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  Revenge of the Titans  (Read 88374 times)
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Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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« Reply #60 - Posted 2010-04-05 21:50:56 »

I'm working on the difficulty. It's a very tricky balance. One thing is that I absolutely can't have anyone fail the first 10 levels, and people even get upset if a few aliens get through their defences to begin with. I think by level 7, if you've basically grokked it completely and you're cruising, I'll have it a bit harder.

One thing missing from this alpha demo is the "medals" screen ("achievements", basically). These are your "score" - you get medals for doing various things, and the medals are worth various amounts of points, which will be your entry on the hiscore table.

Cas Smiley

Offline appel

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« Reply #61 - Posted 2010-04-05 22:08:01 »

One thing that bothers me.

Each level is so short that once I've finally built enough defenses, a new level resets everything. Feels redundant having to rebuild everything.

Compare it to Desktop Tower Defense, where you can build a maze and upgrade towers that last you the entire game. Could you imagine that game if you had to rebuild your entire maze after each wave?


In an old C&C game (Red Alert 1 maybe) I remember playing a survival mission. I had to defend a base for some 20 minutes with limited units and resources. I had wave after wave coming to attack me. It was quite fun.

Maybe something like that is missing. You are defending a base in your game, why not have a army style base there instead of just one building. You really don't need much, just some rectangle with entrances, made up of those barricades, with factory, main building, and some limited initial towers.

Even level should maybe contain 3-5 waves of baddies, trying to crack down your base, hitting it from every angle, breaching walls, killing towers. Would make the player much more anxious trying to keep his base alive, repairing structure, rebuilding barricades.

Oh yea, being able to build towers "everywhere", I'm not sure about that.


But, you're completely free to ignore me Cheesy

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Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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« Reply #62 - Posted 2010-04-05 22:19:56 »

Advice ignored  Roll Eyes

This is the game as it's going to be, give or take a few tweaks now. By the time you get to Mars or beyond the levels will last several minutes, and when you're furiously reloading turrets, harvesting factories, placing walls and mines, and generally being strategical, a few minutes is a really long time! All will be revealed in the next alpha...

Cas Smiley

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Offline teletubo
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« Reply #63 - Posted 2010-04-05 22:29:14 »

I'm working on the difficulty. It's a very tricky balance. One thing is that I absolutely can't have anyone fail the first 10 levels, and people even get upset if a few aliens get through their defences to begin with. I think by level 7, if you've basically grokked it completely and you're cruising, I'll have it a bit harder.

One thing missing from this alpha demo is the "medals" screen ("achievements", basically). These are your "score" - you get medals for doing various things, and the medals are worth various amounts of points, which will be your entry on the hiscore table.

Cas Smiley

I don't know why do you think people will get upset failing in the first TEN levels . it's like 40 minutes of non stop winning ! Do you really think your players are so afraid to lose ? As you said, you'll make the levels shorter. So I don't think it's a big deal if you have to restart after 2 minutes on the level .

You are also free to ignore my advice, but you are not free to tell it so openly !

Online princec

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« Reply #64 - Posted 2010-04-05 22:40:17 »

Watch me Cheesy

Actually, seriously: I have to be very careful about talking to the sorts of people that hang around in developer forums. We're all really quite hardcore gamers here, we analyse things thoroughly, pick them apart, figure stuff out fast...

... we're not the target audience for the game. The target audience is not very good at games, likes "challenge" to mean "very easy", and consists of the other 99% of the population. I absolutely know what makes games sell now. Easy games sell. And I don't just mean sort of easy. I mean games that it's actually quite hard to lose. These people hate losing, at all. If they lose a level while they're learning the ropes, they just quit in disgust, and bugger off, never to be seen again. So I've had to design the game so that it is like boiling a frog - start them off in a pan of cold water and then slowly warm the water up so they don't jump out.

Cas Smiley

Offline Riven
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« Reply #65 - Posted 2010-04-05 22:45:47 »

Well, true, but please change the popup-menu, many games use left-click to cancel, not to open a window that takes over the screen, it really gets in the way while playing. I was nearly cursing when it kept popping up.

Also keep in mind that you have to make your game enjoyable by reviewers. They will notify your target audience, so you have to keep the reviewers happy too.

