Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
explosivo
May 23, 2004

Fueled by Satan

Such a bummer about the new Startopia

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Mayveena
Dec 27, 2006

People keep vandalizing my ID photo; I've lodged a complaint with HR


Morholt posted:

To be fair, the impressions games don't really have this either once you learn to build your housing in loops of the correct number of tiles. I'm 3 hours in but so far I think Nebuchadnezzar is a definite upgrade on Zeus.

How so other than graphics? Thanks for any response.

Anime Store Adventure
May 6, 2009


Isnít Startopia the same folks who did the new Port Royale? Hope thatís not becoming a trend.

That was a game that I took a chance on early access/beta and regretted it. Hoping that theyíll fix it at some point. (You can go through the steam reviews to find a lot of the issues.)

Pharnakes
Aug 14, 2009


God I loved the old ascaron games. So many hours in those as a kid.

Alkydere
Jun 7, 2010
Capitol: A building or complex of buildings in which any legislature meets.
Capital: A city designated as a legislative seat by the government or some other authority, often the city in which the government is located; otherwise the most important city within a country or a subdivision of it.




zedprime posted:

As pumped as I was for an Impressions resurgence the chatter around Nebuchadnezzar is reminding me they kind of went extinct for a reason and what I really want is Anno with temples or to be 12 years old again and playing Zeus.

What I want is Anno with all of it's delicious DLC released. I thought I'd have that after Land of Lions...

That and/or someone to play co-op games with so I'd have someone to help with the plate spinning.

explosivo
May 23, 2004

Fueled by Satan

First shot at a Tropico 6 game was a resounding failure, I really struggled with the soil quality degradation stuff this time for some reason. I didn't realize until far too late that the little homeless shacks pollute, which causes soil quality to degrade rapidly. I had production chains drying up because my plantations were at 0% efficiency even with the multiculture farm mode, and I had no idea why. I really need to make sure to put homes around farms.

I wish there was an easier way to see what my production for a good being requested was like across the map at a glance. I keep taking on trade routes for a good I don't produce because I thought I did, and I really don't know how to check for this at all without knowing where the factory is for the thing you want to check and clicking on it.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


I could be wrong because it's been a while, but keep an eye on your exports page. Anything you produce but don't consume gets exported.

Likewise, if you're importing staples you need to produce more food.

Unless, of course, you have an industrial building set to import.

Mr. Fall Down Terror
Jan 24, 2018


right, tropico is very hands-off with logistics

basically you either produce something or consume it. consumables are mostly just edible things, and then industrial feedstock like sugar for rum or coffee for canning. mentally you just set up production for some thing, it is either eaten by tropicans and then exported or exported directly, and your teamsters/dockworkers just automatically move things around. sometimes you need to import thing instead. mostly though it's about making sure you're spamming a bit more of the thing you need than you consume, with food being more important than industrial stuffs

i haven't played 6, i've mostly played 3/4 with a bit of 5, but i can't imagine things have changed much in 6. one of the first things i would do in a new game of 4 is slam down a marketplace, aka a food distributor, because teamsters will collect food and take it to the marketplace or the docks, but mostly the marketplace. this way i can be sure that my people can eat, and also it lets me just import food because you're better off buying corn and growing coffee or tobacco for export than you are growing domestic foodstuff in the early game (so long as you have positive cashflow because otherwise you can't afford to import food to feed your people). this is one of the useful parts of canneries, in that they convert things like fish and pineapple into canned fish and canned pineapple, which isn't eaten but only exported. a good way to juice up domestic food grown as a safety net into something for your treasury, plus later you can just knock down the fisheries and pineapple farms to solely produce canned coffee for export

trade routes are tricky. they induce you to expand production into something, but you can easily end up dividing your labor force, and smartly allocating your available labor is the very beating heart of the tropico gameplay loop. expanding too quickly into advanced, higher paying jobs can induce your lower skill, lower wage labor - which is essential to your economy - to seek better jobs, meaning that suddenly you've got all these factory workers showing up for useless shifts at factories sitting idle for lack of teamsters to move crates. chasing too many trade opportunities will fragment your economic output into useless little slivers

it also helps to spam cheap, crappy housing in the early game. country houses are good for farm-adjacent nowhereville living so people don't build shacks. bungalows are good for just giving people the barest of roofs in the cities so they don't build shacks. if you see shacks, it is a problem. i like to build a slum of cheap rowhouses for students, retirees, and the unemployed to live in close to food and medical care, just so they have some kind of place to stay until they can work up into better housing. of course this means that you need to provide both the better housing and the opportunity to dwell in it, but that's on you

Morholt
Mar 18, 2006

Contrary to popular belief, tic-tac-toe isn't purely a game of chance.

Mayveena posted:

How so other than graphics? Thanks for any response.

I'm liking:
1. Limited space for farming, smaller capacity in warehouses.
2. Manually set walker paths.
3. Automatic hauling is more efficient but only works for very short paths. After that you have to use caravans.
4. Production tab shows expected production and consumption of goods for the coming year.

KirbyKhan
Mar 20, 2009




Soiled Meat

Mr. Fall Down Terror posted:

right, tropico is very hands-off with logistics

basically you either produce something or consume it. consumables are mostly just edible things, and then industrial feedstock like sugar for rum or coffee for canning. mentally you just set up production for some thing, it is either eaten by tropicans and then exported or exported directly, and your teamsters/dockworkers just automatically move things around. sometimes you need to import thing instead. mostly though it's about making sure you're spamming a bit more of the thing you need than you consume, with food being more important than industrial stuffs

i haven't played 6, i've mostly played 3/4 with a bit of 5, but i can't imagine things have changed much in 6. one of the first things i would do in a new game of 4 is slam down a marketplace, aka a food distributor, because teamsters will collect food and take it to the marketplace or the docks, but mostly the marketplace. this way i can be sure that my people can eat, and also it lets me just import food because you're better off buying corn and growing coffee or tobacco for export than you are growing domestic foodstuff in the early game (so long as you have positive cashflow because otherwise you can't afford to import food to feed your people). this is one of the useful parts of canneries, in that they convert things like fish and pineapple into canned fish and canned pineapple, which isn't eaten but only exported. a good way to juice up domestic food grown as a safety net into something for your treasury, plus later you can just knock down the fisheries and pineapple farms to solely produce canned coffee for export

trade routes are tricky. they induce you to expand production into something, but you can easily end up dividing your labor force, and smartly allocating your available labor is the very beating heart of the tropico gameplay loop. expanding too quickly into advanced, higher paying jobs can induce your lower skill, lower wage labor - which is essential to your economy - to seek better jobs, meaning that suddenly you've got all these factory workers showing up for useless shifts at factories sitting idle for lack of teamsters to move crates. chasing too many trade opportunities will fragment your economic output into useless little slivers

it also helps to spam cheap, crappy housing in the early game. country houses are good for farm-adjacent nowhereville living so people don't build shacks. bungalows are good for just giving people the barest of roofs in the cities so they don't build shacks. if you see shacks, it is a problem. i like to build a slum of cheap rowhouses for students, retirees, and the unemployed to live in close to food and medical care, just so they have some kind of place to stay until they can work up into better housing. of course this means that you need to provide both the better housing and the opportunity to dwell in it, but that's on you

This is one of the changes from Tropico 5 to T6. Tropico 4/5 actually modeled wages and people wouldn't spend like more than a 1/3 their wages in rent. In T6, housing is simplified into 4ish wealth classes. Is it better, I kinda think so, but eh.

So this specifically, put a bunk house next to a farm. Also I heavily lean on imports. It seems like the hardest thing to break into 5 trade licenses, but that's what I usually aim for by the end of world war. For example, I'll start off with two sugar plants which doesn't fully saturate a rum distillery, but it's enough. When my sugar dips (which is never because I practice the multicultural sorcery) I build a second distillery and turn on forever imports.

Raw materials are so much cheaper than the finished product you ship out

Kvlt!
May 19, 2012

DIG THROUGH THE DITCHES
AND BURN THROUGH THE WITCHES



To the kind soul who wrote an early game Shadow Empire guide, I just wanted to say using your guide has allowed me to finally understand what I'm doing and enjoy the early game. Im still pretty lost but I'm having a blast learning and I feel I have the essential basics down. I had a few questions I wanted to ask

When building truck stops and supply bases on roads, I know I'm supposed to alternate building each, and that roads will supply up to 6 tiles around them. So say I have a straight road. Should I build TS > 6 tiles road > SB > 6 tiles of road > TS and repeat? Or should I use the same formula but 12 tiles instead of 6, since they extend 6 in each direction?

Is it normal to be constantly running out of metal? I've only been able to find one metal deposit to build a mine on, and since I often have a surplus of food I trade it for metal.

explosivo
May 23, 2004

Fueled by Satan

Thanks for all the Tropico help, I've played tons of these games but this one has been challenging me so far. I've started over but have to make a concerted effort to not expand too fast and make sure there's plenty of housing available. I can't help but notice there's a Warehouse building they added to T6, it seems like it might be helpful to park next to a place to store intermediate products in a supply chain for ease of access but the general consensus on the internet is that they added this building because people begged for it but it's functionally useless due to how the supply/demand system works. I tried putting one down but it seems like it never got used. Is it worth just ignoring this thing?

KirbyKhan
Mar 20, 2009




Soiled Meat

explosivo posted:

Thanks for all the Tropico help, I've played tons of these games but this one has been challenging me so far. I've started over but have to make a concerted effort to not expand too fast and make sure there's plenty of housing available. I can't help but notice there's a Warehouse building they added to T6, it seems like it might be helpful to park next to a place to store intermediate products in a supply chain for ease of access but the general consensus on the internet is that they added this building because people begged for it but it's functionally useless due to how the supply/demand system works. I tried putting one down but it seems like it never got used. Is it worth just ignoring this thing?

Hahaha ignore it. Trying to utilize the warehouse is a exercise in frustration and maximizing their potential is the path to madness. They double your logistics runs for very little and a heavily situational benefit.



If you want to fiddle with them, do get the Wall Street dlc.

Banemaster
Mar 31, 2010


Random collection of Nebuchadnezzar thoughts after couple hours of play:

  • Scenario screen having no scenarios makes the game feel unfinished.
  • If tutorials messages are skippable, those messages probably shouldn't trigger any achievements. Making some players go back to get tutorial achievements from scenarios they already did is bad.
  • Game's name is pain to write.
  • Player has total control over where walkers walk. In fact, service walkers don't walk anywhere without the path being set. Which is neat.
  • Building things cost money but wages and taxes are not a thing. Most scenarios are races of getting trade up before running out of money. After that money is not a issue.
  • Residential buildings have only couple levels each, which is shame.
  • Outside of money running out early there is no pressure at all.
  • Custom monuments are neat, but resources must be collected before planting each element, making monument building tad tedious. Ability to plan the monument before resources are needed would likely be fix for this.
  • Playing this might ruin Impressions Games for some, as Impressions Games lack the ability to manage everything so precisely.
  • Ability to manage everything combined with very short delivery ranges makes this game feel like production and placement puzzle. Which is not necessarily bad idea.
  • Cities feel bit soulless. Might be lack of walker voice lines, city noises and lack of walkers.

HopperUK
Apr 29, 2007

Clear off, fatso, this is a respectable establishment




Anyone playing Golftopia? The latest update was called 'finishing touches' - is it close to being ready? I still sometimes think wistfully of SimGolf.

Hihohe
Oct 4, 2008

Fuck you and the sun you live under



Please.... someone just pick up sim golf and make it so i can play on my now times computer.

Grevlek
Jan 10, 2004

go cow go

The last 10 pages of this thread is us remembering games we used to like, talking about modern updates, and then being disappointed in said updates.

explosivo
May 23, 2004

Fueled by Satan

KirbyKhan posted:

Hahaha ignore it. Trying to utilize the warehouse is a exercise in frustration and maximizing their potential is the path to madness. They double your logistics runs for very little and a heavily situational benefit.
If you want to fiddle with them, do get the Wall Street dlc.

Thanks, I'll just ignore it. Seems pretty useless. I'm having a much better game the second time around, I definitely disregarded homelessness far too much and the shacks were making me think that the Multi Culture mode on the farms still degraded over time. I just broke into Cold War and have been $100k+ for most of the game thus far.

HopperUK posted:

Anyone playing Golftopia? The latest update was called 'finishing touches' - is it close to being ready? I still sometimes think wistfully of SimGolf.

I played Golftopia when it first came out, honestly in that form it felt like a completed game. I know there's been a lot of changes and additions to it since then but I've just been waiting for launch at this point. You're making a wacky golf course with bumpers and flaming hoops and stuff, and judging by the comments there's a lot of people who just want a straight laced SimGolf instead of this. That said, I think it's a great game. The management aspects of it are secondary to the actual designing of the golf course, but making a new hole and watching the test runs and making adjustments to the holes is real satisfying to get just right. Unless you're really jonesing for it now I think it's probably not a bad idea to wishlist it and wait it out since it sounds like it might be close to being done.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


Grevlek posted:

The last 10 pages of this thread is us remembering games we used to like, talking about modern updates, and then being disappointed in said updates.

There's also the pointed note that nostalgia makes us remember things as much better than they were, because game design at the time was a lot less refined than today

Grevlek
Jan 10, 2004

go cow go



I'd rather they try and update these games, even if it doesn't go well. The alternative is leave the ideas in the past forever.

Regarding Neb and impressions games, was trying to rig your city in such a way to account for the random pathing of your workers that fun? To me it seems like more control over limited walkers is better from a gameplay standpoint, even if you lose out on a 24x16 pixel bumbling about going "Ceres be praised my corn is being raised" while never walking past the 4 markets near it's house to pick up food.

Many game genres have streamlined mechanics that were clunky in the past. No jrpg (generally speaking) game has the grind of Dragon Quest 1, and the genre is better for it.

I collect old games, I probably have as much of the nostalgia bug as anyone else. But I don't mind when they try to reboot something I loved and it doesn't work. It doesn't diminish the old game you can go back and play, and maybe it inspires someone else to take on the task of bringing it back to life.

If anything, I can't play evil genius anymore because I'm "done" with it. Im interested in the sandbox mode, and if evil genius 2 comes out slightly less charming, but more functional than the previous game, well that's net positive to me.

I haven't played Neb or Startopia 2.0, but unless they are straight up worse, I'll still consider them successes and I'll be grateful someone tried to release them. Two Point Hospital isn't as "charming" as Theme Hospital (much of which is driven from my nostalgia from playing it on the PlayStation in 1996 or whatever) but it's hard to argue it isn't a better game. And I can literally play TH on my PSP at any time if I need to hear the overhead say "Doctor, attend in Psychology".

If 1 in 10 classic reboots hits, that's a good enough ratio for me to try and support companies going down this path.

Grevlek fucked around with this message at 16:25 on Feb 23, 2021

Agean90
Jun 28, 2008




The natural evolution of the impressions city builder was children of the nile, which still used walkers but had them just walk to wherever they wanted to go so the challenge was just making sure the stuff they wanted was close enough that they didn't spend a full season walking to the nearest reed field for raw materials

Flawed and super slow paced, but fun.

Grevlek
Jan 10, 2004

go cow go

Agean90 posted:

The natural evolution of the impressions city builder was children of the nile, which still used walkers but had them just walk to wherever they wanted to go so the challenge was just making sure the stuff they wanted was close enough that they didn't spend a full season walking to the nearest reed field for raw materials

Flawed and super slow paced, but fun.

Children of the nile is 100 percent one of my favorite games. I always wished you had slightly more control over it, why mine turquoise or whatever if my luxury goods ran just as well on flax than turquoise.

This is the part where I wish for an Immortal Cities reboot !!!

Edit - my dream game would be the complexity of Dwarf Fortress poured into Cities of the Nile.

FirstAidKite
Nov 8, 2009


Grevlek posted:



I'd rather they try and update these games, even if it doesn't go well. The alternative is leave the ideas in the past forever.

Regarding Neb and impressions games, was trying to rig your city in such a way to account for the random pathing of your workers that fun? To me it seems like more control over limited walkers is better from a gameplay standpoint, even if you lose out on a 24x16 pixel bumbling about going "Ceres be praised my corn is being raised" while never walking past the 4 markets near it's house to pick up food.

Ok but Neb launched without some features you'd expect as basic things in a city builder of any kind and I don't feel like wanting the scenarios mode to actually contain scenarios or wanting a sandbox mode is something that can be written off. Same for a general lack of personality and any sort of credible threat to your town.

Pharnakes
Aug 14, 2009


Grevlek posted:



I'd rather they try and update these games, even if it doesn't go well. The alternative is leave the ideas in the past forever.

Regarding Neb and impressions games, was trying to rig your city in such a way to account for the random pathing of your workers that fun? To me it seems like more control over limited walkers is better from a gameplay standpoint, even if you lose out on a 24x16 pixel bumbling about going "Ceres be praised my corn is being raised" while never walking past the 4 markets near it's house to pick up food.



Pathing control is good I agree but why does it have to be in exchange for flavorful walkers? Surely it could be possible to have both.

Grevlek
Jan 10, 2004

go cow go

For sure I agree with both of your points. These might not specifically be good games I haven't played them. But the alternative is to not have anyone make any of these games, and then only have Zeus to refer people to. While Zeus and Emperor are very fun, I can see many 'modern' gamers not enjoying how finicky they are.

I am not trying to debate anyone, nor am I saying your feelings about Neb or Startopia 2.0 aren't valid.

If these games are not good, they are not good.

My position is that it's better to have someone trying to do something in the genre, than not. I've got enough survival city builders to last a lifetime at this point.

Ultimately, the Impressions games were as much puzzles, as they were simulations. There were optimal ways of setting up your paths/districts, and you'd just copy and paste those across whatever map you might have.

The final thought on this topic, before I let it go. I think people are really making judgements based on Early Access. Early Access is not something that existed back in the day, you'd need to release a full product. While I'm not a game designer, I can imagine that getting the structure of the game going is paramount, and then all the aesthetic worldbuilding pieces come later. Early Access almost definitionally means you are getting an incomplete game, this is the direction the producers would like to go down, and they might be looking for feedback on how to fix it. Dyson Sphere Project is an example of an Early Access game that is very feature rich, and while it has a nice aesthetic and I'm enjoying it, it doesn't have the same personality as an Impression city builder either. It's very sterile and robotic (which fits the setting of a dude in the Matrix piloting a terraforming robot) but because it has a lot to do already, you can overlook that fact.

These games might just be in rougher shape or earlier in the creative process.

*edit - as someone who played the original X-Com, I was not super thrilled about the fact that the 2011 Xcom went the way it did. I wanted more of the old game, modernized. The game is still fun, and apparently did well enough have not only a sequel, but to become the default method of doing a tactical/strategy game, copied into titles such as Mario vs. Rabbids. If these games, while incomplete, go on to inspire derivations so that we get the Mario vs. Rabbids level improvement on the structure, I'm very willing to enjoy some bland early access titles to get there.

Grevlek fucked around with this message at 17:57 on Feb 23, 2021

SkyeAuroline
Nov 12, 2020


Sounds more like a failure on the part of Early Access as a model, then. Handful of successes and a lot of... not, and the former are almost universally linked by "we have all of the core function of the game built as of when we're making this available, and are just building it out from here". Which about tracks with Kickstarters in general, too.
From the look of it Nebuchadnezzar, at least, failed that one hard. Can't comment as much on Startopia.

Grevlek
Jan 10, 2004

go cow go

SkyeAuroline posted:

Sounds more like a failure on the part of Early Access as a model, then. Handful of successes and a lot of... not, and the former are almost universally linked by "we have all of the core function of the game built as of when we're making this available, and are just building it out from here". Which about tracks with Kickstarters in general, too.
From the look of it Nebuchadnezzar, at least, failed that one hard. Can't comment as much on Startopia.

I 100 percent agree with this. It seems like Early Access is utilized to bring in more money to finish the game, but if the game isn't received well, no one will buy the game and it will never be finished. It may speak to the financing part of the industry. Many kickstarters end up in the same boat.

So, as always, the problem is capitalism. :p It is hard and expensive to make a video game. It can take 5 years to come out, that's 5 years of not making income on the product. If a game is released on EA and it's less than 50% complete, that's probably a sign of a project that is not going well.

zedprime
Jun 9, 2007

yospos


Management seems to be one of the gentler genres for early access since there are so many success stories of core loop delivered day 1 and content generated and slotted in for next 3 years.

I'm more apt to blame late 90s early 2000s for being an awkward era of management because even contemporaneously Startopia, Evil Genius, and Emperor were cult classics that were slightly panned for being polished examples of a past age of simple management games that all arguably survive in our memory on pure undistilled charm.

Leaving Zeus out but you could arguable include everything Impressions post Caesar 3 as incredibly derivative. I just consider Zeus end of an era because that's when the internet sunk it's teeth into the Impressions jugular in highlighting it's city building as a puzzle nature with 3 page strategy guides with the cells you should be building or scripts that would paste them blueprint style and Impressions firing back with Emperor as "but now also it's a Zen garden so I don't want to hear about your algorithms".

In other words if they can't even clear the charm hurdle these games are dead on arrival because a lot of the concepts were aged and debated 20 years ago already. For example Two Point clears the charm hurdle but I still think I can't really recommend it to anyone without a bunch of caveats.

Grevlek
Jan 10, 2004

go cow go

zedprime posted:

Management seems to be one of the gentler genres for early access since there are so many success stories of core loop delivered day 1 and content generated and slotted in for next 3 years.

I'm more apt to blame late 90s early 2000s for being an awkward era of management because even contemporaneously Startopia, Evil Genius, and Emperor were cult classics that were slightly panned for being polished examples of a past age of simple management games that all arguably survive in our memory on pure undistilled charm.

Leaving Zeus out but you could arguable include everything Impressions post Caesar 3 as incredibly derivative. I just consider Zeus end of an era because that's when the internet sunk it's teeth into the Impressions jugular in highlighting it's city building as a puzzle nature with 3 page strategy guides with the cells you should be building or scripts that would paste them blueprint style and Impressions firing back with Emperor as "but now also it's a Zen garden so I don't want to hear about your algorithms".

In other words if they can't even clear the charm hurdle these games are dead on arrival because a lot of the concepts were aged and debated 20 years ago already. For example Two Point clears the charm hurdle but I still think I can't really recommend it to anyone without a bunch of caveats.

Very interesting take. I never thought about how those games might already be derivations on the original formula.

The goal of my bizarre tangent is to wrangle this thread into making it's own perfect management game. I can do Object Oriented programming in Python and C# so let's get Unity Smoking Aces: the Managementening going!

Mayveena
Dec 27, 2006

People keep vandalizing my ID photo; I've lodged a complaint with HR


Neb dev team has committed to sandbox, convincing me to buy the game finally.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


Originally read this as

Mayveena posted:

Neb dev team has committed suicide, convincing me to buy the game finally.

which would have been one heck of a take.

Good thing they've decided that maybe giving customers what they want is a good strategy

Grevlek
Jan 10, 2004

go cow go

Volmarias posted:

Originally read this as
...
which would have been one heck of a take.

Good thing they've decided that maybe giving customers what they want is a good strategy

I read it the same way buddy

So this kind of gets me thinking. In an EA game in this genre, would you rather they do the campaign or the sandbox part first?

We discussed how They Are Billions finishing touch was the campaign, and that sucked. People got to the good part in EA, and then what was the point of the "finished" product.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


Grevlek posted:

I read it the same way buddy

So this kind of gets me thinking. In an EA game in this genre, would you rather they do the campaign or the sandbox part first?

We discussed how They Are Billions finishing touch was the campaign, and that sucked. People got to the good part in EA, and then what was the point of the "finished" product.

They Are Billions is a pretty slow building and planning game. Punishing players by making them build the same thing over and over ruined it, among with the fact that it felt like the content was rushed and not planned. It wasn't that they didn't want to do it, they just had no ideas for it beyond "here is train!?!?"

