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Messages - Malus Tepes

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My Time At Portia General Discussion / Re: A simulation RPG
« on: May 22, 2017, 05:52:31 AM »
We're located in Chongqing, China. I thought everyone knew by now. :)

In other news, we'll probably be releasing an alpha build at the end of this month.

The schedule is something like this:

June 03 - Alpha 0.1
June 24 - Alpha 0.2

We'll probably do EA, then final release around May, 2018. For Steam, PS4, and hopefully Switch (gotta really optimize to make it run well on here).

Okay, I can promise if this stuff ends up on the Switch, I'm getting a switch copy.

My Time At Portia General Discussion / Re: A simulation RPG
« on: May 12, 2017, 06:15:36 AM »
Oooo.   I really like the art style.  It has a very stylistic design to it.  I look forward to seeing what the team does with this game.   

Protoform General Discussion / Re: Protoform Demo 1 Released! Link!
« on: April 06, 2017, 08:23:53 PM »
Okay.  While I have helped given feedback on earlier builds I can see that you have changed the game a bit, and added new mechanics since I last played.  So, let me give a new analysis from my perspective of playing.  If anyone reads this who hasn't played yet, please be forewarned that there are some puzzles which can be spoiled by reading this. So Spoiler Warning

1) Translations - I feel like you guys did a good job on this one.   Earlier one of my problems testing was the inability to tell what I could and could not do because I had to learn keys by error.   The fact that your english translation gets the job done and is written in a clear concise way to help new people is good. 

2) The Difficulty - I feel like your first 8 or so levels are very well designed.  They show clear cut answers, give you the tools needed to pass them, and outside of some minor timing are pretty solid.   However, if I had to describe the difficulty of the puzzles in your game, it is very much like Kid Icarus for the NES.  There is a very sudden wall of difficulty that appears out of no where.  The game becomes very heavily about perfect throwing and perfect timing with only one clear cut way to get past any puzzle.   The fact there is only way through most puzzles after the starting area is fine, but the fact that these puzzles also require extremely high amounts of timing, positioning, and trial and error makes them far more tedious than originally thought.   I believe when the game is longer and you have more puzzles to fill the distance, then these spikes of difficulty will ease up.   That said, I want to point out right now something that you did exceptionally well with, and that was solution foreshadowing.

One of the puzzles which left me the most frustrated was the two sentries in the hallway.  In an earlier rendering of the pre-demo builds that I had been trying, you had a bad problem with the solution not matching logic given to you by previous puzzles.  However this time around the solution was brilliantly set up and I have to applaud it.   In the previous puzzle you showed us that the destruction of a Logic Cube will create a lot of noise, enough to get the sentry's attention from VERY far away.  You showed this in literally the puzzle before this.   You allowed the mechanic of cubes destruction = LOTS OF NOISE to be revealed to us as a penalty to avoid in the puzzle before it, so that we hopefully see and use it in the next puzzle which is the only actual solution to the puzzle.   This is Good Game Design here.

That said, I feel like as a person who enjoys puzzle games, the spikes when they occured were very sudden.   All in all, aside from the twin sentries which is in my opinion the only puzzle which requires you to use the concept installed by the previous puzzle to pass through it.   Some puzzles require you to use a ledge to hide which I feel should be explored in before the jumping maze puzzle.   All in all, I just feel like when you can expand the game to have more puzzles, the difficulty wall most of us end up feeling won't happen as harshly and will be much better.   I suggest actually throwing in a couple puzzles from the earlier pre-demo builds.  In particular I suggest the one where you had to walk on a ledge to cross silently.  ((The last puzzle of the first pre-alpha build.)) 

There is one puzzle which I feel like you could improve on in this demo and that was the very final puzzle with the two teleporters.   Having some kind of colored line linking each of the two teleporters together would help avoid confusion on which teleporter does what, especially if you have puzzles later with numerous teleporters.

3) Environment - You guys took one of my suggestions from the pre-demo and made the game feel SO much bigger and it shows.   I really like how much more polished the game looks.  While you do mix the different colors, the portal like ambience no longer feels like a copy cat or a clone.   You added in many details that truly makes the game feel unique.  Walking through a glass hallway and see the large empty space was incredible and to have it foreshadow the fact that the upcoming puzzles were a large open space was truly a wonderful feeling!   That large area and seeing all the puzzles that awaited me at once was incredible.  I'm left with a very solid and good looking ambiance.   From the earliest builds, you've taken what looked like a portal clone, and made it appear truly unique as its own standalone sci-fi puzzle.

