Amazing! I'll be more than happy to take a look. Thanks for all the awesome work!
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The two I'd say would have the most impact are #6 and #10. Being able to pause the game and being able to save the game while playing will prevent a lot of potential frustration. If possible, having the game auto-save when you visit a planet could be useful, too.
Camera controls can be really tricky to perfect in any game, and I have a few suggestions on how to improve the camera controls for Convicted Galaxy.
Presently, the camera is locked to the orientation of the ship and is at a low, near horizontal angle. Everyone's preferences will differ here, but I'd like the option of having the camera further back and at a more downward angle. This would help make distances easier to judge and give the player a wider field of view. Even better, it would be neat to have zoom in/zoom out functionality tied to the mouse wheel so it would be easy to zoom in and out as needed.
I would also suggest detaching the camera from the ship orientation and have it lag just slightly behind player rotation. This would make the camera feel much smoother and help relieve some dizziness or motion sickness during combat while the player is constantly turning. I'd suggest turning the camera on a scale (i.e., calculate the distance between player orientation and camera orientation, and then have the camera cover 1/2 of the distance in one frame, or 1/4th of the distance, etc.). This creates the effect of turning the camera quickly when there is a lot of distance to cover, and then smoothly slowing down as the distance decreases.
An additional observation about the camera, the "snap to target" feature immediately points the camera at the target with no transition. This can be disorienting and doesn't really help figure out where a target is. I'd suggest adding a .25-.5 second transition so the player has a better idea of where the target is relative to them.
Here's a link to a short animation I threw together in 3dsMax to demonstrate some of the camera behavior I've described above:
It shows zoom-in/zoom-out behavior, target snap behavior, and then a combination of aim and zoom behavior. It's obviously a lot easier to animate something than program it, but if this looks like a good idea I hope the video provides a good reference!
Hey, Mind Grown team! I had a chance to sit down for a few hours and try the game out, and here are some of my initial thoughts on the gameplay.
First off, kudos to all the hard work you have put into the game so far! It really shows, and the game looks and feels great. Here's a list of some observations and suggestions:
- One of the first things that really impressed me was the sound design. The music, ship and weapon effects, and atmosphere all drew me in and did a wonderful job supporting the visuals and the gameplay. The only suggestion I have here is to look at the scrap collection sound, which is sharp and jarring compared to the other audio. I think a pleasant plink or beeping noise would go well here.
- The scale of the game is also really impressive. Star systems are huge with thousands of objects, and I never experienced any slowdown or graphical issues. There's a good sense of exploration. On the other hand I think the initial star systems could be smaller to provide the player with clearer direction before they get to the bigger stuff. It was very easy for me to run out of fuel before I reached the nearest neutral planet, so some steps should be taken to ensure that new players don't get stranded.
- Early game combat feels pretty tedious. Missiles are effective but the primary plasma weapon could use a buff. I think a faster-firing, low-damage variant would work better since it would be more forgiving. The current weapon fires too slowly to hit consistently at range, which can cause enemy shields to replenish several times during a fight. I'd suggest buffing the starting weapons or reducing the health of the first enemies the player encounters.
- On a related note, I found it pretty difficult to judge distances when enemies are far away. It's hard to tell if they're approaching or flying away. Something that might be helpful is a small distance meter adjacent to the enemies.
- Just a quality of life improvement, I think you should auto-target any enemy you hit. Oftentimes I found myself firing missiles at enemies I forgot to lock onto first. This would save the player a step but still give them manual control to change the target.
- The tab menu and orbit menu don't pause the game. Sometimes I found myself under attack while trying to use the menus.
- When fighting around planets, coming too close opens the orbit menu. This would happen while I was trying to chase down an enemy, and then leave me vulnerable because the game didn't pause. I'd suggest preventing players from using the orbit menu if there are enemies in the area.
- The tutorial screen partially covers the orbit menu. Perhaps allow players to close the tutorial screen while in the menus or provide a key for them to dismiss tutorial messages.
- The compare screens were somewhat hard to read when viewing weapon and ship upgrades. Maybe make the background solid rather than transparent.
- There doesn't appear to be a "Save & Continue" option.
- Respawning at a planet sometimes resulted in the orbit menu camera angle during regular gameplay, where the ship is positioned on the right of the screen. Going into the orbit menu and exiting returned the camera to normal.