Other

This section concerns all other issues that you may encounter during your beta-testing. When commenting/reporting, please make it as detailed as possible. πŸ™‚

Cope-Com
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39 Responses to Other

  1. Kamelito says:

    Not sure that it’s a bug
    If you play and you run out of battery, the iPhone do some stuff then is I think switched off.
    If you charge it and choose BS you start a new game not the one you were playing
    Kamel playing in extreme conditions πŸ™‚

  2. Eric says:

    Now that you’ve explained how the “levels” work, it makes a whole lot of sense and is actually pretty neat. I think it would be a good idea to explain this somehow, because that would actually make a great selling point. It’s certainly different than anything you can get in the scrolling shooter market today.

    • Cope-Com says:

      Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚ Yes, that may be a good point to explain… somehow never thought about that… but that is exactly why it is great to have you beta-testers give BS ONE a critical look πŸ˜‰

  3. Eric says:

    Spinning off of my previous topic, I think credits would be a great idea if you can squeeze it in. Especially for those of us that do this a lot, it’s always nice to be able to point to a game and say “see, I really did help test that one” πŸ™‚

    As for the speed of the subterranean levels on Cadet mode, I actually didn’t think they were that bad. I’m just not very good at those levels. I think the real problem is as someone else pointed out – if you die and your gun gets downgraded, you’re basically toast. Many of the things in the lower levels are too hard to kill without a beefed up weapon or a bunch of bombs.

    • Cope-Com says:

      Hi Eric,
      The idea with the weapons is that before one enters a sub-level one has to build up enough firepower in order to trash the aliens. In beta2 there is only one level reduction in weaponry power once being hit by alien firepower. It appears and plays a bit better, imo πŸ™‚

      • Would it be useful to *only* allow access to the inner levels if the player has sufficiently powered up (say to strength 3 as a minimum)? This can be explained in the instructions.
        As it is, if the player enters the inner levels with a low-powered weapon, they’ll almost certainly get killed quickly and may feel the game is punishing them, after all, it did allow them to enter these levels knowing they probably wouldn’t make it.
        Just a thought πŸ™‚

        • Cope-Com says:

          Well, if somebody wants to “play a hero” I think we should let them πŸ˜‰ … but it is a good point to point it out in the instructions…
          It actually gives me the following idea: for Game Center “accomplishments” you could have “first one to make it through each subterranean level with just the standard weapon at the start – and max. 3 Nova-Missiles” πŸ˜‰

          Martin

        • Eric says:

          I see where you’re coming from on this, but maybe it could just be part of the explanation that underground levels are more difficult and you only get one shot at them. To deny people the chance to explore them early on would not be fair to the adventurous types. For example, I often approach RPGs by tackling areas that are way too tough for my heroes, because I know one or two successful battles there will get me a lot further on in other parts of the game. I don’t have the skills to do that in BS, but someone might!

    • Cope-Com says:

      Yes, there is a bit of strategy in in playing in Battle Squadron πŸ˜‰ The weapon upgrades go from 0-5 where 0 is what you start with. You obviously don’t want to go to the tougher subterranean levels with just strength 0-1 or maybe 2. Ideally, you may therefore want to “fly around the planet” once to have strength 5 and plenty of smart-bombs. And remember in beta2 you only loose one “strength unit” and not “half” (only when Squadron Leader) unlike in beta1 where you always loose “half”.

      Great to hear you like the beta-tester credit list πŸ™‚ We will just have to ask each tester if they would like to be on, since not all may want this…

      Martin

      • Eric says:

        This actually brings up an interesting point that would make a big difference in game playing technique. What is the “level structure” of the game? How many subterranean levels are there, and when does the game actually end (if it does at all)? I’m gathering by the “fly around the planet” comment that level structure is not as rigid as it is with most scrolling shooters.

        • Cope-Com says:

          Yes, we did come up with a couple of fairly original ideas back in the days πŸ˜‰ Battle Squadron is designed so that you essentially fly “around” a planet. The surface level “wraps around” when the “end” of the surface is reached. There are three different subterranean levels where you can enter. You can enter them in any order, and only once. After you have completed the third one, and reach the end of the surface level, the final “boss” appears πŸ™‚ I wonder if we should include some kind of “instructions” to explain this…

          • Jeppe says:

            That concept might be a good idea to explain somewhere in the game – at least for newcomers. Because most shooters are just straight and linear. Like a tutorial for beginners or something.

            • Cope-Com says:

              Hi all,
              Back in the days about 1989 the story plot was not that important although a good interesting overall theme would do. When looking at it today Battle Squadron does have a sense of alien mythos over it. The game also being influenced from various sci-fi themes at that time. The whole surface and hollow sub-terrainian world is something which could be explained in a more straightforward way i believe πŸ™‚

  4. Difficulty balancing

    Problem
    For the subterranean levels, the ship really needs to have powerful weapons if the player is to survive. If the player dies once on these levels they immediately feel underpowered (as they weapon is downgraded) and it’s likely they’ll die again quickly. This can lead to frustration.

    Possible solutions:
    – Make sure the weapon power up ship appears more quickly after death on these levels.
    – Use a health bar instead of 1-shot-death.
    – Don’t downgrade the ship’s weapon after death (the player needs an incentive to stay alive though, so probably wouldn’t recommend this).
    – There is a max limit to collecting power-ups (not sure what the number is, 5 or 6?). If the player collects more than the max, then perhaps they can ‘protect’ their weapon strength after death. Like protecting your no-claims bonus on your car insurance πŸ™‚

    We’ve had some kids (8 – 14) in for game testing over the last few weeks and while they’ve been waiting around I’ve let them play BS ONE. Their first thoughts are that the game is very difficult, most of them mentioned that they’d like a health bar instead of one-shot kills. I doubt this is the target market, but just thought I’d mention it.

    • Cope-Com says:

      Hi Graham,
      It is a balance issue I think. In beta2 it should be possible when loss of life not to feel completely underpowered with “only” one drop in level weaponry. Your idea of not to have a level drop af weaponry after being hit by the aliens is interesting πŸ˜‰ Brilliant with the testing on kids and see their reaction. Overall I personally think the game needs to be about 25% easier on all levels. (at least on a 3.5 inch device, iPhone, iPod)

      Graham, was the testing with the kids on a 3.5 device or iPad??

      • The testing was with the iPad version. I think one of the problems is that there’s no instructions yet, players do not know how to upgrade their weapons or that they can use missiles. I know the text mentions missiles, but players do not seem to read it as it appears at the same time the first enemy ship enters the screen (guess which one gets their attention!). I think all game instructions should appear before the game starts (or separate tutorial), so the player can focus on gameplay.

        • Cope-Com says:

          Yes, that may be a good idea to have the instructions appear separately πŸ™‚ My own feeling is that people want to start playing “immediately” without having to read all kinds of “instructions” (what I want myself). With instructions live “in game” you can start playing and maybe read the instructions after a few attempts… when you have the first 10 seconds under control πŸ˜‰ But good point πŸ™‚ Maybe “instructions” should be combined with the “strategy” of BS ONE (se other post)…

    • Cope-Com says:

      Hi Graham, Yes thanks for extending the test group… it is good information πŸ™‚ We did actually start work on a health bar a couple of weeks ago, since somebody else also suggested it to make it easier. It still is an option we could possibly go for. At the time we however decided to use other means to make the game easier, mostly to not change the game play and “look” of the game too much…

      Martin

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