Author Topic: Biggest Concerns for AtG?  (Read 41415 times)

Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #30 on: May 09, 2014, 08:00:03 PM »
More on the save system:

"Itís not cheating (at least, it was never made clear to me that it was cheating) to simply reload if you donít like how something went down.  In fact, plenty of single-player games of the past 15 years were balanced with save-scumming in mind, so if you did choose to take the high road, you were often presented with an imbalanced (unfair) level of challenge.

The whole idea that ďno, you donít even have the ability to go back after youíve made a decisionĒ really changes the way that a decision plays out.  Suddenly, the idea of true uncertainty entered into single-player gaming.  What will happen after I make this move?  I canít just save it, find out, and then load my game.  I have to make a kind of educated guess.  The optimal move is ambiguous, and I express my skill at this game by trying to decide between multiple seemingly equal options.  You can only feel this if you donít have the power to look into the future, which save-scumming gives you."

~ Keith Burgun, http://keithburgun.net/the-journey-to-game-design-theory/


If a save system is included, which I still don't think is a net positive, even though it has benefits, I think it is important to balance the game as if the system didn't exist. The AI can't reload, so their difficulty level shouldn't be affected by save-scumming. This is assuming that the AI are going to be roughly/exactly symmetrical with the player in terms of how they play, their goals, and how they interact with the player as opposed to other AI.

Which I think they should, otherwise it wouldn't feel like you are competing with them. The player shouldn't feel special/priveleged/different from the other barbarian tribes at the start - they should have to earn their special place. It shouldn't be because of high level asymmetric goals and gameplay mechanics. (There are some exceptions, such as mocking up AI to AI interactions that approximate player to AI interactions, without going through all of the thematic add-ons that are done for player experience. But the gameplay result must be very similar to the player one for the player to see the AI as interesting opponents that are on the same level.)

~ Joshua


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Jon Shafer

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Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #31 on: May 22, 2014, 02:41:48 PM »
I see where you're coming from and honestly, if I were designing AtG for me and me alone I would actually make save scumming impossible. It's just tough to completely cut the cord in a game where play sessions span tens of hours and during which you have to make several discrete, game-changing moves where a single misclick can undo everything. This issue will only be compounded with the iOS version, where the accuracy of finger-on-touchscreen is obviously far worse than a PC mouse.

At the very least though, I can promise it'll be an option!

Hmmm... Now if we wanted to be really evil we could detect when someone is save scumming, and alter how the game plays out... 8)

- Jon
If you have any questions, please send me a private message here on the forums or an email at [Contact@ConiferGames.com]. Thanks for your support!

Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2014, 02:25:46 PM »
Hmm, I guess the best way to do it is keep the save-scumming or move-undoing as out of the way as possible. Available for those who want it, but not interrupting the experience of those who don't want it. I was thinking of a button that could undo each move one at a time of the current turn, but that would be too obtrusive, I think.

I doubt you would be that cruel ^_^ It would also be hard to prevent that from ruining the experiences of honest, fun-loving players :P

~ Joshua

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Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2014, 10:11:19 AM »
On the topic of saving, the only time I ever find myself re-loading the game is when I move my damn settlement out of position after building a unit >:( maybe one day I will learn to not do that...

I have to agree with Jon on this one. Personally I don't like the idea of being able to re-do any of my decisions. However; as VRBones has said while learning how to play a game saving can really help make it a much more fun experience, and that I think is the goal of any game.

On the topic of anti-save-scumming, forcing saves to be authenticated or automatically cloud saved, like Europa Universalis 4's iron man mode, where the game auto-saves every month onto the steam cloud, is good theoretically. However; in practice it can be terrible for someone with spotty internet connection of if the server is having a bad day, which servers do a lot, even the good ones.

Quote
Hmmm... Now if we wanted to be really evil we could detect when someone is save scumming, and alter how the game plays out... 8)

This, in my opinion, is the best way for a game designer to stop people using the product in ways which its not intended.
Everyone should know about the Serious Same 3 DRM invincible killer scorpion or Arma's degradation DRM that makes weapons less accurate and what not.
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Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #34 on: May 24, 2014, 05:25:37 PM »
Quote
Hmmm... Now if we wanted to be really evil we could detect when someone is save scumming, and alter how the game plays out... 8)

This, in my opinion, is the best way for a game designer to stop people using the product in ways which its not intended.
Everyone should know about the Serious Same 3 DRM invincible killer scorpion or Arma's degradation DRM that makes weapons less accurate and what not.
Football Manager used a similar technique back in the 2000's. You could save scum to to get a better result for one of your games, but it left a big karma footprint that wrecked the rest of your team in short order. It felt dirty to be victim of it, but at least you knew that reloading to outwit the random dice gods was not an option. 
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Jon Shafer

  • Lord of the Forest
  • *
Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2014, 02:20:17 PM »
Quote
This, in my opinion, is the best way for a game designer to stop people using the product in ways which its not intended.
Everyone should know about the Serious Same 3 DRM invincible killer scorpion or Arma's degradation DRM that makes weapons less accurate and what not.

