Gameplay changes ideas

Gameplay changes ideas

Postby Alayan » 04 Sep 2020, 22:34

Misc. thoughts.

Normal races and time-trials
- Reduce the respawn time for nitros. When getting "close" to the kart ahead, the chasing kart can't take an important nitro bottle in many places. To bridge a 2-3s gap, going significantly faster for 20-30s is often required, assuming no zipper. During this time, the amount of lost nitro can amount to 2-3s lost. In some ways, this is similar to the "dirty air" crap that made F1 so boring. There should still be a respawn delay, so that just stopping the kart to fill the nitro gauge would be a bad strategy.
- Reduce the steering bonus from the skid "hop". This would make a number of curves more technical. It could also help making acceleration a more consistently useful stat.
- Ensure that having worse steering doesn't mean easier skids in straights
- Remove the "slow down to remove the parachute" trick. It's not as if it requires much skill, and online it does more to help those with a lower ping than the stronger players. However, the duration of parachutes should go down.
- Try and make collisions less destructive. Pushing out a rival into a wall or off a cliff should remain an interesting strategy sometimes, but unlucky collisions that make the kart violently rebound away don't fit in a kart racer. It's unrealistic to expect people to avoid collisions, especially considering online latency issues and that even sim racers have crazy people causing crashes, so their results should be less random.
- Make skidding less one-dimensional. Pulling off a yellow skid is somewhat too easy, pulling off a red skid somewhat too hard. The delay without skid bonus when going from a yellow to a red is especially punitive in conditions where chaining multiple red skids is too unreliable outside of time-trial record attack.

Normal races only

- Nerf the swatter. Less range, no "fast-fire swatting", lower active duration (so it doesn't force to wait a loooong time before attempting an overtake), higher reduced speed during a squash.
- Basket-balls exploding half-way through the track should be avoided.
- Basket-balls exploding on track items (e.g. Gran Paradisio baloons) should be avoided.
- Basket-balls should be even faster at catching up, but time should be reserved to allow defensive moves.
- Get rid of the "cover screen" backward plunger effect, to ensure online fairness.
- Make backward bowling balls less effective (forward requires to be rather close to the target and/or a great shot ; backward can be spammed to create more obstacles to avoid even for someone several seconds behind). When the target is very close, the change should be minimal, this is more about delayed effects.
- Get rid of cakes ? When far behind someone, they are not a threat at all, but at close range in the hands of someone that knows how to time them (not just right in the skid that may make them miss), they are very destructive with only the gum as a defense. Much easier to handle than bowling balls, they cause a lot of slowdown for people in middle positions and contribute to the issue of runaway victories.
- Add some new powerups as discussed in a previous thread.

Follow-the-Leader

There are a few very rare people out there who enjoy the mode, but I question the point of a game mode where slowing down can be mandatory, where there is a much lower skill ceiling, and that gives a poor playing experience for most people. Dragging it along "because it has been there for a long time" is just prolonging the suffering. Multiple attempts where done to try and make it more enjoyable, but it never was enough. There are still some bugs/issues with the mode, too, but fixing them wouldn't make this a great game mode.

Alternative game modes involving points handed out to karts at regular intervals based on their current race position could be considered, but I think FTL should be removed first and anything new eventually would come later, with a clean-sheet concept.
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby tempAnon093 » 05 Sep 2020, 04:58

This is probably not a good idea but worth pitching: Having nitros not just disappear once collected, but make it so a single kart can't collect the same nitro twice within 5 seconds. This would remove the problem with nitro benefiting 1st place disproportionately, but I suspect it might be visually unintuitive or unrewarding. Maybe have them disappear and fade back in immediately (less than 1 second) so it's obvious when you or others collect them.

Alayan {l Wrote}:- Make skidding less one-dimensional. Pulling off a yellow skid is somewhat too easy, pulling off a red skid somewhat too hard. The delay without skid bonus when going from a yellow to a red is especially punitive in conditions where chaining multiple red skids is too unreliable outside of time-trial record attack

I don't think reds should be made easier, they are a challenge and should remain a challenge even for advanced players. I believe chaining reds in a race shouldn't be an expectation of normal. Yellows are quite easy so I'd be fine seeing them made harder.

Alayan {l Wrote}:- Get rid of the "cover screen" backward plunger effect, to ensure online fairness.

