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 Those Darn Trains
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Count Sessine
 Friday, January 20 2012 @ 04:54 AM UTC (Read 3615 times)  
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Let's get the headline out of the way first: Trains will not be coming back.

It's for sure and certain they won't be coming back -- because I'm not going to write them. And, I'm not going to write them because CMJ and I had a Serious Talk. We agreed that having a player-written chunk of code embedded in the game was likely to cause serious problems, now and in the future, with the direction in which he has always wanted to take the Island.

Am I disappointed? Oddly enough, no. I did spend maybe half an hour today waving a sentimental farewell to my design specs. (Self-indulgent, yeah, but they deserved that much. They would've been good -- in a different game.) There's also a bit of relief. Turning the specs into code was going to be a big heads-down job that would take me away from what I enjoy most: contact with other players. Worth it, if it was going to help, but since it isn't, I'm just as glad not to have to do it.

So, where's the Island going? If you've been reading the MoTD, you'll know. We're going to get a lot more Story. Me... I can't wait to find out what happens next!

There are some cleanup details. We have all these train stations in prime locations -- and I am not going to just delete them. What happens to old train stations when the line shuts down? Lots of different things. The Lucky Dip will go back to being Elias's house. I know the Terminal in CC404 will become a huge mouldering ruin with (someday) tunnels to explore. I'm open to suggestions for useful / interesting ways that some of the others could be re-purposed.

As for what to do with all those cards, passes, and fine leather card cases out there, well, I could just wave a magic SQL wand and make them all go away. What do you guys think? Clean break? (You were going to lose the existing cards and passes anyway.) Or would you like to hang on to the card case as a souvenir?


 
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Harris
 Friday, January 20 2012 @ 05:04 AM UTC  
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Keep cards, please. Jokers NEED cards!
Plus, this way, we even have a system in place where we can play cards with each other!
(via gifting for dealing)

I'll miss the trains. They were useful AND fun. No more episdoes of "ESCAPE FROM DUNBERNARDING!"... Ah well. C'est la vie.

*sits down to also eagerly await the cards CMJ has up HIS sleeve*


"Ain't nothin' left to do but smile, smile, smile." -The Grateful Dead
 
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Twosocks Monkey
 Friday, January 20 2012 @ 12:39 PM UTC  
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I'm not gonna lie, this makes me very very sad.

However I respect the whys and hows of it, of course. Just. It's sad. I liked trains. And I never got to explore all the random things that would happen on them.

And yet, ( waves a tattered sock, having no handkerchief handy ) "Goodbye trains. We'll miss you. You will not be forgotten!"

Oh yes... I meant to say, and yet...is there any chance, since you're keeping the 'places'...that maybe some of those people ( train midgets, etc ) from the random encounters could say...sorta...move into the stations?

Even if there's no random encounters ( which would be awesome ), it would be comforting to know that those NPC's found. I dunno, a home, or something, now that the trains are gone.

PS: Does that mean we'll lose the great train monster? The one with the tying of people to the train tracks?

PPS: Considering I can't seem to finish my first (and only dwelling), I really can't blame you for not diving headfirst into scary code land.

PPPS: I vote we keep the cards! Not that it's a vote but you asked so I wanna keep em. Not really sure why.

-Rose


moooooooooo Visit and help me finish the monster list: goo.gl/rpBGe (Ya'll mostly know me as CLOG, fyi)
 
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thewonderllama
 Friday, January 20 2012 @ 12:50 PM UTC  
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It could just be the pack rat in me, but I'd love to hold on to them too.

And even though they didn't ultimately happen, thanks for all your hard work on the train system, Sessine!


 
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Maniak
 Friday, January 20 2012 @ 08:45 PM UTC  
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I love my fine leather card case and its (now admittedly even less valuable) scruffy collection of cardboard.

As for the train stations.. hmm.. I think it would be wrong to say "This never was a trainstation." The trains are a part of the Island. They might not fit with the story, but you can't deny they're history.


I can imagine different Island inhabitants moving into the train stations and put the buildings to a different use.

How about a player made quest to say goodbye?


http://maniak.cu.cc/
 
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Anonymous: Escemfer
 Friday, January 20 2012 @ 11:23 PM UTC  


How disappointing! Trains really were lovely, but if it's for the best not to bring them back, then it's for the best.

I would actually gladly let go of all those cards, now that they no longer have any function (though the art on them is lovely). It'd be nice to hang onto the card case in some way, but I wouldn't like to have fifty or so unused items and an empty inventory section cluttering that screen for the rest of eternity.


 
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dizzyizzy
 Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 12:55 AM UTC  
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I'm disappointed as well to see the trains go.

