Author Topic: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)  (Read 2062 times)

Offline Cyborg

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Player agency is defined by a player's control over the way a game plays out. It is so much more than controlling units or issuing orders. Here are some examples of player agency:

1) cities skylines: player agency is expressed in the actual design of the city and how the city grows and appears over time is the unique result of player expression. That kind of uniqueness, and the way the city plays out, is tailored to the player and a unique result.

2) minecraft: Yes, I hate minecraft comparisons also, but I'm going to do it anyways. Player agency is expressed by the architectural and artistic expressions of the player by mining and placing blocks, redstone creations, player housing, etc. It's indisputable that everyone's world is so unique and plays out the expressions of the player with nearly every action.

3) dominions 4: A lesser-known title, but a great example of designing an RTS that has such incredible customization and ways to affect the world that there is uniqueness and control as to the way the war plays out every time, such as customizing the attributes of your civilization.

So now that I have given three examples, I want to talk about very simple ways that you can have the game play out uniquely under the control of the player.

1) Turret placement. This is an easy one. The player is able to create designs and strategies that are a direct reflection of the players' expression. In recent years, this has been optimized by the player and could use a refresh, but that's a different discussion. I just wanted to show a positive example of player agency that we already do now in AI war classic.

2) Smoke and debris. These are dynamically generated based on actual unique battles, so the way a battle looks and the aftermath reflects the unique expression of the player.

3) Ship customization, base customization.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2016, 10:05:37 PM »
Opinion answers based on what I know and think I know (grain of salt please).  I, in no way have any say on most of this :)

1) Turrets are getting a facelift and the effective battlefield should in theory get larger on individual planets.  This is likely to have some effect.

2) This seems like perfect non-sim level stuff and that's squarely with Chris.  I think it's a neat idea, for what it's worth.

3) No clue to what extent you are looking for customization here.  If it's visual, I honestly don't know.  You should be able to create ships in XML to have custom ships there.  Base is a very broad term and definitely needs expanding upon if I'm going to understand what you're looking for here.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Chthon

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2016, 11:27:15 PM »
I would like turrets to be something automatically created over time around planets under control. Something the player doesn't really focus on themselves, and done with resources that are excess. Not all turrets mind you. Just the stock type turrets that you like to have at every station. Mini Fortresses as well.

Unlockable turrets still should be a player choice on where and when you place them.

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2016, 12:10:48 AM »
Aren't fortresses gone?

Offline Cinth

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Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Chthon

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2016, 09:23:16 AM »
Aren't fortresses gone?
Yes  :'(
I don't see specific mention of fortresses at all in the design document. I assumed that if they were removed, it would say so. If it does somewhere and I missed it, please let me know what page, because I would like to know why.

Fortresses were more than just defensive structures, they were facilities to help build or repair ships.

Offline Tridus

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2016, 10:29:05 AM »
Aren't fortresses gone?
Yes  :'(

Oh that's super lame. :(

Something to mod back in.

Offline Cinth

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2016, 03:51:00 PM »
I don't see specific mention of fortresses at all in the design document. I assumed that if they were removed, it would say so. If it does somewhere and I missed it, please let me know what page, because I would like to know why.

Fortresses were more than just defensive structures, they were facilities to help build or repair ships.

They aren't there for players or the AI.  In the main, they just giant guard posts for both players and the AI.  Those secondary functions are now all controlled in the Planet Management stuff.

Oh that's super lame. :(

I didn't fight over them.  Way to many people find AI forts annoying in Classic (not to mention Supers). 
Let us gather here today to mourn the loss of our friend..
Spoiler for Hidden:
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2016, 11:30:49 PM »
Useless spoiler was useless. ;)

Offline Cinth

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2016, 11:37:44 PM »
Useless spoiler was useless. ;)

I wasn't trying to hide that screen shot.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2016, 11:46:06 PM »
I wasn't trying to hide that screen shot.

Fiiiiiine

Offline Misery

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2016, 09:03:18 PM »
Wait, what?  Forts are gone?

Somehow, it wont be quite the same without those.  I thought it was the Superforts that everyone hated so much?

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2016, 09:18:06 PM »
Wait, what?  Forts are gone?

Somehow, it wont be quite the same without those.  I thought it was the Superforts that everyone hated so much?
They're going away because they're too similar to guardposts on the AI's side of things, while they're a poor investment on the player's side of things. Prime cutting material.

Offline Chthon

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2016, 02:28:02 PM »
Wait, what?  Forts are gone?

Somehow, it wont be quite the same without those.  I thought it was the Superforts that everyone hated so much?
They're going away because they're too similar to guardposts on the AI's side of things, while they're a poor investment on the player's side of things. Prime cutting material.
Sounds like they just need a redesign.

Still, I don't see any mention of them being cut in the design document. It does have a section for stuff that will not return after all to explain why they won't be returning, just no mention of fortresses.

I personally think that fortresses were useless simply because of their inability to fight bombers of all things. While bombers should be effective on them, I don't think the nerf to their damage vs. bombers was quite warranted at that extreme.

What if instead of the massive number of flame cannons that they had, they instead were able to launch waves of short lived fighters? This would make you need fleet superiority to take one out, not just a crap ton of bombers. It's what I usually did with the modular fortresses anyways. You could have rank 1 launch tactical superiority fighters, rank 2 launch siege ships as well as the former, and rank 3 launch mini-capital style ships (In smaller numbers) as well as the first two. I would leave bombers and specialists out of the main 3 ranks, though rank IV and V if it makes an appearance might launch some unique specialists as well. Maybe give the player the ability to choose what kind.

Edit: I just noticed that the design document mentions in 12 places, "fortresses" and talks about them still being in the game. Where is this rumor that they are not coming from?
« Last Edit: October 09, 2016, 02:29:37 PM by Chthon »

Offline Cinth

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Re: Player Agency (Briefly, the unique experience created by the player)
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2016, 12:58:51 AM »
I don't see any mention of them being cut in the design document.
I'm going to point out here that Chris has been incredibly busy prepping for the KS launch.  Final polish on the DD will come after that's done.
Quote from: keith.lamothe
Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.