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Offline jojoh

JGO Knight


Medals: 5
Projects: 7


games4j.com


« Reply #66 - Posted 2010-04-05 22:53:13 »

Ah yes, brilliant  Cool

Well polished and awesome tune. Only complaint there is that it should be more music  Cheesy . All sounds are great as a matter of fact. Who, what, how?

I will unfortunately chime in on first 15 lvls are too easy. Or more importantly, it would be great if the first 10 levels would really show of the advantages of the new weapon/tool introduced. As it is, one can cruise through with just the basic weapon and not really learning anything in the tutorial levels. Not really until last level on moon that things heated up, and then I didn't really have a good idea of how to solve it, since it had been too easy up til that point Smiley It actually seemed that getting lucky with the map was most important. Being able to place factories out of the path of enemies seemed like my best strategic move  Cheesy Enemies should maybe attack money producing buildings if they can do that safely.

Miner tweak: I thought mines were a bit too effective(yet quite satisfactory, so maybe OK) and collector arrived a bit late and a bit pricey. Fixed keys for selecting units to build would be really nice. Shorter tutorial levels seems like a good idea.

Had several Intel GFX card crashes, but one that didn't seem related to that:
1  
hmm floor no worky for mine explosions?... FLOOR:-4.0+getMapY:()588.0


Offline dishmoth
« Reply #67 - Posted 2010-04-06 08:16:02 »

Actually, seriously: I have to be very careful about talking to the sorts of people that hang around in developer forums. We're all really quite hardcore gamers here, we analyse things thoroughly, pick them apart, figure stuff out fast...
... we're not the target audience for the game.

I think the point that people are making is that the demo is not challenging enough to be representative of the later levels in the game.

But it's also not quick&simple enough to be representative of the early levels.

Simon

P.S. If you must have the pop-up menu, how about making it really small and simple during the early levels of the game, and having it grow to its current wordy state as the game progresses?

Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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« Reply #68 - Posted 2010-04-06 10:15:53 »

I've done some more difficulty tuning - hopefully the game will adjust its difficulty rather sooner to provide a taste of challenge by about level 6 or so. Also, by shortening levels 1-5 by about 25%, hopefully the game won't be quite so dull for people who pick things up quickly. (The first 5 levels should last no more than about 10 minutes of actual play time).

WRT the popup menu interface - I think I'm going to make all the buildings available via shortcut keys (eg. ZXCVBNM, for turrets), and see if I can squeeze most of the buildings in on the left side of the GUI in a series of mini-tabs. The problem being I've only got 240-odd logical pixels or so that I can use and there are 24 building types or so and 10 pixels isn't enough. The right hand side of the GUI is taken up with timers.. I could theoretically shrink those somewhat and put the less-often-used buildings on the right.

So, expect a new build in the next 2 weeks or so, with the Moon all finished and lots of little tweaks as per everyone's suggestions! Though no major gameplay changes at this stage.

... but having said that I've been considering a metagame where you get to choose what new building to research next each level. You'd get to see and use some of the exotic stuff much sooner and your choices might affect your progress for better or worse.

Cas Smiley

Offline jojoh

JGO Knight


Medals: 5
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« Reply #69 - Posted 2010-04-06 10:45:36 »

Forgot one more thing I was gonna say. It would be nice to have a fast forward/turbo speed button. Several times I had a good defense set up, but the gidrahs were slowly walking sideways trying to find weakest point to attack, so the last 30 sec or so was just waiting. Most of the time I had plenty of money at the end, so I could add a turret and some mines to kill them anyway, but it didn't feel quite right, especially if awards will be given based on money left at the end.

It would also be cool with some more rock formations (like islands in the "roads"), and more bends in the paths. That way you would have to do more strategical decisions.

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Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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« Reply #70 - Posted 2010-04-06 11:51:50 »

I'll have a think about fast forward. On the face of it it shouldn't be too hard to implement (just run tick() ten times before calling update()/render()). I'll try an experiment tonight.

Cas Smiley

Offline CaptainJester

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Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #71 - Posted 2010-04-06 12:04:12 »

Looking great.  Runs smooth on my machine.

