Minor Tweaks: Visible voice chat indicator, Character emotes, Stalker encounter tweak

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Minor Tweaks: Visible voice chat indicator, Character emotes, Stalker encounter tweak

Post by Muckknuckle » Wed Jan 30, 2019 2:26 am


First I want to say that I've been following the development of Pulsar since 2015 and I've gotta say that this is one of the best-handled development processes I've seen, up there with the Factorio guys. I've been consistently impressed by both the game itself and the passion you guys clearly have for it.

Secondly I understand that the game is in its final stages so I hope nothing I'm suggesting is too big.

The first thing is a little icon next to someone's name in the top-left of the UI when they use voice chat. Most games do this for a reason: it helps to connect the voice to the person, and recognizing someone's voice goes a long way toward thinking of them as a crewmate rather than a random person in online matchmaking.

The second suggestion is similar in the vein of helping people express themselves to their crewmates. Characters in Pulsar move pretty stiffly without much character. The most you can do to express yourself is shoot randomly, or spray the fire extinguisher, or jet around; and indeed in every game I've been in people shoot their friends randomly, or spray them with the fire extinguisher, just to interact with them in some way. It's a social game and it's not much fun if you can't have silly little moments between big chunks of game play, people are trying to do it right now but don't have many tools to do so.

In that vein, some way to interact with your crewmates would make things a lot more social and fun. I guess when you hear 'emote' your mind might jump to Fortnite or Team Fortress 2, but I'm thinking more like Mount and Blade Napoleonic Wars. That game has fun core gameplay, but what puts it over the edge is the social aspect; specifically how much fun it is to just mess around in the in-between moments. If you haven't played that game go ahead and watch that video to see what I mean. In addition to movement, weapons, and items, players in M&B:NW can also press C to scream a battlecry, press P to throw up their hands and scream they surrender, or spam the Z button repeatedly to crouch and uncrouch. Furthermore, the shooting, melee, and especially block animations have long wind-ups which can be cancelled for comedic effect. So while you and your comrades are waiting behind the barricade for the next wave of Prussians to assault, you have a wide degree of freedom in how you pass the time between intense gameplay moments. Similarly, it would be great to have more ways to express yourself through your character to your friends in Pulsar.

The third suggestion I have is very minor. The encounter with the Stalker in the crashed Roland was absolutely terrifying, which is great! It's a very well-designed monster, and the little details like how your flashlight flickers when it's about to attack make it even scarier. But two things killed the fear and tension; the first was that it attacked us immediately after we went through the teleporter. If it waited a bit for players to make their way into the ship it would be scarier, as you'd be stuck in there with a monster and would need to work together to survive. Second, once we killed it the mission objective completed, and we knew that there was nothing else scary in that ship. That killed the tension and made the rest of the mission a boring search through a dark, bland, and empty ship. My suggested fix would be to uncouple it from the mission objective, or make killing it an objective that the robot outside gives you. Or even have it respawn after a while! That way even after you kill the monster the tension is still there and the search through the ship still shakes your nerves.

Thanks for reading all this!

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Re: Minor Tweaks: Visible voice chat indicator, Character emotes, Stalker encounter tweak

Post by Edinstein » Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:14 pm

Thank you for the kind words and suggestions! We're looking into adding a voice chat indicator. As for character emotes, it would be really cool and it's something we'd love to add, but it's not on the agenda at the moment. Thanks for the feedback on the stalker encounter! We can look into it when we have a spare moment. It's an old mission, and the stalker is a new addition, so it's probably worth another pass.

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