Ok I comprehend this is alpha – which is why I’m giving this honest imo feedback now, purely on the basis id like to see this game be a raging success in final release. so no-one get upset or go into a hissy fit promise … OK ?
Games I can or cant be bothered to play and the games I play fully, are most often FUN, what does fun really mean for me ? It means the games have very linear difficulty progression (e.g.- the first PVZ is the best example I can think of super linear difficulty progression), and only introduce complexity slowly so that the player grows and is not out of their depth for very long. But finding that balance, is very much in the best games like riding a knife edge. Now so far the experience in SIr, is not leading me to play more more of it, Id would say the game is a little off-putting, especially as I have even got off the first island or found and successfully collected more than two fragments, and I’m of a mind not to bother, but will persist a little longer.
Now of course I understand they’re are probably plenty of individuals who will tell the game is too easy or they completed in a short period of time and it isn’t difficult enough et etc etc. But these people are not the measure of your full audience, the real measure of a game is whether 90% of people can get to see 90% of the game ? id say if someone pays for a game they should at least be inspired to see a large proportion of it ? otherwise the difficulty curve is wrong and Being developers its very difficult for you play testing the game yourselves to see the difficulty, the only time I ever developed a game I found it very easy to beat it, but thats because I understood every aspect of the mechanics and pathing from the inside. I presume you have set each island to increase in difficulty ? progressively ? if i cant manage the first island what chance is it I’m going to bother with the other four ? Ok with that understood.
[U]The first island is too hard[/U], especially as I selected the hunter easy mode with gun and rifle and had radar on ? I must have died 6-7 times so far for two fragments ?, which with it being on easy mode on a start island is from a player perspective disheartening and irritating, ok its not perma-death I know – progress can be made slowly, but its irritating none the less, I have bought some games and played them which are perma-death etc WAZHACK for instance, but its not my favourite game feature for sure and certainly enter into such games knowing they’re difficulty level, dying allot doesn’t feel good from a player perspective unless your a masochist, and also if that is to be the case each time you die you should be learning something that makes it less likely to happen again in the future, it didn’t feel like that, it felt the same situation would be just as deadly the next time ? I also don’t like the immersion breaking of dying allot, Dear Esther though the complete opposite I found engaging even without the prospect of dying to spur me on. After all I’m just learning the games mechanics on the first island i would have thought ?
Therefore shouldn’t it be easier than the other islands ? so as to introduce the player to the game, either that or it needs a lighter tutorial island, just to learn the mechanics of distraction and shooting and bandaging etc. Secondarily they’re was some explanation of the interface on the screen which I managed to click past if there was one, and then couldn’t bring it back up, only on my 6th attempt did it dawn on me the circle on the radar represented the standing stones etc, on release the game will need an explanation of this and distraction techniques etc. perhaps less words and a few more visual cartoons to draw the eye ? with interface highlighting as as an audio version of the text is read ? The first island should be relatively easy for 90% of players and then each island get progressively harder imo.
0: [U]in the game interface please provide a feedback form[/U] of 150/200 words or less asking for feedback as regards first impressions, as many people with not bother with another forum signup rigmarole, considering the number of logins everyone has today is overwhelming even for someone like me who has a over of thousand all told creating another forum login just to spend my own time giving feedback seems a pain, that should be made by developers as easy as possible in this day and age. do you collect statistics from the game on length of play session number of deaths over what period etc ? as such statistics will give you a better impression as to how much people are really enjoying the game and sticking with it.
1a: [U]Patches of trees appear to provide very little cover compared to grass[/U] ? I’m guessing the robots vision can penetrate tree cover as well as a person moving through it ? which is not so in reality, trees should provide quite allot of extra cover ? the visibility meter should do some kind of pulsing when your in danger ? and a blinking when spotted the red bands were sort of effective though I think that could be improved.
1b: [U]movement[/U] Moving about feels a bit slow when running, I don’t get a sense of rushing or leaping, and slightly too noisy, maybe it should be variable with the scroll wheel, rather than switch weapon ? so I can decide how fast I’m moving and how much noise I want to make ? crawling about became a little dull ? as that was the only way not to be discovered when getting near an occupied objective. I also think that just walking about makes too much audible noise from an audio perspective I could be quieter than that in real life ? as hunching slightly and rapid soft-stepping as though I had moccasins is what I would do in the reality of a situation like this, maybe make it so the useless boots are of soft supple leather and can be equipped to modify your noise in the environment ? or items can act as noise modifiers / camouflagers etc ? tweed is quite good camouflage.
