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xhodan

Game Improvement Idea's & More

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Will update this as development progresses.


Hey guys, I've put in a solid 12 hours into the game so far and I've absolutely fallen in love with the game. I'm super excited to see how things evolve in the coming months and years. My current thought's on the state of things are as followed.

1. Crafting: I was pleasantly surprised at how unique the current crafting system is, it's familiar, but different, definitely a refreshing take on the genre.

2. Graphics: Not the most important aspect of the game to me, I would like to say though I've been taken back by some awesome breathtaking vistas in my travels in Vintage Story, I love the fog effects and I'm excited to see the potential for other weather effects and seasons.

Okay with that out of the way lets dive into my suggestions. It is my understanding that Vintage Story is supposed to be a survival RPG. I wont talk much about the RPG element as it seems to be the core game-play right now is mainly crafting/building, and surviving so I will focus on those three areas. At the end I'll give some thought's I had as far as RPG game-play and mechanics.

Survival: Right off the bat this game does a fantastic job at making the beginning stages of the game actually challenging to a degree. You don't just instantly start gathering all the materials needed to make a home for yourself or tools, there's a process to this which I like and is super refreshing from Minecraft. However, I believe there could be some major improvements as far as what it means to survive and how you do it in this game.

I personally do not like how much micromanagement is involved in keeping your character fed. Now I think this is an essential game-play element that needs to stay, but can we move away from the traditional (and by traditional I'm referring to how Minecraft does it.) You smack a sheep or whatever else and boom you have your food, it's relatively easy to get and maintain. It doesn't feel rewarding and the game-play is a bit monotonous and it always feels like a bucket list chore that you eventually have go out and do. Now this doesn't mean we should do away with having to eat and maintain nutrition levels. I actually really like that touch, it can be improved. Add stamina and water, make it so food satiates water needs, slow down the rate in which the player needs to eat. Maybe add a fasting mechanic similar to Wurm Online, maybe there are benefits to not eating short term, and negative effects the longer you go without, eventually leading to death.

I think you guys are going in the right direction as far as farming goes, I love that I can actually intelligently see how long it will take for something to grow. There seems to be a good solid foundation for farming as far as fertility goes, I think these things need to be developed more and other ideas should be explored. In the discord lately there were lots of talks of automation for dealing with these things. I half agree with some of that. I don't think automation would be needed as much for things like farming wheat if the process of farming itself were more of a pass-time activity that required an hour, or several hours of real time to complete. I feel this sort of game-play lends itself better to a RPG game. Usually in RPG games there's more emphasis on character progression. Minecraft is all about item progression and getting diamonds quickly so you can get the best gear.

Maybe in Vintage story our characters could have stats, and these stats would affect our effectiveness at performing various activities like farming, mining, etc.

Crafting: Not much to say here. There are some maybe nit-picky things that come to mind. Brick making for instance seems too tedious to me, maybe I'm wrong. That's just how I feel. Above I mention that this game's strongest suits right now are it's Minecraft like game-play. I love building things. Will update this section when more crafting content is implemented.

RPG game-play idea's:
I want to see more RPG mechanics that directly involve our characters I mentioned above maybe having skills that affect our performance in doing various things in the world. Like mining, chopping wood, farming, etc.

I'm hoping that in the future the addition of a story of some sorts to follow will be built into the game. I love a good story, even quests if they're good. Maybe player made quests, someone should write a quest scripter for the NPC traders or other potential NPC characters.

 

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I also feel the game could use a bit less micromanaging, especially when it comes to the inventory management. Constantly having to eat food is a nuisance and I think it could be fixed by having a bigger focus on the nutrients: Food saturation lasting longer, but the player can only eat when he is hungry and most food don't give much nutrients, so to max out nutrients, the player would not need more food, but better quality food. There could be less of a danger of starvation, but less nutrients weakening the player more.

Regarding the RPG aspects, I'm entirely against them. While such aspects are an easy way to make systems feel more rewarding, it also often leads to the player having to grind. Mastery of the games systems doesn't come from playing well, but from playing long enough to have a leveled up character in character skill based game systems. I rather support a focus towards player skill, where not the time playing and the amount of grind done is the deciding factor in success, but the players skill and knowledge.

Instead of the characters farming skill leveling, the player should have to learn how to effectively breed plants. Instead of the character smithing skill determining the quality of the sword crafted, the players skill at forging and knowledge of creating good steel should determine the quality of the sword. This obviously requires to design game systems with a lot more depth, but that is also the point of it. Game systems shouldn't be reduced to skill checks and level-ups, but systems with a learning curve and a high player skill cap. 

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@xhodan I think you'll see many things progress in ways you'll like as we go along.   Many shortcuts must be taken in these early stages, until better systems are in place.  Brick making is going to be changed eventually for instance.   But until then we have the mechanic we have, which above all else is easy for Tyron to code, being just a grid recipe and a firepit cook time.    A couple years ago when I first started following VS Tyron had just introduced the ability to make ingots, iirc, and at that time tools were crafted in the grid just like in minecraft.  There was no smithing yet.   I don't recall if there were animals back then, or if they simply didn't drop anything, but you couldn't get meat.   I don't think you could farm either.   So food was basically impossible to find.  You simply started the game and explored till you died of starvation.  Later, after it was possible to survive for more than a couple days, Tyron actually did try out a fat reserve mechanic.  I think the general consensus was that it didn't really add much to the game so it was removed.  Of course there were just a handful of people playing the game regularly back then.

I think that with the upcoming seasons update, we might be able to finally start balancing crops and food in general in a good and challenging way (get off the berry crutch).  I don't know if automation of farming will ever truly be a thing or not.   It is intended that eventually there will be a 'survive and automate' mode for the game, and it's my understanding that that mode will go whole-hog on automation.   But the default survival game mode, it would not surprise me if farming could never be truly automated in the way minecraft does.

I guess what I'm saying is that it's process of refinement of mechanics.  The bad part about the detailed and custom crafting mechanics in VS is that they take a lot of Tyron's time to code.  And you have to have certain frameworks in place before the next can come in really.

That said, some design decisions are intentional, such as the lack of need to drink water, as I understand it.   It makes sense; in TFC water drinking was just a nuisance.  It added nothing to gameplay or the tech tree.  You could drink with your hand, or with a water jug.  That was it (without mods).  It didn't encourage any use of metal, or other resources or tech aside from clay.  That's not worth putting in the game imo.   I would want to see a much more considered mechanic, and the world would need to support it, by drinkable water being far less common (again, imo), so that it had meaning.

As for RPG and skills, not sure what the plan on that stuff is.  If the game does delve into rpg territory in terms of npcs and interaction, I would expect it to be very light, or very far in the future. 

 

 

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