Arcen Games

Games => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => Topic started by: Professor Paul1290 on January 25, 2013, 11:27:31 AM

Title: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Professor Paul1290 on January 25, 2013, 11:27:31 AM
I guess before I say anything else, I prefer the game's controls the way they already are and I think they fit the game very well in it's current state.
However, this isn't going to be about making the game better, as bizarre as that may sound.


Regardless of all the improvements that have been made, there is still the problem that the controls do not have a positive reception anywhere but here, at least none that I've noticed. (if there is, please mention so)
In fact, unless I'm missing something (I could be), the game has been dismissed a lot elsewhere because the controls are the way they are, regardless of how the game may be balanced for them.

Opinions may REALLY vary on this (again, discuss), but I do not expect this to magically change with release. I expect a large portion of potential players rejecting the game within the first few minutes of play based on the controls alone. The thing is, no amount of gameplay balance will matter if the player won't give the game a chance to begin with.

As a single customer I honestly wouldn't mind that much. I like that the game works as is and if it stays that way I'm personally fine with it.
That perspective isn't really fair to everyone though, so I feel like I should at least put this out there for discussion.


Specifically, I want to put out there for discussion the idea that maybe re-introducing mouse-aim would be beneficial to the game's reception regardless of the ruinous effects it may have on gameplay and balance.
This is not an argument for a change that I believe would make the game better, in fact I would expect it to do quite the opposite.

Personally I would actually prefer that the controls stay the way they are, but at this point it is something I think should at least be put out there for discussion even if only to (hopefully) be shot down right away.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: x4000 on January 25, 2013, 11:33:26 AM
My sole points before I withdraw from the discussion:

1. The people who comment early are the most likely to complain, since they log in to comment in ORDER to complain.  In other words, you get a sampling bias.

2. At the steam forums in particular, the latest round of game controller changes have been extremely well received.

3. Cave Story, which is obviously hugely popular, has very similar controls.  As do various other genre games of this sort.  This isn't some mysterious newfangled thing; rather, the mouse-aiming for a lot of games like Terraria is actually newer and slightly more unorthodox if you ask me.  It's very nice, but it's also very specific.

4. It's far, far too late to change anything this central.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LayZboy on January 25, 2013, 12:11:54 PM
3. Cave Story, which is obviously hugely popular, has very similar controls.

It an't really popular, bro.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: chemical_art on January 25, 2013, 01:26:00 PM


1. The people who comment early are the most likely to complain, since they log in to comment in ORDER to complain.  In other words, you get a sampling bias.


Except, that was the core of the problems of AVWW 1. The initial reviews trashed it, most consumers don't try it. The point of trying AVWW 2 was to restart perception, but now you are falling back on the previous attitude of first impressions don't matter?



2. At the steam forums in particular, the latest round of game controller changes have been extremely well received.



Irrelevant since most players don't use controllers. This points to the core of the issue: First impression causes a turn-off, customer lost, end of story. Doesn't matter if good on the controller, since the whole balance change was ditching the MUCH, MUCH more common method of mouse vs key board only.

<Yes, I'm in a edgy mood right now>

Super meat boy gets a LOT of flak since it was built doing such and proudly waved the fact.

3. Cave Story, which is obviously hugely popular, has very similar controls.



It an't really popular, bro.



This.

Just because something else has been done previously means NOTHING in terms of quality or popularity in of its self. What only matters is if <feature> is popular / well liked / good for the game, not if another game did it well.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: chemical_art on January 25, 2013, 01:32:13 PM

4. It's far, far too late to change anything this central.

And, last but not least, this is why nothing can be changed. The decision was made, you ride it out no matter what happens.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LayZboy on January 25, 2013, 01:34:45 PM
And, last but not least, this is why nothing can be changed. The decision was made, you ride it out no matter what happens.

Unless you're that terraria devloper. (http://www.terrariaonline.com/threads/something-about-a-possible-pc-update.95324/)
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Professor Paul1290 on January 25, 2013, 04:30:08 PM
4. It's far, far too late to change anything this central.

