Friday, September 30, 2011

Driftwurld: Even farmier...

I like some of the modifications I've made to the farming stage of Driftwurld.

What happens now is that every single person who has registered has a chance each day of generating goods on their farm, since they went and made the difference of registering. The bigger their farm, the higher the chance each day. Over time their farms can collect up to $30 worth of goods.

And new players can claim such goods if the other player has not visited their farm in the last ten days. Just new players though - once you aquire a crawler transport, this option isn't available anymore. You've moved on and other farmers lay claim to the goods.

This means new players can rapidly collect goods, but NOT because I just made the collecting faster, but because of the effects of other players (ie, their choice to register and to an extent how much they build their farm). This also means people who register but don't continue to play are, with their original choice in terms of registering, still part players in the lands of Driftwurld!

Also I've set a cap on how much you can harvest from your own farm per day. When you don't have a crawler, it's $2500 worth of goods. Once you own a crawler, it's a big drop down to $100 per day. This basically represents how prior to owning a crawler transport, you had spent most of your early preteen to teen life farming and so could have collected quite alot of goods. But once you get into the fast lane...crawling (?!), then you don't have that much time to spend on the farm.

I guess some people could just play the game by staying farmers and never advancing to owning their own crawler transporter. This way they could earn $2500 worth of goods each day, but what would they use it on? Aquiring hard wood logs? Once they own 200 or more of those, other players can buy from them. Which is a way of making game money directly, but not really the fastest. Though hey, maybe you only aspire to be a farmer, and it works out in a way?

In the end, I like how it's not just me, the designer, waving a wand and making things faster. It's a direct result of people signing up for the game. The code I put in wouldn't make any difference if people hadn't done that!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Driftwurld: Down on the Farm

Well, I added farming to Driftwurld, but one player expressed concerns you could just keep earning farm goods all day long. In a way I wanted it to be that way - I wanted it that on the first day the player could earn enough goods to trade for enough logs to (bear with me) trade for a crawler transporter.

I'm not sure how I want to do it? Put a cap on the first day that's high enough for the crawler trade, then a lower cap every following day?

The fact is, I'm not even sure alot of players will play it enough to earn enough to go to the next step. Perhaps I'm missing a social element - I'd banked on the ability to raid other farms as being that. Speaking of that, I set each raid on another farm as a skill roll - but I'm wondering now whether a failed roll at the start means another registered player who ceases playing? Certainly I heard that world of warcraft stats showed that if a player died when first trying the game/failed, they often ceased playing.

Anyway, might lower the requirement for a crawler transport. Though it seems players just like to latch onto the first part of the game they come across, rather than complete the first section they come across and migrate to a newer section. Certainly other browser games roughly work that way - the first section you come across, you'll be there in five hours time (with higher stats, but it'll still be the same).

On the other hand, perhaps I'm expecting too much uptake? It'd be interesting to look at the stats of urban dead and see how many players just don't continue after a few clicks. Certainly that's a game where you click about 30 times and miss the zombie pretty much most of them.

That's it, I'll put in the cliche of the moment - zombies! Have to kill some around your farm! And co-incidentally, they have cash on their rotting corpses! Hehe!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dues Ex: Which is it? Self autonomy or competative predation?

"STOP! In the name of love! Before you eviscerate my heart!" Who knew Dues Ex would turn out a sing star clone?

On recently I briefly entered a debate about the game Deus Ex and public access to augmentation (augs).

I don't know if I'm recounting the arguments put to me poorly, but they basically broke down to "You should be able to do anything you want with your body and some government stopping you is wrong!/As long as your not infringing other peoples rights, what you do is okay!" BUT ALSO "And people would need augs to keep up with others who have augs in the global economy!"

And it's like they don't recognise that if you have an aug and are competing with someone else, then you are affecting that other persons body (as in, the amount of food and shelter that body might get in future).

It's like they just can't connect the two - the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. I think it's because the morality of the human brain is used to a prehistoric context and can't keep up with this stuff. If, for example, you had someone take an aug that emits death pheromones (ala Omega Red from X-men comics) then *CLICK* it becomes clear that that person is not just affecting their own body. But as soon as you obfuscate the situation even a little by putting in some buzzwords like "compete in the global economy" the drawing a connection between someone getting augs and someone ending up living under a bridge suddenly evaporates. And augs just seem wonderful and gosh, we'll need them all to compete! So they have to be wonderful (subtext: Or otherwise were screwed!).

Or am I drawing a false connection between the augmentation and impoverishment?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mount and Blade: Faction Eliminated! Long Live Queen Isolla!

Finally, my championing of Lady Isolla of Suno has culminated in defeating King Harlus and the old faction of Swardia is destroyed (only to be instantly replaced by Lady Isolla as queen). And suddenly the dark orange which indicated foe is now my factions prideful colour. Can't help feeling were the enemy though...
Shots of Isolla saying how hot and handsome I am, after the break (well, not in those words, but you have to read between the lines, man!)

Monday, September 12, 2011

NPC Reputation

I've realised what annoys me about reputation systems, where various NPC's like or dislike you.

What annoys me is none of them give a damn whether I will like or will dislike them for their own actions.

It's just this lopsided "No, I affect you! You don't affect me, ever!"

I think it just leads to stilted characterisations from players. Basically because the NPC's are acting in a stilted way to begin with, as if they are fearless of repercussion from their actions.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Mount & Blade; Tell 'em what they wanna hear

Or lamingtons? Mmmm, lamingtons!

One thing I like about mount and blade is that the price of gear scale in an interesting way. Basically buying pretty good gear doesn't cost a ton. But getting a few more points of armour or damage and suddenly your paying thousands for it. Which, if you happen to have made a ton of money, means you have something to do with that money. Or, if you haven't made a ton of money, means you can still have almost the top gear.

One thing that got me is that I assumed character skills that are party skills, would stack with other party members. They don't - so I've sort of bought into a bunch of skills, when really the better approach would be to specialise. Which is making my effort to make Lady Isollo of Suno the new Queen, really hard. Indeed, worse, every time I capture a place I have to assign it to one of the rebel lords on our side - and then the rest of them get annoyed with me. One even betrayed me and...went over to another side entirely! So I can't just capture and lose locations, or I'm going to lose all the lords I've wooed into rebeling with us. Hehe, one of them, when I tried to convince him, the AI realised that I was trying to tell each lord what he wanted to hear. Which is true, I was! >:)

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mount and Blade: My Kingdom for a Sand Castle! An inadvertant Eve Online comparison!

Yes, my horse is castle trained...

Bought the game Mount and Blade recently for $20 at a store. I'd played the demo ages ago and was always heart broken when play would stop because I'd reached the max demo level.

But no more! And I think the game deserves a few posts, the first being an observation it reminds me of eve online. Except it actually has a point. Harsh to eve online? Well, is there an actual king position in even online? There is in mount and blade and you can eventually take it and become king.