Author Topic: Gameplay  (Read 12918 times)

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rditto48801

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2013, 03:40:18 AM »
After playing another game based on space travel and such, something popped into mind.
Supporting research with activities in the field.

Perhaps there could be some benefit or purpose to collecting soil samples other than to just find out what minerals are located where.

Would it be to much to require more than just basic surface soil samples to locate minerals? What if an area has a thick layer of settled dust that requires taking a shallow sample with a test drill to get an accurate idea of what minerals might be in an area. So surface samples in some areas might hint at minerals A and B, but the LIBS testing of a drill sample instead shows minerals C and D.

Or of having to setup survey equipment to map hills and such, perhaps for studies relating to how the landscape is affected by the wind and such, or to identify certain geological features to help locate some minerals that might not show up in simple surface/soil sample.

For a little bit of a mystery, perhaps locating previous 'unknown' elements, or perhaps elements existing under conditions where they might not exist on Earth (perhaps element A is usually found with mineral B on Earth, but on Mars element A is instead found with mineral C).

Another idea, perhaps a tricky task of taking air samples during a dust storm, which means having to monitor the weather until signs of a dust storm are detected, and setting up a proper sample collecting device (perhaps on an anchored tripod on a hill?) to get the samples.

Maybe needing to collect samples from a few random rocks, to see if they might suggest what minerals might be in an area where surface/soil samples show little signs of what is underground. Or just to collect rock/soil samples from a specific location for research purposes, perhaps for a request from a geologist on Earth.

Perhaps other observations could be made for 'scientific' purposes. Such as if some rocks or bits of soil look 'different' under artificial light than they do in the sunlight. Or of doing observations of soil and rocks using a UV light. Or locating terrain features or rocks that show signs of having been affected by water in Mars' past. Or of how a group of rocks spread out in a way suggesting they are the remains of an ancient landslide of some sort. Of how the surface material in a drilling area suggests one type of mineral would be found even though drilling efforts produced something else. Stuff to add a little immersion, add a little extra diversity and feel of 'exploration' to things. If there is a research system that utilizes 'points' put toward unlocking stuff, then these little things could add small bits of progress to some efforts, or apply toward specific efforts.
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TheCheesyOne

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #16 on: November 15, 2013, 09:30:59 PM »
Something that would really make this game great is better graphics. I'm not bashing on the devs or anything(They do way better than I ever could) but look at other games and how advanced they are. This is a great way to bump up popularity.

Also, what about having two separate game modes? Like a "simulation" mode(the game now), and an "arcade" mode, with much faster and more action packed gameplay, which would last closer to 5-10 hours than 10-20 hours, for those that find the game too boring. Like shortening the time it takes to do things, using a lot less technical stuff, and compacting the gameplay overall. Or perhaps even making a "mission commander" mode where you get to manage money and resources and decide the base layout and commission research projects and all of that? Either compact the gameplay or give the player more control. The answer for these kind of people, the ones that would get bored with the game, is to make the game simpler, or more action filled, to keep their attention. We don't want people to feel lost in all the technicalities.

Cant wait for the new game :)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 09:37:02 PM by TheCheesyOne »
New name; still the same great product! I am TAD ;)

rditto48801

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2013, 04:07:34 AM »
I think the graphics to be sufficient enough, enough to be a secondary concern until other things are polished. Sound is also an important element.
I would consider overall immersion, gameplay and perhaps even storyline/lore to be equal important to graphics and sound. But then again, I am a fan of old school games.

Being 'advanced' looking isn't everything. Especially if it gets expensive for developer and gamer alike.

I like the idea of a 'mission commander' type type mode, due to being a fan of old games like Utopia or Outpost. It is somewhat similar to previously mentioned ideas, like choosing where some stuff is built, with NPCs likely showing up to do the actual building of stuff.

I think there was mention of possible 'rover racing' at some, which in a way would be adding some 'action' to things.


For the 'arcade mode' idea, while not something I would have much interest in, it shouldn't be to hard to do (I could be wrong). Maybe toss in minor modifierslike speeding some things, like mining speed, plant growth, and how fast water, air and fuel can be acquired, and maybe disabling some disasters, making rovers a little faster/more durable, and doing repairs/part installation without needing to worry about redoing stuff or doing sort of partial-QTEs (by just having a progress bar that pops up and goes until it is done). Although I can only guess one factor would be to re-balance everything for a new mode, not to mention make sure the game doesn't implode when switching between different saves of different game modes.

Personally, rather than an arcade mode, I would like to see something like  optional missions/scenarios separate of the 'campaign' might another option for those who like shorter gaming sessions. Certain elements could be used to speed things up in such missions/scenarios. For example, a mission focused on mining could take place at an outpost that has no greenhouse, but have a big stockpile of food or otherwise has regular deliveries of food supplies, so the player doesn't need to worry about babysitting plants, fish or algae, and can focus on prospecting and mining, with already having a few basic sample sites on the map giving a good starting point of where to find minerals needed for the mission objective.

