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Hello,

I have taken the time to propose to my YouTube channel my concept for a complete research overhaul with little impact to the existing UI functionality.  This concept explores how research trees could be added to make 'researching' science more enjoyable and eliminate the random problem.  The community has already expanded the original concept adding more depth and filling in gaps.

I would love it if the community here could help us continue to refine the concept.

System Era, we are on to something here.  If you could weigh in we would appreciate it.

 Thank you,

One Last Midnight

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I just did a search, and you are correct the idea has been brought up before.  But...  No one provided art or a way it could be implemented into the existing system.  :)))  Well...  Didn't read all the posts, but I think no one has.  Thank you for pointing this out Kantanshi.

Also, to clarify.  I'm not just suggesting a research tree, but a fundamental change to research and crafting as a whole.

Edited by OneLastMidnight

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Great effort you made there buddy, Despite of the design stuff, and criticism on tech trees, It's actually a really good system, that's why a lot of games utilizes it, it's just good and much less flawed that the current research system given.

Honestly, the sudden changes to the research has been a wreck, many game now artificially lengthened and forces player to play four time longer than usual, plus with the save getting broken every updates, replaying the game just make me want to choke myself with the boring research grind. Tech tree with some sort of intuitive interface should really do the job and saves me the waves of people complaining about the research system.

I'll try to forward this video to the developers

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4 hours ago, Kantanshi said:

Research trees have been discussed on this forum before.

I think you should really watch the video first.

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Thank you Lithium for watching, and I appreciate you forwarding the video to the developers.  I completely understand your frustration regarding criticism with development progression, I'm a business application developer and I understand the life cycle (you're in QA?) and problems associated to releases.  Regardless of the noise, I hope you understand everyone I've spoken to adores Astroneer, and you have left us all wanting much, much more.

LOL!  I have clocked 106 hours - if you believe Steam time - and I still can't get enough.

If you get a chance, my YouTube community has responded with some very interesting additions to the original concept.  Please read them over if you have time.

Cheers,

OneLastMidnight

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I have mixed feelings.

What I like:

  • starting the game with only tethers and research station
  • choice of research direction
  • support (!) of the research process by providing resources

What seems wrong to me:

  • switching from chests/artifacts to resources in a research system 
    Instead of collecting interesting chests, player has to collect just more and more resources - I do not see it interesting or exciting.
  • reduction of energy demand
    In my opinion the research should take even MORE energy - as in the game today there is no problem with its acquisition.
  • removing a trade platofm
    It should remain as a mid-game platform which helps player acquire enough different resources for the construction of large-scale projects. Also, if you want to increase the demand for resources, removing trade platform is not logical.

In conclusion - I see no reason why it would be worthwhile to change the current system in such a drastic way. There were many simple and good ideas in the forum that didn't require such a huge ingerention in the game code. 

 

Edited by gp.

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15 hours ago, Lithium said:

I think you should really watch the video first.

I just meant that he could have put his idea in one of the previous posts that already has attention on it so it could have added to the existing discussions.  But I guess I could have been more clear in my post.

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First, I want to apologize for my brief initial response.  I didn't have the time at that point to watch your video.

I might have misunderstood something in what you said but here's where I see a problem.  Please correct me or elaborate on the idea so I can understand fully.

You say that the materials needed for making things should be more complex.  That it should be a combination of different materials to create things like the research station.  However you also say that all the base materials should need to be researched in order to be able to use them.  What I'm seeing is a Catch-22 in the process.  You need the research station in order to understand a material, yet you need that material you do not know to be able to build the facility necessary to know what it is and how to use it.  To add to that problem is that you need to be able to research and build the refinery in order to make the base material useful which is held up by the fact you can't make the research station to begin with.

Otherwise I do not see a problem with what you are suggesting.

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I appreciate the comment, and I'll take the time to read those other threads.

"collect just more and more resources - I do not see it interesting or exciting"
You are already collecting resources and chests, and they are adding more.  I don't see how this will go away or be limited in the future unless you completely remove the idea of resources.  Like every other crafting game on the market you need resources to build.

