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About Scakes

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  1. Oliver those bugs are extremely amusing - thank you for posting them! The 2PP guys seem to agree since they put footage of those bugs in action in the latest doco More bugs s'il vous plai^t!
  2. Holy trout, Ben's sidequest video was great! I was all but pressing my face against the screen when he started talking about how Wall-E made him want to work as an animator for movies. Dude, for me it was Wreck-it Ralph, but still it's amazing and very heartening to see a success story of someone setting out to do something like that and achieving it, even if it was only temporary and *especially* if it led to working at DoubleFine.
  3. Awesome! I especially enjoyed the walkthroughs of examples where iterative implementation of dialogue led to new insights and a better overall game. I also didn't really find any parts of it to be too dense for a semi-technical person like myself. I mean me - I am like myself.
  4. Everyone knows asteroid impacts cause fires, but I have two questions. 1. What does it take for an asteroid to actually destroy a wall/floor piece? I've never actually seen this happen, but I suspect it may have something to do with the fact that my spacebases are always in low, extremely low or ridiiculously low Threat sectors. 2. Can asteroid impacts directly hurt my denizens? I've never seen clear evidence that one or more asteroids colliding with the roof of my base right above a cowering person have killed that person. The reason I'm asking is because I feel incentivised to have as many people in an area of my base due for asteroid showers as possible, simply because the more nearby people there are when a fire breaks out, the faster it goes out. It feels strange to want to turn the alarms on in every part of the base except the part with the big red target symbol above it...
  5. What a brainstorm, Chris! I found the "evil trait" game mechanic really interesting once you started talking about evil geniuses and evil partitions of your base. The main reason for this is that the trait is an additional gear in the personality-trait-system that cranks out a layer of gameplay in the 1-to-5-star-skill-system (let's call it the 125SSS for short). The new layer of gameplay I refer to is basically "risk and reward". OK Let me frame that statement: the 125SSS feels like too 'nice' a game system - everyone passively upskills, and no one really breaks anything by performing a role they have a 1- or 2-star rating in. Where is the threat? What am I fighting against? Obviously DF9 is not without threats, both current and in-the-works. Random events like a) raiders and b) asteroids punish the player for making decisions to a) unquestioningly accept ambiguously-worded requests to dock, and b) make cuts to security and the fire extinguisher budget. Game systems like the (low-)morale system and the personality(-clash) system also give the player tools (with in-built challenges). With the exception of asteroid strikes, these systems/events present both reward and risk to the player. I think the OP's suggestion for an "evil" trait is a perfect way to introduce risk into the 125SSS (BOOM! back on-topic!). "Do I assign Dr Evil back to being a 5-star botanist? Man, he might make another giant Venus Flytrap but he ALSO might invent a hamburger plant! Decisions, decisions..." Some side benefits include: * the risk the player undertakes in allowing "evil" denizens to flourish could be extremely salient if there were dedicated sections of a base that were off-limits to security personnel. Even more so if there were cosmetic differences to the "lawful" and "lawless" sections of the base. * the reward the player reaps in allowing "evil" denizens to flourish could also be extremely salient if there were alerts when some rare event or tech-tree upgrade occurs as a result of someone doing "mad scientist"-type research. * there is some opportunity for emergent gameplay if a security guard with really low "evil" trait (kind of like a "lawful" character) has a chance to "go rambo" and arrest some of "evil" denizens, fomenting or increasing discord between those in the 2 different sections of the base. * in a pinch, the "evil" trait could maybe even be implemented by modifying the "neatness" trait into a "chaotic" trait.
  6. Yeah I've seen the picture of the ship with engines - I think it looks pretty rad. I see the issue of having "exterior only" and "interior only" structures as a potential way to introduce another problem space for the player, kinda like the plumbing/sewerage vs. normal views of Sim City. I think that the way those two spaces work together or against one another could be a really interesting feature.
