Arcen Games

Games => Bionic Dues => Topic started by: x4000 on September 05, 2013, 11:14:52 AM

Title: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 05, 2013, 11:14:52 AM
Hey folks,

So we're getting really close to being ready for the private alpha.  Possibly as early as tomorrow, or else on Monday.  If you want to be a part of this, please PM tigersfan (Josh).  There are also a number of you that already are confirmed as being part of the first wave of alpha testers since you made one or more suggestions for bot designs that we wound up using.

Alpha Process
We'll be doing this in waves, as usual.  So please tell Josh when your time availability actually is during the next week or two.  The idea of doing this in waves is the fact that we can only make a first impression on a given person once.  So having some testers be first and then making adjustments on their feedback means that the first impressions of the later testers are closer to what the beta and 1.0 customers will experience.  Which is really useful to us.

Current State Of The Game
This thing is practically done, to be honest.  This is unlike any other alpha or even beta that we've done before.  Well, except Tidalis, actually.  The reason this time is that this game HAS to be pretty much done in order to be playable much at all.  So don't expect titanic shifts in the game during alpha or beta (it already works and is plenty fun), and in general don't expect much more in terms of content.

Current known things that are going to change during alpha and beta:

1. We are still working on more floor graphics and more "flavor objects" to add more variety in the visuals of your locales.  These have no impact on gameplay.

2. There will inevitably be some bugs found and some balance things that need adjusting (of course).

3. Four more cities will be added so that we have a total of 5 rather than the current 1.

4. We may add a few more bots, depending on how it winds up feeling over time.  But there are already 100,000 possible combinations of normal bots that you may face in a level, plus more with the "special" bots that are in smaller numbers.   So that's, uh, pretty good. ;)

5. During alpha, not all of the bots are yet lit and animated.  We'll be finishing that next week.

6. We're also still putting in some of the "robot chatter."

7. The comic from Nick Trujillo is just getting started.

8. We do plan to have hackable computer terminals that are kind of like potions in other roguelikes, but those won't be in until partway through alpha or possibly into early beta.

9. The big one: there are certain things that the game doesn't explain yet, instead just dumping you into things.  It tries as much as it can, but there are still some things needed.  This is the biggest reason we are doing waves of players, because we want to know where each group feels a bit stumped.  Still, this game is our most accessible yet according to Erik's experience at PAX (oddly, for a roguelike), so it doesn't seem like there's a ton.  We'll find out during testing.

And... yeah.  That's pretty well it. :)  When it comes to this alpha, mostly we're going to want you to just play it and report anything you feel like you want to tell us (bugs, balance, something that isn't clear or fun or whatever).  And that's about it!

Schedule
- Alpha will last for 1-2 weeks or so.
- Then we'llgetting that to anybody from the public who wants to try it.
- Shortly after that, when things settle down some (maybe a week in), we'll be treating the beta as our press build.
- Then 1.0 will be in mid-October.

Cheers!
Chris
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Aquohn on September 05, 2013, 11:29:48 AM
THE ALPHA'S STARTING!? WHERE DO I SIGN UP!?

 (Sorry, haven't been active lately. Had a lot of other things to do...)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: tigersfan on September 05, 2013, 11:39:00 AM
I'll post here to make it easier for folks to find me... if you want in the Bionic Alpha, please send me a PM, and let me know when you have time.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 05, 2013, 11:51:47 AM
Just heard TotalBiscuit speak about Bionic Dues in his "Content Pax". Can't remember if it was #2 or #3. But he liked it, which is awesome!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Mánagarmr on September 05, 2013, 11:52:38 AM
Oh, and speaking of alpha, I'm currently heavily involved in the Distance (Nitronic Rush sequel) alpha, so my time is very short, so I won't be able to participate in BD alpha. Sorry guys!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 05, 2013, 12:08:01 PM
Just heard TotalBiscuit speak about Bionic Dues in his "Content Pax". Can't remember if it was #2 or #3. But he liked it, which is awesome!

I missed that, but that's freaking awesome! :D

Oh, and speaking of alpha, I'm currently heavily involved in the Distance (Nitronic Rush sequel) alpha, so my time is very short, so I won't be able to participate in BD alpha. Sorry guys!

