October 20, 2017, 02:41:32 PM

Author Topic: Loss Of Public Interest?  (Read 16436 times)

Litcube

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #30 on: October 26, 2013, 08:16:45 AM »
In a small way, I agree with the notion that there isn't enough progress being made given a measured time frame.  My concern is bug crunching.  There's a considerable amount of reports in regards to crashes and bugs which should be addressed before we get carried away with content.

Derpblob

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #31 on: October 26, 2013, 08:47:52 PM »
Three weeks of only sounds and minor bug fixes and small graphical additions. That doesn't help, before that was a month of surely helpful and somewhat worthy bug fixes optimizations, but even then only wheel barrow is the most notable thing in the last 3 months.

Dwarf Fortress thinks of your fortress is a part of the world. You can live on your own, but you can also rely on others for certain resources. Gnomoria treats you as something of your own. So the way you can do things can change each time. Not only that but the way you can achieve the same thing is great. You can force a high female to male cat population, burst the cat population to stupid levels, and butcher them Or get plump helmet galore, etc.

In Gnomoria you can choose farming, yaks can help, or you might use goblins and some farming. That's it. That and when you get really bored with Dwarf Fortress, make a blood cannon. You heard me, grind animals into blood, put it in a pool, and drown your animals in blood! Let their blood be part of it! Their blood only adds more blood to the blood!

That and in Dwarf Fortress you can decide your difficulty is way more possible, you could put 1000 trap and be perfectly safe in DF, let blood shower everywhere. or you can live in a land raining elf blood that turn kills everything. Also they might turn into zombies. Also giant dragons. And grizzly bear army. The first thing when I'm getting when mounts are possible is a bear cavalry. I must strive for it!
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Xanoxis

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #32 on: October 27, 2013, 12:56:33 PM »
*snip*

Ok, ok, lets stop right there! Tell me, because im curious, was all this stuff in DF when it was 1,5 years into development? And mostly without bugs and crashes, like in gnomoria (I never had a crash in gnomoria, and I play it all this time from indie game stand sale).
I want tigers in Gnomoria :D

Master_Aricitic

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2013, 07:14:08 PM »
I agree that it is mostly focusing on bugs right now. A LOT of the bugs reported are some what hard to find unless a save game is provided (and when a user has to find an external website to host their file... it becomes less likely that they will post the save file -- or am I wrong? Seriously, am I?) Even if the bug is pointed almost directly at, finding the source of the bug and fixing it permanently is... often difficult. There are also a LOT of bugs reported and some of them, against the best efforts of the people using it, the people who created the bug reporting system, etc's attempts, are repeats of same or similar bugs; so Robobob or someone else has to sort through them and find 'real'/'new' bugs.

However, I do find Robobob's statement on features v. content somewhat confusing. Many of the things he is accounting as content I would consider features -- true, i understand where he is coming from when he defines 'features', but I don't buy Sims Content packs because, as far as I am concerned, they contain no features... and that's how I define it: new models and simple cosmetic changes (i.e Sims Content packs) != (does not equal -- in programmer speak) features. However, Robobob changes this by saying 'magic' is 'content'.

Finally, he has already stated that he will add no more 'game changing' 'features' at least not until he considers the game to be 'Release state' (i.e. when DLC or Expansions would be worked on and produced -- but not as either [hopefully]). Frankly, we will have to wait until those hard to kill bugs are found and exterminated before we really see what he thinks of as content v. features (those pesky spiders and beetles... need more hammer wielding gnomes if you ask me...)

original182

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #34 on: October 28, 2013, 11:16:20 PM »
What is his vision of the game?

Is he planning to add all the features from Dwarf Fortress?

Because there was one time I got a blind gnome. I was secretly hoping that in a future update, he will become the fabled blind swordsgnome with incredible sword fighting skills.

Kinasin

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #35 on: October 29, 2013, 01:10:45 AM »
The forums seem rather deserted, really. I thought about it, and came up with two main reasons for that:

  • Lack Of New Content.
    We haven't had a feature/content update in months, it seems. The last one was Prospecting, and before that, the wheelbarrows. But these are not game-changing features, they just streamline the process. Compare the amount of activity for the Sliver Update with the three posts that Prospecting begot. Streamlining is great, actually, but it only accentuates the next, more general problem:
  • There Can Be Only One (way to play the game). Gnomoria as it is now is extremely deterministic. You always start with the same setup, and the strategy decisions are quite limited. The main one is: wall in or leave a gate. The rest is pretty linear, all decisions affect only when you get to the next step, as the development sequence is pretty much non-branching. Combat disbalance only makes things worse. I would even go as far as to say that the closed fort strategy is more fun to play, since there's more tension to that after you are moderately settled in: your military doesn't get as much action and stays underpowered, so every time you open the front gate is an adventure: will your gnomads make it? will the next wave of enemies kill the merchant? will the engineer make it to the lever in time? I guess I'll play the next game as a closed-gate fortress.
As a closing remark, I'll reiterate what I have said a number of times: Gnomoria needs more coding effort. Several times the current amount.
I actually agree.

kinsi

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #36 on: October 29, 2013, 06:06:02 AM »
Is he planning to add all the features from Dwarf Fortress?

