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PleasingFungus
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« on: March 01, 2012, 07:29:45 pm »

Starhaven


Starhaven is a game about mining in space. Blast rock away and sink drills deep into the earth, power and crew modules ranging from mineral launchers to rocket guns, and then defend your fragile station from swift-hurtling meteoroids!


I've been working on the game for the last 9 months, and I'm opening beta testing for the next three weeks (until March 24th) in the hopes of getting feedback on difficulty, bugs, and general playability. The game has limited, anonymized automated reporting for some events (tutorials skipped, level won, etc...), but I still want human feedback for things like "Mechanic X makes no sense!" or "Level Y is way too hard!" (Preferably with slightly more detail than that.)

The game can be played here, and you can follow development at my devlog. Have fun!

And it's out!
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 06:49:56 pm by PleasingFungus » Logged

Udderdude
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« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2012, 07:40:33 pm »

First thing I noticed is the key for rotating the yellow pieces was set to UNDEFINED by default.  Might want to fix that.

I only played the first tutorial so far, it's a simple concept, hopefully it gets more complex later on.  Will try to play it more later.
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ortoslon
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« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2012, 07:41:41 pm »

typo in the first tutorial: "connect to the drills to the station core"

pipes inside pieces mislead: they suggest that they need to connect but they only need to be adjacent
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 08:08:21 pm by ortoslon » Logged
PleasingFungus
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« Reply #3 on: March 01, 2012, 08:25:09 pm »

First thing I noticed is the key for rotating the yellow pieces was set to UNDEFINED by default.  Might want to fix that.
Intended. I don't use that key in the default bindings, but some people might want it.

typo in the first tutorial: "connect to the drills to the station core"
Thanks! Fixed.

pipes inside pieces mislead: they suggest that they need to connect but they only need to be adjacent
Good point; I'll look into it.

EDIT: Uploaded a tweaked version. Visually noisier, might solve the confusion you encountered. Undecided.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2012, 08:40:56 pm by PleasingFungus » Logged

dEnamed
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« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2012, 11:04:48 am »

Alright I tried it yesterday but it was kinda late, so I retried it today. I like the idea of it, like some sort of super charged Tetris. I couldn't play for long though, the colors tend to blend into each other and are generelly quite bright, which makes it difficult for me to see them clearly.
Game is fun otherwise.
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PleasingFungus
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« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2012, 12:04:26 pm »

I couldn't play for long though, the colors tend to blend into each other and are generelly quite bright, which makes it difficult for me to see them clearly.

I've added an option to disable glow. Try it out and let me know if it helps.
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dEnamed
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« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2012, 12:55:21 pm »

I couldn't play for long though, the colors tend to blend into each other and are generelly quite bright, which makes it difficult for me to see them clearly.

I've added an option to disable glow. Try it out and let me know if it helps.

Tried, it does help a lot. Thanks.
So after playing it a bit more, it's a quite interesting concept which I'll try again in the next couple of days. Due to time constraints I once again didn't get very far but I'll come back to it.
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Hangedman
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« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2012, 03:00:38 pm »

It was pretty neat, although I found the block distribution kind of odd. During the launching minerals phase, I found I almost never got wires, and just stacked up tons of barracks and crap waiting for one to drop
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AUST
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PleasingFungus
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« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2012, 11:16:49 am »

It was pretty neat, although I found the block distribution kind of odd. During the launching minerals phase, I found I almost never got wires, and just stacked up tons of barracks and crap waiting for one to drop

That's very strange. The game pretty much guarantees that you get two conduits for every four blocks. What level was this?
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Hangedman
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« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2012, 12:02:53 pm »

The first one?

Not sure.

I was getting maybe one in three or four.
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PleasingFungus
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« Reply #10 on: March 03, 2012, 02:23:45 pm »

The first one?

Not sure.

I was getting maybe one in three or four.

If you mean the tutorials, the housing tutorial gives a lower conduit ratio, just because you don't really need as many. (Because the scenario comes with all the conduits you need pre-placed; the ones that drop are extra.)
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PleasingFungus
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2012, 11:59:42 pm »

Bumping for a few fixes. Most notably, I removed the block limit - it was only there for arcane debugging reasons! (Basically!) Check out the new version if that was giving you problems.

The other potentially notable change.
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punking
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« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2012, 12:48:38 pm »

pipes inside pieces mislead: they suggest that they need to connect but they only need to be adjacent
Good point; I'll look into it.

