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An open-world exploration game where you are a taxi-driver in space. · By mosgrom

Little bit of feedback so far..

A topic by Daza created Mar 14, 2020 Views: 295 Replies: 20
Viewing posts 1 to 9

Came across your game this evening, havent sunk a lot of time into it yet as its late. But i found the basic in-game tutorial good.  However i keep crashing into other ships especially the bird like ones that do not stop. This even happens if you stop and they fly into you.  I get there has to be some sense of traffic and sort of a mini-game of dodge but i feel there is too many of them, where i could see this getting tedious and stressful. Perhaps night-time there is less of them or some planets there are less traffic?  the other types of ships do stop to avoid collision which is good. I understand the bird like ones are suppose to be a hazard. Perhaps cut those ones down by 30% or at least have a game setting where we can using a slider adjust to what we prefer as a form of diffculty (some players like a casual chill style game and others might relish twitch reflexes every 20 seconds).  So my first two goes with the game i crashed to the point of wrecking my ship, first time it was game over and restarted with my ship needing repairs and I had 0 Vudu, im guessing i had to borrow money to fix it. I restarted the game.

Also on the main screen where there are icons for some buildings/landing zones some are self-explaintory and some are not- it would be nice to be able to pause and hover mouse over ones you dont know what they are to be told.  One was a motel that i accidently flew into and had to click through the explainatory bits before i could leave again- what about when flying over a landing zone the ship stops and we hit L to land or click on the land button rather than auto land (perhaps there is a setting for toggling auto-land ).

Anyway that is all the feedback i have for now. Will have another go tomorrow and dig deeper into the game. 

Yeah I agree with the feedback about the birdies, they are incredibly hard to avoid at the start of the game and it's stressful to play.  Please make it a bit easier at the start!

Hey! Thanks guys for commenting here. I agree those birds are annoying. However some people seem to want me to keep it the way it is. I'm really not sure what to do here at the moment but I'm thinking about it. I am inclined to say that having those birds on the starter planet is not a good idea. So maybe (not promising) next week I'll put up a new version where there's less of those birds and/or they are less likely to cause damage when they fly into you.

I'm weary of introducing difficulty options. I do want "selectable" difficulty but I want that to be integrated into the game:  e.g. if you don't like difficult things just don't go to difficult planets (sort of like with unlevelled RPGs where you just avoid the hard dungeons). That's why there's a difficulty indicator on fares etc. Of course you can't "pick" your starter planet... Then again I'm somebody myself who just doesn't play some games because I don't like reflexy/twitchy games so maybe I will end up adding an option.

One thing you can do for now is get more armor. It will reduce the damage that those birds do significantly. You can take out a bit of an extra loan for it...

The site icons are not supposed to be self-explanatory but I really like your idea Daza. However if I do that I will only do it for sites that you've already discovered (or maybe for any you've discovered one of a similar type of) and also maybe tie it to some kind of item (scan thing) that you need to get (probably not). I've added it to my list but it has low priority at the moment.

You can toggle the auto-landing. If you move your mouse over the items in your item-panel each item will tell you what it is and how to use it etc. I think it's the 3rd item that's called "LANDING SYSTEM" or something like that. You can use it to toggle automatic landing. You can then (and at any other time) land by using the "LANDING" item (the first item). I will change it so the landing item is also triggered by pressing the 'L' key.

The long explanations you get at motels, banks, etc. you only get the first time you land at such a site. You can turn that off by clicking on the "L" item.

Let me know your thoughts I greatly enjoy talking about the game!

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I've send out a poll tweet asking others what they think about the Yrah bird difficulty.

Thanks for your reply mosgrom. I can understand some players like it the way it is but gamers cover a wide spectrum now adays (im in my 40s) and younger players no doubt like quick reflexes games etc and there were times i played last night having quick reflexes would of helped. But yeah much less of those birds on starter planet (or even starter system) would be a good idea. What about there is some addons for your ship/taxi you can purchase- where these birds are deflected away from you via rapid release of compressed air from all sides of ship via a hotkey (rmb or/ spacebar) this potentially could deflect 2 birds if they are close enough. You could have a blur outline around the ship when using this. But this device uses compressed air and will need to be refilled (im not sure if there is a fuel/refuel mechanic in the game) but if so where we get fuel is where we could top up our gas tanks. Perhaps this also could be used to brake very quickly from 3 - 0 in half a second- even if traveling fast but uses up more compressed gas (spacebar + w for front)  is used to only have the gas fire out the front of the ship .  This idea could also branch out into combat (i recall reading there is combat in the game but the game is not combat heavy) but imagine there is some yahoos or drunks who like to/ ram taxis in the game- and you can deflect their attacks with this compressed air mechanic (3 successful consecutive deflects will have the yahoo give up and go away or the first time)- this could be a rare event anyway, but just an idea how the compressed air idea could have more purpose. I dont know if you ever will have ground side locations in the future, but this compress air could make the taxi into a hovercraft as well like on water. But i know i am going a bit over board with ideas here lol (excuse the pun).

