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a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

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#1 2020-12-04 18:55:16

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 4,727

Update: Legacy Chain

BrWFxJc.png

The idea that has been implemented this week has been a long time coming.

This game is supposed to be about a bunch of different things:  the deep mystery of a trans-generational civilization (who built all this, and why?), being a small part of something much bigger than yourself, the philosophical concept of the veil of ignorance (where you can't control or predict what situation you are born into), and trying to get as close as possible to what death might actually feel like (saying goodbye forever to the people that you have grown to love).

The initial design of the game tied all of these concepts together nicely.  You are born to a randomly-chosen mother somewhere in the world, the next step in a long lineage of other players going back into time immemorial.  You pick up where your ancestors left off, making contributions and improvements in the little time you have.  You have babies in the form of other players who are themselves randomly assigned to you as their mother.  And at the end of your hour-long life, you say goodbye to all of this in a very real way, because if you get born again, it will be to a different mother in a completely different situation.

On paper, it seems like an elegant design in terms of the way it embodies the underlying philosophical concepts, with each part of the structure reinforcing the other parts.  And it does work, for the most part, in practice.  It gives you the right feelings at the right times.

However, beyond giving you complex feelings and embodying interesting philosophical concepts, games are also meant to be played.  And for One Hour One Life to function, it must be played over and over, at least by a substantial portion of its playerbase.

For example, if each player only played the game once, and had a deep and meaningful experience in that one life, we might see the game as fulfilling its purpose, and those players might even feel like they got their $20 worth of art and entertainment.  However, given that the game is a multiplayer venture, it would completely fall apart, in very short order, if every paying customer played only once.

And the unfortunate fact is that the game structure, as initially designed, is NOT particularly compelling to play over and over, due to a lack of continuity from hour to hour or any sense of long-term progress.

The question:  After an hour spent playing a good and satisfying life, why would you immediately want to play again?  You'll be thrown into a completely different situation, unable to continue progressing in whatever project you were working on in the last life.  For a large segment of the playerbase, the answer is that they do not immediately feel like playing another life after finishing one.

The game would benefit from some sense of continuity across lives, but to achieve that, something has to give, philosophically.  I need to prioritize the philosophical goals, and commit to the primary goals, while letting the secondary goals slide a bit in the name of playability.

Saying goodbye to those you love is a nice aspect of this game, but it's not the most important aspect.  Still, I've been holding onto it, trying to keep it, even though being able to reborn back in the same family solves the continuity problem and many other problems with the game.  I think that it's time to let this aspect go a bit.

After all, even if you do get reborn in the same family again, the composition of that family will be different.  They will have moved on in time.  Some of them will have died.  And you will never be 100% clear about who's who.  Your family will be a mix of reincarnated friends and total strangers.  You will still be saying goodbye to some degree, every time you die.

So, this week's update allows you to get reborn to your own descendants, as long as some of them still survive.  This will allow you to continue working on whatever projects your family is working on, life after life.

Of course, there's a catch:  you have to live until old age in your last life to get reborn in this way.  Die young, and your personal connection to your family line will be broken, and you'll be born into a different family.

And it's not limited to the cases where you get reborn immediately after dying.  If your descendants are still alive tomorrow, you can be born to them tomorrow.  Thus, if you want to play this way, you will be highly motivated to set your offspring up in a good situation to ensure their long-term survival.

You can see how this change also helps to address something that I've been struggling with for a very long time:  how to get you to care about the survival of your kids.  Genetic score was a kind of artificial and rigid way to make you care.  Letting you get reborn to your descendants is a much more natural and organic way.

And one more detail, for those who are interested:  for females, descendants are daughters, granddaughters, and so on.  For men, descendants are nieces, grand nieces, and so on, and in some cases, much-younger sisters.  So it's really not about getting born into the same family again, but instead specifically about recurring in your own direct line.

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#2 2020-12-04 19:03:55

NoTruePunk
Member
Registered: 2019-01-25
Posts: 307

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Good content, an an interesting reflection on your goals and perspective for the game. Thank you for sharing that.

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#3 2020-12-04 19:11:09

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,873

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

The more I've talked to people on this, the more it seems that a button to disable this comes as necessary.  Killing oneself purposely to avoid this system is not a good solution, and probably the only reasonable one for male players (killing all of one's sisters, mother, and nieces might be difficult, even if achievable, and isn't playing for the sake of one's descendants also).  Not everyone will enjoy going out of one's band to avoid having children as female.  The game gets titled one hour one life.  This might encourage some players who don't want to get reborn into the same family by default to play 59 minutes one life or 55 minutes one life, instead of one hour one life.  A button to enable or disable this system seems much more desire able so that players who don't want it can still play one hour one life.

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#4 2020-12-04 19:21:07

NoTruePunk
Member
Registered: 2019-01-25
Posts: 307

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Spoonwood wrote:

The more I've talked to people on this, the more it seems that a button to disable this comes as necessary.  Killing oneself purposely to avoid this system is not a good solution, and probably the only reasonable one for male players (killing all of one's sisters, mother, and nieces might be difficult, even if achievable, and isn't playing for the sake of one's descendants also).  Not everyone will enjoy going out of one's band to avoid having children as female.  The game gets titled one hour one life.  This might encourage some players who don't want to get reborn into the same family by default to play 59 minutes one life or 55 minutes one life, instead of one hour one life.  A button to enable or disable this system seems much more desire able so that players who don't want it can still play one hour one life.

Just use /die

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#5 2020-12-04 19:55:34

fug
Moderator
Registered: 2019-08-21
Posts: 1,025

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

NoTruePunk wrote:
Spoonwood wrote:

The more I've talked to people on this, the more it seems that a button to disable this comes as necessary.  Killing oneself purposely to avoid this system is not a good solution, and probably the only reasonable one for male players (killing all of one's sisters, mother, and nieces might be difficult, even if achievable, and isn't playing for the sake of one's descendants also).  Not everyone will enjoy going out of one's band to avoid having children as female.  The game gets titled one hour one life.  This might encourage some players who don't want to get reborn into the same family by default to play 59 minutes one life or 55 minutes one life, instead of one hour one life.  A button to enable or disable this system seems much more desire able so that players who don't want it can still play one hour one life.

Just use /die

TL;DR.

The mechanic is weird either way. Having to die a bunch to get back is probably more annoying to players as a bunch of people get bombarded with false start babies vs now people being able to /die to avoid rebirth.

This is overall what should have been done instead of life tokens which have only ever been a negative.


Worlds oldest SID baby.

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#6 2020-12-04 20:18:01

Dodge
Member
Registered: 2018-08-27
Posts: 2,366

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

When the fresh new players from the steam sale and tiktok video will find out that even respawning 10 times in the same village will not prevent it from being lost in the next day or two, the playerbase will go back to the old numbers, just a matter of time.

Selling this update as one that allows you to leave the game for the weekend and come back to the village that you worked hard to build is borderline deceptive.

The reality is no matter how good you do, the game is against you, the distance expands, new Eves spawn, old villages go in a baby drought from the newer ones getting them, couple this with an unfavorable time zone and it's done, the village was full of ressources yet it still died, explain that logic to the player that respawned life after life at the same place and made all this to make sure he will be able to come back when he wakes up.

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#7 2020-12-04 21:51:11

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,873

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

NoTruePunk wrote:
Spoonwood wrote:

The more I've talked to people on this, the more it seems that a button to disable this comes as necessary.  Killing oneself purposely to avoid this system is not a good solution, and probably the only reasonable one for male players (killing all of one's sisters, mother, and nieces might be difficult, even if achievable, and isn't playing for the sake of one's descendants also).  Not everyone will enjoy going out of one's band to avoid having children as female.  The game gets titled one hour one life.  This might encourage some players who don't want to get reborn into the same family by default to play 59 minutes one life or 55 minutes one life, instead of one hour one life.  A button to enable or disable this system seems much more desire able so that players who don't want it can still play one hour one life.

Just use /die

Using /die means half a minute one life experience, if even that.  One can't leave a legacy that way either.  Or have children.  Or build a town or bootstrap town building.  It's bad on one's gene score affecting one's possible pips if living to 60.  It's bad for leadership potential.  It's also rude to the mother in many cases, and leaves them with bone clutter.  Half a minute one life means one's character is dead very fast also, and one didn't even try to live in that life.

