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Invisible, Inc. Alpha: Initiation (Update Trailer)


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#1 Jason

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 04:36 PM



The ninth update for the Invisible, Inc. Alpha.  Initiation.
 
In general, this update focuses on new depth for agents in the form of augments while creating greater challenges by forcing the agents to be more careful in their play. Guards are tougher, but you have more options to deal with them.
  
Augments
A new kind of toy has arrived! As part of our design to make agent progression deep and meaningful, we've created Augments. Augments, like skills, are permanent improvements to your agents and will build your agents into masters of espionage and infiltration.
 
As well, like items, they can be found and bought in the world. They create an important choice though, as INSTALLING an Augment permanently uses an inventory slot. They provide ways to get boost of speed or multiple actions within a turn allowing your agents to pull off some sweet combos. 

Tier 2 Guards
The corporations decided to protect their more precious items with more skilled personnel. Beyond the corporate special units, tougher guards will show up at the higher levels. Currently, they have more health and higher weapon damage. In the future we will be adding different types of tier 2 guards that present new challenges.
 
Guard stat balance
In conjunction with the Tier 2 Guards, all guards have had a stat boost. Combat has still been far too accessible a solution to most of the games challenges. We increased the guards health to allow only the best combat units the ability to take them down quickly. 
 
Guard patrols contained 
Guards have become tougher, but on the other hand, we've continued to provide more ways to make stealth easier. Guards patrol paths are now contained to two points, each point one turn of movement away. When you observe a guard on patrol, you can see his whole story at a glance. Where he is, where he will be, and where he'll be 2 turns from now. You'll be able to make plans that don't involve killing or even KOing guards more securely.
 
Hide action
Further enhancing the stealth options is a new HIDE action. When standing next to cover, an agent can HIDE behind it. Guards who would normally get cover penalties to hit the agent will not even see your agent, but guards who have cover-less sight to the agent will still be able to see them as normal.
 
Tutorial
A tutorial has been started to help lower the insane learning curve we've built up. For many of you seasoned players, it will just reveal what you've already sweat blood for, but for a few of you it may have a nugget here or there that you didn't know about because we just hadn't done a good job explaining it yet.
 
360° Vision
As many of you have discovered, the line of sight on agents is sometimes inconsistent while spending movement points. In addition, double-clicking on each movement had the effect of slowing the whole experience down. Because of this, we've decided to implement 360 degree field of view, and have single-click movement. Guards will continue to have 90 degree vision. The fictional conceit is that our agents are always looking around for danger, and from a design stand point we think it feels a lot better. 
 
In general we want the games to go faster to improve the iterative play cycle and this certainly helps. (Note: Currently, sound traveling while moving is not implemented in this new method of movement and will be in a later update).
 
Compass
As a minor improvement we've added a compass indicator on the HUD to help players orient themselves in the world.
 
Change list notes:

  • Augments
  • Tier 2 guards
  • Guard stat balance
  • Guard limited patrol
  • hide action
  • Tutorial
  • 360°[/size] vision
  • compass

Hot fixes

 

12/03/2014 2:00

  • tutorial shopping bug
  • signup bug
  • AI bug

13/03/2014 3:00

  • fixed several AI bugs
  • fixed several visual bugs 
  • fixed music disappearing bug


#2 Anarchosyn

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:44 AM

Wow.. Thanks. Maybe this will spur some real discussion around here.

 

Gameplay-wise, Invisibles really has some solid potential to eclipse any of the other turn based, isometric titles I've been playing (e.g. Shadowrun Returns, and Firaxis' new XCom). Keep up the good work! 

 

At first glance, everything seems great. My only concern is with the 360° vision. I was fine with the old system, with emphasis on sound propagation. I haven't booted the game up to really get a feel, so take that as lite conjecture. 

 

(Post play) edit: ​Ok, one tiny complaint with the new movement system, the lack of a facing step also eliminates the ability to changes one's mind about movement. Sometimes this played into my strategic thinking, and sometimes this was a godsend to prevent accidental movement (Shadowrun Returns, for example, uses right click to move the map, so I'm sometimes falling into that pattern). More than just a superfluous two-step system, I often found it approximated the strategic thought patterns of my agents (which is to say, it helped immerse me, and I enjoyed it). 

