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Games => AI War II - Gameplay Ideas => AI War II => AI War II - Resolved Ideas => Topic started by: kasnavada on September 10, 2016, 02:29:16 AM

Title: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 10, 2016, 02:29:16 AM
Ok, I'll be thinking WAAAAAYYY out of the box here.

One of the main issue in AI war is... the refleet time. It makes the game longer, but makes you vulnerable. Its main limitation was metal. The issue with metal is that, by itself, it "balanced" all constructions, special projects, turret construction, refleet.

To solve this, I'll be proposing two alternate mechanics around the partial, or complete, removal of the metal mechanic.

Partial removal of metal.
- All buildings that produce ships, will be called "constructors", and will have affixes depending on what they build. It would still be possible to mix and match, changing the affix is UI for the player / possibly an icon showing the ship build could be as good. Constructor are limited in the number of squads they can spawn. They have a metal maintenance cost equal to a percentage of the metal cost of ships produced there. Ships are tied to a constructor, and respawn automaticaly there a few seconds / minute after, depending on the "size" of the ship.

Complete removal of metal (edited, thanks zharmad for pointing it out, I hope it's clearer now).
- All command station but the home provide 1 "engineer", and constructor spots. Home station has 5 of each. Engineers build everything in the game but ships. Constructors work as in the partial removal but don't have, obviously, metal maintenance cost. Engineers respawn at command stations. Engineers are now the limitation on what can be built (and what speed it can be built), and have the possibility to FRD to other systems (semi-automated). Zones should be put in place to assign some engineer to areas. Special planets could give 2 constructors / engineers.


PS: same principle could be used to build turrets, have a "controller" in charge of rebuilding the defenses. It would "build" with time only defenses and then have a drone move, and place the turret where wanted by the player. Which, in turn, would remove most wrecks, and could remove associated mechanics.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Pumpkin on September 10, 2016, 03:10:27 AM
Metal is a time gate, as often said, and it's important. Without metal, a fleet loss isn't a very bad thing anymore. Metal is the "regeneration rate" of the fleet; it tie total fleet health with time, and time is a crucial resource in AI War (that, thankfully, you can't "remove"). Compare that to a RPG or an action game and you are basically saying "screw health! infinite regeneration!" Lack of metal is punishment for reckless playstyle and strategical mistakes. Removing it is removing strategy: it would allow endless fleet throwing to break the AI.

Also, metal is the balance for AI reinforcement. If you remove metal, you need to provide the AI with infinite reinforcement budget...
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 10, 2016, 02:36:12 PM
At least the idea is clearly understood, because that would be the exact point, actually. Removing that (IMO useless) time-gate.

Second point... I have proof that it does not, in practice, have the repercussion you're imagining. I'm copy pasting the idea from another game, called "Infested planet". This game shares a lot of the main points of AI war (asymetric evolving AI responding to the player, evolution on the player side, capture of new stuff), and... no, throwing things at the AI until it bends would not work anymore than in does in that other game. As long as the AI actually strike back, and rebuilds, unless of being mostly passive just like currently. There are minor balance modifications to be done to make the AI more responsive, but it's mostly taken care of by the current reprisal mechanics, and the fact that moving ships to where they are needed takes time.  Then, AI War II is already stated to have rebuild mechanics. So, no, "throwing whatever at the AI" would not work after a little balance work. However, the game would be much more responsive and fast without losing any of the strategy in it.

That means that, yes, if the AI rebuilds, and attacks back a fleet loss is still a bad thing to have: you'll have to rush with the new units to wherever it's counter-attacking, in order not to lose completely, while rebuilding on its side and making your failed attack a failure.

To continue with your example, a crapload of RPG have fast infinite regeneration outside of combat, like main hits of the genre like neverwinter nights (possible to rest in a few seconds after each fight for no cost) or baldur's gate (same). This proposal would mean that the AI would have to actually punish you for interfering, which it currently does not, and be much more responsive, which I admit is currently very lacking. Neither of which I see as a bad idea.

Funny thing is, there seems to be a consensus on "netflix time is bad", but once a solution that actually removes it is there, no one wants it. I'm open to other proposals, however.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Cinth on September 10, 2016, 02:47:16 PM
Funny thing is, there seems to be a consensus on "netflix time is bad", but once a solution that actually removes it is there, no one wants it. I'm open to other proposals, however.

Except you didn't remove anything other than the player's econ.  I also don't think you fully understand "netflix" time.  Anytime you have to wait more than a few minutes for anything, you'll have someone complaining about netflix time.  In a game like this, you can't avoid it completely, only lessen it's effect.

This is why your solution won't work to remove netflix time.

respawn automaticaly there a few seconds / minute after, depending on the "size" of the ship

Take a full fleet wipe and you still have netflix time.

Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Draco18s on September 10, 2016, 02:51:53 PM
respawn automaticaly there a few seconds / minute after, depending on the "size" of the ship

Take a full fleet wipe and you still have netflix time.

This.

Not to mention that removing metal would mean that the player would never need to take other planets: their fleet rebuild time doesn't change by having fewer worlds, so why take any at all?
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Cinth on September 10, 2016, 02:57:13 PM
Not to mention that removing metal would mean that the player would never need to take other planets: their fleet rebuild time doesn't change by having fewer worlds, so why take any at all?

The fuel mechanic would make it necessary, if only to make those hops to the AI homeworld shorter.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Draco18s on September 10, 2016, 03:04:12 PM
True, fuel might hamper things.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: skrutsch on September 10, 2016, 10:08:23 PM
Take a full fleet wipe and you still have netflix time.
Not if the AI defeats you 30 seconds later!

If you lose 75%+ of your fleet on planet(s) you don't own**, the AI detects your extreme weakness and sends five sequential H/K waves at your home system, or something equally violent that you are very unlikely to survive.  (If you do manage to survive somehow, you can spend that netflix time bragging in the forums.)

This would probably encourage fighting in half-fleets, one attacking and the other being rebuilt.  Could be some interesting strategy in deciding what ships go in each half-fleet, perhaps?

**If you lose lots of ships defending your holdings, that's just good defending in my book :)
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Draco18s on September 11, 2016, 12:53:29 AM
Not if the AI defeats you 30 seconds later!

If you lose 75%+ of your fleet on planet(s) you don't own**, the AI detects your extreme weakness and sends five sequential H/K waves at your home system, or something equally violent that you are very unlikely to survive.  (If you do manage to survive somehow, you can spend that netflix time bragging in the forums.)

Something something something reprisal.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Cinth on September 11, 2016, 12:56:09 AM
Not if the AI defeats you 30 seconds later!

If you lose 75%+ of your fleet on planet(s) you don't own**, the AI detects your extreme weakness and sends five sequential H/K waves at your home system, or something equally violent that you are very unlikely to survive.  (If you do manage to survive somehow, you can spend that netflix time bragging in the forums.)

Something something something reprisal.

I've never seen a reprisal that harsh, ever...
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 11, 2016, 11:28:44 AM
Funny thing is, there seems to be a consensus on "netflix time is bad", but once a solution that actually removes it is there, no one wants it. I'm open to other proposals, however.

Except you didn't remove anything other than the player's econ.  I also don't think you fully understand "netflix" time.  Anytime you have to wait more than a few minutes for anything, you'll have someone complaining about netflix time.  In a game like this, you can't avoid it completely, only lessen it's effect.

This is why your solution won't work to remove netflix time.

respawn automaticaly there a few seconds / minute after, depending on the "size" of the ship

Take a full fleet wipe and you still have netflix time.

@Cinth
And... the current system works better, because ?

The current system actually waits for about 15 minutes for a wave (not sure about that one), around 3-4 hours for CPA / cross planet waves. Reprisal take 6-10 minutes to come in. As metal gains do not scale at all to the ship caps & ship quantities, the game slows down more and more as the game goes on. And, it does not matter because the AI does not actually do much to stop you.

The only thing you have to do in the current system to "protect your economy", is wait until your coffers are full enough to rebuild before attacking, and optimizing your defenses so you don't die. That makes waiting irrelevant because the AI gains from waiting are mostly irrelevant, and since the AI is very passive in behaviour, once a decent defense is put in place, most attacks fail without any user interactions. So I'm not calling that, an a "player's econ"... I call that waiting and patience.

Yes, I propose to remove the metal time gates from the game because my opinion is that there is little economy to remove in the first place, with only 2 ressources in it: time (irrelevant once you know how to defend yourself) and metal (dependant on time). There are only a few errors that newbies to the game can commit to burrow themselves into a hole.


With this proposal in it, AI War's 2 refleeting time would :
- be a fixed time.
- during which you actually have to defend yourself.
- irrelevant to the size of the player fleet, so times could be balanced to be short or long enough, after balancing, whether it's early, or late game.
- easier on players as metal would be mostly used to find litterally to build yourself a larger fleet, or conduct special projects (if partial removal only).

That would mean, of course, harsher reprisals from the AI are needed, and possibly, that the AI is basically harsher to begin with. Yes, the AI could become aggressive. And, that's one of the points in the design doc, that it actively tries to take territory.

Not if the AI defeats you 30 seconds later!

If you lose 75%+ of your fleet on planet(s) you don't own**, the AI detects your extreme weakness and sends five sequential H/K waves at your home system, or something equally violent that you are very unlikely to survive.  (If you do manage to survive somehow, you can spend that netflix time bragging in the forums.)

Something something something reprisal.

That's exactly my point, actually. The AI is currently too passive IMO. Deadly passive. Making reprisal deadlier is a part of the idea here.
Thing is, if the refleeting occurs irrelevantly of the current metal ressource time-gate, the AI can unleash real threats more often. Also, it would be possible to rework the refleeting time independantly of reworking other systems based on construction. Like rebuilding a golem.

