Problems with realism

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Problems with realism

Post by Kudalufi on Sat 19 Jul - 2:13

I just purchased the game a couple days ago and have been playing quite a bit. I have a few comments to make about the game's realism, and a few suggestions to make on how to improve it.

First of all, I get the fact that the game tries to juggle the hull vs fuel vs oxygen. Really, it should be just fuel vs hull since oxygen is 100% recyclable given energy input. I have a large problem, though, with the lack of realism shown when going to a gas giant and mining it out of hydrogen and helium. The first time I got told that a gas giant had no more gas to mine my eyes almost popped out of my head. So my little ship just used up the whole atmosphere of that planet? The last time I played through the game, I actually lost when I came into a star system, lost some fuel due to a random event, then the star... not even a gas giant, but the star I was using my "ultraprobe" on only had 4 units of fuel in it before it ran out. Out of fuel, game over. Boom. After collecting all that tech, now I have to start over fromt he beginning because a star "ran out of gas". That is some ship if I just exhausted the hydrogen supply in a yellow star. This is just making the game not fun. However you want to make game play hard, that is just absolutely ridiculous. If you want to have fuel be a scarce resource, then it shouldn't be hydrogen or helium. Have interstellar travel be powered by something like "collapsium" which is exotic matter that is rare, and only created by black holes. This is where creativity comes in, not just throwing around some vaguely technical sounding element names.

Other things that detract from realism are the fact that some of the game play mechanics seem to be put in solely to make the game harder. Like the fact that my fuel probe can't fill my fuel tank without dumping the fuel into my cargo hold first. It's a fuel probe. It's sole job is to get me fuel. And That's just arbitrary and frustrating. At the very least I should be able jettison cargo and pick it up again. After all, I can transfer cargo between ships, why can't I just jettison cargo to space around my ship and pick it up again? Things like that, which are restrictions that make no sense are frustrating. I get that the intention is to force the player to make sacrifices due to scarce cargo space, but there is such a thing as taking that too far.

Lastly, what detracts from realism is the fact that the translations into english are, in some cases, weak. It looks like something written by a native French speaker. I'm sure there are many people who would volunteer to help clean up the english and help it to make more sense.

I do think the game has promise, but the realism issues and the arbitrary restrictions make it a little too frustrating for me to spend much more time on. Please don't be so willing to sacrifice realism for "game play".

Kudalufi

Posts : 2
Join date : 2014-07-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems with realism

Post by UberBaumer on Sat 19 Jul - 18:29

Maybe it's not a simulation?

Yes, it's weird that stars run out of gas, but if that's such a catastrophic detraction from your enjoyment, perhaps the game just isn't for you.

I've played through probably about 100 times and it's still fun. Sure, some of the random events are more punitive than creative, but I think their presence is a good thing. If you were actually all alone, stumbling between star systems like a drunken star vagabond, I think you're bound to have your cryogenics system fail or encounter aliens that blow the shit out of you for kicks.

Like you said, the intent of the developer was to balance the three main resources. It's simple. It's easy to understand and account for. It's fundamental to the game design.

It's pretty ridiculous when the game continues to get acclaim, and your contribution is to be an armchair critic on what would make the game more realistic for you, but not even more fun for you.

I didn't see one positive comment. If you want (allegedly constructive) criticism to be taken seriously, maybe you could point out the positives of the game that could be built upon, instead of how you would have designed the game yourself.

