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#26 2015-01-15 06:50:20

voxel
Member
Registered: 2014-08-05
Posts: 84

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Oh, cool.

Any hint what will be added as a result? What's the benefit of rewriting the server?

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#27 2015-01-15 09:07:16

mala
Member
Registered: 2014-02-10
Posts: 415

Re: Terminal Heist Update

cullman wrote:

Interestingly, we have increased the TH team from 2 to 5, you'd think this would speed things up, but as a result we have decided to do more. He we have decided to rewrite the server and the graphics engine, so we are probably look at a March/April release. Plus, I want the graphics on the greenlight page to match or be close to the finished product.  Sorry for the delay, trying to get as much as this right on the first go around as possible.  I assure you we are working on it, though.

take your time man, you're doing  a good job giving this great game a new life.

let us know if we can help somehow


Current Incarnation: none
Previous Houses: Ticking Nightmare - Luna's Park - Hightower Mansion - Chang's Place

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#28 2015-01-15 12:11:41

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Well the plan is to make TH free, and have it hopefully pay for my sunk costs by having some in app purchases.  These purchases are intended to not be "pay to win", but "pay for convenience".  Some of the ideas we have had is paying a small one time fee for the ability to delist your house for like a few hours.  The reality is cheaters are doing this anyway with macros, plus I hope there might be broader appeal to the game if you had the ability to put your house on hold in mid design - it was hard for me to play this game well with a family and a job.  Another pay for feature we are considering is the ability to buy an extra life, but only an extra life for self-tests.  I'd like to make this expensive enough it's not abused, but helps pay for my guys and the servers.  Also, I am considering making the free game have some limited number of lives, and make it so you have to pay like $4 one time to unlock the game as it is now.  I am not really trying to make money this way, but I more want to make it if your account is banned there is a financial impact.  Another idea is the ability to have an advanced house design feature, that allows you to save snippets of house, and delete, copy and paste regions of the house, again this would be a premium feature, with the added benefit that people with more money and time might be more engaged in the game as they are spending more time playing than copying old designs from map shots.  I am still thinking about how to handle this.  I plan on talking to the community about these ideas, before we implement them. 

However, I am pretty set on free to play with some buyables.  My analysis is this, TCD is not for everyone, but the people who do like it, love it.  My thought is this could be a viable app that I could keep paying people to work on and improve if I could attract a big audience to try it for free, and if I can get a percentage of those people to fall in love and stay.  If that percentage was to spend $1-2 a month or something like that on average, then I could have a few people working on it perpetually.  The goal for me is not to get rich off this endeavor but to make it at least self sustaining and try to add some convenience features that make it easier for the mainstream to play.  The game will probably ship with few of the in app purchases in the beginning, we will add them as we go along.

I am also changing from a download code to a username and password, there won't be random names in this game.  This is so it's easy for you to log in from your phone and your desktop.  Also, we are going to obfuscate the map, and put in some features in the server that keep stats to help detect dual account use and other abuses.  Basically, my team wasn't as proficient in PHP, so we rewrote the server Java, that's mostly done already.  We need to change the server to support the concept of in app purchases, the new security measures, and the new stats stuff.

As for the graphics stuff, besides changing the tiles to a space theme (which are nearly done), we are tweaking the engine.  One result is the game should be resizable on the desktop, another is we may drop using OpenGL for rendering, that could potentially improve battery life on mobile.  We are also changing the graphics format of the tiles.

All this stuff may sound ancillary, but the goal is to have a platform from which we can continue to improve if the game gains any traction.

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#29 2015-01-18 01:15:28

Passive
Member
From: England
Registered: 2014-09-18
Posts: 420

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Sounds really good, looking forward to it big_smile

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#30 2015-01-18 11:19:57

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Another idea I had was to make it so you could rebuy your wife and child robots with an in app purchase.  My primary design always had a good wife trap and I always lost interest in that house when the wife died, even if it was infrequent.  Also, Cylence had an interesting idea where the equivalent of the child robots might generate tools over time.  I kind of like that idea as I think the children are unbalanced pieces. The only positive effect they have is being able to stop the wife behind a door and trip the panic button.  On the downside they can be used to pause a robbery in progress, so the idea that each child robot can build $400-1000 of tool value a day (or maybe a random tool a day) or something like that might add an interesting dynamic.