Quote from: Draco18s on Yesterday at 02:51:53 PM
    Not to mention that removing metal would mean that the player would never need to take other planets: their fleet rebuild time doesn't change by having fewer worlds, so why take any at all?
The fuel mechanic would make it necessary, if only to make those hops to the AI homeworld shorter.

You could also limit the number of production center per planet. But, since fuel already makes an hard limit on the quantity of ships you can have, I don't think it's necessary. Also, researching other ships included, in AI War 1, taking over other planets. Finally, as much as I think the "why not keep a single planet" is good argument, I don't think it targets what I'm proposing much, since it applies equally to the current system. Last, on the first proposal I made, all production centers take a fixed amount of metal to work as a limitation, and the second one gives constructors as an additional bonus to building anything else than the fleetships.

Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Toranth on September 11, 2016, 11:42:54 AM
I've never seen a reprisal that harsh, ever...
Mimic - I had it send multiple Exodian Blades back at me, in one memorable event.


Yes, I propose to remove the metal time gates from the game becasue, I don't see an economy to remove in the first place, with only 2 ressources in it: time (irrelevant once you know how to defend yourself) and metal (dependant on time). There are only a few errors that newbies to the game can commit to burrow themselves into a hole.
If you've turned off AIP over Time, then yes, the time resource is meaningless.  But at even a medium 1 AIP per 30 minutes, every delay helps the AI get closer to killing you.
But the AI's attacks serve different purposes. 
Waves are there to harass you, and provide a little drain on your Knowledge and Metal.  If you've already entered the downward spiral, this just speeds up your inevitable doom... but most of the time, this is just an annoyance.
CPAs are the primary killer.  If you aren't strong enough, they WILL kill you.  If you are strong enough, then there's a good chance you can win the game... if you don't screw up.
Exowaves are the unaimed shot in the dark.  Strong, fast, and targeted, if you aren't prepared and aren't lucky, they can come out of nowhere to destroy your home system.  But they're weaker than CPAs, and the targeting will send many of them at targets you can afford to lose.

I personally would like to see improvements to the Reprisal mechanic.  However, I do not like the idea of getting rid of the economy, as limited as it is.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Toranth on September 11, 2016, 11:50:01 AM
But manners in replying to myself, but I wanted to emphasize something from my previous reply:

If you've already entered the downward spiral, this just speeds up your inevitable doom...

And that's the point of the economy in AI War.  Can you rebuild and expand faster than the AI can shave you down?

With the current system, there's a mixture:  If you've entered the spiral, you can escape by either gaining more metal, or by becoming more efficient is using the metal you have.  There's also a time factor, because certain units (Mk V TDLs) take a LONG time to build, so losing them can mean a major drop in combat efficiency.
If time is the only factor, then the time between AI attacks is all that matters.  If it is longer than your refleet time, good.  Else, you lose.  If you add a bunch of way to manipulate the AI's attacks (delay them, change size, spawn location, etc) then you've done the equivalent of adding a expendable time resource... but it still seems more limited than a Metal-based economy.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 11, 2016, 12:21:03 PM
CPAs are the primary killer.  If you aren't strong enough, they WILL kill you.  If you are strong enough, then there's a good chance you can win the game... if you don't screw up.
Exowaves are the unaimed shot in the dark.  Strong, fast, and targeted, if you aren't prepared and aren't lucky, they can come out of nowhere to destroy your home system.  But they're weaker than CPAs, and the targeting will send many of them at targets you can afford to lose.

As you stated here. Thing is, that time is already the only factor.
Can you rebuild in 3 - 4 hours what the AI took from you ? Is it fun to take one hour to rebuild your empire ? 3 ? 7 ? That's my second issue. The game can, once you've learned it, kill you only every 3-4 hours. By removing metal as a time-gate to refleeting time it would be possible to increase refleeting times to points where killer moves from the AI could happen every 30 minutes, with none of the side effect than "just adding more metal to the player" could have.

More simply put, if you're on the downward spiral, the game should already have killed you.

About timing, even with AIP gain on time at 1 per 30 minutes, if you make the calculation of what the game throws at you, it's not the time that will kill you. It's the wrong assumption from player that this planet / structure that costs "only" 20 AIP is worth more than spending 10 hours playing and gaining metal. Games I've won have been won in about 20 hours, so basically one more planet, difficulty wise, is worth as much as half the metal I gained during the entire game. Something's wrong here. You can add extra hours here, but if you go over 50 hours, something else is wrong. 50 hours of game time is way too much.

There is a reason why the deep strike mechanic and CSG mechanics are in place in AI War : people abused the game and won by not taking any planet at all, and taking litterally dozens of hours to neuter every planet there is. And, while not that popular in the first place... I think they achieved their goal.