1c: [U]Robot vision range and visibility on first island[/U] : The range of the robots vision on the first island is too far it feels like i can be seen behind a bramble hedge from 50 yards. and even when crouching if close enough they can still see me through a hedge, UK hedges are usually tall enough and thick enough in the UK you couldn’t see someone through it if you were both directly either side of it ? and certainly not when crouching obviously the views would be awful if you made the hedges taller etc and cramp the game views in but crouching behind a hedge should make you invisible to things on the other side of it de-facto. I also think the robots need to naturally wander away from objectives a little further.
2 [U]Bleeding out[/U], dying several times on quite a few play attempts became annoying, especially if I bandaged then got shot again and bled out, strategy latterly discovered – wait until you drop the robots completely before bandaging if you can, But I think the bleed-out period is too short for those trying to make it to a house to get a bandage. I dies several times far from a house due to bleeding.
3: [U]interface size[/U] ? sometimes i suspect that interface size for PC games or as I am on a 27″ monitor is a compromise toward using one interface size to deliver on smaller touch form factors, Ive noticed this with Godus as well, but anyway it seems that some interface elements seem clunk-ily large ? not a biggie
4: [U]inventory management[/U] ? Im not really keen on inventory management games, thats not to say some realism in what you can carry isn’t a good thing, but combined with how small the inventory is, it seems its been designed to make you juggle space for food bandages bullets weapons and objective items that seem a overly large, it felt a little tedious after a while constantly reserving a space so large in my inventory for such a large objective item ? also having the weapons in inventory seemed a bit weird as they would naturally be strapped to me and not in bag inventory ? In fact the inventory issue might be solved by having them not in the inventory when in the action slots as it were ? also no stacking of items, there was a bit of me felt that the inventory was like some game of Tetris I hadn’t bargained on playing in this game.
4b: [U]Junk items[/U] Id rather have less junk unusable stuff in houses which nothing can be done with it seems a little pointless, mouldy bread i dint bother with at all after the first session and thereby by became redundant, and to be honest almost every object is throwable in real life, your missing a humour touch there ? I wanted to throw my memorial plate at a robot – no luck ? I love the idea that scalding tea might affect robots circuitry or toy trains might work as a distraction in towns ? etc etc lots of fun to be had there ? all the objects need more function, bread for feeding the birds etc ? some blackberries on bushes ?
5: [U]distraction items[/U] ? most objects should be chuck-able as a distraction ? candle sticks in towns or against a rock would make a good distraction sound, and should be throwable ? I also so found utilising distraction items a bit of a faff, as the range between which you are discovered and the effective throw length and duration of clocks didn’t seem sufficient to circle round and collect and objective item often, without getting shot after they discover the clock. Perhaps a preference to turn on however unrealistic it may seem, a transparent arc of throw curve which indicates visually when a distraction item is selected that this option is available to the viewer, though I can understand if you think this ruins immersion, maybe just a little cue. Obviously the icon is there, but i found at the beginning questioning myself as to whether it was left key or right key to throw, and getting confused by alarm clock time setting and dropping, I think hat needs to be clearer and tighter to the user. especially having such a misunderstanding, is effectively death if you get it wrong, theres a bit of me at the moment worries that distractions aren’t as effective a choice as just using yourself to lure the robots away from an objective and running circle back to pick it up ? more dangerous but less faff, kind of damages the stealth idea and distractions, so I think distractions need to work better and be superior option to lure running and circling.
6: [U]Maps[/U] : no maps by default but presumably they can be found later, though I haven’t found any.
7: [U]robot ammo [/U]: if the robots are firing at me willy nilly then when I down one, I expect to find his ammo, and not a blown blunderbuss ? or I expect the robot to run out of ammo and make an audible clicking “out of ammo noise” and curse, so I know “NOW” is a good time to hand to hand with a robot ? perhaps a candle stick can be an offensive weapon in that case ? as well as a throwing distraction tool ?
8: [U]the cover of night [/U]? are we in the game getting more cover at night automatically ? than in the day time ? because the expression “under the cover of darkness” exists for a reason ? are these robots thermal imagers ?
