Author Topic: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming  (Read 1390 times)

Offline Pepisolo

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Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« on: May 22, 2018, 10:08:46 AM »
Hey all

So the next big content patch we're lining up for Starward Rogue is an item unlock for every achievement in the game -- so that's around 80 achievements or so. We could do with help on coming up with item ideas that we can implement. The items can pretty much be anything and don't have to be related to any specific achievements, although if anybody has any ideas for item unlocks that might suit a particular achievement, those would be great too.

So, yeah, if anybody has any ideas for items that they'd like to see in the game, please comment and let us know. Cheers!


Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2018, 10:18:44 AM »
I always wanted some weapons that were related to bosses (attack patterns from bosses) but I never really understood how the whole scripting language worked to do that.
It would be cool if each of the perfect boss achievements would unlock a weapon that was inspired by the related boss. Weapon atterns that are similiar to the boss and such stuff.

An example would be, we could make the V-/arrow-like shot from Crystal mother (the green one) as attack with reduced size.

Another idea would be, if you beat the game with an incredibility, you unlock a more powerful version of it.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2018, 10:35:21 AM »
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I always wanted some weapons that were related to bosses (attack patterns from bosses) but I never really understood how the whole scripting language worked to do that.
It would be cool if each of the perfect boss achievements would unlock a weapon that was inspired by the related boss. Weapon atterns that are similiar to the boss and such stuff.

Yeah, something like that could work. I was thinking that perhaps beating the bosses could unlock a mini familiar version of the boss. Just an outright weapon could work, too, though.

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Another idea would be, if you beat the game with an incredibility, you unlock a more powerful version of it.

Interesting idea! Super incredibilities!? That might be too much craziness to handle but it might work, yeah. Thanks for the idea! :)

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 02:52:17 PM »
Here's a few things I would love to see in the game:

-Swarm Mines (Energy Weapon): Low cost, high firerate, field of tiny low power mines. (Similar to Cluster Grenade in style for the mines)

-Oversol: Picking up healing while full gives temp HP that drop by 1 per new room entered. Incredibility?

-Mystery Solver/Circuit Analyst: Sac item, All mystery circuits effects known.

That last one isn't much of a surprise I guess.  :P
The list would be longer, but I kinda want to try and make some of them before suggesting.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2018, 10:52:37 AM »
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-Swarm Mines (Energy Weapon): Low cost, high firerate, field of tiny low power mines. (Similar to Cluster Grenade in style for the mines)

Hmmm, I'm not exactly sure what you have in mind, but I've already created a grenade launcher based on the one from SMASH TV which sounds quite similar.  So, maybe I've already created something like that. Maybe!

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-Oversol: Picking up healing while full gives temp HP that drop by 1 per new room entered. Incredibility?

Sounds cool, but I just can't see how I would implement that in the engine currently. It doesn't sound like an incredibility to me, though, just a really nice power up of some sort. Although I've always been a little unsure on what an incredibility should be like.

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Mystery Solver/Circuit Analyst: Sac item, All mystery circuits effects known.

I imagine this would require engine work, although probably very basic. The main reason I'm not too excited about this one is that I really don't like the mysterious circuits...at all! Those need a big overhaul of some kind.

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The list would be longer, but I kinda want to try and make some of them before suggesting.

Sounds good. Cheers!

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2018, 11:53:28 AM »
Hmmm, I'm not exactly sure what you have in mind, but I've already created a grenade launcher based on the one from SMASH TV which sounds quite similar.  So, maybe I've already created something like that. Maybe!
It would be closer to the Hornet mine, but you rapidly lay a grid of tiny mines behind/beneath you.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2018, 12:51:44 PM »
I imagine this would require engine work, although probably very basic. The main reason I'm not too excited about this one is that I really don't like the mysterious circuits...at all! Those need a big overhaul of some kind.

