Game Mechanics Expectations

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Game Mechanics Expectations

Postby oaktown on Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:45 pm

Hi mapmakers,

Now that I have accepted an official title and role in our little corner of Conquer Club, I would like to share my thoughts with you about this new "Gameplay C.A" position. I will of course be sharing the general duties that go with foundry moderation, but as my primary responsibility will be giving maps the thumbs up in terms of game mechanics this is what I plan to include in the "How to make a map" thread. Feedback is welcome, as always, especially if you feel I have left something out that I should be paying attention to, but know that I will probably not be deleting any of the points I've listed. Thanks!

As the C.A. overseeing game mechanics, I will be looking for the following in features in all maps:

• Balanced play. It should be unlikely that one player can start the game with a major advantage as a result of the initial drop or getting the first turn.
• Reasonable bonus structure. Bonuses should make sense given the size/style of the map, and be based on a consistent formula.
• Support for various types of games. Just because you think your map should only be used in eight player assassin games doesn't mean everybody will know this!
• Ease of play. Any info you need to know to play a map should be easy to learn by looking at the map itself; legends should be clear and concise; game play should not be bogged down by unnecessary rules.
• Open play. Every effort should be made to limit the number of dead ends and bottlenecks in a map, unless they are justified by the desired play of the map and noted by the cartographer.
• Function trumps form. The style of the graphics should not detract from ease of play: borders should be clear, titles and numbers easy to read, colors easy to distinguish, etc.

I also expect to fully understand the play of a map simply by reading the first post of the thread. If there are play features that are not spelled out on the map itself, such as the location and value of starting neutrals, please note this in the first post. There is always the possibility that I will miss something buried in a thread, so consider this a requirement for receiving my stamp of approval.
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Postby demon7896 on Mon Jan 07, 2008 10:40 pm

=D> =D>
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Postby yeti_c on Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:01 am

And when do you want your XML 101 class to begin?!

Congrats Oaky.

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Postby DiM on Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:42 am

gimil's role is pretty simple but yours is way more delicate that's why i'm coming with a few questions.

1. the stamp i assume will be given when the map is still in ideas. but what happens if gameplay changes afterwards? will it be removed and the map re-evaluated? in case the new gameplay fails inspection will the map be moved back to ideas?

2. what happens if the community likes the gameplay but you don't? is the map brought to a halt because you don't give it the stamp? or will you follow community judgement over yours?

3. will lack give you play testing abilities (create private games then delete them)?

4. how will you determine the balance of the gameplay? especially for the more complex maps?

5. what do you mean supporting various types of games?



btw congrats
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Postby gimil on Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:17 am

DiM wrote:gimil's role is pretty simple but yours is way more delicate that's why i'm coming with a few questions.

1. the stamp i assume will be given when the map is still in ideas. but what happens if gameplay changes afterwards? will it be removed and the map re-evaluated? in case the new gameplay fails inspection will the map be moved back to ideas?

2. what happens if the community likes the gameplay but you don't? is the map brought to a halt because you don't give it the stamp? or will you follow community judgement over yours?

3. will lack give you play testing abilities (create private games then delete them)?

4. how will you determine the balance of the gameplay? especially for the more complex maps?

5. what do you mean supporting various types of games?



btw congrats


I cant speak for oaktown but this is my assumptions,

1. The stamp will be given out in the main foundry once or developed graphics are present. This to ensure that all the gameplay details are present and understandable.

2. Oaktown's job isnt to like/dislike gameplay, only to ensure that it is balanced.

3. Undiscussed

4. "Cant speak for oaky here"

5. He means that even though a map may be designed for a certain gametype:

e.g. standard, 4 player, esc, chained.

It should be reasonable playable in other setting.
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Postby DiM on Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:32 am

gimil wrote:
DiM wrote:gimil's role is pretty simple but yours is way more delicate that's why i'm coming with a few questions.

1. the stamp i assume will be given when the map is still in ideas. but what happens if gameplay changes afterwards? will it be removed and the map re-evaluated? in case the new gameplay fails inspection will the map be moved back to ideas?

2. what happens if the community likes the gameplay but you don't? is the map brought to a halt because you don't give it the stamp? or will you follow community judgement over yours?

3. will lack give you play testing abilities (create private games then delete them)?

4. how will you determine the balance of the gameplay? especially for the more complex maps?

5. what do you mean supporting various types of games?



btw congrats


I cant speak for oaktown but this is my assumptions,

1. The stamp will be given out in the main foundry once or developed graphics are present. This to ensure that all the gameplay details are present and understandable.

