First impressions

Tell us your ideas for how to make the game better.

Re: First impressions

Postby worfc » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:15 pm

Can't get back to where I was: I'm 99.44% sure that you pressed DEMO. If you find that you select "Play my saved farm" doesn't bring up something that showed progress, that's a bug.

NOTE: The next build (currently awaiting Apple review; maybe later tonight or tomorrow) auto-saves every 10 (I think) minutes. The build you have now only saves when you log out, close the lid or press HOME. Both require a functioning network to save. (Save-locally is coming "soon!" ;) )

Also: "Nickname" is very-very-much NOT tied to saving or your account or anything else. It has no functionality, whatsoever! It's only purpose is because your farm is saved as "Farm#1234567" and someone else's is "Farm#1234568" so, in the database, I save your nickname to help me figure out which is which. The game works just fine if you have no nickname, or if everybody's nickname is "foo!" It's really just a debugging aid. You can change your nickname every time you launch, if you want. (At least one of the players makes it his initials + the build number, which has been useful on occasion.)

Latches: To manually flip a latch, just wire the "other" side to a source of power; a battery terminal works. Remember, you only have to power it momentarily; you can break the connection and it will "remember." The way you determine which side is hot is by looking at which side is orange. Am I not understanding your question?

Eyeball button In this next build, there is a "CCTV" icon next to the eyeball that auto-follows your robot. :)

NOTE: the following is sub-ideal. Far-better than "none", but improvements are scheduled. The reason it lags is because having "immediate follow" was extremely jerky, and I didn't have time to make it not-suck.

Crafting: "I may have eventually figured that out!" You might want to play with the big (?) button turned on. Several of your questions have been answered under the little (?) buttons. :)

NOTE: A lot of the "little help" isn't written yet. I'm getting there! But, in the mean time, quite of bit of it is there, and you might find it useful.

You may or may not want to poke through the tutorials in the help menu, too. Again, not all there, but there are some good ones.

Ping-pong#1: NOTE: You might want to play with the NODEs (those little 1=>4 connectors) and make your ping-pong go diagonally. The robot cuts a much wider path that way, much easier to see.

That is, if your goal is clear-cutting. If you want skinny lines, that's ok, too! :)

Intersection: Well, there seem to be 2 easy solutions:

1) Just use your saw and carve your way to wherever you want to go.

2) Use bumpers to steer yourself around. This is probably a lot harder (impossible?) without NOT gates, which I bet you don't have, yet. Still, you might be able to use your LATCH (de-select the saw by tapping a blank spot in the drawer) to do some sort of wall-following. I haven't thought about it a lot, but it seems possible.

(And, now that I say that: if you figure out a clever way to do it, post in the circuit-design forum! :) )

Path-positions: Yeah, that's a known thing with the "tall trees." In the very-very early versions of the game, the trees were barely as tall as the robot, and things happened more like you're thinking. Among the tall trees, the robot's wheel moves on a path very near where the tree-trunk touches the ground, and that's where the "path" is.

As you progress through the game, you'll likely keep a small patch of the tall trees for lumber, but you'll start growing other kinds of trees (iron, plastic, etc.) that are shorter and will seem more path-y. Also, as you re-plant, you can pick which of the 4 kinds of tall trees you want to keep around. (I gave them names, but I don't remember which is which. You can see the seed names either in the market or if you long-press on them in inventory.)

Lost robot: The little ?-globe button in the lower-left points to your robot. One clever player discovered that, if you tap it multiple times, it will draw a ring around your robot. :)

Player-driven Movement: While what you ask is perfectly doable (easy, even!), it sort of goes against one of the fundamental tenets of the game, which is:

"In WoRFC, players don't do things; instead, they program robots to do things"

And, while I am sympathetic to your plight, this is a fairly big differentiator and what makes WoRFC not "just another farming game."

A brief history-lesson/aside:
I don't really like farm games. In fact, every time I try to play one, my first thought has always been "wouldn't it be awesome if I could just write a script or program my computer to do all this farm-grinding for me?!"

Thus was born World of RoboFarmCraft :)


In the mean time, one of the easiest wirings you can do is direct from battery output to thruster.

Actually, early-on, wire a battery output to a NODE (1=>4 connector), then you have 4 "power outlets" to use as you please.


Wiring: The act-of-soldering is a known weakness in the game and ALL suggestions are welcomed, because I'm not 100% sure what the best fixes are.

