new 4x space game needs testers

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hi guys, i am about to release a new game i have been working on for awhile now. its basically like master of orion, dumbed down and simplified. anyway, if you would like to help me test some balancing stuff. post here and i will send the details.

the game is almost done, but before i add the commander profile and skills, i want to balance everything out good and squash any bugs that might pop up.

if you are familiar with 4x space games, and don’t mind fumbling through with no tutorial or instruction, let me know.

 
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here are some screenies



 
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I’d love to try it out after GiTD is done

 
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I wouldn’t mind giving it a go. I’ve played the first MoO game quite a bit (despite it having some serious flaws).

 
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If you don’t mind me being a new guy I’d like to help if I can.

 
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awesome, i very happy a couple people are interested in helping me. i just changed some of the game mechanics to allow for multiple combats takinbg place at same time on different planets, where before, it would pause for combat. i will need to optimized some of the calculation code to make things run smooth and less laggy for weaker systems. anyway, ill post a link to the test version today.

 
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okay, keep in mind this is still a wip.
the repair ships are useless
there is no save game or game options
the music was removed to make for quick testing (255kb)

im looking for feedback on
1) performance, game lag and speeds on different setups
2) test out the levels of difficulty, hard is really hard, and insane should be impossible to beat.
3) balancing issues with ships and game mechanics

here is the link
STARSHIP COMMANDER BETA

 
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OK, while I was reading the options after selecting “New Game”, a pop-up appeared saying that a script was causing Adobe Flash to run slowly and do I want to abort the script. Also, once I cycle through race choices, I can’t go back; so if I read all the choices, I’m stuck with playing the last one or refreshing the page (at least I didn’t see a back option in the short time I had before the pop-up).

When you say “no game options”, are you including the races and difficulty settings? If so, maybe you should bypass that screen until testing is done?

Edit: I guess it was the slow script that made it freeze so I couldn’t loop back to humans, so disregard the above… but you’ll want to look into whatever is making it do that (I had to recover the webpage this time).

Addition1: Sent 2 colony ships with fleet to another planet; colony ships disappeared, but as far as I can tell, nothing about the planet has changed, and it doesn’t appear to be under my control. Also, pop-ups shouldn’t appear partially obscured by the planetary menu, and it should keep the last menu location, so it goes to that rather than the overview screen when I open it again. You might want to red the background of resources that are short for a given venture as well.

Addition2: No, I take it back; my colony ships are still there, they just didn’t do anything (am I supposed to leave them there for a certain length of time?). Also, my crystals have somehow gone negative (due to events — I’m now at over 1,000 negative)…

Addition3: OK, I got a planet to colonize. Apparently, I have to send a probe to it first (I guess the people in the actual ships can’t see/investigate the planet until a probe scans it first???). Crystal miners going to funerals and taking crystals with them (even crystals I don’t have yet) and research facility accidents that somehow erase already discovered and implemented technology — yeah, those kinds of things need to be fixed. Can’t I have a research option for, I don’t know, “safety procedures” or something? Seriously, though, maybe let the player adjust between safe and fast research and construction? Also, the fleet UI could be a LOT better (is there even a way to only send some of the ships of a fleet somewhere else if they’re not at one of my colonized planets)? Getting ships to a “pirate hideout” says that they won’t leave without a fight, but I can’t fight them — I have to hang around until they leave, then I can take over whatever is there.

 
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the script loops has do be somewhere in the planet generation, ill get on that.
i will make it so u can’t go negative on Resources, it will only drop to 0
ill fix the colony probe issue.

the pirates should attack, that is a bug.

the planet popus, i will make the focus of the planet move off to the side when the planet menu is open. that way everything will stay centered in the viewable area.

how was the lag? how many planets? what difficulty?

 
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Slow script/crash issue happens before game is initiated, so unless you’re generating planets prior to settings selection, it shouldn’t be that.

