Arcen Games

Other => Game Development => Topic started by: fishy on April 20, 2014, 12:11:54 PM

Title: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: fishy on April 20, 2014, 12:11:54 PM
You haven't made a true 4x game (with your own twist) that will put all others to shame. Why is that? Super pissed!


P.S. I love you guys.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Shrugging Khan on April 20, 2014, 12:13:54 PM
I'm gonna go out and say that I'd also like to see that, although Arcen knows best. Maybe a traditional 4x just isn't their thing? :P
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on April 20, 2014, 12:21:23 PM
It is definitely our sort of thing, I'm not sure why I haven't attempted it yet. Just not quite ready yet, I guess. But it is on my (lengthy) list of things I want to accomplish, though. :)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 20, 2014, 03:42:50 PM
4x games seem to be cursed. They always tend to end up horrible. See Invasion of the Space Bears (Stardrive) or Endless Space as recent examples.
 
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Aklyon on April 20, 2014, 04:34:58 PM
Endless Space wasn't terrible, but it was missing something.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Mick on April 20, 2014, 04:47:38 PM
Endless Space wasn't terrible, but it was missing something.

That word you're looking for is "fun".
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Aklyon on April 20, 2014, 04:59:44 PM
Eh, I had fun with it a bit. Didn't really feel like opening it a second time until disharmony came out.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Shrugging Khan on April 20, 2014, 05:10:12 PM
No, no, Endless Space was missing all kinds of something. Stardrive didn't miss much, but none of the pieces were connected. And Distant Worlds had all the pieces in place, but they were thoroughly rotten.

My favourite failure is Star Ruler. They at least tried to do something new, utterly unfinished release and horrible post-release development nonwithstanding.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: eRe4s3r on April 20, 2014, 09:07:49 PM
If Arcen tries it, it needs to be something completely unique and new. Because as mentioned by others in this thread, the genre is cursed ;/

And if a 4x is considered,  this is gonna need some talking about if it ever gets made. At the very least all 4x games ever made need to be taken into account as examples on what not-to-do ;P And the universe needs to be unique, or at least completely and utterly fleshed out. So many 4x games just make space a boring  "paint stars your color" game.... space in reality is boring, yeah. But nobody is forcing anyone to make space in a game exactly like reality.

Real issues this genre has: lack of immersion and no progression. Problematic end-game and too much micro management. No abstraction for late game micro management, no persistent element across multiple games (roleplaying included) .... and a total and utter lack of FUN beyond the first real completed match. (Endless Space had that problem)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: fishy on April 21, 2014, 01:58:36 PM
It is definitely our sort of thing, I'm not sure why I haven't attempted it yet. Just not quite ready yet, I guess. But it is on my (lengthy) list of things I want to accomplish, though. :)

Looking forward to it, whenever you feel it's right.  :)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Draco18s on April 22, 2014, 12:38:28 PM
No, no, Endless Space was missing all kinds of something. Stardrive didn't miss much, but none of the pieces were connected. And Distant Worlds had all the pieces in place, but they were thoroughly rotten.

Yeah.  This.

And Space Empires was lacking in balance as well as competent AIs (to the point of there being a fan built mod which is pretty much universally used).  It also lacked a large amount of automation.  You couldn't simply focus on the aspects of the 4X genre you enjoyed, letting some AI managers handle the nitty gritty.

SE4 also screwed up a successful research system, making it so you could only research One. Thing. At. A. Time.  Which completely ruined the whole point of devoting 1% research to something expensive as balls, and unlocking it eventually* while most of your points went towards things you wanted immediately.

*Mostly I did this with the environment/colonization tech.  There being enough planets to colonize the ones currently compatible, gaining more compatibility in 200+ turns was sufficient.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Misery on April 27, 2014, 11:53:47 PM
Huh, now that you mention it, it IS hard to find a good game in that genre, isnt it.  There's definitely good ones out there, by my opinion, but not NEARLY as many as there COULD be, for a genre that is pretty popular among PC gamers.

I liked Civ 5 well enough, though the AI leaves alot to be desired.

Fallen Enchantress and it's expansion I like quite a lot, though the learning curve is nasty, and it focuses very heavily on combat, so there's not much in the way of political options.  Fortunately the combat system is excellent, but still.

And recently bought Age of Wonders III, I've yet to fully make a judgement on that one, need more time with it.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Shrugging Khan on April 28, 2014, 04:22:38 AM
Civ V.

