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Author Topic: Ask the developer a question!  (Read 337283 times)

CraigStern

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1695 on: October 24, 2016, 09:40:44 AM »

Hey all! I'm doing a Reddit AMA today--drop on by with whatever questions you may have! I'll be answering them all at 1 PM Central Daylight Time today. :)
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bugfartboy

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1696 on: October 26, 2016, 08:43:37 AM »

Does the new engine utilize Adobe AIR?

If yes: "But whyyyyy?"

If no, what's the anticipated likelihood that the new engine will be Linux compatible?
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CraigStern

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1697 on: October 26, 2016, 09:57:41 AM »

Nope; the new engine is in Unity, which is most assuredly Linux compatible. :)
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bugfartboy

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1698 on: November 06, 2016, 01:33:01 PM »

Will the new engine's dialog system be the same as Telepath Tactic's?  If so, could we get a special character for commas?  Like -c- or something, so that variables storing strings can contain commas without breaking?  Because that'd be cool. :D
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CraigStern

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1699 on: November 29, 2016, 12:49:27 PM »

I'm still not 100% sure about that--I've been saving the scripting and dialogue stuff for later, once I've got character generation complete and battle mechanics more fully implemented. I'll keep it in mind, though!
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ArtDrake

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1700 on: December 28, 2016, 02:11:45 AM »

Do you have thoughts on RPG mechanics that make units weaker as they lose health (e.g. injury, vulnerability, loss of morale), how scale (sheer number of units controlled by player, enemy) affects their usefulness/viability, and/or whether, in your experience, they're actually fun?

[Probably the best-known example I have off the top of my head is the Civilization games.]
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CraigStern

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1701 on: December 28, 2016, 02:50:35 PM »

Do you have thoughts on RPG mechanics that make units weaker as they lose health (e.g. injury, vulnerability, loss of morale), how scale (sheer number of units controlled by player, enemy) affects their usefulness/viability, and/or whether, in your experience, they're actually fun?

That's a suuuuuper broad question! I'll start with what I think you're getting at in the first part of it. I know of a few games that make units deal less damage as they lose health (King's Bounty, Heroes of Might and Magic, Advance Wars, and The Banner Saga all come to mind). Characters losing fighting power along with their health tends to produce a positive feedback loop wherein they become less able to fight back, thereby making their eradication more and more likely.

In games where characters are replaceable, like King's Bounty, HoMM, and Advance Wars (in Advance Wars, they're replaceable during the actual battle!), you're really dealing with groups of soldiers in each unit, and the unit's "health" is effectively just the number of soldiers left in the squad. Your ability to maintain a flow of replacement troops is part of these games' loops; it's just part of the macro-level strategy, so I find the mechanic tolerable in these circumstances.

I really quite dislike it in The Banner Saga, though, as TBS is really just a tactics game: your units are all unique and more-or-less irreplaceable. Since you can't easily recruit replacements when you lose soldiers in The Banner Saga, the positive feedback loop that ensues from units weakening as they become more vulnerable has extremely severe consequences without any macro-level upshot to offset it, and I tend not to find it terribly enjoyable.

Morale is an interesting one. I've generally encountered it in two forms: (1) in battle, as a way to take control away from the player right when they need it most (i.e. when they're losing); and (2) outside of battle, as a way to punish the player for failing to pay/feed their troops. The first use I find irritating, as it's another example of a positive feedback loop that hurts the gameplay experience. The second use I tend to see more in strategy games, and it can be implemented well in that context. One new use of morale I've seen is in HoMM7, where it's used as a sort of bonus to grant your units extra turns if you're doing well--it's overpowered in that implementation, but I like the general idea of morale as a bonus to how well your troops perform. It's positive feedback-y, sure, but it's positive feedback-y in the player's favor, which makes it fun. (In my experience, things which are patently unfair when granted to the computer--like critical hits--are enjoyable when granted exclusively to the player).

Scale...that's a really broad topic, and it's hard to make any sweeping statements about it. I've seen both large-scale and small-scale done well, and I've seen both done poorly. In general, I'll just say that the fewer units you have under your control, the greater a variety of tactical options you need to have with each of them to keep things interesting. You can get away with less-versatile units once you get up into the 7+ unit range, I think. In general, I think the usefulness and viability of a given unit has more to do with the game's underlying mechanics than it does with scale on its own.
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ArtDrake

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1702 on: January 01, 2017, 10:33:50 PM »

Well, for how broad it was, you did a good job touching on the key points I was curious about.

To clarify a little, when I mentioned scale, "their" referred to the positive reinforcement mechanics, rather than the units -- but you answered that, too, with your comments about how the integration of those injury/weakening mechanics into the macro strategy renders them more tolerable.

[I had some similar thoughts on the matter -- the games I was thinking about at the time were those in the vein of X-COM: UFO Defense and Xenonauts, as opposed to the later XCOM games (Enemy Unknown and XCOM 2); tactical turn-based squad cover shooters. There's an option in XCOM:EU called "Red Fog" that implements injury mechanics where they're not in the base game, and I'm reflecting on how that pushes the balance in the direction of expendable grunts versus decked-out action movie heroes.]
« Last Edit: January 01, 2017, 10:39:05 PM by ArtDrake »
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ArtDrake

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1703 on: March 03, 2017, 06:15:10 AM »

So, I was listening to an inverted version of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata, and about forty seconds in or so, I started getting some serious Servants of God vibes. I seem to recall you compose your own music, so I was vaguely wondering whether a) you see it, too, and b) you had any remarks about the music theory that went into your work that might bear on this.

Of course, it might ultimately be a bit superficial, in which case there's nothing really to comment on.
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CraigStern

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1704 on: March 05, 2017, 10:45:40 AM »

Huh! Funny. Was it the Ghost Waltz that it reminded you of?
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ArtDrake

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1705 on: March 05, 2017, 08:46:05 PM »

Yeah, that's definitely the bulk of it. I went through and listened to the rest of the soundtrack to check whether there was anything else lurking in my recollection, but nothing popped out at me. I kept getting crypt imagery, but I think that's because the piece sounds more somber and reflective, like some of the historical and Psy-related scenes in the game, as opposed to as excitingly otherworldly as the Ghost Waltz.
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bugfartboy

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1706 on: April 10, 2017, 02:42:41 PM »

Have you considered providing SSL (and relatedly HTTPS) support for the Sinister Design website, perhaps using a certificate authority such as Let's Encrypt?
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CraigStern

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1707 on: April 10, 2017, 03:04:30 PM »

The thought hadn't occurred to me, no. Why?
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bugfartboy

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1708 on: April 10, 2017, 03:44:01 PM »

Just a thought that had occurred to me while I was logging into the forums over my university's wireless network.  (Packet sniffers are incredibly cool, and mildly scary, tools, haha.)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 03:58:18 PM by bugfartboy »
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bugfartboy

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Re: Ask the developer a question!
« Reply #1709 on: June 09, 2017, 11:36:03 AM »

How has been your experience with GoDaddy as the SinisterDesign.net Domain Name Registrar?
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