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Author Topic: Challenge Modes  (Read 350 times)

Kyzrati

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Challenge Modes
« on: February 03, 2017, 06:38:13 PM »

One of the new features coming in Alpha 14 is a framework within which I can add new "challenge modes" to Cogmind. Basically these are optional settings which change one or more aspect of the game/world, usually making a run more difficult in exchange for extra points.

I don't have a lot of time to be adding these now, but there could easily be more in the future so feel free to use this thread to drop any suggestions you have for these challenge modes. If a lot of people show support for a certain idea it's more likely to be added (as long as it makes sense and I think it will work in the context, and mechanically; also, I will prefer to stick with ideas that work thematically as well, rather than off-the-wall crazy stuff :P).


The first challenge mode I've added is called "Unstable Evolution," whereby you no longer have control over your slot evolution--they are selected at random!

Random slots chosen due to UNSTABLE status shown in the log:


Examples of random slot evolution from beginning to end:

The first there actually looks to be a fairly normal composition, although of course the order could be odd--not evolving what you need when you need it, forcing you to adapt; the second is kinda crazy due to that large number of power slots! This should lead to some interesting runs, and enable more types of replayability. (Note that selection is weighted towards what players most often want--e.g. not a ton of power slots, so it's not necessarily that terrible, but you could get unlucky and have to deal with it... Adapt or die, such is evolution!)

Active challenges listed in score sheet (and also appended to score history record):



To give another idea, possibly the second mode I'll be adding is called "Scavenger," wherein there are no part stockpiles and any solo randomly available items are damaged--everything else must be taken from other robots, or stolen from haulers! (Fabrication would be another option, but that has its own limits.)

Edit: Okay, added that mode, too.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 07:56:03 PM by Kyzrati »
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zxc

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2017, 07:33:46 PM »

Looking great!

Scavenger sounds like a way to force me to play combat... Unstable evolution also encourages combat.

Other challenge suggestions (hope you can mix and match compatible challenges):

* Only utility slot evolutions
* Only propulsion
* Only weapon
* Only... power

* Pacifist mode
* Nudist mode
* Scrapyard leads directly to -3
* Melee only
* Every time you are spotted, a squad is dispatched
* No items from enemies (reverse of Scavenger)
* Fragile (items have 20% their usual integrity, and/or perhaps apply to core integrity)
* Start with 10% corruption (or gain corruption slowly over time). Corruption cannot be purged
* Hyper-sensitive alert (Alpha 11 but a bit meaner)
* Cored (Core has 100% coverage at all times), maybe apply to enemies as well
* Abandoned (complex has very few items or enemies, like the caves, everyone has fled, perhaps running away from some greater threat?)
* Inferno (ambient temperature gradually rises over time, needs new mechanic for bots to get refitted with extra heat sinks when ambient temperature rises) alternative: Cogmind is experiencing gradual core meltdown and only Cogmind's heat level is rising
* Trapped (5x more traps)
* Devolution: Start with max evolutions and with each floor you must lose 2 slots
* No inventory! Storage units do nothing, storage AA does nothing / doesn't generate
* Guarded (no patrols, but all exits have impressive defenses) (riffing on ideas from Dark below)

Will keep adding to this list with edits
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 11:46:46 PM by zxc »
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2017, 07:40:11 PM »

(hope you can mix and match compatible challenges):
Absolutely! Only outright incompatible options (if there even end up being any) wouldn't be allowed at the same time.
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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2017, 10:23:19 PM »

I love the challenge mode idea! I better start thinking a few.

* All maps have no walls! Inspired by your debug post. :)

* All main complex maps (Materials, Factory, Research, Access) have only one exit. And that exit is always at the most opposite side of the map!

* You must enter the Garrison before taking the stairs... :P

* All weapons are explosives, for those not getting enough of it. :D

* All enemies are Behemoths! Now I'm really getting out of hand...  ;D

* More recyclers per floor! And their propulsions are upgraded to flight units! Raise the next bar of annoyance!!  Yeahhh!!! 8)

* Boss enemy per floor, guarding each of the stairs (extra powerful Sentry?). Must be destroyed before proceeding.

I know they're all off-the-wall crazy stuff, but I'm sure they can be fun!

* Every time you are spotted, a squad is dispatched
* No items from enemies (reverse of Scavenger)

Very thematic! The "no items from enemies" can also be thought of "dropped items from enemies are fried up immediately". Pair this one with Scavenger mode and you'll end up with *almost* nudist mode.


EDIT:

* Bigger map size, possibly 2x bigger or more.

* Programmers are dispatched more frequently. (Food clock ticks faster)

EDIT 2:

* A side-story about a war between your ally robots and enemies. The tile where you enter the map becomes an entry point for your allies to continuously spawn and attack. Hostile robots will also continuously spawn and attack as well, but toward the direction of the entry point. (Similar to how enemies spawn and attack in the Warlord map) Enemies will continually grow stronger over time, and if they manage to reach the entry point, it will be sealed and will no longer produce ally robots anymore (in other word, you're screwed).