"research should take even MORE energy"
Okay, I can see that as a way to increase difficulty. LOL! At times I find myself cursing my lack of power, but I'm happy you have an over abundance! :)

"mid-game platform which helps player acquire enough"
I like that idea a lot.  Maybe you can only get specific resources from the trade platform that can't be found elsewhere.

"I see no reason why it would be worthwhile to change the current system in such a drastic way"
This is the most difficult part in my opinion.  How to make an application that is appealing to everyone.  When you buy a completed game you have to deal with the functionality as-is, it is either good or bad or indifferent in the users opinion.  This game is in pre-alpha, meaning they haven't even begun (or are just starting) to make big changes to the application.  I would highly doubt Astroneer today will be Astroneer on release.  As stated in blog release yesterday from Veronica.  "we’ve defined Pre-Alpha to mean that while the game is in a demonstrable state (you can play it, right now!), it does not contain all of the necessary core systems or features for a full 1.0 Release. It’s like looking at a slice of cake – you can see part of the layers and get a sense of the frosting, but it really needs the rest of the cake around it to get the full effect."  So expect drastic changes because they are coming.

One way to solve this problem is with hardness setting.  Sandbox = you get everything. Easy = least complexity. Normal = complexity is reasonable. Hard = complexity more in-depth. Insane = you are spending days just trying to make the research station.

My YouTube community has also expanded the original concept - some agree, some disagree.  But like yourself they have offered valued feedback.

I want Astroneer to be GREAT - an all-time classic.  Thirty years from now, I want people will look back on the game as an example.  Similar to how people refer to Minecraft as a game changer in the industry.

The devs in a live stream long ago asked for feedback.  It seems the majority of feedback they are receiving is criticism.  This video, idea, concept is an effort to do my part.  Not just provide another 'I like" or "don't like" but help design - if only to start a deep dialog.

Thank you again for taking the time to watch and provide feedback.

 

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26 minutes ago, Kantanshi said:

First, I want to apologize for my brief initial response.  I didn't have the time at that point to watch your video.

I might have misunderstood something in what you said but here's where I see a problem.  Please correct me or elaborate on the idea so I can understand fully.

You say that the materials needed for making things should be more complex.  That it should be a combination of different materials to create things like the research station.  However you also say that all the base materials should need to be researched in order to be able to use them.  What I'm seeing is a Catch-22 in the process.  You need the research station in order to understand a material, yet you need that material you do not know to be able to build the facility necessary to know what it is and how to use it.  To add to that problem is that you need to be able to research and build the refinery in order to make the base material useful which is held up by the fact you can't make the research station to begin with.

Otherwise I do not see a problem with what you are suggesting.

There is a difference between raw and refined resources.  In the beginning you 'know' the raw resources, but you have to research how to refine it.  Laterite can be found and collected, but until you research Aluminum you can't do anything with laterite.  The research station would use raw resources, not refined, to build.  Other buildings and items would require refined resources.

Thank for asking the question.  I might not have expressed it clearly enough.

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I think that the way the Tech and resources management is working is necessary in order to create a simple and efficient mechanism. I agree with some ideas about the research system, for example the necessity to modifying the random-system, but I don't think you're proposing the ultimate way to redefine the tech tree. This game has to be simple enough to be played by casual sandbox players, people who are seeking to play with friends and have fun quickly, without crossing three hours to understand and analyse the tech tree ; an also by others players like you and I , capable of crossing hundreds of hours exploring the unknown of Astroneer.

SO I'm not sure that you're idea is an effective compromise between the two players-types, and both are necessary to make this game a central one in the Sandbox / Exploration Game universe.

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1 hour ago, Ferendris said:

I think that the way the Tech and resources management is working is necessary in order to create a simple and efficient mechanism. I agree with some ideas about the research system, for example the necessity to modifying the random-system, but I don't think you're proposing the ultimate way to redefine the tech tree. This game has to be simple enough to be played by casual sandbox players, people who are seeking to play with friends and have fun quickly, without crossing three hours to understand and analyse the tech tree ; an also by others players like you and I , capable of crossing hundreds of hours exploring the unknown of Astroneer.

