Arcen Games

Games => Skyward Collapse => Topic started by: x4000 on April 11, 2013, 04:41:40 PM

Title: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2013, 04:41:40 PM
Original: http://christophermpark.blogspot.com/2013/04/skyward-collapse-teaser-1.html

Purely by coincidence, it's been exactly two weeks since we did our first teaser for our upcoming game Exodus of the Machine.  But did you know we're actually working on two new titles at the moment?

Our second upcoming game is called Skyward Collapse, and it's just now reaching a point where we're ready to show our first screenshot of it.  Aside from overlaying the logo in the lower left corner, this is exactly how the current build of the game looks as of about  10 minutes ago:


So just what is Skyward Collapse?  It's a turn-based 4x simulation god-game.

Overall Gameplay
Set high in the sky atop a floating landmass that you are actively constructing as the game progresses, you oversee two warring factions (Greeks and Norse).  Via solo play or co-op, you play as "The Creator," helping both sides of the conflict -- granting each side buildings, resources, and even new citizens.

However, the multitude of villages you create all have minds of their own, and will actively try to stomp the nearest still-standing village of the other faction.  Given the resources and appropriate buildings, your villagers will gear up for war without your direct interaction, and will fight it out to the best of their abilities.

Unlike most strategy games, your goal isn't to have either of the sides win.  "You" aren't represented by either of the sides, after all.  Instead your goal is to balance this conflict as best you can so that neither side gets wiped out.  You win by having the most points generated (read: most carnage) without either side committing genocide.

But you can't just strip them of the ability to gear up for war: roaming bandits make defense essential.  Not to mention, crime in each village goes up and up the longer it's without a military presence, until it collapses into anarchy.  You can construct embassies and assign traveling diplomats to them in an effort to reach a state of enlightenment where crime is no longer a threat, but this is difficult and only affects the two villages that are undergoing peace talks; their neighbors will remain as warlike as ever!

UPDATE: While we hadn't originally planned this, because of reader comments in a variety of places we've decided that we'll be adding a way to lose a campaign.  Here is our current brainstorming on how to lose.

Game Structure And Objectives
Gameplay takes place over three rounds (with a brief setup round occurring prior to that), each with a fixed number of turns that you can choose when you start the game.  During the time before your game ends, the goal is to get the highest possible score: your overall score is based on the lowest score of the two factions, so again keeping them in balance is key.

As you play, you'll also be trying to complete various meta-missions to increase your personal rank.  Every 10 missions you complete, you unlock not only the next rank, but also a new building for your towns!

Units, Economy, and Mythology
Oh, did I mention mythology yet?  Looks like not.  During the first round of the game, it's mostly just you and your villagers.  You can also directly summon certain powerful mythological creatures like minotaurs or the midgard serpent and so on, but these cost a lot of specialized resources that it takes a while to build up.

In round 2, you get to choose a Lesser God for each of the two factions.  Hermes, Idunn, etc.  Which one you choose out of your four options (per faction) has a big impact on how the rest of the game plays out.  Then when round 3 starts, you get to choose a Greater God to go along with them.  Zeus, Thor, and so on.  There's four choices per side here, too.

All in all the economic and military options are what you'd expect for a simulation game, but it's also probably our most streamlined game ever.  Easy to pick up, but there are already some really tricky advanced strategies that we've been coming up with.

Advanced Strategy Example
As one example of an advanced strategy: normally you can't control what units are being produced at, say, a barracks.  There are four units that get created in rotation at the barracks, archery ranges, and siege workshops (four per building, all unique per side, I mean).

So there's no control there for you: presuming that the resources are in place for the next unit in the rotation, it just creates that unit. For a novice player, there's nothing here to think about, and it's all very simple.  The barracks do what the barracks do.

However, the tricky part is that if you don't have the resources for the next unit in the rotation, then it keeps checking the other potential units in the queue until it finds one that it can create.  Do you see the trick now?

I suppose I also now need to mention that there are a lot of resources in the game.  Both "raw resources" which are collected and stored globally per faction, and then "finished goods" that are created on-demand by specialist craftsmen in an individual village.  Pigs are a good example of a raw resource, whereas bacon is a finished good.

Currently there are 15 raw resources, and 11 finished goods.  We're still polishing the exact mix of all those, though, so that may increase slightly by the time beta starts.  If that sounds overwhelming, it's not: the resources all have clearly-defined straightforward ways of being produced, and clearly-defined ways of being used.  Mostly your choice of how you gather and refine resources boils down to what you're trying to accomplish for a given faction or a specific village.  The resource production pipeline is actually one of your primary ways of exerting indirect control over your factions.

See the advanced strategy now?  Each unit at a military training facility has at least one resource that is unique to it, as well as some that are common to all of the units in that facility.  Therefore, you can control what units get produced in the rotation based on which finished goods you make available to that village.  Even better, you can figure out ways to manage the resources such that there are synergies between the different training facilities in a single village.

Other Things
Let's see, there are trading posts with a pretty straightforward trader model (but your traders are at risk of being attacked as they travel, which is what makes it interesting).  There are the aforementioned embassies.  There are three levels of schools to buff units in the towns containing those schools.  There is an (non-visual) upgrade model for all buildings and units.

You can place dozens of "special tokens" that are either general-mythological or specific-god-related.  You can smite land tiles, or make "military commandments" that gives some overriding orders to all the units of one faction (so that's a pretty big broadsword to be used carefully).

And there's some other stuff too, but this hits most of the high points from a broad level.  We're quite excited to be sharing this with you soon -- hopefully beta will be starting before the end of April, with a 1.0 in May!  When we hit beta we'll have everything in place and it will mostly be a matter of balance.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Aklyon on April 11, 2013, 04:50:25 PM
Would it be too obvious if I said I like it? :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2013, 04:56:35 PM
Would it be too obvious if I said I like it? :)

Yes, but it's always nice to hear.  ;D
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 11, 2013, 05:42:12 PM
This sounds awesome!

