Taking Feedback…

My dwarf game combat system is different from what you could expect. You don’t attack simultaneously. You don’t attack several times in a row. You have just 1 hitpoint (one hit by a monster and you are dead meat). It’s turn based, and actions don’t occur the moment you plan the action.

This system is coming much from the board gaming world, and so far it looks like it’s perhaps difficult to grasp.

Player feedback always gives me surprises but I didn’t expect this many comments regarding for example “hey, how many hitpoints I’ve got left?”. I guess people are “used to” seeing certain things when it comes to combat.

I do keep in mind that the game is now very difficult and probably gets all your dwarves killed… so adding bit of helpers (that help make the game more tactical if possible) might be good (before considering re-doing the combat system)

…well, I wait and see what more feedback the game gets – and then work more on it.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. @Fili: nowadays there’s increasing number of co-op games in the market that either (1) can be played solo or (2) also designed to play well solo & with friends.

    The gaming experience changes though.

    And yes, won’t disagree with the fact that board games are fun because playing with buddies.

  2. Well, you’re forgetting a very important thing: board games (even difficult ones) are fun because you’re playing with your friends. You’re not playing the game because you love the game, you play because you love to play it with people.
    Try playing D&D alone. No fun.

  3. Regarding sounds: talk about space games… :)

    Minecraft sort of swims totally different direction: no tutorials, no help… not even telling what are they controls. You gotta figure it out. Read web and stuff.

    Nowadays the board games do the same here: constant rewards and “casual” type of fun… where players win. Only a few games will be totally difficult, but in a way that you wanna try it again and again. These are quite fun actually, since they are different.

    Now, looking at those ideas:
    – restart battle sounds good actually, at least if the early levels remain the same. Alternatively, if the early locations provide different experience on different game sessions, then it would possibly be okay to have them there as well.
    – progressively making zombs harder… hmm, maybe

    I will look into this. I think that I want to hear some more feedback from other players as well. I feel that I need to re-think the whole combat system – thinking what I now have, what there could be, and what works and what doesn’t.

    I will also need to playtest the game more on my own. I just hadn’t time to do proper testing and it’s missing certain things that potentially can make the whole combat much more interesting.

    Thanks for taking time to write the feedback, really appreciate this.

  4. This is one of the problems all games have: players expectations.
    For example, in one of our games, we had a Kraken (basically a mythological squid-monster) attacking ships and we needed a sound for it. The discussion went something like this between me and audio artist:

    Artist: – I did a wood-crushing sound for the moment when the Kraken attacks boats.
    Me: – Ok, but we also need a sound for the creature itself. Do something like a roar or something. Make it sound scary and impressive.
    Artist: – But squids don’t have a mouth to roar. They live under water, they don’t need to make sounds. You know, “silent like a fish”
    Me: – Agreed, but players have certain expectations. Like when a monster attacks, it has to roar loudly.
    Artist: -…
    Me: – I’m glad you agree, now make it roar!

    Players expect stuff. If there’s a button that can be pressed, it has to do something. If there’s a locked door, after you find the key you must find something behind the door. If there’s instant-death, a save-point must be close so you can resume quickly.
    We’re not in the 90’s anymore, when players could spend 2-3 weeks for a game. Now you have to offer instant and constant satisfaction else the players will chose another one of the 30 titles available at that moment.
    Look at God of War, it’s an excellent example of game design: every secret path has a reward at the end, every big battle or puzzle where you are expected to die often has a save point before. Also difficulty progression: at the beginning of the game you could sit still in battles and still survive for a long time, while in the end battles require lots of combos and time-specific attacks.
    Now let’s see how these things could apply to the zombie-dwarf-game:
    – the dwarfs have 5 HP
    – in the beginning zombies have just 1 HP, as the game progressed they become stronger, with 20HP bosses or something
    – restart battle option. I took a few wrong decisions and lost all of my dwarfs. I’d like to be able to play the battle again, not the whole game
    – add items: potions, weapons, stuff that could give the player an advantage.
    I could talk about this a lot, but this post is already getting lengthy…

  5. I think a playable tutorial would help. Because it is different from other games people come in with their own ideas of how it would work, from their individual experiences playing seemingly similar games.

    I know you’ve written up an faq, but the last time I read a game manual was… maybe Neverwinters Nights? :)

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