4) Puzzle Mechanics - Having played earlier pre-demo ((Pre-alpha?.)) builds I do have a bit of an unfair advantage to review and judge this.  However, allow me to give my personal opinion on each mechanic itself.

4a)  Sentries - I notice that a common thing that people ask about is to show the limit of the sentries vision.  I am torn on this. I found in a couple puzzles, I wasn't sure what their vision limit was which caused me a lot of stress and concern.   Part of a puzzle game is to show clearly what the rules of the game is.  What we do with these rules is how we solve the puzzles.  The problem with the sentries is that their rules are... blurry.  While we can see the edge of their vision on the sides, not knowing their distance limit is uneasy.  Not knowing how close we can get without crouching, how far their attention is garnered is very questionable.   However, when it comes to sound, I believe they are fine as they are.   I personally don't know if having their sight limit being so unknown is a good thing or a bad thing.

4b) Throwing - I think this is well executed now.   From the earlier Pre-demo's its been improved a lot especially by showing where it will land.

4c) Teleportation Units - OMG THESE ARE SO FUN EVEN WITHOUT A PUZZLE!    Okay, all puzzle hype aside, I feel like there is one problem with them.   When there are multiple teleportation units there is no way to tell which teleportation unit connects to which one.  Having some kind of cosmetic line to show these links would be nice.

4d) Movement - Your ability to move, crouch, climb, and such have been improved a lot since earlier pre-demo builds.  Honestly, the ability to finally climb up a ledge with a cube is such a welcome relief.  I hated when you had to throw them up the ledge.  All in all, I think this is plenty fine.

4e) Triggers - The triggers to open doors and activate and deactivate different things in this game have always been just satisfactory to me before.  However, this demo showed you using triggers for more things such as timing puzzles, ledges raising and lowering, and many more effects.  Honestly I think this is a good mechanic and its being well used.

Honestly, in my final opinion, this demo shows the amazing promise of this game and its puzzles.  I can not wait to see what you guys do with this game.  The environment looks spectacular, the character looks good, and the mechanics of the game are well designed.  Speaking from a mechanical standpoint, I feel as though this demo shows the mechanics of the game in a very solid and well designed light.  I just feel like there is one puzzle which is a massive difficulty wall that everyone talks about because while the solution is foreshadowed, it isn't played upon before it.  I look forward to being able to buy a copy of the game myself when its out.

General Pathea Discussion / Re: Prospecting new player here[marked]
« on: March 10, 2017, 05:04:44 AM »
so i bought the game last night and I love it so far! What a great game to bad the bad reviews. I want to know if the dev team needs any help? I am pretty good at blender and Unity coming from kerbal space program. I got a yiynova tablet and 3d mouse waiting for a good project. :P and just learning coding. I want to offer my help free of charge and anything I contribute will become the property of Pathea. I am good with that. How can I help?
Typically, most game development teams wont' take up offers.  This is because they have a way of doing things in office which trying to get a single person from over seas on the same page will make quite difficult.   Add in the fact that even if they used your assistance, if there are any things that they wanted done in person that is a bit harder to describe with words, they would have to re-edit all your assets in order to do it, which if some things aren't set up correctly, would result in them having to re-do it from scratch.

I know the Pathea team really does appreciate the gesture of good faith and I can not speak on their behalf as I am not a member of their team, but I can tell you that sadly your suggestion just is not a possibility as things are.  I am very pleased that you are liking the game.  Its always good to see new fans coming into the game.  If I may give a suggestion, perhaps you should help design some pleasing armors, weapons, and vehicles using the in game editors and using advanced tricks you can find from different people on these forums to create truly wonderful things for others in the community to enjoy.  I dare you to see if you can translate that knowledge and make me a dapper purple Tuxedo to wear for armor.

Protoform General Discussion / Re: Video Devlog 01
« on: January 01, 2017, 04:54:52 PM »
However, the biggest trick here is that is the difficulty fun and challenging, or just aggrevating?   

Hearing this "People died 80 times" actually sort of worries me.

