Author Topic: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)  (Read 9609 times)

Offline Misery

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #60 on: March 18, 2014, 10:54:48 AM »
Forgive me if I'm way off since I am not currently in the alpha.

What does the weapon switching really provide? It doesn't sound like a very deep choice to match the weapon type against the target. It sounds like something you simply learn once, and then go through the motions in every combat. Here are the paper ships, time to bust out the scissors. Here are the scissor ships, time to bust out the rock.

I mean, I understand that there was a problem in bringing only one weapon type, so I'm not saying it makes sense to go back to that, but I'm wondering what benefit this whole mechanic provides at all?

Simple:  Because "here comes X, better use Y" only works if "X" is the only thing coming at you.  And that.... just isnt the case in this game.   It can be a situation like "Ok, I've got all of these little guys over to the left.... and a big blob of the same little guys and some mid-sized ships mixed on the right.  Some enemy flagships are comming from the upper right, and there's a turret ring down below, with some Claymores passing through it.  And the radar says there's even more things on the way, particularly from the left where the cloud of small ships is.  So.... which weapon do I start with, and in which direction do I attempt to go to break through this particular situation?" which is a bit different than "Well here's some interceptors, better use spreadshot".   Particularly when, due to the nature of the combat and it's mechanics, the situation could alter at any time.

That's my take on it anyway.


To answer a question: no solar map time passes during combat.

On the more general issue, a few thoughts:


AVWW1 was primarily an action/platformer game.  Though the platformer aspect wasn't added until about halfway through pre-alpha went it went from topdown to side-view.  But even before that, primarily an action game.  The strategic layer was added to give context in a unique way, so that the game would deliver an experience you can't get anywhere else.  Ultimately the strategic portion went through several revisions and guttings (in order to stop getting in the way of the action game, in part) and didn't really end as a coherent "game" (the "loops" just weren't "closed", if you follow my meaning), just more of a contextual layer for the primary action experience.  Which was just fine for a lot of people, from the number I've seen say they preferred AVWW1 to Valley2.

Valley2 was more of a hybrid, with the design emphasis on a strategic layer with teeth (big, nasty, pointy ones, in fact).  But it was still primarily an action experience set in a strategy-game context.  Though there having those strategic teeth has actually been a damper for some folks who really were way more interested in the action.

In both cases the addition of the strategy layer was intended to avoid it being "just another platformer" (or something not far off).  And I think that, as far as it went, that goal was met.  They're unique games with their own niches, if not as large ones as we'd been hoping.


TLF, however, is primarily a strategic game.  And its strategy layer is already very unique.  There's not really a "just another (insert genre here)" comparison that would be levelled against it, except perhaps "just another 4X space game" but that wouldn't survive even the most cursory inspection of the game due to the scope of the game-world and the nature of the player's agency.

So why does it even need a layer in a different genre?

What goal is achieved?  I see some, mainly in adding appeal for those who like action.  But even if we can deliver pinball-action as opposed to bullet-hell-action (and I think either is achievable)... what does that get us?

Sure, the Total War series is enriched by the combination it contains, but they had a great deal more resources to find and polish those experiences.

How much though, do those resources matter?  In the end, it's the design at the heart of it that makes something like Total War work.  Sure, they had alot of resources, but I'm guessing that alot of those additional resources went into the huge amount of things like graphics and sound and technical engine, rather than huge amounts of it going JUST into the design.

Something like Actraiser is another good example.  That game COULD have just been a one-genre thing.  Maybe just the platforming by itself.... that developer, at that time, very DEFINITELY had the skill to pull off a game that would be exactly that.  Instead, they smashed two not-even-close-to-being-similar genres together.   They thought it out well, and as a result... it worked, and is considered a classic.  I can actually think of quite alot of games that do this exact thing, and end up being very good when all is said and done.

There's always that possibility of someone NOT liking it because "Well, I like THIS part, so why is this OTHER part even here?!?".  But going the other way, there's also a chance of someone saying "Well, this game is just this bit here... it wears thin after awhile, there's nothing to break it up at all".  I'm often one of the ones saying that second thing.  Something like Endless Space is a good example.... supposed to be a pure 4X game, which it is, but by far the single most common thing I hear about it is "Why cant we have full tactical combat like an RTS or something?  All we do is activate a fight and sorta watch it happen!"