Personally, I would like to see some 'adventure' elements added, be it in a full campaign or as the basis of a few optional missions/scenarios.

To me, making the game simpler would ruin the game. That half  the fun is actually putting some effort into things to get things done. I don't mind a bit of effort being put into things. (Just so long as it does not get anywhere near the kind of 'fun' associated with a game involving dwarves and fortresses....)
There is likely a fine line between making the game more accessible to new players and alienating existing game fans.
Boldly going forward, 'cause I can't find reverse.

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Baneblade

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #18 on: December 01, 2013, 04:51:22 PM »
In terms of optional side missions, perhaps such missions could be an off-shoot of the main campaign?

For example, once a comms station is built, the player periodically gets calls for assistance from outlier bases (think the bases in game now). This could entail the mining scenario you imagined, a base that had equipment failure, a stranded group of colonists, an agricultural base in need of resupply, etc. These optional side missions could give the player additional equipment for their primary "campaign" base, for example periodic mineral shipments from the mining base.

Just a thought that would add some greater scope to the game as the player can feel more involved in the overall colonization of Mars.

Another far off (more pipe dream than anything else) goal would be usage of real Mars topographical data from sources like HIRSE, something along the lines of Take on Mars if anyone is familiar with that.

Hyper

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #19 on: December 02, 2013, 08:46:06 AM »
The current design (2.0) calls for a more sandbox approach with no set mission goals and lean more towards a quest style of game where stuff happens and you have to react to it.
I wanted to use topo maps but can't get a granular enough resolution for the size we have 8km x 8 km. Also having to constrain the user to an area via crater was also in issue.

DieAngel

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2014, 06:08:30 PM »
You can most likely "soft" limit players to the game area through power and oxygen requirements and transport autonomy in such a way that it's impossible to go beyond a certain radius of the base without running out of supplies.

ccik

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #21 on: March 15, 2014, 10:01:45 AM »
Hello,


i bought the game a couple of days ago and was quite fascinated with it and had a lot of fun.

But there is one point which started to annoy me. Like mentioned sometimes before, there are certain tasks that are quite repetetive. Especially in the phase 6, where is so much to do, but it seems to me, that everytime i want to do some longer EVA like exploring, taking probes etc, i always have to go back to base, and do a lot of routine work. I'm talking mainly about cleaning solar panels, watering and fertilizing plants, check the fish and worms, etc. Don't get me wrong here, i love the concept of this in deep simulation, and definitively want these things in the second game. But it seems to me that i can't focus on one aspect of the game for a longer period of time because i have to to some this routine work. And after a while, this starts to take the fun away, because i'd rather be doing something else, but have to keep the base running. I know this is supposed to be a simulator and tries to be accurate with builiding a base on mars. But in my opinion, i should also be having fun doing it, and sadly, after a while, this game feels more like work and less like fun. I hope you get what i'm writing about.

I like the idea of the player choosing his/her playstyle. In order to give everybody the opportunity to do as much or as little work themself as they like, i suggest, you add some kind of AI collegue in the game. You most probably wouldn't be building this base alone, there would be at least another person with you in this base. So your AI helper would be in the base, first taking care of his/her needs like food, water, etc. But you could assing specific tasks to this helper via a GUI. For example, at the moment, i don't want to do all the biology stuff, so i could assign my helper to these tasks. He/She would be watering, fertilizing my plants, feed the fish etc. If after a while, i wan't to do this task again by myself, i could just tell my helper to don't do anything at all, or just clean the solar panel.

Unfortunatly, i don't have much expierence with game or AI design, so i don't know how hard it would be to implement this. In my opinion, it doesn't have to be fully animated, it would be perfectly fine if the helper would do these task when nobody is around.
I also have read somewere that work on an AI is in progress, but i couldn't find more information about it, so i decided to share my thoughts about this.

I know that you can already share the work via multiplayer, but you don't always have somebody around to play with, or everybody wants to do the mining stuff, and nobody wants to clean the solar panels.

To sum it all up, you could have a helper in the game to delegate tasks to, or you could choose to do it all by yourself. Everybode can adjust their own playstyle, if something starts to annoy you, you could easily assing the task, and if you want to do this again later in the game, no problem here as well. For me, this would significantly improve the long-term expierience with the game.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2014, 10:05:07 AM by ccik »

Balazur

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2014, 07:58:30 AM »
Me and my friend reading about this game have agreed that it would be nice to have an opportunity to craft some specialized or even (after doin' some research or gettin' schematics from main base/earth for well ended missions) multi-functional robots...
I personally would like to see a grades of quality of equipment (especially that which was crafted), and more detailed descriptions for malfunctions...
Oh, and not that I'm familiar with MCC crafting system well, I would recommend to add more interactive stuff like that engineering mini-game...
Not to mention that good visualization of crafting is always approved...  ;)

FlyingCheeseCake

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2014, 07:45:09 AM »
At risk of reviving an old topic, I think you chose the best path to walk in this case, Hyper. Older games such as Star Wars Galaxies (pre-NGE of course!) as well as newer ones such as Rust have demonstrated that if players are given the tools to change their world around them as well as the freedom and encouragement to do so they will often enough create their own stories. This couldn't have been achieved with V1 due to the static nature of the base and the environment, and so the phased progression was required to dangle goals in front of the player. As long as you provide enough decision points to allow the player the illusion of control over their environment, I think the sandbox concept is a legitimate one.

