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TerraDrive Live... 08! How can we make it MORE AWESOMER?

AiouaAioua Ora OccidensOra OptimaRegistered User regular
edited September 2007 in PAX Archive
Hey guys, I was talking to Tony, and he was asking me what was good about TerraDrive and what could be improved, so I figured we could start a thread a collect our ideas.

Mainly, I think we need ways to get the faction leaders fighting (as of right now they're just a liability), and ways to get more people involved.

What do you guys think, what can we change to make it better?
If you wanted to play, but had no idea what was going on, how can it be made more accessible?
What was awesome?
What was totally garbage?

I've got some ideas, but I want to hear what you have to say, too.
Man, I wish it was PAX 08 already, just so I could take on some more corpers!

life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
Aioua on
«1

Posts

  • TehBugTehBug Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Hey Aioua,
    Good to see you again (well, virtually that is).
    ~
    About TerraDrive, I'm not sure there was enough of a presence. There were Kill Stations and all, but no real booth that was set up in the main traffic to advertise the entire event that was taking place. The game went rather smoothly as far as I saw, but you are right that the Leaders were only a liability.

    Just an idea, maybe having a few others in command (Second, third, etc) as half points for the assassination count/points could take some pressure off the Leaders. Also, having a Leader board or at least a Factions board could help to draw some more attention into the game.

    Just a few ideas as of right now, still going back and reading through the rules and wishing that PAX08 were closer (Yea, I know, 07 just ended but still!).

    Bug
    P.S. ~Aioua, I was your decoy incase you didn't know my screen name.

    TehBug on
    ~TehBug
  • Soda241Soda241 Registered User
    edited August 2007
    The game was great! I want pictures! I know there was a enforce sitting there on Sunday, Who took a picture of me.. Aioua and Dev : ( I wish i could find them!

    Soda241 on
  • TehBugTehBug Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Soda241 wrote: »
    The game was great! I want pictures! I know there was a enforce sitting there on Sunday, Who took a picture of me.. Aioua and Dev : ( I wish i could find them!

    I'll have to bring my camera next year then... I really should get a new battery for that thing before then too.

    TehBug on
    ~TehBug
  • skarsolskarsol Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    There needs to be something to offset the disadvantage a faction has if it has more non-color faction leaders. Also, make sure all the color faction leaders are committed to showing up; the red one was sketchy from the get go. Possibly have 4 non-players (enforcers?) stationed in different areas to serve as a "base" for faction members to meet up and get news, plans, meet each other, etc. Clearer rules would be good too (if a card says "playing rock is a loss" and I play scissors, can the opponent play badass?) Additionally, some way, even if remote for a player with no cards to manage a win would be nice for the casual players. I ended up giving out a bunch of life tokens because I felt bad when people challenged me and lost their only token and could no longer play after only one round. Also, record how many life tokens a player buys and only credit them for life tokens turned in above that amount (although people could still have friends buy for them, but meh). More adhearance to RP would be nice too, but thats more a personal choice prolly.

    skarsol on
    why are you smelling it?
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Hey guys, Jack here. Man, that was fun, eh? I agree with Aioua, I can't wait for the game next year. Some of my thoughts as a faction leader:

    a ) Aioua and I discussed this, but it would be better if sub-factions could only be registered before PAX. I know, that makes the faction pool a little more shallow, but it also drastically reduces the liability that sub-factions bring to the table (I, for one, had a big problem with this, as the CBX had plenty of sub-factions that I either did not know about, or could not contact because I didn't know who led them).

    b ) I'm sorry, but Badass is too overpowered a card, mathematically. If someone plays all Badasses every turn, then they have a 2/3 chance every round to win, or at very least, ensure the opponent can't win. Almost every other card has at least 2 weaknesses: another card, and situational deployment restrictions (each weapon only works on one kind of throw, for instance). Badass, however, does not. Regardless of what the opponent throws or what cards he/she plays, Badass can only be stopped by another Badass.

    c ) Personally, I think regular kills should also factor into Faction rankings, which would even out the liability between faction leaders and faction members; after all, if the faction leader is hiding all the time, why not just take out his lackeys while they roam the show floor? It would also give the faction leaders a bit more reason to involve themselves, seeing as it might be better to bit the bullet and get killed if it looks like all 10 of your guards are going to lose (depending on the ratio, of course. I was thinking somewhere around 3-to-1, but it's flexible).

    d ) The rules should be a little more clear about how allies work. After all, the faction leader cards state that a faction leader can tap any member of their faction to fight, but (we'll use the CBX as an example) even though everyone at PAX with a yellow wristband was affiliated with the CBX, in all technicality they were in a different faction, yet we assume that I could tap them to fight anyway. If this is the case, then maybe to encourage in-game politics and alliances, we should specify that faction leaders can tap members of their faction or any allied faction; if not, the cards should be clarified.

    e ) I'm not saying anyone DID this, but it is something I'd like to bring up; there was nothing at PAX stopping people from walking in with 100$ and buying a crapload of life tokens, only to turn around ten minutes later and turn them all back in for "kills". The kill reporting process should be a little more thorough to prevent abuses of the system.

    f ) Unfortunately, those who either didn't prepare their powerups before PAX or couldn't afford them at the show were at a severe disadvantage; sorry, McKay, but I think Ultima proved this particular point with aplomb (btw, to McKay and Hex... woo, that was fun.) Someone can win simply by overwhelming a new player with powerups, then stealing any they may have on them after the fight. I know to an extent this is inevitable, but maybe there is a way to protect noobish players who don't have the resources that other players may have.

    ...man, talk about wall of text. Hope this helps / starts some discussion, though.

    --Jack Kieser

    JackKieser on

    Balanced-Brawl-Sig-2.gif?t=1271711610
  • futilityfutility Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    My experience of the game was that I didn't see anyone playing it. That and:
    "It costs money" "It costs money" "It costs money" "It costs money"

    futility on
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    JackKieser wrote: »
    f ) Unfortunately, those who either didn't prepare their powerups before PAX or couldn't afford them at the show were at a severe disadvantage; sorry, McKay, but I think Ultima proved this particular point with aplomb (btw, to McKay and Hex... woo, that was fun.) Someone can win simply by overwhelming a new player with powerups, then stealing any they may have on them after the fight. I know to an extent this is inevitable, but maybe there is a way to protect noobish players who don't have the resources that other players may have.

    Wait, let me get this clarified. You buy the powerups with real world money, and if you lose, you have to give them to the winner?

    *boggle*

    Houn on
  • skarsolskarsol Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    It's not like they're collectable or anything. Thats like getting mad at the arcade game for keeping your quarter. :P

    skarsol on
    why are you smelling it?
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Not exactly. With the arcade game, I know I'm not walking away with anything in my hand, nor are we talking about another player being able to benefit from my quarter unless I willingly leave it running for him.

    What kind of prices are these things? For a quarter, I could reasonably give them up. For a dollar, no chance in hell.

    Houn on
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Houn wrote: »
    JackKieser wrote: »
    f ) Unfortunately, those who either didn't prepare their powerups before PAX or couldn't afford them at the show were at a severe disadvantage; sorry, McKay, but I think Ultima proved this particular point with aplomb (btw, to McKay and Hex... woo, that was fun.) Someone can win simply by overwhelming a new player with powerups, then stealing any they may have on them after the fight. I know to an extent this is inevitable, but maybe there is a way to protect noobish players who don't have the resources that other players may have.

    Wait, let me get this clarified. You buy the powerups with real world money, and if you lose, you have to give them to the winner?

    *boggle*

    You can only steal the powerups with one other "steal" powerup, and you have to trade the steal one to the person you're stealing from. So its more of a "force trade" powerup.

    I think putting in a powerup along with the life token in the swag would be good, and also giving say, two life tokens for registering. That way, people who want to play will have three tokens and one powerup.

    I also think we need some obvious quests to get free powerups. You can hand them out at the kill station. Just simple stuff: Get a pic with gabe or tycho (and you) to get a rare, a pic of an enforcer punching you in the face (fake of course) gets a common. Everyone has cell phone cameras nowadays, right? Do a whole scavenger hunt quest system.

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Houn wrote: »
    Not exactly. With the arcade game, I know I'm not walking away with anything in my hand, nor are we talking about another player being able to benefit from my quarter unless I willingly leave it running for him.

    What kind of prices are these things? For a quarter, I could reasonably give them up. For a dollar, no chance in hell.

    I was really really interested in playing up until I was talking to the Technomancer guys in line.

    "So, I noticed we didn't get any starting power ups at all, how do we get them?"

    "Well, we're selling packs in the expo room that include more life tokens and some powerups for"

    And then he said either $15 or $25, I forget because the second he said that number all interest I had in playing the game instantly disappeared.

    I only played one game after that, it was with a guy who had one weapon power up. I would automatically lose if I ever threw paper, so he did nothing but throw rock over and over until I gave up.

    So basically, cool game idea, horrible horrible execution.

    Raiden333 on
    steam_sig.png
  • apotheosapotheos Registered User, ClubPA
    edited August 2007
    The second I saw dollars attached to the game I lost all interest in it. I thought it was just going to be a vehicle to generate interest in TerraDrive, not a means to actually generate sales.

    apotheos on


    猿も木から落ちる
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Not exactly. With the arcade game, I know I'm not walking away with anything in my hand, nor are we talking about another player being able to benefit from my quarter unless I willingly leave it running for him.

    What kind of prices are these things? For a quarter, I could reasonably give them up. For a dollar, no chance in hell.

    I was really really interested in playing up until I was talking to the Technomancer guys in line.

    "So, I noticed we didn't get any starting power ups at all, how do we get them?"

    "Well, we're selling packs in the expo room that include more life tokens and some powerups for"

    And then he said either $15 or $25, I forget because the second he said that number all interest I had in playing the game instantly disappeared.

    I only played one game after that, it was with a guy who had one weapon power up. I would automatically lose if I ever threw paper, so he did nothing but throw rock over and over until I gave up.

    So basically, cool game idea, horrible horrible execution.

    Yeah. I don't quite have the income to throw $15+ bucks at a stack of cards that I'll inevitably lose in rigged games of Ro-Sham-Bo...

    Interesting idea, though. I could see it being semi-fun if everyone were on an even playing field, such as an organized game where all cards were provided at the beginning of the event, but in it's current state, it simply rewards those who throw the most cash at the problem.

    Though now that I think about it, it's great training for a career in politics! =D

    Houn on
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    What if you could still buy powerups, but you could also do quests to get them for free? Would that renew your interest? I just had a ton of fun this year, and I really want more people to get involved this year. If we had 2, 3 thousand people playing it would be an absolute blast. I've been talking to Tony, and we're trying to figure out a way to get more people involved. Our factions weren't perfectly organized this year, but we have some ideas for getting new recruits plugged in with their factions before the game starts.
    I think having a rally time for the first three or four hours after PAX starts, where players can register, meet their faction leaders and commanders, get assignments, and not be afraid of being attacked would really help.

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • proXimityproXimity Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The quest idea is fantastic.

    proXimity on
    camo_sig2.png
  • skarsolskarsol Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Yeah, we had a lot of fun doing the quests for the keys/stamps outdoors. Something similar would be cool. :)

    skarsol on
    why are you smelling it?
  • DraknodredDraknodred Registered User
    edited August 2007
    futility wrote: »
    That and:
    "It costs money" "It costs money" "It costs money" "It costs money"

    That basically kills it for me.

    Draknodred on
  • SoulFurySoulFury Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    futility wrote: »
    My experience of the game was that I didn't see anyone playing it. That and:
    "It costs money" "It costs money" "It costs money" "It costs money"

    That was my problem right there.

    SoulFury on
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Okay so, for everyone who is turned off by the money, would you play if you got, say, 3 tokens and one powerup for free, and could go get more powerups for quests of some kind?

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • DraknodredDraknodred Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Aioua wrote: »
    What if you could still buy powerups, but you could also do quests to get them for free? Would that renew your interest? I just had a ton of fun this year, and I really want more people to get involved this year. If we had 2, 3 thousand people playing it would be an absolute blast. I've been talking to Tony, and we're trying to figure out a way to get more people involved. Our factions weren't perfectly organized this year, but we have some ideas for getting new recruits plugged in with their factions before the game starts.
    I think having a rally time for the first three or four hours after PAX starts, where players can register, meet their faction leaders and commanders, get assignments, and not be afraid of being attacked would really help.

    I think you should just take costs out of the picture completely. Giving an advantage to people who have more money is pretty lame. I like the idea of earning powerups through quests but if money is in the picture at all it basically loses all appeal.

    Just me though.

    Draknodred on
  • SoulFurySoulFury Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    Just getting one powerup would be a big help. Without the powerups its just paper rock sissors which honestly is boring.

    SoulFury on
  • Tony HellmannTony Hellmann Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Houn wrote: »
    JackKieser wrote: »
    f ) Unfortunately, those who either didn't prepare their powerups before PAX or couldn't afford them at the show were at a severe disadvantage; sorry, McKay, but I think Ultima proved this particular point with aplomb (btw, to McKay and Hex... woo, that was fun.) Someone can win simply by overwhelming a new player with powerups, then stealing any they may have on them after the fight. I know to an extent this is inevitable, but maybe there is a way to protect noobish players who don't have the resources that other players may have.

    Wait, let me get this clarified. You buy the powerups with real world money, and if you lose, you have to give them to the winner?

    *boggle*

    You have to give one of the powerups you had equipped in your last throw to the winner. So if you don't want to risk one, you don't have to equip any powerups in your last throw, so it is really your choice.

    --Tony

    Tony Hellmann on
    Tony Hellmann
    CEO, Technomancer Press
    http://www.technomancer-press.com

    Check out TerraDrive Live...its happening at PAX, and everyone's playing
  • Tony HellmannTony Hellmann Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    Houn wrote: »
    Not exactly. With the arcade game, I know I'm not walking away with anything in my hand, nor are we talking about another player being able to benefit from my quarter unless I willingly leave it running for him.

    What kind of prices are these things? For a quarter, I could reasonably give them up. For a dollar, no chance in hell.

    I was really really interested in playing up until I was talking to the Technomancer guys in line.

    "So, I noticed we didn't get any starting power ups at all, how do we get them?"

    "Well, we're selling packs in the expo room that include more life tokens and some powerups for"

    And then he said either $15 or $25, I forget because the second he said that number all interest I had in playing the game instantly disappeared.

    I only played one game after that, it was with a guy who had one weapon power up. I would automatically lose if I ever threw paper, so he did nothing but throw rock over and over until I gave up.

    So basically, cool game idea, horrible horrible execution.

    Any idea who you talked to? We weren't selling packs at all, for one thing (unless you wanted to create a new faction). All the powerups were a la carte at $1, $2, and $3 a piece, respectively. Secondly, you could get free ones by going through the World's Smallest Dungeon (at our booth).

    Sorry that happened to you. Next year will be different.

    --Tony

    Tony Hellmann on
    Tony Hellmann
    CEO, Technomancer Press
    http://www.technomancer-press.com

    Check out TerraDrive Live...its happening at PAX, and everyone's playing
  • Tony HellmannTony Hellmann Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Draknodred wrote: »
    Aioua wrote: »
    What if you could still buy powerups, but you could also do quests to get them for free? Would that renew your interest? I just had a ton of fun this year, and I really want more people to get involved this year. If we had 2, 3 thousand people playing it would be an absolute blast. I've been talking to Tony, and we're trying to figure out a way to get more people involved. Our factions weren't perfectly organized this year, but we have some ideas for getting new recruits plugged in with their factions before the game starts.
    I think having a rally time for the first three or four hours after PAX starts, where players can register, meet their faction leaders and commanders, get assignments, and not be afraid of being attacked would really help.

    I think you should just take costs out of the picture completely. Giving an advantage to people who have more money is pretty lame. I like the idea of earning powerups through quests but if money is in the picture at all it basically loses all appeal.

    Just me though.

    Magic: The Gathering works on the same model, and people that can afford more cards for their decks have an advantage. I'd love to take costs out of the equation entirely, and have the whole show play. However, it costs us money to put the game on, so we have to recoup those costs somehow...I hope that for most players the cost is nominal enough that they get their money's worth in entertainment value. I know for the Radicals and Corpers, they may have each spent $10 or $20 total over the weekend (average), but if you talk to them about how much fun they had, they get way more excited about it than they would over dropping $10 at Gameworks. And you can't play all weekend at Gameworks on $10. Or $20.

    A group of about 30 people had really intense, high-quality experiences that looked like the fucking Beastie Boys' Sabotage video: There was a surprise faction leader hit at a hotel, another faction leader bolted and got chased out of the convention center and down a Seattle city street before he was caught and killed (should done the hood roll over a taxicab, McKay)...it was a BLAST. And I can bring that same experience to thousands of players if we figure out how to tweak the game just right. This year was a very successful beta. Next year its ON.

    --Tony

    Tony Hellmann on
    Tony Hellmann
    CEO, Technomancer Press
    http://www.technomancer-press.com

    Check out TerraDrive Live...its happening at PAX, and everyone's playing
  • Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    I didn't catch names, it was just the two guys going through the line on Friday showing people how to play.

    I'm glad you guys are taking feedback into account, the game really seems like it has a lot of potential.

    Raiden333 on
    steam_sig.png
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Houn wrote: »
    JackKieser wrote: »
    f ) Unfortunately, those who either didn't prepare their powerups before PAX or couldn't afford them at the show were at a severe disadvantage; sorry, McKay, but I think Ultima proved this particular point with aplomb (btw, to McKay and Hex... woo, that was fun.) Someone can win simply by overwhelming a new player with powerups, then stealing any they may have on them after the fight. I know to an extent this is inevitable, but maybe there is a way to protect noobish players who don't have the resources that other players may have.

    Wait, let me get this clarified. You buy the powerups with real world money, and if you lose, you have to give them to the winner?

    *boggle*

    You have to give one of the powerups you had equipped in your last throw to the winner. So if you don't want to risk one, you don't have to equip any powerups in your last throw, so it is really your choice.

    --Tony

    Without the cards, it's just Ro-Sham-Bo.

    With one party using powerups but not the other, situations can be created in which the powerup user is assured victory. Example: complete protection from paper, shoot rock endlessly

    With both parties using cards, it becomes an actual game of skill, excepting that the guy with the more cash to lay down on powerups gets an innate advantage in both number and selection of.

    Thus, it's only a "choice" so long as you don't mind playing a game in which you can either afford, or never win.

    Hey, I'm not hating on you. You've got to make money somehow, I don't begrudge you that. ;D

    I, personally, can't justify spending even a $1 on a card that will be taken from me in a rigged Rock Paper Scissors match.

    Houn on
  • DraknodredDraknodred Registered User
    edited August 2007

    Magic: The Gathering works on the same model, and people that can afford more cards for their decks have an advantage. I'd love to take costs out of the equation entirely, and have the whole show play. However, it costs us money to put the game on, so we have to recoup those costs somehow...I hope that for most players the cost is nominal enough that they get their money's worth in entertainment value. I know for the Radicals and Corpers, they may have each spent $10 or $20 total over the weekend (average), but if you talk to them about how much fun they had, they get way more excited about it than they would over dropping $10 at Gameworks. And you can't play all weekend at Gameworks on $10. Or $20.

    A group of about 30 people had really intense, high-quality experiences that looked like the fucking Beastie Boys' Sabotage video: There was a surprise faction leader hit at a hotel, another faction leader bolted and got chased out of the convention center and down a Seattle city street before he was caught and killed (should done the hood roll over a taxicab, McKay)...it was a BLAST. And I can bring that same experience to thousands of players if we figure out how to tweak the game just right. This year was a very successful beta. Next year its ON.

    --Tony

    Yeah but magic the gathering you need to pay to get any cards at all. I understand that it costs money to do these things but I just don't like that someone can get a monetary advantage completely against someone who doesn't pay or doesn't pay as much. I would prefer that maybe everyone pays a base cost so that no one gets a monetary advantage, that way everyone who plays can help pay for the costs and it starts on an equal plane and the only way to get better would be to earn it through things in-game.

    That's just my opinion though, just thought I'd share my two cents :)

    Draknodred on
  • Tony HellmannTony Hellmann Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Draknodred wrote: »

    Magic: The Gathering works on the same model, and people that can afford more cards for their decks have an advantage. I'd love to take costs out of the equation entirely, and have the whole show play. However, it costs us money to put the game on, so we have to recoup those costs somehow...I hope that for most players the cost is nominal enough that they get their money's worth in entertainment value. I know for the Radicals and Corpers, they may have each spent $10 or $20 total over the weekend (average), but if you talk to them about how much fun they had, they get way more excited about it than they would over dropping $10 at Gameworks. And you can't play all weekend at Gameworks on $10. Or $20.

    A group of about 30 people had really intense, high-quality experiences that looked like the fucking Beastie Boys' Sabotage video: There was a surprise faction leader hit at a hotel, another faction leader bolted and got chased out of the convention center and down a Seattle city street before he was caught and killed (should done the hood roll over a taxicab, McKay)...it was a BLAST. And I can bring that same experience to thousands of players if we figure out how to tweak the game just right. This year was a very successful beta. Next year its ON.

    --Tony

    Yeah but magic the gathering you need to pay to get any cards at all. I understand that it costs money to do these things but I just don't like that someone can get a monetary advantage completely against someone who doesn't pay or doesn't pay as much. I would prefer that maybe everyone pays a base cost so that no one gets a monetary advantage, that way everyone who plays can help pay for the costs and it starts on an equal plane and the only way to get better would be to earn it through things in-game.

    That's just my opinion though, just thought I'd share my two cents :)

    I very much appreciate your opinion. I need them to make the game better. But isn't what you say also true about M:tG? If you only pop for a starter deck, and I've purchased a dozen expansions and laced my deck with the best cards I can, doesn't the money I spent give me a significant advantage? The way you can reduce that in TerraDrive Live is to play for less Life Tokens. If you play for one, that means you can use two powerups each round. If even that's too much, just get the other player to agree: "Hey, I'll only play you if we can go one Life Token and one Powerup per throw, okay?" If you opponent agrees, you're golden. Then you don't have to worry about his 30 card powerup deck screwing you over (well, not nearly as much).

    BUT, I do recognize that all the players need to start with some powerups, and that's easily solved for next year.

    --Tony

    Tony Hellmann on
    Tony Hellmann
    CEO, Technomancer Press
    http://www.technomancer-press.com

    Check out TerraDrive Live...its happening at PAX, and everyone's playing
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The core difference, of course, is that in M:tG, you don't give your cards to the loser. (Or am I mistaken?)

    It's not just that an advantage can be bought, but that the advantage can be used to effectively deprive another player of his $1.

    Guess it's a gambling game. ;D

    Houn on
  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Houn wrote: »
    The core difference, of course, is that in M:tG, you don't give your cards to the loser. (Or am I mistaken?)

    It's not just that an advantage can be bought, but that the advantage can be used to effectively deprive another player of his $1.

    Guess it's a gambling game. ;D

    You do NOT give your cards away. You lose your life tokens (but only as many as you bet on the match), but that's the whole scoring mechanism. There is one powerup that allows you to steal a poweup of you opponents choice, but you have to trade the steal poweup to them.
    So, if you're the stealer, you get on powerup that they had equipped, that they choose, and have to give you steal card to them.
    If you're the stealee, you pick one of your equipped powerups (your wost one, obviously) and tradew it for the steal card. It's only bad if you equip nothing but rare cards all time.

    Aioua on
    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • Tony HellmannTony Hellmann Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Houn wrote: »
    The core difference, of course, is that in M:tG, you don't give your cards to the loser. (Or am I mistaken?)

    It's not just that an advantage can be bought, but that the advantage can be used to effectively deprive another player of his $1.

    Guess it's a gambling game. ;D

    Well, like I said, you can only lose a powerup if you decide to equip one in the final round.

    I don't know about current incarnations of M:tG, but when I was playing a lot, tournament rules were that winner got one card from the loser, which was drawn at random before the game started. Of course, people play how they want. I guess you could stipulate that you wanted to not play for a powerup in the 3rd round...

    I'm just tossing ideas here and we'll see what seems most solid. Welcome to the inner world of game design, folks!

    --Tony

    Tony Hellmann on
    Tony Hellmann
    CEO, Technomancer Press
    http://www.technomancer-press.com

    Check out TerraDrive Live...its happening at PAX, and everyone's playing
  • HounHoun Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    JackKieser wrote: »
    f ) Unfortunately, those who either didn't prepare their powerups before PAX or couldn't afford them at the show were at a severe disadvantage; sorry, McKay, but I think Ultima proved this particular point with aplomb (btw, to McKay and Hex... woo, that was fun.) Someone can win simply by overwhelming a new player with powerups, then stealing any they may have on them after the fight. I know to an extent this is inevitable, but maybe there is a way to protect noobish players who don't have the resources that other players may have.

    Sorry about the misconception about losing powerups. The above quote is what I was going off of, which sounds much worse than you state it to be.

    Houn on
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Yeah, that was my fault in my wording, but the concept of the sentence still stands. Then again, I don't think it was emphasized enough in the rules that almost any rule could be circumvented before the match if both players agreed to it. Hence, matches with no powerups at all and matches with no loss of powerups and such.

    I think the main problem, like most people said, is the concept of pay-to-play; people think that they have to spend a crapload of money to have a chance, when in all actuality you really don't have to spend a dime if you play your cards right, if you'll pardon the pun. Tweaking some of the card balance can negate the absolute advantage having tons of money gives you; for instance, rare weapons right now ensure victory over a single move, but what if you have to flip a coin to activate the card? Then, the victory is not so absolute. Introducing a little chance to some of the cards can balance out their power, as there is always a risk to be involved.

    Then, someone who can't afford, let's say, a proximity detector, still has a chance against someone who has a ton of rare weapons. Also, the armors are really crappy right now; badass is almost always a better play than an armor. What if the armors were enhanced by random chance as well? Flip a coin: if heads the armor defends against both it's armor type AND whatever the armor type is strong against, if tails it's regular armor (for instance, Duratanium protects against rock, as if it was paper, so if you get the heads, it protects against rock AND scissors, as rock is better than scissors). It would give the armors a good boost that would negate, or at least equal, the 2/3 mathematical win ratio of the badass card.

    Just some thoughts.

    --Jack Kieser

    JackKieser on

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  • Tony HellmannTony Hellmann Registered User
    edited August 2007
    JackKieser wrote: »
    Yeah, that was my fault in my wording, but the concept of the sentence still stands. Then again, I don't think it was emphasized enough in the rules that almost any rule could be circumvented before the match if both players agreed to it. Hence, matches with no powerups at all and matches with no loss of powerups and such.

    I think the main problem, like most people said, is the concept of pay-to-play; people think that they have to spend a crapload of money to have a chance, when in all actuality you really don't have to spend a dime if you play your cards right, if you'll pardon the pun. Tweaking some of the card balance can negate the absolute advantage having tons of money gives you; for instance, rare weapons right now ensure victory over a single move, but what if you have to flip a coin to activate the card? Then, the victory is not so absolute. Introducing a little chance to some of the cards can balance out their power, as there is always a risk to be involved.

    Then, someone who can't afford, let's say, a proximity detector, still has a chance against someone who has a ton of rare weapons. Also, the armors are really crappy right now; badass is almost always a better play than an armor. What if the armors were enhanced by random chance as well? Flip a coin: if heads the armor defends against both it's armor type AND whatever the armor type is strong against, if tails it's regular armor (for instance, Duratanium protects against rock, as if it was paper, so if you get the heads, it protects against rock AND scissors, as rock is better than scissors). It would give the armors a good boost that would negate, or at least equal, the 2/3 mathematical win ratio of the badass card.

    Just some thoughts.

    --Jack Kieser

    Those are some good points. Also, as some may not realize, every powerup has a foil (another powerup that defeats it). Worried about weapons? Use an EM Shield. They neutralize all weapons. Worried about armor? There's a powerup for that. There's even one that neutralizes all the powerups that neutralize things.

    However, your points are well taken, and the rules will be tweaked for next year.

    --Tony

    Tony Hellmann on
    Tony Hellmann
    CEO, Technomancer Press
    http://www.technomancer-press.com

    Check out TerraDrive Live...its happening at PAX, and everyone's playing
  • futilityfutility Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2007
    Aioua wrote: »
    Okay so, for everyone who is turned off by the money, would you play if you got, say, 3 tokens and one powerup for free, and could go get more powerups for quests of some kind?

    And then later pay to play rock paper scissors with power ups. No.

    You need a different combat system.

    As cool of a concept was you really lost me when I found out all it really took to win was like $20 in badass cards.

    futility on
  • hoonanhoonan Registered User
    edited August 2007
    Aioua wrote: »
    Okay so, for everyone who is turned off by the money, would you play if you got, say, 3 tokens and one powerup for free, and could go get more powerups for quests of some kind?

    Having actually played the game i think this should work perfectly for everyone worried about money. I talked to the guy selling the cards and asked him how much one of everything would be and he told me 24$which if you consider it is really not that much money. but i do believe that questing for powerups is a good idea. Anothering thing, having all the powerups in the world will not help you if you dont know how to use them. There is so much more planning involved the people actually take notice. More cards does NOT by any means make you the winner. I beat Greens leader who had at least two of everything with Minimal cards. For the record whoever said buying 20$ worth of badass cards makes you the winner, obviously never actually played the game, or is a sore loser. You can not BUY skill or cunning, If you could we would have a smarter president. Skill and luck are what this game is won on and if you have neither but you have money you will still lose, this i gaurantee. But then again if we are not paying for life tokens and powerups, then there should be some kind of penalty system for being eliminated. Like if you lose all your life tokens A point is subtrated from your team and then your given 1 life token and then have to fight your way back up. we should not take anyones powerups, especially if they cost money, no offense to whoever made that rule but that's let letting someone steal your money in my opinion. You buy em, you keep em. That's probably another reason people didn't play, who wants to pay three dollars for a card that can be taken? But then again if we eliminate the cost that rule can stand, because your not losing any money. anyway those are just some of my thoughts. anyone have any questions or comments feel free to mail me. Overall the main purpose of TerraDrive was to have fun, and i really think it accomplished its goal and i can't wait to play it again next year.

    hoonan on
    If you want it, Come and get it!
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Those are some good points. Also, as some may not realize, every powerup has a foil (another powerup that defeats it). Worried about weapons? Use an EM Shield. They neutralize all weapons. Worried about armor? There's a powerup for that. There's even one that neutralizes all the powerups that neutralize things.

    However, your points are well taken, and the rules will be tweaked for next year.

    --Tony

    See, the only thing is, although badass is technically stopped by another badass... there is no limit to the number of badasses you can play. If someone plays a Gyro Hammer and the opponent plays a Proximity Detector, then that's it (because you can only play one weapon per round). Once an armor is played, that's it (unless someone plays Deadeye, which, btw, can also be stopped, which would end the string of powerups). Yes, every card has a stopper, but eventually, the string must end; eventually, no more cards can affect the situation any. Badass, however, doesn't follow those rules. The only thing limiting the power of Badass is the number of Life Tokens wagered, and thus the number of badasses you can hold in your hand. If anything, maybe a restriction that says you can only play one per round would fix some of that card's problems.

    Of course, the real problem, though, is imbalance when someone who doesn't have powerups faces someone who has a ton of powerups (which, ironically enough, are there for the express purpose of giving an advantage). This could either be fixed, as I see it, by introducing an explicit way to balance out the fight (as I said in my last post) or by making powerups more prevalent / easier to obtain.

    Unfortunately, it seems like there is no way to abolish the pay-for-cards system currently in play, no should there be; after all, Technomancer has to at least break even in order to even think about keeping the game going. But, there shouldn't be such an arguably steep real-world penalty for people who haven't played the game and want to / people who have blown their money at other areas at PAX and/or plan to.

    I like the idea of quests, but I think that the start that Technomancer has provided us via the World's Smallest Dungeon could and should be expanded upon: free quests that, when completed, yield free powerups and Life Tokens. What's better is, Technomancer technically doesn't even hav eto come up with the quests; we DO have the wiki, which will still be updated regularly if all goes according to plan. If anything, when people have a good idea of a quest that could be performed at a PAX-like setting, they could either add it to a dedicated game-development page, or write it into the Universe and add a tag that says "Quest" or something. That way, the members of the Universe could hammer out any problems with the quests well before PAX begins.

    Also, it should be explicitly stated that there are ways to prevent a player from losing their stuff after a fight. I think that was a big turn off, as well, and it could be rectified a number of ways. As I said, one way is to make sure people understand their in-game rights. If people KNOW there is a way to keep from losing their stuff, as in not equipping the last round, then that would certainly solve some of the problem. However, this puts each player at a significant disadvantage on the final round (if they choose to play this way), which also defeats the purpose. Yes, we can make sure people understand that you can play for only Life Tokens, and not for powerups, if the players so choose, but I think the problem is inherent in the card-stealing system currently in play. A possible solution is simply to re-balance the stealing; for instance, abolish the stealing after a fight, but make the Target of Opportunity card allow the player to choose the powerup. That also puts a little more emphasis on the Cybernetically Enhanced Reflexes, which seemed like a really underused card by those players without the finances of, say, corporate backing... :)

    Again, unfortunately, there will be people who simply can't be reasoned with or can't be satisfied. I may be biased, as I've played the game, am a Faction Leader, and have stake in its return next year, but there are people on the thread who simply say "It's broken Ro-Sham-Bo" (I think; I've honestly never heard it called that before) and leave; as someone who either hasn't played the game or doesn't have such a deep stake in it, it would be helpful to hear your suggestions for making the game more accessible and fixing any inherent problems with the system. Just please don't say it's broken and leave; we ARE trying our best, here, and it IS for all of our benefit, including yours.

    --Jack Kieser

    JackKieser on

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  • Tony HellmannTony Hellmann Registered User
    edited August 2007
    If we play for two life tokens and you hold three badass cards, I'm going to hold a weapon card (Rock automatically loses), an armor card (protection from paper), and say, something else that won't help me in this situation (because I don't know you're playing 3 badasses).

    I'm going to throw rock. If you throw scissors, I win. If you throw Rock, I win. If you throw paper, it is a tie and you win. So I've got a much better chance of winning than you.

    Or, you hold three badasses, and I'll hold two Targets of Opportunity and one weapon (rock automatically loses). After I steal two of your badasses, we'll throw and I'll play scissors.

    If you play rock, you lose (because of my weapon). If you play paper, you lose (because of my scissors). If you play scissors, you loses (because now I have two badasses and you have one, so I win ties). So in this situation, you can't win.

    I think I've demonstrated that while the Badass powerup is a good one, it isn't something that can completely beat all comers into submission. A skillful player can take down a triple badass. Also, if you get a reputation for playing a certain set, a good faction is going to share that information with other faction members and they will be prepared for you. You'll end up "bringing a knife to a gunfight" in that regard.

    I had a player come up to me and say "Man, thanks for the complexity. I had to actually sit down, go over my cards, and plan my throws with my card combinations in advance." That's something that will help your game immensely. While all of the powerups can help in some way, each of them has a foil. Basically, I think you've done well if you can set it up so that your opponent HAS to throw ONE specific sign to win. There are lots of builds that can accomplish this. Is your challenger sporting a weapon, an armor, and an ability? It is probably a badass card. Equip a powerup that neutralizes weapons, one that neutralizes armor, and a Target of Opportunity. After you steal his weapon, and you see that it was "Paper automatically loses," you'll know that his armor is protection against one of the other two throws (although it won't matter...you've got the counter for armor). He also knows not to throw paper now, since you've got the weapon. And he knows that you're not going to throw scissors, so he's probably going to throw scissors himself...so you throw rock. If you have have the paper weapon, and you throw rock, he has to also throw a rock to win. That's your 2/3 advantage, which is usually the best you can hope for. Statistically, you'll win most of your matches that way.

