ToME: the Tales of Maj'Eyal

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:52 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:08 am
Posts: 929
Location: Orange County, Ca
Version 057 of Bubblegum Crisis for T3 has been released and is now available for download from the ToME modules site.

There is also a Let's Play and tutorial by our friends at bay12games.

== Summary of changes from V055 to V057 ==
New features
* m now displays the mission log
* s now displays current available salvage
* Added a salvage indicator to the display

Bugfixes
* A variety of issues regarding salvage have been fixed
* Subway entrances/exits should now place you in the correct location
* People in apartment quests should correctly reject or allow you entry depending on the mission. If you're delivering something, they'll let you in. If you're there to kill them, they won't.
* Dead characters should now no longer appear in the game
* ADP jail no longer crashes
* Jailed team members can no longer regroup at Silk'n Doll to escape jail
* Fixed party placement upon entering Kyuusei
* Requesting > 9 mercenary missions no longer generates an error message
* Fixed LUA error when using ranged attacks on cameras
* Fixed LUA error when targetting over rubble

Changes
* Heavy Industries has been correctly named as Kyuusei Industries
* Several more stairways have been converted to MOVE_PRE_DEST. Many remain to be done.

Known bugs
* Mackie takes considerably longer to become available than he should. A wizard-mode solution is described here
* Some users are still reporting that Nene is under certain circumstances leaving voicemails for the player every game turn, eventually leading to overflows and crashes. To avoid this, simply refrain from stationing Nene at AD Police HQ. Or, if you still want her to report boomer incidents, a wizard mode solution is described here.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2010 10:56 am 
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Reaper

Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2007 12:21 am
Posts: 2257
Location: New Zealand
Great to see this back!

I really enjoyed playing the earlier versions!

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Jon.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:39 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:22 pm
Posts: 1461
Location: Finland
The problem with Bubblegum Crisis is that it has a steeper learning curve than Dwarf Fortress. The biggest cause of the learning curve is the map. To really play the game you first need to either memorize the entire map or map it by hand so you can refer to your copy when needed.

Maybe the player should start with a "Map of Neo-Tokyo" item in their inventory, which could be used to get directions.

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Zothiqband -- still an Angband variant.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 12:06 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:08 am
Posts: 929
Location: Orange County, Ca
Nerdanel wrote:

It's interesing that you compare Bubblegum Crisis to Dwarf Fortress as if that were a bad thing. Dwarf Fortress has generated over a MILLION posts in its forums, has had reviews written for it in professional gaming magazines, and the guys who made it are collecting thousands of dollars a month in donations.

So you'll forgive me if I don't leap to follow your design model.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:09 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 9:27 am
Posts: 83
Location: Israel
As much as I love the game, The map is realy frustrating, and getting somewhere is realy hard....
A little more help on the navigation topic can make this game alot more playable...


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 7:25 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:22 pm
Posts: 1461
Location: Finland
Dwarf Fortress is really different from Bubblegum Crisis. I've played Dwarf Fortress and enjoyed it. The difficulty curve of Dwarf Fortress works similarly to that of ToME and Angband in that while you have a lot of things like key commands to learn, you can just check them up as you need them. You also can get started with a subset of the commands that do early-game stuff.

Bubblegum Crisis is different. You can't just check up what are the directions to Apartment Block whatever. You are expected to have memorized that and every other similar location on the map before you actually start playing. If you don't, expect to fail a lot, wandering witlessly around while the mission clock keeps ticking. And that's in addition to the new key commands and the like.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:42 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:08 am
Posts: 929
Location: Orange County, Ca
Nerdanel wrote:
Dwarf Fortress is really different from Bubblegum Crisis.

More to the point, Bubblegm Crisis is different from ToME/Angband/Moria/etc. It's a different sort of game. It's not a traditional roguelike, just like Dwarf Fortress is not a traditional roguelike. They just happen to use text interfaces like roguelikes do.

Quote:
You can't just check up what are the directions to Apartment Block whatever.

No more than you can just "check" for directions to Galadriel, or Aragorn, or any other character or quest location in ToME. You're just "expected to know" where these people and things are. Do you remember wandering around looking for the Eol quest entrance? I do. What about the Maeglin quest that teleports you exactly to where the quest isn't? What about the magically disappearing troll glade quest that gives directions to an entrance that isn't even there most of the time? I didn't know where these things were the first time I did them. Neither did you. We had to look for them.

It's simply a difference of scale. Exploration is significant in BGC. It's not just a flat map, and there are more locations. It takes time to learn.

Quote:
You are expected to have memorized that and every other similar
location on the map before you actually start playing.

If you don't, expect to fail a lot,

I think you were excessively traumatized by the Tokyo Express delivery quests, which were an experiment to see if I could do the things I wanted to do.

