Gameplay Experience, Issues, Quality of life and other suggestions

First things first. Thanks for attempting a complex game. I love the graphics/audio design.

My gameplay mode:
HARD → Terraforming Pionier . Update 9

Gamesession:

Early game only with lvl1 , 2 and 3 HQ Workercounter +4 . ( Because i didnt know how to get a higher worker count )
Early buy into Power pylon, residential and office.
Early resource with patches and ruins.
Immediatly building resource processoers ( do not use lvl 1 resources unless it gives advantage in getting needed building/device earlier and abundance of resource at early game. Always use cheapest resource that only needs 1 unit for component )
Gather LVL 3 resources to build first 2 residential / 1 office block
Run everyting of a single grid.

It barely could get it done to get my income rolling before running out of it. I round of not paying worker. Afterwards it became rather easy.

  • Build distributed factories to get high efficiency xethan.
  • build some fuil storage factories.
  • build trash storage factories.
  • build more power factories.
  • buy into shipyard
  • defend first wave
  • buy into fuel extractor
  • build more power factories
  • buy into smoke stack
  • run into trash problems but manage
  • buy into power plant
  • expand income gain.
  • buy into fans
  • second wave attack, buy quickly into defense cannons and build while being attacked
  • run into trash problem lose income temporarly

from here on it was more shipsyards, powerplants , command centers, mines, trucks and so on.
So basically i was skipping the steps of building residents/offices in factories. It works and it is highly convenient.
Its a good start into lots of money.

as an alternative i might consider going quick powerplant, pylon to make use of the high fuel to power conversion ration of the plants.

Final gamesession verdict: game is easy enough on dynamic HARD mode.

Gameplay Ships & Exploration
Premise: current gameplay of ships is a bit lacking

perceived issues:

  • only 1v1 combat → very limiting in tactic options
  • no real exploration → command centers is tideous.
  • ship components are strangely different now that they need crew to operation
  • strange engines dont use power to float
  • shipyards can be turned of even when providing supply for ships. I get that unless enough are turned on i cannot enter any of them, but still.
  • turning power on/off on components to bring ships from idle to combat status is tideos
  • no automated power safe of devices → even if enough fuel/power would be available to keep the life suffort running, crew can still kill itself.
  • having no command area vision on defense buildings prevent me from retaliating but the computer can fly anywhere. its a bit of arbitrary gameplay.

suggestions:

  • allow power profile groups
    • Idea: i want have quickbuttons to switch a group of devices on/off or different states depending on the ships actions: docked, flying, idle, combat, emergency ( ships < % hitpoints ) . Make toogle for each state if it should activate.
    • Effect: Quality of life.
  • energy grid based ships
    • Idea: Ships can install an industrial outlet and power is supplied to them by the energy grid.
    • Strength: Defensive ships design unable to fly outside the grid
    • Weakness: If engine use power, ships crash if supply to grid is lost and batteries go empty. Otherwise ships just power to weapons etc.
    • Side effect: Harder for exploration ships to overcome defender; ships can charge batteries over the grid. Ships can supply power to grid in emergeny.
  • exploration ships:
    • Idea: avoid using command centers to expand
    • Strength: finding other bases is more directed after using an explorer to find other bases
    • Weakness: Weaker than grid based defender ships
    • Side effects: early raids on computer bases possible, more (stronger, special ) explorer AI ships needed to actually pose a threat against defenders,
      ships would be more battery based ( like ammo for weapons ). Charge them and then fly an attack until battery power gone.
    • Balancing: make different ship hulls. Hulls capable of receiving power from the grid are balanced by having less tiles available. Still defensive ships should be stronger.
  • ships that loose engines should crash. Leave piles of gatherable resources and damage buildings below if hitting them.
  • tie ships supply to command centers (+1 for each command center,upgrades only increase range). HQ gives +2 ( +1 on hard games, +1 per additional level ) ship supply from the start.
  • allow ships to fuel/power from grid in dock. would allow for more ship gameplay variations. let me dock power / fuel lines in the shipyard on thepress of a button

Ship AI:

perceived issues:

  • retargeting is making AI very weak.
    • Premise: attack of AI to a buildings
    • Response: i attack and retreat
    • Effect: AI targets different buildings
    • Result: i know i can make AI retarget until it randomly flies into my defense towers. Its exploitable and i dont even need strong ships to beat superior attackers.
  • no grouping and attacking the same buildings
    • Effect: weak AI

Gameplay in general:
Perceived issues:

  • closest workers are not automatically rescheduled. Ex. one does a survey, when its done i salvage it with priority. In that case the worker just starting to walk aways should immediatly turn and salvage.
  • there are two ways of gaining income, council or office. Currenlty office is the only one that matters. IMHO the office buildings seem to be very good. Council with 250 creds for 1 artifact for a ticket is not enough. Maybe add another option for trade on the spaceport. Thus no matter what early game i choose ( maybe later different factions give boni to trade, influence and office ) i can get some money.
  • gun turrets are very strong and doesnt need much less in terms on cash/resource investment to get there.

Quality of life:

perceived issues:

  • rebuilding factory floors is tideous → allow copy and paste of buildings including floor devices
  • storage container settings are tideous → allow copy and paste of container/storage building settings
  • ships flying into each other is very ugly → one tile, one ship
  • design floor layouts, the workflow of place and delete → instead allow movement and rotation of device when placed. Even things a simply moving a component 1 tile in planning is incredibly convenient
  • can undo dismante of a device!!!
  • resources in output processors do not count against supply
  • move minerals from ships floors cannot be prioritized → often this blocked my ships from launching for minutes
  • individual selection of devices is need for scrapping ships/factory floors. → do not require component disassembly todo this for ship scrapping. allow selection dragbox.
  • removing resources from areas where a building is messing up the job priority/delaying construction. Ex. having construction high but moving resources low, i wont get that building/device done. For each resource blocking a construction a task a same priority should be scheduled or the removal is part of the construction.
  • status symbols dont show differnce between no power and disableda

Suggestions:

  • allow ship repair from the world overview screen on the shipyard. PReview cost. Also show repair progress.

Things i dont like:

  • automated fuel distribtion is rather strange in the light of other things that i have to construct connections for.
    I assume is alot of work to make it fit into. pipe placement would have to be added. Similiar like the connections of the mines. Could be done in another game layer where pipes run over the grid lines instead of being build inside the squares.
  • self destruct is instant ? no confirmation?
  • machines use power even when not in use. Like processors, input and output and smokestacks
  • the way trucks are implemented. a more robotic behavior would be nice. Instead of having the worker still run have the distance to use a truck and then drive back. Instead make them come automatically to the worker.
  • ship to ship targeting indicaters are ugly as hell. How about something nice and simple that all that space free for looking at ship combat?
  • the lines downwards into the targeting circles of the defense guns are barely visible.

Simple Bugs
* power on/off shortkey not working
Difficult Bugs
* memory leak i cant reproduce