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Discuss the massively-multiplayer home defense game.

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#1 Re: Main Forum » Dealing with too-hard houses » 2013-04-10 11:25:47

I agree with the problem but not that much with the solution.

Keeping with the theme you are going for I think its the tools that need refinement. Right now they don't really allow you to be a thief learning the intricacies of the house but rather trial and error to return at a later date.

In the real world if someone executes a robbery they have to:
1. Do preliminary planning
2. Select the best tools for the job (based on that planning)
3. Once in the house improvise on the fly and try to figure out how to solve it.

Following that it would be interesting to maybe have a way to know what kind of traps or materials the house is using before hand (so you can figure out what tools to bring for the job) and then being able to actually use those tools to get your way through and learn the map.
Right now the closest I can think of is kind of minesweeper. You have to logically deduce what squares you can eliminate and once you are done with all those deductions you know what the dangers are.

This kind of goes into the fact that the amounts of luck and logic on the current design feel uncontrolled. Maybe you need to add more  types of traps (timers, wire coloring ) that will add new game design elements creating a layering of possibilities that forces more deduction and less mathematical combinations.

This also ties with skill. I imagine that robbing someone requires you to be skilled enough to know if its worth risking your move.
When I first started to rob houses in the game I assumed that when stumbling upon a problem (e.g. a pressure panel) I should have the tools to analyse it like a real robber.
E.g. maybe I could open the pressure panel and see where the wiring goes and try to figure out what it connects to. Then if for example it went into the wall I could use my tools again to analyse where the wiring goes through the wall.

This is just an example to illustrate my thinking behind it. Your tools should be re-usable and its the deductions that you do out of what you read that allow you to advance further.
Introducing timers for example when disassembling an item would create the stress and force you to have skill on your deductions (e.g. hacking in Uplink)

In the end i guess it ties with what you mentioned. We need to be able to have a look at the underlying system designed to protect the house even if we don't know what is exactly doing.

Also you have a big focus on being able to do your own house without any tools to keep the game fair. Why would this be the case?
Going with the theme of your game the burglar should NEED to have the right tools to do the job and there should be skill involved in that selection.

As an example imagine a robber that takes 45 min to reach the vault only to find out he didn't bring the proper tool to open the door without triggering the alarm?

And that just reminded me, why no alarms? Why just death in case of mistake? Why not have lower level penalties for doing errors as a burglar rather than the black and white death system?

Imagine that if the alarm rings and you don't get away in the allowed time then you loose your tools and have to pay a "fine" to the owner of the house?
This maybe would even create 2 kinds of players, the ones that focus on robbing and the ones that focus on protecting their houses. (just like in real life where robbers don't really live in the mansions they steal).

So as a conclusion I would say that as a robber I should always be able to outsmart the home owner if I manage to figure out the way his defense system is created.
The best defense systems would naturally force me to take longer figuring them out (forcing the creation of time limitations for tension) or needing to carry very specific tools or any other design elements that create this kind of balance between how clever the puzzle is and how smart I feel when I figure it out.

PS. Also having a bit of luck involved in the whole process (that just doesn't cause permadeath) could really make things interesting.

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