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AtG - General Discussion / Re: An Apology
« Last post by Smithson on Today at 12:55:59 AM »
ck on track Jon, it was a happy surprise I'll be providing a project updat
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AtG - General Discussion / Re: issues and suggestions V24.0
« Last post by clayffo on August 08, 2018, 07:02:46 PM »
I want to talk about kingdoms in this message.  I played 328 turns on the attached play through without establishing a kingdom and I felt no need to do so.  in fact, If Jon can fix my issues, I will continue on without a kingdom.  after doing some reading on Germanic kingdoms of this era, I noticed a few issues that are not addressed in this game, but impact the value of kingdoms (or lack thereof)

-  the most fundamental difference between a  tribe and a kingdom is how it is managed.  Tribes were nomadic and collective in decision making.  Generally the strongest warriors  would make the tribal decisions with the support of a chief. 

as I start a game, yes, generally all of my decisions are based on the collective best interests.  I don't train people necessarily on their preferences but on what we need.  as problems arise, of course things get shuffled around.   I move the tribe around as needed to get the resources wanted.  even at turn 328 I, as the player, have very limited control in how I can influence the tribes behavior.  They can revolt on me with very limited consequences.  (punishment actually hurts me, not them)

a Germanic kingdom took to the influence of Rome in structure and was of 3 parts, King, a Noble court, and Religious leadership.  Additionally, they became more "Roman" in their adoption of language, culture, and technology.  Finally, a kingdom existed in an area of absolute control, control of the borders, control of the Roman peoples living in the countryside, and control of governance (Romans were not represented in the court)

Evaluating the "kingdom" decision in this game, I see none of the characteristics consistent with a true Germanic kingdom.  You get a very small amount of ongoing fame and a little bit of control. 

 I would like to see some items consistent with a kingdom to include:

- a castle with the surrounding support of a town.  Castles shall allow for additional bonuses such as gold production, military training, and food production
- ability to  create a garrison and build garrison troops
- establish a King and Noble council who will have special skill trese designed for different leadership styles (bonuses to war, commerce, governance, etc) and an ability to enforce compliance of its' peoples
   It will require you to remove people from the current camp roster screen and create a second screen for the King and Nobles.
- great expansion of territory granted (5 or more control points)
- automatic granting of watchmen to maintain security of the kingdom.  areas of control shall give bonuses to defense and reduce enemy movement)
- Establishment of a church and a new tech tree for religion
- ability to conquer and own other AI tribe camps.  camps shall turn into towns with greater control and bonuses to production
- establishment of trade routes and influence over goods on the market
- improved ability to acquire high level troops, such as knights and man-of-war

I think the cost of establishing a kingdom should be considerably higher to offset the benefits.

Additionally, because this game is clearly not a 300 turn game as was originally designed, I would like the high end cap for clans to be extended from 52 to 75
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AtG - General Discussion / Re: Steam update today
« Last post by clayffo on August 08, 2018, 04:21:44 PM »
the game works now.  it is still prone to crashing, but you can get a good playthrough in
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AtG - General Discussion / Re: upset angry etc
« Last post by clayffo on August 08, 2018, 04:20:40 PM »
I agree that managing people and their preferences is a huge pain in the neck.  it would be great to have a chart that could identify potential conflicts before you commit to a decision.  It would also be nice to have a meter that showed future conflicts arising prior to the angry alerts.  a common problem I have found is that two people are fighting because they've worked together too long.  If you don't address this issue like immediately that turn, they can go to angry or refusing to work as soon as the very next turn.

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AtG - General Discussion / Re: Do resources respawn?
« Last post by clayffo on August 08, 2018, 04:15:40 PM »
the answer is no
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AtG - General Discussion / issues and suggestions V24.0
« Last post by clayffo on August 08, 2018, 01:10:31 PM »
ok so I played a game through 328 turns.  I'm currently on an unrecoverable crash, so I thought I would  take some time to review the game in the current version. the map being discussed is the july 26th group game.

