First impressions

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Corporal - Strongpoint
Corporal - Strongpoint
Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:48 am

First impressions

Post by Bianary » Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:25 pm

Here are the first impressions I had while just starting Pandora:

I had no idea what was going on. Two units available, one of which could turn into a colony. So, let's click some things.

First step was to build the city. I didn't really mean to place it right where it was, but it didn't bother me when I accidentally clicked the button because I had no idea where a better spot would be. But the new city has no buildings available, so nothing to do there. Back out, and let's move the trooper. No on-map indication of how far they could move, so I just clicked nearby and assumed they could go one (I didn't notice the X/X movement icon in their status until later). I didn't really like the place I'd chosen to move it, but couldn't find an undo (Or a confirm on the move) so carried on again.

Now there's a little window telling me to set production. I went ahead and started building a colonizer because it's always good to expand fast. It was a good thing I noticed that tip, I wouldn't have set production otherwise (I only later figured out the button actually switched to prevent me from continuing without production set on all my cities.)

This phase of the game felt really, really slow to me. I never had more than a couple units available and never wanted to move them more than one tile at a time while I slowly hunted down aliens. Also, the combination of view + scrolling on a tilted minimap (Hold right and the view shifts down + right, left and it goes up + left) confused me often, as well as the minor issue where if I barely moved my mouse after left clicking but before releasing the unit didn't select. This made it feel awkward for quite a while until I got used to both things.

My trooper moved a few times without me meaning to. Apparently I'd accidentally clicked him two tiles away when I'd meant for him to only go one. This happened a couple times. Midway through that, I also noticed I could click his current action (Idle, Move, whatever) and it would just kinda click. That was it. Nothing else happened, no indicator that I had selected anything, I couldn't figure out why I could click it.

I explored a couple nearby ruins and earned some credits. This was fortunate because an enemy suddenly popped up next to my city, and I used the credits I'd earned to build a trooper and kill it. My other trooper found and destroyed an alien hive, then got credits for that as well. But he was very weak and I couldn't find a way to heal him, so he soon succumbed to roving aliens. However, I cancelled my colonizer and queued up some troopers because now I knew there were threats out there. This was a big confusion to me, because after I cancelled the colonizer I couldn't find where its partial production had gotten off to. But then I found that the troop built immediately! How did a colonizer production turn into trooper production? Very confusing.

I don't even remember what I was researching, various useful sounding things. Food and minerals to start with because I kept having cities run out of food and be starving and getting messages I was out of minerals (I never did figure out exactly how to fix that), and from there into armors. Soon enough I was rolling around the map with my troopers, had firebats queued to go, and things were going smoothly -- but I never could find time to build a colonizer, dealing with alien hives was keeping me churning out troopers. Since it had taken a little while to get to this point and I had no idea where the enemy AI was or how long the game would be I saved and shut down the game for a bit.

Resumed with load. Discovered my research had cleared and my buildings were gone from my city -- but I did have research progress still. So I re-set my research (Oddly, I could set it to anything and the progress carried over, even though I'd been researching one specific item. Bit of a surprise.) Anyway, I figured the enemy AI would have the same building penalty as I did, so I carried on.

Shortly after, still without finding the enemy AI, I researched Operational Efficiency and crashed. Oops. One reload to verify that's what did it and then I decided to start a new game rather than play from a save with no buildings.

Second game I started much faster than the first, and promptly lost four troopers one after another attacking a nearby hive. It was a bit of a letdown to finally take it and only get a fairly normal 126 credits because it had felt very hard.

After that I carried on upgrading my troopers and eventually building tanks. No more issues with hives, I played it safe and just attacked them with overwhelming force.

Then I encountered the enemy! They gave me a bunch of options, and since my trade was weak (My people were starving!) but my research seemed high (I had lots of things researched by now, I thought) I made a trade pact. So they didn't attack me, or anything. The enemy was zipping around with a speedy machine, and I didn't figure out until my third game that it was using an ATV that had 2 moves per turn -- I thought it was just dipping in and out of fog of war wasting tons of time, when really it was moving very fast.

I realized something at this point: I had no idea what to do to win. Could I win by outproducing? Did I need to declare war and take all their cities? What good is a trade pact in 1v1, one person will always be getting the worse end of that and it doesn't seem like a good idea then. So I had to ask for clarification on that (You win by taking all enemy cities)

So after the trade pact the enemy let me march troopers right up to surround its city, and then I declared war on it and stomped all over it while the tanks I'd just built cleaned up its ATVs. So that was a bit of a letdown as well, but I'm sure will be corrected by more interesting enemy AIs. Guy shouldn't be so trusting, though. Really.

And that's my first impressions! Third game I went almost entirely with ATVs and then into aircraft, and that was also enlightening in its own way. But it mostly lead to a bunch of suggestions and a couple bugs that I'll be posting, so that's for another time and post.

One note: Units apparently have upkeep, even after my third game I have no idea what the upkeep cost for them was, or what impact it was having on me to be constantly short on metal.

Proxy Studios
Proxy Studios
Posts: 1024
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:19 am

Re: First impressions

Post by SephiRok » Thu Aug 16, 2012 10:23 am

That's great! We'll be keeping it in mind and try to address the issues as we further improve Pandora; some of it already with the next update.

Very appreciated and very helpful!
Rok Breulj
Designer and Programmer
Proxy Studios

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