Double Fine's Spacebase DF-9 - ABANDONED

Totally agree, as a developer myself (web, not game, sadly), the labels we put on projects at whatever stage are generally completely arbitrary.

It would be correct to call the game an Alpha at this point, as it's being tested and features are being added. Once a project is feature-complete, it goes into Beta. (That's the typical standard.)

LouZiffer wrote:

It would be correct to call the game an Alpha at this point, as it's being tested and features are being added. Once a project is feature-complete, it goes into Beta. (That's the typical standard.)

This was my understanding too. Alpha is stuff getting added. Beta is bugs getting ironed out (hence the need for Beta Testers).

There's little to no meat on this bone right now but it's a fun taste of what may be possible. I like that early access stuff allows me to vote with my dollars for games that I'd like to see made, rather than hoping that a game will be made and buying it if said game ever sees the light of day.

Yup. The key to Alpha is it's when testing actually begins. Who does the testing is up to the developer. It's cool that Double Fine is letting the public in on this one!

Redwing wrote:
billybob476 wrote:
Redwing wrote:
kazooka wrote:

Calling this an alpha is really pushing it. It's more of a demonstration of the game engine than anything. There are a few working parts, but they're all kind of dangling loose. I'll be interested to see what they do in updates, but I'm not sure there's even any value in reporting bugs at this point.

Sounds like the very definition of an alpha to me.

Dunno about that, to me aplha means mostly feature complete but untested.

I haven't played this latest build, I only checked out the prototype, but the whole concept of an alpha seems like a tricky thing to nail down with games these days. What counts as a feature for the purposes of feature complete? By a strict enough definition, Minecraft would still be considered to be pre-alpha. I guess if core game mechanics still aren't in place, fair enough, but there seems to be a fine line between features and content that makes the whole life cycle thing a bit weird.

Yeah, core game mechanics is probably where I'd put the cutoff. And we're really missing a lot of core mechanics: power management and food most specifically. I would argue that combat is really only half implemented at this point.

I don't mean to complain, I was aware that I was basically kickstarting another DF project, it's just that people should know that what they're getting is VERY light. It's not a rough version of a game, it's a demonstration of some features that will be in a game at some point in the future.

Nitpicking the definition of alpha is a waste of time IMO. I don't think people need to be any more aware of this version of this game compared to most other Early Access games. If you choose to buy an early access game, you're getting an unfinished game. Period. How far the game is from being finished when it's first made available on Early Access surely varies from game to game and developer to developer. If you only want a finished product and/or don't want to help fund a game's later stages of devlopment, don't buy Early Access games.

Also, because DF included a video demo of the current build of the game showing bugs and even a crash, I don't feel that there is such a need for a "buyer beware" type of comment.

I guess this is just the growing pains of the early access program. People don't get they are literally paying to test games. I'm confident that many people feel that since they gave money to steam, they deserve a complete, working game desptie the very clear assertions that this is not the case.

MeatMan wrote:

Nitpicking the definition of alpha is a waste of time IMO.

You're right. What am I doing here?! :LOL:

LouZiffer wrote:
MeatMan wrote:

Nitpicking the definition of alpha is a waste of time IMO.

You're right. What am I doing here?! :LOL:

Demonstrating dorkness, your Lordship.

So they turned the prototype in a game?

I got that from a humblebundle sales a while back.

It look weird. Guess I'll watch it closely.

It's Double Fine. Even their failures are interesting. I want them to make more games, so I buy the ones they make.

It's all very simple.

Had to guffaw when Chris Remo announced on the latest Idle Thumbs podcast "We shipped a game this week!" No dude: you put out an Alpha. When you can charge people without the qualifier "this is early access, it's unfinished", then your game has shipped.

Other than that qualm, this looks fantastic! Wish listing to revisit in the future. Part of me wonders what kind of financial calculations Double Fine is doing behind the scenes given that their last few projects were kickstarters. "If it keeps selling above X we'll keep dedicating internal resources to it..."

I... LIKES !

Janci wrote:

Had to guffaw when Chris Remo announced on the latest Idle Thumbs podcast "We shipped a game this week!" No dude: you put out an Alpha. When you can charge people without the qualifier "this is early access, it's unfinished", then your game has shipped.

I somehow don't think that pushing an alpha to Steam is tremendously easier or less stressful than shipping a finished product.

Evil Genius in space. Winning!

I've watched the vids and it looks great, but going to wait till full release as I don't have the time nor patience for the bugs.

Kristen Bell got sucked into space because she kept trying to install more suit lockers without a suit and nobody respected the "Under Construction" sign.

On the plus side, the crew is in agreement that grilled broccoli is delicious, except for the aliens. They prefer neon bug knees.

Then Greg fell asleep on the floor next to a vacant bed. He woke briefly to install two additional beds before falling asleep on the floor again.

LobsterMobster wrote:

Kristen Bell got sucked into space because she kept trying to install more suit lockers without a suit and nobody respected the "Under Construction" sign.

On the plus side, the crew is in agreement that grilled broccoli is delicious, except for the aliens. They prefer neon bug knees.

