Author Topic: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)  (Read 2607 times)

Offline x4000

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Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« on: September 02, 2015, 03:43:57 PM »
New one!  https://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Stars_Beyond_Reach_Beta_Phase_2_Release_Notes#Version_0.908

So, a few notes before I run off again and bury my head back in things. ;)

1. I know I've not been a good correspondent here on the forums, and I apologize for that.  I'm trying to juggle a lot of balls at once, as they say. 

2. Related, I am still super grateful to those who are helping out with the writing stuff, and I'll be paying more attention to that and responding more very soon.  From what I've been seeing on the spreadsheet itself, it's looking great.  I've been out of the forum thread, though, because I just haven't had.

3. Actually talking about this release, there's a bunch of fixes and improvements in here.  There do need to be more done, but this is really starting to shape up the way that I want now.

4. When it comes to terraforming, that is something I figured out how to keep, but in a way I find more interesting.  The details are in the release notes.  I know that there were a lot of people bummed that that was taken out, so I spent some time thinking about a way to include it that would be fun instead of numbersy.  Everything I said about the old terraforming model still stands in terms of my opinion, but the new model skirts every last one of those issues.  Hooray! :D
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Offline gnosis

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 05:34:02 PM »
Yay!!!

ty for finding a way to keep in terraforming!

Now I can't wait to give it a try...

Any update for the next wave of testers?

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 05:50:27 PM »
I just started a game, stopped playing at turn 13.

I expanded into water with some fisheries, there was a rogue in the corner of the water territory, and now it's one-shotting all of my buildings. I suggest either :
- giving the lander something which can take care of flyers in water
- removing flyers in water next to landers
- placing a "noob" warning like "THIS WILL ANGER A ROGUE AND YOU HAVE NOTHING TO ATTACK IT WITH"
- making the rogue stand out more (how about flashing red when expanding to show angered neutrals ?)

About the GUI, I indeed have remarks. First of all the "money" icon and the amount in it ain't visible enough. It's so small and in a cramped space, and the end turn is just next to it and draws attention.

Second, the building order, now that I've not played in a while, feels again completely random to me. I keep looking for buidlings all over in the building bar, and I've got about a dozen that I can build.

Last, "random" option for race choice is nice =). May I suggest:
- "random easy" "random average" and "random hard" (and so on) ?
- don't select "random" by default. I know the option ain't there yet for "tutorial", but IMO the game could and should remember the last race chosen and have for the first launch of the game have a "easy" race.

More remarks later. I'll mantis this tomorrow unless someone beats me to it.


Other than that I like the new icons =). About the flow of the game dunno. Couldn't really try it yet.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 05:55:28 PM by kasnavada »

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 06:16:25 PM »
1 I'm happy to see terraforming back its a neat mechanic and just makes thematic séance 2 beasties one shooting everything reminds of back in the day when I had an elite underground raider(I think that's what there called) who turned the acutions city into a waste land 3 wait the not being able to attack rogue thoraxians nest thing is a bug? I assumed it was because they were technically still part of the thoraxians civilisation and therefore disallowed me from attacking them if id know it was a bug I would it reported it my self.
c.r

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 06:31:54 PM »
I was planning on waiting until the event system and status effects was in to start beta-ing for real, but the combat system itself just tempted me too much. I'll relearn how to fight when those arrive, I'm heading in now!  :D

Kind of agree on the building order but I think it's great. I can't stand high level play in RTS or 4X games where there is always one superior way to play and any deviation from that superior playstyle means you are Playing It Wrong. That's not fun, that's rote memorization and I had quite enough of that in school. The hope (I think) is that you're going to look at your situation and adapt your build path to match. And you have a lot of tools at the start because there are a lot of situations, like in Sim City.

Maybe someone will find the One True Path To Win SBR. Should that happen I hope Chris and Keith beat it with nerf bats and pump up the alternatives.

PS: Chris, did you get my message?

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 09:06:16 PM »
Quick responses:

1. If anyone is trying to get in touch with me about commissioned writing, then please do PM me.

2. Watashiwa yes I did get your PM, but I was a terrible correspondent and did not reply until about an hour ago.

3. gnosis, I'd see the next wave of testers starting next week at this rate.  The battle system is coming together well enough to be tested, although there are a few gaps.  The main thing that is missing now is the building services model, and a few other things related to that.  I'm not sure precisely when next week this will be ready for the next round of testers, but we're well into the territory where that feels like the timing.  Having the battles stuff largely behind us (in terms of first versions) is a big step.

