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Not sure what direction the game is taking. Like many new developers, they seem to take their cue from core players. Also like many new developers, they begin changing the very things that made it Unique and enjoyable to the core players. I would offer this penny wisdom. When you hear that your core players want things to be "harder" or "more challenging" you are making it that way for everyone, including brand new players.

     Many of the same players who ask for the difficulty and challenges will later ask for “quality of life" items. In terms of development hours, you are making it hard, then creating all new "and a growing" lists of artifacts to offset the grind or Difficulty. Every time these changes are made, you'll hear "well that's great, but still not quite right" or "they did this, but what about that?"  By far the very worst requested additions or outright changes are just plaguing games. I term them these requests as, "gamers who want to play dress up in their barbie house on the farm, while being far, far away from the west side trolls, who want to overly engineer their lair full of stolen items." Commonly referring to more skins / appearance controls, base building, farming and pvp.

     There is an expectation of restarting a game during Alpha and Beta play. Core game players knows this. The game is Under development, which includes testing, breaking, and fine-tuning items and mechanics. The core players are acting as debuggers first, giving feedback second, and in some cases may make suggestions May make it into the game. Once released, out of beta into full release the game is done. New players in Full release are not debuggers. Development that continues on a full release should not occur, unless the full release has bugs not reported before, due to a larger audience.

     By continuing to develop and making major changes and additions to a game, puts the game Squarely Back in Beta. It is Not a Full Release.  The concept of working on a full release game with patches to fix issues was not meant to become a way of life in our games. Introducing any of this into the Original completion line messes up the new player base. Players who came to the game to explore, discover, and accomplish needed tasks deserve to revel in the same atmosphere, learn the process, and enjoy uncovering the mystery.  This is not only off-putting and grindy, it's downright unfair to those who are using what free time they have, to attempt to get to the end game,

That's the Gift. It is not a gift to lose progress because of updates and game breaking mechanics. Forgive me if catering to the current players and their revenue stream is the priority. Please understand, as I approach 1200 hours, that I include myself, even as I have created multiple ways of playing, but do not stream.

     What makes things worse are the requests made by players that are not Playing the game. They are done with the game, some never played the game, or they are in exile from other games. They ruin games by cutting off the legs of great concepts. Allow me to repeat, THEY ARE NOT PLAYING THE GAME. These players are intent on building a McMansion or the Scariest Armed Private Settlement. Including but not limited to, furniture, decorations, windows, flooring, etc.   By and by the requests lead to "creative mode". It's not cheating, because they Don't want to play the game.”    Other players chime in with "we just want to get our stuff back."

     Playing multiplayer with the creative McMansion players is not a game. Instead they bring other member players in to fetch them things while they create something inside a game that already has a quest line. On the other end of the spectrum, the adversarial players who brings in a small group of like-minded antagonists, hell bent on demoralizing and burning down everything outside their territory.Was that part of the game? Playing through the challenges and surprises to get to the end, only as long as we didnt have to lose anything? Or is it more a consequence of making too many changes. To be fair, the Original game quest line was not overtly difficult, so this mode is not about the game being hard.

If there was no clear idea of How to expand on the Original concept, and development is still taking place, then take more time to consider how to keep it Unique and less time Morphing the game into a clone of another game, “ It sort of reminds me of InsertGame a little. I wish it had xxx”.

 

Having said that, if I may offer some examples that I feel emulate the Unique concept and still manages to grant the non-players a way enjoy gaming their way.

     Old suggestions always return for a reason. The Origin end game should allow the player to enter a new universe, with new planets. Not Additional Planets in the Same Core Completion line. Not the same planets with a new look. (At least not so similar that it's an obvious reskin) This would give long time players the difficulty and challenges. If it cannot be implemented because it is so much work that it's really another game, and no sarcasm intended here, perhaps stop working on the finished game.

    The completion of one area Without bringing in items from another completion line offers a new challenge for players and less coding. Being brought to or landing in a new quadrant or universe without old objects also allows for greater stability and all new dynamics. (If time and code permitted, wormholes for travel would stay in concept, if connecting these places ever took place.) Challenges do not necessarily involve making every planet and place more and more hostile, but could offer more realistic challenges.

     Non rotational gravity gradient moons and asteroids etc.. Abandoned space stations objects and satellites to investigate, scavenge, repair or destroy. Occasionally finding meteorites. Meteors, asteroids and other celestial debris offer many different things in terms of craftable materials as well. New objects, "including appearance related" outfits and or uniforms with specific equipment attached to each that is needed to even go to a planet.  Like any new environment, many things that works on an M class planet do not work everywhere. With new quadrants or a new universe come new travel. This would allow a Defense Force Astroneer a PVP system of their own with molten ground areas, heavy gravity, habitable and inhabitable zones and radiation. Terrain tools that can be modded to spray say, cataplant like orbs. Larger ships to carry more people. Some of these environmentals and objects can cross over to the New quadrant or universe as well for quest line players.

