The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #211
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Demo trial notes

    1. Resolution woes. My computer is 1920x1080, and when I ran it in the default 1024x768, it just cuts off half the map with no ability to move around or change the window size to see the rest. Sad pony. Changing it to match 1920x1080 let me see the whole thing though.
    Yeah, a lot of woes are unfortunately going to boil down to "this is a prototype, and mechanics are king." User experience is going to be rough for a while, but I'll do the best I can to make it less painful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    2. Unit movement works. I can move my unit on my turn, and I can move my unit on my turn for the other side, but I can't move the other player's unit. Success there.
    Success!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    3. Is there any way to get a selection highlight of some sort? It was hard to tell when I had actually selected my own unit. I also can't tell if I'm supposed to be able to select my opponent's unit, and whether doing so is a bug or not. Example: on player 1's turn, I click on the player 1 red square and I can then move it according to country links and port rules. If I click on the player 2 green square during my turn, I can't do anything with it, but I also lose the ability to move the red square around until I click on it again. Not sure if intended.
    Aye, that's intended, and would be a lot more obvious with a unit highlight.

    To answer the question, it's totally possible, and as I'm typing this I realized there's a stupid easy way to make that happen. Also, in the next milestone, you'll be getting basic unit actions, which means some basic-level unit UI. So you'll clearly see that you have a unit selected because an associated panel will pop up. But yes, I think I can make a really simple unit highlight to make that even easier.

    (I originally didn't make one because it was outside the scope of the first milestone, but it's a good usability win with minimal effort, so I'll add it onto the second milestone.)
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Since the page moved and you probably won't see my last edit, I'll repost it here.

    Aaaand, I broke it.
    I put the green square on Vietnam. Then made it player 1's turn and tried to move the red square to Vietnam. It usually failed, but I tried spamming it clicking in and around the spot, and something caused the red square to just disappear from the map entirely, presumably on Vietnam, but underneath the green square. However, I then made it player 2's turn, and when I tried to click the green square and move it, it just didn't work. Making it player 1's turn allowed me select and move the red square off of Vietnam and restore order.

    I think what's happening is visually, the green square appears as higher priority than the red square, but in terms of selection, the red square is always selected if they occupy the same space and you click on one of them.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
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  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Spoiler: End of Day 2
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    The next goal is to get some basic functionality on the Units, as well as implement starting influence links rather than adjacency checks. Here we can see that all Countries now only have a few links to start with, instead of all their available ones. There's some barebones Unit UI in the bottom-left, and the red square has forged a path all the way to India. That's an enterprising executive right there.

    Unfortunately, progress is probably going to slow for a bit. I was using some cheatery in deselecting units, and said cheatery has caught up to me. When I click the "Forge Link" button, it determines that I haven't clicked on a Country or a Unit, so hey presto! The Unit is deselected and the UI disappears. Fortunately, I am not the only person in the world who's ever had this sort of problem, so Google has plenty of resources. Friday is probably going to involve a lot of reworking of the select/deselect system so that it works better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Since the page moved and you probably won't see my last edit, I'll repost it here.

    Aaaand, I broke it.
    I put the green square on Vietnam. Then made it player 1's turn and tried to move the red square to Vietnam. It usually failed, but I tried spamming it clicking in and around the spot, and something caused the red square to just disappear from the map entirely, presumably on Vietnam, but underneath the green square. However, I then made it player 2's turn, and when I tried to click the green square and move it, it just didn't work. Making it player 1's turn allowed me select and move the red square off of Vietnam and restore order.

    I think what's happening is visually, the green square appears as higher priority than the red square, but in terms of selection, the red square is always selected if they occupy the same space and you click on one of them.
    Ah, yep. That makes sense. Currently there's no way to determine which unit you're clicking on when they're stacked on top of each other like that. Fortunately, it's a problem that should be fixed by design in the next milestone. Since we're adding more unit types in this next iteration, there's also going to be a way to display multiple units on the same Country.

    PS: I also need to figure out a time to sit down and make a scrollable map. That would give me a lot more screen real estate to work with, which is good, because it's about to get mighty crowded on this map.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Thinking is being done but currently the majority of my attention is going to some character generation processes so it's a bit slow.

