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Thread: Planet Nomads in 2018

  1. #1
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    Planet Nomads in 2018

    Hi guys,

    At first, sorry for the lack of communication in past days. We've been busy discussing and deciding new directions towards which the development of Planet Nomads should head in 2018.

    Not every early access game has such a great community as Planet Nomads. Many of you are with us since our kickstarted beginnings - we really appreciate it and we try to do our best to make this game for you. We try to put everything you think of into it.

    But there is also an another point of view, from the perspective of the "total newcomers". December sales brought many new players to Planet Nomads and showed how bad their experience could be. The game is hardly playable without knowing it before. If you haven't been with us for months, you'll probably have not much fun with it. Remember your hard start and multiply it by months of adding new features. There are also many long-running bugs and nearly every aspect of the game deserves some finalizing touch.

    This is something you can expect from an early access title and many reviews on steam are positive just because of this fact. But one day we'll have to peel off that "Early Access" sticker and compete with the other games as equal. The sooner the better. So we decided that now is the time to stop using the "endless early access" formula consisting of rolling out a new block each week and finishing things in a hurry just to have something to put in the release notes.

    We will now revisit what we've earlier pronounced to be finished and try to improve it. Look at the small pieces and their sense in the whole game context and from the player's perspective. Focus on quality and not quantity or deadlines. This means that we will no longer make updates with new blocks and features each week. But we still have some of those longly expected in our sleeves.

    We've also noticed that many of our kickstarter backers who bought game with some special awards like unique charackter look or naming/making some content for game haven't received it yet. That's a shame and we'll try to fix it as soon as possible. Some of them depends on functionality that still isn't in the game and we'll focus on it now.


    So what will be that new directions and goals? I will elaborate on concrete steps lately - but for now just briefly:

    - Better player experience and onboarding, stronger player immersion
    - Survival that will make you feel the fear, think twice before you do something, not just obstruct you from building things like in creative
    - Add tools for better creative expression and sharing constructions between players
    - Player should be able to control and fine-tune everything but in well-arranged way
    - More variety in the environment and creatures
    - Fulfill all kickstarter promises creative awards

  2. #2
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    Glad to see your crew is not afraid to regroup and alter direction where needed. Far too many early access development teams just plod blindly ahead on their initial path, and only find out they've lost their way when they eventually stop to look back at what they've done.

    Personally, I think you are on the right path. Providing tools to be able to tune our experience into the survival challenges that we want from the game, and providing more variety to create that survival tension, will go a long way towards satisfying quite a lot of the players that have been a little disillusioned with the game of late. Making sure the game can be fun for a casual player, but also doesn't feel boring to people who like to game on the edge of their seats is always important!

    Looking forward to seeing where you take things in this first quarter of 2018. I do hope you are still going to be rolling out a few of the items that have been in the works for a while. A perfect example: I got a few friends interested in the game, and one of their most interesting observations was that it feels like there is a huge hole in vehicle power sources. Batteries don't feel powerful enough for anything but small scouts (and have long recharge times), bio and uranium generators feel way oversized and overweighted for vehicles, it was just confusing to them and they wondered what they were missing. I told them to be patient, and we'd likely get something like a deuterium generator that would fit that middle range that seems to be missing. Even with the "technology gap" that I helped them hurdle with some creative building, they could definitely see the potential for what the game will be when finished.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinsustek View Post
    ... But one day we'll have to peel off that "Early Access" sticker and compete with the other games as equal. The sooner the better....
    Interesting thought...
    Some reviews on steam mention that the game was made available one year too early.
    Further, if we think that the game did not managed to attract a huge number of players and if we watch how the version incremented so far, I got the feeling that we reach 1.0 in 6 months.
    While you plan to reduce the rate of version updates, one can still assume that 0.9 will be the one which will bring the Workshop and this may come in 3-4 months and then... I guess you want to make one more finishing update and remove the "Early Access" sticker and reduce the costs of development (to continue with only 2 developers doing some bug fixing and small feature updates once in a while).

