Started by Seeker89, January 16, 2018, 06:10:50 AM
QuoteThere's a lot to say about this. The below will ramble a bit, for which I apologize. My purpose below is just to share a piece of my point of view. In this post I'll explain why many of the things you see requested won't be worked on. I don't expect everyone to agree with everything I write, but I hope you at least understand where I'm coming from.When a suggestion comes up a lot from different sources, I take it really seriously. However these days, the things that people tend to mention in the context of "it has to be in the game or it's not finished" tend to be specific to the player who is suggesting them.Just look at the responses to this post, for example. There is zero overlap between suggestions. /u/NotScrollsApparently has a list of UI changes that was linked. /u/somuchdirt74 posted a system of on-map icons to express health effects (an idea we explored years ago and doesn't work and which I've actually never seen suggested before). /u/kezza596 says the game "MUST" have a 64-bit implementation. Others are demanding Z-levels. And that's just a handful of people. Now extend that to hundreds of thousands of people.My job is to serve RimWorld players as a whole. That includes super hardcore players with 200 mods, who know every detail of the UI and want more ultra-power user options to make everything more automated, faster, fewer clicks, more fluent. It also includes the 76-year old grandmas and 10-year-old kids who email me to thank me for making a game they can actually play. It includes the people who talk on forums, and the great silent majority who never say anything online at all.I have to make changes that help a lot of those people without hurting any of them. Many power user requests, for example, would hurt new players by adding complexity that new players need to learn to avoid. Nobody wants to open a game and see 100 buttons on every menu, even if each one has a power user purpose. It's intimidating.This significantly limits how hard I push for power user utilities.The feedback state of the game has actually been mostly the same for years: A large faction of players saying they're happy with it as is being final, and others who each have some specific thing that they believe must go in before it can be finished. And those specific things are usually very different from person to person. Over the years we've implemented many of those specific things, but it doesn't really matter; even if we make the game fun for 80 hours instead of 60, players still reach the same point where they feel something is missing. It's an inherent problem with a play-forever style of game like this.Games with definitive endings and no replay expectation (e.g. Portal) don't have this issue. But we are on an endless treadmill because the game by its very nature always gets boring for every player. (RW's average playtime on SteamSpy is 92 hours, by the way, which is exceptionally high).So there's other issues in play here too. One is that many of the ideas that get demanded really aren't actionable. Often they are logically impossible, or incomplete, or push on one side of a tradeoff without accounting for the other side.I hate to single anyone out here, but I need examples. /u/NotScrollsApparently 's linked post for example is mixed in this respect:"some stuff (like planting options) are in a practically randomly sorted lists in which it's hard to find a particular item."This is a good thought IMO and we've taken steps to solve it for the next version already (fewer redundant tree options). Sorting better would be nice too. He picked out this one well.(That said, if the order of plants in the plant selection menu is a significant part of the "must be changed or the game isn't finished" list of features, I'd say we're doing pretty well. It's a real thing, and a good idea, but it's also a tiny thing. This sort of thing gets polished on finished games all the time(e.g. see how much polish a game like StarCraft 2 had after release. It doesn't mean the game wasn't finished on release.)"Zone manipulation is all over the place - some things can be done in restrict-manage area, some zones have multiple buttons while others have dropdown lists when you click them. Some have one mode (on or off), others have different options (restrict, ignore, decostruct for roofs). These should be standardized to a single location and to the same controls scheme."There's a good core idea here, which is to condense the UI and establish patterns which repeat themselves. Unfortunately it doesn't actually cleanly map onto what's being controlled here.Some of these controls create zones, which can be selected, created infinitely, must be contiguous, etc. E.g. Growing zones, stockpiles zones.Some of these controls manage areas, which cannot be selected, can be painted and removed everywhere non-contiguously, and so on. E.g. Allowed area, home areaSome areas need to have more than on/off! Like roofs. The player must be able to distinguish between "build a roof here if there isn't one", "ignore whether there are roofs here", and "remove any roof here if there is one". We could put the under a sub-menu, but that doesn't seem like an improvement to me. It just adds clicks; there's enough room to show all the options without requiring more clicks, so we do.So anyway, these different things are conceptually grouped as zones/areas but they fundamentally serve different purposes so they can't have exactly the same interface. So from my analysis right now, we can never fulfill this suggestion.Sidebar: This is a common pattern: The suggestion expresses a vague desire for a part of the UI to be easier to use/understand, without a specific idea of how that could be so. Not all UI suggestions are like this, but some are (especially the high-level "fix the UI" suggestions). If I could request one thing of suggesters it is this: Be very, very specific about what exactly the new design should be that you want to see. Stating problems can be useful, but stating problems with solutions together advances the conversation much more!"Work and Restrict are not clear enough and should probably be merged somehow"But... how? In fact these were the same menu long ago; but there's not nearly enough space for all the information so they were specifically separated. It's an artificial separation, which is what /u/NotScrollsApparently noticed here, but it's also a necessary and IMO optimal tradeoff.That's the pattern for a lot of suggestions that we won't follow: Players seeing a tradeoff and suggesting that it be unbalanced to gain one benefit without realizing that it would create a cost on the other end that's even worse. Game design, in my opinion, is often about understanding and optimizing these tradeoffs. I've not done it perfectly... but I've really tried!CONTINUED IN MY REPLY DUE TO REDDIT LENGTH LIMITS...
