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#1 2013-07-23 16:06:51

Noshire
Member
Registered: 2013-07-23
Posts: 13

Suggestion: Disposable RC Testing Robot

Hello everyone!

Loving the game so far. Kept quite a close eye on it through all sorts of youtube videos as well as the forums, and finally decided to buy it a short while ago.
One thing I really like about the game design (amongst many aspects) are the trade-offs for everything. It all boils down to spending money to either get money or protect money.
Another system I've thought up which would, in my opinion, tie in nicely to the mechanic, is an RC robot.

Basically, this is just a little remote-controlled testing device. You can buy it and then use it once. It will automatically start a test-run of your house, with your own character sprite replaced by a little rc car or robot. You can not validate your house using this - it is merely for testing out certain setups which can't be well replaced by lights and chihuahuas. For example, traps in which certain animals need to actually die.
It can also be used if, after swapping all those flashy lights with deadly grids and holes, you're suddenly not quite sure anymore if you've got the correct path in mind. A little safe test-run for the real deal can be quite helpful.

In short: a one-use item that can be used to safely test, but not validate your house design. It's a very cheaply produced model, and will stop working even if it isn't destroyed while testing.

I'd price it at around 100-200, not quite sure about that.

I even thought about a more expensive model that could be used to validate the design, though I do think this would somewhat violate the game's design core.

Any thoughts, comments and feedback appreciated, thanks for reading!

Last edited by Noshire (2013-07-24 05:56:06)

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#2 2013-07-28 22:16:37

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: Suggestion: Disposable RC Testing Robot

Well, I worry that something like this would lessen the danger involved in working with dangerous stuff (a core aesthetic of this game).  I want you to have to think twice about safety in your own house, just like a gun owner or a pit bull owner must think twice (far more people are killed by their own guns than other people's guns in real life, and so on).

I get your point about not being able to test certain things (like walking over an electric floor that MUST kill the dog behind you in order for you to get through something else up ahead).... but you know, if you're not comfortable testing that, maybe it's something that's too dangerous to build!

And that, right there, is an interesting thing to have in a game.  That there might be certain designs that aren't too expensive or too hard to devise, but are simply too dangerous for the owner to build and test effectively.  In fact, I really hope there ARE designs like that.... that there's this weird, hard to pin down limit on the design space.

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#3 2013-07-29 01:37:52

Noshire
Member
Registered: 2013-07-23
Posts: 13

Re: Suggestion: Disposable RC Testing Robot

Interesting thoughts on the topic! The only concern I have about this now is that. given the current set and pricing of building materials vs tools, the danger of building such devious designs isn't, in my opinion, properly counterbalanced by how difficult they are to break. If you take a quick look through the available houses, most use designs with a lot of pitbulls and a maze. Relatively cheap and takes a lot of saws to break through, as well as quite some meat or a few crowbars.

I'd really like to see such intricate designs encouraged; I tried a few designs with complex cat re-routing parts and other nice puzzles, but most just bypassed them by brute force. The same budget could give me 5 pitbulls and a ton of wooden walls. But really, that's going a bit off-topic; the main advantage I see in such a testing device is a bit of an easier entry for new players (I have 3 good friends who bought the game on my recommendation, but stopped because they were frustrated before really getting to know the mechanics). Plus, as described, you cannot use it to VALIDATE your design - which means you'd still always need one full-danger test run in the end.

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#4 2013-07-29 04:26:44

pottage
Member
Registered: 2013-07-01
Posts: 37

Re: Suggestion: Disposable RC Testing Robot

In response to the comment that there are certain traps that can't be made in to a safe version as they rely on electric floors to kill animals and such, I think there are ways around this.
I've just finished adding an extension to my house, and there was no realistic way to make it safe to return to the front door while testing if it didn't work as planned, but I got around this by leaving my vault along the path where I was testing so if my new gizmo didn't do what it was supposed to do I could bug out and reach the safe if it didn't work. I found that by doing this I was able to test each part of the new design by moving the vault each time to a safe place to reach. And yes, some bits I designed didn't work as intended first time, so I was able to reach the safe and return to find the problem. The only risk here is after reaching your vault, there will be a couple of seconds where your house is open to rob before you get back into it, but I've done this dozens of times and I don't think anyone's ever got into my house in that short time.

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#5 2013-07-29 04:53:42

colorfusion
Member
Registered: 2013-04-02
Posts: 537

Re: Suggestion: Disposable RC Testing Robot

pottage wrote:

In response to the comment that there are certain traps that can't be made in to a safe version as they rely on electric floors to kill animals and such, I think there are ways around this.
I've just finished adding an extension to my house, and there was no realistic way to make it safe to return to the front door while testing if it didn't work as planned, but I got around this by leaving my vault along the path where I was testing so if my new gizmo didn't do what it was supposed to do I could bug out and reach the safe if it didn't work. I found that by doing this I was able to test each part of the new design by moving the vault each time to a safe place to reach. And yes, some bits I designed didn't work as intended first time, so I was able to reach the safe and return to find the problem. The only risk here is after reaching your vault, there will be a couple of seconds where your house is open to rob before you get back into it, but I've done this dozens of times and I don't think anyone's ever got into my house in that short time.

Pretty good strategy. Might be worth noting though that what you do would be saved, so any wall movements would cost you more money than if you just went to the door again.

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#6 2013-07-29 05:49:46

pottage
Member
Registered: 2013-07-01
Posts: 37

Re: Suggestion: Disposable RC Testing Robot

Yes that is true, but usually it's a case of at most $50 each time, to replace a concrete wall, and I'm very willing to build a bit slower, spend a little bit more money, and be safe.

Edit: grammar

Last edited by pottage (2013-07-29 05:51:13)

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#7 2013-08-09 14:36:47

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2013-04-01
Posts: 1,231

Re: Suggestion: Disposable RC Testing Robot

I agree that there is an adoption hump in this game.  It is frustrating when you first try it, because it behaves differently from other "hard" games.  It's hard in a way that people aren't used to.

That said, I think that the way that it is hard is good and interesting, and it creates new player emotions that are really valuable ones (testing your own house is one of the most tense moments in the game, and the sinking feeling when you realize that you've fallen for one of your own traps is like nothing else).

And anything I put in the game (like a testing robot) to make this easier for new players will end up removing those emotions for advanced players as well.

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#8 2013-08-09 15:16:32

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

Re: Suggestion: Disposable RC Testing Robot

Yeah, I think it takes quite some time to start to like how permadeath works in this game. Coming from other games it feels like the ultimate desaster, whereas in this game it's annoying, tense, tricky, yes, but ultimately enjoyable.

Probably there's just no real "natural" player-base for the game. It's either people coming from platformers or from builders I assume. This mixture of both is a very unique thing, especially combined with permadeath, so one needs to get used to this game itself I guess and embrace the different ways of playing it and so forth.


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

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