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Author Topic: Concerns and Suggestions  (Read 3887 times)

DNK

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Concerns and Suggestions
« on: October 05, 2013, 04:35:38 AM »

First, let me say that this game looks pretty interesting. As a long-time DF fan, I've been eagerly awaiting a game that takes the best of DF and combines it with a solid UI and actual graphics. That said, I have some reservations before backing it, and also some suggestions regardless of my final decision.

Suggestions first:
For the graphical style, well, there needs to be some. I think the natural areas are really well done for this point in production, but the sprites and constructions are very weak. I understand it's a stopgap. Here are my suggestions for this:
  • Character sprites need to be far more detailed and unique. I should be able to look at a sprite and know who it is immediately. These are the most important sprites in the game, and as such should be the most detailed.
  • Character sprites should change as the characters do. Aging, losing limbs (too much DF?), gaining scars, balding, growing beards, etc. Clothes should also change over time, as the colony becomes more developed and can create better quality fabrics (or perhaps encrust them with gems).
  • You definitely need a strong sci-fi style to this. Since there are multiple levels of tech involved in the gameworld, having multiple styles is possible. For instance, a basic Star-Trek colonist (TNG examples) look for furniture and walls, with more detailed mechanical apparatuses. Then, other tech levels (perhaps reached as the colony develops) could have a more Alien/Quake2-4 feel. Traded tech weapons could have aesthetics lifted from all over the sci-fi metaverse.
  • Moddability is key. If you get a solid base game, the community can add furniture, buildings, resources, and art styles as needed.

Current Reservatations:
The game right now is not so appealing for a pre-purchase, though I'm certainly happy it's passed its goals. My issues and concerns are:
  • A lack of industry. Having gotten used to DF's complexity in this matter, I would find little to do with such a streamlined game.
  • A lack of things to build. Same, basically. Plus things to do with what you've built (I want to encrust things and add metal spikes).
  • A lack of development opportunities. Ultimately, I'd love to see more of a sandbox where you can realistically tech up and improve on your starting options. For example, you start with a basic wood/feather (whatever materials we have) bed, but in time can make a bed with foam/springs once you have your industry built up, and eventually like sleeping pods with all sorts of benefits to the character once at the highest level. Currently, though, there's very little to do or work up to.
  • Just more variety in general. Like above, for materials and resources, is that all? I know it's "feature incomplete", but I want to know how incomplete and how filled in this is going to get. Again, I'm coming at this from a DF background, and just won't be able to get into it if the current level of depth is indicative of the final product. I'm sure it will sell well enough for others, though, since it's a solid concept.
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British

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2013, 07:35:59 AM »

I'd like to make one thing clear: this is NOT going to be DF in space, even if some oulets advertise it so.
There are a lot of common ideas and concepts, of course, but don't expect the complexity of DF in RW.
You can find some threads here that deal with the expected final difficulty (or even levels of difficulty).
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Semmy

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2013, 07:39:13 AM »

Just to clarify 2 or 3 of your questions.

Tynan already stated that the game will become moddable.
Here is a reply from tynan.
You can count on me working hard on the game for the next six months. When you're buried in snow there's not much else to do :) As for modding, check my post on Ludeon.com. It's a feature module that people would have to ask for, but I want to do it and the game is set up for it pretty cleanly. http://ludeon.com/blog/2013/07/moddability/ 

For the graphics dont worry.
The PA look is just a placeholder. The reason tynan has a kickstarter is to get a graphics artist.
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LoneTophat

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2013, 10:28:13 PM »

I can echo one of the serious worries I have that this guy also has. British immediately said the game won't be as complicated as DF on release, but DF still hasn't been released. I think this type of game would benefit from a DF-like approach when it concerns development, but obviously he won't be investing the next twenty years into refining this game (sadly). Dedication/Obsession like Tarn Adams has is hard to come by in the gaming industry, and elsewhere for that matter (I personally blame the eccentricities of mathematicians). I hope Ty doesn't just dump this game out on release like so many other indie titles, and call it 'feature complete' and 'polished' when it's obviously not. We'll see how it goes, game development takes a long time, and it may be completely different come Open Beta.
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Nero

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2013, 11:16:39 PM »

I echo, the latter, reservations of the OP. There seems to be a lot of promise of story-telling, but lets be fair here. This game isn't a Dear Esther or a Amnesia title. A lot of how well the post release does will have to do with how well the features are. I know that the game is still pre-alpha and all but it seem sort of barebones in the gameplay department. I mean there are some really great concepts there, but what is holding me back from supporting the game right now is the lack of depth that will keep me from going back again and again. That is why I love DF. I learn something new every time I play, even after I have spent 100 hours playing one fortress. It would be great if the creator could address some of these concerns directly.

