This time I tried put more care, to play and quote some aspects. I included the comments I had for quick first try, that is those I still feel justified after this second play attempt.
Music is nice, but it's more tracks than music of a video game. I think for some players it's an approach working, myself I need something with a more classic movies music approach that needs be adapted to the lack of control on how much time the player spend in a situation. Also I'm very skeptical about covering so many different music genres:
- Western influenced for main menu (preferred track, but it's not fitting a high tension mood)
- Hard FM for Ship internal view (fun, but get me tired rather fast, I already listened too often that sort of track, and the music flow volume is a lot too constantly high, it's exhausting, for a real play it would make me just cut off music)
- Galaxy map (sort of electronic music rather synthetic, I don't like, again, the music flow level is a lot too constantly high)
- Combat mission (this track or those tracks are much better adapted to a video game, and it's the only one I felt adapted to the game mood).
If music is composed for the game, it needs be done for a video game and this video game. If game music is tracks selection, the selection should be done among a much bigger wide world choice and with an effort to stick to the game.
Graphics & Steam Punk genre:
For steam punk, I haven't made a study on how make graphics look Steam Punk, but overall, for now it's not a goal achieved by the game. There's only the ship view that matches vaguely Steam Punk.
Here some examples of graphics that could help the game feels really Steampunk:
- Steampunk is not supposed to use electricity, it's not about having a scientific approach, Steampunk is probably quite questionable on this aspect. But it's about getting the spirit, so the graphic artists don't do anything randomly, items need be a lot bigger, computers can only be mechanical and huge, steam need be transported through many/big tubing, and so on.
- Copper color
- Rusty parts
- Steam small clouds and streams
- Use steam often, like when using a computer or opening a mechanical door
- Many apparent big gearing
- Some mass of big gearing like for a computer
- Items much bigger than normal
- Computers are mechanical and need be huge
- Complex tubing everywhere
- Some huge tubing
- Borrow items/design from Victorian era and American wild west era
- Circle windows with apparent copper fixing and big screws
- Grates that let slip some steam cloud
- Armors should use copper as base and apparent screws.
- Robots need be huger have generate some steam.
Some comment on graphics in combats:
- It's great to have many marine portrait
- Marine look cool but they shouldn't look all the same. I'm not asking that their equipment are reflected, but at least the weapon shown should reflect the class type, and each class type should have some special graphically distinctive element other than th weapon.
- Player should have an option to customize a bit each marine so he can identify each quickly by a look on combat field. It could be a dominant color, or some special helmet and/or hairs looking quite distinctive from a global view. As there's many special portrait, the helmet and dominant color will probably work better than hair.
- Seems not a finished work.
- Need a lot more work on Steampunk
- Alien graphic are too dark/black
The gamplay seems unfinished or not have choose yet the approach, in my opinion you need choose between:
- It's just a map allowing select locations/missions, then it's more no ships movements but only locations to choose, each location need provide quite more information with tooltip
- Or it's space travel but then with a really interesting gameplay, not just move ships around some locations and then to a location.
Sounds & Steampunk:
- Overall it's good stuff for general sounds, but it could benefit of some more focus on evoking Steampunk. For example door opening, but with some steam cloud and a steam ejection sound, it would be better.
- Aliens sounds need more work.
- Walk sound, I would provide a different sound volume option just for walk because it's quite frequent. Not for me but in general.
At next try of the game, I'll try focus more on that.
This time I entered better in the game, but get discouraged by some points during the combats. So only a few comment:
- The UI when shooting is obscuring too much the view it's weird.
- UI scaled option look awfully weird, it shouldn't be the default in my opinion.
- No portraits bars for a party/squad tactical game? I don't remember any single good game with such combats not using portraits, and it's not working well.
- Inability to turn looks quite bad for me.
- Failed find how open map
- Since first mission, some aliens with armor allowing no damage doesn't look like a good learning curve. Ok next time I'll search better how decrease armor.
- Some element feels like a regression from SM1, no inventory, reduced number of special skills, creation of only one marine.
- The trick of camera movements for most aliens movements, is generating a too long alien phase. SM2 should use a more global hint for aliens out of vision field of marines.
- The gameplay seems largely based on opening doors, this looks rather special, it's intriguing and it looks like quite a challenge for playing but also for design. I'll wait have play more combats to have more detailed comment.
Next time I play more the combats, I'll provide more details.