My new top population is 2456, before I decided to give up.
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During my last game I did think of one thing that would add a new challenge. Eventually I had a stable ring of towers to guard my lands, and I never had to worry about anything on the inside. Occasionally a group of 2 or 3 pirate ships in the same spot might destroy a few tiles before the towers sank them, so the outer ring wasn't used for anything too important.
What I'm imagining is a way to keep the center of the island in some danger too, in the form of a different pirate ship type. Instead of firing its cannons, it could sit for some number of seconds doing nothing, and then fire a flaming catapult a random distance inland from the coast. Wherever the shot landed would be destroyed, or if you wanted to get fancy, have it animate burning for several seconds before finally vanishing. Something like this would have made my last game much harder.
You've probably already considered upgrade buildings, but those are usually an easy way to add some depth to a game, even if the upgrades themselves don't do much. Perhaps a bakery building that, when placed next to a windmill, causes all incoming food to be increased by 10%. Similar buildings could boost stone and lumber income. If you go this route I'd hope their bonuses wouldn't stack as you built more (that would become overpowered), and that they'd be quite expensive so that many players will flat-out never use them.
The "never use them" line probably seemed strange, but I don't think it helps as much if upgrade buildings are always going to be used. The auto-food collection building is an example of this, where I would imagine everyone buys it sooner or later. Manually collecting food after you've got a few mills going, is just too time consuming, and at a certain point that building is a necessity. That is perfectly fine, and I don't think it should be changed, but to bring depth it is good to have things people can completely opt out of using in order to develop differing strategies. The apple trees fall into this category. I've read that some people use them every time, and I've only used them once. We aren't all forced to play the same way.
The upgrade building idea is probably something you could throw in without much effort at all, but if you are interested in more complicated ideas I could suggest a few things:
Because towers are locked in a fixed position, defending gets tricky. This is good, but it also helps entice players into spending their hard-earned resources on a different way. Perhaps an expensive building (or a re-purpose to the current ship yard should you decide to change how a person "wins" this game) would let players dump resources in until a ship was created. This friendly ship could slowly circle the land and exchange cannon fire with pirates it runs in to. This would be an expensive way to guard against gaps in the tower defenses, until new land showed up allowing the gaps to be sealed.
The small house is something I've never used, but I hate to suggest removing it because other players may actually use them. If that house turns out to be unpopular with everyone else too, then it may be a good idea to re-purpose it. I can see the current larger house taking the place of the small one, and then a larger mansion/apartment/whatever being an expensive upgrade. Clicking on buildings and then choosing to upgrade works in many games, but I don't think it would work well in this one. The interface only makes us worry about clicking to collect resources, and I wouldn't want to see it cluttered up. It might be nicer to have the expensive super-house so that it can only be built on top of existing smaller houses in the same way you can only build a quarry on top of a stone tile. That approach to building upgrades would allow the interface to keep the same feel that it currently has.
My above suggestion about a bakery would be much better as a mill upgrade (placing bakery on top of the mill), but I didn't want to explain what I meant by that at the time.
Water/pond tiles could sometimes start with a tiny fish icon on it. A new building could be a little fishing boat sitting on the pond that collects food for a short while. Once depleted it would revert back to just the current water/pond tile.
Eh, I should stop rambling now, haha! Please don't take any of these ideas as "demands" or even requests... they are just ideas to maybe inspire you guys in some way.
Today's update made the game more difficult, so that's good news! :D I had my first loss right after switching to the updated game, because I underestimated it. Game #2 was a victory now that I knew what to expect, and I look forward to playing again with the difficulty set to high. Keep up the good work!
Keep up the good work Robin. I saw in another post (somewhere on here) that you were a little worried about breaking the game with changes. Believe me, I understand that fear with my own stuff, so while I can try to talk you out of having that worry, it's easier said than done.
At the moment you have some number of players in Little Land's playerbase, and the worry would be scaring away those people. If we ignored the current players, even a massive redesign would be a neutral change because while it may no longer draw in player X, it will draw in player Y in his place. When we look back on the current players, any major changes can simply be ignored by players who liked things better the way they used to be. As a single player game we have that choice to enjoy the game based on any version we've previously played.