I hope he is not going to implement every "feature"...
I don't want a "strategic sandbox everything management game" where you have to take care of every single tooth of a gnome or you risk loosing your kingdom.
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Rho

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2013, 06:53:25 AM »
As a closing remark, I'll reiterate what I have said a number of times: Gnomoria needs more coding effort. Several times the current amount.

Whether it's true or not, I can directly tell you from experience that productivity does not increase proportionally with the more people you add to a project.

Right now there's technically three developers. Rob does the coding, I do the art and Primate does the music. Each area has one person who is able to focus 100% on their job. Speaking in Robs case here, if you add another person to the coding team, that turns Rob from a coder into a manager. Instead of focusing 100% of his energy on coding, he'd now have to share that energy with the stress of managing someone else and checking their work. Even if he found the best programmer, no two people work exactly the same way and coordination is needed, and that's without to say the time needed to bring any coders up to speed to begin with.

The offers of free help are definitely appreciated, but coding just isn't the kind of thing you can take a "more chefs" approach with.

dramamine

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #38 on: October 29, 2013, 08:20:29 AM »
As a closing remark, I'll reiterate what I have said a number of times: Gnomoria needs more coding effort. Several times the current amount.

Whether it's true or not, I can directly tell you from experience that productivity does not increase proportionally with the more people you add to a project.

Right now there's technically three developers. Rob does the coding, I do the art and Primate does the music. Each area has one person who is able to focus 100% on their job. Speaking in Robs case here, if you add another person to the coding team, that turns Rob from a coder into a manager. Instead of focusing 100% of his energy on coding, he'd now have to share that energy with the stress of managing someone else and checking their work. Even if he found the best programmer, no two people work exactly the same way and coordination is needed, and that's without to say the time needed to bring any coders up to speed to begin with.

The offers of free help are definitely appreciated, but coding just isn't the kind of thing you can take a "more chefs" approach with.
You're right, but the game is large enough that it can be compartmentalized more than it is right now. There are enough big pieces to the game and Rob's been working at it long enough that I'm sure there are pieces which rob could write a sort of specification and let someone focus on it 100%. In a sense, it might turn him into more of a manager, but it'd also allow him to focus on the parts of the game he's either the most interested in himself, or the big picture. Instead of spending a week here and a week there on improving, say, how gnomes are stored/sorted/handled/managed/whatever, he could write up a list of requirements and goals that he'd need in place to realize his big picture, and hand it off to someone to work on 100%.

However, I do think that relying on free help would be a bad idea. You need to be certain that someone's going to finish what they started if you're putting them in charge of something.

reggubha

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #39 on: October 29, 2013, 01:28:09 PM »
Whether it's true or not, I can directly tell you from experience that productivity does not increase proportionally with the more people you add to a project.

Right now there's technically three developers. Rob does the coding, I do the art and Primate does the music. Each area has one person who is able to focus 100% on their job. Speaking in Robs case here, if you add another person to the coding team, that turns Rob from a coder into a manager. Instead of focusing 100% of his energy on coding, he'd now have to share that energy with the stress of managing someone else and checking their work. Even if he found the best programmer, no two people work exactly the same way and coordination is needed, and that's without to say the time needed to bring any coders up to speed to begin with.
While what you say is technically true, I have to disagree with the conclusions. Here's why.
An abstract project of a large scope does invariably require all the management, or at least that's what management theory would tell us. However, we are not talking about a large project with dozens of developers, but rather about adding one coder to the one already present. With the areas of responsibility distinct enough, the management overhead would be negligible. You yourself admit that the three of you work rather well on your separate areas without much friction.
So, in this case, what is needed is a like-minded coder who has a view of the game not that different from Rob's (i.e. he's not trying to turn it into a flight simulator), to avoid potential conflicts in the general direction. This hypothetical coder can be given a distinct area to work on, such as the external world, diplomacy and everything. Some workload will, of course, be lost on coordination, interfaces and such, but not much if the game's architecture is relatively solid (i.e. no gnome behavior code in buttons). After all, the three of you had to agree on the formats/locations/naming of art assets, and everything works as long as all of you stick to that. Did it take much time? I doubt it. Same deal with interface between major systems, except the validity of said interfaces is additionally verified by the compiler.

The offers of free help are definitely appreciated, but coding just isn't the kind of thing you can take a "more chefs" approach with.
The multitude of opensource projects says otherwise.
I'm not saying it's *the* way to go, and there are no other ways to do things, but currently available development tools (version control, dev environments etc.) have made collaboration among a group of developers fairly straightforward and efficient. I'm not saying there's no overhead, but in the scenario where a feature done by a side coder is either late or low quality, it can simply be excluded from the build at very little cost (only the time spent on verifying the quality).

Weasel War Dance

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #40 on: October 29, 2013, 02:11:15 PM »
Many of the Beta testers I have known love testing when things are buggy but as things get closer to a live release they lose interest.

