Author Topic: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.  (Read 4126 times)

Offline chemical_art

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2013, 03:46:19 AM »
If this game aims for the niche gameboard audience, it will get gameboard sales.
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2013, 03:59:48 AM »
Another idea regarding propositions.  Quests for our sides to compete over! For example, one of the tiles that flips might reveal The Golden Fleece (or whatever Norse/Greek treasure/item you want). It may or may not have monster guards, but now soldiers from both sides may (or might decide not to) shift focus to grabbing that. With the side that claims it getting a buff.

Players could choose to intervene, help one side, or try to prevent either side from getting it as its just too powerful for mankind  :D Entirely based off their own choosing as well. Totally agreed with Misery on challenges being limited, part of the reason I listed achievements as my least favorite idea.

This one is really cool. I really like it!
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Offline PokerChen

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #32 on: May 08, 2013, 04:08:01 AM »
Well, on that board-game front, it was my partner's interest in the initial previews that got me signed into alpha... then he discovered that it was turn-based and there existed no animations. ;P

*le sigh*
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #33 on: May 08, 2013, 04:16:55 AM »
Regarding 5/6,.  The idea of random cataclysms as you can no doubt tell from my posts is one I rather like.  Another interesting idea is maybe providing having quotas to fill.  Okay mini-creator, we've decided the age of Man needs at least X heroes.  There shall be Y monsters in the age of monsters. And the age of Gods must have at least Z miracles.  The idea of doing Godly things not because you want to, but because its your job and you're just trying to meet the numbers amuses me.

That amuses me as well, and definitely seems like a potentially great thing.  I love giving players the freedom to figure multiple solutions to things (otherwise this is not much of a strategy game), but just giving a blank check for "do anything" leads to a single optimal solution and also thus nothing good comes of it.  Having quotas and such would help out with the freedom, but not the blank check part.  So with two parts, as you basically said:

1. The cataclysmic stuff happens every X turns, and you have to deal with them as you can based on your god powers.
2. You need to meet your victory point quotas anyhow, and that mostly involves god powers.
3. But you also need to meet other arbitrary quotas of the sort that you described above.  These would be the "edicts," and there would be one random one per round/age.

That way the combination of these three things leaves you with a lot of agency, but also one hell of a balancing act.  You're not really trying for balance at all, you're just trying to meet all your goals in 1-3 and keep either side from dying while that happens.  And keep from failing 2 or 3 above.

That strikes me as intrinsically interesting, and then victory points lead to the content unlocks and profile leveling and we're done.  I'm much more inclined to do one really strong mechanic (or set of small mechanics, like this) than to do three massive and weaker mechanics (edicts + propositions + challenges).

I am confused. Do these still stand? Or have they been omitted based on the more elaborate VP concepts discussed afterwards? It would be a pity  :-\ - I think these would turn out to be the real "salt in the game's soup" - so to speak...
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Offline Misery

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #34 on: May 08, 2013, 04:37:01 AM »
Well, on that board-game front, it was my partner's interest in the initial previews that got me signed into alpha... then he discovered that it was turn-based and there existed no animations. ;P

*le sigh*
For the difference of ~33*6 little pngs to imitate attack actions.

Unfortunately, despite that in gameplay terms it DOESNT BLOODY MATTER AT ALL, this one (lack of animations and such) is likely to be a sticking point with alot of players.   "My guys dont run in place endlessly or spray blood everywhere while going "GARGH!!!!" when they get hit.  This game is so bad!!!11"

Le sigh indeed.

I swear.... with recent gaming trends, I now understand lines like "they dont make 'em like they used to" or "back in my day, such and such was better than this crap you get today!".   And I'm waaayyy too young to really be saying such lines as often as I do.

Offline iozay

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #35 on: May 08, 2013, 06:14:26 AM »
I believe that a "Random Event" system in combination with victory points can work out quite well :)

Example:
Once in a time you get a challenge that modifies the balance from one side or requires you to get certain goals. you are required to resolve it in X turns. Upon completion you are either granted Victory points, resources for a side of your choice or a "Token Recharge".

