Tant's list of issues / opinions

Feedback and general discussion of Slime Rancher

Tant's list of issues / opinions

Postby Tantarian » Mon Dec 21, 2015 10:39 am

I remember Nick once played my crappy flash games, so here I am giving feedback.
The game seems to have quite a lot of potential, and I know it's a pre alpha, but I'm just going to write down all the things I thoguht about while palying.
It's a bit long. I played for about 14 ingame days.

Tutorial:
> The tutorial is pretty lackluster, which is expected for an alpha, but I think it needs to be a lot more hand holdy in many aspects. No need to make it a boring long text tutorial either, just show stuff to players in a more directed way in a controlled environment ( a different map even). If you plan to keep the "go here" mark on structures of tutorial interest you may want to also add an arrow at the top of the hud to guide the player, it took me a few spins until I saw the mark on the market. Also make it skippable for advanced players.

Things that weren't clear to me as a new player:
> The point of energy, I only realized you could sprint after playing a while and checking the controls menu.
> Vac upgrade that's used by the middle mouse button. I figured that one out accidentally way after buying it, never bothered to check the controls for it.
> How largos were generated at first, I was quite confused when I saw my first largos, probably worth a small cutscene or something that shows a slime eating plort and getting big. I'd keep tars a surprise though, the first time you get surprised by one is fun. The eating animation they have is also surprisingly unnerving, good job there.
> How often slimes in a corral need to eat to stay alive/happy/etc. Slime care in general I guess. Only thing I figured is they make different faces depending on how they feel.
> If you need to replant in a farm for it to keep producing or if a single carrot will yield carrots forever. Still not sure about this one.
> Walkable water vs deadly water. I figured deadly water early when my very first action after booting the game was jumping into the sea. But then I was scared of ponds.
> Market plort price changes. Still no idea why they happen or when.
> How to plant on a farm plot. For some reason it took me a while (and maybe creating some other buildings) to see the giant receptacle where you deposit what you want to grow.

Features I'd love:
> A map! I kept getting lost when I just started
> A way to reorganize the ranch. I ended up wanting to move certain things I had built around, and my only choice was to destroy them and rebuild them. It's particularly annoying as you unlock more parts of the ranch you'll probably want to organize certain areas around certain things.
> Quick travel of sorts. I know there's the blue pads that return you to the ranch, but I don't really see much point in them being placed in the map instead of letting the player return at any time if they are not near aggressive mobs. Many times I went to a particular place just to get certain resources and then had to traverse the entire region to the end just to get home.
> I remember back in some SK interview you talked about a feature that never got in the game, aggressive mobs that needed to be distracted with food. Maybe this is a good game to bring that back? I know that you can pacify aggressive largos with food, but it's easier to simply run past them unless you went there just to farm their plort.
> More interactions with slimes. It can go from feeding them different things and them reacting (I really expected to be able to douse exploding slimes with water) to even just being able to pet them or something. You can't have a game based around cute things and not let the player do cute things with them man.
> A way to vac only certain types of thing (things of certain weight/size?). A usual thing that happens is you want to vac a blue slime and end up vacing a ton of water, so you need at least two free slots to get one. Also see the item "things that annoyed me"
> A better way to control hen breeding. I had a exclusively stony hen thing going but I still got regular hens? Maybe add a stony rostroo?
> More differences in environments during night?

Things I'm not sure are a good idea:
> Only having 4 slots of inventory space. Coupled with the lack of fast travel it gets quite annoying when you're a new player and don't really know what you need/want to gather.
> Current game slime progression and the difference in market prices, the current way the game goes you pretty much end up ditching the starting slimes, and only having largos. Prices of stuff in general are a bit weird and make it hard to start up a ranch.
> Initual wall height seems a bit low, I had a cell with as few as 3 regular cat slimes that would escape all the time. I get the point of the ranch upgrades, but maybe make the starting slimes a bit more tame otherwise?
> Exchange "quests" that require many slimes. They usually require few vegetables/fruit/plort. From my experience you're a lot more likely to have spare fruit/plort/etc lying around your ranch than 40 pink slimes and 12 cat slimes. Also a certain exchange quest rewarded me with like 40 pink slimes, which was more annoying than a good trade, so maybe show the reward on the machine too?
> The mails you get, as lovely as many are written, are a bit long. This could be good if they had some more visual elements to them to make them attractive, but currently they are not particularly interesting.
> Rostroo head crests look weird, too pointy.

