online multiplayers

A tribute to the MMO of our childhoods.

11 years.

All the time we spent playing this Massively Multiplayer Online Game, enshrining the information and history on our wikis.

And now the game, Club Penguin will officially close it’s Abode Flash doors for good.

I highly recommend playing all you can, visit all the rooms, replay all the minigames, feed and care for all the puffles you’ve adopted (or release some, if you wish), buy a lot of items, earn as many stamps as possible and just explore.

However, I’m not sure if the website will be preserved after the fall, so go to the Wayback Machine, and try to save all those recipes and activities in case someone is a blast-to-the-past searcher for fun.

Waddle on, Everypenguin.

RIP

Club Penguin

August 22, 2005-March 29, 2017

I’ve gotten quite a few asks recently wanting to know what my issue with Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition is. You’ve probably seen my grumbling about edition-warring a time or three, so I want to clarify that that isn’t where this post is going. I think 5E has a lot of fantastic ideas, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to new players. The problem I have with it isn’t that I don’t like what it’s doing; it’s that I see a lot of great game design ideas lumbered by a conscious refusal to take them to their logical conclusion - or, in other words, it’s not that I think 5E goes too far, it’s that I think it doesn’t go far enough.

(Fair warning: a lot of this is going to be really jargon-heavy game design stuff that normal people probably don’t care about. That’s your cue to check out if tabletop RPG meta isn’t your cup of tea!)

To start off, there’s a concept in game design - applicable to both video games and tabletop games - called “mechanical engagement”. Basically, it’s what it sounds like: how and when the player is called upon to make rules-based decisions. Some games have high mechanical engagement, in the sense that players are given lots of rules-based “toys” to play with and expected to interact with them frequently; other games have low mechanical engagement, meaning that there are fewer rules-based “toys”, and fewer player-facing decisions about how to deploy them.

Moreover, in games that have roles or classes, different roles within the same game can offer different levels of mechanical engagement. It’s tempting to think of this in terms of low mechanical engagement = basic and low-powered, high mechanical engagement = advanced and high-powered, but this ain’t necessarily the case; you can see this phenomenon in action in the sphere of video games in, say, 2D fighters, or multiplayer online shooters. You have characters/roles with complicated and demanding execution, and characters/roles with simple and straightforward execution, and the former aren’t necessarily more powerful in practice, in spite of being more demanding to play.

The reason this happens is because a player’s preferred level of mechanical engagement is totally independent of any other axis of play (e.g., preferred role, preferred aesthetics, etc.) Some players like having lots of rules-based knobs and levers to play with, and they’ll gravitate to roles that will give them that even if there’s no actual benefit - i.e., even if it obliges them to work harder just to get to the same level as players in roles with lower mechanical engagement. Similarly, some players just want to press buttons and watch stuff explode - they prefer low mechanical engagement.

There’s nothing wrong with either preference, and one of the major perks of playing a tabletop RPG with class/role-based character creation is that it allows you to accommodate different preferences in terms of mechanical engagement within the same party. You can have players who want to juggle lists of special abilities as long as their arm, and players who just want to hit things with swords, and they can play at the same table - everybody wins. Again, remember that this is totally separate from wanting to play a “low powered” or “high powered” character; the level of mechanical engagement that a role demands is a different axis from how big its numbers are.

Now, one of the perennial issues of fantasy tabletop RPGs in general and D&D in particular is tying particular levels of mechanical engagement to particular role aesthetics. In many iterations of the game, if you want to play a role with high mechanical engagement, you have to chuck fireballs, and if you want to play a role with low mechanical engagement, you have to be a sword-slinging meat shield. A player who wants high mechanical engagement but also likes swords is liable to be told, both by the game’s text and by other players, that she’s Doing It Wrong - and so, for that matter, is a player who wants low mechanical engagement, but also wants to set stuff on fire with her brain.

(Incidentally, this is one of several areas where core-book 4E solves a real and recognised problem in the most hilariously unsubtle manner imaginable, by bashing every role into exactly the same level of mechanical engagement. Which is fantastic if that just happens to be your preferred keel, because now you can play and enjoy every role - and terrible if your ideal toybox is too much larger or smaller, because now every role is an equally bad fit for you.)

