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Invisible, Inc. coming to Steam Early Access August 19!


For more info, check out our post here: http://forums.kleientertainment.com/topic/39112-invisible-inc-coming-to-steam-early-access-august-19/


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Unlocking Characters


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#1 Excess

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:22 AM

As Kevin stated, he's not completely happy with how the XP system works right now. Here's my suggestion to overhaul it to unlock characters.

How we unlock the new characters then?

Character would be unlocked by doing certain character-specific actions. It wouldn't be linear, any character could be unlocked at any given time. For example:

  • Burn down an Optimus Pine with a torch, unlocks Willow.
  • Dig up Wendy's ghost (special tomb marked by statue or "Here lies Wendy" carving), unlocks Wendy
  • Destroy a 3 tier spider nest with your bare hands, unlocks Wolfgang

  • Burn down 50 trees, unlocks Willow.
  • Un-burrow 3 ghosts, unlocks Wendy.
  • Carry 64 stones simultaneously, unlocks Wolfgang.

But how do player find out about this?

Off course, for this to work we should be able to see the background image of each character before unlocking them, so you have a hint of what needs to be done. Willow is fairly easy to unlock by accident, who didn't burned a forest down? Once you unlock the first one, you can figure out the other ones.

Also, a hint system should be implemented. Each character would have 3 hint: A vague one, a more direct one and a rather obvious one. In order to encourage survival and discourage grinding, a new hint would be available for every 15 days survived. First the vague hints will appear, and once every character has a vague hint, the direct hints start unlocking. And so on.


90% off the players will run to the forums and read how to unlock them, but the 10% that figure it out themselves (either knowingly or by accident) will have their mind blown.

But what if..?

Ideas? Flaws? Let's hear them. Xacktastic already helped me refine my system, I can't wait to hear what you guys come up with.

Edited by Excess, 30 October 2012 - 05:31 PM.
Exploration above chores

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#2 Xacktastic

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:44 AM

Looks good! =D Hopefully it gets some attention.

#3 burfl

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:33 PM

So Excess, I really like the direction you're going here, but I don't like the fixed number of things you need to do, i.e. "burn down 50 trees". These feel too much like quests to me. I really REALLY liked the article Klei did on quests and why they aren't a part of this game and even though your "quests" aren't presented as obvious objectives, there will still be players who find them in a wiki or a forum or a let's play and then it becomes a quest.

Also, offering a hint every X number of days incentivizes turtling. I think this needs to be designed to incentivize exploration and experiencing everything the game has to offer. For instance, maybe there are hidden things spawned "out there in the world" (I dunno, shrines or something) that you discover to partially unlock a particular character. "Achievements" of sorts sound acceptable as long as they're black and white "I accomplished something" achievements and not World of Warcraft "kill fifty of that guy and collect 75 of the thing he drops".

Perhaps you could unlock the creepy girl for going insane? :D

#4 Excess

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:58 PM

I thought about it, but I don't think Klei's article applies here. It's not a quest in the sense that you don't have to do it. Its actually a surprising reward for simply playing the game. Also, it's a one time only thing. It's not like the game in centered around getting x amount of stuff or anything.
Regarding "turtling" and reading about it elsewhere... perhaps you shouldn't have to unlock the hints. They could be available to anyone, but with a warning. Something like...

Are you sure you want another hint right now?
Don't give up, you'll find it!

[YES] [NO]


...perhaps?
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#5 Xacktastic

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:00 PM

I feel like it would work either way, honestly.
Personally I like the idea of a straight up experience bar with multipliers based on days survived.
At the same time, Excess' idea fits into the game better.

#6 burfl

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:46 PM

I agree for the most part. The only hitch in your plan is people reading about it (perhaps by accident) on the forum. All of a sudden, the "pleasant surprise" factor becomes "must burn 50 trees". When we run out of "must do x" what do we do then?

I just don't like quantifying it is all. Otherwise, it's a great suggestion.

#7 Excess

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:07 PM

When we run out of "must do x" what do we do then?

Play the game with a whole new character! :p

I insist, I don't think Klei's article would apply here. This "must do"s aren't part of the game. They aren't the games purpose. You still have to survive on your own, with no one to guide you, just like you've already been doing before even thinking about unlocking new characters.
When you encounter a game for the first time that has locked characters, you don't immediately think "OMG, I HAVE to unlock that character RIGHT NOW even before I try this game with the default character!". You don't. You play with the available character and taste the game. That's when Klei so cleverly wispers to the players ears "I'm not your mommy, you are a grown-up, YOU figure out how to survive". By the time you hit a plateau or die several times and start wondering how would be playing with the other characters, that state-of-mind is so burned into the gamers head that no "unburrow 3 ghosts" will snap you out of it.

