středa 5. října 2016

News & Changelog #1

Reposted from Steam:

Hello everyone,

As you know, there were no posts about the development progress during the last few weeks. And if you’re observant enough, you noticed there was actually a new update of the beta version available on Steam. Yes, we are still working on the new update, but we changed our plan a little bit. The update is much bigger than we originally planned it to be. This is happening for one simple reason, the domino effect. When we finished the first iteration of madness mode, we found out that we need to rework the whole mission system from the scratch. We needed to keep the replayability in the game. On top of that, we had to rework the EXP system and the algorithm of how slow/fast will the players gain the experience points. This system is not fully debugged yet, but we think it is ready to be released in the update.

So the game has underwent major changes in the last few weeks. The madness mode was added, the missions and exp systems were reworked. There is now 22 missions totally and a lot of them are scalable, so you can gain some more rewards from higher levels of certain missions. As regards the leveling, the player should gain experience faster in the initial phase and then the progress will be slowing down. However, unlike the normal progress, the “rising differences” will decrease at the end. This means that the progress will be slower and slower but the process of slowing will not decrease. Apart from this, we added more stable rewards for reaching new levels, so the player has enough madness points to try out new events in Madness Mode.

The next big change is the fourth one, the Tutorial (we haven't been mentioning it until now). When you start the game for the first time, the tutorial will be automatically launched. This lets player come through the basic mechanics of the game and limits the confusion after connecting to a server for the first time. The tutorial will show you most of the mechanics, that are needed for understanding the basics of the whole game. We hope this will not disturb the players that already had done this. (Shall we add the Skip tutorial button?). The tutorial is in some sort of raw form for now but for total newbies it’s enough for understanding the game. We are now thinking of creating a “Madnesspedia" but we will not give you any date since we are still focused on the development itself.

The last thing is the change regarding to Achievements. Those changes apply together with the missions so you will see this in Steam already.

Okay, there are lot of new things but let’s get back to work :) You can try the latest version in the beta version, but the build can be unstable and most probably it will freeze sometimes. Better said, we put the dev version into the beta. If you would like to help us to debug the glitches, let us know on the game forums.

pondělí 15. srpna 2016

Weekly News #8

Reposted from Steam:

Hello everyone, another week is over and this time we are posting a week a head than ussually, because Jouki(me) has moved his ass and started doing some design reworks!(huraaay!) Besides some new features I had a chance to test the game with real players so I'm starting to see the shortcomings from the players perspective and we have now a few things to be done that are really important for the multiplayer experience.

Those are for example the player nicknames above the characters (yeah we know about this for a long time, but this was not a priority yet), a lobby interface for creating games with your friends - yes, it's not very good experience to start the game and then wait until all your friends connect.


Rework of EXP points & madness points system

This topic is a little bit more sofisticated so it's not easy to entitle this. Just after I joined the developer team full-time I started to dig into one problem after another. Let's be honest, it's not a good idea to design a game when you don't have much gaming experience, which is what was happening here before I joined. In such case you basically have no idea what exactly makes the best games so much fun... Surely you heard those stories about corporations making games just to make a profit, and wich are not likely made by gamers for gamers.

Yes, I personally sometimes think who the hell designed such a thing while playing such games. But sometimes, however, I am amazed by a genius concept or a very little detail, which is very original and functions perfectly.

Probably the simpliest (but not very effective) process to design a game is to ask yourself what exactly you enjoy/hate while playing and what would make the game even more fun or what you are missing. Let's be straight, a lot trouble of game design has been solved already in many different titles so it's just about using the right solution, which fits your concept too.

An important suppostition to answer such questions is that I sometimes have to analyze games from different perspectives, and not just trying to complete it. I try to watch what is the important thing that I am enjoying. There's a lot more, but I think it's enough to be able to understand my thought processes.

EXP: the experience system had to be rebuilt from the scratch to make it fit the current players needs, but now, with madness mode, we really need this. So we needed to create some kind of an equation, that would be rather experimental, but I’m quite convinced, that it’s going to work as I imagine. What I want is a player motivated to play the game over and over again. One of the aspects why a player likes a certain game is that he sees the progress. The curve of EXP points needed for each individual level is an S function, this means that at the beginning the differences will be much smaller but they will raise exponentially until they reach a linear phase. Moreover, at the end of the second half of the curve, the increasing differences will decrease.

In other words, if you need 80 000, then 90 000 and then 105 000 around level 80 the actual increase is 10 000 points and then 15 000, but anyway you need more experience to get to the next level. At higher levels these values are 80 000, 90 000, 95 000; increase by 10 000 and then 5 000. Of course you’re going to need more and more experience to make a progress but those differences won’t be that big. This should faster the leveling up progress as player gets to higher levels. Also we increased the maximum level from 100 to 200. Right now you need half a million EXP less than before (ca. 2 700 000) to reach level 100, but on the other side you need 10 000 000 for level 200 so you can see a manifold increase of the whole range.

Of course one might argue, "Well, that means gaining EXP will get boring soon", but, it is not so simple. First and foremost, we doubled the number of EXP you get for killing an enemy, which will double the time needed to progress.

Madness Points + Missions
Before we continue, I would like to end the previous topic with my own experience. As I mentioned, we doubled the maximum level and the range of the EXP needed to get there. Before I joined the team, I was testing the game from time to time and once I came up with an idea for a system, that we need for the game, and it’s a motivation system. One thing is to see the progress as a player, but another thing is why should I even do this. In that time, if I’m not wrong, there was not even a thought about Madness Mode. The missions were just some kind of rewarding concept and guide the player and maybe something more in a time. After a while, when I was doing feedback more often I came up with the first concept of the Madness Mode. Something that I would enjoy customizing by myself without limitations. Maybe some of you find this system familiar. Yes, it’s not a 100% original idea (there are not many features in any games which is, however).

You can find some similarity with the adjustments of the Worms series game lobby (especially the old Armageddon or World Party). What I like about these games is the ability to customize the weapons and what crazy things will happen during the game round. This freedom and an "unlimited opportunity" to set your own madness is what the game needed to obtain its own identity.

Let’s get back to the missions. Let’s be honest, the fact that i was not a part of the team during that time, made it what it is - the missions are more or less a feature that does not work as it should be, but never mind! What is important is the basic idea and we are now going to make it work. Right now there is 122 missions totally with 22 unique ones, the other ones just differ by numbers. I plan to add new missions but right now we need a solid basis, that would let us build something different than just implementation of missions. What I took to task is the rewards. They should be the thing that motivates you enough to complete it (A lot of EXP + Madness Points)

Madness Points
There’s going to be some more changes in this, after we test the game properly we will have to balance the amount of given Madness Points because right now the price is quite big. We just don’t want new players to have the ability to create too big combos of madness that would only make the game round one crazy explosion after another. After all the changes, we count with the ability to gain up to 1050 Madness Points. This number is likely to change, but along that we will change the events price too. On top of that if we notice this limit is too small for the players, I have another system in my mind to make the players be able to share points in the lobby together (for 2100 points, you can make a madness you won’t forget). All these features are still experimental and they can change a lot or they won’t even be implemented in the final build of the game.


hehe, I have expanded so much today that I didn’t even manage to write down everything I wanted. So next week we are going to look at how I imagine the game graphically (ie. it's lightnings atmosphere). I missed a couple of small things to mention, but don’t worry, the next time I will. If you've read this whole thing, hat down, comment "Definitely Would read again GNI 10/10" and we will know who are our faithful readers (or who has nothing better to do). Anyway thank you for your attention and see you next time - Good luck in the arena.

Jouki // posted by Dzetro