4. kasnavada, the thing with the monsters is a really good point.  It's worth noting that can ONLY happen with monsters, as they are ignoring the normal rules of engagement with you.  I had been thinking that was a good thing, but your commentary here makes me realize that all of the reasons for the other rules of engagement (which nobody has ever seen in a defensive sense given that the AI does not yet attack you yet in the new battle system outside of this nonstandard-monsters-stuff).  Anyway, all that is handled by this combat model, EXCEPT for the fact that monsters are not playing by those rules.  They will be updated to have to do so.  Thanks!

5. "About the GUI, I indeed have remarks. First of all the "money" icon and the amount in it ain't visible enough. It's so small and in a cramped space, and the end turn is just next to it and draws attention."
-- A number of things up there are going to (yet again) change in the coming weeks, but for now I'm calling "good enough."  The city services stuff will likely make it so that entertainment, crime, and pollution (at a minimum) can be removed from that top area.  A number of other things may also be able to go away, or only selectively appear.  I still have a lot of thinking to do there.  Anyway, based on that a general "let's see this stuff bigger and better" should be possible.  But I'm not going to tackle that until we're at least a week into the next beta wave.

6. "Second, the building order, now that I've not played in a while, feels again completely random to me. I keep looking for buidlings all over in the building bar, and I've got about a dozen that I can build."
-- What do you mean by "building order?"  Watashiwa seemed to think you meant order of constructing stuff, but I thought you meant how stuff on the sidebar is organized (aka what the categories are).
-- Right now, a lot of the organization on the sidebar is somewhat random-seeming largely because a lot of the buildings don't yet serve their full purposes, or even any purpose at all in a huge number of cases.  Similarly, that screws with any ideas of building order in other senses, too.  That said, given their functions that are planned (you can see one of the spreadsheets -- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1l1zPgVQZNLXbGoc9IwWWyaCxYCxajdvun9mVF6HYaTM/edit#gid=202978034 -- if you are curious), I think that this overall order makes a ton of sense.
-- At any rate, it's in a place I think of as "very very very much good enough" for now, and isn't something I'd want to change until after the new builds are out with all buildings actually fully functional.  Part of your confusion for what is where is probably related to you still thinking that certain buildings have certain functions that they no longer do.  "Isn't seaport a military building?"  Nope, that's commercial now but isn't fully defined for that.  Coast guards are what you want.  Etc.

7. "random easy" "random average" and "random hard" (and so on) ?
-- Good idea for mantis if it isn't on there already.  Although I'm not so sure that I'll be keeping those designations, as I'm not sure how meaningful they will wind up being in the end.  I think that the races will more often than not dictate the parameters of playstyles, rather than overall difficulty.  It's hard to say, though.

8. "IMO the game could and should remember the last race chosen"
-- It should already do that.  And for the first time, I think it's Skylaxians IIRC.  Anyway, lots of tutorial stuff will happen later this month.

9. "Other than that I like the new icons =)"
-- Great!

10. "About the flow of the game dunno. Couldn't really try it yet."
-- Right, it's like eating raw uncooked ingredients for your meal right now -- and only 1/3 of the ingredients at that, in some cases. ;)  Anyway, regarding overall game flow that should be something a lot more evaluate-able next week.

11. "wait the not being able to attack rogue thoraxians nest thing is a bug? I assumed it was because they were technically still part of the thoraxians civilisation and therefore disallowed me from attacking them if id know it was a bug I would it reported it my self."
-- Yeah, you can freely attack anyone at all -- or you are supposed to be able to.  Now you can!

12. "I can't stand high level play in RTS or 4X games where there is always one superior way to play and any deviation from that superior playstyle means you are Playing It Wrong. That's not fun, that's rote memorization and I had quite enough of that in school. The hope (I think) is that you're going to look at your situation and adapt your build path to match. And you have a lot of tools at the start because there are a lot of situations, like in Sim City."
-- Agreed.  And based on the many interlocking systems from building services that are going to hit shortly, that will only be exacerbated here.  In the best sense, I think.  I've taken a lot of inspiration from finally playing Cities: Skylines now.

13. "Maybe someone will find the One True Path To Win SBR. Should that happen I hope Chris and Keith beat it with nerf bats and pump up the alternatives."
-- If you look at AI War and how we handle that sort of thing, I think you'll see that we quite enjoy the "bats and beef." ;)
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Offline Zebeast46

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 10:12:47 PM »
Thought I would just write a short summary of what I thought about the 2 newest updates.
I will start with the negatives and things that I think should be improved, one of the things I believe should be improved is the monster issues that kasnavada mentioned, this is honestly the most annoying thing in the game right now seeing as early on they can one shot all your buildings and you cant do anything against them. My second manor complaint is that tbh I have not found any of the events I have encountered in the 50 or so turns I spent on my latest game. All the events I encountered have all just given me bonuses such as "1.01 bonus science" and such, I even encountered a event that had the exact same effect on both options. So in other words nothing that caused me to interact with the races yet. That is it for the negative stuff overall. One thing I do not fully understand yet though is the new combat as I am not entirely sure how it differs from the previous version, so if someone could explain it to me that would be nice. As for positive things, I am REALLY loving the new rogues found in the territories, I actually found my self scouting just to find more variants, too bad they are so anooying currently  :) , another thing I really liked were the updates to the buildings which makes the citybuilding much more interesting imho, also like that terraforming has made a return.

One last thing, I may have encountered a bug when I was playing but I may need confirmation on this. After attacking a rogue in the territory the Neinzul then decided to rush to the defense of the vicious beast and blew up my military, not sure if this is relevant information to add on or not but the neinzul were subjugated by the Thoraxians. Furthermore them attacking seemed to cause no harm in our relationship so not sure it that is also a bug. PS Sadly I lost my savefile of that game to the bug where turns take forever due to events disappearing.

And so concludes my longer than expected summary of my experience with the last two updates.
AI 1 = Chris.

AI 2 = Keith.

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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2015, 01:56:29 AM »
Quote
most of what I wrote
Thanks for taking my remarks into consideration =).

Quote
6. "Second, the building order, now that I've not played in a while, feels again completely random to me. I keep looking for buidlings all over in the building bar, and I've got about a dozen that I can build."
-- What do you mean by "building order?"  Watashiwa seemed to think you meant order of constructing stuff, but I thought you meant how stuff on the sidebar is organized (aka what the categories are).
-- Right now, a lot of the organization on the sidebar is somewhat random-seeming largely because a lot of the buildings don't yet serve their full purposes, or even any purpose at all in a huge number of cases.  Similarly, that screws with any ideas of building order in other senses, too.  That said, given their functions that are planned (you can see one of the spreadsheets -- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1l1zPgVQZNLXbGoc9IwWWyaCxYCxajdvun9mVF6HYaTM/edit#gid=202978034 -- if you are curious), I think that this overall order makes a ton of sense.
-- At any rate, it's in a place I think of as "very very very much good enough" for now, and isn't something I'd want to change until after the new builds are out with all buildings actually fully functional.  Part of your confusion for what is where is probably related to you still thinking that certain buildings have certain functions that they no longer do.  "Isn't seaport a military building?"  Nope, that's commercial now but isn't fully defined for that.  Coast guards are what you want.  Etc.

It's not the order of constructing stuff, it's indeed the organization in the sidebar. If it's work for later, it's ok =), But, given the xp system and so on, watashiwa is making a good point.


After thinking about it, it's the "sidebar" organizaion itself that is confusing to me. Then again maybe it's just me. My personal preferences go to settlers 2 for the building interface, but anno 2070 had really good ideas.

Anno 2070 works for me because building are sorted by "tiers" and because the production lines were "hard coded" into the building selection screen. Settlers 2 worked for me because buildings are sorted via rough "obvious" lines like size and purpose. It also worked because the buidling was visible directly when building.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Settlers_II#/media/File:Settlers2-DOS.png
http://guides.gamepressure.com/anno2070/guide.asp?ID=13384

I think that both the issue raised by watashiwa, mine, and SBR itself would be greatly improved if (most) buildings "adjacency bonus" were directly "visible" or "reflected" into whatever building selection window is being used, much like anno 2070 did with production queues.

But, I don't want to pressure you if it's work for later.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 08:35:15 AM by kasnavada »

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2015, 09:27:43 AM »
Responses:

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one of the things I believe should be improved is the monster issues that kasnavada mentioned, this is honestly the most annoying thing in the game right now seeing as early on they can one shot all your buildings and you cant do anything against them

Definitely heard loud and clear. :)

Quote
All the events I encountered have all just given me bonuses such as "1.01 bonus science" and such, I even encountered a event that had the exact same effect on both options. So in other words nothing that caused me to interact with the races yet.