  7. I've noticed that when my Spacebases hit a certain age, I start really knowing my (five-)star players, and wondering why the 3- and 4-star players haven't got their act together by now. "Why can't you be like Ouio 'Clucky' Jennings?" I imagine myself saying to a 3-star technician. "No, I don't want to hear excuses. I know it's very complicated but if a giant space chicken with sideways-facing eyeballs and primary flight feathers instead of hands can do it, then YOU can do it." In real life, if someone isn't learning through experience, you up-skill them with training. In Spacebase, I can see this happening through workers being rostered to shadow other highly-skilled workers. The highly-skilled workers would become less productive because they're teaching as well as doing their primary jobs, but that's the extra cost you incur for training someone. Workers could feasibly up-skill while not actually doing work by studying - perhaps by sitting on a bed (or a table, if those are introduced in common-room style rooms) and staring at a book for a while. Less exciting to watch from a gameplay perspective, so I wouldn't recommend it. Related suggestion time: the idea of hitting a sweet spot in a really old base where everyone's 5-star at everything is not appealing. I want to continuously face challenges even in the late stage of my game. So why not introduce a system of worker churn whereby people can request that they leave the base? Maybe they're getting old, or depressed, or they want to start a family on a distant planet with someone else they've met. This would be in addition to the churn created from disease and random space-zappings.
  8. If (who am I kidding - "when") Spacebase builders are allowed to crane up and down levels of their multi-level bases, I imagine that they will not just see the current level of their base but also the roof of the level that is one lower. We will finally be thinking not just about designing interior spaces, but also exterior spaces. Possibilities ensue. What will this roof look like? Will it be littered with aesthetic doodads like radar dishes, flashing red lights, and antennae? I'll bet. Will there be pock marks from asteroid impacts? Certainly. Will there be any point to roofs/exteriors apart from keeping air in and forcing technicians to do space walks to repair them? Hmm.... 1. You could build defence systems like auto-turrets, manned turrets, or traps on the exterior (something for security). 2. You could build chutes that act like dumb waiters for miners to deposit their ores (something for miners). 3. You could build functional satellite dishes that improve in some way the transmissions (comms, TV) that your base can receive (something for morale). Those are some ideas that occurred to me while reading the dev plans blog (http://www.spacebasedf9.com/devplans). Exciting stuff! Suggest your own!
  9. Thanks for this truly great post Tim. I think your approach to giving even incidental characters depth can really differentiate a good game from a great game, simply by giving the player a sense of immersion, like "this is a living, breathing place". I'm reminded of some thoroughly enjoyable adventure games that were awesome in their own right but didn't have quite as much heart as games like Psychonauts. For example, I loooove Machinarium but I really prefer protagonists who are less of a blank slate (not that the main robot is completely blank, but you get what I mean). By the same token, Sam & Max were super entertaining and funny but not really relatable because their characters are basically comedians that don't change markedly throughout the game. Tim, if you could in your next writing update, please give the backers some insight into how you move from a character (as defined by stable traits) to a character arc. The perspective I think would be most interesting would be that of a (creative) director who decides what character development occurs, when, and how. That may not be a "writing" update strictly speaking, but it'd be awesome all the same
  10. Greg you MACHINE, you! Another one from me: the interior of a huge spaceship cruising through the black void. Computer terminals scattered around the place have chat clients installed, and someone else is messaging the player through them, claiming to be on the ship and, like the player, hopelessly lost. I just realised my contributions tend to be places + some prescribed way of player interaction. Tim, you asked just for the former but I can't help it! I come from a D&D background where you can make up fantastic locales on the spot, but which fall flat unless the players are given something interesting or a reason to care about the place.
  11. Exciting environments! - Double Fine Studios! If you're open to breaking that 4th wall, introduce some levity by literally introducing Tim Schafer. - A mundane environment (e.g., an office or an apartment building) where people do simple things with gratuitous flair: - Stapling things by throwing individual staples like ninja stars - Opening doors only by kicking them in/down - Moon-walking only - Martial arts acrobatics and posing à la Stephen Chow and Jackie Chan - Pretending to be secret agents or spies being all sneaky-like. - A giant chess board with self-aware chess pieces that don't want to get taken, so no one ends up moving and everyone aimlessly shuffles around their squares, talking or arguing about strategy. - One or more 200m high, really thin stone watchtowers in the middle of a steamy jungle, perhaps serving as viewpoints for players to see their progress. - A giant, deserted beach where thoughts manifest in reality as sand-things, like sand-houses, sand-people, sand-food, sand-birds, sand-trees... When thoughts move on, the sand crumbles. And obviously, you can't eat sand-food. Everything would also probably be a bit fragile. - A hallway (e.g., a B&W linoleum high school hallway) where each room is a memory, but if you take objects out of a room and into another, the object changes. Similarly, if you try to take people with you out of one room, they will politely refuse at first and, if pressed, come up with more and more heated/irrational excuses. That's all I got for now!
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