Code-wise or balance-wise?

To clarify, what I'm specifically talking about is re-introducing mouse-aim possibly without any re-balancing elsewhere, even if it does have negative consequences to game flow and balance.
The idea would be that re-introducing the mouse-aim would do more good for sales and first impressions than having the current balance would, even if it would result in a somewhat disjointed game.
(Essentially, it's an argument that an unbalanced game would do better sales-wise than balanced game nobody will give a chance.)

It is a rather cynical argument to be sure, but it is one that at this point the pessimist in me says may be somewhat realistic.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: tigersfan on January 25, 2013, 04:47:44 PM
My argument is that MOST (not all, but most) of the complaints about the lack of mouse aiming are coming from fans of the first game, who want more of the same.

Most of the folks I've talked to who's first experience with the AVWW franchise is Valley 2 don't seem to be nearly as bothered by it.

Even in that thread on Steam, most of the complainers, and ALL of the loud ones are disappointed that they are missing out on a control scheme that they liked. I'm not hearing a lot of "this is my first experience with the franchise, but I just can't get into a game that doesn't use the mouse." If those types of complaints are out there in numbers, I'm not aware of them.

And, the fact of the matter is, we don't WANT to make AVWW again. To be frank, it didn't sell well enough to justify a "more of the same" sequel. And if it had, we wouldn't be giving away to previous owners for free. :)
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: chemical_art on January 25, 2013, 05:32:26 PM
My argument is that MOST (not all, but most) of the complaints about the lack of mouse aiming are coming from fans of the first game, who want more of the same.

Most of the folks I've talked to who's first experience with the AVWW franchise is Valley 2 don't seem to be nearly as bothered by it.

Even in that thread on Steam, most of the complainers, and ALL of the loud ones are disappointed that they are missing out on a control scheme that they liked. I'm not hearing a lot of "this is my first experience with the franchise, but I just can't get into a game that doesn't use the mouse." If those types of complaints are out there in numbers, I'm not aware of them.

And, the fact of the matter is, we don't WANT to make AVWW again. To be frank, it didn't sell well enough to justify a "more of the same" sequel. And if it had, we wouldn't be giving away to previous owners for free. :)


My sole counter is to say:

What is the ratio of people who don't like it, to the number who DO like it

<this is coming from someone who has defended AVWW 2 on occasion>
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: tigersfan on January 25, 2013, 05:41:11 PM
My argument is that MOST (not all, but most) of the complaints about the lack of mouse aiming are coming from fans of the first game, who want more of the same.

Most of the folks I've talked to who's first experience with the AVWW franchise is Valley 2 don't seem to be nearly as bothered by it.

Even in that thread on Steam, most of the complainers, and ALL of the loud ones are disappointed that they are missing out on a control scheme that they liked. I'm not hearing a lot of "this is my first experience with the franchise, but I just can't get into a game that doesn't use the mouse." If those types of complaints are out there in numbers, I'm not aware of them.

And, the fact of the matter is, we don't WANT to make AVWW again. To be frank, it didn't sell well enough to justify a "more of the same" sequel. And if it had, we wouldn't be giving away to previous owners for free. :)


My sole counter is to say:

What is the ratio of people who don't like it, to the number who DO like it

<this is coming from someone who has defended AVWW 2 on occasion>

Unfortunately, that's impossible to say. Why? because most people who like a game don't say anything. They just play it till they're done with it, and move on. Most folks really only take the time to comment on a game (or, anything for that matter, not just games) if they feel slighted or put-out by the makers of said thing.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: chemical_art on January 25, 2013, 05:51:43 PM
My argument is that MOST (not all, but most) of the complaints about the lack of mouse aiming are coming from fans of the first game, who want more of the same.

Most of the folks I've talked to who's first experience with the AVWW franchise is Valley 2 don't seem to be nearly as bothered by it.

