Harbinger PC Early Access Feedback


Great to hear the crashing issues have been resolved! Will keep tweaking and fixing. We will see what new features we will have time to add before launch.


Had an issue where in an idle system, after battle, three of my fighters got confused, leaving formation to flutter around a random point in the map. Minor, cosmetic out-of-battle issue, haven't observed it again. (Or, if it occurred, didn't notice.)

Zoom is fixed in all ways, to verying degrees. Sensetivity is just right, and the adjustability is a bonus. The respect for the cursor position feels a little off - the screen nudges in that direction a moment AFTER the zoom happens, rather than zooming on that point, so the screen is still drifting a little when you stop zooming. This may be why the final screen position is a slightly off from the mouse cursor on big zooms. To test this, set a movement point, put your cursor on it, and zoom all the way in with one fast roll of the mousewheel - your final camera position is always a little closer to where the screen was centered before you zoomed. I will specify that I was careful to avoid the furthest zooms to test this, where the camera always remains centered.

When clicking the 'repair' icon by a ship on the list on the left of the screen, the 'repair' icon doesn't gray out when it's fixed. The 'needs repair' icon on the actual ship also doesn't go away.

Full use of all common keys is getting closer. I still want to left-click on an enemy to bring up a targeting wheel for all ships.

Would it be too much trouble on this constrained timeline to add an 'all fighters' button to the wheel that would automatically assign all fighters to attack and turn all fighter icons green to indicate their assignment?

Formations are behaving more rationally, though I don't understand their logic precisely. They seem to align on their final destination when close to the final destination, and also further from the flagship, as well as doing less turn-and-burning. It's not perfect in terms of aligning multiple ships' point defense, but the PC has manual control of individual ships, so this isn't as critical as it is for mobile.

For quick movement, the option to click a ship and drag a movement point out of the ship, then drop it (like you now can click and drag movement points) might be useful, especially in mobile where swiping from a ship to a destination would be a very natural gesture. This would make it easy for power users to issue quick move orders without multiple actions

Is it possible to use the engineering diagram of the ship in your list of ships to the left? When you first open engineering, you see the actual ship with weapon icons on it, which then fades out to an outline with a grid inside it, with weapon icons on it. This first image, the actual ship with weapon icons on it might help you differentiate your ships by sight more easily, especially when you have multiple identical ships.


Had a suggestion. I like to hunt for my food, (figuratively speaking,) so getting my weapons from the enemy is awesome. So rather than a mission that gives you a gun as a reward, is it possible to add a mission that locates a ship with higher-quality weapons, that you can try to kill for their guns with a somewhat increased chance of weapon drops?

I know the engine doesn't seem to behave in a way to suggest that drop chances can be easily modified, but I thought I would ask.


In the wanderer's story pane - "Time has shaped us ruthless . . . " Time has shaped us ruthlessly. Or ruthlessly shaped us, which requires fewer commas in a three-comma sentence.

Also, fall prey, not pray. Pray is for the religious sense.

In the mission pane, "Find the Wanderers mothership." Needs an apostrophe. The Wanderer's mothership. Or if the name of their race is "Wanderers" even in the singular, perhaps the Wanderers' mothership. (Style guides disagree there.)

"May your upcoming battles be Victorius!" Victorious.


Mouse cursor totally dissappeared while bandbox selecting ships to issue a repair order. Opened various menus to see if it would re-instantiate, no dice. Solved by closing and reopening the app.


@Lurkily: maybe they mean that the time has made them ruthless..


Really liking the updates, thanks!
A couple notes:

Currently when I use primary mouse button to grab empty screen and drag I'm trying to drag the camera window. I can see where the value would be for drag-selecting to control multiple ships in a fleet, but with only 3 ships it hasn't been something I've tried to do. Certainly Shift-select or Shift-# to add ships to the currently controlled group seems like a more useful way to deal with selecting 2 of the 3 ships I can control.

Is it possible to add a mini-map to the screen in the PC? something that shows an overview of the entire zone your in, where you can click to jump the camera to that point? Then you could flash locations on that when you wanted to highlight something rather than jumping away from the current tactical screen.

A text window to note current quests, current zone objects and tactical objectives, and have high command badgering us (assigning minor objectives or complaining about something) would be another use of screen real estate in a PC game. I have a fairly high-res 15" screen in front of me, I occasionally want that much space for tactical control, but not often.

Confirmation dialog windows should have keyboard response, similar to how windows "OK / Cancel" dialog windows response to arrow keys to select, space or enter to activate, escape to cancel.

