Author Topic: SBR v3 Thoughts  (Read 2877 times)

Offline ptarth

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SBR v3 Thoughts
« on: October 07, 2015, 01:39:42 PM »
I've been putting off my views of SBR v3 until I had a better grasp on it. I believe I have reached that point.
  • I like SBR. I've played and tested it for 160 hours according to steam. I've made 400 mantis reports. I don't think there is a better way to demonstrate my interest in it nor my goodwill.There are a lot of good points about SBR, 160 hours says that better than I could by writing pages of text.
  • SBR v3 was a massive departure from SBR v2 and v1. I'm mixed when it comes to those changes.
  • Territories were added to combat the problem with military buildings ranges and combat. To an extent it is better, but the combat model is still being refined.
  • Watching a massive battle between territories is really cool, but I think the individual attack from each building one click at a time should be dropped. I believe that allowing all military buildings to attack per click would be a better option, with a maximum clicking available per turn.
  • Risk Style - Chris keep referring to SBR as Risk style. I think this is a bad way of describing it, because the combat model is more sophisticated than that and describing your game like Risk is a bad thing to sophisticated gamers. Referring to it as territory-based combat where all of your forces engage the enemy simultaneously is much better in my mind.
  • The Economy - Need-based - I really like the new addition of each building have needs to be fulfilled.
  • The Economy - The economy of SBR is still in awkward shape. The current worker efficiency method of crown generation promotes the building of only the most efficient buildings. This promotes a monoculture of buildings. It did not solve the problem of large swathes of the same building being placed, it just enhanced it. The main economic building systems is still under work, but has been put into the back burner as the event system is developed. The economy is a major component of games in 4X genre, and so it does need to be developed more.
  • The Economy - I strongly feel that a need-based economy would be better. In this system, each rank of dwelling would have citizens with different needs (bunker, dense, spacious, luxury). These citizens. Fulfilling the needs of each citizen would provide some number of crowns. This would change the game from placing high efficiency crown producing buildings to promoting the growth of your population and then fulfilling the needs of the citizens. This is more inline with city builder mechanics (e.g., Anno, Cleopatra, Tropico).
  • The Economy & Territories - I don't like how the territories work in regards to the economy. The local and global resource model and how it affects need supply is really awkward. I am in favor of only using the territories in regards to claiming area and military combat. The economic system should act on your entire area, and there should be no local resources.
  • Pollution Model - I like the v2 & v1 pollution model. I thought it was really cool. The shift to territory wide representation has left the pollution system rather shallow and there isn't much to it anymore. You can't really interact with the system beyond stopping all pollution in an area.
  • Events - Until they are further developed I can't say much.
  • City Building - I thought the adjacency bonuses in v2 were what really gave depth to the design of SBR. It made placement matter and gave you micromanagement tasks. The balance was certainly off on many things, the crime situation comes to mind. Regardless it allowed me to make my city, how I desired, and not forcing myself into restricted versions.
  • Tech Tree - Because so few buildings matter and the choices are rather obvious, the tech tree is very shallow. You don't have any trade offs or choices. Queuing the technologies from cheapest to most expensive and then forgetting about it is all that's required. This will be rectified once everything else is working better. Alternative systems from other games have costs for each successive tech increasing, so that it matters which order you get technologies in. It is gamey, but it might be sufficient.
  • Abilities - Currently each building that allows an ability triggers in X turns. I think it should be changed that buildings fire EVERY turn, but the strength is dependent upon the sum of all of your buildings. The cost would also be proportional to the strength of the attack. You would receive a single attack notification each round that would summarize all of the abilities used upon you, and used by you upon your targets. This would reduce ability spam and make them actually matter.
  • Market Items - I like the change from the previous market item implementation. However I believe that shifting from a straightforward add X levels to new buildings to a version that increasing experience gain for that particular building by X% would be better. It would scale better and make stealing items matter.
  • Underground - Still under utilized. Perhaps something simple would be sufficient to make it fuller. A set of buildings that effect the building built above it. These buildings would be able to use the existing underground art or would be simple variants. Underground bunker - Workers are protected if surface building is attacked. Underground Workspace - Increase efficiency of the surface building. Underground housing - Increase the housing of the surface building. Reinforce Foundation - Increase the health of the surface building.
  • I like SBR. I've played and tested it for 160 hours according to steam. I've made 400 mantis reports. I don't think there is a better way to demonstrate my interest in it nor my goodwill.There are a lot of good points about SBR, 160 hours says that better than I could by writing pages of text. I've copied and pasted this because otherwise this all sounds pretty dire, it isn't. It is a message of cheer and celebration.
  • Caveats - These are just my opinions. My view isn't necessarily the same as the Arcen view. Goodness knows that Chris and I have different perspectives about things. Actually, most of the time we see things completely differently, and even when we agree we come to vastly different solutions to the problems we agree on.