There are overall three kinds of events:
1. Those that are you interacting with your people for some reason or other.
2. Those that are you interacting with another race, or the planet, for some reason or another.
3. Those that are passive "things that happened" that you don't interact with at all, but which result from your prior decisions (usually poor management of some part of citybuilding, but could be positive too).

Right now, there are pretty much only those in category #1 that have been fully implemented and turned on.  There is a loooooot of work that is partially complete on 2 and 3, but that's why you aren't seeing more of those yet.

Quote
One thing I do not fully understand yet though is the new combat as I am not entirely sure how it differs from the previous version, so if someone could explain it to me that would be nice.

Basically, before:
1. AIs and monsters attacked you and each other during the interturns.
2. You attacked them during your turn.
3. Everyone only gets one attack per turn per building, unless there is a buff causing extra attacks from a building.
4. There was all this stuff with "interceptors."
5. The vast majority of buildings could not attack or counterattack.

Now:
1. AIs and monsters work the same when attacking one another -- that was already fine.
2. Currently, in the very short term, monsters work the same when attacking you.  That is Very Bad, it turns out, so will need to be changed. ;)
3. If you are initiating fighting (or, in future versions, if someone initiates fighting with you), then you go into a distinct "battle mode."
4. During battle mode, all of the buildings that are involved can attack "infinite" numbers of times, so long as you have enough money to do so and so long as they don't die.
5. After each attack from one side, the other side gets to attack.  So there is no first mover advantage (or very little one), and instead is a big back and forth.
6. All buildings have "militia" capabilities, which allow them to attack back against the foes that are threatening them.
7. But, this is organized into "rounds" of battle (invisibly), so there are a few specific rules there:
- At the start of a round, it gets a list of the strongest to then the weakest attackers from the instigator of the fight.
- Then the same thing from everyone else.
- The militia buildings from the attacker can't be used; those are counterattack only.
- If the primary purpose of the militia is to be militia (aka guard posts), then it includes all of those, no matter what, for defenders.
- If the list of buildings of the defender is still shorter than that of the attacker, then it fills it in with other buildings that are not primarily militia.
- Now it goes through the list of buildings fighting back and forth as described above, and if the lists are different lengths then you'll see a period where one side attacks without getting attacks back at them.  That's only fair.
- Once all of the buildings in the first lists have done their business (or died), it refills new lists.

Some of that comes off more complex than it needs to; I need to figure out a better way to explain some of that in a brief fashion.  But at any rate, that's what is going on.

Quote
One last thing, I may have encountered a bug when I was playing but I may need confirmation on this. After attacking a rogue in the territory the Neinzul then decided to rush to the defense of the vicious beast and blew up my military, not sure if this is relevant information to add on or not but the neinzul were subjugated by the Thoraxians. Furthermore them attacking seemed to cause no harm in our relationship so not sure it that is also a bug.

Attacking into someone else's territory is definitely something that, at the moment, will cause you to go to war with them no matter what.  In the next build, making it so that the monster has to attack out of that territory to get you is probably something I'll do.  I have to think about this.  There are actually several things to think about, there.

Relationship-wise, you probably increased the anger of them.  The old attitude stuff is going by the wayside most likely, but hasn't yet.

Quote
PS Sadly I lost my savefile of that game to the bug where turns take forever due to events disappearing.

Wait, was this in 0.908??  Hopefully in 0.907, because that was fixed in this latest version.

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Thanks for taking my remarks into consideration =).

Of course!  Always. :)

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It's not the order of constructing stuff, it's indeed the organization in the sidebar. If it's work for later, it's ok =),

After thinking about it, it's the "sidebar" organizaion itself that is confusing to me. Then again maybe it's just me. My personal preferences go to settlers 2 for the building interface, but anno 2070 had really good ideas.

Anno 2070 works for me because building are sorted by "tiers" and because the production lines were "hard coded" into the building selection screen. Settlers 2 worked for me because buildings are sorted via rough "obvious" lines like size and purpose. It also worked because the buidling was visible directly when building.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Settlers_II#/media/File:Settlers2-DOS.png
http://guides.gamepressure.com/anno2070/guide.asp?ID=13384

I'm not quite sure that I follow.  I mean, I understand that you prefer not having a sidebar, but there's not much I can do about that.  The way that Cities: Skylines does it works because they have such a small number of buildings that you can directly build, and then they have a bunch of sub-tabs within each section for those that have more than a few things.

