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Messages - jim

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Holy crap! I can't believe they finally finished it! This is probably my favorite platformer of all time. So excited to know that it's been finished... guess I know what I'm doing this evening! Thanks for the update, getter!

Off-topic (Locked) / Re: What are russians planning?
« on: September 21, 2015, 04:52:29 PM »
Don't be a tool bag dude. Lots of cool people are gay.

They aren't so cool to me.

Eat shit.

Early Dev / Re: Ultima Ratio Regum (v 0.7 released, 18th April!)
« on: August 24, 2015, 08:17:22 PM »
Where in the Procedurally Generated World is Carmen Sandiego?

What a great thread! I've missed this place. And I feel vindicated that FINALLY other people are admitting that DoD kinda sucked.

My wife and I recently started playing this together. Quite a bit of fun, lends itself well to couch co-op.

Design / Re: a new world engine?
« on: January 26, 2015, 04:46:22 PM »
Most ideas, even some of the best ones, die before they are born. No disrespect intended, but ideas don't need any extra help with that part. When the post is, "Why won't anyone join my team," or "Please contribute your hard-earned money to my vague project," then it might be time to weigh in with the pragmatic life advice. Robbie is asking if anyone wants to get together and play in a treehouse. Maybe he's also asking them to bring a bit of tree and house with them, but hey, I've heard worse suggestions.

Early Dev / Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« on: January 24, 2015, 07:59:26 PM »

P.S. One thing that I love about SMT is that you really get to know your team. You appreciate their strengths and weaknesses, you know who does what, and you know what to do in a given scenario. I don't feel this yet from Demon. It feels like it moves too fast for that, and your demons are very disposable. In general, my strategy is "strong guys first, and if one is about to die, replace it with the next best guy." If that were my strategy with SMT: Strange Journey, I'd be all kinds of dead.

Can you give me any info on how the game feels too fast in this regard?


You'll stick with a group that has synergy for a very long time in SMT. Monsters unlock new high-level abilities that you only see after sticking with them for 5-10 XL level gains. You become acutely aware of their elemental affinities and weaknesses, because a lack of awareness there results in a very quick death. You'll plan out demon fusion candidates several levels ahead of time; you might even recruit a monster for the sole purpose of fusing it. All of those decisions are important and irreversible.

In Demon, while I might frown a little when they kill my Tudak, I know it's not a very big deal. He's not particularly different from any other bruiser for most practical purposes, and since I have no control over him, what differences exist I don't always notice - or need to notice.

Point being, in SMT, if I brought my skeleton knight [WEAK: IMPACT] into the floor full of club-wielding ogres, I'd just lose, and I'd lose for as long as I continued with this bad strategy. Affinities, weaknesses, and synergies are immensely pronounced. This gives every decision huge weight and has the effect of slowing down the player, making them think. The other main difference is that a slog through an SMT floor/maze/trapfest/M.C. Escher dungeon is so protracted and so very much about *attrition* that you can't help but learn the cruel logic of the game. With Demon, you don't really have to learn yet, and you don't have to know your allies. So, it's literally a quicker game, and emotionally... has less impact?

Early Dev / Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« on: January 21, 2015, 08:05:52 PM »

Okay, my third cycle win with this guy. This time went Mind / Elec. Did not find Mind to be very useful except for putting certain enemies to sleep, which is how I recruited Victor. The fact that these Mind abilities interfered with the use of group buffs like War Cry cemented my opinion that Mind is not so great.

There was one point where my group was fighting about 12 other enemies (including the bikini babe unique) in a 2-tile hallway, and truth be told, I almost died. I'd initially tried the old go-to of turning a centaur into an allied hero. He was promptly torn to shreds and I was suddenly alone. Within a couple turns, I was majorly poisoned, stun-locked by the cavemen, and using every rune I had to try and put guys to sleep or charm them so I could get some breathing room to resummon. I think the only reason I lived was because of the Diehard trait.

