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Side B feedback thread

A topic by shiftBacktick created Mar 31, 2023 Views: 301 Replies: 14
Viewing posts 1 to 6
Developer (2 edits) (+1)

With the Side B preview release, I’m very interested in your feedback.

Here are some guiding questions:

  • How are the new proximity cues?
    • Is it easier to locate collectibles with audio alone?
    • Are the new cues too annoying or demanding of your attention?
  • How is the overall audio mix?
    • Are the collectibles and environmental sounds more audible?
    • Does the music feel more reactive to your input?
  • How well are the upgrades balanced?
    • Do higher levels feel like super powers?
    • Are the material costs worth the time investment?
    • Do you anticipate that the new passive upgrades coming in Side C will make this easier?
      • Attractors will automatically pull nearby collectibles toward you.
      • Distillery will refine materials passively from the medium which surrounds you.
  • Are you excited for the future of this project beyond Side C?
(+1)

thank you so much for the proximity audio and I’m looking forward to the passive upgrades in side c

Developer(+1)

You’re welcome! I hadn’t even published the release notes or launch discount yet, and y’all are already taking things for a spin. That’s nice news to wake up to!

(+2)

I spent some time trying to locate the portal without luck. I’m thinking I’m missing a tower, I’ve got Alpha, Bravo, and Charlie. If I can find a fourth, I’ll try to plot a center. I found a junciton that gave me a perception.

Audio cues are great. I would say that the lock-on cue could stand to be a bit louder. I’m testing with two pairs of headphones. Steelseries Arctus 7 and Nuraphones. With the nuraphones, it’s easier to locate and they stand out more in the mix. Arctus 7s have a muddy sound by default and need EQ to make them sound OK for any purpose. The lock-on cue gets drowned out in bipedal mode at full run.

Developer(+1)

Hello! It’s good to hear from you. Thanks for already checking things out and letting me know how it’s going so far. The release notes and launch discount are now live.

The portals spawn similar to the cities: regularly in chunks, except with about double the frequency, and if you miss a chunk it will try spawning in the next. I understand this isn’t quite fair to folks with existing saves, but the hope is that they should appear naturally as you play. Each world has exactly one portal for each other world. Right now, there’s just the one to find. They have a collectible on top, which the proximity cues will lead you to, and when collected (or scanned) it will be discovered. They also have a unique droning sound which then activates by standing over it.

In my ATH-M50x headphones, the proximity cues are right in the sweet spot for me, but I understand that not all headphones are built equally. I’d say that I mixed them rather conservatively low in the mix because I was afraid they might be too annoying. Perhaps it’s just my sensitive hearing and how so many sounds bother me.

I’m open to tweaking both! That’s the purpose of this preview. Cheers! 🤘

Developer (2 edits) (+1)

I missed a detail from your post!

Hint: You have discovered the juncture. Fast travel to it from the Destinations screen. It will be directly in front of you. Take one step forward.

(+1)

I’ve done that and nothing happens. I remember thinking that was the portal too. I also tried fast traveling there and taking a few steps in every direction with the keyboard rather than the gamepad but nothing happens.

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

I’m stumped. I just started a New Game Plus, stepped into the first portal I could find, and it worked right away. Tried a few ways. There were no save game changes between the previous versions, so I don’t think it’s that.

Instead, could it be the sand? You will not travel through a portal if you fast travel to it but it is covered in sand.

To verify, we can try this. Turn off the music and environmental sounds. The only sound you should hear while at a portal is a deep sub bass. There is a binaural effect on it.

Then travel to Juncture B-C2. You’ll hear the sound if it’s not covered by sand. Then press the W or up arrow key until you hear a footstep. By then you should hear the portal ramping up, and it will transport you at the end of that audio sequence.

If it’s covered in sand, unfortunately you need to wait. Once you travel through the first time, you will discover the other side, and can use the next and previous hotkeys on the destination screen to cycle them without needing to physically enter the portal.

This probably needs some work. I don’t know why that made perfect sense to me at the time. 😂

The portal worked fine for me. I love the audio sequence when it ramps up.

(+1)

I’m gonna guess it was covered with sand. For one thing, scanning everything else around the site was far below the level. It eventually worked, I had to stand there for a few minutes.

(+1)

I got the release notes from your blog

(+1)

just an idea, but could you maybe increase the Compass volume? I have very bass focused headphones, and sometimes it gets drowned out.

(+1)
  • How are the new proximity cues? I like the idea a lot. I do find that it makes me scan less, which might be a bad thing because it means I might miss area-dependent perceptions. I think that’s not really the game’s fault though.

  • Is it easier to locate collectibles with audio alone? Yes

  • Are the new cues too annoying or demanding of your attention? No

  • How is the overall audio mix? Pretty decent overall. I’d like to see the lock-on tone come up a bit. Not the initial pop-up, but the steady FM tone perhaps about 3dB

  • Are the collectibles and environmental sounds more audible? Yes

  • Does the music feel more reactive to your input? I never thought there was a problem with this. On a long fall from max height, I do get a bit of crackling though as the music changes very rapidly.

  • How well are the upgrades balanced? Fine, I’d say.

  • Do higher levels feel like super powers? My suit isn’t maxed, though I have the core and bionics sections maxed. The subsystems of thrusters and RCS are between 3-5 currently. No,I don’t think so, and I don’t think my opinion will change when it is all maxed.

Are the material costs worth the time investment? yes

Do you anticipate that the new passive upgrades coming in Side C will make this easier? yes, but, I was a bit underwhelmed with the attractors in E.X.O. What I’m hoping to see here is a refinement on that idea with a grab-on sound, a loop or continuous tone when pulling, and a sound when the item is collected. Even when fully maxed, the range wasn’t that good and the speed was pretty bad. I could easily get to items before the attractors did, rendering them moot.

Are you excited for the future of this project beyond Side C? Most definitely.

(+1)

I want to make an amendment, something I’d forgotten about until today. The drift sound is considerably louder than the normal reactor sound and makes it difficult to keep focus on an item since the tone drowns it out. What I have to do is listen between the beating of the drift tone.

I might also recommend rolling off the volume as the speed decreases. A good model for this is the reverse gear of a manual transmission car, which is straight cut rather than helical cut like the rest of the gears, so you hear the whine more. Backing up, then letting off the throttle, the whine will lower in pitch, and as the vehicle’s speed drops, the volume of the whine does as well.

Right now, if you hold the drift key and are at a dead stop, you’ll hear a low drone, which I think should not be present until the suit’s wheels begin to rotate and it starts picking up speed.

To my way of thinking, the drift tone should be slightly quieter than the reactors, as, by my understanding, the reactors ramp up to provide power for the suit to move.

If the above sounds like a bit much, I understand. I would just ask that the volume of the tone should be lowered.

Developer(+1)

Thanks so much for taking this thread seriously and providing so much feedback. I appreciate your time spent playing and writing this up.

I’m starting to get back into the project. My immediate priority is to prepare the demo for Steam Next Fest, beginning June 19. There should be an update with some changes around then. After that, I’ll definitely be tweaking things as I continue working toward the Side C release.

Cheers!