Overall Feel Of The Game

Well, this is my first "REAL" post here. I have been trying to put my thoughts together on this one, but have been busy with Halloween "stuff". I have an hour to myself so I can sit down and think...

I know some of my issues were discussed on the Limit Theory board, I missed the core discussion and I think most of my issues were resolved. However I would like to bring them up again to make sure they are still "on track" and to give them coverage on the actual Voxel Quest board.

My issue?, and it to be honest almost caused me to completely ignore this game, the last video has Gavan expressing his dislike for grinding, and games that you can't quickly pickup and finish in one sitting. "Level fast and die fast". This is the total opposite of what I am looking for.
Now, he has since stated that this is just how HE feels and the game will have three modes, "Casual", something like "Hardcore?" and "Creative?". I could be wrong on the naming of the last two but basically the last two are the "level fast die fast", and "world creator".
He implied that casual would be what players like myself are looking for. However, to me casual sounds too much like "easy mode". I am certainly not look for an easy mode, I want a mode were I can invest time in a character and make him grow. I want the challenges of the world to shape him, and himself to shape the world around him.

It's something that I hope he can perhaps cover officially during his next video. I think he may attract a larger audience if he clarify this stance on this point.

Comments

  • The modes are unofficially named RPG, Roguelike, and Sandbox... I don't think he expected to find so few roguelike fans, so he pitched it as a roguelike engine, when it'll actually be able to handle all three.
    Zanteogo said:

    It's something that I hope he can perhaps cover officially during his next video. I think he may attract a larger audience if he clarify this stance on this point.

    Strongly agree. He'll attract more attention by far if he mentions that it's playable as an RPG.

  • I know I would prefer a longer-term game with more time to explore and shape the world
  • That's that dissonance I mentioned between the large and reactive world of VQ and the idea of experiencing that world only in short, bang-you're-dead bursts. To the kind of gamer who shows up for the world, rather than the mechanics, only being able to enjoy the world through roguelike play is like trying to drink a delicious shake through a vaccination needle instead of a big ol' straw.

    Of course the other side of that might have been true as well. The gamers who show up because they enjoy fast, risky, high-energy gameplay would probably complain that Gavan was wasting time messing with all that AI and world stuff, and what he ought to be focusing on is awesome graphics and cool ways to destroy opponents.

    The reality, as I learned, was that he was trying to design for each of these styles of play. I suspect that's going to be tough if, as I believe, most gamers prefer one or the other of world-y or game-y games, but not both. But if unifying those in VQ remains a goal, then I hope I can help suggest some ideas for getting there.
  • One thing to consider is that playstyle can influence average time to death. If you are a fight-first questions-later playstyle, your expected lifespan is probably short, and but you will get a lot of action and growth in that time. If you are more cautious, spending more time talking to people and interacting with the world and less diving into combat, your lifespan would be much longer. This doesn't really solve the problem that people going for a dynamic world wouldn't want everything wiped due to one mistep, but it can mitigate things.
  • Yeah, as I mentioned elsewhere I'm going to go through and clean everything a lot, delete/archive a ton of stuff, and make a new, very brief video with voice-over of relevant facts rather than uninteresting stuff. Page is currently a vague mess of ideas / input :p
  • gavan just mentioned this on the kickstarter comments
    " the roguelike aspect is optional, you can also play without permadeath. "
    this should help satisfy the various playstyles.
  • Mystify said:

    I know I would prefer a longer-term game with more time to explore and shape the world

    Spot on.. That's my feeling as well.
  • edited November 2014
    I'm fine with both modes of play, "Roguelike" and "RPG," but from what I've seen so far it seems like VQ will be better suited for longer playthroughs. The goal seems to be to have these interesting emergent worlds that are begging to be explored thoroughly, rather than playing in quick, self-contained bursts.

    Then again, it also seems like Gavan is aiming to have a very flexible platform, rather than writing his engine in such a way that it becomes constrained to any specific gameplay style. I'm sure most modes of play will still end up being very fun. That said, I think it's important to focus on making one mode of play very good before throwing in the others; having something fun and playable is important for attracting interest.

    Edit: I read over the design doc a bit, and the "Principles of Design" section of the design doc seems to be pretty focused on short playthroughs, e.g.
    Players should die on average every x minutes (20? 30?) but a good playthrough should be hours maybe.
    Looks like that's mostly what Gavan's been focusing on, though he's mentioned multiple times that the doc is somewhat outdated.
  • edited November 2014
    mmnumbp said:

    I'm fine with both modes of play, "Roguelike" and "RPG," but from what I've seen so far it seems like VQ will be better suited for longer playthroughs. The goal seems to be to have these interesting emergent worlds that are begging to be explored thoroughly, rather than playing in quick, self-contained bursts.

