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Hairy Mary
 Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 01:33 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

Quote by: tehdave

Maybe, to address Matthew's concern of a newbie running around with stone and getting dropped off in the ocean by random chance...the first {1-3} time{s} you take a train in a gameday, you're much more likely to get where you're going, as opposed to taking the train all over creation, in which case the conductor might get sick of you and either demand a new rail pass or kick you off the train mid-travel somewhere. That way there's still the stability of having the trains go where you need them to, but if you start abusing them every gameday you used a pass (like I used to, tbh) then there's Consequences...



That's a good idea, but I'd go even further and say that the first 3 or so trips should be definite, with no chance of getting dropped off any place where you don't need to go. Three in particular is a good number; it lets you get to Pleasantville with the first trip, then to where ever you're mining/logging with the second, then back to your dwelling with the last. After that, I do like the idea of subsequent trips building a risk where the stationmaster might demand more passes to make up for your 'abuse of the system', the card thief coming after you, possible muggers taking 25% of your current on-hand req, whatever.

Personal experience: I ate three steaks and a builder's brew and went nuts on the CC404 square. I mined like 400 stone or so, then I hit the train to drop it off at my dwelling. Because the game decided to be Improbable! isn't that HILARIOUS!!! it dropped me off at the Abandoned Waystation, far enough away from my dwelling so as to be meaningless with 400+ stone, and completely fucked over. This was not fun. Rather, it made me grit my teeth and vaguely entertain putting my first through my monitor. It did not add anything to my gameplay experience, it took away. More importantly, it wasted my money (that used to buy the brew) and made me seriously reconsider buying/using another one if bullshit random chance could rob me of the privilege I payed for.

So yeah, no more of that. I don't mean to sound SOOOO ANGRY but I strongly advocate the new train system not having any of that or at the very least giving you a few freebie trips after you use ticket.



You could have used a one-shot. I try to always carry one with me for just this purpose. Then if you're dropped off at the Abandoned Waystation, you can simply one-shot to any outpost with a station on it and try again. Don't get bitten twice.


 
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Matthew
 Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 02:18 AM UTC  
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Perhaps, but one-shots are expensive and it's a bit unreasonable to expect newer players in particular to carry one whenever they want to do any building.

And there's nothing stopping it from happening twice in a row. Happened to me, once. Granted I wasn't carrying building materials then... but it's possible to still be unlucky.


 
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Count Sessine
 Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 03:18 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Matthew

Perhaps, but one-shots are expensive and it's a bit unreasonable to expect newer players in particular to carry one whenever they want to do any building.

And there's nothing stopping it from happening twice in a row. Happened to me, once. Granted I wasn't carrying building materials then... but it's possible to still be unlucky.

I get your point, Matthew -- though newer players aren't usually carrying 400 stone, either.

The game does include bigger disasters than this. Ask anyone who's tipped the Skronky Pot.


 
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Harris
 Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 07:56 AM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Matthew

Perhaps, but one-shots are expensive and it's a bit unreasonable to expect newer players in particular to carry one whenever they want to do any building.

And there's nothing stopping it from happening twice in a row. Happened to me, once. Granted I wasn't carrying building materials then... but it's possible to still be unlucky.

I get your point, Matthew -- though newer players aren't usually carrying 400 stone, either.

The game does include bigger disasters than this. Ask anyone who's tipped the Skronky Pot.



'e's got a point. Faith and begorrah... X_x


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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dizzyizzy
 Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 02:47 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Matthew

Perhaps, but one-shots are expensive and it's a bit unreasonable to expect newer players in particular to carry one whenever they want to do any building.

And there's nothing stopping it from happening twice in a row. Happened to me, once. Granted I wasn't carrying building materials then... but it's possible to still be unlucky.

I get your point, Matthew -- though newer players aren't usually carrying 400 stone, either.

The game does include bigger disasters than this. Ask anyone who's tipped the Skronky Pot.



how much real-world money have you spent expressly to gather Charm?