2.6GHz AMD Athlon quad core
1 GB RAM
GeForce GT220 1GB RAM
Java 1.6.0_18

Maybe you could have a hot key to center the view on a message that is happening.  Like collect from a factory or a building that is being attacked.

Online princec

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« Reply #72 - Posted 2010-04-06 12:51:24 »

Already got hotkeys for that (see tooltips on the buttons in the top left of the HUD - T, F, and B keys)

Cas Smiley

Offline elias4444

Junior Devvie





« Reply #73 - Posted 2010-04-06 14:57:16 »

Quote
... we're not the target audience for the game. The target audience is not very good at games, likes "challenge" to mean "very easy", and consists of the other 99% of the population. I absolutely know what makes games sell now. Easy games sell. And I don't just mean sort of easy. I mean games that it's actually quite hard to lose. These people hate losing, at all. If they lose a level while they're learning the ropes, they just quit in disgust, and bugger off, never to be seen again. So I've had to design the game so that it is like boiling a frog - start them off in a pan of cold water and then slowly warm the water up so they don't jump out.

TOTALLY agree! What about implementing a difficulty setting? Just something between "Normal" and "Uber Tough For Real Men" mode?

Online princec

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« Reply #74 - Posted 2010-04-06 15:52:47 »

I always feel a bit lame by the thought of having to choose a difficulty setting. It's bad on both fronts: it feels like the game designer crapped out by being unable to make a game everyone can enjoy; and the player has to pigeonhole themselves according to unknown values that the developer predefined. (Like, in an FPS, am I "Expert" or "Beginner"? How can I know until I've played the game? What if "Beginner" is too hard? etc).

This is why my games have auto-difficulty tuning in. It's harder to get right but when it's just right everyone has fun.

Cas Smiley

Offline Eli Delventhal

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Game Engineer


« Reply #75 - Posted 2010-04-06 16:03:08 »

I always feel a bit lame by the thought of having to choose a difficulty setting. It's bad on both fronts: it feels like the game designer crapped out by being unable to make a game everyone can enjoy; and the player has to pigeonhole themselves according to unknown values that the developer predefined. (Like, in an FPS, am I "Expert" or "Beginner"? How can I know until I've played the game? What if "Beginner" is too hard? etc).

This is why my games have auto-difficulty tuning in. It's harder to get right but when it's just right everyone has fun.

Cas Smiley
I agree with this - if you can get auto-tuning difficulty right then the game is perfect. Multiple difficulty levels are cool and all, but what I observed from that is that the hard levels are sometimes too easy and the easy ones are sometimes too hard. The best way to do it is to is have the difficulty adjust as you play, so that there are never lull periods that are too long or tough periods that are too short, or vise versa. You want the player to just about lose with every wave, but not quite. Thus any loss is based upon human error, rather than the game getting annoyingly difficult.

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Offline appel

JGO Wizard


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I always win!


« Reply #76 - Posted 2010-04-06 16:09:15 »

Having a difficulty setting that the user can select increases replay value.

Instead of just finishing the game once, the player might return to the game and try to beat the "hard" setting. DTT is a good example of this.

Also, I remember the days when people were playing Doom, and if someone said they beat it, the next question would be "On what difficulty level?".

Personally, I believe Revenge of the Titans could benefit from a user chosen difficulty setting, just for the sake of increasing replay value, because after all, the player is purchasing the game and might want to go through it more than once.

Perhaps after completing the game, it automatically unlocks an increased difficulty setting.

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Offline elias4444

Junior Devvie





« Reply #77 - Posted 2010-04-06 16:37:26 »

I think the auto-tuning idea works. I just think it's sad that so many people will stop playing a game if they "lose" to it. My 9 year-old son is that way.

Offline delt0r

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Computers can do that?


« Reply #78 - Posted 2010-04-06 16:41:11 »

Personally I far prefer choosing a level/hardness. It hard to get hardness right, and different people have different tastes. A few rounds and its too easy and i start again with a harder setting. If i am one of these must win easily people. I choose the easiest setting at the get go. Everyone wins.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.--Albert Einstein
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #79 - Posted 2010-04-06 16:56:48 »

I also like it easy.

