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Antiglow

Review and Suggestions (an outside perspective)

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My lords, my ladies, and everybody else here not sitting on a cushion! I humbly present to you my review and suggestions for this innovative and ambitious game in Q&A and bullet form (to hopefully keep it from being a TLDR monologue). I just purchased this game over the weekend and played it to the end of the consumable content, so I feel like I may present an outside perspective.

 

Q&A

How did you find out about this game?

I first heard of The Universim from another Kickstarter game called Planetary Annihilation TITANS (generally a good game. They were arguing about clouds on the forums and how this game has them and PA does not). While I was not very interested in a god game back then the trailer stuck with me and I checked back every now and then throughout the years until this past weekend when I finally decided to give it a shot.

 

Before playing the game, what did you know about it and what did you expect?

Other than what I gathered from the trailer, I knew that players were generally stuck in the stone-age. After reading about how the devs were focusing on the systems needed for future eras by developing “the stone age” this did not bother me as I have had similar experiences programming various things. The foundation needs to be solid to build upon.

 

I expected that I would play the role of a god and would have some control over my people but not directly. Other than this general idea I did not know what to expect.

 

What was your first reaction when opening and beginning the game?

  • First, I really liked the start screen. Unlike many games it actually stands out in a unique way and is very clean.
  • When starting the game, I liked how I could choose the spot where nuggets would begin on the planet. (After failing horribly on the first attempt, I realized I should place it near iron, stone, and of course water)
  • The art style was great! After turning off the God light I appreciated it much more. I currently play with it always off.

 

Did you experience any bugs?

For the most part remarkably no. The only issues I faced were god mail being broke after the first mission and boats being perpendicular to the water sometimes. This seems to me to be very stable for an alpha.

 

What did you think of the stone-age city building and resource management?

Coming from an RTS background I found it quite familiar and being the early stages of the game perfectly fine seeing as I am the god directing the people in their early life. I would like it to have more “godly” visuals. Maybe a light from heaven with some tablets detailing what they should build?

Later in the game, say mid medieval times or a bit later I would expect the gods priorities to shift from micromanagement to macro and the nuggets to manage their own structure placement and resources.

 

(taking a bit from one of my two previous posts here)

Unlocking via research over the medieval times, the player should no longer have to:

  • Place buildings such as farms, refineries etc.. (excluding major NEW structures the player unlocks)
    • Maybe each type of auto placement should be unlocked via research
  • Assign nuggets
  • Deal with unfilled position

 

The player should have new tasks to preform like

  • Expansion location assignment
    • Instead of placing each building the player should choose when and where the civilization attempts to expand
  • Cultural conflict resolutions
    • Choose which type of culture wins a war by helping with your godly powers
    • Influence farther cultural presence via research choices
    • Should your nuggets be good or evil? It is the player's choice based on their cultural actions
  • Exploration
    • Send nuggets to explore and find a brave new world via the sea, the land, and in the far future in space. 
  • Science choices (this should fall under nugget science discussed later)
    • Crossroads in science should start appearing after medieval times, once you make your choice you can't go back.
    • Study plants animals and learn from them for future buildings and farther research. (player chooses which animal to study and if the research should be kept.
    • Astronomy: Learn about the other planets, in more detail as your civilization evolves or see what your civilization discovers about the other planets as they evolve and guide them to particular areas of their the sky.

 

What did you think of the research?

Research felt off to me. I feel like it should be split into three different things: god powers, nugget evolution, and nugget science.

  • God powers
    • The god should be able to use his/her points to unlock farther powers. (I really want lightning, so I can play Zeus)
    • They should start out small like the telekinesis and cupid thing.
  • Nugget evolution
    • Nugget might
    • Nugget speed
    • Nugget other stuff

 

Nugget science should be done by the nuggets. How would it be implemented and how would you interact with it? Let me explain by example:

You get a notification that Jimbob is telling his nugget buddy the best idea: square wheels! You see on flat, water coated surfaces these babies slide like they are on oil but less so. So, what do you, the god of Jimbob, do? Do you:

  • Strike him down with a bolt of lightning to insure the idea does not spread?
  • Do you give him a dream of a round wheel?
  • Maybe he will just figure out that it is not the best idea on his own?
  • Maybe you like the idea of sliding square wheels and want to see how far the culture would progress.

 

With this system the player would feel like they are actually guiding the nuggets instead of just “upgrading” them. I still think the tech tree should be used, but instead of being a basic “click and have it happen” thing, it would be a overview of what your nuggets are thinking about and who is thinking about it.

Maybe latter in the game a future Jimbob decadent discovers oil. Now you really have a choice.

 

What did you think of the current god systems?

