Feedback/Modification Creature Mechanics - Of torches, claiming terrain and game pacing
#1

Welcome to another of Excess' threads to challenge established rules!



As many of you have noticed, every level starts with a comfortable and safe chunk of dirt around the dark mother so we can develop our dungeon without much hassle.

Unfortunately, once we break the outer wall and face the real world, there's usually a huuuuuuge cavern system for the free-working imps to claim, which usually bring the productions to a halt until they finish claiming the newfoundland - if they don't die in the process, as impanzees seem to have a preference for obliterating diligent imps.

What I'd like to discuss with you, my fellow dungeoneer, is the possibility of taking out the automatic torch illumination system that currently lights up our recently claimed areas.

Making the torches a thing you have to build yourself would accomplish a couple of things:
  • We decide how far the imps will go, and when.
  • The pacing of exploration will slow down a bit, adding suspense and better savouring of each map.
  • We'll give another use to the coal, and a tough decision for the player as to where he should spend said coal.
  • Surprise attacks from the opened yet unexplored/dark caverns, as light could attract lonely enemies.

This is aimed to prolong the excitement of discovering a new cavern, and really feeling that you conquered a piece of it. Right now, claiming land is a chore that imps do on their own, often at inconvenient times, taking all the excitement of battle by "waking up" all the enemies at the same time and ignoring the rocks that fly towards them.

What do YOU think about the speed in which we discover new lands?
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#2
I am totally with you on this one Excess Smile
We have had many discussions about the issue that the imps just run off and start claiming areas far far away without the player being able to do anything about it. It is something that is on my todo list together with many other suggestions.

I do like the other ideas as well. I haven't thought about that the land claiming may be a little to fast..
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#3
(18-06-2014, 06:00 PM)Rasmus Wrote: I do like the other ideas as well. I haven't thought about that the land claiming may be a little to fast..

Thanks. Regarding the pacing on claiming land, is not that it's fast, but sudden.

Lately, most of the maps I played had huge open caverns interconnected, sometimes with 2 or 3 impanzees rooms on reach of each other. This means that you suddenly have a whole army of enemies to face, which you'll only beat if you have 8/10 fully trained orcs.

Because of this, I try not to pierce the thin line of dirt that protects me before I am fully armed with orcs. That takes a little while. And after that, I have one big battle, all my production suffer because of the claiming, and I suddenly loose interest on the map. I've built all that I can build, I've satiated my bloodlust, and I'm bored. I usually don't make it to the cyclotaurs.

That's when I start over on a fresh map Big Grin

The purpose of this thread is to brainstorm a way of introducing battle early on, and to make the player feel like he earned each piece of land.
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#4
Isn't that what the "Reveal Hidden Land" spell is for? I use it to plan out my strategy before I break the wall to the open cavern.
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#5
That's not really the point, it's that once that wall is broken, there is no way to stop the imps from going on a claiming frenzy, at the expense of all other actions, which has been a problem going all the way back to version 5. I also find the imp's claiming territory too sudden and fast. I love Excess' idea, it would add a ton of value to the game and add to the suspense tremendously, having a black hole on the edge of your territory where enemies could come storming out of it at any moment definitely would keep me on edge and engaged in the game a lot more then having everything all brightly lit and known right away. It would also give some measure of control over when and how far imps explore and claim tiles. Also having an option to set priority levels of actions like claiming/exploring and even disable any task that's not wanted at the time would be a great help in having at least some control over our what our minions are doing. This would also create a greater need for my idea of guard posts as well, since once you break into a huge cavern where enemies could pop out at any time, without warning, having a way to make sure there are some fighting creatures nearby becomes crucial.
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#6
Well if the new imp system is implemented like Rasmus was talking about with increasing speed with level and higher level imps being able to teleport like in the good old dungeon keeper series, then production problems would be at a bare minimum. As far as rallying troops goes. That is what the "Battle Flag" does. I do hear what you are saying about having guard posts. Just in my experience as a HUGE DK series fan. There were never enough guards for the rooms to be effective and always had to drop a rally flag to fend off the enemy anyway. Not only that, I find it more engaging with the current flag system in the game, rather than just creating another room to automate my minions.
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#7
Added to Ideas & Game Features list.
I experienced many times in DK that my Imps were killed by traps or creatures... this idea seems to save their children. Big Grin

So, torches won't be placed automatically and won't be only illuminators and decorations, but player will use them if want creatures being able to walk through enlightened by his/her hand places, so to every non enlightened places creatures won't go.

I have some questions then:
- how could we discover places claimed by enemy/neutrals or places that are far away from areas you discovered I.e. behind an underworld lake? Creatures could go to unknown if you put farther and farther your Rally Flag, but what with the Imps? I also assume that torches won't uncover areas covered by fog of war.
- I assume that your creatures will go only to place where torches are placed, but only by you, not where enemy/neutrals placed their own - so where you could put torches - on no man's land, but not on claimed areas by enemy or how?
- how to take enemy territories then? By placing close to enemy's tile your torch and then if you claim enemy tile you "capture" enemy torch with captured tile?