I mean, that works I guess.  Possibly we will wind up moving to something like that.  The original design I have here was based more on SimCity 4 in terms of how the sidebar is handled.  And SimCity 2000 did it this way, too, IIRC.

It's been a long while since I played Settlers, and I don't think I played that version, so the screenshot doesn't mean a whole lot to me.  But Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom I think did something similar to what is shown there, from the looks of it. 

The big thing with ROTMK is that it actually has huge numbers of dependencies: you need X to make Y which you need to make Z, etc, etc.  In SBR, there really are zero dependencies now.  Yes, if you want to have citizens there is the dependency of "some sort of housing, some sort of food, and water from somewhere."  But there is no intrinsic order in that, and certainly between kinds of food there is no order in terms of building up from one to the other.  The order I've chosen there is from most basic to more niche, in the main.

When it comes to the lack of dependencies, this is very much like a lot of RTS games, or all the SimCity games.  You don't NEED to build fire stations, period, to be frank.  In SimCity, if you're okay with buildings burning down periodically, there's no reason to ever build any.  When the fires go out, just bulldoze.  Etc.  So there's no way to go "well, if you want to do this right, first build X amount of fire stations at Y density..."  Yeah you want to build fire stations, but they compete with other wants for your money and your electricity.  So how few fire stations can you get away with?  There's a definite point of diminishing returns, but where is that?  What are acceptable losses when it comes to fire?  That's a subjective question that different players would answer different ways.

Further, when it comes to buildings that buff other buildings, those are all optional, too.  It's not like you HAVE to have a certain buff.  Maybe it doesn't fit with your playstyle, or maybe you're getting a similar buff a different way.  Maybe that territory is not focused on that kind of production.  So there again, having some sort of map of an order of operations is next to impossible.  If I give you a palette of paint and you say "which color to start with?"  Then we have a similar problem.  Generally those palettes are ordered by like things being near one another, but the traditional artists palettes also usually have some of the really commonly-used stuff down near their thumb to make that quicker to get to.  Etc, etc.


Anyway, my point is not to go "no, you're wrong, there is no problem."  I do just want to make that clear!  But I do want to make sure that we're actually discussing the problem under the same parameters, so to speak.  I do agree that the organization could probably be more clear to new players.  I don't mean the order in the sidebar sections -- I think that's pretty good, honestly -- but rather just the whole organization there in general.  I think it's too early to make any final sorts of decisions on it, given the number of things that are incomplete right now. 

I have a bit of limited mental bandwidth for tackling that particular problem right now, but it is something I don't want to leave until the last second, so talking about it some is definitely good.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 11:10:21 AM »
;)

I'll have to check the document you made to get a complete answer. What I feel from playing both SBR currently, SBR a few months back and Skyward Collapse is that, yes, building categories make sense from an "inventory", let's say, "top down" point of view. The point of view I have as a "new" player getting into the game ain't that, it's more of a "goal-focussed" categories that I prefer to have in a game.

"Old" SBR had for example all diplomacy and language and science in one category. It had all extractors in one category. It had all building which use extractors in one category. It does make some sense if you've got the whole picture and the whole of buildings in mind. But, when "discovering" the game the categories feel confusing (at least to me). Of course it's subject to change as new buildings occur.


About settlers 2, let me explain the gameplay a bit. Buildings were "organized" in "utility" order for the player. Basically the "first" category that the player had was "small" buildings, used for "early" game and "low-tech" materials (it had mines, wood production, and a few low-tech food buildings like fisheries for early food). Then "largest" buildings had more complex interactions and placement. Most of the time related buildings were next to each other (like the foundery and the forge for weapons, and the goldsmith).


About Anno, it's about the same principle. Building are arranged by tier, so if you want "tier 1 resources", you go to "tier one building" and find them all. If you need tier 2, same.


Now, what are my needs, as a player, when playing a game. I want to make a population center. In anno I've got to boost tier one buildings first and place habitats (first tier buildings too), and by selecting the "first tier" I can build everything. The interface even is a friendly reminder of what I need to build. Then I need more "2nd tier resources". I go to the "2nd tier" interface.... you get the idea.

