Author Topic: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback  (Read 26033 times)

Anvilfolk

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2013, 08:18:29 AM »
Agreed that memorising some things would be nice! I just solved the first level of a ziggurat, but just thinking of "looking" at a tile, then pressing "a" for the block, and then remembering which blocks have what is a process that's a lot more involved than it could be.

Mousing over the blocks bringing you up a description would immediately solve this. Same for the inscriptions! Provided, of course, you've looked at them before perhaps?
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miki151

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #16 on: August 05, 2013, 09:36:58 AM »
I just realized that only walking opposite to where you're facing requires two key presses, sorry for the confusion.

Another suggestion though. 'L'ooking would be easier if it automatically rotated the character in the right direction. Right now I 'l'ook, realize that it doesn't work because I'm not facing that location, hit escape, rotate and 'l'ook again. I also agree with others that looking requires way too many key presses.
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UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2013, 01:03:51 PM »
Whew, many replies. Thanks all for taking the time to comment in so much detail. So, messages in order:

Miki #1 - I see what you mean. For the next major release (I'm releasing 0.3.1 with a few fixes in the next week, but I mean 0.4) I'll do some experimenting with that system. I take your point though - right now, turning-without-moving is the default, but that's actually likely to be a very rare situation. I'll make move-and-turn the default, put turn-without-move and move-without-turn on Ctrl/Alt or whatever, and see how that works. But I think it'll work well, and I think you're right.

Endorya #1 - understood. Yes, indeed, there needs to be more to do per map grid, and that's why I intend to focus on traps for 0.4 to add more gameplay. I take your point about the main menu borders - I'll just have to see how I feel about it when I return to the game for 0.3.1 in a few days! See, in principle I know you're right about mono-spaced text, yet it doesn't bother me. But I'm not sure if I've just become used to it, or I've never been bothered! Nevertheless, again for 0.4, I'll do some messing around with different font types and see how things look. For the Travel/Minimap thing, for instance, I double-spaced the text, and I felt that made it a lot more readable. Am I imagining that, or does it really make a difference? Got it re: persistence. Yeah, the entire world rerolls upon death. Your comment about knowledge between characters is one of the big issues - if Character B has Character A's knowledge - how?! If Character B doesn't, it encourages the player to slow down the game and if near death, suddenly scribble down loads of notes about the world, and that's rubbish. Thus, the world rerolls. Haha, thanks, and you really have! All constructive criticism is good.

Endorya #2 - haha, glad you like the opening menu. I specifically didn't want to have a key to generate new landscapes as I wanted it to be a long-term variation (like, say, the subtitles on DF), but maybe I should add a regenerate-main-menu key. Anyway, about the puzzle, I think there's two things here. Firstly, memory, secondly, the process of understanding the puzzle. As for memory, I always scribble down clues when I'm playtesting them, either in notepad or on paper (though paper is better since I can write down the right orientation more easily than in notepad). If you aren't doing so, I'd suggest doing so. I know a lot of other people playtesting have been doing so, and I think it's the best system. Think somewhat akin to Fez, where if you don't have a pen and paper handy, you're in trouble!

As for the second issue of ease-of-viewing-clues, I think the idea of having "unsolved puzzles" recorded in a journal is an excellent one. I've been thinking for a while about the kind of functionality I want in a finalized journal system. I hadn't thought of adding something like that, but the idea makes a lot of sense. I can't say when I'll implement it, because if I'm going to start working on a journal system I want to get the basics of the infrastructure right first time, but I like the idea a lot.

Endorya #3 - I very much like the sound idea. A lot. And I do see your point about being able to detect enemies behind you. If you are moving north, say, then it might print fairly accurate '?'s behind you to denote where you hear sounds, or some similar system. I really like the idea, and will include it, and definitely tie to a stealth/sneaking system. I had been intending to have sounds, though I hadn't thought about how just yet, but that mechanic sounds really good to me.

Vanguard - first, thanks :). Glad you like it. Huh, I hadn't considered the lifegiver. Believe me, I deleted a LOT of clues that were ambiguous, but I hadn't realized any vagueness in that one. Will remove. That clue is meant to mean BCAD, basically. So the first two are the two in the middle, and they are between the other two, in that order. I was expecting the player to "learn" what that wording means, but I agree, that's very vague. I'll change that. I put a lot of work into making the clues "ambiguous but explicit", which is a weird combination, but you've found two issues where that didn't work. Thanks, and I'll change those for 0.3.1.

