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#1 2013-06-14 15:50:40

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,229

Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Several public releases and several thousand players later, I took a hard look at what The Castle Doctrine had become, and I realized that it had veered off in a troubling, unsustainable direction.

My original goals for the game were as follows.

I wanted to make a game where players generated content, but where that content actually mattered to gameplay.  Where that content was the gameplay. 

The house design side would naturally be whatever it would be:  players would strive to design a house that would keep robbers out in the most effective way possible.  Designs would evolve over time as players discovered this or that emergent combination.  I always imagined that the house design side of the game would quickly blossom into something beyond what I could imagine, so I didn't spend too much time trying to imagine it (people have built working CPU logic in Minecraft, so the sky is really the limit).

minecraftALU.jpg

But I had very specific goals for the robbery side of the game.  Yes, the robbers would obviously be trying to overcome whatever fiendishness the best homeowners had devised, but they would be able to overcome it tactically.  They'd sneak through a darkened house, peering around corners, and pressing their luck.  A poke here, a cut there.  Trying to find and exploit a weakness in the design.  Cutting through in exactly the right spot and finding themselves behind the scenes, exploring the inner workings of the house, like going behind the walls at the end of Portal.  With permadeath always one mistake away, this would be a tense experience.  But with enough explorative poking and cutting, over multiple scouting trips, any house design would eventually be vulnerable to a successful break-in.  "Aha!  If I just cut through these wooden walls, snip this wire, and throw this brick across the pit to hit that switch, I can get to the vault."

And that's how I envisioned the two sides interacting.  No homeowner would be safe forever.  This would be a game about vulnerability and violation.  Yes, some would rise to the top, but only for a short time, since being at the top would mean that the attention from robbers would increase.  Through skill, opportunism, and some "right place at the right time" luck, a player might rob a few small houses, gaining enough money to buy tools to rob a few bigger houses, and so on, climbing carefully up through the ranks---a kind of meta-layer of tactical gameplay, a Roguelike where the dungeon-tower was built by other players.  But they'd get to the top only to be knocked back down by another upstart with less to lose.  Then they might climb again, building a house that would prevent the kind of break-in that got them last time.  An endless, every-cycling arms race between robbers and homeowners, where the landscape is always changing and no optimum exists for either side. 

cod1.png

As owners start building more wood walls, robbers start carrying more saws.  Then some smart owner notices this and starts building metal walls.  This trend builds, an then robbers start carrying more torches.  In response, homeowners might move on to concrete, and robbers explosives.  In which case owners would switch to dogs, and robbers to guns, and then back to wood versus saws, or pits versus ladders, or a mixture of dogs and wood versus a mixture of guns and saws.

metagame.png

The system would remained balanced by the fact that both obstacles and tools cost money, and money is scarce.  Furthermore, since every homeowner needs to get through their security with no tools at all, every house would have certain vulnerabilities that skilled players could discover and exploit.

Okay, that sounded pretty cool to me!  So, I tried to build that game.

It's pretty clear, though, that the current state (v8) of The Castle Doctrine does not match the above vision.  So what happened over the past 3 months since the first public release?

Shortly after the initial alpha launch, things were pretty great.  Homeowners were trying out this and that, discovering little emergent design combinations, and generally making really cool, clever, and interesting houses.  Robbers were sneaking around nervously, poking this and cutting that, and eventually breaking through every house.  Wealth and paintings were passing from player to player and different kingpins rose and fell.

But in less than a week, something very big happened.  A rather wealth player made some wooden walls that were 9 tiles thick.  Since a backpack only has 8 slots in it, and can thus carry only 8 saws, a robber cannot cut through such a wall.  At first, this didn't seem like such a big problem.  After all, every house has to be solvable without tools (as demonstrated by the owner).  So, there's still a way to get to the vault in such a house---just not a way that involves cutting.  Of course, the 9-wall-thick idea spread quickly.

cut8Deep.png

Shortly after that, however, something else big happened.  A rather clever player devised the first push-button combination lock.  9-tile-thick walls protected the internal logic, and a robber would be faced with pressing the right subset of 16 buttons in order to pass through a 9-door-thick corridor to the vault.  Yes, it's possible to reach the vault with no tools.  But if you don't know the secret pattern, it might take you 65,536 guesses.  This idea also spread quickly.

comboLock.png

Shortly after that, someone devised a 22-button combination lock (over 4 million possible combinations to try).  This was essentially overkill, though, because the 16-button one was unbreakable, in practice (the top houses had a few hundred attempts, at most).  You know, if each attempt takes even as little as one minute, you're looking at 44 days of non-stop, no-sleep trying to break a 16-button combination lock.