EDIT: Uploaded a tweaked version. Visually noisier, might solve the confusion you encountered. Undecided.
I watched a friend play today.
The pipes are still actively misleading.
He also expected the 3 square section of the drill to transport resources.

I might be a good idea for the defense section to be easier for now so that more feedback can be gotten on the interface.  I placed all barracks and missiles adequately but failed the second wave due to clicking too early.
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Maju
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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2012, 04:08:11 pm »

Can we have some graphics other than cheap gradients and Atari 2600 pixels, please? Nothing in the game looks like anything.
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PleasingFungus
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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2012, 11:42:41 pm »

I watched a friend play today.
The pipes are still actively misleading.
He also expected the 3 square section of the drill to transport resources.

Well, that's the sort of thing the beta is supposed to catch. Hmm.

Pretty much everyone I've talked expects the drill to serve as a conduit, at first, so both of those now count as "standing issues". I'll think about it and see if I can come up with a fix tomorrow.

I might be a good idea for the defense section to be easier for now so that more feedback can be gotten on the interface.  I placed all barracks and missiles adequately but failed the second wave due to clicking too early.

Hm, all right. The options I have are basically "decrease number of meteoroids" or "decrease meteoroid speed"; I'll think about which is more effective. Probably the latter, or a combination.

This is the sort of thing I have trouble judging, just because I've had too much experience with the game to see what's easy or hard for a new player.


Thanks for the feedback! It's very helpful, exactly the sort I'm looking for.



Can we have some graphics other than cheap gradients and Atari 2600 pixels, please? Nothing in the game looks like anything.

Nope!

The game doesn't have an artist, and so my options are in a range between 'abstract programmer art' and 'realistic programmer art'. Honestly, if I was going to do things over again, I'd opt for more abstraction - who complains about the graphics in Tetris, or Geometry Wars?

"This L-piece doesn't even look like anything!"
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punking
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« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2012, 01:18:37 pm »

I might be a good idea for the defense section to be easier for now so that more feedback can be gotten on the interface.  I placed all barracks and missiles adequately but failed the second wave due to clicking too early.

Hm, all right. The options I have are basically "decrease number of meteoroids" or "decrease meteoroid speed"; I'll think about which is more effective. Probably the latter, or a combination.

This is the sort of thing I have trouble judging, just because I've had too much experience with the game to see what's easy or hard for a new player.

The real problem was probably that they were exploding halfway to the target, I didn't have enough experience to know what they were supposed to do.

Starhaven 0.909 crashed when I said it could send crash reports. Now it crashes every time I refresh the page.
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ortoslon
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« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2012, 01:25:47 pm »

Starhaven 0.909 crashed when I said it could send crash reports. Now it crashes every time I refresh the page.

same here
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PleasingFungus
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« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2012, 04:28:36 pm »

I broke it because I'm an idiot. Managed to upload a debug version that 'crashed' on startup.

Should be working now.
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blundis
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« Reply #18 on: March 11, 2012, 11:06:58 am »

I loved it! Novel idea and well executed. Didn't quite understand how to tell how many units a barrack would produce though. Also didn't care for the barracks or the "rocket-for-sending-home-minerals" sprites, but overall i actually quite liked the aesthetic.

Are you planning different kinds of minerals?
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PleasingFungus
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« Reply #19 on: March 11, 2012, 01:57:09 pm »

I loved it! Novel idea and well executed. Didn't quite understand how to tell how many units a barrack would produce though. Also didn't care for the barracks or the "rocket-for-sending-home-minerals" sprites, but overall i actually quite liked the aesthetic.

Are you planning different kinds of minerals?

Barracks produce 1 crew per 'block'; a 2x2 barracks (the small one) holds 4 crew, and the 3x2 barracks holds 6. The number of unemployed crew they have is displayed once they're powered.

I'm not very fond of the rocket sprites either.

Right now there are a few different 'densities' of mineral, represented by different colors - you can see them all in the first tutorial, actually. There are also different ways to mine minerals - drills, accumulators (in the Nebula), scoops (in the Sea)... the 'different densities' are actually a remnant of an earlier design in which there were five (!) different colors of minerals, all of which would vary in value based on a metagame "stock market" sort of element, but that went by the wayside when I redesigned the metagame into the much simpler "full game" campaign currently in the game.

Not really sure how 'different kinds of minerals' would fit into the game right now (what would they do differently from the current types?), but if you have any ideas, I'd be glad to hear them.
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