Official Codex Discord Server

  1. Welcome to rpgcodex.net, a site dedicated to discussing computer based role-playing games in a free and open fashion. We're less strict than other forums, but please refer to the rules.

    "This message is awaiting moderator approval": All new users must pass through our moderation queue before they will be able to post normally. Until your account has "passed" your posts will only be visible to yourself (and moderators) until they are approved. Give us a week to get around to approving / deleting / ignoring your mundane opinion on crap before hassling us about it. Once you have passed the moderation period (think of it as a test), you will be able to post normally, just like all the other retards.
    Dismiss Notice

KickStarter Vigilantes: neo-noir, turn based tactical RPG

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Timeslip, Aug 27, 2016.

  1. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2008
    Messages:
    1,867,180
    Location:
    Land of Rape & Honey
    Codex 2012 MCA Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2
    Within the 12 hours I've played all I've seen are few typos and the "two goons one tile" -glitch.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  2. rusty_shackleford Arcane

    rusty_shackleford
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2018
    Messages:
    6,123
    there's a bug with assigning core stats to multiple characters
    say you increase 'utility' on one character, switch to the next, you can now decrease it on this character who never had it raised
     
    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    ^ Top  
  3. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    14,833
    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    brb, dumping utility and every other stat I don't want on Sam.
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • incline incline x 2
    • Yes Yes x 1
    ^ Top  
  4. ushas Savant

    ushas
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    550
    :D Just beware of negative numbers. Last time did this (um, testing purposes), got myself into troubles, not so much with negative stats as with linked negative skills. If you get level 2 injury, that's -2 into a stat...
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    ^ Top  
  5. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,282
    Location:
    Black Goat Woods !@#*%&^
    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    I don't want to derail to a whole new conversation, but in an "averaging" system open to the public, simplicity is a good thing. Netflix did the same thing where they changed their "1-5 stars" system to a simple thumb up/thumb down, and it was a beneficial move. The reason is that reviewers are inconsistent. Many of us are very thoughtful and subtle, agonizing over whether to rate a product 83.9% or 84.0%, but so many out there would just 0 or 100 arbitrarily when they really shouldn't, throwing off the curve. This means that reviews with more nuanced scores get "washed away" and the min/maxing dumbfucks have more control over the final score. Forcing everyone into a consistent "bottom line, is it good or not" system means that every voice carries equal weight.

    Make a stand, take power away from the dumbfucks, upvote Vigilantes. :salute:
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  6. thesheeep Arcane

    thesheeep
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Messages:
    7,768
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    Therein lies the problem.
    Some fool who can barely write his own name, much less a consistent review, shouldn't have the same rating weight as someone with a large amount of written (and positively/helpful rated) reviews.
    Make it a simple system somewhat similar to Reddit where users get a score, and increase the weight of their rating based on that score.
    Such a system would take care of the "huehue" 100%/0% raters (as those people are unlikely to ever achieve a higher score).
     
    ^ Top  
  7. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,282
    Location:
    Black Goat Woods !@#*%&^
    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Steam already has this too. "Was this review helpful Y/N?"
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
    ^ Top  
  8. thesheeep Arcane

    thesheeep
    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    Messages:
    7,768
    Location:
    Tampere, Finland
    That doesn't play into the overall rating, afaik. It just determines which reviews you get to see.
    Plus, that just weighs the single reviews in a single game.
    What I'm suggesting would give the review of a user a higher/lower weight based on the user's score so far, even if nobody rated that specific review yet.
    Basically, the more reviews you write, or more importantly the more helpful they are deemed, the more influence your vote gets. Users with a higher score would also automatically become more interesting to devs and their complaints more likely to be heard (not everyone is as determined as our Timeslip here to read every review).
    Meritocracy solves most problems, really.
     
    • Makes you think... Makes you think... x 1
    • Interesting Interesting x 1
    ^ Top  
  9. HoboForEternity In every buttons you press Patron

    HoboForEternity
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    5,387
    Location:
    inside your mom
    oh my the game recognize if i hit the same place too much, got a dialogue, got ambushed by a dozen people, surrounded and utterly decimated :lol::lol:

    i should not have started my first run on hard boiled because the enemies are progressing quickly.

    also love the scripted encounters, some of them recognize your behaviour, such as this police i met in an OP, recognize i havent really killed so he decided to let thing slip. the ambush because i hit the same place over and over really surprised me tho, well done.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 6
    • nice nice x 1
    ^ Top  
  10. HoboForEternity In every buttons you press Patron

    HoboForEternity
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    5,387
    Location:
    inside your mom
    anyway, did my job and leave my review as promised:

    https://steamcommunity.com/id/hoboForEternity/recommended/545600

    consider me a happy customer. it isn't the best review i can write, or in general, and i certainly can put alot more effort, but my lazy ass is too lazy to spend hours editing review :?

    still i hope this helps!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 10
    • Yes Yes x 1
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
    • Salute Salute x 1
    ^ Top  
  11. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    720
    The ambush is a bit of a nasty surprise :) Don't think too many people get to walk away from it in hard boiled, this first time it happens. Enemies level up roughly every day in hard boiled, so you should be able to outpace them. Be careful of going after higher danger level areas too soon though, as you may end up losing a lot of time in healing.

    There is some reactivity (not as much as I'd like, but some). The dialogue system was a little too simple and awkward to work with to do very much in this area, so anything like this required extra coding. Some of the encounters took a day to add and debug (like the survivalist rally lieutenant encounter). Planning to add more newspaper articles and diary entries in the future, to build up this area a bit.

    Glad you're having fun with it and thanks for the review - it looks good to me :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2018
    ^ Top  
  12. ushas Savant

    ushas
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    550
    Cool, that's informative review:salute: (just one thing, think it's Reiker not Ryker)
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
    ^ Top  
  13. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Arcane

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    7,599
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    Anyone else noticed if clicks on end turn -button stacks?
    I think that double clicks carry over to next characters turn.

    Another question: Does temp allies stats affect CYOA skill checks on encounters where they appear?
     
    ^ Top  
  14. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    720
    Will look into it.

    Pretty sure they do, but functionally they may as well not. Temp allies have basic combat & healing skills, and not much else besides that.
     
    ^ Top  
  15. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Arcane

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    7,599
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    Which may come into play if encounter gives "take a shot at X" -option.
     
    ^ Top  
  16. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    720
    Agree, could happen. They won't be taken into account from V1.01
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 1
    ^ Top  
  17. Taka-Haradin puolipeikko Arcane

    Taka-Haradin puolipeikko
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2015
    Messages:
    7,599
    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Grab the Codex by the pussy Bubbles In Memoria
    Police encounter gives "character container injured" -messages if your rep is so low that you'll fail the check.
     
    ^ Top  
  18. Ivan Arcane

    Ivan
    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2013
    Messages:
    4,645
    looking forward to paying for this in the Holiday
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  19. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    720
    On the boxes that pop up on right of the screen?
     
    • Yes Yes x 1
    ^ Top  
  20. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    720
    I look forward to getting a holiday :)
     
    • Funny x 4
    • Friendly x 3
    • Cheers!! x 2
    • Brofist x 1
    • incline x 1
    • Balanced x 1
    ^ Top  
  21. ushas Savant

    ushas
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    550
    Aren't you your own boss?:)

    Regarding end turn button stacking: doesn't seem to happen for this mouse. Dunno, different double-click speed?

    Can end turns of several allies in quick succession, button or key, but there is usually a short moment for start of the next so it's clear whose turn is ended. That said, saw it a few times screw a fleeing enemy into running animation loop, possibly even ending his turn prematurely. But he fled all right next round.
     
