Arcen Games

Games => Starward Rogue => Topic started by: gnosis on October 08, 2015, 07:33:16 AM

Title: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: gnosis on October 08, 2015, 07:33:16 AM
I yearn for the ol days of Xenon II...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCAUTrgso8k
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 08, 2015, 09:20:09 AM
Oh there will be upgrades, you can believe that, heh. :)

This is really more of a roguelike than a SHMUP, though, just to warn you.  Though you will be flying a spaceship around and dealing with other spaceships. :)
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Billick on October 08, 2015, 11:16:30 AM
When you say roguelike, do you mean grid based / turn based, or do you just mean that it's got randomness, and it kills you a lot?
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 08, 2015, 03:29:46 PM
Think of a top down methodically-paced realtime Rogue Legacy in space with a really robust item and ability system.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: topper on October 08, 2015, 04:17:18 PM
Think of a top down methodically-paced realtime Rogue Legacy in space with a really robust item and ability system.

Sounds good to me!
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: dfinlay on October 08, 2015, 04:17:32 PM
No offense meant, Chris, but people need to stop using the term Roguelike when referring to games that don't occupy the same design space as Stone Soup, NetHack, ToME, Angband, etc. It's getting to the point where the term is beginning to lose all meaning as a strong descriptor and that when developers use the term, it says very little to the potential customer about the style/genre of the game. If you mean permadeath with high levels of randomness, say that. That alone isn't really a genre.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 08, 2015, 05:05:57 PM
And I don't even mean that!  I mean "similar to other things that call themselves roguelikes."  It's all referential anyway.  I'm not a fan of the term as a descriptor too much either, but I'm trying to communicate briefly and clearly and using the only words at hand that people seem to understand (on average) better than something else generic-ish I might say.

In this case I mean "randomized stuff with floors that you progress through, and when you die the run ends immediately."
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: satoru on October 08, 2015, 06:04:30 PM
No offense meant, Chris, but people need to stop using the term Roguelike when referring to games that don't occupy the same design space as Stone Soup, NetHack, ToME, Angband, etc. It's getting to the point where the term is beginning to lose all meaning as a strong descriptor and that when developers use the term, it says very little to the potential customer about the style/genre of the game. If you mean permadeath with high levels of randomness, say that. That alone isn't really a genre.

I realize there are 'rogue purists' out there stomping out the whole "this isn't a rogue or rogue-lite or rogue-like' thing. But lets face it, the term means much broader things than it did before. And if you want to quickly communicate some fundamental ideas, rogue-like is a legitimate one and that while not adhering to the strict sense of the term, is still a useful broad descriptor.

W'ere sorry us 'casuals' have hijacked the term but it is what it is. And youc ant blame people for using it in its new colloquial use, rather than its previous strict purist interpretation
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Tridus on October 08, 2015, 06:17:09 PM
No offense meant, Chris, but people need to stop using the term Roguelike when referring to games that don't occupy the same design space as Stone Soup, NetHack, ToME, Angband, etc. It's getting to the point where the term is beginning to lose all meaning as a strong descriptor and that when developers use the term, it says very little to the potential customer about the style/genre of the game. If you mean permadeath with high levels of randomness, say that. That alone isn't really a genre.

Words change meaning as genres evolve. Trying to fight it is about as effective as trying to stop the tide.

Hell, just look at what an MMORPG used to be in it's olden days, compared to WoW today, which is functionally a lobby game in a lot of ways. You'd be hard pressed to have anyone take an Ultima Online purist seriously when they try to claim that WoW can't use the term "MMORPG" though.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 08, 2015, 07:47:00 PM
"Lobby game?"  I'm curious about that term.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Tridus on October 08, 2015, 08:06:15 PM
It's a term for the matchmaking part of games where you sit in a lobby until the game puts you in a match. So it's a fairly common thing in multiplayer games. The style of play is log in, go to lobby, wait for a match, do match, go back to lobby, wait for another match, etc...

For the type of game where you're using matchmaking to get lots of matches, it works great. MMORPGs are supposed to be persistent multiplayer worlds, though, and were never anything like lobby games in the past (they didn't even *have* match making).

Today, though? The most common thing people do in World of Warcraft at cap is sit alone in their instanced garrison, until the dungeon finder (match making) puts them in a dungeon/raid (match). After that, they go back to their instanced garrison. The whole thing about having one big persistent world where you interact with other people has dissolved into sitting alone in an instanced area until the match making puts you into a group of random people to get some loot. It's got little to nothing to do with what made the earlier MMORPGs what they were, but people aren't demanding that it be called something else.

That's how I feel when it comes to people saying that you can't call something a roguelike unless it's the same thing as what it was in 1998. The genre has moved on.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: gnosis on October 08, 2015, 08:15:04 PM
That was the prime reason for the downfal of WoW: the game moved away from the world and became a huge city/garrison lobby were people show off their mounts,pets,transmogs and their iLvl.

I do agree that the term expanded in the recent years and it has become diluted. And this is me telling you this, I used to be a roguelike purist cardinal more than a decade ago during my university years.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: gnosis on October 08, 2015, 08:18:35 PM
Think of a top down methodically-paced realtime Rogue Legacy in space with a really robust item and ability system.

Sounds good to me!

So upgrades come from your base that you upgrade after your run? What is the base piece? A space station? An armada? A star system? A planet?

Do you have to be destroyed for the next cycle, or can you retreat/withdraw?
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 08, 2015, 08:37:42 PM
Whoa, I had no idea about that with WoW.  Thanks for the context.  And what do you mean about its downfall?  I was under the impression it was still having tons of players.  I must be out of the loop.  Although I would not be surprised if the numbers were not near their peak -- how could anything stay like that so very long.

Quote
So upgrades come from your base that you upgrade after your run? What is the base piece? A space station? An armada? A star system? A planet?

Do you have to be destroyed for the next cycle, or can you retreat/withdraw?

Bear in mind that these particular aspects, some of them still need to survive the prototype gauntlet of the next week or so.  But:

1. Your upgrades come from what you do during a run (this is certain).

2. SOME upgrades you will start with from your base based on successes in past runs (this is almost certain).

3. Your base is your mothership/starship/not-sure-the-name-yet larger vessel that you were traveling in, but which is now damaged.  It's your Star Destroyer that you're trying to repair while you fly around in your Tie Fighter, to use an analogy.  I'm not sure on our terminology yet, it wasn't important to me before now.  This is certain.

4. The "dungeons" you go into are asteroids or other large ships involved in a war that doesn't concern you, but that is in the area.  This is certain.

5. You'll probably have multiple dungeons to choose from in your home base area, with different rewards and difficulties associated with them.  This is not certain, but extremely likely.  So the difficulty of your run gets determined partly from this.

6. You almost certainly will not be able to exit a run once you start it.  That would remove all tension in my opinion.  What exactly you lose when you lose a run is not yet something I've decided.  Most likely it will be "you don't progress, and you lose that particular run's seed."

7. If you complete a run, then that helps to repair your broken mothership-thing, which gets you closer to victory.  This is certain, although it won't apply to all runs.  Some runs will be easier ones that you take, knowing full well that you won't get a mothership piece out of it, but you need an easier run for some personal buffs to your tie fighter or whatever.  This is highly likely, but not certain.