No worries at all!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Aklyon on September 05, 2013, 01:11:52 PM
I'd help, but I already have enough to do right now as it is.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Hyfrydle on September 05, 2013, 01:13:12 PM
I PM'd Josh this looks very cool and I would love to be involved with the testing.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: mrhanman on September 05, 2013, 01:32:51 PM
Congratulations on the progress!  I think you have a real gem here, and I can't wait to get my hands on it.  8)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: nas1m on September 05, 2013, 02:04:26 PM
Just signed up.
Bring it on ;)!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Winge on September 05, 2013, 07:21:45 PM
Signed up.  Work schedule should be relatively light over the next week or two, and I'll gladly put other games on hold for this  :D
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Misery on September 05, 2013, 08:17:11 PM
I'll join in, of course.  I've nothing but free time as always and have been looking forward to this.

Roguelikes, easily one of my favorite (if most infuriating at times) genres.

Already sent a PM about it.


Good luck to you all in advance, too.  Here's hoping the alpha/beta for this one is as smooth as possible!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Cyborg on September 05, 2013, 10:54:32 PM
I am free from Sunday night onwards.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Greywolf22 on September 06, 2013, 02:19:53 AM
Yep I pm'd as well. Definitely excited about this one.  :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: bytestream on September 06, 2013, 05:31:44 AM
Signed up and very excited about it.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Rekka on September 06, 2013, 05:34:34 AM
Signed up also. Roguelike and robots! :D
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Tridus on September 06, 2013, 08:06:52 AM
Excited. :D
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2013, 08:56:33 AM
Hey guys, just as an FYI, alpha is going to start Monday rather than today -- there are just some things that still need to be cleaned up before you play it, mainly bot stats getting better polished today.  But also the "potions-style computers" mechanic I'd like to get in before you play it.  These things affect balance and the feel of the game, so I'd rather have that close to finalized (tweaking based on player feedback aside, obviously) before people start going hands-on with it.  I thought that might be done early today, but instead it looks like it will be late today and/or over the weekend.

Monday is looking good, though!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: bytestream on September 06, 2013, 09:10:29 AM
Haste makes waste. We have enough other Arcen games to play while we are waiting ^^
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2013, 09:11:04 AM
Quite so. :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Penumbra on September 06, 2013, 10:14:54 AM
"potions-style computers" mechanic

O_o

Awesome!

Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 06, 2013, 12:39:45 PM
Roguelikes, easily one of my favorite (if most infuriating at times) genres.
I shall be responsible for your annihilation of many input devices!

Though I did tell Chris about the whole "start mission, spawn in position covered by multiple gamma-ray-laser 'bots, take casualties upon first action" thing.  Which would have been classic ragelike material.  Ah well, there'll be more :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Teal_Blue on September 06, 2013, 04:04:09 PM
 I wanted to make a suggestion on the cities, you said there would be five? I think that it would be nice to have 'city specific' issues that happen when in that particular environment.

Say Port City is close to the waterfront, naturally, but that also means that any given mission in that city has to contend with water related issues, perhaps moisture in the environments, or high humidity in the summer... all leading to electrical breakdowns or shorts which stop guns or navigation or bot functionality completely.

Or rust of critical parts over several missions, say three missions, causing those parts to have to be replaced, for future missions that have nothing to do with the 'bugs' of any of the given 'bots, or any or the perks of the given 'commanders'.  :)

So,

1.  Electrical shorts or rust, leading to mis-shots, nav failure or bot failure, and part replacement due to moisture, in Port City.

2.  Tech issues in New Reno, instead of weather related issues, where bots have to contend with a highly saturated environment of cameras and remote control systems. (These missions might concentrate on 'timed' or speed runs through a given mission space, where xx seconds is noted and used for either pass/fail of mission, or more interesting in my mind, would be to have those speed scores count as a ladder score for comparing the best run players.

3.  Deep Vaults in Impregnable City or Fortress City, where the player is getting closer to say the core of the system that is controlling the bots. So in this sense each city is a step from not knowing anything, to knowing who the controller is (one of the commanders is the hidden baddie?) :) But anyway, this city is concerned with having remote control of doors and tons of bots, (that can be de-activated, if a switch in the level is reached in time.) where the players bots acquire information or clues or tech reports that lead to upgrades and new computer abilities for the players bots. These missions might get progressively harder, requiring careful thought to the weapons and modules equipped for these missions, moreso than other cities. Also, the missions might have to be taken in a sequential manner, rather than the free-form way of other cities.
 
