Slippery slopes and intuitive games - Page 4

Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Discuss game development here, from a distinct game project to an accessible third-party mutator, down to the interaction and design of individual units if you like.

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imbaczek
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by imbaczek »

nobody wants to add farms to *A games, they do just fine (minus some overpowered static defenses.)
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Teutooni
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Teutooni »

Forboding Angel wrote:No, because that would mean that if you make the slightest mistake, You lose. Battles decided in 5 minutes? No thanks.
Unless the enemy makes a mistake too, hence back and forth gameplay.
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KDR_11k
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by KDR_11k »

Deciding games over slight mistakes is nasty, of course deciding over a fatal mistake is normal (hence it being called "fatal" :P) but again the point of this discussion is that the game should never remain for long in a state where the outcome is clear and unavoidable.
manored
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by manored »

Forboding Angel wrote:No, because that would mean that if you make the slightest mistake, You lose. Battles decided in 5 minutes? No thanks.
Well if the enemy you are facing is so dam good to be perfect the maximum you could do would be to draw the game... in a realistic situation both players will be comiting a lot of small mistakes... :)
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Teutooni
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Teutooni »

manored wrote:Well if the enemy you are facing is so dam good to be perfect the maximum you could do would be to draw the game... in a realistic situation both players will be comiting a lot of small mistakes... :)
Exactly, and I'm saying the winning player should be more prone to mistakes to make it even. For example, have large area exponentially difficult to defend from raids, have an effective way to kill swarms (dgun?), etc. That said, I think BA for example plays well.
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smoth
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by smoth »

Saktoth wrote: I dont think gundam is slippery slope, the second time KDR mentioned Gundam i was just continuing my train of thought about other games.

My point was:
<KDR_11k> Try Gundam, you can't do much in that during the early game :P
<[LCC]Saktoth> Ya but its also boring.
Not being able to do much during the early game = boring. I want to have active and constant interaction between the players, aggressive territorial acquisition, raiding and expansion denial. I want map control to be important and combat meaningful. But i dont want the game to be over in a single engagement. Its a delicate balance.

The discussion was mostly about 'How to solve the problem with games based around territorial resources being slippery slopes?'. 'Remove territorial resources entirely' isnt a solution to this problem in the system, its replacing the system with a different one

As for adding an incredibly strong commander to downplay the importance of early military victories, this can either make early interaction seem pointless, or only help the losing player hold on to his final 10% of the map, delaying the game once its already over.
Early game can be brutal, KDR rapes pretty good with char as the commander ship turns slow, barely keeping pace with that rascally char :P. Also, late game the commander can be taken out with 5 powered gms(machine gun ones) or goufhs/zaku2fz/stuff on dodais. Not too bad really.

Thing is saktoth, by making territorial combat rewarding in anyway you have slippery slope in an obvious way. All games are going to have it. It is hard to say that losing a single unit is NOT hurting you. However, I have seen people turn games around pretty well.

Ultimately this all gets about as silly as some of the 40k this race beats that race discussions. Yes, you can have a harder time but utilizing your units to turn the tide is important.

I propose you look at it more like the labyrinth board game with the marbles. it is a matter of one person having leverage over the other, then someone tips the situation a bit to force that marble to roll back. It has a certain flow to it. I would rather act like a wounded dog while I prepare my real force elsewhere.
Saktoth
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Saktoth »

Teutooni wrote:If two players are of equal skill, and have all the same options, the first one to make a mistake should soon find himself on a slippery slope, lest the games be "brick wall" stalemates, hardly the kind of back and forth Saktoth described.
Its all about degrees. There is no such thing as 'perfect play', esp in spring mods. We arent executing some build order and one deviation means we lose- a standard game between high skill players is littered with mistakes from start to finish, large and small. What constitutes a 'fatal' mistake is up to the games design itself and the enemies ability to exploit it.

It is very bad to prolong the inevitable, rather, methods should be found for increasing as a proportion of the total game time the period where the game is evenly matched and players are actively trying to get the upper hand from one another- its the most interesting part of the game. Having the period where both players have an even chance of winning end with the first engagement (which someone has to win) is often just unsatisfying, especially if there are significant buildup and wind down phases inbetween these moments of truth.

