What should we focus on next?

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What should we focus on during the next few alphas?

Poll ended at Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:30 pm

Keep adding brand new features
696
60%
Finish and polish existing features
110
9%
Bug fixes
85
7%
Performance enhancements
183
16%
Story chapters
58
5%
Game Balance
37
3%
 
Total votes: 1169
BurntCornMuffin
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Postby BurntCornMuffin » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:15 am

I would say that, while features are wonderful, performance could use some love as well. Particularly the notable memory leak issues that makes >50 prisons turn into a slideshow after about 20 minutes of solid gameplay. But, I'd keep the fixes as a secondary priority until the beta.

edit: Also, can we get some QA/moderation on the custom bios at some point? You'd think somebody who spent $50 to insert a bio would put in more effort than "Badly written bio of l33t h4Xx0r #9999." I mean, I realize there's not much that can be done about massive collection of incarcerated max security custom nerds in my prison at this point, and at least a couple are actually kind of entertaining, but can we fix up the English on the bios whose writers seem to lack a grasp on punctuation and spelling? I'm tempted to mod my names_in_the_game.txt to filter out some of that rubbish (as well as culling the hacker population a bit).
Last edited by BurntCornMuffin on Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Spectre Incarnate
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Postby Spectre Incarnate » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:38 am

This is a fantastic game and I wish for it to succeed as much as anyone else here. You have my full support and will consider donating more when it's available for Steam users to upgrade to a higher tier. (And when there is a female prisoner type for me to name. Otherwise, I'd have to make my name and character bio a bit more... androgynous? :wink: ) Anyway, game is great and I look forward to seeing the rest of it's development.

I voted bug fixing, but that was before the hotfix. If I could change my vote, I would say new features, of course, as that is what alpha is for the most part (with some hotfixing in dire cases). And as much as I love scenarios and story campaigns, if you worked on the campaign this early and didn't have all the features implemented at the time to create a campaign with, the story and missions would suffer or have to be completely redone. That should definitely be left for much later.

--------------

With that said, I have a bit of a bone to pick. In addition to focusing on game updates, I must urge you to take our concerns about forum moderation and community relations into account.

Some of us here have been trying damn hard to keep this place together and fairly peaceful. The atmosphere around here has just started to relax a little, and yet, more and more players have been invited to join the alpha through various recent sales and promotions and there has been no hint of helping out with community relations. Without any means of handling the growing numbers of supporters and customers, the forums could go right back to becoming a tense and hostile environment.

Please set up some forum moderation and maybe even some sub-forums for different categories of suggestions/bug inquiries/fan-mod ideas.. etc. Even without sub-forums, we could really use some firm, but polite members who can just move posts and lock topics when it's really needed. And possibly some warning/banning ability, as well, because there's a few trolls/solicitors hanging about that are just begging for removal.

It is not our job as players to handle the PR around here, but it has inevitably happened due to some of the supporters taking it upon themselves to try and bring order. Of course, since they have no means of enforcing such things they have understandably (though, not excusably) become jaded toward new members and the lack of order through a lack of moderation. This has caused conflict between old members and new members.

It is not fair to any of us as players and supporters of your game to have to deal with the PR, especially when we have no official moderation powers. Some of us do so without being asked because we pride ourselves in being helpful and understanding toward new players, but please do not take that effort for granted. I will continue to welcome and assist any new players that I come across as best I can, but I do not expect to be doing so for very long if there is no one to handle the job officially in the near future. I have a butt load of patience, but it's not unlimited. I only stepped in to help because I felt sorry for the state of these forums and did not think it would be noticed otherwise. I hoped that my effort might bring some awareness. As I said, things are getting better, but it won't last if there's nothing to hold it in place.

This game is primarily sold by word-of-mouth and every new user that gets support could sell multiple copies by telling others. They might not be inclined to do so if they feel alienated and are not able to be involved in the game and have bad first impressions of the community. Many people have left because of this very thing, sometimes out of anger, sometimes sadness. I don't want that to continue and I don't think you do either.

