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 If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.

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JOSHItheDrako
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:02 pm

MitochondriaBox wrote:

I meant "Belgium" as in the forum in-joke (swearwords used to be censored with "Belgium"), but good to know.

I wasn't in on the joke. Also, I instinctively tried to format the quote tags and the editor doesn't let me XD

MitochondriaBox wrote:

Man, imagine having a space rocket you painstakingly made in the Tech Editor going horribly wrong... Or anything in any editor, really. Good thing there's Test Mode! ... Except for the Nation Editor, but catastrophic anarchy's never been that bad, right?
Nah, it usually only lasts a couple of turns

also, I just hope I can make the Halberd... I really freaking love that spaceship and I always used it in SPORE. ->"Copyright Infringement!"
Huh? who said that? >.>'
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MitochondriaBox
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:47 pm

JOSHItheDrako wrote:
also, I just hope I can make the Halberd... I really freaking love that spaceship and I always used it in SPORE. ->"Copyright Infringement!"
Huh? who said that? >.>'

It's actually kind of interesting to think of what other people'd try to create in the game, especially with the restraints of realism. Gone would be the leisure Spore provides as players focus on what's practical over what's cool; For the Aware Stage, they'd pick small, weak, and adaptable creatures that'll get them through the next mass extinction, rather than massive dragonsharkbears or something. Still, there's the charm and bragging rights to getting to the Space Stage as something cool and/or recognizable.

Good luck with the Halberd when the time comes!
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:56 pm

MitochondriaBox wrote:

It's actually kind of interesting to think of what other people'd try to create in the game, especially with the restraints of realism. Gone would be the leisure Spore provides as players focus on what's practical over what's cool; For the Aware Stage, they'd pick small, weak, and adaptable creatures that'll get them through the next mass extinction, rather than massive dragonsharkbears or something. Still, there's the charm and bragging rights to getting to the Space Stage as something cool and/or recognizable.

Good luck with the Halberd when the time comes!

this is actually what I am worried about.
I don't know what Thrive is trying to be. In fact, I am not sure the current main developers know.
The thing is, there are ggs (god-games) and sims (simulators, not to be confused with The Sims).

The thing is, Sims aren't fun. They aren't supposed to be fun. the offer virtually no reward for your long work except the simulation itself. They are usually made to gather empirical data for an experiment or a project.
The other thing is, ggs have genre imposed restraints, such as being single player only and being very dependent on a fast paced work-reward ratio. If there is multiplayer, people will have the tools to Belgium each other over and many people will get Belgium over as a result. If the work-reward ratio is too slow or too low, the game either gets boring to the player or the player feels like he doesn't make any meaningful progress with the time and dedication he has to put in.

Most good games of the gg genre walk a very thin line between the two.
SPORE for example used the DNA/spice/sporebucks system for continuous and meaningful reward for playtime invested in any one part of the game. Where SPORE dropped some balls, were that the ueberturret was destructible by the grox, the last laser and pulse were too weak and the shield had a much too long recharge time... Game features removed or not developed from the game not included.

From what I have played of the cell stage of thrive so far, suggests to me that the game is going into an extremely strict sims direction. I don't say this is a bad thing, in fact, I think this is a very good thing to give the game an identity.
However, I hope the development team includes stables from the gg genre to motivate players to actually spend their time with the game itself.
For example, it would probably be a good idea to have a system that allows people to build absolutely bad-Belgium gary stu creatures if they invest SIGNIFICANT (3h+) time, since for some people that is the appeal. While also making it the case that people can progress a lot earlier, just with less amazing creatures which have weaknesses that then affect the rest of their progression and the dynamic difficulty.

Another issue is vehicle creation. There is a dynamic referred to as the Art v.s. Usability Dynamic. And this one is extremely difficult to handle in a game such as this. Basically, People want to make anything they want and they want it to work just fine, that is the Art part. On the other hand, a sim' will always require the established rules to be followed for something to work, this is the Usability part. Basically, if you give people the ability to use anything they want, it doesn't matter what they use and some people will feel like their creations don't matter beyond looks. For and artist this is the most fun way to play. For others, it's not. On the other hand, if you build very strict and complex rules such as the general physics in our realm of existence, People will generally tend to build bland thing that work. For some this is just fine, for artists, it feels like they are shackled by the game and it is no fun to them. You can't please both to the fullest and SPORE leans extremely far towards the Art side of the dynamic... but to be honest, I think that's how it works best, seeing as how you are stuck with the ship for the entire last phase.