Lets pretend that a new release just came out, and after downloading it I realize I hate it. I either still have the older version right where I left it, or I'll still have the older version in my download's folder from when I originally grabbed it. I can tell I'm rambling, but in short We-the-players have options and are harder to scare away than you may be worrying about. Feel free to tweak, change, experiment, and flat-out take things in new directions. It's your game and there are going to continue to be players at every step of the way.
I was just going to post the tip that people can right-click on the game's title bar to serve as an unofficial "pause". It seems that tip won't be very necessary if an impending update will add in the feature. :D I look forward to it!
With pirate and difficulty speeds set to fast, I thought I'd see just how many people I could fit into my super small world. 373 is where I had to stop because of real life pulling me away from the computer, but I would enjoy seeing how other people do on this. Toward the end it did get difficult to keep pirate from chipping away at precious new land before they were destroyed, even with as many towers as I had. I'm sure it's a balance between the number of towers, farms, and of course houses. I also learned that if you destroy a tile, it doesn't just destroy the building on it, but it destroys the whole piece of land... I like that!
Well done on the game Robin, and I agree with everyone here when I say it has potential to be expanded into something even more fun. If I were only able to make a single suggestion, it would be to make the game harder. I have played a total of 5 games of Little lands (I thought it was called Super small world until I just noticed the wording on this page), and I haven't lost in any of them. The first was a little shaky while I tried to figure out what the heck I needed to do, but everything was set on "normal" so the game wasn't overly harsh. I played 2 games with everything on normal, then after I felt like I understood the game I changed pirates and difficulty speeds to high to give it a bit more of an edge. I played 2 games with those settings and then my latest game was this one where I wanted to shoot for a high population.
As long as a game has settings to allow the player to ramp up the difficulty, or "personal challenges" they can set for themselves (like population thingy here), the game will continue to have replay value. Little Lands is a bit light on both of those things, so I think a harder game experience (or a few more settings to help make it harder) would go a long way.
Just adjusted my strategy and can finish the game seconds before nighttime on day 1. Fastest run yet, but clearly not a game people should struggle with.
I am bummed that this game concept isn't going to be developed further. It had potential.
Looking through the comments I'm surprised by the number of people suggesting things to make the game easier. I believe the game is too easy as it stands (and I've heard no more updates so that's a shame too). If I don't mess around, I can build everything on night 3 to float to another place, though that feature wasn't actually added in. Grabbing some stone and wood on the first trip means you can get at least 1 farm built before going back down. Next trip you get a 2nd or 3rd farm and now you're basically set. Set up 4 guard towers around the base and equip everyone with rifles, then cannons after upgrade. Sure some food gets taken if you choose not to win until night 10+, but by that time you have so many farms you can harvest and overfill the base so that it has to draw food behind the day-bar and off the screen.
To people who post on these kinds of games asking for changes to make the game easier, I'd advise playing it a few times first... not sucking... and then decide if the suggestion should be made. The reason I ask this is because if some developer on another game actually takes one of these lousy suggestions seriously, it will ruin the game for everyone who isn't a 9-year-old girl. Thanks so much. :)
Sorry these nested replies are getting ugly.
I grabbed a screen shot of that base bug, and I think it offers some additional insights.
I had been off exploring to the west, so when I returned the tiles on the left side of the imaginary line are the ones that are bugged. It is rare for me to lose power, because of extra solar panels, but luckily it happened this time! The reason I say it is lucky is because we can now see that this is more than a cosmetic bug. Whatever tile variable you're using that ties them together as parts of the same overall "base", is also being affected. The game does not just put up walls to divide the base into 2 halves, it literally treats it as 2 bases that just happen to be side by side. Depending on how you coded the game to recognize attached base pieces, this could also be explained by my theory about map chunks loading while adjacent ones are not.
I hope this helps in some way.
Glad some of that was helpful. :) As it turns out, I was a bit too early when I talked about resources seeming to stop. I traveled even further and started to find them in larger quantities again. Looks like I was just extremely unlucky with a randomly massive dead-zone I had plopped my outpost into.
Another bug (not sure if reported) is one I wish I had grabbed a screen shot of. From time to time when I leave a base, returning will cause multiple capsules to seal themselves off along a vertical line. This essentially cuts the base in half because I cannot travel from one side to the other. Placing a new structure block anywhere on the base refreshes and corrects the bug, but this is definitely one I've seen a dozen or so times. At the "divide", only one side of the invisible wall will have sealed itself off, not both sides. Boy I wish I had a screen shot handy to show this. Eh, I'll mock one up real quick...