I guess I took the title literally and thought that pieces of the "board" could actually Collapse out of the Sky. Can that happen?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2013, 06:08:15 PM
When you smite them, yeah. But normally on placement they will fly upwards (skyward means up). :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 11, 2013, 06:30:47 PM
So can the board get "bigger" as the game continues? Or does it stay about the same size?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: tigersfan on April 11, 2013, 06:34:12 PM
So can the board get "bigger" as the game continues? Or does it stay about the same size?

It gets bigger on most turns. The game is about building the board.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2013, 06:56:03 PM
Actually it gets bigger every turn -- I can't think of a way to skip that, even if you place a tile and smite a tile on both factions. Two more still get added between turns.

So most of the time, since smiting is pretty rare, there are 4 tiles added per turn. Two by you, two random.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Penumbra on April 11, 2013, 07:11:00 PM
So the goal is to ensure a stalemate? That's awesome!  :o
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2013, 07:18:31 PM
Well, I simplified it a bit -- it's actually harder than just that. Your goal is to cause as much carnage as possible while still maintaining a stalemate. And the sides are heavily asymmetrical, too. Though you can play Greek on Greek or Norse on Norse if you like. The tricky thing is you want as much fighting and destruction as possible in order to maximize points, but you don't want to make so much carnage that you lose the ability to make more carnage. Economic/construction stuff certainly nets you plenty of points too, but fighting typically is more effective.

In reality it's not possible for one side to outright lose, because you can just place more buildings and civilians for them. That said, if things get that one sided you're basically going to have a horrible end score because it takes the lowest of the two. Maintaining a stalemate isn't strictly required, but you want both teams to have as high a score as possible, and so if someone gets obliterated it's hopefully at the very last. ;)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 11, 2013, 07:30:29 PM
So how do you lose then? Or can you?

It wouldn't be an Arcen game if you couldn't lose in a horrible and violent way :D

By the way, if this game does well (and I hope it does), it would be awesome if you could add some more religions (maybe modern religions) in the expansions. I really like the idea that you can use them interchangeably in the game, and that they all have their own flavor! Awesome!
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Penumbra on April 11, 2013, 08:05:23 PM
Well, I simplified it a bit

I may have simplified my explanation of the game, but not my interest!  ;D
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2013, 08:09:48 PM
You actually can't lose in this game, although you can... fail to win very well.  I'm not explaining that very well.

Basically, at any given point in time, you're doing two things at once:
1. Trying to maximize your score in the current game, by balancing things well and generally doing the stuff I mentioned before.  Yay leaderboards, and also there are some other benefits that we've not talked about yet (and which I don't want to quite yet, as they aren't finalized or implemented, and I want to be sure I have time for that).
2. Working on a handful of missions out of the 100 possible missions, trying to get to higher ranks (out of 10) and get the unlockable buildings (also 10).  Those in turn feed back into better scores, as well as also new functionality for your factions.

It's not possible to fail to complete a campaign, but it's quite possible to fail to get a good score, and it's also quite possible to fail all your missions, heh.

In terms of more civilizations with their own mythologies, that's something we definitely want to do if it does well enough.  This game is going to be super cheap ($5), so most likely those would be in expansions.  Right now the Greeks and Norse are very different, but roughly equivalent.  For the first expansion, if there is one, what I'd be more interested in doing is adding an overpowered and an underpowered civilization in.  Basically those would be interesting and challenging because keeping one from obliterating the other or getting obliterated would be much harder!  Having things out of balance actually would make for a more challenging scenario rather than something that was in any way cheesable, heh.

In terms of doing modern religions, that's something I'm not going to touch with a ten foot pole!  But going with other ancient mythologies in a fictionalized way is interesting to me.  This is also really not set on Earth, it's just based on the Greeks and Norse.  It's all grounded in the real mythology, but we took some liberties with some things.  For instance, the Norse didn't really fight with siege weapons, so we got creative with the sorts of things you might have seen if they did (plus also just going a bit sideways with the siege concept as a whole, in a way I really liked; arsonists, etc).  So the possibility is there for us to do some completely-fictitious civilizations if we run out of things to do that are historically-based at some point.  Not that I think that will happen anytime soon!
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 11, 2013, 08:10:17 PM
Well, I simplified it a bit

I may have simplified my explanation of the game, but not my interest!  ;D

Oh not at all, I understood!  I just meant that I hadn't explained it very fully. :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 11, 2013, 10:35:43 PM
How is it possible that no one has yet to mention Populus?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: mrhanman on April 11, 2013, 11:19:36 PM
Poplulous was the first thing I thought of when I saw the screenshot.  Though, in that game you did have a single faction you were leading to dominance.  I REALLY like the idea that in Skyward Collapse, you want to play one side off the other, Yojimbo-style!  8)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Coppermantis on April 11, 2013, 11:45:45 PM
This sounds really sweet. It sort of reminds me of the premise of From Dust, but with more than just one tribe.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Aklyon on April 12, 2013, 12:45:38 AM
Also, Bastion had the ground falling up under you in places.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: chemical_art on April 12, 2013, 01:00:32 AM
Sounds interesting, but the lack of an overall arching theme (meaning, something really compelling to tie in between missions ) is causing my eyes to glaze over a bit, I admit. So far the features of this game reminds me of a flash game, something I'd try for an hour or two.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Kemeno on April 12, 2013, 01:46:44 AM
This sounds really cool! I saw you mentioned co-op in the teaser; what does that look like? Local only (like SH), or can we play this over the internet too?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: MouldyK on April 12, 2013, 05:09:51 AM
This sounds really cool! I saw you mentioned co-op in the teaser; what does that look like? Local only (like SH), or can we play this over the internet too?

