  I'm also going to try to get some of the new interface implemented, though not with it being fully pretty, prior to the beta.  We'll see.
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Offline Mick

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I don't even know if I'm a redshirt, but personally I can adjust to interface changes in betas, especially when it's expected.

Offline x4000

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I don't even know if I'm a redshirt, but personally I can adjust to interface changes in betas, especially when it's expected.

You're not currently marked as a redshirt or blueshirt.  Did you want to be a blueshirt?
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Offline TheVampire100

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I'm pretty sure that most redshirts want to compare the old HUD and the new one to see which one is better. While you say the new one is far superior we don't have something to compare.
Learning a HUD isn't even that hard as lng as the general game mechanics stay the same. Yes, you have to look now on a different location and have to memorize that one, but how hard is that.
Also, maybe in the end the people prefer the old one over the new one or maybe a mix of both?
I'm open for either option, waiting or testing the old one first. So far we saw the HUD only on screenshots and don't have any practical knowledge how it works.

Offline x4000

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I gotcha.

Yeah, the existing hud is definitely not something I would be willing to go back to, though -- it blocks too much of the screen.  But at any rate, the new hud is really the same as the old hud, just with things more compactly organized and in some cases actually more legible, too.

Anyhow, point taken. :)
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Offline Mick

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I don't even know if I'm a redshirt, but personally I can adjust to interface changes in betas, especially when it's expected.

You're not currently marked as a redshirt or blueshirt.  Did you want to be a blueshirt?

How many shirt colors are there? Would wearing a shirt of that color be a requirement while testing? I did say a while back I wanted to test in general.

Offline x4000

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Haha. :)  Copying from here: http://arcengames.com/stars-beyond-reach-first-video-and-tales-of-woe-part-1-of-3/

Quote
The game is already at a point where it is feature complete, and has been for a bit.  The last few weeks I’ve been going through and wrecking stuff and figuring out balance and so on, but the game is huge and there’s a lot of that sort of thing to do.  We’re going to be doing a closed beta, which is basically saying that it’s invite-only.  That said, we don’t have a specific cap on the number of people that we’ll let in, so if you want to be added to the list of future beta players, please feel free to post on the forums here.

We’ve got essentially three groups of beta players:

1. Redshirts.  These folks are being thrown into the game right at the start, when documentation is the most-poor and so is the balance.  If helping to polish the roughest stage excites you, please apply.  If it would be frustrating, please don’t. ;)  We’ll be sending the Redshirts their invites via PM on the forum probably on Monday the 13th or very close to there.  If you’re worried you won’t get the PM, send us your email address instead.

2. Blueshirts.  These folks will come in probably about a week after the redshirts.  The worst things will have been taken care of, and the blueshirts can clamber over the dead bodies of the redshirts to have a better first experience.  But it’s still a lot of live fire going on down there, if you know what I mean.

3. Everybody else.  I’ll be bringing in people in in batches every week or half week or so.  I want to space this out some, because we only get your first impression once, and as we polish the balance and documentation that is something I’d like to see the results of (is that clearer or not? etc.).

I do have you down as a tester in general, yes.
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Offline Mick

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Ah cool. Well, I'm happy to test at any stage you want me to. :)

Offline Captain Jack

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While my heart says I want this ASAP, my wallet says I should really finish as much work as possible before I dive in. By all means push it to Tuesday.

Offline GarathJJ

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I think I lean towards just getting in there - I hadn't had any particular expectation that the HUD would be well-defined by that point anyway. TheVampire100 has a point too that we can offer better feedback if we see both sides, though I don't think I have any particular strength to that opinion.