AKBigs

Idea/suggestion to improve the Astroneer's Compass, Beacons, and vehicle navigation.

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Hi there! 

My friends and I love Astroneer and wanted to contribute to the ideas/suggestions for the game. 

The one improvement that we came up with, we hope will be simple to program and may improve the user friendliness of the game. 

Our idea is would enhance the compass and the beacons. (Please see sketch while reading).

We believe it would be a great improvement if the compass was a dynamic compass that noted, by a open circle, where the base habitat location is. We would also like any beacons that are placed by the astroneer to show up as slightly smaller dots. 

Why we believe this is a great suggestion is that it stays in line with the simplistic game feedback system you are striving for, and keeps the screen free of HUD clutter while helping the player, at a glance, quickly orient themselves in the world. We don't believe labeling the beacons would be appropriate, first, because it would get cluttered quickly, two, the beacons are placed by the user so they could literally be placed for any reason (a mountain you want someone to visit, a resin location, a cool cave entrance, etc.) 

This is where it makes beacons much more useful. Currently they rely on draw distance. One issue we ran into very quickly was draw view during multiplayer games. In many cases, only the host, or those with more powerful machines, could see the beacon markings in the sky, but only if they were in range of it. We think by eliminating the sky notifications would speed up performance of the game since its less to draw on the screen. The nods would also work, regardless of draw distance, which would allow any player to quickly navigate to where they want to go. 

Lastly, we would like to see the simplistic compass added to vehicles you are actively piloting on the planet surface. Currently, you have to exit your vehicle to see the compass, which can greatly slow navigation and general travel down, especially since we got lost on many occasions by simply not having a sense of direction. We believe the same simplistic circle compass would be great, just have it show up in a much larger circumference when you hover your mouse over a vehicle, similar to when you hover over the astroneer. 

We love this game and would love to see these improvement added! Thank you for your time. 

Compass Improvement.jpg

Edited by AKBigs

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I just thought of another reason why this would enhance beacons! 

Currently each player's position is ALSO noted by a notification in the sky. You are able to stick beacons on yourself, this would allow other players to find your direction when you are very far away. Furthermore, you could stick a beacon on any planetary vehicle to give others your current direction, or, in the case of death, you would be able to quickly locate your vehicles direction. 

 

Thank you again for your time!

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On ‎1‎/‎20‎/‎2017 at 7:51 PM, AKBigs said:

In many cases, only the host, or those with more powerful machines, could see the beacon markings in the sky, but only if they were in range of it.

 ... especially since we got lost on many occasions by simply not having a sense of direction.

In the case of multiplayer, it's a matter of optimization to fix the issue of the host being the only person who can see everything.

I like the idea of having bases & beacons displayed on the compass.  But I think the reason the devs did not include that feature was to immerse players in the Astroneer's world.   So like you mentioned, if the Astroneer doesn't have a good sense of direction he should keep his base in sight before traveling too far away.

As the Astroneer explores farther away from base he notices that the base marker is dropping below the horizon (because the planet is a sphere).  That's why they give you the ability to make beacons right from the start.  They wanted people to pick up on the fact that the Astroneer needs to learn actual land navigation techniques if he is to survive. 

For instance when the Astroneer first lands on Terran, he notices the band of stars  running perpendicular to the horizon directly over his base.  And the band of stars aligns to East - West on his compass.  So he knows that should he travel too far East or West from base and forgets to set a beacon, he can follow the band of stars in the sky back to base.  He knows that if the band of stars is no longer perpendicular to the horizon, he can check his compass to see if he needs to go North or South until the stars are again perpendicular to the horizon.

 

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