Osmos Feedback

Feedback and support for the PC version of Osmos
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Meal Worms
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Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby Meal Worms » Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:40 am

Hi csb,

Have you tried playing Osmos with the HUD disabled? The 'Level Complete' and 'Zone Complete' messages will fade away after a couple of seconds when the HUD is off.

Dave

csb
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Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby csb » Sat Nov 14, 2009 5:00 pm

Thanks, Dave. That was my only issue.

And now I'm on a level where strategy and planning are needed - Ambient Impasse.

llesna
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Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby llesna » Mon Dec 07, 2009 3:11 pm

Hello

This game has great potential, but I feel the demo really tricked me into buying the real game on a false premise of sensible difficulty.

There's simply very little difficulty curve. It goes from tutorial to a bit of work to ultra-hardcore-legendary-pro-gamer difficulty. Zen Attractors is so difficult, there are countless posts about it across the net! Not everyone has countless hours to spend trying to do and redo the levels until they master it, perhaps just via a bit of luck. The difficulty actually counteracts the chill of the game entirely: the two are polar opposites.

You should consider either MASSIVELY decreasing the difficulty level overall or at least making the difficulty optional. I'd feel no shame if I could only complete the game on easy. I've known games like that (ie, Ikaruga), but it means I get to play and enjoy the game. When I tried the demo, it wasn't impossible to do the trial levels, so I bought it on that principle. In the demo version, I didn't have to keep it on slow most of the time (which in turn slows the music) which then makes the levels feel tedious at times.

Perhaps consider setting the current initial mass setting to hard. Make your beginning amount slightly higher for normal and slightly higher again for easy. That way the casual players can get some satisfaction from the levels rather than spending an hour getting nowhere and no satisfaction or relaxation from the game. I don't think this game should fall into the general "learn to play" argument as I've spent what seems like a lot of time looking at strategy methods and trying to work out how to do this.

If you want a great comparison of difficulty, consider the model of Crayon Physics Deluxe. Some levels were very difficult, but they were manageable and solvable if you simply took the time to think them through. True, it lacked any real ultra hard difficulty, except the extra stars available by doing the levels in certain ways, but it gave a much greater sense of satisfaction and enjoyment overall.

Kind regards

popovich
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Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby popovich » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:37 am

llesna wrote:Hello

This game has great potential, but I feel the demo really tricked me into buying the real game on a false premise of sensible difficulty.

There's simply very little difficulty curve. It goes from tutorial to a bit of work to ultra-hardcore-legendary-pro-gamer difficulty. Zen Attractors is so difficult, there are countless posts about it across the net! Not everyone has countless hours to spend trying to do and redo the levels until they master it, perhaps just via a bit of luck. The difficulty actually counteracts the chill of the game entirely: the two are polar opposites.

Well, the problem is with Zen Attractors that you have to pay attention to gravity fields and movement of Attractors to be able to react in a proper manner.
There's nothing wrong with the difficulty curve. Most people think it's just simple moving of your mote around will get the job done. In most levels it will, but in Zen Attractors that simply isn't enough. For example, lot of people are complaining about "Epicycles". I wonder why is that, when Epicycles is, in fact , one of my favorite levels.
It takes thinking, not reacting. Only trouble I've had with is "Epicycles Forever", where you have to do 3 levels of "Epicycles" starting with a very small mote.
But after some time attempting, I passed it. In "Epicycles" there are 4 motes' gravity fields that affect your motion, and they all go in circles, how wonderful :D .
All you have to do is consume central, largest Attractor and 3 of the rest will just stray away (without central Attractor holding them with it's gravity field) into the barrier, and you win.
Or consume external Attractor, and just position yourself in 1 place without many movements, speed up the time, and the rest of the Attractors will circle around until they reach you, then, will very little motion, central Attractor will pull you in, and you win.
The trick with hard levels is TIME. Most people don't make small motions, but big one, expelling too much of their matter.
You have to make LITTLE moves, and SPEED UP the time. That's why that control is added in Osmos. There's even a tip that says that.
All in all, Osmos is, in my opinion, great game with excellent levels and very satisfying difficulty level (for my taste).
If it was easier than this, it would probably never grow on me the way it has now. ;)

llesna
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Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby llesna » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:05 am

popovich wrote:
llesna wrote:Hello

This game has great potential, but I feel the demo really tricked me into buying the real game on a false premise of sensible difficulty.

There's simply very little difficulty curve. It goes from tutorial to a bit of work to ultra-hardcore-legendary-pro-gamer difficulty. Zen Attractors is so difficult, there are countless posts about it across the net! Not everyone has countless hours to spend trying to do and redo the levels until they master it, perhaps just via a bit of luck. The difficulty actually counteracts the chill of the game entirely: the two are polar opposites.