For $5, I would only expect local, but I hope online as that could be pretty fun.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 12, 2013, 07:20:27 AM
This sounds really cool! I saw you mentioned co-op in the teaser; what does that look like? Local only (like SH), or can we play this over the internet too?
Yes, how does co-op work?

For that matter, how does pvp work?

Did I understand you correctly when you mentioned that high scores can lead to content unlocks? That would be awesome.

What happens if you fail a mission in the campaign, does that mean you have to redo it?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: tigersfan on April 12, 2013, 07:26:13 AM
This sounds really cool! I saw you mentioned co-op in the teaser; what does that look like? Local only (like SH), or can we play this over the internet too?
Yes, how does co-op work?

For that matter, how does pvp work?

Did I understand you correctly when you mentioned that high scores can lead to content unlocks? That would be awesome.

What happens if you fail a mission in the campaign, does that mean you have to redo it?

In co-op, each player takes a side and the two players work together to try to achieve the best score possible.

There is no PvP planned at this time. Because the idea of the game is to balance the two sides out, that would make for very different goals in PvP, and be an entirely different game.

There is unlockable content, but, it's done by doing challenges, not by score directly.

There isn't really a "fail" state. You just end up with a lousy score.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 12, 2013, 07:41:36 AM
I think you guys are making a huge mistake by not adding some kind of "lose" objective or game-state.

This was my main beef with AVWW1, and why I think AVWW2 was such a superior game.

Think about what would happen if you added...even a toggleable option that you could enable which would cause players to lose.  PvP would instantly become available.

It doesn't have to be complicated, the winning/losing scenarios could be: If 1 faction held 4 places on the map, or had x amount more money/forces than the other, or had a certain amount of units on the opposite side of the map, or dozens of things like that.  Obviously I can't know until I try it myself (I plan to play the alpha if I can), but from what I'm reading it seems like you may be alienating a big part of your playerbase if you don't include pvp and some kind of simple lose scenario.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: MouldyK on April 12, 2013, 08:00:49 AM
http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/04/12/ai-war-developer-announces-skyward-collapse-a-turn-based-4x-god-game/

PC Gamer's already caught onto your new game. :P
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 12, 2013, 08:16:00 AM
Oh yeah, I remember Populous.  Never played it, but it seemed interesting at the time.  Same with From Dust.  I played Black & White and a few other games like that, but they never really clicked with me in practice.  Loved the idea, but not the execution (just personal taste).

Regarding PVP, that was something I had discussed as being likely in the other thread, but we've since changed our thinking on that.  Having a fail state wouldn't make that any more possible, really, because overall the goal is still inherently cooperative.  There's also only so much we can pack in for $5 without blowing our budget way out of the water, to be honest.  We still have yet to make a profit on any game but AI War, and I'd really like to see that change someday. ;)  It's our own fault for not keeping budgets under control.

Quote
Sounds interesting, but the lack of an overall arching theme (meaning, something really compelling to tie in between missions ) is causing my eyes to glaze over a bit, I admit.

There are more overarching goals between missions is greater here than in any other game Arcen has done, actually.  Did you read the original post? ;)  The missions are carried over between campaigns and are something that you're trying to complete outside of any one campaign.  You gain more buildings and other content as you complete missions in various campaigns, so there's a progression mechanic.  And there's something else we're considering, but haven't announced yet.

Quote
In co-op, each player takes a side and the two players work together to try to achieve the best score possible.

Actually, this may not be accurate.  I've been thinking of some better mechanics for this lately, that we've not had a chance to talk about yet. :)

Quote
Did I understand you correctly when you mentioned that high scores can lead to content unlocks? That would be awesome.

It's actually mission completion that leads to that, but high scores are intended to lead to something else if we can manage it. :)

Quote
What happens if you fail a mission in the campaign, does that mean you have to redo it?

Missions are meta-objectives like you see in Tiny Wings, Jetpack Joyride, 10000000, and so on.  Does that make more sense?  You have several available that you can work on at any given time, and you either complete them or you don't.  You have to get to the end of a campaign for them to score for you, so whatever their completion state is often something you have to maintain until the end.

Quote
I think you guys are making a huge mistake by not adding some kind of "lose" objective or game-state.

Hmm.  I suppose that if one side runs out of town centers or populace we could make the campaign end.  That would fit with the whole "prevent genocide but encourage war" theme, heh.

Quote
It doesn't have to be complicated, the winning/losing scenarios could be: If 1 faction held 4 places on the map, or had x amount more money/forces than the other, or had a certain amount of units on the opposite side of the map, or dozens of things like that.  Obviously I can't know until I try it myself (I plan to play the alpha if I can), but from what I'm reading it seems like you may be alienating a big part of your playerbase if you don't include pvp and some kind of simple lose scenario.

Most of those sorts of things are pretty ripe for abuse, because you can curtail that sort of thing too easily.  It is super easy to cripple one side so that the other is way ahead.  But that's not your goal.  It's also not that hard, in the main, to avoid having them absolutely stomp each other out.   The extremes aren't really huge threats, or hard to accomplish.  It's the razor-thin middle ground of excellence that is super hard.

Honestly I get what you're saying about Valley 1, but I don't think the same thing applies here.  I mean, yes, I wanted to have a fail state also.  But when you look at something like Triple Town, that doesn't really have a "you lose" sort of fail state either.  It has something where you no longer can proceed, but you _have_ to reach that state in order to finish the game.  Skyward reaches that state after a set number of turns.

