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City of Steam
Butthacker Dec 29, 2012 @ 1:37pm
Rewriting the game: Making the browser a viable MMO gaming platform
City of Steam closed beta round 4 finished yesterday and the game is is coming together nicely. I missed previous beta rounds because it didn't like my previous key, so I can't comment on the previous sessions or improvements since then.

I can say that the developers are awesome when it comes to feedback. Every support ticket I sent in with feedback was responded to with personalized responses. Of course I sent in a ton of tickets, but I didn't get any canned responses or form letters. This is the first time I've ever experienced this from a developer.

I received responses praising suggestions I made, which were forwarded to game developers for consideration. Responses even agreed with me that issues I brought up were elements they didn't like as well, which is typically something employees are not allowed to do. I believe involving the game community to assist development is integral to success, and I look forward to the next beta to see what I was able to contribute.

Overall, for a beta I see a great amount of promise for this browser based MMORPG. I'm not a fan of browser based MMO games, but City of Steam is about to change that. It has a way to go before I'm hooked, but for now I'm sold that this is definitely one to watch. I can't imagine ever paying for a browser based game, but if this one did go in the direction of purchase or subscription fees I'd seriously consider doing it which is about as much praise I can offer.

Last edited by Butthacker; Apr 22, 2013 @ 2:53am
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Showing 1-12 of 12 comments
kozhnik™ Jan 5, 2013 @ 10:12pm 
- А стоит ли ждать клиент для «City of Steam», например как клиент у « Drakensang Online» ?
- Is it worth it to wait for the client to «City of Steam», such as a customer at the «Drakensang Online» ?
Butthacker Jan 7, 2013 @ 2:32pm 
Kozhnik, it's definitely worth playing. The problem I personally have with Drakensang is that it's point and click travel. In my opinion, point-click travel and mouse chording camera movements are game controls that always ruin the game experience for me. In essence, they make me feel like I'm playing an old game with outdated controls or a typical browser game. City of Steam isn't perfect, since it uses mouse chording camera control, but I have the option of removing point-click travel which brings me one more step into the game. If City of Steam can remove the necessity of key holding to navigate camera control, say with key toggle that switches between camera and cursor as in Vindictus, I think it would make a huge difference for their gaming experience. What I want them to achieve is to make the browser invisible. If they can make the game feel fresh, full and remove browser limitations from gameplay then we're looking at a serious game changer.
Last edited by Butthacker; Jan 8, 2013 @ 10:35pm
Mechanist Games  [developer] Jan 8, 2013 @ 9:59pm 
Wow, thanks!

As for camera controls, we intend to add keyboard controls for it as well, probably even re-mappable, but only further down the line. You can expect to see this in future versions though :)
Butthacker Jan 8, 2013 @ 11:06pm 
NP, I'm happy to support you in your development and promotion. Especially with the quality of responses I've received from my beta feedback.

The best thing you can do right now to change the game drastically is add a toggle key that switches between cusor movement or camera movement. That way you're free to use the mouse naturally like current resource based games, as opposed to old games and just about every other browser game out now.

The only other huge improvement would be to to disable the 'Esc' key from exiting full screen. When I'm exiting menus, it's far too easy to accidentally hit it one more time and drop out of full screen, which disrupts playing. It's not a game breaker, but it's definitely annoying as it shocks me out of my environment. Another key or key-combo can easily handle fullscreen toggle, or just keep it as a mouse-click icon in game.

Mimicing control patterns of current games creates the ability to move without thinking, allowing one to immerse much deeper into the experience. It would also set your game apart from just about every other browser based game out there. Typical browser based controls are fine for casual gamers, but a drawback when it comes to attracting serious gamers.
Mechanist Games  [developer] Jan 9, 2013 @ 1:23am 
Sadly, the issue with "ESC" as the default button to close fullscreen is from the Unity Engine, and not something we can change ourselves (it's actually become a sort of pet peeve). We're hoping they can change that in the near future, or that in the future we grow enough in influence to personally ask them to change it for us ;)
BayneRav Jan 16, 2013 @ 5:51pm 
I recall having been able to be on a weekend beta session on a browser site, although ive yet to see if the same problems i experienced will be noticed with client... still looking forward to this showing up on steam.
Butthacker Jan 17, 2013 @ 5:14pm 
I'm not sure of the plans concerning client engine, but for my part I had no issues with browser play other than the two main issues I discussed. Those being mouse chording camera control and the unfortunate esc key killing full screen play. Although neither are game breakers, they do lock the game solidly into browser based gaming. Hopefully if these issues can be addressed, it will take the game one step more outside of typical browser play.

As it stands, I still firmly believe that City of Steam delivers far more client type play though a browser than any other browser based game I've played. Especially since I can disable point-click travel which some browser games refuse to move away from. Even the most recent games in beta are still using this outdated movement method and it's unecessary.

In fact, I was highly looking forward to Marvel Comics' upcoming MMO which is currently in closed beta and even they're using point-click. I just don't see them matching DCU Online's value simply for this reason. Client sided play is one thing, but delivering a game that offers an invisible transition of percieved client sided play is ultimately the future of browser based games. To that end, City of Steam is definitely ahead of other contenders IMO.
segin Feb 23, 2013 @ 12:05am 
Originally posted by Mechanist Games:
Sadly, the issue with "ESC" as the default button to close fullscreen is from the Unity Engine, and not something we can change ourselves (it's actually become a sort of pet peeve). We're hoping they can change that in the near future, or that in the future we grow enough in influence to personally ask them to change it for us ;)

Sadly, this is one of the downsides of using closed-source middleware when building a game, although I don't believe this issue exists in native desktop ports of Unity.
Mechanist Games  [developer] Feb 24, 2013 @ 5:29pm 
True indeed, outside of a browser (i.e. client version), the full screen issue shouldn't be a problem :)
Death2Gnomes Apr 21, 2013 @ 7:34am 
Whats a Brower? its definitely not a platform =p
Butthacker Apr 22, 2013 @ 2:54am 
Originally posted by ZatzmanZatz:
Whats a Brower? its definitely not a platform =p

I fixed it and you saw nothing. :P
Death2Gnomes Apr 22, 2013 @ 5:59am 
C Wut?
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