 
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Beeps
 Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 03:31 PM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

How much real-world money have you spent expressly to gather Charm?


I can already see myself regretting saying this in the future.

Keep in mind that the Hunter's Lodge is not a cash shop. At least, not directly. You are donating to keep the site running, and as a bonus you get CMJ Funland Playbucks* that let you buy the novelty finger puppet of your choice. I find myself doing the same thing when something bought with SP doesn't work the way I expect/backfires, but it boils down to the fact that SP and Hunter's Lodge items are an incentive to donate, not items purchased with real-world money. Your donations are paying to keep the game going on a whole, they are not buying you rights for everything to go your way for a game day. This is also a good reason why new Hunter's Lodge items should be in that altruism category mentioned in the other thread.

* "CMJ Funland Playbucks" is a registered trademark of the Best Elements Entertainment Products company. All rights reserved. Like, all of them. There are so many rights. So, so many. Like the right to yodel in the shower. I reserved that one too.


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Count Sessine
 Tuesday, September 27 2011 @ 03:45 PM UTC  
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Quote by: dizzyizzy

Quote by: Count+Sessine

Quote by: Matthew

Perhaps, but one-shots are expensive and it's a bit unreasonable to expect newer players in particular to carry one whenever they want to do any building.

And there's nothing stopping it from happening twice in a row. Happened to me, once. Granted I wasn't carrying building materials then... but it's possible to still be unlucky.

I get your point, Matthew -- though newer players aren't usually carrying 400 stone, either.

The game does include bigger disasters than this. Ask anyone who's tipped the Skronky Pot.



how much real-world money have you spent expressly to gather Charm?

Mmhm, yes indeed. Though we had none of those delightful supporter-points builders' brews back when the first edition of Trains was written. In any case: I now own the Waystation.* This means I can use the resources of Programs and Memories to give people interesting things to do if they're dumped there... and possibly even, I don't know... a conditional way back into the train system.

But that's an extra. There's a mountain of more essential stuff to get working first.

Trains 2.0 will be different. Not as easy. Don't expect to get back the old system, it's not going to happen. Some parts worked out well, some didn't. Some of the parts that didn't work were the way they were because of limitations in the Labs interface; others were due to me not having foreseen how certain 'neat ideas' would play out in practice. And, guess what -- the new version isn't going to be perfect either. The Places interface will impose its own limitations. While I've learned from watching 1.0 being used and will do my very best, I'm sure there will still also be some consequences I fail to foresee. Not perfect, guys... but I hope it will be better.


--
* The original creator of the Abandoned Waystation is welcome to have it back if he ever returns to the game. I'll be delighted if he does, because I really want to know what's behind that Black 13 door....


 
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Awesome Fred
 Tuesday, December 20 2011 @ 04:54 AM UTC  
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I'm resurrecting this thread in order to post a response to a thread that I don't want to derail (haha) too severely.

I have a list of suggestions for you, Sessine, though I don't know how far along you are and if it's too late to implement some things.







If the new system is still going to use the cards,

• Make a slew of combinations that all yield different rewards.

The "duplicates-meaning-more" thing was very straightforward, and as a result a bit unexciting. It was also rather one-dimensional. If you used Poker rules among others, you might get people holding out for different combinations for a better gain than what their hand will currently get. Promote making the player choose to dump a card so their hand doesn't get used up while they wait for a better card.

• Increment Rail Pass Power, not Rail Pass Amount

Being able to amass loads of passes in a single hand means that clever system gamers might have the ability to trivialize travel altogether. Trains should be a treat, not a typical t'ing. (Hey, I tried to assonate and then alliterate.) The "better combinations" should lead to more powerful passes. Here's an example setup I decided to create:

† For 5 unrelated cards, the next day you wake up with randomly: 20 req, a burned pass (useless), a cig, an Improbability Bomb, or maybe a -Basic Pass- which gets you 1 use.

