Nathanl Feedback

Nathanl Feedback

Postby Nathanl » Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:31 pm

Hey! I promised to give some feedback, so here it is:

What i like/dislike about the game:

- The idea behind the whole concept. Involving the players in the creation of their game world is a very nice thing and can lead to a strong and addictive connection between the player and the world he is playing in, IF done correctly.
I'm still unsure about your intention of this feature. Why is it important in your game that you can edit the world while playing in runtime? What distinguishes your game from all the other RPG-Maker games? If i understood it correctly, the GM editing of the world is not meant to be available for all players on a server. Only the owners/moderators/gms can change the environment and build a cool, enjoyable world for all the other players on the server. This takes a lot of the focus away from the 'Make your own world' gameplay and makes good 'traditional' rpg gameplay in your game necessary, as that is what the players are doing in the end. Please tell me if i'm wrong here.

-I like the overall visual direction this is gravitating towards. it's obvious that you are not placing big value on the final polish yet, you can definitely see that, it's going into the right direction in my opinion. The houses and some other stuff look (in my eyes) pretty unsightly and cheap. I though like the character model, i like the happy and positive atmosphere caused by the colorful visuals. i like it better than dark, serious settings. again, personal taste here.

What i would change for visuals/sounds/detailwork:
animation... your world would look much healthier and lively if there was some animation going on. No heavy over use of movement, just some animations and some particles maybe. Floating water, falling waterfalls, leaves falling from trees and enemies that actually react to being hit, die in a cool manner and make some sounds, add A LOT to the atmosphere and overall feel of gameplay.

-I too like the RPG elements, i don't really like how exactly these elements are implemented, but it is already nice to have them at all. There is much personal taste here, but i will explain that later in more detail.

- Your Quest system in the open world style gameplay. Quest system feels okay already, but players tend to not read anything at all. The fact that you have to do quests in the beginning of the game makes it reasonable for me that you want to have the quest system be compatible with as many players as possible. If you start a game, don't get what you have to do you get bored. And quit. Add some visualisation the quest screens. Some players dont want to read the whole text to know what they have to do. E.g. put a picture of the monster they need to kill, or the ressource they need to get and the amount somewhere. You will need to dumb it down a bit. You mentioned your little girl, who initially was the reason for you to make the game. She might be a bit older now, but try to let her playtest.

- I like how you implemented farming. It's always good to have something in the game that you are waiting for for while playing. That gives you a reason to keep playing. This also leads back to the RPG problems. Food, and items overall need heavy balance work. You need to find a way to make it harder to get food, also the chain of achieving gear does not feel good at all. I'm also working on a game and i prefer to have everything more planned. I don't add cucumbers just to have cucumbers added or because they are cool. If i decide to add them, then that is because they have a use in the game and are part of production- or achievement chains. I would scrap everything and start from scratch. You don't need to delete everything, just implement it when you find a reason for it.

You (again, my opinion) destroy the feel, yes maybe also the magic of your game with that. Same with your game world. Yes, its alpha but i would rather let my players play in a small environment that i'm happy with, that is polished, and most important: BALANCED. You can say i'm silly, but i strongly believe in the assumption that the player needs to feel that special 'magical' feeling that connects him with the game's world and makes him love to play in it. What you are doing with your endless dungeons of ores to grab without any dangers or obstacles to face, endless and empty beaches you walk along with nothing happening, and unlovingly dungeon design, is destroying that magic and giving your players a wrong feeling of how the game will be. (Atleast thats what i hope and there will be heavy changes) You could say that your official game world is not important, because the game is about players playing and making their own. But that's not how it goes. Most potential players will try the game on your public server worlds and see what you have built. If you fuck it up, they are mostly going to as well.

I like crafting. I also like the minecraft crafting system, but that does not mean i would copy it into my game. In my opinion it doesn't fit here. Minecraft is a very simple game that gets it's volume, scale complexity with it's crafting (and some other stuff, yes..). I can not, and also don't want to tell you where to put your game's focus on, but i can tell you that the focus on crafting is the wrong pick. It is good you implemented crafting, because crafting gives items utilities and the right to exist (to come back to that point). A minecraft 'inspired' crafting window is, in my opinion, not appropriate for your game.

