Jump to content
Black Chicken Studios Forums
Hawkey

~ Suggestions & Improvement ~

Recommended Posts

This post combines undirected partial responses to some of the above ideas, along with some ideas that might be useful and a reasonable amount of work, dunno, not enough of a programmer to guess that.

 

 

 

A suggestion for showing the dates of the Midterm and Final, would you consider adding it to the basic information about the parent skill? And maybe a list of the students taking exams for skill, even if that excludes the player. It would be -great- if we could see our character names added to the list in the right places, but that might be far, far harder to program, and probably not worth the work... ideally this fix is easy and fast, and satisfies players who want to know these things. One reason why I might want to know this, for every skill and every student, is to satisfy any urges for revenge. My character may not be enrolled in Geometry, but now I know that Sheary, who has pranked me all year, is and when her exams are, and which teacher she has to answer to. And I'm going to get her, really really REALLY get her, all month before her Final and especially the days right before. *insert happy-evil player laugh here*.

 

For example - this combines what information is already in the game about a class skill, with how the new information that we want to know might look like added in.

 

Geometry

 

Geometry is a skill of spatial reasoning, of understanding three dimensions as translated into a two dimensional format. The skill of Geometry is the culmination of many other skills; as such, it can only be learned through the aspects of other, rather simpler skills.

 

This year the midterm for Geometry falls on the 16th of Cheimare, and the Final will be presented on the 4th of Kaliri.

 

Eliana, Herbert, Iustus, Luti, Neta, Sheary, and Tabin are enrolled in 4th period Geometry under Professor Sixt von Rpprecht.

 

Dominant attribute: Intelligence

 

 

 

 

 

A suggestion about skill organization (possibly usable for phemes, and maybe anything on our list of options). Would it be difficult to make a 'drag and drop palate of colors'? The concept of a palate (for spells) is already widely used throughout the game. Give us a palate somewhere (Maybe under the context window? That currently doesn’t seem to function) and allow us to click on a color, then on our list of skills, phemes, or whatever, and change the area of the menu right around the skill to that color. Let the program remember our choices, and make sure that we can cancel (a 'clear' color) that choice whenever we want. That way every player can design patterns that make sense to each one of us as to how we want to organize our monstrous and ever-growing skill lists. Maybe one player will use red for skills they've finished training, blue for skills they mean to get asap, and yellow for skills they don’t think they'll ever use. Someone else might use red for combat skills, blue for their weekend fun skills, and yellow for their class skills. A third player might use red for skills based on strength or fitness, blue for intelligence and insight, and yellow for charm, finesse, and luck based skills.

 

No matter how someone plays, they can set up something eyecatching and useful to their playstyle (or even not use it at all, if it's actually not useful to them). I don't know much about programming, but you already use mouse position sensitive color changes for areas of the interface, with how you show items are forbidden for an inventory area, so this might be a close match to what you already have coded, don't know.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have to say, there are -very very few- kitchen sink games out there. At least that I've found. I don't know if it's just how much work they are to make, or that genuinely so few players actually want such a game, or for other reasons, but I am extremely glad this is one of them. I really like sitting down with an extremely complex and deeply varied puzzle, with several hundred 'oh, this bit seems easy' parts to get me started and keep me rolling, tens or hundreds of 'hey, this is kinda hard, am I understanding this?' parts to selectively gnaw on and tug at again and again until I feel like I get them, and an uncountable number of 'really hard bits, I don't get this at all!' - uncountable because really, how can you measure or count what you don’t understand - to continue digesting and pulling at for a long time to come.

 

I'm not sure that this game is that complex yet. I'd like it to be, but I've only started cutting my teeth on it ;p. For now, it's definitely worth the money spent, it's got a great 'public face' in our active owner/manager/public faces here on the forum such as Legate and a few others. And it sounds like it's going to get better and better.

 

But the way the game play works... if you don't want to use 90% of the skills... then don't. You'll still be able to get through the game playing your way. You might or might not run into some 'secret' things if you don't explore outside of your comfort zone - but reducing your choices is what a 'reduce content' choice is about. But allow the choices to exist for those players who think, hey, I want to explore the dark corners. Heraldic flags, wow, level 9 in that leads to the study of magical colors, and that gave me this super neat phene... But don't say, 'take an axe to the game. I don't want to play with this, so no one does, it's useless.' Us super-explorers really hate hearing hopes that the unexplored forests just get chopped down!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doh, and then I forget to include the idea that made me look over the thread to see if it had already been asked for.

