The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Talk about Sarah's upcoming game in the Rebuild series.

The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Kizzycocoa » Wed Feb 18, 2015 11:56 am

I feel I have to make a post, directly addressing the single biggest problem Rebuild is facing today. I enjoy rebuild loads when I play. It can take a while, and I still feel pretty iffy on the head system, but it's still fun.

What is dragging Rebuild down though, right now, is all these extra loose-end features.

Who here have ever used a crafted trap? who here has used children? set feuding characters apart before one sent the other to the hospital? who here has used schools? What about the equipment system? Marriage?
There is an underline problem facing Rebuild, and that is that feature-creep is starting to be more noticeable by the day, and not in the good way.

I used to be the admin of the Minecraft Wiki, so please pardon the likeness. But imagine Minecraft as an example. The current feature creep is likable to the dev of Minecraft deciding "you know what? we need more shovels". so they make a cobblestone one. and a dirt one. and a marble one. and an emerald one. and so on and so forth.
You are never going to use all of these shovels. It is simply beyond your reach. you're going to stick to maybe 2-3, and ignore the rest of them. the devs keep adding more shovels, and they aren't even noticed, and they use such obscure materials, and do such obscure things, you never visit them.

That is what Rebuild is currently doing, trying to be a jack of all shovels. It's adding tons of features, most of which are fine and have a good purpose behind them. The problem is, the game has become unfocused due to these features. none of them are getting used for whichever reason (UI design, effort, usability, visibility etc.), and the more that are added, the more diluted the game becomes.

To point to an update that is not just another shovel, Weather. that was a feature because it happened automatically, changing your priorities seamlessly. It removed most of the danger from the zombies, while shifting danger onto food. It did not add or take away any danger, it merely swapped them. A potential future update? perhaps a world map, where you could play pre-generated cities in an attempt to take back the continent. Or perhaps an update to add more events, that can lead through more mini plots, adding to the story of Rebuild.

Rebuild has tons of features, and you must admire it for trying to cover such a large range of situations and mechanics. but Rebuild simply cannot sustain interest in more than a few features at any one time, particularly with the amount of micromanagement that is involved. Any further features to rebuild would be a mistake. Rebuild need to be refined at this point, so it's current features are made fluid, fun and functional.
Give the UI an overhaul, look into how these features are currently executed, and change how they work so players can enjoy all of the features, as well as the game. Because right now, most users are ignoring them entirely.

Thoughts? Am I the only one who thinks this?
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Red Earth » Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:25 pm

Kizzycocoa wrote:Who here have ever used a crafted trap?

I have.
Kizzycocoa wrote: who here has used children?

Haven't played since children were added.
Kizzycocoa wrote: set feuding characters apart before one sent the other to the hospital?

I have.
Kizzycocoa wrote: who here has used schools?

I have.
Kizzycocoa wrote: What about the equipment system?

I have. Has anyone not?
Kizzycocoa wrote: Marriage?

If you mean used as in kept people who like each other together, yes. Although usually only if the characters have skills that would help the same jobs. It can be difficult to remember who should work together unless you keep separate groups of them.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby joasoze » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:05 pm

I play on hard and I use the functionality here described.

My issue with the game is that the start is FUN, but when I have to get rid of the other factions it gets annoying. They send out units that I cannot attack, and I have to have lots of stuff in defense. I guess there are great ways to do this, but the game isnt very informative.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby DesertPlah » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:18 pm

I use all those functions almost every game.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Kizzycocoa » Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:33 pm

Red Earth wrote:
Kizzycocoa wrote:Who here have ever used a crafted trap?

I have.<snip>

joasoze wrote:I play on hard and I use the functionality here described.

DesertPlah wrote:I use all those functions almost every game.

But, regularly? towards the end of the game as well? pausing every round to do so?
Because personally, I find that these features are objectively timewasters in later levels. They're on such a level of micromanagement that I simply don't have the time to use any of it, and complete the game all the same.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Hagetaka » Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:34 pm

The biggest problem for Rebuild today is [people who don't play the game the exact way I do]
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby madman12 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 6:20 pm

Interesting topic this. Thanks for taking the time and effort for posting. I've played a few games of the build before this (0.80), 0.75 I believe, and have used most of those features at one point or another.

The consumables are hit and miss for me. I use explosives the most to knock out bridges and the odd zed. The latest update makes bait more usable and certainly something I can see myself using. Medikits have their uses in the early game but later I usually have enough people to cover any injuries or lost survivors. Don't use fireworks as I'm not entirely clued up on how happiness system works. As for traps, used them in one game but didn't notice any effect from them. However, having said all that I'll always have a few of them in stock for the odd quest which asks for em or trade with when I don't have enough spare food or inconsequential items.

As for children I try to get rid of them as much as I can. They just don't have much use for how I play, any I do get go onto soldiers as I need everyone else's item slots for items that boost their skill points.

