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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperPlaytestingDyson
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Alex May
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« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2008, 05:59:45 AM »

No offense taken at all mate. The AI thing, not sure. Possibly they're just capable of moving units around at a faster rate than you or I; they "think" every few seconds or so if I recall correctly, and usually this "thinking" means moving a whole bunch of units around.
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« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2008, 08:20:11 AM »

Actually I found the opposite -- I always outnumbered the enemies, and I actually never lost a single asteroid the first time I played. Maybe my experiences with 'expanding quickly' in Civilization helped.
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« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2008, 09:35:32 AM »

Well in the original game, yea i never really lost anything but I'm talking about in my edited version with about 2X the asteroids.  If you wanna try it out to see what i mean then just backup the settings.xml, and replace the first section with this.
Code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<DysonSettings version="0.1">
  <category name="game">
    <int name="EnemyFactionsMin" value="6" min="0" max="6" />
    <int name="EnemyFactionsMax" value="12" min="0" max="12" />
    <int name="beltradius" value="2750" min="0" max="5750" />
    <int name="beltwidth" value="4500" min="0" max="4500" />
    <int name="asteroids" value="80" min="0" max="80" />
    <int name="MinAsteroidSeparation" value="1200" min="0" max="1100" />
    <int name="StartingSeedlings" value="15" min="0" max="15" />
    <int name="StartingSeedlingsPlayer" value="20" min="0" max="15" />
    <int name="MaxAsteroidNeighbourDist" value="3800" min="0" max="3500" />
As you can see nothing to special, just made it have more enemys and more asteroids.  *i used to play with like 140ish asteroids, but games took forever so i reduced it, you can make it whatever you want though.  Also if your wondering why i made the beltradius value smaller, its so the asteroids are closer to the center, aka you don't have to zoom out as far to see everything going on.

But yea like that they always seem to have a ton more units than me... I think a cool thing for a final version or something would be a replay feature, where you can watch the entire battle but able to see all the asteroids, i've always enjoyed seeing the exact moment when you make a mistake that loses the game but when you were playing you didn't realize it until 20 minutes later, and its just cool t watch battles unfold in like 6X speed =p

*edit*
Hey i was just curios, would you care if i put a post explaining what all the different options do, i think i have most of them figured out, and it might encourage people to play around with it more if they didn't have to figure it out... If not thats fine. *Of course im talking about the stuff in settings.xml*
« Last Edit: July 03, 2008, 11:50:48 AM by agentd00nut » Logged

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« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2008, 02:40:22 PM »

I tryed Dyson with Mono on Linux. But I got a System.NotSupportedException Lips Sealed
it is not The first exception i got, but it is the first one i can't handle.
I even compiled TAO for Linux to get it to work. It would be very cool, if you could handle it.
Code:
$ mono Dyson.exe

Unhandled Exception: System.TypeInitializationException: An exception was thrown by the type initializer for Wuwei.Core.CRC ---> System.NotSupportedException: CodePage 1252 not supported
  at System.Text.Encoding.GetEncoding (Int32 codePage) [0x00000]
  at Wuwei.Core.CRC..cctor () [0x00000] --- End of inner exception stack trace ---

  at Wuwei.Filing.TextureLoader.Load (System.String filename) [0x00000]
  at Wuwei.Drawing.BitmapFont.ParsePages (System.String path, System.Xml.XmlNode PagesNode) [0x00000]
  at Wuwei.Drawing.BitmapFont..ctor (System.String Filename) [0x00000]
  at ProcGenGame.Game.Go () [0x00000]
  at ProcGenGame.Game.Main () [0x00000]
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« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2008, 02:59:02 PM »

I love this game!  Great amounts of fun, slowly amassing several fleets with which to wrecking-ball through the enemy (while they do the same to me, leading to scrambling to pin their armada down in one spot and devour them).  It is that process of accumulation which inspired a few ideas I developed at work today.  These would address a few of the issues mentioned by other posters, without adding buildings or waypoints.  Might be a pain to code, though... :D

No. 1 - All asteroids owned can rally all friends from adjacent asteroids by the push of a button over in the same window as the "Plant" button.  Asteroids hosting fleets of 100+ can reach two places out, and fleets of 200+ can reach three.  You might highlight the affected asteroids when hovering the mouse over the button.  This would expedite the mustering of a fleet, whether to attack or defend, without dragging eight different groups.

No. 2 - Fleets of 300+ intercept & drag into combat 1 out of every 3 foes traveling past their asteroid, fleets of 400 catch 2/3, and 500+ will catch everything.  These abilities could be aggregate for fleets adjacent to one another, so that a 300+ and a 400+ would catch everything passing between.  Thus, no walls or turrets needed.  Static defenses left behind on an asteroid would be a bit redundant when new fighters are spawned progressively as they are.

