Demo impressions

Alright, I’m assuming everyone here is familiar with Battleship Forever. This is the only game I know of that I could compare GSB to.

Firstly, I should make clear that I don’t care about graphics, presentation, the interface, etc. Gameplay is all that matters, and GSB just isn’t doing anything for me.

my first complaint is the lack of control. the ability to program automatic behavior is a -very- nice touch, but things never go according to plan. If you forget something or simply want things to move a little differently, quit, redeploy, restart, and wait to see how it goes. You have different classes of ships, but no way to direct them beyond ‘try to stay in a group’ ‘attack the guy that attacks a certain guy’ or ‘everyone attack the same guy.’

My second problem is the apparent lack of a sandbox mode. For a game with so much customization, I’d like a way to easily test my designs in different situations. BF, clunky as it can be, lets me quickly shift between ship design and a completely freeform ship testing mode.

As I wrote this, I kept re-loading the demo, looking for features and tweaks I knew I had to have missed, but…it seems they just weren’t there to find. GSB looks nice. But that’s apparently all it does. This probably reads pretty harsh, but that’s just the way the demo has left me feeling.

Give it more time. It’s part of the game to slowly understand the mechanics and intricacies until your fleet does what you want it to. Takes some trial and error at first, but it just gets easier with experience. And other ppl’s experiences on the forums.

Plus, it is an evolving game, there are many improvements happening.

Have you perhaps heard of Chess? Terrible graphics, no presentation or UI at all but the gameplay has pulled people in for well over 1,000 years.

The whole point of the game is to create a fleet that fights the same whether you’re present or not, which lets you fight against other people’s fleets on equal footing. Frankly the game wouldn’t be that interesting as an RTS. Watching what the computer does and then thinking of ways to improve things for your fleet IS the game.

There’s definitely room to add complexity to the game but I wouldn’t add real-time controls. That would defeat the purpose.

Not sure what you mean. With the full version you can test against your own fleets if you want by submitting a challenge.

I’ve also thought it would be interesting to have a “custom map” mode but there is something to be said for being able to create a fleet for a map and then be able to go online and find 100 other fleets on that same map to test against. With custom maps you’d be creating a fleet for just that one map and the only thing you’d be able to test against is yourself, since obviously nobody else has your custom map.

for example, in BSF, you can load an empty map and then spawn ships in any amount or placement, either the default sets or ones you created. It’s a great way to compare different designs and fine tune them by running them through different situations.

About comparisons, i’ve only just discovered this game and am about to purchase, but it seems to me this plays a lot like 12 o’clock high - bombing the reich. Which i thought was a brilliant game. I’m not into the twitch thing and the idea of creating something and then letting it loose appeals to me. Hopefully i’m right. I’m just torn between getting it from Steam or getting it directly from the dev. Seems Steam is slow with the updates/expansion thing, so maybe direct is better.

Welcome aboard, matey! Here’s your ID chip, VIP pass to enter the Command Deck, and your grog ration. :wink: Srsly, glad you’re enjoying the demo.

In GSB, you’re very much in the role of a flag officer in command of a task force or an entire fleet. As an admiral, you ‘direct’ from high up in your command vessel’s flag bridge; the captains sweat over all of the small stuff and implement your broad orders in detail. I adore this game because it isn’t a micromanaged click-fest. Win!

With regards to updates, obtaining them directly via cliffski’s in-game autopatcher is signifigantly faster than relying on Steam or anyone else. There have been a lot of patches and I love never having needed to wait and wait and waaaait for them.

If your tastes lean towards game modding in the future, we have a very active mod community here; the informal “Mod Patrol” in particular.

Hi. I was sure it s “Battleships Forever” project, now I see it’s not.
I really like graphics, but not the gameplay (sorry).I want control during the battle!!!
waita minute …you copied this idea from “WYRDYSM GAMES” !!! and you are trying to make some difference here…

there is actualy an auto updater wich searches for an update when you start the game but then it asks you to install it where you installed GSB so it asks you to install to C:\program files …

wich is a pain to me as mine is in F:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common

so its a tradeoff between having to find the correct update path or not being able to easily install it on multiple comps trough steam

You can do this in GSB too. Just pick a map, make a deployment and then challenge yourself with it. You can also customise the scenarios, if you want to, with a little work. But generally it’s better to stick with the default maps - they’re pretty flexible, and each one has hundreds of player made challenges available for you to compete with.

Going by what I read on their website, I’d have to say that this and BF don’t have much more in common than the fact they are space games. BF appears to have a stronger focus on tactics (micromanaging/maneuvering your ships,) where GSB has a stronger focus on strategy (it’s entirely about design and placement.) Not having the ability to micromanage your ships during the battle means you can play asynchronous multiplayer. For an indie game this is a HUGE plus, as you’re not dependent on finding someone available to play at the exact moment you want to play, in a tiny online community. I like RTS games, but it’s the wrong label for this game. It has much more in common with a TBS game (except here, a single turn decides the entire game :wink:

EDIT: Just played through the first few missions in BF… Yeah, I guessed right from the descriptions. These games play completely differently. The only similarity seems to be they are set in space…

As for where to get the game. I’d recommend getting it direct, rather than from Steam/Impulse etc. Cliffski is chucking out updates astonishingly quickly, but they don’t make it to these distributors as fast.

My problem with the demo is much simpler: broken tactics. All seemed interesting while I played the demo in a role-playing way. But then I tried testing the game more scientifically, and it just seems broken: boring degenerate tactics work, like just plonking 9 cruisers clustered tightly together and the bottom of the screen (so that the enemy is dealt with serially rather than in parallel) - 95% survival on Expert. It seems positioning like that has far more effect on the result than ship selection (indeed, such clustering works best when all are the same so that they all engage at the same time).

Games where one or two boring tactics just keep working ruin the game. Even my favourite casual game, Plants vs. Zombies, suffers from this after all units are unlocked.

I’d LOVE for this to just be a quirk of the demo. But from what I can see now, yes: seems like a great game, but it needs far better mechanics (eg. exploding ships damage all nearby) to balance off these degenerate cases.


explosio damage is already implemented.
and of course a lot depends on deployment location, but there are a lot of challenges where it won’t help you at all.

cliffsi constantly improves the mechanics and the game is becoming more and more balanced, but it takes time. starcraft took about 10 years and 3542739582 patches…