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I´ve been ignoring Pillars of eternity development becase Rtwp is instant no-no for me. However I´ve been casually reading design decisions on the game and the way sawyer approaches game design problem and really it seems there are not just decent ideas, but really great ideas that RPG design have been needing imo.

 

CRPG mostly have a lot of non decision, things you do, but there is no really decision in the process, because either the cost is of doing something that reaps a benefit is Zero (resting is a classic example, exploring is another). This is why i consider most CRPG to be mostly toys.

 

However, how resting is going to be managed, shows to me that it´s clear that a game, where actions are only follow up of decisions, is an intended goal.

 

In that regard I feel that if i´m right, and if Pillars of eternity tries to be a game, where actions are consequences of decisions,I wonder how Rtwp fits. 

I don´t know how exploration works in the game to comment on another potential action without decision.

 

The problem of Rtwp is that the optimal play, the optimal decision is to pause every 0.5 second, since around every 0.5s the state of the game change, and thus we should stop and reanalyze the situation. 

If that is so Rtwp becomes slower than Turn based games, and terribly annoying and unsatisfying.

I know there is no turning back from RtwP but what is thought or planned for this problem?

I hope it´s not the classic unsatisfying answer of ¨if you don´t like playing like that, then don´t play like that¨ the job of the player is to maximize his winning chances, and using every resource at it´s disposal to get that goal, restricting yourself in an arbitrary way during the game is just being a bad player.

The designer should present the Problem, and the resources the player has to solve that problem. The player then tries to find the best way to use those resources to solve the problem. The moment you don´t try to maximize your resource usage, you are not longer playing the designed game, but a selfmade game.

Edited by Waterd
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There is a difference between "restricting yourself" and doing what it takes to win at a reasonable, acceptable level of efficiency, and no further.

 

Few computer games demand 100% efficiency from players, turn-based or real-time. By your logic, not programming and running an exhaustive brute force prediction algorithm after every turn in a turn-based game to determine the optimal move is "restricting yourself in an arbitrary way" and "playing a self-made game".

Edited by Infinitron
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No there isn´t a difference.

 By your logic, not programming and running an exhaustive brute force prediction algorithm after every turn in a turn-based game to determine the optimal move is "restricting yourself in an arbitrary way" and "playing a self-made game".

 

Using outside software or tools, is clearly outside the scope of the game, as it would be hacking the game, or playing a fighting game and punching the guy in the face.

However in this case PAUSING is an INGAME action, supported and expected by the software and not just a convenience tool (like it would be save/load or pausing in some real time games)

Even in competitive turn based games like magic the gathering, poker and chess, using outside software is considered cheating and will get you banned if detected.

 

Having said that, one problem that have most single player turn based games is the lack of time limit to do your move, which means yes, you have to arbitrary set the amount of time you have each turn and playing a self made game.

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I would argue that pausing is in fact a convenience tool.

 

But even without RTwP, the player's own personal sense of efficiency is still an important factor in this game's difficulty. Some players will have no problem running back to town to rest after each fight for maximum combat performance, while others (most) won't find that to be an efficient use of their time, and will avoid it.

 

This isn't really something that can be avoided without turning the game into some sort of high stakes time-limited iron man survival game. But that's not what the Infinity Engine RPG experience is.

Edited by Infinitron
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 high stakes time-limited iron man survival game. But that's not what the Infinity Engine RPG experience is.

 

 Well that´s why I ignored pillars of eternity until recently.

Because IE games don´t try to be that.

However Sawyer comments have made me thing that he actually want to attract players that look for that kind of experience.

The new resting system is key, but he is talking about how he wants to make decisions relevant and important.

All that talking about decisions, and the resting system makes me think he wants to cater to this kind of public too. 

You can have both btw, thats why you add options and sliders and what not.

For example just an idea of the top of my head, you could design a mode where, you can´t pause in combat, but it pauses auto at the beginning and everytime a character is ready, but you can only assign orders to that character.

 

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 high stakes time-limited iron man survival game. But that's not what the Infinity Engine RPG experience is.

 

 Well that´s why I ignored pillars of eternity until recently.

 

 

 

 RTWP was announced before the the funding round started - it isn't going to change now. If that's a deal breaker for you, you should continue to ignore the game.  Check out Torment: Tides of Numenera instead.

 

 Your notion that RTWP doesn't fit a game where 'actions are consequences of decisions' (i.e. every game, unless it has the rules that every action must be random) is very silly. It means that you either make your decisions faster or you pause when you need time to make decisions.

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 "Project Eternity (working title) pays homage to the great Infinity Engine games of years past: Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment."

 

now, admittedly, paying homage is kinda a vague descriptor, but the obsidian folks were not making a secret that they wanted to develop a game that would appeal to the folks that enjoyed the ie game. let's be honest folks, the ie games were not exactly hardcore crpgs. josh sawyer, tim cain, and other folks have an opportunity to build their own rules mechanics for this game, and they are incorporating many ideas they believe result in a superior role-play game experience. they got quest/objective xp to encourage diversity of play style and balance. they are going with health/stamina because they think it is superior to ad&d hp. similarly, armour class and To Hit has been abandoned in favor of attack v. defense with armour providing dt after the fact. etc. obsidian is doing things different. surprised? well, this can't be a D&D game regardless, so many things would need to be different, but again, sawyer and cain and others is trying to build a better mousetrap, and ad&d were never an example o' a particularly good mousetrap.

 

however...or perhaps, HOWEVER, this game is being made for folks who presumably played and enjoyed the ie games. is also being made for folks who is simply fans o' obsidian and old-skool crpgs, but those folks is largely ignored in these parts. regardless, the developers no doubt had to ask themselves as they were designing a new set of rules for PoE, what features the fans o' the ie games would want in a new, story driven, 2d, isometric game with squad-based tactical combat that were set in a familiar, if different, fantasy world.  

 

"Combat uses a tactical real-time with pause system - positioning your party and coordinating attacks and abilities is one of the keys to success."

 

obsidian made additional promises about features in the days leading up to final funding o' the game, but one o' the few concrete features we got described on the kickstarter page were the above quote. clearly the developers believed that fans o' an homage to the ie games would expect rtwp. the developers also went with a system that would eventual grow to include eleven classes. do classes maximize opportunities for customization and diversity? 'course not, but am suspecting that the developers believed that classes were a quality that many fans o' a new ie kinda game would expect. 

 

regardless o' quotes from josh or tim that appeal to you, keep in mind that PoE is also an homage to the ie games. the ie games were casual crpgs with classes and rtwp combat and included a relative extreme role-play spectrum with ps:t at one end and iwd2 at another. our advice: don't read too much into selective quotes.  

 

HA! Good Fun!

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"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I know there is no turning back from RtwP but

 

People read the OP before posting?

 

you may not like our reply, but am thinking Gromnir answered your questions.

 

"the developers no doubt had to ask themselves as they were designing a new set of rules for PoE, what features the fans o' the ie games would want in a new, story driven, 2d, isometric game with squad-based tactical combat that were set in a familiar, if different, fantasy world. "

 

regardless o' your personal aesthetic regarding game design, the obsidian developers were very much concerned with including features that would appeal to fans of the original ie games. in spite of some posters who would suggest otherwise, there is no mathematical formula for picking  and choosing ie game features and attributes that adequately pay "homage to the great Infinity Engine games of years past: Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale, and Planescape: Torment."

 

when ford were redesigning the eventual 2005 mustang, no doubt they had many concerns, but clearly a prime concern were nostalgia. 

 

 

 

ford's approach was extreme successful, in case you were wondering.

 

does nostalgia and homage trump every rational concern? 'course not, and thank goodness for that. but when a game is being sold by former ie game developers to ie fans, one needs at least consider what those fans might want in a modernized take on the ie games. obsidian developers decided rtwp were essential. 

 

you may not like the response, but we read the op before answering.

 

HA! Good Fun!

"If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."Justice Louis Brandeis, Concurring, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)

"Im indifferent to almost any murder as long as it doesn't affect me or mine."--Gfted1 (September 30, 2019)

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I know there is no turning back from RtwP but

People read the OP before posting?

 

If you already knew that, why did you even write your post?

 

Also, 0.5s are usually more than sufficient to analyse the new situation and then pause if it warrants doing so. Pausing every 0.5s of active game time is definitely not optimal, as you would constantly be wasting time in pauses even when there is not actually anything to do in them.

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If you already knew that, why did you even write your post?

 


but what is thought or planned for this problem?
makes me think he wants to cater to this kind of public too. 
You can have both btw, thats why you add options and sliders and what not.
For example just an idea of the top of my head, you could design a mode where, you can´t pause in combat, but it pauses auto at the beginning and everytime a character is ready, but you can only assign orders to that character.

 

 

Clearly I don´t write the post for people that do not read the thread to reply, plz if you are not willing to read the posts and do questions that are already answered in the posts, do not reply

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Pausing every 0.5s of active game time is definitely not optimal, as you would constantly be wasting time in pauses even when there is not actually anything to do in them. 

 

Since Time is not a limited resource in the game, I don´t see how is not optimal, you may be ¨wasting time¨ but wasting a not limited resource do not change the value of a move. Thus it doesn´t change if the move is optimal or not.

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Pausing every 0.5s of active game time is definitely not optimal, as you would constantly be wasting time in pauses even when there is not actually anything to do in them.

 

Since Time is not a limited resource in the game, I don´t see how is not optimal, you may be ¨wasting time¨ but wasting a not limited resource do not change the value of a move. Thus it doesn´t change if the move is optimal or not.
If your utility function includes real world concerns (like not taking 5 hours to do one battle) then yes, avoiding uneccesary pauses is optimal.

 

Granted, I'm not suggesting that you would actually spend 5 hours micromanaging one battle - but the viewpoint you are seeming to represent would suggest that you would. There's a point at which the tradeoffs between playing more optimally and having fun become very unbalanced - and it would seem that for you, the line is very far off from that of even a typical "optimal gameplay" advocate such as myself.

 

Not that there is anything wrong with that, but you should probably realize it before trying to generalize your preferences for the entire community, as they seem to be somewhat of an outlier.

Edited by Matt516
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The fact that you are willing to play suboptimal because it´s unfun to do otherwise, is ok, and may be that is the standard, however that is irrelevant to the point. There are a significant part of the population that will only try to play optimally.

The fact that they are putting restrictions to resting seems to be acknowledging that part of the population.

 

The moment you accept players will not do unfun things and thus is ok to let optimal play be unfun, is the moment where you have no reason to design a game.

Why create rests limit? if people are resting too much and causing unfun gameplay they can rest less. Why balance spells? the moment a player is finding an op spell, he should use it less. Everytime the player finds something that reduces the fun of his experience, he should do it less or avoid it.

 

The problem with that mentality is that the job of the designer is nullified and now the designer is presenting you a toy in which you make the rules. Clearly many RPG players have been ok for that for a long time. And this mentality has been creeping into single player video games. Strangely enough has been mostly eliminated in the last years from board games, how both have gone different directions is interesting. Multiplayer video games that tried this mentallity failed catastrophically of course, the fact that some designers even tried it´s just sad.

Now, what im saying,  is that´s ok to create toys, to design toys, systems without rules where the uses are expected to create it´s own rules.

 

But some people do not want toys, want Games, we want the rules carefully designed for a player that will do whatever is needed, inside the created system of rules, to accomplish the goal. Now is the job of the designer to construct the best system of rules, in which players trying to optimize their play will have the most fun. That is the job of a good GAME designer.

Designers of multiplayer games know this very well, since board games are mostly inherently multiplayer, they also mostly understand this concept.

However it seems singleplayer video game designers, are slowly getting into the habit of designing systems of rules that can´t hold being fun once the player try to play optimally.

 

Again, if Pillar of eternity intends to be a toy, and not a game, thus not a carefully designed system of rules where players try to optimize their play towards a goal. That is fine, i will just walk away. The reason, as I said i got interested in the game, was that Ive been reading sawyer, and it seems that he wants to create a game this time. It would be enough to read from him that Im wrong on that regard. If he really wants to design a game this time, I wonder how he intends to address this topic. If his answer is ¨oh if it´s not fun just don´t do it¨ then clearly I was wrong with the intended design goal of pillars of eternity and just just walk away.

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....

The problem with that mentality is that the job of the designer is nullified and now the designer is presenting you a toy in which you make the rules. Clearly many RPG players have been ok for that for a long time. And this mentality has been creeping into single player video games. Strangely enough has been mostly eliminated in the last years from board games, how both have gone different directions is interesting. Multiplayer video games that tried this mentallity failed catastrophically of course, the fact that some designers even tried it´s just sad.

Now, what im saying,  is that´s ok to create toys, to design toys, systems without rules where the uses are expected to create it´s own rules.

...

 

 No. The difference between RTwP and TB is not toy vs. game. It is a different optimization problem.

 

 The RT in RTwP is looking over all of the inputs at once and making decisions based on multiple factors. The wP part is there because to implement your decisions, you would need to do as many as 6 things at once for a party of 6. Since you can't, you pause and do them all during the pause and then resume. That's how to play RTwP. It's a little more strategic and a little less tactical. It's a different skill set - multitasking and quick strategic decision making vs. tactical turn by turn sequential decision making. 

 

 If you don't like RTwP, fine, people have different tastes in optimization problems (and, if you try to play it as if it was turn based by pausing every 500 milliseconds, you won't like it).

 

There are other games (like Torment: Tides of Numenera) that you will like better.

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Pausing every 0.5s of active game time is definitely not optimal, as you would constantly be wasting time in pauses even when there is not actually anything to do in them.

Since Time is not a limited resource in the game, I don´t see how is not optimal, you may be ¨wasting time¨ but wasting a not limited resource do not change the value of a move. Thus it doesn´t change if the move is optimal or not.

 

Given that real people tend to not be immortal and have other needs, time is necessarily always limited.
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I never stated that the difference between RTwP and TB is that of a toy vs game. I don´t know where you get that, I wont even answer the rest of the post since it´s just a strawman.

 

Actually, that conclusion follows logically from what you said, even if, for some reason, you decided not to say it yourself.

 

That said, RPG's are more toys than games (by your definitions, which are not the usual ones, mind).

 

Most of the enjoyment in a cRPG isn't in finding the optimal way to play; it's about exploring different ways to play. In almost all really-existing single-player RPG's the systems are so deeply flawed, in fact, that the optimal ways to play are usually pretty boring, regardless of whether they're TB or RT. I know that's true for all my favorite cRPG's.

 

I.e., I would steer you to some other genre altogether. I would even say that a cRPG designed to your specification would almost certainly cease to be very interesting as a cRPG.

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I have a project. It's a tabletop RPG. It's free. It's a work in progress. Find it here: www.brikoleur.com

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I never stated that the difference between RTwP and TB is that of a toy vs game. I don´t know where you get that, I wont even answer the rest of the post since it´s just a strawman.

 

I'll show you where I get that:

 

 

 

The problem of Rtwp is that the optimal play, the optimal decision is to pause every 0.5 second, since around every 0.5s the state of the game change, and thus we should stop and reanalyze the situation. If that is so Rtwp becomes slower than Turn based games, and terribly annoying and unsatisfying.

I know there is no turning back from RtwP but what is thought or planned for this problem?

 

Then, in your later post - in response to Matt, you said this:

 

 

 

The fact that you are willing to play suboptimal because it´s unfun to do otherwise, is ok, and may be that is the standard, however that is irrelevant to the point. There are a significant part of the population that will only try to play optimally.The fact that they are putting restrictions to resting seems to be acknowledging that part of the population.The moment you accept players will not do unfun things and thus is ok to let optimal play be unfun, is the moment where you have no reason to design a game. ... The problem with that mentality is that the job of the designer is nullified and now the designer is presenting you a toy in which you make the rules. 

 

 So, to recap, your argument went like this:

 

RTwP requires a pause every half second to play optimally. Therefore optimal play is not fun. Therefore, since nobody will play optimally, the designer of the game is really designing a toy where players are making up their own rules.

 

There's no strawman here, that's really what you said. I quoted you. Really. Look back at your own posts if you don't believe me.

 

 My response: RTwP is a different optimization problem. Part of solving the problem is to develop the ability to recognize when you need to pause based on all of the events on screen; in the optimization literature, that's known as an 'evaluation function'. Pausing is there to simulate doing six things at once not to simulate TB by pausing every half second.

 

 Either way, you are free to find it unfun; nobody is saying otherwise. However, your stated problem is not a problem for the subset of people who like that style of play.

 

  I assume your comment about players making up their own rules really means not playing with an optimal policy since, otherwise, it doesn't make sense. If you want to view game play from an optimization perspective, part of the point of RTwP is being able to evaluate when you need to take action based on multiple inputs and to be able to decide on multiple actions at once. That is a problem that you don't solve in a turn based game. Some people find it fun.

 

tl;dr:

     TB = Minimax game tree optimization

RTwP = Markov decision process over game tree

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...

Most of the enjoyment in a cRPG isn't in finding the optimal way to play; it's about exploring different ways to play. In almost all really-existing single-player RPG's the systems are so deeply flawed, in fact, that the optimal ways to play are usually pretty boring, regardless of whether they're TB or RT. I know that's true for all my favorite cRPG's....

 

 This is a very good point. Probably more relevant to actual game play than my optimization problem rantings.

 

 The actual optimal solution to, say BG1, probably includes things known colloquially as cheesy game play. 

 

 Optimal isn't necessarily optimally fun (though finding a cheesy solution to a game can also be fun once one has played it a bunch of times - it's all about variety).

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Didn't like the combat. Both sides just meet up in a big group for a huge cluster****. Non human races look ridiculous, especially the godlings. Just human bodies with goofy heads stuck on them. dwarf is a human squished up a bit. several fights could be solved with just two characters while the other 4 just watched. I really hope the game can be played with just 3 guys, because managing six characters is terrible. Hopefully there will be cash dropping like crazy because with only a few inventory slots for each character, picking up and selling loot is not much of an option.  The beta wasn't fun in the slightest. I had high hopes for this game, but they were all dashed to hell after a few minutes in the beta. Beta isn't even the right term for it, tech demo is more accurate. It just kind of shows off a few features of the game.  I started in some random town with random ass characters. It did not make me care at all. It was just a chore to play through. I know the actual game won't feel this way, but the beta fails miserably to get me more excited about the game.

 

What the hell are these guys doing? I see too many updates about stupid crap like art assets. Nobody cares how good you are at drawing derpy little gnome guys! I am not going to buy this game. I'll get a pirated version on release. It if really wows me, really blows me away, I will buy it. I have been sold too many crappy games to take a chance on projects like this anymore. I would encourage you guys to be more careful with your money.  All kickstarter games I have bought turned out to be about 10% of what was promised. All mediocre games at best. Don't be fooled by this one, too. I really hope it turns out good, but I'm not betting with my wallet on this one.

Edited by Ginsu23
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You correctly post what i said

RTwP requires a pause every half second to play optimally. Therefore optimal play is not fun. Therefore, since nobody will play optimally, the designer of the game is really designing a toy where players are making up their own rules.

 

How from that you conclude that im stating the difference between RTwP and TB is from a toy to a game, i have no idea.

 

Part of solving the problem is to develop the ability to recognize when you need to pause based on all of the events on screen;

 

That would be true if pausing would be a limited resource, since it´s not, you can pause every one tenth of a second (or whatever is physically possible to do) and would not change anything. 

 

However, your stated problem is not a problem for the subset of people who like that style of play.

 

Well I want to know people that find fun pausing 3 times per second, but ok.

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