I just don't like quantifying it is all. Otherwise, it's a great suggestion.

I don't either. How do we avoid this?
Would unburrowing a ghost from a specific tombstone that says "here lies Wendy" count as "unquantifying"? Or is it the same?
How could we go about Willow? Setting Optimus Pine on fire?
And Wolfgang? Destroying a 3 tier spider nest with your bare hands?
Don't Starve Controls (learn how to get around)
How to move with [Z][Q][S][D] (on an Azerty keyboard)
All you wanna know about multiplayer (but where too lazy to look for)

#8 burfl

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:09 PM

I just thought of a good way to explain the point I'm trying to make so I'm double-posting. Sorry.

Try to imagine the following, Excess. You're a new player. You are a bit frustrated that you don't know how to unlock, say Wendy (full disclosure, I don't know the differences between them, so I'm assuming Wendy is the pyro). You jump on the forums and ask "Hey community, how do I unlock the Wendy?". LadyD replies "Just burn down 50 trees!" What do you do next? You tab back into the game and go burn down 50 trees. It's a chore now. But what if LadyD had instead replied "You have to find her diary." What do you do? You tab over and play the game. Because who knows where it spawned? You'll be inspired to explore and maybe even get some story out of the diary.

EDIT: I guess I'm not double posting. You interjected :D

#9 burfl

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:14 PM

I don't either. How do we avoid this?
Would unburrowing a ghost from a specific tombstone that says "here lies Wendy" count as "unquantifying"? Or is it the same?
How could we go about Willow? Setting Optimus Pine on fire?
And Wolfgang? Destroying a 3 tier spider nest with your bare hands?


Now you're putting words in my mouth :) If digging up random graves until the ghost of Wendy appears is the solution, then that's still quantifying in a sense. It's no different than the MMORPG approach of "kill as many bugbears as it takes for them to drop 12 sammiches". But if you have to find a specific grave, with a monument to her, that's a different story. Now it's exploration. It's adventure. It's not just repeating action X until it yields the desired result.

#10 Excess

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 05:23 PM

Awesome, I like where this is going. Exploration above chores.

I'll edit the first post to reflect the upgraded system :D


Keep coming the comments people, let's make this A THING!
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#11 Luna Lovecraft

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:19 PM

Now, the leveling system currently exists to allow the new players to get a hang of the game before trying out new characters. The way it currently works, however, requires death to level.

My opinion: Get rid of it entirely. An XP system will ALWAYS be a grind.

Instead: Pursue "Achievement Style" progression.

What does this mean? We're adding achievements?

No. We're not adding achievements. I understand the dislike of achievements, and I too am not in favor of achievements in the traditional sense.

By achievement style, I mean that by completing an objective you unlock a new character.

Here is my opinion on how each currently existing character would be unlocked:

Willow: Start a forest fire. (Essentially just give it to the player after 10 trees are ignited by any means)

Wendy: "Kill" the ghost that sometimes pops up from graves.

Wolfgang:
Kill a treeguard.

Other possible "achievements" for future characters:
Research everything (more difficult after research reform)
Place a spider's nest
Equip a dapper vest
Play the pan flute
Have four mandrakes following you at once

It's pretty easy to expand on, as you just have to ensure that the individual achievements are met.

Furthermore, these achievements would never be told to the player. This gets rid of the potential "grind" that people encounter when they discover achievements. Instead of having grindy achievements to get a new character, most of these things are things which might happen in every day play. It would be a nice surprise, an "Oh hey, I unlocked this new character after starting this forest fire, I wonder how that relates to her."

#12 ResonanceCrea

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 05:34 PM

Sounds like the boring achievements form minecraft kind of thing : eazy and expected.

I don't see better interest in it just for the fact is lacks originality compared to the actual system of actually having you die, having you to make the choice of letting go of all you have for a new world... Kind of a sadistic way, like I guess is the lore, being kind of "droped" on some unknown world with the sole purpose of not starving.

Wouldn't mind an achievement thingy, but that suggestion doesn't match the value I give to the actual situation. Just my opinion.

#13 Midnight Tea

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 06:23 PM

I like it, honestly. It encourages play and exploration. Though whether new characters are tied to minor achievements I'd like to be weighed versus how many characters there will be. If the game is going to have a LOT of them, then yeah, your suggestion would be better than a strict XP bar.

I don't think I agree with you that experience points necessarily means grind. "Grind" is one of those words that gets overused a lot, and should probably be saved for repetitive, non-stimulating padded gameplay.