(I may not take all suggestions, but I'll certainly try to work them all into a coherent gestalt that is much nicer to use than what we have now.)

A cutter tool is a decent idea. Another might be a "force" mode where making the 2nd connection to an already-connected thing forces the old connection to break.

I'll definitely put your comments in the bug/case about un-sucking the soldering process. It will get better!

Btw, this isn't what you want, but dropping a gate (like LATCH) back in the drawer speed-removes all connections. Maybe I should make it so that just waving a gate over the drawer breaks all connections. A "fast cutter", yes?

Overlapping wires: I can't control where you put your gates -- they're movable, you know! ;)

Wire paths: They go horizontal first, then vertical (that's in the tutorial! <G>) Also, I've checked so that all of the permanent connectors in the robot are out-of-alignment, so you can't get the overlapping wires connecting things that don't move. (If you find one, that's a bug, please tell me!) Everything else, you have to adjust on your own.

(Btw, this is why everything has offset legs. Also, in the latest build, the NODEs are slightly more rotated. A week or two ago, they were perfectly square, giving the problem you describe.)

Probably after-v1.0, I have a ticket open to give the user more control over wire-routing, including multi-segment wires (so you can make "Z" and "N" shapes, etc.) But that's complicated and something of a rewrite of the wiring view, and I don't think it's worth holding up shipping the game for.

So, that's end-of-August, earliest. :)

Bezier wire-paths: Um... "what a very interesting idea!" ;)

That sounds crazy-psychedelic to me. Maybe I'll add it as a user-pref (later), just to see what sort of weird circuit-art players devise, but I'm thinking that curved traces of any sort are almost certainly not going to be the default. Once we have wire-segments, though, a bezier on/off switch is easy!

Complex wiring: Later in the game, you get "IC chips." When you open an IC chip, it's the size of the inside of the robot (a bit bigger, actually), and you can fill it with all sorts of whatever you want, then it closes down to just a little bigger than a LATCH, with its legs pointing out the sides. So all that ugliness is "hidden" inside, and you have just one thing to connect to the various spots on your robot.

If you want to get real fancy, after you advance far enough, you can put chips inside of chips.

At some point, I expect that someone will design a robot that implements iOS, downloads WoRFC, and plays it. (SLooooooooooWLY! ;) )


Progression: You can look at the crafting view to see what sorts of things can be made next, and what you need to make them. The base raw-materials are wood (saw) & clay (shovel) but, eventually, you can "craft" (cough, cough) ironwood & copperwood seeds (which lead to iron & copper), etc., all the way up until you're building an entire 2nd robot.

...At which point you can start getting into robot-to-robot communication (the antenna), coordinated farming, etc.

NOTE: Robots can craft. And sell things in the market. At some point, the whole farm will just be buzzing along while you sit on the porch and drink mint juleps. When you get close, let me know, so I can add more things for you to do. :)
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Re: First impressions

Postby Denis » Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:20 pm

Latches: To manually flip a latch, just wire the "other" side to a source of power; a battery terminal works. Remember, you only have to power it momentarily; you can break the connection and it will "remember." The way you determine which side is hot is by looking at which side is orange. Am I not understanding your question?


Wiring the other side means unwiring it, wiring it to a power source, unwiring it, then rewire it like it was before you started. My question was if there was a way to manually toggle it that didn't require changing the wiring. There isn't, no big deal.

Eyeball button In this next build, there is a "CCTV" icon next to the eyeball that auto-follows your robot. :)


Cool :)

Crafting: "I may have eventually figured that out!" You might want to play with the big (?) button turned on. Several of your questions have been answered under the little (?) buttons. :)


Well, yes and no :) The "eventually figured it out" was referring only to the "All" button that turns into a "Can make" button, not to crafting in general. I have all the little (?) buttons turned on and read them, but I don't always 'get' them. Admittedly, I had not read the 'Help and tutorial' section accessed above the settings and I just did and, yes, a lot of my questions were answered by that. I didn't find a section on crafting though, so your statement that several of my questions regarding crafting would have been answered has me wonder if I've missed another source of help.


NOTE: A lot of the "little help" isn't written yet. I'm getting there! But, in the mean time, quite of bit of it is there, and you might find it useful.


I (just now) did read it and find it useful. It's true that many of my questions were answered in there. I guess I'm representing a segment of the players who won't RTFM, at first ;)

It's too bad that each time you read a section and you close it, you have to re-open the menu and re-select 'Help & tutorials'. I am also intrigued how you can build a plow-bot for instance. Well, ok for a plow-bot I guess, you wire the hoe and move the robot in circle, and I guess it plows when over the right terrain. But the 'All-in-one'? How do you change tools depending on which terrain the robot is on? There is a bumper but I didn't see a terrain-sensor anywhere in the help!