Even though the good/evil meter is not fully in place I really liked the choice and the fact the tower would change based on what I did.

While I appreciated the god-mail meme, I found it to be rather immersion breaking. I feel like individual nuggets should randomly notify you in some other way, even if it is just through the notification system. And the god-mail building should be replaced with some other shrine or church system (the art could stay the same except for the mail piece). PS if I burn it, it means I am unhappy. (I actually did this in game to see if I would get more letters)

I like the god powers in general. I especially liked that I could use the rain cloud to protect my nuggets from random fires. The fact it is under wrath seemed a bit odd to me though.

 

What did you think about the transition from the stone-age to medieval?

While a bit sudden from an art perspective, I liked it. It seemed to go smoothly, and it was cool watching my civilization grow a bit closer to the modern age.

 

Any other thoughts?

The school system is pretty cool, and I like the future implications, but it seems early to me from a historical perspective as most-of-the-time back then jobs were passed down by the family or by apprenticeships.

 

Thanks for working on this innovative game and keep up the good work!

I am excited to see what the future holds.

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What do you think about this: ti get rid of the micromanagement issue, going along a tech development branch, you should find the cityhall, and the mayor would be the one who will handle the micromanagement of your mighty city (if he's uneducated he'd do a realy slopy job, your city would break apart, you'd have to intervene. If he's educated and he's smart everything would go smooth and you could focuse on other godly things). Thus you could have nuggets not liking the mayor, and migrating into other cityes with other mayor , but they still worship you, so you can't ignore them, but you want them to go to war for your personal fun, or you want them to go along and help eachother develop themselves. I think this would be a real awsome way to slide from micro to macromanagement and it's logical too (that's my opinion, if you disagree, please share your idea)

 

Idea for the mayor not being liked by some nuggets could be also: or it could be the city grew too much, and the mayor can't handel it alone anymore, and he needs some deputyes, and you could have them turning corput trying to overthrow the nice, smart mayor you have and stuff, so you would find those corupt deputyes, and strike them down!

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14 hours ago, Serbanescu said:

...going along a tech development branch, you should find the city hall, and the mayor would be the one who will handle the micromanagement of your mighty city (if he's uneducated he'd do a really sloppy job, your city would break apart, you'd have to intervene. If he's educated and he's smart everything would go smooth and you could focus on other godly things). Thus you could have nuggets not liking the mayor, and migrating into other cities with other mayor , but they still worship you, so you can't ignore them, but you want them to go to war for your personal fun, or you want them to go along and help each other develop themselves. I think this would be a real awesome way to slide from micro to macro-management and it's logical too (that's my opinion, if you disagree, please share your idea)


I like this idea. During the medieval times this could be done by kings and queens, and later shift to mayors and eventually presidents/dictators which some how manage or otherwise interact with the mayors.

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On 5/29/2018 at 8:42 PM, Antiglow said:

My lords, my ladies, and everybody else here not sitting on a cushion! I humbly present to you my review and suggestions for this innovative and ambitious game in Q&A and bullet form (to hopefully keep it from being a TLDR monologue). I just purchased this game over the weekend and played it to the end of the consumable content, so I feel like I may present an outside perspective.

 

Q&A

How did you find out about this game?

I first heard of The Universim from another Kickstarter game called Planetary Annihilation TITANS (generally a good game. They were arguing about clouds on the forums and how this game has them and PA does not). While I was not very interested in a god game back then the trailer stuck with me and I checked back every now and then throughout the years until this past weekend when I finally decided to give it a shot.

 

Before playing the game, what did you know about it and what did you expect?

Other than what I gathered from the trailer, I knew that players were generally stuck in the stone-age. After reading about how the devs were focusing on the systems needed for future eras by developing “the stone age” this did not bother me as I have had similar experiences programming various things. The foundation needs to be solid to build upon.

 

I expected that I would play the role of a god and would have some control over my people but not directly. Other than this general idea I did not know what to expect.

 

What was your first reaction when opening and beginning the game?

  • First, I really liked the start screen. Unlike many games it actually stands out in a unique way and is very clean.
  • When starting the game, I liked how I could choose the spot where nuggets would begin on the planet. (After failing horribly on the first attempt, I realized I should place it near iron, stone, and of course water)
  • The art style was great! After turning off the God light I appreciated it much more. I currently play with it always off.

 

Did you experience any bugs?

For the most part remarkably no. The only issues I faced were god mail being broke after the first mission and boats being perpendicular to the water sometimes. This seems to me to be very stable for an alpha.

 

What did you think of the stone-age city building and resource management?

Coming from an RTS background I found it quite familiar and being the early stages of the game perfectly fine seeing as I am the god directing the people in their early life. I would like it to have more “godly” visuals. Maybe a light from heaven with some tablets detailing what they should build?