I could be wrong, but I personally think that the game is currently headed in a pretty good direction. 


Though, based on what you said, I'm guessing you're not into this particular idea as much?  The bit with the action-ish side of the game?

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #61 on: March 18, 2014, 11:07:46 AM »
Though, based on what you said, I'm guessing you're not into this particular idea as much?  The bit with the action-ish side of the game?
I enjoy the combat, actually.  I just don't enjoy trying to sell games "uphill" against factors like "this only appeals to an intersection of two very different audiences".

If our stuff isn't unique (and even novel) to a large degree then there's not really much point.  But there's a threshold of novelty beyond which it increases development costs (largely due to the number of iterations required) and decreases the chance that people will understand it enough to want to play it.
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Offline chemical_art

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #62 on: March 18, 2014, 01:44:19 PM »
I've got nothing against the action, but i do agree that the game is a unique strategy one one its own. Making the game more niche by narrowing it into an action / strategy game seems unnecessary.


It would be like if AI wars had champions in an attempt to appeal to the MOBARBORASSArowd...and making an e even larger pArt of the game in order to compensate for refleet times...rather then making salvage. I am thinking adding action elements in combat rather then expanding the strategy parts is not good for atlf.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 01:49:09 PM by chemical_art »
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #63 on: March 18, 2014, 07:27:34 PM »
Just dropping in to say that I'm not minimizing the skill it takes to play bullet hell games. I'm fully aware of the thought and skill that goes into it, but there's also a physical reflex aspect to it. It requires frantic controls. I don't like frantic control games. And the way that I play pinball, it's controlled chaos for the most part, and the hectic moments are far between (and thus, more enjoyable when they do happen).


Valley was an action game, and I didn't like it. A lot of people did, great for them. This one is slowly being eclipsed by the combat (really, have we had a single strategic discussion yet beyond BP griping?). That's great for the people who like that.
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Offline Teal_Blue

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #64 on: March 18, 2014, 08:58:24 PM »
Just dropping in to say that I'm not minimizing the skill it takes to play bullet hell games. I'm fully aware of the thought and skill that goes into it, but there's also a physical reflex aspect to it. It requires frantic controls. I don't like frantic control games. And the way that I play pinball, it's controlled chaos for the most part, and the hectic moments are far between (and thus, more enjoyable when they do happen).


Valley was an action game, and I didn't like it. A lot of people did, great for them. This one is slowly being eclipsed by the combat (really, have we had a single strategic discussion yet beyond BP griping?). That's great for the people who like that.


Hopefully if we can get through the combat portion soon, we may have as much as a month to talk about the strategy and the larger game.  :)


Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #65 on: March 18, 2014, 09:49:17 PM »
This one is slowly being eclipsed by the combat (really, have we had a single strategic discussion yet beyond BP griping?). That's great for the people who like that.

I think this is more because the combat has had more problems and opinion is a bit more divided on what it "should" be like, so it's been getting more discussion because there are opposing viewpoints to have discussion with.

The strategic side hasn't really shown much need for any drastic overhauls, has generally been behaving the way it "should", and everyone more or less agrees on what it "should" look like and how it should work.
As such there isn't quite as much to discuss there, most problems/suggestions just go tickets without really making a stop at the forums for discussion.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #66 on: March 18, 2014, 10:06:36 PM »
Quote

The strategic side hasn't really shown much need for any drastic overhauls, has generally been behaving the way it "should", and everyone more or less agrees on what it "should" look like and how it should work.
As such there isn't quite as much to discuss there, most problems/suggestions just go tickets without really making a stop at the forums for discussion.


How is it possible that the strategic layer has zero questions or attention needed, given the main mechanism of affecting the strategic layer is through combat? Having played it, I don't agree at all. That's why we're still working on things like BP and racial reactions to different events.
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Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #67 on: March 18, 2014, 10:41:38 PM »
How is it possible that the strategic layer has zero questions or attention needed, given the main mechanism of affecting the strategic layer is through combat? Having played it, I don't agree at all. That's why we're still working on things like BP and racial reactions to different events.

