Astro Galaxy - a realistic space exploration game
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151  Info Terminal / Knowledge base, Information board / Re: Stars death and rebirth on: September 09, 2014, 03:44:55 PM
Mapping and/or exploring is very fun. The game needs to find a way to keep things from being known too long! The UNKNOWN is what makes it fun! Once things are known and stay that way for X time, it loses so much glamour. Imagine if playing this game was as boring as joining a corp and suddenly having a map of hte entire universe? A corp would network everything. They'd know not just how to get from A to B but what's at A and B. So you'd be encouraged to play alone just to have a feeling of being an explorer? I know that's probably how it'll end up for convenience sake, but I think it's sad and like most games it just feels dry and overcooked to me.

Too bad the game can't create random dynamic new places, perhaps connected by wormholes. I mean like how when you play a rogue-like it's random each time, so it's a genuine exploration. Does the game have no means to do that? This would allow for nearly infinite (on our terms) growth in new areas.

I guess the problem would be the "map" would get too big!!! Tens of players discovering several stars every day would mean the map would be gargantuan after a few months. Even just 15 players discovering 3 new stars every day would amount to 2700 stars after 2 months. And of course figuring out a plotting course which has several wormholes in it would be confusing because it's not a linear plot. You would need a map which has all the star fields and their wormhole spots and all the lines going out from each wormhole to all the other wormholes (located in star fields) in order to get a actual idea of how to plot a course effectively. Things can get tricky, and it depends on whether wormholes go to ONE star field or to separate ones. And allowing wormholes to go to multiple other wormholes would also add some jazz to course plotting. Players would end up demanding an automatic course generator. Although personally I LIKE being a human calculator and/or course plotter. Just weird that way. Not everybody is math averse or alergic to technical problems - I can like them sometimes. Of course if this game were real people wouldn't be expected to create plots, they'd use computers. Back before computers people did plot courses on their own, though. In some respect they used precursor to computers, like sextants. There were a multitude of these "precursors" to computers which aided navigation and other disciplines.

(of course, an enormous map would also strain server? what if I had a million mining facilities? maybe not possible, but if I had a couple years to build them... maybe? not sure how that works even in curent game.)

Maybe hte game could reset or something, to keeps things fresh? This way you don't have to worry about managing a gargantuan navigation map. And each time it'd be a random new universe. This would also help alleviate mudflation concerns, as everything in the game would have value again. Everybody would start at bottom and have a chance against others. Although veteran players would still play more effectively because they know how to do it, so not all "mudflation" is eliminated. Lastly, this is all unlikely because players don't want to lose what they create. However, there're probably ways of retaining some of their wealth, even if only in biographical stats.
152  Info Terminal / Knowledge base, Information board / Re: Planetary Defense much easier now on: September 09, 2014, 03:35:24 PM
One idea is to have a readiness attribute for planetary or station forces. When a player is logged off for more than 3 months or something, reduce hte readiness. If the readiness value is low then the attacker gains an advantage. This way combat is still heavily in favor of the defender, but still allows players to clear abandoned things.
153  Info Terminal / Knowledge base, Information board / Re: Quick tips and tricks on: September 05, 2014, 08:59:44 PM
I've seen at least 6 ppl who started before me in this game an some of them are still trying (b1tching + whining + crying + frustrated = quit + insult game and/or Emi) to finish the SEA, there's no secret-master tip that could help ppl in a game, not this one or any other, facts are simple: You think or u don't.
.............
I've played 2.5 months. I think it's long enough to show I've got over a lot of initial humps. Graduated long time ago. I think not everyone can tolerate what I can or you can or the average Jo in this game can. Doesn't mean they can't think. They just don't have the patience or the tolerance to go through the motions we do.

What motions? Read below.

The game is weird sometimes. Like how minerals "go into" mining facilities. They actually don't. The listed amount on the mining facility available for unloading is actually just a claim to the deposit. Once you "unload" you're rewarded the claim. The facility never actually stored the mineral or gas.

The UI is also somewhat cluttered or confusing sometimes. Like whne you transfer to another ship you have to select it, but the way in which it's shown and works is kind of confusing - or was for me the first few times.

The game is also very technical and doesn't list things. What do I mean by technical? I mean numbers can mean the difference between success and failure. It's not just one number, it's many numbers. Do you have enough cargo room for something? Do you have enough aluminum to manufacture what you want? What MK level will you manufacture at? Do you have enough personnel in your living quarters to keep the rest of your facilities going if any personnel or lost or you want to transfer some to a mining facility? Do you have enough fuel cells? On and on. And then there's the "doesn't list things" part. It doesn't tell you what minerals you'll find in a system, so you have to go there and find out. You have to go to each planet. And it doesn't show you where your thigns are on the system screen. If you click on Planets it just shows you how many "things" are on each one. You end up having to write these things down either separately in documents or using the in-game Notepad functionality.