    A major question I'm asking myself is if there would be an advantage in having a universal currency generated by control of nations. The big advantage is it gives a universal usefulness to countries and adds the possibility to pad the map without needing every nation to have a specific output. On the other hand it's a feature which is potentially quite circular in justification; things cost money because there's a currency and it has to be used for something.

    Current hypotheticals are:
    - Units cost money to output rather than incrementing out automatically. The same scaling cost applies so it's worth capturing multiple output sources.
    - Entirely new subsystem that interacts with currency in a closed environment for situational bonuses or penalties. (Buying agents, situational modifiers, etc)
    - Big endgamy subsystem to purchase major advantages with cash stockpiles but not minor ones. (Buy Johnson Facts rather than relying on agents to espionage them out)
    - Money as a defensive reserve against bad things happening. Corporations like Microsoft and Google currently collect enormous piles of cash and then just sit on 'em so that they can reflexively buy out, lawsuit or shut down minor firms that appear to be threats. Microsoft's cash pile is no threat to Google because they wouldn't sell to each other at any price but it does add resilience for Microsoft. I'm leaning towards this one the most because it's the closest mechanic that emulates the world I'm trying to communicate but it does necessitate random f*ck-you events that you pay money to avoid and I'd like to think of a way around that.
    - No money, just think harder about how to fill in the gaps with what we have, it's there aren't that many blank patches left.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2017-02-21 at 03:06 AM.
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    - No money, just think harder about how to fill in the gaps with what we have, it's there aren't that many blank patches left.
    I'm working at a very low-level view right now, dealing with the specific implementations of mechanics rather than looking at the whole picture. Could you talk a little bit more about where you see gaps in the design? That would help me contribute to the money discussion.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Aside: You've mentioned specific design Principles for this game a few times in this thread, or at least things similar to them. Principles similar to the Principles for MC-ing in AW; things that dictate what everything in this game should be working to accomplish. You wouldn't happen to have those written down anywhere, would you?

    Reason being that I have at least two ideas burning up my brain, and I'm trying to take a Principles-First approach to hashing them out. And some further examples would be super helpful.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    I'm working at a very low-level view right now, dealing with the specific implementations of mechanics rather than looking at the whole picture. Could you talk a little bit more about where you see gaps in the design? That would help me contribute to the money discussion.
    The gap I currently see in the design is that there's this concept of output speed which increases the rate at which units spawn, and that interacts positively with the technology interface, but I don't see how technology interacts with countries that just provide bonuses. If a country gives +1 executive speed that's a binary yes or no which means that there isn't really any reason for the technology system to interact with that country. So I'm looking at adding a universal 'currency' generated by holding territory that can always be considered an output and be interacted with by economic modification effects and multipliers.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    Aside: You've mentioned specific design Principles for this game a few times in this thread, or at least things similar to them. Principles similar to the Principles for MC-ing in AW; things that dictate what everything in this game should be working to accomplish. You wouldn't happen to have those written down anywhere, would you?

    Reason being that I have at least two ideas burning up my brain, and I'm trying to take a Principles-First approach to hashing them out. And some further examples would be super helpful.
    I don't have anything formal written down but here are my key thoughts:
    - People really like sieges. Being the defender against overwhelming force is what makes all kinds of games from Infested Planet to lategame Stellaris to the entire Tower Defense genre fun. I personally really enjoy overlapping defensive arrangements and the calculation of elaborate killzones - I feel like I should get a star fort tattoo.
    - People also really like expansion and beating up against a slightly inferior opponent who still poses a threat. This forms the key gameplay loop of a huge amount of games, from XCOM to Diablo.

    As a result my favourite gameplay arc is rapid expansion followed by desperate defense. These two principles are the core part of my balance vision for the game; the early game is the player using their cunning to expand and claim a commanding board position, the late game is putting that position to the test in a desperate last stand defense that, if done right, will eventually exhaust your foe. It's essentially similar to the Warhammer Total War game where you expand to a point where Chaos invades and then stand firm against the end of the world.