SO I'm not sure that you're idea is an effective compromise between the two players-types, and both are necessary to make this game a central one in the Sandbox / Exploration Game universe.

One way to solve this problem is with hardness setting.  Sandbox = you get everything. Easy = least complexity. Normal = complexity is reasonable. Hard = complexity more in-depth. Insane = you are spending days just trying to make the research station.

Changes are coming.

From the roadmap posted yesterday.

Research System
Continued updates to the Research System which encourage exploration all over planets, provide a sense of progression, and increase the Astroneer's capabilities over time.

Modularity
Vehicles and Structures will be comprised of a number of interchangeable and chainable parts allowing for a wide range of unique configurations

Crafting
Revisit of the recipes of every craftable item in the game enable a broader progression structure among craftable objects.

I understand people want sandbox - the game can have both sandbox and something that is more in-depth.  Minecraft is your example - Survival and Crafting.  I say go even further and the 'survival' mode has several tiers.

 

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Yes I agree, the complexity of this game needs a extreme overhaul and that includes the research. In my opinion the whole notion of research artifacts should be scrapped. Players should be equipped with a portable scanner (Yes I know, it's being use so many times but this game is set in the 25th century) that is used to scan resources, flora, fauna, derelicts, satellites and so on.

1) Scanning resources would give you info from the Astroneer's periodic table and would unlock the basic tech combination for use in crafting and construction. If the resource isn't on the table, it will require you to obtain a sample for "Research".

2) Scanning derelicts ships, satellites, probes would give you info on salvageable components that can be used for building your own ship, vehicle, arrays or buildings. Again unknown components would require "Research".  Beside components, you could even have it so you can extract data from the on board computer or data recorder, such as new schematics, flight logs and so on. Extraction of the data could be complicated by damage or fragmentation of the data. Requiring you to find multiple sources of this data to retrieve the new schematic, log or flight paths. To make it even harder, the data may be encrypted, making it unavailable until you find a way to decrypt or have it decrypted at a space station for a price.

Scanning would be a big part of your exploration and discovery through out the Astroneer universe.

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38 minutes ago, Mak-a-Face said:

Yes I agree, the complexity of this game needs a extreme overhaul and that includes the research. In my opinion the whole notion of research artifacts should be scrapped. Players should be equipped with a portable scanner (Yes I know, it's being use so many times but this game is set in the 25th century) that is used to scan resources, flora, fauna, derelicts, satellites and so on.

1) Scanning resources would give you info from the Astroneer's periodic table and would unlock the basic tech combination for use in crafting and construction. If the resource isn't on the table, it will require you to obtain a sample for "Research".

2) Scanning derelicts ships, satellites, probes would give you info on salvageable components that can be used for building your own ship, vehicle, arrays or buildings. Again unknown components would require "Research".  Beside components, you could even have it so you can extract data from the on board computer or data recorder, such as new schematics, flight logs and so on. Extraction of the data could be complicated by damage or fragmentation of the data. Requiring you to find multiple sources of this data to retrieve the new schematic, log or flight paths. To make it even harder, the data may be encrypted, making it unavailable until you find a way to decrypt or have it decrypted at a space station for a price.

Scanning would be a big part of your exploration and discovery through out the Astroneer universe.

I completely agree with you on that point. a Scanner could be THE solution in order to improve the research system.

 

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1 hour ago, Mak-a-Face said:

Yes I agree, the complexity of this game needs a extreme overhaul and that includes the research. In my opinion the whole notion of research artifacts should be scrapped. Players should be equipped with a portable scanner (Yes I know, it's being use so many times but this game is set in the 25th century) that is used to scan resources, flora, fauna, derelicts, satellites and so on.

1) Scanning resources would give you info from the Astroneer's periodic table and would unlock the basic tech combination for use in crafting and construction. If the resource isn't on the table, it will require you to obtain a sample for "Research".