Despite all my points of criticism, i still like your game and will curiously follow it's development! Keep going, you can make a great game out of this! :P

Kind regards from one of your first players,
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Re: Nathanl Feedback

Postby lugdunon » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:41 pm

First off, please allow me to apologize for taking so long to get back to you on this. I have been crazy busy, trying to get everything lined up for the beta release this Friday. Look like it'll be a close thing, but I think still hit the deadline. ;)

Thank you for taking the time to provide this feedback. You make some excellent points, all of which I will attempt to address now.

1: My intention with the world editing feature (GM mode) is to provide an environment that would make a pen and paper RPG DM comfortable. In other words, it is to provide a canvas on which an individual can create the game environment / world / campaign / or scenario of their choice for others to play. With that said, there is nothing preventing a server from being configured to grant GM privileges to everyone if so desired. I have also taken steps to provide a limited range of abilities (craftable housing, farming, harvesting and replanting of trees and flowers, placing of grass and cobblestone, and more to come) to regular players that allows them some degree of freedom in carving out a piece of the world for themselves.

All of the features mentioned above, along with entire sub-systems (advancement, crafting, character stats, environment, currency, etc) can be removed or modified to suit the playstyle the GM or server admin desires. This will allow for a wide range of game types on various servers.

2: The art is largely placeholder stuff at the moment, cobbled together from assets available at opengameart and other places, or thrown together by myself. I do have an artist, Meagan Bowden, that has been working with me for nearly a year on getting the assets replaced with novel work. So far, you see her hand in all of the character / animal sprites, as well as in a few placeable items. I am happy to announce that I am working right now on getting all of the rest of her art in for the beta release. A small sample of what is to come is available here. This will include total terrain replacement (and the addition of cobblestone), new trees, flowers, and crops, houses, and much more.

You'll also be pleased to know that waterfalls and ovens will be getting animations in this update as well. Plans to allow the water and lava terrain layers to animate, as well as implementing a particle system for things like falling leaves, rain, and other weather effects are in the works, but won't happen before beta.

Also a great deal of the action visual effects and sounds are not in at the moment. These will be going in as time permits.

3: What do you find unfavorable with the RPG elements? If these are addressed in your later points, please ignore.

4: The objectives are listed in the progress section once you have accepted a quest. I will look at adding in an objectives section for unaccepted quests, as well as allowing for a visual on each objective. My daughter does playtest regularly, and has provided some good input in the past on making things easier. ;)

5: Balancing is a something that has been an ongoing process. I tend to try not to add something in just for the sake of adding it as well. I do have plans for every crop, just have not had the time to create the recipes yet. I also have the next quest hub, and chain all written out, which is what the town of Bibracte (specifically the undead infestation in the north) is there for.

I do agree that the default world seems somewhat lifeless. This is something that I struggled with for a bit. If I wanted to wait until I had a polished demo full of content, the game would still not be open, nor would there be as many features available. I instead chose to make it available for players to experience, regardless of its incomplete state, and have been rewarded with a great deal of feedback (yours included), suggestions, and bug reports.

The ruins and mine are temporary, until the procedural generation code gets some attention, and I can also spend some time tailoring some special instances of each. The idea for both is to eventually allow players to discover them through archaeology and prospecting abilities, and to also allow them to be claimed and access restrictions placed upon them. Let it be said that this is one of the things that I am chomping at the bit to get the opportunity to tackle...

Why does crafting not fit here? The crafting implementation is the main thing that really got my attention in Minecraft. It was incredibly clever and simple, and adds something of a mini, or meta, game to the whole. In my opinion, it works here, and provides a basis for the various professions. I would love to hear your reasoning on why this does not work for Lugdunon.

I have had requests for a discoverable 'recipe book' that will allow players to record their discovered (or revealed) recipes for later retrieval. This is something that is likely to happen sooner rather than later.

Thanks again for feedback! It has definitely given me cause to rethink my priorities once beta lands.

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