    Other key concepts are:
    - UI is everything. The UI will make or break this game.
    - I prefer a crisis system (as exemplified by Twilight Struggle) to a grinding deterministic metagame. Also a lot of my tabletop games follow this formulae - we make a plan, we execute the plan, then bad things start to happen and we have to adapt on the fly. This is the logic behind both crisis events and superweapons - these are mechanisms that can create sudden shocking power vacuums that bring back the frantic landgrab feel of early game.
    - There should be a certain mentality associated with playing the game. In Crusader Kings the proper way to play is talking out loud to yourself, bitterly swearing vengeance on the Karlings and setting yourself petty and self-defeating sub-projects. Other games ask for a zenlike state, others for long periods of contemplation followed by a few sharp and crisp decisions. My general theory is that it helps to put yourself in the mindstate you're looking to write for and from.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2017-02-22 at 07:04 PM.
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    The gap I currently see in the design is that there's this concept of output speed which increases the rate at which units spawn, and that interacts positively with the technology interface, but I don't see how technology interacts with countries that just provide bonuses. If a country gives +1 executive speed that's a binary yes or no which means that there isn't really any reason for the technology system to interact with that country. So I'm looking at adding a universal 'currency' generated by holding territory that can always be considered an output and be interacted with by economic modification effects and multipliers.
    A thought. Rather than add an entirely new currency system (which his a BIG CHANGE) to solve this problem, perhaps we can think more creatively about the problem. For example, static bonuses could be multiplied by technology. +1 isn't a binary, it's a number that can be modified. That number could be greater or lesser, including being in between (1.5 might be expressed as an extra move that has a cooldown so it can only be used every other turn). You could also make some of those binaries region locked without technology to boost them. For example, a country might provide +1 executive speed in Asia. But if you've researched some sort of international travel tech (I dunno, let's say "supersonic jets") then maybe the movespeed bonus from that country now applies everywhere in the world.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    A thought. Rather than add an entirely new currency system (which his a BIG CHANGE) to solve this problem, perhaps we can think more creatively about the problem. For example, static bonuses could be multiplied by technology. +1 isn't a binary, it's a number that can be modified. That number could be greater or lesser, including being in between (1.5 might be expressed as an extra move that has a cooldown so it can only be used every other turn). You could also make some of those binaries region locked without technology to boost them. For example, a country might provide +1 executive speed in Asia. But if you've researched some sort of international travel tech (I dunno, let's say "supersonic jets") then maybe the movespeed bonus from that country now applies everywhere in the world.
    Yeah, this is option 5 on my list. There are essentially two ways to implement it:
    - Tie it in to Development and make Development more of a sliding scale than its current binary function, so at 0% dev you get no bonus and at 100% you get the full bonus.
    - Tie it in to tech combined with countries. This is more tricky - the +1 speed, is that if you control the country and the country has the requisite tech? Or does it affect units that spawn from countries which have the tech present? It could work I'm just not seeing it as having an obvious follow-through.

    Thoughtsare a little slow moving about the specific implementation right now though.
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    The gap I currently see in the design is that there's this concept of output speed which increases the rate at which units spawn, and that interacts positively with the technology interface, but I don't see how technology interacts with countries that just provide bonuses. If a country gives +1 executive speed that's a binary yes or no which means that there isn't really any reason for the technology system to interact with that country. So I'm looking at adding a universal 'currency' generated by holding territory that can always be considered an output and be interacted with by economic modification effects and multipliers.
    I see what you mean. I'll give this some in-depth thought tomorrow and write a follow-up post, see what I can cook up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I don't have anything formal written down but here are my key thoughts:
    - People really like sieges. Being the defender against overwhelming force is what makes all kinds of games from Infested Planet to lategame Stellaris to the entire Tower Defense genre fun. I personally really enjoy overlapping defensive arrangements and the calculation of elaborate killzones - I feel like I should get a star fort tattoo.
    - People also really like expansion and beating up against a slightly inferior opponent who still poses a threat. This forms the key gameplay loop of a huge amount of games, from XCOM to Diablo.

    As a result my favourite gameplay arc is rapid expansion followed by desperate defense. These two principles are the core part of my balance vision for the game; the early game is the player using their cunning to expand and claim a commanding board position, the late game is putting that position to the test in a desperate last stand defense that, if done right, will eventually exhaust your foe. It's essentially similar to the Warhammer Total War game where you expand to a point where Chaos invades and then stand firm against the end of the world.

