Locked content considered harmful

Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 07 Jul 2018, 16:41

01.jpg

02.jpg

03.jpg


Just a hypothetical menu.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby QwertyChouskie » 07 Jul 2018, 18:37

That should probably go in the new UI thread (https://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic ... f8677c9836). The flow seems nice, though I like the look of hellcp's mockup better personally.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 08 Jul 2018, 00:12

QwertyChouskie {l Wrote}:That should probably go in the new UI thread. The flow seems nice, though I like the look of hellcp's mockup better personally.


Hi!
I really avoided posting there because that's suggestion for a new UI presented by hellcp's and it was not my intention to offer an alternative, because this could be understood as an antipathetic attitude like "Nope. Mine UI is better".

The idea, here, was to present a hypothesis of a menu allowing both: 1.to play the unlocked tracks (maybe 15 in 20) from the start after downloading the game; or 2. to play the Story mode, unlocking tracks in sequence to unlock bonuses like other karts, the other (maybe 5 by default) locked tracks, soccer mode, arenas, extra powerups, etc.
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Hypothetical Menu is amazing ;)

Postby Pedroxz » 08 Jul 2018, 11:02

@GeekPenguinBR Your hypothetical menu is amazing ;), The Fictional User Interface of the game looks like the arcade games (in my opinion)
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby Wuzzy » 08 Jul 2018, 12:03

Well, if you give the player the option to bypass all content locks anyway, then why bothering with locking stuff in the first place? The suggested UI is pointless and far uglier than the current UI. Worst of all, the information density is terribly low. Also, current UI is already very good, why do people want to screw up the UI all the time? :O

Also, please let's not get crazy about huge changes, please. Let's keep it simple.

What I suggest:

- Unlock 100% of all tracks by default in all modes except Story Mode. Or at least 50% (as a compromise)

That's basically all I'm asking for. I did not ask for a complete overhaul of everything, jeez!

I think that locking makes most sense within Story Mode (because the progress is meaningful), in other modes, not so much (because there is no real meaningful progress).

As for new installs, the solution would be to sync unlock with your online account, just like achievements are.

This just adds another inconvenience and another layer of complexity to the user and just another password to remember. So no, this is not a solution.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby Pedroxz » 08 Jul 2018, 13:16

Message from Wuzzy

" What I suggest:

- Unlock 100% of all tracks by default in all modes except Story Mode. Or at least 50% (as a compromise)"

You're right, I think we should give the player freedom to know what the game is like, I suggested one thing, unlock all game modes except Soccer and Easter egg mode
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 08 Jul 2018, 16:05

1.
Wuzzy {l Wrote}:Well, if you give the player the option to bypass all content locks anyway, then why bothering with locking stuff in the first place?

Because the normal mode for the game would demand to unlock track after track in order to advance and get all bonuses. The immediate playing should be allowed for those occasional players who don't want to surpass all the proposed dares to have the play to play for 5 minutes every 5 weeks.

2.
Wuzzy {l Wrote}: The suggested UI is pointless and far uglier than the current UI.


2.1.No. It's not. My brain is unable to propose pointless arguments.
Where did you see some UI being suggested here? I added a very simple background for the buttons to the menu proposed by myself.There's no UI proposed here. Not in terms of graphic project. I'm proposing a possibility for a different menu. I'ts not hard to understand.

2.2. The current UI is not ugly, but it's not that wonder. I have seen (and heard) really ugly art suggested and I never called ugly. IMO, this is a forum for adult game developers, so I assume that there's no crybabies here (I'm Brazilian, but I'm not Neymar, in the case something believes that this is his secret identity), but we shouldn't depreciate the work of others. I think that, to classify some contribution as ugly, should be avoided or made by someone who offered a better alternative and this includes myself and you. Anyway, this was not an attempt to suggest a new graphic for the UI, but just a hypothesis of a new logic sequence and its respective menu.

3.
Wuzzy {l Wrote}: Worst of all, the information density is terribly low.

What? Mine has dialog boxes explaining the purpose of the menu. Where do you see this in the current UI?