/soapbox
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 02:43:39 PM »
hey so 1 I agree that the adjacency bonuses were awesome.
2 I rather like your idea of a needs based spamming offices isn't any fun for me

3 personally I don't really remember very much about the old implementation of pollution apart from it not being per territory

4 international abilities are timed?! I had no idea I assume the game wasn't just telling me what was going on.

5 why not it wouldn't cause any harm(your underground buildings idea)

not really going to comment on the other points brought up until there considered properly implemented.
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Offline Cinth

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 07:44:56 PM »
Last time I checked, I had 152 hours played and 104 Mantis posts.  I'm having a blast playing. 
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Opened your save. My computer wept. Switched to the ST planet and ship icons filled my screen, so I zoomed out. Game told me that it _was_ totally zoomed out. You could seriously walk from one end of the inner grav well to the other without getting your feet cold.

Offline gnosis

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2015, 12:01:10 AM »
I'm with ptarth on this one.

1. The tech tree needs more stuff, perhaps also add building efficiency unlocks?

2. There are strong documented reasons for the needs based economy. Play style and preference is one thing, but the current system is flawed and it shows if you were to make a serious city building game.

3. need acts 3-4 for examining the warfare and diplo model. Can't really speak for that one.

4. Pollution is too binary: either you have a hazmat and don't care or you have polution problems. Same with trash and bodies after the 1/10 balance pass. Perhaps make hazmat an act 3 building and have the player cope with pollution and its effects untill then?

Offline tombik

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2015, 10:41:52 AM »
Really well written, now that the release is even later, I hope they can do things for all of the issues you brought up.

Offline Rythe

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2015, 05:37:46 AM »
As a fresh v3 tester, and me being me, I'm going to do the expected in voicing some dissent.

1)I really don't agree with changing how the economy functions at present. What you seem to want is concrete, explicit connections between the consumption of services and the generation of crowns whereas SBR v3 makes it an implicit relationship (lack of required services hurts efficiency and generates crown eating problems) if with a few possible logic gaps.  So my impression is that you want detail for the sake of detail with a dovetailing assumption that crown sinks can be squirreled into those details.

This seems contrary to the spirit of the game's overarching design where Chris appears to want to streamline the experience a great deal, highlighted to me by how he designed the latest combat model and the buildings only bit.

In short, v3 has you meet service demands (needs) and your buildings will function well, including the ones that pump out the crowns, which is the essence of a needs-based economy, is it not? Ptarth seems to concede this with bullet six but then goes right on to asking for more of a needs-based economy with bullet eight, and I really don't see the point.

2)The point I do see is that without sufficient opposition from AI Factions/Planet, the economy is missing a purpose. Ptarth appears to be trying to fix that by making the economy itself the purpose, whereas I get the sense that our economies are suppose to fuel player advancement and interactions with the various AI Factions/Planet.  If my sense is correct, then convoluting the economy is going to detract game focus from player advancement and interacting with the various AI Factions/Planet.

The answer to this problem I'd like to see is for player engagement with the various AI Factions/Planet to require that the player carefully weigh each and every crown they have against those possible interactions vs developing their civ vs expanding their economic base.  I'll also note again that most of these things are broken or unfinished or completely gated behind Acts 3 & 4 in the current build.

3)Which leads me to abilities. I'd prefer that they be a combination of all the main options - 1: Direct fired action with an instant resolve and then cooldown period. 2: Directed activity that resolves some turns in the future. 3: Sustained activity that continues until ceased.

Each has a niche, I think. A commando raid should be a short-lived thing like a combat phase. Also trash/body dumping.  Espionage/Spy activities should be directed and eventually resolved in some fashion so they would require some strategic pre-planning. And then sustained activities like propaganda.

This would also add some flavor and cater these activities to associated play styles, especially in regards to the instant resolve ones which would provide some direct feedback to the player that otherwise generally gets lost in the forest of notification popups at the start of each turn.