Well, the problem is with Zen Attractors that you have to pay attention to gravity fields and movement of Attractors to be able to react in a proper manner.
There's nothing wrong with the difficulty curve. Most people think it's just simple moving of your mote around will get the job done. In most levels it will, but in Zen Attractors that simply isn't enough. For example, lot of people are complaining about "Epicycles". I wonder why is that, when Epicycles is, in fact , one of my favorite levels.
It takes thinking, not reacting. Only trouble I've had with is "Epicycles Forever", where you have to do 3 levels of "Epicycles" starting with a very small mote.
But after some time attempting, I passed it. In "Epicycles" there are 4 motes' gravity fields that affect your motion, and they all go in circles, how wonderful :D .
All you have to do is consume central, largest Attractor and 3 of the rest will just stray away (without central Attractor holding them with it's gravity field) into the barrier, and you win.
Or consume external Attractor, and just position yourself in 1 place without many movements, speed up the time, and the rest of the Attractors will circle around until they reach you, then, will very little motion, central Attractor will pull you in, and you win.
The trick with hard levels is TIME. Most people don't make small motions, but big one, expelling too much of their matter.
You have to make LITTLE moves, and SPEED UP the time. That's why that control is added in Osmos. There's even a tip that says that.
All in all, Osmos is, in my opinion, great game with excellent levels and very satisfying difficulty level (for my taste).
If it was easier than this, it would probably never grow on me the way it has now. ;)


I'm sorry, but I completely disagree. Time is the problem.

No game should take hours and hours before giving you any satisfaction of success. Currently, this is not happening. It's not a matter of "learning to play". A game where it takes literally hours and hours just to learn to do what should be a basic level has a difficulty curve problem.

The game WOULD be relaxing if the difficulty were able to be controlled. That way, casual gamers could spend an hour or so and do the level without wanting to tear their hair out. The game should be relaxing and doable within a sensible amount of time (30-45 minutes a level perhaps). If it takes more than that, it's out of casual gamer status and into the pro-leagues, which is not where this sort of game should lie.

Creating an adjustable difficulty curve wouldn't have affected your game experience, as you could have left it on the current setting (difficult). But other players would be able to get into it without quite so much aggro. Just because YOU are willing to spend hours getting the basics doesn't mean everyone can or wants to. The point of playing is for enjoyment, which means the game has to give as well as take. Right now it's taking my time for no reward, as I'm simply unable to do many of the levels in a sensible amount of time.

No amount of strategy guides or tips will help me out. I'm not asking for that. I'm not a bad gamer or a bad strategist, but I'm not prepared to literally spend hours and hours and hours for what should be a casual, fun game. I want to enjoy this game, but unless the difficulty issue is ADDRESSED (rather than sidestepped / whitewashed), it will have been a complete waste.

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eddybox
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Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby eddybox » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:33 am

Hi llensa,

First of all, thanks for participating here -- we want to hear your experience with the game, and we want to make Osmos the best game possible.

[I'll discuss your concerns in a moment, but I just want to let you know that I made some very minor edits to your last post. Your frustration is legitimate, and you can take it out on the game and on us as the developers, but please be respectful to other people on this board and of their opinions.]

As for Epicycles 3, popovich was recommending the use of time-warping, not for you to wait longer. If you speed up time for parts of the level (when you're waiting, essentially), any level in the game can be completed in less than 10 minutes. I'm not saying it's easy, ;-) but it doesn't have to be that long.

I find your idea of a variable skill level interesting, and I've been seriously considering it. At the same time though, you do have a lot of control over the difficulty of the game by selecting which level you play. Have you tried randomizing levels yet? If not, spend some time playing random variations of levels that pesent you with a level of challenge you enjoy. If/when you find them too easy... move on. The only other reason to move on is if you want to "complete" the game or get achievements. But it's an arcade game: late levels in aracade games -- even casual ones -- get hard. And there isn't any storyline... so... anyways this is what we've been debating amongst ourselves: is there a real reason to allow people to *finish* the game easily?

All that said, we're about to release the Mac version, and have made a few levels, including Epicycles 3, a bit easier. Depending on how people react to the new, tweaked curve, we'll probably bring those changes back to the PC version.

Please try a couple of these suggestions. I'd love to hear how they work for you.

