Is it survival when the protagonist does not want to be rescued?

DarkGrudgeDarkGrudge Fully active user Join Date: 2018-10-29 Member: 244426Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
All snark aside, I'd like to just quickly say how excited I am to see this game actually getting developed. Regardless the direction the developers take with it, UW has enough good will from the first game to get me to play it.

That said, I have some initial impressions on the game in it's clearly very early state...many of which seem common on this board already, but wanted to add my voice so hopefully they get some attention.

First things first -- the early story has to be improved/eliminated. I'll admit upfront that I personally even don't like the design choice of giving the player a "voice" for dialog at all, as it forces me to accept her words as my own (if I'm to attempt immersion in this game, that is, but that's the whole reason I'm playing a survival game to begin with!). That said, I'm willing to yield to see if there's a greater plan at work here where it'll work out for the better.

Part of the sheer epicness that is the first game was that you weren't told how to think about your situation, but given the freedom to explore it yourself. Are you worried about your shipmates, or more concerned about your own survival? Are your nerves getting the better of you, or are you calmly working the problem? Are you more interested in studying the local fauna, or the apparently abandoned alien structures? Should I go visit my downed ship, or prepare myself more first? These are elements that each player can explore on their own in the first game, but in Below Zero you are forced to accept that you not only are OK with your situation, you are so excited to be exploring for aliens that you TURNED DOWN BEING RESCUED AFTER YOUR BASE WAS DESTROYED AND COLLEAGUE GONE MISSING. The game is literally telling me how I should feel about my situation, and what's worse, is that I'm apparently OK with it (I'm even OK with harboring an alien presence in my mind!?).

Which brings me to my next point: the story, as it is, completely ruins the narrative that you are struggling for your life on an alien world because you literally have someone watching over you who could, at any moment apparently, come rescue you. The only reason they don't is because I inexplicably want to remain in freezing water with no legitimate shelter (ie, food/bed/etc). This literally destroys the illusion that I am struggling for survival, and therefore completely crushes any feeling of pride for overcoming the environment. How excited can you be gather resources to build a base and thereby ensuring your survival when you literally did not have to so because 1) bases already exist for you to simply take over, and 2) you could simply ask your sister to send a ship to get you.

At a minimum the story must be altered to:
1. Provide a compelling reason why you cannot be rescued immediately.
2. Remove the feeling that you can just "call for help" if you ever really truly got stuck
3. Give you more freedom to explore the story under your own frame of mind, rather than being forced to listen to your character tell you how you feel
4. Give the player a more sense of urgency and really kick in our survival instincts.

I'd suggest taking the bigger, more difficult steps:
1. Either eliminate, or at least drastically reduce, dialog from the protagonist
2. Very early on cut the ability to communicate regularly to Alterra
3. Give me more reason to suspect something very bad has happened to Jefferies (beyond simply disappearing)...maybe found a recording of him in distress, or evidence of a struggle, or something!
4. Do not simply give me a lifepod/habitat tool/etc, but force me to figure out how to construct one (maybe I was only carrying my scanner when the base was destroyed, and I have to quickly find/scan enough scraps from the base in order to learn how to build a lifepod -- which still requires me to quickly find the materials before I freeze/starve/etc). Do not be afraid to assume the player knows how to play Subnautica, and should be expected to figure some basic task like this out right from the start.

TLDR: I want to feel like I'm surviving and allowed to have some pride in doing so!
MaalterommTheAlterraCorplor360

Comments

  • AnaMarshallAnaMarshall Freshly registered user Join Date: 2019-05-01 Member: 252663Members Posts: 11 Freshly registered user
    Wow, it is a great description that is added according to every point of view.
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Advanced user Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 530 Advanced user
    I'm with @DarkGrudge on everything except step #4:
    Do not simply give me a lifepod/habitat tool/etc, but force me to figure out how to construct one (maybe I was only carrying my scanner when the base was destroyed, and I have to quickly find/scan enough scraps from the base in order to learn how to build a lifepod -- which still requires me to quickly find the materials before I freeze/starve/etc). Do not be afraid to assume the player knows how to play Subnautica, and should be expected to figure some basic task like this out right from the start.

    If not mistaken, in the first game our PDA is defective and that's why we do not have access to most blueprints. IMO in this game this requirement should be alleviated by making most blueprints available upfront (even if they weren't, if you can communicate you should be able to download it). It would lead to a very different gameplay, but the situation in this game is very different from that in the first.
  • lor360lor360 Fully active user Join Date: 2019-02-03 Member: 250304Members Posts: 6 Fully active user
    My big fear is that the developers will read all this negative feedback about the intro and just go "okay we will have the sister say mid game her teleporter exploded from aliens so she cant teleport us back, survival atmosphere saved"!

    The intro is overdone on a LOT of levels, not just 1. The first Subnautica intro was 30 seconds of action followed by the sight of a endless ocean. The developers WONT fix the Below Zero intro by writing bad fanfiction scenarions and dialogues.
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Advanced user Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 530 Advanced user
    lor360 wrote: »
    My big fear is that the developers will read all this negative feedback about the intro and just go "okay we will have the sister say mid game her teleporter exploded from aliens so she cant teleport us back, survival atmosphere saved"!

    The intro is overdone on a LOT of levels, not just 1. The first Subnautica intro was 30 seconds of action followed by the sight of a endless ocean. The developers WONT fix the Below Zero intro by writing bad fanfiction scenarions and dialogues.

