Author Topic: Yes, there will be fail states and ways to lose.  (Read 1732 times)

Offline x4000

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Yes, there will be fail states and ways to lose.
« on: April 12, 2013, 07:20:50 AM »
We've had a number of comments on that here and on reddit and so forth, so we're going to tackle that as part of the design refinements remaining before we hit to beta.  More details on some of what we are thinking:

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I think you guys are making a huge mistake by not adding some kind of "lose" objective or game-state.

Hmm.  I suppose that if one side runs out of town centers or populace we could make the campaign end.  That would fit with the whole "prevent genocide but encourage war" theme, heh.

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It doesn't have to be complicated, the winning/losing scenarios could be: If 1 faction held 4 places on the map, or had x amount more money/forces than the other, or had a certain amount of units on the opposite side of the map, or dozens of things like that.  Obviously I can't know until I try it myself (I plan to play the alpha if I can), but from what I'm reading it seems like you may be alienating a big part of your playerbase if you don't include pvp and some kind of simple lose scenario.

Most of those sorts of things are pretty ripe for abuse, because you can curtail that sort of thing too easily.  It is super easy to cripple one side so that the other is way ahead.  But that's not your goal.  It's also not that hard, in the main, to avoid having them absolutely stomp each other out.   The extremes aren't really huge threats, or hard to accomplish.  It's the razor-thin middle ground of excellence that is super hard.

Honestly I get what you're saying about Valley 1, but I don't think the same thing applies here.  I mean, yes, I wanted to have a fail state also.  But when you look at something like Triple Town, that doesn't really have a "you lose" sort of fail state either.  It has something where you no longer can proceed, but you _have_ to reach that state in order to finish the game.  Skyward reaches that state after a set number of turns.

All that said, I get the semantic argument here, and I could see this becoming a sticking point with people not familiar with the game.  The simple rules I mentioned ought to be good for the perception of the game without actually making it any harder.

In terms of an advanced way of having a fail state without making it hard on novices... well, we could make it so that there are "score gates" that you have to reach in order to proceed past each given round in the game (not round 0).  Either those could be customizable (so you choose a higher gate and you get a better score multiplier at the end if you succeed), or they could be something that is automatically set by the rank you are currently at.  Though I don't really like that, as that could make the game just impossible past a certain point for some people.  Having the gates be self-set but encouraged for high scores is probably better.

Still brainstorming... if we felt like it, I guess we could even have something like "Edicts" that are either specifically chosen or randomly rolled (like AI Types in AI War) that you must conform to, or lose.  So things like being an expansionist and having a certain number of town centers at the end of each round.  Or being really warlike and having a certain number of kills at the end of each round.  Etc.  And if we did two Edicts per game, like in AI War, there could be lots of super interesting (and super challenging) combinations there.

Hmm, that's like three interesting ideas that would layer on top of the existing mechanics.  Josh and I will have to discuss them. 


Did I mention that Josh (tigersfan) and I are co-designing this game?  Thought that's a good thing to mention, as he's commenting here also.
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Offline Hearteater

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Re: Yes, there will be fail states and ways to lose.
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2013, 07:36:16 AM »
The Edicts idea sounds extremely promising.

Offline x4000

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Re: Yes, there will be fail states and ways to lose.
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2013, 07:54:36 AM »
I'm all about new ways to add meta goals onto existing game ideas. :)
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Offline Wingflier

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Re: Yes, there will be fail states and ways to lose.
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2013, 08:29:51 AM »
Yes, I really like the Edict idea.  Not only does it open up the option for PvP and such, but it also adds a clever, refreshing experience for every game, which forces you to adapt your playstyle given a particular scenario.

It would be cool if you could either have the game randomly generate an "Edict", or choose your favorite ones in custom games.  Edicts which you accomplished by working with your "opponent" to achieve and others which worked by denying your opponent from having something could make a really interesting dynamic that forced you to cooperate and compete at the same time.

You said it was very easy to have 1 faction crush another, so for example you could have an Edict that punishes one person for killing the other guy, which encourages both sides to keep a balance with one another throughout the game.

Also, I agree with your conclusion that having co-op just be two different players controlling each side of the board may not be the most inspired idea. Obviously one person controlling both sides is going to make the game infinitely easier unless there's a ton of real-time micromanagement involved, so it sounds like co-op would just be degrading the game experience. Instead, working together with your partner to achieve specific goals (kind of like the Edicts) that aren't available in single-player would make it more feasible in my opinion.

In fact, you could probably just mesh both "co-op" and "pvp" together, and have the "competitive" or "cooperative" aspects of the game be based on what Edicts were manually chosen or randomly rolled.

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Offline Misery

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Re: Yes, there will be fail states and ways to lose.
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 05:20:05 AM »
I'm giving another vote for the "Edicts sound awesome" idea.   I like the idea of randomly chosen rules like that which then define the strategic framework that I must work within for that particular game;  that's yet another thing that'd up the replay value, I think (particularly if it can choose more than just one at a time).   I think you could do quite a lot with that idea.


This game really is sounding more and more awesome.   Do you guys have any timeframes for this?   Obviously, I'm anxious to leap into the beta whenever that's ready.

Offline x4000

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Re: Yes, there will be fail states and ways to lose.
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 06:34:48 PM »
Okay, this topic has been split out a bunch, because it was touching on both the timing of beta and a bunch of details on multiplayer, both of which are a bit OT, and both of which are great questions that other folks are asking.  So having those in their own threads should help in general.  Cheers! :)
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Offline x4000

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Re: Yes, there will be fail states and ways to lose.
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 05:16:57 PM »
Yeah... worrying about this game not being lose-able really isn't the problem. ;)

As this has proceeded in further testing and development, those bandits have gotten nasty.  We're still refining them obvioulsy, but if you do nothing militarily then currently they are murdering you within a few turns. ;)
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