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macfreek Dec 22, 2019 @ 7:53am
Help needed for level 2
I like a little help for level 2, Defrag Desolation. Somehow I'm stuck at the objective to build an Outpost. I only end up with 3 triangles, after building a Polysmith and converting all bytes to triangles. Oddly enough, the objective "Have 4 Triangles" is checked. See screenshot:

Last edited by macfreek; Dec 22, 2019 @ 8:37am
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macfreek Dec 22, 2019 @ 9:05am 
I just retried the level for a 3rd time. There simply are very limited resources in the game.

At the start, I decommission 7 derelict nodes for 14 Bits, and rebuild 1 node and 1 survey station for 12 nodes, leaving 2 nodes.

I then discover 3 derelict nodes and 1 derelict extractor. You would expect 11 bits, but one of the bits seems out of range, so I gain 12 bits for a total of 14 bits.

The 6 anomalies give me (20 bits + 5 bytes, 9 bits + 1 byte, 12 bits + 2 bytes, 6 bits + 3 bytes, 3 bits + 0 bytes, 8 bits + 4 bytes) for a total of 70 bits and 15 bytes in my inventory.

Building a domicile (8 bits), soul forge (8 bits), 2 rebuild nodes (2 bits each), 1 new node (4 bits),1 buffer (12 bits) leaves me with 34 bits.

The Polysmith costs 5 bytes, leaving 10 bytes. However, I need 12 bytes to gain 4 Triangles for the Outpost.

So my only option left is to build a refinery and turn 16 bits into 2 bytes I additionally need. However, a refinery already cost 25 bits, leaving me with only 9 bits.

In the end, I tried, and found that this worked: it seems I only needed 6 bits to create 2 Bytes (I expected I would need 16 bits for 2 bytes).

However, I later ran into the problem of building a Heuristics Module for 12 bits. I barely was able to do so by tearing down derelict nodes in the distance.

Was this indeed the way I should have acted? Especially the Advisors remark "OK, we got the Triangles for the Outpost. Make sure you stop any Refining processes, we might need some of those low level resources" felt really weird. I mean, there was little resources to refine at that point in time.
Dragst  [developer] Dec 22, 2019 @ 9:17am 

Thanks for getting our game and sorry for your troubles. There's honestly shouldn't be much problems in the defrag desolation level, as it's still kind of an introductary level. Let me test it, and make sure the updates haven't caused any problems. I would have considered just bad luck (resources going outside FoV) but as you wrote you've already tried it 3 times, so that simply shouldn't be the case. I'll get back to you asap.
macfreek Dec 22, 2019 @ 11:37am 
No worries, I appreciate your effort and very fast response, but as I found a way around it, there is no rush.

Two questions:
- How many bits are required to make a byte in a Refinery?
- In the defrag desolation level, is it designed that you require a refinery to get enough bytes to build a Outpost, or was it designed that there should be enough bytes in the artefacts to both build a Polysmith and Outpost (5 + 12 = 17 bytes)?

I'm happy to write a review later, but my first impression that it is a very nice game, reminds me of Darwinia and Creeper World. However, there are three setbacks that I would suggest to look into:
- It seems CPU consuming at default settings on macOS, near unplayable. Setting GFX effects to low, and running in a 1600x900 windows instead of 1920x1080 full screen I had no issues at all. I'm not sure what causes such a HUGE difference. That was odd.
- The game seems a bit tight on resources. With some poor choices or bad luck, you have to start over again. I would not have expected that from these introductory levels.
- The assistant is getting annoying with too much advice.

To elaborate: For most of the 2 first levels, I felt bored, since I only just exactly what I was told and had to click through endless dialogue. A few creative initiative was killed off by lack of resources. That was little fun. I rather just have the current (rather clear) objectives, much less assistant (half or a third of the current dialogue) and let me figure it out for myself, perhaps with less tight resources, so I can make mistakes. That would improve the gameplay for me.
Last edited by macfreek; Dec 22, 2019 @ 11:37am
Dragst  [developer] Dec 22, 2019 @ 12:49pm 
I'll do my best :-)

- Short version, yes, it's designed so you need to refine three triangles. You should have enough bytes around from anomalies easily for those.

We got on our road map to improve / expose the refinery recipes, so it's a legit note as well. One triangle is 3 bytes.