4.
Wuzzy {l Wrote}:Also, current UI is already very good, why do people want to screw up the UI all the time? :O

I don't have the intention to screw it, but I think we should (at least) consider hypothesis for a better optimized UI with a different menu, since the current is not perfect IMO. It's not a criticism; it's just an opinion posted by someone who likes the game and promotes it.

Anyway, if the current is better, why do complain about locked content? I think that both are connected, not? There is locked content because the current menu and interface were made with this purpose and unlocking content implies in changing of the current menu, which implies changing the current UI. Am I wrong?

If it was me, I would think about the possibility to redo the UI and the menu for the release of STK 1.0. We all know that there's no a big team programming, but some other voluntary programmers could be attracted to the project if the main developers decided to make a game with the same aspects of other successful and famous games. I mean, the menu of those games, which differs in logical sequence. I would like to download and install the game and click on start to get the option to play the story mode or not if I wish just to drive on 1 or 2 tracks for 10 minutes. I could decide to drive on a "career" mode in order to unlock extra powerups, arenas, karts and tracks if this was my goal. Anyway the sequence could be:

1.Start the game --> 2.Click on "Play" --> 3.Choose the mode (story mode or quick driving) --> 3.Choose "play alone", "multiplayer" or "online" (when possible) --> 5.Choose a kart --> 6.Choose my preferred track(s).

This is just my view about the ideal menu for me. Nobody is obligated to agree with me, but I believe that I can post my impressions here and my opinion includes a simple previous question: will the project managers keep everything as it is at the moment or they consider a total redo in order to present a game with a different logical sequence of actions according the opinion of the majority? It's not a blasphemy, a heresy or lack of respect to say this here. Ok, the team is small, but no moral lessons are needed here. This is not an attempt to redo everything and kill the developpers for excess of job. It's just a lot of words and opinions, after all.
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Re: Hypothetical Menu is amazing ;)

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 08 Jul 2018, 16:34

Pedroxz {l Wrote}:@GeekPenguinBR Your hypothetical menu is amazing ;),

Thank you very much, Pedroxz.

Pedroxz {l Wrote}:The Fictional User Interface of the game looks like the arcade games (in my opinion)

That's the idea. The minimum of buttons over any background :)
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby Pedroxz » 08 Jul 2018, 16:46

@GeekPenguinBR I think the information you put in one of these images or diagrams is not difficult to understand, the dialogue boxes are well informed, now I do not understand how Wuzzy says they are wrong, I think he did not notice the images ,but anyways
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 08 Jul 2018, 16:54

Pedroxz {l Wrote}:@GeekPenguinBR I think the information you put in one of these images or diagrams is not difficult to understand, the dialogue boxes are well informed, now I do not understand how Wuzzy says they are wrong, I think he did not notice the images ,but anyways


I'm sure he didn't.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby hellcp » 08 Jul 2018, 18:25

GeekPenguinBR: Go ahead, post in that thread, my UI is not the third coming of Jesus Christ and requires a lot of discussions (and other proposals), so we can take out the best out of every proposal. It's not supposed to be just my proposal and I didn't get any other feedback than "why change at all", not useful kind of feedback, so any other suggestion is highly valued there.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 08 Jul 2018, 18:45

hellcp {l Wrote}:GeekPenguinBR: Go ahead, post in that thread, my UI is not the third coming of Jesus Christ and requires a lot of discussions (and other proposals), so we can take out the best out of every proposal. It's not supposed to be just my proposal and I didn't get any other feedback than "why change at all", not useful kind of feedback, so any other suggestion is highly valued there.


Thank you for your words, hellcp. I will post my suggestion of a new menu there. :)
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby tux_peng » 08 Jul 2018, 20:04

Since some people feel so strongly against track locking, maybe the unlock-all option should be in the GUI.

I think story mode should just make it a bit clearer what challenge is open next...
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby Wuzzy » 09 Jul 2018, 23:15

Well, if you give the player the option to bypass all content locks anyway, then why bothering with locking stuff in the first place?
Because the normal mode for the game would demand to unlock track after track in order to advance and get all bonuses. The immediate playing should be allowed for those occasional players who don't want to surpass all the proposed dares to have the play to play for 5 minutes every 5 weeks.



-_-

This is missing the point and does not answer my question. :-(

You basically give the player the option to just ignore all locks. But this makes the locks just meaningless.

I think your logic is flawed. Either locking is the right thing to do, then we should keep it. Or it is bad, then it should be removed. But you try to find some kind of fake “middle ground”, trying to do both have a locking system, and not have a locking system. This is obviously nonsense and clearly the worst of both possible worlds.

Your other things are all off-topic and will be ignored.

Since some people feel so strongly against track locking, maybe the unlock-all option should be in the GUI.

Oh my, now you start with this as well?!
If you add such a button, then you are basically admitting that there is a problem with the locking system. :-/
(otherwise, it would just be a cheat)
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 10 Jul 2018, 01:19

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:I think your logic is flawed. Either locking is the right thing to do, then we should keep it. Or it is bad, then it should be removed. But you try to find some kind of fake “middle ground”, trying to do both have a locking system, and not have a locking system. This is obviously nonsense and clearly the worst of both possible worlds.


No. Definitivelly, it's not. Your interpretation has flaws and flaws because you have prevention against my argument. Your dichotomy is the fake logic here. This is a fake dichotomy. There's no the need to have one or another. Both are not mutually excluding. Why to complicate?

Again:
1.The player has already had a previous version installed or is installing for the first time, but is in a hurry to play and plays sporadically - Red icon and plays immediately . There's no need to win at every track on the story mode.

2.The player is novice or veteran, but wants to get total access to all the locked bonuses like arenas, extra karts, extra powerups, etc., etc. and a "career mode" reaching upper categories of driver and the opportunity to have the name in the weekly/monthly ranking as well a possible hall of fame: icon Story Mode.

In the first case, the player has a limited use of STK. In the second case, it's possible to get total access to every feature of STK. For features, I mean all the tracks, arenas, soccer, etc. I'm not proposing to disable graphic settings, multiplayer mode, controls or any other thing that's essential to the game. It's easy to understand. Very easy. Actually, It's not a matter to understand, but to accept.

You are not obligated to agree with me, but just think and you will realize that both options simultaneously are not an absurd and, much less, this implies the end of the World. I know that this is not the best solution ever and I couldn't care less if the developers will implement the idea or not, but it's just an option to consider.

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:Your other things are all off-topic and will be ignored.

1. My "off-topic" things" were posted to reply your off-topic comments.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby Wuzzy » 10 Jul 2018, 02:40

I understand your proposal, but I do not agree with it.
It's too complicated, I had to read your posts 3 times to finally get it. Yes, it's true.


Since we all can't agree to reduce locking in the slightest, I have a totally different (and simpler) idea now:
Why not just adding a “secret” cheat codes?
E.g. If you create an offline profile with the name “Bad Bad Cheater”, you unlock everything. :D Or something along the lines of that.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 10 Jul 2018, 02:46

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:I understand your proposal, but I do not agree with it.

Nice. :)

Wuzzy {l Wrote}: Why not just adding a “secret” cheat codes?
E.g. If you create an offline profile with the name “Bad Bad Cheater”, you unlock everything. :D Or something along the lines of that.

Well, soon some developer will appear here to say that "this already exist. Just write "false" in every locked track." :D
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GunChleoc » 10 Jul 2018, 18:47

If the purpose of locking tracks it to get novices to play the easiest tracks first, how about sorting the tracks by difficulty? Since people tend to select what's on top first, this should help with that problem.