Ping-pong#1: NOTE: You might want to play with the NODEs (those little 1=>4 connectors) and make your ping-pong go diagonally. The robot cuts a much wider path that way, much easier to see.


See? I didn't understand what you meant by that the first time I read it, and now that I RTFM I understand that you mean wire two directions to go diagonal. BTW, your help still has the diagonal thrusters pictures.

Intersection: Well, there seem to be 2 easy solutions:

1) Just use your saw and carve your way to wherever you want to go.


Yes, that was my solution to the problem.

2) Use bumpers to steer yourself around. This is probably a lot harder (impossible?) without NOT gates, which I bet you don't have, yet. Still, you might be able to use your LATCH (de-select the saw by tapping a blank spot in the drawer) to do some sort of wall-following. I haven't thought about it a lot, but it seems possible.


Hm! I am not sure I can do something like that, but I'll give it a try. And btw, after reading the manual, it's not clear to me what the difference is between AND and OR gates. I mean, the icons are the same, how do you select which one you want?

(And, now that I say that: if you figure out a clever way to do it, post in the circuit-design forum! :) )


I sure will, but don't hold your breath!

Player-driven Movement: While what you ask is perfectly doable (easy, even!), it sort of goes against one of the fundamental tenets of the game, which is:

"In WoRFC, players don't do things; instead, they program robots to do things"

And, while I am sympathetic to your plight, this is a fairly big differentiator and what makes WoRFC not "just another farming game."
A brief history-lesson/aside:
I don't really like farm games. In fact, every time I try to play one, my first thought has always been "wouldn't it be awesome if I could just write a script or program my computer to do all this farm-grinding for me?!"


Thus was born World of RoboFarmCraft :)


Ok I get where you're coming from. I am not a big fan of those farming games either, but while you can't program robots in those other games, you can point to a place and just order 'plant there!' ;)

Seriously though I think sympathy to players' plight must take precedence over tenets if that plight is a not-fun part, but it's your game :) If you've watched Big Band Theory see this footnote[1].

Btw, this isn't what you want, but dropping a gate (like LATCH) back in the drawer speed-removes all connections. Maybe I should make it so that just waving a gate over the drawer breaks all connections. A "fast cutter", yes?


Well, see, you got me into trouble with this... You might have mentioned to OPEN the drawer before dropping a gate in it! As it turns out, I just dragged it over the drawer while it was closed, and now it's not in the drawer and I can't get at it (it's under the drawer, and I can't select the little bits that I can see). I guess that this qualifies as a bug ;)

Overlapping wires: I can't control where you put your gates -- they're movable, you know! ;)


I swear I tried to move the latch around and it didn't change anything. Now that I try again it seems to help. *coughs*

Bezier wire-paths: Um... "what a very interesting idea!" ;)


I'll settle for segmented lines :)

Now, how do I get my latch back?

Denis
___________________________

[1]while the guys in Big Bang Theory find it really fun to turn on the light that's within reach of them by programming something and having the signal go around the globe, I think it would get old real fast when you just want to turn on the light in the bathroom in the middle of the night. If you see what I mean?
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Re: First impressions

Postby worfc » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:30 pm

Denis wrote:I (just now) did read it and find it useful. It's true that many of my questions were answered in there. I guess I'm representing a segment of the players who won't RTFM, at first ;)


Turns out you're in the vast majority, which is why I appreciate your feedback so much. I really do hope that the game is eventually fully approachable without needing all the little helps.

How do you change tools depending on which terrain the robot is on? There is a bumper but I didn't see a terrain-sensor anywhere in the help!


There are various sensors (come later in the game), but I don't think any can work for terrain, yet. I'll add a note for that.

BTW, your help still has the diagonal thrusters pictures.


Yeah, turns out the game is played on an ISO grid, but early user-tests showed that diagonal thrusters & bumpers was confusing. The grid is still ISO, but the robot moves diagonally across it, in order to move N/E/S/W. If you've reached the edges of the farm, you see that it appears "diamond" shaped. Turns out that it's really "square", and that's just the projection.

(If you're into the math of it: the X-axis increases what you might call "NE", while the Y-axis increases SE. The furthest-left corner of the farm is "0, 0")

it's not clear to me what the difference is between AND and OR gates. I mean, the icons are the same, how do you select which one you want?


