Was it against a wall? Or was it behind something? They shouldn't be behind something, but yeah there's still a chance they sort of just barely stick out of a wall and due to the wall assets look like you shouldn't be able to fall in them. I have a fix in mind, hopefully that's the case you encountered
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Hmmmm, thanks for the insightful thoughts. I have a bunch of fears with secretly skipping quests
- The game experience will silently vary between players in a way that makes conversations about the game weird
- There's an achievement for doing all the quests
- I'm afraid of introducing complex state into a the game that complicates save files and changes a linear go-from-one-thing-to-the-next into something *more* than that
The case where a player has mastered the game but hasn't unlocked the teleporters is one I hadn't fully considered, but on the same token teleporters are hopefully not very enticing to someone in that situation in the first place.
Super appreciate your thoughts on this. I'll definitely be adding a dialogue bubble that appears after completing a quest that explains.
Yeah the goal was to de-emphasize quests and ensuring that people didn't think they were sort of "the game". They're mostly there as bite-sized guideposts for improving skill and exploring everything the game has to offer. Thanks for the catch on the difficulty spike with non-default seed planting!
We were planning on adding some text that hopefully would point to the quest being de-emphasized like "Remember, it's not about the quests it's about getting to the top!" Or something along that line of communication. Does that feel like it'd help?
It also might potentially be a little different for someone who's not already an expert like you? The quest system has been simplified since the do-one-quest-at-a-time thing was a part of it so it's feasible to have them chain together one after another, but the de-emphasis is still somewhat important to me.
there are definitely some places where your options amount to 'fall in hole', 'get hit by enemy', or 'wait 20 seconds and hope you can shimmy through a gap'.
Yeah, the dev team agrees -- too many enemies in the first biome right now a lot of times
if i am correct 2 hit enemies can drop 3 crystals and 3 hit can drop 5, meaning 3/2 to 5/3 gain [1/2 to 2/3 profit which is worth than crystal seed
Yup! I forget the exact numbers in the latest build, but they are definitely set in a way that should make it more economically powerful to hunt large enemies.
Because you don't have the choice and the enemy density is pretty high, an offensive strategy is very much dissuaded unless you have another offensive seed type.
Yeah definitely an unfortunate side effect of the too-many-enemies thing. I think some dodging of low health enemies is sort of fun, but it's too much/impossible at many points right now.
Basically, what this is saying in the long run is that thorns are very weak and not a good option for usage in the game in their current state.
This is somewhat intentional due to thorns being too dominant of a strategy in the past.
Right now one of the game's biggest problems is that players often don't get the opportunity to become comfortable with the non-default seeds in the game. This is a combination of it being really risky to try out a new seed, the seeds not being super polished (aiming, one of the main offensive seed mechanics, could use a lot of improving), and there being so many seeds that you don't get the opportunity to see a seed type enough to get good with it.
Right now the dev team is pushing hard to get all the remaining features we'd like in the game in the game which is why there hasn't been a build for some time. Your feedback is super valuable since it lines up with a lot of other players' thoughts, and we've been working on solutions to the problems you've been encountering in this feature push.
So, thank you again, and sorry for the slow reply!!
First, I am predominantly using keyboard; I haven't tried a controller yet, though I am presuming the game detects a controller
The backwards bike thing is a great description! Yeah, we generally recommend new players play with a controller since that seems to hook more directly into their brain (up on the stick means up, down means down, there's two sides, got it). This is definitely a hump to get over for getting into TS. Interesting point on the extra buttons -- something we'll definitely think about.
Second, I found an aura that told me to spend it (to get random items). No idea how to do that.
Yeah, that one is unfortunately broken right now I think :(
Thirdly, there are a some offensive seed types that sound like they have ways to control them, but no idea how to control them based on the text like "planted pads"
Most seed types you can't control, but if you can they aim away from the seed's position. We're definitely thinking about good ways to describe this aspect of certain seeds, since it's not something covered in any descriptions right now.
Apologies for the slow reply -- we've all been a little scattered with the holidays. Happy new year, and let us know if you have any other questions!
since your ingame friends have no hitbox but looks like they would
Interesting point on establishing expectations!
Oh here's a small one - a questgiver called me Mr. which might not roll with people who dosen't identify as dudes :) It's the reaction to the "get 15 gems" quest
Ah yes good call!