† If your cards add up to a multiple of 21, you get 2100 req, unless a higher combination is also satisfied. I'm pretty sure we don't have face cards, so there shouldn't be too much confusion.

† Getting a Pair (suit doesn't matter) in your hand of 5 should get you a -Basic Pass-, guaranteed.

† Two Pair gets you a =Double Pass=, which is good for 2 uses within one day. It's main usage is for round trips, though you could technically hit a third city instead.

† Three of a Kind gets you a ≡First Class Pass≡, which does the old "pick any square" thing, but it's limited to the one usage.

† Straight will get you 20 cigs(!). If we do the math, a Straight is hard to randomly get (though we do have 5 suits which changes the standard chances), but players who manage to get 3 in succession might hold out for the fourth and fifth and continually dump the last card in the hand, depending if they want cigs more than easy travel for one day.

† Flush gives you an ☼All-Day Pass☼. That's what we used to think of as a Basic Pass. This is actually harder to get than standard decks of cards--since if our cards don't change from their old setup, I think we have 10 of each suit but 5 suits (plus a joker).

† Hawking Flush (made up the name) - you need 1 of every suit, since we have 5 suits. That's an easy 5/5 * 4/5 * 3/5 * 2/5 * 1/5 chance, or a 3.8% chance. If you end the day with a Hawking Flush and don't notice, you'll take half of Max HP damage at the start of the day. So in other words, you DON'T want this.

† Straight Flush gives you «Elite Pass» which is what our old First Class passes were. All day, any square.

† Since we have no Royal Flush, 5 Jokers should be 500 cigs. Yep. Straight up. 5 jokers. 1/51 ^ 5. GOOD LUCK LOL

There could be all sorts of combinations, but that wasn't this bullet point. My point is the successive power of better combinations, not more passes. More passes can trivialize it all.

• Acquiring Should Be Random or Involved

The last way it was set up, every room that could generate a card did generate a card. That created a routine. We've pretty much settled on the whole "routines suck" thing. The easy fix that would be similar to the past would be that almost any room could generate a card, but only a few would per day. People would communicate to one another when the find the place to go get it, and that would get people moving to check out dwellings. I know that last time, the descriptions were tailored to every dwelling, but since that would be crazily out of hand with more and more dwellings since you'd have to write them all, we can forego them--a small price to pay for a better mechanic.

• Tricky: Losing Cards?

If what I say about all sorts of different combinations existing and having the player pick and choose when to discard one in hopes of a different one goes through, the chance to randomly lose one of your cards will make it all very unfun, since it's an effort in futility to try to get that last card to complete a Straight for those 20 cigs.

However, if what I suggest about so many combinations doesn't actually have appropriate rewards scaled to the effort of getting those combinations, and players don't care about which cards they have most of the time, the ability to lose cards might bring about an awareness to how card choice matters.

This is a tricky thing to handle properly, though, so maybe it's better to leave out.


 
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Harris
 Tuesday, December 20 2011 @ 09:57 AM UTC  
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If I may still pipe up as well?

Please don't:

remove the train theme
It makes quite enough sense ("BEWARE OF TIME DISTORTIONS"), and adds heavily to the sort of underlying running theme of class that we Yanks love so very much about...well, everyhting British.
Plus it makes for a truly nifty excuse to randomly dump folks in the Abandoned Waystation (which is still so very awesome.*)

remove the playing cards
As above, only excluding the Abandoned Waystation, and including that it's so wondefully simple a game mechanic to tie in to any Joker stories you write.

make the cards degrade
That would be pretty damn annoying. If you feel that degradation is needed, make passes degrade instead? I feel like that'd make more sense.

Please do:

Make unique-to-the-train threats
I always kind of dreaded and liked running into the Midgets on the train, and summarily losing HP to a dart in Harris' head, or having req stolen.
Mayhap have those encounters (or similar ones) provoke fights that we can win, or lose, that even have a consequence of say, taking a memento from us? And we'd have to win the fight to get our req back, and have to explore the train to find our memento again? (i.e., Places programming: take memento, give memento, comand: partial match: /LOOK, etc.)
I know that last encounter suggestion isn't likely to be anything feasible as it is, but i figured I'd offer anyway, in the name of brainstorming.