    Or maybe 0.9 will indeed bring something into the game which will make it suddenly very popular.
    What could that be? I hope to see the answer in the detailed road-map you say you want to present

  4. #4
    Kickstarter Alpha Nomad fura's Avatar
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    Is it only me who thinks you can have v0.10.x, v0.11.x, and so on? Version 0.9 doesn't necessarily has to be followed by v1.0. I think the point here is to have the added features and content polished make them like they intended to be, instead of dumping in new stuff every week which are adding new issues in most of the cases. So iron out things already in, then add new stuff, then iron that out again.
    This doesn't mean that we will get the final game in a few months and we only get bugfixes after that. At least that is what I hope
    I made screenshots: http://imgur.com/a/D1FM7 \o/

  5. #5
    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    It's not just you, fura. I've played plenty of games that are on version 0.32 and higher, still not at the "1.0" level yet.

    I think they've chosen a good path - fix fundamentals, and maybe add a new thing every once in a while, not rushing to do it every week and breaking things in the process.

  6. #6
    Member bigstep70's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vrmithrax View Post
    I think they've chosen a good path - fix fundamentals, and maybe add a new thing every once in a while, not rushing to do it every week and breaking things in the process.
    I tend to agree with Vrmithrax on this one.

    I've just spent the last few months in community/playing/modding another game (that I will not mention, think MC meets L4D and you'll know) and every time an update was released it would botch the entire game. I mean, you would have to basiclly delete your old saves and start over, every time they updated. Understandable?... yes. But tolerable... not in the least.

    So you would spend time in world leveling, building, gathering supplies and whatnot... major progress for you but as soon as an update came along half your stuff was "broken" because of stupid little changes that were not thought thru enough.
    It was almost like they said "backwards compatibility?... with our own versions?... preposterous!" They were not listening to the community and have lost a lot of players because of this. I'm sure things will come back to them and they will get back on track but only time will tell.

    So I'm quite happy with all the devs and staff of Planet Nomads (Craneballs) that takes its time with content updates and really does listen to its community of players when it comes to "what we want out of our game".

    I've only been playing PN for a few weeks (maybe a month at most) and it is one of the most polished and playable early-access titles I've come across I quite some time. I've no problem waiting for game updates and content. If its going to enhance my game experiance, then of course I don't mind waiting for quality over quantity.

    So if you want a warm mustty old beer or some jailhouse hooch theres lots of those out there (beleive me, I know, I have a massive game collection)
    But if a fine wine or a really smooth single-malt burbon is more your style then stay here... (if your not a drinker then replace my examples, its all I could think of ATM)
    Last edited by bigstep70; 17-01-2018 at 11:19 PM.
    "They say that if you play any Microsoft Windows CD backwards, you'll hear satan... that's nothing, play it forwards and it installs Windows."

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    As one of those newcomers to playing, but someone who's been watching the game closely since the kickstarter, I am a fully a supporter of this path. I hope that means you'll be taking the more negative reviews to heart and reconsider some of the things that you'd previously decided weren't priorities.

  8. #8
    Member Mojo Mann's Avatar
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    @ martinsustek, I think maybe you took to heart to many of the negative comments. I am very new to Planet Nomads, and the moment I got it I loved it. I have played other games similar to PN that have been out a lot longer, and are no where near as polished as your game is!

    I jumped in Creative first thinking that would be the way to learn first, but survival was the way to go! It taught me everything pretty straight forward. So if anything just set creative like survival.

    Keep up the great work, I am patient and I am glad you guys are going for quality.
    "Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup; You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle; You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend." ~ Bruce Lee

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    Quote Originally Posted by martinsustek View Post
    Hi guys,

    At first, sorry for the lack of communication in past days. We've been busy discussing and deciding new directions towards which the development of Planet Nomads should head in 2018.
    ...
    So what will be that new directions and goals? I will elaborate on concrete steps lately
    ...
    I hope we get a detailed road-map soon.

  10. #10
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    Well...I havew had the game since release day...and can honestly say it's got a lot better since then. Is it too hard to pick up...well...I don;t think so...but then I am not a new player. No harm in working on the tutrorial side of things to get players in...but really, the best way is to control how the blocks are unlocked and link that to learning to hand-hold new players and not swamp them. Just leave an option to fast-track this for those who don't want to grind through a tutorial every time we start a new world.

