Arcen Games

Games => Stars Beyond Reach... This World Is Mine => Topic started by: x4000 on April 03, 2015, 04:51:03 PM

Title: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 03, 2015, 04:51:03 PM
Original: http://arcengames.com/stars-beyond-reach-beta-approaches-have-some-screenshots/

STARS-BEYOND-REACH-cropped

 

How did you enjoy our accidental pre-April-Fool's day prank on ourselves?  I'm not really a fan of how the internet turns into a big pile of mostly-unfunny jokes one day out of the year, but this time the joke was unintentional and on ourselves.  Gremlins with the servers!

Anyway, it's been a while since my last Stars Beyond Reach update, and I apologize for that.  It's been a big struggle to get things ready for beta.  We now have another week to go and then we'll start the beta on the 13th or VERY close to that.  The full release of the game is planned for June 5th.

I have a lot to do next week to get the beta ready for those who will be in it (balance stuff, documenting stuff that I understand but that you won't without more text than "~*~", and so on).  Until the last couple of days, the game didn't have any sound, and prior to that the combat animations and visual feedback in general was... very rough.  It was one of those things that we could test but it would make no sense to anyone else.  The completion of those two things were my big tasks for this past week, and it went really well.  I'm quite pleased with how that turned out.

In other news, the graphics are coming along to the point where the main non-HUD parts of the game are getting very finalized.  We're super excited about that.  You may know that the AI-controlled races use different buildings (both on the surface and underground) compared to what you as the player get to use.  The set of buildings you use as a player are larger, and consistent regardless of which of the 8 playable races you choose to be (but which race you choose affects many other things).  Anyway, I thought you might enjoy seeing the surface building graphics (some of them, anyhow) for 9 out of the 14 total races (click for fullsize):

acutians

Above: Acutians


andors


Above: Andors


burlusts


Above: Burlusts


fenyn


Above: Fenyn


neinzul


Above: Neinzul


peltians


Above: Peltians


skylaxiansandspire


Above: Skylaxians in the middle, Spire floating around them.


thoraxians


Above: Thoraxians


What About The Beta?

I haven't officially asked for beta signups yet, but we already had 40-some people preemptively volunteer.  Which is awesome!  I wanted to see who came out first without me asking, but at this point we're now asking: if you want to be added to the list of future beta players, please feel free to post on the forums on this thread.

Oh, Also

If you want to help us with the components for procedural market item names, that would be awesome.  It's a big task, but if a lot of us do just a bit on there, we'll have two big nice things.  Firstly, nobody goes brain-dead from trying to fill out the whole thing.  And secondly, we get a wider variety of creativity from a larger group.

Give Me Video, Fool!

There is some footage coming next week in a teaser video that's about a minute long.  We'll also be releasing part one of a three-part set of video shorts set in the game universe.  Thanks for your patience!

Have a great weekend, everybody.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Teal_Blue on April 03, 2015, 05:35:44 PM
:)   very cool!   will try out the thread for the components list you noted. and see if i can get the gray matter in gear. :)

Just dying to see the video next week!!!   :)

-Teal
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Billick on April 03, 2015, 05:47:55 PM
The screenshots look great!  I'm looking forward to playing this.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: UsF on April 03, 2015, 05:51:18 PM
I find it funny that you actually enjoy people preemptively asking for being part of the beta. Usually developers like to have their fans keep the hype up but personal communications on the low burner until you know you can deliver something for their hunger.

I would like to participate, but if there is a queue, you can let someone else take my spot, if someone really desires it. I am not really part of the community, so I feel like others should have priority. If a spot is left, sure I'd take it. :) Still mostly confused on what to expect from the game, but sort of secretly hoping for a mix of Simcity with SimEarth. Probably am very far off, but who knows. At least Simcity was mentioned previously.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 03, 2015, 06:41:05 PM
I have to say those screen shots look pretty the screenshots of the city's belonging to lf races are pretty interesting to me considering that you never got to take a detailed look at their architecture in tlf.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Draco18s on April 03, 2015, 06:42:43 PM
(http://i1172.photobucket.com/albums/r572/Epiren/ShutUpAndTakeMyMoneyCard.png)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: mrhanman on April 03, 2015, 07:40:29 PM
This game looks gorgeous, fellas!  I really like how the GUI is coming together.  The minimap looks great.  I see that it has two sizes.  Will it be dynamically scalable, or are there set sizes to choose from?
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Pumpkin on April 03, 2015, 07:51:03 PM
Oh! Is that bars on the right, in the Burlust's picture? Like the one where the incident (http://arcengames.com/re-incident-on-the-previous-thursday/) took place

And I already love the Fenyn. (Being a vegetable, I love plants.)

Can't wait!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: tbrass on April 03, 2015, 08:24:17 PM
I, for one, look forward to finding the city Kocate in 58 hours and crushing them before their research is complete. Looks delightful, can't wait to take it for a test drive.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Aklyon on April 03, 2015, 09:13:55 PM
Quote
documenting stuff that I understand but that you won't without more text than "~*~"
So a bunch of the documentation was in tilde-emoticons until recently? ;)

The Skylaxians & Spire look pretty nice together like that, but the Neinzul one looks odd in comparison with its...emptiness? Aside from the semi-blending in to the foliage Fenyn picture, everyone else seems much more easy to spot.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Zebeast46 on April 03, 2015, 10:27:08 PM
Looks great, cool screenshots and waiting forward for the videos. Hope SBR is not that complicated because I do not do that well with complicated games (except for europa universalis 4 and TLF, which for some reason I easily learned how to play, unlike crusader kings of crusader kings, which I have given up trying to learn after 8 hours).
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Captain Jack on April 04, 2015, 12:57:09 AM
Hey Chris, glad to see the game is moving along. I'd be working on the market list but a it looks like my freetime's spoken for for a small eternity...
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: YoukaiCountry on April 04, 2015, 03:14:50 AM
I've been following this game with anticipation.
I'll have some free time, so I'd like to sign up for the beta, please!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: wwwhhattt on April 04, 2015, 05:53:44 AM
I'm not sure if I'll have the time to test this properly any more*.

The week starting the 13th I'll be fine but from the 18th I might only be able to play once or twice a week, and there'll be enough distractions for some weeks to be missed altogether (although I'd try to avoid that). Would it be possible to usefully test the game with that amount of time? (Never done this before, so I really have no idea). If not I should probably come off the beta list. (Although if I could be useful I'd rather stay - this looks exciting  :D)


*When I signed up the beta looked like it might start in March. I wasn't being irresponsible!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Mayjori on April 04, 2015, 09:52:24 AM
I would like to beta test please, add me to the list!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 04, 2015, 12:25:14 PM
Thank you very much, everyone!  Just as an FYI, given that this is Easter weekend I'm going to be slow responding until Monday.  But I am reading when I get a chance, and I'm taking a moment to pop by my computer at the moment. ;)

I find it funny that you actually enjoy people preemptively asking for being part of the beta. Usually developers like to have their fans keep the hype up but personal communications on the low burner until you know you can deliver something for their hunger.

Most of those folks who asked are ones who have been with us through four or so games in the past, so I'm pretty comfortable with it.  But yeah, there's definitely a reason that I didn't solicit more widely before now, heh.

I would like to participate, but if there is a queue, you can let someone else take my spot, if someone really desires it. I am not really part of the community, so I feel like others should have priority. If a spot is left, sure I'd take it. :)

I've added you to the list!  There's not a queue per se, but rather I'll be letting folks in in waves.  Mostly based on a matter of having some returning faces and some new faces in each wave, and so forth.  The first wave will mostly just be people that I know really well so that they can get the obvious things out of the way before anyone else impales themselves on it. ;)  Then everyone else has a smoother experience. 

