[Discussion] Uniformity of the world

  • Well yes it is getting more and more philosophical, and I'm clearly one of the reason for that.
    But it should be clear by now that everybody cares about this game.

    I know that I suggest a lot of radical stuff.
    And I don't expect all aspects of such to be implemented but if just one notion of those is sticking to peoples head means I was able to push the Screeps development a bit further. I'm satisfied.

    I always try to see things objective to avoid being astray by my own emotions.
    Sadly I can't say that this isn't the case in this discussion, in respect of me and other members of this community.
    (I leave that, up to you, to figure out when it started)

    Opinion incoming:
    I can't stand the notion "that things are this way, and should stay this way" without even considering alternatives.
    It is a shame that this discussion degraded to a match between opinions.
    Just look at the adjustment of the room constants a while ago, wasn't that a good thing?

  • Yeah, this has gone a bit far afield. To wrap this up:

    @mrfaul This part I totally get on a fundamental level:

    I know that I suggest a lot of radical stuff. And I don't expect all aspects of such to be implemented but if just one notion of those is sticking to peoples head means I was able to push the Screeps development a bit further. I'm satisfied.

    Every time I've suggested something that was picked up by the community and devs it's been an incredibly rewarding experience. I think that the alluring part of screeps is that the community is empowered to help drive development, sometimes on a very literal level. I think my most recent addition was tombstones when creeps die (https://screeps.com/forum/topic/2075/creep-death-more-than-just-a-delete). It's nice to make a lasting impact, and feel like you are driving change.

    That said, I think there is a good balance to have between change for change's sake and enhancements. Honestly? It's a weakness of mine. I LOVE suggesting things for their own sake. My alliance members can attest to the literal storm of ideas I throw out (I'm so sorry @Atavus and @seancl). But from your conversations here I don't feel that you have the same experience as most other players. I struggle with some of your comments:

    My main gripe with screeps is, there isn't a lot enough that rewards the players brain to keep him engaged. Read this and maybe you understand what I meant: Brain satisfaction tool

    I love screeps for what it is, and I know a lot of thought/math went into the constants which are the base of the game. This appeals to programmers, but truth is, the average Joe is the one who brings the money to keep the wheel turning. A lot of people I know who tried it always said the same to me: "feels dead"

    So what I'm missing... right my definition of a fun game: A competition that gives clear results, without the infringement of harm to the participants. (This doesn't count in game violence that is part of the rules, you are free to chose the games to play. So don't bitch about them)

    So Screeps is a game that is deliberately in a sandbox style, with clear developed rules that allows creativity. But the competition part in screeps is completely underdeveloped. A sandbox game needs also a lot of possible goals to achieve. Goals that need specific decisions to be made even if that means sacrificing some other ones. But the beauty of this is that you can try again for a different path.

    Screeps has the most freedom of any game I know. A true pure sandbox. Growth is entirely player driven, and there are no right or wrong ways of doing things. Examples are 10cpu, a player who decided his version of fun was pure optimization of the early game and the limitation of 10cpu. Some players decide to focus on the market, writing careful investments and hoarding credits. Others focus on finely tuned offense and defense, becoming mighty forces to be reckoned with. Some try and collect as much power or GCL as possible. Many turn to the most brutally efficient code possible, minimizing cpu to grow to max size. Others just want to try out interesting design patterns, writing screeps with no memory usage or strange architectures.

    The combining factor is that they are all self motivated. You don't have to do anything in screeps besides keep your controller alive (although you seem to think otherwise). If you are not interested in that kind of experience then I'm not sure the core game is a good fit. That does mean that if you want a more curated experience, the private competitions the community hosts might be the best for you. I'll reiterate my offer at the end of my previous post:

    Ps. @MrFaul can see where some people are confused with the fact that visibly you are only on step 1 yet feel strongly about lategame. It doesn't mean that you don't have experience with it. It's totally possible you have some kickass AI on a private server and for whatever reason you've decided to leave tutorial code running on the main world. It's just a bit harder to believe than the alternative. If you do have one, I wholeheartedly extend an invitation to come compete in the (slack) #botarena battle royale I'm hosting at the end of this month. It's a great way to show off, everyone starts from the very beginning (RCL 1 GCL 1) so you'll be on even footing.

    I think this is the kind of competition you're looking for. There is a goal, everyone starts from the same spot so no one has an advantage. It's a great chance to showcase your code on a level playing field:

    the current gameplay doesn't feel satisfying. Especially for new players since "high level" players seem to be impossible to beat.

    Anything goes, you can do whatever strategy you want with clear rules and complete freedom It also is almost entirely combat between lower RCL rooms. You want proof that low level rooms can dominate? Ags131 has a hilarious ZeSwarm bot that explodes outwards at RCL 1 and 2 and just creates vast hordes of creeps to attack with, very fun to watch.

    Come and give it a shot! I think you'll enjoy it, it seems to have all the elements you are looking for.

