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crashtestpilot
 Thursday, November 06 2008 @ 04:34 PM UTC (Read 2078 times)  
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Dear Islanders,

Let's summarize what we're talking about here, so we have a jump-off point for more exciting Season 2 brainstorming and speculation, shall we? Okay, I'll start.

At this time, we have several (what I'm calling) event-based locations in the game.
These are:
a) Stonehenge
b) The waterfall path
c) The stream
d) The ferryman (this is pushing it, but he has a boat, and it sometimes connects you to the FailBoat, so that's a location as far as I'm concerned).
e) The Raven Inn
f) The Failboat

Now, with the exception of the Inn, and the FailBoat, these locations don't really have that much to explore. The waterfall path is two-forked, leading either to drinkable stream, or a (often not) walkable ledge.

The 'henge, and the stream are single-pronged: You enter the 'henge, or drink the water, and stuff happens -- some good, some very, very bad.

And all of these are random encounters that one has in the Jungle in place of a critter-fight.

My contention is as follows.
a) Event-based locations could be made more robust, ie, more forks to the event, or more areas to explore, and different outcomes based on your choices.
b) Event-based locations could help to better CONNECT players to other outposts, or areas on the island.

We've taken a stab in other threads about the Raven Inn. I rarely visit it these days, because there's little to do, other than the microgames contained within, or the informational benefit of learning about colors. And I know other players feel this way as well, but that's far from a poll -- that's just anecdotal.

Here's a few trial balloon ideas I've had in recent days, which could be connected to the Raven Inn.

a) Wandering merchant is seated in Raven Inn. S/he might:
* Buy your trading goods.
* Sharpen your weapon (+1 until next DK).
* Polish your armor (as above).
* Sell you a potion (better hope you have enough accumulated req/cigs on you to afford it, because now's no time for a bank-run).
* Offer up an improbable item (perhaps in exchange for information or something else) like bang grenade, 1-shot teleporter, etc.

b) That traveling joker with the hypo might also be seated in the Raven Inn, with similar effects.

c) The ferryman might be there, and (if you buy him a beer) might offer to take you to an outpost.

--
Turning now to Stonehenge, I've been thinking that there needs to be a random encounter that teleports you to a random square on the Island. Might be an outpost. Might be the depths of the jungle.

The behavior I'd like to induce on the part of the players is that wherever you go, you need to be PREPARED. If you were on a random Island square, could you get back? Do you have enough travel points to walk the Island, or enough turns/potent pills to get back without it being a terrible inconvenience. To say nothing of medical kits, etc.

Stonehenge might be a perfect candidate for this. But it could just as easily be a glowing green tornado of improbability, a stab of light from the heavens, or a hidden catapult trap that vaults you across the island.

--
Next, let's make other event-based locations more robust.

The ledge/waterfall bit could be expanded into a mini-dungeon situated behind the waterfall, with various encounters. Alternately, it might connect you with an underground system of canals which can take you to various outposts (You emerge), for a modest amount of req.

The stream, if you choose to follow it might lead you to an encampment of midget bastards, a wandering merchant caravan (buy/sell of tradegoods, purchase of buffs or healing) or a mass encounter of critters. It's like a watering hole -- lots of critters gather there.

I'd also really like to see Eythgim Village have either a physical or random location on the Island, since there's so many encounters that COME from there, but there is no there, there.



I've got other ideas along these lines, but that's enough for this post. More as feedback happens.

All best,

~Crash







 
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CavemanJoe
 Thursday, November 06 2008 @ 04:48 PM UTC  
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Good points, and I wish I were less busy coding so that I could address them all.

Here's the (tangentially-related) plan for World Map expansion:

It'd be relatively easy to add an extra admin menu that would fire a module based on the player's position on the map. Pretty simple interface, really; if x==$module1x and y==$module2x, redirect "runmodule.php?module=".$modulename.".php" would do it. Say we could add, for example, four modules in which the X & Y coordinates are expressed as modulesettings, and two in which they were moduleprefs. The four setting-based modules will move one square in a random direction each system newday. The pref-based modules have different locations for each player, and the location resets every time they stumble across the module.

The pref-based hotspots could be used for various additional quests, while the setting-based hotspots can be used for travelling healers, traders, special events and so forth.

I'm gonna get cracking on this pretty soon, because I think the settings-based hotspots will add more things to talk about, while the pref-based hotspots will make the game more interesting. I like this idea.


 
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Norah
 Friday, November 07 2008 @ 10:40 AM UTC  
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Turning now to Stonehenge, I've been thinking that there needs to be a random encounter that teleports you to a random square on the Island. Might be an outpost. Might be the depths of the jungle.

The behavior I'd like to induce on the part of the players is that wherever you go, you need to be PREPARED. If you were on a random Island square, could you get back? Do you have enough travel points to walk the Island, or enough turns/potent pills to get back without it being a terrible inconvenience. To say nothing of medical kits, etc.

Stonehenge might be a perfect candidate for this. But it could just as easily be a glowing green tornado of improbability, a stab of light from the heavens, or a hidden catapult trap that vaults you across the island.


This is an interesting idea, but the first thing that came to my mind was newbies. I kind of think that this could drive some people away - for one, new players without world maps; they would have no idea where they were and probably wouldn't have the travel points to get very far, and while that seems kind of fun to me now, I can easily see that if something like that had happened to me soon after I started the game, I might not have stayed.


 
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Count Sessine
 Friday, November 07 2008 @ 02:58 PM UTC  
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Norah, that's a very good point. The fix is easy, though: just make sure that it doesn't happen until the player has a certain number of DKs.