As for there being only 'one' way to play.  It would take about three seconds to add some more sliders and checkboxes to make dozens of ways to play.  Also it only takes -one- thing to suddenly shift the entire focus of a game, look at the creepers from Minecraft.  I think the focus should be to get the one or two ways to play working perfectly before adding more problems.

Personally, I'm working toward 400 hours-- there are only a handful of games I have ever played that can boast that many hours.  Not only have I gotten my money's worth, I'm going to throw my money on whatever the next project is too.  If robobob quits making games and starts baking cookies, than I'm going to buy a few boxes.  I hope he sticks with games though... robobob cookies sound a little --screwy--

Cat

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #41 on: October 29, 2013, 03:39:57 PM »
If robobob quits making games and starts baking cookies, than I'm going to buy a few boxes.  I hope he sticks with games though... robobob cookies sound a little --screwy--

My cookie tastes like Goblin!
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Master_Aricitic

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #42 on: October 29, 2013, 04:30:32 PM »
I certainly understand the reluctance to add a/new programmer(s). Adding people (initially, at the very least) is always a complication. If you don't have a person you know-and know well-in mind then 'finding' and 'selecting' a new coder alone is difficult, needless to say getting everyone to work well together... however, that doesn't mean that Robobob would need to take on the role of 'manager'. He could, if he chose, remain a full time developer and hire someone else to be a manager. This may seem odd to some, but 'tis better to hire someone apt to the job than to needlessly take on the role yourself just because you 'own' the business.

With respect to adding more coders adding complexity to the coding process... yes, this is true, unless you take into the fact what absolutely EVERY coding class teaches, which is that all modern languages are designed to allow multiple different coders work together without stepping on each other's toes. It doesn't matter if programmer X uses method Y and variable names A, B, C in their coding... programming is modular-unless programmed idiotically, in which case you get extreme issues of bugs and difficulty making changes (I won't name names...)-and therefore can be done with as many different people as one desires.
Robobob could add another coder, give them a separate task to work on and only check to see if the combined code works together (heck, we will notify you all if there are bugs, so he could even ignore that aspect). If it turns out that the new coder produces far too many bugs-by way of bug reports and the new developer's designated tasks-then Robobob could 'have words with them'... or, as mentioned before, hire a manager to do this for him...

Ultimately, though, it is all up to Robobob. It's his program, what he wants with it is what will happen with it... all we can do is make suggestions (and argue our points).

R86

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #43 on: October 29, 2013, 06:12:17 PM »
The multitude of opensource projects says otherwise.

There you go then! Since you're already a brilliant coder, why not use open source graphics and sound? You could show us how much better it could be by evidence of your work, rather than relying on convincing us with paragraphs.

I'm sure many of us would have made at least slightly different design choices if Gnomoria was our game, and there's several of us who wouldn't mind cranking out some XNA lines in order to further the game, but Gnomoria is Rob's baby and it's pretty easy to understand why someone wouldn't want strangers touching their baby.

Your claim that Gnomoria needs more programming effort is incorrect on its own. I believe an improved statement would be "Gnomoria needs more programming effort if it's going to turn into the game I want it to become over my ideal time frame." But Gnomoria is using Rob's goals and time table and I would assume that he finds the amount of programming effort sufficient.

So, instead of being the stranger trying to touch someone's baby, why not go contribute your coding skill where it is wanted? Or even needed, in the case of many of those opensource programs. Several of them suffer from horrible neglect.

bvierra

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Re: Loss Of Public Interest?
« Reply #44 on: October 29, 2013, 11:45:07 PM »
I will post my opinion on this in regards to the first post. I apologize if I am rehashing something someone else said, but hey, it happens :)


I have over 300hrs in game in steam, I probably had that many if not more prior to it being on steam. I would be more active but I started a new job about a year back and am now a Director in a company and for some odd reason they expect me to work :-/


The changes lately (last few months) have been more cleanups / optimizations / re factoring as opposed to content addition. This in my opinion was planned that way for a very specific reason, to get into beta. Usually in programs (I have programmed for about 10 years now, so I have a little back ground in it... just not gamedev) the stages are the following:


1) Prototype / POC - Get something working that can used to prove a concept works.
2) Alpha  - Create the framework / engine and get a small amount of content in. Usually this stage would have the basics to work in however the underlying pieces all are in a state of freeze before beta. For example the structure of the engine functions should not change.
3) Beta - Content / Play balance / Polishing. This is where you usually get your pre-release testers in so you see content added all the time.
4) Release and beyond - Well it's done... duh


That being said many people here joined in the Alpha stage instead of the normal Beta stage. To get to the Beta stage, you want the freeze on the engine so that if you change say a function for building a floor, you only have to change 5 tiles that use said function instead of the 50 you may have at release.


The fact that Bob has kept a 1 week during alpha / 2 week during beta release schedule is pretty amazing if you look at almost any other game out there. This is a game that takes time to make not only because of coding, but you have a lot to think about every time you add an item to balance the world.


From what I have read, there are great things coming and if there is a content patch a quarter I think that 80% of the people out there will be extremely happy.
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