If anyone in particular wants to volunteer to be the front-line cannon fodder in that way, or specifically wants to volunteer to NOT be that sort of cannon fodder, do let me know.  Some people love that, some people hate it.

Still mostly confused on what to expect from the game, but sort of secretly hoping for a mix of Simcity with SimEarth. Probably am very far off, but who knows. At least Simcity was mentioned previously.

The video should make it a bit more clear, although it's just a short tease for the most part (though it does show bits and pieces of gameplay all the way through, a lot of it is just a second or two at a time because there's so much, and then there are longer stretches.

I do get a kind of SimCity vibe from this in some ways, but it's kind of SimCity meets Civilization.  It's been a loooong time since I played SimEarth, but I'm not recalling too much that would be similar here.  I only vaguely remember the mechanics of that game despite playing it a lot, though.

This game looks gorgeous, fellas!  I really like how the GUI is coming together.  The minimap looks great.  I see that it has two sizes.  Will it be dynamically scalable, or are there set sizes to choose from?

A lot of the GUI still needs work around the edges of the screen to truly shine, but it's getting there.  The tech screen is super gorgeous, and what's going on in the actual main view as far as popup info bars and whatnot I'm super pleased with.

The minimap comes in three sizes or can be turned off.  If there was particular demand for another size we could do it, but to be perfectly honest I never really find myself looking at the minimap.  I'm never lost, anymore than you get lost in your SimCity city, if that makes sense.  And if I want to survey everything that is going on in the world, then I prefer to just zoom out, like I would in AI War or Supreme Commander.  But whatever floats people's boats. :)

Oh! Is that bars on the right, in the Burlust's picture? Like the one where the incident (http://arcengames.com/re-incident-on-the-previous-thursday/) took place

That's actually a "hotel and casino," but close enough, heh.  Funnily enough when they are on their own as an individual race, they don't have any explicit bar building.  It's kind of implied that that's everywhere, heh.  But in the player building set there is a lager house.

And I already love the Fenyn. (Being a vegetable, I love plants.)

Haha, yeah, they're really a favorite of mine, too.  When the races have terraformed more around their cities, it's even cooler.  In those screens there's only been light terraforming around each city.

Bear in mind that when you play as the Fenyn you get the standard player building set and not their version you see pictured here.  Though you do get their terraforming tiles, of course.  The buildings you see in these screenshots only show up when the AI plays as these races.  Each race works really differently from the others, and from you.

Quote
documenting stuff that I understand but that you won't without more text than "~*~"
So a bunch of the documentation was in tilde-emoticons until recently? ;)

We use the tag ~*~ as a thing that we can do a Find All for and come back and fill in details later.  There's no point in me writing tooltips for myself too early in the process, after all. :)

The Skylaxians & Spire look pretty nice together like that, but the Neinzul one looks odd in comparison with its...emptiness? Aside from the semi-blending in to the foliage Fenyn picture, everyone else seems much more easy to spot.

When you go into targeting mode, you won't have issues spotting races.  And there are buttons you can press to make all the names just pop up, too, for each building.  Likely there will also be some overlays we add that you can toggle for certain things.

With the Neinzul, their buildings are actually alive (same with Zenith and Spire), but the Neinzul have really short lives if you recall from AI War.  So they wind up wandering and getting super spread out, which is very different from any other race.  They're an odd bunch for sure.

Looks great, cool screenshots and waiting forward for the videos. Hope SBR is not that complicated because I do not do that well with complicated games (except for europa universalis 4 and TLF, which for some reason I easily learned how to play, unlike crusader kings of crusader kings, which I have given up trying to learn after 8 hours).

I can't speak to it with any certainty yet, because I'm sure things are harder to learn right now than they should be (given that it hasn't undergone player testing beyond me yet).  But my goal here is that this should be easier to learn than TLF by a substantial margin, and given the general game mechanics I don't see why that can't be the case.  It will be quite hard to learn how to play optimally, same as with SimCity or most games of that sort.  But playing optimally is not the goal of most people who play such a game.  Getting in and being productive and creative on a middling difficulty shouldn't be too bad for most people by the time we hit 1.0 -- that's the goal, anyway.

I've been following this game with anticipation.
I'll have some free time, so I'd like to sign up for the beta, please!

Added you!

I'm not sure if I'll have the time to test this properly any more*.

*When I signed up the beta looked like it might start in March. I wasn't being irresponsible!

I totally get that!  And even if the timing of the beta had not changed, things in people's lives shift and I'm not about to hold that against someone.  It sounds like you might still be able to test some and give some feedback, and honestly first impressions testing is quite useful as much as someone who puts in dozens of hours.  Both have merits.  We'll be doing the beta right up until June 5th when we release, so if you want to test a more polished version sometime in May (if that fits for you), I can note that down.

If you'd rather be thrown into the really early version that will break your spirit from lack of clarity, then I can get you in prior to the 18th. ;)  I semi-kid about that.  Some people enjoy basically being given a complex thing that doesn't have proper documentation and then reporting what is confusing or what doesn't work.  That then makes things easier for everyone who comes after, because I learn what wasn't immediately clear to new players and can adjust.  Or the things that consistently trap people and kill them early because XYZ information was needed in order to not accidentally murder yourself.  That sort of thing gets weeded out by player testing, but the first wave or two of players get the worst of that.  If that sounds like your bag, let me know.  If not, I completely understand. ;)

I would like to beta test please, add me to the list!

Done!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: tbrass on April 04, 2015, 01:27:50 PM
If anyone in particular wants to volunteer to be the front-line cannon fodder in that way, or specifically wants to volunteer to NOT be that sort of cannon fodder, do let me know.  Some people love that, some people hate it.

<snip>

If you'd rather be thrown into the really early version that will break your spirit from lack of clarity, then I can get you in prior to the 18th. ;)  I semi-kid about that.  Some people enjoy basically being given a complex thing that doesn't have proper documentation and then reporting what is confusing or what doesn't work.  That then makes things easier for everyone who comes after, because I learn what wasn't immediately clear to new players and can adjust.  Or the things that consistently trap people and kill them early because XYZ information was needed in order to not accidentally murder yourself.  That sort of thing gets weeded out by player testing, but the first wave or two of players get the worst of that.  If that sounds like your bag, let me know.  If not, I completely understand. ;)

Chris, I'd like to jump on the early ship -- I'd really like to kick the tires of an early SBR build. Looking forward to seeing your latest work!

Have a lovely holiday weekend.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Zalrus9 on April 04, 2015, 01:34:41 PM
Hey! I would also love to sign up for the Beta. Keep up the good work, as always!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Pumpkin on April 04, 2015, 02:28:30 PM
If anyone in particular wants to volunteer to be the front-line cannon fodder in that way, or specifically wants to volunteer to NOT be that sort of cannon fodder, do let me know.  Some people love that, some people hate it.
<snip>
Chris, I'd like to jump on the early ship -- I'd really like to kick the tires of an early SBR build. Looking forward to seeing your latest work!
Bring it on! I play NetHack and DwarfFortress all nights long. I'm sure you can let your ~*~ and I'll manage to tackle it down! 8)
(AI War plot idea: all tooltips are replaced with ~*~, and the achievement for beating the game with it on is called "I come from DF". I'll definitely post it on Mantis; so sad April 1st is past)

... Well, enough for bragging. I just wanted to let you know that I'm not afraid of bumping in all the newb's traps.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Captain Jack on April 04, 2015, 03:04:43 PM

If anyone in particular wants to volunteer to be the front-line cannon fodder in that way, or specifically wants to volunteer to NOT be that sort of cannon fodder, do let me know.  Some people love that, some people hate it.
Sign me up for the red shirt brigade! Haven't tried taking on a game blind in a while, wonder if I can still do it.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: TheVampire100 on April 04, 2015, 03:23:25 PM
I would like to be part of the Beta.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Mick on April 04, 2015, 03:47:41 PM
Look awesome, can't wait!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: tbrass on April 04, 2015, 04:18:31 PM
Bring it on! I play NetHack and DwarfFortress all nights long. I'm sure you can let your ~*~ and I'll manage to tackle it down!

