The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 4:13 pm

Oh, and one more thing before I go check/wait for the mid-week post. I know one very good reason why an actual post-game infini-locker would be a bad idea. Same with the power level of vicous rewards - people would be rushing it for convinience. I know this. But as speedball was saying - debug mode would come in very handy, as it's pretty obvious that people are more ready to grind 40 000 gold on runs which they want to play to open up a "non-predetermined locker slot", rather then spend 20 minutes scumming and X time and effort relockering via repeated challenge/vicious runs. Can't be overstated how much this is true, and how much of an impact it had. So would many of the possible compromise solutions, probably.

Now, that's all. Hope no harm done. Not taking any more of anyone's time.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Nandrew on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:42 pm

xspeedballx wrote:Out of curiousity Nandrew how are you getting communication from non-vet's if not through the forums? I think some of the problem we can run into is that we think this is the only path of info, and we are the only source(egotistical and confirmation bias and all).


E-mails, ad-hoc bloggers / reviewers, IRL stuff. :) And other forums / communities, as well as fellow developers. We have to keep in touch with the broader scene, after all. ;)

Sometimes it's people approaching us because they're intimidated by a forum signup or don't know / don't care about the forums (heck, even getting people to read our FAQ is a mission). Sometimes it's the other way around, and we rope in new players for testing and more intensive sessions (still trying to get my brother to play ... it'll happen one day!).

Then there's player reactions to demo stands on show floors such as GDC, Indiecade and some local SA expos. I personally find this a little more artificial than a "natural" play sessions, but one doesn't turn one's nose up at this sort of feedback.

We also get "communication" of sorts through stat tracking on the game server, based off game events that we record and store for bug-tracking and analytics (it helps us figure out which gods and items are used, how far the average player gets, yada yada yada).

And look, yeah, I'm basically saying that it's easy to think of the forum as a general representation of how all DD players are feeling, since everyone here is in constant communication with everyone else, there's a common knowledge base and the devs themselves probably look at your input more than all of the other sources combined. And while I'd argue that it's a source of quality opinions, at the end of the day it simply doesn't represent *quantity*. :P It takes a certain "type" of player to log on here and start engaging in discussions, and sometimes we need to spread the net a little wider than that if we hope to eventually cater for a broader audience.

I was mentioning something earlier today about the intimidating prospect that all the players invested in the DD beta right now are the sort of people who went out of their way to find an indie gaming site, maybe test out a random alpha, then fork out ten or twenty bucks to a small paypal account and play a product that is largely untested and definitely not complete. What happens when we move to Steam and our audience starts including the sort of gamers who'll grab DD on a convenient impulse purchase during a sale because the world's biggest digital distributor shoved it in their faces? The sort of people to whom absolutely no investment in the game experience is actually required, who are used to triple-A handholding or Popcap-style game refinements? What other factors aren't we considering? How are *they* going to react to DD in comparison to the dedicated and proactive buyers of today? How will we manage them?

Burning questions. :P
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:55 pm

Well, if we are having this much trouble, you guys might want to either tone the general obscurity and "stop drowning!" down a notch (which means what you seem to be doing), or put tikki lights on the trisword and swift hands and things with "it is dangerous to go without fermented dairy, you will need this" signs and be really careful that the first playthrough can be done without the game asking them to think outside of a very narrow box. And then have a "real game" mode unlock which takes them to what we're playing now with less obscure gods and proper balance on the out-of-whack stuff.

In all seriousness, I'm holding my fingers crossed for you guys - there's stuff in here that stumped even hardcore seen-it-all, grew up along with computergaming semi-pro gamers.

EDIT: I'm not looking for trouble I really whish you guys win big. Ty for that info :)
Last edited by Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby xspeedballx on Wed Feb 13, 2013 8:56 pm

Just slap some achievements in and it's all good. Maybe a Web 2.0 chat box so we can talk to other people while playing the game. Oh and bloom. Game is lacking bloom. Solved your problems. Next!

(Thanks for the response Nandrew!)
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby gjaustin on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:22 pm

Nandrew wrote:
xspeedballx wrote:Out of curiousity Nandrew how are you getting communication from non-vet's if not through the forums? I think some of the problem we can run into is that we think this is the only path of info, and we are the only source(egotistical and confirmation bias and all).


E-mails, ad-hoc bloggers / reviewers, IRL stuff. :) And other forums / communities, as well as fellow developers. We have to keep in touch with the broader scene, after all. ;)

Sometimes it's people approaching us because they're intimidated by a forum signup or don't know / don't care about the forums (heck, even getting people to read our FAQ is a mission). Sometimes it's the other way around, and we rope in new players for testing and more intensive sessions (still trying to get my brother to play ... it'll happen one day!).

Then there's player reactions to demo stands on show floors such as GDC, Indiecade and some local SA expos. I personally find this a little more artificial than a "natural" play sessions, but one doesn't turn one's nose up at this sort of feedback.