Random events could be:
-Use a god token
-Throw out X mythological tokens that are being picked up at side X(Those tokens should be refunded of course).
-We want a larger army! Build a new city that can build marauders.
-20 bandits spawn, Kill them.
-One side gets a character with god-side powers and the other side gets a lot of resources
-A bandit god spawns(W/O got tokens, that moves out of itself) both sides get a lot of resources.

Random events could have turn limits to get additional rewards.

I believe that random events can make the game harder and can give short term goals, effectively keeping the game fresh and yet adding challenges based on the difficulty. This might also give an initiative to unbalance the game even more well also getting "rewarded" in case you survive something(i.e. more utility).

Such system could both punish and reward the player at the same time for both short and long term which in my opinion makes it quite interesting :)
 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 06:24:32 AM by iozay »

Offline Mick

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #36 on: May 08, 2013, 07:19:09 AM »
Well, I advocate for getting something dirt simple in to start off. Right now the game lacks an objective beyond "survive for X turns". You might find that simple works out better than you thought.

Offline Misery

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #37 on: May 08, 2013, 07:57:55 AM »
I believe that a "Random Event" system in combination with victory points can work out quite well :)

Example:
Once in a time you get a challenge that modifies the balance from one side or requires you to get certain goals. you are required to resolve it in X turns. Upon completion you are either granted Victory points, resources for a side of your choice or a "Token Recharge".

Random events could be:
-Use a god token
-Throw out X mythological tokens that are being picked up at side X(Those tokens should be refunded of course).
-We want a larger army! Build a new city that can build marauders.
-20 bandits spawn, Kill them.
-One side gets a character with god-side powers and the other side gets a lot of resources
-A bandit god spawns(W/O got tokens, that moves out of itself) both sides get a lot of resources.

Random events could have turn limits to get additional rewards.

I believe that random events can make the game harder and can give short term goals, effectively keeping the game fresh and yet adding challenges based on the difficulty. This might also give an initiative to unbalance the game even more well also getting "rewarded" in case you survive something(i.e. more utility).

Such system could both punish and reward the player at the same time for both short and long term which in my opinion makes it quite interesting :)

Aye, this.

I particularly like the idea of having extra rewards (whatever those might be) for completing such and such in a short time.  There would inevitably be risk to that, which is good here.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #38 on: May 08, 2013, 08:47:03 AM »
Quote
Having a player react to a needed random short term objective on the fly is reacting to randomness. Having a constant list of objectives to do is not random at all.

Agree with this, completely.

Quote
I still hate VP's.

Which is no small reason why what I want has nothing to do with VP's.

Same here, really. I just don't understand how they're going to add much fun to the game. Maybe they'll serve their purpose in strong-arming the players into unbalancing their own game -- so that it then becomes fun -- but even then, I'd prefer events to occur naturally to do the job. Also, the implementation seems like it'd be a bit fiddly.

So, in that regard, I would like to focus my efforts on instead coming up with random events or occurrences that might be able to be feasibly implemented in the limited time left. One type of asset that I know Arcen have at their disposal is a variety of physics-based weather effects. So, why not implement some kind random weather occurrences?

Let's say that every turn there is a chance for a certain type of weather condition to appear over the island. Let's say a lightning storm. Once this storm is initialized let's then say that it lasts for 3 turns. During this time, there would be a random chance that a lightning bolt (or two) will hit a random tile on the board. If this tile happens to be a military unit then they will take severe damage, if it hits a building then the building will be destroyed and have to be rebuilt.

Other weather conditions:

Windstorm -- Possibility to blow units a random amount of spaces -- potentially even off the island itself.

Snowstorm -- Chance to snow-in buildings stopping them from producing until the blizzard subsides.

Bountiful Sun -- Random chance to double resource production of farms etc (lifted this pretty much from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms Series TBS).

I don't think I really need to go much more into this idea, it's pretty self-explanatory. Due to the stock of weather assets Arcen seem to have, the feasibility of this is a lot higher than it would otherwise be.

Of course,  these rare random occurrences are only going to have a subtly randomizing effect on the game world, but it's all the little stuff like this in conjunction with the existing random pieces (bandits and ruins etc) that will add up to create a dynamic, challenging, and organic environment.

