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#1 Re: Main Forum » I don't even know... » 2013-07-23 15:43:27

That's a house that was already robbed before and is currently in a "broken" state. Sometimes houses that are in a broken state are also impossible to explore/solve without using the right tools.

You can also see that the vault was breached. You can tell by the vault's sprite having a hole on top. That means that there is nothing to steal from it anyway.

Animal movement
Animals only move if they have spotted you before. Once an animal sees you, it will start moving with your next step and won't stop anymore, unless it gets stuck in between walls/doors, or dies.
Dogs (Pitbulls and Chihuahuas) move 1 space closer to you every time you take a step.
Cats move 1 space away from you every time you take a step.

In this specific house you could reach the vault by using some Drugged Meat on the Pitbull, but since the vault was already robbed that would be pointless. Unless your aim is the family (if there is still one).

#2 Re: Main Forum » Sneak peek » 2013-07-05 17:41:46

jere wrote:

... unless it's also going to be used to draw in hundreds of new players.

That's what I am thinking as well. But not sure if a perma-permadeath server is the right place for the contest then smile Unless this is gonna last for a prolonged period of time so that new players can learn the game as well.

#3 Re: Main Forum » Sneak peek » 2013-07-05 16:53:49

It could be a contest on the perma-permadeath server...

#4 Re: Main Forum » A proposal about new animal movement? » 2013-07-05 05:16:13

Ludicrosity wrote:

I also had a few other ideas for added security, so I think in the end, it would still require at least 15K of tools to break through (a lot more with multiple routes and bad luck, e.g. Taber's house before his demise). However, that's still better than the 25K or more required before the new animal movement rules.

15k cap for your design or in general? Because in general the cap is still the same as before, the only difference is that now the house owner has to spend more money if he wants to achieve the cap.

#5 Re: Main Forum » The many ways we play The Castle Doctrine » 2013-06-20 01:49:38

bey bey wrote:

By the way, does anybody else feel the urge to, at times, empty their own safe again to keep down the risk? (Say buy ten guns and dump them somewhere else etc.)

Sometimes. (There is no need to dump them somewhere else, you can just keep them.)

#6 Re: Main Forum » Balancing tool cost » 2013-06-18 03:24:26

bey bey wrote:

Only now did I realise that the current mechanics directly encourage random destruction: Since you'll leave your tools to the robber after leaving, it's in your best interest of sorts to use all tools destroying the house before walking onto the safe. This can't be right...

As long as you make the house safe to rob again (with no tools or less tools) you can come back and retrieve the tools that you left behind. I think this mechanic is more problematic than the lose-your-backpack mechanic. Both mechanics are interesting by itself, however they synergize in such a way so that they enable some playstyles that might not be desirable (personally I don't mind, I tried both playstlyes and I enjoyed both).

So players who vandalize might not know that they can retrieve their tools if they want, or, they simply want to destroy things. What I am saying here is that changing any of these mechanics won't prevent vandalism.

The other idea about tool cost progressively increasing can actually address this problem, but it would require a nice implementation where normal gameplay (scouting -> striking) is not penalized too much.

#7 Re: Main Forum » Encouraging desirable player behaviour » 2013-06-18 03:03:35

jasonrohrer wrote:

Though I realize that with meat so cheap, you could carry both meat and crowbars to bypass this device----I should change it in v10 so that sleeping dogs can't be clubbed or woken up, so drugged meat will be much more tactical.  Maybe THAT would be the fix for crowbars, other than simply jacking their price way up?  I mean, I don't want to encourage a hallway with 20 pitbulls anyway.... I want to encourage clever placement of pitbulls (like in the image above).

This could be an interesting change, but let's try to think of any reasons why this might not be a good idea (it seems ok at a first glance).

jasonrohrer wrote:

Damn, I forgot about using a tool to "stand still" while time passes.... hmm...  like cut a wall.

I wonder if THAT part changing would help anything.  Would have the bad side-effect of making you SAFER in most cases (you could stand there and club four surrounding dogs without being hurt).

Don't change this, please. Like you said, this adds more danger when dealing with animals, but also makes some advanced mind tricks possible, for example making a trap where using a tool on a seemingly safe tile next to you causes your death. Granted, most players don't use such tricks, but I've seen some traps that used them to some degree. And things like this just open up more possibilities to trick people, while still not making it overpowered in any way since anyone can use tools beforehand to secure/scout the trap.

This change could also introduce some engine inconsistencies, since you would still have to update the electricity state after a tool is used, but not update animal movement? And if you went for consistency then the game would allow the player to cut off electricity while standing on a powered (safe) trapdoor, which would only update (lose power) once the players makes the next step (which could be onto a safe tile)?

