Author Topic: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.  (Read 3493 times)

Offline johnnyr

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2014, 01:48:06 PM »
I'm not in the alpha, so I can only add that the new TBS combat looks....tedious? Having to pause, move the ship, target enemies, etc, every few seconds seems like taking micromanagement to the extreme, and at least for me, doesn't look very fun.  The demo video you recorded was close to 20 min, and it seemed like very little was accomplished during that 20 min vs. If you were using a real-time system.

Just my two cents.

Offline x4000

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2014, 01:50:06 PM »
I'm not in the alpha, so I can only add that the new TBS combat looks....tedious? Having to pause, move the ship, target enemies, etc, every few seconds seems like taking micromanagement to the extreme, and at least for me, doesn't look very fun.  The demo video you recorded was close to 20 min, and it seemed like very little was accomplished during that 20 min vs. If you were using a real-time system.

Just my two cents.

Bear in mind that I was talking for most of that 20 minutes, so I could have easily done that in more like 4 or less had I really been paying full attention to the game.  That said, I mean, turn-based games are all about giving lots of orders.  I dunno.  Anyway, I'll have a new video soon, and we'll see what you think.
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Offline johnnyr

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2014, 01:59:06 PM »
I'm not in the alpha, so I can only add that the new TBS combat looks....tedious? Having to pause, move the ship, target enemies, etc, every few seconds seems like taking micromanagement to the extreme, and at least for me, doesn't look very fun.  The demo video you recorded was close to 20 min, and it seemed like very little was accomplished during that 20 min vs. If you were using a real-time system.

Just my two cents.

Bear in mind that I was talking for most of that 20 minutes, so I could have easily done that in more like 4 or less had I really been paying full attention to the game.  That said, I mean, turn-based games are all about giving lots of orders.  I dunno.  Anyway, I'll have a new video soon, and we'll see what you think.

Thanks for the reply Chris - I hope you didn't take the post the wrong way - I am a big fan of Arcen games and what you do. These were just some of my initial reactions to the new combat system.

I think what put me off was how at the end of a ships movement, it simply stops, and you have to continue to give it new movement orders, over and over. It was a bit unsual, since in space you wouldn't expect ships to stop on a dime, or ever really even stop moving (since that simply makes you easier to hit) Everything else looked great.

I'm wondering if there would be a good way to implement continuous movement/firing - So that the player would only need to pause and issue specific fire/move orders if they felt like they needed to, rather than always having to constantly issue move orders. Perhaps some kind of automatic movement options (orbit, patrol, move to, etc) would go a long way in streamlining the TBS combat.

Am I making any sense?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 02:02:23 PM by johnnyr »

Offline x4000

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2014, 02:01:21 PM »
This has been discussed in other threads, but generally: if you are not dodging the enemy shots, you die.  So if you just orbit randomly, you're either playing on a super easy difficulty, or that kills you.  Planning where you jump to in terms of position is like planning your next move in Chess, to some extent.  Not only does it matter for where you want to go in the future, but it also matters for where you aren't directly taking damage right now.  And where you can best deal damage.
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Offline johnnyr

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #19 on: April 01, 2014, 02:03:31 PM »
This has been discussed in other threads, but generally: if you are not dodging the enemy shots, you die.  So if you just orbit randomly, you're either playing on a super easy difficulty, or that kills you.  Planning where you jump to in terms of position is like planning your next move in Chess, to some extent.  Not only does it matter for where you want to go in the future, but it also matters for where you aren't directly taking damage right now.  And where you can best deal damage.

Ah ok, I understand. Well I'll just shut up now and let you carry on with making the game. I'm sure it's going to be great regardless  :)

Offline x4000

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #20 on: April 01, 2014, 02:04:33 PM »
No, it's good to have the impressions.  I just can't concentrate to play at a reasonable speed and talk at the same time.  Too much to think about.  In the next video I will note this, and then just play quietly for the bulk of it.
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Offline johnnyr

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2014, 03:10:09 PM »
No, it's good to have the impressions.  I just can't concentrate to play at a reasonable speed and talk at the same time.  Too much to think about.  In the next video I will note this, and then just play quietly for the bulk of it.