All that said, I get the semantic argument here, and I could see this becoming a sticking point with people not familiar with the game.  The simple rules I mentioned ought to be good for the perception of the game without actually making it any harder.

In terms of an advanced way of having a fail state without making it hard on novices... well, we could make it so that there are "score gates" that you have to reach in order to proceed past each given round in the game (not round 0).  Either those could be customizable (so you choose a higher gate and you get a better score multiplier at the end if you succeed), or they could be something that is automatically set by the rank you are currently at.  Though I don't really like that, as that could make the game just impossible past a certain point for some people.  Having the gates be self-set but encouraged for high scores is probably better.

Still brainstorming... if we felt like it, I guess we could even have something like "Edicts" that are either specifically chosen or randomly rolled (like AI Types in AI War) that you must conform to, or lose.  So things like being an expansionist and having a certain number of town centers at the end of each round.  Or being really warlike and having a certain number of kills at the end of each round.  Etc.  And if we did two Edicts per game, like in AI War, there could be lots of super interesting (and super challenging) combinations there.

Hmm, that's like three interesting ideas that would layer on top of the existing mechanics.  Josh and I will have to discuss them. 


Did I mention that Josh (tigersfan) and I are co-designing this game?  Thought that's a good thing to mention, as he's commenting here also.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 12, 2013, 08:17:19 AM
http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/04/12/ai-war-developer-announces-skyward-collapse-a-turn-based-4x-god-game/

PC Gamer's already caught onto your new game. :P

Nice!  Just came in on Google Alerts, too. :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: chemical_art on April 12, 2013, 09:25:55 AM

There are more overarching goals between missions is greater here than in any other game Arcen has done, actually.  Did you read the original post? ;)  The missions are carried over between campaigns and are something that you're trying to complete outside of any one campaign.  You gain more buildings and other content as you complete missions in various campaigns, so there's a progression mechanic.  And there's something else we're considering, but haven't announced yet.


I didn't say the amount of content was bad, or lacking. There is plenty of content.

Just hearing the game broken up to many missions, where you get upgrades with your score and your goal is to redo missions, is simply something that is among the most common features of strategy for almost every strategy game in flash, ever. I've literally played over a hundred games with this mechanic. It is no longer "fresh" for me, in fact, it is stale. That's why I think I felt my eyes gloss over.

Now, this isn't to say you have to change a thing. Not at all! There is a reason it is so popular. It is fun. HOWEVER, with literally hundreds of games that follow this mechanic for free, the thought of paying for a game, no matter how good, just doesn't "gel." Hmm, maybe that's why I haven't got excited for SH, because it is so similar to other [free] games at a glance ?

As for what is to be done? I don't know. However, the cornerstone of all the great "4X" strategy games, actually of strategy games in general, is the "skirmish mode", or more broadly "not campaign mode". Campaigns can be nice, yes, but I've never heard a fan of a TBS or 4X say "Man, that story mode is the best thing ever" due to the gameplay itself, rather due to the actual cut scenes (Tiberian Sun for me). I know that is not within your budget of course.

So what am I asking? I'm asking for something other then the campaign mode to draw me in. Something to make my gut not think "seen it, done that, pass". Something that makes me think "the goal is to not to ratchet up a score". Actually, yeah, there is something, the thought of being graded on a score. Feels arcadey. I simply don't pay for arcadey. That vibe is not a rational one, but a gut one. It happened to Tidalis, and may be done with SH.

I'm just being Chicken Little in saying "The sky is falling". The sky isn't falling. But it is a red flag, of sort, that after reading the whole trailer I think "Is this a flash game?"
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: MouldyK on April 12, 2013, 09:33:27 AM
Well I think the low price ($5 has been said often) will make it more appealing than if it was higher, even if it has a Flash-Game Vibe.


Plus, with the way the world is and the state of indies, many games are flash games with a price. I know that is the main draw of a lot of Xbox Live Indie Games, except those are $1.

But, you make fine points there. I guess we won't know for sure until Beta time.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: chemical_art on April 12, 2013, 09:40:31 AM
Well I think the low price ($5 has been said often) will make it more appealing than if it was higher, even if it has a Flash-Game Vibe.


Plus, with the way the world is and the state of indies, many games are flash games with a price. I know that is the main draw of a lot of Xbox Live Indie Games, except those are $1.

It's not even an issue of amount of money. It's the thought of paying any money, and the amount of time it takes to start playing.

If I feel the "itch" to play a strategy game where I'm scored and is soley a campgain, I can try ten games, in an hour, find the one I like, then play a night of the game till I finish it / get bored. The process of finding the game and playing it takes 3 - 5 hours. Then my itch is settled, and I can go months without it.

In the case of using steam games, it where it can take 30 minutes to download the game, compared to me trying 5 flash games in that time, I'm going to go for the flash game. It isn't even an issue of money at this point. When I want to play this type of game, I want to play it now.

 I'll repeat this is a gut, irrational point of view, but this gut is satisfied with what is already offered.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 12, 2013, 10:39:29 AM
Josh will have his own thoughts, and I can't really address most of what you're saying in any real sense.  But I think your conception of what the game is and how it plays out is still a bit off.  Which is something that we've tried to address with further explanations, but clearly we need to do a better job.

In the end, if the game is compelling enough you'll be just fine with downloading it and buying it.  If not, you won't.  And that's the way it should be, really.  If you think some other flash games are just as compelling, then you'll play those, and rightly so.  But I do think we have a lot to offer here that those don't, and my hope is obviously that we'd win you over.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: chemical_art on April 12, 2013, 10:42:47 AM
Josh will have his own thoughts, and I can't really address most of what you're saying in any real sense.  But I think your conception of what the game is and how it plays out is still a bit off.  Which is something that we've tried to address with further explanations, but clearly we need to do a better job.