2. Oaktown's job isnt to like/dislike gameplay, only to ensure that it is balanced.

3. Undiscussed

4. "Cant speak for oaky here"

5. He means that even though a map may be designed for a certain gametype:

e.g. standard, 4 player, esc, chained.

It should be reasonable playable in other setting.


1. i doubt it's true what you say. it would be sstupid to let a map get to the foundry before deciding on the gameplay. a map with horrid gameplay must be shot down or improved while it is still in the ideas. what's the use of letting a guy put several updates to move to main and then tell him the map sucks.

2. you got my point wrong. what if he thinks it's unbalanced but the community thinks it is balanced? what will he do? shoot the map or believe the community?

5. could be. i actually understood that for example magic is best played with fog and he will support this by promoting fog and letting people know. or something like that. but you may be right.
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Postby yeti_c on Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:38 am

I think Oaky will be looking in all 3 forums really...

Map Ideas as a start - Main foundry to refine - FF to finalise?

C.

PS Oaky - you're needed in the Dustbowl thread!!
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Postby gimil on Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:40 am

DiM wrote:
gimil wrote:
DiM wrote:gimil's role is pretty simple but yours is way more delicate that's why i'm coming with a few questions.

1. the stamp i assume will be given when the map is still in ideas. but what happens if gameplay changes afterwards? will it be removed and the map re-evaluated? in case the new gameplay fails inspection will the map be moved back to ideas?

2. what happens if the community likes the gameplay but you don't? is the map brought to a halt because you don't give it the stamp? or will you follow community judgement over yours?

3. will lack give you play testing abilities (create private games then delete them)?

4. how will you determine the balance of the gameplay? especially for the more complex maps?

5. what do you mean supporting various types of games?



btw congrats


I cant speak for oaktown but this is my assumptions,

1. The stamp will be given out in the main foundry once or developed graphics are present. This to ensure that all the gameplay details are present and understandable.

2. Oaktown's job isnt to like/dislike gameplay, only to ensure that it is balanced.

3. Undiscussed

4. "Cant speak for oaky here"

5. He means that even though a map may be designed for a certain gametype:

e.g. standard, 4 player, esc, chained.

It should be reasonable playable in other setting.


1. i doubt it's true what you say. it would be sstupid to let a map get to the foundry before deciding on the gameplay. a map with horrid gameplay must be shot down or improved while it is still in the ideas. what's the use of letting a guy put several updates to move to main and then tell him the map sucks.

2. you got my point wrong. what if he thinks it's unbalanced but the community thinks it is balanced? what will he do? shoot the map or believe the community?

5. could be. i actually understood that for example magic is best played with fog and he will support this by promoting fog and letting people know. or something like that. but you may be right.


1. cant really say much more, till oaktown replys.

2. At the end of the day its a community run system, if the community think its balanced oaktown can repect that :)
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Postby rebelman on Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:03 am

I believe a good first test of these new powers is dustbowl - there are some clear gameplay issues with this map but i hope these can be addressed now as distinct from a rushed quench with these still unaddressed in response to the quench now brigade (which seems to include one of your fellow cartos on this one) ie the bonus structure and are the continents clear to your average player ?
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Postby yeti_c on Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:06 am

rebelman wrote:I believe a good first test of these new powers is dustbowl - there are some clear gameplay issues with this map but i hope these can be addressed now as distinct from a rushed quench with these still unaddressed in response to the quench now brigade (which seems to include one of your fellow cartos on this one) ie the bonus structure and are the continents clear to your average player ?


Woah there - I think that the Continents have been discussed and approved to be clear - and the call to Quench was made before your comment on the Bonuses... so that's a tad harsh?!

Now that you've brought up the bonuses though - yes I believe we need discussion on this point...

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Postby rebelman on Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:31 am

yeti_c wrote:
rebelman wrote:I believe a good first test of these new powers is dustbowl - there are some clear gameplay issues with this map but i hope these can be addressed now as distinct from a rushed quench with these still unaddressed in response to the quench now brigade (which seems to include one of your fellow cartos on this one) ie the bonus structure and are the continents clear to your average player ?


Woah there - I think that the Continents have been discussed and approved to be clear - and the call to Quench was made before your comment on the Bonuses... so that's a tad harsh?!

Now that you've brought up the bonuses though - yes I believe we need discussion on this point...

C.


apologies the calls to quech were prior to I raising the bonuses issue as for the continents confusion im reading backwards through the thread now and cant find this being raised and dealt with (i wish map makers put stuff like that in their first/last post so a search of 26 pages was not required to find it)

Edit: I have reviewed all 26 pages and I saw no discussion on this obvious potential confusion factor -ie the potential mix up as to what makes up a continent on this map especially for non bob users.
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Postby oaktown on Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:36 am

So it looks as if there aren't ammendments to my list so much as questions about how/when my role happens... let's see...

DiM wrote:1. the stamp i assume will be given when the map is still in ideas. but what happens if gameplay changes afterwards? will it be removed and the map re-evaluated? in case the new gameplay fails inspection will the map be moved back to ideas?

Maps that are still in the ideas stage will be primarily Coleman's domain, and I trust he won't let a map out of Ideas if it isn't playable. I will poke my head in there as well, but my primary focus will be on how maps progress in the main foundry. Game play certainly changes as a map moves through the foundry - my job is to make sure all concerns have been addressed as it approaches the final forge.

DiM wrote:2. what happens if the community likes the gameplay but you don't? is the map brought to a halt because you don't give it the stamp? or will you follow community judgement over yours?

My job is not to "like" any map. My hope is that by coming up with a set of expectations I can be more objective. There are maps in play right now that I have interest in playing, but that doesn't mean the mechanics aren't sound. What's most important to me is that thought has been put into the map by the mapmaker and the foundry, so if I think an idea stinks it will still pass if it is the will of the foundry.

DiM wrote:3. will lack give you play testing abilities (create private games then delete them)?

In accepting the position I asked many questions, but this was not one of them. I have long advocated for play testing, and I would be thrilled if the powers that be started this up.

DiM wrote:4. how will you determine the balance of the gameplay? especially for the more complex maps?

The same way the foundry has been evaluating balance for the past year - stare at the map, read the discussion, ask questions. Again, if thought has gone into a particular aspect of the map, I won't stand in the way of the map being forged.

DiM wrote:5. what do you mean supporting various types of games?

A map that is created with only one type of game in mind is asking for trouble in my opinion. Let's say I create a map that I feel can and should only be played in Terminator games... how many people in CC actually read the Foundry history of a map and will know this? Less than 1%, which means 99% of users will start standard games and find themselves frustrated by the play of the map. I don't think this has been an issue to date with any maps that I know of, but with map complexity increasing it is something we should be on the look-out for over-specialization.

As for Dustbowl, I'll have time this evening to read up on the latest concerns. Until then, let's leave the discussion on that map in the appropriate thread.
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Postby Qwert on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:02 pm

Here mine opinion,i think that bonuses and Xml code work, can start when map go to Final Forge.
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Postby Coleman on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:03 pm

All that is being done pre-final forge with xml is making sure you aren't trying to do something the xml can't do.
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Postby yeti_c on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:14 pm

Coleman wrote:All that is being done pre-final forge with xml is making sure you aren't trying to do something the xml can't do.


So when are we gonna give the Oakster a lesson in advanced XML?

Does he really need one? I know he's written several XML files in the past!?

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Postby Coleman on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:27 pm

I'd assume oaktown would pull a Berlin and try to use all the new features in creative ways in a map to learn them first hand. I think oaktown's ability to read and understand xml is more then adequate regardless.
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Postby oaktown on Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:59 pm

at the time I made Chinese Checkers it was considered one of the more complicated maps in the game, so I'm way ahead of you all in terms of game complexity! :wink:

But seriously, Coleman is going to be the last word when it comes to code issues. I think that I understand the site's XML possibilities well enough to recognize the impossible and give general advise, but checking code and specific troubleshooting will be left to the masters.

And note that I have not included XML in my list of game mechanics expectations - I agree that completed code should not be a requirement for a map to graduate to the Forge.
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Postby yeti_c on Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:42 pm

oaktown wrote:at the time I made Chinese Checkers it was considered one of the more complicated maps in the game, so I'm way ahead of you all in terms of game complexity! :wink:

But seriously, Coleman is going to be the last word when it comes to code issues. I think that I understand the site's XML possibilities well enough to recognize the impossible and give general advise, but checking code and specific troubleshooting will be left to the masters.

And note that I have not included XML in my list of game mechanics expectations - I agree that completed code should not be a requirement for a map to graduate to the Forge.


Yeah that sounds good - and if you need someone to check feasibility - then Coleman, [mod edit]lanyards,[/mod edit] or myself are always nearby...

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