    Tony Hellmann on
    Tony Hellmann
    CEO, Technomancer Press
    http://www.technomancer-press.com

    Check out TerraDrive Live...its happening at PAX, and everyone's playing
  • JackKieserJackKieser Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Wait a minute, wait a minute...


    You can use Target of Opportunity BEFORE the throw?! No way! *runs to read the card* Well, crap! That makes it WAY more useful! I don't think anybody I played against knew you could do that, unless McKay was just being exceptionally sneaky.


    And, all those points on badass are well thought out and valid (although... I'd kind of hope/expect that. I'd want you to have a great grasp of the game, eh? ;) ) I guess the point I was trying to make (maybe, I'm still organizing all my thoughts into 'Good Game Design Ideas' and 'Bad Game Design Ideas') is that although the system as it is now is indeed very, very deep, there is a bit of accessibility that is lost with the current balancing scheme.

    Forgetting the powerups for a second and just focusing on throws, there are 3 outcomes in a match: I beat you, you beat me, we tie. Assuming that one person is sporting all Badasses (for the purposes of this example, we are playing 2 Tokens wagered, so 3 powerups), the possibility of outcomes is still the same. Now, let's set up some common hands: one guy has, lets say, a weapon, a badass, and an armor, while the other sports 3 badasses.

    Statistically, the weapon is the ONLY of the three cards guy one is using that actually hurts the opponent, as the badass is cancelled out by his 3 AND the armor, although only working 1 out of 3 times, still increases the chance of a tie by 1; the weapon, although helpful, is still at a disadvantage, as it will only work on 1/3 of any given set of throws. So, even though dude 1 actually tried to outsmart his opponent, 3 badasses can still be STILL better than strategy. (This, of course, depends on which weapon card you play, because as you said, if you play the right card in relation to your throw then the numbers ARE in your favor.)

    So, let's change guy 1's hand to a ToO, a badass, and a weapon. For the same reasons as before, the weapon and badass don't help any; this time, though, you can at least force the game to a tie with the ToO.

    So, really, the only good counter to his powerups is A ) to be good at reading his next move or B ) be ballsy enough to try to cancel his badasses with your own and force a tie, hoping that his deck doesn't have more than yours (which happened to me on more than one occasion, forcing many sudden death rounds. In one case, we actually said, "Screw it" and just played the last throw without ANY powerups because we were about to use every card in both our decks.) Yes, there are other strategies that can completely nullify the 3 badass approach, but few of them are statistically as helpful as the badass approach, and most are very high level strategies, rarely employed by anyone but the ballsy-est of players / most high-level players. Also, I have observed that many low-level players are very faithful in the power of badass; I think there is a definite psychological pull to the effect of the card, which lends to its prevalence. Design-wise, I feel we should account for things like this.

    I guess what would be helpful is a mission statement-esque type of lead. After all, from a game design perspective, we need to know what we are going for here. If we want depth, which I'm all for, btw, then we'll have to sacrifice a level of accessibility, but considering our goals for the 'beta' this year (being a world record for number of players), accessibility might be our goal, too.

    From a designing perspective, it's important to know our direction to get the best handle on our suggestions; after all, M:tG (for instance) is crazy deep, but I wouldn't call it for the casual TCG player in my wildest dreams. We can get that kind of depth, or something approaching it, with our current stuff, but it will definitely be at the cost of player numbers. Which I guess is why I'm pushing this balancing thing so far.

    (As a side note, thanks for this thread, Aioua. I'm getting a definite buzz out of stretching my design/balancing muscles. And sorry to everyone for my walls-'o-text.)

    --Jack Kieser

    JackKieser on

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  • skarsolskarsol Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    If we play for two life tokens and you hold three badass cards, I'm going to hold a weapon card (Rock automatically loses), an armor card (protection from paper), and say, something else that won't help me in this situation (because I don't know you're playing 3 badasses).

    Heh, this is where clearer rules helps. I'm pretty sure my first loss was because I played a weapon and was told badass counters that, but I could be misrememebering.
    Is your challenger sporting a weapon, an armor, and an ability? It is probably a badass card. Equip a powerup that neutralizes weapons, one that neutralizes armor, and a Target of Opportunity. After you steal his weapon, and you see that it was "Paper automatically loses," you'll know that his armor is protection against one of the other two throws (although it won't matter...you've got the counter for armor). He also knows not to throw paper now, since you've got the weapon. And he knows that you're not going to throw scissors, so he's probably going to throw scissors himself...so you throw rock. If you have have the paper weapon, and you throw rock, he has to also throw a rock to win. That's your 2/3 advantage, which is usually the best you can hope for. Statistically, you'll win most of your matches that way.

    I don't think anyone was aware that TO could be used before the throw. Additionally, all your anti-badass strategies assume that you're going 2nd in revealing your equipment, this happens at best 2/3 of the time. The person playing straight badass doesn't usually have to worry about your loadout unless it's specifically tailored to beat badass (and thus weak against people playing a more varied hand).

    Also, the reasoning of your badass player here isn't the only way to go. If you steal my paper weapon and I have a badass, I know you're not going to throw scissors (you already beat paper), so you're going to play rock or paper. I can't throw paper (loss) so I can't beat rock. Therefore I'd assume you're going to play rock, play rock myself, and badass ftw.

    skarsol on
    why are you smelling it?
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