And winding back into point 2, appreciable crown costs in doing all of them. So likely some difficulty scaling based on concrete factors.

4)I do agree that there should be more building adjacency and terrain bonuses/penalties with the direct aim of mixing up building compositions, but I'm getting the sense from discussions that v2 had them just for the sake of having them - like police knocking down crime from adjacent buildings or something, just to have some sort of positioning bonus attached to the police building.  That I don't agree with, if that's what v2 did.  What I want is a little more of the sort of bonuses we currently have and that there be very strategic if straightforward goals for those bonuses. Again, possibly some penalties to help that along too.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2015, 05:43:25 AM by Rythe »

Offline ptarth

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2015, 12:38:46 PM »
As a fresh v3 tester, and me being me, I'm going to do the expected in voicing some dissent.
Fair enough. As a v1 tester I have some preconceptions that may be influencing my ideas.

Quote
1)I really don't agree with changing how the economy functions at present. What you seem to want is concrete, explicit connections between the consumption of services and the generation of crowns whereas SBR v3 makes it an implicit relationship (lack of required services hurts efficiency and generates crown eating problems) if with a few possible logic gaps.  So my impression is that you want detail for the sake of detail with a dovetailing assumption that crown sinks can be squirreled into those details.

This seems contrary to the spirit of the game's overarching design where Chris appears to want to streamline the experience a great deal, highlighted to me by how he designed the latest combat model and the buildings only bit.
  • I'm not completely sure what you are trying to get at here.
  • Chris has not made public sufficient design docs for me to really understand his goals. I can (and have) guessed, but much of it is pure conjecture.
  • In v2 one of the biggest problems was combat. The main issue was attack range given fixed position units. If you had a military building with X range, for an opponent to attack your building, he would need to build a military building within range of it. If his building had longer range, you would lose because you couldn't hit it. If his building had shorter range, you would win, unless he kept you distracted with other targets long enough to finish construction. In addition to that there were the differences in building health, attack power, and technology level required to obtain your races' optimal military buildings.
    Chris's solution was to switch from a tile-based combat system to a territory-based combat system. This was his "Risk-style" combat system. All military buildings within a territory were considered to be within range of all adjacent territory buildings.
    I don't think this means streamlined. Sure it didn't remove much of the micro-involved in military building positioning, but that's because it was going to be a hard problem to solve. It would be akin to fighting the 100 Year War by only building Castles. The unitlessness was causing problems, and this was how he chose to resolve it. The economic system was less affected because it was already at a greater stage of development than the military system.
    At this point though, the story-driven, territory-wide, and empire-wide economic system was also introduced. Possibly as a result of switching to a territory-based military approach. I'm not sure. Chris hasn't really presented design docs about it.
  • detail for the sake of detail  :P. Actually, this is a hard claim to refute because it doesn't provide much detail about what you are complaining about. I'm going to guess, but you'll pardon me if I can't address your concern.
  • I want detail for the sake of gameplay. City builders are micro-intensive games wherein the position of a building is really important. In the current system building placement matters little (some, but not much). Optimal economic development does not involve creating an roughly realistic economy, it involves placing the most crown generating worker-efficient buildings, followed by the most crown generating building cost-efficient buildings. City builders are all about placing buildings in locations to optimize production and benefits. They may not have adjacency bonuses in an explicit fashion, but they do in an implicit fashion. In many of these games buildings produce resources which are transported to other buildings in their economic chain. The distance the goods have to travel is proportional to the time, which is effectively building efficiency. In an unitless game, adjacency bonuses mimic this relationship. You want your woodcutters near your lumbermill so that you are quickly producing lumber from the logs your woodcutters make. If your lumbermill is far away it takes time for the logs to get there which will slow down overall lumber production. Or we just give woodcutters a 25% bonus to adjacent lumber mills, its an abstraction but gets to the same idea.
  • You suggest that the story- and racial-interactions are the meat of the game. That may be the case. However, they did not exist prior to v3. The mechanics behind them are very undeveloped. I've help added hundreds of events, so I'm reasonably familiar with the system framework thus far. It may be the case that this is what Chris is aiming for, but if you compare the economic system (in all the versions of SBR) to the event/interaction system, the former is much more developed than the later. This has lead me to conclude that the economics is more fundamental to the game than the story.
  • This may be wrong. I had the same thoughts about The Last Federation too. I think Chris was wanting to tell a story of events, but he added a mostly functional economic system to the game. One example is the RCS system. As a player he tantalized me with this was to make macro-changes to a planet, but then makes it very, very random. One of the largest frustrations from him was how much players were obsessing with the RCS system, which he didn't/doesn't really care about. So I guess my position is, he spends tons of resource time developing a system, but then only wants to use it for window dressing and have it be background noise. Whereas I see it as something that must be important, because of all the information and tools I have to interact with it.

