Iron Tower Studio ForumsRPGSystem Crash (Moderator: Gareth)A Design Question
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Question: Should I tie cards/decks to campaigns and remove SenseSim/Black Market from the main menu?
Yes, the design is awkward/unclear at the moment - 0 (0%)
Yes, I never use the Black Market/SenseSim from the Main Menu anyway - 3 (75%)
No, it's fine as is - 0 (0%)
I don't care either way - 1 (25%)
Total Voters: 4

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Gareth
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« on: December 03, 2013, 01:06:00 am »

There's an aspect of the System Crash UI design that I feel is a bit awkward and confusing. And I am considering changing it. So I thought, before I did that, that I'd ask people who'd played the beta for their feedback.

When you start the game, from the main menu you can choose to play a SenseSim game ( a quick random match), and you can access the Black Market (the deck editor).

But.

Behind the scenes, the game saves out the data representing your Profile. This includes data for any campaigns you've played, your unlocked cards, and your decks.

Now, your unlocked cards and decks are not tied to any campaign. The idea is that if you unlock a card in any campaign, it's unlocked for your entire profile. Likewise, decks that you create are global to your profile.

Your earned credits, however, are not. I didn't want you to be able to unbalance expansion campaigns by being able to play Campaign A, earn tons of credits, then take them into Campaign B, which is balanced around you only having so much money to unlock cards slowly.

So, the awkward part is how your cards and decks are global to your profile, but credits are campaign-specific. This means that if you load up the Black Market from the main menu, you can create and edit decks, but not buy and sell cards. Whereas if you load the Black Market from a Campaign game, you can do so.

I feel it's not hugely clear to new players why it's like that. I did it so that, even without a campaign loaded, players can fire up System Crash and play a quick game. But what I wonder is, does anyone do that? Have I catered for a case that no one cares about, making things more confusing in the process?

It's also a half-measure which doesn't quite fix the balance concern. Sure, you can't take your credits across from one campaign to another, but you can take your unlocked cards and decks. Which means that a similar problem exists, you can play Campaign A, unlock a ton of strong cards, then go onto Campaign B and steamroll. At the time, I was thinking that any expansion campaigns would assume you'd have unlocked all the cards from the base game, so you would only be unlocking new, expansion-specific cards anyway.

But now I'm thinking that may not always be the case. Maybe I'll want to ship an expansion campaign that has you starting with limited or weak cards again. Which would mean I need to tie the unlocked cards/decks to the campaign they were earned in.

The downside would be that you'd need to recreate your favourite decks in each campaign you play.

I dunno, I'm torn. What do you guys think? Is it a non-issue, am I worrying for nothing? Should I leave it as is, or make cards/decks campaign-locked and nuke the SenseSim/Black Market buttons on the main menu screen?
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JuJu
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« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2013, 08:36:14 am »

Wouldn't the best idea be to make decks available for editing from anywhere, but not usable  if you don't have the cards in the specific campaign?

You enter the same kind of editor from anywhere in game, but you chose the campaign in it, whose rulesets and cards apply. If there are cards that you don't have in the selected campaign, they are greyed out. Cards not available in campaign at all could be colored red. That way, the players can put together the dream deck they like, test it in sense-sim, immediately see which cards they don't have for campaign, change those which don't exist and work toward earning them.

As far as I know it shouldn't be too hard to implement, it would give more flexibility in future expansions (possibly even core rule changes for example deck size) and be so much more convenient for the player, rather than having to manage and crossbuild decks for multiple campaigns.

Edit: If it wasn't clear from the post: Have unlocked card list for each campaign, but global deck list. Crosscheck lists if deck use valid.

Also if checking individual cards is too much hassle to program and requires too much interface changes, simply grey out unsuitable decks when choosing them from campaign deck editor.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 08:42:38 am by JuJu » Logged
MaximillionMiles
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« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2013, 07:57:04 pm »

I honestly don't mind too much either way. I might have gotten a little confused at the beginning, but that was about it.

As of now, I use the black market + sense sim from the main menu when I pop into the game just to test out some new strategy, using the profile with all the cards unlocked (testing helper campaign). But I wouldn't really mind another step, and if you feel it would make the interface more intuitive I'm ok with it. Either way works.
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Gareth
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2013, 07:52:40 am »

Quote
Wouldn't the best idea be to make decks available for editing from anywhere, but not usable  if you don't have the cards in the specific campaign?

Then number of available card copies becomes an issue.

Say you play Campaign1, unlock 4 copies of a card, go into Campaign2 and unlock 1 copy. How many should you see in your deck editor screen in Campaign2?

1 - because that's how many you unlocked in Campaign2
4 - because you've unlocked 4 already, and you shouldn't get any more on the first unlock?
5 - because you've unlocked 5 copies across all the campaigns.

Note, the last 2 options could easily unbalance Campaign 2, if you're unlocking cards at a much more rapid rate than expected.

At the moment, I'm leaning to just making it campaign specific. Simpler, less confusing.
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Joseph
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 01:39:16 am »

I'm not sure just how similar this is to JuJu's idea but here goes:

If the point of blocking the player from using certain cards is to make sure they don't have certain cards that would be deemed overpowered in the campaign then why not, when you make a campaign, just have a checklist for which campaign's cards are allowed. This is pretty simple and also easy to use for users should you bring in any kind of modding or "create your own campaign" system.

So when choosing your deck you could just be told that you have cards in your deck that aren't available for the given campaign. Might be a bit of a downer for anyone hoping to use their favourite cards but I think if you communicate the card restrictions beforehand (And possibly tie it in with the campaign's story? A prequel campaign to a pre existing one, maybe) then people won't be too upset.
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