Makes me happy.

 :)

I know I've said this a hundred times, but I'd rather some negativity seep through now so they can addressed, rather then wait until it is too late.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 12, 2013, 10:45:04 AM
Absolutely -- in terms of explaining this game, we're just in the very early stages of being able to do that effectively.  It takes a while to come up with a succinct, compelling pitch.  I think I've explained everything that you were concerned about in ways that actually address them, but it wasn't succinct and (partly as a consequence) it was apparently not clear.  So that's something that needs to be refined, for sure, before we even hit beta.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: tigersfan on April 12, 2013, 02:46:29 PM
Ok, so let me take a stab at explaining this a bit better...

First off, you aren't really re-doing missions, and least not in the sense of say a GalCiv 2 type campaign where it's "Take this planet before the bad guys do", type stuff. And, if you don't succeed, you need to re-do the mission exact same mission over and over until you get it. This game is, really, a computerized board game. So, you play the board game over and over and the missions are stuff like "Build 5 Town Centers for the red faction in one game" (that's an example, and may not actually be in the game). But each individual game can be very very different. Now, if you don't succeed in that, you'll have to try the next time you play, but you aren't held back in a campaign. The rewards for moving up in ranks are going to be access to buildings who's primary purpose is to boost your score (though they will probably have secondary functions as well).

But, one thing to keep in mind is that you will have access to all of the main game pieces right from the start. You'll get to access all the powerful weapons right from the first game. (Assuming you've gathered enough of the right resources, of course :) )

Actually, this has been changed a bit, we felt that there were a few too many units at the start, so, for the sake of new players, we do hold a few back until later. The hope is though, that we're still leaving interesting ones in there from the start. To allow for a number of strategies right out of the gate.

Also, I don't play as many flash games as I used to, but I honestly don't know of any that have strategy this deep and this varied.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 12, 2013, 02:52:53 PM
One point of clarification: I think our terms are being a bit confusing, too.  We keep using the word "campaign" and probably should stop.  I think of a single game of AI War as a campaign, and same here with a single game of this.  But a single game here is a lot shorter than an AI War game (not sure exactly how long these will take; we're still tuning things that affect that).  Anyway, the point is that we're talking about games in all cases.  There's not a larger meta-narrative except your completion of the missions Josh describes, your increases in Rank and EXP, and... something else we've not revealed yet. ;)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 12, 2013, 05:36:14 PM
Oh, so the "campaigns" will be randomly generated scenarios?

If so, that's neat, it adds A LOT more replayability than I thought it would have.

Bonus question: Will the campaigns also be co-op enabled? If so, that's the coolest :D
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Echo35 on April 12, 2013, 06:11:05 PM
For some reason, the screenshot immediately reminds me of Populous and A Nation of Wind.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 12, 2013, 07:57:14 PM
Oh, so the "campaigns" will be randomly generated scenarios?

If so, that's neat, it adds A LOT more replayability than I thought it would have.

Bonus question: Will the campaigns also be co-op enabled? If so, that's the coolest :D

There's no such thing as a campaign, we shouldn't have used that word!  In other words, you play a game on a starting map of your choosing (there are several map types).  The starting board is always the same and is small.  However, it quickly changes based on your early setup, and based on randomized land additions that are specific to the map type.  So as you play, you're expanding the board and the board is expanding without you.  The map is basically evolving as you play, so every one is way different by the time you're done.  Even after just a handful of turns, they tend to be pretty different for me.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 12, 2013, 08:10:31 PM
Oh I'm sorry, I guess I misunderstood you Chris.  I figured the "Board" portion of the game would be similar to the "Sidescrolling Platformer" aspect of AVWW2, as in its the "action" part of the game, while the "campaign" is something you manage between missions or whatnot.

I didn't realize that every new board was going to be independent of the last.

So I guess the player will have a lot of options then on how to customize his "board" before it is generated?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Teal_Blue on April 12, 2013, 08:16:43 PM
Did i tell you that i think the art is really fantastic!!  :)

-Teal

Really looking forward to this one!!

Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 12, 2013, 08:23:17 PM
Think of this more like AI War.  You start a game, and then you play the game.  There are some meta aspects between games in this one, unlike in AI War (achievements aside in AI War), which include things like the missions and the ranks for your profile.  But the missions are like Tiny Wings or 10000000 or JetPack Joyride, not like Galactic Civilizations.  The model here is actually like Civilization IV or Age of Empires III or similar if you're not playing their campaigns (which I never do).  Basically like choosing to play a skirmish in an RTS.

In terms of customizing the board before you start, there are very few options, by design.  However, when you first start playing there is a 5-turn "round 0."  During this round, resource costs for all buildings and units are completely waived, and no units you place do anything.  Time just stands still, and the board does not grow at all without your direct intervention, either (no random lands appearing at the end of each turn, unlike normal). 

This round 0 phase is pretty important as it lets you basically configure things to your liking for the start, and skips a boring slow start.  But since you have very limited numbers of things you can do there, what choices you make in round 0 will affect the rest of the game.  After 5 turns, then it's time for round 1 and everything comes to life and you're off to the races.

In terms of choosing what kind of map you start with, it's just a matter of selecting them from a dropdown.  The map types are not randomized at all when you first start them; aka it's always the exact same setup.  However, that's just the germ of the map.  The real map is created as you play, by both you and the RNG.  And so every map is really different not because of options you chose BEFORE you started, but because of what you chose during gameplay (and what the RNG tossed at you).

