Alpha test feedback May 17, 2014

Continuing the discussion from Alpha test feedback May 10, 2014: for a 30 min playtest Saturday, May 17 2014 at 8pm UTC, 3pm Central US, 4pm East US, 9pm UK

Lots of work in progress items to see how they work in play test; and find what direction to take them in

  • New HUD, speed, shield, etc indicators etc (Work in progress)
  • Ship Trails (WiP)
  • Space dust - to convey movement (WiP)
  • Shields only show on weapon impact, not all the time
  • Slow moving ships no longer jerky
  • Performance Improvements
  • Bloom and film grain currently disabled
  • Bots now have same turn speed as players (no instant turn)
  • Bots less hostile/accurate

Really interested in what the new HUD will look like. And I’m really glad to see something like space dust in the game, so you can more easily tell what direction you’re moving in. Wasn’t an issue with the current ships as they can’t move in any direction other than the one they’re facing, but with ships that could slide to any degree, this would be useful.

And finally bots won’t murder me with their deadly gaze!

Looking forward to seeing you all on the battlefield.

Its still a work in progress with more to come.

Hopefully it should seem even better this week, will be interested in your thoughts.

The bots ability to instantly turn on the spot was something we’ve been meaning to look at; but they were making the ship trails look bad so we had to fix them now

Just saw the picture posted. You weren’t kidding about ship trails… Holy cow, it will be pretty bad ass to be zooming around tron style making victims and taking names.

Unfortunately I feel that it will make tracking my maneuvers much easier, but we’ll see in a few hours won’t we. See you then.

Yay! I got great graphics on Firefox on my netbook. Piloting was very jerky and I had trouble pointing my ship where I wanted, but I did move it, found both Earth and moon and lots of columns of enemy ships. I got noise and two little dots when I pressed the space bar. I did not seem to do any damage, tho.
I got killed a couple times and I could see the meter on the right dropping as my ship was assaulted. This was accompanied by sound effects.
I was able to escape a couple times when being shot at.
So. This was MUCH the best yet.

also played a few minutes on internet explorer. Same great graphix. But somehow sound was not there. I seemed to have a bit more trouble maneuvering my ship.

This went well! I was using a HP 11 Chromebook with an ARM chip, and it handled the gameplay very well (averaged around 50FPS). If improvements were made to performance, they were noticed and appreciated.

This was also the first time I turned on the sound effects, and I must admit, they are awesome. Nice work there.

From the few of these I’ve done, this was the best yet in my opinion. Keep up the great work.

Yeeeeeeeeeeeehaw that was exciting. Really got my blood flowing.

At first I had to spend a while getting adjusted to the visual differences. It was very tough to be able to see ships and I began relying on my map and looking at ship trails. Often I would be drawing a bead across someone, destroy them, find my next target, fly through the explosion, and come out with my cross hairs over an ally. It’s tough to tell the difference sometimes because ally shields show up when you shoot them.

By the way, ship tails look awesome when they’re not actually ahead of the ship themselves. I assume that’s some element of latency causing that.

It was painfully obvious to me how difficult it is to actually out-maneuver someone’s aim. When I found myself a good distance away with an enemy looking at me, I found no way to protect myself other than just hitting my booster and turning straight into them, shooting to try to gain something from my losses as I re-positioned. The idea of being in a situation like that was pretty unpleasant to stomach and I found it rather distasteful.

Today I found myself assaulted by a number of assailants, specifically Hex, Trace, Awesome, and Human Resources. I found myself dying to these players most often. Darkdwarf came in late but I think he didn’t stay long, I didn’t notice him too much. I have to bite my lip every time someone would stop, and just start shooting at me. That’s very difficult to deal with and no matter how much skill I attempt to pour into that kind of situation, I find myself unable to achieve very much.

My final score was 61/12, but I think I was completely outplayed by the close Erran with 50/10. With 25% more assists, 16% less deaths and a legendary 20x kill streak, I feel there’s a bigger threat than I looming on the horizon.

All in all I had a lot of fun. The HUD will definitely take getting used to. I noticed an interesting thing where ships that were stopped dead were much more difficult to see than ships that had a long trail arcing out of them. I also found myself clicking out of my window once or twice in the heat of battle. And I feel the HUD element could be a little more informative when you’re taking fire. I had a hard time discerning where fire was coming from, and who was shooting me. Though this may be because I was in a lot of situations where I was dealing with two or three opponents.

Anyway, video coming shortly. Less commentary, mostly just a cockpit view.

Yeah, IE11 doesn’t currently use the WebAudio API that we use, and we’re not really too excited about doing a fallback onto Flash audio (as we’re very much allergic to plugins like Flash).

Yes, a lot of work on performance improvements. I’ve even seen a version running on an 2012 HTC phone (Android/Chrome) at 30fps; hurrah. Squeezing performance improvements out is critical to us then putting in “more everything” to the experience.

