Author Topic: Gameplay Ideas  (Read 362 times)

Scribe

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Gameplay Ideas
« on: June 30, 2018, 08:35:44 AM »
This thread is for people to propose ideas on additional gameplay features.

As explained in http://summonersfate.com/forums/index.php?topic=57.0, gameplay encompasses the following:
  • type of player (human, standard A.I., other A.I. levels?)
  • number of players of each type per game, and whether fixed or not (reinforcements)
  • type of game (cooperation, opposition, race...)
  • type of player interaction (live, async, de-sync, auto-adapting...)
  • starting conditions (number of characters, deck size, limitations...)
  • event triggers (number of turns before reinforcements, etc.)
  • victory conditions (today's defeat the other Summoner, or defeat the whole party, rout the enemy, survive a number of turns...)
  • types of in-game actions possible (adding wall spike capability was the latest addition)
  • etc.
With your description please also propose a Development Priority level with the rationale supporting it (also refer to the post linked above for guidance).

Looking forward to your ideas!

Scribe

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Re: Gameplay Ideas
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2018, 08:47:54 AM »
As usual, let me start with an example.

Proposed gameplay feature: Rout
The idea is that the opponent's team does not simply disappear when the opponent summoner is defeated. They instead rout. The opponent's units are then in disarray and cannot be controlled any more (if the said opponent is a player). They flee towards the nearest exit: the border of the battlefield if open (i.e. not a wall), the next door, etc. Only if someone stands between them and that exit point will they attack him, and this only until the path gets clear (enemy defeated or moved away), or until another path as short gets clear (for instance as teh result of being knocked back, or moved by a gravity spell). If the battlefield is an enclosed space, the units will flee their opponents, always moving to the farthest space from any enemy.

Proposed Development Priority: 5
There is no reason for giving this higher priority. It would only add to the fun, keeping the game interesting in the long run as it renews itself. This could also open a few interesting new situations, based on how many opponent units do manage to flee. For instance in a single-player campaign they main regroup in the next room, making it tougher if you did not properly cleanse the previous room from opponents. Or there could be player vs player challenges based on trying to let as few units flee as possible, from the same starting point.

Scribe

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Re: Gameplay Ideas
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 02:55:13 PM »
Assisted Play: AI coaching

As much as I personally like the tactical depth this game has, I also have learned that it can be a deterrent to newcomers. Initial play testing, after the tutorial, is key for them giving up or getting hooked.
Of course a first and easy mitigation is to very strongly advise players to train against the AI before trying to challenge experienced players. But even against the AI, the span of choices can get a bit daunting at first.

So here's a first feature proposal to help players who are unsure about what to do. I call it "AI coaching": Not sure how to best guide your characters' fate? Ask them!

Description
Double-tapping on one of your units would mean: "Give me your opinion on what we should be doing".
A chat bubble on the character would then reply "Let me think". Then the AI routine gets applied to the human player's team.
Another character dialog bubble then says "Here's what I would do". An indicator (like for instance a colored box around the game area) would turn on to show that this isn't the real game, but just a prospective view. In that special mode the first, say, 3 actions of the AI routine results would play out (including drag actions, to show not only the results but also the process, at least as a default setting).
Then the prospective view indicator would turn off, at the same time as everything returns to its initial state. A final message might say "Ready to decide?", with two buttons: "OK" and "Replay".

Game design considerations
- Of course all surprises would need to be temporarily turned off.
- The right number of actions to show is to be defined, probably by testing. I suggested 3 to get an opportunity to see how combinations start to play out, without going through an entire turn. Less actions could leave the player puzzled, not understanding the direction the AI is taking. Too many would take too much time, and be overloading the person trying to understand/memorize it all.
- As previously discussed for the Undo button, the number of times you can use this feature could be directly proportional to the player's experience level. So this could be used even against a human player. The opponent would then se the actions unravel, then be canceled just as when the Undo button is played. This way the opponent would have something to watch while waiting!

Development Priority Level
My intent is to make a feature to help reach community critical mass, so that would make it a 2 on the scale.
Is it novel enough that it could contribute to wow an editor and be worth a rank of 1?

Further refinements
- In the settings you should be able to toggle displaying the process (dragging, tapping, etc.). This is the bare minimum to not get annoying very fast.
- You could imagine different classes of characters having distinct dialog styles (the Barbarian likely having a rougher attitude than the well-behaved Time Keeper Rat).
- Down the road voice-over could be added to the dialogs.
- With inexperienced players the characters could offer their help spontaneously. Not sure what the right trigger would be, though.

Thoughts? Feedback?

RossD20Studios

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Re: Gameplay Ideas
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2018, 05:00:50 PM »
I love that you share so much details with your ideas, Scribe. Assisted Play is a really cool concept, and I would probably start on this right away if the game was strictly multiplayer after the tutorial. The current build is a bit misleading toward the onboarding of new players, though, because we haven't completed the core content yet. Ultimately, I'm hoping to expand what is currently the tutorial into single player mode that will slowly introduce new players to new content as they are battling through the campaign.

The concepts here (AI driving player behavior) will definitely surface, especially in our desync mode where AI will effectively play out player strategies, and there's definitely potential to expand this creatively with different character expressions ;)


TrucEtrange

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Re: Gameplay Ideas
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2018, 05:44:12 PM »
Hi,
I'm not sure where to post about it, or if it has already been discused, but here it is :
For a game focusing on placement and directions the attacks are coming from (front block, backstab, etc.), I was wondering if it wouldn't be better to allow choosing the orientation of our units at the end of their moves (except when they attack : they need to face their target and shouldn't be able to change stance afterward).
I don't know if you've already thought about it and prefered not to implement that, but I feel it would be a nice addition to the game mechanics already existing.

Scribe

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Re: Gameplay Ideas
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2018, 02:32:00 PM »
Hi!

Any place is good, let's not be picky admins  ;)

Buzzrick had the same remarks a few weeks ago on Discord.
I agree with tlark's reply, though:

"Good day. I kind of like the limitation, if you have greater control over finishing direction, then there are less manouvering tactics. So it seems to complicate control for dubious gameplay benefit"

In my mind the current setup forces you into compromises, and that's good. You cannot get the perfect action+placement+facing. You have to make some sort of tradeoff.
One might see it as an unnecessary constraint. I see it as making the game quicker (because it's one less control to manage), and more interesting (as you leave openings that your opponent may use creatively to his avantage, thus contributing to unforseen developments).

We had debates on this during the initial design of the movement control system, and these were definitely two options on the table. I like the one Ross eventually chose.
I hope you will abound after seeing this rationale!

Take care

TrucEtrange

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Re: Gameplay Ideas
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2018, 08:55:58 AM »
Hi,

I didn't really thought about it like that, but presented this way, it sure makes sense !
Even though it felt a bit unnatural at first, it nicely separates the game from others of the genre in that you can't have too "perfect" moves that would indeed slow down the game. Nicely done !

Keep it up !