9 [U]hedge gaps[/U]: gaps in hedges I could do with a few more of, I’ve had to circle some objectives that seem entirely enclosed by hedge or fencing then only open ground in the middle, with two robots next to the objective the only way to get the objective is to take them out. which means stealth isn’t really a play style option in that situation
[U]10 shooting[/U], even in easy mode i found the weapons inconsistent and unsatisfying i couldn’t determine what was making the difference between successfully killing a target or how many shots it required, and again for the first island perhaps the strengths of the robots should be lowered, sometimes it felt like I had to unload five bullets into a robot to kill him and then though they had been shooting at me I got no ammo from them ? also they’re fleeing to another robot tactic was a bit clever but a bit irritating for the first island especially if you just spent 5 bullets into the thing and had one left ? I think this game would benefit from a gun with scopes or crafting one from binoculars etc, as i like the idea of taking them out with a powerful rifle from range. It felt as if there was some heavy random /armor modifier of shot success especially when taking out robots or baloon lamps ?
[U]11 Audio ; [/U]some tweak-able audio settings, as a person not desiring to use headphones but a stereo pair of large speakers arranged left and right ahead of me, I don’t like headphones and sweaty ears in long game playing sessions, I felt the audio cues as to robots direction could have been more prominent or maybe some kind of stereo separation adjustment option for a pair of stereo speakers ? Also the death sound compared to the in game sounds was overly loud, I can kind of tell I’m dead by the red screen and falling over I don’t need some twice the volume of everything else audio cue as to whats happened at the moment, especially as dying is quite a common occurrence. And I often find that some games get the sound levels thing wrong, people usually adjust game volume for the general sound in the game environment, and if some samples have massively higher levels that can be irritating in environments with other people not playing the game, so its worth normalising the levels throughout the game such that I only need to adjust my sound volume once in the game at the beginning. and that all sounds will be in relative range to that. or certain sound volumes types adjustable etc ? Athe moment im finding the music and death music way too loud and robots not quite loud enough, im not wearing headphones, but if i had the volume higher for robots, the death music would deafening and highly irritating, it like the sting before bbc iplayer also way too loud and irritating.
[U]12 The lean function :[/U] The lean isn’t deep enough and whilst one is leaning one cant move and therefore adjust the lean, so it goes like this > lean > Oh not seeing round the wall move a bit closer to the corner > OH I’m the out of the corner > nudge back in > Lean, doesn’t really work, maybe do a smart lean whereby next to the corner of building at least it moves you to the right position when you lean to get full view down the building ? maybe auto would end up causing trouble, being able to move whilst leaning would solve it hopefully or maybe its minimum move increment which at corners seems to large ?
[U]13: higher ground advantage ?[/U] I’m finding the proximity with which the robots are circulating the objective item and the range at which they identify my presence means that neither a plain stealth approach will work or a full frontal attack as the weapons seem mainly crappy, which means that the only technique i can really try is distraction and they seem to recognise my presence at such a range that if i were to throw distract from that range I doubt they would hear it unless the object lands between me and them or unless i can throw objects twice the distance they can cognate my presence at ie over and past them ? Therefore getting closing enough involves crouching all the way and praying then chucking elsewhere whilst crouched half next to them praying the height trajectory is optimal, something that in real life is relatively easy, but difficult to judge in this game whilst crouched in grass, and is a very slow form of patience based gameplay ? if one takes the role of hunter or whatever the guns should be more viable ? usually two robots guarding an objective means you can get one down with 5 rounds meaning unless you have second 5 rounds gathered up to spend on the second robot you dont have much chance.
[U]14 run[/U] – how about double tap and hold w on the second press to run faster ? as im finding slightly too many keys to manage in tight situations and guaranteeing getting shift with the little finger is a pain in frantic situations.
15 [U]icon discrepancy :[/U] rifle with scope icon even though it only has iron sights ?
16 I’m not sure a re-loading key R imo in any game ever actually adds to my fun ? its just another unnecessary control, I don’t like it in 7 days to die either, surely a character would automatically reload their weapon in such an environment by default, and have available to use at any moment whatever ammo they had at their disposal, why don’t you make some of these options preference-able in the alpha then perm fix them later in the game dependant on what the majority of people select ? if such statistics were gathered.
17 depositing a fragment at the stone should auto save ? as im not sure theyre would be any advantage to it not saving fragment progress on deposition ? i certainly lost one fragment by not remembering to click save … at the stone before quiting the game ?