 

Personally, I'd rather see facing return, but with free "on space rotation" like others requested. Despite objecting to this in the thread I'm referencing, I'd prefer it to having the two step process removed entirely. In a turned based game, the decision making process plays chiefly into what makes the experience, and to have that minimized to any extent seems questionable (emphasis on the removal of sound propagation information when moving not stealthed, or is that being revamped as well? I didn't follow your comment to that above).  

 

 

Workaround: I've adopted a click and hold approach to moving the screen, and thankfully this allows for retroacting the click if I happened to have slipped into bad habits. Still, I'd love to hear why facing was removed to better appreciate the decision.

 

edit 2: Also, during the tutorial, the bit where you introduce guard movement appears to be bugged. Perhaps a reload would fix the issue, but clicking "Next Turn" doesn't effect movement. He stays in place, and no yellow arrows are present (even after re-peeking).

 

Workaround: I knocked the guy out and continued. However, the next tutorial pop-up, regarding sound generation during movement, couldn't be followed for this same reason. I opted to leave out the other door (so thank you for keeping the tutorial free-form).

 

Regarding the tutorial as a whole, I rather enjoyed it. Nothing was new after the 10 hours I spent with the last build (I'm a relative newbie), but it ironed out some ambiguous edges. 

 

Only suggestion is: you should probably explain, even in passing, what the orange dots are in the HUD earlier, maybe while explaining the other HUD features. Even after 10 hours, I'm unsure what those do and was sad the tutorial didn't make it clearer.

 

Minor tutorial bugs noticed:

 

  • On my screen, when introducing stealth with Doctor Pedler, the Stealth icon is overlapped by his pistol icon in the inventory. Enough sticks out that I can select it, but I never encountered that before (SamLogan hits this below). 
  • The tutorial says stealth costs 3 MP, but the icon says 2 MP. I suspect one is mistaken.  
  • When introduced to the vending machines, I wasn't able to get it to open even after being cracked. The "open" icon was non-responsive. 
  • Before movement, sometimes the pathing lines wouldn't populate (generally immediately after I cycled "next turn"). For the first time since playing, I've had a few mix-ups with which agents I had selected.

 

Oh, and interesting change to stealth (not notated above, but I knew to expect it from your forum activity). I never had a problem with the old system, but see no issues with the new either. I could see people forgetting to re-enable it, but the color differentiation should help remedy that.


Edited by Anarchosyn, 12 March 2014 - 01:04 PM.


#3 SamLogan

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:16 PM

The trailer is pretty good and the game changing greatly.

 

I've try the new patch quickly here's some suggestions/feedback :

 

Tutorial

 

Add a save system to allow to quit the tutorial without do it all again if we quit it before the end.

 

The retry system is pretty good.

 

 

Locked doors

 

The locked doors are not clear anymore, it looks too much like the other doors.

 

 

World Map

 

I prefered the other one. Here there's too much informations and the map look dead.

 

 

UI

 

With a 4:3 screen (1276x720) there's a problem with the displaying of the UI get overlay (look at the gun)

 

Attached File  over.jpg   14.26KB   0 downloads


Edited by SamLogan, 12 March 2014 - 12:19 PM.

Don't Starve FR : site communautaire français de Don't Starve
Site : http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/

Invisible, Inc FR : site communautaire français d'Invisible, Inc
Site : http://incognitafr.blogspot.com/

#4 nomotog

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:21 PM

The change to movement is really tripping me up. It feels odd only clicking once and without that direction confirmation you can't really judge if someone will hear your movement till after you make it. I just feels really awkward though.

 

Did you take away the EXP for finding safes?


The 360 sight is going to take time to get use to. I am constantly surprised by what I can see and what peek reveals.


Hide doesn't feel that useful because it goes away when you move. Also you used it at then end of your turn so the likelihood of an AP being available isn’t always high.


Edited by nomotog, 12 March 2014 - 12:39 PM.


#5 Bigfoot

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:34 PM

The change to movement is really tripping me up. It feels odd only clicking once and without that direction confirmation you can't really judge if someone will hear your movement till after you make it. I just feels really awkward though.

We're definitely going to add more information to show what your entire sound radius is. It also felt awkward to me for single clicking but after a while it became second nature. It's just so much faster to play this way!



#6 Bigfoot

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:56 PM

Hide doesn't feel that useful because it goes away when you move. Also you used it at then end of your turn so the likelihood of an AP being available isn’t always high.

Good point. I personally haven't used hide very much. We'll continue to tweak that, but in general we want more options for hiding and sneaking around.



