Author Topic: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!  (Read 1827 times)

Offline x4000

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Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« on: August 12, 2013, 08:09:08 PM »
Original: http://arcengames.blogspot.com/2013/08/skyward-collapse-1600-beta-welcome-yon.html

If you've not yet read about the general changes in the 1.4 beta line, now is a good time to do so. It's expected that we'll stay in beta for the new features until we release the 2.0 version of the game in late August, alongside the new Nihon no Mura expansion.  A lot is different in the base game since 1.4, so we want to make sure and give this time to mature before we put this out to everyone.

This one is another biggie that chews through a lot of the stuff on the the list of implemented features so far for the new expansion.  There are also some key bugfixes, and a couple of nice tweaks for the base game.

The big new thing is Hamlets and the related Cultural Victory.  I didn't have time to finish implementing Large Towns or Hamley Idyll mode, but both are pretty far along and should be done tomorrow (knock on wood).

The Hamlets themselves are really different from the original model that I described, mainly because that model wasn't any fun (too fiddly in practice).  This is actually the third major model we've gone to.  This one is really fun to me, although I'm not yet sure if there are any killer strategies in there that require balance adjustments.  I haven't found any yet.

Also, there's the new Luminith Tower and Arks that let you win a Cultural Victory.  The costs on these might be insanely too high, or not high enough, I'm not sure.  On the culture in particular; I've tested the hamlets a lot, but not with an eye toward generating masses of it.  And I was doing it in the Idyll mode, not in the context of an actual game.  The Cultural Victory is supposed to be the harder route, and gives you extra points for accomplishing it; bit it's not supposed to be impossible.

So feedback on those things is definitely welcome!  Meanwhile I'm going to get the last of the features fully implemented, then start circling back on more bugfixes and so forth.

More to come soon.  Enjoy!

This is a standard update that you can download through the  in-game updater itself, if you already have any version of the game.  When you  launch the game, you'll see the notice of the update having been found if you're connected to the Internet at the time.
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Offline Misery

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Re: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 01:27:16 AM »
This update really looks good.   That tower thing really looks EXPENSIVE.  That's.... ALOT of sunstone.  :D   And the change to the costs of the land tiles is very interesting, that one actually could have a high impact on player strategy.

I'll likely be slower on the feedback with the hamlets bit, since that's a big thing to get the hang of.   That and the culture doesnt do much yet, it seems like.  I'll experiment with it quite a bit before I say much of anything about it.

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Re: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 06:39:03 AM »
Yeah, I know that's extreme sunstone. :) The question is how much sunstone an economy can produce if its geared around doing that to an unusual degree, and that's not a question that has really been asked yet prior to now. Also, with the Large Towns coming, I think that those will have a big impact on the ability to crank out something like sunstone, thanks to town specialization no longer being constraining and instead turning to complete advantage.

Glad it's all looking good in general though. :)
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2013, 03:16:56 AM »
Just to chime in quickly: Having fun with the Hamlets so far!
I was intrigued to see that the originally planned limitation to let them only be placed in completely ruined towns has been removed.

It will be interesting to see what pays off more in the long run: Ignoring Hamlets until there is a fully ruined town to play with or starting to place them on individual ruined buildings in towns that are still operating (and thus starting to generate culture more early at the cost of loosing a usable town tile (after it has been blessed))...

I hope to get some more time with the Hamlets this weekend.

As a balance sidenote:
The Moonstone cost of the Ittan-Momen creature placeable by Ebisu is really insane. 72 Moonstone :o?! Thats *a lot*. Might be it is powerful enough to justify this, but I never got enough Moonstone to actually try it ;).

EDIT: Is it possible the 'self-preservation' logic that makes units reluctant to attack units that they can't win against is not yet applied to (Japanese) Gods? In my current game Ebisu killed himself by attacking Pan two turns in a row - a battle he had no chance to win at all as far as stats are concerned.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 07:30:52 AM by nas1m »
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Offline Misery

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Re: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2013, 09:13:12 AM »
Oooookay.  I'm going to TRY to keep this short-ish and to the point, but there's much to say, so forgive me if I ramble a bit much....


First of all, a bit of unit feedback:

OniBaba:  Yeah, this one is strong.   While there can only be one on the map at once, it seems like stopping it is still only temporary, as the game is bound to make another one soon enough.  I had this happen pretty quickly.  But this is a very interesting type of threat.   I had the first one just standing next to a set of barracks;  whole time, it just stood there and ate anyone that came out.  Until it randomly imploded from a new one appearing somewhere else.  Interesting indeed.

