Poll

What shall we do about equipment? (Choose up to 5)

Nothing, I like it the way it is.
0 (0%)
It needs is a better on-screen indicator.
18 (29.5%)
It needs to last longer.
12 (19.7%)
I should be finding it more frequently.
4 (6.6%)
I don't think we need a collectible-type mechanic at all.
1 (1.6%)
I think it needs more substantial revisions, but I don't know what.
7 (11.5%)
I think it needs more substantial revisions, and I have an idea I've posted below.
2 (3.3%)
We should do the mercenary coins for purification thing linked in that other thread!
8 (13.1%)
It needs to explain what each piece does!
9 (14.8%)

Total Members Voted: 25

Author Topic: The future of equipment poll.  (Read 2619 times)

Offline x4000

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The future of equipment poll.
« on: January 29, 2013, 01:05:50 PM »
So, equipment... vote above. ;)
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Offline madcow

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2013, 01:12:28 PM »
Definitely option 2 if nothing else.

The disposable nature of equipment is fine with me, while I have a few ideas to tinker with it (basically a Mario 3 on snes system where you can save it and use it from strategic map) I don't think it's needed or potentially even desired.

Basically I wouldn't be opposed to a rehaul, but I think the current system is fine and doesn't nessarily need one (not tested frequency of equipment though) but we need to be able to tell hits left on the HUD, and the effect of an equipped item when we hit escape.

Edit: removing equipment would be a mistake. While I don't like grindy extremes on it, being able to find power ups and items is an enjoyable part of platforming.  The disposable nature of equipment means its fun but doesn't feel like a grind to get items. Easy come easy go. But like I said, I'm not so strongly tied to it that I would be against a change - just not complete removal.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 01:23:56 PM by madcow »

Offline nas1m

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2013, 01:29:45 PM »
...

The disposable nature of equipment is fine with me, while I have a few ideas to tinker with it (basically a Mario 3 on snes system where you can save it and use it from strategic map)

...

Now that is an idea I like *a lot*.
Kudos madcow!
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Offline madcow

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2013, 01:35:12 PM »
Heh. I can see good and bad to that idea. Which is why I only half-heartedly tossed it out there ;)

Offline x4000

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2013, 01:50:08 PM »
Interesting early results -- thanks.

I've put some more thoughts in a separate thread for one alternative: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,12367.0.html
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Offline x4000

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2013, 02:09:06 PM »
I've updated the poll to include another option for the merc coins for purification idea linked above.  Also, I fixed it so that you can now change your vote if you've changed your mind about anything on this.
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Offline Panopticon

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 02:13:44 PM »
I'm all for the Mercenary coins with the new merc mechanic you outlined in the other thread.

I tend to skip equipment. The main reason is it's an unknown quantity with the possibility of some really negative side effects. Even effects that would be positive with some Mage Classes become detrimental when combined with others. One piece of gear I picked up while using Illuminoligist was causing me to damage myself with light rocket. It would fire two shots instead of one, which sounds great but one shot was firing at a downward angle, so I was taking splash damage if I wasn't careful about firing. I find that sort of thing frustrating, I like consistency in my abilities.

Offline x4000

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 02:18:52 PM »
I find that sort of thing frustrating, I like consistency in my abilities.

I very much agree; that's one of the reasons I'm leaning toward getting rid of equipment, too.
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Offline Billick

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 04:38:14 PM »
I like the equipment, but I think the biggest problem is that you can't see what the heck it does.  You have to kind of guess.  I don't think that's a very fun mechanic for anything that's not a roguelike.  I want to see what the item I have now does (if I have one at all), and what I'm picking up does, and be able to make a quick decision of what I should go with.  I would also favor either removing negative traits on equipment, or make them much less common.  Also there are way too many achievements related to equipment for something that's such a small part of the game. 

I think the mercenary coin for tile purification idea has some merit though.  Maybe make equipment and coins spawn about equally frequently?