    Then again, it also seems like Gavan is aiming to have a very flexible platform, rather than writing his engine in such a way that it becomes constrained to any specific gameplay style. I'm sure most modes of play will still end up being very fun. That said, I think it's important to focus on making one mode of play very good before throwing in the others; having something fun and playable is important for attracting interest.

    Edit: I read over the design doc a bit, and the "Principles of Design" section of the design doc seems to be pretty focused on short playthroughs, e.g.

    Players should die on average every x minutes (20? 30?) but a good playthrough should be hours maybe.
    Looks like that's mostly what Gavan's been focusing on, though he's mentioned multiple times that the doc is somewhat outdated.
    Yes, as per community input, it looks like there will be more emphasis on longer playthroughs. I too believe on "laser focus" and getting one thing right before doing others (which is why, in the earliest stages, the game will only be on Windows, localized in English, lack realtime multiplayer and physics, and more). I'm going to attempt to simultaneously test long-term and roguelike modes - I think they can both "learn" from eachother in terms of balancing and making a fun game. We don't have to perfect roguelike, but there actually has been significant interest in the roguelike aspect as well outside of these forums (among other places, on the Facebook indie games page where I put out a little poll).

    In particular, whether roguelike or not, I am against grinding to level - I want the experience to be fun, not feel like work. I also always feel a bit disheartened in long-term RPGs when you hit the level cap, or you are so buffed that leveling makes little difference / takes a really long time.

    I think there might be a way to actually merge a roguelike game with a long-term game successfully, it is just something I have not put enough thought into. Perhaps passing on wealth/stats to your offspring? That's definitely not the best idea, I feel there are other good ones out there. Perhaps we can think of a creative way to rework the traditional RPG system? Who knows. :)
  • That is an interesting problem. The natural implication of fast leveling and ongoing gameplay is massive power inflation. One thing to mitigate that will be making each level less meaningful, which tends ot naturally occur if each level is a linear power increase, which means its relative power increase is lessening. going form a power of 100 to 101 matters more than 10000 to 10001.
    One way to counteract that is to de-emphasise direct power increase, and have it focus on more scattered increase emphasizing diversity and lateral power increases. For instance, look at a legend of zelda game. You do increase in raw power, but not very drastically. However, you gain a lot of lateral power, new weapons, new tools, new abilities. Your power increases are also related to overcoming challenges. You couldn't grind if you wanted to (though you can grind to refill consumables, but that is generally not nessecary). Part of this is because your power increases is from items, so you go through a dungeon, and you find a new item. You find items hidden around. Going out and fighting enemies will earn you rupees, but not actual power increases.
    Similarly, if voxel quest made power increases be more about accomplishments than xp, you can slow down the leveling without introducing grinding. You would be playing through the game and meaningfully accomplishing things for each increase.
  • Long-term exploration and rougelike pacing need not conflict. Consider Dwarf Fortress; several (fairly short-lived) heroes face the world, make changes, get killed. Other heroes come along after and build upon those changes.

    Given that the world is built from many independent NPC actors, having many sequential PCs is a reasonable addition.
  • edited November 2014
    I can see why someone would not be for level grinding. However, the game should always have a feeling of work=reward, or that lots of work, CAN lead to lots of rewards.

    I'm not actually against grinding in a certain sense, if left optional. If someone wants to spend hours fighting some reasonably difficult baddies he should get something for it.

    Of course if the world is designed correctly once you clear a cave system out of every single killable thing it should remain empty until more things have a reason to move back in.

    Though if someone wants to wander far and wide and look for adventure and live to tell the tale, is that really grinding?


  • edited November 2014
    PTTG said:

    Long-term exploration and rougelike pacing need not conflict. Consider Dwarf Fortress; several (fairly short-lived) heroes face the world, make changes, get killed. Other heroes come along after and build upon those changes.

    Given that the world is built from many independent NPC actors, having many sequential PCs is a reasonable addition.

    Myself, would like to have the chance for my original PC to gather some power and make his mark on the world, and have the world leave a mark on him.

    I am probably the most anti "level quick, die quick" kind of person.
  • The main thing to avoid in terms of grinding and leveling speed is spans of gameplay with no purpose beyond repetitively doing menial tasks to advance. Killing 100 wolves just so you can level, for instance. How long it takes to level up isn't as important if you aren't devoting game time to leveling up. For a rougelike, the leveling is a vital mark of progression, but for a longer term game, other aspects can form the backbone of progression.
  • Now that I've finally had a look at the current version of the design concept listing, I've got some quick thoughts and suggestions on it.

