We need to develop a concept of the settlement mode. Otherwise, without a plan we will do either 1. nothing or 2. random chaos. I know with college currently kicking my ass, without a plan to work towards I have not done much recently. There are a few things we need to agree upon before we start development of the settlement mode:
1. What is the over-arching goal of building a settlement?
In Clonk Rage, the goal of building a settlement was circularly building the settlement. Even if we have a contrived goal, it is better to have a goal than simply 'acquire 5000 settlement points'. Ideas are sorely needed here, since I'm sure no one wants to hear my Strategy Map idea again.
2. What makes building a settlement a challenge?
I believe it was the little challenges in Clonk Rage that forced you to really think about your problem to resolve them that made settlement fun; from Deep Down's ridiculous mining-upwards to Regeneration's acid rainfall, the player always had to use wit instead of hair-trigger reflexes. The clonk's movement and controls are astronomically better than that of previous clonk games, so 'harsh terrain' really isn't the same obstacle that it originally was. Settlement mode must have natural challenges that cannot easily be resolved through instinctual reaction, but must require wit (Natural Disasters don't really count as this kind of Challenge, since they can't really be combat with ingenuity, only protected against).
3. What extras will settlement mode have?
Some of the best things in games are the little details that add depth. Settlement mode should be more than simply 10 or so buildings; there should also be many additions that are related to the settlement aspect of gameplay.
Some suggestions from the forum sounded very promising, such as NPC Clonks who walk around your settlement and do jobs (a good example of this would be Stronghold, the first game anyways). The reason I favour this is because it would add to clonk what I noticed was sorely missing from CR: a thriving settlement. Instead of empty, depressed buildings it would be a functioning city. This also would lead to automating Production Lines, since all the Settlement's civilians will be producing the material you request (rather than sending your 1 clonk to do everything). Of course implementing this would require much AI scripting and perhaps some 'cheating' for the NPCs since they would get stuck. A larger graphical variety for Clonks would also be nice with this concept.
Another suggestion for Settlement Mode I thought was interesting (though may have said differently at the time) was the Trading Post. Instead of magically buying goods from a building with a flag, you could construct a Trading Post, where you could barter resources and/or clunkers for resources and/or clunkers.
'Building Clonks of stone and wood'. Premise being, instead of buying clonks, clonks take resources to be created. As I remember suggesting, houses in a settlement would be used for 'upkeep' of Clonks (would also fit in with NPC clonks btw). When you create a house, a Clonk will shortly appear inside, and start going about his business in the settlement. If he is killed, a new clonk will eventually appear in his place (or he could respawn). If his home is destroyed, the next home built will be his home (unless he dies). For some fancy stuff, different house sizes could support more Clonks.
Please suggest to any three points, or even suggest another point we should focus on. I know there are likely some things I have missed that were already aforementioned concerning designing a good Settlement game (couldn't find them quickly, and I'm going to sleep now).
The sooner we have a concept we can agree on, the sooner we can begin a team effort to complete it.
>Of course implementing this would require much AI scripting and perhaps some 'cheating' for the NPCs since they would get stuck. A larger graphical variety for Clonks would also be nice with this concept.
Well, two possibilities: 1) trying to create a working AI that does not get completely stuck (plus a bit of cheating) 2) very simple pathfinding AI on purpose
1: The player would rely on that the Clonks don't get stuck and rage if they do
2: The player would consider a working infrastructure (building ways between your buildings) a part of the settlement he has to care about. If his Clonks get stuck he would notice that his infrastructure is not as good as it could be and he has to think of a way to connect those two buildings where the Clonks get stuck inbetween. Of course we would have to provide the player with the means that are needed for such an infrastructure (ladders, bridges, hatches (to cover holes) and whatever more)
Further thinking: If we say that a working infrastructure that can be passed by stupid Clonks (think of the game Lemmings - they ARE going to jump off the next cliff), we can as well exchange the Clonks that do the production lines with something else so that at the first glance the player will understand why they get stuck everywhere ("WTF, how stupid is a Clonk????"). Replace the Clonks with Wipfs carrying some sort of bag or donkey-style animals - you could even extent it and say "Hey, if you are able to build a smart gadgetry to catch a bird, you can tame it and integrate it into your transport infrastructure as well."
That would provide the player with an ingame element that just went from "annoying" to "fun to care about and fitting into the Clonk style gameplay".
Here's a simple model: Use roughly the same logic as we have for trains in CR. We start with some sort of direction changer that can set a train in "economic" mode or something. This means that:
1) Whenever it passes a production facility that currently needs an item that is being transported, it get added automatically
2) Items getting produced (= just lying on the floor?) are automatically collected
3) Storages would have special rules depending on whether something is a "raw" material. Something counts as "raw material" when the train passed a production facility that uses it on its last trip.
* All non-raw material get stored
* Superflous raw materials get stored as well
* Raw materials in need are removed from the storage
4) Optionally, we could even add in some order management - when there's a material needed that's neither available nor in production, the next respective production building automatically gets an order.
This could lead really nice gameplay where you go to the chemical plant and just request a couple of flints and wait for the train to figure out how to make them. Note that it could (and should) be a bit slow. This should be something that allows you to make use of your resources in the background. If you really, positively need that flint *now* - gee, what situation could that possibly be - using your Clonk to transport the material manually would still be a very good idea.
For the looks and set-up mechanics, I think taming Wipfs has a nice ring to it. Watching them nudge material into production buildings and stuff lying around back into lorries could either look really silly or really cute. I'm not sure on that one.
Note that "just pick up everything you find on the floor" could also be a huge time-saver for mining. This could be powerful enough that we should put a good deal of thought into how expensive we want it to be. There should still be some place left for "manual" mining, as I think we all agree it's quite enjoyable to some degree.
I think there is nothing wrong with having some sort of biological carriers (as in "can even jump over a 3px step") and I think it will be more awesome than silly. If you want some really automatic and even faster system, you could aditionally have the pipe thing. Where you can connect buildings and have the materials delivered automatically (takes more effort to set in place but is faster/more reliable than Wipfs).
Even though having varios kinds of "checkpoints" for the Wipf delivery thing (cable pulls or even cannons that can shoot your Wipfs) could turn out to be really awesome and fun to build.
On pipes: Let's not get too carried away here. There surely is a lot of stuff you can do with variations of the Wipf'O'Matic system, no need to introduce another one.
>Well, no reason to have the Wipf get stuck on purpose.
I don't want them to get stuck on purpose. I just want the player to understand that the Wipfs will not be able to material jump over that abyss or to understand how to get through the labyrinth the player dug.
>And having some requirements for using the system to its full potential is not a bad idea per se.
No, it is not. But that is the main reason why noone ever used trains in CR. I don't want that to happen again.
The Settlers transported goods in an order specified in a list the player could manipulate.
> NPC Clonks who walk around your settlement and do jobs [...] This also would lead to automating Production Lines, since all the Settlement's civilians will be producing the material you request
I think this would be a grave error in the design. You yourself and Zapper already mentioned the problems associated with it so I don't need to repeat that. My notion is that any kind of production AI walking around the landscape would absolutely annoying, regardless if they are clonks or wipfs or any other livings. It will fail in any terrain that is more complex than the simple temperate-goldmine-scenario. Could you imagine Seven Keys with that? Or anything remotely difficult?
For automation, I found the track/tube system promising or any other system where you build the (AI) logic yourself.* Even Clonk had this thing to some extent: The distribution of power. Example for tubes: Say you have normal tubes, suction cups and selective guides ("Weiche") which blow out a definable object type (e.g. coal) out of the tube at one point. If you place them right, you can build any kind of production line with factories that have one input and one output (f.e. foundry).
* here are some examples for (IMO) fun puzzle games I know where you build that production line logic yourself:
Minecraft (to some extent: rails and little automatons with redstone powder)
The kinds of influences you cite here are by the way specifically what I would want to avoid. We don't want the player to have to think about how he wants to set up things - leaving space for tubes or sorters or whatever. He should be able to just build whatever he needs there anyway, and then place a NPC (wipf, whatever) that helps getting a few obvious things done.
Sooner or later people will find a way to build an ALU out of it anyway.
>Could you imagine Seven Keys with that?
Give the players the means to construct an infrastructure and a scenario where you actually need production lines (not so much in Seven Keys, I guess, since that scenario has a different goal) and yes, I could imagine that
I think of them as of the pipes in Futurama, they could even be used to transport Clonks.
There could be pipes of various shapes (you would have to definine these before you produce them e.g. in a factory), but also ventilation elements that guarantee the pressure in the system. So every 10-15 pipes you have to build a ventilator or the transportation gets slower and slower. Also, the items speed could depend on the items weight.
-The Settlement-Style may be connected to the desired behavior and the function of the base (it's power level). Like Newton pointed out, buying everything is not always the best solution. Thinking about the base may be very important.
Colonize Mars from CR has a well planned settlement system, which had unused potential as well:
-There are buildings which produce stuff
-Buildings which comfort survival
-Buildings which comfort transport
And the trade system was more intuitiv, because you had to land a capsule safley containing your ordered items in it. However, the production lines wore out with time - because they were always the same(, in Settlers it's actually the same thing, if you play the game too much you focus on speed after some time rather than settlement).
