No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky

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Shame Jul 24, 2018 @ 6:06pm
Honest feedback about starting off the game and bad UI...
So I trash a lot like some others do about the game because they can't figure something out, that's quite normal, but I want to genuinely address the issue of the tutorial. The update focused on a lot of things, but this wasn't one of them, which is a bit understandable, considering that multiplayer, terrain generation, fleet and economy system, as well as base construction has been the bigger focus of the NEXT update. Before, nobody seemed to care much about the controls or needed much tutorial stuff because there wasn't that much depth. Now it's one level deeper almost and it has become a bit of an issue.

There are so many random buttons to press! Q and E to do this, A and D to do this and that, Z to do this, X to that, P to this, B to blow that, how many ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ controls is this going to have? A different game I play, called Rain World, has basic controls, yet the game has a lot more complexity than NMS has ever had. And the tutorial tells you the controls that are in-your-face almost and sets up a nice setting at the beginning for you to learn them. NMS? Too much on the screen! UI is cluttered and there's way too much to read. Pointless information given all over the place, and you don't know what you need to do to find out about what!

I can accept random materials being given at any given point that you can't yet use, or won't be able to for a long time. In a game with a lot to discover (potentially, the game's not really there yet at all), this would make sense and give an idea of what the player should expect. The fact that you also require to craft a Refiner and Signal Booster, and involve some walking around the planet before you lift off is nice. But it takes too long because the controls are too convoluted and the UI is horrible and never really on-point, there's just too much going on; stuff at the top of your screen that you have scanned, resources pointed out to you from the scanner, hostile mob, sentinel around you, your suit health, your life support system, your , the tutorial on your bottom left that blends in with everything and contains too much text to read to understand what it's trying to tell you... it's just too much!

Here are some ideas as to how to design this better:
1) Make the UI as minimalistic as possible. Show only what's most crucial at the time.
2) Have a better guide; may be that little robot on your sholder could act kind of like the guide in Rain World does in pointing you directly towards what you need to do visually with a sentence of text sppearing in contrasting color to your surroundings.
3) Change those ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ default controls. There's too much. Rain World in-game only used Shift, Z, X, space and arrow keys, THAT'S IT. And it worked! Where-as in NMS, you're expected to read the guide while collecting resources, repairing your suit's life support and whatnot, while keeping on the run, pressing obscure buttons all over your keyboard... it's too much stress, and the only obvious thing the player can do is just mine, open inventory and get in and out of the ship if it's available. There's no time to think outside of the ship!
4) Even though X allows you to open a quick-menu, it's still too slow! I would suggest to REMOVE the ability to repair your suite with basic resources and instead allow for ONE or so component that is craftable to do so, that does it with the click or two of a button. The less you need to click and think what to click to do a thing, the better! Then the controls can come in naturally and you know what to expect.

Also, may I suggest that you remove the boost and instead have the ship move at boost speed at all times, and set Shift to be the Pulse Drive button? That would make sense and make things a bit less complicated. Or even two buttons to gradually make your speed faster or slower, and having some more precision control over your ship, instead of it feeling so sluggish, which I've found to always be an issue for me, even now.

And why not allow the player to use pulse-drive in-atmosphere? It gets you to points quicker, instead of you having to slowly get there with boost or having to launch into space, use the pulse drive, hit atmosphere just a bit too far/not close enough to the destination, that you have to go there on boost still for about 2 or 3 minutes or so. Of course, since it's in-atmosphere, it could have a downside of you taking some shield damage and this could allow you to crash into a planet at a very fast speed as well, but that's what creates fun, adrenaline and a risk-and-reward situation!
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Showing 1-15 of 18 comments
its garbage.