Japanese gods in general:  Ok.   Once Kagutsuchi finally stopped poking bricks out of buildings, the VERY first thing he did was to wander over to a monster cave and nearly kill himself on some giant horror that had spawned there. Only a couple of turns and while he managed to kill the horrible nightmare (that thing that does like 70000 damage per hit) his health was so low that the actual healthbar display was empty.   Suijinsama spawned next once I hit the third age, and just a couple short turns later her health was at half, again from smashing up against certain very high-damage targets, which included the Norse gods.   There's definitely a problem here in more ways than one.  Firstly, the Japanese gods are supposed to be kinda like most of the other stuff the Japanese have, in that they're strong and can make a difference but are hard to control and can be a threat otherwise, yeah?  But this idea is kinda ruined if those gods are immediately suiciding on high-damage targets.   Not to mention that they become a huge amount of free points if they die, and the same if they kill an enemy god.   It's not TOO hard to stop them from killing Norse or Greek gods, as you can token-move them to some land branch somewhere, and then use smite so they're standing on an isolated land tile, but there's nothing you can do about the rampaging gods running into walls of chainsaws over and over.

Japanese god-units:  Hoboy.  Some of these are really, really screwy.  This might actually be a problem with this faction, in that for many of these units, it's very difficult to come up with a practical use for them, if not outright impossible.  For example, Kodama;  it doesnt do anything special, but when killed by the enemy it just eats 10 souls from the Japanese stockpile.  I really cant concieve of any use for that.  I'd thought that possibly the reason for that specific unit was that it's got the 10x multiplier, but..... it actually is only worth the same as one building (also I get the feeling that just being worth alot of points isnt going to encourage their usage much, particularly when the effects can be so wonky). And that's just that one unit;  I had a look at all of them in the sandbox mode to see what effects they all have, and alot of them seem this way, where there just isnt any real use for them.  Heck, Suijinsama's 3 units, I havent come up with a potential use for any of them.  And for Kagutsuchi's stuffs, I dunno what in the world to do with the Ho-oh one (probably spelling that wrong) as that thing seems like it could either be pretty helpful or go horribly wrong based on the RNG when placing it.   Compare this with the other two factions, where the god tokens, even the somewhat screwy ones, have definite uses, and the game can generate many situations where those tokens can be used well for a variety of reasons.   And finally, these very hard to use units are VERY expensive.   There's a few in here that seem OK, but.... these kinda seem like they need to be looked over again across the board, with effects (and sometimes stats) being outright changed for many of them.  As the expansion goes so far, this is definitely the suggestion that I want to emphasize the most.   If done right, the concept of these special god-summoned creatures that replace tokens could be very interesting, as the basic concept is very sound, but right now the implementation is way too fulla holes.


Okay.   That's all the unit stuff I thought I should bring up for now;  the Norse and Greek units I dont think really need changing, and the same goes for the Japanese military units;  these all seem to be in a good place right now, I think. 


So.  Hamlets!

The implementation you guys came up with is very interesting.  I found this immediately engaging, even despite the fact that the culture points dont do anything in this build.  The idea of randomizing a selection of three, plus the multiplier, really makes this whole idea work.   All in all, so far, this is just superb.  Cant wait to see what kinds of things end up working with this and what the culture stuff ends up doing.   The idea of also having to divide your AP between all of the military stuff, and the hamlet stuff, is a good one also.

There's a couple of issues though:

1. The ability to place hamlet buildings on top of already existing ones.  To me, this should actually be removed.  WITHOUT this, the player has to make lots of meaningful decisions when placing these buildings, as each placed building can then greatly influence buildings placed later.  Also without it, it means that space is at a premium, further encouraging the player to try to destroy military/production buildings when they want to get more hamlet space.  Both of these things seem good to me.  But right now you can just override hamlets with new ones, which can mean quick, easy points in many cases by just overwriting, which also means WAY more potential points out of one city's worth of wrecked building tiles.  Others may disagree with me, but I think the hamlet thing will be that much better if they cannot simply be placed on already existing hamlet buildings.

