Saturday, May 24, 2014

Sharing an idea for the game

Hey guys! Since recently I haven't done much (and as a result the last post I have written is incredibly boring) I thought about asking what you think about an idea I had for a while for TOTDC. I have been considering random encounters and fights in space for a while now, and I was wondering if people would like a simplified, turn-based version of the system FTL uses (if you don't know what FTL it is a rogue-like game, where you are in charge of a spaceship and its crew, and you have to manage shields, weapon, engines, energy distribution, etc.). I would probably remove some elements (you would get fixed stats on your crew, no breaches and boarding parties) streamline others and adapt some of the mechanics from real time with pause to turn-based. This is an image of what your ship would look like during the combats:



It's a little rough around the edges (but in all honesty even the final version wouldn't be much better, I suck at even the simplest attempts at map making), but it should give you guys an idea of what the UI would be like. You would get icons on the important rooms, to let you know what's in them (engine, shields, bridge, guns), and whether they are functional or need repairing. You would get some additional info through text (chance to dodge, proficiency of the crew at certain tasks, etc). You would get a similar map for the enemy vessel (minus the intel about their crew), the shields would recharge for X amount every turn, you could target the various sub-systems, you get the general idea (I hope).

What do you guys think? Would this be interesting for you? Do you have any ideas/suggestions? Let me know if you do! :D

39 comments:

  1. Honestly, I just want to stay aroused while I play adult games so things like combat are too distracting for me. "Space Ditz" is a great game in spite of the combat not because of it. I love "Cursed" by Anonymousman but it has gotten so big and unfinished that I stopped playing months ago and now I'm just going to wait (probably years) until it may or may not ever get finished.

    I started designing a game last year that ended up getting too big because I wanted to please everyone by including a little bit of everything. I felt overwhelmed and discouraged to work on the game anymore until I realized that I just needed to focus on getting it completed with my basic story and that I could simply save all of my leftover ideas to add later or use for a 2nd game.

    Finish what you've started, rejoice in the happiness of completion, and use boosted confidence to add more content or start a new game.

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    1. Hey Ano: if you're just looking for jacking material there are already so many alternatives out there which deliver on that and only that...

      Personally I see "tales" as more of an VN then a nukige; I mean it has interesting characters, story which is not entierly focused on hard XXX and some nice puzzles which just keep the game interesting - so why change the formula now?

      Now not that there is anything wrong with you're saying, but if mdqp can add a yet another nice minigame and if it won't take up too much of time&effort OR "kill" RAGS: then why not?

      PS:@mdqp I don't suppose you'd be willing to accept suggestions for a different floor plan for the ship? Speaking in FTL terms: just one heavy droid in that main corridor would lock your entire ship down... :p

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    2. To anonymous #1:

      While I understand what you mean, I would argue that my game is hardly fit to keep anyone aroused for long periods, as it has a lot of "downtime", depending on what section of the game you are playing.

      This is my third game, currently, so I kind of want to be ambitious, but I know the feeling of feeling down when the game has become too big to manage properly.

      Adding this feature to the sequel is certainly an option, but I wanted to know what people thought about it, to see if they like the general idea or not.

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    3. To anon #2:

      Happy to hear you find my characters interesting! I am trying to find a balance between the various parts (including the adult content, of course), so I am glad to know someone likes the whole package. I could have properly done something better with the writing, but so far I feel it works, at least.

      The design for the ship is not final, and it's just a crude representation of what the ship currently is (based on the layout I used in the actual game, with just one added corridor, for the sake of connecting all the rooms properly).