Another great example of a game like this is Factorio. Check it out.

On a separate note:
I know there are no stretch goals, but the game has already reached well over double funding requested. I read that extra money would be used for art and sound, but that is only going to cost so much. Where is the money going to go if the game reaches something like $150k or more? Will it be more features such as the suggested modules? or what? I'd like to see the depth that DF has translated into this game, but that is my opinion as a recovering DF addict.
« Last Edit: October 05, 2013, 11:31:37 PM by Nero »
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DNK

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2013, 02:37:13 AM »

I also agree with this OP  :P

So Tynan has claimed on the DF forums that it's "DF in space basically", which gets my hopes up. I really like the direction he wants to take it in. He also clearly has a lot of grand ideas that I'm digging like candy, but I am not sure he can get in all the content it would require to make this 1/5th as replayable as DF's fortress mode has been (despite its major flaws, which this game will not have).

I don't need adventure mode or a whole world map and all that jazz, but I do need a solid and complex game that's at least, industrially speaking, as complex as the Anno series (though with a DF approach to resource gathering, ofc). I would preorder if I knew that was coming, just because I would know 100% that I would get $20 of fun out of it down the road (100hr+ imo).

So I'm concerned that the game is currently not well fleshed out, and that it will take 1 person apparently (if DF is any indication, though I recognize that much of the time spent there is for modeling new systems, play types, and features) some time to do that. I would hope that a stretch goal would simply be bringing on more devs. I don't know how he plans to add more modules as a stretch goal when he's already committed his time to this game (how does more $ = faster production then?)... I mean if this game gets $100K on KS, why not bring in another dev or two for six months to make this a solid well rounded game?
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British

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2013, 03:41:48 AM »

It'd advise you guys go go read the Suggestion and Discussion Megathread, which has already hosted a bit of discussion about DF.

Here's what I had to say on that matter, for instance:

Since RW is inspired by DF, I downloaded it this week-end, out of boredom.
Unfortunately I wasn't bored enough to be able to cope with the entry-level complexity, and there are still parts of my brain that are dripping from my ears, due to the induced melting.

So yes, please make RW accessible for the masses, and as said earlier, the more different difficulty levels you can add, the merrier...
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Semmy

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2013, 06:15:52 AM »

It'd advise you guys go go read the Suggestion and Discussion Megathread, which has already hosted a bit of discussion about DF.

Here's what I had to say on that matter, for instance:

Since RW is inspired by DF, I downloaded it this week-end, out of boredom.
Unfortunately I wasn't bored enough to be able to cope with the entry-level complexity, and there are still parts of my brain that are dripping from my ears, due to the induced melting.

So yes, please make RW accessible for the masses, and as said earlier, the more different difficulty levels you can add, the merrier...


There are pro's and cons for each difficulty.
But i think tynan can have a good balance thanks to the different storytellers.
It will be easy to set a simple or hard game that way
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DNK

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2013, 07:42:43 AM »

It'd advise you guys go go read the Suggestion and Discussion Megathread, which has already hosted a bit of discussion about DF.

Here's what I had to say on that matter, for instance:

Since RW is inspired by DF, I downloaded it this week-end, out of boredom.
Unfortunately I wasn't bored enough to be able to cope with the entry-level complexity, and there are still parts of my brain that are dripping from my ears, due to the induced melting.

So yes, please make RW accessible for the masses, and as said earlier, the more different difficulty levels you can add, the merrier...

I've read it. My comments on yours:

DF is complex but should be easy for a beginner to pick up. Really, getting a self-sufficient and impregnable fort set up in a decent map is easy cake once you understand the system and configure it properly. I could whip up a guide on it in fairly little time. Much of the complexity is, in fact, not necessary for play, which is to say that there is a long and deep experience to be had once you get over those initial hurdles (I may have already responded in that thread actually).

The real difficulty with DF (other than self-imposed through various game choices, which can be extreme-impossible) is with the interface: it's clunky, it sucks, the graphics are not intuitive (even with tilesets), and even highly experienced players can find themselves endlessly frustrated by its tedious and unintuitive design. I think much of the supposed difficulty curve is just that. Yes, there are lots of "bugs" and "features" that make the game more complex/tedious than other RTS/RPG/management games, but nothing than an experienced gamer in these genres couldn't handle.

My point here is that Rimworld clearly does no suffer from the horrid UI and interactions of DF, and giving it an equal level of gameplay difficulty would not put it anywhere near the total difficulty of DF (for newbs and vets alike).
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Nero

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2013, 09:46:29 AM »

It'd advise you guys go go read the Suggestion and Discussion Megathread, which has already hosted a bit of discussion about DF.

