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Thread: Duskers - rougelike space survival

  1. #1
    theBlind's Avatar
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    Duskers - rougelike space survival

    Do you remember the first alien film? That feeling of opression, of horror that's lurking and can strike when it wants? That feeling of make-do when they put together a flamethrower?
    But there was never enough stuff, never enough weapons to fight off the alien.

    Imagine you're sitting in front of your PC in the dark (easy enough). Your room however is on a spaceship floating through the empty cosmos. Every comms channel is dead. There are dozens, hundreds of ships and stations and planets out there and none of them breathe a word. You might very well be the last person alive.

    And your ship is failing. You need to board those other ships because they have the fuel and the spares that you need to keep going. And you know that whatever the reason there's nobody left alive on those ships, whatever killed them, is still on that ship. Waiting in the dark.
    You don't go boarding yourself, you send your maintenance drones. Hastily equipped with whatever tools and weapons you have at hand, you send them into the unknown while you sit at your PC, controlling their actions.
    What you see is the ultrasound-like "vision" of your drones out there in the dark.
    What you hear is what their microphones pick up.
    One of them sits on a local power plug, generating energy so you can control doors and airlocks. One of them scouts ahead, always careful. One of them collects the meager scrap you'll need to keep your own and your drones equpiment from falling apart. Every time you use something, it accumulates wear and tear. And if you let maintenance slip long enough, that critical piece of equpiment might well break forever.
    But there's never enough parts to go around. There's always something else that you could also fix. Or improve.
    If you run with zero fallback depth equipment wise, that lurking thing out there that finally slips through and gets one of your drones might very well spell the end of your life.
    So playing it save might seem like a good choice.
    But since you're low on spares, again, you need to push further into the wreck you're bording. Explore that next room, just like those before. Always careful. Always desperate.

    As you sit in front of your PC, you control your drones directly or give high level orders through a command line interface, which is perfectly fitting because in this crap situation you're in, everything else is also failing.

    Storytime over, this game oozes atmosphere and, to me, perfectly captures that alone against the darkness feeling that so many games try to get at. And then you get the big gun(TM) and suddenly you're the powerful one and that feeling is gone.

    Fair warning: This game is not played with a mouse. It's basically full keyboard, which may seem off-putting at first but it's really a great way to both control the game (and you need to control 3-4 drones in paralell as well as control doors and airlocks) and help with the feeling the entire game is build upon.
    You can drive any one drone with cursor keys or you can give them orders via command line.
    You can also define your own aliases to execute several commands with a single word.
    For example in order to order your drone #2 to the room called r3 you would type "navigate 2 r3" (note that the navigate will get an autocomplete suggestion after the "n" so you'd really only type n-whitespace-2-whitespace-r3-enter
    In order to power the generator that happens to be in r3, you'd then type generator 2 (again, generator gets an autocomplete suggestion).

    You could put that into an alias you wrote yourself. My drone that carries the generator is always #2. Variables can be passed to aliases by writing them as $r for rooms for example.
    So "power=navigate 2 $r; generator 2" is an alias that I would call from the command line as power r3 (power gets an autocomplete). It would then cause my drone #2 to drive to room r3 and engage the generator there.
    Your alias collection, just like your drones and equpiment is part of the stuff you "collect" (you don't collect an alias, you write it yourself, there's no limitation on numbers) and part of the powerbase you build up over time.

    It's 20 monies on steam or GOG (get the GOG version, at the same price it should always be GOG that gets the support).
    It's well worth the money.

    Tanks: theBlind[URBAD] (in my heart there will always be a place for [FAIL])
    Planetside2: [UBAD]theAngelic

  2. #2
    Smuggo's Avatar
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    Seems interesting. It got thrown up as a suggestion by Steam for me a day or two ago but when I saw the word "survival" I did just immediately skip over it but may give it another look.

  3. #3
    FatFreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    Seems interesting. It got thrown up as a suggestion by Steam for me a day or two ago but when I saw the word "survival" I did just immediately skip over it but may give it another look.
    We survive your posting day in, day out so surely you can at least pay it forward
    Quote Originally Posted by QuackBot
    Pastry.. That the best you can do?
    Quote Originally Posted by NotXenosis View Post

    M8, i have discussions that spam multiple accounts, you aren't even on my level

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatFreddy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Smuggo View Post
    Seems interesting. It got thrown up as a suggestion by Steam for me a day or two ago but when I saw the word "survival" I did just immediately skip over it but may give it another look.
    We survive your posting day in, day out so surely you can at least pay it forward
    my posting is of the highest quality comrade, I can only assume you are jealous of my posting prowess, which is of course quite flattering.

  5. #5

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    Saw a LP of this waaay back. Looks pretty cool tbh.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Caine View Post
    Saw a LP of this waaay back. Looks pretty cool tbh.
    Same. If it comes out on the switch (hahaha) I'm going to be all over it.
    Quote Originally Posted by lubica
    And her name was Limul Azgoden, a lowly peasant girl.

  7. #7
    Smuggo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Caine View Post
    Saw a LP of this waaay back. Looks pretty cool tbh.
    Same. If it comes out on the switch (hahaha) I'm going to be all over it.
    >Nintenderp
    >Third party title

    choose one

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lana Torrin View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex Caine View Post
    Saw a LP of this waaay back. Looks pretty cool tbh.
    Same. If it comes out on the switch (hahaha) I'm going to be all over it.
    I was under the impression you controlled the drones via console commands, therefore I keyboard is a necessity.