8. When you complete a run, some or all of your passive buffs will probably stay with you.  Orbitals, consumables, special weapons, and upgraded weapons probably will not stay with you.  The exact nature of all this is kind of fuzzy to me right now.  I know how the upgrade system will work, but I'm unsure how much I want to let the player carry over between runs.  Too much and the power creep starts to get crazy.  And I want the runs to be sufficiently varied.  Rogue Legacy had a pretty good system for this I thought, where you were making progress in your personal stats between runs but not in great bounding leaps.  Something with that feel is probably what I'll go for, but the specifics there are not nailed down yet.  I know how I want it to feel during a run, and how the mechanics work during a run, but I have not fully reconciled that yet with exactly what can carry over to outside of runs.  At any rate, most likely whatever it is would either only carry over if you win the run, or only the best stuff would if you win the run, or something along those lines.

9. If you don't get destroyed, why don't you get to keep everything from your prior run?  Good question, me.  I'm not sure.  Possibly we will let you keep everything, and the next run becomes kind of a continuation run -- a streak, so to speak.  And then when you die you revert to the starting state, but plus some stats.  We'd then have to creep the run difficulty for each streak you get through, but that might be fun in that it's like "going deeper" in a traditional roguelike sense, but instead you're going into progressively more challenging runs of roughly equal length.  That might be exploitable, though.  At any rate, this sort of question is tangential to the main gameplay and goals, which makes me oh so happy. ;)  We can experiment with that some without having to go back to the drawing board on the prototype or something.  I know how the in-run stuff works pretty completely, and that makes me happy.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: mrhanman on October 08, 2015, 08:54:03 PM
Think of a top down methodically-paced realtime Rogue Legacy in space with a really robust item and ability system.

Sold! I'll take two, please. :D
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: wwwhhattt on October 08, 2015, 09:57:24 PM
4. The "dungeons" you go into are asteroids or other large ships involved in a war that doesn't concern you, but that is in the area.  This is certain.
I love games where you aren't important - just there!

So there aren't any enemies specifically out to get you, you're just perpetually in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Tridus on October 08, 2015, 10:07:00 PM
Whoa, I had no idea about that with WoW.  Thanks for the context.  And what do you mean about its downfall?  I was under the impression it was still having tons of players.  I must be out of the loop.  Although I would not be surprised if the numbers were not near their peak -- how could anything stay like that so very long.

Well, the last expansion pushed them up to 10 million subscribers. 6 months later they were down to 5.6 million (nine year low). It hasn't really grown in years, but that is a massive plunge. It'll get lower too, as they haven't got another expansion coming out for quite a while. My point wasn't really about that as much as it was about how much the genre has changed while still being called a MMORPG.

WoW is the worst offender, but it isn't the only one. Lots of other ones have gone into matchmaking systems and more instanced content. FFXIV and Wildstar both have forced single player quests, in a genre where 'multiplayer' is literally in the name. That would be totally unthinkable to people in the early days, but they didn't invent a new genre name for it.

Roguelike is the same thing. It doesn't mean today the same thing that it meant when Angband was new. I had a surprising number of arugments over if FTL qualified based on various ridiculous criteria, and it mostly showed how goofy people can be about this trivial stuff. :)
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: gnosis on October 08, 2015, 10:14:26 PM
1. The bad thing about rogue lecacy was the time you needed to farm gold upgrades to your health. I was burned by it and stopped playing.

2. The genre has plenty of room for innovation! Fire away!

3.  Perhaps the pilot retires or he dies from radiation poisoning even after he finishes a run, and he is a mercenary working for his family, so his craft and loot gets liquidated for permenent upgrades? science points? And the next guy just starts with the basic upgraded stuff that you fed into the bases economy.

4. As for wow they are way below the 1/2 of their historical peak-player-base and most of those players are from asia anyway. They are now in their content-winter-phase until the next xpac so expect an even bigger drop to be reported in 2 months. Their bigger competitors are their other titles that you can play without a sub. Finally most of the mmo market turned free to play, like wildstar. The pinnacle of that is guildwars 2: handing out game access without even a box purchase *before* launching their new xpac.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: dfinlay on October 09, 2015, 12:07:34 AM
So I see where everyone is coming from about me being a stuffy old guy who is complaining about the evolution of a genre . :P

My point, though, was more that the term is beginning to lose meaning as something that is useful for a customer looking for or trying to sort through games to find ones of a certain style of gameplay (what I feel genre names are for).

Terraria, Binding of Isaac, FTL, RogueLegacy and Angband all being classified as the same genre is silly. These are games that have completely different styles of gameplay, appeal to completely different segments of the market and other than all being sort of "indie" are pretty close to opposite corners of the design space of gaming and yet all of them are considered Roguelikes. Terms evolving isn't bad, but terms evolving to be no longer useful is.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Draco18s on October 09, 2015, 12:25:24 AM
As long as we don't have to pay for an upgrade to give us a mute button (http://www.kongregate.com/games/ArmorGames/upgrade-complete) or better interface (http://www.kongregate.com/games/ArmorGames/upgrade-complete-2). ;)

Quote
1. The bad thing about rogue lecacy was the time you needed to farm gold upgrades to your health. I was burned by it and stopped playing.

Anyway, yeah, there were bits about Rogue Legacy I didn't like much, e.g. some upgrades are so god damn expensive I can't pay for them even though the game has become a largely non-challenge (I think I'm on New Game +3 and I noticed that nothing got any significant increase from New Game +2) and looting the castle is more of an endurance challenge than anything.  I'll admit that the dungeons still kinda scare me, but that's more to do with having not spent much time in them in my first go-around and getting lucky finding the boss room (and then the boss not actually being that hard).  Some enemies in the tower are difficult to kill simply because the tactics required to take them out tend towards suicidal (depending on other threats and room layout) to "plink it for 2 damage from safety for a minute."  Main castle area and the gardens are a joke to me at this point (the gardens I'd been afraid of when I first got to them, but quickly found them to be "about as dangerous").

Risk of Rain though I still find myself coming back to once in a while and just murdering things for shits and giggles, not even caring if I win or not (and often have some of the artifacts turned on that just make the game more painful).  Back when I was still pretty good and playing regularly I could be like "Monsoon?  All artifacts?  One hour in?  Sure, lets do another map for the lolz."  I swear, having 35 barbed wire is foxing amazing.  It's like having the Chargefiled Generator with 8 kills just all the time just walking around* (yeah, I played a game where almost every common I picked up I chose** barbed wire).

I like shumps, I like roguelikes, I like cumulative progression.

Now if I could only remember the name of this one arcade shmup where one of the ships you could select had a special weapon that was a beam of arcing electrical discharge that would coil around the screen and just hit whatever (the beam was always the same length and had a limited curve radius, but it could attack any point on the screen within that maximum radius from your ship).  Man, that one was so much fun to use.

I guess the moral of this post is that I like super amazing overpowered bullshit, even when I get punched in the face by something just as amazingly super powered and ridiculous.  Memorable Loss over Forgettable Victory, but at least make it mean something.  I kind of give up on most shmups and bullet hells and roguelikes (be them traditional or lite or any other variety) because there's either no consequence to death (other than frustration over a single troublesome point) or everything is lost (mv save.sav /bin/null).