    Other key concepts are:
    - UI is everything. The UI will make or break this game.
    - I prefer a crisis system (as exemplified by Twilight Struggle) to a grinding deterministic metagame. Also a lot of my tabletop games follow this formulae - we make a plan, we execute the plan, then bad things start to happen and we have to adapt on the fly. This is the logic behind both crisis events and superweapons - these are mechanisms that can create sudden shocking power vacuums that bring back the frantic landgrab feel of early game.
    - There should be a certain mentality associated with playing the game. In Crusader Kings the proper way to play is talking out loud to yourself, bitterly swearing vengeance on the Karlings and setting yourself petty and self-defeating sub-projects. Other games ask for a zenlike state, others for long periods of contemplation followed by a few sharp and crisp decisions. My general theory is that it helps to put yourself in the mindstate you're looking to write for and from.
    Interesting. It reads more like a list of cool stuff you wanted to incorporate, rather than "all things in the game must work towards one of these ends."
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    Interesting. It reads more like a list of cool stuff you wanted to incorporate, rather than "all things in the game must work towards one of these ends."
    That's not it at all. It's establishing an artificial decision making process. It's the same process for designing a character; the first step is inventing an artificial moral or logical code that governs their decisions moment to moment. In this case, my ADM means that any dilemmas or problems I experience I solve by running it through those principles rather than whatever feels good at the time. Concepts that jar with the principles need to be re-evaluated.

    It's like a constitution for your brain, you have to solve problems within the framework you've mentally established.
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    A thought on this game design that just came to me. I played around with Amish's initial milestone for a while and the essential thing is moving your piece around the map. But moving that piece space by space has a kind of frustration to it. Not bad frustration, but a feeling of waste if you're moving haphazardly or poorly. Imagine the player of this game when all the rules and pieces are in place. If they do something and then find their executive trapped in central Europe struggling to get to a port to get to South America to ultimately, 3 turns later, do what they'd actually wanted all along, they're going to feel frustrated and dumb. On the other hand, the satisfaction of such a game is planning a strategy that works: that lets each and every move you make feel like you got the most you possibly could out of it and that you wind up exactly where you need to be when you need to be there. In turn, a lot of what's being done here enhances that. We have bonuses for unit movement speed as a major incentive for owning a country. We have the forging of new links to allow for different kinds of movement and creation of new, more efficient paths.

    I think that's a core thing we should make sure isn't lost. Random events might be really good, but they should not take the form of rendering 10 turns worth of moving around the map pointless. They should instead necessitate planning out a new, modified strategy based on where you are to be most efficient. Similarly, the psych eval stuff and interactions should not be able to fully render your actions scouring the map moot. There should always be a reason to plan out efficient movements around the world and reward for doing so intelligently.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
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    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Good news! It turns out Unity has a newer, better way of handling mouse input, and it's a lot less hairy than I was expecting it to be. We can now click on the UI, and not on things behind the UI. Onward!
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    A question: If a Country has adopted a Technology that provides a minus to the Break Link action, does this mean that all Executives attempting to use the Break Link action in that country will suffer a penalty?
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    A thought on this game design that just came to me. I played around with Amish's initial milestone for a while and the essential thing is moving your piece around the map. But moving that piece space by space has a kind of frustration to it. Not bad frustration, but a feeling of waste if you're moving haphazardly or poorly. Imagine the player of this game when all the rules and pieces are in place. If they do something and then find their executive trapped in central Europe struggling to get to a port to get to South America to ultimately, 3 turns later, do what they'd actually wanted all along, they're going to feel frustrated and dumb. On the other hand, the satisfaction of such a game is planning a strategy that works: that lets each and every move you make feel like you got the most you possibly could out of it and that you wind up exactly where you need to be when you need to be there. In turn, a lot of what's being done here enhances that. We have bonuses for unit movement speed as a major incentive for owning a country. We have the forging of new links to allow for different kinds of movement and creation of new, more efficient paths.

