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1  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: Game feeling "Short" and "Metagaming" is directly tied to how the story is told. on: October 03, 2018, 08:58:12 am
I read the Devs say that two of the most popular complaints about age of decadence is that the game felt way too short and that the structure of the game greatly encouraged meta gaming. Now I have seen them trying to address these two complaints in their next title,

The main reason the AoD felt short (even though it was not due to extreme replayability) was because of branching storylines and completely different playthroughs depending on the chosen class. I'd say even more, that the length of each, individual playthrough was perfect. Not too short, and not too long. Let me give Pillars of Eternity as an example. My first (and last) playthrough took me about 180 hours, doing everything with both expansions. While it is a great game, I simply didn't have time nor will to play it again. Gave up after 5 hours of the second playthrough.

The AoD allows us to try completely different builds, visit completely different locations and experience completely different quests, depending on our choices and our class. All of that within a reasonable playtime.

Another thing that I like about AoD is that there is almost none of the extremely time consuming activity that I call 'barrel looting', that is prevalent in many other RPGs. What I mean by that is that in order to get a decent amount of money to buy better equipment, you have to literally spend tens of hours on pointless and mundane crap, such as destroying every barrel and box to loot it and then travel to the other end of the gameworld to sell it to the best merchant.
2  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: CSG update #27 - State of the Game (the first animations) on: October 03, 2018, 08:12:01 am

I`m afraid you might be too far into the final design of your animations, but I want to put one thing out there that ALWAYS bothers me with ALL games: Pulling out the weapons (& putting them back). Why do characters in isometric RPGs always walk around with their weapon in hand like a moron? Especially if it is a handgun. A good animation of my guy actually drawing the gun and then shooting would be much more important to me than how realistic the shooting animation is exactly. If these would be different when wounded... omg  Salute

It's mainly a resource constraint. Most isometric RPGs are made by relatively small companies, so we can't expect them to care about every detail of animation.

I agree that handguns should be discharged using both hands, but it's not something that I would lose my sleep over. There are more important things in this game, such as quest design, choices & consequences, replayability etc.
The AoD was not the prettiest game, but its atmosphere was phenomenal, thanks to a great writing, amazing replayability, awesome music and a sort of 'soul' (even though I don't believe in souls).
3  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Re: Make Ol' Beelzebub a central gameplay/plot element. on: October 03, 2018, 07:55:07 am
As Vince mentioned in his earlier messages, Ol’ Beelzebub is going to be one of the ‘bosses’ that lurks somewhere deep inside ruins of Wasteland.
Yet, I propose to make it more than just a ‘boss’. It would be quite thrilling if we could embark on a game spanning journey to get rid of the Ol’ Beelzebub (or not to get rid of him, he might become useful).
The reason ol' Bub is still around is because nobody really cares about it, as it's preying only on ill-equipped 'adventurers' who venture too deep into the ruins. It doesn't threaten the rest of the ship, doesn't demand maidens as sacrifice, and - worst of all - it doesn't have a hoard to plunder, so the only people who genuinely care about ol' Bub are the down-on-their-luck adventurers. Thus raising an army of mercenaries and paying them out of your own pocket to slay a dragon harassing peasants would be the very definition of heroic fantasy, which is something we want to avoid.

Not to mention the plot and quests are set in stone at this point and any changes would cause delays.

Looks like I misunderstood your description of Ol' Beelzebub.  Grin

I agree  that I might have ventured too far into 'heroic' territory.

The basic point that I tried to make is that it would be nice, if we had more than one option to get rid of Ol' Beelzebub, i.e. not just pierce it with bullets, but as I wrote earlier, another options could be electrocuting it, or poisoning it, that sort of thing.

However, if your schedule is tight, then I agree that it may be more appropriate not to add elements that won't be polished enough, due to time constraints.

Best Luck!
4  RPG / Colony Ship: A Post-Earth Role Playing Game / Make Ol' Beelzebub a central gameplay/plot element. on: October 02, 2018, 10:09:13 am
As Vince mentioned in his earlier messages, Ol’ Beelzebub is going to be one of the ‘bosses’ that lurks somewhere deep inside ruins of Wasteland.
Yet, I propose to make it more than just a ‘boss’. It would be quite thrilling if we could embark on a game spanning journey to get rid of the Ol’ Beelzebub (or not to get rid of him, he might become useful).

What do we know about it? With most certainty it is an animal. Mutated, irradiated, changed, enlarged, but still an animal. It is dangerous, sure. It presents a significant, yet somewhat mystic, threat to many people, that is correct. Most scavengers and Wasteland scouts would like to get it killed. We can do that. Even though it would be extremely difficult and require a great deal of preparation.

But how can we destroy it? We can try with direct firepower. Yet, it would most likely be very challenging, and I mean VERY challenging (one of toughest fights in the game). It should require a team of mercenaries equipped with best and top-of-the-line toys, that we can lay our hands on aboard this rusted vessel. It is obvious that it would be also extremely expensive to hire them and to provide them with the needed equipment. However, as humans, we are more than just some trigger happy apes, aren’t we?

We are on a spaceship. Almost derelict as it may seem, but some systems are still working. How about using some long forgotten electric equipment running along the walls, to get ourselves some roasted snake?  Of course, doing that would not be as easy as it sounds. The equipment is broken, needs some spare parts, and someone with a knowledge how to fix it. So, what do we do from here?

1. Oh, Jackson’s Riflemen are known to hoard a lot of stuff inside their shuttle bay. Hmm, how do we convince them to give them to us? Buy it? Too expensive (however still possible).

2. Maybe beg them to help us out of kindness? Well, they may kindly help us with a bullet between our eyes. Yet, they may be more inclined to help us if we do something for them, like getting one faction
 against the other for the benefit of Riflemen interests. (afterwards they should be more willing to give us the spare parts we need, or to provide mercenaries for a direct assault against the Ol’ one).

3. Try a direct attack against main Jackson’s Riflemen stronghold (good luck with this one) – RIP, or maybe there is a way for that to succeed….read further below.

4. Try to steal it, but it would require a master ‘ninja’ to achieve it.

5. Convince the Regulators and some main ‘Houses’ to attack Jackson’s Riflemen shuttle bay. Why would they do that? Well, the entire game revolves around power struggles between various factions. Maybe it would be in their interest to strike Riflemen HQ? However Jackson’s Riflemen are not greenhorns, they may be able to repel this assault. But it would most likely make them weakened, so it may open new ways to get what you want. Maybe they will help you defeat Ol’ Beelzebub to get a great reward for its head, which in turn, would allow the Riflemen to rebuild their strength. Or they may give you the spare parts you need, in exchange for your help to try to convince other factions, that Riflemen are still as strong as before the assualt, even though they were almost crippled.

These are just two examples of different ways to deal with our snake-lord. Killing by bullets and killing by electrocution.

But there may be more. How about those unknown chemicals hidden in some research vault deep inside Hydroponics? Can we use it to try to poison the Ol’ Beelzebub? But how to retrieve them? How to handle those compounds without poisoning ourselves? We may need help from some expert chemist. Not to mention hostile flora and fauna that calls Hydroponics its home. And there are some toxic spores in the air. Filters and protective suits are a neccessity.

Again it would require getting help from various factions, or gathering a significant amount of money to acquire the equipment we need, not to mention finding said expert chemist. Maybe ECLSS guys can be of use here? But they certainly won’t be willing to venture outside their safe fortress to hunt for some unknown chemicals, or to risk their lives in an (seemingly futile) attempt to inject poison into the Beelzebub’s body.
However ECLSS have their own problems, so there is a probability that they may decide to follow you into the toxic depths of Hydroponics and the Wasteland, if you can help them deal with other factions.

And finally, I once again must emphasize that Ol’ Beelzebub is an animal. And animals can be lured if we can guess what they want. Let’s give us an option (extremely difficult, like no more than 1% of players should be able to pull it off), to bait Beelzebub (ONLY ONCE) into any battle of our choosing, where the snake-lord would annihilate anything that moves (enemies and friends alike). We would have to hide from its wrath, obviously.

Vince wrote that attacking factions’ headquarters would be unimaginably difficult, even if we managed to get support from other factions.
So how about we bring (ONLY ONCE in game) Ol’ Beelzebub into play here?
If we manage to acquire the knowledge about its physiology and behavioral patterns, based for example, on data we may find inside the most-difficult-to-reach locations, such as the ship bridge, or the Mission Control etc, then we can figure out its needs.
It would then require a long, game-spanning effort to gather what we need, by helping various factions, stealing, sneaking, attacking, connected with other quests (choices & consequences and replayability). Finally, we tease Beelzebub with our ‘present’ and lure it to the place we want it to come to. And then the hell would begin.

Remember you wanted to assault the Jackson’s Riflemen Shuttle Bay? But you are too weak to pull it off, and you were unsuccessful in convincing other factions to do it? Well, if you can lure the Ol’ One into the Shuttle Bay, the Jackson’s Riflemen would become just a tale, nothing more.
In other words, we should be able to lure Beelzebub to any battle of our choosing, where it will wreak total mayhem, killing everything in its path (ONCE during the entire game),
That is, of course, only if we manage to find what it wants (as I said no more than 1% of players should be able to pull it off, and it should require visiting various extremely difficult to reach locations, and gathering items that in itself require navigating ship’s politics to get them).

Basically what I propose, is that Ol’ Beelzebub would become a sort of gameplay/plot element in itself, just as much as the power struggles between various factions and the final fate of our ship. Not necessary to deal with, as we may simply leave it alone to its slumber, but if we decide to do something about it, we should have a long list of options to choose from.

PS: Sorry for mistakes, as English is not my native language.
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