Well, I worked on an alternate system that time: A trade system. It's aim was to spice up the static production lines, and even if I don't know exactly how such a system would fit into Clonk, I think it's a step into the right direction. A mixed balance between buying and producing should be fine. The player should be able to skip one or two steps in the line, he should have a lot more possibilities this way. That feels more like clonk.
Oh, and Colonize Mars was an example of how things feel without gold. And settlement went slow as hell, it took hours to build all things - I personally liked it, but there were people who didn't.
Basic thoughts on ingame content - Newton
Combinable parts - Nachtschatten
Settlement scenario principles - Nachtschatten
Production lines, buildings - Newton
HUD Concept, section 6-7 - Newton
Do we really need buildings? - PeterW
Clonk2-like Strategy map - Ringwaul
If only to mention that after thinking about it for a while, I like the idea less and less. Rotated buildings look good, but gameplay-wise they are just too annoying. The only building that really implemented this in CR was the bamboo hut - and I can't think of any situation where the rotating behavior was good for something. Not to mention the bugs.
Inventory concept(s) - Newton
Apart from that, I should probably start writing a Wiki article on this or something. I have quite a clear picture in my mind how I want things to be - and most of what you referenced seems horribly out of date.
> horribly out of date.
I don't see that any of the preconditions changed.
Holding so much starting out gives less need for a lorry, unless we get more gold from less solid material for example. But even then, holding a sword in the previous games shows that your guy meant buisness, because he only had two other inventory slots which usually meant he had flints or whatnot. if having 8-9 inventory slots is normal, then every worker would be walking around with a sword, gun, scrolls, and THEN 5-6 materials.
Meaning its much less probable of catching one of their units unprepared in a competitive settlement game.
>Meaning its much less probable of catching one of their units unprepared in a competitive settlement game.
You are contradicting yourself a bit: if you can carry 8 materials (and therefore don't need a lorry), you cannot be prepared for an attack all the time - and vice versa (you cannot use your full inventory for transportation when always carrying some weapons) :)
But yes, I see your point
> ...harvested from wipf?...
NO!!! I won't let you kill those innocent creatures!
> Personally i liked in the previous clonks...
Yeah, I agree. Lorry was always a very usefullt vehicle in every settlement scenario. And yes, 'inventory' with 7 slots allows clonk to carry a lot of usefull stuff. And it is nice that you do not have to do the same thing over and over again (I mean, carrying the huge pile of mined rocks/gold/ore to your home base with only ONE inventory slot). Now scenarios (especially settlement) have become faster - you can concentrate on interesting stuff (such as building and production lines) rather than boring routines.
EDIT: To quote someone's statement, just copy it to your post and type a 'greater than' (>) character in front of it. Like this:
>> ...harvested from wipf?...
>NO!!! I won't let you kill those innocent creatures!
I'd like a "domestication" model more than blindly exploiting the environment/animals for materials in a settlement mode. What I mean with domestication is that you don't have to (or shouldn't) kill the animals to gain an advantage from them. So, animals are not walking meat-sacks or "monsters" that exist to be killed and exploited - their value derives from their behaviour. I'll give two examples to depict my point:
- Wipfs don't dig around pointlessly, a wipf family actually only digs themselves a burrow in which they return at night to sleep. They love wompfberries and whenever they smell one, they get it and hoard it in their burrow. Now, as it turns out, only in these wipf burrows, a rare and valuable mushroom (whose powder can be used for strong explosives or whatever) can grow. Also, wipfs are very shy animals which is why they usually run from clonks - a burrow that smells like clonks is abandoned. However, a wipf remembers when you have been nice to it (feeding it); once it befriended you, it might bring you valuable stuff it finds during the day or the mushrooms which are growing in its burrow. One can of course also raid its burrow and kill the wipf, but then there'd be just a one-time gain.
- The honey monkeys are small mammals that look like something in between ferrets, kinkajous and monkeys. They usually live in small groups and during the day, they sleep on trees. They will run away from clonks that get too close but usually throw rocks and other things they find in the vicinity at them to make them go away, especially if that clonk is chopping down their tree. (Trees, that is to say, are not these little garden-trees like in CR but proper ones which can be climbed upon.) Even though they are not "monsters" which actively attack the clonk, they can be quite a nuisance when they feel disturbed. They crave for the nectar from zap nests that hang in the trees. While rummaging through the zap nests, sometimes parts of the nest fall down from which the clonks can harvest for zap wax for lanterns and the nectar which is a common ingredient in potions.