Another one of the biggest issues of a game with this concept, is the matter of belief and I am not talking about the sociological aspect that might come into play during civ stage. Let's be honest here. Many people belief into God, gods, magic, occultism etc. And I am actually one of them. The most obvious issue of this is the 'evolution vs. smart design' thing. SPORE dodged that bullet, by giving a player full control, i.e. having smart design, but including evolution as a system of advancement in the game, basically combining the two principles. (Personally, I believe there is a god and I believe he has created and is everything, including evolution, physics, science and magic. So don't think me an evolution denier, I very much believe in it.)
The other issue is 'magic'. does it exist? does it not? How does it work?
SPORE resolved this issue by giving the player 'abilities' with effects that could reasonably stem from magic... or not. It was free to interpretation.
(Personally, due to a personal experience that makes me sound way more insane then I actually are, I do believe in magic. But I won't criticize or argue with anyone who believes otherwise.)

And last but not least: If this game goes all the way with the sim aspect without properly simplifying the concepts, the final 'game' will only be playable by people with a master degree in cell biology, marine biology, botanics (maybe), complex biology, med, sociology, psychology, theology, geology, physics... basically every currently known science.
Or do you expect a common gamer, who probably has a backlog from here to the moon to read up on every single thing he comes across in the 'game'? Because that's going to kill the project more thoroughly than EA ever could.
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tjwhale
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:10 am

A lot of what you say about the game design aspects is very valid and I've been thinking about it a bit.

A core concept in game design is designing for "Aesthetic", meaning you design for what you want to the player to feel while they play. Should they feel powerful like a god? Should they feel like a tinkering inventor? Should they feel like a gardener carefully nurturing their species? Different people respond to different aesthetics.

Personally, for the microbe stage, I have been working towards quite a dark and cold, hardcore aesthetic. So the feeling you have when playing is that you are in a hostile universe that is out to get you and you have to work really hard to survive. This includes a lot of Red Queen Hypothesis where you need to keep continually adapting to keep your place in the evolutionary order.

Hopefully it will feel a bit like Dwarf Fortress where you start and then your species gets obliterated. Then you try again and it gets better. Then over time you can make a species that can survive for a while and then finally you can make one which is good enough to live for a long time and make it to the next stage.

A bit similar to Kerbal Space Program, your first rockets always fail. Or Crusader Kings 2, your first dynasties always die.

The reason I think this is when the microbe stage is done we want it to be playable, and good gameplay, alone for a couple of years before the next stage is finished so it needs to be really interesting in itself.

Of course I support difficulty settings so if you want to have a nice easy time and play the simulator out a bit that's fine but I think we should have things like challenges on the forums where we tell you what settings to use (like a super harsh cold world with few resources) and then players can post the highest score they can achieve.

That's just my 2 cents!
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MitochondriaBox
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Dec 19, 2014 3:45 pm

Since there's going to be a difficulty mechanic, how about this? Along with what has already been said, why not toss in another difficulty axis, this time realism? One end, the "fun" end, would be for the people who want to do as they please. Meanwhile, there'd be the "real" end for people who want to do as they must. Really, all this'd do is determine how harsh physics and environmental factors will be on organisms and their structures. The "fun" end would do things like have large creatures not be at such a disadvantage, especially during mass extinctions so the player's awesome dragonsharkbear can actually survive, and the "real" end would make that dragonsharkbear as liable to the elements as it would be on Earth.

A bit strange, but better than falling for the science-cute divide that hit Spore and led to Thrive being made in the first place.

Besides, the editors are NOT going to be unuseable for 99% of players, and, at the same time, this game will NOT have a "losing is fun" Dwarf Fortress kind of thing. It'll be just simple enough for people not to give up unless they're REALLY doing something wrong.

I did this on my phone, on a bus to boot, so sorry if this post was a bit hard toreador.