It would be neat if I could assign roles to small craft by wing:
Anti-Fighter Patrol
Anti-Missile patrol
Ship attacks

Having ship controls come up next to a selected ship would be useful.

If I have a ship selected and type 'I' to open the inventory I should open that ships inventory (if I have multiple ships selected then the ship with the lowest # that I have selected should open).
It would be nice to manage inventory from the formation screen, also to know where the ship I'm currently managing inventory for is in formation.


Noncom, that's what "Time has shaped us ruthlessly" means. Well, not the time, per se, but the events occurring in that time. I can't think of any meaning that would make "Time has shaped us ruthless" gramatically correct.

Michael - good point about the pan. That is a pan mechanic more seen in mobile strategy, less so in PC strategy. But with a mobile-dominated gaming market growing up day by day, I can see how a click-drag pan may be a better use of click-drag, with gamers used to swipe-pans growing into more sophisticated games (hence, taking mroe interest in strategy) by the day.

Remember, though, you usually have two mouse buttons available,and often three. Most players will want to use those buttons as much as possible - they're literally at their fingertips. Without confusing a player, we should be granting the player as much control as possible.

My ideal control schemes always involve total control without moving my hands - this means that left click, right click, left click-drag, right click-drag, and mousewheel, all have to have function during battle, regardless of circumstances like not having ships selected. (Middle mouse is handy, maybe, but being on the wheel many gamers ignore those functions because it messes with their bearings when they mis-zoom, and mose mice use the mousewheel to middle-click.)

Shift- and Control- commands should be avoided if possible - or at least, be secondary to unmodified keyboard and mouse commands. From my time working on a couple alphas with Knuckle Cracker, I learned that most gamers don't use them, and unless the game demands it, a large percentage of players won't realize they exist.

Since you have a small fleet, there are a small number of possible groupings. If you made a different grouping for every single possible combination of three ships, you only have seven combinations. (1, 1/2, 1/2/3, 1/3, 2, 2/3, 3.) Putting four or five numbered buttons on the ship readout on the left, and clicking those to assign ships to different possible teams that are selected with numbers 1-5 should provide control over grouping that's comprehensive and visible to all gamers, and CTRL-# or SHIFT-# to assign a group can be a method secondary to that.

The unfortunate truth is, though, I don't care a lot about groupings. That's quite important in a game that rewards skilled play, but Battlestation is a game that rewards planning more than skill, in my opinion. Movement is so slow and damage so swift (once you're well-equipped) that quick reactions are not terribly beneficial.


From a fine Commander elsewhere:

> The Easy/Normal/Hard mode gives a requisite amount of "hard" points per run. It may be open to...exploit? for earning early commander levels.
> Missiles from Missile allied/enemy fighters/drones do not show damage upon hit to either player/enemy ships
> The early support/formation ships *may* be a bit too expensive compared to their tactical/module output. (The earliest is around 1k scrap).
> When selecting a gun port for the light blue hexagons, a 'preview arc' may be an important addition for better UI viewing/decision making.

What I like about the game is it's able to very muchly capture the feel of a single pilot in space--albeit sometimes overwhelmed due to the need of scrap (especially when the map creates bottlenecks with strong ships in the way). Perhaps additions towards Engines/Thrust, and some kind of modulation (maybe via a device) to the HP/Shields to focus the 'energy' towards one or the other would help. In its current state, the randomization of missions and maps are a bit...forced in their feeling, though I'm assuming there will be addition of details to the various screens presented (like a tip that you can choose where you can warp in, amongst many others), as well as the steady price-of-mercenaries...it may not feel like they're an early game option as the idea has *great* potential, but it feels limited. You can only contact them for money/turns, instead of initiate helpful communication; most of them seem human, so I'm assuming there could be some kind of friendships formed for a common cause? Those tiny tidbits would help a ton.

A tiny bug(?) I've found was that while in battle, and you purchase a ship via the Formation screen, the Engineering area pops up and you're very much able to then edit your ships in the midst of battle.

This attachment deals with a possible bug--hosted on IMGUR, it shows a boundary that any single projectile shots stop at (it's not well hinted as I can't capture a video, but that tiny explosion is an enemy fighter, and there's a "map boundary" around 2/3rds of the planet [horizontal going up] where the shots [missile/projectile] stop). The Station's laser was able to destroy it though! But the bug is in short: "Map boundary stops projectile/missiles." Allied fighters also flew in to shoot at the enemy fighter, and the Bolter Fighters who tried had their shots disappear (as in, their shooting animation only shows but no shot comes out because the fighter itself is already out-of-bounds).

