Vilya's Work-blog! (aka Pixel Ferrets behind the scenes)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vilya, Aug 5, 2014.

  1. KoBeWi

    KoBeWi Jumpkin

    So the option with easier normal won't work, because there needs to be a balance.
  2. Shimoru

    Shimoru Green Slime

    For awhile now I've been worried that you guys might be making the game too easy. I like that you guys request and listen to suggestions, but I've seen games/stories take too much input from their audience that it ends up warping and changing the overall idea the developer had in the first place. I've read posts and seen youtubers complaining about the difficulty but at the end of the day, they usually prevail (even some of the reallyyyy bad lets players :p). As you said in the blog, an easy mode might take away that sense of accomplishment.

    The game is called Secrets of "Grind"ea so with a lot of old RPGs, if you're having trouble, you just grind and come back. Death has no penalty as is so if you die, a player should think "let me go level up some more", "wow that boss was hard, let me come back and rethink my strategy" or "do I have the best equipment? Maybe I should go back to flying fortress and get the last of those cards". There are a lot of older games that people never beat but I'm sure they still find it enjoyable. At least here, you have the option of increasing your stats and practicing an area/boss over as many times as you like.

    Other comments:
    *I think the game is pretty balanced without health potions and I think it helps give the game a different dynamic focused on learning patterns, using the shield, etc. I feel like a heal spell that maybe created a small circle where you regen would be consistent with the current flow of the game as you'd still have to time/place it correctly, perfect guard in the circle, blah blah.
    However, I like the idea of the 3 bottle system and think health potions could work there. Currently, it's too easy to farm money and buy enough to always be buffed. That does make me worried about how I'll level my pet lol.

    *Would this change how potions work in arcade mode? As is, I think the # of potions one finds on a run is balanced and it might be cool to have two different systems working for both modes in the game.

    *I also think the up/down mechanic wouldn't add much to the fishing experience. Adding fishing exp would make it be more rewarding but I'm not sure what the perks would be upon leveling (chance to find equipment like arcade mode, longer cast to catch better fish, catch 2 fish at a time, slightly wider bar, mantles to display at home, idk)

    *Like the idea of the magic orb as long as distance is kept small.
  3. Enoen

    Enoen Rabby

    I like the concept of the potions being something you recharge. I admit I bought like a million potions to feed to my chicken because that's how many I'd get. With that said I better feed my chicken even more before they update the potions huehuehue.

    I love the idea of improving magic wands and implementing the change to fishing. Because that might make fishing HELL-OF-A-LOT-HARDER. Please do this. I love fishing.

    But to be honest and I've been wondering this; when are we ever gonna have those vs challenges? My friends really liked all of the mini-games (Including a certain one we only had 1 chance to do) and figured that if we can't pvp for funsies maybe we can atleast do things like the fishing mini-game (Which my friend obsessively does until she beats my perfect score which may change if you update fishing).
  4. Own

    Own Moderator

    January 23

    Spooky seas!

    A ship the size of a temple? Daaang. Sounds like a lot of close quarters fighting.

    I always have liked ghost ship settings in games, though. I tend to prefer Ghost Ship Graveyards even more. :D Something about navigating from the wreck of one ship to another, gradually making your way to the center. I guess this reveals the themes of the four dungeons, finally.

    Science, Seasons, Time, Spirit.

    Also there's some stuff about the bow there too.
  5. Own

    Own Moderator

    January 26


    While the effect is amazing, the actual scene in the middle is a little lackluster and not memorable. It's just grass with random weeds/flowers, much the same as the rest of the game. If you want it to look serene, peaceful and distinct unlike anywhere else in the game before it goes to hell, it might be nice to make the entire center area a shallow reflecting pool showing the sky/clouds drifting over above. That would add quite a shocking contrast to when the fire comes.

    See also: Shining Force 2, Mitula's Shrine
  6. Own

    Own Moderator

    February 10,14


    It's Mr. Mim...ic!

    My suggestion? Have him go invincible and still like a regular treasure chest after spewing out all those enemies, locking himself for protection. Have him slowly, gradually regenerate HP throughout this phase. The only way to end this phase? Find a key hidden in one of many barrels/crates or possibly enemies hurled around the room. As soon as you get the key, go up to his lock and whack it to unlock him and resume the fight.

    I still kinda think it would be cool if he spat homing fake cards at players too, and spat weapons at them in the style of Weapon Toss. :) That way when he sucked them back in it would be like max charge Weapon Toss.

