All posts tagged with "has anybody seen my nerve stapler"

The Skill Reward Gap

As a player gains mastery of a game they will often seek greater challenges which provide rewards different from those they sought after when they were less masterful.

In the case of, say, a time trial racing game, you perfect every corner until you can’t get any better, and then you start looking for things like hidden shortcuts that are risky but allow for greater reward for greater skill. If the game sets a goal of the shortest time, players will bend and break every rule they can to get the shortest time possible and do speed runs.

Here we see Bandits speed-running into a squad of redcoats.

Here we see Bandits speed-running right into a squad of redcoats.

Most games obviously aren’t just timed runs, but in almost every game with a stat than can be tracked, a player can optimize for that stat. Moreover, in many games designers will intentionally put in these “hidden shortcuts”, where a very skilled player can reap a huge reward – or optimization. These systems are often hidden or left at the very end of games so that new players don’t become frustrated by thinking they should be able to perform these difficult feats too early in their process of mastery.

{ read this article }

Posted in Clockwork Empires | Tagged , , , ,

The Importance of Being Happy

Happiness now matters. We’ve simplified the interaction loop that we were intending to place between character mood and work to give the player more direct control and feedback of how their work crews are doing. Whereas before Alpha 47C players could designate any given “hour” of the day as a work hour or an hour off, players now designate a single “start hour”, and the length of the shift the character will work is dependent on their level of happiness. Moving a work crew’s shift time causes the overseer to be less happy and more angry, and at a certain threshold of anger they will simply refuse to work, so overdoing micromanagement is discouraged.


Why does Jesse Snuffbox have such a negative attitude when Elsa Goldenrivet is all smiles and hard work? Now you know!

{ read this article }

Posted in Clockwork Empires | Tagged , , , , , ,

You take the story and you put it in the economic simulator

One of the next steps for us in terms of the actual GAME development is going to be the inclusion of work time and not-work time for the characters.  This is kind of tricky, because if you have a button that lets you control how much of any given time period a character works, you’re going to want to crank it all the way up.  And when the characters get cranky, you’re going to want to just ignore their demands for the good of the production chain.  But we want your characters to not be working sometimes, because that means that they can form relationships with other people that they don’t work with, and they can sleep and drink strange liquids and have Super Secret Meetings.  It’s important!

This is a trap.

{ read this article }

Posted in Clockwork Empires | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,