4.   Tech City is where all the missions are 'sensors only' missions, in almost pitch black environments, where each 'sensor' module has to be 'repaired' after each mission into a corrosive environment of acidic gas that is designed to slow and stop outsider robots. Where the player has to use some chemical coating or plating to the outside of the bot to keep it functional. Perhaps it is possible if enough 'coating' material is not found in each mission type that the city cannot be completed in this run, perhaps a 'scrub', deleting of this set of missions is needed and then come back and start with a different set of nodules to get through the entire 10 mission set for that city?

5.   Twin Cities is where the players bots, one AI'ed and tied to the players bot, which is controlled by the player is used to complete a mission, say one bot is used to get to the laser cannon de-activation switch on the east side of the mission area, while on the opposite side, the doors have a ten second timer where they will close again. So the AI bot goes for the switch, or the door, as the player chooses, and the players bot has to get through the de-activated area to acquire the mission objective. Perhaps parts or upgrades or information that leads to controlling doors or systems in other missions, or even in other cities, perhaps specified in the tech spec for the description.  :)

Anyway, these are just ideas for what i think would add some difference from city to city instead of a repeat of the same mechanics from city to city.

Thanks for listening,


Just wanted to say the pics and the video all look super!  :) And that looking forward to trying the game out.

-Teal

Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2013, 04:06:33 PM
Sorry, the cities vary specifically by how the nodes are laid out and what the visuals are only.  Generally speaking our feature set is complete, we're not adding massive new systems like that at this point.  It's quite far along as a game!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Teal_Blue on September 06, 2013, 04:15:51 PM
:)

just a thought.  :) 

I think I always seem to be a pain for you guys, but... well... not intentional. Just well...
Lets just say you guys get my mind turning on a lot of ideas when you come up with a new game.
:)

-T

Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2013, 04:16:46 PM
Not a worry at all.  You're not a pain, you just often have different ideas from what we're going for.  But not always!  So it doesn't hurt to check, or even just write down your thoughts for your own sake.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Teal_Blue on September 06, 2013, 04:20:17 PM
Thanks Chris, looking forward to beta and launch!  Hope its Great!

-T

Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 06, 2013, 04:21:07 PM
Cheers!
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Misery on September 07, 2013, 03:58:45 AM
Roguelikes, easily one of my favorite (if most infuriating at times) genres.
I shall be responsible for your annihilation of many input devices!

Though I did tell Chris about the whole "start mission, spawn in position covered by multiple gamma-ray-laser 'bots, take casualties upon first action" thing.  Which would have been classic ragelike material.  Ah well, there'll be more :)

Yes, I'm sure the game will be coming up with plenty of other "start, die, rage" scenarios, losing just the one wont hurt it much :p

....and I'll end up stumbling into pretty much all of them, likely.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Tridus on September 07, 2013, 08:09:16 AM
Roguelikes, easily one of my favorite (if most infuriating at times) genres.
I shall be responsible for your annihilation of many input devices!

Though I did tell Chris about the whole "start mission, spawn in position covered by multiple gamma-ray-laser 'bots, take casualties upon first action" thing.  Which would have been classic ragelike material.  Ah well, there'll be more :)

Yes, I'm sure the game will be coming up with plenty of other "start, die, rage" scenarios, losing just the one wont hurt it much :p

....and I'll end up stumbling into pretty much all of them, likely.

You're not really getting the full "Arcen Customer Satisfaction Experience(TM)" unless you do. ;)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: madcow on September 07, 2013, 02:43:44 PM
I'm really curious if these are roguelike potions or "traditional" potions. Aka randomized effects vs fixed effects.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 02:50:08 PM
I'm really curious if these are roguelike potions or "traditional" potions. Aka randomized effects vs fixed effects.
I'm actually implementing them this very moment.  There are 12 "potion terminal" types with different appearances, and each type is randomly assigned one of the possible "potion conseqeunces" at the start of a new game.

There are four lists of "potion consequences" internally: Very Nice, Nice, Mean, and Very Mean.  Different numbers of them are pulled in based on the difficulty.  On easy it pulls 2 VeryNice, 6 Nice, and 4 Mean.  On highest difficulty it pulls 5 Nice, 5 Mean, and 2 VeryMean.

In short, basically the roguelike model.