EDIT 3:

* No inventory challenge! (perhaps no storage unit as well!) :P
Good-bye indestructible backpack with unlimited mass support!

* Every terminal contains an operator (perhaps also nerfing the chance of assimilating trojan and hackware drop)
Feel the pain of endless reinforcements!

EDIT 4:

* No hacking at any machine! (Or if that's too restrictive, then separate it into "No hacking at terminals" and "No hacking at non-terminals")

* All exits leading to the next floor are sealed off (unless that's the only kind of exit left)
a.k.a. You must go through branch exits whenever possible!

* You only gain 1 evolution point whenever you evolve.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 07:11:27 AM by DDarkray »
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Raine

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2017, 06:02:10 PM »

Maybe a mode where your parts cannot be destroyed? I know this totally ruins the balance and a can't think of a good drawback to balance it out, but it might be a good "super easy casual mode". I guess maybe this kinda direction is gonna be covered in the difficulty levels you are implementing? (I think I heard something about easy mode parts having much more integrity)

Another idea would be some kind of mutations (dcss style) challenge mode where when it's active, there are consumable items or special terminals spawned that can be used to give you a mutation that can range from devastatingly bad to amazingly good and everywhere inbetween. If you think this is a possible good idea I can brainstorm up a mutation set that could be drawn from.

Some kind of mode that makes acquiring an army of allies much easier? Perhaps if you take out most of a squad the remaining bot would surrender? Or you're equipped with a permanent datajack that has a much higher chance of assimilation?
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 06:08:57 PM by Raine »
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zxc

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2017, 08:49:46 PM »

Maybe a mode where your parts cannot be destroyed? I know this totally ruins the balance and a can't think of a good drawback to balance it out, but it might be a good "super easy casual mode". I guess maybe this kinda direction is gonna be covered in the difficulty levels you are implementing? (I think I heard something about easy mode parts having much more integrity)

Yeah I don't think that by itself will work because it'd be impossible to lose. However, it relates to one of my suggestions:

* Cored (Core has 100% coverage at all times), maybe apply to enemies as well

With this, parts will never take damage. Your core will take it all. I suspect it would be more difficult rather than less difficult, though. Cores don't have much integrity.
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Raine

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2017, 10:37:57 PM »

Oh yeah that's a much better way of implementing it  ;D

I also particularly like the idea of these
Quote
Melee only
Guarded (no patrols, but all exits have impressive defenses) (riffing on ideas from Dark below)
* All main complex maps (Materials, Factory, Research, Access) have only one exit. And that exit is always at the most opposite side of the map!
« Last Edit: February 09, 2017, 10:40:44 PM by Raine »
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Amphouse

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2017, 07:04:48 PM »

Personal thoughts:

I like the general idea but I prefer modifiers that are not strictly handicaps, but rather make you play differently. It's okay if they make the game overall harder, but they should do something good IMO.  For example, what if Unstable Evolution gave you an extra (randomly distributed, can get double something) evolution point every other level? (every level would make it too easy. you are still limited by max number of slots too) As for scavenger, what if you took it all the way: there are no floor drops at all(except on -11), but enemies always drop everything they have(damaged by the amount you damaged it though, and part frying would still be a thing). If that's too much, keep the current scavenger but give all weapons/the player an innate salvage boost.

Now, with that said, if you do want these to be strictly handicaps meant to challenge the best players, then at least have them give score boosts?

Also, I really like the "stair boss" challenge idea that darkray had. It should be possible since stair locking is already a thing in garrisons. (Or you could use the red locked branch stairs, not sure what's easier) It doesn't always have to be a sentry either, although it should scale in strength inversely with depth. (and if it drops good loot than it's not strictly a downside either :P)
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2017, 07:34:37 PM »

I prefer modifiers that are not strictly handicaps, but rather make you play differently.
While yes these are handicaps, they do make you play differently, fairly significantly so with the two cases already given! That's certainly how I intend for them to be.

Now, with that said, if you do want these to be strictly handicaps meant to challenge the best players, then at least have them give score boosts?
Hm, I seem to have left that out of the OP, but yes, there is a rather significant score boost for each challenge you apply! That was part of the point, oops xD (okay, no, now that I look at it it's in the second sentence, I just didn't go into detail)

For example, as I have it now you get an extra +500 points each time you evolve when Unstable. Or +1000 in Scavenger mode alone.

(And note: I'm not really commenting on the other ideas at the moment because I'm not ready to implement more yet, but just wanted this to be a place where we could gather concepts for future discussion!)
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 04:34:44 AM by Kyzrati »
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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2017, 08:00:37 PM »

Are the challenge modes unlocked at the very start (when you first play Cogmind), or are they unlocked after attaining certain achievements (like after reaching the surface)?
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Kyzrati

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Re: Challenge Modes
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2017, 08:04:45 PM »

All can be used immediately (I don't see any real reason to gate access like that). For now they're not going to be accessible from within an in-game menu, though--you have to set them in the config. I wouldn't want to implement a menu until there are more of them and we know how they'll all work (and interact with one another), to avoid wasting effort on something that might change later.
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