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Messages - Luminaire

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Episode Two: The grenade that saved the village.

Biome Appropriate Missions
After loading up my game to continue my adventure, I realized I had made a mistake, and had not yet picked up any followers. I ran around the current town I was in looking for anyone willing and could not find anyone, so I fast-traveled back to the first town to complete some of the missions that i was given.

There it was that I realized the reason I had not completed those missions was because they required materials gathered from other biomes. This wasn't too much of an issue, as I had noted before that there was a seller who sold food along with plants. I sook out this seller and purchased the necessary plants to complete the mission, due to being in the Swamp biome, and those plants only being available in grassland and forest.

I turned these missions in, and was given a second mission from one of them, which is fine, except... oh dear...

Another mission that required me to hunt enemies located in the grasslands.
Luckily, I was still able to complete this mission due to the convenient spawning of enemies right at the base of the town upon accepting the mission.
(I don't believe these should spawn when missions are accepted. If enemies are meant to spawn in certain biomes, which they do, it should require the player to go hunting a bit. The mission seems a little pointless if the objectives are dropped ontop of the players head when they accept them.)
If missions could be appropriate to the biomes they were accepted in, it might also breath a little bit more life into them being present and meaningful.

Ammunition passing through enemies
After picking up two followers and continuing on my adventure, I came across a big mean crocadile that wanted to eat me and my new companions. I pulled out my handy dandy little wooden bow and strafed it's attacks while firing at it. One thing I noticed, was that if i was within melee range of the enemy, and fired a shot, the shot would pass through the enemy completely, doing no damage. I tried to get a screenshot of this, but my attempts failed, as i couldn't cordinate my timing of hitting the screenshot button with with my mouseclicks and strafing at the same time. ..

No resources at the time of death.
Title not very descriptive, I had run out of arrows fighting off crocodiles, so I went to chop down a tree to get more wood in order to craft more arrows. The moment I swung my axe for the final hit on the tree, so too did a croc on my head, and down both me and the tree went. Unfortunately, all that wood disappeared into the void, as the tree fell, but i was not given any wood from it. I once again, attempted to get a screenshot of my dying, along with the tree falling, but I missed the shot by a few seconds it seems.. I'm being very slow today :c

Paper thin Security
Now I understand why all towns are built on platforms. Because the colony security is so thin and lightweight, that any common beasty running into town would mess them up on an hourly basis. The town guards and general protection are lacking. Extremely lacking.
I think there should be a bit more armed protection than there is, considering how dangerous this world is.

These two crocodiles had a heck of a joyride, running around this town knocking down colonists, armorers and weaponsmiths who were zerging them with colony clothing, leather armor, and survivalist knifes. For twenty minutes all the citizens ate the dust (and drank swamp water), then got back up just to be knocked down again, slowly wittling away the two assailants hp before I ended the parade with a grenade. (to be fair, they killed one, and got the other one down to a decimal percentage of it's life left. It just seemed the right thing to do, as i had no more bullets, nor arrows)
My suggestion would be to better equip armorers and weaponsmiths, since they aren't able to be recruited and taken advant- er, share their equipment, aswell as have some unrecruitables be better geared to defend the town. Without the immortality that has somehow been procured on this world, I don't know how they would survive.

As for my own followers, I have opted to dismiss them for the time being. I have run out of revival shots, and do not have the resources at this moment to continue buying them. I'll return for them after building up a bit of supplies around this town before continuing to my designated waypoint for "Delayed Supplies".

Now that PE is nearing it's full bloom, I would like to take some time to truely overview the full experience of the Planet Explorers gameplay. This will only cover adventure mode, but it is mostly to make note of anything from bugs in mechanics, to even little things like minor inconveniences and nuisances. I thought I'd give my full rundown on how I feel about the experience, and hopefully insight some correction of some small annoyances that make the experience daunting for people. Whether it is a gamebreaking bug, or me simply stubbing my toe on the assembly core every time i try to run through my colony, I'll document as I go along. I do realize that it's possible that much of this may not be able to be corrected, or that, again, some of it may not be important enough to adjust, but I will document them regardless.

Picture perfect: Character and world Creation
To set the stage, I have begun an entirely new adventure game. I've started in the character creation screen, and have created my character. Rather than being decent though, I am standing in the editor in my underwear. What does someone have to do to get some clothes around here?