Then Greg fell asleep on the floor next to a vacant bed. He woke briefly to install two additional beds before falling asleep on the floor again.

I love games at this stage. Constant unintended hilarity.

I sent my lone security guard to investigate a derelict ship nearby. When she arrived there was a brief firefight in which both she and the sole inhabitant were killed, with the inner airlock door destroyed in the process. I alt-tabbed for a bit and when I came back all of my techs had died. They all came to repair the broken door one by one, and then suffocated while waiting outside the airlock for it to open (which it would never do while the inner door was destroyed). So much for that game...

So I used my few remaining crew: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfile...

Sounds very Dwarf Fortress! "I have to collect that rusty dagger despite the goblin invasion!"

I lost my entire security crew to a hostile inside an unexplored derelict. They were all floating at the same spot, trying in vain to shoot at an interior target they hadn't seen yet, and were so desperate to save everyone from it that they all suffocated in their space suits.

In the same game, a pirate attacked and kindly gave me his space ship after I murdered him, but now I have a pirate corpse stinking up one of my life support rooms.

I also had an alien tell me he was going to join my crew and wouldn't take no for an answer. He isn't hostile or anything. He's just totally useless. Rated one star in everything.

Thankfully I'd assigned him to security.

I think they need to either nerf equipment degradation or buff technicians. Right now about half my crew of 16 are technicians and we're just barely keeping above water. Most of our equipment's barely functional. But hey, it's in alpha, and even for an alpha it's pretty fun and satisfying. I can't wait to see how it looks once they've polished it a bit.

It sounds very interesting, but the problems you folks are describing sound very, very difficult to solve. This thing might be in alpha for an exceptionally long time.

Malor wrote:

It sounds very interesting, but the problems you folks are describing sound very, very difficult to solve. This thing might be in alpha for an exceptionally long time.

Increasing the efficacy of technicians or decreasing the rate of degradation would be fairly trivial to do and would fix most of the current technician issues. The problem with killing people by deconstructing walls while they're in the room could be fixed by a couple of IF/THEN directives (IF room occupied THEN don't deconstruct yet, and IF room walls scheduled for deconstruction THEN don't occupy room). But yeah, this is a very, very early alpha.

The alpha version 2 was released recently and has introduced a food mechanic. Here's a play through with the lead, JP LeBreton, and the composer, Chris Remo, where they introduce the new mechanic and some of the other features of the second release.

I've now put some time into the game and here are my thoughts.

I think early access works pretty well with building simulation games like this. In spite of only having rudimentary systems in place, it is still pretty fun to conceptualize a floor plan and then set it in motion. I'm not so sure how well this would work with a more story driven game, such as State of Decay, as the value largely derives from the story. Once you've experienced the story it is hard to put more time into it. However, with the more sand box style open world where stories are generated through your play experience, then there is more potential for replayability. I see myself being engaged with the project through the entire pre-release period.

One mechanic that I find game breaking, is the concept that other space stations can "dock" with your base. As this generally screws up any sort of base design, I find it horribly irritating. I'm not exactly sure what they were trying to achieve with the mechanic but I hope it is removed soon.

I'd be curious to hear from anyone else in the GWJ community about their experiences. Anyone have any good stories to tell about their bases yet?

Apparently the model is successful, Tim Schafer linked to this article on twitter : http://indie-fund.com/2013/11/spaceb...

njudah wrote:

The alpha version 2 was released recently and has introduced a food mechanic.

I didn't realise this until it brought up a notification that my people were starving. I tried growing hydroponic stuff but people starting dropping dead. It was at that time that, upon digging through the options, I discovered that food replicators are a thing and don't require stuff to be grown. Two more people died before the replicator was constructed. Now I have a station full of deeply sad, marginally nourished individuals. I'm making a note here: huge success.

Coldstream wrote:

I'm making a note here: huge success.

Ha! How do you handle docking ships? Are they as annoying for you?

njudah wrote:
Coldstream wrote:

I'm making a note here: huge success.

Ha! How do you handle docking ships? Are they as annoying for you?

I've only had one in the most current game, but it was nearly as big as my entire station was. I'll generally assign a bunch of people to security and let them explore. I'm not a fan of the mechanic, and I think it'd be better if they treated it like a hulk: it appears, and invaders then travel to your station. It would create an interesting situation in which you could lock your airlocks (denying them access) but it would also mean that your miners couldn't go out. Given time, the invaders could hack the doors open.

It definitely strikes me as a very rough mechanism for something that will eventually be much more refined.

I like what I played so far.

Well worth the 20$.

Got the game and loving it so far

What do I do with newly discovered areas? It tells me to put a beacon there.
So I do, my security guy/girl walks over, nothing happens....

Sparhawk wrote:

Got the game and loving it so far

What do I do with newly discovered areas? It tells me to put a beacon there.
So I do, my security guy/girl walks over, nothing happens....

Yeah, that's what beacons are for. Your security person goes there, scouts around, kills anything mean, and then patrols that area. I think they're still working on the "fog" effect, as I've cleared out pirate ships and derelicts but they fog over again as soon as my troops wander off.