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Brainstorm - Creature Mechanic - Creature production - Ideas needed! - Printable Version

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RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Mello Tonin - 17-02-2014

I don't know that Imps should ever have the ability to attack. It just doesn't fit the profile of the creature, and if they were to attack the amount of damage they could inflict would be so minuscule that it would require a hefty group to pump out enough damage to eat away at an attacker's HP bar. It had been brought up elsewhere here about having guard stations of sorts, and perhaps if you want to protect the eggs, then posting a station at or in-line with the path to the hatchery, that would serve just as well to protect the unhatched.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Rasmus - 17-02-2014

(17-02-2014, 02:11 PM)damiant Wrote: - In playing it, I never questioned why the Dark Mother can puke out creatures! Some magics are better left unexplained.
- I agree that a player should earn the right to build better creatures through combat and exploration. The exact mechanism to do that is less important than the bigger goal of encouraging combat through some kind of major rewards.
- A player should have a non-combat way to make an army to rebuild his strength after losing a battle. If you require combat as a marginal cost (instead of fixed cost), then a single battle could be the end of the game because you lose and can't recover.

I am not sure if I understand the egg idea. Once I gather the requirements for building a creature, I would like it to come quickly in case I am in an emergency and need creatures to defend. Adding in a hatching time delay could be a problem: what if my DM is being attacked, how to defend it if all she drops is eggs that get targeted and killed by the NPCs before hatching?

The idea is not that the player will capture enemy creatures to create creature. The idea is that he will get the ability to create a certain creature type after capturing that same creature type. Then when the player have the ability to create this creature its production cost is something that are linked to the production chain or evil points or essence, not fighting and killing enemies.

(17-02-2014, 03:40 PM)Sebt Wrote: I like the idea of eggs, but I only see them as after effect of ordering a creature to be made from Dark Mother. I mean when DM's make one a creature will show up as an egg-like blob. This way just made eggs can hatch in one place around Dark Mother. Creatures are made "ready to hatch", but need some time to get out of this blob.

The time of hatching should be short because the way of making creatures like we have now (catch - imprison - DM's lunch) is made also for players that are in trouble and could thanks to that quickly make more creatures and defend oneself (however creatures are born unarmed and with 1st lvl, but that's always something). When we order something we want it ASAP right? I don't like to wait 1 hour for my pizza especially if I'm in situation when I could eat a whole Cyclotaur with it's hooves. ];})

Well, when you say that the hatching should be short I feel like it is very relative. I mean, I can say that a short hatching time is one minute while you mean 10 seconds. This is something I think we have to do some testing on and see what feels most right. I don't want the player to just spit out 10 creatures to defend him when he is being attacked just because he have the resources for it.

(17-02-2014, 07:08 PM)TacticBlack Wrote: I still think the Imps should swallow eggs that the DM spits out to become "pregnant" like in my most recent post on this thread. I think it follows the game atmosphere well. But getting the units quickly would be good. Though perhaps a "pregnant" imp would have "Mother" instincts and do some martial arts to kill attackers instead of having them be totally useless while carrying the egg. In this way, you create a unit that can fight but dont get the unit you need right away so you have to plan ahead. Challenging but you get some fighting units when you are in a jam.

I am having trouble seeing the imps giving birth to an full size orc. Unless you are thinking baby orcs to begin with Wink But even if that is a cool idea having baby creatures running around in the dungeon it could be a little bit to demanding for me as a developer having these game-mechanics in there as well, because that would require a lot of extra animations and modelling for something that may not weigh up to how good this game mechanic is. If you really want this one, then you will have to convince me some more Wink

(17-02-2014, 07:55 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote: I don't know that Imps should ever have the ability to attack. It just doesn't fit the profile of the creature, and if they were to attack the amount of damage they could inflict would be so minuscule that it would require a hefty group to pump out enough damage to eat away at an attacker's HP bar. It had been brought up elsewhere here about having guard stations of sorts, and perhaps if you want to protect the eggs, then posting a station at or in-line with the path to the hatchery, that would serve just as well to protect the unhatched.

I agree with you, I see the imps as mindless creatures that just follow orders and want to please any master they may have, they don't want to fight, they just want to stay out of trouble, that is why they are doing everything we tell them to do. Having the imps fighting would as Mello said require a large group of imps to do any damage at all, and this could mean that as soon as a enemy enters the dungeon the player could loose a lot of imps because they are way to brave.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - damiant - 17-02-2014

(17-02-2014, 11:10 PM)Rasmus Wrote: The idea is not that the player will capture enemy creatures to create creature. The idea is that he will get the ability to create a certain creature type after capturing that same creature type. Then when the player have the ability to create this creature its production cost is something that are linked to the production chain or evil points or essence, not fighting and killing enemies.
Oh good, this is perfect then.

(17-02-2014, 11:10 PM)Rasmus Wrote: Well, when you say that the hatching should be short I feel like it is very relative. I mean, I can say that a short hatching time is one minute while you mean 10 seconds. This is something I think we have to do some testing on and see what feels most right. I don't want the player to just spit out 10 creatures to defend him when he is being attacked just because he have the resources for it.
It takes time to feed the DM once you select a creature to build. The imps all stop working on their current job and, if it is your 20th orc, even with 25 imps it can take many minutes of feeding. I queued replacements for 3 that had died, and two of them had finished training to level 3 before the third one in the queue finished being created.

I don't think a significant hatching time adds much to gameplay really, since the primary player limitation of requiring (increasing) time is already in the nature of feeding the DM and training the orcs, and optimization through various storage, production, and training room layouts is the primary driver of efficiency.

I don't see the game mechanic as currently being missing that this egg proposes to solve.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Mello Tonin - 18-02-2014

(17-02-2014, 11:49 PM)damiant Wrote: I don't see the game mechanic as currently being missing that this egg proposes to solve.

I don't think it is trying to solve anything, but instead add a layer to the game. The amount of time it takes to feed the Dark Mother and produce creatures doesn't work efficiently as is, and will be fixed by tweaks to Imp Priorities. Having to prepare for a battle rather than just regurgitate a slew of soldiers because you have the resource like Rasmus said he wants to avoid makes a lot more sense because that will make you really focus on strategy in both offense, and really defense primarily. This puts a lot of focus on building adequate defenses to not only guard your dungeon, but also protect your brooding army. Hydraulics are going to become key, and this is an area I would really like to see some back and forth about.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Seriously Unserious - 18-02-2014

I agree with Mellow, it's time for some discussion on what new hydraulics features we'd like to see in the game.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Rasmus - 18-02-2014

(17-02-2014, 11:49 PM)damiant Wrote: It takes time to feed the DM once you select a creature to build. The imps all stop working on their current job and, if it is your 20th orc, even with 25 imps it can take many minutes of feeding. I queued replacements for 3 that had died, and two of them had finished training to level 3 before the third one in the queue finished being created.

I don't think a significant hatching time adds much to gameplay really, since the primary player limitation of requiring (increasing) time is already in the nature of feeding the DM and training the orcs, and optimization through various storage, production, and training room layouts is the primary driver of efficiency.

I don't see the game mechanic as currently being missing that this egg proposes to solve.

It is possible that we will remove the feeding of items to the Dark Mother and have something that can make her produce creatures instantly. What we do here then is that the creatures are born naked without any equipment, and they will have to arm themselves in the armoury to get the strength up Smile

(18-02-2014, 12:51 AM)Mello Tonin Wrote:
(17-02-2014, 11:49 PM)damiant Wrote: I don't see the game mechanic as currently being missing that this egg proposes to solve.

I don't think it is trying to solve anything, but instead add a layer to the game. The amount of time it takes to feed the Dark Mother and produce creatures doesn't work efficiently as is, and will be fixed by tweaks to Imp Priorities. Having to prepare for a battle rather than just regurgitate a slew of soldiers because you have the resource like Rasmus said he wants to avoid makes a lot more sense because that will make you really focus on strategy in both offense, and really defense primarily. This puts a lot of focus on building adequate defenses to not only guard your dungeon, but also protect your brooding army. Hydraulics are going to become key, and this is an area I would really like to see some back and forth about.

Well both, if the player can create creatures or hatch eggs instantly we will need a delay, and the eggs would be perfect for this. But yeah, I imagine a extra layer in the game where the dark mother not only hatch the eggs but also tend to them, this will give her a full time occupation and not just sit there.

(18-02-2014, 03:44 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote: I agree with Mellow, it's time for some discussion on what new hydraulics features we'd like to see in the game.