2. Slums are actually pretty easy to get points with, and pretty easy to deal with in general.  It's possible to actually generate quite a bit of culture by making a hamlet that's nothing but slums, if you do it right, particularly with the multiplier system when it adds to that type of tile.  Which ALSO means that so long as you have an extra exploded city somewhere, it's very easy to outright discard these, so your non-slum city needs never have even one of them in there.   I got the impression that these were supposed to be the difficult to deal with tile, but that's not the case right now.

3. Rice fields.... really dont do anything?  I've yet to see a good reason to place these.

4. The changed cost of "normal" land tiles makes it very easy to get piles of additional culture from some of these buildings, particularly with the multiplier. 


So, that's that for hamlets at the moment.  If you've come up with practical and varied uses for the culture resource to go with this, then this mechanic is going to be pretty great, I think.


Finally.... the big tower things.  Getting enough culture for each piece isnt too hard, though some of that again is the tile-replacement mechanic with the hamlets.   Getting the sunstone though?  I'm convinced it cannot be done.  You would have to devote sooooooooooo many buildings/cities JUST to this in order to make it work, and honestly, if you're ABLE to create THAT many buildings as is.... then you've pretty much already gotten the "military victory" done, because almost nothing in the game can truly hurt a faction that has that absurd number of buildings and cities.   AKA, the challenge level would plummet once you're far enough into the preparations for this.   I've gotten the Japanese in my current game to be extremely focused on diamonds and moon/sun stones, and I have twice the number of cities on each side that I usually have at this point in the game, but.... yeah, that's not even remotely close to being anywhere near what would be necessary to even begin to work towards that tower thing.


That, I think, is all the feedback for now.... cant think of anything else.   Or cant remember it, one of the two. 

« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 09:16:19 AM by Misery »

Offline x4000

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Re: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2013, 01:14:52 PM »
Just to chime in quickly: Having fun with the Hamlets so far!

Awesome!  The next version actually changes this up quite a bit in terms of adding more depth to what you've already experienced; I'm a lot happier with the new version.

I was intrigued to see that the originally planned limitation to let them only be placed in completely ruined towns has been removed.

Yeah, in the end that felt kind of pointless -- and for Large Towns, I thought it would potentially be very viable to be turning part of the town into a hamlet while the other part still runs well!

It will be interesting to see what pays off more in the long run: Ignoring Hamlets until there is a fully ruined town to play with or starting to place them on individual ruined buildings in towns that are still operating (and thus starting to generate culture more early at the cost of loosing a usable town tile (after it has been blessed))...

I think that if it's not at least 9 or so tiles, maybe even more like 15, that it's not going to be in your favor much to do it early.  But with 44 tiles in a large town, that's more than enough before long!

The Moonstone cost of the Ittan-Momen creature placeable by Ebisu is really insane. 72 Moonstone :o?! Thats *a lot*. Might be it is powerful enough to justify this, but I never got enough Moonstone to actually try it ;).

Thanks!

* The moonstone cost of the Ittan-Momen has been thirded; it may still need to go down even further than that.  Feedback welcome!

EDIT: Is it possible the 'self-preservation' logic that makes units reluctant to attack units that they can't win against is not yet applied to (Japanese) Gods? In my current game Ebisu killed himself by attacking Pan two turns in a row - a battle he had no chance to win at all as far as stats are concerned.

That sort of logic is in there, but gods that can attack gods will tend to try to do so immediately.  That said, I think you're right that this is bad, so:

* Gods no longer react to military commandments, and are no longer allowed to attack other gods.  Much more interesting if they aren't quickly killing one another.

Thanks!
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Offline x4000

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Re: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 01:45:25 PM »
Oooookay.  I'm going to TRY to keep this short-ish and to the point, but there's much to say, so forgive me if I ramble a bit much....