Don't worry, Protoform is a puzzle game with stealth elements. Actually metal gear games give me inspiration, but Protoform is more like Portal. In final version, if you come up with correct ways you needn't die so many times, 2 times at most I guess.

I see.   I have another question.  Are your puzzles going to be focused on having One Solutions, or are they going to be designed around allowing more than one set in stone solution to reward players for creativity?

Protoform General Discussion / Re: Video Devlog 01
« on: December 30, 2016, 06:16:07 AM »
This is absolutely amazing.  I wish Xu the best of luck on leading the team. 

While I know Zifei has fluent in both english and chinese, part of me asks how good is Xu at it.   Puzzle games are a more difficult and niche genre to sell too.  The biggest thing is that the most successful puzzle games do one of three things ((Usually at least 2.))

1) The puzzle has a very unique and different mechanic behind it that serves as a theme through out the whole.   Some games that come to mind like this is the Shift Series ((flash game)), Portal series, and Scribblenaughts ((You drew your own solutions.))

2) A unique story element that has a secret amount of depth and symbolism to it.

3) The puzzles are met with a cast of unique, fun, and well developed characters.  For this, some games that rush to mind is Catherine and the Portal Series again.

Difficulty is only the same challenge that all puzzle games have.   Some are too hard, some are far too easy.  However, the biggest trick here is that is the difficulty fun and challenging, or just aggrevating?   Some puzzle games can be insanely hard but aren't aggrevating as the mechanics are very clear and concise.  The flash game Shift is a great example here.   Other puzzle games however, require a certain flawless timing that is more aggrevating than fun...

When I see Xu's new team working on the Pre-Alpha Demo to prepare to determine how well they can make the gameplay I have to ask if they will capture the first part.   Will they be able to find a way to create a Unique and innovative mechanic that will make the game stand out.   Even if the characters weren't amazing, the portal games would still do well due to how well the puzzles were made around the mechanics presented.  Pathea has already shown their ability to come out with games with unique content in Planet Explorers.  Because of their track record I'll give Xu the benefit of the doubt and he does seem very confident on what he wants to make which only further encourages me.

The second point is one that is a bit trickier to catch.   There are a few puzzle games which do capture this, however outside of some moments of Catherine, I can't think of much for examples.  Honestly I find adventure or RPG's tend to catch this better with Shadows of Colossus, Undertale, or Okami capture it better.  This is a tough thing for puzzle games capture as it often does rely heavily on the third thing I point out, the story.

The game is going to fall into the realm of 3d Puzzle games.  Its clearly going to be story driven.   I wonder how will Xu's innovation will be able to sell the story.  I believe if there is going to be anything that will let Pathea sell this game well on steam, it will be the story.   Puzzle games on team usually sell well due to a good story more than just good mechanics.

On a side note, does this mean we will see another Pathea team making a Mouse Game?   Will Zifei be leading us into a mousehole in a few months?

Planet Explorers Suggestions / Re: A few suggestions[marked]
« on: December 27, 2016, 03:15:39 PM »
Bows actually don't get enough credit for how useful they are. They are the cheapest and readily available ranged ammunition to make and use.
Though it would be neat to have special arrow types, like fire arrows, or poison arrows.

As someone who abuses Bows thoroughly I can tell you 4 things.
In story mode, Bows are insanely powerful as you can get access to bows that will always deal more damage than the best non-custom gun at the moment.  It's ammo is the cheapest.  It has the ability to ARC your shots, something that if you know how to use this in combination with a hell, will allow you to fight extremely difficult mobs and bosses ((Such as the different robots)) by using the terrain to your advantage as a shield.  This is something Rifles and Laser Guns can't do as they don't have the arcing, making using barriers slightly more difficult in the wild.

Most of the time, after your first shot, mobs will always be sprinting towards you, so you have to Kite them, which at close range, the Accuracy of a Laser, Bow, or Rifle don't matter.   This again, makes bows a sleeper powerful choice due to their consistent shooting speed.  Ever run out of Arrows?  Cut down one tree and  you have a ton of ammo again.   Run out of Laser ammo?  Better wait for 30 minute sfor it to recharge.   run out of Bullets?  Better farm for 30 minutes to get enough copper to have a good stock.

Bows are actually the strongest ranged weapon for speed running, general exploration, and farming meat ((As you spend the least resources to acquire your meat, resulting in a greater net profit.))  While their strength isn't about being the hardest hitting or fastest firing at late game like final tier Rifles and lasers, their utility early on and extremely cost effective ammo compensates plenty.

