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Prisonscape Alpha - thread

Discussion in 'Prisonscape' started by PekkaK, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    Cool, this makes the game/quest design so much easier for me! I really wanted to include Nation of Islam in the game, but it would've increased the scope again, and I just don't want to do it at this point of the development.

    Edit: I sent you a message about "that thing".
     
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  2. GarlandExCon Arcane

    GarlandExCon
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    For fun here's a list of gangs I encountered during my time in prison and jail:

    Bloods
    Aryan Brotherhood
    Nation of Islam
    Latin Kings
    MS-13
    Dixie Mafia
    Italian Mafia
    La Raza
    Sinaloa Cartel
    Sureños
    Mexican Mafia
    Texas Syndicate
    Irish Mob
    Pegans
    Hell's Angels

    There were also groups that weren't rally "gangs" that stuck together like the Asatru, who were mostly Aryan Nation anyway, and Native Americans. The Hebrew-Israelite's were also very active
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2020
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  3. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    Once again I approach the wise council for advice:

    I have been working on the skills in Prisonscape, and came up with a following system:
    • Player gets their first skills during character creation, based on their background
    • Skills range from levels 0 (skill unknown) to 4 (expert)
    • Skills affect various C&C and other actions made during the game
    • There are not dice throws, only check that is made is to see if the player has sufficient skill level for the action
    • For example: Player wants to break into the guard's breakroom in order to hide dope to a guard's lunchbox. In order to get inside, they have to have either Lockpicking at level 2 OR Electronics at level 1.
    • Sometimes these skills are combined together with a main stat, for example some action might require Manipulation level 3 AND Intelligence 90
    Does this system seem too simplified? Can you think of any other games with similar skill system? My thinking was that the system would have higher emphasize on "character build" rather than chance, and this would also encourage for playing the game again with different choices (as getting all skills to max level during one game is extremely time consuming and grind-y).
     
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  4. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    Some random thoughts.

    Dice throws for (traditional) skill checks are pointless, as players will just re-roll. No problem.

    If the skill checks are gating the content, remember that the player does not know what the gates are beforehand. Or how the skills he is picking (from the background) will be utilized.

    So I personally feel that it is the best if you can get a feel early on in the game. "If I have this kind of character, I can go here and do those things. On the other hand, this skill lets me do this".

    V.s. creating your character blind and realizing you can't really do the things you wanted. Relatively few people play the game through multiple times.

    Also a question to answer: how many skill points do you get during the game? Will your background choice determine whether you can pass the final skill checks for each respective skill?
     
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  5. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Age of Decadence did a very similar system. Some people loved it, some people hated it. With binary checks, it all depends on how drastic consequences are. If it's a "come back again after you've trained more" situation, or if the consequences of failure are relatively modest (lose some money/items/faction rep, have to fight a battle etc.) then it's fine enough. If, however, each check is final and permanently locks you out of some content or can even kill you outright - then maybe introduce some resource or consumable that you could use in the moment to mitigate the lack of skill to an extent.
     
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  6. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    In the first area of the game (County Jail), the player will get a feel about how the skills work. For example, it is clearly stated in the dialogue when outcome is determined by the player's skill level. Hopefully this provides the player with sufficient information on how the system works.

    This is a good point that needs to be taken into consideration. Also, I feel like ALL skills should be as equally important as possible, so that the player doesn't end up in a "dead end" by selecting useless skills.

    The game currently has 10 skills, of which 9 can be leveled up to 3, and one has only one level. NPC's can teach the player some skills, which only puts them to level 0. Then after the next level up the player can increase the skill to level 1.

    With this system, leveling all skills to maximum requires 28 skill points, and the maximum level in the game is 20. If player gets 2 skills in the character creation, the maximum total number of skill points is 21 (out of 28).

    The goal is to create as much as possible these "come back again after you've trained more" scenarios. Player can also contemplate on most dialogue-based decisions and do the decision after they have leveled up to check if there are "better" options available.
     
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  7. GarlandExCon Arcane

    GarlandExCon
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    I love the concept.

    I assume the skill checks would be blind? In other words, the PC would have no idea what the skill check is for each task they're attempting? I think that adds a level of needed suspense and uncertainty if a player isn't sure in advance they have the skills to complete certain tasks
     
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  8. Abu Antar Prestigious Gentleman Tweet, tweet Patron

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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Just try to add different solutions to quests and your proposed system would be good.
     
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  9. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    Thanks for the feedback, it's much appreciated!

    The check is blind, yes, but there are sometimes indicators about the lack of specific skill and/or skill level. For example using Stealth, it could be something like: "There are way too many guards and inmates watching, there's no way I can sneak in there with my clumsy feet."

    This is the ultimate goal and also a big challenge. Let's see how it goes!
     
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  10. Skdursh Learned

    Skdursh
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    Oh shit, I thought this game was complete vaporware, but it's good to see that it's actually still being worked on.
     
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  11. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    It seems that in order to balance the factions in PS, we would need 4 or 5 new neutral quests. Any suggestions of everyday "hustles" that could exist inside prison? Pinging GarlandExCon !
     
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  12. GarlandExCon Arcane

    GarlandExCon
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    Here's a list of everyday hustles:

    -Cleaning shoes
    -Fixing or modifying radios and other electronics (for example, the "Radio Man" could turn up the max volume on your radio, install an extra headphone jack or even install a battery pack that allowed it to last longer)
    -Washing clothes
    -Cleaning another inmate's cell
    -Making hooch
    -Doing tattoos
    -Making and selling food (wraps, cheesecake, pizza crusts... there were even people that would steal buckets, cut them down and use stolen oil from the kitchen and a stinger to deep fry foods in their cells)
    -Greeting card maker
    -Portrait drawing (give an inmate who could draw really well a picture and he would draw it, i.e. a picture of your girlfriend or family. Made a good gift to send home).
    -The "Milk Man" (went to the chow hall every morning for breakfast, smuggled out milk in plastic bottles and kept it on ice until other inmates who had him on contract wanted it).
    -Kitchen works would steal food from the kitchen and resell it
    -Haircuts

    That's just off the top of my head
     
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  13. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

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    Combat v. 3.1. finished, now starts the testing. The game maps are pretty much finished (except for one that requires some resources still) and the whole thing can be played through.

    Holy shit, it's actually coming together. A day I wasn't expecting to see.
     
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  14. GarlandExCon Arcane

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    Yay for Coronavirus!
     
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  15. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

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    I made a meme about my current struggle:

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. GarlandExCon Arcane

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    Alright, I'm going to get to work on a couple of these this week even if it kills me
     
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  17. GarlandExCon Arcane

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    Hey question, when doing these quests, does the PC have choices of which course they can take?
     
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  18. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    Of course, the goal is to have a lot of choices & consequences in the game. Currently most of the quests are still bare bones, but I add new layers to them whenever I think of something new. There are several factors that affect outcomes with quests and dialogues, for example:
    • Basic stats (Intelligence more, Strength and Agility less)
    • Skills and their level (Manipulation, Intimidation, Haggling, Medical with dialogue; Stealth, Lockpicking, Medical, Crafting, Electronics and Pickpocketing with other activities)
    • Dialogue options
    • Sometimes luck
    As you can see, the game has much less variables than many RPGs - this is a design choice as we don't want the thing to bloat too much at this point. We'll leave the more complex mechanics for the sequels. ;-)
     
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  19. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    Prisonscape Alpha 11 released:

    http://www.prisonscape.com/blog/?p=801

    Features

    Implement Combat V3.1
    Implement player party
    Implement game over

    Tasks

    Allow player to toggle level up
    Add more crafting recipes
    Add more weapons and items
    Test Miranda quest pipeline
    Update API documentation
    Update 3rd party license

    Bugs

    Fix dialogue crash on several NPCs
    Fix editor crash when shift-click or double click is used
    Fix editor crash when a container is selected
    Fix reputation bars in UI
    Fix automatic dialogues
    Fix single-option dialogue branches
    Fix skill bar overflow when leveling up
    Fix skill progress UI overflow after leveling up
    Fix a bug where quest journal can’t be closed
    Fix stuttering when playing sound effects
    Fix DPI scaling issues
     
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  20. Haba Harbinger of Decline Patron

    Haba
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    I'm clicking on every link on the page but nothing is downloading!

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    *Released to a very exclusive group of two people.
     
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  22. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

    PekkaK
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    [​IMG]

    Any comments on this character screen? I added the party to the bottom part. There are currently 10 skills in the game, so unfortunately I couldn't fit them in the middle part. The right section is used for description of skills, stats and party members.

    I was thinking that after NPC joins the party, they would disappear from the map and the interaction would happen through this screen. They could still give you "hustles" (quests) and you could initiate normal dialogue with them, you'd just do it from this screen. This could maybe create this illusion of hanging around together, but still being individuals with their own motivations and opinions on things.
     
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  23. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    HP bloat seems a bit too high, unless they start with a 1000 HP already.
    I think party members take way too much screen space - partly because of the super long HP figures. That panel could easily be compressed in half if not more, leaving more space for the skill list. It just doesn't make a lot of sense to have scrolling for two skills only.
     
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  24. PekkaK Heaviest Matter Developer

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    [​IMG]
    Updated. I think there might be too much space for the skills in this one, though. The bloated HP is there so we can see what is the maximum space we need. We haven't fully decided yet if the maximum HP goes to JRPG numbers, though.
     
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  25. V_K Arcane

    V_K
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    Yeah, that seems like an overkill for the skills, compared to other parts of the UI.
    Do you really need these four heads in the character UI anyway? Can't you have them discretely show in some corner on the main exploration window and talk to them there?
     
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