New hotness! http://arcengames.com/mediawiki/index.php?title=Skyward_Collapse_-_Pre-Beta_Release_Notes#Alpha_0.900
My internet connection is all fixed back up, so that's a relief. Notes on this one:
1. At this point, we've got the achievements in there. Wasn't a high-priority thing, but Keith was helping out and so it happened simultaneously with other stuff.
2. The statistics on the profile and on the last turn reports are all in there, and so if something seems wonky now would be the time to make bug reports on those.
3. There are statistics now on the top bar when you hover over the population counts, as well. Between the last turn report and those, I think that hits most of the information that people were looking for (and everything that I had planned on doing).
I think the one main data point that is absent right now that some folks is projected expenditures versus current expenditures. That is something you can look at for the last turn in the last turn report, but it doesn't really help super much because a) it includes direct actions you took; and b) it doesn't average out the expenses of units in queues over turns; it just shows what the costs were the last turn (which are nothing if the building was cooling down. There is MAYBE some really complex stuff I could do with the costs here by projecting into the future what each building would create if it looped through its entire queue once, and then average that over the number of turns that it took for each building, and then add all those up.
That's pretty hairy for a number of reasons, honestly, and I'm not sure it's warranted. I understand that folks want to be able to plan based on knowing resource flows, but I'm unsure how much that really is possible in the first place even if you had those numbers; your overall spending habits matter, because you want room for what you are directly spending, and it's nontrivial to work that out because of the finished goods. Not to mention with resources producers getting knocked out or built or whatever.
To some extent I almost think it would be easier to show trend numbers averaged over the last 20, 10, 5, and 3 turns or something: basically what was the shift in each resource over that period of time. That's not forward-looking, but it does help you to understand what your trends are like. Even that, though, I'm not sure is super useful in the face of lots of woes, building losses, building construction, and so forth; the game state changes so rapidly that it's hard to use past trends to really extrapolate much. So that leaves us with forward-looking projections... but those get blown out of the water as soon as the next woe hits or as soon as enemies overrun a certain town, etc.
To me, it makes more sense to play "in the moment" in this game. Obviously you want some longer-term strategies, but they're going to largely get trashed by the enemy. If I know I need a lot of incense to do what I'm going to do, I need to not be trying to fine-tune that balance such that I have just enough incense for my needs, or I'm going to get kicked in the teeth. I need enough to create an excess
of incense (or pigs or whatever). That way when I get kicked in the teeth, I'm not suddenly completely out of a given resource and scrambling. When you're trying to build in that much buffer, looking at the last turn report on production, and looking at your general net expenditures, and looking at your general stores of your goods, seems to really handle it.
So in that sense, keeping a history of "last five turns of this resource's stock" that you can see in their tooltips on the sidebar might actually be all that's needed in order to make good decisions. Bear in mind: flooding the player with irrelevant information is just as bad as not giving them any at all. When there's too much noise, the signal gets lost, etc.
4. So yeah, there are also some bugfixes in here, some usability improvements, and some changes to some of the woes (mostly to make them meaner, except for drug lord). Some solid stuff, but mainly I'm glad to have two big action items off my to-do list: all those statistics all over the place, and the achievements.
If there are any other statistics that you feel like are just vital (not
nice-to-haves), then do let me know. I'm not planning on adding any more unless folks bring them up; we've done what we originally planned to do statistics-wise at this point, plus a bit more based on player feedback.
From now looking forward, I want to devote my time first to getting multiplayer fully off the ground, then to getting more woes, and to working on tweaks and polish alongside all that. There are also a few things relating to making some of the woes more dramatic, etc, too. In terms of how they are presented (big text saying what just happened, etc, when it's a "flash this happened" sort of woe).
Going through mantis today, though, it looks like a huge ton of the stuff that had been suggested and that was in the backlog was already addressed. I'd not been through the full list, as Josh was keeping up with those, so a lot of that seemed to be "great minds think alike" sort of things, or duplicate suggestions at any rate. Anyway, so polish is looking pretty high to me at least, and there aren't any bugs of large substance that I'm aware of. Which is a good place to be! More time for woes and multiplayer.
Knock knock knock on wood.