UberBaumer

Posts : 23
Join date : 2014-07-09

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems with realism

Post by Kudalufi on Sun 20 Jul - 5:17

UberBaumer wrote:Maybe it's not a simulation?
Every game is a simulation to some degree.  And every game involves a certain amount of "willing suspension of disbelief".  We, as players agree to suspend our disbelief of unreal situations, but that only goes so far.  In fact, really that suspension of disbelief is a contract.  The player's obligation is to agree to be immersed in the fictional universe, and the author's obligation is not to push that willingness too far.  This is Writing 101, and it goes just as well for game making.  Game makers often push the limits of a player's willing suspension of disbelief to the breaking point, though, when a little more creativity would serve to make a game that is much more realistic.  What game reviewers call "immersiveness" - the ability of a game to immerse you in a situation and make you feel like you're really there.  So whether or not the game is in the genre of a "simulation", it needs to be immersive and not rub the player's nose in the fact that it's a game.  And that means, even though I'm willingly suspending my disbelief of FTL travel and aliens and all sorts of fictional elements in the game, the author needs to make efforts to make other things conform to reality as much as possible.  Like not having gas giants run out of gas when you suck 20 tons of hydrogen off them while a small planet's oxygen atmosphere will happily supply you with infinite oxygen.

UberBaumer wrote:Yes, it's weird that stars run out of gas, but if that's such a catastrophic detraction from your enjoyment, perhaps the game just isn't for you.
That may very well be the case.  I love games like this - I find the exploration and the "what technology will I find next" to be fun.  But yes, I do find the glaring inconsistencies to detract from the fun.  However, the difference between this game and other games that I just try, and put down forever, is that the inconsistencies in this game are, with some thought and creativity, fixable.  Which makes me want to take the time to comment and hope for improvements.

UberBaumer wrote:I've played through probably about 100 times and it's still fun. Sure, some of the random events are more punitive than creative, but I think their presence is a good thing. If you were actually all alone, stumbling between star systems like a drunken star vagabond, I think you're bound to have your cryogenics system fail or encounter aliens that blow the shit out of you for kicks.

This is true.  In brutal reality, that might be the likely outcome.  But it's a lousy story.  You see, this is the author's part of that "willing suspension of disbelief" contract.  Think of a game - every game - as a story, because, well, that's what it is.  It's an interactive story.  Let's say you went to your local bookstore looking for a good sci-fi book.  You browse and find one - the description on the back talks about being stranded in space and trying to find out what happened and get home and the cover looked great and it was your standard 300 page or so book, so you're thinking "wow, I'm glad I found this" so you buy it.  And you get it home all excited and go to read it and after the first 10 pages of setup, just when things are getting going, on page 11 you read "and on the way to the first star the fold-space drive blows up and you get stranded forever - the end".  And you see that the last 290 pages of the book are actually blank.  You'd be pretty upset.  Because you invested your money, but more importantly you invested yourself in the story and the setting and the author just let you down.  That would be pretty disappointing.  But you think, ok, this book advertised that every copy was different, so hey maybe the next one is better.  This time you get to page 25 and the hero of the book runs out of fuel orbiting a gas giant, because it apparently only had 4 tons of hyrdrogen in its entire massive atmosphere.  How many times would you buy a book from that author?

In this case, the currency this game's author is asking us to spend is our time.  And he's asking us to get invested in the game and the story, but it's hard to get invested when glaring inconsistencies knock you out of your willing suspension of disbelief, and when arbitrary game mechanics violate the author's part of his contract.  A good game makes sure that the player gets a good story every time.

UberBaumer wrote:Like you said, the intent of the developer was to balance the three main resources. It's simple. It's easy to understand and account for. It's fundamental to the game design.

Yes, that mechanic is fundamental to this game's design.  But it doesn't follow that the resource juggling game mechanic has to be done in a way that violates common sense.  You could have made fuel infinite and had food be a limiting resource.  Or interstellar drive fuel could have been a fictional stuff that is really rare.  

UberBaumer wrote:I didn't see one positive comment.  If you want (allegedly constructive) criticism to be taken seriously, maybe you could point out the positives of the game that could be built upon, instead of how you would have designed the game yourself.
My entire post was constructive criticism.  Criticism, by definition, is pointing out faults.  What differentiates constructive criticism from negative criticism, is that constructive criticism is aimed at making something better and usually (as my post did) comes with suggestions for improvement.  The fact that I cared enough to make the post implies there is enough good in the game to inspire the desire for it to be better.  I like the game.  Or, more correctly, there are enough positive aspects to it to make me want to like it because it has real potential.

Kudalufi

Posts : 2
Join date : 2014-07-19

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Problems with realism

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum