Many of you may remember a little while back that I asked you to complete a survey about what features make an excellent RTS game, and also to add some comments about what features you’d like to see in Infinite Fleet.
Well, the results are in, and I thought it was high time to give you a little analysis about what we found.
The good news is, it seems like most of you like hard sci-fi! We feel that’s a good start considering the game is centered entirely around this setting.
We also received a lot of positive responses around the core features that we are building in INF. In order of awesomeness, your feedback goes as follows:
I was quite surprised that the feedback was a little less exciting for expanding territory. However, it seems that most of the responses suggested that there needed to be a bit more detail on what this means, and many people also seemed concerned that their territory could be lost.
This is some useful insight. It allows us to make sure this feature is balanced. I also felt that territory should be handled very sensitively. For example, in GTA San Andreas, the gang warfare feature was great, I loved it, but it was annoying that I had to keep coming back to defend my gang's territory. This is something we will take into consideration and make sure we handle appropriately so that it’s fun, challenging, and not annoying or repetitive.
The great news is that you guys love the customization aspect! This is something I’m excited about too, and we will make sure you have a lot of choices when building your fleet.
We were happy with these responses as we are aiming for battles to last between 20-30 minutes. It looks like we’re on track.
What we were trying to nail down is the number of choices that players feel comfortable with. There are an enormous amount of features and options that we can give players, but as with any RTS, we need to balance this tightly. The response here is not as telling as we would’ve liked. It seems like some players want to have control, some not so much. At this stage of development, we are working on the balance of features, considering what players should, and should not control, and how many choices players should have. As per this feedback, we can see that we should have options for players who prefer less intense control, and scalable challenge for those that do.
The final decisions here will naturally come from playtesting and making sure the game seems challenging, but the controls are smooth and not overly demanding. This is probably one of the most challenging elements of design for INF, and indeed, one that we will spend a lot of time getting right.
Most of you are social folk! This is good news for MMO fans. For you lone wolves, you can find your little pocket of the galaxy and build yourself up in the shadows.
Kind of a split here! But it seems that it’s mostly about balance. We are going to give you options in INF, but we also want you to have an idea of what’s coming. We all know that if you have hundreds of ships to choose from, it’s going to be a nightmare to decide how you build your fleet, and how you’re going to coop with other players because you’ll have no idea what their ships do. So the general idea at this stage is to give some classes of ships that fulfill general roles (tanks, support, etc.) and have ship models within those classes, giving you wide variety within some simple constraints. And as you know, each of your ships will get stronger as you kit them out and customize them as well.
This was interesting! We asked what modern RTS features you do and don’t like. Here are of the most common responses:
Too much base building (LOL)
Micro intensive (came up a lot!)
MOBA like gameplay
No base building
A massive campaign
Pay to win (this came up a resounding number of times!
Cheap throwaway units that are unimportant
Overpowered hero units
And some of the more interesting/wacky responses:
Outsmarting the enemy, even if he has a stronger army
That the faster you can push buttons, the better you will be
"Deathball". Where you just group a bunch of units into a ball and just attack move across the map.
Exploitable tactics that require little skill to utilize
Something I wish for in RTS games is a multi-task window to help me keep up to date with my vast empire
Terrain being of real use (cover features)
Inability to automate. If I have to construct each city on a colonized planet like Spore imma flip
Most of the responses seem to align with what we are aiming to build. This has been great for our confidence in Infinite Fleet. We are all huge RTS fans here, so we’re glad that you guys mostly agree with us. The main issue we can see here is micromanagement. There is a split between players who love it and hate it. Of course, we can’t please everybody, but it is clear we need to focus on balancing this just right. To give players who live micro all the challenge they need to enjoy the game, but without compromising players who enjoy a slower, more strategic approach.
We got loads of cool responses here! Here are some of the more interesting ones that didn’t come up in the “what RTS features do you like” section:
*For those of you who don’t know, Baumi is one of our game designers and a popular DOTA 2 streamer. Many of our followers are fans and enjoy trolling.
Thank you, everybody, for taking part in the survey. We gained a lot of really useful insight and we’re confident now that we are on the right track to making a game that you guys will absolutely love!
Stay tuned for more updates.
P.S. the survey is still up right here, so if you haven’t completed it, feel free to do so! The more results we get, the better. Thank you!