      I mentioned there would be no boarding or breaching if I ever add this type of combat in the game, so I don't have to worry about heavy drones... ;)

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    4. It is definitely an arousing game and I certainly didn't mean to imply that it should be nothing more than jacking material although I wouldn't consider that a negative for a XXX game. Of the approximately 227 adult games (RAGs, Twine, Inform, Daydreamer, Flash, etc.) that I have, TOTDC would rank in my top 10. Possibly even top 3 or 5 if I actually went through and tried to rank all of them (you would rank better than "Cursed" and "Space Ditz"). Which is quite a compliment towards your great story telling abilities given that I usually prefer completed games and ones with MTF self transformations. Personally I just like games not to have random non-erotic scenes that I have to spam save constantly to get through them. I will if I have to but it sure does take up a lot of time. To do a full run through of "Space Ditz" with all of the endings took me 2 hours and 14 minutes the last time I tried it. With less combat it would probably take half the time yet in no way sacrifice any of the story. That being said, you should do whatever will make you happy first and foremost because it is impossible to make everyone happy. I'm sure people will have plenty of complaints about my games including or not including something that they want but as long as I like it, I'll sleep easy at night.

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    5. Pretty awesome to hear you like my game so much! :D

      There would be nothing wrong with an adult game being just that, as you said, although I want to do something different.

      With this being said, I still have to decide whether or not to add this mechanic to the game. I'll probably put together a demo just for this system, at some point, so that people can experience it first hand, without having to rely just on my words.
      I would really like to have some robust mechanics I can use consistently throughout the game. I like creating puzzles, but it often takes as much time as making a combat system, and I can only use it once, so I would like put together an interesting set of mechanics I can rely on (I feel like the current fights are too bland, to be honest).

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  2. I would like the turn based. In other RAGS games timers seems to be a common break point in version changes.As to whether or not to add, I think that is up to you. The game will be the best if it is what you enjoying writing. I really like the game and the story. You have done a wonderful job.

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    1. Thanks for the kind words. ^_^

      I have no intentions to really move away from turn-based mechanics, at least until I keep using RAGS. I might try some other real-time puzzles, but the vast majority of the game will always be turn-based.

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  3. I like the idea of space combat, but I'm not thrilled about the random encounter aspect. I'd much rather see plot driven space based combat if you're going to put a system for it in.

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    1. Well, the randomness of it all is just a possibility, nothing is set in stone, right now. It could definitely be plot-related, I'd just have to consider where it would fit within the narrative.

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  4. well, what would the reward for winning/punishment for losing be?

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    1. Losing would probably be akin to losing any other fight in the game (a bad end), while winning could probably be rewarded with a number of things (maybe the enemy crew uses escape pods to leave, and you can raid the ship for whatever is on it, including upgrades for Celeste, for the ship, credits, nividium, etc).

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  5. Space combat sounds awesome! It sounds like making a FTL-like system in RAGS might be very clunky (eg trying to move crew around and things like that), but if you think you can make it work without too much hassle it would be great!

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    1. I figure that since it would be turn-based, it would be kind of slow, so I would probably balance for that, otherwise, it should be fairly easy (each member of the crew will get a chance to move to another room at the start of each round, through a list of the available destinations).

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  6. I love FTL! I love da Drunkin Cowboi (and da krew)! You should totally do it! Can I help write and/or brainstorm? :3

    Also, will there be tits? ^_^

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    1. Feel free to share your ideas with me, I am always open to suggestions (just don't feel bad if for whatever reason I have to turn them down, I end up cutting a lot of good ideas of my own, because of time constraints).

      I assume tits would end up in it, at some point, one way or the other. :p

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  7. I love ur writing and ur storytelling, if u can incorporate that into space battles im all for it.

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    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! :D

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  8. I never played FTL, so I can't judge based on comparisons with it.

    Since you're asking for personal opinions, what I really look forward to in this game is the story: the interaction with characters, the decision making, the exploration of new locales and so on. What combat there is already is something I generally feel as though I have to endure to get to the great parts; I don't think I'd vote in favour of even more random combat to slow down the narrative.

    Regarding mechanics, the real-time map-dependent events are some of my least favourite mini-games, probably due to the RAGS interface, so I'm glad you're considering turn-based gameplay. I'm particularly thinking for instance of the police HQ infiltration quest on Europa, which I find especially frustrating as it takes me a good few minutes to reload the game every time now.