I spend a lot of time in equipping and un-equipping survivors, by now I know what I want for what skills so when I trade for or find something of value I do equip it. It is a rather big part of how I play. By late game I will generally have most people equipped how I want them so other than for the stragglers and new survivors I don't touch it as much as early-mid game.But the same can be said for many other games that use an item system, you'll get to a point where you've got the best items equipped or near enough and don't touch it as much as early to mid-game. The exceptions that I can think of are those which use some sort of additional variable in the items like item durability or item effects e.g. dead island, borderlands but even those suffer a similar fate just later in the game at a possibly lower effect.

Marriage is more cosmetic fluff than anything else for me. Adds flavour and immersion.

I could play without relationships (Marriages, etc) and children without feeling that I'm missing much. However the equipment and consumables adds a lot of variability and replayability.

At the moment, these features still seem to be in development with the kinks getting ironed out with every patch. When they do get ironed out, they have the potential to be memorable features. Until then, they may seem superfluous rather than core features a bit like how relationships and children seem to me.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Kizzycocoa » Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:06 pm

God dammit, I wrote a great post, but the forum ate it by logging me out. Ugh. Now I gotta repost all of it. At 2AM.
Hagetaka wrote:The biggest problem for Rebuild today is [people who don't play the game the exact way I do]

You completely missed the entire point of my post. I am not asking anyone to change their playstyles, I'm asking for the flow of gameplay to allow these features to grow more prominently. As of now, they are rarely used in any meaningful manner, and often overlooked.

madman12 wrote:Interesting topic this. Thanks for taking the time and effort for posting. I've played a few games of the build before this (0.80), 0.75 I believe, and have used most of those features at one point or another.
<snip>
At the moment, these features still seem to be in development with the kinks getting ironed out with every patch. When they do get ironed out, they have the potential to be memorable features. Until then, they may seem superfluous rather than core features a bit like how relationships and children seem to me.


Not a problem! Glad someone else had picked up on this.

Of course, we've all tried these features. But they're so inconsequential.
Frankly, I've never used any traps, fireworks or the like, as I have no idea what they'd do. Perhaps an on-map visual aid would help.

Also, rarely equip items. This is mostly due to it all being squirrelled away in the UI

Children and marriage are hit and miss. They never really come up, and when children do, I simply send them off to do logging. It's more of an obstacle.

Frankly though, to take note of any of these features breaks the flow of gameplay, as you dart around, trying to find everything you need before you progress. Everything is scattered in a way that is not intuitive.


The main issue for rebuild with these features, I think, is the clunky UI. That is the root of these issues. I've been making my issues known with the UI for an entire year. Only some issues, such as specific numbers instead of bars, have been addressed, and even then, not to the extent they should. Danger is still not addressed numerically.
Between the UI and micromanagement, these features will always be obscure, and worse, made more obscure by any upcoming features. That beautiful tech tree is lost in the UI, not easily accessible. There is no easy way to edit groups. There is no on-screen usage button for traps, or creating them. There no longer is information on who is married to who, and even so, this affects next to nothing in-game.

I strongly believe the next update MUST overhaul the UI, and keep these features to mind in every overhaul decision. No ifs or buts. It's been a year of bloated, wasteful UI, even on big monitors, and it's not got a solid structure that is user-friendly. It's all just, shoved in there as a barely functioning wip UI.

Fix that, and we'll fix most of the obscurity issues of these features. Easy access to traps from the HUD, as well as less bloated, but more comprehensive data will assist in this feature issue dramatically.
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby Woolfe » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:03 pm

Kizzycocoa wrote:I feel I have to make a post, directly addressing the single biggest problem Rebuild is facing today. I enjoy rebuild loads when I play. It can take a while, and I still feel pretty iffy on the head system, but it's still fun.

What is dragging Rebuild down though, right now, is all these extra loose-end features.

Who here have ever used a crafted trap?

All the time. They are great for keeping down the Z and for softening up before taking areas.


who here has used children?

Kids are great. Good source of happiness for those who are upset. Stick in the back working a field with a kid for a while, they'll soon be happy.
And when they hit 14. Straight up 10 stat straight away.

set feuding characters apart before one sent the other to the hospital?

Managing the relationships is what is saving this game IMO. Otherwise it would suffer even worse from the problems of the previous versions.

who here has used schools?

!!! You don't train people? Are you mad? If you have too many of a certain class and need more of another Schools are the only way to get them. Not to mention getting that extra point or 2 in leadership.

What about the equipment system?

Are you just trolling? Of course I use the equipment system?

Marriage?

Good happiness boost. Especially if you can afford the party.

There is an underline problem facing Rebuild, and that is that feature-creep is starting to be more noticeable by the day, and not in the good way.

Totally disagree with you.