    I'll definitely admit I've been frustrated during our discussion. You throw out a lot of opinions as facts and when questioned you cite how it's bad gameplay design. Furthermore, without ever trying anything but the most basic code on the main server I personally feel that it's difficult to have a solid experience on more complex interplayer systems, for example the screeps market. There is a big gap between having tens of players versus thousands.

    All in all, a lot of respect. The more people care and want to improve things, the better they will get. Be careful not to come across as too preachy though! You seem to have some strong ideas on what the right way to make a game. If there should be many ways to play a game, shouldn't there also be many ways to create a game? Screeps is a niche game, so I don't think it's a bad thing if it differs from a cookie cutter experience.

    That said, there is tons of room for improvement. The best part of screeps is that anyone can make things happen! If you have an awesome idea for a rework of competitions etc in mind, the best way to prove you're right is by making a mod or pull request and letting people experience gameplay the way you see it. I'd love to see a rework on lower RCL rooms, personally I'd love to play on a private server and make a nomadic bot that roams the map claiming and unclaiming rooms. If you're interested, I'd be happy to host the mod on the server I run so we can refine your ideas into actionable changes for the devs.

    Honestly? I find debating ideas and design philosophy addicting, and I'm glad to have more people interested in it. This is totally a guilty pleasure of mine. The trick is making sure they are always constructive! Thank you for all the interesting discussions and I look forward to seeing your cool ideas come to life.

    All the best. 😁


  • @mrfaul said in [Discussion] Uniformity of the world:

    Opinion incoming:
    I can't stand the notion "that things are this way, and should stay this way" without even considering alternatives.
    It is a shame that this discussion degraded to a match between opinions.
    Just look at the adjustment of the room constants a while ago, wasn't that a good thing?

    I dont think we should drastically change the fundamentals of the game because we theorised that it'd be nicer. The grass is always greener on the other side as they always say. I feel like you just have a different vision of what the game should be than everyone else here.

    Id be interested to see your suggestions play out and you can always start up your own private server and change everything yourself. Screeps servers give you an incredible level of control over the game engine

  • I think we should have nicer looking maps.

  • @ciber +1 on this. It would be awesome to have regions. I'm totally down with different color schemes for areas.

    What about simple "landmass" style coloring? Like this type: https://azgaar.github.io/Fantasy-Map-Generator/ It can give people a sense of identity in regions without needing gameplay balancing. Potentially later map generation could be tuned to give certain regions different predominate terrain.

  • Different rendering themes would sure look cool. Especially if that played nice to create a world map feel. Then even if the world is rather uniform gameplay-wise it wouldn't look like it.

    Taking this a step further. If we allow players to pick their theme we can then apply that to unclaimed rooms based on proximity. It would give alliances something to fight over. "Hey your red theme is spreading into our blue themed region, we should have a micro war". Basically use themes as a way to encourage players to develop a sense of home area outside of just their claimed / reserved rooms.

    I already do this to an extent, but this would make that much more rewarding as I could influence the look of neutral rooms and close rooms that aren't worth reserving.

  • @deft-code I like the idea of the visibly spreading regions of control.

    How about a new parameter added to tagging controllers? You can add a message like currently, and as a new ability an RGB value. That value could either set the room to that color, OR it could increment the room's color towards that RGB value by 25 increments. If it increments, it could be a once per thousand tick type thing like attacking controllers. That would make map regions slowly shift color as players gain control of them, rather than rapid flickering colors schemes. Then alliance maps will naturally form on the world, and will engender conflict in the form of turf wars. Players could even try and sneakily blend in with the landscape around them by matching color schemes of larger neighbors.


  • That is actually a great idea, and definitely something that could result in turf wars.
    But instead of RGB I would suggest hue that is only a integer between 0-360 and makes color schemes easy.

  • Originally I thought that theme could just be a color because that would allows smooth transitions between them. But as I wrote my suggestion I switched from "color" to "theme".

    I think themes might give the dev's (and maybe the community) more freedom to build some awesome themes. Rather just Red vs Blue you could use a Mechanical, Ice, Organic, Zerg, Tron, etc theme.

    This also plays nice if (when?) the devs implement a hat economy. There could be some really nice reskins to give your creeps a unique look that also unlocked a theme you could use on your rooms. (I would shell out $20 for a good tron theme in my rooms in a heartbeat. Imagine if creeps popped into a pile of derezzed pixels when they died before their TTL. I might just start a war to watch my creeps die.).

    I hadn't considered choosing the theme per room. I would also like non-controller rooms to match the dominant theme in the nearby rooms. Maybe skins/themes could be an account resource that you had buy N times. N themes to apply to N rooms, but you get them back if the controller declaims, unreserves, or changes themes.

  • @deft-code Oh man don't make this TF2 XD 🎩

    That said, it could be great to have some side revenue generating options for screeps. Things like reskins or custom badges could bring in some extra cash without increasing server load.