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owen

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  1. I'm wondering if the next buildings that you add could be different shapes than cylinders or domes. Maybe a cross shaped building, a tetrahedron, or something?
  2. - I think that another reason that (some) roguelikes are more replayable than something like XCOM or a generic city builder is that you don't see every possible item on every single playthrough. In contrast, in a generic city builder, you see everything on every playthrough and the terrain is really the only variable thing. In Brogue and FTL, you only get 6-10 central items around which your build revolves and you have to make the game work with those. I don't know how that would work in a colony sim, because the core buildings are probably going to have to be the same. I think good values are a universe of 100 "things" of which in any single playthrough only 12 or so are seen. Of course, in a colony sim, you can't really change the default buildings, but there could be, for example, a crafting system layered over the basic economy. Finding crafting recipes or legendary components on the battlefield would allow the player to craft different items each game. - I really hate it when a game has twenty different categories of statistics. This screenshot is from a tactical multiplayer game called Frozen Synapse. It's a very chess-like, geometrical puzzle. What's nice about it is that there are NO NUMBERS polluting the screen like you have in XCOM or a lot of other roguelikes. And any values like speed or explosion radius have a physical meaning instead of just being some scalar value like bravery, charisma, or whatever. Anyways, Hexters doesn't have lot of numbers floating around either and I like that feature. - The concept of different "systems" that all interact with one another. FTL is a great example of this. Certain events can set a room on fire, and the fire can spread. But if you purge the room of oxygen by opening the doors, then the fire goes out. Alternatively, the crew members can manually extinguish the fire. Most crew member need oxygen to breathe, but there are some alien species that don't, and there are some who are immune to fire. Also, there are certain events that can disable the doors, making it harder to extinguish fires. The doors have another role, however, because they can prevent hostile boarding parties from spreading throughout the ship. The point here is that you have all of these systems (fire, oxygen, crew members, doors, etc) that are simple on their own, but each interacts with the the other so that you get a complex web of interaction when they're all put together. Okay, that's about all I can think of. I guess that this is mostly abstract stuff, but I think it's still useful and fun to think about this kind of abstract stuff.
  3. Introduction I would like to give my general thoughts about skirmish mode for a colony building sim which are based on my experience of playing games in genres that include colony builders, RTS, squad tactic games, roguelikes/lites, and also chess. In my other post I argued that there should be at least two types of free play modes: an unwinnable sandbox style mode and a winnable, supremely balanced mode that can be won or lost. This post is about my thoughts on the latter mode and how I think it could incorporate select features of the roguelike. Please remember that all of this is only my opinion, even though it might read like a list of demands. I don't want to waste space by writing "I think that" or "In my opinion" before every single point I make , but I will differentiate what is fun for me from what I think is objectively better. I think that a skirmish mode needs replay value to be objectively good, if you will permit such an oxymoron, at least as it pertains to the quality of video games. Whereas a platform game or an RPG can be enjoyed on a single-play through and put away forever, a skirmish mode is better if it makes you want to play it again. A skirmish mode is akin to a board game like chess, which itself is almost like a "skill" because it demands mastery by the player. The genre of the roguelike (and its derivative form, the rogue-lite) is based around this idea of mastery, so essentially what I'm suggesting is a sort of hybrid between a roguelike or rogue-lite (such as Brogue or Faster-than-Light, respectively) and a colony sim. Applying Structural Features of the Roguelike to a Skirmish Mode The features of the roguelike are similar to those of a real-life sport. A roguelike (such as brogue) typically has the following properties: - A single "competitive" mode with settings that have ultimately been picked by the game developer. The unified mode is important because it forces players to adapt their play to the game rather than the other way around by tinkering with settings or whatever. It also sets a standard that can be used for seed competitions in order to build the community around the game, which can be