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#1 2013-09-19 20:37:22

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Why have people stopped playing?

It seems there has been a bit of an exodus from the game and a number of people have expressed that they don't currently like the way the game is. What I am wondering is - what specifically do people dislike about the game as it stands and what prevents you from playing it?

I personally think there is a lot of potential with where the game is headed. The major issues at the moment simply seem to be: 1. There are not enough people playing and 2. It is too hard to start from scratch.

The second point has been made even more extreme by the recent nerf to starting wages and I guess this then makes a lot less houses around to rob.

But it seems that the long time players have more issues with V16+ than just this. What makes the way things currently are any worse than v15? Yes, there are a number of boring 'safe' houses popping up, but are they any more boring than magic dances? There have also been a number of really interesting houses, just sadly not enough. So what is it with V16+ that has everyone deciding the game is no longer interesting?

Perhaps what needs to happen, at least for a period, is that the starting game needs to be made a whole lot easier to encourage interesting houses being built. I'm sure a lot of people new to the game come in with grand ideas but simply don't have the patience to restart their boring starter houses from scratch over and over to get to the point where they can actually start to try out interesting ideas.

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#2 2013-09-20 04:19:52

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

I think the main reason why I've not played much lately is that the short game isn't particularly enjoyable. You can't do much with the starting money and there are rarely any houses that are interesting or possible to rob. There's simply not much to do.

As far as house design goes, the game requires a huge time investment (babysitting) before you can accrue enough cash to build anything interesting. At the same time it's very easy to make a mistake along the way and end up back at square one.

Aside from the first couple of weeks of learning the game I'd say the period I've enjoyed the most was the blueprint era. There were some very interesting houses to solve and things seemed fairly balanced. I liked that tool use depending on strategy rather than brute forcing. Those were the times when I most frequently experienced the excitement of "If I cut there, club that, water that I might JUST be about to make it through". There was a solid investment/reward in spending a couple of days cracking a house and then having a nice wad of cash to build something interesting with. The race to crack a house before someone else was fun, too.

I don't dislike the direction the game has gone in. I think many of the changes, particularly pet-movement, are for the best. I still think it's possible to make an interesting house with the current tile restrictions. I don't think that reinstating blueprints would help without some changes to the way they work (houses exempt from blueprints until X unsuccessful visits, or blueprints gradually filling in over time without the owner knowing what parts of the house have been revealed), if at all.

Last edited by ukuko (2013-09-20 04:20:50)

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#3 2013-09-20 04:46:25

ukuko
Member
Registered: 2013-04-06
Posts: 333

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

Oh, and also — I was on vacation.

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#4 2013-09-20 05:06:40

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

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

Let me start by saying that I have a great respect for Jason and his commitment to this game.  I will outline my thoughts as to why this version of the game is no longer interesting to me and then offer up some suggestions as to how this could be improved.

1) House building options have become severely limited compared to prior versions.

TCD used to be a world of endless invention, where Rube Goldberg-esque traps could be created.  Not only has the cost for interesting house elements gone up to incredible prices, but the freedom of electronics and pet-movement options has been so badly nerfed that we are left with some very blunt options indeed.  This is combined with...

2) It is excruciating to create an effective house which you are interested in building.

Accruing wealth is now terribly time consuming and the house you may create from it (if you manage to) may not be so different from other houses you may try to rob which are...

3) [Trapdoor + Electric Floor + Dog] Houses

Limiting the house design suite has created a symptom of very dull trapdoor + electric floor + dog entrances ad nauseum.  Again, on its own this is not necessarily a bad thing, as we used to have endless supplies of electric floor traps (back when they were unstoppable), which were pretty dull in themselves.  The difference was that you could run into them again and again and throw yourself at the mercy of the random dice god.  In this version you get one attempt and then are booted out.  The time investment to explore a house with a series of trapdoor + electric floors is enormous and unfulfilling.

