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New mode of starting

21 replies [Last post]
east amloo's picture
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I am not sure to well understand all what do you say chris, but we can have this idea :

The first round of  6 actions is a special round of deployment, all robots stay in the mode "on the stack" in any case. The game start only at the second turn. So we can't kill someone on the first turn, we can't take any items.

This idea could be great ! no ?

chris's picture
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yes, this could be a good in between: not really changing the game rules and easier to understand for new players.
But if some bots remain on the same position at the end of the turn, we still have a stack understanding issue. But I agree it would be better for most of the cases.
Another point: not easy to understand that you can't validate any mark or extrakit during the first turn.

Some other opinion ? (maybe some cents from Dharo :D )
dharokan's picture
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Well... my opinion differs from yours. Short summary: I dislike all the above ideas. (sorry!)

Having multiple starting marks to choose from:
Too complicated for the players, too much changing the gameplay (think about races!), makes all current maps obsolete.
And: When a player's bot respawns, there might still be a need of a stack or something.

Display from 2 up to 8 bots 1 cell around the first mark
That would make most of the maps obsolote, too. And who will come out where? Players won't be able to predict where they (or other bots) would re-appear. This would end in a mess. (Anyway this is the only idea which would totally get rid of the stacks)

Start from one point as currently but only for the first turn let each bot execute its 6 moves, then the other bot and so on.
This would be as hard to understand as the stacks, wouldn't it? And too much depending on luck. The current situation is a bit chaotic too, agreed, but it's not really gambling for luck. I like this idea most but it has one main problem: If >1 players respawn, it would need to use the same mechanism. But how would that effect the other (still alife) player's bot? 
I think the discrepancy to the normal way of executing would be a too large - and therefore make all even harder to understand.

The first round of  6 actions is a special round of deployment, all robots stay in the mode "on the stack" in any case.
Actually this would change nothing
The only change would be that stacks would happen infrequently then. And this would make them even harder to understand. 

All efforts in making it easier for newbies would fail, if we would keep the same problem (occasional stacks) with just an extra rule.

Let me play the devil's advocate now.
Stacks, as they are used now, are a very good element of the game for those reasons:
  • The game is quick and casual because the only player's action is to put 6 actions every turn. => Easy to play, not easy to master (That's the perfect attribute of games and hard to achieve!)
  • Stacks keep the game fair because every player starts with exact the same situation.
  • Last not least: Stacks create some funny moments. For example when 2 players make the same initial moves and end on a stack again without getting the items etc. I love those moments :)

And to be honest: I've helped many new players over the years now. But none of them has ever complained about the stacks...

So I tried to get to the bottom of the whole idea:
The problem is that stacks are not easy to understand. (according to you)

Your idea focused on getting rid of the stacks. I say, the better way is keeping them but perhaps make them easier to understand.

The only difficulty in understanding stacks could be, that they are not logical in a real physic world. 
Well, that could be changed by the way we visualize them.
Right now they are shown by semi-transparency. That's not a stack!

If we would change the graphics to something more logical than ghost-robots, it might be more understandable.
I made a little brainstorming.

First idea: Real stacks.
I like this but I guess it would be tough to make it (for Chris). Especially some cases like: How does it look when a bot leaves the stack? And we would have to change 1 thing of the game mechanics: 2 stacks should affect each other (in other words: 1 stack can push another stack).


Second idea: Shrink bots.
There is no need of stacking the bots - there's only a need to have 8 bots on the same tile. This could be done by shrinking them at start and let them grow as soon as the number of bots on 1 tile lowers. 
Of course, this would need the change above, too (stacks can push stacks).  And it would be less logical that they cannot take any items.
But the main problem imho: The bots would be too small on larger maps :D


Third idea: Some other effect
I've drawn a quick bubble to show the stack effect. Maybe too close to the shield though. I could also think about some twinkeling stars, some electric sparks, some fog above then etc... Anything that would simply enhance the effect of being on a stack.
This could even be enough to solve the problem of understanding, i don't know...




Wow, you've come so far? Well.. you asked for my opinion :unibrow:

Cheers,
Dharo





east amloo's picture
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You convinced me and your right about new players who never complained about the stack. The own who speak to me about that was not for the stack himself. It was more for the mode of playing, he would have a classical way of starting (like he had in an other game i think).