QuoteI have a lot more intuitions about this as well. Suggestions analysis is a big part of what I do every day. But this post has to wrap up somewhere. Suffice to say there's a lot more thoughts that go into evaluating ideas than I've had space to write here; this isn't intended to be a complete system of thought, and I know it's not a very well-expressed one either.There are still endless actionable suggestions out there. Many are pretty darn cool! And that's leaving aside all the ideas that come from inside Ludeon, including the brain of yours truly.This game can expand endlessly. That's it's nature. It's not a closed story like Portal 2. It's an open system endlessly moddable, expandable. You can always play longer, more colonists, more wealth, more colonies, more mods, again and again and again. There's always more to want.So faced with an endless treadmill of requests, I must draw the line somewhere. But where?Five years. I figure five years is a decent enough place. Five years are enough for $30. Five years are enough to call a game finished.(Of course, it's great to suggest new things beyond that, but to demand a developer work more than five years on one game for one sale is not, in my opinion, reasonable. In truth I think any dev who does two years has earned his keep; five years is getting into ridiculous territory. Not that I'm complaining of course; I've always liked working on RimWorld.)It won't be perfect, of course. Nothing ever is. And I won't even be finished with it. But - it'll be finished.Next version will be 1.0, by the way. We are furiously refining the hell out of this thing.What are we doing? The space of possible improvements in RW is so vast that so far we've been doing almost entirely stuff completely separate from every suggestion here!I've been working with ison to heavily redesign the interface, systems and balance for caravans, since it was pretty broken and obscure./u/ZorbaTHut recently implemented a very nice watermill power generator and underwater power cables, so rivers are actually meaningfully playable.He also made a huge optimization to mod loading; one major mod went from 90 seconds to 40 seconds loading time (!)He made cooks refuel stoves before cooking if needed instead of waiting for haulers to do it.We condensed the leather types to a far smaller grouping to mitigate the "10 of every leather type" problem. I also rebalanced the leathers so they're actually meaningfully different in recognizable, coherent ways.I redesigned the economy for trading animals with traders so traders accept and sell types and amounts of animals that make sense.I redesigned and rebalanced some animals. Wild boar and pig specifically each have a balanced niche in comparison to the other (boar is a better fighter, pig is better at domestic productivity).I reworked the doctor AI so they'll prioritize tending people differently and not go to get food while someone's bleeding to death.I switched the blight to be bright orange so it's easy to see.That's just some random stuff off the top of my head. We made hundreds of other changes wrought by watching dozens of hours of play videos and reading thousand of suggestions. There are so many things to refine in a game like this; it's almost unbelievable! Still working on it.Oh yeah, the most critical change of them all: Sheriff backstory is no longer ridiculously awful.
Quote from: Injured Muffalo on January 16, 2018, 06:33:30 AMI'm sorry to see it coming to an end; I just got here and the world seems full of possibility. But who can blame him?
QuoteIt won't be perfect, of course. Nothing ever is. And I won't even be finished with it. But - it'll be finished.
Quote from: grrizo on January 16, 2018, 12:32:45 PMA 1.0 version doesn't mean that it would be the end. It would be refinements, of course, but I'm pretty sure that it would be expansions/DLCs too.
Quote from: Harry_Dicks on January 16, 2018, 02:06:00 PMQuote from: grrizo on January 16, 2018, 12:32:45 PMA 1.0 version doesn't mean that it would be the end. It would be refinements, of course, but I'm pretty sure that it would be expansions/DLCs too.Of course, but a lot of people don't seem to think that. They believe also that all of "their" content ideas should be in the game, before going to 1.0, or it will be incomplete.EDIT: Something I'm most excited about, "He also made a huge optimization to mod loading; one major mod went from 90 seconds to 40 seconds loading time (!)" OMFG that will help so much. 300ish mods is about 10 minutes loading. I've trimmed down to 205 now, but anything will help.
Quote from: Harry_Dicks on January 16, 2018, 02:06:00 PMOf course, but a lot of people don't seem to think that. They believe also that all of "their" content ideas should be in the game, before going to 1.0, or it will be incomplete.EDIT: Something I'm most excited about, "He also made a huge optimization to mod loading; one major mod went from 90 seconds to 40 seconds loading time (!)" OMFG that will help so much. 300ish mods is about 10 minutes loading. I've trimmed down to 205 now, but anything will help.
Quote from: skullywag on January 17, 2018, 08:44:29 AMAlso keep in mind, the constant never ending moving target of alpha releases for modders, once we are at 1.0 and very little changes in the internal APIs etc modding will explode I reckon, Its already mental how much modding happens, I imagine it to get more mental.