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Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#1
Before posting, please read "The Demo" section of the LT @ PAX announcement post to acquaint yourself with the intended scope of the (combat-oriented) demo!

While I welcome your suggestions, please keep in mind that we are implementing the demo functionality under tight time constraints, and that time spent on things that aren't relevant to LT 1.0 will be minimized for obvious reasons. This means that features requiring a lot of time to implement or requiring infrastructure that is not currently finished are unlikely to be considered. As an example: "dynamic market economy that runs throughout the demo, influencing prices of purchasables" -- would not be a great suggestion, both because it involves implementing features that we haven't yet ported from LTC++, and because the 'funness' impact for a demo that many people will only spend a few minutes on is questionable at best. "Ability to purchase and deploy stationary weapons platforms to assist in defending," or "if your ship is destroyed, you respawn at a home station but lose 50% of your money; you only actually lose if the home station is destroyed" -- these would be reasonable suggestions, as they are more concerned with the demo mechanics and have reasonable implementation costs.

I'm also open to suggestions that introduce non-combat elements of LT, subject to the 'reasonable cost of implementation' constraint, so long as the suggestion would be fun for short-running play sessions. Combat is always low-hanging fruit since it's easy to hop into without requiring an hour to appreciate the depth of the mechanics (whereas many LT 1.0 mechanics will indeed require quite a lot of playtime to appreciate!)

So, what say you? What would get you inspired and hyped to see in the demo?

:)
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.” ~ Henry Ford
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#2
[Brain] Activated
[Challenge] Engaged
[Processing...]
[Challenge] Processed
[Idea] Ready
Scenario:
In a border system rich with asteroids, one faction has recently established mining operations to harvest a newly discovered vein of a very valuable material. The hostile neighboring faction has sent in spies to see what's going on. The spies report back to their commanders and they're going to send in a fleet to take the system as fast as possible before a serious defense can be provided. A few close units will arrive from the nearby systems quickly, while the main force is going to take a bit longer. The attackers only start to come after their spy leaves the system, the main defense force only starts to come after the attackers come.

Player Roles:
Defending squadron
Attacking squadron
Miner
Spy

Goals of each role:

Defenders: Hold off the attackers while the miners escape and the main defense force arrives. Optionally, find, identify, kill the spy disguised as a miner, before they leave the system early in the demo

Attackers: kill the defenders, prevent the miners from escaping by any means necessary, try to destroy the enemy jumpgate before their main force arrives, accomplish this however you like.

Miner: arrive in system, find some asteroids to mine, stay as long as you dare once fighting breaks out, however much ore you can bring back without dying is your score.

Spy: find and Tag location of stationary defenses, number of miners, number and type of defenders, get out of system alive via non-gate wormhole. Score is how many things you got right, and if you escaped the system alive, bonus if undetected

Upgrades:
Deep Space Scanner: grants player knowledge of ETA to main force arrival on both sides
Upgraded Cargo Scanner: find out the contents of a ship's cargo at greater distance, hmm, why does that one miner have 0 ore? suspicious
EMP missile: incapacitate, but not kill any ship or stationary defense for 2 minutes, buy as many as you want
Upgraded mining lasers: mine 2-4x as fast
Upgraded cargo: hold 2-4x as much ore
Upgraded weapons: weapons do 30-100% more damage, 30-100% greater range
Upgraded shields/armor
Upgraded thrusters
Drones: deal 25% damage, have 20% the health, 80% the speed of your ships, can act independently or attack the target of your choice, or kamikaze

End:
Unless the spy is killed, or the defenders jumpgate is destroyed, a major 500v500 ship battle begins. if you were a miner or a spy and got out, this is all AI vs AI like an epilogue. If you were a defender or attacker and have survived until the forces arrive, you take part in the battle

If you die, you can pick a different role
Last edited by Hyperion on Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#4
Ok, here my suggestion for a feature that works in a short demo for users:

Give people the ability to pick up things floating in space, such as dropped loot from destroyed ships and "lost" containers, maybe dropped by large trade-ships.
The loot could give the player general currency, and special powerups for weapons, ammunition and shields. Or cosmetic upgrades to the ship.
Make it more exiting by not telling the player beforehand what the contents are.
(people like picking up and collecting things, and like the excitement to open a "lootbox" with unknown content)

When the items are picked up, their description pop in one after the other on the screen, together with a nice "katching" sound for special items.

(on the other hand, if some players are "completionists", they might not want to hand back the controller then :mrgreen: )
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#5
I'm tempted to make a joke about lootboxes... :ghost: But I might be taken seriously, so, my suggestion would be that there be three factions instead of just two, and they approach from different directions. Three "players" are always more fun than two. It's prettier (you can see other battles happening in the distance) and there's the added question of "do I join this fight, or would I likely get killed in the crossfire".

Naturally, my suggestion is mostly combat-oriented... I've always been a fan of sci-fi space combat. :oops:
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#7
Talvieno wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:11 pm
I'm tempted to make a joke about lootboxes... :ghost: But I might be taken seriously
I know that "loot boxes" are largely criticized. But there is a reason for that, and game studios often implementing them: they are a really addictive game mechanic.
Similar to the random loot drops in Diablo. Its the excitement of expecting an unknown random reward. It would work quite good in the short timeframe that a demo is intended for,
and gives an immediate (and easy to understand) next goal ... apart from popping ships apart.
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#8
I will not be there (because ocean), but I would be super happy to see anything that is inspired by Nexus TJI.
Those nice'n'flashy maneuver thrusters!
Or a external view camera that mimics that awesome sweep when clicking on the next ship! :D
The flickering engines!
The subtle camera wobble when a mighty shot is fired somewhere!
Srsly, I'm not even asking for those awesome explosion-, shield-, glare and trail effects!

for reference (ingame):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wFO1r054PMc
(sadly I was unable to find the original video)

Although it runs on DX8, it is to this date the only game that conveys how mighty spaceships are. It's just glorious.