#8 Re: Main Forum » custom tool kits~ and other backpack UI fun ideas! » 2013-06-18 02:39:34

Yeah the right mouse button was just an example. Personally I like to avoid the right mouse button as well. Holding a modifier key (shift should be cross platform) could work as well.

#9 Re: Main Forum » custom tool kits~ and other backpack UI fun ideas! » 2013-06-17 23:49:28

jasonrohrer wrote:

I'm counting these as polish ideas.... stuff I'll be considering way down the line, assuming I get the game actually working at a fundamental level  smile

That's understandable. But could we at least have a simple improvement in one of the future (small) updates where for example the right mouse click would transfer the whole slot stack instead of just 1 item?

#10 Re: Main Forum » Leaving your house to watch tapes » 2013-06-16 11:47:17

I knew I shouldn't have put the CCTV monitoring system in the garage wink

#11 Re: News » Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released) » 2013-06-16 11:44:33

bey bey wrote:

But for a significant amount of any properly destructive tools, you would need cash to buy them, and to accumulate that wealth (assuming it takes 5-10 quick low-level robberies at least to get 5 dynamite, or ladders etc.) you'd need at least some kind of house so that your tool cash doesn't get taken away from you again before your have accumulated enough of it.

Exactly! But what I am saying is that you don't need to have a house if you don't want to and you can still achieve that. If the game would force you to have a house in order to obtain destructive power that would be awesome (or balanced, if you prefer) but at the moment that is not enforced. Maybe this is only possible because there is enough money to rob and not enough players to do it. Idk, we'll see how it goes.

#12 Re: News » Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released) » 2013-06-16 08:59:51

I still don't see how this would force (or promote) housebuilding for those players who choose to play robbers only. I could still ditch the voucher money and go rob right away, or not?

#13 Re: News » Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released) » 2013-06-16 06:41:38

Hmm, I don't think that starting-state or broken abandoned houses should be removed. They are a good way to get back into the game when you lose everything. If all those houses would be removed then we would need to have a more complex system in place to actually provide enough houses to rob.

So instead of removing them I think that we just need to put something in place that will promote housebuilding a bit more. I think that some players don't want to build houses at all and just enjoy robbing others even if they can't defend the money afterwards. And I think those players will probably never build houses, but the question is... should the game penalize those who don't spend any money for housebuilding or not?

#14 Re: News » Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released) » 2013-06-16 03:49:56

jasonrohrer wrote:

So, if your wife is dead, and people are just milking you for money over and over, they will be successful twice in a row, meaning that your money will go to zero (because they were successful), and after that you will stop getting paid.

Are we sure that this is working as you intended for (abandoned) houses?

Due to #3 simply entering (past the mat I guess) and exiting a house starts generating the money again.

I mean that's nice since we will never run out of money, but I'm not sure that you wanted it exactly that way.

#15 Re: Main Forum » Possible bug: inconsistent backpack and vault last saved state » 2013-06-15 23:59:42

jasonrohrer wrote:

Matrix, it sounds like you're trying to move tools into the backpack to protect them from robbers while you go out to watch tapes?  Obviously, you can do this if you actually fix and retest your house.  But you're trying to do it w/out retesting?  So that you can watch tapes, keep your tools safe, and fix up your house later?

I mean, my lazy fix for this would be to hide the Tapes button also if you transfered any tools.  But that doesn't really address what you're trying to do.  I'm not sure I *want* to allow you to transfer tools while leaving your house in a "needs to be edited" state, though!

I checked again to make sure. Like dalleck pointed out it happens when the house is totally ok and tested. Also it's not just limited to "protecting tools" (vault -> backpack), any transfer between the backpack and the vault is not being saved. I agree that this probably shouldn't be possible when you are editing the house, but otherwise it should be allowed.

#16 Re: Main Forum » Encouraging desirable player behaviour » 2013-06-15 23:51:08

dalleck wrote:

But I saw the future.  And it was good.


I don't believe we need any elaborate solutions to this puppy.  Houses will be houses.  People can make what they want.  If you have a tough house with $10,000 in your vault then someone with $5,000 is going to try to break in.  Maybe they have to spend all their money to buy tools to break you, but no matter how difficult you have made your house, you are going to go down.

If you have made something uninteresting to people, then your house will just be ignored.  Sure you could accrue lots of money and stay at the top of the ladder.  Does this make you 'win'?  No.  Winning this game is just playing it.  Everyone is actually a loser here.


dalleck wrote:

The only problem we have at this moment is vandalism through starting cash.

