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a multiplayer game of parenting and civilization building

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#1 2020-09-19 17:07:26

DestinyCall
Member
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 3,802

Steam Sale Sept 2020

Prepare for an influx of new players.   OHOL is the daily deal today.

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#2 2020-09-19 23:19:44

Matbat
Member
Registered: 2018-04-23
Posts: 100

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

Thank you for the warning; I dove straight in after reading this and got my taste of hellishly unfair and unforgiving challenge of the tidal wave of barely-functioning players.
600-700 people got the game to try it out today so far, thats 600-700 people who -if they decide to keep playing the game- will have to climb the ever-steep learning cliff, ouch.
Good luck vets, teach your children indoors and keep them there so they don't burn through all the village's food.

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#3 2020-09-20 00:33:59

happynova
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 360

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

Hoo boy, is it nuts right now. RIP my gene score.  And I feel so bad, really.  I just died surrounded by a huge number of sweet and eager but desperately clueless newbies, half of them starving to death because they couldn't figure out how to eat, and the other half earnestly asking me "What do I do?," "How do I help the family?" and I couldn't do much of anything for any of them, other than trying very hard to keep us from running out of food, shouting "Use plate to eat turkey!" as I ran by people starving while holding cooked turkeys, and apologizing to everyone for not having time to teach.  I just started telling them all that I hope they'll stick around for when it's less nuts and people can actually help them.  I hope at least some of them do.

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#4 2020-09-20 00:53:11

wondible
Member
Registered: 2018-04-19
Posts: 782

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

happynova wrote:

"Use plate to eat turkey!" as I ran by people starving while holding cooked turkeys,.

You had turkeys? Thats some high tech stuff right there tongue


https://onemap.wondible.com/ -- https://wondible.com/ohol-family-trees/ -- https://wondible.com/ohol-name-picker/
Custom client with  autorun, name completion, emotion keys, interaction keys, location slips, object search, camera pan, and more

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#5 2020-09-20 05:56:03

bpskotch
Member
Registered: 2020-01-18
Posts: 49

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

I discovered a new "meta" that actually helps get a village beyond complete and utter starvation...but it's a tough choice.

If you're born as girl, if everyone around is newbie or seemingly gonna starve out, run off at 3 to a fertile piece of land and self develop as quickly as possible. This worked for me over a few lives, managed to get a few fams to iron processing at least. Was nice when people were able to survive more than 5 seconds.

Also, I second exactly what happynova said. Just try to say a word of encouragement or two while they're still alive, reassuring them this is just a nutty time and once things stabilize it will be easier to teach them. Some of the new players i had were very understanding to that :3

Also RIP gene score.

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#6 2020-09-20 07:08:35

sigmen4020
Member
Registered: 2019-01-05
Posts: 799

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

Maybe the food values could be easier again, at least until the hype dies down. The previous food nerfs aren’t really helping create a newb friendly environment.


Race car go brrr

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#7 2020-09-20 07:43:45

DestinyCall
Member
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 3,802

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

Call me crazy, but shouldn't this game be playable by new players?    Is that too much to ask?

When I complain about stuff being too hard to understand or poorly documented .. this is why.

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#8 2020-09-20 08:33:52

Matbat
Member
Registered: 2018-04-23
Posts: 100

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

DestinyCall wrote:

Call me crazy, but shouldn't this game be playable by new players?    Is that too much to ask?

Definitely need a new player grace mechanic we've had a sale before and this same thing happened where new players were just not having a good time.
During sales or sudden popularity, new players and their first 5-10 hours their hunger needs goes down at a fixed rate, not all all, or anything to allow them to enjoy the game and get into it rather than constantly being booted out (starving to death) half way or less due to the harshness of ohol reality.
Jason's already made it low pop servers have special mechanics, he just has to apply something new when servers are suddenly too high pop too, maybe?
He needs to prepare more carefully when he puts the game on sale like this, hopefully he learns this time and adds some grace for new players so he can retain them.

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#9 2020-09-20 09:46:07

Arcurus
Member
Registered: 2020-04-23
Posts: 765

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

added the issue in gitbub:

https://github.com/jasonrohrer/OneLife/issues/672

A possible solution that came up in the forums would be to half food need in the first X lets say 10 hours of play. This would give lot more time for them to learn and reduce frustration.

Additionally generally a mechanic that allows a "starving state" state between dead and fully healthy would be great to have. In this starving state your movement speed would be halved, but also your food need. Ideally this state would be some seconds before the hungry emote comes, so people are encouraged to eat before the hungry emote shows up.

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#10 2020-09-20 16:26:40

DestinyCall
Member
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 3,802

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

Personally, I think this is a symptom of a larger issue with OHOL.   I don't think the solution is a temporary bonus that Jason implements every time we get a flood of new players.  That might help soften the blow, but it doesn't really address the core problem.   A new player grace-period would help more, since it gives new people time to figure things out before the shit hits the fan, but I'm not sure if it would be enough.  I'm especially concerned that it would lead to even more confusion when the nice bonus eventually wears off and the new player starts to suffer even more starvation and death than before.  OHOL has a distressingly steep learning curve for new players.   It is brutal.   

If you try to play this game without knowing anything about it, you will be completely lost.   The tutorial is too limited.  There is no "single-player" option.   The world is balanced around the capabilities of veteran players without any consideration for how new players will see and interact with the world-space.    The wiki is terribly out-of-date.   Many of the complex mechanics are largely undocumented and poorly understood.    How do you expect new people to learn how to play this game if they join the game during a Steam Sale?   

The baby apocalypses happen because the veteran players are unable to "carry" so many new players on their backs, no matter how hard they try.   Making each noob weigh less would lighten the burden for the experienced players, but shouldn't we be aiming for a solution that actually helps noobs learn how to play the game instead of expecting veterans to do all the heavy lifting?     Something that could be present at ALL times, not just when there is a sudden onslaught of new blood.    We need more in-game support for new players.  Better ways for them to understand the core gameplay mechanics, like yum, temperature, leadership, gene score, and the goddamn biome restrictions.   More assistance when it really matters, so this game is not so unreasonably difficult to understand and survive without memorizing an encyclopedia of obscure facts.    Right now, many experienced players are fleeing to lower population servers or simply not playing the game to preserve their gene score.   And that's the smart play, because helping new people learn this game is death to your meme score.   And that means we have even fewer people who understand how to keep a village alive for more than one generation.

If this game keeps collapsing under the weight of its own popularity, how is it ever going to sustain a larger player base?    It is absurd.

Last edited by DestinyCall (2020-09-20 16:30:48)

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#11 2020-09-20 16:27:21

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,192

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

DestinyCall wrote:

Call me crazy, but shouldn't this game be playable by new players?    Is that too much to ask?

When I complain about stuff being too hard to understand or poorly documented .. this is why.

How many people have complained about the game being poor to new players before?  I seem to remember dozens of complaints, and I think even dozens of different people saying such before.  Heck, I'd guess it's a clear majority of players have thought or said that about this game.

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#12 2020-09-20 16:29:02

bpskotch
Member
Registered: 2020-01-18
Posts: 49

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

DestinyCall wrote:

...

This pretty much takes the words out of my mouth. You pretty much summed up the entire problem right there. 10/10

Spoonwood wrote:
DestinyCall wrote:

Call me crazy, but shouldn't this game be playable by new players?    Is that too much to ask?

When I complain about stuff being too hard to understand or poorly documented .. this is why.

How many people have complained about the game being poor to new players before?  I seem to remember dozens of complaints, and I think even dozens of different people saying such before.  Heck, I'd guess it's a clear majority of players have thought or said that about this game.

I think you worded this pretty well once...

Spoonwood wrote:

That signals such as a longstanding problem.

Last edited by bpskotch (2020-09-20 16:30:58)

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#13 2020-09-20 16:43:21

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,192

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

DestinyCall wrote:

  Making each noob weigh less would lighten the burden for the experienced players, but shouldn't we be aiming for a solution that actually helps noobs learn how to play the game instead of expecting veterans to do all the heavy lifting?

Well, there was a Github post that the tutorial wasn't extensive enough for new players: https://github.com/jasonrohrer/OneLife/issues/582  Of course, though, as you can see, it got shut down rather quickly, because the game designer hasn't ever cared about making a survival game.  After all, every damn game ends with "you died" and nothing else, because that's what this game has always been about.  One Hour One Death.

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#14 2020-09-20 16:45:38

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,192

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

bpskotch wrote:
DestinyCall wrote:

...

This pretty much takes the words out of my mouth. You pretty much summed up the entire problem right there. 10/10

Spoonwood wrote:
DestinyCall wrote:

Call me crazy, but shouldn't this game be playable by new players?    Is that too much to ask?

When I complain about stuff being too hard to understand or poorly documented .. this is why.

How many people have complained about the game being poor to new players before?  I seem to remember dozens of complaints, and I think even dozens of different people saying such before.  Heck, I'd guess it's a clear majority of players have thought or said that about this game.

I think you worded this pretty well once...

Spoonwood wrote:

That signals such as a longstanding problem.

I appreciate the compliment.

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#15 2020-09-20 18:08:49

happynova
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 360

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

So much of the problem here is that the game absolutely relies on experienced players teaching and helping new ones. I actually like that about it!  It can be an awesome community experience.  But in a situation like this, it is utterly and completely impossible to do.  Especially not while you're also tasked with the impossible burden of trying to keep them all from starving to death.

In other words, what works okay when players are trickling in a few at a time is comprehensively broken when they're pouring in by the hundreds.

Right now, I'm sort of fantasizing about some kind of dedicated teaching server where we could give lessons to small groups without popping babies out constantly or trying to single-handedly keep a town alive while doing so.

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#16 2020-09-20 20:53:26

happynova
Member
Registered: 2018-03-31
Posts: 360

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

OK, I just had a life where I tried a new approach: I made a training camp about a hundred tiles from town, with a little practice farm -- it helped that a found a spot that already had some abandoned stuff, but I imagine there's a lot of that around at the moment -- and took a pupil up there for some one-on-one lessons.  It worked astonishingly well.  Quite possibly that kid is going to go back to town now that I'm dead and actually be able to be useful.  Even if he's not, he learned a whole bunch of stuff no one would have had time to teach him in town.

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#17 2020-09-20 21:36:25

DestinyCall
Member
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 3,802

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

I've just started teaching people while the town burns down around us, survival be damned.   

I had a nice experience in one town where I taught five new players how to bake pies.   None of my pupils starved during my teaching session miraculously.  I wasn't able to accomplish much else while teaching, raising five kids, and explaining which button to press to take a piece of bread off a plate instead of picking up the plate, but if even one of those people knew how to bake a pie at the end, I think it was worth it.   

The lesson started because I noticed a new player in the middle of the town literally BEGGING FOR HELP.   I was in the middle of something when I noticed the kid, of course, because I'm always busy.  But no one else was paying him any attention.   I went up and asked him how I could help him.  He said he was new and he didn't know what to do.   So I asked him if he wanted to learn how to farm and he said yes.   He got hungry immediately, so I took him over to the bakery for food.  I noticed that we were down to the last pie, so I ended up teaching him bakery instead of farming.  During the lesson, I kept getting more and more people gathering around to listen and learn.  By the end, the bakery was full of people, all working on pies. 

They were not especially fast and it took a long time to finish one set of pies, since I would tell him what to do and wait for him to figure out how to do it.  "Now pick up the wheat using a bowl.  No, the grains, not the straw.  That's good.  Okay now use the rock to crush it into flour.   Nope, other button.  That's it.  Okay now we need water.  There's some in that pond.  You need a bowl.  Empty bowl.   That bowl is not empty.  Got it!  Okay, now put the dough onto a plate to make pie crust"  And so on and so on ...

It is satisfying but also rather frustrating, since you have to let the rest of the village fend for themselves while you teach one person how to be slightly useful.  But at the same time, it is pretty satisfying when they figure out how to make a pie and suddenly realize they can help their village to live a little longer.   Pie-making, rabbit hunting, basic farming.   Those are all good skills to teach.  I start off new players to gather resources, like clay and branches for kindling.   Then I try to teach food-based skills, like farming and baking.    And I make carts.  Lots of carts.

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#18 2020-09-20 22:06:45

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,192

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

DestinyCall wrote:

And I make carts.  Lots of carts.

Too many carts isn't a thing.  Even if there's more than one for every adult in town, they are good for storage.  I suppose one could use up too much rope on carts, but that's about it.

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#19 2020-09-20 22:37:01

DestinyCall
Member
Registered: 2018-12-08
Posts: 3,802

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

The only problem with making too many carts is that, in the absence of rubber, the carts will eventually decay.   But any village benefits from having three to five carts.   

If had more tool slots, I would make carts every life.   As it stands, I just try to make sure that there's at least one cart in the village, if it survives long enough to make the necessary tools.

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#20 2020-09-20 23:06:10

Spoonwood
Member
Registered: 2019-02-06
Posts: 3,192

Re: Steam Sale Sept 2020

DestinyCall wrote:

The only problem with making too many carts is that, in the absence of rubber, the carts will eventually decay.

Ah, but the place has to last at least 10 hours past when the cart got made for that to become a concern.

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