#7 sirmentlegen

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 04:54 PM

I don't like how i can not walk into the building gun blazing anymore.
"One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic."
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#8 nomotog

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 05:07 PM

Good point. I personally haven't used hide very much. We'll continue to tweak that, but in general we want more options for hiding and sneaking around.

 

I really like the idea behind hide. It just needs to be more potent I think. Making it work well moving might help. As well as adding some visual indication of what squares have cover and what ones don’t. That might be too powerful though. Rooms tend to have a lot of cover.



#9 Bigfoot

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 05:25 PM

I don't like how i can not walk into the building gun blazing anymore.

You can, you just have to earn the right to do it :)



#10 nomotog

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 06:36 PM

I was able to play with some of the arguments. They are neat, but I can’t think of where I could really use most of them. Most activate randomly Others activate on rare or odd circumstances. They take up space that could be used for items. Also it takes over 13 CPUs to get one. That is a lot. Edit: I just found a aug room without that 10 point laser gate, so I guess they don't always cost so much.


Edited by nomotog, 12 March 2014 - 06:51 PM.


#11 Anarchosyn

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 11:33 PM

It took a few sessions, but I've adopted hiding into my repertoire. It's fun, and adds to the immersive quality of this title. 



#12 Sander Bouwhuis

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 03:00 AM

For a while I thought it was going in the wrong direction, so I stopped playing the game. It seems that with this update I feel like playing again. The 360 vision and guard patrol routes being more clear seem like great changes.

 

I'll play when I have the time this weekend. Thanks for the update.



#13 BirdofPrey

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 06:27 PM

While I appreciate the consideration for making the game faster, I don't really think the game suffered in gameplay speed, and I apreciated the ability to make a choice for facing.  As mentioned above it gives me the chance to doublecheck, and in a game like this it's good to not screw up.  I have accidentally clicked and sent a person to a spot which never happened before with two clicks required, but besides that, it feels more like I am in control with the ability to choose rotation.

 

Besides that, while 360 view is great, don't characters take more damage/ have more chance to be knocked out or receive critical damage based on facing?  the autofacing has put my back to a guard before, and I don't like that.

 

 

As far as guards go.  I appreciate they are tougher, but you might have gone overboard with the elite guards.  I ended up in an accidental skirmish and wasn't harming them at all (was trying to knock them out with the spy, did nothing).  Stand up fights shouldn't be encouraged, but they shouldn't be an automatic failure condition if you screw up and stumble into a fight.



#14 Anarchosyn

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 11:46 PM

While I appreciate the consideration for making the game faster, I don't really think the game suffered in gameplay speed, 

 

I've made my case for the return of manual facing in the Suggestions subforum, but I wanted to chime in on this as well. I never once felt the game moved slowly, or had anybody I introduced to the game make this claim. I respect that the devs have indeed encountered this complaint, but it might be that rare case of unlucky sample selection opposed to a hard cold fact. 



#15 JonathanEpp

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 07:06 AM

I'm really enjoying this update. The polish and depth that's now being introduced with every update is amazing. It's really feeling a lot closer to a finished product at this point.

 

Also, named update with video? What?! It's giving me some good TF2 update event vibes. My expectations just jumped a level, and now I'm wondering where the "Meet the Agent" videos are.

 

Regarding the 360 view. I was negative about the whole peek cost on the last update and completely came around, and the 360 view solved my one remaining gripe with the system (the click-fest that was required to safely walk through a door-way). I find the whole movement system and associated costs are really fluid and intuitive now. I think animating the agents to show that they're checking out every angle (as you indicated you were working on another thread) will help to make it clear that there's no longer a "negative" facing for agents. 

 

I also don't have an issue with the one-click movement, assuming that the sound path is going to made clear to us in a future update (I believe you've indicate that this will be coming).

 

If I had to nitpick, and I'm really stretching here, it'd be that I have to re-select sneaking every turn. I assume it's to prevent people from accidentally incurring the two MP cost right away, but I think it would be okay to keep the selection between turns and allow you to change your mind as long as you haven't moved anywhere.

 

The text rendering and the way it's housed within buttons and contextual menus looks less polished, but I'm assuming that's because you've added a pile more information and switched up where information is displayed. All for the best, I think. I believe the game is much more intuitive to new-comers at this point. Even though I've played this a bunch I found these little changes are allowing me to play with a lot more confidence.

 

Overall, really solid update. For me, this is feeling a lot more like a beta release right now, than an alpha (having said that, I still want this to be an alpha, really enjoying this whole process).  