Offline x4000

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 04:41:05 PM »
I've added that as a poll option -- being able to see what each piece does.
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Offline Misery

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 07:40:55 PM »
Ooooooooookay.   I havent been awake very long, so forgive me if this doesnt make much sense.   Logged in, had a look at the forums here, saw the other thread with the funky purification idea.

I'll go into a few things here.


First of all, the merc coins themselves.   They werent a bad idea.... they gave the player something to collect, which is never a bad thing in a platformer.   Items in a game like that dont always have to be awesome powerups or stuff like that, even very simple things that have minor effects can help.   Look at normal coins in the Mario games;  an individual coin does next to nothing, as you need a full 100 of them to have them do anything.   But, in the earliest games particularly, this still WORKED.... these were something for the player to find and grab, which made things that much more engaging to them, added more "reward" to various areas without actually breaking anything, and further rewarded diligent players for picking up as many of them as possible and not missing too many. 

The problem was what the merc coins DID.   Right from the start, I didn't see how they could really be brought to work as the idea of an AI partner just sounded a bit iffy to start with.  The idea that I had had was a little different.   Like the purifying idea, I've had the thoughts of taking the merc coins, and having them be something that is used not on the platforming bits, but on the strategic map.  Not for purifying though.  My idea would be, to have the mercs be able to perform special tasks on the worldmap that you cannot do yourself.   For example, if you REALLY wanted to re-build a special building for some reason, perhaps the way to do it would be to pay the mercs to do it.   Or all sorts of other potential ideas.  The merc coins could almost be the player's answer to Demonaica's spells.

The purifying idea, I would be somewhat against.  It'd sorta be messing with something that I dont think is broken to begin with.   I've posted my issues with the strategic game in that other thread, but those were all purely balance issues..... not "I think this mechanic needs changing" issues.   And a mechanic like that *would* lead to grinding, which to me is never a good thing.  The coins in general might lead to that, really.  There would have to be some sort of thing in place where coins only appear in corrupted tiles, and you only KEEP them if you pop the wind generator.


As equipment goes, I really like the idea of it, and I think they work nicely with the enhanced duration.    The problem with them, as I see it, is that some of them are kinda baffling.   It can be tough to figure out what something is doing, and this points out a couple of problems to me.   First, not being able to tell what something like a powerup is even doing is going to be frustrating to players.   But secondly.... if I cant even tell what the thing is doing, then it cant be all that strong/useful.   Meaning, basically, that while there are some nice effects in the equipment system, some of them are extraneous and could simply be removed, or enhanced to matter more.   The negative ones.... I dont think added much to the game to start with.   Not when you have the names visible before grabbing them.  The "negative equipment" idea is one usually reserved for Roguelikes, and this is because you often CANT see even what an item is called until you do something or other with it.   But there's also the idea of frustration here again.... this is a pretty hard game to begin with, and I think it'd just annoy players to reach an out of the way treasure box, only to have it make them move like a brick in sludge until they take a pile of hits.


So, a few things with that.   First, as I said, take the more confusing effects and either change them, or make them stronger, so they matter.  Second, tell the player just what the thing is doing.  This knowledge is the sort of thing that would actually be factoring into how they decide to approach each combat situation, and it would add even more strategy to this.... but not if they cant tell what it's doing!  Third, remove the negative ones.   They just dont add anything to it.  Fourth, definitely give indicators on the screen of how much longer the thing is going to last.   I've so far found myself occaisionally pausing the game just to check that number, when I had something useful on.   Fifth, dont change the "one at a time" rule, as I think that's an important one, and leads to more of the important decision-making kind of idea.  Dont change the bit where treasure chests tend to appear in groups, either.  Again, having the player actively make a choice when they appear, not a bad thing.   If you can do these things, and keep the effects varied and interesting, I think this would add alot to the platforming.   The equipment doesnt need to last huge amounts of time.... they ARE essentially powerups.   And in their current implementation, they'd work nicely with the "concentration" idea, in that the player is rewarded for not crashing into enemy bullets and such.