Anvilfolk - yeah, memorizing is definitely a good idea. I'll think about how to best implement it. The block colours are designed to aid recognition, and when you grab a block, the message saying "You grab the block" tells you what is on the block ("You grab the block with a sun pattern", or something similar), to prevent you having to endlessly re-look. I have considered mouse support, and maybe I'll need to include that. Hmm. One easier way would be to remove the "press enter" step and have it automatically print/list everything on a tile by simply moving the cursor over. Thoughts?

Miki #2 - Hmmmm. Looking rotating you... I'm not sure about that. I'll have to think about it. But I agree looking takes too many keypresses - what do you think about the "removing pressing enter" as a variation, so it always prints the list of things on that tile? I am reluctant to make looking rotate the character since rotating takes time, and again, I don't want to get the player, if they're trying to look at something, maybe accidentally turning in combat. But maybe I should incorporate that. Hmm.

Endorya

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2013, 08:44:04 PM »
Anyway, about the puzzle, I think there's two things here. Firstly, memory, secondly, the process of understanding the puzzle. As for memory, I always scribble down clues when I'm playtesting them, either in notepad or on paper (though paper is better since I can write down the right orientation more easily than in notepad). If you aren't doing so, I'd suggest doing so. I know a lot of other people playtesting have been doing so, and I think it's the best system. Think somewhat akin to Fez, where if you don't have a pen and paper handy, you're in trouble!
I did take notes of the 5 hints on the notepad regarding the puzzle I mentioned previously and this is exactly what I was referring about. I mean, it is totally fine if you rely on paper and pencil to work out logic to solve a given puzzle but I think the game should save the player from the unnecessary task of storing crucial information about puzzles outside the game.

Storing information is something computers are really good at, so why not letting URR help the player down this path? All information relevant to a puzzle could be placed inside a journal entry (or something), from which the player could view all hints and possibly the images of the blocks at any given time. I think this would have a tremendous impact towards puzzle solving as far as comfort is concerned, because viewing hints and dozens of blocks through a successive and repetitive number of actions can and will be tiring for some people.

But then again, if no one else had complained about it so far, it probably means you can ignore it. :D
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Vanguard

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #19 on: August 06, 2013, 03:47:03 AM »
I just used notepad when the puzzles got difficult.

Krice

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2013, 08:30:28 AM »
It could be an idea to list keyboard commands somewhere. I don't know if such list exists, but at least it doesn't appear on ? menu where it should be.

I think there are players for this kind of game as there is for Dwarf Fortress, but this is not for me. I wandered about ten minutes in a forest and then quit. I need more action put in front of me without having to desperately search it in a gigantic empty world.

The movement style didn't feel strange, maybe because the fov cone instructed my brains to understand it.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 08:34:03 AM by Krice »

Endorya

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #21 on: August 06, 2013, 02:12:13 PM »
I think there are players for this kind of game as there is for Dwarf Fortress, but this is not for me. I wandered about ten minutes in a forest and then quit. I need more action put in front of me without having to desperately search it in a gigantic empty world.
The world feels empty because the author still needs to add content to it. What you see is far from being the final version but the tip of the iceberg composing URR; at the moment it is simply a showcase for general world and terrain generation. You can conclude this after reading all features that the author plans to include in future releases of this massive project of his ;)
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 02:17:39 PM by Endorya »
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UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2013, 04:45:26 PM »
@ Endorya #1 - yeah, I like the journal idea. I'll have to think of a high-level system for the journal, as I say, if I'm going to implement it in the near future. Nobody else has complained, but I still really like the idea. I'll need a lot of thought first, though, so I can't promise it for 0.4!

@ Vanguard - wise move, sir.

@ Krice - there is a keys list, and I was hoping people would read the intro message that says where it is :)! But I've since moved it to the Guidebook for 0.3.1 which I've just released, since you're right, that makes a lot more sense. Similarly, that introductory message was meant to let people know to use 'T' to travel and what to search for. I'm not trying to be critical, I honestly want feedback - did you just skip through that message? Or did you read but it wasn't memorable/interesting enough? If I need to adjust the opening message, I any feedback on it you may have would be great.

@ Endorya #2 - ah, CONTENT. More content *is* on its way. I do want the game to be very "dense" by the end of things, as we discussed in an earlier message. The world map should be full of stuff after later releases...

Krice

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2013, 07:46:49 PM »
Or did you read but it wasn't memorable/interesting enough? If I need to adjust the opening message

I don't even remember any opening message. No one reads those.

UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2013, 12:49:21 PM »
Or did you read but it wasn't memorable/interesting enough? If I need to adjust the opening message

I don't even remember any opening message. No one reads those.

Then it seems I cannot win :). Either way, I've moved Controls to Guidebook, but I don't really see what else I can do beyond letting people know where to find the controls.

Endorya

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2013, 10:08:38 AM »
Just out of curiosity, have you considered adding mouse support, even if it is the last feature to add into URR?
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UltimaRatioRegum

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #26 on: August 14, 2013, 03:32:52 PM »
Just out of curiosity, have you considered adding mouse support, even if it is the last feature to add into URR?

I have considered it, and there's a good chance I will. Probably for the look function (right click?) and move (left click?) as defaults, but I'd have to think about it. The move option certainly wouldn't happen until I've implemented methods for you to implement a go-to function to a particular square without having to take every tile yourself, for example.

Endorya

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #27 on: August 14, 2013, 04:06:02 PM »
I have considered it, and there's a good chance I will. Probably for the look function (right click?) and move (left click?) as defaults, but I'd have to think about it. The move option certainly wouldn't happen until I've implemented methods for you to implement a go-to function to a particular square without having to take every tile yourself, for example.
I was referring to general interface input administration, like managing the inventory, skill trees, pressing buttons etc but mostly importing, yeah, the look function. I would suggest executing the look function simply by hovering tiles with the mouse without requiring clicks and popping out actions over that tile with RMB (if available). As for moving the character, I actually prefer keys. In fact, I would prefer handling char movement with QWE + ASD + ZXC keys, while having mouse-look-function control with the other hand. That would be neat and feel truly comfortable :D
« Last Edit: August 14, 2013, 09:34:32 PM by Endorya »
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AgingMinotaur

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2013, 08:22:04 AM »
Just tried out version 3 (not 3.1), peeked around in the overworld a bit and solved a ziggurat puzzle. I agree with the general consensus that the interface for looking, reading clues, repositioning blocks etc. is a bit clunky ATM, and am happy to see you're working on that.

Some suggestions I think haven't been made, which might work to make puzzle solving more smooth: After a block has been thoroughly examined, it might be "identified", changing name from "stone block" to "stone block with lizard carving" etc. (as they are called when you grab them). It might also be an idea to let the character remember unseen squares, so that once I've looked at all the blocks, I can use the "l"ook command to conveniently see which blocks are where, without having to move around a lot to do so.

Other than that, I must say the game looks gorgeous! Both the ascii landscapes and the block carvings are just mind-blowing -- that does a lot for the overall experience. The procedural puzzles are also quite cool in and of themselves, with room for expansion, as well (imagine for higher level puzzles, stacking a procedural sokoban puzzle on top of the existing system, so you have to figure out not only which blocks go where, but even in which order and path to drag them there -- or puzzles that activate a trap (locked door, poison gas, rolling boulder) if you get them wrong 8)). I think if you get a UI that let players more easily try out different solutions, slightly ambiguous hints needn't be a show stopper. Now, if it takes minutes to try out whether hint A refers to block X or block Y, impatient donkeys like myself might get stopped in our tracks.

By the way, I was a complete Borges nut for many years, I read practically all his ficciones in my late teens/early twenties. I even added the Zahir as an artifact to my game Squirm, but I still think URR has a chance at being the first finished RL with Borges allusions ;D

Finally, for us Linux users, running this in Wine is not an option, as it's impossibly slow. I won't be able to seriously play your game unless a Linux version comes around, as I haven't booted Windows since your last release of URR ;) I'm hoping you'll see the light and distribute the byte code at some point. ::) Here seems to be a relatively calm and collected discussion addressing your needs in this regard.

As always,
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AgingMinotaur

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Re: Ultima Ratio Regum development feedback
« Reply #29 on: August 19, 2013, 10:10:03 AM »
By the way, maybe utterly off topic, I came to think about URR the other day as I stumbled upon this utterly amazing collection of aztec facsimiles: www.famsi.org/research/loubat/index.html Who knows if they might provide you, or anybody else reading this, with some inspiration or entertainment.

As always,
Minotauros
This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.