Author Topic: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future  (Read 14700 times)

Styg

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Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« on: August 26, 2012, 07:04:28 PM »
So it's been couple of days now since the alpha demo was released. People had time to play it and provide lots of feedback. So now is a good time to start addressing that feedback.

I'm happy to say that the impressions were very positive overall, but there are certain aspects that a lot of people felt could use some improvement. Here I will try to summarize the commonly recurring complaints that I gathered from forums (the official one and some others), direct feedback and from just watching other people play live and on the internet.

Technical problems:
  • Game crashes on starting a new game - The problem here is that during the development it was easier for me to just store the save games and other user data in the working directory of the game. This is bad practice because of the User Account Control feature of the newer operating systems prevents you from writing in the Program Files unless you explicitly run the application as an administrator. I completely missed this because every computer I tested it prior to the release had UAC disabled. I will definitely change this so that the future builds use My Games folder or whatever is the appropriate location on the three operating systems I'll be supporting (XP, Vista, 7). Currently, the workaround is to just run the game with explicit administrator rights.
  • Sometimes game would crash on transitions in the lake area - This is a semi-rare bug that can be fixed by applying this patch - http://www.indiedb.com/games/underrail/downloads/underrail-alpha-demo-v0141-patch.

Gameplay feedback:
  • You can get rich easily - With the exception of the very start of the game, money and other resources very quickly become a non-issue. This is mostly due to the fact that you can sell the stuff you scavenged at a very high cost. Also, some resources, such as ammunition, are currently too cheap and abundant. Resource management is an important aspect of the game, so be sure that I will be re-balancing the economy to make the players poor again.
  • There is no running option - The main problem here I think is that backtracking through the areas you already explored, as well as moving through the non-hostile areas, such as the SGS, is too slow. I'm not quite sure yet how I'll address it. Just adding a running option is not that easy as there's a lot of stuff to be consider there and it would also need new animation on all those character models, etc. I'll have to think on how to address this one.
  • Item usage issues - It was not clear enough on how grenades, special bolts and other utility items are equipped and used. I did add a quick tutorial screenshot that could be accessed from the upper right menu (or by pressing F1), but that usually got overlooked as well. I'll be sure to make it more clear what goes where in the next release (highlighting the equipment slots where you need to equip it when you mouse over an item, or something similar).
  • Object highlighting - You can press TAB or Z to highlight all usable objects on screens so you can pickup loot  or open containers obscured by walls, but some people missed this. As with the previous point, it's somewhat an issue of not having a proper tutorial. However, I'll also attempt to make this stuff a bit more intuitive, probably by having the loot show behind walls even without pressing TAB and such stuff.
  • Selecting NPCs - It's usually overlooked that you can actually select someone by right-clicking on them. this allows you to see their exact health and what buffs/debuffs they currently have. I'll see what I can do to make this more apparent.
  • Lack of melee feats - Sorry. There will be more in the future.
  • A way to regenerate health and psi points - Because of the imbalanced economy in the demo, this wasn't too much of an issue. Once I fix the economy, I reconsider adding something of the kind. However, keep in mind that resource management is an important aspect of the game, so don't expect to just be able to rest and heal after every encounter or some such.
  • Bartering interface - "Auto" option needs a bit more work. People didn't like it using their ammo as currency, for example, so I'll do something about that.
  • Same items with different qualities - It's not really obvious before you start reading the stats on different weapon/armor items that you can actually have, say, two "5mm Hawker" pistols that do different damage, or two "Rathound leather armors" that have different resistances. So I'll probably be adding a quality indicator of some sort to the item to make this more obvious.
  • Murdering - In games, people want to murder people and get away with it if no one is there to report the crime. I'm one of such people, so I'll definitely make this possible. Actually, there will be optional assassination quests that will require just that. Stay tuned to the development log to learn more about how this will work.
  • Pickpocketing - This skill needs rebalancing. It's way too hard to pickpocket right now.

Quest feedback:
  • Shooting range quest - This quest needs to be redesigned. It's one of the quests I made quite a while back when the game wasn't yet turn-based.
  • Retaking outposts quest - Doesn't specify the total number of outposts there are. Will fix this.

There's probably more stuff that I can't remember right now, but it'll pop up eventually, don't worry.

