Author Topic: Expansion integration  (Read 1798 times)

Offline Logorouge

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Expansion integration
« on: September 04, 2017, 02:15:18 PM »
This is a subject I wanted to touch upon without cluttering the feedback thread: The way the expansion's content will be integrated into the base game and the intended change to the progression.

One problem I had with certain games like the original Binding of Isaac or even Morrowind, is that starting out with an expansion installed will give new players a very different and in my opinion worse progression than with just the base game.

I know this is all very subjective, but after release when I recommend the game+expansion to friends & folks I think will enjoy it, I want them to get the best experience possible without needing instructions like "Don't install the expansion until you do X." or "Avoid doing this until later.", etc.

Currently, having the expansion makes golden floors (with a treasure trove of new content) start showing up instead of the regular floors pretty commonly for new and old saves alike. That's very convenient for testing purposes, but I'm a bit concerned that I haven't heard of any future unlocking conditions for all that new content.

On a more positive note, I think this is a great opportunity to expand the game's progression and improve a bit on one of its weaknesses: Unlocks.

To keep it short, here's what I'm hoping for:

Complete 1 run: Unlock shopkeepers. (already in the game)
Beat 3 wardens: Unlock floor 6 and 7. (already in the game)
Defeat Terminus: Unlock golden floors, which start showing up once maybe twice per run.
Subsequent victories: Increase golden floors rate, up to the current test build pace after X number of victories.
Mystery conditions: Open optional path to nightmarish secret boss.

That way new players don't get slapped in the face with all the content at once and can gradually discover things while experienced players can just jump right in and enjoy the new content. As a bonus, when a player finally defeats Terminus for the first time, instead of asking "Is that it?" he could be greeted by a popup saying he just unlocked a whole new kind of floors bursting with new content. Pretty exciting I think.

Thoughts?

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 03:50:03 PM »
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Currently, having the expansion makes golden floors (with a treasure trove of new content) start showing up instead of the regular floors pretty commonly for new and old saves alike. That's very convenient for testing purposes, but I'm a bit concerned that I haven't heard of any future unlocking conditions for all that new content.

Yeah, this is actually something that's still a bit up in the air. We haven't really decided on the unlocking mechanism yet, so a discussion on this is a great idea, thanksl

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Complete 1 run: Unlock shopkeepers. (already in the game)
Beat 3 wardens: Unlock floor 6 and 7. (already in the game)
Defeat Terminus: Unlock golden floors, which start showing up once maybe twice per run.
Subsequent victories: Increase golden floors rate, up to the current test build pace after X number of victories.
Mystery conditions: Open optional path to nightmarish secret boss.

Sounds decent, but I have two main concerns:

1) Is it okay for expansion content like this to be gated by a fairly difficult task? Defeating Terminus ain't the easiest thing, so do we want those who buy the DLC to have to accomplish that before they can enjoy the new stuff? I don't really buy much DLC, so I'm really not sure what people like when it comes to this sort of thing. Would players be happy with that? I'm not sure!

2) This is not a huge problem but it might be nice if the player had the option of not going to the Golden floors, too. Perhaps sometimes a player will want to go on a pure base game run, so it'd be nice to allow the player to do this naturally without selecting disable EXP or something. What the solution is for this, I'm not sure.

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That way new players don't get slapped in the face with all the content at once and can gradually discover things while experienced players can just jump right in and enjoy the new content. As a bonus, when a player finally defeats Terminus for the first time, instead of asking "Is that it?" he could be greeted by a popup saying he just unlocked a whole new kind of floors bursting with new content. Pretty exciting I think.

Yep, it does sound pretty nice. I guess we would want to market the expansion more as end game content then, though, so that buyers know that they're not going to have access to the expansion stuff from the outset? More general thoughts on this from those who buy a lot more DLC than I do would be good.

I did have one idea, lifted from SMASH TV. In SMASH TV there are key pickups, and if you collect enough of them you gain access to the super secret area. I was thinking that something like this could work for SR. Let me amend your proposal a little:

Complete 1 run: Unlock shopkeepers. (already in the game)
Beat 3 wardens: Unlock floor 6 and 7. (already in the game)
Defeat Terminus: Unlock golden floors and the Golden Ticket. Tickets randomly appear in rooms, but will disappear after a short duration. Your task is to grab as many of the tickets as possible before they disappear. The more of these tickets you grab, the greater the chance of seeing a Golden Floor for the rest of the run. Perhaps if you were to grab a ton of those tickets, the chance of seeing the final Gold Floor boss would be 100%. Something like that, anyway. An advantage of this is that the player can then just choose not to grab the tickets if they decide to do a base game run.

