What should I expect from this "Gamma"-game?

Discussion in 'Planetary Annihilation General Discussion' started by kalimann, June 24, 2014.

  1. kalimann

    kalimann New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    Am I the only one a bit confused what state this game is in at the moment, and what to expect when it is actually released?

    Does this "gamma stage" actually mean its near done, or is it just a clever PR trick to intrigue us? The game does not give you that many possibilities with so few tech possibilities and a broken (balance wise and bit shallow) campaign mode, and an unbalanced AI (I think it is overly powerful at times).
    That is besides that there are many game breaking bugs, crashes and UI things that need serious tweaks.

    Yet we dunno what we will be given in the full release, like there is no precise description of what is guaranteed.

    The response I am looking for is not "It's early stage, you can't expect anything from the developers", I'm look for clarification and transparency on whether the game will be fleshed out fully before it's released (from my experience it could use many fixes and additions), and if it is just me being paranoid from some fictional "gamma phase", when the game is actually in reality still in alpha stage development, and I should breath easy and trust the game will get the time it deserves before it's released.

    Remember, alpha stage game development is the actual game creation, while beta should in reality only be for fixing bugs, the last balance checks and stress tests. Hence why I think it's very confusing from Uber's side of the deal to coin a "gamma phase" and put it as a label on this game, unless PA is really like 95% done. Which I doubt it is.
    mikedabasque likes this.
  2. PeggleFrank

    PeggleFrank Active Member

    Messages:
    147
    Likes Received:
    43
    They're not going by the traditional method, but are still using the Greek alphabet, so it's a bit confusing.

    Consider the game in a late alpha phase right now.
  3. zweistein000

    zweistein000 Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,362
    Likes Received:
    727
    More like Beta state. Later alpha was beta for this game.
  4. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

    Messages:
    7,971
    Likes Received:
    4,356
    Gamma is not a PR stage, basically people would get on complaining with "This game is in Beta, why is it still missing "x" feature, beta means feature complete!" etc... So they created Gamma because there is nothing holding them down like that, Gamma can be whatever they want it to be.

    The game is very well made so far, pretty problematic balance, but it also has client and server side mods which enhance the experience ten fold, it even has planet smashing (And has for a long time) which one would expect much later in development!

    It's like 19 dollars, it's worth a buy. ;)
  5. kalimann

    kalimann New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    What I am questioning, is why they haven't put out a more specific explanation on what to expect from this gamma development stage then. So apparently it's a mish mash of alpha and beta, of content creating and end-testing? That's sounds very dicey when developing a game, but whatever, it might work.

    It's 50 bucks, when it's not on sale (you can't really take a sale's price and examine it as a standard price), and I am not questioning the value of the game. It's not complete yet, so until they say it's done, I am not even going to wonder whether I have gotten my money's worth or not.

    I am just concerned that there's no real specification on what the end product will give us costumers, and when it will be viewed as "complete". Are Uber going to release PA with half-arsed campaign that is basically a stripped down version of the multiplayer gameplay, without any significant additional features or layers added to entertain newer players? And will the gameplay be as unforgiving in it's learning curve, or is it going to give players a better way to learn the units and teching options, other than reverse engineering AI builds or doing trial and error-runs.
  6. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

    Messages:
    12,900
    Likes Received:
    5,385
    nothing in particular really, it's just an unfinished game with lots of bugs missing features, optimisations, ect...

    the game is due to release sometime this year.

    And it's already awesome enough to be fun to play even with all the bugs, I don't know what else you could possibly want to know.

    https://forums.uberent.com/threads/planetary-annihilation-early-access-edition-available-now.61065/
  7. zweistein000

    zweistein000 Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,362
    Likes Received:
    727
    Galactic war will definitely see more work. What you are seeing is only first pass. Also what other features are you expecting or rather what do you understand under the word feature? Most of the features are gameplay additions, not different ways to play a game.
  8. kalimann

    kalimann New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    To be honest, I don't know. I feel like the game is hard to explore without serious effort as it is right now, but that on a glance so far, it mostly builds up to who can amass the biggest army on the biggest economy, and send it in a direction. This is even though you have four different kinds of arenas for battles (water, land, air and space). It is possible to turtle in on a planet or water mass, but I don't see that as something that should be a valid strategy in the end, at least not as much as other more precise and somewhat aggressive builds and strategies.

    On the other hand, it's hard to get deep into without great community effort, because Uber haven't released some easy to access databases on the units etc. that are ingame, and their interactions with each other.

    So I hope in the end the game will be much more accessible, and that besides balance, it will gain some gameplay "features" that validate some varying and experimenting gameplay, rather than just trying to amass economy and army mass with some pretty gentle mechanics (if you compare it to earlier competitive RTS games).
    I am trying not to drag other RTS games too much into this context, because I don't know what background other players have, nor do I want a StarCraft 2 copy incorporated in this grand scale RTS.
    I play SC2 dedicatedly, but please don't look at my questions and input as a biased SC2 gamer, but more that I don't completely understand Planetary Annihilation yet, I have a hard time getting more in depth with the game than just spamming units and resources in a direction, and I don't think Uber are being very transparent on what the end product will provide, nor how they think it should play out for a start.
    PeggleFrank likes this.
  9. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

    Messages:
    12,900
    Likes Received:
    5,385
    it's not aiming to be a stracraft copy.

    at least many of us here like me are trying their hardest to make sure that doesn't happen.