I am of course fine with all the thigns above. I've enjoyed hte game so far immensely. But I know even if this game was as spreadsheet I might play it. Hell, it could require I write c++ to control ships and I might still play. I played Dwarf Fortress, A TEXT GAME THAT KILLS YOUR DWARVES CREATIVELY, and I had a lot of fun - so much I wanted to mod it. I've also enjoyed some text-based MUDs over the years. I like survival games.

(And I wouldn't eliminate the possibility some people experience browser bugs.)
154  General Talk / Hi. My name is... / Re: Hello, I am Garville on: August 07, 2014, 02:46:03 PM
Hey, Guys,

Don't worry, I don't carry grudges, especially when it says on the cover page that conflict is inevitable.  While my intention is to be peaceable, I will attack if I have been attacked.  Most of the contacts I have had in the game have been friendly, and I believe that there is respect and the beginning of several friendships there.  I often find that to be an important part of enjoying a game.  

I would like to correct what I said at the beginning about taking membership benefits being like an athlete taking steroids.  That was wrong of me, because it probably criticises a lot of people based on my own personal belief, which only applies to me.  It is not a strategy that would benefit my personal game playing pleasure, however I see nothing wrong in anyone else joining a corp as part of their personal strategy, and they should do it if that is how they enjoy playing.  Phrasing it as I did was unintentionally arrogant.  I apologise to everyone who was offended by it.

Your responses in this thread have been even more educational than the advice threads.  I have a much better idea of what the game is about, and some of your motives too.  This will be a great help in the game.

@ SirEmi
I feel that if you put your post in this thread on your front page, or even on a linked page, you will get more people trying the game out.  

Fly safe, Captains.
Garville Chance

I am a newer player than yourself. I've talked to you in the SOL message list.

As a new player who often plays the way you described in many different games, I think when you don't take lots of gifts and upgrades from other more powerful players, it forces you to play the game and genuinely - without illusions - get to know it. All of hte gifts and upgrades do give you a shortcut to higher power ratings, but they don't teach you the game. My feeling is if you can't enjoy the game without gifts and upgrades then you probably won't enjoy it with them because in order to really learn the game you'll eventually have to go without. No player can infinitely give you gifts and always be available to walk you through the game.

So whether a player goes without early on or later, it's the litmus test for their ability to stick. In many games I've played, there were quite a number of players who coasted on freebies and then hit a wall when the gifts stopped. They never actually played the game up to that point. It hits harder too because they waited so long before playing the real game. All that they've done up to that point will be lost and it'll hurt. And it hurts even more if the gifts were being given to them by the game and not other players. The game intentionally deceived them.

However, there's another phenomena I've noticed in the different games I've played. The game at the lower tiers can be different from the game at higher tiers. So it's still possible for someone like myself who doesn't like freebies to enjoy the early tiers but hit a wall later on when the game changes noticeably to one I don't like.

And for higher tier players, it comes naturally to help the lower tiers because they've played in those tiers and know how much they can help. However, sometimes you have to give the new players room to navigate the game on their own for a while. It's hard to resist the impulse to help them, but you have to understand: not all players like to be drowned in loot and upgrades. And the lower tier game is not worthless just because the items are so weak or because the lower tier player has such small powers. If the game is at least moderately similar from the bottom tiers to the top then letting the lower tier players learn the ropes early can help prevent them from having a hard crushing blow when they discover they don't like the game much later in their playing career. They'll still experience grief and leave the game disgusted, but it won't be as heavy hitting.

Lastly, the best way to help a low tier player is to answer any questions they ask. Do not answer questions they don't ask. If they've at a prior time declined money and gifts then don't offer them unless asked for.
155  Caffe / Whatever / Re: This game needs fast new kind of combat system... on: August 07, 2014, 02:23:54 PM
nah, its ok. if i ever had a station i wouldnt like to wake up one day and see there is only a pile of rubble left of it. this way one can react if the timer is long enough. but maybe battles could be sped up if both sides agree with this.

I agree with this. This is not a fast paced game and shouldn't be. It'd change many things if it tried to be. So just changing this one thing would not be enough. A slew of other things would have to be changed too.