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#31 2015-01-18 11:30:07

voxel
Member
Registered: 2014-08-05
Posts: 84

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Some of the ideas we have had is paying a small one time fee for the ability to delist your house for like a few hours.  The reality is cheaters are doing this anyway with macros, plus I hope there might be broader appeal to the game if you had the ability to put your house on hold in mid design - it was hard for me to play this game well with a family and a job.

That's the first time I hear of people cheating in that way.
I would definitely pay for that privilege. It really sucks to have to run back to your computer every 5 min while cooking dinner.

I found having to manually shift parts of the map over one or two tiles frustrating.

Limited lives for free and unlimited lives for $X is basically the same as a try-before-you-buy. So that's perfectly legitimate.

But here's an idea: after your limited lives run out, allow people to still build houses (or bases or whatever you call them in TH), but not to rob other people. Then some fraction of people (say, kids without credit cards) will continue to play (which is clearly great for everyone else) yet I can't imagine this free option dissuading many from paying for the unlimited lives if it's not too expensive.

Edit: I will definitely be happy if there are improvements to the wife and kids part of the game. They way they work in TCD is just for thematic purposes, but as you've changed the theme it doesn't make sense to keep all those gameplay hindering constraints.

Last edited by voxel (2015-01-18 11:32:32)

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#32 2015-01-18 12:10:58

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

voxel wrote:

That's the first time I hear of people cheating in that way.

Yeah, LordOfHam was famous for this he'd keep his house of the list all day just by staying in edit mode and having a macro press the left key, wait 5 seconds then press the right key.



voxel wrote:

Limited lives for free and unlimited lives for $X is basically the same as a try-before-you-buy. So that's perfectly legitimate.

But here's an idea: after your limited lives run out, allow people to still build houses (or bases or whatever you call them in TH), but not to rob other people. Then some fraction of people (say, kids without credit cards) will continue to play (which is clearly great for everyone else) yet I can't imagine this free option dissuading many from paying for the unlimited lives if it's not too expensive.

You know since I posted this, I have been thinking about it more.  One downside to limiting the number of lives for free players, is that it will negatively impact beginners and maybe stop them from getting into the game enough to become an addict like the rest of us.  Again, my main motivation for finding a way to make people who are playing a lot pay $5 is so that having their account banned means something.  Here is an idea I might like better.  What if we didn't let your house construction exceed $5-$10k unless you were a premium player.  That would have zero impact on beginners, but basically make anyone that wants to play the game seriously need to buy premium.

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#33 2015-01-18 15:11:07

JAAM
Member
Registered: 2014-11-22
Posts: 299

Re: Terminal Heist Update

cullman wrote:
voxel wrote:

That's the first time I hear of people cheating in that way.

Yeah, LordOfHam was famous for this he'd keep his house of the list all day just by staying in edit mode and having a macro press the left key, wait 5 seconds then press the right key.



voxel wrote:

Limited lives for free and unlimited lives for $X is basically the same as a try-before-you-buy. So that's perfectly legitimate.

But here's an idea: after your limited lives run out, allow people to still build houses (or bases or whatever you call them in TH), but not to rob other people. Then some fraction of people (say, kids without credit cards) will continue to play (which is clearly great for everyone else) yet I can't imagine this free option dissuading many from paying for the unlimited lives if it's not too expensive.

You know since I posted this, I have been thinking about it more.  One downside to limiting the number of lives for free players, is that it will negatively impact beginners and maybe stop them from getting into the game enough to become an addict like the rest of us.  Again, my main motivation for finding a way to make people who are playing a lot pay $5 is so that having their account banned means something.  Here is an idea I might like better.  What if we didn't let your house construction exceed $5-$10k unless you were a premium player.  That would have zero impact on beginners, but basically make anyone that wants to play the game seriously need to buy premium.

