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  #101  
Old 02-05-2019, 03:52 PM
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I think the game could potentially spawn its own genre. Just have new games in different environments (in space, in underground tunnels, in a heavily-forested wilderness, etc.).
  #102  
Old 02-05-2019, 03:54 PM
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I think the game could potentially spawn its own genre. Just have new games in different environments (in space, in underground tunnels, in a heavily-forested wilderness, etc.).
How would the genre be defined? Subnautica borrows many elements which are aren't that novel on their own.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:54 PM
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I certainly hope that's the way they go with this. Discovering the world of Subnautica was (and continues to be) a hell of an experience. I'm very excited that I'll get to go through it again almost as soon as I finish off this one.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:58 PM
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How would the genre be defined? Subnautica borrows many elements which are aren't that novel on their own.
Subnautica is a survival game and it isn't all that different on a conceptual level from any of those games that came before it. But unlike any of those games, it's a self-contained experience with a strong narrative. Most importantly, every other survival game I can think of is designed for hours and hours of grinding, whereas Subnautica focuses on exploration. It's also a handcrafted world rather than a procedural one.

Just the other day as I was playing it, all I could think about was how much I wish a game like ARK Survival Evolved could have been this polished.
  #105  
Old 02-05-2019, 04:28 PM
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I agree that the strong story-driven element is a big distinguishing factor from most survival games, which tend to be survival-first, with the story feeling a bit tacked-on, if there's any story at all. They're sandboxes in which someone may decide to tell a story, while Subnautica is telling a story which also allows you to play in a nice sandbox.

Survival games are very hit-or-miss for me. They need either super-flexible crafting and construction, so that I can build crazy custom things, or they need a compelling story. I can't get into "see how long you can survive" (Don't Starve and The Long Dark), or "build a progression of ugly houses while collecting pokesaurs" (ARK), or--worst of all--"build stuff to survive only to have random online jerks trash it all" (also ARK, plus other PvP-heavy survival games).
  #106  
Old 02-05-2019, 05:14 PM
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One of the standouts for me, personally, was this was one of the few indy games that made it, IMHO. You see a ton of games that are early access that just never get finished, or when they are finished they just aren't that good. This one is like Kerbal to me...one of those I got in early, played on and off as they updated all the way up to the final release of the full game, and I loved every minute of it! I haven't played the new standalone game (yet), as it's early access and I want to wait for a bit, but I am definitely all over this new version (already bought it on Steam...want to support the devs on this for sure). It looks really cool, and it's more Subnautica...what more do I need?? Well, ok...would be cool if they had multi-player...
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  #107  
Old 02-06-2019, 08:16 AM
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I think the game could potentially spawn its own genre. Just have new games in different environments (in space, in underground tunnels, in a heavily-forested wilderness, etc.).
For me, and I suspect a lot of people, one of the appealing things about Subnautica is how pretty and colorful it is. The ocean setting allows for brilliant use of every colorm in the rainbow - fish, creatures, plants, everything offers a bazillion colors. That's quite different from a lot of games; the prevailing color choices in amny of them are brown, black, and grey.

A similar game in underground tunnels, or a forest, might be dark and ugly.
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  #108  
Old 02-06-2019, 08:26 AM
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For me, and I suspect a lot of people, one of the appealing things about Subnautica is how pretty and colorful it is. The ocean setting allows for brilliant use of every colorm in the rainbow - fish, creatures, plants, everything offers a bazillion colors. That's quite different from a lot of games; the prevailing color choices in amny of them are brown, black, and grey.

A similar game in underground tunnels, or a forest, might be dark and ugly.
100% agreed. There are games that by all rights I should love, but the color palette is so drab that I can't enjoy them. I'm looking at you, Fallout series. When I play XCom, I customize all my soldiers with bright colors according to class -- green for rangers, blue for specialists, etc. Partly this helps me distinguish who's who in a firefight, but partly it makes the game prettier.

Subnautica's beauty was a major part of the appeal for me. They took something that's already spectacular on earth--coral reefs--and overlaid a coherent alien aesthetic that just took my breath away. Swimming around in the shallows and admiring the various glowy fishes was the most relaxing thing I've ever done in a game.