Whew, wow. :)  But feedback is good, so thanks!  Only going to respond to the ones that have actions associated with them on my part, or otherwise need a response.  But otherwise presume lots of head-nodding on the other things. ;)


Japanese gods in general:  Ok.   Once Kagutsuchi finally stopped poking bricks out of buildings,

Did the latest version fix that, or was it random?  We haven't been able to duplicate this, so if you wind up with a save with it, that would be great.

the VERY first thing he did was to wander over to a monster cave and nearly kill himself on some giant horror that had spawned there. Only a couple of turns and while he managed to kill the horrible nightmare (that thing that does like 70000 damage per hit) his health was so low that the actual healthbar display was empty.   Suijinsama spawned next once I hit the third age, and just a couple short turns later her health was at half, again from smashing up against certain very high-damage targets, which included the Norse gods.   There's definitely a problem here in more ways than one.  Firstly, the Japanese gods are supposed to be kinda like most of the other stuff the Japanese have, in that they're strong and can make a difference but are hard to control and can be a threat otherwise, yeah?  But this idea is kinda ruined if those gods are immediately suiciding on high-damage targets.   Not to mention that they become a huge amount of free points if they die, and the same if they kill an enemy god.   It's not TOO hard to stop them from killing Norse or Greek gods, as you can token-move them to some land branch somewhere, and then use smite so they're standing on an isolated land tile, but there's nothing you can do about the rampaging gods running into walls of chainsaws over and over.

Yeah, all good points.  These gods really were supposed to have more health, but somehow we messed that up.  They now have 30x more health, which should suffice.  Also, all gods now refuse to fight other gods, which is only fair. ;)

For example, Kodama;  it doesnt do anything special, but when killed by the enemy it just eats 10 souls from the Japanese stockpile.  I really cant concieve of any use for that.  I'd thought that possibly the reason for that specific unit was that it's got the 10x multiplier, but..... it actually is only worth the same as one building (also I get the feeling that just being worth alot of points isnt going to encourage their usage much, particularly when the effects can be so wonky).

Bear in mind that the points from the tokens on the other factions are a major source of points, so here the idea is the same.  That said, the cost of creating the unit might be too high for that.  With the Kodama, a great use for them is to make a bunch of them before doing something that smites a bunch of units.  Then you lose no souls.

I feel like the Japanese mythos are pretty specialized, and that's the idea -- a lot of them have sideways uses, but they do all have uses.  Well, in theory, presuming that their costs and point benefits are balanced properly.  Which I don't remotely claim is the case.

And that's just that one unit;  I had a look at all of them in the sandbox mode to see what effects they all have, and alot of them seem this way, where there just isnt any real use for them.  Heck, Suijinsama's 3 units, I havent come up with a potential use for any of them.  And for Kagutsuchi's stuffs, I dunno what in the world to do with the Ho-oh one (probably spelling that wrong) as that thing seems like it could either be pretty helpful or go horribly wrong based on the RNG when placing it.   Compare this with the other two factions, where the god tokens, even the somewhat screwy ones, have definite uses, and the game can generate many situations where those tokens can be used well for a variety of reasons.   And finally, these very hard to use units are VERY expensive.   There's a few in here that seem OK, but.... these kinda seem like they need to be looked over again across the board, with effects (and sometimes stats) being outright changed for many of them.  As the expansion goes so far, this is definitely the suggestion that I want to emphasize the most.   If done right, the concept of these special god-summoned creatures that replace tokens could be very interesting, as the basic concept is very sound, but right now the implementation is way too fulla holes.

I will put Josh on looking into this.  I think that it is mostly a matter of the costs being out of whack here, to be honest.  A lot of these are simply points-generators that also have a great secondary benefit.  The points multipliers on all of these might need to go higher to make them particularly more valuable, though.


Okay.   That's all the unit stuff I thought I should bring up for now;  the Norse and Greek units I dont think really need changing, and the same goes for the Japanese military units;  these all seem to be in a good place right now, I think.

Great!


So.  Hamlets!

The implementation you guys came up with is very interesting.  I found this immediately engaging, even despite the fact that the culture points dont do anything in this build.  The idea of randomizing a selection of three, plus the multiplier, really makes this whole idea work.   All in all, so far, this is just superb.  Cant wait to see what kinds of things end up working with this and what the culture stuff ends up doing.   The idea of also having to divide your AP between all of the military stuff, and the hamlet stuff, is a good one also.

Awesome!  The new upcoming build of the game refines the hamlets even more, making them more interesting longer-term, by the way.  And in the version you have, culture can be used for the cultural victory... just not anything else, heh.

1. The ability to place hamlet buildings on top of already existing ones.  To me, this should actually be removed.  WITHOUT this, the player has to make lots of meaningful decisions when placing these buildings, as each placed building can then greatly influence buildings placed later.  Also without it, it means that space is at a premium, further encouraging the player to try to destroy military/production buildings when they want to get more hamlet space.  Both of these things seem good to me.  But right now you can just override hamlets with new ones, which can mean quick, easy points in many cases by just overwriting, which also means WAY more potential points out of one city's worth of wrecked building tiles.  Others may disagree with me, but I think the hamlet thing will be that much better if they cannot simply be placed on already existing hamlet buildings.

