Quoted from Yipykya:
Will there be a players guide in some fashion made available once games are shipping?
So many of these expensive complex games with deep rules and nuanced programing seem to come with nothing more than an index card on the apron.
I don't know the answer; that's up to Andrew. My personal preference would be to offer a basic guide to gameplay (perhaps on YouTube, as was done for Full Throttle), but NOT publish our entire rulebook. For me, a big part of the joy of a new game, whether on location or as a home owner, is the discovery process: finding the tricks to boosting scores, finding the right combination of features to stack, learning that how you do on this thing influences that thing over there. Publishing the full rules would short-circuit most of that discovery experience.
The balanced scoring question is a good one, and a topic that's come up over and over again amongst the design team. IMHO TimeBandit's definition is really on point:
Quoted from TimeBandit:
In greater detail, I really meant balanced in that you get what you work for, or that you get paid commensurately for risks you take. If you feel you are doing good work, then expect to be paid for it.
Alien's scoring is generally designed around chain reactions. As an example: destroying eggs increases the value of modes that involve eggs (Derelict Ship and Queen's Nest). Doing well in modes increases the value of the associated mini-wizard mode, as well as the final wizard mode. Doing well in modes also gives weapons that you can use to boost your scoring in other modes or multiballs.
However, I've tried to scale things so the scoring progressions are more Fibonacci-ish rather than exponential. That means that Alien won't have many situations of "OMG that one shot that was worth more than my last 5 game scores combined" ... but it also shouldn't have many situations of putting players "in jail" where you screw up one thing and your scoring potential goes completely down the drain. Hopefully everyone finds the balance to be fair and fun. And of course, if any of the scoring is out of whack (and let's be realistic, SOMETHING will probably be out of whack in the initial version... probably multiple somethings... I'm quite interested to learn what exploit someone like KME comes up with!) I'm committed to making it right.