I don't mean that the strategic layer doesn't need attention as it definitely does, what I mean that most of the "issues" there haven't been the kind that have much if any debate attached to them, at least not yet.
That's probably going to change as more of us get farther along with the strategy game and more "balancing" issues start coming up that would involve more back and forth discussion.

Yes we need more non-combat ways to get BP, that's already in there and in the patch notes and I don't think anyone is going to make the case that it shouldn't be so.

Glancing through the Mantis there's other stuff like "add the dead Hydral homeworld as a location", "better explanation of Hull Techs is needed", "the way target race affects BP price needs to be clearer", "act of cowardice is too punishing", "add a log of previous interactions", "races shouldn't be able to wage war if not spacefaring", and so on (not the exact wording, but you get the idea).
I could be wrong about this, but I don't really see many of these yet that someone would say "no" to, so I'm not too surprised they just went straight to Mantis tickets without being discussed very much.

I'm not saying any of that is any less important, in fact I think the strategy layer is much more important to the game than the combat.
I'm just saying that up to this point (and again I don't think that will stay the case) most suggestions and concerns about that aspect of the game have been of the very straightforward "just do it" sort and wouldn't have been subjected to much back and forth discussion beyond "yes, that would be nice, of course, indeed, I agree, yes, yes" before going straight to Mantis ticket and then on to patch notes.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2014, 10:55:57 PM by Professor Paul1290 »

Offline Misery

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Re: New version .806 now out! (super duper combat updates!)
« Reply #68 on: March 18, 2014, 10:46:13 PM »
This one is slowly being eclipsed by the combat (really, have we had a single strategic discussion yet beyond BP griping?). That's great for the people who like that.

I think this is more because the combat has had more problems and opinion is a bit more divided on what it "should" be like, so it's been getting more discussion because there are opposing viewpoints to have discussion with.

The strategic side hasn't really shown much need for any drastic overhauls, has generally been behaving the way it "should", and everyone more or less agrees on what it "should" look like and how it should work.
As such there isn't quite as much to discuss there, most problems/suggestions just go tickets without really making a stop at the forums for discussion.

Aye, this.

Most of my own balance concerns are related to the map stuff, actually, but the combat stuff was in the unique situation of needing immediate and explosive changes.   Whereas the map stuff, by comparison, just doesnt have all that many problems right now.  And what problems are there, are already known (such as the lack of enough "friendly" options, which to me seems the biggest issue right now). 

The biggest problems with the combat, as well as the necessity of a non-combat playthrough option, seem to have been dealt with though, so probably not so much of an issue from here on out.


Just dropping in to say that I'm not minimizing the skill it takes to play bullet hell games. I'm fully aware of the thought and skill that goes into it, but there's also a physical reflex aspect to it. It requires frantic controls. I don't like frantic control games. And the way that I play pinball, it's controlled chaos for the most part, and the hectic moments are far between (and thus, more enjoyable when they do happen).


Valley was an action game, and I didn't like it. A lot of people did, great for them. This one is slowly being eclipsed by the combat (really, have we had a single strategic discussion yet beyond BP griping?). That's great for the people who like that.

Oh yeah, I know, I didn't think you were minimizing the skill or something, heh.   I just think alot of people get the wrong impressions about it.  Heck, even the idea of it being all physical reflex.... it aint.  Which, actually, is my biggest problem with it.  I'm best at things that ARE about reaction speed and such.  But that sort?  Well, I'll put it this way:  The reason I use an arcade stick for that sort of game (when I can) is because it forces me to slow down.  If I dont slow down.... which is something I find difficult to do.... I'll die that much more often.   Alot more often, actually.  As such my skill in that genre isnt even close to where I'd like it to be.

That it's more calculated than it looks is one of those things that's hard to explain though, since it tends to look otherwise to anyone watching it.  My pinball analogy remains though, because it's the same idea;  if you get too excited when playing pinball (happens to me during multiball most of all), you're going to make alot of mistakes.  Pinball has this air about it that makes it seem like it's all about reacting really fast to prevent the ball from going down, but in reality it's very.... calculated.  The shmups are like that too.  ....usually.  It of course varies with the game and developer.  I can think of a few that really DO get mindless...