If you still have that itch that this doesn't feel "game" enough, I suggest looking at A Tale in the Desert for inspiration. While it certainly had a number of flaws, the basic concept of having large and elusive goals that require the entire community to work together was a good one. It allowed players to play in their own little sandbox, if that was all they wanted, while still providing an end-game goal if the players chose to chase after it.

This may be something to consider given the glaring flaw in the design of pure sandbox games such as Rust: servers will eventually get cluttered with 'stuff' and require a reset. Although it provided me with the chance to be creative in different ways each time, I always found myself growing frustrated with server resets based on arbitrary time periods; I rarely felt as if I had succeeded at something. If there were to be a number of over-arching goals that when completed triggered a server reset, and if they required the cooperation of the majority of the server's players in some manner I think that would provide the sense of closure that is missing from a lot of sandbox games.
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Hyper

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2014, 11:14:52 AM »
Glad to see you finally got in and thanks for your insight.
At this point with the economy active, testers seem to have sensed the goal of success. I will probably add in things like Sid Meyers Railroads game where Ares base is paying premium for xxx . Also adding in global discoveries for reward for minerals and building better sub units.
We have a few story lines to add in as well which will make things more "living the story" and reacting to situations that are presented.
I want to have a finish like monopoly, rise to power, winner take all scenario. Hope more input from users will drive the direction.

FlyingCheeseCake

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2014, 11:35:38 AM »
Cut throat business, Mars style. I dig it. Although hopefully without the family blood feuds that usually result every time I play Monopoly  ::).

This changes how I'm visualizing your end state. I've been picturing something roughly akin to V1 but bigger and with multiple bases. I understand there's the new modularity of the bases and some incarnation of an economic system, but I've been mentally working with the idea that the ultimate goal of each base would be to obtain self-sufficiency. This won't work if the goal is a take-all scenario; the economy may work as a mechanic to enable the transfer of 'wealth', but it doesn't necessitate that transfer. There will have to be some mechanic that motivates the transfer of wealth between players, such as paying rent in Monopoly. I'm intrigued to see how you end up approaching this.
I always liked deadlines...I love the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.

Baneblade

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2015, 04:50:11 PM »
In terms of the "premium" for specific resources (and the economic system as a whole), looking at Offworld Trading Company may give some ideas. I have no idea how feasible it would be, but you could implement some background simulation of Ares Base (consuming and producing resources automatically). If the base itself used up all of a specific resource (they grow too quickly and run low on the resource or players buy up more than their fair share), then there would be a premium demand for that resource. There could also be periodic demands for certain resources (similar to the example from Sid Meyers Railroads). This way, the players can play the market to sabotage their rivals. For example, if one base relies on selling iron products to pay for food (they don't have reliable greenhouses yet), another rival base could seriously cripple them by either driving up the price of food or by crashing the iron products market by dumping products. It would encourage managing your markets carefully lest you mess it up.

Hyper

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #27 on: March 27, 2015, 11:40:11 AM »
We have a Return to Orbit vehicle in game now. It's purpose is to remove excess stock from the game and deliver some specialty parts from the space station. This gives us a way to cause shortages and vary prices. The economy is dynamic to a point, supply / demand kinda thing. Players can short base stock and drive a price up but mostly hoarding stock may be an issue. Still working on the logic for that. We have a Railroads type of scenario in now where you get "Contracts" to deliver items to the main base for premium pay and the contracts will change over time.

Baneblade

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2015, 05:58:10 PM »
Are the contracts per player base or are they universal? Because universal contracts would add another layer of competition to the market.

What I mean by "universal" is "shared by all players" so each base is competing to complete the contract before their rivals. So the first group to complete the objective (for example, delivering a certain amount of a certain resource) would receive the largest reward, followed by a smaller reward for second place and so on. Time-based contracts could also work under this more competitive model (whoever delivers the most product in the allotted time "wins" the contract).

Just throwing in some ideas.

Hyper

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Re: Gameplay
« Reply #29 on: March 28, 2015, 05:49:34 PM »
The first person to deliver on the contract "owns" it. Others can deliver the same product but only the owner will get the extra payday. The player can deliver as much as they can but the contract will expire over time and a new random one made. For each player in the game there will be 2 contracts offered and players will have to compete to see who can deliver first. The play tune will have to be adjusted to make it fair but thats how it runs for now.