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Messages - Tynan

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Stories / Re: First Game - Stories
« on: September 15, 2013, 08:06:44 PM »
I laughed out loud when I read this. It's great to see the systems coming together into something storylike. So much of this is so new - in fact, boomrats and fire are both in the game just in the last two weeks or so.

Ideas / Re: Testing - Ideas, suggestions, bugs.
« on: July 10, 2013, 09:57:40 PM »
Overview expansion will happen... eventually.
Prioritization is a tough issue. On/off is simpler but as you've discovered it can be annoying. Especially with a small number of colonist so you can't have them do an exclusive job. The reason hauling is lowest priority is so that skilled miners don't leave the rock face to constantly haul stuff. You're supposed to pair a skilled miner with an unskilled laborer so they're each used to the fullest.

For ref:

This issue may ease when I get hauler bots in there. Hauling is pretty boring work so I want to make a robot that can help your colonists do it without actually being a person and pushing the person count too high (I want a small number of characters so you can get to know each one).

-Lots of exploding pipes. Weird. Hopefully this will be rarer when there are more incidents for the AI storyteller to throw at you.

-Selling goods below zero is a good bug catch. I've been trying to find the culprit on this for a while and this is the closest I've come to good repro steps.

-Grave management: To come, when the storage system is more mature.

-Dazed colonists: You should be able to arrest them with a soldier and throw them in prison. But yes they really should do something else eventually.

-Not sure what you meant by the last line.

Ideas / Re: Testing - Ideas, suggestions, bugs.
« on: July 04, 2013, 09:48:36 PM »
Well, thanks for taking another look! I'll try to get you builds more often. Should have one tomorrow, I think.

Idling - I think this is mostly a manifestation of the game being pretty lightweight. I should have some more low-priority stuff in there for them to do but it's just not in yet. Basic things like chilling in their room or a designated social common area should be their default behavior.

Happiness - Yes, you are correct. I definitely want to get more leisure/happiness oriented stuff in there, as long as it's interesting. An aforementioned meeting/rec room would be a decent start. You could put pinball machines in. Or, perhaps the more twisted colonists could get kicks from abusing prisoners as a form of recreation. Maybe you don't really want this weirdo on the colony, but he's really good with a gun...

I'm unlikely to randomize the moon's rotation period soon. Perhaps some day, as a special challenge. But that's the kind of thing that can throw off an entire design. Sometimes, I've found, it's better to reduce variation and thus increase consistency so you can tune the game to be consistently interesting. That said, it's certainly possible in the future, when everything else is more solid, to start playing with exotic orbital situations.

There is a similar suggested activity times system in Prison Architect. It works pretty well and I'm interested in doing something similar. Currently there really is no difference between night and day; it would be nice if the colonists tried to all sleep when it was night and all work when it was day and all relax in the evening.

I'm pretty sure those bugs are all fixed. Funny about the Sergio one, there weren't two colonists named Sergio, there was one colonist with two representations in the object listing, being displayed and updated twice. Spaced out...

Ideas / Re: Raids!
« on: June 24, 2013, 12:34:26 AM »
It's a great idea. I really want to have lower-grade nonlethal raids. Or even raids that don't try to kill everyone. There's nothing that interesting about a story of a colony that just gets wiped out - it's much more intriguing if people are getting kidnapped and supplies burnt in a series of encounters, I think. And it gives players a chance to recover and learn how to fight back.

So yes, you're definitely right.

Currently all the raids are well-telegraphed. While this is good for allowing players to understand, prepare for and pre-empt the coming fight, it would be good if some of them were more surprise attacks, to give variation. These would have to be more nonlethal (or even single-thief) type encounters.

PS - Nice nickname.

General Discussion / Re: What is/is there an end game?
« on: June 23, 2013, 01:32:16 PM »
There's no endgame.

I have ideas about the idea of giving the colony long-term quests that act a little bit like the story sequence of some other games. There'd be a series of events leading to a conclusion. But there's no reason for me to force the colony to end afterwards.