Offline Shumbok

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #39 on: May 08, 2013, 10:45:30 AM »
The Challenges and adding Propositions in Harder Difficulties sounds awesome to me. But also that Random Quest System sounds pretty solid but maybe for a later release, because  such a feature to quick implemented could had to many negative influence on first reviews.

Offline x4000

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #40 on: May 08, 2013, 10:50:02 AM »
All right, Josh and I are on skype and thinking this through.  So here are our notes as we do.

1. There's no consensus here whatsoever.  Goodness everyone is divided.  There's also no clear path that we can see at this point (though we are still discussing it).  A few people are really still off in the weeds with super complex ideas that we simply cannot do.  Whatever we choose needs to be implementable end-to-end in about 8 hours of solid programming.  That might not sound like a lot, but we're pretty quick at things so long as it's not having a ton of GUI or a ton of random new mechanics that are completely outside of the box of what we already have.  In other words, something like quests or weather or whatever is Right Out.

2. Having random events during gameplay certainly would spice things up and make every game different.  Whether those come in the form of requests (which then have a potentially-fiddly GUI) or in the form of edicts (same, really) or in the form of random catastrophes (which actually is what sounds the best to me).

3. Josh is big fan of the propositions general idea, and certainly it was something I was super keen on at first also -- my initial idea and all that.  It sounds great on paper, but the GUI for it really is something that would have to be figured out before it could be workable, and I can't think of anything that would be workable and not extra confusing and un-fun.  Also, the challenges themselves would likely be pretty un-fun because they are so super specific and thus take away all your agency.  In other words, you need to have a lot of choice in what you are doing in order for it to be fun.  Not just "do I do this thing or not," but "how do I solve this problem that has arisen."  To that end, flexibility is retained and the strategy component is actually there.  Without that, it's basically the strategy equivalent of "fetch quests," which exist only to throw you off your game for a little while, thus contributing to randomness but not to fun in any way.  So I think these are pretty well off the table, once you start looking at them in any depth.

4. Random cataclyms with some warning (ala AI War) seems like the way to go to me, because this gives you multiple ways to respond to said threat (again ala AI War) while at the same time making it so that you can still pursue your overall goals.  With enough of these, this also makes it suitably variant per game played.  Also, we can tie these in to the specific gods that you have for each faction, so that specific scenarios that require (or at least encourage) the use of specific god tokens come up.  So in other words, we're not using the stick to make you use god tokens, and we're also not creating arbitrary VP-style goals for using them completely out of context.  Instead these are things that you would choose to do in order to meet some sort of specific threat.

5. Right now you have the ability to choose your lesser and greater god for each faction when you change ages.  This is something we had planned from the start, because it allows for you to react to specific circumstances as they come up.  However, the specific circumstances are something that you can already control to a pretty hefty degree, so this is just the icing on the too-much-control cake, so to speak.  Considering making gods not something that you can choose at all, but which instead are randomly assigned and which thus have a strong impact on the randomness of how the last two rounds of the game play out, is something we're looking strongly at.

6. Victory Points in general seem kind of superfluous at this point because either a) they are encouraging you to do stuff you already would be doing anyhow, or b) they are encouraging you to do stuff that you don't want to do, which is un-fun and a really cheesy extrinsic sort of goal system.  Basically, that leaves VP as only serving the purpose of showing "how well you won" a game, and as a way of leveling up your profile.  More on that last in point 7 below.  When it comes to "how well you won," however, that's something that can be determined solely by what difficulty you won on.  In AI War, people don't talk about their score that I've seen.  They instead talk about what difficulty level they play at, and how often they manage to win at that level.  That's where the pride comes in, and the progression of a player from playing at a lower level to a higher level (in terms of skill).

7. In terms of leveling up your profile, I think we can just go with something stupid simple: every game you win levels you up and unlocks the next building.  This is relatively quick and straightforward for players to do, and it's something that shouldn't frustrate even the people who don't like meta aspects.  However, it does provide some nice gating to potentially more complex aspects of the game, and it also gives a short-term meta reason (aka extrinsic reason) for people to play at least 10 games.  After 10 games, you're either hooked and will keep playing, or you've had fun and have more than gotten your $5 worth.  Either way suits us.