As much as I like the plunger, that could be cheatable in online games. Should it be replaced with something? I think a simple slowdown (like halving or three-quartering speed) would be fair and appropriate to the visual of a backwards-shooting plunger.

I'll re-read again when I have more time but I think I agree that most of them will make gameplay much more fun. Thanks :)
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby QwertyChouskie » 05 Sep 2020, 05:10

For FTL, maybe just get rid of the leader? Just eliminate the people in last until there's only left. That would fix the problem where slowing down can be mandatory.
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby tux_peng » 07 Sep 2020, 18:42

I like the swatter & cake. My only complaint about the swatter is that if you run into a banana with one, it doesn't negate the effect like if you activate it after running into a banana. What's a kart racer without somesort of projectile targeting the closest player, I just think that it could be changed to the theme of boiling balls and basketballs- maybe a hockey puck or a badminton birdie. The plunger is a fun item as well, but could be changed- maybe just splat a couple bugs or crack the screen (that other popular kart racer has the squid powerup)
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 10 Sep 2020, 08:54

Hi, Alayan and everyone!

I'm completely in favor to reduce the time for the parachutes as well make collisions less destructive and reduce the time the attacked kart waste to return to the race after targeted by a ball or cake. However, I would like to see some new powerups like a giant magnet (to attract and to reduce the speed of a target kart ahead), invisibility for 3-5 seconds, and some type of "high-frequency rays" that make the targeted kart turns 360º at a low high from the terrain for a few milliseconds (less than 1 second, of course).

I have some ideas which are not powerup related too, but the majority of them are about achievements.

Here my suggestions, in case you are interested in put this kind of feature on the game. My ideas divided into two parts:

1.General features
2.Achievements
3.Insignias, icons and badges.


I'm not a programmer, so I have not a clear idea about the amount of job to include them in the game. So, excuse me if I look clueless.

1. General features

Attack and Defense
1.1 - Limit for the suffered attacks: this limits the amount, type, or time of attacks.

-for time: p. ex. 20 seconds of immunity after an attack.
-by quantity: ex. only one attack of each possible powerup per round and not more than three attacks suffered per lap.
-by position: immunity for the racer who is the leader in the final last seconds of the final lap.

Time passing
1.2 - Dynamic time: This may be a future feature for the game. Not for now.

Some games like Euro Truck Simulator 2 have this feature. Ok, the gamer who drives a truck has the mission to transport a payload from one place to another, and this means to drive for some ten hours or days, what is not the case of a simply kart race, but this possible feature is aimed to those (few?) players who marathon STK for driving for "hours" at the same track (more than 50 laps) like a "Le Mans 24 hours". Then, the hour of the day could change at every 30 laps (eg.: if it starts in the morning, five laps later it changes to the evening and in the last five laps it is already at night). To change the hour, it is necessary to play for at least "n" laps.

This is just an idea. So, don't need to explain why this is unnecessary, takes time to do, etc.
Just ignore this part if you don't like the idea.


2. Achievements:

Most games based on car driving have achievements and progress, but STK not. Then, this is my humble opinion about which achievements should be added to the game.

Achievements are the main motivation in the most popular and attractive games based on driving. Supertuxkart has not exploited this feature to motivate its players. The only difference between a novice and an experienced player is the possibility of driving at the level according to the skill already acquired. Once the maximum skill level (Supertuxkart) is reached, there is no difference in levels. Much less, any progress in the "career" that motivates you to keep playing and playing. So, here is a list of ideas for achievements and levels to include in the game.

Very easy
"You completed a race
"Podium - You have completed a race reaching the top three positions.
"Powerups boss" - You already know how to use powerups.
"Fist time winner" - You won your first race.
"Skidding like a boss" -You know how to use the skidding feature.
"Diver" - Obtained when playing the first submerged track or submerged stretch (antediluvian abyss, eg).
"Zoologist" - You found all the animals hidden in the game (camel, fish, monkey, etc.).
"Archaeologist" - You found all the historical ruins of the STK (obtained only after playing the clues where are the pyramids of Egypt, Aztec pyramid, ruins in the subsea, etc.).
"Treasure hunter" - You have found all hidden eggs and treasures.
"Discoverer" - You have discovered all the alternative paths of STK.
"Volcanologist" - You have discovered all the volcanoes in the game.