 

 

 

Right now I've seen the calendar default to attend class, rest, and (if you haven't changed rest to something else) detention if needed. Once I decided to set the rest of the week's rests all to train, and got notified that I'd missed a detention (that I hadn't even realized I'd gotten, I didn't have detention when I planned ahead). What I'd love to see is a way to reset the defaults. Let me mark with a single click a choice to replace 'rest' with anything else, or anything else that's always available like train or study. Maybe if I pick something that cannot be followed through with it reverts to rest when I actually try to begin the day. Let me also set a default location, to replace the current default location of 'my room'. Let me change this whenever I want. I don't know what's easy or hard to program, but maybe this would be easier than setting up user defined profiles of several different patterns.

 

 

So this way when I know I want to spend a few days focusing on training in a field, with just two set-up clicks I can. And then when I think I should move to a library for a few days, continuing to train, I can with just one more click. And when I want to shift to working the fields, with one more click I can do that. Hoping this might be a nice answer to ease of design versus enjoyment of use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Impet;

 

Excellent work- I was very happy to have this feedback.

 

I like your idea about the Classes, and how that would be presented. I don't think it will be too difficult to add, but we'll see what I can do. Anything that supports players and their evil laughter gets my approval. :)

 

The Palette idea is an interesting one, although this particular concept is one we will have to reserve for Year 2. In the mean time, what we plan to do is provide you a set of filters that you can use to better sort not just Skills, but also Actions, Abilities, Items, Spells and Phemes.

 

I like the idea of setting the defaults yourself. We can definitely do this with Rest and with the Preparation Location, I think. We are also looking at a user defined method of planning, so you can capture a typical Day (Say: Attend Class, Attend Class, Gossip), map that CTRL+1 and then press ALT+1 or something similar to 'apply' that to another Day.

 

Overall, great comments, and thank you. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you too!

 

Am off to sleep at last, but one last thing I forgot to add about the whatever system is used to automatically change our 'rest' periods for us - we really need some way to tell if we have a detention or something scheduled for that period, and we won't see it under the current code unless we either don't change the day at all until the last moment, or we actually check each day 'just in case'. So whatever default or selected mode is used, we still need a way to clearly (and easily) tell if we have detention. I've been 'surprised' by most of the detentions I've gotten so far, and would have missed every one of them except for the automatic replacement of rest with detention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Impet;

 

Yes, regardless of whether we implement a change of default or use the templates I described, we'll need to make sure that Detention and other activities replace what the Player has pre-schedule.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hello,

 

There are two small improvement suggestions that have been made in this thread and that I like. I just wanted to know if their implementation was actually considered or was possible relatively soon? (meaning a month or two).

 

(1) Adding the midterm and final exam dates to the class skill description

 

Geometry

 

Geometry is a skill of spatial reasoning, of understanding three dimensions as translated into a two dimensional format. The skill of Geometry is the culmination of many other skills; as such, it can only be learned through the aspects of other, rather simpler skills.

 

This year the midterm for Geometry falls on the 16th of Cheimare, and the Final will be presented on the 4th of Kaliri.

 

Dominant attribute: Intelligence

 

(2) Adding a parent skill in paranthesis next to a sub-skill display wherever possible, to help avoid lengthy hunting down operations.

 

Please add a skill's parent skill in its description. At the end of the day report when you get a message "such and such skill has advanced 1 step" and other places (snip)

 

a) An interesting idea. Maybe something like: "Patience (Malice) has advanced 1 Skill Step." or something similar?

 

I thought they were modest suggestions, but helpful nonetheless to get around some of the problems often mentioned. Perhaps realistic to implement without having to wait for game #2... I just wanted to say I liked them and I was curious to know if they were seriously considered and if so, what kind of time frame would these kinds of improvements require.

 

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Antigone;

 

For these, as a rough schedule, I have:

 

1) Content Patch 1 (by the end of September)

 

2) I have this scheduled for November. However, I am looking at the possibility of having Skill links in the Feedback in October, which may ultimately satisfy the request.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That would be great! I would be very happy with that.

 

Thank you for your answer, and of course I understand things don't always go as planned :)

 

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Antigone;

 

In this case, I am actually pretty sure all these will be done much earlier- but this is a good, conservative schedule, I believe.

 

I will periodically update the Patch Thread, so watch there. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The biggest deal I have with the game is when it doesn't tell me information, because really, the game is all about information. To clarify (this is a few issues put together): when one starts the game, I have Lore:Academagia Block Puzzle. The description tells me with successful rolls I can Expand Merit, Glory, and get a point towards Puzzles. There is, however, no option (action or ability) to go to the Block Puzzle and attempt to make those rolls to get Merit and Glory. However, I can, say, train/study at the Block Puzzle. Doing so seems to gain be a point towards Puzzles, but this isn't listed in the day summary (which is the thing I would most like: please consider adding those and all other gains (such as when in Later Merits it talks about '...gaining maximum in a random Incarnation sub skill'- well, which sub skill?) to the summary). Then, just to add to my confusion, while Exploring, my character can... discover the Academagia Block Puzzle. Which they already had under Lore.

 

Similar issues with the 'Preparation of the Great Gates'. It sounds like it's something the character should have an action or ability to do: they start out with the lore for the area. But it never pops up. Is it supposed to offer a passive bonus one gets if you study/train there? If so, shouldn't it just be named simply 'the Great Gates', similar to how most other areas are named? It would be much easier to follow if, say, you had 'Bob's Office', and then the lore listed 'Bob's Office', 'Pickpocket Bob's Stuff', 'Learn Under Bob'- where the first one was the passive place one could do actions/abilities at, while the later two were actions/abilities themselves. Most places in the game are like that, making the ones that aren't a bit confusing.

 

 

I wish there was an ability to lesson or even erase totally the Chance of Discovery for certain places. The big one is Office's of professor's you're working with. Professor Leith's Back Office, for instance (...is an action labeled like a bonus/location), has a Discovery Chance of 2, even if you're taking the class and the fact that you're directly hanging out with the Professor in that option. It seems silly to get caught for trespassing in a place where you're doing work under the teacher's eye. An action (maybe law based?) that was something among the lines of 'petition for permission to access (area)' (with Academy and City areas that are 'acceptable' being substituted for area- I don't expect the character to ever get full permission to be wandering around in some of the secret areas, particularly if they involve monsters or the like, but classrooms and some shops particularly make sense at being offered).

 

 

I think the Lyre that a character who graduated from the Music skill carries around shouldn't count as a contraband/need concealment (I am also completely unable to figure out how to use the silly thing, but that might just be me being, well, silly). I also think that a character who is a Black Sheep shouldn't be able to choose the background: merchant and the like that offer a starting weekend allowance.

 

 

So far, I'm enjoying the game, although I keep running in to the 'always success' issue and needing to start over. All fun, though. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mikka;

 

I agree- getting to the point where the information is easy to access in several different ways is the goal of our continual improvement.

 

In regards to the Preparation Locations- it needs to be better marked in some way which Abilities are passive (only applying if you set your Location there), versus the ones you can actually use. After some discussion, we are going to try to solve this in three ways: Firstly, we are going to mark Preparation Locations in the Ability, so that if you read it you will know without guessing (CP1). Secondly, we are going to color them differently (Grey, probably). Finally, we are going to try to put in some kind of roll-over on the Confirmation Window so that you can see what Location is without needing to back out and look under Lores.

 

Exploration should not select Locations you already know about- that needs to be looked into. :)

 

Some Chance of Discoveries need to be revised, I think- Professor Leith's Back Office has one, but it does not work in the context of what's available to do there. There are several ways in the game already to lower Chance of Discovery, but still the dissonant values should be removed. If nothing else, you should gain Visitation Rights to that place. :)

 

As for the Lyre- it's not Illegal, but anything bulky can viewed as breaking the dress code. That said: the Lyre is something in line with what students would be expected to have and thus should probably be looked at one more time.

 

Glad to hear you are enjoying it (always success should be dealt by Saturday's build), and please do keep the suggestions coming.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that my character has become more studious, I've realized that I'd quite like to study a lot of things... including stuff outside of my character's assigned subjects. Any plans to make that possible some time in the future?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Impet;

 

You mean, as in gain the Study bonuses outside your Class? That's a near idea: perhaps you have to apply to the Instructor of that Class to get permission, and then you can effectively take more than 6 Classes. Of course, it's hard to Study additional subjects, Hmmm! A lot of potential here. :rolleyes:

 

It's a fun feature, but I think this will more than likely be better suited for Year 2.

 

Great idea, though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Before the Midterm Exams, I made sure that my character had studied each subject up to 10. All of my scores were a multiple of 10, equal to study level times the subject's parent skill level. I'd not done any extra credit or research, though all of my relationships with the Professors were +1 to +4, though that didn't appear to affect the grade.

 

While this apparently very simple form of scoring the Exams is doubtless 'fair', and it does 'make sense', it's also extremely 'mechanical' and 'inhuman'. I'd love to see some small variation, a few points up or down based on luck, or even directly and exactly a true random factor giving some small variance.

 

I've gone to school knowing I've got my subject down cold, and I -will- have a 100% on the upcoming test. I've also known I didn't have my work done, and I was surely going to fail. . . . But I've never gone to class certain, absolutely certain, that I would walk away with an 80%, no better, no worse, and being able to 'see' the mechanics at work here for the midterm grades is rather jarring for how my fantasy immersion works.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some days you look at your character, and you just want to ask it, well, what -do- you want to do today?

 

Could we get an option to just 'do the first thing that pops into your head' for that day, a command for the game to select from any of our useable skills or abilities for us? If it has to pick a 'target', a person or a skill, let it. Today my character decided to Bully Irene. The next day it might decide to Run a Potentially Crippling Training Route. And after recovering from that, maybe my character would decide to try and befriend Magsa.

 

 

Personally, I usually like to control what my character does. However, sometimes, especially after a really neat random thing happens, I wonder, 'Hey, what would -you- like to do? Tell me?' And this would be a way for it too :rolleyes:

 

 

This is similar to Joy de Vivre, but it is even more random and not necessarily always positive. We'd need to be able to see in the history what our characters chose to do (and where) for this to really add to our understanding of the story, of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Impet;

 

Interestingly, we originally built variation into Exam results- but the feedback on this feature was negative, as our testers wanted to be able to guarantee success, if they worked hard enough. It bears thought.

 

I like the random option, though! That could have very amusing results. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been slightly annoyed about the adventures. I have to keep looking for the right adventure of the series I was doing, but they keep changing names.

Might I suggest a main title and subtitle structure? For example:

 

Meeting your Mentor - First Meeting

Meeting your Mentor - Duelling

Meeting your Mentor - A request for Help

Trees of Wisdom - Sneaking in

Trees of Wisdom - Looking for Clues

Trees of Wisdom - Stepping in the Circle

Zoe Melis - Meeting

Zoe Melis - Getting in a mess

Zoe Melis - Getting out a mess

 

(yeah, all made up titles and stuff, just trying to get things clear)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Draigh;

 

Another Academagian requested a mouse over which would show the progression of the Adventure- for instance, if you mouse over it you might see:

 

First Meeting

Duelling

A Request for Help

 

...so that you can always see what has come before. We prefer this way to including the overarching Adventure in the Title, because of space concerns.

 

What do you think?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Impet;

 

Interestingly, we originally built variation into Exam results- but the feedback on this feature was negative, as our testers wanted to be able to guarantee success, if they worked hard enough. It bears thought.

 

I like the random option, though! That could have very amusing results. :)

 

I would do a small random part of +5/-5 points at the total score. So if you have 10 study and 10 skills, you would get your exam within the range of 95 to 105 points. Just enough to make it interesting, but still hard work pays to do. Or maybe schew the results depending on the scores? Like if you have 3 subskills trained well, you get the base. But for each subskill extra you trained to the level of your skill, you might get a +1/+5 points on your exam? That would make it worthwhile to study all subskills instead of the minimum to raise your skill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Draigh;

 

Another Academagian requested a mouse over which would show the progression of the Adventure- for instance, if you mouse over it you might see:

 

First Meeting

Duelling

A Request for Help

 

...so that you can always see what has come before. We prefer this way to including the overarching Adventure in the Title, because of space concerns.

 

What do you think?

 

Oh.. missed that suggestion... then again, had a long day at work.

But that would work fine too. As long as I can see what adventure I'm doing, it's fine with me. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Something that's come up as I've played more... can we get autosaving? I lost power and lost 3/4ths an academic year. Also, can you work on improving the performance of the game? I have a very high end computer and the game just chugs on every screen. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Vanan;

 

I can't promise anything on optimization -the database is huge, and it gets larger and larger as the game progress- but I already do have that as a point of improvement.

 

As for autosaving- I will see what we can do.

 

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Suggest mouseover phemes when adding them to spell shows what pheme does. Otherwise have to close spell window and scroll through long list to find answer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×