Dev Diary #20 - Addressing usability issues


Fast-tracking research will be pretty interesting to because now you can rent lab world’s off people…

1 Like


Hadn’t thought of that one lol. In general there are way too many questions and no answers. In general I see this as a nightmare and destruction of the game if the issues being raised aren’t properly handled. Like you must have completed an equivalent tech before accepting a ship built, which I only see as a programming nightmare.

1 Like


I just re-read the roadmap to beta - no where is giving away ships or planets mentioned. Why are we even doing this? Why isn’t the focus on fixing the usability for new players and alliance mechanics?

1 Like


Guess they were bored of attempting what they promised. and wanted to do something new.

Irony aside, great point. With so much promised and documented as on the to do list why something with such consequences out of the blue? Sounds like a half baked afterthought…

Will have to look at it most closely when it comes. But good catch, definitely not on the posted agenda I could see and I cant recall anyone having asked for it (please correct me here I cant read every post) Certainly has added to the feeling we are going off at a tangent still and not developing the promised game. :frowning:

We shall see.



So empty planets are easy.
Native race planets are easy.

Populated or abandoned player races… So I actually prefer these to show only when they are not occupied with a player…

Player colonised planets : I feel that fog of war is being subverted here, I don’t think leaking the race is too bad however the number of inhabitants should be masked maybe ‘unknown’… this does not leak the player colonist numbers and informs the scanning player that it is a player not a native race…

I mean we cant scan a ship in a planets orbit but we can tell how many colonists they have right down to the last one…

Should be like this…

The hover over could be more helpful and instead of just “first civilisation” or “second civilisation”

who really cares if they are first or second… we can see the order…

With the above in mind hover over shows this… (note Player civilisation and Native civilisation under the race name)

if a player quits then the player civ changes to native civ, until planet is colonised by the same race.

Upon first visiting a planet with a native, given no ships in orbit or anything else dangerous… then show a splash video like the colonisation video giving details of the race and any bonuses they offer… then players will be curious to see if the splash screen is different for other races…

You’re gonna hate me for saying this… but the Wiki needs to be in the game and have the ability to popup over anything… that way you can have a tech…

So scrollable for one then you are not limited on text…

Also you can click the benefit (in red box) and it pops up the wiki page… contents delivered via websocket based on if the player has researched it or not… so that fog of war also occurs in research (I’m sure public sites will be available with all the research details but we should operate under fog of war as much as possible)

Its reasonable to know what your research effort is aiming at… So you can see the next tech, not all the values, but size and expected slots would be the deliverable… but only after the research do you learn its cost and build time… etc…

having everything like the csv doesnt help…

Also the wiki in the game will be linked using values the galaxy is driven off… so it will be always accurate… and require very little maintainance… I suspect its a burden you dont need… 5 galaxies with 5 different sets of values for each weapon… Wiki is the wrong way to go about that… We do need a wiki also but that can be effectively a manual and not specifically about stats…

I’m not sure if this is supposed to have a benefit or not…

there should be a benefit thing… even if its not a part or a building

So it might be similar to this…


Say something like “Special forces training”

Then the click link to the wiki can tell us that it increases base power by 20% or something…



I would prefer descriptions to the civilation on the planet rather than specific numbers. These can be determined by the number on the planet as well as structures built with the eventual possibility of disguising these numbers to appear both greater and smaller. I would also like the ability to either mark a solar as occupied or have it done automatically based on what I find on long range sensors. A single planet with 1.2m pop is most certainly a player, I do not need to scout it especially since such action may result in war.

As far as trading and gifting goes, i think a lot of rules need to be setup, and some can be assisted with an assitant of sorts. In civilization there are 4 advisors who periodically can be consulted about different things and can be added here. At the top right of any window (I like this kind of stuff at the top right) can be 4 avatars of the different advisors who can offer their opinion, maybe with a flashy background or an exclamation mark if the advisor feels strongly about the topic. The military advisor would always want better weapons/military structures/ability to acquire better combat ability and would give you help exclusively on this topic saying this is an excelent idea bc a b and c (maybe with some graphic) while the econimic advisor might say this would be devastating to us because of x y and z. For example when being gifted a planet, the military advisor might be excited about the farsu being produced on the planet while the economic advisor is fearful of the corruption costs, and the diplomatic advisor is upset that the offered planet is too far away, and trying to make use of the planet would cuase stress with our neighbors because we would have to fly through their territory while the domestic advisor says the pros and cons are about equal, while an alliance advisor can be comments from your alliance members on the topic/specific situation.

This type of consultation can be made for every aspect of the game, including verbage about giving a potential enemy a foot hold in your own territory as well as ideas on who to ask for help based on things like thumbs up in the forums and friends list size (the only metric we have about friendliness) with respect to proximity.

