Author Topic: Proposal: remove metal  (Read 1982 times)

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #30 on: September 12, 2016, 03:24:58 PM »
I wrote that post before reading Chris's one. I let it there for the record because I think it has some merits. And it's fun, also. ;D

Spoiler for Hidden:
Wait a minute. Is "netflix time" a true problem? It never was for me. Well, I got frustrated because I was such a noob and threw my fleet in early game (or bought tons of goodies from Zenith Traders), but if I play well enough, I should never be metal-out more than a few minutes at a time, and if I do I just speed the game up to pass two minutes in a few dozen of seconds. We're far from the need of firing up Netflix for 20 minutes of accelerated gameplay.

Opposite solution: fleetwipe is bad. If you do it, you got reprisal in your face. If you're out of metal after wipe and reprisal, the AI pressures you and you will die before the end of the advertising on Netflix. I envision a balance where metal is like hp with regen: if you have tons of it, you can be reckless, throw your fleet in big battle and push forward; if you're low you need to be cautious and not loose your fleet (even less throwing it in a big fight). If you're out of metal, then it's like being 1hp and the AI should finish you off mercilessly. You can capture metal-rich planets to increase your "hp regen", you can build eco stations to increase your maximum hp, but in the end, if your refleet would take you 10 minutes, the AI must finish you.

I feel the conversation is leaning toward grafted gameplay to entertain the player during 3 minutes of accelerated refleeting. Or then embrace it! Make a match-3 game that appears when players are at 0 metal. Or better: make an embed Netflix browser in the game's UI! Frankly, ditching nebulae because they are "disconnected from the main gameplay" and then envisaging a planetary-ground-combat? Who got that shitty idea?!?

 :D :D :D
I hope you read that with the right tone. I'm dead laughing on my keyboard, right now. My tone was obviously humorous, but I guess it's better to say it out and loud: I was joking. (And I am the moron who get the "shitty" idea.)

Well, more seriously. Up to "grafted", I was mostly serious. I really think this conversation is becoming a patch over a patch, and I don't feel it's a good design practice. That said, if you are truly enticed with that idea of planetary combat, I won't turn you down. The diplomacy ideas were interesting (even if I don't like them). But please, do them for good reasons. Be sure you're tackling the right problem. And you probably are and I'm out of reality with my vision of the "netflix" problem.
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #31 on: September 12, 2016, 03:29:10 PM »
I think what I'd like to do is actually include a secondary battle layer to the AI where you can actually see kind of a holographic view of the AI's systems and then mess with them.  I'm actually even MORE tempted to make it a command-line interface because that makes it feel waaaay more hacker-y.  But also possibly a lot less accessible.
Omagadiwantit!

Ahem. I think this is a brilliant idea. I would point Dusker for a very interesting kind of indirect control and information gathering.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline Tridus

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #32 on: September 12, 2016, 03:30:29 PM »
Hacking is great and should come back in some form. If that's the "this is what you do while refleeting" option, that'd be great. It has so many possibilities for messing with the AI and it thematically fits flawlessly.

The implementation has to change, because it was based last time heavily on taking a unit into AI territory, and you basically had to have a fleet handy to protect it once the hacking response got rolling. Some kind of alternate thing you do while refleeting would be great.

And yes, a command line would be awesome... and utterly baffling to people who have never used one. :) Some of UI is preferable for that reason.

Offline x4000

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #33 on: September 12, 2016, 03:31:24 PM »
I think what I'd like to do is actually include a secondary battle layer to the AI where you can actually see kind of a holographic view of the AI's systems and then mess with them.  I'm actually even MORE tempted to make it a command-line interface because that makes it feel waaaay more hacker-y.  But also possibly a lot less accessible.
Omagadiwantit!

Ahem. I think this is a brilliant idea. I would point Dusker for a very interesting kind of indirect control and information gathering.