You can also select what factions you want red and blue to be, how many turns there are per round, and what the sky backdrop will be.  Right now those are all the things you can (or really need) to select before starting.  However, when the edicts get added, you'll also be choosing two of those like the AI Types in AI War.  There will also be a couple of brief multiplayer options.  All in all, there's no need for a crazy setup screen like in AI War, because all of the configuration gets expressed through the start of the game as you start playing.  Which is something I really love, personally. :)

There are also no difficulty levels: they simply are not needed.  You're your own worst enemy, really.  As you strive for missions and top scores, you're pushing yourself closer to the brink of failure.  It's kind of a "bring me the whipping switch, boy" sort of system, heh.  The edicts will be grouped into difficulty categories, though, so those definitely would qualify as difficulty settings once they are in.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 12, 2013, 09:08:00 PM
All of that sounds really awesome. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

One thing I'm still a bit confused about though is how the multiplayer co-op scoring system will work.  If you're all using the same board, do you all get your own set of civilizations?  How does each individual player get their own unique score, or are you all working together for a combined total score?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: chemical_art on April 12, 2013, 10:38:32 PM
Whoa. Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Whoa.

Sounds much better. I'm glad you dropped the dreaded C word.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: tigersfan on April 13, 2013, 07:31:12 AM
All of that sounds really awesome. Thanks for taking the time to explain.

One thing I'm still a bit confused about though is how the multiplayer co-op scoring system will work.  If you're all using the same board, do you all get your own set of civilizations?  How does each individual player get their own unique score, or are you all working together for a combined total score?

It's a combined score.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 13, 2013, 07:53:05 AM
Glad the clearer explanation sounds way better, chemical_art.

To expand on the co-op comment, co-op is exactly like solo play with the following exceptions:
- On every turn, each player gets to place a tile and entity for both red and blue.
- The score for all actions is divided by the maximum number of players in the game, to compensate for the larger maps.

The score division thing we might change if we had different leaderboards for different numbers of players. Which might be interesting, actually. Right now we're still deciding how to divide out the leaderboards in a way that we don't have dozens of combinations of them. So a fair bit of normalizing is already planned based on map size, for instance -- larger maps score lower per event, since you get more events.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Teal_Blue on April 13, 2013, 10:38:09 AM
Quote
The map is basically evolving as you play, so every one is way different by the time you're done.  Even after just a handful of turns, they tend to be pretty different for me. (Chris at Arcen) 


This sounds totally awesome!! And way different than anything i have ever had a game do before, but i haven't played them all, so maybe i missed something, but this sounds very cool!  :)

I am very, very much looking forward to getting this! 

-Teal
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 13, 2013, 01:15:16 PM
Cheers Teal! :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Oralordos on April 13, 2013, 01:21:38 PM
I like the looks quite a bit. I will agree with the couple people around here, I do not think I have ever seen a game with this style of gameplay.

Is there going to be multiple tilesets? Or is it all grass tile types.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: tigersfan on April 13, 2013, 01:29:28 PM
I like the looks quite a bit. I will agree with the couple people around here, I do not think I have ever seen a game with this style of gameplay.

Is there going to be multiple tilesets? Or is it all grass tile types.

We have a few other types of tiles planned, mountains, forest, swamp. We just didn't have the art for any of them done yet, so we didn't include them in the screenshot. :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Teal_Blue on April 13, 2013, 05:03:29 PM
I know this sounds totally stupid, but was thinking one of these games these days is going to hit like Terraria types of numbers, maybe even Skyward Collapse and was thinking that could really be fantastic.
I noticed you really starting to do different kinds of games, well different than you have in the past and was hoping perhaps one of the new ones down the line, later this year? Could be small and like a build and craft type game,  but maybe AVWW1 was really that game already.
Anyway, I guess because i really get into the build and craft types of games its close to my heart, but anyway, just an idea! Just remember to keep it small and streamlined,  :) 

-Teal

Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 13, 2013, 05:36:47 PM
Cheers! I think build and craft has been done to death and right now I don't have any ideas that would be worth a new entry into that genre. But I find the genre very interesting, so if there was something that sparked an idea where we thought we had something new, then maybe.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: MouldyK on April 13, 2013, 06:09:14 PM
Cheers! I think build and craft has been done to death and right now I don't have any ideas that would be worth a new entry into that genre. But I find the genre very interesting, so if there was something that sparked an idea where we thought we had something new, then maybe.

Well, Starbound is being Space Terraria, maybe set it 100% Underwater, where you risk flooding your base if you leave all the hatch doors open!

Don't forget the evil sharks and random Submarines that lurk about! And what's this? Dug too far and woke up Cthulu? INSTANT GAME OVER!

Don't forget the fact that you can have NPCs in your Underwater City, but if there is not enough food or they are unhappy, a revolt might break out! But if they are happy, they can aid you in getting supplies, growing a farm in your water dome or even helping you dig to the Ocean Floor to unlock the mystery of the ocean blue.


Will you be able to create your own Rapture or will it end up looking like the Ruins of Atlantis?


...I have tons of ideas for tons of games!
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: chemical_art on April 13, 2013, 07:28:01 PM
Sim City ish at the bottom of the sea?

Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: chemical_art on April 13, 2013, 07:32:16 PM
So far I'm thinking you should really ham up how god like you really are in this game. That is a niche that is not very often scratched. Play on as you are a war like god or something, so as to emphasize combat, but overall give the vibe you are a god with a populace that can only be guided.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 13, 2013, 07:40:53 PM
So far I'm thinking you should really ham up how god like you really are in this game. That is a niche that is not very often scratched. Play on as you are a war like god or something, so as to emphasize combat, but overall give the vibe you are a god with a populace that can only be guided.

