Nov 15 2011, 01:16 PM
Kind of a question about RTS games really. I'm interested in what you prefer. Would you rather play a game with every single items or one without.
Age of Empires: Gold, Stone, Food, Wood
Sins of a Solar Empire: Credits, Metal, Crystal
Homeworld: Resource Units (RU)
Every Single Items:
I'm just going to list the different stone:
Alabaster, Alunite, Andesite, Anhydrite, Basalt, Bauxite, Bituminous, coal, Borax, Brimstone, Calcite, Chalk, Chert, Chromite, Cinnabar, Claystone, Cobaltite, Conglomerate, Cryolite, Dacite, Diorite, Dolomite, Gabbro, Gneiss, Granite, Graphite, Gypsum, Hornblende, Ilmenite, Jet, Kaolinite, Kimberlite, Lignite, Limestone, Marble, Marcasite, Mica, Microcline, Mudstone, Obsidian, Olivine, Orpiment, Orthoclase, Periclase, Petrified, wood, Phyllite, Pitchblende, Puddingstone, Pyrolusite, Quartzite, Realgar, Rhyolite, Rock, salt, Rutile, Saltpeter, Sandstone, Satinspar, Schist, Selenite, Serpentine, Shale, Siltstone, Slate, Stibnite, Sylvite, Talc
As you can imagine there’s also tons of different metals, woods, and more.
Now in Age of Empires, for example, if you want to make a castle you need something like 800 stone. If you play Dwarf Fortress, you choose what stones you want to use to make the walls out of and you design the fortress yourself. In DF, if you want to make a trap, you pick what metal it will be made out of, what material and quality of trap components, and then it gets made.
On the one hand, something like Age of Empires or Homeworld is very simple and lets you get on with the game relatively quickly. While Dwarf Fortress is far more complex, it also allows you more control as well as the set up and management of economy as well as warfare.
But what do you think is a better way of doing things: simple resources or more complicated. As well, if you were playing a game would you rather build something like a trebuchet, or a gun, or spaceship, or build the components and customize things. Being able to save schematics of course.
Nov 15 2011, 01:54 PM
Unless it's something very minor, I've never been a big fan of hunting for resources. Usually that amounts to hunting for X amount of resources so that you can make X amount of items. When it's secondary, such as using them to make rare weapons/items, not too big of a problem, but often the resource hunt ends up taking too much time for lousy rewards.
Nov 15 2011, 03:32 PM
It depends on how it's handled: if having all those materials actually gives some meaningful choices to the player, then it can become an interesting system. For example, talking about RTS, I could say to the blacksmith "make me 500 swords for my men", give him the materials I could get my hands on, and wait for the results; if I give him steel, the results will be better than if I gave him bronze; maybe a smarter blacksmith could figure how to make steel if I gave him the necessary components; maybe a creative blacksmith or a mage would find a way to include apparently useless materials into his swords; maybe other apparently useless materials wouldn't be used for the swords but the blacksmith would figure out a way to make something else out of them; etc.
If the material hunting is just a checklist you have to complete before building the same 3 kinds of items, then I think it's just a unnecessary complication to add fake depth to the gameplay.
(And anyway, there's always the win-win solution: a deep materials system that the players can just choose to "delegate" to some kind of CPU adviser which will give not optimal, but still acceptable, results. Still, this solution is the hardest one to implement.)
Nov 16 2011, 05:38 AM
I appreciate options, especially when they mean better stuff in the end, but when I see a list like those stones up there it makes me feel like it's just too much to deal with. So if every decision I make requires weighing the strengths and weaknesses of THAT many options, I lose interest. I prefer just a few options, like say three or four.
To me, realism just becomes tedious and annoying after a certain point. If I wanted to learn all about that many kinds of stone and get to specify the exact details of masonry construction, I would put down my controller and go take courses to become a mason so that I could get paid to know all of that.
Nov 16 2011, 08:33 AM
Yeah, having an overwhelming amount of options doesn't make it more fun. In fact, once you start adding more and more options, it tends to become less fun. Particularly for an RTS, you want the players to focus on their battle strategy. What units to put out, what routes, if you should scout ahead, what traps to lay down, how long you have to do this, things like that. Not hunting for Osmium and seeing what materials you can combine it while the enemies proceed to invade your base.
Jan 13 2012, 04:57 PM
The problem with games like DF compared to AoE is the massive learning curve.
I've not played DF but I can already say with some certainty thats its just going to be wildly inaccessible to most users, not only because of the huge amount that needs to be learnt at first but how much needs to be remembered and considered during play itself.
Conversely, it seems like the sort of game that would have a devoted fanbase simply for its complexity; mastering such a game can feel rewarding (its an accomplishment in itself) and indeed the exclusivity of its difficulty can make good players feel privileged over games like AoE that anyone can win with relative ease.
So I guess the question is whether you'd rather greatly please a select few or mildly please a great number.