    Having One M class planet with a stable atmosphere, would be a surprise and welcome change for a Farming Astroneer, that can plant and grow a variety of space plants, both eatable and craftable. It would however carry with it a metric for depleting health on such a world. Using seeds and spores found throughout the system give them a quest line as well. Planting eatables and fiberlike plants that produce other crafting materials.  They could create potted, vertical and full in ground farms.

Sharing such crafting objects with a Terraforming Astroneer, who can do the same thing within a portable atmospheric field and mini hydroponics. These players could be working toward terraforming specific planets or moon types. Items that can extract water vapor from propellants.  Upgrading a portable atmospheric field to create a large artificial atmosphere by recycling gases locked in sediment, up to a cyclotron, inside a Bio-dome like structure. These challenges include getting to another planet just like now. However, rockets may not work for some explorations. Realistically, not every place would permit large ships. Some places are truly made up of liquid while others or too hot or have zero gravity.  Taking a Shuttle for small hops, or deployment craft from an orbiting mass may be the only way to get there. There will also be a need for    Specialized vehicles, tailored to those environments.  Again, realistically, some places cannot use a buggy, or rover, but a hovercraft, or subterranean craft is needed.

 

With ancient knowledge, scattered throughout the system in various forms, is the information on How to reach some places otherwise inaccessible. These objects may contain some specialized material or item that is needed to get there.  Creating a forward base,  having telescopes, specialized life support, a compass or GPS, a communication relay, energy beams. All this would be a great adventure for an Explorer Astroneer.

Creating Hydrogen cells, Solar cells, and Methane cells, for energy. Or all new forms of energy never heard of, for a system that is not like our own. Jump drives, Hyper drives, Warp drives, The aforementioned worm holes, black holes and Einstein-Rosen Bridge  seeing what a place looked like before.

To me, this is so much more awesome than making it harder, adding quality of life items, making surfaces perfect, playing games with the game, adding more, bigger, or additional controls on already existing items. Save it for the bigger game. 

This game is a wonderful experience, and I truly appreciate all the work that has gone into it.

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SevernFyre, that's quite the first post.

first, welcome to the forums. round here's good honest folks, just lookin' to make a better world. if they get antsy or bullish on occasion, don't pay it no mind. they wouldn't do it if they didn't care so much. in that, we're all alike.

second, i find much to concur with in what you say. it's funny, i never properly thought about this until you put it into words, but it kinda does feel like the game hasn't properly left it's beta days, does it? i mean, most full release games are pretty much sorted as they stand, but the changes that get released into Astroneer feel less like part of a plan and more like experimenting with ideas. certainly some of them fundamentally alter the game, arguably to the point of breaking it. you're right, it still feels like a beta test.

and all that talk of ancient knowledge, orbital stations, discovery based progress, world engineering, trans-system travel and unique planetary experiences - well, you pretty much covered all the ground of a big chunk of the contributors here, in a few neat paragraphs. smartly done. you wont find a word of dissent from me. now we just have to hope the Devs are either listening, or have already got plans for much of that stuff and are just biding their time, waiting to roll it out. one can hope, eh?

for now, SevernFyre, we'll all just have to keep dreamin' and postin', postin' and dreamin'. and playing, of course.

Edited by Bron
rounding up a stray 't'

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Wow, great post and thanks for speaking honestly. I really like your ideas and appreciate the use of "M Class Planet". I often think of Star Trek when we're talking about Astroneer so that was cool to read.

We always planned on updating, patching, and evolving Astroneer after the 1.0 release so hopefully it's cool that we continue to do that. At System Era we look to games (like Minecraft and Fortnite to name a couple) and our own experiences as game developers as reference and resources for how we want to continue to expand Astro.

Suggestions and criticisms we read online help us determine where and how we focus: more often than not what we read online is something we've already been brainstorming, reviewing, and/or developing in some shape or form. We have many players wanting many things so reading it all helps us figure out what to tackle next and when to release it. Having said all of that, not a day goes back where someone on the team here isn't sharing a cool idea or cool suggestion for the game we saw online. I tend to start my morning off with a coffee and some forum posts to read over that someone at System Era has shared to the entire team. It's important to us that we keep reading everything you all have to share with us. I just shared your thread with a few folks here, for instance!