    I think that's a core thing we should make sure isn't lost. Random events might be really good, but they should not take the form of rendering 10 turns worth of moving around the map pointless. They should instead necessitate planning out a new, modified strategy based on where you are to be most efficient. Similarly, the psych eval stuff and interactions should not be able to fully render your actions scouring the map moot. There should always be a reason to plan out efficient movements around the world and reward for doing so intelligently.
    That's a good point to keep in mind, until now I hadn't considered just how much time investment moving around the board represents.

    Incidentally, while I don't think the game works if people can savescup there absolutely must be a 'reset all moves this turn' button.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    A question: If a Country has adopted a Technology that provides a minus to the Break Link action, does this mean that all Executives attempting to use the Break Link action in that country will suffer a penalty?
    Absolutely. Technology is neutral, it has to be because you can aggressively push bad techs on your enemies.
    Last edited by Thanqol; 2017-02-24 at 06:19 PM.
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Day 2098: oh yeah

    i allegedly do art here

    I think my mind is coming around to a digital art realignment. I have not been doing fantastically recently and should really be fixing that.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Alright. Time to ramble a bit about Countries, Bonuses, and Technology. I see two in-game questions at play here:

    1. Is there a reason to take a Country?
    2. Is there a reason to spread a Technology to a Country?

    When a Country has an Output or a Lab, you want to do both these things. You absolutely want resource-producing Countries, and you want to spread Technology to them that will give you better output (be it better Units, or faster-spawning Units/Research). Or, conversely, you want to either take them from your opponent, or spread crappy Technology to them to . Because the systems interact, the questions are linked together.

    When a Country has a Bonus, there may well be reasons to take that Country. It can affect the landscape in your favor, it can provide a nice perk that is key to your strategy, etc. But once you’ve taken it, is there any reason to spread a Technology there? The best answer I could think of was, “yes, but only defensively.” If there’s a good anti-insurgency Tech, you spread that one. If it’s on a path that you want to keep open, spread a Tech to stop links from being broken. If you don’t own the Country, and have no reason to take it apart from denying your opponent an advantage, then...yeah. Maybe you could use it to give an adjacency bonus to Tech spread, but other than that, I’ve got nothing.

    I agree that this feels weak. Everything positive I’ve just said is also true of Output/Lab Countries, which are already more interesting to play with.

    So. How to fix it?

    I think Anarion is right on the money. A Technology that interacts directly with the passive Bonuses we already have is much better than adding a whole new system. The problem I see with a money system is that it increases the value of all Countries, rather than just the ones we want to buff. And it still doesn’t interact with the Technology system, unless we add a +/- money Tech, which strikes me as an even worse idea.

    So. We need some sort of subsystem by which Bonuses can interact with Technology. I like the idea of breaking it apart, rather than just being a straight “+/- to all passive Bonuses.” Maybe we can look at the Bonuses we have, and find a way to categorize them? There’s bonuses that affect the landscape, bonuses that affect units, bonuses that provide cooldown-based abilities, etc. Each Bonus category/type could be independently affected by Technology. Maybe color-and-shape code them, for ease of use.

    Furthermore! There’s already a similar hole in our design in Africa. We need a way for Developing Countries there to provide a benefit to Developed Countries. Why not kill all the birds with one stone? Have the Developing Countries in Africa use the same subsystem that the Technology uses to amp up the Bonuses of nearby Developing Countries. This also serves as a way to show the player that Bonuses do not have static values.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    So. We need some sort of subsystem by which Bonuses can interact with Technology. I like the idea of breaking it apart, rather than just being a straight “+/- to all passive Bonuses.” Maybe we can look at the Bonuses we have, and find a way to categorize them? There’s bonuses that affect the landscape, bonuses that affect units, bonuses that provide cooldown-based abilities, etc. Each Bonus category/type could be independently affected by Technology. Maybe color-and-shape code them, for ease of use.

    Furthermore! There’s already a similar hole in our design in Africa. We need a way for Developing Countries there to provide a benefit to Developed Countries. Why not kill all the birds with one stone? Have the Developing Countries in Africa use the same subsystem that the Technology uses to amp up the Bonuses of nearby Developing Countries. This also serves as a way to show the player that Bonuses do not have static values.
    Yeah, this is exactly what I was thinking. We might even notice, in the course of turning them all into Lucky Charms™ that we missed a few things and want to add or vary a few bonuses to interact with other stuff.
    School Fox by Atlur

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    This could also give us an answer to that question I mentioned earlier: How do we differentiate Bonuses from passive attributes? Bonuses are things that can be scaled up or down by Technology, and each Country has one if they don't already have an Output. Passive attributes are always active, and are static. It also gives us an out if a particular Bonus doesn't have an obvious means of scaling up or down. (Ex. Gateway to Europe: Cannot form port links to any country linked to this one. Not really sure how that can be scaled.)

