Dear Turtle Rock team,
first of all thank you very much for having me. I was one of the very fortunate guys who got into the alpha+beta and now I feel like it’s my turn to take a couple of minutes and give you some value back. Unlike most developers today, you seem very passionate about your game, hence why I think my feedback probably won’t be in vain. I think you made an outstanding game and my main scope here is to give you some feedback that focuses on boosting the longevity of this game. I don’t expect I’m telling you big news, but nevertheless. A player’s point of view can be welcome, sometimes. Let’s hope it’ll help the game evolve, after all
I think you pretty much nailed it. Controls could be smoother when playing the monster but overall it feels intuitive and “right” while you still have to learn a lot of new stuff. This is great. You probably gathered enough data and got plenty of feedback in beta, so I’m going to keep it brief, here. I really appreciate that you didn’t dumb down the game and the mechanics to cater to the masses. This makes the game stand out as well as leaves plenty of room for making creative plays, regardless of whether you’re playing monster or hunters. Leave footprints that lead the hunters to carnivorous plants, or strong, aggressive fauna? Check. Deploying mines at the buff creature you just killed, so the monster can’t take it easily? Check. This game can be incredibly rewarding not just for players, who live and breathe FPS but also for the tacticians and creative players as well. It rewards clever gameplay, something players have been sorely missing since the CoD-ification of games started depriving us of a challenge. This is huge and an incredibly rewarding experience for the players. Never change that, ever. Please improve that further and add more depth to the game, if possible. Once you unlocked everything, your skill is going to be your progression and there’s always a bigger fish…that’ll keep you motivated.
The maps are incredibly well designed and leave plenty of opportunities to play mind games, prepare ambushes and use the environment to your advantage. The lush vegetation and fauna make this game very immersive and exciting, but all maps kinda look the same and I despite playing since alpha, I can barely tell the difference between the maps. For future releases, please consider adding new terrain types, when creating new maps. I know you’re just getting started and this suggestion is something you already know/planned, but please make future maps more distinct. Iceworlds, volcanic terrain, deserts, an entire “ocean” of slightly fluorescent grass, a fungal terrain map. Plenty of opportunities. So far the fauna looks pretty alien, but the terrain itself looks extremely familiar. I’d love to see some environment that absolutely doesn’t have any familiarity, such as a fungal world. The maps are heavily criticised, not in terms of balancing or design, but in terms of looks. They kinda look all the same, so please provide some more distinct looking maps in the future. I’ve got so many awesome ideas already, and I bet yours are even better.
I’d love to see more wheather conditions and the ability to select specific ones in custom games (if you didn 't implement it already). Rain, monsoon, fog, snow, sandstorms and even some weird plants-mating-season where the air is filled with fluorescent pollen or some flying stuff like the stuff on blowballs/dandelion. Also day and night cycles would be cool.
You nailed it. Your art design team is beyond amazing and I’d love to shake hands with you guys one day. I could probably spend ages watching your artworks, analyzing the fauna and flora and I’ve got so many questions and ideas for your staff that I could easily keep them busy for years. You probably don’t want that though so shaking hands and nodding in appreciation would suffice. None of the monsters looks copied from other movies, yeah some look similar, yet none looks like a direct copy and each creature has a distinct look, a nicely done mix between familiarity and alien-ness. As a aspiring biologist, Shear would be my wet dream and you did a great job at making the creatures look, behave and act credible. I could watch them for hours…I’m probably the male version of Caira. Immersion is incredibly important and while most developers neglect it, you did not. Awesome. I’m SO looking forward to seeing what you creatures you’re going to throw at us next. You’re going to bring some new creatures with the new maps, aren’t you?
More environmental hazards:
Depending on terrain type there could be hazards similar to predators and the carnivorous plants, such as quicksand (forces you to deplete your jetpack in order to escape), geysers, meteor showers, radiation, parasitic fungi, noxious spores and even stuff like the floor is lava (literally) and additional mechanics such as the cold temperature on an iceworld (where you need to head from hot springs/geysers/volcanos to other hot places in order to not freeze to death. There’s plenty of room for creative map design and I have no doubt you’re going to provide us with amazing new maps full of creative ideas and surprises.
Currently all the skins available in the shop are sadly recolors only. Nicely done, but recolors still. This is a little bit sad, as recolors are widely considered lame and lazy. It’s kinda like League of Legends at the beginning. They did recolors because they weren’t very experienced, yet and the players/customers didn’t know the full potential of what a skin can be. This is plenty of years ago and customers are spoiled. People expect skins that are more distinct, than a simple recolor. The would love new particle effects, different glows, specific themes and something that makes your model look different, lets you truly stand out. Don’t understimate this, since you can earn a ton of money with skins IF you get them right. A mere recolor won’t have the “shut up and take my money”-effect on customers. a nicely done skin that makes you stand out, is visually appealing and while I never think we’re going to see a Sir Goliath with a mustache, running around wearing a top hat, a tailcoat, a monocle, a cane and a pocketwatch, roaring with a british accent while throwing giant teacups at enemies, this could be the kind of stuff people would love to see. Give him lobster hands and a crustacean exoskeleton. Make him spit water or bubbles instead of flames. Make him roll instead of charge. Let him throw seashells instead of rocks. I think you know what I mean. That is the stuff that is going to make people throw money (and bras and panties, but mostly money) at you instead of DLC criticism and accusations of laziness. Don’t get me wrong, the skins are nice but offer too little distinction for my taste. Rework them and give them glow effects that match the particular color of the skin (and make it look distinct from the vanilla monster) and also while I think you deliberately left one of the main colors of the monster that red-ish color, I’d love to see something else, instead. Something that doesn’t make the bog-monster look like he just pillaged the old clothes collection and is now wearing different color socks, a sandal and a boot, shorts, a wifebeater shirt and a tuxedo.