If you do not like my compressed-air deflect hostiles idea (one might think in the gameworld someone would try to invent something to counter those birds) another idea could be the player can dive under the bird (if in time) or up and over the bird this which only lasts for several seconds until the taxi returns to flight altitude again (player can still turn the whole time though).  Also being able to go up briefly before returning back to the normal flight level this could be handy to fly over buildings where you might have auto-landing on but want to avoid. This mechanic could have other uses in the game in the future, such as Air-racing. Player could buy or hire a racing ship (a taxi driver has to have recreation lol) and there could be a track with hoops that ship has to fly through and sometimes over- a simple colored racing line that can show where dipping is required and going over (this might be too hard to implement but ideas cost nothing). This could be like a rally- as in one competitor at a time and fastest time (you are not racing others at the same time and space) so it will be somewhat skill based being able to turn and use the throttle (although throttle control might have to be more fluid in the game) - maybe controller support in the future. Perhaps some tracks will have a leaderboard that shows other players rankings.  But anyway i am getting off tangent here. I was just pointing out these two ideas that could have other purposes in the game. But the other secondary purposes would be further down the list of ideas naturally. Still these might be redundant ideas as there could be higher priority ideas to work towards which i understand, i am just put ideas out there for consideration. 

Will it be possible later on to buy faster taxis? either they travel faster and turn faster or you can only have 1 type (turn faster or go faster)?

I will try adding more armor to my taxi, thanks for the idea (i didnt know i could). 

The basic armor is sold at some traders (and some garages I think but not sure from top of my head). There is already a thing that's sort of like your compressed-air idea, it's called a repulsor. When you click it, it will blow all other mobs around you away from you and they will be stunned for a very short period (like half a second from the top of my head). I think you can sometimes find these at traders too but I'm still working on special-sites that sell the more exotic equipment. This has priority and you will be seeing more and more of it in the coming months. Most of these items are there but they're simply not obtainable at the moment. Taxis all have the same top speed. At the moment once you've 'discovered' a ship-type (depending on the ship) you can just change your ships look to that type by going into the main-menu and clicking on the ship image. This might change in the future. There are going to be engines that you can buy that do give slightly higher speed. There's also boosters and things that increase the turn-rate of your ship. These you can buy, when you click them 1 is consumed and for a certain time you fly at higher speed and/or with higher turn rate.

Okay, thanks for the info. Do you think it would be possible to have a quick keys hotbar at the bottom of the slots? that are pre-set numbered (1,2,3,4 etc) like in most RPG games where you want to quickly cast something or drink or equip something.  I think your game could do with that so we can use a consumable like with that repulsor or engaging  a tempory speed booster etc. I was thinking about something like this when playing but forgot about it until now. We could just drag down the icon we want to hotkey slot. 

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I want to stay away from keyboard controls as much as possible. The whole game is designed around being able to play it with just the mouse and a drink in the other hand :-) Also it's designed to not require quick using of items. When you're in a situation where you want to use something always just click the left mouse button. Wherever you do this, this will pause the game. You can now in your own time pick the item you want to use and click that. Some items (e.g. the booster) don't automatically resume the game after you activate them giving you a chance to put your mouse back where you want it and then resume the game. I a way my idea is to let that part feel more like a turn based game. All ship weapons work like this too (they're not twitch/reflex based) once you for example have a beam weapon: You first pause the game by left clicking then click the beam-item you want to use (or immediately click the beam-weapon item which will also pause the game), then you will see a firing arc and those things you can pick as targets you will be able to pick at your own leisure. Once you pick a target the beam fires and the game automatically resumes. Most thing work like this. Some weapons have annoying small firing arcs so they do require a bit of timing when to pause to line them up but this is intentional; these usually have better versions with better firing arcs.