We had a big discussion today about how non-dev players don't seem to be branching out to other seed types as much as us (which is really what makes the desert and later feasible for us). Maybe it's the aiming mechanics are too weird right now? I basically don't use thorns except for specific situations where I'm dealing with certain enemies that follow me past the jungle. Definitely something for us to chew on. hartlaboratories was talking about their strategies here which seems to express similar sentiment.
Tracking homing enemies close to the player and including it in the new zones spawn weight to reduce it etc.
We spawn the whole world at once so that we can have consistent seeding and eventually have daily runs.
The exponential weight multiplying is really interesting!
Honestly I think it might be broken right now I need to double-check. Apologies! There's usually a little circle that you can roll over with a 🔄 emoji above it that you roll over while holding the aura
In the forest having an easier first couple hundred feet/meters seems like it would make it more approachable to new players
The spawning algorithm does not seem to take this into account, so sometimes you make have 3 homing enemies (pink spiders and large pink fly's)
It does take it into account, but not in a way that is as effective as it could be. Right now every enemy has a weight. We spawn zones of enemies, and each zone has a weight sum. Homing enemies have a much higher weight than non-homing. The idea being that ideally a single homing enemy (or other more-difficult enemy) spawns in the zone, and then another high-weight enemy can't fit under the weight limit, so the rest of the zone gets filled with smaller enemies.
In reality what happens is we get bad spawns when homing enemies happen to *just* fit into an enemy's weight-sum so they are the only enemies in that zone. And of course two or three homing enemies with no filler enemies is MUCH harder than one homing enemy with a commensurate amount of filler enemies.
All this to say that we are trying, it's not working as well as it should, and it should definitely be improved! Limiting the number of homing enemies per zone is definitely one approach on the table right now, and should probably be the system since it is what the weight system is attempting to do right now, and failing quite often.
All this to say that you're right!
I hear you on the save file stuff. If we do add this feature it will probably be closer to release rather than in a near-future alpha build.
Unfortunately my suspicion is that adding support for this would be a lot of work, and we're only two programmers on the team. And like you said, a lot of games like ours don't have this sort of save support and people still play them so the expectation doesn't feel established enough for it to feel like a must-have before we ship the game. The unfortunate realities of making a game with just two programmers :(
Not coming off as negative at all! We share a lot of the same concerns and are definitely worried about muddling the design with extraneous systems. So it is super valuable to hear this, thanks!
Related: Have you considered starting the player with more crystals so that the approach to the beginning of the first biome, as far as plots go, has more potential for variance?
Hopefully forcing players to mine and kill enemies for more crystals and how they go about that is in and of itself an interesting initial strategy decision with some variance. Do you start off with the crystal seed and get more crystals and avoid enemies? Are there some crystals lying around so you can jump-start your economy by picking them up, getting some thorns, and kill some big enemies for crystals? Do you use the prevalence and ease of access of plots in the first biome to instead plant as many hearts as possible so you can get a head start on health and worry about economy later?
All this to say that my hypothesis is that adding to the initial crystal count would remove decisions -- whether or not you want to get more crystals, and how you want to go about getting them -- rather than adding decisions.
The beginning of the game is not always the most exciting, and we've spent a lot of time worrying about making it as interesting as possible without making players feel like the optimal strategy is to restart until they get a nice initial spawn/randomness (i.e. the more strong variance we add, the more immediately restarting until you get good initial variance is rewarded).
This latest build from today actually attempts to address that a bit by making killing large enemies worth a lot more crystals. My early play has now shifted to trying to get as many thorns as possible and not only kill enemies, but avoid killing low health enemies which is its own challenge. So, things are still changing and we are definitely open to ideas on this problem!
Sorry this was rambling!!
Glad you had a good time with your friends! Stories like that always make my day haha
Not sure if this was mentioned somewhere, but we found if you quit on purpose to restart a run, you keep thorns and other items like that from the last run.
Sorry yeah that's in our bug tracker -- didn't get around to it for this week. This makes the missing "restart" button especially egregious -- sincere apologies!
Also big thing, we wanted an SFX and especially music volume badly
I know David was just mentioning in Slack that he's dying to get those in too so we feel your pain.
This small quality-of-life stuff is a killer, I know. They keep getting pushed back as we try to figure out the last design pieces in the game so we can really focus in on finishing/polishing. I appreciate you reporting them, definitely motivates me!
I also got the thorn aura which seemed more fun than actually beneficial, but I don't think that's a bad thing.
