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Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:22 pm
by warc
What does your ideal-era codebase look like?

When was the best time to play SS13?

Features, etc the GOATS what's UP my DUDES

Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:46 pm
by ABI
just before poo got wiped

Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 6:15 pm
by warc
ABI wrote: Tue Aug 31, 2021 4:46 pm just before poo got wiped
We have almost ready to ROLL, there WILL be TURFDS

Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Tue Aug 31, 2021 7:32 pm
by ReginaldHJ
2016 goon after lag was fixed
but like 2013 goon design and sensibility (the good silly sensibility!!! little gimmicks and interactions and not the awful shit from edgy 00s that was still in)

so much crime, so much explosiong, blood and mess and a total janitor nightmare everywhere
i wanna get in fights and i wanna win by the skin of my teeth or get absolutely wrecked
i wanna have to ask chemistry to make more medicine instead of just having enough for everyone ever forever
i wanna build relationships and fuck the police

Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 10:55 pm
by posslordactual
do not bring back TURDS though.

Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2021 11:12 pm
by ReginaldHJ
if there is a TURDS equivalent it's an NPC force or something Earthside

Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:00 am
by warc

Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2021 12:20 pm
by warc
a recent thread on goon's forums has had me thinking a lot about what I would like to see out of this project and I think it's good to talk about different ways we can do things and different design philisophies.

One thing that comes up a lot is the "sandboxification" of SS13, which I think happens in a ratcheting motion that used to be less pronounced but it's always been *there* sorta. In a healthy flow, you have this natural back-and-forth between:
A) Cool Devs add a new pet project thing and / or deepen subsystem and / or reroute and retool system
B) Cool Players find ways to integrate it into the core Shoot-n-Scoot gameplay, prompting more depth or breadth.

There's a snowball effect at play where the game progressively gets more complex, and the most experienced players, like frogs in a kettle, adapt to the complexity fairly well despite those elements requiring a larger and larger percentage of their time and attention. It kinda works.

Lately though this seems to be self-reinforcing faster than anyone can control, or more aptly faster than anyone has any interest in controlling. The issue I have observed developing is that the extreme breadth and depth of some mechanics are taking so much attention from players, that there *is* no reintegration into the Shoot-n-Scoot. Submechanics begin to exist as minigames in a space-station-themed immersive Main Menu where your avatar can simply walk around, talk to pals, and then settle in to whatever is going to be "your game" for this round.
This is a valid game design for any MMORPG- you may recognize it immediately from Club Penguin, and nobody would argue Club Penguin is unfun, or *not* an MMORPG. However that playstyle does not appeal to everyone.

Currently, I have observed (and gathered through comments of others) that these minigames are sometimes allowed to take precedence over the core crew-antag relationship. Game mechanics have been implemented which disproportionately reward safe play, and low-stakes interaction. In addition, there is a social aspect at play in which players (and the devs responsible) wish to emphasize the use or experience of their personal, favorite minigame- to the extent of stigmatising players who wish to engage in the core Scoot-n-Shoot, as SnS disrupts the completion and satisfaction of playing the minigame.

In essence, the ratchet has changed.
A) Dev pours their heart and soul into monolithically deep subsystem
B) Players dedicate all their attention to the monolith, spurring further depth
C) Devs and "fans" of the monolith adorn other subsystems with references to or integrations of the monolith, reinforcing the monolith

the pyramid is inverted.
This phenomenon I have dubbed "sugar-first" development, where little dopamine hits are prioritized, more references, more toys, more ~wacky~, as the success or failure of a feature is measured by how much attention it receives. It's so intuitive to measure one's own worth as a developer this way that it just sort of happens. With every subsystem competing for the player's attention, some features overstep the bounds of good gameplay, becoming mcguffins and do-alls (chickens and mech come to mind), or become so deep as to monopolise any one player's attention (this is a failure you'll all recognise: genetics, pathology).

In comparison, the usual bogeyman of "bad departments" - Toxins, is less of an offender.
It's often sneered at as a singular do-nothing-except-make-bombs department, or as "something you can only do as an antag" - and that's a valid criticism- but its core mechanic exists in servitude of the gameplay loop. Scoot, shoot, and robust until one of you is dead. It is a rare department that could use broadening, to give it crew-centered use as well as antag-centered, but most importantly it is *distinctly* part of SS13: The Game.

