First Play Notes
I downloaded 0.3 client and server today and played for a couple of hours just to see how things are going. This was my first experience with the game. Knowing the game is still very early in development, and (as a former software engineer), I decided to keep an informal journal, which I've pasted in below in hopes that it might help the cause in some way shape or form. It is not intended to be critical of the game, but when I got stumped, I just said what I was feeling.
Eco First Impressions (version 0.3, release 13 or 14?)
I was following this quickstart guide...
I don't mind the TAB thing to change modes. Its like "Life is Feudal." I admit the first time I encountered TAB to change modes it was a bit odd, but not terrible.
It is odd not having a target, or plus sign in the middle of the screen to show me what I'm aiming at. I'd like to have the option of turning one on as it can be awkward to know how to adjust the aim of the axe to hit what I want to hit. Sure, I get a green highlight when I do aim at it, but it isn't always clear which way to move the mouse to get the green highlight to show.
I chased a deer until it got stuck on some tall grass and then just ran in place. I chased a rabbit until it got stuck on a change in elevation. This just seems like work in progress, so no biggie.
I found a short river that was flowing downhill in both directions and into the same crevace. Again, this seems like work in progress. (Or perhaps there was a natural spring under there?)
Building the Workshop was awkward. At first it never occurred to me to place blocks and the jump on them to be able to place the higher blocks. You'd think after all of the Minecraft playing that I've done it would have been obvious. The appearance of the logs when placed was throwing me off. By this, I mean the roof/ceiling didn't look right. Also, it wasn't obvious that I had to match the white outlined cube. The cube didn't look like a building, so I assumed it was just defining the work space, or something.
Its annoying that the mouse is captured by the game and cannot leave the window when you're in the UI mode. I've got two monitors and I almost always have something else going on when I play games, even if its just email. I often have some kind of document open so I can take notes.
I cannot seem to remove stumps. I cannot seem to target stumps. Do I need some other tool? I've just got an axe at the moment.
The quickstart wanted me to build a Scythe. I brought up the Work Bench, found the Scythe option, had 15 logs available in quickbar slot 2, and could not get it to make a Scythe. It said "1m" whatever that means. (1 minute?) "1m < 1 > Order." Ah, the < and > are buttons. Okay so 2 takes 2 minutes? Is that right? The order button never does anything. Oh, mousing over the icon just above the Order button it says "Rough Cut Lumber" and it says "B (O)". B? O? Windmill says 25, so maybe that's a 3 and a 0. The font is a small problem for me. If I put my face close to the monitor, Shovel says 3, but Scythe still looks like a B. The font is just a touch too small. Okay, so I must need to make Rough Cut Lumber somehow. Ah! Rough Cut Lumber is also on the Recipes list. I scrolled right past it before looking for the Scythe. The order button is green. Better. It says 1 (15) by the icon for logs. I know I have 15 in inventory. I'm guessing I'll get 1 unit of Rough Cut Lumber. I click Order, 1 second later I have 14 logs. Where's the lumber? Its not in inventory. Hmm, is this a bug. Oh wait, there were messages on the screen behind the work bench and inventory windows, but I did't get to them in time and they disappeared. I have no idea what they said. I guess I'll make more lumber. "Work order created... return to the Work Bench..." Huh? Okay, I guess I'll close the work bench and click on it again. Another window called "Your items" pops up and it has 4 lumber in it. As big as the Work Bench window is, it might as well take up the whole screen and include "Your Items" and "Back Pack" in it. That or let me move the work bench window over to my other monitor. Its weird to have to leave the workbench and then return to it. I mean that probably makes sense if you're going to wait several minutes for something as you'll probably wander around in that time, though you might equally just AFK and come back. In fact, when making the Scythe, I went AFK for 30 secs and typed more in these notes. The work bench was open the entire time in game.
The "i" key doesn't seem to open my backpack. Maybe there just isn't a key for that.
I play with the skill stuff like the quickstart says, but I don't manage to figure it out. I appear to have a skill point. No idea how to spend it. I decide to revisit it later and look around, instead.
I harvest huckleberries. Can I eat those, or are they poisonous? I ate three of them for 60 calories and I hope I don't perish from eating something poisonous. As I look around, there's more plants, but not a lot of them. I wonder if I should perhaps plant some and start a garden, else I'll have to run all over creation to find more and I'm burning calories seemingly fast. Within site there are 4 deer, 5 rabits, 4 birds. I start harvesting plants to see what they are. Bunchgrass Seed? Can I eat that? Camas Bulb? No idea.
I decide to make more tools. Hmm, the "Your Items" window is open from the beginning this time, and the lumber pops right up in there. Why didn't this happen the first time? No idea.
When trying to figure out what to make next, I notice there are skill books. The farming skill book wants Camus Bulbs and Huckleberries. Ah, well okay then. I decide to make a shovel and see if I can use it to make steps down a cliff I'm next to. Then I can try to find the stuff for this book.
I saw a rabbit either jump or fall off a cliff. I don't see him down there. I wonder if he lived.
Too much grass seed. How do I drop some? Attempting to drag it out of my inventory to the ground didn't work. No idea. F1, no help. ESC to find an options menu and some key bindings... nope.
Why do some huckleberry plants give me grass seed, instead. Are they not huckleberry plants? I find another huckleberry plant and it does give me huckleberries. I'm confused. Maybe its a bug, or maybe I'm missing something.
A wolf/dog runs at me, no away, at me, away, at me. Is this thing dangerous? I ready the axe. It eventually runs away.
As I harvest stuff, my quickbar fills, so I move things to my backpack. As I harvest more stuff I notice that rather than continue to stack up in my backpack, it instead starts a new stack on the quickbar. Why?
I run out of time. The game is at Day 5 and I'm at 1,655 kCal. I have 2 skill points and I think I need a book to use them, but I'm not sure.
Super helpful notes, thanks for taking the time to write these out. A lot of these we've addressed, and some we still need to. And yep there's lots of bugs still. The notes on the craft table are especially helpful, we're going to tune this up to make it as straight forward as possible. Any other suggestions you come across do let us know. Those housekeeping things like 'cursor scrolls out of window' are minor but make a big difference, so thanks for bringing that all to our attention!