Mixed feelings :(

Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager (SPM) Road to the Moon is the ultimate game of space exploration.

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Toto33
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Mixed feelings :(

Post by Toto33 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:45 am

Hi !

I'm an old fan of BARRIS which never left my hard drive.
So when I saw BASPM I did not hesitate a second.

Now after two games, I must say I have mixed feelings... Some things bothers me a lot about the game, but it might evovle in the future...

1. First contact

I was a bit lost a first and wondered why I had a brand new space agency and could not researsh rockets from day one. The user experience is a bit hard at first : I did not feel it intuitive how I can launch programs, got to R&D etc...
I felt BARRIS old order of things to researsh far easier to understand... But ok one gets past that. I still feel sometimes I have to click too much times to do something.


2. Reliability

I really think there should be visual help about that. What thing helps what other ? How much ?
For instance, I really believed at first that bio experience and the X plane would help me desing mercury. But no... Strange has the text on those programs led me to think I would gain usefull info on how organism operates in space and how to cruise on low orbital or fast speed with the plane... Well...

I would hope for a visual tool that tells me how much I will or could gain from other programs.

For rockets it is a bit complex to guess if you should open a simpler one first or go directly for a better one...


3. Programs

Closed programs are not displayed differently than others. Maybe they should have a 'inactive' status and need just money to reopen (why would I do that ?) and not restart at min reliability ?
It is strange for rockets : when you want to open one you have the whole list including some you had and closed... A bit confusing...


4. Failure cost in prestige

IHMO Barris had it far better. Why so much prestige cost ? You don't dare test materials with such cost.
a - you should be able to test things without fearing to loose so much. If there is no human at risk...
b - why such bad hit when noone died and the mission still achieved something. For instance duration test : okay I did not go as far as I wanted, but noone died...
In Barris it gave you some prestige in that case... At least you went to space and got back....
Look at the solar plane : it failed but did they go in negative prestige ? No they achieved something ! And noone died...
c - mission with human failing... That is my personal opinion, but I doubt that NASA prestige went in flame with Apollo XIII. Or with Apollo I when people died in tests. I believe people expect astronauts to be heroes and unless you took stupid risks, accidents can happen and those guys/girls are really heroes.
My opinion is that safety rate should have an impact on negative prestige loss : you rush a mission (say less than 80% safety, or passed pre-requisite missions) you *should* pay a lot in prestige. You have researshed mercury at max R&D and failed, well... it is just ruining the game, what else should have you done ?

5 Failure cost in R&D

I would like to run test missions for my gear without fearing negative reliability if it fails. Come one.... I test things ! Why in earth should it make it less reliable ??? The more I test, the more I learn and the best it gets, no ?
If I want to waste x $ on a test mission, it could only provide positive result in term of reliability, no ?

6. Success chance

I found the game very hard on that, even on easy. For man orbital, I failed three in a row, with max R&D, good trained pilots and controlers and having launched a few sub orbital and test before...
How on earth would 98% reliability mission fail so often ? Not fun :(


7. Tiger teams : only way to win ?

I just started so my opinion is probably wrong...
But the lesson I learned : if you want to success whatever your chance (even maxed) you should have lots of $$$ to pay for multiple tiger teams. And then it works. Otherwise : bang :(

So don't research the last 0,x % of equipment : just keep lots of $ for tiger teams. Not fun :(


8. R&D is strange

I worked in R&D and... well when you start a program, it is not a 20% chance it works : it can"t work at all until you have designed it to the fullest...
Here it is strange : you have a chance it works from scratch. Weird...
IHMO you should have a desing phase, which you could rush with reliability cost and then an extensive test phase, again which you could rush with reliability cost...


I hope the best for the game !!!!

lordshipmayhem
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Re: Mixed feelings :(

Post by lordshipmayhem » Sat Aug 01, 2015 6:10 pm

I see the loss of prestige on even the "development" rockets as similar to the loss of prestige that happens in failure mode in real life. To you, when something does something unexpected it's a learning experience which makes the failed part safer, to the public (which includes your political bosses), it's a failure.

I think that when something goes boom, however, it shouldn't be a loss of reliability points. That would be more realistic.

bumble410
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Re: Mixed feelings :(

Post by bumble410 » Tue Aug 04, 2015 4:42 pm

7. Tiger teams : only way to win ?

I just started so my opinion is probably wrong...
But the lesson I learned : if you want to success whatever your chance (even maxed) you should have lots of $$$ to pay for multiple tiger teams. And then it works. Otherwise : bang :(

So don't research the last 0,x % of equipment : just keep lots of $ for tiger teams. Not fun :(
This is an issue that I too question and wrestle with during game play. I understand the idea of bringing in outside help when you encounter a problem during a mission, I am sure NASA did it many times, but it does seem like, to a degree, you can buy your way through missions, if you have the money available. I guess the idea is that the option is there if you want to use it and if you have the cash needed to spend, it becomes your choice to buy or not buy tiger teams. I have to admit to using them on occasion to give added assurance on completing certain steps, especially when human crews are involved. I would mostly rather have my mission control personnel, and astronauts, all trained up to the levels that I feel comfortable with letting them handle the problems that arise with a good chance of solving them. As an aside, that is one of the beautiful things about this game, all the decisions that the players have to make during a campaign, some easy or straightforward, others make you think hard and long about, (not too long), to successfully complete a moon landing and more.

Sabratha
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Re: Mixed feelings :(

Post by Sabratha » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:47 pm

Toto33 wrote: 7. Tiger teams : only way to win ?

I just started so my opinion is probably wrong...
But the lesson I learned : if you want to success whatever your chance (even maxed) you should have lots of $$$ to pay for multiple tiger teams. And then it works. Otherwise : bang :(

So don't research the last 0,x % of equipment : just keep lots of $ for tiger teams. Not fun :(
It cna work without Tiger teams. I've been playing this game sicne its early beta phase when tiger teams were not implemented. You cna win without tiger teams, although ti will be harder.

Intuitive interface... yeah its not the strong side of this game. Its one of those game you need to rea dthe manual first to get the hang of what's what. Having said that, it was exactly my experience with BARIS back in the day - don't read teh manual and its a tiral-and-error experience.
Toto33 wrote:8. R&D is strange

I worked in R&D and... well when you start a program, it is not a 20% chance it works : it can"t work at all until you have designed it to the fullest...
Here it is strange : you have a chance it works from scratch. Weird...
IHMO you should have a desing phase, which you could rush with reliability cost and then an extensive test phase, again which you could rush with reliability cost...
The 20% start chance is usually things you leartned or are carried over from previous programs. The starting 20% represents a working prototype afaik. But yeah a design phase is a cool idea.

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