#16 StoofooEsq

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 08:07 AM

Going to give my impressions on the features and changes of the Initiation Update so far.

 

Augments: Fun! These add some customization to your agents while giving the gameplay a little extra potential flavor. I'm enjoying clearing firewalls to get more movement points on my already fast agent, and darting around unseen and unheard. I'm fine with parting an inventory slot for bonuses like that. Can't wait to see more augments and what they can do.

 

Tier 2 Guards: Since my first priority is avoiding guards to begin with (but drawing blood with lethal weapons when necessary, often as the last resort), I haven't had many problems when encountering them. In any case, having enemy variety to mix things up is nice.

 

Guard Stat Balance: With guards in general, I'll often take on them using non-lethal methods (as KO damage is separate from HP damage). So as long as lethal options aren't nullified entirely while cutting down on easy run and gun solutions, I'm okay with guards getting a stat boost.

 

Guard Patrols Contained: This is a nice change and helps when planning out your next moves, so long as you have info on a guard's position. With the guard buffs mentioned above, it feels fair to simplify how to deal with their movement.

 

Hide Action: This is nice. I was hoping an option to Hide behind cover would be added, as it only made sense in such a stealth-focused game. Admittedly, I was expecting to Hide in cover and being able to move to a piece of cover right next to that while staying Hidden. Still, I'll be making a lot of use of it from now on.

 

A question, though. Is the transparent visual effect on Hidden agents a placeholder for the moment, or will there be animations that show them propped against cover?

 

Tutorial: Some rough edges, and a little more detail would help out newer players, but it was still well-done. I think the length of it was fine; I got through it in around 15 minutes. I may go through it again to check out any other possible bugs or oversights.

 

360° Vision: This is something I'll need to experience more in order to form a concrete opinion on. Due to my playstyle of avoiding detection and not having to use Overwatch often (say, to cover a door where I know a guard is coming through), the 360° Vision isn't something I've felt that has come in handy yet.

 

Having previously played turn-based strategy games, it feels odd not being able to have an agent look in a direction after giving them a movement order. Further, lacking that level of control to make an agent cover a specific direction with Overwatch is strange. Like others, I didn't think having to do either slowed the game down for me. So as I feel I don't fully understand the purpose of 360° Vision yet, I want to give this element more seat time.

 

Compass: A minor but useful addition. Anything to help players establish a sense of direction while navigating floors is good.

 

Overall, these are some interesting changes made to Invisible, Inc., and I'm getting more excited to see what's in each new update. Keep it up!



#17 ShootyFace

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:57 AM

Hey all, just got into the alpha yesterday, have played enough to finally have beat my first mission. It turned out to be an exciting run.

 

I am terrible at diluting my gaming experience into very helpful feedback, but there were a few things I noticed.

 

DAMEONS

 

First of all, daemons are not explained very well, or I was simply not paying attention. I finally saw the 'hint' tab for them in the menu options in play, and saw that the daemons could be turned off using CPU. That one little tidbit of knowledge would have made my previous run a totally different story, as the 'sound = zap' daemon put my one remaining unit, Dr. Pedler, into a very tight spot, and ended up leading to my demise on the third floor as I just could not get around fast enough. I had plenty of CPU, but did not know I could spend it to turn off the 'sound = zap'.

 

SNEAK

 

As someone else pointed out, on 4:3 ratio, the sneak button gets pushed behind the inventory buttons. It's clickable, but almost hidden. I'm sure the UI will get polished in time, but some new players might completely miss it. That said, I also think stealth should be toggleable during a turn. Let me sneak a few steps, get out of earshot, then toggle it off to run to cover. Having stealth be an on/off deal would make it less of a pain to move the non-Deckard units. If the MP cost is a problem, round down, we'll take that versus the system in place now. At least I will.

 

MAINFRAME

 

Mainframe mode is something I found myself using a lot to simply get a clearer look at the map layout. It would be nice if we could see the security elements' view range while in this mode. I'm also curious as to why we can't move in mainframe mode. I imagine it's to keep people from playing JUST in that mode, which I can accept, but maybe having it be an option would be nice. Not nitpicking, either, just something I noticed and was curious about. Something I would love to see, but not sure if it would be expensive, is the ability to hide the walls ala Gnomoria to get a better view of the layout. Mainframe mode makes this mostly unnecessary, but thought I'd mention it as I would have welcomed the ability in my playtime.