I'll see your DF and raise you Aurora (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php). Imagine all the joy that is Kerbal Space Program, but done purely in spreadsheets, without any graphics, and in a procedurally generated 4x. It is. . . interesting. I still haven't gotten into it, but I'm happy to bluff... oh. dear.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: UsF on April 04, 2015, 04:51:21 PM
Thank you for letting me participate. I am also fine with being on an earlier wave as well.

I have been part of this community silently (what a paradox), playing AI War, Skyward Collapse and The Last Federation. The last one I haven't managed to really get into for some reason. Somehow I find it..weird/impenetrable? Hard to explain.  :'( Even was able to get two AI War expansions migrated to Steam thanks to your fast help.  :D

Mostly playing the games for the Singleplayer or with friends experience, so I barely had a need to participate here so far. I guess I am really excited for S:BR that finally made me register here. I assume that after the beta is over, I will probably most likely fall into silence again unless something drastic happens (like a new game is announced  >D ).

Let's see if that 1 minute teaser clarifies some things or causes more confusion. I fear that it will be the second one.

Is beta testing feedback done via a bugtracker or do you do everything via the forums?
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Aklyon on April 04, 2015, 05:22:54 PM
Bring it on! I play NetHack and DwarfFortress all nights long. I'm sure you can let your ~*~ and I'll manage to tackle it down!

I'll see your DF and raise you Aurora (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php). Imagine all the joy that is Kerbal Space Program, but done purely in spreadsheets, without any graphics, and in a procedurally generated 4x. It is. . . interesting. I still haven't gotten into it, but I'm happy to bluff... oh. dear.
The biggest issue with Aurora last i'd tried to poke it was it has a very preferred resolution, and doesn't really shrink from it much.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: UsF on April 04, 2015, 06:02:08 PM
Bring it on! I play NetHack and DwarfFortress all nights long. I'm sure you can let your ~*~ and I'll manage to tackle it down!

I'll see your DF and raise you Aurora (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/index.php). Imagine all the joy that is Kerbal Space Program, but done purely in spreadsheets, without any graphics, and in a procedurally generated 4x. It is. . . interesting. I still haven't gotten into it, but I'm happy to bluff... oh. dear.
The biggest issue with Aurora last i'd tried to poke it was it has a very preferred resolution, and doesn't really shrink from it much.

The problem I have with Aurora is that it still requires all these old files to be installed manually and only works if your system is set to have certain decimal separators set. Yes there is a portable version that works around this issue, but I still wonder why the official version hasn't been moved on to bypass all this hassle. :-\
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: mllange on April 04, 2015, 06:06:45 PM
I believe I posted before, but as a very happy owner of all of your previous titles and expansions and as someone who is fond of the original Stars Beyond Reach, I would love to participate in the beta to help in any modest way I can. Good luck with the release!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 04, 2015, 06:40:52 PM
If you'd rather be thrown into the really early version that will break your spirit from lack of clarity, then I can get you in prior to the 18th. ;)  I semi-kid about that.  Some people enjoy basically being given a complex thing that doesn't have proper documentation and then reporting what is confusing or what doesn't work.  That then makes things easier for everyone who comes after, because I learn what wasn't immediately clear to new players and can adjust.  Or the things that consistently trap people and kill them early because XYZ information was needed in order to not accidentally murder yourself.  That sort of thing gets weeded out by player testing, but the first wave or two of players get the worst of that.  If that sounds like your bag, let me know.  If not, I completely understand. ;). feel free to use me as cannon fodder in the beta id be happy to take the risk of mental trauma to get into the game earlier and risk less spoilers for my self.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: AlgaeNymph on April 04, 2015, 08:32:22 PM
I'm interested in applying for the beta.  What information do you need from me?

By the way, aren't you concerned that all these beta testers are going to impact sales?

On to the game itself, it's looking very good.  My one complaint is that each race has nearly identical-looking helipads.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: mllange on April 04, 2015, 08:47:31 PM

If you'd rather be thrown into the really early version that will break your spirit from lack of clarity, then I can get you in prior to the 18th. ;)  I semi-kid about that.  Some people enjoy basically being given a complex thing that doesn't have proper documentation and then reporting what is confusing or what doesn't work.  That then makes things easier for everyone who comes after, because I learn what wasn't immediately clear to new players and can adjust.  Or the things that consistently trap people and kill them early because XYZ information was needed in order to not accidentally murder yourself.  That sort of thing gets weeded out by player testing, but the first wave or two of players get the worst of that.  If that sounds like your bag, let me know.  If not, I completely understand. ;). feel free to use me as cannon fodder in the beta id be happy to take the risk of mental trauma to get into the game earlier and risk less spoilers for my self.

Having done exactly that in late alpha and beta testing for Matrix/Slitherine/Ageod I'm game for early testing if you can use the help.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Misery on April 04, 2015, 09:28:15 PM
Ah, and I'd been just about to post a big annoying question wondering how this was going!   Well, now I dont have to be more irritating than usual, so that's good.

Whole thing is looking quite nice!   Quite eager to have a go at this.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: wwwhhattt on April 05, 2015, 05:53:22 AM
I totally get that!  And even if the timing of the beta had not changed, things in people's lives shift and I'm not about to hold that against someone.  It sounds like you might still be able to test some and give some feedback, and honestly first impressions testing is quite useful as much as someone who puts in dozens of hours.  Both have merits.  We'll be doing the beta right up until June 5th when we release, so if you want to test a more polished version sometime in May (if that fits for you), I can note that down.
Later in May would suit me lifewise, and more polished sounds... safer.

BTW, do the Andors terraform at all? Their screenshot city seems to be doing well enough in ordinary landscapes.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Zebeast46 on April 05, 2015, 10:03:17 AM
I think I would also prefer a more polished experience so I think I would prefer getting in late april or early may.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Aklyon on April 05, 2015, 10:42:29 AM
I think I'd be fine with either option.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 05, 2015, 10:45:50 AM
Later in May would suit me lifewise, and more polished sounds... safer.

BTW, do the Andors terraform at all? Their screenshot city seems to be doing well enough in ordinary landscapes.
[/quote] that might be one of/their racial trait that they don't need/cant teraform since they so against causing harm to living and sentient creatures.(just speculation on my part really)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Mayjori on April 05, 2015, 11:00:08 AM
Spanks for adding me, looking forward to testing :)!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: TheVampire100 on April 05, 2015, 03:27:21 PM
I just have to ask: The Peltians city looks a lot like an old German settlement. Is this intended that way? We all know that peltians a re a kind of "communist" aliens. Communism has been created from ideas of the German Philosoph Karl Marx and maybe this is a reference to it? I'm curious, if so, that's an awesome reference in my opinion.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: FractalReaper on April 06, 2015, 06:11:17 AM
I find Arcen games to always be worth playing and have been very excited about SBR ever since I heard about it, so I would like to be in the beta. I'm completely okay with being in the early waves. In any case, I'm looking forward to the game.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: YoukaiCountry on April 06, 2015, 01:09:10 PM
I am more than fine with early stages if the help is needed. It can be rewarding figuring things out.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Faulty Logic on April 06, 2015, 01:26:01 PM
I would like to volunteer for beta testing. I've no preference for what stage of the game.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 06, 2015, 03:56:53 PM
Chris, I'd like to jump on the early ship -- I'd really like to kick the tires of an early SBR build. Looking forward to seeing your latest work!