Thank you for listening.
Alex_D20
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby Alex_D20 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:14 pm

New features :D
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Neddleson
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby Neddleson » Tue Sep 03, 2013 8:24 pm

Why polish features and fix bugs when they'll all come back along the line somewhere in development. Defiantly new features for me.
Flint
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby Flint » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:40 pm

Performance enhancements - The game does not last very long when you hit 150 prisoners and that's when things really start to get good.
henke37
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby henke37 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 12:10 am

Why fix bugs indeed? Because trying to build on a shaky foundation tends to go badly.
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peardude
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby peardude » Wed Sep 04, 2013 2:05 am

As long as we get dogs that have a use and look cute I really don't care. I JUST WANT DOGGIES :D
sidster51
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby sidster51 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:33 am

peardude wrote:As long as we get dogs that have a use and look cute I really don't care. I JUST WANT DOGGIES :D



Okay, everyone understands everyone wants dogs...

Listen everyone, anyone want to see the character schemes and possibly new features, unrar or unzip the main.dat file and look inside a bit. There is tons of stuff, and I'm glad the dogs look like German Shepherds, the best kind of dog for everything. (I should know, I have 4 of them... And by the way, I'm not gonna play this game if the dogs look like pugs in the end. (I hate pugs, disgusting little rats... :evil: )

Anyways, yeah just look in the main.dat file and you'll see a ton of stuff.

I voted for storyline, but that's just me, I kinda want something to continue the introductions "Press ESC to continue" thing...

P.S. I don't care about the dogs too much, but as long as they are intelligent breed(s), like real intelligent breeds like German Shepherds.

P.S.S. These are my opionions, you hate, you hate me for my opinions.
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Ric666
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby Ric666 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 4:14 pm

sidster51 wrote:
peardude wrote:-SNIP-.


Well I've never seen a pug drug dog before so I think it's safe to assume you're safe from those little dirty rats ;)

However, deciding whether to play a game based on the dog texture they use is....well.....an interesting choice to say the least, lol!
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Neddleson
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby Neddleson » Wed Sep 04, 2013 7:26 pm

Can we like get the dogs now and pay you back later? :wink:
Anoniempje
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby Anoniempje » Wed Sep 04, 2013 9:21 pm

What fun are new features when everything slows to a crawl, every frame takes a second. when large things cannot be done, when you spend hours upon hours creating a prison that a game can't handle?
Collic001
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby Collic001 » Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:22 am

Anoniempje wrote:What fun are new features when everything slows to a crawl, every frame takes a second. when large things cannot be done, when you spend hours upon hours creating a prison that a game can't handle?


Serious optimisation shouldn't happen until most of the major features are there in my opinion.

Some work has already been done on that, but honestly the big strides forward don't normally happen this early in alpha development. It makes no sense to spend a lot of time on it at this stage when new systems and features might undo some of that work, and before all the major building blocks are in place. All I can tell you is to play within the confines of what your PC can handle in the meantime.

I know it's not what you want to hear, but its just the reality of playing a title still under active development.

At some point I imagine this will reach a critical point. The game does get laggy now with large numbers of prisoners; the prison labour and contraband stuff has had a performance impact. I don't think we're at that critical point where it needs to be properly addressed before adding more stuff though. Most people can run the game well enough to enjoy it and test the new builds as they arrive.
jaygen
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby jaygen » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:23 am

Performance Enhancements... I can't even play my prison right now... it's so slow (2.3Ghz i7 early 2011 macbook pro). I'm basically just waiting for you guys to add multithreading and optimizations. Saturate all the cores! :mrgreen:
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paktsardines
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby paktsardines » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:25 am

Most people can run the game well enough to enjoy it and test the new builds as they arrive.

Here here.
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Re: Alpha 13 - what should we focus on next?

Postby jaygen » Thu Sep 05, 2013 3:28 am

Collic001 wrote:Serious optimisation shouldn't happen until most of the major features are there in my opinion.


I disagree. Especially if these optimizations require major changes/rewrites to the core of the codebase, or how the game is implemented, it is better to do them before things get more complicated.

I think the team has a much better idea of what they want to accomplish now, optimizing can be done with an eye toward the future.

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