AND has a flat bottom, OR has a curved bottom.

XOR looks like OR, but with an extra stripe. Here's a page that talks about the different gates, and here's a picture which shows how you'd make an XOR gate if you only had ANDs, ORs and NOTs.

(Turns out a lot of people are really into this stuff; the web is full of all kinds of "bet you didn't know you could do this with basic logic circuits! :) )

Seriously though I think sympathy to players' plight must take precedence over tenets if that plight is a not-fun part, but it's your game


Oh, believe me, I'm listening! And I strive to not be too dogmatic about it. I was just saying that I have to balance that against The Vision (heh, "such as it is.") But I also have to adjust The Vision to be fun for someone other than just me, so... it's a bit of a balancing act.

Trust me, your input has been heard, and your vote is counted! I was just saying that my current leaning is toward "part of the fun is to figure out how to get what you want with just a bit of effort." That may change. Or it might not. But I'm not deaf to your feedback!

Well, see, you got me into trouble with this... You might have mentioned to OPEN the drawer before dropping a gate in it! As it turns out, I just dragged it over the drawer while it was closed, and now it's not in the drawer and I can't get at it (it's under the drawer, and I can't select the little bits that I can see). I guess that this qualifies as a bug ;)


It does! But someone else found it just this morning, and I'm already working on a fix. Not in tomorrow's build, but possibly as a hot-fix sooner than next week, the "chip" icon on the drawer will slurp-up anything that it blocks you from getting-at the normal way. :)

Now, how do I get my latch back?


Uh, sorry. Wait a day for Apple to approve this next build, then another day for me to get things back stable enough to send y'all that fix.

"Welcome to beta" ;)
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Re: First impressions

Postby Denis » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:25 am

worfc wrote:Uh, sorry. Wait a day for Apple to approve this next build, then another day for me to get things back stable enough to send y'all that fix.

"Welcome to beta" ;)


Ok I'll wait for the notifications from TestFlight, or perhaps I'll just start over depending on the time I have available (and with the update that's on its way).

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Re: First impressions

Postby worfc » Tue Jul 07, 2015 9:30 am

If it makes things better, I've fixed the "blocked gates" thing, so there isn't a 2nd day of wait -- we're just waiting on Apple to review/approve the build for beta, now.

One can never predict Apple, of course, but I suspect it will be sometime today (Tues.)
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Re: First impressions

Postby Denis » Tue Jul 07, 2015 6:50 pm

I got it and got my latch back, thanks! That was fast.

Container comments (as opposed to content): ok, I'm not sure you want these types of comments but I thought you might want them so here's one. The splash screen where you have 'public beta, invite your friends'. I know this will go once it's out of beta but it will probably be replaced with something else. This has a red "close-me" button on the upper left. Aesthetically, it bothers me that it's not inside the image window. It's kinda floating by itself in the corner. Personal thing, these details get to me. YMMV.

Crafting an item: I was crafting many things since I had all these missions come up at about the same time. I needed some wood so I got plenty, so I crafted various items in succession. I saw the 'craft a wooden hammer' mission and I crafted one, then found out I had not selected the mission. I selected it and it's my list of mission, with my wooden hammer sitting in my inventory drawer. I'm not sure if it's intended to work that way. I guess I'd expect to have the mission completed by the act of crafting it even if I had not opened the mission. The title is pretty clear on what the goal is. I don't intend to craft a second wooden hammer just so this mission goes from the list. There is no reward listed for it, so it would only use up resources. Perhaps a way to quit a mission so it doesn't stay there forever?

Moving in diagonal: I'm not sure if this is normal behaviour. I went NE (diagonal, with both E and N thrusters wired) and chopped some trees. This was no flip-flop with bumper thing, just straight NE with the saw. When I was 'done' I switched to SW (rewired the S and W thrusters). I expected the robot to return to the clearing at this point, but he had to chop trees all the way back out. That doesn't feel right to me.

Ground sparkling: I got some clay. The ground afterwards (soil I guess) keeps sparkling randomly. I went over many times with my grabber and I didn't pick anything.

Iron hoe mission: isn't that a bit out of order? I got it and I checked what required for the iron ingot and except for the charcoal I have nothing of the required materials. Shouldn't I get an ironwood-related mission first, as well as a brick furnace mission and basic workbench mission first?

Logic: I find myself wishing for a NOT and a AND gate. And a second latch. Are these coming much later in the game? Why an OR gate and a latch, and not the other two? Just wondering.

I have a couple of hundred woods to gather so, more later!
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Re: First impressions

Postby worfc » Tue Jul 07, 2015 7:37 pm

Container comments: First: all comments are welcome. As before, they're weighed against everything else, so not 100% of your suggestions will get implemented, and certainly not all of them right away, but me-hearing-about-it is about the only way anything has a chance of changing, so it's good for you to say so.

"Look", in general: at some point, I have to get a "real artist" to have a look at everything and help me clean it up. My specialty is "make it functional", and I know that my "make it pretty"-fu is weak. For now, my goal is "not-awful", and I'm hoping to find a true expert to help me go from there to "wonderful."

All that said, the little once-a-day blurbs (there are multiple pages, did you notice? ;) ) are downloaded from the server, and I can change them live. They're in there now during beta so I can test out the behaviour, but it's somewhat intentional that the close-button is far away. The reason is that the blurb-images are not a fixed size. I could have one that was full-screen, I suppose. Also, the center area (where the blurbs are) is swipe-able to get to the next/previous one. In addition, most of the blurbs are tappable (did you notice?!) and will bring up a web-page related to the blurb. (In the "tell your friends" one, I tried to make "tell your friends" look more like a button, to encourage tapping. Did it work?)

Crafting missions: (Actually, this is true of missions in general.) You don't get credit for doing the things that the mission suggests until after you look at the mission at least once. This was done to prevent a different problem (which escapes my memory at the moment) where you completed missions you never knew you had.

Hmmm, would it be an improvement if the new, not-yet-viewed missions didn't tell you their "real" title but, instead, had a generic title? Something like "New mission" or "Lookie here!" or "Crafting mission" or something...?

Moving in diagonal: What you describe might be part of the "cuts a wider swath" thing I was describing before. I haven't fully looked into it, but I believe what we're seeing is a side effect of the fact that, for each active thruster, the bumper "feels" straight-ahead in that direction, then a little to the left and a little to the right. Apparently, they "feel" more stuff on the way back.

I'll look into that and see if I can make it more intuitive-feeling, though I think of it as a "feature" that one can cut wider swaths, if desired.

Ground sparkling: Ooo, good one! So you interpreted that as "there is treasure here" sparkle. Hmmm...

What you saw was the "this is growing/changing/on-a-timer" sparkle. When you plant seeds, you'll get the same sparkle. In the case of shoveled-clay, what was on the ground is what I call "mined-dirt", it's different from "dirt" that you plow with your hoe in that you can't plant seeds in it. After some small number of minutes, it reverts to "regular old" dirt.

I don't know if you look at the release notes that come with each build but, a while back, "regular old dirt" went from being a permanent farm fixture to something that "goes fallow" -- meaning it reverts to grass (goes away) -- after a time. I'll probably tweak it a bit before we ship but, right now, I think it's 20 hrs.

Iron hoe mission (out of order?): You're right, it's out of order. It used to be that, after a short run of a dozen or so, you'd run out of missions. Then I got this "clever" idea that, if you had fewer than 3 missions and no more pending, the game would just "make-up" a mission for you. Right now, the only made-up missions are "craft a __?__" ones, and it tries to figure out what's the "cheapest" thing that you don't already have one of and asks you to craft that.

You're right, though, in that (a) the whole mechanism is a bit lame and probably needs a rewrite and (b) the "figure out the cheapest thing" code appears a bit wonky.

It's probably not super-high priority (it's not as if you have to do the missions!), but I'll make a note to make that whole thing a bit more robust, soon.

"Sooner!", though, is "write a big boat-load full of real missions"! :)

What-Logic?!: The gates you start with are just a little something to get you going. Waaaay back when, you started with 3 (or 5, I forget) of everything, just so I could test them all. I've slowly been removing items from the starter-farm because I think the experience of making things is part of the game. It also helps simplify things, some.

I actually have an idea that the starter-farm shouldn't even have a saw, just most of the materials to make one. Then early-on missions will walk you through buying a single block of wood, then crafting lumber, then making that horribly-inefficient wooden saw. I haven't yet decided yet if that's too neanderthal, or if folks would prefer to have that first saw.