I settlers 2, same idea. Whatever the "final" product I want to arrange the production of is, I can build it with at most "one" screen change.

On SBR I don't get that feeling. Whatever I want to build, if I want to be somewhat efficient, requires multiple buildings in multiple categories (due to adjacency bonus). Because, you have direct dependancies in SBR - even if they're not "production" lines like in settlers (or in ROTMK which indeeds looks similar). After a while I remember where buildings are and just "click click click" (because I tend to reproduce my patterns), but at the start it adds to the confusion of learning a new game IMO.


Anyway, for me, dependancies on SBR currently include:
- population tiers (building requiring "at least" X of each household)
- food production (simpllified but still)
- more population required crime
- more "industry" (requires pollution buildings)
- adjacency bonus, really the major dependancy in the game, really. I cry a little bit inside everytime I get a building (like the fisheries) and can't build the other part of the combo (not available yet because of research or because I got to search it in another category).
- the food => population => jobs / entertainment dependancy.

Point is, mostly because of adjacency bonus, combos are there, and while they're not strictly necessary, I think it's the interface jobs to point out "simpler" combos - like food buildings + habitats (which I feel should be in the same category, side by side). Both because grouping "simple" patterns significantly reduces the click/turn quantity for advanced players, and because it helps newer players finding how the game work.


From what you say, the main "disagreement" I have with you on that part is this :
Quote
Further, when it comes to buildings that buff other buildings, those are all optional, too.  It's not like you HAVE to have a certain buff.  Maybe it doesn't fit with your playstyle, or maybe you're getting a similar buff a different way.  Maybe that territory is not focused on that kind of production.  So there again, having some sort of map of an order of operations is next to impossible.  If I give you a palette of paint and you say "which color to start with?"  Then we have a similar problem.  Generally those palettes are ordered by like things being near one another, but the traditional artists palettes also usually have some of the really commonly-used stuff down near their thumb to make that quicker to get to.  Etc, etc.

In SBR, those bonus do not feel anything like it's optional to me. First of all it's an "occupation" goal, one of the "first" reminder and alerts that we get is resources and wonders which give (gave ?) adjacency bonus. It's very clear, at least to me, that mastering the art of positionning buildings is a major skill. I feel like the game wants me to use and learn those combos. I understand it's "technically" optional but... to me it's like not using rooks in chess.


Basically, I would prefer to see buildings in an "opposed" way to what's done now. Work out a few (dozen ?) basic production patterns and goals, and make "each" research allow a new "simple" pattern. Like "factory + 3 lumber combo", then in another research "dense building + crap food combo", then another research "elaborate building + elaborate food combo" and so on, and the "other" buildings / research creating "high level" buildings designed with territory-level interactions (like police station, hospital, or the old engineering camp), or highly specialized production to "merge" the basic patterns (for example, a mega-factory, that is placed between factories, that are themselves surrounded by log camps).

Then, I'd have the "building bar" organized so it reflects the "basic" interactions between buildings, and goals those interactions have. For example, "most" buildings required to make a forest territory a lucrative territory in one category. One category to be used if I want to make a territory "high level housing". Another for "low level housing" (and so on). What I feel would make the building bar more explicit is to arrange it by "goal" and "combo" rather than by "category".

Last, the order of the building bar categories makes no sense to me. Why were police at the top and extractor at bottom ? Maybe I missed it.

Am I getting clearer presenting it like this ? That said, it's just "ideas" and suggestions. Sorry, wall of text again.


Quote
Anyway, my point is not to go "no, you're wrong, there is no problem."  I do just want to make that clear!  But I do want to make sure that we're actually discussing the problem under the same parameters, so to speak.  I do agree that the organization could probably be more clear to new players.  I don't mean the order in the sidebar sections -- I think that's pretty good, honestly -- but rather just the whole organization there in general.  I think it's too early to make any final sorts of decisions on it, given the number of things that are incomplete right now. 

I don't think you're wrong. But I don't think we're seeing the problem under the same parameters. I think the  fact it's organized by "category" and the order of the sidebar itself, and the order in the side bar, is what is making the building bar confusing (possibly for other new players ?). I felt the exact same with Skyward Collapse.

That said, it's a single person's opinion AFAIK. Maybe I'm the black sheep here with a peculiar mind.