Finally, a very clever player figured out how to build an effective combination-style lock for only $1400 by exploiting an electric floor loophole.  Given that each player receives $2000, for free, when they start from scratch after permadeath, this meant that unbreakable security was now available to even the least-wealthy players in the game.

cheapComboLock.png

A few weeks later, there were pages and pages of houses employing some variation on the combination lock, and they were all sitting there, unbroken.  Yes, there were some lovely little innovations along the way, but they were all uncrackable, in practice.

For robbers, the experience of entering such a house involved very little sneaking, poking, or cutting.  No tactics were employable.  If you were foolish enough to even try, you'd push a few buttons before realizing hopelessness and facing your death (one lovely innovation:  pushing any button at all traps you in the house, so you must enter the correct combination, or press nothing at all, to survive).  The smarter players would see a combination lock and leave. 

Thus, the robbing side of the game degenerated to picking away at the broken or abandoned houses lurking at the bottom of the list, and skipping pages and pages of houses to find them.

From my perspective, players had pushed the game in an interesting and unexpected direction:  they were getting so good at the game that they seemed to be designing real locks, tile by tile.  Security through puzzles.  So this was a puzzle game, after all, and not a tactical game! 

I was a little uncertain about this, but there seemed to be no way around it:  even if I doubled the backpack size, puzzles would still be possible with 17-thick walls.  And making the backpack even bigger than that (like 30, the width of the map) would be unwieldy and also completely subvert house design (if you could plow through any obstacle by cutting, what would be the point of designing a house at all?).

Still, there was a huge problem:  hidden information (through limited visibility) meant that practically-impossible puzzles were easy to make.

Amid deep community worries about ruining the game, I thought about ways to reveal this information.  I didn't want to spoil the "sneaking around a dark house" feel that the visibility shroud creates, so I wanted a source of information that was separate from the robbing view.  Blueprints seemed thematically appropriate:  suppose you could study a house design in its entirety, before you even stepped in the door? 

8882715330_1fe2192d26_o.png

Combination locks would be easy to bypass, since you could see the otherwise-hidden logic of their inner workings.  But would this ruin puzzles in the game?  I knew that the answer to this question was provably "no" through some very dusty memories from computer science classes long ago.  Any suitably-powerful formal system can be used to encode expressions from other formal systems.  Thus, provably hard-to-solve problems (from logic, for example) could be encoded into Castle Doctrine maps in a way such that reaching the vault on the map would provide a solution to the encoded problem.  Essentially, there was no limit to how hard a Castle Doctrine puzzle could be, even with no hidden information.

And sure enough, with the advent of blueprints, top-house puzzle complexity exploded, getting harder as needed.  At one point, a house remained at the top of the list for a full week before it was solved. So, the puzzle aspect of the game wasn't ruined by full information.  At that point, I realized that puzzles rarely have hidden information, almost by definition.  Hidden information turns a puzzle into a trial-and-error guessing game.

rubik_blindfold.jpg

But something else happened in response to blueprints:  the game world was split in two, with one small portion pushed way up, and the rest of it pushed way down.  If you were clever enough to design a really hard puzzle (basically requiring that you be a practicing electrical engineer---even I had trouble doing it), then you could keep people out for a long time and prosper in the game.  Everyone else, however, would design a house that would be broken right away through the reveal of its internals.  These players, who were also unable to crack the hard houses, had nothing worthwhile to do and left the game.  The remaining engineer-type players were secure in their puzzle-fortresses with too much to lose, so they couldn't even risk robbing each other. 

Every once in a while, after time passed for sufficient study, one of these top houses would be solved.  But doing so required days of painstaking work on the part of the solver.  I'm sure those final moments of victory were some of their most exquisite game experiences, but that experience was out of reach for almost everyone, including me (I spent several hours trying to figure out one of the top houses, only to eventually resign to the fact that it was beyond my capabilities).

crackingHardHouse.png

So, it was clear that something had to change, but what?  I could remove this or that feature to limit puzzle design in this or that way, but it was clear that anything short of drastic limitations would still allow sufficient complexity for provably-hard puzzles to emerge.  I certainly didn't want to make a game with no wiring, but even then, a maze with moving animals might be enough for provably-hard puzzles.  Chipping away clearly wasn't going to work.

I was also uneasy about the way blueprints had changed the feel of the game.  You were no longer sneaking your way through a mysterious house, coming around corners and being shocked by what you discovered.  You saw it all up-front, so you knew exactly what to expect.

Still, without blueprints, combination locks would rear their heads again, right?  And what about real puzzles, where hidden information has no place?

Then I realized something:  I never wanted to make a puzzle game here.  Looking back through my notes from the fall of 2011, the word "puzzle" does not occur.  But the game grew into a puzzle game, and I fostered that.  My original vision of a tactical, player-generated, Roguelike, every-cycling arms race was nowhere to be found, though.  Was there some way to get it back?

The problem, it seemed, were puzzles.  Puzzles aren't tactical and in-the-moment.  They're about studying something from the outside and discovering the one, correct solution, and then applying it.  But if players can design anything they want, won't they be able to make puzzles?  Well, only if they can somehow force other players to solve the puzzles.  The 9-thick wall trick was the first step taken in this direction:  "You cannot bypass my buttons now.  You must figure out how to press them correctly to pass."

What if there was some way to bypass anything, eventually?  Then the keystone of the problem became clear:  the 8-slot backpack (or the N-slot backpack).  What if players had infinite backpacks?  Well, then they'd just plow through everything and not even need to think.  But what if there was a way to balance it so that there was an enormous cost to doing this?

First of all, what if tools were much more expensive?  Then you'd certainly think before you'd use one.  But still, you might as well fill the backpack to the brim for every outing.  Then you'd have plenty of whatever you'd happen to need.  You might think a bit in order to conserve tools, but every house would be crackable in one go, and you wouldn't make any hard choices about what to carry.  No cycling arms race.  That's what the original limit of 8 slots was for---to force hard choices.  But house designers exploited that known limit to the point where tools became useless (no choices at all).

So, there has to be some cost to a brim-full backpack.  What if unused tools are lost at the end of every robbery?  So if you bring 100 saws, but there are nothing but concrete walls, you're really screwed.  You'd need to scout, and plan, and think, and come in with just a few tools to scout some more, and then finally load up with exactly the right combination to get through the house (and then perhaps find that the owner made last-minute changes that screw you).

And thematically, this makes some sense.  You need to empty your backpack to carry out the loot.  And if you run out the door without taking anything, you're in such a hurry that you ditch your backpack.  Even more interesting:  what if the extra tools you ditch end up in the owner's vault?

This has the nice side-effect of bringing a cost to scouting that seemed to be missing.  It also helps to grow the prize in a well-scouted house, and can leave a victimized owner with a little something as a bootstrap (the extra tools left by the robber who reached the vault).

Of course, there's a sticking point that prevented me from seeing this solution all along:  an infinite backpack isn't realistic.  But this game wasn't meant to be realistic, obviously.

infiniteBackpack.png

Thus, with a great hopefulness, I give you version 9 of The Castle Doctrine.  A game with hidden information and soft puzzles, where with enough money, you can buy your way through anything, but where money is so scarce that you'll end up thinking your way through most things.  Where you'll sneak around corners, make tactical decision, and try to take subtle advantage of current trends.  And where you'll die.  A lot.  At least that part hasn't changed.

A full list of changes can be found here:

The Castle Doctrine Change Log

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#2 2013-06-14 19:01:05

oneeyedziggy
Member
Registered: 2013-06-14
Posts: 1

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

thanks, that was an awesome article.

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#3 2013-06-14 20:28:22

dalleck
Member
Registered: 2013-04-13
Posts: 250

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

After a few minutes play, I am already quite happy with this release.  (I was creeping through a maze!)

I was also very happy to peruse the output files and find other houses encoded now, but your own house still in native format (so you can still export your house to castlefortify, if you wish.)

Good job on this release and also a great read about the constant evolution of this game.


The rich aren't safe. Nobody is safe. -jere                   ...but the smell wafts out from the pit, obviously. - Jason Rohrer

And the more dickish they are, the more I feel like beating a house to destruction after finally figuring it out. -bey bey

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#4 2013-06-14 22:24:08

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,229

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Yes, lots of creeping is occurring!

No point in encrypting your own house map, and yeah, people can export their own very easily to third-party tools.

The encryption on other people's house maps is mostly in place as annoying obstacle, since the client generates the key and sends it to the server.  Sniffing the protocol can easily find the key, though it's a pain, because it's different each time.  At least the raw maps aren't in the output files and recorded game files.

Oh man, I just realized that the client-side key gen is being done in a really lame, guessable way.  I'm sure some third-party map viewing tool will exploit that in short order to decrypt maps.  Will be fixed in v10.

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#5 2013-06-15 03:12:36

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 332

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Jason — that was a great post, thank you!

With v9 I've seen a definite return to the style of gameplay found circa week one of v5. Lots of amusing mistakes, creeping, mazes, etc. Good stuff.

There was chaos for a while as the money from v8 bled out of the system (hello, 16 ladders!), but it seems to have settled down now.