It would be nice to have some form of clothing in the creator, with a tickbox for hiding them to help with the modelling. But previews are a very nice thing to have. You can sometimes look a little different wearing outfits than you'd imagine, so unless you plan to run around the game in your underwear, it would be convenient to have some clothe previews. Maybe a few options to check through, or maybe even a few choices of starting clothing, rather than the default black outfit? Just a thought.. (I would also love to see some form of clothing options for the character selection on multiplayer. The naked characters standing there just feels somewhat unfinished and not cared enough for)

I have started my world with the settings below:

Skill Tree active.

Platform Towns
After starting my world, I entered the game in a small town a bit uplifted from the ground level... a bit.. The music is wonderful, and the atmosphere has this otherworldly feel to it. I love this biome..
But this town.. The first oddity that strikes me.

In PE, all towns are raised on these strange platforms. You can't seem to find a town that's gently nestled into the ground as if all people did was clear out a nice spot and start setting up buildings and settling in, like you'd expect. They are raised quite readily above the ground and in most cases are a downright pain just to get into, requiring you to circle the town until you find the large ramp, or exploit wall jumping until you reach the top.. This one, is in the middle of the water.

I am also quickly noticing that this is a lot of water.. So I am hoping that I did not receive less land then I was hoping for, but we'll make do with what we're given, and see where this goes.

Buildmode key inconvenience
After taking this screenshot above from Free look mode, i pressed the B button again to exit build mode and continue on my way. But much to my unexpectation, it didn't exit build mode. I'm required to first exit free look, by pressing F again, and -then- press B again to exit buildmode. Perhaps B should exit buildmode immidiately from free look. I can imagine this might be a problem if i'm building my temple and i come under attack.

Mission Location placement
I have accepted the first couple of missions from the townspeople. I was given the starting scripts which range from most all the essentials I can think of. I wasn't given a food script, but atleast the merchant here is selling food, so that shouldn't be too much of an issue. But..

This might be.. This individual has asked me to hunt in the middle of a swampy ocean, but first I need to place turrets.. under water? Can I even do that? We're about to find out.
Yes, yes I can.

Swimming Camera
Swimming through this water, i noticed something a bit discomfortable, and that is that it was difficult to keep myself both on the surface, and the camera not under water. Since the direction you swim seems to be based off your camera (atleast in my current controls, maybe? My curser is unlocked), if I had my camera above water, my character would swim down. If i tried to correct their angle, my camera would end up under water. It took a little working, but through some camera placing along with the spacebar button, i did manage to level it to a point I could swim across the water surface without issue.

Inconsistent plant harvesting box
This is a rather weird one... I have begun harvesting plants, and i've noticed that the icon appearing over the plant to harvest seems very iffy. Sometimes, it appears quite easily, and remains for a large coverage area of me moving around the mouse. no problem there. But if I change direction/position of my character, or even JUSt the camera angle, the same plant may become unclickable, even though the distance I am from it has not increased/decreased. The way I am facing does not seem to be the deciding factor either. The harvesting icon sometimes appears while i'm facing away from the plant, and sometimes is not there while i'm facing it. Distance from the plant, again, doesn't seem to have any impact on whether or not the curser picks it up.
I have experimented a little with trying to get this pick up icon to appear on the same plant. For the most part, it seems there, but it's very inconsistent, and sometimes there is absolutely nowhere I can place my curser for the pick up icon to appear. It is as if the plant is not even there. Camera location or character position/location, or both. Something that shouldn't is interfereing with the ability to get that curser to appear.

My first dungeon, totally not prepared! (but that's ok)
I began my first journey, setting out, away from the town I spawned in. Luckily, there is indeed land in this world. How much, I'm not quite sure yet, but atleast enough for me to enjoy the scenery, and that, I certainly did.

There was even a solo bird that fluttered high in the sky in the distance, across the road, adding to the marvel, a little ways past this. Unfortunately I did not get a screenshot of this..
Along my travel though, I noticed a dungeon off to the side, barely still on land, next to the water. I approached to see what level it was, and much to my glee, it was a level 2. One of those rocky cave dungeons.
I entered the dungeon, well knowing that I couldn't really fight my way through, but I had to see how efficient i could be with my little wooden sword and shield. The enemies unfortunately were a bit too strong, in that i did not manage to lower their hp bars by much before one of them smacked me, reducing my hp to roughly 40%. Owch. Also, my footsteps sound like i'm running on stage props.
Instead of fighting, I decided to run through and grab whatever loot I could. I didn't get a whole lot, but at the end, after looting the final container, I ended up with cortical shoes, and a few bedroom pieces. Not bad for doing nothing. But then ah, how do I exit? This wall infront of me doesn't seem to be working... Oh.. I need to travel up that side rock that looks like a piece of the surrounding wall, leading to what doesn't really look like much of an exit either >.< (No, i didn't manage to cheap an ISO this time)

