So this just happened

I really need to get some new models in for all the new building types that have been going in lately; even my simulated subscribers are complaining about it!

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Haha thats great. poor white cube someone think of its feelings.

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I’m now very close to having the next build prepared. Pretty much all I need to add is:

  • AI code for determining how much someone thinks a weapon is worth.
  • AI code for determining how much someone is willing to pay for in-game gold. (This is a calculation that I expect to be tweaking until long after the game has shipped. I’m certain that my first attempt is going to go spectacularly wrong, but my thinking is that it’s going to be based largely on how happy the player is with the game, how addicted they are to it, and probably a custom per-player factor, so some players will be happier to spend real-world money buying in-game money than other players are. Maybe also total playtime?)
  • Set it up so that before interacting with any building, a player must first decide whether or not to pay any price that has been set on the building. And generate a negative thought if they decide it’s too expensive, or a positive thought if they think they got a particularly good deal.

I thought I was going to be adding purchasable health potions in this build as well, but it turns out I didn’t create a shop that sells them. That’ll be in the following build, probably. :slight_smile:

Big design question I’m wrestling with right now is whether to allow a single shop to sell multiple items, or whether each shop should only be stocked with a single saleable item. Most Tycoon games use a one-shop-one-product model, and that certainly makes the UI simpler. But it feels a little weird to need one shop for (for example) health potions, and a different shop for mana potions.

Note that this is a very busy week for me, though; it’s Melbourne International Games Week, which means that it’s pretty much solidly booked with events, culminating in PAX Australia. I’m going to try to get this build out before PAX, but I’m not sure quite how much coding time I’m going to have over the coming couple of days. I’ll do my best!

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Hum it would be a little weird to have one shop for each item in an mmo. Maybe you could do something like how they do it in skyrim/morrowind have shops that sell Potions, Arms, Armour etc

That way there are multiple shops but each shop kinda specialises in a particular type of product.

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Agreed! But from an interface point of view for this type of game, it’s a lot simpler to see what services are being provided in an area if (for example) potion shops only sell potions, and always look the same, rather than needing to open up separate windows for each building to see what they offer, and configure them each separately.

And this is why I’m conflicted. :slight_smile:

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Okay, I’ve got all the code working as designed, but I’m having trouble making it actually work well in practice.

What’s happening is that immediately after joining the game, subscribers seem to always want to try to go buy weapons immediately after starting the game (and then are disappointed that they don’t have enough money to actually buy the weapons), rather than preferring to do anything which would give them the money they need to buy weapons. They try to buy a weapon, fail, then go socialise for a little while, then go try to buy a weapon again, and so on, getting unhappier and unhappier with every loop through the cycle.

Previously, I had it set up so that having gold was a prerequisite before a subscriber would even consider buying a weapon. But now that you can change the price of weapons at different shops (or even make them free), I can’t really do that any more. (And honestly, I kind of like getting subscriber’s “I can’t afford this” reactions).

So I need to figure out how to make this properly playable; right now, everybody just gets unhappy pretty quickly, when they find that they can’t afford to buy a weapon immediately after subscribing to the game.

Honestly, I’m a bit baffled about why they’re so fixated on buying a weapon, it’s almost like… wait… I think I just figured it out.

(Edit, a few minutes later) Gah, no. It’s not forcing them to buy a weapon before going to fight monsters or anything like that. Okay, so I’m still a bit puzzled about what’s going wrong; this AI needs a bit more tuning before I’ll be able to release a build; the game is kind of unplayable in this state; everybody just gets too unhappy too quickly. Will try to find the issue and fix things up tomorrow, or over the weekend!

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Are weapons seen as more desirable than gold by the ai?

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…the AI doesn’t really want gold, exactly. (The whole economy wouldn’t work very well if they actually wanted gold; they’d have a weird reluctance to spend it to get other stuff.)

Instead, the AI wants to fulfill their “Get Loot” need. And many different activities will do that, including both activities which lead to having gold, and activities which lead to spending gold. For example, going to kill monsters will fulfill the “Get Loot” need. That doesn’t give gold directly, but it does give ‘loot’ (which is basically trash drops that the player will sell later). That loot can then be sold in shops, to convert it into gold, and that action also fulfills the “Get Loot” need.

So to get AI players to want to buy a weapon, I tell them that acquiring a weapon will very, very slightly satisfy their “Get Loot” need. The AI believes that getting a weapon will improve their “Get Loot” need by five points. Which is tiny, compared to other things which would give them “Get Loot”, but buying a weapon takes less time than going to a monster zone to kill some monsters. So it may just be that they’re thinking “hey, I could get loot by going to kill a monster, but that’d probably take me 15 minutes to hike all the way out there and fight, or I could just walk over to the local blacksmith and buy a sword. Which granted isn’t going to give me as much loot as going to kill monsters would, but it’ll be a heck of a lot faster, and so maybe is better overall?” Which makes a sort of logical sense.

Problem is that even when I place the blacksmith as far away as possible (so that the monster zone is substantially closer to a new subscriber’s starting position), they still seem to be preferring to make the longer trek to the blacksmith shop, and I haven’t yet been able to figure out why.

Maybe I’ll work it out tomorrow. :slight_smile:

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So I’ve now hooked things up so that people remember prices, so they won’t get stuck in that loop of trying to buy a weapon that they can’t afford over and over again.

However, what’s happening now is that they go off to earn some gold, and then once they’ve earned that gold, they come back and buy a weapon, yay!

…and then they’d buy another weapon. And then another and another, just over and over again until they ran out of gold. Gah!

Eventually tracked down the problem, though. It was a single missing comma in my code. Yay!

So it all looks like it’s working pretty well right now, except that I feel like players are a little too happy to spend real money right now. Particularly when they’re addicted. I definitely have to tighten up those “do I want to spend that much money” tests. Build will be coming soon.

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those pesky comma’s Im learning C# and my downful is capitals

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Hey players can sell they itens to get gold?

The weird thing (he said, three months later), is that commas are surprisingly uncommon in C++ code. And it’s pretty rare that a missing one wouldn’t generate a compile error, rather than compiling successfully and misbehaving.

Right now, players get ‘loot’ drops from monsters they kill. If there are shops available, they’ll go to the shops to sell that loot, in exchange for gold. The gold can then be used to purchase upgraded weapons.

Eventually, the idea is for them to also be able to use gold to purchase health potions, and other utility items. But that’s not implemented yet. And maybe it’s too minor a thing to be worth actually simulating. It’s not high on my list right now; we’ll see how things look once I start balancing the game economy.