If you play actual game missions, most of them give you 24 hours or more to complete. Even if you have no idea where you need to go you can easily sign up for half a dozen of them and simply walk in circles until you stumble on the mission locations, and get them all done in time.

Quote:
And that's in addition to the new key commands and the like

Curiously, the feedback from the bay12 crowd has complained far more about the traditional commands than the new ones. "T" to bring up a tactical display is far more intuitive than control-q to bring up a mission log. "F" for firing control is more intuitive that k to destroy an item. ToME has a whole bunch of totally obscure commands with keypresses that have no relation to their function. "Y" to talk to somebody? "y" to give something to someone? These commands make no sense whatsoever, and nobody would ever figure them out except by poring through the help files. Even if you're going through alphabetically, and stumble on Y, it still won't be clear what it does. You press "Y" and then ask for a direction. You give it one, and it tells you there's no monster there?

But you're used to this. You've been playing ToME for years, so you're comfortable with the commands. They're familiar, you know them.

Bubblegum Crisis is just a new game. It needs to be learned like a new game.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:50 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:08 am
Posts: 929
Location: Orange County, Ca
shani wrote:
I love the game

Thank you. If you want it to continue development, please...more feedback. Back when I first released BGC, fully half the feedback was from Nerdanel complaining about getting lost and proselytizing about "gamist" design philosophies, so I didn't have a lot of incentive to keep working on it.

Feedback from people who like the game would be most welcome.

Quote:
A little more help on the navigation topic can make this game alot more playable...

The game is sorely in need of a tutorial. Both for navigation and to introduce the player to basic game concepts. A lot of the game functions through means that totally don't exist in ToME, so ToME players expect a ToME module tend to get a little lost.

Tokyo Express is slated to become a map tutorial. As in...completely replaced in its present form to become a deliberate "Welcome to Bubblegum Crisis!" kind of walkthrough as part of a step-by-step guide to introduce the player to the map, how to use the subway, cellphones, etc. There should also probably be a hardsuit and combat tutorial, and some introductory missions. When the module first became available some people reported that they wandered around for hours and couldn't find anything to fight. This isn't a "wander and kill random stuff" kind of game. It's more subtle than that and the player should really be introduced to it gradually.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 5:08 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:56 am
Posts: 1041
Score!

*does little happy dance*

*goes off to download*


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:46 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:08 am
Posts: 929
Location: Orange County, Ca
Sirrocco wrote:
Score!
*does little happy dance*


Hey...welcome back. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 9:51 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:56 am
Posts: 1041
It is my nature.

...and yes, I actually made an account on the boards for the explicit purpose of saying how glad I was that you had updated.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:43 pm 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:56 am
Posts: 1041
Hokay. I've played around a tch, tried a few things out, and have some random bugs that I've managed to uncover. At this point, I'm wondering where you want us to go from here.

- There were a number of typos and text block oddities that didn't really impact my enjoyment of the game. Do you care about these?

- Is there anything in particular that we should be doing?

FWIW, I personally find that this didn't have *nearly* the learning curve of Dwarf Fortress (which has basically presented to me an impenetrable wall of "huh?" every time I've tried to play it).


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 11:44 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Wed Apr 28, 2004 2:08 am
Posts: 929
Location: Orange County, Ca
Sirrocco wrote:
At this point, I'm wondering where you want us to go from here.

No new content was added in 057. Just bug fixes and some interface improvements. Mostly I fixed the bugs that EuchreJack was reporting in his "Let's Play" thread. And added a few new touches that I thought needed doing. So there's not anywhere new "to go."

Quote:
typos and text block oddities
Do you care about these?

How about report them in blocks? "Hey, Slylia, hwo goes it?" doesn't really need it's own unique post, but if you're catching LUA errors and things, you may as well report the typos at the same time.

That said, don't feel the need to go specifically looking for them. What the game really needs is content development, not spell-checking.

Quote:
Is there anything in particular that we should be doing?

Making me feel like if I build that content, somebody will play with it. ALmost two years ago I wrote off Bubblegum Crisis as something that would never see another release. Then two months ago half a dozen people at bay12games picked it and made a five page thread about it with 700 page views.

If people will play, I'll develop. But as you probably remember, BGC was not well recevied by the ToME community. You've seen the crazy-complicated stuff it does. If ToME players would rather play a simple dungeon crawl, something like rogue with pretty colors, there's no point in me spending hundreds of hours building DBT^2, which is what BGC potentially could be.

DBT was my first module. It has a lot of legacy code. BGC was written from day one specifically to use as a few engine subsystems as possible, so it doesn't suffer from the same bugs that DBT does. It's easier to work on BGC.