    1. I see that the first part is (for now) still fairly heavy on concepts for play-fast, die-fast. I like the notion of integrating that with a more long-term mode of play -- how that could be done seems interesting enough that it deserves a thread of its own.

    2. The latter part consists of outlines for character attributes, roles, and skills. How firm are these at this point? To put it another way, which pieces of these are pretty firm and which pieces are mostly boilerplate just to get something to work toward?

    This question is about understanding what's important (and thus what there's little point in me questioning) and what's placeholder (which might be OK to analyze and try to comment constructively on).

    3. One thing I don't see is a paragraph that spells out what this game is really about. This is the 200-proof, every-word-counts description of the overall unifying theme of this game that can be used as a touchstone to assess the design value of all individual features that are proposed. To mix metaphors a bit, having that theme paragraph is the difference between winding up with a game like a lantern shining in every direction, and a game that blows a hole in a metal slab because every element in it coheres like a laser beam toward one deep theme.

    It may be too early to settle definitively on a single theme. But I believe it's not too early to at least be testing some tentative themes -- the sooner all creative effort can be focused, the more value every design decision and implemented feature will have. That's important on a limited budget.

    I'm hesitant to suggest themes for VQ, since that's -- by definition -- central to Gavan and his intentions for his game. But I'll be happy to take my cue on that from him.
  • 1. The design doc was written well before the Kickstarter campaign, and has since changed to be more RPG friendly - I would think largely thanks to you, Flat, and the excellent points you made over on the LT forum. :)

    I think Gavan will have to answer the rest of your questions, but a good note is that nothing is set in stone, and Gavan is very receptive of community input. If he gets enough positive feedback on any one point, it'll probably shape the final design.
  • I got the 'overall feel' (taking the thread tittle) that VQ has evolved a lot with community feedback but the data is spread on a lot of threads, on different forums (LT), on KS comments, twitter, etc.
    The information may be fresh in some minds (hopefully Gavan's mind at least) but I feel after few days/months, it'll be a mess to find what was said. Maybe it is time to start a design doc v2 ? (And try to address @Flatfingers‌ N°3 concern )
  • I'm going to +1 the Design Doc v2 idea. I have a lot on my plate at the moment, so I may not be able to get to it myself right away... hmm.
  • Re: Design doc v2:
    @Pain‌ posted this announcement. I don't really think it's my place to summarize it, so you can read it yourself.
  • edited November 2014
    "I can at least tell you that the standard RPG mode is going into the first release"

    So happy!
    image
  • Talvieno said:

    I'm going to +1 the Design Doc v2 idea. I have a lot on my plate at the moment, so I may not be able to get to it myself right away... hmm.

    Yep I'll take another stab at the design doc; for now I put a disclaimer within it saying that is out of date.
    Also, I'm all for a separate community design doc for me to draw from (or outright copy sometimes, hehe ;) ); I feel like if nothing else have all of the community ideas organized for other forum browsers might be useful.
  • I need to get to work on it, I've just been really busy lately in other areas. I'm taking measures to learn to better utilize my time, though, and I'm starting to feel like I have a lot more in the day, so that's good and should help nudge me in the right direction.
  • @Talvieno
    I'd like to put the design doc on the wiki so everyone can read it. I created a page called "Community Suggestions" and I'm going to be adding to it this weekend.
  • Any word on the v2 revision of the VQ Design Doc?

    There's been a little drop-off in comments here recently, but I suspect that a fresh look at the vision and strategy for this game will invigorate discussion.
  • @Flatfingers
    Are you referring to a community suggestions document or Gavan's official design doc? I've been slowly adding things to the community suggestions page on VQ's wiki based on forum discussion (though it's definitely a work in progress). I know that Gavan has looked at everyone's input, but I'm not sure how much he's revised the official document yet. He's been pretty busy with coding so far :)
  • While I think a page that organizes community suggestions is a great idea, I'm particularly interested in Gavan's official design doc for the thematic and structural guidance it will provide.

    I could make suggestions of many kinds all day long ;), but I'd like for them to be applicable to the game Gavan really wants to make. For that, I feel like I need a better idea of what this thread is named for: the "overall feel of the game."

    I think that might also stimulate more discussion here, since people would have a better idea of where Gavan is trying to go with VQ.
Sign In or Register to comment.