2) Scanning derelicts ships, satellites, probes would give you info on salvageable components that can be used for building your own ship, vehicle, arrays or buildings. Again unknown components would require "Research".  Beside components, you could even have it so you can extract data from the on board computer or data recorder, such as new schematics, flight logs and so on. Extraction of the data could be complicated by damage or fragmentation of the data. Requiring you to find multiple sources of this data to retrieve the new schematic, log or flight paths. To make it even harder, the data may be encrypted, making it unavailable until you find a way to decrypt or have it decrypted at a space station for a price.

Scanning would be a big part of your exploration and discovery through out the Astroneer universe.

I like the concept of scanning and it was brought up on my site as well.  Essentially, scanning is one form of research (portable), and another form is extended research done at a larger scanner - research building (fixed).

I few things you didn't flush out.  

  • How is crafting done?  Is this a magic process or does it require the user to gather resources?
  • What is your 'research' process?  Time based, resource based?  How does research happen on the fixed platform?

IF they keep the current UI scheme...  All of these new functionalities need to be displayed somehow.  What is your solution?

Introducing dialogs would solve TONS of problems, but truthfully I LOVE the UI as-is and don't want to change it at all.

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I think that the scanner system could work and be more simple with some kind of research points. Scanning resources, wildlife etc. could produce Research points , and the player could use it at the Research Lab. In that system, the concept of Major Groups (of OneLastMidnight) could be usefull in order to organize the research system.

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1 minute ago, Ferendris said:

I think that the scanner system could work and be more simple with some kind of research points. Scanning resources, wildlife etc. could produce Research points , and the player could use it at the Research Lab. In that system, the concept of Major Groups (of OneLastMidnight) could be usefull in order to organize the research system.

Okay, so you are saying instead of using time and resources, you would use research points to complete blueprints.  Similar to Subnautica.  Player runs around, scans 5 items, and can now unlock X blueprint.  Okay.  Crafting remains the same???  You still need to create items from resources, right?

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3 minutes ago, Ferendris said:

You do not seem convinced by the research point concept. I can understand that. Have you  another idea?

No, the scanner is very interesting.  Gets the player out and exploring, and I like the idea of the Astroneer's periodic table (thought that was a very cool addition - makes it feel more spacelike and like science).  I equate points to unlocking a section of research - N points equals researched item; referring the process to Subnautica isn't a negative the system works.

How does crafting work?  

Crafting remains the same?  You still create items from resources, right?

Let's say this...  I run around with my scanner filling up my periodic table, or finding blueprints, and get back to my printer.  Fill in the rest.  What am I don't at the printer?

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Yeah, I think the Astroneer resources-items system is a good one. The think is I'm not convinced by the necessity to do research about the buildings and the resources, because, otherwise, it could be too long to do so. I think that the goal of the research-crafting system in Astroneer needs to be the will of exploring and of course, funding resources, but the system must be efficient and not so long to put in motion.

The system you're proposing is to develop the concept of an "Ignorant Pionneer", who knows nothing (like John Snow ^_^), Am I right? And so the concept is to do a lot of research in order to learn how to do almost everything.

I think a compromise should be created between the necessity of an Improved System, maybe more complicated and technical, but on the other hand, it's no use to have a system too complex and too "time-wasting", where for crafting the Rover you need to learn the wheel, the engine, the resources, the components, the electronics and so on (I'm exaggerating in order to explain it more properly)

I think my point of view is better explained like that. ;)

 

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I appreciate your feedback and thought into the concept. 

This is the really hard part.  Try not to think about you or how you want to play.  I understand from your posts that you would like it more simplistic.  I agree with it, sometimes I want a relaxing game experience, but on the other hand, sometimes I want to work at something, have it be challenging, and have the final project be rewarding.

For this I propose the following:

Game Level Settings
Sandbox = you get everything. Easy = least complexity (simpler than now). Normal = complexity is reasonable (in-game now). Hard = complexity more in-depth. Insane = you are spending days just trying to make the research station.

There are already 'recipes" to craft items.  As the user dials up the hardness level the 'recipes' dial up and get more granular.

This solves the problem for the casual, moderate, and hardcore players.