Of course, as in Arghs example of KP, you cant have the whole game be an 'evenly matched battle', as thats just boring. This comes back to a very old design principle of mine- as the game progresses the game should get more and more punishing of mistakes. Nukes are a prime example here- easy to counter but devastating if not countered, allowing the game to be lost or won on the existence of 1 structure- the antinuke. This ensures the battle ends eventually.
Forboding Angel wrote:No, because that would mean that if you make the slightest mistake, You lose. Battles decided in 5 minutes? No thanks.
Have you played Kernel Panic? Its an excellent game. :D
Warlord Zsinj
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Warlord Zsinj »

It's similar to a bell curve.

-x is losing, +x is winning.

right now t=1 is what is happening now with most mods (incl. IW). T=2 is more ideal. The perfect graph shape probably isn't a bell curve, but it's a good approximation.

Image

The problem being that on both sides of the apex it's a quick route down.

The fact of the matter is that at the apex of the curve is where the most fun is, so you want the upper percentage of the game to be able to occur for long enough that someone starting to lose can tip the scales back in their favour. You need to balance your resources or gameplay such that the 'apex' is flatter. You can literally see the slippery slope of T=1 compared to T=2.

How do it varies on the specific design of the game. Talking here is ultimately all academic; I'd like to see some physical examples of dealing with slippery slope dynamics in games...
Saktoth
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Saktoth »

Warlord Zsinj wrote:right now t=1 is what is happening now with most mods (incl. IW). T=2 is more ideal.Talking here is ultimately all academic; I'd like to see some physical examples of dealing with slippery slope dynamics in games...
I think IW suffers from this particularly. I think BA and CA have softer curves. For physical examples of why their curves are not as steep as say, KP or IW:

1. Static defense. Obviously this benefits a player who is losing.
2. Reclaim. A successful defense allows a player to make a comeback.
3. Firmer and broader counter system, especially in CA.
4. Stronger economic limiters on rate of expansion (requiring builders).
5. Emphasis on unit micro (infantry micro is deliberately discouraged by the system in IW as it confers little benefit) allowing skill and effective use of small numbers of units to overcome economic superiority.

Id just like to say again though that despite KP's slope, the game is designed around it. There are 4 units per faction, 90% of the game is played with 1 unit and it lasts no longer than it needs to. IW quite obviously isnt meant to be this sort of game.
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SwiftSpear
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by SwiftSpear »

KDR_11k wrote:Careful with RPS gameplay. If you make that depend on unittypes you pretty much shift the inclination of the slope to the build process instead of the actual battle. I don't think any real life battles were really won by one side having the counter unit to the other side (e.g. real life antiair sucks pretty badly and doesn't really counter air, only fighters can really fight air effectively). How did the 300 Spartans defend Termopylae? Not by having their spears counter Persians or something, they won because of superior tactics. Having victory depend on who made which units (though you'll probably just see equal amounts of every unit) is stupid, it means the battle is decided before it's even fought. The battle should be decided by the battle, by the tactics players exhibit during the battle and by the terrain it's fought on.
Yes. Absolutely. I'm not advocating mindless RPS mechanics as the end all for strategy. What I am saying is that, as a game designer, you NEED to realize, that even if they attempt to even them as much as possible, simply due to the nature of units in a physics based system some RPS mechanics will exist... and furthermore, because they will exist, you need to design and control them.

Just as absolutely, as a game designer, since your unit roles will provide for advantages and disadavatages based on terrain and your enemy's awareness of your forces, you need to design a game that is balanced around those components as well. Both of those components are totally and utterly determine how well your game plays, and how steep your slippery slope is. Not thinking about them, and understanding them, is akin to building a house without considering the materials it's made out of, or taking any measurements.

If your game is entirely based on RPS, it doesn't really solve the problem, it just dumbs down the game to a game of chance. If your game is entirely based around tactics, all it takes is a tactical mastery and the slippery slope suddenly jumps backwards (like starcraft). IMO, the quality of an RTS game directly reflects the deliberation and balancing of the interaction components of different counter mechanics, both situational and absolute.