Are you sure that vandalism through robbed money is not a problem? I am playing the game non stop now and yeah there is no vandalism at the moment, but I wouldn't just leave that loophole in there.

#17 Main Forum » Possible bug: inconsistent backpack and vault last saved state » 2013-06-15 16:25:09

Replies: 5

The last backpack/vault tool state is not reloaded properly when returning to your house from the security tapes screen. You actually need to leave the house for it to register any tools moved between the backpack and the vault.

owner house -> house list (OK - saves backpack/vault tool state)
house list -> owner house (OK - loads the right backpack/vault tool state)

owner house -> tapes (BUG HERE? - probably doesn't save the last backpack/vault tool state)
tapes -> owner house (OR HERE? - loads the wrong backpack/vault tool state)

#18 Re: Main Forum » Encouraging desirable player behaviour » 2013-06-15 13:29:52

FunnyMan wrote:
Matrix wrote:

But technically unlimited backpack doesn't reward houses that are effectively unsolvable. Because with enough tools any design can fall.

Right now, we seem to be in a degenerate "no viable houses" situation.  Talking about "the optimum house" is pretty meaningless when all houses have the durability of a mandala on a windy day.

Yeah but let's talk about the core problem and not the v9 state. The v9 state is obviously unplayable at the moment.

FunnyMan wrote:

That said, I agree with your analysis, I just count the kind of house you describe as "effectively unsolvable".  Instead of a combination lock that can be bruteforced in a couple dozen years (like in v6), we've got a combination lock that can be bruteforced in a couple dozen years or dismantled with an unreasonable number of tools.  Personally, I don't consider that a substantial improvement.

...or dismantled is the important part here. And that's what we want -- tools that can be used to dismantle things so that we can break into a house/vault. In v5 tools in optimal houses were just obsolete, while in v8 they had practical use only after you understood the idea behind the trap, and even this could be argued upon, because a real optimal house just makes any tool useless, i.e. it allows no real shortcuts by using tools.

FunnyMan wrote:

All that an unlimited backpack does is add a second type of brute force.  That doesn't significantly change what's optimal, it just adds a maximum storage amount to optimal houses.  It treats the symptom, not the cause.

I agree with most those statements but at the same time I think that the second type of bruteforce that the unlimited backpack provides is the "playable" kind of bruteforce. Technically it's also a different kind of bruteforce, since you are not searching the problem space (i.e. the puzzle solution space), but instead you are just searching the real house space (which is much more limited), with the ability to mix both, if you think that you can save time or money by doing so. Also searching the house space requires only basic game knowledge (what tools do to different house tiles), while searching the solution space requires advanced (sometimes even complete) game knowledge. And, since logic gates are part of the game, it means that knowledge from other fields is practically required in order to understand the whole puzzle.

FunnyMan wrote:

That doesn't significantly change what's optimal...

This is the part I don't agree with. So how exactly do we define the "optimal" house? When talking about that we would have to agree on what are we trying to optimize.
- Minimizing house cost while maximizing total tool cost to reach the vault while not knowing anything about the house?
- Minimizing house cost while maximizing tool cost to reach the vault when knowing the vault location in advance?
- Minimizing house cost while maximizing tool cost to secure the house escape route?
- Minimizing house cost while maximizing tool cost to access all relevant house defense logic areas?

And even if we agree on one of those (it's already non trivial to pick the best one, but it should be possible since game mechanics and costs are known), it's not a trivial thing to build an optimal house, because you would need to do it in stages. You would have to make sub-optimal houses until you accumulate enough money to change the house into an optimal one. And by definition those sub-optimal houses are the ones that are worth being robbed. And if you manage to reach that optimal house state you could still be robbed by someone who made a net loss out of it, but it doesn't matter because he probably robbed some other houses to get that extra money.

All these optimizations were trivial in v5-v8; you just ruled tools out with Electric grids and 9+ walls. Of course in v8 you still had to build an obfuscated system behind that, but no one had to even think about the optimal house problem, since it was right there in front of us right from the start. I am pretty sure that it won't be that easy with unlimited tools and probably that's part of the reason why people think it won't work. We (me included) don't know what's the best house design to aim for. While that's exciting for some, it makes others think they don't have control and maybe even scares them.

#19 Re: Main Forum » Well, now the cashflow problem is on coke... » 2013-06-15 11:26:59

What I noticed is that someone was hoarding tools on his character and then was either dying with them or using them to vandalize others. I suspect that he was vandalizing seeing so many reports of vandalized houses, but I might be wrong.