This is absolutely vital, actually.  This is the only way that you can play hamlets without it having to be a land expansion game, which is definitely not the point of these.  If anything, these are supposed to be super compact; the Hamlet Idyll mode gives you 18 building ruins and you have to make do with that for 50+ turns.  The replacement model actually is really good if you are playing long-term and thinking about how your hamlet is evolving and all the adjacency stuff. 

The problem in the build you have is that the model for hamlets is just too simple, and does not encourage long-term thinking in the right way.  In the Idyll mode, Josh and I found ourselves just kind of on autopilot without much brain engagement.

The NEXT version of the game is very different.  It has some key changes that make it way more interesting and mentally engaging.  And I don't think you'll find the replacement to be an issue in that one.  Really for an ideal culture generation model, most of the time you'll want to use a small area that is continually refreshed.

2. Slums are actually pretty easy to get points with, and pretty easy to deal with in general.  It's possible to actually generate quite a bit of culture by making a hamlet that's nothing but slums, if you do it right, particularly with the multiplier system when it adds to that type of tile.  Which ALSO means that so long as you have an extra exploded city somewhere, it's very easy to outright discard these, so your non-slum city needs never have even one of them in there.   I got the impression that these were supposed to be the difficult to deal with tile, but that's not the case right now.

Absolutely, slums can work as you describe; that said, in the next version of the game they are often harder to deal with.  THAT said, they really are too tame and TOO easy to get points with.  I've adjusted that for the next version:

* Most of the proximity bonuses from Slum tiles have been removed, except for rice fields and dead forests.  The bonuses from being next to rice fields has been tripled.

Being able to get some points from them, and in the next version using them to clear civilian tokens, is definitely the idea.  But getting lots... not so much.

3. Rice fields.... really dont do anything?  I've yet to see a good reason to place these.

I noticed this as well, yeah.  Good point!

* The function of rice fields has been swapped around a fair bit, and the description of them also now notes that they are an excellent way to create a buffer between other kinds of tiles that you may not want to have near one another.

4. The changed cost of "normal" land tiles makes it very easy to get piles of additional culture from some of these buildings, particularly with the multiplier. 

Good point!

* The basic land types no longer cost a quarter of an action point to place, as it turns out that that was exploitable in a variety of ways.

So, that's that for hamlets at the moment.  If you've come up with practical and varied uses for the culture resource to go with this, then this mechanic is going to be pretty great, I think.

Awesome. :)  There are four general functions for them coming up, all of which are really attractive, I think.  The victory condition bit that you've already seen is one of them.  And then there are three more coming hopefully today.


Finally.... the big tower things.  Getting enough culture for each piece isnt too hard, though some of that again is the tile-replacement mechanic with the hamlets.   Getting the sunstone though?  I'm convinced it cannot be done.  You would have to devote sooooooooooo many buildings/cities JUST to this in order to make it work, and honestly, if you're ABLE to create THAT many buildings as is.... then you've pretty much already gotten the "military victory" done, because almost nothing in the game can truly hurt a faction that has that absurd number of buildings and cities.   AKA, the challenge level would plummet once you're far enough into the preparations for this.   I've gotten the Japanese in my current game to be extremely focused on diamonds and moon/sun stones, and I have twice the number of cities on each side that I usually have at this point in the game, but.... yeah, that's not even remotely close to being anywhere near what would be necessary to even begin to work towards that tower thing.

Point taken. ;)

* The amount of sunstone required for the luminith arks and luminith tower have been reduced to 1/10th their prior value.

Let me know if that's still not enough, but it sounds like it should be in the ballpark.

That, I think, is all the feedback for now.... cant think of anything else.   Or cant remember it, one of the two.

Thanks very much! :D
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Offline nas1m

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Re: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 02:48:51 PM »
As a sidenote: I just recognized that the game now allows to carry over more than 9 action points between turns.
I presume this was not intended ;D?
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Offline x4000

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Re: Skyward Collapse 1.600 Beta "Welcome Yon Nobles" Released!
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2013, 02:52:31 PM »
Oh man!  Will fix.
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Offline x4000

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