Easy
"Forest camper" (a better name?) - You have completed all the tracks with forest (at any difficulty level).
"Desert explorer" - You have completed all the tracks in deserts (at any difficulty level).
"Speleologist" - You are an authentic cave explorer (achieved when the player completes all the tracks where there are caves or tunnels).
"King of the beach" - You have completed all the beach races (at any difficulty level).
"Mountaineer" - You have completed all the mountain races (on any difficulty level).
"Snowman" - You have completed all the races in the snow (at any difficulty level).

Intermediate
"King of the podium" -You got the podium in three consecutive races at the amateur level
"Authentic champion" -You won an amateur level championship with at least 10 AI karts
"Winner" -You won three races in a row at the amateur level
"Forest Guard" (a better name?) - You have completed all the tracks with forest (at any difficulty level).
"Desert nomad" - You have completed all the tracks in deserts (at any difficulty level).
"Tunnel througher" - You are an authentic tunnel/cave explorer (achieved when the player completes all the tracks where there are caves or tunnels).
"Beachgoer" - You have completed all the beach races (at any difficulty level).
"Mountaineer" - You have completed all the mountain races (on any difficulty level).
"Yeti" - You won all the races in the snow (at any difficulty level).

Difficult
"Professional racer" - You have won three races in a row at the experienced level
"Real champion" -You won a championship in the Intermediate level with at least 10 AI karts
"Forest Guardian" (a better name?) - You have won all the tracks in forest (at difficulty level).
"Desert explorer" - You have completed all the tracks in deserts (at any difficulty level).
Speleologist - You are an authentic cave explorer (achieved when the player completes all the tracks where there are caves or tunnels).
King of the beach - You won all the beach races (at any difficulty level).
Experient climber - You have won all the races placed on mountains (at any difficulty level).


Very difficult
" " - You have won three races in a row at the experienced level
" " - You have completed "Story Mode" on the Supertux level.
" " - You won a championship on the Supertux level with at least 10 AI karts
"Forest Guard" (a better name?) - You have completed all the tracks with forest (at any difficulty level).
All the listed before (with different names, of course) but with higher level of difficulty.

Master
"Master driver/winner" - You have won all the races in a row at the "Supertux level".
"Track unlocker/hacker" - You have unlocked all the tracks of the game at the "Supertux level".
"Master champion" - You have won a championship after winning all the tracks at the "Supertux level".
All the listed before (with different names, of course) but with higher level of difficulty.


3.Insignias, icons and badges.
Banner or insignia for players -The player is awarded a special 'insignia" and a corresponding title when he/she achieves one of these levels by winning all the achievement with the same category of hardness, and this insignia may be seen in this forum under the post of the member or under his/her nickname and avatar.
Banner or insignia for contributors - The members of this forum receive a special icon, badge, banner, or some kind of identification when they are recognized as permanent collaborators like song composers, object modelers, authors of addon tracks, authors of tracks and veteran members.
Last edited by GeekPenguinBR on 10 Sep 2020, 22:44, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby dulsi » 10 Sep 2020, 19:45

Actually GeekPenguinBR, it already has achievements. It doesn't have as many as you suggest.
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 10 Sep 2020, 20:09

dulsi {l Wrote}:Actually GeekPenguinBR, it already has achievements. It doesn't have as many as you suggest.



Yes. There are achievements, but they are just messages with small fonts running at the bottom of the screen. I'm talking about a complete system of achievements and progress into upper levels that may stimulate newer and experienced players to keep playing STK.
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby dulsi » 10 Sep 2020, 22:58

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:Yes. There are achievements, but they are just messages with small fonts running at the bottom of the screen. I'm talking about a complete system of achievements and progress into upper levels that may stimulate newer and experienced players to keep playing STK.

Gamerzilla is the answer. Well not entirely. It records the achievements and allows you to display them online but the display is distributed on hubzilla servers so it's not like you can easily see how everyone else is doing.
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 10 Sep 2020, 23:37

dulsi {l Wrote}:
GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:Yes. There are achievements, but they are just messages with small fonts running at the bottom of the screen. I'm talking about a complete system of achievements and progress into upper levels that may stimulate newer and experienced players to keep playing STK.