*To give an idea of the radius increase, the radius of 18 Barbed Wire stacks are equivalent to the area of one warbanner.
**The crown of command is amazing and super cheating.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Tridus on October 09, 2015, 07:23:18 AM
Terraria, Binding of Isaac, FTL, RogueLegacy and Angband all being classified as the same genre is silly. These are games that have completely different styles of gameplay, appeal to completely different segments of the market and other than all being sort of "indie" are pretty close to opposite corners of the design space of gaming and yet all of them are considered Roguelikes. Terms evolving isn't bad, but terms evolving to be no longer useful is.

Doom, Gears of War, Call of Duty, and Prop Hunt are all technically First Person Shooters featuring guns. They have virtually nothing else in common.

Genre names are not specific enough to tell you what you want if you want a specific style of gameplay.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 09, 2015, 09:40:55 AM
4. The "dungeons" you go into are asteroids or other large ships involved in a war that doesn't concern you, but that is in the area.  This is certain.
I love games where you aren't important - just there!

So there aren't any enemies specifically out to get you, you're just perpetually in the wrong place at the wrong time?

Well, you're basically stuck in a warzone and other stuff is moving past you.  Guys pass you and sometimes think "ooh, loot!"  The rest of the time they ignore you.  But then YOU go into their ships, thinking "ooh, loot!" and then of course they're out to get you because you're inside their ship.  But until you went in there they didn't give a flip.  And it's not like you're the menace of the war to them or whatever.

The war is definitely just the backdrop, and your actions have no impact whatsoever on the course of it, and it's still going on when you win the game (if you do).  You're just there, as you say. :)  I've always been a fan of that sort of thing, too!

Well, the last expansion pushed them up to 10 million subscribers. 6 months later they were down to 5.6 million (nine year low). It hasn't really grown in years, but that is a massive plunge. It'll get lower too, as they haven't got another expansion coming out for quite a while. My point wasn't really about that as much as it was about how much the genre has changed while still being called a MMORPG.

Eek!  That's quite a drop, yeah.  But I imagine they're still doing okay financially.  And yeah, point taken on both genre labels. :)

1. The bad thing about rogue lecacy was the time you needed to farm gold upgrades to your health. I was burned by it and stopped playing.

2. The genre has plenty of room for innovation! Fire away!

3.  Perhaps the pilot retires or he dies from radiation poisoning even after he finishes a run, and he is a mercenary working for his family, so his craft and loot gets liquidated for permenent upgrades? science points? And the next guy just starts with the basic upgraded stuff that you fed into the bases economy.

1. What difficulty were you playing on?  I was just playing on normal, so maybe that didn't impact me for that reason.  I did spend a ton of time just gathering gold, but I felt like I was accomplishing things the whole time.  Mainly because I unlocked all sorts of different things with the gold, rather than really focusing on health much.

That said, the focus on gold collection was kind of annoying and there was not nearly enough variety for my taste in terms of keeping me interested just for the sake of exploring and finding new things.  The fun of the mechanics in a bubble-wrap-popping sense was the main draw for me.

2. Thanks. :)

3. Well, the pilot is actually the last hydral from TLF, far far far into the future, so him dying is something I'd like to avoid.  Having something that turns his upgrades into some other form of currency or whatever is a cool idea, though.  Overall I'm really not wanting much of an economy, though -- unlike Rogue Legacy.

Terms evolving isn't bad, but terms evolving to be no longer useful is.

That I'll wholeheartedly agree with.  The problem to me seems to be that we don't want to create new terms anymore to some extent.  Instead we just stretch and stretch the old ones, or use multiple labels at once.  It's not just in games that this happens, but it's the newest medium and so I guess it stands out the most here.

I guess the moral of this post is that I like super amazing overpowered bullshit, even when I get punched in the face by something just as amazingly super powered and ridiculous.  Memorable Loss over Forgettable Victory, but at least make it mean something.  I kind of give up on most shmups and bullet hells and roguelikes (be them traditional or lite or any other variety) because there's either no consequence to death (other than frustration over a single troublesome point) or everything is lost (mv save.sav /bin/null).

I, too, tend to get frustrated with a lot of them.  Mainly because I hit a point where I feel like there's nothing interesting going on anymore.  Either I'm getting so many items and powerups that it's meaningless insane clutter, or I'm getting things so slowly that it gets very samey, or there's no reasonable goal in sight that I can progress towards without a ton of grinding.  I'm not a fan of everything being lost, although that's an option I imagine we'll put in for the masochistic among us.

For me I prefer it if there is no real consequence for death aside from the lack of progression.  A lot of the more recent ones have done that sort of thing.  There is ideally enough tension of getting close to achieving your goal in the current randomly-generated run and then having sweaty palms because you are about to lose and then none of that hard run actually pays off.  Though even there, having a few things carry over so you have the silver lining of SOME progress is good.  That's just me, though.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Draco18s on October 09, 2015, 10:38:15 AM
I, too, tend to get frustrated with a lot of them.  Mainly because I hit a point where I feel like there's nothing interesting going on anymore.  Either I'm getting so many items and powerups that it's meaningless insane clutter, or I'm getting things so slowly that it gets very samey, or there's no reasonable goal in sight that I can progress towards without a ton of grinding.  I'm not a fan of everything being lost, although that's an option I imagine we'll put in for the masochistic among us.

The "insane clutter" problem only happens to me in Zelda games. :\

Quote
For me I prefer it if there is no real consequence for death aside from the lack of progression.  A lot of the more recent ones have done that sort of thing.  There is ideally enough tension of getting close to achieving your goal in the current randomly-generated run and then having sweaty palms because you are about to lose and then none of that hard run actually pays off.  Though even there, having a few things carry over so you have the silver lining of SOME progress is good.  That's just me, though.

Agreed.  There does need to be some tension to it, death does need to have meaning.  I just feel that a lot of those "blank slate new game" games tend to put in too many "Oh by the way, you're dead. There was no way you'd have figured this out" style traps in them.  Dungeons of Dreadmore did that with the monster rooms.  Step on a trap, a section of wall falls away, have 30 out-of-depth monsters.  Two of those was enough for me to go "f-- this."  Other than that, Dreadmore was pretty slick and had some neat ideas.  But that kind of "and you're dead now" thing is only really appropriate for a game with some level of game-to-game progress.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: nas1m on October 09, 2015, 10:43:59 AM
Quote
So upgrades come from your base that you upgrade after your run? What is the base piece? A space station? An armada? A star system? A planet?

Do you have to be destroyed for the next cycle, or can you retreat/withdraw?

Bear in mind that these particular aspects, some of them still need to survive the prototype gauntlet of the next week or so.  But:

1. Your upgrades come from what you do during a run (this is certain).

2. SOME upgrades you will start with from your base based on successes in past runs (this is almost certain).

3. Your base is your mothership/starship/not-sure-the-name-yet larger vessel that you were traveling in, but which is now damaged.  It's your Star Destroyer that you're trying to repair while you fly around in your Tie Fighter, to use an analogy.  I'm not sure on our terminology yet, it wasn't important to me before now.  This is certain.

