Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Please be aware that the content of this thread may be outdated and no longer applicable.

SacredAlchemist

kotaku - "Forget everything you know about turn-based games

Recommended Posts

I've been looking forward to Invisible Inc. from I got 'Don't Starve' last year. I haven't played it yet, but I saw this kotaku article talking about it. I hope this is the appropriate section to post this, hopefully the dev team as well as fellow Klei fans can get some interesting discussion and progress from the post itself and related comments.

 

http://kotaku.com/forget-everything-you-know-about-turn-based-games-1626740565

 

P.S I love you guys, all my friends and I can't wait for 'Don't Starve Together'.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
obliviondoll    40

Here's one of the comments on the article. It really, REALLY sums up what I like about the game...

 

I dunno, I feel like this would make the game way too easy, and it highlights something particular about the action-stealth genre that I think we've all become a little spoiled on.

My problem with stealth games is that every level is designed such that there are maybe two to three exact paths to victory that you simply have to wind your way through time and space to find. Be it MGS, Deus Ex, Hitman, Splinter Cell, or what-have-you, if you know the ideal "path" (both physically and temporally), they're way too easy.

Even with the fourth dimension of time being thrown into the factor, stealth action games are basically glorified mazes. You simply have to... find the best path to the exit.

But the thing I'm really liking about Invisible, Inc. so far is that it adds several layers of unpredictability—and I'm not just talking about the procedurally-generated levels. The alarm system forces you to either work your way through the level quickly, but gives you the option of taking your time at the expense of a secure victory.

If you do that, then you must confront the unknown—AI that don't follow a patrol route, something that's unheard of in stealth games. But they're not impossible to overcome—they're just different. They don't act according to a pattern, or at least, that pattern is a lot more obscure. You simply have to come up with a way to overcome their unique behaviors. And that way doesn't simply involve "I'll wait for her to patrol to that side of the room and just sneak around her when she does"; it involves distractions, enabling turrets, setting traps, and making them deviate from their randomness into your little funnel of victory.

Walkthroughs won't help you. Very little is set in stone. And, quite frankly, that's how it should be. Unpredictability is a far more rewarding opponent to defeat than bigger health bars and larger sight cones. Because when I finish chipping away at 200,000 HP by mashing Right-Trigger for ten minutes (******* Skyrim), I don't feel special; I just feel like I completed a chore. On the other hand, when I'm forced to creatively come up with a solution to a complex-but-solvable problem that I had no idea I would confront, I feel... smart.

Unpredictability. That's what makes concepts like procedural generation (randomness) and multiplayer (unpredictable opposition) so attractive in this medium. And that's why Invisible, Inc. feels special to me. It throws a dent of unpredictability into a genre that has stagnated due to its design limitations.

 

So very true.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the truthseeker    1,560

And then the author goes and asks for the timer to be disabled. Later in the comments, they say they would like FTL's enemy fleet to be not there either.

 

 

Somebody needs a roguelike tutorial.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
obliviondoll    40

And then the author goes and asks for the timer to be disabled. Later in the comments, they say they would like FTL's enemy fleet to be not there either.

 

 

Somebody needs a roguelike tutorial.  

 

Also a mod tutorial, because there is already a mod for that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tarean    12

Now I am tempted to make a mod that disables the timer, just to show that the game would be worse of for it. But I am worried that some people would actually use it and complain that the game is a boring chore of waiting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the truthseeker    1,560

Now I am tempted to make a mod that disables the timer, just to show that the game would be worse of for it. But I am worried that some people would actually use it and complain that the game is a boring chore of waiting.

How would we make mods for this game anyway? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
obliviondoll    40

Now I am tempted to make a mod that disables the timer, just to show that the game would be worse of for it. But I am worried that some people would actually use it and complain that the game is a boring chore of waiting.

 

Create a "Patience is a Virtue" mod that prevents the counter from ticking up each turn, but adds the following:

 

-Hacking anything (removing last firewall): +1 alarm.

-Agent seen by guard: +1 alarm.

-Agent overwatched by guard: +2 alarm.

-Agent killed by guard: +3 alarm.

-Body found: +2 alarm.

-Guard KOed: +1 alarm - can be negated with augment (the one that currently negates penalty for killing).

-Guard wakes up: +2 alarm.