Gamerzilla is the answer. Well not entirely. It records the achievements and allows you to display them online but the display is distributed on hubzilla servers so it's not like you can easily see how everyone else is doing.


I didn't know. I will check it. Maybe it's a way to implement achievements on STK in a near future.
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby eltomito » 11 Sep 2020, 23:37

A few thoughts:

I like the swatter and I would be in favor of making it less powerful.

I like the plunger in the face and I don't think the objection that it can be potentially cheated against (by compiling your own STK without the plunger covering your screen?) is valid. Because you can cheat this way against almost anything. You could program your own version of STK that perfectly shoots down basketballs if you have a bowling ball or a cake or a plunger. You could program your own version of STK to dodge incoming bowling balls etc. automatically. But who cares? Once people start playing for money, well, you'll have to come up with a scheme to make sure they're using an official binary. But now? Meh...

Instead of making major changes, there are some long-standing annoyances I'd like to see addressed. For example, when you get shot down by something and there are stars circling around your head, you can still get hit by other things, for instance, a chewing gum. It's super annoying when you get hit by the mine train when you're onder chewing-gum bubble protection in the Old Mine. Because what happens is you land in your own chewing gum and get stuck in it immediately.
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Re: Gameplay changes ideas

Postby tempAnon093 » 12 Sep 2020, 04:30

eltomito {l Wrote}:I like the plunger in the face and I don't think the objection that it can be potentially cheated against (by compiling your own STK without the plunger covering your screen?) is valid. Because you can cheat this way against almost anything. You could program your own version of STK that perfectly shoots down basketballs if you have a bowling ball or a cake or a plunger. You could program your own version of STK to dodge incoming bowling balls etc. automatically. But who cares? Once people start playing for money, well, you'll have to come up with a scheme to make sure they're using an official binary. But now? Meh...

To be honest I agree with this sentiment. It's valid and well-meant but doesn't justify removing the plunger.
At the very least, I would consider it lower priority as it takes interesting fun away from everyone to handle a potential cheat that really wouldn't affect other racer's much, and it's honestly a pretty lame way to cheat if you have that much technological skill. There are bigger fish to fry.
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Fixing FTL

Postby Wuzzy » 09 Dec 2020, 13:00

FTL is pretty wacky, it's also fun. But also annoying at times. I know this game mode is kind of broken because it gets messy when many racers come close to the leader. I am convinced the leader in Follow the Leader is easily the biggest problem, it's just so annoying, especially when the leader crashes it's easy to accidentally overtake it. Then there's the problem of not knowing who is "last" (or first) when the track splits, so you can get eliminated ouf of nowhere. It's not a surprise that FTL was banned from Story Mode and even multiplayer.


SUMMARY: How to fix FTL

To summarize, here's how FTL can be fixed:

1) Remove the leader; never eliminate the 1st kart
2) Rename the mode to "knockout race" or something like that
3) Only eliminate the last kart(s) at the finish line
4) Have a race setting to select how many karts are eliminated each round (default = 1)
5) Rank karts first by survival, then by total racing time to break ties
6) Unlock this mode for online multiplayer
7) BONUS: Add some elimination animation

Long version

First of all, I realize FTL is a kind of a knockout race, which is not too uncommon in racing games, but with the added annoyance of having the special Leader. Knockout races are fun. The most important mechanic of FTL is not actually the Leader, but the knockout. If you remove the leader, the main gameplay aspect still remains.

Here's how FTL can be "fixed": First of all, remove the leader. Just eliminate whoever is last. This will turn FTL into a classic knockout race. This has been suggested in this thread already, but only removing the leader is not enough.

I believe another problem with FTL is that racers are eliminated after a fixed time. On simple tracks this would normally not be a problem but many tracks split up. This creates much ambiguity as to who is last. There is no real clean and simple fix for that. I earlier suggested to lock up entire track sections to basically block up entire sections of the track to basically restrict it to a single road. But I don't thinkg that will ever happen. For now, a time-based knockout race is NOT suitable for STK at all.

So that could be solved by eliminating karts only at the finish line. This is fine for races with a few karts but I realize this will create really long races if you have a lot of karts (20 karts = 19 laps).
So I propose to introduce a setting to set how many karts are eliminated in each round, with the default value of 1. This number of karts is eliminated each round, beginning with the last one. The 1st kart is never eliminated. If 1 kart remains, we have a winner.