quite important for sustaining interest and spurring further development of the game (see /r/brogueforum for an example). Personally, I don't prefer roguelikes that allow you to endlessly tinker with classes and other such initial values; the competition just feels somehow grander if you know that everyone else is starting off with the same conditions as you are. - Permadeath is probably necessary if the central theme of the game revolves around the player reacting to random events. While save-loading is fine for a sandbox mode or campaign mode, there isn't much point in even allowing saving as an option because it only tempts the player to cheat. If a save file is allowed to be reloaded after the player dies, then whatever results from further play should just be considered practice or void (i.e., the game drops from the skirmish mode back into sandbox mode). In Hexters, I suppose having your hub destroyed would be the death criterion. If there is no permadeath, then there needs to be some fixed duration over which the player must score as high as possible. - A simple win condition that is preferably a binary outcome (win or lose), possibly quantified by a single scalar value. Such a system makes tracking progress over a long series of games much easier. I think it's best if the game can either be won or lost, because it frees the player from having to play in a certain way. For example, if a roguelike had a score which was based on how many monsters were killed, then any stealth playstyle would be inferior to a fighter playstyle. If there is a score, then it should capture the essence of the game. In Brogue, the score is based on the amount of gold collected because exploration, not combat, is the central theme of the game. But the player also gets a large gold bonus for recovering the amulet. For Hexters, good candidates for the metric of score could be the amount of time survived, the peak power generation in watts, or the maximum number of hexters alive at once, because all of these are the core of the game. Regardless of what is used for scoring, the average score should be tracked over the last x games, whether it's simply the win percentage, or something more complicated. - A short game length (lasting from 90 to 150 minutes) follows if there is an expectation that the player is not going to win every game, there is permadeath, and the sole scoring metric is a binary outcome. If you have a 15-hour game, the threat that you're going to die at any point has to be reduced so that the player has a reasonable chance at winning, but this reduces the game from a series of gutsy strategic decisions to one of crossing t's and dotting i's. If there is a scalar scoring metric, then the game can be a bit longer. In addition to all of that, it's easier for humans to retain interest over a shorter period of time, no matter what the subject is. Any individual game is like a sports game or a piece of theatre. Although fans of cricket or Wagner might disagree, the average length to tell a good story seems to be 90 minutes to a few hours. Conclusion I actually had an entire second section to add, but since it brings in my experiences with other types of games besides roguelike (such as colony sims, strangely enough), I'll make a second topic for that. Hopefully this has provided some food for thought.
  4. https://pastebin.com/rvwcqkrx same crash happened again
  5. Game keeps crashing for no discernable reason after playing for about 30 minutes. I have Ubuntu 16.04, core i5 3450. Player.log is attached. Player.log
  6. I've voted for "gameplay" because I'm most interested in the skirmish/free-play mode being developed. I've seen the comment sections of other early-access games like this one and generally speaking, there are two types of people.. There are the type-A people like me (i.e., unbalanced roguelike fans) who want a "game" in the academic sense of the word, meaning a series of strategic decisions like you have in Rogue or in Chess. Then there are the polar opposite (i.e., normal people, minecraft fans, etc) who just want a sandbox-type experience where they can just build massive colonies, fight of huge waves of enemies, and then post a screenshot of the carnage on Steam. Instead of trying to appeal to both types of players with one unified skirmish mode, I think you should make separate skirmish and free-play modes. I just say this up front because I've seen developers who DO try to cater to both types, and ultimately that satisfies no one. Inevitably, the Type-B's complain about some easily-abused mechanic that gets removed to satisfy the Type-A's lust for difficulty, or the Type-A's just get impatient because the game isn't hard enough. (Or the dev just eventually caves and makes several game modes). Obviously, I don't know what your plans are, but I would strongly suggest this just in case the game gets really popular, which I hope it does That being said, I do appreciate the main mission with all of its tongue-in-cheek humor. It has been a nice tutorial.