I know ... it is graphics stuff ... but for a demo ... most people will stay there and watch instead of playing. *Argue*
You have no idea how much I enjoy such a thing as engine glow that has a slight random oscillation. ^^
Last edited by MP X10L on Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#9
An escort mission where the player must defend a larger ship while flying a nimble fighter. As every wave is completed the player is given the opportunity to choose one upgrade for their own ship as well as one for the ship being defended. As mentioned in the other topic, rewards such as new or additional weapons, armor and wing mates are available.

Enemies are likely other fighters and bombers.
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#10
Damocles wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:40 pm
Talvieno wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:11 pm
I'm tempted to make a joke about lootboxes... :ghost: But I might be taken seriously
I know that "loot boxes" are largely criticized. But there is a reason for that, and game studios often implementing them: they are a really addictive game mechanic.
Similar to the random loot drops in Diablo. Its the excitement of expecting an unknown random reward. It would work quite good in the short timeframe that a demo is intended for,
and gives an immediate (and easy to understand) next goal ... apart from popping ships apart.
Ah, no. Lootboxes, in recent context, refer specifically to boxes full of loot (not necessarily good loot) that you pay real money to unlock.
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#11
Here's my list of the Top Four Things To Emphasize in a Tech Demo:

  • User interface
  • User interface
  • User interface
  • Graphics

Seriously; you're dealing with people who have no idea what this game is, potentially a low level of knowledge regarding PCG, and only seconds to make a positive impression. As much as I love emergent dynamic stuff that rewards perceptiveness regarding deep systems, that is absolutely the wrong thing to emphasize for a public demo.

A good public game demo will:

  • zoom in on objects so that they're easily visible (note that this implies objects need detail)
  • make objects easily distinguishable from each other (size, shape, color, behavior)
  • clearly communicate state changes (big explosions, brief on-screen text alerts)
  • offer something visibly different from all other games vying for consumer attention

Really, LT almost needs two levels of demo: the shiny/flashy stuff that attracts people (yes, this matters), and the amazing complex-world details for the subset of attracted people who enjoy exploration-friendly games. That first shiny layer maximizes awareness in this type of game; the second complex layer maximizes interest in this particular game.

Now, all that high-level conceptual stuff being said... will there be civilian asteroid miners and ships that make the LT world feel "alive?"
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#13
BTW, if you are already public with the demo there, its a good time to gather some metrics:

#1 create some models for the flight-mechanics, shooting, controller response and AI "skill / difficulty", in therms of speed, collision hull size, speed of changing direction, etc.
Also turning on/off aiding features, such as smart targeting and detail info on the enemy ship.
It should be enough to prepare a handful, or up to dozen "setups" with enough variation in the parameters.
(you can call them by ship names, like "Raven", "Morgan MK3", "X11" or some other catchy name, so it feels like having a unique shiptype)

#2 assign the players a random ship (setup), and record (manually and by code) how their performance is (kill stats, chance getting hit).

#3 then let them play a second round with another random setup, and record the data.
important here is to ask, wich version they liked more.
(there probably would not be enough time to let them play all setups..)

#4 at home: now you can analyse the results. And try to find the (rough) sweet spot for the game mechanics.
If a setup is always considered inferior to others, its probably not very fun (at least for getting into the game).
Having some actual data is a good guiding stone, as the longer you develop a product, the harder it is to take the perspective of a new player.
Forcing yourself to implement some (opposing) variations in the setups, also makes you think about alternatives, that you might not have considered before.
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Re: Limit Theory PAX Demo 2018 Suggestions Thread

#15
Damocles wrote:
Thu Dec 21, 2017 3:29 pm
BTW, if you are already public with the demo there, its a good time to gather some metrics:

#1 create some models for the flight-mechanics, shooting, controller response and AI "skill / difficulty", in therms of speed, collision hull size, speed of changing direction, etc.
Also turning on/off aiding features, such as smart targeting and detail info on the enemy ship.
It should be enough to prepare a handful, or up to dozen "setups" with enough variation in the parameters.
(you can call them by ship names, like "Raven", "Morgan MK3", "X11" or some other catchy name, so it feels like having a unique shiptype)

#2 assign the players a random ship (setup), and record (manually and by code) how their performance is (kill stats, chance getting hit).

#3 then let them play a second round with another random setup, and record the data.
important here is to ask, wich version they liked more.
(there probably would not be enough time to let them play all setups..)

#4 at home: now you can analyse the results. And try to find the (rough) sweet spot for the game mechanics.
If a setup is always considered inferior to others, its probably not very fun (at least for getting into the game).
Having some actual data is a good guiding stone, as the longer you develop a product, the harder it is to take the perspective of a new player.
Forcing yourself to implement some (opposing) variations in the setups, also makes you think about alternatives, that you might not have considered before.
that workflow sounds kinda meh for a demonstraton setup, more suited for a defined tester group than randoms that walk up to shiny videos.

for demo purposes i'd prepare 3ish distinct feeling ship setups (with get-a-different-PCG-hull-with-a-button-press functionality without changing the other parameters)
and then just let players play around a small scenario around a planet to search out things to do (Whatever is implemented at that point).
with shinies to look at and things to shoot at (or combinations)

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