No. 3 - 500+, the maximum on any asteroid, and what I term an armada of its own, might continually bombard nearby enemy asteroids at little or no expense.  Not planet-killing stuff, but enough to whittle away at the enemy force.

That's my bid, anyway.  Nothing too drastic, appearance or concept-wise, but a few subtleties.  Thanks for making Dyson!
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« Reply #25 on: July 03, 2008, 08:01:36 PM »

I love this game!  Great amounts of fun, slowly amassing several fleets with which to wrecking-ball through the enemy (while they do the same to me, leading to scrambling to pin their armada down in one spot and devour them).  It is that process of accumulation which inspired a few ideas I developed at work today.  These would address a few of the issues mentioned by other posters, without adding buildings or waypoints.  Might be a pain to code, though... :D

No. 1 - All asteroids owned can rally all friends from adjacent asteroids by the push of a button over in the same window as the "Plant" button.  Asteroids hosting fleets of 100+ can reach two places out, and fleets of 200+ can reach three.  You might highlight the affected asteroids when hovering the mouse over the button.  This would expedite the mustering of a fleet, whether to attack or defend, without dragging eight different groups.

No. 2 - Fleets of 300+ intercept & drag into combat 1 out of every 3 foes traveling past their asteroid, fleets of 400 catch 2/3, and 500+ will catch everything.  These abilities could be aggregate for fleets adjacent to one another, so that a 300+ and a 400+ would catch everything passing between.  Thus, no walls or turrets needed.  Static defenses left behind on an asteroid would be a bit redundant when new fighters are spawned progressively as they are.

No. 3 - 500+, the maximum on any asteroid, and what I term an armada of its own, might continually bombard nearby enemy asteroids at little or no expense.  Not planet-killing stuff, but enough to whittle away at the enemy force.

That's my bid, anyway.  Nothing too drastic, appearance or concept-wise, but a few subtleties.  Thanks for making Dyson!

I don't get what you meant in number one where asteroids hosting fleets of 100+ can reach so far etc.  That should be an option for any asteroid IMO.  And i sort of liked the idea of essentially losing the effectiveness of static defenses.  While it may seem kinda like "oh well thats dumb" it does 2 things.  It forces a player to really go "Is it worth the 10-15-whatever# units it is to build this defense, or should i take them and plant a tree or take over another asteroid?" Like it is now with the trees.  "Do i want to sacrifice 10 units for a lot more later" ESPECIALLY at the beginning of the game.  I actually played a game where i used my first 20 to build 2 new trees, 3 seconds later i got invaded and lost =p, so it adds a lot of risk / reward to the game.  The second thing i like about permanent fixtures is, at this point of the game development, where you can go to any asteroid.  It would help defend against any army going for an asteroid like 10-15 jumps away from where all the "action" is happening.  Which is quite annoying, only because you have no idea WHAT asteroid the army is heading to so you gotta just watch and watch and watch until you are like "FINALLY!" when they attack =p.

I was playing today in my "fast" mode that i made *i wanna use that term lightly cause i didn't really do much work, about 20 seconds of it actually*.  Which was lots of fun, a lot bigger battles ensue and it went back and forth but i finally won.  But theres something i do wish i could do.  When you attack an asteroid it would be great if you could force your units to only burrow into the asteroid through a certain tunnel.  I was attacking an asteroid with 4 fully grown trees, and instead of just going down one tunnel, my units destroyed each tree to get to the center.  If there was a way to pick which tree to attack it would be AWESOME.  *You could do it where you click and drag on an asteroid with a battle going on when your zoomed in and then just drag over the tree and release maybe?*

Anyways if you guys say its ok i'll put up the "speed" version i made so other people don't have to reinvent the wheel =p.
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Alex May
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« Reply #26 on: July 04, 2008, 12:03:24 AM »

I tryed Dyson with Mono on Linux. But I got a System.NotSupportedException Lips Sealed
it is not The first exception i got, but it is the first one i can't handle.
I even compiled TAO for Linux to get it to work. It would be very cool, if you could handle it.
Code:
$ mono Dyson.exe

Unhandled Exception: System.TypeInitializationException: An exception was thrown by the type initializer for Wuwei.Core.CRC ---> System.NotSupportedException: CodePage 1252 not supported
  at System.Text.Encoding.GetEncoding (Int32 codePage) [0x00000]
  at Wuwei.Core.CRC..cctor () [0x00000] --- End of inner exception stack trace ---

  at Wuwei.Filing.TextureLoader.Load (System.String filename) [0x00000]
  at Wuwei.Drawing.BitmapFont.ParsePages (System.String path, System.Xml.XmlNode PagesNode) [0x00000]
  at Wuwei.Drawing.BitmapFont..ctor (System.String Filename) [0x00000]
  at ProcGenGame.Game.Go () [0x00000]
  at ProcGenGame.Game.Main () [0x00000]

Woo, thanks for trying to make it work in Linux. I've been trying to make Cottage Of Doom work on the Mac with little success. This exception sounds like something that can be fixed, but later on there might be problems with the calls I make to QueryPerformanceCounter in system32.dll.