Quote
In short, v3 has you meet service demands (needs) and your buildings will function well, including the ones that pump out the crowns, which is the essence of a needs-based economy, is it not? Ptarth seems to concede this with bullet six but then goes right on to asking for more of a needs-based economy with bullet eight, and I really don't see the point.

  • I do think you see the point, the point is: What is the purpose of the economy and how does it interact with the play in the game.
  • I have my opinion, which is that SBR is a game about economics, from which many of my thoughts follow.
  • Which is also the conclusion you reach in your later paragraphs ;p.

Quote
2)The point I do see is that without sufficient opposition from AI Factions/Planet, the economy is missing a purpose. Ptarth appears to be trying to fix that by making the economy itself the purpose, whereas I get the sense that our economies are suppose to fuel player advancement and interactions with the various AI Factions/Planet.  If my sense is correct, then convoluting the economy is going to detract game focus from player advancement and interacting with the various AI Factions/Planet.

  • Recall that prior to v3 the economic game WAS the game. There wasn't any of this interaction that you are focusing on.

Quote
The answer to this problem I'd like to see is for player engagement with the various AI Factions/Planet to require that the player carefully weigh each and every crown they have against those possible interactions vs developing their civ vs expanding their economic base.  I'll also note again that most of these things are broken or unfinished or completely gated behind Acts 3 & 4 in the current build.
  • You should look into King of Dragon Pass.
  • It is a game that does do a ton of what you are asking for. It is highly event/interaction driven and has economic components.
  • A key is that the importance of each aspect of the game is proportional to your access to and awareness of information about the aspect.
  • In SBR we have tons of access to economic and building placement systems, but virtually no access to race/planet interaction systems. If the later is the focus, then this ratio needs to shift.

Quote
3)Which leads me to abilities. I'd prefer that they be a combination of all the main options - 1: Direct fired action with an instant resolve and then cooldown period. 2: Directed activity that resolves some turns in the future. 3: Sustained activity that continues until ceased.

Each has a niche, I think. A commando raid should be a short-lived thing like a combat phase. Also trash/body dumping.  Espionage/Spy activities should be directed and eventually resolved in some fashion so they would require some strategic pre-planning. And then sustained activities like propaganda.

This would also add some flavor and cater these activities to associated play styles, especially in regards to the instant resolve ones which would provide some direct feedback to the player that otherwise generally gets lost in the forest of notification popups at the start of each turn.

And winding back into point 2, appreciable crown costs in doing all of them. So likely some difficulty scaling based on concrete factors.

  • I think you are focusing on the details too much at this stage.
  • I will now pose some rhetorical socratic-style questions to frame my thoughts.
  • Let's say there are 50 abilities. How many of those do you want to have to be manually fired every Y turns? How many updates do you want each turn about them?
  • In a functional empire of 10 million people, how much impact should a single 8-man commando squad make?
  • In my mind, that is a ton of busy work I won't want to deal with. I'd rather have a switch that engages all of my commando squads on a target. They do their things and I get turn updates on their progress. If I have 50 commando squads (which is not an unreasonable number given barracks density) then I want to be able to use them and without interface trouble.
  • Minor details like ability costs have occupied too much development time. Chris has changed costs for various things many times, only to discard the entire mechanic later. In many cases the cost doesn't do anything beyond add an additional step to the process of using that ability (e.g., repair costs, building activation costs, attack costs, etc). Another explicit example: Attacking costs, it costs 1k crowns to attack with a barracks. In my last test game it took over 400 individual clicks to destroy a target building. I had to click 400 times and pay 400k crowns. I think a better solution would be to completely remove the cost, shift the economic requirement (if necessary) back to the underlying building mechanics, and then have the entire combat resolved with 10 or fewer clicks.