This could absolutely be transferred to other settings, but if they lost the brilliant palette or the strong aesthetic, they'd be taking away a lot of what I loved about the game.
  #109  
Old 02-06-2019, 09:40 AM
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You could just be creative. Underground caverns lit by glowing stones of various colors, glistening stalactites reflecting the light. Subterranean streams falling from waterfalls into lakes populated with bioluminescent fungi, teeming with glowing colorful fish. Caverns of crystal, stone bridges spanning lava rivers, maybe even shallower tunnels with roots poking through and the occasional beam of sunlight coming through cracks to the surface. It doesn’t have to be all drab browns, grays, and blacks.

I used to snorkel when I lived in Guam and many places were beautiful but nothing was quite as amazing as what you see in Subnautica, being a fantastical alien world. Other environments can be similarly fantastic, just think of the world of Pandora from the movie Avatar.
  #110  
Old 02-06-2019, 09:54 AM
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You could just be creative. Underground caverns lit by glowing stones of various colors, glistening stalactites reflecting the light. Subterranean streams falling from waterfalls into lakes populated with bioluminescent fungi, teeming with glowing colorful fish.
I'd play this game in a heartbeat. And of course you're right - you could also make a space game bright and interesting. It's just not usually the direction they go in; I should love Elder Scrolls games but they're so brown and drab they literally hurt my eyes. I like Fallout but can only play it for so long before it starts to get hard to take. I don't know if there is some technical reason for this, because realism isn't an excuse. The world may not look like Subnautica, but it isn't all brown, either, and if I wanted realism I'd just look out a window.

I am convinced one of the reasons World of Warcraft remains the dominant MMORPG is that it is unapologetically colorful.
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  #111  
Old 02-06-2019, 10:21 PM
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You could just be creative. Underground caverns lit by glowing stones of various colors, glistening stalactites reflecting the light. Subterranean streams falling from waterfalls into lakes populated with bioluminescent fungi, teeming with glowing colorful fish. Caverns of crystal, stone bridges spanning lava rivers, maybe even shallower tunnels with roots poking through and the occasional beam of sunlight coming through cracks to the surface. It doesn’t have to be all drab browns, grays, and blacks.
Yep, and setting such games on alien worlds gives you free rein.
Forests, caves, cities, anything, can have vivid colors, abundant life and different biomes (or something equivalent) every few hundred meters.

That said, a game where you primarily are on land would be a huge risk for UWE.
If I worked there I would recommend either more swimming games and/or something similar like flying around a gas giant.
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Old 02-06-2019, 11:10 PM
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I was thinking the same thing, and their note about the seamoth being usable in water or space makes me think that may be their plan. A game set in orbit of a gas giant, with various stations and moons serving as destinations, would be fantastic.
  #113  
Old 02-07-2019, 08:41 AM
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That's almost what No Man's Sky is, right? It's interesting to contrast these two games.

Both are Explore and Build and Survive games. Both have bases, and tools that let you grab things from nature, and threatening monsters, and hierarchies of vehicles. Both are pretty colorful.

But I loved Subnautica, and I got bored with No Man's Sky (and I only played it once they'd put in the major updates).

The differences:
-Subnautica has a coherent aesthetic. The lack of procedural generation is a feature, not a bug, because every critter that's there belongs there, and the geography can both create mood and shape narrative. The first time you find an entrance to the underground river, it's breathtaking.
-Subnautica makes ecological sense. It's not like I'm some science nerd saying, "The ratio of carnivores to herbivores is WAY OFF HERE GUYS!!!1!" but intuitively it just feels right to have lots of the little critters and a few of the big ones.
-Subnautica's narrative is a lot better, and doesn't feel tacked-on.

If Subnautica-In-Spaaaaace had a lot of the No Man's Sky superficial characteristics, but had a better aethetic and a better narrative and made more intuitive scientific sense, I'd love that game to death.
  #114  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:31 PM
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Thinking further on Subnautica versus other survival games, it occurs to me that there is an interesting mechanical difference to consider: the oxygen meter.

Most survival games have food and water meters. Some have other additional meters, like The Long Dark's cold and fatigue meters. The big mechanical difference between survival meters is the decay rate; water is typically a medium-term decay, food is longer-term, and most other meters are long-term (although they may be variable due to environmental effects).

By contrast, Subnautica's third meter has an extremely short decay, but is much more easily replenished than the others. It's possible to mitigate it in various ways, but there's no way to move it even into the "medium-term" category. It keeps the survival process continually engaged, holding pressure on the player during most tasks, especially early on. The other meters give you 20 or 30 minutes before you have to tend to them; the oxygen meter starts at less than 1 minute, and at its best upgrade gives you less than 4. It provides a mild, but constant, sense of urgency whenever you're out doing things, but leaves you completely alone in your safe spaces, not nagging you while you're crafting, sorting supplies, doing interior design on your base, or whatever.

