Originally posted on the Steam forums: http://steamcommunity.com/app/252090/discussions/0/1291817208488007288/
Do not know if they are necessary, but could the black screens be replaced with a message when something is repaired or a component is replaced? Perhaps something to the effect: Component Repaired... or Component Replaced. I imagine it is used to simulate the passage of time,however, with the above suggestion perhaps a note that so much time has passed or is it even necessary. Maybe the time counter could just add on some time. The black screens are somewhat of an immersion breaker.
While crafting something as big as the pop tent should take time, the current 16 hours in one go can be a bit of a problem for several reasons. Maybe a different, multi stage approach, which could still be implemented within the constraints of the existing crafting mechanism, would allow a more flexible time management than having to be locked into crafting mode for the better part of a day. Instead of a single crafting plan that requires materials and results the finished tent, the process could be split into a few separately craftable sub-tasks which require materials and result subcomponents of the tent, and then an assembly task which takes these subcomponents and results the finished tent itself. That way the total crafting time could be preserved or even increased, but it would be split up into shorter individual crafting periods between which the player can sleep, eat, maintain the Hab etc. For example, there could be a "Pop Tent Base", a "Pop Tent Frame" and a "Pop Tent Tarp" (or something, not sure what to call this one) crafting plan which would take between 4-8 hours each to finish using normal crafting materials and result in the special items in their names, and an "Assemble Pop Tent" task which would also take several hours to finish using the special items from the previous tasks and some additonal normal materials (I'd say mostly bonding agents and some structural stuff).
The composition / total material requirement (and functionality) could be tweaked a little to address something I raised in another thread some time ago. Instead of the not particularily intuitive way of having the portable solar panel working when inside and pretending that it's actually left outside while it's clearly in your inventory, the pop tent could have its own embedded solar power generation capability, indicated by needing a few of those solar panel components to craft (as I recall there are two kinds, a metallic and a plastic based/framed, so maybe the plastic one could be the candidate for this). Then, when entering a deployed tent, the portable solar panel would get removed just as when entering a habitat, and the suit would get simply charged while inside as long as it's daytime outside, using the tents embedded panels. It would also explain where the interior light source is getting its power from, and why does the tent needs 2 circuit boards.
The interior light could be changed to something less bright, maybe someting similar to those yellow lights in the depressurized airlock. The deployable pop tent is sort of an emergency measure so its interor should feel a little more "temporary" or "emergency", and a low light level would likely help conveying this.
Even if considering modern composite materials and aiming to make it as light as possible, I'd say the current weight is way too low. Something like at least 5-6 kgs would feel more realistic to me. Yes, it takes a big chunk off the carry weight capacity, but on the other hand it can multiply the time you can spend with exploring without having to return to a habitat every 2-3 sols at most.
The deployment mechanism could be fleshed out a little more, possibly in a way that causes it to take time instead of just magically coming into existence in an instant. One way to do it, without having to add (a lot of) new UI functionality would be to use the crafting feature in a special way to "craft" the deployed version from the inventory item:
- "Use" the pop tent in the inventory, which lowers the Datapad and brings up the placement wireframe.
- Select the location by placing the wireframe and left click to start the deployment.
- The Datapad comes back up with a special, temporarily added crafting plan (all others are blocked at this time): "Deploy Pop Tent"
- This plan requires the pop tent item in the inventory (maybe also one oxygen filled canister, see a bit below?) as input.
- Input is filled and crafting started as usual, the Datapad stays up for the duration (10-15 mins?) to cover most of the forward view where the pop tent model is placed into the world.
- At the end of the crafting time, the pop tent item is removed from inventory, the "Deploy Pop Tent" plan is removed from the plan list (and the filled canister converted to empty).
- Datapad gets lowered to reveal the deployed pop tent in the world.
As hinted at above, if the deployment can be made into an actual process, maybe it could require an oxygen filled canister each time to inflate the structural parts which give the whole thing its shape, so that there would also be a "use cost" beyond just the build cost, and it would also limit the number of times you can (re)deploy it before running out of filled canisters and having to return to a habitat.
Since you have added a break chance to some of the reusable items (Oxygen Canister, Backup Battery), adding something similar to the tent would also help offsetting the enormous benefit it provides. By way of an internal "break chance" statistics, it could count how many times it was deployed and packed back up, with an increasing chance to become a "damaged" version after a few uses (not guaranteed exactly after x times, but an increasing chance that caps at a reasonably high value, 70-80%, maybe, after 3-4 uses? the time it spent having been deployed could also count towards this increasing chance, so if it was deployed only once, but been out there for several sols, it would also accumulate break chance during that single use). When it's damaged, it gets added to the inventory as the damaged variant on repacking, which, when present, also adds a temporary crafting plan that requires this special item as one input, some materials (one unit of fabric, maybe also a structural element, and a few weak bonding agents, you get a lot of those anyway so some use for them would be good) as the rest, with the same tool requirements as making one from scratch, and with a few hours of crafting time the result is the normal "good" version of the tent again.