Quote
4)I do agree that there should be more building adjacency and terrain bonuses/penalties with the direct aim of mixing up building compositions, but I'm getting the sense from discussions that v2 had them just for the sake of having them - like police knocking down crime from adjacent buildings or something, just to have some sort of positioning bonus attached to the police building.  That I don't agree with, if that's what v2 did.  What I want is a little more of the sort of bonuses we currently have and that there be very strategic if straightforward goals for those bonuses. Again, possibly some penalties to help that along too.
  • You are getting things backwards. SBR v1 & v2 didn't have territories. All buildings had effect radii. The adjacency bonuses were a way of adding more depth to a system of citybuilding.
  • I don't know what system "bonuses we currently have" is referring to.

So one of the biggest problems with helping in SBRs development is the lack of specificity on what our job is. At one end, if we are to assist in design, then we need access to design goals and documentation, which has been absent. This is also the biggest egoist problem. This is Arcen's baby, with Chris as lead dev. He may not actually want anything from us in this department. As players we "know" how things should be done and will happily take our limited understanding of what the goal of SBR is, and tell Chris how to get there. Chris is also very nice, which means he isn't going to say "shut up, I don't care what you think". On the other end we have bug testing where we test systems and report our experiences with them. This is good for bugfixing, but horrible when it comes to design changes, because feedback is about the player experience, not metadevelopment comments.

I'm, tragically, "forced" to give both types of feedback. I try to limit my suggestions about how SBR should be designed and provide straightforward player experience reports. However, sometimes I do have to give my two cents, I try to leave that in this forum (which few people read, and Chris doesn't usually) and in suggestion reports on the mantis.

Summary and Conclusion
There is a discrepancy in what people believe is the game in SBR. SBR design goals are not well understood. Game systems are being developed from a bottom-up perspective, leading to situations where a system is not directly supportive of the playing experience but of a standard coherency within the individual mechanic. Chris should meet with me one day each week on SBR, because I know exactly what needs to be done. :P
« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 02:35:27 PM by ptarth »
Note: This post contains content that is meant to be whimsical. Any belittlement or trivialization of complex issues is only intended to lighten the mood and does not reflect upon the merit of those positions.

Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2015, 02:31:08 PM »
well id say to that that Chris should share his plans with us on this but as we know he's locked this game in the closet for the time being so that's not really a thing.
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2015, 09:26:27 PM »
And therein lies the problem for gamers like me. I realized very quickly that this was a complicated management simulation, but all of the normal methods of simulation feedback do not seem to be active. For example, other races don’t respond. The buildings don’t change in appearance. Your citizens don’t react to you. The world doesn’t react to you. So you spend the majority of the game plopping down buildings and feeling awfully lonely because you're playing an optimization game that’s not really a game yet.
 
When it came to the military, it was rather fiddly with the building ranges. However, this is the part of the game that rewards all of the economic simulation bits. You see, there has to be some kind of carrot to play an optimization game. You need to either gain territory, some visual feedback, some political feedback, something to do or strive for. We don’t have that yet, and we are not privy to whatever Chris’s long-term goals are. I don’t know. It’s hard to complain about something that is so unfinished. If this is the game- micromanaging crowns and worker efficiency- I don’t see where the game is. Because there’s no point to doing those things right now. We don’t have a defined victory condition.
 
Here are some ideas:
1)      make a space victory that rewards you with escaping to outer space, which starts a game on a harder planet
2)      Make a military victory which rewards you with a race to unlock that is especially warlike
3)      make a territorial victory that doubles the map size, and adds incredible monsters or extraterrestrial attacks in greater numbers than we usually see
 
 
You see where I’m going with this? You can reward the player and provide them new plateaus and new challenges. You give them something to strive for, an island to set sail for. You set a challenging bar to reach. And that way, we can play out these five acts and achieve some end reward.
 
In addition, I think that the building tile graphics need to be more moddable with placeholders for growth. Having a title like this without modding is a bad idea. This title lacks some of the direction that some of the others had, and I think that they might need the community to give this some life after the initial release. It’s interesting to me that the ability for modding has been what it is for the other games in the catalog, and yet I have seen Arcen asking for community submissions more and more before release. Why not expose hooks for after release? And given our community being extremely talented, it’s a shame that it hasn’t been done already.
 