    Aside: I think Graveyard of Empires counts as an Output. It's just an Output with some unique strings attached.

    I also think it's worthwhile considering how the scaling might function. Two ideas here:

    1) Multipliers. Technology all adds or subtracts from a multiplier, which scales the Bonus numbers up or down. (Ex. Base bonus is +1 Agent Speed. Tech adds a x2 multiplier, making it +2 Agent Speed.)

    2) Tiers. I'm struggling to find an easy way to explain this, but say each Bonus starts with a value of +0. Technology can add or remove from this number. When the number gets high - or low - enough, the value of the Bonus changes to some predetermined value. Prevents complicated math and infinite scaling. (Ex. Base bonus is +1 Agent Speed. Get enough boosts on it, and it goes up to +2 Agent Speed. Get a royal ton of boosts, and maybe it goes to +3. Get some negative boosts on it, and it could drop to 1/2 Agent speed.)

    Of the two of these, I'm more in favor of something like Tiers. It prevents weird scaling issues, and it allows us to scale Bonuses that don't necessarily have numbers attached to them.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    This could also give us an answer to that question I mentioned earlier: How do we differentiate Bonuses from passive attributes? Bonuses are things that can be scaled up or down by Technology, and each Country has one if they don't already have an Output. Passive attributes are always active, and are static. It also gives us an out if a particular Bonus doesn't have an obvious means of scaling up or down. (Ex. Gateway to Europe: Cannot form port links to any country linked to this one. Not really sure how that can be scaled.)

    Aside: I think Graveyard of Empires counts as an Output. It's just an Output with some unique strings attached.

    I also think it's worthwhile considering how the scaling might function. Two ideas here:

    1) Multipliers. Technology all adds or subtracts from a multiplier, which scales the Bonus numbers up or down. (Ex. Base bonus is +1 Agent Speed. Tech adds a x2 multiplier, making it +2 Agent Speed.)

    2) Tiers. I'm struggling to find an easy way to explain this, but say each Bonus starts with a value of +0. Technology can add or remove from this number. When the number gets high - or low - enough, the value of the Bonus changes to some predetermined value. Prevents complicated math and infinite scaling. (Ex. Base bonus is +1 Agent Speed. Get enough boosts on it, and it goes up to +2 Agent Speed. Get a royal ton of boosts, and maybe it goes to +3. Get some negative boosts on it, and it could drop to 1/2 Agent speed.)

    Of the two of these, I'm more in favor of something like Tiers. It prevents weird scaling issues, and it allows us to scale Bonuses that don't necessarily have numbers attached to them.
    You're bang on here; tiers is the perfect solution. Not only does it solve the various problems I've been contemplating it allows sideways as well as vertical progression - i.e. at tier 1 it outputs an agent, tier 2 it gains the ability to freely sever influence links, at tier 3 it outputs another agent, etc. This allows a bunch of cool side-effects which might not be worth a full bonus on their own to have a place as an interesting side effect of owning a highly developed nation.
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    You're bang on here; tiers is the perfect solution. Not only does it solve the various problems I've been contemplating it allows sideways as well as vertical progression - i.e. at tier 1 it outputs an agent, tier 2 it gains the ability to freely sever influence links, at tier 3 it outputs another agent, etc. This allows a bunch of cool side-effects which might not be worth a full bonus on their own to have a place as an interesting side effect of owning a highly developed nation.
    And! If the opponent can stack enough negative technology on your Country, it can actively hinder your efforts everywhere. In the old system, your Output Countries might be producing a bunch of lousy Agents, but hey, an Agent is still an Agent. With a tier system, you might have to seriously consider abandoning a Country because now all your Agents everywhere are moving at half-speed and this is the worst.