Toe stubs: Sticky terrain collision
Ah, a dreaded issue i've hated for so long, and was sure It would not be long before I would experience, and not long indeed.
I started my first mining expedition against a mountain side, to start off my building material collection with stone and marble. I dug a small  wide hole, that was very short. Only a few feet deep, and went to jump out of it when i wanted to move on. (I didn't mine a whole lot.)
But as I did, i ran up to the edge of the hole, and attempted to jump onto the upper ledge. Instead, i played the animation to jump, and moved about a couple inches upwards before colliding into the terrain with my knee, which stopped me in my tracks completely. Further attempts to jump yielded no results. I had to back up, and attempt the jump again, away from the terrain.

.. Why can do this?

Collisions in PE are just too sticky.. I understand that people do not want to slide on staircases, and slight hillsides while they are trying to cut trees, but surely you can find some sort of medium ground to make this work better. It is a wide issue, not just with terrain, but objects in general too. Running through your colony, you run into corners of your blocks, or edges of machines. The colony assembly core is a nightmare. Trees, plants, and even wildlife have a very strong sticky collision feel to them that is really breaking and unsmooth. It is a very uncomfortable feel.

I've come to my next town, and after defeating the secret hideout mischief makers, I'll need to pause my journey here for the time being. But I would like to close for now by saying that PE does seem to have a lot of little potential quality of life adjustments, that I think if polished up a little, would improve player comfort with PE. There are bits here and there that make the game feel a little clunky, aswell as minor inconveniences that tend to add up quickly. I only spent about 3 hours writing this up as I was playing, and did not honestly do a whole lot, but all the above are little things that I ran into in that time. It feels like every activity I participated in, there was at least something that didn't go smoothly.

I adore you developers, and recognize how difficult it's been. Even if PE doesn't become a perfectly smooth gameplay experience, I'm hoping that with your future projects, you can take quite a bit with you from all this, and do even better. Definitely think about some of these things for PE2. Not just features, but the little things as well.

To be continued..

Planet Explorers General Discussion / Re: PE Changelog (A0.88+)
« on: January 10, 2017, 04:19:09 AM »

Fixed 10 crashes
Tweaked the maximum attack range for ISO swords
Fixed no ammo consumption for the follower's second inventory
Fixed NPC skill disappearing when reload save file after fast travel
Fixed the durability data in build system inconsistent with the data after the export
Fixed ISO turret and ISO cannon not working after being attacked by monsters
Fixed repair machine stop counting after fast traveling in story mode
Fixed training station not working
Fixed Mac player not able to log in multiplayer
Fixed no firing sound for the natives
Tweaked the dps of ISO weapons
Optimized Chen's background music (doesn't repeat as much)
Optimized mobile phone UI
Optimized the workshop download/upload interface in multiplayer
Optimized the interface after pressing ESC
Added a new side quest for Chen (to enable music for player)
Added the music player in game, can open Ogg, Wav, Flac, and Mp3 from local file, available in the phone
Added save function for Phone UI
Added UI save function when riding with a vehicle
Added UI save function in build mode
Added the consumption for fertilizer sprayer and manure sprayer in multiplayer

Protoform General Discussion / Re: Video Devlog 01
« on: December 31, 2016, 01:08:35 AM »
Thankyou Xu! It's nice to hear from you.

One thing I wanted to second, was Malus' statement here:
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. Challenges in puzzles games can take many forms, but there are two major types that come to mind. Ones that make you have to stop and look around, and have to think about what you're supposed to do. And then there's the aggravating ones that require precision timing and rely too much on player control, rather than wit.

Will it be more like Portal, which is what I'd consider the first one, or will it be more like the old metal gear games?

Maybe the demo would answer this question best though. I'm looking foward to seeing it :)

Protoform General Discussion / Re: Video Devlog 01
« on: December 29, 2016, 09:41:41 PM »
This made my day. I love you guys ^_^

Protoform General Discussion / Re: New Game - Protoform
« on: December 29, 2016, 08:29:10 PM »
The protagonist looks pretty adorable in some of the character art.   I can't wait to try this game out in demo

I thought the same thing! She is adorable, and i'd love to learn this story.
"finding her true self in this strange world" Oh, doesn't this feel so familiar.

You don't need a factory replicator in order to start your colony, but the point does still stand... It's very difficult to goal for things you're looking for. Relying strictly on luck to obtain the things you need is a very harsh layout for these things, and the chaos makes it impossible to plan.. The game ends up dragging you along in the direction of it's choosing, rather than you choosing which way to progress...