Yep, I very much enjoyed that game.  Erik did their PR and marketing, and I talked with the guy some a long while prior to the release of the game and had an early build.  Really good dev.  I definitely don't want to step on his toes with that.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #34 on: September 12, 2016, 03:32:43 PM »
Programming for real in a video game... pretty sure it's not going to be very popular. If it was in the first game, maybe... but it's not.
About that part too, one of the issues with nebulas was that you had to look away from the main screen for 30 minutes. Command lines would do just that. Current hacking mechanics, while perfectible, leaves you staring at the main game screen with your fleet on it. Or a beachhead. Still, it's a mini-game, "in the game". Not sure I'm being clear here.

Crystal simply paying for "AI hacking actions" has the issues that Captain Jack speaks of above. Pause, pay, unpause, and watch. It's possibly a nice system but it won't fill netflix time. And, it seems like a lot of actions would be needed when you need to use your fleets.


@about Dusker... it kinds of sums up why it's a possible bad idea. Caters to a very specific crowd.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 03:37:29 PM by kasnavada »

Offline x4000

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #35 on: September 12, 2016, 03:34:59 PM »
And yes, a command line would be awesome... and utterly baffling to people who have never used one. :) Some of UI is preferable for that reason.

I'm kind of thinking of two possible paths that crystal could take, and compete with one another: both non-military (in the main sense).  One could be in helping the background factions regrow (basically paying for their infrastructure, etc).  This would be a really easy sort of interface, since it's so very much in line with the main game.

The other thing would be hacking.  Keeping that CLI-only could be something that keeps the mystique of that up, but basically allows people who are intimidated by that to instead go the route of helping the other human civs instead.

Putting those two at odds strikes me as a good balance thing, but we'll see.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #36 on: September 12, 2016, 03:42:43 PM »
one of the issues with nebulas was that you had to look away from the main screen for 30 minutes. Command lines would do just that.


That's a really good point.  However, I felt like the hacking could be done in a side window that doesn't block your whole screen.  That's one of the benefits of that sort of system with a CLI.

Current hacking mechanics, while perfectible, leaves you staring at the main game screen with your fleet on it. Or a beachhead. Still, it's a mini-game, "in the game". Not sure I'm being clear here.

You are being clear, yeah.  It might be best that there is simply a group of crystal-based ships that exist in an alternate plane, so to speak.  The "hacking" concept could actually be represented via ship combat that is holographic and displayed right on the main map.  In Magic: The Gathering I think they had something like Shadow units or something like that (it was at the end of my years playing) where basically there was a class of units that could not see or be seen by regular units.  That made kind of two battlefields.  Ugly in the MTG universe IMO because of how many cards are limited (flying already did the same thing but better, and landwalk was already similar but annoying), but could work well here.  Mainly because it could be "offensive only."

Crystal simply paying for "AI hacking actions" has the issues that Captain Jack speaks of above. Pause, pay, unpause, and watch. It's possibly a nice system but it won't fill netflix time. And, it seems like a lot of actions would be needed when you need to use your fleets.

Yeah, understood on that.  I think the idea of a hologram hacking fleet that makes this visual AND on the main map, but not even possible to involve the main fleets at all, would work well.  The AI has its hologram ships, you have yours, and they do their thing in the "network space," so to speak, and use different resources on your part (crystal, and no energy or fuel probably), and otherwise work like any other ships.

@about Dusker... it kinds of sums up why it's a bad idea. Caters to a very specific crowd.

25k customers according to SteamSpy, so that's not too shabby at all.  AI War has more than 12x that, but it's been out 7 years.
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Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #37 on: September 12, 2016, 03:50:54 PM »
I'm really excited about that hacking / CLI stuff. Like really.

I realize I not always use all my hacking; sometimes I just win without it because it take time (move fleet to destination, wait and defend, ...) that I'm better using elsewhere (carving through next CSG / AI Homeworld, etc). So I guess that new CLI hacking stuff could be a bit like that: you can win without it but it could be part of a playstyle or required only at high level of challenge. (Same thing for missiles: I spent a lot of 7/7 games without feeling confident / forced to use them.)