[Image: 8Lx7P3Z.png]

Next are suggestions and feedback:
+ I *very much* like the compact hitbox of ships--being able to dodge missiles by the *hair* gives a very intense feeling of a firefight (albeit a 2D firefight, but it still gives that fun thrill).
+ The *STORY* can really be improved; at the moment it seems to be a placeholder, though considering its background as a roguelike--it works perfectly.
> I've pondered over the score-to-commander rank, with two major ideas being a percentile modifier or the current 500/750/1000 hard difficulty score. The latter seems like an overall better thing, if only compared to the current setup as it can be incredibly easy to unlock the later better ships if you just go on Hard and...intentionally die for ~1k ranking points [It may make sense. Commanders don't get access to better ships by destructing their own flagships on several differing missions. Tongue]
> The Escape Pod seems...inefficient in the earlier levels or games, which IMO may be a crucial feeling (if the scoring/rank gain mechanics will be changed) if a player is successful. While it does make sense as a +1 life at the cost of a major turret slot, it'll only be better used if either the player is already a high ranked commander in the current version (given better ships having ~3+ turret slots), or if the player has already progressed into a full-formation fleet, and can spare the loss of one turret slot.
> Why do formation-ships have the Escape Pod as a ready choice even before the flagship isn't dead? In all games I've played, if the Flagship dies, it does NOT matter if you have formation ships present and alive/escaped from the battle, unless you do have the Escape Pod.
> The game is...very intriguing and exciting. You aren't penalized for allies dying, Stations, Mercenaries or otherwise [otherwise being my ONLY time seeing another BSE ship that wasn't purchased by formation--it died in the battle before I could see what it could do though -_-] or time-limited by a # of set turns [other games I could think of are FTL...which is a very nice game, but UGH that limitation {on vanilla}]. You just go forward, with scrap to spare and the strength of the fleet you've built with you.
> The only drawback is the early game--in rank, or in gameplay. Little scrap and facing enemy ships with the current prices of, and you meet an early death (more likely than not). But if successful, it is easy for a tactical/strategic player to push forward and score a full formation fleet.
> I can easily escape from battles even with a tiny [|] out of [|||||||||||] HP ship by pausing, clicking the hyperdrive, and getting away. While it does make sense, and has been present in sci-fi stories for quite a long time (and the enemy AI chases you too...), there seems to be a lack of weaponry that *stops* this from happening. It may add to the..."fun" if there was variation in weaponry this way. Tongue
> There may be a very good point for tooltips or such when describing the upgrades. One prominent example is the "Burst Upgrade". Personally...the name is out of place when the upgrade itself equals "# of projectiles per shot//recharge cycle". That's not what came to mind when I read Burst, and only upon observation did I get the idea.
> I'm a bit...silly with pressing this, but it's just me and my silliness. Please excuse me here x3 Could I ask that the Commander be referred to either a third-person viewpoint [eg How Mass Effect accomplishes very well, by saying "The Commander" instead of gender-emplaced pronouns like 'He/She'...unless in future versions, we get to have a profile stating ALL our stats {which somehow covers that rank/score mechanic} + a profile pic to choose our gender {which can then reflect with pronouns}.

>My only visual and non-textual suggestion here may help with knowing the limitations of those light blue hexagonal tiles within Engineering--that Firing Arc of those guns. Maybe just a view-over when highlighted/pressed by the mouse. Which could probably also follow how one would view the overall 'range' of a red hexagon/turret. [eg I did NOT know that on the BSE Raven, the middle light blue hexagons had the...least maneuverability of a firing arc and only protected a very narrow area; I assumed it would protect at 'least' the midsection, which it technically did, but in a very narrow way]
> Could the 'player ship' as displayed on the Starmap change color towards a less 'cyan' theme and probably more towards "Green" or something that won't clash with the current location color the player is at? (which is white--the colors do not complement/contrast well, for us players with visual problems...)

[Image: tuDoM77.png]



The game just keeps getting better!

Love some of the above suggestions - knowing the firing arcs of the various ports would be particularly useful when kitting out a ship.

Suggestions / Requests:

- Would it be possible to have locked items show the unlock requirement? Either as part of the lock icon, or as a mouse-over?

- Would still love to see ways to improve ship Engines. Either improving the Jump recharge, or individual speeds, maneuverability.

- Would it be possible to add a Repair Fleet button? One click to repair everything? I know - I am being lazy Tongue

Keep up the awesome work!


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