Even in that thread on Steam, most of the complainers, and ALL of the loud ones are disappointed that they are missing out on a control scheme that they liked. I'm not hearing a lot of "this is my first experience with the franchise, but I just can't get into a game that doesn't use the mouse." If those types of complaints are out there in numbers, I'm not aware of them.

And, the fact of the matter is, we don't WANT to make AVWW again. To be frank, it didn't sell well enough to justify a "more of the same" sequel. And if it had, we wouldn't be giving away to previous owners for free. :)


My sole counter is to say:

What is the ratio of people who don't like it, to the number who DO like it

<this is coming from someone who has defended AVWW 2 on occasion>

Unfortunately, that's impossible to say. Why? because most people who like a game don't say anything. They just play it till they're done with it, and move on. Most folks really only take the time to comment on a game (or, anything for that matter, not just games) if they feel slighted or put-out by the makers of said thing.

 I agree, and yet sadly, from a promotional standpoint, it is not acceptable.

I admit this freely: If I have NEVER played a game before, I glance at reactions: Whether they be good, bad, or ugly.

I pass up 9/10 games because of this: Since I cannot play the game itself, I look at other's reactions.

If said reactions are bad, I pass it up. Not because the game is bad, but because there are dozens of games that are perceived better. Games that are perceived better are better on average then games perceived bad, from my experience.

If the sequel to a game is blasted by it's original players, that's not good. If a game has no positive reviews, that is not good. If the majority of opinions for a game at the time of my viewing is not good, and the trailer for said game is not good, I (and many other consumers) will conclude said game is not worth further investigation.

The gaming world of today is not desolate enough to NEED 2D platformers to warrant deep investigation. There are dozens of them. Get a glance, buy or don't buy, move on. Such is market nature. I'm sure I'll be blasted otherwise, but market forces within Arcen and outside prove I'm more right then wrong.


Case and point: I looked up AI Wars before I joined these forums. Consensus was: It's hard, but fun and deep, so I bought it. The worst review of AI War 2.0 (if not 1.0) is still better then the best review of AVWW 1, so there can prove (from my perspective) that perception trumps reality for the new consumer. Given how AVWW 2 has shunned the first 1 so sharply, this is more important then ever. You've shunned the old base, so you need new consumers, I PRAY that you manage to get good reviews, otherwise Arcen has got them in a hole bigger then they were before.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: tigersfan on January 25, 2013, 05:56:37 PM
And I don't disagree with a lot of that. But, part of the reason that there aren't any good reviews (or any reviews really) right now is because we've asked reviewers to wait till we're out of beta, or at least closer to it.

A lot of players will often refuse to even do cursory examinations of games in beta, and that's fine. Ideally, when the game hits gold next month, we'll see a lot more positive press.

That said, even if I'm wrong, I'm not sure that adding a sub-par control scheme (which is what adding mouse support would be at this point) would give us any better reviews when the time comes.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: chemical_art on January 25, 2013, 06:01:37 PM
And I don't disagree with a lot of that. But, part of the reason that there aren't any good reviews (or any reviews really) right now is because we've asked reviewers to wait till we're out of beta, or at least closer to it.

A lot of players will often refuse to even do cursory examinations of games in beta, and that's fine. Ideally, when the game hits gold next month, we'll see a lot more positive press.

That said, even if I'm wrong, I'm not sure that adding a sub-par control scheme (which is what adding mouse support would be at this point) would give us any better reviews when the time comes.

I wish you well, but given you are on a PC platform, and not a console, mouse + key board being shunned for keyboard / controller platform will alienate a lot of players. Period.

Heck, you have already destroyed most of the  base by giving away the game for free. I love you as a company, but won't hesitate to question the financial decision when you start to fall back on alienating practices.

Again, if you manage good reviews, great. Because you have alienated the base so hard, you NEED good reviews to get purchases.