(Aside: there's also a known issue that, if you try to sell your saw, I put up a warning, but the warning appears behind the marketplace, so you don't see it until it's too late. "On The List!" :) )

As to when you get more gates: It may be hard to believe, but I have this design-concept of game-phases and -progression -- sort of like "levels" in other games -- and the kinds of activities one does at each phase. The idea is to hand-hold the user through the early parts of a phase, then let them figure out the middle-parts, then have them power-through the end of that phase until they "break-through" to the next phase -- Achievement Unlocked!. That's the idea, anyway.

Your comments about what parts seemed too easy/fast or too hard/slow get weighed-in with everything else, as I try to work through the game-balance issues. (It's also a trick to make things fun for both the 15-min/day player and the 4-hrs/day player!)

In addition to taking into account your and others' comments, I have fairly extensive telemetry in the game so, without actual player-identifying information, I can see that "someone who has been playing for N-hours has reached M-stage, has X-coins, is crafting-FOOs, farming BAR-s", and etc.-type of info. So, while self-reported experience is helpful, I rely pretty heavily on data-mining the statistics.

Gathering 200 wood Aha! You're in the "power through" portion of this phase of the game! :)
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Re: First impressions

Postby Denis » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:17 am

Bug: not going to be very useful I'm afraid, but I encountered a bug. I was chopping trees and I had my finger on the power button to stop the robot just after it finished a tree (more on that later) and I pressed it by mistake, so I pressed it again really quickly to restart it. It may not be the cause, but in any case the robot kept sawing (I heard the noise) there was no progress going on (progress bar stayed at the same place), and even if I powered it off it, continued to make the noise and the progress bar still showed. See attached picture (the robot power is off and the progress bar is still showing). I moved out of the robot interior view, I tried the main power on and off, etc. I had to quit the game and restart it to get out of that.

bug.jpeg
bug
bug.jpeg (105.2 KiB) Viewed 3011 times


Mission glow: the mission icon on the top right keeps glowing. I have no new mission, and I haven't completed any mission, except for the craft a wooden hammer that I talked about. The other two are the "Got wood?" mission and the "Craft an iron hoe (in your dreams)" mission. So having this glow like that for no reason bugs me.

Boy, I really wish I could program a robot to do this for me!: referring to your comment about those 'other farming games' where you wished you could program a robot to do things for you. I hope the good stuff isn't too far off in this one because I find myself making these kind of statements frequently in worfc! I want a step counter for instance :
- move east 10 steps, move north one step, move west 10 steps, etc.
- move east 10 steps sawing, stop and move back 10 steps (pick up missed items), move forward 10 steps, move north one step, etc.
I could certainly make one with logic gates, although there has to be a way to index steps. Or like I mentioned before in the bug, a way to make it stop after completing something (stop after getting 200 wood). I know stuff is coming, I just hope it's not too far off! ;)

Once a day blurbs: yes I noticed they were tappable and that there were more than one.

Crafting missions: it would probably make it less likely to happen if the title wasn't obvious, like the "got wood?" title for instance is good. But the other thing is how do I remove this mission from my list? Perhaps a 'dismiss mission' button, but you already have an algorithme to check for completion of mission (check inventory for a wooden hammer or something like that). I guess you add an item on that list of things to check when I open a mission, can you just make it active when the mission is first shown on the "new mission" list and just dismiss it if completed? Just change the scope of the check-for-completed function from 'opened missions' to 'new and opened missions' and change the outcome from 'give award' to 'dismiss mission'.

Moving in diagonal: I'm not sure you got that from what I wrote, but there were no bumper active/wired in what I described. Just going "straight" NE. I would not have felt it was a bug if I had gone stepping N, E, N, E, N, E etc. with two bumpers, but going NE and coming back SE (directly, without moving sideways or anything) *feels* like it's not right (a bug). Especially if this is an isometric view, I'm actually moving in a cardinal direction.

And I don't understand what you mean by 'wider swaths' at all. It would be a feature, perhaps, but what I experience is actually the reverse. The problem is that it's actually a narrower path, since I can't even move freely back through the path I just sawed through. I must not get what you mean.

Inventory: is there a limit to what the inventory can contain? Something like 440 items perhaps? My robot is making weird noises of picking stuff up and dropping them down, at least that's what I interpret from what seems to be going on (it's in the forest again and I can't see anything). I did check the help, as I think I remember seeing something about that somewhere, but it's not in the "inventory drawer" help.