Here's a link to the part in the 2nd tutorial where you might be able to follow what I mean (I remember you're hard of hearing right?) but just seeing it might illustrate what I'm trying to explain better:

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I'm planning to make the item bar a bit better by providing a filter icon (e.g. see only bookmarks) as the first item but I'm not 100% yet on the details. You can at the moment pin items to the beginning. If you look closely you might see that the first 6 or so items have a little yellow dot in the top left (or is it right?) corner. If you right-click an item it will be pinned to the first unpinned position (so if 6 items are pinned then any other item you pin by right-clicking it will become the 7th item. The next you pin will become the 8th etc. You probably noticed that new items are always added after the last pinned item. This enables you to make a choice as to what you want to remain "most aware" of and anything new will always be visible on the first page (after the last pinned item) as long as you don't pin a whole page full of items.

Items that have negative effects always flash or blink. Although there may be some exceptions at the moment (it's still on the list to make this more consistent).

Where do i get more armor? i am at a repair garage where i thought i could have armor installed on the taxi? but i did see some person armor for sale at another place but that doesn't really make much sense if i had to wear body armor.

Usually at traders. The body armor is a different thing and plays a role when you personally are attacked by other people in the game. You will start seeing this when you land on some planets and get attacked by creatures there or when you yourself attack somebody. For example thugs usually ask you to hand over your vudu and you can attack them to prevent this but they will attack back. Body armor will reduce the damage from certain weapons/attacks.

Part 2 of my Feedback...

Even though i have got better at avoiding those birds, i think they should be removed from starter planet completely, before i suggested reducing them. I think they would be fine for other planets in another system once the player gets the hang of things.  I had banged up my taxi and had a client and since i couldnt speed up to get out of the way i had further more crashes where the client wanted to get off.  Also i think the player either starts with more money or crash damage is reduced or possibly the taxi has armor on the vehicle (which i think the Dev mentioned already).  It is so easy to go backwards in debt and repair costs become too expensive, even borrowing more money to do repairs you end up crashing again and then cannot get any more loans. Which basically means starting the game over. Since respawn leaves you with 1 vudu. Its a vicious cycle and sucks away all the fun. I am not suggesting making the game super easy because that can be no fun either. 

I will break up my feedback into smaller posts so the dev can reply between them.

Hey Daza! I didn't see you had written more (I don't seem to get a notification?). The birds are a bit of a conundrum. Most people I speak to seem to think it should be kept as is. I was on Space Game Junkie and he also said that despite it being hard in the beginning I should keep them. I was kinda ready to agree with you and change it but now it seems people want me to keep it the way it is? I might just (semi-secretly) make them a bit easier. If you just loan a bit extra right at the start and find a trader and by some more armor (say 5 or so) then you should be ok though. Still also considering adding an option to make the game a bit easier.

I wonder if most people you talk to are younger players. Why not when creating a new game you get a prompt for normal game mode or trainer wings (instead of wheels). And in Trainer wing mode those pesky birds are turned off on the starting planet. Usually in a game the starting area is fairly easy, even MMOs have this so players can get a handle on the basics without dying all the time and they give up. This way younger players who love a challenge can still experience the game as its meant to be and those older or more prefers to have things a little slower paced or are casual players with short time to play; can learn how to play the game without having to restart a lot because dying and spawning has you going backwards (1 vudu and large debt) so you may as well start completely a fresh. So i would even in the beginning make death a complete restart anyway. Its only later on when you have brought things and have i guess forged contacts and explored a lot of areas etc that you do want to claw your way back again. Especially if you have money banked for so such an event.

Yeh, your certainly right about that: when you die in the beginning you might as well restart. I am very likely going to make the birds easier (as are other things) while you have "beginner's luck" by making it so they rarely do serious damage (just scratch damage). It also just thought of the idea that maybe in the beginning your damage & injuries should be automatically removed when you die. Maybe I can make this into a more plausible game thing: e.g. you get an insurance item at the start of the game that will pay for all damage etc. when you die for a couple of times...or something like that.

I checked out a Starport for the first time today and i liked how there was internal traffic, and lines. However at junctions the traffic is a mess, going really slowly if you make contact by accident with another craft you enter a conversation mode which often can be unwanted. Perhaps when the player bumps into another craft at slow speeds and a conversation is possible the game auto-pauses if it doesnt already and a dialogue icon appears over the other vehicle and player has to click on it if they do want to talk to that npc, else if the player moves on the icon disappears. This would speed up play.   Getting back to the traffic jams, i think there could be lanes- that have intermitted blinking lines (like a runway) which having corridors for the Ai to follow and cannot cross over might make things look better and flow better.  These could have invi boundries that even the player cannot cross over? this could be only inside Starports.  And possibly use decent size roundabouts for junctions for better traffic flow. 