Later in the game, say mid medieval times or a bit later I would expect the gods priorities to shift from micromanagement to macro and the nuggets to manage their own structure placement and resources.

 

(taking a bit from one of my two previous posts here)

Unlocking via research over the medieval times, the player should no longer have to:

  • Place buildings such as farms, refineries etc.. (excluding major NEW structures the player unlocks)
    • Maybe each type of auto placement should be unlocked via research
  • Assign nuggets
  • Deal with unfilled position

 

The player should have new tasks to preform like

  • Expansion location assignment
    • Instead of placing each building the player should choose when and where the civilization attempts to expand
  • Cultural conflict resolutions
    • Choose which type of culture wins a war by helping with your godly powers
    • Influence farther cultural presence via research choices
    • Should your nuggets be good or evil? It is the player's choice based on their cultural actions
  • Exploration
    • Send nuggets to explore and find a brave new world via the sea, the land, and in the far future in space. 
  • Science choices (this should fall under nugget science discussed later)
    • Crossroads in science should start appearing after medieval times, once you make your choice you can't go back.
    • Study plants animals and learn from them for future buildings and farther research. (player chooses which animal to study and if the research should be kept.
    • Astronomy: Learn about the other planets, in more detail as your civilization evolves or see what your civilization discovers about the other planets as they evolve and guide them to particular areas of their the sky.

 

What did you think of the research?

Research felt off to me. I feel like it should be split into three different things: god powers, nugget evolution, and nugget science.

  • God powers
    • The god should be able to use his/her points to unlock farther powers. (I really want lightning, so I can play Zeus)
    • They should start out small like the telekinesis and cupid thing.
  • Nugget evolution
    • Nugget might
    • Nugget speed
    • Nugget other stuff

 

Nugget science should be done by the nuggets. How would it be implemented and how would you interact with it? Let me explain by example:

You get a notification that Jimbob is telling his nugget buddy the best idea: square wheels! You see on flat, water coated surfaces these babies slide like they are on oil but less so. So, what do you, the god of Jimbob, do? Do you:

  • Strike him down with a bolt of lightning to insure the idea does not spread?
  • Do you give him a dream of a round wheel?
  • Maybe he will just figure out that it is not the best idea on his own?
  • Maybe you like the idea of sliding square wheels and want to see how far the culture would progress.

 

With this system the player would feel like they are actually guiding the nuggets instead of just “upgrading” them. I still think the tech tree should be used, but instead of being a basic “click and have it happen” thing, it would be a overview of what your nuggets are thinking about and who is thinking about it.

Maybe latter in the game a future Jimbob decadent discovers oil. Now you really have a choice.

 

What did you think of the current god systems?

Even though the good/evil meter is not fully in place I really liked the choice and the fact the tower would change based on what I did.

While I appreciated the god-mail meme, I found it to be rather immersion breaking. I feel like individual nuggets should randomly notify you in some other way, even if it is just through the notification system. And the god-mail building should be replaced with some other shrine or church system (the art could stay the same except for the mail piece). PS if I burn it, it means I am unhappy. (I actually did this in game to see if I would get more letters)

I like the god powers in general. I especially liked that I could use the rain cloud to protect my nuggets from random fires. The fact it is under wrath seemed a bit odd to me though.

 

What did you think about the transition from the stone-age to medieval?

While a bit sudden from an art perspective, I liked it. It seemed to go smoothly, and it was cool watching my civilization grow a bit closer to the modern age.

 

Any other thoughts?

The school system is pretty cool, and I like the future implications, but it seems early to me from a historical perspective as most-of-the-time back then jobs were passed down by the family or by apprenticeships.

 

Thanks for working on this innovative game and keep up the good work!

I am excited to see what the future holds.

Hey Antiglow, 

Thank you a lot for such a great post and providing to us a constructive criticism & good suggestions.

Some of the things that you mentioned are being changed. For example micromanagement. As your civilization moves forward, more and more automation will be introduced. Eventually, you will have other things to care about instead of constantly placing buildings. 

 

I liked the Nugget Science idea. It is pretty cool.  Currently we are brainstorming similar idea but the idea is mostly concerned with the bigger scale issues rather then square wheel.

God mail was simply created for simplicity of use. The current god mail has a lot of issues and we are working on the solution to those issues. Hopefully you will like the new system more :)

 

As for the transition between eras our goal will be always to try and make is as smooth as possible. We do have a lot of obstacles with that, but we will do our best to make it feel good. 

 

Again, thank you a lot for your post. It is greatly appreciated and we will do our best to improve every aspect of the game. 

 

Sincerely,

Sasha 

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