As for research, a change needs to happen and I have suggested a in-depth concept, as opposed to most people who are just criticizing instead of offering solutions.  My CTO always said, "If you come to me with a problem, you better have 3 ways to fix it."

I have no idea what is Astroneer's backstory - I don't think anyone does except System Era, but aren't you already an "Ignorant Pionneer"?  You land on a planet and have to start researching to progress on the planet.  This doesn't lend to an individual that has all knowledge at their fingertips.  Maybe the Astroneer was fleeing the space station and didn't have time to pack his/her computer of completed research.  Seems to me that is more of the current story line.  IF I was guessing.

If you haven't read the roadmap - more complexity is planned.  https://trello.com/b/UoZgKrd3/astroneer-development-roadmap

Thanks again!  I think I understand your position.  Cheers!

 

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Yeah I Think your idea about the Game Level Settings could work,  but I don't know if System Era will take time to develop 3 or 4 levels of difficulties with theirs owns "recipes system". 

And Yes I've seen the Road map, and I agree with the necessity to improve the research system (no more random research is just crucial ); the fact is, it's complicated to create a totally efficient system.

Your tech tree idea is certainly the most interesting I've Seen until now; and the most advanced I must say. I just wanted to explain the problems it could create inside of the game, in my opinion. ^_^

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Great post, here are a few belated comments:

As with most everybody here, I agree 500% with you that the current randomized research system is not working, it is broken, IT IS NOT FUN AT ALL! It makes absolutely no sense that the first chest I research gets me the enclosed 3-seat or the crane when I lack basic survival tools. I also agree very much with the idea of a research tree and pre-requisites (what you call "linear). After all, we went from the horse-drawn carriage, to the steam engine, to the combustion engine, to the automobile, to airplanes, to space flight. Not the other way around, not in a jumbled way either.

I also like very much the idea of being able to direct research to specific areas to match what I currently need. What seems to be the current goal of the research system (what you get depends on the kind of chest you research) may look good on paper but doesn't work so well in practice if you land in a chest-poor or chest-limited biome. On the other hand, I also like the idea that some blueprints can only be acquired when we venture outside Terran. (e.g.: I get the shuttle blueprint on Terran but must go to Barren to get the blueprint for the large shuttle before I can venture to the other planets.)

As for research itself, I'm not sure what to think of a meter that fills up by itself as time goes on. You mention using resources to speed it up but why not using chests as well? And perhaps completely remove the "time = research" aspect and make it totally dependent on feeding chests/resources into the research station? Still needing chests to progress would also keep the incentive to explore and look for them.

Still on research, I like the idea of a progress meter but there are a few issues that need to be worked out: 1) If I build 4-5 research stations at my base, should my research progress 4-5 times faster? I don't think so! 2) I am on Terran and the resource meter on my single research station is half-full. I go to Barren and build a base, including a research station. Should its meter start empty or already half-full? In both cases, having more that one research station, whether on a single planet or many, brings the ugly issue of harmonizing all those research progress meters. Any idea how to do that in a simple way without wasting research progress or introducing ways to abuse the system?

As others suggested in this thread, a portable scanner to "analyse" chests on-site would also make more sense than having to bring all them all to the base for processing. And it would avoid dealing with the issues I brought in the previous paragraph.

Still on research chests, we could have 2 ways to deal with them: 1) use a portable scanner to analyse (i.e.: destroy) on-site and get research progress or 2) bring to the base to convert into hard-to-get resources (no more filters, please!)

Re crafting: great ideas you have, like assembling a vehicle from sub-components. That would add interesting gameplay and extend the game without feeling repetitive. I hadn't really thought of Astroneer as an exploration AND crafting game but now that you mention it, I totally see it too. Another benefit of an expanded crafting system is that every chest I find brings a decision: do I use it to advance my research or convert it into that lump of titanium I need to complete my rover?

Last thing and maybe a controversial one... The trade platform is something I have mixed feelings about. It may be useful to have when building a base on another planet but having it on Terran almost feels like cheating and greatly reduces the need to venture out and explore. Not sure what to do about it tho'.


 

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