Finally, as much as I can understand this proposal not being popular, do anyone has a proposal to reduce refleet time ?
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: PokerChen on September 11, 2016, 02:45:31 PM
does anyone have a proposal to reduce refleet time ?
(Fragmented thoughts)

Hmmm... it's difficult in the sense that all AI response times has to be balanced around it. Why not simply make everything tick four times as fast as classic Normal speed? There is a lot of leeway between  the existing AI War Classic timing windows of minutes to hours, and the limits of professional gaming (around 10~60-second in Starcraft 2, which we won't want).

...(more detail) If we set some arbitrary balance point of 5-minutes to max fleet size Y when the player holds X planets, then the AI has only that much time in order to launch a follow-up attack, however the game defines its resourcing model. Here the very soul of AIP is directed at balancing player growth with each additional planet taken, allowing players to keep spending time to experiment within limits.

 Exo-mechanics, CPA, etc. hinges around that balance. Reductions in the vulnerability window of players will need to be counterbalanced by increasing AI's ability to take advantage of it. Classic had very strict rules about how the AI engages the player by default, which go hand-in-hand with the long refleeting times. In order to combo players into submission via small hits, they need multiple additions like Shark-B AI-plots, offensive release of strategic reserves/dormant defenders, etc. - a practiced player will rarely allow a perfect storm to converge. The enemy fleet would never grow big enough as long as the AIP vs. player max assets is within a certain threshold discovered by experience.

= = = =
I'm also having trouble interpreting your proposal.

Quote
Model 1: constructors limit max player fleet size, fixed refleeting time.
Meaning if a player has progressed to 10 planets and lose 7 in a tough fight, they can rebuild only 3 planets' worth of forces against 10-planets worth of continued AI aggression, until they retake more planets?
 If this is what you mean, it's a very-fine balance (to put it lightly). With metal, the players can stockpile reinforcements before they lose the 7 planets, and have an larger effective army than what they have left in terms of planets to make a comeback. Without some form of buffer, snowballing by AI is likely (downward spiral) as you will lose constructors and therefore fleet capacity. (BTW, most RTS/4X games show this phenomenon, since fleet size and upkeep *is* generally a function of empire size. Only one interesting battle per game.)

Quote
Model 2: player fleet size is only dependent on maximum progress (knowledge unlocks). Constructors always build everything in N-time.
...Then losing everything but your command center is, in fact, no loss at all?

Quote
Model 3: player fleet size is only dependent on maximum progress (knowledge unlocks). Constructors build X units per Y time.
...Doesn't seem to be what you're suggesting. Here, you suffer larger vulnerability windows with more losses. This seems ok, but has the same fragile system applies as the others mentioned. There's a narrow gap between net-flix time, or reproducing so fast that you cannot be defeated.

Quote
That means that, yes, if the AI rebuilds, and attacks back a fleet loss is still a bad thing to have: you'll have to rush with the new units to wherever it's counter-attacking, in order not to lose completely, while rebuilding on its side and making your failed attack a failure.
...With appropriate automation, things turns into Liquid War? I mean, stalemating and victory can become a function of units produced per minute depending on the galaxy layout.

= = =
...I think you're imagining a meta-game where players have a fast-replenishing small fleet that can efficiently attrition large & slow AI forces, and that the chief purposes of gaining planets is to gain more buffer-zone against larger AI responses, moreso than a straight up force multiplier. That would a good suggestion per se, but one that requires more fleshing out. People do this in Classic already using macro-based builds.

Perhaps it's easier to reduce netflix time by removing the boredom instead, by allowing the AI to try to trump you immediately (ala heavier reprisal + automatic activation of sleeping guards + Shark-B).
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 11, 2016, 03:09:39 PM
Hmmm... it's difficult in the sense that all AI response times has to be balanced around it. Why not simply make everything tick four times as fast as classic Normal speed? There is a lot of leeway between  the existing AI War Classic timing windows of minutes to hours, and the limits of professional gaming (around 10~60-second in Starcraft 2, which we won't want).

This ties with the "just multiplying metal creates issues on its own" idea I stated before.

A "simple" example:current AI War, a cap of unit needs a few seconds to build, but, if boosted by enough constructors and metal ressources, metal usually runs out if sent to the front, and if they die "as much as they" live. With more metal, and nothing else, one could send fighters, and possibly other ships, blindlessly for hours as long as metal allows, which is always if metal is simply boosted. Because, metal, funnily, acts as a time-gate to prevent the game from being fast, and by forcing "complete" rebuilding / refleets to be long (if unable to stock enough of the stuff).

Hence, why I proposed a limitation of "XX time to respawn". Which becomes the time-gate and removes interference from metal.
I had tried a few set-up based on this "build until it falls" idea with neinzul ships which worked very well to overwhelm the AI's defenses, or to defend my worlds. I do consider those "border-line exploits"... as with "low" amount of metal I was able to overwhelm stuff I couldn't beat otherwise, by throwing dumbly things at it. The very point of that limitation is to leave (some) time to allow the AI to crush your stuff. Until you can come back and tell it that the party's over.

Quote
unclear
S***... I was unclear in my second proposal, and named "engineers" what I should have call "constructors", and mixed & matched. Damned. I'll rewrite that.