- The resources are kind of supposed to be scarce at that specific point, as it's still kind of like part of the tutorial. You are (only) second person this far to bring up the issue on feeling there's being too much guidance, but of course your subjective experience is just as legit as any other, so: I guess I am to blame on this. The only reasonable answer I can give you at this point is that it'll gets lighter pretty much after this point / level. I have nothing against the idea of implementing some kind of "low guidance" mode which would remove majority of the dialogue in the future, but right now in all honesty I personally consider creating more content and levels + getting free play out has more weight in priorities.

On that note, the free play mode should solve at least partially some of the, well, creative-constraint problems :)

- MacOS is a bit of a problem, as many (especially older) macs have integrated graphic chips and due how the game looks people might underestimate how much all the post processing etc requires gpu power. We also have a bit too little data / metrics on this one, which I hope we can solve in the future. For now I cannot promise any really quick fixes on this one, but it's definitely something on our road map. Setting the details on low removes much of the post processing and makes the shadows / lights a bit more chunky, so it has quite a lot of impact.

I hope your experience still has been more positive than negative, and we do our best to improve the experience and create more content for the game for our currently very limited clientelé :-) We greatly appreciate all these notes, feedback etc, and as always, every single review helps us to get more eyes on the game.
Last edited by Dragst; Dec 22, 2019 @ 2:54pm
Dragst  [developer] Dec 22, 2019 @ 1:24pm 
A small follow-up. I tested the level more extensively and apparently something has gone wrong. So many things keep changing that we can't always 100% test the older levels, my speculation is that at some point the survey station FoW reveal has got smaller, so big thanks for reporting this. I'll do some changes and upload a new build.
Dragst  [developer] Dec 22, 2019 @ 2:54pm 
All right, I rolled out a hotfix solely for solving Defrag Desolation triangle issue; there should be more leeway with resources now and they should not fall in FoW anymore. Hope this helps.
macfreek Dec 22, 2019 @ 3:17pm 
Hi Dragst,

Thanks for your response. It is much appreciated, and I can only agree with your priorities. I just played level 3 for the most part (had to stop, work and family have to take priority next few days :) ).

First of all thanks for making improvements so quickly! I'll try it once I get the chance.

Also, I like to emphasise that I very much appreciate your effort of supporting macOS and Linux. Thank you.

To get back to my review. Let me emphasise that, yes, I do like the game. However, the first impression was average. It felt unresponsive, the first level had too much dialog and for the second level was not the best intro. Both were easily solved, and left no negative mark. It was just the first impression that was a bit off.

However, it may be something to consider – first impressions do count, and it would be a pity if players would prematurely stop playing because they failed to adjust settings or fail to push through these levels.

Let me try to make my feedback into constructive actionable tasks:
- Measure how many players stop playing before ending level 1, 2 or 3. You can easily check that metric by adding a few Steam achievement "Finished level xyz").
- For level 1 and 2, ask some beta testers and see how they like the dialogue. If they like it, at least you know you can safely ignore me :). If they don't, it's worth tuning.
- As for level 2, I'm not sure how to easily improve. I do appreciate the lesson you wanted to get across: destroy first so you have resources to expand later. I guess one assumption got in the way: for most games, if you build and demolish, you only get back a fraction of the amount of resources that you originally put in. What that assumption, and knowing that I was short on resources, I was too hesitant to build that Refinery. I perhaps should have have gotten a few more nudges on (1) build that Refinery, (2) Bytes only take 3 Bits to create, (3) destroying returns all original resources, so it is "risk-free".

(PS: and yes, I am aware that that this last comment basically asks for more guidance, while the second comment asks for less guidance. I never said that users behave rational or logical ;) ).

Last edited by macfreek; Dec 22, 2019 @ 3:20pm
Dragst  [developer] Dec 22, 2019 @ 3:34pm 
Thanks, and I hope it just gets better the futher you play, family or not ;-) Even with our limited resources we try to do our best.

Yeah the guidance thing is something of a double-edged sword; no matter what you do, it doesn't suit well for someone. The only real solution in my books is to offer options. Maybe a no-dialogue option? Would be easier to do than low-guidance mode. And yes, that recycle thing was exactly the very reason why that guidance exists, so, technically, it managed to do it's job, heh.

Anyway, I appreciate the dialogue, and I agree in principle of what you've said. Let's see what happens when we (finally) release the free play mode, and finish the story / campaign levels.
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