If you read my previous post the other day, I mentioned an increase in the challenge of the game and some changes that were uncomfortable.  I found ways to forge ahead and overcome these changes.  The biggest adjustment I had to make was my initial priorities.  the top priority in this game is getting wood going.  Its' not real clear, but logging production is now based upon +1 wood per surrounding square of woods around the logger.  Therefore, you have to find a forest and put down your logging camp there.  When the camp taps out, you lose all the forest around the logger as well.  This makes it critical to get stone up asap and build a woodworks.

Additionally, some of the civs start significantly advanced.  in this game, the Lombards (pink) directly to the south start with a cattle ranch, sheep ranch, iron mine, salt mine, vineyard, and wheat farm.  they also have 2 warriors and 3 bandit camps in their territory, so attacking them takes some planning.  Having a Civ start so far ahead of you makes the game more defensive and, at least for me, pushed me to move north and west.  Unfortunately, there is a Roman camp directly west, so that makes 2 expansion paths not possible early on.

about 5 or so recruits in, I got a livestock guy, so I did something I never did in previous play throughs, I used the fishing boat.  This was a game saving moment for me as my food options were limited.  I did not want to use a hunter on the sheep and deer to the north, as I needed cloth and parchment.  There is not a river nearby, so I could not put up a trader to buy these resouces (cloth and parchment) until much later in the game.

Here are some items that I liked and disliked about the current version:
-  too many demanding characters that refuse to switch trades.  I found it hard to get a farmer with so many of the initial clans restricting me to metalworks, honor, discovery, and livestock.  Oddly enough, a batch of agriculture guys come through right after I no longer needed them.
-  Baldric has a permanent "Sullen" trait, which makes her upset all the time.  she also has a "gains no experience unless in a social trade" trait, which means she has to work in the camp.  This creates a lower mood with other clans and you cannot fire her.  You can, I suppose, send her to get captured by bandits, but that's a workaround
-  On several occasions I had no choice but to punish a character.  Let's take Hilbrand for example.  He was an honor camp guy of mine  and he had a conflict with someone else in the camp that required me to punish one of them.  I could not just separate them as the other clan would be upset for their desire of him being punished not getting fulfilled.  So I punish HIllbrand and now he has a PERMANENT trait of refusing to work.  The only things I could do was give him alcohol (this is a temporary work around) and move him to be a farming apprentice. 

again this is silly that you have to use an unworkable characters or send them to their deaths.  There should be a way to resolve disputes and allow them, over a few turns, to get back to at least being neutral. Otherwise, maybe you could have the option to put them into slavery, whereas you would get a discount of food use, but would have no family growth and reduced production. 

-  I like the shepherd idea and used it.  However, I was extremely disappointed when I put up 2 sheep ranches and discovered that the +1.25 sheet per turn only applied 1x, when it should have applied to each ranch, giving me 2.5 sheep per turn.  as a result, my grand plan of using 2.5 sheep per turn to make both cloth and meat failed.  This should be fixed

-  galleys dont' work.  There is some great land directly east of your starting position, but you have to either walk through unfriendly territory or sail.  When I tried to move my camp, spearmen, and explorer onto the galley, the option is greyed out (merge armies). 

-  The food production counter is broken.  Currently I have 263 food, 2 wheat farms, a butcher, a cheesemaker, baker, breadmaker, briner and plenty of salt.  However, it shows my food at -0.1 .  Additionally, the briner and cheesemaker apparently don't work at all as I have no stocks of preserves or meat.  In version 23, if you check my attached game file, I had over 1000 preserves using the briner with salt and meat.

-  the flax plantation doesn't appear to be balanced correctly. it is located to the west of my main camp, along the border with the Romans.  It only produces 4 flax per turn with an apprentice and some upgrade boosts.  However, the wheat plantation to the South / Southwest of my main camp produces +42 wheat per turn.  why is it that one farm can be a +42 and a mine can be at +21, but a flax plantation is only at +4.  in order to use the tailer, you need +8 flax per turn.  this puts me at -4 per turn.

-  apprentice upgrades do not scale balanced with output.  For example, I have 2 iron mines.  why do I have 2, well because the 2 mines produce a total of 46 iron per turn.  However, if you  go with 1 mine and an apprentice, your output reduces to 23  Even after some character upgrades with boards, you can increase the apprentice to +9 iron, making your output +32 .  This is applicable to all mines, not just iron.  yes there is an offset of having to use 20 stone to make a second mine, but I feel the sacrifice is well worth it for +14 extra iron per turn.