  7. Hi. I got this yesterday and I've completed the first three missions (actually 2.99 missions because the exit conduit in mission 3 doesn't seem to want to power up). I enjoy base-management games, especially when they have a mix of economy and combat. Gameplay elements that I liked: 1. The system of power distribution, and also the fact that there is only so much electricity on the map. 2. Exploration. I've played god games that show you the entire map, but I think that this takes out a much of the fun. 3. A few special units that are controllable and interchangeable peon units. One thing I liked about Kingdom Rush, the famous tower defense game, is that you get to control one hero unit in addition to managing your towers. It really helps a lot because there's always something to spend your extra attention on. 4. The diurnal cycle. The fact that all enemies die off during the day time is a small detail that I like because it lets you focus on combat and then on building. 5. The logistics system is neat. Gameplay elements that were frustrating, or which weren't immediately obvious: 1. As in any colony sim, the most irritating thing was dealing with peons who suddenly get confused when distances become too great. For instance, in mission 2, my hexters suddenly stopped gathering resources from the bitpile in the south east when I wanted to build to the exit in the northwest. Or in another instance, when I'm building to the geothermal extractor in mission 3. The hexters can figure out to carry resources from my base to the geothermal extractor site, but once they've dropped their loads, they can't figure out to go back to the main base in order to grab more materials to haul to the site. So they just sit there confused until they run out of energy and then head back to the domicile. I guess this is because the trip from the build site, back to the base, and then back to the build site is too far. Of course this can always be fixed by sending a bitmobile and creating a beacon, or maybe with a chain of stockpiles. 2. The scout doesn't always go where you want it to. You have to coax it over rough terrain in some spots and some times it gets stuck when trying to travel long distances. This behaviour is unlike an RTS such as Starcraft where things will just go where you want them if it is possible for the unit to get there. 3. No birds' eye view of the entire map until you unlock Logistics in mission 3. If there's ever a skirmish mode, it would be nice if this were available from the start. 4. Hexters can't heal up out of combat. I mentioned on Steam that the game was crashing frequently on mission 3. I'll try to get another crash so that I can submit the log.
  8. Hi. I got this yesterday and I've completed the first three missions (actually 2.99 missions because the exit conduit in mission 3 doesn't seem to want to power up). I enjoy base-management games, especially when they have a mix of economy and combat. I also dig the low-poly style which seems to have taken over the 8-bit pixel style as the style which is in vogue with all the indie devs these days. Gameplay elements that I liked: 1. The system of power distribution, and also the fact that there is only so much electricity on the map. 2. Exploration. I've played god games that show you the entire map, but I think that takes out a large source of the fun. 3. A few special units that are controllable and interchangeable peon units. One thing I liked about Kingdom Rush, the famous tower defense game, is that you get to control one hero unit in addition to managing your towers. It really helps a lot because there's always something to spend your extra attention on. 4. The diurnal cycle. The fact that all enemies die off during the day time is a small detail that I like because it lets you focus on combat and then on building. 5. The logistics system is neat. Gameplay elements that were frustrating, or which weren't immediately obvious: 1. As in any colony sim, the most irritating thing was dealing with peons who suddenly get confused when distances become too great. For instance, in mission 2, my hexters suddenly stopped gathering resources from the bitpile in the south east when I wanted to build to the exit in the northwest. Or in another instance, when I'm building to the geothermal extractor in mission 3. The hexters can figure out to carry resources from my base to the geothermal extractor site, but once they've dropped their loads, they can't figure out to go back to the main base in order to grab more materials to haul to the site. So they just sit there confused until they run out of energy and then head back to the domicile. I guess this is because the trip from the build site, back to the base, and then back to the build site is too far. Of course this can always be fixed by sending a bitmobile and creating a beacon, or maybe with a chain of stockpiles. 2. The scout doesn't always go where you want it to. You have to coax it over rough terrain in some spots and some times it gets stuck when trying to travel long distances. This behaviour is unlike an RTS such as Starcraft where things will just go where you want them if it is possible for the unit to get there. 3. No birds' eye view of the entire map until you unlock Logistics in mission 3. If there's ever a skirmish mode, it would be nice if this were available from the start. 4. Hexters can't heal up out of combat. I mentioned on Steam that the game was crashing frequently on mission 3. I'll try to see if i can make it crash again so that I can submit the log.
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