You can put anything you want into a container on a ship remotely, but in order to retrieve it you have to physically walk up to it in your cargo hold, which is retarded.
HiSaZuL Feb 10, 2019 @ 1:43pm 
I bet it took you longer to find this then to type that garbage. Congratulations, 99.9% of people still wont give a ♥♥♥♥ about your opinion. But hey at least you probably care.
Rectifier Feb 10, 2019 @ 2:27pm 
Originally posted by HiSaZuL:
I bet it took you longer to find this then to type that garbage. Congratulations, 99.9% of people still wont give a ♥♥♥♥ about your opinion. But hey at least you probably care.

Oh dear, overtired little one?
Pul Myfinger Feb 10, 2019 @ 4:03pm 
Originally posted by Shame:
Honest feedback about starting off the game and bad UI...

TL;DR
Pul Myfinger Feb 10, 2019 @ 4:09pm 
Originally posted by Pul Myfinger:
Originally posted by Shame:
Honest feedback about starting off the game and bad UI...

TL;DR

necro;DR
Shame Feb 10, 2019 @ 4:34pm 
A lot of this still applies to in-game now, may be all of it. Don't have that high hopes for this game anymore really, it's just so dull after a while. This would work well if it had complex algorithms that actually generated new content somehow in the background, but that would not only take long, but require way more processing than probably many powerful computers out there can handle. Because manually made content can only go so far before you have nothing to do with it. And I'm still waiting for an open universe, looks like that's never going to happen at this point.
Shame Feb 11, 2019 @ 4:37am 
I don't understand. This was genuine criticism.
Old-gamer Feb 11, 2019 @ 6:59am 
Constructive criticism is OK with me, but many people won't read a "wall of text" unless it is something that really interests them. If you have complaints about the ways the game is designed, post it to the Devs via the vehicles they use for feedback. They don't participate here in this "player" forum, so waxing-on about the design problems (here) is a waste of time (for you).
Last edited by Old-gamer; Feb 11, 2019 @ 7:00am
Aachen Feb 11, 2019 @ 10:54am 
Shame, do you honestly think the content of No Man's Sky is all made by hand?
HiSaZuL Feb 11, 2019 @ 11:32am 
Originally posted by Shame:
I don't understand. This was genuine criticism.
Most rational people don't mind criticism. It's just how you brought it and the timing that was poor. Honestly I think if this was posted now it would garner more attention then 9 months ago. HG is currently doing a lot of polish so request for some quality of life polish to first introduction/tutorial missions is something I could see as being relevant.

Tho some bits of your post just weren't thought through imo. Just to name one would be pulse engine in atmosphere. It makes no sense from a lot of directions.
1. game can't load things that fast it would be utterly pointless.
2. Some semblance of relatable concept still need to apply, that kind of speed in atmosphere? Uhhh that is just no. It would rip your ship apart. I'm not asking for realism, the opposite usually, but when some overhyped turd movie shows you a scene where a room is turned into a pool by shoving rug under the door... I usually feel like I want to punch whoever directed that in the private parts.
3. Pulse engine is ment for getting you to where you want to go quickly, atmosphere is meant to slow you down so you can see things. Those two do the opposite. If you want to reach something quick just leave the damn atmosphere... it takes a whooping 5 seconds, longer then it takes for pulsedrive to activate.
4. With upgrades your ship already moves faster then game can load things in atmosphere and with double engine upgrades well... ye...

Also way too much personal opinion turned into global fact of the universe. Not everyone things the way you do and some of the stuff you hate plenty of people find enjoyable and not a demerit, the opposite. Just word it better bud.

And as Oldie said, if you think HG reads steam forums... think again. You want them to read it go to reddit and bribe some those voting superheros, just need a few of the "self important" the rest of the sheep will exercise their glorious voting powers. Make lots of stink and it will get to HG... otherwise pfft.
Last edited by HiSaZuL; Feb 11, 2019 @ 11:36am
MechWarden Feb 11, 2019 @ 11:59am 
Originally posted by Pul Myfinger:
Originally posted by Shame:
Honest feedback about starting off the game and bad UI...

