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Author Topic: Suggestions  (Read 3122 times)
Rudolf
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« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2008, 07:44:10 AM »

Hey guys reading all these posts is quite encouraging as much of it is represented in the work already under way. I hope you will be pleased with the next version that we are planning. As I have said a few times now the current game is not feature complete but we are implementing the lacking features now. Our unique take on territory is being tested as we speak, as is defensive play. The seedlings themselves will be much more diverse  useful and the whole thing will be way more balanced and strategically interesting. A UI overhaul is planned as well of course and then there are some other additions that we want to keep to ourselves for a bit longer.

It is nicely progressing and we will keep you posted on when a new vesion will come out :-)
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Preachieved
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« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2008, 05:46:22 PM »

A little suggestion on the defensive portion. How about structures at the cost of seedlings. like a shield for an asteroid that has to be destroyed before the trees can be attacked. Maybe some things to alter the stats of the asteroid to produce different seedling types.
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Alex
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« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2008, 01:13:24 PM »

Thanks for the suggestions. We are implementing a way to spend seedlings on defense, in a way. Should work. Modifying asteroid stats is definitely something I'm interested in. We've got some neat ideas for that too, which should make the game more interesting/involving to play too.

Sorry about the spam bots.
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Suprsim
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« Reply #18 on: November 05, 2008, 06:53:18 PM »

This looks to be, perhaps, one of the first suggestions since the new release, so let me just say I never got a chance to play the previous version, I was only introduced to Dyson last night (I <3 Indiegames.com ^_^ ). This is a fantastic game! You guys have really made something special. Its like you took some of the really fun components out of SoaSE and made a beautiful new game! Not that I mean to imply you took inspiration from them or anything >_>

Anyways, this is a suggestion thread so on with the suggestions!

A way-point system. I don't mean you should be able to set way-points for a group of seeds, so that they attack asteroid after asteroid (that would seem to defeat the limited moving range in the new version) but if you could set an asteroid to have any newly spawned seeds move to an adjacent asteroid would be interesting. This would help with endgame movement, I think.

While I imagine, and as I've seen suggested by others, you are coming up with more trees to grow on the asteroids, you never know what has and hasn't been thought of:
-shield: despite some of my best efforts, it always happens. The enemy sends in 150 seeds to attack my asteroid that has 400 seeds guarding it. While I know I wont lose it, they still manage to destroy all my trees and take it over for a few moments. Whether or not this could be built at a more expensive cost or perhaps acquired only after certain prerequisites are met (3 out of 4 trees used, or all current trees grown to 75% of their maximum height or something) as I could see building a shield right away as being slightly lopsided.
-Artillery: While having trees that defend my asteroids are nice, perhaps a tree that can attack a nearby asteroid might be neat to try out. They could be used defensively too, aiding nearby asteroids that are being attacked.
-Core defense: have a "root" which protects an asteroid from capture, even if one of the tress is killed and the enemy has access to the core. It could help improve energy regeneration, or kill enemies who make it inside the asteroid

I recall reading something about an editor being put in place, all procedural of course, but I think it would be neat to design custom maps, down to the last detail. It would be fun to design interesting scenarios, say with 2 major choke points, or a player starting with many asteroids while three teamates work to bring him down. That being said, the generated ones do provide excellent replayability!

I know multiplayer has been suggested already, many times, and I'm sure you don't need to hear it again, but just LAN would be fantastic!

I don't know how the game is gonna play out as it progresses, but these are just my thoughts ^_^ Please make the game to be your very own! I really enjoy Dyson so far and I look forward to future developments, so clearly you know what your doing so far!  :D
P.S. A donation, or maybe even a "pre-buy" option (Like Cortex Command or Mount&Blade might be something to look into. I'd be all over that!)
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Thymouspanis
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2008, 05:42:56 PM »

For me, I think, the biggest part of the game's appeal is the beauty of a single, simple system governing the simulation on every scale. Unlike every other strategy game I've played, there are no passively disturbing abstractions — they are avoided in the game's unfamiliar and already abstract object of simulation. This is how the seedlings' blossoming on the tree and dropping off is such a marvelous improvement. This is, at least to me, the game's strength, and despite its subtlety it should be played to. Even a detail as simple as making the seedlings congregate at the site before they plant their tree would richen the experience a lot.

The only part of the current version that must to be "fixed" is the movement control, particularly for sending specified numbers. Forgive me if you've already come up with a solution, but I thought of one: when an owned asteroid is clicked and held, lines appear connecting it to its reachable neighbors; releasing on one of the asteroids sends the whole garrison there, and releasing partway along the line sends a fraction proportional to to how far along the line the mouse is. Of course, the number to be sent would appear next to the cursor when mousing over the line. This would reduce the time commitment to sending part of a garrison, and free up the right mouse button. Way-points would also help a lot late-game, as was just observed, but seedlings should only be sent automatically when there are more than a certain number present, defined either manually by the player, or simply how many are present when the way-point is set.

Any changes other than relieving the movement frustration are in the category of improvements.

In terms of aesthetics, some procedurally-generated visual elements naturally occurring on asteroids would give them more character and could be used to show their composition in a natural way. I realize that real asteroids don't look any more interesting than their shapes, but features like random polygonal rocks, biological plants, relics, or particle effects (I recommend geyser-like), are definitely within creative license if you are willing to take it in a bit of a fantastical direction.

In terms of gameplay, diversity of situation and of appropriate strategy should take precedence over well-tuned difficulty. The difficulty of a level seems to vary depending mostly on how the AI factions interact in your absence. My strategy of planting only dyson trees almost exclusively on large, red-yellow asteroids did not require alteration on any level. The difficulty can be improved much more simply than the strategy by having the game "cheat" on undiscovered planets in response to how the player, or maybe just the AI, is faring. Improving the strategy is a complicated task that can be taken in so many directions, though I think it should still be secondary to what I mentioned at the beginning of this post. On this topic the only suggestions I'd make are to make the red circle much bigger around small asteroids than around large ones, which would nicely diversify their function and make small ones useful, and to add more variables to composition and/or other varying asteroid features that effect their strategic significance.

I noticed that trees stop producing seedlings on heavily-populated asteroids. The game shouldn't do this hoping the player won't notice; it should be an apparent gameplay element. This could be done by introducing a third tree whose product a seedling must periodically consume to remain, introduced with a few number changes.
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hummumgerr
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« Reply #20 on: November 17, 2008, 05:52:35 AM »

Excellent game. I'm glad I stumbled across it & good luck at the IGF!
I have two suggestions, for what they're worth.

First, unlike some of the other posts in this thread, I would try to avoid or eliminate any numerical values in the game display wherever possible. I enjoy the ambient, otherworldly feeling of this game and all the numbers take away from that, in my opinion. For example, instead of "1/3...2/3...3/3" to indicate the number of trees growing on an asteroid, you could use empty and filled-in circles, or some other graphical representation of the same value.

Second, your game reminded me strongly of an SF short story by David Brin called "Lungfish". It's available to read for free on his website at http://www.davidbrin.com/lungfish1.htm - If you have a chance to read it, I hope it might spark some inspiration for this game.

Best of luck!
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Alex
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« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2008, 09:56:07 AM »

Quote from: "hummumgerr"
Excellent game. I'm glad I stumbled across it & good luck at the IGF!
I have two suggestions, for what they're worth.

First, unlike some of the other posts in this thread, I would try to avoid or eliminate any numerical values in the game display wherever possible. I enjoy the ambient, otherworldly feeling of this game and all the numbers take away from that, in my opinion. For example, instead of "1/3...2/3...3/3" to indicate the number of trees growing on an asteroid, you could use empty and filled-in circles, or some other graphical representation of the same value.

Second, your game reminded me strongly of an SF short story by David Brin called "Lungfish". It's available to read for free on his website at http://www.davidbrin.com/lungfish1.htm - If you have a chance to read it, I hope it might spark some inspiration for this game.

Best of luck!
Thanks for this, I'll have a read later SmileyIt's scary how many people are coming up with suggestions that are in line with our plans for the game.
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Lediur
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« Reply #22 on: November 30, 2008, 02:06:21 AM »

It would be helpful to have a 'retreat' function to back away from attacking an asteroid. The game has bugged out on me and half of my forces have been attacking one of the enemy asteroids for 10 minutes without avail.
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Vitaliy
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2008, 02:29:15 AM »

To begin with, this is a truly unique and fantastic game and there are some excellent suggestions in this thread. I'm surprised that this one has not been posted.

 I frequently require the use of a "retreat" function to withdraw seedlings I have just sent to attack a neighboring asteroid to come back and defend my asteroid. This is especially important in the beginning of the game when I send out 1 seedling to each neighboring asteroid to explore them. I noticed that when you try to recall seedlings in an un-owned asteroid they will not return until all enemies/trees have been cleared. Another scenario where this is useful is when sending out a capture party of 6-10 seedlings to an uninhabited asteroid. Meanwhile, my asteroid gets attacked so an "emergency recall" would be useful in sending them back.

Other minor/optional features you may want to consider:

- Ability to speed up time

- Map editor/creator (with the ability to mod/create additional levels)

Previous ideas I agree with:

- The addition of multiplayer (as this would perhaps make replayability limitless and would provide for a different game experience). This also adds more value to the game itself if, as you mentioned, you decide to sell this game.

- A way point feature that directs newly spawned seedlings to an owned asteroid of your choice. For this feature it would be best to allow seedlings to travel outside the red ring of influence, but only to owned asteroids (on a connected path only).

- An easier way to select a specific number of seedlings to send (e.g. via keyboard digits). For instance, if an asteroid has 1000 seedlings, and you wish to attack 3 surrounding asteroids simultaneously with 200 each, it would be impractical with the right mouse button.

Note: I have only tried the latest version 1.08

EDIT: Wow, to the previous poster that beat me by 20 minutes as of my post on retreating
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Candlejack
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« Reply #24 on: November 30, 2008, 09:45:50 PM »

I believe the main appeal of this game should be a complete lack of micro management. The organizing seeds would greatly increase the tactical potential of this game and setting waypoints would help eliminate repetitive tasks.
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AriesT
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« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2008, 04:38:33 PM »

Hey guys,
I've been playing your game for a while and after I offered Alex to help you with the game, I decided to write some thoughts down which came during my session.
Alex did already tell me that the game is far from being complete or perfect but I hope my suggestions can help you a bit.

- The Asteroid
In my opinion, the interaction with the asteroid itself should be better. Maybe you can make the game more tactical if you can deside where to build the trees.

- The Seedlings
The idea of directing them indirectly is nice, reminds me of Darwinia, but defining the amount of seedlings should be solved in a different way. In dangerous situations, when big green ones attack for example, clicking the right mouse button and holding it up to 30 or 40 can waste a lot of important time.
Like candlejack already wrote, there should be a more detailed control of the Dysons.

- attack of the enemies
Alex already said that the respawn time still has to be balanced.
But it can be very frustrating if the "strongest" asteroid is next to yours in Level 1 and you get killed after 5 minutes.
Maybe there has to be kind of a visible classification of which asteroid has stronger enemies than others.
This maybe can be shown with the size or the color of the asteroid.

Also you could make it that only the asteroids around your own can attack your enemies. So the game is not unfair anymore in some situations (I got attacked by 4 enemies at the same time in Level 2)

Thats it from me right now, I hope my post is helpful.
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AriesT
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« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2008, 10:30:55 PM »

I want to add a thought:

- Difficulty
I got huge problems in starting Level 2 because the enemy already has got a lot of units and they are stronger than mine. So in my last session, I couldn't even reach a second asteroid before they attacked my base and I went game over, yeah, after 4 minutes. And not just once, no, four times in a row.
Maybe you should integrate a parameter to avoid enemy attacks during the first 3 minutes - or until the player starts moving to another asteroid - so the seedlings can grow.

- growing time
maybe you should regulate the growing time. It takes a bit too long to actually start to take over an asteroid because you have to wait very long to have at least 30 seedlings to start any attack.
Just my 2 cents.  :D
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Rudolf
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2008, 12:00:54 PM »

Thanks again for all the feedback guys/gals! Luckily , most of  the suggestions and or issues are actually already covered by our plans, and they are in the pipeline for implementation. On top of that there will be some serious additions that should surprise you, hopefully in a positive way. :-)

I am going to update the FAQ soon to reflect some of our plans so watch this space!
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AriesT
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2008, 01:04:12 PM »

Quote from: "Alex"
With the UI, I'm in full agreement. We've had to use a certain extent of text and numbers just to get the information out there. Developing a completely symbolic UI I think will be time consuming, and so far we've not had enough time, or had higher priorities. But yes, In keeping with the ambient aesthetics of the game, iot would be good to have as little "HUD" as possible, incorporating all that info seamlessly into the game's graphics.
One suggestion referring to the Core Energy.
In my opinion just a number is not interesting here. What about making a green energy-circle around the core to indicate the cores energy?

Kinda like that:
[attachment=0:396a51uv]core_energy.png[/attachment:396a51uv]
(I can't draw)


* core_energy.png (91.52 KB, 472x274 - viewed 407 times.)
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« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2008, 12:25:24 AM »

Some stray thoughts on the subject: As several people have noted, the relatively simple design, as well as the aesthetics/ambience, is a major appeal of the game. I agree that several good ideas have been brought up in this thread. For instance, being able to send seedlings away from neutral/hostile asteroids would be nice. Way points could also be very useful, if implemented smoothly. At the same time, I'm confident that the design will be kept minimalistic. It would obviously be a shame to have eg. a complex hierarchy of breedable trees, à la cities in (the board game) Settlers of Catan, or technology levels in games like Warcraft.

I've been thinking a possible way of selecting chunks of seedlings, would be with a kind of mouse gestures. Say you hold the button and scoop out a portion of seedlings from around an asteroid, and you get an approximate percentage. I guess you could even mark groups of asteroids in this way, for example to set a common way point (send all spawned seedlings from all these asteroids to this one asteroid).

Trying to imagine new kinds of seedlings and trees is of course tempting. But again, some of the immediate appeal would disappear if the player had to learn to understand a big rule set. I think one way to do it, would be to work on differentiating the asteroids more.  There is already the system with force/strength/speed, which is a bit sketchy in the current version? I'm sure there are other ways to make asteroids interesting, as well. For example, different asteroids could have varying degrees of fertility within one map. In a barren galaxy, you might see asteroids that can only hold two trees (but maybe even an occational four). This could make certain places more lucrative to invade or use as a base. It also struck me that a weed might be an interesting feature, that doesn't involve a higher degree of complexity to the player. Simply a tree that sprouts and occupies one "tree slot" of an asteroid, but doesn't spawn seedlings or serve any other purpose (that sounds easy, but I'm sure it would lead to some very difficult design decisions). Thinking of the Little prince, I guess Baobab tree would be the right name (:

Very well. I'm just adding a cheer to the crowd, and hoping you can get some inspiration from my ramblings.
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