But I actually Like hearing you talk!

Offline x4000

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2014, 03:39:28 PM »
I will talk some at the end, or in a second play.  But I need to get one quiet session in there quickly to show what I'm doing, I think, heh.
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Offline Professor Paul1290

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2014, 03:53:25 PM »
Aye, my wording isnt always very good.

The bit without the difficulty is ONLY the prediction.  That bit is effortless.   What I essentially mean though, is adding stuff like inertia and whatever can make you crash into the damaging stuff ANYWAY, in the exact sort of manner that should only exist in a twitch-style game.  Your movements are no longer exact, so even though you know where you SHOULD go, you may not end up there.  For a game like this, that's exactly the wrong way to do it, and that's where the "fake difficulty" comes into play. It's adding difficulty in a very artificial way.... not by altering the attack patterns, not by increasing the intelligence of the AI, not by adding new and dangerous mission types or elements like more turrets or something, but instead just by going "Well, now your ship doesnt move directly anymore, so, yeah, good luck with that". The fake difficulty concept goes deeper than just that, but that's a good enouch explanation.

This game working like it does, the movement should be very direct;  you click a spot, and without any funky movements or wonky curving, or speed-up/speed-down your ship moves to that spot, and that spot is where it ends up.  Anything beyond that adds nothing but frustration and cheap deaths.

I don't get how movement not always exactly following your intentions contributes to "fake difficulty". There's nothing random about this unless it is somehow intentionally implemented to be random. If movement follows the same set of rules consistently then it's just changing the pacing of combat how you handle your input, I don't see anything "fake" about that.

Outside of certain platformers, shmups, and similar genres (and often even then) most games don't have control that offers exact 1:1 with player input all the time. Vehicles have mass, fighting moves have start-ups and cool-downs, physics objects have inertia. There's not much random or unpredictable there, it's just movement working under a different rule set. If the movement follows its rule set consistently then the player can account for it consistently, and as such there's nothing "fake" about the difficulty it presents.

Maybe I'm driving a car, and cars have mass. I can only make the car turn so fast before it skids or flips over, and the rate at which I can accelerate is limited. Is that "fake difficulty"? No of course not. Again, the behavior is consistent, I know that the car can only turn so hard, I know it can only accelerate so rapidly, and I take that into account when I decide how to drive the car. There aren't any unexpected random factors coming in and messing me up, at least not from the driving system itself.
Maybe I'm ordering some soldiers around and they take maybe few seconds to respond to my commands rather than instantaneously. Does that introduce "fake difficulty"? No it doesn't. I know the soldiers take a few seconds to respond to my commands, that's consistent. I can expect that behavior and take that into account when I give my orders.

If my spaceship has mass and can only turn so hard and accelerate so rapidly, does that introduce "fake difficulty"? I don't see how it does, as it isn't introducing any random unexpected behavior at this level.
I can know how hard my ship can turn, I can know how rapidly it can accelerate, and in general I can know what behavior to expect when I give it a command and take that into consideration when I decide how I give it commands. Yes it is not following my intentions 1:1, but the ways in which it deviates from my intentions are the sort that I can anticipate and compensate for accordingly.
There's no unexpected behavior spontaneously popping out of the system that then proceeds to ruin my day in a way that I can't predict, at least not from the movement system itself. I suppose maybe if some hit-scan death-ray of doom comes out of nowhere and ends me in one hit I could make an argument for it being "unfair", but that's a problem of balance and not really a problem with the movement.


I can see how maybe it could slow down pace of combat a bit too much, I can see how it could be annoying to people who do prefer more perfect 1:1 movement as a personal preference, and I can see it maybe causing balance issues in the short term.
I don't see how it can fall under what might be called "fake difficulty" by itself.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 04:19:28 PM by Professor Paul1290 »