Have a lovely holiday weekend.

Thanks!  I've adjusted your notation to say that. :)

Hey! I would also love to sign up for the Beta. Keep up the good work, as always!

Thanks!  I have you noted down. :)

If anyone in particular wants to volunteer to be the front-line cannon fodder in that way, or specifically wants to volunteer to NOT be that sort of cannon fodder, do let me know.  Some people love that, some people hate it.
<snip>
Chris, I'd like to jump on the early ship -- I'd really like to kick the tires of an early SBR build. Looking forward to seeing your latest work!
Bring it on! I play NetHack and DwarfFortress all nights long. I'm sure you can let your ~*~ and I'll manage to tackle it down! 8)
(AI War plot idea: all tooltips are replaced with ~*~, and the achievement for beating the game with it on is called "I come from DF". I'll definitely post it on Mantis; so sad April 1st is past)

... Well, enough for bragging. I just wanted to let you know that I'm not afraid of bumping in all the newb's traps.

Haha, awesome.  So front lines it is for you, then. ;)


If anyone in particular wants to volunteer to be the front-line cannon fodder in that way, or specifically wants to volunteer to NOT be that sort of cannon fodder, do let me know.  Some people love that, some people hate it.
Sign me up for the red shirt brigade! Haven't tried taking on a game blind in a while, wonder if I can still do it.

That is absolutely what this first wave should be called in our testing from now on, hah.  I've got you noted as a redshirt now. ;)

I would like to be part of the Beta.

I was surprised I didn't have you on the list already.  On there now!

Thank you for letting me participate. I am also fine with being on an earlier wave as well.

I have been part of this community silently (what a paradox), playing AI War, Skyward Collapse and The Last Federation. The last one I haven't managed to really get into for some reason. Somehow I find it..weird/impenetrable? Hard to explain.  :'( Even was able to get two AI War expansions migrated to Steam thanks to your fast help.  :D

Mostly playing the games for the Singleplayer or with friends experience, so I barely had a need to participate here so far. I guess I am really excited for S:BR that finally made me register here. I assume that after the beta is over, I will probably most likely fall into silence again unless something drastic happens (like a new game is announced  >D ).

Given your notes, I'm thinking I'll put you in wave 2, which I suppose we'll call "blueshirts," heh.  That way you're still hitting things in an early fashion, but if there are any impediments that are there we find them sooner than later.  Given that you were into AI War but had trouble getting into TLF I am particularly interested in your feedback on things impeding your ease of getting into this game.

Let's see if that 1 minute teaser clarifies some things or causes more confusion. I fear that it will be the second one.

We'll find out tomorrow. :)

Is beta testing feedback done via a bugtracker or do you do everything via the forums?

I'll have detailed notes about this in the tester instructions, but basically mantis with one-issue-per-issue is preferred for most things.  That way I can mark them with statuses, assign them, and mark them as complete when done, etc.  Then also other people can comment and upload stuff, and repeat issues are easier to link together and whatnot.

THAT said, if there is a longer discussion that needs to happen around some particular issue, generally it's good to make a mantis issue and then a forum issue and put a link to each respectively.  The forums are much better for longer discussions, if the solution to the issue (or even the true nature of the issue) is not something too clear.

I believe I posted before, but as a very happy owner of all of your previous titles and expansions and as someone who is fond of the original Stars Beyond Reach, I would love to participate in the beta to help in any modest way I can. Good luck with the release!

Thanks, added you!  As a redshirt, based on your later comment.

feel free to use me as cannon fodder in the beta id be happy to take the risk of mental trauma to get into the game earlier and risk less spoilers for my self.

Living up to your username, I see? ;)  I've got you marked as a redshirt.  One thing to note is that with the diplomacy the AI is not as proactive with that in the very early builds as it will be later.  I have it noted down that was a particular interest of yours.

I'm interested in applying for the beta.  What information do you need from me?

By the way, aren't you concerned that all these beta testers are going to impact sales?

I have you added down!  Assuming that you are getting PMs from the forums okay, this is all I need from you.  I'll reach out via PM to folks when the time is right.  If anyone has concerns about that (worried about not getting the message), then feel free to PM me with an alternative email address and I'll email you instead.

In terms of beta testers impacting sales, typically the opposite is true.  Having some form of community prior to launch, with healthy discussion and people who know how to play, sets people's minds at ease.  At worst we're talking about a few hundred beta testers here, whereas on launch day I would expect to sell at least 3,000 copies.  Hopefully substantially more than that if the game really lives up to what people hope it is.


Ah, and I'd been just about to post a big annoying question wondering how this was going!   Well, now I dont have to be more irritating than usual, so that's good.

Whole thing is looking quite nice!   Quite eager to have a go at this.

You always seem to be down on yourself and think you're annoying, but you really are not!  I don't think anyone here thinks that.  Anyway, glad to sate your curiosity.  Does that mean you want redshirt, blueshirt, or later?

Later in May would suit me lifewise, and more polished sounds... safer.

BTW, do the Andors terraform at all? Their screenshot city seems to be doing well enough in ordinary landscapes.

Noted down, thanks!

And nope, the Andors are extremely tidy and don't terraform.  They're basically like "whatever is going on around us is fine guys!"

I think I would also prefer a more polished experience so I think I would prefer getting in late april or early may.

Great!  I need folks for those waves as well, so it's always nice to have people volunteer. :)  Noted down!

I just have to ask: The Peltians city looks a lot like an old German settlement. Is this intended that way? We all know that peltians a re a kind of "communist" aliens. Communism has been created from ideas of the German Philosoph Karl Marx and maybe this is a reference to it? I'm curious, if so, that's an awesome reference in my opinion.

Ha!  That's actually a huge coincidence, but you've got a good point.  They are basically communist agrarians, and so we went with something very medieval but in a thatched sort of fashion rather than stone and mortar.  The idea being that these guys are a bit more out in nature than some of the other races.

I find Arcen games to always be worth playing and have been very excited about SBR ever since I heard about it, so I would like to be in the beta. I'm completely okay with being in the early waves. In any case, I'm looking forward to the game.

Thanks!  I have you noted down as a blueshirt, then, for the second major wave then.  I have 6 noted redshirts already, and I don't expect that phase with just those 6 to last very long (a few days, a week at most) before we bring in the blueshirts.  If you or anyone else does really prefer to be a redshirt, though, I can definitely do more than 6.  12 is probably about as many people as I can reasonably respond to in the redshirt period, though.

I am more than fine with early stages if the help is needed. It can be rewarding figuring things out.

I tentatively have marked you as a blueshirt as well -- let me know if that's ok!

I would like to volunteer for beta testing. I've no preference for what stage of the game.

Ah, the gauntlet has been thrown down against the races of this game. ;)  I'm marking you at the moment for after blueshirts, because you're going to be coming in and destroy the AI in various ways and I'll need time to deal with other things before I get to that aspect of the beta, heh.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Captain Jack on April 06, 2015, 05:26:25 PM
You know Chris, if you're going to run with the Star Trek joke, wave 2 should be the goldshirts. TNG switched the officer and security team colors and the redshirts became goldshirts.