Make a Something Improbable! random event that steals playing cards, and/or passes.

Say, the old man? He ALREADY steals enough of my friggin' cigs and stamina! (shakes fist)
Shoot, add card granting and card and pass theft into Stonehenge's repertoire! It already does everything else. Why not?







*Sessine, I can't remember if I told you, but I know Black Thirteen's origin. I will tell you or anyone else if you want, but be warned, you may not like the answer...


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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Zolotisty
 Wednesday, December 21 2011 @ 02:28 PM UTC  
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I will be the unpopular voice in the back still saying that Trains seem altogether too well-maintained and frankly, out-of-touch posh for the Island -- lush velvet interiors, gorgeous stained hardwood floors and booths, expensive little lights above the booths in the hypothetical dining cart, perfectly kempt paint on the exterior engine and carts.. they're discordant with the setting and tone of the Island's canon writing for me (cheeky, a bit rude), and though the Drive does create beautiful things, the Drive's beautiful creations are primarily organic. (The only really big example is the Common Ground, and it's an understated kind of beauty, in its way -- the witchblooms are what make that place pretty.)

In that vein, they were also Way Too Friggin' Probable -- we had Titans crashing around the map and the trains were still running on time all the time to their destinations, their destinations where they were everywhere at once.

This is how I imagine the Island's first iteration of trains. The only way I can make sense of this is through the lens of dark humor. Shit, there are grenades going off nearby? One of your mates just got killed? There's a giant monster obscuring the horizon? There's an eggbeater embedded in your chest and you don't have enough money to find proper clothing or medical care? A worrisome infection on your foot may or may not soon begin sprouting mushrooms that look (and sound) exactly like Stephen Fry? A camera is closely tracking your every movement? Don't worry, just pop onto the train. Its opulence will soothe you.

This is what I would like them to be, though I know I'm a minority. Running the tracks under ground is the only way I can make sense of the heavy jungle and forest that's supposed to be covering the entire island; subways are of a more appropriate scale for the size of the island itself, and for all of you who reckon there couldn't ever be any kind of beauty there, stand yourself on a platform sometime late at night when the rest of the world is sleeping. The cities are sleeping, the traffic is sleeping, the whole world is sleeping except you and a busker sat on one of the turnstiles. You're the only ones around, the two of you, so you know he's not playing his saxophone for money. Must be just the pleasure of music. The sound fills the space, the sound turns some of the more eloquent graffiti on a nearby column on its head ("lost and safe" and "who the fuck can see forever"), the sound fills the whole of you to bursting. Then the ground begins trembling, and the tracks begin chattering in their moorings, and the lights tremble, and the tram rushes into the station. You wait for the doors, step inside, and you'd swear the music follows you halfway down the line, long after it ought have faded into the clicking of the wheels over the lines.

Beyond my curmudgeonliness here though, I think Fred's suggestions are ace.



BARK BARK BARK.
 
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Docenspiel
 Wednesday, December 21 2011 @ 05:37 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Zolotisty

This is what I would like them to be, though I know I'm a minority. Running the tracks under ground...



*cough* Those are, um... elevated trains you linked to. Which, coincidentally, are what I've always imagined the trains to be, with the tracks popping out of the ground wherever they're going. They'd dodge around Titans and all the improbably large Dwellings like a snake goes through a forest. How else would you explain Request Stops? (Now that I think about it, a burly porter bodily throwing you as they pass by wouldn't be too strange).

And now I'm imaging trains flying through the air like Atreyu for some reason.