I'm not super convinced by gradually increasing the Golden Floor chance per subsequent successful run, this seems a little too grindy to me.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 08:31:23 PM »
Other games have it that way, that you can simply check a box "Do you want to play with expansion content".
Simply having this option generates golden floors or it won't (depening on what you selected).
Sounds cheap and it is, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 09:40:27 PM »
I share your concerns, Pepisolo.

-Content gating: This one could be very bad, if it was absolute with 100% of content locked. But if you start with all the new mechs, new sac items, some new consumables, etc, injected into the game from the get-go and have the rest quickly unlock as you explore the game (with most if not all of it unlocking after a single full run), I don't think it would be much of an issue anymore. Plus, to prevent anyone from being locked out of the new content, there's the difficulty levels and, if nothing else works or the player just can't wait to see it all, there's the "Play with everything unlocked" option. (By the way, why does that option disable achievements/stats? Seems weird since it's not easier to win with.)

-Optional golden floors: That's a tough one due to the passive nature of the golden floors generation. What if you wanna do as many golden floors as possible but not necessarily fight the final golden boss? I'm wondering... how much trouble would it be to switch to a more active method for golden floors? Instead of generating a golden floor X% of the time, what if killing the boss spawned a golden gate X% of the time alongside the floor's exit, with the % improvable through collecting the golden tickets you mentioned. That would allow the player to smoothly choose between the regular floors or the more challenging golden ones during the actual run. Using that method, golden floors could be available from the start (rarely) without any risk of crushing newbies and the golden tickets could start showing up after you defeat Terminus for the first time to increase the rate of frequency of golden floors. Alright, alright. I'll stop gushing about a solution that might be impossible with the current engine or might be hated by everyone else and let the discussion go on a bit. :)

Offline Misery

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2017, 11:16:51 AM »
Wait, are we even going to HAVE locked content in here?  I mean, the base game really didn't have any.  No, the 7-floor bit really doesn't count, you just pop the Warden a whole 3 times and you've basically gotten everything opened.

It seems a bit odd to me to have anything locked here when we didn't before.


Anyway, this brings up a point:  Are the golden floors appearing too often?  I'd been wondering about that.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2017, 01:13:53 PM »
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Other games have it that way, that you can simply check a box "Do you want to play with expansion content".
Simply having this option generates golden floors or it won't (depening on what you selected).
Sounds cheap and it is, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

Yeah, we might as well have that option, if it's needed.

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-Content gating: This one could be very bad, if it was absolute with 100% of content locked. But if you start with all the new mechs, new sac items, some new consumables, etc, injected into the game from the get-go and have the rest quickly unlock as you explore the game (with most if not all of it unlocking after a single full run), I don't think it would be much of an issue anymore. Plus, to prevent anyone from being locked out of the new content, there's the difficulty levels and, if nothing else works or the player just can't wait to see it all, there's the "Play with everything unlocked" option. (By the way, why does that option disable achievements/stats? Seems weird since it's not easier to win with.)

I don't think we're going to be doing much in terms of unlockables. For one, we just don't have a satisfying "you've unlocked this!" pop up message, and engine coding has to be kept to an absolute minimum. I think the unlocking all the Gold Floor stuff on beating Terminus sounds good, but I don't know if that's an acceptable way to gate the DLC. Maybe those who buy the DLC would just prefer to have it all thrown in from the get-go.

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-Optional golden floors: That's a tough one due to the passive nature of the golden floors generation. What if you wanna do as many golden floors as possible but not necessarily fight the final golden boss? I'm wondering... how much trouble would it be to switch to a more active method for golden floors? Instead of generating a golden floor X% of the time, what if killing the boss spawned a golden gate X% of the time alongside the floor's exit, with the % improvable through collecting the golden tickets you mentioned. That would allow the player to smoothly choose between the regular floors or the more challenging golden ones during the actual run. Using that method, golden floors could be available from the start (rarely) without any risk of crushing newbies and the golden tickets could start showing up after you defeat Terminus for the first time to increase the rate of frequency of golden floors. Alright, alright. I'll stop gushing about a solution that might be impossible with the current engine or might be hated by everyone else and let the discussion go on a bit. :)

Some kind of choice would be nice. Perhaps all floors generate with a locked Golden door in addition to the regular door, and you can choose between them. On the other hand that sounds like too much engine work, unfortunately. It's a bit of a shame we haven't worked this out, yet, heh. All ideas welcomed! :)

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Wait, are we even going to HAVE locked content in here?  I mean, the base game really didn't have any.  No, the 7-floor bit really doesn't count, you just pop the Warden a whole 3 times and you've basically gotten everything opened.

It seems a bit odd to me to have anything locked here when we didn't before.