To take it a step too far, if you want wave 3 to systematically deconstruct the AI, wave three fits the science team--the blueshirts.

(help why do I remember this useless trivia. :-X)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: UsF on April 06, 2015, 05:27:07 PM
Given that you were into AI War but had trouble getting into TLF I am particularly interested in your feedback on things impeding your ease of getting into this game.

I wish I could explain it 100%. I really am interested in the intrigue game that can be played, but I think I find it hard to find a grasp on where to start. I guess that is the problem of starting out with a set system with certain parameters and relations rather than starting at zero and growing your own system that is normal in other 4x and strategy games. :) When you do it from the ground up, you get to learn all the mechanics as they become important (the workaround in TLF was the incremental tutorial I guess). Not sure if that is the problem, but I imagine that it might be playing a major role in it. Another thing that I think is a problem is that I find it hard to process the information given out by the game. Maybe I cannot handle how it is structured, but my brain hurts somewhat trying to figure out on where to best start to gather information to accomplish my goal.

I will give the tutorial another try, I think. But I like to dive in without help to figure out things myself. And that definitely hasn't worked (after I did the tutorial once).
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 06, 2015, 05:55:13 PM
Given that you were into AI War but had trouble getting into TLF I am particularly interested in your feedback on things impeding your ease of getting into this game.

I wish I could explain it 100%. I really am interested in the intrigue game that can be played, but I think I find it hard to find a grasp on where to start. I guess that is the problem of starting out with a set system with certain parameters and relations rather than starting at zero and growing your own system that is normal in other 4x and strategy games. :) When you do it from the ground up, you get to learn all the mechanics as they become important (the workaround in TLF was the incremental tutorial I guess). Not sure if that is the problem, but I imagine that it might be playing a major role in it. Another thing that I think is a problem is that I find it hard to process the information given out by the game. Maybe I cannot handle how it is structured, but my brain hurts somewhat trying to figure out on where to best start to gather information to accomplish my goal.

I will give the tutorial another try, I think. But I like to dive in without help to figure out things myself. And that definitely hasn't worked (after I did the tutorial once).
what information do you not understand i found it quite straightforward to get what the computer was telling?.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 06, 2015, 07:32:32 PM
You know Chris, if you're going to run with the Star Trek joke, wave 2 should be the goldshirts. TNG switched the officer and security team colors and the redshirts became goldshirts.

To take it a step too far, if you want wave 3 to systematically deconstruct the AI, wave three fits the science team--the blueshirts.

(help why do I remember this useless trivia. :-X)

Haha, that's a good point.  Gold is harder to see in my spreadsheet as a text color, though. :)

Given that you were into AI War but had trouble getting into TLF I am particularly interested in your feedback on things impeding your ease of getting into this game.

I wish I could explain it 100%. I really am interested in the intrigue game that can be played, but I think I find it hard to find a grasp on where to start. I guess that is the problem of starting out with a set system with certain parameters and relations rather than starting at zero and growing your own system that is normal in other 4x and strategy games. :) When you do it from the ground up, you get to learn all the mechanics as they become important (the workaround in TLF was the incremental tutorial I guess). Not sure if that is the problem, but I imagine that it might be playing a major role in it. Another thing that I think is a problem is that I find it hard to process the information given out by the game. Maybe I cannot handle how it is structured, but my brain hurts somewhat trying to figure out on where to best start to gather information to accomplish my goal.

I will give the tutorial another try, I think. But I like to dive in without help to figure out things myself. And that definitely hasn't worked (after I did the tutorial once).

Oh sure, I wasn't really asking for a reason why you couldn't get into TLF -- I think I probably understand it, based on cumulative feedback about the game.  It's a game that gives you 200 options from the start, and a really wide surface to play with.  There are very few short-term goals.  So it becomes a matter of experimenting and freeform short and long term strategies.  That appeals to some, but is overwhelming to others.

AI War, on the other hand, has a much more concise endgame goal, and the very early-game goals are also very concise: take some planets and shore up your own local planet.  There's not really a comparable thing in TLF at the start, and your endgame goals are something that shift with the situation.  It's very fluid and very cool in certain ways, but in others it can be troublesome.

Going into SBR I knew all this, and explicitly set out to avoid the learning curve of both TLF and AI War.  Civilization does this rather inherently by giving you a limited set of stuff you can do right at the start.  That's more or less what SBR does, but the set is a lot less limited.  And unlike Civ, it's also not something where those first few turns are mostly on mental autopilot.  As with AI War, the order you do things in will depend on your circumstances.

SBR has that sort of shifting, fluid endgame like TLF, because I like that sort of thing -- although it also has four fixed-point endgames like AI War.  But the fact that the endgame is shifting here is balanced by the fact that you always have an anchor in your own civilization and looking out for your own short-term interests while you move forward toward the goal.  There's never a point where you might wonder if you should throw your own civilization under the bus and try to win with a different ending mix. ;)  Though you might do that with an intended ally, of course.  In TLF part of the thing was that there was no one civilization to say "no matter what, these guys don't go under the bus or I go with them."

Anyhow.  I put a lot of work into SBR to try to combat the learning curve problem while at the same time maintaining depth from start to finish in the game.  There's some stuff that still needs refinement, but I think I'm pretty darn close.  So people like you interest me very much, because it will let me test if I'm right!  Anyway, that's what I meant before. :)

what information do you not understand i found it quite straightforward to get what the computer was telling?.

I can't speak for UsF specifically, but the general idea I have from people who fall into that group is that "I know mechanically how to do various things, but I don't have a ledge to use as a launchpad toward a specific goal."  Aka, analysis paralysis sets in, is one way to look at it.  There are so many possibilities that none is obviously better than another, and so one can feel quite lost on "how to play" in a strategic sense even though one knows "how to play" in a mechanical sense.

There are plenty of beloved games that give me that same feeling, to be honest.  I think it's just a matter, with those sorts of games, of what clicks with how specific people think.  That's my theory, anyway.  Because there's a wide variety of games like that (a lot of stuff with a sandbox element), and different subsets of people click with only certain subsets of those sandbox types.

Anyhow. :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: FractalReaper on April 06, 2015, 10:48:49 PM
Thanks!  I have you noted down as a blueshirt, then, for the second major wave then.  I have 6 noted redshirts already, and I don't expect that phase with just those 6 to last very long (a few days, a week at most) before we bring in the blueshirts.  If you or anyone else does really prefer to be a redshirt, though, I can definitely do more than 6.  12 is probably about as many people as I can reasonably respond to in the redshirt period, though.

Personally I'd prefer redshirt but I know having too many testers can be problematic and I'd hate to add to a redundancy problem, so if you think I'd better serve in the second wave then that's fine too. Though if you're particularly looking for feedback from people who like AI War but couldn't figure out how to play TLF in a strategic sense then I qualify there.

Since I've never done a beta with you before I suppose it would be prudent to ask, how do you feel about beta participants uploading or streaming videos of the beta?
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Hyfrydle on April 07, 2015, 08:02:52 AM
Wow looking very good, please add my name to the beta list would love to have input to help polish the game. Happy as a Redshirt love seeing how games feel right from the start.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: UsF on April 07, 2015, 11:02:06 AM
what information do you not understand i found it quite straightforward to get what the computer was telling?.

What x4000 said. I will give it a try again, since I love complex systems with many "knobs" that can be turned to affect them, but it felt like there was no showing of where to for example start. The tutorial eased you into the mechanics one by one, not in how to approach the goal. But yes, as this is not the main topic of this thread and there has been video evidence sighted of SBR existing in a new news post, I will cut this discussion for now. :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: YoukaiCountry on April 07, 2015, 05:50:13 PM
I tentatively have marked you as a blueshirt as well -- let me know if that's ok!