And having just finished the story... HOW DARE YOU D: :'(

Don't spoil too much for me.  I still haven't seen the end ironically.  Too busy testing ISO creator stuff, getting mad and throwing my work away hehe.   

However its great to see you back man!

Protoform General Discussion / Re: New Game - Protoform
« on: December 08, 2016, 09:25:18 PM »
The protagonist looks pretty adorable in some of the character art.   I can't wait to try this game out in demo

I agree, there are some problems regarding isos armors adaptations depending of the charater customization or some of the armor extensions they are wearing (Silver 2, alumium 2). But I'm not sure how difficult it could be to find a solution to this.

For the custom armor helms, they should really think about adding an option on the iso helm to hide to the character's haircut. Because of this, if you try to cover some haircuts or make a full helm, it could to appear much bigger for the rest of the armor set. Honestly, I'm also tired of creating bald characters for checking armors proportions between the helm and the rest of the armor. And having to ulpoad each upgraded armor parts is really, really not pratical.

This is a very good point I had not thought of, as many of the armors ((mainly the full helms)) will hide your hair in the base game.  Making it an option to hide hair is a very good idea!

Yes.  I really feel like the armor system is currently counter intuitive.   Especially if you play a character with altered proportions.    They really need to figure out how to fix armors creation and proportioning.   Making armor adapt better in the same way their armors adjust to proportions would be a much welcome change.

Planet Explorers Suggestions / Making Custom armor more flexible[marked]
« on: November 20, 2016, 09:36:00 PM »
All right, so I have been dabbling with Custom Armors a bit more.  I have noticed something...  interesting with it.  That is that the custom armors do NOT take character customizing into account at all.   So, your pot belly character will have their gut poking through the armor.  Make a nice skin tight outfit that would fit a default female character, and if you happen to adjust that chest slider bigger, and it will not longer work on the character.

There ought to be something to help allow the voxel's to 'stretch' to match the wearer of the armor.  Otherwise, custom armors will simply be unviable as each armor will either have to be made to allow people of the largest sizes ((Which won't fit small people in a cosmetically pleasing way)), or will be made small that will cause them to clip and be unviable for large proportion characters. 

Instead, much like normal armor, custom armors need to be able to stretch to allow all characters of a gender to wear armor made for a gender.  This will allow more customization of suits.   Trying to make a skin tight suit ((Like Samus wears)) will be impossible if we cant' find a way to allow armor stretching to proportions.

While yes, you can stretch the armors in a way in the character tab, when done in this way, it usually doesn't match the body still, with armors with shoulder plates no longer aligning on the shoulder and still being able to cover the persons chest, heights are always weird, and a variety of other problems.

I know this post comes late, but having been sick for the past week my ability to enjoy the final release has been delayed.  However, congratulations on reaching release!  I know everyone at Pathea has achieved something special and great with this games true release. 

It sure has been a trip with you guys as well.  I remember this game from before its Steam Release.  I remember a day when our buildings were made in an editor as well.... That was terrible.  Thank god we went with the newer system on that one.  I remember building Carter City back in .53, while wielding an Aluminum great sword having figured out the only aluminum deposit was under water. 

There have been patches that made me want to strangle the team, as well as patches that made me question the team direction ((When we lost the rope gun)).  All and all, like many in the community, I have stuck through it, and now I can look and see the final reward.  I can look at it and I can say, "This is a game I can be proud to play and to have been part of."

Planet Explorers General Discussion / Re: Character tab : presets ?
« on: November 15, 2016, 04:00:04 AM »
To my knowledge, these sections are for putting on, and setting up custom cosmetic armor pieces which can be either created in your Editor, or found on the workshop.  You may then upload them with materials from the editor to wear.

Planet Explorers Bugs / Re: Multiplayer - Ladders and Stairs[marked]
« on: November 15, 2016, 03:50:57 AM »
While I am quite sorry about your inability to find those pesky ladders and stairs, I do sadly must keep the point that until the Dev team believes we are ready for another patch of bug fixes and balance tweaks, there still won't be stairs and ladders are low level villages quite yet.  However, they have mentioned they are looking at it, so there is a solid chance that your notice is going to bring it to the balancing table.

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