-Guard killed: +5 alarm (one whole alarm level in one action? TAKE YOUR SHOT, SHALEM!) - reduced to 2 with augment.

 

...and raise the max alarm level to 10, with more of the faction-specific guards showing up with the enforcers at the higher alarm levels. That sounds fair, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harmor    14

Create a "Patience is a Virtue" mod that prevents the counter from ticking up each turn, but adds the following:

 

-Hacking anything (removing last firewall): +1 alarm.

-Agent seen by guard: +1 alarm.

-Agent overwatched by guard: +2 alarm.

-Agent killed by guard: +3 alarm.

-Body found: +2 alarm.

-Guard KOed: +1 alarm - can be negated with augment (the one that currently negates penalty for killing).

-Guard wakes up: +2 alarm.

-Guard killed: +5 alarm (one whole alarm level in one action? TAKE YOUR SHOT, SHALEM!) - reduced to 2 with augment.

 

...and raise the max alarm level to 10, with more of the faction-specific guards showing up with the enforcers at the higher alarm levels. That sounds fair, right?

 

Some sound ideas right there. While I've meanwhile come to accept things as they are, it doesn't mean I'm a huge friend of gamey things (in games ^^). This would be a more elegant method as it'd both punish reckless playstyles and at the same time favor being a ghost (which is incidentally a band I've come to like but err, no off topic now ^^). But this would also mean that players kinda sorta have more freedom. Also I think, if guards had a less predictable movement pattern I think the 'gamey' version we have right now would be replaced with a more realistic and natural one where there is no need for alarm to go up every single turn even if you do nothing.

 

It's not even the 'gamey' solution in itself that makes me go 'meh', it's just not a very elegant one in my opinion. Lets face it, on one hand the corporate system somehow detected something went wrong yet all guards go on their normal patterns for some time going 'lalala nothing happened so why care' etc. Since I'm not a huge fan of anything meta in a game (aka stuff that is decided for me outside the game's rules I have no influence on) I seriously hope for a mod down the line that does this sorta stuff tbh. But maybe right now, in order to be able to add more content while us gamers keep smashing monitors ^^ the way it works as is might even be the best solution for the moment. For the moment being the key btw ^^...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tarean    12

Well, the point isn't really to punish mistakes. Mistakes are punished really harshly already. The point is to stop you from waiting, basically making time a valuable resource. Otherwise there wouldn't be any point in not waiting a round before each door to maximize AP, not waiting for guards to pass by or take any chances in general. It's basically the hunger clock, driving you forward and stopping you from abusing gamey systems to play optimally, in the end destroying your own fun.

 

At the moment mods would have to change the game files in some ways. Either manually or by using some script that changes the existing ones, keeps backups and tries to stay additive. In the end you still might have to update the mod for each version if you change any existing code. That means adding new stuff is much easier than changing existing things, at least while the update cycle is two weeks. I guess.

 

Anyway, the hacking one seems rather annoying. The other stuff can be avoided by playing stealthily and are just punishments for using any other playstile. That one is punishment when you go after the objective. Not sure about shaping gameplay after lore, though I wouldn't be totally adverse to trying it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
satoru    18

Create a "Patience is a Virtue" mod that prevents the counter from ticking up each turn, but adds the following:

 

-Hacking anything (removing last firewall): +1 alarm.

-Agent seen by guard: +1 alarm.

-Agent overwatched by guard: +2 alarm.

-Agent killed by guard: +3 alarm.

-Body found: +2 alarm.

-Guard KOed: +1 alarm - can be negated with augment (the one that currently negates penalty for killing).

-Guard wakes up: +2 alarm.

-Guard killed: +5 alarm (one whole alarm level in one action? TAKE YOUR SHOT, SHALEM!) - reduced to 2 with augment.

 

...and raise the max alarm level to 10, with more of the faction-specific guards showing up with the enforcers at the higher alarm levels. That sounds fair, right?

 

I tried a cursory glance at trying to get this to work conceptually But I dont see these parameters listd anywhere in an easy to edit way. Most of them are in the sim.zip but it's not obvious how to make these knids of changes.