5E brings a couple of great ideas for solving this problem to the table:

1. It introduces a series of “tutorial levels”, where each class‘s abilities are introduced gradually over the levels 1-3, reducing entry barriers, leveling out the learning curve, and allowing folks to “try on” different levels of mechanical engagement more easily; and

2. It introduces system of templated archetypes whereby particular classes/roles can be “tuned” to different levels of mechanical engagement, making the same basic set of roles accessible to players with a broader range of preferences in terms of mechanical engagement - and, critically, the choice of template doesn’t have to be made until after the previously mentioned “tutorial levels” are complete.

Sounds great, right?

The problem is, it only applies to fighters and rogues and related classes. Clerics and wizards - i.e., the full-featured spellcasters - don’t get any “tutorial levels”, are obliged to choose their archetypes at first level, and all of their archetypes are about equally complicated - to the point that, for example, the lowest mechanical engagement cleric you can build has more rules-based toys you’re obliged to wrangle at any given level than the highest mechanical engagement fighter.

In other words, the game turns around and goes some distance out of its way to reinforce the very problem that this design pattern is meant to solve!

This pattern is repeated in several other places. For example, one of the long-standing disagreements among the fandom is whether D&D should primarily support epic, globe-trotting “high fantasy” or gritty, street-level “low fantasy” as its default tone. It’s as much a question of rules as it is of flavour text, so it’s hard to do both - but 5E gives it the old college try, which is a frankly fascinating decision. How does that play out?

Unconventionally, 5E does it based on character classes: you literally have some classes that are built out of high fantasy tropes, and some classes that are built out of low fantasy tropes, with the result that you can have characters who basically hail from totally different genres of fantasy fiction running around in the same party. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea; there are lots of inspirational sources that setup could describe - I mean, just look at The Lord of the Rings. If that’s not a prototypical case of high fantasy characters and low fantasy characters partying up, I’ll eat my hat.

This’d be another great opportunity for the archetype system to shine - but again, we see this obnoxious wall slamming down between “martial” and “magic” classes. This time it goes the other way: fighters and rogues default to low fantasy genre assumptions, and have access to archetype templates that can dial them up to high fantasy - but clerics and wizards default to high fantasy and don’t get anything to adjust that.

Tellingly, the high fantasy archetypes for fighters and rogues basically operate by bolting half a wizard to the side of their respective classes. You end up with a strange dynamic where some characters from a given piece of genre source material are valid inspirations, but not others - e.g., you can be Merlin, but not Lancelot; Gandalf, but not Legolas; Medea, but not Achilles. Again, we see this reactionary notion that only spellcasters are allowed to play in the big-kid sandbox; the game’s text openly acknowledges as much by flat-out stating that only full-progression spellcasters are relevant when determining which tiers of play a party can engage with. And again, the tools to fix that are right there; the game just doesn’t deign to pick them up and use them.

I could keep going, but I suspect I’ve harped on long enough that y’all get exactly where I’m coming from here. It’s like… these are not new problems. Maybe not all players care about them, but it’s nearly universally acknowledged that they exist, and it would have taken so little effort to address them - the game literally developed the perfect tools to do so, then didn’t use them. It drives me crazy to see a game come so close to what could have been a legitimately revolutionary take on the genre, then deliberately stop juuuuust short of the goal line.

cute-evil-meme-queen  asked:

Hello it's me again for like the fifth time! Are there any video game au's that you know of? I've only seen two when I've looked, and was just wondering! Oh and thanks for always taking time to make lists and stuff <3

Thanks for these requests! I don’t typically read much from this AU but here are some good ones! Let me know if I missed any!

Originally posted by klxud


Video Game/Gaming AU


[Press Start] by kaizuka, Gen, 17k (WIP)
Yuuri wakes up one day to find himself thrown into an otome game-like reality, where his love interests seem to consist of figure skaters from the Grand Prix, and many of his actions are dictated by one of three choices that pop up in a text box that only he can see. And, as he’s quick to find out, the only way out of the game is to choose a love interest and see the blossoming romance through till the end! Thumbs up!

On ICE!!! by Watermelonsmellinfellon, Mature, 23k (WIP)
The first time Katsuki Yuuri saw Victor Nikiforov perform, he realized he had a great desire to see figure skating in a video game. In fifteen years, his dream is realized. Little does he know that Victor’s attention has been caught by the very game he unknowingly inspired. Love!

Pixelated Reality by chibilysis (xyrilyn), Teen, 9.1k (WIP)
Yuuri Katsuki is a Level 230 Arch Mage - the top ranking Arch Mage in Code Regius Online (CRO) - the world’s #1 Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game.Victor Nikiforov is a Level 190 Master Swordsman and Guildmaster of Fimbulwinter - a pirate/PK-killer guild. Strip away their online personas, however, Yuuri and Victor are but just two people trying to find their own place in the world.

all the dragons we have slain by brighter, Mature, 9.6k
This is why Yuuri loves gaming—the victory of it, the easy camaraderie amongst his guild, the sense that he’s part of something greater.Victor tells him, “you were incredible,” and maybe he loves that a little, too. Definitely recommend!

 Shall We Date? Let’s Skate! by Sakhyu, Teen, 4.5k (WIP)
“Shall We Date? Let’s Skate!” was the hottest dating sim game on the market … and it is also the video game one Yuuri Katsuki suddenly wakes up in. Now, Yuuri has to battle floating screens, pesky Quests, and … wait, what do you mean he’s now the main character?! Featuring poor, poor Gamer!Yuuri.

much ado about ADO by Vitali (exocara), Teen, 7.4k (WIP)
Yuuri’s first quest in the relatively popular VRMMORPG, Angels&Demons Online (ADO), was to seduce an NPC. He was trying to figure out just how to differentiate between NPCs and player characters, when he saw an angel with long silver hair and gorgeous blue eyes and thought to himself: That man is way too beautiful to be a player character.

Otome on Ice by Ethril, Teen, 9.9k (WIP)
Yuri K is a famous independent game tester that has a reputation for finding bugs and glitches that no one else can. He works mostly online through the pseudonym Eros and only gives his real name when hired to test games.Victor is the CEO of a major gaming company in Russia. Currently his top team is working on an Otome style game that they hope to turn into a RPG MMO in the near future, but first they need to do some serious testing. Christophe suggests they bring in the game tester Eros, whom they have worked with in the past, in order to test the new game “Otome On Ice”. Awesome fic so far!

Yuuri Katsuki Secret Route Walkthrough/FAQ by Metis_Ink, Gen, 2.2k
The otome community uncovers the mysteries of the Nikiforov-Katsuki Route, one of the most difficult and overly-complicated routes in a game supposedly just about ice skating. Rec’d by a follower!

Monster Hunter: World - Fact Sheet

GAMEPLAY OVERVIEW 
The latest entry in the critically acclaimed 40 million unit selling action RPG series, Monster Hunter: World introduces a living, breathing ecosystem in which players take on the role of a hunter that seeks and slays ferocious beasts in heart-pounding battles. Venture on quests alone or with up to three other hunters in a newly designed online drop-in multiplayer system which allows cross-region cooperative play between Japan and the West, uniting the global player base for the first time ever. Monster Hunter: World will also be the first game in the series with a worldwide simultaneous launch window and is planned for release on PlayStation® 4 computer entertainment system and Xbox One in early 2018. A PC release will follow at a later date.

Monster Hunter: World sees players gear up to venture on quests to battle against fearsome monsters, progressively improving their hunting abilities as they play. Loot collected from fallen foes can be used to create new equipment and armor upgrades as players seamlessly move across map areas that comprise the living ecosystems. The landscape and its diverse inhabitants play a critical role as players strategically use the surrounding environment to their advantage. Hunters must use their cunning and abilities to survive the intense and evolving fights as they battle to become the ultimate hunter! 