8. Under this new system, since it's so quick and straightforward to level up, we actually are going to switch to making it so that trade and diplomacy are something that you have to level up in order to unlock.  These really are not something that are needed in your first games, and they make the game a bit harder to learn.  Once you've demonstrated you can win a single game, then trade would unlock, and then after a third or fourth game (maybe even 5), diplomacy would unlock.  To be clear, we would shift the unlock levels out for the other unlockables so that you would max out at level 13 rather than 11.  So that means 12 games won to see everything.  Still not a huge volume.

9. Without victory points, your sole goal still remains to get to the end without either side completely dying.  Some people might think that this is too small of a goal, but honestly what does complexity add?  If that sole goal is suitably complex and interesting -- which cataclysms would make it by far -- then just getting to the end would be a titanic accomplishment based on your difficulty level chosen.

10. At this point in the design, the game is organically messing with players as they go, leading to potential player brilliance in terms of solutions.  Winning against a pair of bandit towns loaded with military production units WITHOUT using Mjolnir is an accomplishment worth bragging about.  Mjolnir is something that normally in a game without cataclysms you would not be inclined to use, as it's so destabilizing.  But with cataclysms designed specifically with god powers in mind (the god powers of the gods you currently have, that is), this encourages you to use the god tokens, but does not require that you do so.  Just as knowledge use is encouraged in AI War, players still use ultra-low knowledge games to great effect and with great pride, and I think that's wonderful as it shows off just how creative people can be.  If a strategy game isn't a vehicle for player creativity, it's not going to have any staying power.

11. At this point in the design, because of all of the above, it really makes no sense whatsoever for players to be able to choose which gods they are going to have per faction.  Otherwise people just pick some favorites and that's that.  Also, it's just too tame in terms of players getting to set the tempo too much.  After all, you have a 25% chance of getting each god that you want, anyhow.  This then lets us basically call the god selection "edicts" from the master so that that concept stays, while then the cataclysms are the other big force for randomness. 

12. The frequency and possibly severity of cataclysms are what would vary by difficulty level, as well as the crime rates and bandit spawn rates.

13. People are going to want this, so we'll add it as a lobby option: a "Hardcore Cataclysms" option, where you get warning that a cataclysm is coming, but not which one.  Something similar exists in AI War.  This defaults to off.

14. At this point, this is the system we're going to go with; based on all the discussion here, it's clear that not everybody is going to agree with these conclusions.  However, we think that this is the best possible game we can make in the amount of time that we have.  And even if we had lots more time, we think that this is the best course of action anyhow to avoid alienating midcore gamers.  As a side note, those who think that midecore gamers won't play a game simply because of lack of animations are ignoring the effects of both AI War and Minecraft: AI War has grossed over a million dollars, and Minecraft has over two hundred million.  Clearly it mostly comes down to the gameplay.  There will be complaints about the lack of animations, but that's to be expected and the customers that are lost because of that are part of a much larger whole that exist outside of the niche this game will occupy.  If a game as hardcore as AI War can occupy a niche willing to give us a million dollars or more (and counting), then surely a game with greater accessibility but plenty of depth can do at least that or better.  If it doesn't, it's not because of something like lack of animations.

15. The big thing we now need to design are interesting cataclysms.  The ones for the specific gods are ones that will come somewhat naturally to Josh and I based simply on the god tokens we're trying to get people to consider invoking.  The ones for the age of man are a bit less obvious.  If someone wants to start a separate thread for thinking about those things, that would be great.
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Offline Mick

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #41 on: May 08, 2013, 10:57:09 AM »
I love it. I can't wait to try it.

Offline nas1m

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #42 on: May 08, 2013, 11:09:45 AM »
Sounds good to me as well! Especially as a first shot for 1.0.
You are free to add layers and layers of complexity after this took off properly after all ;D...
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Offline Penumbra

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #43 on: May 08, 2013, 11:28:33 AM »
I like the simplicity of it. It shows the goal and the player is just left to achieve it while dealing with what comes up.

The gating of the buildings in order of complexity is also really good. Makes those "leveling up" games more of a tutorial in broader game systems.

Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: Player Feedback requested - Edicts, propositions, and challenges.
« Reply #44 on: May 08, 2013, 11:34:19 AM »
There's no consensus here whatsoever.  Goodness everyone is divided.

Well, I guess at least that's normal.  :P