High Frontier Forums
Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - Printable Version

+- High Frontier Forums (http://highfrontier.com/forum)
+-- Forum: Support (http://highfrontier.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=7)
+--- Forum: Suggestions & Feedback (http://highfrontier.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?fid=9)
+--- Thread: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? (/showthread.php?tid=158)

Pages: 1 2 3


Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - JoeStrout - 07-13-2016

For our next release, we've already got a couple of fun new features done (like this, and this).  But a very important part of version 0.24 is: we want to smooth out the sticking points.

We know people are playing High Frontier.  But we have reason to suspect that most people aren't getting very far.  (Nobody's yet complained about the solar system ending at Mars, for example.)

We're aware of some of the sticking points — for example, new players often don't realize that they need to lay down some paths, and paint a nice mix of zones next to them, before buildings can appear.  But there are probably other sticking points we haven't thought of.  High Frontier is a complex game, but we've been playing it so long that it all seems obvious to us (even when it isn't!).

So: please give the latest version a try, and let us know where you got stuck!  If you are forced to stop playing only because of family members/work/school demanding your attention, that's great!  But if you stop for any other reason, please let us know (1) where you stopped, and (2) why.  This could be anything from "I got frustrated trying to snap parts together the way I wanted in design mode" to "I got bored watching my city grow," but is most likely something like "I didn't know what to do next at this point."

Whatever it is, please tell us, so we can make it better.  You can post your observations here, or send a private message, or use email.  We really want your feedback!  High Frontier is now within sight of the finish line, and it's really time to polish it up and make sure that people have fun from start to end.

Thanks,
- Joe


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - csmyth3025 - 09-16-2016

Joe,

I just started using your simulation today. Like a lot of others who've reached the grand old age of 68, my computer skills are rather limited - consisting mostly of typing and copy/paste. Nonetheless, I'm slowly getting the "feel" of how the simulator works and what it expects.

Initially tried to simulate a modified version of a "mini Kalpana One" design proposed by Al Globus et al in a June 2016 NASS white paper. I essentially tried to simulate a Stanford Torus design based on using Bigelow B330 habitat modules. I quickly discovered that this design doesn't work well at the scale of your simulation . I understand now that this is just in the nature of how the simulation works. No problem.

One of the other things I noticed is that the solar panel configuration offers only flat solar panels. In your next version upgrade you might want to consider a "skirt" option for solar panels similar to the "skirt" option you now have for the heat rejection radiators. The torus, sphere and cylinder types all lend themselves to fixed solar panels attached to the periphery. In terms of design, this option eliminates the need for a "bearing" between the solar panels and the habitat, provides a bit of additional shielding against micrometeorites and debris, and allows for the heat rejection radiator skirt to be in permanent shadow between the habitat and the solar panels.

I realize that your simulation is mostly about what's inside the station and what goes on there. Still, having a skirt option for the solar panels would provide a hull morphology that might turn out to be more realistic in the end. One thing of note, though, is that a skirt of solar panels rotating with the habitat won't produce the same amount of power that a flat solar panel continuously facing the sun will. I'm not sure of the calculation, but it would definitely be less than 1/2 the power of the flat panel.

I'm sure I'll run into some "sticking points" as a newbie designing my settlement. If I run into one I can't figure out, I'll let you know.

Cheers


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - JoeStrout - 09-16-2016

Hey, thanks for the comments!

When you talk about a skirt of solar panels, do you really mean a skirt that sticks out from the habitat, like the current radiator skirt?  Or do you mean panels that line the outside of the habitat like a skin?

Currently, we are assuming that your rotation axis is always perpendicular to the plane of the ecliptic.  It wouldn't have to be that way, but if it's not, then you get into some thorny issues about keeping things pointed where you want them (solar panels at the sun, radiators at black sky, communications dishes at whatever they're receiving, etc.).  That's because a space colony is the world's biggest gyroscope, and you're just not going to be able to change its axis, even as it orbits around a planet which orbits around the sun.  So the north pole of your colony would be pointed at the sun for part of the year, and away from the sun for the opposite part of the year.  It's a logistical mess.

So for that reason, we made the simplifying assumption early on that your spin (north/south) axis would point out of the plane of the ecliptic, just like most of the planets.  Now you can be sure your colony has a consistent orientation, with the sun always shining on it from the side.

Because of that, I don't think an actual skirt of solar panels makes much sense — they'd be edge-on to the sun.  However, I could see a lining of panels, wrapped around the habitat like a skin.  (Which is probably exactly what you were suggesting.)  You're right, the power generated would be less than 1/2 what flat solar panels would produce, but that might be OK.  (We'd do the math to work out the exact figure.)  Good idea!


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - brian - 11-06-2016

Population. I'm having trouble reaching 10k. My design is two counter rotating cylinders, the first cylinder took pop to over 4k then things started slowing down. Populating the second cylinder increased pop to around 6750 but I haven't been able to figure out how to stay above that number just yet. Area per person is around 330 meters square.


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - JoeStrout - 11-06-2016

(11-06-2016, 03:45 PM)brian Wrote: Population.  I'm having trouble reaching 10k.  My design is two counter rotating cylinders, the first cylinder took pop to over 4k then things started slowing down. Populating the second cylinder increased pop to around 6750 but I haven't been able to figure out how to stay above that number just yet. Area per person is around 330 meters square.

Sounds like a cool colony.  Can you post some screenshots?  I'm just curious to see!