    There lies one of the core issues. We expect this new game to be like the former.
    Subnautica was a master-piece and we won't get another like it anytime soon.

    If the game started after 20s of action, followed by an endless ocean, people would complain it is more of the same.
  • DarkGrudgeDarkGrudge Fully active user Join Date: 2018-10-29 Member: 244426Members Posts: 3 Fully active user
    Maalteromm wrote: »
    lor360 wrote: »
    My big fear is that the developers will read all this negative feedback about the intro and just go "okay we will have the sister say mid game her teleporter exploded from aliens so she cant teleport us back, survival atmosphere saved"!

    The intro is overdone on a LOT of levels, not just 1. The first Subnautica intro was 30 seconds of action followed by the sight of a endless ocean. The developers WONT fix the Below Zero intro by writing bad fanfiction scenarions and dialogues.

    There lies one of the core issues. We expect this new game to be like the former.
    Subnautica was a master-piece and we won't get another like it anytime soon.

    If the game started after 20s of action, followed by an endless ocean, people would complain it is more of the same.

    I strongly disagree -- if the game was literally the identical beginning, but in the new Biomes with new exploration, new fauna/leviathans, new (non-linear) story elements, new weather systems, new tech/vehicles, new building options, etc, it'd be very well received again. I'm not saying they have to do that, but I feel they don't need to mess with the recipe that made Subnautica great -- and a linear story guiding you along the way was not part of that recipe.

    Literally the only thing I'm complaining about is that the story takes away the feeling of accomplishment you might have from overcoming your dire situation because:
    1. It doesn't feel dire, as even the protagonist doesn't want to be rescued
    2. You're guided through the entire early process, taking away suspense and mystery

    I'm not saying they can't change up the intro from the original, I'm just saying they went too far in making it narrative, linear, and hand-holding.

    Again, I'll reserve final judgment until official release...but this was my opinion after playing the currently released content.
  • subnauticansubnautican Fully active user bell 3111 dr Join Date: 2019-05-13 Member: 252865Members Posts: 37 Fully active user
  • KiwiColdbeerKiwiColdbeer Fully active user Down Under.....and a bit to the left Join Date: 2019-05-21 Member: 252983Members Posts: 7 Fully active user
    DarkGrudge wrote: »

    TLDR: I want to feel like I'm surviving and allowed to have some pride in doing so!

    Have to agree with this.

    For me personally, having played through the story as it sits thus far, the sense of......accomplishment......is, well, "reduced" compared to the original.

    Main point for me is the abundance of O2 "top ups" that are around. These made the hunting for fragments and resources in the beginning feel far less challanging.

    Cheers

    Kiwi

  • TheAlterraCorpTheAlterraCorp Fully active user City-Station 749 Join Date: 2019-05-23 Member: 253021Members Posts: 6 Fully active user
    Really hope Alterra Doesn't become some "Evil" Corparation.
    The Alterra Corporation
  • WhaleTaleWhaleTale Fully active user Join Date: 2019-07-28 Member: 253976Members Posts: 2 Fully active user
    edited July 28
    The problem with removing the narrative in a lot of ways is that the communication with the alien consciousness is a huge part of the overall story. What you're saying in regards to not experiencing choices could in a way be alleviated by choosing how to respond, but overall the character will still have a big impact on your experience. I had the same complaint at first but the more I play the more attached to the characters I become, so it's okay for me. In a way, it's kind of like living through the PDA recordings via the first Subnautica. It's different, and that will come with some disappointments, but that isn't necessarily all bad.
  • Hotaru_ZokuHotaru_Zoku Advanced user A world of 75% water. Join Date: 2017-12-07 Member: 234304Members Posts: 17 Advanced user
    So what you want is to make the second game....exactly like the first.

    Dare I ask, "Why should they even bother, then?"
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Advanced user Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 530 Advanced user
    So what you want is to make the second game....exactly like the first.

    Dare I ask, "Why should they even bother, then?"

    State the points you do think are good and criticize those you think are not.
    That's how you help the game improve.
  • Hotaru_ZokuHotaru_Zoku Advanced user A world of 75% water. Join Date: 2017-12-07 Member: 234304Members Posts: 17 Advanced user
    I just did.

    "State the points you do think are good and criticize those you think are not" unfortunately require there to have /been/ good points for me to start with, and I can't find much good in "Why isn't the game exactly like the first."

    My question stands, your snarky dodge not withstanding.

    Why should they even bother if what you want is "Deep-Blue Reskin DLC"? To what degree are the devs allowed to make changes before it's "too much"?
  • MaalterommMaalteromm Advanced user Brasil Join Date: 2017-09-22 Member: 233183Members Posts: 530 Advanced user
    They should bother if they want to have as much success as with the first game.
    It is a great game, but one distressed by very many game breaking bugs and performance issues. These things get overlooked due to the great game it is.

    If the next game does not greatly improves on the first, these issues (which are still lurking in the sequel) will be much more apparent, very much more.

    Anyone who bothers to post here, or engage in its development in any other way (discord, in game feedback, etc...), is only trying to improve the game and, even though the devs should stick to their design, it doesn't hurt to at least pay attention to what their community thinks.

    What's more, I didn't see any snarky responses here besides yours.
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