We also get "communication" of sorts through stat tracking on the game server, based off game events that we record and store for bug-tracking and analytics (it helps us figure out which gods and items are used, how far the average player gets, yada yada yada).

And look, yeah, I'm basically saying that it's easy to think of the forum as a general representation of how all DD players are feeling, since everyone here is in constant communication with everyone else, there's a common knowledge base and the devs themselves probably look at your input more than all of the other sources combined. And while I'd argue that it's a source of quality opinions, at the end of the day it simply doesn't represent *quantity*. :P It takes a certain "type" of player to log on here and start engaging in discussions, and sometimes we need to spread the net a little wider than that if we hope to eventually cater for a broader audience.

I was mentioning something earlier today about the intimidating prospect that all the players invested in the DD beta right now are the sort of people who went out of their way to find an indie gaming site, maybe test out a random alpha, then fork out ten or twenty bucks to a small paypal account and play a product that is largely untested and definitely not complete. What happens when we move to Steam and our audience starts including the sort of gamers who'll grab DD on a convenient impulse purchase during a sale because the world's biggest digital distributor shoved it in their faces? The sort of people to whom absolutely no investment in the game experience is actually required, who are used to triple-A handholding or Popcap-style game refinements? What other factors aren't we considering? How are *they* going to react to DD in comparison to the dedicated and proactive buyers of today? How will we manage them?

Burning questions. :P


So you're saying that Lujo should buy a ticket to GDC, put on a wig, and give his feedback there under the guise of a new player?

:P
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:35 pm

Might even work if I put on a huge false moustache. :lol:

In all honesty, I wouldn't mind having a beer with them one time. See them say some stuff out loud IRL. Show them what I'm really like, appologize for a bunch of things in person...
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Darvin on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:06 pm

I'm basically saying that it's easy to think of the forum as a general representation of how all DD players are feeling

Most people here are aware that we're a small subset of the total DD player-base. We're really playing an entirely different game, and I'm happy DD has a lot of room to explore the upper echelons of difficulty.

As for the forumers, from a marketing perspective we're more useful for generating word-of-mouth than actually generating sales. Not counting the devs there are only 27 people with more than 100 posts here. That's a nearly negligible fraction of DD's total sales.


What other factors aren't we considering? How are *they* going to react to DD in comparison to the dedicated and proactive buyers of today? How will we manage them?

Burning questions

Hope you post about it in your dev blog when that day has come and gone. I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences at the other end of this tunnel.

And yes, I'd agree that right now you have more of an "indie/alternative" audience who places a lot more value on innovation and uniqueness than on polish.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Bloggorus on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:49 pm

Personally, I think that losing carried items on death or conversion would solve the “can’t bear to replace existing items” conundrum quite nicely, but I’d have to motivate pretty hard to get the others to be OK with that change…


From Dev blog.

Can I just say that this would be a truly perfect solution to locker issues.

I've had a long standing issue with the locker for a long time, namely that it messes with the in-game economy and use of some items in major ways. Any items with a cumulative effect become super-powerful when lockered but useless when you buy them from a shop in-game. Basically Trisword and Scroll.

But this would be amazing for forcing players to rotate those slots. Also, it would make in-game shops ever so relevant again apart from conversion fodder.
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby Lujo on Wed Feb 13, 2013 10:57 pm

Err, how about they just scrape the damned things entirely and make a set of fighter happy preps? And make the vicious rewards stuff that you can only put in a throphy case but can't ever actually use?
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Re: The horse is not quite dead: Locker space and fun

Postby dislekcia on Wed Feb 13, 2013 11:42 pm

Bloggorus wrote:
Personally, I think that losing carried items on death or conversion would solve the “can’t bear to replace existing items” conundrum quite nicely, but I’d have to motivate pretty hard to get the others to be OK with that change…


From Dev blog.

Can I just say that this would be a truly perfect solution to locker issues.

I've had a long standing issue with the locker for a long time, namely that it messes with the in-game economy and use of some items in major ways. Any items with a cumulative effect become super-powerful when lockered but useless when you buy them from a shop in-game. Basically Trisword and Scroll.

But this would be amazing for forcing players to rotate those slots. Also, it would make in-game shops ever so relevant again apart from conversion fodder.


Yes, it would solve the problem quite nicely. That's where the locker started and how it was first implemented. People moaned and the slippery slope began.

The slope is the same one that the DD alpha suffered from: Add an element of value/power persistence between runs and people will always try to maximise it. For the alpha it was gold, we designed around that pretty well - eventually. Unfortunately items are a lot less granular and approachable mathematically, so we have to basically say "Sorry, we can't fix this better than it taking 99% of the game before it becomes annoying" and be ok with some people being annoyed about it.

Imagine if you could play the same dungeon over and over with a particular seed. People would scum through the seeds until they found the easiest Namtar seed and then memorise that. That's the same sort of game-breaking fallout that we feel an infini-locker would bring to the game itself, it would destroy far more than it enabled. It's mildly frustrating that people can't seem to see that, but I suppose that's why we're the people making this game in the first place ;)
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