    ^ Top  
  22. Timeslip Timeslip Softworks Patron Developer

    Timeslip
    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2016
    Messages:
    720
    Technically... the real problem is I'm no one else's boss. Was going to take time off, but won't really enjoy it until at least some of the bugs are KO. Maybe in another week or two.

    Also added to the list!
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 2
    ^ Top  
  23. ushas Savant

    ushas
    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2015
    Messages:
    550
    So mentioning a bug postpones Timeslip's holiday...
    :philosoraptor:



    :negative:
     
    • Funny Funny x 3
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Makes you think... Makes you think... x 1
    ^ Top  
  24. Zombra Arcane Patron

    Zombra
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    7,282
    Location:
    Black Goat Woods !@#*%&^
    Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    His real "boss" is his commitment to excellence. :salute:
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 5
    • Salute Salute x 2
    • Prestigious Prestigious x 1
    ^ Top  
  25. Ainamacar Educated

    Ainamacar
    Joined:
    May 6, 2018
    Messages:
    22
    Posted my Steam review, which ended up being more comprehensive than planned. Original draft was 2000 words, but I got it down to 1200 with the most unsparing editing I've done in a while.

    Show Spoiler

    The Good
    • Character system
    • Hideout and equipment upgrades
    • Combat system (overall)
    • Tactical vs. strategic tradeoffs
    • Boss fights
    • Vignettes
    • 2D art
    • Stable (YMMV)

    The Mediocre
    • Perk selection
    • Interface
    • Map design
    • AI
    • 3D graphics
    • Audio

    The Bad
    • City strategy layer
    • Too many static fights
    • Few utility item drops

    The Upshot
    A worthwhile purchase, but not a new classic.

    The Full Story
    Vigilantes is an indie turn-based squad tactical combat game with light RPG elements centered around taking down three criminal bosses. Its core gameplay loop is strategic recon, tactical combat, and hideout/equipment upgrades. I am a low tier backer of its 2016 Kickstarter, and completed the ~20 hour campaign on normal ("Vigilante") difficulty.

    Vigilantes' story is sparse, told via squad introductions and mission vignettes incorporating light skill reactivity that sometimes avert combat. The noir influences in Vigilante are unpretentious and its writing concise, aside from the squad introductions. Character development is minimal, although each ally has an ethical outlook on killing vs. incapacitating (a major tactical vs. strategic tradeoff in the game) impacting squad composition.

    Vigilante's character system has very good bones. The core abilities are differentiated and useful. Skills offer a good balance of tactical and strategic benefits. They improve both by use and by distributing points -- an interesting and surprisingly effective compromise between these systems' usual strengths and weaknesses, likely because time is a key resource. A minor disappointment is that some skills (e.g. Bypass) only consider the character with the greatest value when this doesn't make the most narrative/mechanical sense. The structure of the perk system is solid, but execution middling. Every character will find enough beneficial options, and the prereqs incentivize planning without being too stringent. However, too many tweak numbers rather than open new gameplay options.

    The hideout and equipment upgrades available on the strategy layer is a major strength of Vigilantes, with substantial options impacting gameplay. For example, I neglected crafting in favor of firearms and rate of skill increases, but by midgame my lack of body armor was very noticeable. Meanwhile, cash and components for item upgrades are plentiful enough to spend, but scarce enough that prioritizing feels necessary. This remained true throughout the campaign, a relief from the usual mush of game economies.

    The strategy layer does have some problems. A minor one is utility slot items are not purchasable and seem not to drop from enemies (apart from a few bosses), so these slots will be empty unless you invest in crafting. A serious one is that the city district strategy layer seems superfluous, at least on normal difficulty. After determining a faction's identity and strength in a district the advantage of further intel seemed negligible. As far as I can tell only a district's faction and strength have any bearing on the information gained from interrogation after a combat mission, and this is the main source of strategic advancement.

    Enemies gain abilities over time, and in principle could overwhelm you, but on normal were significantly outpaced. I never needed to assault faction "rackets", which grant enemies resources, although these missions do offer good rewards. The strategic impact of taking down a lieutenant/boss is a missed opportunity: It didn't trigger other factions to team up, hire hit squads, move bosses/rackets underground, etc. I did not focus on any particular faction, so the endgame was an avalanche where I gained the last bits of intel and assaulted all the bosses (fun fights!) in short order.

    Fortunately, the combat in Vigilantes is fun overall, earning the label "tactical." Cover and LOS must be managed, most weapons have multiple modes, and utility items offer meaningful flexibility. Overwatch has a selectable minimum to-hit threshold, a feature which should be ubiquitous. Targeted shots offer reasonable tradeoffs. Melee combat is a credible threat that can create interesting puzzles. Guns jam (rarely) so pack a backup. Taking out a "leader" permanently debuffs its allies 1 AP/turn, an enticing risk/reward proposition I enjoyed throughout the game. Finally, party composition truly mattered on difficult fights.

    Vigilantes' combat has two major downsides that conspire to make too many encounters feel static. First, it is common to have 1-3 AP leftover, but no meaningful way to spend them. Useful movement usually requires more, while other small AP abilities are locked behind perks. (I recommend each character invest in at least one, it really helps.) A few AP can be saved between turns, but in most cases this is a necessity rather than a tactical choice. If the only sound options are attack or move (but not both) there is little cause to move far from the spawn point, so interesting portions of many maps never come into play. My campaign was firearm focused, which didn't help, but either way Vigilantes does not fully exploit the granularity of AP.

    The second, compounding, weakness is enemies use too few capabilities forcing tactical changes. This is partly due to basic AI: Melee units rush and ranged units find nearby cover, but neither sacrifices attacks now to flank later, nor do they move between cover well. (The AI isn't terrible -- it focus fires aggressively, and melee units save AP tactically if they can't close and attack.) Tragically, some implemented abilities are nearly absent. In one very enjoyable fight an enemy threw incendiary grenades devastating my back line. This was also the only enemy to use a grenade all campaign! Consequently, once I developed a tactical approach I could usually execute it, and by late midgame I dominated all non-boss missions. A good tactics game makes you think, but a great one makes you sweat. Vigilantes is more the former.

    Technically, Vigilantes is fairly polished. I had no crashes or game-breaking bugs. The audio and sound effects are decent, while the little voicework is legitimately well done. 2D character and hideout art is attractive. The 3D graphics are simple but effective, and very performant. The mix of locales is reasonable, and to my untrained eye art direction is consistent. Most maps have a touch of extra detail (posters, drifting leaves) but, overall, are sparse. Tactically important elements (e.g. creatures behind obstructions) are clearly communicated. The camera is basic but functional. Combat animations unfortunately have fixed speed, and although preferences vary widely I found it sufficiently brisk. The game plays well with Alt-Tab, using almost no resources when it doesn't have focus.

    Vigilantes' least polished area is its interface. Some systems are poorly explained or undiscoverable. For example, high tier armor is made by fully upgrading a suit of low tier armor, but there is no indication high tier armor exists until the prerequisite upgrades are complete. (The upgrade interface is otherwise excellent.) Targeted shots require holding shift when attacking, which is easy to miss. Item stats popup on mouseover...but only on certain screens. The aiming mode for grenades/shotguns doesn't exit after use. The hideout's menu bar is on the left for one screen, and the top for others. Missions are launched from two different screens, leading to a lot of back and forth.

    Vigilantes is clearly a labor of love, and as substantially the work of a single person an honest achievement: its scope is far larger than it has any right to be. Most of its systems are well designed and executed, worthy of future iteration. None of its poor elements are offensively poor. Vigilantes is not a new classic of the genre, but it is firmly enjoyable. I only regret not playing a harder difficulty setting.
     
    • Brofist Brofist x 8
    ^ Top  

(buying stuff via the above buttons helps us pay the hosting bills, thanks!)