Author Topic: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?  (Read 4295 times)

Offline Professor Paul1290

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Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« 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.

Offline x4000

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #1 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.
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Offline LayZboy

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #2 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.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 01:38:30 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #4 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.
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Offline LayZboy

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #5 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.

Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #6 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.

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #7 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. :)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #8 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>
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Offline tigersfan

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #9 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.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #10 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.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 05:58:39 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline tigersfan

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #11 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.

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #12 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.>

« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 06:09:12 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #13 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?

Offline tigersfan

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Re: Is keeping the balance and controls worth it?
« Reply #14 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.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2013, 07:40:01 PM by tigersfan »