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madmole

Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!

Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!  

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  1. 1. Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!

    • A18 Stable is Out!
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We both know this isn't gonna happen though, right ? I mean, this discussion comes up every single alpha (release cycle times) but in the end there's always this insane scope creep in order to release an alpha version "that matters". If i'm reading in between the lines here it's not really a net positive either to be honest, all I'm understanding is A19 might be a "short" Alpha with small features, balance changes and some reworks, while bandits will inevitably be postponed yet again to the next big release which won't be there 1 year from now.

 

 

Regarding temperature, what we did with my group was mod the perk that gives insulation protection, so that the first rank gives +50 instead of +5. It eats up a skill point but we were happy spending it and being done with it. Temperature is just a chore to micro manage in it's current state anyways.

 

The only way to get more frequent updates is for us to have the big changes worked on in a branch, while small changes are worked on in trunk then have big changes merged in when they are ready. We're *probably* going to try this and see how it works. So if we do, 19 would be some new books, more pois, vehicle mods and maybe some new quests, give or take a few other things that are all done with xml and do not need hardly any code support.

 

You guys have no idea how massive 18 is, and our new team busted it out in a really short time, so we feel like we're a well oiled machine now and could pull it off. We used to update every friday, don't underestimate us :)

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Or you could try the Pacifist Challenge. :p (No killing of hostile entities, etc.)

 

No. Mining and looting give xp as well (and rightly so). Unless you do nothing at all you will level eventually

 

Now granted, Gazz didn't actually say "My advice is to die", instead he said something like "It is possible to not level at all. It almost comes naturally if you are not careful and die" (paraphrased from my understanding of his words). And while that sounds like a good balancing method it also is a dangerous incentive for min-maxers who might destroy the fun because then the game gets too easy for them.

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)

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Was water also improved (at least the visuals)? That water looks a quite a bit better than my water. Especially with the way the waves lap the shoreline. Very nice!

 

Reflections have been rewritten from scratch for everything, so water might have inherited some of that.

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thanks major and trank for pointing that out :)

 

what can i say.... things change on daily basis and our video settings can be different, not to mention the video cards... so not everyone will see the exact same thing... IMO its not worth ranting about... :)

 

oh not in the least. I assume it maybe on ultra? idk Im excited to play sicne you stated similar hardware to me and getting good fps etc etc

 

here i come ultra shadows setting!

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Frankly If A18 release in next 2 weeks, I don't want A19 by christmas, for me it is too early. If I play 1hr daily, to get day 100 I need 100hrs at least (with 1 hr day) and then I can say I play long enough of A18, so I need 100 days, which means 3 months. so if you release a19 in between it is too quick for me or player like me. I know some people are fast and need update like every 2 weeks. But think of us too :) keep alpha's 6 months apart .. and keep it only 6 months not 8 -10 months :). he he.

 

You get what you get and don't throw a fit :)

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Because character development aka investing skill points gives direction. It's the very foundation of any RPG, plus: Any skill point based system is basically a level-gate that locks away features from the player.

I cannot understand why not to chase XP. Playing for x hours on a low game stage isn't fun as it isn't to kill zombie no. 1595 with wooden arrows or a wooden club.

 

Because there is actual loot that upgrades you dramatically so less need to chase xp. Just play the game it happens organically. Sure later game I'm using grandpa's elixer etc but there is a power curve.

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Under this point of view, then giving players a notice that maybe entering a T5 building or a Bear Den POI on day 1 isn't the wisest move would also be necessary. Again, some things must be discovered for yourself, imo.

 

Affordance is important, indeed, given that the Pimps had feedback from distributors (if I remember correctly that Madmole was talking about) that the game was not playing well with new players, and that this triggered effort on the Pimps part to address that, giving the new players some indication of why they don't necessarily want to go gangbusters for XP, wouldn't be a half bad idea.