Sandboxification and sugar-first has driven a lot of youse here to us, and by identifying and analysing what causes it and what rewards it offers, maybe we can undo some of that damage.

Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Tue Sep 28, 2021 5:45 pm
by ReginaldHJ
I know this post has sat for a while but this summation is perfect and really gets at what had been kinda... bouncing me off of playing more and more over the years (other issues notwithstanding). I've been linking it to friends and other people with a similar feeling or experience, and it's good to have some validation that we're not the only people that feel this way.

It really makes me think there's an audience for what we're looking to do here and we have a good shot at making something.........


Re: Show me your favorite YOOL2053

Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2024 10:24 am
by BatElite
Lately I've been thinking about this game as a way to tell jokes. Not a very cohesive idea yet, but it feels like it gets to the heart of some things that "regular" game design doesn't.

Basically players join a round either with a joke they want to make in mind, figure one out early on (after seeing what job they got or say, when they find an artifact they like), or to go be audience to some other person's joke. Some jokes are practically coded into the game for you, like seething tomatoes. Some of them are very much not, like setting up a gladiator arena for crewmembers in the public market.
None of that is new, we used to call those gimmicks. I find a good round to take on an almost improv element to it, where either groups clash because their jokes into each other or they build off of each other's bullshit. (and of course some jokes get cut short because bombings are indiscriminate. :3)

If engineering isn't making their own joke (probably involving obscene amounts of power generation, helped by the fact that the engine's capability often vastly outclasses the actual needs of the station), they're often a good straight man along with janitors. Either they repair the carnage from someone else's joke, or they get murdered/framed because a 10MW engine is valuable to traitors.

This might be why nobody complains about CEs poopsocking the engine all round like they do for geneticists. Genetics in turn gets something of a pass because their complete refusal to engage with station threats while contributing little of value through the minigame ends up being very funny sometimes.

On a meta level, developing goonstation has had a large element of devs making jokes at the other devs and maybe the players, but that part seems to have largely gone. I've seen y'all reminisce. (And I like to think we've been resuming that element on Coolstation.)

In particular I think this framing has something to offer as to why people (including myself) tend to get angry at "powergamers" despite it being very difficult to define what they are. I'd suggest it's often referring to folks who use their high skill/knowledge to go consistently go "no, actually" instead of "yes, and". On the contrary, the high-skill players who goof around a lot more get a reputation for being funny, if a headache for mods.

So on a higher-than-mechanical level, I think the important bit is partially broadening the sorts of jokes that people can make. More importantly though, is to not restrict that breadth in the name of balance. I think that's where goon's soul died. Even with decent players as they have atm, there's just a lot of things that don't happen anymore. Also (more uncertain?) I feel it shouldn't be too hard to Get Things in general, because if it takes more than 20 minutes of round time to set up your joke it's not getting an audience anymore.
And that's where a paradox happens: there are obviously balance considerations to be made, and I don't really know how you can easily distinguish good/bad balance decisions from expanding/diminishing humour. Like, almost every suck-ass thing done to this game was sensible in the context it was done in. Death by a thousand rules lawyers, I guess.

Some other observations that seem in line with this, from my experience (but take with salt, I'm definitely cherry-picking here):

-Gimmicks/Jokes tend to get repeated to death by copycats. Some mechanic stealing meds and a surgery table to make a dodgy clinic elsewhere is funny, but not when it's the 10th time in two days.
-Half the traitor buylist, particularly older things, is slapstick nonsense that isn't necessarily effective. You're not going to get a shuttle hijack buying the bowling kit, but it is classic!
-Spy-Thief has been very hit or miss in my experience, because it requires some ability to improvise that's not required of other antags.
-Before all the non-MPRT rough edges were shaved off of nukeops, I distinctly remember a general air of "we'll probably fuck up, so why not add a funny spin?". The penchant for gimmicks isn't quite gone, but the whole thing has gotten a lot more serious now and I don't think there's room left for unprepared crew to clown on a nuke team with their own incompetence anymore.