That would be terrible cullman what if a new player scored big early on? you would be punishing them horribly. I'm trying to stay out of all the terminal heist marketing stuff because i'm not that great at it. but if I know that if i randomly walked through a guys combo lock house that had gathered 15K. and i couldn't build anything to protect that much money i would just quit there and then. Believe it or not it is possible for a new player to obtain money easily mistakes happen and it is easy to let large amounts of money go out on to the house list undefended.

Don't punish luck.


You are unique, just like everybody else.

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#34 2015-01-18 15:19:00

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

I don't think it's that big of a deal, but I am open to other ideas or making the number higher.  Again, the alternatives are charge money to everyone just to even try it, limiting lives.  I doubt many people get to $10k of building that fast, unless they know what they are doing.  Of course, if you stumbled into luck and wanted to spend the probably 1 hour to spend $10-15k of building materials, why not pay $4-$5 bucks for the game at that point.

Additionally, they could spend $10k and use the change to load up on tools for a scout, while they decide if they want to play the game at a higher level.

Last edited by cullman (2015-01-18 16:03:38)

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#35 2015-01-18 18:36:30

Amatiel
Member
From: Western Australia
Registered: 2014-02-07
Posts: 246

Re: Terminal Heist Update

I personally think ull be making plenty of money from selling ONE extra life per character/lifetime for self testing. Just charge like $7-$10 per life. That and charging for the ability to keep a recent robbery's proceeds in limbo for a time (say 48 hours max).

These will ofc depend on the success of the game, as it will mostly be the more committed players that will do it. Thats the risk u take with F2play.

I would advise against making it psuedo-free to play, ie:only half the game is free. It comes across as greedy, try sticking to something like the dota 2 model, keeping purchases out of affecting core gameplay and restricting them to conveniences and aesthetics.


Current Name: Darryl Gary Breeden

Died to self test yet again..... FFS..... ill be back

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#36 2015-01-18 18:43:32

gyuri
Member
Registered: 2013-07-09
Posts: 231

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Well, you said free to play... The last two ideas weren't exactly what I would call free to play... Limiting lives means the game is free to try, but definitely not free to play, as dying is part of the game, and a very frequent one. And limiting the construction cost is also not free to play the game as intended.

Free to play means for me you can play the game at any level as long as you want without having to pay anything. I like the other ideas for premium content but not these two.

Just a thought on the kids: yes they are near useless, but the game is very well balanced right now. Nobody has found a way to make a very big advantage of having kids (the wife with the shotgun behind the door was the only one I remember, a very neat one, but not game-changing). Who knows what would happen if you alter the balance... I like the idea but I'm not sure it's wise to change any of the well-baanced mechanics of the game.

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#37 2015-01-18 19:20:11

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

I'm not sure I'll be making "plenty of money" from selling self test lives, I'm going to be easily $100k into this before we launch. This is a mmo with servers to run, granted not a lot.  Forget I said free to play then.  I basically want anyone to be able to try it for free and those who play everyday to pay $5 one time. I'm trying to strike the right balance here, again my motivation is to have a version of TCD that has a bigger population, not get rich, but I would like to break even. TCD was bought by like 10-15k people, and Jason has a big name in indie games while I have no name. I'm certainly open to better ideas.

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#38 2015-01-18 19:34:07

Amatiel
Member
From: Western Australia
Registered: 2014-02-07
Posts: 246

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Mebe f2play isnt the way then, How about free trial periods and steam sales to boost sales and exposure?