It's still possible to luck out without any real deliberate design in this regard, like TA did (which is why CT was unable to repeat the quality of game design with SupC IMO)... but you'll have to build 20 games for every 1 that turns out good.

The thing about games, it's ENTIRELY about fun, and fun is a component of choosing something interesting to do, and then executing the action. Effectively, the more choices a game gives me the more fun it will be. But simply giving me options is not the same as giving me plausible options. You can play chess by simply moving one peice back and forth continuously, but it doesn't make the game very fun, even though it's something that is basically never done in the game, being a viable option does not make the choice plausible if the player intends to win. So ultimately, the problem becomes one of giving the player as many strategic and tactical decisions as possible, without making any of those decisions ultimately futile... Basically, it comes down to the problem of trying to make every unit equally viable within the context of the game. Not necessarily equally viable in every situation, but ultimately, equally viable. Ultimately, as a designer, I must make a game where there is no one ideal path that guarantee's victory... there will likely be stronger paths and weaker paths, but a weaker path will be viable for how it counters the opponents less risky, but more predictable choices. The more divergences I create as a game designer that truly work, the better my game is. Major major major bonus points if the divergences allow the player to see cool explosions and shinies as different forks collide with each other in unexpected ways.

Other tips: Don't fall into the trap of rationalizing too much... if something sounds like a good idea, it probably is, but that doesn't mean that it should be the only idea worth focusing attention on, or sacrificing other components for. Every design will have downsides, it's FAR better to work on those downsides then explain them away.

Don't obsess on models. Real life situations can teach you all kinds of things about gameplay situations... but they are just examples, and don't necessarily represent a good concept. Remember, people did things in real wars because they were cost effective and they worked... not because they were balanced, and definitely not because it made it more fun for the other side. The game designers job, even when working on a realistic model, is to strip out the elements of the scenario that ARE good for the game, from the elements of the scenario that are NOT. Effectively, simply due to the fact that you are making a game, your job is to make sure it's not realistic... not to take that too far and break realisms just for the hell of it, but just that it MUST be understood that some elements of any given design model will always need to be tweaked for the final product if it's supposed to ultimately be fun.
Warlord Zsinj
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Warlord Zsinj »

Yep. The reason for this is primarily because in IW, resources removed from the enemy immediately become yours. So not only when you capture territory do you hurt your enemy, you get a boost, which is why the slippery slope is emphasized in IW.

However, you're also aware of the ways that we're trying to resolve this.

I think you have to tread a very careful path - I'm not a big fan of static defence, I feel they choke up otherwise dynamic games; though they do add a buffer for a defensive player. We've tried to simulate this buffer in other ways, in order to simulate the desired curve through the resource model (flags being worth more the longer you hold them, etc).

For those reading along, IW does have static defences, just don't expect to be able to build the maginot line.
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Nemo
Spring 1944 Developer
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Nemo »

(flags being worth more the longer you hold them, etc).
This is me stabbing you repeatedly in the thigh with a rusty butterknife. die die die die die!

On the upshot, this is in fact an effective way to buffer things. Grumble grumble same game >_> <_<
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smoth
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by smoth »

honestly, I wish we had resource harvesting. oh well. :\
manored
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by manored »

smoth wrote:honestly, I wish we had resource harvesting. oh well. :\
Me too :) Then someone smart could adapt that to make supplies system using transportable supplies...
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Peet
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Peet »

smoth wrote:honestly, I wish we had resource harvesting. oh well. :\
http://youtube.com/watch?v=XieuTnq2gtw ?
manored
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by manored »

:)
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smoth
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by smoth »

I do not recall zpock releasing any of that.
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Zpock
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Zpock »

Is there interest?
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Peet
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by Peet »

Definitely.
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smoth
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Re: Slippery slopes and intuitive games

Post by smoth »

how does you do anims, how does you do the nifty lua stuff... we all DO WANT!
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