EDIT (on my laptop): Here's what I mean by things not going too far on either end.

Too "Fun": The player's recent edits include snapping on a pair of wings. Right after hatching from the egg, the player gets his organism to start flying around with the oversimplified flight mechanics. The player gets bored soon after.

Too "Real": After making painstakingly fine-tuned edits for the past dozens of editing cessions, as well as at least another few dozen times he got killed, the player has finally given his organism a pair of roughly functional wings. Unfortunately, he just so happened to have gotten a piece of the blood vessels wrong, and, upon hatching, the player's organism dies of a ruptured artery before he can even enjoy the crash-happy flight mechanics. Cue the ragequit.

Balance: The player has made some recent edits catered to giving his organisms wings, but it hasn't been too tedious, and comes out with primitive, but functional wings. The organism hatches without the danger of dying immediately, but is still in a state that the player could get it killed if he isn't careful, which is something he's learned by now and is capable of doing. After getting his creature to survive for a short while, its wings finish developing, and the flight mechanics are engaging, but not too flunky.
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JOSHItheDrako
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Dec 19, 2014 5:08 pm

MitochondriaBox wrote:
Since there's going to be a difficulty mechanic, how about this? Along with what has already been said, why not toss in another difficulty axis, this time realism? One end, the "fun" end, would be for the people who want to do as they please. Meanwhile, there'd be the "real" end for people who want to do as they must.

That is a very good solution... Although it's going to be torture during testing.
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moopli
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:11 pm

Hey JOSHI, great stuff posted here; but I've kinda dropped the ball on getting you set up to do things so let's get back to work. Last I heard from you is that you have a diagram of some sort, if you can't post it here, could you put it on imgur and link it in? You should be able to post links now. Have you gotten better yet? If you've taken a look at git, you could try cloning our repo and compiling the source.
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JOSHItheDrako
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:12 pm

Indeed, I have the first diagram. I have been busy with Yule, christmas and getting back into the groove with my LPs. I ain't sick anymore, but I just can't seem to get rid of that cough... which is an issue considering. On more happy notes, I have had a lot of fun with Captain Toad Treasure Tracker which I got yesterday and have completed it 100% just a few hours ago. I also have git. I haven't put the repository yet. I've gotten the URL, I just haven't gotten around because of everything. (that and the entire git thing still confuses me. I've gone through the tutorial thrice, but I have a hart time remembering the commands. Also, I know how it works, but I don't really understand it yet. Quite embarrassing to tell the truth. Last time I had an issue like that, was during web development... on of the reason I canned applying as a web designer. I just didn't get the feel for it.) Although I am confident that the Git thing is more of a 'getting used to using it'.

Speaking of getting used to using it, Busuu is offering a motivational-thingy. Maybe I should get back into my Japanese lessons again.
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JOSHItheDrako
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Wed Dec 31, 2014 12:20 pm

Alright, I am WAY busier than I should be right now...

So I really don't get anywhere.

Thus, I decided to make an Imgur account and upload the diagram converted to a .PNG there, since it doesn't include any sensitive information, since the directory I mapped wasn't the repository but the public download.

http://i.imgur.com/XITaKMm.png
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MitochondriaBox
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Wed Dec 31, 2014 2:32 pm

JOSHItheDrako wrote:
Alright, I am WAY busier than I should be right now...

So I really don't get anywhere.

Thus, I decided to make an Imgur account and upload the diagram converted to a .PNG there, since it doesn't include any sensitive information, since the directory I mapped wasn't the repository but the public download.

http://i.imgur.com/XITaKMm.png

Doesn't seem to work for me...
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JOSHItheDrako
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:58 pm

Yeah, that is the issue with Imgur, it uses the RAM dedicated to the Browser to buffer the image.
The Diagram is Quite big. I checked it back with another computer and it works on that one, so the upload is not corrupted. If it doesn't work for you, make sure you have enough RAM dedicated to your Browser of choice. (Modern browsers have a Max-RAM usage setting)
Of course, the easiest way to make sure that you have enough free dedicated RAM from the browser, is opening the link in a browser with ONLY that tap open.

And that's why I originally asked for a dedicated directory on a server to use FTP to upload it and view it as a file.
I got the Git Repository, but I still haven't had time to add it.

One would assume somebody without a job had plenty of time...
Now I know that this is not the case.

Regardless, once new year is properly over, we get a new heater and the mold problem in my room is cleared up, I should have enough time at hand to aid with the further continuation of this project.
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Wed Dec 31, 2014 4:28 pm

If you continue to have issues with the image, try this link.
It's merely an indirect view, but it seems to work more reliable.

http://imgur.com/XITaKMm
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:27 pm

Ok, I got the repository, but to be entirely honest, i don't know what to do with it.
I was told to compile it, but I don't know how to. (I usually work with Java and Eclipse as an IDE which has a button for that)

Also, I 'cloned' the repository, because I was unsure.
If I was supposed to 'open' it instead, just tell me and I will correct that.

I also haven't heard anything about the diagram. Is the new link working for everybody?

Also, Git Gui appears empty. I am almost certain I am just doing it wrong, but some more help would be appreciated.
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Tue Jan 06, 2015 10:57 am

Quote :
also haven't heard anything about the diagram

Link just gives an empty imgur picture (size 0x0 I guess), could you try reuploading!

I'll give some detailed explanations below here, but the instructions that you'll need to follow can be found here: https://github.com/Revolutionary-Games/Thrive/blob/master/mingw_setup/readme.txt

Quote :
Also, I 'cloned' the repository, because I was unsure.
Since you won't initially have permission to "push" to our official github repository, you will want to "fork" it instead, so if you go on our github page there will be a fork option. This will create a copy of the entire codebase that you own, you then clone your copy, do some changes and then you can do a "pull request" that basically asks the official repository for permission to implement/merge your copies changes!

You will also need to use the submodule update functionality in git, to include some external git projects.


Quote :
I was told to compile it, but I don't know how to
Yeah, large C++ projects are often a pain to get to compile. The issue is that you will need all kinds of external libraries that we make use of. On windows this often means downloading the source code for each library and then compiling each library and then make a project for some IDE (we use codeblocks, but in theory it should be possible to create an eclipse or visual studio project) and then you can click the compile button!

Since downloading and compiling all the right versions of all these libraries in all the right places, we have created a powershell script that does this for you! So the idea is: Run powershell script to get all libraries -> use cmake to generate a codeblocks project -> open codeblocks project and hit the compile button! Then every time you make changes to the C++ code, all you need is to hit the compile button again.


Quote :
Also, Git Gui appears empty
That would be a sign that you're rightclicking somewhere you haven't cloned to, or that you haven't yet cloned at all. Folders and files that are cloned will have a little green checkmark for up to date files in windows with tortoiseGit!

Again, instructions here: https://github.com/Revolutionary-Games/Thrive/blob/master/mingw_setup/readme.txt
Note that if you have trouble with the powershell script, there is an alternative method of simply downloading all the required stuff, but I'll have to verify that actually works.


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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Thu Jan 08, 2015 3:22 pm

Ah, Crab baskets! It worked back when...

Alright, here's what I am going to do:
I will hold on to the diagram.
Once I got everything downloaded and installed and get a little bit of the hang of git, I will make a documentation folder which will include a diagram folder and put it in there.
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Jan 09, 2015 7:24 am

We already have a doc folder you could put it in! https://github.com/Revolutionary-Games/Thrive/tree/master/doc

In retrospect I should have mentioned that folder earlier but I kinda forgot about it

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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:09 pm

Is there a particular reason you are using .DOX for text documents, rather than .TXT?
Because if there is a good reason for it, I will use .DOX as well, otherwise I will stick with my tried and true .TXT files.
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:17 pm

dox is the standard suffix for doxygen documentation files -- they're meant to go through the doxygen parser, and get turned into html.

Since the documentation is on GitHub, Markdown is another option. Markdown is definitely better than text files, as it gets rendered nicely right in the GitHub repo browser. For example, the readme here is in markdown.

Chances are, markdown will feel just like a standard text file when you're writing it, after all, that's the entire point of the thing.
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PostSubject: Re: If you would have me, I would like to help where I can.   Fri Jan 09, 2015 11:25 pm

I see, thanks for the explanation.
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