<Yes, I know I have given mixed messages throughout the lifetime of AVWW 2. My sole solace is that I know I voice what many who don't bother registering here feel. In no small part because the keyboard only interface still feels clunky. The old base is ambivalent at best, and won't give any additional money. Most new players will see the old base crap on it, so will wonder why bother. The ONLY thing that can save this in terms of perception (which is VERY different then game play balance, which is turning out great) is reviews. I will not back down from this viewpoint.>

Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Professor Paul1290 on January 25, 2013, 06:19:12 PM
The thing is, I'm still not sure if I can picture what AVWW 2's player base is going to look like as I have a hard time drawing parallels with other games, and that's worrying.

Aside from exceptional hits like Super Meat Boy and Cave Story, the closest games for comparison I've played recently that still commonly use this approach to shooting and platforming are Japanese indie, or so called "doujin", platformers and even that is a pretty far stretch in this case.

It does raise an important question. Who is AVWW 2's player base supposed to be?
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: tigersfan on January 25, 2013, 06:21:18 PM
I agree we need good reviews, but, like I said, adding in mouse aiming at this point isn't going to do that for us. Because it would be at best, an unfun way to play the game, and at worst, an utter disaster. And, since most reviewers would likely play it with a mouse, they wouldn't have too many nice things to say, I'd suspect.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on January 25, 2013, 08:10:39 PM
I'll throw a bit of my input here. First of all:

3. Cave Story, which is obviously hugely popular, has very similar controls.

It an't really popular, bro.

"Not really popular" games don't get 3 remakes, one of which was a rerelease at cost for the same platform it was free on.

In terms of mouse control, the entire game and balance has been built around the assumption that there won't be mouse control. Asking for mouse control will result in a secondary control scheme that will end up causing one set of players to be playing an imbalanced game while the other set will be playing the game as intended. There's no way that I'd buy that any developer could completely overhaul all the balance to the extent that they would need to in order to re-enable mouse aiming. I mean, they probably could just flip a switch and let you mouse aim, but it would not be a polished experience, and the game wouldn't have been built around it. That's the problem.
This almost reminds me of Gratuitous Space Battles. That game didn't allow direct control of your ships. The entire game was built around that. Then, somewhere down the line, the developer decided "Y'know, we'll have an optional checkbox for it." I've heard nothing good about the functionality of manual ship control in that game. Now, if it was a game that I were capable of playing, I'd totally offer my own impressions, but the point I'm trying to make is valid. You can't just change a core mechanic and magic the rest into working around it. That'd be what a game designer's magic wand would do.

So, that's my impression of the whole mouse control issue. I wish that it were available. I actually wish that these spells and graphics and enemies could just be thrown into Valley 1's gameplay/engine. I'd play that game to no end. The thing is... realistically, I don't know that'd be feasible.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: x4000 on January 25, 2013, 08:58:59 PM
There's a lot of hyperbole in here.  AI War's worst reviews were just as bad as the reviews of Valley 1.  The best reviews of both were each glowing, and from similarly major sources.  The difference was the majority were more middling or negative with Valley 1, as opposed to the majority being upper-middling or high with AI War.

Regarding the whole control scheme thing, I think there are also a lot of wild generalizations being thrown around here.  Where is your data coming from?  Personal experience and anecdotes?  How exactly is it that we know that all games that use the keyboard but not the mouse do terribly?  Such as Braid, Limbo, Cave Story, and on and on.  Plus a hojillion million action-adventure games from a top-down perspective; there are plenty that you play using the keyboard or gamepad if you are directly controlling your avatar, as opposed to leading your character around with the mouse ala Diablo.  You can argue that most of those are not remotely the same genre as what we have going with Valley 2, and that's fair enough.  But that's going to be true of any comparisons made to Valley 2, because there's not much else like it.

The target audience for Valley 2 can best be summed up as: people who like action platformers, think the game looks intriguing when they hear about it, and who don't already have Valley 1 for whatever reason.  The Valley 1 playerbase is really not our target audience, as that would be stupid (given that we're giving it to that group for free).  Valley 2 is enormously different from Valley 1 in part because there was so much rejection of the former.