 

Sure, you can go overboard on hand-holding, but XP is as being talked about especially in A18, is now quite a departure from the standard mechanic it is in most games, so I would expect new players to mostly try and maximise their XP gains, not realising that they're not actually making it easier for themselves by doing so.

 

It was only very recently Madmole was talking about the downsides of games where you had to look up copious amounts of Wikis to understand mechanics, and XP is now one that is i) very different from the norm and ii) not anywhere (so far as I know) in the game where those differences are communicated to the player - so this, to me, strongly points to an "affordance" principle being missed here.

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Not just new but even old players will complain. Anyhow we're trying to have a soft landing, not a rough one like 17. That might take a ton of time more than what people are accustomed to, and what we're able to accurately predict.

 

The less we launch with the faster we can address the things you guys find and get on with the next alpha, if we release something that takes 6 months to get right, well thats not good for anyone.

 

But please explain then, why an experimental is experimental, and stable is stable. Maybe some didn't get the point.

Anyone who opts into experimental should be aware there may be some bugs. Or lots of them.

That's why it's called experimental

I can't understand people whining because of bugs in an Alpha, and more accurate experimental Alpha.....

To my mind they should (pee) off and wait for gold!

 

The Mainstream is still on A17.4 branch. They won't be annoyed.

 

EDIT: Typo corrected

Edited by JamesKirk (see edit history)

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Affordance is important, indeed, given that the Pimps had feedback from distributors (if I remember correctly that Madmole was talking about) that the game was not playing well with new players, and that this triggered effort on the Pimps part to address that, giving the new players some indication of why they don't necessarily want to go gangbusters for XP, wouldn't be a half bad idea.

 

Sure, you can go overboard on hand-holding, but XP is as being talked about especially in A18, is now quite a departure from the standard mechanic it is in most games, so I would expect new players to mostly try and maximise their XP gains, not realising that they're not actually making it easier for themselves by doing so.

 

It was only very recently Madmole was talking about the downsides of games where you had to look up copious amounts of Wikis to understand mechanics, and XP is now one that is i) very different from the norm and ii) not anywhere (so far as I know) in the game where those differences are communicated to the player - so this, to me, strongly points to an "affordance" principle being missed here.

 

Agreed.

 

I'm curious, would you say an XP journal entry would suffice, or do you have any proposals of your own? Again, just wondering. I find this matter extraordinarily interesting.

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But please explain then, why an experimental is experimental, and stable is stable. Maybe some didn't get the point.

Oneone who opts into experimental should be aware there may be some bugs. Or lots of them.

That's why it's called experimental

I can't understand people whining because of bugs in an Alpha, and more accurate experimental Alpha.....

To my mind they should (pee) off and wait for gold!

 

The Mainstream is still on A17.4 branch. They won't be annoyed.

 

Oh, if wishing made it so. You'll see especially on the steam forums, some people encountering the slightest issue in an experimental alpha moaning and groaning about "why did this bug happen to meeeez!!!!roaw!!1111!!!1111!!!oneone!!!111".

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

Agreed.

 

I'm curious, would you say an XP journal entry would suffice, or do you have any proposals of your own? Again, just wondering. I find this matter extraordinarily interesting.

 

A journal entry would be good, at least it's in game, doesn't require the player to head off to the forums to get an idea, and is something that new players ought to be reading. A note in the tutorial would be even more directly "in their face", but I would think a journal entry ought to do it.

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Oh, if wishing made it so. You'll see especially on the steam forums, some people encountering the slightest issue in an experimental alpha moaning and groaning about "why did this bug happen to meeeez!!!!roaw!!1111!!!1111!!!oneone!!!111".

 

I'm trying to be as least offensive in this post as possible...

 

I'm convinced that the human population is destined to forever consist of 90% idiotfolk.

 

(I'm half-joking here. :p But you wouldn't believe the amount of people I've seen go, "Well, it's released to the public, therefore it's stable. If it's not, then that is unacceptable and is a scam." Smh.)