The only trouble here is that right now you can get into a state where you've pretty much done and got everything in the game. Researched, built, and acquired everything. It's up to me now to extend the time until you get close to that by:
  • Adding more content
  • Designing systems to combine and recombine into new situations forever

Back when the game was Starship Architect,it actually had a stats page (the code is still in there). I took it out just so I wouldn't have to maintain it while I worked on the rest of the game, because I had it categorized as nonessential "you can play without this". But from the beginning I've always had the intent of offering summary information like this.

To me the most interesting ideas are the history tracking ones, because they help people tell stories about their colonies. You can see on your food production graph where the crop blight hit you and people starved, and where you finally found that trader who saved you. It's all about storytelling, ya know?

So in general, yes, I definitely want a stats page, but it's something I'm leaving fallow for now just because there are more pressing concerns.

The other thing is that it's good to design this kind of interface last after you know what stats you're trying to express. If you do it first you have to change it every time the rest of the game changes, which it does often. Doing it last saves you time overall.

Anyway, thanks!

Ideas / Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Prisoners, people, etc
« on: June 22, 2013, 08:40:57 PM »
-I do like the idea of having characters who are intrinsically predisposed to certain tasks. E.g, someone who just naturally learns research faster than others, someone who is a natural socialite. They'd learn faster and have a higher max level.

Not sure I like the real world commentary of that ( I like the idea that anyone can do anything they put their mind to) but I can't deny that people have proclivities. It would be a good way of giving people some fixed underlying character. Right now they're totally malleable bundles of skills.

In terms of grumpy ex-prisoners, tell me what you think of this. Seeds of Rebellion: Sometimes someone recruited will have a "seed of rebellion" hidden from you. They work for you for a while then boom! They rebel and start fighting against the colony. Or try to escape. This happens more when you brutalize them, or if you don't convince them fully enough, or if your prisoner-handling Warden is an incompetent convincer.

I'm also interested in the idea of ex-prisoners having some status that sticks ith them. e.g. if you recruit prisoners brutally, they don't become colonists, they become slaves, who might fight back, escape, or not be able to do certain kinds of work.

General Discussion / Re: Alpha Testing
« on: June 22, 2013, 08:30:03 PM »
Nah man, thanks for playing the game. Watching people play is essential for me to be able to work on the game. Otherwise I'm just floundering under assumptions.

I'd love to hear everyone's comments and suggestions! Bring em' on. I'll have you test again once I think I've advanced the game enough for it to be worth it (no point having you test the same systems twice).

Ideas / Re: Suggestion & Discussion: Map Generator
« on: June 22, 2013, 08:28:26 PM »
I'll definitely want to have more depth in map generation. It's basically the minimum that works at the moment.

I'll probably leave this as it is for a while, though. There's a fairly delicate balance of how much resources there are, how many rocks, and so on, that can get thrown off remarkably easily. When we do have more options, I'm hoping they'll be embedded in a larger set of choices more along the lines of "what planet do you want to crash on and where" instead of the more meta layer of setting densities etc directly.

In terms of setting the raider frequencies, that's actually part of a bigger system I'm calling the AI Storyteller. The Storyteller handles _all_ the incidents that come at your colony, from raiders to trader visits to disease, fires, resource drops, and so on. By putting these together in an integrated system, we can have the AI watch what's happening in the colony and figure out what to do next to produce an interesting story (or to produce the kind of story that you would want to see). I would like be able to set different storytellers that produce different kinds of stories.

General Discussion / Re: Congratulations on your new website
« on: June 17, 2013, 03:34:42 PM »
Why thank you facepuncher.

I'm working on the last stretch of things before it's ready for any kind of public consumption. Adding features is off the table at the moment, but I want what's there to work properly.

General Discussion / New forum
« on: June 16, 2013, 03:40:28 PM »
I just installed these forums on

Hopefully we'll have lots of fascinating discussions here. Isn't that how Internet forums always work?

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