Yeah, they do. :\

The only system I can really compare it to is the scrolls and potions in Pixel Dungeon (which, yes, I realize points back farther all the way to Rogue). The main reason it works in Pixel Dungeon comes down to four things:

  • You can carry lots of items (like, twelve different things, its not a LOT but its more than two)
  • You can carry more than one of the same potion/scroll
  • There aren't that many possibilities
  • Potions generally come in two types: good for you and bad for them
  • Drinking a bad-for-them type IDs the potion and you get poisoned/set on fire/etc. Minor detriment for knowledge.
  • Throwing a good-for-you type IDs the potion (most of the time) and usually doesn't do much to the enemy. Minor detriment for knowledge.
  • Its usually best to drink any un-IDed potion you have when in a "safe" place, usually near a door and near water.
  • Most potions you have lots of (i.e. a stack of 4) are usually good-for-you
  • Some "secret" locations require a potion of a known type to get into, and depending on what it is, save the "I have one" to try out in that area. All rooms of these sort are guaranteed to make the dungeon generate the requisite potion elsewhere on the level (i.e. the bottom less pit room generates a potion of levitation, the barricaded library generates a potion of fire). These can provide hints.

Starward Rogue's mysterious circuits on the other hand are:
  • Rare. Even if you identify one, the likelyhood that you run into a second copy of that exact same circuit is vanishingly small
  • Either Good-for-You or Bad-for-You. Some of the good-for-you ones are also bad-for-them, but they're activated in the same way, so the distinction is less important.
    • Activating a Bad-for-You around enemies is BAD
    • Activating a Good-for-You-Bad-for-Them in a safe location is BAD
[/list] <-- no, I can't edit that out.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 12:54:45 PM by Draco18s »

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2018, 02:10:50 PM »
The only system I can really compare it to is the scrolls and potions in Pixel Dungeon (which, yes, I realize points back farther all the way to Rogue).
It's much easier to compare it to Isaac's pills. Starting from there, the big problem with Starward (like you mentioned) would be their rarity vs the size of the existing selection. But that's an easy fix. Cut the fat, making sure unknowns are worth the risk and add new sources that can drop the circuits. Easy peasy. :) (Probations were in worse shape than that.)

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2018, 05:07:35 PM »
It's much easier to compare it to Isaac's pills.

Yeah, so I've heard, but I've not played Isaac.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2018, 05:30:29 PM »
Yeah, so I've heard, but I've not played Isaac.
Ah, yeah, that would make it pretty hard to compare. Well, they're very similar, except that said pills are very easy to come by, so identifying one is almost always worth it because you're bound to see it a few more times. Another thing is that the pills are less risky, because they're divided between beneficial/useless/harmful. So the bad ones aren't that common. The circuits are more 50/50 between good and bad, with some of the beneficial ones being arguably useless. Edit: Turns out the number of harmful circuits depends on the difficulty.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 09:27:50 PM by Logorouge »

Offline Misery

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #10 on: May 25, 2018, 04:03:40 AM »
The Mysterious Circuits were originally supposed to be something very different.  REALLY early on in development the idea of unidentified items came up, and I discussed it with Chris a lot.  NORMALLY, I loathe the mechanic, but I knew of a game (Baroque, on the Wii and PS2, basically the game that got me into the roguelike genre in the first place) that did it in what I thought to be the RIGHT way, so I'd wanted to do a similar system here.

Of course, the items as a whole evolved in a very different direction, and thus the concept was mostly thrown out, but the Circuits are a leftover relic of that mechanic.  The final version of the circuits is almost identical to how Isaac's pills work (at the most basic level, anyway), as Logorouge mentions.  I don't remember whose idea that bit was.  But yeah, they didn't come out all that well... nowhere near as refined as Isaac's.


As it is, there are a few reasons why Isaac's pills work, VS what is wrong with these.

1.  In Isaac, there is a very large number of different pills, however a huge part of why they work is that each time you start a new run, a small set of pills is randomly chosen out of that overall list, and only those pills appear during the run.  The pill selection in each run is usually pretty even... there are good pills, bad pills, and pills that are sort of neutral or somehow just screwy (like one that takes the number of bombs and keys you have, and switches them... it's not "good" or "bad", but it can help, or it can hurt, depending on the situation).  I think this system of selection is a huge part of why Isaac's pills work as well as they do.