But...I sort of get the impression that of the two, DBT development would see a lot more playtime from the community. If you remember, at the height of DBT development, I was putting out new releases every week, you were writing essays, half a dozen people were chatting on the wiki daily, submitting character builds, asking questions...there was so much traffic that people were not only submitting feedback to me...they were even talking to each other about the game.

I'd kind of like to see that happen again.

So I'm basically going to match my level of development to the level of feedback and discussion I see. I've put out a bugfix release. And along with the bugfixes, I included some nice new features. If you'd like to see more...talk about stuff. Submit bugs. Ask questions. Speculate on whether Priss is a lesbian. Whatever. Or do that with DBT if you'd prefer. I'd personally rather work on BGC than DBT, but ultimately I'll develop where there's interest, and not where there isn't.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:51 am 
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Sher'Tul

Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:56 am
Posts: 1041
Ah. Well, I have feedback on that topic, anyway, if you're interested in it.
- The commands being new and interesting is not a problem. That's what helpfiles are for.
- The map being large and bizarre is not a problem. It's a bit of a barrier to entry, but that barrier isn't nearly as high as, say, dwarf fortress (in my experience anyway)
- The problem with Bubblegum Crisis is that there's very little game there, particularly if you like the idea of being friendly with the ADP/civilians (and being friends with the ADP/civilians is the natural and instinctive thign to want to do.) There's a bunch of interestig exploration, to be sure, but once you've explored a bit, there's relatively little left.

- You can't harvest BUMA for parts effectively, because Mackie takes a long time to show up the first time (hours instead of 15 minutes) and then takes forever to recover (possibly literally).
- Getting EXP and money basically involves either long, slow grinding, or plummeting ADP/civilian faction.

Thoughts:
- fixing Mackie (and thus effectively opening up more BUMA parts than just the ones available from Heavy Industries) would help significantly. I suppose I will try with the wizard command for now.
- It might actually be better if there were some particular faction rating that you couldn't drop below, and if the Knight Saber faction numbers for ADP and civilian were already there (representing previous blatant criminal behavior, bad PR, and general distrust). That way, you wouldn't feel as bad about heading out on assassin missions early to pick up some money and exp. People who wanted to play good characters could do things to try and drag their names out of the much at some point, but you wouldn't be in the position of thinking "well, I could do that, but I'd be destroying my relationship with the good guys in ways I'll never be able to recover from"
- Alternately (or perhaps additionally) it might be better if you didn't start out with quite as much in the way of resources. On the one hand, I understand about wanting to let people test out the suit construction tools. On the other hand, the payoff on a delivery quest feels a bit like a waste of time when the characters have so much money in the bank to begin with.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 12:11 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:52 am
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Ummm, well, my strategy for starting...

It could use some refinement but basically:
Start as Sylia
Change to Priss
Go to kyuusei
Get number
Turn on phone
Change account to silk an dolls
Change to Nene
Make coffee
Go to Genom Tower
Get number
get 1xsteel armour, 1xplasteel armour on Nene's account at 1hour
Change default account to silk
Switch to Linna
Call Kyuusei
1xplasteel struct, 1x steel armour, 2xplasteel armour
Linna's account, 1 hour
Change default to silk
Make Sylia Active
Same purchase as Linna
Switch account to silk
Send Nene to ADP
Call Kyuusei
6xTitanium struct, 2x plasteel struct, 4x plasteel armour
Silk account, 1 hour
Go to silk
Get simple errand x 5(consider scumming for common locations)
Get Hardsuit design 3
Go to silk
Remove guns from sylia, Priss, and Linna's suits
Remove radio from Sylia suit
Place titanium struct in arms, shoulders, and exo. Plsteel struct head, back, legs
Armour: 1 Steel in endo, 1 plasteel in all others
Modules: ECM1 local in head, Heatsink left arm, radio Exo
Weapons: particle in left, bolts in right
Get 8 competent mercenary contracts on the same map
Wear hardsuit
Rock

Next purchases, muscle for speed, but get that from salvage
Extra plasteel to be able to handle the first enemy with energy weapons
computer for energy, much lighter than generators but requires hacking 4
Global coolant to save on structure weight and allow massive weapons

At the moment I see the game as more of a proof of concept than a completely working product, so I can't really make any assumptions about what it will eventually look like, but it seems likely that the first enemies will all be type As with nothing but punches. So Plasteel armour is invulnerable and keeping a fast ranged hardsuit should make it a moot point anyway. Later on one could expect to meet ranged opponents and might want to slow one down with lots of generators and coolants so that they can mount big giant weapons and lots of extra armour...

I think the game could really use some way of acquiring extra weapons to fill out the slots, even if they are weaker than the starting ones. And some more variety in the enemy. Maybe making higher difficulty mercenary contracts and for now maybe letting the characters call the 4th wall to advance their difficulty...


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