Thoughts on the game

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

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Lord_Windy
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Thoughts on the game

Post by Lord_Windy » Wed Oct 30, 2013 11:50 am

First off, I do like the game and I'm very happy I bought it. I just had some thoughts and questions on why the game is like it is.

1. It's really odd that every new project requires a new rocket type. It really doesn't make any sense that our space agency would develop a new rocket for every single new project. Wouldn't most of the rockets be able to be used more than once? I haven't done very much research into the space race, but didn't both the USSR and USA space agencies reuse rocket designs? The original Buzz Aldrin's Race to Space certainly allowed you to, as rockets had maximum loads so the Atlas rocket could be used far into the future.

2. The assembly centre doesn't have a use. It would if you got to choose the loadout for the mission, say picking what rocket base to use and any boosters you may need. I guess it's nice looking at a picture of what's going up, but it doesn't really do anything except add another thing for me to click.

3. I don't understand how reliability works. With the rocket plane, you could get a max reliability of about 80 and the majority of my flight crew are at 80+, yet the reliability indicator suggests 50 or so for the plane.

4. Back to the rockets, there are heaps of missions to complete which is excellent. But the fact that you have to research a rocket for each mission really slows it down, especially considering that the gameplay ends in the 70's.

5. No failure art, I want to see my rockets explode when they fail. (Some men just want to see the world burn)

Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the game considerably. There are just some odd design choices.

IainMcNeil
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by IainMcNeil » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:13 pm

There are a number of missions with shared components but yes you do have a lot of rockets to research. Some mission do share components. They all had different specs and abilities which is why they were created historically. We could look at a system that allowed more freedom of selection but we'd have to work out a requirement for each mission and then effect the success chance by the rocket selected with more advanced rockets having lower risk and better performance. That might be too much restructuring for the game but we'll see what other ideas we can come up with.

christophzeller
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by christophzeller » Wed Oct 30, 2013 12:28 pm

IainMcNeil wrote:There are a number of missions with shared components but yes you do have a lot of rockets to research. Some mission do share components. They all had different specs and abilities which is why they were created historically. We could look at a system that allowed more freedom of selection but we'd have to work out a requirement for each mission and then effect the success chance by the rocket selected with more advanced rockets having lower risk and better performance. That might be too much restructuring for the game but we'll see what other ideas we can come up with.
Considering that some of the rockets weren't new designs from scratch (or are related systems), couldn't this problem be offset by some form of R&D bonus for appropriate systems?

Altarotw
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by Altarotw » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:12 pm

My thoughts/whishes on possible changes:
1. Anything moving on space center screen eg. Landing and taking off aircraft, moving truck, module testing by research team
2. Building highlighting when mouse is moving over them.
3. Funds counter can overlap SET text in later stages of game (change funds visualization from 50 000 to 50 k)
4. Dynamic daytime change not by going in or out of the building
5. Construction button and info button made into one “details” button (show’s info screen with option for upgrade)
6. Create info/charts when clicking on funds/set/astronauts/controllers text in main screen
7. Possibility to go directly to manage programs in main screen and when navigating thru mission selection
8. When deciding if to open a program there should be info what components will be required eg. Thor-able rocket and lander
9. There should be automatic closure of finished program (all badges acquired) not only manual one when you’ll get bored with program
10. When flight configuration was successfully lunched then it should give info “completed” on flight configuration choose screen
11. Full HD resolution should be supported
12. When lunching a craft: there should be overall calculated reliability info on every stage/step and as in Baris what is the random seed percentage for this step/stage.
13. Is there a way for adding module variations as in Baris ? ex. You can lunch explorer on a booster or spend more on development and use atlas (but then use atlas for 5 or 6 missions instead of researching for single mission-single rocket)
14. After finishing a mission and being awarded with badge; by clicking on the badge we could get some basic science info to show that it was really important step(eg. Major tasks completion in Mission to Mars)


I know point 13 was already answered but i'm raising a hand in favor too :)

N_Molson
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by N_Molson » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:01 pm

I definitively agree on "Point 13", switching boosters (within some limitations of course) is a great way to test-flight hardware. For example, a Thor-Able rocket should have no problems launching the Explorer satellite, the Proton should be able to launch Pioneer to the Moon or further (if we admit there is an union of Soviet / US space programs), as Zond was much heavier, etc... Would be a pity to miss that IMHO.
Nicolas Escats
Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager Contributor

Nacho84
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by Nacho84 » Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:55 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I have taken notes of all your comments. I'm going to Epsom on Friday for an all-day meeting with Iain, so we'll go through these.

Cheers,
Ignacio Liverotti
Lead Developer of Buzz Aldrin's Space Program Manager

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TC2712
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by TC2712 » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:44 am

Hi,

Bought the game yesterday and would like to add some feedback.

1. As stated before having to research a new booster for each program is clunky and unrealistic - I would propose making launch vehicles seperate progammes from capsules and probes. You could add in the option to keep upgrading the launch vehicle to make it 'man rated' or 'add upper/booster stage' which would require R&D programmes. THis would allow intersting decisions like using EOR moon shot missions with only LEO capable boosters needed but with added launches and complexity or invest in a whole new booster for a direct ascent/LOR mission.*

*I realise this is how BARIS worked but their is no shame in copying this as working out and building for many different options and possible configurations for the various missions was one of the best parts. Also it may make the lovely artwork you guys produced showing the upper stage actions innaccurate but I think gamers will prefer having flexibility.

2. If option 1 is taken up then a meaningful mission hardware assembly stage can added.

3. Please add animations for when things go wrong - also possible some more feedback on what has actually failed for immersion reasons.

4. Please allow me to retire finished programmes.

5. Has to be a better way to assign R&D engineers - please make it possible for me to re-assign engineers directly from the overview.

darthjazno
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by darthjazno » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:43 am

Hi,

I was able to play 4-5 hours yesterday and maxed out everything this evening. Basically an unmanned program.. :) So I'm thinking this is about 1/4 of the missions perhaps? Anyway, hopefully not repeating some of the comments and suggestions above here are mine:

1. I'd like to be able to play as US or Russia. I like being able to get anything but it would also be ok to be limited to one countries hardware. I just couldn't bring myself to launch anything Russian if I launched Explorer 1 first. I'd also like the option for a "race" like our favorite old game BARIS but I understand that's not happening soon.

2. I'd like the ability to skip animations. I'd like more animations as well although I'm sure they are coming.. I think they won't be for everyone but it's not that kind of game. You want 3D, there are other games.. Anyway, looking forward to more, failures, more detail/movement, etc.

3. I'd like the ability to use a building while it's under construction. Unless I've missed something, I can't reassign scientists or make a new mission when the building is under construction during the term.

4. I'd like a little more control during a mission. Now, it's pass/fail. Say I launch a probe to Mars, it fails during orbit insertion. Now I have a failed orbiter mission, but it still provided some science for a flyby or even beyond the moon's orbit. Ok, if the booster blows up, that's pretty much a total loss. If it were a competition, one side will "spin" the achievements of the mission even though they may have been short of the main goal..

Thanks for putting together this game. I'll try and give some more feed back after another game or two. The only issue besides unmanned mercury failing occurred while I had two missions that needed mission controllers assigned. I could assign them to Pioneer 10 but the screen for Mariner 9 showed up on the "news" screen inaccessible.

Thanks again!

Jason

doc99
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by doc99 » Fri Nov 01, 2013 3:59 am

13. Is there a way for adding module variations as in Baris ? ex. You can lunch explorer on a booster or spend more on development and use atlas (but then use atlas for 5 or 6 missions instead of researching for single mission-single rocket)

I think this is a "must have"

jgf1123
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by jgf1123 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 8:49 am

christophzeller wrote:
IainMcNeil wrote:There are a number of missions with shared components but yes you do have a lot of rockets to research. Some mission do share components. They all had different specs and abilities which is why they were created historically. We could look at a system that allowed more freedom of selection but we'd have to work out a requirement for each mission and then effect the success chance by the rocket selected with more advanced rockets having lower risk and better performance. That might be too much restructuring for the game but we'll see what other ideas we can come up with.
Considering that some of the rockets weren't new designs from scratch (or are related systems), couldn't this problem be offset by some form of R&D bonus for appropriate systems?
Now that I looked up some history, yes, NASA did have a lot of different rockets. But I don't think they had to start from scratch with each one. Some technology transfer would be good. Also, as someone who's interested in history, science, and technology, it would be good to read somewhere why a particular rocket is suited for each mission and why that other rocket I just researched isn't.

stile86
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Re: Thoughts on the game

Post by stile86 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:30 am

I've been thinking the same thing.
For example Redstone was developed by the army and Atlas and Titan by the Air Force. NASA had to research adapting them to their orbital / manned role but surely that would be nowhere near as much R&D as say the Saturn V which was developed solely for the space program.

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