4. The "dungeons" you go into are asteroids or other large ships involved in a war that doesn't concern you, but that is in the area.  This is certain.

5. You'll probably have multiple dungeons to choose from in your home base area, with different rewards and difficulties associated with them.  This is not certain, but extremely likely.  So the difficulty of your run gets determined partly from this.

6. You almost certainly will not be able to exit a run once you start it.  That would remove all tension in my opinion.  What exactly you lose when you lose a run is not yet something I've decided.  Most likely it will be "you don't progress, and you lose that particular run's seed."

7. If you complete a run, then that helps to repair your broken mothership-thing, which gets you closer to victory.  This is certain, although it won't apply to all runs.  Some runs will be easier ones that you take, knowing full well that you won't get a mothership piece out of it, but you need an easier run for some personal buffs to your tie fighter or whatever.  This is highly likely, but not certain.

8. When you complete a run, some or all of your passive buffs will probably stay with you.  Orbitals, consumables, special weapons, and upgraded weapons probably will not stay with you.  The exact nature of all this is kind of fuzzy to me right now.  I know how the upgrade system will work, but I'm unsure how much I want to let the player carry over between runs.  Too much and the power creep starts to get crazy.  And I want the runs to be sufficiently varied.  Rogue Legacy had a pretty good system for this I thought, where you were making progress in your personal stats between runs but not in great bounding leaps.  Something with that feel is probably what I'll go for, but the specifics there are not nailed down yet.  I know how I want it to feel during a run, and how the mechanics work during a run, but I have not fully reconciled that yet with exactly what can carry over to outside of runs.  At any rate, most likely whatever it is would either only carry over if you win the run, or only the best stuff would if you win the run, or something along those lines.

9. If you don't get destroyed, why don't you get to keep everything from your prior run?  Good question, me.  I'm not sure.  Possibly we will let you keep everything, and the next run becomes kind of a continuation run -- a streak, so to speak.  And then when you die you revert to the starting state, but plus some stats.  We'd then have to creep the run difficulty for each streak you get through, but that might be fun in that it's like "going deeper" in a traditional roguelike sense, but instead you're going into progressively more challenging runs of roughly equal length.  That might be exploitable, though.  At any rate, this sort of question is tangential to the main gameplay and goals, which makes me oh so happy. ;)  We can experiment with that some without having to go back to the drawing board on the prototype or something.  I know how the in-run stuff works pretty completely, and that makes me happy.
.
Oh my. You have done it again.
I am excited :D.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 09, 2015, 11:04:04 AM
I, too, tend to get frustrated with a lot of them.  Mainly because I hit a point where I feel like there's nothing interesting going on anymore.  Either I'm getting so many items and powerups that it's meaningless insane clutter, or I'm getting things so slowly that it gets very samey, or there's no reasonable goal in sight that I can progress towards without a ton of grinding.  I'm not a fan of everything being lost, although that's an option I imagine we'll put in for the masochistic among us.

The "insane clutter" problem only happens to me in Zelda games. :\

...Zelda games?  The items you get there are really spaced apart, and all of them are very useful (depending on the game).  Zelda 1 had a few duds, and some of the spells in the later part of Zelda 2 were useless.  Link To The Past is awesome, but has probably the largest number of useless items in it -- all late-game optional stuff that are fun goodies to find, though.  OOT stays pretty darn useful with everything, masks aside.  I guess Majora's Mask did have a ton of crud in it, Masks-wise in particular.  I don't recall any fluff in TP, but it's been a while.  Skyward Sword had cruft at the market, and all those billion collectables, which was definitely annoying.  Trying to go MMORPG it felt like.  But most of that could be ignored, and the core items were good.  Windwaker had a really tight design on the items, a very few exceptions later on.  The Wii U version is incredibly superior because of the lack of stupidity in wind controls.  Oh, and then there's the Link Between Worlds recent game on 3DS, which is probably the best Zelda game ever at this point.  That one had absolutely zero cruft.

Then there's a lot of handheld Zelda titles we won't discuss. ;)  Particularly ones made by a third party.

Anyway, I'm genuinely curious about that, though.  The items thing was something that got me in Risk of Rain and Terraria more than anything else.

Quote
For me I prefer it if there is no real consequence for death aside from the lack of progression.  A lot of the more recent ones have done that sort of thing.  There is ideally enough tension of getting close to achieving your goal in the current randomly-generated run and then having sweaty palms because you are about to lose and then none of that hard run actually pays off.  Though even there, having a few things carry over so you have the silver lining of SOME progress is good.  That's just me, though.

Agreed.  There does need to be some tension to it, death does need to have meaning.  I just feel that a lot of those "blank slate new game" games tend to put in too many "Oh by the way, you're dead. There was no way you'd have figured this out" style traps in them.  Dungeons of Dreadmore did that with the monster rooms.  Step on a trap, a section of wall falls away, have 30 out-of-depth monsters.  Two of those was enough for me to go "f-- this."  Other than that, Dreadmore was pretty slick and had some neat ideas.  But that kind of "and you're dead now" thing is only really appropriate for a game with some level of game-to-game progress.

Yeah, agreed on that. Dredmore did a lot of things really well, but honestly I just never could really get into it.  I prefer the more action-y roguelikes.  Ironic given Bionic Dues, but then again I often try to make stuff in areas I want to like, but don't.

Oh my. You have done it again.
I am excited :D.

 :D
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 09, 2015, 11:08:49 AM
The bit about what you lose or do not lose on progression, I think, is going to be entirely dependent on how the "items" found in a run work.

Most games of this sort do them in pretty much the same way that Isaac does:  They are what powers you up over the course of that run specifically, so that you are able to progress from the easy parts of that run, to the harder parts of that same run.  Just imagine though if ANY of the stuff in that game actually carried over from one run to the next!  The way that game's items work, it'd be a disaster.

Now that being said, I have a couple of ideas as to how this could work, so bear with me here...

Firstly, in the email I just sent to you, I mention a particular game as an example of certain things, but that game is also an example of this.  There are things outside of your run that you unlock, sort of like in Rogue Legacy but not all grindy.  But at the same time, there's ALSO the items like the ones in Isaac, which DONT carry over.  So you have something that does, and something that doesnt.  Rogue Legacy didn't do any of that second bit; you had what you brought with you, and that was pretty much it.  And honestly, I think that created a good deal of problems with that game.

But there's a couple of other ways to do it too.

One of my favorite roguelike-ish games, and one of my favorite games of all time, Baroque (found on the PS2, Wii, and for some baffling reason iOS) has a very unique way of dealing with this.  When you die in that game, you lose everything on you.  Everything.  BUT.  There are two mechanics in place that can allow you to hold a few things over ANYWAY, yet without doing so in a way that's all sorts of broken.  Method number 1 is the ability to "transfer" items back to town/base/whatever that main area coiuld be called.   Basically, there were certain set points in each run (in that game, they were always on the exact same floors every time), and when you reached one, you could send exactly ONE item through it.  Any item of any type that you want, you just chuck it in, and it vanishes and it sent back.  Back in the town, a character there receives these, but has a limited inventory (I think it was about 20 slots in that game).  Once you're dead, you start back in the town, and before you actually head to the tower to begin your run, you can stop by and talk to that guy and grab anything from him that you sent there.  This allows you to plan out your next run, giving yourself a bit of a head start based on what is going on in your CURRENT run.  It actually makes for a bit of a great "tough decision" sort of thing, which I find is a really, really good thing in this type of game.  You can only send ONE item through per transfer point in the dungeon, so you have to choose carefully.  And you can only hold so many items in that special inventory... you cant just give yourself every item ever over time, to pick from.  And of course, any item that you then take from there into the dungeon, you have a chance of losing if you die.... unless you transfer it again.   And of course, transferring something means you cannot use it on the rest of that particular run.  I, personally, love this system; I've seen a couple of other games do something similar, but not many.