 

(In these cases, I try to look things from a glass half full point of view. But sometimes, it's hard... It's really hard. :p)

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I'm trying to be as least offensive in this post as possible...

 

I'm convinced that the human population is destined to forever consist of 90% idiotfolk.

 

(I'm half-joking here. :p But you wouldn't believe the amount of people I've seen go, "Well, it's released to the public, therefore it's stable. If it's not, then that is unacceptable and is a scam." Smh.)

 

(In these cases, I try to look things from a glass half full point of view. But sometimes, it's hard... It's really hard. :p)

 

LMAO :) With the sensitivity that a lot of people have I stopped trying to be non-offensive. Someone will always be offended man.

Edited by ZombieSurvivor (see edit history)

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I'm trying to be as least offensive in this post as possible...

 

(In these cases, I try to look things from a glass half full point of view. But sometimes, it's hard... It's really hard. :p)

 

down snowdog, down I say. he didnt mean it like that!

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Oh, if wishing made it so. You'll see especially on the steam forums, some people encountering the slightest issue in an experimental alpha moaning and groaning about "why did this bug happen to meeeez!!!!roaw!!1111!!!1111!!!oneone!!!111".

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

 

 

A journal entry would be good, at least it's in game, doesn't require the player to head off to the forums to get an idea, and is something that new players ought to be reading. A note in the tutorial would be even more directly "in their face", but I would think a journal entry ought to do it.

 

And hence I express my short, honest, and lighthearted critique on the current journal entry system. :p

 

1. There isn't much indication that a new journal entry has been written. Even having the exclamation mark icon (the icon for the quests tab) flashing when a new entry is written would do wonders, imo

 

2. It's somewhat messy, I'm not going to lie. I've seen much worse, but at the same time, seeing three semi-unorganized paragraphs of text could be somewhat daunting to new players. That, and the trend of a lot of younger gamers straying away from reading material in games isn't going away either, unfortunately. :/ Maybe highlighting key pieces of text in bold, maybe a picture for some/all of the journal entries would add some interest. The current journal system isn't subjectively bad imo, it could just use with some minor improvements to make it more attractive

 

3. You can't pause the game while reading journal entries

 

As much as I hate to say it, but I don't see the majority of new players reading a journal entry explaining XP. Maybe I'm wrong - I hope I am. But I suspect...

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

LMAO :) With the sensitivity that a lot of people have I stopped trying to be non-offensive. Someone will always be offended.

 

You offend me, sir!

Edited by MechanicalLens (see edit history)

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I'm trying to be as least offensive in this post as possible...

 

I'm convinced that the human population is destined to forever consist of 90% idiotfolk.

 

(I'm half-joking here. :p But you wouldn't believe the amount of people I've seen go, "Well, it's released to the public, therefore it's stable. If it's not, then that is unacceptable and is a scam." Smh.)

 

(In these cases, I try to look things from a glass half full point of view. But sometimes, it's hard... It's really hard. :p)

 

I think some people just don't have the right temperament for Early Access, or just click through all the Steam notices about what Early Access is. I've no doubt when A18 drops, there'll be at least one post, from someone, complaining about a game, started on 18.0, probably carried over into 18.1 and 18.2, never once backed up, lost or just merely impacted due to a bug. I'd bet money on it. ;-)

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Oh, if wishing made it so. You'll see especially on the steam forums, some people encountering the slightest issue in an experimental alpha moaning and groaning about "why did this bug happen to meeeez!!!!roaw!!1111!!!1111!!!oneone!!!111".

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

 

 

A journal entry would be good, at least it's in game, doesn't require the player to head off to the forums to get an idea, and is something that new players ought to be reading. A note in the tutorial would be even more directly "in their face", but I would think a journal entry ought to do it.

 

I still think everyone's getting paranoid about the public response to the experimental release of an alpha. Yes fine, there are a few children in adult's bodies on steam forums and reviews. No one is acknowledging the majority who are much more forgiving about bugs (especially given the context) and just want to play a good game. Why are we giving man children intolerant of a few bugs crying on the steam forums so much power here? Realistically their opinion shouldn't matter here, because it doesn't.

