Now that I’ve spent a good 12 hours in OIS and found almost exactly what I was hoping for, it’s time for me to summarize and say goodbye to the active beta - unfortunately my free time is up! @Leigh, I have sent you a summary by mail, including all crash logs and relevant print screens. In addition, I have a few ideas and suggestions but of course I did not want to withhold but sharing my thoughts with the community - so I summarize this here again. Since I did not want to open an extra topic because of that, I allow myself to post here, @Harlequin I hope that’s fine
Basically, I like automated navigation as it is. However, I would personally find it better if this is made possible only by an (buyable) autopilot module and you would have to align without this autopilot the ship itself and bring it to its destination at first. Plot could still be possible, but Engage would not be possible. I tried to play that way, to align the ship and try to “park” it over the destination (station) and found it really fun until… of course I could not dock. Since one cannot plot a course if one is too close to the destination, then one has to have the possibility to obtain a manual landing permit via the com panel (with the ship being auto docked then). In principle, the same as during the tutorial where you park your shuttle over the nav buoy and then press the Jump button. Gameplay wise damage to the navigation could force the player to manually bring the ship to safety if the module was damaged.
B. Objects in space
It should not be possible to move the ship over stellar objects without danger. A certain thread, for example by gravitation, should already exist. So planets could exert a certain attraction if you are too close - should the ship then hit the object it would crash or be crushed (gas giant). This would give even more weight to navigation and route planning. For example, the autopilot might not be able to compensate this, then players would have to first think about the route before they automatically fly from A to B, giving planets and moons on the map more meaning.
It would be extremely helpful if you can either choose where goods are loaded or can reload them later. Often I could not accept a mission because a product was loaded into a rondom cargo bay I would have needed later for another, special commodity.
C. Scenes without function
There are many very well-made rooms on space stations that contribute a lot to the immersion, but otherwise serve no purpose - for example, train stations, medical bays, bars, etc. The bar should serve a special purpose as most players will expect. For example, you could add a bartender to order a drink to “relax a little at the bar”. One possibility would be a very small chance of being approached by someone and being offered a mission (transport, goods, anything). Or nothing happens and the time is fasted forward by a few hours without the player having taken advantage of it. Also, the player could pick up on “rumors” that lead him, for example, to a shipwreck, a lost shipload or something else. In those scenes that have no use, the player should definitely get some feedback. So there are always visible doors that imply a function but have none. A text should appear indicating that you do not want to go there or have no business there. Or maybe a guard who reports this - something like that. It would give the whole scene a much rounder impression and maintain the interest and possibilities for later additions.
D. Moving around
There are scenes where you can actually step into the corridors - the airlock, for example. This one should also be able to enter with ‘key up’ - this, or one should be able to change the scenes also with the mouse. As it is now (sometimes only with mouse, others only with keyboard), it is a little unintuitive, especially at the beginning.
I would welcome a button near the airlock that you could press after closing the airlocks to give the signal “clear to start”. Accompanied by a short ring tone, the ship could then start undocking procedures so you can start navigating right away when you reaching the bridge. Of course, the previous method should also be retained.
You should be punished if you fly around without IFF. Or at least it should cause a few inconveniences. So one could be called by the authorities with the request to identify or the like.
G. Difficulty level
At the beginning you should be allowed to choose between different difficulty levels and one of them should be named ‘a looooooong way to go’. In this mode, the time acceleration should be disabled and the player must get by with a ship that has nothing more to offer than the absolute minimum at the beginning - damaged hull and defective modules included. And of course, the autopilot module should not already be installed. Alternatively, the profits could be slightly higher to account for the higher playtime. You could also restrict access to the jumpgates at the beginning until the player has completed a certain number of missions or brought his ship to a certain level.
The small windows in which you can look outside are very nice, but the background should adapt consistently. If you are docked or just traveling, the background should behave accordingly. In addition, it would certainly be nice if the background also reflects the environment in which you are: above a planet in orbit or in a nebula. A simple coloring or a large texture would be enough to create that little illusion and occasionally make the player press the small window switch.
B. Music / Ambient
The ambience on the ship is very successful, on the stations for a little less. A little background noise, in the bar possibly music, some chatter, something in this direction. For example, when getting out of the ship, the music could be faded down a bit to leave some room for the atmosphere on the station. I personally would reconsider also the audio player. How about if you could hear your own music through the player and the OIS tracks are bound to a certain star system and / or space station each? This would imprint a discrete, individual stamp on each system and station in the sector. Alternatively, you could simply add a “loop button” to the player, repeating the same song again and again for those who want it - or even giving them the option of creating a playlist of their own.
After you have transported a passenger, the room could be dirty until you clean it up. Okay, that of course is absolutely game irrelevant, but hey, Immmmmerrrssssuuunnnn;)
Well, that’s it I think. I will continue to be here and see how the matter develops the days. And should I, but I do not believe, come to a few hours of really free time before the beta ends of sure I will travel to Apollo again