A whole week flew by like it didn’t happen! We launched the private beta on Monday for about 100 folks who originally signed up for the beta test. About ten of them played the game for over an hour and provided a lot of great in-depth feedback. I certainly learned a lot of lessons on how to run betas with limited time and resources; I’ll write up a blog at some point in the future describing the juicy details.
Based on the feedback three things stood out the most:
- People generally like the game and find it fun once they learn the rules.
- The battle system has to be completely revamped. Currently, it’s too simplistic and unpredictable.
- About 70% of folks didn’t have any trouble figuring out the mechanics; some got frustrated because they didn’t feel like there was a clear direction during the game and they weren’t sure how different types of resources and structures relate to each other.
There’s still more to learn but I’m really glad that the beta resulted in more clarity about the direction of the game as well as the missing pieces.
I just pushed version
0.2.0 of the game to Steam with tons of improvements. Here’s a high-level breakdown:
- [UI]: Added a settings menu with sound effect and music volume controls.
- [BUGFIX] Fixed a serious bug when, in certain edge cases, resource rates didn’t take research values into account.
- [BUGFIX] Fixed performance issues on older video cards.
- [GAMEPLAY] Lowered population and energy limits.
- [GAMEPLAY] Added low (instead of zero) initial rates for population, minerals, and energy.
- [GAMEPLAY] Increased research point cost for higher level research items.
- [UI] Added lots of tooltips that explain game mechanics and the meaning behind structures and resources.
- [UI] Hide population rate for when a location has no more resources to mine; hide population rate for asteroid fields.
- [UI] Renamed “resources” to “minerals.” Now resources represent all three key resources: population, energy, and minerals.
- [GAMEPLAY] Remove fog of war around all locations connected to our locations by hyperspace tunnel. The clear radius around those locations is extra small because the point of the change is to give a clear view of location messages.
Over the next seven days we are going to focus on:
- Working on the Civ-style adviser.
- New battle system.
- Balance tweaks as we learn more from beta players.