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    TheAmishPirate's Avatar

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    Feb 2009

    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Note there is some variation in Action time. Think 3 turns, +/- 1 turn based on a dice roll modified by hidden factors, rather than 3 30% dice rolls. I think this carries the spirit of my original idea without it being so swingy.
    Right! Good catch, I forgot about that one. The current idea I had for that was to make a Unit's Action Point contribution have a little variance. Over time, it averages out to a few turns difference in either direction.

    I'll edit it into that post, just so I don't forget it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I think that this is a raw gamefeel thing that I can't design for at this stage. We need to think, specifically, about the moment midgame when a country unexpectedly begins an insurgency and the player quickly moves a few units over to shore it up. That is the core mechanic and it needs to be satisfying and intuitive because the player will be doing it literally thousands of times.

    A negative example of this: Endless Space 2. While the game is ~beautiful~ visually, its core mechanic of the system view and building structures is boring and minorly irritating and over time that feeling builds up to erase any positive feelings I have about the game. I think we just flag this right here as the playtesting axis that the entire rest of the game's design must bend around.
    If this were a Mario game, this would be our mostly blank level we'd use to test the core movement mechanics.

    Fortunately, those are pretty easy to throw together to test. Once we have something more concrete, I can get a quick sandbox tossed together.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Honestly pretty satisfied with these. It's one note but that note is the core mechanic. That said, confiscate tech might be best moved to Agent.

    As mentioned, confiscate tech being here puts these guys in a distinct category of being the people who turn off game mechanics, in contrast to the exec who turns them on. And I think if that basic philosophy holds then the two actually work pretty well - the agent is the counter to everything the exec does, and the armies are just the dumb bricks that shuffle along.
    I will point out that Confiscate Tech is generally a defensive ability, which is why it's fit so well with the Army Unit. But I'm willing to give this a shot, see how it plays. It might help us out in throwing some ambiguity as to an Agent's intentions. Gives them another thing that they could be doing as they approach a Country. (Though in general, I don't feel like Units are the big secretive part of this game, so having somewhat transparent intentions isn't the worst thing ever.)

    Plus, I have been going back and forth on what happens to an Army when it's Deployed, but then goes over to Confiscate Technology. It's not immediately intuitive, and dodging that entire problem certainly would be convenient.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    Just a FYI I'm super bad with numbers. I can think in terms of how long something should take or how significant something should feel but I can't express that usefully in digits.
    Sure sure. One thing I've been learning through this development process is that you really just gotta get some general ideas for the numbers, then throw things at the wall until something sticks. Maybe there's more precise ways to go about this, but I sure haven't found them.

    More to the point, I'm not actually looking for numbers yet. What we need to figure out is more the behavior of the various Stages, rather than hard numbers. So speaking in terms of significance is actually perfect here. Here's an example of what I'm talking about, using Insurrection from a page or so ago:


    All Stages: % chance each turn of destroying a Deployed Enemy Army unit (Possibly increases with higher Stages?), minor decrease to Development Level/turn
    Stops when: No more Deployed Enemy Army units
    Stage 2: Severe decrease to Development Level/turn
    Stage 3: Country loses Influence Link capacity

    What makes Break Link and Forge Link so tricky is that they're the least complicated of the moves we had before. The ultimate goal of the Action is to create or destroy an Influence link, and that's a pretty binary state. Not to mention it's such a basic move that you're probably not going to want it to take terribly long. Though that then raises the prospect of a stack of Executives that can Forge and Break Links in about a turn due to the low overall Action time, and that doesn't seem particularly right either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    *Nod nod* There should always be room to invest resources in a problem. One thing EU4 does really well is giving you the option to mortgage your nation's future to win a war now, so rephrasing actions in terms of 'this crisis is going to boil over unless you go out of your way to stop it now' is both mechanically fun and perfectly in theme.
    Ooooh, I really like this way of phrasing it.

    Though, again, it highlights the problem facing us with Break Link/Forge Link. "Better act quick, or else I'm going to make a path from Point A to Point B!" *lightning crashes*

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    UI is going to be the focal point of a tonne of design. My strong preference is zero-click UI and Map Modes. Map Modes are Paradox-style map overlays that communicate data visually. Think a heat map for technology where you can see the spread of different technologies, and if you mouse over a country it shows what the factors are in increasing that tech and what the factors are in decreasing it.
    Agreed. At this stage, it's a weird balancing act between "everything's a prototype and subject to change so don't invest too much time" vs. "it's gotta be at least baseline functional or else it's no good."

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    If technology spread is a sliding scale rather than a binary it also presents some new options in the same way as we've got for Action Stages. If a technology is in Stage 3 (total saturation) it might have an additional effect that it doesn't at Stage 1 (bleeding edge). This also helps obfuscate technology effects a bit.
    I hadn't thought of Technology also having Stages beyond Adopted/Not Adopted. There's certainly enough numbers under the hood to make it happen, and there might be some interesting things we can pull off with this. Did you have any more thoughts/ideas in this direction?

    I will warn that right now we're struggling with a Technology system that's too obfuscated, so maybe we should test a little more before trying to obfuscate it further.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I'm also considering playtesting starting with the first effect of all technologies visible. This lets people engage with the system right out of the gate.
    Ooooooh, not a bad idea. I was thinking that we really could use something to kick off the Technology system, rather than starting both Players off with no information and no way to make informed early decisions.

    Another idea, though it might be a bit too random: At the start of the game, neutral Countries with Labs start with 1 randomly Adopted Technology, which will then begin to spread via the Tech spread rules.
    Last edited by TheAmishPirate; 2018-09-18 at 05:40 PM.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.