Also, I feel the scout part of AI War Classic isn't that interesting. I recently went "no fog of war / complete visibility" because I was struggling at 9/9 and I found the game much more enjoyable because I didn't made bad decisions because of limited visibility and was able to plan my overall conquest and wisely chose my first target from the start. Well, that's a bit disconnected to my point, but I wanted to say that I think your idea to use the CLI for scouting is awesome!
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Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
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Offline skrutsch

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #38 on: September 12, 2016, 03:51:25 PM »
Then we bounce back and forth between two overall things:
1. Attacking and defending with fleets, during which time crystal and metal accumulate.
2. Doing "stuff with crystal and the things crystal paid for," during which time refleeting happens.

My first thought:  Ick.

My second thought:  Major feature creep, loss of focus.   To pull this off, the "stuff with crystal..." part would have to be
1) About just as Fun! as the attack/defend fleet part already is/will be (because if it ain't you're going to get criticized for not focusing on the fun stuff), and
2) About just as vital/tied into AIW2 as the attack/defend fleet part is/will be (because if it ain't you're going to get criticized for not focusing on the important stuff).  As y'all know, you win AIW Classic with your victorious fleet or lose via enemy fleet.  If your fleets are rebuilding, you took a shot at winning and failed (or you have a lousy strategy :) ), so it's either non-vital non-fleety netflix time OR it's time for the AI to take its best shot at winning -- if that shot fails, then crank the speed up to 25x since the AI needs netflix time too. :)

There is an inherent tension between good strategy and having the hugest possible battles.  I'm much more into the strategy part.  (My iMac is so old and slow, gate raids feel like huge battles, heh.)  Massing your fleet for a titanic battle is usually BAD strategy. Since a good strategy game should punish you for using bad strategy, if you lose all your troops in a titanic battle you should lose the game, or at least have a strong chance of losing.  (If you are losing a titanic battle, use good strategy, namely retreat, defend and regroup.)

Refleeting is an indication of player strategic failure.  Don't make refleeting easier, make it fatal!

Of course, those who enjoy the titanic battles more than the strategy will see things differently.

The crystal/support idea could well be a good "germ" of an idea, but right now it really feels like an "idea for maybe later" to me, like an expansion that encourages EVEN BIGGER BATTLES or some such.

AIW II is going to be so awesome!!  Chris, thanks for encouraging us to communicate with you.

Offline Pumpkin

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #39 on: September 12, 2016, 03:55:36 PM »
Refleeting is an indication of player strategic failure.  Don't make refleeting easier, make it fatal!
Big neon YES!

I envision a balance where metal is like hp with regen: if you have tons of it, you can be reckless, throw your fleet in big battle and push forward; if you're low you need to be cautious and not loose your fleet (even less throwing it in a big fight). If you're out of metal, then it's like being 1hp and the AI should finish you off mercilessly.
Please excuse my english: I'm not a native speaker. Don't hesitate to correct me.
Pumpkin>> Do I need another cure about paranoia on top of overexcitement?
Mal>> We play AI War, enthusiasm and paranoia are both required!

Offline kasnavada

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #40 on: September 12, 2016, 04:06:20 PM »
Quote
25k customers according to SteamSpy, so that's not too shabby at all.  AI War has more than 12x that, but it's been out 7 years.

Yes, its been successful. That's 25k customer interested by developping "mostly", with a bit of exploration and rogue like mechanics. Caters to developpers first (or would-be ones), and then rogue-like fans. That means that 99% or more of their customers are ok with the concept of developping in it.

For AI war, you now need to find people interested by developping and grand strategy (tower defense- ish) games. But, people are going to be interested in the "grand strategy" part first, and that's already a smaller base than rogue likes. Then, some of them are possibly ok with developping. I have no clue how many. I just doubt it's many.