So, maybe we can find a new category of maps ? There is run, deathmatch and why not include a new category ? Maybe a mix between us ?

Little brainstorming too :

People start on different marks, one mark = one robot. Each robot need to protect is own mark, and the goal is to take the mark of the other. When a robot suceed to take an other mark the robot who protect the maps is killed (autodestruction mode). We can imagine that during the first round, people have 6 actions for putting some elements of protection on the map. In that way the maps can be adapted...

Just a little idea but with a lot of problems of details.

More...

about the good read of the stack, we can used some colors, like the paralyze statut after bombing. I like this idea but i would propose it for something else : the leader and the "last player" of the game. When you are leader, you have a blue filter, and when you are the player with the less number of life and health, you have a red filter. In this way, it will be easy for newbie to understand that they are the worse player (or not) or understand that there is one robot to kill : the leader.

But its not the subject.
chris's picture
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Such a brilliant summary speech and stacks' plea :D you're right, nothing more to say! (lets stay near the roots)

So, now the subject is how to represent / symbolize the stack state (which is more a ghost state imho).
I like your trials especially the real stack. It gave me the idea of an elevator new item from where you could jump or have a special shooting action (but it's another subject).

I think it's useless to imagine a realistic representation of something that can't exist in the real word. The best orientation would be to draw inspiration from arcade games, where many animated symbols pop up without any understanding issues. It could be a mix of those first ideas.
The stack state should be seen at first sight. So we could show a double bot frame, like Dharo's first stack trial while keeping the global shape and size of a single bot, this would be better than current semi-transparency. We could also imagine an animation with small bots turning above the cell in the air. I intended a long time ago to represent the different bots in the stack with a "pie chart" like cockpit showing all colors, or blinking with all colors of the stack (with a longer time on the users' color of course).
What do you think ?

BTW there are often many reasons not to change anything (thanks to the game concept itself I guess ;) ) but we have to admit that RS is not always so user friendly. Even if players don't complain clearly about this or that, my connexion stats show that many of them bounce after a short trial.
I suggest a "scientific" approach if you can catch somebody, sit him at you PC and see what happens.
I did that test many times, and it can be sometimes frightning :crybaby:, but I would like to share your own experiments if some, because there are probably simple things we could do to make it more self-understandable.
dharokan's picture
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Yes I agree: Re-discussing things we are used to by years isn't a bad idea at all.
That's why I took this seriously, as you see from the length of my reply ;)

Okay, let's try to find a better display of the stack state.

chris wrote:
I suggest a "scientific" approach if you can catch somebody, sit him at you PC and see what happens.
I did that test many times, and it can be sometimes frightning :crybaby:, but I would like to share your own experiments if some, because there are probably simple things we could do to make it more self-understandable.


Good idea.
But to be honest: Addicting every possible player is an impossible goal. We shouldn't even try to aim on that. There will always be people who do not like games like RS. So let them play Bloons and be happy with it :evil:
But nevertheless we should do all we can in order to get players "compatible" to RS gameplay.

I think the most important step towards being "more self-understandable" will be the renewed UI.
tomu's picture
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^ I like this example of 'bloons' very much Sir Dharo ;) 
Also your rendition of the very amusing 'little bots' is very amusing. But yes, stacks are good as they are, but perhaps as you say to make them more obvious when they occur?
gladiator's picture
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i think this idea could be good for races, before the start u could choose start mode normal/random. In last mode the starting chip could be any of validation chips. Still, some players could be on stack depends on random exit.

I agree with dharo that is not good at death match games, maybe the only thing that could be good is make a random starter chip, but always on stack.
Dragoo's picture
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The game so far is strategic, yet it is confined in it's possibilities. Blast, laser, bomb or push. That's it. This is not a problem for users who already love RS, but then again, the goal is not to promote RS to such users, since they're already captive! (in a good sense :D)
Instead, the goal is to make new users fall in love with the game the second they lay their hands on it.
There have been several great ideas out there and many would improve the game substancially. The more options an user has, the more he feels free, creative, with new horizons to pursue and conquer.

What with the new UI, maybe it's time to take Robostrike to the next step and make it a game with broader possibilites and an evergrowing crowd of fans.









All my best.

Dragoo

chris's picture
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Right ! :D
That's we're about to do
First a renewed User Interface, more friendly for new players
Then some game upgrades will be released progressively