2.  Pills in Isaac are very common.  You're going to encounter lots of them on each run, and there are all sorts of items that can influence how many you find, and even active items that can just keep spawning more for you.  So if you're having a run where you know you've got a particularly good set of pills available, you can try to go for items that then improve your chances of getting even more.  Pills are frequent finds in normal rooms, sometimes they're a room reward, and almost all shops will have a random pill for sale.

3.  There are items that can influence pills in different ways.  For instance, the PHD item alters the run's current selection of pills, removing all negative ones and instead having mostly positive with a couple of neutrals, and it identifies all of them for the rest of the run.  This item can actually be found in shops, making it a little easier to get than if it were in any other pool.  Or you might have something that can perhaps reroll pickups (anything like hearts, keys, coins, pills, cards, all of those are pickups) into other things.  You have a lot of options with these, and pills are a major game mechanic, not something that sits on the side.

4.  Pill effects range from weak but noticeable, to very strong.  One pill for instance can will give you three blue flies... little familiars that seek out enemies, and crash into them, doing solid damage but dying in the process.  Just 3 blue flies isn't a very strong effect by itself, but it's still noticeable and you're always glad to have some.  Whereas strong ones might do things like increase your fire rate or other stats permanently, give a heart container, or spawn numerous soul hearts (special hearts that allow you to extend your HP past it's maximum).  Negative ones are similar in terms of how weak or strong they can be.  A weak one might paralyze you for 3 seconds... not too bad.  A nasty one might permanently lower your fire rate, or destroy your minimap for the rest of the level (basically the most bloody irritating thing in the game, as far as I'm concerned... let's NOT do that one).

5.  The list of pills overall is pretty well balanced.  It's clear that a lot of thought went into these.

6.  The list of pills is LONG.   Can be seen here, if you're interested:  https://bindingofisaacrebirth.gamepedia.com/Pills       Over 40 of the things if you have both expansions... that's quite a lot.  If you're playing Rebirth by itself, each run will contain 9 pills from that list.  If you have Afterbirth, it is upped to 13.   Pill colors are randomly assigned, of course.  The nice thing about all of them from a design standpoint is that none of the effects they produce are actually complicated... they really don't need to be.

Whereas the similar mechanic in Starward doesn't really have these aspects.  It's very clearly an unfinished part of the game, but I'd really love to improve it and encourage players to use them. 



I always wanted some weapons that were related to bosses (attack patterns from bosses) but I never really understood how the whole scripting language worked to do that.
It would be cool if each of the perfect boss achievements would unlock a weapon that was inspired by the related boss. Weapon atterns that are similiar to the boss and such stuff.

An example would be, we could make the V-/arrow-like shot from Crystal mother (the green one) as attack with reduced size.

Another idea would be, if you beat the game with an incredibility, you unlock a more powerful version of it.


Yeah, some boss-inspired items/whatever are coming.   Looks like I'm going to be making some of them myself.... that should be "interesting".  I'll try not to break anything.  Keyword there is "try".  But I'm excited to give it a go.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2018, 11:42:30 AM »
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It would be closer to the Hornet mine, but you rapidly lay a grid of tiny mines behind/beneath you.

Ah, right. Something like that might work, yeah. Maybe you can take a crack at creating that, as I know you're getting into the item stuff lately.

Quote
It's much easier to compare it to Isaac's pills. Starting from there, the big problem with Starward (like you mentioned) would be their rarity vs the size of the existing selection. But that's an easy fix. Cut the fat, making sure unknowns are worth the risk and add new sources that can drop the circuits. Easy peasy. :) (Probations were in worse shape than that.)

Honestly, if it were an option I'd probably just get rid of the whole concept of mysterious circuits, it just seems like there's too much overlap with consumables, they don't appear often enough, having them only sometimes unidentified just seems to confuse players, the current roster of circuits is just plain bad...basically, there are so many issues that we're going to pretty much need to redo the whole concept from scratch to make it work. As for increasing how often they appear, we've actually already done that in the past, so I'm not sure how much more we can increase how they often appear without pretty much forcing them onto the player.

