It’s been 11 days since Closed Beta ended so it’s high time we debrief you on the event.
But before we do, everyone at Ocean Drive Studio would like to thank you for participating. We were on pins and needles, worrying if we would be collecting enough data to have made this closed beta successful. We do public tests to get data that we cannot generate with just us here at the studio, and more importantly, to get your feedback to identify problems and improve the game together.
Well, we need not have worried. Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey, created and upvoted topics on Feature Upvote, talked about your experience on our Discord, and went as far as streaming the game, we’re relieved to report that we were able to gather a ton of feedback. So much so that we are still figuring out how best to shape the game with all that you told us.
While it is too early to share what we’re going to do with the feedback we got, we did want to take a minute and share the main takeaways from the beta.
But first, to refresh your memory, our stated mission for this beta was:
- Confirm the game is stable enough to provide smooth game sessions
- Confirm the core shooting and rogue-lite elements of the game are fun
And this is how we see the result of our mission:
- Game is somewhat stable though not pristine
- Combat was fun for some but pretty unforgiving for many with roguelite elements fallingshort of expectations
Let’s get into it a little bit more, shall we?
We saw crash and error reports come in on the backend and 10% of the survey participants reported crashes. Of all the technical issues reported (like crashes, lag, gamefreeze, etc.), framedrop was the most reported. And unsurprisingly, most issues were found mid-battle.
That being said, matchmaking wasn’t the easiest, which led to about half of the reported team size being less than 3.
So we are leaving room for the possibility of more technical issues when we have more sessions run with full-sized teams.
And speaking of matchmaking, here are some of the top suggestions we got from you to make it better, apart from just getting more people:
- Allow access to the lobby even after creating a room to see who comes to the lobby
- Allow the creation of private rooms
We got the most feedback about combat and it was very diverse. But the most frequent feedback was that the game is unforgiving and many found themselves struggling between friendly fire and ammo management. So it made sense that the synaptic enhancement that automatically reloads your weapon when you roll was the most memorable buff, with it being cited as the favorite of all surveyed (14%).
The lack of a tutorial to explain how to combat different types of creatures–and really just the whole game overall–was a problem. Without one, many of you were not able to take advantage of the nuances like the light vs dark element within the game.
Here are some of the more common feedback we received:
- Game needs to change difficulty based on the team size
- Combat is not balanced. Enemies move faster than characters, friendly fire does too much damage
- Need more ammo
Re: Roguelite elements
More than half of the surveyed did not feel much growth even after permanently unlocking more weapons or gaining permanent stat boosts. This was alarming to us since account progression is a critical rogue-lite element we want to get right. Although many of you said unlocking more weapons to choose from is helpful, you didn’t think the upgraded weapons were all that powerful.
Given how difficult it was to even get to safe zones to receive Blueprints and unlock perm stats, the overall experience seems to have been very underwhelming.
This made us realize that we should have more effort into shaping a proper first-time user experience, and we seriously regret not having provided a better environment in which to better test the permanent growth.
Some players didn’t even realize you can do these perm upgrades when they got to the safe zone since there was no tutorial and it wasn’t super obvious what safe zones are for…
Here are couple of the most common feedback:
- Power-ups need to be stronger with more tangible benefits as it’s hard to notice growth.
- Power-ups are too hard to get, given the cost and difficulty of getting to the safe zone.
Re: Everything else
While the above were the type of feedback we started the CB to receive, we of course got much more. UI/UX was another hot topic with a lot of you finding the menu navigation using just the keys counterintuitive and requesting better ways to communicate with teammates.
The UI/UX in the beta was definitely not intended to be final. When we opened CB, we already had plans to improve it by Early Access as we were aware it needs work. But we did prioritize the gameplay elements for CB since that was the focus of this test.
We’d like to assure everyone that you will see a much improved UI/UX by Early Access and an even more polished one by the official launch.
We hope the inconvenience you experienced during this last beta doesn’t deter you from trying the game again–it will be better, we promise!
Here are two of the most requested changes:
- Add mouse cursor in the menu/lobby UI
- Add preset quick chat messages that can be sent with a shortcut key
In terms of the art/aesthetics of the game, we mostly received positive feedback, especially with our environment art. You scored us high on character and creature design, but the rating of the environment was double their score!
As you can see, this beta gave us a lot to review and think about. While it’s too early to specify exactly how we’re going to improve based on your feedback, you can bet we will update you when our plan is set.
Thank you again for giving us your invaluable time and feedback, will report back soon!