I would also be against the idea of having piles of these that you use from the world map.   Sorta interferes with other mechanics that are already in place.    From the world map, you already choose your spell set to use.... but there's also the perks, as well, and plenty of incentive already to collect those (and it's also a mechanic that also just works very well already), so that you have that many more options and such that you can choose to take into a given area.  Dont downplay these by adding another version of that idea.... keep the equipment strictly one at at a time, and done entirely in the platforming bits.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:49:33 PM by Misery »

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 07:44:38 PM »
Having thought about this for a little, I'm really starting to warm to Madcow's power up approach. Much like nas1m on the other thread, the only time I really enjoyed collecting a piece of loot was when it was one of those ones that gave me an extra shot projectile. That's the only instance that I'd picked up a piece of equipment and thought "cool!". All the other ones, health buffs, speed boosts, broken ankles just seemed worthless. Even if the effect were permanent, most of this stuff is just duplicating what perks already do.

So I propose this. Loot should come with a single special effect, callable at will, but only once per turn. Let's start small, with just five of these special effects. Off the top of my head, here's a few:

1) Mario star invulnerability for a limited duration (implementation should be feasible)
2) A Gradius style forcefield that takes a set amount of damage (implementation seems feasible)
3) Ghouls and Ghosts dagger style clone summon which mirrors your attack movements
4) The aforementioned multi shot
5) A Smart Bomb ...

With just these five specials, you can lootify them to create multiple variants. For example by randomizing the duration, the colour of the forcefields, the type of shot your clone fires (use existing spell types), different spread of multi-shots etcetera to create some really cool power up loot. Who wouldn't treasure the Exotic Caestus of Green Aegis + 4?

Not only would this be cool, but you could actually make a feature out of it further down the road by adding more and more special types and variants which would help prevent the game from getting stale. The special would appear somewhere on the HUD much like in Mario and would be callable either with a separate button or by holding down ammo attack for three seconds.

That's about it I think, you get the idea. Really like the sounds of this actually, just hope it would even be feasible within three weeks...

Offline x4000

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #12 on: January 29, 2013, 07:45:40 PM »
Yep, for now I'm starting with better clarity all around for the existing equipment, and then we'll go from there.  We might pare some out, we'll see.

As with Misery, I'm really not keen on the powerup approach of keeping them on teh world map, for the reasons I mentioned before.
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Offline Misery

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2013, 07:51:25 PM »
Ok see I was going to edit my previous post and add something, but then ninjas swooped in and posted during THAT, so I'll post it seperately here instead:

"And on the note of having interfering mechanics, a brief example to illustrate my point:  Again, the coins from the Mario games.   They worked the best in the earliest game, the very first.  Extra lives were hard to get, and 1-up mushrooms were very rare and ALWAYS hidden, and the game was also just more challenging than later games in the series.   So when you hit that magic 100 mark.... it was that much more special, and it had that much more EFFECT.    But look at what happens in later games in the series.  Even just at, say, Super Mario World.   By that game, 1-ups became COMMON.  The special green mushrooms were pretty easy to find, and you even had little minigames that sorta farted lots of them out at you!  You could get LOTS of extra lives.   This, I always thought, interfered directly with the coin mechanic.   Suddenly they werent as interesting, important, or fun to collect, because you were already getting a zillion extra lives from other sources.  The mechanics had begun to interfere with each other, and lead to making BOTH mechanics (both ways of getting the extra lives) seem less interesting/important.   It's always been a problem I've had with the series for quite a long while now, and I think it's a good example of why to make sure NOT to do that kind of thing."


Offline Pepisolo

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Re: The future of equipment poll.
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2013, 08:13:10 PM »
Quote
As with Misery, I'm really not keen on the powerup approach of keeping them on teh world map, for the reasons I mentioned before.

Yeah, one at a time should be fine.