    PA requires serious effort right now and will as well at release, unlike starcraft II flow economy and simulated projectile RTSes, or TA-likes require much more concentration.

    there's huge scale, lots to be thought about, and you can't just sit around gathering your army for a big 1 on 1 battle.

    it's very different from all that.

    that being said TA-like in their approach of micro, macro and UI tools also do things in a way that starcrafters wouldn't agree with, the start isn't a question of who's fastest at replicating the exact same gesture of sending SCVs fastest to the mining line, you can start many different ways, you can first build an air factory, or land, or bot or naval, or start with power or with mass. You can issue area commands for building things within a certain zone.

    Units are all on attack move by default

    they also move on their own to engage units that are sitting just outside of their firering range.

    units can stack attack and move orders.

    build queues for factories can be infinite and the number of units and structures are also infinite.

    you can add things to the front of a looped queue to not be part of the loop.

    many tools exist and more are coming to help you manage such a huge game.
    Last edited: June 24, 2014
  10. cdrkf

    cdrkf Post Master General

    Messages:
    5,721
    Likes Received:
    4,793
    The game is technically nearly complete (as in the engine its built on, which has been created from scratch and is multi platform btw so no easy task). The things that are missing are actually fairly simple in comparrison- more units, balance adjustments and so on.

    These things are going to change quickly from now I'm sure of that :)
    In terms of strtegic depth, remember this is a TA inspired game that is based (loosely) on physics, so large armies will beat small ones unlike some games that force A beats B mechanics on players. That said, once you get up against good players you'll find a game can be turned by a handful on units used well, and players with mass death blobs can be defeated with smaller groups of well managed and composed units. Mastering using interactions between layers is also important.
    tatsujb likes this.
  11. kalimann

    kalimann New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    @tatsujb

    Yea, this is why I probably shouldn't have brought SC2 into this. I only relate to it, because the game give you many options for how you want to define your play style. I did not say PA was aiming to be a SC2 copy, so let's just refrain from using that comparison.

    As it is right now, PA hasn't given me many options, besides massing what I felt like. Like I mentioned in my previous post, before i touched on SC2. The gameplay didn't seem to alter that much per game, whether I went land or air first, do you get me?

    Lets try not to compare single elements in the respective games in a way to look critically at PA.
    PeggleFrank likes this.
  12. kalimann

    kalimann New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    @cdrkf

    Thanks for the reply. This makes much sense to me. In the end I hope for more in depth information on how this can be experimented with, and hopefully some more diverse unit interactions.
    cdrkf likes this.
  13. tatsujb

    tatsujb Post Master General

    Messages:
    12,900
    Likes Received:
    5,385
    no but you're right to say this because there are a lot of aspects of PA that i find are trying to "imitate" SC2 or other and it's only hurting the game, look here : https://forums.uberent.com/threads/differenciated-radar-blips.49424/ for example
  14. bluestrike01

    bluestrike01 Active Member

    Messages:
    258
    Likes Received:
    66
    Alpha and beta stages are officially passed so gamma would be between beta and release.
    Maybe they set a new trend with this and in 5 years everybody knows what gamma means.
    But now it only has meaning for the people who were playing the game before gamma already...

    As for balance and strategy, I found the period around januari the most interesting,
    where you had to go t2 at the right moment, and when sniping with a drop or a SSX were game changers.
  15. DeadStretch

    DeadStretch Post Master General

    Messages:
    7,407
    Likes Received:
    554
    Just read the Store page. No really it has everything laid out right there.

  16. trialq

    trialq Post Master General

    Messages:
    1,295
    Likes Received:
    917
    There are unit databases dotted about, There is a mod which adds one to the main menu:
    https://forums.uberent.com/threads/rel-unit-database-v1-2-0.56261/
    Install mods using PAMM:
    https://forums.uberent.com/threads/wip-pa-mod-manager-crossplatform-version-with-atom-shell.59992/

    Or if you prefer an online database:
    http://pa-db.com/
  17. mikedabasque

    mikedabasque New Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    6
    I understand your state of doubt but tbh I prefer them to keep working on the game than explaining+working the game:
    I think that they just prefer to focus on the game than in propaganda and posting news about next patches. Better let them concentrate, lets wait with petience so that they finish the good work they've been doing for over 2 years (in my opinion).
  18. pivo187

    pivo187 Active Member

    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    167
    I hope its not near done..I haven't played since january and fired it up for the first time This weekend. I feel like the most important things have not ben improved upon and the game feels the same as in jan when I last played..Also found our very difficult to get in an actual game...and that voice reminds me of starcraft/c & c
  19. kalimann

    kalimann New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    4
    Okay well thanks for the many direct and constructive inputs.

    I just still find their "gamma"-thing contradictory with the pleasing "we ain't done 'till we done" statement.

    Whatever, I hope for the best.
  20. squishypon3

    squishypon3 Post Master General

    Messages:
    7,971
    Likes Received:
    4,356
    Well that's the point of the name Gamma! :D

    Like I said, a lot of people expected a feature complete game back in Beta with just some bugs, what they got was what most people would consider an Alpha. This is why they made up Gamma, so they can't be told off for not being finished. :p

Share This Page