 

Have any of you actually read the negative reviews on steam? The top rated negative reviews of recent speak little to none on the state of bugs in the game, they complain much more about the changes made to 7DTD itself (apparently a lot of people have beef with the perk system, personally i like perks way more). I remember scrolling through the negative reviews on A17 release and realizing that the vast majority of the complaints were with game design choices, not the bugs. The vast majority of people understand that bugs in games exist and that developers work to get rid of them. Those who don't understand that will be overshadowed by people judging the actual game design itself.

 

A18 I think is going to bring people back on the game design front. A handful of MFs and man children on the forums isn't going to ruin public perception of A18, that all depends on what people think of the changes coming around this alpha. Which I predict will be good, this seems like a good direction for 7DTD.

 

I'm not sure how to end this mini rant, my point is this: No one cares about some guy on the steam forums.

 

EDIT: Alright, I'm gonna clarify before people take me for some kind of fool. I understand that bugs are bad, and that TFP wants to have a "soft landing". I will not dispute that, they can have a soft landing if they want it. In fact, I hope for the same. My stipulation, however, is what constitutes a soft landing and what will cause a rough one. My argument is that a vocal minority complaining about some bugs will not determine that, not at all. Their opinion is quickly overshadowed by the majority who are going to judge the content itself, not the state of the bugs. They will have a much greater influence on whether this release will land softly or not.

Edited by CannedSmeef (see edit history)

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And hence I express my short, honest, and lighthearted critique on the current journal entry system. :p

 

1. There isn't much indication that a new journal entry has been written. Even having the exclamation mark icon (the icon for the quests tab) flashing when a new entry is written would do wonders, imo

 

2. It's somewhat messy, I'm not going to lie. I've seen much worse, but at the same time, seeing three semi-unorganized paragraphs of text could be somewhat daunting to new players. That, and the trend of a lot of younger gamers straying away from reading material in games isn't going away either, unfortunately. :/ Maybe highlighting key pieces of text in bold, maybe a picture for some/all of the journal entries would add some interest. The current journal system isn't subjectively bad imo, it could just use with some minor improvements to make it more attractive

 

3. You can't pause the game while reading journal entries

 

Affordance comes to mind again then, if the journal has a new entry, it ought to be very obvious to the player that it's there and waiting for them. Making the icon flash is a good suggestion I think.

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While giving the noobie a helping hand every once in a while is necessary imo (journal entries, etc.), allowing the process of self-discovery is, imo, a valuable "feature" to have. If a new player is in a situation where they are outgunned by tougher zombies because they leveled too quickly, they could then deduce that maybe they should leave those settings on default.

 

Another example is the wasteland; even now, experienced [enough] players know to avoid that biome so long as they are lacking the weapons, armor, etc. to fend off the threats it presents. Oh, and at some point, they would have discovered that naturally spawning landmines in the wasteland are a thing. While having any newbie player get their head chewed off five seconds after entering the wasteland biome would be poor game design imo, letting them discover this for themselves (that maybe they should gear up for the wasteland before daring to venture into it) through personal experience is a whole part of the natural learning process that must take place in some way, shape, or form. Again, imo.

 

Or maybe additional "tooltips" are needed, idk. *Shrugs*

 

Wasteland is different than gamestage progress. Wasteland provides a visual clue and you can test it easily by going in and out. Gamestage could simply be derived from time elapsed, a new player has nearly no chance to understand this (except through carefully observing the gamestage value in the multiplayer tab for quite some time).

 

And really, players should have no need to know the internal algorithms the game uses to generate an immersive and fun world. MM himself said players should not know how the breadcrumb system works in detail, it demystifies the zombies and the game .

 

The wasteland is a good incentive to "git gud" so you can finally enter it. Gamestage, if known by the player, is a negative incentive as it practically says "don't git gud, only better equipped".