Quote
    Model 1: constructors limit max player fleet size, fixed refleeting time.
Meaning if a player has progressed to 10 planets and lose 7 in a tough fight, they can rebuild only 3 planets' worth of forces against 10-planets worth of continued AI aggression, until they retake more planets?
 If this is what you mean, it's a very-fine balance (to put it lightly). With metal, the players can stockpile reinforcements before they lose the 7 planets, and have an larger effective army than what they have left in terms of planets to make a comeback. Without some form of buffer, snowballing by AI is likely (downward spiral) as you will lose constructors and therefore fleet capacity. (BTW, most RTS/4X games show this phenomenon, since fleet size and upkeep *is* generally a function of empire size. Only one interesting battle per game.)

If you let the AI beat you enough so that your empire is 70% lost, then its next strike kills you. No comebacks.
In the particular concept of AI war, I think that each defense against a CPA & an EXO is an interesting battle, but not one that is supposed to leave you half-dead.
Finally, what you say is true of AI war now, since metal reserves are kept by command stations, and lost if the command station dies (if the reserve is high enough). My issue with it is that to make reserves, you have to do nothing for... a long time. Which is the point that bothers me. The waiting.

Quote
rest
Not sure I follow here.

What I'm meaning to convey is actually that I'd prefer a system where decisive attacks are more present than currently. And where "failed" attacks, on both sides, have lesser netflix time effects. By reducing the number of units that can be sent "until the planet falls", like in the current system, and preferring "bigger battles", in which the player or the AI, instead of dealing death of 2 thousands strikes, exchange planet-sized blows. That means that both side "repair" faster, so attrition "victories" are is less of a concern, but both sides can attack more often.

So, basically probably not a "liquid" war, not that I'm sure of what it means. Rather making the game "closer" to trading heavy blows, "turn-based". But with no turns.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 on September 12, 2016, 12:35:17 PM
I think that the amount of refleeting time should be irrelevant, but not because it doesn't exist or is shortened.  Make it not exist and you change the game too much to be recognizable.  Removing metal isn't something we could remotely contemplate because it would alienate a ton of existing players and it is just too fundamental to how many strategy gamers are used to seeing games work.  It's too radical for this sequel, though it is an interesting idea.  I could definitely see a game based around it, and I understand the design goals behind it.

My counter would be that, while you're refleeting, you shouldn't be completely focused on just that.  Aka, one of the interesting things about certain turn-based games is not that individual turns are short or that things take a short number of turns, but rather that you have several things going on at once.

People recognized during the course of AI War Classic that metal and crystal are basically the same thing, and so they were condensed.  Fair enough.  But that actually gets at the point, I suppose: they are the same thing because there's only the one thing.

People like champions because it gives you a minigame to play while you're waiting for things like refleeting.  The fact that we added something like that is another sign that something is up.  I don't like that it is a separate minigame and something optional to the game.  That makes it too easy to ignore and to instead sit there in netflix time.

A true solution would, in my opinion, center around:
1. Leave metal and refleeting alone.  It's familiar and works.
2. Add in a second resource (crystal or whatever we call it) that is a 100% separate economy in every way from metal and the fleets themselves.
3. Add in some other mechanics that rely on crystal that can't at all help your main fleet-based activities, so there's no incentive to get those guys to help your main fleet battles (unlike champions).

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.

And the game is based around these things all being a part of the core experience, not having one of those as a minigame or whatever.  My first thought is to make these crystal things be non-combat ships that work with minor and background factions in various ways.  Aka the way that you "secure background factions" and get new ships isn't metal-based, and doesn't involve your fleet.  You can focus on that when you're not fighting, and forget it when you are fighting.

That's just the germ of an idea, but I think it gets at what everyone is after here: familiarity, less boredom, and (in my case) not resulting to in-game minigames to avoid the netflix side of things.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Pumpkin on September 12, 2016, 12:46:59 PM
And the game is based around these things all being a part of the core experience, not having one of those as a minigame or whatever.  My first thought is to make these crystal things be non-combat ships that work with minor and background factions in various ways.  Aka the way that you "secure background factions" and get new ships isn't metal-based, and doesn't involve your fleet.  You can focus on that when you're not fighting, and forget it when you are fighting.
What about adding some planetary combat in the game? Something that would be handled a bit like TLF does. That would still be a minigame with few connections with the grand game, though. I imagine some sort of "guide troop transport to target planet". Something to do "when you have time" and cost no metal/refleet. Or something more "on the planet" with a dedicated UI and choices...

Eh, very raw idea, but if someone feels like picking it up and improving it...
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 12, 2016, 12:51:20 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.

I'm not sure I like the second ressource thingy, but... short of a mini-game, I'm not sure what can be proposed here. That said. There is a possible mini-game that could be envisioned thanks to you setting up minor factions.