Robot: "mission control: we have a problem!": so I got my 200 woods, woohoo. No achievement unlocked though :/ I got a bunch of missions:

Craft a wooden hammer: we talked about this one
Craft an iron hoe (in your dreams): we talked about that one
Sell your ware: blah blah, this mission is not yet written
Let's pretty this place up, some: blah blah, this mission is not yet written
Craft a Steel hoe (your dream isn't even dreaming about this one): I'm not even going to look at what's required because steel >> iron

So there isn't anything in terms of missions that I can do at this time. I'm not stuck, yet, because there are things I can do. I'm just wondering if your 'show a new mission' algorithme is activated 'only' by the completion of a mission. In that case, it'll be a very long while before I get a new mission. I guess this is some part (missions) where there is still a number of things on the todo list :)

Technology: training in our spare (CPU) time is a cool thing. The interface is a bit sluggish. It always happen when my robot is doing something of course (and I don't stop it to open the interface, I just let it go on), so when I reach a level I open it up to change 'course' and the scrolling is a bit sluggish. There is a general description of what they do, and I think some were unlocked by my training in others? That would make sense. I think in the production version there should be a clear diagram of the technology/skills so that you can decide on a training goal for your robot(s).
Denis
 
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Re: First impressions

Postby Denis » Wed Jul 08, 2015 5:11 pm

Encountered a minor bug in the selling interface. I selected an item (Topiary pinecone seed) and wanted to sell those. I wasn't sure if the qty (8) was in multiples of the bundled qty (12 for 1c). Anyways, I pressed 'max' and got this:

selling.jpeg
selling bug
selling.jpeg (73.03 KiB) Viewed 3007 times


Aside from this small bug, I've been trying to get enough coins to get an iron ingot. I'm finding it extremely tedious. What I have access to in term of resources sells at a very low price. I'm selling mostly lumber although I sold my workbench and wooden hammer (2 birds with one stone) and seeds. Mostly I've been chopping trees and selling lumber for a long (grinding) while and I'm nowhere near close to having the required amount. Unless I'm missing something obvious, or perhaps the missions are supposed to fill the coffers and aren't totally implemented yet, this might need to be adjusted. Perhaps have a few iron trees near the edges of the farm so we can have a chance to get some seeds.

Also, I'm getting better at various skills (with all this grinding) but I'm not clear on how that affects everything else. I'd like to read up something about that when it's ready.
Denis
 
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Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2015 12:17 pm

Re: First impressions

Postby worfc » Wed Jul 08, 2015 8:26 pm

Bug reporting: All bug reports help some. It's better we know that something's up that just not know at all.

Some things that help make a bug report more useful:
* What version are you running? (On lower-left login screen or near bottom of About page.)
* What can I do to make the problem happen at my end?

Your hint of "turn off shovel then turn it back on quickly" is a good one. I'll pursue that.

Mission glow: The Missions button should not sparkle unless you have at least 1 mission in the *NEW* section (which indicates that you've not read it, yet. Once you read a mission, it moves into the "In progress" section.)

So that's a bug.

"In your dreams" missions: I think I'm going to disable that feature in the next build, since it's so wonky. My disabling it won't get rid of the oddball missions you have now, so I guess you'll just have something to look forward to. ;)

Progression: As I mentioned, game balance is a tricky thing. Even trickier is to arrange things so that you feel good about the progress you're making, while some other Beta testers who are playing several hours a day don't just "finish the game" in a couple of weeks. (My goal is that things would progress for several months, and then transition into a sort of "meta-game" that can be enjoyed into eternity.)

Just as a point of reference, here are a couple of pix from a farm that I copied from another user (so I could chase down a bug-report). This represents just a couple of weeks' work on his part, and things are pretty far advanced!

Image Image

So I need to figure out a way to speed things up for you while slowing things down for them. I'm sure the answer lies in some combination of making things take longer to grow, but then require fewer resources to make things, once we get them. (Longer grow-times slows down the speed-demons, fewer resources needed allows the casual players to progress faster. Then it just becomes a game of "check back later today" to see how your crops are doing, and maybe tweak your plow-bot a bit to make some of whatever he's working on.

And, while suggestions are welcomed, just keep in mind that I'm trying to balance a whole game for The Masses, and so I may not always respond affirmatively to "I want more stuff, sooner!" <G>

(But, also, if you're feeling things are tedious, that's something I need to address. Next week! ;) )

The circuits you describe are all possible within the current game.

"Soon!" (as soon as I can), I'll add a pin to the robot "movement happened this cycle", which should ease step-counting for you step-counters.