 
I’m not going to make that a mantis post until I can make a coherent, succinct post about it. But those are my thoughts.
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Offline crazyroosterman

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2015, 11:51:33 AM »
And therein lies the problem for gamers like me. I realized very quickly that this was a complicated management simulation, but all of the normal methods of simulation feedback do not seem to be active. For example, other races don’t respond. The buildings don’t change in appearance. Your citizens don’t react to you. The world doesn’t react to you. So you spend the majority of the game plopping down buildings and feeling awfully lonely because you're playing an optimization game that’s not really a game yet.
 
When it came to the military, it was rather fiddly with the building ranges. However, this is the part of the game that rewards all of the economic simulation bits. You see, there has to be some kind of carrot to play an optimization game. You need to either gain territory, some visual feedback, some political feedback, something to do or strive for. We don’t have that yet, and we are not privy to whatever Chris’s long-term goals are. I don’t know. It’s hard to complain about something that is so unfinished. If this is the game- micromanaging crowns and worker efficiency- I don’t see where the game is. Because there’s no point to doing those things right now. We don’t have a defined victory condition.
 
Here are some ideas:
1)      make a space victory that rewards you with escaping to outer space, which starts a game on a harder planet
2)      Make a military victory which rewards you with a race to unlock that is especially warlike
3)      make a territorial victory that doubles the map size, and adds incredible monsters or extraterrestrial attacks in greater numbers than we usually see
 
 
You see where I’m going with this? You can reward the player and provide them new plateaus and new challenges. You give them something to strive for, an island to set sail for. You set a challenging bar to reach. And that way, we can play out these five acts and achieve some end reward.
 
In addition, I think that the building tile graphics need to be more moddable with placeholders for growth. Having a title like this without modding is a bad idea. This title lacks some of the direction that some of the others had, and I think that they might need the community to give this some life after the initial release. It’s interesting to me that the ability for modding has been what it is for the other games in the catalog, and yet I have seen Arcen asking for community submissions more and more before release. Why not expose hooks for after release? And given our community being extremely talented, it’s a shame that it hasn’t been done already.
 
 
I’m not going to make that a mantis post until I can make a coherent, succinct post about it. But those are my thoughts.
1 I like the idea of being able to unlock certain races with persifick play styles perhaps some of the ai only races could made unlockable through certain victory conditions? for example by winning through a military domination you unlock the thoraxians by winning an economic you unlock the acutions and so on.

2 I've already pitched the idea of mod support to Chris weather he ever goes along with the idea is something well have to wait and see.
c.r

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2015, 03:08:58 PM »
When you Mantis these thoughts, consider multiple tickets. You're complaining about two different issues, the in-game reactivity, and the fact that the game isn't done. We'll be getting some feedback through text, but building damage... you know, I actually don't know if that's planned.  :o

Can't say much about optimization. Chris mentioned that Cities: Skylines helped him understand what to aim for, so I think the citybuilding aspect is going to drift in that direction. Probably with v2 style adjacency, but I have nothing to base that on.

As for NG+ unlocks... as written, what you suggest would be a punishment for doing well. Better to include more options at the start, the same way AI War does. Unlocking whole races is a neat idea for expansion content, but I don't think they're going to gate the base races behind winning the game, or give the player access to the AI races. Those guys are unavailable for a reason!

I'm curious, when you say "some of the others", what others do you mean?

The official word on modding is that it's not feasible. Arcen titles in active development update so much that any mod that a player worked on could be broken six different ways during development, and obsolete the day after it came out. Did a search and found Chris's explanation on modding AI War from *2009*. There was a thread about specifically modding SBR, and while Chris explained what could be modified on our end, I'm guessing the same issues apply.

Offline Cyborg

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2015, 10:35:13 PM »
I don't care about optimization right now, and graphics are low on the list for me. My comments are describing actual gaming. What makes a game fun? What is the actual game? Fussing around with crowns is not a game, to me, because there's no point to it. You don't get anything, and you don't get anywhere by doing it. Is that because the game is unfinished? I hope so. I expect so. And it's not just me. How many posts were people complaining about not knowing how to play or what to do? People literally started this game up and stared blankly, plopping down buildings, not knowing what the hell is going on. The military aspect of it gave people something they could recognize, if only for a moment, and then it was scrapped. So now we are back to plopping down buildings and so-called "risk-style" combat? Well okay.