Thanks,
Eddy

llesna
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Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby llesna » Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:19 pm

I think you misunderstood my previous post a bit if you thought I was being disrespectful to the previous poster, but I won't argue since it's your boards and all, since as much as I know I'm correct, I'll gain nothing by trying to prove my own correctness and disprove other's interpretation, even if I do feel a little bit demonised by having this expressed in so public a fashion.

I've seen the time-warping methods, but that's a pro-skill which the casual gamer cannot and will not master. Learning it ITSELF takes time and patience, which essentially means running through the levels slowly first the hard way and taking lots of time. One could argue that it doesn't take long if you're a master, but then that's against the flow of my point.

Yes, I've tried randomising levels to an insane degree, hoping beyond hope to replicate some of what other players have suggested can happen by this method (ie, such as getting smaller objects nearer to the attractor than you in Zen Attractors). The randomisation does have some effect on levels, but not enough to allow me to go straight from tutorial to legendary, which is the problem I'm finding.

As for completing the game, that's really not the issue. Levels should be fun to play and give some satisfaction before gradually ranking up in difficulty. If you're playing a game you cannot win, most people will eventually get frustrated and give up. That's why games have different difficulty settings. Perhaps the first time you can only complete a game on easy, but by playing the game and winning, you'll garner experience which you can use to move into the normal difficulty mode, then difficult, then legendary. You'll actively want to test yourself once you know you can do it at an easier difficulty, but if you can't do a level at all, there's no gratification in playing.

I appreciate you taking the time to post and hope that my comments will help to improve the game. Ultimately for me it's not always having an ultra hard difficulty level that keeps me playing a game, but enjoying the experience along the way. That's why I cited Crayon Physics Deluxe. It was perhaps too easy, but the time I spent playing it was immensely enjoyable and brings backs fond memories.

Kind regards

popovich
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Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 6:17 am

Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby popovich » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:30 pm

llesna wrote:Creating an adjustable difficulty curve wouldn't have affected your game experience, as you could have left it on the current setting (difficult). But other players would be able to get into it without quite so much aggro. Just because YOU are willing to spend hours getting the basics doesn't mean everyone can or wants to. The point of playing is for enjoyment, which means the game has to give as well as take. Right now it's taking my time for no reward, as I'm simply unable to do many of the levels in a sensible amount of time.

Well, just because YOU are having a problem with understanding the game physics, doesn't mean everyone is.
What you basically want here is a game that's too easy, too simple and that can be completed from start to finish in 2 hours without even using half of your brain.
I'm sorry, but that's just the reason why so many games are tossed aside. It's because people want some challenge, they want a game worth playing.
Casual games does not equal to simple games. If you feel that way, there are plenty of games out there that won't take more than 1.5hrs to complete, including learning curve.
I enjoy myself playing games that require you to think, rather than just automatically clicking in one direction to absorb motes to get big and that's it.
If you don't enjoy Osmos, maybe you should find another game suitable for your skills, other than trying to downgrade Osmos and saying that developers got it wrong.
By the looks of the accomplishments this game has made on some Independent Games Festivals, I'd say you're the one who's wrong.

hed
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:04 pm

Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby hed » Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:45 pm

llesna brought the issues of Osmos being too hard and some levels being almost impossible to finish. I didn't get that feeling playing the game but i understand that point of view. For me, however, not every casual game have to be easy to finish.

The demo was really easy but honestly I would get bored playing more straightforward levels. In full game there are levels that start in really challenging way making me think "that's crazy, how can i beat that?". But then, you just check what will happen if you move and try to find a correct strategy. That's great and I don't think it was too hard. Games should look like that. They should order you to do something "impossible" and than let you do it.

On the other hand, I've never considered ambient music to be realxing - in a way it's hard to listen for some people, while others just don't really *listen* to it. Well, it's even depressing sometimes, so Osmos isn't exactly a casual/relaxing game for me. I really enjoyed the visuals and time mechanics, which make the game faster and easier (i had no problem with them - just click to slow, click to make the game go faster).

The only thing i didn't like are the "borders" of levels. When you start each map its really zoomed in, so you just feel like a really small stuff flying in infinite space. Then, it just ends - you rule. It's really a minor issue for me, but it would be great to feel like a part of a bigger "cosmos" and somehow fit the levels in larger thing. Anyways, good job with the game - and more ambient music please (btw: is it expensive to "buy" music from artists like Jenssen?).

iony
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Re: Osmos Feedback

Postby iony » Thu Dec 31, 2009 3:21 pm

Thank you so much for making Osmos. I really love it. I love the soundtrack as I am a Biosphere fan. I got it on sale not knowing quite what to expect and I'm unexpectedly thrilled. Thanks.


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