I think this is something that's very important that needs to be addressed. Make it easier for the players to predict what they will be getting. Whether that be biome, dungeon levels, town levels, or random container loot drops. The world resources like plants and trees are divided into biomes, so players know that if they are looking for a certain ingredient, whether it be from plants or trees, they can head out somewhere specific to obtain them. This isn't the case with scripts. They are just too randomized and difficult to locate.

Planet Explorers General Discussion / Re: PE Changelog (A0.88+)
« on: December 15, 2016, 03:17:16 AM »

Fixed some crash bugs
Fixed font errors in message box
Fixed no sound for reloading and shooting when using ISO gun
Fixed the range of turrets when enemy players attack from out of range
Fixed repeated conversation in the tutorial
Fixed followers getting too many items when collecting
Fixed missing sentences for Andy
Fixed mission cannot be completed when attacking opposed camp in multiplayer
Fixed the ambush mission not triggering after Todd dies in multiplayer
Fixed the repair machine not working properly
Fixed reloading sound and firing sound not synchronizing with the animation in multiplayer
Fixed some missions not completing after a server restart in multiplayer adventure
Fixed the colony icon of the opposed camp being seen sometimes
Fixed NPC disappearing in colony
Fixed GRV ships mission cannot be completed in multiplayer
Fixed skill level of followers
Tweaked sound logic when in third person
Added the great sword and dagger to the creation system
Added 6 language fonts in game (including Russain, French, Spanish, Italian, Germany, and Portuguese. The translation in these language will function well in game)
Added background music for Chen
Added particle cannon script being sold by Percy Malik

Planet Explorers ISOs / Re: Icarus Armament Division thread.[marked]
« on: December 04, 2016, 05:54:27 PM »
Dropship has just been re-upload too on the steam workshop in 2 wood versions, 30 vtol rotors and 2 airship thrusters wasn't enough to allow lift power, rotation, and propulsion of the aluminium version at the same time, I had  no choice. It is a most avanced version more polish but at this level you'll won't see any differences.

Just curious, but have you tried simply using downward thrusters, and making them invisible? This should easily be able to make your vehicle lift without all the rotors. The only major difficulty is balancing position and upward thrust so it doesn't move forward or backwards in the "idle".

This is because you started a game for the first time. For first time starters, you will always enter the tutorial first, and then it will drop you into a singleplayer game.
You will need to exit the game and then re-enter multiplayer in order to access the lobby.

Planet Explorers Multiplayer / Re: Multiplayer colonies.[marked]
« on: November 29, 2016, 06:13:08 AM »
In all co-op modes (story, and adventure), there can only be one colony, and everyone is automatically teamed.
In vs mode, there is a set amount of teams when the server is created, and each team can have their own colony. You choose which team to be on before entering the server.
In Survival mode, everyone can create their own colony, and no one is teamed. You can create a team in survival mode, but it is pointless, because you do not share the colony with each other. Only the creator of the colony can access the machines.

There is currently no system in PE that allows multiple ISO's to act as one ISO.
The Armor ISO's work by attaching separate ISO's to your character, which is an object that already exists in the game. Your virtual object idea is a possibility, but it would require you to place the virtual turret somewhere and then "equip" your turret outside the creator, with three different ISOs. You could not save a full turret as one ISO. This means people would need to subscribe and export 3 turret ISO's to get a single working turret ( like ISO armor pieces). And it would require an entirely new feature in the game. Putting the turret together.

The devs could probably create a new feature for that, but like the armor idea, it's a very complicated one, and at this stage in developement, I don't have my hopes up that either will happen.

I actually posted a much similar question back when I was teh PE Newblett, and heard about custom armor implimentation. This was similar to my concern.. Voxels are voxels, and they can't really be "stretched", or otherwise have an animated shape. They can only really be told where to be.

I'm not sure how pheasable it would be to create a system to adjust the voxels to match the body proportions.. Even if it was doable, the problem would be that it would mess up your voxel volume numbers and positions, and you would get some really weird distortions. Spikes, holes, and "Where the heck did that wart come from?" all over the place as the system tries to automatically adjust the voxels to new grid positions...

The issue is real though.. I'm just not sure how you could possibly impliment a form fitting voxel creation system.