Method number 2 though is.... hmm, I"m not sure what to call it.  In that game, there are these things called "brands" that you can use on basically.... anything.  You stick one onto an item, and it does something, and is stuck on that item; only one brand at a time.  There's a specific one that when stuck to something, causes the item to NOT vanish if you die.  It isnt sent back to the town though either; instead, that item (with it's exact stats, whatever those are) is guaranteed to appear on the very first floor of the tower when you begin another run.  The catch: once it does this, that brand "breaks", yet is still stuck on there.  So it wont do that again, and you cant just re-brand it, you need an item to remove the effect (and that's a whole other confusing explanation).  But that particular mechanic can make for a GREAT insurance policy for items you're finding to be really good at the time, and the item that actually does the branding is extremely satisfying to find.  It's like a "Heck yeah!  THIS thing!" sort of moment, pretty fun.   It's less fun when I accidentally launch the damn thing at a monster instead of using it, but that's another story....


Also:  I think RL's "progression by gold" system isnt a bad idea, but the biggest problem is that you always always always use or lose *all* of it between runs.  Well, I mean, you can cause small bits of it not to be lost by a certain upgrade, but for the most part, you're resetting that amount.   I think something like how currency worked in BD is better; even if half of your team is all smashed up, you're taking all that money with you and such.  So you ALWAYS get a chance to do something like that between dungeons, or just hoard it if you want.  I think that works really well.


Anyway, just some thoughts on that.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: crazyroosterman on October 09, 2015, 11:13:30 AM
quote. 3. Well, the pilot is actually the last hydral from TLF, far far far into the future, so him dying is something I'd like to avoid.  Having something that turns his upgrades into some other form of currency or whatever is a cool idea, though.  Overall I'm really not wanting much of an economy, though -- unlike Rogue Legacy.





hey so I don't really having anything to contribute since the only roguelike/lite game I've really played is ftl which wasn't very much any way since I never felt I was really getting any were but what you just said there caught my eye I've been wanting to know what happened to the hydral for so freaking long(since you put up that lore questions topic for that other game basically) when I saw you mention I had a bit of a moment also pointless rambling aside were exactly is this game in the time line in regards to the other games?.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Draco18s on October 09, 2015, 11:38:07 AM
...Zelda games?  The items you get there are really spaced apart, and all of them are very useful (depending on the game).  Zelda 1 had a few duds, and some of the spells in the later part of Zelda 2 were useless.  Link To The Past is awesome, but has probably the largest number of useless items in it -- all late-game optional stuff that are fun goodies to find, though.  OOT stays pretty darn useful with everything, masks aside.  I guess Majora's Mask did have a ton of crud in it, Masks-wise in particular.  I don't recall any fluff in TP, but it's been a while.  Skyward Sword had cruft at the market, and all those billion collectables, which was definitely annoying.  Trying to go MMORPG it felt like.  But most of that could be ignored, and the core items were good.  Windwaker had a really tight design on the items, a very few exceptions later on.  The Wii U version is incredibly superior because of the lack of stupidity in wind controls.  Oh, and then there's the Link Between Worlds recent game on 3DS, which is probably the best Zelda game ever at this point.  That one had absolutely zero cruft.

Then there's a lot of handheld Zelda titles we won't discuss. ;)  Particularly ones made by a third party.

Was more a problem of "hey a new enemy, ok its immune to that, ok its immune to that, ok its immune to that, ok its immune to that, ok its immune to that...ugh I have twenty more things to try."  It wasn't so much dud items but more that each enemy had a handful of specific items that were potentially useful against them and unless you'd been playing every title that ever existed up until that point you didn't understand the traditional connections back to the game where that enemy was originally introduced.

Quote
The items thing was something that got me in Risk of Rain and Terraria more than anything else.

The items thing in RoR is amazing.  I feel that they don't give the player enough choices up front, as the commando class is one of the harder ones to play "well" as a new player.  My guide for people I tell about the game is "just buy drones every time you find one.  Don't worry about dying, you're going to die a lot.  Just focus on buying those drones, because eventually you'll have bought 50 of them and it'll unlock the engineer class, which is way easier to play."  Engineer having three ways to attack stuff he's running away from compared to the commando's zero.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Captain Jack on October 09, 2015, 11:46:49 AM

Then there's a lot of handheld Zelda titles we won't discuss. ;)  Particularly ones made by a third party.

I feel the need to point out that the Capcom Zelda team that worked on Ages and Seasons is now the main Zelda team at Nintendo. Ages/Seasons get no respect.  :-X

You know Chris, you could make it so that ships from successful runs get converted to turrets for use during the invasions. Call it an efficiency thing; you've got the resources to make the shells but it's easier to just print a new one than it is to refuel one you already have. Turrets created like this have the bullet pattern and passive effects you have when you make it through a dungeon, while the active abilities get turned into resources/research units. Those r-things can be put towards building your own welcoming committee, studying permanent unlocks (based on things you brought back), or one-time dungeon buffs.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: steelwing on October 09, 2015, 12:02:48 PM
Quote
For me I prefer it if there is no real consequence for death aside from the lack of progression.  A lot of the more recent ones have done that sort of thing.  There is ideally enough tension of getting close to achieving your goal in the current randomly-generated run and then having sweaty palms because you are about to lose and then none of that hard run actually pays off.  Though even there, having a few things carry over so you have the silver lining of SOME progress is good.  That's just me, though.

Agreed.  There does need to be some tension to it, death does need to have meaning.  I just feel that a lot of those "blank slate new game" games tend to put in too many "Oh by the way, you're dead. There was no way you'd have figured this out" style traps in them.  Dungeons of Dreadmore did that with the monster rooms.  Step on a trap, a section of wall falls away, have 30 out-of-depth monsters.  Two of those was enough for me to go "f-- this."  Other than that, Dreadmore was pretty slick and had some neat ideas.  But that kind of "and you're dead now" thing is only really appropriate for a game with some level of game-to-game progress.
I feel like Torchlight does this really well.  If your character does end up getting killed in a dungeon, you get three options:  Return to town and lose nothing; or pay x gold/xp to be sent back to the start of the current level/floor; or pay y gold/xp to stay where you are.  You don't lose any of your gear, which to me is a big deal.
The Last Federation and Bionic Dues are also both great models for what should happen when you lose a mission/"run", but they're both rather different games from what this proposes to be.  Of the two, Bionic Dues comes closest:  You go out on a mission; either you fail or succeed; you come back.  In BD, failure happens when you lose all your exos before reaching the mission RP.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 09, 2015, 12:16:25 PM
Various notes minus quoting this time in order to save time:

1. Ah, makes sense on the Zelda stuff in that regard, then.

2. Huh!  Using the dead ships as turrets for invasions is actually fascinating.

3. Thanks to Watashiwa, we actually have an awesome reason for how the ship stuff works:

Quote
As for why the Hydral doesn't die when the pods do, it's because the Hydral isn't there. Since the Hydral is WAY TOO BIG to fit in a normal sized ship, it pilots the pods remotely. It does so like it's actually there by cloning its own brain to make a biocomputer, then going into sensory deprivation. The biocomputer acts like an extra head, so the Hydral feels like it's there in the pod.  Suffice it to say, venturing out knowing that you aren't sure if you'll be the brain in the box that dies, or the one that stays back at the ship and lives, is really cool.