    Story-wise, I had the impression Celeste was more of an up-close-and-personal kind of mercenary, leaving ship maintenance to Darenzia and piloting to Jane, but if you're thinking of building up her space combat rep I guess this could be a good way to do it! As an anon above already said, I think the system would be much more interesting to the player if there were some plot events associated with space combat; I don't think random encounters would add much to the game, but if I knew that there were missions with interesting stories behind them and characters with information and cool interactions waiting to be won through space combat, I'd be paying a whole lot more attention to honing my micro-management skills :)

    On balance, considering how much I think it might add to the game as it stands vs what else could be done with the same amount of effort, my personal vote would probably not be in favour of this within the game as it stands - but as always, it's your game and your time, so your choice. As a loyal fan, let me just say thanks once again for this work of art :)

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    1. Yeah, I do get the feeling that the combat right now isn't interesting enough, maybe that's part of the reason why I want to consider adding this feature, as I think I can make it more entertaining, compared to "normal" fights.

      Yeah, that quest could have been so much better, but when I realized how bad it works in RAGS it was kind of late to salvage it, unless I spent a lot of time re-designing the whole thing. I too prefere turn-based gameplay while using RAGS, as a general rule, although I hope to find some interesting puzzles that could work in real time, one of these days.

      Random encounters are just one of the options on the table right now, and I could certainly consider plot-related encounters, instead.

      Yeah, one of the possible problems with how things are set right now, is that space travel is already crowded with events, so adding fights to the mix might be a little too much, and this is just one example. I do like the general idea, though, so I figured I would try to guage how much interest there would be around the idea.

      Always happy to hear you like my game so much! :D

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  9. I'm sorta on the fence on this one.

    On one hand it sounds like a good idea. Adding another type of combat in the game would add variety and FTL isn't a bad space game.

    On the other it doesn't really feel like ToTDC it needs, or would work with, space combat. Rags is already rather clunky with normal combat and trying to implement another battle system is going to be tricky, especially if you're trying to make it like another game.

    I think it might be better if you try a simple way of having space combat. Like instead of it being random battles make them quests you can do from some sort of Space bounty board. Maybe have it similar to the current battle system you have for the normal battles, but with ship specific attacks and abilities.

    But hey thats just my thoughts, it really you choice on what you want to do :P

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    1. Hey! FTL is a great space game (although a bit repetitive after a while)! ;p

      Yeah, it's possible that with how things are organized right now, it might not work as well as I think it would. It doesn't necessarily means it's tricky to do because it's like another game (if anything, that makes it a bit easier, considering the current combat system is basically a simplified version of the hundreds of turn-based combat systems you can find out there, and that meant less planning time).

      Those are all good ideas, worth considering if I actually go through with this.

      Well, I was the one fishing for suggestions, so it's okay to speak up your mind. :)

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  10. Like others too, i think that spacefights are not fitting that well in the character/spirit of the game. But maybe you can do something similar to the shooting of the ice-beasts? Lets say, a rescue mission in an asteroid belt, where you have to shoot drifting asteroids (but dont hit the stranded frighter!). Could be a mission you get from the Falcons or the Dragons. both want to have a crate full of something valuable, a mighty aphrodisiac, maybe. Gives Celeste a few options: open it, steal an sell it, hand over the crate unopend, with different consequences.
    Well... my mind starts drifting... :-)
    By the way: Its a great game! I think its my favourite rags-game.

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    1. Well, other quests are always possible, but this was more me asking about "do you think you would like this set of mechanics?" more than anything else. Maybe I will work out a demo for the gameplay itself, once I am done with this update, so people can see what I mean, instead of having to rely on my description, which might not be good enough to explain the idea.