#14 winddbourne

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 11:55 PM

I really don't like this idea as it pushes you to do certain things just to unlock the new characters, rather than simply surviving long enough to "earn" them, and it makes it a lot easier to get everyone if you just read the forums and are willing to die a few times completing the unlock conditions.

It would be much better if they just awarded us the experience we have "earned" at set day points, or when you die if you don't reach the set time. So we might get our XP at the turn of each season. So we start in spring, then we get XP at the beginning of summer, again at fall, and then finally at winter, with the cycle repeating every new year we survive. Assuming four seasons that would be roughly an XP award for every 90 days.

Of course if you don't survive long enough the current system would still be in play.

Edited by winddbourne, 03 December 2012 - 12:04 AM.


#15 mobius187

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 08:52 AM

I really don't like this idea as it pushes you to do certain things just to unlock the new characters, rather than simply surviving long enough to "earn" them, and it makes it a lot easier to get everyone if you just read the forums and are willing to die a few times completing the unlock conditions.


I think that's part of the problem I have with the current XP system. I played as Wilson, died, and I had lived long enough to unlock both Willow and Wendy. I skipped Willow and played as Wendy... and I've been playing her ever since. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to play Willow, but I guess I skipped over her. If the unlocks had been a bit harder to acquire then maybe I would have unlocked one or the other, but I wouldn't feel like I was skipping someone.

I would like a system like in the Binding of Isaac. The tricky part is coming up with unlock requirements that are not easy, but also not "grindy". An obvious one would be to simply have a new character unlock once a set number of days have been survived... say reaching Day 100. Simple, but not too simple, and something the player would be striving for anyway, so not "grindy".

Another could be, as Luna Lovecraft suggested, to locate Mandrakes as they are fairly uncommon/rare on the maps. Maybe in the final game there could be a set number of Mandrakes (say 12) and your goal would be to find them all and have them follow you to a specific area (i.e. stone circle).

As for the others? No clue. There just isn't enough unique content in the game right now. Anyway, those are just some thoughts and ideas I was contemplating.
Wendy says: "Why yes, when you stare into my eyes the Abyss does stare back..."

#16 TylerTheDragon

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:38 AM

The binding of Isaac idea is one of my favorite ways to unlock something , they unlock randomly and you end up unlocking everything after playing for a few 100 hours (which isn't long at all for a game - I've played over 10000 hours of runescape sinse 2007 to 2011 - when I quit) Honestly , the game does seem like a drone , I want to unlock and play as Wendy or Wolfgang with a tent without having to kill myself first - maybe give XP every time someone uses a tent - sinse it'd make sense. Honestly , the game does have some moments where I kind of wish that unlocking characters was more exiting and challenging , just standing around a camp fora few days with a farm for food , a crock pot , a tree farm and another farm for everything else for about 60 days doesent exactly make the game difficult , and if you have a massive grass farm , which will only take me 5 days on my current map , I could make it to day 60 in a matter of minutes - though the only reason why I dont is because I like looking for adventure - I'm concentrating on materials.

#17 mobius187

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:15 AM

I think many people dislike the idea of dying in order to cash in your collected XP. I know another user made an interesting suggestion involving the tent, namely to have it whenever the character used the tent it not only allowed you to change your character, but it also awarded you your XP to date, along with any new unlocked characters.

Of course, as I stated before, I would prefer a better system altogether when it comes to unlocking new characters.
Wendy says: "Why yes, when you stare into my eyes the Abyss does stare back..."

#18 Joyousterror

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

I think surviving for "X" amount of days is a fair challenge to unlock a certain amount characters. When i first built a tent it was because i expected my exp to count up and give my next character. Lock on that character until i played them. Then with the tent i would switch to her in my current world and keep playing.

That alone adds a much longer game in a single session. You could possibly be on day 100 just playing through wilson then switching to willow to unlock wendy.

#19 mobius187

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

...You could possibly be on day 100 just playing through wilson then switching to willow to unlock wendy.


I think it's criminal NOT to be allowed to play as Wendy... I mean, have you seen my hat?
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#20 Joyousterror

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 11:40 AM

I think it's criminal NOT to be allowed to play as Wendy... I mean, have you seen my hat?


:p You can have your hat when you survive long enough wilson>willow. I just think there should be some kind of natural progression to each character. I hoped to have to play as each character but i didn't want to die just to do that. I think it should be tied down to the tent so you could at least try to do everything in a single play-through. Seems more fun to me at least to be at day 150 getting attacked by hounds every minute. Rather than getting to day 50 3 times over in different play-throughs.

During that one play-through you also played as 3 different characters/play styles ending on wolfgang.