Inventory and Money Management

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 18th, 2017, 5:53 am

Woolfe wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 8:27 pm
thebruce wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 11:07 am
What I pushed for was and RPG that holds the player to the character they've developed (and/or recruited); that character(s) being their lens into the game world; their means of influencing the events and outcomes that transpire; the source of their options. Those options change [or should] with the kind of PC they have.
And there it is again.
Why?
Why should gameplay philosophies change with hardware capability?
Um.. maybe I am confused, but I think PC is used in terms of Player Character here, and not Personal Computer.....
....
....
That would make sense.
:oops:

In this case.
Elsewhere though hardware was made reference too, so the misunderstanding isn't entirely my fault :P lol

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 8:57 pm
thebruce wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 7:46 pm
All of this "but then the player can do this, and the player can do that" - sure. But not every player wants to be able to do that, let alone have to do that. That's what we're saying. The game can either assume that all of "that" gets done automatically, or the game can provide various means to an end of which the player can choose which is most fun for them.
Personally, I don't think the player's wont should be considered at all. The game should have its systems, and they either like it or they don't.
The devs want people to buy their game.
The players' desires are not irrelevent.
As I said earlier, they need to decide on a balance between the game they want to make, and the game they want people to enjoy. That means gaining input from us about our preferences. If we don't like it, we don't buy it. They can "force" their style on us, but do they want to if more people will not enjoy it? And yes that can also be said about the style of play we're advocating for. BTIV can either be a huge mass market success, or a niche game. They've got decide a) what they want it to be, and b) what both of those mean for the game design philosophy.
(and again I reiterate: it's not that I, personally, wouldn't enjoy the type of gameplay mechanic you're advocating, but it keeps coming back to whether it's Bard's Tale, which for me is important for BTIV)

Really the main problem [as I see it] with auto-pick-up —aside from cursed items [which you don't want singled out], is what to do when the PC can't carry any more stuff. Be it item slots, item weight, or both, when there is more than can be carried, I would guess that the PC's inventory (or carry limit) gets filled up with some of the loot, and stops. What then?
noblesse has much more stringent desires on specific mechanics than I. So this is more directed towards him. I may be a bit more flexible on specific mechanics, like I said as long as what's implemented is fun, and feels like Bard's Tale, then I can enjoy it. There are some mechanics mentioned here that I would also find boring, tedious, and unnecessary - in that other means to an end can exist to make that particular desire more fun to achieve than "gaming the game" in order to get there.

Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:25 pm
What we consider 'good gameplay' clearly isn't the same thing... What you consider 'good gameplay' appears [to me] to be streamline/merged—sand-blasted gameplay that ignores anything inconvenient to what the player wants to do in the moment. [Or what is subjectively considered boring]
Why do you keep implying "anything"?

My understanding of it [open to correction if wrong], is that of not caring about the incidentals, and just wanting to be done with it... when it is the incidentals that should sometimes make getting it done —impossible; but that this too should be ignored, because it isn't interesting or fun.
I don't think anyone has advocated to let the player do impossible things being not being able to wouldn't be fun. The argument was that there are many repeated, mundane tasks (obviously arriving at an end in-game, using the game engine, which is by definition not impossible - the devs designed it that way) become annoying, tiring, boring. Why force that mechanic on a player? There are many repeated, mundane tasks that can be assumed without having to 'spell it out', in order for the player to continue on in the enjoyment without 'interruption', as it were. These are not requests to do "impossible" things. They are requests to have tedious things happen without the need for player agency - the player can "explain" in the gaps with their imagination - whether it's how they arrange inventory items to carry what they want, or know how much spending power they have without having to fiddle with denominations, or understand that their characters take significant bathroom breaks once or twice each day/night cycle without being required to locate an outhouse, etc.

They will say that this has to do with GUI efficiency, but in practice it affects the PCs ability to interact and to be imposed upon.
Absolutely not. It has to do, simply, fundamentally, with how fun the game's tasks are. That's it. The devs define entirely what the player has to do in order to accomplish something. Part of the design process is finding out what players do and want, what they will resort to, in order to achieve something that's "hard" to achieve. Will they follow the route you lay out for them, with the work and effort required? Or will they try to find sneaky ways around all that hard work? We're human, we're wired that way, minimize work and maximize reward. So the trick for them is to design that work to be fun, not tedious and annoying (to some, not all). They can't please everyone, but they sure as heck can listen to what players find enjoyable and find a way to work it into the game mechanics to whatever degree they want in their game.

Just please keep it "Bard's Tale".
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am

thebruce wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 5:53 am
:oops:

In this case.
Elsewhere though hardware was made reference too, so the misunderstanding isn't entirely my fault :P lol
Context is everything. ;)
(But that one is also an easy mistake, and one that I have made in the past.)
The devs want people to buy their game.
The players' desires are not irrelevent.
  • Sad but true (that that is a factor —one that can often compromise gameplay integrity) :(
  • Player's desires can be both irreverent [sic], and detrimental to gameplay.
    Personally I tend to prefer projects that were made to be made —with selling of it being being wholly secondary to the effort and desire of having it exist. (Even to the point of making other [separate lesser works] to pay the bills.)

    Note that WL2 was backed by some, solely to have it made —whether or not they expected to like it.
As I said earlier, they need to decide on a balance between the game they want to make, and the game they want people to enjoy. That means gaining input from us about our preferences. If we don't like it, we don't buy it.
I disagree with the emboldened text on principle ~regardless of market realities. As one might guess from the above points, I don't like design by committee. I think that a driven team should make what they envision, and for the most part not care about market reception [with one caveat*]. I've seen waaay too many projects put out there that suffer badly from calculated attempts to please a mass audience with feature creep, or feature trimming; and always at the expense of the [less numerous] hardcore fans that would have treasured it —rather than returned it in two hours, and/or forgotten it in two weeks.

*I liked the first Witcher game. I lost interest quickly in the second one [them having removed almost all of the features I had esteem for], and the third sits installed, but unplayed; (a gift, won in a contest).

*Almost Human Games did listen to their fans during development of Legend of Grimrock, and because a single person asked for it, they included the traditional mouse-move arrow buttons as an option, and for accessibility sake. That was very nice and unusual to see. They had already decided not to include that, and changed their mind.

But they were also asked for non-grid-step mode, (which was against their intent & vision); and even today (with the announcement of a new game from the lead dev, they are asked not to make it turn based... which is core to the premise of their new title). Image
(So I think it is the reverse, and that they need to decide on the game they want to make, and later contemplate possible concessions to the market; with zero obligation.)
Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:25 pm
What we consider 'good gameplay' clearly isn't the same thing... What you consider 'good gameplay' appears [to me] to be streamline/merged—sand-blasted gameplay that ignores anything inconvenient to what the player wants to do in the moment. [Or what is subjectively considered boring]
Why do you keep implying "anything"?
Be more specific [please].

I don't think anyone has advocated to let the player do impossible things being not being able to wouldn't be fun. The argument was that there are many repeated, mundane tasks (obviously arriving at an end in-game, using the game engine, which is by definition not impossible - the devs designed it that way) become annoying, tiring, boring.
Like what (besides money)?
Why force that mechanic on a player?
Money? Or holding them to their PC [their developed character]?
...whether it's how they arrange inventory items to carry what they want, or know how much spending power they have without having to fiddle with denominations...
These are not aspects that should be under arbitrary control. The player should not be able to choose what the PC may find; if they find gold, then they can have gold, but if they find silver —then they have silver... and not half as much gold. In an inventory system that uses slots, and with multi-slot items, part of the value of the multi-slot item is in its efficacy vs. its inconvenience to bring. This applies to the item's weight as well; if tracked.

In Fallout, the missile launcher was an unwieldy weapon that required not only a skill for it, but the heavy single shot ammo to use it; and it could not be safely used in close combat —but it packed a serious punch to a group, and at a long distance. So you had to decide if it was worth sacrificing other [less specialized] equipment in order to have the missile launcher when it would be useful... Also knowing that it immediately stops being useful after the last shot; so do you bring 1, 3, or 10 rockets? [And ideally —though perhaps not in practice, due to bugs... which kind of rocket?]
They will say that this has to do with GUI efficiency, but in practice it affects the PCs ability to interact and to be imposed upon.
Absolutely not. It has to do, simply, fundamentally, with how fun the game's tasks are. That's it. The devs define entirely what the player has to do in order to accomplish something. Part of the design process is finding out what players do and want, what they will resort to, in order to achieve something that's "hard" to achieve. Will they follow the route you lay out for them, with the work and effort required? Or will they try to find sneaky ways around all that hard work? We're human, we're wired that way, minimize work and maximize reward. So the trick for them is to design that work to be fun, not tedious and annoying (to some, not all). They can't please everyone, but they sure as heck can listen to what players find enjoyable and find a way to work it into the game mechanics to whatever degree they want in their game.
As far as I can tell... You just described GUI efficiency. :roll: [sans decoration]
Just please keep it "Bard's Tale".
Do we agree on this? Question... What do you think about pooling the party's funds? My assumption would be that you'd want it streamlined into a common pool, and do away with the option to divide it among the party members. Division of funds would actually play nicely with weighted currency (though this isn't the point of the moment); where the stronger PCs could carry more of the funds...
But here is the point: What if a party member goes rogue, or get's charmed, replaced by monster, or just stops liking the rest of the group... What happens to the money? Why should they not withhold some of it; and/or why should it be an equal share...if for instance they were carrying more of it than the others(?) —whether or not this was assumed [fiddling details].

Do away with the risk of them refusing to be controlled? (Because it's not fun? Was it ever supposed to be?)

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 18th, 2017, 12:22 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
The devs want people to buy their game.
The players' desires are not irrelevent.
  • Sad but true (that that is a factor —one that can often compromise gameplay integrity) :(
Subjective.
According to whom?
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
[*] Player's desires can be both irreverent [sic], and detrimental to gameplay.
Subjective.
According to whom?
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
Personally I tend to prefer projects that were made to be made —with selling of it being being wholly secondary to the effort and desire of having it exist. (Even to the point of making other [separate lesser works] to pay the bills.)
Completely agreed.
So that's not the point in this argument... =P

ETA: Why agreed when I still hold that player opinion is important? Because they can develop the game they want 'to be made' without prioritizing selling and profit over valuing player input/enjoyment/support in the process.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
As I said earlier, they need to decide on a balance between the game they want to make, and the game they want people to enjoy. That means gaining input from us about our preferences. If we don't like it, we don't buy it.
I disagree with the emboldened text on principle ~regardless of market realities. As one might guess from the above points, I don't like design by committee. I think that a driven team should make what they envision, and for the most part not care about market reception [with one caveat*]. I've seen waaay too many projects put out there that suffer badly from calculated attempts to please a mass audience with feature creep, or feature trimming; and always at the expense of the [less numerous] hardcore fans that would have treasured it —rather than returned it in two hours, and/or forgotten it in two weeks.
It's not all or nothing.
A studio that creates a game without any concern for their target demographic (a term that already invalidates your point) is just as bad as a studio that panders to everyone and doesn't produce anything they themselves want to create. (though one could argue that the end result IS what they wanted to make - a game that everyone likes, whether flawed or not)

EVERY developer MUST decide on a balance between the game they strictly want to make and a game that will sell (and whether people will enjoy it, and for how long) - however much or little is that importance. It's a business decision that influences the developers' design philosophy for the game mechanics. And player experience is paramount, whether it's for profit or just because they value player experience.

Not everything has to be all-or-nothing.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
(So I think it is the reverse, and that they need to decide on the game they want to make, and later contemplate possible concessions to the market; with zero obligation.)
So you agree then. The end result is a balance between the game they want to make and the game that people will enjoy. Good.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
Gizmo wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:25 pm
What we consider 'good gameplay' clearly isn't the same thing... What you consider 'good gameplay' appears [to me] to be streamline/merged—sand-blasted gameplay that ignores anything inconvenient to what the player wants to do in the moment. [Or what is subjectively considered boring]
Why do you keep implying "anything"?
Be more specific [please].
I should ask you the same...?

Your inference that somehow we're advocating against "anything inconvenient" is plainly incorrect.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
I don't think anyone has advocated to let the player do impossible things being not being able to wouldn't be fun. The argument was that there are many repeated, mundane tasks (obviously arriving at an end in-game, using the game engine, which is by definition not impossible - the devs designed it that way) become annoying, tiring, boring.
Like what (besides money)?
Dunno, I'm not the one arguing specifics, but that has been the biggest subject in this particular thread. You've shown examples of gameplay that you prefer. And I've agreed that while they're not bad mechanics in and of themselves, they're not "Bard's Tale". Subjects have ranged from inventory management to fluid economy to side examples of mechanics in other games contrasting immediacy with work for the sake of simulation.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
...whether it's how they arrange inventory items to carry what they want, or know how much spending power they have without having to fiddle with denominations...
These are not aspects that should be under arbitrary control. The player should not be able to choose what the PC may find; if they find gold, then they can have gold, but if they find silver —then they have silver... and not half as much gold. In an inventory system that uses slots, and with multi-slot items, part of the value of the multi-slot item is in its efficacy vs. its inconvenience to bring. This applies to the item's weight as well; if tracked.

In Fallout, the missile launcher was an unwieldy weapon that required not only a skill for it, but the heavy single shot ammo to use it; and it could not be safely used in close combat —but it packed a serious punch to a group, and at a long distance. So you had to decide if it was worth sacrificing other [less specialized] equipment in order to have the missile launcher when it would be useful... Also knowing that it immediately stops being useful after the last shot; so do you bring 1, 3, or 10 rockets? [And ideally —though perhaps not in practice, due to bugs... which kind of rocket?]
I don't know.
Let's let the developers decide on a gameplay mechanic based on our feedback about what we prefer as fun, lasting gameplay. Your opinion may (will) be different than many others.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
Just please keep it "Bard's Tale".
Do we agree on this? Question... What do you think about pooling the party's funds? My assumption would be that you'd want it streamlined into a common pool, and do away with the option to divide it among the party members.
I have never weighed in on it. That's mostly been noblesse. I'm impartial to that particular mechanic. I have no problem with pooling money, that was BT1-3. I would have an issue with limiting the amount of money that could be carried - if there were no fun-hindering methods of accomplishing the same result I may desire. Banks were introduced later in BT. I don't recall ever using them since my party was always strong enough not to lose money from dying or crashing or whatever. So I'd say the banks' implementation could have been stronger in BT. They may have had more use if there was a gold cap per character or for the party. I may have used them more than. But all of that was minor in impact to gameplay, I*M*O. Noblesse likely has a much tighter definition of what gameplay mechanic is "fun" for him in that area than I. Just as you have a much stronger opinion at the opposite end of that spectrum.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 12:22 pm
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
Sad but true (that that is a factor —one that can often compromise gameplay integrity) :(
Subjective.
According to whom?
Are you saying they cannot?
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
[*] Player's desires can be both irreverent [sic], and detrimental to gameplay.
Subjective.
According to whom?
Are you saying they never are?

A studio that creates a game without any concern for their target demographic (a term that already invalidates your point) is just as bad as a studio that panders to everyone and doesn't produce anything they themselves want to create. (though one could argue that the end result IS what they wanted to make - a game that everyone likes, whether flawed or not)
Invalidates what? (and if so how?)
Ideally a studio's target demographic is themselves... for they can target that demographic the best.

I have never seen a game targeted to everyone that was liked more than just tolerated. The process seems to be to add just enough of every preference [flavor] to be [just] tolerable enough to all —but never exceptional to any; (because that would be mutually exclusive). :(

That's a distasteful way to make a game, but potentially one of the most profitable ways. [And IMO going about it often being disingenuous]
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
(So I think it is the reverse, and that they need to decide on the game they want to make, and later contemplate possible concessions to the market; with zero obligation.)
So you agree then. The end result is a balance between the game they want to make and the game that people will enjoy. Good.
You misread. I said forge ahead with zero obligation, and merely contemplate concessions; (optionally doing some that don't damage the game —or not doing them).
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
Why do you keep implying "anything"?
Be more specific [please].
I should ask you the same...?
Not really. I asked you to clarify... You would ask me to clarify asking that of you?
Your inference that somehow we're advocating against "anything inconvenient" is plainly incorrect.
Prove it. ;)

(I am open to being enlightened; especially when I've misunderstood.)
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
...The argument was that there are many repeated, mundane tasks...
Like what (besides money)?
Dunno, I'm not the one arguing specifics, but that has been the biggest subject in this particular thread.
I merely asked because of your asserting it.
if there were no fun-hindering methods of accomplishing the same result I may desire.
When you say 'fun hindering', it truly comes across as [an unintentional] whining —even though it's not meant to be. It basically equates in the mind to 'anything inconvenient or personally disliked'.

I often find methods /systems in games that I don't like, and I sometimes find [later, after playing it for a while] that they are simply good at their intended task (it works well )—whether I like them or not... and with that I'm usually fine with it [on merit]... eventually.

It's rare that a system so irks as to abandon (or threaten to) a game if it goes without a system's change. WL2 had such a quirk that was so odd to me that I did mention it in the threads as really needing to be addressed.

*That was the inability of the PCs to delay action in combat. (And I suggested a fix via concept art)
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 18th, 2017, 5:12 pm

Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm
Streamline away the stuff that is not important to the intent of the game. Streamline away the stuff that adds nothing to the story. Streamline away the stuff that does not look good as a bullet point on the back of the box. Streamline away the stuff that I didn't buy this game for.

Add resistance, challenge, interest to the stuff that is important to the intent of the game. Add resistance to things that are meaningful to the themes of the genre. Flesh out systems that look great as back-of-the-box selling points. Make the central themes of the game brilliantly elaborate, deep, challenging, even frustrating as hell. Make me think, make me work, make me fight back ... but don't make me do warehouse maintenance in a swords-and-sorcery story.
Yes. This.

Eloquently said.

Removing annoyance is not the same as removing resistance; the two concepts should not be conflated. A game is rewarding if something is actually ventured with the possibility of loss or if some challenge is met with the chance of failure - the real chance of failure is needed - anything else is shallow. Restrictions on inventory capacity or the amount of money one can carry do not pose a risk or a challenge; they only pose an annoyance to most players.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 18th, 2017, 5:55 pm

Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm
Streamline away the stuff that adds nothing to the story.
The problem I have with this, is that one can easily streamline features right out of the engine, and in so doing... make potential story elements impossible. I tried to get this point across further above.

For instance... Many players discounted the Traps skill in Fallout, for being under used. Bethesda got rid of it entirely... And now you cannot design a scenario that revolves around death traps —or even just annoying traps, because the PC no longer has the option to detect them*. No longer has the option to be really good at it; [or really bad].

The same was done with the series First-Aid and Doctor skills. In FO3 they don't exist, there is no distinction between a medical doctor, a school nurse. And now they destroyed the mechanics of severe injury; injuries that absolutely cannot be cured or corrected with band-aids or stim-paks. These were deadly serious injuries that crippled the PC in combat, and they were not curable by most NPCs, or reliably by PCs without reasonable development in the Doctor skill. In FO3 you get your streamlining, but it means that concussions are curable by injections, and so is everything else. :(

But this also means that every PC is a is now their own doctor; not just the few that spent a chunk of their life studying medicine. This is a roleplaying choice ripped out and discarded. There is now no way to have a skill check for a doctor, and not a nurse; no way to be a very skilled at first-Aid, and not competent to do surgery. Certainly the first-aid expert should not qualify for dialog checks meant for a doctor... but that's what you get for skill merging. It is the same for any two skills; and worse when it's done to more than two.

