Andrew’s Noble Armada Developer Diary

Live FSNA Playtest

It’s always scary to debut your game to new eyes. We want the feedback and criticism, yet are afraid of it at the same time. What if there really is a bug?

Time to turn on the anti-negativity shields, don the rose-colored spectacles, and rush into the fray … or at least turn the game over to testers. On Nov. 14, the Georgia Game Developers Association hosted a playtest of games made by its members. Attendees got to try out Brush Up, Elemensional Rift, Super Seducer … and Fading Suns: Noble Armada.

You can check out our demo of the game here:

We got some great feedback. While we feel our UI is intuitive, we know it is not the industry standard. In most RTS games, you select a unit, select a space on the board, and your unit moves there. Select an enemy unit, and yours attacks it.

In FSNA, however, our movement system precludes this. The delicate dance of thrust and counter thrust is integral to the miniatures game, and we have recreated it here. That means players have to carefully control their facing and momentum. Simply selecting and moving would be easier, but lose what we feel is fun about the game.

Every player first tried the traditional RTS movement/attack interface. Testing showed us that we need a good tutorial to explain how it works in FSNA, but also that players liked ours once they understood it. Now we need to determine if that learning curve is too steep …

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