I wonder how much that contributes to the sense of engagement with Subnautica? The closest parallel I can think of in other games is a grip meter, like in Shadow of the Colossus and Breath of the Wild. Those aren't survival meters, but they provide a similar sense of short-cycle pressure.

What if Atamasama 's hypothetical underground exploration game was heavily vertical, requiring you to climb between safe resting places, and had a grip meter? Would that make it more engaging, or less?
  #115  
Old 02-07-2019, 02:59 PM
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Thinking further on Subnautica versus other survival games, it occurs to me that there is an interesting mechanical difference to consider: the oxygen meter.

Most survival games have food and water meters. Some have other additional meters, like The Long Dark's cold and fatigue meters. The big mechanical difference between survival meters is the decay rate; water is typically a medium-term decay, food is longer-term, and most other meters are long-term (although they may be variable due to environmental effects).

By contrast, Subnautica's third meter has an extremely short decay, but is much more easily replenished than the others. It's possible to mitigate it in various ways, but there's no way to move it even into the "medium-term" category. It keeps the survival process continually engaged, holding pressure on the player during most tasks, especially early on. The other meters give you 20 or 30 minutes before you have to tend to them; the oxygen meter starts at less than 1 minute, and at its best upgrade gives you less than 4. It provides a mild, but constant, sense of urgency whenever you're out doing things, but leaves you completely alone in your safe spaces, not nagging you while you're crafting, sorting supplies, doing interior design on your base, or whatever.

I wonder how much that contributes to the sense of engagement with Subnautica? The closest parallel I can think of in other games is a grip meter, like in Shadow of the Colossus and Breath of the Wild. Those aren't survival meters, but they provide a similar sense of short-cycle pressure.
That's a good insight. It has an immediacy that keeps you focused yet doesn't punish you heavily if you fail. It makes everything you do underwater be on a soft timer.


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What if Atamasama 's hypothetical underground exploration game was heavily vertical, requiring you to climb between safe resting places, and had a grip meter? Would that make it more engaging, or less?
Oxygen Not Included has something like that with un/breathable gases, with carbon dioxide pooling at the bottom of your base and biomes often having toxic gases.
  #116  
Old 02-07-2019, 03:36 PM
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I was thinking along those lines too, having underground gas pockets that are unbreathable. You might also have areas of high/low heat you can only be in for a limited time.
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:35 PM
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Oxygen Not Included has something like that with un/breathable gases, with carbon dioxide pooling at the bottom of your base and biomes often having toxic gases.
Oxygen Not Included is designed to be much more hectic and high-pressure, though, from what I've seen. Plus, of course, it's colony-management, rather than individual survival, so even when you have one dupe safe, others may be (and probably are) getting into trouble. It doesn't really offer the sort of "rest" space that you get in a base or vehicle in Subnautica.

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I was thinking along those lines too, having underground gas pockets that are unbreathable. You might also have areas of high/low heat you can only be in for a limited time.
That might work, but it seems like it would be less universal than the oxygen meter. I'm not sure what else would fit the bill, though. It could be an entirely fantasy element, I suppose, like a pervasive magical effect that you can only resist for so long at a time. Or, on the science fiction front, you might accumulate charge while moving through the outer atmosphere of Babale and Mijin's gas giant, and need to find ways to periodically ground it or attract a lethal discharge from the clouds.
  #118  
Old 02-08-2019, 09:07 AM
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The oxygen meter adding constant urgency to the game is an excellent point. Especially early in the game when you want to explore deep, but have to return all the way to the surface to breathe - no parking the Seamoth or Prawn nearby to refill. Especially when you've actually been snorkeling and had the exact same experience - realizing you got distracted and stayed too long, and really need to breathe, but it's long swim upwards to that precious, precious air.
  #119  
Old 02-08-2019, 10:17 AM
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Since you're crashing on an alien planet anyhow, couldn't the world just have a non breathable atmosphere?
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Old 02-08-2019, 11:21 AM
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If Subnautica-In-Spaaaaace had a lot of the No Man's Sky superficial characteristics, but had a better aethetic and a better narrative and made more intuitive scientific sense, I'd love that game to death.
There's a game that still in early access called Breathedge that's a lot closer to Subnautica than No Man's Sky. The thing that Subnautica does well is provide a narrative structure to the open world survival game, and NMS only puts the most basic framework of one. More importantly, NMS is much more about freedom of movement:don't like the planet you're on? Blast off and go find a better one. Subnautica makes your base and then your boats sanctuaries that you're more or less tethered to. it's odd that those limitations end up making a more compelling experience, but there it is. While Breathedge is far from complete (the gameplay right now only last a couple of hours) when and if they finish it, I think you'll find it a much closer (if goofier) space version of Subnautica.
  #121  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:42 AM
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Subnautica is one of the best games I have played in recent years.