Wow, so barely noticeable. While the player might see the weapon only most of the time, I think people would love and expect at the very least some different clothing options for the hunters. Currently I can barely tell in a fight or while tracking the monster whether the hunters have skins, or not. Some weapons are tiny, anyway. Caira for instance only has one weapon so thet skin offers the least money/distinction value out of all the skins, which is a shame, really and the weapons alone are difficult to identify as skins, anyway. You know what I would notice, though? Different particle effects and especially clothes. Probably not clothes when playing the character myself, but when watching other people wearing distinct stuff…and people do care about looks. You don’t see the stuff you’re wearing most of the time too, but nevertheless you care about it, because other people will see it. This is exactly the same, here. Please, don’t just limit skins for weapons only. If you want people to throw money at you, give them more value, more of what they crave. Let them look distinct. Pick certain themes, so people would consider buying that themed skin for their character so the whole group can look similar, which is a huge deal and boosts the experience as well as the team-feeling. Ideas would be mercenary theme, agent, commando, tribal, heck I’d give you my first born for a guitar toting, singing Mariachi Markov or Maggie with Daisy wearing a sombrero…and if you don’t mind comedic stuff, nothing would be cooler than chasing a rubber ducky throwing , shorts, glasses and ducky-floating tire wearing, chesthair sporting, diving fins wearing baywatch-the-hoff-goliath as your very own super soaker toting beach party Markov…or water bomb throwing beach party Caira…or a sunburned Lazarus. All with unique dialogue and interactions. Generally speaking, more interactions and skin-specific character dialogue and interaction while looking more distinct than a recolor would be exactly the type of skin that would make you filthy rich. Please, no more recolors.
Look, I’m playing since alpha. I’m passionate about this game and starved for dialogue in order to find out more about the marvellous IP and promising universe you created…and I just found out 2 days ago this game actually has a background story. This is because the story IS NOT IN THE GAME! Seriously what the heck? Destiny forgot to implement the story into their game as well and people are still mind-boggled as to how a company with a 500 gazillion dollars budget was unable to hire some dude with a little bit of common sense, who would implement the actual story into the actual game. Don’t make the same mistake. Mat’s stories are great. Way too great to just leave them hidden here, so patch them into the actual game. Create a lore-tab where you can look up characters, creatures and monsters and read background information as well as Mat’s awesome stories. Some people don’t and won’t care but this would be great for those who do and I don’t think this is difficult to implement. Especially the pre-drop dialogues suddenly make a ton more sense when you know what they’re talking about. Do not waste this opportunity! Please, you already hired a writer and you fleshed out the new IP and universe with an interresting scenario, setting and rich lore. Share this with us in your game instead of hoping people will bump into it by chance when browsing the forums. I played this game for so long and only when I learned about the actual lore I really started caring about this game, loving this game and appreciating what you created way more than before. To me Evolve is much more than a great game, now. Don’t keep that…epiphany, yes epiphany from other players! Please implement the lore into the game and don’t forget to keep adding to it with stories, dialogue and such! Heck, I’m currently working as a professional translator and if money is an issue, I can probably translate Mat’s stories into German, Romanian and Spanish FOR FREE. That’s how much I appreciate his efforts and your lore!
DLC and controversity:
You got a lot of flak for your DLC policy, most of it unjustified, in my honest opinion. The decision to make upcoming maps and modes free for all players in order to not alienate the community is genius and makes you stand out from all the greedy jerk-companies out there. But if you’re planning on making money with skins and new characters/monsters, please put more effort into them and don’t ever release mere recolors. The reason most players are angry is because the skins are well done, but a little bit lame, since they’re not distinct enough. I’m no expert on this and I don’t have your metrics so my advice is based on gut-feeling and my experience as a gamer and customer, only. I’m absolutely convinced if you release skins that offer very distinct looks, dialogue, interactions, sound, glow and particle effects and themes, people would love throwing money at you.
All in all, great job Turtle Rock Studios! Hopefully with the feedback from your community and your love and dedication combined, we can evolve this promising gem into more than just Left4Dead with Godzilla. This game can be so much more! Focus on offering free high-quality content such as maps and modes AND LORE on a regular basis to keep the people interested and provide a visual change. Give us DLC that blows peoples’ minds (remember: skin recolors don’t make anybody drool) and offer new characters, weapons fauna and monsters on a regular basis. Push a little the eSports and competitive scene and you’re golden.
Thanks for reading and your time. Much obliged,