 

PROGRESSION

 

I am not clear on progression, as in if my team wipes, and I click New Game, am I starting over from scratch? It appears I am accumulating research, which is cool, but I didn't actually start paying attention to research until a few runs in and am simply not clear on how a wipe affects me. I haven't even attempted to unlock anything as I am not sure if it's worth my time at this stage in the game, and I have been more interested in learning all the mechanics and systems during missions.

 

AUGMENTS/INVENTORY

 

Augments are a nice way to let us customize our squad members, however, being able to arrange items in the inventory would be nice. Again, not nitpicking, but I am sure other players with OCD would agree being able to slot items and augments wherever we like on the toolbar would be a nice quality of life addition.

 

Anyway, as I hadn't played before the Initiation update I don't have any input on how things have changed. What I can say is I love pretty much everything about the game. It's shaping up to be exactly the game that it claims to be 'on the tin'. 360 degree sight makes sense here, hiding is a fun mechanic, the alarm system feels about perfect, augments and items are interesting, and the costs seem reasonable, including augments taking up slots.

 

As expected, the animations and art design are top notch, you guys and gals at KLEI know how to make a game look great, and thankfully, how to make a game FUN!  I cannot wait for the next update, and to try and help out along the way to launch. Keep up the amazing work, that goes for you alpha spies, too. Happy infiltrating!



#18 Anarchosyn

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 01:06 PM

Hey all, just got into the alpha yesterday, have played enough to finally have beat my first mission. It turned out to be an exciting run.

 

I am terrible at diluting my gaming experience into very helpful feedback, but there were a few things I noticed.

 

DAMEONS

 

First of all, daemons are not explained very well, or I was simply not paying attention. I finally saw the 'hint' tab for them in the menu options in play, and saw that the daemons could be turned off using CPU. That one little tidbit of knowledge would have made my previous run a totally different story, as the 'sound = zap' daemon put my one remaining unit, Dr. Pedler, into a very tight spot, and ended up leading to my demise on the third floor as I just could not get around fast enough. I had plenty of CPU, but did not know I could spend it to turn off the 'sound = zap'.

 

 

 

 

Can you believe that, on my first two (TWO) play sessions with this title, I never even knew you could hack *anything* in the mainframe mode? It didn't click that those red shields were clickable, and I was wondering why CPU was considered so valuable an asset. :p

 

My criticism of the daemon system is in how their is little in the way of tools to assist in eliminating, bypassing, obscuring them besides spending CPU. This system has an amazing amount of potential (I *KNOW* you Klei kids are familiar with Android: Netrunner), and even room to create new specialists around (my favorite part of the Invisibles Inc trailer is the animated bit where the sniper turns a corner and hits a collection of laser grids which we then see Ruby  hack to turn off. Unfortunately, their is nothing in the actual gameplay to approximate that since no individual player is a hacking specialist, nor does the mainframe system accessed via any particular character).

 

Perhaps a hacker specialist can come equipped with limited use IceBreakers that get a comparative advantage against specific breaks of ICE (or, err, something). The hacking is probably the strongest aspect of the game thus far (as in allure / attraction factor).    



#19 adivel

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 05:29 PM

the Tutorial was nice, but I think some points (like the alarm system) where missed!



#20 Bigfoot

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Posted 15 March 2014 - 06:33 PM

@Anarchosyn we DO have the hack item that let's you hack one thing, but it's admittedly pretty limited in its use. We're all huge fans of Netrunner. The concern is there are already tons of things to teach players, and we definitely don't want to start adding tags (fracter vs. barrier, code gate vs. decoder, etc) to everything. 

 

That said, I agree we can go deeper. What you see now is the base level of difficulty and systems, and we're going to explore deeper into each system from now on to bring out their potential. 

 

 

DAMEONS

 

First of all, daemons are not explained very well, or I was simply not paying attention. I finally saw the 'hint' tab for them in the menu options in play, and saw that the daemons could be turned off using CPU. That one little tidbit of knowledge would have made my previous run a totally different story, as the 'sound = zap' daemon put my one remaining unit, Dr. Pedler, into a very tight spot, and ended up leading to my demise on the third floor as I just could not get around fast enough. I had plenty of CPU, but did not know I could spend it to turn off the 'sound = zap'.

The good news is that you DO know now. Invisible Inc is supposed to be played over many sessions, so I'm actually okay with players feeling out the systems, as long as they figure it out relatively quickly. Hilariously, I was caught the same way when @Jason and @jamesl implemented the shock floors :)