Current Name: Darryl Gary Breeden

Died to self test yet again..... FFS..... ill be back

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#39 2015-01-18 19:42:13

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Honestly, I do put big population ahead of breaking even, cause I love this game. One option is to just hold off trying to monetize anything other than self test lives and see how it goes. Though, if this thing starts making some cash I could put that into more marketing so it's a bit of a catch 22. This is one of 4 projects I'm working on and 3 of them are self funded, so I don't have unlimited money to throw at this. My biggest concern is even if we have executed perfectly on the basics, a family and mobile friendly TCD, at this point I'd be surprised if I even get a few hundred original TCD players.

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#40 2015-01-18 20:53:26

JAAM
Member
Registered: 2014-11-22
Posts: 299

Re: Terminal Heist Update

As far as potential monetization i seem to be remembering several ideas that came up a while back when i was diggging through old threads looking for something fun to implement in a house or even just some other stuff.

Note while i'm writing these down i think i might be mixing things up and merging ideas together...

In addition to normal art like we currently have Auctioned animals that could be bought from purchased credits Animals would be invincible to normal weapons however when shot or clubbed would be asleep and rendered nonlethal. Animals could be captured with a net  bought with the same credits as long as the robber successfully escapes. Pets can be killed using a less expensive gun to Shoot he thing. Pets are not stolen when the vault is robbed.

I remember something about alternate house styles a house owner could purchase. Such as instead of a pit, A pit of acid, or a pit of tentacles.

An optional painting display that Allows you to overlap a wall tile and allows you to display a piece of art.

Use that credits system to buy the Respawn lives.

How about some form of building yourself a new robowife and or kids using the points.

As far as any added features go that yo could exclude you could add on a chat type mail system. mail only gets sent to your current incarnation.

Just do not call it a F2P if you give it limited lives

Or if you insist on the temporary F2p perhaps a server that the regulars COULD join but the F2P are restricted to


You are unique, just like everybody else.

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#41 2015-01-18 21:14:03

mala
Member
Registered: 2014-02-10
Posts: 415

Re: Terminal Heist Update

guys... as it's been said before, this game is a great game, but do not forget that it's version 34...

if you change a single tile, or the mechanic of a pet you are changing the gameplay, it's a delicate balance achieved through trials and errors.

do you want to launch a betatest or a finished game?

some of the ideas are thrilling but we will have to test it out again and rebalance it over time.
(my favorite one is the possibility to rotate toggle switches, please please do that big_smile )

i prefer vanity pets to super pets, something others will want just because it's unique and can be only obtainable by robbing you. i bet you all want the only alien pitbull of the game to be on your first commit gate smile

besides, one of the things that makes this a fabulous game, it's that like in a chess game, we all have the same pieces, no super queen or mighty rook, whats makes the difference is how you use them

Last edited by mala (2015-01-18 21:20:02)


Current Incarnation: none
Previous Houses: Ticking Nightmare - Luna's Park - Hightower Mansion - Chang's Place

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#42 2015-01-18 21:40:50

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

I agree, the balancing of the game is what makes Jason's IP so valuable in my mind...That being said, he's on to the next thing, and I am open to the game evolving over time, though I don't anticipate many changes.  For instance, I don't think being able to re-buy your wife (which makes sense in a robot world, not in the TCD world) would unbalance the game as long as the price was right (or in real world dollars).

Honestly, I don't think things like being able to buy fancy pets that look different will really fly in this game.  I get that people buy clothes for their avatars in other games, etc. However, this has to be the least social MMO over, as there is no real-time interaction.  I just don't think that has the same type of appeal.

One thing we are losing is paintings, and long term I would like to come up with some unique items that are potentially playable to replace the concept of trying to get something rare from another player, but that's not in the near future.

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#43 2015-01-18 22:22:04

Amatiel
Member
From: Western Australia
Registered: 2014-02-07
Posts: 246

Re: Terminal Heist Update

I would personally be very interested in paying extra for the ability to use different art style... different looking blocks, safes, pets, etc

EDIT: also have u considered making it more social by including a global chat? I have not thought much on this tho.