But that entire scenario came about because I was being completely reckless - I voluntarily unsummoned my entire team in favor of one centaur who was surrounded on all sides. At this point - and I've sunk maybe 15 hours into this game off and on - I'm pretty confident that I could indefinitely extend this win cycle. So I do think that either the difficulty needs to be ramped up, or - and this is my preference - the randomness factor could be ramped up. You spoke about a temporary portal ala DCSS as a way of forcing the player forward. I think that's a great idea. Some kind of reason to take risks and push forward is essential to a good roguelike. Except in the case of TOME, apparently... still have no idea why people like that game. :)

Some other ideas to make the game more brutal: maybe the penalty for failing to recruit an enemy monster is that they pull something from the bag of misfortune, something akin to DCSS miscast effects. Maybe their buddies get stronger or they have a chance of summoning other monsters. Maybe there is even a chance of this happening regardless of whether you're attempting to recruit.

Maybe in addition to items on the ground, there are treasure chests or anomalies or whatever that might drop goodies and might also put you in a world of hurt.

This may be pushing it, but: in SMT, there is something like an initiative roll at the beginning of an encounter. Sometimes enemies are automatically hostile, sometimes they are asleep, sometimes they get the drop on you and automatically attack, and so forth. Maybe some mechanic to this effect? Enemies are "afraid of you" (accuracy down), "enraged by you" (offense up), "curious about you" (easier to recruit), "rushing you in a frenzy" (free pounce-type attack??) Stuff like that. I'd also like it if enemies sometimes initiated conversation, e.g. "You win! Let me live and take this heal stone!"

One thing in particular I've noticed is that auto-hit abilities are definitely the way to go. For some reason, these are often very inexpensive abilities to use, and in many cases, they also have at-will targeting available. Very, very strong. My vote would be: make them a little more powerful and significantly more expensive, or extend their cooldown (thinking of Punish and Agony et al.)

Last, but not least, I think that regenerate is overpowered. I like that Mend applies a status effect, but an auxiliary healer with the player casting regenerate makes for a really, really tanky team. Most of the time, a well-placed buff and a few regen spells, maybe switch out a weakened guy for a stronger one, is really all that it takes to win.

P.S. One thing that I love about SMT is that you really get to know your team. You appreciate their strengths and weaknesses, you know who does what, and you know what to do in a given scenario. I don't feel this yet from Demon. It feels like it moves too fast for that, and your demons are very disposable. In general, my strategy is "strong guys first, and if one is about to die, replace it with the next best guy." If that were my strategy with SMT: Strange Journey, I'd be all kinds of dead.

And, again, of course, thank you for hours of free entertainment :)

Early Dev / Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« on: January 16, 2015, 09:21:25 PM »
How you like me now, Ferret? 2 for 2. :)

Do you have a forum or something? I would like to follow this game more closely... it's been the first RL to really draw me in for quite a while.

Early Dev / Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« on: January 15, 2015, 05:21:48 PM »
Well, first of all, thanks for making such a cool game. Of course I enjoyed it; otherwise I would have quit. No screen shot of the score, but I think it was around 66XX.

1) Yes, game = fun. As others have noted, the high points in the game tend to come when fights get large and chaotic. You have a fairly limited ability to control what your monsters do, and I think most players learn quickly that a lot of success versus death has to do with time/turn management. For me, the high points were when I was wedged between a couple different groups of monsters, with my team in the yellow, wondering whether I should cast regenerate on someone or unsummon them. Choosing between limited options to get the best odds are what makes a RL fun.

Also fun: matrices. IMO half the reason for the success of the SMT series is the demon fusion mechanic. People love the grind, and they love slot machines. It's fun to look through the various possible combinations, something that feeds into gamer geekery very well.

The few battles I had with enemy summoners were also surprisingly fun. I like that they'll unsummon and resummon throughout, and if you kill them before whittling down their menagerie, all of their monsters a) become available to potentially recruit, and b) can also potentially overwhelm you because they are no longer bound into groups of 3.