Yep,  blueshirt sounds good to me!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: windgen on April 07, 2015, 06:03:04 PM
This game looks really awesome.  Please add me to the beta list.  I'd like to be an early tester, but if you don't need any more of those, later is fine too.

I have a total of 83 mentions in alpha / beta release notes for the four Arcen alpha / beta tests I've participated in (TLF, BD, Valley 2 and Skyward Collapse).  So you'll definitely get some good feedback :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Misery on April 08, 2015, 04:48:20 AM

Ah, and I'd been just about to post a big annoying question wondering how this was going!   Well, now I dont have to be more irritating than usual, so that's good.

Whole thing is looking quite nice!   Quite eager to have a go at this.

You always seem to be down on yourself and think you're annoying, but you really are not!  I don't think anyone here thinks that.  Anyway, glad to sate your curiosity.  Does that mean you want redshirt, blueshirt, or later?

Eh, I always sound that way.  If I'm not being negative and sarcastic, I'm probably asleep.   It wouldnt make sense to use this name and be super-happy and positive all the time.  As it is I ended up using this name everywhere after being told so many times in the course of a week that "it's really fitting".  Even by those that dont know the character.  Not sure if that's hilarious, or tragic.  Or both. 

....also my mood is kinda bad because WINTER WONT GO AWAY.  They say spring has started.  THEY LIE. 


Now as for the alpha/beta/omega/something, uhhh, I'll go with whatever gets me in the earliest.  I dont exactly have much else to do currently and have as much free time as ever, and I can handle the glitches that come with testing; bring em' on, I say. They cant be any more irritating than that blasted Disc.  And being able to contribute is nice.  I saw the video in the other thread, this looks like it's shaping up quite well.

I think that means "red shirt", uhhh, as I'm assuming this is a Star Trek reference.  Unless it's some bizarre Power Rangers thing where the costume designers lost interest partway through. 

Now I may have already asked this, heck if I can remember, I'm full of caffiene, but about how long is the average campaign or whatever you want to call it for this game?  In terms of hours?  With such a very different format and gameplay mechanics, I'm curious as to how that matches up with other 4x games.  You know how those are... they can really draaaaaaaaaag at times.  Where some mechanics take the more dull parts and cause them to stretch unnecessarily.  I cant see that as happening with this one really, so I'm curious as to what the typical time ends up being with so many differences.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: mrhanman on April 08, 2015, 08:00:46 AM
I mentioned my desire to be in the beta already, but I'm just now seeing this blueshirt redshirt thing.  Assuming it means early on, I'd like to take redshirt.  The earlier the better, actually.  There are more bugs to report, then.  8)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 08, 2015, 09:10:30 AM
Thanks!  I have you noted down as a blueshirt, then, for the second major wave then.  I have 6 noted redshirts already, and I don't expect that phase with just those 6 to last very long (a few days, a week at most) before we bring in the blueshirts.  If you or anyone else does really prefer to be a redshirt, though, I can definitely do more than 6.  12 is probably about as many people as I can reasonably respond to in the redshirt period, though.

Personally I'd prefer redshirt but I know having too many testers can be problematic and I'd hate to add to a redundancy problem, so if you think I'd better serve in the second wave then that's fine too. Though if you're particularly looking for feedback from people who like AI War but couldn't figure out how to play TLF in a strategic sense then I qualify there.

Cool, I've got you switched over to being a redshirt -- never be afraid to ask!  I'm an easygoing guy.  Bear in mind that during the beta I'm going to have a hard time responding in depth to everything everybody writes, because I'm just one guy and there are a ton of you.  But I read everything -- being a speed-reader really helps.  And I'll respond wherever I can that I think it will be most useful, or to note understanding, and so on.  Anyway, with more redshirts that's the thing that really drops more than anything else: my ability to do back and forth with individuals.

Since I've never done a beta with you before I suppose it would be prudent to ask, how do you feel about beta participants uploading or streaming videos of the beta?

I'm perfectly fine with that, although to be honest I'd prefer if we got a few weeks into beta before doing that.  It's not a hard rule or anything, but given there are likely to be some problems right at the start, I'd rather not have the first videos showcasing those, you know?  If those problems are there in the first videos, then resolved immediately, people still will have the wrong impression.  I'd rather have the videos happen once we hit a period where things feel really solid and we're into polish.

Right now I don't know what said problems will be, but hence the point of the beta in the first place, heh.  Good question!

Wow looking very good, please add my name to the beta list would love to have input to help polish the game. Happy as a Redshirt love seeing how games feel right from the start.

Shocked I didn't have you already!  But added you as a redshirt. :)

Yep,  blueshirt sounds good to me!

Great!

This game looks really awesome.  Please add me to the beta list.  I'd like to be an early tester, but if you don't need any more of those, later is fine too.

I have a total of 83 mentions in alpha / beta release notes for the four Arcen alpha / beta tests I've participated in (TLF, BD, Valley 2 and Skyward Collapse).  So you'll definitely get some good feedback :)

Haha, I've had you on the list since January 21st, according to my notes.  With the comment "did not outright say he wanted in, but said he can't wait."  Yeah, when I started making a list of obvious beta testers, you were definitely on there.  No slight to anyone else, it's hard to remember all of you off the top of my head so I tend to remember when you post -- so many huge contributors to this community and our games!  Anyway, I've flagged you as a redshirt now. :)


Ah, and I'd been just about to post a big annoying question wondering how this was going!   Well, now I dont have to be more irritating than usual, so that's good.

Whole thing is looking quite nice!   Quite eager to have a go at this.

You always seem to be down on yourself and think you're annoying, but you really are not!  I don't think anyone here thinks that.  Anyway, glad to sate your curiosity.  Does that mean you want redshirt, blueshirt, or later?

Eh, I always sound that way.  If I'm not being negative and sarcastic, I'm probably asleep.   It wouldnt make sense to use this name and be super-happy and positive all the time.  As it is I ended up using this name everywhere after being told so many times in the course of a week that "it's really fitting".  Even by those that dont know the character.  Not sure if that's hilarious, or tragic.  Or both. 

....also my mood is kinda bad because WINTER WONT GO AWAY.  They say spring has started.  THEY LIE.

Ah yes, makes sense.  And while I don't envy you still being in winter, spring is here where I am and it is kicking me in the throat.  Sooo much pollen.  Been getting a lot of the staff, even though we don't live near one another for the most part.  Hitting NC, FL, GA, and Spain all at once. 

Now as for the alpha/beta/omega/something, uhhh, I'll go with whatever gets me in the earliest.  I dont exactly have much else to do currently and have as much free time as ever, and I can handle the glitches that come with testing; bring em' on, I say. They cant be any more irritating than that blasted Disc.  And being able to contribute is nice.  I saw the video in the other thread, this looks like it's shaping up quite well.

I think that means "red shirt", uhhh, as I'm assuming this is a Star Trek reference.  Unless it's some bizarre Power Rangers thing where the costume designers lost interest partway through.

It's a star trek reference, yep. :)  I've marked you as a redshirt!

Now I may have already asked this, heck if I can remember, I'm full of caffiene, but about how long is the average campaign or whatever you want to call it for this game?  In terms of hours?  With such a very different format and gameplay mechanics, I'm curious as to how that matches up with other 4x games.  You know how those are... they can really draaaaaaaaaag at times.  Where some mechanics take the more dull parts and cause them to stretch unnecessarily.  I cant see that as happening with this one really, so I'm curious as to what the typical time ends up being with so many differences.