I think the best combination of these two techniques is definitely Left 4 Dead. It has difficulty settings, but it also has an incredibly well-built adaptive unit spawner. So even if I play on Easy I'm never bored, and if I play on Expert I don't feel the game is stupidly difficult, I just feel that I need to practice more. If you really think about it, that incredibly well-honed balance pretty much is Left 4 Dead. The rest is decent cooperative FPS gameplay that we've all seen before.

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Offline Matzon

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Medals: 19
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I'm gonna wring your pants!


« Reply #80 - Posted 2010-04-06 17:59:45 »

... but having said that I've been considering a metagame where you get to choose what new building to research next each level. You'd get to see and use some of the exotic stuff much sooner and your choices might affect your progress for better or worse.

Cas Smiley
or you could consider having two types of play modes - arcade and strategy?

Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 422
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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #81 - Posted 2010-04-06 18:52:22 »

I think a survival mode would be fun. I'll get the thing out the door first though.

Cas Smiley

Offline elias4444

Junior Devvie





« Reply #82 - Posted 2010-04-06 19:23:41 »

While you're at it, think you could add some dragons? I like mermaids too. Throw in a few unicorns for good measure, and then include a solar-system-wide economy for trading resources with other players online. Also, a 3D view of the battlefield would be cool, along with a small ship to pilot around yourself.  Wink

Seriously though, you're being a good sport, and I think the game is coming along great. So don't ruin it by implementing too many of our ideas.

Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 422
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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #83 - Posted 2010-04-06 19:28:34 »

Fear not, I've made that mistake before Wink But some of the best ideas come from forums. Mostly I need to fix the various shortcomings that have come up consistently everywhere. I just got fast forward working (10x normal speed) - took all of 5 lines of code, brilliant Smiley
1  
2  
3  
4  
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      GameScreen gameScreen = GameScreen.getInstance();
      if (Keyboard.isKeyDown(Keyboard.KEY_F) && gameScreen.isOpen() && !gameScreen.isBlocked()) {
         for (int i = 0; i < FAST_FORWARD_SPEED; i ++) {
            gameScreen.tick();
         }
      }


Cas Smiley

Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 51
Projects: 4


I always win!


« Reply #84 - Posted 2010-04-06 19:30:05 »

I want nukes!! I'd like to be able to nuke those boffing boffins. =)

Ok, I think this thread is like a train out of control full of children high on candy.

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Offline h3ckboy

JGO Coder


Medals: 5



« Reply #85 - Posted 2010-04-06 19:34:08 »

I want nukes!! I'd like to be able to nuke those boffing boffins. =)

Ok, I think this thread is like a train out of control full of children high on candy.

that seems to happen a lot Smiley


really great game. I wasted quite a lot of time on it.

one thing that I kept wanting was a zoom out function, cause then I can see the entire battlefield, rathat than frantically flinging my mouse around.
Offline kappa
« League of Dukes »

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★★★★★


« Reply #86 - Posted 2010-04-06 19:51:15 »

btw just curious, what happen to the little solider that were suppose to be protecting your base? think I read about them in some blog post for the game.
Online princec

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« Reply #87 - Posted 2010-04-06 19:54:23 »

Zooming is sadly beyond my feeble abilities. And Java's as well - at normal resolution there can be 8,000 sprites per frame and it barely keeps up at 60Hz. With 4x that many sprites I don't think it'd cope.

The little soldiers come from a building called the Droid Factory, which you get on Mars when the aliens start using gidlets to attack you Smiley (The gidlets cannot be targeted by turrets, so you have to send the droids to go mano-a-mano to deal with them with their tiny laser guns)

Cas Smiley

Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 16
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Mojang Specifications


« Reply #88 - Posted 2010-04-07 14:57:00 »

I absolutely know what makes games sell now. Easy games sell. And I don't just mean sort of easy. I mean games that it's actually quite hard to lose.

Er, no.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_video_games

[edit:]
The games that sell are either easy games where you build something over a long time (sims, nintendogs), or hardcore nerdtastic games (mario, halo, mw).

Play Minecraft!
Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 422
Projects: 3
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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #89 - Posted 2010-04-07 15:48:54 »

I don't think that comparing the retail AAA marketplace with downloadable indies is really a fair comparison... I've got plenty of evidence to suggest that easy sells though so I'm going to go on that hunch Smiley

Cas Smiley

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