Played for around 10 minutes with the new progressive difficulty with only the “Alien” ships spawning (no pirates) and the game defeated me. I had a destroyer up and through the gate came 1 destroyer and 3 frigates, some corvettes and fighters. My tactic was to set all my ships against the enemy destroyer and while I piloted mine destroyer attempting to destroy the frigates. It didn’t work out so well. I tried to position my destroyer in such a way that the beam weapon attacking me would hit the enemy frigates, it worked briefly, the destroyer is a bit too clumsy. Technically I won the fight, but lost the war, my frigates and destroyers were gone and I didn’t have any resources to rebuild. I made a few mistakes, I could have positioned my defensive base closer the path of incoming enemies to optimize its line of fire, maybe built another one instead of the shipyard and destroyer.
It feels pretty nifty, and these play sessions make me hopefull that the game will be an enjoyable experience and fairly soon! The difficulty needs much tweaking, the shipyard is probably too expensive at this point, I’ll scale it down a bit. The AI needs more tweaking as well, it doesn’t defend itself currently, just selects the closest target in the highest slot on its priority list. I’ll work on putting in AI code so that it will make a choice: continue to target or attack a closer attacker.
Also I’ve decided to work on a tutorial, it will be basic at start, but I feel it is necessary to get more interest and feedback. I wonder if players download the game, find it very difficult or frustration or pointless (since they may not know what to do) then drop it.