One of the biggest complaints about the first game was... tada... the controls.  They didn't feel "tight" and the whole thing "just didn't feel right" to a number of people.  We've reinvented the game physics and controls to better match games that I actually prefer the controls of myself -- Super Metroid and Cave Story and such.  And since then we've honed the heck out of these controls in order to make them even more superior (the angled aiming stuff, and not having to switch weapons via a toggle, really are solid improvements over either of the others in my opinion).

To some extent we were always going to be caught in the middle with this: people who wholeheartedly embraced the first game were likely to have issue with some or many of the changes we were making in the sequel.  That's a big part of why they get it for free without it overwriting the first game.  But Valley 2 is targeted at people who did NOT like the first game, or who have simply not heard of it (the latter of which is most people; we're starting with a clean slate with the majority of potential customers by virtue of being obscure).

Like all Arcen titles, it's also targeted at: me.  Personally, I vastly prefer Valley 2 to Valley 1, and really feel much more proud of this one and find it a lot more fun to play.  Worrying about the target audience for a game is always a bit of a funny thing, when you're blazing new ground: you can't just say "oh, all players of Diablo will play this, because it's so similar but better in X ways."  You can't say "all fans of Mario will like this because it's the next in the series and it's more of the same but new levels and a few new powerups and enemies."  (For the record, I love Mario and have almost all those games.)  When you make something new, and on spec, the target audience is inherently nebulous.  That's the central risk of innovative game development, really.  That's why there's a lot of sequels and genre games in AAA game development -- with their budgets, such a risk just isn't generally acceptable to anyone.

At any rate, sometimes this sort of thing can backfire: case in point, marketing Tidalis to the Steam crowd, when they are neither all that into puzzle games or games with casual graphics.  Who knew.  But what Valley 2 represents is a lot of challenge, both mentally and dextrously for those inclined, and a strategy-platforming mashup that hasn't been seen since Actraiser (and is hugely distinct even from that).  People who like some mix of those various things will hopefully buy Valley 2.  If you're looking for any more certainty in the future than that, then indie game development really isn't the industry for you, heh.

I mean, who would have thought that Minecraft would be anything like the hit it turned into?  There had been plenty of similar games before that; Infiniminer, etc.  The art is decidedly retro, and wasn't the style of retro that was considered cool until it made it cool.  The core mechanics are just kind of bizarre compared to the larger market before that game came out; crafting and building... with blocks in some random world?  It sounds obvious and fun now, but try to think back to four years ago.  It would have sounded like some sort of niche game that a few people might tinker with, not the most popular indie game of all time.

My point isn't that this will be the next Minecraft -- that's almost 100% impossible to happen, given the accessible nature of Minecraft versus the specific challenging nature of this.  It's got no more chance of becoming the next Minecraft than Starcraft or Crysis 3 or whatever do.  However, Arcen neither needs nor expects for the game to be that popular.  We're making the sorts of games that other people are NOT making, because we want to play those sorts of games and think that others will likely want to do so as well.

Valley 2 is cohesive enough, and touches on enough genres that are popular enough, that I don't see any reason why it doesn't have a good shot at doing well for itself.  If some folks don't want to play it because of a lack of mouse support, I don't really know what to say to that; I guess those people just won't play it, eh?  It's not like they don't have a keyboard sitting right on their desk in front of them that they are extremely practiced at using for movement in other games.  If they really want to use the mouse, they can still bind the firing functions to the mouse buttons if they like.

Generally speaking, my experience has been this:
- For every person who registers at the Arcen forum and says something, we literally have 1,000 silent customers who buy and play the games in question.
- For every review that is written, we get a tiny blip of sales that barely registers against the background noise of normal sales; Kotaku and Total Biscuit were the only two exceptions I've ever observed.  Other than that it's all been about Steam Sales and I imagine cumulative word of mouth and reviews.

