Progress

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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cim
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Re: Progress

Post by cim » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:14 pm

A few other points I'd missed earlier:
- all three Griff stations have slightly larger docks than the old models had, so you don't need quite as much roll precision anyway. Since the safety margin was implausibly low for the Anaconda before, this is probably a good thing.

- additionally, the game seems to be calculating the bounding dimensions wrongly for the docks on the Griff Coriolis and Ico so that you can actually dock sideways perfectly safely. This is now fixed, so you won't be able to do that any more. It may however have been contributing towards the opinions expressed above that being centred is sufficient, and you don't need to worry too much about roll...

- there's enough safety margin on the docking that provided you're coming in reasonably level, you can put about a third of the Cobra III outside of the dock boundary and still make it in alive (though with heavy scrape damage). This could probably be reduced a bit. Blowing the player up for having the corner of their ship just touch the edge is a bit harsh: allowing them to be off by about 50m and survive on the other hand is probably a bit generous.


I've put a very slow rotation on to the rock hermit, for now. The other stations I'll leave at the default and think about a bit more.
Commander McLane wrote:Errrm. All stations have equal size (1000 m diameter).
Well, sort of. The old models had equal bounding boxes of ~1000m, but the Dodec and Ico are roughly spherical, while the Coriolis is roughly square, so the distance from the centre of its outermost points is closer to 700m.

In the Griff models, the Dodec and Ico are a bit bigger than before so that the centre-to-edge distance for all of them is close to 700m, which makes their bounding boxes larger than the Coriolis's

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Re: Progress

Post by Shipbuilder » Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:55 pm

Can anyone tell me if Basic-debug.oxp will be compatible with the next version of Oolite ?
Last edited by Shipbuilder on Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Progress

Post by cim » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:07 pm

Shipbuilder wrote:Can anyobe tell me if Basic-debug.oxp will be compatible with the next version of Oolite ?
There will be a Basic-debug.oxp provided with future test builds, yes.

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Re: Progress

Post by Cody » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:16 pm

cim wrote:... the game seems to be calculating the bounding dimensions wrongly for the docks on the Griff Coriolis and Ico so that you can actually dock sideways perfectly safely. This is now fixed, so you won't be able to do that any more.
Good... that's needed fixing for ages.
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Re: Progress

Post by Shipbuilder » Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:17 pm

That's great news cim :D
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Re: Progress

Post by earl sleek » Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:30 am

metatheurgist wrote:
earl sleek wrote:This. Games have moved on, what used to be a badge of honour is more likely to be a frustration to new players today.
Moving on != improvement. There's nothing wrong with being frustrated, it's not much of a challenge to start with - after a few crashes you can learn to dock with speed redlining. And if you don't like docking buy a docking computer after scraping in your first few trade runs - it makes buying and using the DC even more satisfying (sidebar - Aussie kids are being banned from playground games because they can't stand losing - that's what happens when you don't frustrate people). Maybe we should just put an achievement system in to inspire them (I'm joking - I hate achievements with the intensity of a military laser).
There's good and bad frustration - the good type is the "one more go, I swear I'll get it" factor that keeps you up until 3am, the other is the "hurl the mouse across the room and ragequit" type. My opinion is that continued failed dockings tend to be the latter. Of course we don't want a game with all the challenge removed, but I'd argue the proper place for it is combat and trading, not a somewhat peripheral activity like docking.

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Re: Progress

Post by Redspear » Thu Oct 31, 2013 1:20 am

Commander McLane wrote: As a matter of fact, I've made an OXP to that effect: [wiki]Stationrotation OXP[/wiki].
And very good it is too :)
earl sleek wrote: Of course we don't want a game with all the challenge removed, but I'd argue the proper place for it is combat and trading, not a somewhat peripheral activity like docking.
I'm inclined to agree with this.

I think there's also another point that may not have been made yet, namely that the 'challenge' of basic docking is not simply an early game experience, it's an early player experience.
What I mean is, once you've got the hang of it, that 'virtue' is largely gone and you can't get it back by starting with a new commander either. The player has now learned the 'trick' by which time it's largely a non-issue.
metatheurgist wrote:after a few crashes you can learn to dock with speed redlining.
Apologies if I'm misinterpreting your quote here metatheurgist, but it does appear to illustrate my point rather well...

The illusion of 'scale' however, is not something that would be lost as game-time and player experience increase (at least I don't think so...), rather it would last through the entire game, every game.
So it's prehaps not simply a choice between challenge and aesthetics, but also between first few games and every game.

...or at least that's how I see it :P
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Re: Progress

Post by metatheurgist » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:40 am

earl sleek wrote: There's good and bad frustration - the good type is the "one more go, I swear I'll get it" factor that keeps you up until 3am, the other is the "hurl the mouse across the room and ragequit" type. My opinion is that continued failed dockings tend to be the latter. Of course we don't want a game with all the challenge removed, but I'd argue the proper place for it is combat and trading, not a somewhat peripheral activity like docking.
Many people learned to dock and love Elite, as evidenced by the existence of Oolite and it's continued popularity. That means it wasn't that hard at all and the people that learned to do it loved the experience of doing it. Unless you're suggesting that the modern gamer is "less-abled"? :P

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Re: Progress

Post by CheeseRedux » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:39 am

Slow 'em down.

In practical terms, there is no challenge associated with docking for the Elite veterans.
At the other extreme, repeated crashes when docking could very well be the thing that makes a new player say "screw it" and move on.
Middle ground? I don't think that exists, to be honest. You've either played the game to death decades ago, or you've never touched it before.
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Re: Progress

Post by Capt. Reynolds » Thu Oct 31, 2013 8:54 am

earl sleek wrote:There's good and bad frustration - the good type is the "one more go, I swear I'll get it" factor that keeps you up until 3am, the other is the "hurl the mouse across the room and ragequit" type. My opinion is that continued failed dockings tend to be the latter. Of course we don't want a game with all the challenge removed, but I'd argue the proper place for it is combat and trading, not a somewhat peripheral activity like docking.
Redspear wrote:I think there's also another point that may not have been made yet, namely that the 'challenge' of basic docking is not simply an early game experience, it's an early player experience.
What I mean is, once you've got the hang of it, that 'virtue' is largely gone and you can't get it back by starting with a new commander either. The player has now learned the 'trick' by which time it's largely a non-issue.
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Re: Progress

Post by Diziet Sma » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:55 am

earl sleek wrote:There's good and bad frustration - the good type is the "one more go, I swear I'll get it" factor that keeps you up until 3am, the other is the "hurl the mouse across the room and ragequit" type. My opinion is that continued failed dockings tend to be the latter. Of course we don't want a game with all the challenge removed, but I'd argue the proper place for it is combat and trading, not a somewhat peripheral activity like docking.
Redspear wrote:I think there's also another point that may not have been made yet, namely that the 'challenge' of basic docking is not simply an early game experience, it's an early player experience.
What I mean is, once you've got the hang of it, that 'virtue' is largely gone and you can't get it back by starting with a new commander either. The player has now learned the 'trick' by which time it's largely a non-issue.
CheeseRedux wrote:In practical terms, there is no challenge associated with docking for the Elite veterans.
At the other extreme, repeated crashes when docking could very well be the thing that makes a new player say "screw it" and move on.
^ This.
metatheurgist wrote:Many people learned to dock and love Elite, as evidenced by the existence of Oolite and it's continued popularity. That means it wasn't that hard at all and the people that learned to do it loved the experience of doing it. Unless you're suggesting that the modern gamer is "less-abled"? :P
With Elite, there was a strong motivation to persevere, as the (usually young) player had spent what was, for them, a considerable amount of money on the game, hence, there was an "investment" to be recouped.

Oolite, on the other hand, is free.. thus, there is no loss or cost involved in simply saying "screw it" and moving on to any of the hundreds of other excellent free games available for download these days. The market has shifted, in a sense, and if Oolite is to attract and retain new generations of players, it needs to move accordingly.
Most games have some sort of paddling-pool-and-water-wings beginning to ease you in: Oolite takes the rather more Darwinian approach of heaving you straight into the ocean, often with a brick or two in your pockets for luck. ~ Disembodied

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Re: Progress

Post by metatheurgist » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:37 pm

Diziet Sma wrote:With Elite, there was a strong motivation to persevere, as the (usually young) player had spent what was, for them, a considerable amount of money on the game, hence, there was an "investment" to be recouped.

Oolite, on the other hand, is free.. thus, there is no loss or cost involved in simply saying "screw it" and moving on to any of the hundreds of other excellent free games available for download these days. The market has shifted, in a sense, and if Oolite is to attract and retain new generations of players, it needs to move accordingly.
Piracy existed even in the 80s. I did pay for my copy of the game but I know many didn't. Do we need a casual market that isn't going to get invested like we are? They will find another pretty thing to move onto anyway if Oolite is just another game.

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Re: Progress

Post by Disembodied » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:25 pm

metatheurgist wrote:Piracy existed even in the 80s. I did pay for my copy of the game but I know many didn't. Do we need a casual market that isn't going to get invested like we are? They will find another pretty thing to move onto anyway if Oolite is just another game.
It's worth taking a look at the (generally very positive) comments about Oolite on the TV Tropes site. Docking - specifically, how hard ("Nintendo Hard") it is - is mentioned several times. To be honest, slowing the station rotation isn't going to make it easy - or even that much easier - to dock, anyway. Matching the rotation has never been the hard part: it's getting lined up right. Oolite, which lets you see inside the dock, instead of just presenting you with a spinning rectangle (or worse, the Parallelogram of Death), makes this easier, and the buoy makes it easier still - once people know that they need to get lined up, or even that they need to dock in the first place. This is where some form quick-start guide to the essentials, maybe even including a video tutorial or two, would be handy.

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Re: Progress

Post by Cody » Thu Oct 31, 2013 4:42 pm

<chortles> TV Tropes...
Fantastic Racism: The Galactic Federation allows nonhumans only reluctantly and grants them reduced rights and privileges compared to human citizens. The Duvall Empire takes this a step further, and doesn't allow nonhumans citizenship at all.
... Oolite?
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Re: Progress

Post by JazHaz » Thu Oct 31, 2013 6:04 pm

Cody wrote:<chortles> TV Tropes...
Fantastic Racism: The Galactic Federation allows nonhumans only reluctantly and grants them reduced rights and privileges compared to human citizens. The Duvall Empire takes this a step further, and doesn't allow nonhumans citizenship at all.
... Oolite?
Sounds more like Frontier or First Encounters?

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