How about crystal takes care of buildings (which, ultimately, there is no more things to build with it), and limited diplomacy options ? I'm stating limited because I don't think that "advanced" diplomacy is a good idea.

I'm thinking of adapting something that already exist and work, so average to low risk. http://wiki.starruler2.com/Diplomacy_and_Influence .

In a few words, diplomacy in that game came in the form of "cards", which you could call treaties in AI War 2, that can be bought and applied by paying influence (basically what you're calling the second ressource here). There, said treaties have different effects, from taking over a "neutral" system, getting ships, hiring mercenaries, metal, having them attack / defend particular areas instead of you, just plain reinforcing, paying a tribute so the player does not get attacked himself, and so on. All of those actions would be limited in time, so you'd have to rebuy them. Oh, and, compared to starruler 2, ditch the "vote" part.

Each encountered non-hostile minor faction could have a treaty holder with a few options that can be bought, to help you prepare the next assault and / or care about stuff you can't do.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 on September 12, 2016, 01:14:11 PM
I like the idea of planetary combat being something you have to pay for separately with this, and I also really like the idea of using a cards-style approach to getting said third parties to do things.  That would be a really fitting blend of AI War and TLF in some respects, and give players something to do during the fleet rebuild time that definitely isn't busywork (namely, finding and arranging the best deals to help gain third-party resources for the next fleet rebuild, shoring up defenses on planets that are embattled, etc.

This dovetails nicely with one of the conversations from yesterday about core fabs and related.

This could be... rather huge in a very good way.  The sort of thing that is comparably easy to program, that we have experience with thanks to TLF (and Star Ruler 2 as another example), and that would be ripe for modding.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Tridus on September 12, 2016, 01:32:41 PM
I think that the amount of refleeting time should be irrelevant, but not because it doesn't exist or is shortened.  Make it not exist and you change the game too much to be recognizable.  Removing metal isn't something we could remotely contemplate because it would alienate a ton of existing players and it is just too fundamental to how many strategy gamers are used to seeing games work.  It's too radical for this sequel, though it is an interesting idea.  I could definitely see a game based around it, and I understand the design goals behind it.

My counter would be that, while you're refleeting, you shouldn't be completely focused on just that.  Aka, one of the interesting things about certain turn-based games is not that individual turns are short or that things take a short number of turns, but rather that you have several things going on at once.

People recognized during the course of AI War Classic that metal and crystal are basically the same thing, and so they were condensed.  Fair enough.  But that actually gets at the point, I suppose: they are the same thing because there's only the one thing.

People like champions because it gives you a minigame to play while you're waiting for things like refleeting.  The fact that we added something like that is another sign that something is up.  I don't like that it is a separate minigame and something optional to the game.  That makes it too easy to ignore and to instead sit there in netflix time.

A true solution would, in my opinion, center around:
1. Leave metal and refleeting alone.  It's familiar and works.
2. Add in a second resource (crystal or whatever we call it) that is a 100% separate economy in every way from metal and the fleets themselves.
3. Add in some other mechanics that rely on crystal that can't at all help your main fleet-based activities, so there's no incentive to get those guys to help your main fleet battles (unlike champions).

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.

And the game is based around these things all being a part of the core experience, not having one of those as a minigame or whatever.  My first thought is to make these crystal things be non-combat ships that work with minor and background factions in various ways.  Aka the way that you "secure background factions" and get new ships isn't metal-based, and doesn't involve your fleet.  You can focus on that when you're not fighting, and forget it when you are fighting.

That's just the germ of an idea, but I think it gets at what everyone is after here: familiarity, less boredom, and (in my case) not resulting to in-game minigames to avoid the netflix side of things.

This makes the most sense to me. Refleeting itself is at its core a good thing: if your entire fleet gets blown up, you *should* be vulnerable while you build it back up again, and the AI should exploit that. Granted, the AI doesn't do a great job of exploiting it in some cases.

Having other stuff to do that doesn't then get lumped into "add this to my fleet, and thus lose it during refleeting time" is a great idea, because it fills that time while still leaving you vulnerable.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: PokerChen on September 12, 2016, 01:34:33 PM
(previous discussion:) okay, I understand it better now, there are a minority of games that I have played using purely time - based logistics, although they ended up as too-simplistic IMO. I brought up the case of 70% losses as comebacks from this point is generally possible in Classic (because of relative lack of AI finishing blows).

(New discussion on secondary resource:) I have some reservations about using a diplomacy resource, since the design doc elsewhere said that the AI will gobble up various backgrounds factions, which you are mostly unable to stop. If a given game is not going particularly well (and if you're refleeting frequently, this is likely the case,) how many factions will keep surviving for you to use this resource?

I could imagine using the existing hacking instead as a downtime activity, as an expression of covert operations that are fundamentally incompatible with fleet action. Say, for example, a number of more powerful hacking options require  both that you have a presence on & connection to the target planet, and that the AI planet is not alerted to your presence.  Then fleet action and covert action can play off each other: your first strike inserts a cloaked team deeper in AI territory, which you switch attention to while your main fleet regroups. A successful sabotage of AI defences make it easier for the next renewed offensive.
It's one of those things that I thought was a bit off with Classic. If the local AI is aware of enemy presence, should it not switch to secure band communications and more stringent firewalls?