Valley 1 partly messed up because it tried to please everyone in every way, rather than sticking to what it is.  Diablo isn't for everybody (for instance, me), but it knows what it is and the people who play it really like it.  Some people scoff at Zelda, but the series has a very defined identity and another large group really responds well to that (for instance, me).  Valley 2 is not going to be universally liked.  Minecraft, Zelda, Mario, and Diablo are not universally liked.  There are laundry lists of things that those games do "wrong" in the opinion of the people who don't really like those games.  But universal acclaim isn't the goal: finding enough customers who fit into your niche and enjoy what you do -- and then delighting them as much as possible -- is the first, last, and only goal.

Put another way: there are no reasonable amount of changes that you could make to Diablo to make me like it, because I just don't like the core premise.  It's just not my thing, through and through.  If you changed it enough to please me, it would no longer remotely resemble Diablo in any way, and the people who like Diablo would be pretty upset.  With Valley 1, I let the siren song of trying to please everyone really tempt me -- I put in everything and the kitchen sink, and what resulted was not something that I ultimately ever really was satisfied with.  Valley 2 represents me going back with a clean slate, stopping all that pandering, and building the game that I hadn't realized I had been trying to make all along (sometimes you learn these things as you go).

Do I worry that the game won't be popular enough?  Of course.  Am I worried reviewers or players will hold a grudge because of the first game?  Definitely.  Does the fact that some people will reject the game because of no mouse controls give me pause and cause me anguish?  Quite a bit, actually, whenever I contemplate it.  However, through much reflection I have decided that this is the optimal course.  Trying to please the people who want mouse controls would likely give them a sub-par mouse experience in various ways.  They could play, but it wouldn't be as good.  So then what happens?  They claim the game isn't that good.  We saw a lot of that with Valley 1.  I'd rather that they not play, and their worst comment is "I don't like the controls," rather than them playing and going "well they sure don't know how to balance a game properly!" because they were playing with the mouse and everything was completely hosed for them in the balance department.

In a sense, I've learned to be very firm and say no to the whole "eh, let them have it their way and wreck the experience for themselves" argument.  I've learned that when I do that, people are rarely grateful -- they just shift their complaints to other areas that are now broken because of giving in on that, and thus we wind up chasing our tail and spending literally tens of thousands of dollars doing it.  I'm not a totalitarian in the sense that I think that everyone should play the same way -- wherever possible, I think that supporting as many playstyles as possible is important and good.  I like variety, and I like people being able to come to it on their own terms as much as possible, too.  It's just that there really is a line that shouldn't be crossed where balance or fun gets thrown out the window, and you aren't doing anybody any favors by giving them that flexibility.

This is getting circuitous and rambling, so I'll cut it off here.  I hadn't planned on responding again, but I let myself get sucked back in.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LayZboy on January 25, 2013, 09:15:37 PM

"Not really popular" games don't get 3 remakes, one of which was a rerelease at cost for the same platform it was free on.

Nobody really talks about it anymore, so it's not popular really.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on January 25, 2013, 09:19:02 PM
Well...
The thing is, I do remember times where the game was rather big, and constantly discussed left and right. Its time has kind of passed, and that happens to pretty much every game ever. Do you think people will be talking about Trine or other similar games years down the line, even though they're really great and set a high standard? No, they probably won't. People don't talk about games forever. It's about the legacy it had while it was alive.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: x4000 on January 25, 2013, 09:21:17 PM
Indeed.  I'll take that level of popularity any day.  I'm happy if I please an audience, make a game I'm proud of, and make enough money to keep doing more games with the staff I want.  Everything beyond that is window dressing.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Professor Paul1290 on January 25, 2013, 09:35:30 PM
Like all Arcen titles, it's also targeted at: me.  Personally, I vastly prefer Valley 2 to Valley 1, and really feel much more proud of this one and find it a lot more fun to play.
...
We're making the sorts of games that other people are NOT making, because we want to play those sorts of games and think that others will likely want to do so as well.
...
But universal acclaim isn't the goal: finding enough customers who fit into your niche and enjoy what you do -- and then delighting them as much as possible -- is the first, last, and only goal.
...
Valley 2 represents me going back with a clean slate, stopping all that pandering, and building the game that I hadn't realized I had been trying to make all along (sometimes you learn these things as you go).

