Alpha test feedback May 3, 2014

Continuing the discussion from Alpha test feedback April 26, 2014:

Release Notes

  • Scoring is now recorded and player rankings will be presented at the end
  • Initally it will show only kill rankings, but we will follow up with accolades
  • Controls is now the default open panel

Love that I’ll be able to see my kill counts at the end of the game! I have my recording software fired up and I’ll see you guys out there in about 40 minutes.

Wow those 30 minutes of play time goes by so quickly. Tons of fun, only 35 kills this time though. I’ll clean up and upload the video I recorded for you guys in a bit.

I have yet to be able to find and shoot at other players. The first time I tried this, I could move around my space ship and flew all around the Earth and around in space. I saw some other spaceships, but I could not fire at them. Eventually, somebody else killed me.

Today, I got a pure black screen. There are new control tabs on the sides which are beautiful. But I had a totally black screen. Could not see. I saw the firing control thing in the middle, but I was in a black hole or something.Eventually somebody else shot me, but I want to play, too.

Today was my first test of AoA. The first 5mins went by with learning how to speed Up & Down, whilst trying to figure out the movement controls. Once that was semi mastered, I started going for kills and manouvering around the spaceship with the roll and slowing down to make it easier to catch the enemy player and speeding up when he thrusted away. The next thing I discovered, was the map. At first it is rather confusing, but it actually makes sense. It is a bit annoying that it moves around simultaenously to your ship, but I guess once you get used to it, it could be fine. Either way, I think this should be changed to avoid confusion?

Pretty satisfying to play and time flew by quite fast. Looks promising!


Still working on the formatting; but more detail is available on the results page:

It includes:

  • Kills, Assists, Deaths
  • The four Accuracy accolades
  • The number of times you achieved a combo (fast successive kills)
  • The number and lengths of your kill streaks

Feedback greatly appreciated!

We have some rendering improvements for next week which should hopefully resolve this - what type of computer were you using?

Hi LadyLifeGrows,

Many thanks for letting us know about this, and sorry it didn’t render.

It would be super helpful if you could you let me know:

a) which web browser you were using
b) the hardware you were using it on
c) roughly when was the last time it was working as expected (ie last week, 2 weeks ago etc)

… and I can look into this further.

Many thanks,

James N

Hi Joshua,

Glad you had fun!

Regarding the map - it’s currently slaved to maintain its axis to the celestial plane (so it rolls with your ship’s rotation and orientation); but we know that many players would prefer to have the map slaved to their ship’s orientation (so it maintains its axis with your ship, and other ship location move around). We definitely intend to offer this option in the future.

Best wishes,

James N

1 Like

Awesome stuff, PR; can’t wait to see it. I suspect you were targeted more this time round because everyone knows how dangerous you are!


James N

I definitely was! I couldn’t get so many kills this time cause I had Darkdwarf hot on my tail, I think at least 30% of my deaths were from him and half from GM staff, hah. I didn’t get the top kill score but it looks like I have the best K/D ratio at almost 6:1.

The video I made is currently rendering and I expect to have it uploaded in an hour or two. My commentary fumbled around a lot, I had more of a speech like thing set up but I guess I didn’t rehearse it well enough.

Here’s the video! Again, my commentary isn’t great but if more videos come I’ll improve on that.

Let me know if there’s anything else you guys wanna see/want me to explain.

I am using an ASUS eee netbook from 2011 with Windows 7 SE max memory. It has 2 atom processors.
I am so glad you emailed me. Your game will be the better for it, I hope.
I flew all around the Earth maybe a month ago–the time when you were hoping for a record.

Enjoying Illyriad in the meantime.

I continue to pull people into Illy with my buddy link. It is Sooo refreshing to have GM’s that actually care after suffering with Electronic Arts.

I love the fact that you send system messages when somebody comes in. I send them a small welcome wagon right away and a mail telling them to talk in gc and build their storehouse. This gets more of them to get 100 population.

I use Firefox as my web browser

Fantastic, LLG - many thanks for the info. I’ll look into it further.

Do you know what specific version of Firefox you’re on? You can find this by clicking top left on the firefox logo, mousing over the “Help” link and then clicking on “About Firefox” which is usually the bottom item on this submenu.

You’ll then have some numbers underneath the word Firefox, something like “27.0.1” or similar. If you could let us know that version number, that’d be awesome. And that page might start automatically updating your version of Firefox if it’s out-of-date.

Whilst I certainly can’t speak to EA’s approach, we truly believe in listening to our players - player-content and player ideas make up 2 of our “6 principles of game design” that we set out before we released illyriad :sunny:

Also, delighted to hear you’re helping out the new players. It’s something of a tradition amongst the illy vets, and it’s awesome to see a (presumably?) relatively new player doing the same. It really helps set the tone for our pretty goshdarn awesome community.


James N

Really interesting, PyschoRomeo.

A number of points I picked up ob:

  1. Whilst you’re not ignoring the battle itself, you’re almost more focused on the tactical map (at a 1-to-1 representation).

  2. Your use of speed changes is actually less than I would have thought. You’re mostly wedged between turbo and 250 m/s, with occasional drops below when you need the additional turn radius redux when you’re really up close and there’s few hostiles around.