The interesting twist here is that since an exo blowing up is not the end of the game, you can do some degree of "poison tasting" (poor Science exo).  But it's quite possible to lose a mission because of one of these, and that could greatly inconvenience your plans of winning the game ;)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: madcow on September 07, 2013, 02:57:29 PM
Please oh please. Once it's identified let it stay identified ;)  having to remember what types of potions are linked to what is a game peeve of mine.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 02:59:28 PM
Having to remember is rather the idea. Otherwise we might as well just tell you what they are in the first place, since its the later missions you'll want the positive ones for. This is a traditional part of the genre.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 03:01:22 PM
The trouble there is: if it tells you "that's the potion type that kills an exo instantly" once you've had that happen to you, it should just stop seeding those terminals on any map after that, right?  Or at least utterly prevent you from hacking them, right?  Otherwise it's the interface letting you do something that it obviously should not.

Which is a problem without the interface telling you too, I suppose, but ultimately that's a problem with the basic idea of the original roguelike mechanic, I think.  So perhaps we prevent hacking of known-negative terminals or just scrap the mechanic altogether.   We'll see.  It's more something we're adding because many players are nostalgic for it than because it's really needed in the game, but sometimes the cooler features come about that way.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: madcow on September 07, 2013, 03:08:19 PM
To me. The fun has always been (and I'll be honest it's more from the game toejam and earl rather than a traditional roguelike and the ratio of good to bad items there is like 4:1) oh crap I'm in trouble better open this random present in the middle of battle and hope its what I need.

 The metagame of needing to write down parts from a game is not one that has appealed to me.  I mean don't scrap a mechanic entirely because of one forum post.

Edit: I just feel if its the game remembering vs me remembering. The game might as well do it for me.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 03:09:40 PM
If this doesn't work out, that's not a bad alternative.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 03:11:00 PM
To me. The fun has always been (and I'll be honest it's more from the game toejam and earl rather than a traditional roguelike and the ratio of good to bad items there is like 4:1) oh crap I'm in trouble better open this random present in the middle of battle and hope its what I need.

 The metagame of needing to write down parts from a game is not one that has appealed to me.  I mean don't scrap a mechanic entirely because of one forum post.

Edit: I just feel if its the game remembering vs me remembering. The game might as well do it for me.
Right, and that's why I think the original mechanic is flawed.  But I'm not 100% sure it's worth implementing with that "fix".

Though in this case I think it is: but it needs to prevent you from hacking a terminal with a known negative effect, otherwise it moves the UI flaw from "UI not telling you something it should" to "UI letting you do an obvious misclick".
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 03:14:35 PM
I think that part of the appeal of the original mechanic, for those who like it, is literally the memory game of it. If you play Memory and write down where everything is, then that's a pretty different game - you may as well leave the tiles flipped up. Same deal here, too. Memory games can be fun and exciting I think, and that's really all it is.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 03:15:59 PM
I think that part of the appeal of the original mechanic, for those who like it, is literally the memory game of it.
Out of curiosity, would anyone who feels that way please speak up? :)

Personally I have little patience for UIs that hold back on me in a case like this.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 03:23:15 PM
Hi. ;)

Personally I also normally hate that sort of thing. But in the context of certain genres, I find the mystery interesting. As here. It's just plain fun, without the news to be optimized or whatever else. Tradition! ;)

Still, I'm willing to explore other ways of doing it. For example, having the function of the terminals show once you know them, but having one function change each day or so, for instance. So you have to keep poison testing as you go if you want the effects all known at the end.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 03:28:25 PM
Alternatively, we could make it show you the function of the ones you've found, but only put these in the final battle and in smaller numbers in the robot command missions.  And put in more negatives, potentially.  Failure in those missions is critically important, so that would help make these more rare.

Or we keep these out of the final mission, and it's just another thing you can spend your hacking points on, and otherwise it works as now but showing you the results.

There are a number of options that are interesting.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: orzelek on September 07, 2013, 03:30:47 PM
As far as I remember roguelikes I played remembered that this potion you just drunk with silly name is exactly this potion and named it like that from that point onwards.
And I don't recall them having any instant death effects... thats a very bad welcome for player.

If I'm aware that terminal can kill the bot... I will tend to skip all terminals especially after I die to it once and game is unable (robots without short term memory?) to store for me somewhere - watch out this terminal we tried already and it did that.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 03:34:04 PM
As far as I remember roguelikes I played remembered that this potion you just drunk with silly name is exactly this potion and named it like that from that point onwards.

