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Old 06-22-2016, 02:53 AM   #13
Zerim
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Join Date: Jun 2016
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So, I downloaded the game ~2 days ago based on a recommendation from some of my friends from Eve Online, so I'd like to chime in and speak as someone who knows very little about submarines and hasn't played a sub game before.
I'm very happy that it's been funded, because what you have at the moment is special. This game has the potential to be quite popular among mainstream gamers (your own Google Analytics may provide insight). At the moment, the game, as incomplete as it is, isn't just some obvious clone of another game, and it provides extremely memorable gameplay for groups of friends, with serious, tense, scary, funny, and enjoyable moments, somewhat similar to Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes or Spaceteam. I'd like to offer a few pointers, though as you've decided to fund development, it's your money, so feel free to disregard them.

1. Mainstream gamers do not care about the submarine type, and they won't care about what's historically accurate (beyond tangible things like armament, instrument quality, or other special equipment). I'm sure the controls at each station in the current game are dumbed down compared to real life, but they're still not 100% intuitive--please try to avoid making them unnecessarily complicated in the name of accuracy. If you happen to have an abundance of development time, consider a simple mode (i.e., similar to current) and a realistic mode for some stations. That said, elements of realism can make a game really educational and interesting if you don't scare the player away.

2. I'm sure this will sound almost as bad as #1 to many of you, but don't obsess with the story to the detriment of gameplay; the alt-history Swedish setting was cute, but unless you hire a professional writer or an enthusiastic historian, people will likely hit escape to skip the roleplay portions, as we did. However, that doesn't mean good historical story elements would go unnoticed--I'd love to be thrown into this guy's situation and have to solve it. (I'd personally rather have two somewhat historically inaccurate submarines in different eras than one perfect WW2 submarine. Just don't rule out the possibility of a later DLC release with Cold War-era boomers with similar gameplay :)

3. Be careful not to uproot everything that's done if you're going to be changing a lot--Unity is a great choice of an engine, with a nice asset store, and it should allow you to move into VR, which to me is an obvious step for this game. I'm surprised at how good the game already looks, especially the ocean waves and the smoke around the generators; avoid going full ARK: Survival Evolved (which is UE4 and visually pretty but crippling-ly optimized) unless you're certain you could deal with the downsides. Custom 3D game engines are the death of small teams.

4. Don't be afraid to monetize the game some to offset expenses as you develop, especially if the demo goes viral before the 'corrected' version is complete. That said, you can't and shouldn't rely on the chances of it going viral, and don't over-promise or under-deliver like ~75% of Steam Greenlight games. I wouldn't hesitate to drop $5 on the game as it currently is if it had a few more core features (listed below), as this is exactly the kind of game I'd buy for a few hours of weekend fun assuming core functionality is in place.

So, things that need to be priorities (aka, I'm just gonna make the post longer and throw suggestions for the game as-is)-
1. Game saving and loading. I soloed the current mission (6-8 kills!), and it took me a few hours in one sitting. For long duration missions, saving is a must; without it and autosave, expect people to ragequit and leave bad reviews.
2. Player models for multiplayer. I know they've posted some WIP 3D models, but invisibility is an awful placeholder--just a standard Unity player capsule would be way better than nothing, and should really be in the very next version.
3. Tweaks to the user interface/experience, both in the menu and in game.
In the menu: various things like mouse-over color changes are simple to add and very helpful to the user.
In the game: the papers ('O' and 'F' keys) being affected by lighting will lead to some great gameplay as people try to read their orders as their lights flicker due to lack of power... however not being able to read because it's too bright in the EWAR room is lame. In addition, WASD should work if you're not holding right click. Consider the option to make right click a toggle instead of a hold.
As a bonus: the fact that radio broadcasts are in German is a nice touch, but having to open up Google Translate doesn't help immersion, no pun intended. If you plan on having realistic languages, add a translation cheat sheet or AI crew translator or something.

tl;dr- The core gameplay has tons of potential mostly regardless of historicity. Good luck with its development!
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