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a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

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#1 2019-08-24 23:09:30

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 2,919

Update: What We've Learned

On the heels of my return from vacation, there will be no gif this week, but there's still an update.

During my vacation, as many of you might recall, the arc wore on an on and on for something like 8 days, and none of the end conditions were triggered.  Meanwhile, the space inside the rift became an over-griefed hell-scape.  I had to kill that arc manually from vacation, and disabled the rift barrier temporarily until I could return home and tweak things.

So, this week, we take what we've learned from the arc runs so far and tweak a bunch of stuff that needs tweaking.  Keep in mind that this game has been live for 18 months at this point, and we just learned about new problems that never mattered too much before.  Bears have been in the game for 18 months, and it never mattered that their caves respawned new bears every 24 hours.  I didn't even recall that it worked that way.  But inside the rift for 8 days, this suddenly mattered.  There were hundreds of roaming bears by the end.

The point here is that an infinite map kinda "solves all problems" magically.  If something is broken, you can always walk away from it.  If something runs out, you can always find more of it further out.  I can't even really answer a question like, "Is there too much oil in the game?"  How much oil is in the game?  An infinite amount.  What if I cut the oil spawning rate in half?  Then there's still an infinite amount.  We have to talk about resource allocation in terms of what's within a reasonable walking distance from a given town.  But towns can move and spread over time, so any distance becomes reasonable, given enough time.

I can find answers to questions about a finite map, however.  I can cut the oil spawn rate in half, and there will be half as much oil.

The biggest thing we're testing this coming week is a new arc failure condition:  when we get down to less than 5 surviving families, the apocalypse happens and a new arc begin.  In conjunction with this failure condition, new Eves only spawn for the first 2 hours of the arc.  After two hours, the families are fixed, and the arc will last as long as at least 5 of those families last.

The great thing about this failure condition is that it puts the arc end squarely in the hands of the players.  Do you want the arc to keep going a bit longer?  Then help that struggling family stay afloat.

The other interesting thing is that the arc end does not kill anyone.  Every living player survives, which means family lines can outlive the arc.  In fact, with these changes, there's nothing stopping a family from living forever.

We're also testing a new curse system.  The old, global-tally Donkey Town has been removed and replaced with a personal cursing system that lets you determine, unilaterally, who you no longer want to play the game near.  Once you curse someone (you get one token per hour), that person will not be born within 50 tiles of you for the next 48 hours.  If someone is cursed by so many people that there's nowhere left for them to get born, then they do go to Donkey Town, but there's no longer a fixed-length sentence there.


Finally, a bunch of little issues that came up during the last long arc have been fixed:

--The default state between families is neutral instead of war.  To use war swords, an elder must declare WAR in the target family's language.  Elders cannot hold swords themselves, though, blocking solo crusading.

--Cross-family curses can now work without saying it in their language.

--The shortcuts CURSE YOU (closest player) and CURSE MY BABY have been added.

--Babies now keep their family name even if adopted.

--A bunch of things that were blocking and unremoveable (Newcommen towers and looms) have been made deconstructable.

--Chopping all trees, including juniper, is now hungry work.

--Fences now orient themselves relative to other fences automatically.  No more ugly fences.

--Wildcard phrases for gate ownership, like MY OFFSPRING OWN THIS (all living children) and MY FAMILY OWNS THIS (all living family).


There will be one more update next week, and then I'm off to show the game at PAX West.

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#2 2019-08-24 23:36:41

happynova
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 291

Re: Update: What We've Learned

jasonrohrer wrote:

--Chopping all trees, including juniper, is now hungry work.

I gotta say, this is pretty freaking brutal in an early camp like the one I just played in.  We'd just got the axe and were desperate for firewood, as one is at that stage, but every single tree pretty much wiped out your entire hunger bar and it put a real strain on our fragile food supply.  Is there a specific logic to making even useless trees like willow (and nearly useless ones like pine) hungry work?  Were these trees also subject to griefing?  (Not a rhetorical question;  I was away when the rift was introduced and missed the entirety of the, er, learning experience.)  Or is it just for consistency?

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#3 2019-08-24 23:39:33

BladeWoods
Member
Registered: 2018-08-11
Posts: 415

Re: Update: What We've Learned

Great update, although I don't think bears respawning was the core problem. 24 hours is a long time. And while not irremovable, stone walls are a problem b/c they're way too expensive to remove.

Last edited by BladeWoods (2019-08-24 23:42:52)

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#4 2019-08-24 23:56:59

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 2,919

Re: Update: What We've Learned

Yeah, with the trees, it was for consistency.

Originally, only "Hardwood" trees were hungry work.  This made sense.

But then Juniper weren't hardwood.... so how does that make sense?

I could, eventually, adjust this somewhat, or make some trees not hungry work (probably pine would be a good candidate, making them a source for gathered firewood).  Though actually, pine burns poorly (lots of soot) so people don't burn much pine in real life.

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#5 2019-08-25 03:17:52

DestinyCall
Member
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 1,261

Re: Update: What We've Learned

jasonrohrer wrote:

Yeah, with the trees, it was for consistency.

Originally, only "Hardwood" trees were hungry work.  This made sense.

But then Juniper weren't hardwood.... so how does that make sense?

I could, eventually, adjust this somewhat, or make some trees not hungry work (probably pine would be a good candidate, making them a source for gathered firewood).  Though actually, pine burns poorly (lots of soot) so people don't burn much pine in real life.


Maybe in OHOL, certain trees are just softer than other trees and that's okay.   

We won't mind the lack of consistency if it means we can cook omelettes before we die of hunger while protecting the important trees from being de-forested.

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#6 2019-08-25 03:32:10

BladeWoods
Member
Registered: 2018-08-11
Posts: 415

Re: Update: What We've Learned

The early game being a bit harder isn't a big deal

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#7 2019-08-25 03:57:03

miskas
Member
From: Greece
Registered: 2018-03-24
Posts: 142

Re: Update: What We've Learned

willow tree and bald trees don't need to be hungry work, we don't use them for anything else than firewood and we cant replant them btw.
Is this a game who cares about realism? Engines cant be build from a soil forge also.

Last edited by miskas (2019-08-25 16:04:43)

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#8 2019-08-25 15:57:32

Saolin
Member
Registered: 2019-05-22
Posts: 174

Re: Update: What We've Learned

Great update! I really like these changes:

jasonrohrer wrote:

--The default state between families is neutral instead of war.  To use war swords, an elder must declare WAR in the target family's language.  Elders cannot hold swords themselves, though, blocking solo crusading.

--A bunch of things that were blocking and unremoveable (Newcommen towers and looms) have been made deconstructable.

--Chopping all trees, including juniper, is now hungry work.

--Wildcard phrases for gate ownership, like MY OFFSPRING OWN THIS (all living children) and MY FAMILY OWNS THIS (all living family).

Especially the war sword nerf, should make things a bit less chaotic and hopefully more peaceful. It seems like it should have a pretty significant impact on the social dynamics.

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#9 2019-08-25 22:00:14

voy178
Member
Registered: 2018-08-18
Posts: 159

Re: Update: What We've Learned

This update looks great, love the changes as seen on onetech. It's great that we can remove ponds and cacti etc.

Would be great to see some other item fixes in the future like partial track cart kit being disassemblable seeing how you can accidentally render "boards + wooden wheel" useless if you're trying to make a cart which a lot of new people do.

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#10 2019-08-26 14:36:00

jasonrohrer
Administrator
Registered: 2017-02-13
Posts: 2,919

Re: Update: What We've Learned

Will do on the partial track kit.

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