Aren't you putting too much into that game?

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Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby Madras on Wed Aug 10, 2011 9:34 am

Dear DD Team!

Please consider this open letter as constructive criticism of a former fanboy. I found this game by watching "WTF is..." from totalbiscuit (youtube).

I really loved your game, after playtesting it for several hours I bought it because I deemed it worthy of support.

However, I liked the downloadable beta much more than the current version, which makes me wonder if you don't try to put too much change or options into that game.

From a designer's point of view I'd say that many people love DD because it's easy to play without much preparation, and that's exactly what you're taking away from this game atm.

I do understand the need for longterm-motivation and it's great that you're really trying to make use of the community's input and ideas to make the game enjoyable, but the direction the development is taking the game makes it, in my eyes, less perfect.

Examples:
- The weird right/left clicking through a bunch of options combined with the hidden "Adventuring"-button is a bad design choice, but I think that will be fixed anyway.

-Taking items out of a dungeon and reusing them adds unnecessary complexity to the game but does not add enjoyment. Same is true for other options, like an insurance, etc.

-With the downloadable beta it took me 3 clicks to start playing the game, I didn't get the feeling I was unprepared nor have I needed additional help to master the dungeon. It looked bad, but from a designer's perspective it was great!

- A visual cue on a player's game progress (village) is always a good idea, but only if you know the total progress of the game (has already been posted in this forum). Also, if the visual progress adds so many functions to it, it doesn't feel like a hidden progress bar, but as a developer's tool to fill the screen with options.

- I miss the motivation to run through every dungeon with every character or at least, play some character's at all. If there is no reward (like the additional pile of gold for every 2 classes that master the dungeon, which was innovative and motivating) this could at least be done by visualizing the dungeon with pictures of the classes that have mastered the respective dungeon. And/Or tell the player, how often he succeeded with a certain dungeon (Like in Majesty, which had a very cleverly designed map. Not Majesty 2, mind you!)

- A minor issue: Poisonous manaburn plants that cannot be burned and give you no reward, not even XP are just an annoyance rather than a fun way to play around, as they just hamper a player's movement. My judgment here may be a personal bias rather than profound design criticism ;)

- The dialogues are awesome, keep doing those! If you start taking yourself too seriously, the game will lose some of its appeal.

In short: I'd rather you scrapped most of the stuff that adds complexity. Don't try to make it a "real" game too much. Remember, you started this with the idea of a 10-minute-dungeon run.

Wish you a lot of success with your game, I'll be looking into it again when it's finished and be playing the downloadable beta in the meantime ;)
Madras
 
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby Zalminen on Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:58 pm

Madras wrote:In short: I'd rather you scrapped most of the stuff that adds complexity. Don't try to make it a "real" game too much. Remember, you started this with the idea of a 10-minute-dungeon run.


Well, the actual dungeon run still takes roughly as long as before and making the initial selections now takes - what, 10 seconds?
Hell, I'm still mostly playing the game a single dungeon run at a time.

In the alpha once the tier 3 classes were unlocked, the motivation to keep playing wasn't that great. It was still nice enough that I often opened the game for a single quick run and eventually ended up completing most of the game this way.
Now, all the added stuff already makes me want to do "just another run" after finishing the first. (Usually I don't have the time for that but that's not the game's fault...)

In other words, I like the direction the game is going towards.
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby Galefury on Wed Aug 10, 2011 1:08 pm

Zalminen wrote:In other words, I like the direction the game is going towards.

Me too, mostly. Having many cool challenge dungeons with scripted events and extra rules is awesome, and I prefer the beta gameplay over the freeware gameplay. I do miss the simplicity of the freeware though, and the progression mechanic.
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby Xanopticon on Wed Aug 10, 2011 3:17 pm

Zalminen wrote:
Madras wrote:In short: I'd rather you scrapped most of the stuff that adds complexity. Don't try to make it a "real" game too much. Remember, you started this with the idea of a 10-minute-dungeon run.


Well, the actual dungeon run still takes roughly as long as before and making the initial selections now takes - what, 10 seconds?

In other words, I like the direction the game is going towards.


Pretty much what I wanted to say. Everything else Madras said has been said before/commented on by devs that they will be improving that part, good list though.
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby Deadman on Wed Aug 10, 2011 8:34 pm

I strongly disagree with just about everything OP has to say except for the comment regarding the plants. I HATE the plants.
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby dislekcia on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:27 am

Nobody likes the plants.

Sometimes I wish I knew where those damned things came from...
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby Galefury on Thu Aug 11, 2011 12:45 am

I don't mind the plants. The general concept of having to pay for freedom of movement is what's annoying. Rock Garden and Sludge Mines are much worse than Ick Swamp IMO. Restricted movement certainly provides different and interesting gameplay, and I'm all for it as a game mechanic, but it is just so damn annoying. Those three certainly will never be among my favorite dungeons.

Havendale Bridge also has restricted movement, but is much more fun IMO. The possibility to trick the troll with PISORF or WEYTWUT and the sweet reward for killing him really make a difference. That, and that there only is a single roadblock instead of a whole level made just of roadblocks. Sludge Mines = evil.
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby PeaceChaser on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:19 am

dislekcia wrote:Nobody likes the plants.

Sometimes I wish I knew where those damned things came from...


I like the plants....

Actually, it would be cool if there was a way to kill them safely, like, with fire or endiswall, or first strike. Or heck, a weed eater item. At least initially. Then maybe later on the tougher plants you can't kill quite so readily.

In the alpha, they weren't magic resistant, but then again, you could only create them (as far as I remember) by worshiping the nature deity. Then there were repercussions for killing her babies.
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby Deadman on Thu Aug 11, 2011 2:24 am

I actually enjoy Sludge Mines. The combination of explosives and hitting knockback enemies from the right angle makes it quite interesting.
Where as the plants that punish you for moving REALLY annoy me.
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Re: Aren't you putting too much into that game?

Postby flap on Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:54 pm

Madras wrote:Dear DD Team!
In short: I'd rather you scrapped most of the stuff that adds complexity. Don't try to make it a "real" game too much. Remember, you started this with the idea of a 10-minute-dungeon run.


That discussion is really worth it. However, is it really such a bad idea trying to make a more elaborate DD ? Because that clean and compact "10-minute-dungeon-run" already exists : it is the freeware version and is rather great. The fact that a new version is being done doesn't forbid to play to the old one !

So I fell that it is really worth it to see how the concept can be pushed further, with more content.
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