One thing I have in mind for the next update is hydraulic similar to the redstone torch in minecraft. It is a hydraulic that will create constant pressure in two direction, and if it gets pressure into the side it will stop producing constant pressure. This will solve some the building of some hydraulic systems. But besides from that I also have a trapwire in mind that will create a pulse of pressure as soon as a creature enters the tile, this will make the cannons more efficient Smile


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - prof_ion - 18-02-2014

Well with my interest in Hydraulics I had actually spoken to Rasmus about some new things to come in hydraulics. There are some things we had discussed that I am not sure I am allowed to talk about just yet, but as far as I know hydraulics will be seeing some attention soon. (or at least that is what I think) Since then I have thought of some things that might be nice. Specifically a delayer of some sort. Something that adds adjustable delay to the output speed of the hydraulic pressure. I have found the default delay is great for timers, but some other things that I was testing. Like a switch, type thing I was building. Some new hydraulics toys would be nice. Now something to keep in mind is that with a system like this, it should be kept simple. Rather than adding complex traps that the player only needs resources to build, I think that more simple things like different basic ways to use the hydraulics that would allow the player to build more complex traps would add more depth to hydraulics.

(before we discuss this much farther we should probably make a new thread) Wink


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Sebt - 18-02-2014

(17-02-2014, 11:10 PM)Rasmus Wrote: Well, when you say that the hatching should be short I feel like it is very relative. I mean, I can say that a short hatching time is one minute while you mean 10 seconds. This is something I think we have to do some testing on and see what feels most right. I don't want the player to just spit out 10 creatures to defend him when he is being attacked just because he have the resources for it.

Yes, it's all about making tests of game balance. Dark Mother creates a life and life creation takes time, however I prefer to avoid something like default timer - like in almost every strategy game - so the specific certain amount of time needed to make unit.

So what about this: There is a various range of time of making creatures for example an Orc could be made in 5-11 seconds, but this is not only the one factor. If you want to have more units at once remember that Dark Mother is a living being an can be tired, exhausted. So as much creatures you want to make more in short period as their range of time to be made lengthen. So the first Orc could be made in 5-11 seconds, second could be made in 8-16 seconds and so on. What's more she sometimes could need some breaks.

We can make for example Evil Meter as Dark Mother power/energy and that factor could affect her ability to make creatures with better Stats or Natures etc. or just faster then at earlier game, any factor we invent could affect her productivity. I don't like mana or health points in games, they're unrealistic... that's one plus for Dungeon Keeper 1.

(17-02-2014, 11:10 PM)Rasmus Wrote: I agree with you, I see the imps as mindless creatures that just follow orders and want to please any master they may have, they don't want to fight, they just want to stay out of trouble, that is why they are doing everything we tell them to do. Having the imps fighting would as Mello said require a large group of imps to do any damage at all, and this could mean that as soon as a enemy enters the dungeon the player could loose a lot of imps because they are way to brave.

It's good to have them careful and staying away from battle, however it would be nice that their "mindless" could be makeshift. Maybe why they're so careful and diligent is only a part of their plan? I don't say about A New Imp World Order, but maybe this is their chance to make their life better and free from oppression?


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Mello Tonin - 18-02-2014

(18-02-2014, 07:53 PM)Sebt Wrote: I don't say about A New Imp World Order, but maybe this is their chance to make their life better and free from oppression?

You're not going soft on us are ya? X P


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Sebt - 19-02-2014

(18-02-2014, 10:22 PM)Mello Tonin Wrote:
(18-02-2014, 07:53 PM)Sebt Wrote: I don't say about A New Imp World Order, but maybe this is their chance to make their life better and free from oppression?

You're not going soft on us are ya? X P

Soft on you? Never. :d


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Seriously Unserious - 19-02-2014

Rasmus Wrote:I agree with you, I see the imps as mindless creatures that just follow orders and want to please any master they may have, they don't want to fight,
I agree with this, I see the imps as workers who don't want to fight, but IMO they should be able to put up at least some sort of a fight under 2 very specific situations:

1- It's being attacked and has nowhere to run away to, it's trapped, In that case you're going to lose the imp anyways more often then not and I'd rather they at least try to defend themselves when they can't run away, who knows if there's a large enough crowd of them trapped they might get lucky and a few of them survive where all would have otherwise died. However the imps, even while fighting, would still be looking for an escape path and as soon as one is found would go back to running away.

2- The Dark Mother is under attack. If this happens you're situation is probably rather desperate and IMO the imps may break their usual passivist ways under the circumstances and come to the DM's aide, or at least would do that if there are no orcs about and no create Orc tasks available. In this case imp survival really doesn't matter much to the keeper anyways as if the DM dies the imps don't really matter much anyways and even imps desperately fighting for their Dark Mother would probbably not make much difference anyways, but at least it would give some feint hope to someone who's lost all his orcs and has enemies attacking his DM.

The above 2 situations would have to be very narrowly defined to prevent imps from getting themselves killed in out of character acts of Imp bravery however.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Mello Tonin - 19-02-2014

Those are both good points. I think defining 'trapped' may be kind of hard though.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Seriously Unserious - 19-02-2014

It seems to me that the game already sort of does this anyways simply by having a trapped imp just stand there and let itself get killed and making no attempt to run away. I'm assuming that's because the pathfinder route can't find any path that leads it away from the enemy so it stands there. So if the pathfinder function can't find a route for the imp to run along to get away from its attacker it then launches an attack on the nearest enemy (presumably one of the ones trapping it) and then resumes searching for a route to run away again, if when it's next available to attack it still can't find an escape route it attacks again and this continues until one of 3 things happens, 1- the imp dies 2-the imp finds an escape route and runs away 3- all hostile creatures in the area die or fun away.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - TacticBlack - 19-02-2014

The advent of a creature that can move large amounts of materials could radically change the duration of resource feeding to the DM.


RE: Creature production discussion - Ideas needed! - Rasmus - 20-02-2014

(18-02-2014, 07:53 PM)Sebt Wrote: So what about this: There is a various range of time of making creatures for example an Orc could be made in 5-11 seconds, but this is not only the one factor. If you want to have more units at once remember that Dark Mother is a living being an can be tired, exhausted. So as much creatures you want to make more in short period as their range of time to be made lengthen. So the first Orc could be made in 5-11 seconds, second could be made in 8-16 seconds and so on. What's more she sometimes could need some breaks.

That is a good idea as well, maybe the DM can't produce that many eggs at once, so the player will have to choose what eggs should be produced. But on the other hand, if the hatching and tending to the eggs would be in the Dark Mother room we could have a limited amount of space for them as well. Maybe the room can only fit 9 eggs at a time.


(19-02-2014, 12:28 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote: I agree with this, I see the imps as workers who don't want to fight, but IMO they should be able to put up at least some sort of a fight under 2 very specific situations:

1- It's being attacked and has nowhere to run away to, it's trapped, In that case you're going to lose the imp anyways more often then not and I'd rather they at least try to defend themselves when they can't run away, who knows if there's a large enough crowd of them trapped they might get lucky and a few of them survive where all would have otherwise died. However the imps, even while fighting, would still be looking for an escape path and as soon as one is found would go back to running away.

2- The Dark Mother is under attack. If this happens you're situation is probably rather desperate and IMO the imps may break their usual passivist ways under the circumstances and come to the DM's aide, or at least would do that if there are no orcs about and no create Orc tasks available. In this case imp survival really doesn't matter much to the keeper anyways as if the DM dies the imps don't really matter much anyways and even imps desperately fighting for their Dark Mother would probbably not make much difference anyways, but at least it would give some feint hope to someone who's lost all his orcs and has enemies attacking his DM.

The above 2 situations would have to be very narrowly defined to prevent imps from getting themselves killed in out of character acts of Imp bravery however.

I like the number two option, like a last resource. The number one option shouldn't ever happen (even if it does), there is always places for the imps to run too, even if they have to pass hoards of enemies.

(19-02-2014, 08:36 AM)Seriously Unserious Wrote: It seems to me that the game already sort of does this anyways simply by having a trapped imp just stand there and let itself get killed and making no attempt to run away. I'm assuming that's because the pathfinder route can't find any path that leads it away from the enemy so it stands there. So if the pathfinder function can't find a route for the imp to run along to get away from its attacker it then launches an attack on the nearest enemy (presumably one of the ones trapping it) and then resumes searching for a route to run away again, if when it's next available to attack it still can't find an escape route it attacks again and this continues until one of 3 things happens, 1- the imp dies 2-the imp finds an escape route and runs away 3- all hostile creatures in the area die or fun away.

Yeah, as I said, they shouldn't be able to be trapped, but the path finding for fleeing is a little weak at the moment Tongue

(19-02-2014, 09:57 AM)TacticBlack Wrote: The advent of a creature that can move large amounts of materials could radically change the duration of resource feeding to the DM.

Well, this depends on if we still will use up resources when creating creatures. Everything else in the game cost resources, so it wouldn't be that bad to make an exception in this case.