Yeah, this is my feeling on the randoseed as well -- interesting to hear your take
Just got myself stuck in a wall with Timed Teleseed aura, but was able to teleport myself out of the wall. Still seemed like a bug though. Even without the bug, I don't see myself picking up that aura next time I see it. It kept interrupting me and getting me hurt. I guess I'm kind of a risk-averse roguelike player.
Yeah, that's a bug, sorry. Honestly, the timed teleseed is probably one of the worst auras there is. Or, rather, one of the most jarring and bizarre. Maybe give it a shot with some others.
I'm curious why you decided to only give one option for the auras rather than making it a choice like the crystal rooms. To emphasize that picking up the aura is optional?
We were initially testing auras as something that you'd pick in a crystal room or shop -- on the same level as seed types. I was playing with this for a while and it just never felt right. In the end I realized that auras just aren't as important as seed types and placing them at the same decision-level as seed types made me not use them, and made them seem bad. However, when I just dropped them in a room in each camp, they were immediately shaping my runs and I was having a lot of fun with them.
Right now it's sort of just giving you one since it's the simplest way to test auras as a gameplay system that doesn't interfere too much with the systems that already exist. In the end if we do keep auras in the game we could very well do more interesting things like choices between auras, sacrificing resources to get auras, etc. So yeah, mostly for simplicity, testing, and isolating the experience.
It's definitely overpowered at the moment, in my opinion.
Yeah, I'll say that there are a bunch of them that are probably overpowered right now. The design process that has been most successful for us has been "make a thing too strong so that we find out if it's fun and then tone it down".
I also came across the aura that's supposed to give you two free seeds, I believe, but I was confused about how to use it, if I needed to get hit?
If you go into a crystal room or shop there should be a little circle with the arrows-in-a-circle emoji. If you roll over that with it it should work. Though, now thinking about it, I'm realizing there might have been some changes that broke it in crystal rooms. It is... very alpha right now.
Love the Thorn Aura story! Playing with variables like health gain will definitely be tools to pull out to make these crazy things more balanced haha
How in the world does a seed roll over water?
Hahaha "it floats" is our internal logic. Hopefully we'll have some sort of bobbing effect so that makes more sense
I picked up a seed from a crate that showed up after hitting three purple buttons. When I picked up this seed (homing seed, doubt that matters), it was automatically equipped but I had to open up the seed menu to find out what kind of seed it was. It would be nice if there were an alert on the screen that said "Homing Seed" or something like that so I knew what I picked up without having to go check.
Good idea! Seeds from crates are pretty rare so I always forget that's a place where seeds appear, so good catch!
The default seed seems like it should be the crystal seed rather than the checkpoint seed, seeing as it's the only one (that I've seen) that doesn't cost any crystals to plant and using the checkpoint on the first few plots is pretty much worthless, even for a super beginner player. In fact, any of the seeds other than the checkpoint seed seem to be more useful at the very beginning.
Yeah, this is something I struggle with. To us, the checkpoint seed sort of *is* the character of the TumbleSeed. So it's sort of that in his default state TS plants checkpoints. Haven't talked about this much with other people on the dev team, but it's something I've been mulling over personally.
Thank you for such detailed and precise notes, it is truly appreciated!! A lot of things you noted are already on our to-do, but it's always good to hear those issues again as they bump them to the top of our minds. Specifically with world generation stuff David just wrote some code the last couple weeks that should make world generation way way faster, we just have to integrate it. Again -- great notes, thanks!!
I think the first quest should not be specific as to how you kill yourself.
I like this. My initial reasoning was that spikes killing players instantly is sometimes a frustrating gotcha, but that might be solvable through other means. Thinking about it a little harder I realize that the first quest might be the way it is because it was the fastest quest for me to test and it's the first one I implemented and just wanted some task I could repeat quickly which is not a good reason behind a design but is kinda a funny epiphany haha
Perhaps moving the hit box out (with an obvious marker) would make it feel better?
The bomb seed might be too powerful with the increased number of enemies. With the aura that takes 7 crystals instead of damage, I still had 40 crystals by the third camp (along with 8 hearts).
Hahaha yeah that could be. I've been having a lot of fun with the latest build because you sometimes get overpowered stuff like that happening, but it's definitely too much in some cases.
Really like your boss suggestions as well! Definitely one of the far less polished sections of the game so ideas for that stuff are really appreciated