-  Im not at all on board with how attacking other civs work.  There appears to be absolutely no benefit to capturing another civ.  you turn off their production, but you have to keep a soldier there to prevent them from restarting.  It should be like Civ 5 where you cap their city and you get all of their resources and territory.  If you see my game, I cannot expand south and take advantage of the horses, cattle, salt, unidentified plant and vineyard because they are in alemanni and Lombard territory, even though the Lombards and Alemani are effectively defeated. 

-  There is a neutral wheat farm right next to the Alemanni.  I cannot capture that farm.  when I put my spearmen to attack, the command is ignored.  I had 3 spearmen against 1 neutral warrior, so it should not be a problem to cap that farm.  it may have something to do with it being in alemanni territory, but I don't know.

-  fishing camps.  Currently you can only forage for fish, however, fish do not regenerate.  It would seem to me that if you can build permanent wheat farms that don't exhaust, you should be able to build fisheries.  Once I exhausted all the fish, I had to move my camp back to the water and bring in my fisher for retraining

-  I find the desire to be in a warm place to be an aggravating problem that takes away from the game.  I had two characters, Alman, who had to be in discovery, and Ogier, who has to be in honor, both moving back and forth into the camp to meet this request.  Alman was an explorer, which really wrecked me when she was 20 squares from my base in winter.  she ended up getting angry.  Ogier had to be removed from my army and retrained in camp.  This meant retraining a camp honor guy to be a spearman.

-  I will bring up the issue again with "dig in."  there should be a warning or automatic disengage of "dig in" when winter hits, so the characters don't lose health without you realizing what's going on.  my 3 man spearman army had to disengage and spend 10 turns in winter going back to heal due to this.

-  There need to be more optional pop up windows to track resource production vs. use, as well as who is doing what and when. 

It s very time consuming to have to constantly click on field staff and make sure they are not upset or have useable upgrades that I'm not aware of.  In the camp, you can see pretty clearly who's doing what, however, you can't tell if you're optimized and if someone is even being useful.  When winter hits and farms go offline, there is not message saying, "hey, your breadmaker is offline as there's no wheat. you should retrain them for the winter" 

Additionally, you can have an apprentice feuding with a miner and be totally unaware that this is going on.  you may be losing up to 9 materials per turn for no reason at all.  worst case, your miner gets to the point where he refuses to work and you have to abandon the mine.

-  there are some problems with the Enoble skill.  some tribes can get it , some crash the game when you enoble them.  For example, I wanted to enoble either Biegel or Faramond so they could be scribes.  However, both crash the game when you try to enoble them.  Oddly enough, you can enoble manheim and alderman, who are both in honor.  YOu may have noticed I have 2 tinkerers, this is the reason. 

as a final note, I found it to be funny that the Arnold Swartzeneggar portrait guy was named Manheim, as that was the name of Arnold's character in the movie Escape Plan.

I think I've said enough for right now.  my game file is attached, HOWEVER, be warned that it will crash on turn 328 no matter what you do.  please use it for reference and instruction as you see fit.


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AtG - General Discussion / Re: Issues and suggestions V23 alpha
« Last post by Hunter on August 08, 2018, 01:00:24 AM »
I have to agree that it seems you are starting a game on 'Deity Level' straight away. Too hard to get wood, which you need to do nearly anything else. Still, balance issues are not the hardest things to fix
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AtG - Developer Updates / Re: August 2018 Update - What's New?
« Last post by Hunter on August 04, 2018, 04:58:01 PM »
Ok, I got an update on Steam to v24.0. Starting it is still a bit rough. Maybe it is my antivirus thing kicking in the first time it runs. Anyway, up and going...

---

First question. I can only go 2 tiles before hitting the area of other tribes around me. Is this the new meta, surrounded by 3 other tribes?

--

Ok, started a new game and it is back to normal...I have some space to explore. Perhaps some variable to do with tribe spacing is not being initialised?

