Monday, August 6, 2012

Test Results

Here are some of the stats I recorded and compiled from the past test. I have put them into an infographic to make as easy to read and understand as possible.

The bar graph of powerup attacks shows how effective each attack was at hitting an opponent. This is an easy way to visualize which attacks need buffing and nerfing. It isn't necessarily bad if some powerups are stronger than others, but if some are largely out of proportion than the game won't be balanced properly.

The total amount of people who participated in this test was greater than the last test, but this test also lasted much longer. The biggest problem Nexus has to overcome is keeping an active population. If there aren't any players online there isn't anything to play.

Most players chose the balanced ship during this test. This was expected, but its percentage was much larger than it was in the previous test. Players tend to choose this ship to start with and then experiment with the others. However, during this test many players didn't play as many games since there weren't other players consistently online. This could explain the larger gap in the ship choices.

Survival mode was pretty well received. It helps players improve their skills without having to play online and gives them something to do when nobody else is on. Looking at the data from survival mode, the levels are not balanced, however. The difficulty curve doesn't fit as it should with the graphs, mainly because the difficulty spikes too suddenly. Starting at level 6 the game becomes much tougher. Having a level with difficulty between level 5 and 6 would help make the curve smoother and more enjoyable.

Thanks to everyone who participated, keep following the blog for news.


  1. Hello again, I have looked over the stats from the test session. If I could I would like to put comment on the stats from my (a players) point of view.

    I really find the "MOST / LEAST EFFECTIVE" not really an accurate account on the overpowered / underpowered list. As you know in battle your not just being attacked by 1 at a time, the screen is flooded by attacks leading to many hits. And I find that most of the powerups you labeled as "overpowered" just happened to appear more often then others.

    Survival was a better place to check this as you only face afew at a time, so you can actually see how effective each powerup was.

    Here's what I found with the powerups.
    Spikes: Balanced (stops camping/hiding)
    Asteroids: Balanced (fair obstacle)
    Missile: Overpowered (even if destoryed, large blast damage seems to hit very often)
    Beam: Overpowered (lasts too long)
    Nuke: Balanced
    Mine: Balanced
    Fighter: Balanced
    Gunship: Slightly overpowered
    Snake: Overpowered

    PS: I'm curious to know who made the survival lvl 10's+ and who ranked the highest over the test phase.

    - HirowHKF

  2. Alright, you got me - the data interpretation is actually a lot more complicated than what I presented. This infographic shows the raw data and is not adjusted for each powerup's role, so if an attack is a distractor or a deterrent it won't score as many hits as an attack that is designed to attack directly. Not only that but this graph assumes the powerups are distributed evenly, which is not true. The powerup attacks spawn randomly from the wormhole, but since attacks can be destroyed and sent back the data will be skewed. Attacks that are more likely to be destroyed and sent back are going to appear in the game more often and have a greater chance of scoring hits, as opposed to attacks like the spikes, circle shot, and laser beam which cannot be sent back. Because of this it was probably inaccurate of me to label the graph as "effective/ineffective attacks" because that is not necessarily what it shows.

    That said, I still think the data still has its merits, it shows what attacks are hitting players the most often. If players are hit by the same attacks much more often than others than it can give the impression of being frustrating or overpowered, even if it isn't. Even if an attack's role is to try to directly hit the enemy, if it vastly outnumbers the other powerups in hits it is unbalanced. Ideally the graph should show these aggressive attacks higher than the support attacks, but not exceedingly.

    In response to your personal findings for the powerups, I would agree with the list but with a few exceptions. You might find it interesting to know that the missile's blast damage cannot hurt the player, once it is destroyed by either crashing or being shot it is unable to cause damage. I might consider making the hitbox larger to make it easier to destroy, but otherwise I think it fits it's role well. On the other hand I agree with your take on the snake, it moves too quickly tracks the player too well. I will experiment with some changes to these powerups to try to create a stronger balance.

    Anyways, I really appreciate the feedback, let me know if you have any questions or concerns.