Oh yeah, with DRM I find secret under-the-hood tweaks to be horribly foolish. Suddenly your game gets a reputation for being buggy and unfun, which drives off legitimate customers. Just an incredibly stupid approach.

And honestly I can't see myself ever doing something similar for gameplay reasons, but I find that more justifiable. I think you'd want your goal to simply be discouraging the behavior, rather than punishing players. The hope would be that by announcing it players would be deterred from scumming and have more fun. Of course, plenty of people would just ignore that and ruin their games anyways. Such is the life of a game designer! :)

- Jon
If you have any questions, please send me a private message here on the forums or an email at [Contact@ConiferGames.com]. Thanks for your support!

Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #36 on: September 23, 2014, 03:17:16 AM »
I know the game is pretty far into development, but i'll just throw this out there, maybe to be considered and disregarded for at the gates 2: A bigger sense of progress could be felt if the player was able to build up infrastructure/resource improvements/buildings etc that consequently remain in abandoned areas, areas that the player might return to when the resources in their current land starts to diminish.

For example: Player builds a city wall, a monument to the gods and a bunch of farms. The player then have to leave the current area they're in, so the city moves, but some of the stuff that was built remains in the original area (and it's visible as well). When the player returns to those lands it's possible to further improve the city wall, the monument and the farms, gaining extra resources of some kind. This would give a sense of continuos development over time and would add some of that progress feeling that civ induces when the lands slowly fill up with land improvements. 

Another idea that's not mutually exlusive with the first one is to let the player improve land for future use, like leaving behind a little farming operation on some land that might get more valuable in the future. This could create reasons for the player to think strategically about the future. maybe there's a river bed in a very arid patch of land that under the right weather conditions could turn the surrounding land into a very resource rich area. The player could create one of those small farming operations on some of that land with the hope that it will be useable in the future and then get bonus resoucres for properly anticipating how the landscape will change.

Just some thoughts, looking forward to the game.

Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #37 on: September 19, 2015, 02:46:21 PM »
Given that my greatest hope is for something new in this genre, my concerns relate to the usual reasons my enthusiasm wanes for a 4X title.

1. Alas, my free time is limited and there are large chunks are real life between my gaming sessions. The in-game note system might help to bring me up to speed, but ideally I would want to complete an interesting narrative arc in a reasonable time frame before I lose the plot. (i.e. without investing 12+ hours per game). It's personal preference, but I would like to see more strategy titles the lie between iOS board game implementations and Paradox/Firaxis grand strategy epics in terms of time commitment.

2. The diplomacy and internal tribal dynamics have a lot of potential. I hope they don't get buried in the other game mechanics, since I find that diplomacy and politics rarely draw me in in 4X games. My impression from the dev videos is that the clans and leaders mainly tell you what they don't want you to do (such as working certain hexes or making the clan something other than a military vocation). If the other leaders lack personality or fail to reference the player's specific behavior, the high level diplomacy will fall flat.

3. If there are complex systems at work, it would be helpful to have the game do a little data mining for the player. I tend to fixate on a subset of the game systems at any particular point of the game and overlook interesting trends or decision points. Something like "the Huns have almost double your military strength" or "a quarter of your clans are unhappy" or "you urgently need to find a fresh source of iron" would be nice.

Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #38 on: October 13, 2015, 11:25:26 AM »
As I have mentioned in a previous posting on another thread, I firmly believe that making the resources unlimited (such as in Civ V), would make the simulation much more gratifying and rewarding to play. The random map, climate system, UI, and graphics are  all superbly implemented.  This is in no way to be construed as being negative criticism, but rather an appeal for a change concerning the continued availability of resources.
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Re: Biggest Concerns for AtG?
« Reply #39 on: February 23, 2016, 04:00:59 PM »
what? Resources arent immortal?
I thought after gatherers my beherders will continue producing honey for my aleparties foreva!!!!!

Oh, what a world.