TL;DR
Second,

Which feels bad, because I write long posts too and want to give people a fair chance... but OP's is way too long, and skimming through makes it feel like a rant that no amount of words will fix.
Shame Feb 12, 2019 @ 10:22am 
Originally posted by Aachen:
Shame, do you honestly think the content of No Man's Sky is all made by hand?
Assets used yes, ARE made by hand, meaning manually made with software, not literally carved using clay or something like that.

@HiSaZul I think you have personal issues you need to sort out there, bud, if you would go so far as to punch someone for making this change. Pulse drive in-atmosphere would sort out an issue that I talked about in the first post. They improved the pulse drive issue, and now if you are close to the atmosphere, the ship will spin around the planet rather than going in a straight line. But it still takes so damn long to get from one part of the planet to another. It takes 5 seconds to get from, but takes 25, if not more, to get from one end of the planet to another. And it's really not fun to just keep doing that. Pulse drive in-atmosphere would sort out that issue.

I think there's unnecessary salt starting to pour in. Thanks for the criticism, but I'd rather focus on the points made rather than the fact that i's a wall of text. All it is is a long post and you guys seem to take it as if I got pissed and just ranted on saying "fk this game", which I didn't. The post was my opinion on my experience, if you had a different experience, say it, but scorning me for saying my point of view being inconsiderate because some other people MIGHT have a different view seems just a bit on the stupid side.

If you don't like a wall of text, just don't read it and don't reply? Saves everybody's time really.
Last edited by Shame; Feb 12, 2019 @ 10:23am
titico7777 Feb 12, 2019 @ 10:31am 
Originally posted by davidb11:
He's talking about how silly it is that it took Phrog literally 9 months to find this thread to whine about something that makes no sense to whine about.

I dare say calling him Overtired doesn't even make sense.
+1
Aachen Feb 12, 2019 @ 12:20pm 
Originally posted by Shame:
.... There are so many random buttons to press! Q and E to do this, A and D to do this and that, Z to do this, X to that, P to this, B to blow that, how many ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ controls is this going to have? ....

What commands are you proposing to remove? I'm not entirely in disagreement that the UI has some issues, but "there are too many buttons to push" struck me as a joke, rather than an argument. I'm having trouble crediting it as valid at all; especially as you support your argument with an example that really appears to be a 2D patformer. Doesn't need as many keybindings, eh? Shocking, that! .... not really.

.... A different game I play, called Rain World, has basic controls, yet the game has a lot more complexity than NMS has ever had. And the tutorial tells you the controls that are in-your-face almost and sets up a nice setting at the beginning for you to learn them ....

Asserted without demonstration; why is Rain World so much more complex? You spent a paragraph trying to cut people off from claiming you're just having-a-troll and commenting that lots of stuff got updated in NMS, but you can't take a little time to support your point here?

.... NMS? Too much on the screen! UI is cluttered and there's way too much to read. Pointless information given all over the place, and you don't know what you need to do to find out about what! ....

"Too much" is subjective, but I've rarely, if ever, seen more than two or three sentences of text on the screen at any point. Based on that attitude, you should self-edit much better; you waste a lot of text in this post (might also be part of the perception of it as a rant, FWIW).

"You don't know what you need to do to find out about what" .... what? Can you actually provide a few examples from your experience, or is it ambiguous complaints about all the ambiguity all the way down?

.... I can accept random materials being given at any given point that you can't yet use, or won't be able to for a long time. In a game with a lot to discover (potentially, the game's not really there yet at all), this would make sense and give an idea of what the player should expect ....

There isn't a lot to discover? What's "a lot?" Presumably we're not just talking raw numbers of places-to-go-things-to-see .... so are you meaning whollly distinct environments? Different shaped rocks / plants / creatures?

