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Gameplay questions/clarification

A topic by CTRLhasESCaped created 76 days ago Views: 75 Replies: 4
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(3 edits)

Ok, so I've been playing/streaming this a lot more lately and I have a few questions for things that I just can't figure out. 

How do you identify the unidentified module you have get at the beginning of the game? 

Is there a way to "rest" like in many roguelikes? A way to heal without finding one of the hard to come by, red stims? 

Is there (or will there be) a way to compare things without picking them up? As it stands now, my inventory will be full and I'll have to drop something to pick up the thing in a chest to compare it, then drop ans pick up things again, so that's kind of annoying. 

Do the stats only do what the box says, (i.e. increase inventory, give you higher max HP, etc) or do they also do other things. Meaning if you put  point into STR does it make you do more melee damage or just give an inventory slot? Does VIT make you take less damage or just increase your max HP?  I mean, putting points into VIT is kind of pointless if it doesn't buff your damage resistance. Red stims are so rare in this game that just an increase of max HP that you can't fill is worthless.

What do the three shapes in the armor specs represent? The top, the middle "play button" looking one and the barrel looking symbol at the bottom? I've no idea what each one means.

Do you absolutely HAVE to destroy things to get drops? Like the chests, ammo boxes, medical stations, etc. Or is there a command to just loot them? Some chests open when you walk onto them, and it seems like everything else you have to destroy.

Sometimes there is a =|1 symbol (like an equals sign with a line through it) that appears  just left of the character section of the game on the right. What does it mean or represent?

This last thing isn't so much a question as a criticism. As much as I like this game, it is very frustrating. Just not in the way a roguelike should be. I'm a little unsure what the reasoning behind the points pool system you're using is? There are many times that I'll walk into say, the first room, and there will be five or six enemies there that spot me. With a normal roguelike "one turn for each player/enemy" system, you'd have a chance to wind your way around and keep some distance. With this system, it's horrible. Running away is often not a viable option with the way the system is designed. Combat starts and you take your turn, then you're stuck helpless as mobs come at you with multiple hits or surround you. Many times I've died in the first room you'll move into because I'm immediately spotted (especially with the low visual soldier class) and there's nothing to do. Everything seems to have more movements/attacks and backing up isn't an option given the fact that the beginning room only has the one way out. This is not an issue with only the first room, I'm just using it as an example because that is the most frustrating time it happens. I mean, the tilesets, sounds and overall ambiance to the game is top notch, but the way that points pool system is implemented is... not great. I mean, you seem to be going for an XCOM sorta thing here, but it doesn't seem to work particularly well in this context.

At any rate, sorry for all the questions and thanks in advance.

*Edited for spelling mistakes*

Developer (2 edits) (+1)

hey! major,  major thank you for playing and providing in-depth criticism. means the world to us.  a few caveats/notes: 

  • the in-game help overlay (F1) may help with some things, and the Data panel is also planned to be rather exhaustive with mechanics and other details. 
  • as a product of our freest of free time, please know stuff will be very obscure, poorly explained or downright broken in this, the alpha of alphas :D but be assured, more polish, tweaked UI and better balance is certainly in the cards. EFA is absolutely a labor of love, and we're here to see it through to a completed experience.

I'll break down what I can, and hopefully it's helpful!

> How do you identify the unidentified module

this is planned to work in the same way as recharging module abilities, meaning the research occurs as you explore the map (reveal unexplored tiles). a research bar is in the implementation phase, and will operate just like the experience bar so you have a better idea of how research is going. in fact, here's an (ancient) writeup from our design doc:

If unidentified, an installed module will reveal its behavior after 3 recharge cycles. One cycle requires 100 charging units (so, use a module, then explore/uncover 100 tiles to recharge, or 1000 [1/10th of a recharge unit] turns without exploring any new tiles).

 as you have noticed, there's an "ID" slot in the inventory, which is where research is planned to occur. but unid modules can also be installed (as they operate currently) and used without proper identification (as some modules can malfunction and hinder the player, as a cursed item would in other RLs). long story short — it's not 100% implemented at the moment! 

> Is there a way to "rest" like in many roguelikes? A way to heal without finding one of the hard to come by, red stims? 

you can wait in place with [NUM5], and is planned to be remappable in the future. healing is (currently) accomplished through select module abilities and stims, and we're adding some interesting things with vitality tweaks via other modules in the future. as for now, it does make games short, difficult and relatively unfair. 

> Is there (or will there be) a way to compare things without picking them up?

[L]ooking at an item on the ground will populate an "equipped" window in a future build; i can see some interaction states working with the inventory open as well for comparisons similar to how CDDA works as well. again, just one of those things we'll have to get to in the future. frustrating, i know, but it's notes like these that help us stay on task and consider what else needs to be completed!

> Do the stats only do what the box says

at the moment, yes. the design doc has some other things to add to the mix in each stat that currently are not hooked in. early on, we were determined to cut out the typical wait & regen mechanic to open up possibilities with modules, and this was to be countered in part with the aforementioned "other things" from the design doc. think of stats as they are as a proof of concept — and in fact, the whole of EFA is certainly that as well. there's a lot of moving parts, and for a relatively green studio, much of our implementation, balance, and conceptualizing is a trial by fire. :D we're chipping away at the excess and arriving at the fun, though, slowly but surely. 