*  *  *  *  *

Another thing I wanted to briefly touch on is the prospect of the game being crowd-funded. Some may remember that back in June when the demo video was released, and after being pleasantly surprised by the amount of positive feedback it received I said that a crowd-funding campaign is likely to follow the playable demo release. Unfortunately, things got a bit complicated. Because of where I live, a lot of crowd-funding features are not available to me which limits the kind of campaign I'm able to launch.

I'm currently looking into other forms of crowd-funding, such as alpha funding on Desura.

No need to freak out, though, Underrail is still due to be released in the second half of 2013. even if I have to self-fund it all the way. It's just the matter that being able to secure some form of funding at this stage would really help me make the game as big and as diverse as I would like; and I guess that's something that a lot of you would like as well.

In any case, I'll get back to you guys soon to let you know how it all worked out.

jjman

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 07:19:01 PM »
Thanks for the update and alpha demo!   

I'd certainly contribute to the beta to get a final copy of the game.  I loved the approach taken by TaleWorlds to fund Mount & Blade. 

neonesis

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 08:40:24 PM »
Anything possible to say about the access to future builds?

Will you release a demo such as this one from time to time, or perhaps something bigger?

Styg

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2012, 10:54:12 AM »
Anything possible to say about the access to future builds?

Will you release a demo such as this one from time to time, or perhaps something bigger?

If I end up going for alpha funding there will be regular builds of the game available for those who pre-purchase. Otherwise, there probably won't be any more releases until beta.

Teddiousbear

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 02:50:13 AM »
Hey Styg, just a bit curious on your thoughts of opening the game to an, open-world design, kind of similar to the Fallout series, but have it in a metro theme?

As for bugs there have been a few times where I can't enter any other sectors, although it was solved with a simple re-install, and since it saves the game there is no hassle although the inventories of merchants. Other then that there hasn't been anything too major, tabbing out while fullscreened can sometimes cause the game to crash once I retab in, although I think it maybe since I'm running a custom theme which does it with a few other games. I had a corrupt save but that may have been due to me moving the folders around a bit. Last thing was if you do the Psi event with the guy in engineering, after regaining conciousness I've found my game to run a bit poorly, but a simple restart fixes that right up. That's about it for me right now, thanks for the amazing Alpha, looking forward to more, Cheers!

hilf

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2016, 06:25:07 PM »
Dat necro...

Yeah, this spambot could use some upgrades.
Don't waste time on Underrail.



Use speedhack.

Fenix

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2016, 10:06:33 PM »
 :D Ahaha.

Mac Orion

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2016, 09:16:05 AM »

Wildan

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2016, 08:00:50 PM »
Goddammit this backfired really hard.  :P
Note to self: Always think before posting.

Alright, deleting my post above and will do with this one too once the others are gone. Let's burry this poor thread deep down where it belongs.

player1

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2016, 12:00:00 AM »
Looking back at 2012, Styg was really confident to get game released in 2013.

epeli

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2016, 12:20:49 AM »
He also promised to release it in 2014 :P But it just kept growing... I don't think anyone expected Underrail to become this big.
[[Underrail Wiki]] // character build tool: underrail.info.tm (thread)

Arclight

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2016, 12:28:31 AM »
He also promised to release it in 2014 :P But it just kept growing... I don't think anyone expected Underrail to become this big.

There are some of us who wish it would be bigger. Fifth replay is closing soon...

Styg

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2016, 07:25:02 AM »
He also promised to release it in 2014 :P But it just kept growing... I don't think anyone expected Underrail to become this big.

There are some of us who wish it would be bigger. Fifth replay is closing soon...

We're working on it... ;)

Dizzy

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2016, 04:03:05 PM »
He also promised to release it in 2014 :P But it just kept growing... I don't think anyone expected Underrail to become this big.

There are some of us who wish it would be bigger. Fifth replay is closing soon...

We're working on it... ;)

New Dev log please! haha <3

FlorianGh

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Re: Dev Log #1: Demo Feedback and the Future
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2016, 05:24:43 AM »
He also promised to release it in 2014 :P But it just kept growing... I don't think anyone expected Underrail to become this big.

There are some of us who wish it would be bigger. Fifth replay is closing soon...

We're working on it... ;)

Take your time! We just want to be informed and we can wait patiently while you continue the best CRPG I played in years. Don't forget to include a map and companions! :P