-- Played 20 turns or so. Still a bit rough around the edges. Not sure if alpha/beta testing is required or not.
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AtG - Developer Updates / Re: August 2018 Update - What's New?
« Last post by Hunter on August 03, 2018, 05:32:42 PM »
A lot of the changes sound really good. I find your design reasoning quite satisfying...but only playtesting will tell the tale in reality. Look forward to seeing the next build.
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AtG - Developer Updates / August 2018 Update - What's New?
« Last post by Jon Shafer on August 03, 2018, 03:21:04 PM »
Hey all,

In this update we'll be going over what additions have been made to the game the past few months. The todo list is shrinking rapidly and the light at the end of the tunnel very much in sight. The next project milestone in early September is "feature design lockdown", which basically means all of the game's gameplay features are in, and only need iteration, balance, and bugfixing before we're ready to roll. At this point I'll be looking for a lot of playtesting feedback again, so if you're in the alpha and looking to help out that's probably the best time to jump (back) in. There will likely be a couple more tweaks made after the next milestone, but nothing that'll take more than a few days to implement. The few months after this milestone will include further work on the AI and diplomacy, and then aside from smaller stuff like improving the tutorial and adding some screens (e.g. settings, clan management, game setup) we'll have pretty much reached the finish line.


What's New


Professions/Tech Tree

Although this isn't a new feature it's probably the most noticeable change to the game given that clan professions are one of the two fundamental elements of the game's economy (resources being the other).

To summarize what's new, the old design had a lot of issues where professions would often not seem very useful, e.g. if the tier-1 version of a blacksmith turns 1 iron into 1 tool each turn the tier-2 version might convert 6 into 6 and tier-3 10 into 20. The problem was that getting to the point where you could even produce the 6 iron per turn required by tier 2 was pretty hard to reach, and so most of your research options felt pretty unexciting. This issue was solved in a couple ways.

First, I did a pass on the whole tree, switching to an approach that looks more like 2-for-2 in the first tier and then 8-for-4 in the second, with the third being replaced by a system where it's now possible to research a couple different "upgrade techs" which allow you to spend resources (e.g tools or boards) to improve the output by ~50% each. The ability to upgrade is fairly cheap to acquire, but the upgrades themselves require a fair number of resources, ensuring there's always something you want to A) research and B) spend your resources on. It's hard to understate how much of an improvement this provides the game, as while playtesting I'm now constantly confronted with tough trade-offs where I have several <i>exciting</i> options to choose from, rather than several equally uninteresting ones. Much, much better.

Additionally, "global upgrades" have been added to the game. These are techs not linked to any particular profession, instead offering an expensive way to acquire a tribe-wide, permanent bonus of some kind (e.g. increased food production, or a morale boost to your entire army). This provides an additional incentive to improve your research rate, especially when the RNG throws a unique starting location at you and making more specialized strategies particularly lucrative or essential.



The new tech tree is a huge improvement over the old one.


Caravan Upgrades

A big update to the professions/tech tree is closely linked to a similar rethinking of several resources, along with the primary vehicle through which they can be acquired or transformed into other useful commodities: the caravan.

This was a system with potential that's been greatly enhanced by the ability to spend treasure in order to upgrade what's available. In the past there was simply a global pool filled with all different kinds of resources, most of which were completely irrelevant until the much further into the game. Furthermore, they were often only available in very limited quantities, narrowing down the number of strategic options available. Players now have the choice of how early and how heavily to improve the stock of what's available, and a particularly treasure/caravan-based strategy can now pay huge dividends. But it'll cost you, so make sure to plan ahead, as paying to upgrade the caravan will only help you the next time it comes around, which might be 6 months if winter is approaching.


Faction Asymmetry

The player's role and how they relate to AI players is now fully defined, with AtG placing you in a pre-populated world more akin to a Paradox game than Civ.

Shifting the game away from a more traditional "4X race" into something more in the roguelike direction is kind of an obvious move given that the game will never have multiplayer and the difficulty in building high-level competitive AI players. AtG was never the kind of game where you could expect the arc of the game to progress in the same way each playthrough, and the way opposing factions fit into the game now reflects this.