I already dumped all my cards, by way of sending them all to Boudicca.

What the fuck, Dizzy. Why would you do that to me.



Worth it. Big Grin


 
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Mongo
 Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 01:52 AM UTC  
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I hate to see them go, but I'm glad a decision has been made. The uncertainty was almost as bad as losing them.

I want to keep the Card Case so that I can tell the grandkids "Back in 'ought-eleven these were worth something."

I'll miss the trains. They were a large part of my game. Especially in the Rally. I'm sorry they're going, but it was awesome while they were here. Thanks!


If it cant be done, should I stop doing it?
 
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spandex
 Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 10:02 AM UTC  
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Can the cards and case just be made disposable like our other items?

I expect you have plans to adjust the station descriptions to account for the fact that trains used to run, but don't any longer (and why)?


 
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Lain
 Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 06:44 PM UTC  
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I understand from the coding point of view, but man, trains were very useful for certain things.

The other thing I liked, and thought might be made even better, was that it got players into dwellings...there was talk that cards wouldn't always be in the same place. I can't imagine what a nightmare that would be to make happen. But it would have been an additional quest-like thing to do instead of look for monster/kill monster and would have given exposure to the effort folks put into their dwellings.

As for my card case...on the one hand, it's certainly taking up a lot of space, visually, but it's not really in the way that much, practically speaking, and I'd be sad to have all of those cards disappear.


 
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Chimental
 Saturday, January 21 2012 @ 07:18 PM UTC  
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I'll miss them, sure, but I understand why they're going.

Always wanted to make a train robot mutant but I figured that would just be too damn big.

However, with them gone, the question of what replaces them pops up.

First we had Catapults, which costs money and nearly killed you.

Then Trains, which costs randomly generated cards and didn't kill you.

By that train of logic (heh), the next vehicle will be Skronky Powered Rocketships which costs the Holy Grail and granted you LIFE!

I'm game.


I make the many models of a mutant individual. To make them I use vegetables, animals, and minerals. From robot bugs to zombie bears to many singing barnacles.
 
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Trowa
 Monday, January 23 2012 @ 04:29 PM UTC  
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Awwwwwww!! Cry

Well, poop. I was really looking forward to the trains coming back.

Let me ask this: Since cards and cases and passes are no longer "useful" for the game, can they be turned into special mementos? (Oh god, I just asked for the impossible, didn't I?) We have our shoebox of little (and improbably large) mementos visible in out profile, can cards become the same sort of thing, complete with their pictures? Ugh...that just sounds horrible typing that out now... Hundreds and cards cluttering up the space CMJ spent so long cleaning up!

But, my point is - and Harris inspired me - if we can see each other's cards, then we can play trading games and stuff... Frown I dunno... I don't want to lose my collection, but what else will it do but take up room on the server if we can't use it for anything? Unless we get collapsible inventories, it's just going to haunt me every time I scroll down to check my mementos.

I guess, as it stands, anyone still with cards and cases are going to start an underground trading system anyway... >.>


Something something unintelligible gibberish something.
 
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Awesome Fred
 Monday, January 23 2012 @ 09:37 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Count+Sessine

And, I'm not going to write them because CMJ and I had a Serious Talk. We agreed that having a player-written chunk of code embedded in the game was likely to cause serious problems, now and in the future, with the direction in which he has always wanted to take the Island.


This sounds like the opposite of what I thought the game would want, considering CMJ's plan to create an army of programmers all creating modules that merely needed approval or disapproval. You know, that whole Improbable Island Labs thing we had going.

I wonder what caused what seems like an about-face.


 
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Count Sessine
 Monday, January 23 2012 @ 11:27 PM UTC  
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Quote by: Awesome+Fred

Quote by: Count+Sessine

And, I'm not going to write them because CMJ and I had a Serious Talk. We agreed that having a player-written chunk of code embedded in the game was likely to cause serious problems, now and in the future, with the direction in which he has always wanted to take the Island.


This sounds like the opposite of what I thought the game would want, considering CMJ's plan to create an army of programmers all creating modules that merely needed approval or disapproval. You know, that whole Improbable Island Labs thing we had going.

I wonder what caused what seems like an about-face.

Improbable Island is, in the end, a developing work of art -- in a brand new hybrid art form that's being invented on the fly. Art with an army of creators is... well, not impossible or there'd be no such thing as a good movie, but it sure takes a whole different set of organizational skills.

Labs did seem like a good idea at the time. It turned out not to be; CMJ had underestimated the difficulty of herding cats. So... regroup. It'll be CMJ for code, and official canon stories. Players will have more and better programming tools in Places, where they will get to create their own fantastic games, worlds, and stories.


 
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