You bloody heretic.

Blood for the Blood Mod! Skulls for the Civ IV throne!
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: orzelek on April 29, 2014, 01:04:47 PM
4X games are one of most difficult to do I think.
AI would be one of the main problems there :)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Aklyon on April 29, 2014, 01:13:30 PM
Civ V.

You bloody heretic.

Blood for the Blood Mod! Skulls for the Civ IV throne!
You know, thats reminds me of how the Master of Mana dev is tearing a couple of the more interesting (http://www.masterofmana.com/screenshots/combat0.jpg) mechanics from V for a future version of the mod.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: tbrass on May 18, 2014, 07:18:22 PM
Chris, I can't wait to see what twists you can bring to the traditional 4x arena. In the meantime, I have two suggestions for 4x done well (and in space).

Question though - you seem fairly adverse to modding in your other titles, though you certainly implement user suggestions and keep the features rolling out. With most of the 4x/grand strategy games I enjoy, one key component is the ability to do total conversions and mod the game far from what the developer originally conceived.

Do you think it is possible/likely that an eventual Arcen 4x would include mod support?

Aurora: narrative driven, procedurally generated, and perhaps the most complicated thing I have ever put my mind to. I have heard that it is quite rewarding. I am still at the head-scratching stage. Think: dwarf therapist (the spreadsheet overlay to dwarf fortress), in space, as a 4x, with no automation of micromanagement. You want to fire a rocket at an alien? research the tube, the fuel, the engines, the guidance, payload, and launch system, make a prototype, tool up a factory, get the rockets in place, and launch. You may be rewarded with a radar blip and a bit of text about the launch/impact :-) http://aurora2.pentarch.org/ (http://aurora2.pentarch.org/)

I am not doing it justice, as I haven't really wrapped my brain around it, but the people who enjoy it? Wow, read some of the AARs. Oh, and free, closed-source, written as an exercise in visual basic :-P

Distant Worlds: solo dev out of new zealand, working with matrix games (strategy publisher), 4 years, 5 expansions, just about to release a standalone compilation of all previous content. They are going with a mixed-Steam release and actually pricing it affordably. You can automate as much or as little as you want. Diverse races, interesting tech trees, great ship design, solid fleet posturing (strategy) and ship control (tactics). (http://matrixgames.com/products/515/details/Distant.Worlds.-.Universe (http://matrixgames.com/products/515/details/Distant.Worlds.-.Universe))

Three missing things: 1. you shouldn't be able to talk with other races when you first meet them. Babelfish are a fun conceit, but I'd love to see a 4x that actually handles "The Other" well. First contact - you shouldn't be able to communicate and you shouldn't know whether a smile and handshake mean "hi, I'm a friend," or "this meat looks tasty, let me grab a piece."

2. unique research trees: in the base game, there is very little customization of the research tree. I really enjoy how SoTS made each species' research options unique and how that drove ship design, empire functioning, etc. Modding will certainly improve this, but there is talk of a feature update post-ship.

3. extreme moddability. Universe certainly improves on it, but modding is mostly cosmetic and you certainly can't touch things like the AI. I really enjoy what Taleworlds did with Mount & Blade, and Paradox with CK2/EU4 - where you can create a fundamentally different game using the base framework of the developer. It really extends and expands the life of these titles.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on May 19, 2014, 10:32:17 AM
The 4x that I have planned is actually terrestrial, although you never know.  But having language barriers is super interesting in any context, honestly.  I've made a note of that, that's awesome.

Regarding moddability, honestly we're a small company and a reasonably small community, and it's not something I've been keen on.  If the vast majority of people (for instance) go migrate to various mods, then suddenly we are basically bound to not make changes that would break those mods.  And we lose feedback on the base experience.  And so on.  Right now when we make a change, we know exactly what it impacts.  If there were mods relying on the code being static... well, you've seen our changelogs.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: tbrass on May 19, 2014, 03:12:33 PM
Glad you like the idea, I'll be interested to see what you do with it.

Regarding modding - your hesitation is completely understandable. I don't think I have played a game where most people were using a particular mod, at least not while the game was still in active development. The onus has always been with the modders to ensure compatibility with the base game, rather than the other way around (and Paradox may not have the active changelog you have had with AI War & TLF, but the irregular changes have been huge.)