2) I like the challenge level in this game. This is one of those games where you pretty much need to be dominating all the time, much like the SMT series. If things go south, they tend to go south quickly, and once they go south, you may be screwed. The few times I found myself in serious trouble (lost that egyptian jackal unique and my main healer while trapped between two enemy groups, for instance), I realized that unless I turned things around very quickly, even if I won this fight, I'd probably be so depleted that I'd lose the next one.

3) 3 I think. This ain't my first rodeo! This build was Buff + Healing. Previous two attempts were Mind + Dark (<-about as fucking useful as the mentalist in ADOM :P) and Melee + Healing (<- probably a mistake since monsters display huge preference toward attacking the player most of the time, but hey, I had no idea!)

4) Well, there are a few RL staples. For instance, you can stairway dance ala Dungeon Crawl. There should probably be some penalty for doing so. I backed down to the previous level more than once. Controlling the terrain is a bit more difficult when your monsters charge and attack enemies as soon as they see said enemies, but managing the circumstances of a battle are basically what a roguelike is all about. I did this as much as possible, waiting an extra turn to cast the speed buff, for instance, so that a turn with that buff wasn't wasted closing the distance to melee.

When fighting, 90% of what I did was buff with the speed spell and heal with regenerate (eventually peppered War Cry into there as well, and took the recover breath ability that lets you get stamina back, even though I had no breath weapon.) My stats were pretty even except for Cunning - I invested no points into Cunning.

Occasionally I would try to direct monsters with kill orders, but most of the time, fights were in 2 tile corridors, and enemy monster groups are pretty good at the "retreat and recover" tactic. Ultimately, I ended up with two heavy hitters and a healer and I let them do their thing. Tried a couple times to organize a different strategy, but this was just plain powerful and suffered less from stamina attrition, which is a huge problem if you are relying on anything other than melee, especially with the prevalence of the Infection status debuff. I suppose that this is intended to make players desummon/resummon more, but that's two whole turns, dude!

Anyway, I let my allies do their thing while I buffed, healed and unsummoned when they were about to die, occasionally popping in to take a few cheap shots. When high level allies acquired a range of abilities, their actions seemed more and more difficult to predict, so I focused less on what they were doing and more on what I was doing; I was the only sane member of my party.

Speed is a very powerful buff. Once I had a couple guys who could fight, Speed + Regen + Flesheater + Counterattack made them very hard to take down. I hate to say it, but probably OP (though it could be easily undermined by monsters who are immune to physical damage.)

Last, but not least, you can attempt to recruit certain monsters to get a free ally with no penalties, make an enemy go neutral, etc., even if you have no intention of keeping them. This has a huge effect and is begging to be exploited.

5) Haha, I'm happy to be an armchair dev and tell you all the ways you should make your game like the game of my dreams, but just like you're hesitant to ask a jillion questions, I'm hesitant to offer a jillion suggestions or comments. But if I were to keep it brief, I'd say:

a) demon fusion should be more random and the monster hierarchy should be way more expansive (obviously the latter must be a WIP)
b) you should be able to direct your monsters a little better
c) i really enjoy that you've created a wide variety of recruitment tactics - delightful stuff
d) please make the game open world, with persistent towns, shops, procedurally generated quests, procedurally generated monster types, and please ensure that the mathematically sound principles you are using to determine the ebb and flow of the tides on the perfectly scaled globe take into account the fact that there are now two moons in the sky
e) seriously though, this is the kind of game that NEEDS to be expanded!

Early Dev / Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« on: January 14, 2015, 11:05:05 PM »

Early Dev / Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« on: January 10, 2015, 09:54:21 PM »
You know, I was ready to give you the obligatory thumbs up for being a hardworking indie dev, trying your best etc., but what I was not prepared for was to be genuinely impressed by how much content already exists within the game, and the kind of insight in game design I've seen so far. Bravo.

...Was pissed that I couldn't get the headless zombie to kill the scientist in time :)

Early Dev / Re: Demon: A monster collection roguelike
« on: January 10, 2015, 05:37:39 PM »
SMT + RL = AWESOME. Will play.

Urgent Question: do the monstrous shopkeepers sing in a different octave?! Eagerly expecting a dev reply ASAP.

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