I actually had an idea of how to get that across just today, but I'm waiting to hear back from a certain third party before I'll know if we can really do this.  I'm excited about the prospects of what we'll be able to do along those very lines if this collaboration works out, though. :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Teal_Blue on April 13, 2013, 07:42:55 PM
Cheers! I think build and craft has been done to death and right now I don't have any ideas that would be worth a new entry into that genre. But I find the genre very interesting, so if there was something that sparked an idea where we thought we had something new, then maybe.

Well, Starbound is being Space Terraria, maybe set it 100% Underwater, where you risk flooding your base if you leave all the hatch doors open!

Don't forget the evil sharks and random Submarines that lurk about! And what's this? Dug too far and woke up Cthulu? INSTANT GAME OVER!

Don't forget the fact that you can have NPCs in your Underwater City, but if there is not enough food or they are unhappy, a revolt might break out! But if they are happy, they can aid you in getting supplies, growing a farm in your water dome or even helping you dig to the Ocean Floor to unlock the mystery of the ocean blue.


Will you be able to create your own Rapture or will it end up looking like the Ruins of Atlantis?


...I have tons of ideas for tons of games!


Mouldy,

                    You are like an idea machine all by yourself!!!   :)  If i ever could get that rpg game maker to work for me, then we could make a million games... (well... hmmm... some reasonable facsimile... :)  like one or two... :)  Anyway, we would have to re-invent all the game ideas we have as rpg's  :)  (just one small detraction from all the rts's and animated novels and explorer and craft and build types of game ideas we have, etc.... all have to be redone as rpg's)  :) 

You know... this all seems like sooooooo much work... and my game probably wouldn't be half as good as i hope it would...

which means instead of giving my game away for free i would probably have to pay someone to take it...
Sooooo.... you know I was thinking of you know, like chef school or something? Or maybe like fashion retail? Or maybe like pastry baking... which seems like a really in demand type of job, you know, or maybe even like municipal architecture... which sounds sooooo much easier....   :) 

Anyway, so much for my short-short lived dream of game development.  :)
The world needs more fashion retail clerks anyway, right?   :) And i could get a discount on top of that!!  Now seriously, games are cool, but clothes!!  Clothes are IT!  :)

(tongue in cheek) -Teal

Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: MouldyK on April 14, 2013, 04:49:03 AM
Sim City ish at the bottom of the sea?

It would be similar to that, except more about keeping a small populace happy in a Terraria-Like plane of existance. You'd probably have at most 100 people to look after, each requiring their own room and purpose in the city.

For example, each of the people will arrive with an ambition, it may be small like they want to have a room made of glass for example, or it may be larger, like they want to work in the Garden area. They problem is: You already have 3 people working in the Garden, so should you expand it (each 10 spaces accross the floor grants the ability to have another worker in the area) or should you move one of the other guys to another room...or to the Ocean Floor...?

There is so much to expand on this feature, such as each person have a different skill rank for each job sector, which might lead to bad results, such as your Skill Rank 9 Scientist wanting to be a medic, when his skill there is only Rank 1. Do you make him unhappy and make him do good Science, or do you make him go into the Medical Center and wait a long time to build up his skills happily (and risk the towns people not being treated right).


Started with Sea Terraria...made it about city building...added some Crusader Kings 2 Ambitions in there to give people more life.



Or in Teal_Blue's Idea, it could be an Open-World RPG! With fetch quests...at the bottom of the sea! :D
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 14, 2013, 05:12:18 PM
Can you guys take that discussion to OT please?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: chemical_art on April 14, 2013, 05:21:05 PM
So far I'm thinking you should really ham up how god like you really are in this game. That is a niche that is not very often scratched. Play on as you are a war like god or something, so as to emphasize combat, but overall give the vibe you are a god with a populace that can only be guided.

I actually had an idea of how to get that across just today, but I'm waiting to hear back from a certain third party before I'll know if we can really do this.  I'm excited about the prospects of what we'll be able to do along those very lines if this collaboration works out, though. :)

I understand. I hope they understand that you are doing with saying "my religion is better" or anything, but rather "you are my pions, and I command you, but you still have weird thing called free will"
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: LayZboy on April 15, 2013, 10:49:06 PM
So basically you're god who feeds on the souls of man, which is why you want them to be locked in war forever so you can eat more souls.

That's the gist right?
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 16, 2013, 07:42:21 AM
Something along those lines. :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: LayZboy on April 16, 2013, 01:33:48 PM
I don't like how the Island you're on looks so thin, it doesn't even look deeper than 20 meters and looks thinner than that church building in the first SS. I hope there's no mining is this game otherwise it'd look really dumb.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 16, 2013, 01:43:52 PM
I don't like how the Island you're on looks so thin, it doesn't even look deeper than 20 meters and looks thinner than that church building in the first SS. I hope there's no mining is this game otherwise it'd look really dumb.

I'm sorry to hear that.  And yes there is mining.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on April 16, 2013, 04:59:57 PM
Do you place mines to initiate mining? If that's the case, maybe the land where mines are gets a lot deeper as a result?
Although it doesn't really look that 'off' to me.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 16, 2013, 05:17:47 PM
This is a digital boardgame, that's why the pieces are so thin.  And yes you place mines where they will be mined.

