Author Topic: Dyson 1.20  (Read 8193 times)

wogan

  • Guest
Dyson 1.20
« on: April 07, 2009, 09:43:46 AM »
So I'm busy playing through 1.20 right now. I have to say: I love what you did with the planting procedure - very, very clever, especially when taking a neutral asteroid :) As well as the roots and cores.

I see the limbo-state-when-seedlings-are-in-transit thing hasn't been implemented yet. It's a little bit more of a drag right now, especially since your seedlings actually need to return to an asteroid in order to plant.

As for selecting specific numbers of seedlings - I see we're still stuck with the right click. Why not a combination of right-click and scroller wheel? At least make it a little faster to cycle up.

And the moving-to-asteroids-beyond-your-starting-range thing.

Other than those - very good job! Now just keep it coming :)

Rudolf

  • Administrator
  • Old Oak
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 669
  • Eufloria: Yes
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2009, 11:19:58 PM »
Thanks Wogan, that is good to hear!
Also, we deliberately didn't make too many fundamental changes or additions as we had to focus on a good version for the IGF conference floor. It would be too dangerous to do work that could introduce crash bugs or destabilise the build in general. The stuff you mention is still planned :-D

wogan

  • Guest
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2009, 08:25:56 AM »
Also, we deliberately didn't make too many fundamental changes or additions as we had to focus on a good version for the IGF conference floor.

Absolutely understandable. But now that we're clear of IGF, you should try breaking it more often :P

Also, on a nitpickish side note - is there no better replacement for that huge, ugly red arrow? I think a subtler, but equally effective effect would be:

On mouse down, fade the core shades of all your asteroids to grey, leaving the source asteroid colored. On hovering over a target asteroid while mouse down, color that one's core too.

On mouse release, animate the source asteroid. Something as simple as a "pulse wave" effect (hollow expanding circle, zooming and fading outward), followed by a reverse animation on the target asteroid - including the currently-used soundbyte. I think that'd be a good way to visually explain a "move from here to here" command :)

And it would ditch that red thing!

Alex

  • Administrator
  • Ent
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 3
  • -Receive: 15
  • Posts: 1,035
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2009, 10:07:22 PM »
Red arrow is near top on my list of graphics I hate :) Doesn't fit at all.

All good comments btw, thanks - hard to get enough time to work on the big new features, let alone the 'small' stuff like the seedlings home-asteroid problem. IGF focus was mainly on polish, we can get back on to features now.

Jamis

  • Seedling
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 27
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 12:49:19 AM »
Alex and team,

I see now that in version 1.20, once you capture an asteroid, it retains all of the trees you didnt destroy in the process of taking the asteroid.

Was that intentional?  I actually have an idea on this subject:

Suppose...Asteroid, 3 trees max.  There are 3 trees on the asteroid, you kill one and take over the core.  What if the enemy's trees still produced seedlings and missiles until they too are defeated?  So, while the asteroid is yours and you have the ability to plant as you see fit, the enemy trees are still fighting back (to the death).  Or, perhaps some number of seeds could be used to replant the enemy trees.  What do you think?

Other than that, I think you guys did a great job with all of the other feature upgrades and polishing.  Please keep up the goodwork.  :)

Rudolf

  • Administrator
  • Old Oak
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 669
  • Eufloria: Yes
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 02:55:43 AM »
Hiya!
We have discussed that, but it introduces a number of complexities that I am not convinced are improvements. For now I just want to test the posibility that trees can be "stolen" together with thge asteroid by a smart opponent, which is one of the strategic improvements I wanted to add to prepare for more interesting play sessions. Less predictable for one, and defenses become more important. Future AI improvements will make this feature more interesting as well.

Thanks!

Mr Frank

  • Seedling
  • **
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 33
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 04:28:21 PM »
Capturing makes the game more complicated and adds new dynamics.  More polished?  Probably.  More interesting?  I think so.  More fun?  Couldn't say.  I think it speeds up the endgame, though.  I noticed you can still build trees while the enemy is in the middle of taking your core, since the stupid AIs would occasionally do my planting for me after all hope was lost.  You can build on top of the hole they're going down too, although it didn't appear to stop me when an enemy did that and I wasn't looking.
This makes building defense trees as a last-ditch effort counterproductive, although you can spoil your enemy's claims by covering it with defense trees before they can get it.  Sure that makes it tough to retake, but it stops them from getting many seedlings from it.

Noticed that the issue of orbiting seedlings that can never get close enough to attack is still here, although it seems to have possibly been improved a bit.  Usually happens trying to destroy the trees on uninhabited asteroids, which is no longer a part of gameplay.  Wait, were you guys trying to hide that little bug for IGF?  ::)

Noticed that the algorithm for making the roots follows smoother curves and is more direct.  A definite improvement.  Looks nicer, hasn't glitched for me (at least not yet in one play-through of all six levels), more predictable, faster.  Trees look nicer, the grass is a nice touch.  The graphics definitely feel more alive, although I occasionally had framerate issues.  My graphics card is made of fail, though.  Laptop.  I can give more details if you need them.

Had an interesting time dealing with wild (gray) seedlings that stole my and other people's bases.  That is definitely a positive addition.  It extends the time that wild seedlings matter in the game, it leaves traces of who the destroyed base belonged to, and rare unpredictable occurrences like that always make gameplay more fun.  Sometimes wild bases can cause a lot of trouble, and other times they're a golden opportunity to quickly get two or three developed trees for the price of one or even less.  I'm glad that wild seedlings haven't gained tree-planting into their AIs, but it would be cool to play a level where they could, or at least could build more trees on asteroids they have already stolen.  Battling an enemy that can travel freely through unclaimed territory and could strike anywhere would be interesting.

Are sending ranges longer overall?  I know that my starting asteroids were definitely endowed with gigantic ranges, and although it gives more incentive to keep your starting asteroid in your own possession, I don't think they really needed to be any bigger, neither in general nor specifically for starting asteroids.  It considerably altered the gameplay of level 2, and I don't think it was really an improvement.  Seems like the player's movement abilities are almost as extensive as those of the AIs now.  More bug-hiding for IGF?

I found that sometimes I would send a seedling and nothing would move.  This was always a case of me giving the order, doing something else somewhere else, then looking back and finding an asteroid still unexplored.  This was usually or perhaps always from asteroids where I had recently built something, but I don't think it's a case of forgetting that I can't explore from an asteroid until it has a tree fully rooted on it.
Another minor issue is that sometimes when scrolling or zooming quickly, I'd briefly see red lines going straight from all my seedlings to what I can only assume is their destination or goal.  They'd be all over the place in battles, and a few times when shooting undefended trees I saw that they all pointed to the tree.  These lines would all show up at once for a frame or two and may lead all the way to the other side of the asteroid, so it's not just them shooting.

I also think I noticed a few changes in the balance of stats and stuff.  Is it just me, or are defense trees a bit more powerful?  If so, that's good.
I also got the feeling that seedling stats are weighted even more towards energy than before.  Since when did it take 120 powerful balanced seedlings (all stats were about 120-135 using the number for energy compared with the energy bar as a reference) to take an asteroid with five dyson trees, 150 energy (maximum), and jack squat for speed and strength?  No backup at all, it ate swarms of up to 100 with no lasting damage.  During the same game, I sent a group of twelve seedlings with all stats 130-135 against twelve seedlings with 146 energy, strength bar one-third full, and no speed to speak of.  Neutral asteroid, I lost.

Overall I like this.  I'm pretty sure it's an improvement and it definitely looks nicer.  But I'm still waiting for my hotkeys.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 04:58:35 PM by Mr Frank »

Rudolf

  • Administrator
  • Old Oak
  • *****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 5
  • -Receive: 13
  • Posts: 669
  • Eufloria: Yes
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2009, 07:19:20 PM »
The girnormous sending ranges seem to be a bug. They should not be this big and I will look into this to see what has happened.

PONTO

  • Tester
  • Sapling
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 79
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2009, 09:07:03 PM »
I personally don't like this new mechanic of getting the old trees from the enemy, when you capture an asteroid.

I am not sure if this has already been discussed, but I believe it would make much more sense if, in fact, you had to destroy ALL the trees before being able to capture the asteroid. This would make conquering asteroids much harder and might add some strategy, because the player would be able to build trees, which would work as defenses, and buy some time (at the expense of 15 seedlings, of course).

Something I was expecting to find on this new version was that thing you were once talking about of the tree branches falling apart as they are destroyed. It would make sense and also give the player a hint on how long it is going to take for it to be down.

And in this context of health display, why not make the body of the seedlings get thinner as they lose health, making them "inflate" as they recover? Or maybe with transparency? I don't know, but I think something like that is missing.

That's it for my first post. xD

wogan

  • Guest
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2009, 09:38:19 PM »
@PONTO: I think dismembering trees is probably on their list - it was discussed before. Probably not so much the seedlings - their size is an indicator of their strength, not their health. And you generally use too many at once - no real need to distinguish the trees from the forest ;)

PONTO

  • Tester
  • Sapling
  • ****
  • Thank You
  • -Given: 0
  • -Receive: 0
  • Posts: 79
Re: Dyson 1.20
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 01:24:06 AM »
Yeah, I just think that would make sense, if they are to do something similar with the trees, but I agree it's not essencial.
The one thing I would like to hear about is my other suggestion, about asteroids being conquered only after ALL the trees are down.