Author Topic: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues  (Read 19372 times)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #75 on: August 21, 2013, 04:03:15 PM »
But the core gameplay is readily identifiable: roguelike.  And it's good that the central thing you'll be doing most of the time isn't totally out of the blue genre-wise.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #76 on: August 21, 2013, 04:04:27 PM »
Good grief yes.
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Offline abdulmuhsee

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #77 on: August 21, 2013, 09:26:37 PM »
So when I think of a roguelike, it essentially revolves around exploring a darkened dungeon and encountering random monsters, which you then kill for experience points, cooler weapons, and gold.

Is this essentially that with a team of mechs instead of dwarves and a dilapidated cityscape instead of a dungeon, or will the turn-based sequences be more like missions where the enemy team is also well-defined and you face off (a la Final Fantasy Tactics)?  Or will it be something between that?

I'd also like to know a bit more about the character customization; is it more about customizing the mechs or the character actually controlling the mech?  Will you be able to give your mechs certain standout color schemes or designs to make them differ from other peoples' mechs? 

Character customization has probably always been the largest factor for me in enjoying roguelikes or D&D games.  If I can be happy and leveling up, which is the hook that keeps people playing, doesn't mean much.with my character customization, then I have a much higher chance of being happy with the game, but if not, then the experience

To give examples, good customization = Neverwinter Nights, with lots of races, outfits, armor, feats, physical customization of how character looks, etc., while bad customization = Torchlight, where even though you can name your character, that's about it.

Offline x4000

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #78 on: August 21, 2013, 09:49:40 PM »
So when I think of a roguelike, it essentially revolves around exploring a darkened dungeon and encountering random monsters,

Yes, although the monsters are not random in their own stats.  The monsters you encounter, and in what concentrations, are random however.

which you then kill for experience points, cooler weapons, and gold.

No EXP, no levels, no gold or other currency.  Also no new weapons, technically, although at one point you do get new Exos entirely.  Instead you get tons of procedural loot in the form of "parts" that you customize your mech with, making your weapons and other subsystems (propulsion, shields, reactor, computer) both more powerful and different.  The loot comes from chests that you find around the mission, and from winning the mission itself.  As well as from type of mission on the city map, really.  But the monsters themselves are no reward; they are obstacle only, and avoiding them is just as good as killing them.  If you can.

Is this essentially that with a team of mechs instead of dwarves and a dilapidated cityscape instead of a dungeon, or will the turn-based sequences be more like missions where the enemy team is also well-defined and you face off (a la Final Fantasy Tactics)?  Or will it be something between that?

It's between that.  The overall city map has a well defined mix of mission types, in a nondefined position structure.  The city map is where you choose your missions, and what missions you choose is really important.  It's what determines how the rest of the game goes, really.  You strengthen yourself in certain ways, or weaken your enemy, etc.  Most tactics games and roguelikes have nothing like this; it's more strategic, really.  Although all it involves, literally, is choosing which icon to click to undertake your next mission.  Still: it's a hard choice many times.

The missions themselves are like floors in a roguelike.  So you're choosing your floors, both which you do and in what order.  There are 125 missions, and you can only do 50, max.   Likely you'll choose to do fewer via attacking command centers of the robots.

I'd also like to know a bit more about the character customization; is it more about customizing the mechs or the character actually controlling the mech?  Will you be able to give your mechs certain standout color schemes or designs to make them differ from other peoples' mechs?

The characters cannot be customized at all.  The point of them is that they have a large fixed bonus that they give you throughout the game.  Something game-changing, like better loot from Meg, or more health and ammo closets for Emma.  A smaller end-game force for Tuck, and more scouting range on the city map for Axis.

The mechs themselves are hugely customized internally, via something like 30ish item slots per mech (it varies).  Maxed out would be 3 slots each for 5 weapons, 4 reactor slots, 3 propulsion and shields slots, and 5 computer slots.  That 30 total is theoretical, though, as a mech with 5 computer slots would never have 5 weapons.  These things vary by type of mech, and so 20-25 per mech is probably a better guess.  Times four, since you have four mechs.

So in terms of making your mechs unique, there certainly is a ton of gear.  In terms of visual customization, there is none: nothing you do affects the appearance of your mech, except in the customization screen you can see all the little icons in their slots I guess, heh.

Character customization has probably always been the largest factor for me in enjoying roguelikes or D&D games.  If I can be happy and leveling up, which is the hook that keeps people playing, doesn't mean much.with my character customization, then I have a much higher chance of being happy with the game, but if not, then the experience

To give examples, good customization = Neverwinter Nights, with lots of races, outfits, armor, feats, physical customization of how character looks, etc., while bad customization = Torchlight, where even though you can name your character, that's about it.

You're likely to find this as being bad customization by that specific criteria, I think, although you can decide for yourself.  This game just isn't about that sort of thing, and I think the cross comparisons you're making aren't really the same sort of goal of game.  Think of this almost like the biggest SHMUP customization screen ever: kind of like Tyrian's ship customization to an extreme degree, but with loot drops instead of a store.  Or it's like Borderland's loot drop systems, but with way more customization flexibility, but no levels or store.