    (Yes, you'll have effectively ruined that Country for everybody in the process, and possibly started a chain-reaction of terrible Technology spreading across the globe, but I would count that as a feature.)
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Today's update is brought to you by an extremely tired pirate. So tired, that he forgot to post last week's update, and hasn't done it since. Whoops.

    Spoiler: End of Day 4 - Milestone 2
    Show


    No, that's not the image glitching out. That's a scroll-able map. Now that we have more units, real estate was getting pretty crowded. I decided to move all the countries a little further apart, zoomed in, and made a scrolling camera.

    You'll also note that there are more units. And they have letters on them! A for Agent, E for Executive, and M for arMy/Military. Agents currently don't do squat, but Executives can Break/Forge links, and Military can claim countries. (Note: When the Military moves off of a Country, it will revert back to unowned.) Also, at Anarion's suggestion, there's a white highlight around whatever unit is currently selected.

    With that, we're at the second milestone. We have multiple types of units, and they can perform some basic actions. I'll send out the .exe to folks shortly, then go get some rest. Lots of life stuff happening right now. Progress may slow some.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Baller. I'm currently mentally prepping for the tier system rewrite. Basically as I see it each country should have 3 tiers with unique bonuses at each level - which is a lot of individual decisions to make.

    I think I want to merge the development system with the tiers system, and I think I might want to have rather than static lasting +'s/-'s to development to do with more of an 'equilibrium' system. So France's equilibrium for development is tier 2; if it's above that it'll slowly fall and if it's below that it'll slowly rise. If a positive tech is introduced or an agent is deployed then that equilibrium shifts up.
    I don't wanna see what's inside
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    I think I want to merge the development system with the tiers system, and I think I might want to have rather than static lasting +'s/-'s to development to do with more of an 'equilibrium' system. So France's equilibrium for development is tier 2; if it's above that it'll slowly fall and if it's below that it'll slowly rise. If a positive tech is introduced or an agent is deployed then that equilibrium shifts up.
    Are Outputs getting rolled into this rewrite as well? Also, do you foresee there being one "+/- Development Equilibrium" tech effect, or will different Countries require different tech effects? Like with what we were talking about earlier, and splitting Countries up into color-and-shape-coded categories, and each category has its own associated tech modifier.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Testing time! Next feature request: click and drag scrolling. Not that there's anything wrong with scrolling by moving my mouse to the edge of the screen, but I love it when you can treat the map like it's a piece of cloth and use the mouse to scroll while keeping your arrow centered. So, hold down left click on empty space and move mouse to scroll would be lovely (but totally optional).

    Another feature request: some sort of highlight of where I can forge links to. I struggled to figure out where I was and wasn't allowed to draw a line or move to with this update. It took me about 10 minutes to get my P1 executive into Egypt, it just wouldn't forge a link there from most places, even ports. I eventually got there from Russia by forging a link, which worked for some reason (though only after several tries of button clicking. Maybe it's being finicky about the actual location of selectable objects?)

    Yet another™ feature request: movement waypoints. Click on a country 3 spaces away and my executive will route there through the intervening countries if it's possible to get there (or error if there's no route without need for some other action).

    Oooh, holding a country with a military unit makes it match the player color. Fancy.

    Didn't find any weird bugs, though I'm still accidentally deselecting things when I move them to a place with other things and accidentally click on the other thing instead. Would probably suggest that "move to space clicked" has a higher priority than "select unit on space" if that's possible to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
    Quotes

    "Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    Are Outputs getting rolled into this rewrite as well?
    No. I feel like there's scope for horizontal differentiation between Output Speed, which manages how fast things come out, and Development Tier, which manages what things come out. It could be cruft but let's leave it in for now.