Two things I noticed:

The family are much harder to protect and often a hinderance when building a house.

In v8 this wasn't so much of an issue because the starting money allowed for you to stick them behind 9 pitbulls and forget about them. In v9 I see much more scope for actually incorporating them into the house in a fun way, except for one problem: they can't walk over wires. I think this is one of the main reasons why the family is traditionally segregated from the main house design — it's just too much bother to to include them within it. Is there a reason why they couldn't safely walk over wires?

Starting money — house vs tools

Perhaps we were spoiled with the $6k from v8, but it now seems really tough to make more than a cursory defence with $2k. Especially vs $2k worth of tools. How about your starting funds are split into two vouchers, $2k for tools and $4k for building materials? Any money you receive from theft or sale of tools can be spent however you wish.

As I recall, v5 houses were largely funded by the free money left lying around by persistent robbers. We don't have so many of those now!

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#6 2013-06-15 03:33:01

Laffinty
Member
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 46

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Hmm well what I find in v9 is that I see les incentive in going to rob houses, too high of a chance it needs a magical dance or theres a random pitbull that will kill me since i dunno about it

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#7 2013-06-15 05:00:00

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Nice post! Good explanation of the early history of the game.

ukuko wrote:

Starting money — house vs tools

Perhaps we were spoiled with the $6k from v8, but it now seems really tough to make more than a cursory defence with $2k. Especially vs $2k worth of tools. How about your starting funds are split into two vouchers, $2k for tools and $4k for building materials? Any money you receive from theft or sale of tools can be spent however you wish.

As I recall, v5 houses were largely funded by the free money left lying around by persistent robbers. We don't have so many of those now!

This was already mentioned in another thread because there were concerns this might be needed with the new system in place. I'll quote myself from that thread:

Matrix wrote:
bey bey wrote:

As an addendum: This REALLY makes a suggestion that happened some time ago essential: Of the starting cash, only a small fraction should be useable on tools. Say 5000 for the house, 1000 for the tools (or even less). Otherwise, robbers would then have a huge advantage from the start, seeing how pitbulls cost way more than crowbars etc.

This would help keep tool prices at about the same price levels without the need to change prices too drastically. However, if we don't increase tool prices the money you get from a robbery will allow you to buy many tools and the problem will just emerge there. So the starting credit is only part of the issue. But anyway, implementing this would make it possible to fine tune the impact the starting credit has on building power and tool power separately, which I think is a good thing.

I still think that implementing this would be a good thing and would help with fine tuning, because at the moment the initial building power and robbing power are strictly related and when you balance one of them you are affecting both of them. That shouldn't be the case.

Also this implementation would solve the other issue you mention -- the family being unprotectable at start.

Laffinty wrote:

Hmm well what I find in v9 is that I see les incentive in going to rob houses, too high of a chance it needs a magical dance or theres a random pitbull that will kill me since i dunno about it

That's why you need to make your scouting trips safe by bringing tools. You are right, however, that at the moment there really is less incentive to even scout because of high tool prices and low prize money, but this will improve over time.

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#8 2013-06-15 05:22:03

Laffinty
Member
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 46

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

making my scouting trips "safe" by tools i'll have to ditch because supposedly i run away in hurry everytime, and the house wil automagically repair itself? tongue

anyway, $2000 starting money, not enough to build a reaonable house imo, should use it to go with some tools and try to solve houses
if you're at that state you may rather go rob houses than trying to make yours secure

on the other hand if you have money you'll likely want to not go try to rob houses cause random pitbulls

i know theres this concept of being excited, your heart pumping cause you dunno whats around the next corner, but eh if i have money i dont see a point in risking that and if i just died 1 min ago i dont care if i die again anyway

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#9 2013-06-15 05:57:40

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Laffinty wrote:

i know theres this concept of being excited, your heart pumping cause you dunno whats around the next corner, but eh if i have money i dont see a point in risking that and if i just died 1 min ago i dont care if i die again anyway

Both of those are perfectly valid and supported ways of playing this game. However, none of those enables you to rob a really high-end house, unless you know the solution in advance (for example from your previous life).
This is exactly how it's supposed to work, while enabling you to scout low-end houses quite safely with no tools or with a few cheap tools.

However to promote that "initial scouting" the robber could be allowed to flee with 2 tools -- not 2 stacks -- just 2 tools chosen by the robber from his backpack (maybe this could be increased to 3 or 4, idk). I thought about 2 initially since you do have 2 empty hands when fleeing with no loot so it's thematically consistent as well, I think.

Here is how it would look like:
flee1.png

After choosing some tools:
flee2.png

You confirm by pressing the Flee button.