Note that due to the nature of knockout races, you cannot set the number of laps directly, as it directly depends on the number of karts. This is already the case in FTL anyway.

For example, if you have 20 karts, and eliminate 5 karts each round, then:
  • Round 1: 20 karts (karts 20-16 will be eliminated)
  • Round 2: 15 karts (karts 15-11 will be eliminated)
  • Round 3: 10 karts (karts 10-6 will be eliminated)
  • Round 4: 5 karts (karts 5-2 will be eliminated, note that only 4 karts were eliminated this time because the 1st kart is always safe)
  • Whoever finished 1st in round 4 wins the race

You can still have a crazy 19-lap race with 20 karts if you really want to. ;)

As a small usability feature, the number of laps that are implied by the settings and number of karts might be displayed on the race setup screen.

As for ranking, it will go like this: First, rank karts by the order of "survival": The earlier you "die", the lower you rank. To break ties (that is, if multiple karts were eliminated in a round), rank by total racing time when they last crossed the finish line.

Example with 5 karts (A, B, C, D, E) and 2 eliminations each round:
  • After round 1, karts A and B were eliminated. Kart A = 1:00 (total race time at which round 1 was completed), Kart B = 1:30
  • After round 2, karts C and D were eliminated again. Kart C = 2:00 (total race time at which round 2 was completed), Kart D = 2:30
  • Kart E is the only kart remaining and wins with 2:20
Final ranking:
  1. Kart E (survived all rounds, 2:20)
  2. Kart D (survived 1 round, 2:30)
  3. Kart C (survived 1 round, 3:00)
  4. Kart A (survived 0 rounds, 1:00)
  5. Kart B (survived 0 rounds, 1:30)

Finally, a small and minor thing I like to see is a proper animation when a karts is eliminated. Currently, the kart just disappears. Maybe make a (harmless) explosion when a kart is eliminated. Or let Thunderbird literally drag you out of the race. Maybe animators have an even better idea. Anyway, any animation is clearly better than just disappearing.

APPENDIX: Current problems in FTL
1) When the leader crashes, it often creates mayhem when many karts are around the winning kart
2) When the leader resets, this ALSO might increase the knockout time. This is actually intended, but IMO it's a bad workaround
3) When the track splits, it's very hard to know who counts as first or last. This is a problem when the knockout timer hits at a split section
4) Problems 1-3 combined make this mode highly chaotic and unpredictable at times. There's a big problem with "surprise eliminations"
5) Can't be configured. The duration of the knockout timer is 100% hardcoded and a race with X karts has always the EXACT same duration
6) The Leader really is just a normal kart that just happens to be not ranked. There is absolutely nothing special about the leader: The leader isn't faster, isn't more robust, doesn't look different, doesn't get free weapons, nitro or bubblegum for defense. It's far too easy to attack the leader and create a mess.
7) The basketball goes after the Leader and not after the actually "winning" kart, making it mostly useless
8) Eliminated karts just disappear. There's no animationat all.
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Re: Fixing FTL

Postby tempAnon093 » 11 Dec 2020, 01:50

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:FTL is pretty wacky, it's also fun. But also annoying at times. I know this game mode is kind of broken because it gets messy when many racers come close to the leader. I am convinced the leader in Follow the Leader is easily the biggest problem, it's just so annoying, especially when the leader crashes it's easy to accidentally overtake it. Then there's the problem of not knowing who is "last" (or first) when the track splits, so you can get eliminated ouf of nowhere. It's not a surprise that FTL was banned from Story Mode and even multiplayer.


I am unsure if moving towards a more generic Eliminator race is good. Otherwise, it's almost a normal race to me; go fast, come first.
If it's easy to accidentally overtake them, I think it's the follower's job to be more careful. Use the brake and keep distance between them and you. Anything short of outright trolling before an elimination, I would say is fair game.

Small markers/billboards to show who is last and first would be useful (even if there is the ranking display on the left side). As for the track splitting, I think a possible solution to that could be game-mode based scripting, where we block some routes only for certain game modes... but isn't it your job to follow the leader? You should go down the same path as them, unless it's a shortcut to catch up after a crash, right?
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