Weekly Update: April 28, 2023

Since I posted the player survey, I’ve received about 180 responses. In the feature priority areas, there was a surprisingly even distribution in what players would like me to focus on, with more content being the highest priority, but not by a huge margin.

The freeform responses were a bit more interesting. This is where I asked what players’ favorite aspect of the game was, and if there were any areas players thought needed more attention that I hadn’t listed.

The most popular “favorite” was the new shipbuilding system. This was a bit of surprise: even though I knew players liked the new system, the wording of the question was: “What was your favorite piece of content, interaction, or event in the game so far?” I had intended the question to be more content-oriented, but still over 20% of responses specifically mentioned shipbuilding.

In a close second place (possibly even leading, depending on how I organized the responses) was a collection of responses that I interpreted as a “sense of surprise and delight at seeing/finding something unexpected”. This includes big “set pieces” as well as small Easter Eggs.

Third place was a specific mid/late game conflict.

A notable mention was a fairly small piece of content: crew banter events. This is something that I think could be overused if done too frequently, but so far no one is saying they want less crew interaction.

In the “Is there a high-priority feature that I didn’t ask about above? Or give more details for your answers?” question, there was much wider variation the answers. The only fairly consistent response was improvements to the mission tracking. Some of these comments were about the actual interface, but most were requests for better clarity of “what to do next.”

This is a tricky one because when testing missions I always know what to do next. Sometimes there’s a next step that players miss because they do things in an unexpected order. It can be difficult to detect when a player is “stuck” and needs a reminder or prompt, versus the player knows what they need to do next, but are choosing not to because they want to do something else at the moment. I’ve created a discussion topic specifically for this so I can hopefully get a sense of where this is happening.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on some new content.

Until next week,
— Kevin