I'd love it if some devs with modding-sympathetic tendencies could chime in regarding the feedback loop. (if only more of the development community was as transparent, communicative, and open to ideas as you are!)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on May 19, 2014, 03:25:46 PM
The funny thing is that I was a modder for almost two decades prior to becoming a developer, so it's a bit hypocritical of me to say the least.  But the main thing is that I tend to create something that I want to keep growing in the way I want to create growing it; I'm not really creating a platform for other people to basically grow their own games (ala DayZ from Arma II).  I may change my stance on that at some point, but right now it just doesn't fit with my personal priorities.  I know it's hypocritical, but so it goes. ;)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: tbrass on May 19, 2014, 04:12:48 PM
Ha. That's some tasty irony.

I don't think that it's hypocritical to have a vision and want to implement that vision. I just (personally) prefer visions--especially of 4x/grand strategy games--that include the ability to let players tear down your vision and erect their own hideous monstrosities in its place. And I think that it is really good for the longevity of game communities and it encourages people to be like you. To start modding, become real devs, and then bring their own visions to the public. Virtuous cycle and all that.

[ominous voice] Someday, Chris, someday you will want to play a game by a new generation of developer, and you will be sorely disappointed if that dev was raised modding candy crush and silly 4xs rather than creating gameplay mods of AI War and the like [/ominous voice]

So this land-based 4x of yours... will there be water for boats, so I can pretend that I have a navy in 2d space ;-) To do naval combat well might dilute the overall experience, so I am not sure if it is a good idea. Just spitballing (and fishing for additional teasers about your 4x vision).
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Coppermantis on May 20, 2014, 12:14:21 AM
I seem to remember someone (I forget who) saying the following:

"There is a way to mod AI War. Make a well-reasoned case for the idea on the forums, then wait a few days."
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Lancefighter on May 20, 2014, 05:41:52 AM
What thats crazy nobody would ever throw around thousand word long essays on game balance in an attempt to further their own modding agendas. starships are balanced now I swear
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on May 20, 2014, 09:32:29 AM
Ha. That's some tasty irony.

Indeed. :)

[ominous voice] Someday, Chris, someday you will want to play a game by a new generation of developer, and you will be sorely disappointed if that dev was raised modding candy crush and silly 4xs rather than creating gameplay mods of AI War and the like [/ominous voice]

The modding scene is more flexible than ever, frankly.  It's part of why I don't really feel a need to be a big part of it.  And in the cases where we have made an effort to be mod-friendly (graphics editing, level editor in Shattered Haven and ability to make partial levels in Valley 2 and boss rooms in Valley 1 and huge numbers of editors including levels and entire adventures in Tidalis), those things never took off.  Those were not our most popular games, either, but still.  To be fair, there were a goodly number of submissions for stuff for the Valley games, but far less than you might think compared to the number of copies sold.  And with those things that were created, we integrated them into the main game (with credit) as opposed to having them being fragmented things that people would have to go looking for.

Overall I just haven't seen a big cry for this sort of thing.

So this land-based 4x of yours... will there be water for boats, so I can pretend that I have a navy in 2d space ;-) To do naval combat well might dilute the overall experience, so I am not sure if it is a good idea. Just spitballing (and fishing for additional teasers about your 4x vision).

Details are still in the early stages, but having visible units moving around is not something that I plan on much of.  There will be water.  There will be hexes.  There will be a tech tree.  There will be all the 4x elements (explore, exploit, expand, exterminate).

I seem to remember someone (I forget who) saying the following:

"There is a way to mod AI War. Make a well-reasoned case for the idea on the forums, then wait a few days."

Pretty much.  I really prefer the collaborative rather than the fragmented approach.  I think it leads to a better, cleaner experience for everyone rather than a bunch of half-finished mods and a core game experience that might not get the attention it needs because people are instead modding.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: mrhanman on May 20, 2014, 01:28:02 PM
There will be hexes.

Woohoo! Hexes are sexeh!  8)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on May 20, 2014, 01:36:02 PM
Since the name "Ascendant" has been taken, perhaps I should just rename it to "There Will Be Hexes."  There is something of a precedent, but it's not quite the same (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_Will_Be_Blood).
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: keith.lamothe on May 20, 2014, 04:09:00 PM
Since the name "Ascendant" has been taken, perhaps I should just rename it to "There Will Be Hexes."  There is something of a precedent, but it's not quite the same (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_Will_Be_Blood).
Perhaps there's a better example (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Film/SnakesOnAPlane).
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on May 20, 2014, 04:10:50 PM
"Hexes On A Planet?"
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: relmz32 on May 20, 2014, 04:13:33 PM
"Hexes On A Planet?"