Things that annoyed me:
> I saw a grand total of 5 golden slimes, I failed to catch any of them because I'd vac around them and my inventory would get full from other crap and they would bounce away and die ;_;. I get their point is to be rare and hard to catch, but uh, maybe give them 1 or 2 more bounces to live?

Goals:
> Game seems to lack any goal the player can progress towards currently. I guess you'll add one later.

Depth:
> The game systems are quite nice, but not really complex or deep, there's a few things you can do, and a lot of exploring, but I think a main features of ranching style games are more related to managing the ranch, breeding, monthly goals, etc. I'd qualify this game as niche and targeted to gamers due to requirements, so you'll probably need to make it quite more deep to keep players engaged.

Lack of hook for audience:
> As interesting as the game is, I feel it lacks a commercial hook that will make it popular. I've been keeping up with the development sparingly, but I didn't really feel I _needed_ to have this game. I mean, it's cute, and it was fun playing it, but if I hadn't played and liked SK so much I would probably not have bothered even testing the alpha.

> SFX
> I think the sound slimes make when they hit something is a bit weird/jarring
> Same for the sfx of pulling carrots off the ground

Bugs/issues:
> Linux issues, see viewtopic.php?f=3&t=33
For this test I ran the game on Windows just to make that clear.
> The jetpack, I hope it's mostly a testing item or endgame item, because it's really "broken" as far exploration progression goes
> Map shadows seem inconsistent at certain distances or in certain areas. Also a bit low quality in some parts even on highest settings. I didn't really like the "ground getting shadows" effect of when night hits, I thought there was a big cloud passing over me at first, which seemed cool, then looked up and sky was blue, and moments later realized it was just the night time effect kicking in.
> I was near some tars and took a pad back to the ranch, and the tar music kept playing on top of the ranch music
> The water shader is translucent when looking into it, but completely opaque when looking from the bottom of the water.
> If you're sucking a box/largo and move around, the box/largo follows you in a "choppy" displacement instead of a smooth one
> Water slimes/plort don't seem to produce largos?
> Strange screen flickering when loading a save data
> Underwater sea folliage seems tow switch direction oddly as you look at it from different areas
> Alt tabbed out of the game fullscreen once and couldn't get back into it

The most important issue that you MUST change:
> Slimes jump taking a /\ shape and go down with a V shape. It should be the other way around, V when going up and /\ when falling

Great details I appreciated:
> Slime stacking and flying slimes carrying pink ones away into freedom. 10/10
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GOLDEN SLIMES EXIST?!

Postby Hexlash » Mon Dec 21, 2015 1:24 pm

You can check what the reward is for an exchange if you access the information terminal to the right of the deposit thing.

For the water thing, it could totally be intentional. When you look out of water from the bottom, it reflects the light back so you can't actually see out, if that's what you meant.

I had to alt-tab twice to re-enter my game.

Also, what are your system specs?
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Re: Tant's list of issues / opinions

Postby Tantarian » Mon Dec 21, 2015 2:27 pm

Huh, didn't know about the reward, but it's just odd to display the requisites big in graphics and have to interact to know what you get I guess.

I found the golden slimes at night in the area right before the long bridge that leads to the forest area, even two at once one time.

If water effect is intentional I don't like it :P

Specs are fx 6300, 750 ti, 8gb ram, windows 10 x64. Also Debian x64 but failed to make the game display properly there.
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Re: Tant's list of issues / opinions

Postby Nick » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:20 pm

Thanks very much for all the feedback.

Regarding water, there's definitely a few issues with it. It's one of the newer features we added.
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Re: Tant's list of issues / opinions

Postby Kiba » Tue Dec 22, 2015 2:05 pm

I know this reply is to something that's pretty much ancient history by internet standards, but golden slimes are impossible to capture. They just vanish when you vac them. You have to throw food at them and vac their plorts in the wild.
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Re: Tant's list of issues / opinions

Postby Tantarian » Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:10 pm

Well that explains everything. Gosh dangit Nick just make them impossible to move next time
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Re: Tant's list of issues / opinions

Postby Kiba » Tue Dec 22, 2015 7:08 pm

I wonder if it's possible to half-vac them back to your farm and put them in a corral. Though I read somewhere that the corral walls check to see if they're being ejected from your vac, so that may not even work.
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Re: Tant's list of issues / opinions

Postby coolm5224 » Wed Dec 23, 2015 6:15 am

One of MY problems with the game is every time i switch windows, like to google chrome, it crashes
Thanks to SpeedXaaa for the amazing avatar!
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