Last edited by Spoonwood (2020-12-04 21:57:21)

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#8 2020-12-04 21:53:03

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,873

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

fug wrote:

TL;DR.

One paragraph is too long for you fug?

Alright, looks like we agree about this here, and I think your reasoning has merit also.

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#9 2020-12-04 22:10:44

Guy
Member
Registered: 2020-06-18
Posts: 95

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Finally an actual update and not just a spoonwood Necro.

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#10 2020-12-04 23:03:42

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,873

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Guy wrote:

Finally an actual update and not just a spoonwood Necro.

Well, I would think that after this update especially there's some necros in the game, don't you think?

Last edited by Spoonwood (2020-12-04 23:04:39)

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#11 2020-12-04 23:41:35

StrongForce
Member
Registered: 2018-03-09
Posts: 473

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Guy wrote:

Finally an actual update and not just a spoonwood Necro.

+1


Baby dance!!

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#12 2020-12-05 00:31:32

Guy
Member
Registered: 2020-06-18
Posts: 95

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Spoonwood wrote:
Guy wrote:

Finally an actual update and not just a spoonwood Necro.

Well, I would think that after this update especially there's some necros in the game, don't you think?



Not even a powerful necromancer such as yourself can resurrect this game.

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#13 2020-12-05 08:30:14

fug
Moderator
Registered: 2019-08-21
Posts: 1,025

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Yet to have actually gotten this function to work, though I guess it's due to taking a break between lives tonight.

Unless playing back to back lives I don't think this goes far enough to fix the /die to family issue.


Worlds oldest SID baby.

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#14 2020-12-05 09:21:26

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,873

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

fug wrote:

Yet to have actually gotten this function to work, though I guess it's due to taking a break between lives tonight.

Unless playing back to back lives I don't think this goes far enough to fix the /die to family issue.

Probably would need a choice screen for family selection for that.  Or removal of /die.  Using /die isn't trying to have a one hour one life experience.  Using /die involves trying to have a thirty second one life experience, or a one minute one life experience.  A family selection screen could be consistent with more players trying to have a one hour one life experience, I suppose.

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#15 2020-12-05 13:53:39

Cogito
Member
Registered: 2020-03-09
Posts: 165

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Yeah, it just needs a way to say "Get reborn to descendants" (new functionality) vs "Start new life" (old functionality).

Who knows what that interface may look like, randomly adding an extra button is not great, but something is needed.

Last edited by Cogito (2020-12-05 13:54:08)

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#16 2020-12-05 15:05:46

NoTruePunk
Member
Registered: 2019-01-25
Posts: 307

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Dodge wrote:

When the fresh new players from the steam sale and tiktok video will find out that even respawning 10 times in the same village will not prevent it from being lost in the next day or two, the playerbase will go back to the old numbers, just a matter of time.

Selling this update as one that allows you to leave the game for the weekend and come back to the village that you worked hard to build is borderline deceptive.

The reality is no matter how good you do, the game is against you, the distance expands, new Eves spawn, old villages go in a baby drought from the newer ones getting them, couple this with an unfavorable time zone and it's done, the village was full of ressources yet it still died, explain that logic to the player that respawned life after life at the same place and made all this to make sure he will be able to come back when he wakes up.

I think if fertility was made a little easier on the family level then this would essentially be fixed. I think families should last 1-2 days easily, a week tops. Instead we get situations where resources don't matter and fertility death is a daily occurrence.

I heard in the rift that birth distribution between families was perfectly even. Now it's extremely uneven. A middle ground between the certainty of fertility death and the certainty of a pointless survival must exist.

Once families are consistently surviving and cause of death varies between fertility, conflict and starvation then content can be added to that semistable system to advance the tech tree. Semistable should be the goal

Last edited by NoTruePunk (2020-12-05 15:06:06)

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#17 2020-12-05 15:41:39

Dodge
Member
Registered: 2018-08-27
Posts: 2,366

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

NoTruePunk wrote:

I think if fertility was made a little easier on the family level then this would essentially be fixed. I think families should last 1-2 days easily, a week tops. Instead we get situations where resources don't matter and fertility death is a daily occurrence.

I heard in the rift that birth distribution between families was perfectly even. Now it's extremely uneven. A middle ground between the certainty of fertility death and the certainty of a pointless survival must exist.

Once families are consistently surviving and cause of death varies between fertility, conflict and starvation then content can be added to that semistable system to advance the tech tree. Semistable should be the goal


Couldnt agree more the tiny rift box was an extreme and the never expanding void is also an extreme, there is a middle ground where all these forced mechanics dont need to exist and what players make actually matters instead of being shit on in a short infinite artificial loop then the techtree can be expanded on a solid base and what needs to be added becomes more clear because right now it's so convoluted that it becomes unclear and confusing where the game should go.

Trying to constantly patch a sinking ship only works to an extent but eventually it becomes a waste of time, at some point you have to replace the old planks with new ones.

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#18 2020-12-05 16:03:02

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,873

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Dodge wrote:

Couldnt agree more the tiny rift box was an extreme and the never expanding void is also an extreme, there is a middle ground where all these forced mechanics dont need to exist and what players make actually matters ...

My impression from watching during the sale and TikTok promotion this past week and seeing many Eve camps is that what players do does matter.  I mean, with not many families early in the week not getting to higher technology, but families having plenty of children likely even during the lower player count period (was something in the 80s or 70s I think), it sure does seem like choices of players had serious meaningful consequences.

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#19 2020-12-05 18:09:52

Dodge
Member
Registered: 2018-08-27
Posts: 2,366

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Spoonwood wrote:
Dodge wrote:

Couldnt agree more the tiny rift box was an extreme and the never expanding void is also an extreme, there is a middle ground where all these forced mechanics dont need to exist and what players make actually matters ...

My impression from watching during the sale and TikTok promotion this past week and seeing many Eve camps is that what players do does matter.

Ah the innocent freshmans, that's why i like playing with them, they are still unaware of what happens behind the scenes and how the game drops a steaming hot pile of shit on everything they are able to make, they still dont know that all their efforts are going to be crushed by questionnable development decisions, the illusion of long lasting progress is still there.

It's pretty refreshing to play with them, sometimes they just watch you silently, sometimes they ask you questions and sometimes you see them strugle and hesitate between swooping in or letting them learn on their own, but even if teaching is a great part of the game it's unsunstainable to count on it in the long run, it's one good part of the game but it doesn't make the game good on it's own.

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#20 2020-12-05 18:30:32

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,873

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Dodge wrote:
Spoonwood wrote:
Dodge wrote:

Couldnt agree more the tiny rift box was an extreme and the never expanding void is also an extreme, there is a middle ground where all these forced mechanics dont need to exist and what players make actually matters ...

My impression from watching during the sale and TikTok promotion this past week and seeing many Eve camps is that what players do does matter.

Ah the innocent freshmans, that's why i like playing with them, they are still unaware of what happens behind the scenes and how the game drops a steaming hot pile of shit on everything they are able to make, they still dont know that all their efforts are going to be crushed by questionnable development decisions, the illusion of long lasting progress is still there.

It's pretty refreshing to play with them, sometimes they just watch you silently, sometimes they ask you questions and sometimes you see them strugle and hesitate between swooping in or letting them learn on their own, but even if teaching is a great part of the game it's unsunstainable to count on it in the long run, it's one good part of the game but it doesn't make the game good on it's own.

In the long run there exists another Eve camp on the horizon somewhere.  And that would be the case even more clearly were it the case that server1 consistently got used once a day.

Only the fertility system which existed during The Rift suggested that Eve camps might not be on the horizon after a certain time, and then new Eve spawning had to get forced by an instantaneous arc reset.  Though I didn't play then, it seems like it clearly resulted in fewer one hour one life experiences for players, because players just weren't able to survive the baby overload that happened causing some babies to get abandoned or the mother starve *and* the suddenness of such.  Any map which has resources running out for everyone on the server would likely have a similar issue eventually leading to deliberate baby starvation by players.  Getting forced into one minute one life isn't good at all.  A forced arc reset with players still on the server would also likely lead to such a situation.  Again, getting forced into one minute one life isn't good at all.  And it simply doesn't seem like a healthy parenting game if players abandon babies for rational reasons.

The game is not one minute one life, or 15 minutes one life.  The current system has more potential for one hour one life experiences than any Rift did, and even a 20,000 by 20,000 Rift likely has less potential for the same amount of one hour one life experiences as the current one.

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#21 2020-12-05 19:09:41

Dodge
Member
Registered: 2018-08-27
Posts: 2,366

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Spoonwood wrote:

In the long run there exists another Eve camp on the horizon somewhere.  And that would be the case even more clearly were it the case that server1 consistently got used once a day.

Werent you complaining that knowing in advance that a family is going to die is boring or something like that?

So saying that it doesn't matter because there's always a new Eve camp waiting seems weird.

It's really not complicated, one earth, one arc, one seeding of ressources and then more content to push the techtree always further , a little bit of balancing here and there to not be too difficult or too easy and that's it.

If everyone dies reset, if players get bored apocalypse and if you dont want to be in that world because it's too advanced or the opposite, good news there's multiple servers that are going to be at different ages/level in the techtree so you can choose the one you want at any time.

There could even be a win condition that makes the lineage who achieve it be able to go beyond and survive infinitly if the players keep surviving, like travelling to another server, that could be interesting.

No more nonsense mechanics that try to artificially recreate what a world that makes sense does naturally.

A confusing world and mechanics just makes it confusing to see what the real issues are.

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#22 2020-12-05 20:24:20

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,873

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Dodge wrote:

Werent you complaining that knowing in advance that a family is going to die is boring or something like that?

That doesn't contradict knowing that another Eve camp will happen somewhere on the horizon.  We could imagine bs2 lineages never dying out with server1 lineages happening or server2 lineages.  So, Eve camps would still be on the horizon somewhere.

Dodge wrote:

It's really not complicated, one earth, one arc, one seeding of ressources and then more content to push the techtree always further , a little bit of balancing here and there to not be too difficult or too easy and that's it.

No, it isn't that simple.  There exist 16 public servers.  Server1 has gotten used by players not checking a server during every update period since bigserver2 existed.  Also, last Monday and Tuesday, and during the weekend from what I recall, server1 got used by players not checking a custom server apparently.

Dodge wrote:

If everyone dies reset, if players get bored apocalypse and if you dont want to be in that world because it's too advanced or the opposite, good news there's multiple servers that are going to be at different ages/level in the techtree so you can choose the one you want at any time.

I think that would mean that in the long run there would be another Eve camp on the horizon somewhere.

I also haven't known of any notices about such a change.

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#23 2020-12-06 15:08:49

Caprys
Member
Registered: 2020-03-19
Posts: 131

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

Will descendants be first in line to inherit a property gate?  Or can you give gate acces to all your decendants?

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#24 2020-12-07 19:50:21

ollj
Member
Registered: 2019-06-15
Posts: 626

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

I died of old age 5 times.
I never got reborn into the same family.
The families where big, full of food and younger females.

------
I have a lot more children die younger, for no good visible reason.

------

I am not sure if this is great, but it sure is interesting and exciting enough for me to play more ohol again.

Expect one city to have a lot of roads around it, it will be like rome, proving to more people, how overpowered tiled roads are.

sure, tar roads are better, but WAY more complicated, and also more constrained, as they need to be more straight.

--- first life, starved age 40, because of lag, being on horse all time, and null cakes in a family of 10.

--- second life, born to someone HOARDING 2 white Vans in northwest. i explored the tar road on horse all my life, and brought lots of cloth to the village i was born in previously.


yes, it is more interesting than it was in summer 2020.

Last edited by ollj (2020-12-08 02:51:21)

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#25 2020-12-08 07:27:43

NoTruePunk
Member
Registered: 2019-01-25
Posts: 307

Re: Update: Legacy Chain

ollj wrote:

Expect one city to have a lot of roads around it, it will be like rome, proving to more people, how overpowered tiled roads are.

Tell that to all the corpses you pass along the road. Roads kill more noobs than bears do.

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