BZ : Frostbite And Salad Days feedback

BoffBoff SwedenMembers Join Date: 2018-08-12 Member: 242804Posts: 57 Advanced user
Quick Feedback:
Well done and thank you Dev-team, it's really starting to come together for a release candidate ;)
Big hugs for implementing Feedback from the forums, the popular "recyclotron" is now in there.
Predators act more like predators, sound-scape is a little more balanced. It's like you actually care (I am teasing!)
I love how the previous story iterations have been recycled as a backstory for the new story.
Not much voice-over work to gauge it by, but going off Robin's reaction to AL-AN being downloaded, it was Pitch-perfect (feels authentic) dialogue reaction and voice acting, in comparison to previous iterations.



DISCLAIMER: With every major update, I start afresh with a new survival game to make sure the core mechanics are intact and gel with the ebb-and-flow of the story and pacing (which naturally is a start-stop affair during beta).
With Frostbite, I was too busy with the water-side and was gearing up to make my way to the new Glacial basin when the salad days update dropped. So you get a 2-for-1 wall-o-text. I shall endeavour to keep it short (new mental training for me).

10 years back, my old workplace gave ourselves the FUCL milestones.
Functional - does it even work
Usability - can someone navigate and operate
Cosmetics - Does it look good, yes? Now be sensible stop developing.

Kärlek - It means Love in Swedish. Aim for saying Shark Lake, but hop over the "K" in the middle.
This is where us overzealous pedantic artists and programmers burnt ourselves out with stressing over the tight deadlines, driven by own passion and desire to do the utmost best job we could with as much polish and love as possible, even if it killed us in the process. So don't do any of that please ;) )



Frostbite
Love the new design, mechanics and pacing.
I like the 2-way branch.
On the left, it's the Coldsuit, Stalker, Sam and Leviathan on the right, ice-worm (which I haven't dared yet).

I'm so happy that we can now plant some of the trees for survival purposes.
I love the idea that we work our way towards the nesting area of the stalkers and pengwings, which makes sense for the leviathan predator to stalk as well.
I love it when the Gaming world makes sense. If I was young and dumb, I would add a bit more Kärlek with nesting materials faeces, shrubs, fur and feathers and dragged dirt between the nests and watering-holes to sell it! But then again I don't develop for a reason these days ;)

Please tell you got Benedict Cumberbatch to do some of the voice overs. Speak to Henry Cavil, work his gamer side to bring Cumberbatch onboard ;)
And add mock recording booth reaction shot, "are you kidding me, you are really rubbing it in that I can't say peng-wings" (perfect benedict, but the line is....)


Salad Days
Okay, I am not there yet, I'm working my way back over the water-side of things, but from what I have seen from the Glacial fruits and dilapidated basses there. I'm super-psyched to explore the wrecks.


The story Ebb and flow
So, I love the Hydraulic puzzle for fixing the bridge. It's a door-key puzzle separating off one area of the game to another, but a soft, gentle and fuzzy one.
It adds a subtle natural "you need to explore to the left first" but the solution isn't so far away that it doesn't feel like a FORCED ARBITRARY DESIGN OF THE DEVELOPERS THAT YOU MUST GO THIS WAY FIRST.
I always think of the very first Dizzy game when the Castle on the far right of the game-world needed an object from the Moutain on the far left. Oh and you could only carry one object at a time, or as Ron Gilbert joked Pixel-hunting in the original monkey-island was a way to extend the play-time through forced gameplay.

The small puzzles are solved locally, where-as others prevent access to the next section of the game.
and it's all about signalling to the player the intended order whilst still maintaining the continuity of the open-world exploration. A tough balance to say the least.

But back to the BZ-Bridge
I like the idea that it's a new crafting recipe - specific to "that" problem and our magical tech saves the day.
I like that the Blueprint isn't too far away as it's in the next glacial arena.
I like that Materials aren't too far away, they are in a certain radius of the bridge and mixing up both land and sea materials, giving a natural understanding that you are supposed to be hanging around this area.



HOWEVER - Alan story Hangingover Sam story cab be summed up in the Spelling Test - where is the "F" in Magnetite
Okay, I know, I know, I shouldn't complain about Work in progress.

Finding ALAN was the primary job of the player in "phase-1".
The scanner room "is" one of the first blueprints we get, which feels useless without the extended range and the HUD module (both depend on the magnetite) making the scanner room practically useless.
So far magnetite was a local thing and not a lock/reward for beating the Glacial Basin Biome.

Now, to be honest, I am not a big fan of using the scanner room. I find it the material searching using the scanner a negative experience. One gets a lot of indecipherable visual clutter, which has to be resolved through exploration and testing "is the material is behind the rock in front of me or 400m ahead of me", multiply that by 20 "hits" with the added stress of KNOWING there is a massive energy drain on the base, so much so that I tend to search physically for 20 minutes before resorting to the scanner. When I find the Control room, the first thing I do is power down the map-room to conserve power.

However, the Geothermal Generator is a must need power-source at times, and could be useful for the "land" maps.
But then the aero-gel is waterbased blue-print, as are medkits, (thank for the healing leafy fruit).
Both need magnetite, which is now locked at the end of the glacial basin.