There were versions of TCD where there were many various house designs to be explored and created.  This isn't it.

Solution???

I genuinely don't know what to suggest should be done, as most of my ideas would dramatically change the game, but I do know that a sense of freedom needs to be brought back to the element of house building.  Perhaps this is by being more lenient with the rules of electricity and pet movement or by managing the players money differently.

I applaud the efforts that have been made to tighten up the gameplay, but I feel the game has been tightened so much that there is no longer any slack left over to have fun in.

Last edited by dalleck (2013-09-20 05:07:34)


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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#5 2013-09-20 06:51:47

jere
Member
Registered: 2013-05-31
Posts: 540

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

I'm not sure I can give an honest answer because I've been dipping in an out of the game for months. There's no telling how I would approach the game as a new player. Also, I've sunk a lot of hours into it and perhaps seen all the game has to offer. That's reason enough to quit any game.

Having said that, I felt like my enjoyment level really sunk when wired walls were removed, traps got nerfed, and tools became expensive. The first two make logic a lot less fun to build. That last change nerfs robbing into the ground. A $2400 crowbar is something starting cash won't buy and a cautious homeowner would never risk (IMO).

I'm not sure what to do, but I believe a few assumptions baked into the design are extremely problematic.

1) It should feel "nearly impossible" to build a secure house, but not totally impossible.  On the other hand, it should feel nearly impossible as a robber to get through a house. -Jason

The first part is reasonable, but I'm 100% against the second. TCD is a game about robbing and, crucially, being robbed. And we want to make that part nearly impossible? Forget about outcomes for a minute (how much money you make) and think about gameplay and content, what you actually do. Building a house is something you can do no matter what the balance. But the gameplay/content of robbing is very fragile: nearly impossible houses, broken houses, and an overall lack of available houses takes that gameplay away completely (unless you considered 3 steps in and out of a house "gameplay").

But there's a reason why the game needs to be so tightly balanced:

2) Getting robbed takes your content out of the game. If the game isn't balanced, the number of houses approaches 0 quickly.

This is less of a problem than it used to be. The wife holding money and the higher "vault reaches before salary cut-off" parameter are moves in the right direction. But still, it seems to be baked into the logic of the game's design.

So my ideas on what needs to change:

  • tools should go back to being really cheap

  • keep houses in the game for much longer. robbing should be very common, but it doesn't have to ruin homeowners. you could set the vault reaches param to infinity. you could have it so robbers take a percentage instead of all the money or take individual items (e.g. jewelry) instead of everything.

  • to compensate with the previous change, robbers should be locked out after one robbery until a house update. no sense in one person grinding on the same house

  • personally, I'd like to see house building denerfed. either way, robbers should still have an edge

I don't really like the new chills either, but they would hardly be an issue if you had 100 houses to rob instead of 5.


Golden Krone Hotel - a vampire roguelike

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#6 2013-09-22 11:19:03

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

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

I quit because the change to electronics means I don't feel I can do interesting houses anymore. (I figured out the kittie-bit-lock thing in the first 10 minutes and then didn't feel like even expanding upon that house until it was completed.) I keep checking back here to see if things change but the "show me yours..." thread shows me only ugly things I wouldn't want to either play or build.

So far, the highlights have been v8 (different game but very playable - I'd definitely play a fork of that every now and then, even though it's a puzzler instead of an adventure!) and v15 (ALMOST there, but went to crash and burn...).

Last edited by bey bey (2013-09-22 11:23:22)


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

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#7 2013-09-22 11:57:16

Ludicrosity
Member
From: US
Registered: 2013-06-22
Posts: 144

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

^ I second that sentiment.

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#8 2013-09-22 18:49:07

joshwithguitar
Member
Registered: 2013-07-28
Posts: 538

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

I personally find electric floor mazes both fun to create and explore in the current versions. There are a lot of neat electronics tricks you can use to make them interesting but you can still solve them with the right set of tools.

Combo locks were even easier to create in v15 than v16+, so I'm not sure why they have helped to ruin things. Further, it costs less for the tools to get past them - you could get to the electronics of Mr Temples house with $2400 for the crowbar and another $1500 or so to get past the dogs. Compare that to how much it would cost to get to the electronics of a similar cat lock system in v15 that was attached to a long line of trap doors. You could easily set it up so that 10 explosives were needed to get to the cats, making it cost $5000. Then you could have each cat run down a corridor before it gets to the button and put dogs down the corridor.

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#9 2013-09-23 05:03:19

Dwarfy2k
Member
Registered: 2013-09-23
Posts: 2

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

I've now been playing this game for about 4 days and It's totally dead, I never have places to rob so I can't get money and if I log off my place gets destroyed and I may as well just suicide when that happens.

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#10 2013-09-24 03:32:57

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

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

joshwithguitar wrote:

I personally find electric floor mazes both fun to create and explore in the current versions. There are a lot of neat electronics tricks you can use to make them interesting but you can still solve them with the right set of tools.

Combo locks were even easier to create in v15 than v16+, so I'm not sure why they have helped to ruin things. Further, it costs less for the tools to get past them - you could get to the electronics of Mr Temples house with $2400 for the crowbar and another $1500 or so to get past the dogs. Compare that to how much it would cost to get to the electronics of a similar cat lock system in v15 that was attached to a long line of trap doors. You could easily set it up so that 10 explosives were needed to get to the cats, making it cost $5000. Then you could have each cat run down a corridor before it gets to the button and put dogs down the corridor.

Combo locks were one of the problems that were supposed to be adressed with 16+ yet all that has happened is that a more devious version has emerged. At the cost of everything else ceasing to be viable.

I still feel that a less radical limiting of power usage (such that power sources have a max range) would have gone a long way without breaking the game. You could even have kept the intrigue connected to the animals being activated but then moving out of sight.

All I'm saying is that with two or three bits of design floating around, it doesn't seem worth the bother. And from what I read here, most people seem to have voted on this by stopping to play.


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

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#11 2013-09-26 11:30:30

AGO
Member
Registered: 2013-08-06
Posts: 10

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

I checked the game out again after about a month of not playing. I knew it was going to be dead.

One thing Jason has not tried is the separate starting cash vs robbing cash. He seems to be blinded by this need to have all cash the same.

What I really want to see is unlimited building cash and enough cash to buy a decent set of starting tools for people who want to rob. If you die robbing you have to wait 12 hours before you can try again. Basically making you spend your time building something. This crap $2000 starting cash is so lame.

Basically I got fed up with the game and the insane amount of time investment that I just had to quit.

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#12 2013-09-26 15:35:15

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

Re: Why have people stopped playing?

Idk, I really REALLY felt v15 was almost there and only needed some minor balancing with the electronics. We had gotten to a point were among three houses, I got by very well with a house that relied on deceit and multiple paths instead of brute force security, I got broken less frequently than other top houses that took a lot more cash to take down. This is the kind of forced creativity I was looking forward to in the game, always with the restrictions of scarce cash and the thrill of having to make it past your various levels of security every self test if you build a house in various stages.

AND the robberies were getting better and more predictable (each animal you "activated" meant something could happen, but you always had a choice and it was your own choices that killed you. I had really gotten back into robbing people since I could be sure that I could get out of any house alive if it wasn't for stupidity.

I always supported a building voucher system (4k build only plus 2k to build or rob with or similar) to adress some imbalances since it seemed to make more sense than tweaking tool prices because of scaleability. But I don't think that's what broke it.

The time consumption was tough, but it was an awesome experience how this game could give you real considerations of "should I spend the night at my girlfriend's place or rather go home to check on my house and make sure it gets through the night". This, also, would have had to be solved at some point but so far I was enjoying it.


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

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