I'm aware of the attitude towards unlocks by Arcen in previous titles, but I was hoping that given the recent interest in binding of Isaac, they would become more open to the idea that people enjoy the feeling of achievement. There's a difference between blocking content and enhancing content, and having some sort of reward for victory isn't a punishment. Even old Nintendo games had end game cinematics or something. And this comment isn't what I consider what's wrong with the game. It's a free-form suggestion. What's wrong is a more deeply rooted issue.



I'm trying to be tactful. It's an effort for me. It seems everybody lately is describing their personal mental quirks. Mine is just as real as everyone else's, and it's definitely the ability to communicate in a way that doesn't come off as abrasive. I haven't figured out how to be honest and communicate without upsetting other people. And it doesn't take much for me to be encouraged to be blunt. So I'm going to just say it.


The entire excuse about modding breaking the game or something is a load of crap. Tons of games do it, tons of mods get broken, and they all get fixed if they are used. It's fud. I have my own suspicions on why Chris doesn't do it, but feasibility isn't one of them. It's his company, his games, and I don't get bent out of shape about it, but since we're all telling stories by the campfire here, why not be honest and put it out there that a community of creativity and content makers will be way more creative, productive, and inventive than a small company will ever be? And for a title that's clearly been a struggle like this one, he needs help. I guarantee you that adjusting crowns and efficiency is not the problem.

I've been on this forum a long time. I've been around for every major success and debacle, development debates, and so on. I may not post as much as you do these days, but I consider myself well-informed. I support this company as a fan and customer as much as anyone else does, gift multiple copies, and convince my gamer friends to buy these titles. It's campfire time. Or intermission, if that makes more sense to you. You don't need to defend anybody because there's nobody under attack.

If anything, there needs to be more critical questioning going on. I think it does a disservice to Arcen when people who are chosen to be beta testers and are not actually testing. There's being cordial, friendly, helpful, etc. and then there's a step beyond that, which is not helpful. I read these forums for the entire development process, even though it wasn't my type of game. I read them out of curiosity, and I kept my mouth shut as a select few individuals seemed really excited and appeared to understand that there was a game here, even though I never saw it. And the same people continue to claim there was a game as beta testers fizzled out one by one, including myself who dutifully reported not being able to find a game. I still don't see it. And that's why I think it's important to put that down in the forum and if you disagree- if anyone disagrees- and wants to explain to me what the game is, please do so! Someone said they put in 150 hours into this game. Doing what? What took you 150 hours to do? What did you accomplish in that time? What adventures did you have? Was it just 150 hours of loading up the game to test it after each patch? Because this game is completely unfinished, and there's no way there is 150 hours of content. Not even close.

So yes, I'm frustrated with what I see going on, from where I sit. And I saw things going on, beyond just game minutia, that I didn't like. And I guess there's no reason to air that out here because it's too late and a dollar short, but this most recent development cycle really wasn't the best I've seen here for a lot of reasons. And no, it's not that the development is on pause. I can handle that it's on pause. It's for the right reasons, for the company. I know that it's not going to be my type of game, and I don't want to waste anyone's time trying to make it my type of game. But there needs to be this period of time where everyone steps back and tries to look at what's actually here, and I think the question has to be answered, what is this game? Where is this game going? What is the actual game?

The real issues that need to be solved have nothing to do with any of the defects around crowns and efficiency. It's about the identity of this title.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 10:38:58 PM by Cyborg »
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Offline Cyborg

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2015, 10:41:43 PM »
The formatting on my previous post took me multiple attempts, so  that's why it looks all screwed up. And missing content.
Kahuna strategy guide:
http://www.arcengames.com/forums/index.php/topic,13369.0.html

Suggestions, bugs? Don't be lazy, give back:
http://www.arcengames.com/mantisbt/

Planetcracker. Believe it.

The stigma of hunger. http://wayw.re/Vi12BK

Offline Captain Jack

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2015, 11:33:45 PM »
I don't feel abraided so no worries there. Instead I'm confused since it seems you're soapboxing instead of responding.

I'm actually kind too pressed for time to properly rip your post apart point by point, but I have to point out that you have the mod issue completely backwards. The problem is NOT mods breaking the game, the problem is the game updates breaking the mods. Mod makers would have to support their mods indefinitely, and it's easier just to fold anything good into the next update.

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: SBR v3 Thoughts
« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2015, 11:01:00 AM »
But there needs to be this period of time where everyone steps back and tries to look at what's actually here, and I think the question has to be answered, what is this game? Where is this game going? What is the actual game?
I fully agree.
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