Here's what I had to say on that matter, for instance:

Since RW is inspired by DF, I downloaded it this week-end, out of boredom.
Unfortunately I wasn't bored enough to be able to cope with the entry-level complexity, and there are still parts of my brain that are dripping from my ears, due to the induced melting.

So yes, please make RW accessible for the masses, and as said earlier, the more different difficulty levels you can add, the merrier...

I've read it. My comments on yours:

DF is complex but should be easy for a beginner to pick up. Really, getting a self-sufficient and impregnable fort set up in a decent map is easy cake once you understand the system and configure it properly. I could whip up a guide on it in fairly little time. Much of the complexity is, in fact, not necessary for play, which is to say that there is a long and deep experience to be had once you get over those initial hurdles (I may have already responded in that thread actually).

The real difficulty with DF (other than self-imposed through various game choices, which can be extreme-impossible) is with the interface: it's clunky, it sucks, the graphics are not intuitive (even with tilesets), and even highly experienced players can find themselves endlessly frustrated by its tedious and unintuitive design. I think much of the supposed difficulty curve is just that. Yes, there are lots of "bugs" and "features" that make the game more complex/tedious than other RTS/RPG/management games, but nothing than an experienced gamer in these genres couldn't handle.

My point here is that Rimworld clearly does no suffer from the horrid UI and interactions of DF, and giving it an equal level of gameplay difficulty would not put it anywhere near the total difficulty of DF (for newbs and vets alike).

I agree that DF is easy, the entirety of a tutorial that I found to learn how to play was just navigating the UI. The game is, at its core, much like a Caesar game. You get resources, take them to a building that processes them, and then sends them to a warehouse to be used to improve your town/fort or to be traded. Where DF get complex game play wise is when you get into the hierarchy of dwarves, the interconnecting relationships, and keeping everyone super happy. That is probably the most complex part, and it is fairly easy to be honest. People complain about DF because they don't want to take the time to learn it how to navigate the UI efficiently, which I think is a modern syndrome in gaming.
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Yarkista

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2013, 09:53:51 AM »

No, the DF UI is just badly done, defend it all you want it's just not even slightly intuitive and it has nothing to do with "modern syndrome in gaming." It's just hard to get to grips with it and while it may be a very good simulation it's just not very accessible.
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British

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2013, 10:34:49 AM »

No, the DF UI is just badly done, defend it all you want it's just not even slightly intuitive and it has nothing to do with "modern syndrome in gaming." It's just hard to get to grips with it and while it may be a very good simulation it's just not very accessible.
That's an unoffensive way of stating what I actually have in mind, but that works.
AKA "What he said" :P
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Nero

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2013, 10:41:19 AM »

I am not arguing that it isn't poorly done. I am arguing, however, that the lack of initiative or attention to delve into the game because of the less than friendly UI  is a modern syndrome. I guess it is a good thing because it limits the community.

Back on topic:
Are there plans for more expanded industries for the colonists/survivors to partake in?
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DNK

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Re: Concerns and Suggestions
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2013, 11:33:10 AM »

Yes, I'd also like to get back on topic. Nero's question is my most burning one. The other points are less important.

That said, I'm a tangential sort of guy, and love a good discussion...
[spoil]A game is not just its underlying mechanics, but how the player interacts with those mechanics and how the simulation is represented to them. Each of these defines the experience. DF fails so terribly at these that it makes an otherwise amazing game crap to actually play. In almost every single thing you need to do, the actual implementation of your ideas is a lot more complicated than the ideas themselves simply due to this backwards UI and graphics, not to mention the sheer time and clicks it takes to do even simple things (often due to poor AI issues). As such, it becomes less a game of managing the simulation, and more a "game" of managing issues with how you have to interact with that simulation. That's reason #1 I quit playing that game, though I still follow it just to see how the Dwarftrix is coming along.

Point being, if this is a modern syndrome, it's a good one. There is such a thing as "lossless streamlining", things that simply optimize play without reducing the complexity, difficulty, or depth of the game. DF literally has 0 streamlining. It is the baseline for all other UIs because it is as damnable as an interface could possibly be without purposefully trying to be so.

At this point, it's totally inexcusable for Toady to ignore 2/3rds of the gameplay experience, especially when they're bringing in more than enough in purely voluntary non-KS funds to hire on someone to whip up a UI and PA/Rim-style graphics and occasionally come in to update them for each patch (Toady's big issue is he'll have to waste dev time on it and take the UI into consideration when developing the underlying mechanics - that or his real issue is invovling anyone but himself). Hell, a KS for that game, if he promised to do just this and hire on added design talent, would bring in ridiculous money.[/spoil]
« Last Edit: October 06, 2013, 11:45:30 AM by DNK »
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