Last edited by Amatiel (2015-01-18 22:25:54)


Current Name: Darryl Gary Breeden

Died to self test yet again..... FFS..... ill be back

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#44 2015-01-18 22:55:10

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Well once/if we get a population maybe we will float the idea of different tile sets. I have considered chat or even potentially just having a link in the game from any house to an auto generated forum page. My concern is that as I have said many times is that i know some kids that would love to play TCD if their parents would let them. I think it's not crazy to think that a 10 year old minecraft nut would be into this game. Adding chat creates all kinds of adult content problems. I don't know if it's possible to potentially make chat a for pay add on, that has a different age rating, but that could potentially solve the problem. I certainly don't want to be adminning my own Club Penguin,. Though, in fairness I know Puzzle Pirates had a pretty good bleeping engine maybe their is something open source and easy (the problem is catching things like a.s.s.h.o.l.e, in my experience it's hard to out smart humans at this kind of stuff). I will starting thinking about it. I do think it would be cool if you could communicate somehow in game. In fact, if this ever gained real traction I thought the concept of clans could be cool, where there would be events where 10 players targeted another 10 players and vice versa for 3 days for some big prize. I think that would add a really interesting colloboration angle (potentially you'd have a house just for a given clan battle so any damage or traps and maps revealed didn't hurt your regular game play).  This concept would need some kind of in game communication system.

* I just remembered I do know the CEO of (and actually was a very small investor in) the company that created Puzzle Pirates so I will drop him a line on chat filtering.

Last edited by cullman (2015-01-18 23:01:58)

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#45 2015-01-19 05:30:11

mala
Member
Registered: 2014-02-10
Posts: 415

Re: Terminal Heist Update

with no common chat and due to the small population this is probably one of the most mature community i've ever found on the internet


Current Incarnation: none
Previous Houses: Ticking Nightmare - Luna's Park - Hightower Mansion - Chang's Place

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#46 2015-01-19 09:36:11

cullman
Member
Registered: 2014-03-21
Posts: 424

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Well I think this game probably attracts pretty smart people...

Also, you've seemed to forget all about crazyace.

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#47 2015-01-23 03:27:56

eppfel
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2014-02-01
Posts: 324
Website

Re: Terminal Heist Update

mala wrote:

with no common chat and due to the small population this is probably one of the most mature community i've ever found on the internet

True

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#48 2015-01-23 07:09:49

AMWhy
Member
Registered: 2014-02-04
Posts: 432

Re: Terminal Heist Update

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have an IQ of 150 and a penchant for puzzles.  While I don't put a lot of weight on a high IQ, it does seem to indicate a desire to explain the unexplained and then think of the next step up.  In the case of TCD, a desire to solve the unsolved house and create a stronger one.

Last edited by AMWhy (2015-01-23 07:10:29)

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#49 2015-01-24 11:08:21

Passive
Member
From: England
Registered: 2014-09-18
Posts: 420

Re: Terminal Heist Update

Dunno how it would work but one thing i would quiet like is to have is tiles with arrows on them. Would be fun to have tiles pointing in the "right" direction and watch people decide if it is a bluff double bluff bluff bluff.

As for free to play, they seem to get a lot of stick if people think that one aspect it pay2win. I am currently playing H1Z1 and there is loads of threads about one feature being pay2win, even though in game it really isn't. People have just caught onto the idea and started raging about it, some with only 1 hour of game play under their belt. I think you might be better pricing the game at £3 (roughly $5) to buy. I personally have a lot of games in that price bracket that i haven't even played yet but they seem interesting and I didn't mind parting with the amount. You could then have add in features, but again would have to be more aesthetic and personal preference. One f2p that is currently doing it right is Nosgorth were the only things you can by are different but still have -ve's so that they are balanced and don't ruin the game if you never buy them.

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#50 2015-01-25 11:39:17

booper
Member
Registered: 2014-02-15
Posts: 35

Re: Terminal Heist Update

AMWhy wrote:

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have an IQ of 150

lol. lol. lol.

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