Many thanks! Yes, I’m very pleased with them. And (bit of AoA trivia here) the voice of the ships’ computer is my wife XD


Not latency as such, we just need to draw reposition the exhaust trail to properly attach to the back of the engine. We intend to change the engine thrust flare as well, to blend in better with the exhaust.

Yeah, I think we should change this to make friendly shield not pulse on impact.

Still a very awesome score. And yes, Erran was a bit… wow.

I think we’re going to put a colour-coded cursor highlight box over potential targets (most games, from freelancer to Eve do this), so that they are more visible, especially at a distance. Having removed the shields it is quite difficult to spot them right now.

Agreed; we’re considering having a smallish representation of your own ship at the bottom, and have various parts of your shield “flare” on this representation, to show precisely where the incoming fire is hitting your shield.

Fantastic; tyvm! Do post the link in here when it’s up!

Many thanks everyone,


So I missed the Edit button and hit Delete which immediately killed my previous post. But I found it again upon hitting the View Changes button in the upper right. As I was rewriting it, I have some more things to add.

Ally shields appear when you shoot at their ship, understandably so though, right? I have mixed feelings on the issue.

I don’t know who in their right mind would play with the map at the bottom of the screen. I find the map absolutely necessary to see anything. I have mixed feelings about the idea of adding a HUD marker to enemies. One one hand, being able to see your enemy and your objective is important. On the other hand, some of the greatest pilots in the world would use the sun to mask their presence.

Also, really cool thing, when your screen is over saturated with light from an explosion or something, you are essentially blinded. Which is cool. And while on the topic of HUD, the distance to target display makes it much easier to gauge whether you need to boost to catch up with a target or not. Really liked that.

Wouldn’t having colored splashes on the sides of your screen be more appropriate considering how first person this game is? I feel that having any kind of third person element would kind of a disconnect.

That being said, I really like that idea and I know I would be able to use it well. But I worry that other players may not have a firm grasp of their ship being a 3D object in space.

Yes they do currently; but given that friendly fire is turned off (at least, at present!) I’m not sure of the point in pulsing the shield (seems like slightly wasted rendering time etc for something that’s not having any ingame effect).

Well, we have to distinguish between the current “red v blue” arena-style game and the full-on ultimate MMO that we’re working towards. I think flexibility is the key. If players want a target list (tabular format) then they should be able to have that. If they want edge-screen markers pointing their way towards players who they have locked target onto, then that should also be possible. If they want a full-screen radar (as at present) then they should be able to - and if they want to hive that radar off to a second device (like a notebook or laptop) and have their main flight screen and nav console working together (ie build your own cockpit) then that should be possible as well.

We’re aiming for flexibility, basically, as everyone has different preferences. For example, many players prefer having the radar slaved to the ship’s lateral (wing-to-wing) plane (in the way that the excellent original “Elite” game had it) rather than the celestial plane, which we currently do. And that should be an option as well.

Yeah, and we do like this concept as well. There’s no reason why you couldn’t continue to be blinded by onscreen flashes, and we can see space for some “ejected countermeasure thunderflash”-type defensive weapons. It all rather depends on the rendering layer order that we choose as to what overlays what when we display it.

There’s also going to be the concepts of stealth, emissions signature etc that will also dictate visibility of a ship on scanners. At the moment, everyone can see everything in the battlezone, but that’s not always going to be the case. And there’s a good argument for fleet-based “Command & Control” ships that basically specialise in strategic battle visualisation, and capabilities of communicating this battle map (plus target selection etc) to other members of the fleet.

Agreed, falls under the same “preference/options” explanation, as above. Ultimately, on the very large capital ships in AoA we intend to allow multiple players to fly the same ship, simultaneously. So, for example: someone mans helm/nav, someone else looks after shields/engineering/damage control, someone else runs tactical maps / radar / target selection, a number of other players man gun turrets etc etc. Again, that’d be optional - so you could hire NPCs to perform these tasks if you want to solo in a capital ship.

So it’s very important to us that we design this modularly, with different ways of configuring your interface with (and feedback from) the external environment, according to preference.



Here’s the video. I wanna bring special attention to the very first stream of bullets I avoid. I think it’s important for people to learn that while it’s good to dodge bullets, it’s also vital to be actively moving against what your enemy is going to aim at. That very first barrel roll gives me an opportunity to see how my enemy is going to adjust their aim, and I can move accordingly.

That, and if you concentrate hard on that first part, you might skip over the epic fail that I do a minute in.

Are you folks happy with the leading factor that’s currently in the game? I think it greatly hampers the ability for ships to maneuver and dodge. I feel like this would result in bigger=better.

Unless larger ships would generally have slower projectiles. But if a larger ship were to equip faster weapons, wouldn’t that be a pretty unstoppable anti-fighter?

I’m continually impressed by the goals and aspirations of AoA and eagerly look forward to development every week.

You can now compare your respective “over time” graphs:

Jeez, that crazy 20 kill streak. I really wanna know how that happened.

Is now a much more detailed breakdown; including overall performance, per match performance, medals achieved, overtime graphs for each match and players you killed and how killed you.

Also your favourite person to shoot at and your nemesis!

The previous test dates have also been linked to the rankings for the previous test dates.

Hey everyone,

I’m konduur from that game and it’s the first time I’ve heard about this game (Craig told me about it) and I gotta say I’m pretty impressed.

First of all the game’s performance is incredible, I tried it on two machines, I just bought a Acer C720P chromebook so I wanted to test it out. It worked perfectly well and was smooth in every aspect. Only downside is the mouse that I used via bluetooth that was pretty slow and made piloting complicated. I haven’t tried my usual gaming mouse so I can’t say for sure if that’s something due to the mouse.

After that I set it up on my gaming machine, bought a month ago and running most games on ultra high settings at 60fps. The game was running just as well as on the chromebook and it was amusing to see little difference between those two configs ^^ The gaming mouse on it is way more reactive and the piloting experience was much better.

Few commentaries I can bring on the gameplay is that it’s pretty hard to avoid an enemy pilot’s focus. When being shot at the only solutions I found is only to hide behind a huge ship part of the map or mixing myself into the melee to disappear from sight. Maybe a stronger roll or another ability to get some escape chance could be considered. Maybe something to boost temporarily the shields like with the engines?

Also, it seemed to me that the map was a bit confusing, I understand it’s still in beta but without particular objective or decorative elements, it can feel a bit slow to get into the game and maybe a bit monotonous. After 10 min playing, me and my friend were asking ourselves “When is this thing ending?”. Even though we were having fun, it seemed deprived of a purpose.

Anyhow, I’ll pay close attention to this game in the future, especially for playing on the chromebook :stuck_out_tongue: You guys are doing a great job and I can’t wait to see where all this is going :slight_smile:
I’ll try to participate next beta session and try it n the phone as well, wonder how the controls will be like. Is there controller support on Windows and/or Chrome OS?

As a side note, my name in the game was konduur and I was playing on mumble with Erran. Just to reassure PsychoRomeo, Erran loves space piloting games and plays a lot of this kind of stuff which is why I told him about this beta when I saw what it was about. He’ll be happy to know he’s haunting his enemies :smiley:

See you all on the next beta!! :slight_smile:

Hi @Konduur thank you for your feedback!

@PsychoRomeo did quite a good tactics video showing how to use the map:

However it works best when full screen; so we are looks at having a more traditional flat map for when its at a smaller size down the bottom.

Age of Ascent is going to be a full on sandbox world game: however we are concentrating on large scale space combat elements at this time as it is a tricky thing to get right; especially in a browser - so your feedback is very important and we can feed it back in to the development week on week and make the game better and better.

At the moment there isn’t much touch input; so I don’t think you will be able to navigate on the phone; but we will be bringing in companion apps, and phone controllers by scanning a QR code and using the Device Orientation API as well as trying to have an experience where possible on mobile devices; equally we will be implementing the Gamepad API so you can use controllers - though these will be a little while yet.

For reference your gameplay stats are:

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Hey Thundercat,

Thanks for all the feedback!!

What I meant with the map being confusing is not so much on how to orient yourself, I was indeed having trouble with that at first but this map is quite good and maybe the best one I’ve seen for space combat.
I meant more in a way that you don’t really know where you’re supposed to go. As there are no objective, you can hesitate a little bit in terms of where to head. I pretty much figured it was a team death match kind of thing and went wherever there was enemies but just to clarify my initial comment, I meant it more in an objective aspect than orientation. But thanks for the video it’s interesting to know!

In that case I’ll stay focused on the chromebook as the gaming PC you probably already have plenty of feedback. I’ll try different mouses and different control configurations.

Also I’ve been thinking about something else, I know you’re from the UK and many players are from the US but the controls in the game are based on a QWERTY keyboard and can’t be modified, so it makes using WASD impossible on a french keyboard (AZERTY layout). Just FYI even though you probably will integrate this in the future.


I feel the same way regarding dealing with being shot at. Before collision detection was cleaned up a bit, I had a much easier time outmaneuvering my opponent. However, now it is the case that the most amazing pilot against the most accurate shooter will result in the fight being weighted heavily towards the shooter. But maybe something emergent will come. I still find it possible to shake people, it just takes a lot more effort.

Don’t forget you can also use arrow keys… But you can’t roll if you do that. A small amount of fiddling with something like autohotkey will help if it’s a significant issue.

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Well it’s me Erran :smiley:
This is the first time I’ve liked a browser game.
Being a fan of Space games, I found the gameplay easy to handle and it took me 5mn to understand everything.
I’m disappointed though that I was so close to a 30 kills streak!! :@
The game was smooth (40-60fps) except when there was more than 100 players, which may due to the fact that I had another game running in the background.
I think this game needs a system of shields that can be oriented, for example 80% shield strength forward and 20% strength in the back.
Also a system to overheat the weapons as even though it’s nice to be able to shoot all the time, I think this restriction could help even out the game.
As a future Star Citizen player, I think Age of Ascent is a nice little game waiting for release. I hope to see many additions to the game in the future!

See you in the next alpha session :slight_smile:

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