Note that the characters and such also slide around like boardgame pieces, so I don't think anyone is going to miss that reference.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: mrhanman on April 16, 2013, 05:33:30 PM
Can you flip the board in a rage, sending pieces flying?  ;)

Not a single digital board game I've played has had that feature. 
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 16, 2013, 06:58:14 PM
Can you flip the board in a rage, sending pieces flying?  ;)

Not a single digital board game I've played has had that feature.
Careful what you wish for.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 16, 2013, 08:09:35 PM
Hahahahaha.  I'll have to put a feature like that in if I have time during the beta polish phase. :D
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Cyborg on April 16, 2013, 10:12:50 PM

I have concerns:
1) if you are targeting the boardgame crowd, boardgame companies make their money through somewhat high price points, minimum $30 and upwards of $100 depending on the boardgame or package. Your price point is five dollars?
2) it's still not clear what the enticing mechanic is. I don't see the complexity, although you did mention AI war, so maybe there's more to it.
3) same problem as the other thread. No clue who your target audience is.
4) boardgames are almost completely multiplayer.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: LaughingThesaurus on April 17, 2013, 01:01:52 AM
Ahh, I didn't know about the digital board game idea.
I guess that explains why you're just plonking down villages and stuff. You know, aside from being a god and all.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 17, 2013, 07:16:50 AM
There are plenty of games that control like living digital boardgames. Many Paradox titles, for instance, and even a lot of Civilization titles. By digital boardgame I mean that the pieces are not animated and slide around (same as many of he civ games), and the general representation is a bit abstract. By LIVING boardgame I mean this does much more than any boardgame ever could. The pieces move themselves rather than you moving them, etc, etc.

Re target audience: anyone who likes strategy games, god games, or simulation games. Not everyone in all those markets obviously, but those are the intersections of interest. And holy moly are people seeming interested; the press caught onto this with no press release and it's been happily talked about on most major sites. Also: if you go into every game thinking about the target audience, you'll never do anything novel. Chiefly our technique is to think of something that appeals to us and that we want to make, and then see if others are also interested. When you're doing something nobody has done before, that's more or less required. This particular game just happens to have an easy to describe audience.

Re: not seeing the complexity. You'll just have to wait and see then! ;)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Wingflier on April 17, 2013, 07:35:22 AM
Don't understand how you aren't seeing the complexity Cyborg.

From everything he's explained already it seems like it will be very complex to master, especially with all of the random elements thrown into the mix, or with added players.

If I understand Chris correctly it's a "Easy to learn, Hard to master" type of game. Don't mistake ease of access with simplicity, Chess is easy to learn.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: tigersfan on April 17, 2013, 07:37:21 AM
If I understand Chris correctly it's a "Easy to learn, Hard to master" type of game. Don't mistake ease of access with simplicity, Chess is easy to learn.

Exactly.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Cyborg on April 17, 2013, 08:55:51 AM
Don't understand how you aren't seeing the complexity Cyborg.

From everything he's explained already it seems like it will be very complex to master, especially with all of the random elements thrown into the mix, or with added players.

If I understand Chris correctly it's a "Easy to learn, Hard to master" type of game. Don't mistake ease of access with simplicity, Chess is easy to learn.

You'd be surprised how many never learn en passant.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: tigersfan on April 17, 2013, 09:13:12 AM
Don't understand how you aren't seeing the complexity Cyborg.

From everything he's explained already it seems like it will be very complex to master, especially with all of the random elements thrown into the mix, or with added players.

If I understand Chris correctly it's a "Easy to learn, Hard to master" type of game. Don't mistake ease of access with simplicity, Chess is easy to learn.

You'd be surprised how many never learn en passant.

Heh, actually, no, I wouldn't. I used to do Customer Service for a large chess website, and we'd get complaints about there being a bug in the system or players cheating on a nearly daily basis because the didn't know that particular rule. :)

That said, that's one rule that only ever comes up occasionally, and isn't usually a factor until you reach mid-level chess skill. Making, I think, the point even more that chess is very playable with only a rudimentary understanding of the rules and strategies. The difficult part of chess comes with the higher levels of play.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Cyborg on April 17, 2013, 10:18:51 AM
En passant is mid-level? Huh. I always considered it essential as knowing any other rule such as castling or promotions. I used to carry a board with me at all times in academia, epic chess throwdowns anywhere on campus.

Suburbs appear to be lacking, though.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: tigersfan on April 17, 2013, 10:25:20 AM
I mean, sure, the opportunity to use it can come up in low level play. But, I think the sheer number of folks who don't know the rule seems to suggest that it's beyond the scope of beginner play. And certainly it's not essential for basic play. As opposed to say promotions. If you keep pushing your pawn, and get it to the end but don't know that you can promote it, that's game breaking. But not knowing that you can take a pawn in a relatively rare circumstance can still keep the game going.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 17, 2013, 10:27:36 AM
In my experience, having pawns pass one another is a lot more common in low-level play since they know about promotions but not en passant.  I think that the definition of "low level" here is a big vague, too.  I think of that as basically having a rating of lower than 800.  Not even up to the 1200 range.  But that's just me. :)
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Cyborg on April 17, 2013, 10:39:28 AM
<1000 don't know the rules.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 17, 2013, 10:40:53 AM
Or just are extremely inexperienced.  They may well know the rules, but not many openings or how to handle themselves in the middle game in particular.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Cyborg on April 17, 2013, 10:48:46 AM
Or just are extremely inexperienced.  They may well know the rules, but not many openings or how to handle themselves in the middle game in particular.

Well sure. You could know the rules but have 0 ability to create a logic chain. One of the reasons all children need to be taught chess.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: x4000 on April 17, 2013, 10:49:35 AM
100% agreed.
Title: Re: Skyward Collapse Teaser 1
Post by: Winge on April 18, 2013, 09:46:44 PM
En passant is mid-level? Huh. I always considered it essential as knowing any other rule such as castling or promotions.

My thoughts as well--en passant is a simple move/capture rule.  That's as basic as it gets in a strategy game.

Or just are extremely inexperienced.  They may well know the rules, but not many openings or how to handle themselves in the middle game in particular.

Well sure. You could know the rules but have 0 ability to create a logic chain. One of the reasons all children need to be taught chess.

+1 to you, sir.