I honestly am not sure, as I've not played a game to completion yet in a "true" way.  That might sound odd given we're about to start beta, but I basically play until I find something wrong, then work on that, then restart, etc.  My focus has been on the early game more than anything, and then the midgame.  I've design in various things to make the endgame interesting, and those are unit tested, but in terms of the grand scheme of a real game the endgame probably needs some work and a few more mechanics to really polish that one off.

As far as how long a game will last, I honestly have no idea.  Steam says I have 37 hours logged (and that's just since we put it on Steam -- not that you can see it in the store yet), but I've not finished a game yet.  And a lot of that was unit-testing various things.  The settings you choose, and the type of victory you go for, have a lot to do with how quickly or slowly your game will go.  If you set up the challenge for yourself of getting everyone to be militarily dominated, but ideally not dead, then that will be a LONG game. 10+ hours probably, on the conservative side.  If you're using a more sensible mix of domination types, plus if you're okay with outright killing some races, then it won't take as long. 

The specialty victories are kind of in the 8-10 hour range I'd guess, but I imagine they could also be shorter.  Most of them you can ignore the other races to a large extent and focus inward on the citybuilding and tecching and getting your wonders out... then fend off all the other races when they turn on you.  So depending on how you play, those could be the shortest, but most intense, versions of the game.

Anyway, I think that the range is honestly kind of similar to AI War.  I'm expecting that an expert player might be able to do this in 4-5 hours, with the right settings and with the right self-set goals.  On average I see 8-14 hours or thereabouts, depending in large part on how much time people spend reading tooltips and noodling over options, etc.  We had some AI War marathoners with single games that lasted 80 hours, and I'm not sure if that can happen here -- I suppose if you were trying to absolutely paint the world with your color, then it might take that long on the largest maps.  That's more or less what the players were doing in AI War (capturing ALL 100 or 120 planets).  There are going to be outliers on both ends to be sure.

As to the endgame dragging, I think that's less a matter of time and more a matter of inevitability.  If you KNOW that you are going to win, but you are just going through the motions, that's boring.  The reason people like the AI War endgame is because that's actually when things are most dangerous.  I don't think that I've yet achieved that here (except in the specialty victories where that is absolutely the case), but that is my goal.  The other thing dragging the endgame of most other 4X titles is the awful lag between turns, which shouldn't be an issue here (knock on wood). 

I mentioned my desire to be in the beta already, but I'm just now seeing this blueshirt redshirt thing.  Assuming it means early on, I'd like to take redshirt.  The earlier the better, actually.  There are more bugs to report, then.  8)

I've switched you to redshirt!  That brings us to 11 of those, now. :)  Almost a full suicide -- er, lander -- pod's worth. ;)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 08, 2015, 09:42:40 AM
yea i think you making the endgame interesting is going to pretty important its one of the things I don't like about civ 5 is that once you get to a certain point it just ends up turning into a mid maxing fest(granted that might be because I've never played against the ai above prince difficulty but still.....) and usually the ais to dumb to really be a threat at that point if you've got the right luxury resources and build.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 08, 2015, 10:39:52 AM
yea i think you making the endgame interesting is going to pretty important its one of the things I don't like about civ 5 is that once you get to a certain point it just ends up turning into a mid maxing fest(granted that might be because I've never played against the ai above prince difficulty but still.....) and usually the ais to dumb to really be a threat at that point if you've got the right luxury resources and build.

Yep, for sure.  Asymmetry is our friend here, though, as in AI War.  So I'm not too worried about the difficulty of making the endgame more interesting.  It's just a matter of doing that without making it impossible.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Teal_Blue on April 08, 2015, 12:58:04 PM
Gauging from the number of dark souls players out there on the net, i would say impossible sounds interesting to some of them.  :) 

since i seem to be a perpetual noob, even the easy stuff seems impossible to me, haha, well... sometimes. Thank goodness its not ALWAYS like that. 

-Teal

Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: ElCarneval on April 08, 2015, 06:57:03 PM
Dear Madams and Sirs,

thank you for your enthusiasm....i really need to play that game, i feel addicted to it.......

best regards

ElCarneval
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Rekka on April 09, 2015, 03:21:41 AM
Hello there! A 4X from Arcen, I'll be glad to beta-test it. If there is still room of course... ;)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 09, 2015, 07:49:58 AM
Gauging from the number of dark souls players out there on the net, i would say impossible sounds interesting to some of them.  :) 

since i seem to be a perpetual noob, even the easy stuff seems impossible to me, haha, well... sometimes. Thank goodness its not ALWAYS like that. 

-Teal
na dark souls is hard but not because its buggy more because fromsoft are trolls now if you've survived playing skyrim then beta testing this'll be easy to cope with.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 09, 2015, 08:05:25 AM
Hello there! A 4X from Arcen, I'll be glad to beta-test it. If there is still room of course... ;)

Added you! :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Rekka on April 09, 2015, 09:33:51 AM
Thanks! ;)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 09, 2015, 01:27:42 PM
You bet!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: LordStryker on April 09, 2015, 06:52:45 PM
Seriously, anything and I mean ANYTHING Arcen releases I purchase without hesitation.  I love you guys.  Keep making great games.  I'm enthusiastically looking forward to this one.  Thank you Mr. Park.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 09, 2015, 07:41:12 PM
Thank you!  That really does mean a lot. :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: syukakuju on April 10, 2015, 07:25:01 AM
Hello,

Usually i'm not a "forum guy", but If you are looking for mac users to betatest, i would be very happy to do so.  :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 10, 2015, 08:43:18 AM
Hello,

Usually i'm not a "forum guy", but If you are looking for mac users to betatest, i would be very happy to do so.  :)

Welcome!  I've added you to the list. :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: syukakuju on April 10, 2015, 08:52:11 AM
Thanks A lot!

Can't wait to hunt mac bugs^^ (can't wait to try the game as well)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 10, 2015, 09:28:59 AM
My pleasure!  And great to have more folks lined up on OSX for it. :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Zebeast46 on April 10, 2015, 03:48:00 PM
Cant wait to trample over the bodies of the redshirts to go hunt some Thoraxians (get it, because Thoraxians are bugs) ;D
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 10, 2015, 03:54:23 PM
Hahaha, that's great. :)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Tokyodan on April 10, 2015, 09:36:42 PM
How does one get on the beta list for this game?
(I think I got every game made by Arcen Games)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 11, 2015, 04:52:17 PM
just ask dude.(sorry if I sound patronising but it is honestly that simple in fact he's probably added you already)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: TheokGrundor on April 12, 2015, 03:02:21 AM
Looks pretty cool so far. I tend to enjoy games like civilization or simcity, and Id be happy to be included in the beta.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: waspinat0r on April 12, 2015, 07:42:57 PM
As anticipated the game looks great! There's very little I love more than a great 4x. Would love to be added to beta list! Thanks!
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Animorganimate on April 14, 2015, 12:12:41 AM
A few weeks ago, I had asked to possibly be added to the beta list in another post. I'm not sure you responded Chris, and I couldn't find the post. That's my round about way of seeing if I could be put on that list, if I'm not already, and if you're still adding people. Either way, this game looks amazing and I can't wait to play it sooner or later.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: kasnavada on April 14, 2015, 11:00:56 AM
 :D

I followed you and your games for a few years and I spammed you enough to get my name mentioned in the AI war patch notes  :D Which is a great habit by the way ! And yes, I look forward to trying my best to do so again if you would have me in the beta !
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 14, 2015, 11:49:09 AM
can somebody tell me what day it is in America(which is were I assume arcen are running this forum from) over here on the isle of man its Tuesday and I'm not being shouted at to start testing.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: tbrass on April 14, 2015, 11:53:21 AM
can somebody tell me what day it is in America(which is were I assume arcen are running this forum from) over here on the isle of man its Tuesday and I'm not being shouted at to start testing.