I've removed the dependency on System.Encoding in the CRC code - should be OK, can't imagine needing to encode from characters outside the ascii range anyway. This will go out in the next release.

Hey i was just curios, would you care if i put a post explaining what all the different options do, i think i have most of them figured out, and it might encourage people to play around with it more if they didn't have to figure it out... If not thats fine. *Of course im talking about the stuff in settings.xml*

By all means do this - if you want to send it to me by PM first I can correct the meanings for you before you post it.

Just a heads up though: I'm actually rewriting the settings code to be more accessible, so the file format will change. I'm hoping to support loading in of different settings files and editing them in-game (or at least from the main menu). A.K.A. mods Smiley
« Last Edit: July 04, 2008, 12:08:56 AM by haowan » Logged

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« Reply #27 on: July 04, 2008, 02:02:44 AM »

Wow, good job on this game! I really enjoyed the concept, once I got the hang of it.
Keep up the great work!
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Clemens Scott
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« Reply #28 on: July 04, 2008, 07:23:21 PM »

Alright so this is the code with comments on what everything does in case you wanted to play around with it.  It's all been generously corrected by Haowan to be accurate.

Code:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<DysonSettings version="0.1">
  <category name="game">
    <int name="EnemyFactionsMin" value="6" min="0" max="6" />   The lowest # of cpu's loaded
    <int name="EnemyFactionsMax" value="12" min="0" max="12" />   Highest # of cpu's loaded (this has a hard limit equal to the height in pixels of the teams.png file in the resources dir - currently 10)
    <int name="beltradius" value="2750" min="0" max="5750" />   The distance the asteroids are from center of map
    <int name="beltwidth" value="4500" min="0" max="4500" />   This value sets the initial width of the belt - so the belt will extend half this distance beyond beltradius and half this distance towards the centre. It's the thickness of the belt itself.
    <int name="asteroids" value="80" min="0" max="80" />   # of Asteroids in map
    <int name="MinAsteroidSeparation" value="1200" min="0" max="1100" />   The min. that an asteroid can be next to another one. The game sprays the asteoirds around the ring described by beltradius and beltwidth. It then separates them until they're all at least this distance apart. Reducing this will result in a belt with asteroids closer together, but less evenly distributed.   
    <int name="StartingSeedlings" value="15" min="0" max="15" />   The # of seedlings CPU's start with
    <int name="StartingSeedlingsPlayer" value="20" min="0" max="15" />   # of seedlings player(s) start with
    <int name="MaxAsteroidNeighbourDist" value="3800" min="0" max="3500" />   This value sets the shortest distance at which asteroids can be connected in the pathfinding system. Reducing this can cause breaks in the belt.
  </category>
  <category name="structures">
    <int name="cost" value="10" min="0" max="10" /> # of seedlings trees cost *making it negative doesn't spawn seedlings*
    <int name="spawntime1" value="15" min="0" max="30" />   The time a level 1 tree takes to spawn a seedling
    <int name="spawntime2" value="11" min="0" max="22" />   Level 2 tree spawn time
    <int name="spawntime3" value="6" min="0" max="12" />   Level 3 tree spawn time
    <int name="spawntime4" value="1" min="0" max="3" />      Level 4 tree spawn time
    <int name="SoundVolume" value="25" min="0" max="20" />   Unsure. Probably just how loud the sound is played when seedling spawns the volume of the sound of the periodic tree fireworks. max 255
    <float name="GrowthRate1" value="0.4" min="0" max="0.2" /> Growth speed of a new level 4 tree
    <float name="GrowthRate2" value="9.02" min="0" max="0.1" /> Growth speed of a new level 1 tree
    <float name="GrowthRate3" value="0.014" min="0" max="0.1" /> Growth speed of a new level 2 tree
    <float name="GrowthRate4" value="0.008" min="0" max="0.1" /> Growth speed of a new level 3 tree
    <float name="MinimumAgentDamage" value="0.05" min="0" max="0.05" /> Min. damage a seedling does against a tree
    <float name="AgentStrengthDamage" value="0.1" min="0" max="0.1" />  Multiplier for agent strength value when attacking trees. Equation is (minimum + strength * multiplier)