I gotta say, this is a far better answer than anything I would have expected.

I guess I didn't really know if you were making it this way because you just thought people would like it better, or if you genuinely wanted it to make the game this way. Being a bit pessimist I assumed the former, so thankfully I'm wrong.

I still say you're going to piss people off with this game, but you definitely picked the all the best reasons to do so!

Well done sir, very well done indeed! :D


Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: x4000 on January 25, 2013, 09:58:04 PM
Cheers. ;)

I piss somebody off with anything I do now, that goes with the territory. What counts is how many people are made happy.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on January 25, 2013, 10:59:39 PM
If you make anything, even simply words, you'll always be pissing someone off. It's not something that can ever be avoided.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Misery on January 26, 2013, 12:26:26 AM
3. Cave Story, which is obviously hugely popular, has very similar controls.

It an't really popular, bro.


This depends though, entirely on who you ask.   Alot of console gamers dont know that game.... but *lots* of PC gamers do, even if they havent played it.   And the game has been ported to other platforms.... which is something you cant manage WITHOUT high popularity, considering how most console publishers operate.   Particularly among the indie crowd, the game is legendary. 

More to the point though, there's also the very simple fact that there are tons..... and I mean TONS..... of different games that use similar controls.  My own PC game collection is ample evidence of this.   There's too many games on here to even count (hundreds, if you DONT count the arcade roms), and literally every single one of them except for three are games I play with the controller.... and I dont mean with the analog sticks.   Stuff like 8-way movement/aiming/whatever has been done in gaming for a very long time indeed, and while it's become rare among console games and triple-A titles, there's still about a bazillion different games on PC that use it. 

Just as there are lots of players who think keyboard + mouse controls are the best thing ever, there are lots that think it ISNT.



As said up above, it's simply impossible to please everyone.   Cant be done.  Take even the most well liked game ever with a bazillion fans.... whatever that game might be.... and I'll point out to you a bazillion others that LOATHE it, or simply dont care whatsoever about it.   And really.... I prefer that developers make the games THEY want to make.  Not the games they think OTHERS want to make.  And few enough developers understand that one as it is (though again, that's mostly among the console ones.... having to bend over backwards to meet the demands of big publishers).


I honestly think the game as it is now is going to please way more people than if it were to have the controls changed just to "please the masses".  This type of game is going to attract a specific sort of player for the most part, and that sort is likely to be fairly used to this sort of thing.

The one problem is that since it's so incredibly different from the first game, there'll be complaints based on just that alone, but.... not that big of a deal.



All in all, I think things are coming along excellently.   The game is great fun and plenty challenging, and that's what matters.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Nanashi on January 26, 2013, 01:33:55 AM
I'll just leave this here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_miller,_his_son_and_the_donkey
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: chemical_art on January 26, 2013, 08:53:28 AM
There's a lot of hyperbole in here.  AI War's worst reviews were just as bad as the reviews of Valley 1.  The best reviews of both were each glowing, and from similarly major sources.  The difference was the majority were more middling or negative with Valley 1, as opposed to the majority being upper-middling or high with AI War.



I guess I was wrong, sorry.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/ai-war-fleet-command/critic-reviews

AI War: 90 - 65

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/a-valley-without-wind/critic-reviews

AVWW : 70 - 29

So the worst AI War review is not better then the best AVWW 1 review.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: x4000 on January 26, 2013, 09:09:38 AM
Metacritic also represents only about a third of all reviews, too. Some non-metacritic sites really trashed ai war but loved valley 1, etc. At any rate, the comparison of Valley 1 and Valley 2 would only be relevant if Valley 2 weren't immensely better. As in, I'm not sure what the relevance of its scores are to a sequel that improves on everything complained about by reviewers of the first, and wildly departs from the first in general. To some extent that's like looking at reviews of Mario Sunshine to predict reviews of Mario Galaxy. Some relevance, certainly... but only to a very limited point.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LayZboy on January 26, 2013, 09:33:31 AM
Just as there are lots of players who think keyboard + mouse controls are the best thing ever, there are lots that think it ISNT.