    Other than that...I like the sound of what you are planning. I also think it's a wise move to ditch the forced weekly update. Give us the stuff when it's ready, working, and worth having. Not rush it out becuase it's Thursday and we have to have an update. Can think of a few other titles where they should have done that long ago.....good call guys!

    Just keep nudging hte game along the way you have been and I will keep playing

    p.s...tracked vehicles...cough cough..... ;)

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  12. #12
    Kickstarter Wreck Nomad Harrison's Avatar
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    Thank you for link on the blog post. Today I started play to the game again. Now all looks awesome, but I hope, that devs can make survival looks more, as was shows on kickstarter page (I watched it today). If you not saw it, here is video:



    Looks very impressive.

    Just in this blog, seems, devs want make a game, how it was in this video (I hope).

    Also, big thanks for the paint tool! Very soon I'll show my colorful base with some cool decorate things.

  13. #13
    Kickstarter Alpha Nomad fura's Avatar
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    I just read the new blog post and I have two suggestions you may find useful.
    One's regarding build vision. As many complain, it shows too much information if we are looking at a complex build. All useful of course, but really hard to read. So my idea is a filter of sorts, so we could toggle if certain type of information is displayed or not. For example, pressing F1 would toggle energy related this. Press it once, and generator load, power lines won't be shown. Press it again, and they're back. F2 could toggle storage/inventory related info, F3 other block features, like the wheel steering and rotation info. I know the function keys are used for the tutorial screens, but I'd rather have them for a such more useful feature and reassign the tutorial for other keys (I don't think we need 5 keys for the tutorial screens anyway, we can page by mouse click).

    The other thing I have in mind is a simple one regarding the cockpit. I'd like to see the possibility to zoom out farther in 3rd person view when we are sitting in a cockpit. It can be very limiting on large builds that we can't zoom out much. If I have something behind the cockpit I just can't see anything in 3rd person view.

    I think these are fairly easily doable (I'm no dev tho ) an would greatly improve the experience. What do you think?
    I made screenshots: http://imgur.com/a/D1FM7 \o/

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by fura View Post
    ...
    The other thing I have in mind is a simple one regarding the cockpit. I'd like to see the possibility to zoom out farther in 3rd person view when we are sitting in a cockpit. It can be very limiting on large builds that we can't zoom out much. If I have something behind the cockpit I just can't see anything in 3rd person view.
    Was added in the last update.
    http://steamcommunity.com/games/5040...20100910168858
    possibly after noticing this thread:
    http://steamcommunity.com/app/504050...5669853092423/

    The other suggestion you may want to add it as a separate thread because people may comment here and it will get lost as a comment in a long thread. Also you may want to bump your suggestion once in a while, on special occasions

  15. #15
    Kickstarter Alpha Nomad fura's Avatar
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    My max zoom out when sitting in a cockpit is about 1 and a half block, which doesn't seem more than it was before. What I meant is way more than that. Like if I have a 30 meters long vehicle and I put a cockpit to its front, I'd like to be able to zoom out far enough to see the entire vehicle from behind. What we have now is nothing near of that.
    I made screenshots: http://imgur.com/a/D1FM7 \o/

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    Kickstarter Wreck Nomad Harrison's Avatar
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    Hm, strange. After last patch I can zoom on very far distantion.



    Did you used alt+mouse wheel for zoom?

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    Kickstarter Alpha Nomad fura's Avatar
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    Now that is what I'm talking about. But why does it not work for me? I'm using the Alt + scroll combo, but I can't zoom out that far. Tried with an old save and on a new planet.

    Update: OK, I think Alt + Scroll is hijacked by something else on my machine. If I zoom in, its like using a magnifier tool, instead of moving the camera closer to the player. So I now have to figure out what interferes.