    <float name="MinSoundTime" value="15" min="0" max="15" />   Periodic fireworks sound. min time between soundings
    <float name="MaxSoundTime" value="100" min="0" max="100" />   Max time between firework sounds
    <float name="AgeSquareFactor" value="0.5" min="0" max="0.5" />   This value increases the tree's resistance to attack depending on the squared value of its age. Increasing this will make older trees increasingly tougher.
  </category>
  <category name="agents">
    <int name="AttackSoundVolume" value="24" min="0" max="24" />   volume control
    <float name="MinimumSpeed" value="175" min="0" max="50" />   Min speed an agent(seedling) moves *Very little blue*
    <float name="MaximumSpeed" value="600" min="0" max="450" /> Max speed an agent moves *lots of blue*
    <float name="CheckForEnemiesTimer" value="1" min="0" max="1" /> Unsure, probably means seedlings check for enemies once a second. yep
    <float name="AttackRepeatTime" value="0.5" min="0" max="0.3" />   Unsure, How soon a seedling can fire after firing once? yep
    <float name="MinimumAgentDamage" value="0.01" min="0" max="0.05" />   Unsure, How much min damage a seedling does against another. yep, same as for agents vs trees
    <float name="MaximumAgentDamage" value="0.09" min="0" max="0.1" />   Unsure, max Seed -> Seed damage this is misnamed: the equation is same for vs trees (min + max * strength) should be called "multiplier"
    <float name="MinimumDesiredAltitude" value="50" min="0" max="50" />   Minimum orbiting distance when chilling at an asteroid
    <float name="MaximumDesiredAltitude" value="100" min="0" max="100" /> Max orbiting distance
    <float name="AttackAgentDistance" value="50" min="0" max="50" /> How far a seedlings laser can go
  </category>
  <category name="program">
    <int name="music" value="0" min="0" max="1" /> default music to on (1) or off (0) - this should be saved so the game remembers when you turn off the music
  </category>
  <category name="AI">
    <int name="Grace" value="500" min="0" max="500" /> This value in seconds will tick down until zero. Prior to its reaching zero, no grey seedlings will move.
    <float name="MinTick" value="5" min="0" max="5" />       Minimum time between AI "thoughts" - decreasing may make the game harder but may also screw with the AI
    <float name="MaxTick" value="12" min="0" max="12" />   Max of same
  </category>
  <category name="asteroids">
    <int name="volume" value="30" min="0" max="30" />   background sound max vol    <int name="conquervolume" value="64" min="0" max="64" />   Takeover sound vol
    <int name="maxtrees" value="6" min="0" max="60" />   How many trees can be on a single asteroid. *haowan, it's used, ive made 10 tree games before*
  </category>
  <category name="menu">
    <int name="sendvolume" value="0" min="0" max="20" /> More sound vol
    <float name="tooltipwait" value="0.2" min="0" max="0.25" /> the time it takes for the small asteroid box to appear
  </category>
</DysonSettings>

*Meant to say*

Also, this code is my fast / large game edited version so if you wanna give that a try just copy and paste it over the settings.xml *back up the original first* The comments shouldn't get in the way
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Alex May
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« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2008, 07:51:13 AM »

We've just launched http://www.dyson-game.com. Please have a look around and let us know if you have any feedback. Please also join the mailing list! And visit the forum!
« Last Edit: July 06, 2008, 07:56:00 AM by haowan » Logged

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« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2008, 09:10:31 PM »

Hi, I dig the game and I mostly want to point out one simple thing which I don't think has been mentioned yet. The fact that asteroids stop producing seedlings when they reach a count of 32 really adds to the "there is no such thing as defense" effect. If you play even a little defensively in any area, you're just going to block your own seedling production, so it's better to constantly be sending seedlings to enemy territory.

If you allow them to produce until the asteroid maxes out, it would be much more reasonable to make strongholds with high seedling counts (but still probably not very useful in the current build). I think this feature, as well as allowing the player to intercept enemy units in any of the ways discussed previously, would be enough to add some depth, but you also might need one more ability to break stalemates.

In regard to the graphics, I love the current simplicity. I don't agree with the post a while back that suggested adding craters or in any other way making the circles look like asteroids. The circles have a nice, almost meditative feel.
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« Reply #31 on: July 07, 2008, 10:44:17 PM »

I'd like to suggest that you get rid of the three components, that asteroids are made of. At the moment they don't matter at all and once you start mixing armies, it's impossible to keep track of anyway.
Instead you should give each asteroid one power that effects only the swarm that is currently present.
For example, you could have defensive asteroids where the defending swarm is twice as strong as usual or asteroids that spawn new fighters twice as fast. Associate each type with a symbol or something else that is easily recognizable, so it is easy to distinguish between the types in the heat of the battle, when you're zoomed out.
It would really make the game more strategically.
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Alex May
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« Reply #32 on: July 07, 2008, 11:39:37 PM »

We will hopefully be making these elements more important for the later game. I agree they're worthless right at the moment though. I also don't think they're a logical extension to the simplistic overarching gameplay, which is basically (and almost inadvertently) GalCon. But the gameplay we've ended up with is quite different from the game we originally had on paper, so it will be interesting to see how the game changes as we gently steer it in the direction of our plan.
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« Reply #33 on: July 08, 2008, 06:30:02 AM »

I'd like to suggest that you get rid of the three components, that asteroids are made of. At the moment they don't matter at all and once you start mixing armies, it's impossible to keep track of anyway.
Instead you should give each asteroid one power that effects only the swarm that is currently present.
For example, you could have defensive asteroids where the defending swarm is twice as strong as usual or asteroids that spawn new fighters twice as fast. Associate each type with a symbol or something else that is easily recognizable, so it is easy to distinguish between the types in the heat of the battle, when you're zoomed out.
It would really make the game more strategically.

Thanks for the suggestion but the only reason they don't matter much except at the beginning of the game is because the design isn't fully implemented.

Once they are implemented properly they will automatically cause very specific gameplay choices that aren't only strategically interesting, they will also still maintain the overarching simplicity of the game. Please be patient :-)
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« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2008, 11:36:33 AM »

Yeah the DEP error kind of makes no sense to me either. Weirder still, once I fixed my desktop that also unfortunately runs Vista, I tried the game there and it worked fine. So I have no idea what's going on with the laptop. Anyway, excellent stuff with the game!
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« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2008, 01:24:24 PM »

I habe played Dyson a vew times now, and i habe to say, it is to easy. I habe to do always the same, conquer as many asteroids as possible with all your units, because it es the cheapest way of creating new plants. All battles are the same, the one who has more Units will win. And the cool zooming is useless, because you never need to habe a detailed view of your Planets.

I never needed to knew, what those colored bar stands for.

suggested improvements:
-> make it difficulter to conquer asteroids

   - Enemy units can go into my terrytory, and i can't stop them, until they reached their destination
-> create defence Structures. maybe with Towers placed on the asteroids, or Lightnig walls connected fron one Asteroid to anothe

-> non-flying Units would be cool (plus transporter, or defence only).
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« Reply #36 on: July 09, 2008, 02:04:25 PM »

When I first played through the tutorial, I thought it said you could raise animals by moving lots of seedlings to an asteroid. It may make the game too complex, but I think if there was something to develop the asteroid along (if not raising animals), then it would be pretty cool.

Overall, this is a really great game and definitely worthy of an IGF award with a little bit more polishing.
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« Reply #37 on: July 09, 2008, 03:09:02 PM »

My impression of Dyson, now that I've had a chance to really play it, is it feels like dice wars or Risk, but in real time and simpler. To me that's not a good thing. The problem with these sort of games is once you start losing you're on a serious downward spiral, epic reversals are rare if they're possible at all. Then this simplifies that process so that you pretty much never lose against the computer. Where's the satisfaction in that? I'm not saying I want to lose, but I do want to at least feel like I had to try to win.
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« Reply #38 on: July 09, 2008, 09:07:10 PM »

Thanks guys.

Part of the plan is to rewrite the enemy AI, which is currently a giant hack, and make the game more strategic, while keeping the interface easy to use and understand. Or rather, making it easy to use and understand. I agree it's too easy as it stands, but we didn't have time to really balance this stuff during the competition.
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« Reply #39 on: July 10, 2008, 01:00:06 PM »

My impression of Dyson, now that I've had a chance to really play it, is it feels like dice wars or Risk, but in real time and simpler. To me that's not a good thing. The problem with these sort of games is once you start losing you're on a serious downward spiral, epic reversals are rare if they're possible at all. Then this simplifies that process so that you pretty much never lose against the computer. Where's the satisfaction in that? I'm not saying I want to lose, but I do want to at least feel like I had to try to win.

Yeah we are aware of the problem. The way territory and conquest works is going to be hugely improved and is going to open up very strategic gameplay with many viable strategies. There will be much more importance placed on strategic occupation and the it should become much tighter all he way to the endgame. Epic reversals of fortune due to smart gameplay is hopefully on the cards :-D
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