.... The fact that you also require to craft a Refiner and Signal Booster, and involve some walking around the planet before you lift off is nice. But it takes too long because the controls are too convoluted and the UI is horrible and never really on-point, there's just too much going on; stuff at the top of your screen that you have scanned, resources pointed out to you from the scanner, hostile mob, sentinel around you, your suit health, your life support system, your , the tutorial on your bottom left that blends in with everything and contains too much text to read to understand what it's trying to tell you... it's just too much ....

The whiplash! "It's not enough!" "It's too much!" "It's not enough!" "IT'S TOO MUCH!"

You sound like you'd have more success playing in creative mode for a while before getting farther in. Also, this reads to me like a complaint about the first fifteen minutes-hour of gameplay.

Incidentallly, what is "suit health?"


1) Make the UI as minimalistic as possible. Show only what's most crucial at the time.

And lots of cake! Seriously.

What is most crucial at any given time? How is that established? What concrete details do you have to propose? Anything?

2) Have a better guide; may be that little robot on your sholder could act kind of like the guide in Rain World does in pointing you directly towards what you need to do visually with a sentence of text sppearing in contrasting color to your surroundings.

Or, maybe, your favorite game isn't doing things better than everybody else ever.

What good is all that when one is prioritizing their own goal? How many extra controls and UI is that going to require to be useful to a player doing their own thing, "minimalist?"

3) Change those ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ default controls. There's too much. Rain World in-game only used Shift, Z, X, space and arrow keys, THAT'S IT. And it worked! Where-as in NMS, you're expected to read the guide while collecting resources, repairing your suit's life support and whatnot, while keeping on the run, pressing obscure buttons all over your keyboard... it's too much stress, and the only obvious thing the player can do is just mine, open inventory and get in and out of the ship if it's available. There's no time to think outside of the ship!

No, there really aren't too many. Many, many people manage the current control surface perfectly easily. "Obscure buttons" :rufusjoking: what?

You want to see complex UI? Look up Dwarf Fortress sometime. If not that, perhaps nethack will get the point across approximately well enough. NMS is bloody easy (now, rebinding stuff is a different matter, but ....)

4) Even though X allows you to open a quick-menu, it's still too slow! I would suggest to REMOVE the ability to repair your suite with basic resources and instead allow for ONE or so component that is craftable to do so, that does it with the click or two of a button. The less you need to click and think what to click to do a thing, the better! Then the controls can come in naturally and you know what to expect.

There is already a component that does so; you've probably just not played far enough into the game to discover this. Essentially you're advocating the removal of utility for other players. Probably not going to go over well, insofar as a lot of us like being able to charge, say, hazard protection w/ sodium in a pinch.

Also, may I suggest that you remove the boost and instead have the ship move at boost speed at all times, and set Shift to be the Pulse Drive button? That would make sense and make things a bit less complicated. Or even two buttons to gradually make your speed faster or slower, and having some more precision control over your ship, instead of it feeling so sluggish, which I've found to always be an issue for me, even now.

And why not allow the player to use pulse-drive in-atmosphere? It gets you to points quicker, instead of you having to slowly get there with boost or having to launch into space, use the pulse drive, hit atmosphere just a bit too far/not close enough to the destination, that you have to go there on boost still for about 2 or 3 minutes or so. Of course, since it's in-atmosphere, it could have a downside of you taking some shield damage and this could allow you to crash into a planet at a very fast speed as well, but that's what creates fun, adrenaline and a risk-and-reward situation!

You could suggest that. If you were in the appropriate forum. Here, you'll find yourself discussing it. And I think your issues are overblown and and your proposed solution unnecessary.

If you miss an objective so badly while pulsing that you still need several minutes of boosting to arrive, you should just practice flying. It's really not that hard to set yourself on course, spin up, and forget. I'm often checking stuff in overlay while flying in this game.

And again with the whiplash of "Too much stress!" "Needs more tension!"

Make up your mind!

As for the "primitives" (having trouble conjuring a more-fitting term) being manually made .... what kind of content do you think one gets when it's wholly generated by code? Got any examples of this alternative?