I'm thinking 10, or even 20. The game is already quite complex in its lower levels -- indeed, perhaps even too intimidating. But I'm finding, as other players have before me, that now that I'm over 50 Drive Kills, each time I apply another Improbability Point, the jungle gets easier and more predictable; at this stage, I would find an instant-teleport encounter to be a welcome challenge.


 
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Fodder Kid
 Friday, November 07 2008 @ 03:23 PM UTC  
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I still call myself a newbieish player to the game. I think I'm at 12-14 DKs right now and say that Nora's idea is cool but it should a level 20DK thing.


 
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crashtestpilot
 Friday, November 07 2008 @ 04:04 PM UTC  
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Or just have the option trigger once they have the map.
Or, limit it to having them hit outposts prior to a certain number of dks.
~Crash


 
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Count Sessine
 Friday, November 07 2008 @ 04:28 PM UTC  
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Mmmn... no. Newbies who listen to advice will buy the map before they even reach their first DK -- I did. That doesn't mean they wouldn't be scared off and prompted to quit the game for some less forbidding pastime, if a jungle encounter suddenly snatched them off to some random map location. Or even to a different outpost! The game doesn't need to be made harder at the lower levels. It's already too hard, and we lose people because of that.

I'd say, keep this as a reward for players who have reached the point where they're starting to get bored. (And if they haven't bought the map by that time, well, after they hit this encounter for the first time, that's where their next 10K is likely to go, isn't it?)


 
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Icterid
 Friday, November 07 2008 @ 06:48 PM UTC  
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I'm working on my 17th DK now, and I'd agree with the 10-20 DK implementation (maybe at 15?). I know that after my 5th DK, I would have been able to deal with it but it would have been a lot more annoying.

I would like to point out, though, that I could just use a OST if I found myself in the middle of nowhere. So eventually I'd start viewing the random teleport event as a waste of an OST. Now, if there were a potential bonus that came bundled with the teleport, like landing on a crate (which still could be empty), it'd seem more balanced.

I think it'd be fun to get teleported to a place like the Abandoned Factory (except when you hit an insta-kill trap or die from fighting a 1000hp robot, you just get sent back to where you were, instead of failboated). Then you have to deal with fighting your way out of a maze without worrying too much about dying (more fun that way) - though if you want to keep the cigs and reqs that you found along the way, you'd have to make it out alive.


 
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Count Sessine
 Friday, November 07 2008 @ 07:26 PM UTC  
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Good point about the one-shot teleports. You could just block the use of OSTs until the player has made it back to an outpost. Or... you could say that the event has thrown off the calibration of the OSTs, and until the player re-enters an outpost (when the OSTs will be able to recalibrate themselves), they can only take the player to a different random square on the map. (But give the player a choice about whether to use them anyway, so the OSTs will still serve their original last-ditch function of getting out of a very bad encounter.)

I also think you're right that there ought to be a reason to welcome the random teleport event. Not just a crate, though. The jungle is littered with crates. Something more unusual, that you could only get to that way.


 
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Max Dougwell
 Saturday, November 08 2008 @ 04:43 AM UTC  
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How about -

SOMETHING VERY IMPROBABLE HAS HAPPENED!
There is a burst of energy from Stonehenge/the broth/the water/ and everything goes dark. You come to in a large stone hallway, dimly lit by a single flickering lightbulb. Various doors line the walls, and a large stone throne sits at the far end. In the middle of the room stands a shiny blue portal filled with swirling colours and bearing the label "MULTI-SHOT TELEPORTER", underneath which has been written OUT OF ORDER. There is a single, semi-functional air pump jutting out of the roof. From the stillness of the air, you would guess you're underground. Speaking of air, its getting harder to breathe and that air pump doesn't seem to be doing much. . .

From that point you could explore this place (or leave via the teleporter) until you ran out of air -

Gasping for air, you charge for the teleporter and dive through. With a flash of pain you find yourself able to breathe again!

Below DK 15 you would end up back where you started, above that and you find yourself anywhere on the map. It you're carrying one shot-teleporters -

That last jump seems to have partially drained your one-shot teleports! You'll need to wait a day, or reach a town, before they work again.

The location itself could contain just about anything, but at the very least it should contain a variant of the Factory. Each location in the place could give you the option to "Scratch on the walls" so everywhere you go there will be messages left by others who found themselves there.


Or something like that,
Max


 
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GlyphGryph
 Saturday, November 08 2008 @ 05:26 AM UTC  
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I would like to vehemently disagree with the drive kill limit - Mostly because I doubt I'll ever get that high again.

(How many DKs to get to gobot? I like being a gobot, and have never seen a reason to get any more DKs after that). Stuff like whats proposed in this thread would make me a lot more likely to actually keep playing the game, instead of chat room, just to see the stuff (especially if it is rare and/or challenging).

The solution? Simply let the player make the choice.

Have the event be "You stumble across an overgrown teleporter. You have no idea where it might take you, but it looks like it still has power... if you're not prepared, you might want to pretend you never saw the thing" and then give the player the option of using it.

Do they go to a random place on the map? A secret dungeon? A room full of ciggies and treasure? Who knows! But I believe in allowing players to make decisions they might regret in the interest of seeing what would happen.

And to prevent them from being lost in the wilderness forever, just make it so the failboat takes people back to towns (does it do this? haven't been in a while...) and boom, they're only lost until they die.


 
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Count of S-G
 Saturday, November 08 2008 @ 06:10 AM UTC  
Forum Improbable Badass
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If you die on the map you awaken in Imp Central.


Glory Points awarded for this fight: 0 You have defeated The Watcher! You receive 1377 Requisition! You receive 20193 experience!
 
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Count Sessine
 Saturday, November 08 2008 @ 06:23 AM UTC  
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Gryph is right: player choice is the way to go. Player choice, with fair warning.


 
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