Neptunes Pride and Iron Helmet Games!

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Jay_Kyburz, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Jay_Kyburz

    Original Member

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    Hello Indie Gamer Forums!

    I haven't posted since May 2007, but I'm back with and exciting announcement for you all. After nearly 10 years of working in the mainstream games industry, a few colleagues and I have quit 2K to go Indie. Bioshock 2 will be my last game as a slave to the publishers and from here on in my games will be my own!

    Neptune's Pride is a hardcore multiplayer 4x Space Strategy game with a few twists to make it fresh and interesting.

    The game is about strategic command and diplomacy, so much like the classic Avalon Hill boardgame Diplomacy, we striped away much of the games complexity so players can focus on what everybody else is doing rather than how to best climb the tech tree.

    The other major difference is that the game is real-time but played over several weeks. Players log in at any time of the day or night to check the progress of their fleets, view the results of battles, and issue new orders. This makes it easy to connect with other players and play when you want to. You can play just 10 minutes a day or login every half an hour to make sure your offensive is proceeding as planned.

    The game is fairly retro, and hardcore, and is not for everybody. You will either love it or hate it. If you do come and play, please make sure to send us your feedback because the game is still in Beta and there is plenty of time to add new features or polish existing ones.

    http://np.ironhelmet.com

    Regards,

    Jay Kyburz

    Iron Helmet Games
    www.ironhelmet.com
     
  2. Reactor

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Looks interesting... I hope it works out for you guys.

    Just a teeny weeny thing (really teeny weeny)- you have a 2009 copyright on the website. Since it's so big and bright you might like to update it :)
     
  3. Colm

    Colm New Member

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    Very small & specific suggestion from looking at the screenshots. How about using 'systems' instead of 'stars' (or perhaps 'planets'). Stars makes me think of something you'd collect in a platformer.

    Looks pretty interesting overall; and I like the clean, simple design.
     
  4. Andrej Vojtas

    Andrej Vojtas New Member

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    Also an ex-mainstream dev gone indie here. The best choice I ever made ;) I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do.

    Wish you guys a good start with your game. I'm not into mutliplayer games, but overall niche is a good place to be, long term wise.
     
  5. ChrisP

    Indie Author

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    Hey Jay. Been meaning to check this out for a while, just got around to it. Very slick! I like it.

    Only seen a few glitches so far:

    - I got about 9 different copies of the "welcome to Neptune's Pride" message at game start
    - The text next to the ad at the bottom has no less than two typos: "Remove this add and support Neptune's Pride! Buy Galatic Credits Right Now!"
    - I currently have 11 events. When I view the second page (events #6-10), the blue gradient background doesn't extend to the bottom.
     
  6. Aleksi

    Aleksi New Member

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    Very nice! I like the idea of this game.

    Perhaps, on a graphical point of view, it tends to be a bit too purple for me overall. The GUI on the right side feels a little dull with the rest...

    As for the music playing with the video, i would suggest it to be calmer. The music is fine, but it brings a stressful tension that doesn't really fit with the actual action. It could get on the player's nerves after a while...

    I'll be curious to see further updates of your game, looks promising!

    Cheers,
     
  7. cliffski

    Moderator Original Member

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    I agree with this entirely...
     
  8. JGOware

    Indie Author

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    Just an observation from somone not really into this genre. The images at the top of the page look really good, space creatures, aliens, etc, and then the game screen shots seem to be just circles and names. I guess there doesn't need to be flashy graphics for this type of game?
     
  9. Jay_Kyburz

    Original Member

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    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    Yeah, these kinds of games have a tendency to look like a spread sheet, it can be hard to find places for nice graphics without actually detracting from the game.

    The music in the trailer is supposed to create a bit of tension any mystery. It doesn't actually play in game. Players only log in for a few minutes once or twice a day so there is not as much emphasis on creating atmosphere as there is in other games.

    We will continue to work on our presentation, we really wanted to get the game out for Beta testing as soon as possible so that we could build on a solid foundation.
     
  10. TimS

    Original Member

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    Just started my first game today...

    One suggestion -- you really need the ability for users to change the email that is on file for them. I never ever check or use my gmail account, but I'd like to be able to get emails from the game when it sends them (without sifting through all of the garbage in my gmail)!

    -Tim

    (playing as Nano in current game 108: Gamma Phad)
     
  11. Colm

    Colm New Member

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    I'm playing in game 107, will give feedback once I've played through a bit. So far so good though. You guys build it with Flex?
     
  12. chanon

    Indie Author

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    Here's my feedback ...
    I joined a game, and when the game started I got an email so I clicked to the site to begin playing. Then I saw the game screen and I had no idea what I was supposed to do. Of course I didn't try hard enough, but I guess it would be nice if you had a singleplayer tutorial.

    BTW I loved Master of Orion 1/2 so I do have some experience in the genre .. (just a datapoint)
     
  13. Colm

    Colm New Member

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  14. Jay_Kyburz

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    @ Colm, no just flash, though we didn't really use the flash part of it, I believe everything could have been done in the free flex framework.

    @ chanon, We are still finding good ways to introduce players to the game. You may have missed the tutorial because we only put it up a few days ago.

    Thanks everybody for the feedback.
     
  15. chanon

    Indie Author

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    Probably, since I tried the day you started the thread :)
     
  16. TimS

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    Been playing for a few days... here's some feedback. I figured I'd put it up here to open it for public discussion, but I'll try to remember to email it also so it goes through the right channels.