I used to be the admin of the Minecraft Wiki, so please pardon the likeness. But imagine Minecraft as an example. The current feature creep is likable to the dev of Minecraft deciding "you know what? we need more shovels". so they make a cobblestone one. and a dirt one. and a marble one. and an emerald one. and so on and so forth.
You are never going to use all of these shovels. It is simply beyond your reach. you're going to stick to maybe 2-3, and ignore the rest of them. the devs keep adding more shovels, and they aren't even noticed, and they use such obscure materials, and do such obscure things, you never visit them.

Except that different types of shovels ARE useful in Minecraft. Sure maybe not massively so, but I'd rather a stone shovel to a wood one.
The example you are using is why Have a shotgun, when you already have a pistol. Because it is better. Then you might say why have a hunting rifle to a shotgun. Both are +3 weapons. But the Hunting rifle gives you the hunting perk.
Its a terrible analogy and doesn't make clear what you are arguing at all.

That is what Rebuild is currently doing, trying to be a jack of all shovels. It's adding tons of features, most of which are fine and have a good purpose behind them. The problem is, the game has become unfocused due to these features. none of them are getting used for whichever reason (UI design, effort, usability, visibility etc.), and the more that are added, the more diluted the game becomes.

How is it unfocussed? Everything is about your forts survival. The relationship elements affect Moral (happiness). In Rebuild 2, you had to keep everyone happy. It was just a bit more linear.
I disagree here as well. I use these features all the time. If you are not, then you are possibly playing on too easy a level, where you don't need to use them.

To point to an update that is not just another shovel, Weather. that was a feature because it happened automatically, changing your priorities seamlessly. It removed most of the danger from the zombies, while shifting danger onto food. It did not add or take away any danger, it merely swapped them. A potential future update? perhaps a world map, where you could play pre-generated cities in an attempt to take back the continent. Or perhaps an update to add more events, that can lead through more mini plots, adding to the story of Rebuild.

What? So are you saying the weather in R2 was good or bad? Sorry I am confused by the language you have used. Weather in R2 was great. But it was very linear as well. The best way to manage it was to simply not grow your population until Summer. It made the game substantially easier once you knew that. I wish that there had of been "greenhouses" in R2, I would have still been tempted to grow my population in those situations.

Rebuild has tons of features, and you must admire it for trying to cover such a large range of situations and mechanics. but Rebuild simply cannot sustain interest in more than a few features at any one time, particularly with the amount of micromanagement that is involved. Any further features to rebuild would be a mistake. Rebuild need to be refined at this point, so it's current features are made fluid, fun and functional.

Which is kind of what is happening right now. The only major feature that we are aware of that might be coming is a campaign mode. Outside of that everything is focused on either the Fort survival elements. So relationships and how they affect the forts internal operations. The Zombie elements.(Sheer volume, Mobs and hunting zombies) Or the faction relationships. Ally, War and everything in between. The last 2 or 3 patches(Testing patches) have really only been refinements in those processes, with a little extra stuff in the form of end quests etc.

Give the UI an overhaul, look into how these features are currently executed, and change how they work so players can enjoy all of the features, as well as the game. Because right now, most users are ignoring them entirely.

I disagree.

Thoughts? Am I the only one who thinks this?

I think so. I can't believe you aren't using traps or schools?!?!?!
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Re: The single biggest problem for Rebuild today

Postby madman12 » Wed Feb 18, 2015 8:25 pm

Like your use of snip in the quoting, only just realised what you were doing with that.

Kizzycocoa wrote:God dammit, I wrote a great post, but the forum ate it by logging me out. Ugh. Now I gotta repost all of it. At 2AM.


Surely you can just press back on your browser, open the forum up on another tab, log on then copy paste? It's what tends to work for me.

My background as far as gaming goes is in the grand strategy realm, I go looking for those details and have the time to explore the UI even if it is a bit clunky. I like to experiment and since I found my first game or two easy I was able to without much risk so I was able to figure what did what as I used them.

I'm used to windows of information being accessible from the main screen so the current UI took some getting use to. However, once I did things went a lot more smoothly with any annoyances being more due to minor bugs and lag issues than its format.

if you could wave a magic wand, how would you change the UI?

I think there needs to be more feedback to the player. I've voiced my opinion on those in my other post called small suggestions where I point out that there could be more transparency in what is actually happening rather than just a total number. In that topic I focus on skills but the same could be said for the other areas where more concise information on what did and/or is doing what in a clearly accessible manner e.g. as a tool tip on hovering over it as is the norm in recent times would make it a bit more noob friendly/familiar, no disrespect meant with the use of noob.

Woolfe wrote:I think so. I can't believe you aren't using traps or schools?!?!?!


The issue here is not so much that these features are useless but rather they are poorly labelled. At least that's how I see it.

Ms. Northway has taken a unique approach to the UI following the style of the previous Rebuild games. Unique can have it's gremlins. It's up to us to work with the development of the game to make sure they don't get fed after midnight.
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