I didn’t have any lag problems (IE 9.0.whatever, Win Vista Home Premium, AMD 64 dual processor). I tried n00b, easy, and medium difficulties; planets at 12 and 4. Decreasing number of planets increases difficulty, since pirates will be attacking much sooner and more often, so you might want to adjust for that. Even so, medium difficulty at 12 planets was too difficult (I got my resource production up as quickly as I could, and tried to get my R&D up so I could produce high-grade warships, but even with that they were overwhelming me in no time — I might be able to adjust play to compensate, given a few tries, but I would rate medium as hard). That was with Humans. I attempted to play Psylons once, but they were useless. I was being wiped out early, as nothing I put out seemed to last at all (I think I played them on Easy, but I don’t really remember).

Time window is too small (and why do I get to see when the pirates are going to attack next? Shouldn’t it be ETA? Or is this a debug item that hasn’t been removed yet?). Some messages don’t appear in the log (I can’t remember what the message in question was about, but I had gone to re-read it, and it wasn’t there).

I assumed (perhaps incorrectly, as I can’t see ship stats) that ships are retrofitted (or mysteriously downgraded) when tech advances or planet-wide selective amnesia happens; though after I colonized another planet I thought that that couldn’t be correct, since it would then have to either base its current levels on either the closest owned planet or its planet of origin. So do the ships keep the levels they were at when created (in any event how do I view and keep track of what levels my ships are at)? Or does tech not affect them at all, other than unlocking the ability to build them? Also, is there a way to tell how far my ships can reach (other than selecting a destination and having it not respond)?

I liked the “hidden” pirate base/derelict spacecraft idea.

 
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cant thank u enough for the feedback. leeme know when its time to return the favor.

i agree with the pirate raid timer. im considering making that an entirely new gameplay survival mode.
less planets will make things more difficult.
i agree, medium is a bit too hard. only the last 8 or 10 logs are saved, i think i should maybe change that.

tech is automatic and accumulative across all planets. so its always better to upgrade engines tech on a low level planet where it is cheaper, rather than shooting for lvl 9 on another planet for that extra lvll of engines

fleet levels are done like this, each battle u win, that fleet gains a level. the level does give a small bonus to comnbat, but not too much.
if i have a lvl 10 fleet and i merge with a lvl 0 fleet, the lvl becomes the average of both, making the new fleet lvl 5. if you dock and disband the fleet, u lose the combat levels.

when u select a ship, u should see a light blue ring that will expand from the fleet, showing you how far u can travel.

 
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I thought I saw the blue ring, but later when I was trying to get my fleet to go to a far away little cube, I couldn’t see it… I had engine level 10 or so, so I thought maybe their scope was great enough that it was beyond the game area, but they wouldn’t move to the cube.

The message I was looking for was recent. There may have been a message or two after, but nothing even approaching 10. I want to say it was a message about what I found at one of the cubes, but I’d really only be guessing at this point.

I think you should keep the red timer, but change it to ETA for the first incoming attack.

So the fleets gain “experience” levels from battle? OK. I assume that averaging combined fleets’ level takes into account the number of ships in each (if I merge one level 10 ship with 1,000 level 0 ships, I wouldn’t get 1,001 level 5 ships, right?). Anyway, considering this XP leveling and the tech leveling, I think there should be some way to examine the fleet stats. Also, if I send a huge fleet to a planet that I haven’t colonized to guard it, and then decide I want to send half the fleet back, is there a way to do that? The only way I found to send part of a fleet somewhere was to dock the ones I didn’t want to send, which was kind of tedious (and obviously only works at a colonized planet). Eventually, I just ended up sending the whole fleet everywhere and building more ships, just because it was less hassle (and apparently this way also keeps the fleet from losing XP levels). I assumed that docked ships wouldn’t be defending the planet, so I’d turn auto-launch on immediately (if I remember to do it) — if my assumption was correct, I’d suggest auto-launch defaulting to on, particularly for n00b players.

Edit: I just noticed: the star with the number is the fleet level, right?

 
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you make a good point about the levels… if a fleet with 100 shps at level 10 merge with a fleet with 1 probe level 0, the fleet should be like 9.99 or something like that. so the average should be based off of the number of ships in the fleet, not just the fleet object itself. currently this is not the case.