Phew what a week! Steamfest is over, and we had a great time playing with everyone, and hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!
Here is a breakdown of class usage for those that are curious:
We received an amazing amount of feedback and are nearly finished cataloging all of it. That’s right, we have been going through everything from Steam, to Discord and comments on Twitch, and many direct messages, line by line. We have found a few trends, some of which I will discuss briefly. Firstly the most common question I have been asked is when everyone can play again. The answer is we’re not sure. However we do focus testing from time to time and you may be able to get involved! Check out and participate in our Discord discussions, and when the time is right we may call on you to jump in for some matches!
Now onto some of the feedback.
We received a lot of feedback on movement speeds, in that it felt fast. Contrasting that we also received feedback that the quicker movement made it feel more like a deathmatch which was fun in it’s own way. The common thread for both was that weapon simulation and feedback felt off. We will be putting a lot of effort into making sure all the weapons feel tactile and responsive appropriately. We will also revisit movement speeds as well to narrow the spectrum of what Earthbreakers should be. Strategy and teamwork are two foundations of Earthbreakers, so if speed is getting in the way, then we will have to adjust accordingly.
Speaking of teamwork, a lot of you commented on how team-centric the game is - it’s hard to play solo while making a large impact - this is something most people liked. To that end, there were also a lot of notes that team coordination was difficult because the chat system was limited. In our design, we have concepts for a ping system as well as voice chat that unfortunately couldn’t be implemented for the Steam Festival. In addition to that though you gave us a lot of valuable feedback for different HUD elements, including a lot of exciting ideas for the minimap to promote general team awareness - we will be incorporating many of these ideas going forward.
Other HUD elements were heavily commented on as well. Many of you said that the HUD felt large, overbearing, and somewhat childish - maybe more apt for a console than a PC shooter. We have already been discussing and meeting about this and will be making adjustments to ensure pertinent information is clear, and concise but not distracting. On top of that you gave us valuable feedback towards consoles both in readability and style which we will also be revisiting in order to make the important information clear.
There was also a lot of feedback on structures - especially flamethrowers running around, hiding and spawn camping. We have already been working towards improving this by redesigning the HQ and Factory to be more open (harder to hide and dodge) and are using this information for the designs and layouts of future structures as well. We are also designing more defensive abilities for various classes (such as various traps) that will help keep the enemy out of your base.
The final area I’d like to touch on which somewhat encompasses all of the above, is that it seemed common for new players to have difficulty understanding what to do when they get in the game. We have a few solutions planned for this, including a class by class scoring system that will help direct players in their roles, but also you gave us a lot of feedback on this as well. Each of the areas above play a part so those efforts will keep this in mind, but also there were many other suggestions from availability of consoles, to scoring, to map indicators. Some we had already intended, but many great ideas that will come out of your feedback. Many of you suggested certain hints that may be turned on or off, and we will be looking into that to ensure that more experienced players aren’t inundated with redundant information while new players will get clear direction when they are first starting out.
Again from the Earthbreakers team at Petroglyph, thank you so much for playing with us during the Steam Festival! We really had a lot of fun playing and engaging with everyone. Going forward we will continue with diaries a few times a month to keep you all in the loop and continue to receive your feedback. Along with everything above, we are also still adding new classes, new weapons and abilities for existing classes, new structures and vehicles. Join us on Discord to stay up to date and get in on possible future focus tests.
Senior Designer Chris “biffy” Becker