Oooh, I like it.

Also, much rejoicing!
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: topper on May 20, 2014, 04:13:56 PM
Since the name "Ascendant" has been taken, perhaps I should just rename it to "There Will Be Hexes."  There is something of a precedent, but it's not quite the same (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_Will_Be_Blood).

Wait, did Chris just admit that an Arcen 4x is coming this year?!?
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on May 20, 2014, 04:18:41 PM
I need to adjust the timetable, it's definitely not until next year.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Draco18s on May 20, 2014, 04:26:38 PM
"Hexes On A Planet?"

Well World (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well_World#Setting)?
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on May 20, 2014, 04:30:21 PM
Cool!
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Draco18s on May 20, 2014, 04:47:02 PM
#RecommendedReading
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: roguevagabond on April 20, 2015, 01:03:01 AM
I would love an Arcen space 4x game. Especially if it has scenarios tied to some of your other space games, a ship design system (I have no idea how long I have spent playing around with 4X ship design systems but at least a few days total, probably more), and ways to develop techs not seen in the original games. (I would love an AI War Scenario with the ability to develop a Galactica sytle ftl drive or a Star Wars style hyperdrive.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 20, 2015, 04:02:05 AM
I would love an Arcen space 4x game. Especially if it has scenarios tied to some of your other space games, a ship design system (I have no idea how long I have spent playing around with 4X ship design systems but at least a few days total, probably more), and ways to develop techs not seen in the original games. (I would love an AI War Scenario with the ability to develop a Galactica sytle ftl drive or a Star Wars style hyperdrive.


Dat necropost. Also, that being said, there is now Stars Beyond Reach, which is a 4x :P
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 23, 2016, 06:02:00 AM
I would love an Arcen space 4x game. Especially if it has scenarios tied to some of your other space games, a ship design system (I have no idea how long I have spent playing around with 4X ship design systems but at least a few days total, probably more), and ways to develop techs not seen in the original games. (I would love an AI War Scenario with the ability to develop a Galactica sytle ftl drive or a Star Wars style hyperdrive.


Dat necropost. Also, that being said, there is now Stars Beyond Reach, which is a 4x :P
if it ever gets finished of course  :o
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Pumpkin on April 23, 2016, 06:09:18 AM
Am I dreaming or is there an epidemic necroposting these days? After the derailing period, nothing surprises me, though.

I love this forum!
 :P
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Cinth on April 23, 2016, 12:12:34 PM
Going to point out that this post was resurrected on or near the anniversary of the OP. 

OP 4 20 2014
1st necro 4 19 2015
2nd necro 4 23 2016
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Aklyon on April 23, 2016, 01:05:23 PM
Its consistant at least! :)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Cinth on April 23, 2016, 04:30:34 PM
OK, time to bury this thread.  See you all next year!
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on April 24, 2016, 04:31:08 PM
See you then!
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 24, 2016, 04:33:10 PM
indeed it seems to be mostly my fault though lately though.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Pumpkin on April 25, 2016, 07:00:05 AM
I like to see how happy we all are to keep up and running a thread called "Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!"

 :P
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 25, 2016, 10:05:43 AM
It is a bit weird seeing that title, yeah xD
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: crazyroosterman on April 25, 2016, 11:15:59 AM
I like to see how happy we all are to keep up and running a thread called "Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!"

 :P
the really weird part of this thread is that it was made to pressure Chris into making a 4x(and it kind of worked????)
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: Mánagarmr on April 25, 2016, 01:02:54 PM
I like to see how happy we all are to keep up and running a thread called "Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!"

 :P
the really weird part of this thread is that it was made to pressure Chris into making a 4x(and it kind of worked????)
It did, kinda. Not sure that was the reason, but still.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on April 25, 2016, 01:18:24 PM
I'd been thinking about that for years, but still.
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: eRe4s3r on April 26, 2016, 07:30:26 PM
I'd been thinking about that for years, but still.

And now one has to even say you have been making one for years ;) And like any other 4x, it's cursed ;P
Title: Re: Hey Arcen, really pissed off with you!!!!
Post by: x4000 on April 26, 2016, 07:30:55 PM
Blah, yeah.  The curse of the genre, goodness.