4. With Rogue Legacy I agree that the lack of item pickups during the runs was super frustrating.  I liked the fact that you lost all those coins when re-entering the castle, though, because I felt like that was the only thing keeping tension during runs.  Worked well for me, anyhow.  You could actually get it up to only losing half your coins on death via that one ability (it went in increments of 10%).

5. Overall we want to try to avoid ANY menus whatsoever in the game, other than the main menu, escape menu, and settings menu.  So no menus whatsoever for any sort of in-game stuff.  We may not succeed in that, but there are a variety of games in this sort of genre that have.  The Zelda-1-style ships work fine for doing purchases, for instance.  And there are plenty of familiar ways for swapping out items and choosing which to keep by just re-swapping them.  Anyway, I think that lots of complexity can demonstrably be had in these sorts of games without having to get into equipping/purchasing/upgrading/crafting menus.  Those always tend to make me yawn in any game; at best I tolerate them, at worst I actively hate them.  But a lot of games have managed to have satisfying complexity minus those.

6. BD is really a bit of a different beast from what I'm going for here, because it has a strategy layer on top of the roguelike layer.  This is meant to be a single-layered thing with no strategy layer (though there's plenty of that sort of thinking in roguelike games in general).  The persistence layer is more a matter of an inter-run progression.

7. Torchlight is another really different beast, because that's one where you're playing more of an RPG in some respects.  I mean, in general with dungeon crawlers it's about character progression and so losing your stuff would be horrible.  This game is meant to be more about your own skill gains and finding lots of crazy different scenarios in terms of items/enemies/weapons/etc on different runs.  The crazy stacking of items and weapons that you get is part of the fun, and that gets tossed out the window if you wind up being able to keep those between runs.  Instead dealing with what you find and using new tactics because of that is something I like.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 09, 2015, 12:49:25 PM
That thing with the Hydral and the pods is entertaining.  I got a laugh out of "the biocomputer acts like an extra head", because clearly, what the Hydral needs is EVEN MORE heads...

If more games actually had story elements that were this unique and entertaining, I might actually pay attention to more of them.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Draco18s on October 09, 2015, 12:51:58 PM
Of the two, Bionic Dues comes closest:  You go out on a mission; either you fail or succeed; you come back.  In BD, failure happens when you lose all your exos before reaching the mission RP.

I've played, and all-in-all the game didn't really "click" with me.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: steelwing on October 09, 2015, 01:46:14 PM
6. BD is really a bit of a different beast from what I'm going for here, because it has a strategy layer on top of the roguelike layer.  This is meant to be a single-layered thing with no strategy layer (though there's plenty of that sort of thinking in roguelike games in general).  The persistence layer is more a matter of an inter-run progression.
I said "comes closest" - I never actually said it "came close". :P  Torchlight was offered as an example of a game where I felt like the "post-mission-loss resurrection" was handled well.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 09, 2015, 03:08:45 PM
6. BD is really a bit of a different beast from what I'm going for here, because it has a strategy layer on top of the roguelike layer.  This is meant to be a single-layered thing with no strategy layer (though there's plenty of that sort of thinking in roguelike games in general).  The persistence layer is more a matter of an inter-run progression.
I said "comes closest" - I never actually said it "came close". :P  Torchlight was offered as an example of a game where I felt like the "post-mission-loss resurrection" was handled well.

Fair enough!  It's definitely all relative, heh. :)
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: gnosis on October 09, 2015, 05:48:22 PM
Since zelda came up I feel the need to ask: will there be metroidvanian mechanics in the game as well?
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Tridus on October 09, 2015, 06:16:54 PM
So when do invites start. :D
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Captain Jack on October 09, 2015, 06:47:02 PM
Since zelda came up I feel the need to ask: will there be metroidvanian mechanics in the game as well?
When Ridley gets into Smash.  :P

Unless you mean to ask whether progress will be gated by the need for certain power-ups which I think is a definite "Yes but..." It's not going to be much like Metroid or Castlevania beyond that.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Cyborg on October 09, 2015, 07:20:06 PM
I don't play these games but, good luck!
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: steelwing on October 09, 2015, 07:33:43 PM
So when do invites start. :D
That's my question! :D
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: gnosis on October 09, 2015, 08:51:35 PM
So when do invites start. :D
That's my question! :D

For the love.. he's still in concept phase..
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Tridus on October 09, 2015, 09:42:10 PM
So when do invites start. :D
That's my question! :D

For the love.. he's still in concept phase..

That's the best time to have fun with him!  8)
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 10, 2015, 01:51:44 AM
It'll be worth the wait, definitely.... I think I can say that much at this point.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: nas1m on October 10, 2015, 09:47:53 AM
It'll be worth the wait, definitely.... I think I can say that much at this point.
You are almost as bad a tease as Chris at this point, you know ;).
Sound good!
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: ElOhTeeBee on October 10, 2015, 10:13:44 AM
Suggestion for why the craft would reset after each run:

It's a different craft each time. They're unmanned drones cobbled together from what little scrap and random junk you can spare from what's just laying around your cruiser waiting to be used as part of the repair effort, held together by string and duct tape and a lot of prayer. As such, they are basically guaranteed to last just long enough to get the job done, and then thoroughly fall apart as they re-enter the launch bay, with several important components burnt out as a bonus.

So, a new mission requires building a new drone.

...Maybe tie it into the loot system. Parts you find in the 'dungeons' can be used to outfit your drone for the next run, and the better you play - the faster you finish, the less damage you take - the likelier it is that some of the parts you stuck in the ship will NOT be fried when you're done, so you can reuse them for the next run. Might work best if the game's RNG is reluctant to hand you types of parts you already have (no plasma cutter if you've already got one sitting in inventory, for example), so the players can't just use one equipment setup over and over and over again, but have to keep mixing it up and using whatever parts they have on hand to counteract the attrition of things just sometimes breaking no matter how well they play.


UNRELATED EDIT BUT SOMETHING I WANT TO SAY ANYWAY: I'd like it if the controls were kept simple enough that the game is playable on a controller; I don't like using the mouse for aiming in shmups, accuracy be damned.


ANOTHER UNRELATED EDIT: Now that I think about it, the plans for The Game Formerly Known As Life At The End Of The Universe remind me more than a little of an indie game in early access that I stumbled across the other day, called Cryptark (http://store.steampowered.com/app/344740). I've got no idea how close they'll be in execution, but it might be something to keep in mind.