I will grant you that, to me at least, a game which largely uses procgen is very dependent on granular and highly-varied building blocks to give a wealth of different content. No Man's Sky, as with most all such titles, missed by at least an order of magnitude.

I also expect that this is because I'll play the game for hundreds to thousands of hours, and it's simply not financially viable for a developer to cater to the desires of someone seeking so much verisimilitude. Most people will move on long before that.

edit: typos here and there
Last edited by Aachen; Feb 12, 2019 @ 12:28pm
MechWarden Feb 12, 2019 @ 12:22pm 
Originally posted by Shame:
...
I think there's unnecessary salt starting to pour in. Thanks for the criticism, but I'd rather focus on the points made rather than the fact that i's a wall of text. All it is is a long post and you guys seem to take it as if I got pissed and just ranted on saying "fk this game", which I didn't. The post was my opinion on my experience, if you had a different experience, say it, but scorning me for saying my point of view being inconsiderate because some other people MIGHT have a different view seems just a bit on the stupid side.

If you don't like a wall of text, just don't read it and don't reply? Saves everybody's time really.
Starting off with your first sentence talking about trashing things, followed by a long post can and will make people stop and assume things. Formating is important if making such an essay, since people will only read so much; and that's assuming you keep things concise as well.

Title Headers...
would have gone a long way towards allowing people to skim over things in a controlled manner, as well breaking up the long post. It isn't to say people are lazy (some are), but they are only willing to read so much. If your intro is already settings the wrong mood, your seemingly well made post will be skipped like a YouTube ad.

That said, I'll give it a read.

Odd Keyboard Setup
About the keyboard bindings for PC, I have to agree that it strays from standard PC controls, and feels like a controller port.

HG took the basics of WASD and shoehorned the so called quick menu options around the familiar setup, which eats into what typically is there for more advanced WASD controls. (btw, nice 'B to Blow' Markiplier reference lol) What makes the setup more frustrating is that there is no secondary way of accessing the menus, forcing people to use the 'quick menu' setup, and being the defacto menu, as opposed to being quicker than some other menu.

When looking at it from a different angles, the restricted button setup feels more right at home with a controller, where there isn't an A thru Z, 0 thru 9, with Shift, Ctrl, and Alt functionality. You could take almost any modern gaming controller and plug in those key bindings and start playing right away. Given the rest of the NMS interface style, it looks more like a game console menu than a PC menu.

HG basically hybridized PC and console interfaces, and the awkward UI child you see before you is the result!

The UI's affect on Gameplay
The main thing that the unusual setup does is cause confusion. That confusion is compounded by the unavoidable confusion of learning the game mechanics. This is on top of the fact that HG has not updated the intro of the game in a while.

Game UI is a surprising hard thing to design. It has to have some accomodations for people not used to the established setup, as well as people that are seasoned videogame players. Just balancing that aspect isn't simple, since too little aid will create lost newbie players and too much would put off people that already know the basics.

But when you have a new system most people aren't accustomed to, the designer pretty much has to gear it towards most everyone being a newbie, as well as a shut-off so not to insulate people that have put in enough hours to know how it works.

While all that design work does its thing (or in this case, doesn't do its thing), a player needs to figure out how things play; what items do what, what should be kept, sold, ignored, shot, avoided, etc. As with the other design concern, building a learning environment for gameplay mechanics that doesn't feel too contrived is pretty hard. HG obviously didn't want a training wheels environment, so the best option they found was placing the character some distance from a broke ship to introduce elements of the game in a logical and predictable manner; which in of itself sounds great.

However, the carefully made tutorial made well over a year ago is now out of date after so many updates. This is something HG really needs to address, among many other things that needs to be addressed. There isn't much else to be said here, other than HG has a lot on their plate.

With the interface confusion with the hybridized PC/Controller setup, on top of trying to learn the ropes while not in a safe tutorial area, with an out of date tutorial system; it is little wonder people find NMS frustrating from the start.