Instead of every other tribe starting with a single settlement and three clans you'll now find some on equal footing while others will be 5 or even 10 times your size and strength, making them potent diplomatic forces right from turn 1. If Attila is next door and much bigger you're going to have to pay attention to what he wants, otherwise you might find yourself flattened pretty quickly. The diplomacy system framework is now fully implemented, but the actual behaviors and specific kinds of deals are still being fleshed out, so for now your rivals are a looming presence but not yet an active one: this will change in the next big update in September. Part of the system is working, but it's effect on the game is quite inconsistent right now so I've disabled it until everything is online.


Victory Conditions

Along with the role of the human and AI players the victory conditions AtG offers are now nailed down, providing you with two strategic routes to victory: conquest or economics/diplomacy.

Simply capturing a Roman capital will win you the game, and given the strength of the Romans at the start this will usually be a pretty tall order. But because this is a a fairly asymmetric, "roguelike" game there will be some runs where the Romans start off a bit weaker and get hit with a lot of bad random events and annoy the wrong AI leaders, making for a ripe target. Every game of AtG will offer different opportunities, so being relatively flexible and willing to try new strategies will be important to success.

Should you start further away from the Romans or want to win the game by a different route the 'Magister Militum' victory is now also available. In essence, you have to send 5 of your clans to Rome along with some expensive equipment for training, and they'll rejoin you as mighty Roman Legions. These can be used directly against any foes you might have, but once you've acquired 5 of them the option to send them to Rome and basically take it over from the inside becomes available. Each of these actions has a 1-year timer on them though, giving your rivals the opportunity to slow you down, so keeping folks happy on the diplomatic front will also be important to pulling this off.

I really like the role each of these victory conditions fills, as neither one requires too heavy a commitment until later in the game and they overlap enough to remain viable until fairly late but not so much that they blend into one another. I also think 2 is a good number, as having too many victory conditions not only makes it a lot tougher to figure out what what you're aiming for but it doesn't make a lot of sense, as this was an era where might made right - a cultural victory ain't exactly thematic!



Keeping your clans happy is a big part of the game.


Clan Management

The 'mood' of each of your clans is now something important to stay on top of, and is often based on what professions you assign them.

There were  'happiness' and 'clan desire' systems in the game previously, but they've been fleshed-out and rebalanced to play a more meaningful role. The design goal is for the desires or feuds clans have to be fairly predictable, such that if a 'Curious' clan joins you making them farmers is almost guaranteed to make them upset - but make them scouts or in a profession that produces knowledge and you'll have nothing to worry about. The tapestry of different clans and traits you end up with works really well with this, as you're often tempted by sub-optimal options since, after all, you really, really need that extra warrior, even if the fickle new clan that just arrived comes with a morale penalty built-in.

The clan personality aspect of the game really adds a fun new dynamic, and is something I expect to continue fleshing out in the future, as it's fairly easy to add new traits, desires, feuds, etc.


New Art

A lot of new art has also gone into the game lately, specifically structures and units, which are now basically done. Here are a few examples of some of the new stuff:



Almost all game art is now complete.


Misc

The latest build also includes a number of smaller gameplay changes, such as removing the ability to survey unknown resource deposits from builders (this is now exclusive to foragers and the Surveyor profession), adding defenders to each neutral structure (making them <i>slightly</i> less juicy targets), and making it possible to 'ennoble' clans from the start (a good way to make clans happy, and required by some advanced professions). If you're curious as to everything that's new or changed checkout the changelog below. I'll be including changelogs with each future update, so stay tuned if you're interested in that sort of thing.


...


All of the changes described above are reflected in v24.0, which is now up on Steam and should be available on Humble next week after a Mac/Linux compatibility issue is fixed (the current build is broken on those platforms, but switching to the "internal" beta branch in Steam will allow the previous version of the game to be played in the meantime). I've included the full v24.0 changelog below, in case you're interested in all the nitty-gritty details.

That's it for now. We'll be back next month with more!

- Jon

 
Link to v24.0 Changelog

(This is a link rather than simply pasted into the post because copying any text into here strips it of all formatting and line breaks, and it's probably better to spend the 30 minutes it would take fixing it on the game itself!)
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