    Also, do you foresee there being one "+/- Development Equilibrium" tech effect,
    Yes.

    or will different Countries require different tech effects? Like with what we were talking about earlier, and splitting Countries up into color-and-shape-coded categories, and each category has its own associated tech modifier.
    I don't think this should be necessary, no.
    I don't wanna see what's inside
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Testing time! Next feature request: click and drag scrolling. Not that there's anything wrong with scrolling by moving my mouse to the edge of the screen, but I love it when you can treat the map like it's a piece of cloth and use the mouse to scroll while keeping your arrow centered. So, hold down left click on empty space and move mouse to scroll would be lovely (but totally optional).
    I can't even afford the good instant noodles what makes you think I can get features like this

    Yeah, I think I can do that. May not be fancy, but such is the prototype life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Another feature request: some sort of highlight of where I can forge links to. I struggled to figure out where I was and wasn't allowed to draw a line or move to with this update. It took me about 10 minutes to get my P1 executive into Egypt, it just wouldn't forge a link there from most places, even ports. I eventually got there from Russia by forging a link, which worked for some reason (though only after several tries of button clicking. Maybe it's being finicky about the actual location of selectable objects?)
    That Egypt thing sounds like a bug. I'll poke about a bit and make sure it's a valid port country. As far as linkable countries go, I'll think about it. I agree that it'll be a good usability feature, I'm just not sure how to make it happen easy-like. I have some ideas, though, and I'll see how they pan out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Yet another™ feature request: movement waypoints. Click on a country 3 spaces away and my executive will route there through the intervening countries if it's possible to get there (or error if there's no route without need for some other action).
    I think this one is going to go firmly in the "will be implemented much later" bin. It's a good idea, but right now we're aiming for baseline functionality of game mechanics. Later, it'll make a good usability feature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Anarion View Post
    Didn't find any weird bugs, though I'm still accidentally deselecting things when I move them to a place with other things and accidentally click on the other thing instead. Would probably suggest that "move to space clicked" has a higher priority than "select unit on space" if that's possible to do.
    I'm not sure if it's possible, and I'm not sure if it's worth the investment at this stage. This is a quick and dirty solution to Units and Countries, and I fully expect it to change later. I don't want to put too much development time into something I intend to replace.

    I increased the clickable area on Countries for this prototype, so I would advise just clicking a little further away from the other Units. It should still work correctly. (Compromise idea: Some basic UI outline of the clickable Country area, so you know what exactly you're clicking on.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    No. I feel like there's scope for horizontal differentiation between Output Speed, which manages how fast things come out, and Development Tier, which manages what things come out. It could be cruft but let's leave it in for now.

    Yes.

    I don't think this should be necessary, no.
    I am concerned that this single +Development Tier idea could have some balance issues. Other Technology effects, you generally only want to spread to a relatively small subset of your held territory. Lab effects to Lab countries, unit-specific effects to their respective Output countries, defensive Techs to your borders/super important countries, etc. If there is a Tech - or Techs - with +Development Tier, you'd want that to go to all of your countries that provide Bonuses, even if it means eating some negative effects.

    It's something to keep an eye on when we get to proper playtesting.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by TheAmishPirate View Post
    I can't even afford the good instant noodles what makes you think I can get features like this
    Because I believe in you.

    All the detail stuff makes sense to me. Clickable country box seems ideal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant View Post
    Anarion's right on the money here.
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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Thanqol View Post
    That's not it at all. It's establishing an artificial decision making process. It's the same process for designing a character; the first step is inventing an artificial moral or logical code that governs their decisions moment to moment. In this case, my ADM means that any dilemmas or problems I experience I solve by running it through those principles rather than whatever feels good at the time. Concepts that jar with the principles need to be re-evaluated.

    It's like a constitution for your brain, you have to solve problems within the framework you've mentally established.
    Whoops. Forgot to reply to this one.

    You're right. I was trying to say one thing, and wound up saying another.

    Stepping back, and looking at your Principles again, I think what struck me was how different they read when compared to, say, AW's Principles. They fulfill the same function, as you pointed out, but AW's Principles have been refined and distilled down to short, snappy phrases, meant to teach other MC's how to run a game. But this isn't a handbook meant for others, this is a framework to help in your design process for this particular game. It makes sense that it would read differently, and it's interesting - for me at least - to compare the two.
    I'm developing a game. Let's see what happens! Complex.

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    Default Re: Thanqol Learns To Draw Six: Stealing Time

    I'm sorry if I interrupt this very intricate discussion. But I want to ask Thanqol if the Arts and crafts section of this forum:

    Can I just post my rpg related art here for people to see it? Because I love sharing that kind of stuff, but I don't know if I'm allowed.

    The Arts and Crafts section seem so barren of visual art I was wondering if there was a catch.

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