As for the population, what density have you been zoning?  It sounds like by this point you might need to replace some of the low-density zones with high-density ones.


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - Mandella - 11-10-2016

Okay I got one. While it isn't going to stop me playing one growing irritation I have is the way fire and police are implemented.

Having to stop my planning to run around literally putting out fires is just not very fun for me, nor does it do a good job of simulating reality. I would much prefer a system where fire and police stations had areas of coverage, and perhaps could be upgraded to different efficiency levels depending on resources used, or some such. Maybe make it a little chancy -- not spend enough on police and run the risk of civil disorder if, say, population was allowed to grow too dense, or not enough civil services were being provided, that sort of thing.

As always, this is a great project and I appreciate the effort you are putting into this. I just find this particular process off-putting.


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - JoeStrout - 11-11-2016

Fires and police stations do have areas of coverage. Using buttons in the Statistics palette, you can even see a map of fire risk and crime rates. So, adding more fire/police stations (and in the case of fire, making sure everything has adequate water) should keep these events from happening too often.

But it's entirely possible we haven't struck quite the right balance on that. So, I very much appreciate the feedback.


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - Mandella - 11-11-2016

Heh.. So maybe I'm just terrible at emergency service planning?

That is likely true, checking the map. I have a lot of red spots. It does look like the density of stations the formula is calling for is a little high, unless we are populating our colonies with exiled Earth arsonists...

Smile


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - tanzmetall - 12-27-2016

This is going to sound like I'm dumb, but bear with me.

I didn't get stuck on the rotational mechanics, or building an environment that is comfortable for people. Where I got hung up was the paths. I simply could not figure out how to end a path. I'd just keep clicking and making a longer and longer path, and when done, I just had no idea how to get rid of the chunk of path which the game kept wanting me to place.

Eventually, I realized that clicking the "place a tree" button would get rid of the path placer. So that's what I did. Every time I got to the end of a path, I'd plant a tree. It'd leave one part of the path arcing off into the middle of nowhere, but it worked.

Sort of.

No matter how well I zoned, or built, or landscaped, no one was moving into my stations. No buildings were being built. Residents would cap at 14 or so, and same with visitors. It was pretty darn disappointing. I'd build these really fun stations, and the simulation simply wouldn't begin.

I really had to dig to figure out that the problem was with my paths. I searched around, but could not find the answer on the website, and the important information was also not included in the in-game tab that gives you gameplay tips.

I cannot be the only one who's had this problem - and given how hard it was to solve, some may have given up without finding the answer. I have some suggestions.

1) Make it clear in the tips tab that the paths are not optional, and are necessary to found a functioning colony. Clearly explain how to create, and how to end, them.
2) When the endpoint of one path lands on another path, automatically end the path.
3) If ending a path properly is essential to it working properly, consider making single-click be "end this path" and double-click or right-click be "continue the path". Since ending a path is essential to it functioning, ending it should be the default, with the player having the option to continue, rather than the other way around.
4) Alternatively, make all created paths function as if they were ended when a player clicks out of the interface that creates them, and instead chooses to plant a tree.

I hope this helps! I really like the game, and I want to see it succeed. I'm enjoying .25 a lot, now that people are moving into my stations!  Smile


RE: Feedback wanted: Where are you getting stuck? - JoeStrout - 12-27-2016

(12-27-2016, 12:45 AM)tanzmetall Wrote: I simply could not figure out how to end a path. I'd just keep clicking and making a longer and longer path, and when done, I just had no idea how to get rid of the chunk of path which the game kept wanting me to place.

I can imagine that.  The latest version of the game, though, has an Advisor panel, which should be rather urgently telling you to double-click or hit Return at that point.  Is this not happening for you?  (Or maybe this happened in an older version of the game, before the Advisor?)

Quote:No matter how well I zoned, or built, or landscaped, no one was moving into my stations. No buildings were being built. Residents would cap at 14 or so, and same with visitors. It was pretty darn disappointing. I'd build these really fun stations, and the simulation simply wouldn't begin.

I really had to dig to figure out that the problem was with my paths. I searched around, but could not find the answer on the website, and the important information was also not included in the in-game tab that gives you gameplay tips.

So you were zoning, and making paths, but the paths didn't go near/through the zones?  Or was it something else?

This is really great feedback, and exactly the sort of thing we need!  If you're getting stuck, no doubt there are others who got stuck in the same way and just gave up (as you said).  That makes us sad.  :'(  We want to make it clearer and easier.

It might even be worth sending me one of those non-growing colony files so I can see what's going on.

Quote:1) Make it clear in the tips tab that the paths are not optional, and are necessary to found a functioning colony. Clearly explain how to create, and how to end, them.
2) When the endpoint of one path lands on another path, automatically end the path.
3) If ending a path properly is essential to it working properly, consider making single-click be "end this path" and double-click or right-click be "continue the path". Since ending a path is essential to it functioning, ending it should be the default, with the player having the option to continue, rather than the other way around.
4) Alternatively, make all created paths function as if they were ended when a player clicks out of the interface that creates them, and instead chooses to plant a tree.

Those are great ideas.  I have no idea what happens under the hood when you plant a tree while creating a path; I'd expect it to end the path normally, but maybe not.  We'll check that out and make sure it does something sensible, and also put some more effort into the Advisor guiding you through this process.  And we'll try out your other ideas for automatically ending them, too.

Thanks very much for taking the time to write this up!  You've helped make the game that much better.