Possible Fixes?
There is a lot to be desired in the current setup in NMS, and is very easy to suggest changes, often copying from other familiar features in games that seemed to work, but even those suggestions need to be examined from different angles. Just because something works in one game, cutting it out and transplanting it another might not work, since more subtle things were there to support it and make it successful.

Before suggestions can be reasonably accepted, the main goal and theme of the game needs to be addressed. NMS is supposed to be a somewhat casual exploration game, in the setting of a fantastical, humbly expansive, classic Sci Fi world. The interface is supposed to be simple yet accommodating to what is needed, with no confusing clutter of extra details, while also keeping a theme of being alone in the world with your system AI being the only native voice you hear.

In order of what the OP suggested...
  1. Keeping things minimalist, compared to what it is now isn't doable, since things are already pretty minimal as it is. And making context sensitive details show up is something HG is currently still struggling with, since it is much harder to code in, and not look bad.

  2. Having an interactive, and assumed to be alive, guide breaks the theme of NMS and will not be something that will be added. However, the scanner a player has is already a guide in of itself, being the main way of highlighting points of interest on demand. Giving more options on the scanner would go a long way towards easing the rough edges of gameplay.

  3. Rather than changing current default options by changing what button does what, which will ultimately mess up the half way workable set up that is already there with the illusion of freedom almost guaranteed to frustrate newbies even more if they mess with it; they should add in more standard ways of accessing things. Leverage ways people have accessed things before and have a comprehensive menu system, rather than squeeze it all into just a few buttons and barbone design. Give players options to use other keys to do the same things! That's what PC is best at.

  4. It is easier said than done to make something that works with just a few clicks. As it is, the so-called quick menu is pretty good at guessing what you want, and in the right context, you can charge something with just 2-3 button presses as it is. There is also a 0-9 hotkey setup as well, making things require only one button press... but also that feature is new and isn't in the tutorial at all. Nor is it apparently since the typical hotkey-like bar doesn't show up either.

  5. Ship speeds does need work, but more in the sense of what speed you are going at, what speeds are best for what, and knowing that intuitively. There are times where slowly cruising over things is desirable when looking for things on the ground, while other times making a run to a nearby area is preferred, and knowing when to leave the atmosphere to do a semi ballistic orbit to another location on the planet. All of these require their own speeds, but yet people don't realize that at first because nothing in the game directly tells them; especially when default view is 3rd person, and cannot see your ship speed, which is a key hint at what is going on.

  6. There isn't much else that can reasonably done with the Pulse Drive, besides make it steerable and can chart paths, and able to clearly pick a location among a bunch of other close by location markers. The Pulse Drive can be used in atmosphere, but only in high altitudes, and typically while leaving the planet or 'orbiting' it. It is able to do basic turns automatically while heading to a waypoint, which allows someone to head to the other side of the planet in one jump; something that wasn't in the game when launched. Anything else with the Pulse Drive, like stopping closer, is dangerous game mechanics wise. You can already glitch into your freighter because of the stopping point is too close to some freighter's hitboxes, and messing with it on approach to planets would result in terrible surface rendering glitches, since the game needs that extra time to render the area of the planet you are approaching.

That's all I'm writing
I already typed up several essays in response to your feedback (using title headers), and I'm pretty much shot in terms of writing for awhile. And I doubt anyone else will even read most of the stuff you pretty much demanded.

This is another reason why I didn't want to respond, since a proper response, at least for me, is 150% to 300% times (if not more) than the original post. I've seen this happen enough to know better, since a multi topic post always becomes a mess when people pick and choose what they want or try to do monolithic line by line responses.

Next time, pick one issue to bring up, talk about it, wait a bit, then start a new thread on another. It is just keeps things better organized and is less stressful.
Last edited by MechWarden; Feb 12, 2019 @ 12:29pm
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Date Posted: Jul 24, 2018 @ 6:06pm
Posts: 18