Assuming that the GUI engine can scroll in both directions, there could also be horizontal dividers rather then an "advanced" tab:

------------------------------------
| Novice |
------------------------------------

Track a | Track c | Track f
--> scrollbar --> --> --> --> -->

------------------------------------
| Intermediate |
------------------------------------

Track e | Track h | Track n
--> scrollbar --> --> --> --> -->

------------------------------------
| Expert |
------------------------------------

Track b | Track d | Track y
--> scrollbar --> --> --> --> -->

------------------------------------
| Add-ons |
------------------------------------

Track g | Track h | Track i
--> scrollbar --> --> --> --> -->
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby Wuzzy » 10 Jul 2018, 22:05

Difficulty of tracks doesn't matter that much. If you play on Novice mode, even “hard” tracks can be doable because of the low speed.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby leilei » 11 Jul 2018, 00:05

onpon4 {l Wrote}:If unlockable content is so essential, why don't .... OpenArena have it?


It already does. All tiers in single player mode are locked from the start.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby XGhost » 11 Jul 2018, 02:06

Hello there
Some opinions before I state my case ;)

Wuzzy (1st Post) {l Wrote}:I think this is a design flaw and makes STK more annoying to use. It adds no gameplay value.

While I don't agree with "it adds no gameplay value", you're pointing out a known problem of STK. I see the locking of tracks or game modes as more like the result of the underlying problem. More explanation further down this post.

Arthur {l Wrote}:Your stated reason hasn't been true for a while, since now when you play multiplayer all tracks are available.

+1 for the multiplayer argument.

onpon4 {l Wrote}:I would disagree with the term "harmful". "Annoying", "bad gameplay", but not "harmful".

+1

Wuzzy (2nd Post) {l Wrote}:I do understand the idea giving the game a feel of progress. However, you have to admit this idea currently falls apart when you realize you can just install add-on tracks which are all unlocked by default. This is kind of ironic.

No. This is called user created content, also known as mods in other games. The added content is not related to the game progress itself but moreover treated as additional content you've installed explicitly by your own in order to expand your experience with the game. The act of searching though the add-ons list and deciding on downloading something is crucial (while obvious) for this concept to work.

Wuzzy (3rd Post) {l Wrote}:What do you have to say about my argument that locking tracks makes STK annoying to use when you install it on a friend's computer and just want to get started playing?
(...)
Finally, what was the reason for STK devs to lock so many tracks in the first place? What possible benefits did you hope for? I mean, what was the design goal here?

You have started this thread and decided to respond. Therefore you should as well read the posts and conversation of the participants. All those questions were answered, arguments and opinions were expressed.
0zone0ne exactly stated two justifications for unlockable content and while there were some misunderstandings between onpon4 and Arthur, their conversation is worth reading and provides you with insights of made design choices as well as improvement suggestions and problem solving attempts.
You got this discussion going and actively seeking participation, so please read the posts and interact with the users here in a constructive way.

Wuzzy (6th Post) {l Wrote}:Since we all can't agree to reduce locking in the slightest, I have a totally different (and simpler) idea now:
Why not just adding a “secret” cheat codes?
E.g. If you create an offline profile with the name “Bad Bad Cheater”, you unlock everything. :D Or something along the lines of that.

I don't know how it is currently handled in artist debug mode, but for me this belongs into a config file (like it currently is). I don't see the point hiding this function (unlock content) in an ingame context itself.

---
Something from my side. I can basically get behind onpon4's statement:
onpon4 {l Wrote}:Of course challenges should be locked within story mode. That doesn't mean that tracks and game modes should be locked in the regular racing mode.
(...)
The whole locked tracks nonsense isn't a deal-breaker for me; it's easy enough to just modify the config file to say that I unlocked everything. But I do think it's a misguided design flaw; I see no reason for it and see some potential for it to drive new players away.

This is a valid point. STK's story mode is currently hard-bound to the content playable in the game. Considering the overall weaknesses of the story mode on so many layers, this is likely to affect player experience negatively. And that's where the focus of further discussion about progression mechanics should be.
Locking tracks or game modes can be used to enhance motivation for playing the game's story mode, I think it does work out. But I would say the amount of locked game content is pretty above-average and there are far better options for progression and motivation mechanics which should be brought up and discussed in an own "story/career mode redo" thread.