Sandbox is just removing constraints, so as long as there's no corners to paint yourself into, it's much simpler to adapt into. The hardest part is making it still engaging and manageable at large sizes, but I would assume the ultimate campaign mission involves a pretty large city for all of the plate spinning, so I don't expect that to be a problem.

Disappointing Pie
Feb 7, 2006
Words cannot describe what a disaster the pie was.

They are Billions done right could be so good. My favorite part of games like Warcraft and Age of Empires was building huge fortresses with walls and things to defend against everyone.

explosivo
May 23, 2004

Fueled by Satan

I thought TAB was fine for what it was (ignoring the campaign) but one or two long games of it were more than enough for me to get my fill of it and see all there was to see.

lordfrikk
Mar 11, 2010

casual lamer


I just need some personality in my builder games because I enjoy watching things happening and moving on screen and Neb is the epitome of a very competently made game with no soul. The menu backgrounds are gorgeous, the music is awesome. But then you enter the game and it's I just watched some Caesar 3, Pharaoh and Zeus gameplay on YT to make sure I'm not talking out of my rear end but nope, somehow Neb is losing when it comes to charm to games made 20 years ago.

KirbyKhan
Mar 20, 2009




Soiled Meat

Grevlek posted:

I read it the same way buddy

So this kind of gets me thinking. In an EA game in this genre, would you rather they do the campaign or the sandbox part first?

We discussed how They Are Billions finishing touch was the campaign, and that sucked. People got to the good part in EA, and then what was the point of the "finished" product.

Sandbox first no doubt. The gameplay loop and mechanics laid bare need to work from beginning to finished zen garden. Campaign is just set dressing, fluff, and gameplay modifiers.

In a larger sense, if you went in on a Kickstarter, use your voice to get them to finish the (non-stretch) thing you like. Cuz after that initial push, the feature creep starts.

Pharnakes
Aug 14, 2009


I am totally fine with city builders being objectively solvable puzzles, because I only play them for the charm and atmosphere anyway. I just want to make a pretty city that feels alive and "real", how easy it would be to optimise the scenario win goal is totally irrelevant to me.

K8.0
Feb 26, 2004

Her Majesty's 56th Regiment of Foot

Games with no time pressure are inherently either solvable, random, or some mix of the two. Good games are ones that use randomness and/or complexity to create interesting question and doubt for the player without being so complex and/or random that it's impossible to plan at all. Where the balance between randomness and complexity lies and where the balance between solvable and unpredictable lies are basically the two axis of player preference that designers have to try to land somewhere a lot of people will enjoy.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Banemaster
Mar 31, 2010


Neb is in strange position where time is never an issue (outside of requests, but those are not critical to fulfil) but if player runs out of money (+ the lifeline) before being able to setup the trade, restart is required.

This leads into quirky "minimum viable city" state. In Impressions' games (when there is no mission inducted time limit of some sort) very minimal cities can be stable and producing meagre profit. There is not even need to feed the people to get to this state, thought feeding the people makes the system more efficient. This allows player to select how they want to approach the mission somewhat, which is cool.

In Neb gaining income is not an easy task. Trade must be setup, which requires Prestige, which requires somewhat advanced city. Time is never an issue so instead of experimenting player is led into speeding up the time to check the state instead. There is that constant pressure from each misplaced building costing irreplaceable resource, which makes puzzling out the positions of buildings annoying.

One interesting way to make this style city builder more interesting would be making building placement even more intricate. Some buildings would work by radius that expands by the roads. So, for example, Markets would be preferably in middle of Housing, but Markets also lower Appeal and need good access to various Storage's, so there would be interesting dilemmas on placing Market. Mansions would prefer to be in their own walled off area but poorer people can't pass through their gates making positioning of these neighbourhoods tricky. Better Roads would be faster to travel, but expensive in both Money and Resources, and requiring some kind of maintenance. Housing evolving requirements would not be be list with strict order, so providing later services early would give some benefit. And so on and on.

(Prison Architect is one game where "minimal viable prison" value is tad high, as player needs to setup power, water, holding cell, cafeteria, kitchen and one office (?) before they can produce income. If I was in charge I would make this value lower by allowing importation of power, water and food, and by making one-day only prisoners possible. But that is topic for another time).

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply