Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Announcements about major changes in Haven & Hearth.

Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby AriZona » Tue Oct 19, 2021 2:42 pm

Seasons are good and helpful for the game play because they add new content and make the game less monotonic. Many enjoy to be a bit more creative beyond doing a repetitive routine over and over. And, seasons is one the best mechanics for that.

telum12 wrote:
AriZona wrote:Second: the concept of seasons naturally involves your "timegating"

Yeah, seasons bad

PS. Cheap trick
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby MagicManICT » Tue Oct 19, 2021 3:23 pm

AriZona wrote:they add new content

What content do they actually add?

Overall: seasons as a concept--good, but need some critical decisions on what they're for, how they should work, and what added value they should have. Other games have made very effective use as seasons as a game mechanic.
Seasons as implemented--adds nothing to actual game play, time gates and restricts play in ways that the players never actually wanted, even those that had brought up the idea of seasons.

The big player dips loftar mentioned doesn't even count those of us who just won't log in because of this.
Opinions expressed in this statement are the authors alone and in no way reflect on the game development values of the actual developers.
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby thesourceofsadness » Tue Oct 19, 2021 4:57 pm

shadowchris wrote:Instead of removing seasons, why not just add season based content that makes playing in winter worth while? Shit like season based animals or ENTS. Population drops because there's nothing to do in winter.


Removing seasons would be the greatest rollback in development - at least for those players, who actually play the game and not only grind for childish "world domination". Even now short winter looks like a joke.

So, plase, no.
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby NeoRed9 » Tue Oct 19, 2021 7:12 pm

loftar wrote:
NeoRed9 wrote:One idea is a simpler two season dichotomy. Warm season and cool season. That way you can keep the nice things about seasons but remove the oppressive elements.

We considered similar things, but the snow is one of the more aesthetically nice things about seasons, and also one of their greatest problems, so I'm not sure that's viable. In that case I would tend to believe more strongly in the idea of locating them geographically as mentioned in the OP. There are many other games that do similar things with "autumn areas", so to speak, and I've tended to enjoy that in the games where I've seen it. While I also like the longer rhythm to the game that time-based seasons afford, I also don't mind being able to settle in a permanent autumn region, so to speak. Not entirely sure what to make of it, but there are aspects to that idea that I don't hate.

I very much enjoyed the autumn forest biome in your last gaem.
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby Joshk80k » Tue Oct 19, 2021 8:00 pm

Winter is almost manageable because sleds provide a unique experience when it comes to hunting and questing, and it mostly compensates for the inability to boat around. Being unable to farm or collect tree seeds in winter is okay (as in a manageable handicap), but it becomes kind of frustrating when you need something like clay and your spot has frozen over. It's true that you could always get a pickaxe and dig it out, but the tedium involved makes me feel like I should just quit H&H for a few days and come back when the ice has melted. The problem is I think people like sticking to this game because they enjoy the feeling of consistent progression, and Winter and Spring are in direct conflict with that feeling, especially when even after I log back in to collect my clay after the ice has melted, I still won't be able to continue tree progression due to lack of seeds for another week or so. We're bleeding players because the time it takes for Winter and Spring to be over is like a week and a half or something and that's entirely too long of a dead period to play a game to maintain interest in said game. I think if you want to slow down the inevitable acceleration to the end game, promote game health, and retain the player base, there needs to be a shift in progression focus rather than removing the ability to progress. I think I understand the thought process behind some of the developmental decisions, but I also think the player should be motivated to explore different avenues rather than say "Oh man digging clay is tedious right now I'll just come back next week.", because right now the system essentially is using negative reinforcement to extend the timeline to reaching peak qualities, when what it really needs to do is use positive reinforcement in other aspects of the game to keep things flavorful but still promote that feeling of progression.

The real problem in my opinion is Spring. The penalties of Winter are harsh but offset by some unique factors (though IMO it's still far from perfect and still plays second fiddle to Fall/Summer), but Spring ends up leaving me feeling almost depressed due to lack of progression. I think Spring is supposed to have this vibe of rebirth and renewal of life/progression, and it's just not there. Just spitballing here, but here's some ideas that might spruce up Spring:

1) Have seeds come back quicker and earlier (as in like a 20% chance per day starting the first of Spring or something) or better yet, rework how trees and seeds work. Rather than halting progress altogether, make logging in for the first day of Spring a real treat - On the 1st day of Spring, all seeds respawn, but to compensate alter the growth rate of trees by season, something like: For Summer, growth rate is 100% of what it is now, Fall is 80%, Winter 40-50%, and then Spring back up to 80%

2) Some sort of quality bonus on hunting/foraging in Spring (Idk like a 25% bonus to bear quality, a 'fresh from hibernation' spin or something?) This alone would be huge in increasing my sense of progression, I have a relatively small window of enhanced bonuses that could have major repercussions on other aspects of the game.

3) Maybe some kind of unique crop interaction (Spring onions that can function to make a unique curio or enhanced FEP meals?) Something that compels me to stay on top of crops instead of that being the one reason I even log in during the Spring.

4) A unique animal only available in Spring, I don't know about this one, just trying to stay on theme while making Spring more interesting. Having a small window to hunt something that newbies can spitroast for great FEP gains, has a hide that makes a good curio, and for more advanced players, makes a killer meat pie or something seems like a step in the right direction.

5) More uncommon but very valuable foraged flower or something so that when you're out hunting your increased Q animals, you're also on the lookout for the foraged items.

6) A general buff to spring specific foragables, something like making spring bees rarer but always being a minimum quality of 40 or something so that seeing one is cause for excitement, as it's a component in one of the better curios, and something similar for flowers (and make it so players can't just throw them in gardening pots so players are incentivized to go out and forage). Spring is fairly short and I think the player should feel encouraged to take advantage of unique bonuses only available in Spring.

7) Somehow implementing a bonus to livestock quality/birthrate for spring, the caveat being the player needs to interact with the animals in some way, and only in Spring (artificial insemination or something, but it is most effective in Spring?) The justification for this being animals already eat less/are somewhat dormant in Winter, and Spring can be a reawakening of fertility/growth. I am not a hardcore player, but there seems to be a lot of room in improvement of livestock quality growth, seeing as how my sheep are like q80 while I am regularly bringing in q200-300 bears, mooses, and boars.

Winter is in a better place but it's still not great. If you really want to redirect progression, I think mines and caves and providing incentives/bonuses in that vein are the way to do it. I think it would be really cool to be able to build a hot spring (fueled by coal or something to maintain heat) and for it to have specific requirements, like only usable in mountains and in the winter, and for it to provide a 30% mining strength bonus (or a mineral quality bonus?) for two hours or something as a way to encourage players to take advantage of the season to make progress in a mine they've been struggling with for the rest of the year. The idea of building a mountain base specifically to visit it in the winter and prep for a hard mining session sounds really good and would definitely make me pumped for the coming colder season and knowing that this might be the extra oomph I need to get to Level 7 of my mine or whatever. The fact that mountains are somewhat more uncommon than grasslands or forest means it would also encourage player interaction (for better or for worse).

The current methodology seems to be taking things from players in order to slow progression, and I think what instead needs to happen is for players to redirect their attention on progressing in different ways. I need to look forward to Winter, not groan as it approaches. I need to mourn Spring's transition into Summer because I no longer can take advantage of X, Y, and Z, but still acknowledge that at least tree growth is back to maximum value or whatever. I would hate for seasons to be removed, as somebody mentioned above it's a super cool idea in theory, it just needs significant rework to be cool in reality.
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby jordancoles » Tue Oct 19, 2021 11:48 pm

iamahh wrote:halting Seasons development could be a good move to focus efforts on other stuff, plus helps the newbies

What seasons development? Are you kidding? Aside from adding seasons initially and then tweaking how fast the snow falls, basically nothing has been done with seasons. The current carrot on a stick is OCO and will be for the foreseeable future
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby abt79 » Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:20 am

loftar wrote:Not saying you're wrong, but I think these grievances are more for the autistas among you. For noobs coming to the game, starting in winter sure is hard mode, and I also find personally that it detracts quite a bit from the walking-simulator aspect of the game by basically making the whole world look the same. For questing, too, I think the complaint is more true the more actively you're questing, whereas if you just happen to get a quest in winter (which is now guaranteed to be winter-specialized) and then don't do that quest for a week or two, you'd still be as out of luck.


He says, as if the game he created isn't ruled by autistas. Noobs also get fucked by not having tree seeds for two whole penis-guzzling weeks, how else can they stock up on cone cows or actually learn progression from farming/treeplanting?

You know static regional seasons would be worse for this, right? Either noobs are spawned randomly and have just as much of a chance to spawn in the Winterlands (or worse, the spring-lands), or they spawn in whatever the best/safest season is (autumn, btw) and get butt-bothered because every autist worth their chromosomes would settle there too.
That's why regional seasons would suck: it wouldn't solve anything because the seasons themselves would still be ass. Nobody would live in winterhaven or springhaven, at best true autists would live at the borders of two/three seasons but for what, cold compresses? Minkfur? A couple curios?

Spring needs seeds, it has since 2 years ago. If you aren't going to remove seasons (I like them and like when massive projects don't get scrapped, but I can see why removing them would be good) you should maybe listen to the tens of autists who provided the feedback you asked for and have trees reseed on day 1 of spring.
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby telum12 » Wed Oct 20, 2021 12:35 am

AriZona wrote:Seasons are good and helpful for the game play because they add new content and make the game less monotonic. Many enjoy to be a bit more creative beyond doing a repetitive routine over and over. And, seasons is one the best mechanics for that.

telum12 wrote:
AriZona wrote:Second: the concept of seasons naturally involves your "timegating"

Yeah, seasons bad

PS. Cheap trick

Disabling essential features of the game because "seasons good" is not good, nor is it helpful. If you enjoy farming or fucking with trees you're forced to not do the things you enjoy for some time. This does not make the game more engaging or enjoyable.

If you're a noob spawning during those periods, it's not good or helpful.

Frozen lakes blocking the most efficient way to move around, trade, hunt, etc., is the dumbest thing ever.

Making seasons good is non-trivial. Disabling seasons is trivial-ish. Seasons are not good currently.
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby Massa » Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:30 am

telum12 wrote:snib.

The only non-issue is frozen lakes. Sorry bud, sleds are cool and it's only a few days.

If seeds were available and all forageable items during spring instantly (like trees instantly have max seeds, or a seed, or however many they had, or start producing more and start with 1 on the first day) it would be good.
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Re: Game Development: Ancestral Ropewalk

Postby Yasodhara » Wed Oct 20, 2021 1:46 pm

So, what's the decision? Coming winter is cancelled or current cycle will be finished?
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