But maybe it's time to talk about some of the negatives?

1. For me, I had to hit the online guides a couple times and was glad I did.
Because I got stuck, and then the solution would be something dumb like I missed some PDA or whatever from a wreck I had already explored.
Or e.g. I thought I had completed everything on the Aurora, but didn't realize the prawn suit was there also.
I know: most people reading this will think I'm lame, so just think of it this way: for idiots like me, it's very easy to get into situations where you have no clue what to do next, much more so than most modern games.

2. I'm in two minds whether it's a feature or a bug: no way of quickly going from location to location. In a way it's good because you do get the explorer feeling when you're far from your base, but on the other hand an awful lot of my "playing" time was just holding W and watching a number go down.

3. Lava levels. For me the levels at the end were somewhat annoying and it was just a drive to complete the game.
(This may be partly because of a bug with the cyclops though: on my machine, in the inactive lava zone and the blood trees biome, if you're in the cyclops the screen is black, and if you turn on the lights it's white, but either way you basically can't see anything.)
  #122  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:49 AM
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My own issue with the game is no interactive and dynamic map. That's a serious flaw, IMHO, and in terms of the game really makes no sense. You can build a magical electric submarine out of a few parts but you can't build a map? Also, I would have liked the resource scanner on the larger sub. These don't have to be something given to you at the beginning...by all means, make us go out and find the plans so we can build it. A minor one but still would be nice is, why can't I make the concentrated food bars? Again, you don't have to just give it to us, make us find it, but for late game they are essential for long exploration missions away from your base. I saved back every one I found for just this, and I was fine, but if I didn't know this was coming and ate the things it would make the final leg of the game much more difficult I think. Nothing sucks as much as finally getting down to where you are wanting to search and running out of food, knowing you'd have a fairly long trek back up unless you found the portal.
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  #123  
Old 02-08-2019, 12:08 PM
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Subnautica is one of the best games I have played in recent years.

But maybe it's time to talk about some of the negatives?

1. For me, I had to hit the online guides a couple times and was glad I did.
Because I got stuck, and then the solution would be something dumb like I missed some PDA or whatever from a wreck I had already explored.
I think the biggest example of this is cave sulfur only being found in the sulfur plants after a Crashfish has tried to kill you. Even Yahtzhee pointed out that he spent days trying to find it, because he'd always swim as far and fast as possible from a sulfur plant.

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A minor one but still would be nice is, why can't I make the concentrated food bars? Again, you don't have to just give it to us, make us find it, but for late game they are essential for long exploration missions away from your base. I saved back every one I found for just this, and I was fine, but if I didn't know this was coming and ate the things it would make the final leg of the game much more difficult I think. Nothing sucks as much as finally getting down to where you are wanting to search and running out of food, knowing you'd have a fairly long trek back up unless you found the portal.
Salt cured Reginalds give you about 2/3 of the food of a Nutrient Block. And if you plant a few Bulbo trees and Marblemelons on your sub, you've got nearly infinite food & water available, though you do have return to the sub for it.
  #124  
Old 02-08-2019, 12:12 PM
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I do both of those things as well as a few more. Still would be nice to have the capability. As with the others I mentioned, it's minor...but it would add to my own enjoyment of the game. YMMV of course.
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  #125  
Old 02-08-2019, 12:48 PM
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Oh yeah, I'm all for nitpicking games, just didn't know if you knew about the planting food on your sub trick.

My nitpick - the scanner room is nearly useless for no good reason. They give you the HUD chip, so you can find the resources while you're swimming around, but all it give you is a target marker, with no range or depth data whatsoever. Which makes it impossible to figure out where the closest one of whatever you're searching for is, or if it's actually in a cave below you, etc. The scanner room itself clearly can detect the range, since it puts the resource as a point on the topo map it generates, why can't it just send that data to you?
  #126  
Old 02-08-2019, 12:55 PM
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You can figure out which fragments on the scanner are closest by the way that the icon changes as you approach it. I can't actually remember how it works without firing up the game, but I had no problem heading towards the closest items the scanner was pointing out. You can also judge by parallax - closer objects will change their bearing more as you move than further ones.

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  #127  
Old 02-08-2019, 12:59 PM
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I did the parallax trick, but it really only works if you're already close to something. Plus if you've got a large field of targets, it can be hard to keep track of the one you're following when the screen is cluttered with 2 dozen targets that are actually 300m away.
I don't know if they've changed it, but the icon doesn't change at all whether the target is 1m away or at the extreme range of the scanner room.

Bonus thing I liked about the scanner room - the stalkers constantly stealing the remote cameras.

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  #128  
Old 02-08-2019, 01:32 PM
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I did the parallax trick, but it really only works if you're already close to something. Plus if you've got a large field of targets, it can be hard to keep track of the one you're following when the screen is cluttered with 2 dozen targets that are actually 300m away.
I don't know if they've changed it, but the icon doesn't change at all whether the target is 1m away or at the extreme range of the scanner room.

Bonus thing I liked about the scanner room - the stalkers constantly stealing the remote cameras.
I'm of two minds whether adding range indicators to the resource targets would be helpful. On the one hand, it would obviously be nice to have that information at a glance, rather than having to infer it. On the other hand, as you note, the display already gets very busy with large numbers of resources, and a bunch of numbers might just make it harder to read. (On the gripping hand, adding dozens of constantly updating numbers to the display might have also caused a performance hit.)

I actually liked the stalkers stealing the cameras. Not only is it show environmental consistency, but it was a funny little WTF moment the first time I activated a cam and found it swimming away. (It didn't hurt that I kind of needed stalker teeth at the time, and it led me right to some.)
  #129  
Old 02-08-2019, 01:33 PM
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Bonus thing I liked about the scanner room - the stalkers constantly stealing the remote cameras.
So THAT'S what that is!

I noticed that after demolishing the scanner station I put in Safe Shallows (to test how the room works) i was left with a camera icon on my screen. I haven't gone to retrieve it yet, but that's what must have happened -- a stalker stole it!
  #130  
Old 02-08-2019, 01:36 PM
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Having the color of the scanner outline change would be a non-cluttered solution to make the distance more clear. Far objects could be blue, and the closer an object is the redder it gets. But I never have trouble with it, excepting sometimes it'll send you to resources that are on the other side of a cave wall and the entrance isn't close.

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  #131  
Old 02-08-2019, 02:15 PM
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I'm of two minds whether adding range indicators to the resource targets would be helpful. On the one hand, it would obviously be nice to have that information at a glance, rather than having to infer it. On the other hand, as you note, the display already gets very busy with large numbers of resources, and a bunch of numbers might just make it harder to read. (On the gripping hand, adding dozens of constantly updating numbers to the display might have also caused a performance hit.)

I actually liked the stalkers stealing the cameras. Not only is it show environmental consistency, but it was a funny little WTF moment the first time I activated a cam and found it swimming away. (It didn't hurt that I kind of needed stalker teeth at the time, and it led me right to some.)
They could have made it that only the 3 or 5 closest resources show up on the HUD. Would have fixed the clutter & the perfomance issue.

I had a stalker grab a camera while I was using it. Didn't help that my first base was right next to a huge Kelp Forest, so it was teeming with stalkers. But it definitely added to the immersion & consistency of the game, since stalkers collect metal scraps anyway.

ETA: Did anyone else hold their breath whenever you were racing towards air and not sure you'd make it?

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  #132  
Old 02-08-2019, 02:21 PM
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Well, I cranked up Below Zero last night, and I feel it's off to a good start. There's an interesting hook and some fun characterization, and it's still got the Subnautica feel to it. I'm probably already driving the devs up the wall with reports, although I've only managed to severely break the game once in the first hour. (That's really pretty good, especially for early access. Breaking and fixing software is what I do, and breaking games is just emergent gameplay for me.)

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Originally Posted by SenorBeef View Post
Having the color of the scanner outline change would be a non-cluttered solution to make the distance more clear. Far objects could be blue, and the closer an object is the redder it gets.
That would be a good solution, visually, but I would still be concerned about the performance hit.

I never actually used my scanner room much. I did enough resource farming during early access, before the scanners were functional, that I already knew where to find most things. I mostly built the room to play with, and because it looked cool on my base; I think the only practical use I made of it was finding stalker teeth one time.

On the general gripes front: I agree that the lack of a native, in-game map is jarring. Possible implementation: Require the player to acquire/fabricate a mapping chip for the suit and place at least one beacon in addition to their life pod. Placing an additional beacon adds depth information. A mapping upgrade for the scanner room adds resources to the map.

From the developer standpoint, I can see why they would be hesitant about including a map, though. The verticality of the game environment makes it difficult to represent in a map. They may have decided they didn't have the resources to implement a map that lived up to the visuals of the game. Obviously, we've seen player-made maps, and they can be quite useful--but if they were native to the game, I imagine that we'd be here complaining about how crude they are.
  #133  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:18 PM
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From the developer standpoint, I can see why they would be hesitant about including a map, though. The verticality of the game environment makes it difficult to represent in a map. They may have decided they didn't have the resources to implement a map that lived up to the visuals of the game. Obviously, we've seen player-made maps, and they can be quite useful--but if they were native to the game, I imagine that we'd be here complaining about how crude they are.
I would prefer a crude map to a complex map, though. I'm imagining something like this:

Let's say the game world is 10 x 10 x 3 kilometers. Let's say you can see about 100 m in any direction during most of the game.

The map could simply be a 50 x 50 x 15 rectangular prism made up of cubes. Each cube would represent a cube 200 m on each side.

Cubes you haven't visited yet wouldn't show up on the map. Cubes you've explored would show up with some sort of color code: maybe green for land, cyan for open water, royal blue for water/seabed, and red for underground, or something like that.

The cube you're in would flash.

You could put a note on a cube, which would turn it yellow: "Ruin/explored" or "Ruin/unexplored."

When you have active beacons, they could slowly pulse, or change from their default color to white, or something.

In other words, I'm imagining a mostly abstract map. You don't need a map that shows every ridge and cave, and that level of information would be overwhelming anyway. You want a map that helps you remember where things are, know where you've been and where you still need to explore, and that lets you make notes.

On a similar note, did others use the cheeseball strategy of using barely-started buildings as landmarks? Getting to the underground river was tricky and required following a specific, unclear path; so I started building a lot of corridors, about 100 or so meters apart, to leave a "breadcrumb" trail to get there. Buildings glow and are high-visibility before they're completed, so it was really easy to see where I'd put them.

I could've used beacons, but those are kind of a pain in the butt to use, and I justified my cheese by thinking of them as HUD signals.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 02-08-2019 at 03:18 PM.
  #134  
Old 02-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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In other words, I'm imagining a mostly abstract map. You don't need a map that shows every ridge and cave, and that level of information would be overwhelming anyway. You want a map that helps you remember where things are, know where you've been and where you still need to explore, and that lets you make notes.
By "verticality", I didn't mean detailed topography, really. The game takes place at a lot of different depths, connected by routes that may be sheer vertical drops or convoluted tunnels. A single-layer map would struggle to represent that; you'd likely get something like the player-made maps with pins marked "Cave", or "Lost River Entrance", or whatever. That would be useful, of course, but I think it would fall short in terms of the game's aesthetic. I think they could have made a good-looking map along those lines, and I wish they had, but I suspect it came down to resource prioritization.

I'd really, really like to see one in Below Zero, though. It's harder to justify the lack in the new scenario.

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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
On a similar note, did others use the cheeseball strategy of using barely-started buildings as landmarks? Getting to the underground river was tricky and required following a specific, unclear path; so I started building a lot of corridors, about 100 or so meters apart, to leave a "breadcrumb" trail to get there. Buildings glow and are high-visibility before they're completed, so it was really easy to see where I'd put them.

I could've used beacons, but those are kind of a pain in the butt to use, and I justified my cheese by thinking of them as HUD signals.
I just used beacons, since I didn't find them all that awkward. I kept a few in the locker nearest the hatch, and at each intersection, I'd grab one, pop out of the Cyclops and place it. (I made my Cyclops into a full mobile base and took it everywhere, so I had storage, fabricator, and everything handy.)
  #135  
Old 02-08-2019, 04:57 PM
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I just used beacons, since I didn't find them all that awkward. I kept a few in the locker nearest the hatch, and at each intersection, I'd grab one, pop out of the Cyclops and place it. (I made my Cyclops into a full mobile base and took it everywhere, so I had storage, fabricator, and everything handy.)
The awkward thing about them was the turning them on and off. If you leave them all on, you have a super-cluttered screen. If you only want to turn on the ones that lead to a particular place, it's clunky to go to that screen to turn them on and off, and also to make sure they're labeled systematically. Of course you can have a limited number of them, but I like having a lot of breadcrumbs in appropriate places.

Basically, I wanted beacons that would only show up when I got within visual range. The half-built buildings worked perfectly that way.
  #136  
Old 02-08-2019, 05:07 PM
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I recently got a PRAWN suit drill arm, and I'm pretty excited to finally finish off the Cyclops blueprints too -- just one short. I feel like I'm about to unlock a whole new part of the game -- one where I'm not quite so strapped for resources.
  #137  
Old 02-08-2019, 05:50 PM
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The awkward thing about them was the turning them on and off. If you leave them all on, you have a super-cluttered screen. If you only want to turn on the ones that lead to a particular place, it's clunky to go to that screen to turn them on and off, and also to make sure they're labeled systematically. Of course you can have a limited number of them, but I like having a lot of breadcrumbs in appropriate places.
Did you ever try the pathfinder tool? (Once again, by the time it was available, I pretty much knew where things were.)
  #138  
Old 02-08-2019, 10:48 PM
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My nitpick - the scanner room is nearly useless for no good reason. They give you the HUD chip, so you can find the resources while you're swimming around, but all it give you is a target marker, with no range or depth data whatsoever. Which makes it impossible to figure out where the closest one of whatever you're searching for is, or if it's actually in a cave below you, etc. The scanner room itself clearly can detect the range, since it puts the resource as a point on the topo map it generates, why can't it just send that data to you?
Yep, it's not that big an issue but when I went on Nexus mods and saw a mod that would make the blips size by distance, it was the first one I installed. Forget better visuals, forget more upgrades for the subs, that one.
  #139  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:09 PM
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Just finished the game.
SPOILER:
Screw Alterra. I assume filling the Neptune's (aka GCU Of Course I Still Love You (abbreviated)) lockers with diamonds & uranite won't pay off my bill?
  #140  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:33 PM
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Did you ever try the pathfinder tool? (Once again, by the time it was available, I pretty much knew where things were.)
Huh. I think I played very briefly with it at some point but didn't quite get why it'd be useful. Reading the Wiki description, it sounds like it was what I was looking for, only never realized existed. Oops! When I inevitably replay Subnautica, I'll totally give it a try.
  #141  
Old 02-08-2019, 11:48 PM
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Just finished the game.
Maybe you need to work on your business model?
  #142  
Old 02-09-2019, 12:36 AM
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Just finished the game.
SPOILER:
Screw Alterra. I assume filling the Neptune's (aka GCU Of Course I Still Love You (abbreviated)) lockers with diamonds & uranite won't pay off my bill?
SPOILER:
I imagine the Mongolian companies would be happy to extend landing rights to the godfather of an entire race of giant alien telepaths, who also has blueprints for revolutionary new power technology (among other things).
  #143  
Old 02-09-2019, 12:47 AM
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Is it normal to die a LOT or do I just suck?
  #144  
Old 02-09-2019, 01:27 AM
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Is it normal to die a LOT or do I just suck?
It depends on how you play, really. I tend to be cautious* and methodical, and I over-prepare for everything in survival games. For example, with every vehicle in Subnautica, I stocked an extra food ration, a couple of water bottles, and a medkit in whatever onboard storage they had. I never went anywhere without supplies and medkits, and I never pushed my oxygen limits. Consequently, I didn't die much.

If you decide to push faster, you inevitably take greater risks.

*Cautious in terms of preparation. Once I feel prepared, I try the crazy stuff, like reaper rodeo.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:38 AM
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Shit - I'm just starting out and I die of thirst in less than an hour.
  #146  
Old 02-09-2019, 01:48 AM
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Shit - I'm just starting out and I die of thirst in less than an hour.
Are you catching and processing bladderfish and stashing the water in your lifepod storage? Bladderfish are the staple water source early on. They're the flat, pinkish, translucent ones. Eat peepers and boomerangs, and make bladderfish into water.

You can also whack the big coral tubes with a knife to get samples, and combine those with salt to make disinfected water, IIRC, but salt is harder to find than bladderfish when you're just starting. Later on, you can find blueprints for a water filtration machine to build in your base. It takes lots of power, but it will keep you stocked on water.
  #147  
Old 02-09-2019, 09:14 AM
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I remember this being another Wiki issue: while you could dig around to figure out what recipes were important for making water (and a few other things), it wasn't very intuitive, and eventually I went to a Wiki to figure out what to do.

A "cookbook" function would be helpful: if you want this end-product, here are the raw products you'll need, and here's how you'll need to combine them.
  #148  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:04 AM
TimeWinder TimeWinder is offline
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Shit - I'm just starting out and I die of thirst in less than an hour.
You can also turn off hunger/thirst, which (having tried it both ways) I think gets rid of what's basically the only tedious part of the game.
  #149  
Old 02-09-2019, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Left Hand of Dorkness View Post
I remember this being another Wiki issue: while you could dig around to figure out what recipes were important for making water (and a few other things), it wasn't very intuitive, and eventually I went to a Wiki to figure out what to do.

A "cookbook" function would be helpful: if you want this end-product, here are the raw products you'll need, and here's how you'll need to combine them.
How do you mean, exactly? If you go to the fabricator, there's a fork-and-spoon icon labeled "Sustenance". Clicking it shows you a water-drop icon, and clicking that shows you every way you've unlocked to make drinking water. You can get the same info in the PDA by going to the Blueprints tab and scrolling down to the water section. (I'll grant that the wrench icon for the Blueprints tab doesn't make it the most intuitive place to look for food and water, but it makes sense in context.)

Are you talking about items that require multi-stage crafting? Like making a survival knife requires silicone and titanium, but you have to click or scroll to the basic materials section to find that silicone requires creepvine seed clusters? I can agree with that--a "shopping list" of raw materials in the more complex blueprints might not be a bad idea. For example, mousing over the rebreather shows the components (fiber mesh and a wiring kit); it could also extend a small bubble off to the side that, when moused over, would bring up a list: "Raw Materials: Creepvine Sample x 2, Silver Ore x 2". Maybe you could click on the item in the Blueprints tab to bring up the same list. The possibility that you may not have the blueprints for some of the components in advanced items could complicate it--there would have to be a flag that makes it show "Unknown materials" for those. (I don't recall any items in Subnautica that would require that, but there could be in Below Zero, and I might be forgetting something in the base game.)

I could write it up as a suggestion in the Below Zero feedback, if nothing else. This would be an opportunity for quality of life enhancements.
  #150  
Old 02-10-2019, 01:13 PM
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How do you mean, exactly? If you go to the fabricator, there's a fork-and-spoon icon labeled "Sustenance". Clicking it shows you a water-drop icon, and clicking that shows you every way you've unlocked to make drinking water. You can get the same info in the PDA by going to the Blueprints tab and scrolling down to the water section. (I'll grant that the wrench icon for the Blueprints tab doesn't make it the most intuitive place to look for food and water, but it makes sense in context.)

Are you talking about items that require multi-stage crafting? Like making a survival knife requires silicone and titanium, but you have to click or scroll to the basic materials section to find that silicone requires creepvine seed clusters? I can agree with that--a "shopping list" of raw materials in the more complex blueprints might not be a bad idea. For example, mousing over the rebreather shows the components (fiber mesh and a wiring kit); it could also extend a small bubble off to the side that, when moused over, would bring up a list: "Raw Materials: Creepvine Sample x 2, Silver Ore x 2". Maybe you could click on the item in the Blueprints tab to bring up the same list. The possibility that you may not have the blueprints for some of the components in advanced items could complicate it--there would have to be a flag that makes it show "Unknown materials" for those. (I don't recall any items in Subnautica that would require that, but there could be in Below Zero, and I might be forgetting something in the base game.)
I think what you're describing would solve the problem I had. I'm trying to remember.

It took me awhile to figure out how to make water with bleach, I think. Or maybe it was the computer chip. Looking at the Wiki, it seems pretty obvious what to do. Maybe my confusion was in an early access/beta version of the game? Or maybe I'm a goober. The problem definitely involved figuring out which kind of coral I needed to harvest.

In any case, I remember getting irritated at not having the right coral, checking out a Wiki, and immediately knowing what I needed to do. In a crafting game, it should be at least as easy to understand the recipes in-game as it is to understand them with a Wiki.

Last edited by Left Hand of Dorkness; 02-10-2019 at 01:14 PM.
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