Unlocking all content as temporary bridge for less annoyance? Maybe... Reliable data (from trackers or else) or big amounts of player feedback would be nice to have, evaluating the impacts of such core design choices. I think it's hard to estimate in advance what effect this changes can actually have.



---
And as a little side note:
GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:"One upon a time when a princess called Sara lived in her castle..."
"... however, one day, the peaceful reign was disturbed by an undesired visit: Nolok, the king of the Lava Empire took the decision to get the reign of Sara at any cost.."
"...Then, Nolok arrived decided to kidnap Sara and put her as a prisoner in the dungeon in his volcanic castle, bla, bla, bla"

I know this is just a rough example to illustrate your idea, and that's fine. But just to make sure you don't spend too much time laying out a story already...
Please, before putting wood behind the arrow, do yourself a favor and open up a thread for story discussion. The narrative thread that can be taken from your text is surely not the place you wanna go and can be pretty dangerous once elaborated further.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby tux_peng » 13 Jul 2018, 01:00

Wuzzy {l Wrote}:
Since some people feel so strongly against track locking, maybe the unlock-all option should be in the GUI.

Oh my, now you start with this as well?!
If you add such a button, then you are basically admitting that there is a problem with the locking system. :-/
(otherwise, it would just be a cheat)

I'm just sick of reading these type post

I wonder what they would say if everything was unlocked with the Konami Code
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 14 Jul 2018, 14:12

XGhost {l Wrote}:And as a little side note:
GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:"One upon a time when a princess called Sara lived in her castle..."


I know this is just a rough example to illustrate your idea, and that's fine. But just to make sure you don't spend too much time laying out a story already...
Please, before putting wood behind the arrow, do yourself a favor and open up a thread for story discussion. The narrative thread that can be taken from your text is surely not the place you wanna go and can be pretty dangerous once elaborated further.


This was just a parenthesis and there's no need to bring up this subject again, since I don't have the intention to create a new/different plot.

Actually, I even don't care if this game has a plot, although I think that a plot works very well for kids. Makes no difference if a character is in problem, which one is the villain and who is the hero*. There's nothing wrong or bad or childish in the plot, but the only one reason to mention it in my text is their addiction for a plot as opening custcene for the story mode and, IMO, this could be in a different menu and a different menu has to do with this topic about locking content. That's is it.

(*) I have posted previously my opinion about characters and plot here: https://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic ... hilit=1750

IMO, every track could show or not if that specific environment and situation has a villain. Since the game is named after Tux, it's obvious he is the hero. So, if a track shows a dark mansion plenty of shadows, signs or cultural symbols of evil like a melting pot, bats, cave, etc., and this mansion are told that belongs to Nolok, it's clear that Nolok may be the villain. If Nolok is a pirate in a track in the 1700's, the players assume he's the villain again. The developers don't need to invent a story to justify the game, but they are not wrong or wasting time if they choose to have one.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby XGhost » 14 Jul 2018, 15:26

GeekPenguinBR {l Wrote}:This was just a parenthesis and there's no need to bring up this subject again, since I don't have the intention to create a new/different plot.

No worries ;) , there's nothing wrong with having a story structure in the game. Quite the opposite, having a plot gives the player a clear goal to reach, a mission. And it instructs the player, how she/he will achieve that objective. I'm 100% with you on this one. The better, when tracks and the environment and basically every aspect of the game contribute to this narrative.
My comment was not about having a plot, but the example that you laid out. I know this was just an example and it is a quite common one, I just wanted to make sure, so nothing wrong here.

princess Sara ... king of the Lava Empire ... decided to kidnap
You spotted it.
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Re: Locked content considered harmful

Postby GeekPenguinBR » 14 Jul 2018, 16:51

XGhost {l Wrote}:princess Sara ... king of the Lava Empire ... decided to kidnap
You spotted it.


My name is George. :)

Fragile damsels being saved by a male (the same plot you find on Supertux: Nolok kidnaps Penny)...
...feminists hate this (and I hate feminism). :lol:
Feminist is not about women's rights. Feminism is hate into men. :x
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