PROBABLY FINAL EDIT: Oh, duh, I'm a moron. I learned about Cryptark from Arcen's twitter feed. Oh well, maybe some people on the forum didn't already know about it.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 10, 2015, 12:13:09 PM
Suggestion for why the craft would reset after each run:

It's a different craft each time. They're unmanned drones cobbled together from what little scrap and random junk you can spare from what's just laying around your cruiser waiting to be used as part of the repair effort, held together by string and duct tape and a lot of prayer. As such, they are basically guaranteed to last just long enough to get the job done, and then thoroughly fall apart as they re-enter the launch bay, with several important components burnt out as a bonus.

So, a new mission requires building a new drone.

...Maybe tie it into the loot system. Parts you find in the 'dungeons' can be used to outfit your drone for the next run, and the better you play - the faster you finish, the less damage you take - the likelier it is that some of the parts you stuck in the ship will NOT be fried when you're done, so you can reuse them for the next run. Might work best if the game's RNG is reluctant to hand you types of parts you already have (no plasma cutter if you've already got one sitting in inventory, for example), so the players can't just use one equipment setup over and over and over again, but have to keep mixing it up and using whatever parts they have on hand to counteract the attrition of things just sometimes breaking no matter how well they play.


UNRELATED EDIT BUT SOMETHING I WANT TO SAY ANYWAY: I'd like it if the controls were kept simple enough that the game is playable on a controller; I don't like using the mouse for aiming in shmups, accuracy be damned.


ANOTHER UNRELATED EDIT: Now that I think about it, the plans for The Game Formerly Known As Life At The End Of The Universe remind me more than a little of an indie game in early access that I stumbled across the other day, called Cryptark (http://store.steampowered.com/app/344740). I've got no idea how close they'll be in execution, but it might be something to keep in mind.


PROBABLY FINAL EDIT: Oh, duh, I'm a moron. I learned about Cryptark from Arcen's twitter feed. Oh well, maybe some people on the forum didn't already know about it.

Theoretically, the game will be playable just fine with a controller; anything shmuppy that cant be played that way is just asking for trouble, after all.  So that'll probably work out just fine.  Hell, *I* will be playing it exclusive that way during this entire process, including when I"m testing patterns that I"m making; I cant use a mouse and keyboard for this.  I just cant.  I've tried it in some games, and all it leads to is A: derp, B: embarrassment, and C: my arm flaring up, thus requiring me to go take more blasted Tramadol, because ouch.  But other than that I'm just REALLY inaccurate with the blasted things.  Anyone that can accurately play a shmup or platformer with keyboard or mouse controls has my great respect, for such skill.

Arcen's other most action-y game, the first Valley Without Wind, used a controller (if you wanted to) and worked out pretty well for it.  It's certainly how I always play that one.  It has a few issues, with the analog sticks, but I very strongly suggest that's actually on my end (using a PS4 controller here, and the software that makes it work can be a little bizarre).
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 11, 2015, 01:41:06 AM
So I've grabbed that Cryptark game, and...

....honestly, I think this one might have alot of examples of things NOT to do in this game, and also examples of things that'd do this game justice.  Since I think it's a very good example of many concepts, I figured I'd go into it a bit:

Negatives first, because it's me doing the posting here:

1.  Enemies blend in with everything else, due to the game's absolutely awful color scheme.  It's YET ANOTHER "there's only two colors in the visible spectrum" game.  Which in this game is "Green, and slightly different green".  Very, very bad idea.  You're GOING to get hit by things you cant see, because they look just like the level structure.  Every single enemy I've encountered has this issue.  *ALL* of them.   Only the major "systems" look different (all of those are purple).  For the love of all that is good and kitten-shaped, this needs to not happen in this game.  It's one of the worst mistakes that can be done in anything with shmup elements.  The good thing is that bullets stand out well enough, but there's lots of physical attackers in here, or turrets that arent meant to be stealthy, but that you just wont notice till they fire at you.

2.  Threats are numerous, but weapons are weak as heck.  It's not so much that this increases difficulty; it's that it increases tedium.  Things just take too long to kill, which means even an easy battle will drag out too long.  Isaac actually has this issue sometimes... the game makes up for it in that the rest of the game is just so GREAT that this one isnt too bad in comparison... and of course, you wont encounter this one on every run because of how character builds work.  BD can also have this issue.

3.  Ammo.  Holy exploding penguins, Batman, do I ever hate it when games of this type use ammo systems for basic weapons.  This one is kind of subjective, but I cant stand it myself.  It doesnt ruin the game, but it's VERY obnoxious.

4.  Doors that make no sense.  Like, locked doors that you can just go around by going around a very nearby corner, or ones that block off a corridor so empty that there arent even enemies in it.   If you've got a locked area in a game like this, there needs to be something important behind it, always.  Give the player some satisfaction after opening every locked thing.  Well, you could also give them a trap at times, which is at least something.


Now, dont get me wrong: as negative as I sound here, well.... I always sound negative, and this game is still pretty good.  But these are all issues that are pretty easy to avoid, and I think they should be focused on a bit during testing and balancing.  There's some things I really like here too, that are good in any game of this type:

1. Objectives to go after.  In this game, it's the "systems" that are found througout the ship and are marked on the map.  Every one of them does something INTERESTING and important, and choosing what to go after first is a pretty big decision most of the time.   That "tough decision" process is great for games like this.  Isaac is one that does this well... there's alot of different special rooms to find in there, and making decisions on which ones to go after first, and which ones you should be using your limited keys on, is very good for the game.  Nuclear Throne on the other hand, good as it is, DOESNT do this well.  Levels in that are kinda boring; it's all about having things to shoot instead.   The actual structure doesnt matter yet at all. 

2. Combat can take too long, as I said, but it's still fun and exciting.  Enemy patterns are a little on the uninteresting side, but there's always something to shoot at, and clearing out an area is satisfying to do.  Arcen's games actually tend to already be pretty good at this, so I think this aspect should be easy to manage for this new game.

3. Side goals.  What gets me about these is that not only do they give you a money bonus when completed, but they're also actually INTERESTING.  And they tend to be dangerous... deciding wether you should really try for a specific one can be difficult.  Managing to do one is satisfying, and can get you more STUFF.   Stuff is good, everybody likes stuff.

4. Huge mazes to explore.  Ya GOTTA have exploration in a game like this, and big complicated areas really help.  For Arcen, BD is the game that does this the best, I think.  Well, so does AI Wars, for that matter, just in a very different way.


So that's some thoughts on the design of that game, and how it might be applied to the concepts and decisions in this game.  I dunno how much of that is particularly useful, but I figured I may as well go into it a bit regardless, in case it can bring about a bit of inspiration or help prevent problems.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: ElOhTeeBee on October 11, 2015, 03:19:29 AM
Have you posted that feedback somewhere where the Cryptark devs would see it, too? It'd be a shame to let stuff like that go to waste, I think.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 11, 2015, 04:28:39 AM
No, but I might do that later... format it a bit differently and stick it on there.  Of course, wether or not it accomplishes anything is another matter.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 11, 2015, 11:49:03 AM
Since zelda came up I feel the need to ask: will there be metroidvanian mechanics in the game as well?