FEATURES
-Welcome to the new World:
Taking on the role of a hunter, players are tasked with going on a research expedition to a newly discovered continent known only as “new world” as they venture on quests to discover more about this mysterious land. 
-Living and breathing ecosystem: Utilize the surrounding environment and wildlife to your advantage. For example, pit monsters against one another to lure the main target creature to the right place, but be careful not to become hindered by the hazards they present.
-Global simultaneous release: For the first time in the Monster Hunter series the latest title will release within the same launch window and unite hunters across the world with cross-region cooperative play options.
-Online drop-in multiplayer: When the battle is too daunting to take on single-handedly, hail up to three other hunters to assist during quests by sending up a SOS flare to a worldwide server full of potential teammates.
-Hunt to craft new gear: Defeat monsters and collect loot from fallen foes to craft equipment and weapons styled after the monsters that have been slain. Selecting the right loadout can help exploit enemy weaknesses to gain an advantage in battle.
-Master the beasts: A variety of ferocious creatures inhabit the new world landscape including the series mainstay Rathalos and the all new Anjanath. Players can mount the monsters with the dynamic riding mechanic, allowing them to travel along the monster’s body and deliver locational damage.
-Seamless gameplay: Players and monsters can move from one map area to another freely and without loading screens whilst gameplay also dynamically transitions between night and day. 

What's Up in No Mercy Land

Hey guys, we’re all still hard at work on No Mercy! As you can see above the lovely Belle and her guardian Bit are all textured up and ready for animation soon. Orion is in the process of being modeled and should be ready for texture soon too. Our programmers have been hard at work revamping our level building system to speed things up in the long run, as well as working on getting online multiplayer setup! Our writers have been kicking ass too and we now have a fully fleshed out storyline with multiple endings that should offer just as much gameplay as it does secrets. We’ll be posting little dev updates here monthly as we continue to work on things, thank you guys for the support!

Nintendo’s really been going hard on colourful, family-friendly versions of genres that have traditionally been considered the province of the “hardcore” crowd: first role-based multiplayer online shooters with Splatoon, and now post-apoc wilderness survival games with Breath of the Wild.

I’m seriously wondering what genre they’ll tackle next if, indeed, this proves to be a trend.

Like, can you picture what Nintendo would do with a 4X space sim?

Or what they’d have to do to make tactical stealth assassination gameplay family-friendly?

(’cause you know they could totally do it - the question is how.)

Nintendo’s Switch Online Service Detailed!

Nintendo has officially detailed plans for their paid online service, which was originally set to launch during Fall 2017. Nintendo has now announced that the service will be delayed until 2018, but that Nintendo Switch owners can continue to enjoy online connections for free until 2018. Outside of use for online gaming, for which it is required, the service will also offer some other features. This is a point worth reiterating, this service will be mandatory for online play. Switch owners hoping to get online with games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS and Splatoon 2 in the coming year will need to purchase this subscription to continue enjoying their online escapades. 

The Nintendo Switch Online service will work with a smartphone app to handle things such as voice chat and online lobbies. The app will launch in Summer 2017 with limited features, likely to allow for players to take advantage of this feature with upcoming games like Splatoon 2. In 2018, Nintendo Switch owners can expect access to a compilation of classic Nintendo titles with newly added online multiplayer capability (titles listed include Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario). UPDATE (6/1/2017 7:45 PST): It has been confirmed that players will retain access to the Classic Game Selection as long as they have a current subscription to the service. (Source)

Other incentives include special eShop deals for subscribers on select digital games and content. It will be interesting to see the kinds of deals on offer, however, Nintendo has not yet disclosed any further information regarding this part of the subscription.

Perhaps the most important detail given today is the price for the service. Nintendo Switch owners can get their subscription to the new service for $3.99 USD per month, and only $19.99 USD for an entire year.  It is worth mentioning that this service only applies to Nintendo Switch and will not impact the online capability of devices such as Nintendo’s Wii U or 3DS systems and having the service will in no way apply to these devices. 

So that’s everything we know for now! While it may be a smaller service than something along the lines of PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live, the Nintendo Switch Online service will bring some cool features and online connectivity for a relatively low annual price. 

Gaming companies: YES, OUR LATEST GENERATION OF GAMES IS BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER BEFORE! MASSIVE OPEN WORLD! TONS OF ONLINE MULTIPLAYER! HUNDREDS OF SIDE QUESTS! INFINITE EXPLORATION!

Me, an exhausted introvert who wants my narrative- and character-driven games back: Would you please fucking stop.

Balance in Single-Player CRPGs

Someone on twitter asked me this question and I think it’s worth answering in a longer form than twitter allows.  I’ve already answered this question in brief and in video form at various points, but I think it’s important to address here:

Something that bothered me from PoE was the constant updating to classes and races to balance them. Did you guys worry about this>

In Baldur’s Gate I or II or even the Icewind Dale series? I mean really who cares if one class is OP or Race or Hybrid class? >>

You guys are making a single-player RPG not an MMO or game with a online multiplayer component.

Variants of this question are common in single-player CRPG circles.  The implication is that balance is important in an MMO/multiplayer environment but it is not important (or so much less important that it doesn’t merit addressing in patches) in a single-player CRPG.

I would like to repudiate this in two general ways: 1) I will argue that overall balance is important and valuable for players in single-player CRPGs 2) I will argue that individual CRPG players and CRPG communities overall do not present consistent objections to tuning and this undermines the general complaint.  It is not the responsibility of individuals or communities to be consistent in their feedback, but it is the job of the designer to design, which means considering the needs of the audience by listening to and interpreting feedback on a broader scale.

Yes, Balance is Important in Single-Player CRPGs

I think it’s easy enough to make the first point through reductio ad absurdum: why not give AD&D fighters 1d4 hit points per level, a worse THAC0 than wizards, and worse saving throws than any other class?  Obviously it’s because playing them would feel terrible.  Why don’t we give all of the enemies attacks that do 1-3 damage, a quarter of the hit points of the PCs, and rock-bottom defenses?  Because playing through that would feel boring for anyone who had the slightest interest in combat content and systems.

Some may say, “Hey, no one is arguing that balance isn’t important at all,” but in fact that is what many people directly say or suggest.  Maybe they don’t really mean it (which I will get to later), but that is often what comes up.  If we can agree that some degree of balance is important, then there’s no point in suggesting anything to the contrary and we’re really just debating to what degree is balance important and worth a) design consideration pre-launch and b) patching.

In my view, balance in a single-player CRPG is important to the extent that it allows players making different character and gear choices to be viable through the content of the game.  It is always important to remember that system design (including class, race, ability/spell, and item design) is one part of the equation.  Content makes up the other big part (setting aside UI/UX for purposes of this discussion).

When our area and system designers build encounters, they have to be built around an understanding of party capabilities: their overall statistics, their available gear, their consumable items, and their various abilities.  In a traditional D&D-style CRPG, this spectrum of possibility gets wider and wider the higher the levels get and the more gear becomes available to the player.  The less balanced individual choices are from level to level and item to item, the more difficult it is for area designers to design content that works for a spectrum of choices.

It Was Actually a Problem in the Infinity Engine Games

One of the questions was, “Did you guys worry about this in… even the Icewind Dale series?”  Well, no.  I certainly didn’t worry about it in the original Icewind Dale.  I assumed everyone who picked up the game was as conversant as me in AD&D 2nd Ed/Forgotten Realms rules and lore, had played hundreds of hours of it in tabletop with similarly aggressive psychogamers, and had weathered fair but diabolically brutal DMs whose scenarios demanded quick thinking and ruthless min-maxing tactics.

You might not believe the number of Black Isle QA testers (and developers) who yelled or cried in anger, virtually or in person, about how difficult some of the IWD scenarios were.  One in particular was the Idol/priest fight in Lower Dorn’s Deep.  I had a tester hootin’ and hollerin’ about how it was “impossible”, how he had tried to beat it for two hours and couldn’t make any progress.  It was a scenario that I and my office mate (Kihan Pak) both beat on the first try.

On Heart of Winter, Burial Isle practically split QA in half.  One half thought it was a cakewalk.  The others acted like they were being forced to dive into a swimming pool full of razor blades.

The dividing factor was system mastery.  AD&D 2nd Edition (and 3E) are systems with a boatload of trap choices, inherently bad builds, garbage spells/feats, and generally inferior options.  They’re not presented as inferior options to the player.  They’re presented as options… that turn out to be implicitly awful even in the best circumstances.  To the next part of the question, “I mean really who cares if one class is OP or Race or Hybrid class?”  The answer is, “The person being brutalized by content designed for the OP classes/races because they picked the ‘bad’ option.”

The broader that spectrum of choices is for players, the more difficult it is to design content that will be at a similar level of challenge for those players given any given combination of choices within that spectrum.  And to restate what I wrote before, the balance is mostly important to the extent that viability, i.e., the ability to get through the content, is supported.  BG, BG2, IWD, and IWD2 often failed that test.  Once viability is addressed, I’m not particularly concerned about balance.

Tuning Down High-Powered Outliers

The exceptions are abilities and items that are so incredibly powerful across the board that it’s almost impossible to make any content challenging with them in play.  If we design content to be challenging with those abilities/items in mind, any players who lack those abilities and items will effectively be crit path blocked.  Their game has either ended or become so incredibly difficult that it’s no longer enjoyable.  And if we don’t design content with the overpowered abilities and items in mind, any player who coincidentally or intentionally uses those items effectively no longer has any challenge going through the game.  It becomes an unlabeled Easy difficulty slider rendering all other options/choices irrelevant.

In those cases, I advocate reducing the power of the abilities/items so players don’t trip over “Hey I guess I win” options and our testers can still use them in playthroughs and give meaningful feedback.  There is one salient example I can think of: sniper rifles in Fallout: New Vegas.  In Fallout 3, Bethesda had given sniper rifles a x5 crit rate modifier.  Keep in mind that any attack from stealth (e.g. shooting an unaware target with a sniper rifle from long range) is automatically a crit.  The x5 multiplier made even standard/close range combat shots have an incredibly high chance of critting.  I didn’t notice that sniper rifles had that multiplier and it didn’t come up in testing prior to release.  In release, players noticed it quickly and sniper rifles became the de facto way to handle most encounters.  Why use a 12.7mm SMG or hunting pistol when any shot from a sniper rifle was likely to crit and do 90+ damage?

In one of the first patches, I reduced the crit rate multiplier to x2.  There was initially a lot of complaining about it, as there always is when anything is tuned down, no matter how overpowered, but the sniper rifle retained its role and continues to be used in that role. It’s a sniper rifle. It’s good at sniping. It doesn’t need to be great at close range.

Inconsistent Player Feedback

There is one trend about player feedback regarding tuning that’s hard to argue against: communities generally complain about tuning anything down but applaud (or at least do not complain about) tuning things up.  I can tune up 10 things in a patch and detune one thing and will hear far more feedback about the one thing that was detuned, no matter how marginal or necessary that detuning was.  If there’s negative feedback about tuning something up, it’s usually because players feel it needs to be tuned up more.

In Patch 3.03 for Pillars of Eternity, Matt Sheets and I tuned up seven rogue abilities, five barbarian abilities, and a variety of other spells and abilities. Players generally seemed to like this, though some wished the rogue abilities had been tuned up more.

In Patch 3.04, the soulbound dagger The Unlabored Blade had a bug fixed where its 10% Firebug proc was never firing.  Two weeks later, Patch 3.05 reduced the 10% proc to 3%. This was a change I had requested for 3.04 but it had been overlooked.  I requested the change because daggers have a fast attack rate and that dagger has a +20% attack rate enchantment.

Which set of changes do you think I heard more feedback about?  If you guessed the marginal drop in proc rate on the soulbound item that had only worked properly for two weeks, you’d be right.  The rogue and barbarian changes affect far more players and more significantly, but “loss” (even if imagined for most players) weighs more heavily.

Despite having a reputation for only detuning, I tuned many more abilities and items up in PoE patches (and in F:NV patches, as well as the JSawyer mod) than down.  Players remember the losses more than the gains, but both are a necessary part of the tuning process.

I could abstain from tuning, but I don’t think most players would benefit from that.  Players remember early Diablo 3 tuning as particularly bad, but the game at launch (especially the economy and itemization) was poorly balanced, as Travis Day elaborated on in his 2017 GDC talk.  In the long term, Diablo 3′s economy and itemization today are much better than they were at launch and I believe most players benefit from and appreciate that.  Even if you effectively never played D3 as a multiplayer game, you still benefit from that.

I don’t expect players or communities to be consistent in their feedback, but as the director and, in many cases, the lone system designer, I have to make decisions on more than just the volume of feedback on any particular topic.  Changes that make bad options better are almost universally good.  Changes that make overpowered options worse are often still a good idea if I believe more players will benefit from the change.  I didn’t hesitate to reduce the Petrified damage bonus from x4 to x2 in Pillars of Eternity because that affliction was far and away the best way to deal with difficult encounters, either through the Gaze of the Adragan spell or trap.

I Will Tune Again

Just to make this clear, while there will always be a point where I stop tuning a particular game, I’m never going to stop using patches as an opportunity to balance items, abilities, classes, encounters, enemies, etc.  I’ve been house-ruling and tuning games since I noticed trap options and OP garbage in 2nd Edition AD&D in middle school.  I re-wrote 5th Edition Ars Magica’s certamen system because it’s a cool idea that’s really uninteresting in play.  I re-wrote Pathfinder/3.X’s armor system because, as many players have noted, it doesn’t actually provide many interesting options.

If I think players will benefit from adjusting the rules or the content and there’s an opportunity to make those changes, I’m going to do it.  I certainly don’t expect players to like all of the changes I make, but if you object to the idea of post-launch balancing, you should probably never play any of the games I direct.  I’m always going to tune them, if possible.

Thanks for reading.

Portrait by Jason Seow.

3

Oh yeah, I knew I forgot something.

I’ll keep it short: Me and @kry-arcade have decided to put on hold Comfy Alchemist for a little while and work on a much smaller game instead. We plan to finish said game (temporary, but probably final name is Crystal Maidens) by the end of the month. After that we will go back full speed to Comfy Alchemist, and we hope to release both in some form at Demo Day 16.

I’ll probably write a longer post about Crystal Maidens later, but in short it’s going to be a 2-player online co-op game akin to Zelda Tri Force Heroes.Once again, I’m focusing on the art while Kry works on the code. There was some struggle getting the online to work, but now the basis is there, and we can finally move on to actually implementing the game’s mechanics.

I’ll show some more concrete stuff in a later post, but for now I just wanted to show you these skull enemies I made tonight and a quick mockup I did for the game’s UI. 

What do you think? Do you like the idea?

DevBlog #2 - Frequently Asked Questions

Hey! Thanks so much to all our fans for yesterday’s wonderful response. We’re glad that you’re all excited for the game - we’ll try our best to match the enthusiasm! Since we’ve been receiving a lot of questions, we’ll actually just do two devblogs back to back and answer some of the more popular ones.

Q: How is the online multiplayer?
A: RoR2 was built from the ground up with networking in mind, and therefore it’ll be a much smoother experience.

Q: Will we still need to port-forward?
A: We can’t say for sure until the functionality is done (working on it this week, actually) but it’s a pretty good bet that port forwarding won’t be necessary. We’re striving for one-click connection via Steam.

Q: Will all the characters be coming back?
A: No - we haven’t decided on who’s coming back yet. Some characters (Commando, Engineer, etc) will be back because they have cool gameplay, while some might also come back because they’re fan favorites (HAN-D, Acrid maybe? If he works well enough in 3D.) A lot of abilities are being reworked so they work in 3d as well, so there may be some spiritual successor classes.

Note: The unified character system mentioned in the first post isn’t a replacement for classes. There are some exciting things we’d like to do with it this time around now that we have it, however. We’ll talk more about it soon.

Q: What engine is this being developed on?
A: It’s being developed in Unity, which has been great to work with so far.

Q: What’s the team size?
A: In office we have a team size of three, up from our previous of two (so its like a 50% bigger team!)

Q: Is Chris coming back for the music?
A: Yes! We are very excited to be able to work with Chris again on the RoR2 OST. You can check out his twitter for all things music related: AstronautDown

Q: Will this run on my toaster?
A: It’s pretty early in development so we’re not sure what the real performance requirements of RoR2 will be like yet. We’ll be doing our best to make sure it runs well on as many machines as we can.

Q: Will it have split-screen co-op?
A: At this point in development we can’t say for sure. Having said that, we would love to be able to bring split-screen back and we know a lot of fans really enjoy it - we just don’t know how that works in Unity yet. From what I’ve seen of other games, it seems like 4 player co-op might be too taxing for consoles, but 2 player is likely.

Q: Will artifacts (Glass, Command, Spite, etc) be coming back?
A: Yes - We will be bringing back some fan favorite artifacts as well as experimenting with new ones that we think would work well in a 3D environment (fun balls may or may not already be in the game..)

2

OKAY BUT CAN WE ALL PLEASE ACKNOWLEDGE THE FACT :

THAT THERE IS A MERCHANT CAT IN CALPHEON’S CITY MARKET

THAT SELLS TINY FISH TO OTHER CATS IN THE MARKET.