Arcen Games

Games => A Valley Without Wind 1 & 2 => AVWW Brainstorming => Topic started by: Itchykobu on February 08, 2012, 06:02:21 PM

Title: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Itchykobu on February 08, 2012, 06:02:21 PM
I haven't posted in a while, though I've been playing pretty steadily, and restarting games a lot to see how the new systems impact the early game (so I'm still not very far in this game...continent 1 still since the introduction of the continent system).

I liked the mechanic where you had to destroy the overlord before the continent sank - I thought it gave an awesome goal, motivation, and terminal point to the continent. It was also a nice nod to Kefka, Lavos, and other world-destroying iconic bosses. In short, I think I'll miss this portion of the game, and just wanted to throw that sentiment out there since the new patch log shows that being removed.

I'm sure that since this is still beta, and given the excellence of previous Arcen titles (I never feel aimless in AI War...must...murder...AI...), the end result will still be a very engaging title.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Toll on February 08, 2012, 06:08:04 PM
Personally, I rather like that change; I really dislike only ever having X turns to do something, or you lose. Sure, it's nice from time to time, but to have it constantly hanging over your head... it'd just put a whole lot of pressure on me.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: keith.lamothe on February 08, 2012, 06:09:19 PM
Yea, I had thought that people wanted to feel threatened by the game, so I added it.  I was wrong :)
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Itchykobu on February 08, 2012, 06:14:47 PM
I think those two replies both capture the idea that sometimes a player does want to feel that there are high stakes in a battle. Given that spells and such currently don't carry over from continent to continent, any possibility of an "End of the world" mission type (optional, as all mission types), that raises the stakes: if you lose, the continent is gone, and if you win, you get to carry something over that you normally wouldn't?

Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse at this point  :)
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: x4000 on February 08, 2012, 06:21:57 PM
I don't think you're beating a dead horse -- and I do think that a "more threatening" model where the you can have a continent sinks into the sea is something worth exploring.  However, that would be a mechanic that was only available on higher strategic difficulties (which we would bring back for something like this), and which has its own sets of both benefits and pitfalls in some fashion.

In short, it's kind of a whole game mode in and of itself.  Possibly it doesn't need to be a game mode, even -- maybe it's some sort of doomsday device that, once you interact with it (and it warns you), it causes the destruction of the continent in X more CP, but you get Y benefit if you can beat the overlord before that time.  But this doomsday device option is only available when the continent is still tier 1-2 or something.

I don't know exactly the mechanics that we'd want to use, because we're pressed for time and haven't put a lot of thought into it yet.  But I do know that, if it's something that can be done in a straightforward fashion along those lines, adding value for people like you who want that sort of thing without impacting players who clearly have no interest in being actively threatened in this genre of game... it's something that I'm interested in trying to squeeze in prior to 1.0.  And if it's "bigger than a breadbox" of a feature, so to speak, then that's something to explore sometime post-1.0, but still something I want to look at at some point.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: zebramatt on February 08, 2012, 06:22:18 PM
I think those two replies both capture the idea that sometimes a player does want to feel that there are high stakes in a battle. Given that spells and such currently don't carry over from continent to continent, any possibility of an "End of the world" mission type (optional, as all mission types), that raises the stakes: if you lose, the continent is gone, and if you win, you get to carry something over that you normally wouldn't?

Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse at this point  :)

I was actually going to suggest the very same thing when I first read the new patch notes, in fact.

It would be nice for you to be able to perhaps embark on a mission chain which, from the moment you begin, then starts a countdown ticking to the destruction of the continent. Make this fact obvious enough when accepting the mission, and give the player the opportunity to not take on the mission chain; and you capture the same feeling of threat without forcing it on players.

Then it's just a case of inventivising that mission chain appropriately - like, maybe it lets you kill the overlord for that continent much more quickly than you would otherwise have been able (unlocking things early or whatever, so all you're actually gaining is time) - so some players take up the challenge and others avoid the risk without it feeling like they've taken a non-optimum path, and Robert's your mother's brother.

Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: zebramatt on February 08, 2012, 06:22:57 PM
Aaaaaand... ninjas attack!
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Toll on February 08, 2012, 06:27:05 PM
The doomsday device sounds like a real nice solution, I must say. I can definitely see myself activating it on a few continents just for the challenge of it, while leaving it untouched most of the time.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Itchykobu on February 08, 2012, 06:28:52 PM
Awesome, thanks for the replies. This game just keeps getting better and better.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: x4000 on February 08, 2012, 06:32:56 PM
I'm moving this to brainstorming, to keep it where we can keep track of it.  Keith and I are pretty tied up this week, but if folks figure out something of what they are looking for, we can see about trying to make time for it.  I am wary of promising anything because 1.0 is so close in a lot of respects (mid to late March or bust!).  And we want to make sure that the main game mode is stellar before we start tacking on lots of other game modes.  But I know that it's something that interests me greatly, if only I had more time.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: zebramatt on February 08, 2012, 06:37:37 PM
It would make a great first DLC!
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Itchykobu on February 08, 2012, 06:40:07 PM
Arcen needs more devs!
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: x4000 on February 08, 2012, 06:42:17 PM
It would make a great first DLC!