    At any rate, this is on my radar. It was on sale yesterday, might still be today.
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    (ಠ_ృ) ゛Lady Spank is the best。゛ ~ Xenuria (ಠ_ృ)

  9. #9
    Selb's Avatar
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    Love the art style but from what I've read it's very shallow (at the moment)

  10. #10
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    Maybe I should have left the survival part out. It's survival as in FTL.

    That said, FTL is a really good comparison for the game. There are many of the same elements but Duskers keeps you closer to the poverty line than FTL because it has maintenance, meaning you need to be conservative when using your stuff instead of using the best you have without second thought.

    Regarding the game being shallow, I'd say it's shallow in the same sense that FTL is shallow. There's the core gameplay (explore derelicts, collect stuff, stay alive) that's IMO well done, there's several completely distinct scouting builds that all work and there's a background story that is interesting and while you can ignore it, you're missing out on it.

    Two examples regarding build diversity:
    1) have a drone with stealth. Place that drone in a room with a door between it and your other drones, open a door to the unknown, cloak up, explore room. If you find an enemy, decide how to proceed.
    2) have a drone with a teleport modified to allow foreign object teleportation and a sensor mod. Drop sensor, teleport sensor into a room you want to explore. Sensor tells you if there is an enemy. You also need the ship surveyor mod to tell you the layout of the ship and in order to be able to teleport the sensors. If you find an enemy, decide how to proceed.

    Now the first option is decidedly more dangerous. For example there might not be a room where you can start scouting from without endangering your other drones. Your stealth field might run out of juice at a bad moment (bad planning on your part then). The derelict might suddenly decide that it doesn't like closing doors any more. A pipe might rupture and flood the room with radiation, slowly killing your drone. An asteroid might strike and leave you scrambling to get back to a save room.
    So is the second build better? Inside a single mission, without doubt. You simply sit in your own craft and teleport sensors over. You'll know beforehand where enemies are and can be especially careful in those rooms. You will be *much* faster in exploring the derelict, thus avoiding most of the danger.
    However, the first build uses two modules (stealth + you'll need a remote generator module most probably) to scout while the second uses three modules (teleport, sensor, ship surveyor). Now wear and tear in the game works such that the first time you use a module, you add about 5% chance to break (breaking is unrecoverable) at the end of the mission. Subsequent activations are basically free. 1% chance to break costs about 0.8 scrap to fix, so for the first method costs you need to recover 8 scrap to break even, for the second you need to recover 12-13. That's more than the small D and many medium B size derelicts deliver, so it might sound good but it's a losing strategy unless you mainly go for large A size targets. And that's not even counting if something goes wrong. Realistically, you'd also need 2-3 scrap for using your generator drone and your gathering module on another drone.

    Now, dispatching hostiles:
    - you can use a turret to shoot them (ammo for a single enemy costs about 0.2 scrap, some significantly more). Risks damage to your drone because there are two enemy types that will deal damage them if you shoot them with turrets.
    - you can teleport a bomb into their room (1 bomb costs 0.5 scrap, good synergy if you're already teleporting sensors around because of how wear and tear works) and remote explode them. Possibly damaging valuable stuff in there like fuel and disabled drones, which are a mayor income bonus if recovered and scrapped. So look before you blast.
    - you can open a door to a third room, wait for the creature to wander in there and then close the door behind it, herding the enemy somewhere you already looted for example.
    - you can power and activate the ships internal defenses. For that you need a generator that powers the correct rooms and a terminal that is powered and allows you to activate the defenses. The enemy also has to be in the room with the defenses, of course, so combine with herding as above. This sounds complicated but if you can pull if off you can kill any number of enemies for very little additional cost. Just make sure none of your drones wander into rooms with active defenses...
    - you can open an airlock and kill everything inside the room. Unfortunately this also vents all scrap inside and destroys fuel points, consoles and defenses. So use on rooms that have already been looted. The airlock needs to be powered. And of course you can open additional doors to vent adjacent rooms. Beware: some doors might not stand up to the stress. Best case, they simply fail and you can' open them any longer. Worst case, the single door between your drones and space breaks open and all of them are gone. Also exposing rooms to space for too long will cause them to become irradiated which will damage your drones if they move through.
    - You can setup your turreted drones to face a door and use them as poor mans defenses. Works but costly because of ammo and possible damage to your drones.

    So, shallow? I'd say no more shallow than most AAA games.
    Tanks: theBlind[URBAD] (in my heart there will always be a place for [FAIL])
    Planetside2: [UBAD]theAngelic

  11. #11
    Selb's Avatar
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    I'm only basing this off steam reviews because I don't own it. I agree with your points that there are lots of different strategies, and that's good, but having a very small number of enemies (FTL has drones, pirates, rebels, race specific enemies etc) means it would get boring very quickly, at least for me anyway.

  12. #12
    Chakrai's Avatar
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    Doesn't look very red to me.

  13. #13
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    Played this ages ago and the random start kinda fucked me because I kept getting starting drones with zero options for safely exploring, might try it again and see if thats changed

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by UsernameisValidandNotinUs View Post
    Played this ages ago and the random start kinda fucked me because I kept getting starting drones with zero options for safely exploring, might try it again and see if thats changed
    I don't think it has although you seem to always start with stealth which is 'relatively safe' if you can back up quickly enough.

    The randomised starter equipment is what gives this game longevity. Making you work with what you have forces you to try different options rather than get comfy with the motion tracker. The motion tracker becomes more or less useless in a lot of derelicts anyway.
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    (ಠ_ృ) ゛Lady Spank is the best。゛ ~ Xenuria (ಠ_ృ)

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