Tuesday ;-) About noon, where the Arcen folks hang out.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: ptarth on April 14, 2015, 12:29:20 PM
You can tell because of how much stress Chris is in right now. Can't you hear the weeping and teeth gnashing from where you are?
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Misery on April 14, 2015, 12:51:24 PM
You can tell because of how much stress Chris is in right now. Can't you hear the weeping and teeth gnashing from where you are?

I was going to say "come now, surely it cant be THAT bad/stressful", but then I actually thought about it, and.... yeah, I wont say that, then.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: tbrass on April 14, 2015, 01:20:33 PM
I suspect he's actually relaxing with beer and brisket. On a beach. On turn 10,592. And a bit concerned that this is several thousand more turns than anticipated.

But at least he has the beer. And the brisket. And the sound of the water is soothing.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: ptarth on April 14, 2015, 01:57:37 PM
I'm imagining him sitting at the edge of the abyss staring into the darkness chanting, "Why won't it compile? It compiled fine just 10 minutes ago and I didn't change anything."
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Captain Jack on April 14, 2015, 02:01:09 PM
I'm imagining him sitting at the edge of the abyss staring into the darkness chanting, "Why won't it compile? It compiled fine just 10 minutes ago and I didn't change anything."

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BzmDP_yCEAAvXdx.png)

My recommendation: start doing something productive. You either get something done until the beta comes out, or you come back to find the beta is waiting for you.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Misery on April 14, 2015, 09:36:09 PM
I'm imagining him sitting at the edge of the abyss staring into the darkness chanting, "Why won't it compile? It compiled fine just 10 minutes ago and I didn't change anything."

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BzmDP_yCEAAvXdx.png)

My recommendation: start doing something productive. You either get something done until the beta comes out, or you come back to find the beta is waiting for you.



Well that's certainly how I"ve always felt about it, hah.

And is it awesome or really sad that I know *exactly* where the art on the left of that comes from?  Possibly a little of both... more of the sad, likely.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Draco18s on April 15, 2015, 10:09:45 AM
And is it awesome or really sad that I know *exactly* where the art on the left of that comes from?  Possibly a little of both... more of the sad, likely.

*Googly*
Ah, of course.  Makes sense.  Highly appropriate use of the image and its meme derivative.
(I'm too young)
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Utrick on April 27, 2015, 02:19:16 AM
I'd love to beta test Stars Beyond Reach! Either as a blueshirt or as "other guys". I've actually been following Arcen since AI War was released and enjoy every single one of your games, just lurked on the forums :P
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Cyborg on April 27, 2015, 07:04:11 PM
I'm imagining him sitting at the edge of the abyss staring into the darkness chanting, "Why won't it compile? It compiled fine just 10 minutes ago and I didn't change anything."


Having been there before:
* In complex systems with multiple remote servers, password expiry can happen at any moment.
* Permission problem on *nix
* Denial


… But yeah, usually it's denial.

Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 30, 2015, 10:43:32 AM
Sorry for my super slow responses!  I've been so sucked in with the first wave of testers that I've not had time to do much else.  With the release date pushed back to allow for more refinement, I'm also taking the waves of testers a bit slower, at least particularly at first, so that the biggest issues of each "wave" get resolved prior to the next wave coming in.  With this first wave of redshirts, of course that list of issues is... well, pretty massive, given the scale of the game.  But that list is getting smaller by the day, and we're hitting a point where new testers will be useful within the next week.

The really gratifying thing for me has been seeing that despite all of the expected carnage of confusion and bugs for the redshirts, that they were still really enjoying it / hypnotized by it.  So that's a really exciting thing for me personally, because it speaks to what the game will hopefully be for people once it's actually properly fully polished!

How does one get on the beta list for this game?
(I think I got every game made by Arcen Games)

Added you to the list for upcoming waves!

Looks pretty cool so far. I tend to enjoy games like civilization or simcity, and Id be happy to be included in the beta.

And you!

As anticipated the game looks great! There's very little I love more than a great 4x. Would love to be added to beta list! Thanks!

And you!

A few weeks ago, I had asked to possibly be added to the beta list in another post. I'm not sure you responded Chris, and I couldn't find the post. That's my round about way of seeing if I could be put on that list, if I'm not already, and if you're still adding people. Either way, this game looks amazing and I can't wait to play it sooner or later.

You're on there now -- sorry about the lack of response there before, it's definitely nothing personal!  I've just been absolutely inundated.  This looks like your first post, so I'm wondering if you used a different name before?  Anyway, I have you on there under this forum handle now.  Cheers!

I followed you and your games for a few years and I spammed you enough to get my name mentioned in the AI war patch notes  :D Which is a great habit by the way ! And yes, I look forward to trying my best to do so again if you would have me in the beta !

Added you to the list!

You can tell because of how much stress Chris is in right now. Can't you hear the weeping and teeth gnashing from where you are?

I'm more of a teeth grinder, really. ;)

I was going to say "come now, surely it cant be THAT bad/stressful", but then I actually thought about it, and.... yeah, I wont say that, then.

Inviting in the very first wave of testers is one of the most stressful things that I do in my life, honestly.  I have no idea what to expect in terms of their reactions, and it marks the start of a flood of feedback which is largely going to be negative by its very nature.  Not that it's done in a negative way, it's always actually super positive criticism, but it's just something I have to kind of mentally brace for.  Once I'm actually IN that process, it's fun and I love it.  But it's like getting ready to jump into cold water at the first there, heh.

I'd love to beta test Stars Beyond Reach! Either as a blueshirt or as "other guys". I've actually been following Arcen since AI War was released and enjoy every single one of your games, just lurked on the forums :P

Thanks for the kind words!  I've added you to the list, and have you marked as a blueshirt.
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: Pumpkin on April 30, 2015, 05:29:47 PM
Inviting in the very first wave of testers is one of the most stressful things that I do in my life, honestly.  I have no idea what to expect in terms of their reactions, and it marks the start of a flood of feedback which is largely going to be negative by its very nature.  Not that it's done in a negative way, it's always actually super positive criticism, but it's just something I have to kind of mentally brace for.  Once I'm actually IN that process, it's fun and I love it.  But it's like getting ready to jump into cold water at the first there, heh.
Jesse Schell said in his book (French version translated on the fly from memory) that inviting people to test his games was like sending a postcard written "you are invited to come and tell me how bad is my game".
Title: Re: Stars Beyond Reach Beta Approaches! Have some screenshots. :)
Post by: x4000 on April 30, 2015, 09:45:32 PM
Something along those lines.  I'd say it's more along the lines of "you're invited to come tell me how bad I am at my job, and how much time and money I've wasted over the last near-year."  There's a real undercurrent of fear there until there's a certain number of other people who feel like the game has actual merit after having played it (as opposed to being hyped for something they've not played yet, which actually makes the undercurrent of fear worse). 

They don't have to think it's perfect, and actually having problems to immediately jump on is a relief to me -- when things go too smoothly in life, I get REALLY suspicious.  But if they believe in it enough to still retain some excitement and to want to see how it evolves, then that starts settling me down.  A couple of weeks in and I'm generally in a very different place.  Thankfully I think I'm pretty much there now.