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Zolotisty
 Wednesday, December 21 2011 @ 06:16 PM UTC  
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Bit difficult to show a comparable 'here's a line of cars as in the other photo' picture if it's all in a tunnel, innit, Doc my darling? Wink


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Count Sessine
 Wednesday, December 21 2011 @ 06:17 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Hairy+Mary

As far as the feel of the trains goes, I think we should consider what would make the most enjoyable gaming experience first, and then come up with a justification afterwards.

Yes.

There's plenty of room in Places for a gritty graffiti-scrawled big-city subway -- by coincidence, I just happened to be writing one for another project, though I do feel it is actually more out of context on the Island than a steam engine. (The latter has at least some connection to the canon via a continuation of AceHigh's Victorian-steampunk ambience; the former, not so much.)

Here's how I think of it: Places are a feature of the Island. They're not separate. The canon has to include at least a handwave in the direction of "anything at all can happen," from rose-covered cottages to great sprawling mansions with ghosts and/or manicured gardens, to peaceful English seaside villages, to volcanoes, and ziggurats, and eat-you-up-whole supply crates. Clearly (at least in my mind), the decorating kits that Suzie will rent to you have to be heavily imbued with Improbability. They allow anyone to create persistent, and sometimes enormous -- though very local -- reality alterations.

It's true that trains (past and future) incorporate functionality beyond the average Place, but the characters have no way of distinguishing that there's code behind them, especially now that every Place has acquired at least a limited potential to do things. In-game, the trains are no odder than, say, a castle floating in the air above NewHome.* They are what Sessine wants them to be... and he was mad about antique steam engines before he ever came to the Island. He even raced them.** If I believed more people would enjoy riding them if I made them dirty and ill-maintained and subject to vandalism... sure, I'd figure out some excuse to change them. But I don't. So that's that. Feel free to curmudgeon at me. Mr. Green

When they return, many things will be different. The basic rules of the game are going to be different, so old card-and-pass collections will have to vanish before Trains come back.

Cards won't expire, but passes will. How many game days they'll last before they expire will be a variable number assigned when you get them, the value of which will depend on how good your hand is. (When you board the train and you have more than one pass of the kind you said you wanted to use, the conductor will obligingly take the one that's due to expire soonest.) The goal is to give people an incentive to use their passes, once acquired.

Jokers won't let you hang on to a hand without cashing in; that was a bad idea. They will still, however, mean that the hand becomes a first-class pass.

People with five or more cards in their hand will have to decide before a new day whether to discard and hope to improve their holdings, or let the new day give them what their hand is worth.

The stationmasters will still be available around their stations, and they will be happy to explain how the trains work to anyone who asks. Also, characters who don't have a card case will be finding, instead of a card, a leaflet about Trains.

(...and all of the above is still subject to change if I have a better idea, but that's how it's standing at the moment.)

--
* The train only looks Victorian -- internally, I think it must incorporate scavenged parts from disassembled teleporters and Imp-bombs, at least, and perhaps even a handful of simultaneity-generators stripped from old Season One vending machines.

** And, no, those weren't entirely authentic, either. Rubber tires, no tracks.


 
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Anonymous: gladius212
 Thursday, February 02 2012 @ 04:05 AM UTC  



so... I think that if passes (or an item like them) are continued to be implemented the 'creatures' that will 'remove' them from you must be challenge able and if they are they will have to be hard. (i recommend a 2 - 3 level skip for them.)

i like the idea of the trains being social spaces and of them having "improbable events" on them. i also enjoyed the possibility of being put into the middle of nowhere for no conceivable reason(other than you actually wanted to end up there and didn't even know it)


also this is improbable island were talking about here, the trains aren't moving at all, the world is just manipulated into moving on without them. they have no set course and no driver. it is all up to the person who holds the 'first class pass' as to where the train shows back up.think about it if these 'trains' run on a set course what happens when something is put in there way. also if an object were to run constantly over the same area wouldn't something realize the possibility of an easy plunder by sabotaging this 'track'.


 
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Harris
 Thursday, February 02 2012 @ 04:31 AM UTC  
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Sadly, trains will not be coming back.


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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