That's true, if we made a REALLY big feature out of it, it could fit as DLC.  Granted, we're planning to be doing tons of free DLC after 1.0, and paid expansions like with AI War, and something like this could fit as either depending on how elaborate people want it to be.  Most free DLC is more bite-size individually, but there's a lot of it.  Whereas the paid expansions have that sort of thing PLUS some sort of giant marquee feature(s) that really change up the game in major (optional) ways.  This could fit as either, depending on how it was done.

Arcen needs more devs!

That's true, although we barely have the money for the ones we have at the moment, heh.  And I really don't want to grow past a certain pretty small size as a company.  But once this core gameplay stuff is done, and all the polish for 1.0, we'll really be able to focus more on individual bits of content like we did during the 3.0 and 5.0 eras of AI War  (2.0 of AI War was a polish and reinvention era, and 4.0 was an ENORMOUS reinvention era).
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Endymion on February 09, 2012, 01:45:18 AM
Doomsday device being activated by player sounds a bit weird so I think something like a mission to destroy one(along with the possible reward) might sound better. Also I think if the destruction would only become completely irreversible around tier 5(or never) but just get harder to do with each tier and come at the cost of some unique but minor reward more people would be happy with it.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: x4000 on February 09, 2012, 08:29:47 AM
Doomsday device being activated by player sounds a bit weird so I think something like a mission to destroy one(along with the possible reward) might sound better. Also I think if the destruction would only become completely irreversible around tier 5(or never) but just get harder to do with each tier and come at the cost of some unique but minor reward more people would be happy with it.

That reminds me a bit of Fallen Spire, actually -- and a structure like that could work well here, too.  But would definitely be post-1.0 in scope.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Martyn van Buren on February 09, 2012, 01:17:30 PM
I feel like you'd have to make it very very clear that an optional doomsday device was optional --- you know, JRPGs very often have some machine that it obviously a bad idea for the character to use but you have to turn it on for some reason because that's the plot.  So I feel like players would wind up assuming they were supposed to use it and complaining after.

That said, I'm glad continent destruction is gone; it gives Arcen some more scope for things like epitaphs that will create memorable locations.  If there are going to be "fail states" I'd much rather they were burned and pillaged settlements than simply missing land --- you'd still have something to visit that reflected both what you'd accomplished and what you did wrong.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Gallant Dragon on February 09, 2012, 01:59:37 PM
That said, I'm glad continent destruction is gone; it gives Arcen some more scope for things like epitaphs that will create memorable locations.  If there are going to be "fail states" I'd much rather they were burned and pillaged settlements than simply missing land --- you'd still have something to visit that reflected both what you'd accomplished and what you did wrong.

You know, this idea is actually brilliant.  Overlord destroys settlement!  The Glyphbearer, overcome by grief, goes on a mad suicidal mission to make the Overlord atone for his crimes!  What happens next?!
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: king_lem on May 08, 2012, 05:03:32 PM
Maybe the effects of "End of the World" missions could be isolated to a specific region. If the players ignore the mission or fail it, then the chunk 'sinks into the ocean'. That result would be more forgiving instead of being a one-and-done kind of thing, but would still bring a sense of urgency to players. Granted, these would have to not be secret missions and result in significant rewards in order to not cause players to see them as annoying in a babysitting sort of way.
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Yurka_Maku on May 23, 2012, 03:32:54 PM
Maybe (though a stray from the ideas here) once you defeat the Overlord of the continent you get a grey line added to the overlord randomly that shows that his/her defeat was just the catalyst in a even bigger incident? The whole shards of time thing could become unstable, and occasionally shift inward/outward, greatly changing the areas. Or even more so, the overlord being defeated, begrudging monologue, and a blight/infection/instability could be spread and maybe throw in a even more powerful boss to curtail the potential infection of the settlement?
Title: Re: The end of the end of the world
Post by: Regdren on July 23, 2012, 04:17:22 PM
Hopefully this isn't thread necromancy. Since "no failure state" is one of the central ideas of the game, I'd like to suggest a consequence that's more for drama than in-game punishment. I like the idea that the overlord actually is a danger to the continent, and would destroy it if left unchecked. I think it would be fun to have an option available at the start of the game that gives it some teeth, adding a countdown to the lifetime of the continent. Killing a lieutenant would extend the deadline, and maybe there would be some kind of dispatch mission to delay the overlord's evil plan as well.

But the big sticking point seems to be the penalty, making it something you notice but not end the game completely. I suggest forcing you and the other survivors to move to the next continent. The second continent is the same level as the one you left, and the old survivors are at the new settlement in addition to the new ones (but with the usual penalty for having to leave their home.) And a new countdown begins. I think this idea would be better if killing an overlord gave you some unique kind of gift that couldn't be had any other way, but the general idea might have merit on its own too. What do you guys think?