Stuff is coming: When I get some spare time (ha!), I'll put up on the release-notes page the major things planned for the next couple of Tuesdays. I can't promise anything (example, this last Tuesday was missing about 1/3 of the stuff I wanted to do. That's the "I'm getting behind" you might hear me gripe now & then), but I can try to be transparent with my plans and let you (-all, collective) know as the plans shift.


Denis wrote:Crafting missions: [...]Just change the scope of the check-for-completed function from 'opened missions' to 'new and opened missions' and change the outcome from 'give award' to 'dismiss mission'.


I'll add this to the list. (NOTE: It's going to be after "get everything working correctly" and "add a boatload of content so people have fun things to do", though!)

Moving in diagonal: Ok, I'll check into that. I think what you're descriging is on-purpose, but I'll double check.

Inventory limits: Currently, you can have up to 15 kinds-of-things that don't get filtered off into the tools or gates drawers, and you can have 200 of any given thing.

Those numbers are subject to "balancing", as I work things out. Similarly, there currently aren't type-of limits on the tools or gates drawers (still 200 of one thing), but there probably will be, in the future.

...But not until after I have better drag-into/out-of functionality and chest management, so you don't just get stuck on things.

If your robot is making the "no-can-do" sound ("bloop!") and setting down things he picks up, you probably have either too many of that one thing or a full inventory. When 1 item is full (i.e., 200 wood), it's count-label will turn color (yellow?); when the whole inventory is full (15 different items), the into-inventory icon (near the input pin) will turn.

...And the robot will "bloop" and drop things you try to put into inventory.

No "Mission Accomplished": Well, that's a bug!

See if you can fix by dropping 1 wood on the ground, then picking it back up. I've done this mission a dozen times and it has worked, so I'm wondering if you got stuck in some weird circumstance where you didn't get credit, and now you can't collect more wood (because 200-limit).

New missions: Well, 2 things there: 1) I'm going to disable the "algorithmic" missions until I get that working better and 2) If you've got "pretty-up" and the other one (I deleted, don't remember), that's the current end of the line.

If I ever get to a point where I quit fixing bugs (gah!), the VERY NEXT THING on my list is to write many-dozen (100?) more missions. (Real missions, I mean, not these generated ones.)

At that point, I'll write "Decorate" and the other one, and you can do those, then get whatever follows. :)

To do list: There are currently "128 bottles of beer on the wall." However, some of those items are tiny/easy, and some are not, like "write 100 new missions."

When I first started this project, I had all the features/code well in my mind, but I had no idea just how hard it was to create content!

(Don't worry, it'll get done. I was just caught off guard, there.)

If you're interested, about 1-3x/week, I post a short update about what's happening on the dev-blog (and announce it on Twitter & Facebook), all of those URLs are in my .sig under each post.

Technology: Sluggish scrolling: I'll investigate. Might have to do with updating the wires behind the table as you scroll.

Full tech-tree: "On the list!" :)

Market interface: The seed you were selling, you had (8) of them, but they sell 12 for 1¢. Hence, the "max" you can sell is 0.

Buying mats at market: While buying materials at market is possible, the market is designed to discourage that. If you want an iron ingot, look into creating an Ironwood Seed and planting a tree. From the Ironwood you get, you craft ingots. I think. The crafting view should tell you what you need, there.

NOTE: Ironwood-seed crafting introduces the concept of "learn by failing." You start with very little skill at making ironwood seeds, and your first several attempts are likely to fail. However, with each failure, you "learn" a little and get better at it.

Just look at those farm-pix, above, again. It's all mowed-down now, but that big empty area was, for a while, all ironwood, then copperwood, then beach, then gate-trees. Yeah, in just a few weeks. (Notice the 10-legged chips, steel saw, etc.)

"Game balance is haaaaaaard!" ;)

Anyway, the point is: you can sell stuff to get coins to buy stuff, but the game is Robo-Farm-CRAFT, and the game-mechanic encourages you to craft stuff (or program robots to! <G>)

(Similarly, once we're live, you can buy BitBucks with real-world ca$h and buy things at market that way. But that's not really the intent of the game. I included that for people who just want to see the end, but I'm not sure that they're getting The Full WoRFC Experience.)

More instructions/help: Working on it!

One of the things I have one of my helpers (or maybe my wife) doing is looking at all this Q&A you & I have been doing and transfering all that knowledge to our wiki. The wiki is 99.44% empty right now but, as soon as it starts to get some info, I'll post the URL.
Posted by WORFC, board admin, moderator, game author.

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