 

There are some very very interesting things in there though. Not sure how much is going to make it to the final game.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
obliviondoll    40

Some sound ideas right there. While I've meanwhile come to accept things as they are, it doesn't mean I'm a huge friend of gamey things (in games ^^). This would be a more elegant method as it'd both punish reckless playstyles and at the same time favor being a ghost (which is incidentally a band I've come to like but err, no off topic now ^^). But this would also mean that players kinda sorta have more freedom. Also I think, if guards had a less predictable movement pattern I think the 'gamey' version we have right now would be replaced with a more realistic and natural one where there is no need for alarm to go up every single turn even if you do nothing.

 

It's not even the 'gamey' solution in itself that makes me go 'meh', it's just not a very elegant one in my opinion. Lets face it, on one hand the corporate system somehow detected something went wrong yet all guards go on their normal patterns for some time going 'lalala nothing happened so why care' etc. Since I'm not a huge fan of anything meta in a game (aka stuff that is decided for me outside the game's rules I have no influence on) I seriously hope for a mod down the line that does this sorta stuff tbh. But maybe right now, in order to be able to add more content while us gamers keep smashing monitors ^^ the way it works as is might even be the best solution for the moment. For the moment being the key btw ^^...

 

What you're calling "sound ideas", I was thinking of as deliberate trolling. Many people who ask for no alarm counter are also asking for the alarm to be raised when they're detected. I designed my proposal around making detection as excessively punishing as possible while still appearing to be a reasonable proposal. Did you stop to think how many of those triggers would stack? KO a guard in a patrolled room. Instant  +1 alarm for the KO, and another +2 ready when the guard wakes up, as well as another +2 from any other guard who sees that one while he's downed. And that's on top of all those guards becoming active threats instead of routinely-patrolling enemies.

 

Also, the alarm counter as-is has a totally valid in-game explanation in the form of Incognita. The devs have told us about this rationale, it just hasn't (yet) been explained properly in-game. You have Incognita, an advanced hacking mainframe thing. The buildings you're breaking into have extremely advanced security mainframes. The alarm level indicates the security network trying to identify the source of the intrusion. Guards remain on their normal patrols because that's their job. The security networks activate cameras, layer extra security on sensitive systems and sends non-patterned guards because that's THEIR job.

 

Well, the point isn't really to punish mistakes. Mistakes are punished really harshly already. The point is to stop you from waiting, basically making time a valuable resource. Otherwise there wouldn't be any point in not waiting a round before each door to maximize AP, not waiting for guards to pass by or take any chances in general. It's basically the hunger clock, driving you forward and stopping you from abusing gamey systems to play optimally, in the end destroying your own fun.

 

At the moment mods would have to change the game files in some ways. Either manually or by using some script that changes the existing ones, keeps backups and tries to stay additive. In the end you still might have to update the mod for each version if you change any existing code. That means adding new stuff is much easier than changing existing things, at least while the update cycle is two weeks. I guess.

 

Anyway, the hacking one seems rather annoying. The other stuff can be avoided by playing stealthily and are just punishments for using any other playstile. That one is punishment when you go after the objective. Not sure about shaping gameplay after lore, though I wouldn't be totally adverse to trying it out.

 

The point of the alarm timer is to emphasise that tough decision between waiting and facing a harsher challenge, or moving on with maybe a few less resources than you'd like. The point of my suggestion is to give people asking for the timer to be removed an alternative that LOOKS like it's going to work how they want, but which will potentially stack up the alarm level from a single mistake much harsher than the current system.

 

I tried a cursory glance at trying to get this to work conceptually But I dont see these parameters listd anywhere in an easy to edit way. Most of them are in the sim.zip but it's not obvious how to make these knids of changes.

 

There are some very very interesting things in there though. Not sure how much is going to make it to the final game.

 

 

Excellent work, good sir! But more importantly...

 

knids

 

 

Vermicious work, good sir!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harmor    14

What you're calling "sound ideas", I was thinking of as deliberate trolling. Many people who ask for no alarm counter are also asking for the alarm to be raised when they're detected. I designed my proposal around making detection as excessively punishing as possible while still appearing to be a reasonable proposal. Did you stop to think how many of those triggers would stack? KO a guard in a patrolled room. Instant  +1 alarm for the KO, and another +2 ready when the guard wakes up, as well as another +2 from any other guard who sees that one while he's downed. And that's on top of all those guards becoming active threats instead of routinely-patrolling enemies.