EDIT: the cards thing from star ruler 2 is a worthy idea, but I think there'll be games where you run out of allies to play cards with.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 12, 2016, 01:45:15 PM
@Zharmad
Or, tie all 3 systems.

At first, secondary ressources is used for buildings, mostly. Mid-game, there are still minor factions to play around diplomatically, so it's your "main expense" of secondary ressources. Late game, minor factions are gone / converted to either cause, or simply don't scale enough to matter anymore or something, and it's mainly used for hacking. You'd have to change hacking so that it's scaling "badly" at "lower" level and most useful for late game actions.

And / or, one action you could do with "loads" of the secondary ressource is "Revive a minor faction".
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: PokerChen on September 12, 2016, 01:56:01 PM
On that front, I'm reminded of the various 2-sided cards in a few blocks of Magic: The Gathering. Some of these can be used for either of its card's functions. Others are start on function-A and are converted to function-B depending on conditions.

Might be useful if the game did adopted card-based systems. Side-A: Communications network. Play on a neutral or friendly human background faction to increase its fleet size by 20%. Side-B: AI communications jamming. Decrease mobility and reinforcement of adjacent AI-owned system. However, this increases the AI's desirability to conquer the host human background faction.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Captain Jack on September 12, 2016, 02:18:03 PM
I don't like the thought of planetary combat because it seems unlikely to fix the problem of refleeting downtime in its current form. To make it work as a strategy game you have to create dedicated units and rules separate from the space game. This looks a lot like nebula scenarios 2.0. If you go light on mechanics and work in cards, we've introduced mobile game mechanics. Neither is something we should be doing without a coherent design in hand.

Paying the human remnant factions to do it for you is not a solution because you can pause the game, assign resources there, and watch it autoresolve while your fleet builds up. No reduction in netflix time.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 12, 2016, 02:45:11 PM
Paying the human remnant factions to do it for you is not a solution because you can pause the game, assign resources there, and watch it autoresolve while your fleet builds up. No reduction in netflix time.

In Star Ruler II, they thought of that issue already.

1) You've got the choice of buying up to players + X actions (depending on upgrades in your colonies), the action that is "farthest left" is cheap, while others, more on the "right", are more expensive the farthest they are. Each time you buy something, it leaves the queue and one to "more" new cards show up at the time of the next "refill". If you don't buy something, it eventually makes it way "left" and it leaves the queue after the next "refill" (I don't remember the exact time, but 30 seconds or 1 minute).

2) What you're actually buying is future actions, not immediate actions. You're buying the right to do something later. That's when you need to pause, when you plan your actions on / with other people. Which you would have done anyway, if only to send your fleet.

Therefore, you "can" pause when browsing the shop, but it's pointless, so reduction in netflix time is on.


3) Deploying actions also cost influence. As you spend your actions before combat (or as they start a fight, possibly), you empty your reserves. That means that during "combat time", you will not have the ressources to buy cards anyway and don't need to pause and browse.

Edit : clarifications, and adding 3).
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Captain Jack on September 12, 2016, 03:06:57 PM
Are you talking about handling the planetary defenses in person? That's not what the bit you quoted was about. I talk about why I doubt the planetary combat prior to that.

The proposal you seem to be making is that you can spend resources ahead of time to buy a planetary defense mini-game to do when you lose a system. Is that right? If it is, we've fallen into the issues I brought up in the first part of my post.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada on September 12, 2016, 03:10:05 PM
Hum, no, just the card / diplomacy idea I spoke of a bit before.


I have no clue about planetary engagements, nor how they would work. It's pumpkin's idea. I don't have an opinion on that one. I thought you were answering both.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 on September 12, 2016, 03:13:06 PM
I've been thinking about both planetary combat and the idea of dealing with the allies via this mechanic more, and I've kind of cooled on it.  There are a whole lot of potential moving parts to that, and visualization and organization is among the forefront of those.  But dealing with the factions that directly and that corely to the game also just doesn't feel right to me: some people definitely like the sense of isolation of AI War, and in a high-difficulty game I feel  like the potential for all the factions to get murdered should be available.  Plus playing without them in general I also think should be an option, for the same reasons.

Not that this means that I want to downplay factions per se, but I also don't want the entire game to integrate them THAT heavily.  At core, this game is about a conflict between you and the AI.  It should be able to be narrowed down to just that, or have other things going on as well, at your option.

Exploration and discovery is certainly a core part of the game that isn't conflict-oriented, but to me that would be along the lines of derelicts.  Tying crystal into that would be fine with me, for example.

THAT said, I think that the core thing here is hacking that interests me.  Think about it: when you're talking about a foe like this, there really would be two battlefields in a lot of respects.  One is the physical, and the other is the information/digital.  If you haven't read The Last Firewall, I highly recommend that whole series (start at the start, though).