In each of the times when this occurred, I had been traveling a distance either East or West. The world folder lists a bunch of "chunk" files so I'm assuming the random map is created and stored as separate pieces while you explore. If I had to take a guess, I would guess the base is sitting on the line between 2 "chunks". Both unload as I travel away, and then only the closer one loads back up once I am in range. The tiles refresh themselves and the ones along that edge seal themselves off because the unloaded neighbor chunk isn't there to say "Hey, there is more base to your left". The capsule tiles on the left of the line remain unchanged because once that chunk loads it already had the first one (right side) loaded and therefore those capsules know they have neighbors to the east. Again I'm only taking a guess as to what is going on under the hood.
I'm sure you get tired of hearing about bugs, so I'll list a few more I spotted as just short little sentences. Feel free to skip over them, ROFL!
- Often times the airlock tiles will randomly treat you as inside or outside, and sometimes a mix! I've had times where standing on the airlock raised oxygen but lowered power.
- When approaching a base that is Very far away, the game will sometimes play the airlock door sound multiplied by the number of airlocks the base has. I am usually not close enough to even see the base yet.
- Not really a bug... well it is... because map data is stored separate from the "Saved game", terrain explored and resources gathered after a game was saved will still be missing from the map when you load again. Normally I'm sure players are not meant to be able to load from a saved game after dying, so this "bug" will be solved if such a change is made later on.
Well now that I've figured out that itch.io allows me to post image links, I might as well show off my bases for any other players who care to see. :P
My outpost is unluckily right in the middle of a resource dead zone. I explored a huge half-tank circle all around it and barely found anything I needed to survive. I came closer to death than ever trying to sustain myself there, and ultimately pack up to move on.
I used a few portable air tanks (could only scrape together resources to make 2!) to get myself as far from the first outpost as I could. Boy things are scary when your suit has no power! I have to count seconds to estimate when it was time to both eat and spend other air tanks. I wanted to maximize my distance before settling down again. The new location has resources very similar to the starting spot, so I'm finally able to get back on my feet and thrive. I still have a lot more resources to collect before this area is used up, and I will be traveling again.
I believe at this point I have survived around a month and a half (game time). This is the longest I've survived since switching into an infinite play mode. Also to anyone wondering about the water tanks and green farms, I "require" it of myself to put in a water tank, and I try to collect farms for decoration. Only when things get Super desperate will I harvest them, and that has happened a few times, especially in that first outpost.
Keep up the good work Cairn4!
I can't tell if randomness is just working against me, or if the map is meant to be harsher as you travel. In my current game I believe I'm about 2.5-3 air tanks west from the starting point. By that I the distance you could travel before suffocating if you started full and carried 2 extra air tanks with you. For huge sections of land there are no resources, and lately I've been traveling in a single direction until my O2 tank is at half, then walking straight back to my current base. In each of these trips I am only finding maybe 2 or 3 random resources, when a similar trip near the starting point probably would have been dozens. If this is not intended, could there be some sort of issue caused by me traveling so far? Perhaps some resource limit that is being reached because so much random map has been generated in my travels?
I don't mind the speed your little astronaut body burns through food (I like the challenge), and I like not having a mini map (I like to worry a little about getting lost), but I do wish the indoor farms were a little different. As they currently stand, there's little reason to have more than 1, unless you're like me and choose to decorate bases with several. The plants grow so quickly that you can easily wait and keep using the same tile. To encourage people to build more, maybe the plants could take several minutes to grow? Just a thought. Part of me would like a chance for a new seed to drop at the farm upon harvest, just so the farms could potentially be more than just squeezing a bit more food from your scavenging trips. You collect more food by wandering around, and the few seeds you acquire are just a tiny bit of extra food if you bother to put in a farm. Seems like that dynamic should be reversed somehow.
Cairn4, nice job on the game so far. I was in the mood today for a small game to play, and this one works nicely! I look forward to seeing what you add to the game, and also bug fixes (my farms empty and plants vanish when I load saved games). I have found it fun to modify a newly saved game to set my day to 8, allowing the game to go on endlessly without reaching the time limit. The original 8 days was too easy and it is quite a challenge to go on indefinitely because food resources run out. I have to go as long as I can, pack up parts for a new base, and trek out into the darkness for as far as I can. The new base grows until I'm once again forced to move. Keep up the good work sir.