Smashing game, exploration and mapmaking have been my main occupations in computer gaming ever since "Adventure". I love the idea of being a teleoperator for an interstellar planet rover, and that on its own would have drawn me to this.
Below are some comments and thoughts from my experience so far.
* Is it possible to improve the contrast and legibility of the distance/direction display when moving the rover? I can *just* see the display, but it is white on a very pale grey background, and my friend can't see it at all. It's important because a move of 0 m still gets you another photo-opportunity, allowing timelapse photos from a single position.
* I would like the ability to hide old track info and photo locations on the map. Some places are now overrun with little grey dots. A way to limit the track/photo display by date would be best.
[spoiler]After you get a new rover, your profile still shows the old one.[/spoiler]
* It would be good to have the ability to add a tag icon or notes to your map for places to go back to and views that deserve further exploration. At present I'm assembling my own map for my annotations, from the squares I've defuzzed, but it is time-consuming.
* The limit of three tags per photo is occasionally very frustrating.
Giving the player more to do:
[spoiler]To make it more hands-on, how about leaving it up to the player to arrange the sounds in the right order? The symbols are there on the monument so it does not require any musical ability (the traditional source of complaint about sound-based puzzles)[/spoiler]
Astronomical error: well, astrophysical I suppose -
[spoiler]There are two moons but no tidal variation in sea level at all. This is really not possible.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]Areas of sand, for instance on the isthmus where the first rover is lost, show ripples that are characteristic of water having flowed over it.[/spoiler]
Weather With You
[spoiler]There is no precipitation of any kind, rain, hail, sleet, snow, shower of frogs - you get the picture. Rain is one of the sources of erosion, and erosion must be taking place as we have sand and soil, not to mention stones, rocks and boulders.
Sort of answered by Rob here
Rob - Re: Stesen's thread of suggestions
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2013, 05:29:06 PM »
Like many deserts, we suspect that this desert has a wet season and a dry season. Unlike most deserts, the timing of this one's wet season my depend on available graphics programmer hours.
Misty Mountain Hop
[spoiler]Seen from afar at night, there seems to be mist over the sandy isthmus. I thought this might be water, or some kind of fluid flowing down from the main island, but having camped out on the sand for several nights, there is nothing to see close-up.[/spoiler]
Sands of Time
[spoiler]I have found at least one sand mound, that has been formed by some outside agency. A turtle-analog burying eggs? A grave? A creature undergoing metamorphosis? No IR signature and no change in state over several days of observation. I think I found another one, but so far have only a night shot of it and not from close up. It's on the slate for further investigation.[/spoiler]
[spoiler]No tracks or trails, not even from the rover
[spoiler]No dung, and no nest building by animals.[/spoiler]
I'll Be Seeing You
[spoiler]Things that glow are generally terrible at being light-sensors as their intrinsic glow will wash out any incoming light. Cat's eyes (for instance) glow only by reflection, (the reflective layer in the retina is to improve night vision). Could the glow be associated with the sensors but not actually from them, like a glowing "eyebrow" or whatever?[/spoiler]
* There are a lot of dikes and I can't help feeling they were put there to prevent the rover having a clear field of view some of the time.
Really good remote routefinding and terrain navigation
[spoiler]The "tethering algorithms" represented by the red boundaries make very little sense when compared to the ground features themselves. Frequently the rover will be on a steep rocky slope, halfway between shore and summit, where the terrain is most inhospitable. In other places, comparatively easier ground is forbidden. It would make more sense to have the boundaries at or near the top of such shoreline slopes.[/spoiler]
Dates are nice, and often come from deserts:
* The downloaded hi-res pics have filenames based on the date and time they were taken. That make them difficult to match up to the server-based pics, which are dated "x hours/days ago".
Sufficiently Advanced Technology:
* It would be nice to know more about the planet and the system (planet and moon orbital periods and inclinations, location of Artocos island on the planet e.g. how close to the equator, rough sizes and locations of other landmasses etc etc.) All of this must be available to XRI who managed to put a lander down first time at a distance of ten light years or so.
SF story reminiscence 1:
[spoiler]So how did XRI manage this interstellar hole - in - one? Assistance from Outsiders?[/spoiler]