The only thing I can really think of, is to do something very similar to how they created the terrain. Rather than the armor creation rendering being voxels, it could use voxel points, and render a skin over it. Those voxel points could be placed by the player around a part that interacts with body slider numbers, and saves that relative position of each voxel point to the part, rather than just one static sheet of absolute position for each voxel. The voxel grid would need to be fairly small to avoid clipping issues, and it would make armor creation not much easier than it currently is (not saying it's currently easy). But it would allow armors to adjust to the sliders. Atleast in theory.. I really don't know if this is possible, or what it would require though..

This would operate very differently than the universal creation system though. It would need a new creator and ISO file type completely..


I'm not a big fan of the actual custom turret editor but it didn't stop me to used it for a while and after some hours I still think It should not be only limited to make custom sentry but also turret for base defense and for iso vehicle.

(Also dissociate it in 3 parts could make them more attractive to do because actually you have to 1. make the line of fire cleared or 2. cover the whole turret with a sphere or 3. make whatever you want but when the turret will fire, it will be unrealistic.

If you have made the custom turret editor like the weapon editor, with only muzzle/cannon/launcher/...  parts, we do not have to be forced to hide the cannon support and the base. Having the whole the turret design is good to have a little idea of what you should do at the beginning but after will become a pressure. If you decide to make this for vehicle iso, please allow multiple muzzles 1~3 but limit the number of muzzle parts by isos, not the number of turret. (exemple: if you have a limit cap of 10 parts by iso and turrets with 2 parts you can only use 5,...)

The laser turret part muzzle say nothing to me, certainly because there is no output.  So I have to reshape the turret heavily and several times in something I could accept. And now I don't even know own to reload it, so another question: How to reload laser turret ?

I've thought a lot about the turret creation, and I tend to agree. In it's current implimentation, it's not really useful. All you can really do is design the platform it sits on. But the reason for the barrel part having a base with it, is because the iso creator would have to support seperations in voxel objects, which it doesn't. Right now the turret base rotates, which is believable. If they had only the barrel, you would not have a rotating base for the turret. Just a barrel that swivels and turns on a static object. That might be ok for lasers if people want to make a laser orb, but for the others it just doesn't look right.

It would be neat if they could somehow add in a way to create the base voxels separate from the platform voxels, so the voxels you create for the base will swivel from the platform. I'm just not sure how doable that would be, and it would certainly take a lot of work and adjustment to the creation system as a whole. This is the same reason you would not be able to create ISO turrets for ISO vehicles that actually rotate. Because an ISO's voxels are all one solid object.

I suppose as an easy alternative, they could introduce turret parts that are barrel only, for those who don't care about the swivveling base though.

There is no reloading laser turrets of any kind. You recharge them with a powerplant. I don't know if they can be recharged in a solar recharger.

I absolutely loved your post showing off your turret designs, and that was the first thing that came to mind.. The designs are stunning, but the base not being able to rotate makes it's use really weird looking.

You know, after typing all this out, it made me think.. What if instead of having the base be a piece, and the platform being the voxels, if they reversed it. Have the platform and barrel be the parts, while the voxels for the base. Though that would still require a new system in place that rotates the ISO.. Still though, if they could make that work, i'm sure people would enjoy designing the base for the turret much more than just a platform... It would also help in adjusting damage, durability, rotation, and be easier for the devs to add more types of turrets. All they'd need is to make different barrels, like they did in the gun creation. We could have all sorts of different types of turrets.

Planet Explorers General Discussion / Re: PE Changelog (A0.88+)
« on: November 24, 2016, 10:12:38 PM »

Added stamina expenditure for axe and sword use
Added settings for getting ISOs in dungeon (you will get different ISOs based on the level of dungeon)
Fixed firing sound not synchronizing with the animation
Fixed skill tree data issue
Fixed spelling errors in UI
Fixed no transmitter script in adventure
Fixed items being sold in the wrong store
Fixed several UI crash bugs
Fixed the scroll bar in the repair machine not being able to scroll
Fixed NPC job title not being updated after player assigned jobs in Personnel
Fixed zero durability loss for ISOs in multiplayer
Fixed the usage of monster beacon in multiplayer (now a team can only place one monster beacon)
Fixed multiple players cannot proceed with multiple monster beacons at different locations in multiplayer
Fixed load file error when saving game after loading old saves in multiplayer
Fixed skill tree not being able to save in multiplayer
Fixed the data storage error for terrain and plants in multiplayer
Fixed NPC skills not being able to initialize in multiplayer story mode
Fixed multiple ashboxes in coop story
Fixed firebear shooting multiple fireballs in coop story
Fixed NPCs following other players in adventure multiplayer
Fixed Tariq fighting the Puja when he should be running away
Optimized ISO export in multiplayer
Optimized the network in multiplayer

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