Also while here i got pinged by Federal Security for some reason and they wanted me to stop, which i did and demanded i pay 50k for unknown reasons. I am not sure if this was too many road rage i accumlated over the course or the game or it was a case of extortion. I didn't have enough so they threatened me with a laser gun, the window said choose Action.  It took me a minute to realise my action choices were in the far right slot panel after i noticed the usual icons where gone and thus i must need to click on something there. I  only had the choice of inaction.  Long story short i was shot to death. So thoughts on that..ouch lol.  Perhaps the popup encounter window could be moved to be adjacent the choices slots, which maybe a white border could go around the encounter window and merge with the choices slot panel area as if they are one. Or there could be choices slots below the encounter icons within that window. 

Also some better information why i was being fined. I might of clicked on something to fast to not have re-read it but it would be nice if some dialogue could be had, not sure if there is a stat for charisma or conversation skill where you could attempt to talk your way out of it or at least reduce the fine. Such a conversation mini-game here might be fun. However some NPC could get impatient if the conversation goes around in circles and decides to shoot you.  

I like your idea of dedicated lanes in stations. I have this sort of already on some planets where there is a traffic grid. I am going to leave some planets and stations this busy because I want it to be like you're in an annoying traffic jam sometimes. I don't think it takes too much time. I've been in them many times myself, it just takes a bit of concentration to navigate them.

I don't know why you got a fine for 50k from security. It sounds like you ignored traffic-control. When you enter a star-system keep an eye on your bulletin board. An orange message might appear there that you can click on. You will then be asked to state your destination planet. Ignoring this message is taken very seriously by most factions. The fines will normally appear in your item panel and you can hover your mouse over them to see what they are. However ignoring traffic-control is like flying a plane into US airspace without clearance and without identifying yourself. Maybe 50k fin is excessive but in the beginning even if the fine is 10k many players won't be able to pay it.

As I'm thinking I might make the traffic-control message blink continuously to alert players more to the fact that this needs their attention.

Ah that makes sense now. What about having a decent size pop up window that appears lower bottom when arriving will appear, since it has to be addressed having it appear so will not be annoying and we can just interact with it and move on. But i have a feeling you intended it to something the player must remember and if you forget you get fined. Just like irl with speed signs if you forget to look at them you take a risk of going too fast, unless you are a local and know where the speed changes are on the roads. So if that is what your intention is, then perhaps in tutorial mode (like when you arrive at a motel for the first time player gets some tips) you could have a window popup as suggested above and telling player about this custom of Stations. I am not sure if you have specific colors of text in bulletin board window? like red for very important messages? perhaps for important ones they could be in red and BOLD, so the player who is a skim reader can quickly check if they do need to read something carefully. Just some thoughts.

That's a good idea. I think I should do something more explicit like a popup the first time you get a traffic-control message. They are in a different color but they are not that different (they're orange). I am going to make 'm flash anyway to make 'm stand out but having a popup or something when it's the first time is a good idea. Or I might do it that the first time you are caught for not following traffic control (or not responding to traffic control) that they let you off with a warning and an explanation of how it works.

I also did some system traveling initially i wanted to fly to that system far away that sells the anti-grav tech. But the list of destinations GM3322 etc dont really help in knowing which ones to go towards as it might take many jumps to get to that system. I did work out that if you click on Ok (or whatever it was called) when choosing a destination it will show its path and you can back out of that without accepting it.  I think it would be more initituive if the travel agent window goes to the right or left of screen and all lines from starport are drawn to all destinations it goes to and the player simply clicks on the one they want. It would save a lot of time and be more straight forward to see which destination you need to take to move you closer to your further away destination. 

Also another space game i played recently called Endless Sky had a good destination travel system for jumping between systems. You would click on the far away system you want to go to and it would draw lines to all the systems inbetween and use a blue color line according to how much fuel you had. If your destination is beyond your fuel reach, the remaining lines/links system to system to your destination would be red.  I think something like this could work- especially if traveling on a larger vessel and not having to worry about arriving at one stop and having to change flights as it were.  I think Galatic Liners are suppose to fly the furtherest but havent worked out how to find them at a Starport yet. 

I completely agree: The travel-agent UI and (also, but less, the startport UI) are painful. Your idea of showing all the possible destination (maybe with lines to them) right away on the galaxy-map is what I've had myself for a while. Starports (where the galactic-liners arrive & depart are just like other sites at a space-station (I think they are square-white with a purple star on them).

Most of these UI things don't have high priority at the moment because I have a lot to do in the content area (ways to get better items, dialog, stories, etc.) and that's what I'm focusing on at the moment. I will add a button to quickly go to the planet-information panel of the planet you're on but this travel-agent/starport UI thing will probably have to wait. (I'll probably have a look and estimate how much time it will take. If it's not too messy I will do it soon).