*And before it's mentioned, I think the traps in FO3+ should be totally invisible until found by a PC skill-check; because the game as-is, unfairly allows the player to spot the trap for the PC.
Last edited by Gizmo on April 18th, 2017, 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by _noblesse_oblige_ » April 18th, 2017, 5:57 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 12:22 pm
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
Just please keep it "Bard's Tale".
Do we agree on this? Question... What do you think about pooling the party's funds? My assumption would be that you'd want it streamlined into a common pool, and do away with the option to divide it among the party members.
I have never weighed in on it. That's mostly been noblesse. I'm impartial to that particular mechanic. I have no problem with pooling money, that was BT1-3. I would have an issue with limiting the amount of money that could be carried - if there were no fun-hindering methods of accomplishing the same result I may desire. Banks were introduced later in BT. I don't recall ever using them since my party was always strong enough not to lose money from dying or crashing or whatever. So I'd say the banks' implementation could have been stronger in BT. They may have had more use if there was a gold cap per character or for the party. I may have used them more than. But all of that was minor in impact to gameplay, I*M*O. Noblesse likely has a much tighter definition of what gameplay mechanic is "fun" for him in that area than I. Just as you have a much stronger opinion at the opposite end of that spectrum.
To be clear, I have played and replayed BT a number of times over the years. The inefficiencies of transferring items between characters or pooling gold on a character before purchasing goods or services were never enough to turn me off to the game. Removing the inefficiencies around them would be nice and I have made concrete, constructive proposals about how to do so, in the hopes the inXile can further hone and polish what was an awesome original formula. Within the software industry, there is an entire field known as user experience (UX). My proposal comes from a desire to improve the UX of the game. If Gizmo can argue for degraded UX to make a game's rote-playing experience seem more real to him, then I can argue for something else rather than just merely against him. If that is seen as the opposite end of the spectrum, then so be it. ;)

Now, if I attack some of the things Gizmo has attempted to use to support his position, because they are incogent, have a weak chain of logical inference, demonstrate the fallacy of Affirming the Consequent, deflections, deviations from the point, or what have you, then it shouldn't come as surprise. If someone's position is built upon such things, then it can be objectively dismantled. In the end, one is either left with a raw personal preference, largely unassailable in its own right, or else an untenable position. In the latter case, there is hope that the person with the untenable position would choose a more tenable one. :) In the former case, there is hope that the person with the raw personal preference would acknowledge it as such and understand that others can have differing ones, which are not somehow objectively inferior. Furthermore, there is also hope that in the course of the argument, the person will have held their personal preference up to the mirror and discovered that maybe it is not what they thought it was. That's the nice thing about deep debate - it is a great way to discover whether you actually believe what you think you believe. Either you pass through the fire and come out more convicted than ever or you realize that what you initially advocated is maybe not what you truly wanted. And, of course, it takes a strong, honest person to admit that.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 18th, 2017, 6:17 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
thebruce wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 12:22 pm
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
Sad but true (that that is a factor —one that can often compromise gameplay integrity) :(
Subjective.
According to whom?
Are you saying they cannot?
No. But according to whom?
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
[*] Player's desires can be both irreverent [sic], and detrimental to gameplay.
Subjective.
According to whom?
Are you saying they never are?
No. But according to whom?

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
A studio that creates a game without any concern for their target demographic (a term that already invalidates your point) is just as bad as a studio that panders to everyone and doesn't produce anything they themselves want to create. (though one could argue that the end result IS what they wanted to make - a game that everyone likes, whether flawed or not)
Invalidates what? (and if so how?)
Ideally a studio's target demographic is themselves... for they can target that demographic the best.
whut? uh, no.

"Target market" (I learned something new; make sure to know the difference between target market and demographic)
noun: a particular group of consumers at which a product or service is aimed.

You want to sell your game. You gear it to your target market. You want a risk? Have zero target market. Don't aim your product for anyone but yourself. Huge risk. Sure it could pay off, but you're betting that your own desires are what people want. Developers do not want to make a game that won't sell. That means you absolutely HAVE to have a target in mind. That target is not themselves.
I think what you mean is that the target market is the segment of population that thinks most like themselves. That's still a target market. And those are the people whom they want to provide a fun, entertaining game.

So once again, they have to choose to create somewhere between the game they want to make (zero target market) and the game their target market will enjoy and purchase so they can anywhere from plateau in sales to make a huge profit - another business decision that will influence design strategy.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
I have never seen a game targeted to everyone that was liked more than just tolerated. The process seems to be to add just enough of every preference [flavor] to be [just] tolerable enough to all —but never exceptional to any; (because that would be mutually exclusive). :(
I have seen those games. They're cult hits. Niche games. "Artsy", perhaps. Developed by people who probably didn't spend a whole lot, or else had a whole TO spend, without a huge desire to recoup or make a profit. Typically those games don't become enormous blockbuster hits. Typically. Occasionally gems will shine.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 9:14 am
(So I think it is the reverse, and that they need to decide on the game they want to make, and later contemplate possible concessions to the market; with zero obligation.)
So you agree then. The end result is a balance between the game they want to make and the game that people will enjoy. Good.
You misread. I said forge ahead with zero obligation, and merely contemplate concessions; (optionally doing some that don't damage the game —or not doing them).
I more respect a developer who listens to their community and considers and finds ways to implement ideas, of their own volition, so that they can provide a game that will be fun. Whether that's interacting with community during development, or running focus groups and test sessions at various stages of game development, ideally to gain the best insight as to what works (ie, what's fun) and what doesn't. That is a good game developer.
Your inference that somehow we're advocating against "anything inconvenient" is plainly incorrect.
Prove it. ;)
*sigh*
*points to the thread*

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
if there were no fun-hindering methods of accomplishing the same result I may desire.
When you say 'fun hindering', it truly comes across as [an unintentional] whining —even though it's not meant to be. It basically equates in the mind to 'anything inconvenient or personally disliked'.
We've explained examples that would be fun for us. Other ways to accomplish a goal that don't resort to certain actions and strategies that we may find tedious, repetitive, and mundane (even if you don't).
It's your opinion against ours. So. inXile gets to decide.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
I often find methods /systems in games that I don't like, and I sometimes find [later, after playing it for a while] that they are simply good at their intended task (it works well )—whether I like them or not... and with that I'm usually fine with it [on merit]... eventually.
Sure. I don't think anyone here would disagree with that concession at all.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 18th, 2017, 6:20 pm

_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 5:57 pm
Now, if I attack some of the things Gizmo has attempted to use to support his position, because they are incogent, have a weak chain of logical inference, demonstrate the fallacy of Affirming the Consequent, deflections, deviations from the point, or what have you, then it shouldn't come as surprise. If someone's position is built upon such things, then it can be objectively dismantled. In the end, one is either left with a raw personal preference, largely unassailable in its own right, or else an untenable position. In the latter case, there is hope that the person with the untenable position would choose a more tenable one. :) In the former case, there is hope that the person with the raw personal preference would acknowledge it as such and understand that others can have differing ones, which are not somehow objectively inferior. Furthermore, there is also hope that in the course of the argument, the person will have held their personal preference up to the mirror and discovered that maybe it is not what they thought it was. That's the nice thing about deep debate - it is a great way to discover whether you actually believe what you think you believe. Either you pass through the fire and come out more convicted than ever or you realize that what you initially advocated is maybe not what you truly wanted. And, of course, it takes a strong, honest person to admit that.
A worthy thesis. :D
Was this an essay abstract? ;)
(tl;dr: I agree) :lol:
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 6:17 pm
You want to sell your game. You gear it to your target market. You want a risk? Have zero target market.
No one has zero target market. If they do it at all, they at least do it for themselves; otherwise they are doing it for someone else; (a different target market).
Don't aim your product for anyone but yourself. Huge risk. Sure it could pay off, but you're betting that your own desires are what people want.
No you are not. You are [probably] betting that others who share your taste in games will find it —and of course buy it.
I think what you mean is that the target market is the segment of population that thinks most like themselves. That's still a target market. And those are the people whom they want to provide a fun, entertaining game.
But this is re-restating the obvious, as though explaining it to one that doesn't understand. :|
(The only reason one does this, is for having themselves misunderstood. It's also called preaching to the choir.)
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
I have never seen a game targeted to everyone that was liked more than just tolerated. The process seems to be to add just enough of every preference [flavor] to be [just] tolerable enough to all —but never exceptional to any; (because that would be mutually exclusive). :(
I have seen those games. They're cult hits. Niche games. "Artsy", perhaps. Developed by people who probably didn't spend a whole lot, or else had a whole TO spend, without a huge desire to recoup or make a profit. Typically those games don't become enormous blockbuster hits. Typically. Occasionally gems will shine.
This or its context does not make sense to me. My quote mentions games that are targeted at everyone, while your response calls these niche.
I more respect a developer who listens to their community and considers and finds ways to implement ideas, of their own volition, so that they can provide a game that will be fun. Whether that's interacting with community during development, or running focus groups and test sessions at various stages of game development, ideally to gain the best insight as to what works (ie, what's fun) and what doesn't. That is a good game developer.
IMO that is servility. It breeds ~Elderscrolls clones. You get games that refuse to refuse. (You can also get option fever, and terrible feature creep; or feature loss.)
Prove it. ;)
*sigh*
*points to the thread*
Impasse; you don't provide examples. I've read the thread; that's why I resorted to asking. :|
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
I often find methods /systems in games that I don't like, and I sometimes find [later, after playing it for a while] that they are simply good at their intended task (it works well )—whether I like them or not... and with that I'm usually fine with it [on merit]... eventually.
Sure. I don't think anyone here would disagree with that concession at all.
And so you would do this yourself? :roll:
(For not liking the monetary system, even after you yourself determine it works well [assuming] —and so would eventually accept it on merit?)
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 5:57 pm
Removing the inefficiencies around them would be nice and I have made concrete, constructive proposals about how to do so, in the hopes the inXile can further hone and polish what was an awesome original formula.
Agreed.
Within the software industry, there is an entire field known as user experience (UX). My proposal comes from a desire to improve the UX of the game. If Gizmo can argue for degraded UX to make a game's rote-playing experience seem more real to him, then I can argue for something else rather than just merely against him.
I do not, and have not ~period. To claim that is puzzling, and could come of either a gross misunderstanding, derisive malice; or bad sarcasm. Which is it?
Now, if I attack some of the things Gizmo has attempted to use to support his position, because they are incogent...
Ah... :( So it does seem to be derisive malice IMO. Why would you insult a speaker and an argument rather than choose to disprove it? It's like [careful] prior examples are simply glossed over as trite, as though disproved hands down —by disdain alone. Have I done the same to you?
(It's a serious question; I don't believe that I have. But do you?)
In the latter case, there is hope that the person with the untenable position would choose a more tenable one. :)
Does this mean one you agree with?
"In the former case, there is hope that the person with the raw personal preference would acknowledge it as such and understand that others can have differing ones, which are not somehow objectively inferior."
The issue I have with this is of it being akin to loving a game for something it's not, and being irritated when certain of its intended aspects are unwelcome.

Consider FO3... It is not much of a roleplaying game, and not much of a shooter —it tries to be neither, while posturing as both. Shooter fans want to shoot the weapons, and are irritated when the gun is inaccurate [because of its vestigial ~and merely for show~ RPG mechanics; this goes for Hitpoints too]. Roleplayers might see the player agency as detrimental; because the PC's actions are not really limited by their skill —or negligibly so. [Meaning the PC with no gun familiarity should not be able to hit moving targets at range; and certainly not ones shooting back at them.

It's the same with the PC who might be at a complete loss for lock picking [negligible skill]... yet the player can trivially pick any lock in FO3 —unless they can't even attempt to (which is its own strangeness). Image

These actions can be out of character (based on character development) and the designers hardly care, because that's not what the game is about... It's about experiencing (and them maintaining) the sandbox tour of the Fallout world... Everything else is valued less, if at all. The PC is essentially in the way... as if seen as a necessary evil.
*But it's sold as an RPG, and hyped with its FPP weapons. Go figure.

So the point, [aside from none of us knowing the finished style & atmosphere of the BT4 game ~yet], is that you see ornate UX as cruft, where I see ornate UX as possibilities [ones hopefully made use of in the game, because otherwise there is no point to them; and you and I would agree.]

I couldn't care less if there was gold, and coppers, and platinum, and silver coins —if the potential was ignored by the developer. I mentioned King's bounty several times, as an example of a lesser scoped world that doesn't really need anymore than a dimensionless number called Gold.

** Depending on the style of BT4, this could be cause for disappointment, or easy acceptance of a lesser scoped game... with no slight. King's Bounty is a great game; I just bought another one a few days ago.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Zombra » April 18th, 2017, 11:05 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 5:55 pm
Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm
Streamline away the stuff that adds nothing to the story.

The problem I have with this, is that one can easily streamline features right out of the engine, and in so doing... make potential story elements impossible. I tried to get this point across further above.

For instance... Many players discounted the Traps skill in Fallout, for being under used. Bethesda got rid of it entirely... And now you cannot design a scenario that revolves around death traps —or even just annoying traps, because the PC no longer has the option to detect them*. No longer has the option to be really good at it; [or really bad].

The same was done with the series First-Aid and Doctor skills. In FO3 they don't exist, there is no distinction between a medical doctor, a school nurse. And now they destroyed the mechanics of severe injury; injuries that absolutely cannot be cured or corrected with band-aids or stim-paks. These were deadly serious injuries that crippled the PC in combat, and they were not curable by most NPCs, or reliably by PCs without reasonable development in the Doctor skill. In FO3 you get your streamlining, but it means that concussions are curable by injections, and so is everything else. :(

I take your point, but these are terrible examples.

I can easily see reading a post-apocalypse novel or seeing a post-apocalypse movie and having scenes of a scavenger building booby traps to protect his lair or water tanks, or a lone mercenary setting deadfalls to even the odds against a pack of bandits. No one interested in a story of this type would be bored by such a character or resent his screen time (unlike a character who spent hours on end rearranging his backpack or painstakingly counting out thousands of tiny coins "on screen"). The Traps skill was completely in genre and absolutely had a place in the Fallout series. It was streamlined out not because it was inappropriate but because Bethesda was simply too lazy and uncreative to bother with it.

The same can be said of the Doctor skill and severe wounds. The themes of preserving old world knowledge and recovering from violent injuries are both incredibly and dramatically appropriate to the post-apocalypse genre in general, the Fallout setting in particular, and the central concepts of its gameplay. This stuff was dumbed down, again, because dumbening to appeal to a wider, stupider audience is Bethesda's banner policy, not because they were being mindful of what is important to the genre.

Don't forget the second part of my quote:
Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm
Add resistance, challenge, interest to the stuff that is important to the intent of the game. Add resistance to things that are meaningful to the themes of the genre.
I think your examples qualify.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 19th, 2017, 6:01 am

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
thebruce wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 6:17 pm
You want to sell your game. You gear it to your target market. You want a risk? Have zero target market.
No one has zero target market. If they do it at all, they at least do it for themselves; otherwise they are doing it for someone else; (a different target market).
You cannot market for yourselves. That's ludicrous. You are not going to buy your own game as if that is where your success will come from. You are way off on that...
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
Don't aim your product for anyone but yourself. Huge risk. Sure it could pay off, but you're betting that your own desires are what people want.
No you are not. You are [probably] betting that others who share your taste in games will find it —and of course buy it.
You just said exactly the same thing in a different order.
Your target market are the people who share your tastes. Your target market is not yourself.
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
I think what you mean is that the target market is the segment of population that thinks most like themselves. That's still a target market. And those are the people whom they want to provide a fun, entertaining game.
But this is re-restating the obvious, as though explaining it to one that doesn't understand. :|
(The only reason one does this, is for having themselves misunderstood. It's also called preaching to the choir.)
Ironically, exactly what you just did there.
Can we move on from this point we're dancing around? I can't believe that you don't think a developer has a target market for whom they develop a game that is not themselves.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
I have never seen a game targeted to everyone that was liked more than just tolerated. The process seems to be to add just enough of every preference [flavor] to be [just] tolerable enough to all —but never exceptional to any; (because that would be mutually exclusive). :(
I have seen those games. They're cult hits. Niche games. "Artsy", perhaps. Developed by people who probably didn't spend a whole lot, or else had a whole TO spend, without a huge desire to recoup or make a profit. Typically those games don't become enormous blockbuster hits. Typically. Occasionally gems will shine.
This or its context does not make sense to me. My quote mentions games that are targeted at everyone, while your response calls these niche.
Correct, I seem to have flipped the understanding on that one.
To whit, once again you've taken the extreme. No one here is saying a developer should market a game for everyone. Are you missing the points about finding the balance?

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
I more respect a developer who listens to their community and considers and finds ways to implement ideas, of their own volition, so that they can provide a game that will be fun. Whether that's interacting with community during development, or running focus groups and test sessions at various stages of game development, ideally to gain the best insight as to what works (ie, what's fun) and what doesn't. That is a good game developer.
IMO that is servility. It breeds ~Elderscrolls clones. You get games that refuse to refuse. (You can also get option fever, and terrible feature creep; or feature loss.)
Ok, then don't buy games from those developers. Capitalism!
I don't have to buy games from inXile. Capitalism!
If inXile wants my business, they'd have to create a game I enjoy. They can either
A) make I knowingly won't enjoy, or
B) they can make a game I will enjoy with me as part of their target market, or
C) they can risk developing a game with zero target maret (not caring anything at all about what players enjoy) and hope I will enjoy it.

A I won't buy. B I will buy, and I'll have a more positive opinion of the studio. C I'll buy if I enjoy it, but my opinion of the studio will be entirely, well, who knows.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
Prove it. ;)
*sigh*
*points to the thread*
Impasse; you don't provide examples. I've read the thread; that's why I resorted to asking. :|
That's one possibility. Or B) you've missed and are not seeing the examples, or C) willingly ignoring the examples. Let's move off this line of thought.

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 1:46 pm
I often find methods /systems in games that I don't like, and I sometimes find [later, after playing it for a while] that they are simply good at their intended task (it works well )—whether I like them or not... and with that I'm usually fine with it [on merit]... eventually.
Sure. I don't think anyone here would disagree with that concession at all.
And so you would do this yourself? :roll:
(For not liking the monetary system, even after you yourself determine it works well [assuming] —and so would eventually accept it on merit?)
I can't say, because I haven't played the hypothetical games making use of these hypothetical methods. Whether I like past games that have implementations of various methods of accomplishing tasks are not explicitly defined by such tasks but by the game as a whole. That's why I'm arguing here for what is Bard's Tale, not specific mechanics that I think are somehow universally "better".

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 5:57 pm
Removing the inefficiencies around them would be nice and I have made concrete, constructive proposals about how to do so, in the hopes the inXile can further hone and polish what was an awesome original formula.
Agreed.
Hey, examples! :lol:

Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
I couldn't care less if there was gold, and coppers, and platinum, and silver coins —if the potential was ignored by the developer. I mentioned King's bounty several times, as an example of a lesser scoped world that doesn't really need anymore than a dimensionless number called Gold.

** Depending on the style of BT4, this could be cause for disappointment, or easy acceptance of a lesser scoped game... with no slight. King's Bounty is a great game; I just bought another one a few days ago.
Yep so inXile had better hope to form a mechanic that is fun - taking into consideration the mechanics that many of us find boring, mundane, and repetitive. Thus our advocating against certain money/inventory management styles that we find as such. And if you do enjoy them, then hopefully inXile can find some conceptual middle ground that will make it enjoyable for all of us. Why would you advocate against that if you are?
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 19th, 2017, 11:37 am

Zombra wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 11:05 pm
I take your point, but these are terrible examples.

I can easily see reading a post-apocalypse novel or seeing a post-apocalypse movie and having scenes of a scavenger building booby traps to protect his lair or water tanks, or a lone mercenary setting deadfalls to even the odds against a pack of bandits. No one interested in a story of this type...
It's the bane of using examples at all... I appreciate you seeing the point [and thanks], and hopefully [to all] understanding that an example never needs to prove a parallel point —just shine light on it, to make it better perceived. I so often see replies to people's arguments that strangely focus on their examples instead of their point; in the hope that marginalizing their example would somehow marginalize their point along with it. :lol:

(unlike a character who spent hours on end rearranging his backpack or painstakingly counting out thousands of tiny coins "on screen").
I have to ask... Where did you get this idea from? [If serious]
*(If per chance you think it was me... then I believe you (and/or several others) must have read a lot into my posts that isn't there, and isn't being asked for.)
The Traps skill was completely in genre and absolutely had a place in the Fallout series. It was streamlined out not because it was inappropriate but because Bethesda was simply too lazy and uncreative to bother with it.
Agreed, but not with the Bethesda part... I do not think them lazy or inept... just ruthless. They know their market very well, and tailor their games to its memership. They make mistakes sometimes, but they learn from them. It might make one shudder to learn —what they learned from New Vegas... But then didn't it? You saw what they learned when you saw FO4.

I believe that all of their titles come out fairly close to as intended; or they don't come out at all. :(
(And they are usually fairly profitable; does that make them a shining example of game-craft?)
_
Of the Traps skill in Fallout 1&2: The PCs that had skill in Trap detection could access safes silently (triggered traps on safes often brought guards). They would also passively spot floor traps; I have had PCs die from those.
Yes, it was under-used, but how often does one find intricate traps? (or know how to find them)

In Mad Max, his gas tank was [famously] always trapped; they had Mad Max running on endless repeat in the studio while making Fallout.
__
I think the problems with cRPGs are the players :mrgreen:. I think it stems from their common tendency to not accept that parts of the game are not for them to experience —at least not with their current character; who isn't qualified; but try another. Ideally, there is a path for the skills you develop. Classes in RPGs make this easy... The skills start out developed; restrictions are there, and the games says, "No" to anything else. The class represents the character's past & present interests in life; their aptitudes and their aversions —It's what they've studied [and likely wanted] to become proficient in.

A classless system has greater potential, but it's a double edged benefit... because it allows PCs that are aimless in life, jack-of-all-trades that excel at nothing in particular; and thus barely qualify for any skill path through the game —for trying to qualify for all of them. Making a path for them kind of has to be the generic path... or the path of dumb luck. If the player only ever makes jacked PCs —they only ever get a generic impression of the game; and probably find skills to be useless, or in need of merging (so they can get higher skill levels for their jacked PCs).

RPGS are intended to play out differently for the various character options available to the various PC's created... But many would seem to only care about their own personal session in the game; and they want the game hamstrung for their own personal convenience... and think it justified because they paid the pittance for it.
Don't forget the second part of my quote:
Zombra wrote:
April 17th, 2017, 9:57 pm
Add resistance, challenge, interest to the stuff that is important to the intent of the game. Add resistance to things that are meaningful to the themes of the genre.
I think your examples qualify.
Image That's appreciated.
(We agree, but might vary on our own idea of what's important to the intent of the game. For RPGs [specific] I think it important to support a greater variety of PCs, more so than to support a greater number of players.) Image

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Drool » April 19th, 2017, 11:52 am

Zombra wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 11:05 pm
The Traps skill was completely in genre and absolutely had a place in the Fallout series. It was streamlined out not because it was inappropriate but because Bethesda was simply too lazy and uncreative to bother with it.
I like how Bethesda's the badguy here for removing a skill that had no use and that Interplay just threw in pointlessly. They've moved on from being punished for their sins to being punished for everyone's sins. Man, what the hell was Bethesda thinking with that terrible Atari port of Pacman. Freaking Howard's a hack.

Also, I guess I just hallucinated all those mines and traps in FO3 that you could disarm and get better at disarming as you raised the appropriate skill.
_noblesse_oblige_ wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 5:57 pm
Now, if I attack some of the things Gizmo has attempted to use to support his position, because they are incogent, have a weak chain of logical inference, demonstrate the fallacy of Affirming the Consequent, deflections, deviations from the point, or what have you
Don't forget the fallacy of the excluded middle: people don't want a burdensome system, therefore they want no hindrances whatsoever.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 19th, 2017, 12:14 pm

Drool wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 11:52 am
I like how Bethesda's the badguy here for removing a skill that had no use and that Interplay just threw in pointlessly.
Do you not realize that from day one of development Interplay was making "GURPS on the PC", and they spent three years on the game. The dev team fought off [dodged] cancellation at least three times, and refused marketing dept. demands for it to be realtime, and not to have the helmet on the box, and not to use such depressing music, and (I'm sure it goes on)...

When Steve Jackson Games revoked their license (for violence, and a dislike of the Vault Boy mascot, among), they had two weeks to strip the licensed material, and reinvent the system —or be canceled.

(Of course this is 3rd & 4th hand information... I know where I'm posting this. :roll: )

Bethesda... [I had 24,000 posts on their earlier forum, before the switch; not nearly that amount now]...
They cherry picked the setting for (often the least important, but most recognizable) assets they could discern, and draped a franken-shooter with them; regardless of specific suitability, sense, or outright contradiction from the source material; it was shameless 'Me-Too-ism' to identify as part of the series. What's not to revile?

They changed the setting [gross simplification of it]. What was a future inspired by pulp 50's aesthetics, belief, and paranoia, became a future obsessed with the past... There were professional reviewers that actually thought FO3 was set in the 50's. Instead of a future with technology done in a 50's aesthetic, they made a future with only technology that had been envisioned in the 50's. Image

(One can respect talent, and still dislike the mentality behind it. FO3 was impressive on its own merit —for what it was, and tried to be... but a Fallout sequel was never the intent, only occupying the space for one; and [ab]using the past fans to promote it.)
thebruce wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 6:01 am
Gizmo wrote:
April 18th, 2017, 7:10 pm
Don't aim your product for anyone but yourself. Huge risk. Sure it could pay off, but you're betting that your own desires are what people want.
No you are not. You are [probably] betting that others who share your taste in games will find it —and of course buy it.
You just said exactly the same thing in a different order.
I was trying to reiterate a point; in the previous way —it seemed it was missed.
To whit, once again you've taken the extreme. No one here is saying a developer should market a game for everyone. Are you missing the points about finding the balance?
It's been my experience that games that were developed on vision —for want of doing it for its own sake [mostly :mrgreen: ], have generally been the most enjoyable [to me]; and often it's their next game where they listened to the suits in their marketing dept... that produced a disappointment —regardless of whether it sold better or not.
Ok, then don't buy games from those developers. Capitalism!
I don't have to buy games from inXile. Capitalism!
Indeed! 8-)
(But if I had said that, in some forums [insert company name] that's warn-worthy.)
I can't say, because I haven't played the hypothetical games making use of these hypothetical methods.
The question stipulated that if you had determined for yourself that the system was good and did its job well —but that you didn't care for it yourself... would you accept it on merit?
Thus our advocating against certain money/inventory management styles that we find as such. And if you do enjoy them, then hopefully inXile can find some conceptual middle ground that will make it enjoyable for all of us. Why would you advocate against that if you are?
We don't know what the town & interactions are like —at least I do not. The system could be jarringly over simplified.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 19th, 2017, 2:08 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 12:14 pm
To whit, once again you've taken the extreme. No one here is saying a developer should market a game for everyone. Are you missing the points about finding the balance?
It's been my experience that games that were developed on vision —for want of doing it for its own sake [mostly :mrgreen: ], have generally been the most enjoyable [to me]; and often it's their next game where they listened to the suits in their marketing dept... that produced a disappointment —regardless of whether it sold better or not.
I would argue, and I would be enormously surprised to the contrary, that those companies developing games you enjoyed on what you believe to be solely vision (that is without any market input), actually developed their game with their target market in mind (input from marketing dept). I rather think you ended up being in that demographic.

Sequels have been successful and unsuccessful, both whether listening to community or not. It has to do with the decisions the developers make, banking on risks and gearing certain mechanics towards certain play styles and demographics. There's no guaranteed formula. You shoot for a success that you define - whether it's artistic expression (little to no external input, creating "for yourself"), or shooting for maximum profit (aiming for puchase $'s regardless of followup opinions), or shooting for strong niche market (appeasing and creating a small die-hard community of fans), or being all things to everyone (finding a middle ground for every possible suggestion and input received from gaming community to maximize public favour). And that's why I say the other direction is "risk" - with no input there's no guarantee of success, your target is based on hoping that there is enough market that shares your own desires and preferences to make the game successful (whatever 'success' means to you).

Our game can fall anywhere in that spectrum, depending on what inXile chooses, who they gear the gameplay towards, and how much risk they're willing to take by doing things "their own way" instead of listening to brand fans, for example.

Gizmo wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 12:14 pm
I can't say, because I haven't played the hypothetical games making use of these hypothetical methods.
The question stipulated that if you had determined for yourself that the system was good and did its job well —but that you didn't care for it yourself... would you accept it on merit?
If I determined for myself that the system was good and did its job well, I wouldn't not care for it myself. I've already accepted it because I enjoyed it. And I know that there are also people out there who wouldn't enjoy it, because we don't all enjoy the same thing. I don't accept/deny things in gameplay on principle. I need to play and decide. Our opinions about BTIV are based on our experiences with BT1-3 and what we'd like to see.
For me, my "principle" is not "economy in RPGs should not be fluid or have currency denominations". Simply put, it's "economy and currency implementation should be fun". And "fun" means so many different things to different people. That's the "fun" of being a developer - deciding what style of "fun" to provide.

Gizmo wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 12:14 pm
Thus our advocating against certain money/inventory management styles that we find as such. And if you do enjoy them, then hopefully inXile can find some conceptual middle ground that will make it enjoyable for all of us. Why would you advocate against that if you are?
We don't know what the town & interactions are like —at least I do not. The system could be jarringly over simplified.
That it could be. So let's keep sharing our opinions of what we like (not claiming what is objectively good/bad or better/worse), and what we'd like to see, in Bard's Tale IV, and hope that inXile does a good job so it's fun - whatever the mechanics may end up being.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 19th, 2017, 2:24 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 2:08 pm
I would argue, and I would be enormously surprised to the contrary, that those companies developing games you enjoyed on what you believe to be solely vision (that is without any market input), actually developed their game with their target market in mind (input from marketing dept). I rather think you ended up being in that demographic.
That's a good argument; and you [also] just said exactly the same thing in a different way. ;)

Consider that if they target themselves —to attract those with similar taste in games, that they are banking on it that their own observations and insights for the project [their own preferences] will be appreciated by more than just themselves. Consider that all they have to do is make the game they want to play, and they get the audience most like themselves —for free.

When you target yourself, you inherently target the demographic that you yourself fall into. The distinction here is that one's own interests probably overlap several demographics; and targeting one's self instead of a singular [known] demographic, can potentially net those in all of the areas where your own interests lay... and perhaps your own filters would omit (possibly mutually exclusive) game elements that others dislike.
If I determined for myself that the system was good and did its job well, I wouldn't not care for it myself. I've already accepted it because I enjoyed it.
In this we differ.

Aside: Do you know of the concept of begrudging respect?
*Could you recommend a person for a job, because they are the best at it...
even if you practically hate them for your own reasons?

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by thebruce » April 19th, 2017, 2:54 pm

Gizmo wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 2:24 pm
thebruce wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 2:08 pm
I would argue, and I would be enormously surprised to the contrary, that those companies developing games you enjoyed on what you believe to be solely vision (that is without any market input), actually developed their game with their target market in mind (input from marketing dept). I rather think you ended up being in that demographic.
That's a good argument; and you [also] just said exactly the same thing in a different way. ;)

Consider that if they target themselves —to attract those with similar taste in games, that they are banking on it that their own observations and insights for the project [their own preferences] will be appreciated by more than just themselves. Consider that all they have to do is make the game they want to play, and they get the audience most like themselves —for free.

When you target yourself, you inherently target the demographic that you yourself fall into. The distinction here is that one's own interests probably overlap several demographics; and targeting one's self instead of a singular [known] demographic, can potentially net those in all of the areas where your own interests lay... and possibly your own filters would omit (possibly mutually exclusive) game elements that others dislike.
Of course you do. But it's a HUGE risk if you have zero input about what will and won't be successful.
Any marketing dept that says it's ok to develop without any market research would not be a marketing dept.
No market research, no feedback, no focus groups? ... Good luck with your game!

If I determined for myself that the system was good and did its job well, I wouldn't not care for it myself. I've already accepted it because I enjoyed it.
In this we differ.

Aside: Do you know of the concept of begrudging respect?
*Could you recommend a person for a job, because they are the best at it...
even if you practically hate them for your own reasons?
That's not the same situation. I don't dislike a specific game mechanic on principle. Here, you're arguing, again, that a specific mechanic is objectively "best for the job", which is why you think we're denying it for our own reasons in spite of it being "better". That's not the case (at least for my part).
If I think a certain mechanic is better, I already enjoy it.

However, in Bard's Tale's case, my only "principle" is the Bard's Tale brand. So yes, I may not prefer certain mechanics in this context that I may enjoy in a different context.
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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Gizmo » April 19th, 2017, 3:25 pm

thebruce wrote:
April 19th, 2017, 2:54 pm
Of course you do. But it's a HUGE risk if you have zero input about what will and won't be successful.
Any marketing dept that says it's ok to develop without any market research would not be a marketing dept.
No market research, no feedback, no focus groups? ... Good luck with your game!
It's only a risk if it matters to you. If your aim is have the product exist... then the rest is kind of moot. Compromises come when you commit to renting a workspace and hiring a staff; accept capital, and/or have to pay a distributor. It's then that you are on the hook; that it MUST sell, and to as many people as possible.
That's not the same situation. I don't dislike a specific game mechanic on principle. Here, you're arguing, again, that a specific mechanic is objectively "best for the job", which is why you think we're denying it for our own reasons in spite of it being "better". That's not the case (at least for my part).
If I think a certain mechanic is better, I already enjoy it.
This is what I meant before, about reading things into my posts... There is no argument there. I said, "In this we differ". And then it occurred to me to ask [as an aside], whether you knew the concept of begrudged respect; and I included an example of it. You could have said 'yes' or 'no'.

____
I'll say this: [Also as an aside] I've had more fun playing 'Super Monkey Poop Fight' and 'Magic Sand', than many games I've bought from companies that did market research to try to make them palatable.

*UI playtesting to ensure it's understood, and potentially improved by it, is a good use of research IMO. Survey research about user interests are useful to make the gaming equivalent of mall food-court fare; and you'd never get the fully spiced experience of the local flavor —the way they'd prepare it themselves.

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Re: Inventory and Money Management

Post by Woolfe » April 19th, 2017, 4:38 pm

So.... frankly this thread is just a confused mess.

When I asked before what people wanted, I was trying to get some clarity, because it appears to me that people are misinterpreting what each other are saying and using examples as the be all and end all of what others want etc, when the examples were just that, examples of the way other systems have done it.

I think half of the argument is the same thing from a different angle, and the other half is just confusion.
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