  3. You’ve got a keen sense of the battle around you / spatial awareness. I think many players (inlcuding myself) get target fixation, and keep on going for the target even when they’re being shot; whereas you’re quite happy to (potentially) lose the kill whilst evading.

  4. Your tactic of using the pitch and roll keys (eg E and D) together and the mouse to counteract (to produce a offsetting corkscrew) is a bit epic :slight_smile:

  5. Picking off the stragglers at the edges is clearly a sensible path. I do tend to plunge into the middle of the firefight - but then again, a lot of players are there to hunt me down and turn me into space dust.

  6. The use of keyboard pitch-up and mouse-up at the same time to double turn rate is definitely a bug we’ll have to iron out :slight_smile:

  7. Yeah, we dropped the bot fire rate / accuracy to make them a little fairer! )

  8. I’m interested that you don’t zoom the tactical map ( “<” and “>” keys respectively) to see more or less resolution when in a close dogfight. Do you think that you’ve found the perfect balance between the closing speed average / weapon range / and resolution you need to see? Obv that’ll change when we add more weapons and hulls.

Many thanks - that’s very cool footage.

James N

I think I only made it for the end of the battle but had fun. Looking forward to keeping an eye on the game and jumping in where I can. Best of luck to the Devs…


Absolutely, I’m looking at the map at least 50% of the time. It is the eyes behind my head. When I see bullets flying past me, I boost away and look which blips move to follow, and that’s who I engage.

Unfortunately, you’re right. There’s two reasons for this I think. First, when I went back and watched the video I realized that I saw many situations where I could have reduced my speed. I think I was thinking about the notes I wrote and was distracted. Second, I tend to run out of fingers to press the F key when turning, I think this could be circumvented by using the mouse wheel.

Absolutely, and I think that’s evident in my score as well compared to the other two players above me.

I think this is because I have learned the distance ratio between the default tac map view and what I see on the screen. Now that you mention it though I can see what the benefits to zooming in could be, so I’ll give that a try.

I think the default map zoom is great for the current ship but I’ll give others a try next week. I’m really excited for the addition of new ships. Personally I’d like to see larger, slower ships that don’t necessarily have to aim in the same why that they’re flying.

That brings me to another point I was wondering about, is there a reason why ship strafing isn’t in the game? That is, there’s yaw, pitch, and roll as ways to turn, but only thrust as ways to move. Is there a reason we don’t see lateral movement like strafe or lift, or even the backwards movement that’s possible in frictionless space?

Here is an example of the range of motion that I would assume is possible (and ideal) in space.

Yeah, that’s the intention - depending on the ship fitting. ie, the axes of movement available to a spaceship would depend on where the directional thrusters were fitted on the ship (and their rotational vector limits). The majority of players are most likely going to be happy with the 3.5 axes of pitch, roll, yaw and forward velocity - and that’s going to be the default fitting. Please ignore the fact that we allow symmetric force deceleration to occur on forward velocity to a standstill explicitly requires a reverse thruster capable of the same output as the main engine, but somehow doesn’t allow reverse to the same velocity, or indeed any velocity at all ! :wink:

However, we’re keen on the idea of allowing players to optionally fit (most likely taking up engineering module slots in their hull build) alternate thruster pairings (comprising 2 pairs of laterals on the non “main engine” vector, and a reverse thruster fitted to the nose). This would then allow all 6 axes of movement.

However… we clearly need to sort out the modular fitting design first, as well as have player-assignable key controls - as whatever schema we come up for controlling the remaining 2 bi-directional axes (assuming decelerate “F” can also act as reverse) probably won’t fit the expectations of the kind of player who wants to use this kind of maneuvering system!

Whilst we’re very trying to get as much of the science right as possible in AoA, we also have to be careful about our use of pure Newtonian motions. Unless we continue to fix a “maximum velocity” for a hull/engine combination regardless of vector (ie throw at least some of Newton out the window, as we currently are)… we do potentially allow acceleration to extremely high velocities, which we’re very keen to avoid as we’re painfully aware that slamming a near-luminal velocity spaceship into a planet would have wider consequences for the game world :smile:


James N

EDIT: Sorry, I wrote this twice as I thought the forum software had lost it - so I’ve sorta concatenated my two versions into one!

Well, it was Firefox 28, but when I clicked on it, sure enuf, it updated and the new version has no orange tab. It looks like windows 8. I could not find a version number.
I mentioned Illy on a “Where do we go next?” forum for Lord of Ultima, which ends May 12. I have had 13 or 14 people come in on my buddy link and reach 100 population, so I have lots of prestige. I found it helps to send them a welcome letter as soon as I see them, and I send a tiny caravan if they have more than 3 population. I am indeed fairly new, so my caravans are tiny, but the main thing is they feel wanted. So they stay and grow.
This is something that got more results for me–I have been paid in prestige for my little caravans and mails. You can use this by making sure the tutorial tells newbies to say hello in gc and that big players will want to help them out. There also should be an announcement in gc when a newbie finishes the tutorial. This will help the newbie feel rewarded–and give those vets a victim for a “claying!”

Luckily we run then every Saturday, so don’t hesitate to come back if you can!

And many thanks for the wishing us luck; hope we won’t need it but I’ll keep your wishes safe anyway, as you never know!

Best wishes,

James N