Right, same as here; except instead of a silly name it's a visual.

And I don't recall them having any instant death effects... thats a very bad welcome for player.

Those were definitely there.  Those aren't here except for on the higher difficulties, and even here they are less severe than other roguelikes.  Losing an exo is routine, relatively speaking; you will lose multiple per mission, most of the time.  It's not as severe as the implementation in the other games, where it's just the end of the game because you drunk a potion.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Tridus on September 07, 2013, 04:40:03 PM
I think that part of the appeal of the original mechanic, for those who like it, is literally the memory game of it.
Out of curiosity, would anyone who feels that way please speak up? :)

Personally I have little patience for UIs that hold back on me in a case like this.

I'm with you, Keith. I don't like a memory game aspect. If the UI wants me to know, the UI should tell me. If it doesn't want me to know, it shouldn't tell me in a roundabout way. Making me remember just means that if I haven't got a great visual memory or if I haven't played in a while, I'm being denied information that someone else would know. Particularly in a game about bionics and robots, why can't the computer I'm using to control the exos remember this information?

Personally I'd much rather see one of two things:
1. Keep the memory aspect, and remove the mean ones. If I'm expected to remember which ones are bad, all you're doing by putting them in at all is punishing me for forgetting and essentially doing something that I should *never* do once I know better. Decisions that the player should never actually make are just false decisions, not interesting ones.

2. Remove the memory aspect, such that what you get is truly random. Now it's just a straight gamble: do I risk it?
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 04:42:08 PM
We're removing the memory game aspect.  Keith had some excellent arguments that sold me on that.  I'll let him copy/paste those here if he desires, but basically it works like I described except that you can now see what these do after you inflict them on yourself the first time.  There's then strategy in how and when you use their effects after that.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 04:42:50 PM
For now we're just going to have the description of the terminal tell you what the effect is, if you've hacked that terminal before in that game.  I think that will keep the feature from being overly annoying :)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: mrhanman on September 07, 2013, 05:48:35 PM
Maybe I missed this, but does this description get scrambled differently between each game, or does it span all future play-throughs?  The former is the mechanic I'm most familiar with from other roguelikes.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 05:56:10 PM
Maybe I missed this, but does this description get scrambled differently between each game, or does it span all future play-throughs?  The former is the mechanic I'm most familiar with from other roguelikes.
It varies from playthrough to playthrough.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 05:56:50 PM
We also had the very mean idea of having one of the "VeryMean" effects be to re-scramble all the terminal effects ;)  But that's a little more complex than we wanted to go with right now.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: bytestream on September 07, 2013, 06:36:33 PM
I agree that the whole potion mechanic in roguelikes has always been flawed, so why not tweak it a little bit? Let the game keep track of what which terminal does but don't strictly differentiate between good and bad ones. Let them all have a positive effect of some kind but keep the negative effects for Mean and Very Mean terminals. That way, whether you use a terminal or not could become a tactical decision. You might end up in a situation were the minor positive effect of terminal outweighs it's negative effects.
And, if you want to be very mean, you can add terminals with randomized negative effects that change every time you use them. The game would still tell you which positive effect you get, but you never know exactly what price you would have to pay for it.

/edit
To be a little bit more specific:
Divide the positive effects into for different and your negative effects into two categories based on how powerful they are. Very Nice terminals would then offer one lvl 4, one lvl 3 + one lvl 1, two lvl 2 or 4 lvl 1 positive effects while a Very Mean terminal would have on randomized lvl 2 or two randomized lvl 1 negative and a fixed lvl 1 positive effect.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Misery on September 07, 2013, 07:42:09 PM
I agree that the whole potion mechanic in roguelikes has always been flawed, so why not tweak it a little bit? Let the game keep track of what which terminal does but don't strictly differentiate between good and bad ones. Let them all have a positive effect of some kind but keep the negative effects for Mean and Very Mean terminals. That way, whether you use a terminal or not could become a tactical decision. You might end up in a situation were the minor positive effect of terminal outweighs it's negative effects.
And, if you want to be very mean, you can add terminals with randomized negative effects that change every time you use them. The game would still tell you which positive effect you get, but you never know exactly what price you would have to pay for it.

Agreed with this.