Anyone who thinks a game is better without more precise control has something wrong with them.
Unless the game was designed around it, then it is fine. Valley 2 when it was released clearly wasn't though, it's gotten better now though.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on January 26, 2013, 10:46:35 AM
Just as there are lots of players who think keyboard + mouse controls are the best thing ever, there are lots that think it ISNT.

Anyone who thinks a game is better without more precise control has something wrong with them.
Unless the game was designed around it, then it is fine. Valley 2 when it was released clearly wasn't though, it's gotten better now though.
It hasn't been released yet though. This is an open beta phase of the game. That's why I've never really declared an opinion on the game. It's not done yet.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: madcow on January 26, 2013, 11:07:51 AM
Just weighing in to say that personally I prefer platformers that control without mouse.  Trying to play AVWW without mouse was not particularly enjoyable - so I'm pretty well enjoying the mouseless experience.

And cave story is definitely a success it's silly to say otherwise. Another comparison I'll throw out is Spelunky which has only 2 way aiming (left/right) and procedurely generated levels, it's probably one of my favorite games and did well enough that it got ported to Xbox (where it did well) despite being free on PC.  Though its an entirely different game from AVWW despite those similarities.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: KingIsaacLinksr on January 26, 2013, 05:03:47 PM
There's a lot of hyperbole in here.  AI War's worst reviews were just as bad as the reviews of Valley 1.  The best reviews of both were each glowing, and from similarly major sources.  The difference was the majority were more middling or negative with Valley 1, as opposed to the majority being upper-middling or high with AI War.



I guess I was wrong, sorry.

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/ai-war-fleet-command/critic-reviews

AI War: 90 - 65

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/a-valley-without-wind/critic-reviews

AVWW : 70 - 29

So the worst AI War review is not better then the best AVWW 1 review.

Ugh, I wish people would quit using Metacritic period. You can't base any opinion on a game off that website's "data" which has been proven time and again to be arbitrary nonsense.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on January 26, 2013, 05:25:58 PM
Metacritic ends up horrendously skewed in a number of ways.

1. IIRC, Metacritic only accepts the first review a website puts out. If any of those reviews were revised, the aggregate score is off.
2. Metacritic averages out the rating system into its own rating system. 1 star is 20%, 5 stars is 100%. 9/10 is always 90, no matter what, etc.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Billick on January 28, 2013, 12:33:09 PM

If they really want to use the mouse, they can still bind the firing functions to the mouse buttons if they like.
As an aside, binding mouse buttons to attacks appears to be broken currently.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: tigersfan on January 28, 2013, 12:40:19 PM

If they really want to use the mouse, they can still bind the firing functions to the mouse buttons if they like.
As an aside, binding mouse buttons to attacks appears to be broken currently.

Would you mind making a Mantis report about that please?
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Billick on January 28, 2013, 01:51:07 PM

If they really want to use the mouse, they can still bind the firing functions to the mouse buttons if they like.
As an aside, binding mouse buttons to attacks appears to be broken currently.

Would you mind making a Mantis report about that please?
Added http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10519 (http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/view.php?id=10519)
Let me know if you need any more detail or a screenshot.
Title: Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
Post by: Gallant Dragon on January 31, 2013, 01:25:26 AM
Personally, I just use Metacritic to find reviews, and then read the actual review contents before casting judgement.

And cave story is definitely a success it's silly to say otherwise. Another comparison I'll throw out is Spelunky which has only 2 way aiming (left/right) and procedurely generated levels, it's probably one of my favorite games and did well enough that it got ported to Xbox (where it did well) despite being free on PC.  Though its an entirely different game from AVWW despite those similarities.

Aye, thumbs up for Spelunky!  A game designed around keyboard controls and, while they took a little getting-used-to, it is absolutely brilliant.  And free.  Go download it.