Episode 205: A Final Unity
Posted 12 February 2013 - 02:30 AM
Posted 12 February 2013 - 10:23 PM
Posted 13 February 2013 - 12:14 AM
Posted 13 February 2013 - 05:10 AM
Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:01 PM
Just a little side question for Rob: do you guys give Developers a heads up on the sort of topics you are going to ask them about before a podcast? or do you try & keep things more informal?
Posted 15 February 2013 - 01:39 AM
My experience in that regard is that it all comes down to how many useful options the player has at their disposal; Bruce was more or less on the money when he said that you have to work harder to make something a puzzle.
A puzzle scenario is one in which you have *apparent* decisions to make, but each decision has only one right choice. It's a spectrum, obviously; but the fewer "right" decisions the player can make, the more a scenario becomes a puzzle rather than a strategic challenge. Tomislav's point contained two ways of moving things away from the puzzle end of the spectrum; increased complexity, and instability with some randomness.
Instability with randomness means that sometimes what would have been the right answer normally wasn't the right answer this time, or what ought to have been totally wrong (I think it was Julian who's been known to say "Sometimes Pickett's charge has to work, if the dice come up just right." or something to that effect) happens to be right this time. There was a whole 3MA episode about luck in games, IIRC.
Increased complexity is a classic way of shifting a scenario away from the puzzle end of of the spectrum; more moving parts means more options for the players (including the AI), and as long as multiple options are viable at any given time, the scenario won't feel like a puzzle. "Take the bridge." is far more of a puzzle at the brigade level than it is at the platoon or section level.
If you want to make a scenario into a puzzle, you have to find and eliminate options. If there are two bridges, one of them has to be impassable or a trap. You need to add apparent options that are lethal, either immediately or by taking something from the player that they will need later in order to win (perhaps time if it's a timed scenario, perhaps bogging down a crucial unit, or perhaps giving the enemy time to perform some action). You probably want to add a honeypot or two; something the player will *want* to capture, but which will wind up squandering enough resources that they can't beat the scenario if they take the honeypot.
Setting up a scenario in which there is a a single path to victory that isn't obvious takes significantly more effort than just building a scenario.
Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:09 PM
Can anyone recommend a few good ww2 eastern front documentaries? Getting back into playing UoC has really got me interested in the era again but i'm sadly a little ignorant of where i should start.
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