Development Update #17: May 2014

Read and discuss the latest big updates in the development process.

Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby alpan » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:35 am

Flatfingers wrote:If LT just has random numbers for attributes of newly-researched techs, I could live with that. I'm not freaking out here, or being harshly critical in any way that requires a strong defensive response. What I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure implementing the "surprise" aspect of research solely as randomly tweaking the numeric attributes of sub-techs will be all that appealing to folks who do enjoy exploratory surprise. As shown in today's video, I think this is not as much fun as it could/should be.


Although I think it's too early to reach a definite conclusion -- Josh has implemented the skeleton, and not the content/balancing -- I have to agree with this. The video doesn't tell the whole story and as such I'm not privy to the big picture of research, but the video didn't make a convincing case that getting involved with the research mechanics will be particularly fun or rewarding. It's not because the percentage changes shown were quite miniscule -- that's just a matter of balancing, and relates to there being no actual content at the moment.

Rather, there's something inherently uncanny about the idea of spending time and not getting an improvement or upgrade, but a specialization, or side-grade. It's not what gamers are used to, it's not what we're used to. Essentially, the player appears to be spending time to effect changes in allocation, rather than progressing. There is no return on investment. Thus, it feels like what other games implement as sliders, LT has adapted as a research mechanic, and I'm truly not sure if the idea will hold up to more intense scrutiny. I am aware that other games run into trouble with vertical progression issues, but I remain skeptical that this is a good alternative.

Now, if this sounds too harsh, that's probably not your fault -- I am ignorant about the details of the system. In particular, a critical detail I'm not aware of and one that might relieve some of my concerns, is whether or not this specialization is intended to be, er... "zero-sum" (i.e. whether the various coefficients add up to 1, and remain so throughout further research). A way to retain a sense of progress would be to make sure that the sum of coefficients increase with each progressive research step. If the fruits of my research result in my getting weapons with (say) 175% Projectile Speed but 75% Rate of Fire, then that's interesting and represents both improved weapon technology and a specialization. But a 125/75 spread would certainly evoke the slider feeling. Sorry about the crude example -- surely there'll be balancing between the different weapon modifiers as well (so 1% Projectile Speed would be equivalent to 0.83% RoF and whatnot), I'm talking about the internal representation.
Last edited by alpan on Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:42 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby TanC » Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:37 am

It's so colorful...

Beautiful too! :thumbup:

Great job, Josh! :D
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby telboy007 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:06 am

LTwitter ;)

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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Just_Ice_au » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:12 am

telboy007 wrote:LTwitter ;)

Spoiler:      SHOW
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:lol: :lol: :thumbup: :clap:
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Talvieno » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:50 am

Lol, that's awesome. :D I'm not sure it's legit, though, but still. (You can't have # symbols in a name on Twitter, as far as I know.)
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby telboy007 » Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:05 am

Ahhhh. .. but this is LTwitter where you can. ;)
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby DWMagus » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:27 am

Josh, that was a phenomenal update!

You might have thought the dust clouds got in the way, but it really started making the game feel a bit more gritty and down-to-earth (so-to-speak :lol: ) in making it feel more real.

The graphics look much better with the post-processing. As others have said, I want to play the game now. Good job man, each successive update continues to knock it out of the park. :thumbup:
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Lum » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:24 pm

Wow! Very nice update with lots of new things! :clap: :clap:
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby MyNameWuzTaken » Wed Jun 04, 2014 12:53 pm

There were tears of joy, then sadness, then joy again. Someone explain to me how the factions are deciding how much to spend in those kill contracts? is that a plug for the time being, or are they actually valuing their budgetary contributions?
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Lum » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:32 pm

As Josh said, since retaliation isn't implemented, they have nothing to lose, so they throw a lot of money to destroy the competition. That's a greedy and violent AI for you. Other AI's could be exactly as much as greedy, but maybe with higher ethic standards. Since the pool of things to put in missions are little varied at the moment, the direct way is the 1st option to reach the ultimate goal. The released game will be balanced and the AI will have a lot of tools at their disposal. That being said, a powerful AI-corporation with the "right" traits and personality combination plus lots of money to spend and lots of security assets as bonus could do exactly the same because, you know, balanced or not: badasses are badasses. It will take a lot of enemies and effort to counter such a modus operandi, but that's also how things are in the real world.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Talvieno » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:45 pm

alpan wrote:there's something inherently uncanny about the idea of spending time and not getting an improvement or upgrade, but a specialization, or side-grade. It's not what gamers are used to, it's not what we're used to. Essentially, the player appears to be spending time to effect changes in allocation, rather than progressing. There is no return on investment. Thus, it feels like what other games implement as sliders, LT has adapted as a research mechanic, and I'm truly not sure if the idea will hold up to more intense scrutiny. I am aware that other games run into trouble with vertical progression issues, but I remain skeptical that this is a good alternative.


I agree with this. The idea of spending time on simply altering existing technology, rather than improving it, doesn't really appeal to me. There won't be that much of a point. If there's a slight chance that your research can actually improve, then there would be a reason to research, but as it stands, simple trade-offs aren't going to accomplish anything. Researching should occasionally give you breakthroughs - it just makes it rewarding and worthwhile.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Basmannen » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:53 pm

Researched items do get better over time, I think he even said so in the latest update.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Echo » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:20 pm

Let's say you have a base item which has 3 properties.
P1 = 100
P2 = 100
P3 = 100
If I understand well, the way it is currently set up is that the item after research could be, based on RNG
P1 = 95
P2 = 100
P3 = 105
What You guys want is to make it so that the total increase after research, for exemple :
P1 = 95
P2 = 100
P3 = 110

Am I right ?

If so, it seems really easy to do so, and that is the way I understood research too.
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby codeape » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:20 pm

Wow lots of candy in that update :thumbup:
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Re: Development Update #17: May 2014

Postby Rabiator » Wed Jun 04, 2014 2:45 pm

Echo wrote:Let's say you have a base item which has 3 properties.
P1 = 100
P2 = 100
P3 = 100
If I understand well, the way it is currently set up is that the item after research could be, based on RNG
P1 = 95
P2 = 100
P3 = 105
What You guys want is to make it so that the total increase after research, for exemple :
P1 = 95
P2 = 100
P3 = 110

Am I right ?

If so, it seems really easy to do so, and that is the way I understood research too.

Yes, that is one aspect I'd expect, the sum of all properties improving at least on some tries. Otherwise research is not really worthwhile.

But I agree with Talvieno as well, there should be the occasional breakthrough. In an ideal world that would lead to a new technology with a nice description and a new category of items that can be built. Like in Civilization, when you discover flight and can now build fighter planes.

Sadly, pre-defined tech trees are fully explored at some point and I don't have a recipe for creating interesting breakthroughs procedurally. So maybe we have to make do with the occasional increase of a few percent in overall ability.
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