As far as rules that govern gifted units/planets, I would remind everyone that certain things can be made expensive very quickly. For example, if the corruption rate was cut in half but ships outside your primary race added to the corruption, players will very quickly ask if the ships are worth it, while still keeping the gift an option especially if a player is on the loosing side of a large war. I would prefer a corruption like mechanic on fleet count or cost rather than the present corruption mechanic.

My hope is that in 6 years, I can offer another player 40 combat fleets in trade for 10% of the res and 20% of the currency he produces over the next month in order for him to fight his neighbor, and have that deal be in a list of other negotiations. This list can include peace treaties, no fly zones, territory, given star maps (of other players as well as unclaimed areas), and options to remove fog of war. This list would include information for both the alliance and individual with the option to renegotiate deals and straight up break them (resulting in some sort of negative reputation?).



Hi everyone, we’ll post a blog in the next day or two on how being able to give a fleet or planet to another player would work (including the checks which should hopefully ease your concerns raised here).



Yes, the last survey we ran did ask people if they’d stopped playing (or rarely played) their reasons why and got a good amount of helpful responses.

Fair point, it was from the earlier roadmap that we started on but shelved until we were ready to work on alliances and related social features (which we now have).

I think as well as making the state of the planet clearer e.g. not colonized, has a native population, is player colonized - what you’ve proposed here makes sense. That it isn’t possible to see a planet’s resources, owner, or orbiting fleets without being in orbit yourself - but you can see the civ and exact number of colonists from scanner range (and from that determine if the planet is colonized by another player). It’s something we’ll look at as part of this process.

We are going to link to the wiki from within the game to provide help pages for certain UI screens, but with something like the tech description it might be easier if we can hook in to related tooltips that exist elsewhere in another screen.

I agree that looks confusing not showing what is unlocked. And a good example of how most of these tech descriptions aren’t easy to understand!



Sounds like a good idea to me. If we introduced system notes it would enable you to achieve that to a degree, but I can see it being useful to be able to see if a planet you explored had a native population from the star map/system drop down rather than having to go back and find a planet again and click on it.

It’s great to hear different ideas related to corruption and growth control mechanics (we plan to revisit and improve the current mechanics in the near future). Thanks for the rest of your feedback around trade/diplomacy also :slight_smile:



Not exactly sure what you mean by (which we now have) but can I assume this means you are working on the alliance and associated social features, not that we now “have them”. Just making sure I understand your meaning. I’m guessing that this “give away” feature is intended to be part of alliances/social features then? Looking forward to seeing how this is intended to work.



Sorry, yes I was trying to say that we have now started work on those features.

1 Like


Will gifted ships stop ship production?

And one I’m really curious about is.
If your entire Empire is destroyed and wiped out and you’re down to just one ship remaining. Can someone gift you a planet to start over with without having to reset?



Well I’m hoping that.

You can only gift a ship directly to someone by selecting their ship as a destination like move to position. When it arrives and the other person is still there then its theirs

Similarly for a planet. The destination player needs a ship with colonist or troop module with people in orbit. Gifting player can select the ship in orbit (on the planet visual screen) and gift it.

Some caveats would include planet must not have 2 races already. Or the native must be the receivers race.



Technically though every ship should have a crew already maybe 5 for a scout, 5000 for a battleship.



I know but we have thus far ignored that in the rest of the game so we shouldn’t start now… It just makes sense to me at least



But the ripchee need boarding parties for that ship capture trait. And everyone else needs a defensive crew %.



Personally I don’t like the idea of allowing the gifting of ships period, first it’s going to require everyone to be part of an alliance or you will need to pay someone for ships - what will you pay with? And 2nd it will take any uniqueness of a race completely away from the game, everyone will be exactly the same and until I hear otherwise from @joe we still don’t know if the player must have equivalent tech in order to receive it, thus making tech irrelevant.



day 4 :stuck_out_tongue:

Coming this weekend?



Oh ho! If we are playing the Quoting game:


Turning to Q1 2019, we have already completed high-level designs for alliances and this week we wrote the first-lines of alliance back-end code. Our UX Designers are currently working on the front-end. This feature won’t arrive immediately due to its complexity (which is why we’ve left it so long), and we need to get it right, not only from a player perspective, but it also has implications for scalability on the server-side. We appreciate many of you have been patiently waiting for alliances for a while, so we’re very excited to have started on it!

Can we get a progress report on this vital feature. Not expecting a release date Joe as you guys said you need to get it right before releases, but after roughly 3 months since you said this a tidbit of info would be nice :slight_smile:



I very good reminder to see that blog post… Especially with the giving of planets and fleets about to drop soon…