Now with the story rewrite for Phase 2 (so to say), our primary objective is to find Sam (please please please can we have the original voice actress who gave the scratch tape for the player, as I thought she was goofy and caring, as she did fits the scientist type, but sadly not the player).
But the magnetite isn't directly a problem, a bit of carrot-stick-story "Magnetic anomaly detected" on various maps, possible Alterra sites, to help herd the player there first

However, it really brings to the foreground the "core" gameplay area now needs a similar "Glacial basin make-over" to bring it in line with the Search for Sam over the Search for Alan.
  • The Deep spiral bridges biome
  • The Mine Biome
  • Sea-monkey caves
  • ALAN's Storage and (their? his ? her?) SOS,

are weird hangovers with regards to the ebb/flow of the lock-and-key gameplay.
ALL have the place holder mechanic that they are ALL
  • too deep to
  • too long distance to get to the dead-ends with the rewards.
  • too narrow to build bases for shelter.
  • Lack of power generation as they are too deep for Solar panels forcing the use of
  • BioReactors requiring a large area for big utility room - the mines can just about accommodate this.
  • Thermal Generators, whose blueprint is IN the barely accessible opening section of the mine, which would require magnetite but the Thermal Vents in the mines don't generate heat (wip?)
  • And we Lack a general incentive to push on (?)
  • oh and to reiterate myself they all end in a dead-end, forcing a U-turn and retracing our steps, but since these spaces are designed to be cluttered and tight to stop vehicles, this gets annoying fast.

So we can currently only explore them after one or all of the following craft/builds
  • Rebreather
  • High-capacity air-tank
  • Ultra-high-capacity air-tank (fragments are gotten in the later Sea-monkey caves.
  • Prawn Suit (scannable fragments in the mine).
  • Depth module for the sea-truck which requires
  • SeaTruck Fabricator Module (in the deep spiral caves)
  • Moonpool (now moved from the early sea-monkey caves to the crashed ship).


You take the deep spirals, the are clearly designed for vehicle less play, the threats are to the player, for example, the tentacle plants placed (arbitrarily by some sadistic map-maker ;) ) next to the air-supply and fragments. The "safe" explorable passageways off to the side with the fragments can't accommodate a vehicle.
and the "2" areas for "storage fragments" and "fabricator fragments" are indistinguishable from one another,
but I guess there will be a subtle hint from AL-AN about artefacts (which is at one end near AL-ANs SOS.
Geographically, you could link AL-AN's cave to the deep spiral and have the player traverse to the other from one side to the precursor tech which you can flip to the other side.
Too Linear perhaps.

It's all this open world exploration at your own pace....

So don't envy your jobs ;)

But you do it soo well!!!

Big Hugs, don't stress now!





Comments

  • HerobrinesbestminionHerobrinesbestminion Members Join Date: 2019-12-07 Member: 256209Posts: 37 Advanced user
    most people might call AL-AN a "he" but I think we don't have words like this.... I would say a middle from "he" and "their".... the race has a conection, but since he can't tell what happened back home even after getting a new body, I would say it's limited....
  • KyzarvsKyzarvs UKMembers Join Date: 2019-08-08 Member: 254142Posts: 7 Fully active user
    I'm enjoying SD vary much so far, about 6 hours in with a few crashes knocking me back some. I haven't done much on-land so far - just the deep twisties, robotic base and robot island.

    Nice to have a use for AL-AN, kind of like the radio calls in the first game - though it would be nice if the beacons automatically dissapeared when you've scanned the artifact (much like when you reach a lifepod in the first game) - working out which one you've already been to when you finally realise you have 5 visible is tough ;o)

    Other than that, it feels very good. Framerate is still awful, with lots of screen-tear (Ryzen 3700x / 1080ti / 1440p G-Sync), especially in-base. I expect that to be last to be fixed though.

    Story looks like it will be really interesting. I was worried it would be more violent, but it feels if anything more chilled than before without a million mobs coming at you at once - much more like the first one.

    Great efforts - so pleased you are able to make progress in these odd times. Thanks devs!
  • BoffBoff SwedenMembers Join Date: 2018-08-12 Member: 242804Posts: 57 Advanced user
    I did like seeing the Sea-truck operator having a name, and getting told off for giving free trips, and then finding a message from Sam (or someone) finding the SOS, and wanting to take the Sea-truck out.

    It would be nice to have a base "complement" with jobs, names, personalities, with side-stories, jokes and intrigues, much like the Degassi, so one could follow their struggle, and have a few stand-out hero moments like Maggy and the Son.

    Give them their own little base/quarters, much like Maggy.
    But with her living so close, she has to be spotted unaccounted Prawn-suit sightings or someone "suspected" poaching equipment and supplies, but the Sea Monkeys are blamed.
  • iminneediminneed GeorgiaMembers Join Date: 2020-07-02 Member: 262281Posts: 1 Fully active user
    First post ,I bought below zero from epic (mistake) well they did have 10 bucks off ,how come steam gets the updates and epic does get the updates but it takes weeks to get the update ,As I post this I just got the previous update from epic and contacted them asking them why it takes so long to get an update they told me to contact unknown worlds .They still don’t have the salad update and who know’s when. I am done with epic the way they do Business period , Can someone from unknown world tell me why getting an update from epic is such a hassle thank you oh yeah and have a nice day.
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