In other words, it's pretty sideways from that sort of thing.  It's not a level grind, as there are no levels.  The impetuses for keeping playing are:

1. It's just plain visceral fun (to me) to run around shooting guys with rocket launchers in particular.
2. Getting sweet loot drops and then figuring out what to do with them is really fun.  This is akin to many of the weapons in FFTA for me, or again Tyrian.
3. The interesting tactics of how to navigate each mission is fun, and there is real tension as to whether you will win or lose; I lose quite a number of them at this point.
4. The overall meta-narrative of the city as you explore, find new missions, and impose your will on how the final showdown is going to play out.  This has a sort of grand strategy aspect to it, but without complexity.  It's something Keith and I both find really compelling, but people that don't may not be captivated here.
5. In general the constant improvement of your Exos, and the increased flexibility you get from more gear.  You may change loadouts for specific types of missions in order to emphasize different attributes of your Exos.  This is sort of like the level grind, but it's not linear or even orthogonal.  It's scattershot in that interesting roguelike/roguelite way.

So, yeah.  I have no idea if you specifically will enjoy it, but I think it's pretty darn cool. :)  Generally speaking it doesn't have all the same hooks as other similar games, partly because saying those games are similar is always slightly misleading, heh. ;)
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Offline mrhanman

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #79 on: August 21, 2013, 10:55:44 PM »
Aw, come on! Enough with the torture, and let me play it already!


 :P

Offline x4000

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #80 on: August 21, 2013, 11:08:59 PM »
Still a lot of things we're actually implementing, it's not ready yet!  Keith and I are actually the only people to touch it yet so far at all.  Although my son did enjoy watching me run around and fry robots this evening, heh.
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #81 on: August 22, 2013, 10:24:16 AM »
Yea, it's way closer to ready than it was even a week ago.  I have to be careful when testing to not just do unrelated running around the board.  If I slip it isn't for long though, as the bots are fairly efficient at killing me.
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Offline x4000

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #82 on: August 22, 2013, 10:33:35 AM »
I've actually been getting really good at clearing missions using an Assault / Siege / Tank / Science team.  But that was before I heavily adjusted the room population logic last night; now the difficulty is back where it's supposed to be. ;)
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Offline MaxAstro

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #83 on: August 22, 2013, 11:03:55 AM »
Not to beat a dead horse, but thinking of games that might have a similar metagame, Atomic Zombie Smasher comes to mind.  At least in that there is an overarching goal, you pick between procedurally generated missions based on your desire to complete that goal, and your success or failure in missions affects the overall goal.  And also the game is Nintendo Hard, which it sounds like there might be elements of in Bionic Dues?

Anyway, that's another comparison to a game I love, so my excitement level is holding pretty steady for this one.  :)
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 11:06:12 AM by MaxAstro »

Offline x4000

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #84 on: August 22, 2013, 11:04:57 AM »
I honestly haven't played that game and so can't really say, but your description on paper sounds kind of similar.
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Offline MaxAstro

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #85 on: August 22, 2013, 11:11:17 AM »
It's one of the best zombie apocalypse type games I've played - I'd recommend it if you've ever got some time to kill.

Anyway, it sounds like where you are heading with the metagame in Bionic Dues is exactly the kind of thing I love.  What really draws me to games like X-Com or Atomic Zombie Smasher or AI War for that matter is the interplay between my small moment-to-moment decisions and the big metagame decisions.  I love the feeling of those "this is gonna change the game" type choices, especially when they are driven entirely by the player and not prescripted.

It's why the new hacking mechanic in AI War is my favorite thing ever - I feel like my hacking progress is a numerical measure of my ability to drastically change the game in critical ways.  :)

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #86 on: August 22, 2013, 11:12:16 AM »
There's some slight similarity to Atom Zombie Smasher at the meta-layer, but in Bionic it's much easier to plan ahead at that level.   There's also way more customization of your stuff in Bionic.  I played AZS a fair bit and didn't generally feel that the strategic layer permitted much planning beyond a "move" or two out, and while the customization (squad choices) were important and fun, we've got more here (more is not always better, but here I think it is).

And in the core gameplay AZS required a combination of quick thinking, good thinking, and quick reactions.  Bionic's core gameplay just requires good thinking, which makes me like it a lot more.  If a game is going to be brutally hard I prefer to lose because I mis-thought, rather than because I mis-clicked.  Not trying to bash AZS there, but it's a general issue I have with most realtime games that don't have really robust while-paused controls (though I may be misremembering and AZS did have those, in which case the preceding few sentences don't mean much).
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Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #87 on: August 22, 2013, 11:13:06 AM »
It's why the new hacking mechanic in AI War is my favorite thing ever - I feel like my hacking progress is a numerical measure of my ability to drastically change the game in critical ways.  :)
It is definitely that :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #88 on: August 22, 2013, 11:13:18 AM »
Awesome MaxAstro -- well, you should find lots to love in terms of the metagame here, that's for sure. :)
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Offline MaxAstro

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Re: Sneak Peek At Bionic Dues
« Reply #89 on: August 22, 2013, 11:17:42 AM »
Yeah, Keith, I definitely agree with you about AZS.  AI War has spoiled me as far as pause-based controls go, and I tend to freak out and make mistakes when things get really hectic... and in AZS one freak out means you lose.

Heh, AI War has spoiled my girlfriend too.  I introduced her to StarCraft recently and she loves it, but it took her a long time to stop trying to pause the game and issue orders.  XD

And I'm definitely with you as far as preferring just good thinking over quick, good thinking.  :)