#20 Re: Main Forum » Encouraging desirable player behaviour » 2013-06-15 11:07:54

FunnyMan wrote:

It's unreasonable to expect the players to make houses that create "a tactical, player-generated, Roguelike, every-cycling arms race" when you reward them for making houses that are effectively unsolvable.

But technically unlimited backpack doesn't reward houses that are effectively unsolvable. Because with enough tools any design can fall.

So the optimal house is a house that is an elaborate trap that is too hard to figure out (hidden logic) and at the same time too expensive to break through (to get to the logic or vault). But if you place enough money into the vault then it's not too expensive anymore and instead it becomes "worth the risk".

In an ideal world this game would be about house owners changing and expanding their house over time to raise that "worth it" threshold while still keeping enough money in the vault to remain a good target (after all you get more money if people fail and leave some tools behind). At the same time robbers would be able to pick targets they think they can handle, sometimes failing and sometimes succeeding. An owner who lost his money would then just go rob others to fill his vault again.

But in the real world (well the virtual TCD world tongue) this might be impossible to achieve without certain limitations and "forced" mechanics. It might be also impossible to achieve without a change to the reward system, I agree, that's a possibility.

#21 Re: Main Forum » Encouraging desirable player behaviour » 2013-06-15 10:24:09

bey bey wrote:

I do agree that a lot of the frustration with the game comes from preserving this while still keeping it playable...

Yes smile

If we could just drop all restrictions then it would be too easy... you would just take the mechanics from another game that is already released and working and build the burglary theme around it.

The idea is to come up with suggestions and solutions that could potentially work by keeping some restrictions in the game. Of course some restrictions might be changed or dropped eventually, but not before a few iterations are attempted to actually solve the problem at hand.

#22 Re: Main Forum » Well, now the cashflow problem is on coke... » 2013-06-15 10:13:46

FunnyMan wrote:

Right direction or not, something needs to change, here.  And I don't think the change can come at the user level, because there's just not much a homeowner can do against a starting budget's worth of tools.  Certainly not on their own starting budget.

Yes, the whole thread is about suggestions for changes. All are server/client related, none of them are at user-level.

What I was trying to say there is that the issues with v9 are due to a broken state. Not all necessary changes were put in place before it was released to the public, but there is nothing bad about that. In fact it helps people learn what's really broken.

#23 Re: Main Forum » Well, now the cashflow problem is on coke... » 2013-06-15 10:07:27

bey bey wrote:

Yup. I was in favour of a starting pack of tools and some cash for the house, I somehow liked that. But no tools upon start and a low minimum salary on broken houses would work as well and generate more gameplay, since without ANYTHING even one dog still alive in a broken house can take you down. That's some of the tenseness this game can produce.

Yeah we could go down that route, but I think that the suggested solution limits legitimate players just to prevent some other exploit. Not saving the house state post robbery could achieve the same effect as long as the house budget is high enough so that you can protect the family against respawn spammers from start.

Also your suggestion does not prevent vandalism from players that actually get the money somehow. They could gain enough money to buy the tools needed to get to your vault and then use your money to buy more tools to destroy your whole house.

#24 Re: Main Forum » Well, now the cashflow problem is on coke... » 2013-06-15 09:43:55

FunnyMan wrote:

It sounds to me like the immediate problem is that robbery is too effective right now.  We've gone from a situation where you could build nigh-unsolvable houses with starting cash, to a situation where robbers can brute-force most houses with their starting cash.  It's essentially creating an infinite money sink, so nobody can afford to build anything that might (temporarily) stand up to the robbers.

One solution might be to make everyone start with no backpack slots, and have to pay $2,000 (or perhaps a bit less) for each slot.  That would mean that you'd start out with (nearly) no tools, and have to *earn* the ability to break houses by solving some first.

That right, but it's mostly due to an unstable transition from one system to another, rather than a wrong direction.

The solution you suggest would help yes, since it's a form of a progression system, but I am not sure that Jason wants to have an artificial progression system in his game. We'll see what he has to say smile

#25 Re: Main Forum » Well, now the cashflow problem is on coke... » 2013-06-15 09:37:05

bey bey wrote:

Bottom line, the more I think about it, being able to use your starting cash on tools feels like a bug more than a feature (like with the overpowered electric floors until now...).

Yes that's why it was suggested a few times to separate starting budgets so that they can be balanced separately.

However there are many suggestions and it's hard to tell which one should be implemented fist. It's just how it is, the implementation order will sometimes change or break the game, but that's good. It shows to everyone that some changes have greater effects than others and that some limitations are more needed than others etc.

It also shows that some changes need to be made together or else they don't have the desired effect.

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