28 July 2013

Faster Than Light Sucks

I am always at least 2 months behind on Linux, game and geek stuff. I have a job I'm sorry. But I just got Faster Than Light and what a let down it was. Lets go step by step.

First, the game is pretty awesome. If you don't know it go buy it or find it on the Internet and watch a video of someone playing, you will get hooked. The game is a strategy that puts you in charge of a spaceship crew. The game starts with ship selection, initially there is only a human race ship that is pretty basic and has an all human crew. As you attempt @ playing you unlock different ships by different races with different race crews. The goal is to travel with your ship from one end of the universe to the other. You travel by making warp jumps from point to point in space, and most points present an event. Events can be enemy ships whom you have to fight or ally ships whom you have to help. There are stores from witch you buy fuel for the jumps and equipment and crew. You can also upgrade the systems of the ships, and crew members manning a system get experienced  with it and  you get advantages from that. Like, an experienced pilot gives you extra evasion. The battles allow you to decide what enemy ship systems you want to target, so if you can you go for the enemy weapons and disarm him. Awesome!

So why did I say it sucks.

Second. Battles are pretty random, as in you have no idea when you will need to fight and what you will be facing. That wouldn't annoy me if the game had better difficulty balance, even the easy difficulty level is hard as nails. In actuality the game isn't hard, it just lacks structure. If you could plan weapon and equipment purchases in your game strategy you could make a good ship. But you can't because you have no idea where the stores are and whats on sale in them. The game devolves from strategy into roulette.

Third. Space isn't open to exploration. You can't just fly around because of the rebel fleet on your tail. So you have a limited amount of jumps before the fleet catches you. Being clever I decided to try to level up from the fleet but you get no loot from fighting them, that's just stupid. You will be planing how to navigate space as in to cover as much points as possible but since the maps seem procedural-generated (random), you sometimes just have to give up just to avoid backtracking because the fuel for the jumps is limited.

Fourth. The unlockable ships are not as unlockable as they are presented to you. They are randomly hidden sometimes you can try to unlock them sometimes you can't. And I have given up.

It's not a bad game, it really isn't! But I just found myself giving up on the normal difficulty level and just restarting the game every time I lose a crew member or every time I pass the first section without fighting the slaver ship that you get the free crew member from. If I have to jump back to the beginning every time I don't get lucky, then the gameplay should be a bit quicker. And I have given up trying to complete the mission with any of the 3 ships I unlocked. I instead wanted to unlock something powerful but I can't find them. So I don't play anymore.

11 July 2013


So. Hi...

I have not been blogging because we were hard at work. We is game Developers, YAY. Step one was to figure out a name for the company. OMG, there are just no good free names out there, everything awesome you google is taken. So the battle we led with the internet for some namespace reached a stalemate, so there.
We is StalemateStudio, YAY. When one is developer, one needs to make games, so we were wondering what game to make, and how to make it. You maybe know about project Konflict, but that was a bit ambitious on our part so we left it and started working on another game. And the other game was supposed to be simple. At that time we were working on producing a game with the blender game engine, and it just doesn't work. It is a nice piece of tech, but I can't see producing something with it. I wasted several days trying to figure out why my characters were randomly falling through the floor. So we switched to Unity. As much as I hate Unity (NO NATIVE LINUX VERSION), It's just a better game engine and games development tool. We still use blender for the mesh modeling, UV (textures), rigging and animation. In order to evaluate Unity I decided to make a game.
A simple game. Just you and a bunch of walls. And the initial prototype was done in like 40 min. And most of that was just blender, making the level. While I was playing around testing Unity and learning the scripting, they announced free mobile deployment. So I was like "SOLD!"! This saturday, I hope I will be able to release the android version.

Lets talk about releasing. I am big on Linux so no wonder I like Desura more than I like Steam. Desura is the original indie content distribution system. So I am trying to get my desktop versions available on Desura (exclusively). They do have quality control so you can't publish just whatever crap you want. And I'm OK with that. I don't want my awesome game to be thrown in a pile of assorted garbage. They do however let you publish a profile on indieDB and slideDB (ModDB, but I didn't make a mod). To get the name around. So if you would like to support our valiant efforts, here are links.

Maze-Demo Maze-Demo Maze-Demo Maze-Demo

So, nothing else to report now.