I assume that torches could be placed without need to construct them by Imps and that cost nothing - because if we would need to built them with Imps, firstly they should be allowed to go to non enlightened place.
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#8
Sebt, how I envision it is as follows:
  • Imps are afraid of darkness.
    They still claim land automagically if there's enough light around.
  • Darkness is not black and white like fog of war.
    Imps are scared of complete darkness, not dim lighting. This way the imps can venture far enough from a torch to build another one, right at the edge.
  • Light it is universal.
    There aren't "enemy torches". If there's light, the imps walk through it.
  • Torches use resources.
    1 coal, 1 wood? But they last forever (on easy mode at least, maybe in difficult they should be finite?)
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#9
I see - where is the light there is safe until enemy won't noticed that. Hmm then we would need to implement Darkness/Lightness factor, this would really makes underworld nooks look dangerous - but that what is adventure about, right? Especially that if you played DK and always expected enemies coming for you after you dig out the hole in the outer walls - seeing that no one comes... when you would go deeper... you could be surprised. Smile

I wonder than how deep could Imps dig down because this is also fast way to get into the darkness, light from torch or Imps fear of darkness should be balanced enough to not cause player to built torches too often. Torches would need to be built also vertically on the floor otherwise Imps couldn't go through centers of these big areas.

Player would also be need to have enough sources of light to discover at least 85% of entire map size.

Hmm, I imagine a living walking torch, a creature that gives the light from fire of its body or light from staff (if you haven't resources this would be essential to have one) to your scared Imps to allow them walk through dark, deep corridors with illusion of safety, where just one wrong step could provide you terrific screams of dozens bloodsuckers that can come for you in 2 seconds... well, never mind. Smile

Anyway, still there would be need something to stop allowing Imps to go through places where you want them to not walk through. If you dig out to enemy's lair and there will be the light Imps could end their live, well, very quickly if you let them claiming enemy tiles. How your idea could help with this?
Spec: Win 10, ATI 7800 HD, res: 1280x1024x75. I support The Venus Project & Resource-Based Economy
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#10
I propose for those that do not want their Imps to endlessly claim an area that a beacon/sign be introduced into the game that can be placed at multiple locations and will not allow the Imps to go past that beacon/sign.

With this sort of system. This would allow the game to be played in multiple ways. It would satisfy those that like the current system of Imps claiming everything and would satisfy those who do not and want limits on what their Imps claim.
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#11
(19-06-2014, 07:56 PM)Sebt Wrote: If you dig out to enemy's lair and there will be the light Imps could end their live, well, very quickly if you let them claiming enemy tiles. How your idea could help with this?
I'm not sure I want to prevent that at all. I don't mind a little bit of "protect the imps" frenzy, but what I don't want are imps discovering 3 impanzees lairs, 4 fishmen and a stair to the surface, all in one sitting.

Fear of Darkness gives you a little bit more control over the amount of enemies you face at once, but if you encounter one you'll have to deal with it just like now.

It's like adding a little bit of manageable suspense. We wouldn't like to have complete control (boring) neither complete chaos (frustrating). Torches aim to balance exactly that.
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#12
(19-06-2014, 10:17 PM)DrBoom Wrote: I propose for those that do not want their Imps to endlessly claim an area that a beacon/sign be introduced into the game that can be placed at multiple locations and will not allow the Imps to go past that beacon/sign.

With this sort of system. This would allow the game to be played in multiple ways. It would satisfy those that like the current system of Imps claiming everything and would satisfy those who do not and want limits on what their Imps claim.

You mean something like this?
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#13
(20-06-2014, 07:38 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote:
(19-06-2014, 10:17 PM)DrBoom Wrote: I propose for those that do not want their Imps to endlessly claim an area that a beacon/sign be introduced into the game that can be placed at multiple locations and will not allow the Imps to go past that beacon/sign.

With this sort of system. This would allow the game to be played in multiple ways. It would satisfy those that like the current system of Imps claiming everything and would satisfy those who do not and want limits on what their Imps claim.

You mean something like this?

Yes, something like that!! Wink I guess great minds think alike Big Grin
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#14
(20-06-2014, 12:16 AM)Excess Wrote:
(19-06-2014, 07:56 PM)Sebt Wrote: If you dig out to enemy's lair and there will be the light Imps could end their live, well, very quickly if you let them claiming enemy tiles. How your idea could help with this?
I'm not sure I want to prevent that at all. I don't mind a little bit of "protect the imps" frenzy, but what I don't want are imps discovering 3 impanzees lairs, 4 fishmen and a stair to the surface, all in one sitting.

Fear of Darkness gives you a little bit more control over the amount of enemies you face at once, but if you encounter one you'll have to deal with it just like now.

It's like adding a little bit of manageable suspense. We wouldn't like to have complete control (boring) neither complete chaos (frustrating). Torches aim to balance exactly that.

I just personally do not like the idea that you want Imps to be "Afraid or in Fear" of the dark. I mean we live underground. We are creatures of the underworld born in the underworld. We have not seen the light of day to be afraid of the dark. We were born from the belly of the "Dark Mother."
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#15
(20-06-2014, 12:16 AM)Excess Wrote: I'm not sure I want to prevent that at all. I don't mind a little bit of "protect the imps" frenzy, but what I don't want are imps discovering 3 impanzees lairs, 4 fishmen and a stair to the surface, all in one sitting.

I see. What I try to say is that I'm looking for system that will allow you to fully control where Imps should go and shouldn't. In that case idea of torches eliminates the problem partially however adding idea with Signs could mix well with idea of Torches. Torches would makes discovering little more challenging and gives some adrenaline and Signs could just make you safe if you don't like to accelerate your heart beating. Big Grin
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