If we were to overhaul them then I'd rather go in a bit of a different direction and perhaps convert those to something more like mutations, which is a fairly rogue-like thing. These are similar but every circuit would be more like a permanent passive rather than also possibly being another type of consumable. I really doubt that we're going to be able to make the circuits appear regularly enough for the player to enjoy playing the whole identification game -- why? I haven't actually analysed that so I'm completely not sure, but perhaps the floors are just too big and we have too many other competing items. For a possible mutation example, off the top of my head let's say that one of the circuits is an Angel Circuit, that would make your mech sprout wings and perhaps give complete immunity to floor traps. Another could be the Hulk Circuit, which would  turn your mech green, increase your size and give you a damage boost. Something like that.

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Rare. Even if you identify one, the likelyhood that you run into a second copy of that exact same circuit is vanishingly small

Yes, this is a big problem, and I don't really want us foisting the circuits onto the player in order to try make the identification game work, so I don't really see a fix for that. It seems like SR just isn't suited for that kind of identification game to work, so I would just get rid of the concept.

Quote
The Mysterious Circuits were originally supposed to be something very different.  REALLY early on in development the idea of unidentified items came up, and I discussed it with Chris a lot.  NORMALLY, I loathe the mechanic, but I knew of a game (Baroque, on the Wii and PS2, basically the game that got me into the roguelike genre in the first place) that did it in what I thought to be the RIGHT way, so I'd wanted to do a similar system here.

Of course, the items as a whole evolved in a very different direction, and thus the concept was mostly thrown out, but the Circuits are a leftover relic of that mechanic.  The final version of the circuits is almost identical to how Isaac's pills work (at the most basic level, anyway), as Logorouge mentions.  I don't remember whose idea that bit was.  But yeah, they didn't come out all that well... nowhere near as refined as Isaac's.

Yeah, perhaps it might be worth revisitng your original Baroque concept? 

Quote
3.  There are items that can influence pills in different ways.  For instance, the PHD item alters the run's current selection of pills, removing all negative ones and instead having mostly positive with a couple of neutrals, and it identifies all of them for the rest of the run.  This item can actually be found in shops, making it a little easier to get than if it were in any other pool.  Or you might have something that can perhaps reroll pickups (anything like hearts, keys, coins, pills, cards, all of those are pickups) into other things.  You have a lot of options with these, and pills are a major game mechanic, not something that sits on the side.

This seems like another good reason to scrap the mechanic for SR -- we simply are not going to have the resources to make the pill style circuit an integral part of the game, even if that were possible at this stage. For SR they are always going to be a side concern.

Quote
Yeah, some boss-inspired items/whatever are coming.   Looks like I'm going to be making some of them myself.... that should be "interesting".  I'll try not to break anything.  Keyword there is "try".  But I'm excited to give it a go.

Yep, I'm actually working my way down the boss list (according to the boss test chambers) and so far have 11 created down to Metal Legion. Unfortunately, I had problems creating a weapon based on that big V arrow of Crystal Mother (which Vampire wanted) so I had to base that bosses weapon on a different attack pattern, although I might revisit that at some point.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2018, 11:45:05 AM by Pepisolo »

Offline Misery

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2018, 06:02:19 PM »
Yeah, perhaps it might be worth revisitng your original Baroque concept? 

Nah, it wouldn't work without pretty much redesigning half of the game.  The mechanic in Baroque worked partly due to the fact that *every* item in that game was involved in it, not just a specific type.  Among other issues.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2018, 11:16:55 PM »
So...do I add Circuit Overhaul on my notepad?

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Starward Rogue Unlock Overhaul Brainstorming
« Reply #14 on: May 28, 2018, 09:59:32 AM »
So...do I add Circuit Overhaul on my notepad?

Feel free, although I think in this instance we should also seriously consider just removing them from the game at the same time as we add in all the unlock stuff. I really just think that they're actually detracting from the game, every time I see one in a run I cringe. I don't think there's a single circuit that players will miss not having in the game, they're really just padding the game out with bad content at the moment.