I guess it really depends on what you mean by that, because that's super broad of a genre that is getting squishy like roguelike is.  But my gut answer is to say no on that one.

So when do invites start. :D

Well, this time we'll do a super small group of sanity-testers, then we'll open up an early-access-style purchase thing through our own website where you get the DMR-free version immediately and then a steam key later when it comes out on Steam.  Let's us weather things financially a tad better, gets it into the hands of anyone who wants it at a solid discount, and then also let's us have our Steam release on a date where we're not getting hamstrung by the market.

Anyhow, November is looking very doable for the start of the alpha still. :)

I don't play these games but, good luck!

Understood.  And thanks! :)

For the love.. he's still in concept phase..

We're still in concept phase on some things, but we already have an internal playable prototype of some of the basic mechanics, and are rapidly moving toward having a fuller prototype in the coming week.  We had a lot of the pieces of this already developed in prior games, or set aside during the development of TLF, etc.  I've also been concepting a bit on this for well over a year, and more seriously in the last six months.

Not to say you're wrong that it's still super early, but this is a fast-moving project and that's precisely why I picked it for now. :)

Suggestion for why the craft would reset after each run:

It's a different craft each time. They're unmanned drones

Yep, that's basically what we figured out -- sort of.  They're controlled by a new head/brain of the Hydral in each one.

UNRELATED EDIT BUT SOMETHING I WANT TO SAY ANYWAY: I'd like it if the controls were kept simple enough that the game is playable on a controller; I don't like using the mouse for aiming in shmups, accuracy be damned.

I will personally either be playing this on my 360 controller or my Steam Controller, one or the other.  So you can bet the controls for that will be rock solid.

(But fear not those on the other side of things: the keyboard+mouse controls won't be neglected either.)

Anyway, yeah, that's driving me absolutely batty with Our Darker Purpose: the game seems cool in a lot of respects, though kind of rough, but the gamepad controls oh my goodness.

ANOTHER UNRELATED EDIT: Now that I think about it, the plans for The Game Formerly Known As Life At The End Of The Universe remind me more than a little of an indie game in early access that I stumbled across the other day, called Cryptark (http://store.steampowered.com/app/344740). I've got no idea how close they'll be in execution, but it might be something to keep in mind.

PROBABLY FINAL EDIT: Oh, duh, I'm a moron. I learned about Cryptark from Arcen's twitter feed. Oh well, maybe some people on the forum didn't already know about it.

Erik handles most of the twitter stuff, so I actually missed us mentioning that one.  I don't know if that's just a friend company of ours (we have many, through various of us, and this one would be through Erik), or another company he works with directly.  Looks like an awesome game, but I don't really see overlap there in particular.

Arcen's other most action-y game, the first Valley Without Wind, used a controller (if you wanted to) and worked out pretty well for it.  It's certainly how I always play that one.  It has a few issues, with the analog sticks, but I very strongly suggest that's actually on my end (using a PS4 controller here, and the software that makes it work can be a little bizarre).

That one was designed with the keyboard + mouse in mind and it really suffered for that in my opinion when it came to playing with a gamepad.  The biggest examples of that were the platforms that you had to place.  Valley 2's redesign was partly to be more controller-friendly.  But that had its own problems in terms of how it neutered the game in some respects (though for a Contra-like I think it's great).  Suffice it to say, there are plenty of examples of cool games in these genres that work well with a controller, and I know what I like and don't like well enough that I'm not worried about it neutering the experience to offer proper support there.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 11, 2015, 01:08:07 PM
Anyway, yeah, that's driving me absolutely batty with Our Darker Purpose: the game seems cool in a lot of respects, though kind of rough, but the gamepad controls oh my goodness.

Huh, that's odd... I hadnt seen any issues like that with that game myself, or I probably would have mentioned it to you beforehand.   Just curious, but what exactly is it doing that's such a pain?  It seemed fine when I was playing it.  Or at least, I dont remember any issues.

How's the Steam Controller, by the way? I dont know *anyone* that has one and your post is the first time I've seen the thing even mentioned on a forum, so I dont know much about it, other than that it looks quite interesting.

Also I'll just say, even without having tried this new game yet, I cant see Cryptark overlapping it in any way; mostly because I just have a very hard time seeing you guys produce the sort of game that it ends up being, as gameplay goes.  Just doesnt seem your style.   That being said, highly recommended despite the negative parts of my ramblings.  It's one of those games where it's not finished, but if they stopped and just sold as-is, I dont think there'd be many complaints.  Very polished.

And there, that's enough absolute derailment of the topic from me...
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 11, 2015, 01:12:04 PM
ODP doesn't show me what the keys are for the gamepad, period, even in menus, which means that everything is an excercise in trying to figure out if there is even a gamepad version of the keyboard stuff it says.  Some of the things are mapped absolutely to strange things, like the right analog stick going different directions to open menus.  Apparently also to pick up objects, although I couldn't get that to work and was having to hit the F key on the keyboard while playing with the gamepad.  I just have switched into the beta branch and am hoping that will resolve some of the issues.

I don't have the Steam Controller yet, but I will well before this game hits 1.0.  I had the opportunity to get a dev one, but at the time we were working on SBR and I couldn't really justify asking for one for that, so I just signed up for the preorder like anyone else would.  I guess we get those in about a month?
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 11, 2015, 02:06:50 PM
....oh.  The controller isnt out yet.  Sure, yeah, I knew that, of course....

That'd explain why I havent heard anyone raving about it yet.

Bloody strange looking controller though, I can say that much.

As for ODP, yeah, I definitely wasnt getting things like the "cant pick up items" bit when playing it.  I didn't have to use Joy2Key for it at all even (which is what I use for things that inevitably never support controllers, feh).  That's pretty strange that it's doing that.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 11, 2015, 02:58:17 PM
There were other folks complaining about it, too, but mostly from March.  Are you in the beta branch?  Maybe that was since fixed but not yet rolled out to the main branch yet.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Sounds on October 12, 2015, 11:46:09 PM
In terms of upgrades: Is this new game going to have any similarities to Drox Operative?

I love that game and play it regularly.  :)
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 13, 2015, 09:00:56 AM
Very different from Drox.  That one is much more of an RPG, which nobody will ever mistake SR for.  That one also has lots of menus for customization, whereas this will have no menus.

This one is much more about finding things on your run, and choosing to use them or not.  And being able to purchase upgrades with limited credits on a given run, too.  There's a lot less control here about what you get, and thus you're adapting to your own abilities as much as you are the enemies.  When the next run starts, then you restart in terms of your situation.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: Misery on October 13, 2015, 09:04:56 AM
Quick note:  I sent you an email just now about the thing you'd asked me to put together, the example stuff.

Mostly it goes well, but there's a problem that is most likely involving me overlooking something really obvious, so yeah.

I hadnt forgotten how aggravating THAT part could be, nope.
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on October 13, 2015, 09:06:25 AM
Just got the email, thanks. :)
Title: Re: I want upgrades! give me ship upgrades!
Post by: x4000 on November 17, 2015, 12:03:21 PM
Just a heads up that folks might be interesting in a redshirts phase of the alpha, which is around now: https://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,18148.0.html