Thank you again for taking the time to write this up and share your thoughts with us :)

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8 hours ago, SES_Adam said:

At System Era we look to games (like Minecraft and Fortnite to name a couple)

Fortnite? O.o If you guys replace Fortinte with Don't Starve to the list of games to look into for the survival component (food, temperature hazards), you're making The Game of the century, even if at a lower level of complexity that Don't Starve offers.

Edited by Nekudotaim

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Welcome to the forums! Great to have you.

Your post was a bit long for me. Too bad your point got drowned in a vast sea of assumptions in the first half, but by the second half it came together. You're not the first to ask for such things in the game or question the dev's choices (welcome to the club!). Hopefully the devs realize some of us in the community want more exploration stuff and less once-and-done "toy" items.

4 hours ago, Nekudotaim said:

Fortnite? O.o If you guys replace Fortinte with Don't Starve to the list of games to look into for the survival component (food, temperature hazards), you're making The Game of the century, even if at a lower level of complexity that Don't Starve offers.

Or Ark...

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4 hours ago, Nekudotaim said:

Fortnite? O.o If you guys replace Fortinte with Don't Starve to the list of games to look into for the survival component (food, temperature hazards), you're making The Game of the century, even if at a lower level of complexity that Don't Starve offers.

Well they don't get inspired from their content but they get inspired how Fortnite manages to keep its fanbase active by keeping the hype, and how they mange bugs by fixing it with updates every 2 weeks at least, how they try and use different strategies, like they did with Fortnite Chapter 2 instead of giving it Fortnite season 11, this not only gave Fortnite it a better image but it also gave a boost to Fortnite. Also if you wanted one thing similar between Fortnite and Astroneer is they use the same engine, Unreal engine.
Am I wrong? Idk why everyone keeps hating such a beautiful game like Fortnite. There is a lot to learn from everything.
If I was a dev of Astroneer I would look for ideas and inspiration from Subnautica, Osiris New Dawn, Surviving mars, Minecraft (Adam mentioned it anyways), Kerbal space program. You got any more space exploration survival games?


(I had to copy this from another post)

Edited by TMarcher74

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What TMarcher74 said 👆 (Also @TMarcher74 those game give us inspiraiton as well. I was just listing MC and Fornite as either ends of the spectrum of games we look at (survival + ingenuity on one end,  events and player moments on the other.). The games you listed fall somewhere in between those :)

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@Bron, Thank you for reading and being very gracious with your feedback. As a rule, I do not feel compelled to enter discussions concerning the games I play. They are what they are. However, many games are working on "games as a service" for which I am very much against. I want to Own my 1, 2 needed patch polished game. Even the possibility of using a glitch is nearly impossible, not patching for weird visual or stuck in wall, but because it’s a cheat. But what is creative mode?  I have already quit three games that i put nearly as many hours in Because the core quest got harder, the item lists grew, the addition of maps and at times complete overhauls caused me to lose everything several times. Even with running some of these games on Private servers who force the Update on the client made it a waste of my time and our player base. Cheers to you, and happy posting.

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@SES_Adam, it is very courteous of you to share your creative process and other influential factors that inhabit the nature of the game. I have only the armchair experience to give back, so it is much easier for me obviously. My only challenge was to not intrude on others. You mentioned Minecraft, which is a good example. I was in playing it since indev-20091223-2, InDev for Infinite Development. By Alpha v1.2.2-1 we had a private server with 85 people from around the world and across the US.  We controlled the snapshots, both server and client so it was up to our community when we would update.  We had recreated the world A lot. We used Bukkit A lot and by the end of 2011 we had a mod manager our world and our FTB Sever. Great times! But it was understood, We had a Sandbox and no mission, unless you consider creating anything and exploring a quest. Basically, there was no achievement, and that is where I was speaking from “things going off the rail a bit” if you will. As players and admins, we controlled what was in the game, when it would update if at all, we could move whole structures to new maps, yet it was just a sandbox…. With stargates and portal guns.. Enjoy your coffee and thanks to your team for all the 23 hour days that went into making the game.

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@vvhorusWell, Tl;dr happens, my bad. I am not requesting anything in the game. My horse and I just happened to ride by. Funny you should mention Ark, yes, many hours there, Couch fire.  Same Co-founder from Trendy if I am not mistaken.  While I left a note, albeit to long, it was not an allegation on mishandling their own creation.  Currently, they seem to be trying to please everyone, so I am sure. Like Disney, they may well make all wishes come true.

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8 hours ago, SevernFyre said:

@TMarcher74 I am not sure what you said, but you pasted it perfectly. Here's another one, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.   Have fun in Fortnite

uhh what? what does that mean?
*Insert "is that some kind of personal attack or something" meme

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