Courtesy of one of our better testers, we have a trip down memory lane today. Back in 2011 we ran a short Alpha Test for some of our combat mechanics. The idea was to get a feel for what worked, and what didn’t, and what needed to be on the screen.
Our Alpha Testers worked diligently to uncover all kinds of interesting problems with the game, we detailed just a few below. Stay tuned all the way to the end though, we’re going to talk about a new feature to SSR.
Yes it’s true. This early version of our interface had no way for you to monitor how fast your ship was traveling. In the new version of SSR there is a slider to control your speed by percentage, and it’s part of the main HUD for controling the direction of your ships travel.
Our old server wasn’t very powerful, and instead of making one or two datacalls, the game was making 9 or 10 per page refresh. We knew that wasn’t going to cut it in the long run, but this was a mechanical test to see if the core ideas for the game were sound, not anything meant to be optimized. As it turns out, the mechanics were sound, and the new game has a much reduced load on a much more powerful server.
The Best For Last
The last screenshots (there are two here) on our list of Epic Video Game fails from SSR, was caused by entering the combat screen without engaging a fleet. Without any kind of qualifier on the call to load ships into the combat screen, EVERY ship was loaded into the combat screen…all at once. This is roughly 1600 ships engaged in combat with a single player at one time.
Fortunately, this is no longer possible on our new combat interface.
When reviewing the new engine we were building for the game, one of the topics that came up repeatedly was Player Choice. It’s easy to say that Player Choice should matter in a video game – it’s even easy to make Player Choice matter in a video game. But that’s not actually what we mean when we say Player Choice.
Sandbox style video games should be designed so that the player can play the core features of the game any way they want to. Most games do a very poor job of this – if you are primarily a damage dealer, they expect you (at some point) to offset those skills with some healing powers to help keep you alive.
We went the opposite direction.
You want to be stealthy? Put everything into Stealth! You want to be heavily armed, put everything into your weapons!
There are already more then 100 purchasable pieces of equipment with which to outfit your ship, and 15 different ship types to fight with in the game. So how can we add to this?
There is a new loadout option for “Crew Members” that will allow you to slot crew members into specific positions on your ship. Note that for Story Purposes, even though you can remove Sahara from the Radar Operator slot, she will still communicate with you about your ship and your story missions (because that is her job).
But the new Crew Members bring with them a whole new set of skills that can enhance your ship in combat, from improving your radar to improving your torpedoes.
Check it out! We hope to see you in game soon, and as always, SINK ENEMY SHIPPING!