Probably not. I would say that only if it is a similar style unlock to the 7-Floor unlock, that might work (on defeating Terminus or something), but as far as locking pieces of content and stuff, we're probably not going to be doing that.

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Anyway, this brings up a point:  Are the golden floors appearing too often?  I'd been wondering about that.

Yeah, I don't think the player will be seeing those floors as often as they are in the current build. That's easy to tweak, probably, but for testing it's probably better that we have a higher frequency, at least until the beta testing starts.

Offline x4000

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2017, 02:23:50 PM »
Other games have it that way, that you can simply check a box "Do you want to play with expansion content".
Simply having this option generates golden floors or it won't (depening on what you selected).
Sounds cheap and it is, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

This is all I think it should be.
Have ideas or bug reports for one of our games?  Mantis for Suggestions and Bug Reports. Thanks for helping to make our games better!

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2017, 04:44:48 PM »
Other games have it that way, that you can simply check a box "Do you want to play with expansion content".
Simply having this option generates golden floors or it won't (depening on what you selected).
Sounds cheap and it is, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the best.

This is all I think it should be.

So, pretty much like things currently are, but perhaps with tweaks to the gold floor generation frequency. Seems... suspiciously simple, heh. If the Gold Floor generation is completely random, though, then it does become a case of getting to a certain floor and then just having your fingers crossed that you get the Gold one for that floor, in order to see all the new bosses, for example.  I'm not sure if that's a problem or not.

Offline Logorouge

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2017, 06:50:28 PM »
So, pretty much like things currently are, but perhaps with tweaks to the gold floor generation frequency. Seems... suspiciously simple, heh. If the Gold Floor generation is completely random, though, then it does become a case of getting to a certain floor and then just having your fingers crossed that you get the Gold one for that floor, in order to see all the new bosses, for example.  I'm not sure if that's a problem or not.
Well, thanks to insomnia I had some extra time to think about this.

I'm thinking your golden ticket idea could be the elegant method for players to actively seek out golden floors (or not). The floors could show up occasionally without them, or most of the time if you explore to grab as many tickets as you can. To put some numbers on it, if the base chance is around 25-30% golden floors would generate about twice per run, which shouldn't be too brutal for newbies. Add to that tickets (or whatever golden thing) that increase those chances by 10% each, up to 100% until you visit a golden floor. Then it's back to base chance and the easter egg hunt for tickets begins anew, encouraging exploration at the same time. After that, it's just a matter of deciding if you want tickets to spawn before or only after you defeat Terminus.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 12:52:00 PM »
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I'm thinking your golden ticket idea could be the elegant method for players to actively seek out golden floors (or not). The floors could show up occasionally without them, or most of the time if you explore to grab as many tickets as you can. To put some numbers on it, if the base chance is around 25-30% golden floors would generate about twice per run, which shouldn't be too brutal for newbies. Add to that tickets (or whatever golden thing) that increase those chances by 10% each, up to 100% until you visit a golden floor. Then it's back to base chance and the easter egg hunt for tickets begins anew, encouraging exploration at the same time. After that, it's just a matter of deciding if you want tickets to spawn before or only after you defeat Terminus.

Yeah, it sounds like something like that could work...I think! :)

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 02:12:40 PM »
That reminds me, how about a smiliar item to alternate Deality but instead of changing the shops, it changes your floor to a golden one. Name could be "Augmented realitiy" or smething like that.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2017, 12:23:36 PM »
That reminds me, how about a smiliar item to alternate Deality but instead of changing the shops, it changes your floor to a golden one. Name could be "Augmented realitiy" or smething like that.

Sounds good. We might do that, but I think it'll have to regenerate the current floor afresh rather than being able to change the current floor to gold. That type of code is already mostly in the engine, we just need a way to specify a Gold Floor on generation.

Offline tombik

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2017, 06:24:55 AM »
I think one other parameter to include related to golden floor generations is Flawless Boss Clears.

Each run without golden floor: +%5 chance of golden floors.

Each run with victory: +%5 chance of golden floors.

Each flawless victory boss: +%1 chance for the first two bosses, +%2 for the remainder.

I would cap this rate at %75 though, since forcing the game with a golden floor run for 1 out of 5 game makes things actually less random than it is.

Offline TheVampire100

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2017, 11:55:16 AM »
That's a very good idea. I find it rather disturbing that flawless boss victories give no reward besides a one-time-only achievment.

Offline Pepisolo

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Re: Expansion integration
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2017, 01:44:52 PM »
Some kind of adjustments to the Gold Floor generation rate should be good if possible. Higher chance if you get perfects on bosses sounds good. Maybe also higher chance on clearing a floor without taking damage. We can kind of borrow some of the achievement conditions for this.