Giving the defender time to react is NOT bad. Players attacking at odd hours or ninja-killing in other pvp games is hte source of much grief and one of the major reasons pvp in games tends to be strictly controlled.

It's already not fair with the massive power ratings of some players.

I somtimes play in Wurm Online - on the pvp servers - and in that game other players can destroy in minutes what has taken you hours or days to build. And it takes longer to repair a lot of things than to build them!! Of course, there're similar mechanics in that game to protect the defender, but sometimes it's wholly inadaquate.

So ya I'm very much in support of giving substantially more favor to the defender than the attacker. Any kind of anti-griefing code is going to help extend the life of this game and keep players from rage quitting.

But I tend to be against too many safe areas or "instanced" areas. I like pvp open world gameplay.

PS: I am a new player. So please ignore me if desired. I may be wrong about this.
156  Info Terminal / Updates / Re: Updates & fixes on: August 05, 2014, 01:42:53 PM
I prefer the black background over the green one that we now use. LOL

And BTW, welcome to AG. 1

I'm ok with it, with these caveats:
1) Add some borders to the navigation links for the menu on the left-side
2) Make the border-area clickable so that you don't have to click exactly on the text
3) Make the border area larger (vertically and/or horizontally) than the text

Note: The border area could just be a alpha-blended color that's a little brighter than black. So instead of seeing a bright green color, you'd see maybe a very dim green with some of hte black/stars showing through.

The border area would serve to:
1) Aid our eyes to know what we can click on
2) Increase the clickable area for each navigation link (especially horizontally)
3) Separate the menu from the rest of the interface (ex: click on a planet in system view)

BUT I have no problems with the green color. I do think however a menu popup system might be better than what we have now for people who don't have mouse wheels. It may even work for both desktops and tablets.

I've also noticed the clickable boxes for navigation links has increased across the entire interface. This is noted in the OP "All menu links area has been improved to make it work better when tapping from tablet & phones." One of the posters here says the table entries for the cargo section are bigger. Of course they're because it makes it easier to tap on a touch screen. Every clickable area is bigger.

I don't mind that. I would mind it if things got even larger. There comes a point where trying to serve both desktop and mobile device users with the same UI ends up stepping on someone. I know some people thinik there's a perfect one-size (or style)-fits-all where everybody can be satisfied, but I really haven't seen it yet. The key here is not to have one answer, but to allow for many different sizes or styles - depending on the characteristics of the device. So a user might select from a list of UI configs. On high resolution screens without touch they may select very concentrated configuration with less popups because: a) tapping-ability is not needed b) resolution is high c) they have good eyesight and hand-eye coordination with a mouse. I know that on my best days I can move the mouse very precisely. On some days not so much. With a customizable interface, it'd help.
157  Info Terminal / Updates / Re: Updates & fixes on: August 05, 2014, 12:37:42 PM
The menu on the left for the pc/laptop doesn't show the color behind the text. There's just stars. Is that intended? I miss the colored background. Too much black now. It feels like everything is squished somehow.

The blackness is even more apparent when click on a planet in the system view. There's noting separating the navigation links from the rest of the interface. Makes my mind work harder to separate things.

Is there a way to make it so that the menu item areas are bigger? Right now I have to click on the text exactly in order to activate that menu item. For example, I have to click on the cargo text exactly in order to go to the cargo section. What I'm suggesting is make it so that the cargo text is inside a box (or button), so that you only have to click on the boxed area in order to activate the menu item. By giving the box a border or a color you can better communicate to hte player that it's clickable outside the text. This is how most menus work.

At least have more horizontal area for the menu item "buttons". They don't need to be vertically bigger. So like if I mouseover to the right of "Cargo" then it'll light up as though it's clickable. It should ahve a border at least.

EDIT: Just noticed now Pledge is the way I think the rest of hte menu items should be. Not only do you not have to click it exactly, but it has a border (background is unnecessary) to communicate its clickable area.

Also of note... I use a mouse wheel to scroll. Very fast to scroll.

EDIT: The green background is back! Much easier to click. Although it does add more vertical space. I can imagine people who don't have a mouse wheel might be bothered by more scrolling.

One idea is to break down further the number of navigation links on the left and have context menus popup when you mouseover on them. So if I mouseover on Ship then it'll show clickable stuff like:
Cargo
Weapons
Modules
Etc...

The menu items could be bigger too (making it easier to hit them with the mouse... which can be a problem with small UI in high resolutions and too-responsive interface items) because there're fewer items.

I'd make it so that the popup's are popups and not just a longer menu. I've seen websites that'll actually have hidden menus that'll increase the size of the original menu rather than having a true popup.
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