    1. If the top of the main interface ("overview, inbox, events, options") could be made to NOT scroll along with the rest of the window, it'd smooth out routine play quite a bit. Clicking on "overview" comes up so often... and it becomes irritating to scroll back up to get to it.
    2. minor bug -- there seems to be a period of time when "Next Pay" is just blank... prior to the pay actually happening.
    3. It would be awesome if there was a "Next Event" timer that said when the next predictable thing was going to happen for your empire (a ship arriving at a destination, a tech completion, a payment, etc.) The true junkies will want to come MOVE that ship as soon as it gets to its destination... and I'd imagine it gets hard to track down once you've got a ton of fleets.
    4. The speed tech description seems broken. In the tech's description is says level 1, 2 and 3 are something WAY higher than it claims you have in the player browser.
    5. Hotkeys for tech, player, star, and fleet browsers (1,2,3 and 4?) would be awesome.
    6. Allowing the scroll wheel for moving the interface on the right (and for zoom on the map!) would be nice.
    7. The website's organization is a bit odd... There are a lot of things that are under headings that feel off to me... like going to 'account' in order to start a new game.
    8. minor issue: when replying to an inbox message, your reply doesn't appear in the list until after a manual refresh...
    9. minor polish issue: The phrase "click and drag to scroll" shows up on top of other stuff like buttons most of the time... it really doesn't have to show up ever again after the player has played about 3 days worth, I'd wager.
    10. It is slightly unclear how much tech you will send if you click "send X tech"... if you are 5 levels beyond the other guy you might not want to send ALL of it... and it doesn't tell you how much you are sending.

    I'll add more as I go along. Fun times, though so far!

    -Tim
     
  17. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    As demonstrated by some other comments in this thread, people don't like to read. I skimmed the tutorial and most everything else was self-explanatory, but you're going to lose a lot of potential users if you don't have an interactive tutorial. On the other hand, there may be a big overlap between the "me not like reeding" demographic and those that will hate your game for other reasons, so maybe you're not actually losing that many people.

    Still, rather than making the tutorial a separate page, you could at least have things pop up one at a time when the player first starts their very first game...

    "These are your stars. The numbers underneath represent what they're producing for you: money, ships and science."

    "These are other players' stars. Consider getting in touch with those nearest you soon, in order to strategize together and decide who will be your friend and who will be your enemy."

    "These are your fleets. Click on the plus sign to move them to new stars - visit unoccupied stars to claim them."

    and so on...
     
  18. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    A couple of other comments:

    1) When I clicked "Buy Super Carrier," it didn't update... my money didn't go down, nor did a fleet appear. When I tried clicking again, it said "Insufficient Funds," even though it was still showing that I had $34. However, when I logged out and came back, I discovered I had a Super Carrier and $9. So it worked, it just didn't work right away, or required a logout and refresh to show up... bug?

    2) I only just now discovered that you can give players fleets, stars, money, etc. Why does the Player Browser only give you options to send tech, while to send other things, you have to do it through the private message system? That's really counter-intuitive.

    3) The game would really benefit from a sort of "open borders" treaty, where you can move ships through other people's space. At the moment, I was in the process of negotiating peace with another player when we discovered that we both had ships en route to the same star. It'd be nice if we could avoid killing each other.
     
  19. Jay_Kyburz

    Original Member

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    Thanks again for the notes and feedback guys. We are reading them and taking them on board!
     
  20. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    One thing I find missing is the possibility of in-game treaties. In my current game, I've found two other players that I trust, and we've been helping one another since pretty much the very beginning of the game. It seems almost certain at this point that one of us will win.

    Now, I understand the reason for not having a "treaty" system in the game... you want it to be like Diplomacy, where anyone can stab anyone in the back at a moment's notice. But there are a couple of things that feel lacking to me.

    1) The ability to move through another player's systems without combat. Realistically, you're in command of your ships... you should be able to order them not to attack if you want to allow passage through your space.

    2) Something akin to Solium Infernum's "blood vassal" status, wherein an ally of the winning player still scores some sort of "marginal" win... not as good as actually being the winning player, but better than being on the losing side. Good to have friends in high places and all.

    Here's what I would suggest, though you're the game's creator, so you'll probably want to put your own spin on it.

    * In addition to "send tech," etc., have a "Begin treaty negotations" option or something like that. Also costs money. $25 or $50 or something. Once BOTH players have done so, there's a 24 hr. window for either player to back out (though they still lose the money), after which a treaty is signed.

    * If A is allied with B, and B is allied with C, maybe make it cheaper and faster for A to ally with C... $10 and 12 hrs. or something.

    * Allied players can move ships through one another's systems.

    * Players can instantly and without cost, cancel any treaty they have. So you can still stab someone in the back without warning... send ships to their system, and cancel the treaty 10 minutes before you get there. You can even cancel the treaty when you have ships in the other guy's systems already. "Don't worry, go attack him, I'll guard these systems on the other border for you." Once he moves all his ships out of there, you cancel the treaty and instantly take them all over.

    * Trading ships, tech and stars with an allied player is cheaper.

    * If the winning player has allies at the time the game ends, they automatically finish ahead of any non-allied players, regardless of stars held. I.e. the winning player comes first, his ally with the most stars comes second, then his other allies, then the non-allied player with the most stars, and so on.
     

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