Edited by meganoth (see edit history)

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I still think everyone's getting paranoid about the public response to the experimental release of an alpha. Yes fine, there are a few children in adult's bodies on steam forums and reviews. No one is acknowledging the majority who are much more forgiving about bugs (especially given the context) and just want to play a good game. Why are we giving man children intolerant of a few bugs crying on the steam forums so much power here? Realistically their opinion shouldn't matter here, because it doesn't.

 

/snip

 

Apologies if I've not stated my position well here. The vast majority of people get what Early Access means, get what Alpha means, and even more so get what an Experimental Alpha means. I just point out that there will always be that small cadre that don't, and tend to be noisy about it at the same time.

 

As for me personally, I'm hyped for A18, Madmoles got me sold on it, and though I'll likely be overseas when it releases, I'll be keen to try it out once I get back, and understanding what I'm playing when I do, it'll be 18.1 (at least!) before I make a "keeper game" on A18.

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Affordance comes to mind again then, if the journal has a new entry, it ought to be very obvious to the player that it's there and waiting for them. Making the icon flash is a good suggestion I think.

 

Thank you, I agree as well. While I no longer need to rely on the journal entries for vital information (I never have had the need to, actually; I have been watching 7D2D videos for years, blah blah blah), but occasionally I open up the journal entries tab just out of curiosity, and I notice that I didn't miss 3 entries, but probably a whopping 30+)

 

@madmole Feature suggestion: Regarding the pen icon for the journal entries tab, maybe having it flash yellow when there are unread entries could be a good idea? I almost never check the quests tab myself (and when I do, it's purely out of curiosity and not out of required assistance), but if and when I (rarely) do, I find that there are dozens of unread entries that slipped by unnoticed. Some visible or audio indication, such as the suggestion I just made, that the journals tab has more entries could encourage new players to read them, and would ensure that they would never miss any entries?

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I still think everyone's getting paranoid about the public response to the experimental release of an alpha. Yes fine, there are a few children in adult's bodies on steam forums and reviews. No one is acknowledging the majority who are much more forgiving about bugs (especially given the context) and just want to play a good game. Why are we giving man children intolerant of a few bugs crying on the steam forums so much power here? Realistically their opinion shouldn't matter here, because it doesn't.

 

Have any of you actually read the negative reviews on steam? The top rated negative reviews of recent speak little to none on the state of bugs in the game, they complain much more about the changes made to 7DTD itself (apparently a lot of people have beef with the perk system, personally i like perks way more). I remember scrolling through the negative reviews on A17 release and realizing that the vast majority of the complaints were with game design choices, not the bugs. The vast majority of people understand that bugs in games exist and that developers work to get rid of them. Those who don't understand that will be overshadowed by people judging the actual game design itself.

 

A18 I think is going to bring people back on the game design front. A handful of MFs and man children on the forums isn't going to ruin public perception of A18, that all depends on what people think of the changes coming around this alpha. Which I predict will be good, this seems like a good direction for 7DTD.

 

I'm not sure how to end this mini rant, my point is this: No one cares about some guy on the steam forums.

 

Stop trying so hard to get it this friday ;)

 

The devs seem to care and have a "soft landing" and a handfull of MUST FIX (<- look at that description closely) bugs are obviously important enough to them to not release before they are actually fixed.

 

It will come grasshopper...in time. Friday or nah.

 

Cheers

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Affordance comes to mind again then, if the journal has a new entry, it ought to be very obvious to the player that it's there and waiting for them. Making the icon flash is a good suggestion I think.

 

Another thought I had would be the introduction of an entirely different set of journal entries. Survival Tips, basically. Examples could be, "XP AND YOU", "SPENDING PERK POINTS WISELY", "TIPS ON MELEE COMBAT", "GAMESTAGE: AN EXPLANATION", "A GUIDE ON INFECTION", etc.

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