 

Also, the alarm counter as-is has a totally valid in-game explanation in the form of Incognita. The devs have told us about this rationale, it just hasn't (yet) been explained properly in-game. You have Incognita, an advanced hacking mainframe thing. The buildings you're breaking into have extremely advanced security mainframes. The alarm level indicates the security network trying to identify the source of the intrusion. Guards remain on their normal patrols because that's their job. The security networks activate cameras, layer extra security on sensitive systems and sends non-patterned guards because that's THEIR job.

 

Huh what? Deliberate trolling???? Did you want me to post every single suggestion and put a nod behind them individually saying I agree on that? Seriously? 

 

Right then, let's go further (because this was TOTALLY needed, right?). I reinstalled the game about two days-ish ago and meanwhile made it to endless mode. Woop-dee-doo - but I still think the current alarm counter makes no sense and is just simply gamey for the heck of it. Why? You're not seriously telling me and everybody else that even regular coppers wouldn't go check instantly if an alarm is going off and keeps raising but instead keep minding their own business til they actually SEE someone? And what can these guards rely on? Turrets that can be hacked to work against them? Droids that aren't even in the earlier missions? How does an alarm triggering even at level 0 not make guards go check what's going on? It just makes no sense.

 

No, guards would check instantly and that's that. You DO know how Swat teams etc operate, right? They certainly don't stand around a building where there is an 'alarm level' (cough) but they go in and search for suspicious activity. But in Invisible Inc,  guards don't - because this is a gamey thing that happens just to beef up the difficulty artificially down the line. It occurs to me certain ppl think I just can't handle the current system and that's why I was ranting about it but that is simply put untrue. That doesn't mean however I have to like it, do I? 

 

A good comparison here - I infinitely prefer realism in games over, once again, gamey stuff. It's why I play Operation Flashpoint (and the ArmA series) instead of, say, Call of Duty. It's also why I refuse to even give Company of Heroes any kind of consideration but play Men of War. And the list goes on and on ... and THAT is why I dislike the way it is right now. How that is so hard to comprehend is seriously anybody's guess.

 

Now, I still don't dislike the game as is right now - but even with all that is to come down the line I just don't see myself  playing it still once it hits 1.0. That was really different with Don't Starve and I played through Mark of the ninja a bunch of times and will keep going back to it. I just think, at least if the current system stays as it is, it is so far the one Klei game that to me is the odd one out, aka, its NOT as good as the others are. Sure, opinion and all, but telling me I'm trolling here is just simply put outlandish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
obliviondoll    40

Huh what? Deliberate trolling???? Did you want me to post every single suggestion and put a nod behind them individually saying I agree on that? Seriously? 

 

Right then, let's go further (because this was TOTALLY needed, right?). I reinstalled the game about two days-ish ago and meanwhile made it to endless mode. Woop-dee-doo - but I still think the current alarm counter makes no sense and is just simply gamey for the heck of it. Why? You're not seriously telling me and everybody else that even regular coppers wouldn't go check instantly if an alarm is going off and keeps raising but instead keep minding their own business til they actually SEE someone? And what can these guards rely on? Turrets that can be hacked to work against them? Droids that aren't even in the earlier missions? How does an alarm triggering even at level 0 not make guards go check what's going on? It just makes no sense.

 

No, guards would check instantly and that's that. You DO know how Swat teams etc operate, right? They certainly don't stand around a building where there is an 'alarm level' (cough) but they go in and search for suspicious activity. But in Invisible Inc,  guards don't - because this is a gamey thing that happens just to beef up the difficulty artificially down the line. It occurs to me certain ppl think I just can't handle the current system and that's why I was ranting about it but that is simply put untrue. That doesn't mean however I have to like it, do I? 

 

A good comparison here - I infinitely prefer realism in games over, once again, gamey stuff. It's why I play Operation Flashpoint (and the ArmA series) instead of, say, Call of Duty. It's also why I refuse to even give Company of Heroes any kind of consideration but play Men of War. And the list goes on and on ... and THAT is why I dislike the way it is right now. How that is so hard to comprehend is seriously anybody's guess.

