Iron Tower Studio ForumsRPGThe New WorldDesign Topic #1: Assuming Control
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Question: Do you want to control allies in combat?
Party & Allies only - 9 (22%)
Any allies, even without your party - 12 (29.3%)
Absolutely not! - 20 (48.8%)
Total Voters: 41

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Author Topic: Design Topic #1: Assuming Control  (Read 2676 times)
desert hamster
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2018, 06:09:57 am »

I dont know what to say. If you can control your allies, you could kill them off to get their stuff on purpose Smile
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Coboney
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« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2018, 07:47:02 am »

Interesting situation overall.

My feeling is generally to keep it to party and allies - one issue with running off with the other group there is you lose that connection to your party and the framework of it being based around their adventures. Also, unless done a few times throughout the game it feels really awkward.

One idea - kinda like mentioned above - is for that wave you could suggest strategies or take actions/assign them to do things that help dictate how it turns out. That gets your character involved some on the periphery of it and impacting things while still keeping the wave going ahead on its own with the resolution being done based on those actions and advice given (presumably with skill and/or stat checks to do it). Then when you come in with party and the remaining thugs you taking control helps keep you engaged with the battle more and means less frustrating AI things happening. If one wanted to make AI control in those cases a tradeoff - it could be a perk or something even if it comes up enough - that you have the ability to command in battle type thing.

But I think a narrative/skill based one to the first wave and then the resultant battle helps give scale that you're wanting without the battle becoming quite as long a slog as you're concerned about players perceiving it. It also gives a lot of opportunities for skills or friends to shine there with the things done and presumably those with more skills and friends outside of combat have a tougher time in it but this shows them using their skills to maximize the situation for the party.
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Pladio
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« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2018, 02:46:56 am »

Just posting what I posted on Steam for discussion purposes:
Quote
I do not think increasing the number of characters makes for a more interesting fight per sé. I think that in this situation there are a couple of potential options:
1. Reduce number of fighters, but add some environment options (i.e. drop a chandelier onto some units or throw sand in their eyes). This adds more tactical options to a tough fight.

2. Keep the number of fighters, but allow you as the leader to give them orders. This can be scripted if need be. (i.e. three of you distract the boss whilst the rest of us deal with the others)

3. Another thing I think would add some depth here would be if you could outfit your band of misfits somehow by previous quests. For example, having done a favour for the amourer, he provides all the units with light armour and if you threatened to kill the drug dealer's wife, he gave you some mushrooms to use give to your soldiers so they become resistant to pain for a couple of turns.

Of course, you could combine any or all of the above with other suggestions too.
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Scott
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« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2018, 02:46:04 pm »

Why shouldn't this phenomenon be reflected in TNW and have your companions make real, human mistakes in combat rather than have them obey your every command like obedient children, but with the efficiency of Navy SEALs?
Because:

1. it's boring watching the computer take actions for you, especially when you're already spending half the fight watching it take actions for the enemy.

2. it's frustrating watching NPCs botch your decisions and trying to guess what they'll do right and what they'll do wrong.

3. players would figure the NPC errors were in fact bugs and flood the forums with complaints

4. NPC limitations are reflected in their stats (chance to hit, etc) so there's no need to gimp inexpert units even further by having them make "mistakes"
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Kirov89
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« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2018, 01:53:50 am »

All of which are very good points. But I still prefer the lone wolf approach like in AoD. Dunno, it had a charm to it...

However, personally, I'll buy the game no matter which way you decide to go. Just follow your instinct and do what makes the most sense for you as developers. If all other aspects of the game exhibit the same quality as AoD, this shouldn't be an issue. I got the feeling that the vast majority of people who disliked AoD were really at odds with the dystopian setting, not some particular design choice. You can never accommodate everyone, so again, do what works best for you.
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Necrolust
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« Reply #20 on: March 20, 2018, 02:47:52 am »

However, personally, I'll buy the game no matter which way you decide to go. Just follow your instinct and do what makes the most sense for you as developers. If all other aspects of the game exhibit the same quality as AoD, this shouldn't be an issue. I got the feeling that the vast majority of people who disliked AoD were really at odds with the dystopian setting, not some particular design choice. You can never accommodate everyone, so again, do what works best for you.
+1
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Spyros
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« Reply #21 on: March 20, 2018, 09:24:58 am »

Since the issue seems to be specifically waiting for uncontrolled NPC's animations, why not keep the turn-based combat but with the visual flow of a phased combat? The characters you control would each have their own animation, but the whole group of enemies would move at the same time (even though their actions have been computed turn-by-turn). The price for this would be apparent inconsistencies in what's displayed, such as someone walking into a grenade's explosion without damage, because he actually had his turn after the grenade's thrower.

Edit: though in case of such confusion, the usual ordered log of actions in the console would disambiguate what happened when necessary.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 09:27:33 am by Spyros » Logged
Fed
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« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2018, 08:44:28 am »

For me personally directly controlling anyone but my character damages the immersion.
I'm okay with watching npc acting. I do hate it when their actions are covered with the fog of war so I'm just sitting and waiting.

I guess it depends on your leaning (in my worldview). If you lean to tactics - you want more control; you have rosourses - A, B and C which you use to solve a problem. If you lean to rpgs - you want the worls to react to your actions and the situation on a per-character level. Thus I don't want the closest characters to be a part of a clockwork mechanism I control - I want them to create an illusion of being alive.
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Kirov89
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2018, 12:48:59 pm »

Fed, you hit the nail on the head! That's exactly what I was trying to say but I kept beating around the bush. I envy your eloquence.
I, too, want a pure RPG, not a tactical game with RPG elements. There's always Jagged Alliance or a gazillion other games for that.

I didn't mind controlling a party in Dungeon Rats 'cause it didn't have the lore and rich world of AoD, so there wasn't that much immersion to begin with.

There's something I forgot to mention in my previous post: even the best video games cannot simulate all the variables in the dynamic of a real life combat situation. Sure, to-hit-chance, action points, hit points, etc... can give a first impression that a character is poor or great in combat, but those stats don't change as often as in RL. What about shitting your pants, trembling hands, weapon that jams, sleep deprivation, an annoying mosquito, slipping on a banana peel, etc...? I could go on and on. Even the fact that you can order an NPC to move a couple meters to the right and he does so meekly and precisely really ruins it for people who were more interested in that character's life story and world views.

Last but not least, this might sound personal but it's on topic: in the past few years I've had a hell of a time trying to get family members to agree on even the slightest issue. I wonder what it would be like to deal with Garrett or Jed in a life-or-death situation...

« Last Edit: March 21, 2018, 12:54:58 pm by Kirov89 » Logged
Spyros
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« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2018, 04:55:49 am »

There's something I forgot to mention in my previous post: even the best video games cannot simulate all the variables in the dynamic of a real life combat situation. Sure, to-hit-chance, action points, hit points, etc... can give a first impression that a character is poor or great in combat, but those stats don't change as often as in RL. What about shitting your pants, trembling hands, weapon that jams, sleep deprivation, an annoying mosquito, slipping on a banana peel, etc...? I could go on and on. Even the fact that you can order an NPC to move a couple meters to the right and he does so meekly and precisely really ruins it for people who were more interested in that character's life story and world views.

How about a chance to panic dependent on conditions? You could order someone around, but the more you risk their lives, the more you risk losing their contribution. You're still in control, but punished for giving unrealistic behaviour to your allies.

Quote
Last but not least, this might sound personal but it's on topic: in the past few years I've had a hell of a time trying to get family members to agree on even the slightest issue. I wonder what it would be like to deal with Garrett or Jed in a life-or-death situation...

Possibly, life-or-death situations select people who can agree somewhat to act together.
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NewAgeOfPower
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« Reply #25 on: March 23, 2018, 05:23:11 pm »

How about a chance to panic dependent on conditions? You could order someone around, but the more you risk their lives, the more you risk losing their contribution. You're still in control, but punished for giving unrealistic behaviour to your allies.

Quote
Last but not least, this might sound personal but it's on topic: in the past few years I've had a hell of a time trying to get family members to agree on even the slightest issue. I wonder what it would be like to deal with Garrett or Jed in a life-or-death situation...

Possibly, life-or-death situations select people who can agree somewhat to act together.
Even better yet, have this modified by the Personal Loyalty & Willpower of the party member and the Charisma & Social Skills of the Main Character.

So a very charismatic guy who inspires lots of personal loyalty from his minions will get them to put their lives on the line reliably, but cowards and the disloyal will have troubles doing so.
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Stellavore
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« Reply #26 on: March 26, 2018, 01:22:52 am »

In regards to the thieves questline in AOD, never underestimate the imagination of the player, oftentimes it will play out a better scenario than actually spelling it out for them by letting them play it.
Regarding the scenario you presented in TNW if you give the player control i think you forfeit the feeling that you are fighting alongside an undisciplined horde of bandits. I think either the waves solution or perhaps making it tactical by deciding where to place allies, like making a tower where you can place one sniper and a melee guy to protect him or something. You could even tie some skills into the choices there ( i remember there being a lot of options when leaving the first town in AOD with the thieves guild based on things like traps skill). Final Fantasy XII had something like that where you had to place different soldiers in different spots to defend against waves, and while the combat itself was boring the tactical aspect made it interesting.
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Pladio
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« Reply #27 on: March 26, 2018, 03:03:38 am »

Another way could be to tell people where to go first, for example:

Four of you, focus on the leader. Two of you come with me and we will get the ranged fighters.
The rest of you get the melee guys.
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Ansa
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« Reply #28 on: March 27, 2018, 07:15:37 pm »

For me personally directly controlling anyone but my character damages the immersion.
I'm okay with watching npc acting. I do hate it when their actions are covered with the fog of war so I'm just sitting and waiting.

I guess it depends on your leaning (in my worldview). If you lean to tactics - you want more control; you have rosourses - A, B and C which you use to solve a problem. If you lean to rpgs - you want the worls to react to your actions and the situation on a per-character level. Thus I don't want the closest characters to be a part of a clockwork mechanism I control - I want them to create an illusion of being alive.

+1 if I wanted to control a bunch of drones, I would play StarCraft instead
Best is to make it an "Follower control" option in game settings - "assume direct control" vs "AI control"
More heavy on coding, but perfect resolve for everyone
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Kirov89
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2018, 09:10:40 pm »

Any decision reached on this particular issue?
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