Offline PokerChen

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #24 on: April 01, 2014, 04:35:08 PM »
 Played briefly with the new TBS model. Ambivalent, in one word. I've rarely paused in an tactical battle, and this sort of breaks up the action. I agree that it brings the pace between the tactical/strategic layers closer.
 - Searching for hydral tech mission suddenly become very tedius - the player needs to auto-win when all hydral defenders have been defeated, otherwise spend extra 15~30 turns sitting around the tech bonus.
 - Convoy raids don't allow you to target the freighters specifically?
 - Bullets sources become confusing at very large battles, as the colours define the shot-type more than their FoF status. Are we dodging friendly or hostile bullets?
 - Special ability shockwave bit contrived and OP. Is it not possible to have them simply trigger in addition to movement? Afterburners seems weird to have you sit around for a turn, and then grant a disc bigger than the screen.
 - Various introduced bugs that don't allow real progress into the game, e.g. unable to customise flagship as choices don't stick.
 - First glance of strategic pace seems ok. Better visual indication of year progress (a progress bar?) would be more informative than a foreign month/date system. If players see a bar that fills out over a year, it might help them settle down to see the game in terms of months, rather than days.

 - Evucks trying to blow themselves up because of teethworms... -_- cure overkill much?

Imposing turning arcs technically makes the reachable area in one turn a heart-shaped template instead of the full circle as it currently is. It could be shown, which helps in the polish. Not sure if it's feasible to calculate this can draw a decent looking template. I'm still leaning towards having it in game...

Offline keith.lamothe

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #25 on: April 01, 2014, 04:42:01 PM »
- Evucks trying to blow themselves up because of teethworms... -_- cure overkill much?
You've obviously never had teethworms.
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Offline PokerChen

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2014, 05:35:21 PM »
 BTW, to illustrate the heart-shape outcome of having turning circles, I tried to look up an appropriate image of the tactical from Legend of Galactic Heroes IV-EX. 'Twas a case of too old for the internet.
 On a related topic, that game gives you a tight 12 combat turns (corresponding to 3 days in a single strategic turn) of simultaneous resolution to make your mark. Mediocre positioning drags you into an endurance battle lasting multiple strategic turns, and good positioning under the right conditions allows you to wipe a significant portion of their fleet. Very naval. Most games in that series try to preserve the spirit of grand positioning, as it was one of the main plot devices in the fictional series.

Offline Tridus

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2014, 06:21:41 PM »
As one of the mentioned "rage quitters", I don't have much of anything to say on proposed combat changes. I'm still ignoring them until given the flag to try again.

I am somewhat concerned about the general difficulty of this particular development process. If you compare this one to something like Bionic Dues, that one had a lot of tinkering in the alpha but generally always had a set vision of what combat "is". Given all the changes between different combat styles here, I hope that there is still a vision for it.

Don't get me wrong - it's great how much feedback gets taken into account. But as can be seen even in this thread with disagreements over things like ship mass & inertia, the forums are likely going to never stop wanting some kind of change. Given the time still available before you have to release, I'm not sure how much time there is left to keep trying new systems.

Or maybe I'm just rambling. Sick and kind of on pills right now, so I might be out to lunch. Sorry. :)

Offline Cyprene

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #28 on: April 01, 2014, 06:29:44 PM »
Quote
Sigh, likely the 18th of this month.  Are we insane?  Yes we are.  If we had to we could push it back as late as the 23rd, but we really don't want to.  We have a metric ton of stuff to do in a very short amount of time, which is frustrating.  But we are out of money, plain and simple.  So we're going all-out guns-blazing trying to make this into everything we want it to be before D-Day.  I think we can do it, but it's going to be extremely tight.

Oh dear. That's awful soon.  Would it help to have another Alpha Tester, or are you good in that department?

Offline Castruccio

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Re: About combat and updates, circa 3/31.
« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2014, 06:37:42 PM »
Concerning the rage quitters and lack of info, I think this will be a difficult thing to solve but I hope the solution can come through elegant game design instead of walls of text.  AVWW1, for example, had a TON of text walls and Arcen in general is a very text wall-y company.  In one sense, this is great for the forums because we all get an inside look at development with Chris' posts (it's why I'm such a huge Arcen fan).  He is able to churn out very informational progress reports in very short amounts of time.  In an actual game, however, walls of text can be a huge turn off.  This is all by way of saying that the learning curve problem for this game should be solved through gameplay and design elegance and not through walls of text. 

 

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