I play alot of roguelikes myself, but I'm actually not all that fond of the 4 "main" ones, Hack, Crawl, Angband, and.... the 4th that I can never seem to remember the name of.  They all do the "you dont know what ANYTHING does" mechanic, and.... ehhhh.  Always found it to be flawed as heck.  A bit too much luck involved, one way or another, in a genre where one mistake ends your game entirely, and while luck is always a thing in a roguelike, I think it's best used in generating "situations", AKA arranging the level and current situations with nearby enemies and traps and the AI's decisions, rather than handing you an item and saying "test this.  It may or may not end your game RIGHT NOW.  Oh, and then there's still 40 other items to test on this run".   The situational stuff has the extreme randomness, but the player can use their own wit and logic to try to escape from the situation that the RNG has placed them in using the tools that they currently have.  The item testing though, in many cases, is like just flipping a coin.... which is just not a good gameplay mechanic, really.  Sure, there are methods that can help with testing items in these games and lower your chances of instant death, but the chance is still there, and it's not a thing that you can use logic and other tools to successfully avoid.  And often in those games the "methods" for testing items are extremely screwy.

In THIS game it'll be a little different, because of the unique mechanic of having more than just ONE character to work with, which changes things around quite a bit, but at the same time a flawed mechanic is still a flawed mechanic.  Implementing dangerous and deadly potions is fine and all, but I think it's all in HOW you implement them. 

One of my favorite methods of implementing this comes from a game called Baroque, which is one of my all-time favorite games, period.  In that game, you didn't do this constant identification of every single item ever.  Instead, when an item dropped for you to pick up, there was a random chance of it being an "unidentified" item (they were unidentified probably about 10 to 15% of the time). It would still tell you what TYPE of item it was.... weapon, armor, bone (that game's version of potions... no, I dont know why bones were used here) or whatever, but it wouldnt tell you which specific item within that group it was.  And the thing about it was that it wasnt based on already-found things.  If you'd already found the dangerous Explosion Bone a few times earlier in the game, that did not for a second mean that you would not at some point find the unidentified version of it.  And in this game, many items could indeed be very dangerous to the player if used wrong.... BUT, the player had multiple possible uses for every item.  You could "throw" any item in the game, so you had a very important extra choice on what you could do with unknown things, as you could test unidentified items or item stacks on enemies instead.  But even doing THAT could be dangerous.  Sure, if you test something on a monster and it's an Explosion thing, it'll do massive damage to the monster.   But it could also be the one that grants invincibility for 30 seconds, at which point you could be in big trouble if you'd just given that to a powerful monster.   But you could decide this based on the situation, all the normal, identification-not-needed items you had at the time, and what monsters were around.   There was a little more to it than just this, but overall it was a bloody brilliant system, and the ability for items to ALWAYS be useable on the player OR the enemy was important.  The player always had that all-important tactical choice, even when the item's effect was totally unknown.  Which I think is important as heck in a game of this type, and it's a choice that often isnt there in the main 4 roguelikes, and even when it is, it's not done quite right.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 07:43:40 PM
Folks!  We can stop discussing this, we already shifted away from that a long while ago in this thread. :)

There is no need to remember anything, and thanks for your input, you are right.  You don't have to keep saying it over and over when we already changed it. ;)  :P
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 07:46:34 PM
The horse isn't dead enough yet, attack!


More seriously, the additional change of making it so all negative ones also have some kind of positive would at least make it non-obvious whether to use them after you know what they do, but that's not nearly as important as removing the need for manual tracking, etc.
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: Misery on September 07, 2013, 07:49:51 PM
Folks!  We can stop discussing this, we already shifted away from that a long while ago in this thread. :)

There is no need to remember anything, and thanks for your input, you are right.  You don't have to keep saying it over and over when we already changed it. ;)  :P


Oh.   Right, I knew that.  Haha.   I totally didn't just wake up 10 minutes ago and look over this in a really bleary state.....
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: x4000 on September 07, 2013, 07:50:13 PM
Np. ;)
Title: Re: Bionic Dues Alpha Coming Up!
Post by: keith.lamothe on September 07, 2013, 07:50:47 PM
Oh.   Right, I knew that.  Haha.   I totally didn't just wake up 10 minutes ago and look over this in a really bleary state.....
Incidentally, this is by far the best state of mind in which to play a roguelike. *nods