Of course this could be further improved so that if the robber has less than 3 tools the game automatically picks any tools left and puts them in the "flee" slots.

Last edited by Matrix (2013-06-16 00:47:30)

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#10 2013-06-15 06:20:34

Laffinty
Member
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 46

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Hmm I dunno if i like the notion of having to use previous life knowledge to solve houses

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#11 2013-06-15 06:43:20

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

You don't have to. But that was always there, it's not new to v9.

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#12 2013-06-15 08:08:31

Laffinty
Member
Registered: 2013-06-10
Posts: 46

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Matrix wrote:

You don't have to. But that was always there, it's not new to v9.

But v8 made it less crucial due to blueprints

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#13 2013-06-15 21:11:52

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,229

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Obviously a money shortage in v9.

There was a big money/tool ball going around on Friday, but then I stole it and proceeded to die stupidly in my own house while holding it.  Gasp!

Anyway, pickings are slim right now.

Working on a pretty simple fix for this.  Not wanting to go back to salaries being earned for totally abandoned houses (feels like grinding to rob those), though, so here's how it works:

Your house earns money if:

1)  Your wife is still alive 

OR

2)  You have some money left

OR

3)  One of the last two consecutive robberies was not successful.


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.

As usual, once you return home and retest your house, you'll start getting paid again.

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#14 2013-06-16 02:35:46

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Thanks for the changes (and for all the work in general)!!!

Seems like there is a more healthy system in place now, or at least the dried up streams seem to be filling up with delicious freshwater. smile


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#15 2013-06-16 03:49:56

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

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.

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#16 2013-06-16 04:14:37

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Well, I'd say the sustainable solution would be a very slow trickle of cash in abandoned houses. Right now, money is just flowing into the system. I think we could conclude that there is too much money in the pipes if people don't build anything but can just rob one or two derelict houses for tool cash and then bruteforce top houses (that shouldn't happen). That would be the point to cut off at least the get-rich-quick-drizzle. For housebuilding, 200$ can mean a LOT. For pointless bruteforcing, at current tool prices, it seems rather too low, so that it would be a sustainable environment.

Probably a very sophisticated solution would be to quietly kill off houses where the last two robbers took the exact same path to the safe, meaning that it's either just sitting in plain sight or only one guy scavengeing off it. But seems more elaborate than needed to me. Or your could just exclude once-robbed houses where the safe and family sit in starting position, as those are a bit against the game's aesthetics.


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#17 2013-06-16 06:41:38

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

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?

Last edited by Matrix (2013-06-16 06:43:59)

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#18 2013-06-16 06:56:24

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Well, that was the idea behind the suggestion to only give a voucher for house internals at the beginning, so that tool money would have to be gained by robbery (and guarded at least superficially). That would require abandoned houses to gather wealth but more or less mean that you have to build at least a basic house to gather enough money for tools.

Since the notion of having some tools at the start was a nice one however especially since they are ditched, a free starter pack of tools for your first robbery sounds like a good idea and would also improve cashflow, and they wouldn't have to be very special. (Say, 1 saw, 1 drugged meat, one crowbar, 1 water, 1 brick or so.) That should balance stuff out, make housebuilding essential and generate cashflow.


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#19 2013-06-16 08:59:51

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

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?

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#20 2013-06-16 09:45:01

bey bey
Member
Registered: 2013-04-20
Posts: 386

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

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.

It's not meant to be effective against no-tool-robbery only, but I don't see that as the problem in need of being adressed - quite the opposite. The problem is entry-level destructiveness just for the hell of it. THAT phenomenon relies on buying tools with starting cash without any effort.


In fact you can be batman.
(if he robbed houses and murdered families.)
- Dalleck

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#21 2013-06-16 11:44:33

Matrix
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 137

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

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.

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#22 2013-06-16 22:38:46

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,229

Re: Changing the direction of the game (and v9 released)

Matrix wrote:

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.

Yeah, that's the way it's currently working.  I was kindof in a rush to get it in there, and I noticed that flaw, but did it anyway.

I'll have to think more about how it should work tomorrow.  Essentially, after it gets robbed twice in a row, the house should stop earning money until the owner comes home (assuming there is nothing left in the vault, and wife is dead).  Robberies that occur after that, whether successful or not, should have no effect.

In general, the extra money flowing into "still a challenge" houses seems to be helping.  There's also a critical mass issue, but the game shouldn't hinge so much on that.

I'm thinking that maybe money needs to flow in more often than once per hour.  Forcing people to take a break from the game is interesting, but sometimes you have an hour to play, and you want to do stuff NOW, and if the game world is stalled until later, that's not too interesting.

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