The interaction area for repacking the tent can be a bit unintuitive to find for the first time (or even realizing you can repack it), being on the back side of the tent. I don't really have any better idea at the moment tho, other than maybe extending it to include the sides too. It would also be nice if it took some time to repack, but that would require some kind of UI addition, or a process similar to what I outlined above for deploying it, some kind of "fake" crafting plan which is added/activated when using the repacking interaction node.
When deployed, it could add a location to the map in case you leave it deployed then wander off. Although this could be achieved by placing the custom location marker, that would tie the function down making it unusable for its original purpose of marking something (else). Or, you could take a photo, in this case that would kind of make sense. I'll leave this one here anyway.
Is the tent supposed to be persistent between saves? It appears to stay around when you enter and exit a habitat within a single game session which hints at that it should be persistent (unlike the dropped boxes which disappear on transition), but it disappeared when I rested/saved in a Hab, quit the game and then continued at a later time. If they are not supposed to be persistent (although I'd prefer if they got saved when left outside somewhere), ample warning should be given as they require a significant amount of materials to craft so losing one between saves could hurt (so far there was only one time I could actually make one, and once lost, I didn't have enough materials left to make another one in that game).
The craftable pop tent should be visually different from the ones found at outpost sites, since those were made in a proper factory back on Earth, while the craftable one is just a patchwork of whatever salvaged materials the player character found and glued together.
Finally found a PRT (of course it was at the last spot of the map where I looked for it :), so I could do a little test drive... after I managed to get it come down from the 10-15 meter height where it was floating in the air.
I found it next to the North-East Hab which ended to be my Gamma. When I initially approached the habitat, the PRT was on the ground, but after I entered the Hab to rest, then exited again, I found it floating in the air above the spot it was originally at. Reentering and exiting the Hab again did not change this, but exiting to the main menu and continuing the save placed it back to the ground.
Driving it feels a bit odd as the speed control seems to be half way between a car and a train: forward/backward acts as if it was setting a tempomat or something, but not entirely. Under certain circumstances it will lose speed over time, holding forward down for a longer period causes it to accelerate to a max speed, but when releasing it, it only slows down to about half speed then maintains that, more or less. Some kind of visualization for this throttle setting mechanism would probably make it easier to have a sense for and control this set speed + overdrive control scheme.
Its terrain climbing capabilities should be limited somehow, as I could drive it up on hillsides which looked to be much steeper than what any wheeled wehicle could climb, especially something that looks to have such a high center of mass as the PRT, without sliding back/toppling over.
The default "Exit" control for the PRT is "Q", which is also the default for the scanner in walk mode, which results in the scanner turning on every time you exit the PRT unless/until you change it.
Exiting the PRT with its lights turned on results in the suit lights also being turned on. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but this automation, if we consider this a feature, isn't really consistent. The player character doesn't automatically turn the suit light on when it's dark, so why would she do it when exiting the PRT?
While these are probably planned features, but being able to look around (within at least a limited field of view) while driving is pretty much a standard feature in similar elements of other games, and not being able to use the datapad makes any kind of navigation impossible, and it's also needed for managing suit supplies, checking vitals etc. when driving, just as much as when walking.
Had a weird scenario that I've spent a few hours on. At Alpha Hab, slept, woke up at about 04:30, put on EVA suit went outside. As the sun rose the Electrical system didn't come online to charge the Hab battery. Checked everything at 09:30 and all modules were in good repair and at 100 Units local power, but all showing System Offline. Electrical system had Circuit, 5 fuses, 5 wires and 3 panels; all over 90% repair. Tried replacing parts (even though none were damaged) but nothing; game time by this point was about 11:30. At about 13:00, still without Hab power, I tried sleeping for an hour. When I woke up Hab power was back online, and at 400 units input. Maybe something screwy with the in-game time events at sunrise?
I really like this game but the time scale compared to how fast you walk is totally wonky. I just died in a 12+ hour walk over 5 kilometers. A 5k walk should take somewhere under an hour in the real world. Three times that (or 3 hours) would be reasonable while wearing a "space" suit and carrying how much ever gear you have.
I understand the logistics of he the game and the balancing of every thing but come on.
And automatic waling would be nice. Currently I jam a screw drive on the W key...
It would enhance gameplay if markers and more information were available on the map for the minor sites. Supply caches and rad flags should be visible on the map after they are found. It would also be useful you could access the supply status of locations on the map once they are discovered. After all, once you access the container, you know what is there. Why make the player take notes?
At a minimum, allow the player to place permanent markers on the map with notes.
Hi, another possibly useful suggestion...
The Hab Modules have an abstract reserve power sub-system but game play related power sources (PV arrays and the as yet unseen RTGs). What about the addition of battery strings and tasks related to fixing/upgrading/scavenging materials for the battery system that the reserve power is actually based around?
I would think they'd either manifest as modules connected to the Power originating system, OR as modules connected to the Hab module or within the confines of it's external structure but not in the pressure vessel itself (minimizes fire hazards!).
Will there be a future addition to allow auto walk? Walking back to the Hab from nav station or a pod could at times be quite draggy especially during night time and distance being more than 2km
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