From what I can tell, you're aiming for about 20k sales in kickstarter, which is more or less the total dusker player base. Sounds a bit risky to me. On a "smaller note", I can dev myself, so, I won't feel left out of a feature. The idea certainly fits the game. Not sure how the percentage that don't dev will appreciate the idea. Unless, "most" simpler actions can be taken care of via a visual interface, then the "opposition" I provide in this post crumbles.

Yeah, understood on that.  I think the idea of a hologram hacking fleet that makes this visual AND on the main map, but not even possible to involve the main fleets at all, would work well.  The AI has its hologram ships, you have yours, and they do their thing in the "network space," so to speak, and use different resources on your part (crystal, and no energy or fuel probably), and otherwise work like any other ships.

That is interesting, but somewhat strange.

Offline Draco18s

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2016, 04:13:23 PM »
Programming for real in a video game... pretty sure it's not going to be very popular. If it was in the first game, maybe... but it's not.

There are a couple of games that do this.  TIS-100 explicitly does at a very low level while Gitchspace uses a visual language, but again, still programming.

Then there's Hack 'n Slash which limits what you can do and how you can interact with it, but a friend of mine managed to locate the section of the game's code (that is, his character was standing inside it) that let you edit the game's code (codeception?).  At which point he backed away slowly.

All of which are decently popular titles (ok, Glitchspace only has 12k owners).

But yes, all of these take the idea a little too far for AI War.

Offline x4000

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2016, 04:14:08 PM »
I want to be super clear on something, which I'm not always: basically in these sorts of threads I am following wild hairs and brainstorming like crazy.  So I pop out ideas and abandon them quickly, but it tends to lead somewhere (possibly an affirmation of the status quo).  At any rate, getting a reality check on certain things is certainly something I appreciate, and is needed.  Past a certain point you don't need to push me on it, though, because I'll fold pretty quickly.

Honestly I should have folded at the "this restricts the playerbase a lot" comment, and I kind of did, but I also felt a quasi-petty need to stick up for Duskers.  We won't really need 25k backers I would not think, but the point it still taken.  If the average backer is $20, we'd need about 10k backers, more or less, I think.

See, I'm arguing again, but not actually with your core thesis that it's a bad idea.  At this point you guys sold me on that quite a bit ago.

In terms of making the refleeting period fatal, that could be done, and I like the idea on the surface, but how do we determine what the criteria are for the AI to pounce and kill you, and how is that communicated to the player?

Actually... hold that thought.  That's really interesting.
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Offline kasnavada

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #43 on: September 12, 2016, 04:17:30 PM »
I want to be super clear on something, which I'm not always: basically in these sorts of threads I am following wild hairs and brainstorming like crazy.  So I pop out ideas and abandon them quickly, but it tends to lead somewhere (possibly an affirmation of the status quo).  At any rate, getting a reality check on certain things is certainly something I appreciate, and is needed.  Past a certain point you don't need to push me on it, though, because I'll fold pretty quickly.

Honestly I should have folded at the "this restricts the playerbase a lot" comment, and I kind of did, but I also felt a quasi-petty need to stick up for Duskers.  We won't really need 25k backers I would not think, but the point it still taken.  If the average backer is $20, we'd need about 10k backers, more or less, I think.

See, I'm arguing again, but not actually with your core thesis that it's a bad idea.  At this point you guys sold me on that quite a bit ago.

Funny, because I work the opposite way. I find flaws with it, then I'm trying to find what could make it a good idea, or work at all. If most actions can be done via buttons, I'm fine with it. Thing is that you don't have to market the fact than some late-game advanced feature is even there. So no impact on sales ? Dunno.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2016, 04:21:05 PM by kasnavada »

Offline x4000

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Re: Proposal: remove metal
« Reply #44 on: September 12, 2016, 04:19:25 PM »
Right.
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