    - - - Updated - - -

    OK, I take the zoom out suggestion back. That works indeed. Just the damn xfwm4 accessibility zoom feature was stronger Had to disable it.
    Last edited by fura; 03-02-2018 at 04:32 PM.
    I made screenshots: http://imgur.com/a/D1FM7 \o/

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    Quote Originally Posted by fura View Post
    I just read the new blog post and I have two suggestions you may find useful.
    One's regarding build vision. As many complain, it shows too much information if we are looking at a complex build. All useful of course, but really hard to read. So my idea is a filter of sorts, so we could toggle if certain type of information is displayed or not. For example, pressing F1 would toggle energy related this. Press it once, and generator load, power lines won't be shown. Press it again, and they're back. F2 could toggle storage/inventory related info, F3 other block features, like the wheel steering and rotation info. I know the function keys are used for the tutorial screens, but I'd rather have them for a such more useful feature and reassign the tutorial for other keys (I don't think we need 5 keys for the tutorial screens anyway, we can page by mouse click).

    The other thing I have in mind is a simple one regarding the cockpit. I'd like to see the possibility to zoom out farther in 3rd person view when we are sitting in a cockpit. It can be very limiting on large builds that we can't zoom out much. If I have something behind the cockpit I just can't see anything in 3rd person view.

    I think these are fairly easily doable (I'm no dev tho ) an would greatly improve the experience. What do you think?
    You are right, that blocking 5 keys for help screens is a big waste.

    But instead of adding switching of layers into the buildvision we want to try to use depth buffer to hide occluded icons. The fact that they are visible even through walls is the main source of clutter, imho. It is due to the way how it is implemented - drawn through 2D GUI layer on top of 3D scene, instead of in the scene directly. We will try to fix it first, and if this will not be enough, we will try to find something else.

  19. #19
    Kickstarter Alpha Nomad fura's Avatar
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    That sounds good for starters, but if I understand that would mean if I build a battery pack in a 3x3 form, I'll never be able to see anything about the middle one.I'm not sure if that would be good.
    On the other hand, if I'd have a wall of small containers for example, no walls around, it will be still hard to build around them as still all would display its capacity indicator icon. Also power lines would still obstruct vision and we don't really need to see those, only when setting up the connections. So I still think a filter would be a considerable option.
    I made screenshots: http://imgur.com/a/D1FM7 \o/

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    Senior Member Vrmithrax's Avatar
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    I think the fun part with damage is going to be repair and resources management. Is the multi-tool going to magically repair, do we need plate/frame/etc. in inventory to repair, things like that. It could get complicated fast if we require "parts" to fix up damaged components (higher tier stuff would need more exotic parts, for example).

    And, while we are on the subject of damage... In keeping with the "give us options and make things configurable" theme of suggestions we've been discussing in an effort to keep the game fun for a variety of play styles: can we make block damage/degradation a world option?

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    Yes, damage will be an option, maybe with more levels of difficulty than only on/off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martinsustek View Post
    Yes, damage will be an option, maybe with more levels of difficulty than only on/off.
    I post this to cover the last post, made by the fake account. Security seems hard to maintain lately...

    So... if I understand correctly, you work now on the tutorial, questing system and unity upgrade?
    Or there is something else too in progress?
    What will be the next big thing to release?
    How will the questing system be? Will we be able to upload custom quests into the workshop?
    Will you start reworking the air blade code/behavior now or later? (The rework possibility was mentioned in 0.8.12.1 update)

  23. #23
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    Yes, spam bots activity is rising. Current version 4 of vBulletin forum software has no security updates now, we are considering a migration to version 5, hope with better anti-spam protection.

    We are currently also working on some rewards for our Kickstarter backers (special blocks and unique suit).
    Quest system is currently simple, but it is possible to use externally defined quests. We would need to create enough general triggers for player actions, so it will give quest writers enough freedom. We can discuss some examples of quests you want to have in the game, but please in separate thread.
    Hope we will have enough time for Air blades soon, currently we are evaluating if current system is fixable, how big part is re-usable or if we need to start completely from the scratch.

  24. #24
    Member rothgo's Avatar
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    I have also returned to play these last days and the expeience has been great. I like everything I see ..

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    Now that the version was incremented to v0.9.0.3, would be cool to get a detailed blog about the next step.
    I am mostly interested about survival:

    Quote Originally Posted by martinsustek View Post
    ...
    - Survival that will make you feel the fear...
    - More variety in the environment and creatures
    That fear part should have been added sometime during 0.6.x in my opinion.
    And was delayed over and over.
    Will this come before v1.0.0.0?

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