The thing that I largely don't like about hacking in the current version of the game is that it's so numbers-based in a way that is just another form of resource management, ultimately.  There's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't say "hacking" to me.

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.

At any rate, I could see crystal being used for things like scouting through the AI network (why send physical scouts?  That seems like a horrible idea.), gaining insight into what the AI is planning, and even reprogramming or rerouting waves in extreme cases.  Can you imagine an incoming wave being reprogrammed such that it actually comes out the other end as YOURS?  Talk about an AI War (*cackles*).  The command line interface is what excites me the most as a way to do this, but I'm not sure how others feel about it.  It's the most flexible by far.

Heck, we actually could probably build in some simply query language type stuff where the programmer-oriented type folks could run some automated checks against various data they have scouted, and plan strategies based on that sort of thing.

For that matter, potentially that's how you meet other factions, who presumably are somewhat in hiding after the early game if the AI takes over: through the network.  Having the network traffic open in a sidebar that you can open and close would be pretty slick.  I'm kinda worried that non-programmers would be too intimated by the command line to really make use of this part of the game, though, so making it central to the experience would potentially be risky.  I guess we'd need a visual interface for it at the very least.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Captain Jack on September 12, 2016, 03:24:15 PM
some people definitely like the sense of isolation of AI War
*raises hand*

At any rate, I could see crystal being used for things like scouting through the AI network (why send physical scouts?  That seems like a horrible idea.), gaining insight into what the AI is planning, and even reprogramming or rerouting waves in extreme cases.  Can you imagine an incoming wave being reprogrammed such that it actually comes out the other end as YOURS?  Talk about an AI War (*cackles*).  The command line interface is what excites me the most as a way to do this, but I'm not sure how others feel about it.  It's the most flexible by far.

Heck, we actually could probably build in some simply query language type stuff where the programmer-oriented type folks could run some automated checks against various data they have scouted, and plan strategies based on that sort of thing.
A strange game. The only way to win is not to play.  :P

But seriously, the command line is fine, just include a way that the players can have certain commands input for them. Buttons on the side or something.

At any rate, I could see crystal being used for things like scouting through the AI network (why send physical scouts?  That seems like a horrible idea.), gaining insight into what the AI is planning, and even reprogramming or rerouting waves in extreme cases.  Can you imagine an incoming wave being reprogrammed such that it actually comes out the other end as YOURS?  Talk about an AI War (*cackles*).  The command line interface is what excites me the most as a way to do this, but I'm not sure how others feel about it.  It's the most flexible by far.
This was one of the things I wanted to talk to you about. I'll throw up a dedicated topic or wait for our email, but basically a lot of the changes to the AI that have been suggested like turning off the AI's omniscience could be managed in-game. You hack into the AI and turn that off, and the AI has an initial freak out, then starts doing things differently. Taken even further we can build a hacking based victory condition where you seize control of the AI.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Pumpkin 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

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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Pumpkin 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 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/254320/) for a very interesting kind of indirect control and information gathering.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Tridus 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 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 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/254320/) 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Pumpkin 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!
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: skrutsch 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Pumpkin 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Draco18s 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: kasnavada 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.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 on September 12, 2016, 04:19:25 PM
Right.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: Pumpkin on September 12, 2016, 04:26:30 PM
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?
I imagined something like nearby shipyards would be allowed to slowly bleed into threat while the players' "total required metal for full refleet" is below it's current metal storage. Also, the threat would be more cocky, not only doing backstab when there is nobody home, but more willing to engage player's incomplete fleet. Within minutes, all frontiers would fall, the fleet can't rebuild fast enough to contain the lurking/probing threat, and the player(s) loose by invasion.

That wouldn't be the massive AIP death where all your complete fleet on your best defended world cannot stop bajilions of carriers, but a smaller force taking advantage of even smaller defending fleet. The players must to be really stressed and scared of loosing when at 0 metal and half-fleet.

Also, if the fleetwipe was brutal enough, the big reprisal must have already wreaked at least one frontier world in which the lurking, vulture-like threat would join in.
Title: Re: Proposal: remove metal
Post by: x4000 on September 12, 2016, 05:13:58 PM
Potentially would work well, I'm not sure.  There are ways I can think of to game that as a player, though, so it's risky.

I'm going to lock this thread, because it's spawned into a number of different discussions that I think need to be separate.  Not trying to stop this discussion, but it has clearly split into a number of separate possible concepts that all have their own threads, and we should move discussion of each piece into those threads.  Here they are:

   
Hacking: the new front in the AI War: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19109.0.html

Fatal refleeting: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19112.0.html

Insane idea: QUASI-finite number of player ships. Pilots!: http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,19113.0.html


I _think_ that covers all the main ideas in here that are still being considered at all.  If not, please make another thread, because it's hard to follow 3+ conversations in a single thread. ;)