Having (different) animals walk around the map in settlement scenarios was always a VERY wanted feature. Some of the animals are evil (predators) which attack you at sight (for instance, a pack of wild wolves or mad piranhas) and which you have to hunt down for meat or just to feel safe. Other animals (like wipfs or common fish) can introduce some aid to your quest if you treat them nicely (feed them or protect them).
Clank was always known for strong interaction with the environment. Now it would be nice to have the same interaction with the 'lliving' part of it.
So the more interesting (and implemented) ideas we have, the more diverse (settlement) scenarios will be and the richer (more interesting) gameplay we get
For example, wipfs like to bury nuts, if you dig them up and take them. the wipf will take the form of a mischievous rogue and steal your things(walk up to you slowly with puppy eyes, snag an item and run)
If you occasionally give him wompfberries or something, specially when hes really hungry. he will occassionally dig up some gold or loam, or whatever he finds and leave it on your doorstep.
Or bury them deep. A purrrty flower will grow that you can sell.
If not that, they can make a nice crunchy snack! :D
>I'll give two examples to depict my point:...
That's also what I want to create when I start with animal AIs (cause I like AIs :] ). One goal should be that the animals are not just stupid creatures that get stuck in the first hole they find, they should even be fun to watch and to interact with (your burrows e.g.). Even predators or aggressive animals should provide some use (..because they interact with the landscape or whatever).
items (axe,shovel), you still have five slots.
>you still have five slots.
Carrying fifty items in a lorry is still more and stills helps a lot ;)
Of course: You can carry more stuff than in the old Clonk games. But before someone says "it's so overpowered right now!!!" comparing it to Clonk Rage, he should stop comparing things to Clonk Rage and think about that again: Are a lot of item slots a bad thing in general? What does it add to the game? Is it maybe a lot more fun for the player?
Especially think of what gets lost with more item slots compared to CR and what is gained:
Landscapes could be a lot more complicated and rough in general - why? Because you provided the player with item slots to always carry one loam/flint so that conquering those landscapes is a lot less frustrating because you don't have to walk back to base to get a loam every time you find yourself facing a cliff that you cannot get over.
Small constructions (bridges/hatches/supports for tunnels) could be produced on-the-run and without a factory, just with the hammer - why? Because you actually can carry the two wood that are needed for it now.
TL;DR: Stop comparing things to CR thinking that you would have them in a CR landscape/round. OC will be different and carrying more stuff might fit extremely well into that different game.
I just didn't understand the new strategy to the game. Holding a substantially larger ammount of things is, to simply put it, a new strategy, and as you explain it i cant wait for the game to come out. Being a fan i am curious on how it all will turn out, and when i notice something different, i like to talk about it. Simply out of curiosity. I realise you wouldn't be changing it up if there wasnt good reason.
Its cool that your implementing tools, it happened to be my favorite part about CE, the far worlds. You needed a hammer to build igloos and such. and each item was almost NEEDED for survival in those specific lands. Again, not to compare, just noting something that i enjoyed.
And about the animals, that would be cool. you can maybe even make an smant hill. Trodding on them make them angry, thus all of them come out of their borrow and attack everything on sight.
>Hm, one of the things that still bugs me the most is how to combine the backpack with building menus. Would it be acceptable to standardize on the backpack always appearing *under* the Clonk? That would leave enough space on top to put building stuff. Would seem most natural to me as buildings are mostly going to be bigger than Clonks.
Currently the backpack is useful in fights and melees because you can swap items to your inventory very quickly. Because you know where the backpack is going to be on the screen: around your mouse. So you will only have to move the mouse a few pixels to the left to get the scroll from your inventory. And a few pixels to the right to get that bow.
Putting the inventory below the Clonk would be nasty in every way I can imagine :x
>Well, what's the alternative? Having the inventory at the mouse isn't really an option when you must plan for other menus to be open. Maybe have the mouse pseudo-jump to the Clonk at the occasion, jumping back afterwards?
When you have a contents/shop menu (lorry, base, whatever) with a grid layout, I don't see any problem with also displaying the contents of the Clonk (hand+backpack) in a grid menu - it would probably even fit better (visually) into the other menus.
Correct me if it's in use already.
If that is not something you want to make clonk into, i am not really sure what other direction it can go, there is not a lot of creative freedom when it comes to settlement mode. When i had posted my previous thread almost a month ago, one of the people replied and had said that the clonk community makes their own game modes, and that is what made clonk into what it is today. So maybe adding a way to play on any type of game mode that gets uploaded to a clonk website without having to go on the clonk modding database. This would be another way to make this game really fun.
If it seems like I'm preaching my idea a little to much, i am sorry :D
But your opinion as a strategy player will still be of value. What do you think about vehicles ? How could they enrich strategy? How should an enemy base be conquered? How should it be defended?
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