    Would the enemies he spat out at you be beastmode-ized, or would you essentially be killing them all in one hit? And would they all be elite?
  7. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    To me, in those images, it looks like a transition from past to present halfway through the fight, and the chest seems to grow over the thousand years. :D
    Kana likes this.
  8. Own

    Own Moderator

    February 18

    Look! Look with your special eyes!

    A power-up that can be activated and deactivated anywhere? That's fantastic. It reminds me of Golden Sun, where the entire world was littlered with little things you could use your powers on - and there were like, 1 or 2 dozen different powers to try and solve them with.

    Ethreal Realm?
    Spirit Steps?
    Spectral Vision?
    I Have Special Eyes?

    Let's see...

    - See hidden doorways/entrances.
    - See hidden passageways.
    - Find shortcuts.
    - See through an illusion.
    - Find a trick in a minigame. (Magic lens in Ocarina of Time chest game. :D)
    - Locate hidden fishing spots.
    - Housing items that are only visible, or just turn spooky, while active.
    - See visions of the past, from the memories of ghosts, or two ghosts stuck in a loop/memory.
    - Spectral chests in suspicious places. (Like a ring of bushes.)
    - See the exact Perfect Guard 'moment' while active.
    - See alternate ways to solve old puzzles?

    Is this something you can have permanently toggled on, or will it have a meter that needs to refill before you can use it again?
  9. KoBeWi

    KoBeWi Jumpkin

    Ethereal Presence?

    On one of the gifs, there's a "Limit activated." message, implying the effect is limited.

    This skill actually heavily reminds of Reveal from Golden Sun. Fun stuff.

    Oooh, one thing I forgot. You are asking in the end if the skill isn't too scary. I personally would like it to be ultra creepy, to create an atmosphere that you are in a ghost world and you shouldn't be here.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2017
  10. Own

    Own Moderator

    February 22

    I spy with my little eye...

    I'm a bit conflicted on this one. Because while it's a good idea, if there's too many 'filler' inspectables about, people will probably get inspection fatigue in very short order. See: Flying Fortress, many-monitor room.

    When adding an inspectable, it should probably fit at least one category to ensure people have the motivation to continue reading them.

    1. Is it world-building? (Lore about an area, person, item, event, etc.)
    2. Does it give a hint about something in the game? ("Crime Report: Petty vandalism - Our statues are so light the children are digging trenches around them to shove them around!" / "Monster Report - Boar: We have cause to believe a stampeding boar can reduce any weakened stone to pebbles! Reinforce the western walls!")
    3. Is it funny / referential / interesting?
    4. Does it tie into a side-quest?

    If I were the average player inspecting these, I'd probably go "... ok" and continue on, possibly tuning out further bookcases. That's what I do most other RPGs that do this, anyhow. :p
  11. Own

    Own Moderator

    February 27

    Burgers, candy and muffin

    I like that Muffin and Candy don't appear immediately, that it forces you to dip your toes in at first at normal difficulty. Hopefully Muffin's stock increases over # of deaths, rather than all at once, with gradually, increasingly helpful things.

    I'm sure that comes as a disappointment to many arcade runners. :p I was eager to see just how many handicaps someone could apply to themselves and still beat arcade, or activating as many as they can to try and edge out a spot on the top 10 list. Why cap handicaps?

    The aquarium sounds cute. :D
  12. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    I'm not too keen on Muffin's unlock system. I'd like to play around with the perks (either for testing or out of pure curiosity) so I don't think dying should be the only way in which one can unlock them through normal play. Perhaps in addition to unlock through deaths, as greater highscores unlock more curses, they could also unlock a counter part treat as well. Or instead, maybe the death system is removed and instead Muffin's treats unlock over the time spent playing, perhaps with all of them being unlocked immediately (if not already) when the final boss gets beaten.

    I think it would be a shame if people missed out on content for doing well, whether that content is necessary for them or not. Might be fun for the more experienced to do a "let's do a run where everything gets destroyed in a heartbeat", for example.
  13. Own

    Own Moderator

    You could probably unlock them all in 1-2 minutes by repeatedly hitting End Run in the first room of Arcade Mode if you really wanted them ASAP.
  14. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    Why should I be forced to do that to unlock them all? I don't think that's particularly compelling or enjoyable.

    I'm not just talking about me here. I'm trying to include the hypothetical person that knows how to use the best builds very well before even starting Arcade. Even if that person might be absolutely no-one or an insignificant amount of people it doesn't mean they can't be discussed.
  15. Own

    Own Moderator

    Because it's balanced around gradually unlocking things for newer players to help them adjust to the perfect difficulty, without risking making it extremely difficult or extremely easy due to them knowing quite what they're getting into.

    "Here's a game mode. Try it out as it is, see how it suits you. Are you dying easily? Have some help. Are you getting good scores? Have some challenge."

    That sense of progression shouldn't be thrown out the window for a fraction of a percentage of oldbies who want it ASAP, and could work around it with 1 minute of their free time. And I doubt anyone is going to toggle three curses on and be able to fight all the way up to Winter on their very first arcade run, regardless of their knowledge of the best builds. Story experience doesn't translate perfectly to arcade ability.
  16. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    Unlikely doesn't mean impossible.
    "Perhaps in addition to unlock through deaths, as greater highscores unlock more curses, they could also unlock a counter part treat as well."

    It doesn't have to exclude the other system. In fact, neither of them do. Treats could be unlocked with time and deaths, whichever comes first.
  17. KoBeWi

    KoBeWi Jumpkin

    I think it would be interesting to actually count these texts as part of area's completion or even save them in your journal.
  18. The G-Meister

    The G-Meister Giga Slime

    I feel like the game's completion focuses more on gameplay completion (as in, doing all activities) rather than story completion (finding and understanding all of the hidden lore nuggets). While I'm not against completion with lore, I think lore completion and story completion should be two separate things. People often play games for different reasons, and I'm one of the few who plays more for the gameplay and less for the lore.

    If it was counted as part of lore completion%, then you'd have to watch out for the thing the Dev's have already been careful to avoid - it would be a little unfair if you weren't allowed to get lore 100% because you forgot to talk to everyone before you left Tai Ming (as then the portals close up), especially if you didn't know the portals closed up in advance. However, @Own suggested a workaround to that (unintentionally, but it's still relevant) on the Discord earlier today - have the ghost power allow you to talk to the ghosts in present Tai Ming, where you can collect their stories. That is, if they haven't already got unique dialogue in the present.

    Having said that, a lot of events already replace people's dialogue as you progress so, if that doesn't undermine the idea of lore completion completely, it might not be worth breaking the consistency there.

    Putting them in your journal however? Wouldn't be opposed to it.
  19. Own

    Own Moderator

    That would be worthwhile, if a good chunk of them weren't filler. The lack of substance in them means a lot of them aren't worth the players time. Like, they can infer that a priestesses home would contain books about the goddess, or that a black screen had lost power. Requiring people look at filler for completion progress would probably not be interesting, worsening the problem of "The last few pop-up prompts have told me nothing... I should skip/buttonmash through the rest."

    Like, for the top one there? I could see it offering completion progress if you had a Lore section in your journal. The more people you talk to in the game who mention the goddess, or the more bookcases you inspect that mention the goddess, or the more goddess statues you inspect add information to a 'Goddess of Grindea' lore entry in your journal. With there being like (random number) 10 places in the game you can find that add to this, but only 7 entries are required to completely fill it out and have completion progress for that entry.

    In that way, the many monitors in the Flying Fortress would have a better incentive to inspect - giving initial lore entries for a good deal many subjects. 'Zhamla Meer', 'Phase-Man', 'Gun-D4M', 'Artifacts', 'Cards', 'Professor Pine', 'Phase Shifting', etc.

    Same with all the items in Ivy's ruined room, that are otherwise random.

    Fight Black Ferrets the first time? You get a very basic lore entry about them. After fighting them the second time? Slightly more detailed, along with a mention that you're sure you overheard the leader say Ivy hired them to attack you.

    I mean, I would personally go around talking to every NPC and checking every pop-up if there were a Lore section, at least. :)
  20. Own

    Own Moderator

    Additionally, I can also see such an additional to the journal as the basis behind new side-quests.

    Someone the Collector's Lab wants some input on something they've been working on, but you need a Ancient Technology Lore of 5 to assist them with it - a number which you could reach from inspectables or NPCs across the Flying Fortress, Mt. Bloom, Tai Ming and at the end of the Expert Bouncing Course.

    Same with helping some NPC who is under a curse, increasing your 'Magical Knowledge' Lore entry by inspecting bookshelves in various places or talking to magically inclined people.

    Even that flower blocking the Tai Ming barracks could increase a 'Botany of Grindea' Lore section, for potentially finding a cure for a sick person. That along with having the cards/drops from various plant monsters. Though I'm not sure what sort of worldbuilding would be interesting enough to put under Botany of Grindea... :p

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