 

Now, I still don't dislike the game as is right now - but even with all that is to come down the line I just don't see myself  playing it still once it hits 1.0. That was really different with Don't Starve and I played through Mark of the ninja a bunch of times and will keep going back to it. I just think, at least if the current system stays as it is, it is so far the one Klei game that to me is the odd one out, aka, its NOT as good as the others are. Sure, opinion and all, but telling me I'm trolling here is just simply put outlandish.

 

First off, I said that I was deliberately trolling.

 

Secondly, where are you getting the idea that the alarm level is an audible alarm sounding in the building? The alarm level is an indication of the alert status of the computer network, NOT a literal alarm sound ringing in everyone's ears.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Harmor    14

Crap, I misread your post then, sorry. The way you just put it with the computer network does make more sense now that you mentioned it, but I will stand by what I said that I think there could be a more clever solution to this. Once again sorry if I managed to p*** you off, was just not reading properly >_<...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OneHitPoint    6

Crap, I misread your post then, sorry. The way you just put it with the computer network does make more sense now that you mentioned it, but I will stand by what I said that I think there could be a more clever solution to this. Once again sorry if I managed to p*** you off, was just not reading properly >_<...

I think it's pretty understandable to feel confused when you're responding to a deliberate troll post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
obliviondoll    40

I think it's pretty understandable to feel confused when you're responding to a deliberate troll post.

 

I agree!

 

But I still like the way the alarm counter works (for the most part, anyway), and think the biggest change needed is an in-game explanation of why it's counting up every mission. We already have the "Word of God" explanation from the devs, it's just not something the game itself tells you (yet).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the truthseeker    1,560

And remember, the corporate guards are rent-a-cops and the enforcers are swat elite. I think they "act" appropriately.

 

(but we need more doughnuts) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Palpetinus    839

I agree!

 

But I still like the way the alarm counter works (for the most part, anyway), and think the biggest change needed is an in-game explanation of why it's counting up every mission. We already have the "Word of God" explanation from the devs, it's just not something the game itself tells you (yet).

 

Are you sure the game itself doesn't tell us? I cannot check at this moment but I remember a message popping up every time I started a new game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the truthseeker    1,560

Are you sure the game itself doesn't tell us? I cannot check at this moment but I remember a message popping up every time I started a new game.

It does. Via beginning mission pop-up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It tells you THAT the alarm is going to count up.

 

It doesn't explain the rationale behind WHY.

 

Doesn't your fearless leader say something like "They've already picked you up on their scanners, so the alarm will start going up."

 

I am almost 100% positive I have heard or read something where she directly mentions why the alarm goes up, but doesn't explicitly tie the alarm counter to you being detected on entry (which is why I initially was wondering why it went up when I started playing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
obliviondoll    40

Doesn't your fearless leader say something like "They've already picked you up on their scanners, so the alarm will start going up."

 

I am almost 100% positive I have heard or read something where she directly mentions why the alarm goes up, but doesn't explicitly tie the alarm counter to you being detected on entry (which is why I initially was wondering why it went up when I started playing).

 

It's something like that, yeah.

 

The point being that it doesn't explain that it's because of Incognita infiltrating their systems, or explicitly state that your agents tripped an alarm, or anything else that makes it clear. The devs have stated on their stream that the counter is the time it takes for their security computers to trace Incognita's infiltration of their network. They just need that explanation to show up in a clearly understandable way in-game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It does tell you why the alarm is tracking up by a pop-up at the beginning of some missions. M says that you are being tracked, hence the alarm increasing.

 

There does need to be a better explanation that ties in with the lore, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
obliviondoll    40

It does tell you why the alarm is tracking up by a pop-up at the beginning of some missions. M says that you are being tracked, hence the alarm increasing.

 

There does need to be a better explanation that ties in with the lore, though.

 

In a game where you're in charge of 4 agents on-site and a hacking mainframe, "you" is a very non-specific term.

 

Who's being tracked? Did they find the operator's helicopter on the roof? An agent? Or did they (as the devs have said) picked up traces of Incognita's entry into their network?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the truthseeker    1,560

In a game where you're in charge of 4 agents on-site and a hacking mainframe, "you" is a very non-specific term.

 

Who's being tracked? Did they find the operator's helicopter on the roof? An agent? Or did they (as the devs have said) picked up traces of Incognita's entry into their network?

The last one, slowly but surely.

 

Again, you would know this better if you played the Alpha and Klei needs to better detail this in future polish updates. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites