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TIGSource ForumsCommunityDevLogsSuper Toaster X: Learn Japanese RPG: Devlog 99: Resource Management
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Author Topic: Super Toaster X: Learn Japanese RPG: Devlog 99: Resource Management  (Read 79345 times)
JobLeonard
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« Reply #580 on: July 26, 2016, 06:03:45 AM »

Right, I was responding to how I thought the game interaction flowed based on the video; thanks for explaining how it actually is set up at the moment. Looking forward to hearing your future thoughts on it!

Quote
This made me think. Instead of having a different key for the battle/defense cross, how about a mode switch key? I'd like to streamline the process, save steps if possible to simplify things.
Just so I get the picture straight: the attack/defense cross will only be visible when in battle, and in this situation the only possible actions aside from movenet will be the four attacks and four defences?

You could also try the following:

- J brings up the attack menu (analogy: confirm = forward! = attack)
- K brings up the defence menu (analogy: cancel = retreat)

... and keep the double-move-to-activate scheme.
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Zizka
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« Reply #581 on: July 26, 2016, 07:40:21 AM »

Quote
- J brings up the attack menu (analogy: confirm = forward! = attack)
- K brings up the defence menu (analogy: cancel = retreat)

I think it would be confusing to go from confirm/cancel to attack/defense to be honest. I've already asked for a changed of keys though.

Before I forget, what kind of experience system do you prefer?

1. Typical XP: foes give a certain XP amount. When XP exceeds level requirements, player earns a level. All of the stats of the player increase.

2. Adaptative XP: like in "Paper Mario". Foes give less and less XP as the player becomes stronger. This is to prevent grinding which eventually break the game and eliminates the challenge.

3. Challenge, like in Wolfenstein. No XP. Achieving certain challenges gives skill points (like you'd get if you earn a level).

4. No XP, only money: To simplify the experience. Money is used to buy upgrades and skills as well as items.

5. No upgrade system: Player improve with practice (non-game experience). This is how they manage to progress in the game.

6. Other ideas:

If I could, I'd like to have a unique Character Progress system but have no idea at the moment.

Since I'm on a poll;

Regarding Death:

1. Game Over: go back to previous save.

2. Go back to title screen but don't lose any progress.

3. Go back to title screen with a certain penalty (like in Dragon Warrior where you lose half your money.




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JobLeonard
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« Reply #582 on: July 26, 2016, 07:59:39 AM »

Well, the goal is to make people progress with their learning, so adaptive XP seems appropriate; especially if it reflects having mastered a set of cards.
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oahda
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« Reply #583 on: July 26, 2016, 09:44:37 AM »

I tried to avoid sounding like I'm telling him what to do
Sorry, didn't mean to come off that way either. :E I just think it's important stuff—perhaps especially so when the game itself is about languagey stuff.
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #584 on: July 26, 2016, 11:52:54 AM »

Oh, I agree, but I figured my post had enough risk of sounding condescending as is with that wall of text I had Wink
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oahda
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« Reply #585 on: July 27, 2016, 10:13:23 AM »

I guess for good measure I should throw in a reminder that I really dig this project, which is why I'm a little extra concerned about it! Hand Thumbs Up Right
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« Reply #586 on: July 29, 2016, 12:37:30 AM »

I'm back online after my Internet connection was repaired. There were problems since Sunday. Meanwhile I had to ration my smartphone's data plan.

About updates to the project preview:

At the time of this post there isn't a pitch video uploaded yet to critique.

There is the brand new section about powers. The image of a list of 15 powerups could use much less space if it was cut up and put into a looped animated GIF that cycled through 3 or 5 of the descriptions visible in the frame at the same moment. It could be like webpage carousel. The GIF would need to play at a slow enough framerate to provide enough time to read the text. An alternative that is much lower scope is to take the single column in the list of powers and split it into two columns.

The text in the screenshots can be very small on a mobile web browser.

The line "What is a RPG without involving character development?" made me have to re-read it twice. The term "character development" was where I stumbled. Looking back the line works and I ponder why I stumbled. It may be that the term "character development" is used in so many different ways in media. I associate it with the emotional arc of a character in a story. A similar term is "character progression".

The FAQ part about the game originally being designed as a 2D platformer could link to part of this TIGSource thread or old builds. It could make good project update content.

There is the option to have a screenshot image for the game and then apply arrows with descriptions to point out what each part of the HUD represents. Another option is to have numbers next to the HUD elements to explain what is in a screenshot almost like a directory map of a shopping mall does. An example is an arrow for health pointing to the butter meter.

Remember to eventually update the delivery date of the $1 tier.

About within Kickstarter:

System Shock has ended. Fox N Forests received a boost from a Jim Sterling video. Glitched was 100% funded in its first 48 hours after its reboot relaunch. Prey For The Gods was taken the top rank.

The majority of the newest campaigns are low-effort and immediately stalling. Some interested ones with potential but still struggling with traction are Why It Happened to Me?, Mystery Of Woolley Mountain, Lonely Star and Grave Danger. The Adventure Pals has a tone similar in some ways Super Toaster X (it even has living food).

There was extremely unusual pledge activity happening on Saturday July 3rd. It unfortunately looks like pledge trolling because it was unlikely that someone like a rich sultan decided to drop a large pledge onto each active projects in the category at the same time. Some campaigns didn't even have a single pledge before. Such trolling does happen. A troll usually pledges a large amount that will be later pulled (harming the campaign) or may even allow the pledge to bounce (meaning less money for the developer than expected). I've seen similar trolling happen back in May 2015 when Dimension Drive was trolled by a fake €7,000 pledge right at its end. A bunch of other campaigns like Elsinore were also trolled at the same time as Dimension Drive.

I had a partially completed post two days ago.
[July 26th]
Competition levels within the video games category are getting fairly low.

The top 20 ranked active projects get much more exposure within Kickstarter. Below the 20th rank people have to click the "Load more" button for another page of 20 projects with another "Load more" button after that and so on. Each "Load more" button is an obstacle fewer and fewer casual browsers of the discover area will bother going through. The top 20 is where the exciting projects usually are anyways. The top 4 positions in the ranks get a boost in discoverability for visitors browsing more general Kickstarter categories instead of only video games.

The "score" row in my graphs on Imgur is about a backers-divided-by-days metric that is important to how campaigns are ranked on Kickstarter. The topic gets more complicated because other factors like the percentage funded are also involved. How that row is useful to a project creator is it tells you the minimum number of backers on the first day of your campaign it would take for you to beat a specific project in its popularity ranking. This helps with pre-launch planning to get an idea of how many backers need to be ready to pledge on the first day. Pigsodus is on the edge of falling below the 20th rank in popularity. It currently has a score of 13.6 meaning Super Toaster X on its launch day could surpass the current state of Pigsodus in the popularity ranking if it achieved more than 14 backers. July is slow. Usually it takes more than 30 backers to breach the top 20 threshold in other months.

Learn Japanese To Survive! Katakana War is ranked 4th with a score of 103.1 and could be surpassed by a new campaign with more than 104 backers. Glitch in the 6th rank has 56.8 for its score. System Shock has a score of 676.0 to keep its strong hold on the top ranking.
[/July 26th]

About miscellaneous stuff:

There is the option to try to facilitate more French-speaking backers. A bilingual campaign would repeat English text in French on either the project page or off on a web page linked from the project page that mimics the project page. The downside is the increased scope this creates for the project page and project updates.

Highschoolers running with toast in their mouths is a trope in anime. There may be some way for Super Toaster X to leverage that trope for its benefit.

A project update could be made on the Inexistence campaign to direct those backers to Super Toaster X.

Yooka-Laylee released a toybox build to its Kickstarter backers. It is getting Let's Plays.

Nintendo NX rumours have been appearing about the devkits using Nvidia Tegra X1 chips. The gaming press jumps at the chance to cover such material. It gets good traffic for them, but also means they might cover other topics less. Nvidia already has a large presence at Gamescom 2016 planned, so there are people assuming Nintendo may finally publicly show off the Nintendo NX or the technology that will power it.

A correction from one of my past posts is about the September 15th 2016 release of Persona 5. That is the Japan release date. I didn't realize the North America release date was February 14th 2017. The Japanese release may still get a good amount of attention in the western gaming news sites.

The game currently has an exploration phase for dungeon crawling and then a combat phase. Something to consider is having a platformer phase such as moving around a Game Boy Advance Kirby-like overworld with littered entrances to dungeons to enter, then have a dungeon phase (that is the current exploration phase) and the combat phase as it currently is.

So far I've seen how the player would use kana-knowledge for the combat phase. What I haven't seen yet is how the kanas would be taught. Reintegrating more of the platforming elements Super Toaster X previously had into the exploration phase could produce gameplay of collecting/learning a few new kanas from encountering them through platforming traversal of a new environment. The upcoming monster fights would then test those kanas. Boss fights could test both the new kanas and all the previously learned ones.

JobLeonard's post reminded me of an educational game from my childhood called Treasure Mountain. It had an exploration and catching elves portion to the game to get clues. Something similar could involve platforming to catch kanas to add them to some sort of book/collection to learn them. Combat would be in another phase or area.

Getting curious now... LobsterSundew suddenly jumped in with KS info. What's that about? Do you usually do that? Really nice of you, either way!
I'd describe the graphs as starting out as a hobby then expanded into a search for how to optimize reward tiers. I can use the insights I've gained as a way to help beyond personally pledging more. In a few communities that are no longer active I maintained crowdfunding related threads for years. Since then I've been more active on TIGSource.
« Last Edit: July 29, 2016, 12:44:32 AM by LobsterSundew » Logged

JobLeonard
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« Reply #587 on: July 29, 2016, 01:03:24 AM »

You're a pro bono consultant, that's what you are Who, Me?

You should start collecting testimonials from successfull kickstarters to put on your CV or something.
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Zizka
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« Reply #588 on: July 30, 2016, 06:27:23 AM »

I think he should start a business of KS consultant to be honest. Never met anyone who knew that much about it. He'd be a pioneer. I'd be happy to spend some cash on his services.

By the way, LobsterSundew, in private message I asked you if you'd like to have your portrait in-game as a reward for all this. It's not much but it's something! I'm preparing a longer post to reply to both your two previous comments. It'll be a long one so I'm not quite done. So reiterate, haven't forgotten about you and your feedback at all.  Hand Thumbs Up Right As a side note, KS will be postponed after Tony's return from his wedding (congratulations to him by the way!).



More game related:

Alright guys!

So the objective of this thread is to discuss the combat mechanics of my game. I’ve reached a creative block and I think getting a fresh look at things from other people will allow me to see things differently and find a solution.

First things first:
So basically, following the first technical demo (the one available right now), one recurrent criticism was the lack of dynamism. This was because the game was a traditional, hardcore turn-based battle.

Since then (a few months ago) we’ve been working on making the game more dynamic. This resulted in losing the strategic aspect in favor for something action oriented, which is not what I wanted. So, as for now, I’m trying to find a middle ground between action and strategy.

Active Time Battle Alternative:
In older, FF games, ATB was the idea to have your ball fill up before you could act.

In my game, it’s a derivative from that.

Your energy bar fills up over time, just like an ATB would. The difference is that different actions have different energy costs. More potent actions take longer to charge up while the minor ones require less energy.

I like this mechanic and thin it will work wonderfully. But it's also part of the problem.

What’s the problem then?
The first problem is the energy regeneration rate. Basically, it needs to charge fast enough so that the player doesn’t have to wait idly to act in battle but it shouldn’t be so fast that every action is always available right away because you always have energy on hand. This one will be fixed via tweaking and beta testing.

The second problem is movement.
I like to have distance and range as part of battles. I think it’s fun and to use terrain to your advantage, using long-range abilities and so on. The implantation of this is more of a headache however.

The penalty for moving at the moment is that your energy doesn’t regenerate when you do.This means that you have to sacrifice energy regeneration time when you move in for a melee. You can of course wait until the enemy is nearby to use melee which would be more strategic. This again, can be tweaked with beta testing so I can see this getting resolved from player feedback an in-house testing.

The third problem is the offense/defense mechanic of things.
In Super Mario RPG, you know when the attack is coming because it uses an underlying turn based mechanics. You can then basically react and dodge and defend against assaults.

In my game, you don’t as there are not turns per se.

The problem I was facing is that I had no chance to dodge attacks as they were happening right in the middle of battle and were happening too fast, without warning.

The solution we found for this was Vagrant Story. It’s also a mechanic in
Batman and Mad Max I believe.

In these games, an exclamation mark appears when an attack is about to happen, so you can react to it. So when the player is about to be attacked, an exclamation mark appears on top of the foe.

The problem is that is went the other way so to speak. Attacks went from being unavoidable to easily parried because you know they’re coming. This is the one problem I have the most trouble with really.

So the question is:
How can I have a system in place which gives the player a chance to actively participate in battle in the offense/defense phases of things without making things too hard (attacks come too fast), too easy (attacks are telegraphed and easy to defend against) and without resorting to hard turn-based and sticking to the ATB derivative I have set in motion at this point in time?
That’s what I’d like to read about. How would you go about it? Have you played games that had similar mechanics and pulled off things well in that aspect?

Thanks for reading!
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #589 on: July 30, 2016, 07:42:23 AM »

Well... I feel like I'm reading a devlog for a different game in a way, because none of the educational aspects come up. Shouldn't the challenge in the gameplay come from the learning aspect of the game? To grossly oversimplify, the rest is just an interactive game sauce to make memorisation more palatable. Or a bit less insulting: it serves to support the learning experience.
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oahda
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« Reply #590 on: July 30, 2016, 09:55:02 AM »

I'm probably stepping into territory you've already covered now, but since you're pondering mechanics and stuff, I think these are the most important things to bear in mind:

1. Definitely build a system based around combining radicals into more complex letters to teach that aspect of the characters.

2. Action may or may not be suitable, if it results in players not having the time to really look at the characters, in which case they might not remember them properly.
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Zizka
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« Reply #591 on: July 30, 2016, 02:28:26 PM »

Quote
Well... I feel like I'm reading a devlog for a different game in a way, because none of the educational aspects come up

We're working on a different aspect of the game at the moment, the educational aspect is as present as before.

Quote
To grossly oversimplify, the rest is just an interactive game sauce to make memorisation more palatable.

I wouldn't say this. I think they're both as equally important aspect of the game and I want to treat both of them with the same care. At the end of the day, I want this to be a game, not just a flashcard software which there are plenty of already.

Quote
1. Definitely build a system based around combining radicals into more complex letters to teach that aspect of the characters.

By radicals do you mean the various elements which compose the kanji? I'm just checking we are talking about the same thing here because you combine radicals to create kanjis, not letters so you might be referring to something else entirely.

If you are talking about the building blocks of kanjis (which is my understanding of radicals), I don't really see a way to teach radicals as a primary aspect. I could use different colors to identify the various radicals present in a kanji but otherwise, I don't see how I could implement this in-game.

Quote
2. Action may or may not be suitable, if it results in players not having the time to really look at the characters, in which case they might not remember them properly.

The player has time to guess the cards but it's limited to the time displayed in the hourglass icon. I think you might want to check the last video I made, it would give you a better idea than words alone.

The action part comes into play by selecting the right abilities at the right time in battle, which is what my last message was referring to.
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Zorg
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« Reply #592 on: July 31, 2016, 02:40:26 AM »

Instead of adding action in the fights you could give the player something to do between fights. For example some jumping (moving platforms? levers? mazes?), to avoid lava, acid, spikes... or to skip some enemies (add an achievement for beating all enemies?). If you skip too many easy enemies, you won't beat the bigger challenge later on. If you give the players a choice, they will sort of balance the game for themselves.

If you would increase health and added knockback (based on the attack's strength) a fight could be ended by pushing the enemiy into a pit (satisfying! Evil). It would introduce another way to end a fight and include the level design.



Concerning parrying: If you want to add it, it should not cancel an attack completely, imo. You don't want a fight to last forever. The player has to overcome enemies and move on, you need a feeling of progression. I think it would be cooler to fight multiple enemies in a row (with a short break -> jumping) instead of one big enemy.
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Zorg
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« Reply #593 on: July 31, 2016, 03:09:56 AM »

So the question is:
How can I have a system in place which gives the player a chance to actively participate in battle in the offense/defense phases of things without making things too hard (attacks come too fast), too easy (attacks are telegraphed and easy to defend against) and without resorting to hard turn-based and sticking to the ATB derivative I have set in motion at this point in time?
That’s what I’d like to read about. How would you go about it? Have you played games that had similar mechanics and pulled off things well in that aspect?

I think that single loading bar system is not bad at all. Of course it has to be balanced. I would increase the player's health and add easy enemies at the start, which can't really harm you at all, so you have infinite time to learn some kana while defeating some enemies (encouraging!). Maybe you could remove the timer for guessing a kana (or introduce it later or for boss fights only?). I don't think it adds much to the game. If you would not pause (slow motion would be cool) the fight while guessing kana and you would wait forever, the enemy will simply beat you up. And you can always enter an obviously wrong answer to skip a card.

It would be possible to add multiple timers, for each attack individually, so the player has a choice between the other reloaded attacks directly after the current attack, but the single loading bar is basically the same, i'd not suggest to alter it at this point.

I have not played other games with a similar mechanic in my life, but i think it's intuitive, which is good. Smiley And it's definitely enough action for the moment,too much for a first enemy!

Edit: To be clear about my last statement: I'm expecting from the game that i'll be able to learn kana from the game. I don't want to look at some wiki before playing the game or a boring sheet in the game. I want to start the game, right away and learn while playing. So you have to expect from me (and other players) to guess ALL KANA WRONG, at the beginning. And i don't like to be punished for not knowing them right from the start, or i would simply not play the game.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2016, 03:32:06 AM by zorg » Logged
oahda
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« Reply #594 on: July 31, 2016, 03:16:33 AM »

By radicals do you mean the various elements which compose the kanji? I'm just checking we are talking about the same thing here because you combine radicals to create kanjis, not letters so you might be referring to something else entirely.
Yes, that's what I mean. Maybe colloquial use differs, but in linguistics any glyphs used for writing are letters. Kanji, kana, runes, Latin, Arabic, Greek... Letter is just an umbrella term for a symbol on the page. Don't worry, I wouldn't have felt like I could offer suggestions at all if I didn't know how Japanese (and Chinese) writing works. Tongue

If you are talking about the building blocks of kanjis (which is my understanding of radicals), I don't really see a way to teach radicals as a primary aspect. I could use different colors to identify the various radicals present in a kanji but otherwise, I don't see how I could implement this in-game.
Well (and I'm not trying to school you here, just trying to explain what I meant—like I said before, I'm sure you've already thought about some of this before, I'm just too lazy to look through the whole thread Gomez), teaching Chinese-based writing tends to start off with radicals (say, 子 and 女) and then move on to combinations of those (in this case, 好)...

It's a very straight forward way of stripping down the daunting complexity that seems to shroud these glyphs at first glance to someone who doesn't know how they work. And many combined letters still very much mean what one would logically assume from the radicals (木 → 林 and ‎森, for example), so that can definitely be one way to tie it into the mechanics (木 being basic, 林 more powerful and ‎森 the best) while also explaining how the system works in a neat way. It could make for a fun combo system, for example!

Then you can move on to less obvious meanings, like 好, and eventually tackle the much more difficult task of sound-based glyphs, which makes a lot more sense in Chinese, and was basically broken in Japanese due to the different phonology (tho TBH it's half-broken in modern Mandarin as well due to sound change), so I'm not sure how to convey that... Tongue Maybe that one is best left out and something else could be done instead, I don't know...

The player has time to guess the cards but it's limited to the time displayed in the hourglass icon. I think you might want to check the last video I made, it would give you a better idea than words alone.

The action part comes into play by selecting the right abilities at the right time in battle, which is what my last message was referring to.
Sounds good, I think. Sorry for not having kept up quite properly. There were so many long KS posts and I got a bit lost. Will look at that! Maybe the system in Baten Kaitos could be interesting for you to look at?
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #595 on: July 31, 2016, 04:17:16 AM »

I wouldn't say this. I think they're both as equally important aspect of the game and I want to treat both of them with the same care. At the end of the day, I want this to be a game, not just a flashcard software which there are plenty of already.
Ok, I admit I was being provocative on purpose Tongue

But what I was getting at was that the devlog didn't really explain how the two aspects come together. I don't know if the approach of treating them like different systems "glued" together at some point is the best one.

I'l ponder a bit more about your new replies before saying anything about it (if I don't say anything it means others beat me to the same thoughts)
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JobLeonard
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« Reply #596 on: July 31, 2016, 04:45:34 AM »

I've believe I've linked my dropbox back-up of the "Learning how to Learn" Coursera Course before in a PM, right? I highly recommend downloading it and watching it all, because it contains a lot of good advise on what makes learning more and less effective, which I think should inform the gameplay decisions, including the dynamic action bits (which I think, if done right, will greatly improve the whole learning experience).

To give one example, right now you're pondering about the platforming mechanics, but there is a well-known memorisation technique called the method of loci (recently re-popularised as the "mind palace" in the Sherlock series). Here's a video about the technique). Platforming level design is by definition spacial, so why not fuse that with this memorisation method? What if different areas having different themes and kanji? What if specific local bosses are tied to specific characters? If remembering attack patterns overlaps with characters, those two things fuse into one memorisation chunk (I'll get back to that). Combine with Zizka's ideas for more success.

Princessa's ideas about a combining glyphs sounds a lot like chunking (What is a chunk, How to form a chunk, pt 2). So if you were to go with it, structuring that approach in a way so that the gameplay "naturally" makes players chunk the knowledge will probably improve their success too.

Also relevant: Chunking: illusions of competence - ways of approaching memorisation that work and don't.

Anyway, just some thoughts of fusing the learning/action aspects.
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Zizka
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« Reply #597 on: July 31, 2016, 06:36:19 AM »

Quote
Maybe you could remove the timer for guessing a kana (or introduce it later or for boss fights only?). I don't think it adds much to the game. If you would not pause (slow motion would be cool) the fight while guessing kana and you would wait forever, the enemy will simply beat you up. And you can always enter an obviously wrong answer to skip a card.

I don't think that's viable (it's something I had thought about too) because it would break the game challenge. If you have as much time as you want to answer, people would just have the sheet next to them and copy what they see. This would be pointless I think. Having a timer makes things more exciting/dynamic too in my opinion.

Quote
Edit: To be clear about my last statement: I'm expecting from the game that i'll be able to learn kana from the game. I don't want to look at some wiki before playing the game or a boring sheet in the game. I want to start the game, right away and learn while playing. So you have to expect from me (and other players) to guess ALL KANA WRONG, at the beginning. And i don't like to be punished for not knowing them right from the start, or i would simply not play the game.

No worries!

So this is something I wanted to wait before talking about but I think that, since you bring it up, I might as well talk about it now.

Devlog 87: Practice Makes Perfect

So in today's blog I'll talk about practice mode.

Practice mode is basically for newcomers and it works like this:

1. From the title screen, the option is right there. We need to have a word which evokes integration to new comers. A message shows up if they choose the dungeon along the lines of: “If this is your first time playing the game, we strongly recommend trying out Practice Mode first. This is especially important if you have no prior Japanese knowledge.”

2. Once the option is selected, you are taken the to boxing ring:


3. The boxing ring will appear on a black background for the moment. Pan punches the punching bag which rocks back and forth as it takes damage:


4. Pan will beam-in to the boxing ring, like in the following animation:


5. Sensei is resting on his stool on the right.


6. When the beam-in animation is finished, a speech bubble appears indicating that sensei is talking. Sensei’s sprite animates as he is talking to Pan.

7. The following text is displayed: […] = means that this is what appears in the speech bubble. The player needs to prompt to move on to the next message.
[words in brackets] are important and should be green colored to stand out from the rest of the text.
“Ah Pan! There you are! You’re late for your training! Don’t think you stand a chance out there without honing your fighting skills!”
[…]
“I won’t start too hard on you as you’re still freshly out of the oven. Things will get harder as we get along so don’t you quit on me you little piece of crumb!”
[…]
“I will start by showing you two [battle cards]. Take a good look at them and pay special attention at their [reading] at the bottom of the card!”
[…]
“When you’re ready, press the [enter key (enter key sprite here, not text)] to start. All you need to do is to type your answer on your keyboard and press (“enter key” sprite here, not text).”
[…]
“A green circle (put green circle sprite here) will appear if you have the right answer. A red cross (put red cross sprite here) will appear if you have the wrong one. If you guess all the cards right, you’ll move on to round 2. If you make a mistake, you’ll repeat round 1.”
[…]
“All right! Let’s go!”

8. Round 1 text appears, centered, on top of the boxing ring. Use the big font I made for that:


9. The cards appear where the “round 1” text was, player needs to press enter to start. Have the text: “Press (enter sprite) to start” appear underneath the cards for those who didn’t read the previous tutorial messages.” Make sure to use the cards from the current card pool we have (although I don’t see how you could do things any other way).

Redid the numbers so they fit the sign:


10. When the player presses enter, Pan enters his idle animation (the battle one) as one of the two random cards is displayed. The writing space appears as usual (no battle score though) and the player proceeds to guess the card. The hourglass is there as usual, taking too much time counts as a mistake.

11. If the player makes a mistake, he’s taken back to round 1. Of course, the same cards that he tried to guess in the previous round should appear. When the round ends, the bell rings to indicate to the player that the round has ended:



The bell is located here:


12. If he guesses both cards correctly, Sensei says: “Great job! Let’s make things a bit harder for you now!”

Sensei has different animations if the answer is right   or wrong .

Round 2 appears, using the same font, this time 3 cards appear instead of 2. Those 3 cards should be new cards, different than the one from round 2 so they can learn more cards.

The process is the same here with 3 cards instead of 2. If there’s a mistake, they have to repeat the round again until it’s all good then they move to round 4.

In round 4, you have 4 cards instead of 3, round 5 has 5 instead of 4 etc…

After round five have sensei say: “Impressive! Would you like to continue? You haven’t mastered all the cards yet but you might want to experiment the dungeon a bit.”

Yes/no option.

Yes, the game continues to round 6. “No” player is taken back to the title screen.

If the player manages to guess all of the cards of the current card pool, sensei says: “You are a true warrior now. Head out to the dungeon now, your training will continue on there!”
Goes back to title screen.



So basically zorg, you won't be put off by having to have boring text next to you. Once the player feels more familiar with the kana, they can start exploring the dungeon and fighting real enemies. Practice mode will always be available in game in case you'd like to practice certain cards that you just acquired in the dungeons.

I hope this answers!
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Zizka
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« Reply #598 on: July 31, 2016, 07:09:23 AM »

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Well (and I'm not trying to school you here, just trying to explain what I meant—like I said before, I'm sure you've already thought about some of this before, I'm just too lazy to look through the whole thread Gomez), teaching Chinese-based writing tends to start off with radicals (say, 子 and 女) and then move on to combinations of those (in this case, 好)...

That's ok, really. I appreciate your tact. You are one of the person who has been supporting the project for a while now so don't worry too much about the wording of things. I won't take things in a negative light, not from you anyway. I hope you feel the same way. I don't think it's either of our objectives to school anyone.

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It's a very straight forward way of stripping down the daunting complexity that seems to shroud these glyphs at first glance to someone who doesn't know how they work. And many combined letters still very much mean what one would logically assume from the radicals (木 → 林 and ‎森, for example), so that can definitely be one way to tie it into the mechanics (木 being basic, 林 more powerful and ‎森 the best) while also explaining how the system works in a neat way. It could make for a fun combo system, for example!

Yes, I agree with you. While I agree with this approach, it doesn't fit the spectrum of the game. Or should I say, it doesn't fit with the card system. As far as I know, not all radicals have their own respective reading, that's where it becomes a problem for the card system, see what I mean?

If you can find a way to make the radicals fit with the current system in place, I'd be happy to include it. The thing is that the focus is the kana and vocabulary at the moment. Radicals wouldn't fit the game's paradigm (unless another approach is suggested I mean).

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But what I was getting at was that the devlog didn't really explain how the two aspects come together. I don't know if the approach of treating them like different systems "glued" together at some point is the best one.

Honestly I can't wait for you guys to test the new build yourselves, it will explain things a lot better than I can from words. All the art is done, is just coding things really.

Basically, it's like this, we'll determine what we want and use a trello card to list things:


Jeff then ticks them as he codes them in. He then sends me a build which I test with a video (see the numbers in the screen there? They refer to callout in the actual video of things to fix). Then he sends me the build again and I repeat the process until it's polished enough for release.

It's not the case right now so we all have to be patient but it's coming, it's coming.

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To give one example, right now you're pondering about the platforming mechanics, but there is a well-known memorisation technique called the method of loci (recently re-popularised as the "mind palace" in the Sherlock series). Here's a video about the technique). Platforming level design is by definition spacial, so why not fuse that with this memorisation method? What if different areas having different themes and kanji? What if specific local bosses are tied to specific characters? If remembering attack patterns overlaps with characters, those two things fuse into one memorisation chunk (I'll get back to that). Combine with Zizka's ideas for more success.

Just to be clear, the platforming was a suggestion from zorg, it's not something in-game at the moment. Since the dungeons are randomly generated, I'm not to keen on implementing this. It's not a bad idea but it probably won't happen. The reason is mostly because I would need to do this as well and I'm already swamped as it is already and level design is something I don't like (euphemism) and not good at. It's also not something I want to invest time in to improve at (time I'd rather spend improving art).

BUT zorg's suggestion does provide something I'd like to add: environment hazards in battle. Pushing your enemies off a ledge, into spikes or into a steam burst. That's something I find very appealing.

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Princessa's ideas about a combining glyphs sounds a lot like chunking (What is a chunk, How to form a chunk, pt 2). So if you were to go with it, structuring that approach in a way so that the gameplay "naturally" makes players chunk the knowledge will probably improve their success too.

Like I said to Princessa, it's a sound concept. The challenge here is processing those ideas so to speak. There are tons of things I'd like to implement in-game but I need to pace myself and watch out for ideas. They're a double-edged sword. New features mean more work which in turns mean more time on the game. I'm not saying that we shouldn't add anything in of course but those decisions need to be taken with great care.

I've been there before where I want to take in too many things (who hasn't! It happened to Cloud Face recently). So I implement new things drop by drop so to speak, considering every time if it's:
a) worth it game quality wise
b) what amount of work will this generate for me and Jeff
c) how consistent is it with the game engine

This doesn't mean that I don't want to hear new ideas, that couldn't be farther from the truth. I just need to be careful as to what I implement in-game, for the reasons mentioned above. I don't want what happened to Cloudface to happen to STX. So it's not nothing against you guys.

So when suggesting a new concept, I would encourage to suggest how you would make this operational in-game (sort of like zorg does with his sketches). The biggest challenge of making a game I find it to put things into practice. Sometimes we end up talking for ages about simple things with Jeff, trying to figure out the best way to make something work for the player.

If I have some pointers as to how to drive this in the game, it makes it easier for me to get a starting point and see where I can go from there. When it's just an abstract idea, not matter how good it is, if I don't have a clue how to make this into the game, it remains an idea as long as I'm puzzled as to how to include in the game.

Such are the challenges I face when designing stuff!  Smiley
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oahda
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« Reply #599 on: July 31, 2016, 07:27:43 AM »

Aaah, focus on kana. Sorry for missing that. That comes with its own difficulties, I guess, since in a way every kana is a "radical" and to a great extent they mostly have to be remembered one by one. But of course there are some closely related kana that look very similar (hiragana る ru and ろ ro) for example, and sometimes there's a close correspondence between hiragana and katakana (hiragana せ se and katakana セ se, for example). Maybe that could be tied in somehow to make learning faster/easier. Shrug
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