First posting here. Wanted to say thanks very much for your having put so much effort into EE. I've been using Artemis to sponsor team building/leadership lab exercises for the last two years, and just this last week ran my first two EE events. Those who had played Artemis before definitely liked the upgrade in EE, and those new to starship bridge sim play got their first experience with EE.
I have to say, right off the bat, that the Game Master capabilities are simply awesome. Easy control over all elements in all scripts. Exactly as it should be. And it doubles as a level builder/editor. Wow! Thank you so very much for having put the effort into this!
I created a race scenario through a nebula maze wherein ships on opposite sides had to be the first to reach the only station somewhere in the maze. Of course, there were a plethora of enemies to deal with. The point of the exercise was to use different tactics at different points; sometimes you have to sneak, sometimes run, sometimes fight, and it was important to know when to do different tactics. About 75 active AI entities in the script. All had a great time! 8-)
I hope you don't mind, but I'd like to offer some feedback as someone pretty new to EE (only 3 weeks), and also to recommend a few suggestions.
Things we liked:
a. Auto-location of servers on LAN. Excellent.
b. Simple toggle between full screen or windowed mode. Effortless and just works. Also excellent.
c. Introduction of orbital bodies and wormholes. Uh, yes, please.
d. Very much appreciated the built-in tutorials. Helped get new players up to speed quickly.
a. Love the addition of the data base feature; I actually had a player researching species during game time to give the crew intel on how to deal with their encounters.
b. Love that nebula are a variety of colors.
c. It was a huge and pleasant surprise to see that nebula occlude the area behind them. Huge kudos for implementing this. Now ships can hide and employ advanced tactics. Most excellent.
d. Active, multi-layer scanning is a bonus and requires at least some work to actually accomplish aside from simply pushing a button. Well done.
a. At first we were disappointed that a ship is not able to lock onto an incoming missile to shoot it with ship's beams, but after some discussion, we decided that the defensive tactical shift to forcing the helmsman to actively avoid the missiles was an overall positive change. The defeat of missiles in Artemis was sometimes too easy for the cost/effort of using missiles, and having to dodge them is a lot more fun (and suspenseful!). 8-)
b. Rail gun - (HVLI) - bravo. Great addition. Gotta love a high velocity, rapid fire rail gun.
c. Definitely applaud the more realistic missile firing solution geometry calculations. Well done!
a. Wow. You guys clearly put a lot of thought into this. Kudos.
b. Love the probes and being able to link to Science.
c. HUGE thanks for implementing open texting to other human players. We typically run TeamSpeak in parallel and give this to the "Comms" officer, but having built-in texting is definitely a step up from before.
d. Overall large map capability is great.
e. Being able to set way-points is also great given the large playing area.
a. Intuitive and well laid out. Love being able to simply select a repair crew and tell them where to go to fix a system. Very simple.
b. We did a "Self Destruct" just for fun, and really liked the way you implemented a multi-crew agreement approach! Well done.
6. Game Master
a. Simply awesome. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Observations from running our first scenarios:
1. The game seems to be sensitive to increased wireless network load, or if the wireless network encounters interference.
a. Occasionally, and only when running on WiFi, the server would seize/crash.
b. We ran a variety of scenarios, and clearly it was finicky when we were on the wireless connections. Everything ran beautifully when wired.
c. To compare, we ran Artemis under the same wireless network conditions, and it was much more resilient under the same conditions and seldom crashed. I can give you more details if you're interested. We were running InterMapper as a network health observation tool during the latest event (although we didn't record data, we were actively using it to examine network health during game play).
2. We think there might be a bug regarding main screen controls. If multiple people have the controls available, and if they might be trying to change the view perspective near the same time, it seemed to crash the game. We resorted to letting only one person having main screen controls, and that seemed to take care of the problem.
3. There seems to be a rather large number of freighter type ships available, and the taxonomy of the main player ships seems… well, somewhat befuddled. Perhaps I know someone who might be able to help suggest a better baseline ship taxonomy….
Some initial recommendations/requests from a N00b
1. Please provide a clear indication on each player console screen what ship they are assigned to. When running multiple ships/crews and sometimes having to troubleshoot issues, being able to confirm the assigned ship from the player's screen is helpful.
2. From the GM screen, please consider making it more clear that you are in "create/placement" mode and perhaps what item it was that you chose to create/place.
3. We noted that when a ship's call-sign is reassigned, then it forces all the crew members to go back to re-select their stations. Was this intentional? Please make it possible to change a call-sign without kicking the players from that ship.
4. I really like the addition of being able to have some bodies orbit others. Please consider allowing stations to orbit other bodies (suns, planets, black holes).
5. It's awesome that the GM can control so many aspects of the ships functionality. However, there doesn't seem to be any way to affect the probe count. Please add this.
6. As GM, I would like to be able to zoom out more to see a larger scale map/scenario.
7. As GM, I would like to be able to control the contents of supply drops in the same way that I control ship attributes. I know I can set the supply drop contents via script, but would like the option of modifying contents during game play.
8. Please consider adding a "Flag" object that can be picked up, carried, and dropped by ships. This would be so we could have "capture the flag" scenarios. Please also consider how this would be prevalent on a scan or visual identity of a ship.
I think that's it for now. Thank you again for all the love and effort you've put into EE. We had a great first experience and are looking forward to more. We're already planning out next event in early December.
(aka the Kilted-Klingon)