So, so far, I love the game. I knew I’d love it from the day I heard the concept. It’s a mashup of my 2 favorite genres and I couldn’t be happier that I get to get my hands on it early!
The only constructive criticism at the moment is that there are a lot of moment where I feel blind. By this I mean, I’m sitting there going WHY IS THIS HAPPENING.
For example, I open the overview screen and the player thoughts are all positive… “I love this town!”… “Nice Scenery!”. I like this system… it reminds me a lot of roller coaster tycoon 3’s thought system. However, what I think is lacking is two things…
- More negative thoughts… for example… “I’m frustrated. I’ve died to spiders 10 times now.” or “These skeletons need a nerf!” or “The Wizard class needs a buff!”. Some of this information you can find in other screens but it would be nice to have a more consolidated view of it
- Ability to Action… Right now I can see thoughts but I have no way of knowing who or where the thoughts are coming from. Is there some way to maybe highlight the area in the map where it occurred? At the moment, its somewhat impossible to action on the feedback where it is there
I also find myself looking at the positive and negative Buzz Bars and having no idea why I’m getting either of them. Again, all my players are happy according to their (few) thoughts and yet I have significantly more negative buzz than positive.
Just my two cents.
That’s all fantastic feedback, zawzew, thanks!
My opinion is that players don’t record enough thoughts right now. I should probably be recording a thought every time something happens which affects a player’s happiness level; most things don’t actually generate a message, right now; I just worry about it becoming overly spammy. (On the other hand, “overly spammy” is probably better than not having enough information!)
The problem about “where did these thoughts occur” is a big one that has been plaguing MMORPG Tycoon since the first version of it; it’s just not immediately obvious how to usefully group up the complaints into positions. I do know a position on the map for each complaint; maybe I can make a GUI where you can select particular thoughts, and have little pins show up in the map wherever they happened? Or maybe I can do a SimCity-style heatmap or something.
Positive and negative buzz are holdovers from the simulation used in MMORPG Tycoon 1; they definitely need more explanation than I’ve given them yet. I’m going to need a codex or something which presents information about how the game’s different systems work; it’d be super-unfriendly to just dump it all on players during the tutorial.
But for the moment, the key thing to understand about buzz is that it’s mostly generated by people who are intensely into your game (i.e.: the “addicted” ones) posting on internet forums/social media. It’s basically a count of number of positive and negative comments, which slowly decays toward zero over time. Positive buzz is better than negative buzz, which is better than no buzz. Buzz affects the rate at which new potential subscribers discover your game. (And it’s not uncommon for you to have more negative buzz than positive buzz, even when most players are happy with the game; the people who aren’t happy are often the ones most motivated to post!)
That is definitely a fair concern. I think that is where the system from Roller Coaster Tycoon is super nice in that it group it together as much as possible with the ability to drill down if you want to.
It is similar to what you have now (but shows more than 5) where it shows X number of people thinking about something with the option to click on it to see the list of individual people thinking that thought. That gives you the ability to pick on individuals thinking that to try to do some specific problem solving. (maybe thats the programmer in me applying debugging and unit testing to gaming LOL)
Either of those would be helpful! From a coding perspective pins would probably be easier I imagine but from a player perspective, a heat map would probably be super nice… especially if 400 people have the same thought in a small area. Pins might get messy.
I’m pretty sure I could show more than five; just drop it all into a scrollbox. Or maybe it deserves its own window, rather than adding to the stuff in the Overview window. Hm.