PS, as a side note :
Another part of what makes the building confusing for me is the job aspect of it. That the building requires "wildy varying" jobs makes that part complex. I'd like a sort to be able to find "high labor" buildings, or make the "high labor" building stand out more. I don't think making all building require the same quantity of jobs is going to add anything to the value of the game.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 11:19:52 AM by kasnavada »

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 11:24:14 AM »
Okay!  Now we're getting somewhere. :D

Now we're talking about these under the same parameters, so to speak, even though we're using different conceptual frameworks to talk about these.  You explained it really well, and what you said is actually pretty exciting to me.

Some general notes:
1. I really like the idea of being able to find buildings by grouped "combos."

2. I still do think that it's useful to be able to find buildings by category.

3. I think that being able to find buildings by other "usage factors," such as "stuff to use in neutral water" or "stuff to use in forests" or "stuff with high staffing counts" is yet a third really useful way of looking at the data.

4. In short, I think there are several different ways to approach the data, and I'm not sure that one of them is more valid than the others for all cases.  Your suggestion of the combos organization is perhaps the most useful to new players, so maybe that should be the default.  But I do worry that it might be alien to a lot of citybuilder players.  Who knows.  At any rate, the ability to do all of the above, and switch between organization schemes at will would be really nice, I think.

5. It's a good point about the way that unlocks are grouped, tech-wise.  I'll bear that in mind as I'm looking through the techs in this next iteration.  That applies regardless of sidebar organization.

6. As an aside, moving away from a lot of the adjacency bonus stuff is something I'm trending towards.  Not completely!  Not by any stretch.  But I'm trying to move more towards a territory-centric model where a lot more things are territory-wide, and the exact placement of stuff is less important.  Instead, making it so that the emphasis is placed on really specializing your territories and making each territory as efficient as possible at doing certain things.  This is kind of like "districts" in certain other games, like Cities: Skylines to some extent, but moreso others.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 11:50:28 AM »
Quote
At any rate, the ability to do all of the above, and switch between organization schemes at will would be really nice, I think.

I wouldn't have dared ask for that because I'm not sure that the extra work (basically a double interface) is worth it, but maybe a way to "search" buildings could fill that need (and the need to search for high job buildings for example, and a few others ?). Also I fear that after a few games people will just choose one and never look back.

That said, if it's possible to enable a switch, and make it so it's confortable to use :D.

Apart from that, again, thanks on having the patience for me to rephrase that part for the 5th time (I think ? maybe more ?), and I'll be waiting on whatever you'll make later on =).

« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 11:59:36 AM by kasnavada »

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2015, 11:55:04 AM »
All good. :)

And honestly, I think that having multiple groupings by interface would be simpler than a search for most purposes.  Searching requires various semantics and other issues.  Having differing groupings mostly requires a button and then a second set of enumerations and some other graphics.  The biggest possible challenge there is the fact that we can only have so many categories.

Anyway, back at you on thanks for having the patience: explaining something to someone four or five times can be frustrating, so thanks for being sure that I got it. :)
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #13 on: September 03, 2015, 11:59:49 AM »

PS:
Quote
6.
Depending on what you want to do, this (despite being more extreme than what you're saying) could work:
- having the player "decide" that one territory is of one type ("forestry", "mining", "defense", "research")
- then have a specific building bar which is enabled per territory type
- have another building bar for "generic" buildings.
- have another building bar for "military" buildings.

Another similar idea is to have the same system as now, but declaring a territory to be a certain type would enable the player to have a "bonus bar" with specific buildings to build there and only there. This part I like because it could also enable "neutral" buildings (IE if there is a wonder in that territory, you can build a wonder-specific building).

Last, an additional "building bar" for neighbours (if you border burlust, you gain access to burlust bars depending on event / interactions with them in bordering territory only).

Offline x4000

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Re: Beta 0.908 (Terraforming Slinks Back In)
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2015, 12:10:52 PM »
That gets a bit complex and isn't something I think there would be time for in this timeframe.  I also really don't like being asked to make decisions of that magnitude (as a player) so long before I actually start working on something.  And I don't like being unable to have hybrid things -- if I have a territory that is okay at two things but not great at either, well, maybe that's important for some reason.  Or maybe I'm just hedging my bets for a while, and later I'll shut down one of the things and ramp up the other more to really optimize it.  I like having all that sort of flexibility.
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