> What do the three shapes in the armor specs represent?

these are your armor value, CU modifier and strength requirement (which now occurs to me is missing from the character panel; seems the symbols didn't survive a few passes in the stat area. i'll be sure they're accounted for somehow in an update). but agreed — it's needlessly cryptic right now, and there are ways to explain what you're looking at. take a look at a previous mockup for some real symbolsanity:

> Do you absolutely HAVE to destroy things to get drops? Like the chests, ammo boxes, medical stations, etc. Or is there a command to just loot them? 

currently, they must be destroyed. chests can be straight up looted. the potentially unfun reasoning is an opportunity to build Risk (ask me about this other not-fully realized concept some time :D ) and make scavenging a scary, risk/reward proposition. and, as before, it's a concept that requires more thought and balance before we release, let alone put forth a traditional demo. while the dispensers should be the primary source of non-dropped loot, that's another avenue requiring way more cleanup and balance.

> Sometimes there is a =|1 symbol (like an equals sign with a line through it) that appears  just left of the character section of the game on the right. What does it mean or represent?

well that is frustrating! (an aside: kindly post a link to your twitch so i can catch the next stream — that'll be super helpful as well) that little button is your level up indicator, meaning you have 1 point available to increase a stat.

> This last thing isn't so much a question as a criticism. 

you will hear no arguments against your points here — largely because EFA still exists in a very conceptual state, the earliest of accesses. if the back-of-napkin hierarchy of game release is full release > demo > beta > alpha > in development, we are very much still in development. i spent a decent amount of time on the tile, UI and mechanic design — all of which receive constant tweaks — but some of the toughest work is refining, rebalancing, reconsidering and editing. and the development half opens entire galaxies of both potential and headaches. :D

but, speaking for bothmyself and Rauno, we believe in EFA, in its merits and unseen corrections and the concept as a whole, and we want to get our riff on the RL thing out into the world. if i could do it again, i'd rescope EFA into something smaller (and in fact it was intended to be a mobile game, inspired by wanting to improve the movement system in Cardinal Quest, of all things) and more manageable by a 2-person, globe-spanning team. with that said, there are steps we can consider to make improvements more meaningful:

  • larger releases. this goes back on what Rauno has proposed and we've tried to accomplish in 2020, which was smaller releases more often,  but perhaps tucking more into each release, and making larger updates, makes for a better view of progress. it's up for discussion internally. 
  • rescoping what we can. i don't like to admit defeat, but there's merit in trimming fat and cutting what add up to be losses. the most important aspect we're wanting to channel is a fun, challenging scifi RL, and that may mean leaving concepts on the cutting room floor, despite being in a genre known for its hedonistic excess. 
  • more involvement with the community. setting up a discord for items similar to what you've brought up would be pretty ideal and would fold nicely into our bug-chasing workflow. as it is, EFA's community is small and quiet, so it's a lower priority, but as we release more and more, we're arriving to that point.

anyway — i want to express our thanks again for streaming, sticking with broken builds and mechanics, and reaching out with feedback! it keeps us inspired and on task. i was recently cut from my main job, and EFA has been on a very distant back burner as a result, but not a day goes by that i'm not thinking about or quietly sketching things out something EFA related. i know "sorry, it's broken and we know" isn't the best answer we can give, but that's the reality at present. just know it's definitely not where we intend to leave it. :) 

*edited for formatting

Thanks for the long, in depth response. lol

It puts me at ease to know that many things either aren't implimented yet or can be explained. I felt like I was playing blind. The tutorial or F1 doesn't seem to explain everything, (or else I'm missing it) so I felt as was "playing blind," as it were. I guess a lot of it is just me needing to wait until more things are added/tweaked. 

I don't mind an "it's broken and we know" answer, since now I know that you know about the broken parts. 

It's just funny because while playing all but one game I stream, I generally keep the streams curse free (contrary to what my name would imply, I suppose) but I'll be damned if I wasn't raging on EFA everytime I've been on it. lol Now I can settle down.

Twitch channel is:


Yeah, a discord might be good to post bugs and have them consolidated in one place.

Sorry to hear about your job. Hopefully it's just a coronavirus related thing and you'll get it back once all this craziness is over. 

Take care and stay safe guys.


Hey man,

Just pushed a new Windows build up - so don’t forget to update if you plan on playing again :) Fixed that issue with the seed input, but otherwise the big thing in this update is reworking systems related to enemy spawning which will hopefully help with your frustrations too. Namely, enemies now spawn more spread out between different rooms. I’ve also fixed a bug that prevented the enemies from “deactivating” - meaning that now, if you run away from an enemy and manage to break line-of-sight for a few rounds… they will exit combat and stop following you. So you’ll actually have a chance of getting away (unless you run into more monsters!) Also tweaked idle enemy movement - it used to be very… erratic. Enemies would sometimes basically hiddenly warp between rooms, even though that would have made no logical sense. Now they only “idle-move” around in a way that would actually be valid behaviour for them.

All of these things will hopefully make for a bit less frustrating experience 🤠

Once again, from me as well - thanks a lot for playing! This kind of feedback motivates us a lot and is extremely appreciated.

All the best, stay safe.


Cool. I'll probably play it tonight. My amount of work hours available has really dropped since all this coronavirus stuff, so I'm not making much money but I least I have more free time to play my games. So there's always an upside somewhere. lol