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  11. I think the idea of being boarded has more appeal than ship-to-ship combat.
    A boarding where you have to clear out the boarders, and perhaps board their ship in return, would present a lot of random side plot opportunities.
    It would all depend on what type of hostile it was. Pirates after loot, slavers of different kinds, asteroid miners turned to piracy due to hard times, aliens with (in)scrutable alien intent, and ship thieves are possibilities that jump to mind without hard thought.
    Encountering other ships being boarded by hostiles and rescuing, or assaulting, them would be another idea.
    I guess I'm thinking along the lines of space versions of the planet side random encounters.
    I think it would be much easier to get working in RAGS, since it wouldn't require new code/scripting; it could work separately, or integrated with a ship-to-ship combat system, too.

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    1. Well, coding it it's not going to be a huge problem (although finding good images for the various spaceships, and creating the layout of the rooms might be a little annoying to make), but I was more interested in trying something different from the usual fights, as I feel I didn't make them interesting enough. Some of the situations you propose could make their way into the game, although they would be single events, rather than part of a new system.

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  12. Gotta be honest, if i wanted to play FTL, i'd play FTL.

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    1. mdqp used FTL as a rough example, get over it already.

      If mdqp decides to add a "shoot-a-starfighter" snowbeast game like someone suggested or a space combat sequence simillar to FTL or hell even a spanking flash involving Darenzia; :p
      I'm intrigued enough to give it some time and see for myself.

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    2. To Vindicare LIIVI:

      I used FTL as an example, because the mechanics would be heavily inspired by it, but my game owes a lot to other games as well, I'd like to believe that the whole package is what makes it worth it or not, otherwise playing my game would never be a good idea. There are better RPGs, better text-adventures, better adult games, etc, no comparison would leave it on top, to be honest (it's just something I do on my spare time, after all).

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    3. To anon:

      How did you know about my super-secret spanking simulator??? XD

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    4. Now, now first of all to reduce confusion you can refer to me as:
      "The poster formerly known as anon"

      As for your secret spanking sim plans: the bottom line is that they're out, so try to turn the other cheek.
      And as how I found about it, well like they say: "A gossip is someone with a great sense of rumor."

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    5. Good point, you do awesome things, carry on!

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  13. My vote would be that if you put space fights into the game. I would only do with a quest attached. There could be many possibilties like stopping an escaping vessel or a boss fight with boarding the damaged vessel and taking him on personnaly. Come to think of it: is the engine upgrade in the game already in use?

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    1. I could certainly use it as part of quests, rather than random encounters, as I mentioned somewhere else in the comments. The engine upgrade currently has only one effect (it makes the traveling faster, which in turn means that ALICE has less time to brainwash you per travel).

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  14. I would suggest you not create such a complicated system, I would suggest just doing random events during space travel where you might get attacked and have to fight off attacking forces or board an enemy ship or salvage something. All the fighting would be done who it is now so it wouldn't require a new system and you could create a bunch of small events that are interesting. If you are set on doing this I'd suggest moving to TOTDC 2 or Part 2 before implementing such a complex mechanic.

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    1. Doing it for chapter 2 is certainly an option, but I was interested in hearing some feedback on the general from the players (you will be the ones playing the game, after all ^_^).

      I might have some events which involve boarding pirates and things like that, but as I mentioned in the comments elsewhere, I would like a more interesting alternative mechanic to the normal fights, as I feel I didn't make them interesting enough.

      We'll see how things evolve from here, mainly it was just an idea I wanted to pitch to the players, to see if they might like it or not.

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    2. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea, I just know a bit about game development and this sounds very complex.

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    3. Well, I'd say the main time-sinks here are balancing the fights properly, and working out a decent design for the ships. I would simplify and/or remove some of the mechanics compared to FTL, so it wouldn't really be all that complex: basically, it would give the players and the AI the ability to do "called shots", and you'd have to manage where the crew goes to handle repairs and offer boosts to weapons, dodge chance, etc. There would be more options and nuances, but it's actually not terribly complex, as I said I am more worried about working out the images so that they give enough feedback and aren't too ugly, and balancing fights (the AI would most likely attack at random, otherwise the fights would be monotonous and difficult, but I'd need to think about the stats of the ships carefully).

      Anyway, I'll probably think of what to do after the next release, it's probably for the best.

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